The Quaker City Blog




Be back soon.

I know it's been a bit too long since I've posted a Quaker City chapter, but I promise it'll be back shortly.  Just finishing up some other projects (and gearing up for the Poe Wars).  Sorry for the delay.



Book the Second, Chapter Third

After the Dickensian characters and humor of the previous two chapters, Lippard returns once more to the danger and subterfuge lurking beneath the surface of the Quaker City, as Colonel Fitz-Cowles is visited this time not by some ridiculously-named fat merchants, but by a hunch-backed creature who provides real a real threat to the Colonel. 

Read on to discover who will receive

The Death Warrant!


Book the Second, Chapter Second

Chapter Second has been posted,

in which Col. Fitz-Cowles attempts to appease the merchants to whom he owes money:

Fitz-Cowles and His Creditors

Find out how

lawyer Bluffly Bulk,

Parisian botmaker Michael O'Flannagan ("And me a Paryshian barn?") ,

Dry Goods merchant McWhiley Mumshell

and portrait miniaturist Coddle St. Giles

react when Fitz-Cowles utters,



Note for Book 2, Chapter 2

I just posted an annotation on the United States Hotel reference in "Fitz-Cowles at Home." Ric Ben-Safed (a self-described "Poe fan") sent me an email asking if Edgar Allan Poe and Lippard may have met while Charles Dickens was visiting Philadelphia. Dickens stayed at the US Hotel on Chestnut St, just a block away from the offices of The Spirit of the Times newspaper. Lippard covered Dickens' visit for The Spirit. And Poe met Dickens at the Hotel. Ric has done some investigating of the buildings and has given me permission to share this (Thanks, Ric):

I read Lippard's description of that day March 6,1842 , he says word got out that "Boz" was there and was mobbed by people because of an announcement in a city newspaper. I read Charles Dickens' letter to Poe that he would be pleased to meet him at the United States Hotel betwen 11:30 and 12:30. I think Dickens arrived the day before, Poe had written to him suggesting they meet. Could they have travelled together and been part of that mob ? I don't know for sure.

However, I discovered from the bound copies of the 1842 (june to dec) Graham's Magazine I have recently acquired, that it was published at 98 Chesnut street. I then called Phila Archives to find out where 98 Chesnut or Chestnut Street would have been in 1842 ( The city and county were consolidated in 1853 and the street numbering system was changed.) Well it turns out that the S.W corner of 3rd and Chestnut is the location of 98 Chestnut st today. The Second National Bank (now a National Park service "Portrait" gallery of our founders and major movers of the 18th century). Dickens in "American Notes" mentions that there was old abandoned bank when he looked out the window of his hotel room. (His room fronted on Chestnut St.)

So back I went to the City an architectural drawing of the U.S. Hotel and the building on the corner of 3rd street, then went to the area. Well when I looked across the street from the 2nd nat bank I saw the "Philadelphia Bank" and except for the words above the door, it's the same facade as the United States Hotel. Then down the street at the corner of 3rd and Chestnut I looked and the foundations of the building are now behind a brick wall, but can be peered from around the corner. Graham's Magazine was published in the same building (now just a foundation in outline) that Alexander Hamilton used as the 1st Treasury office at today's 3rd and Chestnut ). Across the street at the corner of 3rd and Chestnut is now a B&B hotel...with a different facade, but it appears to be the same building that George Lippard worked as the "Spirit of the Times".


Book the Second, Chapter First

Finally, the serial continues . . .

Book the Second
The Day after the Night
The Forger

In Chapter First we see

 Fitz-Cowles at Home. 

The surreal, gothic, horrifying sensationalism of Book the First alters for a spell as the story turns humorous when Fitz-Cowles entertains Buzby Poodle, the editor of the Daily Black Mail.  Read on to discover Poodle's shocking personal secret (and why it sends Fitz-Cowles and his servant, Dim, into fits of laughter).


Coming Soon

Sorry for the break in posting.  The old computer has finally died and a new one has just been received.  There will be a bit of maintenance for the next couple weeks.  Book the Second of The Quaker City will begin its run on Saturday, July 21.  So, those of you who still need to get caught up on Book the First, now's your chance.  I'll also be posting a recap of the action thus far on July 21. 

Thanks for reading. Be back soon. 



Book the First, Chapter Fifteenth

This week we conclude Book the First of The Quaker City.

We return to the scene of Mary in the Rose Chamber,

her condition and her visitors.

What are Lorrimer's plans now that he has debauched the innocent girl?

Who has so startled Devil-Bug with

"the look of one arisen from the dead?"

And who, in a fit of madness, exclaims,

"An invisible hand is leading me to my doom. There is Death for me, in yonder river, and I know it, yet down, down to the rivers banks, down, down into the red waters, I must go. Ha! ha! ‘Tis a merry death! The blood-red waves rise above me—higher, higher, higher! Yonder is the city, yonder the last rays of the setting sun, glitter on the roof and steeple, yonder is the blood-red sky—and ah! I tell ye I will not die—you shall not sink me beneath these gory waves! Devil! Is not your vengeance satisfied—must you feast your eyes with the sight of my closing agonies—must your hand grasp me by the throat, and your foot trample me beneath the waves? I tell you I will not, will not die—"

Enter and read the next exciting chapter,

The Dishonor


Book the First, Chapter Fourteenth

In today's chapter, we return to Livingstone and Luke, as they creep into a sleeping chamber of Monk-Hall to discover Livingstone's wife and her lover:

       It may have been that some feeling of the olden-time, when the image of that fair young wife dwelt in the holiest temple of his heart, came suddenly to the mind of the avenger, in that moment of fearful suspense, for his hand trembled for an instant and he turned his gaze aside, while a single scalding tear rolled down his livid cheek. 
       "Algernon—" murmured the wife—"We will seek a home—" 
       "In the grave!" 
       And the dagger rose, and gleamed like a stream of flame overhead, and then sank down with a whirring sound.

Chapter Fourteenth, The Guilty Wife!


Book the First, Chapter Thirteenth

Sorry for the lapse in posting. I've just added the Thirteenth chapter in the serial, "The Crime without a Name." And this weekend I'll add another.

Prepare yourself for today's installment,

The Crime without a Name,

when our innocent Mary comes face to face

with the lecherous libertine:

      Lorrimer advanced toward the crouching girl. He had been sure of his victim; he did not dream of any sudden outburst of terror from the half swooning maiden as she lay, helpless on his breast. As he advanced, a change came over his appearance. His face grew purple, and the veins of his eyes filled with thick red blood. He trembled as he walked across the floor, and his chest heaved and throbbed beneath his white vest, as though he found it difficult to breathe.

      God save poor Mary, now!

      Looking over her shoulder, she caught a gleam of his blood-shot eyes and read her ruin there.

Will poor Mary survive?!

How will she escape

The Crime without a Name 

now that Devil-Bug has dropped her brother

into the deepest pits of Monk-Hall?

God save poor Mary!


Stay tuned

Sorry I didn't post a new chapter on the weekend.  I went to the BookExpo America in NY with this guy and this guy and buried myself in book catalogues and ARCs.  I'll be sure to post the next exciting chapter this coming weekend.



Book the First, Chapter Twelfth

Just posted Chapter Twelfth, "The Tower Room," in the serialization of George Lippard's The Quaker City; or , the Monks of Monk Hall.   Good, exciting stuff.  Byrnewood is trapped in the room, facing imminent death:

     There was a long pause, in which his very soul was absorbed in a delirium of thought. It may have been the effect of internal agitation, or the result of his half-crazed intellect acting on his physical system, but after the lapse of some few minutes, he was aroused from his reverie, by a painful throbbing around his temples, which for a single moment destroyed all consciousness, and just as suddenly restored him to a keen and terrible sense of his appaling situation. Now his brain seemed to swim in a wild delirium, and in a single instant as the throbbing around his temples grew more violent, his mental vision, seemed clearer and more vigorous than ever.
      "I can scarcely breathe!" he muttered, as he fell back on the sofa, after a vain attempt to rise—"There is a hand grasping me by the throat—I feel the fingers clutching the veins, with the grasp of a demon. My heart—ah!—it is turning to ice—to ice—and now it is fire! My heart is a ball of flame—the blood boils in my veins—"

Will it be the poison or the trap door that does him in?  Or does Devil-Bug have up his sleeve another means of execution?  Harrowing and fun. Come read it here.  

And invite a friend to read along with you. 


Book the First, Chapter Eleventh

In today's chapter of The Quaker City

 we meet the most notorious, most monstrous, most callous,

most degenerate villain in the long, sordid history of infamy!


the Doorkeeper of Monk-Hall!

Come discover why a corpse haunts the footsteps of this hellish beast!

"It don't skeer me, I tell ye! For six long years, day and night, it has laid by my side, with its jaw broke and its tongue stickin' out, and yet I ain't a bit skeered! There it is now—on the left side, ye mind—in the light of the fire. Ain't it an ugly corpse? Hey? A reel nasty Christian, I tell ye! Jist look at the knees, drawed up to the chin, jist look at the eyes, hanging out on the cheeks, jist look at the jaw all smashed and broke—look at the big, black tongue, stickin' from between the teeth—say it ain't an ugly corpse, will ye?"


If you dare! 


Book the First, Chapter Tenth

From today's chapter, the tenth in our ongoing serial, The Quaker City:

      There, striding along the floor, came the figure of a young man, whose footsteps trembled as he walked, whose face was livid as the face of a corpse, whose long black hair waved wild and tangled, back from his pale forehead. His eye—Great God!—it shone as with a gleam from the flames of hell.
      He moved his trembling lips, as he came striding on—for a moment the word, he essayed to speak, stuck in his throat.
      At last with a wild movement of his arms, he shouted in a voice whose tones of horror, mingled with heart rending pathos, no man would like to hear twice in a life time, he shouted a single word—

Don't Miss  Chapter Tenth

The Bridal



I haven't had much time for annotating the chapters I've been posting, but bear with me, in a couple weeks I should be able to begin posting notes regularly. 

Hope you've been enjoying the serial and tell your friends.  We're only nine chapters into the novel, so it's not hard for a new reader to catch up.




Book the First, Chapter Ninth

Read Chapter Ninth of The Quaker City,

The Bride

A Chapter in which every woman may find
some leaves of her own heart, read with
the eyes of a high and holy love