Archive for September, 2012

URCEUS EXIT

September 21, 2012

Image from Rejoicing With the Truth

URCEUS EXIT

(Austin Dobson — 1840-1921)

I intended an Ode,
And it turned to a Sonnet
It began a la mode,
I intended an Ode;
But Rose crossed the road
In her latest new bonnet;
I intended an Ode;
And it turned to a Sonnet.

Mason City Globe Gazette (Mason City, Iowa) Sep 24, 1929

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I went in search for the meaning of “urceus exit” and for the following from Bill Canoe on Yahoo Answers:

“The wheel turns, out comes a pot.” (Currit rota urceus exit.)

Added: “Kur-rit row-ta ur-key-us exit” (1)

Horace (65-8 B.C.), or Quintus Horatius Flaccus, was a Roman lyric poet, satirist, and literary critic.

Horace was reflecting on an artist who dreamed of producing beautiful amphorae (wine vessels) (turning them out of clay on his wheel) but instead produced pots.

The Loss of the Sultana – A War Ballad

September 20, 2012

Image from Missed My Stop

IN MEMORIAM.

By Will M. Carleton.
(TELEGRAM)

“MEMPHIS, TENN., April 23d, 1865. — The steamer Sultana, from New Orleans the 21st, took on board at Vicksburg, upward of 1,900 Federal soldiers, principally parolled prisoners from Cahawba and Andersonville. — When seven miles above this city, her boiler exploded and she burned to the water’s edge. Of all on board, not more than six hundred were saved.”

I.
Down at Vicksburg, grim and smoking, on a cloudy April’s day,
Her gaudy colors flying fast, the old Sultana lay,
Waiting for the welcome signal that should order her away.

On her decks, all bright and smiling, stood a band of haggard men,
Who had smarted, prayed, and fasted, in a rebel prison-pen;
Who had faced the imps and goblins of a Southern devils’ den.

There were nineteen hundred heroes, who a prisoner’s trials knew;
From the fiery Southern furnace, nineteen hundred tried and true,
Who had doffed their faded tatters, for the legendary blue.

Pale and wasted were their features; pinched with want and prison fare;
Trampled by the hoofs of hatred, wrinkled by the hand of care;
Seamed and scarred with ruthless clawings from the tatoos of Despair.

But they waved their hands and shouted, as they g?ded from the shore,
And they cried, “Thank God’s great mercy, we are bound for home once more!”
And such lusty cheers of gladness never rent the air before!

But when last the Mississippi drank the echoes of their cry,
From the West, a roll of thunder sent an ominous reply,
And the wind swept down the river, with a sad foreboding sigh,

But they heeded not the omen; and the merry laugh went round;
In the brightness of the future all the fearful past was drowned;
And among the nineteen hundred ran the glad cry “homeward bound.”

II.
There was one among that number, whom the past to me endears;
True as steel and firm as marble was that lad of sixteen years,
With a soul of highest honor, and a heart devoid of fears.

With a mind all clear and active, and with powers that mind to wield,
With a faith that could not falter, and a will it would not yield,
He buckled on his armor, and went forth into the field.

And at last, with hapless comrades, he the breath of prison drew,
And the pains of want and famine with the rest of them he knew;
But he clenched his teeth and muttered, “I mean to see it through!”

And he wrote unto his mother, when he lay in sickness low,
“IF they ask you ‘Is he sorry that he made his mind to go?
Does he wish he might recall it?’ Mother, proudly tell them No!”

And to-day he stood in calmness mid that fated steamer’s crew,
And he uttered words of gladness, which, alas! were but too true,
As between his teeth he muttered, “I have almost seen it thro’!”

And he thought him of a father, who for once would be unmanned,
As he welcomed him in language he could hardly understand,
But repaid the lack of speaking in the pressure of his hand.

And he thought him of a mother, with a kind and gentle face,
Who would kiss him as she used to, with a warm and close embrace,
Who would love him with affection that no absence could erase.

Of a manly little brother, who would climb upon his knee,
Who would throw his arms around him, in his glad and boyish glee,
And would think that of all soldiers there was none so brave as he.

And he thought him of a maiden, whom at twilight a hour he’d seek,
Who would meet him at the threshold, with a blush upon her cheek,
And from out her eyes would tell him all the love she would not speak.

And he stood, and all these blessings in his gladdened mind he weighed,
And within the golden future, many a glorious plan he laid;
And he murmured, “I am happy; all my sufferings are repaid.”

III.
O, my God! that dull explosion! not a warning, not a prayer,
Ere it hurls full many a victim in the black and smoking air,
With a river for a death bed, and a moment to prepare!

With that hissing, steaming boiler, shatters many a hope that’s dear!
And a thousand shrieks and curses throw their echoes far and near,
With a thousand prayers for succor, that can reach no pitying ear.

And that youth whose cup of gladness danced so lately to the brim,
May the God of love and mercy hold a helping hand to him,
As he falls into the water, with a broken arm and limb!

But he rises to the surface, with  a look of pain and dread,
With a face all white as marble, like the faces of the dead,
And the crimson blood fast flowing from a death-wound on his head.

But a flash of manly courage fires his sinking heart anew,
And he grasps a floating timber, with the arm that still is true,
And between his teeth he mutters, “I mean to see it though.”

And he clung unto the fragment for a painful hour or more,
Vainly striving in his weakness, for the distant, gloomy shore.
For that heart of truest courage would not let the boy give o’er.

For a mortal hour he battled with the restless, flowing tide,
But the darkness gathered round him, and he stream was cold and wide,
And his pale lips murmuring, “Mother,” he relaxed his hold and died.

And with but the flowing waters to repeat his funeral lay,
Neath the turbid Mississippi lies the martyred boy to day,
His noble frame all mangled, and fast going to decay.

But if ever God reached downward, for a soul without alloy,
And if ever God had mercy on a dying soldier boy,
Rests to-day that youthful hero, in a home of peace and joy.

The Hillsdale Standard (Hillsdale, Michigan) Jan 5, 1869

Image from Civil War Family

A later, revised version of the poem ran in the Roman Citizen (Rome, New York) on June 11, 1886:

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Ask Nicely for that Glass of Beer

September 19, 2012

POLITENESS

Elizabeth Turner (? – 1846)

Good little boys should never say
“I will,” and “Give me these;”
O, no! that never is the way,
But “Mother, if you please.”

And “If you please,” to Sister Ann
Good boys to say are ready;
And, “Yes, sir,” to a Gentleman,
And, “Yes, ma’am,” to a Lady.

Mason City Globe Gazette (Mason City, Iowa) Jun 5, 1929

This poem from another of Mrs. Turner’s (books not the one linked below) cautions the child to ask politely for a glass of BEER. It must have been common for children to drink beer with their meals in 1811, England.

CIVIL SPEECH

“Give me some beer!” cried little Jane,
At dinner-table as she sat.
Her mother said, “Pray ask again,
And in a prettier way than that.

“For ‘give me that,’ and ‘give me this,’
Is not the best way to be heard:
To make Ann hear, a little Miss
Must add another little word.”

“Pray, give me, Ann, a glass of beer,”
Jane blushing said—her mother smiled:
“Now Ann will quickly bring it here,
For you ask properly, my child.”

You little Misses, Masters too,
Who wish to have a share of praise,
Pray copy Jane, and always do
Directly what your mother says.

Title: The Cowslip, or, More Cautionary Stories, in Verse
Author: Mrs. Turner (Elizabeth)
Publisher: J. Harris, 1811 (google book link)

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It seems nothing much is known about this prolific author:

This is all I could find on Elizabeth Turner, other than her poems/verses.

Technology Brings the Laughs

September 19, 2012

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What a Marvelous Age, My Dear!

Coshocton Tribune (Coshocton, Ohio) Sep 8, 1929

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My Gracious! Some People Think They Own All Creation!

Coshocton Tribune (Coshocton, Ohio) Sep 11, 1929

Great Scott! What Was That?

Coshocton Tribune (Coshocton, Ohio) Sep 23, 1929

Till the Air with Smoke is Blue

September 18, 2012

Image from mt.gov — More about: Montana Governor William Elmer Holt

POEM FOR GOVERNOR IS WRITTEN BY ‘POKE

Governor Elmer Holt has been asked to be godfather to a baby to be born in Germany in May, has been asked to find a wife for a California soldier with a bonus, and now he has invoked the poetic genius of a Colorado cowboy who wants to dedicate a poem to him.

The governor received a letter yesterday from Victor Rylatt of Maybell, Colorado, who some years ago “spent a happy summer” in Montana.

Enclosed in the letter was a bit of western verse which the poet wondered “could be dedicated to you?”

Here it is:

Let a broke, but handsome cowboy on the trail
Meet a rancher’s daughter going for the mail.
Let her tell him how some bad men
Plan to rob and kill her dad, when
He takes his herd of cattle down for sale.
Let the cowboy saddle up at early dawn,
And salute the rising sun with saddle horn.
Then behind a butte take shelter,
For some hours to smoke and swelter
Till the air with smoke is blue, travel worn.

When the wildly riding rustlers all attack,
And the bullets all around him go ‘kersmack,’
Let him wipe out all the crew
Til the air with smoke is blue.
Then gather up their weapons in a sack.
Let us finish with a chapter that encharms
‘Twill be pleasing change from war’s alarm;
As beneath his huge sombrero,
Our deadly shooting hero
Takes the shy, but willing maiden in his arms.

The Helena Independent (Helena, Montana) Mar 3, 1936

Note: Victor Rylatt was born in 1884, England. He migrated first to Canada (not sure when) then came to the United States by way of Michigan in 1913.  His planned destination on his border crossing document was Milwaukee, WI. In 1920 he was on a farm in Nebraska, and in 1930 Colorado. It doesn’t appear he ever found his “rancher’s daughter,”  as he is listed as single on the census records as well as his naturalization record.

Arab Uprising: “Fee Fo Fi Fum”

September 18, 2012

But what about those 60,000,000 Mohammedans that are saying “Fee Fo Fi Fum” to the Christian and Jewish world?

Until they are disposed of, it would be foolish to adopt suggestions about reducing airplane production.

One thousand airplanes would do more than 500,00 men on foot or horseback to discourage Arabs on the rampage.

Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, New Mexico) Sep 5, 1929

Our Constitution: Beacon Light Of Human Liberty

September 17, 2012

Our Constitution Is Beacon Light Of Human Liberty

Today is the 153rd anniversary of signing of the Constitution of the United States. On this day in `1787, some thirty odd members of the Constitutional Convention, sitting in Philadelphia, affixed their signatures to the document with which few, if any of them were satisfied, but which they believed was the best upon which the majority could agree.

Even George Washington, who presided over the meeting, was dubious as to whether the constitution would be adopted by the thirteen states; and even if adopted, he had little faith in its permanence.

How much better the makers of the constitution wrought then they themselves anticipated!

Today there exists not an instrument of government anywhere which is more strongly entrenched in the affections of the people; nor is there one which gives so much promise of enduring in a world in flux and revolution.

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The document was born out of a great national crisis.

The thirteen colonies successfully had won their political independence from Great Britain, but they had failed utterly to achieve national unity. On the contrary, the drift was steadily toward disunion, civil war and anarchy.

The Articles of Confederation made what national government there was both feeble, incompetent and futile.

A few of the more far sighted among the leaders — Washington, Madison, Hamilton and Franklin, among others — saw the imperative necessity for action if the country were to be saved, and thus it was that the governors of twelve states were prevailed upon to appoint delegates to consider revision of the Articles of Confederation.

That was their instructions.

But happily for us the delegates voted to disregard these instructions and drew up an entirely new constitution for the United States.

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Nor is it fair to those who wrote the constitution to say that their prevailing temper was conservative — that the aim they had in view was not only to secure the unity of the country, but to assure the security of property as well.

Perhaps the frankest statement as to this prevailing view came from Roger Sherman, who said:

The people should have as little to do as may be with the government.

Thus it was that when the constitution was completed some twenty delegates refused to sign it and it was denounced by such famed patriots as Patrick Henry and old Sam Adams as “a rich man’s document.”

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This fear of the dangers of “mob government” or too much control by the “masses” is evident to even the casual student of the work of the convention.

The president was not to be chosen by the people, neither were the senators. To select the former an electoral college was set up, which theoretically was to be composed of the best men in each state who in turn would meet and choose with deliberation and care the man best suited to be president. Of course, it only worked that way in the first two elections. But senators continued to be named by the state legislatures until after the turn of the present century.

The president’s power was curbed by provisions that all treaties should be subject to the test of a two thirds vote of the senate, while all appointments were made subject to senate confirmation.

The president, however, could put a check on both houses of congress through the veto power, while wide but deliberately vague authority was given to a powerful judiciary appointed for life.

Moreover, in the original draft there was no Bill of Rights, no protection for freedom of speech, the practice of religion and the press.

It was Thomas Jefferson who refused to give his support to the constitution unless a pledge were given that the Bill of Rights would be incorporated as soon as possible after the new government was established, which was done.

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The constitution has proved its worth through the years. It has provided security for property, but also has safeguarded human rights. Today it is the beacon light of freedom in a world over much of which has spread the darkness of totalitarianism.

It is the hope of Democracy in a world where despots sneer at popular government as decadent and hopeless.

As we ourselves sustain and support the constitution we shall prove these despots to be liars and frauds; and thus hasten the day when the ideals of liberty which it enshrines shall once more become the common heritage of humanity.

Fresno Bee Republican (Fresno, California) Sep 17, 1940

Liberty Fetes Constitution

September 17, 2012

The Constitution — America’s Gibraltar

Fresno Bee Republican (Fresno, California) Sep 17, 1937

Constitution Adopted September 17, 1787

A Rock Foundation

Hamilton Daily News Journal (Hamilton, Ohio) Sep 17, 1937

Have you ever seen the Statue of Liberty’s torch ablaze before? Then just look how the smoke pours from it above. The occasion was the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the signing of the United States Constitution. Army and Navy color guards join to present the colors on the parapet of the statue’s pedestal, Bedloe’s Island, New York harbor.

The Helena Independent (Helena, Montana) Se[ 17, 1937

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Taking as his theme the history of the Constitution, the attacks which have been made upon it and the security it provides the American people, Associate Justice John A. Matthews, principal speaker at yesterday’s Kiwanis meeting said that while the communist party boasts of 500,00 members in this country, an even greater threat to liberty is being made by “intelligent demagogues.”

He cited as an example of the latter, Jay Franklin, author of several “leftist” books and regarded in some circles as a leader in socialistic government tendencies. He referred in particular to a statement attributed to Franklin that the Constitution had been framed by a group of “old farmers.”

Greatest of Time

“As a matter of fact,” the speaker said, “the Constitution was written by the greatest students of government ever gathered together at one time.” In the group were college presidents, ambassadors, governors, members of the Continental congress and others who had proved themselves the most brilliant men of their times.

The average age of this group, he said, was 42 years refuting the implication and “doddering old timers” were responsible for the document.

Swinging into a brief discussion of the Supreme court, over which wide spread discussion has rested because of the president’s plan to pack it, Judge Matthews asserted that unfavorable comment about fire-to-four decisions of the court was unfounded.

Two Favorable

“Actually,” he said, “until the time for the Supreme court furor last winter only three of nine New Deal decisions were by a five-to-four decision. And of these three, two were favorable to the government.”

Generally, Kiwanis voted his talk one of the most interesting of the year.

The speaker was introduced by Warren Batch, program chairman. Musical entertainment included two vocal solos by Mrs. Dorothy Statler, accompanied at the piano by Mrs. Pearl Johnson.

The Helena Independent (Helena, Montana) Sep 14, 1937

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Lower the Net?

Abilene Morning News (Abilene, Texas) Feb 17, 1937

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Previous Constitution Day posts:

What You Should Know About Our Constitution

Preserving Our Constitution

Constitution Day 1922 – Study the Constitution

Across the Path of Popular Impatience

Constitution Proclamation

The New Deal and the Constitution

Progressive Economics: Dealt from a Pack Thumbed by Kings, Despots and Tyrants

The U.S. Constitution: Wet or Dry

A Constitution Day Thought

Herbert Hoover’s Poignant Duty

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 For the Portsmouth Times.

NOTA BENE.

A KING once said, “I am the State;”
Did his assertion make it true?
Another heard the words, “Too late!”
As from his land and throne he flew.

One ruler, in our own fair land,
Sets up his will as all in all;
A greater issues his command,
Liberty’s Goddess to enthral.

When “Constitution” is prefixed “Un-”
And ended by a small “A.L.,”
Are laws illegal, all but one?
And that the law which would compel?

What follows, then? Have we no laws?
No Constitution to uphold?
Judge for yourselves, ye who can draw
Prophetic truth from histories old.

X. ENTRIC.
PORTSMOUTH, O., Nov. 27th, 1862.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Dec 6, 1862

Antietam: ‘By heaven! it was a goodly sight to see – For one who had no friend or brother there.’

September 17, 2012

Image from: (Google book link)

Title: The Secret Service, the Field, the Dungeon, and the Escape
Author: Albert Deane Richardson
Publisher    American Pub. Co., 1865

Incidents of Antietam.

We take the following incidents of the battle of Antietam from “The Field, The Dungeon and the Escape,” by A.D. Richardson.

My confrere and myself were within a few yards of Gen. Hooker. It was a very hot place. We could not distinguish the ‘ping’ of the individual bullets, but their combined and mingled hum was like the din of a great Lowell factory. Solid shot and shell came shrieking through the air, but over our heads, as we were on the extreme front.

Hooker – common-place before — the moment he heard the guns, loomed up into gigantic stature. His eye gleamed with the grand anger of battle. He seemed to know exactly what to do, to feel that he was master of the situation, and to impress every one else with the fact. Turning to one of his staff, and pointing to a spot near us, he said:

“Go and tell Capt. ____ to bring his battery and plant it there, at once.”

The lieutenant rode away. After giving one or two further orders with great clearness rapidity and precision, Hooker’s eye again turned to that mass of rebel infantry in the woods, and he said to another officer with great emphasis:

“Go and tell Capt. ____ to bring his battery here instantly!”

Sending more messages to the various divisions and batteries, only a single member of the staff remained.

Once more scanning the woods with his eagle eye, Hooker directed the aid:

“Go, and tell Capt. ____ to bring the batter y without one second’s delay. Why, my God, how he can pour it into their infantry.”

By this time seven of the body-guard had fallen from their saddles. Our horses plunged wildly. A shell plowed the ground under my rearing steed, and another exploded near Mr. Smalley, throwing great clouds of dust over both of us. Hooker leaped his white horse over a low fence into an adjacent orchard, whither we gladly followed. Though we did not move more than thirty yards, it took us comparatively out of range.

The desired battery, stimulated by three successive messages, came up with smoking horses, at a full run, was unlimbered in the twinkling of an eye, and began to pour shots into the enemy, who were also suffering severely from our infantry charges. IT was not many seconds before they began to waver. — Through the rifting smoke we could see their line sway to and fro; then it broke like a thaw in a great river. Hooker rose up in his saddle, and, in a voice of suppressed thunder, exclaimed:

“There they go, . . . . . . . Forward!”

Our whole line moved on. It was now nearly dark. Having shared the experience of ‘Fighting Joe Hooker’ quite long enough, I turned toward the rear. Fresh troops were pressing forward, and stragglers were ranged in long lines behind rocks and trees.

Riding slowly along a grassy slope, as I supposed quite out of range, my meditations were disturbed by a cannon ball, whose rush of air fanned my face, and made my horse shrink and read almost upright. The next moment came another behind me, and by the great blaze of a fire of rails, which the soldiers had built, I saw it ricochet down the slope like a foot ball, and pass right through a column of our troops in blue who were marched steadily forward. The gap which it made was immediately closed up.

Men with litters were grouping through the darkness, bearing the wounded to the ambulances.

At nine o’clock I wandered to a farm-house, occupied by some of our pickets. We dared not light candles as it was within range of the enemy. The family had left. I tied my horse to an apple tree and lay down upon the parlor floor, with my saddle for a pillow. At intervals during the night we heard the popping of musketry, and at the first glimpse of dawn the picket officer shook me by the arm.

“My friend,” said he, “you had better go away as soon as you can; this place is getting rather hot for civilians.”

I rode around through the field, for shot and shell were already screaming up the narrow lane.

Thus commenced the long, hotly-contested battle of Antietam. Our line was three miles in length, with Hooker on the right, Burnside on the left, and a great gap in the centre, occupied only by artillery; while Fitz John Porter with the fine corps was held in reserve. From dawn until nearly dark the two great armies wrestled like athletes, straining every muscle, losing here, gaining there, and at many points fighting the same ground over and over again. It was a fierce, sturdy, indecisive conflict.

Five thousand spectators viewed the struggle from a hill comparatively out of range. — Not more than three persons were struck there during the day, McClellan and his staff occupied another ridge half a mile in the rear.

‘By heaven! it was a goodly sight to see
For one who had no friend or brother there.’

No one who looked upon that wonderful panorama can describe or forget it. Every hill and valley, every corn field, grove and cluster of trees was fiercely fought for.

The artillery was unceasing; we could often count more than sixty guns to the minute. It was like the patter of rain drops in an April shower. On the great field were riderless horses and scattering men, clouds of dirt from solid shot and expending shells, long, dark, lines of infantry swaying to and fro, with columns of smoke rising from their muskets, red flashes and white puffs from the batteries — with the sun shining brightly on all this scene of tumult, and beyond it, upon the dark, rich woods, and the clear, blue mountains south of the Potomac.”

The Herald and Torch Light (Hagerstown, Maryland) Aug 16, 1865

Seventy five years ago Corp. Basil Lemley, left, 94, fought with the Union army, and Capt. Robert E. Miles, center, 98 was on the side of the Confederacy in the bloody Civil war battle of Antietam. The two ex-soldiers put aside their one-time enmity and sealed their friendship with a handshake above, with President Roosevelt, right, when he visited the battlefield near Sharpsburg, Maryland on Constitution day.

Sheboygan Press (Sheboygan, Wisconsin) Sep 18, 1937

Image from Mr Lincoln & Friends – Ozias M. Hatch

After the battle of Antietam, when McClellan’s army lay unaccountably idle, Lincoln, with his friend, O.M. Hatch of Illinois, went to the front. They stood on a hill from which they could view the vast camp, and Lincoln said:

Lincoln — Hatch, Hatch, what is all this?

Hatch — Why, that is the Army of the Potomac.

Lincoln — No, Hatch, no. That is General McClellan’s bodyguard.

The Bee (Danville, Virginia) Jul 31, 1952

Old Sol

September 16, 2012

A Little Game of Strip Poker!
Now, then — I’ll raise the ante a few more degrees — and I’ll thank you if you’ll hand over your socks!

Daily InterLake (Kalispell, Montana) Jul 17, 1930