Archive for July, 2009

Fire On The Prairie

July 30, 2009
Pony Express Wagon (Image from

Pony Express Wagon (Image from

[From the Louisiana (Mo.) Journal.]

Fire on the Prairie — A Terrible Scene — Ten Mail Bags Burned.

Mr. T.T. Stocks, just in from the plains, informed us that on last Monday two weeks ago, just preceding the great blow here, there was a terrible gale on the plains — The day was perfectly clear, not a cloud to be seen, but the wind was in a rage and from morning until late at night there was a constant rush of wind, so mighty that the mail coach was in constant danger of being overturned and smashed in pieces, and was only saved by the direction of the wind, which, coming from the west, struck it behind, pushing it forward. It was all the mules could do to hold it back, and prevent it from being driven over them.

But the most fearful encounter was that with fire, which, by some means had broken out upon the plains. The driver seeing the immediate danger he was in, laid the whip to the mules and fled before the devouring element with all the rapidity they could travel, but on came the mountain of flame leaping and gathering volume at every additional stride. Death of the most horrible character seemed to be the certain doom of the driver and expressman (fortunately there were no passengers along), when suddenly the mules, frightened by the loud roar and crackling of the flames, whirled around — overturning the coach, breaking the coupling, and causing the fore wheels to become disengaged from the body; with these they dashed through the flames, and ran back to the nearest station. The driver and expressman ran their heads into the boot of the coach, and covered themselves wit the fifteen mail bags on board, thus saving themselves from instant death — not, however, without getting pretty smartly scorched. Of the fifteen mail bags, with their contents, ten were burned up. The driver and expressman made their way back to the Pawnee station, on the Little Blue — the one they had left in the morning — where they found their mules had arrived pretty well singed.

The Adams Sentinel (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) Nov 27, 1861

Some Georgia Puns

July 29, 2009

Some Georgia Puns.
The “Rustler.” of The Cedartown Standard, is a good one. Hear him:

“A carpenter who’d long been blind —
Now on your fancy draw —
While passing through his shop one day,
Reached for a plane and saw.

“A ranchman who had been for years
So deaf that song of bird
Pierced not his ears, went out one day
With his sheep dog and herd.

“A wagon-maker who was dumb
One day the silence broke;
“Twas not a miracle — he stooped,
Picked up a hub and spoke.

“And an enormous elephant —
Largest I ever knew —
Although so heavy, thrust his trunk
Into a grate and flue.”

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Oct 17, 1893

Kentucky Feuds

July 23, 2009

Bourbon State Feuds 1


As Sicily is the country of the vendetta in Europe, so Kentucky is the home of the feud in our own country. There have been almost innumerable quarrels of this description in the Blue Grass State. Just now these family shooting bees are attracting attention owing to the recent outbreak between the Bakers and Whites, who are killing each other off as fast as they can.

The story of the feud is a long one and to one unacquainted with the ties of kinship which nowhere else bind so tightly as in old Kentucky, it seems ridiculous that people should go gunning for one another over such a simple cause. To the Kentucky mountaineer, born and bred as he is with an exaggerated sense of family rights, it is terribly real. First, last and all the time he will fight with his family if it becomes embroiled with any other. For good or ill and for life or for death he obeys the call to arms whether sounded by a dying relative or by one craving for vengeance. The Gallic adage “Look for the woman” applies to this quarrel. Whoever would find her, however, must go back 56 years, and it is said that something like 3,000 graves for the filling of which she is more or less directly accountable will be crossed on the way. The feud that cost Tom Baker his life the other day began in 1842, when another Tom Baker, a promising young doctor, moved with his wife from Virginia to Kentucky and settled in Clay county. Soon after his arrival he had, or thought he had — nobody knows or cares which now — reason to be jealous of one John Bates, a neighbor. So Dr. Baker used a shotgun or a rifle — nobody is sure about that, either — on John Bates, and the result was that as Bates lay dying on the ground he cursed Baker and called upon the Whites to avenge the murder. The doctor fled to parts unrevealed, but he left behind a baby son, who was the father of the Tom Baker just killed. From the crime of the jealous husband there grew up a widespread feud. At first involving only two families and one town, it spread through the mountains until now it has many names and fills with implacable enmity the members of scores of families. In Perry and Leslie counties it is known as the French-Eversole feud, in Harlan county as the Howard-Turner feud, in Letcher county as the Lee-Taylor feud, and in Clay county as the Howard-Baker feud. They are all branches of the same evil tree, and every one of them is green and vigorous. Occasionally there is a truce between this or that pair of factions, but most of the time it is bloody war.

The original reason has been forgotten in most cases and the different feuds have no connection at this late day as far as the present antagonists are concerned.

The famous Hatfield-McCoy feud was more the product of West Virginia than of Kentucky, but some of the participants lived on the Kentucky side of the line, and, in spite of the effort of Governor Wilson of West Virginia to reclaim them for trial, were held by the Kentucky authorities. Pike county was not good ground for a feud, a fast over which three of the Hatfields are brooding while serving life sentences at Frankfort. Another of the gang ??? in jail before trial. The McCoys were almost exterminated, and as the Hatfields are out of the way there is something like peace on the waters of ?ug Fork.

Bourbon State Feuds 2

The Rowan county feud was one of the bloodiest, most brutal and most stubborn. Unlike most of these feuds, it flourished in a county penetrated by a railroad, and most of its battles took place within sight of that agent of civilization. Beginning with an election quarrel between two striplings of the Tolliver and Martin families, in 1884, it raged during three years of terror. Craig Tolliver, a young, blue eyed giant, led the Tolliver faction. The Martins had friends, but lacked leadership, and were almost exterminated. The Youngs were drawn into the quarrel as friends of the Tollivers, and the Logans were marked for destruction as friends of the Martins. That was Craig Tolliver’s blunder, and led to his overthrow. As usual, the forms of law assisted rather than hindered the crimes.

The Harlan county, or Lee-Taylor feud, which has been a source of trouble to more than one governor of Kentucky, and which has cost the lives of at least six men, has been recently settled, and without the aid of the state militia. For the first time in many years the citizens of that county are resting easy and without fear of being killed. On June 17 the Lee and Taylor factions of the feud, which includes a large part of the population of that county, marched to Harlan courthouse and surrendered their arms and agreed to return to their homes once more as peaceful citizens.

Bourbon State Feuds 3

This is the logical result of the work of the law abiding and respectable people of that section. Some days before they organized at the county seat and marched in a body to the homes of the leaders of the factions. Here they pleaded with both the Lees and Taylors to return to peaceful pursuits and to bury their differences with their dead.

They were told what a reputation they were giving the county, and what the inevitable result would be should the governor be forced to send troops to quell the disturbances.

After much persuasion both sides agreed to surrender their arms. When the factions met at Harlan courthouse, the county seat, there were stirring scenes. Men who have been trying to kill one another for years grasped hands. Tears of joy could be seen trickling down the faces of many of the rough mountaineers.

An unmerited atmosphere of romance has been thrown about these feuds by fanciful writers. The plain truth is that they were remarkable only for brutality. Most of the killing was done from ambush. All sorts of treachery was practiced. Open fights rarely occurred, unless one side had big odds and the other side couldn’t get away. Human life simply had no value, and there were hundreds of men in the mountains ready to accept employment as retainers for any man who was able to pay them for committing murder and to put up money to protect them afterward.

The North Adams Evening Transcript (North Adams, Mass.) July 13, 1899

Colonel Wilson’s Talisman

July 22, 2009
Rabbit's Foot (Image from

Rabbit's Foot (Image from

A Rabbit’s Foot.

Col. Charles Y. Wilson, Kentucky’s state agricultural commissioner, has a rabbit’s foot with a history to it, which he intends to present to the next speaker of the house of representatives, with the request that it be handed down in the direct line of succession each subsequent term of the legislature. The rabbit had but three legs, and was caught in the cemetery at the dead hour of midnight by a one-legged man.

Before he got it the whole neighborhood had been praying for rain to save the crops. But when he took the rabbit’s foot in his hand, rubbed the rubbed the fur and made a few mystic signs, to his astonishment in a short while the great clouds began to pour a deluge of water over the thirsty land. Col. Wilson had it tipped with silver for a talisman to be suspended as a watch charm and used by the speaker of the house, like the magical ring in the “Arabian Nights.”

Indiana Weekly Messenger (Indiana, Pennsylvania) Dec  25, 1889

Notable Kentucky Feuds

July 21, 2009

notable feuds 1899

In the mountains of Kentucky, where many years ago sturdy Scotch immigrants made themselves homes, the only law is the law of the clans, as strong today there as it was in the Highlands five hundred years ago. Let a man be killed in a dispute over a stolen shoat, a $20 buckboard or a paltry raft of logs — and they kill men there for just such things as these — his kinsmen kill his slayer, and thenceforth every ready rifles keep merrily popping until one or the other of the families is practically exterminated.

Such a feud is that now being waged  between the Bakers and the Howards, which, in fourteen months, has cost six lives and has caused the authorities to decide on sending into Clay county a special judge and prosecuting attorney, under a strong state guard, to bring the murderer of “Tom” Baker to a far different justice than that vowed by his widow, who, over his body, pledged her young sons to avenge their father’s death.


Bloody as has been the Baker-Howard feud, there are others still more bloody in Kentucky history, feuds that have numbered their victims by the dozens, says The New York Herald. A feud begun, in troops of two and threes, with rifles ready, the participants have scoured the mountains in search of their enemies, ready with murderous weapons as soon as some turn of the road brought their foes into view.

The first feud of importance in Kentucky was the Hill and Evans vendetta, which began in 1829 and continued for more than twenty years. The leaders were practicing physicians and they became enemies over a dispute over slaves. It was probably the most terrible feud ever known in the United States, for the members of the two families would fight wherever they met. Dr. Oliver P. Hill was the leader of one faction and Dr. Samuel Evans led the other. Their bloody battles terrorized the citizens of Garrand county. Altogether twenty-seven men were killed.

One of the first feuds to start after the war was the Strong-Amy feud, in Breathitt county, Capt. “Bill” Strong and John Amy being the respective leaders. This feud lasted thirty-five years, and one man a year was killed. The two forces met in a field one moonlight night, and when the firing was over there were five dead men and several badly wounded one.

The Howard-Turner feud in Harlan county was the next important feud. In this thirty men were killed and much valuable property was destroyed by fire. The feud ran for ten or twelve years, and no man was punished until Wilson Howard, one of the leaders, killed a man who did not belong to either faction, and was hanged for the crime. This broke up the feud.

More on the Harlan County, KY feuds can be found HERE.


Another feud that cost the state a great deal of money was the Martin-Tolliver feud, of Rowan county. Craig Tolliver was the most desperate man that ever led a feud, and he terrorized the people of Morehead and Rowan counties until they were afraid to call their souls their own. After the state had spent more than $1000,000 in efforts to put down lawlessness, Gov. J. Proctor Knott gave it up, and told Boone Logan, then a young lawyer of Morehead, that the people of the county would have to be all shot before he would do anything more. Logan mortgaged his home and bought $500? [hard to read] worth of rifles and ammunition and armed one hundred of the most determined men in Rowan county.

He then swore out warrants for the arrest of Tolliver and his men. They began shooting at the posse which had gone to serve the warrants. Logan had secreted his men around the hotel in which the Tollivers had taken refuge and had posted many of them along the road that Tolliver would be likely to take when he left the house. The firing became so heavy and bullets entered the plank hotel so rapidly that Tolliver and his men ran out and tried to escape only to be caught in a crossfire. Three Tollivers, including Craig, were killed and several others wounded. The rest left the country and the feud was ended., after twenty-three men had been killed.

Then came the French-Everitt feud of Perry county, with Fulton French at the head of one faction, and George Everitt, a brother of Judge H.C. Everitt of the Clay county circuit court, at the head of the other. This feud raged for ten years, and thirty-eight men died with their boots on.


The last, and in many respects, the worst feud Kentucky has experienced, is the Baker-Howard feud, which is now being waged so furiously. It has been stated that a feud between the Bakers and Whites existed over half a century ago, but this is untrue. The present vendetta began only a little more than a year ago. Three months ago only the county of Clay was affected. Now the counties of Perry, Jackson, Owsley, Laurel and Breathitt are involved, and there is no telling how far the war will spread unless vigorous measures are quickly taken.

The attempt to assassinate Jason W. Bowling, at Bogtown, last week, when the assassins mistook “Chris” Jackson, brother-in-law of “Tom” Baker, for him because he was riding Bowling’s horse, has aroused the largest and most powerful element of mountain fighters of any one incident of this feud. Jason Bowling is a leader among his people, and has always been opposed to the manner in which the White family has conducted the affairs of Clay county. He owns a farm near Bogtown, and last week received reliable information that he would be the next man killed by the Whites and Howards, and that one of their spies would call upon him in a few hours to find out just where he could be found. Sure enough that evening one of the White faction came to his house, ostensibly on other business, and then rode away. He had not gone more than 300 years before Bowling saddled his horse and rode away to London, some ten or twelve miles distant, where he stopped at the home of Christopher Jackson, whose young wife was Iby Baker, “Tom” Baker’s oldest sister. Here he was joined by his half-brother, “Andy” Baker of Jackson county, who was in the thirty-five-year war in Breathitt county between Capt. “Bill” Strong and “Wash” Amy. “Andy,” during that long war, was shot at twenty or thirty times, and carries a bullet in his leg, while a forty-five caliber ball went through his left lung.

From “Andy” Baker he received pledges of the support of all the Deatons, Burtons, Sandlings and Bakers in the upper counties. All the families named are closely related by blood and marriage to Bowling and have been for years known as expert fighters.

To give still greater strength to the brothers of “Tom” Baker, the powerful Philpot family is beginning to take sides against the Whites and Howards. The Philpots and Whites, while Republicans, belong to separate factions, and the Philpots have been the “outs” so far as county offices are concerned, for so long a time that there is much feeling between the followers of the two families. In one voting precinct in this county, every voter is either a Philpot or kin to one.

They are rich, and at the same time desperate men, having been engaged in numerous pistol and rifle battles. It is said of the Philpots that no man ever shot at one of them and lived to die a natural death if he remained in Clay county. The Philpots are friendly to Gen. T.T. Garrard and his sons, and this fact is not pleasing to the White and Howards. While General Howard has taken no part in the war, his sympathies are with the Bakers, and he may yet be dragged into the feud in a more active way.


On the other hand the Whites and Howards have not been idle. They have go more and better guns than they had last year, and have added to their stock of ammunition smokeless powder cartridges, which will render bushwhacking much safer than it was with the old-fashioned black powder. It was smokeless powder that was used in killing “Tom”Baker, and the same kind was used when the attempt to kill him on his own porch was made a month ago.

Not satisfied with the smokeless powder, the Whites and Bakers have secured a supply of explosive bullet cartridges, which, when fired into an enemy, produce such an ugly wound that it resists all surgery. Never before in the history of mountain feuds in Kentucky has a war been carried on with such terrible and scientific weapons, and to this fact is due the great loss of life already chronicled.

The men doing the principal fighting on the White and Howard side are those who have been sworn in as deputies of Sheriff “Bev” White. Among them are George, “Chad” and “Doc” Hall, who were the most reliable fighters on the French side in the noted French-Eversole feud of Perry county, which most the lives of seventeen Eversoles and nearly as many of the French faction. It is the presence of these three men, clothed with the authority of the law and armed to the teeth, which causes Judge H.C. Eversole to be afraid to hold court without a strong body of state troops present.


On of the saddest features of the feud is the desperate condition in which it left Mrs. “Tom” Baker and her eleven children. The oldest, “Jim,” is in jail at Barbourville, charged with the murder of Wilson Howard and Burch Stores, while the other ten boys, who range in age from fifteen years to one year, are at “Tom” Baker’s old home. Their mother received warning that the Whites and Howards have threatened to blow her house up with dynamite and to kill the children, and one of the opposing faction is said to have declared that “we won’t rest until we exterminate the whole Baker brood.”

It was the mother’s wish to have her children admitted to the Masonic Widows’ and Orphans’ Home in Louisville, but thus far no arrangements have been made.

Mrs. Iby Jackson, sister of “Tom” Baker, had to leave Clay county two months ago. She had carried a pistol to kill “Jim” Howard for killing her father in what she considered cold blood, and she was warned that she would be shot from ambush if she did not leave the county.

— Louisville Letter.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin)Jul 8, 1899


In THE BOY WITH THE U.S. CENSUS BY FRANCIS ROLT-WHEELER, which can be read online at the Project Gutenberg website, is a chapter entitled,  A BLOOD FEUD IN OLD KENTUCKY, which mentions the Baker-Howard feud.

Love and Shotguns: A Tale From the Baker-Howard Feud

July 20, 2009
Christopher Jackson 1899

Christopher Jackson

Iby Baker

Iby Baker



Christopher Jackson and Iby Baker Joined in Wedlock After Many Weary Months of Trials and Tribulations — From Prison to Altar.

One of the romances of the Baker-Howard feud culminated in the marriage of Tom Baker’s oldest sister, Iby, to Christopher H. Jackson, son of W.S. Jackson, of London, Ky., and a brother-in-law to Cooper Eversole, son of Judge Eversole.

Young Jackson is descended from Gen. Jarvis Jackson, who came to Laurel county when it was settled., ninety years ago, and who gave to the county the site of the town of London. The county hadn’t the money to put up public buildings so the general told the magistrates that he would build a courthouse and a schoolhouse if they would deed the town lots back to him., which was done. He built a substantial brick house, which stood until torn down a few years ago to make room for a modern building, and the old Laurel academy, as the school was called, is still standing, a fine old-fashioned brick structure. When Iby Baker was of school age her late father, George W. Baker, who was murdered by Jim Howard, was a prosperous lawyer at Manchester, and he also made much money in other ways. As Iby was his first girl and exceptionally bright and pretty, he determined to give her a good education. He therefore sent her to Laurel academy, and while a pupil here she met and loved the rather good-looking scion of the house of Jackson, and whose wife she eventually became, after trials enough to test any woman’s love. When he first began flirting with Iby Baker, Chris Jackson was a young married man, but the pretty bright face and the vivacious manner of the belle of Clay county made him forget the woman he had sworn to love, and his heart whent out to the mountain lassie. Iby soon became infatuated with him, but, learning that he was already married, she determined to become an old maid school-mistress. She procured a school in Leslie county, and it was not long until she was regarded as the best woman teacher ever seen in Hyden. It had required strong men to handle the wild mountain boys, and this delicate girl was worried lest she could never manage them.

She soon showed them., however, that she was mistress of the situation. Simmie Webb, a big boy known as “master of the school masters,” came to school the third morning after she took charge with a wicked-looking 45-calibre pistol buckled around him. She told him to unbuckle the pistol and put it away in her desk. Instead, he attempted to draw the weapon, but before he could loosen it in the holster he was gazing into the muzzle of an innocent-looking 38-calibre held in the steady right hand of the school mistress. He then unbuckled the pistol and handed it to her, belt and all. This cowed the bully of the school, and from that moment until she closed the session she was supreme ruler, and the worst boys were as docile as lambs.

While in school work events were taking place at London which ultimately had a marked effect on the pathway of her life. The man who loved her and the man she worshiped was arrested for forgery and indicted on several counts. His father was claim agent of the Louisville & Nashville, and Chris was charged with making out bogus claims against the company and forging the names of section bosses and foremen to them. His father appeared to have been a tool in the hands of the son, but the jury on the two counts tried against Chris found him guilty on both and fixed his punishment at four years in the penitentiary. When her husband left prison the first Mrs. Jackson filed suit for divorce, and it was granted, for under the laws of Kentucky a husband who becomes a felon forfeits all marital rights, provided the wife want to take advantage of the law.

As soon as he was free to marry again he wrote from the penitentiary at Frankfort to Iby Baker, telling her all the facts, protesting his innocence, and asking her if she would marry him when he had served out his time. The sight of a letter from him, convict though he was, rekindled all the fierce love she had for him when she was a schoolgirl, and she cried tears of joy to know that while he might be in the clutches of the law, he was yet free to make her his wife. She answered his letter, telling him that her heart had always belonged to him, and that she would bestow her hand also as soon as he was released from prison. He made a model convict, got many months off his sentence for good behavior, and was released two months ago.

In the meantime he and his mountain sweetheart had kept up a loving correspondence, and when he came back from the penitentiary one of the first things he did was to make Iby Baker his wife. They are living happily in a pretty cottage on the side of a hill just south of the London courthouse. She is an accomplished musician, and she plays on the piano that graces the “front” room the old pieces he used to love so well, and she sings for him sometimes the old songs she sang when it seemed he would forever be lost to her. She never mentions the dark chapters of his life to him, and it seems that her one desire in life is to make her husband happy. It was into this cozy, happy home that Chris Jackson was brought one night recently suffering from gunshot wounds he had just received at the hands of bushwhackers, and it was here that his pretty little wife bandaged his wounds and nursed him. But the loving wife sheds many bitter tears these days, since her brother, Tom Baker, was killed, for she believes her husband, for whom she waited so long, is “marked” by the Whites and Howards, and that his days are numbered.

“Yes,” she said a few nights ago, “I am in constant dread, for I am certain that Chris will be brought to me some night, the victim of the cowardly assassin’s bullet.”

Daily Iowa State Press (Iowa City, Iowa) Aug 4, 1899

Baker-Howard Feud

July 20, 2009
Boys and men stand around George Baker's dead mule in front of Oneida Baptist Institute. The mule was killed when two men on opposite sides of the Baker-Howard feud clashed and opened fire. Charlie Roberts intended to shoot George Baker, but missed and shot George's mule instead. Bystanders are dressed for Commencement Day at the Oneida Institute in 1915.

Boys and men stand around George Baker's dead mule in front of Oneida Baptist Institute. The mule was killed when two men on opposite sides of the Baker-Howard feud clashed and opened fire. Charlie Roberts intended to shoot George Baker, but missed and shot George's mule instead. Bystanders are dressed for Commencement Day at the Oneida Institute in 1915.

Image from University of Louisville Digital Collections. *If the photograph date is correct, this must have been a different George Baker, maybe his son or some other relative.


Barboursville, Ky., April 13. Five more murders resulted from the Baker-Howard feud. On Saturday George Baker was shot and killed by members of the Howard faction while on his way to town. On Sunday Al Baker and his brother went to Howard’s home, called the old man out and shot him to death, and then killed his wife and two children.

Portsmouth Herald (Portsmouth, New Hampshire) Apr 13, 1898


Howard-Baker Feud Reopened.

BARBOURVILLE, Ky., June 4. — The Howard-Baker feud broke out again Thursday night, when Tom Baker shot and instantly killed Beverly White, a member of the Howard faction. They met on the highway several miles north of Manchester.

Naugatuck Daily News (Naugatuck, Connecticut) Jun 4, 1898



PINEVILLE, Ky., June 4. — (By Associated Press) — Six men have been killed in the past ten days in the Howard-Baker feud. Judge Brown will not be allowed to hold court on Monday, and has sent to the governor for troops. The governor has none to send, and the civil authorities are powerless.

The Massillon Independent (Massillon, Ohio) Jun 6, 1898


A Collision Is Feared Before Troops Can Come Upon the Scene.

MIDDLESBORO, Ky., June 10. — The news from the Howard-Baker feud in Clay county is startling. Howard’s party, 50 strong, has taken possession of the town of Manchester. The Baker following, consisting of 40 well armed men, have rendezvoused three miles from the town. Judge Brown is wholly unable to proceed with holding court. Although he expects troops sent by Governor Bradley it is feared the two parties will come into collision before the troops can arrive.

Eau Claire Leader (Eau Claire, Wisconsin) Jun 11, 1898


Trouble in Kentucky.
(By Associated Press.)

MIDDLESBORO, (Ky.), June 10. — The news from the Howard-Baker feud in Clay county is startling. Howard’s party, fifty strong, has taken possession of the town of Manchester. The Baker following, consisting of forty well-armed men, have rendezvoused three miles from town. Judge Brown is wholly unable to proceed with holding court. Although he expects troops sent by Governor Bradley, it is feared the two parties will come into collision before the troops arrive.

A company of State troops arrived at Rowland, Clay county, to-day and left in vehicles for Manchester, the site of the Baker-Howard feud, where Judge Brown is attempting to hold court. Judge Brown is with the troops and has warned the Whites and Howards, who are holding the town, that if a demonstration is made against the troops serious trouble will follow. The Bakers, who are surrounding the town, broke into a warehouse and secured six barrels of whiskey last night and a messenger from the scene this morning says they are all drunk and will attempt to follow the troops into the place. The State troops are new volunteers and are green, having only received their uniforms and guns a week ago.

The Weekly Gazette And Stockman (Reno, Nevada) Jun 16, 1898


Principal in Kentucky Feud Is Shot from Ambush.

Thomas Baker, principal in the famous Howard-Baker feud, was shot from ambush and killed near his home at Winchester, Ky. Baker was alleged to have said there were four men in Clay County he was going to kill, after which he was willing to be hanged. Baker has a great number of friends, and the bloody war between his faction on one side and the Howards and Whites on the other is expected to result in other murders.

Carroll Sentinel (Carroll, Iowa) Jun 1, 1899


Troops to End a Feud.

Chicago, June 1. — A special to The Tribune from Frankfort Ky., says: One hundred troops will be sent to Manchester, Clay county, to aid the civil authorities in capturing and bringing to trial the leaders in the Baker-Howard feud that has been carried on with bitterness for several years, resulting in the killing of nine or ten men. Two of the Baker faction are now in jail, and when the troops attempt to arrest the guilty Howards more bloodshed is expected.

The Evening Democrat (Warren, Pennsylvania) Jun 1, 1899


Life in Kentucky.

Lexington, Ky., — June 3. — The Lexington battalion of the first regiment left this morning for Manchester, where the participants of the Baker-Howard feud will be tried. The troops are sent to prevent a possible outbreak during the trial.

All member of the battalion are dead shots. A gatling gun was also taken along. It is feared an attempt to ambush the troops will be made.

Daily Iowa State Press (Iowa City, Iowa) Jun 3, 1899

Tom Baker

Tom Baker

Image from Feuds of Clay Co., Ky on rootsweb. They authors provide a good amount of information that is worth reading.

Thomas Baker Killed.

Louisville, Ky., June 12. — The Howards and Whites have kept their word, and Thomas Baker, the recognized leader of the Baker faction in the Baker-Howard feud, is a dead man. He was shot through the body and instantly killed a moment after he had obtained a change of venue in his trial on the charge of killing one of the Howards. The killing was done in the Court House yard, with a battalion of militia all around at the time. The rifle shot was fired from a window in the house of Sheriff Beverly P. White, directly across the street from the Court House. White is one of the Howard faction.

Portsmouth Herald (Portsmouth, New Hampshire) Jun 13, 1899

Manchester Courthouse - Clay County, Kentucky

Manchester Courthouse - Clay County, Kentucky

May Be More Bloodshed.

Manchester, Ky., June 13. — Sheriff White has been arrested and charged with the murder of Tom Baker, who was the leader of the Baker faction in the Baker-Howard feud. The sheriff is under the same military guard that was sent here in a vain endeavor to protect Baker’s life, but Col. Williams has taken every precaution to see that his new prisoner, if found guilty, shall pay the penalty without the premature fate of his alleged victim. Nevertheless, blood for blood is the cry of Baker’s relatives, and those who know them say they are sure to get it.

Portsmouth Herald (Portsmouth, New Hampshire) Jun 14, 1899


Hidden Assassin at Manchester, Ky., Kills Tom Baker, Leader of a Famous Faction.

Manchester, Ky., June 12. — Tom Baker, the recognized leader of his faction, was shot and killed in the courthouse yard Saturday evening. The shooting was done after Special Judge A. King Cook had granted the Bakers a change of venue and the prisoners were to have been taken to Barbourville, bail having been refused. Manchester is wild with excitement. The Bakers and Howards have scores of friends in the country and there is no telling now where the trouble will end.

It has not been ascertained who fired the shot that killed Baker, but the consensus of opinion seems to be that it was fired from the house of Sheriff Beverly White, directly opposite the courthouse.

When the court adjourned Saturday afternoon Judge Cook had rendered his decision and there was no indication of trouble. The crowd was orderly and there was no visible excitement. At 5:30 o’clock the correspondent mounted his horse and set out for London. When about a hundred yards down the road from the courthouse the crack of a rifle was heard and a thin cloud of smoke hovered in the air behind the house of Sheriff White and the courthouse.

There was a sudden quiet. The lull was of short duration. A cry went up that Tom Baker was killed. It was true. Tom Baker lay dead flat on his back in front of the guardhouse tent. There was no need of sounding the assembly.

Instinctively the soldiers loomed up with fixed bayonets and charged across the street and surrounded the White residence. At the same time the gatling gun was hurried out and brought to bear on the place.

Meanwhile the wildest confusion prevailed. A rush was made for the courthouse, but the soldiers were already out and fearing a volley, the crowd hurriedly pushed down the hill again.

Up to the time the correspondent left Manchester no arrests had been made. It will be a difficult matter to ascertain who fired the shot, and the belief that it was aimed from the White residence is itself conjecture, though the position of the smoke seemed tell-tale evidence.

London Depot, Ky., June 12. — The Howards and their allies, the Whites, are in possession of the ground at Manchester in the Baker-Howard feud and few Bakers or Baker sympathizers are left to molest them. After Tom Baker, the head of the Baker faction, met his tragic death Saturday at the hands of an assassin whose deed stands alone the coldest-blooded in the history of Kentucky feudal wars, the state militia, under Col. Williams, with Wiley, Jim Dee and Al Baker, shorn of their arms, left over the mountain road for Barbourville, where there the charges of murdering Burch Storrs and Wilson Howard will be tried on a change of venue granted by Judge Cook.

Baker, when shot, was in his tent and within 75 feet of the assassin who fired from the porch of Sheriff Beverly White’s house, diagonally across the street. Baker told his wife that he was tired and would stand up for fresh air, and when he did so a bullet pierced his breast. Col. Williams sounded the assembly and the battalion of militia charged White’s house. They found the gates locked and the doors barred, but the boys in blue broke the locks and bars and found inside nothing save a stock of Winchester rifles.

Upon examination one of these guns was found to contain a freshly exploded cartridge, and it is this which sent the leaden missile through the heart of the fearless feud leader.

The people of this place and along the road to Manchester are wild with excitement. Sympathy for the Bakers is expressed on every side. The troops are powerless under Kentucky law to protect or execute the simplest duty, being subject to the orders of the county sheriff, who in this case is not in sympathy with their purpose. John G. White, of Winchester, Ky., a brother of Sheriff Beverly White, with two guards passed through here Sunday, going to the scene. It is stated that special Judge A. King Cook will order a special grand jury and attempt to indict the slayers of Tom Baker, but the fact that Judge Cook is not the regularly elected judge may delay this matter.

Barbourville, Ky., June 12. — Since the change of venue was granted at Manchester, Clay county, Saturday for the Baker murder trials to be held here in the Knox county courts, this city has been in a state of excitement. It will be impossible in this place, which has a population of between 2,000 and 3,000 inhabitants, with good officers, for such a tragedy to occur as that at the village of Manchester Saturday under the shadow of the court, when Tom Baker, the principal defendant, was shot dead while a prisoner of the court. As Tom Baker had killed William White, a brother of Sheriff Beverly White, of Clay county, and as the crowd saw the rifle fired from a window in the sheriff’s office at the time Baker fell dead into the arms of his wife it is thought that there may be another trial soon for a change of venue to this place.

Stevens Point Journal, The (Stevens Point, Wisconsin) Jun 17, 1899


Another Victim of the Feud

London, Ky., June 16. — News was brought here late Thursday night to the effect James Howard, a member of the celebrated Baker-Howard feud, was shot from ambush and killed near Manchester Thursday evening. Howard belonged to the White and Howard’s faction of the Baker-Howard feud and has been suspected of having fired the shot last week that killed Tom Baker while under guard in the courthouse yard.

Stevens Point Journal, The (Stevens Point, Wisconsin) Jun 24, 1899

Column of Courthouse at Manchester. Holes and chips off are result of a feud fight in which 5 were killed and a number wounded.

Column of Courthouse at Manchester. Holes and chips off are result of a feud fight in which 5 were killed and a number wounded.

White Disperses Deputies.

Manchester, Ky., June 26. Sheriff B.P. White, Jr., is much disturbed over the turn of affairs in the Baker-Howard feud, because of the killing of Tom Baker while a prisoner in charge of the State troops and the determination of Gov. Bradley to call an extra session of the Legislature which will probably abolish the county of Clay. White had retained twenty-six men as deputy sheriffs, who usually did the fighting. These deputies have now been dispersed, it being the aim of the officials to quiet the town as much as possible until the danger is past.

Portsmouth Herald (Portsmouth, New Hampshire) Jun 27, 1899


A Cincinnati paper comments on a remarkable coincident in the famous Baker-Howard feud in Kentucky. On June 2 1859, 40 years ago, Gov. Owsley ordered out the state troops to quell the feud between the Baker and Howard factions. ON June 2, of this year, Gov. Bradley ordered out the state troops for the same purpose. Forty years is long enough for any family row, and it is hoped that the end is in sight.

Stevens Point Journal, The (Stevens Point, Wisconsin) Jul 8, 1899


The Watterson idea of ending the Baker-Howard feud by letting the opposing families exterminate each other, is precisely the idea that some folks have of ending a street car strike. The public, however, has rights that both contestants are bound to inspect.

Portsmouth Herald (Portsmouth, New Hampshire) Jul 25, 1899


The Feud in Clay County Settled.

Frankfort, Ky., July 28. State Inspector and Examiner C.W. Lester, Gov. Bradley’s special agent sent to Clay county to make an investigation of the Howard-Baker feud, has returned and filed his report with the Governor. He states that the feud is at an end and says that the presence of troops is not necessary. Neither does he recommend an extra session.

Portsmouth Herald (Portsmouth, New Hampshire) Jul 29, 1899


No Trial.

London, Ky., Feb. 8. — Owing to the absence of witnesses for the defense, the trial of James Howard for the murder of George Baker two years ago, or of the results of the Baker-Howard feud of Clay county, did not begin.

Newark Daily Advocate (Newark, Ohio) Feb 8, 1900

William Goebel (Image from the Atlantic Constitution article)

These are the headlines from the full front page coverage in the  Jan 31, 1900 edition of the Atlantic Constitution:


Climax of a Dark, Well Laid Plot Stirs Kentucky to Its Very Center.


Senator Goebel Was on His Way to Senate Chamber in Company with Colonel Jack Chinn. Taylor Expresses His Regrets.

“They have got me this time,” said Mr. Goebel. “I guess they have killed me.”



The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Jan 31, 1900



Convicted at Frankfort of the Murder of William Goebel.


Howard and His Friends De—– Witnesses Who, It is Charged, Were in Goebel Conspiracy and Who Gave Evidence to Save Themselves.

Frankfort, Ky., Sept. 27. — James B. Howard, who has been on trial for the past ten days charged with being a principal in the assassination of William Goebel, was found guilty yesterday, the jury fixing his punishment at death.

The fact that the jury had deliberated all of Tuesday afternoon without reaching a verdict led to the belief that it was hopelessly divided, and this fact made the verdict shocking to Howard and those who hoped for his ultimate acquittal.

Howard did not lose his composure when the verdict calling for the extreme penalty of the law was read in the crowded court room. He glanced at his attorneys and smiled, but said nothing. After the jury had been discharged Howard was taken back to the jail, and here for the first time he betrayed emotion. He called for a pen and paper and wrote a ling letter to his wife, during which tears coursed down his cheeks. He was joined later by his attorneys, who spent a good part of the day in conference with him in regard to the motion for a new trial, which will be filed today, and other matters in connection with the case.

W.H. Culton, who is under indictment as an accessory to the Goebel murder and who gave damaging evidence against both Howard and Caleb Powers, was released on bail yesterday afternoon and his case was continued until the January term. His bond was fixed at $10,000, and his brother-in-law, E.E. Hogg, of Owsley county, and J.F. Halcombe and John Johnson, of Jackson county, became his sureties.

Howard and his friends are very bitter in their denunciation of witnesses, who, it is charged, were in the conspiracy to murder Goebel, and who have since been manufacturing testimony against others in order to obtain immunity for themselves.

Howard was represented by ex-Congressman W.C. Owens, of Georgetown, and Carl Little of Manchester. The prosecution was represented by Acting Commonwealth Attorney Williams, T.C. Campbell, of Cincinnati, and H.E. Golden of Barboursville.

“Jim” Howard as he is commonly known in the mountains, is a strikingly handsome man, 44 years of age, and would be one of the last to be pointed out by a stranger as the man on trial. He had the record, however, of being the leader of the Howard-White faction in the Baker-Howard feud in Clay county, in which numerous lives were taken.

He had killed George Baker, and was suspected of the assassination of Tom Baker, who was killed after the same fashion as the Goebel murder, and Howard’s friends believe that these facts had very much to do with the making of the verdict sentencing him to the gallows.

The trial of Henry E. Youtsey, of Newport, will be called next at Georgetown next Monday.

The Tyrone Daily Herald (Tyrone, PA) Sep 27, 1900


Two Dead and Four Wounded.

Lexington, Ky., Sept. 6. — One of the bloodiest encounters in the history of Kentucky feuds took place on Saxtons creek, in Clay county, and as a result two men are dead and four dangerously wounded. The fight occurred between the Griffin and Philpott factions, the former being allies of the Howards while the Philpotts were identified with the Baker faction in the famous Howard-Baker feud of three years ago.

The Newark Advocate (Newark, Ohio) Sep 6, 1904

scales of justice

Life Imprisonment for the Murder of William Goebel.

(Bulletine Press Association.)

Frankfort, Ky., Feb. 2. — James Howard, convicted of the murder of William Goebel, arrived at the Frankfort penitentiary today to spend the rest of his life there, unless some unexpected turn of fortune liberates him. He is one of the most interesting characters that ever crossed the threshold of the penitentiary and his arrival caused considerable stir among the people of this city in general and the prison officials in particular. After spending nearly six years in jail, standing three trials and fighting his case through the supreme court, Howard was defeated in his struggle for liberty and the supreme court confirmed the judgement of the Kentucky courts. Howard never lost his nerve for a single moment. He was as cheerful on his way to the penitentiary and upon his arrival as he was on the first day of his arrest and said he was confident that he would eventually be vindicated and liberated.

In many ways Howard is the most picturesque figure of the Goebel murder cases. The commonwealth represented him as the typical mountain feud fighter and dead shot who went to Frankfort to kill Goebel in return for a pardon for having killed George Baker in a feud. Personally Howard does not fill the idea of such a person at all. He would never have been taken for a desperate man from the mountains. He is handsome and of distinguished appearance, of fine physique and unusually graceful, with easy manners. He looks like a man of fine intellect and a student. Indeed, he has been a student for five years, as during his imprisonment he has devoted his time to perfecting himself in the law.

Howard was born in Clay county forty years ago. His father was a school teacher. Howard lived in the mountains all his life and early became an expert shot, like all Kentucky mountaineers. He was first a deputy sheriff of Clay county, then school teacher, lawyer, general storekeeper in the government revenue service and finally assessor of Clay county, which he held when he became involved in the Goebel trouble.

Howard is a victim of a Kentucky feud, whatever were the circumstances of the killing of Goebel. He was in Frankfort the day Goebel was shot, trying to procure a pardon for killing George Baker from W.S. Taylor, then governor of Kentucky. The prosecution maintained that he was to get the pardon for killing Goebel. Howard has maintained that in this seeming connection he was a victim of circumstances. The Baker-Howard feud broke out in 1897. The Bakers one day ambushed Jim Howard’s father and two brothers, killing the brothers and desperately wounding the father.

Jim Howard, as soon as he heard of it, mounted his horse and rode to the scene. He claims the Bakers tried to ambush him and that he escaped by using his horse as a shield. In the encounter he shot George Baker to death.

Howard was indicted for the murder of Goebel in April, 1900. He was then in Clay county, where he might have remained indefinitely, as the mountaineers are Republicans and would have afforded him protection against an army. But in the month of May Howard went to Frankfort and surrendered. His first trial resulted in a sentence of death, his second of life imprisonment, both being reversed. The third verdict was life imprisonment and was sustained by the supreme court.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Feb 2, 1906


This site has newspaper article images covering a variety of items, including this feud and others.

Here is some additional information about the William Goebel assassination and his rival, Governor Taylor.

By Rome We’ll be Enslaved

July 19, 2009

APAstatue copy

Image from McNamara’s Blog.

The American Protective Agency‘s Oath.

Brother Jonathan Opens Fire On The A.P.A.

With his plain-patched curderi breeches, an’ his red an’ yeller coat,
He has just come up and registered and casted his fust vote,
Talkin’, tellin’ abeout the Bible, an’ our institutooshuns grand,
An’ that the Stars an’ Stripes must float from each schoolhouse in the land!

Tearin’ up an’ deown on platforms, lettin’ steam off agin’ priest,
An’ bishops, popes, and cardinals that eat heretics at feasts.
Sayin neow’s the time or never to defend the flag we’ve saved! —
Our homes, our wives an’ children, er by Rome we’ll be enslaved!

Well, I’ve stood an’ I’ve listened till he got his rantin’ through,
An’ last night I stood in meetin,’ an’ I sez: “Why, who by you?
Never heard on ye till yesterday! — since that time I riz the axe
On my ole man at Concord an’ ye run to Halilfax!

Ye were mighty still when Sumter’s guns went shakin’ up the land,
An’ I had my Irish regiments march in an’ take a hand!
Great strappin’ fellers, shot right deown, with a shamrock on their breasts,
The Stars and Stripes above um, and a cross inside their vests!

‘The last guard of McClellan, an’ Burnside’s furthest dead! —
No, I guess not stranger — jest yit, I ain’t goin to lose my head!
Like ’nuff in goin’ to heaven, our roads may be apart,
But in pintin’ to the general end, we’re all the same at heart.

Some of my folks were Catholics as fur back’s ’76!
An’ thirty six years later helped me out ev a nasty fix!
An’ as fer Irish — in Mexico — of all Zach’s bloodiest fields,
He found at Cerro Gordo his biggest hoss was Shields!

But the way you’ve been talkin,’ St. Peter raves an’ swears
When comes along an Irishman that kneels and says his prayers.
But now I come to think on’t an’ look ye in the face,
I’ll be hanged if you ain’t Irish — no credit to the race!

But if you come to the United States to jest kick up a stew,
‘Tween Abner Jones an’ his man Mike, and neighbor Donahoe.
Tell ye here, right sqeea an’ how, ye’d better shack fer home!
I don’t want imported patriots to help me to keep out Rome!”

The News (Frederick, Maryland) Jun 3, 1895


Oh, the irony!


Member of the Ohio “Inner Circle” Astonishes His Brethren.

Monday evening a wedding took place at Toledo, Ohio, that caused a genuine sensation in A.P.A. circles. The contracting parties were Joseph D. Batch, charter member of Council No.2, A.P.A., and of the order of Zodiacs, commonly called the “Inner Circle.” present state secretary of the A.P.A. order, and Miss Tessa Cracknel, a pronounced and devout Roman Catholic. Rev. Father Barry of the Church of the Good Shepard performed the ceremony. The groom says he will resign his position as state secretary of the A.P.A. and will withdraw from the local council.

Carroll Sentinel (Carroll, Iowa) Jul 08, 1897

Benedict XVI and Roger Cardinal Mahony, leading the flock across the Rio Grande.

Benedict XVI and Roger Cardinal Mahony, leading the flock across the Rio Grande.

Image from Dyspeptic Mutterings

The A.P.A. Busy Propagating Their Ideas in This Country.

BUFFALO, N.Y., Sept. 21 — The American Protective Association is putting forth every effort to increase its membership in this city. Two sets of circulars have been distributed here that clearly explain the purposes and workings of the order. One set of circulars was distributed quietly among the avowed opponents of the Roman Catholics and another secretly among those who have taken the obligations of the order. The first circular recites that the order is about two years old; that in that time it has grown to a million membership; that in certain Western cities every official from the mayor down is a member; that it is aggressive without financial benefits and political, yet non-partisan; that it is a secret order, fighting a secret foe — the Jesuits. The circular concludes:

“The charm of the order seems to be in the fact that it means fight. The members are sick of apathy and supineness so prevalent in Protestantism. Of Americans generally who allow Rome to trample in the dust their most cherished institutions without a word of protest; and allow the many tentacled monster to seize and control city after city without a murmur. This is the grand reaction; a revolution, if you will, and if properly guided and controlled it means the annihilation of the dominancy of the old parties in 1896 and a new political heaven and earth.”

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Sep 21, 1893

1897 Model (Image from /

1897 Model (Image from /

The Mayor Got a Winchester

TOLEDO, O., Feb 24. — The suit heard in a local justice’s court of A.J. Rummel, dealer in firearms, against G.W. Ostrander and others, members of council No.2, of the A.P.A., has revealed the fact that among those who purchased Winchester rifles wherewith to repel an anticipated invasion by Catholics last Labor Day, was Mayor Major. Among others who obtained guns were Police Commissioner Doville, James W. Caldwell chairman of the Republican city committee, Workhouse Superintendent Brown, Joseph D. Batch, Joseph Doville, W.C. Harris, G. Ostrander, and George H. Jay Republican candidate for street commissioner.

Daily Advocate (Newark, Ohio) Feb 24, 1894

Kinder-Garten: Using the “Object Method”

July 18, 2009
Painting by D Lacey Derstine (Image from

Painting by D Lacey Derstine (Image from

The Kinder-Garten.

Some of our citizens are talking up the matter of organizing a Kinder-garten with the opening of spring or summer.

Kinder-garten is a German word, and means a children’s garden, or nursery, a primary school in which young children are taught the rudiments of education by what is known as the object method. It is a school in which it is sought to promote the physical growth of the child by judicious exercise under the supervision of an instructor, to teach proper forms of speech, the correct use and meaning of works from their application to familiar objects. The Kinder-gaertnerin takes the place of the mother in directing the child in its mental and physical growth, and prepares it for the more abstract studies of the school room.

This method was first introduced by Pestolotzi, an eminent educator of Switzerland, nearly a century ago, and has been in vogue in that country and Germany ever since, and of late years has been introduced into the primary schools of this country in the imperfect form of object lessons, which at one time had attained a high degree of popularity in the primary grades of our Union Schools, but soon lost ground, and in most places has been entirely abandoned, mostly for want of proper skill on part of the teachers, for no one can become a good instructor of children by the objective method without natural fitness and acquired tact. It is a method of teaching in which there is no text book to depend upon, and the teacher cannot be a machine run by books, but must be a living intellectual model and guide to the pupil in leading the way to the discovery of knowledge.

In a Swiss city, a Kinder garten, as the name implies, is a real garden, with its flower beds, its walks, its fountains, its shade trees, its play houses, and rooms for instruction supplied with an endless variety of objects. The children are not required to curve their spines over books, and memorize what is to them meaningless forms of words, for hours at a time, but are taught living ideas by observation, by means of objects and charts, and after half an hour’s in-door instruction, they accompany their teacher to enjoy the open air in health-giving exercise and observation.

It is very common in Switzerland to see a teacher and his pupils out upon the streets, in the parks, or climbing the mountains, rambling through the forest, studying the paragraphs and looking at the grand pictures of the book of nature learning here a lesson in botany by observing the tiny flower, the lofty pines, and spreading beeches, and studying the mosses and the lichens, and learning to trace the foot prints of the Creator o’er the rocks, through the gullies, along the babbling brooks, up the mountains, by dashing waterfalls, to the massive glaciers, and up to the eternal snows.

Our educational method deals too much with the abstract; our children ought to learn more about the material world, and plants, animals and insects, and above everything else they ought to learn the human organism and the laws of health — but we are digressing. In conclusion we bid God speed to the Kinder-garten project and hope the undertaking may prove successful.

Elyria Constitution, The (Elyria, Ohio) Jan 24, 1878


The Wesley Center Online has an interesting  article from 1863, that describes several “object method” lesson ideas:

The Methodist Quarterly Review
October, 1863

Calkin’s Object-Lessons. New York: Harper & Brothers.

Congressional Poetry

July 16, 2009
U.S. Capitol 1906 (Image from

U.S. Capitol 1906 (Image from


How dear to our hearts is our Democratic Congress,
As hopeless inaction presents it to view;
The bill of poor Wilson, the deep tangled tariff,
And every mad pledge that their lunacy knew!
The widespread depression, the mills that closed by it,
The rock of free silver where great Grover fell;
They’ve busted our country, no use to deny it,
And damn the old party, it’s busted as well!

This G. Cleveland Congress,
This Queen Lily Congress,
This wild free trade Congress
We all love so well.

Their moss-covered pledges we no longer treasure,
For often at noon, when our hunting a job,
We find that instead of the corn they had promised,
They’ve given us nothing — not even a cob!
How ardent we cussed ’em with lips overflowing
With sulphurous blessings as great swear words fell.
The emblems of hunger, free trade and free silver,
Are sounding in sorrow the workingman’s knell!

This bank breaking Congress
This mill closing Congress,
This starvation Congress
We all love so well.

How sweet from their eloquent lips to receive it,
Cursed tariff protection no longer uphold.
We listened — and voted our dinner pails empty,
The factories silent, the furnaces cold.
And now far removed from our lost situations,
The tear of regret doth intrusively swell.
We yearn for Republican administration
And sigh for the Congress that served us so well

This Fifty-third Congress
This Democrat Congress
This sugar-cured Congress
We wish was in h—


Sandusky Register (Sandusky, Ohio) Aug 7, 1894


Below, a poem about the 52nd U.S. Congress:

This Glorious Congress.

Now we stand upon the border
Of the doing of a Congress,
Such as we have never heard of;
Such as we had never thought of;
Such a Congress as some Congress
Might have made by legislating,
Or a Poet in his frenzy
Might have captured from his fancy!
Come the member from the forests,
Come the members from the prairies,
From the hills and from the valley,
From the towns and from the cities;
Hayseed here and hayseed yonder;
Sockless statesmen in their glory;
Whiskers, for the wind’s wild whistling;
Sawlogs, waiting for a buzz-saw;
Slouch hats, plug hats, skull caps, derbies,
Silver for the gray cloud’s lining;
Liquor straight, or mixed with water;
Water straight, or mixed with liquor;
Money turned out by the cart-load,
Erstwhile filled with white potatoes;
Money made of straw and fodder;
Yellow money good for something;
These be there and with them standing
Men who work for home protection;
Men who work for foreign products;
Buncombe boomers from the cornfields,
Yearning for appropriations,
Hungry for a public building,
Thirsting for some lock-dammed river;
Anything to get a dollar
For their well-beloved people!
Amateurs as yet in Congress,
Dazzled by its distant splendor,
Every individual member,
Fresh amidst its “arduous labors,”
Zealous to discharge his duty,
Wild to burst in oratory,
Stuck on Fame for future ages.
Greener than a summer pumpkin,
Waiting till on some tomorrow
Some high-toned and august Speaker,
With the rattle of his gavel,
Call this most peculiar Congress,
And likewise other things, to order.


The News (Frederick, Maryland) Dec 10, 1891