Posts Tagged ‘1891’

YesterYear for Christmas

December 22, 2009

Thomas Nast illustration, Harper's Weekly

Image from Cannonba!! at York Blog (local history section)

HEART CHIMES IN HOLLY TIME.

AFFECTIONATELY INSCRIBED TO CAPT. CHARLES L. EASAM, 15th REG. KY. VOLL.

We are waiting, brother, patiently awaiting
To feel thy fond, fond kiss upon our cheek;
And breathe the welcome words we fain would speak
To thee — the hero, who the tide of battle
Strong, hast breasted since the last time greeting.
We are waiting, patiently awaiting.

We are waiting, brother, hopefully awaiting,
Within our dear old home the childhood light
Is burning cheerily for thee to-night.
Seasons are weary since our New Year parting,
And changes many since our last fond meeting.
We are waiting, hopefully awaiting.

We are waiting, brother, anxiously awaiting,
Ever through the long, long night we’re pining.
Thou comest not while stars are sweetly shining,
Nor yet at morning in the glory light.
And when the sunshine and the day is waning
We are waiting, anxiously awaiting.

We are waiting, brother, tearfully awaiting,
White as snow, thy mother’s cheek is failing
While listening to the chill wind wailing.
The Christmas hearth-lights burn but dimly — faintly!
Cold dew-damps gather fast, and hope is dying.
We are waiting, tearfully awaiting.

Hark! hear the watch dog bark! we are not waiting!
We hear a manly voice so soft and tender —
We raise our own to meet thy dark eyes splendor —
That heart beat — then Christmas chime is sweeter,
Lights are brighter and the hearth stone, glowing.
Thank God! we are not waiting, vainly waiting.

Yes, we are waiting, hopelessly awaiting.
A messenger came with that cruel letter:
Be patient, mother dear. I am not coming;
No leave of absence yet — no home returning.”
For me no Christmas chimes, no hearth light burning.
Only waiting, hopelessly awaiting.

Dear brother, through this agony of waiting,
“While the old year lies a dying” — waiting!
Other forms we love may come without thee!
Thy vacant place, ah! none can fill it!
Thy voice is silent — again to hear it!
God grant we may not thus be ever waiting!

SALLIE J. HANCOCK, of Kentucky.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Jan 9, 1864

From the Wilkesbarre Democrat.

A PARODY.

Turkies! who on Christmas bled,
Turkies! who on corn have fed,
Welcome to us now you’re dead,
And in the frost have hung.

“Now’s the day and now’s the hour,”
Through the market how we scour,
Seeking Turkies to devour,
Turkies old and young.

Who would be a Turkey hen;
Fed and fatten’d in a pen —
Kill’d and ate by hungry men; —
Can you tell, I pray?

Lay the proud old Turkies low,
Let the young ones run and grow,
To market they’re not fit to go,
Till next Christmas day.

The Adams Sentinel (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) Dec 27, 1831

CHRISTMAS DAY.

Let this day see all wrongs forgiven,
Let peace sit crowned in every heart;
Let bitter words be left unsaid,
Let each one take his brother’s part;
Let sad eyes learn again to smile, —
A day is such a little while, —
Of all days this the shortest!

Let rich and poor together meet,
While words of kindness fill the air;
Let love spread roses in the way,
Though winter reigneth everywhere;
Let us know naught of craft or guile,
A day is such a little while, —
Of all days this the shortest!

Let us help, each with loving care,
Our brothers on the way to Heaven;
Let’s lay aside all selfishness;
Let pride from every heart be driven,
Let Christmas-day bring many a smile, —
A day is such a little while, —
Of all days this the shortest.

Indiana Weekly Messenger (Indiana, Pennsylvania) Dec 22, 1880

The Christmas Jubilee.

We can almost hear the chiming
Of the joyous Christmas bells;
Almost feel the mirth and gladness
That the Christmas tide foretells.
We can almost hear the echo
From Judea’s distant plain;
Almost hear the bursts of music
That will float in sweet refrain.

Everywhere in expectation
Hearts are beating with delight,
And in childhood’s happy kingdom
Every eye is beaming bright.
Soon the dawn will be upon us
As from out the night it wells,
And the earth will hear the music
Of the merry Christmas bells.

Soon the wondrous star of glory
Will illume the Eastern sky,
And the angel bands of heaven
Will sing paeans from on high.
Soon the story of the manger
Will be heard throughout the earth,
And each heart will leap with gladness
O’er a loving Savior’s birth.

Soon the chiming bells of Christmas
Will be ringing sweet and clear,
Pealing forth the joyful message
To all nations, far and near.
Soon the lofty dome of heaven
Will resound with music sweet,
As the bells of earth exultingly
The old-time song repeat.

Hail we then the joyful Christmas —
Happiest time of all the year —
With its sweet and ringing music,
With its mirth and boundless cheer.
Every lip is singing praises;
Every fireside rings with glee;
Every heart is shouting “welcome!”
To the Christmas jubilee.

— G.C. RHODERICK, JR., in Middletown Register.

The News (Frederick, Maryland) Dec 21, 1891

Yule-Tide in Many Lands

by Mary P. Pringle and Clara A. Urann 1916

Chapter IXYule-Tide in America

Remembering Our Veterans

November 11, 2009

The Two Volunteers.

I found them there together,
With roses sweet between,
Near by a murmuring river,
Above them heaven’s sheen.
I heard the winds of summer
Sing low a sweet refrain
Above the youth from Georgia,
Above the lad from Maine.

One left his tall palmettos,
The other left his pines,
To stand with gallant thousands
Amid the battle lines.
But now in peace they slumber
In sunshine and in rain;
One northward came from Georgia,
One southward marched from Maine.

No more the battle bugles
Will tell them they were foes,
No more the thunderous cannon
Shall break their deep repose.
Perhaps for them in sorrow,
Beyond the sunny plain,
A mother waits in Georgia,
A sister weeps in Maine.

Perhaps two old-time sweethearts
Still listen for the tread
Of those two youthful gallants
Who sleep among the dead.
I’ve not the heart to tell them
Where camp, in sun and rain,
The boy who came from Georgia,
The boy who marched from Maine.

I heard the murmuring river,
I saw its silvered waves,
I blessed the rich, red clover
That grew upon their graves,
And then I asked the angels
Who watch on heaven’s plain
To guard the boy from Georgia,
To guard the lad from Maine.

No longer are they foemen,
No more they hear the pines
Their song at midnight singing
Between the battle lines.
The hot drums of secession
Will never beat again
To thrill the sons of Georgia,
To rouse the sons of Maine.

I left them to their slumbers —
The blue coat and the gray;
Beside the singing river
They wait the Judgment Day.
Thank God, the starry banner
Beloved on hill and plain,
Waves o’er the boy from Georgia,
And o’er the boy from Maine!

–T.C. HARBAUGH.

The News (Frederick, Maryland) Feb 14, 1891

The Troopers Return sheetmusic 1888

The Trooper’s Return.
(A Scotch-American Ballad.)

When the gloaming was veiling the wooded hills;
And the gold of the summer’s sun
Was passing away in the track of the day,
And the pale stars, one by one,
Were peering out from the saffron haze
That softens the evening calm,
And the last sweet note from the wild bird’s throat,
Had passed like a woodland psalm.
A mother stood with her bairnies three,
By the lane where the road sweeps down,
Where the traveler sees through the apple trees
The spires of the far off town.

“Now, woe is me,” said the sad, lone wife,
“For the weary hours we stan’,
Wi’ sighs and wi’ fears and blindin’ tears,
A waitin’ my dear gude-mon.
Wounded, a prisoner, at last exchanged;
Three weeks and a day hae gane;
But still in tears and a prey to fears,
We wait by the lonely lane.”
While she spoke, from the shaded roadside near,
A tall, lean figure came;
And the red blood shot through her pulses hot
And her veins, like living flame.

O, she thought she saw in the wave of his hand,
A nameless, remembered art
That gave a charm to a strong young arm
When love first came to her heart.
Alas, for the wife wi’ bairnies three!
She met in the traveler lone
No answering trace in his wasted face
Of the long-sought, hoped-for one.
But her heart gushed out in a tender glance,
As she saw in the warrior worn,
A manly form that the battle storm
Had broken and maimed and torn.

“Now, where are ye limpin’ so late good man?
You seem to be unco lame.”
“Good dame,” quo’ he, with a tear in his e’e,
“I’m limping toward my hame.
I’m needing rest and a kindly hand,
As your ain fair een can see;
I’ve been in the fight to protect the right;
The cause o’ the brave and free.
There’s an ugly scar on this leg that’s left,
That mak’s me so feeble seem;
The ither was lost when our squadrons crossed
The ford of a bloody stream.

“‘Twas burning with shame, each drew his rein,
And turning his chargers fleet,
Our general’s words and our good broad swords
Tore victory from defeat.”
She heard in the ring of his manly voice
The rich loved tones of yore.
And the wasted face and the limping pace
Were seen by the wife no more;
To the wreck of the trooper that proudly stood
In the eye of the evening wan,
Her heart gushed out in a sobbing shout,
“Dear God! It’s my ain gude-mon!”

And the wounded and torn of a hundred fights
Was clasped to her woman’s breast;
Forgot were his scars ‘neath the burning stars,
His pains and his needed rest.
His eldest born took his battered sword;
Wee Willie his sash unbound;
While Maud in h’s arms, with her infant charms,
Sat light on an unhealed wound.
He struck from the road with a bounding heart,
Forgetting his gashed, still knee;
Up the sweet lane to his home again,
With his wife and his bairnies three.

The Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Apr 8, 1888

veteransday2009

We Stood For Freedom

We stood for freedom just like you
And loved the flag you cherish too

Our uniforms felt great to wear
You know the feel, and how you care

In step we marched, the cadence way
The same is true with you today

Oh how we tried to do our best
As you do now, from test to test

How young we were and proud to be
Defenders of true liberty

So many thoughts bind soldiers well
The facts may change, not how we jell

Each soldier past, and you now here
Do share what will not disappear

One thought now comes, straight from my heart
For soldiers home, who’ve done their part

I’m honored to have served with you
May Godly peace, help get you through

And now I’ll end with a request
Do ponder this, while home at rest

America, respect our day
Each veteran, helped freedom stay

Written for Veteran’s Day 2002
Roger J. Robicheau

*****

To all our Veterans, THANK YOU!

Autumn Poetry

November 1, 2009

In November.

The ruddy sunset lies
Banked along the west,
In flocks with sweep and rise
The birds are going to rest.

The air clings and cools,
And the reeds look cold
Standing above the pools
Like rods of beaten gold.

The flaunting golden-rod
Has lost her wordly mood,
She’s given herself to God
And taken a nun’s hood.

The wild and wanton horde
That kept the summer revel
Have taken the serge and cord
And given the slip to the Devil.

The winter’s loose somewhere,
Gathering snow for a fight;
From the feel of the air
I think it will freeze tonight.

— DUNCAN CAMPBELL SCOTT.

The News (Frederick, Maryland) Oct 24, 1891

 

AUTUMN.

No sound but the beechnuts falling
Through the green and the yellow leaves,
And the rainy west wind calling
The swallows from the eves,
No fading trees are shedding
Their golden splendor yet;
But a sunset gleam is spreading,
That seems like a regret.

And the crimson-breasted birdie
Sings his sweet funeral hymn
On the oak-tree grim and sturdy,
In the twilight gathering dim,
Death comes to pomp and glory;
They fade the sunny hours;
And races old in story
Pass like the summer flowers.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Oct 19, 1872

 

Fall Time in Georgia.

Through summer, we’ve been toastin’,
But now we’re on the way
Where the sweet potato’s roastin’
An’ the cabin fiddles play.

The cane will soon be gindin’,
An’ the boys’ll have their fun;
The hunter’s horn is windin’
An’ the rabbit’s on the run!

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Aug 12, 1895

Obviously, the fiddler in the picture is not from Georgia, but I thought it was a great picture anyway. While searching for it, I came across a picture of a fiddler from Georgia by the name of Robert Allen Sisson. You can read about him in The Old Time Fiddlers Hall of Fame. To the left of his biographical sketch is an audio link of him playing Rocky Road to Dublin.

 

THE DESERTED BARN.

AGAINST the gray November sky
Beside the weedy lane it stands,
To newer fields they all pass by
The farmers and their harvest hands.

There is no lack within the mow;
The racks and mangers fall to dust;
The roof is crumbling in, but thou,
My soul, inspect it and be just.

Once from the green and winding vale
The sheaves were born to deck its floor;
The blue-eyed milkmaid filled her pail,
Then gently closed the stable door.

Once on the frosty wintry air
The sound of flail afar was borne,
And from his natural pulpit there
The preacher cock called up the morn.

But all are gone; the harvest men
Work elsewhere now for higher pay;
The blue-eyed milkmaid married Ben,
The hand, and went to Ioway.

The flails are banished by machines,
Which thresh the grain with equine power,
The senile cock no longer weans
The folks from sleep at dawning hour.

They slumber late beyond the hill,
In that new house which spurns the old;
In gorgeous stalls the kine are still,
The horse is blanketed from the cold.

But I from ostentatious pride
And hollow pomp of riches turn,
To must that ancient barn beside;
Pause, pilgrim, and its lessons learn,

So live that thou shalt never  make
A millpond of the mountain farm,
Nor for a gaudy stable take
The timbers of the ruined barn!

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Aug 10, 1872

Hallowe’en of Yore Ancestors

October 27, 2009

HALLOWEEN WILL BE HERE SOON, GET READY

Young People Will Celebrate While the Goblins and Spirits Hower About, Just as of Old.

Get ready, kids. It’s coming. A week from Saturday the goblins, witches, elves and jack-o-lanterns will come into their own for one brief night. All Hallows’ eve — the world belongs to them.

In the old, old days Hallowe’en belonged to the spirits of the Northland, to the spirits and elves of Druid days. There are no witches or fairies now, but Hallowe’en will be celebrated just the same.

Farmers are getting ready for the occasion and are getting their cabbage and pumpkins under cover and before the latter part of next week will have them securely locked in the houses and barns. Corn is also used to a certain extent in celebrating, while tick-tacks** are just as big a favorite as ever.

From Dictionary Encarta:

**2. U.S. something that taps as prank: a device operated from a distance to make a tapping sound on a window or door as a practical joke.

Great changes have taken place in celebrating Hallowe’en in the past decade. It used to be that a boy or girl did not think they were having a good time unless they would burst in a number of doors during the night with cabbage stocks or hang some neighbor’s wagon on the roof of the barn, so it would be hard to remove, while some even went so far as to put cows in the school room and other things in just as ridiculous places. The taking of a buggy or wagon and running away with it was most enjoyed, that is by the celebrators, but it was a trick not enjoyed by the owner. The building of fences across the public highway also afforded the builder lots of fun. People out late at night or those compelled to get out early in the morning always bumped into one of these fences and there was all kinds of trouble. Gates and porch steps were to be found for the next two weeks in unlooked for places — but that was the way they celebrated a good many years ago.

It would not be very healthy to celebrate in this manner now. There are too many police officers. Then if you would happen to get caught or your name learned later on, you stand a good chance of being arrested for malicious mischief. There are too many laws today to permit such carryings on. Of late years the proper way to celebrate Hallowe’en and have a good time is to attend a taffy-pulling. Of course jack-o-lanterns are still used and are a big favorite, but not to the extent they were a number of years ago. In later years the young folks dress up in masque costumes and attend their taffy pullings. Many of the games played when grandmother was a girl, such as ducking for apples, etc., are still in vogue and affords no end of amusement.

It is not known to what extent Mayor Harry Lusk will permit celebrators to go this year; but one thing is sure and that is that he will not stand for destruction of property, so the boys and girls who desire to keep out of the clutches of the law and escape spending a night in the ill-smelling cooler at city hall should confine their celebrating to innocent fun and not try to see how much property they can damage.

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Oct 23, 1908

The Good Old Candy Pull.

You kin talk about y’r op’rae y’r germans an’ ali sich,
Y’r afternoon receptions an’ them pleasures o’ the rich;
You kin feast upon y’r chol’lates an’ y’r creams an’ ices full.
But none o’ them is ekal to a good old candy pull.

For ther’ isn’t any perfume like the ‘lasses on the fire,
A bubblin’ an’ a dancin’ as it keeps a risin’ higher,
While the spoon goes stirrin’, stirrin’, till the  kittle’s even full;
No, I reely thin ther’s nothing’ like a good old candy pull.

It’s true we miss the music, an’ the ballroom’s crush an’ heat,
But ther isn’t any bitter that stays behind the sweet,
An’ I think the world’d be better, an’ its cup o’ joy more full,
If we only had more pleasures like the good old candy pull.

— BOSTON BULLETIN.

The News (Frederick, Maryland) Mar 13, 1891

Hemp Seeds (Image from www.divavillage.com)

Hemp Seeds (Image from http://www.divavillage.com)

A Potent Incantation.

On All-Hallows eve there is one form of incantation which is known to be extremely, nay, terribly potent when all others have failed. You go out by yourself, taking a handful of hempseed with you. You get to a secluded place and begin to scatter the seed as you walk along the road. You say, “Hempseed, I sow thee; hempseed, I sow thee, he who is to be my true love, appear now and show thee.” And if you look furtively over your shoulder you will behold the desired apparition following you. — William Black in Harper’s.

Davenport Morning Tribune (Davenport, Iowa) Nov 5, 1890

bobbingapplescard

HALLOWE’EN CELEBRATIONS

Its Origin and Customs — How the Small Boy Came to Have a Part Therein.

Many Parties of Social Nature Held — Police Department Busily Entertained.

Hallowe’en or All Hallow’s Eve, the night of Oct. 31, that is the eve of All Saints’ Day, which is the first day of November, takes its origin from the conversion in the Seventh century of the Pantheon at Rome, into a Christian place of worship, and its dedication to the Virgin and all the martyrs.

It was first celebrated on the first of May, but the date was Subsequently changed to Nov. 1st, and under the designation of “Feast of All Saints,” set apart as a general commemoration in their honor, and as such retained by the Angelican and American Episcopal churches.

On this day it is a custom of Roman Catholic countries, and is still practiced in Louisiana, to visit the cemeteries for devotion or for laying floral tributes on the graves of relatives.

The “Hallowe’en” part of it, however, appears to have nothing churchly about it. It is more in keeping with the practices of pagan times or perhaps of medieval superstitions, which set apart the night for a universal walking abroad of spirits, both of the visible and invisible world. On this mystic evening it was believed that even the human spirit might detach itself from the body and wander abroad.

From the above it can be readily seen how members of the younger population have come to distort the customs of this celebration by performing mischievous pranks, dressing in most hideous costumes and working destruction in general to everything animate and inanimate, after the fashion of sprites, or worse than these, perhaps, demons. Here also we discover the origin of the pumpkin ghost or Jack ‘o lanter, the troops of wandering devils, etc.

Practically so far as recognized at all, as it is still in Great Britain and some of our states, where church usages and traditions survive, it is devoted to sports and practical jokes. Nuts and apples are in requisition, they being not only cracked and eaten, but furnish sport in the way of “ducking” and “bobbing” which often results in damp disaster at the bottom of the wash tub.

The fate of many a lad and lass is also often decided in the signs of the seeds and the kernels, as the renowned Burns put it:

“The old guidwife’s well hoardit ______ nits,
Are round and round devided,
And many lads and lassies’ fates
Are there that night decided.”

A number of parties were held last evening in commemoration of the event. The police department was also obliged to use its entire force and acumen to watch the mischievous sprites who were on the lookout to work destruction to anything and everything which happened to fall in their pathway.

Social Hallowe’en.

Among those who entertained in a social way were Miss Lulu Wolfe, Wisconsin street; Miss Anna Slagsvold, Wisconsin street; Miss Laura Aswumb, Garfield avenue; Rev. and Mrs. Arns, Vine street; and among others something unique in the way of hobo Hallowe’en amusement at the home of Mrs. David Drummond. To say the least, all of the events named above furnished much enjoyment to those who were in attendance, having a part in the quaint games and customs in accord with practices of olden times.

The Small Boy.

Hallowe’en with the small boy, was not so exciting up to midnight. Dr. Selbach’s buggy was carried with the Leader’s mail wagon. Windows were soaped, gates stolen, every upsetable, upset, a sidewalk in the Ninth ward torn up, with untold and various other depredations. This is all. No lives were lost. Hallowe’en is all over but the swearing.

Eau Claire Leader (Eau Claire, Wisconsin) Nov 2, 1906

THIS IS HALLOWE’EN.

Which Has Been Celebrated Through Centuries — The Prince of Mischief Abroad in the Land.

To-night is Hallowe’en and around it clusters more Old World superstitions than begirt the other 364 nights that go to make up the year.

The small boy knows it best as “cabbage night,” and to him it means a round of fun. He has been keeping track of it. He knows it comes with darkness and for days he has been keeping his optics on the cabbage heads in the back yards of his neighbors.

The small boy knows where all the cabbage in the neighborhood, for squares around, is kept, and as soon as night has stolen over the earth he will be out with his companions, carefully climbing over the back yard fences, and stealthfully approaching the mound where the cabbage is buried. It is no use to watch him, for if it is there he will have it if he has to stay up all night, and after he has it in his grasp he is off on his round of pranks.

The readers of THE SENTINEL know how he will put in the night. They were all young once and as they peruse this Hallowe’en article, memories of those old-time days, when they were out on the All Hallows Eve lark, will crowd in on them thick and fast, and when the “bump,” “bump” of the cabbage head comes against the door, they will say, “Oh, it’s boys. They are out for a little fun. Let them have it.”

Gates are carried off from their hinges, and the posts are ornamented with hideous, grinning faces, made of a grotesque pumpkin, hollowed out, and containing a lighted candle. Bonfires are built and potatoes, eggs and apple roasted on the hot coals. Door bells are mysteriously rung and the king of misrule and his retinue are abroad in the land.

But the Hallowe’en is not now what it once was. The boyish pranks of twenty, thirty and forty years ago (many of them) seem to be unknown to the boys of to-day and there isn’t one one hundredth part of the fun crowded into the night now as there was then. Many of the older readers of THE SENTINEL could tell the boys of to-day Hallowe’en stories that would “make their hair stand on end,” but it is best, perhaps, that those olden-time tricks (some of them mean and cruel in their nature) should be discontinued, and we will not tell more of them now for fear the boys will be tempted to repeat them to-night in Fort Wayne.

There used to be a time when the night was full of superstitions, and men, women and children believed that on All Hallows Eve disembodied spirits visited the earth again; that devils, witches and fairies were abroad; that supernatural influences existed everywhere, but these old-time superstitions passed away with the advent of railways, telegraph, and, most of all, with the enlightening influences of the newspapers, and now the night is mostly (among those who desire to celebrate it) given to amusements of a social nature, either at home or in some public hall. Even the boyish pranks grow to be less common, and bye and bye, perhaps, they will cease all together.

Hallowe’en, or more properly All Hallows Eve, is the night before All Saints’ day and comes on October 31st, being kept as a vigil by some churches for the religious ceremonies of the following day, November 1st, when honor is done in the sanctuaries to all the saints. This is its real signification now, and yet in many countries the old superstitions still prevail and we give a few of them.

In the north of England this is “Nutcrack-Night,” and everywhere nuts and apples are in demand for consumption or for divination. In Ireland the same customs exist as in the sister isle; the lads and lasses gather by the blazing fire of peat and bogwood; the hearth is cleanly swept and each pair of lovers put two nuts before the fire; if either jumps the party represented is sure to give the other the mitten.
Ducking for apples is another ceremony peculiar to Hallowe’en.

Apples are placed in a tub of water, and often coins, and the attempts to catch them in the mouth produce tremendous mirth. So. too, does the “snapapple cross”; apples and lighted candles are placed on the opposite ends of a wooden cross, suspended by a string, and the attempts to rescue an apple with the mouth is generally rewarded by catching the twirling candle.

Three plates, containing earth, water and a ring, are placed on the table, the fortune seeker is led blindfolded, and his selection dooms him to death, exile or marriage within the ensuing year. A somewhat similar form of divination exists in Scotland.

“Popping” is a custom as popular in America as in the old country, where it originated. One girl heats a shovel red hot. Two chestnuts are then named after two of the company, as Jennie and Jack. In a few minutes they begin to sputter, and when they pop with much noise and confusion it is judged by the method of popping how the love affair will terminate. If Jennie pops away it is surmised that it is meant as an invitation for Jack to follow and capture her, but if Jack pops he is not for her. If the two pop side by side or away together, it is the happiest of auguries. IF the pair of chestnuts burn up into a flame and consume together it foretells a happy married future.

Eating the apple — This first demands a walk through a long corridor, when, if the young lady does not see her lover, she must return backward, going to her room and eating the apple before a looking glass while she combs her hair. She will then see her future husband’s face over her shoulder.

Paring an apple in one long paring, throwing it over the shoulder and letting it fall is a favorite spell of the night. If it falls so as to resemble a letter, that will be the first letter of a coming lover’s name.

The Hallowe’en Mirror — This is always a moonlight night performance, as the spell is assisted by the spectral light of the moon. They young woman looking into the glass must munch an apple at the same time. As the moonbeams fall across the glass she will see a face beside her own, which will be that of the man she is to marry. This test is very trying one, and many cases have been known where a delicate girl has fainted from fright, her imagination supplying the expected face.

The Three Leggies — These are three bowls of water placed on the hearth, a custom prevalent in Scotland and referred to by Burns. One is filled with clear water, one with turbid water and one is empty. Whoever dips must be blindfolded and use the left hand only. If it is a maiden and she dips into the clear water she will marry a young man and be prosperous. If she, however, puts her hand in the turbid bowl her husband will be a widower, and she will have more or less trouble, but if she dips into the empty dish, never a husband will she have at all.

A Scottish superstition was: — The girl would take her ball of knitting worsted and at midnight, standing on the edge of an old lime kiln, would throw it down in the devil’s name, and commencing to wind up the end would say, “I wind, who holds?” when a voice was supposed to answer, “I hold.” Many fatal accidents from shock followed these incantations, caused probably by some of the lads who knew that such a visit would be made.

But when all the sports were finished, then came the crowning terror to the rustic mind — the journey home and the possibility of meeting the dreaded “Phooks,” the hairy, misshapen spirit steed that on this particular night was permitted to roam around and decoy wearied pedestrians to mount him.

Some of these sports may be repeated to night among our young folks and much merriement will ensue. All in all, with the repetition of these pranks and the parties, dances and night “raids” of the small boy Hallowe’en will not go unobserved in Fort Wayne.

all saints

To morrow will be All Saints day. As early as the fourth century the Greeks kept on the first Sunday after Pentecost the feast of all Martyrs and Saints, and there is still a sermon of St. John Chrysostom delivered on that day. The feast was introduced in the west by Pope Boniface IV. The feast was at first kept on the 13th of May, but the day was changed to the 1st of November by Gregory IV. This feast has been instituted by the church to honor all the saints who reign in heaven.

Next Sunday will be All Souls day. It is a solemn commemoration of and prayer for all the souls in purgatory. This feast is dept on the 2d day of November. This feast owes its origin to Odilo Abbot, of Clugny, who instituted this solemnity for all the monasteries of his order in 998.

Both days will be religiously observed by the Catholics in this city.

The forty hour devotions began at the Cathedral to-day at 9 o’clock. Father Ambrose, of Cincinnati, a Franciscan, preached in the forenoon and will be heard again this evening. To-morrow the principal services will be at 5, 7:30, 10 a.m., and in the evening at 7:30, closing with a sermon, procession and benediction on Sunday evening.

Fort Wayne Sentinel, The (Fort Wayne, Indiana) Oct 31, 1890

HALLOWE’EN [excerpt]

Three things seem to be wrapped up in Hallowe’en rites — silence, salt and apples! Salt and silence worked together, and for dire occasions. Hallowe’en, from time immemorial, seems to have been a special occasion for attempting to lift the veil and peer into the future, especially as regards one’s personal fortunes or the fate of one’s enemies.

For instance, many hundreds of years ago in northern Europe a man who put a spoonful of salt in his mouth, drank no water, and walked away in silence — you cannot imagine him talking much — to “a place where three crossroads met and sat thereon on a three-legged stool” was rewarded at midnight by hearing a supernatural voice announce the name of the neighbor, generally, his enemy, who would die within the year!

In many parts of Scotland to this day, the house-wife will empty a thimble of salt on every breakfast plate before going to bed on All Hallows Eve; and if in the morning the salt has fallen out of shape on any plate, it is believed that individual  might just as well get ready, as the big bell has tolled for him.

In other parts of northern Europe, the girl who eats a salt cake and goes to bed in silence, and without drinking water, will see her future husband in her dreams.

Olean Evening Times (Olean, New York) Oct 30, 1929

Hank Parish: A Royal City Desperado

September 27, 2009
Boarding House - El Dorado Canyon

Boarding House - El Dorado Canyon

Image from Southern Nevada: The Boomtown Years, on the UNLV website, which has quite a  collection of digital images.

*****

Hank [P]Farish and one Taylor, of El Dorado Canyon, had a row over a game of cards. Taylor upset the table and drew a knife. Farish whipped out his revolver and shot Taylor twice, wounding him badly.

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) Sep 9, 1879

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Murderous Desperado at Large in Lincoln County.

A letter from Pioche, under date of March 6, to a prominent gentleman of Eureka, gives the partial particulars of a desperate shooting scrape, which occurred at El Dorado, Lincoln county, in which two men were wounded, one slightly and the other fatally.

The letter reads as follows:

El Dorado has just had an extensive boom. Three days ago Hank Parish and a man styled Ni**er Clark were playing poker in Greenwood’s saloon. The former was drunk and lost $100. The loss incensed him and he pulled his pistol and shot Clark, wounding him, though not very seriously. Parish then opened fire on Greenwood and shot him in the stomach, inflicting a mortal wound. He then left. Shortly after the shooting Andy Fife, the Coroner, appeared on the scene, and was proceeding to take Greenwood’s deposition, when Parish again put in an appearance with a pistol in each hand, and demanded that Fife take $100 from Greenwood’s pocket, which he (Parish) had lost, or he would kill both of them forthwith. Of course Fife was obliged to comply in order to save his life at the hands of such a desperado. Parish defies arrest, and says he will kill the first man who attempts to arrest him. At the latest accounts he was still at large.

Daily Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Mar 11, 1881

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The Pioche Record says that Greenwood, the man shot by Parish, in Lincoln county, is not dead, and is now considered out of danger. Clark, shot at the same time, is recovering, and it is thought that his wound will soon heal.

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) Mar 26,  1881

Royal City/Jackrabbit (Image from http://americanhistory.suite101.com)

Royal City/Jackrabbit (Image from http://americanhistory.suite101.com)

A LINCOLN COUNTY HOMICIDE.

A Drunken Brute’s Bloody Work at Royal City.

The Pioche Record of the 9th inst. says: At Royal City Sunday morning about 4:30 A.M. Hank Parish stabbed and mortally wounded P.G. Thompson, aged 31, a native of New Jersey, and lately from Aspen, Colo. As nearly as we can ascertain, the facts of the cutting are as follows: Bob Martin, H. Hill, P.G. Thompson and a Chinaman were engaged in playing poker at Jimmy Curtis’ saloon on the morning in question. Hank Parish was present, and being intoxicated, persisted in leaning on the shoulder of Thompson, although the latter remonstrated with him, claiming that he could not play poker under the circumstances.

Parish repeated the act a few times and returned to the bar, when the laughter of the poker party attracted his attention.It seems that the players were laughing at the Chinaman for passing out a “club flush,” but Parish seemingly thought that they were laughing at him, and advancing to the table, he addressed some foul language to the party, mainly addressing himself to Thompson, the latter replying that he did not give a d–n for him.

Upon this Parish struck him in the face with his right hand, and upon Thompson rising from the table, Parish struct out with his left hand and stabbed him with a large pocket knife a little above and to the right of the navel. Upon receiving the wound, Thompson cried out that he was hurt, and hurriedly left the saloon. Jimmy Curtis at once secured a team and brought the wounded man to town, arriving at McFadden’s Hotel at 8 A.M., and Dr. Nesbitt was summoned immediately.

Sheriff Turner at once secured a team and repaired to Royal City, where he arrested Parish, unaided, and he lost no time in jailing him on his return to town.

The wounded man did not seem to have a chance for recovery from the start, for previous to his death, Dr. Louder was called in and performed an operation at Thompson’s request, the same having shown an advanced stage of decomposition and that the bowels were badly cut. The deceased died Thursday evening about 9 o’clock, and although a stranger in the community, the citizens mourn him as an old resident, from the fact of his pleasing presence and fortitude under great bodily pain.

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) Aug 15, 1890

Noose

PARISH HUNG.

He Dies Protesting His Innocence, But Claims To Have Killed Three Men.

The White Pines News contains the following account of the hanging of Hank Parish at Ely on Friday last:

Hank Parish, for the murder of A.G. Thompson at Royal City last July, was hung in front of the jail yesterday at noon. The death warrant was read by Sheriff Bassett in the jail, and at two minutes to 12 o’clock the solemn procession wended its way from the jail to the scaffold, Parish ascending the steps without the least apparent fear. There were quite a number of spectators within the inclosure, and Parish stepped to the front railing and addressed them. He said:

“I have been charged with a great many crimes; I killed three men, and I was right in doing it. The last man I killed (Thompson), he assisted in stringing me up three times. They say I have a wife and family that I have not treated right. My wife has been dead thirteen years; I have two children in Oregon, well fixed. I am an ignorant man, have always been persecuted, and am innocent of crime. All this will appear in Mr. Murphy’s book of my life, and I want you to believe it.”

These words were spoken calmly and with ordinary coolness. He made no reference whatever to the Unknown Realm into which he was about to be launched, nor expressed any regret for anything he had done.

He then stepped back on the trap door, shook hands with the Sheriff and his attendants, the black cap was pulled over his head, the rope adjusted about his neck — and the News reporter hurriedly walked into the Court House to prevent witnessing the final act in the drama of life and death.

Sheriff Bassett sprung the trap; the fall was a little over six feet, and the doomed man’s neck was broken. There was not a move or a quiver of the body, and as soon as Dr. Campbell could get to feel the pulse he pronounced life extinct. The whole time occupied in the execution was but 12 minutes. Parish went on the scaffold at 2 minutes to 12 and was cut down at 10 minutes past 12.

Dr. Campbell examined his pulse before he left the jail. It was beating at 99. When the black cap was pulled over his head it ran up to 142. That Parish was a bad man, and met the fate he deserved, is the general sentiment of this community.

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) Dec 16, 1890

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The News says:

Lincoln county has responded to White Pine’s call to the tune of $588 on account of the little job it did for that county, namely: the hanging of Hank Parish.

Daily Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Mar 25, 1891

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LETTER FROM NEVADA.

Colorado Difficulties — The Nevada Big Mine — Aligold – Bryonic.
[Excerpt]

While Mr. (D.) Turner was sheriff he proved himself of such nerve that desperadoes did not care to face him. In 1890 it became necessary to arrest a fellow named Hank Parish, who had 17 notches on his gunstock. He had left a bloody trail all the way between Arizona and the coast and made brags that he was good for a few more. The record of the murderer was so bad and he was known to be so quick with his gun (in fact, shooting was a pastime with him) that no officer would accompany the sheriff to make the arrest. Hence he went to the cabin of the murderer alone, and getting the drop on him, arrested his man, who in due time was hanged.

The Fitchburg Sentinel (Fitchburg, Massachusetts) Oct 12, 1896

*****

You can read about Hank Parish’s ghost in the following book on Google:

Haunted Nevada By Janice Oberding (page 104)

More on Hank Parish HERE

An Alaskan Expedition – 1890-1891

September 23, 2009
Yukon River (Image from www.hougengroup.com)

Yukon River (Image from http://www.hougengroup.com)

MR. W.J. ARKELL, of Frank Leslie’s illustrated newspaper and the Judge, is organizing an expedition of special correspondents and artists to explore Alaska this coming summer. It is believed that a thorough exploration of this comparatively unknown region will reveal more wonders than were discovered by Stanley in Africa.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Mar 20, 1890

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The frontpiece of Frank Leslie’s Illustrated newspaper for the week ending June 28th consists of three pictures showing the start of the Alaska expedition on its long journey. An article accompanies the pictures giving the experiences of the party up to the present stage of their travels. It tells of the difficulties encountered to obtain natives to carry the necessary provisions and equipment into an unknown land. This expedition promises to be one which will rival Stanley’s in interest, especially in the minds of the American people.

Bismarck Daily Tribune (Bismarck, North Dakota) Jun 29, 1890

Headwaters of the Copper River, Alaska - 1902

Headwaters of the Copper River, Alaska - 1902

Image from the “Alfred Bennett” files on rootsweb. Lots of good old pictures!

LOST IN A WILDERNESS.

Anxiety Regarding the Fate of Two Members of an Alaskan Exploring Party.

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 6. — Much anxiety is felt here over the fate of Wells and Price, two members of Frank Leslie’s Alaskan party, who started last fall with a small stock of provisions into the unknown Copper river country in Alaska. The last seen of them was on Forty Mile creek, where they bade good-bye to Schanz, when they declared their intention of pushing south down Forty Mile Creek, thence across Dividing Mountains and down Copper river canyon to the coast, a distance of about 800 miles.

They took a guide, who, after conducting them down that creek to the mountains that form the waters’ head between Yukon and Copper rivers, returned to Yukon. He reported they had set out boldly to pass through the almost unknown Copper river country, which is infested with hostile Indians, with few provisions and no winter clothing. Nothing has been heard of them since, and their relatives in Oakland and Kentucky are anxious regarding their safety.

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Jan 7, 1891

Chilkoot Pass - 1898

Chilkoot Pass - 1898

Above image also from Univ. of WA Digital Collection

THE FATE OF WELLS AND PRICE.

The Frank Leslie Arctic Explorers in All Probability Lost.

SAN FRANCISCO, Cal. Jan. 11. — [Special] — News received by Professor George Davidson of the United States coast and geostation survey, stationed in this city, settles beyond doubt the fate of the two explorers, Wells and Price of the Frank Leslie Alaskan expedition.

Professor Davidson declares that there is only a ghost of a chance of their safety. The two men left Forty Mile creek for the unknown Copper river country last August at the same time that Schanz started for the coast with Greenfield, the Alaska census agent.

Schanz and Greenfield got through all right, though they made a thousand miles’ journey in the native canoes. Price and Wells were dissuaded from attempting to cross the divide and explore the Copper river country, as the season was far gone and the chances were that they would be caught by early snows. When they left the last outpost at Forty Mile creek they had only twenty pounds of rice and twenty pounds of flour and no fur clothes for winter. Price, however, who had spent two years in the arctic regions, said that they could easily buy supplies from the natives.

Since then absolutely nothing has been heard from them. The chief of the Copper river Indians, who left his home in October, reached the Alaskan Commercial company’s station at Alganic in November. He reported that nothing had been heard by his people of any white men up to October 20. The supposition from this is that Wells and Price have either perished or wandered from the regular trail and taken refuge in one of the widely separated Indian villages. If they were lucky enough to find an Indian village nothing will be heard from them till next month, when the natives come down to Alganic or Port Etches with skins to trade.

The chances, however, are greatly against their safety, as any news of white men is carried from one village to another over great distance in Alaska in a wonderfully short space of time.

Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) Jan 12, 1891

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Frank Leslie’s Alaskan expedition, sent out last year, has arrived at Port Townsend, after suffering great hardships. Claim they discovered the source of the Yukon river.

Daily Huronite (Huron, South Dakota) May 4, 1891

Men Bartering With Eskimos

Men Bartering With Eskimos

Image from Univ. of WA digital collection (C. Hart Merriam’s Expedition Description)

A Member of the Alaska Exploring Party Returns.

Special to the Journal.
SAN FRANCISCO, May 6. — A.B. Schanz [Alfred B. Schanz], a member of the Wells-Price Alaska Exploring Expedition arrived here to-day. He was taken sick at Camp Davidson and left behind. He descended the Yukon river in a boat. He made his Winter quarters at an Esquimaux village and in company with John Clark, a trader, made a forty days’ trip north on sleds. On this trip Clark lake and Nogbelin river were discovered.

Daily Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) May 7, 1891

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FRANK LESLIE’S Alaskan expedition is back, claiming to have discovered the source of the Yukon river in the Chilcot mountains a lake they were pleased to call Arkell. As nearly all the recent maps show this lake to be the source of the Yukon, it is not quite clear where the value of Arkell & Harrison’s discovery comes in.

Bismarck Daily Tribune (Bismarck, North Dakota) May 8, 1891

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SEVERAL members of the Alaskan exploring expedition sent out a year ago from New York under the guidance of Hazard Wells have arrived at Port Townsend, Wash. thus contradicting the report that the party had perished.

Stevens Point Journal, The (Stevens Point, Wisconsin) May 9, 1891

Alaska Packers and Miners 1901

Alaska Packers and Miners - Yukon River - 1901

Above image also from the U of WA Digital Collection

Those of our people who knew E. Hazard Wells, at one time with E.T. Cressey on the Daily Leader, and at the same time a special correspondent for the Cincinnati Gazette, will be glad to know that he and his party have returned safely from their exploring expedition into the wilds of Alaska. About a year and a half since Mr. Wells and party were sent to Alaska by the Frank Leslie publishing company.

For 13 months they were lost in the wilds of the northern portion of that country, and suffered privations and hardships almost innumerable. Their escape from starvation was really miraculous. Mr. Wells says the swamps in Alaska are worse than the glaciers, and the mosquitos are more ferocious than the bears. He also says the geography of the country as represented by publishers, is very inaccurate. The experience of the explorers, together with a complete write-up of Alaska, will soon be published.

Daily Huronite (Huron, South Dakota) May 20, 1891

Forty Miles Creek book cover

From: Gold at Fortymile Creek: early days in the Yukon
By Michael Gates, 1994 (pages 58-59) Preview only on Google Books:

In 1890, three hundred miners were located in the Yukon basin. The Arctic was refloated and began to make more regular trips into the interior. Being newer and larger than the previous river vessels, it represented the gradual change which was taking place in the country as the population and gold production increased.

Eighteen ninety was also the first year in which a new route to the interior was opened up. The Chilkat Pass was jealously guarded by the coastal Tlingit, who denied White people access; but in the spring, a party of White men changed all that. Working for an American newspaper, Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Magazine, E.J. Glave, E. Hazard Wells, and A.B. Schanz crossed the Chilkat Pass under the guidance of Jack Dalton, a seasoned northern veteran. The party arrived at Lake Arkell (which is now called Kusawa Lake) and divided into two groups. The first, consisting of Glave and Dalton, struck out overland to the west; the latter, including Wells and Schanz, continued to the mouth of Lake Arkell and into the Takhini River, from which they entered the Yukon just above Lake Laberge.

Glave and Dalton had an exciting journey overland along the Alsek River (now known as the Tatshenshini River), down which they travelled, stopping at Native encampments and chronicling the countryside as they went. They eventually arrived at the mouth of the Alsek River.

Wells and Schanz travelled down the Yukon River, arriving at Harper’s new post at Fort Selkirk on 18 June 1890, and encountering Al Mayo on the New Racket (which was carrying a few prospectors to the Pelly River) two days later. They arrived at Forty Mile on 22 June, where, due to Schanz’s ill health, Wells continued on alone. Departing Forty Mile on 3 July, Wells started upriver and arrived, a week later, at Franklin Gulch, near the upper limit of the gold-bearing creeks on the Fortymile River. Here he found forty miners, each working placer claims of 150 feet. The miners, usually working in partnerships of two or more men, were mining a zigzag paystreak some six feet below the surface and were making from six to seventeen dollars per day each. Those who were being paid a wage were receiving eight dollars per day; everyone was making money, but few were doing much better than that.

Wells continued his trek overland from the upper reaches of the Fortymile River until he reached the Tanana River, down which he travelled, arriving at St. Michael in September. He spent the winter travelling overland through Alaska and eventually arrived back in Washington state in early spring. This expedition was the first of a succession of journeys, made by gentleman travellers’ through the Yukon over the next few years. These observers left their mark on the history of the region in the written accounts of their travels. Glave and Dalton returned the following year to further explore the southwest Yukon. As a result of their discoveries, a new route into the interior was established. The famed Dalton Trail was used by Jack Dalton to transport horses and cattle north to the Yukon River and then downstream to Forty Mile. The trail became one of the minor routes of access to the Klondike River during the gold rush.

*****

The Deseret Weekly: Stories of the Klondike Aug 21, 1897

A Chat with W.J. Arkell in which he talks about the Alaskan expedition.

When Hiram Shaved His Whiskers

September 1, 2009

When Hiram Shaved His Whiskers.

I’ve lived with Hiram thirty years
Upon this varied earth,
And walked with him the vales of tears,
And climbed the hills of mirth;
Some storms have broken on our calm,
And gusts blown wild and drear.
But I have clung to Hiram’s arm
And never felt a fear;
And never gave a frown or scoff,
Till Hiram shaved his whiskers off —
Till Hiram shaved his whiskers.

Those gorgeous whiskers were my pride —
What wondrous power to please!
As they did wave from side to side,
And floated on the breeze;
“You have not loved me since the day
Old Whiskers left,” said Hi —
“For when Old Whiskers moved away
My husband left,” said I.
“My good, old husband disappeared
That day that Hiram shaved his beard —
When Hiram shaved his whiskers.”

“You loved Old Whiskers, Mary Ann,
Far more than you loved me.”
“Old Whiskers was a handsome man
As you will often see.
He had a shaggy, manly air,
But you are small and thin,
Your mouth is large, your cheeks are spare
You have a peak-ed chin —
And I will always rue the day
That good Old Whiskers moved away —
When Hiram shabed his whiskers.”

“You fell so bad, my Mary Ann,
And mourn Old Whiskers so,
I’ll bring you back that grizzly man,
I’ll let my whiskers grow!”
“Ah, those words sound like Hiram’s words,”
Said I, “no more I’ll mourn,
I’ll sing as gay as singing birds,
Till Whiskers shall return;
Meantime I’ll bear with sluggard fate,
In joyful patience sit and wait,
Till Hiram grows his whiskers.”

— S.W. Foss.

The News (Frederick, Maryland) Aug 18, 1891

Judge Roy Bean: The Law West of The Pecos

August 29, 2009

Roy Bean was for ten years in the young days of Texas justice of the peace and coroner of the town of Vinegar Roon, being, as he expressed it, “the law of Texas west of the Pecos.”

He is still living in the town of Langtry, 300 miles west of San Antonio. No man know whence he came. The railroad builders found him away out there on the great desert plains, and when the gamblers and toughs and tenderfeet came along with the first trains and at once proceeded to run the country according to their own notions old Roy Bean declared himself a justice of the peace and boldly announced, “I am the law of Texas west of the Pecos.” It is highly probable that a few people who were in favor of law and order invited the strange character to assume the judicial position and that on account of his desperate courage and fearless judicial demeanor he afterward was appointed to fill the office of justice of the peace.

Early one morning it was reported in the town of Vinegar Roon that a man had fallen from a bridge near the place and that his dead body was lying on the ground close to the water. Roy Bean, as justice of the peace and exofficio coroner, at once summoned a jury. There was no testimony to be taken. The man was a stranger, and it was not easy to determine the cause of his death. He might have fallen from the bridge or he might have been murdered. The coroner searched the dead body, and when he found a pistol in one pocket and $50 in the other he turned to the jury and informed them that in this matter their services were of no value, since it would be necessary for the court to render a verdict without their aid. The court fined the dead man $50 for carrying a pistol and took possession of the money, since the fees of the coroner amounted to just $50, and the body was buried on the lonely prairie at the expense of the county.

Vinegar Roon was named after the most poisonous little reptile that infests the western plains, says the New York Press. It can sting a Gila monster to death in the twinkling of an eye and then turn about and chase a rattlesnake from his den. Chain lightning whisky is no antidote for the poison of the vinegar roon. Roy Bean named the place, and while acting justice of the peace he divided his time between the judicial bench and a roomy saloon and gambling house, where there was none to dispute his authority, for he was sole proprietor.

One fine day a gambler, while in an unusually hilarious mood, sent a pistol ball crashing through the brains of a Chinaman. When the citizens of Vinegar Roon had ceased to celebrate the exit of the Celestial and the funeral solemnities were an affair of the past, the killer was honored with a request to appear at the bar where liquids and justice were dispensed alternately.

The sage who was “the law of Texas west of the Pecos” had evidently devoted some spare moments to the study of his first murder case, for the judgment that was rendered and entered on the docket is certainly without a parallel.

“I have carefully examined the criminal statutes of Texas,” said Roy Bean, “and I find that there is plenty of law to punish one white man for another, but there is no law to punish a citizen of Texas for shooting a Chinaman. In fact, the Chinese are not mentioned in the statutes. The gentleman at the bar stands charged with having shot and killed a Chinaman by the name of Ah Foo. Mr. Ah Foo was unfortunate. He should have remained in his own country. Texas is the land of the free and the home of the brave. It is no place for Mr. Ah Foo or Mr. Ah Sin or Mrs. Ah Sin. Our wise legislators have failed to make laws for the protection of pigtails. Therefore the defendant is discharged, and the costs of this case are assessed against the deceased, Ah Foo, and in case the same cannot be collected in full by the sale of the goods and chattels of the said Ah Foo, or some other Chinaman, it is the order of this court that a copy of these proceedings be made and forwarded to the United States minister in China, and by these presents he is authorized to collect said costs from the emperor of China. The defendant is discharged.”

One day a man with an immense sombrero above his long, tangled hair and an arsenal at his belt appeared at Vinegar Roon, declaring that he had just stopped over to have a little recreation.

“I have been spending a few weeks in San Antonio,” he said, “and my shooting irons were getting rusty.”

After taking a few drinks at the bar he began to berate the mild and feeble qualities of the liquids offered for sale in the infant city.

“Give me a little tarantula juice with a real vinegar roon floating around in it!” shouted this Arizona terror.

“All right,” calmly replied the old behind the bar. “I think we can accommodate you, but you will have to wait a few moments.”

“Well, get up the beverage,” roared the terror, “and I’ll amuse myself during the delay by dropping a few bullets around promiscuously among the lamps and bottles and sich things.”

“As you please,” suavely replied the old man. “I like to see a stranger enjoy himself.”

The terror glanced at the polite barkeeper rather suspiciously, but he never once dreamed that he was talking to old Roy Bean.

Fairly chuckling with suppressed merriment, old Roy went out on the plains only a few steps from his saloon and after turning over two or three rocks he got a big tarantula and a monster vinegar roon. After mashing the heads of the poisonous reptiles he returned to the barroom, entering the door just as the terror with a wild Comanche yell began to rain lead among the bottle and glasses.

As the patrons of the house started through the doors and windows in confusion, old Roy shouted:

“Keep your seats, gentlemen. This infant cyclone will be of sort duration.”

The next instant the terror found himself standing on his head and his weapons were falling upon the floor. Mr. Bean held the amazed man in that position until an accomplished bartender had filled a large beer glass with pure alcohol, and then he reversed the terror as if he had been handling a toy.

“Now, look here, stranger,” said Mr. Bean, in tender but deceptive tones, “you have been finding fault with the quality of my whisky and you have seen proper, to satisfy your fastidious taste, to order a peculiar drink which I have taken the trouble to prepare for you.”

The terror turned his white face toward the bar, and when he saw a tarantula and a vinegar roon floating about in a tumbler of alcohol he uttered a groan of distress and his knees began to tremble.

“There is the peculiar drink and trimmings that you ordered, young man, and my name is Roy Bean,” said the old man, as he pushed the trembling terror toward the bar.

The amazed and thoroughly alarmed stranger found voice enough to beg for mercy.

“Drink every drop of it or I will break your neck,” said Judge Bean.

The poor devil gulped down the awful mixture and with a scream of terror sprang out into the street. He “hit the earth a-running,” and he never slackened his speed until the town of Vinegar Roon was far behind him. It is supposed that the man’s stomach instantly rejected the fearful poison, for he lied to tell of his experience in Vinegar Ron, though he said there was not gold enough in the world to hire him to revisit the place.

Newark Daily Advocate (Newark, Ohio) Oct 6, 1900

STATE PRESS.

What the Newspapers Throughout Texas Are Talking About.

The Uvalde News says:

Last Monday Harry Webb, one of the Southern Pacific barge men, to amuse himself brought crackers to feed Judge Bean’s immense bear. The animal would come to the end of the chain, receive a cracker and turn a somersault, to Mr. Webb’s infinite amusement. Judge Bean finally remonstrated, telling the man to go out and “monkey with the donkeys,” as they wouldn’t hurt him. Mr. Webb bought another dollar’s worth of crackers and fed the long-eared animals for a time, but protested there was no fun in that and returned to Bruin, who, no doubt, was feeling injured. Finally a cracker was dropped and Webb stooped over to pick it up. The bear thought he intended taking it away from him and reached over with his mighty paw, caught the man back of the head, and pulled him into the ring. He tore the man’s scalp off, from neck to crown, as cleanly as an Indian could have done it, and was proceeding to further deeds of destruction when Judge Bean, attracted by the victim’s frantic yell, uttered a war whoop and landed directly on the bear’s back. The animal knew his master and cowed instantly.

Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) Jul 27, 1891

handcuffs

A Judge Arrested for Smuggling

SAN ANTONIO, Tex., Aug. 24. — Judge Roy Bean, of Langley, has been arrested for smuggling. It is alleged that he has been concerned in running horses from Mexico into the United States. He is one of the most celebrated characters of the frontier, and has been justice of the peace for many years. He has been accustomed to enforce his ruling with the six-shooter. Once when justice of the peace in Bexar county he sentenced a man to death by hanging for horse stealing, and the criminal would have hanged if not for the intervention of the officers from San Antonio. Bean is 60 years old and wealthy.

Mitchell Daily Republican (Mitchell, South Dakota) Aug 24, 1891

JUSTICE OUT WEST

Judge Roy Bean Disposes Of a Big Docket.

Langtry, Tex., May 19. — Judge Roy Bean, chief justice of the district of Vinegaroon and the hero of many a thrilling border experience in court and camp, has recently been entertaining Judge Falvey of El Paso, whom he enlightened as to the practical and effective methods of dealing out justice in his jurisdiction. Judge Bean had no long before had as a guest Hon. H.C. Carter of San Antonio, to whom Del Rio lays claim because he embarked upon his professional career there and was at one time county attorney, making a splendid record as a successful and able lawyer.

When Judge Falvey came down from El Paso, Judge Bean met him not far from the seat of justice at Vinegaroon, escorted him to town and invited him to occupy a seat on the bench with him as he was about to open court. Judge Falvey accepted the invitation with expressions of pleasure, and court was opened in due and solemn form.

The first case called was one in which a man had made an affidavit charging another with shooting at him with a pistol, the bullet missing affiant’s head barely an inch. Judge Bean remarked that he had seen the two men drinking together during the morning with every indication of good will toward each other and asked:

“You are friends, aren’t you?”

“Yes,” replied the man who had made the affidavit.

“Then I fine you $50 each,” firmly announced the judge.

“But, my dear judge,” interrupted Judge Falvey, “this man is charged with a penitentiary offense.”

“That’s all right,” responded the court.

“All we can do with these fellows here is to fine them. IF I was to send them up to Fort Stockton it would require a journey of 200 miles by rail and 60 miles more by land and it would bankrupt the county to feed them. The fine assessed by this court will stand.”

The next case was that of a man brought in by Sergt. Lindsey, charged with having “rolled” another.  Judge Bean, thinking perhaps Judge Falvey would not understand the expression “rolled” called on the sergeant for an explanation. The sergeant gave it, saying that the term “rolled” meant that a man caught asleep or too drunk to take care of himself has his money and valuables taken out of his pockets or off his person. It was the border term for theft from the person. The prisoner in this case, he said, had taken two $20 bills and some silver from his victim’s pockets and the bills were produced and laid on the judge’s table as incriminating evidence.

Judge Bean demanded of the prisoner to tell what he had done with the silver and the latter replied that he had spent it on the guard.

“Then,” said the cort, “I fine you both $10 a piece and if I catch you around here within two hours I will feed you on bread and water and chain you to a stake.”

“This man is also guilty of a penitentiary offense, judge,” said Judge Falvey, who had listened closely to the proceedings.

“I can’t help that,” returned the chief justice, “that is all the way this court can be run.”

While Judge Falvey was sitting with Judge Bean he saw some 15 or 20 cases disposed of in like manner and when he told the people there, referring to his visit at Vinegaroon,

“Gentlemen, you have the right man in the right place.”

It is said that in reading closely Judge Bean’s famous decisions is to be attributed in a large degree the success achieved by Attorney Carter in his profession and by the way, it is said, note of these decisions has ever been reversed. Though, possibly that is due to the fact that the dispenser of justice at Vinegaroon never allows appeals from the decisions of his court.

Judge Falvey asked Judge Bean if the report was true that he allowed no appeals and the answer given by Judge Bean was that no appeals were granted because all the contractors in that vicinity were transients; all their personal effects and chattels were mortgaged and they could not give a solvent bond as required by law when appeal is taken.

When the evening’s session was over, Judge Bean escorted his guest to Eagle Nest, a string band leading the way and enlivening the journey with soft music. That night the judge gave a dinner at his saloon at Eagle Nest in honor of his visitor and things were made pleasant all around.

THE SAN ANTONIO DAILY EXPRESS (San Antonio, Texas) May 21, 1899

TEXAS LANDMARK FAST CRUMBLING

Once Proud Seat of “Law West of Pecos” is Now Crumbling Ruins.

WHERE JUDGE BEAN PRESIDED

Town’s Name, Eagle’s Nest, Vanishes From Map and Only Memory Remains of the Judge and His Rulings.

San Antonio, Tex. — With its foundation posts wobbling like old men’s legs, its floors showing ugly gaping holes, its porch roof shorn of the last lingering board, scraggy bits of what was once white paint hanging to the outer walls, and its door banging to a single rusty hinge — at Langtry, Tex., once known as Eagle’s Nest — what remains of one of Texas’ most famous old landmarks is succumbing to wind and rain.

It is the once proud seat of the “Law West of the Pecos” — the old home and saloon and throne where, not so many years ago, Judge Roy Bean lived and reigned supreme as dispenser of justice and red eye liquor, and dared the world to interfere with his game.

But since Judge Bean went away there had been a great change. Perhaps it is just as well that he “cashed in” — as he himself probably would express it — before the days when nowhere in the whole of Texas can the traveler find a drop to drink.

In the “Good Old Days.”

Many humorous and many semi-tragic stories regarding Judge Bean have been handed down by friends and relatives, many of whom are living in or adjacent to San Antonio today. It was in a day when enforcers of the law were few and far between, and when the men with the quickest trigger finger and the steadiest nerve were monarchs of a large portion of what they surveyed.

Bean was justice of the peace of precinct No. 6 and the ranking representative of the law for hundreds of miles north, south, east and west of him. Equipped with a copy of the statutes of Ohio of the vintage of 1885, a sense of fair play, and a strong conviction of what the law should be even though it were not so written down in the books, he put up his sign:

Judge Roy Bean,
Justice of the Peace,
Law West of the Pecos.

In addition to being chief magistrate over everything “West of the Pecos,” Judge Bean conducted a thirst-quenching emporium typical of the day. The saloon was in the hall of justice, and from behind the bar came the voice of authority backed by a brace of perfectly good six-shooters.

Judge Bean’s “Law.”

Two Mexican men and women walked into Judge Bean’s court one day and informed him that they wanted a change; that they wanted to swap helpmeets. The judge made diligent inquiries of each of the four, found all to be of the same mind, charged each of the men $15 and a dozen bottles of beer and called it done.

When a state official from Austin on a flying visit to “Eagle’s Nest” complained to Judge Bean that he was exceeding his authority, explaining that divorces should be passed up to a higher court, Bean alleged to have retorted:

“Why, say! Have I ever butted into your affairs? These people wanted to sway, they paid me for changin’ ’em around, they’re livin’ together pu’fectly happy, an’ nobody ’round here has complained. You go on back to Austin an’ handle your courts like you want to, but this is out o’ your jurisdiction.”

THE IOWA CITY DAILY CITIZEN (Iowa City, Iowa) Dec 22, 1919

Judge Bean Incident heading1911
To J.W. Schofield, city salesman of A.B. Frank % Company, belongs the distinction of having served as clerk in “Judge” Roy Bean’s court when “Law west of the Pecos,” had application to all classed of cases, civil and criminal, and the “Judge” power to render judgment extending all the way from the imposition of a petty fine, to the pronunciation of the death penalty.

The honor is not to be lightly construed. Mr. Schofield is the only person known to have officiated in the dispensation of justice in the most unique court in the history of judicial procedure. It was in every sense a high honor, for Judge Roy Bean, as was becoming his unusual prerogative, alone and unaided administered the “law” of his court. But the case under consideration was one in which the defendant threatened an appeal in the event the case went against him. Under the circumstances Judge Bean thought best to comply with the wishes of the attorney for the defense and Mr. Schofield was appointed to act as clerk.

Business Rivalry Cause.

The case was the result of the rivalry which existed between Judge Bean’s saloon and that of J.P. Torres.

In the spring of 1893, Mr. Schofield visited Langtry in the capacity of drummer of one of the San Antonio houses. D. Hart, a prominent sheepman of West Texas was preparing at the time, to pay off 200 or more sheep shearers who had been engaged to shear the animals. In anticipation of reaping some of the benefits of this spurt of prosperity, Judge Bean had laid in an extra stock of beer and whiskey. His rival was no slow to follow his lead.

The Mexican shearers arrived, and went in droves to the “Jersey Lily,” Judge Bean’s saloon. Satisfaction spread over his face as he looked over at the almost empty place of his rival.

Stealing a March.

But Torres was not easily outwitted. He had a partner running a saloon with a dance hall in connection at Flanders, the point where the railroad gang engaged in the construction of the Pecos bridge was camped. Torres dispatched a messenger to him with instructions to bring the dancing girls at Flanders to Langtry, accompanied by the orchestra. The move was not known to Judge Bean, if it had been, an injunction restraining Torres from bringing the women and the music to his place would have been issued immediately.

Soon after the arrival of the dancers, strains of music issued from Torres’ place to the accompaniment of shifting feet. The crowd of Mexicans in Judge Bean’s saloon, one by one, raised their lips from the glasses, and in crowds departed to the scene of revelry.

Judge Bean scratched his head and called for his friend, Mr. Schofield.

Not in Accord With Law.

“Now look here, Schofield, it ain’t in keeping with justice that all this amount of beer I have imported for this occasion should go to waste,” he said. “It ain’t economy, and it ain’t accordin’ to the statutes of the State of Texas.”

“I’ll just pull Torres for conducting a disorderly house. There are more ways than one of doing business,” he said, while deputizing several cowpunchers to arrest Torres, and bring him before the honorable court of the law west of the Pecos.

Following the arrest of Torres, his place was closed down, and the shearers returned to the “Jersey Lily,” while the case of the State of Texas versus J.P. Torres, was duly docketed and called for trial.

Threatens Appeal.

Mr. Cunningham, inspector of customs, stationed at Langtry, appeared for the defendant, and demanded a jury. He also informed Judge Bean that in the even the case went against his client in the lower court an appeal would be taken. He was in turn informed that the decisions of Judge Bean’s court were conclusive and final and no such thing as a appeal had even been heard of. Mr. Cunningham insisted that the appeal would be taken, and Judge Bean called on Mr. Schofield for assistance.

In making the appointment, Judge Bean said, “I’ve got to have you for a clear, because there ain’t anyone around here can write.”

While Mr. Schofield agreed to serve as clerk, his intentions were to leave on the night train. Just as he was in the act of boarding the train, however, a ranger stepped up to him and asked if he had not been appointed to act as clerk. Mr. Schofield admitted that such was the case. Upon this the ranger then told him that he had better remain and perform his duties. Mr. Shofield agreed with the ranger when he caught sight of two bit six-shooters that looked like business.

The Trial.

In the morning the case was called for trial.

Mr. Cunningham, having a smattering of law, got the best of the argument, and put Judge Bean to rout on several legal points. Whenever the judge was unable to reply to the sallies of Mr. Cunningham, he would hold up the only law book he had, which was a statute of the state, and say:

“If what you say is the law, and is in the book, and ain’t a good law, then I’ll tear it out of the book.”

Mr. Schofield who was busily engaged in performing the usual duties of the clerk, in addition to taking and subscribing testimony, realized that the case was going against the judge. In the end the jury disagreed and it being impossible to secure another, the case was dropped for the time being.

A year later Judge Bean, on a visit to the city, met Mr. Schofiled, who naturally, was still greatly interested in the case.

Judge Bean Won.

“Well I finally got the best of Torres,” he told him.

“A jack-leg lawyer turned up in Langtry broke some time ago, and in discussing the case with him, I found out that Cunningham had no right to practice law. The lawyer told me if he did not have a license he had no right to defend Torres. After that things looked easy. I called on Torres and told him that I had him. The thing I sprung on him was, that I had discovered that Cunningham did not have a license to practice law, and therefore his action in defending him was illegal and contrary to the constitution of the state and the United States, and if he wanted to plead guilty, it would cost him $25, but if he did not, then I would try him again and stick him the limit. Torres came across and paid the $25.”

Judge Bean had at this time run afoul of the real law, by giving divorce degrees to two Mexican hombres in order that they might exchange wives. In discussing the case, Judge Bean gave expression to an axiom which he alone has ever been able to understand, “Law,” he said to Mr. Schofield, “is the true dispensation of justice.”

Hitting a Snag.

“The two Mexicans,” he explained, “appeared before me and secured a license to marry. I issued the license and married them. About four months later the same men came to me again and said they wanted to be divorced so that they could exchange wives. They said that in marrying they had married the wrong women, and had now concluded that their difficulties could be solved by being divorced and re-married. I granted the divorce, and swapped the wives around for them.

“It was not long after this that the county judge at Fort Stockton got wind of the proceedings and called on me at Langtry.

“He informed me I had exceeded my authority, and that he would be compelled to arrest me and take me to the jail at Fort Stockton. I finally succeeded in getting the judge to remain over night in Langtry, and knowing he was fond of playing poker, I sent out for some of my boys.

“The judge had about twenty dollars with him, which he soon lost. Of course, I supplied him with money from time to time, and when daylight came the judge owed me about $500.

“He called for his horse and rode away without mentioning anything more about the criminal proceedings against me for granting the divorce, and I did not remind him of the money he had borrowed from me. After he had gone, the boys came around and gave me back my money.”

“Texas certainly lost a unique character by the death of Roy Bean, some three or four years ago, ” said Mr. Schofield.

THE SAN ANTONIO LIGHT (San Antonio, Texas) Nov 26, 1911

Judge Bean jersey lilly pic1 1934

Famed Pecos Judge Shocked S.A.
By RAY WARD

For 20 years before he became law west of the Pecos, the famed Judge Roy Bean shocked San Antonio with sensational scandals and gave his name to part of the south side.

South of Concepcion park along Flores, where the colorful adventurer played Robin Hood to his friends and reveled in comic glory, became known as Beanville.

His escapades kept the courts busy but his legal footwork was so expert he was never convicted on any charge brought again him. Finally, a harried friend paid him to leave town and stay away.

QUICK FORTUNE

The portly man with a heavy black beard came to San Antonio during the Civil was and made a quick fortune running the union blockade by smuggling cotton to Mexico.

Deciding German and American society was too formal for him, Bean donned a sombrero and moved to the west side in 1866, squatting in a shack on San Pedro creek.

After a run of bad luck his creditors attached his hauling equipment and the sheriff prepared to sell it. Feeling the pinch in his pocketbook from lack of wagons, Bean simply stole his equipment back and the case was closed without further action.

REFUSED TO PAY

Bean’s unwilling landlord then ordered him to pay back rent for the shack or move out. Bean refused and went to court again. After months of legal stalling, the owner gave in and compromised by moving Bean’s belongings to another house, giving him a jug of whisky and paying him $3000 for inconveniences.

Bean then moved to S. Flores and the area took the name of Beanville. Pundits called it Dogtown because of the extreme poverty of the residents and because all the curs on the south side were starving to death.

The temporarily wealthy Bean next created a society sensation by marrying Virginia Chavez, a descendant of on of San Antonio’s original Canary island families. He settled down to a quiet married life for a few months, but was soon back in court.

ACCUSED BY WIFE

In 1867 his wife charged him with assault. She said he came home drunk, took a flaming stick from the fire, chased her out of bed and burned her backside severely.

The case rocked society and Bean got a change of venue to Boerne. At the trial he demanded his wife show the jury her scars, and when she refused the judge dismissed the case.

Bean next turned woodsman. He was hired to keep poachers off a lumber mill’s property, but made more money selling to a competitor on the side.

When the deception was uncovered, he became a dairy farmer. He bought a herd of milk cows on approval, but because of a drouth they starved to death.

BUSINESSES BROKE

Butchering was his next vocation. Bean hired boys to steal stray horses and cows and peddled the meat from door to door. He opened a saloon on the side and went broke in both enterprises.

His last venture was a return to freighting, but he killed a man in a duel in Mexico and closed shop again.

A posse of deputy marshals camped in Beanville in 1875 and convinced the 56-year-old man he should seek his fortune in the wide open west. He lacked the money to go, but a neighbor, who wanted  to be rid of him, bought his worthless business just to get him to leave.

TOO MUCH LAW

As a parting gesture he made a southsiders promise to keep the name of Beanville and departed from San Antonio saying:

“They say there’s no law west of the Pecos. Well, there’s too much law around San Antonio.”

He settled at a railroad construction camp called Vinegarroon and opened a tavern which he advertised widely in south Texas. In 1882 he was made a justice of the peace and began his climb into legend as a judge, a sportsman and platonic friend of Lily Langtry.

SAN ANTONIO LIGHT (San Antonio, Texas) Oct 24, 1954

Judge Bean Lillie Langtry pic 1934

THE STORY OF JUDGE ROY BEAN

Law West of the Pecos

By EVERETT LLOYD (excerpt from chapter two)

Contrary to general belief, Roy Bean was not personally acquainted with the celebrated English actress, Lillie Langtry, and she did not visit the town supposed to have been named in her honor until after Bean’s death. That he had a long-distance admiration for her, and even wrote to her and received a reply, we know from the statements of the famous beauty in her autobiography.

The most plausible explanation of Bean’s admiration for Lillie Langtry is that at the time she was a world celebrity; her picture and stories of her triumphs and love affairs were in every newspaper; and the station of Langtry having already been named, it is more than probably that Bean in a spirit of levity and partly as a hoax, informed her that he had named his town in her honor, and it was natural that she should feel flattered. A few years later when the opportunity came during one of her American tours, the citizens of Langtry being aware of Bean’s fancied or pretended acquaintance with the great actress, and having heard him read her reply to his letter, invited her to pay the town a visit on her way to California and she accepted.

Amarillo Daily News (Amarillo, Texas) Aug 1, 1940

Famous people in the photo above include Judge Roy Bean, Wyatt Earp, Butch Cassidy and Teddy Roosevelt.

Congressional Poetry

July 16, 2009
U.S. Capitol 1906 (Image from http://en.wikipedia.org)

U.S. Capitol 1906 (Image from http://en.wikipedia.org)

THE SUGAR-CURED CONGRESS.

How dear to our hearts is our Democratic Congress,
As hopeless inaction presents it to view;
The bill of poor Wilson, the deep tangled tariff,
And every mad pledge that their lunacy knew!
The widespread depression, the mills that closed by it,
The rock of free silver where great Grover fell;
They’ve busted our country, no use to deny it,
And damn the old party, it’s busted as well!

This G. Cleveland Congress,
This Queen Lily Congress,
This wild free trade Congress
We all love so well.

Their moss-covered pledges we no longer treasure,
For often at noon, when our hunting a job,
We find that instead of the corn they had promised,
They’ve given us nothing — not even a cob!
How ardent we cussed ’em with lips overflowing
With sulphurous blessings as great swear words fell.
The emblems of hunger, free trade and free silver,
Are sounding in sorrow the workingman’s knell!

This bank breaking Congress
This mill closing Congress,
This starvation Congress
We all love so well.

How sweet from their eloquent lips to receive it,
Cursed tariff protection no longer uphold.
We listened — and voted our dinner pails empty,
The factories silent, the furnaces cold.
And now far removed from our lost situations,
The tear of regret doth intrusively swell.
We yearn for Republican administration
And sigh for the Congress that served us so well

This Fifty-third Congress
This Democrat Congress
This sugar-cured Congress
We wish was in h—

–Exchange

Sandusky Register (Sandusky, Ohio) Aug 7, 1894

squiggle

Below, a poem about the 52nd U.S. Congress:

This Glorious Congress.

Now we stand upon the border
Of the doing of a Congress,
Such as we have never heard of;
Such as we had never thought of;
Such a Congress as some Congress
Might have made by legislating,
Or a Poet in his frenzy
Might have captured from his fancy!
Come the member from the forests,
Come the members from the prairies,
From the hills and from the valley,
From the towns and from the cities;
Hayseed here and hayseed yonder;
Sockless statesmen in their glory;
Whiskers, for the wind’s wild whistling;
Sawlogs, waiting for a buzz-saw;
Slouch hats, plug hats, skull caps, derbies,
Silver for the gray cloud’s lining;
Liquor straight, or mixed with water;
Water straight, or mixed with liquor;
Money turned out by the cart-load,
Erstwhile filled with white potatoes;
Money made of straw and fodder;
Yellow money good for something;
These be there and with them standing
Men who work for home protection;
Men who work for foreign products;
Buncombe boomers from the cornfields,
Yearning for appropriations,
Hungry for a public building,
Thirsting for some lock-dammed river;
Anything to get a dollar
For their well-beloved people!
Amateurs as yet in Congress,
Dazzled by its distant splendor,
Every individual member,
Fresh amidst its “arduous labors,”
Zealous to discharge his duty,
Wild to burst in oratory,
Stuck on Fame for future ages.
Greener than a summer pumpkin,
Waiting till on some tomorrow
Some high-toned and august Speaker,
With the rattle of his gavel,
Call this most peculiar Congress,
And likewise other things, to order.

— FROM THE NEW YORK SUN.

The News (Frederick, Maryland) Dec 10, 1891

Smoking Monkeys and the Bard’s Gaudeamus

June 17, 2009

Lines on Man.

Way back in those archaic days when time for man got ripe,
A tailless ape set on a tree and smoked a penny pipe,
And as he smoked, lo, thought began.
He knew that he enjoyed,
(Be not surprised at this — you see, that ape was anthropoid.)
Thus thought began, and thought is all that makes a man;
So be it known that thus in smoke the human race begain.
But mark how in a circle move all sublunary things;
Events, like smoke, resolve themselves into expanding rings;
And as the monkey’s pipe made thought, and thought created man,
The cigarette shall take him back to just where he began.

The News (Frederick, Maryland)  Jun 20,  1891

Don’t believe the naysayers, these people have irrefutable proof that smoking is good for your health!

ON SMOKING ROOMS.
From the Augusta Medical Journal.

It may be interesting to our readers to learn that the London Lancet, probably the greatest medical authority in the world, strongly advocated smoking tobacco in rooms, especially damp ones, in order to kill the bacilli, microbes and disease germs  therein abounding. Very few rooms are free from these unwelcome visitors, but their virulence can be destroyed or lessened by tobacco smoke. It is especially deadly to the microbes of catarrh and diphtheria, which are so frequently found in damp rooms. We take occasion to recommend this to professors and students in colleges, and to all who are engaged in any indoor sedentary occupation. Statistics have irrefutably proved, time and time again, that smokers enjoy a longer and healthier life than non-smokers; a fact which our own observation of life around us leads us to believe. We warmly advocate, then, indoor smoking.

The News (Frederick, Maryland) Jun 22, 1891

The Bard’s Gaudiamus.
And now that Summer soft and sweet
Has in its gentle zephyr wound us,
And by its tender charms complete
So dearly to itself has bound us.
I sit me at the foot of day
All merged into the twilight’s witching.
And watch the fire-fly at its play,
With brilliant sparks the dusk enriching;
And with the smoke of my cigar
I fashion forth a thousand fancies,
That bear me near or bear me far —
Now upward with ambition’s glances,
Now to the quiet wooded nooks,
Now by the ocean’s foaming surges,
Now to the memory of my books,
Now here, now there, where humor urges;
Now to a dream of one fair face —
Ah, eyes of blue so strangely luring’
And then — Well, then, dear God of Grace,
Why mayn’t this last be all enduring’
But far beyond the smoke’s faint ends,
Whose mists do not my vision mar,
I see a group of my good friends
And thank them much for this cigar.

— The Bentztown Bard.

The News (Frederick, Maryland) Jul 9, 1891

squiggle

I guess the Bentztown Bard was not happy with the above impersonator.

Now, isn’t it truly awful
That somebody, anxious for fame,
Should in a manner unlawful
Write masculine verse in my name!
And with it, O, shades of the South!
Should boldly and to a degree
Put a cigar into the mouth
Of a delicate lady like me!

–The Bentztown Bard.

The News (Frederick, Maryland) Jul 13, 1891

Link to the English translation of the Gaudeamus Igitur with a music clip.