Posts Tagged ‘1895’

Oil on the Brain

October 17, 2012

Image from The Journal of American History

OIL ON THE BRAIN.
A COMIC BALLAD.

BY EASTBURN.

The Yankees that they make clocks
Which “just beat all creation.”
They never made one could keep time
With our great speculation.
Our stocks, like clocks, go with a spring:
wind up, run down again;
But all our strikes are sure to cause
Oil on the brain.

CHORUS:

Stocks par, stocks up,
then on the wane,
Everybody’s troubled with
Oil on the brain.

There’s various kinds of oil afloat: cod-liver,
Castor, sweet–
Which tend to make a sick man well, and set
him on his feet;
But ours a curious feat performs — We just a
well obtain,
And set the people crazy with
Oil on the brain.

CHORUS

There’s neighbor Smith, a poor young man,
Who could not raise a dime,
Had clothes that boasted many rents,
And took his “Nip” on time;
But now he’s clad in dandy style,
Sports diamonds, kids, and cane;
And his success was owing to
Oil on the brain.

CHORUS

Miss Simple drives her coach and four,
And dresses in high style;
And Mr. Shoddy courts her strong,
Because her “Dad’s struck ile.”
Her jewels, laces, velvets, silks,
Of which she is so vain,
Were bought by “Dad” the time he had
Oil on the brain.

CHORUS

You meet a friend upon the street.
He greets you with a smile,
And tells you, in a hummed way,
He’s “just gone into ile.”
He button-holds you half an hour —
Of course, you can’t complain —
For, you can see the fellow has
Oil on the brain.

CHORUS

The lawyers, doctors, hatters, clerks,
Industrious and lazy,
Have put their money all in stocks,
In fact, have gone “oil crazy,”
They’d better stick to briefs and pills,
Hot irons, ink and pen,
Or they will “kick the bucket” from
Oil on the brain.

CHORUS

Poor Mrs. Jones was taken ill.
The doctors gave her up.
They lost the confidence they had
In lancet, leech, and cup.
“Afflictions sore long time she bore,
Physicians were in vain;”
And she, at last, expired of
Oil on the brain.

CHORUS

There’s “Maple Shade,” “Monitor,”
“Bull Creek,” “Big Tank,” “Dalzell,”
And “Keystone,” “Star,” “Venango,”
“Briggs,”
“Organic” and “Farewell,”
“Petroleum,” “Saint Nicholas,”
“Cornplanter,” “New Creek Vein;”
Sure ’tis no wonder many have
Oil on the brain.

CHORUS
Stocks par, stocks up,
then on the wane,
Everybody’s troubled with
Oil on the brain.

Then Venango Spectator (Franklin, Pennsylvania) Mar 1, 1865

Sheet music can be found at Jscholarship

Tune and Lyrics (scroll down) at American Civil War Music

The Little Brown Jug – [excerpts]

….It is generally used to-day as a college drinking song. A peculiar use when it is considered that its author, “Eastburn,” which was the nom de plume signed to most of his music by Joseph Eastburn Winner, was a strictly temperate man and an advocate of temperance, rather than an encourage of the “little brown jug.”

…..Whenever he outlined a song, before he put on the finishing touches, he would call in a little bootblack from the street, and used him as a sort of audience and musical critic combined. He knew most of the boys who in those days plied their trade in and about the old Reading Terminal, of Philadelphia, at Ninth and Green streets. Mr. Winner would seat himself at the piano, first telling the “audience and critic” that he wanted to play for him a new piece he had composed. He would begin and play it through, not once, but a dozen times, watching the effect on the “audience,” and if it moved its feet, or seemed to have any special effect, or if the “shine” would go out whistling it after the recital, Mr. Winner put it down a winner, and he says the test never failed him.

….Mr. Winner does not claim absolute originality in the writing of “The Little Brown Jug,”….. Mr. Winner jotted down the poem, entirely rearranged it into verse and chorus, added several verses, and sat down at the piano and wrote the melody….

…..Mr. Joseph Eastburn Winner is still living in West Philadelphia enjoying the best of health. His life has been a most active one, and he is now enjoying the ease of a man who has accomplished much and is willing to spend his remaining years in the pleasant memories of the past. He is a brother of Septimus Winner, the composer of “The Mocking Bird,” and many other songs. When “Eastburn” was only twelve years old he was able to play the violin so well that he was frequently heard in concert in Philadelphia as a prodigy. At this time he made his home with his older brother Sep., at Franklin and Callowhill streets.

One of the first songs Winner composed and published was “The Ring My Mother Wore.” It became immensely popular. The words had been written by Lewis Dela, who was known in Philadelphia as “The Bard of Tower Hall.” A short time after this came the oil excitement, and Mr. Winner wrote one of his best comic songs, which was called, “Oil on the Brain,” and which was sung in all parts of the country. It was first sung by Mr. Dixie, of Carncross & Dixie’s, and was frequently hear on the stage at the Old Arch Street Theater, then conducted by Mrs. John Drew.

…..He was only in his teens when he wrote “The Ring My Mother Wore,” and for its composition he received then bright silver dollars, which to him in those days seemed a small fortune. For many of his songs later in life he received large sums…..

After conducting the store at Eighth and Green streets for a number of years, he sold it to his brother, Septimus Winner, and went into the publishing business with J.M. Stoddart, at 1018 Chestnut street. They published extensively the Encylopaedia Britannica, and bought out all the Gilbert & Sullivan operas, as well as a great deal of music of various classes….

…..Mr. Winner has been married twice. His children of his first wife are living in Philadelphia, and with his second wife he has one son, a bright boy of seven, who bears the name of Hawthorne Winner, Hawthorne being Mr. Winner’s mother’s name, and out of respect for her Mr. Septimus Winner used the pen name of “Alice Hawthorne” for “The Mocking Bird” and many other songs he composed….

The Washington Herald (Washington, D.C.)  Jun 19, 1910

The Bookseller and Newsman, v. 12 (google link)

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National Read-A-Book Day

September 6, 2012

Image from Flavorwire

It’s National Read-A-Book Day

Click Orlando: 20(things to  know about) Books Everyone Should Read

*   *   *   *   *

Check out what folks were reading back in the day – New Books at the Library:

Lima News (Lima,Ohio) May 22, 1954

Council Bluffs Nonpareil (Council Bluffs, Iowa) Jul 25, 1953

Bismarck Tribune (Bismarck, North Dakota) Jan 17, 1944

Sheboygan Press (Sheboygan, Wisconsin) Mar 30, 1929

Edwardsville Intelligencer (Edwardsville, Illinois) Nov 30, 1921

Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) Oct 20, 1909

North Adams Transcript (North Adams, Massachusetts) Jul 30, 1895

*   *   *   *   *

From the Dracut Library Blog:

WHY SHOULD YOU READ??

People learn to read by reading. Skill building is important, but without practice putting all the skills together, learning is slowed down. Quantity and intensity matter.

Frequent practice reading for longer periods of time pays off in fluency and ability to use skills automatically.

Increasing competence is motivating and increased motivation leads to more reading. When students can see their own progress, they want to read more.

Pleasure reading has cognitive benefits. It improves skill and strategy use, builds fluency, enlarges vocabulary, and builds a student’s knowledge of the world.

Children learn by example. Set aside 5 minutes of time where both you and your child read. Make it an important aspect of your day. As your child gets older, just doing the same activity can be a bonding experience – reinforcing the value of education. Whether it’s a magazine, newspaper, eReader or iPad, the important thing is Just do It!

It Was a Death Race

July 31, 2012

Image from Wikipedia

IT WAS A DEATH RACE.

Whaleback’s Efforts to Pass the Virginia Causes a Steampipe to Burst.

Chicago, Ill., June 24. — The whaleback Christopher Columbus steamed up to the last point Saturday night struggling beyond its strength to win a moonlight race of excursion boats, and was a cripple at its dock early Sunday morning. There was a big hole in the top of the last of its battery of six boilers, the varnish of the cabin was steamed into wrinkles, and in the salon there was the smell of salves on the red wounds of six of the crew caught in the hold when the pope to the engine was blown into fragments. This terrible accident was caused by the summer folly which makes the lake captains crazy to race their ships into port.

Two men were killed and thirteen were seriously or painfully injured. The dead are:

E.J. STITE, fireman, 24 years old; lived at Paxton, Ford county, Ill.; died at 8:20 this evening at St. Luke’s hospital.

UNKNOWN MAN, supposed to be Frank Wilson, a fireman; face so badly scalded that he has not yet been identified; died at 5:15 o’clock this morning at St. Luke’s hospital.

The injured are:

John Hoppe, fireman, resided 200 West Madison, flat 3; inhaled steam and lungs badly scalded; hands, arms and chest seriously scalded; will probably die at St. Luke’s hospital.

Frank Rosner, fireman, resides at West Newton, Nicollet, Minn.; face, hands and arms scalded; at St. Luke’s hospital; may recover.

Arnold Keine, deaf mute, lives at Dubuque, Ia., aged 21 years; face and both hands badly scalded; at county hospital; may die.

George W. Kehoe, waiter in cafe; face, hands and arms scalded and right hand ct. Resides 122 Carol street, Buffalo; at St. Luke’s hospital; may not recover.

James Larimer, fireman, scalded on face and body; may recover.

Miss Boxheimer, pianist Bowman orchestra; severely burned about face and hands.

H.H. Darrow, 278 Chestnut street, Chicago; musician; face badly scalded.

George W. Kell, waterman, Buffalo; badly burned about face and hands.

J.E. Ryan, fireman, 614 Forty-sixth street, terribly burned about face, body and arms.

Nix Seter, waterman; terribly burned about head and face.

Miss Jessie L. Stone, 262 Campbell avenue; scalded in face, not seriously.

The inquest began at 2 o’clock this afternoon. Steamboat Inspector Stewart H. Moore stated positively that the accident was not due to any overpressure of steam, nor was it the result of racing with the Virginia. An expert in marine boilers ventured the explanation that water had accumulated in the pipe leading from the boiler not in use to the steam dome. When steam was turned on in this boiler the water was shot with resistless force against the iron-casting leading to the dome. As the accident occurred the instant steam was turned on it would seem that there is a good deal in this explanation.

Image from Maritime History of the Great Lakes

Chicago, Ill., June 24. — Stewart H. Moore, local government inspector of steamboat boilers, has made an examination of the steampipe which burst on the whaleback steamer Christopher Columbus on the southbound trip Saturday night, injuring two persons fatally and a score less seriously. “The breaking of the steampipe, to my mind,” he said, “is an accident that could not be foreseen, nor anticipated. It only serves as an illustration of the treachery of cast-iron, and cast-iron is the only thing for boiler makers to use on pipes of this character. So far as I can see, the break was not the result of a flaw, but the metal was in good condition. That it should happen could not be guarded against, and the officers of the boat are in nowise to blame for the injury done.”

The Columbus has a batter y of six boilers and it was the connection of the sixth one with the main steam pipe that had been blown loose at both ends. Everybody who was in the engineroom was burned by the escaping steam and the roar caused a panic on deck. Engineer Webster heroically performed the task of shutting off the valves on the different boilers, preventing further escape of steam. In doing this he was badly burned. The ship was then off Waukegan and she laid there until the injured had been cared for and arrangements made for using a battery of three boilers.

Hobbling along like a lame horse the Columbus finally reached her dock at Chicago at 5 a.m. It was charged that the Columbus was racing with the Virginia and that in trying to catch up to the Goodrich steamer the whaleback’s boilers were crowded beyond the legal limit, which was 170 pounds. Officers of both steamers, however, deny that they were racing.

Centralia Enterprise and Tribune (Centralia, Wisconsin) Jun 29, 1895

Image and article from Tower Accidents and Other Stories

An Unhappy Exception

July 23, 2012

An Unhappy Exception.

The world is full of changes; there is nothing here abiding;
All things are evanescent, fleeting, transitory, gliding,
The earth, the sea, the sky, the stars — where’er the fancy ranges;
The tooth of time forever mars — all life is full of changes.

Like sands upon the ocean’s shore that are forever drifting,
So all the fading scenes of earth incessantly are shifting.
Change rules the mighty universe — there is no power can block it.
There’s change in everything, alas! except a fellow’s pocket.

— Nixon Waterman, in Chicago Journal.

Daily Republican (Decatur, Illinois) Apr 25, 1895

A Century to Come

July 22, 2012

A Century to Come.

Who’ll press for gold our crowded streets,
A century to come?
Who’ll tread our churches with willing feet
A century to come?
Pale, trembling age and fiery youth,
And childhood with its brow of truth,
The rich and poor on land and sea —
Where will the mighty millions be
A century to come?

We all within our graves shall sleep,
A century to come;
No living soul for us will weep,
A century to come,
And other men our lands will till,
And others then our streets will fill,
And others shout and sing as gay,
And bright the sunshine as to-day,
A century to come.

— Dr. Gustavus Haas, in N.Y. Ledger.

Daily Republican (Decatur, Illinois) Apr 2, 1895

Thinkin’ of the Old Trout Brook

June 23, 2012

Reverie of Trouting Days.

I’m thinkin’ of the old trout brook,
A-windin’ where the woods are thick;
An’ see myself a-wadin’ there —
A boy, with feet all tanned and bare.
My eager hand a fishpole grips,
An’ close upon the dancin’ rips
My breath comes short and quick!

I seem to feel the sudden tug,
An’ see the trout dart high in air;
A silv’ry flash of liquid light,
The prelude to a glorious fight!
A dart! a rush! a sullen stop!
The last despairing, anguished flop —
Hi’s mine! Away, dull care!

The prize secure, I see myself
Prone on the bank with panting joy!
An’ — blame my eyes! of I ain’t here
Horrayin’ with the old-time cheer.
While wheezy breath and husky shout
Tell plain the old man’s pet’rin’ out!
Heigho! But I was onc’t a boy!

— N.Y. Evening Sun.

Davenport Daily Leader (Davenport, Iowa) AUg 22, 1895

*****

*****

Coshocton Morning Tribune (Coshocton, Ohio) Aug 2, 1917

The Trout Brook.

Half Hidden by tall meadow grass that sways with every breeze,
And running through deep, silent pools, and under spreading trees;
Now stealing through the quiet ways of solitary wood,
And now beneath a timbered arch where once an old mill stood;
Across the fields and to the brow where valleys fall away,
Then over beds of shelving rock its waters dance and play,
And now and then, as though in joy of such delightful fun,
It springs into a waterfall that glistens in the sun,
And eddies round and round about, in strange fantastic glee,
Then steadies down and flows away sedately to the sea.

— Frank H. Sweet, in St. Nicholas.

Davenport Daily Leader (Davenport, Iowa) Aug 22, 1895

*****

*****

Sheboygan Press (Sheboygan, Wisconsin) Jun 21, 1916

Hurrah for Glad Vacation Days!

June 21, 2012

Vacation Days.

The bell is dumb, the lessons learned,
The key upon the schoolroom turned
And joyful shouts the children raise;
Hurrah for glad vacation days!

The star-eyed daisies in the grass
Are blooming now for all who pass
Along the pleasant country ways;
Hurrah for glad vacation days!

Where woodland paths are cool and green
And shaded by a leafy screen,
The golden sunshine peeps and plays;
Hurrah for glad vacation days!

The sparkling waves along the shore
Dance up and down the sandy floor,
The boat upon the billow sways;
Hurrah for glad vacation days!

We cannot count the lovely things,
The sounds and sights that summer brings;
Let’s sing a song in summer’s praise;
Hurrah for glad vacation days!

— Youth’s Companion.

Davenport Daily Leader (Davenport, Iowa) Aug 22, 1895

The Blue and the Gray

May 28, 2012

The Blue and the Gray.

(On the Unveiling, on Monument Day, of the Monument to the Confederate Dead at Chicago.)

The conflict’s o’er, the banner’s furled,
A cause is lost and won,
And martyred heroes sweetly rest
‘Neath stars or glowing sun.
Some calmly lie where gleaming shafts
Rise proudly toward the sky;
Some sleep in the hush of wooded nooks
Where light winds softly sigh.

Some rest where once the battle raged
In tempest of shot and shell,
Where deeds of valor were grandly wrought
And brave men fought and fell —
Fell ‘mid gleam of musket and sword,
And glory of battle array,
And their names and valiant deeds are sung
In the poet’s grandest lay.

But those whose graves are decked today
By friends and erstwhile foes,
Are those whose life-tide ebbed away
‘Mid prison’s gloom and woes.
Far from their sunny homes they sleep —
The homes they loved so well,
The homes for which they sternly faced
The foe and a prison hell.

But garlands fair their graves adorn,
Blest covenants of peace;
And hand meets hand in clasp which tells
That hate and strife must cease.

Tread softly now, ’tis hallowed ground
Where “blue” and “gray” clasp hands,
And mingled tears above the dust
Where sleep these patriot bands.
And they who once were bitter foes
But now are brothers true,
Sing equal praises to the brave,
Wore they the gray or blue.

And this majestic monument,
Unwelled with love and pride,
A tribute is from the living brave
To the brave and true who died.

— LOUISE THREETE HODGES.

May 30, 1895.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) May 30, 1895

Images from Wikipedia

Napoleon Wanted a Friend

April 30, 2012

LOUISIANA ROMANCE.
—–
History of the Purchase of the Great West from the French Emperor.
—–
NAPOLEON WANTED A FRIEND
—–
Rather Than See England Have the Territory He Would Donate It to America — Purchase Proposed by Him.
—–

New York Commercial Advertiser.

There is an incident in American history that is as full of startling features, or even romance, as anything that ever transpired in a nation’s existence, and it is doubly interesting at this time when Hawaii is knocking at our doors for admission. It involves the circumstances of the Louisiana purchase, a mighty transaction, which gave the young republic “Louisiana and all that portion of the American continent extending northward to the tides that flow into the Pacific.” In detail these words meant Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota — that portion west of the Mississippi river — nearly all of Kansas, both the Dakota states, the Indian Territory, the greater part of Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and Oregon — in all 900,000 square miles.

Image of James Monroe from Archiving Early America

For the incidents in this narrative that relate to the American part, the writer is indebted to Gen. George W. Monroe, a near relative of President Monroe, who permitted extracts to be made from letters written by his distinguished kinsman, our minister to France, when the Louisiana purchase was effected, and on the French side to data from the memoranda of M. Cambaceres, the close friend of the Vicomte de Saint-Denis whose grandson allowed the papers mentioned to be examined.

The treaty of Amiens, made in March, 1802, between France on the one side and Great Britain, the Batavian republic and Spain on the other, did not long endure. It was ruptured in May, 1803. Foreseeing its disruption, England, the mistress of the seas, began hostilities by seizing everything French on the ocean that she could. The work was commenced even before the breaking of treaty relations between herself and France. The latter country had no adequate means of retaliation at hand. Her fleet was totally unequal to that of Great Britain, and while the army of France was fairly capable and effective, nobody knew better than did the First Consul Napoleon that the arms were as obsolete as the tactical and the method of organization. But it was in money that France was most lacking.

The embargo against England had greatly damaged the trade in woven fabrics with that country and the wine merchants of south France so clamored that Napoleon was compelled to make his edicts less rigorous to them.

Meantime Great Britain was preparing for a death grip with the hated Corsican. It was not a time when great national loans were a feature of finance. Where the money to float his immense schemes was to come from the ruler of France could not tell. He needed 100,000,000 francs, not in assignats, but in gold, something all Europe would recognize as beyond question. This was the condition of France’s master Jan. 1, 1803.

The first consul was absorbed, preoccupied. He had directed that attendance of Cambaceres, the archchancellor, and Lebrun, Lord Treasurer of France, for that evening. He wished to discuss the money question with them. Bonaparte had many very unusual qualities, but one which was unique in his great character. He never asked for advice. “Relate to me,” he would say to an official, “the precise conditions with which I must contend. I will find the means to deal with them.” And he always worked the problem out alone.

A dispatch that day from Admiral Villeneuve (who was in command of the French fleet then cruising in West Indian waters) contained very disquieting information. It informed the Minister of Marine, and through him Napoleon, that from a sure source he had learned of England’s intention to attack France through her colonies, and the first blow would fall upon the thriving young City of New-Orleans. The information had been conveyed to the American Minister, Mr. Monroe, who was to have audience with the First Consul Jan. 3 and consider what steps the two nations might jointly take to ward off the threatened blow. IT was almost as great a peril to the young Republic as it was to France. With the mouth of the Mississippi River in possession of France’s hereditary foe and the bitter enemy of the sixteen States constituting the American Union, the great tide of commerce then setting southward from Pittsburg to the sea would be suddenly cut off or greatly injured and restricted.

Up to this time the commercial conditions between the two countries had been of the most liberal nature. France had made to our enterprising tradesmen southward concessions of the fairest and most friendly character. New-Orleans, indeed, was a free port to inland commerce, which was in the hands of Americans alone. This liberality was creating the Cities of Cincinnati and Louisville, and the smaller river towns were thriving. It was making the young West rich. Should all this prosperity be checked in a day? “Do everything in your power,” wrote President Jefferson to our Minister at Versailles, “to protect and foster the inland trade of our people with the Southwest.”

“I will see if the Americans cannot help us,” said Cambaceres, as he was taking leave of the First Consul that evening.

Image from KNOWLA

“Do you know, I have been thinking of that, too,” replied Bonaparte, as he placed his fine, white hand on his former colleague’s shoulder. “I have something in my mind that may change the fortunes of France. Do not speak to Mr. Monroe until my audience with him, which will be after the morning levee is over Jan. 3.”

Unfortunately, Mr. Monroe at this time did not understand the French language well enough to follow a speaker who talked as rapidly as did Bonaparte. So the intervention of an interpreter was necessary.

“We are not able alone to defend the Colony of Louisiana,” the First Consul began. “Your new regions of the Southwest are almost as deeply interested in its remaining in our hands as we are in retaining it. Our fleet is already not equal to the needs of the French Nation. Can you not help us to defend the mouth of the Mississippi River?”

“We could not take such a step,” said Monroe, “without a treaty offensive and defensive. Our Senate is really the treaty making power, and it is against us now. The President, Mr. Jefferson, is my friend as well as my official superior. Tell me, General, what have you in your mind?”

Napoleon did not at once reply. He was walking the room, with his quick, nervous step. It was a small private consulting cabinet, adjoining the Salle des Ambassadeurs. The great man had his hands lightly clasped behind him, his head inclined forward, his usual position in deep meditation. “I acquired this great territory, to which the mouth of the Mississippi is the gateway,” he finally began. “I have the right to dispose of it if I will. France cannot now defend and hold it. Rather than see it in England’s hands, I would give it to America. But why will your country not buy it from France?” There Bonaparte stopped.

In a second Mr. Monroe’s face was like a flame. What a diplomatic feat it would be for him! What a triumph for the Administration of Jefferson to add such a territory to the Nation’s domain! The Southern Senators and members, with those of Pennsylvania, whose City of Pittsburg was doing a great Southwest trade, would favor the purchase, for the production of cotton was beginning to be immensely profitable. All the really valuable cotton land not in the States already was in the territory mentioned.

Image from IMSA

The purchase would strengthen the South beyond words. Then, too, the United States would control the Mississippi River, which now drains twenty-three States. And he — James Monroe! What a place would his be in his country’s history! His name would be linked indissolubly with the creation of a new national domain. Already had Virginia given to the Republic the immense Northwest Territory — now comprising the States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, part of Minnesota, and all of Wisconsin. Then she had followed this bestowal of a kingdom by the gift of Kentucky, the superb. And now — and now there came, for the third in the brief life of the Nation, an opportunity for him — a Virginian, too — to render as grand a service to the common country as had ever been given by any son — save one — that Virginia had borne or reared!

No man born of woman was a better judge of his fellows than Bonaparte. He read the thoughts of the man before him as though they were on a written scroll. He saw the emotions of his soul. “Well, what do you think of my plain?” asked General Bonaparte.

“The matter, Citizen General, is so vast in its direct relations to my country and what may result from it that it dazes me,” the Minister replied. “But the idea is magnificent. It deserves to emanate from a mind like yours.” Mr. Monroe spoke with deep feeling. He never flattered. The look of truth was in his eyes, its ring in his voice. The First Consul bowed low.
“I must send a special dispatch at once to President Jefferson,” said Monroe, “touching this matter. My messenger shall take the first safe passage to America.”
“The Blonde, the swiftest vessel in our navy, leaves Brest at once, with orders to the West Indian fleet. I will detain her thirty-six hours, till your dispatches are ready. Your messenger shall go on our ship,” the First Consul said.

“But how much shall I say the territory will cost us?” The great Corsican was just ending the conversation. It had been full tow hours long. He came up to the American Minister, and, after a moment, spoke:

“Between nations who are really friends there need be no chaffering. Could I defend this territory, not all the gold of the world would buy it. But I am giving to a friend what I cannot keep. I need 100,000,000f. in coin, or its equivalent in bullion. Whatever action we take must be speedy. Above all, let there be absolute secrecy and silence,” and Bonaparte bowed our Minister out. The audience was ended.

“Now, what can be going on between the master of France and the American?” asked Prince Metternich, the Austrian Ambassador, as he offered his snuffbox to his confrere and rival diplomat, Nesselrode. The dark-faced Russian shook his head as he daintily dipped his finger and thumb into the “Prince’s Mixture,” a famous snuff at that time.

Within the hour it was known to every Ambassador and Minister in Paris that Bonaparte had been closeted for two full hours with the American envoy, while Lord Whitworth, British Ambassador, with Metternich and Nesselrode, waited for an audience. Nothing but affairs the most urgent could have caused such a causerie. What could it mean? “I suspect it concerns England,” wrote Lord Whitworth that night to Addington, Prime Minister, in a confidential note, relating the incident; “but how or in what way I cannot perceive.” By the end of the week the circumstance had been communicated to the English Minister at Washington, with orders to keep a particularly close watch upon events.

Monroe wrote very fully of the matter to Jefferson and also to Nathaniel Macon of North Carolina. He knew Macon to be one of the ablest statesmen of his time. The negotiation was kept a profound secret until Mr. Jefferson and Mr. Macon could sound a majority of their own party in Congress. The New-England delegation alone made any active objection. Mr. Burr, Vice President, brought over New-York and Pennsylvania. “We have too much territory now to defend,” said Josiah Quincy of Massachusetts. Mr. Adams followed in the same strain. Indeed, mr. Quincy declared in the debate in secret session on this question that he the Louisiana Purchase, without his State’s consent, in his opinion, would justify Massachusetts in retiring from the Union.

Image from the International Napoleon Society

The main difficulty was for the United States to procure the ready money. Bonaparte had consented to reduce his demand to 75,000,000f. But this was no small sum to the struggling young nation, which needed money on all sides. The Revolutionary veterans were clamoring for arrears of pay, still due, and pensions. Then the country was trying to build a navy. It had the Ohio, the Indiana, and the Northwestern frontier to defend. Hard cash was dreadfully scarce. The Nation was land poor. But with Stephen Girard as chief agent, the then young Dutch house of Hope conducted the business to a successful ending, aided in London by their correspondents, the Barings — sons of old Franz Baring, a successful money dealer, whose successors had gone into banking. The accepted bills for 25,000,000f. at four months, drawn against the United States Treasury, bearing 6 per cent. interest, were sold at par. They were divided into sums of 50,000f. and 100,000f. for the convenience of purchasers. When the London bankers learned that the Dutch capitalists were quietly purchasing these bills, two brokers, representing the Bank of Scotland and the Rothchilds respectively, offered to take one-half the sum total. But the bills were already placed. Their bids were declined.

It was a great stroke of business for Stephen Girard. He made about $100,000 in commissions alone. It led to his appointment to be naval agent for the French fleets in the United States, an office of great dignity and profit, for he was the person with whom the French Government places its money for the maintenance of its fleets on the North American and West Indian stations. So it happened that Mr. Girard had always on hand great sums in gold, subject to the orders of the commanding officers of the French fleets on the stations named.

In many ways the Louisiana purchase was a good diplomatic stroke for our country. It gave the United States a credit and standing abroad that has never been lessened or lowered. IT was the re-creation of France. The First Consul had long seen the need of rearming and reorganizing the forces of that country. He summoned the most expert arm-makers in France and said: “I wish you each to furnish me with a model musket, the best pistols for horsemen, a musquetoon, [our carbine,] and a sabre after a model to be given you. I wish the arms to be ready for a test in sixty days.” The result was the finest military firearms that had ever been known. The musket adopted weighed a little over nine pounds. IT carried a bullet eighteen to the pound. Its barrel was 42 inches, fitted with the bayonet that is still in use. The lock was extremely fine, and, with good flints, sure of fire. The French military firearms became famous all over the world. The recoil of the old Tower musket of England, and its equivalent on the Continent was so terrible that soldiers dared not fire it from the shoulder, but shot from the hip. The new arm of Napoleon burned four drams of superior powder, against six in the old piece. The trigger pull was reduced to that of the fowling piece of the time, and the new musketry drill prescribed a careful aim.

On Dec. 2, 1805, the French Army tested its new small arms and fire drill in actual battle, for the first time, at Austerlitz. The fire of the French infantry that day was so deadly that the allied armies could not stand up against it, nor answer it, and the new twelve-pounder, light field gun, also used in action for the first time that day, was a revelation to the Austrian and Russian Generals, in its rapidity of fire, ease in handling, and its new iron carriage.

“The re-equipment of our armies, which the money obtained by the sale of Louisiana made possible, gave the French soldier such confidence in the superiority of his weapons over those of his enemy that he became irresistible,” said Gen. de Lafayette, in 1824, to Gen. Schuyler of New-York and to President Monroe.

This country owes much to the royalist armies of France, but the debt was well-nigh paid with the money that made the Corsican the master of Europe and the French Empire the mightiest in Christendom. But if France won all Europe, the American Republic gained a new empire, the greatest ever attained by negotiation since diplomacy was a science.

The New York Time – Feb 13, 1895
Galveston Daily News – May 25, 1895

Spring’s Offering

April 3, 2012

The Dawn of Spring

By OLIVER RUTTER

There’s a swish, there’s a whirr —
A bright flashing of wings!
There’s a sweet woodland myrrh,
That caressingly clings,
and the oriole signals love’s tenderest call,
Delightfully increasing Spring’s charm over all.

Now down where rushes grow,
Thrilling blackbirds are heard;
And soft, while the winds blow,
An overture is allured,
Till our troubles vanish, when the song sparrow sings,
As we gather violets like the blue-bird’s wings.

In the morning or noon,
Where the bushes swing low,
Pretty pictures are strewn
On the brook’s mirrored flow,
If, dreamily, we wander in love’s tender plight,
Through the thorn-bushes blossoming, of pink and white.

Over here, over there,
The rivalry is keen,
Though the bidding seems fair,
There is beauty unseen.
Low ‘neath the brambles, near the sweet smelling sod,
Are beauties we may liken to the smile of God.

Far away, far away,
Through a dim, purpled haze,
Taunting clouds are at play,
With the sun’s warming rays,
Ah! what seems as pleasant as the years that are gone,
When the charms of Springtime we are gazing upon?

Life is dear, life is queer,
Life is stubbornly wrong;
Life is sere, life is drear,
When it might be a song!
Ah! who paints the flowers, and the beautiful skies?
Who causes the dead, in new glory to rise?

Morning Herald (Uniontown, Pennsylvania) Feb 28, 1936


Old Sol the Magician.

When April’s tears turn into snow
And nip spring in the bud,
Old Sol is anything but slow,
And soon its name is mud.

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Apr 3, 1912


Springs’s Offering.

We sweetly sing
The new laid egg.
Your fond attention
We would beg
As in a lay
Of praise we greet
The finest thing
On earth to eat.

Behold the modest
Little hen
That’s getting in
Its work again,
And making up
For what we lost
In days of laziness
And frost.

The days when all
There was on hand
Was the suspicious
Storage brand,
That, in responding
To our call,
Came scrambled if they came at all.

Now, wholesome, fresh
And at our taste,
We have them on
The table placed.
The number that
We eat unnamed,
So many, though
We are ashamed.

— Duncan M. Smith.

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Apr 6, 1909

It’s Curious!

It’s curious kind o’ weather when you come to make it out;
One minute winds is blowin’ all the blossoms roundabout,
An’ sunshine’s jes’ a-streamin’ from the blue and bendin’ skies,
An’ dreamin’ — jes’ a-dreamin’, like the light in woman’s eyes!

But jes’ when all is lovely, an’ the wind with music floats;
When the birds is makin’ merry an’ a-strainin’ of their throats;
An’ the sunshine’s like a picnic in the blossmes, pink an’ white,
A cyclone strikes the country an’ jes’ swallers all in sight!

It’s curious kind o’ weather — jes’ the worst you ever felt;
You don’t half git through freezin’ ‘fore the orler comes to melt!
An’ you can’t quite say it’s winter, an’ you ain’t half sure it’s spring;
So’ keep on with the whistlin’ an’ thank God for everything!

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) May 13, 1893

Spring Fever.

The time of year
Again is here
When wifey aims to make home neater,
And hubby knows,
When home he goes,
He’ll have to wield the carpet-beater.
With leaden feet

Along the street
He plods his way, sad-hearted, weary.
Well he doth know
That tale of woe
With wife’s n. g. — of such she’s leary.
Useless for him

A yarn to spin,
Pretending illness — can’t deceive her.
To him she’ll say,
In heartless way,
“Come off — it’s nothing but spring fever.”

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Mar 13, 1908

No Doubt About It Now.

Sunshine on the river —
Bird songs in the air!
Green leaves all a-quiver —
(Spring is mighty near!)

Reckless roses springing —
Brown bees here and there;
Lazy plowboy singing —
(Spring is mighty near!)

Easy to detect her —
Stormy skies or clear;
Easter bill collector —
(Certain spring is near!)

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) May 9, 1895

The Spring Affliction.

Oh, that blessed tired feeling
Which about the first of May
O’er the soul of man comes stealing
Like a burglar in a play,
Making him so fine and laze,
Kin almost to pure delight,
Calling up a vision hazy
Of a lake where fishes bite.

Winter with its weather bracing
Gave him energy and vim,
But spring has no trouble chasing
All those notions out of him.
When the birds begin to twitter,
Then in chaste and classic slang
He desires to be a quitter
And to let the work go hang.

He has tugged away like fury,
Buckled to it every day.
Now he things the judge and jury
Would prescribe a spell of play,
Would encourage him in slipping
From the busy haunts of men
And across the fields go tripping
Feeling almost young again.

Trading off the tired feeling
For the springy step of youth,
Finding nature’s gentle healing
More than advertised in truth,
Giving him an added vigor,
Keyed just right, not overdone,
Like the delicate hair trigger
On a forty dollar gun.

— Duncan M. Smith

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) May 15, 1914

SPORT

The merry waves dance up and down and play,
Sport is granted to the sea;
Birds are the quiristers of the empty air,
Sport is never wanting there;
The ground doth smile at the spring’s flowery birth.
Sport is granted to the earth;
The fire its cheering flame on high doth rear,
Sport is never wanting there.
If all the elements, the earth, the sea,
Air, and firs, so merry be,
Why is man’s mirth so seldom and so small,
Who is compounded of them all?

— Abraham Cowley

The Oshkosh Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Mar 27, 1936

SPRINGTIME

One cloud a hue of lazylite
Flanked by spray of misty white
Gave way to sublimate of gray
A storm cloud hovered on the way.

Springtime, blythe and very gay,
Her banner throws athwart the sky
That she will not her claim deny
Cold winter must vacate and fly.

— M.W. Beebe, Black Wolf Point.

The Oshkosh Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Apr 1, 1938