The Humbugs of the World

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Contents[edit]

  • Publisher’s Note
  • Introduction
  • I. Personal Reminiscences.
    • Chapter I. General View of the Subject.—Humbug Universal.—In Religion.—In Politics.—In Business.—In Science.—In Medicine.—How Is It to Cease.—The Greatest Humbug of All.
    • Chapter II. Definition of the Word Humbug.—Warren of London.—Genin, the Hatter.—Gosling’s Blacking.
    • Chapter III. Monsieur Mangin, the French Humbug.
    • Chapter IV. Old Grizzly Adams.
    • Chapter V. The Golden Pigeons.—Grizzly Adams.—German Chemist.—Happy Family.—French Naturalist.
    • Chapter VI. The Whale, The Angel Fish, and The Golden Pigeon.
    • Chapter VII. Pease’s Horehound Candy.—The Door Rebellion.—The Philadelphia Aldermen.
    • Chapter VIII. Brandreth’s Pills.—Magnificent Advertising.—Power of Imagination.
  • II. The Spiritualists.
    • Chapter IX. The Davenport Brothers, Their Rise And Progress.—Spiritual Rope-Tying.—Music Playing.—Cabinet Secrets.—“They Choose Darkness Rather Than Light,” Etc.—The Spiritual Hand.—How the Thing Is Done.—Dr. W. F. Van Vleck.
    • Chapter X. The Spirit-Rapping and Medium Humbugs.—Their Origin.—How The Thing Is Done.—$500 Reward.
    • Chapter XI. The “Ballot-Test.”—The Old Gentleman and His “Diseased” Relatives.—A “Hungry Spirit.”—“Palming” A Ballot.—Revelations on Strips of Paper.
    • Chapter XII. Spiritual “Letters on the Arm.”—How to Make Them Yourself.—The Tambourine and Ring Feats.—Dexter’s Dancing Hats.—Phosphorescent Oil.—Some Spiritual Slang.
    • Chapter XIII. Demonstrations by “Sampson” Under a Table.—A Medium Who Is Handy with Her Feet.—Exposé of Another Operator in Dark Circles.
    • Chapter XIV. Spiritual Photographing.—Colorado Jewett and the Spirit-Photographs of General Jackson, Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, Stephen A. Douglas, Napoleon Bonaparte, Etc.—A Lady Of Distinction Seeks and Finds a Spiritual Photograph of Her Deceased Infant, and Her Dead Brother Who Was Yet Alive.—How It Was Done.
    • Chapter XV. Banner of Light.—Messages from the Dead.—Spiritual Civilities.—Spirit “Hollering.”—Hans von Vleet, The Female Dutchman.—Mrs. Conant’s “Circles.”—Paine’s Table-Tipping Humbug Exposed.
    • Chapter XVI. Spiritualist Humbugs Waking Up.—Foster Heard From.—S. B. Brittan Heard From.—The Boston Artists and Their Spiritual Portraits.—The Washington Medium and His Spiritual Hands.—The Davenport Brothers and the Sea-Captain’s Wheat-Flour.—The Davenport Brothers Roughly Shown Up by John Bull.—How a Shingle “Stumped” the Spirits.
    • Chapter XVII. The Davenport Brothers Shown Up Once More.—Dr. Newton at Chicago.—The Spiritualist Bogus Baby.—A Lady Brings Forth a Motive Force.—“Gum” Arabic.—Spiritualist Hebrew.—The Allen Boy.—Dr. Randall.—Portland Evening Courier.—The Fools Not All Dead Yet.
  • III. Trade and Business Impositions.
    • Chapter XVIII. Adulterations of Food.—Adulterations of Liquor.—The Colonel’s Whiskey.—The Humbugometer.
    • Chapter XIX. Adulterations in Drinks.—Riding Home on Your Wine-Barrel.—List of Things to Make Rum.—Things to Color It With.—Canal-Boat Hash.—English Adulteration Law.—Effects of Drugs Used.—How To Use Them.—Buying Liquors Under the Custom-House Lock.—A Homœopathic Dose.
    • Chapter XX. The Peter Funks and Their Functions.—The Rural Divine and the Watch.—Rise and Progress of Mock Auctions.—Their Decline and Fall.
    • Chapter XXI. Lottery Sharks.—Boult and His Brothers.—Kenneth, Kimball and Company.—A More Central Location Wanted for Business.—Two Seventeenth-Lies.—Strange Coincidence.
    • Chapter XXII. Another Lottery Humbug.—Two Hundred and Fifty Recipes.—Vile Books.—“Advantage-Cards.”—A Package for You; Please Send the Money.—Peddling in Western New York.
    • Chapter XXIII. A California Coal Mine.—A Hartford Coal Mine.—Mysterious Subterranean Canal on the Isthmus.
  • IV. Money Manias.
    • Chapter XXIV. The Petroleum Humbug.—The New York and Rangoon Petroleum Company.
    • Chapter XXV. The Tulipomania.
    • Chapter XXVI. John Bull’s Great Money Humbug.—The South Sea Bubble in 1720.
    • Chapter XXVII. Business Humbugs.—John Law.—The Mississippi Scheme.—Johnny Crapaud as Greedy as Johnny Bull.
  • V. Medicine and Quacks.
    • Chapter XXVIII. Doctors and Imagination.—Firing A Joke out of a Cannon.—The Paris Eye Water.—Majendie on Medical Knowledge.—Old Sands of Life.
    • Chapter XXIX. The Consumptive Remedy.—E. Andrews, M. D.—Born Without Birthrights.—Hasheesh Candy.—Roback the Great.—A Conjurer Opposed to Lying.
    • Chapter XXX. Monsignore Cristoforo Rischio; Or, il Créso, The Nostrum-Vendor of Florence.—A Model for Our Quack Doctors.
  • VI. Hoaxes.
    • Chapter XXXI. The Twenty-Seventh Street Ghost.—Spirits on the Rampage.
    • Chapter XXXII. The Moon-Hoax.
    • Chapter XXXIII. The Miscegenation Hoax.—A Great Literary Sell.—Political Humbugging.—Tricks of the Wire-Pullers.—Machinery Employed to Render the Pamphlet Notorious.—Who Were Sold and How It Was Done.
  • VII. Ghosts and Witchcrafts.
    • Chapter XXXIV. Haunted Houses.—A Night Spent Alone with a Ghost.—Kirby, the Actor.—Colt’s Pistols Versus Hobgoblins.—The Mystery Explained.
    • Chapter XXXV. Haunted Houses.—Ghosts.—Ghouls.—Phantoms.—Vampires.—Conjurors.—Divining.—Goblins.—Fortune-Telling.—Magic.—Witches.—Sorcery.—Obi.—Dreams.—Signs.—Spiritual Mediums.—False Prophets.—Demonology.—Deviltry Generally.
    • Chapter XXXVI. Magical Humbugs.—Virgil.—A Pickled Sorcerer.—Cornelius Agrippa.—His Students and His Black Dog.—Doctor Faustus.—Humbugging Horse-Jockeys.—Ziito and His Large Swallow.—Salamanca.—Devil Take the Hindmost.
    • Chapter XXXVII. Witchcraft.—New York Witches.—The Witch Mania.—How Fast They Burned Them.—The Mode of Trial.—Witches To-Day in Europe.
    • Chapter XXXVIII. Charms and Incantations.—How Cato Cured Sprains.—The Secret Name of God.—Secret Names of Cities.—Abracadabra.—Cures for Cramp.—Mr. Wright’s Sigil.—Whiskerifusticus.—Witches’ Horses.—Their Curses.—How to Raise the Devil.
  • VIII. Adventurers.
  • IX. Religious Humbugs.
    • Chapter XLIV. Diamond Cut Diamond; Or, Yankee Superstitions.—Matthias the Impostor.—New York Follies Thirty Years Ago.
    • Chapter XLV. A Religious Humbug on John Bull.—Joanna Southcott.—The Second Shiloh.
    • Chapter XLVI. The First Humbug in the World.—Advantages of Studying the Impositions of Former Ages.—Heathen Humbugs.—The Ancient Mysteries.—The Cabiri.—Eleusis.—Isis.
    • Chapter XLVII. Heathen Humbugs No. 2—Heathen Stated Services.—Oracles.—Sibyls.—Auguries.
    • Chapter XLVIII. Modern Heathen Humbugs.—Fetishism.—Obi.—Vaudoux.—Indian Powwows.—Lamaism.—Revolving Prayers.—Praying to Death.
    • Chapter XLIX. Ordeals.—Duels.—Wager of Battle.—Abraham Thornton.—Red Hot Iron.—Boiling Water.—Swimming.—Swearing.—Corsned.—Pagan Ordeals.
    • Chapter L. Apollonius of Tyana.

This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.