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First edition, 2004
Academic Affairs Library, UNC-CH
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,
(title page) " Eagle Clippings " by Jack Thorne, Newspaper Correspondent and Story Teller, A Collection of His Writings to Various Newspapers
(cover) Eagle Clippings by "Jack Thorne", Newspaper Correspondent and Story Teller.
1-116 p., ill.
[D. B. Fulton]
Call number VC070.45 F97e (North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
LC Subject Headings:
[Author's Inscription to Mr. S. B. Weeks]
Lavinia R. Fulton
[Title Page Image]
[Title Page Image Verso]
15th page, 14th line from bottom: "to see shackled hands"
26th page, 13th line from top: "a very unpleasant--yea aggrivating malady."
Page 29, 4th line from top: "a cry of indignation that would have shaken the very temple of the Caesars"
45th page, 8th line from top: "Two boy criminals": 5th line from bottom R. S. King's letter: "let the law enjoy its" etc.
106th page, 14th line from top: "high ceilinged room"
81st page, 9th line from top: "Stoically returning a blow given in jest"
DAVID B. FULTON, Publisher
159-61 WILLOUGHBY AVE.
BROOKLYN, N. Y.
Read carefully Introductory Note, please.
[Handwritten in this Edition:]
Mr. S. B. Weeks, Washington D.C.
With the compliments of the author
21 Killinger St
Aug 29 /14
It was said to me one day, by a once highly esteemed friend of mine, during a hot controversy over a disputed bill for printing, that I was an eccentric on the Race question. This taunt from the lips of one of my own people, a man who had my confidence, who seemed heartily in sympathy with me, advising me in the construction of at least a few of my many contributions to daily and weekly papers, somewhat chilled my ardor in the work of defense--for after all, in all of my writings on the Race question, I have simply been on the defensive, answering traducers and endeavoring to ward off the blows aimed at my people by the enemy.
When constructing Hanover, many of my friends who listened to the readings, were apprehensive and fearful for my safety, in spite of the fact that I was so far removed from the scene of the awful tragedy which the story relates. Other readers of Hanover and other contributions have said with no feigned anxiety, "Your pen is a very venomous weapon. You are doubtless right; I admire your grit, but you might make it a trifle milder," etc. These apprehensions were not without warrant. I fully believe that the attempt on the part of the officials of the institution in which I was employed for four years, to injure my reputation, and send me from their employ, branded as a felon, was the result of my defense of my people in the columns of the "Eagle"; that the "Eagle's" final refusal to further consider my contributions, are the result of influences
brought to bear from the same source. Yet in the following pages I will prove to the reader that every article from my pen upon the Race question was called forth by the anamidversions hurled from the other side.
Although the entire contents of this little book are not clippings from the columns of the "Brooklyn Daily Eagle," I have thought it best to give it the title "Eagle Clippings," because I hold the "Eagle" in high esteem for its broad democracy and bravery in the treatment of its correspondents.
"The Eagle," a Democratic organ, professes no friendship for the Negro race, yet it has generally allowed the writer to wage battles through its columns by giving abundant space for articles that were considered by the friendly Republican editors too sweeping for publication. On account of the "Eagle's" often disparaging editorials on the Race question, many of my friends have purchased a copy of the paper only when informed that an article of mine was forthcoming.
To such friends is this little volume especially presented, that they may enjoy some of the many contributions on subjects nearest their hearts and mine.
I plead for the acceptance of this little volume, not alone because of my bold defense of my people I became the object of the spleen of those who possessed the power to rob me of the means of support, but because its contents are the outpourings of a heart full of love for a maligned race and jealous of their wrongs. While, no doubt, other contributors have been enabled to demand something for their time and talents, the author of "Eagle Clippings" has been glad to, so far, be so indulged in the prosecution of his loved work as to have it accepted gratis by the great "Brooklyn Daily Eagle" and other periodicals. This should kindle a sympathetic flame in the hearts of my friends, for I believe I have many, to compensate me for the labors in behalf of the race.
Lavinia Robinson Fulton, mother of D. B. Fulton, better known as "Jack Thorne," and one of the strongest writers of the race, died at her late residence, 465 Baltic Street, last Monday evening, from paralysis. The funeral services will be held to-morrow at 2 P. M. at the Concord Baptist Church of Christ.
Lavinia Robinson was born in Robeson County, North Carolina, about sixty-seven years ago. She was the eldest of fourteen children of Hamlet and Amy Robinson. Sent away from her parents at a very early age, she grew up as many slave children, without the affection, love and counsel of a mother. Through the indulgence of her master she learned when very young to read the Bible and was converted when about thirteen years of age. She entered the Baptist Church of which her master was deacon, and was baptized by the Rev. James McDonald, a famous Scotch divine, known as the "silver-tongued orator of the Cumberland," the Talmage of the early 40's. Although like all slave women, environed by circumstances in no way conducive to upright living, Lavinia Robinson Fulton lived a pure, upright and consistent life, always seeking the companionship of those whose lives accorded with her own. Married to Benjamin Fulton at the age of fourteen, she bore him ten children, five of whom now live, four in Brooklyn. One is with the father in North Carolina. To her children she was never demonstrative, but sought to prepare them for the real earnest battle of life. She settled in Wilmington in 1867, and saw in the American Missionary Association, then at work among the freedmen there, the much desired opportunity to improve herself and educate her children, and immediately put herself in touch with these people. In 1875 she became one of the founders
of the First Congregational Church, of Wilmington, N. C. Every opportunity for moral, religious and intellectual advancement her children have enjoyed has come to them through the self-sacrificing devotion and the sterling Christian character of this mother. Her nearly ten years' residence in Brooklyn have been years of unceasing toil, yet she never let pass an opportunity to speak a word for her Master whom she has faithfully and unwaveringly followed, going out when the opportunity presented itself to participate in the Salvation Army services to which she had become very much attached. Her children never grew too old to be her constant care and anxiety and the burden of her prayers.
BROOKLYN, N. Y., July 16, 1904.
Mr. Benjamin Fulton,
Middle Sound, North Carolina.
Dear Brother Ben:--
The enclosed clipping is the press announcement of the death of mother which occurred on the 4th instant. She was ill but a very short period. Up to about three months ago, she was apparently in the best of health; in fact, her health was generally better here than in the South. But being constantly on the go, she contracted quite a good deal of cold. Sister Hattie tried to persuade her more than a year ago to take a rest, but she would not until compelled to give up. She died as she lived, a devoted mother, an earnest Christian. When the end came she was at sister's, and we all were with her but you. She had, since the riots at Wilmington, expressed an unwillingness to be buried there, so we buried her here, and the funeral was attended by many old Wilmington friends. No nobler mother ever lived; no truer Christian ever died. She desired much to see you; will you make it your aim to meet her on the other side? May we hear from you soon? I would have written you sooner, but I have just gotten your address from Mrs. Powell. Hoping that you all are very well, I am,
502 Fulton Street.
From the time of my arrival in New York in '87, and entering the employ of the Pullman Palace Car Co. in '88, up to Dec., 1905, I had been able to give a pretty accurate account of my time--nine years in the Palace car service, four years in a large music house in New York City, two years at odd jobs, and at the close of the year 1905 I had about wound up four years in the employ of the Central Branch of The Young Men's Christian Association of Brooklyn, feeling that a change of atmosphere would perhaps conduce toward the strengthening of my faith in the efficacy of Christian religion which contact with "Scribes" had somewhat weakened. The uninitiated, perusing the columns of the great New York dailies with their innumerable "Help Wanted" advertisements, would readily conclude that the seeking of employment in the great Metropolis need be no irksome task to any one. But the major portion of these want ads[.] are mere will-o'-the-wisps, put there apparently to tantalize and to throw into the abyss of despair honest seekers after the tangible. Such announcements as "Wanted--Cooks, waiters, chambermaids, coachmen, butlers, hall-boys, bellmen, laundresses," etc., etc., are invariably the fabrications of unscrupulous employment agents, who spread their nets to catch the unwary, whose money they greedily pocket and hurry them off to fill positions which, to their knowledge, are already filled through
other agencies. Experience had taught me that in seeking work in New York, both of these mediums were to be eschewed. My first position, which cost me just half of my fortune, was a place way out in Fordham, where I was engaged to drive a horse and milk the cow. I knew little about horses and nothing about cows. In less than a week I had broken the shaft of the man's buggy, was dismissed, and with my belongings was on my way back to the shrewd son of Abraham, who had followed me to the door on the day of my departure from his office, rubbing his clammy hands and whining: "Eef th' blace dus nod suit you, vhy cum back an' I gif you a nudder." But when he saw me approaching the office a second time he met me at the door and, holding up his hands in feigned horror, swore by the beard of the prophet that he had fulfilled his contract and would do no more. If he did not see greenness in my face, he took the chance at bluffing me out of three dollars, and succeeded. This well-remembered experience turned me into other channels in search of work this time. Accepting the agency of a Health and Accident Insurance Company, at the end of a month of canvassing I had on my book the names of a host of sympathetic friends who, although well provided for in that line, were, on account of their great love for me, ready to invest in more insurance. One very dear friend to whom I thought I had convincingly set forth the advantages and inducements my company offered, and why a woman of her environments and temperament would profit by taking out a policy therein, and who had, in turn, eloquently acquiesced and expressed her desire and determination to subscribe, had at the conclusion of two weeks, the time appointed for the issuing of the policy, prepared such an eloquent speech in support of a demurrer, that, after listening in amazement to it, I threw aside my insurance outfit in disgust, purchased hook and overalls and sought employment among the dock laborers.
It was in 1892 that the Ward Steamship Company of New York terminated a series of strikes among its dock laborers and stevedores, entailing great financial loss, by substituting Negro labor for Irish and Italian. The Irishman is the very embodiment of discontent, the instigator of
nearly all the troubles in the labor field, the inaugurator of political upheavals and race clashings. Ever ready to strike for higher wages and shorter hours, the Irishman would burn his own dwelling from over his head if he thought that thereby he might do injury to an unyielding employer. The Ward Steamship Company, financially embarassed by frequent revolutions in its labor department, and at the mercy of labor unions had yielded step by step until the longshoreman's pay had advanced from thirty to forty-five cents an hour. But the demand for fifty cents was the straw that broke the camel's back. The Italians who, with difficulty supplanted the Irish and went into the holds of the ships to work for twenty-five cents per hour, were not sufficiently bulky nor experienced to insure independence of the lusty son of Erin, and the Negro, who, previous to this time, had only been allowed to step in here and there along the water front, was called in to take charge of the work of loading and discharging the great ships of the Ward Steamship Company. The Negro workman, pushing out over the North and West, is confronted by more serious and exasperating obstacles than any other human creature. Securing work in big corporations only as a strike-breaker, he, in many instances, has only been retained until the white man chose to return to work. But the Ward Steamship Company had called to its rescue, men schooled in Yankee duplicity, who did not "turn to" until this very important matter was settled. But the scale of wages made by the Italian strike-breaker was not advanced in favor of the efficient black stevedore. And the twelve years of unprecedented prosperity, during which the company has had to double its carrying capacity by adding in its fleet several large and more commodious ships, an advance in wages from twenty-five cents an hour so far has never been offered these benefactors, who freed the company from the meshes of labor unions, brought order out of chaos and started them on the road to prosperity. It must not be conceded that because of its rough character, the work of the stevedore is a calling that does not require intelligence, cool-headedness and skill; for without coolness and thorough knowledge on the part of those appointed to direct it,
the work of loading and unloading these great ships would be attended by far greater loss of life and limb than is now recorded. It was a cold morning in the month of February when I joined the anxious crowd of laborers at Pier 15, East River, Brooklyn side, waiting to be "shaped." To be shaped is to secure at the timekeeper's window a brass check with a number engraved upon it, which is written in his book opposite your name, and passing the foreman who engages you, you call out this number, which is jotted down in his book. On quitting work each man calls out his number to the timekeeper, and returning, reports both to timekeeper and foreman. "Push in," said a sympathetic fellow, noticing my embarrassment, "your chance may be as good as the oldest; no man has a cinch here."
"Stand in line and take your turn," said another man, as he noticed me endeavoring to push my truck past the fellow in front of me. "The Irishman tries to make a job last as long as possible, while the Negro sings and runs himself out of work." My first day's work consisted of unloading fruit and pig lead; and as I climbed the hill homeward at the conclusion of the day my limbs almost refused to support me. The following day, still sore and stiff from the previous day's toil, I reported again at Pier 15, and by sheer ambition trudged through another day of the hardest toil of my life. In discharging ships, foremen may employ as many as twenty men in their gangs, but they dwindle to sixteen when loading. Failing to get a "shape" on the third day, I wended my way back home to return in the evening to try my luck with the night gangs. To my mind, it requires more than ordinary courage on the part of a new and inexperienced hand to join a company of men going into a ship's hold to store freight, aided only by the light of lanterns. The gang in which I worked began in the ship's hold to be shifted to the docks, and from thence off shore to hoist freight from one of the many lighters which flanked the great vessel. The angry, black waters, lashed into fury by the fierce cold winds, seemed anxiously waiting to swallow into its depths the timid wretch who, stumbling blindly over the many pitfalls, chanced to miss his footing. This, together with the oaths of the experienced
and unsympathetic workmen, the ear-piercing calls of the gangwayman, the deafening roar of machinery so exasperated and confused me that I was tempted to climb back upon the dock and scamper off for home. But as the night grew old and the owl-like hoot of craft in the great harbor lessened, the lights in the distant towers went out one by one and the great bridge, no longer disturbed by moving cars and the tread of restless feet, stood there calm and tranquil in the glimmering shadows, I became more reconciled to my surroundings and the task became less irksome. Current stories of crime, of midnight assassinations, of suicides, give New York harbor at dead of night a weird and fantastic aspect. Yet in spite of all this it is a fascinating sight. I soon discovered that one man's chances were not, if green, as good as another old and experienced hand, and justly so. The mastery of stevedore work is as difficult a task as the mastery of algebra, it seems to me. It was perfectly natural for the foremen to cull out the men whom they knew could do creditable work. My first employer was Capt. John Simonds (colored), who was doubtless moved more by my willingness than my value as a workman, and though I got in now and then with Powell, with Rainey and with Butler, it seemed less difficult to shape with Simonds. For quite a month or more I beat about the decks, following the gangs from pier to pier and from sugar house to sugar house with varying luck. One evening at Erie Basin, I joined the gang of a foreman whom they called "Buster Brown." "Buster Brown" was a wild, swearing Negro of the Guinea type, with protruding forehead, staring eyes and heavy lips that could utter oaths and filthy epithets that would put a pirate to blush. Brown was the type of Negro indespensable to the overseer of the slave plantation, who wished to wring out the very last drop of blood from his chattels; who often as "drivers" strung up and lashed their own mothers. It is a type of native used by the British now plundering South Africa, to get the most out of the workers in the mines. This fellow kept the air lurid with oaths and vulgarity, buldozing the men, threatening them with his fist and with his gun, and in turn cringing like a cur when addressed by the white supervisor. I
looked at this Negro both in pity and disgust and wondered what kind of a home it was over which he presided. Although the night was cold and men were constantly dropping out to warm up at a near-by saloon. I stuck to my post lest the impetuosity of this foreman tempt me to lay his thick head upon the dock and thereby lose a night's work. Fortunately, "Baster Brown" is not the prevailing type of stevedore; I found a sufficient number of sober, industrious and goodly disposed men engaged in work there to make it quite a pleasant place to be. There are many incidents during my employ there on the docks that I recall with pleasure, for I believe the Negro works with a lighter heart, and infuses more music and fun into labor than any other human being. Most of these men are from Virginia and the Carolinas, where music and laughter drive away the irksomeness of toil. No group of men was without its jester, who was often a Godsend to the discouraged and melancholy. I recall with a great deal of mirth the side-splitting jokes gotten off by "Squire Rigger" on "Sheep" and "Sheep's" witty retorts and sarcastic flings at "Rabbit," or Philip Hooper's droll, yet mirth-provoking tales of his adventures. Phil had traveled extensively and worked at nearly every imaginable calling in the labor world, and his retentive memory was never taxed for some interesting, instructive and yet amusing story.
To some of us who had lived South where most city streets are wide sandy deserts, the first invasion of Broadway, New York, was not without a feeling of disappointment; for this lovely old thoroughfare which, beginning at Battery Park, winds like a river northward through Manhattan Island is anything but "broad." Often as I stood upon the curbstone of this overcrowded street, have I imagined that I could hear its painful cry of protest as it groaned under the weight of traffic, and wishing that the clumsy vehicles of commerce might be driven into some other avenue, so that the stranger, proud of its fame might with less annoyance and apprehension feast his eyes upon the historic landmarks that border it on either side. When I first beheld Broadway, Jake Sharp's bribery had deprived it somewhat of its attractiveness; for the horse-car had just invaded it, adding to the congestion and consequent discomfort of pedestrians, and changing it from the aristocratic highway of hansom cabs of former times.
In spite of the protest of the citizens of the great metropolis, "cabby," with his smart livery, his soft, suave and polite "want-a-cab?" was to be forever hushed by the ear-piercing jingle of the car bells and the coarse yells of the driver. But this change did not rob the old thoroughfare of its interest and power to fascinate and charm, for the people soon forgot this "wanton disregard for our wishes" and became reconciled to the new order of things. And how the old street has grown in beauty and grandeur within the last twenty years! Now it's "The Great White Way" of modern structures of marble and granite. Have you ever walked the streets of New York without a home? A stroll along Broadway drives away melancholy and
makes the homeless and despised forgetful of his misery; for there is an inexplicable feeling of warmth in the glow of its myriads of electric lights, and the winter snow that falls on Broadway seems to hit the cheeks with apologetic tenderness.
The homeless outcast from beneath the chilly glare of the lights of Fifth Avenue, where he is jostled aside by the footmen and run down by the luxuriant coaches of haughty millionaires is often saved from a suicide's grave by the warmth and cheer dispensed by the lights of Broadway. Broadway, where sympathies are blended and everybody is kin; where the recluse crawls out of his shell; where the miser loosens his purse strings and for the time being is a jolly good fellow. Broadway is the lane of comedy, comedy that flows in such immense volume that tragedy the most revolting, can only cause a momentary ebb. It is said by some people that in handsomely gowned and pretty colored American girls, Chicago outclasses New York. But I wonder if any of these alleged authorities ever stood for an hour or more on upper Broadway at the junction of Sixth Avenue and Thirty-third Street, or lined up with the "chappies" in front of St. Mark's at the close of an afternoon Sunday lyceum service to watch the parade of beauty. I am entitled to a vote on this question. I have strolled the fashionable thoroughfares of nearly all the large American cities. But for wealth of beauty, and of raiment, for the bountifulness of pleasure and revelry of mirth and good cheer, give me dear old Broadway, fraught with sweet, bitter memories.
To the Editor of "The Standard Union":
In the days of slavery few plantations in the South were without their Negro spiritual advisers, men devout, chosen from among their fellow bondsmen, who were permitted to go freely from plantation to plantation to pray and exhort among their brethren. In many communities in North Carolina master and slave worshipped in the same church, the whites monopolizing the mornings and evenings of the First Day, while in the afternoons the Negro from the same pulpit preached to his own people. Very often during these services the master sat in the audience an attentive and reverent worshiper; for there was a pathos in the mournful music of the slave, an emotion that permeated his preaching and his prayers that strangely fascinated the dominant race in those days. It must have been a strange and wonderful sight to the white man to witness the fervency with which the slave worshiped the God who had so permitted it that he owned not himself; to see shackel hands raised in exaltation, and tears of joy unspeakable streaming down cheeks furrowed and scarred by hardship. The intense enjoyment of these brief intervals of freedom to worship God on the part of his chattels doubtless had the effect of easing the conscience of the oppressor and justified the institution. The master thoroughly enjoyed the worship of the slave, especially his singing. He often lingered about the church door to catch the last strains of the plaintive melody that gushed from bleeding hearts. The song of the captive mourning for his lover, ruthlessly sold away to some distant land, was prompted by far different emotions than the shouts from "corn shuckings," but the effect was the same upon the ear of the calloused oppressor whose descendants
now regard the slave regime as a benefaction. This fixed time for the worship of the slave in North Carolina did not debar him from a place in galleries when his master worshiped. The eloquence that floated out from the lips of the cultured and refined ministry and the music of trained voices in the choir loft were listened to with great profit by the captive, destined some day not only to own himself but his church and his pew, for at the close of the war the number of negroes in the South who knew more than the mere rudiments of music was surprising. And as there was a strong desire on the part of the race to diseard plantation melodies, reminders of cruel bondage, and learn classical music, he who could teach vocal music had an inviting field in which to work. The town of New Berne, N. C., for many years after the war was noted for the great love for music among its colored people, the major portion of the Sunday service in every church and schoolhouse being devoted to the teaching of vocal music. And now there are but few colored people hailing from that section of the old North State that cannot both read and sing music.
But as in most colored churches, collections are lifted to the accompaniment of vocal music to the overtaxing of choirs, the plantation song has not entirely lost its popularity, and the composer of rude religious ballads is still to be reckoned among the indispensible adjuncts in the spreading of the Gospel. In some districts among the African Methodist people the minister who can sing well, as well as preach well, has a more satisfactory financial report to present at the annual conference than he who has but the one talent. The most popular and successful composer of sacred ballads I recall was one, the Rev. Mr. Hunter, of the Zion Methodist connection, whose "Go Down, Moses," "Oh, Daniel," etc., electrified the worshipers of old "Christian Chapel," in Wilmington, North Carolina, so many years ago. When Dr. Hunter came to town and stood in the pulpit of the old chapel, the choir was for the time being forgotten by the audience in their eagerness to catch the melody and follow in the strain of new song sure to issue from the mouth of this great singer. But in our more modern pulpits, especially in the North, taste for the classic and refined in
music is on the ascendancy. And we can safely consider Dr. F. M. Jacobs, of the Zion Methodist Church, in Bridge Street, as among the foremost exponents of this gratifying regime. Although Dr. Jacobs is not without a love for the old slave melodies, which he can sing with the zest of the most ardent Methodist, he is more in love with the classic and refined, and is as much at home in the rendition of ["]Inflammatus," by Rossini, as the simplest Negro melody.
Paul Fulton, the new choirmaster of the Zion Memorial Church choir, born in Cumberland County, N. C., and educated in the public schools of Wilmington, received his musical training under Mrs. Janet Gay Dodge, one of the most proficient, thorough and painstaking teachers of the art that ever went South from New England. For a number of years Mr. Fulton trained and was at the head of one of the best organizations of male voices in the State of North Carolina. But since he has lived North he has taken up but little time with the music world. The disinclination of Negro churches to pay singers gives to choristers an abundant amount of care and worry in the training of volunteers who are mostly amateurs. This state of things has worked to the detriment of choristers who are often over taxed and worn out leading choruses, prompted in many instances by the ambition to be the stars. Mr. Fulton's method is to train each individual singer to be self dependent, and thereby have a choir that will not be compelled to lean upon its chorister. Those who shall visit Zion Memorial Church during the coming season will have the pleasure of enjoying some novel and entertaining musical programmes.
CHICAGO, September 3d.
The University of Chicago held its forty-eighth convention and the principal speaker from abroad was John Temple Graves, of Atlanta. He spoke on "The Problem of the Races," and his long address will probably cause a furor throughout the country. Mr. Graves made a great reputation for oratory at Chautauqua at the lynching conference, but his address to-day was of a different nature. He gave a complete exposition of the race problem as the South sees it; its causes, effect, and his theory of its solution. Mr. Graves' main points were that the only solution possible is the complete separation of the races; that the Negroes ought to have free transportation to the Philippines; that the Islands should be turned over to them for their own absolute control as a state; that no whites should vote there and no negroes should vote here; that the South could get along without them, because the last census shows the Negroes have not had a majority share in the raising of crops recently.
Mr. Graves said in part: "Fortunate am I, and happy in that I bring the convictions of this hour to a platform so free and to an atmosphere so impartial. Questions of abstract policy--problems of humanity--bearing a hint of section or a complication of party are not for the ears of faction or for the passing of politics. Upon the fierce and heated bosom of established prejudice the cold stream of reason falls too frequently to steam and hissing, and men who have convictions that are rather definite than popular
may thank God for the calmer air of universities and for the clear and unbiased minds of students seeking truth."
Then Mr. Graves went on to state his problem--the conditions in the last forty years that brought the race matter to the fore. The freeing of the slaves and making them the equal of their former masters made two opposite, unequal, and antagonistic races stand side by side. He said the equation was this: "There they are--master and slave--civilized and half-civilized, strong and weak, conquoring and servile, twentieth century and twelfth century--thirteen hundred years apart--set by a strange and incomprehensible edict of statesmanship or of passion set by the Constitution and the law, the weakest race on earth and the strongest race on earth, side by side, on equal terms to bear an equal part in the conduct and responsibility of the greatest government the world ever saw. It was an experiment without a precedent in history and without a promise in the annals of man. The experiment has had thirty-eight years of trial, backed by the power of the Federal Government and by the sympathy of the world. It has failed. From the beginning to the hour that holds us, it has failed.
"In a land of light and liberty, in an age of enlightenment and law, the women of the South are prisoners to danger and to fear. While your women may walk from suburb to suburb and from township to township without an escort and without alarm, there is not a woman of the South--wife or daughter--who would be permitted, or who would dare, to walk at twilight unguarded through the residence streets of a populous town or to ride the outside highways at midday."
To the Editor of "The Brooklyn Eagle":
I was quite a small boy when, in 1874, three men entered the school of which I was a pupil and announced the death of Charles Sumner, a name which but few of us had ever heard. "Charles Sumner is dead!" was the first sentence uttered by the first speaker, who went on to tell us how
deeply the Nation was affected by the death of this good man. "Who was Charles Sumner, and what of him?" was the query that went from pupil to pupil, for the stranger in his eulogy did not satisfactorily enlighten us on that point. The fact that we had not heard of him then makes his name dearer to me now as I recall that eventful incident, for Charles Sumner shall be numbered with the elect and precious who shall inquire of the King in that day: "Lord, when saw we thee a hungered and fed thee? or thirsty and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger and took thee in? or naked and clothed thee?" And the King shall answer and say unto them, " 'Verily, verily, I say unto you, in as much as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.' " This man had given his best days, given his best energies contending for the rights of a race too ignorant and obscure to even realize that such efforts were being put forth in their behalf, or that such a man as Charles Sumner existed. It is upon such characters that a strong nation rests, for it takes such to build a strong nation and uphold it; men who did right because it was right; men who were willing to do and dare for the oppressed from whom there could come no earthly reward. Such characters grow in magnitude as the years recede, and men come to understand the truths they championed. Many of those who listened to the speech delivered by John Temple Graves at the Chicago University a few days ago, have doubtless visited Lincoln Park in that city, to gaze upon the rugged features of that great leader of men whose bronze statue stands there looking sadly down upon the throngs that pass it. Their minds must move back to his early career in Illinois, and his many combats with Stephen A. Douglass, Douglass the invincible, who could lie like truth, to whom Lincoln was no match as an orator. Yet the name of Lincoln, who believed in right-eousness and simple truth, will live in the hearts of the American people when that of Douglass is forgotten. Such men as Lincoln never boasted of a "white man's country;" but the burden of their prayers was that "nation of the people, for the people and by the people might not perish from the land." When the nations of the old world think
of the greatness and grand achievements of this Republic, such characters as Lincoln, Phillips, Sumner, Whittier, Beecher, Garrison stand out as the bulwarks upon which it rests, and not of those who have contributed the least, and yet are doing the most boasting. What did the people of Chicago assemble for to hear, a rational being, a man clothed in his right mind? Or was it not rather to listen to a man who had lain down in Georgia and dreamed a dream, and before fully awakened from the stupor of a long sleep, stalked forth to relate it? Suppose there was a possibility of carrying Mr. Graves' colonizing scheme into execution, how long would it be before there would be a John Temple Graves in the Philippines, whining for the separation of races and saying, "This is a white man's country." The white man is there now, grabbing land, speculating, stirring up race hatred and mongrelizing an already mongrel people. Is not Governor Taft unpopular over there because he desired to give the Filipino a say-so in the government of his own country? Where is there a domain from the dense interior of darkest Africa to the Land of the Midnight Sun that Mr. Graves' race is not found, subjugating, killing and tyranizing? The Negro cannot walk on the sidewalks in the Transvaal. That's a white man's country, too. That "all conquoring race" Mr. Graves boasts of is everywhere, seeking to turn the world into a trust and kick all the other races off of it. "Civilizing and Christianizing," you say? It is no satisfaction to me to behold in the jungles of Patigonia the Christian(?) white man's cottage where the hut of the savage once stood when I reflect upon the fact that to put that cottage there it cost the lives of perhaps a thousand human beings, fashioned by the hand of God to live on this earth and enjoy unmolested a persuit of happiness. What manner of people are those to whom the sweetest music is the groans and wails of the suffering, and to whose feet the softest cushion is the neck of the down-trodden? Where shall rest be found? The view of the distinguished gentleman from Georgia is that it's to be found neither in Heaven nor Hell for any race but the white race. His conception of such things is so narrow and contracted that his people must have the right of way because
cause God did not call the worlds into existence without consulting them, neither can God run the universe without them. In Paradise the white man is to occupy all the front seats by the Jasper Sea, and the darker races must stand behind and fan him. And if he should be so unfortunate as to go to Hell he will seek a nigger or a Chinaman to hold between him and the fire. It's passing strange that Mr. Graves allowed the Almighty to create all these weaker races for his people to look after and keep in their places. It would have saved the white man from the commission of many a black sin had God created the whole world solely for him to bustle in.
"In a land of light and liberty the women of the South are prisoners to fear," etc. Now this assertion, when read, will be more startling to the women of Atlanta than to Mr. Graves' Chicago audience. The white woman may walk from "suburb to suburb" with far more safety in Atlanta than in Chicago. To say that the Southern white woman is unsafe because of the presence of the Negro is a damaging misstatement. The Southern lady of wealth is continually surrounded by her trusted colored servants, male and female, and her environments have always been such as to render her as fearless of the Negro as a pet cat. Until they were past the age of twenty, the only escort to teas and to parties and such like the daughters of one of the leading merchants of my native town had was their Negro butler. No one turned to gaze after the wife of another prominent citizen of that town who thought nothing of going through the streets leaning upon the arm of her Negro butler. Mr. Graves, in order to strengthen his colonization theory, would malign the women of his race
Brooklyn, Sept. 19th, 1903.
To the Editor of "The Brooklyn Eagle":
As Decoration Day draws nigh, recollections of the struggle of 1861, which so tried the two sections of our country, become more vivid, and the many years that have passed since then seem less distant. The veteran in his faded coat of blue, his rugged visage and empty sleeve; the militiaman in brilliant uniform; citizens in holiday attire, booming cannon and martial music, give to that particular day a significance which apparently no other day possesses. While in the North we celebrate in gala attire and bands and drum corps blare out patriotic airs, in the South the observance is in striking contrast; all is funereal, solemn and sedate. With arms reversed, the veteran, with slow and measured tread follows behind muffled drums and bands play dirges, while choirs sing most solemn and touching music. While the 30th of May is universally observed for the decoration of the graves of Union dead, the Daughters of the Confederacy and other such organizations in the South, although such a day is observed in every Southern State, do not move in concert. In the far Southern States, where spring puts on her richest attire in early April, Confederate graves are decorated in that month, while in States further North, a day in May is observed. In North Carolina it is the 10th of May; in Virginia, it's the 30th. This is an observance of the most intense interest to lovers of the "Lost Cause." An air of profound sadness and thoughtfulness pervades the very atmosphere, and the gray veteran again salutes the "Stars and Bars" which hang in profusion about the speakers' stand and wave above the Confederate dead. Father Ryan's famous poem, "The Conquored Banner," is recited with a pathos that is touching. Old wounds bleed a-fresh as impassioned orators tell of the causes that led up to the struggle; the justness of the Southern side and the bravery of the Southern soldier. Pickett's gallant charge at Gettysburg is rehearsed with fervor; what might have been gained to the South on that gory field had Lee
listened to the advice of Longstreet is also regretfully told, together with the story of the foolhardiness of Sidney Johnston at Shiloh, which lost the West to the Confederacy. But on the 30th of May, when Union soldiers' graves are decorated, a different program is rendered. There, over those grass-covered mounds, other orators -- nowadays mostly colored men -- tell of the victories of the "Silent Man" at Donaldson, at Shiloh, at Vicksburg, at Chattanooga, at Petersburg and Richmond, and of of Sherman's famous March to the Sea. The decoration of these graves is, and has ever been, done almost solely by Afro-American women. And when we consider the fact that nearly all of the men who fell in that awful struggle sleep South of Mason's and Dixon's line, we can appreciate the importance of the part the Afro-American woman plays in this work of love. At Richmond, Culpepper, Wilmington, Salisbury, Sailsbury, S. C., Nashville, Chattanooga, Memphis and other places beneath acres upon acres of grass-covered mounds.
"Asleep are the ranks of the dead"--Union dead. The Government provides only for the placing of a small American flag on that day upon each headstone, no more. But it is the loving hand of black woman and child that places the rose, the jasmine, the lilac and forget-me-not there, with wreathes of cedar and of pine: so that wafted upon the breeze which comes upward from that hallowed ground is the breath of sweet flowers. What shall be done for this obscure Schunamite who, for so many years, has faithfully performed this work of love? "Shall we mention her to the King? or shall we ship her to the Philippines?["] The Grand Army veteran will doubtless say "No," when he looks backward and thinks of Andersonville, Libbey, Florence and Danville, and of the fate that might have been his had it not been for the devotion of some colored woman or boy who hid him in kitchen loft or barn or hay stack, from the heartless rebel, and under cover of darkness, piloted him safely into Union lines.
"Oh Lord of hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget, lest we forget."
To the Afro-American woman of the South on that day
will come vivid recollections of the inexplicable gloom that pervaded the land everywhere when John Brown went to the scaffold, or the excitement attending the bombardment of Fort Sumpter, the hastening northward of the soldier in gray, of the constant scudding off of husband, brother or father to break through rebel lines to fight on "the Lord's side." She will hear again the sad wail of the massacred at Fort Pillow, see those black forms dashing toward the parapets of Fort Wagner and hear again the thunderings of the awful crater at Petersburg. With this must come the consoling thought that she has done what she could. For among those sleeping heroes her husband, her brother, her father is lying, having given up their lives that "a nation of the people, for the people, and by the people, might not perish from the land."
To the Editor of "The Brooklyn Eagle":
It is very unfortunate that such a valuable citizen as Andrew H. Green should be the target for a crazed Negro's revolver, while the real sinner escaped to bring him into nauseating prominence at this late date. How soothing it would have been to Mr. Green's friends, whose confidence in his integrity, no doubt, was somewhat shaken by the manner of his taking off, had this man stood over his coffin and told what he tells now. While I am not in sympathy with Mrs. Elias' manner of living, I believe that others will agree with me that for farsightedness, sagacity and business tact, Hannah Elias is a twentieth century wonder. Nine-tenths of those who are pounding her would, no doubt, like to be as fortunate. Many attractive women are living in luxury at the expense of such old sinners as Platt. His bid for sympathy on the ground that he did not know that the woman was a Negress, is rendered ridiculous by
his own statement concerning the visit of his friends from the West who, after being shown the white joints of the Tenderloin, were not satisfied until they had "done the coon joints." A certain class of men are not satisfied in visiting any town North, South, East or West, unless they have paid their respects to the "coon joints." In such a resort, Mr. Platt met Mrs. Elias. He confesses that to his sorrow he lost sight of her, and found her again through an advertisement of massage treatment for rheumatism, by which treatment he was cured. Those of the medical profession will bear me out in the assertion that physicians who command the largest fees are specialists. Mr. Platt, who had rheumatism--a very unpleasant, yet aggrivating malady--had doubtless before meeting Mrs. Elias, spent large sums of money to effect a cure and failed. Mrs. Elias cured him! Such a tormenting disease cured! Should it be wondered at that a rich old man whose life had been thus prolonged, paid handsomely for it, and that he returned frequently for treatment lest the malady return? Is not such a man an ingrate who would seek to beat a poor woman out of the paltry sum of $685,000, which she had earned by performing such a miraculous cure? Was the old gentleman in his right mind when he paid these large fees and gave such handsome presents? Yes. Yes. Then, has he been robbed? No! Mr. Platt is as much against social equality as Mr. Thomas Nelson Page, and is doubtless as opposed to his daughter sitting in close proximity to a Negro woman in a public conveyance. But I don't think he agrees with the Honorable John Temple Graves, that the races should be separated. Suppose we prove that this woman got her wealth dishonestly; is this an excuse for a howling mob about her door? There are men living in that community worth individually from eighty to a hundred millions, and men possessing such wealth have dishonestly gotten other people's money. Is there anybody up there seeking to serve papers on them? Are there howling mobs standing night and day about their premises? For Christian shame! Now Mrs. Elias, who is a wealthy taxpayer, is entitled to police protection, and should have it.
Brooklyn, June 7th, 1904.
To the Editor of "The Brooklyn Eagle":
I have had the pleasure of reading three installments of Br. Hamlin Abbott's contributions to the Outlook on the Negro problem. Mr. Abbott is, indeed, a logical, instructive and entertaining writer, original in many respects in his way of putting things, and I believe he is earnestly trying to devise some means of settling a perplexing question. But he who reads between the lines may see that Mr. Abbott does not possess sufficient virtue to lift him out of the beaten path and contemplate his fellow citizen from human view point, rather than as a problem that a white man must settle. The disposition to kick the under dog is as old as the human race. I often think of Charles Dickens' story of that wretched boy, Oliver Twist, chased by a wild mob through the streets of London, headed by the real thief, to be "stopped at last," struck down by a coward and dragged off to prison with no one near to pity or protest. I see a lone woman, pursued by a thousand men for over a hundred miles through the swamps and marshes of Mississippi, that they might have the pleasure of seeing her suffer the most shocking death. While in New York, men, women and children to the number of ten thousand seek to tear, as it were, to pieces another, because she had committed the crime of living in luxury. This is the problem, woefully perplexing. I trust that Mr. Abbott may see the wisdom of dropping the threadbare Negro question and give to his readers a few contributions on the more intensely interesting subject, the poor white, the indented slave, the ticket of leave man, over whom the tide of progress has rolled for centuries without making but little impression; the creature that allowed the Negro to break off his shackles and outstrip him in the moral and intellectual and financial race, and actuated by envy, keeps the South in turmoil. Mr. Abbott will find this an almost exhaustless subject. In the dismal fastness of the Gulf States, in the mountainous regions of western North Carolina, east Tennessee, the Virginias and Kentucky can be found material for the turning out of immense volumes of matter as thrilling and
interesting as the adventures of "Dare Devil Dick." For there, daily, dramas in real life are enacted that need no stage settings to add to their effectiveness upon the stranger and the unitiated. There, ambushed assassinations are of daily occurrence and vengeance is the law of the land. I would advise Mr. Abbott to visit these sections and write something really interesting. But I would say here that he who would assay to chronicle the doings of these people from the premises is likely to be called from labor to refreshment at any moment. What a ripe field for missionary work? But the missionary will find the work of converting this people more difficult than changing the wildest Patagonian, because they are all Bible-reading heathen--people who can repeat chapter after chapter, who know by heart the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes and attend religious services regularly. Yet out of this great Book, so full of beautiful precepts, they have extracted this one creed--"An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth." There the preacher and the deacon are as quick on the trigger as the meanest moonshiner; there a quarrel over a horse swap or a pig has resulted in feuds that have never ceased until an entire generation has been wiped out. Mr. Abbott is letting pass an opportunity that an angel might covet.
Brooklyn, June 25th, 1904.
To the Editor of "The Brooklyn Eagle":
When Rome was mistress of the world, and her barbarian captives were butchered to make holidays, in the vast ampitheatres where these brutal exhibitions took place, women composed a large percentage of the audiences that assembled there to gloat over the sight of human blood. Women were often butchered there, and little babes oft with prayers upon their lips ruthlessly torn to pieces. But we can safely say that in these feasts of blood, women were not executioners, although they were unmoved by the cruel
taking off of their own sex. We can therefore rest assured that what took place in a small town in the State of Mississippi a few days ago would have made pagan Rome look aghast and called forth a cry of indignation that would shaken the very temple of the Caesars. In that Mississippi community, before an assemblage of ten thousand people, a child of tender age was made to tie a rope about a man's neck and lead him to his self-appointed executioners, who terrorized the State by their wanton disregard for law and order. The killing of that wretch in this manner was, perhaps, the only way to pacify that perturbed community, but the memory of that awful scene must ever haunt that child, at least until its little heart and conscience have become calloused. There is no question but that these people were wrought up to the highest pitch over the awfulness of the alleged crime; so was King David of Israel over the story told by the prophet Nathan of the rich man who had cruelly taken the poor man's lamb and dressed it for his own guests. "And David's anger was greatly kindled against the man: and he said unto Nathan as the Lord liveth the man that has done this thing shall surely die. And he shall restore the lamb fourfold because he did this thing and because he had no pity. And Nathan said unto David, Thou art the man!" For the King had killed Uriah the Hitite and had taken his wife. Who are these men shouting for virtue and purity? No Negro woman of the South, no Negro child of tender age has as yet been enabled to successfully indict a man of the dominant race who seeks by law and custom to hedge in one woman and destroy another. Why can't these champions consider the various definitions of the term "assault"? The Negro possesses the same propensities of any other creature of the human race, and in the South his environments are such that he cannot with impunity defend his own wife, mother or sweetheart from insult and violence. Now imagine this crowd, intimidated being, running amuck, terrozing communities and making women and children unsafe. These two extremely different traits of character do not exist in a man situated as the Southern Negro. A man is likely to take such liberties where there is most familiarity; where social
laws are not so rigidly adhered to, and the man who violates the person of a woman in a community where mere suspicion is death, where to be within close proximity to where a crime of any sort is committed or attempted is death, is irresponsible; and in humane Northern communities would be a subject for expert physicians.
To the Editor of "The Brooklyn Eagle":
The recently published interview published in a Manhattan newspaper between an Atlanta correspondent and three returning Negroes to that city from a mob-infested section of Illinois, may not be an unlikely story. It should not be said that the Negro must return South for the very treatment he leaves it to obtain elsewhere. Yet oddily enough, this has been asserted by three men who had tried the North and West. The Southern people should not, however, feel elated over such intelligence, for in return for oceans of stolen sweat, the South should accord the black man better treatment than he even might expect in the North and West. There is no place where a people expect to enjoy every right of citizenship more than in the home they have helped to build and maintain. The South is in the main responsible for the indignities heaped upon the dusky citizen elsewhere, for in return for 250 years of unrequited toil, he has been sent forth with a bad name to be shunned and persecuted by the too credulous Northerner, whose prejudice is kept alive by the far-fetched press reports that precede him. When the Negro has learned the value of a good name, he will then be enabled to appreciate to what extent the Southerner has damned him. "Who steals my purse steals trash." The Negro who regards people who continually malign him as best friends is ignorant of the value of a good name. Negroes differ as materially as do other peoples. We have (as well as the fawning sycophant, satisfied with any form of existence) the Fred Douglas, the Nat Turner, the William Still, to whom freedom with a
crust is preferable to wealth in slavery. Such men are today pushing out over the sections of country where most freedom can be obtained, and where the most justice and equity abounds in courts of law, there is most freedom. The arm raised in its own defense is nerved in proportion to the confidence of the individual in the justness and impartiality with which he and his antagonist are to be dealt with in a court of law, Those returning fugitives to Atlanta found this contrast in the North. But if they came North looking for and expecting "social equality" they deserved to be disappointed for their good. That class of whites with which the Negro comes socially in contact in the North and West does him not one particle of good morally, socially, interlectually nor spiritually. The black mother need not boast that her children play with white ones, and that she is the only colored resident in a community. The offspring of the beer besotted parents with whom negro children are thrown in Northern communities no more advance and elevate than the company of wolves, and the mother who thinks that association with such gamins is an advance in the social scale is ignorant and wanting in race pride. The white child whose association would uplift, is as far removed from this class of whites as is the Negro himself. The colored man who comes North feeling that the opportunity to touch glasses at bar-room counters with this class of white men, and to intermarry with women of like calibre, to the disparagement of his own, is a step higher in the social scale, misses the bull's eye by a wide margin.
Brooklyn, August 8th, 1903.
To the Editor of "The Brooklyn Eagle":
Fictionists and writers of weird tales of carpet-bag rule in the South are determined that the American people shall not forget that regime and the part the Negro played in it. The blunder(?) made by giving the colored man the ballot is to be the Nation's undying worm and unquenched fire. The Eagle's review of Thomas Dixon's new novel, "The Clansman," shows that it is a stronger appeal to race hate and rancor than "The Leopard's Spots," by the same author. What of the Negro and the reconstruction period? Why should much ado be made over his part in that regime? Honest students of history know perfectly well that under the then existing circumstances there was no other course to pursue than to give the Negro the franchise; it was his certificate of manhood, his only safeguard against immediate re-enslavement. Every student of history knows also that the reconstruction period was the natural and inevitable result of war like the War of the Rebellion. Why not go further back and rake those over whose bickerings brought the war on? The Filipino is not charged with rebellion against this country, yet there is a reconstruction period going on in the Philippine Islands. Some day a Filipino Thomas Dixon, Thomas Nelson Page or John Temple Graves will write a story of that period frought with weird and fantastic tales of murder, intimidation, usurpation, tryanny, subjugation, land-grabbing, stealing and mongrelizing. But I guess the book will not be as fascinating to American readers as "The Clansman." Although Mr. Dixon's story begins at Washington, the principal scene of action is South Carolina, and the writer could not have chosen a more fitting scene for a drama of this kind. South Carolina is responsible for the reconstruction period, for that State led off in the rebellion which necessitated such a regime. On the day that the Federal garrison evacuated
Fort Sumpter, a little man in a speech to the people of Charleston, said, "This little State has humbled the entire Nation to-day," and pointing to the flag which floated over his head, he continued, "and this little flag now flaunting the breeze over us will in three months' time float over the Capitol at Washington!" Vain boast! If that man could have foreseen what took place during the four years following this incident, he would doubtless have been willing to crawl to Washington to apologize to an insulted Nation. In less than three years half starved and wornout rebel soldiers were cursing South Carolina for having started the disastrous and foolhardy fight. But we Northern sympathisers are inclined to say the South was actuated by the honest convictions that it was right. Why not concede the same to the reconstructionist? Was he not nearer right than the man-stealer?
Brooklyn, January 30th, 1905.
The most interesting and fascinating report of murder trials nowadays is that of the alienist who is generally the prosecuting attorney's most valuable adjunct when circumstantial evidence is the main channel by which conviction is hoped to be secured. While the average newspaper reporter follows closely the proceedings of a trial, notes the evidence of the witnesses, the quarrels of lawyers in their efforts to convict or acquit, the alienist sits by and attempts to open up to the world's gaze the soul of the accused. Every lineament of the features comes under the scrutinizing gaze of the alienist; the eyes, the forehead, the mouth, the chin, the ears, the hands--all of these members are closely studied by this wonderful reader of character and generally arrayed on the side of conviction. For the alienist will show that these carefully studied lineaments evidence weakness--the murder mania, that the crime for which the prisoner stands charged was inevitable. But what a saving it would be to the State and to society if such
devils could be singled out and incarcerated before they do incalculable harm. Suppose the expert could discover the weakness of a building, warn his fellows of their danger and thereby prevent the awful calamities that so often take place in our large cities. Such service is done now and then, but successfully determining a person's character by studying the features is not an achievement to be relied upon. Yet, in the great commercial world, the habit of singling out men for certain callings by appearance only has driven many an honest fellow to despair. Thousands of honest men and women are daily turned from places where employment is offered because they cannot pass under the scrutinizing gaze of some expert who presumes to guage their fitness by their personal appearance. There are many honest men with but one suit of clothes which will in time become shabby, look shiny in spite of care; there are sober men and honest men with nothing with which to appear as though they were honest "sober and reliable," who, "turned down," go back to their suffering families with no look of hope, or to end their misery by suicide. Who can successfully read character by either of the above-mentioned mediums? No one! Yet Mr. Thomas Dixon, Jr., has undertaken to do that very thing in an article written in defense of the "Clansman," published in the September number of the Metropolitan, in reply to the following criticism of his latest work in a Boston paper: "He reaches the acme of his sectional passions when he exalts the Ku Kluz Klan into an association of Southern patriots, when he must know, or else be strangely ignorant of American history, that its members were as arrant ruffians, desperadoes and scoundrels as ever went unhanged." This is the verdict of the world that has already passed into history. But Mr. Dixon attempts to set aside this verdict by publishing the pictures of some of the prominent leaders of the Ku Klux Klan and asks the world to forget their awful misdeeds and accept them as paragons of excellence because of the comeliness of their features. In Mr. Dixon's gallery of photographs appears the likeness of Gen. John B. Gordon, of Georgia, General Forrest of Tennessee, Rev. W. W. Landum of Atlanta, Ga.; Hon. John W. Morton of Tennessee.
The gentleman has included the likeness of his own father, the Rev. Thomas Dixon, Sr., and unwittingly brands him as a red-handed murderer, a kind of Dr. Jeykel and Mr. Hyde, who could by day preach the Gospel of a loving and forgiving Christ, and at night creep forth in ghastly regalia to assist devils in the work of murder and rapine.
In comparing the likeness of his father with that of Thaddeus Stephens, Mr. Dixon says, "A study of the portrait of Thaddeus Stephens, the man who created the Union League and sent it on its mission of revenge and confiscation, and the face of my father may settle the question as which of two was the desperado in this stirring drama." To further strengthen his defense of the Ku Klux Klan and its dastardly work, the reverend gentleman, in contrast to the handsome likenesses of some of its members, has published the picture of a colored man, "The lowest type of negro, maddened by these wild doctrines, began to grip the throat of the white girl with his black claws. The bestial looking creature whose portrait accompanies this article is a photograph of this type from life. It appeared in the first editon of my novel, 'The Leopard's Spots,' but the publishers were compelled to cut it out of all subsequent editions, because Northern readers could not endure to look upon the face of such a thing, even in a picture." And yet we come across or meet just such looking men in our every day life in Northern cities; they are the trusted butlers, coachmen and men of all work in nearly every aristocratic Southern home. Northern women who went South just after the war went about unmolested, and such women are still going about unmolested among such "things." In the month of July, while in the city of Philadelpha, I attended services one Sunday morning at the Wesley Methodist Church and listened to an eloquent sermon by an eminent Christian minister with just such a looking face as appears in Mr. Dixon's article. Doubtless no sweeter soul lived than reposed beneath that ebony skin, and no provocation however strong could induce this homely disciple, made in the image of his Maker, to stoop to perform the knavish work which Mr. Dixon boasts his father performed.
To the Editor of "The Brooklyn Eagle":
Now that Mr. Thomas Nelson Page has written the last installment of his very interesting study of the Race problem, the question uppermost in my mind, as I ponder over the closing article before me, is, would Mr. Page lift a finger to remove one of the defects in the race he has so glaringly enumerated? Would not Thomas Nelson Page resist with all the strength of his manhood any attempt on the part of friend or foe to open the closet of the Southern home that the skeleton which hides there might stalk forth in all of its ugliness? Yes! a thousand times Yes! An attempt at such a thing on the part of an editor in Memphis, Tenn., some years ago, resulted in the demolishing of his entire plant. Another such attempt at Wilmington, N. C., in 1898, resulted in the wild hunt for a fugitive in seven States. Looking at the situation from this viewpoint, Mr. Page occupies the positon of a giant in armor striking at a pigmy. If such an attack upon a neighbor and benefactor is Mr. Page's version of Southern chivalry and manhood, let us build a monument to Judas Iscariot and compose anthems of praise to Benedict Arnold. Emerging slightly from the beaten path, Mr. Page divides the Negro race into three classes, i. e., the respectable, the middling respectable and the very bad. He could have done much in the way of assisting that respectable element by using his pen in an assault upon the law just passed in the State of Virginia, which places such a woman as Mrs. Booker T. Washington on a level with the lowest of bad women. The gentleman reluctantly admits that the Negro has been an indespensible adjunct--a potent factor in building and maintaining this republic, and yet he would deprive him from breathing the air he has helped to free and purify. To put a little more than 3,500,000 blacks in this country it cost Africa 40,000,000 human lives by butchery, starvation and drowning. A trail of blood followed the slave ships from Africa's shores to the American coast. Should not the penalty for such a horror be a more perplexing problem? As
is not the case with the white race, Mr. Page asserts that education does not improve the Negro's morals. He is a very low being. But listen to an attack from the mouth of the Rev. Mr. Dixon from quite another and unexpected source, in a sermon delivered in a certain Brooklyn theatre, Sunday, May 8th. He said: "There are villages in New England to-day without a religious service from January until December, except an occasional funeral service, where the Sabbath is no more regarded than by Judge Gaynor here, and where marriage is scarcely more regarded than by the people in the heart of Africa. The people have drifted, not into infidelity, but into licentiousness and sin upon sin, and they are learned and cultured," etc. These are white people, and the same may exist in Mr. Page's neighborhood, but he hasn't the courage to say it, neither has Rev. Dixon, who is a Southerner. Not many years ago in a Virginia city, a Negro man and a white woman agreed to marry, and in order to avoid trouble, went to Washington, married there and returned. But these two honest people were arrested, tried and sentenced each to five years in prison, and the judge in sentencing them gave them a long and severe lecture on ethics. And yet that very judge maintained a Negro woman with six mulatto children within two blocks of his home. Most learned judge! Most excellent exponent of ethics! He was a white man! This Negro woman was the leper to be shunned. It's a great thing to be a white man; it sugars over the grossest sins and vineers the roughest exteriors. No wonder ignorant, renegade Negroes are clamoring for face bleach.
To the Editor of "The Brooklyn Eagle":
When a few evenings ago I listened to an address by a member of the Afro-American Business League, before the Literary Society of the Carlton Avenue Branch of the Y. M. C. A., on his recent visit South, I remarked at its conclusion that comments on the material advancement of the Southern Negro in consequence of the general denial of the franchise, should not be indulged in by our leaders as a reason why he should eschew politics. But what I said was not favorably received by the audience, who was misled by the fierce retort of the speaker, who held that politics was a bane to the progress of the Southern man of color. I hold, however, that if the ballot is not good for the Negro, it is not good for the white man. If it is not good for the ignorant, it is not good for the learned. If it is not good for the poor it is not good for the rich. But I refrained from prolonging the argument. A few days since a published interview had with this gentleman by a Brooklyn paper's representative, relative to his Southern trip, has been handed me by an indignant citizen, with a request that I answer it. Our friend says that he stopped at many points (going South) long enough to acquire information on the condition of the Negro and the relations between the two races. He looked and listened in vain, he said, for encouragement. "But passing through the South this way, one is confronted with the worst phase of the problem(?) because the stations and depots are the centers of the slothful, vicious and ignorant class of Negroes." The gentleman saw more in Atlanta to be ashamed of than proud of, "for the worst of the race is in the majority and more in evidence, and the race is judged in the South by its worst side. So long as the self-respecting Negroes are in the minority, the slothful, vicious Negroes will be mill-stones about their necks." Too bad! Too bad, indeed! The Southern Negro is noted for his humble manners, generosity
and hospitality, looking for the best in the storehouse to put before the stranger, and I am a witness to the fact that for preparing nice, juicy, tender, fried chicken, all done up in batter, the Southern Negro is peculiar. Now who is that so base and ungrateful as to rise from a table where such delicious victuals are served and "backbite" the neighbor who prepares it? We are, indeed, sorry that this gentleman could not return to the North with something more original and interesting to talk about. The white man, when he returns from the South, usually returns Southern hospitality by publicly saying something to please them, and nothing is more pleasing to the average Southerner than expressed sympathy for him in his very unpleasant environments (all his own making) and a tirade against the Negro. The late Miss Frances Willard, on her return from a lengthy stay in the South, publicly thanked her Southern hosts by saying in a magazine article, "I pity the Southern people. The Negroes are swarming like locusts in Egypt, and the white man dare not leave the threshold of his own door," etc. A more malicious falsehood was never uttered against a defenceless people. The white man can leave the threshold of his door, and does leave it to cross that of the black man to scatter shame and ignominy, which he can do with impunity. Now why didn't the gentleman follow this example and kick the other fellow? When a few years ago ex-Gov. Northen of Georgia invaded Boston armed with a typewritten defence of the burning of Sam Hose, the Congregational Club of that city paid two dollars a ticket to hear an African Methodist bishop refute the charges made by the Georgian against his people and defend them. The members of that club and their friends listened in disgust to a crawling Negro who joined Northen in his tirade of abuse. "Thou too Brutus?" That very bishop is supported in luxury by those low(?), vicious(?) Negroes, whom he was not man enough to defend, and they should repay him by cutting off his meal check.
Now our friend could have given us more interesting talk had he scoured around Atlanta and made a study of the low whites of that section, for God has not created a
being lower in the scale of humanity than a Georgia "cracker," the descendant of indentured slaves, lifted out of serfdom by Lincoln's proclamation. He could have found hordes of such creatures, sitting about, whittling sticks and waiting for an opportunity to commit some act of barbarism. At Nashville, which he also visited, he could have found more of this peculiar people to interest him, and further over in western North Carolina, and in the wilds of Kentucky he could have found material with which to have written a story as weird and fantastic as Haggard's "She." How he could have thrilled his audiences! The good white people are not losing any sleep over this class amongst their race, neither are they "mill stones about their necks." I do not believe that there can be found in Atlanta or its vicinity, or any where in the South, Negroes low enough, base enough, blood-thirsty enough to plan the burning at the stake of a human being on the Sabbath day; to charter trains to run excursions to the scene that women and children might witness the shocking sight of a man's flesh being torn from his body ere he dies, to hear the wails of a tormented creature, praying for death to end his misery. No black this side of Dahomey could have loaded his pockets with pieces of charred human flesh and minced liver and heart to hand around to his friends as souvenirs. Now until this heathen is routed out, killed off or civilized it is nonsense to be harping on the shortcomings of the Negro, who is far better.
Brooklyn, Oct. 10th, 1903.
To the Editor of "The New York Times":
There has been no act of violence in recent years in the South more atrocious and shameful than that of that mob upon the streets of New Orleans a few days ago. The claim of the mob and their sympathizers is that a Negro desperado had killed a police officer in the discharge of his duty. Yet there is nothing in the affair to show that Robert
Charles, who was sitting quietly upon his doorstep when interfered with, was a desperate character. The title of "desperado," "Negro murderer," is very easily obtained in the South. To strike back in his own defence, even to save his own life, has made the Negro an outlaw in the South and put a price upon his head. But who were the desperadoes in this case? That mob of men and boys who terrorized New Orleans and trampled upon law and order. Looking over this awful event, I can see but one hero--one man, and that was Robert Charles. If this calm, nervy, deliberate black man, facing certain and ignominious death, and yet using his rifle with such telling effect, is not a hero, then let the names of the martyrs of the Alamo be erased from the page of history. One hundred and fifty men like Robert Charles and armed as he was would have brought that mob to its senses. David, the shepherd boy, in his lament over Saul and Jonathan, slain in battle against the tantalizing Philistines, counseled Israel to teach the children the use of the bow. The child should be taught that self-defense is as essential, as obligatory as self-respect, and the use of the rifle as the alphabet.
To the Editor of "The Brooklyn Eagle":
It was indeed a happy assemblage that gathered at the first anniversary of the colored branch of the Young Men's Christian Association--happy over a most flattering showing of an organization just one year old. When an audience is in a jovial mood its discriminating faculties become dormant and the applauding spirit predominates to such an extent that both the sublime and the ridiculous in the performance are alike encouraged. While the music and speech-making were creditable, some of the latter was not without a smack of the ridiculous. For to say to a people
whose ancestors landed here before the Pilgrim Fathers that they have yet to earn their citizenship is both ridiculous and un-Christian. Such a thing is not said to the meanest emigrant. No Christian can afford to accord to the brother in black anything less than citizenship, and that carries with it a common interest in the wealth and prosperity of the country of which he is a citizen. It is characteristic of the average Afro-American to be liberal with his "Amen" and "That's so," but he should not give such assent to any speech-maker who seeks to impress the doctrine that he himself is the recipient of that which he had no part in accumulating; that he has been for two hundred and fifty years an idle on-looker while the white man accomplished everything. He who hewed down the forests, tilled the fields, made the breadstuffs, is just as indispensable in the building of a nation as he who pockets the proceeds and makes the laws. That power which is at work, seeking to in any way abridge the privileges of the black citizen is of the devil. It is hoped that the compromising attitude of one of the prominent speakers at that anniversary does not characterize the giver of that handsome building to the Carlton Acenue Branch of the Y. M. C. A., who should feel himself a steward of God's wealth.
Brooklyn, May 23d, 1903.
To the Editor of "The Brooklyn Eagle":
E. A. Corey of Statesboro, Ga., attorney for the two Negroes recently burned at the stake at that place, is quoted as saying that it was impossible to save these men; that the mob, which was composed of some of the best people of Bulloch County, had laid their plans with precision that could not fail of success. God help the worst people of Bulloch County. We can reckon upon no best people in passing upon an episode of this kind. The people of the
North should no longer allow themselves to be deluded by the threadbare excuses that the "atrociousness of the crime," etc., "roused the people to take the law into their own hands and meet out such punishment as a warning to others." Embittered by the Negro's freedom and phenomenal advancement, these people need no atrocious crime to arouse them to intimidation, murder and tortune. Bits of the charred remains of these men Cato and Reade were packed by some of the members of the mob, and only the stout refusal of the express company to ship them saved the President from the insult of receiving these ghastly relics as a present from Georgia's "best people," who would rather burn than "his Negroes." When, in '98, six men under suspicion of having burned a barn were tied and shot to death at Palmetto, Ga., Governor Chanler excused the deed by saying that McKinley had insulted the South by sending Negroes to the Spanish-American war, and the sight of Negroes carrying swords and wearing bars so exasperated the Southern people that the deed was excusable. Gov. Chanler could not shoot McKinley for insulting the South, so he glutted his ire by sanctioning the butchery of six innocent men. It is said that it was the story of the little girl's piteous plea to the murderers to spare her life that so aroused the mob, but would a plea of that sort from a Negro child to a white murderer in Georgia so arouse? It would be as easy to stop the earth in its course as to convict a white man for such a crime against a Negro family in the South. The only crime Postmaster Baker had committed at Lake City, S. C., was that of holding by appointment a Federal position. But a mob burned his home, shot him to death, killed an innocent babe in his arms and wounded his wife and daughters. The awful details of this crime by one of the murderers upon the witness stand aroused no one. Even the tears of the judge failed to move a jury to convict a gang of self-confessed murderers. Past experience with deeds of this kind prompts us to question the guilt of Cato and Reade. Considering even the alleged confessions of the men, the testimony of their wives reinforced by that of the "best people," there is room for reasonable doubt.
Brooklyn, Sept. 5th, 1904.
To the Editor of "The Eagle":
From my point of view, I hardly think there is another paper aside from the "yellows" that would permit such disgusting, anarchistic matter as you print about once a week from the pen of the Negro admirer, Jack Thorne. All papers without Negro blood on the staff put these dreadful, ignorant, ranting productions in the waste basket. The disgusting details set forth, if printed, should be accompanied by illustrations like those of the sensational papers. Some of the Eagle tours should be conducted through the South, taking relays of hard-worked editors along so they would be able to see things at close range and not depend on creatures like Emma Goldman for information. The morbid details given in the last serving printed to-day never appeared in the news columns of the Eagle, or any other claiming cleanliness. Why then in a letter? People who read decent literature, and who have traveled and lived all over this country, do not like to read such filthy things in print, even in the advertising portions. If I am obliged to read it I shall just discontinue patronage of the Eagle as an advertiser and as a subscriber. I know others who will not stand it. Why don't you get out a Negro sheet for that class of patronage? The ones you try to include would be, no doubt, accommodated. The next thing of the kind in the Eagle's columns will cost it many dollars of withdrawn advertisements, and I will never send it through the mails again or allow it in my presence.
Brooklyn, Sept. 7th, 1904.
The Eagle gives perfect freedom of discussion in this column to all who comply with the simple rules which have been made and which are printed from time to time. It prints Jack Thorne's letter because the rules are complied with, just as willingly as it prints this correspondent's letter, because it believes the opening of its columns to such discussion is one of the most important of its public duties.
To the Editor of "The Eagle":
In Georgia, which was admitted into the Union prematurely, before its people were civilized and fit to be ranked as citizens--a district that to-day is barbarous, and whose most civilized are amply rankling with savagery to shake the foundation of any constitutional government--occurred an act that has not only disgraced the Southern States, but one that has belittled in the eyes of foreign republics the land of the brave and the free. The Negro boy criminals, like Caucasian boy criminals, committed the atrocious crime of murder. They were arrested, tried and condemned to die, of course. A reverened brother of the criminals' prey is said to have discountenanced violence and exhorted the murderous Christian brethren, church members and others directly connected with the worst outrage in the annals of crimonology; but too indistinguishable were the majestic ethics of legal execution from rough shod barbarity for them and too rankling with breeded savagery were these men to let the law enjoty its supremacy.
This act serves to demonstrate that the South is lurid with depraved ignorance and wicked savagery. Robert Ingersoll once said, if you should give him Georgia and hell, he'd rent out Georgia and live in hell.
R. S. KING.Brooklyn, N. Y.
To the Editor of "The Brooklyn Eagle":
In last week's Collier's--Leslie's, also--are pictures of the recent burning of Reed and Cato at Statesboro, Ga. The one illustration shows the men before the burning, chained to a tree. After the awful execution the other one is taken, and shows a small heap of ashes by the smoking stump. Leslie's and Collier's are not classed as "yellows,"
but are rather two of the leading magazines of this country, and yet they care so little about the standing of the American Nation among other civilized peoples that they unblushingly scatter broadcast such ghastly evidences of American depravity and retrogression. The correspondent calling herself Anne Carter should vie with Jack Thorne in denouncing this awful blot upon civilization, instead of assailing him as an ignorant writer of anarchistic matter. There never was more ignorant ranting indulged in than the anamidversions upon the administration of President Roosevelt that fell from the lips of Howell and Walters a few evenings ago. Mrs. Carter would do well to read these rantings. They are more disgusting than Jack Thorne's defense of a humble people. Some one remarked the other day that the Czar of Russia should be hanged. Should not the Governor of Georgia be hanged also? If Georgia was a Russian province he would be hanged if he did not punish the perpetrators of this awful crime. The American Negro is being butchered, hanged, flayed alive and burned at the stake, and there seems no redress neither in State or country, to which they have proven themselves loyal in every conflict waged for the country's maintenance. During the Civil War the slave guarded safely the home of the master on the battlefield, whom he had every reason to believe would not come back. Now because that war waged for the perpetuation of slavery and the increase of slave territory resulted in the victory of Union arms and the consequent freedom of that faithful slave, every method is resorted to to make his freedom undesirable. If Mrs. Carter thinks Jack Thorne's writings "ranting." I hope that he will continue to rant until the white race realizes that for its own preservation, for its own integrity, humane treatment must be accorded to others.
MRS. M. E. J. PARKER.Brooklyn, Sept. 12th, 1904.
Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Jobes Parker, author of the above brave epistle, is among the most interesting of Brooklyn women, with a wonderfully retentive memory. A fascinating and instructive conversationist, Mrs. Parker's reminiscences
of her early life in New York, her personal acquaintance with men and women of the race who figured prominently in the business and social life of the great Metropolis in days gone by, make her a most interesting host. Mrs. Parker, who was born in New Jersey and who taught school in that State before the War, comes of noble ancestry. Her grandmother and great-grandmother on her mother's side were English; her great-grandmother on her father's side was an African princess who, because of her marked intelligence, was given her freedom. Her great-grandfather on her father's side was a Madigascan. Mrs. Parker is one of the most successful book canvassers of the East; she has handled the works of nearly every author of the race. She has been quite a successful insurance writer and is now an agent for the Metropolitan Mercantile & Realty Co. Mrs. Parker is an earnest and unswerving race-woman, always ready, both with tongue and pen, to champion the cause of her people.
To the Editor of "The Brooklyn Eagle":
It is said of George Washington that one day while he was conversing with another gentleman, a Negro slave passed and raised his hat, and Washington, to the astonishment of his companion, returned the salute by raising his hat also.
"Why General," asked the other, "do you thus salute a Negro?"
"I cannot allow a Negro to be more polite than myself," returned Washington." I do not suppose this incident was made a campaign slogan, or that an extra cession of Congress was called to discuss the propriety or impropriety of Washington's civility to a slave. General Washington's polite note to Phylis Wheatly, the Negro poetess, is among choice American literature. What a contrast is this, the Father of
His Country to Governor Terrell of Georgia, who is loud in the praise of an officer from that State who refused to return the salute of a freeman and an officer at Manassas! Had this officer been of the same race the Nation would have risen up to condemn this man for conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman. Because a State or even a whole Nation boasts that a thing is right, does not make it right. We could not have done without the Black Phalanx in '63, and the immunes were indispensable in '98, and are we sure we may not need them again? Shall not they who led the assault and "memorized another Golgotha" at San Juan, share the honors of war in times of peace? Talk of shooting down such benefactors as they passed in review is unprecedented even among heathen nations. Days when knighthood was in flower and barons held their sway are past. He who would exact homage must remember that there is some concession on his part, even to the humblest, expected. The master who kicked his chattels and exacted obedience to his every wish, must realize and appreciate the fact that he who was once an abject is a man.
Brooklyn, Sept. 18th, 1904.
To the Editor of "The Brooklyn Eagle":
In the Eagle of September 15th was an article by John P. Goodsir, in which he referred to Jack Thorn and R. S. King, two negroes, as vindicating Negro crime, in answer to which I would like to advance my ignorance of foundation for his statement.
I have been a constant reader of the Eagle and since becoming a teacher of this State have taken greater interest in the paper. Although my parents are among the strictest Christians of the Anglo-Saxon blood, I, as a rational being, irrespective of creed, religion and nationality, must admit that I really enjoy Mr. King's discussions as I also do Jack Thorn's. I consider their contributions to the Eagle the work of brilliant minds.
MISS E. J. EVANS.New Bedford, Mass., Sept 20th, 1904.
To the Editor of "The Brooklyn Eagle":
In Saturday's issue, Miss E. J. Evans of New Bedford, Mass., says: "In the Eagle of September 15 was an article by John P. Goodsir, in which he referred to Jack Thorne and R. S. King, two negroes, as vindicating Negro crime, in answer to which I would like to advance my ignorance of the foundation for his statement."
Well, as my critic is a Miss, I would like to enlighten her, and as it is leap year, I claim the privilege of the last word. In an article by Jack Thorne, published in the Eagle
September 7, he says: "Governor Chanler could not shoot McKinley for insulting the South, so he glutted his ire by sanctioning the butchery of six innocent men." He also says of two negroes burned for committing the most horrible crimes against women: "The express company saved President Roosevelt from the insult of receiving these ghastly relics from Georgia's 'best people', who would rather burn him than his negroes."
I would remind Miss Evans of the fact that President McKinley was highly delighted at his hearty reception by these "best people," whom Jack Thorne, a negro, insults by such palpable misstatements. President Roosevelt's mother was a Bulloch of Georgia, and he has been in the South associating with these "best people" whom Jack Thorne, a Negro, says "would rather burn him," and President Roosevelt is a good friend personally of these "best people," who have not the slightest desire to injure him nor see him harmed.
These "best people" whom Jack Thorne, a Negro, sneers at are thoroughbred ladies and gentlemen, and Miss E. J. Evans of New Bedford, Mass., considers his statement to be true and interesting. She is perfectly welcome to have such an opinion; I do not agree with her, and say further, that Jack Thorne, in making such statements, endeavors to vindicate "Negro crime," insults our President's deceased mother's memory, for she was of those "best people" whom Negro Jack Thorne sneers at, and practically tells a deliberate falsehood in insinuating that Governor Chanler and the "best people" would like to shoot McKinley. This is the kind of Negro which Miss E. J. Evans coddles and favors when she writes such an article as was published from her pen on Saturday. R. S. King, another Negro, said, in a letter on a Georgia lynching of two murderers: "This act serves to demonstrate that the South, so far from being civilized, is lurid with depraved ignorance and wicked savagery." This statement is a vile insult to all our fair Southern women, and only a coward would be afraid to say that it is a deliberate lie, for this Negro refers, of course, to the "best people," whom both these Negroes mentioned sneer at, and Miss E. J. Evans attempts to vindicate. My letter,
published on Thursday, September 15, 1904, has the hearty approval of fair women and brave men, highly educated, refined and cultured; and a letter published in the New York Times, the day after mine by James Callaway of Macon, Ga., he shows clearly that it is not the Negro nor politics, but merely the question of the freedom of white women of the South, who are practically prisoners, and in constant fear of being menaced by crouching Negroes, not of the better class, which, alas, are in the minority. May God have mercy on the flowers of the South when Thornes, Kings and Miss Evans make such statements as they have done against the South and its "best people."
JOHN PETRIE GOODSIR.Sea Cliff, Aug. 18, 1904.
To the Editor of "The Brooklyn Eagle":
Allow me to thank Mr. Goodsir through your paper for his clear, concise views as expressed in his letter of to-day. As a Southern woman of the "best class," I appreciate his championships and can say I know what it is to live in fear of the "crouching Negro."
ANNE CARTER.Brooklyn, Sept. 19, 1904.
To the Editor of "The Brooklyn Eagle":
Permit me to thank Mrs. Carter for the public expression of her appreciation of my views on the Race question as it is regarded by some, but in reality is the freedom of Southern women from fear of the "crouching Negro." In one way, I regret that she has done so, for she is likely to be flooded with undersirable literature and scurrilous notes. However, I appreciate her kindness all the more, in view of the fact that I have not the honor of her acquaintance. What aroused me to expose the fallacy and misleading statements of Thorne and King was the "Negro coddling letter" of Miss E. J. Evans of New Bedford, Mass., published last Saturday, and also the fact that Thorne and
King both elaborate on the too popular and untruthful idea that the "best people" have no desire for the Negro's welfare and treat him most brutally, while such is not the case. In an article written by me more than four years ago, I showed clearly that, in a grand majority of cases, the Negro's personality is not congenial, socially to the whites; that society and its circles are based upon congeniality of personalities, temperaments, ideas and aims. All of us white people are not congenial to one another. To some people, as soon as we meet, we are drawn towards them, and a bond of friendship firmly established.* * *
Now the Negro, who is successfully in business is praised by us of the white race. However, we do not care to have a Negro lead the German or cortillon with one of our fair Southern women. To hear some Massachusetts people talk, one would think it is a crime because they are not allowed to do so. Governor Terrell would no doubt take off his hat and shake hands with an old darkey slave who had served in his family faithfully and well. I have seen fair women throw their arms around their old "brack mammys" and hug them, and I wished for the moment that I was in old aunty's place. George Washington, we admit, took off his hat to an old and faithful slave, but Washington did not slop over in regard to his officers and men for simply doing their duty to the Nation, their wives, children and themselves.
JOHN PETRIE GOODSIR.Sea Cliff, Sept. 21, 1904.
To the Editor of "The Brooklyn Eagle":
Just a few months ago the heirs of "Click" Mitchell, who was actually kicked and hacked to death by a mob at Urbana, Ohio, about five years ago, received from the county in which Ubana is situated, $5,500. This recalls one of the most shocking episodes that ever disgraced Ohio. The yelling of "Extras" through the streets of New York, with their glaring headlines, and a woman's incendiary letter of thanks to her avengers, made me feel, as I rode down Sixth Avenue on that day, that--although far removed from the scene--as though I myself was the very culprit
as I felt the burning gaze of my fellow passengers riveted upon me. Now, at the end of five years, an article appearing in the Outlook (and the Outlook is a recognized authority) states that the alleged crime for which this man died, and for which this comparatively poor community was so heavily fined, was never committed. Now what kind of government have we where a woman can summon an innocent man before her and without trial send him to a death so barbarous and cruel? Do we live in the days of Catharine DeMidicis, Bloody Marys and Robespierres? If so, let us change our form of government to an absolute monarchy, put a woman on the throne and revive the guillotine. I have said, and reiterate it, that the white woman over which there is so much needless ado, is as safe in Mississippi as she is in Massachusetts, and instead of keeping up the cry of "wolf," she might reach down from her high estate and extend a helping hand to the black woman, the prey of the men of both races in the South, and whose word would not be taken against a white man in a court of law south of Mason's and Dixon's line. Know ye not that Simon Legree stalks abroad unrebuked in the South, so long as he preys only upon the child of the "alien"? Thousands of innocent and defenceless Negro girls are led actray in the South yearly by these very "educated" and "refined" gentlemen of whom Mr. Goodsir boasts so extravagantly. Now such weaklings are poor defenders of women. Such men can "crouch" with impunity, there is no one to run them down and no law to punish them. The gentleman in referring to Jack Thorne has taken great pains all through his letter to stigmatize me as "Jack Thorne the Negro." Such modes of attack have been very disastrous to us at times. It is our privilege, however, to dignify that name. I would inform the gentleman that I am a Negro fullblooded. Thanks to my sainted mother there is not a drop of the blood of his race in my veins. It saves me from the sin of cursing her very memory. I belong to a race too magnanimous to kick the prostrate, oppress the weak, hide their own sins and blow other people's short comings to the winds.
JACK THORNE.Brooklyn, Sept. 21, 1904.
To the Editor of the "Citizen":
In last Sunday's edition of one of the leading newspapers of Manhattan appeared the story of "A Woman Who Watched a Real Cannibal Feast."
"Mrs. Beulah M. Tuttle, a young American missionary," the paper goes on to say, "is now telling in a series of public lectures a story of adventure which eclipses the wildest flights of the imaginations of writers of dime novels. 'I can never forget the terrible things which caused my hair to turn gray almost in a single night. The scenes live in my memory as a dark nightmare, a horrible dream which I only wish was not true. My experience among the cannibals has been a shock to my nervous system from which I am afraid I will never recover'," etc., Mrs. Tuttle is relating her experience with cannibals on the Caroline Islands. But it seems strange that she could horrify an American audience with such a story; a people to whom such scenes as has turned this lady's hair "gray almost in a single night" are every-day occurrences, to attract no more attention than a dog fight to those who read of them: a people who invite women and children to witness the burning of a human being alive at the stake, to hear his agonizing cries as he slowly dies, to see his entrails torn out of his body, his eyes gouged out of his head, his heart cut out, his fingers and ears cut off and distributed among the audience, who eagerly seize them for souvenirs. The very things which to witness has made Mrs. Tuttle a nervous wreck pale into insignificance besides the barbarities that it's possible to be enacted at any time in any Southern State. Mrs. Tuttle concludes the story of killing and eating of twelve sailors by cannibals, as follows: "Then I saw a terrible thing. One of the sailors moved. He had only been stunned by the blow from the club and had partially recovered consciousness. One of the savages saw the sailor regaining his senses. Another blow with the club and the sailor was
killed and put out of his suffering. The fuel was gathered and naked bodies of the dead sailors roasted over it. The chief ate first. After dancing and singing a few minutes he allowed his followers to partake." That is, indeed, a horrible story. But I wonder if Mrs. Tuttle's dramatic recitals have the desired effect upon calloused American audiences. "The sailor was killed and put out of his suffering." Why, that's merciful and even commendable in a savage. We Christian Americans can go these poor, ignorant heathen, whose only object was to feast, one better in acts of cruelty and barbarism; we roast the human being alive at the stake and with pleasure witness his agony and suffering and laugh at his prayers for death to end them. It is an awful thing to burn a human being alive. The American Humane Society would imprison a person for such treatment of the lowest brute kind. Yet this treatment of human creatures has become a fixed custom in some of our commonwealths, sanctioned by the Nation and recommended by the President in his last message to Congress, but perhaps unwittingly. "The Negro's worst enemy is the criminal," says the Chief Executive. But a thousand per cent, more dangerous to the American people is the mob who openly defies law and order and tramples upon justice. There may be doubt as to the guilt of a culprit in the hands of a mob, but there is not the shadow of a doubt of the guilt of every man and woman who congregate for the purpose of wantonly taking human life.
To the Editor of "The New York Age":
As a soldier the Negro has proved that he is brave even to the point of recklessness, that under fire he is a stranger to fear. But of what avail is this wanton disregard for one's own life in the defense of the government? Why make the world wonder at San Juan to be hissed, jeered and even fired upon by the ungrateful people of a country whose honor he has upheld? Heroism displayed in battle is not to be despised or discounted. But that which prompts the laying down of one's life in times of peace to protect his home or the lives of his wife and little ones is of more value. With every weapon taken from him by the laws of the Southern States the Negro is as helpless as a serf in the hands of mobs who need only a pretext to tantalize, intimidate and murder him. But the Afro-American people need not be without the means of defence; every cabin could and should be an arsenal.
To this appalling situation the entire race seems indifferent; they frolic, they drink, they dance away precious time, and when danger comes the only weapons they have with which to contend with rifles are brick-bats. They bring from the South the same devil-may-care spirit and in sections where helplessness is less excusable, they are in riotous times at the mercy of "uncircumcised dogs" who beat and cuff them with impunity.
When David Hawkins, double banked by ruffians, fired the shot which precipitated the riots in South Brooklyn less than two years ago, as is usually the case, we were unstinting in abuse of this "bad man." But David Hawkins knows that the "Golden Rule" is not to be applied when dealing with Irish thugs; hard knocks are the only commodities
that bring respect. Let us brevet him "Captain" Hawkins, for he is master of the situation in Baltic Street and vicinity. When this man of iron left the court room after the trial of rioters, he went immediately to the scene of the shooting and not a tough assayed to molest him. Since that time assaults upon inoffensive men in this section have been frequent; colored men being knocked down and beaten in broad daylight. But "Captain" Hawkins moves about with perfect freedom. "Captain" Hawkins was not at home when about two weeks ago two white roughs entered Baltic Street and in front of his door beat a fourteen-year-old boy into insensibility while Negro men looked on and even run away. "Captain" Hawkins was not there, or there would have been a far different tale to tell of that fracas. It's "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth" in dealing with toughs.
"JACK THORNE."Brooklyn, September 10, 1906.
To the Editor of "The Brooklyn Eagle":
Please allow me a word in eulogy of our poet Paul Lawrence, now slowly dying at his home in Dayton, Ohio. We as a race occupy too meagre a place in the literary world to rightly appreciate his genius and his worth. He soared in realms ethereal, too lofty for us to reach. It was the Saxon who saw the beauty of his soul and placed him on high that the world might hear him sing. As he slowly fades from view the form of William Dean Howells looms up before our grateful eyes, but for whose generous pen our flower might have blossomed, bloomed and faded unknown. We contributed little to him in praise, and his yearnings now for longer life that he might do more for his race, makes him seem like the swan which sings its sweetest song when dying. Oh, Autumn winds, touch gently the fading cheeks of our bard, whose frailties we would not draw from their dread abode, but would pray that the peace which passeth understanding might be his in this his hour of reflection. We, as a race, environed by the stern and cruel, have had but little time to dream of the beautiful as we wrestled with monsters strong and relentless. Paul Lawrence Dunbar took time to listen to the rippling of the rills, the murmur of the brooks, the songs of the birds. Some of us, in our strong love for the race and in our zeal for their welfare, have waged war to the knife, knife to the hilt, far beyond the skirmish line. Dunbar chose to sing that the skeptical might look behind the ebony
exterior and see there the sweet, loving and forgiving heart. Such is true Negro character, to be able to sing even in chains. By this he has puzzled the dominant and awed the oppressor. Up from the slave plantation, floating on the balmy air, perfumed by the waving corn, "Swing low, sweet chariot," rises above the oaths of the driver and relaxes his hold upon the whip. No Greek nor barbarian in captivity has been able to retain such sweetness of soul. If ever we needed our Dunbar, it is now, for the war is waxing harder, and we need such as he to bear away the wounded, cover up the dead and hold the cross before the eyes of the dying. Robert Burns entered into immortality at 38, having raised to himself an imperishable monument. Paul Lawrence Dunbar at 32, raised a mortal to the skies and drew an angel down. Now that star, just in its zenith, flickers and flickers and is going out; and we see not another rising to take its place. Dying! Dying! Dying!
"Oh wind of the winter sigh low in my grief,
I bear thy compassionate breath;
I wither, I fall, like the Autumn kissed leaf,
He gave me the roses of death, of death,
He gave me the roses of death."
Brooklyn, Sept. 28, 1904.
To the Editor of "The Standard Union":
Some poet has said
"There is no death; the stars go down,
To rise upon some fairer shore;
And bright in heaven's jeweled crown,
They shine forever more."
"That which we call death is but the entrance into newer life, a life of real beauty, filled with joy unspeakable."
Without comment upon the above theory, or the multitude of others of what death is to the individual, let me say I believe that death is the great consoler, that ends every sigh; brings to an end all pain and suffering, for "There the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary be at rest." The youthful days of Adaline Leonard were past when I first met her. She was a woman in the prime of life, vigorous and full of womanly grace and beauty. There was genuine zeal in every one of the many efforts she put forth for the uplift of her people, whether in the school room or in the church, or whereever she was called upon to lend a hand. With a comfortable home and the sunshine that beamed forth from every brown eye which greeted her each morning as she entered the school room, to Adaline Leonard doubtless life was most desirable. But there came a time in that checkered life just closed when even the morning greetings of loved ones did not comfort and gladden, for the sunshine had gone out from that once sunny home and left it real dark. We have watched the glow slowly fade from cheeks flushed and ruddy; the vigorous and elastic step slow and unsteady, and eyes once clear
and bright scarcely able to discern even faces familiar. Forlorn, disappointed, although she never spoke of weariness, she doubtless many times wished for the rest that has come to her now. Although for seventeen years I have watched the going and coming of Adaline Leonard, I cannot fittingly eulogize her nor record her many virtues. Let older acquaintances, and the children who learned at her knee, some now grown to manhood and womanhood, stand by the bier and tell fully the story of her life, her virtues, her trials, her sacrifices. So familiar has been her slight figure slowly moving back and forth to and from her duties through Fulton Street, that it seems I must see her still, at all times ready to pause for a chat, and to involuntarily sigh and speak of the "Gabriel," who on one sad day went out from their home and left it real desolate. The hopeless paralytic in the hospital ward will listen in vain now for the comfort of her ministering hand, the soft tread of her weary feet, her patient indulgence, her soothing, cheering words, for at length her trials are ended.
61 Fleet Street.
Brooklyn, Feb. 22nd, 1906.
To the Editor of "The Brooklyn Eagle":
Allow me space for a few words of eulogy of the late Edwin F. See, general Secretary of the Brooklyn Young Men's Christian Association. An employee of the Central Branch for nearly four years. I had an opportunity to see a good deal of this eminent Christian man. While it is true that in his official capacity he moved in a sphere above mine, it did not prevent me from studying his character and noting his many noble traits. Exacting and rigid in his requirements of those under his direction as general secretary of that great institution, Edwin F. See was indeed a pattern for those about him of whom he expected honest and trustworthy performance of duty. To subordinates, he was never demonstrative nor gushing, neither was he condescending, but met his fellow men regardless of station with a cordiality that was honest and sincere.
During the fall and winter of 1905 it was my privilege to greet him each morning as he came into the building, and to painfully note the slow-fading cheeks, the slow and uncertain tread which betokened the approaching end of his useful career. But Edwin F. See, as he neared the Pearly Gates, did not go thither as one tired of life. He doubtless longed for a longer stay here, for surely there were home ties and the companionship of friends which made life here desirable. The beauties of the world are for the upright in heart, and to wish to die is unwise. And then again, there were tasks in the great field of Christian labor that he must leave unfinished--more young men to counsel, more struggling branches to help and encourage. The rose, blushing in the morning dew, does not long for the noon-day sun that will blast its petals and thus take away its power to charm.
Edwin F. See will be especially missed at 502 Fulton Street, where most of his life as a Christian worker was spent, for "his life was gentle, and the elements so mixed in him that nature might stand up and say to all the world 'this was a man'."
Brooklyn, Aug. 27, 1906
Brooklyn, N. Y., July 30th, 1906.
Mr. David B. Fulton,
I must thank you for your beautiful tribute to our dear Mr. See in Saturday's Eagle. What you observed of his noble Christian manliness for four years I witnessed for seventeen years, and it was always just as you picture it. He was a man!
H. C. SIMMONS,
Acting General Secretary.
I would not call thee to earth again.
With its fitful fever, its toils and pain;
Thy bark hast sailed for the Golden West;
It hath reached the haven of eternal rest.
Yet, it would have been most sweet to me,
To have said Good Bye ere you put to sea;
Ere the summons came "Arise, depart,
For this is not your rest, True Heart."
One who knew of thy Christian grace,
Fain would have gazed on thy silent face;
With the weeping mourners beside the beir,
To shed with them regretful tear.
Although I heard not the deep drawn sigh,
From the sorely bereft as they passed me by,
Thy motherly counsel, thy life so pure,
Shall live with me as the hills endure.
Some day when my bark hath run its race,
I shall meet thee dear One face to face,
On the shore of the beautiful Jasper Sea,
Where there'll be no tears for thee and me;
No sever'd friendships, dissembling foes,
And no sin to mar that sweet repose.
Till then, Farewell, Oh richly blest!
Thy work is ended: Enjoy thy rest.
In Robeson County, North Carolina, on the old Carolina Central Railroad, which connects the seaboard with the interior, within forty miles of Wilmington, the metropolis, and in close proximity to Lumberton, nestling among the sand hills, there is a straggling little village known for many years before the war as "Scuffle Town." The hamlet doubtless derived its name from the fact that it was a free negro settlement. In many Southern States the free colored man, shorn of the protection of a master, in many instances the object of suspicion in whom the slave-holder saw possible, if not probable, uprisings and massacres, was often looked down upon by the slave who under the protection of a master considered himself better off. Although many free negroes in North Carolina, who purchased their freedom by their own thrift and industry, lived in an enviable sphere, the shiftless among them were often referred to by the slaves as "scuffling along." Hence the name Scuffle Town. Insignificant as this obscure little hamlet may appear to the stranger with its old decayed dwellings, its neglected streets, its uneven rows of cabins, Scuffle Town less than forty years ago was the theater of some of the most exciting events, the most blood-curdling tragedies ever recorded in the history of the old North State. For this little hamlet was the home of the octoroon outlaw Henry Berry Lowery, who, with his band of bloodthirsty desperadoes, kept the entire State in terror and the eyes of the whole country settled upon Robeson County for quite a number of years. Those of us who are familiar with the history of Frank and Jesse James, who led that band of outlaws that kept the West so long in terror by their murders, train robberies and other crimes, have doubtless heard little or nothing of this
man who during the same period and actuated by the same grievances terrorized North Carolina.
Just as the name of Jesse James sent an involuntary shudder through the souls of those who heard it, although far removed from the scene of his depredations, so did the name of Henry Berry Lowery awe and terrorize in North Carolina.
Lowery and his intrepid freebooters were all colored men. The James boys and their followers were armed with the most improved firearms of that day; with the exception of the carbine carried by Lowery himself, taken from a Mexican who attempted to capture him, the only weapons these men had were knives and double-barreled shotguns. Although free colored people in the South could not vote, in some States they could own property and many of them owned slaves.. These Scuffler Towners, an admixture of Saxon, Indian and negro, kept aloft from the blacks, and like Santo Domingans, nursed a feeling of hostility towards the whites. In many instances during the Civil War free mulattoes sympathized with and cast in their lot with the Confederates; in Louisiana colored people of means gave largely of their wealth to assist the Southern cause. But they were not considered as desirable fighting material until the secessionists saw defeat staring them in the face. Then every available man was pressed into service, the free negro having the first consideration. The elder Lowery, the leader and adviser of his people, and who had been outspoken in his condemnation of the South's attitude in the awful controversy, advised his people not to assist in the fight for the perpetuation of slavery. But the whites, feeling it their right to draft into the service whom they willed, invaded this free negro settlement and shot to death those who resisted them, and among the killed was the elder Lowery. Henry, then quite a young man, was an eye witness to the death of his parent. Standing over the grave of his slain father he swore never to rest until every man who participated in that dreadful tragedy paid the penalty with his life. Those who recall that dark period in Robeson County immediately following the surrender, remember how well that vow was
kept. The war had ended, the defeated rebel had returned and the death of Lowery the elder was almost forgotten, when one day a prominent citizen of Robeson, riding along the plank road leading from Lumberton to Scuffle Town, suddenly threw up his hands and fell from his buggy, shot through the heart. This was the beginning of the work of vengeance. The death of this man, who was a recruiting officer at the time the negro stronghold was invaded, recalled to every mind the tragedy and young Lowery's vow. The whites of Lumberton and vicinity arose, invaded Scuffle Town and attempted to hunt down the murderer. But Lowery, who had laid his plans well before beginning his work of vengeance, had made for himself a secure hiding place in the fastness of the great Dismal Swamp; and the sympathy and loyalty of his people who were ready to die rather than betray him made his stronghold impregnable.
The killing of three other men within less than three months after the first tragedy threw the entire State into a panic and large rewards were offered for the capture of the murderers dead or alive. Raids by bands of armed men upon the negro settlement became frequent and innocent men and women were in many instances beaten and killed by the man hunters, chagrined by their futile attempts to locate the outlaw and the stubborn refusal of his friends to reveal his hiding place. These cruel assaults upon the little town won to Lowery more friends and sympathizers; desperate characters began to flock to his standard until his band numbered twenty-five or more of as reckless daredevils and cutthroats as ever trod the soil of any country. Foremost among these were Stephen Lowery, brother to Henry, and far more cruel, relentless and bloodthirsty; George Applewhite and "Boss" Strong. Murders became more frequent and train holdups and highway robberies were added to the list of crimes which intensified the feeling of dread and insecurity throughout the State. Offers of large rewards for the capture of the outlaws brought about more strenuous efforts to capture them, but they evaded the authorities for many years. Many stories became current concerning the charmed life of Henry Berry Lowery. It was averred that he was known to appear on trains running
at the highest speed and to reveal his identity to awestricken passengers and trainmen, and then disappear as mysteriously as he appeared. Another tale was that, meeting a squad of soldiers on the highway one day and revealing his identity so disconcerted and demoralized them that they could not capture him. One night, carousing in the village, a raid was made upon them by constables and George Applewhite, together with a woman, supposed to be Henry's wife, were captured and taken to the Wilmington jail. The outlaw leader had, however, gained such a reputation for recklessness and bravery that a threat to enter Wilmington and burn it so terrorized the citizens that the captives were released. A Mexican, tempted by the large reward offered for the capture of the outlaws, visited Lumberton and boasted to the authorities there that he would run down and capture the leader and disperse the desperadoes within a very short time. He strutted about the streets of Lumberton for a day or two, dressed in his showy native costume, and to show his bravery entered Scuffle Town itself, and for a while chatted freely with the natives. Then he disappeared into the swamp, where he built himself a cabin and remained in hiding during the day and strolled about at night in disguise.
But in less time than he had boasted to capture the outlaw, Henry Berry Lowery himself walked into his cabin, told him it was surrounded and that there was no alternative but surrender. The Mexican was bound and escorted to the outlaw camp and told to write a farewell letter to his family. The Mexican complied and then waited calmly for his execution. But they kept him in suspense until he wearily begged the outlaws to do what they intended doing and have done with it. But bloody as had been the career of this bold and fearless outlaw, he could not do the deed nor give the order. Seeing their leader melt, all of his followers weakened except Stephen Lowery, his brother, who with an oath said to the Mexican, ["]Say your prayers and stand out; I'll kill you." The man complied, stepped out a few paces and dropped dead. Then a reporter for a certain great New York daily newspaper contrived to enter the stronghold of the famous North Carolina outlaws in order
to glean from the lips of Lowery himself the story of his uprising. Hazardous undertaking, but it was successful. The reporter having forwarded a letter that he was coming, was met at a small railroad station in the vicinity of the outlaw camp, there blindfolded and taken to their hiding place in the fastness of the Dismal Swamp. And there from the lips of the leader himself he heard the story of the causes which led to the great feud during which a score or more of people had been killed, most of whom had been implicated in the murder of his father. But the only wrong thing the outlaw conceeded his men had done was to kill an old defenceless man solely for the purpose of robbery. At the conclusion of the interview the visitor was again blindfolded and escorted to the village, the outlaws not permitting him to open his eyes until the railway station was reached. Following the reporters return to New York a glowing story of the Lowery feud was published with a flattering description of the handsome octoroon outlaw and the history and customs of his peculiar people.
The career of Jesse James was brought to a sudden termination by a bullet in the back of his head from a revolver in the hands of a supposed friend. Frank James has for many years been a peaceful citizen. Those of the followers of these two daring outlaws who were not killed off have served and are serving long terms in various prisons throughout the country. The State authorities of North Carolina having utterly failed to effect the capture of Lowery and break up his stronghold, for many months after the release of George Applewhite from Wilmington jail all attempts to capture the outlaws were apparently abandoned. Excepting Henry Berry Lowery himself, who was ever cautious and wary, the outlaws with their many friends enjoyed the freedom of their native town where they met to divide the spoils from train holdups and robberies. Stephen Lowery was a banjo player, and often his love for music and whiskey had cost his comrades many serious encounters and hairbreadth escapes, and in their flight for safety, very frequently Stephen had to be taken up bodily by his companions and carried. In the back woods of North Carolina, upon the old county roads, journeying from settlement to
settlement, can still be seen the quaint old white-covered, sway-backed wagon of the "trader." After the breaking out of the Lowery feud traders evaded Scuffle Town and vicinity, but the tempting prizes offered for the capture of the outlaws often during that long season of terror caused the more venturesome ones to pause upon the village streets to trade and run the risk of being killed and robbed. One day as Stephen Lowery sat half drunk by the roadside on the outskirts of the village, slowly running his fingers over the strings of his banjo, a trader's wagon in passing paused and one of the occupants engaged him in conversation. "Fine banjer yo got thar," said the trader. "Straight'n up, ol' man, an' giv' us a tune; I know yo' kin do it." Stephen, flattered by the compliment, assayed to comply. A shot rang out and the bandit fell over dead. Two men jumped out, severed Stephen's head from the trunk and hastened away. The next victim of this feeling of security was Boss Strong: he was shot through a crack in the wall of a house one night while lying on his back playing a jewsharp during a frolic. But the murderers failed to get his body, which was immediately removed by his friends and all traces of the murder cleared away. Of all this band of over twenty-five outlaws none was captured and but few were killed. While the feud was on they were relentless and cruel in their treatment of enemies. But when the last person under suspicion of having part in the death of the elder Lowery had been killed off, the authorities had ceased to harass them and their leader had called off the feud, as calmly and as peaceful as lambs they returned to their farms. George Applewhite, whose reputation for daring was far worse than that of Lowery himself, finally surrendered to the authorities of his State, and has for many years been a peaceful citizen of Goldsboro. But the fate of the undaunted leader himself remains a mystery to this day. Among the many stories of his fate is the one in which it is alleged that he had himself stored away in a tool chest in which he was shipped West, where he joined the army. On visiting Scuffle Town a few years ago I found it still a settlement of Ishmaelites with their fists shut against the outside world, cherishing the old aversion
for social mingling or intermarriage with blacks. I found them open to social chats, however, the grandson of one of the outlaws furnishing the material for the foregoing story. Some of the men who two decades ago thought nothing of snufing out the lives of their fellows are to-day grizzled old law-abiding citizens, their faces the index of genuine piety. Still men tremble as they recall that awful bloody period in the history of Robeson County and speak the name of Henry Berry Lowery with bated breath.
At Morristown, Tenn., on the East Tennessee, Virginia and Georgia Railroad, a branch of the road leads out from the main line. This road connects the East Tennessee trains with those of "The Western North Carolina," a tributary of the Richmond and Danville road, which runs through the little city of Asheville, N. C. Often, on reaching Morristown, on my way to and from Memphis and other Southern cities, has a desire taken possession of me to visit Ashville, and, if possible, find a friend of my early youth, who had entered the little city many years ago, changed her name and hidden away somewhere among those beautiful hills. One day a change of trains at Knoxville. Tenn., gave me the long-wished-for opportunity of at least a trip through Ashville and a view of the entrancingly beautiful scenery surrounding it. But it's only the name upon the humble little station and the babel created by the anxious 'bus drivers from the many hotels and boarding houses this thrifty little city affords that apprises one of his arrival at Asheville, which lies hidden behind the hills some distance from the depot. The first time that I had the pleasure of a "lay-over" and a visit to the city proper was at the time of year when constant rains make travel in that section of country exceedingly difficult and unpleasant. The vehicle in which I took my journey alternately plunged to the hubs in mire and stumbled over huge stones. On alighting at the town hall I learned that she whom I sought lived at Biltmore, a neighboring village, and that to reach her would require another journey on foot. But the road led through a region so enchanting, so picturesque that fatigue was forgotten. I found my old friend in a lovely suburban home, surrounded by a goodly portion of this world's goods and destined to
live long like the eagle, because, far from contagions's contamination, she was breathing in the pure air of the mountains. The following morning together we climbed to a neighboring peak, and it was from this eminence that I saw Ashville in its beauty. Although the city is upon a hill, we were so far above it that it appeared to be in a faraway valley. Black Mountain, looming up majestically in the distance, and "Pisgah," smiling at the rising sun, made the scenery surrounding Asheville like that of the Yosemite Valley. Looking northward, we saw a pillar of white smoke rise from behind the trees away up the mountain side, followed by the faint sound of an engine's whistle, and then a tiny train of cars moved slowly down the mountain path towards the city to wake the sleeping inhabitants who, on that early summer morning, had not begun to stir. As we stood there gazing upon the beautiful panorama, the "Song of The Mountaineers" came to my mind:
For the strength of the hills we bless thee, our God, our fathers' God,
Thou hast made thy children mighty by a touch of the mountain sod;
Thou hast fixed our ark of refuge where the spoilers' feet ne'r trod:
For the strength of the hills we bless thee, our God, our fathers' God.
We are watchers of a beacon whose light can never die;
We are guardians of an alter mid the silence of the sky.
The rocks yield founts of courage struck forth as by thy rod:
For the strength of the hills we bless thee, our God, our fathers' God.
The congeniality of this section of North Carolina has not only caused it to be held in high repute among Northern and Western people as a desirable health resort, but also made it a permanent dwelling place for that class of inhabitants whose thrift and capital have transformed Asheville and advanced it far ahead of other communities in the Old North State and given it an air of envious respectability. But the pomp and grandeur displayed by inhabitants
of wealth and means cannot entirely conceal the fact that the slothful native is a potent factor in making the city of Asheville cosmopolitan. In striking contrast with stylish traps, gowns, well-groomed horses and glistening livery, is the ancient beast of the burden, the ox, hitched to its two-wheeled cart, slowly plodding its way through the busy streets, while the driver, unmindful of the noise and bustle of progress about him, sleeps serenely upon his load. More interesting to me than Asheville's phenomenal growth and beauty are these, the original inhabitants of western North Carolina and east Tennessee--the lean and lank mountaineers. Doubtless it was the loftiness of their habitation, their nearness to things heavenly, that sharpened their sense of right and gave them the courage to take a stand for the right during that period in the Nation's history which tried men's souls. They did not believe that any good would come out of rebellion against the Union, and no amount of Southern oratory or buldozing could change them, and in this they have remained steadfast until this day. Unlike the frank and hospitable Southerner of the plains, the mountaineer is not quick to scrape acquaintance; but after much shying, beating about the bush and catechising a stranger he finds him all right, that he's not "er revanoo varmint, tryin' ter sic th' guvmint on fo'ks whoser pesterin' no one but jist er mindin' ther own bizness," he goes the lowlander one better in the copiousness of his hospitality. To the mountaineer the "makin' of 'mount'n dew' out'n his own co'n" is more profitable than "tot'n hit toer th' mill;" and as he insists upon the illicit manufacture of it, every stranger who happens around is "er revanoo officer" and is in imminent danger until he proves himself otherwise.
One afternoon at "Paint Rock" I sauntered across an old bridge that spanned the French Broad River and followed a zig-zag road which climbed the hill to the northward. I had gone about half a mile when I came upon a yoke of oxen, hitched to a cart standing by the roadside. The driver, who had alighted and gone some distance into a dense thicket was cutting a twig from a small sapling when I came up. He paused when he saw me, and letting the bush he had bent, fly upright, came slowly up to where I
stood, whittling the end of the twig. "Howdy," he said, eyeing me up and down; then going over to where the oxen stood, he began adjusting the bow that encircled one of their necks. "Whut mout yer be look'n fer in these parts?" he continued, stroking the necks of his team. "Oh, nothing particular," I answered, "simply walking for exercise." He jerked his head up quickly, momentarily stared at me, grunted, and resumed the inspection of his team.
"The scenery is quite lovely around here."
"Eny body owe yo' roun' er bout here?"
"Did I say so?" I returned rather warmly.
"Why, laws honey, sence MaKinlay an' Hanner's bin er runnin' this guvmint eny thing's likely ter hap'n, wunders never heered of afore; an' we uns wont be tuk wi' surprise ter see er nigger revinooman er look'n fer trouble an' er pokin' his nose in whar yaller fever an' measles is er ragin'. Thars nuthin' new under th' sun."
I had just begun to understand this fellow's strange conduct and language; he suspected that I was either a Government officer or a spy, looking for moonshiners.
"I've seed but one nigger guvmint man in my life," he went on, eyeing me curiously, "an' he wus eh sharp un; layed eroun heer amongst we uns, grinned his way in her our erfairs--ev'n hepp'd sum uv us ter mak' th' stuff an' git shed'n it--tell one day er white guvmint varmint cum er long an' led er few er we uns down ter th' village an' sum er thim er stil break'n rock at Columbus. But that's bin er long time ergo, an' that nigger's carkis is gone back ter muther dus'; fer es strong es th' law wus hit could'nt save 'im."
There was a triumphant twinkle in his eyes turned upon me at the conclusion of these remarks to note the effect of his words, but I betrayed no uneasiness.
"Well," I replied, with unassumed good nature, "I happen to be only an ordinary working man, a sleeping car porter, and my car is just below here at Paint Rock."
"Tew be sho," he returned curtly, readjusting his line preparatory to resuming his journey, "tother feller wus er skool teacher, preacher, too. Yo' orter heered him et big meet'n time. Th' las' sermon I ever heered him preach wus
et one er them big meet'ns an' his tex wus 'Draw in th' wunderins uv yer mine an' git ter hankerin' arter truth.' He wus er hankerin' arter truth an' th' truth killed him. Yo' know the Scripter tells yer ef th' truth kills yer yo' mus' die th' deth. I'm kinder rusty on Bible talk, but I think I'm rite on that pint--go on thar'. Gee Logan, Goin' my way?"
"Yes," I answered, trying to surpress the laughter that this amusing talk from this decidedly queer character provoked, as I hastily mounted the tail end of his cart just as the team started slowly down the hill.
"Twould'nt improve yer helth ter go eny futher no how, fer things air purty ticklish in these here mount'ns long erbout this time er yere an' hit would'nt do ter seek ter moles' er mak' erfeered."
At this remark I gave vent to the laughter I could no longer surpress; the mountains echoed and re-echoed the sound, even the oxen pricked up their ears and the driver regarded me with a look of astonishment.
"Excuse me," I said, "but your waste of words on a simple citizen, incapable of doing you the least harm, is too amusing for me to treat in any other way but to laugh."
"Jes so," he muttered abstractedly, and turned to lash his team into a swifter gait. For a few moments silence reigned. Perched upon a rather high seat in front of me, this homespun jehu was a study. He had taken off his wide-brimmed hat and thrown it behind him, thus revealing a shock of hair of no particular shade; hair grew about in spots upon his rather broad chin, but refused to screen his very homely mouth, while over his keen, restless gray eyes, it stood out like tufts of moss. He was neither old nor young--in fact, it is at times hard to determine the ages of these rudely-constructed mountain inhabitants; like the bowlders about them, age seems to add strength and hardihood. Upon the short, square body of my companion was a coarse homespun shirt, beneath a vest of the same shade and material. His legs, rather long for so short a body, were encased in a pair of clay-colored pants that hung as loose as a sailor's flaps, and the wind, freely circulating around his legs, caused these commodious casings to bulge
out like loosely furled sails. My last reply seemed to have satisfied him as to my calling, for his talk contained fewer insinuations and his manner became less mysterious as we jogged along.
"Scuse me fer be'n so monstrus tegious, stranger; I jes wanted her git yer bearin's an' see which way yo' er heddin. Wd uns up heer hev had so much trouble of late thet we air compelled ter be es wise es owls an' keen sited es eagles, see th' guvmint chap er far off an' hol' 'im up 'fore he reaches th' dead line an' makes trouble fer his self. Hav' er chaw?"
He had drawn a large piece of tobacco from his trouser's pocket, and, poking it at me without looking in my direction, said:
"Hits good smok'n tobacky, too, ef so be yo got yer pipe handy."
I declined to accept the proffered solace on the plea that I never used tobacco in any form.
"Yo' mus' be powerful lonesom an' unhelthy, too," he exclaimed, turning around and staring at me with a face more expressive of astonishment than before.
"Well, I got er little mount'n commodity under this yere seat an' ef man'll refuse ter oil his goozle wi' sich es that, he hain't got no liver an' melt."
He was just in the act of thrusting his hand beneath his seat to draw forth the jug that I might test the pungency of the beverage, when I arrested it by calling his attention to a snow-white cross that stood upon a lofty peak some distance to the right of us.
"Love's Leap," he averred, with a wise nod of his head in that direction, "tho't every body on top side th' yerth hed heern tell erbout thet cross up thar, hit's bin tole er thousan' er moe times."
He had forgotten the jug beneath his seat; had turned his back upon his beasts and left them to stagger lazily down the road. And now, after ejecting a large quid of tobacco from his mouth and dashing to the road, he rested his elbow upon his knee and momentarily observed me with a look of wisdom that would do credit to a college professor.
"That cross up thar," he observed, nodding his head in
that direction, "is got er tale erbout hit that's cakilated ter giv yer er kinder hankerin' ter git futher an' futher 'way f'm hit when yo' heer hit--least wise that's th' way hit made me feel when heerd hit; hit happened this way:
"Jes after th' war thar cums ter th' town uv Asheville wun er them thar Yankee ciarpet bag musick teachers, wi' purty good manners, good looks an' er powerful lack er money an' settled deown thar ter do bizness, er ruther ter flirt wi' Asheville's gals; an' acorse like suthern gals air toard strangers they jes warm'd up ter 'im an' soon evry tongue wus er waggin' 'bout th' dash thisher yank wus er cutt'n. My, but want he er spellbinder on notes, tho'; he could gallup th' gammit faster'n eny chap's ever bin 'roun' these parts. Twus er cawshion ter see his fingers foxchasin' an' overlapp'n each uther over them keys. Hit seemed thet ev'ry gal mongst th' highflyers wus after 'im, an' hit 'pear'd like he did'n hav no p'tickler laks fer eny uv 'm--jes smil'd an' run on wi' all alike. But he purty soon show'd 'em thet his hed wus sot on one 'an' sot in yerness; an' thet wus th' darter uv old Kurnal Jinkin's, who allus wus pison ergin yanks. Disher yank had bin in th' houses ov all th' big bugs, but ole Jinkins swore he'd never cross his sill. But th' gal, in santerin' roun' tother folkses houses, met an' coted 'im thar. Thet which cosses us mos' is thet we hanker arter mos', an' wus th' way wi' thet gal an' thet ding yank; he jes uptd an' got sot on thet gal th' fus time he saw 'er--luv at fus site, an' ginewine at thet. Ther ole kurnal pitched an' snorted when larn'd th' truth, tol' th' gal he'd see 'er ded afore he'd consent fer her ter marry th' yank. Th' gal she tuk on pow'ful erbout hit, fer she luv'd th' chap. But she tho't it her dooty ter 'bey her pappy, an' so jes pined erway. Th' yank he tuk on pow'ful too, but ole Jinkins stuk out an' sot his boys ter watchin' 'em ter see thet they did'n' git tergether. Finely th' yank he upt an' went erway; then they titen'd th' lines on th' gal f'r feer ov er plot ter jine 'im in th' North. Two months went by, an' one dark nite th' gal jes slipp'd plum out er site an' what puzzled 'em mos' wus thet she only tuk her praw'r book. Trains war sarch'd, telegrafs war sent an' th' woods war sarch'd es well, an' hit wus in th' woods they foun' 'er, fer
she had lept fr'm thet peak up thar, praw'r book in han'. Fer deown below thar they cum erpun her body all brok an' brused ergin th' rocks, th' little praw'r book hilt tite 'tween her bleed'n hans. Th' old kurnal tuk on pow'ful 'bout hit, an' blamed hisself fer hit all. He dug her grave in th' rocks jes at th' foot er thet mount'n an' buried her thar, an' raise thet cross 'bove hit. He didn' liv' long after thet, jes pined away. They say she's bin seen more'n onct er wunderin' erbout thet place, moanin' ter her self--I hain't never seen 'er an' th' Lawd'l mighty knows I don't wanter.
"Yes, thets why hits called Love's Leap," he concluded, with a shudder. "Fur up on th' yon side er Pisgah as yo' go erlong, yo'll see anuther cross, an' hits got er ghos' story erbout hit too; an Indian an' his squaw's buried thar. Thisher country's jam full er mysteries--whoa thar," and he turned towards his team to check them, for we had reached Paint Rock. Both of us had forgotten the jug of corn whiskey beneath his seat--forgotten everything but the white cross, still visible, and its sad story of love, desperation and death.
When the managers of the Atlantic Coast Line made up their minds that a shorter route from Richmond southward must be effected, they built what is now known to railroad men as the "Wilson Short Cut," a branch of road turning out from the main line at Wilson, N. C., and extending through to Florence, S. C., by way of Fayetteville, a small town on the upper Cape Fear River. This lessened the time of through trains by saving the necessity of going and coming by way of Wilmington, a hundred miles further eastward. I had spent a brief period of my early childhood in Fayetteville, and although so many years had passed since then, the recollection of some of its streets and buildings, the old market house standing in the middle of the main street, the old water mill on the creek hard by with its cease-less "drumly-drum" seemed more vivid as I neared the old town, after a lapse of so many years. When, on its way to and fro the train paused at the humble little station, I would take in as much of the old town as a gaze from the rear platform of my car would permit, and from this eminence watch the inhabitants as they strolled past, to see if I might discern in the face of some child or adult the resemblance to some of my own kindred who must numeriously inhabit that section of the State. Then, there was another whose face I looked for far more eagerly than for relations, and a craving to see her made the desire to get off and ransack the town irresistable. Wilmington had been the scene of our early school days. And often, as I stood there looking at Fayetteville's antique dwellings and thinking longingly of her, it seemed that I heard again the clang of the old bell, the merry shouts of the children, and the throng of youth and beauty would come prancing past me. A few of
them would pause to gaze into my face and fill me with the desire to be a child again. Charley Moseley, with his mirthprovoking grimaces: "Sonie" Bryant, lamb-like in his mischieviousness: Nellie Gay, with her beautifully rounded figure, shaking back her luxuriant hair; dainty and bashful Virginia Moore, blushing beneath her sunbonnet; Katie Paine, old in all but years. Katie's old-time habits made her the prey of boys whose delight it was to tease in those days. Stoically returning a blow given jest, and darting about here and there amongst her playmates, that expressionless face of Katie's never betrayed the lustiness with which she joined in the sport. For Katie never laughed right out; she only smiled now and then, and her smiles were like fitful rays of light occasioned by small clouds driven past the sun, not tarrying long enough for one to feel their warmth. Many years had passed since the parents of this "little woman," with their immense household, had left Wilmington to try farming in Cumberland. What had become of them? I had often asked myself, as the train sped on its way and the sweet vision vanished. Had farming been more successful than carpentry? Had immense flocks and herds crowned their efforts in this new venture, or had they given up the struggle even for existence, and sought rest in the grave? One day I yielded to the desire to find out the truth concerning this once prosperous and happy family and left the train as it slowed up at the station, and by a few inquiries found--not the Paines, but Katie; for with the exception of the two youngest ones, of all that once large and happy household, only Katie remained. The father, after a few years of unrequitted toil, had sickened and died, and the mother and others of the family followed one by one, leaving this creature to battle with poverty and raise the younger orphans left behind. But the long and severe battle for existence had not changed Katie; she was old, but no older than when a child. There was the same sad face, capable of being momentarily brightened by a smile. She knew me not at first, she akimbowed, tossed her head to one side and shook it sadly as I stood there in the door of her cottage and endeavored to carry her back with me over past sunny years. But not until I had devulged
my name did the past, with all its vividness, come back to her burdened mind.
"Why did you not tell me your name at first? I recognized some familiarity in your features the moment you came up, but could not connect it with your name. Come in!" grasping my hand eagerly and pulling me toward a chair. "I haven't been to Wilmington since we left there, because of so much sickness and death and the worry with these children," she went on. "How did you happen to be here? Laws, I never expected to see you again."
For a long time we sat and rambled through the dear old past, when hearts were young and free from care.
"I suppose many of the boys and girls are grown up and married now, and few remain in the old home," she said with a sigh. "I have wanted so much to see the North myself, but I've been so burdened with these children." She sighed again. "Now they are big enough to take care of themselves; you may look for me out there at any time."
I did not at that time take final leave of Katie. I was to return after taking in as much of the old town as my brief stay would permit.
"Your hand must be the last I shall take before I leave this town, perhaps forever," I said, as I left her at the gate. That evening I stumbled upon an old acquaintance who, in search of work, had found a temporary home in Fayetteville, and together we wended our way to a cottage far out on the edge of the town, where a rehearsal for a prospective concert was in progress. Within this group of light hearts I could see no familiar face, nor hear such names as "Robinson," "Kelley," or "Fulton" mentioned. Of that innumerable tribe of mine scattered abroad in Cumberland and Bladen Counties, here was not a single offspring to show that they had striven to perpetuate their progeny. There was one family name, however, that impressed me more than any others mentioned there that night, because of its very large representation, and that was "Lacy." There were Mis Sarah Lacy, Miss Lucy Lacy, Miss Florie Lacy and other Lacys, the most conspicuous of whom was Miss Sarah, Mistress of Ceremonies, whose programme promised to be immoderately prolonged by intermissions
filled with "music by the band." So perfect were Miss Florie's reading and so beautiful Miss Sarah's singing that I begged for a repetition of the same at the Lacy cottage the following day, to which, through the courtesy of my friend. I accompanied them that night.
The sun was shining in through the window of my friend's apartment the following morning when I awoke. He, having to depart early, had been good enough not to awake me. Dressing myself, I went out and leisurely sauntered towards the center of the old town, trying to arouse the drowsy memories of twenty years. One of the streets, crossing each other where the old market stands, leads over a small wooden bridge hard by the water-mill, and coming up to the court house, turns like a stream of water obliquely to the left. It was up this street I strode that morning, filled with emotion as my eyes fell upon scenes that had almost been erased from the memory. There, still, stands the court house, with its old bell, which for so many years had called the quility and just to the bar; and there stands the old church with its rusty steeple, covered with ivy, next to which is the old house where I lived when a child. There, still flows the creek with its ceaseless bubble, and the mill going "drumly-drum." I paused upon the old bridge that crossed it, to again listen to its murmur and muse upon the sweet and yet painful memories it recalled. Across that bridge many years a-gone, dashed a horse all covered with foam: upon that horse sat a hatless boy with hair streaming in the wind, crying, "Yankee! Yankee! Yankee!" while "Thronged the citizens with terror dumb." Across that bridge. "Dewy with nature's tear drops as they passed," strode Sherman's triumphant legion on its famous march to the sea. As I stood there, musing over that eventful episode. I heard the faint tap of the drum, the shrill clarion note of the bugle in the distance; nearer and nearer it came, louder and louder were the sound of drum and fife, and the tread of marching feet, and the spirits of those immortal heroes swept past me, on, on into eternity to stand at parade rest around their grim old leader.
At the Lacy cottage that afternoon, little Florie was first to welcome me, and while waiting for the others to join us,
she gave me a little history of the family. "See, this is Papa," pointing to a large portrait over the mantel. "Papa is dead now, but he was very good, strove to give us all an education and make us self-supporting. This one hanging over the piano is that of a married sister of ours, now living in Virginia. This is our 'Mistress of Ceremonies'," she continued, courtesing before a small photo, on the end of the mantel. "But what's the use in my telling you about her; she has tongue enough to talk for herself. Here she comes now."
The young lady entered briskly, came up and warmly shook my hand.
"I knew you were here, knew you would be amply entertained until the rest of us could get in, by the person sent to receive you," she said, glancing mischievously at Florie.
"Now Miss Sarah will fill us with rapture!" exclaimed Florie, seizing her sister by the arm and pulling her towards the piano.
"Oh, wait 'till Lucy comes!" objected that lady, stubbornly resisting her sister's efforts to push her down upon the piano stool.
"Sure enough, there was another."
"Another!" Florie interrupted, "why, there are many others," and she began to playfully count her fingers as though the exact size of the family could not be readily given.
"I guess I'll have to go and fetch in that shy Lucy," and Florie darted out to return immediately, leading her sister by the hand. Though apparently the eldest of the three, this young lady was more retiring and less communicative. Her part in the rehearsal on the previous evening was very small, and at home that afternoon her keenest enjoyment, it seemed, was to listen to her sisters and applaud their witticisms.
"I don't suppose these giddy girls thought to enquire how you like our little city, Mr. Fulton," she hazarded, looking toward the piano, where Sarah sat with her head bent forward, running her fingers over the keys as if trying to recall some forgotten melody.
"I have to-day satisfied a long-wished-for opportunity to ramble, as it were, among scenes of my childhood; this is my birthplace."
"Birth place!" they all echoed in one breath. The music ceased; Sarah turned about and faced me, and Florie, who was ransacking the music rack, arose and advanced toward where I sat, hurriedly arranging several sheets she held in her hands.
"This your birth place? Why! how"--
"Oh, it's many years ago." I hastened to explain, and my kindred, if any remain, are just over the River."
"Who were your relations?" asked Sarah. "My father, who was a public carter in this town before the War, was called by two names, 'Kelley,' and 'Fulton,' and my mother was a 'Robinson'. Perhaps that gives me a claim upon all the Robinsons. Fultons and Kelleys in the country."
"The other two names you mentioned are rather strange," Florie answered, "but the town is swarming with 'Robinsons', and if you'll stay over here a while, why, I'll help you 'round 'em up in true Western style."
"I found one to-day," I answered, "but my time is too limited for further search. I hope to come again some day to look them up. But come, let us have some music, and talk of things more serious later on."
Sarah turned again to the piano and began to slowly run her fingers over the keys. There was a voluptuous swell, and then the music died away. We heard the chimes in some faraway church tower, followed by the loud notes of the Anvil Chorus in "Il Travatore," and then the music merged into the pathetic Miseriere, then into the prelude, to that touching old and appropriate song, "Faraway," and a voice, soft and sweet, conjured the tears down my cheeks. Miss Sarah arose and gracefully bowed her acknowledgment of the applause which followed.
"Now as Hamlet said to the player, 'give us a taste of your quality,' Mr. Fulton."
But I excused myself on the ground that although I had an appreciative ear for music, I possessed not the skill to perform or sing.
"Now you can't fool us into the belief that you know
nothing about music, speaking as you did last evening about 'harmony' and 'expression'," exclaimed Florie, bounding up. "He's just trying to see how much we know. I'm sorry he came to our rehearsal." The little lady pouted like a child.
"A person need not be a performer to know what sounds well," I answered. "I know but little in that line, and I hope the ladies will excuse me from attempting to exploit what little I do know. Both the singing and reading were excellent last evening, and I was promised--as I cannot be at the concert--that to-day a wee bit, and the most interesting wee bit, of that proposed programme would be given for my pleasure, and now, before Miss Florie has filled her contract to recite, a demand is made upon the 'audience' to be the entertainer. Now ladies, it isn't fair."
To this the young lady replied by rising and advancing to the middle of the room and beautifully recited the "Aux Italiens," to her sister's soft and inhancing accompaniment.
The sun was setting when I bade adieu to the Lacys, to pass the night with a relative whom I had met by chance that day. The following morning I sat out to cross the river into the country to get among the more familiar scenes of childhood. The old covered bridge which spans the river, rebuilt after being burned by a retreating rebel army, gave me no inviting look as I approached it. My foot falls upon the floor echoed like voices from the dead, and made me feel rather uncomfortable. It was across this bridge my father had journeyed in the sixties, like Lot fleeing from a burning city, to pitch his tent in the wilderness. Close by the old county road, winding down, shaded by tall, majestic pines, giant oak and hickory trees and carpeted with their leaves, in a lowly cabin, we had spent our childhood days. When father, with the bulk of the family, finally sought a more promising abode in the metropolis, my brother Abe and I were left in this fairyland with an elder sister, to chase the bee, make water mills in the brooks, listen to the warbling of the birds, and far more sweet than all, the untrained, but sweet and mellow voice of this child of nature. The song bird paused to listen when she sang "Barbara Allen," "James Gray," "Lily was a Lady," "Ella Lee," the songs she loved so well, and which cling to me, sweetening
the recollection of those sunny days. It was toward this scene that I wended my way on this brisk October day to get among the dog-wood and the pine where we played. The narrow path leading from the road to the cabin, made sweet in summer by dog-wood and jasmine blossoms, is covered with weeds now, and all that remains of the dear old hut is a mass of ruins. But this did not render the memory of the hallowed past less sweet. "The bird and the blue fly roam over it still." Flowers that had blossomed for me so many years gone by were drooping their heads and shedding their petals as the chill winds touched them. But they had tarried long enough to assure me that through all the intervening years they had opened their mouths to catch the dews of summer and drooped at winter's stern command. The brook that flowed near by the old cabin appeared less wide, and the path leading to the spring was entirely invisible.
Abe, do you remember the restless little rill,
That rippled neath the oak tree's spreading shade?
Where we used to love to loiter as we journeyed to the mill,
To rest, or in its shallow depth to wade?
Have you forgot the jasmine, and the honeysuckle vines,
The lilacs and wild roses white and red,
Around the trees upon its banks the perfum'd vines still twine,
Although since then so many years have fled.
The old corn field's a grove of trees which in that long ago
Was one vast sea of living, waving green;
Forever now they rest--the hands that handled plow and hoe,
And we and them the Jordan rolls between.
Of that old cabin once to us the palace of a king,
Where two bare-footed monarchs used to reign;
To whose chinked walls so plain and bare, the sweetest mem'ries cling,
A heap of logs, a mound of clay remain.
There was no sister to greet me; only a rude mound marks the spot here her holy dust was laid. Not far distant,
her children are ripening into manhood and womanhood, and the father is feebly tottering toward the setting sun. The rude letters upon the humble slab that marks her resting place have been obliterated by the ravages of time, and what was written there of her virtues, her trials, her hopes, will never be known. But no more fitting epitaph could have been written there than this:
"Nellie was a lady,
An' las' night she died;
Toll the bells for lovely Nell,
My own, true darky bride."
I quit this scene with a sad and heavy heart, and hurried back to the town that I might say good bye to Katie before boarding the train for New York. There was nothing in her face to betray the emotions which stirred her soul when, after a long chat, I arose to go; but the tenacity with which she held on to my hand showed how painful was the parting.
"You may look for me out there; I'm coming," she said, with a voice full of hope.
Changes great and terrible have taken place in the old North State since then; the despot's cry of "Negro Domination" has shaken it to its very foundations. Peaceful, law-abiding citizens have arisen up to slay their brethren, and as other citizens more prosperous than she have had to seek elsewhere for what they could not enjoy at home, I would not be surprised to see some day, among the throngs of restless, persecuted refugees hurrying Northward the melanchody face of Katie Paine.
He was one of the many ragged little vagabonds that besiege passenger trains which stop daily at "Ashley Junction," just one mile from Charleston, S. C., which, during winter and spring months, are laden with Northern people on their way to and from Florida and congenial localities in other Southern States. He was as frolicsome, cut up as many "monkey shines" to tempt the nickels and pennies from the pockets of the tourists as any of the others. But, unlike Negro children of his age whose eyes of soft brown are so beautiful, his were the eyes of a tipler, very red. He was doubtless as young as any of the others who rent the air with their songs and shouts; but his red eyes, his comical way of blinking them, knotting his face and ducking about among the others of the company of entertainers, made him appear like some old man whom nature had cheated out of his growth and confined to the companionship of children. My frequent journeyings to and from Charleston had made me a familiar figure amongst the "children of the Junction["]: for the twenty or thirty minutes' wait there for Southern connections I usually spent romping with them, a hearty sharer of their sport, much to the disgust and chagrin of my fellow railroad men, who scorned the idea of seeking companionship with such "uncouth and degraded specimens of the human family," as one fellow put it. But were not these "uncouth specimens" human? with the same feelings and propensities as others? What mattered it if their clothes were mere rags, their faces dirty and their hair unkempt? Smalls, Whipper, Murray and others of that race in that old State who had so brilliantly demonstrated their fitness for higher things, came up from the ranks of the common people, such as these. My hero's name I could not
easily remember, so I used to teasingly call him "Red Eye," and to him and all the little stripplings at the Junction I was known as "Heywood." Their barks and herbs in early spring time, their violets, water lilies and strawberries always had a ready purchaser in me. I must never leave the Junction without a bunch of fresh violets in my lapel, and a basket of choice strawberries in my locker. For they all knew that "Heywood's["] return often meant a lot of cast-off clothing, old hats and old shoes to be distributed. None of these things--most of them very good--did I ever see any of them wearing at the Junction.
"I war mine ter Sundy skule; tink I gwa war um heah ter git all mummux up 'mong dese niggers?" said Red Eye, one day, in answer to my queries.
Old as Red Eye looked, he could jump higher, sing louder, and run faster than any boy or girl at the Junction. The Northerner never tires listening to "Go Down Moses," "Suwanee River," etc., and witnessing the "buck" and "wing" dance so cleverly performed by these little Southern youngsters. So a performance must be given for every train-load of passengers that halted, and at these functions Red Eye was the undisputed leader. For the pennies and nickels the passengers were inclined to throw out, the little ones would cut many queer capers. At times they were unreasonable in their demands for things amusing, and trains would often pull out leaving some of the youngsters wet to their skins from diving in water for money thrown in to make the fun more enjoyable. Cruel as this part of the sport seemed, it was nevertheless an amusing spectacle. Red Eye, always apparently the least concerned, would often, while eyes were stretched watching the coin in the passenger's hand, bound into the air and seize it before it could hit the ground. Pushing the money into his pocket, he would leisurely saunter away with such a comical look of triumph in his face, that the passengers would forget the disappointment of witnessing a scramble.
One Sunday morning in early spring, before the sun had arisen to kiss away the dew from the grass, while the air was still laden with the breath of sweet flowers, I strolled out from Charleston to attend "Lovefeast" at the little log
meeting house at the Junction. None but those who have lived there can tell of the sweetness of a Southern spring time. A mocking bird, hidden away amid the foliage of a large oak tree, was calling to the sun to make haste, to gladden the earth with its light. Partridges, squattling beneath a clump of bushes, startled me by their sudden and hasty flight, and a serpent, aroused from its repose, scampered away, hissing angrily at me as it went. Young as was the morning, the little church was well filled with worshippers and, floating out on the perfumed air, came that old familiar hymn.
"Lawd in de mornin' dou shalt heah
My voice ascendin' high."
Very much to my astonishment, in a far corner, with a look of solemnity upon his face that a priest might covet, sat Red Eye. Solemn as he tried to appear, he could not dispel the mirth-provoking expression always there upon that ebony countenance. As I momentarily observed him sitting there, looking so sober and melancholy, my thoughts flitted back to the roadside, where he was wont to be anything but worshipful; and forgetful of my surroundings, I was about to exclaim, "Hello, Red Eye," but the sad wail of the worshippers snatched me from the roadside to "The Gate of Heaven," for surely "The Lord was in that place!" An angel had come down on that beautiful morning and had troubled the waters, and those humble worshippers were laving in the life-giving stream. At the close of the meeting, a hand was gently laid upon my shoulder, and that voice I had learned to love said:
"Hello, Heywood! Wha' yo' doin' heah?"
"I came to see if you really had need of Sunday clothes," I answered, good naturedly.
"Yo see um doncher, see um?" and, thrusting his thumbs into his suspenders, he strutted off a piece that I might survey him to advantage. Turning about suddenly, his face again expressive of worshipful solemnity, he said: "An' yo' seed me in dat Amen corner, too; did'n you Heywood?"
"Yes, I saw you and was surprised to see you so worshipful, so good."
"Oh, I tells yo' ise got de deligion, shoes yo' bo'n; Ise one er gawd's lambs, an' I spec ter be dar on dat gitt'n up mawnin'."
He had thrown his hat upon the ground, and with one hand extended above his head, was shouting and capering about in the most comical way. There was the ring of honest truth in his voice, and I believed him. The roughest piece of marble can be carved into the form of an angel. Jesus had died for this rough, uncouth, ignorant youngster as well as for the "wise and prudent," and made it possible that he, by the grace of God might be made to "shine as the brightness of the firmament, and as the stars forever."
Pausing suddenly, he caught hold of my arm and said, ["]Come, Heywood, gwa tek yo' home, show yo' me ma an' strawberry patch."
I followed my devoted little friend that morning to his two-roomed cabin, there to find new acquaintances and make new friends whose homely yet copious hospitality made this humble log cabin the palace of a king. Although there were knives, forks and spoons for all who sat down to dine at the humble table, Red Eye felt that I would the better enjoy my dish of delicious "garden peas," fresh from the field, if I used his favorite spoon, which he himself had polished and cleaned.
All through that balmy afternoon we wandered together through wood and field and by shady brooks in that Eden of jasmine, honey-suckles and violets, until weary and tired we sank down by the roadside to watch the spires of the distant city fade from view as the evening shadows fell around us.
On my arrival at Jersey City, I was assigned for a few trips to a Western "run," and for quite a long period was deprived of my weekly romps with the children of the Junction. Through the long stretch of country between New York and Chicago, hundreds of miles are traversed without as much as a glimpse of a single dusky face. How I did miss my little fun-makers! How void of real life were these dreary Western journeyings! Leaves, faded and dead, were flying hither and thither, blown by chill winds that heralded approaching winter, when I, with a load of
Cubans, returning from Europe and Northern watering places, was again moving Southward. It was a dense foggy night, and the train having crossed the Pedee River into South Carolina, was slowly nearing Ashley Junction, when the engine's whistle gave a signal for "brakes," and came almost to an adrupt standstill. So quickly and suddenly were the brakes applied that the passengers were pretty severely shaken up and excited over the sudden and painful pause. As soon as quiet was restored in my car I stole out upon the platform and looked ahead, and saw, about thirty yards ahead of the engine a group of men bending over something on the track. "Poor little fellow! He has broken his leg." I heard someone exclaim, as I neared the scene. Bending over to get a closer view the eyes of my boy metmine. In his effrts to run swiftly over the track, one of his legs had caught and snapped just above the ankle. Although his sufferings were intense, he readily recognized me, and smiling through his tears, he raised a battered lantern which, though in agony, he was still firmly grasping, and said, "Heywood, I taut yo' bin on dat train." Tenderly we lifted the little fellow and carried him to the baggage car, and there made him as comfortable as possible. But it was not until the morning sun had cleared away the mist that we fully realized why he was there upon the track at that hour, and whathavoc had been averted by his being there. A blunder in the display of signals had caused a northbound freight train out of Charleston to collide with another, southbound, killing both engineers and thereby rendering others of the crews panic stricken and helpless. The boy, whose house was not far distant from the Junction, hearing the awful crash, had hastened to the scene, and seeing the others helpless, seized a lantern and ran ahead to warn the passenger train, which he knew would soon come thundering on unaware of the danger that awaited it. And although he had broken his leg before the train hove in sight, he bravely swung the lantern until the engineer saw it and stopped. Tears filled the eyes of many who bent over the little form that morning and lavishly showered money into the lap of the mother that had borne such a son; for there, upon that rude pallet, lay a hero carved in ebony.
The Jew, like the colored brother, has suffered a good deal because of the universal antipathy towards his race. Unlike the Negro, whose color is his principal stigma, the Jew is singled out chiefly by his traits. In public conveyances, playhouses, hotels, etc., the Jew is loudest in his demands for his money's worth and his every right as a citizen--a "chronic kicker," to use the common phrase. In the palace car service the porter has in many instances allowed himself to drift into the common trend of feeling in his treatment of Jewish travellers. But all good men in the service will agree with me that on all fine trains and among the most select, first-class passengers the Jew figures very largely; that in tipping he is as liberal as the average Christian. Admitting that he is a kicker, the Jew is a desirable passenger; for but few of the numerous reports that go into the district superintendent's offices frought with complaints about trifles to annoy and inconvenience employees are signed by Jews. The Jew is plain. If things don't go to suit him he'll speak out about it and often very loud, and if the employee is civil he need not look for further trouble; for the Jew is not a sneak. The Jew is a sociable passenger, he likes to--if there is nothing else to absorb his attention--chat with the porter, which in the main consists of incessant interrogatories, and, strangely, too, about things on which one would suppose he is well informed. For instance: "Porter, what time does the three o'clock train leave?" He knows that the three o'clock train leaves sixty minutes past two o'clock, but a well-trained employee will answer even such absurd questions without the least show of anger.
I am indebted to Porter E. R. A. Lawton for the following story:
On a train en route from Chicago one night the sleeper was well filled with a load of jolly good-natured passengers and among the smokers who puffed away in the smoking department in the early part of the night was a lone Jew. When the berths had all been prepared and the porter had brought in his linen and deposited it upon a seat in the smoker as a hint to the wise that it was his bed time, the men one by one began to retire until with the exception of the Jewish passenger the smoker was empty. The Jew, not wishing to retire before enjoying another cigar, called the porter to him, "I sthay, porder, go to mine bert, lower number six, feel under neadt and fetch me mine gthrip."
"Yes sah," said the porter, hastening away.
The grip was brought, the passenger opened it, took from it a quart bottle of whiskey, called for a glass, filled it about a third full, drank it, then offered some to the porter, who demurred.
"Dhrink, porder," he insisted, "I'm no spodder, I no report at you, dhrink. Dot vas gude whiskey fhrum Brusenheimer's on State Sthreet. Dhrink! id do you gude."
The porter accepted just a little. The passenger put the bottle again into its place, handed the bag back to the porter, lit a fresh cigar and settled himself back upon the lounge to enjoy it.
Two o'clock the following morning, when all passengers were asleep, and the porter was on his shoe-cleaning rounds, he paused at number six, got down on his knees, cautiusly reached under it and slowly drew forth the Jew's bag, and sneaked with it towards the smoking room, there to test to his satisfaction the pungency of the beverage. It was good, so good, in fact, that the porter thought it would be uncharitable and selfish in him to enjoy it alone.
"Hi there Cap'n!" he called to the sleeping car conductor who was passing at the time. "Come yeah! Great Jerusalem, come yeah! Jes hit dat," holding out the bottle to the conductor. "Look heah, ain't dat de bestes stuff yo ebber tasted?" he asked that individual, who, after two long gulps handed back the bottle and wiped away the tears that the hasty swallowing of the strong stuff had pushed out of his eyes.
"It's good. Where did you get it?"
"From a Sheeny frien' er mine," returned the porter.
The train conductor, catching the odor wafted upon the other's breath, naturally raised inquiries, and was soon journeying down the aisle toward the smoking room, followed by the brakeman, in whose wake sauntered the baggageman, and when the three got through "pulling" at the Jew's whiskey it was nearly all gone.
That morning when the porter saw the man in number six arise and begin to dress he grabbed his duster and struck a bee line for the opposite end of the car. The first thing the passenger did on reaching the smoking room was to open his bag to take an eye-opener before proceeding to fix his toilet. But when he drew forth his bottle, and found it empty, he rushed out into the body of the car, and, holding his pants with one hand, while with the other he brandished the bottle, gave a yell and cut up some antics that would put an Indian ghost dancer to shame.
"Where in the h'll is dot porder?"
Passengers began to move about uneasily, thinking that a lunatic had got into the sleeper. The porter, hearing the noise, shyly peeped around into the aisle and was espied by the Jew, who shouted: "Ah! ha! you dondt knows me now, eh? Vere was da whiskey dat vas in dot bottle, eh? You vas dhrinking in der smoking room las nighd. I'll repordt you. Vere vas dot whiskey, eh?"
"'Clar fo' God, boss, I dunno ting erbout it," returned the porter, coming shyly up to where the enraged passenger stood.
"Oh, no! Idt evaporated, I suppose! It leakdt oudt. I look in der bag, I see no leak. I look on der carpet, I see no leak, idt evaporated, eh? Oh--you rascale, I'll repordt you."
The passengers had returned to the smoking room and had begun to dress, when the sleeping car conductor came by on his rounds returning passes and tickets.
"I sthay Conductor," said the passenger, "I want ter spheak to you."
"Well, fire away," answered that individual impatiently.
"I tuke that nigger in th' shmokeroom lasdt night un' giv
'im a dhrink of vhiskey dat cos' two dollar a quardt at Bruzenheimer's on Shtate Sthreet; un jus' so soon as I vus in bed that nigger goes to mine bert, takes oud that boddle an' dhrinks th' balance."
"You'll have to report that matter to thecompany," returned the conductor, "I haven't time to attend to it."
"Oh, no," shouted the Jew, ["]You dhrunk, too; all of you was dhrunk, de train conductor was dhrunk; sleebin' car conductor was dhrunk; brakeman was dhrunk; porder was dhrunk; engineer was dhrunk--everybody was dhrunk on dot vhiskey, an' I report th' whole crew."
That was the work of a mean ingrate who deserved to be severely dealt with, but the palace car authorities received no complaint from the justly aggrieved passenger.
There boarded a southbound train out from Philadelphia one evening a little Negro girl about ten years of age. She was as frolicsome and as restless as a colt, with a head as bare of hair as a boy's. From a letter she poked up at me in answer to my queries, I learned that she was being returned to her mother in St. Augustine by people with whom she had been staying in a small town in New Jersey. There was also an earnest request that she be looked after by trainmen on the route and safely carried to her destination. I had often seen children tagged and shipped like animals from one section of the country to another, and their sad and forlorn aspect had always awakened my deepest sympathy. And as this little creature was one of my own race, I included myself as one whose special duty it was to look after her. But I was too busy on the first part of the journey to do more than casually glance at her as I went back and forth through the train. The following afternoon, the train having stopped just north of Goldsboro, N. C., on account of a wreck, a few young men in the coach in which the little girl was riding, were, in order to relieve the monotony of the long wait, amusing themselves and others at the expense of the "little nigger" by throwing old quids of tobacco, peanut hulls, apple cores and squirting water at her from their mouths. But the plucky little creature was equal to the emergency. When I entered to entreat them to desist, she stood in the aisle with a glass of water in one hand and the stove poker in the other like a tigress at bay, glorious in her defiance, and making as much noise as an English sparrow. It was back in the sleeper that she finished her journey, where the ebony face was
washed, the simple frock mended and rid of tobacco stains and the little head brushed. What a Topsy she must have been in that Northern household, and what a lot of trouble that Miss "Ophelia" must have undergone, I thought, as I stood and watched her come slowly up the aisle toward me, mischievously pulling this and that lady's hair or bonnet, or pounding the richly upholstered seats with her old school bag, which, with the exception of a small box hid away in a corner, was her sole possession; and it was just because she was so bad she was being sent home.
"What did you say your name was?" I aked, as she, with with a comical grin, pressed down upon my sore toe with her heel.
"Sarah, Sarah Aaron," saucily; "I told you that three times before. You men are so forgetful."
Her English was as perfect as any Bostonian could utter it--so in contrast with her rustic appearance. At Jacksonville, where my journey ended, I accompanied her to the train which took her to St. Augustine. "Come and see us whenever you come to St. Augustine," she implored, clinging to my arm. "Remember, my n-a-m-e i-s S-a-r-a-h; Sarah Aaron. Oh, you men are so very forgetful."
It was quite a few years after this before an opportunity to go to St. Augustine was given me; it was when the Richmond and Danville Railroad had extended its lines into Florida, put on through fast trains from New York and boasted a much shorter route to the Gulf than any other road.
It was my privilege to be one of the first Pullman men sent over this new line to arrive at Jacksonville in time to miss the St. Augustine connection by two hours, which necessitated a long and tiresome journey to our destination behind a "local." The very old city of St. Augustine has been transformed into modern beauty by the lavished wealth of Flagler, the oil king, and at this time, "Hotel White Elephant," successfully run by a portly dame, occupied quite an enviable site adjacent the modernized section of the city. It was past the dinner hour when I entered the inviting-looking dining room of this Southern hostelry, the only person visible being a small sized girl who timidly came forward
with her face lit up with a smile which seemed to give her pain. "Two eggs, fried, and a cup 'o coffee, please," I requested, seating myself at one of the little snow-white tables.
"Sah?" she said, leaning over and pulling at her apron strings. I repeated the order. "And what have you in the way of cold meats?"
"Bery nice ham, sah," chimed in another voice before that freezing smile sufficiently relieved the girl's face to answer me, and the portly proprietress strode out from behind a screen and confronted me. "An' we hab sum fine fish, fresh from de ribber an' fresh fried," she added, drawing nigh and seating herself at a table next mine.
"Catfish?" I asked, thinking of New Orleans.
"Now look yer, mister man, lookyer, we don't put catfish before customers in disher resterant.["]
"Catfish is quite savory when properly prepared," I answered, thinking of the famous old Cape Fear River catso popular at my home.
"Maks no dif'rent how sabry hit is its not de fish Gawd tole de chilan ter eat 'kase hits wi'dout de scales an' darfoe is er bomination; no catfish fer Hotel White Elephant."
"I'l try an order of fish," I said.
No better opportunity than this, I thought, to enquire concerning my little heroine, whose fate and welfare were nearer to my heart than this much desired and at length gratified opportunity to stroll about in the oldest city in the United States.
"I no dat gal lak a book," exclaimed the portly proprietress of "Hotel White Elephant," at the conclusion of my story of my meeting with the child and our eventful journey South. "She wus de beatenes' youngun dat eber Gawd let lib. Why, she kicked up so dar in de norf dat dey jes had ter bundle 'er up an' hustle 'er orf."
"Why, she told me they sent her home because they were going West to live and did not care to take her so far away."
"Hits 'er no sich 'er thing; dey sont 'er home 'kase she bin so bad. I no de time dey tuk her 'way ter be deir own
chile, but de gal got so high dey had to--now yo' no de res'. Yo' coffee's gitt'n cold."
She paused in this painful anamidversion to throw one of her slippers after a cat that emerged from the kitchen with a huge piece of fish in its mouth and bolted towards the back door.
"When dat gal got back ter Sint Augustine," she resumed, "she had jes bin norf long nuff ter tun um cumpleet fool. Talk? Why, she had de Inglish so mix an' mumix up dat yo' could skasely understan' um. Hit wus 'carry' fer tote; 'I cawnt place yaw,' fer I dunno yo, an' when she felt bad she had er fashion ob trowin' back dat clean hade er hern an' saying, 'I feel slitely indesposed tu diay.' Why, da' gal wus er consumin' fiah. How yo' lak dat fish?"
"Splendid." I answered, scarcely knowing what I said. This woman knew not how unmercifully she was lacerating my very heart and driving away my appetite.
"Where is she now," I asked, wearily.
"De lawed knows, honey; de las' I hearn ob er she bin in Jacksonbill, wild es er buck." "Where is her mother?" "Dat gal's muther bin dade dese two yeahs now." "Mother dead?" I gasped. "Den shewent to de bad fast," answered my informant, with a look of triumph in her eyes. "C'line; bring de genman sum moe coffee."
But I declined a second cup; appetite for more to eat had left me as I sat there and pictured my little one only as a child of the slums, with that once innocent face marred by marks of dissipation. "Has she no kindred at all?" I asked after a long pause. "She's got er sister sum whar in New Augustine." I arose, paid my bill and staggered out into the darkness to learn from her sister more cheering news concerning my heroine, only to search for that sister in vain. At midnight, weary and exhausted, I sat down upon the steps of the old French market to enjoy the refreshing breeze. Far out to sea the breakers were rolling shoreward like lions at play. Onward they came, rolling higher and higher and nearer and nearer until they engulfed me; then lifted and bore me to a faraway island of beauty. It seemed that there were no grown-up people there, it was child land, a land of Innocence and Love. There were millions
of little ones gathered there from the north and from the south and from the east and fromthe west, sporting among beautiful flowers and luxuriant foliage. As I stood there wrapt in wonder at the sights before me, the voice of a trumpet rang out above the din of mirth and merriment; I turned and looked eastward, and there in bright clouds above me, with thousands of happy ones about her, came a May Queen, and among the heralds that preceded her in her triumphant flight I recognized My Sarah. There were no marks of sin upon that ebony face; it was far more lovely than when I first beheld her. The vast procession swept past me and left her standing abashed before my astonished gaze. "Oh wicked Girl. How did you get here?" I cried in my amazement. "How has satan gotten in here amongst the children of the King?" She raised her beautiful brown eyes into mine, and in a musical voice she said:
"I came to Jesus as I was,
Weary and worn and sad;
I found in Him a resting place,
And He hath made me glad.
"In that land where I met you life lost all of its charms after mother died; then I became an outcast; for no one loved or pitied me, and the shafts of the unsympathetic flew at me with such unrelenting fury that one day, weary and tired, I lay down and asked my Redeemer to take me where He had taken my mother. Mother's here, just over yonder by the Silver Lake where she loves to sit. Come, she has wanted so much to see you that she might thank you for your kindness to me. Come; hear them singing?" I took her little hand in mine as over banks of beautiful flowers we skipped along. We were nearing the Silver Lake, with its banks waving with beautiful palms, when a hand was laid roughly upon my shoulder and a gruff voice said: "No sleep'n round here this timer nite."
Far out atsea the waves still sparkling in the moonlight seemed to laugh in triumph at me in my disappointment. I arose and sauntered back to my car, and on the following morning as the train pulled out I stood upon the platform that I might see the old city fade from view.
One evening in the autumn of '89 I was ordered to take a load of passengers to St. Louis in car Egypt, an old "sleeper" which had for many years been used mainly for special service. But scarcity of cars in the district at this time had necessitated the pressing of this car in as an "extra," on account of the inpouring of returning travelers from over the seas, crowding trains from New York for every section of the country. As I passed through the station, the immense piles of luggage and the great hordes that pressed about the gates led me to believe that my trip westward would be exceptionally prosperous. But to my surprise and disappointment, when the train pulled out, only "lowers" were sold in Car Egypt, and one entire section--section 13--was empty. The scantiness of my load did not, however, so disconcert me as the marked absence of female passengers; there was not a single woman passenger in my car. In the opinion of some railroad men, the absence of women in Pullman cars is an omen of good luck. The porter who could say, "I came in 'chock-a-block' and without a single woman," need say no more to have it understood that he had had a prosperous trip. While few men could thus boast of a party made up entirely of women, most car service men believe that without her presence in a car the load is incomplete. The woman passenger not only adds charm to and in numerous ways relieves a long journey of its wonted monotony, but her presence invariably draws out the best qualities in man and puts him upon his mettle. Although the woman traveller is the most skilful in art of culling for nickels and dimes, it's the
opinion of most porters "dead bad luck" to make a journey without the pleasant little annoyances that her presence in a car inevitably occasion. I being of the latter persuasion, felt ill at ease over this state of affairs, although my passengers seemed to be of the sporty sort, more welcome to the porter than any other class of travelers.
As I went on my rounds making beds, I prepared number 13 for a chance get-on along the road; but we passed the principal stations without a call for a bed in any car in the train. The night gradually grew old; conversation in the smoking-room waxed cold and uninteresting; the men one by one threw away their cigar butts and sought their beds, leaving the porter the only occupant. Alone: there is nothing at that hour of night that a porter more keenly enjoys. It is the time when he, weary and exhausted from the irksome labor of bed-making, falls into wakeful slumber--the sleep of a cat, which flees away at the slackening of speed, the rounding of a curve, the blast of a whistle, the ringing of a bell; a sleep which infuses into the weary body no real refreshing rest. I stretched myself out upon the lounge that I might enjoy as fully as possible this restless sleep, when instantly there came a long and vigorous ring of the bell. I arose and scanned the indicator; the arrow pointed to 13, the vacant section. As indicators often register wrong, I walked up and down the aisle to see if there might not be a head protruding from between the curtains of some berth, but saw none. Passengers often make mistakes and go into the wrong berths: I looked in section 13, it was empty. Apparently everybody was fast asleep. I returned to the smoking-room and stretched out again. A signal to the flagman to protect the rear and a sudden check of the train aroused me a second time. I arose and started forward to learn the cause of the sudden stop, and just as I turned into the aisle I saw a woman in her night robe right in front of section 13. Her back was towards me; and she was bent over as though in search of something upon the floor. I hastened toward her, sure that she was a passenger from the car ahead, having lost
her bearings, but before I could get into speaking distance of her she disappeared around the corner. The car next mine was in charge of Sammy Boldes, an old and well-liked "regular" on old No. 9 to St. Louis. Entering Sam's car I found him sitting at the end of the aisle blacking shoes.
"Sam," said I, "why do you allow your passengers to go blundering around to find themselves going to bed in another car?" "What passengers?" asked he sulkily. "There are no women in my car, yet one was standing in the aisle just now and she came this way. Didn't you see her?" "No; there are only two women in this car, and they are both asleep there in section 2," answered Sam, jerking his thumb over his shoulder in the direction of the section indicated. "Where did that woman go!" I scratched my head in perplexity. "I guess you've been dreaming," said Sam, looking up at me out of the corner of his eye; "you'd better go back and get to blacking up." I returned to my car, searched it from end to end in every nook and corner of unoccupied space before settling down to shoe polishing. The train had again started up and was thundering on at its usual high speed. My mind had become so perturbed over this now apparently mysterious episode that sleep had entirely forsaken me. When everything had been gotten in readiness for my passengers who would now soon be getting up, I sat down by the window and began to meditate upon the possible truthfulness of Sam's assertion that I had been dreaming: it seemed now that I had. I pressed my hand against my forehead, it was hot and my temples were throbbing at a terribly rapid rate. I lay my head upon the window sill that the autumn winds might cool my temples. "I rang, Porter," said a soft voice, and turning my head quickly, I beheld the woman in the night robe, standing in the door of the smoking-room. She was running her fingers nervously through her black hair, which hung loosely down her back, and was staring over my head out through the window. A damp, sickening odor filled the room; and the pale face and hollow eyes of my visitor
made it seem that I was in a tomb in the presence of a resurrected corpse. "What can I do for you, madame!" I stammered, attempting to rise. She fixed her gaze upon me and the look of horror in her hollow eyes riveted me to the spot, and with a voice that sounded like some one far away at dead of night, she said, "My husband is dead. They told me he had gone on ahead of us, but he had not. He was asleep in section 13 when the crash came. Come! Help me search!" Beckoning eagerly to me to follow her, she disappeared. I arose to comply, but my limbs refused to support me, and I fell in a swoon upon the floor.
When I came to myself I lay upon a cot in a large, plain, white, high-ceiling room. The sun, shining in through the tall, clean windows, shed its comforting rays upon upturned faces about me, forcing smiles of joy and gratitude upon nearly every faded cheek. I was in a hospital; a place which through all my life I had associated with the prison-house of despair; a last earthly resort, where impatient, inhuman attendants only waited for a victim to die and did not hesitate to administer the "black bottle" to hasten the desired end. By the window nearest my cot stood three white-capped nurses, one of whom on seeing my eyes turned in that direction, came and bent over me. "Where am I?" I asked. "You are in St. Louis, in the Xavia Hospital, brought here about two weeks ago," she answered sweetly. "Why was I brought here, please?" I asked again, trying to penetrate the blank past. "You were taken off your car at the Union Station, raving with brain fever. But you must ask no more questions now: your case is a critical one and your recovery depends upon absolute quiet." She gently took hold of one of my wasted hands and held it up for my inspection, to show how two weeks' illness had told upon me. How thin and pale it was! Tucking the covering carefully about me, she handed me a newspaper, pointed to a marked item in a corner of the second page, smiled and walked away. Sure enough! There it was; an account
of my own illness! The paper, which was dated November 18th. contained the following brief, i. e., "Porter -- in the service of the Pullman Palace Car Company, was taken off his car this morning at the Union Station ill with brain fever. The young man was so violent that it required the efforts of four men to hold him. He was taken to Xavia Hospital."
Slowly it came back to me; my journey from New York with car Egypt; that woman! her story of her lost husband.
Yes, I had been ill, very ill; my wasted hands showed it. But that woman with her distressful story was not the haliucination of a fevered brain. I saw her! It was no dream.
A few months afterwards, not having fully recovered from the effects of that terrible illness, I sat waiting my turn in Bullouch's barber shop in Jersey City, among a few other railroad men, with whom was Sammy Boldes. "Well -- old boy," said Sam, eyeing me sympathetically, "you've had a pretty tough time of it. You should have staid at home that night." "I did not feel the least ill when I left," I answered. "When a man's fever is so high that he sees ghosts his place is at home in his bed," said he chuckling. "When we got back there in answer to the summons of the frightened brakeman, you were raising Sam Henry about a woman in 'section 13,' and I don't know what all." "What car did he have?" asked a man whose hair the barber was giving its finishing touches. "Old car Egypt," said Sam --. "And that woman was no fancy," I persisted. "I saw her." The man in the chair spoke up again: "There's something wrong about that old car. I've never seen anything while in her, but I heard some mighty queer noises, so much so that I left her one night while laying over at Memphis, and went up-town to sleep." Porter Cumming, a veteran in the service, sitting beside me. raised his eyes from his paper and listened intently to the conversation concerning the old car, but said nothing. "There's a kind of sickening feeling that I can't
explain which came over me when I had that old car; I felt it mostly when trying to sleep in the smoking-room," and to tell you the truth, gentlemen, I believe it's haunted," concluded the man, as he rose from the chair. As I left the barber shop and started toward the ferry to cross to my home in Brooklyn, Porter Cumming joined me.
"Your talk this morning about old car Egypt recalled to my mind a very thrilling experience of mine in connection with its history," said he. "That car is haunted, and I know it! But I have said but little about it to any one for fear of being ridiculed and looked upon as 'luny.'
"I see that you have been ill; and it was brain fever?" "But I was perfectly rational as regards the woman incident, regardless of the state of my mind afterwards."
"What did you see?" I related my experience as minutely as I could remember it. "In the spring of '85," he began, "I was running regularly between here and Washington, leaving Jersey City on the 'Owl' and coming in on old '78.' One morning as I went to the office to report and 'sign out,' I was told that I with three other men had been selected to make a special trip to Los Angeles, Cal., with a bridal party from New York City. The following day we busied ourselves putting in the immense stock of provisions required and making other preparations for the long journey. The party was to leave that evening, proceeding from the church to the train. It consisted of the bridal pair, the family physician, four lady friends, and a man and maid-servant. At our disposal we had two cars a hotel and observation car and a sleeper, which of course was car Egypt.
"We were to go direct to Los Angeles, via Chicago, and remain there about three weeks. From thence we were to journey southward into Mexico, and make our way homeward by way of New Orleans. It was indeed a first class party of rich and cultured people. The bride, a tall and handsome brunette, was the life of the party, enslaving us all by her vivacity and sweetness of disposition; she entered into everything that meant for making
the trip one of pleasure and recreation. One evening, just eight weeks after leaving New York, we pulled out of New Orleans, homeward bound over the great Louisville and Nashville railroad. All other trains had been ordered to give us the right of way and we thundered up the road at the rate of fifty miles an hour. A few miles south of Birmingham, Ala., a freight train having side-tracked had failed to throw the 'switch,' and our train rushed into the siding and was wrecked, killing the engineer, severely scalding the fireman and crushing the bridegroom and the manservant beyond recognition.
"These two slept opposite the bride, who, with others of the party, escaped with slight bruises. Old car Egypt, in which they all slept, seemed to have gotten the fullest force of the blow. It was a pitiful and awful sight to see that young woman, the bride, pulling her hair in the agony of her grief as she followed us about in our search for the missing men; and when the truth was revealed to her she went completely mad then and there. 'Oh, Frank, don't sleep in that berth! I'm superstitious. Come, Frank, it's time to get up. I wonder how long it will be before we get home, I'm tired of this wearisome journey,' she would wail softly, and then burst into hysterical laughing and weeping. I will never as long as I live forget that scene. A telegram to Birmingham brought down a car-load of railroad officials and physicians, and the party, with their belongings, were taken to that city and we saw them no more. About six months after that I met the lady's maid on Fifth Avenue in New York and she told me that her mistress never recovered, but died a raving maniac in a private asylum in less than two months after reaching home. The two cars were 'shopped' and completely overhauled and made more inviting inside and out. One night at least a year afterwards, car Egypt was assigned to me for a trip on the 'owl.' Sitting down at the window to enjoy a smoke after my passengers had retired, I could hear that wretched woman's wails and sobs just as plainly as I heard her on that night. I was so frightened that I started to go forward into the car ahead of me; but just
as I got into the aisle I saw just what you saw in front of Section 13--it was that very woman with her head bent forward precisely as you described her. I turned about, went back, and stood in the door until the train reached Washington. And you bet your life I was too sick to go out when the time came for me to come back to Jersey. That woman's ghost will follow that car as long as it exists, and the only way to lay it is to burn car Egypt."
"Look out for the Cap'n!" Every car service man knew him from the Lakes to the Gulf, and from Maine to the Pacific Coast. To say that this individual had boarded a train or alighted from a train on the same line as many as a hundred miles away has sent a thrill of terror through many a porter and driven sleep from his eyes. The Cap'n at one time had been a District Superintendent of the Pullman Palace Car Co., but not being a success in that capacity, was promoted (?) to the office of "Inspector"--of-er-Cars--I suppose that was the original meaning or intention of the authorities--but the name of the office as the Cap'n filled it was Legion.
He inspected everything, making a specialty of employes, to whom he was an undying worm and an unquenchable fire. Surely the Cap'n entered his true calling when he was made "Inspector." Nothing pleased the Cap'n more than to slip up on and catch a porter or conductor off his guard--"asleep on duty," or "not out with his stepping box," or "putting up beds without using the box or 'shamy,' " etc., etc. It was often said of the old fellow that he was nearer akin to the devil than any other human being; for, like his satanic majesty, he was omnipresent, often appearing like a spectre before unwary conductors and porters while trains were running at their highest speed. This I cannot vouch for, but I do know that he has often put himself to the inconvenience of standing for hours at some secluded flag station in order to slyly board a train at its foremost end and sneak back to the sleeper to loook for irregularities to report. "Look out for the Cap'n!" This was the familiar warning throughout the
length and breadth of country wherever the Pullman car has rolled. Men often sent telegrams of warning--"The Cap'n got off at -- station! Look out!" "Look out for the Cap'n, he may get on your train out of Jersey City tonight.["]
He entered a sleeping car one night, and, finding the porter asleep, seated himself beside him that he might fill the poor wretch with terror when he awoke. But the old fellow, being tired, was soon himself fast asleep. The train conductor passing, and seeing through the Cap'n's trick, gently awakened the porter, pointed to the sleeper beside him and went on his way. When the Cap'n awoke the porter was at the other end of the car blacking shoes. This incident was never reported.
The first time that I encountered the old gentleman was just two months after my entrance into the service of the company. He boarded a Coast Line train out from Jersey City, N. J., one evening, and to my discomfort paid very much attention to the car under my charge. After searching every hole and corner in the car, it seemed to me he paused in the aisle to watch me make beds. Beckoning me to him, finally he said: "Remove that toothpick from your mouth, Porter; it doesn't look well." I complied and went on with my work. He remained and watched me for a few moments longer, then went on into the car ahead of mine. About two trips after this incident, on entering the superintendent's office in Jersey City the chief clerk called me to his desk and read to me the following report: "On car Severn, out of Jersey City, train No. 15, August, 23, 1888, I noticed that the porter held a toothpick between his teeth. I called him to me and gently requested that he remove it, as it did not look well. In complying, he acted surly, threw the toothpick behind him, I think on a passenger's lap, and angrily flaunted the sheets and blankets in the passengers' faces." "Shameless liar!" I answered inwardly, as I bit my lips. Truthful as I might be and honest, his word would carry all the weight, I thought, as I stood there like a criminal condemned and awaiting sentence. I was too astonished at the Judas-like duplicity of this old chap in whose presence I had done my best, to do
more than to say that it was reasonable to suppose that I would be extremely careful of my conduct in the presence of the man whose power and reputation I so well knew, even for that length of time in the Pullman service. "You must try and cultivate better manners," answered the chief clerk, handing me a slip of paper, which read as follows: "Porter D. B. Fulton, you are hereby suspended for five days, your salary to cease from now until September 2d, 1888." Five days' pays was quite a good deal to lose out of a small salary--and for nothing. I left the office with tempest raging in my soul and with a strong desire to catch "by the throat the uncircumcised dog" who could so abuse his authority as to so brazenly utter an untruth and thereby do injury to an humble fellow. I learned afterwards that the best way to avoid getting into trouble with this old fellow was to flatter him; follow him about the car whenever he boarded it; ask very anxiously about his health, his wife's health; invite him into your ["]buffet" to help himself to your choicest whiskies, wines, and cigars, or the best lunch you could prepare. The porter that followed this course in his treatment of the Cap'n never got an ill report, it mattered not in what condition he or his car was found.
What a character for such a position! Extremely selfish and revengeful, the old fellow was ever ready to resent even what seemed to be a disregard for him in his official capacity. It is said that he followed one porter for years against whom he held a grudge, seeking to find something against him to report. But as this man ran regularly between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh and was old in the service, it was difficult to lodge a complaint against him that would cause him to lose more than time required to write a statement. The superintendents in these respective districts knew well the Cap'n's duplicity, sensitiveness and selfishness; and this feeling of disregard for him often consigned his reports to the waste basket as malicious false-hoods. This porter, knowing of the Cap'n's unpopularity in the two districts mentioned, and the high esteem in which the respective superintendents were held by the company.
never let slip an opportunity to show his contempt for the old fellow, thereby making him writhe in indignation and desire for revenge. Passing through old "number ten" at Harrisburgh one night the Cap'n found his old enemy fast asleep on duty; and so delighted was he over the anticipated sweet draught of revenge that he jumped out upon the station platform and shouted, "I've got th' coon at last! I've got th' coon at last!" "Who is it, Cap'n?" asked several trainmen, who gathered around, attracted by the old fellow's antics. "Why, it's ol' Joe, fast asleep." But although his report of the incident was carefully worded, dwelling at length upon the importance of "the careful guarding of cars," "the prevalence of thieves in large stations," the "liabilities of the company in the event of robberies through the incompetency of employees," etc., he could not effect the loss to "Joe" of a single day. Tob Jones and the Cap'n were old cronies; and it is alleged that his liking for Tob often hid a multitude of faults--and Tob had faults by the multitude. But the Cap'n caught Tob in a predicament one night, however, that would have caused him to shake his brother and it was only Tob's cunning that saved him from being shook, for Tob Jones was not easily trapped. The Cap'n, knowing that Tob was in charge of a certain car, boarded it at Harrisburgh--not to give his friend trouble, but for a friendly chat; the Cap'n wouldn't "peach" on Tob if it could be avoided. He searched the car from end to end, but saw nothing of the "faithful" Tobias. Passing through a third time in despair, the Cap'n discovered Tob's black-socked foot protruding from between the curtains of an upper berth. Seizing this extremity, the old fellow called in a stage whisper, "Tobias! Tobias! Tobias!" Now, it's only the veteran porter that can awaken decently, without stretching, yawning, garping and blandly betraying himself. Tobias was an expert. The first tug at Tob's foot awoke him, but he didn't move; not he. When the Cap'n made a third tug, Tob eased his foot in, poked out his head and gave his old friend one of those freezing yet mirth-provoking stares, which only Tob could give. "She-e-e Cap'n," he whispered, "I'm watchin' 'im, I'm got
ma eye on 'im." "What is the matter, Tob?" asked the Cap'n impatiently. "She-e-e! dars er man in disher neath berth heah, pok'n his han' roun' dar an' tryin' ter rob dat lady in de one er head but I'm on ter 'im; I heered you when you fus cum in, but I wanted ter keep ma eye on dis feller," concluded Tob, stretching his eyes and spreading his huge palm before the now deeply interested Cap'n to make his words the more impressive. "That's right, Tob," said the Cap'n, passing on. The old fellow learned how badly he had been fooled when, one evening, he passed through the station at Jersey City and overheard some men laughing and talking about how Tob had outwitted the Cap'n. It was the Cap'n's delight to sit in district superintendents offices and relate his many amusing experiences with employees on the roads. One day, away down South, he came across a car side-tracked in quite a lonely spot, went through it and found it deserted. A few rods away, in a watermelon patch, he came upon the conductor and porter, who, having filled up on the juicy fruit, had spread a towel on the ground and were earnestly engaged in the game of "seven up." Cautiously approaching the two men, the Cap'n said: "Excuse me, gentlemen, but are you in charge of that car over yonder?" "Yas, we's in charge er dat kiar over yander: an' wut erbout hit?" answered the colored man, without even looking up at the questioner. "I thought that if you were you are quite a distance from your charge, that's all," returned the Cap'n. "Dat ar kiar ain't gonter run erway--yo deal, Cap" (to the conductor). "If anybody starts off with her, I reckon we can overhaul 'em before they can get far away, old man," said the conductor carelessly. "I beg Jim" (to the porter). "Some people's all de time mekin' deyself fresh 'bout deseyer kiars," said the porter, issuing a couple of cards to the conductor. "Suppose the Cap'n should come along and find that car unguarded?" "Who de hell's de Cap'n?" demanded the porter. "He's nobody's daddy," chimed in the conductor. "Cut the cards, Jim" (to the porter). "There seems to be so much red tape about this sleeping car business," he continued. "Why, a fellow can't go out and get a quiff of fresh air and
recreation but what he's got to be ding-donged at about 'the rules' and 'the Cap'n;' damn the Cap'n!" "An' I say de same," exclaimed the porter; "good fer nuthin' ol' flopyeared varmint. High, low, Jack an' de game!"
"My feelings at this stage had become so wrought up over these unexpected compliments that I could restrain myself no longer. Snatching out my notebook, I exclaimed: 'I'm the Cap'n, and I demand that you get on that car and be quick about it.' The nigger rolled all the way to the car and rolled in at the window, while the astonished and frightened conductor walked behind me making excuses and apologies; he was new in the service and unacquainted with the rules, etc. I let them off with ten days each."
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