Archive for November, 2011

Should Royal Lightning Hit Me

November 30, 2011

Image from The Graphics Fairy

AN ANTI-IMPERIALIST’S REMARKS

THERE’S a tremble and a shiver and a dark, portentous quiver, that has side-stepped through the vitals of these great United States. For we’re up against a crisis, if there’s truth in our advices, and we see, athwart the future forms of haughty potentates.

YES, sir! Danger grim and murky, like an axe above a turkey, lurks just in the dim horizon, and its shadow will not down. And unless we stop our fooling, after while we’ll know the ruling of the cruel, crafty monarch who is topped off with a crown.

‘TWOULD be easy to arrange it, and we’d never get to change it, once the grasping hands of schemers held our country in its clutch, for the minute we suggested that we felt that we had tested kings and queens and wished to stop it, they would smile and say: “Not much!”

DON’T you see? If they’d abolish congress, with its stately polish, and should overturn the statutes — I shiver when I pen it — they should bounce the solemn senate, then the country’d feel the power of the reckless royal hand.

THEN, by some wild resolution they could down the constitution, and could oust each high official in the states we call our own. Then they’d have us, and they’d boss us, with a grip on our proboscis, and beneath imperialism we would sigh and slave and groan.

THUS, we know not the occasion when we’ll see the dire invasion of our rights as free-born people, be we white or black or brown. Perhaps I, or you, my neighbor, may be called to toil and labor with the scepter and the signet and the heavy golden crown.

I’M opposed to such an outcome, but, should any vexing doubt come as to who should bear the burdens as the ruler of the states — well, should royal lightning hit me, any royal robe would fit me, and a crown to set right easy should be six-and-seven-eighths.

— Josh Wink in Baltimore American.

The Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) Nov 5, 1900

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The Boy Stood on the Burning Deck

November 30, 2011

Image from The Battle of the Nile

CASA BY ANCHOR.

BY SLOWCUS.

The boy stood on the burning deck,
There isn’t any doubt;
And yet who saw him on the wreck?
Who really heard him shout?

Would he have stood and roasted there
With jolly-boats so near,
And bragged about his fierce despair
Nor walked off on his ear?

Why not give one good roar for oars
Assail his pa for sail
To wait him toward the fishing shores?
Why stay aboard and wail?

What wonder standing there he seemed
So beautiful and bright?
Who couldn’t while around him beamed
That lovely Titian light?

His pow-wow with his father I
Regard as tempting fate;
If he declined to early die,
Why stay there and dilate?

“Pa, can’t you speak — a little please?
Just try a sneeze or cough,
My nearest kin, kin you release,
Or are you, father, off?”

And while his father slept below
The boy, he never stirred;
One of a “race” who never “go”
Unless they “get the word.”

He called aloud, “Am I allowed
Your leave to leave? Your son
Stands fire, you now, but don’t you crowd
The thing; I’m toasted done.

“Of course I’ll do what you desire,
If you’re laid on the shelf;
I burn with ardor — but, this fire!
You know how ’tis yourself.

“Speak father, I would be released?
I list your loving tones,”
He knew not that he pa, deceased,
Had gone to Davy Jones.

Upon his brow he felt the heat,
Yet stood serene and calm.
With only now and then a bleat,
Like Mary’s little lamb.

The yards and spars did burn and snap
All in the wildest way;
Not e’en a shroud was left the chap,
And he the only stay.

There came a bursting thunder peal —
Good gracious! Pretty soon
Boy, ship, and anchor, flag and keel,
Went up in a balloon.

And when this sound burst o’er the tide,
The boy! oh, where was he?
Ask of the winds, or none beside
Stayed long enough to see.

With mast and helm and pennon fair,
That acted well enough,
The sickest thing that perished there
Was that young sailor muff.

Now, boys, don’t take a cent of stock
In Cas-a-bi-an-ca;
The spots from such a son they’d knock,
Our Young A-mer-i-ca.

Cambridge City Tribune (Cambridge City, Indiana) Oct 26, 1871

Image from 80 Plus – an octogenarian’s blog

*****

The original poem, from the All Poetry website:

Casabianca

The boy stood on the burning deck
Whence all but he had fled;
The flame that lit the battle’s wreck
Shone round him o’er the dead.

Yet beautiful and bright he stood,
As born to rule the storm;
A creature of heroic blood,
A proud, though childlike form.

The flames roll’d on…he would not go
Without his father’s word;
That father, faint in death below,
His voice no longer heard.

He call’d aloud…”Say, father,say
If yet my task is done!”
He knew not that the chieftain lay
Unconscious of his son.

“Speak, father!” once again he cried
“If I may yet be gone!”
And but the booming shots replied,
And fast the flames roll’d on.

Upon his brow he felt their breath,
And in his waving hair,
And looked from that lone post of death,
In still yet brave despair;

And shouted but one more aloud,
“My father, must I stay?”
While o’er him fast, through sail and shroud
The wreathing fires made way,

They wrapt the ship in splendour wild,
They caught the flag on high,
And stream’d above the gallant child,
Like banners in the sky.

There came a burst of thunder sound…
The boy-oh! where was he?
Ask of the winds that far around
With fragments strewed the sea.

With mast, and helm, and pennon fair,
That well had borne their part;
But the noblest thing which perished there
Was that young faithful heart.

By Felicia Dorothea Hemans, © 1809, All rights reserved.

Editor notes

Casabianca, It tells the story of Giocante Casabianca, a 12-year old boy, who was the son of Luce Julien Joseph Casabianca. Casabianca was the commander of Admiral de Brueys’ flagship, l’Orient , Giocante Casabianca stayed at his post aboard the flagship L’Orient during the Battle of the Nile. Giocante Casabianca and his father both died in an explosion when the fire reached the gunpowder store.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Jul 21, 1894

*****

Evidently, this was a popular poem to parody – From The Guardian

“Casabianca” was soon taken up by the parodists. As we’ve recently discussed on this forum, a good parody demands such close reading it might almost be thought an ironical act of love. But most of the anonymous parodists of “Casabianca” didn’t get beyond the first verse. “The boy stood on the burning deck./ His feet were covered in blisters./ He’d burnt the socks right off his feet/ And had to wear his sister’s” was the version I heard as a child.

A few more:

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Jun 24, 1895

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Feb 2, 1913

Syracuse Herald (Syracuse, New York) Sep 25, 1920

Syracuse Herald (Syracuse, New York) Jul 7, 1912

CASABIANCA.

THE BOY stood on the burning deck — an orator was he,
and in that scene of fire and wreck he spoke quite fluently,
“The men who hold the public scaps should all be fired,” he cried;
“they should make room for worthy chaps who wait their turn outside.
True virtue always stands without, and vainly yearns and tolls,
while wickedness in office shouts, and passes round the spoils.
One rule should govern our fair land — a rule that’s bound to win
all office holders should be canned, to let some new ones in.
All people usefully employed at forge, in mill or shop,
should know that labor’s null and void — man’s duty is to yawp.
The farmer should forsake his play, the harness man his straps;
the blacksmith should get busy now, and look around for snaps.
Why should the carpenter perform, when we have homes enough;
why should producers round us swarm, when statesmen are the stuff?
Why should we put up ice or hay, or deal in clothes or meat,
when politicians point the way that leads to Easy street?”
There came a burst of thunder sound; the boy — O where was he?
Ask of the winds that all around with lungs bestrewed the sea.

Walt Mason

Syracuse Herald (Syracuse, New York) Jun 14, 1911

THE SPENDING SPREE

The boy stood on the burning deck and soaked his aching head;
he wrote a million dollar check, then cheerily he said:
“My friends, I’ve never made a move one honest cent to earn,
but here’s where I start out to prove that I have wealth to burn.”
They called aloud, he would not go; heroic were his words:
“I’ve still got money left to throw at insects and at birds.”
And calmly midst the awful wreck while billows played wild games
he wrote another million check and fed it to the flames.
You say if you had such a boy you’d bend him o’er your knee,
and many shingles you’d deploy to curb his spending spree;
and yet you’re strutting ’round the deck as lordly as a jay
and spending money by the peck and throwing it away.
It seems that men cannot withstand the siren lure of debt;
the things their appetites demand they buy, already yet.
When times of stress and panic come they’ll utter naughty words
and wish they had the goodly sum they pelted at the birds.

CLEM BRADSHAW.

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) May 31, 1920

The Devil Wid Yer Nonsense

November 30, 2011

Yesterday two grammarians were wrangling on Jefferson street, one contending that it was only proper to say “my wages is high” while the other noisily insisted that the correct thing was “my wages are high.”

Finally they stopped a day laborer, and submitted the question to him, “which do you say, ‘your wages is high,’ or ‘your wages are high?'”

“Oh to the devil wid yer nonsense,” he said, resuming his pick, “yer nayther ov ye right; me wages is low, thunderin’ low.”

Burlington Hawk Eye (Burlington, Iowa) Sep 12, 1878

Teacher Weds Student

November 29, 2011

Miss Gertrude Murdoch, 26, principal of the high school at Tappen, N.D., was married to 17-year old Gordon Bell the other day, but young Bell will live with his parents until he has completed his high school course. Mrs. Bell, is from a prominent Valley City, N.D. Family.

The Vidette Messenger (Valparaiso, Indiana) Feb 16, 1929

Teacher Weds Youth; Board Gives Sanction

TAPPEN, N.D., Feb. 7. — (AP) — Miss Gertrude Murdoch, 27, principal of Tappen high school, and Gordon Bell, 17, sophomore in the school, were married recently and the teacher-wife and her young husband are attending their classes after a one-day honeymoon.

The school board has given Mrs. Bell permission to keep her husband in her classes and will retain her as principal.

The husband is continuing to live with his parents while Mrs. Bell lives with the Dr. J.S. Whitson family. The marriage took place at Steele, January 29, it was revealed today.

Young Bell will finish high school and then go to college. Dr. Whitson, friend of the newlyweds, said today.

Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) Feb 7, 1929

*****

FYI — The marriage did not last. By 1944, she was listed in the voter registration as Mrs. Gertrude M. Kellogg, teacher, in Contra Costa County, California.  Although Gordon Bell’s Social Security number appears to have been issued in California, it seems he later lived in Bismarck, N.D., and was married to someone else.

Two Passing Souls

November 29, 2011

Image from Bill Frymire Visuals

TWO PASSING SOULS.

Black the night quick gathering round me,
Loud the cruel, cold waves roar;
Swift the tide that bears me onward.
Whither? To no friendly shore!
Ah, my heart is fearful, shrinking,
No support have I, nor stay;
There’s no light can pierce this darkness,
I am doomed — lost, lost for aye!

Father, I have heard the calling,
And my heart leapt up with joy;
Leave I all earth’s pains to fathom
Happiness without alloy.
Cold the water, but, dear Father,
Firm thy hand and strong thy cheer;
Strange, sweet music strains float near me,
Hark! my “Welcome Home” I hear.

— Carrie Jordan in Philadelphia Ledger.

Daily Advocate (Newark, Ohio) Jan 7, 1893

Lad of Seventeen Butchers an Octogenarian

November 28, 2011

Image from the University of Vermont website An Agricultural History of Hinesburg, Vermont – (Preliminary Research page)

New York Herald (New York, New York) Apr 27, 1869

THE BOY MURDERER IN VERMONT.

A Lad of Seventeen Butchers an Octogenarian.

Sketch of His Crime, Capture, Trial and Sentence.

WINDSOR, Vt., Dec. 23, 1870.
In the State Prison in this place is now confined, under sentence of death, a young man only nineteen. His crime, the murder of a defenceless old man in his own doorway, is justly considered one of the worst cases of homicide ever known in Vermont. His cool indifference and apparent carelessness of the consequences of his diabolical performance show an amount of depravity seldom found in one so young. This boy’s name is Henry Welcome, of French parentage, and his victim was Mr. Perry Russell, of Hinesburg, Vt. Mr. Russell was a well known and respected farmer, a member of the methodist Episcopal Church, of some considerable property and aged about seventy-six years.

THE MURDER
was committed on the evening of the 3d of October, 1868, about half-past eight. Mr. Russell and his wife, the sole occupants of the house, had retired to rest about eight o’clock, but half an hour afterwards were startled by a knocking at the door. Mrs. Russell told her husband not to open the door until he assertained who was there. Mr. Russell accordingly made inquiry, and was answered, “Joe Bushy, I want to come in.” Deceived by mention of a name with which he was familiar, he opened the door and was instantly felled by a blow from a heavy barndoor hinge, twenty inches in length, in the hands of Henry Welcome. His groans and exclamation, “O Lord!” aroused his wife from bed, who, coming to the spot, saw the young assassin standing over the unfortunate old man and raining a shower of blows upon him with the murderous hinge. Almost paralyzed with terror for her own safety, the old lady fled to the nearest neighbors, one hundred rods distant, and alarmed them, who proceeded in turn to the next house, and from there they all returned to the scene of the tragedy. The murderer had gone, but his victim was lying on the floor, where he had first fallen, in a pool of blood and breathing heavily. He lingered in an unconscious state until the next morning at ten o’clock, when he died. The surgeons in attendance found nine scalp wounds from one to three inches in length and a deep cut in the crown of his head. The murderer, after finishing his horrid work, ransacked the house for the plunder he expected to obtain, but could find nothing except a small black trunk containing notes, deeds and other valuable papers. This was afterwards found on an adjoining farm in a field half a mile distant, the contents taken out and strewed around. Welcome was induced to murder the old man in hope of finding a large sum of money, but in this he was foiled, as Mr. Russell had, a few days previous, deposited his funds, some $5,000 in United States bonds, in a bank at Burlington, a few miles from Hinesburg. He knew that Mr. Russell possessed this money, because he had at one time worked for him.

THE PURSUIT OF THE ASSASSIN
was active and successful. The services of N.B. Flanagan, an expert detective of Burlington, were immediately secured, and a reward of $1,000 was offered to bring the villain to justice. On the 5th of October, just two days after the butchery, he was arrested at Waterbury, Vt., where he had gone on the cars from Essex Junction, and he was taken to Burlington. On his way there he met the funeral procession of his victim and displayed the most astonishing indifference and utter coolness.

THE TRIAL.
After a preliminary examination before a justice he was committed to jail to await trial at the County Court. The following April his case came up, and a verdict of guilty was given. On a technicality of law he was allowed to appeal to the Supreme Court. Pending the session of that tribunal he was remanded to the State Prison at Windsor, the jail at Burlington not being considered sufficiently secure. The Supreme Court having confirmed the edict of the County Court, Welcome was sentenced “to solitary confinement one year in the State Prison at Windsor, and then to be hanged by the neck until dead.”

EFFORTS FOR COMMUTATION
of sentence to life imprisonment at hard labor were nearly successful. The Legislature in session last October were petitioned on two grounds, viz., the extreme youth of the prisoner and the dodge of insanity. The House of Representatives turned a willing ear to these petitioners, notwithstanding the fact that a much larger number of his own townsmen prayed that the extreme penalty of the law might be enforced in his case. They even went so far as to allow his lawyer to plead before them as a jury, as it were — a proceeding which has no precedent in the doings of of any legislative body. A committee was also appointed to visit him in the prison; and the result was that two bills were passed, one to commute Welcome’s sentence, the other to abolish capital punishment. Such summary action startled the people of the whole State tremendously. Protests arose from every quarter, especially from the clergy and the press. The Senate, however, to their honor be it said, refused to pass either of the bills. People breathed free once more. The efforts of a few false philanthropists to override the just and wholesome laws of the State, which have heretofore been rigidly enforced, have signally failed. In consequence of this extraordinary effort made to save one of the worst villains from his just deserts  great interests is manifested in this case. The people of Vermont feel that their safety lies in a vigorous execution of the law.

THE CRIMINAL
is now in close confinement, calm and quiet. He occupies his time mainly in reading the books furnished by the prison library. Although he takes no exercise, his health is excellent and he eats hearty meals. The chaplain of the prison visits him constantly, and it is to be hoped that the doomed young man will seriously contemplate his dreadful end, so fast approaching. The execution is to take place on Friday, the 20th day of January next.

New York Herald (New York, New York) Dec 26, 1870

[Excerpt]
WINDSOR, Vt., Jan. 19, 1871.

Henry Welcome, a lad of nineteen, who has been in close confinement in the State Prison in this place the year past for the crime of murder, is to be executed here to-morrow. This young man was born in Hinesburg, Vt. His father is a French Canadian and his mother an American. Though poor they were very respectable, and the mother, a professing Christian, trained up her family, consisting of eleven children, in the same pathways of virtue in which she herself had been instructed. But, alas, her pious teachings did not restrain Henry from an early career in the paths of crime. At a tender age he developed some very bad qualities; was idle, disobedient, ill-tempered and of a very revengeful spirit.

HIS FIRST EXPLOIT
which brought him into the clutches of the law, at the age of sixteen, was the hiring of a horse and buggy, which he ran away with. He was captured and lodged in the jail at the city of Burlington; here he remained awaiting trial until he was nearly seventeen years old. His case coming before the County Court, the jury brought in a verdict exonerating him, on account of his extreme youth, from any vile intent, more than a boyish scrape in running away with the team. He was accordingly discharged from custody and arrived home just three days previous to the night of the murder.

THE VILLAGE OF HINESBURG,
where the deed was committed is a mere hamlet, consisting of a few houses, church, store, tavern, &c., the central trading point and Post Office of the township of the same name. The population are almost wholly farmers. It is situated in the southern part of Chittenden county, about ten miles from Burlington, the county seat. The nearest railway station is Charlotte, on the Rutland Railroad, about five miles distant. One would suppose that in such a quiet, Christian and comparatively secluded community incentives to vice would be rare; but where is evil not found?
…..

New York Herald (New York, New York) Jan 20, 1871

The Gallows

WINDSOR, Vt., Jan. 20, 1871.
Henry Welcome, formerly of Hinesbury, to-day paid the awful penalty of death for the murder of an old man named Perry Russell, in September, 1869. This is the ninth execution for murder which has taken place within the boundaries of the State of Vermont.

Yesterday afternoon several people visited him, among them a reporter, to whom he made some further and interesting statements in regard to his early life. It seems that he left home at the age of fifteen, contrary to the commands of his parents, to go to Boston, and worked there a while. From this step he dates his commencement of a career of crime. He soon fell into the company of wicked men and lewd women, and from drinking he took to gambling, and then taking money in small sums from his employer, who, finding out these things, warned Welcome to desist or leave his employ, which latter course he immediately pursued, arriving home only a short time before he stole the horse and buggy.

During the afternoon he was calm, collected, ate well and slept some, being ever ready to converse with those who were disposed to see and talk with him. Last evening a special guard was placed at the door of his cell, who remained in attendance until he left the cell for the last time. The chaplain remained with him until eleven o’clock P.M.

THE CULPRIT’s STATEMENT TO THE CHAPLAIN.
Welcome appeared much broken down. Tears and sobs came from his bosom. He wrote a last farewell to his sorrow stricken family, which was extremely affecting. He did not appear to have as much fortitude as the time drew near. To the chaplain he made the following statement:

I hope that my sad end will be an effectual warning to all young people against disobedience to their parents, the use of strong drink and the choice of bad company. These things have been my ruin. May God save others from coming to my miserable end. I have no ill will toward anybody, and I ask forgiveness of all that I have wronged. My prayer is that god would have mercy on my soul and make my example of use to others. The Word of God and the hopes of the Gospel are now my only refuge, and the cry of my heart is to Jesus, “Lord remember me when Thou comest into Thy Kingdom.”

THE LAST PRAYER.
His last prayer in the cell before the chaplain left him was, “God be merciful to me a sinner.” During the latter part of the night he got considerable sleep.

THE NIGHT BEFORE THE EXECUTION.
Early in the evening some considerable excitement was caused by the attempted escape of a convict, who his in one of the shops, but was found, after a thorough search with a rope tackle for climbing the wall, and was incarcerated in the solitary cell. Also during the night two men were brought in, who were arrested by detectives Flanagan and Squires on the night express, suspected of being the burglars concerned in the Waterbury Bank robbery, which took place on Wednesday night. Notwithstanding these disturbances, Welcome slept quite well from two to four o’clock. He had conversation with the guard about the army, &c., which diverted his mind so that he was almost cheerful again.

This morning he partook of a slight breakfast, and the chaplain reached his cell about nine o’clock.

THE ERECTION OF THE SCAFFOLD
commenced about that time also. The noise of the hammers could easily be heard throughout the prison. It was the same one which had been used in former executions — a common gallows, two drops, with a fall of six feet six inches. From the platform, which is nine feet long by four feet wide, to the crossbeam is eight feet. The drop itself is four feet long and eighteen inches wide. The rope is common half-inch, and is the same that was around the necks of Cavanaugh, Ward and Miller. The gallows stands in the southeast corner of the prison, between the corridor and the wall.

VISITORS TO THE PRISONER.
During the forenoon quite a number of visitors entered the prison and watched the erection of the gallows with eager interest. At ten o’clock all reporters were given an opportunity by the Sheriff to see Welcome as he sat in his cell. He looked very bright, and talked with quite a degree of cheerfulness. In answer to an inquiry about how he had passed the night he replied, “Pretty well; I slept a little from two o’clock and ate some breakfast.”

“You look brightly,” said a reporter; “keep good courage. Its pretty tough, but keep up.”

“Yes,” said he, “I mean to.”

“Do you remember any one in Boston?” was then asked.

“Oh, yes. I remember Mr. Bates, lawyer, near Cornhill.”

“Do you want to send any word to him?”

“No; don’t know as I do particularly.”

“How about North street?”

“I have had enough of North street,” he said, with a smile and shrug of the shoulders.

“Well, goodby.”

And all shook hands with him and left the cell, only two friends and the chaplain remaining. All through this conversation he maintained a cheerful demeanor, standing erect, with folded arms. His is about five feet ten inches in height and of average form, with a rather pleasant face and black eyes.

PREPARING FOR THE FINAL SCENE.
As the hour of the final scene drew nigh the crowd around and in the guardroom of the prison augmented rapidly, and at half-past twelve there was a great press to obtain admittance; but none were allowed to go except those who had passes from the Sheriff or Superintendent of the prison. Among those present were the twelve legal witnesses selected by the Governor, and one or two friends or acquaintances of the deceased; also Dr. Robinson, a physician of Felchville, Vt., and Rev. Mr. Gadworth, a Baptist clergyman. The directors of the prison, Messrs. Hartshorn, Rice and Shedd, were there too. About noon the chaplain asked him if he would like anything to eat. He said he would like a cup of tea, which was brought to him. He then prayed for himself and the chaplain prayed with him.

THE DEATH MARCH.
At twenty minutes to one o’clock the death march commenced. The procession issued from the cell in order as follows: — The chaplain, Revs. Franklin Butler and Surrey, W. Stimson, Sheriff of Windsor county; the condemned, between Deputy Sheriffs Rollin, Amsden and Luther Kendall; the twelve legal witnesses, &c. Passing by his coffin, which stood near the scaffold, he ascended the stairs with tolerable firmness and stood upon the platform of the gallows. The persons upon the platform were the chaplain, the Sheriff, his deputies, Amsden, Kendall and Armstrong, and J.A. Pollard, Superintendent of the prison.

READING THE DEATH WARRANT.
The exercises commenced with the reading of a short passage of Scripture and prayer by the chaplain, when the death warrant was read by the Sheriff, after which he addressed the prisoner thus: — “Henry Welcome, have you anything to say why you should not suffer the extreme penalty of the law?”

THE CULPRIT’S LAST WORDS.
A moment of silence, and Welcome began: —

I cannot say much. Words are inadequate to express my feelings. I hope my situation and fate will be an example to others to keep out of bad company and low-bred places, and obey their parents and stay at home. Disobedience to my good parents has brought me here. I hope God will have mercy on my soul, for Christ’s sake. I have made my peace with God, and I want to caution young men, before these witnesses, not to touch liquor, for if they take one glass they will want another. I cannot say any more, my heart is too full.

These words were delivered in a trembling voice and with tearful eyes. After being placed on the drop, his hands and feet were strapped by Deputy Sheriff Amsden, and the noose adjusted around his neck.

A PRAYER FOR MERCY.
He then shook hands with the Superintendent, Sheriff and deputies; then he broke forth into a most fervent, touching and heartfelt prayer, his accents being quite distinct, although his whole frame was shaken with the violence of his emotions. He distinctly expressed his faith in Jesus and hope of full pardon for his transgressions, saying much in substance that was contained in his address. He particularly prayed for his poor mother; that he name might not be a lasting disgrace to her, and though dying so ignominiously in this world, felt confident in the hope of a blessed immortality. The chaplain then stepped and took his hand, speaking a farewell to him in tones inaudible to the deeply moved spectators.

THE BLACK CAP WAS THEN ADJUSTED,
and Sheriff Stimson said, in calm tones, “The time has now arrived when the extreme sentence of the law must be executed on you, Henry Welcome, and may God have mercy on your soul.”

THE LAST OF EARTH.
The spring was pressed by a deputy and at precisely two minutes before one P.M. the body of Henry Welcome shot downwards and his soul took its everlasting flight. In six minutes the pulse ceased to beat, and the prison surgeon, Dr. H. Clark, pronounced him dead. In twenty minutes the body was cut down and put in the coffin, to be burned within the prison walls. Thus the law is vindicated in Vermont.

New York Herald (New York, New York) Jan 21, 1871

Fixing the Blame

November 27, 2011

Image from Shorpy

Fixing the Blame

If women do not
Go and do
Their Christmas shopping
And get through,
And get of things
The first and best
And give the clerks
A chance to rest
Before the last
Grand rush occurs,
‘Tis not the woman’s
Fault — not hers!
It is because the
Stingy mug
She married likes
To keep and hug
His wad till the
Last day he can —
Doggone that kind
Of married man!
For him no clerk
Will say a pray’r,
For him no one
Will have a cure.
For him no Christmas
Bells shall ring,
For him no children
Gladly sing;
He sadly through
This life shall plod
Afraid that some one
Wants his wad!
Oh, if you are
A married man
Now is the time
To tie a can
To stinginess!
It is your loss
If you don’t dig up.
Come across,
And hand ya bundle
To your frau,
And tell her: “Do
Your shopping now!”

— Houston Post.

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Dec 10, 1910

Franklin LaRue – Veteran Surveyor

November 25, 2011

OUR NONAGENARIANS

Short Sketch of Adams County Citizens of Advanced Age.

F. LARUE, VETERAN SURVEYOR

A Life Full of Usefulness and An Old Age That Is a Pleasure to Himself and Friends

Franklin LaRue, for nearly a generation county surveyor of this county was born on an estate still in the possession of his family near Bath, Steuben County, New York, on December 28th, 1818, being now over ninety years old. He prepared for Amherst College at Prattsburg Academy and studied civil engineering at the Van Rensselaer Institute, Troy, N.Y., now know as Troy Polytecnic Institute.

Mr. LaRue’s first professional work was on the government survey of the lower peninsula of Michigan. Owing to an injury received while thus engaged he was, for a number of years, compelled to abandon field work. During this time he served for four years as county treasurer of Ingham County, Michigan. He then engaged in business in Lansing, Mich., where he resided for many years, being prominently identified with the growth and prosperity of the then comparatively new capital city, and running for state senator on the ticket headed by James Buchanan for president.

Near the close of the civil war he was located in the vicinity of Bloomington, Illinois, where he engaged for a number of years in farming and sheep raising, though he did a great deal of land and road surveying during this period. In 1874 he came to Mercer Township, this county, to improve some land he owned there and was soon elected county surveyor, and held that office as long as he was able to follow his transit. While in office he established the grade of the principal streets of Corning, surveyed the majority of the roads of the county, and left in the office a fine set of maps of the public highways of the whole county which has proved invaluable to his successors.

Mr. LaRue has lived in his present home in Corning for over twenty-five years and the picture presented here-with is a snapshot, taken by a grandson while he was engaged in work about his grounds. After giving up active work he was frequently appointed by the courts to do expert work in finding government corners, throughout this section of the country, and still received requests to do this work, and visits for consultation from many county surveyors, being almost the only living man who was engaged on the original government survey.

Mr. LaRue is very fortunate in retaining full possession of all his faculties, excepting his eyesight, which is growing somewhat dim. His memory is remarkably good, never being at a loss to supply dates and data for the great world changes, and wonderful inventions that have come into being during his remembrance. He also keeps in active touch with all the leading topics of the present day. The boys and girls of his acquaintance delight in propounding mathematical problems to him, which he always solves mentally, extracting the square, cube and sixth root of any number less than one hundred raised to a corresponding power, without the aid of a pencil or paper. His mind is a veritable store house of beautiful poems, with which he is frequently called upon to entertain his friends. He delights in attributing this clearness of memory to the total abstinence of intoxicating liquors and tobacco during his whole life.

Mr. LaRue is one of the grand old gentlemen of the community, enjoying the respect and esteem of all who have the pleasure of his acquaintance. We join his many friends in wishing him health and prosperity for years to come.

Adams County Free Press (Corning, Iowa) Feb 10, 1909


Walnut Grove image from Find-A-Grave, where the gravestones of his family members can be found, but I couldn’t find an entry or photo for his gravestone.

Death of Franklin LaRue.

On Monday, September 30, about 12:30 p.m., there passed to his reward one of the best known and most highly respected citizens of Adams county, Franklin LaRue, the cause of his death being largely old age. For a few days he had been suffering from a cold but his condition was not considered critical by his family. He was conscious to the last. The machinery of the body had done its full work and he peacefully passed away.

The subject of this sketch was born near Bath, Stuben county, N.Y., December 28, 1818, and at the time of his death was aged 93 years, 9 months and 2 days. The funeral was held from the home in the northwest part of the city on October 2 at 10:30 a.m., conducted by Rev. Norman McLeod of the Presbyterian church. Interment in Walnut Grove cemetery along side of his faithful wife who was buried there January 6, 1901.

In his young years he attended Amherst college and studied civil engineering at Van Rensaeller institute, Troy, N.Y.. He was the youngest of a family of twelve children. when a young man he came west and located in Michigan and was engaged in surveying. Here he was married to Miss Amelia Chapin at Mason, Mich., Sept. 25, 1848. To this union were born eight children, six daughters and two sons, four of the daughters died at Lansing, Mich., for many years the family home, in their infancy. The two sons, H.H. and F.L. died and are buried in Corning. The living are Mrs. F.A. Kennon of Corning and Miss Myra LaRue who has made her home with her father.

The family came to Adams county in 1874 and settled in Mercer township. Soon after coming here Mr. LaRue was elected county surveyor and held the office for a number of years. He was an exceptionally good surveyor and much of the work done in this county was by him. In politics Mr. LaRue was a democrat and was a candidate for the state senate in Michigan on the ticket by James Buchanan in 1856. His first vote for president was cast in 1840 and in the present campaign he took a deep interest and from the start was an ardent admirer of Wilson and frequently remarked that he hoped he would live to cast a big vote for the New Jersey governor.

For thirty years he had lived int he home in which his death occurred in Corning, an honored and upright citizen whom it was a pleasure to meet and discuss the topics of the day and the events of many years ago. Until a few years ago he was a great reader and since he could not read on account of failing eyesight he had his daughter and others read to him and he was thoroughly posted on the topics of the day.

Adams County Free Press (Corning, Iowa) Oct 12, 1912

Union in Thanksgiving

November 24, 2011

Union in Thanksgiving.

It was at a time when “union” as well as “liberty” was the watchword of our country, that the festival which is do distinctively American became more entirely a national affair. The incident which let to such a change of basis is thus described by the author of “Seward at Washington:”

One morning, early in October, 1863, Mr. Seward entered the President’s room and found him alone, busily engaged with a large pile of papers.

“They say, Mr. President,” he began, “that we are stealing away the rights of the States. So I have come to-day to advise you that there is another State right I think we ought to steal.”

Mr. Lincoln looked up from his papers with a quizzical expression.

“Well, Governor,” said he, “what do you want to steal now?”

“The right to name Thanksgiving day. We ought to have one national holiday all over the country, instead of letting the Governors of States name half a dozen different days.”

The President entered heartily into the suggestion, saying that he believed the usage had its origin in custom and not in constitutional law, so that a President “had as good a right to thank God as a Governor.” In fact, proclamations had already been issued by the executive after great victories, though the annual festival had always been designated by the Governors.

Mr. Seward drew from his portfolio the outline of such a proclamation, which they read over together, and perfected. It was duly issued, and since that time the President of the United States has always fixed the date for this national holiday.

Bessemer Herald (Bessemer, Michigan) Nov 23, 1895

Thanksgiving in the Far West

November 24, 2011

Oh dear, this would NOT make PETA happy:

THANKSGIVING IN THE FAR WEST.

On the ranches of the far West “turkey grabbing” is a prominent as well as wonderfully exciting sport. The turkey is buried in the ground with only his head and neck above the surface, allowing him full swing for dodging and ducking. The cowboy mounted on his pony sweeps down at full speed, and as he passes the buried gobbler leans far down and attempts to grab it by the head. Dragging the hand along the ground and grasping the neck is barred — the head along being the part to be grabbed. The successful turkey grabbers are few, and when an expert comes along he is the hero of the day.

Bessemer Herald (Bessemer, Michigan) Nov 23, 1895