Posts Tagged ‘1888’

Hidden Treasure near Franktown

April 13, 2012

Image from the Western Nevada Historic Photo Collection

Hidden Treasure.

Franktown in a Blaze of Excitement.
——-
$85,000 Buried By a Highwayman — Efforts to Find the Sack of Money — What the Spirits Say About the Matter — History of the Search.
——-

[From our own Correspondent]

For the past few days Franktown has been the scene of a great excitement over a supposed hidden treasure. Men, women and children have been hunting in the mountains for it. The story about the treasure has been known for the past twenty-five years. It is as follows: Some time in 1850 a man was tried and convicted of murder. Before his execution he made a confession, of which this is the substance:

THE ROBBER’S STORY

I had been a highway robber on the plains for years and had accumulated eighty-five thousand dollars. I started back to California to take a  steamer for the East. In November I reached Washoe valley, and seeing that a storm was brewing, I feared that I could not cross the mountains to California, so concluded to bury my money. I therefore buried it, back of Franktown, above what is known as the old Mormon mill, with the intention of returning for it in the spring. Not being satisfied with my gains, I went on the road again. Now here I stand, convicted of murder and doomed to die.

EARLY SEARCH FOR THE GOLD.

The above story is as told to me by a man who heard it, and who came to Washoe valley on purpose to seek the buried treasure. He came in 1858 or ‘9 and was well known to your correspondent and to all the old settlers in the valley. Failing in his search, he left in disgust for parts unknown. For years nothing has been openly said about the treasure, although it has been searched for from time to time by several parties.

THE AID OF SPIRITS INVOKED.

It has been known here for several days taht a prominent spiritualist from California, not at all acquainted with this section of the country, has described the exact location of the Morgan mill, and that he has led many up the side of the mountain to look after a fortune. Your correspondent has had an interview with Mrs. Bowers, “the Washoe Seeress,” and she says there is treasure hidden somewhere near Franktown. As she was here in ’54, she remembers well the story about the treasure. But strange to say, when she calls on her spirit friends, none of them are able to tell her the exact locality of the deposit. Even her deceased husband and brother, whom she claims to be her constant companions, say they know nothing about it. The spiritual Mr. Bowers tells her that if he did, he would be sure to tell her, as he knows she needs money.

FINDING THE HOLE.

Maurice May had an idea that he knew where the treasure was hidden. So about 5 o’clock last Sunday morning, he and a confidential friend started out with pick and shovel to become suddenly rich. They at last reached the proper place to dig when, lo and behold, there they found a hole about four feet deep, and all that remained of the treasure was a dollar and a half, lying on the ground near the hole, an evidence that some one had been before them in the search. On the way home Maurice looked so disappointed to think that some of our Franktown Christians had robbed him of Eighty-Four Thousand, Nine Hundred and Ninety-Eight Dollars and fifty cents that a favorite dog failed to recognize him. The dog bit him and May shot the animal. It is hinted around that May suspects Judge Harcourt and Constable Frank Wooten of robbing him of the treasure that was as good as his, so that a double duel may soon be expected.

CHUCK-A-LUCK.

Franktown, Feb. 10, 1880.

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) Feb 11, 1880

AN UNEXPLAINED SUICIDE.

Charles F. Wooten Takes Poison at Victoria.

A Victoria (B.C.) dispatch, dated October 19t, contains the following of local interest: “Charles F. Wooten came to Victoria on the 18th of August from Virginia, Nev., and has been lodging at the Pritchard House ever since, under the assumed name of C.F. Whittaker. He has been living very quietly here and was very reticent, though claiming to be a mining man and at one time amalgamator at the United States Mint at Virginia, Nev. He retired very early Wednesday night, and his room was not disturbed till this morning, when its occupant was found dead. A bottle containing opium in liquid was found on the bureau. A Coroner’s jury returned a verdict of suicide by poison. The following letter was left by Wooten:

To Any lodge F.&A.M. of Victoria, B.C.:

Please give me a decent burial. I am a member and P.M. of Washoe City, Nev., U.S.A., and send your bill to my lodge. You will please inform James Twaddle, Tulare City, Tulare county, Cal., of this, and instruct him to tell my wife. I ask her forgiveness. No one to blame but myself. This is a cold world. Good-bye, Josie, good-bye. May God bless you and protect you. I have disgraced you, that is all. Frank.

C.F. WOOTEN.

Known in Victoria as Whittaker. Good-bye, my love; good-bye. FRANK.

Daily Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Oct 23, 1888

The article mentions both Mormon Mill and Morgan Mill. I am not sure if this whole thing is made up (correspondent’s name is Chuck-A-Luck, after all) or if one of the mill names is a typo, as there appears to have been both a Mormon mill and a Morgan mill, although Morgan Mill was in Empire, Nevada, which is about 90 miles a way, give or take a few, so I am inclined to think he means Mormon Mill, which according to the page below, was owned by Orson Hyde, a Mormon.

Title: The history of Nevada, Volume 1
Editor: Sam Post Davis
Publisher: The Elms Publishing Co., Inc., 1913
Page 232 (google book link)

Here are two news clips mentioning the Morgan Mill:

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) Sep 5, 1877

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) Nov 27, 1883

The Mormon mill was a sawmill, while the Morgan mill processed ore. If I were to bury a fortune, I wouldn’t do it near a mill where they process ore, for fear some of the miners or other workers might find it.

Read more about Franktown here:

Title: General history and resources of Washoe County, Nevada, published under the auspices of the Nevada Educational Association
Compiled by: N. A. Hummel
Edition: reprint
Publisher: Sagebrush Press, 1969, 1888
FRANKTOWN – Page 10 (google book link)

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Sitting Bull, Great Chief of the Sioux

September 30, 2011

A FAMOUS INDIAN CHIEF.

Sitting Bull, the Great Chief of the Sioux, His Peculiar Character.
[Special Correspondence]

ST PAUL, Sept. 18 — Probably when the facts are all known it will be discovered that Sitting Bull had more to do in influencing the Indians against signing the treaty at Standing Rock than any other man. Bull is an Indian of large brain, as the writer ascertained while traveling with him for three months in the east. He is diplomatic in his nature, not a great warrior, but rather a safe counselor, and as such he has great influence with the Indians. He is a thoughtful savage, and his travels in New York, Philadelphia and Brooklyn, in 1884, taught him the ways of the whites to such an extent that he is now well able to cope with them. He is especially good in making a bargain. Indeed, the writer considers him intellectually one of the most powerful Indians on the American continent. That he has had much to do in shaping the opinions of the tribe there can be no doubt.

Sitting Bull’s Indian name is Ta-ton Ka-i-o-ton Ka, and he was born on the banks of Grand river within the boundaries of the great Sioux reservation and about forty five miles southwest from the present Standing Rock agency in Dakota. He is 55 years of age, has a very large head, is cool and thoughtful, very decided in his ways, and yet will listen to argument and will answer with argument. His original name was Wa-Kan-you na gin, or Standing Holy, which name he retained until he was 14 years old, when his father, whose name was Sitting Bull, took him along with him on the warpath into the Crow country (the inveterate enemies of the Sioux), and he, the 14-year-old boy, counted his first victory by killing a Crow Indian. After returning to their home his father “threw away” three ponies, i.e. killed them in honor of his brave son’s achievement, at the same time announcing that he had changed the name of his son from Standing Holy to that of Sitting Bull, bestowing his own name upon him.

In person, Sitting Bull is a solidly built Indian, not quite so tall as an ordinary savage, yet heavier in many respects. His features are strong, and when he walks he turns his toes inward, strikes the ground with a heavy, jarring tread, and moves rapidly like a man of business. His general look is heavy, while that of Little Crow, the leader of the great Indian outbreak in Minnesota in 1861, and Hole-in-the-Day, the great Chippewa chief, were more refined, but none the less true Indians. The Dakotas believe that they must imitate Hay-o-Kah, or the undemonstrative god, who inculcates the idea that it is not dignified, or manly, or great to evince lively emotions of grief or joy, but under all circumstances, even of torture and death itself, the Indian must show a stoical, impassive face, and hence the immovable features of Sitting Bull, or any other Indian who lays claim to power among his tribe. The principal characteristic of this great medicine man — for he is known among his tribe as such — is his stubbornness of character, the same element which made Grant the greatest warrior of modern times. With judicious management Bull could, no doubt, be won over to the whites, but you can’t drive him.

F.M. NEWSON

Decatur Republican (Decatur, Illinois) Sep 27, 1888

Image from the Arlington National Cemetery website

FOR THE REPUBLICAN.
THE LAST BATTLE OF THE CENTURY.

Fought June 25th, 1876.

BY KENT LINTON.

Roll on oh! cruel time; close up the year,
That marks the rounding of a century,
Since first our forefathers rejoic’d to hear,
The declaration, that all men are free.

We honor the names of the minute-men,
Who fought in the revolutionary strife,
And fell, at Lexington and Concord then,
To give the nation liberty and life.

But now the last battle-field comes in sight,
And casts its shadow o’er our peaceful land,
Like the death-angel who took his swift flight,
The clouds of war had been thickening fast,
And Sitting Bull with his wild Sioux bands,
Were gath’ring for war, for a fortnight past,
In the Maucaises terres or Bad Lands.
And the came the first bloody fray,
With the Sioux, who swept down like a sea,
How Custer’s and Reno’s command that day,
Had fought as they did at Thermopyke.

How Custer, surrounded on every side,
Like Leonidas still cheered his men,
Who fought ’till swept away by the fierce tide,
That roll’d over them again and again.

Three hundred strong they were before the fight,
Three hundred they follow’d the new-made trail,
Three hundred they fell to the left and to the right,
And not a man returned to tell the tale.

Close up the grave of the heroic dead,
Question not, till the resurrection morn’.
The last patriot’s blood was freely shed,
At the battle of Little Big Horn.

Strengthen the sacred ties of our nation.
Stand shoulder to shoulder in every fight,
Against the foes of civilization.
The enemies of true freedom and Right.

Decatur Republican (Decatur, Illinois) Jul 20, 1876

SITTING BULL has given his version of the Custer massacre. He states that the battle lasted only thirty minutes, and that Custer with a few men and officers had cut through the Indian line when he turned and charged back. The Indians were bewildered by this unlooked-for desperate charge, but closed in on the few men and killed them all. Custer, it is said, shot five Indians, and went down beating another with the butt of his revolver. This account corresponds with others coming from Indian sources.

Decatur Republican (Decatur, Illinois) Jul 12, 1877

Image from the Prints Old & Rare website

THE celebrated prescription formulated by Gen. Dix, “If any man attempt to tear down the American flag, shoot him on spot,” was not attempted at the Red Cloud Agency a few days ago for certain reasons, whereof the particulars are interesting. Dr. Saville, the Government Agent at the Red Cloud Agency, with a sudden and unaccountable gush of patriotism, hoisted the American flag at his agency, — a custom, we are informed, prevailing since the agencies have been established in this country.

The sight of the star-spangled had the same effect upon the Sioux that the traditional scarlet rag has upon the bull, for at noon the braves rushed upon the agency buildings, tore down the American flag, and ornamented their handsome persons with portions of the bunting. Dr. Saville sent to Red Cloud to stop the outrage, but no answer was given, it being rumored that this pleasant gentleman was enjoying his Indian summer vacation.

There was every prospect of a severe fight before the respectable Agent, when he received unexpected aid from Camp Robinson. Between the honeyed words of Sitting Bull, a Sioux renegade, and the sabres of United States cavalry, the Agency buildings were rid of their visitors; but the man who hauled down the American flag lives to boast of his feat in Indian gibberish, in defiance of Gen. Dix.

Decatur Republican (Decatur, Illinois) Nov 5, 1874

Marching to Victory

September 29, 2011

A Campaign Song.
Tune — ‘Rose of Alabama’ [YouTube song with lyrics]

I.
Come, all you doubting, pouting chaps, who go about as mourners
Come, wipe the tear drops from your eyes, stop crying on the corners
Come along, with shout and song, go it while you’re able,
Our Ben we’ll put in the White House, boys, you bet it, boys, we’re able.

II.
Yes, come, ye troubled hearted ones, stop croaking on the corners
With the red bandana wipe your eyes, til just the thing for mourners
And come along, with shout and song, go it while you’re able,
Our Ben we’ll put in the White House, boys, you bet it boys, we’re able.

III.
Now wring your red bandanas out, wipe off the tears of mourners
And shout for Ben and Levi, shout, don’t boo-hoo on the corners
And come along, with shout and song, go it while you’re able,
Our Ben we’ll put in the White House boys, you bet it, boys, we’re able.

IV.
Yet keep those red bandanas dry, for other weeping mourners,
November’s storm will surely bring great weeping on the corners
But come along, with shout and song, go it while you’re able,
Our Ben we’ll put in the White House, boys, you bet it, boys, we’re able.

[Most respectfully dedicated to the disgusted investors in the red bandana]
L.F.M.

Decatur Republican (Decatur, Illinois) Aug 16, 1888

Hebrews for Harrison.

At a recent Republican meeting in Waterloo, Iowa, Mr. Munger stated that he had seen a notice of the formation of a Hebrew Republican club in Cleveland, and to verify the truth of the report had written to the president of the club. The answer received was as follows:

“CLEVELAND, OHIO, August 16. — I.C. Munger, Esp., Waterloo, Iowa, — Dear Sir: You favor of the 14th at hand and contents noted. Yes, sir, the item as quoted in the Chicago Tribune of August 11, gives the facts in the case with one exception — instead of the club having fifty members, it is composed of eighty-five members, and every one of them heretofore voted solidly the Democratic ticket. The W.J. Hart Club was formed some three or four years ago and did valuable work for the Democratic party, but as the Democratic party is now controlled by one man, Grover Cleveland, an out-and-out free trader, and as the party itself has indorsed free trade, we, the Hebrews of the city, and particularly the W.J. Hart Club with its eighty-five members, have come out solidly for Harrison and Morton and protection. Trusting to hear soon from you as to your politics, I am, yours truly,
H. LEVY, No. 38 Race Street.

The reading of the letter called forth long-continued applause.

Decatur Republican (Decatur, Illinois) Aug 30, 1888

Have You Heard from Maine?

It went utterly,
For Governor Burleigh,
And Tippecanoe and Morton, too,
And Grover’s a used up man.

———
WHAT the Democrats are thankful for — that there are no more state elections before November.
———
THE Republicans only elected four congressmen in Maine. They might have done better if there had been more to vote for.

Decatur Republican (Decatur, Illinois) Sep 13, 1888

Marching to Victory.

The following song was sung by Prof Gilhland, of Fairmont, before the Danville Republican club, and a resolution was passed that it be published.

CAMPAIGN SONG — “MARCHING TO VICTORY”
Air — “Marching Through Georgia” [YouTube link]

We shall sing the good old doctrine, boys, our fathers taught before,
Protection to the workingman, good wages for the poor,
We’ll drive the free trade sophistry back to England’s shore,
For we are marching to vict’ry

CHORUS
Hurrah, hurrah for Harrison, the true,
Hurrah, hurrah for Levi Morton, too,
We have Joe Joe Fifer on the track and intend to run him through,
For we are marching to vict’ry.

Cleveland is a two-faced man, as all do plainly see,
We are weary of his vetoes and his free trade heresy,
He can’t deceive us longer with his civil service plea,
For we are marching to vict’ry.

CHORUS
Hurrah, hurrah for Harrison, the true,
Hurrah, hurrah for Levi Morton, too
We’ve Gen. Pavey on the track and intend to run him through
For we are marching to vict’ry.

The President proposed a mess of Canada free fish,
But the catch was not as good as he most ardently did wish
And it happened that the Senators did not admire the dish
For they are marching to vict’ry.

CHORUS
Hurrah, hurrah for Harrison, the true
Hurrah, hurrah for Levi Morton, too
We have George Hunt upon the track and intend to run him through,
For we are marching to vict’ry.

The boys in blue were brave and true on many a well fought field,
They faced full many a danger while they were the Nation’s shield
They captured many a rebel flag which they’re not disposed to yield,
For we are marching to vict’ry.

CHORUS
Hurrah, hurrah for Harrison the true
Hurrah, hurray for Levi Morton, too
We have Joe Cannon on the track and intend to run him through,
For we are marching to vict’ry.

There is music in the air, my boys, I hear its joyful sound,
From east and west and north and south, to the Nation’s utmost bound
And we’ll bury Grover Cleveland deep beneath his free-trade mound,
For we are marching to vict’ry.

CHORUS
Hurrah, hurrah for Harrison the true
Hurrah, hurrah for Levi Morton, too
For every man we’ve on the track we’re bound to get first through,
For we are marching to vict’ry.

Decatur Republican (Decatur, Illinois) Sep 20, 1888

How Big is Grover!

How big is Grover Cleveland, pa,
That people call him great?
Is he as large as brainy Ben,
The favorite candidate?
Oh, yes, my son; he weighs a ton;
‘Tis mostly gall or fat,
He was a No. 19 collar
And a little Tom Thumb hat.

Decatur Republican (Decatur, Illinois) Sep 27, 1888

Charlotte Bronte – A Little Rhymed Story

July 11, 2011

Image from John Gushue … Dot Dot Dot

CHARLOTTE BRONTE.
(A Little Rhymed Story.)

The wind was blowing over the moors,
And the sun shone upon heather and ‘  whin,
On the grave stones hoary and gray with age
Which stand about Haworth vicarage,
And it streamed through a window in.

There, by herself, in a lonely room —
A lonely room which once held three —
Sat a woman at work with a busy pen,
‘Twas the woman all England praised just then
But what for its praise cared she?

Fame can not dazzle or flattery charm
One who goes lonely day by day
On the lonely moors, where the plovers cry,
And the sobbing wind as it hurries by
Has no comforting word to say.

So, famous and lonely and and she sat,
And steadily wrote the morning through;
Then, at stroke of twelve, laid her task aside
And out to the kitchen swiftly hied.
Now what was she going to do?

Why, Tabby, the servant, was “past her work,”
And her eyes had failed as her strength ran low,
And the toils once easy, had one by one
Become too hard or were left half done
By the aged hands and slow.

So, every day, without saying a word,
Her famous mistress laid down the pen,
Re kneaded the bread, or silently stole
The potatoes away in their wooden bowl
And pared them all over again.

She did not say, as she might have done,
“The less to the larger must give way,
These things are little, while I am great;
And the world will not always stand and wait
For the words that I have to say.”

No; the clever fingers that wrought so well,
And the eyes that could pierce to the heart’s intent,
She lent to the humble task and small;
Nor counted the time as lost at all,
So Tabby were but content!

Ah, genius burns like a blazing star,
And Fame has an honeyed urn to fill;
But the good deed done for love, not fame,
Like the water-cut in the Master’s name,
Is something more precious still.

Susan Coolidge, in St. Nicholas.

Edwardsville Intelligencer (Edwardsville, Illinois) Dec 26, 1888

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

Goin’ Buggy

June 15, 2011

Image from the iPhone Wallpaper website.

FLY BITTEN.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image from Ennirol on Flickr

MUSICAL INSECTS.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image from www.ponderstorm.com

GRASSHOPPER GREEN.

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

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

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

–Anonymous.

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

Image from Rabbit Runn Designs website

A LITTLE INCIDENT.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Firefly from The Lonely Firefly Literature Lesson

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

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

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

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

A Mosquito’s Meditation.

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

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

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

Hark! He’s snoring, as I’m alive!

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

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

American Thanksgiving: Faith – Hope – Love and Squirrel Potpie

November 24, 2010

The New Era (Humeston, Iowa) Nov 22, 1893

Here is another Thanksgiving Day menu, this time from Newark, Ohio — 1888:

The most interesting thing on this menu has to be the Squirrel Potpie! Hm, “hunter’s style” — I wonder what that means? Fur and all?

The following quotes, unattributed, were also on the same page of the paper:

The richest and most envied man unshorn of his wealth of money, but deprived of all the common benefits which his poorest brother man enjoys as an in alienable right, would be poorer than the poorest pauper.

To express adequate thanks for all the blessings the average American citizen enjoys would require a whole week of steady gratitude.

All may give thanks who are stirred by thoughts of the betterment of the world and can rejoice at its continuous and increasing fulfillment. God reigns and God wills, and he neither reigns nor wills for naught.

Newark Daily Advocate (Newark, Ohio) Nov 28, 1888

Humeston Gobblers

November 24, 2010

THE AMBITIOUS TURKEY.

“THIS vulgar old farmyard! It must be that I,
With my talents and beauty, was born to live high.
I’m tired to death of the meaningless clack
Of these ignorant fowls, with their ‘cluck’ and their ‘quack.'”
Thus mused a lone gobbler, the last of the brood,
As he eyed his companions in quarrelsome mood,
“I long for the cultured surroundings of town
And a share of the world’s goodly praise and renown.
I’m not a mere turkey, I’m almost a bird” —
And, suiting the action at once to the word,
He flopped his great wings in excitement and flew
Just a few feet in air when he lit in a slough.
“I’m almost a peacock,” undaunted he cried,
And down went his broad double-chin in its pride.
And then, with the rustle and stir of high birth,
He spread out his feathers for all they were worth,
And strutted and trilled in his voluble way
Till the awe-stricken poultry-tribe fled in dismay.

“Look, ma, that there turkey,” quoth old Farmer Brown,
Who appeared at this moment, “I’ll take right to town;
He’ll go like a hot-cake on Thanksgivin’ Day.
Come, git on yer fixin’s, and don’t yer delay,
I’ll give yer the proceeds to git a new hat —
A snug leetle mite, fur her’s oncommon fat.”
Such low, boorish jargon of course was not clear
To this elegant bird’s most fasidious ear;
So they trotted him off the the great distant town
Where a fashionable family gobbled him down, Admired and praised as the tenderest meat
It ever had been their good fortune to eat.
‘Mid “cultured surroundings” he melted away,
His dreams more than realized — King for a day!

JULIA H. THAYER

The New Era (Humeston, Iowa) Nov 28, 1888

Now for Turkey Jokes.

“Arn’t you afraid that you are living rather too well for your health?” asked the chicken.

“I ain’t in this for my health,” answered the turkey between the pecks. “I’m out for the stuff, so to speak.”

The New Era (Humeston, Iowa) Nov 25, 1891

The New Era (Humeston, Iowa) Nov 22, 1893

HOW TO CARVE A TURKEY.

Thanksgiving day draws on apace and already the turkey is stretching his joints to make them tough against the festival day. A few suggestions from one of experience in carving may prove beneficial to those who are more accustomed to the easy surgical work employed in carving a round steak, than in the physical dissection of gobblers. When the fowl is placed before you, assume a pleasing smile and a confident manner. It will inspire confidence in those about you.

Keep the turkey on the platter. It is not now considered in good taste to carve it on the table cloth, or to hold it firm with one knee. Should it slip from the platter into your lap, restore it to its place before continuing to hunt for the lost joint. As before suggested, however, it is best to keep the turkey on the platter while carving. The carving fork should be inserted firmly in the breast and it is considered preferable to steady the corpse with the forth rather than by grasping its neck. In the mean time, keep the turkey on the platter. The leg is fastened to the body by a joint. Hunt for it patiently.

Don’t try to cut the bone in two. Should the joint be refractory, quietly ask the hostess for a saw. Watch the fowl suspiciously, for in such a moment as ye think not, it will take unto itself wings and fly into your fair neighbor’s lap. At this point a humorous story, told in your most facetious vein, will help matters amazingly and leave the waiting guests in good spirits, especially if you keep the turkey on the platter. Dismember a wing or two. Bear down on the joint. If the thing slips and shoves the dressing over the edge of the platter, make light of hte incident as a common place matter, and tell about how you used to carve ducks years ago. Then go for the wish bone. Promise the young miss that she shall have the straddling thing to hang over the door. Keep on cutting; the wish bone is there somewhere. Gain time by discovering a side bone or two. But keep the wishbone in your mind’s eye.

If you should find it necessary to use your fingers to secure the bone, it is considered more polite we believe, to wipe them on the table cloth rather than to suck off the grease. It is, we understand, now considered decidedly proper to transfer the dismembered gobbler to the guests’ plates with a long fork rather than to use your fingers. But this is a mere matter of taste, a simple freak of fashion, as it were. By following this simple advise, it will be easy for anyone to carve the turkey, and we have only one parting suggestion, which is that in carving a turkey,it is now considered decidedly more dignified to allow the fowl to remain on the platter.

A.L. FLUDE.

The New Era (Humeston, Iowa) Nov 22, 1893

Family on Porch in Humeston, Iowa (Image from deadfred.com)

This family (unknown name) looks like they could have posed for this picture on Thanksgiving day.  Deadfred states this was taken in Humeston, Iowa, which, evidently, is pronounced Hum – es -ton, according to their rather impressive website. They have a nice promotional video for their town at the link. Looks like a quaint little town with beautiful scenery.

Roderick D. Gambrell: Death of a Hip Pocket Reformer

October 11, 2010

Those temperance folks just didn’t know when to mind their own business; in fact, they made everyone’s business their own. And sometimes it cost them dearly. This is a separate, yet somewhat related incident to the Wirt Adams / John H. Martin double death duel — See link at bottom of post.

A Coroner’s Investigation.

JACKSON, Miss., May 7.

The Coroner’s Jury was still engaged up to 12 o’clock to-day investigating the killing of Roderick Gambrill, editor of the Sword and Shield, by Colonel Jones S. Hamilton, general manager of the Gulf & Ship railroad, in the difficulty occurring about 10 o’clock last night. No facts have yet been obtained, other than that the parties met and began firing. The difficulty has been feared and anticipated for some time, owing to an offensive personal article by Gambrill concerning Hamilton in his newspaper some weeks ago. Gambrill’s wounds, three in number, proved fatal in a few minutes. The result of Hamilton’s two wounds are uncertain. He now rests comparatively easy.

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

An Inquest — Jury’s Verdict.

JACKSON, Miss., May 9.

The jury in the inquest case of R.D. Gambrell, editor of the [Sword and Shield,] who was shot and killed late Thursday night by Col. Jones S. Hamilton, the lessee of the Penitentiary, adjourned at 11:30 last night after two days almost continuous session. They rendered a verdict as follows: “We, the jury of inquest in the case of the death of Roderick Gambrell, find that he came to his death from a pistol shot and wounds inflicted by the hands of Jones S. Hamilton, as principal, and others as abettors, unknown to the jury.

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) May 9, 1887

THE blood of many abolitionists as well as myriads of slaves cried to the Lord from the ground before the curse of slavery was wiped out. Myriads of victims of the saloon curse have been uttering their cry for many years, to which is now being added the voice of the blood of prohibitionists. Not many months ago Rev. Haddock was foully assassinated at Sioux City, Iowa. A few weeks ago, Dr. Northrup fell in the same way in Ohio. Last week Roderick Gambrell, of Jackson, Miss., editor of a Prohibition paper at that place, was set upon and foully murdered by some of those whose wrath he had stirred up. “Whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad.” Evidences point to the speedy destruction of the rum curse.

The Delta Herald (Delta, Pennsylvania) May 20, 1887

HAMILTON – GAMBRELL.

The Embers of a Tragedy Vigorously Fanned by Partisan Journals.

Special Dispatch to the Globe-Democrat.

JACKSON, Miss., June 28. – The excitement attending the Hamilton-Gambrell tragedy and the trial succeeding had abated considerably until within the last few days, when it seems to have received fresh impetus. The Daily Advertiser of this city, a strong Hamilton paper, is filled every morning with editorial matter favorable to Hamilton, and its editor has very severely criticized the New Mississippian and the Sword and Shield, the latter being the dead editor’s paper, and both strong advocates of Gambrell and the assassination theory. The last few issues of the Advertiser have contained much personal matter derogatory to the character of the father of the editor of the Mississippian and urging that it stood the taxpayers in hand to take some action regarding the utterances of the Mississippian and Sword and Shield, and claiming that they were greatly injuring the city’s prosperity by conveying the impression that misrule was the order of the day and that Jackson was an unsafe place in which to live. A recent issue contains a card signed “Tax-payer,” suggesting a meeting of tax-payers and citizens of Jackson to express condemnation of the course of the Sword and Shield and the New Mississippian, stating:

That their repeated misrepresentations of our people is depreciating the value of our property, damaging business, hindering accessions to our population and even driving our own people away.

The Advertiser indorses the suggestion of “Taxpayer,” editorially, and says:

The patience of this people is well-nigh exhausted and the course pursued by the Gambrellites and Martinites will not be endured much longer.

The New Mississippian of today contains a strong editorial on the proposed meeting, and says:

But we warn them now that all the indignation meetings they may hold, all the sympathizers they may gather here from other places, and all the threats they may make not to tolerate the course of this paper, will not avail. The writer believes in peace, but not when it must be purchased at the price of manhood and self-respect, and if to maintain these and pursue the path of duty, which we have marked out before us, we must encounter the violence at which they hint, we shall encounter it regretfully, but without hesitation. We have no desire for a life saved by an ignoble silence or an unmanly turning aside from a righteous cause.

IT also contains a card from J.B. Gambrell, father of the slain editor, in which he states that since the death of his son he has mainly controlled the columns of the Sword and Shield, and has sought to discharge the duty in a conservative spirit. The card concludes:

The threats above made by the Advertiser, which voices Colonel Hamilton and his friends, will not in the least terrorize the Sword and Shield so long as I control it. The time has come for a manly stand for the freedom of the press and right. It is a crisis in our affairs as a people, and now, in full view of all it may mean to myself and my family, I solemnly declare that before the sword and shield shall fail to do its duty in this crisis, I will submit to die as my son died, and he by his side in the quiet graveyard at Clinton, leaving my family in the care of God and the vindication of justice and the punishment of assassins in the hands of my countrymen. I await the issue calmly. If the threats of the Advertiser are carried out, it will be by that element which has so long ruled this city, and it will add another chapter to the bloody records of the city, but it will not silence the press of the Mississippian nor impede reform.

The publications have stirred up the excitement again, and from present appearances it will continue until this remarkable trial is finally disposed of by the courts. The last three issues of the paper named, have little in them except the views of the editors on the case, expressed in the most forcible English. Colonel Hamilton is still in jail, and seems to take a bright view of his prospects. Circuit court is now in session, but until the grand jury takes action it is not known whether his case and those of the accessories will be tried at the present term or not.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Jul 2, 1887

THE MEMPHIS APPEAL has started a subscription list for a monument to young Gambrell, who was killed by Hamilton during the prohibition campaign in Jackson, Miss. The Appeal refers to Gambrell as “the martyr editor,” and heads the list of subscribers to his monument with $100.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Jul 10, 1887

Hip Pocket Reformers.

The newspapers of the southwest are till fighting out the Hamilton-Gambrell difficulty, notwithstanding the fact that the former is in jail waiting to be tried for murder.

The Memphis Appeal fell into line with the friends of Gambrell, and denounced Hamilton and other Mississippi state officials as a gang of ringsters.

But the Appeal was destined to receive a rude shock. It was praising the Gambrells as the apostles of law and order and reform, when to its unutterable surprise Perry Gambrell, of the Sword and Shield, and John Martin, of the New Mississippian, went to the office of the Jackson Advertiser and proposed a street fight with the Lowds.

To do the Appeal justice it turned about and proceeded to abuse Gambrell for this outrageous business as vigorously as it had heretofore praised him. This does not satisfy the Vicksburg Herald and it jumps upon its Memphis contemporary in the following fashion:

It has found out that they are not what it thought them; may it not also have been deceived by them as to the Hamilton case? Is it not probable that the other Gambrell resembled the living one and was also ready to shoot it out? Although his brother died as recently as the fifth of May, Percy Gambrell went with John Martin to aid him in “shooting it out with the Lowds.” Is it not probable that Percy Gambrell is just as good as his brother was, when he went about with his 38-calibre in his pocket? Of course if Percy Gambrell had been killed he might have gone straight to Paradise to shoot Paradisacal things, but our esteemed Memphis contemporary will admit, that we must treat of them as mortals until they are Saints. As a mortal, is not Percy Gambrell in exactly the same boat with John Martin, and would not R.D. Gambrell have been in the same boat with them, if alive?

We think so. We also think it will be a cold day before any very expensive monument is erected to R.D. Gambrell. We are convinced the Appeal is by this time very sorry it contributed to the Gambrell monument.

While the Gambrells and Martins will now be known as sensational frauds, it may be some consolation to them to know their standing among gentlemen has not been lessened, for they never had any.

It is useless to answer the Herald by calling it a Hamilton paper. Such men as Bishop Hugh Miller Thompson have spoken up for Hamilton so stoutly that it will not do to denounce his friends as ringsters and outlaws. The man can not be as black as he had been painted.

The facts all go to show that the Gambrells, the dead one and his brother Percy, must be classed with those doubtful reformers who believe in trotting about with pistols in their hip pockets, ready to fight it out whenever their opponents get tired of being called corruptionists, ringsters and other hard names. It is a tangled piece of business, with so many side issues, that it is difficult to get a clear view of it all. We do not feel like using harsh language about reformers. The mere fact that a man declares himself a reformer gives him many disagreeable privileges, but it seems to us that the reformer with a loaded hip pocket ought to be suppressed. There is nothing angelic about him, and when he gets shot in a row, brought on by himself, we fail to see anything martyr-like in it. The fact is, a reformer should mind his own business and behave himself.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Jul 20, 1887

Another Chapter in a Famous Case.

The decision of the supreme court of Mississippi admitting Eubanks to bail and holding Hamilton in jail until his trial, recalls one of he most deplorable tragedies of the year.

In the month of May Roderick Dhu Gambrell was editing a prohibition paper at Jackson. During the wet and dry campaign Gambrell made a number of publications seriously reflecting upon the character of Colonel J.S. Hamilton, a prominent politician on the anti side. One night the two men met, and after exchanging several shots Gambrell fell dead, while Hamilton escaped with one or two painful wounds. The prohibitionists took the position that Hamilton and Eubanks had waylaid the editor and assassinated him. Public meetings were held, and strong efforts were made to influence public sentiment. The trial of the defendants was postponed until a more convenient season, and the court below refused to allow them to be bailed.

After a careful review of all the facts in the case, the supreme court has decided that Hamilton is not entitled to bail, but that Eubanks may be allowed that privilege. In delivering the decision the court stated that it was not satisfied as to the number of persons who participated in the murder of Gambrell, but it was satisfied that Hamilton was the assailant. One of the judges dissented from this opinion and expressed a doubt of Hamilton’s guilt.

Altogether, the action of the court was about as favorable to Hamilton as he had any right to expect. His alleged accomplice was allowed to give bail, and one member of the court placed himself on record as entertaining a reasonable doubt of the chief defendant’s guilt. This will have the effect of dividing public sentiment, and when the case comes before a jury it is to be hoped that an earnest effort will be made to get at the truth and carry out the ends of justice.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Nov 24, 1887

THE TRIAL OF Colonel Hamilton at Brandon, Miss., for the murder of Young Gambrell will begin its seventh week to-morrow. Some of the witnesses for the defense are doing the tallest kind of swearing. No trouble is anticipated as the judge has notified the spectators and witnesses that they must not bring deadly weapons into the courthouse.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Apr 1, 1888

The jury in the case of J.S. Hamilton, on trial at Brandon, Miss., for the killing of Roderick Dhu Gambrell, in Jackson, Miss., returned a verdict of not guilty.

The Marion Daily Star (Marion, Ohio) Apr 20, 1888

WHEN THE HON. J.S. HAMILTON killed young Gambrell in Mississippi a great outcry was raised and the killing was called a murder. The acquittal of Colonel Hamilton after a trial lasting nearly two months will perhaps convince some people that there were two sides to the case.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Apr 23, 1888

 

Jones S. Hamilton

 

A DISTINGUISHED CHARACTER

Whose Long Trial Has Brought Him Into Notice.

MEMPHIS, Tenn., April 23 — [Special] — Colonel Jones S. Hamilton, who has become notorious by having undergone one of the longest trials in the history of Mississippi, and was acquitted last Thursday of the charge of having murdered Rhoderick D. Gambrell, on the night of May last year, was in the city today. He held quite a levee at the Peabody hotel. A great number of his friends and newspaper men called on him. He remarked to one of the latter that he had given four years of his life defending the confederacy and one year to the defense of himself and he was glad it was over. He was a great surprise in personal appearance, and demeanor to all who say him. He is anything but a ferocious looking terror. He is as mild as a south Mississippi breeze and as polite as a Chesterfield, and not much bigger than a minute.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Apr 24, 1888

WHIPPING A WITNESS.

A Mob Severely Beats a Witness in the Hamilton-Gambrell Case.

NEW ORLEANS, April 24. — A Times-Democrat Clinton, Miss., special says:

A report of a whipping committed Sunday night has been received here and the promise of speedy death prevented a party from making it known sooner. At about midnight  eleven masked men went to the house of Ellis Young, a witness for the defense in the Hamilton cases called him out, tied to him a rope and then severely beat him.

He was told that he was whipping for lying for lying about Roderick Gambrell. Presenting pistols at his head, they demanded to know what amount he was paid for testifying against Gambrell. With death staring him in face, he declared that he did not receive a cent. The mob then released him, and ordered him to leave the county within three days. Young recognized one of his assailants as a divinity student at the Mississippi college.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Apr 25, 1888

A Tragedy Taken to Court.

MEMPHIS, Tenn., July 14 — The Hamilton-Gambrell tragedy had broken out in a new place. Col. James S. Hamilton has brought suit in the United States court here before Judge Hammond for $50,000 damages against The Memphis Appeal company, and has engaged two of the leading legal firms of the city to prosecute it. Col. Hamilton, it will be remembered, was one of the Mississippi penitentiary lessees. The Appeal referred to Col. Hamilton as a depraved “murderer,” an “assassin,” a “conspirator,” “the boss of a gang of corruptionists;” that said voluntary and vindictive work of defendant contributed in a large degree to working up and manufacturing public sentiment against him.

The Daily News (Frederick, Maryland) Jul 14, 1888

 

 

AN OLD SOUTHERN FEUD.

The Story of a Bloody and Terrible Duel Recalled — James Hamilton’s Fight With Gambrell

Colonel Jones S. Hamilton, of Jackson, Miss., is the survivor of the most desperate personal encounter of our time. Hamilton is barely five feet six inches in height, but very compactly built and of surprising muscular strength. He is not a quarreling man at all, being, on the contrary, devoted to the peaceful art of money-making. Besides that, he is nearly, if not quite, 50 years, and since his marriage in 1878 or 1879, of conspicuously domestic habits.

Some tow or three years ago, however, says a correspondent of the N.Y. [Tribune,] the Prohibition party, which, in Mississippi at least, is composed largely of, if not practically identical with, the Baptist Church, undertook to launch a propaganda of special and peculiar violence. They began through their newspapers, and, having in this way and by pulpit fulmination lashed public sentiment into something very like fury, they bore down on the Legislature in great numbers.

Colonel Hamilton was at that time a member of the Mississippi Senate, a straight-out, old-fashioned Democrat in his political and an Episcopalian in his religious practice. Being a strong man, a popular man, and a legislator of force and influence, he was naturally the object of the Prohibition efforts, first by persuasion and importunity, afterward by threats and denunciation. Among the means employed to coerce Colonel Hamilton, or, failing in that, to destroy his influence by detraction and aspersion, was a paper issued in Jackson and edited by a young man named Roderick Gambrell. The paper was an organ of the movement, and its editor was the son of a Baptist preacher who figured in the vanguard of the crusade. For weeks the paper reeked with abuse of Colonel Hamilton, aspersing his character, attacking his honor, denouncing his motives and his acts until the man’s very home was rendered miserable, and his friends began to wonder whether he had not endured more than enough.

At last the tragedy culminated, but under such circumstances of mystery as lent it a strange and fearful horror. One night, about 10 o’clock, immediately after the arrival of the southbound train of the Illinois Central Railroad, Colonel Hamilton started homeward from the depot in a hack, which had been sent to meet him. The town proper lies half a mile or more to the east, and it is the general custom of residents to cover the distance in a vehicle. Gambrell had arrived by the train;but had left the depot immediately on foot, and those who were lingering about the platform and who knew the parties thought there was no danger of a collision, at least that night. A few hundred feet from the depot, going toward town, there is a bridge, and as the loiterers at the station heard Hamilton’s hack rattling over the resounding wooden structure they turned with sighs of relief to disperse to their homes. Suddenly, however, a shot rang out from the direction of the bridge. The hack was heard to stop, and there was a sound as of some one jumping from it. Then another shot and another and then the hack started off at a furious pace, the terrified driver lashing his horses to their top speed. were the antagonists separated? No; the firing began again, and for a few moments assumed the magnitude almost of a fusilade. And now other, and still more dreadful sounds were heard — the sounds of furious men locked in a death-struggle, beating and tearing at each other’s throats and faces like two madmen.

NOTE: This one section was of poor quality and difficult to read:

Scores of people had by this time gathered, but none dared go too near. They hung a?????? on the outer rim of the darkness ???……. piercing cries had faded into silence and the last groan had died away did the listeners find courage to approach, only to find Grambrell lying dead; and Hamilton dead, too, as they thought, lying across the corpse. They were drenched in each other’s blood, both bore frightful wounds, and they had torn and beaten each other with horrible fury until insensibility overtook them.

It was a strange trial — a trial without witnesses to the fact. Nobody knew the details except the one survivor, who lay for weeks hovering between life and death.

Cambridge City Tribune (Cambridge City, Indiana) Feb 13, 1890

The rest of the Roderick D. Gambrell biography (written by the anti-liquor crusaders, so not biased at all) can be read online:

Title: The Passing of the Saloon: an authentic and official presentation of the anti-liquor crusade in America
Editor: George M. Hammell
Publisher: F.L. Rowe, 1908
Pages 123-125

Jones Stewart Hamilton biography can be read online in the following book:

Title: Mississippi: Contemporary Biography
Volume 3 of Mississippi: Comprising Sketches of Counties, Towns, Events, Institutions, and Persons, Arranged in Cyclopedic Form
Editor: Dunbar Rowland
Publisher    Reprint Co., 1907
Page 311

This incident is also mentioned in the following book:

Title: Editors I Have Known Since the Civil War: (rewritten and reprinted from letters in the Clarion-ledger)
Author: Robert Hiram Henry
Published: 1922
Pages 134-135 Hamilton-Gambrell
Pages 135-137Adams-Martin

My previous post about the Wirt Adams-John H. Martin incident.

Why Times Were Good

October 6, 2010

Why Times Were Good.

From the Arkansaw Traveler.

“How are times in this neighborhood?” asked a traveler of a native of Anderson county, Kentucky.

“Fust rate.”

“Farmers are in good condition, I suppose?”

“Don’t know that they air.”

“Money, plentiful, then, I presume.”

“No, kain’t say that it is.”

“And yet you say times are good.”

“That’s whut I ‘lowed.”

“When the farmers are not in good condition?”

“Yes.”

“And when money is not plentiful?”

“Ah, hah.”

“Well, at that rate, I don’t see how you can regard times as good.”

“I do, fur thar have been six still houses started in this county in four months.”

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Apr 23, 1888