Posts Tagged ‘1873’

Sarah Winnemucca: An Indian Princess

April 2, 2012

MISS SARAH WINNEMUCCA.

Miss Sarah Winnemucca recently passed through Carson, Nevada, on her way to Virginia City. This notable woman is commonly reputed to be the daughter of the old war chief of the Piutes, but this statement is denied, and it is represented that she was born of Digger parents somewhere in the foothills of the Sacramento Valley, and was educated by “The Sisters” at their Catholic academy in Marysville. Still the fact remains that she is enough versed in the Piute tongue to be able to talk fluently with the people of the tribe, for whom she had frequently acted as an interpreter. She is popularly regarded as the virgin queen of the Piutes; is a plain little woman, pretty dark; dresses like an American female, of rustic habits and modest pretensions; and talks English without any perceptible accent. She is a capable person, and reads our language and expresses herself in writing quite correctly, and with considerable force of expression. We have also heard of her writing poetry. As a reputed princess of the Piute blood royal she is a famous character. — [Carson, Nevada, Appeal.

The Fitchburg Sentinel (Fitchburg, Massachusetts) Aug 2, 1873

THE PIUTE QUEEN.

A Letter From Her Highness to Chief Naches.

[Winnemucca Silver State.]

Naches, Chief of the Piutes, has received a letter from Sarah Winnemucca, the Piute Queen, now at Fort Simcoe, Washington Territory. She says she is well and doing well, and is now teaching a school among her people, which sixty of them, and sometimes more, attend. They have cleared about 70 acres of land and put in quite a crop of corn and potatoes. Lee Winnemucca is working for the agent at Simcoe Reservation, and Mattie, her niece, who accompanied her through the war last Summer, is dead. Twenty-one of the Piutes, who were taken to Simcoe last Winter have died, and there are quite a number of others on the sick list, many of whom are not expected to live. Those of the tribe who were taken to Vancouver as prisoners of war, she has not heard from, and she does not know what is going to be done with them. Princess Sally hankers for pine nuts, and wants Naches to send her as many of them as he can. She cannot tell when, if ever, she and her people are coming back, as they cannot leave without orders from Washington to that effect.

Daily Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Jul 17, 1879

Sarah’s Challenge.

The following is said to be a literal copy of Sarah Winnemucca’s challenge to the editor of the Silver State:

Your statement that I am a drunkard is an infernal lie, and you knew it was false when you wrote it. If you are anything of a man you will meet me and give me satisfaction. I will cram the lie down your throat at the point of a bowie knife. An early answer will oblige.

SARAH WINNEMUCCA.

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) Feb 24, 1880

Image from dragonflydesigns – Ancient Voices

Married a California Princess.

SAN FRANCISCO, December 8. — The princess of the Piute Indians of Nevada, commonly called Sarah Winnemucca, was married last night at the Russ house, in this city, to L.H. Hopkins, an ex-soldier of the United States army, who arrived here from Arizona on November 3. The bridegroom informed a reporter that as far back as 1879, during the Bannock campaign, he first met the princess, and was smitten with her charms. Since then mutual feeling has inspired them and, an opportunity presenting itself, they resolved never to be separated again. Dr. Beers was the officiating minister. Princess Winnemucca Hopkins and Mr. Hopkins will take their departure for the east at an early date. The princess is well known on this coast. She has lived mainly in Carson, Nev., with her father, the old Chief Winnemucca, who died a few months ago. She is a bright girl, has a good English education, and looks more like a Mexican girl than Indian. She has regular features and dresses fairly. She is a great advocate of education and has lectured in this and other cities on the wrongs of her tribe.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Dec 9, 1881

Image from Fort Tours

PLEADING FOR HER RACE.

The Princess Winnemucca Before the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.

WASHINGTON, April 22. — The Princess Sarah Winnemucca, of the Piute tribe of Indians, was before the senate committee on Indian affairs to-day, pleading for a setting apart of a reservation for her tribe. She was accompanied by a delegation of ladies and gentlemen from Baltimore. The Indian woman spoke in good English, emphasizing her remarks with graceful gestures. As she depicted the griefs of her people, she was frequently moved to tears. She said her tribe was scattered, that they had been driven from place to place, “Two winters ago,” she continued, “while being driven from one point old men and children were frozen to death. She also said that the Indian agents had deprived the tribe of the stores provided for them by the government. The Piutes are located in Nevada. The princess asked that camp McDermott be set apart for them.

The Atlanta Constitution ( Atlanta, Georgia) Apr 23, 1884

Google Book link – Read Online

An Indian Tale.

Life Among the Piutes,” is the title of a new book just published in the East, the authorship of which is accredited to Sarah Winnemucca, the Piute princess. In the introductory chapter the reputed authoress informs the reader that “I was born sometime about the year 1844. My grandfather, Winnemucca, was then camped at Humboldt Lake with others of his tribe. It was about that time that a party of white men returning from California, was seen approaching our camp,” etc., etc.

The book is said to be full of thrilling incidents in the life of the dusky heroine, (which of course never happened.) It tells all about the capture of Sallie and her brother by the whites and how they were taken to California and educated; how they rejoined the tribe as soon as liberated; how in after years they labored to keep peace between the whites and Indians; how the heroine wrestled with her people to make christians out of them, and to prevent them from becoming victims to King alcohol and other besetting sins forever thrown in their way by conscienceless white men, and all that sort of thing. One or two heart rending love stories, in which the authoress plays a conspicuous part, are also woven in to give spice to the narrative. All of which, no doubt, will be entertaining to people in the East who know the Indian and his mode of life simply through pictures drawn in fancy by Cooper and other blood and thunder novelists, but to those who have lived in Nevada a quarter of a century and are somewhat familiar with the Piute tribe and the career of this dusky heroine, whatever interest the book may contain will be from another and very different standpoint.

Weekly Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) May 3, 1884

Daily Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Sep 7, 1884

THE NORTHERN INDIANN.

They do Not Want to Go to Pyramid Reservation, and No Room For Them There if They Did.

The Silver State says:

Leggins’ band of Piutes, who remained peaceable during the Bannock war, were treated upon the cessation of hostilities exactly the same as the captured hostiles. By order of the Indian Bureau, they were taken under military escort from Fort McDermit, by way of Camp Harney, where they were joined by the hostiles, to Yakima, Washington Territory. Naches and Sarah Winnemucca went from here to Washington to intercede for Leggins’ band, and upon the representation of General Howard and other military officers, who were in the campaign against the Bannocks, and who knew that Leggins’ band was not on the warpath, the Secretary of the Interior promised Naches that the exiled Piutes should be permitted to return to their own country, and that they should be furnished a military escort through Oregon. Owing to opposition of the Indian Bureau and a change in the Cabinet, this promise was not fulfilled, although the Indians expected it would be; and after patiently waiting nearly three years, they made their escape from Yakima, crossed the Columbia river, and evading as far as possible the settlements in Oregon, finally reached their native hunting grounds, near Fort McDermit, almost naked and starving. During the intensely cold weather tow years ago, they suffered from hunger, as they had been on the road from Yakima all Summer, and had it not been for the military and settlers, many of them would have starved to death. The Legislature of 1883 asked Congress to provide for their immediate wants, and Congressman Cassidy succeeded in getting $5,000 appropriated to purchase food and clothing for them. About $1,000 of that amount was expended under the direction of the military at McDermit for their benefit, and possible the Indian Bureau may be able to account for the balance of it, though the Indians derived no benefit from it. Subsequently an appropriation was made to be expended in removing Leggins and his band to some reservation. A week ago, E.C. Ellet, a special Indian Commissioner, arrived from the East at McDermit to arrange for removing the Indians. He held a council with the head men of Leggins’ band, and they protested against being taken away from the land of their birth, stating that as their young men could work for the settlers herding cattle, etc., and hunt deer and other game, they preferred to remain, but expressed the hope that the Government would provide, during the Winter months at least, for the old and decrepid of the band, through the military, who always befriended friendly Indians. Commissioner Ellet, accompanied by Lieutenant Colville P. Terrett, then went to the Pyramid Reservation to see what provision, if any, had been made for the northern Indians, and if there was sufficient arable land there to accommodate them. We learn that they found that the lands which the northern Indians would have to occupy on the reservation are not susceptible of cultivation; that the best lands along the Truckee for eight or nine miles below Wadsworth are occupied by white squatters, who have good fences, and comfortable houses; and that Winnemucca Lake, which the Indians claim was originally included in the reservation, is now a resort for Chinese fishermen. They also ascertained that the supplies furnished the reservation were not sufficient for the want of the Indians now there, and that Leggins’ band would have to support themselves or starve if removed there. Commissioner Ellet, after due consultation with Agent Gibson at the reservation, did not hesitate to say that he would recommend the removal of the squatters from the Reservation, but even if that is accomplished there will not be room there for Leggins’ band, the old and feeble of whom, in his opinion, should be provided for where they are.

Daily Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Dec 11, 1884

SARAH’S LIES ABOUT THE PIUTES STARVING ON THEIR RESERVATION.

Her Story of the Wrongs of Her People and False Charges of Dishonesty Against Indian Agent Gibson.

Sarah Winnemucca is the champion light-weight of the season, as will appear from a perusal of the following interview taken from the San Francisco Call of the 22d:

When old Winnemucca, the chief of the Piute Indians, died, he committed the interests of his people to his daughter Sarah. It was one of the most sagacious actions in the old man’s life. From that day to this Sarah Winnemucca has been the tireless friend of her people. She has brought to her work a fine mind, a generous nature, a fair education and indomitable energy. The first book written in the English language by an Indian is her vivid narrative of the wrongs of the Piutes and her eloquent appeal for justice for her people. In the history of the Indians she and Pocahontas will be the principal female characters, and her singular devotion to her race will no doubt be chronicled as an illustration of the better traits of the Indian character.

Sarah Winnemucca first spoke to a white audience several years ago in this city. The years that have intervened have been spent by her in addressing audiences in the East, relating to them the sad history of her tribe, and appealing to them to aid her people in their destitution. She has returned to San Francisco again. A Call reporter called upon her yesterday to inquire what the condition of her tribe was and what she proposed to do for them.

THE PIUTES STARVING.

“My people are famishing in the snow about Pyramid Lake, in Nevada,” she said sadly. “They are utterly destitute. My brother Natchez, the chief of the Piutes since the death of Winnemucca, my father, has only pine nuts to eat, and the speckled trout he catches in the lake. If he had not foreseen the need of the Winter last Summer, when he went into the mountains for the nuts, he would have had nothing. The Piutes are on the verge of starvation. They are growing weaker and weaker every day for want of food. They have been driven like wild beasts from place to place, and forced back from the meadows and the banks of rivers and streams into the mountains that are barren and wholly destitute of game.”

As Sarah Winnemucca, in these brief words, painted the destitute condition of her tribe, she expressed in her intelligent face the sorrow and indignation she felt. She is a woman slightly apast 40, with a heavy, yet shapely figure. Her face is exceedingly intelligent. She has strong jaws, with a delicate mouth, and cheek bones that are not so prominent as is usual in Indian faces. Her forehead is rather low, but broad, and her eyes are large and expressive. Her glossy black hair was gathered in a Grecian coil at the back, which showed the outline of her shapely head. She has easy command of colloquial English, and frequently expresses herself forcibly and eloquently.

“The Piutes are now on the reservation about Pyramid Lake,” she continued. “They number about 7,000 in all. It has been falsely said that the Pyramid Lake Reservation is rich in game and good lands. That was the representation made to the authorities at Washington when we were driven from the Malhuer Reservation. General Sheridan asked me, a short time ago, if our reservation did not afford us a good living. I told him that high bleak hills that only a goat could safely climb rose out of the water all around the lake; that the only arable lands were four acres on the river. He seemed astonished at the revelation, for he feels very kindly toward my people.”

FREEZING IN THE SNOW.

“How do your people live?” asked the reporter.

“Ah, that is a sad story, It is a wonder that they do live at all. They would all surely have perished long ago if their life-long experience with hardship had not inured them to scant food and exposure to cold. It is snowing now, doubtless, on their reservation, the lake and river are full of ice, yet they have no shelter except the wigwams, made of reeds and tule, no clothing save the bit of calico or blanket that they have picked up. Some of the young men herd cattle in Summer or work on farms near the reservation, and in that way they get a little money to buy blankets for the Winter; but they are the fortunate few. The rest have little to protect them from the cold.”

“What have they for food now?” inquired the reporter.

“Pine nuts, fish and rabbits. The latter is the only game on the whole reservation, and you may imagine how quickly they will disappear when hunted by 7,000 starving Indians.”

“Has no appropriation been made by the Government for the support of the Piutes?”

“My people do not belong to that class of Indians who are regularly provided for by the Government. At the last session of Congress Senator Dawes, of Massachusetts, secured an appropriation of $17,000 for the support of the Winnemucca tribe and Leggin’s band during this Winter, but not a cent of it has yet been spent for us, and I am afraid that it will never get farther than the hands of the rascally agents, who steal all they can get. My people are suffering for it now.”

THE INDIAN AGENT.

“Who is the Indian agent at your reservation?” asked the reporter.

“One Bill Gibson,” she replied with scorn. “He has employed all his relations in positions provided for by the Government, such as teachers, carpenters, blacksmiths and farmers. But they never do anything for the Indians. They live in idleness and draw their salaries regularly. The carpenter has not driven a nail for months; the teachers have never given a lesson; the blacksmith rarely lights a fire in his forge, and the farmer plows only for the white people. If a conspiracy were formed by the most cunning men to desert and neglect the Indians on our reservation, it could not succeed better than the selfish policy of Bill Gibson, the agent, and his hungry relations. Not a cent of the $17,000 which was appropriated for the support of the Piutes has been spent for us. Where it has been side-tracked on its journey from Washington I do not know.”

“Don’t the Indians sell fish and get money that way?”

“Yes; but they are robbed of that too. They are allowed to trade only with the settlers of the reservation. They but their fish at 5 or 6 cents a pound and sell it for 15 to 18 cents. My people don’t understand weighing either. They bring in a load of fish and the settler goes through the form of putting them on the scales and then tosses the Indian a silver dollar or two and goes off satisfied. Everyone connected with the agency is wholly devoid of conscience. They are there to get rich. There are people there who steal everything that the Government sends to us. They steal everything that the Indians own, and they run their cattle on our reservation, driving ours and the game off. It is a wretched state of affairs.”

“Are your people willing to become farmers?” asked the reporter.

“Yes, indeed, if they had but a chance. They are not a roaming, shiftless, lazy people. They want to work in the Summer they take it eagerly. If we could only get a start in agriculture, if we could only get arable land, we could take care of ourselves, but we have been driven from good land to worse, till now we are on about as bleak and barren a spot as there is in the whole state of Nevada.”

Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Jan 25, 1885

Image from the National Park Service

Wants Protection.

Sarah Winnemucca writes the Silver State from Lovelock, complaining about the destruction of the Indians’ crops by the cattle and hogs belonging to white people, and asks if there is no law for the protection of the Piutes’ crops.

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) Dec 4, 1886

Image from A Landing A Day

An Indian Industrial School.

A Lovelock correspondent, under date of the 1st instant, writes to the [Silver State] as follows: “Princess Sarah Winnemucca goes East to agitate the matter of getting aid for building an industrial school on Chief Naches farm at Lovelock. Naches offers to donate a 40-acre tract for that purpose. The Princess will canvass among her eastern friends for their support and influence in trying to get Government aid towards the building of such an institution. There are some 400 Indian children within the country to be educated, and Sarah believes in educating them at home. She says it is all nonsense about the Indian children’s features changing when taken from home to be educated, as some papers go so far as to say, and that their features always remain as God made them. They learn rapidly at almost any school under proper treatment, but the right place to teach them is at home in their own State amid the surroundings of their childhood, with their parents, not among strangers in some distant land. Experience has taught her what her young people need, and the Government should make an appropriation and place her at the head of an Indian industrial school. So far she has conducted her school here without Government aid, having received assistance from her eastern friends, among them that grand old lady — Miss Peabody.”

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) Jun 4, 1887

Superintendent W.I. Davis, of the Grand Junction School, with several Indian pupils, will leave here to-morrow morning for home. He expected to take with him at least forty recruits for his excellent school. He would have done so had not Piute Natchez, and his lovely relative the far-famed Princess Sarah Winnemucca, interposed a veto. This latter idolized friend of Mrs. Horace Mann and Miss Peabody can shed crocodile tears over the misfortunes and lamentable ignorance of “my people,” but now that the opportunity offers this “patron of learning” shows her hand. She is soon to go East to collect money to educate “my people,” but she protests against the Government educating them. She dislikes the Government and the dislike is mutual. Her dislike to the Government is her objection to “my people” being educated at the Government’s expense. If Sarah could handle the Government’s money as she does that of the misguided religious enthusiast there would never be a whisper by her against the Government educating the Piute people to which, unfortunately for them, she is a member.

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) Jun 7, 1887

PDF Link  Newspaper article:  Johnson Sides == “United States Peacemaker”

Combatting Superstition.

Princess Sarah Winnemucca came in from Humboldt last evening and had a long talk with Johnson Sides and other Piutes relative to the fraudulent prophet of Walker River, who is telling the Indians of that locality that the braves of former ages are soon to reappear on the earth to destroy all Indians who have adopted the habits of white people. Sarah and all the better informed of her tribe do not believe in any such foolishness.

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) Mar 25, 1889

Sarah Winnemucca, the Indian princess who attended Wellesley college, and under the nom de plume of “Bright Eyes” has written several frontier stories, is now teaching an Indian school of her own. She reports that she has fifteen or sixteen pupils, and is getting along nicely.

Daily Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Apr 16, 1889

UNRELENTING BRAVES.

They Want Tuscarora Jake to Stretch Hemp.

A council of Shoshone Indian braves was held at Elko last week. Tuscarora Jake, the Indian thug, is in jail for the murder of two members of his tribe. The relatives and friends of Jake offered to give the relatives of the murdered men a certain number of ponies, blankets and money if they would consent to have him set at liberty, and to put up a number of ponies as indemnity for the future good behavior of Jake.

The relatives of the murdered men refused the offer, and said that Jake ought to be hanged, as he not only killed members of his own tribe, but a Chinaman also, for which another and an innocent Indian was sent to State Prison. The head men of the tribe concluded that Jake should be punished as an example and a warning to Indians who are disposed, while drunk, to murder members of their own tribe or others who happen in their way. They think Jake is guilty of a cold-blooded murder and ought to be publicly hanged, so that Indians and whites could see him die. Sarah Winnemucca and Nachez attended the council.

Weekly Gazette Stockman (Reno, Nevada) Oct 10, 1889

SARAH WINNEMUCCA.

Colonel Frank Parker Tells How She Once Saved His Life.

Princess Sarah Winnemucca, who died recently in Montana, was a remarkable woman in many respects, and a prominent feature in the Indian relations of the Pacific Coast for the past quarter of a century. She had but one idea, and that was the civilization of her people. She was the daughter of old Chief Winnemucca, of the great Piute tribe, which included the Bannocks, Sheep-eaters, Weisers, Malheurs and the Snake River Indians, who committed so many depredations in early days in Oregon and Idaho. Winnemucca and her whole family were ever true to the whites, and so far as their jurisdiction extended forced their tribes to peace. Colonel Frank J. Parker, editor of the Walla Walla Statesman, tell how she saved his life and that of his companions in the Malheur country in the spring of 1878:

Sarah was then on her way to the Malheur reservation in the vain endeavor to prevent the reservation Indians there from going on the warpath with Buffalo Horn. One night one of the horses of her team got away, and to help her out we loaned a young fellow, who was along with her, one of our horses to hunt the lost one. Charles Robinson of this city and a boy were along with us at the time, and for the help we rendered her we always gave credit for saving our little company from being killed. The Indians had already donned their war paint and we were in their midst. The very day we arrived on the reservation everything was looking dark. Sarah was all the time in consultation with Chief Egan, and sent for us. Going to her wickiup, she introduced Eagan, and intimated that we had better get, and stand not upon the order of getting. As we only had one gun among our crowd, the advice was taken.

After this Sarah joined Howard‘s outfit, and followed him throughout the Bannock campaign as a guide and a possible interpreter in case of a desire to surrender on the part of the hostiles. When the war ended she was in great demand by the Interior Department authorities, and did good work in having the remnants of her tribe removed to various other reservations where they could do no mischief. She was the only Indian on this coast who ever took any prominent part in settling the Indian question, and as such her memory should be respected.

Col. Parker could not have known old Winnemucca very well, for a more treacherous wretch never lived.

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) Nov 20, 1891

We called her Sarah Winnemucca, of the mint family? Well, Toc-me-to- which means shell-flower. Have you ever seen these flowers growing in an old garden among their many cousins of the mint family? Well, Tocme-to-ne loved them of all flowers best, for was she not herself a shell-flower?

Her people were Piute Indians, and they lived in every part of what is now the great state of Nevada.

Toc-me-to-ne had a flower name, so she was followed to take part in the children’s flower festival, when all the little girls dance and sing, holding hands and making believe that they are the very flowers for which they are named. They wear their own flowers, too, and after they have sung together for a while one will dance off on the grass by herself while all the boys and girls look on and she sings:

I am a daisy gold and white
Somebody catch me — me!

The grown-up people watch, too, as their children play, and Toc-me-to ne was never happier than when, light as a bird, she danced and sang her shellflower song:

See me – see me, a beautiful flower,
Give me a hand and a dance.

Then after the plays and dancing the children had all sorts of good things to eat, and the flower festival was over for a year.

Only three times did Toc-me-to-ne take part in the flower festival, for when she was quite a little girl, her grandfather, Chief Winnemucca, took his family and went to live in California, and when they came back she was almost grown up.

Her grandfather was very fond of her, and called her sweetheart, so she was sad and lonesome indeed when he left her and went to the Happy Spirit Land; but she did not forget his last words to her before he went. “Sweetheart,” he said, “do not forget my white brothers; be kind to them and they will be kind to you and teach you many things.”

In California the old chief gave to grandchildren new names — Natchez, Lee, Mary and Sarah, and Sarah learned to speak fairly good English. Later, when she came to Pyramid lake, she played with Mr. Ormsby’s children and learned to speak better English. Besides this Mrs. Ormsby taught her to cook and sew and to do housework.

When Sarah was fifteen years old she made the long 500-mile journey to California once more with her brother and sister and her grandmother. Her brothers took care of cattle for good Mr. Scott, who had known and loved Chief Winnemucca, and he gave them good wages, several fine horses, and two ponies for Sarah and Mary to ride. The sisters had always ridden bareback like Indian men, but when Christmas came Sarah was surprised to find a beautiful Mexican side-saddle from her brother Lee, and she learned to ride like the white ladies, and was very proud and happy.

Now the Piutes always would wander about. They lived by hunting and fishing, not by farming, so they moved from place to place wherever there was game. When they were in the mountains rough white settlers came to Pyramid lake and caught almost all of the fish with nets, so that there were no fish when the Indians returned. This made the Indians angry, and so trouble began. All this time Sarah was in California. Her father, Chief Winnemucca Second, and her mother were in Nevada, and she often heard good news from them, but one spring when she was seventeen years old two Indians came bringing the news from her father that he was in the mountains and wanted all his children to come to him, but especially Sarah.

Starting on their ponies they began the journey, riding beside the wagon where the grandmother rode. It took twenty-five days to reach Carson City, but here their father and mother met them, and next day all went to see Gov. Nye, whom Sarah told in English what her father, the chief, wanted to say.

Gov. Nye was very jolly and good, and when he knew how things really were he told the white settlers not to interfere with the Indians, and sent soldiers from the fort to drive the rough men away; so Gov. Nye and Chief Winnemucca became good friends, as they never could have been but for little Toc-me-to-ne and her bright interpretations.

For the next year Sarah talked both Piute and English, and settled many little troubles. She was called friend both by the Indians and soldiers, and her father and she thought often of old Chief Winnemucca’s words and kept peace with their white brothers.

New Oxford Item (New Oxford, Pennsylvania) Nov 5, 1908

Image from Nephilim Skulls International

Seek to clarify Indian myth about tribe of cannibal giants

By BRENDAN RILEY
Associated Press Writer

LOVELOCK, Nev. (AP) — Times are tough for the legendary red-haired cannibal giants whose alleged existence here centuries ago has been debated for nearly 100 years.

Scientists have said there’s no proof the “giants” first described in old Indian tales were cannibals. Chemical staining by earth after burial was advanced as a likely reason why mummified remains have red hair instead of black like most Indians in the area.

Now a new study under way at the University of Nevada indicates the “giants” were about six feet tall, and not up to 10 feet tall as had been claimed.
What’s left is evidence of a tribe separate from principal tribes whose Paiute descendants live here — perhaps a wandering, more aggressive but outnumbered band finally hunted down and killed or chased off.

Anthropologists say the story, while somewhat tamer, is still fascinating. But they concede the old myth has more appeal and, no matter what they say, will probably persist.

Don Tuohy, curator of anthropology at Nevada State Museum, says he’s confident the “giant” myth is about to be debunked. He asked for the latest study after a bundle of “giant” bones were found in a long-overlooked cabinet at the Nevada Historical Society building in Reno.

But Tuohy says the old tale will probably live on.

Dr. Sheilagh Brooks, chairwoman of the anthropology department at UN-La Vegas, is now analyzing the bones which apparently came from the Lovelock Cave, a nearby treasure trove for scientists trying to reconstruct Nevada’s early history.

Dr. Brooks says her initial investigation shows some of the bones were from cows, not giants. The human bones appear to be remains of Indians “maybe six feet tall — big, but not that big,” she says.

The myth was written down in 1883 by Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins, daughter of a Piaute Indian chief. She told of a strange, red-haired tribe of cannibals her ancestors drove into a cave and suffocated by lighting a fire at its entrance.

She said the “people eaters” were so fierce they would leap into the air, snatch arrows whizzing over their heads, and shoot them back at the Piaute attackers.

John T. Reid, a Lovelock, mining engineer, said Indians took him to the cave in 1886 and told him the same tale. But when he entered the cave he found nothing but tons of bat guano.

Reid was unsuccessful in getting an archeological dig started immediately. But miners realizing the value of guano as fertilizer started hauling it out in 1911. They promptly turned up bones, baskets, weapons, tools, duck decoys, various other artifacts and what they described as a 6-foot-8 red-haired mummy.

That spurred the first archeological dig in 1912. A second dig took place in 1924. Thousands of artifacts and about 60 average-height mummies were recovered. More studies followed, including radio-carbon dating which showed the cave was occupied from about 2,000 BC to about 900 AD.

Daily Leader (Pontiac, Illinois) Oct 4, 1976

The Plowman

September 4, 2011

Image from Life Magazine

THE PLOWMAN.
—–
BY LYDIA A. WHITE.
—–

God speed the plowshare! Tell me not
Disgrace attends the toil
Of those who plow the dark green sod,
Or till the fruitful soil.
Why should the honest plowman shrink
From mingling with the van
Of learning and of wisdom, since
‘Tis mind that makes the man?

God speed the plowshare and the hands
That till the fruitful earth,
For there is in this world so wide
No gem like honest worth;
And though his hands are dark with toil,
And flushed the manly brow,
It matters not, for God will bless
The labors of the plow.

Daily Democrat (Sedalia, Missouri) Nov 29, 1873

Corsets for Everyone

June 22, 2011

This poetic advertisement ran in the newspaper back in 1885:

How dear to my heart is the “Comfort Hip” Corset,
A well moulded figure ‘twas made to adorn,
I’m sure, as an elegant, close fitting corset,
It lays over all makes I ever have worn.
Oh, my! with delight it is driving me crazy,
The feelings that thrill me no language can tell;
Just look at its shape, — oh, ain’t it a daisy!
The “Comfort Hip” corset that fits me so well.
The close fitting corset – the “Lock Clasp” corset –
The “Comfort Hip” corset that fits me so well.

It clings to my waist so tightly and neatly,
Its fair rounded shape shows no wrinkle or fold;
It fits this plump figure of mine as completely
As if I’d been melted and poured in its mould.
How fertile the mind that was moved to design it,
Such comfort pervades each depression and swell,
The waist would entice a strong arm to entwine it, —
The waist of this corset that fits me so will.
The close fitting corset, — the “Lock Clasp” corset –
The “Comfort Hip” corset that fits me so well.

Of course I will wear it to parties and dances,
And gentlemen there will my figure admire!
The ladies will throw me envious glances,
And that’s just the state of affairs I desire;
For feminine envy and male admiration
Proclaim that their object’s considered a belle.
Oh, thou art of beauty – the fair consummation –
My “comfort Hip” corset that fits me so well.
The Five-Hook corset – the “Lock Clasp” corset –
The “Comfort Hip” corset that fits me so well.

The News (Frederick, Maryland) Dec 19, 1885

Saved By a Corset Steel.

Missouri Republican Last Saturday Mrs. Lucy Moore, aged twenty-one years, and a Mrs. Miller were among the passengers on the Santa Fe train coming to El Paso. About seventy miles north of El Paso, the train stopped in the open prairie on account of a hot journal. Mrs. Miller has a revolver that she had loaded for some time, and as she had tried in vain to pick out the cartridges, she thought it a good time to fire them off to empty the chambers. She fired several shots just at random, and then snapped the pistol three times. After the last shot she thought it was empty and went to picking out the shells when the weapon went off, the bullet striking Mrs. Moore in the pit of the stomach. The wounded woman was brought to El Paso. A medical examination showed that the corset had acted as a chain armor. The bullet struck a corset steel and was turned to the right, apparently causing only a flesh wound.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Jan 6, 1888

Mrs. Robert Hintze, of 3606 Vincence avenue, Chicago, formerly Miss Jennie Gillet, of Fond du Lac, was badly injured by the bursting of one of the pipes of her kitchen range. The explosion resulted in badly lacerating her face, and she is in great danger of losing one of her eyes. A piece of iron struck her over the stomach, and would have probably caused fatal injury but for the resistance of a corset steel.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Jan 5, 1888

Saved by Her Corset.

CHICAGO, Aug. 14 — Lillie Vale, who was shot by her lover, George Slosson in a Washington street saloon Sunday night, will not die. The ball struck a whalebone in her corset and glanced off, inflicting a serious but not fatal wound.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Aug 14, 1888

Her Corset Saved Her.

New York, Jul 6 00 John Billses, out of pure patriotic devilment fired a loaded revolver into a crowd on James street yesterday. A bullet struck Mrs. Oliver Fairly in the waist but glanced off without doing her any injury. Her steel corset saved her life. John is held for trial.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Jul 6, 1888

Bright Bits

Motto for a corset factory — “We have come to stay.”

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Dec 20 1886

FRIVOLITIES.

No woman ever went to a corset shop for a stay of proceedings.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Jun  4, 1886

A New York lady has invented a corset which will squeeze a woman to death in five minutes if she feels like suicide.

The Fitchburg Sentinel (Ftichburg, Massachusetts) Oct 11, 1873

Why does a widow feel her bereavement less when she wears corsets? Because then she’s solaced.

The Fitchburg Sentinel (Fitchburg, Massachusetts) May 4, 1872

COMICAL CUTS.

The corset cannot be abolished; it is woman’s main-stay.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) May 15, 1888

How to Put on a Corset.

The San Francisco Chronicle is responsible for the following amusing description of an examination by a coroner’s jury, where the coroner desired to show the course taken by the ball, and for this purpose produced the corsets worn by Mrs. Burkhart, at the time of the tragedy:

“You see,” said he — and here he drew the corsets around his waist lacings in front — “the ball must have gone here from behind. No, that can’t be either, for the doctor says the ball went in front. Confound it, I’ve got in on wrong. Ah! this way.” (Here the coroner put them on upside down.) “Now you see,” pointing to the hole in the garment, which rested directly over his hip, “the ball must have gone in here. No, that can’t be either, for” —

Here Mr. Mather, the handsomest man on the jury broke in —

“Dr. Stillman,” said he, “you’ve got the corset on wrong.”

Here Dr. Stillman blushed like a puppy.

“Well,” said he, “I’ve been married twice, and ought to know how to rig a corset.”

“Yes,” said Mr. Mather, “but you don’t. You had it right in the first place. The strings go in front, and the ladies clasp them together in the back. Don’t I know, I think I ought to; I’ve been married. If you doubt it, look here, (pointing to the fullness at the top.) How do you suppose that’s going to be filled up unless you put it on as I suggest?”

“That,” said Dr. Stillman; “why, that goes over the hops.”

“No, it don’t,” said Mr. Mather; “that fullness goes somewhere else — this way;” and here Mr. Mather indicated where he thought the fullness ought to go.

At this a pale faced young man with a voice like a robin, and a note book under his arm, said he thought the ladies always clasped their corsets on the side. The pale faced young man said this very innocently, as if he wished to convey the impression that he knew nothing whatever of the matter. The jury laughed the pale faced young man to scorn, and one of them intimated that he thought the young man was not half so green about women’s dress as he tried to appear. The young man was a reporter, and it is, therefore, exceedingly probable that this knowledge was fully as limited as was apparent from his suggestion, the jury to the contrary notwithstanding.

Here another juryman discovered that Dr. Stillman had the corset on bottom side up.

“Doctor,” said he, “put it on the other way.”
Then the doctor put it on in reverse order, with the lacings in front. This brought the bullet holes directly over the tails of his coat.

“I don’t think,” said Mr. Mather, “that the bullet went in there, doctor.”

“No, I don’t think it did,” was the reply. “Confound it. It’s mighty funny — six married men in this room and not one that knows how to put on a woman’s corset.”

Here the Chronicles reporter, who has several sisters and always keeps his eyes open, advanced and convinced Dr. Stillman and Mr. Mather, after much argument, that the lacings of the corsage go behind, and that the garment is clasped in front. After this explanation the course of the bullet was readily traced, and found to bear out the explanation afforded by the two physicians.

The Fitchburg Sentinel (Fitchburg, Massachuetts) Jun 12, 1874

Corsets for Men.

The corset is becoming more and more a necessity of the ultra-fashionable man’s toilet, says a New York paper. The latest style of corsets for men look more than anything else like a large-sized belt curved for the hips, and are about ten inches wide. They are made of the same material as a woman’s corset, but whalebones are used instead of steel for the purpose of giving shape to them. They are usually laced at the back and are faced in front by means of eleven small elastic bands. The elastic is used so as to give perfect freedom of motion.

“How much do these corsets cost?” was asked of a manufacturer.

“The corset-wearers pay all the way from $2.50 to $20 a pair, and they are very particular not to say cranky, about the fit of them.”

“What class of men wear them?”

“The men who wear them are, in the first place, the fashionable young fellows around town, who are intent on being known for their handsome figures, and who do everything they can to increase the size of their shoulders and diminish the size of their waist. Outside of these the wearers of them are military men and stout men who find themselves growing too corpulent for gracefulness. Actors often wear them, and among the actors who are addicted to this sort of thing Kyrle Bellow and Herbert Kelsey are most frequently quoted. These men, it’s said, “secure corsets from a theatrical costumer instead of the fashionable furnishing-goods men on Broadway.”

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) May 10, 1890

Now they are talking of corsets for men. Some people will go any length to get tight.

Modesto Evening News (Modesto, California) Feb 13, 1923

Not content with one external revolt, there are those devotees to style who are advocating (no fooling) corsets for men.

“What’s this country coming to, anyway?” the writer heard one man asking another in conversation. “There’s no dispute on the point that ‘co-worked’ form would be the corset wearer’s, but the real mission of the corset would be to shape the wearer’s career.”

And all this climaxes an announcement at the Mercantile Exposition (in the broadest sense) that corsets practically are going to be taboo with “madame who wishes to be right in style,” figuratively speaking.

And, in the words of the gentleman quoted above, there is cause to wonder “if man really is to become the unwitting victim of the law of compensation, because somebody [has] to wear the darn things.”

Modesto Evening News (Modesto, California) Aug 10, 1923

An Electric Corset.

Paris is laughing over a joke about an American inventor who is said to have patented an electric corset that is to bring about the reign of morality at once. If one of these articles is pressed by a lover’s arm it at once emits a shriek like the whistle of a railway engine; and the inventor claims that he has already married three of his daughters, owing to the publicity thus thrust upon a backward lover.

Daily Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Jul 16, 1891

A Few Words About Electric Appliances.

ALBERT LEA, May 28th, 1886 — W.S. Jackson — DEAR SIR: Previous to wearing Dr. Scott’s Electric corset I was troubled with severe pains in my back and shoulders, and after using one for only two weeks the pain has entirely disappeared. I would not part with it for four times its cost.

MISS BERTHA REIMER

Freeborn County Standard (Albert Lea, Minnesota) Jun 16, 1886

Every Mail brings us Testimonials like the following:

Memphis, Tenn., November 28.
Dr. Scott’s Electric Corsets have given me much relief, I suffered four years with breast trouble, without finding any benefit from other remedies. They are invaluable.

MRS. JAS. CAMPBELL.

*****

De Witt, N.Y., June 11.
I have an invalid sister who has not been dressed for a year. She has worn Dr. Scott’s Electric Corsets for two weeks, and is now able to be dressed and sit up most of the time.

MELVA J. DOE.

Daily Democratic Times (Lima, Ohio) Sep 29, 1886

Even children should wear corsets! Be a sensible mother — get your child a corset so she can be beautiful.

The Salem Daily News (Salem, Ohio) Aug 26, 1890

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

John Anderson, My Jo – My Jim – My John – My Tom and My, What a Lunatic!

February 1, 2011

Image of this Irish couple (Luke and Bridget Reilly) is from the Photopol blog.

The parodies continue:

ANSWER TO “JOHN ANDERSON MY JO.”

BY MRS. CRAWFORD.

Jean Anderson, my ain Jean!
Ye’ve been a leal gude wife;
Ye’ve mair than shared by pain, Jean,
Ye’ve been my joy through life;
I loved ye in your youth, Jean,
Wi’ bonny snooded brow;
But maun I tell the truth, Jean,
I love ye better now.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *
I’ve been a man ol toil, Jean,
And aye obliged to roam;
But still ye had the smile, Jean,
And canny “welcome home!”
Our hearth was aye a light, Jean,
The kail pot on the fire,
When I came back at night, Jean,
I found my hearts desire.

Our bairus hae bred some cares, Jean,
But thanks to thee my Jo,
They brought not our gray hairs, Jean,
Wi’ shame or sorrow low;
And when at last our bed, Jean,
Beside the kirk maun be,
They’ll honor us when dead, Jean,
And that’s enough for me.

Rock River Pilot (Watertown, Wisconsin) Mar 1, 1848

The original Robert Burns version (previously posted) for comparison.

Peddlin’ My Jo:

1886 Bicycle for Two – Image from the Copenhagen City Museum

John Anderson, My Jo.
John Anderson, my Jo, John,
When we were first acquent
You wouldn’t ride the bike, John,
But now your spine is bent.
I see you riding by, John,
And goodness how you go —
You’re the swiftest sco???er in the town,
John Anderson, my Jo.

John Anderson, my Jo, John,
We clamb the hill thegither —
I’ll ne’er forget the day, John,
Nor, ”aibelins, wil you ither!
We coasted on your tandem,
And, jinks, how we did go,
Till we struck that fence-rail at the foot,
John Anderson, my Jo.

— Chicago News.

The Daily Herald (Delphos, Ohio) Jun 17, 1899

Civil War Hero:

John Logan, O my Jo, John,
When we were first acquaint,
A soldier bold you were, John,
Bedecked with warlike paint;
And when your slogan sounded
It nerved your loyal clan,
For to the front they bounded —
You led them like a man.

Oshkosh Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Jun 24, 1884

Image from Wiki.

Now for politics and corruption, but I repeat myself:

This one is about John Kelly and Tammany Hall:

John Kellyus, my jo, John,
When we were first acquaint,
You were a dreaded chief, John,
When you put on your paint;
But now your goose is cooked, John,
Your head is lying low —
It lies beneath old Sammy’s feet,
John Kellyus, my jo!

Albany Journal.

The Helena Independent (Helena, Montana) Oct 30, 1881

Image from The Old Photo Album website – American Civil War Portraits

COLFAX’S FAREWELL.

(“John Anderson, My Jo, John.“)

OLD subsidy, my Pomeroy,
When first we were acquaint,
The gospel of Sharpe’s rifles
Declared you quite a saint.
But now the cause of freedom
Will surely quick succumb —
In spite of all your bonds and things,
They cast you out, my Pom!

Well subsidized, my Pomeroy,
We fought the fight together,
And many a little picking, Pom,
Laid by for stormy weather.
Now we must tumble down, Pom,
But cheek by jowl we’ll fall,
And sink together in the mud
Where we were meant to crawl.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Mar 1, 1873

Image of Gov. J. Madison Wells from the Vangobot Pop Art Machine website.

“ADAPTED” FROM THE SCOTTISH.

Tom Anderson, my Jo, Tom,
When we were first acquaint,
For those electoral returns
In confidence you “went.”
You “fixed” ’em very bully, Tom,
With “Maddy” Wells and Co.,
And thought you had a certain thing,
Tom Anderson, my Jo!

But, Thomas A., my Jo, now
That matter “hasn’t went”
Entirely “serene,” and so
Your bonny brow is “brent,”
And your locks are prison locks, Tom,
And not at all like snow,
For they’ll not melt away with spring,
Tom Anderson, my Jo!

— Washington Post.

The Daily Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Feb 15, 1878

Image of John Sherman from Wiki.

ANOTHER CONFIDENTIAL LETTER.

FROM JOHN SHERMAN TO JAMES E. ANDERSON.

Jim Anderson, my jo, Jim,
When first we were acquaint,
You hadn’t kalsomined yourself
With pugilistic paint.
But now your jaw is oiled, Jim,
You’re telling what you know,
And I am shaking in my shoes —
Jim Anderson, my jo.

Jim Anderson, my jo, Jim,
We planned the fraud thegither,
And promised that we never would
Go back on one anither,
We juggled the returns, but James,
Jim James, how could you blow
And peach on me and Rutherford —
Jim Anderson, my jo?

Jim Anderson, my jo, Jim,
I promised we would pay,
But you despised a clerkship at
Three dollars every day,
Old Evarts should have sent you off
Consul to Cailao —
But hindsight isn’t foresight much
Jim Anderson, my jo!

Jim Anderson, my jo, Jim,
‘Twas not a fair divide,
You stole the mule for us and then
We wouldn’t let you ride.
And Stanley M. is sick, Jim,
And Hayes is lying low,
And I’m the deadest sort of duck,
Jim Anderson, my jo!

— N.Y. Sun.

The Daily Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Jun 9, 1878

Read more:

Title: A Political Crime: The History of the Great Fraud
Author: Albert M. Gibson
Publisher: W.S. Gottsberger, 1885

pg 214 [Wells, Tom Anderson]

Chapter XV pg 283 [Sherman and John E. Anderson]

President John Tyler image from the We Love the Prairie Primer homeschool blog.

From the United States Gazette.

A New Song to an Old Tune.

John Tyler, sir, my Jo John, when first we were acquaint,
You did pretend to be a Whig, for Harry, sir, you went;
But now you’ve got in power, John, the cloven foot you show;
A shame unto all traitors, John, John Tyler, sir my Jo.

John Tyler, sir, my Jo John, the Whigs they fought thegither,
And many a canty day, John, they had with one anither;
But you have betrayed them, John, and why did you do so?
A shame unto all traitors, John, John Tyler, sir, my Jo.

John Tyler, sir, my Jo John, when nature first began,
To try her canny hand, John, her master work was man,
But when she turned you out, John, she said it was “no go,”
You proved to be but journey-work, John Tyler, sir my Jo.

John Tyler, sir, my Jo John, why will you be a fool,
And sneak around the Locos, John, who use you as a tool?
They’re laughing in their sleeves, John, to think that you’ll veto
The only bill can save you, John, John Tyler, sir my Jo.

John Tyler, sir, my Jo John, the higher monkies go,
The more they show their tails, John, you know it’s even so;
Then get you out the White House, John, and homeward do you go,
And make the people happy, John, John Tyler, sir, my jo.

Huron Reflector (Norwalk, Ohio) Sep 27, 1842

Image from the Turn Back to God website.

Sweet, Long-lasting love:

IT’S MIGHTY COMFORTIN’.

Oh, it’s mighty comfortin’ when your hair is gettin’ thin,
And the wrinkles in your face have come to stay,
Just to feel her little hand smoothin’ out each silver strand,
While you meet her lovin’ look and hear her say:

“John, my dear, it seems as tho’ every day you live you grow
Handsomer than in olden day.”
And you smile back at your wife while you think, in all your life
You never heard a sweeter word of praise.

Then somehow, the teardrops rise to your dim, old fadin’ eyes,
While you kiss the tender hand still white and small,
And you try to tell her how you loved her then — you love her now,
But, bless me, if the words will come at all!

For just then it comes to you to think of trials she’s gone thro’,
And borne without a murmur for your sake;
You can only bow your head at the lovin’ things she’s said,
And your poor old heart can only ache and ache.

But she knows what ails you then, and she kisses you again,
While you hear her gently whisper, sweet and low;
“Life has bro’t more hopes than fears; we have known more smiles than tears;
You are the dearest dear of dears, John Anderson, my Jo!”

So it’s comfortin’, I say, when your hair is gettin’ gray,
And our slippin’ down life’s hill a mighty fast,
Just to feel her little hand strokin’ back each silver strand,
While she whispers that she loves you to the last.

— Farmer’s Voice.

The Daily Herald (Delphos, Ohio) Feb 26, 1898

Image of Lunatic Asylum, Columbus, Ohio from Wiki.

Kind of odd, dare I say crazy, for this Judge to out “riding” with this  “lunatic.” Maybe he was jilted:

A Poetic Fancy.

Judge Gilmore, of Columbus, has the original manuscript of the following verse, written by a young man who went to the lunatic asylum about a week later. The young poet asked the Judge out for a drive, and when they had gone some miles into the country said his object was to submit something to him. He then recited, “John Anderson, my jo,” and when he came to the sad ending: “We’ll sleep the gither at the fit, John Anderson, my jo,” he exclaimed, “That’s not the end of it. Burns never finished it. That’s not the end of such life-long love. There’s more to it. I have the closing verse here.” Then he read it:

John Anderson, my jo, John,
We wilna min’ that sleep;
The grave, so cauld an’ dark, John,
The spirit canna keep
For we will wake in heaven, John;
An’ hand in hand we’ll go
An live for aye in blissfu’ love
John Anderson, my jo.

Lima Daily News (Lima, Ohio) Jul 9, 1889

*****

Previous “John Anderson, My Jo” posts:

Robert Burns: “John Anderson, My Jo”

and

John Alcohol and the Poor Man’s Club

The Last of the Family

January 27, 2011

Image of  the Church of St. Brynach, Nevern from Geograph.

THE LAST OF THE FAMILY.

Maggie was twenty and two years old,
Her heart was cheerful, and brave, and strong,
She’d bright brown eyes that sweet stories told,
And a voice as gay as a pleasant song,
Yet Maggie was left in the world alone,
With six dear names on a churchyard stone.

She often told me about her dead,
With chastened voice, but unclouded brow,
As though from some hold book she read,
Whose writer had grown more holy now.
Yet her laugh rang out in our girlish mirth,
As if there was not a grave on earth!

We parted last on a summer night,
Under a sky like a golden sea,
And as she gazed on the glorious sight,
She softly said: “What must Heaven be!”
I think that angels heard the sigh,
For her morning brightened beyond the sky.

She’d worn her cross as it were a crown,
And lo! a crown did the cross become,
For none to leave in our little town,
Was none to miss in the Heavenly home,
A perfect household before the throne,
And seven names on the churchyard stone.

— NEW YORK OBSERVER.

The Herald and Torch Light (Hagerstown, Maryland) May 28, 1873

Where Dirt Gathers, Waste Rules

November 16, 2010

A GREAT HORROR DONE AWAY WITH.

House cleaning is a great horror to nine men out of every ten. When that time comes the “men folks,” as a rule, give the domestic hearth a wide birth. Oceans of suds — the product of tons of soap — fairly flood every part of the house. The women, from the mistress down, labor as they never worked before, and what with the discomfort, the smell of suds and the dampness, and not unfrequently sickness, the product of colds and overwork, matters are generally disagreeable. The simple use of Sapolio instead of soap does away with all this discomfort. It lightens the labor a hundred per cent, because it removes dirt, grease, stains and spots, with hardly any labor, with but little water, and in one-tenth the usual time.

Sandusky Daily Register (Sandusky, Ohio) Sep 1, 1873

San Antonio Express (San Antonio, Texas) Mar 14, 1890

Carroll Sentinel (Carroll, Iowa) Feb 5, 1894

San Antonio Express (San Antonio, Texas) Jan 24, 1890

*****

AN ACT OF CRUELTY.

Chapped hands and face are the most serious annoyances that farmers, and persons who labor much outdoors, experience from exposure. Exposed persons, especially children, repeatedly suffer intensely from great cracks upon the hands that often bleed. It is cruel to allow one’s self or others to suffer in this way, when the means of positive prevention are so easy to be had, and so cheap as to pay ten cents for a cake of Hand Sapolio. Hand Sapolio is not only better than the costliest soap for removing dirt, but it prevents chapping, and renders the skin soft and pliable. Sold everywhere.

Sandusky Daily Register (Sandusky, Ohio) Sep 10, 1873

Carroll Sentinel (Carroll, Iowa) Mar 16, 1894

San Antonio Express (San Antonio, Texas) Feb 21, 1890

*****

A HINT TO HOUSEWIVES — HOW TO KEEP KITCHEN WARE CLEAN AND BRIGHT.

Every housewife of neat and tidy habits takes especial delight in keeping all the tin, copper and iron ware of her kitchen as clean and bright as painstaking labor can make them. A pride in this direction is commendable, and always meets the smiling approval of the “tyrant man” who pays the household bills. Remember that SAPOLIO is the only thing on earth that will make an old tarnished tin pan or rusty kettle shine as bright as new. And by the use of Sapolio it is the quickest and easiest thing in the world to keep every utensil in a high state of polish.

Sandusky Daily Register (Sandusky, Ohio) Sep 12, 1873

Newark Daily Advocate (Newark, Ohio) Aug 1, 1894

San Antonio Express (San Antonio, Texas) Apr 1, 1890

*****

A WORD TO WORKING PEOPLE OF BOTH SEXES.

Mechanics, artisans, factory hands and people who labor for a living, find it very difficult if not impossible to keep the hands free from stain. Hand Sapolio will not only remove every particle of stain, ans what is called “grained in dirt,” but it will also keep the skin soft and pliable, rendering the muscular action as quick and easy as is the case with those who do not perform hard labor. It is only 10 and 15 cents a cake, according to size. Every mechanic should use it constantly in place of all other soaps.

Sandusky Daily Register (Sandusky, Ohio) Sep 22, 1873

Carroll Sentinel (Carroll, Iowa) Feb 25, 1896

San Antonio Express (San Antonio, Texas) Apr 8, 1890

*****

HOW TO REMOVE STAINS AND SPOTS FROM MARBLE FURNITURE, ETC.

The only stain which Sapolio will not remove is a “stain upon the character.” But from marble mantels, tables, china, table-ware, carpets, furniture of every description, or any article of household ornament or use, the deepest dyed stain can be instantly washed out forever by the use of Sapolio. It is as cheap as ordinary bar soap, and will always do exactly what is claimed for it, if the simple directions are followed.

Sandusky Daily Register (Sandusky, Ohio) Nov 13, 1873

Carroll Sentinel (Carroll, Iowa) Sep 6, 1897

San Antonio Express (San Antonio, Texas) May 2, 1890

*****

HOW TO LIVE ECONOMICALLY.

The problem of how to economize in living is one that engages the serious attention of a great many people. “Many a little makes a mickle,” was one of Benjamin Franklin’s “Poor Richard” truisms that summarizes the whole system of popular extravagance. If you wish to save money economize in little as well as in large items of expenditure. For all the household purposes for which polishing powders, bath brick and soap are usually used, excepting the one thing of washing clothes. Sapolio is by many times the cheapest article that can be employed. To say nothing about its great superiority to all other substances, it is, on the score of money alone, by far the cheapest. Remember this fact and save many dollars every year.

Sandusky Daily Register (Sandusky, Ohio) Nov 24, 1873

Carroll Sentinel (Carroll, Iowa) Dec 27, 1897

Carroll Sentinel (Carroll, Iowa) Mar 28, 1898

Carroll Sentinel (Carroll, Iowa) Jun 1, 1899

San Antonio Express (San Antonio, Texas) Apr 14, 1890

SISSY JANE.

Allays — mornin’, noon an’ night,
Rose o’dawn or candlelight,
She was toilin’ in the house,
Creepin’ round’, jes like a mouse;
Washin’ kittles, pots an’ pans,
Runnin’ erran’s in the rain,
Lots o’ work fer her small han’s —
sissy Jane.

Had to work er’ she’d get spiled,
Bein’ jes a char’ty child;
Them’s the kind that folks despise —
Kind o scary like brown eyes,
Hair that  fell without a comb,
Like a yearlin’ colt’s rough mane,
‘Cause she hadn’t any home —
Sissy Jane.

Finerly she sort o’ failed,
Cheeks got sunken like an’ paled,
Eyes kep gettin’ bigger, too,
Elbow jints come crowdin’ through.
So she up and died about
Time the men was cuttin’ grain.
Reckon she got tired out —
Sissy Jane.

— Chicago Herald.

Sandusky Daily Register (Sandusky, Ohio) Apr 14, 1890

Webster’s Right, Times Are Tite

October 15, 2010

So  let’s skip the cake and presents, and celebrate Noah Webster’s birthday (Oct .16th) with words from the past:

A Philadelphia paper has ascertained that Noah Webster used to play euchre and steal eggs.

Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Jan 31, 1874

The ghost of Noah Webster came to a spiritual medium in Alabama not long since, and wrote on a slip of paper: “It is tite times.” Noah is right, but we are sorry to see he has gone back on his dictionary.

Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Apr 17, 1875

THE HARM THAT WEBSTER HAS DONE THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE.

In the estimation of many, the next book in the world to the Bible is Webster’s unabridged Dictionary! It is found everywhere, and has done much good and we think much evil. It is not generally known that Dr. Webster‘s great work was in its inception a conspiracy against the English language.

The first issue of his system, more than half a century since, was received with hoots and laughter. But the Doctor, having the capital of great learning, industry and obstinacy to back him, kept hammering on the public until his revised and less offensive later editions were received with favor. all this can be abundantly proved. Webster started out with the idea to spell by sound as nearly as possible, as h-a-z for has and w-o-o-d for would, and was only induced to withdraw such radical changes, because he perceived that they never would be received. He then compromised with the difficulty and made all the changes he dared in the orthography and orthoepy of the language.

His dictionaries, even as thus revised called forth immediate and persistent denunciation from the most able scholars in the Union and the jeers of the English people.

But the Doctor subsidized a power which is more powerful than learning orthodoxy and pride of race — he advertised largely in the newspapers, and canvassed the entire Union by well paid and able agents.

He succeeded. By degrees familiarity with the unauthorized liberties he had taken with the language grew into the usages of life and the education of the young, and now we find ourselves face to face with the strange anomaly of professing to speak and write the English language, and chiefly using as a standard a work which is utterly repudiated by the entire English people and the best portion of our own scholars, as subversive of etymology, as revolutionary, as partisan and unauthorized by the masters of the English tongue. Webster’s dictionary was a bold and clever commercial adventure, and a successful one; but that should not blind every lover of the integrity and history of his language to its arrogant mutilation of that which we should most carefully conserve.

Again, we have been depended so long upon the North for our books and our literature that it took all the terrible lessons of “the war” to open our eyes to the criminal supineness, and to inaugurate measures looking to a purer, truer and more local publication of educational works.

And just here we affirm that we are under shackles to Noah Webster and his successes, in so far as we receive the palpable alterations his later editions give in the meaning of important words bearing on politics and governmental relations.

The dictionary as left by Dr. Webster, was bad enough, but since his death it has been deliberately “doctored” by his literary executors until now it stands forth as radicalized, not only in literature, but in politics. This can easily be proved.

Why, then, do we submit to this imposition?

Is it because there is no peer of Webster to be found in our book stores?

By no means. In the official declaration of Harvard University; of the University of Virginia, of Washington and Lee College, and and many other  first-class institutions, Dr. Worcester’s dictionary is preferred, and is stated to be equal in every respect, and superior in its adhesion to English purity, and in its entire freedom from sectarian bias.

With this opinion thousands of our most enlightened and influential scholars coinside, and we hope soon to see the day when we will find a Worcester in the place of the Webster now so common on the editor’s table, the merchant’s desk, by the teacher’s elbow and in the hands of our children.

Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) Mar 30, 1873

Noah Webster made a voyage to England, before the days of steam in ocean navigation, to hear how the best educated men in that country pronounced their own language; but found neither greater uniformity nor perfection on the other side of the water than on this, and so gave up the idea of a pronouncing dictionary. He found it equally hard, though he made the attempt, to introduce uniformity in spelling. The Dictionary which he spent a long life in preparing, gives a list of more than a thousand words,  in the pronunciation of which such high authorities as Perry, Walker, Knowles, Smart, Worcester, Cooley, and Cull differ, in some cases to such a degree as would scarcely enable the hearer to recognize the identity of the same word pronounced by the different standards. In a free country like this, every man is supposed to have the right to spell and pronounce according to his own notions. The principal trouble is to keep the peace between the ambitious young sophmore, when he begins to write for the press, the intelligent printer, the methodical proof reader, and that scapegoat of the whole, the printer’s devil.

Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) Mar 16, 1877

 

Noah Webster

 

Franklin as a Writer.

His pen was as ready as his purse in the service of all human kindness. And what a pen it was! It could discourse metaphysics so clearly and lucidly as to make them seem plain moralizing. It could tear a sophism to pieces by a mere query. It could make a simple tale read like a subtle argument. He could be grave and he could be gay in a breath. He could spend as much wit and humor on a “Craven Street Gazette” — which was meant only to amuse an old landlady, away from home, and probably out of joint before her return from Rochester — as on a State paper designed to fire America and sting England. In another tone, he translates into human language, for the amusement of a court lady, the reflections, in the garden of her house, of a gray-headed ephemera, full seven hours old, on the vanity of all things.

His “Petition of the Left Hand,” might have been composed by Addison. In it, the left hand bewails the partiality which educated the right hand exclusively. Some of Franklin’s fables and tales have been so absorbed into the thought of the world that their source is absolutely forgotten. Only in this way can we account for what was doubtless an unconscious plagiarism by an eminent sanitary authority, last year, of Franklin’s “Economical project for Diminishing the cost of Light.”

The economy consisted simply in rising at six o’clock instead of nine or ten. Ideas such as Franklin’s never become superanuated. Not every one who uses the expression, “to pay dear for one’s whistle,” knows that the dear whistle was a purchase made by Franklin, when seven years old, with a pocketful of pence. Franklin’s store was too abundant for him to mind, though some of his fame went astray. “You know,” he tells his daughter, “everything makes me recollect some story.”

But it was not recollection so much as fancy. His fancy clothed every idea in circumstances. When the illustration had served its turn, he was indifferent what became of it. Franklin did injustice to himself when he fancied he wanted any such mechanical aid. His English had been learned from the “Pilgrim’s Progress,” and the “Spectator.” It had the force of Bunyon without his ruggedness. It had the serene light of Addison with tenfold his raciness and vigor. It sparkled with sarcasms as cutting as Voltaire’s, but all sweetened with humanity. Many of his inventions or adaptions — such as “colonize” — have been stamped, long since, as current English. But he did not covet the fame of an inventor, whether in language, in morals, or in politics. In language, he was even declared a foe to innovation.

Writing to Noah Webster, in 1789, he protests against the new verbs “notice,” “advocate,” and “progress.” He had as little ambition to be classic as to be an innovator in English. He wrote because he had something at the moment to say, with a view to procuring that something should at that moment be done. —Edinburgh Review.

The Daily News (Frederick, Maryland) Nov 20, 1883

The Thorp Springs Christian is a critic. It says:

In a primer, which is common in the schools of our country, is a picture of a sow and six pigs, and under it is this reading: “A big pig and six little pigs.” What language is this? It is not good English, and yet it is in a school book. As well say of a woman and children, a big child and six little children; of a goose and goslings, a big gosling and six little goslings; of a large fish and minnows, a big minnow and six little minnows.

The Christian knows more than Noah Webster. He says: “Pig, the young of swine, a hog.” The former is regarded as the more elegant term. The writer once heard a little boy say “give me some hog,” when he wanted to be helped to roast pig. It did not sound well.

Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) Sep 14, 1887

 

John Clark Ridpath (Image from http://radicalacademy.com)

 

RIDPATH ON FREE COINAGE.

John Clark Ridpath, the historian, in an interview on the financial question says:

“According to my way of thinking our Government has been steadily drifting away from the people and getting into the power of special interests. The circle of government has narrowed and narrowed until it appears to me the height of absurdity to call it any longer a Government of the people, for the people and by the people. I want to see this process completely reversed. I want to see the Government restored to the people. I believe precisely what Webster and Theodore Parker and Lincoln said, viz” ‘That our republic is, or ought to be, a government of the people, for the people and by them.’

RIGHT TO GOVERN THEMSELVES.

“How can there be any harm in such a doctrine? In the name of common sense has it come to pass that patriotic citizens of the United States of American cannot advocate the right of the people to govern themselves? Has it come to that when we have, sure enough, a lot of self-constituted masters who shall tell us what is good for us and how to obtain it? Are we Americans a lot of younglings who are unable to lead ourselves, but must be led rather with a string and fed on porridge as with a spoon?

“Among the methods as it seems to me by which the Government is to be recovered by the people is, first of all, as the matter now stands, the restoration of our currency. We want our currency system put back precisely where it was under the statutes and constitution for the first eighty-one years of our existence as a nation. Our statutory bimetallic system of currency was taken from us [in 1873] by a process which I do not care to characterize in fitting terms. Now we propose to have it back again. The restoration of our silver money to the place it held before is the people’s cause, and the people in this contest are going to triumph.

They are going to triumph in the open light of day in the clear gleam of light and truth.

“The silver dollar was of old the unit of money and account in the United States. That dollar to this hour has never been altered by the fraction of a grain in the quantity of pure metal composing it. Every other coin, whether of gold or silver, has been altered time and time again, but the silver unit never. The silver dollar was the dollar of the law and the contract. It is to this day the dollar of the law and the contract. To the silver unit all the rest, both gold and silver, have been conformed from our first statutes of 1792 to that ill-starred date when the conspiracy against our old constitution order first declared itself. The gold eagle of the original statute, and of all subsequent statutes, was not made to the $10, but to be of the value of $10. The half-eagle was not made to be $5, but of the value of $5. The quarter-eagle was of the value of $2.50, and the double-eagle was of the value of $20. Even the gold dollar of 1849, marvelous to relate, was not $1, but was made to be of the value of $1. The subsidiary coins were all fractions of the dollar and the dollar was of silver.

NEW MEANING FOR “DOLLAR.”

“Not a single dictionary or encyclopedia in the English language before 1878 ever defined dollar in any terms other than of silver. In that year the administrators of the estate of Noah Webster, deceased, cut the plates of our standard lexicon and inserted a new definition that had become necessary in order to throw a penumbra of rationality around the international gold conspiracy.

“The way to obviate the further disastrous effects of this international gold conspiracy is to stop it. We want the system of bimetallism restored in this country. Bimetallism means the option of the debtor to pay in either of two statutory coins, according to the contract. This option freely granted, the commercial parity of the two money metals will be speedily reached, nor can such parity ever be seriously disturbed again as long as the unimpeded option of the debtor to pay in one metal or the other shall be conceded by law and the terms of the contract. The present commercial disparity of the two metals has been produced by the pernicious legislation which began twenty-three years ago and which has not yet satisfied itself with the monstrous results that have flamed therefrom.

“What do we propose to accomplish by free coinage? We propose to do just this thing — viz: to break the corner on gold and reduce the exaggerated purchasing power of that metal to its normal standard. Be assured there will be no further talk of a 50-cent dollar when the commercial parity of the two money metals shall have been reached. Every well-informed person must know that the present disparity of the two money metals is bu the index of the extent to which gold has been bulled in the markets of the world. It is not an index to the extent to which raw silver has declined in its purchasing power as compared with the average of other commodities in any civilized market place of the whole globe. No man shall say the contrary and speak the truth. This question is hot upon us. It can be kept back no longer. It is a tremendous economic question that ought to be decided in court of right, reason and of fact. My judgement is that the American people, in spite of all opposition, are going to reclaim the right of transacting their business, and in particular of paying their debts according to a standard unit worth 100 cents to the dollar, neither more nor less, and that they will not accept the intolerable program which declares in fact if not in words that they shall henceforth transact their business and in particular discharge their debts with a cornered gold dollar worth almost two for one.”

Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Aug 8, 1896

Title: The American Spelling Book: containing the rudiments of the English language : for use of schools in the United States
Author: Noah Webster
Edition: 90
Publisher: Johnson & Warner, 1816

A Great Book.

There is in Utica an old man of unusual intelligence who is known to have graduated from no college, and yet whose perfect English, including syntax, orthography and pronunciation, would stamp him as an educated man in any company. One night this old man was seated in the rooms of the Cogburn club, when he consented to be interviewed as follows:

“From whom did you get the foundation of your education?”

“From Webster.”

“Daniel Webster?”

“No, but Noah Webster, through his spelling book. When I was 12, I could spell every word in that book correctly. I had learned all the reading lessons it contains, including that one about the old man who found some rude boys in his fruit trees one day, and who, after trying kind words and grass, finally pelted them with stones, until the young scapegraces were glad to come down and bet the old man’s pardon.”

Webster‘s spelling book must have been wonderfully popular.”

“Yes.” And a genial smile lighted up the ancient face. “There were more copies of it sold than of any other work ever written in America. Twenty-four millions is the number up to 1847, and that had increased to 36,000,000 in 1860, since which time I have seen no account of its sale. Yes, I owe my education to the spelling book.” — Utica Observer.

Lima News (Lima, Ohio) May 27, 1898

*****

*****

*****

This image comes from the Eightface website. He has an interesting video (about 8 minutes long) of how he made this book. It even shows him using an old printing press.

From his website:

Pictorial Webster’s features over four hundred original woodcut and copper engravings from 19th century editions of the Merriam-Webster dictionary. The fine press edition features a letterpress interior, leather binding and a hand-tooled cover. A trade edition of the book is now available from Chronicle Books.

This video offers a behind-the-scenes peek at the making of the book. You get a good sense of what’s involved with production and the amount of effort that goes into it.

*****

NOTE: I provided definition links to a few words in the articles above, and would have used the Merriam-Webster dictionary website as the link source, but their site seems to take forever to load.

Punctuation, Typewriting and Telegrams

September 24, 2010

A bit of a mixed bag for Punctuation Day:

Fire Inspector Not in Jail as Telegram Stated

Lack of punctuation in a telegram received at the state fire marshal’s office Friday morning made it appear that L.J. Butcher, state fire inspector, was in jail at North Platte waiting for somebody to go his bail. But by inserting a period where the telegraph company had omitted it, Chief Clerk Eva Anderson figured it out that two incendiary suspects and not Butcher, were in jail.

The inspector was sent there two or three days ago to probe the circumstances of several supposed incendiary attempts to burn a residence in North Platte. He wired Friday that one blaze which started April 9 at 11 p.m., had been put out, and the next morning at 8 o’clock fire broke out again at six different places in the house.

“Owner and wife made complete confession to County Attorney J.T. Keefe and myself are in jail awaiting bail,” the message concluded.

This looked bad, on its face, for “J.T. Keefe and myself.” But telegram English is a little different. Miss Anderson finally decided that this was the way it should read:

“Owner and wife made complete confession to County Attorney T.J. Keefe and myself. Are in jail awaiting bail.”

The Lincoln Star (Lincoln, Nebraska) Apr 14, 1922

Sarcoxie, Missouri (Image from http://www.sarcoxielibrary.org)

Getting Into Print.

A certain gentleman who wanted to get into print sent the following to the Sarcoxie Record

The scribe arose
And rubbed his nose —
His eyes expressing exultation
Aha — cried he —
I will be free —
I will be free from punctuation

This writer then
Seized on his pen
Writing fast with fiery flashes —
And to him came —
One morning — fame —
Instead of commas he used dashes

The magazines
And pictured screens
Acclaim’d him genius — great – annoited —
His stuff was grand —
You understand —
Because it was so oddly pointed.

The Lincoln Star (Lincoln, Nebraska) Mar 21, 1922

A Little Punctuation.

People who fail to punctuate their communications are invited to study the following line, which is a correct sentence

“It was and I said not or.”

We got that line one day this week by wire, where punctuations are always omitted. We nearly wrecked our mentality trying to clear up the mystery of the single line, when all of a sudden it occurred to us to look up a copy of our letter to the party, when we discovered that our friend wanted to inform us he did not use the word “or,” but did use “and.” To be plain, the sentence is correct and should have read, “It was ‘and’ I said – not ‘or.'”

Another party who has been studying Pope wrote us as follows: “My Dear Mr. George — I have been thinking over the statement you made last week, and I too believe that that is is that that is not is not, and I take pleasure in believing so.”

A good way to untangle the above is to write it as follows: “That that is, is. That that is not, is not.” In other words, it is a play on Pope’s “whatever is, is right.” People who eschew punctuation should not feel hurt if their meaning is not always readily grasped.

— George’s Denver Weekly.

Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Jul 22, 1899

While the rest of us are looking for truth in the book of life the Cynic spends his time searching for small flaws in the punctuation.

Daily Mail (Hagerstown, Maryland) Sep 6, 1927

PUNCTUATION.

It is a prevailing fad of job printers to omit punctuation. The consequences are sometimes far from satisfactory to the customer, as witness the following street car sign of a well-known Connellsville druggist:

Your Doctor’s Orders
Are Obeyed Strictly and Accurately
I Never Substitute
Pure Drugs and Medicines

What the druggist does do, and what he wanted to say, was that he fills prescriptions accurately; that he never substitutes other remedies for those called for in the prescription; and, finally, that he sell nothing but pure drugs and medicines.

The job printer has made him say that he obeys the doctor’s orders by never substituting pure drugs and medicines for the impure kind prescribed!

The Daily Courier (Connellsville, Pennsylvania) Mar 15, 1906

HEARD IN THE PROOFROOM.

How Poetry, Prose and Advertisements Sound Via the Copyholder.

If one of our modern graduate elocutionists could hear a copyholder reading aloud in the proofroom of a daily newspaper, it would be very apt to drive the elocutionist to drink. For the benefit of those who have never heard this class of reading an imitation thereof in type may be of passing interest.

In the first place, be it understood, a copyholder is a proofreader’s assistant, and it is his (or her) business to read aloud the copy, including punctuation, spelling of names, etc., so that the proofreader may have a correct understanding of just what the copy is without bothering to look and see for himself.

This is about the way it sounds when the copyholder starts in:

“The G-r-a-m-m-e Machine — three up — E type — period. In the diagram before you A B — two small caps — is a ring of soft iron — comma — with its ends connected so as to form a continuous circuit — period. This ring can be made to rotate on its axis between the poles N S — two small caps — of an electro-magnet — compounded — period. How the magnetism of the electro-magnet — compounded — is established will be explained by-and-by — compounded — no e on by — colon — for the present I simply assume that N — small cap — and s — small cap — are two magnetic poles — comma — north and south respectively — period — parry — no dash.”

Perhaps the next bit of copy is a news item, and we hear:

“Accident in Newark — H 1. About 6 o’clock this morning as William — abbreviated — Clarke — with an e — was crossing E-v-a-n-s st — comma — near the corner of Clover — comma — he was struck by a trolley-car — compounded — No. 42 — figures — comma — and thrown to the ground on one side just in time to fall under the wheels of a passing wagon — period. He was picked up unconscious and conveyed to G-r-o-s-v-e-n-o-r hospital — comma — where his injuries were pronounced dangerous — period — more to come.”

Possibly a little poetic gem may be the next thing on the proof, and this is how it sounds:

“Miss P-e-g-g-y-pos-s Bonnet — three up — K type. Poetry — begins flush.

The century was six years old — comma — one em — Miss Peggy — two up — just sixteen — spelled, of course — comma — dash — flush — not yet a woman — comma — nor a child — comma — one em — but that sweet age between charms from either side — comma — dash — one em — the dimpled smile of four — spelled again — comma — flush — with gentle mier and glance serene — one em — of twenty-one — hyphened — or more — scarce — stanza.”

Next an advertisement appears and as this is more important than poetry or news the copy reader’s pace slackens very perceptibly, and we catch:

“Two inches — daily — top of column — third page — send five proofs — four blank lines — avoid consumption — 38 — 1 line — pica old style lower next — begins flush — don’t wait until the hacking cough — all caps — has weakened the system and strained the Lungs — one up — period — take — break — S-m-i-t-h-pos-s E-m-u-l-s-i-o-n — two lines 27 — upper and lower — centered — no — point — goes on in pica old style — flush — the cream — one up – of Cod liver — cod up — hyphened — Oil — up — and Hyposphosphates — up — comma — to supply the nourishment your system craves — period — no address — that’s funny — better show it to the boss and see if it goes.”

And thus the copyholder hurries along, dissecting his material at a rate only a printer can properly appreciate. — American Bookmaker.

The Mountain Democrat (Placerville, California) Mar 21, 1896

A Writing Machine

The first of the writing machines manufactured in New York has been received by E.S. Belden, phonetic reporter of Washington. The invention was made in England, but it has been added to and improved in this country. The machine is about the same size of an ordinary sewing machine, and can be worked by a child who can spell, as easily as by a grown person.

It consists of a series of forty-two keys, to which are attached steel hammers, and each one of these represents a letter, figure, or a punctuation mark. The keys are arranged in four rows, like the keys of an organ, and are operated on precisely the same principle. The hammers are arranged in a circle, and when the key is pressed the corresponding letter moves to the centre, receding again immediately when the pressure is removed. A space key is provided, by means of which the spaces between words are made. Mr. Washburn, of San Francisco, patented an improvement on the machine, and he contemplates the use of printers’ ink. In the original, the color is taken from a prepared ribbon, which is between the hammer and paper. At the end of each line the machine is adjusted for the next line by means of a treadle, which is worked by the feet of the operator.

By this machine three times as much can be written as an ordinary man can write. The Western Union Telegraph Company has already ordered all that can be manufactured for the next six months. They are to be used manifolding copy telegraphed to the press.

Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) Oct 19, 1873

Charles A. Washburn’s 1870 patent illustrations:

Here is a link to last year’s post for National Punctuation Day!

Vines and Lies

September 22, 2010

A California paper tells about a boy climbing a tomato vine to get away from a mad dog Tomato vines attain an enormous size in California, and so do lies.

Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) Oct 19, 1873