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The Herriges Horror in Philadelphia by Anonymous


A Full History of the Whole Affair.

A Man Kept in a Dark Cage Like a Wild Beast for Twenty Years, As Alleged, in His Own Mother's and Brother's House.

The Most Fiendish Cruelty of the Century.

Illustrated with Reliable Engravings, Drawn Specially for This Work.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1870, by C. W. ALEXANDER, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court in and for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.


"Man's inhumanity to man Makes countless thousands morn."

Every now and then the world is startled with an event of a like character to the one which has just aroused in the city of Philadelphia the utmost excitement, and which came near producing a scene of riot and even bloodshed.

John Herriges is the name of the victim, and for an indefinite period of from ten to twenty years has been confined in a little cagelike room and kept in a condition far worse than the wild animals of a menagerie.

What adds an additional phase of horror to the case of this unfortunate creature is the fact that he was thus confined in the same house with his own brother and mother. To our minds this is the most abhorrent feature of the whole affair.

We can imagine how a stranger, or an uncle, or an aunt possessed with the demon of avarice could deliberately imprison the heir to a coveted estate in some out of the way room or loft of a large building where the victim would be so far removed from sight and sound as to prevent his groans and tears being heard or seen. But how a brother and, Merciful Heaven, a mother could live in a shanty of a house year after year with a brother, and son shut up and in the condition in which the officers of the law found poor John Herriges, is more than we can account for by any process of reasoning. It only shows what perverted human nature is capable of.


The house in which lived the Herriges family is a little two storied frame building or more properly shanty, rickety and poverty stricken in its appearance, more resembling the abodes of the denizens of Baker street slums than the home of persons of real wealth as it really is. It stands on the northeast corner of Fourth and Lombard streets, in Philadelphia.

Immediately to the north of it is an extensive soap boiling establishment, while directly adjoining it in the east are some frame shanties still smaller and more delapidated than itself, and which, belonging to the Herriges also, were rented by Joseph Herriges, the accused, for a most exhorbitant sum. To the credit of the occupants of these shanties, we must say that by means of whitewash they have made them look far preferable to that of their landlord--at least in appearance.

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