Posts Tagged ‘1856’

Miner Rhymes from Gold Country

May 3, 2010

From the Trinity Times.

The Song of the Miner.

A PARODY – By L.F.W.

Turning all the rivers,
Working in the rills,
Tunnelling the mountains,
Sluicing off the hills;
Sweating in the sun, and
Shivering in the blast,
Mighty pleasant mode of
Living very fast!

Waiting through the summer,
Notice on a claim —
“Intend to work this ground as
Soon as it will rain.”
Building airy castles,
Filling them with gold;
Dreaming of the maidens
Known, and loved of old.

Traders shake their heads and
Grumble without reason,
Do not like to credit
‘Till the rainy season;
Tell them of our prospects,
Got a pile in view,
Found the bed rock pitching,
Gravel turning blue.

Skies begin to threaten,
Water come at last!
All the creeks and gulches
Rising very fast.
Break away the ditches,
Carry off the flume;
Too much of a good thing
Quite as bad as none!

Gentleman from Pike, thinks
There’s a “right smart” show;
Wants to make some money,
Grub is getting low.
Able-bodied Yankee
Never takes affront,
Means to make a fortune,
“Darn” him if he don’t.

Tender looking hombre
From the sunny South,
Obviously feeling
Down about the mouth,
Stranger in the country,
Stares when he is told
That his pan of mica
Will not pass for gold.

Colored population
Lucky to a man,
Putting on the airs that
Only darkies can.
Chinaman with rocker
Slowly trots along,
Muttering as he passes —
“Tax no good for John.”

Men of every nation,
Men of every shade,
Men of every station,
Men of every grade,
Entering together
In the golden race,
Pitching into nature,
Tearing up her face!

Turning all the rivers,
Working in the rills,
Tunnelling the mountains,
Sluicing off the hills,
Sweating in the sun, and
Shivering in the blast,
Mighty pleasant mode of
Living very fast!

Mountain Democrat, The (Placerville, California) Nov 29, 1856

While most of these poems are humorous, this next one is sad:

THE AGED MINER.

[In compliance with the request of a subscriber, we re-publish the following verses, contributed to the GOLDEN ERA a few years ago, by “A Mountain Bard.”]

He stood amidst the crowd,
With his visage wan and old,
With a trumpet voice and loud
He thus his story told;
“Ye miners all, ye weak and strong,
Who to these rivers swiftly throng,
Cast down your tools and fly amain,
To those at home, who cry in vain.
Give up the search, turn back I say,
And ye will bless that happy day.
Three mortal years I’ve roamed, yet look;
Can’t ye read me like a book?
I’m strapped, without a cent,
Let’s pause, my grief has found its vent.
On the hills, by the plains, they lie,
Prostrate and ill, they seek to die —
Little they reck or care for life,
To combat in a useless strife.
Hope deferred — indeed my friends —
My wife to me a letter sends —
She, trustful, hoped for happier days,
But who on earth can read God’s ways?
No more to me — two girls as fair
As the angles are, with golden hair,
They me blessed — a soothing balm
That o’er my bosom shed a calm.
I dreamed a spirit stood nigh me,
A glorious light around its brow;
Softly a voice said ‘come to me,
Where the living waters flow.'”
Thus spoke that care-worn man,
With voice so loud and clear,
The evening breeze his cheeks did fan,
The miners all did shake with fear —
Strangely sat fear upon their hearts,
Conscience loud smote in their breasts —
Guilt on their faces as each one starts,
At that old man’s behests —
They pressed around — besought his stay —
In vain, his thoughts were far away —
“My steps lie on the mountain top,
I cannot rest, I cannot stop.”
They watched him up the steep ascent,
And wondered whither he went.
News came — “beneath a stunted tree
A dead man lay” — the soul was free.

The Golden Era – May 11, 1862

I don’t know if Imogene was just a popular woman’s name that was used during this time period, but I ran across several items in The Golden Era newspaper, all humorous, in which Imogene was used.

A LETTER FROM CALIFORNIA.

BY PLUCK MARRIOT.

You needn’t expect for sometime yet
To see me come home, Imogene;
Nor need you frown and think I forget,
Nor turn to your sister, Jane and say
“How Pluck has changed since he went away
From his ‘sweet little Imogene.'”

You know I promised, when last we met
At the parlor door, Imogene,
I’d stay here a year, perhaps, and get,
What gold I could pack with a dozen men,
And come with it all back home again
To live with and wed Imogene.

But the hills are not all great lumps of gold,
As we pictured them, Imogene,
Nor do I find as we thought of old,
That all the sand in the creeks is bright,
Nor all men happy as once they might
Have lived with their dear Imogene.

My hand’s so stiff I can scarcely write
A letter to you, Imogene
For I work these days with all my might,
Yet I cannot tell as the months glide on,
How many more years I shall be gone
From my sweet little Imogene.

For the times are hard, and snows so deep,
Up here in the mines, Imogene,
And I’m often tempted to stop and weep,
For thinking how blind the future is —
But then my labor becomes a bliss
When I think of my Imogene.

Tell mother my health is very fair,
And kiss her for me, Imogene;
Don’t tell how hard winters are —
You know she’ll fret, its always her way —
But tell her I’ll surely come some day,
To live with you both, Imogene.

The Golden Era – Jun 15, 1862

LETTER FROM CARRIE.

DEAR ERA:– You can’t tell how tickled I was to see my letter printed. It looked so curious to see all I had written spelled out in types. I took it right to Uncle John and showed it to him, for he had laughed at me when I sent the letter to you and said you would only stuff it into that tall basket by your table. Well, uncle read it all over and said I might just as well have sent the kiss to you as to Cousin Charlie, as you were a better looking youth. By the way, Charlie wrote me a letter, last Tuesday, and he want me to tell you for him that you were very much mistaken in ascribing the authorship of the poetry “California” to any other person than himself. He says that he was the original author, and that he composed the verses one night when he was going after the cows. He says, moreover, that you have not printed a correct copy as he wrote it. He sends a copy that he says is all right and wants you to notify all of your readers of the fact. It runs as thus:

CALIFORNY.

Thar’s a right smart streak of timber land
That runs down to the shore,
Whar nater’s poured out everthing
That a white man wants and more.
Yes, jest actooally piled up good things over a man’s head till
He cries out, “Easy, Lord.”

In Autumn comes the honest miner down,
With every cent he’s made thoughout the year,
Straight from his far off mountain-crested home,
To spend for Concert Girls and German Lager Beer
The hard earned eagles his heart had once held dear.

We have here, too, our splendid Golden Gate;
(I spose it’s splendid, ’cause folks say it is,
But it’s really not exactly to my taste,
And I think I’ve had a fair look at its phiz
From plunger’s keel when great big storm had riz.)

Yes, here we stand beside the ragin’ main,
To guard our town from visionary foe;
We’ve got our Monitor, I reckon, where its plain
It’s safe from French or Peter Donohoe —
She fears not now the mildest storm that blows.

I was just going to apologise for not writing last week, but I see you crowded out that interesting department of “Answers to Correspondents” in last Sunday’s paper, and I wont say a word about it.

Yours, till — next week.
CARRIE

The Golden Era – Jan 24, 1864

Mining Life.

“Rural Betts,” writing from Josephine county, Oregon, to the editor of Harper’s Weekly, sends some extracts from a poem which he amused himself with writing while living alone and mining in the mountains of Southern Oregon. The following is his picture:

Back to his lonely camp at close of day
The luckless miner wends his weary way,
In pensive study where on earth to make
Another raise, a small provision stake.
Uncombed, unwashed, unshaven, and unshorn,
His clothes in strips by chaparral are torn;
Toes peeping from his boots, and battered hat,
Tired, wet, and weary as a drowned rat.
How changed from him we in the city knew,
In stove-pipe beaver and a long-tailed blue,
Cigar in mouth, and carpet-sack in hand,
By steamer bound to California land.
His store of wood collected for the night,
To dry his clothes, and cook his little bite;
A broken shovel fries his meat, and bakes
A hasty mixture of unleavened cakes;
An oyster-can for tea pot will suffice,
And pine or fur leaves Hyson’s place supplies.
His supper over, he improves a chance
To patch with flour sacks his demolished pants.
In musing mood he listens to the sound
Of night winds moaning in the woods around;
The mountain wolf or cougar’s long howl,
The shrill coyote and the hooting owl;
While as he plied his busy task, thus ran
The meditations of the lonely man.

Of which “meditations,” says the editor, we have only space to give eight concluding lines, which certainly imply that there may be disadvantages connected even with gold digging:

Poor as the Prodigal who fed with swine,
His dimes all spent in rioting and wine,
Chased by misfortune over hill and dale
Like a stray dog with a tin-pail as his tail;
Too poor to leave, and out of luck to stay,
The chance is small to ever get away;
Thus thousands live, exposed to all the ills
That luckless miners suffer in the hills.

The Golden Era – Jan 22, 1865

*****

NOTE: Most of the images are cropped from the following book:

HUNTING FOR GOLD: reminisences [sic] of personal experience and research in the early days of the Pacific coast from Alaska to Panama.                                                                    by William Downie – 1893 (Google book LINK)

Poetry in Advertising

November 9, 2009

 

Hark! hark! ’tis SOZODONT I cry
Haste youths, and maidens, come and buy.
Come and a secret I’ll unfold,
At small expense to young and old.
A charm that will on both bestow
A ruby lip, and teeth like snow.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Jun 25, 1884

*****

Hie, lads and lassies hie away
Nor brook a single hour’s delay,
If you would carry in your mouth
White teeth, and odors of the south.
Haste, haste, and buy a single font
Of the unrivalled SOZODONT.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Aug 13, 1882

men shampoo 1893

 

This is the poem, which is hard to read on the above image:

Yes, barber, what you say is true,
I need a number one shampoo,
And came in, as I always do,
Because I can rely on you
To choose pure Ivory Soap, in lieu
Of soaps ol divers form and hue
From use of which such ills ensue.

Well, sir, we barbers suffer too,
From humbug articles, and rue
That we have tried before we knew
Poor toilet frauds to which are due
More scalp-diseases than a few.
I know we are the safer who
Use Ivory Soap for a shampoo.

Carroll Sentinel (Carroll, Iowa) Oct 3, 1893

santa claus soap1890

 

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Jun 11, 1890

 

The Georgia Buggy Co. 39 S. Broad St., 34-36 S. Forsyth St.

In the dead hour of night,
While sleeping with all your might,
The Genii made a sweeping flight,
And took the street cars out of sight.

In this hour of dire distress
The public their indignation express;
You to the courts go for redress
And get a forty-eight hour request.

To our friends we kindly advise,
Let the street cars go in demise,
Buy a vehicle, which is wise,
And show the boss your despise;

If not street cars by the door,
You have carpets on your floor;
To and from work you can go
In a fine vehicle bought low
At the only Georgia Buggy Co.

LAST WEEK the buyers kept us busy from start to finish. Mighty bad weather though for imitators to be left out in the cold. The Georgia Buggy Co.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Mar 8,  1896

 

MEA CULPA!

How sweet to love,
But Oh! how bitter,
To love a gal,
And then not git her!
And know the only
Reason why
Is because you didn’t
The furniture buy
Of Stowers.

203 West Commerce street.

San Antonio Light (San Antonio, Texas) Jul 25, 1897

This one is my favorite:

Machine Poetry.

Dear friends, we are modest, decidedly so,
But sometimes our pen at random will go;
And we now feel inclined to let the thing run,
And write a short notice abounding with fun.

Our neighbors, good fellows, who are all on the track,
Cry “Hurrah for the West!” and never look back;
And not wishing to linger or fall in the rear,
We crave for a moment your poetic ear.

Our scribbling we think resembles the kind
Once written by Homer, the man that was blind;
But only like his in regard to the eyes;
Not at all Homer-like viewed otherwise.

He wrote with gravity, candor and sense;
We write for the purpose of getting the pence;
And if we succeed, and obtain our desire,
We’ll throw down our pen, make our bow, and retire.

The facts of the case we are willing to tell;
We have a few things we are anxious to sell;
And we take this queer way of letting you know
That you don’t save the coppers if by us you go.

Of Superfine Flour we have “piles” upon “piles,”
To supply all our friends for a circuit of miles;
We sell on commission for a profit quite small,
Believe what we say, and give us a call.

Of Sugar we have not a very small “heap,”
Which we are selling quite fast, for we’re selling it cheap.
One dollar will buy eight pounds of the sweet;
And now the dear children may have cookies to eat.

Of Coffee and Spices we have a supply,
That are fine for the palate and nice to the eye;
Ground or unground, roasted or not,
Cinnamon fragrant, and Black Pepper hot.

If Fremont‘s elected, and for it we hope,
For the disappointed ones we’ve plenty of Soap
To cleanse their long faces and banish their tears,
And keep them contented for at least eight years.

Saleratus and Soda, and Teas you may find;
Cream Tartar in packages just to your mind;
Caps,Percussion, by the box, the thousand or more,
You can have whenever you visit our Store.

In the Furniture line we make no pretensions,
But we have some chairs of ample dimensions,
Which are faithfully made and painted nice,
And are offered for sale at a very low price.

Nails, Sash, and Glass we have always on hand,
For those who are building in this glorious land.
Six cents for the Sash, for the Glass four and a half,
And Nails at a price that will make you all laugh.

Do you want Gunpowder, and a little cold Lead,
To finish old Bruin with a ball in his head?
Come along with your shot gun, revolver, and rifle,
And we’ll fill up your horns and ask but a trifle.

We have Salt by the barrel, and Syrup so nice
That if you trade with us once we know you will twice.
Dried Apples we sell to those who like pies,
And Cheese that would dazzle an epicure’s eyes.

Of Nicknacks and Notions, such as Baskets and Matches,
Warm Coats and thick Pants for those who hate patches,
With Mittens and Gloves, and Cotton and Thread,
We have a few left, and a Comb for the head.

And now, kind friend, we propose to retreat
From the stomach and back and come down to the feet;
Just after our measure, our metre, and time,
And give you some sense along with the rhyme.

When Mother Eve in Paradise was staying,
And ‘midst those shady walks and sparkling fountains playing,
‘Tis said that she revolted, (what a shame!)
Then took fig leaves, made aprons of the same,
Ingeniously attempting thus to cover
Herself and guilty man half over.

Banished from Eden’s calm and blest retreat,
She wandered forth with unprotected feet;
To scorching sand her pedals were exposed,
And, grov’ling in the dust, spread out her ten fair toes.
A flaming sword hung o’er those scenes of sacred mirth;
Barefoot and sad she trod the sin-cursed earth.

How long her children wailed and wanted Shoes,
Is no recorded by our homely muse.
One fact is clear: No longer need they weep,
For Boots and Shoes, nice, strong, and cheap,
To suit the foot and please the eye,
We have to sell just when they please to buy.

We keep on a corner where two roads meet,
And when your faces there we greet,
With treatment kind and prudent pay,
We’ll send you smiling on your way.

JAMES & NUDD.
Richland Center, November 3, 1856.

Richland County Observer (Richland, Wisconsin) Nov 18, 1856

*****

CUBA AND CALIFORNIA

Let Stutchfield, Hoyt, and all the rest,
Boast of  their wares the very best,
But if you wish to make a trade,
Call at my shop, where ready made,
And made ‘pon honor, you’ll be sure
To find all kinds of Furniture
Bedsteads — the plan best e’er invented —
On which a man may rest contented.
On which bugs, white, black or yellow,
Fleas, dogs or snakes, ne’er bite a fellow
Its match you ne’er saw in your life,
It opens and shuts just like a knife.
My neighbor says, “If I had tools,
I’d make a few to gull the fools,”
But mine, when tried, you’ll surely find
Will suit a very different mind
Come, get a little wife, young man,
And a bedstead made on my new plan,
You’ll want some Chairs, a Table and Settee,
A Boston for the wife, a Crib for the baby.
My prices, too, so very low,
You’ll wonder why you waited so.
Bring your Lumber, or Cash in hand,
Opposite the Old Whyler Stand.

E.W. JACOBS

Norwalk, Oct. 10, 1849

thompson acrostic

Acrostic Advertising

 

jacob leu stoves

Acrostic Advertising #2

 

The Globe (Atchison, Kansas) Jan 18, 1878

 

Gresham’s Answer to Queen Lil
When I received your cablegram
I thought I sure would faint
For though I often used Parks’ Teas
‘Tis not for your complaint.
I feared that Mrs. G. would think
Wrong about our connection
Till on her dresser there I saw
Parks’ Tea for her complexion.

Sandusky Register (Sandusky, Ohio) Sep 13, 1894

Lieut. Slaughter, Slaughtered

June 22, 2009
Lieut. Slaughter and Wife (Image from www.historylink.org)

Lieut. Slaughter and Wife (Image from http://www.historylink.org)

DEATH OF LIEUT. SLAUGHTER.

From a copy of The Puget Sound Courier we learn that Lieut. WM. A. SLAUGHTER, of the 4th Regiment of Infantry of the U.S. Army, )son of Judge A.B. SLAUGHTER of this place,) was killed near the junction of White and Green rivers, Washington Territory, on the evening of the 4th of December, last.

Capt. Keys, commandant of the Puget Sound district, reports that at a place when Lieut. S. had halted “there was a small log house in which Lieut. Slaughter, Capt. Hewitt, Lieut. Harrison, and Dr. Taylor of the Navy, were conversing together. At about 7 o’clock P.M. of the 4th inst., the Indians fired a volley at the house and through the door. One ball passed between the logs, and through the breast of Lieut. Slaughter. He fell dead without a groan, and without speaking a word. The Indians kept up their fire until about 10 o’clock, killing Corporal Barry, of Company C, 4th Infantry, and Corporal Clarendon of the Steilacoom volunteers, and wounding six other men.”

The Courier says:

Lieut. Slaughter was born in the state of Kentucky, in the year 1827. Early in life he removed with his family to the town of Lafayette, Indiana. In 1844 he entered the Military Academy, and graduated with distinction in 1848.

*     *     *     *     *     *
Soon after graduating, Mr. Slaughter joined the 2d Infantry in California, as Brevet 2d Lieutenant. For a while he served with the escort to the commission for establishing the boundary between the United States and Mexico, and in the spring of 1850, having been promoted to the 4th Infantry, he returned to the United States. He again embarked for the Pacific with the 4th Infantry in 1852, and after being stationed a short time at Fort Vancouver, he was ordered to Fort Steilacoom in February, 1853. From that time till the date of his untimely death, he was constantly on duty in this portion of Washington territory.

In the difficulties which have heretofore disturbed our Indian relations in the neighborhood of Puget Sound, Lieut. Slaughter’s services were often required. His activity and energy, and the alacrity with which he performed his duties, caused him, as a general rule, to be selected as the leader of the expeditions which from time to time were sent to suppress the threatened and actual hostilities of the savages.

Upon the breaking out of the war with the Yakimas, Lieut. Slaughter was ordered, in September last, to cross the mountains with a command of only 40 men. He was shortly recalled, and after joining his 40 men with the force under Captain Maloney, again set out for the Yakima country late in October; before proceeding far, Capt. Maloney was induced to retrace his steps. In the combats with the Indians, on the 3d and 4th of November, on White and Green rivers, Lieut. Slaughter’s conduct and gallantry were such as to win the admiration of all parties, both of regulars and volunteers.

After the conflict on Green river, Lieut. Slaughter was detailed with a separate command. In crossing the Pualylup [Puyallup], over a fallen tree, the two loading men were shot down by Indians ambushed on the other side. As the men fell, Lieut. Slaughter called out to them separately by name, but receiving no answer, he ordered his soldiers to charge across. Two sprang forward, he, himself, following next, and then all rushed over and drove the red skins from their covert.

*     *     *     *     *     *
Lieut. Slaughter was uncommonly successful in his encounters with Indians, and if his life had been spared no estimate too high could be placed on his capacity to chastise these monsters. His appearance was not robust, but he would start out, on foot, in the dress and equipment of a common soldier, with his blanket and provisions on his back, and march all day through rain, mud and frost, and bivouac at night without any complaint of fatigue. Such hardships and deprivations, ordinarily so discouraging to the strongest men, seemed only to enliven his spirits, and inflame his ambition.*

It is supposed he was shot by an Indian boy, once his servant at Fort Steilacoom, towards whom he had always been kind and indulgent. Such is the character of the savage!

*     *     *     *     *     *
The remains of Lieut. Slaughter were consigned to the grave at Fort Steilacoom with Masonic and Military honors.

*     *     *     *     *     *
On the receipt of the intelligence at Olympia, of the death of Lieut. Slaughter, both branches of the legislative assembly adjourned after passing resolutions expressive of their regard for the memory of the deceased.

Richland County Observer (Richland Co., WI) Apr 13, 1856

*     *     *     *     *     *

The White River Valley Museum website had more about Lieut. Willam A. Slaughter and the Treaty Wars and Indian Uprisings.

*     *     *

On the USgenweb.org website, Gary Reese has posted more information about William A. Slaughter.