Archive for June, 2010

Proh Pudor!

June 30, 2010

Hotel Galvez - Galveston, TX (Image from

Galvezton vs. Galveston.

The following letter in reference to the origin of the name of our city will prove interesting to old citizens and those fond of etymology. Possibly some one else has something to relate on this subject:

Eds. News — It is generally conceded that our island was named after the Count de Galvez, who was Governor of Louisiana and Florida, and subsequently, Viceroy of New Spain (Mexico.) Etymologists were somewhat puzzled by the ending ton, which did not appear to be Spanish; but they disposed of the said vexatious ton, by pronouncing it a corruption of the word town, found in Charleston, Washington, etc.

The explanation, if handy, does not seem to be very plausible. Spainards were fond of sonorous names; the name “Nacogdoches,” long enough for our practical uses, they pronounced “La Mision de Nuestra Senor a del Pilar de los Nacogdoches;” the Brazos River was “El Rio de los Brazos de Dios,” etc.

It is, therefore, probable that to find a name for an island that had no town in it, they needed not to corrupt the little English word town.

Nestor Maxan, Esq., of Brownsville, has in his possession, and showed me, a Spanish law book, published in Madrid during the latter century, and dedicated to the Count of Galvez, then a boy five years old, and son of the former Viceroy, the godfather of our island. I found on the title page the escutcheon of the Galvez family, as follows, viz:

A ship under full sails, and on its side the word, “Galvezton;” above the ship a fleur-de-lis, the emblem of the Bourbons, the reigning family of Spain, with the motto “Yo solo” — I alone.

1849 Definition - Proh Pudor

This would tend to prove that the word Galvezton existed several centuries ago in Spanish heraldry, but has become obsolete. I find, in a collection of decrees of the Mexican Congress, an act of 1825, to open the port of Glavezton. Galvezton again! Shall we be compelled to acknowledge the deplorable fact that we do not know how to spell the name of our own lovely island and city? Proh Pudor!

Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) Jun 9, 1876

1817 - Niles Weekly Register

This is part of an article I found on the Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers website. There is more of it posted at this LINK, although, since they sell these papers, I don’t know how long the link will be good.  ( for the home page.)


The ibiblio website has transcriptions for the following at this LINK:



December 15, 1817.

Read, and ordered to lie upon the table.

Hello Girl Pops a Peeper

June 30, 2010

Image from Wiki


Man Was Climbing Through Window at Telephone Exchange.

(By Associated Press.)

Pittsburg, Pa., Sept 16.

While working at the board in the Homestead Telephone exchange early today, Miss Margaret Wall, the operator saw a man climbing through a window of the room.

She seized her revolver, and fired.

Blood on the side walk showed at least one bullet had found its mark.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Sep 16, 1911

Bull Baiting

June 29, 2010

Q. What is the etymology of the name bull dog?

A. The name is derived from the fact that these dogs were originally used in the ancient sport of bull baiting, which was popular among certain classes in England for at least 700 years, until it became illegal in 1835. The object of the dog was to seize the bull’s nose in his teeth, pin it to the ground and not let go. He was bred with an undershot jaw and a retreating nose, that he might hang on and breathe easily at the same time.

Middletown Times Herald (Middletown, New York)  Jun 17, 1937

Dust Off the Old Waffle Iron

June 29, 2010

Today is National Waffle Iron Day!


If you have not used your griddle or waffle-iron for some time; wash it off hard with hot soap and water; wipe and rub well with dry salt. Heat it and grease with a bit of fat salt pork on a fork.

It is a mistake, besides being slovenly and wasteful, to put on more grease than is absolutely necessary to prevent the cake from sticking.

A piece of pork an inch square should last for several days. Put on a great spoonful of butter for each cake, and before filling the griddle, test it with a single cake, to be sure that all is right with it as well as the batter.

The same rules apply to waffles. Always lay hot cakes and waffles upon a hot plate as soon as baked.

Indiana Progress (Indiana, Pennsylvania) Feb 17, 1874


Stir into a quart of flour sufficient lukewarm milk to make a thick batter. The milk should be stirred in gradually, so as to have it free from lumps. Put in a table-spoonful of salt, and half a tea-cup of yeast.

When risen, fill your waffle irons with the batter, bake them on a bed of coals.

When they have been on the fire between two and three minutes, turn the waffle irons — when brown on both sides, they are sufficiently baked.

The waffle irons should be well greased with lard, and very hot, before one is put in.

The waffles should be buttered as soon as cooked. Serve them up with powdered white sugar and cinnamon.

Title: The Ladies’ National Magazine, Volumes 7-8
Publisher: C. J. Peterson, 1845
(Google book LINK Pg 178)


We are indebted to the Germans for this cake, which, if this receipt is exactly followed, will be found excellent. Warm a quart of milk, and cut up in it a quarter of a pound of the best fresh butter, and stir it about to soften in the warm milk. Beat eight eggs till very thick and smooth, and stir them gradually into the milk and butter, in turn with half a pound of sifted flour. Then add two table-spoonfuls of strong fresh brewer’s or baker’s yeast. Cover the pan with a clean thick cloth, and set it in a warm place to rise.

When the batter has risen nearly to the top, and is covered with bubbles, it is time to bake; first stirring in a wine-glass of rose-water. Having heated your waffle iron in a good fire, grease it inside with the fresh butter used for the waffle mixture, or with fresh lard; fill it, and shut the iron closely. Turn it on the fire, that both sides of the cake may be equally well done. Each side will require about three minutes baking. Take them out of the iron by slipping a knife underneath. Then grease and prepare the iron for another waffle. Butter them, and send them to the tea-table “hot and hot;” and, to eat with this, a bowl or glass dish of sugar flavored with powdered cinnamon.

In buying waffle irons choose them very deep, so as to make a good impression when baked — if shallow, the waffle will look thin and poor. Those that bake one waffle at a time are the handsomest and most manageable.

Title: Miss Leslie’s New Cookery Book
Author: Eliza Leslie
Publisher: T. B. Peterson, 1857
(Google book LINK, pgs. 441-442)


Two cupfuls flour, one-half teaspoonful salt, one teaspoonful baking powder, one egg beaten separately, one tablespoonful butter, one cupful milk, one cupful cold boiled rice, one-half cup of the water in which the rice was boiled. Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl; make a hole in the center, into which put the rice and the rice water. Add the well beaten yolk of the egg, the milk and melted butter. Stir until thoroughly mixed. Lastly, fold in the white of the egg beaten to a still froth.

Fry in a well greased waffle iron.

Fort Wayne News (Fort Wayne, Indiana) Mar 23, 1899

To make rice waffles take a teacup and a half of rice that has been well boiled, and warm in a pint of rich milk, stirring it till smooth and mixed. Then removed it from the fire, and stir in a pint of cold milk and a teaspoonful of salt. Beat four eggs very light, and stir them into the mixture, in turn, with sufficient rice flour to make a thick batter.

Bake in a waffle-iron.

Send them to the table hot, butter them, and eat them with powdered sugar and cinnamon, prepared in a small bowl for the purpose.

Indiana Progress (Indiana, Pennsylvania) Mar 27, 1873

How to Make Good Waffles.

Boil and mash about a pint of sweet potatoes. Sift one good teaspoonful of soda with three cups of flour. Beat two eggs light. Add one teaspoonful salt and sour milk enough to make a thin batter. Have the waffle-iron as hot as possible without burning the waffles.

Woodland Daily Democrat (Woodland, California) Mar 24, 1890


1 quart flour, 1/2 teaspoonful salt, 3 tablespoonfuls sugar, 2 large teaspoonfuls Royal Baking Powder, 2 tablespoonfuls lard, rind of 1 lemon, grated, 1 teaspoonful Royal Extract Cinnamon, 4 eggs and 1 pint thin cream. Sift together flour, sugar, salt and powder; rub in lard cold; add beaten eggs, lemon rind, extract and milk. Mix into smooth, rather thick batter.

Bake in hot waffle iron, serve with sugar flavored with Royal Extract of Lemon.



1 quart flour, 1/2 teaspoonful salt, 1 teaspoonful sugar, 2 teaspoonfuls Royal Baking Powder, 1 large tablespoonful butter, 2 eggs, 1 1/2 pints milk.

Sift together flour, salt, sugar and powder; rub in butter cold; add beaten eggs and milk; mix into smooth consistent batter that will run easily and limpid from mouth of pitcher.

Have waffle-iron hot and carefully greased each time; fill 2-3, close it up, when brown turn over.

Sift sugar on them, serve hot.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) May 25, 1895

South African Wafels.

South African “wafels” vastly differ from our waffles merely in being made with wine as a “moistener” rather than with milk for the principal liquid ingredient.

In South Africa when they are going to make “wafels” they take a pound of flour, three-quarters of a pound of butter, half a pound of sugar, eight eggs, half a pint of wine and a teaspoonful of sifted cinnamon. The butter and eggs are creamed; then they mix in alternately one egg and one spoonful of flour, add the wine and spice and bake in a waffle iron.

Eau Claire Leader (Eau Claire, Wisconsin) May 10, 1903


Put into a bowl two cupfuls of sifted flour, three and a half level teaspoonfuls of baking powder and half a teaspoonful of salt. Beat the yolks of two eggs and add to them one and one quarter cupfuls of milk and then the flour mixture. Beat until smooth one teaspoonful of melted butter and the whites of two eggs whipped stiff.

Cook on a hot, greased waffle iron and serve with maple sirup.

The waffles should be thin and crisp.

The Daily Review ( Decatur, Illinois) May 14, 1904

Tomato Waffles

Pare six medium-sized ripe tomatoes, chop very fine and add one teaspoon salt, one-fourth teaspoon pepper, one tablespoon butter melted after measuring; sift one-half teaspoon soda in a little flour to make the mixture like a thin griddle cake batter; have your waffle iron very hot, grease both under and upper lids, place a small tablespoon of the batter into each section, close the lid upon it and bake at least one minute on each side; when serving, cut the sections apart and arrange on a napkin.

This makes a novel and delicious entree.

Title: Good Living and How to Prepare it
Authors    King’s Daughters of Iowa, King’s Daughters of Iowa. Circle No. One (Oskaloosa)
Publisher: Hedge-Wilson Co., 1905
(Google book LINK pg. 113)

Waffles, Southern Style.

Mix and sift one and three-fourths cupfuls of flour, three teaspoonfuls of baking powder and one-half teaspoonful of salt, add gradually one cupful of milk, the yolks of two eggs well beaten, one tablespoonful of melted butter and the white of two eggs beaten stiff.

Cook on a greased hot waffle iron and serve at once with maple syrup.

A waffle iron should fit closely on the range, be well heated on the one side, turned, heated on the other side, and thoroughly greased before the iron is filled. In filling put a tablespoonful of the batter in each compartment near the centre of the iron, cover, and the mixture will spread to just fill the iron. If sufficiently heated, it needs to be turned almost as soon as filled and covered.

Trenton Times (Trenton, New Jersey) Sep 14, 1906

Recipes For Waffles.

(By Mrs. J.M. Fine)

One-half cup of cornstarch, two cups of flour, three teaspoons of baking powder, one teaspoon of salt, three eggs, well beaten, one and one-half cups of sweet milk, three tablespoons of melted butter, one tablespoon of Karo corn syrup.

Mix to a thin batter.

Have waffle iron very hot before pouring in the batter.

Witchita Daily Times (Wichita Falls, Texas) Sep 3, 1914

Buckwheat Waffles.

2 cups buckwheat flour.
1/2 teaspoon salt.
4 teaspoons baking powder.
2 tablespoons molasses.
2 cups milk.
1 tablespoon melted fat.
2 eggs, beaten separately.

Mix and sift dry ingredients. Add molasses, milk, melted fat and eggs.

Heat waffle iron and grease well, put a tablespoon of mixture in each compartment, cover and cook, turn occasionally until crisp and brown.

Serve with syrup.

These may be cooked on a griddle if a waffle iron is not available.

Fitchburg Daily Sentinel (Fitchburg, Massachusetts) Jun 17, 1918

The chocolate nut waffles are made by sifting together 2 cups of pastry flour, 1/3 cup of sugar, 1/3 cup of ground chocolate or 3 tablespoons of cocoa, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, 4 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt. Beat 2 egg yolks and add 1 1/4 cups of milk. Stir liquids into dry ingredients and add 1/2 cup melted butter. Fold in stiffly-beaten egg whites and 1/2 cup finely-chopped nuts and bake in hot waffle iron. This makes 7 or 8 large waffles.

Centralia Chronicle Advertiser (Centralia, Washington) Apr 24, 1936

Bull Calithumpian and the Bloody 98th

June 26, 2010



On Monday the elite of the bulwark of the nation paraded through our streets, escorted by that justly celebrated, and truly musical ‘Band,’ ycleped the ‘Bull Calithumpian.’ Any attempt to describe this most grotesque burlesque must fall far short of the reality.

The field officers were mounted on old, blind, blear-eyed horses, the protuberance of whose ribs strongly reminded one of the fishing-racks that are set in the Susquehanna when the water is low. The Col. Commandant, wielded a wooden sword of 8 feet in length, in much the same manner as the Knight Templars perform their evolutions in encampment — on this sword was painted ‘death to the Militia System,’ — his dress defies description, his coat like Joseph’s, was of many colors, the two tails of it (for they were not skirts) nearly swept the ground as his ‘lame, halt, and blind,’ Rosinante jingled her bells in sweet concert to the more regular measures of the Callithumpians — his cap was profusely ornamented with tin cockades smeared with the blood of slaughtered thousands — his plume was from the Peacock taken — his housings were of divers kinds, but a large spotted bed quilt appeared to predominate in the main — his ponderous body appeared to say ‘a plague of sighing and grief, it puffs one up so.’

Another of the field officers had on a mask with a nose about 6 inches long, from which was suspended a tin kettle, he had sundry bumps upon his back painted with various devices among which we noticed an aligator eating a cow, and a man eating the aligator.

One had a loaf of bread hung to his back, and on his back was in conspicuous letters ‘bread baked here.’

On their banner was inscribed ‘Body Guard of State Senate,’ ‘Bloody 98th.’

We saw several Knight Templars caps, with their death’s head and bones. The costume of the rank and file displayed as much invention and keen ridicule as such burlesque can.

One was dressed in a Buffalo skin, on which was painted Tecomseh.’

Another had one of his coat sleeves of green, the other of yellow, half of the body of black, the other half of white, one skirt of blue, and the other of red color. One was dressed in the Highland form, the body of his frock was of blue, while the sleeves and skirts were of yellow color, on his back was too small packs, labelled with ‘priming and wadding.’

Their weapons were a complete omnium gatherum, pitchforks with their prongs twisted into various fantastical shapes, wooden-guns 15 feet in length, cutlasses and last, though not least, immense horns crowned almost every head, and bristled in angry defiance, along their invincible lines — some of their horns were ensanquined, and some wore the pirates darker hue.

But the unrivalled band, superceded the fighting men in ludicrousness. On their banner was inscribed ‘Unrivalled Fantastical Bull Callithumpian Band.’

The leader had his music book, (a German almanac) open in his hand, after he had selected his tunes from that very elegant compilation of Marches, Waltzes, &c he have the proper key by shaking a string of sleigh bells, upon this intimation of a choice, all the instruments of ‘Concord and Harmony,’ consisting of a flour barrel, with sheet-iron heads, a tin kettle, 2 stove-pipe drums, a konch shell, a cow-horn bugle, a stage horn, 2 broken violins, dinner and cow bells, a tamborine, rattle-bones, and pot-lid symbols, joined in the martial acclaim.

The plaintiff sweetness of such a concert can be better imagined than described. If the yelling of the Maqaas, which caused the singer of David to exclaim, even at the peril of his life, ‘whence come these hellish sounds,’ were a priming to the ravishing strains of the renowned Callithumpians, we no longer wonder at his strange indiscretion.


The Peoples Press (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) Jun 5, 1835

Image from:

Title: Pennsylvania German manual: for pronouncing, speaking and writing English
Author: A. R. Horne
Publisher: Nat. Educator print., 1875 (Google Book LINK – Revised Edition, 1895)


Three years earlier, the Bloody 98th, the Bush-kill Regiment:


Title: Local Historical and Biographical Notes: collected by Ethan Allen Weaver, from files of newspapers published in Easton, Pennsylvania
Author: Ethan Allen Weaver
Published: 1906
(Google book LINK – pg 74)

Champion Kicker of the Adirondacks

June 25, 2010


How Honest Jack Ormiston Booted the Bear.


It’s a Cold Day When You Corner the Old Woodsman — On One Cold Day He Warmed His Feet by Burning Kerosene In His Boots.

Jack Ormiston of the Adirondacks has had some queer experiences in the woods. He has been eaten up by a bear, he has floated around on Cranberry lake astride a log for hours with the cakes of ice making hash of his legs. He has been lost, frozen, shot, and has fallen down embankments times without number and he lives to tell the tale.

Some time since Jack got to yarning it in camp to some impressionable young tenderfeet, and this is his story as they repeat it:

“You’ve heered some of the fellers say, hain’t you, how I kotched that old bear last fall?” asked Jack.

We assured him that we never had, and it was not strictly true, because he had told us a dozen or more times before.

“Waal, you must know where Tully pond is,” continued Jack. “Blessed if I don’t kotch a bear mighty queer there last fall. Jim Hodge give me a lift on the job, I must say, but that ain’t the point. Fact is, the great pint wuz the toe end of these boots. I was comin down this way along the trail when I heered a rustling overhead in a tall pine. Golly, when I looked up kinder quick sideways, for I feered somethin wuz goin to drop, I see a mighty big bear comin along on one of the limbs toward the trunk.

“He started to come down the trunk back end first, winking at me. My gun wuz over at camp. I didn’t have a thing with me, and Jim wuz half a mile back on the trail. That bear I could see had a mighty fine hide that would bring me somethin like $30 with the bounty. I didn’t care to have him run away, nor did I want to shake hands with him and pass the time of day with him till Jim come along and put him to sleep with a bullet. I didn’t make up my mind none too soon. The bear warn’t half way down the tree when I rushed at him, not knowin what I would do to own that hide and capture the bounty. I looked around fer a club, but none come in sight, so when I got to the foot of the tree there warn’t nothin but one thing to do. I just hauled off and kicked that bear.

“It wuz the first experimentin of the kind I ever heared of, and by gosh it beat arything I ever see. The bear clawed hard inter the bark and snapped at me. He was easin up a bit with his nails when I swun him another and another. I yelled for Jim and swung again. I yelled six times, kickin between every yell. Then Jim answered, and I kept up yellin and kickin first with one boot and then the other. The bear didn’t drop an inch. Just as he eased up a little bit I swung again. Gosh, it seemed as if Jim was takin his time comin along that trail. Just as I swung the forty-ninth kick Jim come in sight. I dropped flat on my back. Jim popped one inter the bear, and it flopped over onter me. Jim wuz the most surprised man you ever see. It wuz two hours before I could prove to him that I wuz tellin the truth about the bear.”

Then Jack piled another log on the fire and started in on a new tale.

“This spring I come near bein done fer,” he said. “Kerosene kept me in pickle long enough to get near a fire, and then I wuz all right again.”

We wanted to know if kerosene oil wasn’t a new beverage for him.

“No, I didn’t drink none.” he continued. “I started to cross Brandy brook on a log. I wanted to cut off a three mile walk around by the trail. The water wuz high, and there wuz a strong current runnin out inter the lake. This log was about a foot and a half through. I rolled it off into the stream. I tucked my breeches in my boots and straddled the log. I hadn’t kicked a dozen strokes before I got out inter the swift water, and then I could see I wuz in fer it. I kicked to back up again to the shore, but it wuz no use, so I let it go. It came on dark, and my feet began to freeze. My old boots had been well greased, but the water dripped in at the tops and soaked my stockin’s.

“I tried kickin harder to keep my blood stirred up. I drifted over toward Bear mountain and knew that if the wind kept up I would land somewhere before midnight. Just as I wuz gettin almighty froze I thought of a bottle of kerosene I had to oil my gun. You can bet I wuz wishin it wuz somethin more cheerin than kerosene oil. A little alkehal and sugar at that time would ‘a’ slipped down inter them boots from the inside and melted them frozen toes, but there warn’t nuthin but kerosene. I poured it half and half inter each boot, and I know it helped to make me easy fer a time. But by and by it seemed to me the oil must be freezin too. It wuz lucky I had my old matchbox along in my vest pocket, high and dry, fer then the idea struck me that if I lit a match and sent it down inter the oil it would warm things up some. There warn’t much else to do or think erbout. I wuz makin fer Bear Mountain island slow, but steady. If I didn’t get there till midnight, my feet would both be froze off, so I made up my mind to try the matches. Lucky fer me, my boots had wide tops, so I could sent the lit match down to the bottom, where it ‘ud do the most good. Well, sir, the first match in the right boot did the trick fine. It took fire and thawed things out quicker’n I thought. Blisters raised all over, and when it got scalded all comfortably I wriggled around and put out the fire. Then I tried it on the left foot, and it worked just as well. There wuz enough matches left to start a fire on the island when I drifted in there toward 12 o’clock.”

The Steubenville Herald (Steubenville, Ohio) Nov 21, 1896

Ruskin Colony: Socialism Fails Everytime it’s Tried

June 24, 2010


Which Will Be Controlled by the People Is the End

To Which Our Business Interests Must Come, Says Herbert N. Casson — An Interesting Lecture.

The few people who gathered at the Odd Fellow’s hall last evening to listen to the social problems discussed from socialistic point of view by Herbert N. Casson were well paid for their time and trouble. Mr. Casson comes from the “Ruskin Colony” in Tennessee, a colony which is run upon the co-operative plan and in which every man earns his own living. His theories are there put into practice and he believes it to be the model way of living.

As a lecturer he is a success. Logical, terse and epigramatic, his words carry force with them. He kept his audience almost spellbound for nearly two hours, while he expounded his teachings. He prefaced his remarks by saying that thought along was mighty. The man who thinks is a power; he who does not is a machine. He said in part:

“America is at one the wonder and disappointment of the world; the wonder, in that in the short space of 120 years it has achieved a richness of civilization whose enjoyments are limitless; a disappointment, in that these same enjoyments are already captured by a few.

“The influences of Europe are already being felt and the abuses which our forefathers left behind when they started in the Mayflower have followed in a Cunarder. America was once the laborer’s paradise; it is now a Paradise Lost, but let us hope, under a different system, it shall be Paradise Regained.

Greenland, with its frozen, almost untillable land, is without a pauper and almost without a criminal. The lazy, indolent inhabitant of the South Sea islands never works and is never hungry. But we, who occupy the grand middle position, with labor-saving machinery and all the civilization, cannot feed our poor and have hundreds who are suffering for want of protection against the cold blasts of winter tonight. In the preparations for civilization labor and capital were on a proper basis; now capital is in the ascendancy and labor suffers.

“It was labor who said ‘let there be cities; let there be railroads; let there be telegraphs;’ and these comforts sprang into existence. But in their enjoyment labor has no share. The relation between production and distribution is inequitable. What ails us is that we have no proper conception as to what should be owned in private and what should be owned by the public. Everything that belongs to the individual comfort should be owned by the individual. What is of public use and for the enjoyment of all, such as railroads, telegraphs and lighting plants, should be owned by the public.

“It is not a fight between the rich and the poor, for the capitalists are as dissatisfied as the laborer. It is a contest to do away with classes altogether and to get into the natural conditions of life. What appears to be our greatest sign of danger is in reality our greatest sign of hope. The trust is the only professional way of doing business; all else is amateur. And the trusts will continue until there is a trust of trusts, when the public will step in and take possession, legally and without force.”

He claimed as a maxim that whatever people got together they owned together. His remarks were illustrated by events of every-day life, which made his remarks exceedingly interesting.

After the lecture, Mr. Casson gave the following information concerning the Ruskin colony, which is located in Tennessee, 57 miles west of Nashville, six miles from any railroad. There are 300 members of the colony and they have 1,800 acres of land. They have no officers, no public officials, have no use for law, issue their own money, have no church, have farms, some factories, and raise all they have to eat and only pay money for clothing and utensils needed. In conclusion Mr. Casson said they published a paper called the Coming Nation, for which he solicited subscriptions.

Sandusky Star, The (Sandusky, Ohio) Feb 14, 1899

Wedded By Compact.

What is spoken of as one of the most remarkable weddings that has ever taken place within the United States was “compacted by mutual agreement” in the little town of Ruskin, Tenn., on a recent Sunday afternoon. Its announcement is of local interest, inasmuch as the groom has spoken here several times. He is Rev. Herbert N. Casson, formerly of Boston, and the founder and pastor of the Lynn labor church. He is now a member of the Ruskin colony, and is editor of its paper, the Coming Nation.

There was no church or religious formula used for the marriage, but in the presence of witnesses bride and groom entered into a mutual compact, each agreeing to the marriage. The mode of “wedding by compact” is in accord with the principles of the socialist co-operative town of Ruskin, and in this case is referred to as probably unprecedented in singularity.

North Adams Transcript (North Adams, Massachusetts) Mar 15, 1899


Sale Takes Place in Tennessee Cave — Many of the Women Shed Tears Over the Failure.

Tennessee City, Tenn., July 28.

The Ruskin Co-operative Colony property was sold yesterday in a big cave near here.

Several hundred people were seated in the cave, including the colonists and their wives and children and farmers from the surrounding country. W. Blake Leech represented the Receiver.

Four tracts of land, containing a total of 784 acres, were first sold to Leech for $11,000. Another tract of a thousand acres, mostly worthless land, went to George Wright for $1,450. He also bought the storehouse and lot for $15, making the whole amount received for land and about thirty houses thereon $12,465.

The land originally cost several thousands more. Growing crops go with the land.

The minority stockholders, who had the property thrown into the hands of a Receiver, were the purchasers. Horses, mules, fine hogs, etc., went for a song, mostly to neighboring farmers.

It is said that the purchasers, will reorganize the colony on a somewhat different basis. Fifty-five majority stockholders already have an agent out looking for a new location. They may go to Virginia.

Today the colony paper, the Coming Nation, will be sold. Its circulation of 60,000 has dwindled to 11,000.

Many of the women shed tears at the sale, and there is much feeling over the breaking up of the new Utopia.

History of the Experiment.

The Ruskin Co-operative Association in Yellow Creek Valley, about fifty miles northwest of Nashville, Tenn., was founded for the purpose of working to a practical conclusion the theories of absolute Socialism — the theories of Fournier and Bellamy.

The concern owned at first 1,509 acres of excellent land, and conducted a number of manufacturing and  commercial enterprises.

It was said at the beginning of the colony’s work that if, with everything in its favor, this enterprise failed, then it might be set down as demonstrated that Socialism by sections — independent of national Socialism — is a failure.

With the exception of the metals the Ruskin Colonists had in abundance the raw material for the manufacture of almost everything necessary to the physical comfort of man, together with the skill, the industry, and intelligence to put it to use.

In the community were men skilled in agriculture and horticulture, machinists, engineers, brick-workers, shoemakers, tanners, printers, bookbinders and authors.

The Bee (Earlington, Ky.) Aug 3, 1899

and the Ruskin Co-Operative Company is Now a Memory.

NASHVILLE, Tenn., July 29.

The property of the Ruskin Co Operative colony, situated at Ruskin, Tenn., 50 miles northwest of here, has been sold by a receiver. The land, 1,700 acres, and buildings brought $12,000.

This means the failure and end of the Ruskin colony, founded by J.A. Wayland in 1895, and which has been looked on both in this country and Europe as the most successful experiment in socialism ever inaugurated. The colony was prosperous, revenues far exceeding expenses, but became disorganized by a faction favoring free love, contending it was sound socialism.

Fort Wayne News (Fort Wayne, Indiana) Jul 29, 1899

J.K. Calkins, editor of The Coming Nation, a socialist paper published by the Ruskin Commonwealth, at Ruskin, Ga., is in the city. The Coming Nation is doubtless the only family socialist paper published in the world. Although Ruskin is a very small community, having only 217 members, the paper has the remarkable circulation of 17,000 copies and its subscribers are in all parts of the world.

“Our success has been something remarkable: said Editor Calkins yesterday. “We have one of the best equipped publishing concerns in the country. Our press is a perfecting machine of late pattern that cost $5,500, and we get out a sheet that is, we think, very creditable from a typographical and literary standpoint.

“The Ruskin colony is now about six years old. Since moving to Georgia, our career has been most successful. We experienced some trouble in Tennessee on account of some members who wanted to ‘rule or ruin’ and who came near accomplishing the latter. This troublesome element has been weeded out and we are now in a very prosperous condition.”

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Apr 11, 1900


Vice President of the Ruskin Community


In Sandusky and Talks Entertainingly of the Socialist Colony in Southern Georgia

Thomas Hickling, who moved his family to the Ruskin Commonwealth in Southern Georgia a few months ago is visiting in the city and expects to remain until the latter part of next week. He hopes to dispose of his property on Prospect street and will make his home permanently in the South which he says has a great future.

In Sandusky, Mr. Hickling was grown as a Socialist leader and the community in which his family now make their home is conducted on the co operative plan. A charge of $500 is made for each family that enters and the profits of the various enterprises engaged in by the members are shared in common, although each family is assigned its own house and the members may take their meals in private or in a great common dining room as they may choose.

The Ruskin colonists own 800 acres of valuable land, much of it being covered with timber. They engage in the manufacture of shingles, brooms, suspenders, cereal substitutes for coffee and other articles, although many of the men are necessarily employed in agricultural pursuits. Mr. Hickling says that when he went to Ruskin there were 200 or more members of the colony. Now there are not quite 100. The colonists have been able to make good livings but their number has been decimated because history has repeated itself and the members of this co operative colony have been unable to agree as to the details of the management. Upon some things however they are thoroughly agreed and one of the rules is that nine hour shall constitute a days work for a man.

Mr. Hickling has become one of the leaders in the colony and has been made vice president of the organization. He admits that the management of the Ruskin colony has not been exactly ideal but says that a re-organization will doubtless be effected in the near future. Mr. Hickling stoutly maintains that the communal idea is a good thing but thinks that the people are not far enough advanced in thought and education to live in that way at present. There is some talk of dividing up the colony so that the members will individually own certain portions of the real estate but maintaining a sort of an organization whereby they will still work together for mutual benefit instead of in competition with one another.

The Ruskin colony has three schools in one of which Miss Grace Hickling a Sandusky High school graduate of 98 has been one of the teachers. A.D. Hickling a young man who went to Ruskin with his parents is no longer in the colony but is learning the machinists trade in the Air Line railroad shops at Waycross, Ga.

The Ruskin colonists have no churches of their own but there lain surrounds a Baptist and Methodist church so that they have ample opportunity to attend divine worship regularly.

Sandusky Daily Star (Sandusky, Ohio) Apr 17, 1901


Property of Ruskin Commonwealth To Be Sold by Sheriff.


They Settled Near Waycross About Two Years Ago — Their Dreams of Happiness Unfulfilled

Waycross, Ga., August 18. — (Special)

The Ruskin commonwealth of socialists, 7 miles west of Waycross, has about gone by the board. Only three or four families now remain, the others having departed for different points north and west. The printing outfit is advertised to be sold by the sheriff on August 31, while the land will go the same way on September 3. This will wipe out the last vestige of the colony which came here from Tennessee two years ago next month. Several families have located near Valdosta, where they have hopes of making a permanent settlement. The printing outfit will be sold to satisfy labor and other claims, while the land goes to satisfy a mortgage.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Aug 19, 1901

Ruskin Cooperative - Strawberry Pickers (Image from Wiki)


Property of Socialists Disposed of by the Sheriff.

Valdosta, Ga., September 1 — (Special)

The printing outfit of The Coming Nation, the defunct socialistic paper, recently printed at Ruskin colony, in Ware county, was sold at sheriff sale yesterday and was bought in by the creditors of the concern. There were mortgages aggregating $1,600 or $1,800 against the plant, among the heaviest creditors being the A.S. Pendleton Company, of this city, and M. Ferst & Co., of Savannah. The Coming Nation was a leading organ of the socialists and at one time had nearly 40,000 subscribers, scattered in every quarter of the globe. The outfit which the paper owned is a large and modern one, embracing a Campbell perfecting press, stereotyping outfit, etc.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Sep 2, 1901

John Ruskin

You can read a biography of John Ruskin at LINK


Most of the images in this post are from this  insightful book (linked below) written by a member of the failed Ruskin Cooperative.  The publisher, an avowed socialist, wrote the preface, which includes the typical “Yes, socialism failed here, but only because it wasn’t implemented correctly,” blather. The failure is never caused by “socialism,” itself,  but by the “incompetent” people trying to prove its awesomeness. Unfortunately , it is still being pushed on us today, and worse, it is being forced on the whole country, not just a little commune in a cave.

Title: The Last Days of the Ruskin Co-operative Association
Standard socialist series
Author: Isaac Broome
Publisher:   C. H. Kerr & company, 1902

Spelling is the Pitts!

June 23, 2010

Pittsburgh -- Pittsburg

A Question in Etymology.

An old dispute has been revived in the city of Pittsburg, or Pittsburgh, as the case may be. In old times they used to spell it with an “h,” after the English fashion of putting that letter where it is least needed. The dictionaries incline that way in this case. Worcester, who is called Wooster at the North, has “burgh — a corporate town or borough,” and Webster gives the choice of burg, burgh, burough and burh without the “g.” This ought to be enough to satisfy all parties; but it only widens the breach, and obliging people, who wish to satisfy all parties, have their hands full.






Half of the papers have “Pittsburg” in their head-lines; the other half have nailed “Pittsburgh.”

These images are from the same map. For the railway, they used the Pittsburg spelling, but for the city, they used Pittsburgh.

The railroads, to secure traffic, have to paint their cars on one side “Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne and Chicago,” and on the other “Pittsburg, Fort Wayne and Chicago;” on the locomotives they put “P., F. W. and C.,” and allow each man to spell it with an “h” or not, as he pleases. Harper’s Gazetteer drops the “h.”

In the meantime there is a lull in the question whether the first syllable in the name of the city should have one or two “t’s.”

The site used to be called Fort Pitt, in honor of the great English statesman; but people now generally think it is named after the coal pits which abound in the neighborhood.

Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) Jun 16, 1874


More newspaper examples:

An 1867 paper


1833 Paper - "Pittsburgh"


Now, just for fun, two that use BOTH spellings!

1854 -- Gold Rush Era - California Paper


1845 - Norwalk, Ohio Paper

Three Men and a Cow

June 23, 2010


Three Farmers Have a Thrilling Experience With an Angry Cow.

Messrs. Daniel Dute and Basil Cameron, of near Energy, had a narrow escape last Saturday from being gored to death by a vicious cow. As they were going through Jas. Henderson’s big meadow they saw a cow lying down. Thinking that something was ailing her they approached her. to their surprise she sprang to her feet and gave them a chase of their lives. When they were nearly overcome with fatigue and fright they managed to get behind a large tree.

In the meantime Henderson’s hired hand arrived to assist them. He attempted to drive away the furious beast but was also given chase. His shrieks and yells for help frightened the cow and she gave a hasty retreat.

Mr. Dute, in relating the story, said that he never had such a frightful experience in his life.

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Aug 29, 1894

A Snowball’s Chance in …..

June 23, 2010

An Irish student hearing his professor lecture on latent heat, and the considerable quantity of it contained even by ice and snow, inquired —

“If you plase sir, how many snow-balls will hold enough to boil a tay kettle!

The Peoples Press (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) Dec 25, 1835