Posts Tagged ‘1885’

The Married State

April 25, 2012

Image from The Cabinet Card Gallery

The Married State

[Troy Press.]

He tried to kiss Miss Ouri,
But she wouldn’t let him do it,
And she hinted very broadly,
If he tried again he’d rue it.

Then he went for Mrs. Sippi,
A sweetly blushing widah,
But she said, “Utah-dy fellah,
Your suit I can’t considah,

“For I’m just engaged to Georgia,
And never can Nevada
Man so dreadfully persistent,
He’s an awful woman-raidah!

“Idaho’d a field of cotton
Rather n leave this healthy section,
And I never liked a fellah
With a Florida complexion.

“I wouldn’t ‘a gone off with him,
Oregon with any other,
But Iowa lot of money
To a cruel hearted brother.

“I wish you’d asked me soonah,
As it is, I must decline, ah,
So just call on Louisa Anna,
Or visit Carolina.”

But he went to Minnie Sota,
Dressed in a suit of Kersey,
And he told her if she’d have him
He would buy her a New Jersey

And now they’re wed and happy,
And they live in Indiana,
And they’re seriously thinking
Of naming her Montana.

The Atchison Globe (Atchison, Kansas) Apr 23, 1885

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End of Mike Young, Desperado and Horse Thief

April 19, 2012

Image from the South Fork Companion

END OF MIKE YOUNG.

McPHERSON, KAN., April 24. — Mike Young, a noted desperado and horse thief from Montana, was wanted for a long time by the authorities of Mitchell, Rice, Ellsworth and Reno Counties, for numerous crimes. Finally a reward of $100 was offered by the authorities, and Sheriff Frank McGrath, of Mitchell County, took the case in hand.

He followed the desperado for two weeks till he had located him near the farm of Frank Wauth, a respectable farmer, to whose daughter the young outlaw was engaged. The Sheriff succeded in getting a letter addressed to the young lady in question, announcing the desperado’s arrival and making arrangements for an elopement. Mr. McGrath then entered the house of Mr. Wauth under an assumed name, pretending to be a Missouri farmer looking for land, and waited two days for his game.

On the evening of the second day April 18, between six and seven p.m., a boy entered the house bringing a message from Young that he wished to see the girl. The Sheriff remarked:

“Why don’t he come himsef like a gentleman.”

The messenger departed and a few minutes later the desperado rode up to the house on one of his stolen horses. As soon as the desperado entered the house, Sheriff McGrath covered him, holding in his left hand a 44-caliber Colt’s and in his right an American bulldog revolver.

As he exclaimed: “Mike Young I have a warrant for you, hold up your hands!” the desperado tried to reach his pistol pocket. The Sheriff called once more to him to hold up his hands, and as he did not obey the second time he fired with his left hand, hitting the outlaw on his forehead right above the eyebrows. As the man fell he dropped a 44 caliber Colt’s revolver.

The dead outlaw stood six feet two in his boots. His last crimes were the theft of five horses stolen inside of two weeks; amongst them were a fine pair of mares belonging to the father of his sweetheart.

The Atchison Globe (Atchison, Kansas) Apr 24, 1885

Letter to a Communist

April 19, 2012

Letter to a Communist.

{Bill Nye)

Dear Sir.–Your courteous letter of the 1st instant, in which you cordially consent to share my wealth and dwell together with me in fraternal sunshine, is duly received. While I dislike to appear cold and distant to one who seems so yearnful and so clinging, and while I do not wish to be regarded as purse-proud or arrogant, I must decline your kind offer to whack up.

You had not heard, very likely, that I am not now a Communist. I used to be, I admit, and the society no doubt neglected to strike my name off the roll of active members. For a number of years I was quite active as a Communist. I would have been more active, but I had conscientious scruples against being active in anything then.

I do not censure you, however. If you could convince every one of the utility of Communism, it would certainly be a great boon to you. I tried it awhile, but my efforts were futile. The effect of my great struggle seemed to be that men’s hearts grew more and more stony, and my pantaloons got thinner and thinner on the seat, ’till it seemed to me that the world never was so cold. Then I made some experiments in manual labor. As I began to work harder and sit down less, I found that the world was not so cold. It was only when I sat down a long time that I felt how cold and rough the world really was.

Perhaps it is so with you. Sedentary habits and stale beer are apt to make us morbid. Sitting on the stone door sills of hallways and public buildings during cold weather is apt to give you an erroneous impression of life.

Of course I am willing to put my money into a common fund if I can be convinced that it is best. I was an inside passenger on a Leadville coach some years ago, when a few of your friends suggested that we all put our money into a common fund, and I was almost the first one to see that they were right. They went away into the mountains to apportion the money they got from our party, but I never got any dividend. Probably they lost my post office address.

The Atchison Globe (Atchison, Kansa) Apr 23, 1885

Above image’s from Bill Nye’s  Red Book

*****

From McClure’s Magazine – 1893 (Gutenberg.org):

Edgar Wilson Nye, who has become famous as a humorist under the pen name of “Bill Nye,” was born in Shirley, Piscataqua County, Maine, August 25, 1850. His family removed to Wisconsin shortly afterwards, and the boy was educated at River Falls, in that State. Early in the seventies he went to Wyoming Territory; he there studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1876. While in Wyoming he served in several public capacities, as postmaster of Laramie and as a member of the legislature. He had early begun to furnish humorous sketches to the newspapers, and for some time was connected with the press as correspondent. He returned to Wisconsin in 1883. In 1886 he was connected with the New York “World,” and since then has been a weekly contributor to numerous papers. As a lecturer and reader from his own books Mr. Nye has been very successful. In 1891 he produced a play, “The Cadi,” at a New York theatre. His best-known books are “Bill Nye and the Boomerang,” “The Forty Liars,” “Baled Hay,” and “Remarks.” Mr. Nye has resided, for some time past, near Asheville, N.C.

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

An Irish Ghost Story

March 16, 2012

An Irish Ghost Story.

[St. James Gazette.]

A remarkable case was heard on Saturday in Dublin. Mr. Waldron, a solicitor’s clerk, sued his next-door neighbor, who was a mate in the merchant service, named Kiernan, to recover £500 damages for injuries done to his house by, as he alleged, the defendant and his family. Kiernan denied the charges, and asserted that Waldron’s house was haunted, and that the acts complained of were done by spirits or some person in plaintiff’s place.

Evidence for the plaintiff was to the effect that every night, from August to January, his hall-door was continually being knocked at, and his windows broken with stones, which came from the direction of the defendant’s premises. Mrs. Waldron swore that one night she saw one of the panes of glass in the window cut through with a diamond, and a white hand inserted through the hole so made in the glass. She caught up a billbook and aimed a blow at the hand, cutting one of the fingers completely off; the hand was then withdrawn, but on her examining the place she could find neither the finger nor any traces of blood.

On another occasion the servant, hearing mysterious knockings, fell down with fright, upsetting a pail of water over herself. Mr. Waldron armed himself with a rifle and revolver, and brought a detective into the house, while several policemen watched outside. They, however, could find nothing.

Kiernan’s family, on being accused of causing the noises, denied it, suggested it was the work of ghosts, and advised the Waldrons to send for a Roman Catholic clergyman to rid the house of its terrors. A police constable swore that one evening he saw Waldron’s servant kicking the door with her heels at about the time the rapping usually commenced. Chief Justice Morris said the affair suggested the performances of the Davenport Brothers or Maskelyne and Cook. It was quite inexplicable from the absence of motive, and remained shrouded in the mysterious uncertainty of the man with the Iron mask, the authorship of the Junius Letters, or Why Anderson Left Dycer’s.

The jury found for the defendant.

Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) Mar 23, 1885

Letter to Santa

December 17, 2011

Davenport Daily Gazette (Davenport, Iowa) Dec 19, 1885

Appleton Post Crescent, (Appleton, Wisconsin) Dec 17, 1925

Autumn Mosaics

November 6, 2011

Image from the Graham Owen Gallery website

NOVEMBER.

The Autumn skies are blue above,
The Autumn hills are brown,
On every kingly forest tree
There shines a golden crown,
And flushing through the valley’s haze
The sunlit waters go,
And in the wood the wind is heard
Like plaintive songs of wo!

The ocean shores are bare and black,
White scud is in the skies,
Thro’ ev’ning twilight overhead
The rushing wild duck flies,
From out the chestnut wood you hear
The nutter’s laugh and call;
And sunbeams play in purple round
The hazy waterfall.

The flowers have vanished from the wood,
And by the running streams —
We think of them as schoolmates dead,
Or friends we knew in dreams,
The dry stalks crackle as we walk —
Keen fitful gusts are heard —
Oh! with what melancholy strange
The thoughtful heart is stirred.

Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) Nov 25, 1844


FALLING LEAVES.

They are falling, slowly falling,
Thick upon the forest side,
Severed from the noble branches,
Where they waved in beauteous pride.
They are falling in the valleys,
Where the early violets spring,
And the birds in sunny spring time
First their dulcest music sing.

They are falling, sadly falling,
Close beside our cottage door;
Pale and faded, like the loved ones,
They have gone forever more.
They are falling, and the sunbeams
Shine in beauty soft around;
Yet the faded leaves are falling,
Falling on the mossy ground.

They are falling on the streamlets,
Where the silvery waters flow,
And upon its placid bosom
Onward with the waters go.
They are falling in the churchyard,
Where our kindred sweetly sleep;
Where the idle winds of summer
Softly o’er the loved ones sweep.

They are falling, ever falling,
When the autumn breezes sigh,
When the stars in beauty glisten
Bright upon the midnight sky.
They are falling, when the tempest
Moans like ocean’s hollow roar,
When the tuneless winds and billows
Sadly sigh for evermore.

They are falling, they are falling,
While our saddened thoughts still go
To the sunny days of childhood,
In the dreamy long ago.
And their faded hues remind us
Of the blighted hopes and dreams
Faded like the falling leaves
Cast upon the icy streams.

Decatur Republican (Decatur, Illinois) Nov 26, 1868


AUTUMN MOSAICS.

STUBBLE FIELDS.

Along the hills the squares of gold
That check the fading green,
A sweeter tale to me have told
Than many a fairer scene.
The winding swathes by reapers made,
Like wrinkles ill-concealed
By time on aged beauty laid,
Adorn the stubble field.

AUTUMN RAIN.

Steady,. downright, noiseless rain,
Emblem of Almighty power,
Soft as the dews that bathe the plain,
Unlike the summer’s lurid shower,
And summer’s torrid rage,
Thou art like the rest of age.

Patient as a Father’s love,
Steady as the Christian’s trust,
Noiseless falling from above
On the unjust and the just,
Storing wealth in field and Spring,
Summer’s coming days shall bring.

FROST.

It smote the flowers in its wrath,
It smote the weed beside the path,
Blind in its rage it smote the corn,
As well as blossoms that adorn
The crimson wreaths of climbing vine,
That round the forest monarch twine,
The frost and death blind as fate,
And stop not to discriminate.

SOUND FROM THE FIELDS.

There’s a humming drone and undertone
Of cricket and locust and bee,
From the drowsy fields at noon,
Like a child who sings to itself alone,
Then nods and sleeps to the melody
Of its own unstudied tune.

Cambridge Jeffersonian (Cambridge, Ohio) Sep 10, 1885

Death at a Crossing

October 25, 2011

Image from the Oakland, IL Genealogy website

DEATH AT A CROSSING.

Levi Alsbury, an Old Veteran, Instantly Killed.

An old invalid soldier, Levi Alsbury, more familiarly known as “Button,” was instantly killed at 11:35 a.m. to-day at the Priest street crossing of the Illinois Central road, just east of the tray factory. He had been up town after some nails, and was returning to a new house in the fourth ward he was building, when he sat down on a log near the factory to rest. The Terre Haute and Peoria passenger train going toward the depot came along, and just before the train reached the crossing, Alsbury arose to cross over. The old man was subject to fainting spells and may have been suddenly attacked with a feeling of weakness as he arose from the log. The cow-catcher struck him and hurled him upward against the steam chest with great force, when the lifeless body dropped into the ditch. Nearly every bone in his body was broken. The body was removed by Coroner Perl to his office, where the inquest will be held this evening at 8 o’clock.

Mr. Alsbury was 48 years of age, and resided at 900 West Macon street. He leaves a wife and two children. Brice Alsbury, a son of his wife by a former marriage, was murdered at Kinney, Ill., a few years ago. Mr. A. served through the war as a member of Co. H, 63d Ill. Regiment and received a pension of $30 a month. His back pay received not long since was $1900.

It was T.H. & P. train 1, engine 4, that struck the man; Buchanan, conductor; George Winn, engineer; Jerry Ryan, fireman.

Decatur Daily Republican (Decatur, Illinois) May 14, 1887

KILLED BY THE CARS.

Levi Alsbury Struck Down By a T-H.& P. Train.

From Sunday’s Daily.

Levi Alsbury, a union ex-soldier, was killed at the Priest street crossing of the Illinois Central railroad a few minutes before 12 o’clock noon yesterday, by a Terre Haute & Peoria passenger train. He was struck by the pilot of the engine and his body was hurled a distance of nearly twenty feet. Alsbury had been up town to get a bundle of nails and was on his way to work on a dwelling which he was erecting in the Fourth ward, when he met his death. An inquest was held last night by Coroner Perl at his undertaking establishment on South Main street. The witnesses were John Sheeney, a bricklayer, George Winn, engineer, and Eugene Ryan, fireman on the engine of the train, and Mrs. S.J. Alsbury, wife of the deceased. Sheeney testified that Alsbury walked toward the crossing without looking down the track and was seemingly unmindful that the train was coming, although the engineer was sounding the whistle and the fireman was ringing the engine bell. The engineer testified that he sounded the station whistle at the usual place and subsequently sounded the whistle again to attract Alsbury’s attention. The fireman testified to the same fact. Alsbury did not discover his danger until he was on the track. Then he made a leap to get out of the way but was too late. He was struck by the top of the right side of the pilot and instantly killed. His neck, both arms and both legs, and his ribs were broken. The train at the time of the accident was running, according to the testimony of the engineer, fireman and Sheeney, not faster than six miles an hour.

The deceased was aged 48 years, and resides at 900 West Macon street. He leaves surviving him a wife and two children. He was the father of Brice Alsbury who was murdered at Kenney two years ago. Mr. Alsbury served in the union army during the late war as a member of Co. H, 63d Ill. Inf. He was wounded and lost a portion of the bones of his left arm. For this disability he was allowed a pension of $30 per month, and received back pay amounting to $1900.

Saturday Herald (Decatur, Illinois) May 21, 1887

EDWIN PHILBROOK, pension attorney, has received notice of a pension of $12 per month for Sarah J. Alsbury, Decatur, Ill., widow of Levi Alsbury, Company H, 63d Illinois Infantry.

Decatur Daily Republican ( Jan 15, 1890

Brice Alsbury’s Murder:

From Tuesday’s Daily.

Held for Trial.

Henry Teal, of Waynesville, was arrested on Friday for the murder of Brice Alsbury, upon a warrant sworn out by State’s Attorney Booth, of DeWitt county. He was taken to Clinton, and was given a preliminary hearing before Judge McHenry. The judge was of the opinion that Teal’s provocation for shooting Alsbury had a tendency to somewhat mitigate the enormity of the crime, and, on the plea of manslaughter, admitted him to bail in the sum of ten thousand dollars, for his appearance at the next term of the circuit court. Teal was released upon his furnishing the required bond. Wiley Marvel, John Teal and George B. Graham are his securities.

Saturday Herald (Decatur, Illinois) Mar 15, 1884

Murder Trial.

Henry Teal is on trial at Clinton before Judge Herdman for the murder of Brice Alsbury, at Waynesville, a year ago. Alsbury is well known about Mt. Zion, in this county, where his relatives reside. Attorneys Booth and Warner represent the People, and Dan Voorhees, of Indiana, and Lawyer Graham the defendant. A jury was secured last evening.

Decatur Daily Republican (Decatur, Illinois) Dec 11, 1884

SATURDAY last, at the second trial at Clinton, Henry Teal was found guilty and sentenced to one year at Joliet, for the murder of Brice Alsbury. Teal has applied for another new trial.

Decatur Daily Republican (Decatur, Illinois) Sep 7, 1885


LATE NEWS.

Henry Teal, for the murder of Brice Alsbury at Waynesville, Ill., more than a year ago, has been sentenced to one year’s imprisonment in the penitentiary of Illinois.

Oshkosh Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Sep 8, 1885

HENRY TEAL, who was found guilty of the murder of Brice Alsbury, was granted a new trial at Clinton, Thursday, by Judge Epler, on the grounds that two of the jurymen had previously expressed themselves as to Teal’s guilt.

Decatur Daily Republican (Decatur, Illinois) Sep 12, 1885


Teal Discharged.

Brice Alsbury, whose parents reside at Mt. Zion, this county, was injured at Waynesville, in DeWitt county, some years ago, and died. Henry M. Teal was indicted for the murder, and found guilty by a jury. He was granted a new trial and a change of venue to Havana. Yesterday State’s attorney Booth, of Clinton, entered a nolle in the case and Teal was discharged. Important witnesses have disappeared.

Decatur Daily Republican (Decatur, Illinois) Aug 7, 1886

Before the murder of Brice Alsbury:

YESTERDAY Brice Alsbury was arrested in Decatur on a state warrant charging him with having made an assault upon one James Houchens, at Waynesville, Ill., with intent to kill. The assault is alleged to have been made on October 17, since which time Alsbury has been skirmishing around for the benefit of his health. The prisoner was lodged in the county jail and the DeWitt county sheriff notified of the arrest.

Decatur Daily Republican (Decatur, Illinois) Dec 28, 1882

In School Days

September 6, 2011

In School Days
—–
BY J.G. WHITTIER.
—–

Still is the school house by the road,
A ragged beggar sunning;
Around it still the sumachs grow,
And blackberry vines are running.

Within, the master’s desk is seen,
Deep scarred by raps official;
The warping floor, the battered seats,
The Jackknife’s carved initial.

The charcoal frescoes on its walls;
Its door’s worn sill betraying
The feet, that creeping slow to school,
Went storming out to playing!

Long years ago a winter’s sun
Shone over it at setting;
Lit up its western window panes
And low eaves’ icy fretting.

It touched the tangled, golden curls,
And brown eyes full of grieving,
Of one who still her steps delayed
When all the school were leaving.

For near her stood the little boy
Her childish favor singled,
His cap pulled low upon a face
Where pride and shame were mingled.

Pushing with restless feet the snow
To right and left, he lingered,
As restlessly her tiny hands
The blue-checked apron fingered.

He saw her lift her eyes; he felt
The soft hand’s light caressing,
And heard the trembling of her voice
As if a fault confessing;

“I am sorry that I spelt the word;
I hate to go above you,
Because” — the brown eyes lower fell —
“Because, you see, I love you!”

Still memory to a gray-haired man
That sweet child-face is showing.
Dear girl! the grasses on her grave
Have forty years been growing!

He lives to learn in life’s hard school,
How few who pass above him
Lament their triumph and his loss,
Like her — because they love him.

Indiana Progress (Indiana, Pennsylvania) Oct 20, 1870

A Poet’s Birthday.

Our boys and girls will see in their column this week the portrait of a very good and famous man, John Greenleaf Whittier. He was born Dec. 19, 1807, so that this month he is 78 years old. He is called the Quaker poet, because he belongs to the Society of Friends. His father and mother were Friends, too.

He wears the plain dress and uses the pleasant old “thee” and “thou” speech of his Quaker ancestors.

When a boy Whittier worked on a farm. Then he learned the shoemaker’s trade. The man who makes the sweetest, strongest verses of any American poet made shoes in his boyhood. No doubt they were good shoes, too, for geniuses do their best at everything.

Image from the Migration Heritage Center website

But a little bird began to sing in the boy’s soul. It sang more and more loudly till at last young Whittier dropped last and awl, and began to write. From his Quaker mother and father he inherited a passionate love of liberty. It was in the days of slavery and he began to work in his way for breaking the bondman’s chains. He wrote lyrics of freedom that will live forever. During the war one of his strongest Union poems was “Barbara Frietchie,” which so many of you know by heart. In the last fifty years he has written many poems. They are full of strength and fire and music. The names of some of his books are: “Voices of Freedom,” “Home Ballads,” “Snow Bound,” “Maud Muller,” and “Ballads of New England.” There are many others.Mr. Whittier is a fine example for all boys and girls to imitate. He has proved that people can rise from the poorest station to be honored and famous. He is not a rich man, but he is something far better. His poems have given peace to the troubled and hope to the despairing. They have been recited and sung around the world. Boys and girls commit them to memory, and it does them good all their lives. This is better, far better, than to be rich. In schools all over America Whittier’s birthday is celebrated every year by bright-eyed children. In some schools the pupils have had real letters from the grand old poet, which are treasured and shown to visitors year after year.

Mr. Whittier, old as he is, still writes and gives the world from time to time beautiful poems.

He lives very quietly at Amesbury, Mass. He is a modest man and shy of meeting strangers.

The poet is a bachelor. Many of you have, no doubt, read his poem, “In School Days.” It is about a little girl that spelled a word that a boy missed, and went above him in the class. The boy and girl were particular friends, and the girl was sorry that she had gone above him. In the poem, she creeps softly up to him after school and says:

“I’m sorry that I spelt the word,
I hate to go above you,
Because — the brown eyes lower fell —
Because, you see, I love you.”

They say this little girl was a real one, and that the boy was Whittier himself. They were dear friends and child playmates. But the sweet little girl died, and the poet has remembered her and mourned for her all his life. The poem says:

“Still memory to a gray-haired man
That sweet child-face is showing;
Dear girl! The grasses on her grave
Have forty years been growing.

“He lives to learn, in life’s hard school,
How few who pass above him
Lament their triumph and his loss
Like her — because they love him!”

Davenport Daily Gazette (Davenport, Iowa) Dec 19, 1885

Image from Find-A-Grave

Whittier’s School Friend Is Honored

HAVERHILL (Mass.), Oct. 28. — (INS) — Undying tribute of John Greenleaf Whittier to Lydia A. Ayer, his childhood sweetheart, a six foot stone memorial bearing an inscription depicting the schoolhouse they both attended, stood in Walnut Cemetery today.

The memorial was erected as a result of several months’ research by Fred L. Noyes of the Haverhill Whittier Associates, who learned Miss Ayres was buried in the cemetery.

In his poem, School Days, Whittier quoted her as saying after she had spelled him down in a spelling bee:

“I’m sorry that I spelt the word;
“I hate to go above you,
“Because” — The brown eyes lower fell —
“Because, you see I love you.”

Fresno Bee Republican (Fresno, California) Oct 28, 1937

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