The Project Gutenberg eBook of Stephen H. Branch's Alligator, Vol. 1 no. 03, May 8, 1858

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Title: Stephen H. Branch's Alligator, Vol. 1 no. 03, May 8, 1858

Editor: Stephen H. Branch

Release date: May 11, 2015 [eBook #48931]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Giovanni Fini and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at (This file was
produced from images generously made available by The
Internet Archive)



Truth Whips Fiction. 2
Stephen H. Branch’s Alligator. 7
Ice Cream. 7
Supervisor Blunt. 10
Fun, and Sun, and Shade. 11
Our Beloved Brethren of the Press. 12
Life of Stephen H. Branch. 12


Volume I.—No. 3.]—— SATURDAY, MAY 8, 1858.—— [Price 2 Cents.




Truth Whips Fiction.

Love and Sin.—Fatality of the Metropolis.—Domestic Vices.—Virgins Beware.—Parsons Profess too much, and Practice too little.—“We must be Cruel to be Kind.”—A Terrible Example.—Let Sacred Teachers Warn their precarious Daughters to Avoid the Snares of Music and Fiction.

In the shades of twilight, amid the perfume of the sunny zones, sat a pale and attenuated student from the northern climes, musing of his native vales and hills, and the sweet idol of his heart, whose latest thoughts he had just perused. He had consumed too much midnight oil at college, and his health was gone, and he sought the towering bluffs of Natchez for restoration, where he was a sophomoric pastor. The figs, and flowers, and balmy breezes restored his health, and he returned to his native latitudes, and married one of Eve’s most fascinating posterity. He preached

In dale and vill,
And shore and hill,

and came to the metropolis, and cast a gauntlet to Dr. Wainwright on bishops and crinoline, which made owls screech, and worms squirm, and frogs sing, and alligators grimly grin, and snakes and toads hiss and belch sepulchrals. Wainwright boldly seized the gauntlet shaft, and the sacred pugilists closed like panthers, and the people hissed, and laughed, and applauded, as the battle raged, and Bennett filled the air with his most comic darts, which made the Herald sell like Slievegammon news. We had worms and boils, and salt rheum, and ate Graham-bread and mush, and slept with Horace Greeley in Barclay street, till our bones did rattle, and we could not laugh beyond a whisper, and

Our shanks were so thin,
That negroes did grin,
And, as we passed by,
Dogs and cats did cry.

“Long time in even scale the battle hung,” until Potts and Wainwright retired from the field as conquerors, in the estimation of themselves and enthusiastic friends. The sun and moon and romantic stars performed their wonted evolutions, and Potts and Wainwright had their salaries increased, and rose to Bishoprics and the giddy alpines of the godly avenues, and we went to the setting sun, and almost beyond the world. On our return from the bleak, and shady, and snowy slopes of the Rocky Mountains, in 1849, we dwelt with Mrs. Mitchell, at the corner of Houston and McDougal streets, whose family consisted of[3] her daughter, two nieces, a sister, and Otto Dressel, a teacher of piano music, whose style was soft, pensive, sacred, and bewitching. We had boarded with Mrs. Mitchell, in Broadway, eight years previous, and in 1841, while going up the dark alley that led to Jackson’s pawnbroker’s shop in Reade street, we met Mrs. Mitchell coming down the lane, who sneezed while we coughed, when we both passed on with crimson cheeks and sly glances of each other. Otto Dressel’s sleeping apartment at Mrs. Mitchell’s in Houston street, in 1849, was next to ours; and many a summer eve, while reclining on our couch, has Otto borne us into the unconscious realms of Morpheus, with his soothing and entrancing music. The pale and rosy and dark-eyed offspring of the mother and departed sister, were ever at his door, and perhaps too often within, or on the music side of his portal. We often heard the thrilling echo of kisses, and the sudden tap of his piano, to drown the reverberation emblems of a lover or libertine. And we often warned the mother and sister of the fatal intimacy between the music serpent, and the pretty virgins of their blood. But they smiled, and said: “O, fy;” and we let the music-teacher have his way, and he kissed and hugged the lovely maidens to his heart’s content. The eldest girl was Julia Mitchell, who drew near one evening while we were seated on the sofa, (with no light save the milky rays of an autumnal moon,) when she said: “Stephen, can you keep a secret?” “Yes.” “Then listen: Otto Dressel, you perceive, is morose and reserved, and dignified at our table, but he is a thorough scamp, and so loquacious when alone in the presence of pretty girls, that his tongue rattles like a rattlesnake; and his music, in the society of spotless virgins, is so alluring, as to enrapture, and bewitch, and deprive them of self-control and consciousness. Almost every evening, the beautiful, and musical, and intellectual daughter of the Rev. Doctor George Potts archly and slyly drops gilded notes on our steps, when Otto, who is watching her arrival from his bedroom window, runs down stairs with the velocity of a deer, and clutches the pale and lovely missives, and bounds up stairs like a bloodhound. Otto is her music-teacher, and he tells me that he reads with her, at her father’s and elsewhere, all the latest English, French and German works of fiction, which fill her impulsive genius with the profoundest romance and fatality. It is about the period of her appearance, and I desire you to take a position at the window, and behold how prettily, and gracefully, and archly, she[4] leaves her mysterious note for her adored Otto.” We sat near the window, screened by the lattice and gauzy curtains, and presently we behold her in the distance; and, after gazing at Otto’s window, she discovers him on the watch, and rapidly crosses the street, and, after leering cautiously around, she softly places the letter on the steps, and hastily departs, when down comes Otto, like a vulture for its prey, or like Putnam down the rocky precipice, or like the Falls of the eternal Niagara, and seizes the pretty note, and flies like an eagle to his celestial cloister. Julia gently smiles, and intently gazes at us, and we at her, in the profoundest silence, when we arise, and pace across the moonlight rays that gild the rainbow carpet, in disconcerted meditation. Julia becomes alarmed, and exclaims: “Stephen, you seem agitated and bewildered, and I fear you will disclose in Bennett’s Herald what you have seen to-night.” We assured her that we would not, and then she besought us, in plaintive tones, never to divulge our painful observations to the Reverend Doctor Potts, and we assented, and soon retired, but could not repose, and arose and paced the room, and in fancy rambled through our early days, and parted the lattice, and gazed upon the autumnal firmament, and counted its brilliant constellations. We saw the meteors fall, and heard the watchman’s solemn cry, and closed the lattice and retired, (with the imprudent Parson’s daughter, like an affrighted ghost, flitting before our midnight vision,) and there was no repose for us. We tossed hither and thither, like a vessel in a storm, and heard the doleful clock measure the passing hours, and heard the shrill music of the King of hens, and gladly hailed the first pale ray of the morning twilight that lit upon our nose, and we arise, and enter the exhilerating atmosphere, and stroll with the earliest rays of Aurora, as she gilds the hills and sacred skies. We pace the streets in excited contemplation, and waggons, and rustics, and butchers, and debauchees, and homeless wanderers pass us in rapid succession, for whose hard and mysterious destiny, our poor heart beats high in tearful sympathy. We pass on, and intoxicated girls, of incomparable beauty, reeled by our side, who had just emerged from dens of infamy, where they had been decoyed, and their virginity forever blighted by incarnate demons. We rove through the commodious Park, bearing the enchanting name of Washington, and recline beneath its mellifluous foliage, and soliloquize in the mental disquietude of Aristotle, when he apostrophised on his expiring pillow, with his arms across his[5] breast, and his deluged vision turned to Heaven: “O God! I entered the world in sin,—I have lived in anxiety, and I depart in perturbation. Cause of causes, pity me, poor Aristotle.” We ruminate with our bewildered eyes riveted on vacancy, and suddenly resolve to divulge all to the Reverend Doctor Potts, and at a bound are in his dazzling habitation, close by his side, whom thus rudely do we accost: “We are a stranger, on a mission of love and duty. What we disclose will appal, and you may lose your sacred temper, and drive us from your presence. But, as we came to save your daughter from the embraces of a villain, if you violate our person, we shall yearn for a terrible revenge, and may, in our awful wrath, slay you in your own domestic castle.” He paled and trembled,—his eyes glistened and lips quivered, and his hair actually arose. We told him to be as serene as the morning sky without, as we had come, like the Saviour, to rescue his beauteous child from ruin, and himself, and wife, and other children from eternal degradation; and that what we should disclose, must be concealed in his heart’s most secret recesses, until the curfew tolled the departure of his final sun, to which he most solemnly assented. And then we divulged all we have here narrated, when he arose, and, with his hands clasped, he cried in tones of melting tenderness: “What! my daughter! my darling child, who is the hope and solace of my being, to drop notes for Otto Dressel in Houston street! Impossible, sir—impossible—utterly impossible. Mr. Dressel is a great pianist, and came to this country with letters to me from the leading men of Germany, and I have the highest confidence in his integrity, and I permit him to visit my family, and he often passes his leisure in my house, and teaches music to my daughter, and they often sit for hours at the piano, and play duets and sing together like brother and sister; and I think they admire, but do not love each other, as she is betrothed to a southern gentleman of great affluence. Otto I love, and so does my wife, and other children, and we treat him like one of us; but my eldest daughter simply admires, but cannot love him without infidelity to her betrothed. All her purest and most sacred affections are concentrated on another. But Otto will ever be welcome to my house, for I like his delightful music and his modest demeanor, and I cannot and will not believe that he could be guilty of dishonorable stratagem, to rob me of my favorite child. It is impossible, and I will not believe it.” We arose, and smiled, and departed with the usual courtesy of departure. And soon we received the following, which we punctuate and italicise precisely as we received it:—

To Mr. Branch: Dear Sir—It has just occurred to me, that I owe you a line, to express again my thanks for the manly straightforward way in which you brought to me the derogatory scandal you had heard. Far better such a method of dealing, than that of talking about people of whom we have heard disparaging statements—and far better than anonymous letter-writing, which shoots arrows in the dark. Although the affair you brought to my ears—plausible as seemed the statements you rec’d—had no farther foundation, than the passing of notes about indifferent matters—still I am none the less obliged to you for the manner in which you made it known to me. My promise of holding you harmless, is the only reason, why I do not call upon the parties named, and take them to task. This, however, I cannot do, without your permission—nor perhaps is it of any importance I should. I may, however, suggest to yourself a good office toward the young person, with whom this story, (which owes its plausibility to a little fact, and a good deal of suspicious[6] fancy,) originated: namely to warn her of the danger of letting her imagination and her tongue run away with her. Respectfully yours,

George Potts.

Nov. 9, 1849.

P. S.—If it should be at all in your power, you would oblige me if you could verify the story of the dropping of notes, and who the person (if such an one there be) is.”


New York City, Nov. 12, 1849.

To the Rev. Dr. Potts: Dear Sir—Your approval of my course is truly grateful to my feelings. On my return to my abode on the day I saw you, my interrogations elicited the following which I forward as an answer to your request in your postscript, although I supposed I had sufficiently verified all I disclosed. Miss Mitchell says that she knows your daughter, when she sees her, and her mother and two nieces also know her by sight; that the Saturday previous (three days prior to my visit to you), she saw your daughter ascend the steps, ring the bell, request the servant (who is in collusion with Dressel and your daughter), to hand a note to Mr. Dressel, and depart as far as the corner of Sullivan and Houston streets, where she tarried until Mr. Dressel (leaving immediately on the receipt of the note in his room) overtook her, when they walked away together, arm in arm, and that similar scenes occurred while Mr. Dressel boarded with them in Bond street, last Winter, where the correspondence began, which has also been conducted through the Dispatch Post ever since, Mr. Dressel sometimes receiving as many as three letters per week; that a colored boy has sometimes brought the letters; that these letters (at least those Miss Mitchell perused, at Mr. Dressel’s request,) comprised six closely written pages, with the name of your daughter annexed, beginning with: “My dear, dear Otto:” and with “My dearest and very best friend,” &c.; that these letters bear the impress, on the seal, of “Happiness,” “Pain,” “Eye,” &c; that Mr. Dressel has your daughter’s daguerreotype, which has been open on the piano, in the parlor of Mrs. Mitchell, or on the piano or bed in Mr. Dressel’s apartment. Now, my dear Sir, if all this be fallacious, Miss Mitchell deserves a severe retribution. Time will show as to its truth. I am equally the friend of Mr. Dressel, and of the family of Mrs. Mitchell, and of your own family, all of whom are strangers to me in the light of consanguinity, and nearly by association, save as the boarder of Mrs. Mitchell now and hitherto. But if I can save your daughter from the dreadful calamity of elopement, and her parents from the deep mortification and anguish that would arise therefrom, I assure you that I will do so, come what may. The pride and glory of your family, and of a large circle of acquaintance and friends, shall not be suddenly and surreptitiously sacrificed forever, if I can avert it. So, my dear Sir, you can command my services as you please, in a rational way, in all this business. I repeat what I said at our interview, (in reply to your assertion of implicit confidence in your daughter,) that you must not lose sight of the frailties of our nature, with its unreliable and treacherous impulsions, nor of the power of genius, nor the extraordinary fascinations of music (in the hands of a great master), over the delicate, unsophisticated, and enthusiastic mind of a female, with kindred musical genius; and that even opposing natures often form alliances of friendship and matrimony.

From your friend,

Stephen H. Branch.

To Rev. Dr. George Potts.


N. B.—I trust you will excuse the haste with which this letter was written, owing to the arrival of friends from California, on yesterday.

S. H. B.

Time rolls! Mr. Perkins, a young lawyer, (formerly of Natchez, but who had removed to New Orleans,) comes North, and marries the daughter of the Rev. Dr. Potts, and they sail for Paris, where he discovers in her trunk the very letters that Dressel wrote her while at Mrs. Mitchell’s, in response to her “drop notes,” and also letters from Dressel that she had just received in Paris, which were enclosed in her mother’s letters from New York. Terrible scenes transpire, resembling those between Othello and Desdemona, and she flies from him in terror, and conceals herself in Paris, and writes to her father, who goes to Paris and accompanies her to America, when he immediately sends for us, and weeps in our presence, and deeply regrets that he had not adopted our advice, and driven Dressel into the street, who, with the imprudence of his own wife, in inclosing Dressel’s letters to his daughter in Paris, had plunged his family into irremediable ruin. Perkins returns and goes to the Irving House, at the corner of Chambers street and Broadway, where we had frequent interviews, when he cries like a little child, and denounces Mr. and Mrs. Potts, but defends the chastity of his wife, and regrets his passion and his furious anathema of her in Paris. The matter is thrown into the Courts, and Perkins employs Daniel Lord, William Kent, and Benjamin F. Butler, and Potts engages Wm. Curtis Noyes, Ogden Hoffman, and —— Staples, and both Perkins and Potts strive to induce us to testify in their favor, and because we peremptorily refused, and assured them we should disclose the truth on the stand, they dared not call the case for trial, lest our testimony would overwhelm both parties, and consign them to eternal odium and misery. Perkins obtained a divorce, and was elected to Congress, and married a Southern lady. Miss Potts remains single, and is a noble ornament of society. One of Mrs. Mitchell’s nieces was seduced by a monster, and had a child, and she soon became a prostitute, and her mother a lunatic. Julia Mitchell married a Southron, who professed great wealth, but proved to be a pauper, and a villain of the deepest calibre. Julia obtained a divorce, and married a Mr. Moffat, who was also supposed to be immensely affluent. Mrs. Mitchell died, and her other niece resides with Mrs. Julia Moffat. And thus ends the first Chapter of this mournful narrative.

O whence have we come?
And where shall we go?
And why are we here
To combat woe?
O come fair spirit
Through the air,
And tell us more
Of this affair.


Stephen H. Branch’s Alligator.



Ice Cream.

The toiling million starved by the heartless Politicians, and the Fifth Avenue Robbers of the Public Treasure, who are the source of Oppressive Taxation, and Exorbitant Rents, and Fuel, and Food, and Raiment, and Prostitution, and Suicide, and of Theft, Rape, Arson, and Assassination.

Reclining on the velvet banks of the Hudson, were Mayor Kingsland and little Georgy, with steamers, and mariners, and forests, and the full round moon, and radiant stars reflected[8] in the placid waters. With segars, and wine, and luscious cream before them, Georgy said: “Kingsland: I came from Brandon in the ship Perseus, in 1817, and was a valiant youth. Patrick Dickey was a passenger, with 400 others. We exchanged vessels at Halifax, and tarried several months at Perth Amboy, and resided in Banker street, (the Fifth Avenue of those days,) and at Niblo’s Garden, where my father was a fashionable Broadway dandy tailor, on whose big sign was ‘George Matsell, Tailor, from London.’ Our residence was the first brownstone mansion erected on Broadway. My father was of the Paine, Wright, and Owen creed, which I early imbibed. My brother Augustus was the Secretary of Fanny Wright, and I was her enthusiastic disciple, and sold her books, and pretty pictures, which were not obscene, and for which I was not indicted; nor were my associates imprisoned thirty days in the Tombs, whom I induced to visit America. Through Fanny Wright and George II. Purser, (who was the favorite of Fanny,) and Robert Dale Owen, I became a Custom House officer, under Martin Van Buren, and a Police Justice under Mayor Varian, and Chief of Police under Mayor Havemeyer, with whom and all his successors I had great influence. I pulled the nose of every Mayor save Havemeyer, whom I found extremely mulish; and yet I made him fear me when I chose. Although my salary was small, yet I realized a stupendous fortune like yourself, since you began your political career in the First Ward, as a shoulder-hitter, and a candidate for Assistant Alderman, and successful municipal oil contractor. We understand these political ropes and wires, Kingsland, and it is unnecessary to linger on them. You are on the Fifth Avenue, in a Persian Palace, while I adhere to Stanton street, in a humble dwelling, lest I be suspected by my enemies of acquiring vast treasures through my office of Chief. I think you commit a fatal error in your display of magnificence, but I’ll not murmur, as all are responsible for their own sins and imprudence. You may have a boisterous career, and a gust may arise, like that of Astor Place, when you may require my services. My coolness and intrepidity on that occasion, saved the city from universal massacre and conflagration. I judiciously remained in the Opera House, and commanded Woodhull, Talmadge, Westervelt and Sandford, to fire at the mob in the street, or all would have been lost, and the city instantly demolished, and its inhabitants butchered and burned to bleeding fragments and Kansas cinders. I was in the stage-box throughout the frightful spectacle, lest from my immense fat, I might be as palpable a target for the foe, as Daniel Lambert, my remotest ancestor on my Daddy’s side. Lambert is from Lamb, a word of Brandon origin, and hence the mildness of my disposition, although I am terrible in bloody conflicts, where the fate of a city is involved. And the eye of Providence was in my appointment by Havemeyer, and my skillful and courageous direction of the entire Astor Place riots. The Mayor, Recorder, Sheriff, and the General, were pale and timid, and faltered, and it required the lungs of Knox, (who could bellow into the ears of Washington across the icy and tumultuous atmosphere of the Delaware,) and the nervous fat of an immediate descendant of Lambert, and the herculean vigor of Sampson, and the impetuosity of Putnam, to brave the demons of Astor Place who strove to exterminate my countryman the gallant, and graceful, and intellectual Macready, who was right in the introduction of a dance in Hamlet, as Hamlet’s grandfather was a dancing master to the King of Denmark, and hence Ned Forrest had no[9] right to hiss Macready for his testimonial of respect to Hamlet’s grand-father. Shakespeare, himself, was long a correspondent of Hamlet’s grand-father, and introduced the dance in Hamlet from his respect to his old friend, which Johnson ejected during the very year that Shakespeare died, because he had a quarrel with Hamlet’s grand-father in a ball-room, in Denmark, when Johnson not only got licked, but had his nose broken in five places, besides the horrible and irremediable fracture of its tip end. This is the gist of the whole Astor Place quarrel, and MacCready was familiar with all these historical truths, and hence his introduction of the dance in Hamlet. I saved the city and MacCready, and by adroit tactics I saved myself, by adhering to the stage box, (with a pistol in either hand,) until the massacre was over in the street, and the exasperated populace had dispersed, when I rushed into the open air, and knocked down a blind-crippled-music-grinder, and brandished my sword and pistols ferociously, and frightened a little boy almost to death, who was inquiring for his mother. It was hard for me to order the Mayor, Recorder, Sheriff, and General, to fire upon the Americans; but my duty to a fellow-countryman in peril, and to myself, and to the people, whose alien Chief I was,—and, above all, to a God, in whom I ardently believe, and love, and fear, and into whose eternal embrace I expect to go, demanded me to indirectly give the thrilling and fatal word of fire, which hurled a score of beings into the dreary entrails of the globe, and into the sudden and awful presence of our common Deity. And now, Kingsland, my dear boy, in view of my tried courage, and my prodigious influence with the file of Mayors who have preceded you, and of my aid to you in primary elections, and of my powerful recent secret support of you in your nomination and election—and—and—you know, Kingsland, all the rest. I say that, in view of all this, I desire you to let me remain as Chief of Police, for which I will cling to you as I did to Fanny Wright, and Robert Dale Owen, and George H. Purser, and to the City of New York in its hour of peril. Do this, my dear Kingsland, and I will lobby through the Common Council the Ganzevoort jobs, and all the oil contracts you desire, and let you go where you please unmolested; and you can join Messrs. Paine & Phalon in musical, or lottery and policy operations, and buy as many millions of dollars’ worth of land in Williamsburgh and Greenpoint, and own as many licentious houses in Church, and Leonard, and other streets, as you desire, and I will not cull a solitary hair from your beautiful and conscientious skull. What is your response?”

Kingsland.—“Have I not declared that you were my first choice for Chief of Police?”

Matsell.—“Yes. But that was only a verbal declaration. I desire the bird in my own cage. I want the fascinating documents under your signature.”

Kingsland.—“Waiter: Bring me pen, ink and paper. [Writes.] There, Matsell, there it is, but do not use it until I see my political friends, and conciliate them with the assurance that your appointment was absolutely essential to the preservation of the Metropolis from riots, and sword, and fire, and ashes. If I fail to allay their exasperation, I shall send them to you, and if you fail to pacify them with promises of appointment, and those sweet accents that flow like Stuart’s syrup from your ruddy lips, and your oriental bows, and meek scrapes, and cringing smiles,—why, then, you must put your bloodhounds on their track on howling tempest nights, (when only owls dare prowl through the fearful darkness of ether,) who will pursue them to the dens of infamy and revelry, and blasphemy,[10] and obscenity, and dicery, when you will have them in your awful clutches, as you have me. O, God! Matsell, I hardly know what I say. Wine works wonders, and now let us fill our glasses to the brim, and have another dulcet cream, and depart for the Metropolis,—and at our nocturnal farewell, let us kneel and swear beneath the universal concave, that we will cling to each other like Damon and Pythias, or Burr and Arnold, until our wormy conquerors begin their happy feast, and grin and dance over our silent and icy forms in the dreary and awful sepulchre. But remember my oil and other contracts, Matsell. Be piously true to them. When we next meet, I’ll tell you how to effect their continuation with the Aldermen, if you don’t know already, from your limited experience.”


O, oil is the thing
That the stuff will bring,
Which will buy sweet cream
To eat on life’s stream.

[More ice-cream next Saturday, of a superior quality.]


Supervisor Blunt.

Two more public documents, written by Stephen H. Branch for Orison Blunt, who was Alderman of the Third Ward in 1854, and Alderman of the Fifteenth Ward in 1857, and is now Supervisor from the Fifteenth Ward.

[From the N. Y. Herald, April 22, 1851.]

Paul Julien’s Second Concert.

The youthful artist has created a perfect furore in musical circles—amateurs, professionals, dilettanti and every body else; his talent is wonderful, and his improvement still more remarkable. He has, withal, the modesty which is the companion of true merit. His second concert was given at Niblo’s Saloon, on Thursday evening, and it was attended by as full and fashionable an audience as that which welcomed him on Tuesday evening. Mayseder’s grand variations were given for the second time, upon a single string; the second attempt was even more successful than the first, and the young artist gave the highest proof of genius in overcoming difficulties previously regarded as insurmountable. Another gem of the soiree was a duet for violin and piano-forte, by Julien and Richard Hoffman. It was capitally given and was encored. The vocal part of the concert was given by Mme. Commettant and M’lle. Henrietta Behrend. The enthusiasm of the audience at the matchless execution of Julien was unbounded.

But an episode occurred yesterday which was more telling in its effects than the applause of the audience on Thursday evening. It was a grand “variation” in the form of five one thousand dollar bank notes, a gift to the young musical genius. The following extraordinary letters describe the affair:

New York, April 21, 1854.

Master Paul Julien: I have heard your delightful music in the Concert room, and you have had the kindness to play for myself and friends at my residence. In earlier life I strove to learn the violin, but I abandoned it as too difficult for me. Its intricacies are unconquerable to all save those who are inspired. I have heard of the extraordinary perseverance and severe pecuniary trials through which your father has passed, to impart to you, his only child, a musical education. And I deem the efforts of both father and son highly commendable, and truly worthy of encouragement. I therefore present you with five thousand dollars, which I trust will be consecrated to your intellectual, musical, and moral culture.—Sincerely,

Orison Blunt.

[Turn over for Paul’s response.]


New York, April 21, 1854.

My Dear Sir:—Mere words, though brightly glowing with affection, could not express my grateful emotions for your unexampled munificence. Nor could the most stirring strains I ever expect to conceive, reflect the chords you have touched in my heart. I can only assure you, that I will be very studious, and fondly cherish you next to my father and mother. I may soon return to France, and if you should ever visit me, I am sure that my friends would cordially receive you, for your substantial kindness to me during my sojourn in a far distant land. Affectionately,

Paul Julien.

Alderman Orison Blunt,

Warren street, New York.

We led Alderman Blunt into this, and we trust the public will not censure him, but lash us most unmercifully for such a vile imposture. Blunt never gave a cent to Paul Julien,—and when we asked him some time afterwards, to aid Paul, he declined; but Alderman Thomas Christy gave Paul $80, to relieve himself and father and mother. When we had our last sad interview with Madame Sontag, just prior to her fatal departure for Mexico, by way of the Lakes, (in a conversation of three hours at her room in the Mansion House in Albany) she assured us there never was such a talented youth as Paul Julien, and that she had adopted him, and warmly besought us never to desert him, not only as his private teacher, but as his pecuniary friend, and we most solemnly promised we would not. After Sontag died in Mexico, Paul became very poor, and as we were also indigent, we hatched this stratagem to deceive the public, and create excitement, and fill a concert room for Paul, and we asked Blunt to sign this sham letter, which he did. We have ever been disgusted with this wicked imposition, and have suffered the compunction of a penitent thief, and we now dash the odium from our conscience, as a midnight spider prowling round our nose. And as it is the only Barnum and Ullman operation in which we ever were enlisted, we trust and believe that the public will forgive us.

James Gordon Bennett knew nothing of our imposition, nor did Frederick Hudson, his Private Secretary, until the present week, when we disclosed the whole infamous proceeding to Mr. Hudson.


Fun, and Sun, and Shade.

Frances Fauvel Gouraud, the mnemonic lecturer of 1843, gave gold pencils and other gilded trinkets to males, and reticules to females. John Innman was editor of the Commercial Advertiser, to whom he gave a massive gold pencil, and desired to give a reticule to his fair lady, who was sister of the once famous Clara Fisher, and now Mrs. Maeder. The day was warm, and the cholera diarrhœa was prevalent, and he loudly rings the bell, and dashes into the house with all the enthusiasm of a Frenchman, and screams: “Mrs. Innman: Have you got one necessaire?” She is dumb for seconds, and her lily cheeks are balls of fire, and indignant phrenzy glares in her eyes, when she proclaims: “I will call the servant,” and furiously retires. The servant darts in and balls out: “Come hither sir,” and on he tramps, behind the servant, into the basement and the yard, where he is politely escorted into the necessaire, when he savagely ejaculates: “The diable! You von tam skamp! Why for you take me in dis vile place? By gar! by dam! What is dat I smell? What you for eat so much unions in dis country? You one tam rascal! What for you bring me in dis nasty place”?

Servant—“Mrs. Innman directed mo to show you the necessaire.”

Gouraud—“Necessaire! Vat!—You call dis necessaire? By gar! You tell one tam lie. A necessaire is full of holes.”

Servant—“And is not this necessaire full of holes?”

Gouraud—“Yes—dat we admit for de argument—but[12] they are such tam pig holes, dat de ladies’ perfume would all run out into de street. Why does for you laugh right in my face? Me will break your tam head if you laugh at me. A necessaire has very small holes in my superb French beautiful and sublime and very glorious country. Me did not mean to ask Mrs. Innman for dis kind of necessaire. Me mean one little box, or bag, or re-tickle-em, to put her sweet perfume handkerchief, and other pretty little things in. Whew! O, by gar! Me shall sneeze? How me nose do tickle! Git me out of dis one tam yard. Me be sick already. By dam—me are ruined. Ah che—Horatio! Dare—does you not see dat? Did not me say me should sneeze? By dam! How you does smell in dis nasty country. Where is Mrs. Innman? Me must explain to her that me mean de other necessaire, and not dis necessaire.”

Servant—“You perhaps had better see Mr. Innman, as it would not be proper to explain such a thing to Mrs. Innman.”

Gouraud—(Seizing the servant by the throat)—“You are one tam villain, and me tell you me must see Mrs. Innman, for to ask her pardon, or Mr. Innman will give me no more puffs of my astonishing System of Mnemotechny. Me must see Mrs. Innman. Dare—dare is one gold pencil, (it was copper plated) and now let me see Mrs. Innman.”

Servant—“Well, I will ask her if it be agreeable to see you.”

Gouraud—“Bury well—bury well—and me will wait domb stairs, until you come with Mrs. Innman.”

Servant—(returns) “I have explained everything to Mrs. Innman, who says that she hopes you will excuse her from an explanatory interview, and regrets that necessaire has been confounded with something less fragrant, and that she is very sorry she had you escorted into the yard.”

Gouraud—Seizes both hands of the servant, and dances, and runs him up and down the parlor like fury, and cuts half a dozen pigeons’ wings with his buoyant legs, and sings Marseilles, and darts out of the house, and down the street, as though a creditor was after him; and in the far perspective, with his elastic step and fancy and frantic gesticulation, evinces a wild delight that resembles the ecstacies of Elysium.


Our Beloved Brethren of the Press.

The Reporters of the Common Council have received 200 dollars each for their laborious services, which is a happiness to us beyond expression. We know their generous emotions, and their evening toil in a sickly atmosphere, some of whom have the ability and genius to wield the destinies of a city or nation. Although Horace Greeley recently told us that he had never been in the Board of Aldermen, and would hardly know where to find it, yet James Gordon Bennett has told us that he served a terrible apprenticeship as a Reporter of the Common Council, more than a quarter of a century since, and we know that most of the metropolitan editors were Municipal Reporters prior to their present exalted and lucrative, and powerful position as public journalists. Even before we baptised the Alligator, we had to endure the tortures of a ten years’ pilgrimage around the corners and through the subterranean caverns of the City Hall. But no more of this. We sincerely congratulate our Reportorial friends, on the reception of a trifling remuneration for their severe and honorable toil.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1857, by
In the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of the United
States for the Southern District of New Turk.


Life of Stephen H. Branch.

My brother Albert came to New York without the knowledge of father, and I got him a situation at the Harpers. I shall never forget how hard I besought John Harper to employ Albert, who did not want a boy, but kindly employed him to please me. Albert had the salt rheum, and also had very small and spiteful yellow bugs on the surface of his cranium. As I had to sleep with him, I combed his head every day, and when I found one of[13] the little villains, I most cruelly tortured him with pins and flame, to terrify his brethren who remained, and to thwart his return to Albert’s head. But in spite of my bloody precaution, poor Albert’s skull teemed like Egypt of old, with ferocious animals, and I retired with him at night, invested with the fear of a culprit on his march to the scaffold. The yellow scamps made such a Napoleonic resistance, that I procured a finer comb, and in my violent efforts to drag out and exterminate the enemy, (who were deeply embedded and irresistibly fortified in his invulnerable skull,) poor Ally screamed, like an eagle on his cliff, and Mrs. Harper came to the basis of the attic stairs, and severely scolded us for quarrelling and fighting, as she supposed. Mrs. Harper was extremely nervous, and fearing she would learn that Albert had battalions of animalculæ in the region of his brain, and also trembling lest they would ground arms, and encamp and form tents in my luxuriant intellectual foliage, I advised Albert to return to Providence, and after long persuasion, with candy and peanuts, and peaches, he assented, and I went to Captain Bunker, Junior, who kindly consented to take him to Providence, without charge. While leaning on the railing of the steamer, with our eyes on the beautiful panorama of the bay, Captain Bunker told me that my lot was cast in a vicious city, and that I must resist evil temptation, and always be a good boy, and become a worthy man, and breathed other kind words into my ears, which soothed my lonely and inexperienced heart, made me cry vociferously, and I have always cherished him with the purest affection. Albert went to Providence with Captain Bunker, but instead of going to father’s, he proceeded to Boston with the money John Harper gave him, and thence to Eastport, Maine, where the yellow bugs increased so rapidly, that he was compelled to return to Providence, where father had his head shaved, which presented a bloody battle plain, full of teeming entrenchments, and his yellow foes so bewildered him, that the hospital nurses had to watch him closely, for several days, lest he would destroy himself.

John Harper often called me from the composing to the counting room, and sent me to the Banks in Wall street to get or deposit money. I often contemplated the robbery of the Harpers, by flight to a foreign land; but when I reviewed their exact justice to all men, and their kindness to myself and brother Albert, and to all their apprentices, journeymen, and laborers, I would falter in my wicked purpose. While returning from bank with a $500 bill, I dropped it by design, and asked a stranger if he had lost it, who said yes, and strove to seize it from the pavement, but I was about one second in his advance. While about to run, he seized me and demanded the return of his $500 bill. I cried and screamed lustily, and during the scuffle, two gentlemen came to my relief, when my antagonist soon fled, and I run down Cliff street, like a bloodhound. Better time was never made from the old pump of Saint George’s to the Harpers. I never again pretended to lose a $500 bill.

(To be continued to our last groan.)

The following meritorious gentlemen are wholesale agents for the Alligator.

Ross & Tousey, 121 Nassau street.
Hamilton & Johnson, 22 Ann street.
Samuel Yates, 22 Beekman street.
Mike Madden, 21 Ann street.
Cauldwell & Long, 23 Ann street.
Boyle & Whalen, 32 Ann street and
Bell & Hendrickson., 25 Ann street.

Advertisements—One Dollar a line

AUG. BRENTANO, SMITHSONIAN NEWS DEPOT, Books and Stationery, 608 BROADWAY, corner of Houston street.

Subscriptions for American or Foreign Papers or Books, from the City or Country, will be promptly attended to.

Foreign Papers received by every steamer. Store open from 6 A. M. to 11 P. M. throughout the week.

RODGERS, BOOKSELLER, STATIONER and NEWS VENDER, Broadway, near Twelfth street.

Books, all the new ones cheap, at Rogers.
Magazines, soon as out, cheap, at Rogers.
Stationery, London made, cheap, at Rogers.
English Papers, imported by Rogers.
American Papers, all sold by Rogers.
Books to Read, at one cent a day, at Rogers.



—Obvious print and punctuation errors were corrected.

—A Table of Contents was not in the original work; one has been produced and added by Transcriber.

—The cover image has been created by transcriber and placed in public domain.