Archive for October 16th, 2009

The Festive Descendant of Ham

October 16, 2009

Wow! I bet the writer of this “news” piece graduated with honors from the school of “Descriptive Journalism.” He used at least SIX different racial descriptors, and EIGHT more generic, but derogatory ones, to describe ONE man.

Encounter With a River Pirate.

The peaceful parlors of the steamer Scioto were changed into a prize-ring Monday afternoon, and the inhabitants thereof were thrown into a state of great excitement. At Ironton a huge individual of color, bearing a piratical aspect and under the ‘fluence to no little extent, boarded the boat. This festive descendant of Ham entered the ladies parlors, and seating himself at the piano, began executing airs that would cause the bones of Beethoven to turn over in their grave. It was evident to the occupants of the parlor that music was one of the lost arts to this sable son of sinfulness, and the lady passengers becoming frightened, both at the murder of an innocent and inoffensive piece of classic music, and the general deportment of the modern master, raised the alarm.

The clerk, a gentleman of lilliputian proportions, undertook to eject the Zulu, when the latter squared himself and showed signs of fight. The engineer and mate were in turn called, but beat a precipitate retreat when they discovered the character of the animal they had to deal with.

Captain Jack McAllister was summoned, and came down from the pilot house. Taking in the situation, he seized an iron poker and began beating the pirate over the head. The poker was bent and almost utterly ruined, while the cranium of the colored customer did not appear to be injured in the least. The African grabbed a chair and began smashing chandeliers, beating the doors of the staterooms, and directed a few of his blows at Captain McAllister. It was a desperate struggle, and the women were frightened almost to death, while the officers of the steamer did not fell very comfortable.

The burly bruiser held the fort until the boat reached Catlettsburg, where, with his own free volition, and the undisturbed exercise of his mental faculties, he concluded to stand on terra firma, where the rights of an intoxicated man were not trampled upon. There was a sigh of relief when the pestiferous passenger and terrific trespasser set foot on Kentucky soil, and the occupants of the boat felt a degree of safety once more.

Captain McAllister had a thumb and finger broken, and sustained injuries about the head and shoulders, causing him to take a few days vacation.

If the actions of the negro are as bad as reported to us, a miniature mortar should have been planted and turned on him. The captain of the boat showed great patience and forbearance, and the disturber of the peace should congratulate himself that his head was not broken.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Sep 25, 1880

An Ohio Pioneer Woman’s Obituary

October 16, 2009

pioneers river

From the TRIBUNE.

DIED — December 31st, 1870, Mrs. Martha Alford, re???? of Esquire R.B. Alford, late of Portsmouth. Mrs. Alford was born in Mason County, Kentucky, about the year 1797, the precise date not known. She came to Portsmouth in the spring of 1812, consequently she has resided in Portsmouth and vicinity nearly fifty-eight years.

Her father’s family emigrated from Maryland to Kentucky in 1793, while the Indians were yet prowling along the banks of the Ohio, watching for an opportunity to decoy boats within their power, so as to murder and scalp the defenceless emigrants and plunder their boats of whatever they contained. However, the boat containing the family of Griffith Jones ran the gauntlet in safety without any thing more serious happening to them than a false alarm or two and hearing an occasional war whoop or a yell from the infurate savages.

Mrs. Alford was born into the Methodist church and always lived a consistent member of that denomination, and was a truly exemplary christian mother in Israel. In order to have cicar conception of her christian character it is necessary to go back a little and see under what circumstances she became a christian.

Her father joined the Methodist church before the revolutionary war under the preaching of the first founders of Methodism in America. When such preachers as Freeborn, Garrettson and Abbott, and other of lesser note were carrying every thing before them with their powerful preaching. His house was always the preacher’s home.

A rude log cabin, perhaps it generally was, yet the weary “itinerant,” with his horse and saddle bags, always found a welcome home at the house of Griffith Jones. So that Martha, the youngest child of a large family, as was said above, was literally born into the Methodist church. As to how well she performed the duties of a christian, all those who were acquainted with her can testify.

She was twice married. The first time to a man by the name of Lodge, who died early with the consumption. She had three children by her first husband who inherited their father’s disease and all died soon after coming to maturity. She had no children by her last husband, consequently leaves no descendants.

She was the last survivor of a large family, who flourished here in the early settlement of Portsmouth. Some few of the Glovers and Joneses yet remain amongst us.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Jan 7, 1871