Posts Tagged ‘1871’

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

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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

Keep a Stiff Upper Lip

November 19, 2011

Image from the T-Cozy blog

Keep a Stiff Upper Lip.

BY PHOEBE CARY.

There has something gone wrong,
My brave boy, it appears,
For I see your proud struggle
To keep back the tears.
That is right. When you cannot
Give trouble the slip,
Then bear it, still keeping
“A stiff upper lip.”

Though you cannot escape
Disappointment and care,
The next best thing to do
Is to learn how to bear.
If when for life’s prizes
You ‘re running, you trip,
Get up, start again —
“Keep a stiff upper lip!”

‘Let your hands and your conscience
Be honest and clean; m
Scorn to touch or to think of
The thing that is mean;
But hold on to the pure
And the right with firm grip,
And though hard be the task,
“Keep a stiff upper lip!”

Through childhood, through manhood,
Through life to the end,
Struggle bravely and stand
By your colors, my friend.
Only yield when you must;
Never “give up the ship,”
But fight on to the last
“With a stiff upper lip.”

The Weekly Citizen (Centerville, Iowa) May 27, 1871

Social Reforms – Equality in Slavery

November 1, 2011

Shall the Names of “Wife” and “Mother” become Obsolete?

THE eloquent Father Hyacinthe offers the following hints to our social reformers of the present day: In the poorer classes there was a time when woman was called wife — mother; they have baptized her now-a-days by a name that does not belong in our language — the work-woman!

The workman I know and honor, but I do not know the workwoman. I am astounded. I am alarmed, whenever I hear this word.

What? This young woman — is toil, unpitying, unintelligent toil, to come bursting in her door early in the morning, to seize her in its two iron fists, and drag her from what ought to be her home and sanctuary to the factory that is withering and consuming her day by day?

What! Is toil — brutal, murderous toil — to kill her children, or at least to snatch them screaming from their cradles and give them over into stranger hands?

And all the time a false philosophy will be lifting its head and shouting, “Equality! equality for man and woman! Equality for the workwoman by the side of the workman!”

Ah! yes, equality in slavery! Or, rather, a profound inequality in slavery and martyrdom.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Jul 2, 1870

Image from the New York Architecture – Gone but not forgotten website

STEWART’S NEW HOME FOR FEMALES.

This immense structure, now in course of erection on Fourth avenue, near Thirty-second street, New York, is fast approaching completion. The building is to be seven stories high, 192 1/2 feet on Fourth avenue, and 205 feet on Thirty-second street and Thirty-third streets respectively. It will cover an area of 41,000 square feet.

The rent to each tenant, it is expected, will be fixed at $1 a week, and food will be furnished on the European plan. A resident can live here for about $2.50 or $3 per week. The establishment is calculated to hold 1,500 persons. The ground floor will be occupied as stores.

The total cost of the structure will be about $3,000,000. This building is intended for the benefit of single women in poor circumstances, such as shop girls, sewing girls, &c.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Oct 15, 1870


A GOOD little girl of the period:

I want to be a voter,
And with the voters stand;
The “man I go for” in my head,
The ballot in my hand.

*******

WOMEN who claim to have been pioneers in the woman’s rights agitation are scarce. The movement was started twenty-two years ago, and they don’t like to admit the necessary age.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Nov 5, 1870

WOMEN’S right and women’s tights, now occupy a deal of public attention.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Jan 21, 1871

Goin’ Buggy

June 15, 2011

Image from the iPhone Wallpaper website.

FLY BITTEN.

Of all the plagues hot Summer brings,
Whether they wear legs or wings,
The little wretch that closest clings,
The thing that most your patience wings,
Is the nasty little fly.

He sticks to your flesh, he hums in your ear,
Is drowned in your milk, your tea, your beer;
You chase him away, in a trice he is here;
No goblin sprite can so quickly appear
As your plaguey, dirty fly.

Volumes of words of objurgation,
Alps on Alps of vituperation,
Alphabets of illiteration.
And hate enough to kill a nation,
For the ugly and useless fly.

They say each creature hath its use;
Not so ! rely on’t ’tis a ruse,
Invented only to confuse,
And take away the sole excuse
To leave on earth one fly!

Why didn’t old Pharaoh make a trade,
And agree, if their ghosts forever were laid,
He’d strike a good bargain as ever was made
And let every Israelite, man or maid,
Go, to rid earth of the fly!

Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Apr 29, 1871

Image from Ennirol on Flickr

MUSICAL INSECTS.

The Notes Produced by the House-Fly the Bee and the Mosquito.

Poets have frequently alluded to the “busy hum of insect life,” and its harmonious murmur adds a dreamy charm to summer’s golden days. Naturalists have afforded us much interesting information as to the means whereby these tiny morsels of creation produce distinctive sounds, and musicians have succeeded in transferring to paper the actual notes to which they give utterance. The song of birds has been often utilized by musicians, even Beethoven having so far pandered to a taste for realism as to simulate (and that in masterly fashion) the utterances of the quail, cuckoo and nightingale in his Pastoral Symphony [YouTube link]. Mendelssohn, too, has idealized insect life in his “Midsummer Night’s Dream”   [YouTube link]   music.

From researches recently made it has been discovered that the cricket’s chant consists of a perpetually-recurring series of triplets in B natural, whereas the “death watch” a series of B flats duple rhythm extending over one measure and an eighth. The female indulges in precisely the same musical outbursts one minor third lower. The whirr of the locust is produced by the action of muscles set in motion by the insect when drawing air into its breathing holes, and which contract and relax alternately a pair of drums formed of convex pieces of parchment-like skin lodged in cavities of the body.

The male grasshopper is an “animated fiddle.” Its long and narrow wings placed obliquely meet at the upper edges and form a roof-like covering. On each side of the body is a deep incision covered with a thin piece of tightly drawn skin, the two forming natural “sounding boards.” When the insect desires to exercise its musical functions, it bends the shank of one hind leg behind the thigh, and then draws the leg backward and forward across the edges and veins of the wing cover. The sound produced by the motion of its wings, the vibrations of which amount, incredible as it may appear, to nearly twenty thousand in the minute. The actual note heard is F.

The honey bee, with half the number of vibrations, causes by similar means a sound one octave lower, and the ponderous flight of the May bug originates a note an octave lower than the bee. It is interesting to add that the popular mosquito is responsible for the production of A-natural when wooing her victim in the otherwise silent watches of the summer night. — Boston Musical Herald.

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) Jun 20, 1889

Image from www.ponderstorm.com

GRASSHOPPER GREEN.

Grasshopper Green is a comical chap,
He lives on the best of fare;
Bright little jacket and trousers and cap,
These are his summer wear.
Out in the meadow he loves to go,
Playing away in the sun,
It’s hopperty, skipperty, high and low,
Summer’s the time for fun.

Grasshopper Green has a dozen wee boys,
And as soon as their legs grow strong,
Each of them joins in his frolicsome joys,
Singing his merry song.
Under the hedge in  a happy row,
Soon as the day is begun,
It’s hopperty, skipperty, high and low,
Summer’s the time for fun.

Grasshopper Green has a quaint little house,
It’s under the hedge so gay,
Grandmother Spider, as still as a mouse,
Watches him over the way.
Gladly he’s calling the children, I know,
Out in the beautiful sun.
It’s hopperty, skipperty, high and low,
Summer’s the time for fun.

–Anonymous.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Jun 28, 1900

Image from Rabbit Runn Designs website

A LITTLE INCIDENT.

The air is still, the sky is bright,
Clear flows the shining river,
Yet all around the hills are white —
The sunbeams seem to shiver.

‘Tis winter, wearing summer’s smile
And aping summer’s gladness,
Like human faces, smiling while
The heart is full of sadness.

Now from its hive creeps forth a bee,
Lured by the treacherous brightness;
It spreads its wings as if to see
They still had strength and lightness.

Away it flies, with noisy hum,
To seek a field of clover.
Poor insect; while all nature’s dumb,
A worker, though a rover.

A cloud has drifted o’er the sun,
Its radiance all obscuring,
And through the air a chill has run,
A touch of frost ensuring.

The bee has fallen, cold and dead,
Again, its wings will never
Fold o’er the purple clover’s head;
Hushed is its hum forever.

Weekly Reno Gazette (Reno, Nevada) Feb 19, 1880

Oh! the June bug’s wings are made of gauze,
The lightning bug’s of flame —
Ben Harrison has no wings at all,
But he’ll get “thar” all the same.

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) Aug 29, 1888

Firefly from The Lonely Firefly Literature Lesson

Two Irishmen, just landed in America, were encamped on the open plain. In the evening they retired to rest, and were soon attacked by swarms of mosquitoes.

They took refuge under the bed clothes. At last one of them ventured to peep out, and seeing a firefly, exclaimed in tones of terror:

“Mickey, it’s no use; there’s one of the craythers searchin’ for us wid a lantern.”

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) May 22, 1897

A Mosquito’s Meditation.

“Did anybody ever see such an ungrateful wretch?” sang a Mosquito, who had been vocalizing to the best of her ability for a good half-hour for the sole benefit of the Man who lay in his bed.

“Here I’ve been trying my best to entertain this ingrate with my choicest selections, and all the thanks I get is a cuff on the ear. Why doesn’t the fool lie still? If he had any music in his soul, he’d soon be wafted into dreamland. But, no; he must toss his arms about like a windmill — Ah! you didn’t do it that time, old fellow!

I’ll pay you for that by-and-by. You need bleeding badly, my friend; you’re in a dreadfully feverish condition. And yet, it is almost too good of me to doctor you for nothing. Where would you find any of your men-physicians who would treat you without charging you a heavy fee?

Hark! He’s snoring, as I’m alive!

Now, old chappie, I’ll have my supper.”

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) Jan 30, 1885

Where No Irish Need Apply

March 17, 2011

Image from the Food @ Hunters Hill website.

Hurray for the Irish!

The other day we tossed a scallion to an Irish-owned Employment Agency on 6th Avenue because it posted a sign reading: “No Irish Need Apply.”

Now comes a reminder from William Kenny of East Haven, Conn., who says that this is taken from an old Dean Swift quotation. Swift saw the same sign on a factory — No Irish Need Apply!

So he took out his pencil and under that sign be swiftied: “Who ever wrote this wrote it well, For the same is written on the Gates of Hell!”

Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Mar 23, 1932

Image from the Lehman College website.

The New York Sun supplies the following ingenious explanation of the origin of the expression, “No Irish need apply.” “The words for a time were common in advertisements of servants wanted. The story is that Dean Swift and his Irish servant were travelling near Cork and reached that city, then governed by some Englishman. He had fastened a sign on the gates to the effect that Irishmen would not be admitted. The dean passed in, Patrick was left outside. He saw this sign, and presently added this couplet:

“”‘Whoever wrote this, wrote it well,
For the same is written on the gates of hell.'”

Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) Feb 23, 1896

A girl, presenting herself for a situations, at a house “where no Irish need apply,” in answer to the question where she came from, said: “Shure, couldn’t you persave by me accint that it’s Frinch I am?”

Decatur Republican (Decatur, Illinois) Feb 25, 1869

DURING a recent engagement of Mr. and Mrs. Barney Williams in Philadelphia, a woman, with an infant, attended one of the performances. The baby kept up an incessant cry. At the end of the play, Mr. Williams was called before the curtain. The baby was bawling lustily. Mr. Williams looked around for a moment then said:

“Shure there’s a nurse wanted.”

A roar of laughter followed. When the mirth had subsided, the woman with the infant arose and replied:

“No Irish need apply.”

There was a tremendous burst of applause, amid which the woman, with the musical baby, triumphantly retired.

Decatur Review (Decatur, Illinois) May 25, 1871

New York Daily Times – Mar 25, 1854

The New York Times – May 10, 1859

The Daily Republican -(Illinois) – May 7, 1873

The Ohio Democrat – May 10, 1883

“No Irish Need Apply.”

Editors Morning Herald.

In running my eye over your list of local news items April 1st, my attention was particularly attracted by an advertisement for the respectable and responsible position of “maid of all work” with the qualifying (but not obsolete) phrase “no Irish need apply.” The advertiser did well to add this last phrase, lest all the Irish in the city might apply together, as the position was too good to miss it there would be a rush sure of the “wild Irish.”

I fear the advertisers have outlived their time, as Irish-phobia and Knownothingism are dead and buried so deep as to be past resurrection. I am told the same phrase, “no Irish need apply,” is posted on the doors and gates of the nether world, as well as on some of their facsimiles on terra firma. The occupants of the house referred to must be sleeping, or out of the country, for the last ten or eleven years, as during that time their fell of bigotry toward the Irish was crushed out and Irish have held positions of trust and danger from the time the first gun was fired on Fort Sumpter down to the present date. In conclusion my Irish friends are better off without such anglicised bigots for employers.

Yours, &c,
“IRISH”

Titusville Morning Herald (Titusville, Pennsylvania) Apr 2, 1872

“Dennis, my boy,” said a schoolmaster to his Hibernian pupil, “I fear I shall make nothing of you — you’ve no application.”

“An’ sure enough, sir,” said the quick-witted lad, “Isn’t myself that’s always been tould there is no occasion for it? Don’t I seen every day in the newspapers that ‘No Irish need apply,’ at all at all?”

The Fitchburg Sentinel (Fitchburg, Massachusetts) Aug 18, 1883

IT will be noticed that our city government is a regular knownothing concern. The first year of the present administration the Irish and Germans were recognized, in a small way, and even Johnny Bull got a small slice, but the second year every foreign born citizen was bounced. Not only has the promise to “take care” of the men who like a glass of beer been violated, but the men who were largely instrumental in the election of the republican city ticket aer not now recognized in the appointments. No Dutch or Irish need apply, except to shovel on the streets.

Decatur Morning Review (Decatur, Illinois) Jul 15, 1884

“No Irish Need Apply.”

TO THE EXPRESS: — An unknown poetic friend sends me the following stirring poem. It deserves circulation, and will be read with pride by all lovers of distressed Erin — the laurel-twined isle, so ignobly oppressed that station comes not till at treason’s behest:

J.N. GALLAGHER.

Shame on the lips that utter it, shame on the hands that write;
Shame on the page that publishes such slander to the light.
I feel my blood with lightning speed through all my being fly
At the old taunt, forever new —
No Irish need apply!

Are not our hands as stout and strong, our hearts as warm and true
As theirs who fling this mock at us to cheat us of our due?
While ‘neath our feet God’s earth stands firm and ‘bove us hangs his sky,
Where there is honor to be won —
The Irish need apply!

Oh! have not glorious things been done by Irish hearts and hands?
Are not her deeds emplazoned over many seas and lands?
There may be tears on Ireland’s cheek, but still her heart beats high,
And where there’s valor to be shown —
The Irish need apply!

Wherever noble thoughts are nurs’d and noble words are said,
Wherever patient faith endures, where hope itself seems dead,
Wherever wit and genius reign, and heroes tower high,
Wherever manly toil prevails —
The Irish will apply!

Wherever woman’s love is pure as soft, unsullied snow,
Wherever woman’s cheek at tales of injury will glow,
Wherever pitying tears are shed, and breathed is feeling’s sigh,
Wherever kindliness is sought —
The Irish need apply!

If there is aught of tenderness, If there is aught of worth,
If there’s a trace of heaven left upon our sinful earth;
If there are noble, steadfast hearts that uncomplaining die
To tread like them life’s thorny road —
The Irish will apply!

Till on Killarney’s waters blue the soft stars cease to shine,
Till round the parent oak no more the ivy loves to twine.
Till Nephin topples from his place and Shannon’s stream runs dry,
For all that’s great and good and pure —
The Irish will apply!

F.R.H.

San Antonio Daily Express (San Antonio, Texas) Aug 26, 1886

The defeat of John W. Corcoran for lieutenant governor, and the putting aside of Owen A. Galvin as a mayoralty candidate, may be regarded by the Irish-American voters as a notification from the mugwumps that when it comes to offices “no Irish need apply.” — {Boston Traveller.

The Fitchburg Sentinel (Fitchburg, Massachusetts) Nov 14, 1890

Mrs. Noshape — There, you careless creature, you have dropped that beautiful statue of Venus and Broken it all to pieces.

Bridget — Well, mum, you ought to be glad av it. Sized up alongside of Vaynus your figure was at considerable disadvantage.

And no Mrs. Noshape has advertised for a new servant that is respectful and well-behaved. No Irish need apply.

— Texas Siftings.

The Stevens Point Gazette (Stevens Point, Wisconsin) Jun 12, 1895

Image from the Parlor Songs website, and includes an interesting article about the Irish Immigrants and the song.

FAIR ENOUGH By Westbrook Pegler

[excerpt]
Hated Like Present Jew Refugees

The Irish refugees of those days, men and women of the same faith and stock from which Father Coughlin himself has sprung, were hated like the Jewish refugees of the present. Election frauds and immigration frauds were bitterly resented by the native Americans as politicians exploited the greenhorns to thwart native proposals and defeat their tickets at the polls.

The immigrants were untidy, disorderly and troublesome, speaking in general terms. So, even as late as the turn of the century, a music hall song, possibly one of Harrigan and Hart’s, sounded the refrain, “And they were Irish, and they were Irish, and yet they say ‘no Irish need apply’.”

This referred to the virtues of Irish heroes and to the open prejudice against the Irish expressed in the employment ads in American cities.

The bill against the Irish and, of course, the Catholics — for they were almost all Catholic — also accused them of carrying into their new life here their active hatred of a foreign nation with which this country was on friendly terms. It was argued that immigrants who took citizenship here had no right to imperil the life of their new country by activities which might involve the United States in a war with Great Britain.

Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Feb 25, 1939

The Old Pennsylvania Farmer

January 11, 2011

Bayard Taylor home – Cedarcroft, in Chester County,  Pennsylvania

The Old Pennsylvania Farmer.

BY BAYARD TAYLOR.

I don’t half live, penned up in-doors; a stove’s not like the sun,
When I can’t see how things go on, I fear they’re badly done;
I might have farmed till now, I think — one’s family is so queer —
As if a man can’t oversee who’s in his eightieth year.

Father, I mind, was was eighty-five before he gave up his,
But he wasn’t dim of sight and crippled with the rheumatiz.
I followed in his old, steady way, so he was satisfied,
But Reuben likes new-fangled things and ways I can’t abide.

I’m glad I built this southern porch, my chair seems easier here;
I haven’t seen as fine a spring this vie and twenty year!
And how the time goes round so quick — a week I would have sworn,
Since they were husking on the flat, and now they’re hoeing corn.

When I was young, time had for me a lazy ox’s pace,
But now it’s like a blooded horse, that means to win the race,
And yet I can’t fill out my days, I tire myself with naught;
I’d rather use my legs and hands than plague my head with thought.

If father lived, I’d like to know what he would say to these
New notions of the young men, who farm with chemistries;
There’s different stock and other grass, there’s patent plow and cart —
Five hundred dollars for a bull! It would have broke his heart.

They think I have an easy time, no need to worry now,
Sit in the porch all day and watch them mow, and sow and plow;
Sleep in the summer in the shade, in winter in the sun,
I’d rather do the thing myself, and know just how it’s done.

Well — I suppose I’m old, and yet, ’tis not so long ago
When Reuben spread the swath to dry, and Jesse learned to mow,
And William raked, and Israel hoed, and Joseph pitched with me;
But such a man as I was then, my boys will never be!

I don’t mind William’s hankering for lectures and for books;
He never had a farming knack — you’d see it in his looks;
But handsome is that handsome does, and he is well to do;
‘Twould ease my mind if I could say the same of Jesse too!

There’s one black sheep in every flock, so there must be in mine,
But I was wrong the second time his bond to undersign;
It’s less than what his shares will be — but there’s the interest!
In two years more I might have had two thousand to invest.

There’s no use thinking of it now, and yet it makes me sore;
The way I’ve saved and saved, I ought to count a little more.
I never lost a foot of land, and that’s a comfort sure,
And if they do not call me rich, they cannot call me poor.

Well, well, then thousand times I’ve thought the things I’m thinking now;
I’ve thought them in the harvest-field and in the clover mow.
And sometimes I get tired of them, and wish I’d something new —
But this is all I’ve seen and known, so what’s a man to do?

‘Tis like my time is nearly out, of that I’m not afraid —
I’ve never cheated any man, and all my debts are paid.
They call it rest that we shall have, but work would do no harm;
There can’t be rivers there and fields, without some kind of farm!

Morning Oregonian (Portland, Oregon) Jul 5, 1871

A longer version of the poem can be found in the following book:

Title: Home Ballads
Author: Bayard Taylor
Publisher: Houghton, Mifflin and company, 1882
[Original copyright – 1875]
Pages 55-61

You Say Korea, They Say Corea

October 7, 2010

Corea – Korea: How do we spell thee?

In the 1870s,  it was spelled COREA.

EXPEDITION TO COREA.

A New York special of the 31st inst., says: The frigate Colorado, and the corvettes Alaska and Benicia, ordered to the Asiatic squadron, have been equipped with an extra supply of howitzers and regulation rifles and pistols for the special purpose of punishing the natives of Corea and Formossa for their depredations on American shipping. The English, French, American, Dutch and Russian squadrons will unite in an expedition which will land five or six thousand men to attack the principal cities in Corea and bring the authorities to terms.

Galveston Daily News (Galvestion, Texas) Apr 8, 1870

 

NEWS BY MAIL.
DOMESTIC.

WASHINGTON, June 16. — A Cabinet meeting was held to-day, at which Secretary Robeson read a dispatch from Admiral Rodgers, commander of the Asiatic squadron, giving an account of the fight between the Chinese on the Corea peninsula and the combined forces of Americans and Europeans connected with the squadrons in these waters. Although the dispatch has not yet been made public, it is understood that Admiral Rodgers was conveying to Corea a number of Coreans whom he had rescued from shipwreck, intending to illustrate the friendship of civilized nations as contrasted  with the acts  of the Coreans, who not long ago murdered a French crew wrecked on that coast. The boats’ crews from the French, English, Russian and American vessels on this mission were fired upon by the Chinese, who probably were not aware of the object of the expedition. A fight ensued, in which the Chinese were punished, and Admiral Rodgers intimates that the conflict would be renewed next day.

The dispatch from Admiral Rodgers, of which the following is the substance, was received at the Navy Department and dated at Borsee Island, Corea, June 3, and sent from Shang hai:

Our minister and the Corean Envoys exchanged professions of amicable intentions. The Coreans made no objection to a survey of their waters. The Monocacy, Palos and four steam launches, under Commander Blaker, were sent on June 1st to examine the river Sable at a point called Difficult Passage on French chart No.2750. At a point where the navigation was most perilous, masked batteries, manned by several thousand Coreans, were unmasked and opened a heavy fire, without warning, on our people. The French ship in advance fought gallantly, our vessels bearing up drove the enemy from their works. The tide swept all the boats past the batteries. They anchored and threw shells among the retreating enemy. Eight-inch shells were evidently not expected.

The Monocacy was slightly injured by knocking upon a sunken rock, but is now temporarily repaired. The vessels on returning received no fire, the enemy having been driven from the forts. Our people displayed great gallantry, and one or two were slightly hurt.

Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) Jun 23, 1871

 

 

 

SPECK OF WAR.

The rencontre between the French and English squadrons on the one side, and the Coreans on the other, will probably teach the “Heathen Chinee” that both nations have a good deal of fight left in them.

The Coreans are a treacherous, false-hearted race. By profession pirates on the sea and assassins on the land.

Corea is a narrow strip of land on the northeast coast of Asia, jutting out into the water for a distance of four hundred miles. It separates the Yellow Sea from the Sea of Japan. Its coast is rugged and dangerous. Many vessels are annually wrecked thereon, and their crews are frequently murdered. With a view to lessening the dangers of the navigation, Christian nations have engaged in the survey of these coasts, with the consent of the Corean Government. As the squadrons entered the river Sable in the pursuit of this object, they were fired on from masked batteries. Of course they replied in a manner that sent the Celestials howling inland.

Corea is tributary to China. In fact, its relation to China is similar to that of Canada to England. The standing army amounts to half a million.

Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) Jun 28, 1871

 

 

THE COREAN EXPEDITION — THE SECOND FIGHT.

NEW YORK, August 22. – The mails bring details of the second fight in Corea.

It appears that on the morning of June 10 the expedition started from the fleet. It consisted of about nine hundred men, of which seven hundred, including one hundred and five marines, were to operate on land, four hundred and twenty-five from the Colorado, and one hundred and twenty-five each from the Alaska and Benicia, all the crew of the Monterey and Palos being required to work the guns on board. The Monocacy took the lead, followed by the Palos, with all the smaller boats in tow, except the steam launches.

The main object of the attack is built on top of a small conical hill on a tongue of land that projects from the right and west bank of the river, and extending out into the water about half a mile. Its average width from north to south is about 400 years. The river makes a sharp bend around the points of this peninsula, and during the rise and fall of the tide the water rushes past it with fearful rapidity. About 300 years from the extreme point of this small conical hill arises about three hundred feet high.

The Coreans have fortified this in such a manner, that looking from the water the walls of the fort appear but a continuation of the extrusion upward of the steep sides, only approaching more nearly to a perpendicular, the sides of the hill forming an angle of about forty-five degrees with the horizon, and the fort so built on top as to occupy a whole level space of almost eighty feet in diameter, leaving no level ground.

Outside of the parapet wall the ground between this and the water’s edge is very rough, steep and rocky, and difficult for military operations. The Coreans had a water battery of twenty-four and thirty-two pounders, and a small old brass piece, commanding the channel past this point, and protecting the approaches to the fort from the water on the front. As this was the grand object of the attack it was determined to land several miles below and take it in the rear.

Accordingly, when the boats reached the first fort, about two miles below the point above mentioned, the Monocacy and Palos opened fire on it with vigor, but the Palos, unfortunately running on a rock, was held fast there, and her effectiveness impaired for a while. The Monocacy’s fire continued, silencing the fort and driving in its defenders, and under cover of this fire, the smaller boats which had been towed up by the Palos, cast off and rowed rapidly to the beach and landed a portion of the force designated to operate by land. The landing was effected in good order, and without difficulty, but the men had then to toil through some 200 years of mud, from one to two feet deep, and over sluices, in some parts much deeper, before reaching good firm dry land.

This done, the first fort was easily occupied, its defenders having been silenced by the fire from the Monocacy and Palos, and retreated on the approach of the skirmish line of marines, who were thrown out in advance of the attacking party, firing a few harmless shots as they fled. Night now coming on, the whole land force bivouacked till next morning, posting strong guards in advance.

On Sunday, the 11th inst., the whole expedition moved forward on the next fort, and took it without resistance. They then extended their line across the peninsula and advanced on the main fort, called by the French Fort de Condeoff (Fort of the Elbouaf,) from its being located in the bend or elbow of the river. This being a place of great strength, and the way of approach rough and difficult, some time was necessary to get the whole force up into position, when the order was given to charge.

About half-past 10 o’clock our whole line went with a rush and yell, which was responded to by the death-wail or war-whoop of the Coreans in the fort. The Coreans here made a firm stand and desperate resistance, firing their clumsy gongals with great coolness and deliberation at our men as they charged up the hill, then fighting hand to hand with long spears and swords.

When the fort had been stormed, and our men were inside the ramparts, Lieut. McKee, of Kentucky, who led the charge into the fort, was the first to enter, and fell, fighting bravely, being overwhelmed by superior numbers. Two hundred and forty-three dead Coreans were found in the fort, and several prisoners taken, among whom was the Deputy Commander-in-Chief, who was wounded.

Our own loss was Lieut. Hugh McKee, Seth Allen, ordinary seaman, of the Colorado, and private Houlahan, of the marine corps, killed. Seven were wounded, including Passed Assistant Surgeon, C.J.S. Wells, of the Colorado.

After the capture the destruction of the forts was immediately begun; the houses were fired, the works and guns destroyed and the magazines exploded.

The land force encamped in the neighborhood of the fort on the night of the 11th, and early next morning took up their line of march to the fleet, the object of the expedition having been fulfilled, namely, avenging the insult to the American flag on the 1st of June.

Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) Aug 26, 1871

**********

JAPAN.

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 7. — The steamship China brings Yokohoma (Japan) dates to October 14th. The murderer of Mr. Haberth, the North German Consul, was beheaded on the 26th of September, and the government of Corea has promised to send to Japan the heads of all persons implicated in the insult to the Japanese the government.

Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) Nov 8, 1874

**********

Fast forward to the 1880s, and things become muddled:

 

Daily Northwestern - Feb 20, 1885

 

Newspapers use both Corea and Korea… in the same articles!

 

Galveston Daily News - Apr 2, 1886

 

In 1891 we have new rules for spelling geographical names:

By a recent decision of the United States board f geographic names the letter “c.” whenever it has the sound of “k,” must be replaced by “k.” For instance, Congo must be spelled “Kongo,” and Corea becomes “Korea.” When we come square down to fact there is really no use for the letter “c” in the English language anyhow. It has no independent sound of its own. Give it the soft sound, as in “society,” and it steals the work of the letter “s.” Pronounce it hard, as in “Columbia,” and here it steals the sound of “k.” Why not abolish it altogether, and let young America have one less letter to learn?

The Daily News (Frederick, Maryland) Aug 5, 1891

**********

Let’s see how well the papers adhere to the new spelling rules:

THE real ruler of Korea is said to be the premier, whose name is Min Yung Jun. According to all accounts he must be the “boss” premier. A few years ago he was worth practically nothing, and now at the age of forty he is a millionaire, rides about town in a chair, seated on a leopard skin, accompanied by hundreds of cheering followers and nimble-footed dancing girls, and has a home containing scores of rooms. The “boss” does not seem to be confined to American politics.

Adams County Free Press (Corning, Iowa) Sep 27, 1894

**********

So far so good……….oops!

 

Nebraska State Journal - Jan 15, 1898

 

London appears to be a real spelling rebel, or maybe they just didn’t get the memo:

 

Lima News - Sep 15, 1898

 

Hmmm…copycat crime in Michigan?

Conspirators Are Hanged.

A dispatch from Seoul, Corea, says that Kim Hong Nuik and two other men who were the leaders of a conspiracy to poison the Emperor of Corea, were hanged. The populace secured the bodies of the conspirators, dragged them through the streets and mutilated them.

Bessemer Herald (Bessemer, Michigan) Oct 22, 1898

**********

Almost everywhere else, they seem to be playing it safe:

 

Daily Northwestern - Mar 31, 1900

 

Wisconsin

 

Nebraska State Journal - Jul 19, 1900

 

Nebraska

 

Atlanta Constitution - Mar 14, 1902

 

Georgia

 

Daily Review - May 31, 1902

 

Illinois

 

Atalanta Constitution - Sep 25, 1902

 

Massachusetts continues to defy Uncle Sam:

OPEN MARKET ASKED OF COREA.

Seoul, Corea, Dec. 5. — United States Minister Allen had a long interview with the emperor of Corea today on the subject of the request of the United States for the opening to the commerce of the world by Corea of Wiju on Yalu river. No definite decision was reached. The government is placed in a dilemma by the request of the United States.

The Fitchburg Sentinel (Fitchburg, Massachusetts) Dec 5, 1903

 

Reno Evening Gazette 0 Dec 26, 1903

 

Above are two articles printed side by side. The one coming out of Washington uses a “K,” while the one from Paris uses a “C.”

 

 

The Daily Northwestern Dec 28, 1903

 

My theory was going to be that the foreign papers continued to use  Corea, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. They seem just as confused as the American papers.

 

Reno Evening Gazette - Jan 14, 1904

 

The map below uses the  COREA spelling:

 

Richwood Gazette - Jan 21, 1904

 

Uncle Sam seems to notice not everyone is playing along. He makes another attempt to spell it out for us:

 

 

Washington Post - Jul 17, 1904

 

 

 

Washington Post - Jul 17, 1904

 

The prime object is to secure uniformity in the spelling of geographical names in all government publications. A board sitting in Washington takes up all place-names of more than one form that may be submitted to it, applies to them a code of rules formulated for the purpose, and then votes on the forms suggested by the members. The form receiving a majority vote becomes the official one, and, under the act of Congress creating the board, will thereafter be used in all government publications, including maps. to effect the desired reform, the board proceeds under the following rules:

1. The avoidance, so far as it seems practicable, of the possessive form of names.

2. The dropping of he final “h” in the termination “burgh.”

3. The abbreviation of “borough” to “boro.”

4. The spelling of the word “center” as here given.

5. The discontinuance of the use of hyphens in connecting parts of names.

6. The omission, wherever practicable, of the letters “C R” (Court House) after the names of county seats.

7. The simplification of names consisting of more than one word by their combination into one word.

8. The avoidance of the use of diacritic characters.

9. The dropping of the words “city” and “town” as parts of names.
…..

Washington Post, The (Washington, D.C.) Jul 17, 1904

 

Bessemer Herald - Sep 16, 1905

 

TITLES COMMAND PRICE IN MARRIAGE MARKET

ONE EXCEPTION.
There is one conspicuous exception, in the case of the wife of the heir apparent to the throne of Corea, who is an American girl, Emily Brown, daughter of a Presbyterian missionary from Wisconsin, long resident in that country. She brought practically no dowry to her royal husband.

Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) Dec 28, 1905

 

Sheboygan Press - Jan 29, 1927

 

Old habits die hard:

 

Sheboygan Press - Jul 23, 1928

 

At The Marmot’s Hole, Robert Neff has a post wondering who is responsible for the spelling change: Corea or Korea – who is responsible? He includes links to other articles discussing the same topic.

Using the two spellings wasn’t unique to articles about Corea – Korea. Newspapers had the same problem with Pittsburgh and Galveston.

The Great Grasshopper Raid

August 24, 2010

A variety of grasshopper plague related news spanning from 1819 through 1948, some of it reporting on the devastation, some explaining the methods used to try to limit the damage, mixed in with quite a bit of grasshopper humor that was published as well.

The Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) Sep 1, 1819

GRASSHOPPERS. — In the Southern and Western portions of this State the grasshoppers are doing considerable damage, already, to the crops, and the people are becoming discouraged with the present prospects. A gentleman from the Southwestern part of the State, informs us that the ground is completely covered with them, and still they come, not by the “hundred thousand more,” but by the millions. Emigration of this kind is not desired in Iowa.

Cedar Falls Gazette (Cedar Falls, Iowa) May 29 1868

Grasshoppers in the West.

EDITOR GAZETTE. — The old saying that “pestilence and famine follow war” is likely to be verified in our own country from present appearances on our Western frontier. I refer to the grasshopper plague, which is becoming a sad reality, as many of the farmers of Western Iowa are beginning to realize to their sorrow. — Living as I do in the border of what is known as the “grasshopper district,” (Boone County) and having had opportunities to post myself as to their movements and workings, I wish to say a few words to your readers, all of whom are directly interested in this subject.

During the month of August, 1867, millions of grasshoppers inhabiting the plains and Rocky Mountains took up a line of march across the continent, and by the middle of September reached from a point in Minnesota to the half of Mexico, covering the Western half of Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas and Louisiana, and the entire States of Nebraska, Kansas and Texas, also including Dacotah and Indian Territories and extending into Mexico. Much damage was done to crops last fall and millions of eggs were deposited for this years’ crop; and while in the colder regions the old “hopper cusses” perished with the severe winter, in the Southern climes not only the young crop, is now on hand, but the old ones still live to curse the country with their presence. In Arkansas the woods have been burnt this spring to destroy the plague and thus save the crops, but to little purpose.

The best information I can get from Western Iowa is that crops are being destroyed in many places totally and in other localities only partially as yet. Many pieces of wheat in Boone County, west of the Des Moines River are being plowed up, while others are completely destroyed, so much so that there is not a vestige of wheat left to show that then days since the prospect was good for a fair crop. The corn crop has also been attacked and on many farms entirely destroyed. Some farmers replant but others prefer to save what corn they have, considering it useless to throw it away by planting, as there is as yet no prospect fro a better state of affairs. The grasshoppers at present vary in size, from one-sixteenth of an inch to two inches in length, all of whom are busily engaged in destroying everything green in their reach.

Some idea may be obtained of their number by a little circumstance which occurred on the C.& N.W.R.R., near the Des Moines River a few days since, and lest some of your readers may question the truth of the statement, I will refer them for particulars to the officers of that company in charge of the Western Iowa Division. An engine started out of Moingonn with three empty cars, bound for one of the many coal mines in that valley. A little distance from town the train run into a mass of grasshoppers which so completely soaped the track that it was impossible to proceed. Backing up they started again and was again brought to a halt. This time they could neither go ahead or back and another engine was sent to their relief.

I see nothing to save the crops of that country. Should the hoppers cease work now, Western Iowa may average a half crop, but it is doubtful while the prospect is that they will continue their work for weeks yet, perhaps all summer, in which case, crops must be an entire failure throughout the grasshopper district.

The question has been asked me many times in this city, was to the course the hoppers will take at the close of the season. Of course no one can answer that question, but the supposition is that as they always travel with the wind, of necessity, and as the prevailing winds in the Western States are from the Southwest and West, they will probably continue their course easterly. We would of course much prefer that they take themselves back to the wilds of the rugged mountains, where

Lo, the poor Indian, whose untutored squaw,
Sees bliss in grasshoppers and devours them raw.

Should the farmers of Black Hawk County look up some day to see millions of insects fill the air as high as the sight can penetrate, so that the heavens shall present the appearance of a heavy fall of snow, they may calculate that one of the worst plagues of Egypt is upon them and that it will be more profitable next year to raise chickens than wheat.

Cedar Falls Gazette (Cedar Falls, Iowa) Jun 19, 1868

The grasshoppers have invaded Utah, and the consequence is the invention by a Mormon of a “two-horse grasshopper smasher.”

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Jul 15, 1871

EVERYTHING EATEN. — A gentleman who recently passed over the Sioux City & St. Paul road says that the grasshoppers have eaten thousands of the settlers in Minnesota out of house and home, and he saw men with their families at the stations begging to be passed to St. Paul so that they might work and earn something to live upon.

Cedar Falls Gazette (Cedar Falls, Iowa) Jun 12, 1874

The Grasshopper.

Letters from one old townsman, Joe Wells, to his friends here, state that the grasshoppers are making a clean sweep in his vicinity in Palo Alto County. Joe has charge of some 400 acres of land the crops upon which were entirely destroyed last year; but with dogged perseverance he determined to “grin and bear it,” and this spring once more seeded the entire area only to see the pests return in such myriads as to sweep the ground clear of the last vestige of vegetation. This is a hard blow and visits upon him the entire loss of two years hard labor and upon A.A. Wells, who owns the land, a cash expenditure of nearly $2,00, without a dime’s return.

If riches don’t “take to themselves wings” in this case, it’s because grasshoppers can’t fly.

Another person writing from the afflicted country, says “it has been ascertained by careful count that this entire prairie was planted with grasshoppers eggs or in average of 1800 to the square foot, and most of the d____d things hatched twins — the rest triplets.” They have appeared in large numbers as far east as the country between Clarion and the Boone River, and our people need not be surprised to receive a visitation from the festive hopper as soon as he has tarried long enough for his wings &c. to grow. — Iowa Falls Sentinel

Cedar Falls Gazette (Cedar Falls, Iowa) Jun 19, 1874

Grasshopper Devastation (Image from http://www.soonerfans.com)

How the farmers of Wright county, Iowa drove away the  grasshoppers is revealed by the local papers The crops in that county were abundant, and the anxious husbandmen were in hopes that these destructive pests would not appear until after the harvest. At once they came, however, in clouds that darkened the sun. By a preconcerted plan, the farmers set fire to piles of dry straw on the borders of wheat fields, and smothered the blaze with green hay. That caused volumes of smoke to roll over the fields. The grasshoppers didn’t relish the procedure at all. They rose with such a multitudinous hum of wings as to deepen into a roar like distant thunder, and fled the country. In that way the Wright county farmers have a fair prospect of saving their crops.

The Fitchburg Sentinel (Fitchburg, Massachusetts) Aug 4, 1874

Image from Wikinews

The Destructive Grass(w)hopper.

The editor of the Bucyrus Forum has been visiting in the west, and thus writes of the grasshopper pest:

Some forty miles west of Omaha we commenced seeing the ravages of the grasshoppers. We are fully warranted in saying that the half has never been told concerning the wide spread destruction of these insects. It cannot be told. When we assure our readers from actual observation  that we have seen hundreds of thousands of acres of corn that have been literally eaten up by them, we still fall short of the facts.

To particularize: These grasshoppers, which are smaller, blacker and more fierce than the varieties usually seen in Ohio, are so numerous that they resemble a dark cloud slowly moving over the prairie. They are migrators and do not remain long in one place, for the best of reasons — they leave no green thing on which to subsist. Corn, buckwheat, fruit, garden vegetables, leaves of trees and bushes, all are stripped. They attack a corn field of two or three hundred acres, in the morning, and before “high noon” not an ear, tassel or blade is left to tell the tale. Often the stocks are eaten down to within fifteen inches of the soil in which they grew. Frequently strings of grasshoppers from twelve to fifteen inches in length, may be seen hanging on the same ear of corn. It is no uncommon sight to see them two inches deep on the ground. In half an hour they eat all the paint from a Buckeye Reaper and Mower. The only exception we found they made on the farms was sorghum or Chinese sugar cane, which probably contained too much saccharine matter for their delicate appetites.

When crossing Railroads they frequently stop the trains, the unctious matter of their bodies when crushed on the rails, causing the wheels of the locomotives to revolve with the rapidity of lightning without making any progress. From the point where we first observed their ravages to Kearney, we did not see a single field that contained an ear of corn. That unfortunate country is as bare and destitute as if it had been swept by one of the historic prairie fires. The effect may be better imagined than described. We saw dozens of families returning in their covered wagons to their friends in the different states. Many are unable to return.

We learned that aid would be given out of the State Treasuries of Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri to alleviate the sufferings, and to prevent the general exodus of emigrants out of these States to their kindred and friends. Thousands of these people are in a most deplorable condition. Comforted a few days ago with the thought of a large and profitable crop with which to make payments on their land and supply themselves with the necessaries of life, they now find themselves destitute, far from “Home” and among strangers equally as unfortunate as themselves. As we saw the settled look of despondency sitting on the brows of the hard-working, callous-handed men of toil, and their wives and children whose eyes were red with weeping, we thought the original characters of Longfellow’s pathetic lines had re-appeared:

“Hungry is the air around them,
Hungry is the sky above them.
And the hungry stars in heaven,
Like the eyes of the wolves glare at them.”

It is generally believed here by those whose experience and judgment pass for authority that the grasshopper scourge will be short lived. We trust so. The weevil, chintz, and Colorado bug have had their day and are now but little feared.

The Ohio Democrat (New Philadelphia, Ohio) Oct 2, 1874

Congressman Orr, of this State, has secured the passage of a bill through the House allowing homestead and pre-emption settlers in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Kansas, whose crops were destroyed or injured by grasshoppers in 1874, to leave and be absent from their lands till May, 1876, without prejudice to their rights. This is eminently just.

Cedar Falls Gazette (Cedar Falls, Iowa) Dec 18, 1874

KANSAS CITY, May 27. Rain has been falling here in torrents for the past twenty-four hours. It is reported to be general throughout the country. Some damage has been done to fences, railroads and crops. Great numbers of grasshoppers have been destroyed by the flood, as the Missouri river opposite the city is black with them, and it is thought the bulk of the insects in this vicinity have been destroyed. The feeling of dread is rapidly giving way to one of rejoicing, and Governor Hardin will doubtless be called on to issue a proclamation of thanksgiving instead of one for fasting and prayer.

Decatur Daily Republican (Decatur, Illinois) May 28, 1875

Mr. Grasshopper.

He laughs best who laughs last, says the proverb. The agile grasshopper of the western plains may find before he gets through this season’s business that he has carried his conquest too far and made himself an article of Western food, to the peril of all future generations of grasshoppers.

Some days ago the telegraph brought news that a grasshopper dinner had been eaten and relished by an adventurous party of gourmands at Warrensburgh, Missouri. Still later comes the report of another similar feast prepared with great care and critically enjoyed by a select company, including not only the leading local epicures, but several scientific gentlemen, among whom was Prof. Riley, the State entomologist. A bushel or more of “hoppers” were scooped up in an adjacent meadow and a talented cook especially engaged for the purpose brought them to the gridiron. They were stewed into soup, broiled crisp and dainty as smelts; they were fried in the omnipresent grease of the frontier, and baked in mass with curry and “champignons,” and in all these forms were pronounced delicious.

John the Baptist, who ate locusts and wild honey in the wilderness, was accused of riotous living. If this sort of thing goes on for a time it will be useless for the grasshopper sufferers of the far West to work up much sympathy in other States, or gather future subscriptions for food. Simply let them corral the insouciant hopper in their fields, bake him, broil him, and serve him up on toast; let them salt him down in barrels for winter use, and bid gaunt-eyed famine defiance. If the locusts insist upon eating up everything, let them be taught that there are two kinds of creatures who can play at that game.

The Ohio Democrat (New Philadelphia, Ohio)Jun 24, 1875

The farmers in Missouri and Kansas are elated at the discovery of a new kind of buffalo grass springing up in sections devastated by the grasshoppers. The crops in both States are represented to be in a promising condition.

The Fitchburg Sentinel (Fitchburg, Massachusetts) Jul 12, 1875

GRASSHOPPERS have been a burden so long that it is a relief to know that a use has been found for them at last. Some French fishermen, who were lately out of sardine bait, discovered that grasshoppers dried and pounded were just the thing; and hundreds of bags filled with the festive ‘hopper are being imported into France for fish bait. Here, in future, may be found an employment for our home-made ‘hoppers. We cannot all eat them, like Prof. Riley and his brother scientists, and the next best use is to make them provide us with something we can eat.

Globe Democrat.

Decatur Daily Republican (Decatur, Illinois) Apr 14, 1876

Grasshopper Trapper

Image from The Plague of 1875 in the Longmont Ledger.

A New Discovery.

An Iowa man had discovered that the very best of machine oil can be made out of grasshoppers, at a cost only from fifty cents to a dollar per barrel. If such machine oil will only stop the squeaking of ‘machine’ politics it will be worth five dollars per barrel at least. And if the grasshopper can be made into oil, why not that oil into butter better than oleomargarine; and if into oleomargarine, why not, by subtle chemical processes, into creamy butter to fatten the white loaves and lard the tender steaks of the provident. Hoppergrass butter is not an impossible extract or compound, if it be proven that oil can be fried or pressed from their bodies; and the song of “When the cows come lowing home” will be superceded by “When the locusts have gone to roost, Phoebe!”

If in the economy of nature even the perturbing flea has utility, surely the grasshopper, whose demoralizing super abundance afflicts the sad farmer of the West with countless agitations may be converted, by schemes of science, into lubricating food, or at least into anointments for the hair and shoes, and for the neater and better appropriation of an insect plague. Of course such discoveries weaken the work of the Grasshopper Commission; but we trust that the Iowa man will continue to rack his brain and the grasshopper until both shall bring “peace to troubled waters,” and oil to the ways up which “”Hope springs eternal” in the human breast.

Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Apr 21, 1877

Image from The Grasshopper Plague of 1874 on the Kansas State Historical Society website.

Character and Habits of the Grasshopper.

[From the Faribault Republican]

We have received a circular from the publishers of the New York Graphic asking us for information as to the character, habits, movements and depredations of the locusts of the West, to be embodied in an illustrated supplement they are about to issue. We much dislike to disappoint any one who appeals to us in a candid spirit for information, and we therefore, cheerfully contribute from our abundance:

1. As to the character of the grasshopper, it is bad. Like the deadbeat that he is, he eats his landlord out of house and home and then skips. He is a thief, poacher, robber, glutton and an unmitigated nuisance.

2. The grasshopper has three habits which it adheres to faithfully. In fact, if anything is the creature of habit it is the grasshopper. The first is to hatch under any circumstances; this is a point of honor and duty that it faithfully observes. The second is to eat and eat continuously. From the rising of the sun until the going down thereof it crams its abdomen with victuals, and its digestion is equal to its appetite. It always eats at the first table, for it clears it so clean that there is no chance for a second. Its third habit is to lay eggs, and all the time not devoted to eating is improved in this recreation. How many eggs a well-developed, healthy grasshopper will lay has never been accurately stated, but the Government has a lightning calculator now at work upon the problem.

3. With respect to its movements we are enabled to state that it moves frequently and takes all its baggage with it except the aforesaid eggs. It moves hastily, “gets up and gets,” so to speak, on very short notice and the simple provocation of lack of sustenance. No habit of the grasshopper excites so much interest in the farmer as its movement, and the interest is concentrated in the point whether the ‘hopper is moving towards or away from his farm.

4. His depredations: This is a profound mathematical problem, of which the total number of grasshoppers, the amount each will consume on the average per day, their rate of progress and the amount of forage to be found in the counties where they stop, are essential elements in the calculation. We would respectfully refer the Graphic to the Government commission for information upon this branch of its inquiry.

Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) May 23, 1877

The grasshoppers were at one time pretty thick this year in Richardson county, Nebraska, so the farmers set seven hundred grasshopper machines in motion, and they have succeeded in scooping up 2,800 bushels of lively insects. One set of laborers in Nomah also cleaned up 150 bushels. This shows that the farmers are turning the tables on the ‘hoppers and are gathering them in instead of allowing them to gather the crops. It also shows that the farmers can do much towards saving their crops, it they only try.

The Helena Independent (Helena, Montana) Jul 26, 1877

Image from the  Rural Missouri website’s article: Louses & Locusts.

Grasshopper Eggs.

Mr. Cunningham showed a GAZETTE reporter a small box of earth yesterday which was taken from his ranch in Sierra Valley. In it were myriads of grasshopper eggs. There seemed as much eggs as earth, and the roots of several bunches of grass were thickly imbedded with them. The eggs are of a brownish white in appearance, and about a quarter of an inch in length. Mr. Cunningham said the box of earth shown was a fair sample of all the soil in Sierra Valley, every yard of it permeated with millions of the larvae. Unless the insects migrate after hatching, every green thing in the valley is doomed.

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) Apr 23, 1879

Grasshopper Sparrow

Image from the World News website.

A VALUABLE BIRD.

The great grasshopper raid upon Nebraska and Kansas a few years ago led to the better protection of birds, particularly quail. Previous to that time both sportsmen and professional hunters from all the cities of the Union took a yearly hunt and the slaughter of quails, ducks and turkeys was almost incredible. Tons upon tons were shipped into Chicago and St. Louis and even New York and Philadelphia. The result was, the grasshoppers had their own way and multiplied exceedingly. The quail is particularly fond of both grasshoppers and their eggs, and where they are at all numerous the destruction is enormous.

They are besides a valuable article of food and add not only to the dainty table of the rich, but help to fill the poor man’s pot as well. In addition to these uses the quail is a game bird of the first order and commands the skill of both man and dog in its capture.

We publish a column of letters from the Chicago Field on the migratory quail of southern Europe, which we hope may prove both interesting and profitable under the present circumstances. We very much fear that the Truckee meadows are doomed to be overrun in 1880 to some extent, and in 1881 and 1882, very seriously by the grasshopper.

We do not expect that any addition to the stock of birds in Nevada and eastern California could be made in time to serve in the crisis, but they will get a good hold and be a great help in future years. They will flourish and increase beyond all doubt.

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno., Nevada) Jun 2, 1879

In view of the threatened invasion of Kansas by the grasshoppers next year, it is comforting to reflect that the country is swarming with English sparrows, which were imported especially to eat grasshoppers.

Atchison Daily Globe ( Atchison, Kansas) Aug 2, 1885

Grasshoppers Colorado Springs 1899

Image posted by FuzzyTomCAt

A SHOWER OF GRASSHOPPERS.

HELENA, ARK., November 20. — About 4:30 o’clock last evening this place was visited with a shower of grasshoppers that proved an astonishing feature to the oldest inhabitants, as such a thing had never been seen here before. As they fell on the houses it sounded like a heavy shower of rain. All the stores and houses had to be closed to keep the insects out. The negroes were badly frightened, and most of them claim that it is a bad omen. A cold wave struck the town early last evening and brought the grasshoppers with it. It is very fortunate that this incident did not happen earlier in the fall, as it would have proved very destructive to the crops.

Atchison Daily Globe (Atchison, Kansas) Nov 21, 1885

Image from Family Tree Magazine.

Grasshoppers in Indiana.

DECATUR, Ind., May 15. — Grasshoppers have appeared in this (Adams) county in vast numbers. Never in the history of this section have these pests been seen in such great numbers. Recently a farmer brought in a large farm basket filled with grasshoppers, which he shipped to Chicago and for which he received the rate of $8 a bushel.

Conjecture is rife in this city as to what the purchaser intends to do with the hoppers. As they were sent near the Board of Trade building some conclude the pests are to be used to influence the market in cereals. It will  doubtless be a grasshopper year in this section.

The Daily Review (Decatur, Illinois) May 16, 1886

Grasshoppers’ Foe.

Minneapolis, Minn. — A cricket in the field is worth two on the hearth. His once doleful fiddling now is music to the ear of the farmer of the northwest. So doubtless muses M.P. Somers, grasshopper expert for the state department of entomology, after a summer-long investigation in the grasshopper infested districts of Minnesota and the Red river valley. The cricket is declared by Mr. Somers to have an insatiable appetite for grasshopper eggs and is eating them by the millions.

Sheboygan Press (Sheboygan, Wisconsin) Sep 27 1911

GRASSHOPPERS MOVING AT MILE-A-DAY SPEED

WILLOWS, Cal., Jun 29. — (By International News Service.) — Moving forward at the rate of a mile a day, an immense swarm of grasshoppers is now near Artois and moving eastward toward the Orland irrigation project. Farmhouse porches have been covered to a depth of nearly a foot by the insects, which are the small species.

Grasshopper plagues in other sections of northern California have also been reported.

Billings Gazette (Billings, Montana) Jun 30, 1919

Now for something scientific:

WASHINGTON, Dec. 9. (AP) — An elaborate process so intricate that nature alone can guide it to perfection, is credited for the survival of American agriculture.

The tremendous scheme, revealed by Dr. N.A. Cobb, federal chief nematologist, is built around the subtle function of the Mermis subnigrescens, commonly called the hairworm. Years of study and investigation have convinced Dr. Cobb and his associates, whose work has been assisted by approximately 150 of the nation’s foremost zoologists and entemologists, that grasshoppers, in limitless hordes and a thousand species, would devour practically every farm crop but for hairworm parasitization.

An avaricious enemy, the nema enters the grasshopper’s body when it swallows eggs of the hairworm, matures there, and bores its way out. The grasshopper dies from the wound.

Every Detail

Nature has perfectly correlated every detail. The nematizing process is as ruthless and deliberate as premeditated murder. Instinct forces the grasshopper to feed several inches from the ground, on the exposed surface of plant leaves. To make sure the victim is trapped, the female hairworm is so constituted that she cannot lay eggs in a shadow. Emerging from the ground in the spring, she ascends to a position well lighted by the sun, irrevocably the spot on which grasshoppers feed.

An overdose of eggs would cause premature death for the grasshopper. It must live until the nematode has reached an adult stage, and nature makes it her business to see that is does. Twenty eggs may be deposited in one place, but each egg is equipped with polar filaments that become entangled with the “fur” of young leaf hairs. As the leaf grows and the hairs spread apart, the eggs become sufficiently scattered to keep the grasshopper from getting more than two or three eggs during the entire feeding season.

The contents of a grasshopper’s alimentary canal are eliminated approximately once every hour. IN that time the hairworm larvae must work from the egg into cavities of the victim’s body, there to thrive on the food it has digested. Again nature is prepared. The equatorial region of the nema egg is composed of a substance soluable in less than an hour.

Color Scheme

An even more astounding circumstance, leading scientists to believe environment may be responsible for determination of sex, enters nature’s colorful scheme. Female hairworms, growing from half an inch to six inches in length in six weeks, usually are many times larger than male nemas. Whether it is because of limited room to develop in the grasshopper’s body or because of insufficient food supply, the hairworms, regardless of the sex propensity in the larvae, always become male when a large number of eggs are swallowed and as invariably are females when the number is limited.

In every case, Dr. Cobb says, a parasitized grasshopper immediately becomes sterile. Tests have shown that fields attacked by nematized grasshoppers are free of the pests in following years or until uninfested grasshoppers from adjacent territory invade them. That, he says, explains “grasshopper waves” in this country.

The Evening Huronite (Huron, South Dakota) Dec 9, 1927

Watertown Sieged By G’hoppers

Watertown  (AP) –Clouds of grasshoppers invaded Watertown and the surrounding countryside over the weekend and yesterday began attacking corn and vegetable crops.
The invaders rode on the waves of Lake Ontario in the Chaumont area Sunday, swarmed over the beaches, docks and summer cottages, driving vacationers indoors.

Farm Bureau officials here said the insects already are making inroads on crops, but that damage so far in not extensive. It is the worst grasshopper invasion in ten years, officials said.

The base of operations for the grasshoppers’ is not known, but the Farm Bureau said they were larger than recently hatched insects, and therefore probably are not local products.

This belief was strengthened by reports from Chaumont that large patches of the pests were seen floating in from the lake. When they reached shore they swarmed inland.

The city of Watertown was less attacked than rural areas of Jefferson County, but thousands descended upon the city, especially on the golf course.

The Farm Bureau notified farmers that poison bait made of wheat bran, molasses and arsenic is the only safe way to halt the pests. A sufficiently strong concentration of DDT would harm crops also, the bureau.  [said?]

Oneonta Star (Oneonta, New York) Aug 24, 1948

St. Patrick: He Was A Saint So Clever

March 17, 2010

ST. PATRICK.

St. Patrick was a gentleman,
and came of decent people;
He built a church in Dublin town,
And on it built a steple.
His father was a Hoolagan,
His sister an O’Grady.
His mother was a Mulligan,
And his wife the Widow Brady.

CHORUS.

Success attend St. Patrick’s fist,
He was a saint so clever;
He gave the snakes and toads a twist,
And banished them forever!

The Wicklow hills are very high,
And so’s the hill of Howth, air,
But there’s a hill that’s higher still,
And bigger than them both, sir.
I was from the top of that same hill
St. Patrick preached his sarmint
That drove the frogs into the bogs,
And banished all the varmint!

Success attend St. Patrick’s fist, &c.

Nine hundred thousand vipers blue
He charmed with sweet discourses,
And carved them up at Killadoo
In soups and second courses.
The blind worms crawling on the grass
Disgusted all the nation,
Till he opened their eyes and their hearts like wise,
To a sense of their situation!

Success attend St. Patrick’s fist, &c.

There’s not a mile through Ireland’s isle
Where the dirty creatures musters!
But there he put his dear forefoot,
And murdered them in clusters.
The toads went pop the frogs went slop,
Slap dash into the water.
And the snakes committed suicide
To save themselves from slaughter!

Success attend St. Patrick’s fist, &c.

No wonder that the Irish boys
Are all so brave and frisky,
For sure St. Patrick taught them that,
And the way of making whisky.
No wonder that the saint himself
Was handy at dishtilling,
fir his mother kept a shebe?n house
In the town of Enniskillen!

CHORUS.
Success attend St. Patrick’s fist,
He was a saint so clever,
He gave the snakes and toads a twist,
And banished them forever.

Titusville Morning Herald (Titusville, PA) Mar 17, 1871