Posts Tagged ‘Prohibition’

My Cellar

November 27, 2012

Image from flickr – millerm217

“MY CELLAR”

My cellar, ’tis of thee
Wondrous sub-treasury,
Of thee I sing;
Cave on your owner’s pride!
Hall where glad spirits hide!
To every bottle’s side,
Let cobwebs cling.

My sacred cellar, thee,
Pent-up perfumery
For lucky lungs!
I love thy flirting flasks,
Thy jugs, they jovial casks;
Heigh-ho, the tempting tasks
Of pulling bungs!
Let prohibition spread
Outside — above my head;
Down here all’s well!
Let mellow whisky flow!
Let neighbors come below!
This is the life, what-ho!
Who would rebel?

John Barleycorn, old boy,
They cannot kill they joy;
Hail, Nature’s pet!
Long last each home’s supply
— America’s gone dry?
Ho, what a jolly lie!
— We’re soaking wet!

Olean Evening Times (Olean, New York) Dec 3, 1919

Image from Leslie M.M. Blume

Wine Woman and Song

November 2, 2012

Image from KCET

The State Department of Agriculture
Notes the fact
That apples and peaches
Are plentiful this year.
Let us, therefore,
Give a toast
To Cider, Flappers and Free Verse;
Which is as near as we can come
In these days of near-beer
To Wine, Woman and Song.

— Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger.

Syracuse Herald (Syracuse, New York) Aug 13, 1920

Wets and Drys

April 27, 2012

Image from Vintage Vault

The Drys all like
A game of bridge,
And Wets are strong
For Beveridge.

Ironwood Daily Globe (Ironwood, Michigan) Jun 8, 1920

Who is the Forgotten Man?

February 16, 2012

(Forgotten Man – emphasis mine)

The Burdens of “The Forgotten Man.”

NEW YORK, Feb, 2. — Professor William G. Sumner, of Yale college, delivered a lecture last night before the Brooklyn Revenue Reform club, at the Long Island Historical Society building. His subject was “The Forgotten Man.” Professor Sumner said that the forgotten man was the simple, honest man, who earned his living by good hard work, paid his debts, kept his contracts and educated his children. He was passed by and forgotten because he did his duty patiently and without complaint. On him rested all the burdens engendered by paupers, vagrants, spendthrifts, criminals and jobbers. All legislation which tended to relieve the weak, the vicious and the negligent to the consequences of their faults threw those consequences upon the forgotten man.

Daily Advocate (Newark, Ohio) Feb 3, 1883

*****

*****

Coshocton Tribune (Coshocton, Ohio) Oct 29, 1932

HE WHO PROVIDES IT ALL

William G. Sumner Gave Credit to the “Forgotten Man” for His Patient Industry.

Wealth comes only from production, and all that the wrangling grabbers, loafers and robbers get to deal with comes from somebody’s toil and sacrifice. Who, then, is he who provides it all? Go and find him, and you will have once more before you the Forgotten Man. You will find him hard at work because he has a great many to support. Nature has done a great deal for him in giving him a fertile soil and an excellent climate, and he wonders why it is that, after all, his scale of comfort is so moderate. He has to get out of the soil enough to pay all his taxes, and that means the cost of all the jobs and the fund for all the plunder. The Forgotten Man is delving away in patient industry, supporting his family, paying his taxes, casting his vote, supporting the church and school, reading his newspaper and cheering for the politicians of his admiration, but he is the only one for whom there is no provision in the great scramble and the big divide. Such is the Forgotten Man. He works, he votes, generally he prays — but he always pays — yes, above all, he pays.

Denton Journal (Denton, Maryland) Dec 23, 1922

Don’t Think – Just Vote the Straight Ticket!

Coshocton Tribune (Coshocton, Ohio) Nov 6, 1932

“The Forgotten Man” is that individual who does an honest day’s work, pays his bills, brings up three or four children, indulges in a pipe or an occasional cigar, keeps up a small savings account, never asks for charity from anyone, never gets into trouble with the police, never makes a speech or writes a letter to the city editor — in short he’s the individual who keeps going on his own momentum, good times, bad times.
When the hat is passed around for the down-and-outers, or those lads who have lost $4.90 by some cruel, heartless flapper, the “Forgotten Man” chips in his mite.

The tax collector visits the “Forgotten Man” regularly, and collects toll for the upkeep of the police courts, jails, workhouses, and poor houses — none of which the “Forgotten Man” ever uses. He is self-supporting, self starting, self-sufficient, and being so he is counted in on nothing except the census. But in that document he cuts a big figure because he probably forms the vast majority.

— Harold the Imaginer.

Appleton Post Crescent (Appleton, Wisconsin) Feb 25, 1929

LONG-SUFFERING LANDLORDS

In commiserating the “forgotten man,” an observant citizen suggests why overlook the forgotten landlord? He, too, in this painful period, may well be an object of sympathy. Often, too, of admiration.

There is still too much remaining of the tradition which represents a landlord as a ruthless old skinflint, who probably got his property dishonestly and who rejoices in any pretext to gouge rent out of a poor tenant, or to turn a sick family out into the cold. There have been, and are, such landlords, but certainly in these days they are exceptional.

The owner of a house or a farm today is lucky if he is getting enough out of the property to pay the taxes and mortgage charges, without any income on his investment. In almost any town there may be found hundreds of rented homes where, because the tenants are out of work, the owner is carrying them along for half their usual rental or for nothing at all, because he has not the heart to turn them out. Many a family has skimped and saved and put its savings into a house or two for renting, to help safeguard its own future, is as badly off as the tenants who never saved in good times. All in all, honest inquiry will probably show that landlords as a class have been behaving pretty handsomely.

Daily Mail (Hagerstown, Maryland) Oct 11, 1932

But Ain’t We Got Beer?

THINKING OUT LOUD

Why is our prolific and prolix correspondent Jone Howlind, so incensed at the decidedly dubious prospects of the new deal? I presume she voted for the egregious F.D.R., and certainly has been an advocate of repeal. Her letter in Friday’s Post is inconsistent with former letters.

Surely, prices are rising over the moon and the average person is being ground between the upper and nether millstones. What does that matter? We’ve got beer, and “hard likker” is in sight.

The many will continue to be sacrificed for the few and the hungry and ragged are increasing. Never mind — we’ve got beer!
Beer puts some men to work. The wet papers sedulously refrain from reporting the men who lose their jobs in the candy and soft drink and allied industries.

The well known “Boobus Americanus” with his propensity for following and believing the demagogue, turned out of office a wise, far seeing statesman and elected a man whose own neighbors refused to vote for him.

Now the “forgotten man” is still forgotten; thy new deal is the same old deal; the specter of anarchy rides the minds; the Blue Eagle is only a plucked pigeon, but “sing you sinners, sing” — we got beer!

MRS. EVELYN FORTT
4130 Pera

El Paso Herald-Post (El Paso, Texas) Sep 13, 1933

Roosevelt and Wall St.

THINKING OUT LOUD:

The Herald-Post editorial on the Farley-Pecora move was splendid, although I must confess I thought parts of it a trifle naive in view of the fact that while Farley gets Pecora removed from conducting his investigations of the crooked operations of Wall Street bankers, two more Wall Street men take up office in Washington.

I refer to James Bruce, now financial advisor to the Board of the Home Loan Bank, erstwhile vice president of the Chase National bank under Mr. Wiggin, and George Lindsay, fiscal agent of the Home Loan Bank Board, lately vice president of the Blancamerica – Blair Corp.

I can, by stretching my imagination, credit a newspaper with being naive about such a situation, but I can’t stretch it far enough to include Mr. Roosevelt. Consequently, what seems “new” about the “New Deal” is that the Wall Street operators are now operating in Washington where in the old deal they operated in Wall Street.

I advise anyone who doubts this to go over the old newspaper files of the early summer showing the corporations through which the House of Morgan stretched its influence and the lists of Morgan beneficiaries and with these lists check Roosevelt’s appointments. count ’em yourselves. The information isn’t hidden. The strength of politicians lies in the short memories of the public.

I think the Herald-Post’s optimism in regard to Roosevelt’s ability to keep hold of the Progressives was more a case of the wish being father to the thought than anything else. The public may be ignorant as to the character and background of the men with whom Roosevelt has surrounded himself by choice, but it can hardly be thought that the leaders of the Progressives are not perfectly aware of the personnel of the entire set-up. Their stand, therefore, will not be a case of ignorance, but a test of their weakness or strength of character.

Will the “forgotten man” be not only forgotten, but deserted by all as well?

JONE HOWLIND.

El Paso Herald-Post (El Paso, Texas) Oct 10, 1933

“The Forgotten Man”

THINKING OUT LOUD

We have been watching the administration of the “New Deal,” and have seen how the “Forgotten Man” — the banker, manufacturer, jobber and retail merchant have been remembered. We wondered, naturally, if another class of citizens who seem to be having a hard time “carving” a name for themselves on the torso of humanity, would likewise be “remembered.”

I make special reference to the “25,000 doctors out of a job” which the press mentioned as a surplus of the profession a few months ago. We felt worried about the future of these poor souls, when realizing that they are slaves to “medical ethics” and can not advertise the skill with which they can do human carving or puncture you with a hypodermic needle.

But thanks to the faithful press for informing us that prospects for their relief is in sight, as soon as congress convenes. Rex Tugwell, assistant secretary of agriculture under the guise of protecting the innocent from poisonous, harmful and mislabeled patent medicines, and habit-forming drugs, proposes (in a bill he has prepared for consideration of congress) to place our precious lives wholly in the hands of the medical doctor.

It seems that the doctor has for several years felt himself slipping from his exalted position of holding a monopoly on the lives of mankind. In the first place his business is regularly called “practice,” and it seems he has followed it so diligently in the trimming of human “giblets” and bank rolls that the people are leaving him in a manner most alarming. This fact is set forth in an article in the Literary Digest of Sept. 22, 1923 [maybe 1933?], wherein a certain member of the A.M.A. set about to find out why they were their patients who had not died under treatment.

Several thousand citizens were accosted on the street, street cars, offices, etc., and asked two questions: “What would you do if you got sick, and why?”

He found that over 90 per cent would not call a doctor. In his paper read before the A.M.A. convention, he recommended that the doctor be not quite so ethical and treat his profession as a business and “get the money;” that a campaign be instituted through the press, for education of the gullible humans, and to admonish them to “see their doctor first.”

There are many people who sincerely believe that mutilation of the body by surgical operation is sinful.

Whenever you give an organization of people a monopoly over lives or rights of others, you have destroyed respect for the law that created such monopoly, and created contempt for those who enjoy such special privileges.

The number of people who die under medical and surgical treatment are several thousand fold greater than those who succumb from home remedies.

I am for a law that will take away the monopolistic powers already granted the doctor and give the individual a course of commonsense instruction in food, cleanliness, habits of living.

Over three billion dollars is the annual doctor bill, besides the loss of time from work. This becomes an economic problem besides the question of relief from suffering.

So, who is forgotten?

LOUIS BOND CHERRY.

El Paso Herald-Post (El Paso, Texas) Nov 3, 1933

Daily Inter Lake (Kalispell, Montana) Nov 8, 1932

The Forgotten Man

THINKING OUT LOUD:

We will let the gold and silver rust
And pledge our faith to the brain trust
If they will unfold a plan
To help the long forgotten man.

In honest sweat he toils for years
With fondest hopes and sadest fears
Now on the brink of dark despair
In nature’s bounty he cannot share.

Hungry, ragged, bare-foot and cold
He possesses not silver nor gold
Still believing “the Lord will provide”
But knowing mankind must divide.

Let us hope they will find a way
To bring to us a brighter day
Spreading happiness, spreading health,
Learn us that gold is not wealth!

M.M. OWENS,
Lordsburg, N.M.

El Paso Herald-Post (El Paso, Texas) Dec 20, 1933

El Paso Herald-Post (El Paso, Texas) Mar 17, 1933

Image from Cosmeo

REMEMBER FORGOTTEN MAN

New Dealers Give Him Bill to Pay, Coughlin Says.

PROVIDENCE, R.I., (AP). The Rev. Charles E. Coughlin declared that under the new deal “the forgotten man has been remembered” in time to pay the government’s bills. He spoke at an outdoor rally which he said was attended by 25,000 persons.

“With the new deal the forgotten man has been remembered,” he declared, “because every gallon of gas you buy, every pound of butter, every loaf of bread, all your groceries and drugs, have posted on them a mortgage to the United States in favor of international bankers.” He made his statement after saying “one day out of every three you work is taken out of your payroll for hidden taxes.”

NEW BEDFORD, (AP). The Rev. Charles E. Coughlin, discussing the administration of President Roosevelt, declared: “As I was instrumental in removing Herbert Hoover from the white house, so help me God, I will be instrumental in taking a communist from the chair once occupied by Washington.”

Evening State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) Aug 3, 1936

I hear Spain’s nice this time of year.

ILL CHOSEN.

Ackley (Ia.) World-Journal: For a man who has talked about the “forgotten man” as much as Roosevelt, it comes with very poor grace to go on a cruise that costs the American people half a million dollars; it comes with even poorer grace to include his three sons, the “crown prince,” the “heir apparent” and another in waiting.

Evening State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) Aug 11, 1936

NEW TAX COMING.

Jan. 1 will usher in the era of short pay checks. One percent will be deducted by order of the new deal. The forgotten man will be remembered by a new tax. The little fellow will pony up. One percent will be the deduction. It will affect the payrolls of thousands of industries and the well being of millions. Not content with the present tax rate, where it is figured that the average citizen gives one day’s pay out of every week for government, another one-hundredth of what the people earn is to be deducted from individual earnings for government use. It will be paid to the government and retained for the use of new deal administrators, and perhaps for the establishment of new bureaus to help to administer the funds that will be collected. The benevolent touch of a paternal government will be felt in a new effort with the beginning of 1937.

If at any time in the future the law should be repealed or declared unconstitutional that will not end the expense that has been incurred. Like the NRA and the FERA it will live on and on, the organization set up for its administration will continue and the government will pay the bill.

This is one of the new taxes made necessary by new deal management of public affairs. The tax may not be so obnoxious as the bureaucracy which it will help to enlarge and the complexity it will add to government.

Evening State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) Oct 19, 1936

El Paso Herald-Post (El Paso, Texas) Jul 5, 1933

A BIT INCONSISTENT

Time marches on! And today we find the federal government doing the things for which it condemned private citizens only three or four years ago. Such as, for example, foreclosing mortgages on the homes of persons unable to meet their interest and principle payments. It’s a strange world.

It is only good business, we suppose, for the Home Owners Loan corporation (a federal agency) to get its money when due. But, as we witness the numerous foreclosures by the HOLC, we recall the bitter denunciations, a few years ago, of private individuals who did the same thing. State governments then passed moratorium laws, making it impossible for mortgage holders to foreclose. And the moratoriums undoubtedly gave temporary relief to many farm and home owners. We found no fault with them then; we find no fault now. But, it would seem that the federal government now would practice what it preached to private lenders back in 1934-1935. If it is wrong for a private to put a man out of his home, it also is wrong for the government.

In Lyon county, right now, a man and wife who have passed middle age are losing their home, upon which they gave a mortgage to HOLC several years ago. The mortgage is due — and  HOLC wants its money, or else. Or else the couple moves into the street. The HOLC, as we get the story, refuses to compromise. Although the couple is able to raise half of the amount now due, HOLC officials have declared they want “all or nothing”.

It is a bitter awakening for those trusting souls who have been led to believe that the Man in Washington will chastise the bade, bad money-lenders and see the the “forgotten man” does not lose his home. The Lyon county couple to whom we have referred, as well as the rest of us, are beginning to realize that the grim realities of life are still with us; that they must be faced in the same old way. We are returning to the point where we again face such cold, hard facts as money borrowed, whether from private citizen or government, must be paid back. Also, that assurances of security by politicians seeking office often are merely a means of getting votes. Sad, but true.

Boyden Reporter (Boyden, Iowa) Oct 21, 1937

Boyden Reporter (Boyden, Iowa) May 14, 1942

National Debt Worries Farmers
[excerpt – Simon E. Lantz]

“Mr. Roosevelt promised to place the cost of government upon the shoulders of those most able to pay. In 1930, the wealth of the nation was paying 69 per cent of governmental costs and the laborers, farmers and common people were paying 31 per cent. But last year we found that the wealth of the nation was paying only 39 per cent while the ordinary people were paying 61 per cent. That is how Mr. Roosevelt took care of the forgotten man and soaked the rich.

Daily Inter Lake (Kalispell, Montana) Oct 24, 1940


WHITE COLLAR WORKER IS ‘THE FORGOTTEN MAN’

ON A BIG munitions plant being built with government money at Wilmington, Ill., carpenters are paid $25 a day; men trundling wheelbarrows or working with pick or shovel are paid $16 and $17 a day.

In Chicago, 50 miles away, the clerical forces working in the offices of business and industry are being paid from $17 to $35 a week.
The carpenters and laborers in Wilmington may, and do, dress in coveralls; they change shirts possibly once a week; they wear coarse, unshined shoes; they enjoy the lower rentals of the rural districts.

The clerical worker in Chicago, if he is to hold his job, must have a clean shirt every day; he must wear a white collar; there must be a crease in his trousers; his shoes must be kept cleaned and shined; he must pay the much higher rentals of the city. His income will average about one-sixth of that of the carpenter at Wilmington.

To meet the ever-increasing demand of taxes and labor, and to continue to operate, business and industry have been forced to economize in every possible way. The white collar man has paid the bill. He is the “forgotten man” of today.

Boyden Reporter (Boyden, Iowa) Dec 25, 1941

Cumberland Evening Times (Cumberland, Maryland) Nov 14, 1960

Who’s to Blame?

December 20, 2011

WHAT’S wrong with this picture?

It will strike The Journal reader instantly that it is highly improper to combine silly farce with grim tragedy.

What, more or less, are some of our national leaders doing today with the problem of prohibition enforcement?

In the center you behold 1,376 victims of the shotgun method of law enforcement.

In the foreground are the common or garden variety of Drys, tilting their thumbs at one another.

“Let’s have an investigation.” There’s a good theme for a topical song. Gilbert and Sullivan could have done well with the suggestion.

But prohibition in the United States is not a farce comedy subject. As the number of victims of shotguns and poison piles up higher and higher the tragedy must be apparent to all.

What’s wrong with the picture?

The answer should be simple. The fallacy of all efforts to enforce prejudice, bigotry and fanaticism has been left out. And it is being left out of the argument by all of these wise men who, holding themselves blameless, “pass the buck” to their neighbors.

Rochester Evening Journal (Rochester, New York) Jan 4, 1930

Rochester Evening Journal (Rochester, New York) Jan 9, 1930

The Drinker is the Guilty One

December 9, 2011

Appleton Post Crescent (Appleton, Wisconsin) Nov 21, 1923

RIPPLING RHYMES
By Walt Mason

Responsibility.

Some four and twenty thirsty men
went to an eastern boozing ?en
and lapped up bowls of deadly gin,
and when they stowed the stuff within,
they went off to their divers homes
with no foreboding in their domes
that they would never drink again
in any joint or boozing ken,
that they were bound for kingdom come,
where there is no illicit rum.
But in a few brief hours they all
were dead of poison alcohol.
Men read the story as they chewed
their breakfast prunes and other food,
and said, “The guys who sell such rot
should all be taken out and shot.
The skates who make such liquid doom
should all be hurried to the tomb.”
This is the feeling that prevails
when men peruse such dreadful tales;
the bootleg vendors all should sleep
forever in the donjon keep.
The men who buy the wretched stuff
have suffered punishment enough,
upon their rest we can’t encroach
with admonition and reproach;
but they were much to blame, methinks —
as much as those who sold the drinks.
All men must know that when they buy
and drink the seething gin and rye,
the hocused wine, unhallowed rum,
they are inviting death to come.
They have been warned a million times
against the hooch purveyor’s crimes,
they have been told in terms refined
that they’ll be killed or stricken blind
if they persist in quaffing bowls
of liquor in illegal holes.
If one bootlegger will not sell,
they know another passing well,
they’re bound to have the awful dope
that’s fatal as a hangman’s rope.
And so when all is said and done,
the drinker is the guilty one.

The Lincoln State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) Nov 21, 1928

Appleton Post Crescent (Appleton, Wisconsin) Dec 23, 1930

Appleton Post Crescent (Appleton, Wisconsin) Jan 12, 1923

Dry Bill – Bye, Bye, Booze

October 28, 2011

Miami News: Two were shot in the first raid on a New York saloon under the Volstead act. The other patrons were half shot.

Ada Weekly News (Ada, Oklahoma) Nov 20, 1919

***

Posing as prohibition agents, six men forced their way into the home of Joseph Wolff, former wholesale liquor dealer at Chicago, blew open a vault in the basement and carried away 100 cases of 20-year-old whisky.

***

In defiance of the laws against combinations  in restraint of trade, to say nothing of the Volstead act, bootleggers of Spokane, Wash., have organized to boost the price of liquor.

***

Overpowering three guards and smashing down the doors, a gang of liquor robbers, believed to have numbered 30, escaped with 2,100 gallons of whisky from a warehouse at Burkittsville, Md.

Boyden Reporter (Boyden, Iowa) Mar 16, 1922

Old Ben.

(From Cincinnati Enquirer.)

Each night, for more than 40 years,
He drank a couple of good beers.
He never would exceed that number,
He said that beer promoted slumber;
It was a tonic, so he said,
And to him it was liquid bread.
He said that whisky poisoned men,
He was against it, was Old Ben.
So he went out and voted dry,
To kill the bourbon and the rye.
He killed the whisky, but, oh, dear!
He also found he’d killed his beer.
He needed beer, and he was sad,
For there was no beer to be had.
*     *     *     *     *
Now in a cell we hear him groan —
For Old Ben tried to make his own.
_________
Man’s first trouble was an apple in the garden.
Now its peaches on the roof garden. R.R.

Syracuse Herald (Syracuse, New York) Jun 28, 1920

More Truth Than Poetry

By James J. Montague.
(Copyright, 1920, by the Bell Syndicate, Inc.)

The Disaster.
(Apologies to the Late James T. Fields.)

We were crowded in the cabin,
Not a soul was at the bar,
For the splendid floating palace
Hadn’t traveled very far.

‘Tis a fearful thing on shipboard
To be preyed upon by thirst,
and to hear the Captain’s warning,
“Pass the three mile limit first.”

Strong men twitched, with nervous fingers
At the buttons on their coats,
Women, gulped to ease the yearning
Of their parched and panting throats.

So we watched the idle steward
With one eye upon the clock,
When we heard below the grinding
And a sudden, dreadful shock.

And so slowly on the billows
We began to dip and lift,
“All is off,” the Captain shouted.
The propeller’s broke adrift.

But the Captain’s little daughter,
Who’d been looking at the log,
Cried: “We’ve passed the three mile limit,
We’ve been drifting through the fog.”

Then we kissed the little maiden,
Life again became worth while,
And we all were nicely jingled,
‘Ere we’d logged another mile.

Syracuse Herald (Syracuse, New York) Jun 28, 1920

Today in History: Woolworth Opens First Store

June 21, 2011

Image from the City of WATERTOWN New York website

June 21, 1879, F.W. Woolworth opened his first store. Although it failed almost immediately, he didn’t give up, and  eventually, Woolworth became a household name. Here is a collection of items mentioning Woolworth’s, from company business, to jokes, a movie and chewing tobacco; together they show the influence of the Woolworth “brand.”

FIVE AND TEN CENT STORES IN BIG TRUST

NEW YORK, Nov. 3. — A $65,000,000 corporation to merge the greatest string of 5 and 10 cent stores in America is announced today by F.W. Woolworth. Six hundred concerns will enter the new corporation, which will be known as F.W. Woolworth and Co.

The new corporation will take over the business of F.W. Woolworth of New York; S.H. Knox & Co. of Buffalo; F.M. Kirby & Co. of Wilkes-barre, Pa.; the E.P. Charleston & Co. of Fall River, Mass.; C.S. Woolworth of Scranton, Pa.; W.H. Moore of Watertown, N.Y., and W.H. Moors & Son of Schenectady, N.Y.
The corporation also will assume a controlling interest in the English business of F.W. Woolworth & Co. limited.

All the concerns involved in the merger own a chain of 5 and 10 cent stores, 600 in number, in all sections of the United States, Canada and England.

It is understood the new corporation will have 7 per cent preferred stock to the value of $15,000,000 and common stock to the value of %50,000,000. It is said that Goldman, Sachs and Co. and Lehman Bros. of New York and Kleinwortsen & Co. of Cleveland will acquire an interest in the new company.

Woolworth one of the founders of the scheme, was one of the originators of the 5 and 10 cent store business and has piled up  millions of dollars on his chain of establishments in which 10 cents will buy anything in the store. His fortune is so great that practically unaided he financed the building of the great building in course of construction in lower Broadway, which will tour 50 stories about the street.

The life of F.W. Woolworth head of the big merger announced today, is the romance of an idea. It is the story of how a tremendous store was built up from nickels and dimes.

Woolworth is the head himself of 286 stores besides supplementary warehouses in Lewistown, Maine, and Denver, Colorado. He has twenty stores in England.

A recent census showed that 1,500,000 persons entered his stores in a day.

The man who mastered such a business is less than 50 years of age. He started without wages as a farmer’s boy in a dry goods store in Watertown, N.Y., set up his first store in 1879 and has been in business for 30 years. He was born in Jefferson county, New York.

When he worked in a store as a boy he evolved the idea that brought him great wealth. Woolworth fixed a uniform price — five and ten cents. He opened his first store in Utica, but the proposition did not go. He tried again in Lancaster, Pa., and there laid the foundation for his fortune. Now Lancaster is an important Woolworth center with a new warehouse that is one of the sights of the town.

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Nov 8, 1911

After deliberating nearly 11 hours a Des Moines, Ia., jury last night decided that bay rum sold in a Woolworth five and ten cent store there is “an intoxicating liquor fit for beverage purposes and should be condemned as such.”

Of course the decision applies only to bay rum in the Des Moines store. It will not affect the sale of similar “lotion” in the Edwardsville Woolworth store, or in stores elsewhere in the country.

As a matter of fact it seems that Edwardsville residents who are brave enough to tackle the liquid will be better off than the folks in Des Moines. Testimony in court there was to the effect that a dime would buy three ounces of the liquid.

Image from The California Perfume Company website

Here it was possible this morning to purchase for a dime a bottle of bay rum, which, according to the label, contained four ounces. The label also said that the liquid contains “60 per cent of alcohol, by volume.” There is nothing to indicate the character of the remaining 10 per cent.

The Iowa case resulted from the seizure, some months ago, by state officers of 3,000 bottles of bay rum. The state charged that the liquid was intoxicating and fit for beverage purposes, which view was upheld by the jury. There was no charges against Woolworth officials, the state merely seeking to confiscate the bottles. Counsel for the company objected.

It was announced today that an appeal would be taken.

At the same time prosecuting authorities at Des Moines announced that a drive would be instituted against sale of bay rum anywhere with their jurisdiction.

So far as is known, this is the first time a jury has passed upon the question of whether bay rum is intoxicating and fit for beverage purposes.

Edwardsville, Intelligencer (Edwardsville, Illinois) Sep 13, 1929

The Newark Advocate (Newark, Ohio) May 10, 1919

HE WAS THIRSTY TOO

I spied a smart dog quench his thirst in Woolworths 10c store yesterday. Watching the people take a drink at the bubbler, he raised up and helped himself also, to the amusement of all who saw it. G.L.C.

Appleton Post Crescent (Appleton, Wisconsin) Apr 14, 1923

Customer to girl pounding a piano in Woolworth’s: “Would you mind playing Some Time?”

Girl: “Wadda ya think I’m doin’ big boy? Sleepin’?”

Appleton Post Crescent (Appleton, Wisconsin) Aug 12, 1926

He — “I’ll take the first two dances.”

She (who worked in Woolworth’s) — “Twenty cents, please.”

Sheboygan Press (Sheboygan, Wisconsin) May 20, 1926

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Oct 18, 1923

STABS AND JABS AND COUNTERS
By JOE WILLIAMS

Yes, we call those tricky little golf holes “Woolworths.” We make ’em in five or ten.

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) Aug 24, 1927

Bob: “If you stand over a dime what would you resemble?”

Rob: “I don’t know.”

Bob: “Woolworth’s. Nothing over ten cents.”

The News (Frederick, Maryland) Apr 11, 1922

ALICE WHITE LEADS CAST

Pulchritude and New Plot Ideas Mark Liberty Film.

Dialogue as she is spoke. A whiff of fresh plot ideas: Legs, Curves. Pulchritude with a pull. Good music, good singing, clever lines. That describes “The Girl From Woolworth’s,” which heads a good bill at the Liberty for three days beginning today.

But it doesn’t halfway describe the genuine enjoyment you’re going to get from this First National and Vitaphone offering, because we haven’t mentioned Alice White, the dynamic little star of the piece, and the rest of a really great cast.

Charles Delaney, that engaging young Irish ace of the World war and stunt flyer of the movies, who played opposite Miss White in “Broadway Babies,” is again her leading man. Wheeler Oakman, Ben Hall, Gladden James, Bert Moorehouse, Rita Flynn, Patricia Caron, William Orlamond and Milla Davenport appear in support.

These are not all familiar names on a film offering, because some of them are stage celebrities. Every member of the cast does excellent work And it wouldn’t be fair to pass up a mention of that delectable, pulchritudinous and clever night club chorus of 24 girls. They’re the regular First National — Vitaphone chorus, imported from Broadway, New York, and every inch, curve and kick is class. And William Beaudine‘s direction is splendid.

Still it seems that there is something more that should be said about “The Girl From Woolworth’s” as a charming, heart-touching little love story. The five-and-ten atmosphere, the big town background, the sophistication of the night club — and yet it’s human. That’s it. Human and direct and simple, so that it almost seems old-fashioned. Why, you can tell the story in one short sentence: The love of a boy and girl for each other in the wrong sort of Eden proves strong enough to make the Eden the right sort of garden after all.

By all means, take in “The Girl From Woolworth’s.”

Billings Gazette (Billings, Montana) Dec 29, 1929

*****

NOTE THE BARGAINS:

Sheboygan Press (Sheboygan, Wisconsin) Oct 18, 1918

Colonel Jones Stewart Hamilton: The Train and the Tragedies

October 12, 2010

 

 

RICH SECTION OPENED.

First Train Over the Gulf and Ship Island Road Started.

ITS HISTORY FULL OF TRAGEDY.

Building of New Mississippi Line to New Gulf Outlet Attended by Series of Fatalities — Killing of Gambrell by Colonel Jones S. Hamilton, The Adams – Martin Duel.

The first train over the new road to the gulf of Mexico — the Gulf and Ship Island — left Jackson, Miss., at 6:30 the other morning, reaching the terminus, Gulfport at 2 o’clock, says the Chicago Times-Herald. A number of state officials, together with officers of the road, made the trip. At Gulfport a banquet was given in the evening, and many speeches were made that predict a future for the new seacoast city. Gulfport is nothing more than a village now. At Jackson, the northern terminus, connection is made with the Illinois Central and the Alabama and Vicksburg branch of the Cincinnati Southern road. It is believed that the Gulf and Ship Island will eventually be extended to Memphis, and when that is done the expectation is that some of the grain trade of the northwest will be sent abroad via Gulfport.

 

 

Gulf and Ship Island Railroad - 1903

 

The road passes through a section of the state that is new to civilization. Many of the inhabitants along its line had never seen a locomotive engine until the work trains appeared and awakened echoes from the hills which had heretofore caught only the cries of the wildcat, the dying groans of feudists and the piercing crack of the huntsman’s rifle. The road passes through a portion of Jones county, which seceded from the Confederacy during the civil war and set up an independent government. It traverses Wayne county, which has fewer Bibles per capita than any other county in the nation. It splits Green county almost in twain, and some of the roadbed is made of dirt on which the notorious Murrell and Copeland gang of murderers and outlaws made their rendezvous for a decade.

 

 

The road opens to the lumber trade a virgin pine forest. It is estimated that within the next five years more than 1,000,000,000 feet of timber will go to the north on cars hauled by this new line. The land adjacent is favorable for raising fruits and grapes, but it has never been cultivated. Not a painted house is to be seen between Jackson and Gulfport. The inhabitants for the most part have existed among themselves without having come in contact with the outside world. The road will make the work of the revenue agent less perilous. Illicit distilleries have flourished for years unmolested in much of the territory because officers have been afraid to penetrate its ravines, hollows and hillsides.

 

Jones S. Hamilton

 

The history of this road has been attended by more tragic deaths than that of any other enterprise started in the south since the civil war. Twenty-five years ago Colonel Jones S. Hamilton married one of the belles of Mississippi, Miss Fanny Buck. Their first child was a son, and he was named for his father, John S. Jr. On the day of the child’s baptism Colonel Hamilton said to his wife that he would build a railroad, that his heir might become its president when he had attained his majority. Colonel Hamilton selected the terminal point, and Mrs. Hamilton gave Gulfport its name. Twenty-four hours after the last spike had been driven which made the road complete between these two points Jones S. Hamilton, Jr., was killed by the cars in the yards at Jackson. That was a few weeks ago. Colonel Hamilton still holds an interest in the railway company, and it was his son’s aim to escort a number of his young friends to Gulfport on the train the other day.

Instead his grave received new flowers from those he expected to entertain.

In 1884, after a survey of the road had been made, Colonel Hamilton interested Chicago capital in pushing the road to completion. At the time he was lessee of the state penitentiary, a state senator, chairman of the executive committee of the Democratic party and the wealthiest man in the state. His home, Belhaven, was the most magnificent in the country. It sat on an eminence two miles from the statehouse and contained 600 acres in flower yards, tennis courts and fishing pools.

His reputation for lavish hospitality was known throughout the south.

 

 

 

In his political affairs Colonel Hamilton encountered the bitter opposition of John H. Martin, a descendant of Chief Justice John Marshall; T. Dabney Marshall, a literary and art critic, and Roderick Dhu Gambrell, who were the leaders of the prohibition movement. Bitter personalities were exchanged, and Hamilton was challenged by Gambrell to fight a duel. Attacks on Colonel Hamilton continued, and in May, 1886, he and Gambrell met on the bridge which divides East from West Jackson. There were no eyewitnesses to what followed, but when the crowd got to the place, having been attracted by shots, Gambrell was dead, and Hamilton was seriously wounded.

The affair caused great excitement. There was talk of lynching Hamilton, and the residents, about evenly divided between the factions, came so near to a clash that a call for the militia was necessary. Meantime Gambrell’s picture was being sold throughout the civilized world. Boxes of them were shipped to Australia and to Africa. Miss Frances E. Willard started a subscription for the purpose of assisting the prosecuting fund.

After spending a year in prison Colonel Hamilton was acquitted, his release being celebrated by a remarkable demonstration of rejoicing, in which Hamilton was brought into the city in a carriage drawn by 100 prominent residents. The week before the end of the trial, however, General Wirt Adams and John H. Martin killed each other under most sensational circumstances as the result of the proceedings. General Adams had testified to Colonel Hamilton’s good character and was attacked by Martin in his paper. Adams and a friend went to Marin’s office. The offensive article was pointed out, and Martin said he was responsible for its appearance — in fact, had written it.

“Then are you armed?” asked General Adams. Martin said he was not. Pulling out his watch, General Adams replied: “It is now 10:35. I will give you until 11 o’clock.” Martin ran for his home, four blocks away, while Adams took a position across the street from Martin’s office. Ten — 25 minutes passed. Then Martin showed himself around the corner. Adams advanced to meet him. When the two were within 40 feet of each other, they began firing. The first bullet struck Martin in the thigh and knocked him down. General Adams continued advancing. Martin had recovered from the stun and was firing with deliberate aim. At the third shot from Adams’ pistol Martin fell backward, mortally wounded.

Adams had one ball remaining, and he walked to where his enemy lay and looked down at him. Martin, too, had one bullet in his pistol. Meantime General Adams had been untouched. Two shots rang out simultaneously, and General Adams fell, his face striking the pit of Martin’s stomach. When the officers reached the spot, both were dead. Colonel Hamilton came out of jail with his vast estate heavily incumbered. A government land grant made to the road had been forfeited, but this was recovered through the efforts of Secretary James G. Blaine, to whom Hamilton had gone to school in Kentucky.

A little while after Hamilton killed Gambrell, a railroad tie contractor of the name of Purvis killed a man of the name of McDonald, was convicted and sentenced to be hanged. On the scaffold Purvis denied his guilt. When the know was adjusted and the trap sprung, the rope slackened, and instead of Purvis being suspended in the air he fell to the ground. In the excitement  the execution was delayed, and on Purvis’ claim that he could not be resentenced because he already had been legally hanged the case became one of the most noted in the history of the state. Purvis eventually was pardoned, and he is now in the woods along the line of the Gulf and Ship Island railroad getting out bridge timber.

Active work on the Gulf and Ship Island was resumed five years ago. About the time it seemed certain that it would be pushed to completion Colonel Hamilton fell down his steps, receiving wounds which practically have made him helpless ever since. He is little better than an invalid.

Gulfport is on something of a boom. The harbor is a natural one and will require little money from the national government. It is almost midway between Mobile and New Orleans and is touched also by the Louisville and Nashville railroad. The fact that it is the terminal of the Gulf and Ship Island will make it an important lumber shipping point for years to come. Many sawmills, canning factories, storehouses and residences are already in the course of construction.

Sandusky Daily Star (Sandusky, Ohio) Sep 5, 1900

The image and a biography of Jones S. Hamilton can be found on Google at the following link:

Title: Mississippi: Contemporary Biography
Volume 3 of Mississippi: Comprising Sketches of Counties, Towns, Events, Institutions, and Persons, Arranged in Cyclopedic Form, Dunbar Rowland
Editor: Dunbar Rowland
Publisher: Reprint Co., 1907
pg 311

Read more about the Gambrell incident in my previous post, Roderick D. Gambrell: Death of a Hip Pocket Reformer.

Roderick D. Gambrell: Death of a Hip Pocket Reformer

October 11, 2010

Those temperance folks just didn’t know when to mind their own business; in fact, they made everyone’s business their own. And sometimes it cost them dearly. This is a separate, yet somewhat related incident to the Wirt Adams / John H. Martin double death duel — See link at bottom of post.

A Coroner’s Investigation.

JACKSON, Miss., May 7.

The Coroner’s Jury was still engaged up to 12 o’clock to-day investigating the killing of Roderick Gambrill, editor of the Sword and Shield, by Colonel Jones S. Hamilton, general manager of the Gulf & Ship railroad, in the difficulty occurring about 10 o’clock last night. No facts have yet been obtained, other than that the parties met and began firing. The difficulty has been feared and anticipated for some time, owing to an offensive personal article by Gambrill concerning Hamilton in his newspaper some weeks ago. Gambrill’s wounds, three in number, proved fatal in a few minutes. The result of Hamilton’s two wounds are uncertain. He now rests comparatively easy.

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) May 7, 1887

An Inquest — Jury’s Verdict.

JACKSON, Miss., May 9.

The jury in the inquest case of R.D. Gambrell, editor of the [Sword and Shield,] who was shot and killed late Thursday night by Col. Jones S. Hamilton, the lessee of the Penitentiary, adjourned at 11:30 last night after two days almost continuous session. They rendered a verdict as follows: “We, the jury of inquest in the case of the death of Roderick Gambrell, find that he came to his death from a pistol shot and wounds inflicted by the hands of Jones S. Hamilton, as principal, and others as abettors, unknown to the jury.

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) May 9, 1887

THE blood of many abolitionists as well as myriads of slaves cried to the Lord from the ground before the curse of slavery was wiped out. Myriads of victims of the saloon curse have been uttering their cry for many years, to which is now being added the voice of the blood of prohibitionists. Not many months ago Rev. Haddock was foully assassinated at Sioux City, Iowa. A few weeks ago, Dr. Northrup fell in the same way in Ohio. Last week Roderick Gambrell, of Jackson, Miss., editor of a Prohibition paper at that place, was set upon and foully murdered by some of those whose wrath he had stirred up. “Whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad.” Evidences point to the speedy destruction of the rum curse.

The Delta Herald (Delta, Pennsylvania) May 20, 1887

HAMILTON – GAMBRELL.

The Embers of a Tragedy Vigorously Fanned by Partisan Journals.

Special Dispatch to the Globe-Democrat.

JACKSON, Miss., June 28. – The excitement attending the Hamilton-Gambrell tragedy and the trial succeeding had abated considerably until within the last few days, when it seems to have received fresh impetus. The Daily Advertiser of this city, a strong Hamilton paper, is filled every morning with editorial matter favorable to Hamilton, and its editor has very severely criticized the New Mississippian and the Sword and Shield, the latter being the dead editor’s paper, and both strong advocates of Gambrell and the assassination theory. The last few issues of the Advertiser have contained much personal matter derogatory to the character of the father of the editor of the Mississippian and urging that it stood the taxpayers in hand to take some action regarding the utterances of the Mississippian and Sword and Shield, and claiming that they were greatly injuring the city’s prosperity by conveying the impression that misrule was the order of the day and that Jackson was an unsafe place in which to live. A recent issue contains a card signed “Tax-payer,” suggesting a meeting of tax-payers and citizens of Jackson to express condemnation of the course of the Sword and Shield and the New Mississippian, stating:

That their repeated misrepresentations of our people is depreciating the value of our property, damaging business, hindering accessions to our population and even driving our own people away.

The Advertiser indorses the suggestion of “Taxpayer,” editorially, and says:

The patience of this people is well-nigh exhausted and the course pursued by the Gambrellites and Martinites will not be endured much longer.

The New Mississippian of today contains a strong editorial on the proposed meeting, and says:

But we warn them now that all the indignation meetings they may hold, all the sympathizers they may gather here from other places, and all the threats they may make not to tolerate the course of this paper, will not avail. The writer believes in peace, but not when it must be purchased at the price of manhood and self-respect, and if to maintain these and pursue the path of duty, which we have marked out before us, we must encounter the violence at which they hint, we shall encounter it regretfully, but without hesitation. We have no desire for a life saved by an ignoble silence or an unmanly turning aside from a righteous cause.

IT also contains a card from J.B. Gambrell, father of the slain editor, in which he states that since the death of his son he has mainly controlled the columns of the Sword and Shield, and has sought to discharge the duty in a conservative spirit. The card concludes:

The threats above made by the Advertiser, which voices Colonel Hamilton and his friends, will not in the least terrorize the Sword and Shield so long as I control it. The time has come for a manly stand for the freedom of the press and right. It is a crisis in our affairs as a people, and now, in full view of all it may mean to myself and my family, I solemnly declare that before the sword and shield shall fail to do its duty in this crisis, I will submit to die as my son died, and he by his side in the quiet graveyard at Clinton, leaving my family in the care of God and the vindication of justice and the punishment of assassins in the hands of my countrymen. I await the issue calmly. If the threats of the Advertiser are carried out, it will be by that element which has so long ruled this city, and it will add another chapter to the bloody records of the city, but it will not silence the press of the Mississippian nor impede reform.

The publications have stirred up the excitement again, and from present appearances it will continue until this remarkable trial is finally disposed of by the courts. The last three issues of the paper named, have little in them except the views of the editors on the case, expressed in the most forcible English. Colonel Hamilton is still in jail, and seems to take a bright view of his prospects. Circuit court is now in session, but until the grand jury takes action it is not known whether his case and those of the accessories will be tried at the present term or not.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Jul 2, 1887

THE MEMPHIS APPEAL has started a subscription list for a monument to young Gambrell, who was killed by Hamilton during the prohibition campaign in Jackson, Miss. The Appeal refers to Gambrell as “the martyr editor,” and heads the list of subscribers to his monument with $100.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Jul 10, 1887

Hip Pocket Reformers.

The newspapers of the southwest are till fighting out the Hamilton-Gambrell difficulty, notwithstanding the fact that the former is in jail waiting to be tried for murder.

The Memphis Appeal fell into line with the friends of Gambrell, and denounced Hamilton and other Mississippi state officials as a gang of ringsters.

But the Appeal was destined to receive a rude shock. It was praising the Gambrells as the apostles of law and order and reform, when to its unutterable surprise Perry Gambrell, of the Sword and Shield, and John Martin, of the New Mississippian, went to the office of the Jackson Advertiser and proposed a street fight with the Lowds.

To do the Appeal justice it turned about and proceeded to abuse Gambrell for this outrageous business as vigorously as it had heretofore praised him. This does not satisfy the Vicksburg Herald and it jumps upon its Memphis contemporary in the following fashion:

It has found out that they are not what it thought them; may it not also have been deceived by them as to the Hamilton case? Is it not probable that the other Gambrell resembled the living one and was also ready to shoot it out? Although his brother died as recently as the fifth of May, Percy Gambrell went with John Martin to aid him in “shooting it out with the Lowds.” Is it not probable that Percy Gambrell is just as good as his brother was, when he went about with his 38-calibre in his pocket? Of course if Percy Gambrell had been killed he might have gone straight to Paradise to shoot Paradisacal things, but our esteemed Memphis contemporary will admit, that we must treat of them as mortals until they are Saints. As a mortal, is not Percy Gambrell in exactly the same boat with John Martin, and would not R.D. Gambrell have been in the same boat with them, if alive?

We think so. We also think it will be a cold day before any very expensive monument is erected to R.D. Gambrell. We are convinced the Appeal is by this time very sorry it contributed to the Gambrell monument.

While the Gambrells and Martins will now be known as sensational frauds, it may be some consolation to them to know their standing among gentlemen has not been lessened, for they never had any.

It is useless to answer the Herald by calling it a Hamilton paper. Such men as Bishop Hugh Miller Thompson have spoken up for Hamilton so stoutly that it will not do to denounce his friends as ringsters and outlaws. The man can not be as black as he had been painted.

The facts all go to show that the Gambrells, the dead one and his brother Percy, must be classed with those doubtful reformers who believe in trotting about with pistols in their hip pockets, ready to fight it out whenever their opponents get tired of being called corruptionists, ringsters and other hard names. It is a tangled piece of business, with so many side issues, that it is difficult to get a clear view of it all. We do not feel like using harsh language about reformers. The mere fact that a man declares himself a reformer gives him many disagreeable privileges, but it seems to us that the reformer with a loaded hip pocket ought to be suppressed. There is nothing angelic about him, and when he gets shot in a row, brought on by himself, we fail to see anything martyr-like in it. The fact is, a reformer should mind his own business and behave himself.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Jul 20, 1887

Another Chapter in a Famous Case.

The decision of the supreme court of Mississippi admitting Eubanks to bail and holding Hamilton in jail until his trial, recalls one of he most deplorable tragedies of the year.

In the month of May Roderick Dhu Gambrell was editing a prohibition paper at Jackson. During the wet and dry campaign Gambrell made a number of publications seriously reflecting upon the character of Colonel J.S. Hamilton, a prominent politician on the anti side. One night the two men met, and after exchanging several shots Gambrell fell dead, while Hamilton escaped with one or two painful wounds. The prohibitionists took the position that Hamilton and Eubanks had waylaid the editor and assassinated him. Public meetings were held, and strong efforts were made to influence public sentiment. The trial of the defendants was postponed until a more convenient season, and the court below refused to allow them to be bailed.

After a careful review of all the facts in the case, the supreme court has decided that Hamilton is not entitled to bail, but that Eubanks may be allowed that privilege. In delivering the decision the court stated that it was not satisfied as to the number of persons who participated in the murder of Gambrell, but it was satisfied that Hamilton was the assailant. One of the judges dissented from this opinion and expressed a doubt of Hamilton’s guilt.

Altogether, the action of the court was about as favorable to Hamilton as he had any right to expect. His alleged accomplice was allowed to give bail, and one member of the court placed himself on record as entertaining a reasonable doubt of the chief defendant’s guilt. This will have the effect of dividing public sentiment, and when the case comes before a jury it is to be hoped that an earnest effort will be made to get at the truth and carry out the ends of justice.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Nov 24, 1887

THE TRIAL OF Colonel Hamilton at Brandon, Miss., for the murder of Young Gambrell will begin its seventh week to-morrow. Some of the witnesses for the defense are doing the tallest kind of swearing. No trouble is anticipated as the judge has notified the spectators and witnesses that they must not bring deadly weapons into the courthouse.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Apr 1, 1888

The jury in the case of J.S. Hamilton, on trial at Brandon, Miss., for the killing of Roderick Dhu Gambrell, in Jackson, Miss., returned a verdict of not guilty.

The Marion Daily Star (Marion, Ohio) Apr 20, 1888

WHEN THE HON. J.S. HAMILTON killed young Gambrell in Mississippi a great outcry was raised and the killing was called a murder. The acquittal of Colonel Hamilton after a trial lasting nearly two months will perhaps convince some people that there were two sides to the case.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Apr 23, 1888

 

Jones S. Hamilton

 

A DISTINGUISHED CHARACTER

Whose Long Trial Has Brought Him Into Notice.

MEMPHIS, Tenn., April 23 — [Special] — Colonel Jones S. Hamilton, who has become notorious by having undergone one of the longest trials in the history of Mississippi, and was acquitted last Thursday of the charge of having murdered Rhoderick D. Gambrell, on the night of May last year, was in the city today. He held quite a levee at the Peabody hotel. A great number of his friends and newspaper men called on him. He remarked to one of the latter that he had given four years of his life defending the confederacy and one year to the defense of himself and he was glad it was over. He was a great surprise in personal appearance, and demeanor to all who say him. He is anything but a ferocious looking terror. He is as mild as a south Mississippi breeze and as polite as a Chesterfield, and not much bigger than a minute.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Apr 24, 1888

WHIPPING A WITNESS.

A Mob Severely Beats a Witness in the Hamilton-Gambrell Case.

NEW ORLEANS, April 24. — A Times-Democrat Clinton, Miss., special says:

A report of a whipping committed Sunday night has been received here and the promise of speedy death prevented a party from making it known sooner. At about midnight  eleven masked men went to the house of Ellis Young, a witness for the defense in the Hamilton cases called him out, tied to him a rope and then severely beat him.

He was told that he was whipping for lying for lying about Roderick Gambrell. Presenting pistols at his head, they demanded to know what amount he was paid for testifying against Gambrell. With death staring him in face, he declared that he did not receive a cent. The mob then released him, and ordered him to leave the county within three days. Young recognized one of his assailants as a divinity student at the Mississippi college.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Apr 25, 1888

A Tragedy Taken to Court.

MEMPHIS, Tenn., July 14 — The Hamilton-Gambrell tragedy had broken out in a new place. Col. James S. Hamilton has brought suit in the United States court here before Judge Hammond for $50,000 damages against The Memphis Appeal company, and has engaged two of the leading legal firms of the city to prosecute it. Col. Hamilton, it will be remembered, was one of the Mississippi penitentiary lessees. The Appeal referred to Col. Hamilton as a depraved “murderer,” an “assassin,” a “conspirator,” “the boss of a gang of corruptionists;” that said voluntary and vindictive work of defendant contributed in a large degree to working up and manufacturing public sentiment against him.

The Daily News (Frederick, Maryland) Jul 14, 1888

 

 

AN OLD SOUTHERN FEUD.

The Story of a Bloody and Terrible Duel Recalled — James Hamilton’s Fight With Gambrell

Colonel Jones S. Hamilton, of Jackson, Miss., is the survivor of the most desperate personal encounter of our time. Hamilton is barely five feet six inches in height, but very compactly built and of surprising muscular strength. He is not a quarreling man at all, being, on the contrary, devoted to the peaceful art of money-making. Besides that, he is nearly, if not quite, 50 years, and since his marriage in 1878 or 1879, of conspicuously domestic habits.

Some tow or three years ago, however, says a correspondent of the N.Y. [Tribune,] the Prohibition party, which, in Mississippi at least, is composed largely of, if not practically identical with, the Baptist Church, undertook to launch a propaganda of special and peculiar violence. They began through their newspapers, and, having in this way and by pulpit fulmination lashed public sentiment into something very like fury, they bore down on the Legislature in great numbers.

Colonel Hamilton was at that time a member of the Mississippi Senate, a straight-out, old-fashioned Democrat in his political and an Episcopalian in his religious practice. Being a strong man, a popular man, and a legislator of force and influence, he was naturally the object of the Prohibition efforts, first by persuasion and importunity, afterward by threats and denunciation. Among the means employed to coerce Colonel Hamilton, or, failing in that, to destroy his influence by detraction and aspersion, was a paper issued in Jackson and edited by a young man named Roderick Gambrell. The paper was an organ of the movement, and its editor was the son of a Baptist preacher who figured in the vanguard of the crusade. For weeks the paper reeked with abuse of Colonel Hamilton, aspersing his character, attacking his honor, denouncing his motives and his acts until the man’s very home was rendered miserable, and his friends began to wonder whether he had not endured more than enough.

At last the tragedy culminated, but under such circumstances of mystery as lent it a strange and fearful horror. One night, about 10 o’clock, immediately after the arrival of the southbound train of the Illinois Central Railroad, Colonel Hamilton started homeward from the depot in a hack, which had been sent to meet him. The town proper lies half a mile or more to the east, and it is the general custom of residents to cover the distance in a vehicle. Gambrell had arrived by the train;but had left the depot immediately on foot, and those who were lingering about the platform and who knew the parties thought there was no danger of a collision, at least that night. A few hundred feet from the depot, going toward town, there is a bridge, and as the loiterers at the station heard Hamilton’s hack rattling over the resounding wooden structure they turned with sighs of relief to disperse to their homes. Suddenly, however, a shot rang out from the direction of the bridge. The hack was heard to stop, and there was a sound as of some one jumping from it. Then another shot and another and then the hack started off at a furious pace, the terrified driver lashing his horses to their top speed. were the antagonists separated? No; the firing began again, and for a few moments assumed the magnitude almost of a fusilade. And now other, and still more dreadful sounds were heard — the sounds of furious men locked in a death-struggle, beating and tearing at each other’s throats and faces like two madmen.

NOTE: This one section was of poor quality and difficult to read:

Scores of people had by this time gathered, but none dared go too near. They hung a?????? on the outer rim of the darkness ???……. piercing cries had faded into silence and the last groan had died away did the listeners find courage to approach, only to find Grambrell lying dead; and Hamilton dead, too, as they thought, lying across the corpse. They were drenched in each other’s blood, both bore frightful wounds, and they had torn and beaten each other with horrible fury until insensibility overtook them.

It was a strange trial — a trial without witnesses to the fact. Nobody knew the details except the one survivor, who lay for weeks hovering between life and death.

Cambridge City Tribune (Cambridge City, Indiana) Feb 13, 1890

The rest of the Roderick D. Gambrell biography (written by the anti-liquor crusaders, so not biased at all) can be read online:

Title: The Passing of the Saloon: an authentic and official presentation of the anti-liquor crusade in America
Editor: George M. Hammell
Publisher: F.L. Rowe, 1908
Pages 123-125

Jones Stewart Hamilton biography can be read online in the following book:

Title: Mississippi: Contemporary Biography
Volume 3 of Mississippi: Comprising Sketches of Counties, Towns, Events, Institutions, and Persons, Arranged in Cyclopedic Form
Editor: Dunbar Rowland
Publisher    Reprint Co., 1907
Page 311

This incident is also mentioned in the following book:

Title: Editors I Have Known Since the Civil War: (rewritten and reprinted from letters in the Clarion-ledger)
Author: Robert Hiram Henry
Published: 1922
Pages 134-135 Hamilton-Gambrell
Pages 135-137Adams-Martin

My previous post about the Wirt Adams-John H. Martin incident.