Archive for October, 2010

The Haunted House

October 30, 2010

Image by Loren Zemlicka Photography


Oo! Do you remember, too,
The haunted house
The wind blew through? —
The house so bare,
The grass so tall,
Where folks don’t dare
To live at all,
The open door,
And when we’d peek,
The way the floor
Would always squeak,
The awful noise
The shutters made,
And how we boys
Were all afraid
Of every sound
We heard around
The haunted house?

Gee, oh, gee! Did jever see
The haunted house
At night, like me?
The night I had
To learn my song
Ma told my Dad
To go along.
“That haunted place
Is on the way,
And just in case –”
I heard her say.
Of course my Pa
Said, “That’s all bosh.”
He said, “Oh, pshaw!”
I said, “My gosh,
Do you think I
Would dare go by
The haunted house?”

“Oh, I know I’ll have to go;
This haunted house
Is funny, though.”
But I and Pa,
When we were right
In front, we saw,
Saw something white!
And then I dropped,
Or did almost.
Pa never stopped,
But yelled, “A ghost!”
When spirits roam,
Home’s where to be.
I beat it home,
But dad beat me.
My, Dad ran fast
That night we passed
The haunted house!

(Copyright, 1930, by Douglas Malloch)

Sheboygan Press (Sheboygan, Wisconsin) Oct 27, 1930

Know your Campaign History: Political Attacks and Other Facts

October 29, 2010

Hat Tip to Big Government, the website where I found it posted.

For sources, go to

Older Posts About Various Political Figures and Campaigns:

William Jennings Bryan 1896 Girding Their Loins

The colonel revels in rhetoric, and relegates sense to the background to force metaphor to the fore. As a specimen of linguistic high and lofty tumbling it discounts the acrobats of the circus ring, but it is as weak and bogus a concoction as the red lemonade which goes with the performance in the saw-dust arena. Contrast it with  the real, satisfying meat to be found in McKinley’s speeches, and it is like sponge cake to a starving man.

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Aug 8, 1900

William Allen – Ohio 1874-1879 Congressman, Senator, Governor

LAST year the Radicals in Ohio called upon William Allen to “rise up,” and now they are sorry for it. The old gentleman refuses to take his seat, but stands up  17,000 strong.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Oct 31, 1874

William Henry Harrison – 1840 – Life Guards of Your Country

Another Tory Compliment to General HARRISON.

“Harrison, while a member of the Senate of Ohio, voted to sell poor white men into slavery.” —

Huron Reflector (Norwalk, Ohio) Feb 11, 1840

Thaddeus Burr SturgesGold Rush Forty-Niner and Politician (scroll down for the section on his politics)

The remarks of Mr. Sturges were uncommonly rich, rare and edifying to the hosts of the “unterrified” there assembled. The burden of his song was in unfolding to the admiring eyes of the democracy, the peculiar beauties and unparalleled advantages of that El Dorado of a Locofoco’s hopes — the magnificent Republic of Texas — the fertility of which, he told them was so great, that one acre there was worth ten of the best land in Ohio! The little “neophyte” worked himself into such raptures upon this subject, that one would have thought he had received a regular sergeant’s commission, and was beating for volunteers among his Locofoco friends to follow those of them who have gone before to the ‘Republic of the Lone Star.’

Huron Reflector (Norwalk, Ohio) Aug 27,  1844

John B. WellerGold Rush Era Politician

After a conscientious delay of several moons’ duration, it has at last put up the name of Col. Weller. as its candidate for Governor; a man who has been the most abject slave of the slaveocracy that ever shamed the halls of Congress!

The fact has raised a difficult issue in our mind, which we will leave out to a baker’s jury of one dozen — which is the greatest doughface, Lewis Cass, John B. Weller, or the Editor of the Mirror?

Huron Reflector (Norwalk, Ohio) Jul 4, 1848

Ronald ReaganPresident’s Day Feature

Gubernatorial Nominee Likened to Death Valley

SACRAMENTO (UPI) — Gov. Edmund G. Brown Sunday attacked his Republican opponent, actor-politician Ronald Reagan, as “the best and perhaps last hope” of right wing extremists for an attractive candidate who shares their philosophy.

Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Aug 15,  1966

Zachary Taylor – 1848 – Poetic Political Campaign

I lost my BALANCE, as I did when betting on the horse;
And now I hear another Polk will run another race
Upon the Presidential course, against the old “white face.”
But on my life, I swear to you, that General Lewis Cass
Can’t get the man who backed the horse to LOSE UPON THE ASS.


Huron Reflector (Norwalk, Ohio) Sep 12, 1848

Grover Cleveland – 1887 – Political Parallels

On the Pyramid Reservation, somebody, who has an eye to the eternal fitness of things, has named the only blind Indian boy there “Grover Cleveland.”

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) Oct 3, 1887

Massacre of St. Mary’s

October 29, 2010

Rebels Gather (Image by sunface13 on flickr)

The Massacre of St. Mary’s.


Many tragedies have been enacted on the bloody soil of Kansas. When on the verge of the most thrilling scenes, actors let fall many humorous bits which give relish to the play. But on the stage of the world, one little thinks of the scenes that may follow.

In the little settlement of St. Marys in the western part of Douglas county, Kansas, a Home Guard had been organized. Rumors had been circulated through the country, and every one was on the alert for the coming of the Border ruffians. The brawn of the settlement came together to drill at the little Catholic church on Saturday. The captain, Billie Baldwin, was one of the “Indiany” settlers who, seemingly grave at all times, possessed the deep imbred sense of humor, characteristic of the “Hoosier.”

As the little band marched and counter-marched, there was one among them that seemed to take especial pride in his military maneuvers; and when the command, “Rest,” was given, the boastful brogue of Pat _______ might be heard above the quiet talk of the American and German settlers.

“Faith, Ii’ll droive the darty brats from Kansas loik me namesake St. Patrick sint the snakes skedaddlin’ from ould Oirland.” “Oh, come now, Pat, don’t you mane they will droive you?” said Richard Kelley, imitating the Irishman. “Ye’re mighty brave, ain’t you? when they ain’t no one around to fight,” put in another “Vot yow dink you do?” cried Joe Michael, in his taunting Dutch accents.

Then followed a steady stream of gibes and jests. This manner of carrying on took place nearly every Saturday. At last the word came that a band of “borderers” were coming from the southwest where they had been seen along the Marias des Cygne valley. Word was sent to all the members of the company. By noon, the little church was crowded with women and children, while in front stood the men ready to vault into the saddles at the command. Fear was pictured on the pale faces the women who watched the prairies, half expecting to see the galloping forms of the ruffians rise over the tops of the hills at the south and west. Some of most devout knelt in the church and offered earnest petitions for the safety of the home guards and for their own preservation.

Soon the order to mount was given and the little band rode away to the southwest, and were lost to view amid the undulating billows of the tall prairie grass. Stern hearts beat under their home made garments. No word, no sound save the steady beat of hoofs escaped from the body of horsemen.

Several miles to the west was a deep gulch with a few scattered trees which had outlived the annual prairie fires. The slough grass, here, grew to such a height that a horseman, by dismounting, might easily have concealed himself without the least chance of being discovered. Imagine, if you can, the feeling one would have as he passes through such a place, not knowing at what moment he may be attacked by an unmerciful foe. But through Lonely Hollow, as it was called by the settlers, they passed and on to the southwest went, but still no signs of the enemy. The depression of spirits soon passed away as they rode on. At first the two riding side by side began to talk to each other. Then one in advance would turn to speak to his neighbor in the rear. Their actions became free as the novelty of the situation died away.

But what of Pat? At the rear of the  troop, he might be seen. Occasionally he would dismount and look at his horse’s foot, with the remark, “Sure an’ the crather is limpin’ a bit, Oi do belave.”

“Yaw, you show how you was prave?” tauntingly responded Michael.

“Don’t you think your horse will hold out till you get back home, Pat?” called out another.

“Sure, an’ Oi don’t belave it’s good for much more,” replied Pat.

At this the whole troop burst out into laughter, for it was evident that the Hibernian’s parade bravery had deserted him now that he was to have a real chance to assert it.

Along the Santa Fe trail they went but heard nothing of the “borderers.” They had received a false alarm but at last they concluded to go on for a few miles to the 110 Trading Post. This was long before the days of prohibition in Kansas, so here some of the men stocked up with whiskey. After having stopped a short time, Billie Baldwin decided to divide the company in two parts; one of which would follow down the 110 creek to the Marias des Cygne valley, thence along the river, and return to the settlement from the southeast; the other was to go back the same route they had come. Among the latter were Richard Kelley, Joe Michael and pat, while the captain with about fifteen of the men struck off to the southeast.

By this time Pat’s horse had lost all of its lameness, and as they rode along, once more the Irishman could be heard enlarging on what would have been done if they had only met the “blackgards” from Missouri. Kelley suggested that they had better thake their time going home as they had ridden hard, “It will be moonlight any way.”

The sun was just sinking behind the hills as they came to the west side of Lonely Hollow. A haziness filled the valley with an indistinctness almost supernatural. A lone wolf away to the north howled. It was answered by the screach of a prairie owl.

“Och, Holy Mather, what if the dirty brats be a waitin us here!” exclaimed Pat.

The rest of the company begain to play on the fears of the poor Irishman. “I dink ve beter get our guns ready,” spoke Joe Michael in a low tone. “Hist, what’s that?” said Kelley in an undertone. “Oh! that’s nothin’,” spoke up another in a cheerful manner. So down into the hollow they rode, joking until they themselves began to feel a “creepy” sensation.”

Marais Massacre scene from Wikipedia

Pat, ,who had been in the lead while on the homeward way, now dropped back into the bunch of horsemen as they broke into a sharp gallop. There is a movement in the tall grass, south of the beaten trail. Hark! is it some cattle that have strayed off into the valley? No. In another place the grass stirs, and another and another.

The report of a volley of rifles cracks through the stillness of the evening. Every horse save Pat’s is now riderless. Tragedies have been enacted, but where could a more fitting place be found than here in a lone valley on the bleak prairie. Pat up spurs to horse and ran. How his horse ran! As the shots were fired he thought he felt something hit him but now he was sure of it. He sank the spurs into the flanks of the horses which was running its best. How his back hurts him! The rest had been killed and he was wounded. Is that the sound of hoofs behind? Yes, They are pursuing. No. It is but the throbbing of his head. He thinks he can feel the blood throbbing down his clothing. Yes. He is het. Will he fall from his horse? He clings to the saddle horn in desperation. He will try to reach the little church before he dies. Oh! heavens, he hears the sound of hoofs! He is sure of it! Now they are lost. Yes, again they come. If he can only reach the church! How his past floods his mind! The evil deeds that he has done, how he sees them all! He can no longer hear his pursuers. He listens intently. Surely they have given up the chase. Yes, he is sure of it. Oh, how his back hurts! Will he bleed to death before he can reach the church? Now he can see the spire siloutted against the eastern sky. Now over the rise he can see the light in the church. He wonders if he ruffians will see the light and follow him there. How his horse runs! Will it hold out? The foam fairly covers it and drops from its reeking sides. He thinks of the ugly wound which must be in his back. Now the church is only a few yards distant. The people, hearing the hastening hoofs, run out see what is the matter. Who is it? What is wrong? “Och, holy mather! sure an’ the dirty varmints hav kilt all the rist; and sure an’ Oi’m that bad hurt that Oi can hardly brathe! Sure an’ tear he shirt off of me back, for its hit that Oi am!” cried Pat as he burst into the building.

What a commotion there was. Some of them in their terror, fell down on their knees and prayed. Others rung their hands and wept. Their sobbing and prayers mingled in a strange melody. In their fear, they opened their hearts and showed their secrets. “Oh Lord, forgive me, I called John a coword this very morning,” came the wail of one. “Mercifu God, spare us!” “O Lord, forgive me!” “Blessed virgin, guard us!” “O, Fader, vatch ofer us!” “O, holy mother, we have done wrong! Forgive us, O, blessed virgin!” Such comingling of prayers. What a scene of terror. Some of the German women forgot their newly acquired English and their cries in German were mixed with the weapings and wailing of the American born.

Pat removed his shirt and stood waiting for some one to dress his wound, when the sound of approaching horsemen were heard above the noise in the room. “Why, Pat, there is nothing the matter with your back,” said Mrs. Baldwin in a wondering manner.

“Sure now an’ don’t you s’pose that a man can feel himself –” In at the door rushed the body of Home Guards who who could no longer restrain themselves. How the little church rang with laughter which mingled with the prayers of the women. It was some time before they could convince the women that it was not a band of border ruffians.

Having seen what a coward Pat really was, the company had divided so that one part could get in ahead of the one with which Pat went, and conceal themselves in Lonely Hollow. Michael and Kelley who had helped to get up the scheme, told the rest of the men as they rode along, so that at the first fire, they all dropped from their horses and grabbed the reins. At the same time Kelley, who rode close to Pat, had thrown a stone which hit him in the back. It is needless to say that Patrick could no longer stay in that part of the country. He moved to Lawrence, where he was killed during Quantrell’s raid.

Lawrence Daily world (Lawrence, Kansas) May 7, 1897

Foes of the Wheel Have Trotted Out Another Scarecrow

October 28, 2010


Enemies of Wheeling Say It Affects the Vocal Chords.

All the talk of the bicycle face having practically died out, the foes of the wheel have now trotted out another scarecrow claiming that as a result of wheeling women are becoming loud talkers, with an unpleasant quality of voice. They assert that wheeling, especially with the mouth open, has a detrimental effect on the vocal chords, and when to this is added the strain to which the voice is subjected in an effort to keep up a conversation while cycling the danger seems something more than a shadow. Some persons who have made voice culture a life study are inclined to fall in with these views, asserting that exercise on the wheel is responsible for an apparent alteration in the voices of women. One vocal teacher says:

“While bicycle riding people frequently fill their lungs with dust, and this is, of course, injurious. Then the exercise leaves the system exhausted and unable to resist the bad effects of excessive perspiration. A severe cold is detrimental to the speaking voice, and when these colds are frequent, as they are with bicyclists, they will ultimately result in permanent injury. If women would ride but a few miles at a time and would keep their mouths closed there would be no danger, but I find that many of my pupils cannot refrain from overdoing the sport. Professional women realize the harm that bicycling does to their voices, but they say that they cannot bear to give up wheeling. Calling to one another as wheelwomen frequently do cannot help but strain the voice is persisted in.”

Another vocal instructor hold totally opposite views. Said she: “I am strongly in favor of cycling for women. It is a most healthful exercise, and so cannot fail to be beneficial to he singing and speaking voice. I do not believe the old-fashioned theory of things affecting the vocal chords directly. Of course it is possible to strain the voice but I should think this most unlikely when wheeling. The very tendency of the wheel is to keep the rider quiet. If riders should call from one to the other when outdoors their speaking voices might be affected, but the most strident speakers are often the sweetest singers. The soft, well-modulated voice of the English girl does not give us as many brilliant examples of the song bird as the less pleasant and somewhat nasal tones of the American. Nine out of every ten successful singers abroad to-day are Americans. This is because the other girls are never allowed to expand their lungs with the same delightful freedom. A good digestion is the first requisite toward good singing. I should say poor cooks have more to do with spoiling the voice than all the wheels in Christendom. A theory has been advanced that the rapid breathing necessary when riding the wheel is injurious. This is wrong, as the vocal chords are completely protected when not in use.” — Philadelphia Press.

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) Aug 5, 1897

Election 1894: Get the Vote Out!

October 28, 2010

THE Republican victory should be made so complete this year that its significance will be understood by the whole world.

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) Nov 5, 1894

Get the Vote Out!
There is just one thing left for republicans to do — get out a full vote. There is where the danger lies. The voters are all right. They don’t want any more democratic policy. They was a change. Their experience has been bitter enough. Thousands who voted the democratic ticket in 1892, and who have in recent years been getting into the way of voting the democratic ticket at least occasionally, see their mistake. They regret it. They would not do it if they had it to do over again. This is their genuine feeling. The drift is apparent.

— Sioux City Journal.

After this election the democrats will have to re-organize again, and work like nailers to get the populist pitch off their garments.

Republican success will induce capital to enter upon enterprises that will keep men at work and render a profit. That’s what it will do for capital.

There can be no mistaking the signs over the country. They mark a veritable revolution.
— Sioux City Journal.

The best way in all the world to distribute wealth is to give big wages for good work, and provide good work for all.

Vote for business. There is always a dead-beat faction in every city, but its tickets should never win.

Keep everybody busy. That is the way to keep everybody out of mischief, and out of despondency.

No good man in this section can afford to take any risks on losing a sound republican United States senator. Vote for the republican legislative ticket.

Let every republican come out, rain or shine. No ballot will be lost, although it may be only one in a vast majority. There is more in the election than the mere choice of candidates.
— Sioux City Journal.

Republican success will put labor to work. That’s what it will do for labor.

Daily Huronite (Huron, South Dakota) Nov 5, 1894

Voting Time in Tyrone.

It seems beyond belief that from the placid precints of Hollidayburg may proceed the ?ome frollicking poetical exhuberance. Yet so harmoniously combined are a retrospective remembrance of Tyrone hustle and an intelligent appreciation of the sweep to be made tomorrow by the Republican broom, in at least one active mind there, that the anomaly really appears, to set aside conventialities and demonstrate what queer things may happen.

To one given to writing for the press, it is a certainty that the time comes at least once in his career that he will essay poetry. So it is that our Hollidaysburg friend has unburdened himself of an effusion which has doubtless been formulating in his mind for many years. It is a rare poetic achievement, for the article breaks over all precedents f license in versification, and the stupendous thought conveyed in the lines moves with a vigor and frolic that seems almost to reveal a tumbling over each other of the alphabetical elements which compose it, in the endeavor of each individual letter to reach the end of the poem first and execute the most violent impact against the concluding exclamation point. But here are the verses, to which our old friend and fellow-editor, Samuel Beswick, signs his name:

Voting time in Tyrone
Comes once in four years.
Ketch the coon by his long curl’d tail,
Or ketch him by the ears.
But ketch him! O ketch him!
On the post of honor place him.
Be sure and ketch him
Once in four long years.

Voting time in Tyrone,
Speakers on the stump.
Ketch the coon on the high fence rail,
Or ketch him on the jump.
But ketch him! O ketch him!
In the ballot box secure him.
Make sure and ketch him
Once if four long years.

Voting time in Tyrone,
Here the roosters call!
In the Democratic barn yards!
Just ketch ’em — tails and all.
But ketch ’em! O ketch ’em,
And on the high fence pluck ’em.
Make sure and ketch ’em
Once in four long years!

Tyrone Daily Herald (Tyrone, Pennsylvania) Nov 5, 1894

The Robber Crows

October 27, 2010

The Robber Crows of Tamaqua.

The robber crows made such terrible depredations upon his cornfields that Frederick Horman, living near Tamaqua, was forced to take extreme measures.

He fitted up a scarecrow with a six-shooter, self-cocking revolver in each wooden hand. In a box in the chest of the man image he placed a strong clock to which he connected the triggers of the pistols. He arranged the connecting string so they would be wounds up in a certain number of hours, thus firing the revolvers. As the crows are worst at daybreak and as they are fearful of the smell of burnt powder, Mr. Horman arranged the pistols to be discharged at ten-minute intervals in the morning.

The experiment worked like a charm, for although none of the crows were hit by the bullets fired from the scarecrow, the shooting scared them so badly that they always, after two or three mornings, flew around Mr. Horman’s cornfield  by a circuitous route and bothered him no more.

— Pittsburgh Chronicle Telegraph.

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Aug 24, 1892

1894: The Circle Under the Rooster

October 26, 2010


The next day after the November election of 1893 in this county, the editor of THE OHIO DEMOCRAT scratched off the following. The concluding verse, headed “Resurgam” (I shall rise again), is a prediction of a revival which it is hoped the Democrats of Tuscarawas county will verify on Tuesday next, by turning out to the election and voting their ticket. That is all they have to do, to “rise again” and redeem themselves. Democrats of Tuscarawas, will you “rise up,” like your late old chief, the great WILLIAM ALLEN, and be yourselves once more? We believe you will:

Who Killed our Cock Robin?

Who killed the Democratic fowl?
I, said Republican Chairman Souers:
I organized the Republican powers,
And made the Democrat rooster howl;
I killed the fowl.

Who saw the barnyard chicken die?
I, said Republican Secta’ry Douthitt.
There’s no sort of doubt at all about it:
I cut his spurs and closed his eye;
I saw him die.

Who’ll dig the dead bird’s little grave?
I, said John Graham. We all did slay him.
Dead, we’ll now flay him, and then we’ll lay him
Away in the hole I’ll dig so brave;
I’ll dig his grave.

Who’ll be the parson, at obsequies?
I, said Stoutt, of Chronicle fame:
I’ll read the service for the same,
And pray that his soul may rest in peace;
I’ll be the parson.

Who’ll be the sexton to plant his remains?
I, said Peterson, in stentori’n tones:
I’m de very coon to bury hes bones,
and make de hoodoo from he old pertains;
I’ll be de sexton.

Who’ll write his epitaph, giving his points?
I, said Wils. Korns; I’m stuck on the job:
I’ll write it as fine as Pagan Bob,
And give him a send-off to Hades’ joints;
I’ll write his epitaph.

Who’ll be the mourners regretting his fall?
We, said the voters who gave him away:
We’ll never forget the sorrowful day
On which we went back on our emblem all;
We’ll be the mourners.

Who’ll bear the bird’s corpse to its place of rest?
We, said the Democrats true to their own:
We’ll carry his body in honor down,
And drop the myrtles all over his breasts;
We’ll bear the corpse.


Another year hence, our new bird will be grown;
In beauty and strength he will enter the field;
And that same old coon as of yore will yield,
To the might of the spears that will bring him down,
Another year hence.

The Ohio Democrat (New Philadelphia, Ohio) Nov 1, 1894

The Ohio Democrat - Sep 27, 1894

WORK is what counts.
GOLD exports have ceased.
DEMOCRATS are gaining votes daily.
McKINLEY is booming his own panic.
DEMOCRATS, “work while it is yet day.”
THE campaign in New York State is “red-hot.”
THE poll of Indiana shows that it is safely Democratic.
GO to your polling place and vote, as soon as possible.
LET us have some Democratic thunder, boys, at the ensuing election.
THE way to elect your ticket, and the only way, is to go and vote it.
THE people of this State evidently have no more need for a Governor than the French have for a king.
“STOP her!” cries McKINLEY. But the Democratic tariff train keeps going right on, and so does business.
“INDUSTRIAL accounts are on the whole more encouraging,” says Dun’s Review of Saturday last. Just so, though loath to acknowledge it.
ANOTHER month would carry Ohio for the Democracy, in spite of the solid block of 25,00 to 30,000 negro votes owned by the Republican politicians.
EVERY Democrat should do his duty in going to the election and casting his vote by marking a plain X in the circle under the rooster at the head of the Democratic ticket. Then he will have cause to rejoice.

The Ohio Democrat (New Philadelphia, Ohio) Nov 1, 1894


The original nursery rhyme can be read here:

Title: Cock Robin, and Other Nursery Rhymes and Jingles
Pages 9-11
Published: 1883
Cassell, Petter, Galpin & Co. – London, Paris & New York.


Galveston Daily News - Nov 6, 1894

Night Train HooDoo

October 26, 2010


Engineer of a Fast Train Receives a Fright Which He Can’t Forget.

“The nervous strain on the engineer of a fast train is something enormous,” said one of them the other day, reports the Detroit Free Press. “Not only the lives of the passengers are at stake, but there is the constant fear of running over someone on the track. An accident, no matter how innocent the engineer, is always a kind of hoodoo. What was my first accident? I shall never forget it. If it had been traced on my mind with a streak of lightning it couldn’t have made a more lasting impression.

“It happened one bright moonlight night in November. We were spinning over the rail full speed across the country whee there were few people passing at that time of night, when I looked out and saw the figure of a man lying across the track not ten feet in front of the engine. I stopped quick as possible, but too late, of course. We had run over him, and the lifeless was under the wheels. We got out to look for him, and found his hat, a piece of his coat sleeve and one of his shoes, but the rest seemed to be further back under the train. I backed up the engine and got out to look again. There lay the body. I nearly fainted when I saw its distorted form. I felt like a murderer. Did I known the man? No, not personally. He was a scarecrow from a neighboring corn field.”

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) Apr 6, 1898

The Scarecrow: Occupation, Crime and Complaint

October 25, 2010

Image from (by Kristina Layton)


In yonder field he stands erect,
No matter what the weather,
And keeps a watch so circumspect
On foes of every feather.
So faithful is he to the trust
Committed to his keeping
That all the birds suspect he must
Dispense with any sleeping.

Sometimes his hat tips down so low
It seems a cause for censure,
For then some old courageous crow
Believes it safe to venture;
But catching sight of either arm
Outstretched in solemn warning,
The crow decides to leave this farm
Until another morning.

Although his dress is incomplete,
It really does not matter;
Perchance the truest heart may beat
Beneath a patch or tatter.
And it is wrong to base our love
On wealth and name and station,
For he who will may rise above
His daily occupation.

We should not look with eyes of scorn,
And find in him no beauty,
Who stands and guards our fields of corn,
And does the whole world duty.
But honor him for native worth,
For rustic independence,
And send a hearty greeting forth
For him and his descendants.

Martha Caverno Cook, in Harper’s Young People.

The Hazel Green Herald (Hazel Green, Kentucky) Oct 14, 1885

This was also published in The Wellsboro Agitator (Wellsboro, Pennsylvania) on Feb 4, 1890.  One word had been changed in the last line: “To” was used instead of “For.”

The Scarecrow’s Complaint.

The farmer’s daughter fixed me up —
‘Twas really quite a sin;
My hat is down clear o’er my eyes —
I haven’t any chin.

My arms are sticking right out straight —
I scorn this ragged coat;
My trousers — this is worst of all —
Are fastened round my throat.

Alas — that cruel farmer’s girl —
Her heart is hard and bad;
She brings her beaux to look at me —
And giggles just like mad.

— Chicago Record-Herald.

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Jun 17, 1901



The Trial of the Scarecrow.

“The prisoner, your honor,
As the court well knows,
Is accused of the crime
Of alarming the crows.”

Then the jury retired
Till they call could agree
To punish the rascal
Or let him go free.
They found a true bill,
With a great many caws,
“That the scarecrow with malice
Had broken the laws.”

Then up rose the judge,
And he solemnly said,
“I sentence the prisoner
To swing till he’s dead!”

The Daily News (Frederick, Maryland) Sep 30, 1893

New Football Rules: Queer Signals in Verse

October 24, 2010



Some Queer Signals In Verse — The Player Who Is “It” — When Simon Says “Thumbs Up” or Thumbs Down.”

Mental Tests For the Rival Athletes.

The humane effort to reform football once more and free it from all elements of danger and roughness, as inaugurated by George Aide, seems to meet with cordial indorsement. It is supposed that when the game can be played without risk of anyone being hurt and without any rude scuffling or tackling, the persons who now oppose the sport will attend in large numbers. Some of the proposed changes are as follows:



1. At the beginning of play the ball shall be put in the center of the field and the umpire shall think of a number between 1 and 50. The two captains shall guess at his number, and the one coming the nearest to it shall be allowed to move the ball five yards into the territory of the other team.

2. Before the ball is put into play after a down the captain shall line up his men and count them off as follows:

Onery, onery, ickery an!
Phileson, pholeson, Nicholas, John!
Queevy, quavy,
English navy,
Stinklum, stanklum, I-O-U Buck!

The player on the word “Buck” shall be known as “it.” He shall kneel beside the ball and the members of the opposing team shall line up opposite. The player known as “it” shall repeat “Simon says ‘Thumbs up,'” or “Simon says ‘Thumbs down,'” indicating the movements as he speaks the words, and the players of the opposing team must imitate his movements. But if he merely said “Thumbs up,” without the “Simon says,” and an opposing player puts his thumbs up, that counts as 1, and after three such mistakes the ball is advanced five yards. If, however, after twenty trials the opposing team does not make a total of three errors then the ball goes to the opposing team and is advanced on a “tag” play.

3. On a “tag” play the member of the team who stands highest in his classes is given the ball to run with it. The opposing players must touch him as he runs and say “Tag, you’re it;” but if he has his fingers crossed at the time he does not have to stop. If his fingers are not crossed he must put the ball down. Any opposing player who is slapped three times on the back by a member of the runner’s team is called “out” and cannot “tag” the runner. A runner cannot be tagged while he is touching wood.

4. Any player who takes hold of an opposing player or who displays brusqueness and lack of refinement shall be put into a compartment at the side lines known as the “boneyard,” and he shall not be released until the captain of his team answers ten questions without laughing.

5. After a touch-down has been made the professor of rhetoric shall give five hard words from the back of the book to the full back of the team scoring the touch-down. If the full back spells the five words correctly his team is credited with two points, the same as if a goal were kicked. If he fails on any word the ball goes to the opposing team on the twenty-five yard line. The ball is never kicked, as it might strike one of the players and injure him.

6. On resuming play after a touch-down all the players except one form in a ring and join hands, singing:

“London bridge is falling down,
Falling down, falling down.
London bridge is falling down,
So farewell my ladies.”

The captain of the team against which the score has been made is blindfolded and put into the circle. After a time he advances and takes hold of a player, who is asked three questions. He must guess at the name of this player. If he guesses correctly he is allowed to advance the ball fifteen yards. If he fails the ball goes to the other team, in the center of the field.

7. Both spectators and players are expected to be quiet and orderly at all times, and particularly during the mental tests.

— Chicago Record

Newark Daily Advocate (Newark, Ohio) Dec 17, 1897