Posts Tagged ‘1896’

Welcome, ‘Ninety-six!

January 1, 2011

Our Home News and Interests.

The deep-toned bell, on the M.E. church,
In sweetest tones, was ringing
The old year out and the new year in
And the choir sweet songs were singing
While the gay, young girls,
In their frills and curls,
To Leap-Year joys were winging
Their fancy’s flight
To the giddy hight
Their hopes each one was bringing.

Welcome, ‘Ninety-six.

“All Hail,” the sprightly maidens shout,
Who long have lacked a beau,
“We now can take the fellows out
Whene’er we wish to go —
To skating park, to church or ball,
Where youngsters like to mix” —
In joyous accents comes from all
To welcome ‘Ninety-six.

“All Hail,” the thousands unemployed
in chorus join and sing;
“We long have felt an aching void
And hope that you will bring
An antidote — we’ll cast our vote
For those devoid of tricks —
The G.O.P. will surely be
Ahead in ‘Ninety-six.

Milford Mail (Milford, Iowa) Jan 2, 1896

Pearline – Don’t Wear Yourself Out Over the Washtub

December 2, 2010

Sandusky Daily Register –  Jan 30, 1891

As stated in this 1891 Pearline advertisement, the produce came into being about 1877. They seemed to have kept their illustrator pretty busy producing a wide variety of advertisements.

Since I ran across some “Hints for Housekeepers,” while looking for the Pearline ads, I am including them. Some are entertaining, some might be useful, and some are rather dangerous, and come with a cautionary warning:

Galveston Daily News – Jul 13, 1888

***

Can you tell it was election season when this next one ran?

Daily Northwestern – Nov 27, 1888

***

These hints don’t appear to be serious:

Handy Hints for the Housekeeper.

A perplexed housekeeper wants to know what she shall do with the tin cans that from day to day accumulate about the house — fruit cans, meat cans — of all kinds cans, cans, and a thousand cans. Well, if you keep a boarding house, you might throw them into the street, right in front of the house as a bait for the homeless man seeking a boarding house, If you have a home, however, you might utilize the cans in many ways.

You might take the tomato cans, fill them with soft, rich earth, and plant them, and by and by a whole handful of all sorts of weeks would come up. Then you could take the can to the pottery and have the potter twist a nice terra cotta vase about it so as to completely hid the can, and thus at a trifling expense, not over a few dollars, you could utilize your old tomato can as a garden vase.

Or you could take a lobster can, and bore three holes at equal distances in the sides, close to the open end. Then cover the can as thickly as you need with fine plastic material used in the manufacture of cheap statuettes, and employ some good artist to fashion ?? in graceful shape and beautiful designs. Then fasten bright brass chains in the three holes and hang it in a hook in the porch roof, and you will have a handsome hanging basket that need not cost you more than $5.

If you should break a kerosene lamp, save the foot of it, and with a bit of red flannel and merino and some white crochet make a pin cushion of it, stuffing the flannel and merino out in a large, irregular shaped sphere and with the crochet cotton work “lOve thE giVEr” on it. Then set it in the spare room on the dresser, care being taken to have the cushion fastened on so loosely that it will cant a little to one side. Then, when the guest wakes up in the night and sees that awful apparition in the moonlight, he will confess all his sins, put on his clothes hindside foremost, and dropping himself out of the window will flee in terror into the wilderness and never come back to spoil your best pillow shams with his bear’s oily head again.

“It isn’t what you get,” they say down in West Virginia, “that makes you rich, it’s what you save.” A few cents here and there in household expenses are not noticed at the time, but at the end of a year they aggregate enough to pay the for a steam thresher.

Fort Wayne Daily Gazette (Fort Wayne, Indiana) May 7, 1881

Sandusky Daily Register – Aug 8, 1889

Sandusky Daily Register – Mar 3, 1890

***

This one even mentions Pearline in its hints:

Hints for the Housekeeper.

If you think the kitchen is a hot place be easy on the cook.

Lard applied at once will remove the discoloration after a bruise.

A rug under one’s feet is restful when long standing is necessary, as in ironing or washing dishes.

Whites of eggs may be beaten to a stiff froth by an open window when it would be impossible in a steamy kitchen.

Mrs. Emma Ewing avers that not book knowledge alone but cook knowledge is needed in this broad nation of dyspeptics.

Cistern water that has become foul may be purified with powdered borax or alum. A quarter of a pound of each will cleanse twenty-five or more barrels.

Put a little pearline in the greasy pots and roasting pans and it will greatly facilitate cleaning them, especially if you stand them on the range to heat the water.

Most vegetables are better cooked fast, excepting potatoes, beans, peas, cauliflower and others which contain starch. Cabbage should be boiled rapidly in plenty of water; so should onions, young beets and turnips.

William Galvani learned from experiments that by cooking most fruits and vegetables lose their natural flavor, which he says in “Food, Home and Garden,” is after all, more delicious than any that can be artificially supplied.

You can prevent your pretty new ginghams from fading if you let them lie for several hours in water in which has been dissolved a goodly quantity of salt. Put the dress in it while it is hot, and after several hours wring it out dry and wash and usual.

The pretty woman fades with the roses on her cheeks and the girlhood that lasts and hour; the beautiful woman finds her fullness of bloom only when a past has written itself on her, and her power is then most irresistible when it seems going.

When a warm bath is taken, if the whole body from the crown of the head to the soles of the feet is instantly sponged with cold water there will not be danger of taking cold. The cold water closed the pores naturally. They are left open unnaturally after a warm bath.

Commonplace but important is the suggestion, “Be careful of fire.” Never take risk of lighting fire in stove or furnace not known to be ready and safe. In building or repairing see that the pipe holes in the chimney are tight and well protected from lath and siding by use of clay pots made for the purpose.

The Mountain Democrat (Placerville, California) Jan 2, 1892

Sandusky Daily Register – Jul 21, 1890

Sandusky Daily Register – Dec 12, 1890

***

PLAIN TALK.

Every Day Hints for the Practical Housekeeper.

The oil of white birch bark, which gives to Russia leather its peculiar aromatic and lasting qualities, when dissolved in alcohol is said to be excellent for preserving and waterproofing various fabrics. It renders them both acid and insect proof, and in no way destroys their pliability.

Tea and coffee stains will usually come out of linen if put into water at once or if soon washed. IF the yare of long standing rub pure glycerine on them, and then after washing this out, wash the linen in the usual way.

Prick potatoes before baking so that the air can escape. This will prevent their bursting in the oven.

Bad breath or offensive breath may be removed by taking a teaspoonful of the following mixture after each meal. One ounce liquor of potash, one ounce chloride of soda, one and one-half ounces phosphate of soda, and three ounces of water.

A good formula for layer cakes is as follows: One cupful of sugar, one-half cup of butter, one-half cup of sweet milk, the beaten whites of four eggs, two cupfuls of flour and a heaping teaspoonful of baking powder.

The Housekeeper gives the following hints: To take ink out of linen, dip the spotted parts immediately in pure melted tallow, the wash out the tallow and the ink will have disappeared.

Lima Daily Times (Lima, Ohio) Aug 16, 1892

Sandusky Daily Register – Jul 15, 1892

***

This next one is kind of creepy:

Sandusky Daily Register – Oct 11, 1892

***

Let the men wash!

Fort Wayne Gazette – Apr 30, 1895

***

Here are the household hints that come with the warning. The dangerous hints are mostly at the end of the list:

HINTS FOR THE HOUSEKEEPER.

The following directions for removing stains, spots, etc., must be used with exceeding caution, Chloroform, benzine, turpentine, kerosene and gasoline are all dangerous substances unless handled with extreme care.

Sponge a grease spot with four tablespoonsful of alcohol to one of salt.

Sprinkle salt over the spot on a carpet and sweep all up together.

Rub finger marks from furniture with a little sweet oil.

Put a lump of camphor in an air-tight case with silverware to keep it from discoloration.

Remove paint spots from a window by rubbing a copper cent over them.

Sprinkle salt over fresh claret stains.

Wash ink stains in strong brine and then sponge with lemon juice.

Hold a fruit stained article over a bowl and pour boiling water through the cloth.

Rub egg stains on silver with salt on a damp cloth.

Use wood ashes on discolored tableware.

Clean steel knives with raw potato dipped in fine brick dust.

Rub brass with hot vinegar and salt and scour with fine ashes.

Clean a carpet with a broom dipped in a very weak solution of turpentine in hot water.

Cleanse grained woodwork with cold tea.

Scour ironware with finely sifted coal ashes.

Soak mildewed clothes in buttermilk and spread on the grass in the sun.

Wash rusty gilt frames in spirits of wine.

Wash oilcloth with a flannel and warm water; dry thoroughly and rub with a little skimmed milk.

Purify jars by soaking hem in strong sodawater.

Wash blackened ceilings with sodawater.

Rub white spots on furniture with camphor.

Rub a stove zinc with kerosene.

Cleanse bottles with hot water and fine ????s.

Remove fruit stains from hands with weak oxalic acid.

Clean jewelry with prepared chalk.

Wash hair brushes in weak ammonia water.

Rub stained hands with salt and lemon juice.

Remove ink from wood with muriatic acid, after rinsing with water.

Wash japanned ware with a little warm soda.

Rub mirrors with spirits of wine.

Apply spirits of salt to ink stained mahogany.

Use sulphuric acid, wash off with suds, for medicine stains on silver.

Remove all stains from wall paper by powdered pipe clay moistened.

Use gasoline for removing paint.

Use jewelers’ rouge and lard for rubbing nickel plating.

Wash willow ware with salt water.

Clean hard finished walls with ammonia water.

Rub whitewash spots with strong vinegar.

Rub soft grease over tar and then wash in warm soda water.

Dip a soft cloth in vinegar and rub on smoky mica.

Sponge faded plush with chloroform.

Take paint out of clothing by equal parts of ammonia and turpentine.

To remove machine oil from satin use benzine. Be careful about having a light in the room as it is very explosive.

Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) May 27, 1894

Fort Wayne Gazette – Dec 30, 1895

***

Pearline gets violent:

Fort Wayne Gazette – Jun 12, 1896

***

HINTS FOR THE HOUSEKEEPER

A PAN of borax and sugar, kept under the sink, will discourage roaches.

Plenty of hot water and washing soda put down the sink pipes will keep them clear, and lessen the plumber’s bill.

A piece of lime or charcoal in the new refrigerator will prevent the “new” odor and taste from clinging to eatables.

To successfully bake a piecrust without its filling, line it with paraffin paper and fill it with uncooked rice.

Enameled ware that has become burned or discolored may be cleaned by rubbing with coarse salt and vinegar.

A teaspoonful of lemon juice to a quart of water will make rice very white and keep the grains separate when boiled.

A tablespoonful of borax is an agreeable addition to the dishwasher, and helps to keep the hands soft instead of irritating them, as soda does.

The Anaconda Standard (Anaconda, Montana) Dec 1, 1907

***

Curse Monday, Wash Day:

Nebraska State Journal – Oct 25, 1897

***

The late 1890s must have been desperate times; this  woman is slashing with a dagger:

Eau Claire Leader – Jul 6, 1898

***

Hints for the Housekeeper.

A soft clean cloth dipped in melted paraffin will give the stove a smooth, attractive surface. Kerosene-oil on a soft lintless cloth may be used on the nickel afterward to effect a polish.

Put two worn blankets together, cover with silkolene and stitch with worsted. Thsi makes an attractive comforter, if you choose the silkolene and worsted to harmonize with the color scheme of the bedroom.

Brushes should be hung up. They should never be allowed to stand on their bristles as this mats them and tends to make the bristles fall out. In using a broom, sometimes use one side and sometimes the other; this will make it wear evenly and so last longer. An oil mop will wear longer if it is not hung too near the heat after washing it. The bristles of a carpet sweeper or a vacuum cleaner can be well cleaned of hairs with a buttonhook or a pair of scissors.

Fine china nicks particularly easily when it is warm. A towel in the bottom of the dish pan will save much danger of chipping. Use a mild soap in washing painted or gilt-edged china and wash one piece at a time. Avoid using water that is too hot, in washing dishes and put plates into it edgewise so that both sides will expand with the heat alike. Much fine china, especially that which is made in China, is rough on the bottom. When the dishes are stacked in the closet, soft paper, or flannel pads should be kept between them to prevent the decoration on the front from being scratched, worn or chipped.

— Delineator.

The Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) May 27, 1922

Nebraska State Journal – Aug 16, 1897

***

Hints For The Housekeeper

A Model Floor Waxer

I haven’t a floor waxer, so will tell how I wax my floors. I lay down a piece of cloth, put on the middle of it the amount of wax it will take, then place a warm flatiron on the wax, gather the cloth all up on the handle of the iron and proceed to iron the floor. As the iron cools change for a warmer iron. The wax goes go much faster this way and soaks in better, because it is warm. I wait about half an hour, then put a large piece of old woolen goods in the mop and then polish the floor. Try it on your Congoleum rugs and see how much brighter they are.

Save On Cleaning Candlesticks

Instead of scraping the wax from brass or silver candlesticks, plunge the metal part in hot water and thus melt the wax. Candlesticks are often scratched when the wax is scraped off. By melting off the wax much time is saved and you will not run the risk of marring the candlesticks.

Sheboygan Press (Shepoygan, Wisconsin) Jan 7, 1927

Song of the Shirt Waist

November 19, 2010

Stenographer's Room - 1897 (Image from http://www.officemuseum.com)

SONG OF THE SHIRT WAIST.

How should a stenographer dress? —
Second to none.
With fingers nimble and strong,
With eyes that are  sparkling and keen,
A young woman sits in a womanly rig
With her pencil, her pad and machine.

Scratch, scratch, scratch,
With speed; not fussy with haste;
No poverty plaint, nor even a patch
Or smirch on her neat shirt waist.

Write, write, write,
From the business hour of nine;
And write, write, write,
Till time to lunch or to dine.

Then it’s oh, a jolly laugh!
With a bone of a turk to pick,
Where sister workers meet and chaff
In the respite hour from click.

Click, click, click,
Merrily, line upon line;
Click, click, click,
And the shirt waist wavelets shine.

Quick-witted to catch the thought,
To correct each grammatical lapse,
Not sentimentally taught
By Balzac; but better, perhaps.

Click, click, click,
As eager at work as at play.
Click, Click, Click,
The sheet rolls up and away.

E’s and S’s and Y’s,
Y’s and S’s and E’s;
Picking them up with her twinkling eyes,
And rattling them off the keys.

Write, write, write,
All womanly work elevates;
Write, write, write,
Esteem on faithfulness waits.

Oh, women with brothers dear,
Oh, women with husbands and sons
Heed not their sneers
At your sisters and peers,
Nor the talk of the morbid ones.

Right! right! right!
A just independence to gain,
And right! right! right!
Be it yours to help her attain.

–New York Sun.

Fort Wayne News (Fort Wayne, Indiana) Apr 18, 1896

Where Dirt Gathers, Waste Rules

November 16, 2010

A GREAT HORROR DONE AWAY WITH.

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

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

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

Carroll Sentinel (Carroll, Iowa) Feb 5, 1894

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

*****

AN ACT OF CRUELTY.

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

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

Carroll Sentinel (Carroll, Iowa) Mar 16, 1894

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

*****

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

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

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

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

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

*****

A WORD TO WORKING PEOPLE OF BOTH SEXES.

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

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

Carroll Sentinel (Carroll, Iowa) Feb 25, 1896

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

*****

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

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

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

Carroll Sentinel (Carroll, Iowa) Sep 6, 1897

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

*****

HOW TO LIVE ECONOMICALLY.

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

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

Carroll Sentinel (Carroll, Iowa) Dec 27, 1897

Carroll Sentinel (Carroll, Iowa) Mar 28, 1898

Carroll Sentinel (Carroll, Iowa) Jun 1, 1899

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

SISSY JANE.

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

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

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

— Chicago Herald.

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

Men, Be Manly – Restore Your Vigor

October 20, 2010

The “Restore Vigor” type  products seem to have been rather popular in the 1890s. The image above of the shirtless boxer is not related to the advertising below. As far as I know, he never used any of these products; I just wanted a picture of a “manly man” for the post.

Millionaires gain fame by great gifts, but their happiness cannot equal that of a citizen of the little village of Austin, Ills., who in an interview tells how he regained youthful vigor by a splendid discovery which convinced him life is worth living after all. So happy is he that he is taking the trouble to tell those who are miserable and despondent how to be so no longer.

Many men suffer the awful mental forebodings of nervous weakness in silence, knowing well the dire consequences of habits of youth — indulged in before they understood the certain results — or of recklessness in later years. Or, perhaps, like him, they tried pretentious specialists, who did nothing but take fees. But life’s sunlight burst suddenly upon him, he asserts, when, through happy chance, he found a medicinal combination, the result of years of research for a remedy for such weaknesses by men of science. At once it struck at the roots of physical and mental torture — an undeveloped state causing great embarrassment, nervousness and lack of self-possession and ambition. It cured him. It made him a man.

It is this glorious discovery which he wants to make known to any man, young or old, who feels the fire of youth leaving him and who desires to restore vigor and size to shrunken parts, and stop drains which unfit a man for work and marriage and drag him from life’s success. Upon a request in good faith mailed to A.E. Parrish, Lock Box 710, Austin, Ills., this prescription will be sent free in a plain envelope. Though far from being rich, Mr. P. says he can afford at least a postage stamp to give happiness and life-hope to a fellowman.

Write him in confidence.

The Daily Review (Decatur, Illinois) Jul 18, 1897

Sex-ine Pills for lost vigor – 1894

Also 1894: Vigor of Men – easily, quickly restored!

Thank goodness! Using Cupidene actually restored manhood.  Also at a store near you in 1894.

Vitalis, a  French remedy from 1895 states that it removes “nightly emissions,” as well as other problems. Now, what exactly are nightly emissions?

AJAX made this guy a man in 1896. I don’t think this is the same Ajax we use to scrub sinks and toilets.

Also from 1896, CALTHOS, another French remedy,  cuts right to the chase: Men Be Manly! Maybe this one helps grow facial hair.

In 1897, the Erie Medical Co.,  had a product that would remove EVERY OBSTACLE to a happy married life. Wow! Now, that’s a pretty bold claim.

Fast forward to 1901 and we have Revivo, a product that looks suspiciously like the Vitalis of 1895.  Maybe they just used the same advertising agency, since it appears these products were made by different companies.

Also from 1901, Vim Vigor, which seems reasonably priced.  Fifty cents to cure your loss of manhood sounds like a good deal.

On the offside chance none of these products cure what’s ailin’ you:

You might go see this guy — because just maybe  a little too much vigor, vitality and manhood got you something you didn’t bargain for!

A White Cap Swings…but Lives

October 18, 2010

Will Purvis was mentioned in my Colonel Jones Stewart Hamilton: The Train and the Tragedies post, although the finer details were a bit mixed up. The victim was Will Buckley, not someone named McDonald.

A White Cap to Hang.

Jackson, Miss., January 1. — (Special.) — the supreme court today affirmed the death sentence of the circuit court of Marion count vs. Will Purvis, the young white man convicted of murdering Buckley. Purvis, it will be remembered, was a white cap and killed Buckley, who had been a witness before the grand jury against the outlaws. He belongs to a large family. Every effort has been made to save him. The execution has been ordered for February 2d.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Jan 2, 1894

SAVED BY THE CROWD

Purvis Drops, the Rope Breaks, but His Neck Does Not.

THEN THE PEOPLE INTERFERE

Sheriff Magee Is Begged to Spare the Condemned Man.

A POLL IS TAKEN OF THOSE PRESENT

They Shout That  They Will Stand by the Sheriff, Who Takes His Prisoner Back to Jail.

New Orleans, February 7. — (Special.) — Will Purvis’s neck was saved today at Columbus, Miss., not by executive clemency, but as Rev. J.G. Sibley, a Methodist minister, explained it, by a divine intervention of providence. As soon as the trap fell Purvis, instead of being hurled into eternity, was precipitated to the ground. The noose had let loose and Purvis’s neck instead of being broken was only slightly abrazed by the rope.

He fell on his back and remained perfectly still for a few moments. The Constitution’s correspondent was the first to reach him, and leaning over to discover if he had been frightened to death, called to Purvis, “Are you hurt?”

From beneath his black cap Purvis replied:
“For God’s sake get me out of this.”

Others came up and Sheriff Magee made ready to conduct Purvis back to the scaffold for a second attempt. There were four of the board of supervisors present and they called the sheriff into the courthouse for a conference. They advised that in the face of Purvis having so stoutly protested his innocence and of his having made a partial confession of what he had known of the Buckley murder, that all these facts be laid before the governor and that further proceedings be postponed to await orders from the governor.

Sheriff Magee said that he would willingly accede to such a proposition, but his orders were imperative. He recognized the authority of the supervisors but they had no jurisdiction over a matter of this nature. Purvis’s statement contained this admission of his belonging to the white cap organization and the iron-clad oaths that  each member was compelled to take and the severe punishment by death if the orders of the organization were not observed.

Clergymen Crowd Around.

It also contained the names of a large number of the active members who have terrorized this county for some time past. These parties will be arrested and brought to trial. It was on the importance that would be attached to such a statement that the sheriff would be excusable for disobeying the mandate of the supreme court that Purvis must hang. Prominent citizens and clergymen crowded around the sheriff and sought to interfere with or blink his merciful promptings.

It was a most awful moment for Mr. Magee. Finally he agreed to a proposition made by one of the pleaders — Rev. Mr. Sibley, of the Columbia Methodist church. Gathered around the scene of the expected execution were over 1000 spectators from every section of Marion county. They made up the community that had been outraged by the murder of young Buckley. He went out and laid before them everything in connection with the unfortunate man’s last moments from the time that the party left Lumberton on Tuesday morning, where all telegraphic communication had been cut off; told the people of hte confession that Purvis had made and informed them of his persistence in denying that he took Buckley’s lfe and his maintenance of he same in his last moments.

Polling the Crowd.

The minister then called out for a popular verdict to decide whether further proceedings be delayed until Governor Stone could be heard from. The party again repaired to the gallows and in a most pathetic and soul-stirring address, Rev. Mr. Sibley laid the above case before the populace. In the immense assemblage, black and white, not one dissenting voice was raised. There was lusty cheering for the miraculous interposition that had saved the life of the boy whom every one in that great gathering now evidently believed to be guiltless.

A most unheard-of and unprecedented proceeding had become a matter of record.

Dr. Sibley then informed the crowd that for his action Sheriff Magee had rendered himself liable to indictment and impeachment. He would, therefore, ask if the people would stand by him should action be taken against him.

Pledging Support to the Sheriff.

“We will, we will, to our last dollar. He has saved the life of an innocent boy,” were the answers shouted back to him.

The guards and those on the platform crowded around Purvis to embrace and congratulate him. The lad sat in stupified amazement as if trying to make out all that was going on. When he was fiannly made to realize what had been done, he sobbed convulsively and said:

“I asked a merciful God to spare me, an innocent boy, and He did. May He be praised.”

His cousins, who had remained in the background, came forward and with him wept for joy. Sheriff Magee said that he would keep Purvis under a guard at the courthouse tonight and would set out for Lumberton with the prisoner in the morning. He would then wire Governor Stone of the proceedings. Thence h will take Purvis back to Meridian, Miss., there place him in jail again, subject to the governor’s orders. He felt confident that when the matter was placed before Governor Stone fully and properly, that he would approve of the course that he had pursued.

The Journey to the Gallows.

Purvis was taken from his cell at Meridian on Tuesday morning. He was placed aboard a New Orleans and Northeastern train and taken over one hundred miles south to Lumbertown. There the sheriff and party, among whom was The Constitution’s correspondent, disembarked and were met by an armed body of about sixty deputies. This guard was deemed necessary for there had been whisperings about some probable attempt to rescue Purvis by the white caps on the road to Columbia, the point of destination. To reach this place thirty-two miles of pine forest road had to be traveled, either on stage or on horseback, and the journey was made without incident or accident. Purvis was placed in the courthouse under guard. He passed a sleepless night, praying and singing with the clergymen who came to visit him. But he steadfastly professed his innocence of the Buckley murder. He acknowledged, however, being a white cap, and gave the names of parties prominently connected with them. He was shaved and furnished a new suit of clothes, and after being bidden farewell by a few of his cousins, who had come to visit him, he was led to the gallows. There he maintained his innocence up the the very last. Teh drop fell at 12:37 o’clock.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Feb 8, 1894

AT HIS OWN HOME.

His Parents Receive Him as One Risen from the Dead.

Purvis, Miss., February 9. — M.J. McLelland, deputy sheriff, passed through here this evening with Will Purvis, the young white cap. Various opinions are expressed as to Purvis’s escape from death, the story of which was published by no paper east of the Mississippi river except The Constitution. In New Orleans The Picayne was the only paper which published the story, all the other papers announcing that Purvis was hanged.

Some think that the rope was left untied on purpose for him to escape death; others think that is was a clear case of carelessness on the part of the sheriff; others, still more superstitious, think it a special act of providence to save his life in order that more facts in the case might be developed in the future.

Believed to Be Innocent.

Purvis was being carried to Hattiesburg for safe keeping until the sheriff could obtain official information in regard to his disposal. There has been a radical change in the minds of the people in regard to his guilt since the attempt at his execution on last Wednesday. It is believed now by nearly every one that he is an innocent man and that the real murderer of Will Buckley is still at large. When the deputy sheriff arrived here with him this evening the people, in order to get a glimpse of the young man who had escaped death so miraculously, crowded the waiting room almost to suffocation. He was brought from Columbia, a distance of thirty-two miles, today, and allowed to stop at his father’s house, which is on the road. His parents received him almost as one who had arisen from the dead. The prisoner was in fine spirits, looked fat and fine and was well dressed, having on the same suit in which he was dressed when he mounted the scaffold expecting to die.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Feb 10, 1894

OLD MAN PURVIS SUSPECTED.

His Son Went to the Scaffold Rather Than Tell.

Jackson, Miss., February 17. — (Special) — Reports from Marion county tend to confirm the suggestion that Ike Purvis, father of Will Purvis, fired the shot that killed Will Buckley and that Will Purvis, while denying that he committed the crime, refuses to tell who did it in order to shield his father. It is said the conduct of Ike Purvis is highly suspicious.

BUCKLEY HAS A DOUBT.

He Concedes That Will Purvis May Not Be the Assassin.

Meridian, Miss., February 17. — (Special.) — Since the terrible ordeal through which Will Purvis passed last Wednesday, February 14th, Jim Buckley, the brother of Will Buckley, who was shot from ambush, has been heard to say: “That he possibly was mistaken in saying that Will Purvis was the murderer.” Buckley was present when the shooting was done.

This rumor reached the ears of the district attorney, James H. Neville, this afternoon, for the first time, and he immediately wrote to Jim Buckley to know if the assertion was true. If Buckley claims that he was mistaken in recognizing Will Purvis as the slayer of his brother, then Purvis will be given a new trial at least.

Purvis is at present incarcerated in the new jail at Hattiesburg.

He talks freely about his narrow and miraculous escape from hanging. Hundreds of people from a distance have been to see the “boy wonder” through mere curiosity.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Feb 18, 1894

NOT RESENTENCED.

The Supreme Court Has No Jurisdiction in the Purvis Case.

Jackson, Miss., February 19. — (Special.) — The supreme court has denied the motion of the attorney general to resentence Will Purvis the whitecap, who escaped the death noose by the bungling job of Sheriff Magee in Marion county. The supreme court stated that it had nothing whatever to do with the case, and that it was a matter of the circuit court. Purvis cannot be resentenced until the June term of the circuit court at Columbia unless Judge Terrell shall sooner call a special term of court for that purpose.

The impression grows stronger every day that while Will Purvis was present when Buckley was assassinated, his father, Ike Purvis, did the killing, and that the whitecaps cast lots as to who should do the bloody work. It is reported that Will Purvis has made a fuller confession than has been published and that a great many more people are implicated as whitecaps in Marion county than the public had supposed. Will Purvis is in jail at Hattiesburg.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Feb 20, 1894

PRODUCE HIS BODY.

Will Purvis Must Go Before the Court Again for Sentence.

Meridian, Miss., March 1. — (Special.) — District Attorney James H. Neville made application today to Judge Terrell, asking for a writ of habeas corpus returnable in June next to have the body of Will Purvis produced in the next term of the circuit court of Marion county, there to again receive the sentence of death. A writ of habeas corpus will be sued out by Colonel Hopgood, the train burglar and murderer lawyer, before Chancellor Houston at Purvis tomorrow. Hopgood has a number of friends in Marion county who are quite wealthy and will sign his bond for any amount.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Mar 2, 1894

EXPECTS TO GO CLEAR.

Will Purvis Thinks Some One Else Will Be Convicted.

Meridian, Miss., April 12. — (Special.) — Just an hour before the unsuccessful attempt to execute Will Purvis at Columbus, Miss., on the 7th of last February, a confession was made by him of a conspiracy to kill Will Buckley, but he (Purvis) denied having anything to do with the killing, and gave your correspondent the names of the conspirators.

The sheriff yesterday arrested six of the band, two of whom were in Texas. A requisition was furnished by Governor Hogg and the men were immediately brought to Purvis station, where they will be tried Monday next. It is claimed that the lawless element of Marion county will be considerably shaken up at this trial of white caps. The leader, Houston Bourin, is a well-known man, in good circumstances, while the rest of the outlaws are tenants on his large plantation. The Constitution’s correspondent was in Hattiesburg, Perry county, yesterday, and called at the jail to interview Will Purvis. Purvis says that he has not doubt that at the trial of the other white caps enough edivence will be adduced to show him to be innocent of the assassination of Will Buckley.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Apr 13, 1894

A WHITECAP CONFESSES.

He Described a Midnight Murder and Defends Purvis.

Hattiesburg, Miss., April 24. — (Special.) — Deputy Sheriff McLelland, of Purvis, came here last night with J.D. Watts, whom he arrested a few days ago in Marion county. Watts is charged with killing Jessie Pittman about two years ago in Marion county, which cause the disturbances among the white caps and finally led up the the killing of Will Buckley, with which Purvis is charged.

In an interview today with Watts, who nothing more than an ignorant boy, he said:

“I joined the white caps about two years ago, or just before Pittman was killed. I was persuaded to join by Dr. Joel Goss, of Columbia. The doctor is a minister of the gospel. He told me I ought to belong to the white caps, that it was a benevolent organization and the object and principles were to help each other in sickness or distress. I finally consented to become a member and the doctor administered the white cap’s oath. The oath was that I would obey my orders issued by my leader and if I should ever fail to do so or divulge any of the secrets, signs, passwords or grips my life should pay the penalty.

His First Meeting.

“A few nights after I joined there was a meeting of the white caps to make arrangements to kill Jessie Pittman, colored, and the following members were present: Sam and Bill Moore, Authur Ball, Will Barnes, Babe Cook, Calvin Jones, Cassey Bass, Walter Goss, John McDonald and myself. Old man Baker was to be there to make an address but failed to show up. This was the first time I understood the full meaning of whitecapism. Some of the boys suggested that we take Pittman out and whip him and let him go. So this was agreed upon and we surrounded the house. Babe Cook and Calvin Jones were to enter the house and bring him out, but the moment the door was burst open I heard gunshots in the house and was informed that Pittman was shot. Which one of he boys did the shooting  I never knew, but it was either Cook or Jones, for there was no shooting outside of the house. This was the first and only time I ever had anything to do with whitecapism.”

In answer to a question in regard to the killing of Buckley, he said:

Purvis Had a Double.

“I don’t think Will Purvis did it. I think John Rogers is the one that killed him. He and Will Purvis look very much alike and at the time Buckley was killed they wore the same kind of hats and it would be very difficult for any one to distinguish one from the other unless in close contact.”

The above statement throws more light on the white cap outrages in Marion county and will very likely result in valuable evidence in ferreting out the crimes that have been committed from time to time. It will be remembered that one Dr. Goss figured very extensively in the murder case of Dr. Varnado at Osyka, Miss., several years ago and it is the supposition of many that he is the same man who administered the white cap oath to young Watts. Excitement is at fever heat in Marion county and startling developments are looked for at any moment.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Apr 25, 1894

ONLY ONE CONVICTED.

Marion County White Caps Escape Conviction.

Meridian, Miss., June 15 — The court at Columbia, Marion county, adjourned today after a two weeks’ special session that was called to indict and try the white caps that infest the county. Only one man, James Newman, was sentenced. He was sentenced to serve one year in the penitentiary on a charge of white capping.

Dr. J.J. Goss, the alleged leader of the organization, was not indicted and was discharged from custody. There was a bitter sentiment against the doctor when he was arrested, but positive evidence could not be produced against him. Will Purvis was not resentenced to death, but was held to go before the next grand jury in December. Public sentiment is strongly in favor of Purvis through this section and the opinion is that he will never again be brought to face the gallows, but will eventually go free.

Colonel E.S. Haygood, ex-train robber and three times a murderer, was also released. He was put under a $2,000 bond to answer a charge of train robbing at Amite City, La.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Jun 16, 1894

RE-SENTENCED TO HANG.

Columbia, Miss., Jun 19. — Will Purvis, whitecap, who was convicted of the murder of Will Buckley in August, 1893, and who was put on the scaffold in February, 1894, and failed to hang through the slipping of the noose, was to-day re-sentenced to be hanged July 31.

Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) Jun 20, 1895

WILL PURVIS RESENTENCED.

July 31st Fixed as the Date of His Execution.

Jackson, Miss., June 20. — Will Purvis, the Marion county whitecapper, has been resentenced to hang, and hat ends an interesting chapter of Mississippi history. Two years ago the life of the average negro farm laborer in south Mississippi was made miserable, if not uncertain, by outrages of murderous whitecap organizations in the country. These midnight riders vented their spite on Jews who owned farms by whipping and driving off the negroes and in many instances burning their cabins and corn cribs. In Lincoln county they became so bold that when a score of their associates were jailed they rode into Brookhaven, two hundred strong and demanded their release while Judge Chrisman was holding court, and the National Guard was called out to disperse them. The men under arrest were sent to state prison. In Marion county numerous crimes had been charged to the whitecaps, and a young man who had become offended at one of their acts of villainy, severed his connection with the band and turned state’s evidence. On his way home from the courthouse he was killed from ambush.

Circumstantial evidence was very strong that Will Purvis was the man. He was tried and convicted and sentenced to hang.

The day for the execution came and thousands assembled at Purvis to witness the hanging. But the sheriff was not equal to the emergency, or he had been bribed to let Purvis live. The rope was tied so that when the drop fell the noose slipped and Purvis went to the ground like a chunk of lead, instead of dangling in midair. The sheriff made as if he would try it again, but the crowd sured around him ad prevented, so that the condemned man was taken back to jail, where he has since remained. He still protests his innocence and his lawyer got the case before the supreme court again and argued that Purvis had been hanged one and the law vindicated. The court held otherwise and ordered him resentenced, which was done yesterday by Judge Terrell, July 31st being fixed as the date. Meanwhile whitecapping is one of the lost arts in Mississippi. The courts have been so prompt in bringing offenders to justice that what was two years ago a frightful menace to people of the state is now extinct or will be when Purvis has paid the penalty.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Jun 21, 1895

DODGING THE HEMP.

Will Purvis, of Broken Rope Notoriety, Has Secured Another Respite.

Jackson, Miss., July 17. — (Special.) — Will Purvis, the Marion county whitecap whose miraculous escape from the hangman’s noose when the sentence was being executed, and who was resentenced to hang next Wednesday, will not hang then. He has taken an appeal to the supreme court, which acts as a supersedeas without action on the part of the governor. The supreme court meets next October.

It will be remembered that when the trap was sprung the first time the rope broke. The sheriff then took a vote of the crowd and no second attempt at hanging was made.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Jul 28, 1895

PURVIS’S SURRENDER.

It Is Thought the Governor Will Commute His Sentence.

Jackson, Miss., March 7. — (Special.) — The first information that Governor McLaurin had of the surrender of Will Purvis, the noted Marion county whitecap who so mysteriously escaped the death noose at the hands of the sheriff, was conveyed to him by your correspondent. Purvis was recaptured, resentenced and broke jail several months ago, since which time he has been a fugitive. The governor declined to state what action he would take until officially notified of the surrender. The consensus of opinion is that any man would break jail when his neck was in peril, and no man could blame him for such escape. The sentiment of Marion county in this case is such that it would do no good to inflict capital punishment against Purvis. There is no doubt that the governor will take this view and it is safe to say that he will commute Purvis’s sentence to life imprisonment. It is believed that Purvis has not been out of that vicinity since his escape.

From reliable information it is ascertained that not a dozen men perhaps in Marion county believe that Purvis killed Buckley or was in the blind when Buckley was assassinated; that the head and front of his offending in this matter is, as now popularly and reliably understood, that he was at a whitecap meeting at which it was agree that it was necessary that Buckley should be killed, but disagreed as to the time. Before the assassination there was a second meeting of the whitecaps, which Purvis did not attend, and at which the agents of the assassination were designated. Of those selected at the second meeting and the time and place fixed for the assassination, Purvis was ignorant. Hon. N.C. Hathorn, representative from Marion county, when told of the surrender, said: “I believe that 95 per cent of the people of Marion county will sign a petition for his absolute pardon, believing him innocent of the charge, which he denied both before and after the trap door fell, when grewsome preparations were being made for his rehanging. Purvis was only nineteen years old when this killing occurred three and a half years ago.”

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Mar 8, 1896

WHITECAP STORY.

WILL PURVIS, UNDER SENTENCE OF DEATH, SURRENDERS TO OFFICERS IN MISSISSIPPI.

HIS STRANGE CAREER.

Sentenced to Death, He Declares His Innocense and Is Saved by Slipping of a Hangman’s Noose.
RESCUED BY HIS FRIENDS.

After Long Defying Arrest He Voluntarily Gives Up Under a Promise of Commutation.

[excerpt from lengthy article]

Biographical.

Will Purvis is a young man not more than 23 years of age. He is small of stature, not over 5 feet 8 inches tall, and weighs about 130 pounds. Like the people of the country in which he as been reared, far from civilization influences of the current world, he has grown up impregnated with all the superstitions of a people who live within the narrow confines of self. The result is that he is a fatalist to an advanced degree.

The story of Purvis’ life is stranger than the strangest fiction. Marion county, Mississippi, where he was raised, is forty miles from a railroad. Columbia, the county seat, was once the capital of Mississippi, but is now a little hamlet of not more than 300 people. It was here that whitecapism ran riot several years ago. The merchants would advance money to the white farmers wherewith to raise their crops. The crops would fail and the merchants would foreclose mortgages on the farms of the white people and rent them to negroes as tenants. The result was that a fierce hatred of the negro sprang up in the breast of the simple people, who had been dispossessed of their homes. They could not understand the justice of negroes supplanting them by the simple hearthstones which they constructed.

Then came the organization of the white caps. These people banded themselves together and were bound by oaths written in blood squeezed from a wound pricked in the thumb of the left hand. They used all the incantations of their peculiar witchcraft and were carried away with their fanaticisms. Leaders sprang up among them, who fired their passions by appealing to their prejudices. The secret order spread throughout southeast Mississippi and threatened destruction to the civic government of the country. At first the white cappers confined their acts to midnight raids, in which negroes were taken out and scourged and warned to leave the country. The negroes fled, leaving their homes behind them. The whole country was in a state of unrest. The local officers were powerless to stay the current of popular passion. Governor Stone was then chief executive of Mississippi. He understood that such a condition meant the ruin of the fair name of the state. He made every effort to suppress the lawless bands,. But the sympathies of the people were with the white caps. Those who did not feel this sympathy feigned it, as the torch was applied to the homes of those who dared to criticise the midnight raids of the marauders.

Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) Mar 8, 1896

ON HIS DEATHBED, CONFESSES CRIME

Slayer Clears Innocent Man Nearly Hanged Many Years Ago.

Columbia, Miss., March 10. – It was revealed by the sheriff’s office here today that Joseph Beard, who died of pneumonia last Sunday, aged 60, on his farm near this city, confessed on his deathbed, that 25 years ago he and two other men murdered William Buckley, in this section, for which crime Will Purvis, who now resides in Lamar county, Miss., escaped death by hanging only because the noose about he neck slipped after the trap had been sprung. According to the story, Buckley and a brother revealed to the authorities information concerning a secret band of “white cappers” that operated in this section more than a quarter of a century ago, and William Buckley, shortly afterward was shot to death from ambush. This was in 1892.

Purvis was convicted of the murder and sentenced to be hanged. The execution was to be public and hundreds were present to witness it. But after the trap was sprung, the noose slipped and Purvis fell from the scaffold unharmed. Many of the spectators, superstitious over the twarted execution, induced the authorities to place Purvis in jail and an appeal to the governor resulted in the commutation of  his death sentence to life imprisonment. Several years afterward, Purvis was pardoned.

Washington Post ( Washington, D.C.) Mar 11, 1917

CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE.

The breaking of a noose which had been slipped around his neck by the sheriff saved Will Purvis, a Mississippi farmer, from death at the hands of the law, and the legislature of his state has just voted him $5,000 as “salve.” An astute attorney fighting for Purvis’ life, contended that the drop from the gallows was punishment within the eyes of the law ans that a second attempt could not legally be made. The court took the same view of the incident and the sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. Two years later a neighbor of Pulvis confessed on his death bed that he was guilty of he crime for which Pulvis had been convicted.

Circumstantial evidence, it seems, sent Pulvis to prison  and but for a flaw in the rope would have sent him to his death. It is one more indication that even in law, things are not always what they seem.

Adams County Free Press (Corning, Iowa) Mar 20, 1920

MAN SAVED BY SLIP EXPIRES

HATTIESBURG, Miss., Oct. 13. — (AP) — Will Purvis, 66, who cheated the gallows in 1894 by a slip of the noose and later proved his innocence of crime, died today at the Lamberton hospital. Death was attributed to a heart ailment.

Purvis was convicted of slaying Will Buckley and sent to the gallows. As he went through the trap at a public hanging in Columbia, Miss., the rope slipped and he was dropped to the ground unhurt.

Several years later Joe Beard confessed to the slaying in a statement made to District Attorney Toxie Hall, who is now United States attorney in Mississippi, and exonerated Purvis.

Purvis later was given $5000 by the state legislature.

Since the case was cleared up Purvis had resided in Lamar country about seven miles north of Purvis. He is survived by his widow and 11 children.

San Antonio Light (San Antonio, Texas) Oct 13, 1938

Webster’s Right, Times Are Tite

October 15, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

THE HARM THAT WEBSTER HAS DONE THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why, then, do we submit to this imposition?

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Noah Webster

 

Franklin as a Writer.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Thorp Springs Christian is a critic. It says:

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

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

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

 

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

 

RIDPATH ON FREE COINAGE.

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

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

RIGHT TO GOVERN THEMSELVES.

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

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

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

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

NEW MEANING FOR “DOLLAR.”

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

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

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

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

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

A Great Book.

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

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

“From Webster.”

“Daniel Webster?”

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

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

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

Lima News (Lima, Ohio) May 27, 1898

*****

*****

*****

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

From his website:

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

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

*****

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

Elizabeth Had Her Standards

October 10, 2010

 

 

THE YARD MEASURE.

Standards Have Varied in the Different Ages of the World.

The yard is the British and American standard of length. Down to 1824 the original standard of Britain (and from which ours was copied) was a rod, which had been deposited in the court of exchequer, London, in the time of Queen Elizabeth. In those days, says the St. Louis Republic, all measures intended for  general use were taken to the court of exchequer to be examined by the proper officer. That official took the proposed measure and placed it parallel with the standard, and if found correct placed certain marks of identification upon it.

By an act of parliament in 1824 the old Elizabethan standard was superseded by another, which had been constructed under the directions of the Royal society 64 years previous. This act provided that “the straight line or distance between the centers of two points in the gold studs in the brass rod now in the custody of the clerk of the house of commons shall be the genuine standard of the yard measure in Great Britain.” The act further provided that the measurements of the rod must be made when the temperature of the brass rod was at 62 degrees Fahrenheit.

That standard was destroyed by fire in 1834 and the commission appointed to replace it made the yard measure now in use. The new standard was deposited in the house of parliament in 1855 and authenticated copies of it are in possession of our government officials at Washington.

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) Sep 11, 1896

Read the rest:

Title: Chambers’s Journal, Volume 68
Authors    William Chambers, Robert Chambers
Publisher: W. & R. Chambers, 1891
Pages 742-745

Punctuation, Typewriting and Telegrams

September 24, 2010

A bit of a mixed bag for Punctuation Day:

Fire Inspector Not in Jail as Telegram Stated

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Getting Into Print.

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

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

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

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

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

A Little Punctuation.

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

“It was and I said not or.”

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

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

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

— George’s Denver Weekly.

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

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

Daily Mail (Hagerstown, Maryland) Sep 6, 1927

PUNCTUATION.

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

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

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

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

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

HEARD IN THE PROOFROOM.

How Poetry, Prose and Advertisements Sound Via the Copyholder.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Writing Machine

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

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

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

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

Charles A. Washburn’s 1870 patent illustrations:

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

Sol Star – A Picturesque Pioneer

August 7, 2010

Sol Star (Image from Wikepedia)

Sol Star was a friend and business partner of Seth Bullock’s. These two men had a lot in common.  Both were foreign born. Both lived in Montana during the 1870s, and both caught the Black Hills fever and headed for Deadwood. And both men had a hand in civilizing and bringing about the statehood of South Dakota.

The Deadwood S.D. Revealed website has a Sol Star biography written in 1901. NOTE: They give his place of burial as Mt. Moriah Cemetery, Lawrence Co., South Dakota, but he was actually buried in the New Mount Sinai Cemetery in St Louis, Missouri.

The Daily Independent - May 30, 1874

*****

The Daily Independent - Jun 21, 1874

It is fashionable to angle for trout in the Little Blackfoot, and Sol Star, who was out with Gen. Smith and party reports the fish as hungry as Crow Indians — they will bite at anything except a crowbar.

The Daily Independent (Helena, Montana) Aug 11, 1874

The Daily Independent - Jan 16, 1875

Personal.

Auditor Sol Star arrived last evening at the Capital of Montana with bag and baggage, also the archives of the Auditor’s office. See his notice in to-day’s INDEPENDENT.

The Daily Independent (Helena, Montana) Mar 2, 1875

The Daily Independent - Mar 5, 1875

Receiver’s Office.

The business of the Helena Land Office has been retarded for some time, owing to the resignation of Mr. Sol Star, and the non-appearance of his successor, Mr. Sheridan. But the office runs smoothly again. Commissioner Burdett has modified the acceptance of Mr. Star’s resignation, and Mr. Star, as ordered, will resume the duties of the office until the arrival and qualification of his successor. We understand it will not interfere with his duties as Auditor. The following is the dispatch:

WASHINGTON, March 25, 1875.

To Sol Star, Esq., Helena, M.T.:

“The acceptance of your resignation has been modified so far as to take effect upon the appointment and qualification of your successor. You will, therefore, continue to act as Receiver until that event.”

S.S. BURDETT, Commissioner

The Daily Independent (Helena, Montana) Mar 27, 1875

Short Stops.

Mr. Sol Star has ordered from the East a large stock of queensware, glassware, wire and willoware, lamps and chandeliers, which he expects to open to the trade about the 1st of June.

The Helena Independent (Helena, Montana) Apr 4, 1876

Sol Star and Seth Bullock, on their way to Benton, narrowly escaped drowning in the Little Prickly Pear.

The Helena Independent (Helena, Montana) Jun 24, 1876

Sol Star & Seth Bullock (Image from http://picasaweb.google.com/John.Auw)

THE TERRITORY.

Mr. Sol. Star, who had shipped a large invoice of queensware to Helena and designed opening a store, has taken the Black Hills fever, shipped his goods back from Benton to Bismarck, and designed starting to-day for Deadwood City. Sorry you are going, Sol., but good luck to you.
North-West.

Butte Miner (Butte, Montana) Jul 8, 1876

Personal.

Sol Star has gone East by way of the river.

Seth Bullock left yesterday for Dakota Territory. He will be absent several weeks.

The Helena Independent (Helena, Montana) Jul 8, 1876

You can read about Sol and Seth’s arrival at Deadwood (Google book link)  in the 1899  book,  The Black Hills, by Annie D. Tallent.

Lincoln Territory.

Delegates representing all the interests and localities in the Black Hills, assembled in convention at Deadwood on the 21st ult. and adopted a memorial to Congress setting forth the wants and necessities of the people. We notice that our former townsman, Sol Star, was appointed one of the Committee on Organization, and W.H. Claggett, late of Deer Lodge, one of the Committee on Resolution.

The Helena Independent (Helena, Montana) May 8, 1877

Implicated in Star Route Frauds.

WASHINGTON, September 28. — President Arthur to-day directed the removal of Sol Star, postmaster at Deadwood, D.T., for confessed complicity with the Star route contractors in defrauding the Postoffice Department.

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

Sol. Star.

Sol. Star denounces through the columns of the Black Hills Pioneer, the statement emanating, as he supposed, from one Pursy, to the effect that he had confessed complicity in the Star route frauds. He says that such statements are unqualifiedly false in every particulas and are malicious slanders and fabrications; that no such confessions were ever made, and that no facts existed on which the alleged confession could be made. Mr. Star was for many years a resident of Helena, and has many friends here who would be glad to learn of his complete vindication.

The Helena Independent (Helena, Montana) Oct 11, 1881

Sol Star and the Star Routes.

Mr. Sol Star has been removed from the postmastership at Deadwood on the charge of being complicated in some of the Star Route frauds in Dakota. As Mr. Star is well-known in this territory, being at one time Territorial Auditor, the following, which we clip from the Black Hills Times, concerning his removal, and his letter of explanation, may be fo some interest to our readers. We therefore produce them:

WASHINGTON, Oct. 1. — Star, postmaster at Deadwood, removed yesterday, has confessed that for several years past he has made false certificates of star route service between Sidney and Deadwood. His confession exposes the rascality of the star route ring in the northwest.

WASHINGTON, Oct. 1. — The action of the president in removing Postmaster Star, of Deadwood, was caused by his revelations concerning the star route in the northwest. For some months past one of the most efficient inspectors of the postoffice department has been secretly investigating the management of the Deadwood postoffice, and when he confronted the postmaster with his proofs the latter confessed.

The telegraph lines have been weighted with reports concerning star-route frauds, in which postmaster Sol Star of this city is proclaimed as being implicated, and as having made a confession to that effect. To those who know the facts it is scarcely necessary to state the report is an unmitigated lie from first to last. He has made no confession of fraud for the best of all reasons — there is no fraud to confess on his part. The confession, so called, we here publish. As will be seen, nothing short of entire malice could constitute this report of facts as a confession of crooked dealing. It is about as much of a confession as an almanac is a confession of the state of the weather:

DEADWOOD, D.T. Sept. 1, 1881.

John B. Furay, Special Agent Postoffice Department:

In reply to your verbal request in relation to the arrival of mails on route 34,156, I beg to state that the record of arrivals as reported by my mail bills was based upon the schedule time given by the contractor, and not the actual time of arrival. The report thus made was not made with any expectation or promise to receive a reward from the contractor, but was done and reported, first, because I believed that if the public was satisfied the government would also be with the arrival of the mails; and second, having so reported for two years last past without hearing any complaint from the department I took it for granted that my view of it was correct. I am now informed that such a report was detrimental to the interest of the government, and that the actual time of arrival, and not the schedule time or near the schedule time, is what was wanted. I desire to state that in my belief arrivals of mails will vary from two to four hours later than as reported, as follows: From July, 1879, to September, 1881, for ten months in the time mentioned, the time of actual arrival will vary from two to four hours per day, and for two months in each year named, say for March and April, 1880, and March and April, 1881, the time from that reported will vary from one to three days too early.

Yours truly,

SOL STAR, Postmaster.

The Daily Miner (Butte, Montana) Oct 11, 1881

The elation of the star route people over a verdict of acquittal from Judge Dundy’s court in Omaha will, it is stated, not avail them in other cases. These cases originated in the confession of the postmaster at Deadwood that he had been giving false certificates of the arrival and departure of mails in order to enable the contractors to draw their full pay, though they had not fulfilled their contract. This confession was obtained by Postoffice Inspector Furay, in an investigation set on foot by himself. There were strong local influences of mail contractors in that region. Monroe Saulsbury, one of the largest mail contractors who lives at Deadwood, prevented an indictment of guilty persons once, but it was finally had. On the trial, however, the Deadwood postmaster refused to testify on the ground that he would criminate himself. The confession in these cases was made last summer by Sol Star, a former resident of this Territory, and led to his removal from the position of postmaster of Deadwood.

The Daily Minor (Butte, Montana) Feb 25, 1882

JUSTICE TO AN OLD MONTANIAN.

The Inter Mountain professes to be indignant because the Black Hills Plains says some kind words about Mr. Sol. Star, one of the newly elected aldermen of Deadwood City, and thinks that “such perversity in press and people cannot help the application of Dakota for Statehood.” It is quite likely the thought never entered the head of the Times writer that he was jeopardizing the interests of his Territory when he penned the favorable notice of his townsman, the genial, clever Sol. He may take it all back after seeing the Inter Mountain of the 16th inst., but we don’t believe he will. Now we propose to say a few kind words about Mr. Star even if by so doing we imperil Montana’s prospects of Statehood. But we will state in the outset our firm belief that Mr. Sol. Star is no more a star route thief than the Inter Mountain editor is an angel.

Mr. Star lived many years in Montana and while here he occupied responsible positions both public and private and earned a reputation for intelligence, capability and integrity of character which we are yet to learn he has lost. He served a term as auditor of this Territory and faithfully performed its duties and when he retired from the office he carried with him the confidence and respect of a host of friends. It will be news to those friends and to Mr. Star, himself to learn that he confessed “to the commission of a felony.”

Mr. Star did nothing of the kind. He simply certified as postmaster to the arrival and departure of the mails. Sometimes the mail did not arrive or leave exactly on schedule time, but as is generally usual among nearly all postmasters, where there was not too long a continuance of diversion from schedule time, he made no exceptions in his certification. These, as we understand them, are the simple facts of the case, but the officious, and as the sequel has proved, not over scrupulous Furay preferred charges against him in the interest, it is said, of one of his (Furay) friends. Mr. Star resigned, stood his trial and was acquitted.

If Mr. Star is as guilty as the Inter Mountain would have its readers believe the citizens of Deadwood are certainly a bad lot, for in the face of all this Star route business they have elected him as an Alderman of the city. Our word for it he will make a good one. If he is not the Sol Star of old it is because he has too closely followed the precepts and practices of the Republican party of which, while here, he was an honored and leading member.

The Daily Miner (Butte, Montana) May 18, 1882

If the Inter Mountain has not completely exhausted itself in its endeavor to injure the reputation of an old, well-known and much-esteemed ex-resident of Montana and now a respected citizen of Deadwood, could it not dispose of a portion of its time and space in noticing the Dorseys, Bradys, Howgates and a score of other worthies of the party to which it seems to owe allegiance? It appears to ignore the fact that two of these distinguished Republican luminaries are on trial for swindling the government and that the other is a fugitive from justice. Just for a change from diatribes against Governor Potts, slanderous accusations against Mr. Sol Star and stale editorials from the New York Herald, give us a live article about something else its knows nothing about — for instance the effect which a “dishonest coinage law” and “fraudlent dollars” have upon the business of the country.

The Daily Minor (Butte, Montana) May 19, 1882

DAKOTA CONVENTIONS.

Republicans and Democrats Hold Powwows In Their Respective Burgs.

HUDSON, S.D., August 29. — The republican state convention reassembled at 10 o’clock this morning and heard reports of the committee on credentials and organization. Permanent organization was effected by the election of Sol Star as permanent chairman and E.W. Caldwell as secretary with two assistants. Mr. Star made a brief address, and Judge Moody took the platform amid deafening cheers. On behalf of the delegation of Lawrence county he presented the chairman with a tin gavel made from tin taken from the Etta mine in that county. Judge Moody’s speech was very eloquent and was frequently applauded. The convention then adjourned till 2 o’clock this afternoon.

Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) Aug 30, 1889

The Convention Meets.

MITCHELL, Aug. 27. — Convention called to order by C.T. McCoy, chairman, at 2:15….

Sage of Faulk nominated Sol. Star of Deadwood for temporary chairman. He was unanimously elected.

Mr. Star was introduced by the committee and addressed the convention as follows:

Gentlemen of the Convention: On behalf of the Black Hills country, and particularly those residents of Deadwood here, I can but return to you my thanks personally for your grateful acknowledgment of services I have rendered you at a convention of a similar nature and character at the city of Huron a year ago, and to the pledges I have made and services I have rendered. I can only add in addition, that I will endeavor to discharge these duties which devolve upon me as temporary chairman of this orginization without fear or favor…

Daily Huronite (Huron, South Dakota) Aug 28, 1890

A bill has been introduced at Pierre by Sol Star of the Black Hills, providing for the resubmission of the question of prohibition. It is safe to say it will not pass.

Mitchell Daily Republican (Mitchell, South Dakota) Jan 17, 1890

Mitchell Daily Republican - Jan 28, 1890

The Black Hills Journal website has some interesting tidbits in regards to the history of prohibition in South Dakota,  and mentions Deadwood, specifically.

THE NEWS.
Miscellaneous.

Sol Star is elected mayor of Deadwood for the eight time.

Daily Huronite (Huron, South Dakota) May 6, 1891

Gossip among the Republican delegates in town this afternoon en route to the Aberdeen convention was to the effect that Sol Star of Deadwood was to be pushed to the front on the anti-prohibition issue, and that Judge Moody would be at the head of the Lawrence county delegation. Minnehaha county was claimed for Star, while French of Yankton was thought to be the second choice of the Star men.

Mitchell Daily Republican (Mitchell, South Dakota) Sep 28, 1891

The Hills on Jolley.

Sol Star in the Sioux City Journal: We saw that there was no show, ans so we went for the best man, and that man is Col. Jolley, of Vermillion. He is the very best man that the party could have nominated. He is a worker, thoroughly posted in the needs of the state, an able man and one who will do the state credit at Washington. I think, too, that he will be broad enough to look out for our interests as well as those of his own part of the state. We are satisfied with the nomination and Jolley will get the support of the Hills Republicans.

Mitchell Daily Republican ( Mitchell, South Dakota) Oct 4, 1891

Sol Star was re-elected for the ninth time mayor of Deadwood, by 37 majority. Another republican victory.

Daily Huronite (Huron, South Dakota) May 9, 1892

Dec 16, 1892

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Mar 6, 1896

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Gravestone image posted by afraydknot,  on Find-A-Grave, along with a biography.

PICTURESQUE PIONEER WHO FOUGHT INDIANS ON BISMARCK — BLACK HILLS TRAIL IN ’76 DIES AT DEADWOOD

Deadwood, S.D., Oct. 19 — Sol Star, picturesque pioneer of the Black Hills, and who, with his partner, Seth Bullock, was among the first to take the Old Black Hills trail from Bismarck to Deadwood, has left on his last, lone, prospecting tour. “If the streets up there are paved with gold, Sol will be right at home,” said one of his old pals.

Sol Star, several times mayor of Deadwood, and one of the best liked of all the old timers, was born in Bavaria in 1840, coming to America at the age of 10, and to Helena, Mont., in 1865. He remained at Helena and Virginia City until 1876, serving as register of the United States land office from 1872 to 1874, and for one year as territorial auditor of Montana. He arrived in Deadwood on Aug. 1, 1876, with Capt. Seth Bullock, who years ago gained fame as a personal friend of Theodore Roosevelt. The Partners picked Deadwood as a good camp. They had a large consignment of goods en route to Helena for them, and upon Bullock’s suggestion this shipment was headed off at Bismarck and brought to Deadwood over the old Black Hills trail.

The trail from Bismarck to the Black Hills was beset with hostile Sioux, angry with the whites because of ignored treaties, and when Bullock and Star reached old Crook City they were compelled to fight a pitched battle with the redskins. Again they encountered the enemy on Big Bottom, but they finally reached Deadwood with their skins and their goods intact. Upon their arrival here they opened a general store, and their partnership in this business continued until 1894. Star was mayor of Deadwood from 1884 to 1893 and from 1895 to 1899. For 19 years he served as clerk of court, and in 1889 he attended the first state convention at Huron, where the enabling act was ratified, and he nominated the first set of officers for the new state of South Dakota. Later he served in both branches of the state legislature.

The Bismarck Tribune (Bismarck, North Dakota) Oct 19, 1917