The Festive Descendant of Ham

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

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