High Life at Greenpoint

The Brooklyn Eagle: July 10, 1871


Two Shop Girls Horsewhipped by Rich Man's Son.


While the fact is well known that Greenpoint is one of the most dormant localities, as regards the gathering of general news items, it is also conceded that for scandal and gossip of the baser sort, there is no other single ward of this city to compare with it, the authority for which assertion is not based wholly upon brief articles which appeared in a weekly publication an owner of which is a resident of the Seventeenth Ward, and is therefore assumed a competent judge.

At 5 o'clock on Saturday afternoon, a genuine sensation transpired within a short distance of the Tenth street ferry-slip, which was no less than the inhuman application of a lash whip, commonly used on road wagons by Pierre Smith, the scion of a wealthy family whose father Mr. Thomas C. Smith is proprietor porcelain works in Eckford street. The particulars of the unmanly act as related by witnesses, and one of the victims exhibit a cowardly spirit on the part of young Smith, stamping him as void of the first principles of genuine manhood, and for that reason unworthy the respect of his fellows.


were Miss Rachel Kenny, of No. 190 Washington street, and Alice Mooney, a resident at No. 136 Franklin street, Greenpoint, both of whom earn a livelihood by their industry, at a shop in New York. The one last named, who is a handsome brunette and intelligent young woman, was some four years since employed at the establishment of Senior Mr. Smith, and became intimate with the young man to whose persuasion she yielded, under his solemn promise of marriage. She found out in time that in trusting young Smith, she was leaning as it were upon a broken reed, as he failed and utterly refused to be bounded by his word of honor, compelling her to appeal to the Courts for support of their child. This course of proceeding, instead of mollifying Mr. Smith, enraged him only the more, but up to the time of this last affair of the horsewhipping, he had managed to control his temper whenever chance threw them together. At the time of their coming face to face on

Saturday, the two girls were on their way home from work, and in passing along the sidewalks, beside which Smith, in company with two fashionable female acquaintances, was seated in an open wagon, they directed as unflinching gaze upon the occupants of the buggy, especially at the young man.


Without a word being uttered by either party, Smith, as alleged, drew the whip, and with an effort lashed it across the shoulders and hand of Miss Mooney, at the same time, as he claims, unintentionally striking her companion on the left cheek, cutting into the flesh, from which the blood flowed profusely. Smith at once drove on board the ferryboat, taking passage to New York, and thence to Central park, among the beauties of which he soon doubtless entirely forgot the two poor girls whom he had recently maltreated. At all events this seems probable, as when conversed with upon the act he coolly dismissed the matter with the remark that the women were bad characters, who made a practice of insulting him whenever they met, and that having the whip handy, in the moment of excitement he had lost his temper and struck regardless of consequences. Considering the obloquy heaped upon her, Miss Mooney, strange to relate, still seems to be

Regardless of the great injury and slight put her by him and his family, by whom the girl is apparently held in utter contempt as a prospective relative.

After the encounter and departure of the buggy containing Smith and his two friends, the young women went to the Seventh Precinct Station, where a complaint was lodged against

Their assailant, whose arrest was not effected until this morning.


accompanied by his parents, both eminently respectable, and greatly grieved evidently at the predicament of their son was placed in, as also by his counsel ex-Justice Chauncey Perry, appeared before Justice Voorhies to-day to answer charges of assault and battery with a whip preferred respectively by Miss Kenny and Miss Mooney, who were represented by Mr. H. B. Davis. In pleading to the complaints a distinction was made on the ground that the assault was a single act and for that reason one complaint only should be entertained: Smith plead guilty to striking Miss Kenny and upon the decision of the Justice to entertain the complaint of Miss Mooney, the accused determined to contest the action the examination of which was adjourned until Thursday next, when judgement will be rendered on the plea to the charge of Miss Kenny.

To the course Mr. Davis made strenuous objection, as also the reception of bail bond for the appearance of young Smith on that day from his father, both of which were overruled, and the prisoner let go on the qualification of Mr. J.C. Smith in the sun of $200. Mr. Davis was proceeding to denounce what to him appeared to be the influence of


When he was summarily cut off by the Justice and requessed to take his seat. With an apology to the Court for the utterance, which Mr. Davis said he did not intend should apply to the magistrate, the irate counselor took his seat, and in a few moments the score or more interested Greenpointers left the courtroom in a body commenting upon the different phrases of this latest scandal in their midst.