Archive for June, 2010

Thirteen Rebellious Stripes

June 13, 2010

The first American Flag that was displayed in great Britain was hoisted on board the ship Bedford, Capt. Moores, of Nantucket.

She arrived at the Downs February 3, 1783, passed Grayesend the 4th, and was reported at the Custom House on the 5th.

A London journal of 1783 states that she was not allowed regular entry until some consultation had taken place between the  commissioners of the customs and the lords of council, on account of the many acts of parliament yet in force against the rebels in America.

She is loaded with 487 butts of whale oil, is American built, manned wholly by American seamen, wears the rebel colors, and belongs to the Island of Nantucket in Massachusetts.

This is the first vessel which has displayed the thirteen rebellious stripes in any British port. The vessell is at Horesley-down, a little below the tower, and is intended immediately to return to New England.

The Experiment (Norwalk, Ohio)   Jul 6, 1842

Title: Story of the American Flag
Editor:Samuel Fallows
Publisher: Educational publishing co., 1903
(Google book LINK)

Rats on the Rampage

June 11, 2010


They Invade a Farmer’s Premises and Make a Great Fight.

The village of President, an old-time petroleum center, is in the Oil creek of Pennsylvania. There is where the Karnses, once a famous family of oil operators, had their home, and some of them live there and thereabout yet. One of these is Henry Karns.

The other day, early in the morning, he heard his pig, which had reached the proper condition for killing, squealing in such an agonizing way in the pen that he knew something was wrong with it. Karns’ first thought was bear, for now and then, even at this late date, bears venture from the distant woods to the sleepy towns in that part of the valley and try their skill on pigs and sheep. So Karns took his gun and hurried to the pig pen. But instead of bears rats were the impudent invaders of the pig pen and hungry assailants of the pig.

The stye was simply alive with rats. The pig was prostrate on the floor of the pen, and literally covered with this horde of rats, which were squealing, fighting among themselves for vantage ground on the fat porker, and gnashing and gnawing at the pig’s flesh, from his head to his rump. To fire his gun into the swarming rats would be the endangering of the pig, and thinking that a prompt and vigorous attack on the rats would put them to flight, he clubbed his gun and began mauling left and right with it.

The pig had plainly made a desperate fight against its assailants, for scores of rats lay dead about the pen. The moment Karns pitched into the rats those in the outer ranks turned on him. They came at him in such force that he was unable to fight them off, and after a brief attempt to hold his ground he turned and fled. Hastening back to the house he drew the buckshot from his gun and loaded it with fine shot. Returning to the pen, he gave the great body of rats, shooting along the side of the pig so as not to injure it, the charge of both barrels. Many of them were swept down before it, but their places were quickly taken by others. Karns fired five times. The rats that were left still held their ground.

The shots had attracted the attention of the neighbors, who ran to the place to see what was going on. this arrival of reinforcements alarmed the rats, and the survivors retreated, scampering away in all directions. The pig was dead. The flesh had been stripped from it clear to the bone in many places. Its eyes had been plucked out, and its heart half eaten in two. A half-bushel basketful of dead rats were taken from the pen. Where he rodents came from so suddenly in such great numbers is not known. None of them has been seen since.

The Evening Democrat (Warren, Pennsylvania) Jan 8, 1895

Resisting the Power of the Locomotive

June 10, 2010

Singular Incident — Locomotive arrested by Worms.

On the completion, a few days since, of the railway on the tressel and bridge, over the Congaree Swamp and river, a general migration of the cattapillars of Richmond took place towards the St. Mathew’s shore. An army of worms, occupying in solid column the iron rail for upwards of one mile, presented, as was supposed, but a feeble barrier to the power of steam.

A locomotive, with a full train of cars loaded with iron, and moving at a speed of from ten to twelve miles an hour, was arrested notwithstanding, at midway in the swamp by these insects, and through the agency of sand alone, freely delivered on the wheel, was it able to overcome them. It was a sanguinary victory, in which millions were crushed to death, though the cattipillars maintained their ground and enjoyed a triumph in resisting, for a brief period, even the power of the locomotive.

[Charleston Patriot.

The Experiment (Norwalk, Ohio) May 4, 1842

Think it couldn’t happen?

Revenge of the Caterpillars!

Out Here In California

June 9, 2010

To Correspondents.

G.W.F.: — Sends a transcript of a letter from an affectionate husband in California to his devoted wife:


Could you only see
The way I’m pestered with the flea,
I know that you would pity me,
And come to California.

At first they crawl and then they bite,
and then I scratch with all my might,
And that’s the way I pass the night,
Out here in California.

I have a friend here you must know,
Who says they troubled him just so,
Until his wife came from Saco
Out here in California.

He says now, when the days grow dim,
The fleas bite her instead of him,
And he don’t have to scratch a limb,
Out here in California.

But often in the darkest night
She cries aloud with all her might,
‘Dear husband, how the fleas do bite,
Out here in California!’

Then he gets up with smiling face,
And holds the light while she does chase
The fleas away from their hiding place,
Out here in California.

Now, Nancy, if you’ll come out here,
The nimble fleas you need not fear,
For I will hold that light, my dear,
For you in California.

I’ll light the candle with a match,
And try the naughty fleas to catch;
If I don’t succeed I’ll help you scratch,
Out here in California.

My dearest Nancy, I have got
A little home in a quiet spot;
Now come and share my lonely cot,
Out here in California.

Dear Nan, good-bye, Remember me
To all our friends in Beverly,
And don’t forget to come and see
Your John in California.


Dear John, your letter I’ve just read,
And only wonder you ain’t dead,
A tossin’ on your lonely bed,
Out there in California.

I am coming out there right away,
For here I can no longer stay;
I long to drive those fleas away,
Out there in California.

You friend out there must loving be,
To hold the light and catch the flea;
And I hope you’ll do as much for me,
Out there in California.

You know I cannot sleep at night
When things around me crawl and bite;
So be prepared to strike a light,
When I come to California.

I hope that you have got the knack
Of catching fleas way down my back,
And won’t we laugh to hear them crack,
Out there in California.

I think it’s very kind of you
To promise me so much to do —
To hold the light and scratch me too,
Out there in California.

But your kind offer I decline,
For fleas don’t always bite behind;
And I shall scratch myself sometimes,
Out there in California.

I’ve sold the house and sold the lot,
And now I leave this lovely spot,
To go and share your lonely cot,
Out there in California.

Dear John, good-bye. I still remain
Your loving wife, your Nancy Jane,
You need not write to me again —
I’m off for California.


There’s one thing that consoles me quite:
That if you sleep so sound at night
As not to hear me cry with fright,
‘Dear husband, how the fleas do bite!’
Your friend out there can hold the light
For me in California.

The Golden Era (San Francisco, California) Aug 26, 1866

Don’t Waste Your Powder, Gentlemen

June 8, 2010


The Whig party, by the help of the Almighty, has been totally defeated. Its end has come, and a grave stone may be spoken for it without any danger of loss. Why then should our members of Congress pour their heavy fire upon a dismasted — a blazing and sinking ship.

On the morning of March 4, 1841, the Whig frigate, with her sails swelling gracefully from royal to ring-tail, rode in majesty on her ocean way. Her hull was newly painted — her rigging nicely fitted — her decks were crowded with men — and her quarter deck was full of officers.

The Democracy stood upon the decks of their weather-beaten cruizer to look at her, and all seemed to unite in the opinion that she would perform a four years voyage in safety; but suddenly a tempest came, a thunderbolt splintered her mizen-mast, rent her flag to tatters, and killed her commander.

Then came upon the ear of the listener the heavy roar of the alarm gun and cry of sorrow.

A hurricane followed the thunder — sail after sail was rent to pieces — spar after spar came toppling down with the look-outs and the top-men — seaman after seaman pitched overboard, and floated to the Democratic cruiser, whose commander had watched for the squall, and had taken in sail. Louder and louder howled the wind. The rudder was wrenched from its fastenings, and the ship dashed on at the mercy of the contending elements.

The first Lieutenant had taken command, and the trumpet was in his hand. A cry of fire now spread through the ship; and then, while the wreck was blazing, the crew mutined. The pursers strong box was robbed — his books were burned to wipe out all debts — dreadful curses rang upon the night wind, and echoed along the deep.

And hark! what noise is that? It is a gun from the rival frigate — again it peals, and again all eyes are turned towards the sound. It is the cruizer under storm stay-sails beating to windward; and now behold, she pours a broadside into the blazing frigate — despair sits at the magazine and death by the bread room.

The ship of the Whig party is doomed, and her memory even will soon be blotted out forever.

Save your powder then gentlemen.

Why don’t you save your powder?

[Alex. Index.

The Experiment (Norwalk, Ohio) Apr 27, 1842

Note: Spelling differences/errors were in the original article.


The following is from Wikipedia:

1842 Election Results From Wikipedia

The U.S. House election, 1842 was an election for the United States House of Representatives in 1842.

Just one election cycle after the Whig Party gained control of Congress, they lost their majority. Whig president William Henry Harrison died within a month of taking office and his successor, John Tyler, was disliked by members of both parties. Tyler’s widespread unpopularity lead to an enormous defeat for his party, and the Whigs lost 70 seats, giving the Democrats a majority. With the economy rebounding, rural voters also chose the Democratic ticket to turn away from Whig policies of economic nationalism. The Law and Order Party, formed in response to the Dorr Rebellion in Rhode Island also took seats.

Brutal Blute Kicks His Wife to Death

June 7, 2010

Portsmouth, N.H. (Image from


The Brutal Act of a Brewer in New Hampshire.

PORTSMOUTH, N.H., Dec. 27 — The police were notified that a murder had been committed in this city yesterday in a residence. When the officers entered the kitchen on the floor a most horrible sight met their eyes. Lying dead on the floor was Margaret Blute, the wife of John Blute. The body was perfectly naked. The head, throat and body were terribly bruised and discolored, and from all appearances the woman had been kicked and beaten to death. The woman’s husband was sitting unconcernedly beside the body, fully dressed, and his four little children were in the corner crying.

The man looked up at the officers and saying: “This is a bad piece of business,” struck a match and lighted his pipe.

When he went to leave the room a few minutes later he was arrested.

He said that after he had beaten and kicked his wife in their bedroom he had thrown her down into the cellar and then went to sleep. When he woke up, about midnight, he found her dead on the floor, and had called in some neighbors. He thought it was about 5:30 p.m. when he had beaten his wife, but wasn’t sure.

He said he was 45 years of age, and had been married seven years. His wife was 33.

The authorities took charge of the house, and neighbors cared for the children. The prisoner will be arraigned on the charge of murder in the first degree. He was employed in a brewery, and is said to be of a peaceful disposition.

Trenton Times, The (Trenton, New Jersey) Dec 27, 1886


Brutality of Blute the Wife Murderer

PLYMOUTH, Dec. 28 — New and important facts in relation to the Blute murder were elicited at the coroner’s inquest today. Persons who saw a part of the tragedy tell a terrible story and say that Blute, while murdering the woman, told her that he meant to kill her. The coroner’s jury will return a verdict of murder in the first degree tomorrow.

Bangor Daily Whig and Courier (Bangor, Maine) Dec 29, 1886

Patrick Blute, the Brute.

PORTSMOUTH, N.H., Dec. 8 — The coroner’s jury rendered a verdict that Mrs. Blute was murdered by her husband, Patrick.

Saturday Herald (Decatur, Illinois) Jan 1, 1887


Matters in the Legislature

CONCORD, Jan. 21. The Governor and Council this forenoon gave a hearing upon the petition for the pardon of Patrick Blute, who was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment in April, 1877, (typo) for manslaughter in killing his wife in Portsmouth on Christmas day, 1886. The ground upon which the application is based is that Blute is incurably ill of consumption. Hon. Calvin Page, of Portsmouth, appeared for the petitioners and Attorney General Bainard and County Solicitor Emery in opposition.

Bangor Daily Whig and Courier (Bangor, Maine) Jan 22, 1891

Patrick Blute, the Portsmouth wife murderer, died in prison at Concord, N.H.

The Fitchburg Sentinel (Fitchburg, Massachusetts) Jan 31, 1891

Title: Reports, Volume 1
Author: New Hampshire
Published: 1892
(Google book, pg 175 – LINK)

One of Patrick Blute’s daughters:

The marriage of Artis F. Schurman and Miss Margaret E. Blute, two well known young people, is announced to take place on Wednesday, Feb. 8.

Portsmouth Herald (Portsmouth, New Hampshire) Jan 31, 1899

Mrs. Margaret E. Bray

Mrs. Margaret E. Bray of 589 Dennett street, wife of Mark W. Bray, died early this morning after a long illness. She was born in Portsmouth, the daughter of the late John and Margaret (Quinn) Blute.

Mrs. Bray is survived by her husband, one son, Charles A. Schurman of Warwick, R.I.; two daughters, Mrs. Helen M. Cooper and Hazel F. Schurman, both of Philadelphia, Pa., and two sisters, Mrs. Mary O’Gilvie and Mrs. Julia Remick, both of Portsmouth.

Portsmouth Herald (Portsmouth, New Hampshire) Dec 12, 1944

Patrick Blute’s father:

John Blute.

John Blute, one of the oldest Irish residents in the city, died at the home of his granddaughter on Dennett street, on Wednesday evening, the 20th inst., aged eighty-six years. He had been a citizen of Portsmouth for over fifty years.

Portsmouth Herald (Portsmouth, New Hampshire) Nov 21, 1901

Wills proved. — John Blute. Portsmouth, Margaret E. Schurman, executrix;…

Portsmouth Herald (Portsmouth, New Hampshire) Jan 3, 1902

Image from

Another daughter:

Wedding of Miss Blute And Mr. Remick


A pretty wedding of two popular young people took place at six o’clock on Thursday evening at the rectory of the Church of the Immaculate Conception, when Miss Julia G. Blute of this city and Austin Remick of Rye were married.

The ceremony was performed by Rev. Fr. William J. Cavanaugh.

The bride was tastefully gowned in a dress of Alice blue with a pink hat. She was attended by her sister, Miss Mary Blute, who wore a handsome dress of pale lavender.

Walter Varrell of Dover, a life-long friend of the groom, acted as best man.

After the ceremony, Mr. and Mrs. Remick repaired to the home of the bride, 10 Langdon street, where the immediate friends and relatives enjoyed a collation and a reception was held.

Mr. and Mrs. Remick received many costly and useful gifts and the congratulations of a legion of acquaintances, who wish them much joy in their new life.

The bride has for the past six years been an employe of the Morley Button Company and a young lady held in high esteem by her shopmates. The groom is one of the best known young men of his native town and has many warm friends at home and in this city.

Mr. and Mrs. Remick will resdie at 10 Langdon street.

Portsmouth Herald (Portsmouth, New Hampshire) May 25, 1906

Mrs. Julia G. Remick

RYE — Mrs. Julia Genevieve Remmick, 69, of Brackett Road, widow of Austin F. Remick, died this morning.

Born in Portsmouth Jan. 31, 1883, the daughter of the late Patrick and Margaret (Quinn) Blute, she had resided in Rey for the past 47 years.

Survivors include four sons, Sgt. Stanton G. Remick of the Portsmouth police department, Melvin S., Artis F. and Sherman A. Remick, all of Rey; two daughters, Mrs. Lawrence Harmon of Machias, Me., and Mrs. Lawrence Seavey of Rye; one sister, Mrs. Mary Ogilvie of Portsmouth; 15 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

Portsmouth Herald (Portsmouth, New Hampshire) Jan 12, 1953

Blute family - 1880 Census


The elder John Blute and granddaughters - 1900 Census

D-Day: Give Us Strength

June 6, 2010


Montgomery in Command of U.S., British and Canadian Invaders

SUPREME HEADQUARTERS, Allied Expeditionary Force, June 6 — (AP) — Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower’s headquarters announced today that Allied troops began landing on the norther coast of France this morning strongly supported by Naval and air forces.

Text of the communique:

Under the command of Gen. Eisenhower Allied Naval forces supported by strong air forces began landing Allied armies this morning on the northern coast of France.

The Germans said the landings extended between Le Have and Cherbourg along the south side of the bay of the Seine and along the northern Normandy coast.

Parachute troops descended in Normandy, Berlin said.

Berlin first announced the landings in a series of flashes that begin about 6:30 a.m. (12:30 a.m. eastern war time).

The Allied communique was read over a Trans-Atlantic hookup direct from General Eisenhower’s headquarters at 3:32 E.W.T., designated “communique No. 1.”

A second announcement by Shaef said that “it is announced that Gen. B.L. Montgomery is in command of the army group carrying out the assault. The army group includes British, Canadian, and U.S. forces.”

Eisenhower Tells Europe Of D-Day

NEW YORK, June 6 — (AP) — The OWI reported today this statement by Gen. Eisenhower was broadcast by allied radios in London:

“People of western Europe! A landing was made this morning on the coast of France by troops of the Allied expeditionary force. This landing is part of the concerted United Nations plan for the liberation of Europe, made in conjunction with your great Russian Allies.

“Although the initial assault may not have been made in your own country, the hour of your liberation is approaching.”


A community-wide prayer service will be held at the First Baptist church at 9 o’clock this evening. A radio will be installed that the assembly may join with President Roosevelt in prayer for success of the armed forces.

WASHINGTON, June 6 — (UP) — Following is President Roosevelt’s prayer for success of our arms in their task — a prayer in which he asks all to join when he utters it by radio at 9 p.m. CWT tonight:

My fellow Americans”

In this poignant hour, I ask you to join me in prayer:

Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.

Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness to their faith.

They will need thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. The enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.

They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest — till the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men’s souls will be shaken with the violence of war.

These are men lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and good will among all thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.

Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.

And for us at home — fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters and brothers of brave men overseas — whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them — help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of Great sacrifice.

Many people have urged that I call the nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.

Give us strength, too — strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and material support of our armed forces.

And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.

And, O Lord, give us faith. Give us faith in Thee; faith in our sons; faith in each other; faith in our united crusade. Let not the keenness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment — Let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.

With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unhold forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogancies. Lead us to the saving of our country, with our sister nations  into a world unity that will spell a sure peace — a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.

Thy will be done, Almighty God.


The Abilene Reporter News – Jun 6, 1944

Signs in the Heavens

June 6, 2010


Signs and Portents in the Heavens Which Have Caused a Frederick County Man to Prophesy.
Correspondence of THE NEWS.

The world is in a great commotion, great perplexities of the nations, and great preparations for war, and rebellion.

Besides all this, great signs and wonders have been shown in the heavens, and on the earth, but to enumerate them all would fill many pages; we will therefore only notice the most familiar ones, and then we will try to apply their meaning or significance. No less than seven comets have made their appearance in the last 5 years, and as comets are generally looked upon as the sign or token of war we will look up their history.

Now according to the best historians there have been 657 comets since the Christian Era and a war or revolution has almost universally followed the appearance of each, except the last seven which we will now notice.

Most of our readers recollect the bright comet that appeared in the summer of 1880 in the Northwest, standing only a short time, then another appeared near the same place which remained much longer. Now it is asserted on good authority that these two comets appeared directly over England and that the tail or trail of light pointed directly towards Egypt; now what did that mean? England sent her troops to Egypt, and a short but spirited fight ended the war. But soon a worse rebellion sprang up with the false prophet at the head, and where that war will end we can’t as yet tell, but according to the time that the second comet appeared the war is not yet over.

Now after these, and only about two years ago, a great comet appeared in the east, and it is asserted that it stood directly over the pyramids of Egypt a short time, then it moved west, and passed over us.

El Mahdi

Now notice two things; first where is started, and its gigantic proportions, also the movements of El Mahdi who in his fanaticism thinks that he is sent to subdue the world, and bring all under the Moslem religion. The latest statistics show that the Moslems, or Mohammedans, Buddhists and Pagans number one-half the inhabitants of the world. Now it is my opinion that El Mahdi will succeed in uniting the sons of Islam, and will gather them together to fight the great battle of Armageddon. With the combined force of the Moslem power he could easily conquer the nations of Europe, and take the ships of the nations, and come here to America. And in fact, the 38th chapter of Ezekiel warrants us in thinking so.

It is there stated the tribes that will comprise that great army, and they are of the Moslem faith and in the 8th and 16th verses we learn that it is to be in the latter days and they are to come like a storm into a land that has always been waste but that is brought forth out of the nations dwelling safely all of them in a land of inwalled villages to a people gathered out of the nations that have gotten cattle and goods and dwelling in the midst of the land. Now I would just ask what nation is there that was brought out of all nations but America? What county has been always waste, but this? What land has inwalled villages, and dwell safely in all of them?

The valley in which this great battle is to be fought in the valley of Passengers. What place answers to that but the Mississippi valley see chapter 39 11 verse. There is one consolation, that is that they will be over come and turned back. Now from a careful study of history, and the Bible, and a close observation of the signs of the times I am constrained to believe that we are living in the last days in which perilous times are to come.

In 1858 a comet appeared in the north which passed over to the south and stood a little over four months and on the 2nd day of September 1859 at 12 o’clock at night the sky became blood red south of us. The rebellion lasted a little over four years and the land was drenched with blood south of us. On the 2nd and 3rd of July 1862 a star stood over Getysburg with a long trail pointing towards Washington. In just one year on the day the great battle of Gettysburg was fought.

Now we have had similar signs shown only a couple of years ago. I beheld a curious sign at 2 o’clock in the morning. The sky was blood red and something rolled up like smoke; then vivid flashes of light in quick succession would follow then images like soldiers would march along the sky. One night a firey sheet was left down out of the sky then drawn up again, and many other signs were seen.

The 50th Psalm says our God will come and not keep silence. A fire shall devour before him and it shall be tempestious around about him. The reports of the terrible fires and distructive storms and tornadoes everywhere makes us feel as if the is nigh at hand.

I might say a great deal more but I would just ask, What does it all mean?


The News (Frederick, Maryland) Feb 25, 1885

Francis Calvin Renner was an inventor, businessman, farmer, New Midway Postmaster, and minister in the Church of the Brethren. He also managed the Rose Jelly Manufacturing Company of New Midway, Frederick County, Maryland, and was one of six directors of the Woodsboro and Double Pipe Creek Turnpike Company.

From the archives at the University of Maryland.

Above is the drawing from F.C. Renner’s door alarm improvement patent, 1878. I also found patents for a fertilizer improvement and one for improvement in automatic fans, dated 1876.

“Don’t Come Here!” – Unemployment East and West

June 5, 2010

No Jobs In California.

Those in search of jobs should not seek employment in California, for they are likely to be disappointed, according to the warning just sent out. Lewis O. Whip, formerly of this county, who is now at San Diego, Cal., sent to The News a newspaper clipping which sets forth this warning. He states that, “the Eastern people are called tenderfeet out here in California.” The California Commission of immigration and Housing has just concluded an exhaustive investigation of conditions of unemployed in that state. It found there are now in the state thousands of more men than jobs, hence this warning to outsiders seeking jobs to stay away.

The News (Frederick, Maryland) Dec 29,  1914


NEW YORK, Oct. 17. — Shun New York! That is the warning flashed broadcast by Walter Lincoln Sears, newly appointed superintendent of the Municipal Employment Bureau, which opened its doors for business the first time a couple of days ago.

“New York is the worst place in the world for the man seeking employment now,” said Sears today. “I don’t like to be pessimistic, nor do I like to overstate things, but by all the signs, I fear this is going to be ‘some’ winter. If there is anything that can be done to keep the unemployed away from here it should be done. Already the number of men out of work exceeds the supply of jobs by thousands and the result is only too plain. There is going to be lots of suffering. Keep out of New York. That’s my advice to job hunters.”

Sears is hard at work rounding his department into shape so that some real good can be done this winter. The municipal free employment bureau was authorized in an ordinance which was signed May 4 by Mayor Mitchell.

A twice-a-month labor letter, in which local conditions are fully reported, is one  of the innovations planned by Sears. Sears came here from Boston in September. He was in charge of the state employment bureau there for eight years.


The municipal bureau here consists of fourteen clerks. Its offices are located at Lafayette and Leonard streets, where the floor space of 3000 square feet is occupied.

The bureau which will be maintained out of general taxes collected by the city, aims to reduce unemployment by giving free service to both employes and workers and by studying the labor market in such a manner that the worker can be sent on his way to employment as soon as a vacancy occurs.

“After all, the labor supply is an interstate proposition,” said Sears. “The federal government should take a hand and organize a national employment bureau. There are several bills before Congress, but they are unnecessary. Legislation is not needed. The department of Labor can start the venture if the funds are appropriated.”

Superintendent Sears said no municipality can do more than relieve the unemployed problem, since the industrial difficulties are nationwide. However, it is possible to do away with much waste of time and money by having the city bureau, he declared.

It has been charged that private employment offices in the city waged a desperate opposition to the new municipal bureau. The reason for this was obvious. The municipal bureau nearly put the private offices out of business. It really did that in a great many cases.

A majority of the private offices, it has been known, were simply “grafting” places. Laborers were bled for their savings by fake employment agents. Even in the best of the private bureaus, such high rates are charged that the laborers realize but little from their jobs.

Sears declared the opposition of the private bureaus had no effect for the reason that the municipal bureau fills a long felt want. It is a popular institution and the people won’t stand for seeing private interests block it, he said.

Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) Oct 18, 1914

**Someone should have informed Mr. Sears that “taxpayer funded” is NOT free;  the taxpayers pay for it.

The “Bogus Butter” Tax

June 4, 2010

A Bad Principle.

FOR congress to determine what commodities shall and what shall not be manufactured with impunity or without forfeit, is a bad principle. The butter men are now trying to induce congress to say that oleomargarine shall not be made unless a certain tax or forfeit per pound shall be paid. The real danger in this proposed act is the precedent and the coming effect of the principle of governmental interference with the rights of a free commerce. The proposed tax is not for the purpose of raising a revenue; for internal revenue taxation, has been entirely abolished, except on whisky, for the very purpose of relieving the people of unnecessary taxation.

The purpose of this tax is to discourage and ruin, if possible, an industry which evidently has grown into some importance, or congress would not be asked to deal with it.

Now the question comes, is it wise to look to congress to put down an industry and legislate a product out of existence? Shall congress exercise a dictatorship over the manufactured products of this country, and alone determine what shall or shall not be manufactured for certain given purposes. An article of manufacture or a new discovery which congress might adjudge a nuisance and place an embargo upon, might ultimately prove to be a blessing to mankind.

When matches were first invented, their use was interdicted by law except under severe restrictions. To-day the people could not do without them. When it is made possible for our industries to become the prey of political favoritism, a very bad principle has been encouraged. To place a tax on oleomargarine, in order to crush it, would set a precedent that the farmers can not afford to have established.

Therefore the NORTHWESTERN still insists that the only true method of meeting this and all other difficulties with reference to impure articles of food and all adulterations and imitations, is to require all such articles to be plainly and specifically branded so as to indicate their exact character. Then the good sense and discrimination of the public will deal with them according to their merits, without congressional interference.

Bogus butter may be bad, but congressional censorship is worse.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) May 17, 1886

An Aristocratic Diet.

Cincinnati Post: It is now intimated that whoever desires to eat oleomargarine instead of butter, shall be required to pay to the government two cents a pound for the privilege of doing so. What business has “whoever” to indulge in that anyway. He ought to be able to get along with everyday, common cow butter, and the bloated aristocrats can have all the oleomargarine they want.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Jun 25, 1886

THE president pays sixty cents a pound for all the butter that stands alone on the White House table. He evidently will not be wholly ignorant of the butter question when the oleomargarine bills comes before him.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Jul 23, 1886



What A Chicago Man Says about its Shipment to Wisconsin — The Process of Making and Materials in his Composition — Features of the Law to go into Effect.

CHICAGO, Ill., Oct. 18 — The manufacture of artificial butter has become one of the important industries of the country, and as butterine and oleomargarine can be made for eight cents per pound the effect of this competition is damaging to the interests of the farmer and dairymen in the extreme. I was told by a leading manufacturer that large quantities of the stuff are shipped into Wisconsin, Eau Claire, Chippewa Falls, and Milwaukee getting frequent shipments and occasionally some is shipped to Oshkosh. The retailer gets it at a cost of 10 to 12 cents and as butter made by a farmer brings 18 and 20 cents, the manufactured article is a great temptation to the grocer.

It is safe to say that all “butter” sold in Oshkosh which comes from Chicago is the spurious article and the consumer, if he don’t want to eat the bogus butter, should know just who makes the article which he buys.

In conversation with a prominent oleo man the other day, he said: It is a mistake to suppose that there is anything nasty or disgusting about oleomargarine when it is made by respectable manufacturers. The testimony before the United States senate last June by the big manufacturers shows this clearly. There have been in the past several manufacturers who bought rancid and stinking butter, and after deodorizing it and mixing it with genuine butter and washing the stuff with buttermilk, turned out an unhealthy and deleterious substance which was sold to the public. This fact becoming known, led to the popular detestation of oleomargarine.

The method of producing oleo-oil is as follows: The selected fat is taken from the cattle in the process of slaughtering, and after thorough washing is placed in a bath of clean cold water and surrounded with ice, where it is allowed to remain until all animal heat has been removed. It is then cut into small pieces by machinery and melted at an average temperature of 150 degrees until the fat in liquid form has separated the fibrine or tissue and settled until it is perfectly clear. Then it is drawn into graining vats and allowed to stand all day, when it is ready for the process. The pressing extracts the stearine, leaving the remaining product known as oleo-oil. It is this article which when churned with cream or milk, or both, and with sometimes a small portion of creamery butter, the whole being properly salted, gives the new food product, oleomargarine. Each animal yields an average of about 40 pounds of oleo-oil.

The difference between oleomargarine and butterine is this: In making butterine neutral lard is used. Neutral lard is made from selected leaf lard prepared and rendered in a similar manner to oleo-oil, except that no stearine is extracted. This neutral lard is a beautifully white and odorless product, and is cured in salt brine from 48 to 70 hours, at an ice water temperature. It is then taken out and, with the desired proportions of oleo-oil and the finest creamery butter, is churned with cream and milk, producing an article which, when properly salted and packed, is ready for market. It is colored by the same process and material used by all butter dealers.

Butterine is generally made of two qualities, differing only in the proportions of the ingredients used. In cold weather a little salad oil is used in both. A hog yields an average of eight pounds of raw leaf lard, which is equivalent to five or six pounds of neutral. This neutral is worth tow to three cents per pound over ordinary steam-rendered lard.

Oleomargarine is mainly made of oleo-oil exclusively, but sometimes 5 per cent of the finest butter is added, which is churned with the cream and milk to improve the flavor. Creamery butterine is usually composed of 25 per cent creamery butter, 40 per cent neutral lard, 20 per cent oleo oil, and the balance milk, cream and salt. Dairy butterine differs from creamery only in the proportions. It is a cheaper product, and its proportions are: Butter, about ten per cent; neutral lard, about 45 per cent; and oleo-oil about 25 per cent; the balance being made up of cream, milk and salt. It is not known that mutton tallow ever enters into the manufacture of oleomargarine.

The fines for not paying the tax are as follows: Manufacturer, $1,000 to $5,000; wholesale dealer, $500 to $2,000; retail dealer, $50 to $500.

Manufacturers must file with the collector of internal revenue the location of his factory, shall put up signs and the number on the same, and conduct his business under the surveillance of internal revenue officers, who shall see the accounts of his materials and products, and must give a bond of $5,000. Manufacturers must pack oleomargarine in new wooden packages containing not less than ten pounds, marked, stamped and branded. Original packages only must be sold by manufacturers and wholesalers.

Retailers may sell from original packages where they sell less than 10 pounds, but they must pack in other wooden or paper packages, which must also be marked and branded. Violations of this clause and fraudulent evasions of the tax will be fined not more than $2,000, and imprisoned not more than two years.

Failure of manufacturers to attach the label will be fined $50 for each package. The manufacturer shall pay a tax of two cents per pound.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Oct 18, 1886


Still Further Regarding the Substitute for Butter.

The fact that Pitcher & James have taken out an oleomargarine license has caused some to think that there must be some money in the trade. Pitcher & James have a wholesale license. Collector Wells of Fond du Lac has granted a retail license to a dealer in Marinette and one to a dealer in Antigo. It is believed the retail dealers who handle it will require considerable moral courage to sell the stamped packages, as many of the farmers on whose trade they depend are opposed to those who handle it.

Every manufacturer is compelled to pack it in wooden packages not before used, and in quantities not less than ten pounds, which must be marked, stamped and branded.

The license is $600. Manufacturing and wholesale dealers must sell it in the original stamped packages. It must be packed in wooden or paper packages, marked and branded, as for instances: “John Blank. Oshkosh, Wis., 1 pound oleomargarine.” The letters must not be less than one quarter of an inch square, written or painted. From the foregoing it will be seen that the cow is fully protected.

Oleomargarine in all its native purity is hedged about by restrictions which enable the buyer to learn what he is purchasing.

The word “license” is used herein for the term “special tax.”

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Nov 6, 1886


Matters  regarding the inspection of oleomargarine and butter by the revenue officers of Milwaukee seem to be in a pretty mess. It is claimed by the commission men that large quantities of country butter shipped in from the dairy districts of Wisconsin is pounced upon by the inspectors and pronounced oleomargarine and subject to tax.

This is certainly a good joke on the sturdy butter farmers of the interior who have been so infuriated over the damage to the pure butter trade by the introduction of oleomargarine in this country.

The Milwaukee inspectors claim that six-tenths of the rural butter shipped in there contain bull fat. Collector Wall gives it as his official opinion that, according to the legal tests provided for identifying oleomargarine, the larger part of the country butter received in Milwaukee is, legally, oleomargarine and liable to seizure unless the oleomargarine tax is paid upon it.

This will naturally create surprise among the honest cow-milkers who have sought protection from such alleged vile stuff as oleomargarine.

One of two or three things must be inferred: either the butter inspectors of the revenue department don’t know sweet Jersey when they taste and smell it, or the sly farmers have found out how to doctor their butter on their own account, or else butter makers of Wisconsin are making some awfully poor stuff that can’t be told from oleomargarine by the ordinary tests.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Nov 30, 1886

In this 1912 article,  it discusses the dangers and futility in hunting down the “Margarine Moonshiners.”  Maybe they should have written about the absurdity of the protectionist  law, and how this “special tax” created the margarine black market to begin with. : -)


According to the statement of Mr. Royal E. Cabell, Commissioner of Internal Revenue, before the House of Representative Committee on Agriculture, in April, 1910, the enforcement of the oleomargarine law is the worst one with which the Internam Revenue office has to deal; and that if the Bureau used the whole appropriation it could not catch all the violators; because the law as interpreted by the courts provides that in order to convict a man it must be proven that he manufactures and sells the spurious article without the special tax, receipted for in the form of stamps, which are to be affixed to the tubs, boxes or firkins in which the oleomargarine is sold. When these receptacles become empty, the law requires the stamps to be destroyed. The courts have decided that so long as any of these receptacles contain a salable quantity of oleomargarine they are not empty — and here is where the cheat has an opportunity to outwit Uncle Sam, which he does by buying a number of cases of uncoloured oleomargarine, taxed at the rate of a quarter of a cent a pound, colour it and pour it into the receptacle bearing the ten cent stamp; by which system he robs the Government of $5.85 on every sixty pounds of oleomargarine sold, and he also robs the consumer more often than not by selling the stuff for genuine butter.

These illicit colourers of oleomargarine are termed “moonshiners” by the revenue officers, and their capture is often attended with as much danger as that so long associated in the public mind with the capture of the daring mountaineers who manufacture and sell whiskey.

An internal revenue agent, having good reason to believe that a man in his district was engaged in this scheme to defraud the Government, secured the necessary search warrant from a United States commissioner, before whom he made known his purpose, and re-enforced by other officers, rushed into the place where the oleomargarine trade was carried on and found four men there, their arms bared, and smeared with the colouring matter which they were using to convert the white oleomargarine into yellow; the churn busy, and about three thousand pounds of oleomargarine waiting to be coloured and placed in the tubs bearing the ten-cent tax and containing a few pounds of the yellow product on which the proper tax had been paid.

The culprits were indicted, the strong evidence was presented, but, in spite of that, the judge said that, while there was a presumption that the men were not colouring three thousand pounds of oleomargarine for their family use, still the revenue officers could not prove that they had made sales, and were, therefore, wrong in making the arrest.

When one hears such stories as this, and also that men have been shot down or badly beaten for intruding upon the premises of supposed illicit manufacturers of oleomargarine, he does not wonder that the officers consider oleomargarine stalking the most difficult and unsatisfactory of all the hunting expeditions of the Internal Revenue Service.

Title: The Bookman: A Literary Journal, Volume 34
Publisher: Dodd, Mead and Co., 1912
Original from the University of Michigan
Pages 59-60 (Google book LINK)

Last, but not least, we have the great margarine and butterine swindle, where you can read about the history of the products, the damage to the dairy interests, the congressional actions and the demoralizing effects on trade, plus much, much more!

Title: Oleomargarine and Butterine: A Plain Presentation of the Most Gigantic Swindle of Modern Times
Publisher: T.L. McAlpine, 1886
(Google book LINK)