Posts Tagged ‘1897’

Halloween Art

October 31, 2012

The witch is astride this night for a ride,
Old Satan and she together;
Now out and now in,
Thru thick and thru thin,
No matter what be the weather.

— Robt. Herrick

The Herald – Junior Section (Los Angeles, California) Oct 31, 1909

Pioneers Frightening the Indians With Hallowe’en Tricks

— Hazel Cox

The Herald – Junior Section (Los Angeles, California) Oct 31, 1909

In the Houses of Rich and Poor Alike, Its Joyful Customs will be Observed

The Herald (Los Angeles, California) Oct 31, 1897


— Helen Knecht

Los Angeles Herald (Los Angeles, California) Oct 30, 1910

Tired to Death

October 3, 2012

Eau Claire Leader (Eau Claire, Wisconsin) Oct 24, 1897


My lady is tired to death!
She has studied the print of the gay velvet rug,
And given her dear, darling poodle a hug,
And from her bay window has noticed the fall
Of a ripe nectarine from the low sunny wall;
She’s embroidered an inch on some delicate lace,
And viewed in the mirror her elegant face,
Has looked at an album, a rich bijouterie,
Then restlessly owned herself dead with ennui.

Eau Claire Leader (Eau Claire, Wisconsin) Dec 19, 1897

And my lady it tired to death!
Exhausted! It’s strange that as day after day
Of her frivolous life passes away,
So aimless and “stylish,” so empty and fine,
So free from those duties sometimes called divine —
That she wearies of something, she hardly knows what;
Thinks of not what she is, but of all she is not!
Oh no! all emotions are vulgar, you know,
And my lady’s have always been quite comme il faut.

Eau Claire Leader (Eau Claire, Wisconsin) Jul 2, 1898

Still, my lady is tired to death!
Oh woman, false woman, false mother, false wife,
What account can you give of your poor wasted life,
Of that life that has passed like a feverish dream,
The life that has not been to be but to seem!
What account will you give in the awful, last day,
When the pomp and the show of the world pass away,
When the Master demands of the talents He’s given,
A stewardship rendered on Earth and in Heaven?

Eau Claire Leader (Eau Claire, Wisconsin) Aug 27, 1898

Tired to death!
Cast off for a moment your diamonds and lace,
And shine in the light of true womanly grace;
Look around you and see with eyes raised to the light,
Strong men and true women who live for the right;
Brave hearts that ne’er falter, though distant the goal,
Great lives whose fierce struggles will never be told,
Whose wild, straying hearts stern duties control,
Whose only true life is the life of the soul.

Written for the PRAIRIE FARMER.

The Prairie Farmer (Chicago, Illinois) Jul 14, 1859

Eau Claire Leader (Eau Claire, Wisconsin) Jul 15, 1898

Speaking of Collard Greens

February 15, 2012

Image from Austin360

Speaking of collards, we note a very funny paragraph in Uncle Frank Sanborn’s literary letter to The Springfield Republican. He is reviewing in an appreciative way a book of poems (“Way-Songs and Wanderings”) by Claiborne Addison Young. This poet, who is a new-comer, and who seems to have come to stay, has a beautiful lyric on the subject of collards. It is entitled “Texas Vision.” Mr. Sanborn quotes it to show that Mr. Young has “thought, fancy and sentiment in plenty” — “if the reader only knew what collards are; a prairie sunflower, or climbing rose, perhaps, with its wind-tossed blossoms!” Well, as Mr. Sanborn has taken the pains to quote the ode to collards in full we cannot do better than to follow his example:

Many friends and I,
Collards bright and gay,
Jocund as the day;
This is what they say
While to and fro they sway:
“We nod to every breeze,
We’re gods of grace and ease.”

They at my window lean,
And whispering, seem to nod
And peer, as doth some god
At toiling son of sod;
Yet when again they lean,
They shift like shifting scene,
They weave into my dream.

The dead and quick they seem;
Past, present — warp and woof,
The Great no more aloof;
Socrates, Montaigne,
And Emerson, the Plain,
Carlyle, great Sham-killer,
And Love-melodious Miller,
And Byron, son of Scorn,
And Rousseau, passion-torn,
Grasp hands, shake hands, are brothers,
Are sons of self-same mothers.

They bid me rise and stand,
They reach and clasp my hand;
They deign to call me brother —
Aye, son of self-same mother.
Ah! there the vision’s gone,
And collards still wave on:
“A joke, a thing to please;
We’re gods of grace and ease;
Like Alcibiades
Our mission is to please;
Trust not half we say
As to and fro we sway.”

We thank the muses that a man has at last arisen who can see, and feel, and express the poetry of the kitchen garden collards — coleworts, Mr. Sanborn, and the finest of all our garden “sass.” They are to be eaten only after frost fails. From that moment until far in the winter they are the dainties of the vegetable world — always supposing that they are prepared by an expert.

If allowed to remain in the garden during the winter, they send up long central stalks in the early spring, the tops of which become waving plumes of small yellow flowers that nod and wave obedient to the vagrant. It was at this season that they attracted the eye of the poet, and his description is apt. It is the blue stem, standing on one long and wrinkled leg, that reaches highest, and bends supplest to the breeze.

Many of our contemporaries have taken pains to note that we treat these matters of the kitchen and kale-yard sentimentally. Well, why not? The poet, as we have just seen, treats collards poetically. Are they any the worse for the sentiment and poetry? We think not. That which belongs to the past must needs be treated sentimentally, and if good cooking and good food are not things of the past in the great majority of southern homes today, then the doctor’s bills are swindles. A lady remarked the other day that “turnip greens read better than they tasted.” She was referring to our remarks upon them. But if instead of aiming an epigram at The Constitution, she had taken the rolling-pin to the cook, the turnip greens would have acquired a flavor hitherto unknown to them in her household.

If there were more sentiment in the kitchen there would be less pangs at the table, and less need for health pellets. There is no need why sensible people should trust their lives to their cooks. A twenty years’ acquaintance with the woman or man who prepares your food is not too long, and it may be too short. In any event, an hour in the kitchen would save many a fine lady the pains of wearing stays in the hall. An hour in the kitchen, not to invent new dishes or try rash experiments, but to revive the old methods and restore to the table the healthy, wholesome food that could be found there forty years ago.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Oct 31, 1897

Title: Way Songs and Wanderings
Author: Claiborne Addison Young
Publisher:Estes & Lauriat, 1897
Pages 113-114

There are Others

October 1, 2011

"Spies on the Enemy"


Once from out his swaying wigwam
Strode a warrior brave in battle
Downward from his belt of wampum
Grewsome trophies grimly rattle
In the wind
O’er his head the warlock pliant
Waves, while eagle plumes defiant
Stream behind.

Angrily the chief came stalking
Moodily in silence walking
Moodily morose and silent
In his paint and plume defiant
‘Mid the trees
Faint he heard the spirits saying
Fainter echoes soft repaying
Words of wisdom that were playing
On the breeze.

There the words “When in uprising
Anger stalks uncompromising
And your heart resents the taunting,
Mocking, words in friendship wanting
From your brothers
To their angry speech replying
Do then speak with smile supplying
Anger’s place these words undying
‘There are others.'”

This is why the chief, when feeling
O’er the lea came speech resealing
Moore and Bartley’s playful stealing
From their brothers
Rose and spake and never stuttered
Never coughed nor spat nor muttered
But this judgment calmly uttered
“There are others.”

Buried is the chief forever
Gone beyond the flowing river
But when weird the night winds whirling
Fiercely round the wigwam swirling
Meet the smoke wreaths upward curling
O! my brothers
Then the old men of the nation
Tell the tale with much elation
Of that short but grand oration
“There are others.”

And the pale face, (catching on to
This same racket) If you want to
Knock the pops out when they taunt you
O! my brother
When they tell of Bartley’s treasure
Filched from you, without displeasure
“There are others.”


The Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) Oct 25, 1897

Band of Sioux Warriors

Image from the Smithsonian Institution – by F.A. Rinehart – 1898 – Omaha

The Man in the Cab

September 22, 2011


Safe and snug in the sleeping car
Are father and mother and dreaming child.
The night outside shows never a star,
For the storm is thick and the wind is wild.
The frenzied train in its all-night race
Holds many a soul in its fragile walls,
While up in his cab, with a smoke-stained face,
Is the man in the greasy overalls.

Through the firebox door the heat glows white,
The steam is hissing at all the cocks;
The pistons dance and the drive-wheels smite
The trembling rails till the whole earth rocks.
But never a searching eye could trace —
Though the night is black and the speed appalls —
A line of fear in the smoke-stained face
Of the man in the greasy overalls.

No halting, wavering coward he,
As he lashes his engine around the curve,
But a peace-encompassed Grant or Lee,
With a heart of oak and an iron nerve.
And so I ask that you make a place
In the Temple of Heroes’ sacred halls
Where I may hang the smoke-stained face
Of the man in the greasy overalls.

— Nixon Watterman, in L.A.W. Bulletin.

The Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) Oct 25, 1897

Women of Days of Yore

August 25, 2011

Image from the Digital History website.


The women of the days of yore!
They never talked of “mind,”
Yet bore beneath their thoughtful breasts
The great of human kind.

They never talked of their own rights,
Yet knew their rights, and then
In their sweet perfectness of heart
They chose to give us men.

O women of the days of yore!
From your high heaven bow,
And breathe your true, sweet woman’s soul
On every daughter’s brow.

So, women of the days of yore!
They’ll know their rights, and then,
Like you, in their sweet perfectness
They’ll give us mighty men.

— New York Ledger.

The Mountain Democrat (Placerville, California) Jan 30, 1897

A Cowboy’s Thoughts

July 7, 2011

Image from the Smithsonian American Art Museum


They haven’t got much use fur us them high-toned city fellers
Togged out in hifalutin clothes almighty slick and fine
With bokays in their button holes, an’ blossoms on thir smellers
That shows familiarity with somethin wuss than wine
They seem to think the riders from the ranges an’ the ranches
Are sort o cactus weeds among the flowers o the land —
Jest harum-scarum renegates an wilder than Commanches
An’ in a gun perceedin’ allus keen to play a hand.

Aristocrats is good enough I reckon, in their places,
Referrin’ to the wimmen jest the same as to the men
The feminines I will admit are purty in their faces
But haven’t no mo’ muscle than a dominecker hen
Give me the little rancher gals with faces like the roses
An figgers that the Venus ‘d be mighty proud to own
Build solider than three-year-olds from hoofs clar up to noses
With Indy-rubber sinews, an’ a spring in every bone.

I never yet could see the fun in fashionable dancin
Whar men an’ wimmin slide about on unambitious legs
Jest go a potterin around an’ never do no prancin
As if they was afeared the floor was made of brittle eggs
I like the western style whar thar ain’t never any shirkin
My pard a snappy-muscled gal as sensible as sweet
When to the fiddlin’ we git our every joint to workin’
An spank the dust o’ the floor with never-tirin’ feet.

Fur me refined society hain’t got the least attraction
The pinch of a claw-hammer coat ‘d keep me in a fret
An’ I could never glide around with fashionable action
Too easy-goin in its style to even raise a sweat
Give me the jolly country dance whar fun is jest a poppin
Whar boys and gals is full o’ snap, an’ makin pleasure climb
An’ keep it up the hull night long without a thought o stoppin’
Until we hear the ringin o’ the bells at breakfast time.

Thar ain’t no jealousy in me about the city dandy
I wasn’t built to ornament a suit o’ tailor clothes
An’ feed the upper story gals on taffy talk an’ candy
An’ bow an’ smile an’ smirk an’ grin an’ all sich things as those
Give me the free an easy life among the herds o’ cattle
Aboard a lively bronco that is techy to the quirt
An’ I’ve a sort of idee at the closin’ o’ life’s battle
I’ll stand as squar’ a show as if I wore a varnished shirt.

— Denver Post

Nebraska State Journal – Dec 2, 1897

Mistress Kimball’s Inn

July 6, 2011

Frederick, Maryland image from the Son of the South website


When Mistress Kimball kept the inn on Patrick street, due west,
In all the country side about it was the first and best.
Before her stoop each day there paused the coaches, drawn by four,
That up the dusty highway came with rattle and with roar.
While passengers, with beaming smiles, were happy to alight
And test the good dame’s famed cuisine or spend the winter night.

Full many a curtsy greeted them, the foaming steeds were ta’en
To sip the water from the trough, and fresh, with  curried main,
Pranced back to take the Westward way, while far the music rang
Of gay postilions as some snatch of airy song they sang.
It was a good y hostelry, and there full many a time
The statesmen of the old regime held forth in courtly prime.

With kerchief folded o’er her breast, and cap of glossy white,
She gave the mark of matron grace, attentive and polite.
Her table’s snowy linen shone, the glass was polished clear,
And on her ancient willow ware she doted fond and dear.
The punch bowl held its ample state, and there the toddy drew
Its sparkling comfort fit to warm the weary travellers through.

There came the Colonel Washington, to take h’s meals and rest;
And then at Mistress Kimball’s inn, on Patrick Street due West,
The grace of all her goodly skill came forth on such a day
To set her cheery house in trim with adequate display.
Dame Barbara’s borrowed service helped to set the table forth,
And there, my lords, the gentlemen, proclaimed her trusty worth.

Her heart with fluttering pride best loud’ her house was honored true,
And to and fro among her guests the gentle lady flew.
The roast, the baked potatoes brown, the turkey stuffed with spice,
The cookies and the crullers baked with art both fine and nice,
The punch in which Jamaica’s gem of rich distilling dwelt,
Not only flavored to the taste, but so it seemed and smelt.

Ah, happy days that came and went and now she’ll come no more,
When footsteps of the Nation’s great trod o’er her sanded floor,
When laud the hoofs of prancing steeds down dusty highways rang,
The couriers sped, the stage coach came, with rumble and with clang,
To pause for dinner or for rest, or changing mail and steeds,
In times when all the country grew to greatness and great deeds.

Ah, happy days, when inns were kept and statesmen rode about
In rambling vehicles that rolled along the unsoiled route.
When Franklin, with his beaming eyes, and Washington, rode up
To test the service, dine and rest and drink a jocund cup.
When of all inns the favorite, first, the goodliest and the best
Was kept by Mistress Kimball, fair, on Patrick street due West.

— The Bentztown Bard.

The News (Frederick, Maryland) Oct 30, 1897

Image from The Historical Marker Database

From the City of Frederick website (PDF link):

In 1806 the Thomas Jefferson administration began the construction of a federal highway that would lead to the newly acquired Louisiana Purchase lands comprising most of the central portion of the United States. The “National Road” began in Cumberland, Maryland and led to Wheeling in Virginia (West Virginia) and later on to Terre Haute, Indiana. The main wagon road from Baltimore to Cumberland, a collection of privately owned and operated turnpike segments, was eventually upgraded and consolidated to become part of the National Road.

Frederick-Town’s location and importance as a regional center assured its place along the “National Road.” Actually a section of the Frederick and Baltimore Turnpike, a privately financed toll road, part of the series of routes connecting to the National Road at Cumberland, the road passed through the center of Frederick-Town along Patrick Street. Chartered in 1805, the Frederick and Baltimore Turnpike was completed by 1808….

The National Road became one of the most heavily traveled east-west routes in America with traffic passing all hours of the day and night. Stage coaches, freight wagons, herds of swine, geese and cattle headed to market, plus individual traffic passed along the pike. Taverns, inns and hotels were an important part of the travel-generated economy. Also important were blacksmith shops, wagon shops, and leather and harness shops.

Indeed, Frederick-Town, already known for its inns and taverns, developed a number of hotel establishments that would define the character of Patrick Street for decades. Mrs. Kimball’s tavern, located on the corner of Patrick and Court (Public) Street had probably been in operation for decades when Anne Royall visited in 1828, calling it “the oldest and best stand in Maryland….”47 That same year, Joseph Talbott, already established as a Frederick innkeeper, purchased Mrs. Kimball’s tavern, changing the name to Talbott’s Hotel. The hotel was best known as the City Hotel, under which name it continued to operate as late as the 1897 Sanborn Insurance Co. map and was eventually replaced by the Francis Scott Key Hotel in the twentieth century.

Goin’ Buggy

June 15, 2011

Image from the iPhone Wallpaper website.


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

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

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

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

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

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

Image from Ennirol on Flickr


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

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

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

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

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

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

Image from


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

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

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


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

Image from Rabbit Runn Designs website


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Firefly from The Lonely Firefly Literature Lesson

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

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

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

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

A Mosquito’s Meditation.

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

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

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

Hark! He’s snoring, as I’m alive!

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

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

Abe Lincoln, Remembered

February 12, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mr. Lincoln!

An Abe Lincoln Story.

Senator Mills has a new story about Lincoln. It was told to him by a son of John L. Helm of Kentucky, who lives in Corsicana.

“Old John L. Helm,” said the senator, “was a famous character in Kentucky. He was, if I remember rightly, a governor of the state, but at any rate his position was a most prominent one. When the civil war came on, Helm was a rabid secessionist. He could not praise the south too highly, and could not heap enough abuse upon the north. He was too old to go into the war with is sons, and remained at home, doing all he could to help the confederate cause and harass the Yankees who invaded the state. Finally he became so obstreperous that the federal general who was in command near Helm’s home put him in prison. The old man’s age, the high position which he occupied in the state, his wide connection, and, especially his inability to do any actual harm, were all pleaded in his extenuation and he was released.

Instead of profiting by the warning, the old man became more persistent than ever in his course. Once more he was clapped into jail. This happened two or three times, and finally, while he was still locked up, the matter was brought to the attention of the federal authorities. Even President Lincoln was appealed to, and asked to commit the ardent southerner to an indefinite confinement in order that he might be curbed.

“Lincoln listened to the statement of the case with more than usual interest. Then he leaned back and began to speak with a smile upon his face. “You are talking about old man John Helm? Well, did you know that I used to live, when I was a boy, in Helm’s town. He was kind to me. He seemed to like me as a boy, and he never lost an opportunity to help me. He seemed to think,” said Lincoln, with another of his almost pathetic smiles, “that I would probably make something of a man. Why, when I went out to Illinois, poor and unknown, that man gave me the money to pay my way and keep me until I got a start. John Helm? O, yes, I know him And I know what I owe to him. I think I can fix his case.”

“And then,” said Senator Mills, “Lincoln went to a desk and wrote a few words. The bit of writing is treasured in the Helm household to this day. This is what the president wrote:

“I hereby pardon John L. Helm of Kentucky for all that he has ever done against the United States, and all that he ever will do.


The Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) Dec 20, 1897


This man, whose homely face you look upon,
Was one of Nature’s masterful great men;
Born with strong arms, that unfought battles won;
Direct of speech and cunning with pen.

Chosen for large designs, he had the art
Of winning with his humor, and he went
Straight to his mark, which was the human heart.
Wise, too, for what he could not break he bent.

Upon his back a more than Atlas load,
The burden of the commonwealth was laid;
He stooped and rose up to it, though the road
Shot suddenly downward, not a whit dismayed.

Hold, warriors, counselors, kings! — All now give place
To this dear benefactor of the race.


The News (Frederick, Maryland) Apr 10, 1886

Image from the Haunted Hudson Valley website.


A writer in the Albany [Evening Times] relates a conversation with a superstitious night watchman on the New York Central Railroad. Said the watchman: “I believe in spirits and ghosts. I know such things exist. If you will come up in April I will convince you.” He then told of the phantom train that every year comes up the road with the body of Abraham Lincoln. Regularly in the month of April, about midnight, the air on the track becomes very keen and cutting. On either side it is warm and still. Every watchman when he feels this air steps off the track and sits down to watch.

Soon after the pilot engine, with long black streamers, and a band with black instruments, playing dirges, grinning skeletons sitting all about, will pass up noiselessly, and the very air grows black. If it is moonlight, clouds always come over the moon, and the music seems to linger, as if frozen with horror. A few moments after and the phantom train glides by. Flags and streamers hang about. The track ahead seems covered with a black carpet, and the wheels are draped with the same. The coffin of the murdered Lincoln is seen lying on the center car, and all about it in the air and the train behind are vast numbers of blue-coated men, others leaning on them. It seems then, that all the vast armies of men who died during the war are escorting the phantom train of the President.

The wind, if blowing, dies away at once, and over all the solemn air a solemn hush, almost stifling prevails. It a train were passing, its noise would be drowned in the silence, and the phantom train would ride over it. Clocks and watches always stop, and when looked at are found to be from five to eight minutes behind. Everywhere on the road, about the 27th of April, the time of the watches and trains is found suddenly behind. This, said the leading watchman, was from the passage of the phantom train.

Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Dec 21, 1872