Posts Tagged ‘Mark Twain’

Comet Quirls, The Civil War and Mark Twain

April 20, 2010

C.Q. — San Francisco. — It strikes us that you are rather severe and somewhat profane, but as your titular appellation is significant of eccentricity, the following verses may be considered permissible. Still, in the almost unlimited license accorded you, you should not allow yourself to forget that satire, to meet with unqualified acceptance, must not only be keenly pointed but delicately clothed. It is a dangerous weapon at all times, and, even though deftly handled and well thrust, is more provocative of noxious than beneficial effects.

If the convex ellipsis of your orbit should hereafter bring you in contact with “political surfaces,” we implore of you to glide over them more easily and return at once to the “illimitable space” and “nebulous matter” nature has so generously provided for the range and aliment of “opaque bodies.”

For this once, portentous Comet, you are permitted to plow the alluvium of this sublunar sphere, and “flirt dirt” in our eyes without restraint, but we warn you if you ever concuss the North American Continent again, that there will ensue an extensive conflagration (in our grate) and a prodigious “flare up” among the powers that be. Sail in.

General Winfield Scott (Image from



General Scott, went to Europe,
Doughty hero he!
Turned around, came right back,
Nothing that to me.
Many battles, has he fought,
For his country bled;
John Crapeau, put a flea,
In his ear, ’tis said.
Said he, Scott, run right home,
Jonathan advise;
To obey, great John Bull,
Sacre! — or he dies.
Scott came home, out of breath,
Told his little tale;
Jonathan, hamed his horns,
In just like a snail.
Mason went, Slidell too,
What a jolly game;
Uncle Sam, eat his words,
Sabe all the same.
That to me, nothing is,
But I’d like to know;
If the blockade, is a sham,
Is the Government dough?
Washington, soldiers guard,
Precious city that;
Uncle Sam’s, getting poor,
They’re getting fat.
“Shoulder arms!” harmless fun,
March two steps ahead;
Traitors none, march right back,
Stack arms, go to bed.
Full of spunk, every man,
Fiercely they have sparred;
At the South, (in a horn,)
Is’nt it d’n’d hard?
Pen is mightier, than the sword,
That’s why Sumpter fell;
Powder’s foul, ink is good,
Russell catches h_ll.
Brigand Greely, has resigned,
Spills his country’s flag;
Then he tries, to mop it up,
With his Tribune rag.
Abe is sound, Scott is wise,
Everybody’s true;
Wont somebody tell the rest,
What the de’l to do.
600,000 men in arms,
Eager for the fray;
Going to fight, by-and-by,
Yes! — but not to-day.
Forward movement’s been the talk,
For six months or more;
Still they stick, fast as mud,
To Potomac’s shore.
Gasconade, who’s afraid?
Hunky Uncle Sam;
Spend his money, he don’t care,
A continental d__n.

The Golden Era – Jan 26, 1862

Secretary of War (Image from

I am not certain if the following “satire” is the article being referenced above, but the Mercury was a rival paper, and this was printed in the Golden Era, so I think, perhaps it is the correct one.


In the “Table Talk” of the N.Y. Sunday Mercury, “the ignorant and presumptuous civilian who presumes to criticise the manner in which our military affairs are being conducted,” is severely and properly rebuked:

“War is a science that never associates itself with such commonplace objects as frock-coats and stove-pipe hats; in fact, recent observation inclines us to believe that it is almost exclusively composed of brass buttons and conical moustaches, with now and then a shoulder-strap, and a cap shaped like a dislocated thimble. As we have said before, the civilian does very well in his way; but it is simply absurd to imagine that he knows anything about the customs of war. Suppose, for instance, a body of ten thousand Union troops in Virginia should come suddenly upon a rebel battery of three guns and fifty men, what should be done? — With the ignorance peculiar to his class, the civilian would unhesitatingly respond, that the ten thousand Union troops should immediately walk over and take the battery.

Miserable stupidity! Suicidal imbecility! Fiendish abolitionism! That would be a nice way to do it, indeed! Would the fellow have another “On to Richmond?” War is a profound science and requires long study and experience. In such a case, as we have hypotheticated, the only true military plan of proceeding is as follows:

Upon observing the rebel battery of three guns and fifty men, the Union troops must at once retire to their tents, and place pickets in good places to be shot. The regiments must then have an election for colonels, and the commander must write to Secretary Cameron for instructions concerning the treatment of slaves. They must then reconnoitre in force for six days running, retiring back across any river in the neighborhood, and losing as few men as possible. (Mem. Be very particular in this matter — always retire across the river.) The next four months must be occupied with reviews and balloon ascensions, interspersed here and there with reports from the sanitary committee. A reconnoisance in force must next be essayed, to be followed by a return to camp. Everything being now ready, the whole force must advance upon the battery by the most difficult route discoverable, and if the battery is still there, it will be brilliantly captured, provided the fifty rebels have not been reinforced.

The national “situation” is supposed to be worth about two million a day, and may be defined thus: The Army of the Potomac enjoys good health, and reconnoitres in force as often as possible — besides producing one review a week and several balloon ascensions. The Army of Western Virginia also reconnoitres in force often enough to keep its anxious relatives posted in a knowledge of its existence. The Army of the West remains true to the spots that gave it birth. Fortress Monroe, Hatteras Inlet, Fort Pickens and Port Royal are still ours, and our great-grandchildren will probably behold Charleston and Pensacola in our possession.

Such being the “situation,” it becomes civilians to mind their own business, and put their trust in brass buttons. As one of our intelligent contemporaries justly remarks, the advance of the Union troops in Virginia and elsewhere is merely a question of time, though the answer to said question may be a matter of eternity. Let us have patience and wait a few years. This miserable rebellion is destined to be terribly overthrown in the end —


“What is to be will be, as what has been was.”

The Golden Era – Jan 26, 1862



When Davis Jeff takes Washington, and we take New Orleans,
We then will have his cotton, and he will have our beans;
The cotton we will offer up, to John Almighty Bull,
And he will cotton to us close, unmindful of our “wool.”

Pat us on the shoulder,
Cotton to us quick;
Johnny Bull! Johnny Bull!
Your skull is very thick.

We’re kinder marching down that way, our steps are slow and sure,
We may not be as fast as some, but we shall long endure;
Once let us get there, mighty John, we’ll seize on every nig,
And you shall have the lot dear John, at your own honest fig.

Pat us on the shoulder,
Cotton to us quick;
Johnny Bull! Johnny Bull!
You’re going to be sick.

Don’t forget the past, dear John, the past of Bunker Hill,
The past that makes you sorry, John, the past that makes us thrill;
That stuff is in the Union yet, don’t pull hard on the bits,
T’would make us mighty stubborn John, and we should give you fits.

Pat us on the shoulder,
Cotton to us quick;
Johnny Bull! Johnny Bull!
Your skull is very thick.

This civil war among ourselves, is but a canker rash,
Don’t think because of it, dear John, we’re going all to smash;”
We’ll all come round again bimeby, unto that good old tune,
“Yankee Doodle keep it up,” until the day of doom.

Pat us on the shoulder,
Cotton to us quick;
Johnny Bull! Johnny Bull!
You’re going to be sick.

A foolish lover’s quarrel this, it touches not the heart,
In this our deepest bitterness, you cannot make us part;
Don’t come between us, dearest John, unless you wish to see,
The flashing eyes and brawny arms, of our old Liberty.

Pat us on the shoulder,
Cotton to us quick;
Johnny Bull! Johnny Bull!
Your skull is very thick.

Don’t storm and rave because we choose, to stone our harbors in,
The Stars and Stripes you know, dear John, have always war’d to win;
And if you pick a muss with us, we’ll leave you so stone blind,
The British Lion never more, would “whistle down the wind.”

Pat us on the shoulder,
Cotton to us quick;
Johnny Bull! Johnny Bull!
You’re going to be sick. —

Don’t let your love of lucre, John, confound your love of right,
Your spindles may get empty, John, but keep your morals bright;
For Uncle Sam has got a rod, in pickle still for you,
And with it on your back he’ll brank, the red, white and blue.

Pat us on the shoulder,
Cotton to us quick;
Johnny Bull! Johnny Bull!
Your skull is very thick.

You got a touch in ’76, that brought you to your knees,
You got another lick in ’12, that rather made you sneeze;
Don’t touch our Eagle’s tail, dear John, for if you do I know,
You’ll never come to time again, or need a cotton blow.

Pat us on the shoulder,
Cotton to us quick;
Johnny Bull! Johnny Bull!
You know you would be sick.

The Golden Era – Feb 2, 1862



The white-sleeved mowers had slain the grass,
In straight swathes over the hedge it lay;
And the farmer’s daughter — a buxom lass —
Was busy making the hay.

A clashing of hoofs rang down the road,
Shyly she glanced and dropped her head;
Her flaxen tresses in sunshine flowed,
Her cheeks were opaline red.

With covert glances, her bashful eyes
Assaulted the hedge to question my halt;
I pushed through the gap with drawn surprise,
To challenge the modal fault.

“Why do you toil in the fields, my girl?
There are lighter tasks for such slender hands,
This is the labor of brawny churls,
For maidhood are silken bands.”

“My brothers,” she said, “have gone to the wars,
My father is short of harvest men —
I’m fond of the scents of these severed straws,
And winds that flirt in the glen.”

Then thrusting the tines of her shining fork
Deep into the windrow’s fragrant side;
Slowly she passed on her prosal walk,
Wrapped in her duty’s pride.

The clover-heads fell in fragrant showers,
Like hearts they were crushed beneath her feet;
And stooping to kiss them, the sultry hours
Proclaimed the sacrifice n-eet.

War ravels the warp of the social web,
The brothers the brunt of the battle must bear,
And the gentle sisters rise in their stead
The thews of the fathers to spare.

At night, when the cavalry dashed along,
The clover was tented upon the plain;
And the soldiers saw that the sweet and strong,
Were twins in the country’s pain.

The rallying bugles gustily blew,
The rifted flowing of fretted plumes,
To a snowy cluster suddenly grew
In the path of the crimson blooms!

“Inhale the incense of womanly souls,
The pledge,” said the Leader, “of mothers and wives;
Swear to respond when the reveille rolls,”
“We swear,” they cried — “with our lives!”

The riderless horses neighed in the road,
A clangor of spurs swept the hedge to the West;
When the soldiers their steeds again bestrode,
Red tokens were on each breast.

The spur has fallen from many a foot,
Dumb is the tongue of many a mouth;
But the tokens they bore are taking root
In the fields of the flaming South!

When rural maidens the harvests glean,
That the men look to the Nation’s need;
Dismay will come to the foe who shall deem
Its furrows will ever lack seed.

O! the hempen sinews of stalwart sons,
Commingle with maidhood’s silken bands;
And there is no lacking of steady guns
To blazon Freedom’s commands.

The crimson clover is in the mow,
The crop our sabres are cutting is red;
And the swathes they are leaving are worthy, I trow,
For Saxon maidens to spread.

The Golden Era – Nov 23, 1862

Union Flag (Image from


[Conjointly and alternately written.]


A grander flag, a brighter land,
Than ours was never waved or tried;
From traitor heart and traitor hand,
He will redeem them — God.

The stars that gleam amid the blue,
The stripes that stream athwart the white,
Will never know dishonor’s hue,
When flying o’er the Right.

The standard bent will backward spring,
To smite the powers that seek its fall,
And to a craven halt will bring
The foes who spread its pall —

Or lue their vision to behold,
In radiant lines, the memories
That sanctify each graceful fold;
And call them to their knees.

The arm of valor Freedom nerves,
The torch, the spark of Honor flames;
Attack is lost, for it but serves
To garner Union aims!

The glory of our hallowed past,
Resistless flows, from sea to sea,
To guide the brave, who gather fast,
To fight for Liberty.

March on we must, still great, still strong,
To consummate our grand desire;
Despite the mailed host of Wrong
And Rubicon of fire!

Our dead may cumber field and ford,
Our wounded bleed at every door;
But never will we sheathe the sword,
To fight Rebellion more.

Essay us well, who deem us weak,
Our sense of all our blessings test;
The tongue need not of purpose speak —
We sacrifice our best.

Clothed in our righteous cause we fight,
Not for a transient renown;
But that the World may know our might;
Chains fall at Freedom’s frown.

Our past its fields of glory had,
Our cannon thundered Triumph’s peal;
And till it makes the present glad
We ply the naked steel.

O, God, forgive the blood we shed,
To crush the power that claims our life;
We strive to strike Oppression dead
Forever, in this strife.

Scan not the storm to see the wreck,
The staunch old ship will breast it through;
And all the dimmed stars will fleck
The Future’s tranquil blue.

And all mankind in unity,
Will shout their triumph, unto Time
To echo through Eternity;
and make our acts sublime.

Swing wide the doors to tender Peace!
She comes with aspect all serene;
And where the crimson volleys cease
She strews the evergreen.

And thus, for Honor, Justice, God!
Immortal Truth, record the deed!
Our patriots draw their Country’s sword;
And charge for Freedom’s meed.

The Golden Era – Dec 14, 1862

William Andrew Kendall – aka  Comet Quirls:


Title: Mark Twain’s Letters: 1872-1873
Volume 5 of Mark Twain papers, Mark Twain
Authors: Mark Twain, Edgar Marquess Branch, Michael B. Frank, Kenneth M. Sanderson
Editor: Edgar Marquess Branch
Publisher: University of California Press, 1997
pages 8-11
Google Book Preview LINK


More from the same book, excerpted from a letter to Olivia Clemens:

And this from Samuel Clemens:

And this, of which I was unable to find the letters referred to since this book is preview only:

I am curious about the libel reference.


And from the following, record of Comet Quirl’s death:

San Francisco municipal reports Fiscal Year 1875-6, Ending June 30, 1876 LINK

As you can see, Comet Quirls died with 55 cents to his name, probably money borrowed or given to him.

Mark Twain: How Samuel Clemens got his Nom de Plume

February 23, 2010

Samuel Clemens - aka - Mark Twain


How Sam Clemens obtained his nom de plume of Mark Twain.

A true story by the Eureka Sentinel:

We knew Clemens in the early days, and know exactly how he came to be dubbed “Mark Twain.”

Virginia City (Image from

John Piper’s saloon, on B street, used to be the grand rendezvous for all of the Virginia City Bohemians. Piper conducted a cash business, and refused to keep any books. As a special favor, however, he would occasionally chalk down drinks to the boys on the wall, back of the bar. Sam Clemens, when localizing for the Enterprise, always had an account, with the balance against him, on Piper’s wall. Clemens was by no means a Coal Oil Tommy, he drank for the pure and unadulterated love of the ardent. Most of his drinking was conducted in single-handed contests, but occasionally he would invite Dan De Quille, Charley Parker, Bob Lowery or Alf. Doten, never more than one of them, however, at a time, and whenever he did his invariable parting injunction to Piper was to “mark twain,” meaning two chalk marks, of course. It was in this way that he acquired the title which has since become famous wherever the English language is read or spoken.

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) May 11, 1877

Mark Twain: Funeral Oration on the Democratic Party

February 22, 2010

Mark Twain Speaking

“Mark Twain Speaking”: Google book preview LINK


His Funeral Oration on the Democratic Party.

During the Republican jollification meeting election night in the Opera House, Hartford, Conn., which was filled to overflowing, Mark Twain was called upon for a speech, and delivered what he termed a funeral oration over the Democratic party. Coming as it did immediately after an address by two clergymen, and beginning in a rather lugubrious way, the assemblage did not at first know how to receive it. As the speaker went on, however, the queer political hit began to be appreciated. Almost every sentence was greeted with roars of laughter. Following is the address:

There are occasions which are so solemn, so weighted with the deep concerns of life, that then even the licensed jester must lay aside his cap and bells, and remember that he is a man, and mortal; that even his light, butterfly career of folly has its serious seasons, and he can not flee them or ignore them. Such a time, my friends, is this, for we are in the near presence of one who


one whom we have known long and well, but shall know no more forever. About the couch of him who lies stricken are gathered those who hold him dear, and who await the incoming of a great sorrow. His breathing is faint, and grows fainter; his voice is become a whisper; his pulses scarcely record the languishing ebb and flow of the wasted current of his life; his lips are pallid, and the froth of dissolution gathers upon them; his face is drawn; his cheeks are sunken; the roses are gone from them and ashes are in their place; his form is still; his feet are ice; his eyes are vacant; beaded sweat is on his brow; he picks at the coverlet with unconscious fingers; he “babbles o’ green fields;” death’s rattle is in his throat; his time is at hand. Every breeze that comes to us out of the distances, near and far, and from every segment of the wide horizon, is heavy with a voice mourning for sorrow accomplished, and the burden of the mourning is, “The aged and stricken Democratic party is dying;” and the burden of the lament will be, “The mighty is fallen; the Democratic party is dead.” And who and what is he that is dying and will presently be dead? A foot sore political wanderer, a honorary political tramp, an itinerant poor actor familiar with many disguises.


In the North he played “Protection” and “Hard Money.” In the West he played “Protection,” “Free Trade,” “Hard Money,” and “Soft Money,” changing disguises and parts according to the exigencies of the occasion. In the South he played “Tariff for Revenue.” In the North and West he played “The Apostle of Freedom.” In the South he played “The Assassin of Freedom,” and mouthed the sacred shibboleths of liberty with cruel and bloody lies. His latest and final appearance upon the nation’s stage was in the new piece entitled


in which he was assisted by the whole strength of the company. It was a poor piece. It was indifferently played; so it failed, and he was hissed and abused by the audience. But he lies low now, and blame and praise are to him alike. The charitable will spare the one, the judicious will reserve the other. O, friends! this is not a time for jest and levity, but a time for bended forms and uncovered heads, for we stand in the near presence of majestic death; a momentous and memorable death; a grisly and awful death. For it is a death from which there is no resurrection. Heaven bless us, one and all! Heaven temper the blow to the afflicted family. Heaven grant them a change of heart and a better life!

The Athens Messenger (Athens, Ohio) Nov 11, 1880

Cheap Labor (Image from


In the opinion of the editor of the Review “a lie well stuck to is as good as the truth,” albeit he complained early in the campaign that he could not induce Republicans to “discuss the issues in a spirit of fairness.” From the very first of the campaign there has been no lie too outrageous for the [Review] to print — no insinuation too mean for its columns, provided it promised to assist the Democratic party. Every one of these campaign lies has been exposed and exploded. Yet the Review has never taken the time to correct the false impressions it sought to make, but as soon as the foundation was knocked from under one lie it was busy hunting up a fresh one to take the place of its worn out slush. Its latest effort in this direction is the Chinese letter which has been attributed to Gen. Garfield. In its issue of this morning are the following items based upon this now notorious forgery:

Garfield is the friend of monopolies; he is the enemy of working men as shown by his Chinese letter.

Garfield is in favor of cheap labor. Well he was pretty cheap himself, doing what he did for $329.

Garfield wants more than 329 Chinese brought to this country to cheapen labor in the interest of great monopolies.

Every Chinese washer-man that now fails to hang out a shirt for a Garfield flag, will be regarded as an enemy to his race.

Bring on your Chinese says the Sage of Mentor. Let us have cheap American labor in the interests of the great manufacturing and carrying interests.

If the workingman can vote for Garfield after his cheap Chinese letter, they should forever after hold their peace when hard times oppress and their families are in want.
How do our workingmen like the idea of having a man for President who is in favor of crushing our labor by Chinese who are not willing to leave their bones in this country when they die.

Now, when the editor of the Review penned those squibs he was well aware that the letter had been pronounced a forgery by Gen. Garfield himself. The Chicago Times of yesterday contained the following editorial paragraph:

The democratic literary bureau is now crowded with orders for weapons, to be used in protecting the vote of the laboring classes, for which the republicans are fighting vigorously and with considerable prospect of success. But it is only in the hands of men “entirely great” that the pen is mightier than the sword, and a dispatch from the Boston correspondent of THE TIMES indicates that the author of the alleged letter of Gen. Garfield, on the Chinese question, was only partially great; that is, he was great as an imitator of the republican candidate’s penmanship, but very far from being great in his familiarity with the Lynn directory. This letter was alleged to have been written to H.L. Morey, a member of the Employers’ union in Lynn, Mass. A dispatch from Boston announces that no such man as H.L. Morey has been known in Lynn, and that no such organization as the Employers’ union ever existed there. This is a sad blow to the bureau. With a view to discourage correspondence with Mr. Morey in regard to this letter, it was announced that he had gone the way of all the earth, and that this letter was found among his private papers after his decease. The ingenuity of this is creditable to the bureau, but its failure to address the letter to some one who had resided in Lynn, and who had been a member of some organization known there, shows that the bureau is not yet what it ought to be. It is said that countless copies of this letter have been printed for distribution where they would do the most good. But while this proves the zeal of the bureau, it also proves that that zeal is not according to knowledge, for it would have been much more judicious to keep the thing quiet till Nov. 1, and then cover all the dead walls in the United States with copies of the letter in circus poster type.

General Garfield’s denial of this letter appears to be pretty thoroughly corroborated.

The following is the special dispatch referred to, which also appeared in the Times of yesterday:

BOSTON, Oct. 21. — The city of Lynn has been scoured by reporters to-day, in order to  ascertain who “H.L. Morey” is to whom Gen. Garfield is alleged to have written a letter indorsing cheap labor. In the first place, no “Employers’ union” was ever known or ever heard of in Lynn. The manufacturers informally got together during the strike in 1878, for the purpose of protecting themselves against the board of arbitration. There was no such organization as an “Employers’ union” even then. These “manufacturers” concluded all the business, and settled up their bills immediately after the labor troubles had ceased, which was in March, 1878. No meetings of the “manufacturers” have been held since that time and there has not been any for of employers’ union; so, it would appear that the mysterious “H.L. Morey” could not be secretary of an Employers’ Union in Lynn, in January, 1880. The man who paid the clerk hire of the manufacturers in 1877 and 1878, says there was no such man employed by the manufacturers. It was telegraphed from New York to Boston that the man Morey was employed by Jerome Ingalls at one time during the strike, but Mr. Ingalls never heard of such a man.

The Review man, however, is not as fair as the Chicago Times, notwithstanding the general reputation of the latter, and he says not a word about the futile efforts made to find the alleged receiver of the letter or the organization he is said to represent. The “spirit of fairness” in which our neighbor wanted to discuss the issues of the campaign is well exemplified in this instance, which is on a par which the spirit that has characterized his course during the whole canvass. He has dealt in misrepresentation, abuse, mean insinuations and barefaced falsehood, and has never yet had the manliness or fairness to correct a single one of them when the proof became too strong to make its use longer profitable. But it will avail nothing; “the American people are not a fool.”

Decatur Daily Republican (Decatur, Illinois) Oct 23, 1880

The “Rag Baby” a Healthy Child.

Some of our Democratic contemporaries refuse to believe that the rag baby is dead, and they seem really to have had some affection for the melancholy infant. We assure them, however, that it is dead, very dead, in fact. Please now let the funeral go on. — Columbus Democrat.

The “rag baby,” (so called, by Republicans and hard money Democrats aping Republicans,) is the GREENBACK. Now, we know that the greenback is not dead by a long shot. It survives in spite of its opponents, because the people have willed that it shall be a part of the currency of the country. Hard-money Democrats and Republicans may rejoice at what they call “the death of the rag baby.” As the rag baby languishes so does Democratic majorities languish in Franklin county and the State. But the baby will be a full grown man in a few years, and then the hard money lunatics will claim that they helped to raise it, and always were its friends. Bosh!

The Ohio Democrat (New Philadelphia, Ohio) Oct 30, 1879

HANCOCK wears a pair of free trade boots, protection trousers, a tariff for revenue only vest, hard money stockings, and a fiat money hat. Now, if he will don a Confed. gray coat “all buttoned down before” to hid his Union sword, he will be a walking epitome of his interesting series of extraordinary letters.

Decatur Daily Republican (Decatur, Illinois) >\Oct 27, 1880

Workingmen and the Tariff.

The feeling of the workingmen of Cleveland was shown by the following mottoes at a late republican torchlight procession:

“‘Tariff for revenue only,’ means British free trade.”

“British free trade mean pauperism to American workingmen.”

“A protective tariff has built up American industry; we want no change.”

“No competition with foreign pauper labor.”

“Charity begins at home.”

“We shall not submit to the nonsense of a revenue tariff and low wages.”

“Protection and good clothes; free trade and rags.”

“Under protection Cleveland will become the rival of Birmingham.”

“Do not steal our bread by striking down the steel works with a low protective tariff.”

“Letthe South establish mills and shops and stop yelling free trade.”

“No low wages tariff for the benefit of England.”

“Protection, prosperity, peace and plenty.”

“Protective tariff and plenty of work.”

“We are now having plenty of work and good wages. No low revenue tariff for us.”

“No pauper wages for us.”

“A protective tariff enables us to own our own homes.”

The Fitchburg Sentinel (Fitchburg, Massachusetts) Sep 28, 1880


The manufacturing interests of the country have taken alarm at that “tariff for revenue only” in the Democratic platform. A “tariff for revenue only” suits the Solid South, where there is no manufacturing to speak of. The South wants to see internal revenue taxes taken off whiskey and tobacco, and the importation of foreign goods encouraged in order to derive a large revenue from imports. There are many hundreds of millions of dollars invested in manufactures in the North. Should the Democrats get in power and at once break down the protective system, immense manufacturing interests would be paralyzed, and hundreds of thousands of operatives thrown out of employment. The triumph of the Democratic ticket next month means a return to hard times.

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) Oct 8, 1880

More TARIFFic Poetry

January 9, 2009
Grover Cleveland - Benjamin Harrison

Grover Cleveland - Benjamin Harrison

Campaign Propaganda:

[Air — “Benney Havens, O.”]
The Free Trade, Bourbon parrot cry, “The tariff is a tax,”
Cannot be made to tally with the cold and frozen facts.
Our everyday experience is, things never were so low,
As since the Grand Old Party made the tariff all the go
Made the tariff all the go, made the tariff all the go.
As since the Grand Old Party made the tariff all the go.

It may be well for England, late “mistress of the seas,”
To fight for pauper labor — a political disease
But Uncle Sam’s dominions, now, are not the proper place
To flaunt this British doctrine in the Yankee workman’s face.

Our wage earning boys well know that Bourbon Free Trade means
Conditions here precisely same as foreign daily scenes.
They know that competition with redundant Europ’s hordes
Would drag our workmen to the plane of that controlled by lords.

The thirsty Bourbons never were so hungry and so lean;
The equal of their fight for “pap” has never yet been seen;
But Cockran, Sickles, Flower, Hill — all say “Grove” cannot win,
Til useless for the boys to part with any of their tin.

Our Yankee nation, though yet young, the bottle has put by,
As one among the nations grand her mission is to try
To elevate her masses all — make men and women free,
Through well paid Labor, Tariff, Schools and Reciprocity.

The Free Trade disciple who lives on Buzzard’s bay
Cannot again be president, the tariff boys all say;
And they mean “biz,” you better bet, they’re in the proper mood,
To send him up Salt river to “innocuous desuetude.”

Our Benny is the boy they want, the boy they mean to have,
His term has been a great success, wise, fl??, and true and brave;
The business men and laborers, too, will, we are sure, “stand pat”
For Harrison, Protection and our old Grandfather’s Hat
Our old Grandfather’s Hat, our old Grandfather’s Hat,
For Harrison, Protection and our old Grandfather’s Hat.
–Buffalo Express.

Trenton Times, The (Trenton, New Jersey)  Aug 3, 1892


An interesting note: When googling the “Buffalo Express,” I discovered that Mark Twain was once part owner and editor of the paper, although many years before this poem/song was published in it:

In Western New York, Twain sharpened his writing abilities as editor of The Buffalo Express newspaper. His co-editor at The Express was Joseph Larned, with whom he often collaborated on articles and columns. Larned, a lifelong friend to Twain, subsequently became director of the library in Buffalo in 1877.

Twain in Buffalo

Keep it Under Your Hat!

Keep it Under Your Hat!

The Grover Cleveland Virtual Exhibit has pictures of various memorabilia related to the campaign and his presidency. If you want to see close-ups of the pictures under these campaign hats, which are very neat, click the link.

The whole “hat thing” was quite prominent during this election. I will be posting another piece of propaganda featuring hats soon.