The Project Gutenberg eBook of Trotwood's Monthly, Vol. II, No. 1, April, 1906

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Title: Trotwood's Monthly, Vol. II, No. 1, April, 1906

Author: Various

Editor: John Trotwood Moore

Release date: September 10, 2023 [eBook #71610]

Language: English

Original publication: Nashville: The Trotwood Publishing Co, 1905

Credits: hekula03 and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at (This book was produced from images made available by the HathiTrust Digital Library.)


Transcriber’s Note: New original cover art included with this eBook is granted to the public domain.





A POEM THAT WILL LIVE Ex-Gov. Hogg of Texas
I John Trotwood Moore
CONTENT (poem) Sarah D. Hobart
LUTHER BURBANK (poem) E. E. Sweetland
OLD COTTON GIN (poem) John Trotwood Moore

Copyright 1906 by Trotwood Publishing Co. All rights reserved. Entered as second-class
matter Sept. 8, 1905, at the Postoffice at Nashville, Tenn., under the
Act of Congress of March 3, 1879.


Historic Highways of the South


By John Trotwood Moore

The story of Andrew Jackson and his famous home. And if the telling of it take more than one paper, be not surprised, for after an hundred and thirty years of the Republic—and a thousand of progress—this man stands one in the great trilogy—Washington, Jackson and Lincoln.

The others have been mostly figureheads with the usual sprinkling of fools.

To know a man we must first know the dirt he digs into. To grasp his character, the secret influences of his life, we must see the trees that grew above him, the flowers at his feet, the pictures God made for him, in hill and river, in the storm cloud, in the thunder shaking his fields at night, in the grass and grain which came, the fruit of his hand.

For these go into the man.

When we shall have seen the Hermitage and the breadth of its fields and hills we shall begin to understand the broadness of the man, for a man’s home is the effect of the cause of that which is in him.

When we shall have seen this country he lived and died in, so bountifully endowed, lying between the Cumberland and the Stone, fit for a king to fight for, we shall understand why Jackson loved it, fought for it—why patriotism burned as a religion in his soul.

To him it was the Union—of the home he killed Dickinson for, that he might live there untouched by slander; of the country he killed the British for, that it might be the great republic of all ages. And so, when John C. Calhoun shouted nullification he might as well have nailed a red flag to the horn of the bull of the valley.

When we shall have seen the simplicity of his home, the rugged, brave purity of his mind, as shown in everything around him, from the wall paper in his halls, telling the story of Ulysses and Telemachus, to the few really great books he owned and loved, we can form some idea of the man who, in an age of strong speech and strong passions and free whiskey and free fights, loved only one woman, was pure in a day of impurity, was brave in a day of bluster, was far-sighted in a wilderness, and a gentleman of his word always and all the time.

Seeing it all here and knowing it, we may understand the very religion of holiness in the eye that could take such deliberate aim down the pistol barrel that put out of business the head of the set of political opponents, who, for a chance to kill him, ruthlessly touched the only raw spot Fate’s finger had blistered in the mould of his life.

And he killed them—those who would destroy his home—as religiously as he did those who would destroy his country—that long, red, quadruple-massed line of British bullies, foul-mouthed and flame-touched, marching on the South shouting: “Beauty and booty.”

No life story of this man has been truly told, because the Thackerays do not write biographies; and the men who write the hard things of history, by a strange rule of their craft’s ethics, seem to think it womanly to write of the sweeter things of the soul. And so the lives of Jackson have all been, more or less, partisan political histories of his times. As if we did not have enough of it in our own day, that we must wince under the brutal, bruising things Jackson had to cut through in fighting the battles of the common people.

He did It and did it well. It was a thing placed on him by Fate and he shirked not. But I love to look at the other and that greater side of the man—the home side, the husband side, the man side, the farmer and horseman and friend and neighbor—a picture which should live when his politics are forgotten. For the story of the politician is ever like the high tide that comes with its wave of splutters in the bay of Fundy and then goes back again to oblivion and with much noise.


Entrance to the Hermitage as it is to-day.

(Photo March, 1906, by E. E. Sweetland.)


But the Man is the sea into which it has flown, and in their great depths have become silent and been forgotten.

And so the picture which clings to me always of Jackson is this told by Senator Benton of him many years ago:

It was a cold, raw March day, and Jackson, the Fighter and Doer of Great Deeds, was old and tired. The woman he worshiped had died and his heart was broken. His children and the friends of his youth had gone too. And so this neighbor saw the picture I want some great master to paint for the coming ages—the most beautiful, soul-telling picture that could be painted for the world. The old warrior sitting by the big hickory fire of the Hermitage. He loved little children and a little child, an adopted grandchild, had climbed up on his knee. But the little fellow had found a half-frozen, motherless lamb in the meadow and he would not “be good” unless the old fighter took his playmate, the lamb, too. And there he sat with both of them in his arms and up against his big, great, game, kind heart, that loved so the fields and the farm and the sweet, quiet things of life, but whom God had sent to fight the bullets and the bullies of his day and generation.

For Greatness is a hermit that must suffer and be sacrificed. And the burden placed on it to do, is not the thing it would love to do.

Let us look now at Jackson’s land. Let us see it as it was to a raw boy when he came over the mountains of North Carolina to make his home here.

Aeons and ages ago, when the earth was young, there burst upon the banks of the Cumberland one of the many thousands of sulphur springs which an All-wise Physician said would be good for the health of beings, both beast and human, who should, through countless ages, inhabit the land.

The pioneers called it “The Great Salt Lick,” the “French Lick,” because before ever the American hunter and trapper had arrived the French had been there.

They all called it a lick because all wild animals licked it. Pioneers have a quick way of naming things and a way that went to the heart of things.

Countless herds of bison and deer had claimed the lick as theirs long before ever the sound of a human voice had been heard in the great forests which towered above it, or echoed from the canoe on the beautiful river that flowed by it. For animals were on the earth before man; and untold generations of buffalo, elk and deer told it, in their own way, to untold generations which came after them, of the health-giving salty-sulphurous water which bubbled from the low bottom, amid the cane and beneath the big, cool trees on the river banks.

And it became history and tradition to them.

It flows to-day in the same low bottom, in the heart of a city man has made out of half-baked bricks and called Nashville. And it is no longer the Great Salt Lick for the hunter and the hunted have passed and both have become dust upon the surface of things. To-day men call it the Sulphur Spring, and true to the laws of the land men have walled it in and piped it up and shut out all other animals, both of his kind and the others; and that which the Great Physician made to be free for all the countless sweet animals of the earth, man and woman and the chubby child, links which make life worth the living, and the beautiful deer, kine, elk and caribou, this greedy little tribe of animals called men, of whom you and I are one, not satisfied with having killed off all the other beautiful, sweet animals for their hides and tallow, and not satisfied in having felled all the cool, sweet trees which grew on the river, that the land might parch and burn, and unborn men might forever have to buy more water as the land grew more barren and more thirsty.


The Pike at the Hermitage, going toward Nashville.

(Photo March, 1906, by E. E. Sweetland.)

The greatest tragedy of the centuries is not the killing of the Innocents or the massacre of St. Bartholomew or the disasters[346] of war or flame or famine, but it is the butchery by man of the trees of the earth—those stately messengers between the clouds and the land, the felling of which breaks the covenant of great laws invisible and blight the earth as with fire.

It is that and the accursed Spirit, which, for a few dollars given, claims the right to monopolize the things God made for all men.

When one drives down the first dozen miles of the Lebanon pike one has a quiet, reverent feeling if he has a spark of patriotism in him. It is a typical road of Middle Tennessee—for all of Middle Tennessee is a rich loam lying on limestone. The rocks have been beaten into pikes and the gray-white roads pencil the distant slope or fade away into the gentle valleys. Around, everywhere, is the typical Southern home, the Southern farm of the grain and stock raising kind.

This sketch is not a story of the life of Andrew Jackson. That were impossible in a short article. We have books and books on his life and character. Every school boy knows his history, the poverty of its beginning, the honor of its end. This is merely intended to be a quick picture of the man and his home as it was then—as it is to-day.

Home in the South means more than it does anywhere else in the world, for the entire law and religion of the South is based on the idea of local self government—the home idea. Throughout Jackson’s life every plantation was a self-governing institution, a little government in itself. And in this home the woman was the queen and the real ruler. In no other country in the world has this idea been so clearly cultivated. It is all through the South to-day. Ask any child in the South: “Who lives yonder?” and it will always answer with the woman’s name. A visitor to the South to-day would think it was widowed.

And so I am going out of the usual line in this story, and to tell the real story of Andrew Jackson and his home, I am going to tell the story of his wife and the great influence which she had on all his life. For when it is studied and sifted everything that Jackson did is closely bound with the twine of this woman’s love and influence.

Middle Tennessee was so rich and fertile and so full of game the Indians would not permit any one tribe to own it. It was their common hunting ground. One may imagine how they would regard its occupancy by the whites. Mr. Charlville, a French trapper, stopped at the Big Lick and lived in the old deserted Shawnee fort on the bluff in 1714. Later, Boone and other hunters passed, but not until 1779, during the war with England, did James Robertson and his company of nine from the old settlement of Jonesboro, in North Carolina, come to stay, building their fort and log cabins on the bluff near the Big Lick. When he left the settlement it had been agreed that his friend and neighbor, Colonel John Donelson, would follow, bringing a number of others, among them the family of James Robertson. This Donelson did, in boats, over a route that would stagger a sane man of to-day, down the Holston to the Tennessee, down the Tennessee to the Ohio, up the Ohio to the Cumberland, up the Cumberland to the Big Lick two thousand miles by water, and the route infested with hostile savages. The story of this four months’ journey reads as nothing else does in early American pioneer history. “Among those who shared the dangers of this voyage,” writes the biographer Parton, “was Rachel Donelson, the leader’s daughter, a black-eyed, black-haired brunette, as gay, bold and handsome a lass as ever danced on the deck of a flatboat or took the helm while her father took a shot at the Indians.” They reached their destination April 24, 1780. Later, Rachel married Lewis Robards, a Kentuckian and was living there when her brave old pioneer father, John Donelson, was killed in a field near Nashville by Indians several years afterwards.

Jackson came to the settlement a young lawyer from Salisbury, N. C., in 1788. Of his early life every one knows—his poverty, his patriotism, his grit, his wildness. I have studied that wildness. It was the wildness of nervous energy that must do something. It was the[347] same thing that put Theodore Roosevelt to living the cowboy and hunting grizzlies. For there is much in common in the characters of these two remarkable men.

Jackson arrived in Nashville in 1788 with scarcely more than a horse (there never was a time when it seems he did not own a horse!) and his saddlebags. In ten years he was a rich man and had laid the foundation for his large estate including the land around the Hermitage. He was a fighter and a worker by nature. He jumped at once into a large law practice, “and in those days a lawyer’s fee for conducting a suit of no great importance,” says an old historian, “might be a square mile of land or, in Western phrase, a six-forty.” Jackson appears frequently in the records as the purchaser of wild lands. He bought the 640 acres which afterwards formed the nucleus of the Hermitage for $800, a high price for those days. In 1797 he sold more than $6,000 worth of land to a gentleman in Philadelphia and had several thousand acres left. The secret of his wealth is that he bought large tracts of land when they could be bought for a horse or a cow bell and held them until the torrent of immigration made them valuable.

Surely in this there is more than a hint for the Southerner of to-day. When we consider the richness and cheapness of our soil, the salubriousness of our climate and the fact that immigration has not really yet started toward the South, the man who has the forethought now to invest in Southern land will lay the foundation of a future fortune more surely than in any other way.

He hated debt, yet his notes would raise money in Boston when nothing else in Tennessee would. In 1804, when he lived at Hunter’s Hill, thirteen miles from Nashville and two miles beyond the present Hermitage and came so nearly being ruined financially by the failure of David Allison, of Philadelphia, who had passed Jackson his notes for land and which Jackson had endorsed and exchanged for goods, he sold 25,000 acres of land in one body, paid all his debts and moved to the log cabin at the Hermitage reproduced in this issue.

He made money on his horses and no living man knew a horse better than Jackson. We have told before in Trotwood’s of his races at Clover Bottom. He rode to Virginia and back to find a Truxton. He imported horse after horse to beat Haynie’s Maria, and never did it. When he was President he drove to his carriage in Washington two beautiful iron-grays, descendants of Truxton. “General,” said a lady who journeyed from the far East to see him in his old age at the Hermitage, “you ought to be the happiest of living men. Every honor in life has been given you. You have accomplished every thing you have ever undertaken.”

“On the contrary, madam, my life has been a dismal failure,” he replied. “The one great object I have worked for has never been accomplished. I was never able to beat Haynie’s Maria,” and he smiled at her astonishment.

The tragedy, as well as the sweetness of Jackson’s life lies around his love for Rachel Donelson.

This paper will tell of the tragedy.

Before she was twenty Rachel Donelson first married Lewis Robards and went with him, as stated, to live in pioneer Kentucky. He was a jealous, drinking, ill-tempered fool. Horsemen have a term which fits him better than any thing elegant I can think of—sour-headed. Robards soon became jealous of his wife and made her life unhappy. Finally he wrote to Rachel’s mother, the widow Donelson, then living near Nashville, that he would send her daughter back to her. This he did, but soon afterward repented and on the promise of better behavior was reunited to his wife by the intervention of Judge Overton and went to live with her near Nashville. Jackson and Judge Overton, both were lawyers, boarded in the same home, the widow Donelson’s, with Robards and his wife, and in a lengthy article written 1827, when Jackson was a candidate for President, Judge Overton tells pointedly and graphically of the affair. He says that after Robards sent his wife back to Tennessee he became unhappy and induced Overton, who was then boarding at old Mrs.[348] Robards’ near Nashville, to beg his wife to let him come back to her, agreeing to live in Tennessee and to treat her better. This Overton did, and Robards and his wife were reunited. In the meanwhile Jackson, a young lawyer, came to board in the house, and in a few months Robards began to treat his wife ill again, even accusing her of liking Jackson. Jackson left the house, to avoid any unpleasantness, but Robards finally left his wife, went to Virginia and applied to the legislature in the winter of 1790 for a divorce. This the legislature granted and Jackson married Mrs. Robards in the summer of 1791, believing the marriage between her and Robards was annulled. But it seems under the Virginia law a final decree of the court was necessary, which Robards did not apply for until 1793. Jackson, learning this, was remarried to his wife in 1794.

“It was a happy marriage,” says Parton, the biographer, “a very happy marriage—one of the very happiest ever contracted. They loved one another dearly. They held each other in the highest respect. They testified the love and respect they entertained for one another by those polite attentions which lovers cannot but exchange before marriage and after marriage.

“Their love grew as their age increased and became warmer as their blood became colder.

“No one ever heard either address to the other a disrespectful, an irritating or unsympathizing word. They were not as familiar as is now the fashion. He remained ‘Mr. Jackson’ to her always never ‘General,’ still less ‘Andrew.’ And he never called her ‘Rachel,’ but ‘Mrs. Jackson,’ or ‘wife.’ The reader shall become better acquainted with their domestic life by and by. Meanwhile, let it be understood that our hero has now a Home where lives a Friend, true and fond, to welcome his return from ‘wilderness courts,’ to cheer his stay, to lament his departure, yet give him a motive for going forth; a home wherein—whatever manner of man he might be elsewhere—he was always gentle, kind and patient.

“He was most prompt to defend his wife’s good name. The peculiar circumstances attending his marriage made him touchy on this point. His temper, with regard to other causes of offense, was tinder; with respect to this it was gunpowder. His worst quarrels arose from this cause or were greatly aggravated by it. He became sore on the subject, so that at last I think he could scarcely hate anyone very heartily without fancying that the obnoxious person had said something or caused something to be said which reflected on the character of Mrs. Jackson. For the man who dared breathe her name except in honor he kept pistols in perfect condition for thirty-seven years.”

There is a fool and a meddler in every tragedy between men. For a fool is naturally a meddler.

“T. Swann, Esq., lately of Virginia,” filled the role above mentioned and brought on the duel between Jackson and Charles Dickinson. T. Swann, Esq., was a young lawyer who came from Virginia to the Western settlement. He was a quarter horse with wheels in his head who entered himself with the Four-milers. He strutted and would be a man. He wore fine clothes and volunteered to loan money he never possessed. He used strange oaths and professed knowledge of horses. He posed as a fighting gentleman and carried tales. He butted in and backed out, of course.

In the fall of 1805 General Jackson matched his horse, Truxton, against Captain Joseph Ervin’s Plowboy, for $2,000, payable in notes on the day of the race, the notes to be then due. If either party failed to race he was to pay a forfeit of $800. Six persons were interested in the race for Truxton: General Jackson, Maj. W. P. Anderson, Major Verrell and Captain Pryor. For Plowboy: Captain W. P. Ervin and Charles Dickinson, his son-in-law. Before the day of the race arrived Dickinson and Ervin found that Plowboy was not fit, withdrew him and paid forfeit. It was done to the satisfaction of all, amicably done and settled.


The famous Clover Bottom race track, the scene of early horse racing in Tennessee, and where Jackson’s horses ran so many races. Scene of the triumph of Haynie’s Maria and her great rider, “Monkey Simon,” a pair which Jackson could never defeat.

(Photo March, 1906, by E. E. Sweetland.)


Charles Dickinson was a young lawyer of talent and fine connections. He would drink at times and was then wild and reckless, but he was not unamiable and was a gentleman when sober, but when excited by drink he swore violently and was loose in his talk. Soon after paying forfeit in the Truxton-Plowboy race he “got in his cups” and spoke disparagingly of Mrs. Jackson. In fact all of Jackson’s enemies, even from John Sevier down (whom Jackson once came very near killing for the same cause), used the unfortunate haste of Jackson’s marriage whenever they wished to offend him most deeply. Jackson called on Dickinson and quickly took him to task. Dickinson apologized, said if he had used the words he was drunk and was sorry, and they separated in a friendly manner.

But Dickinson soon got into his cups again, and in the Nashville Inn used most offensive words concerning Mrs. Jackson. Jackson was always most cool and thoughtful in the closest places. This time he went to Captain Ervin and advised him to use his influence with his son-in-law to control his tongue, and added: “I wish no quarrel with him; he is being used by my enemies to pick a quarrel with me. Advise him to stop in time.”

Here it would have ended but for “T. Swann, Esq., late of Virginia,” and as so many foolish reports of the famous duel have been published I shall go into details to tell how it was really fought. Every year it is published—how Dickinson at the famous race said in the presence of Jackson that “Truxton ran away from Plowboy like Jackson ran away with another man’s wife,” and so on. All of which is untrue. The Impartial Review and Cumberland Repository, edited by Thomas Eastin, of January, 1806, and now in the library of the Tennessee Historical Society, is full of all the letters and communications leading up to the tragedy, and without going into lengthy details, the main facts of which are these:

1. Mr. T. Swann, one night, was loafing in the store of George and Robert Bell and says he heard Patton Anderson say that the notes offered by Captain Joseph Ervin at the time he paid the forfeit were different from those General Jackson agreed to receive. Charles Dickinson heard of this and called on T. Swann, Esq., to know if it was true, and Swann said it was.

2. T. Swann then loafed over into General Jackson’s store, the old Indian block-house, which stood for many years on the Clover Bottom track, and asked General Jackson if Captain Ervin or Dickinson offered him notes different from those they had agreed to take. General Jackson answered that Dickinson’s were the same, but Ervin’s were a little different, not being due on demand, as agreed.

3. Mr. T. Swann later rode from Clover Bottom to Nashville with Captain Ervin and told him what General Jackson had said.

4. Meeting between General Jackson Ervin and Dickinson in Nashville. Mutual explanations, in which General Jackson said what he thought of T. Swann Esq., in terms forceful but not elegant.

5. A letter from T. Swann, Esq., to General Jackson, calculated to make the latter challenge him to mortal combat, the presumptuous, windy letter of a foolish boy.

6. A hot reply from General Jackson, an elegant letter and a model in the King’s English. This letter alone would refute any idea that Jackson’s intellect was not of the highest or his English half-baked. In it he says: “There are certain traits that always accompany the gentleman and man of truth. The moment he hears harsh expressions applied to a friend he will immediately communicate it, that explanations may take place; when the base poltroon and cowardly tale-bearer will always act in the background. You can apply the latter to Mr. Dickinson and see which fits him best. I write it for his eye, and the latter I emphatically intend for him. When the conversation dropped between Mr. Dickinson and myself I thought it was at an end. As he wishes to blow the coal, I am ready to light it to an end.”

All of which shows that Jackson had decided to strike over the head of T. Swann to the real power behind him—the man who had twice publicly abused Mrs. Jackson.

7. T. Swann cannot keep away from the General, but hunts him up as soon[351] as he comes to town and demands an explanation. He meets abuse and threats of caning, in which the General says he would not want a better breakfast than to eat fifty such as T. Swann, Esq.

8. T. Swann challenges the General to mortal combat. Read the grandiloquent challenge:

“General Andrew Jackson: Think not that I am to be intimidated by your threats. No power terrestrial shall prevent the settled purpose of my soul. The statement I have made in respect to the notes is substantially correct. The torrent of abusive language with which you have assailed me is such as every gentleman should blush to hear. Your menaces I set at defiance, and now demand of you that reparation which one gentleman is entitled to receive of another. My friend, the bearer of this, is authorized to make complete arrangements in the field of honor.”


“Nashville, Jany. 12th, 1806.”

9. Jackson comes to town, meets Mr. T. Swann and breaks a cane over his head. T. Swann is game, if he is a fool, and though the cane, to use his own language, becomes “a large bludgeon and a brace of pistols,” he challenges the General again and induces Mr. N. A. McNairy to act for him.

10. Charles Dickinson takes matters up, writes an offensive letter to Jackson, closing with:

“As to the word ‘coward,’ I think it is as applicable to yourself as to any one I know, and I shall be very glad when an opportunity serves to know in what manner you give your medicines, and I hope you will take in payment one of my most moderate cathartics.

“Yours at command,


“Jany 10, 1806.”

Dickinson wrote this and took a flatboat for New Orleans, spending the time to and fro practicing with a pistol.

11. Jackson publishes a communication in the town paper, supported by affidavits of John Hutchings and John Coffee, concerning the whole matter, stating that T. Swann brought it all on himself, was an intermeddler and not a gentleman, and raps Mr. McNairy for being in the same class. Bluff old John Coffee writes a page or two telling how Jackson had to cane T. Swann to keep from killing him, and that Mr. McNairy, T. Swann’s friend, told him one thing and did another. The hidden humor of all this preparation for blood-letting is the fact that General Jackson did not consider T. Swann a gentleman, and therefore not entitled to satisfaction with pistols. In proof of it he prints the affidavit of Robert Hays, who solemnly swears and asserts that the said T. Swann volunteered once to loan Sam Jackson $200 but when the said Sam went to get it, T. Swann had loaned it to another man! Several others swear to the same thing, to wit, that T. Swann was no gentleman, because he failed to respond to the touch of the said Samuel.

Under the code of honor T. Swann may not have been a gentleman, but in full cognizance of the record of S. Jackson, Esq., for borrowing, we are in honor bound to reverse our former assertion as to the said T. Swann being a fool!

12. Nathaniel A. McNairy, knight of high renown, now comes into the arena of newspaper controversy and publishes a most abusive and sarcastic letter about General Jackson, saying among other things—they used many italics in those days—that “the brave General is much more pleased in shedding bushels of ink than one ounce of blood, provided there is an equal chance that that one ounce should be extracted from his own dear carcass. But give him an advantage and he is as brave as Julius Caesar, such as this: Give him a large brace of rifled-barreled pistols and he will race a superannuated Governor in the road as he travels (this refers to Jackson’s quarrel with John Sevier), or he will meet Mr. Swann in some sequestered spot, that the alert General may obtain some dishonorable advantage when no eye can see him; or let him have a pistol and he will shoot at a man who has none and drive him off to Kentucky, God knows for what offense!” etc.

Here was a fight for Jackson, but as he was booked for Dickinson, John Coffee took the job off his hands and fought[352] the duel with McNairy, and they fought to kill in those days. Witness the graphic account of this duel in the Impartial Review, written by Maj. Robert Purdy, the second of John Coffee.

13. In the duel it was agreed that if either man fired before word had been given, the second of the other was to shoot him. One, two, three, fire! was the rule, but McNairy fired at two, wounding John Coffee in the hip. Purdy came near killing McNairy for this, but he begged off, claiming it was an accident.

14. Dickinson returns from New Orleans and, on May 24, publishes a bitter attack in the Impartial Review, on General Jackson, saying among other things “notwithstanding he is a Major General of the militia of Mero District, I declare him to be a worthless scoundrel, a poltroon and a coward.”

The editor of the paper showed this to Thomas Overton before it was published and that gentleman rode to the Hermitage. “General Jackson,” he said, “it is a thing you cannot pass over. You must fight him.”

“General Overton,” said his friend “this is an affair of life and death. I will take the responsibility myself. I will ride to town and see the piece and form my own judgment of it.”

15. He did and this is Jackson’s famous challenge to Dickinson.

“Charles Dickinson.—Sir: Your conduct and expressions relative to me of late have been of such a nature and so insulting that it requires and shall have my notice.

“Insult may be given by men, and of such a kind that they must be noticed and treated with the respect due a gentleman, although (in the present instance), you do not merit it.

“You have, to disturb my quiet, industriously excited Thomas Swann to quarrel with me, which involved the peace and harmony of society for a while.

“You, on the 10th of January, wrote me a very insulting letter, left this country, caused this letter to be delivered after you had been gone some days, and viewing yourself in safety from the contempt I held you, have now in the press a piece more replete with blackguard abuse than any other of your productions. You are pleased to state that you would have noticed me in a different way, but my cowardice would have found a pretext to evade that satisfaction if it had been called for, etc., etc.

“I hope, sir, your courage will be an ample security to me that I will obtain speedily that satisfaction due me for the insults offered, and in the way my friend who hands you this will point out. He waits upon you for that purpose, and with your friend will enter into immediate arrangements for this purpose.

“I am, etc.,


16. T. Swann still butts in. He comes out in a card, in which he says: “I shall now conclude this address to the public by assuring General Andrew Jackson (to use a favorite expression of his own) ‘that I shall at all times hold myself answerable for any of my conduct.’”

That was May 20, 1806, nearly a century ago. T. Swann, perhaps, is dead by now. But we will faithfully endeavor to secure a picture of his grave as it looks to-day, that he may still appropriately appear in the tragedy his gunpowder head and hair-trigger mouth brought on. Jackson brushed him aside as a bull would a fly and went after the man he had picked out to fight all the time—Dickinson, the best shot in the West, the man who after one warning had dared to impugn the character of Rachel Donelson Jackson.

And so was brought on the great duel, one of the most famous of all times and which cast its shadow over Jackson’s life, even to the portals of death. For the almost fatal wound Dickinson gave him broke out afresh now and then during all his remaining days and helped to carry him off at last.

17. The Duel. A great man always has his bitterest enemies at his own home. The nearer they get to him—friends and enemies—the more they love or hate him. It is the weakness of poor, fighting humanity that they are kind to strangers out of their way, but will fight the neighbor who gets in their way. And[353] when a man becomes so much greater than his neighbors that the world knows him but knows them not, there may he expect to find the essence of all narrowness.

Jackson always had his bitter enemies. Many people of his own town fought him most bitterly, even when he was saving their lives from Indians and their land from the foreigner. He could stand it himself and suffer, but when they took it out by slandering his wife, then it was that his pistols were ever ready.

Pike near the Clover Bottom race track.

(Photo March, 1906, by E. E. Sweetland.)

A political enemy of Jackson living at Nashville published during his Presidential campaign a pamphlet containing a list of “nearly one hundred fights or violent or abusive quarrels.” But Jackson lived seventy-eight years, in an age when personal fights were the law of the land. He always made his friends’ quarrels his own, and for the first fifteen years of his life, as District Attorney, Judge and lawyer he was brought into collision with the tough element and rascals of the State.

The challenge was sent May 22, and Dickinson promptly accepted it through his second, Dr. Catlett, and named the day of meeting at seven o’clock Friday morning, May 30, 1806, at Harrison Mills, on Red River, in Logan County, Ky. Jackson objected strenuously to postponing it a week. He wanted to fight the next day and sent Overton, his second, to see Catlett and have the date changed. Catlett said Dickinson did not have his pistols ready. Jackson offered to give him his choice of his own, and added: “For God’s sake, let this business be brought to an issue immediately, as I cannot see after publication why Mr. Dickinson should wish to put it off until Friday.”

But Dickinson would not yield, and for a week the impetuous Jackson could only chafe and wait.

From Nashville to Harrison Mills, in[354] Logan County, Ky., is fully fifty miles across country. Horseback was the only mode of travel through the new country then, but a ride of fifty miles a day, used to horseback as they were, and riding such horses as he rode, was no unusual thing for him.

The Sulphur Spring—“The Great French Lick,” as it appears to-day on Cherry Street, Nashville. Quere: What would the buffalo and hunters of old have thought of that thing in their day, with a negro in the tower?

(Photo March, 1906, by E. E. Sweetland.)

Dickinson arose Thursday morning before day. His young wife was sleeping by his side and knew nothing of it. He dressed then awakened her and kissed her with more than usual tenderness: “Good-bye, darling. I shall be sure to be home to-morrow night.”

“Where are you going?” she asked, surprised. “Oh, just over into Kentucky on a little matter of business. I will be back to-morrow night.”

He started out, but she called him back and kissed him again. He laughed boyishly, recklessly at the look of doubt and fear that had crept into her eyes for she had heard rumors only of what the whole town knew, but it never occurred to her that the tragedy was so near.

It was a gay, rollicking crowd of a half-dozen young men who joined Dickinson for his ride across two counties to Kentucky. Never was a more hilarious party. They took short cuts. They galloped across dangerous places, displaying horsemanship and nerve. They drank and made the woods echo with their shouts. Before he left Nashville, Dickinson had bet $500 that he would kill his man—that he would put his ball within a half-inch of the coat button over Jackson’s heart. When they stopped for dinner, he amused the crowd with his wonderful[355] marksmanship. He tied a string between two trees and three times he cut it in twain with his pistol ball. At twenty-four feet he put four bullets in a spot no larger than a silver dollar. “When General Jackson comes along here,” he said to the landlord of the little eating house, “show him these.”

He thought to weaken Jackson’s nerve, but little did he realize the real nerve of the man who was afterwards to send to death and defeat the troops that conquered Bonaparte.

There is no record of Jackson’s home-leaving, except that he started early and went quietly along, those two soldiers of the Revolution and of Indian warfare. If his wife knew it, she was not the woman to try to stop him. She had much of the stubborn, solemn, predestined Scotch-Irish nature of her husband. She was used to his fights, for he had many of them, and to her he was always right. She would not stop him if she could, and that no one ever stopped him she knew. There was the dignity of great love and respect between the two. They never questioned each other’s motives. The one never trespassed on the other’s world. She was intensely religious—of the Presbyterian predestined kind. If she kissed him good-bye, not an eyelash quivered, not a tremor of doubt or fear, and if she said anything, doubtless it was:

“Good-bye, Mr. Jackson. Of course you will kill him. God is on our side!”

If Dickinson and his crowd rode along with shouts and songs, and wild, reckless fun, very different was Jackson’s and Thomas Overton’s journey. They knew Jackson’s chances for death were five to one. He was an indifferent shot—all high-strung, nervous men are. He had but one chance, and he and Overton thought it out as calmly as ever generals planned a battle. For it was a battle—a battle of life and death, with the chances all against Jackson. It reminds me of the night before Hastings which Harold, the Saxon king’s, army spent in drink and song and cheer and wild hilarity. But down on the sandy beach William the Conqueror’s men spent theirs in solemn thought and silent sleep and prayer.

Little things count most in the crises of life and it was Dickinson’s talk at last that gave Jackson the plan of his fight.

“General,” said Thomas Overton, as they rode along, “I have been thinking of the only chance we have got. It’s a bitter pill, but it’s our only chance with a man who shoots as quick and true as Dickinson.”

Jackson was silent. He knew his second; that no gamer, truer man lived; that he was not only a soldier himself, but had been in many affairs of honor before; that he would let no chance escape him.

“You see, it is this way,” went on the second; “we have agreed on the mode of fighting, as you know. The distance is twenty-four feet. We will toss up for position. There will be no counting. Each man is to hold his pistol down by his side until the word fire is given, then each is to fire as he pleases.”

Jackson was still silent. He knew this was not to his advantage. But as the challenged party Dickinson’s second had the choice of weapons and conditions. He knew that Dickinson, expert shot that he was, needed no time to aim and fire, but that he himself did. Dickinson shot instantly, as a boy shoots a marble; no aim, but that true action of the hand and eye which come together by practice and long instinct. There is no aim that equals it—it is natural, it is the mark of the expert.

“Now I have thought it out. There is no chance for me to get the first shot. Dickinson can shoot quicker than you and with more chance of success. All you can do is to wait till he shoots and take your chance. If he wounds you or misses you take your time and kill him. If you try to shoot first, you will miss him and he will kill you. It’s hard, but it’s all we can do.”

Jackson agreed and went to the field, a six foot three inch target at twenty-four feet, for a man who could put four balls in four shots into a space not half the size of Jackson’s heart! It took a heart of steel to know that, as he traveled[356] wearily along the rough road, and when the landlord pointed to a sparrow’s head Dickinson had shot off, he smiled grimly and said:

“Never mind, my dear sir, he will come this way day after to-morrow in a box. Be sure of that.”

The Spring and Dairy at the Hermitage, where Jackson used to indulge in cool buttermilk.

(Photo March, 1906, by E. E. Sweetland.)

Jackson never would talk in after years of the fight. In fact he never talked of any of them could he help it. Only twice did he ever mention it. Once when he was President and he was fighting for his political life and they were using Dickinson’s death, among other things, to defeat him. “As for Dickinson,” he said, “I would have killed him if he had shot me through the brain.” In his later years he regretted it more and more, and once said: “I never would have killed him if he had missed me. When I killed him I was as sure as I lived that he had mortally wounded me.”

A little tavern kept by David Miller stood on the banks of the Red River in those days, one hundred years ago. Other friends joined Jackson en route, and[357] they reached the tavern, a small party of horsemen, about sunset Thursday afternoon, May 29, and obtained lodgings for the night. Dickinson’s party went to a house two miles lower down the river, kept by William Harrison.

Jackson ate heartily and sat out under the stars after supper smoking his pipe as usual, and chatting with his friends. Jacob Smith, the landlord, soon fell under the magnetic charm of the man and used to love to state how he talked with his guest and how, as he bade him good night, he wished him good luck on the morrow.

Early the next morning an overseer who worked Jacob Smith’s negroes on a near-by farm, saw a cavalcade of horsemen ride to the river’s banks. He knew what was up, and he wished greatly to see it. There was no ferryman at the river, and after waiting and calling, Jackson spurred his horse into the stream and dashed across into the forest beyond followed by his friends. It was a level beautiful spot in the shade of large towering poplars. The trees rose tall and stately, already showering upon the grass beneath their wax-like, blood-flecked blossoms, emblems of the flecks of deeper carmine so soon to crimson the earth.

The cavalcade dismounted and hitched their horses. Dickinson and party were already there. It was not yet seven. Jackson walked between his surgeon and his second.

“How do you feel about it now, General?” asked the surgeon.

“All right, sir; all right. I will wing him, never fear.”

But Overton was still thinking, his head down, silently and deeply. He had just heard of Dickinson’s boast that he would shoot within an inch of the button over Jackson’s heart. Jackson was slender and wore a coat always buttoned tightly around his erect, thin, military form.

“General,” he said quietly, as they walked along, “unbutton your coat to the top button. Let it hang loose.”

And this it was that saved Jackson’s life and gave to his country one of her greatest generals and one of her greatest Presidents.

Dickinson’s second drew the choice for position. He promptly stationed Dickinson with his back to the rising sun. The glare would be in Jackson’s face. But Overton drew the word and his quiet face lighted with pleasure, for he had even thought that out, how he would give it. Nothing escaped Thomas Overton when his friend’s life was at stake.

There were peculiar words in use in the old Revolutionary manual of arms. “Poise fl’ok!” would mean to-day: “Present arms.” The change is obvious: “fl’ok—” “firelock.”

“Ready, aim, fere!” and they dwelt long on f-e-r-e, for it meant fire. And when it came from Overton’s mouth he brought it out with a shriek and volume, quick and sharp, so unexpected that it took calmness and nerve to think more of the shooting than the word.

Dickinson was younger than Jackson and far handsomer. He stood at his mark smilingly, confidently. Jackson stood, his thin, determined face drawn with the intensity of that earnestness and calmness which it ever wore in critical moments. It is said that he had a bullet in his mouth to clench his teeth upon, a thing he often did in the agony of the great physical pain which, from one cause and another, was his inheritance all through life.

The two men were as unlike as nature could make them. Dickinson, who came from Maryland was a well-bred cavalier. Jackson had no breeding at all. He was born a day or two after they buried his father in a pauper’s grave and all his mother ever told him was that they had left Ireland to escape British persecution and that his grandfather was hanged for leading in an Irish rebellion. Dickinson was gay, brave, cool and the best shot with a pistol living.

Jackson was earnest, terribly earnest; cool, but gunpowdery. He stood for something. He was a man of destiny—felt it, knew it. Dickinson was a man of chance. Jackson felt he was destined for great things. He did not see how, but he knew he would kill Dickinson.

“Are you ready, gentlemen?” asked Overton.

“I am ready, sir,” said Dickinson.


“Ready!” snapped Jackson from his thin, drawn lips.

“Then f-e-r-e!” shouted Overton, almost before the word had left Jackson’s lips.

It was a strange word to Dickinson, strangely, fiercely, excitingly said. Up went his pistol—he never took aim—and when it reached the button over Jackson’s heart the quiet sweetness of the virgin poplars canopying the cool, grassy plot echoed to the thunder of his big pistol, hurling at Jackson’s heart the terrible two-ounce cone of lead.

Scene on Stone River just back of the Clover Bottom race track.

(Photo March, 1906, by E. E. Sweetland.)

Overton’s eyes were glued with fear on Jackson. He saw the dust fly out from the button over his heart. He saw Jackson half wince, his face flash with grim anger, half brace himself and throw his left arm across his breast as if to hold his heart in till he could fire. It was done naturally, easily, and Overton’s face lighted with joy as he saw Jackson calmly, coolly raise his own pistol.

But Dickinson—Overton drew his own pistol and turned on him fiercely—Dickinson, pale, astounded, had involuntarily stepped back from his own line, exclaiming:

“My God! Have I missed him?”

“Back to your mark!” shouted Overton, “or I will shoot you in your tracks!”

Dickinson flushed and stepped up to the mark, his eyes down, his smoking pistol in his hand.

Jackson took deliberate aim and touched the hair trigger.


It stopped on the half-cock. Never before had it done that, for a truer, better weapon no man ever had. Why this accident, this chance, one in ten thousand? We know not the unseen of life. Who sent it to give Dickinson this chance for his life—to save Jackson from a shadow that would darken all of his?

Coolly, grimly Jackson recocked his pistol. Reeling with pain and loss of blood, but bracing himself to kill, he took deliberate aim, not at Dickinson’s brain, not at his heart, for his chances were small there, but at the middle of his body where he knew he could hit and[359] where death would be sure and lingering.

Dickinson collapsed at the fire and went down, pale, frantic. Jackson stood stoically, reeling, nausea-stricken, but no man knew it. The surgeon and friends rushed to Dickinson and opened his clothes. The blood poured in a rush from near his hip. The surgeon’s face lit up. That did not mean death. But look, the hole was above the center of his abdomen where the large bowel crossed the smaller ones. One glance was enough. “No chance,” he whispered to the second; “that is death.”

Jackson walked off erectly—not a waver, not a limp, between his second and his surgeon. Dickinson’s eyes followed him, and the agony of his failure entered with the agony of his fate.

“Are you wounded, General?” asked the surgeon.

“O, he pinked me a little,” said Jackson, walking rapidly on to his horse as he felt the blood rising in his boot leg. “But don’t let them know; don’t let them know,” he added fiercely.

Overton had walked back to Dickinson and now came up. He said quietly:

“We can retire now, General. He will not trouble you any more.”

They rode back to the Inn. A negro woman was churning in the yard beneath the cool trees. Loss of blood made Jackson thirsty.

“Can you give me a dipper of buttermilk?” he asked her.

She pushed back with her dasher the forming globules of butter and dipped for the milk. For the first time Jackson unbuttoned his top button and looked at his shirt. It was crimson. The woman glanced up.

“My God, marster, are you hurt?”

Jackson smiled and drank the milk at a quaff. Then he walked into his room with his surgeon.

He was badly wounded. The great ball had been put accurately, but his loose coat had saved his life. The bullet struck his breast bone an inch too far to the left, shattered it, two ribs, ploughed around his ribs and came out at his back. His boot was nearly filled with blood.

Later, he sent his own surgeon with a bottle of wine to Dickinson with instructions to do all he could for him. But Dickinson was past help. He lingered all the afternoon in agony, cursing his fate, the ball that killed him and begging for his wife to come. About nine o’clock he suddenly raised up in bed and exclaimed: “Why—why—have—you—put—out—the lights?”

But the lights were not out.


Photo by Julie Royster, Raleigh, N. C.


Say, white folks, wid yo’ stench on steel,
Look twell yo’ h’arts am full;
No, dis heah ain’t no ortermobeel—
It’s jes my ortermobull.


“Lorena,” and How It Came to Be Written

By Susie Gentry

Few songs in the world’s history ever had the hold on men’s hearts that “Lorena” did during the war, and for more than a decade after.

Even now it has the power to make misty the eye and soften the heart—particularly if sung by “The Southern Girl” of the war time period. It is one of my earliest recollections, as sung by my mother to our little, three-cornered family—she, my father and myself. Father had sent it to her “enduring of the War.”

I suppose almost every soldier of the war, Confederate or Federal, who had any sentiment sent his sweetheart a copy of this famous song.

How full of pathos are the several verses:

“The years creep slowly by, Lorena;
The snow is on the grass again,
The sun’s low down the sky, Lorena,
The frost is where the flowers have been.
But the heart throbs on as warmly now
As when the summer days were nigh;
Oh, the sun can never dip so low
Adown affection’s cloudless sky.
A hundred months have passed, Lorena,
Since last I held thy hand in mine,
And felt the pulse beat fast, Lorena,
Though mine beat faster far than thine;
A hundred months—’twas flowery May,
When up that hilly slope we climbed
To watch the dying of the day,
And hear the distant church bells chimed.
We loved each other then, Lorena,
More than we ever cared to tell;
And what we might have been, Lorena,
Had our lovings prospered well.
But then ’tis passed; the years are gone;
I’ll not call up their shadowy forms;
I’ll say to them: Lost years, sleep on;
Sleep on, nor heed life’s pelting storms.
The story of the past, Lorena,
Alas! I care not to repeat;
The hopes that could not last, Lorena,
They lived, but only lived to cheat.
I would not cause e’en one regret
To rankle in your bosom now,
For “if we try, we may forget”
Were words of thine long years ago.
Yes, these were words of thine, Lorena,
They burn within my memory yet;
They touched some tender chord, Lorena,
That thrills and trembles with regret.
’Twas not thy woman’s heart that spoke—
Thy heart was always true to me;
A duty, stern and pressing, broke
The tie that linked my soul to thee.
It matters little now, Lorena,
The past is in the eternal past;
Our heads will soon lie low, Lorena,
Life’s tide is ebbing out so fast.
There is a future! Oh, thank God!
Of life this is so small a part!
’Tis dust to dust beneath the sod,
But there—up there, ’tis ‘heart to heart.’”

These words were written by Rev. H. D. L. Webster, born in Stamford, Conn., August 29, 1824; was educated in Columbus, Ohio, and preached at Zanesville, Ohio for some years, leaving there in 1848. The music was composed by J. P. Webster, but no relation.

Ohio claims the writer and the song, but it is known and regarded as a Southern song, having been so extensively sung below Mason and Dixon’s line.

“Lorena” was Miss Ella Blocksom, of Zanesville, Ohio. She was a member of Mr. Webster’s church—the Universalist—also a leading member of the choir, with a beautiful and highly cultivated voice. She was as lovely in face and person as her voice was sweet and touching; and it was but natural that the fine-looking, intelligent young divine should be attracted to that face that was each Sunday opposite him and listened so interestedly to his preaching.

One describes her as “nineteen,” short in stature and petite, with blue eyes and light brown hair and features that took hold upon “the poetry of heaven.”

She was the sister-in-law of one of the “pillars of the church,” a successful manufacturer, and of course the preacher found he often must consult this brother about ecclesiastical matters and see his pretty, charming sister-in-law.

What real love affair ever ran smoothly?[362] This one did not, for Lorena’s sister had better “game” for her to bring down than a poor, though handsome, intellectual preacher; so, like many another worldly-wise elder sister, she, after repeated efforts, made “Lorena” see that she and “Paul Vane,” as Mr. Webster called himself in one of his songs, must part.

On a certain cloudless Sabbath in May these two lovers walked after the morning service, to Hamline Hill and lingered until twilight was closing her wind in the west, and “Lorena” told “Paul Vane” farewell.

The next day she wrote him a letter, in which she said, “if we try, we may forget,” and he knew “’twas not thy woman’s heart that spoke,” but her sister’s through her.

Finding that this world was a blank world to him without “Lorena’s” loving look and smile, he resigned his charge, where, as a minister, he had been so successful and, as a lover, such a failure, and left for parts unknown.

Time went by and he was heard of in the West. He developed the “poetic fire,” and, in 1860, his song “Lorena,” appeared—one hundred months after his farewell to Ella Blocksom.

The song was almost famous before she realized it was a tribute to her from her old and loyal lover. She is accused of having no sentiment, or of being a “namby-pamby,” as she never wrote him one line of thanks for the song, or for his constancy to her, as he had a right to expect. Three years later, he wrote “Paul Vane”—the answer one would think a “Lorena” would have made:

“The years are creeping slowly by, dear Paul,
The winters come and go;
The wind sweeps past with mournful cry, dear Paul,
And pelt my face with snow.
But there’s no snow upon the heart, dear Paul.
’Tis summer always there;
Those early loves throw sunshine over all,
And sweeten memories dear.
I’ve kept you ever in my heart, dear Paul.
Through years of good and ill;
Our souls could not be torn apart, dear Paul,
They’re bound together still.
I never knew how dear you were to me
’Til’ I was left alone;
I thought my poor, poor heart would break the day
They told me you were gone.”

“Lorena” married a young lawyer of Ironton, Ohio, who later on became a Supreme Judge. He died, full of honors, March 2, 1887.

“In the city of Zanesville, surrounded by the scenes of her girlhood days, still lives Lorena in her widowed age. The hill she climbed in that flowery May of long ago is now hidden from sight by the intrusive growth of the flourishing city. She alone remains of her little family.” Her sun is slowly declining toward the horizon and she will soon meet her two lovers, “Paul Vane” and her husband.

The Muskingum, turbid and historic, flows on as in the days when “Lorena” and her lover “when up that hilly slope.” Through the changing panorama of its banks a steamer comes and goes, often filled with merry-makers, laughter and song, and this vessel wears proudly a name ever linked with the River—“Lorena.”

Rev. H. D. L. Webster married February 14, 1850, Sarah L. Wilmot. They had two children, both of whom are living. After the death of his first wife, he married at Racine, Wis., December 31, 1867, Mary M. Skinner. The two children of this union are still living.

Mr. Webster commenced preaching when twenty-two years of age and was greatly beloved, as he was devoted to his work. He organized the first Universalist society, at Tarpon Springs, Fla., and preached there without pay until his health began to fail. He died in Chicago, November 4, 1896.

I am indebted to my friend, Capt. Nelson W. Evans, of Portsmouth, Ohio, for the data of this story, he being a personal friend of “Lorena” and her husband—was a pall-bearer at the Judge’s funeral.

Franklin, Tenn.


A Poem That Will Live

There are poems not written in verse, and this one, the dying request of Ex-Governor Hogg, of Texas, is the greatest poem that has been written this century:

“I want no monument of stone, but let my children plant at the head of my grave a pecan tree and at the foot of my grave a walnut tree, and when these trees shall bear, let the pecans and walnuts be given out among the plain people of Texas, so that they may plant them and make Texas a land of trees.”


Agriculture the Basis of All Wealth

By William Dennison, Fargo, N. D.

Agriculture is the basis of all wealth. It is the foundation upon which rests all the vast wealth which has been acquired in this country to-day. It is also the buttress which protects, supports and defends all this acquired wealth. Without agriculture all this wealth would crumble away. Yet, is it not sad to contemplate that, while the tillers of the soil have been building such a gigantic structure that they have not received a fair share of the spoils? They have been sowing while others reaped the reward. Presumably the farmers were to blame themselves for the unequal division of the profits. It is a well-known fact, that cannot be controverted, that ever since the Pilgrim Fathers and the Scotch-Irish landed on these shores they have been exploiting the land, taking all they could get out of it and putting nothing back in return. They surely could not expect that such conditions could last forever, but that there would come a reckoning day sooner or later. That period of an accounting is long past due with the original settlers and is past due with more recent ones. That is, if we take into consideration the great amount of knowledge which has been acquired agriculturally during the last half of the nineteenth century, and with all the aids of fifty or more agricultural colleges scattered all over this great country. Yet nine-tenths of the tillers of the soil are still going on exploiting their land, and when failure comes they wonder why their land does not yield like it used to when they first broke it up and started to cultivate it. These agricultural colleges are grand institutions, and their object and aim is a noble one, that of helping the farmer, and cannot be too highly praised for their efforts. However, I am afraid that a great majority of our farmers have received little or no benefit from them. They are too scientific and technical for the average farmer to understand and derive any benefit therefrom. The average farmer wants it in simple language, in primary lessons, so that he can grasp it and then put it to the test. They know nothing about the chemical nomenclature which they use in expounding things. It is all Latin to them. What the tillers of the soil want is information on these subjects, in plain Anglo-Saxon, and as plain as possible even then.

It would be well for them to know what constitutes fertility, generally speaking. There are three constituent elements of fertility, namely: nitrogen, phosphate and potash. The first element, nitrogen, is what may be termed the motive power in the growing of the crops. There are inexhaustible supplies of this element in the atmosphere, and it only needs to be brought down. It costs you nothing. Help yourself. But it is a very costly element if you have to purchase it as a commercial commodity. Nitrogen, like the air we breathe, we can only use as we need it. It is a substance that cannot be cornered or there would have been trusts formed in the country, making every farmer in the land pay tribute to them. The second member is a mineral element, phosphate. The first condition necessary for the activity of a living organism is food. The food of plants and animals, in some respects, is different, but both are alike in requiring a supply of certain mineral substances for their nourishment. One of the most essential constituents of this mineral food is phosphoric acid. Without phosphates there can be neither growth nor life. This is why phosphates are so essential to worn-out land, especially where wheat has been grown continuously.

The third is also a mineral element, which completes the trine in fertility. Such crops as the cereals draw mostly on the phosphates within the soil; but a crop of potatoes draws mostly on the potash contained in the soil. You cannot go on indefinitely raising potatoes on the same land without furnishing potash. If you do, the tubers produced will be entirely lacking in starchy matter and altogether too much gluten. When these[365] three constituent elements of fertility are in the land and rightly balanced, then your land is in the highest condition of fertility. But if one of these elements is taken out by poor methods of farming, then your land, to use a horseman’s phrase, is said to be out of fettle. But in the next twenty-five years, when the farmers of this country get down to hardpan, when the yield of their crops has deteriorated to such a degree not only in the quantity of the product, but also in the quality of the product, which is more important than quantity, in other words, when necessity compels them, then I look for the fruits of the labors of the agricultural experiment colleges. Renewing the soil is analogous to the redemption of the soul of man. We have the Word for it, and the promises are sure and steadfast; yet we may have all the knowledge on the subject, but that will not obtain eternal life. The Lord cannot save us unless we co-operate with him and do our part. While I am, and always have been, an earnest advocate of the greater use of legumes in restoring the fertility of our land, I am fully alive to the importance of putting back all the manure from the farmyard onto the land. I was raised on an extensive truck garden, and there is no reason to doubt the capacity of the soil to yield a product to which no one can yet forecast the limit. As an instance of the possibilities of the land under intensive culture, the Long Island market gardeners apply from seventy to eighty tons of stable manure to their early cabbages per acre, and as the plants are much closer and are much more sure to head universally, a yield of fifty tons to the acre is not an excessive estimate. The above will show what can be done with a liberal supply of stable manure.

But why waste our time on what can be done with manure? Why, nine-tenths of the farmers in the United States don’t make any manure. Their stock, what they have, are all out on the run all, or nearly, the whole of the year. I have come to the conclusion that to advocate intensive farming under existing circumstances is not practical at the present time, when we take into consideration the vastness of this country and likewise the remoteness of the great majority of the farmers from a home market. A good home market is a great desideratum for our American farmer. Andrew Carnegie saw the paramount importance of a good home market when he was making his millions. But this idea alone does not show fully the sagacity of Andrew. It was when he discovered how he could perpetuate this good home market when he overproduced his product, which was the case all of the time. He shipped his surplus product to foreign markets and sold it for about half what he was charging us at home. By this clever stroke he was enabled to make of non-effect the great law of supply and demand. But in order to accomplish this Andrew had a high tariff on his product, and presumably he was smart enough to get rebates from the railroad companies. But the farmers haven’t any tariff on the product they raise and when they ship their products by railroads they have to pay schedule rates and pay the entire freight to destination, no matter where the destination may be. But in the near future, when the population is largely increased and more evenly distributed, when the exodus will be from the cities to the country, and not, as it is now, from the farm to the cities; when the smaller towns in every State have become towns and cities teeming with thousands of inhabitants, making a home market for the farmers where they can sell, not only the cereals they raise, but also milk, cattle, sheep, hogs, horses, hides, eggs and vegetables, then will be the time to begin intensive farming and also the proper observance of the rotation of their crops.

But it is the intervening time between now and then that we want to bridge over; but this period is going to be the crucial time for our farmers. However, it is not going to be a situation without hope if the tillers of the soil do their part, but they have got to do that if their environment compels them to still keep on raising cereals. Now that the United States has taken the lead as a wheat raising country, I regret to state that I can see no better way out of it than for them to still keep on raising this cereal. But what we want to consider is how[366] that can be done and maintain the fertility of the land for some years to come.

This, I believe, is possible to every one who is willing to avail himself of the means at hand. The experiments carried on at Rothamsteed show conclusively that “continuous wheat-growing is, from a natural point of view, an extravagant mode of farming, only justifiable, like other extravagances, under the pressure of a more or less artificial environment, for the wheat crop has completed its growth and is harvested long before nitrification has ceased in the soil, and there is no crop to take up the balance formed after the active growth of the wheat is over, and these nitrates pass away in sub-soil drainage in mild, genial climates, during the winter.” Under these circumstances, as soon as the wheat is harvested, then should we put in a catch crop, a legume suitable to the latitude, which would not only take up the balance of nitrates unused by the wheat crop, but would put a new supply of nitrogen into the soil for the succeeding crop. The above applies to the latitudes where they have long seasons and a moist, mild climate. This would not apply to those latitudes where the seasons are short and exposed to long winter frosts. To the wheat growers of the Northwest, where their seasons are short, there is no time for a catch crop for them. I would advise to fallow their land as soon as the wheat crop is harvested. This would stop the loss of nitrates and exterminate the great crop of weeds which takes possession after the wheat crop is harvested.

Finally, to all, in whatever latitude you are situated, I would suggest that you start in and treat your wheat land to an application of one thousand pounds of raw ground phosphate rock per acre. (It is cheap—it only costs about four dollars per ton f. o. b. cars at the mine.) After spreading the phosphate on the land, plow and prepare your seed bed. In the North sow your wheat and your red clover. The application of phosphates will give the legume a good start, and the following year a luxuriant growth of the legume may be expected, which will exterminate all weeds. Then, in the following spring break up your legume land, the soil of which will be full of fiber, and receive the reward of three continuous crops of wheat, greatly enhanced, both in quantity and quality. Then, on the fourth year another application of raw ground rock phosphate and a legume crop with it, followed by three years of continuous wheat again. During this time if you will add all the manure you can, either a stable manure or ammonium salts, then I think you can go on indefinitely raising wheat.

For confirmation of the merits of ground phosphate rock for worn-out wheat lands, consult Prof. Cyril G. Hopkins, director of the Illinois Experimental Station, Urbana, Ill.


The Wooing of Bessy

By L. M. Montgomery

When Lawrence Eastman began going to see Bessy Houghton the Lynnfield people shrugged their shoulders and said he might have picked out somebody a little younger and prettier—and then, of course, Bessy was well off. A two hundred acre farm and a substantial bank account were worth going in for. Trust an Eastman for knowing upon which side his bread was buttered.

Lawrence was only twenty, and looked even younger, owing to his smooth, boyish face, curly hair, and half-girlish bloom. Bessy Houghton was in reality no more than twenty-five, but Lynnfield people had the impression that she was past thirty. She had always been older than her years—a quiet, reserved girl who dressed plainly and never went about with other young people. Her mother had died when Bessy was very young, and she had always kept house for her father. The responsibility made her grave and mature. When she was twenty her father died and Bessy was his sole heir. She kept the farm and took the reins of government in her own capable hands. She made a success of it, too, which was more than many a man in Lynnfield had done.

Bessy had never had a lover. She had never seemed like other girls, and passed for an old maid when her contemporaries were in the flush of social success and bloom.

Mrs. Eastman, Lawrence’s mother, was a widow with two sons. George, the older, was the mother’s favorite, and the property had been willed to him by his father. To Lawrence had been left the few hundreds in the bank. He stayed at home and hired himself to George, thereby adding slowly to his small hoard. He had his eye on a farm in Lynnfield, but he was as yet a mere boy, and his plans for the future were very vague until he fell in love with Bessy Houghton.

In reality nobody was more surprised over this than Lawrence himself. It had certainly been the last thing in his thoughts on the dark, damp night when he had overtaken Bessy walking home alone from prayer meeting and had offered to drive her the rest of the way.

Bessy assented and got into his buggy. At first she was very silent, and Lawrence, who was a bashful lad at the best of times, felt tongue-tied and uncomfortable. But presently Bessy, pitying his evident embarrassment, began to talk to him. She could talk well, and Lawrence found himself entering easily into the spirit of her piquant speeches. He had an odd feeling that he had never known Bessy Houghton before; he had certainly never guessed that she could be such good company. She was very different from the other girls he knew, but he decided that he liked the difference.

“Are you going to the party at Bailey’s to-morrow night?” he asked, as he helped her to alight at her door.

“I don’t know,” she answered. “I’m invited—but I’m all alone—and parties have never been very much in my line.”

There was a wistful note in her voice, and Lawrence, detecting it, said, hurriedly, not giving himself time to get frightened: “Oh, you’d better go to this one. And if you like I’ll call around and take you.”

He wondered if she would think him very presumptuous. He thought her voice sounded colder as she said: “I am afraid that it would be too much trouble for you.”

“It wouldn’t be any trouble at all,” he stammered. “I’ll be very pleased to take you.”

In the end Bessy had consented to go, and the next evening Lawrence called for her in the rose-red autumn dusk.

Bessy was ready and waiting. She was dressed in what was for her unusual elegance, and Lawrence wondered why people called Bessy Houghton so plain. Her figure was strikingly symmetrical and softly curved. Her abundant, dark-brown[368] hair, instead of being parted plainly and drawn back into a prim coil, as usual, was dressed high on her head, and a creamy rose nestled amid the becoming puffs and waves. She wore black, as she always did, but it was a lustrous black silk, simply and fashionably made, with frost-like frills of lace at her firm round throat and dainty wrists. Her cheeks were delicately flushed, and her wood-brown eyes were sparkling under her long lashes.

She offered him a half-opened bud for his coat and pinned it on for him. As he looked down at her he noticed what a sweet mouth she had—full and red, with a half child-like curve.

The fact that Lawrence Eastman took Bessy Houghton to the Bailey’s party made quite a sensation at that festal scene. People nodded and winked and wondered. “An old maid and her money,” said Milly Fiske spitefully. Milly, as was well known, had a liking for Lawrence herself.

Lawrence began to “go with” Bessy Houghton regularly after that. In his single-mindedness he never feared that Bessy would misjudge his motives or imagine him to be prompted by mercenary designs. He never thought of her riches himself, and it never occurred to him that she would suppose he did.

He soon realized that he loved her, and he ventured to hope timidly that she loved him in return. She was always rather reserved, but the few favors that meant nothing from other girls meant a great deal from Bessy. The evenings he spent with her in her pretty sitting room, their moonlight drives over long, satin-smooth stretches of snowy roads, and their walks home from church and prayer meeting under the winter stars, were all so many moments of supreme happiness to Lawrence.

Matters had gone thus far before Mrs. Eastman got her eyes opened. At Mrs. Tom Bailey’s quilting party an officious gossip took care to inform her that Lawrence was supposed to be crazy over Bessy Houghton, who was, of course, encouraging him simply for the sake of having some one to beau her round, and who would certainly throw him over in the end, since she knew perfectly well that it was her money he was after.

Mrs. Eastman was a proud woman and a determined one. She had always disliked Bessy Houghton, and she went home from the quilting resolved to put an instant stop to “all such nonsense” on her son’s part.

“Where is Lawrie?” she asked abruptly, as she entered the small kitchen where George Eastman was lounging by the fire.

“Out in the stable grooming up Lady Gray,” responded her older son, sulkily. “I suppose he’s gadding off to see Bessy Houghton again, the young fool that he is! Why don’t you put a stop to it?”

“I am going to put a stop to it,” said Mrs. Eastman grimly. “I’d have done it before if I’d known. You should have told me of it if you knew. I’m going out to see Lawrence right now.”

George Eastman muttered something inaudible as the door closed behind her. He was a short, thick-set man, not in the least like Lawrence, who was ten years his junior. Two years previously he had made a furtive attempt to pay court to Bessy Houghton for the sake of her wealth, and her decided repulse of his advances was a remembrance that made him grit his teeth yet. He had hated her bitterly ever since.

Lawrence was brushing his pet mare’s coat until it shone like satin, and whistling “Annie Laurie” until the rafters rang. Bessy had sung it for him the night before. He could see her plainly still as she had looked then, in her gown of vivid red—a color peculiarly becoming to her—with her favorite laces at wrist and throat and a white rose in her hair, which was dressed in the high, becoming knot she had always worn since the night he had shyly told her he liked it so.

She had played and sung many of the sweet old Scotch ballads for him, and when she had gone to the door with him he had taken both her hands in his and, emboldened by the look in her brown eyes, he had stooped and kissed her. Then he had stepped back, filled with dismay at his own audacity. But Bessy had said no word of rebuke, and[369] only blushed hotly crimson. She must care for him, he thought happily, or else she would have been angry.

When his mother came in at the stable door her face was hard and uncompromising.

“Lawrie,” she said sharply, “where are you going again to-night? You were out last night.”

“Well, mother, I promise you I wasn’t in any bad company. Come now, don’t quiz a fellow too close.”

“You are going to dangle after Bessy Houghton again. It’s time you were told what a fool you were making of yourself. She’s old enough to be your mother. The whole settlement is laughing at you.”

Lawrence looked as if his mother had struck him a blow in the face. A dull, purplish flush crept over his brow.

“This is some of George’s work,” he broke out fiercely. “He’s been setting you on me, has he? Yes, he’s jealous—he wanted Bessy himself, but she would not look at him. He thinks nobody knows it, but I do. Bessy marry him? It’s very likely!”

“Lawrie Eastman, you are daft. George hasn’t said anything to me. You surely don’t imagine Bessy Houghton would marry you. And if she would, she is too old for you. Now, don’t you hang around her any longer.”

“I will,” said Lawrence flatly. “I don’t care what anybody says. You needn’t worry over me. I can take care of myself.”

Mrs. Eastman looked blankly at her son. He had never defied or disobeyed her in his life before. She had supposed her word would be law. Rebellion was something she had not dreamed of. Her lips tightened ominously and her eyes narrowed.

“You’re a bigger fool than I took you for,” she said in a voice that trembled with anger. “Bessy Houghton laughs at you everywhere. She knows you’re just after her money, and she makes fun”—

“Prove it,” interrupted Lawrence undauntedly. “I’m not going to put any faith in Lynnfield gossip. Prove it if you can.”

“I can prove it. Maggie Hatfield told me what Bessy Houghton said to her about you. She said you were a lovesick fool, and she only went with you for a little amusement; and that if you thought you had nothing to do but marry her and hang up your hat there you’d find yourself vastly mistaken.”

Possibly in her calmer moments Mrs. Eastman might have shrunk from such a deliberate falsehood, although it was said of her in Lynnfield that she was not one to stick at a lie when the truth would not serve her purpose. Moreover, she felt quite sure that Lawrence would never ask Maggie Hatfield anything about it.

Lawrence turned white to the lips. “Is that true, mother?” he asked, huskily.

“I’ve warned you,” replied his mother, not choosing to repeat her statement. “If you go after Bessy any more you can take the consequences.”

She drew her shawl About her pale, malicious face and left him with a parting glance of contempt.

“I guess that’ll settle him,” she thought grimly. “Bessy Houghton turned up her nose at George, but she shan’t make a fool of Lawrence, too.”

Alone in the stable Lawrence stood staring out at the dull red ball of the winter sun with unseeing eyes. He had implicit faith in his mother, and the stab had gone straight to his heart. Bessy Houghton listened in vain that night for his well-known footfall on the veranda.

The next night Lawrence went home with Milly Fiske from prayer meeting, taking her out from a crowd of other girls under Bessy Houghton’s very eyes as she came down the steps of the little church.

Bessy walked home alone. The light burned low in her sitting room, and in the mirror over the mantel she saw her own pale face, with its tragic, pain-stricken eyes. Annie Hillis, her “help,” was out. She was alone in the big house with her misery and despair.

She went dizzily upstairs to her own room and flung herself on the bed in the chill moonlight.

“It is all over,” she said, dully. All night she lay there, fighting with her[370] pain. In the wan, gray morning she looked at her mirrored self with pitying scorn—at the pallid face, the lifeless features, the dispirited eyes with their bluish circles.

“What a fool I have been to imagine he could care for me!” she said, bitterly. “He has only been amusing himself with my folly. And to think that I let him kiss me the other night!”

She thought of that kiss with a pitiful shame. She hated herself for the weakness that could not check her tears. Her lonely life had been brightened by the companionship of her young lover. The youth and girlhood of which fate had cheated her had come to her with love; the future had looked rosy with promise; now it had darkened with dourness and grayness.

Maggie Hatfield came that day to sew. Bessy had intended to have a dark-blue silk made up and an evening waist of pale pink cashmere. She had expected to wear the latter at a party which was to come off a fortnight later, and she had got it to please Lawrence, because he had told her that pink was his favorite color. She would have neither it nor the silk made up now. She put them both away and instead brought out an ugly pattern of snuff-brown stuff, bought years before and never used.

“But where is your lovely pink, Bessy?” asked the dressmaker. “Aren’t you going to have it for the party?”

“No, I’m not going to have it made up at all,” said Bessy, listlessly. “It’s too gay for me. I was foolish to think it would ever suit me. This brown will do for a spring suit. It doesn’t make much difference what I wear.”

Maggie Hatfield, who had not been at prayer meeting the night before, and knew nothing of what had occurred, looked at her curiously, wondering what Lawrence Eastman could see in her to be as crazy about her as some people said he was. Bessy was looking her oldest and plainest just then, with her hair combed severely back from her pale, dispirited face.

“It must be her money he is after,” thought the dressmaker. “She looks over thirty, and she can’t pretend to be pretty. I believe she thinks a lot of him, though.”

For the most part, Lynnfield people believed that Bessy had thrown Lawrence over. This opinion was borne out by his woe-begone appearance. He was thin and pale; his face had lost its youthful curves and looked hard and mature. He was moody and taciturn and his speech and manner were marked by a new cynicism.

In April a well-to-do storekeeper from an adjacent village began to court Bessy Houghton. He was over fifty, and had never been a handsome man in his best days, but Lynnfield oracles opined that Bessy would take him. She couldn’t expect to do any better, they said, and she was looking terribly old and dowdy all at once.

In June Maggie Hatfield went to the Eastman’s to sew. The first bit of news she imparted to Mrs. Eastman was that Bessy Houghton had refused Jabez Lea—at least, he didn’t come to see her any more.

Mrs. Eastman twitched her thread viciously. “Bessy Houghton was born an old maid,” she said sharply. “She thinks nobody is good enough for her, that is what’s the matter. Lawrence got some silly boy-notion into his head last winter, but I soon put a stop to that.”

“I always had an idea that Bessy thought a good deal of Lawrence,” said Maggie. “She has never been the same since he left off going with her. I was up there the morning after that prayer meeting night people talked so much of, and she looked positively dreadful, as if she hadn’t slept a wink the whole night.”

“Nonsense!!” said Mrs. Eastman decisively. “She would never think of taking a boy like him when she’d turned up her nose at better men. And I didn’t want her for a daughter-in-law, anyhow. I can’t bear her. So I put my foot down in time. Lawrence sulked for a spell, of course—boy fashion—and he’s been as fractious as a spoiled baby ever since.”

“Well, I dare say you’re right,” assented the dressmaker. “But I must say I had always imagined that Bessy had a great notion of Lawrence. Of[371] course, she’s so quiet it is hard to tell. She never says a word about herself.”

There was an unsuspected listener to this conversation. Lawrence had come in from the field for a drink, and was standing in the open kitchen doorway, within easy earshot of the women’s shrill tones.

He had never doubted his mother’s word at any time in his life, but now he knew beyond doubt that there had been crooked work somewhere. He shrank from believing his mother untrue, yet where else could the crookedness come in?

When Mrs. Eastman had gone to the kitchen to prepare dinner Maggie Hatfield was startled by the appearance of Lawrence at the low, open window of the sitting room.

“Mercy me, how you scared me!” she exclaimed nervously.

“Maggie,” said Lawrence seriously, “I want to ask you a question. Did Bessy Houghton ever say anything to you about me or did you ever say that she did? Give me a straight answer.”

The dressmaker peered at him curiously.

“No. Bessy never so much as mentioned your name to me,” she said, “and I never heard that she did to any one else. Why?”

“Thank you. That was all I wanted to know,” said Lawrence, ignoring her question, and disappearing as suddenly as he had come.

That evening at moonrise he passed through the kitchen dressed in his Sunday best. His mother met him at the door.

“Where are you going?” she asked querulously.

Lawrence looked her squarely in the face with accusing eyes, before which her own quailed.

“I’m going to see Bessy Houghton, mother,” he said sternly, “and to ask her pardon for believing the lie that has kept us apart so long.”

Mrs. Eastman flushed crimson and opened her lips to speak. But something in Lawrence’s grave, white face silenced her. She turned away without a word, knowing in her secret soul that her youngest born was lost to her forever.

Lawrence found Bessy in the orchard under apple trees that were pyramids of pearly bloom. She looked at him through the twilight with reproach and aloofness in her eyes. But he put out his hands and caught her reluctant ones in a masterful grasp.

“Listen to me, Bessy. Don’t condemn me before you’ve heard me. I’ve been to blame for believing falsehoods about you, but I believe them no longer, and I’ve come to ask you to forgive me.”

He told his story simply and straightforwardly. In strict justice he could not keep his mother’s name out of it, but he merely said she had been mistaken. Perhaps Bessy understood none the less. She knew what Mrs. Eastman’s reputation in Lynnfield was.

“You might have had a little more faith in me,” she cried reproachfully.

“I know—I know. But I was beside myself with pain and wretchedness. Oh, Bessy, won’t you forgive me? I love you so! If you send me away I’ll go to the dogs. Forgive me, Bessy.”

And she, being a woman, did forgive him.

“I’ve loved you from the first, Lawrence,” she said, yielding to his kiss.



I am the product of the centuries. I am the child of the aeons which were. I have always been and I shall always be. To make me it has taken fire, water, star-dust, the Spirit of God, the lives of a million people and the lights of a million suns. I have grown from heat and star-dust to the Thing Which Thinks. What has happened to me has been good: what shall happen will be better, for I am Evolution, and Evolution goes ever upward. Life has been good, Death will be better, for I am the Cause of all the Past, making toward one great Effect. My debt to the Past is great. Let me in part repay it by doing the best I can, following the light within me. And the clearest light is Kindness.

John Trotwood Moore.


The History of the Hals


By John Trotwood Moore

The other day I inquired of Uncle Berry how he thought Maria would compare with the best horses of the present day. In reply he said: “If I were forty and Maria four years of age, I would not want a greater fortune than I could win with her at Fordham and Saratago.”

He thinks the improvement in training and the condition of race tracks accounts for the difference in time of this and former days. He thinks if the horses of the present day were galloped, in sweats, sixteen or twenty miles under eight or ten Mackinaw blankets, and every morning and evening galloped four miles and repeat under two or three blankets and ran their races on deep, heavy tracks, as formerly, they would make slow time, and very few of them would be seen on the turf at the age of nine years, and I agree with him.

In old times, in cases of severe fevers, doctors excluded the fresh air and wrapped their patients in blankets, and gave them warm water to drink. The first cargo of Yankee ice brought to New Orleans was thrown into the Mississippi by an order of the Mayor, under advice from the medical board.

I believe that it is conceded that Flying Childers and O’Kelly’s Eclipse were the fastest horses the world has ever produced, or, in the expressive language of John Randolph, “they were the swiftest quadrupeds that ever appeared upon the earth.” Childers was the son of Darley’s Arabian, and Eclipse was his great-great-grandson, and the dam of Eclipse was by Regulus, the best son of Godolphin’s Arabian. These two Arabians were the “diamonds of the desert”—the pure fountains with which we are delighted to connect our thoroughbreds by the unbroken links of an extended chain. The third dam of her sire, imported Diomed, was by Flying Childers and he by Darley’s Arabian (1). The seventh dam of Diomed was by Spanker, he by Young Marsque, he by Marsque (sire of O’Kelly’s Eclipse), he by Squint, he by Bartlett’s Childers (own brother to Flying Childers) and he by Darley’s Arabian. (2) Diomed was by Florizel, whose third dam was by Flying Childers. (3) Florizel was by King Herod, whose fourth dam was by Darley’s Arabian. (4) The dam of Herod was by Blaze, and he by Flying Childers. (5) The dam of Diomed was by Spectator, whose third dam was by Darley’s Arabian. (6) The second dam of Diomed was by Blank, whose dam was by Bartlett’s Childers, own brother to Flying Childers (7), making seven courses of Darley’s Arabian through Diomed, three of which are through Flying Childers and two through his own brother, Bartlett’s Childers.

The dam of Maria was by Taylor’s Bel-Air (the best son of Imported Medley). Medley’s fourth dam was by Bartlett’s Childers (1). Medley was by Gimcrack and he by Cripple, whose second dam was by Flying Childers (2). Medley’s second dam was by Snap, he by Snip, and he by Flying Childers (3), making three courses of Darley’s Arabian through her dam, two of which are by Flying Childers and one through Bartlett’s Childers, making in all ten crosses of Darley’s Arabian in Maria’s pedigree, five of which are through Flying Childers and three through Bartlett’s Childers. Maria has the following crosses of the Godolphin Arabian: The second dam of Diomed was by Blank and he by the Godolphin (1). Bel-Air was by imported Medley, he by Gim Crack, he by Cripple and he by the Godolphin (2). The second dam of Bel-Air was by Black Selima, by imported Fearnought and he by Regulus, the best son of Godolphin (3). The third dam of Bel-Air[374] was imported Selima by the Godolphin (4). If the imported mare to which Maria traces could be identified she would probably add several additional crosses of these famous Arabs.

For the performances of Maria I have relied mainly upon her memoir published in the sixth volume of the American Turf Register, which was written by Judge Thos. Barry, of Gallatin, who obtained the facts from Captain Haney in his lifetime, which are corroborated substantially by Uncle Berry.

In my last communication, in referring to the race of Blucher and Walk-in-the-Water at Natchez, I made a mistake as the time when the Jockey Club changed the rule taking twenty-one pounds off of Blucher. It was not done the night before the race, as stated, but it occurred some time before. It was the evening before the race that Col. A. L. Bingaman, a member of the Club, moved to have the rule rescinded so as to make their weight equal, but his motion was voted down, and Blucher carried one hundred pounds and Walk-in-the-Water one hundred and twenty-one pounds.

B. C. Oscar, foaled in spring of 1814, bred by the Rev. Hubbard Saunders, of Sumner County, Tennessee, stood without a rival on the Tennessee turf in his day. He never paid a forfeit or lost a heat, nor did he ever meet a competitor able to put him to his top speed. His pedigree is not only pure, but rich and choice. He was got by Wilkes’ Wonder (he by Imported Diomed out of Mary Gray by Tippoo Saib, the dam of Pacolet).

First dam—Rosey Clack, by Imp. Saltram.

Second dam—Camilla, by Symmes’ Wildair, the best son of Imp. Fearnought.

Third dam—Minerva, by Imp. Obscurity.

Fourth dam—Diana, by Clodius.

Fifth dam—Sally Painter, by Imp. Sterling.

Sixth dam—Imp Silver, by Belsize Arabian.

Seventh dam—By Croft’s Partner.

Eighth dam—Sister to Roxana, by Bald Galloway.

Ninth dam—By Akaster Turk.

Tenth dam—By Leeds’ Arabian.

Eleventh dam—By Spanker.

This pedigree, in the language of my late friend, the Rev. Hardy M. Cryer, “is pure as the icicle which hung at the north corner of Diana’s Temple.”

Oscar was a dark bay, of uniform color, with black points, full fifteen hands three inches high, owned and run by that high-toned gentleman, Dr. Roger B. Sappington, of Nashville. He was a horse of commanding presence, possessing great power, especially in the shoulders and chest, in which he resembled the lion, high, oblique withers, short back, prominent hips, hindquarters rather light, when contrasted with his shoulders and chest, stifles and hocks excellent and limbs superior, hind feet well under him, with a head, eye and windpipe which could not be surpassed. He reminded me of Uncle Berry’s answer to my questions about the head, limbs and action of Ball’s Florizel. He said: “His head was all mouth and nostrils, and he could stand with all his feet in a washtub.” Oscar won his first race, a sweepstake, in October, 1817, over the Nashville course, two mile heats, one hundred dollars entrance, which he won with the greatest ease, beating Mr. James Jackson’s McDhane (by imported Eagle, out of his imported mare, Virginia, by imported Daredevil) and Dr. Butler’s splendid filly, by Pacolet. The next day he walked over the course for the club purse.

In May, 1818, he won over the same course a jockey club purse, four mile heats, beating with ease General Jackson’s Gun Boat, by Pacolet. Gun Boat was withdrawn after the first heat. In October, 1818, over the same course, he won the jockey club purse, four-mile heats, beating with ease at two heats, Mr. Morton’s horse, by Potomac, and Colonel Elliott’s (Uncle Berry’s) horse, by imported Whip. This Whip colt belonged to Uncle Berry, whose history is as follows: Uncle Berry volunteered in Capt. John W. Byrns’ light-horse company early in the Creek War and served out his term under Gen. Jackson, for which he now is and has been for about twelve months in the receipt of a pension of ninety-six dollars per annum, payable quarterly. He commenced to receive this pension under the[375] late Act of Congress, in the ninety-fifth year of his age. He said to me the other day: “I am sorry the government don’t pay it all at once, for twenty-four dollars won’t buy anything, and it is always gone before the next payment arrives.” When his term of service expired he was about to re-volunteer, but Colonel Elliott, who was then in command of a regiment in the army, persuaded him to return home and look after the women and children and blood stock, which he reluctantly consented to do. After spending some time in Tennessee, he visited a friend, Colonel Faulkner, of Garrard County, Ky., who invited him to examine a lot of two-year-old colts, some of which he contemplated entering in a sweepstake, to come off the ensuing fall. On returning to the house, Mrs. Faulkner inquired of Uncle Berry what he thought of her colt, to which he replied: “I consider him, Madam, the best of the lot,” at which she was very much gratified and begged that he would enter, train and run the colt in the stake, to which he consented, and won the race with ease. He purchased this colt of Mrs. Faulkner, brought him to Tennessee, where he won several races, and was entered by Colonel Elliott in the four-mile race against Oscar, as above stated.

It was about the time of Oscar’s appearance on the turf that the first Jockey Club was established at Nashville, by the most distinguished men of Tennessee, among them General Jackson, Colonel Ed. Ward, General Carroll, James Jackson, Dr. Sappington, Dr. Shelby, Dr. McNairy, Dr. Butler, William Williams, Colonel Elliott, Newton Cannon and other leading citizens of the State.

During the absence of Colonel Elliott and Uncle Berry, Dr. Sappington employed Monkey Simon to ride for him, and when the race last above mentioned came off, Simon rode Oscar against Whip, the latter owned and run by his old friends and favorites, Col. Elliott and Uncle Berry. Some uneasiness was manifested by the friends of Oscar, who was high-strung and difficult to control, lest Simon should suffer himself to exhaust himself early and thereby lose the race. This suspicion was altogether groundless, for Simon always rode to win, if possible, and if he had a weakness it was in being too eager for success in a close contest. At the tap of the drum Oscar went off under a tremendous head of steam, and, in spite of all Simon’s exertions to restrain him, was soon fifty or sixty yards ahead, which served to increase the doubts of Simon’s fidelity. Dr. Shelby dashed across the field and ordered Simon in a most peremptory tone to hold his horse, to which Simon replied, in his characteristic style: “You d—d fool, don’t you see his mouth is wide open?” And Simon would have made the same reply to General Jackson under the same circumstances.

The General said to Simon on one occasion, just before the horses started in a very important race: “Now, Simon, when my horse comes up and is about to pass you, don’t spit your tobacco juice in his eyes and the eyes of his rider, as you sometimes do;” to which Simon replied: “Well, Gineral, I’ve rode a good deal agin your horses, but (with an oath) none were ever near enough to catch my spit.” On another occasion, after Maria had beaten the General’s favorite, Pacolet, and when no friend dared to take a liberty with him, Simon, meeting him in a large crowd, said: “Gineral, you were always ugly, but now you’re a show. I could make a fortune by showing you as you now look if I had you in a cage where you could not hurt the people who come to look at you.”

Many years ago I was riding on horseback with Colonel Elliott to the Nashville races, and when we reached a point about one mile from the ferry at Nashville, on the Gallatin road, he observed: “Here is the place where negroes were annually hired in old times, and where I have often hired Simon, who, on account of his deformity and dissipated habits, usually cost me from twelve to fifteen dollars per annum. On one occasion Col. Robert C. Foster, guardian of the minor children to whom Simon belonged, conceiving it to be his duty, bid against me and ran Simon up to thirty-odd dollars, the then price of a good field hand. I concluded to drop Simon on the Colonel’s hands and take the chance of[376] hiring him privately. Simon watched the bidding with the deepest interest, as he was most anxious to remain in the stable and enjoy the fame and emoluments of riding Haney’s Maria and other distinguished winners. When I indicated that I would bid no more, Simon turned to the Colonel and said, in his peculiarly sarcastic manner, with his head laid back and one eye closed: ‘Colonel Foster, by G—, I am not a sellin’ but hirin’ for only one year.’ The Colonel, who was a man of high spirit and great dignity, replied, shaking his cane at Simon: ‘You impudent scoundrel, do you know who you are talking to?’ Simon, with the most aggravating coolness, replied: ‘I think I do, and if I am not mistaken, you are the same gentleman who made a small ’speriment for governor once,’ alluding to a race the Colonel had made for governor, under very unfavorable circumstances, in which he was badly beaten. The witticism of Simon created much mirth, amidst which Colonel Elliott got him at the next bid.”

The purses at that period were unworthy of the attention of so superior a horse, and Dr. Sappington had neither the means nor disposition to travel or run him for heavy matches; Oscar was, therefore, when sound in all respects and in the prime of his racing career, withdrawn from the turf and died at eleven years old, the property of General R. Desha and Mr. Isaac Bledsoe, of Sumner County, where he left some fine running stock, although he never served more than two or three thoroughbred mares.

The above ends Bailie Peyton’s interesting reminiscences of early horses and horsemen. Mr. Peyton passed away many years ago, but his name will live in the political and horse history of the State. He was a remarkable man, a gentleman of the old school, a lawyer and a politician who ranked with the great men of his day, while his knowledge on the subject quoted above is authority.

His interesting account of the early historical horse reminds me of another incident, with which I shall close this chapter, being in line with the account of Mr. Peyton, the story of a pair of horses that helped make American history.

Horses have figured so often in the affairs of our country—they have helped us out of so many close places, so to speak—that a most interesting book could be written about the historical horses of America. There was Washington’s famous war horse, Paul Revere’s sprinter, Sheridan’s charger, General Lee’s Traveler, Stonewall Jackson’s old sorrel, Gen. John Adams’ old Charley, who died on the breastworks of Franklin—in fact, as I said, a most readable book could be written of the historical horses of America.

To-day I shall write about a pair of horses which played a most important part in a most critical moment of our history. We have single horses in plenty which have gone hand in hand with man in making history and fame, but this is the only instance in our history that I can find where a pair of horses accomplished the purpose. It is a part of the unwritten history of the West, but every word of it is true, as I have been able to gather it from old letters of pioneers, and old histories long since gone out of print.

The most critical period of American history was that right after the Revolutionary war, when the States were debating on the question of the new constitution and the West—Kentucky, Tennessee and Ohio—were uncertain whether they had any rights which anybody else was bound to respect.

For the first ten years after the Revolutionary war the most dangerous foe the young Republic had was the great, but waning empire of Spain. At that time the States were a narrow strip on the Atlantic stretching from Maine to Florida, and practically bounded by the Appalachian Mountains. England had large claims on the Great Lakes and extending down nearly to the Ohio, and Spain owned nearly everything else, holding all the territory bordering on the Gulf from Florida to Mexico, extending up into the present States of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. In this instance Louisiana meant really all that vast domain which lay west of the Mississippi,[377] stretching clear up to the present State of Oregon. The great Mississippi river flowed for a long way through Spanish possessions, and Spain, foolhardy and narrow then as to-day, and wishing to do the young Republic all the harm she could, closed the river to American commerce, an act which meant stagnation and ruin to the young territories of the West. For these border settlers were altogether an agricultural people and a great wilderness infested by hostile Indians lay between them and the older States. What they raised for sale had to pass down the Mississippi river.

And they increased rapidly in Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky, and, moreover, they were of that stock of people who would not be fooled with. They looked upon the great river as God-given and they did not understand how an arrogant nation living across the ocean, could deprive them of their natural rights. But that was not all. Spain was then as now cruel and vindictive, and while professing friendship for these people she secretly armed the savages and encouraged them to kill all the settlers west of the Alleghanies. And that they came near doing this the early records of Tennessee and Kentucky attest. The Indians murdered them day and night. But for a few heroic men and Indian fighters like Sevier, Robertson and Shelby, they had been entirely exterminated. But they increased in spite of everything, and naturally accumulating both in numbers and products, they wanted a market for their stuff. They asked aid of Congress, but Congress seemed to have troubles of her own just then and paid no attention to them, except to send John Jay over to treat with Spain about it. But Jay could do nothing, and it seems fell into the Spanish idea, for he sent in a report to Congress recommending a treaty with Spain which should close the Mississippi to commerce for twenty-five years. Jay explained that the right to use the river could only be acquired by a war with Spain, for which the United States was unprepared; that the matter was not important now, and that in twenty-five years the country would be strong enough to do as they wished. New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New England voted for this resolution, but the Southern States opposed it, and it failed to pass by only two votes.

The Western people became indignant. Public meetings were held everywhere from the Watauga settlement, in East Tennessee, to Kentucky, and the remoter West. “To inclose us in a Chinese wall, to prohibit the navigation of the Mississippi, to sell us and make us vassals to the merciless Spaniards, is a grievance not to be borne,” they said. So great was their discontent that strong talk was indulged in, and it began to be feared that they would have to organize a government of their own, since their own Congress would give them no assistance. The attorney-general of Kentucky wrote to the President of Congress: “I am decidedly of the opinion that this Western country will, in a few years, act for itself and erect an independent government; for under the present system we cannot exert our strength, neither does Congress seem disposed to help us.” In fact, things soon came to such a pass that one of two things would happen: the West would form a government of their own or the Mississippi must be opened for them. I shall show how a smart, brainy rascal and a pair of Kentucky geldings accomplished the opening of the river and saved the West to the Union.

James Wilkerson was his name, and a smoother, brainier, more ambitious and more unscrupulous scamp never figured but once before in American history—and that was his prototype, Aaron Burr. I have no space for his history. Suffice to say that he was one of the cabal who rose to some prominence in the war and who tried to oust Washington and put Gates in command of the army. Later events proved him to be an unscrupulous politician, and he moved to Kentucky. Kentucky must have had great horses even in those days, for Wilkerson got rich trading. He had a fine eye for good horses, and in his trafficking he got hold of a pair of beautiful geldings. Pork in the West was only a dollar and a half per hundred, corn ten cents a bushel and tobacco rotting in the[378] fields, all owing to the great river being closed to American commerce. Wilkerson conceived a brilliant idea. He could get fabulous prices for all these articles in the Spanish city of New Orleans. He loaded an immense flat boat—several of them—with these articles and set them afloat on the great river. He himself got up a handsome retinue, took a pair of beautiful geldings and went overland to the first Spanish fort at Natchez. It was a big risk he ran, for it had been tried before, and every time the Spanish garrison had stopped the boats with their guns, called them in and confiscated the cargoes. Wilkerson went right to the Spanish commander, Don Gayoso de Lamos, at Natchez, who was a scamp after Wilkerson’s own heart, and there he began his game. He fascinated Lamos with his talk, his elegance, his wit and his learning. He convinced Lamos that he was the greatest and most influential man in the West, and could command an army of twenty thousand Westerners. He got Lamos drunk—no difficult task—and finally, as the flat boats neared, he began to talk horse to him. Mr. Lamos loved a good one, too—in fact he could talk on that subject all night, and so he and Wilkerson played cards and drank wine and talked horse until they became boon chums and companions. But all the time Wilkerson was holding back his trump card for the last. He kept the beautiful pair of Kentucky geldings safely in the background, well groomed and on their mettle. Then his men reported that his boats were coming—that they would be under the guns of Natchez the next day. Early that day Wilkerson brought out his beautiful geldings and called on the charming Mr. Don Gayoso de Lamos. Would Mr. Don walk with him to the grass plat on the bluff? Would he accept a trifling little gift, a token of his great admiration and everlasting friendship for the mighty Mr. Don? Certainly he would. No one ever heard of a Don refusing anything. When the blankets were taken off the Don could not contain his admiration. What beauties they were! How their coats shone! He hugged Wilkerson and then he hugged the horses. He talked fast and his eyes glittered and he was immensely merry. Then a gun boomed from the fort.

“What is it?” asked the Don.

“It was some flat boats loaded with produce,” so said the officer, “and must he sink them or call them in?”

Then Wilkerson explained carelessly that they were his, going to New Orleans, and that he had on them some trifling things like butter and eggs and tobacco for his Majesty’s people there, and he hoped they might be allowed to pass on.

The Don looked at the boats and he looked at the officer and then he looked long and lovingly at the horses—and they won, by a neck. He waved his hand to the officer and said:

“Let them pass. Let them report to Miro, at New Orleans.”

And so Wilkerson and his horses won, and for the first time an American cargo went down the great river unmolested.

At New Orleans Wilkerson played a different game. He tried to wheedle and frighten the Spanish commander by turns. He told him he could bring enough riflemen there to wipe out Spain’s troops, but that in reality the Westerners were tired of the Republic and would go under the protection of Spain if the latter showed them any favors, such as opening up the river to their trade, and thus playing on Spain’s fear, credulity, vanity and ambitions, he accomplished his purpose, finally ending in Spain opening up the river, and later, from fear, selling out the last remnant of her once mighty empire of virgin land in the North American country.

But it was Wilkerson and his Kentucky geldings that did it, after John Jay and Congress had failed.



A New Industry in the South—Tea Raising in Texas.



Shall I complain because on me is laid
The common burden of this world of pain?
No more my heart shall throb to joy’s sweet strain;
The path leads on through sorrow’s darkest shade.
Yet midst the gloom I venture, unafraid;
The power that gave me love will still sustain.
That which is mine forever shall remain,
Whatever powers against me are arrayed.
My shining ones! The glory round you cast
Fails to illumine all the desert space
And every wayward path my feet may choose.
No ruthless fate can rob me of my past.
Beyond death’s gloom I see each radiant face.
God help those women who have naught to lose!


The Economic Value of Birds

By John H. Wallace, Jr., of Huntsville, Ala.

The time has come when the people must call a halt on the reckless and wanton slaughter of the small remnant of the game birds and game mammals, or in a few years not a vestige will remain.

This can be done only by the enactment and enforcement of a law that will in reality protect the game.

We have game laws, but there is no popular demand, or public sentiment, that calls for their enforcement. All readily agree that infractors of the existing statutes should be prosecuted, yet no one seems to be called upon to instigate prosecutions.

The game law is violated, in most instances, because the offenders know that they will not be indicted.

We need a uniform law, a game warden who has the authority to appoint deputies in each county and precinct in the State, whose duty it is to enforce the game law and bring the breakers thereof to justice.

Let every sportsman and lover of bird life in the country take up the fight for such a law, and wage a vigorous and determined campaign for its speedy enactment.

Game birds, to some extent, by virtue of their already deplorable scarcity, have elicited protective legislation. The mind of man imperatively demands recreation. Unless diversion can be found in a legitimate vein he, in his great unrest, seeks that which is not wholesome.

Hunting has ever been the sport of kings, peasants and savages alike, and the chase will always hold for man an incomparable infatuation.

When America was first discovered, here abounded an idealistic sportsman’s paradise. Buffalo, deer, moose, elk, bear, and panther roamed the forests. Geese, duck, brant, swan and wild pigeons flew overhead in countless millions. Practically all have been slaughtered, and the great sport once enjoyed by primeval Nimrods lingers only in a tradition.

The few remaining species of game birds should be vigilantly protected against annihilation, and so propagated that gentlemen will consider the pursuit of the elusive denizens of the brush infinitely preferable to Bacchanal hilarity and that riotous revelry that emasculates all that is noble, pure and godlike in man’s architecture.

The great question of the cause of the prevalence of plant maladies and the problem of the weed control each year grows more harassing to the farmers. The reason for this is simple. Our most beneficial birds, among them doves, robins, field larks and bullbats, have been so ruthlessly destroyed that in less than a generation their numbers have decreased 80 per cent.

When the fact is recalled that the crop of one dove, recently killed in Tennessee, contained over 7,000 weed seeds, and when it is understood that a healthy dove will destroy each feeding day at least 5,000 prospective weeds, more than two negroes, working at $1.50 per day each, could uproot in double the time, it is easy to see, from the tons upon tons of weed seed (besides insects) that this bird would destroy each year, that our cheapest, most efficient hoe hand proves in the end to be the Alabama dove.

As an insect devourer, the bullbat is equally serviceable. Its stomach is elastic and will hold more than that of a pigeon, and its voracity is simply phenomenal, yet its diminutive frame is smaller than that of a “killdee.” The part borne by the bullbat in mosquito destruction, especially in the extermination of the “anopheles,” or malaria-spreading species, transcends the combined work of a case of quinine and a tank of kerosene oil. As a fever germ[382] abater in a malarial district, a flock of bullbats would be worth a grove of quinine trees.

Besides the robin and field lark, already mentioned, both being insect and weed destroyers, there are many other birds that do invaluable work for the farmer without. The ravages made by the dreaded Mexican boll weevil, that devastates cotton fields like a withering simoon, cannot be checked in a surer way than by being obliterated by our insectivorous birds.

If our people could fully appreciate the value of preserving the existing remnant of our birds, without considering its future increase, the halls of our State capitol would resound with an emphatic and peremptory demand for adequate legislation, for the preservation of our birds means little less than the preservation of our agriculture itself. Their extinction would amount practically to wiping out the entire farming interests of our splendid commonwealth.

Statistics incontestably demonstrate the fact that rainfall not only regulates the yield of our plantation, but that it directs and controls the fate of our national politics. When rainfall is light, the people raise poor crops, and are therefore unhappy and discontented. It is then they desire to make a change in the administration of the governmental affairs, and therefore the party in power is deposed. When there is an excess of rainfall abundant crops result and the party in power is retained. Thus it is that, unless speedy legislation is had in order that the insectivorous birds remaining may be retained to do valiant service for their farmer friends, discord will perennially blight the heart of the happy husbandman, and political chaos and turbulence will reign throughout the nation, and the anthems of contentment and cadences of prosperity will not longer pervade the hearts of the honest sons of toil, but will be hushed and swallowed up by the sighs and groans of the imp of insatiate despair.

Song birds, aside from their brilliant plumage, so pleasing to the observer, and their sweet music, redolent with liquid melody, have a civic value of inestimable intrinsic worth that, if truly known and practically comprehended, would win millions of friends for the thrilling choristers of the fields and forests, who would indignantly halt the crusade of relentless extermination strenuously waged that gives excellent promise of ultimately depopulating all creation of man’s valiant army of feathered coadjutors.

Did you ever hear an inspiring strain of music that failed to thrill the soul with lofty ideals and more exalted aspirations?

All those who dwell in an atmosphere of intellectual refinement yearn for brilliant things in flowers, birds, sunsets, and in their fellow mortals. A heartless boy who recklessly slaughters birds will inevitably develop into a relentless man. If taught to hold the law in high esteem when young in years, he becomes a patriotic man, with a profound reverence for the statutes of his State. The most courageous men, bravest warriors, and the most aggressive leaders are those of gentle natures and of tender hearts. Instill these precepts into the souls of boys, and, existing in such noble environment, it will mold characters that will ornament society and serve to lift mankind from the miasmic swamps of degeneracy to the mountain tops where radiates the splendor of moral grandeur.

To help prevent the spread of the boll weevil, pass stringent laws for the protection of birds! Then let the planters insist that the bird laws be strictly enforced.

Note the following stupendous agricultural interests which are at stake:

Acres in
Value of farms
North Carolina 22,749,356 $141,955,840
South Carolina 13,985,014 99,805,860
Georgia 26,392,057 138,616,430
Florida 4,363,891 31,823,016
Alabama 20,685,427 100,165,571
Mississippi 18,240,736 114,956,660
Louisiana 11,059,127 107,730,210
Total 117,475,608 $733,852,587

Protect the birds—the farmers’ best helpers!


Digging Sweet Potatoes in Texas—a Plenteous Yield.


Luther Burbank

(After reading the poem by John Trotwood Moore, October Trotwood’s Monthly.)

They say you touched the desert
And turned its thorns to fruit;
That you nodded to the Daisy,
And raised the Lily mute;
That flowers ran to meet you,
The kind whose souls had died;
That they begged to touch your garment,
And they all stood glorified.
You’re a Poet, Preacher, Painter,
And a Master, all in one,
And I do congratulate you
On the good that you have done.
For your weddings have been “Fruitful,”
As the nuptial knot you tied
(With a Cabbage for a bridegroom
And an Onion for a bride).
And while you hang sweet pictures
On the boughs in gold and red,
There is one thing that you can’t do—


Lady Cornelia’s Spinet

By Mary Polk Wynn.

(A true story, and beautifully told, of an early pioneer incident.—Ed.)

Long stretches of white turnpike, with fields of ripening grain on either side, and in the distance hills that fade into the blue horizon.

This is Middle Tennessee at the present time. Even so far back as 1790 there were a few good roads and houses built by workmen from the “Mother State,” built in Colonial style, with white Corinthian pillars and polished oaken floors.

Before the door of one of these houses, built of stone in the year 1793, a carriage stopped. This carriage, lately built in a Boston workshop, was the first seen in Tennessee, and had been followed, on the latter part of its journey, by a large and motley company, constantly reinforced by recruits, all anxious to see this wonderful structure on wheels, with postillions, and drawn by four horses, reach its destination.

When the carriage stopped there was a general halt. A black footman, descending from a seat on the box, solemnly opened the door, and Sir Peyton Skipwith, the owner of the “Rock House,” and the thousand acres surrounding it, descended from the carriage and assisted a young and elegant woman to alight. This was unexpected, and a slight cheer went up from the curious onlookers. To this the new land proprietor and his fair companion gravely responded with a bow, and with a lingering glance at the setting sun and the broad acres of their new domain, they entered the house, and the happiness of Sir Peyton Skipwith and his bride was only to be surmised by the outside world.

This outside world, a new settlement with the newspaper from the “Mother State” a month old, and languishing to hear the latest fashion in kerchief and stomacher, and the news of Mr. Washington’s re-election, naturally took an absorbing interest in the latest acquisition to their society; but with the exception of an occasional courteous word from Sir Peyton, and a smile and bow from Lady Cornelia’s carriage, their curiosity concerning the newcomers received no encouragement. The young couple were probably too much absorbed in each other to be properly benevolent, and public interest was beginning to wane when a rumor was circulated that excited a thrill in all.

Built on Sir Peyton’s ground was a small church where the early settlers met to unite in divine worship. As they passed to and fro on these pious pilgrimages—the rumors were conflicting, but one fact was unanimously declared—each evening, when the darkness came on, wonderful and mysterious sounds were heard to issue from the brilliantly illumined windows of the “Rock House.” The music (for such it seemed to be) was said to have a most disquieting effect upon those who heard it; even the reverend pastor, Dr. McGinty himself, was seen to stop on his way and take most unseemly steps for one of his age and godly calling.

Such a state of affairs would never do! All concurred in one opinion, that the matter should be investigated, and a committee of church members appointed to make known to the public the nature of these profane sounds that were so disquieting to the God-fearing flock of Zion Church. It seemed most proper that an explanation should be demanded of “Mr. Peyton Skipwith and Mistress Cornelia, his wife (titles were abolished as savoring of earthly pride and not consistent with republican teaching).” This course having been adopted and not found satisfactory, it was agreed that on a certain evening the secret committee, composed of grave and reverend Presbyters, should conceal themselves beneath Sir Peyton Skipwith’s open windows, and I will try and describe what they saw.


Seated at an instrument somewhat like our modern piano, with small spindle legs and white, shining ivory keys, sat Sir Peyton’s bride. The light from innumerable silver candelabra fell upon the coils of her fair hair and the silk of her gown and delicate laces, while Sir Peyton, his tall form attired in full evening costume, with silk hose, knee buckles of brilliants and low dancing shoes, turned pages from which she seemed to play. Her white, jeweled fingers ran over the keys of the instrument, and brought forth sounds so delicious, so entrancing that the world seemed to be floating off in melody, and the church committee, secreted beneath the open window, held their breath in rapt wonder, but this was not all; for next, looking up into Sir Peyton’s eyes, she sang in a voice like a flute:

“My ain laddie is a sodger boy;
Oh, I will cast off my gay, costly gown,
And follow him on from town to town,
And I will sell the kaims from my hair,
And follow my true love for e’er mair.”

As her voice died away a lady seated in the shadow, whom those watching had not before noticed, dressed in a pale silk gown and lace cap and kerchief, took her seat at the instrument, and Lady Cornelia, standing up, gaily threw her silk petticoat over her arm and made a deep courtesy to Sir Peyton, who stood opposite, bowing to the ground. Then they began to dance. The music had changed now, and the church delegation began to shuffle their feet uneasily, and take quick uncertain steps until—“Tell it not in Gath,” for the oak that over-shadowed Sir Peyton’s doorway alone was the witness—these staid, silent church members began to bow and curtsy and pirouette in the moonlight beneath Sir Peyton’s window, while inside the house, with the light from the candelabra falling on their silk and jewels, Sir Peyton and his lady swept up and down the polished floor in the stately figures of the minuet. As the music continued, the dancers seemed to gain fresh inspiration, but at last, like a knight of old, Sir Peyton kissed his lady’s hand, the lights went out in the “Rock House,” and the church delegation, with exhilarated but somewhat sheepish countenances, parted company and wended their ways to their respective homes.

Not many days after this occurrence the following report was submitted with much solemnity to the pastor and presiding elders of Zion Church:

“Dr. McGinty and Reverend Sirs: Being appointed by ye reverend gentlemen to investigate certain musick not consistent with ye pious teachings of ye church, said committee will state that they found this music in their own minds most conducive to deep religious meditations, and much sobriety of thought and action.

“Howsoever, said committee advises ye congregation not to linger in ye pathway near ye seats of ye mighty in high places, for ye machinations of ye evil one are past ye understanding of man.

“Respectfully submitted.


Notwithstanding this caution to Dr. McGinty’s flock, they were still wont to linger near the “Rock House” and listen, until one night there was no light to be seen, nor sound issued from the darkened windows. Lord Peyton’s horse had returned riderless, and his lifeless body was found near a trysting place where he and Lady Cornelia were wont to meet.

The “Rock House” was closed now, and Lady Cornelia traveled in foreign lands. Years passed, and once more sounds of music, plaintive now, were heard—but these also ceased in time, and the house passed into other hands.

And now, nearly a hundred years after, with the generations that it has sheltered sleeping a dreamless sleep near by, this old house alone seems to preserve its pristine youth.

Once again it is occupied by a young couple, and the music that now floats from the open windows is that of childish laughter. But on one occasion the children grow serious, when they are trying to spell the name cut in the rock on which the house is built, and as with chubby fingers they point out and spell L-a-d-y C-o-r-n-e-l-i-a S-k-i-p-w-i-t-h, one older than the rest, holding up a[387] warning finger, tells them to “Listen!” Do you not hear Lady Cornelia’s spinet? She is singing:

“My ain laddie was a sodger boy;
And I will sell the kaims from my hair.
And follow my true love for e’er mair.”

And then they all listened, and—who can tell? We all know that the refrain in Lady Cornelia’s song will never pass away—that love is the secret spring of perennial youth, and will be with us until time is no more.

With Our Writers

John Trotwood Moore, Esq.

Wilmar, Minn., Feb. 17, 1906.

Sir: Two copies of Trotwood’s Monthly have been sent me, and I greatly enjoyed the well-chosen, readable articles, and think there must surely be a field for such a magazine.

In “Educating the Horse,” you give a much-needed warning against the abuse of the checkrein, and the following is written in the hope that so great a lover of horses as your article shows you to be may pick up a real sharp-pointed pen and with black ink give somebody a well-meant, gentlemanly roasting. Like your monthly, it is dedicated to the horse.

The name of Jackson is greatly revered by the American people, and deservedly so; for there have been distinguished soldiers, statesmen, horsemen and whole-souled Southern gentlemen among the Jacksons, but there was one of that name who, I think, ought to have his effigy placed in front of every judge’s stand at every racecourse of the nation. This particular one is the Mr. Jackson who invented that rotten abomination called the Jackson, but now called the overdraw checkrein.

I think not one sound reason can be given for its use, not even on the score of ornament, and twenty could be given against it. It is as cruel as the “scavenger’s daughter,” which the guides will show you in the torture chamber in the Tower of London, and works on the same principle, and is kin to the diabolical contrivance so graphically described by Charles Reade in his inimitable novel, “It Is Never Too Late to Mend,” and again works on the same principle.

Some of the best horsemen, the most carelessly careful drivers, and the best horses are to be found in the coaching clubs in large cities, particularly in New York.

Do you suppose there is money enough in all New York City to induce one of those men to use that check to drive a coach load of people down Broadway at a busy time, or up and down the Adirondacks or Catskills, where close driving and short, quick turning are wanted? Not much, and he does not like spoiling his horses’ necks and legs; besides he wants them to plunge into their collars at a word.

The only two lines that can be effectively used against it, I think, are fashion and ridicule. Make its use “bad form,” and guy it into the ground.

Every user of that check rein ought to memorize some of the sublime lines of Shakespeare. Anyhow, every time he checks a horse up he ought to repeat that immortal speech of Dogberry.


[We thank Mr. Maddison and heartily agree with him.—Ed.]

Editor Trotwood’s:

In your March issue, reprinting the familiar poem, “The Old Canoe,” which the anthology-makers so persistently ascribe to the late Gen. Albert Pike, you say: “Like many other good poems, it was, perhaps, the only one some poet wrote, and, never thinking it would be immortal, or that it had any special merit, failed to sign his name to it.... Its authorship has never before, perhaps, been publicly corrected.”

Both these statements are erroneous.

Nine years ago, when Miss Jennie[388] Thornley Clarke’s “Songs of the South” was published, it contained this poem, marked “anonymous.” As I chanced to know its real authorship, and hence knew that it lacked several hundreds of miles, geographically speaking, of being a “song of the South,” I sent a communication to the New York Critic, which was printed in its issue of March 13, 1897, giving the facts. I have several times since publicly corrected the statement that General Pike was the author of the poem. The actual author was Miss Emily Rebecca Page, who was born in Bradford, Vt., in 1834, and died in Chelsea, Mass., in 1862. “The Old Canoe” was written in 1849, and appeared in the Portland Transcript in that year. It was not by any means “the only one the poet wrote.” Miss Page was a voluminous writer of both verse and prose, having been a constant contributor to many New England periodicals. She was later assistant editor of “Gleason’s Pictorial” and “The Flag of Our Union,” two Boston literary publications which were very popular forty or fifty years ago. She also published several volumes of poetry.


Nashville, February 26, 1906.

[We knew there must be a history for this poem, and we thank Dr. White for his letter.—Ed.]

Editor Trotwood:

Old Tom’s body lies mouldering in the grave, but his spirit goes pacing on. The gifted pen of the good man, Col. Frank Buford, calls attention to the fact that the sacred dust of the grandest and noblest old Roman is being disturbed. The evergreen of the old tree which marked the revered spot has withered and gone. The Colonel’s item in Trotwood’s jewel case carries us back to a great day in the history of the horse. That the passing of old Tom Hal No. 1 marked a distinct epoch in the equine history of the world may seem a far-fetched statement, but where on the face of the earth is there record, in horse lore, of a greater achievement? Bought by the gallant Capt. Thos. Gibson as a stable companion to the great John Dillard, Jr. (Gibson’s), for the sole purpose of production and betterment of the army of fine saddle horses of the “middle basin,” in good old Tennessee, he grandly served the purpose, for who that has had a “Hal” mount, on a typical Tennessee spring morning, for a ten-mile spin on its fine roadways, over hill and down valley, by babbling brook, has failed to thank God for life, liberty and the capture of happiness on that particular horse. He had populated the fields with a family of superb saddlers, and made greatest achievement of the day as a sire of speed, for “Little Brown Jug,” as the fore pacer of old Tom’s coming family and fame as a sire of the greatest race horses, set the stride, to be bettered by the immortal Hal Pointer 2:04½, who hauled the grim-visaged, silent old warrior to victory in hundreds of hard-fought battles, and the other “Pointer,” blazoned on the course “1:59¼,” a race record not to be rivaled by any other blood. And so, when as a progenitor of size, and beauty, and intelligence, and speed, and stamina, and saddle, and all purpose qualities old Tom had distanced the best hopes of his early admirers, and was gathered to his fathers, his hoofs beat a tattoo down the gold-paved streets leading to St. Peter’s beautiful stables. And the sir knight who drew his rein at the door announced to St. Peter, “Old Tom Hal, Jr., No. 16934, from Tennessee!” and St. Peter looked sad as he said: “I know him not by that cognomen. Take him away. He bears the dub title given by the arch foe of his race of pacers. Clean him of his saddle and cloth, bridle and dub; groom him and clothe him in new purple and gold, and place on his saddle skirt his proper title, viz., ‘Old Tom Hal No. 1,’ and return and ask Ed Geers to ask ‘Old Wash’ to give him the first box stall to the right, and care well for him. The bin of clipped golden oaks is for him, and you, for having the temerity to bring this King here with such a dub title, will go to outer darkness for sixty days.” And it was done.

The funeral of old Tom Hal No. 1 was celebrated at the beautiful mansion place of the famed Bufords, near Buford’s Station, Giles County, Tenn., and[389] when the thousands from forty miles around, and mourners from Ohio who came to do honor had tethered their saddle steeds in the great open timber, one could well imagine that the brilliant legion of the immortal “Wheeler” had camped close on our trail. There were hundreds of sons, daughters, grandsons and daughters and nephews and close kin to old Tom Hal there, with moistened eyes and somber mien, as the band played the dirge. The “silent Wheeler” of the harness brigade was there, with the incomparable “Pointer,” 2:04½ as chief mourners, came in a special coach, but there was not time for Pointer’s mourning compatriot to deliver a eulogy. His was the still grief of one who mourns, but cannot weep. All the good people of Maury, Giles, Williamson and adjoining counties were there. The woods seemed full of the cavalry of peace. Cannons of war had been molded into ploughshares, and swords had been fashioned into blacksmith’s pruning knives, and after the time for music and oration, there was a time for feasting, and then the assembled multitude witnessed, not a miracle as to loaves and fishes, but a master demonstration of the measureless, distinctive Southern hospitality (which has to be born Southern to be operative, and seen and realized to be appreciated) of Colonel Buford, on whose estate the funeral was held. People had heard of barbecues, but some of us had never before sniffed the enticing odors of meats thus baked, while our stomachs were collapsed. Trenches some hundreds of feet long, and three feet wide, were filled with live coals, embers of burning firewood, and across these trenches, on green poles, lay wired the fresh sacrifices of lamb and shoat, burnt offerings to the god of the race course, cut in half lengthwise, and these poles (in the brawny hands of the dark-skinned, faithful tillers, the salvation of the people in past time of peril, and the necessity of the future for the development of the wonderful Southland’s broad acres), so frequently turned as to insure a beautiful bake. Suffice it to say the meat and bread and coffee went the whole rounds with the great multitude, and there were many more than the “twelve baskets” after all the people were fed. And while old Tom’s spirit will go pacing on, his name, and his fame briefly, should be carved on a native granite boulder of as many tons weight as can be moved to a conspicuous place in the public square at Columbia, or some other public center, where time or change of ownership would not interfere, as the generations pass. I will be glad to aid such movement.


Cleveland, O., March 1, 1906.


The Old Cotton Gin

[There have been so many requests for copies of this poem that it is reproduced. It has been adopted in all the public schools of Alabama and recited on Alabama Day, December 14, each year.—E. E. Sweetland.]

It lies alone in the rank June corn,
A relic of days that are numbered and gone;
The June wind sings a song in its throat,
The June clouds lovingly over it float,
And through its skeleton ribs of steel
The moth-flies dance in a drowsy reel.
For its saws are rust
With canker and crust,
They hum no more from dawn to dusk—
And the lizard is ginner,
And out and in,
The spider is spinner
At the Old Cotton Gin.
Ay, many a day for the old, old South,
He spun his fleece from a fiery mouth,
And wove his woof in a fabric of gold—
As a picture is painted, a tale that is told.
And he sat in his might, this fallen thing,
A hoary monarch, an uncrowned king,
And over the land
With an iron hand,
He flung his wealth with a gesture grand,
And Might was the ginner—
Of barn and of bin
There was never a winner
Like the Old Cotton Gin.
Broad was the kingdom he ruled in his might,
Brave were the armies he rallied for fight,
Bright were the wings of his ships on the seas,
Bold were his merchantmen—kingly his ease.
True were his women in hut or in hall,
Sweet the soft sunshine that fell over all.
From banjo and bow
And the cotton’s long row,
Free-song and slave-song would mingle and flow.
And Pride was the ginner—
(Unpardonable sin!)
Was there ever a sinner
Like the Old Cotton Gin?
Alas, for his weavings—ay, tears for the day
When out from his loom came the jackets of gray,
And the locks that were plucked in despair from his head
Were woven to crimson in shrouds for his dead.
They died for the Sin the centuries had given,
And their blood is the pledge on the lintels of heaven.
By river and plain
They march not again,
And wet was his fleece with the blood of his slain—
For Death was the ginner—
And Riot and Din—
And Sorrow the spinner,
At the Old Cotton Gin.
He buried his dead, and a tenderer tone
Crept into his song, for he sang it alone;
But he wove as he sang and the pattern was bright—
The tapestry of stars that come with the night—
And he built his waste places and conquered by toil
And garnered in peace what was gathered in spoil,
And all the day long
He wove in his song
The patience of right in the pillage of wrong—
And Faith was the ginner,
The fabric to spin,
And Hope was the spinner
At the Old Cotton Gin.
With his Hope in the future, his Heart in the past,
He worked for his people and wove to the last;
And, tottering, he stood through the rift and the reel
And he died as he lived—with his hand on the wheel,
And sighing, his soul passed peacefully through,
As pure as the last lock of lint in the flue.
The Heart, whose beat
Was the Century’s feet,
Was willing to cease, but not to retreat.
And the New South was ginner,
The New Age was in,
The New Century spinner—
A New Cotton Gin.
Rear him—O sons of a generous sire—
Aloft on a monument, not on a pyre;
Base-stone of valor, column of youth,
Shaft-stone of chivalry, cap-stone of truth—
Honor him, sons of a land that is fair,
Let him not lie in the rank weeds there,
For see! from his night
He rises all bright,
He wakens! He wakens—a loom of new light—
With Fame for his ginner,
His kith and his kin,
And the world is the winner
In the Old Cotton Gin.


TROTWOOD’S MONTHLY Devoted to Farm, Horse and Home.

TROTWOOD PUBLISHING CO., Nashville, Tenn. Office 150 Fourth Ave., North.


E. E. SWEETLAND Business Manager.
GEO. E. McKENNON President.
JOHN W. FRY Vice-President.

TERMS OF SUBSCRIPTION: One Year, $1.00; Single Copy, 10 cents.
Advertising Rates on application.

NASHVILLE, TENN., April, 1906.

With Trotwood


Lo, a faint blush runs trembling along
Through the air,
And the soul of the thrush bursts full into song
There’s a throbbing and pulsing—the birth of a bloom—
Uplifting of purpose—out-shutting of gloom—
A radiancy rising of song and perfume—
And of prayer.
O listlessness sweet—O yearnings that spread
All about—
(As memories that meet in the eyes of the dead
Long shut out—)
There’s an infinite longing, a gleam and a glow
Of sapphire above and emerald below,
A bursting of buds, a melting of snow—
And of doubt.
—John Trotwood Moore.

Trotwood’s Department this month will discuss the old-time negro, chiefly, all brought about by a correspondent who writes asking that he discuss it.

The old-time darky is sui generis, and I sometimes fear his race is almost extinct. The modern darky is no more like his ancestors, so far as individuality is concerned, than the Greek of to-day resembles those who fought around the walls of Troy. In other words, the modern Negro has “caught on,” and there is now little difference between him, save in the eternal negro that is in him, and any other class that he happens to run with. The Negro of to-day may be divided into two great classes; he is either a “nigger” or a “coon,” a vagabond, a shiftless, worthless fellow, who lives to-day and lets to-morrow take care of itself; or else he is a school teacher, a preacher, a fairly good mechanic, a good farm hand and a peaceable, inoffensive citizen who will bear uncomplainingly injustices under which a white race would rush to arms. These two classes make up the Negro race, and between them they have managed to eliminate the old-time darky we used to know and love. Out of a thousand darkies of the present day, perhaps one old-time darky may be found; but even he may not be found fit for character study. My observation is that it is extremely rare to find one who gives us any idea upon which to build a story or a poem.

The fact is, darky stories are always nine-tenths white and one-tenth Negro. They are nine-tenths art, as most good stories are, and one-tenth nature; but all so nicely blended that the art—as all real art is—is concealed in the colors of the natural. And yet these stories are true to nature—in fact so natural that we fail to see where the natural ceases and the art begins. The darky who told about “Marse Chan” was the same who told of “Unk Eden’ro and Meh Lady.” They are all a clever white man who knows the darky as a mariner knows the sea, imitating the darky and making for him a story. Joel Chandler Harris was wiser in making one darky—Uncle Remus—tell all of his, and they therefore sound more natural. He was also wise in selecting the nursery yarns of “Brer Rabbit” and “Brer Fox,” for in telling them the darky is at his best. On the whole, I expect that Harris is the greater interpreter of the two, but this need not necessarily follow, because the Virginia and the Georgia darky[392] differ very much in dialect just as the Tennessee darky differs from either of the others. Especially is this true of the Middle Tennessee darky who happened to belong to the wealthier class of white people. For every Negro is a born imitator.

In writing Negro dialect, then, these facts must be borne in mind, for, as I said, there are provincialisms in the Negro language, as in the white. The cracker dialect of Georgia differs from the mountain dialect of Tennessee, and so the darky language in Georgia differs much from that in Tennessee.

But at last Negro dialect devolves itself not so much in spelling—in dialect—as in mannerism. This is the fatal mistake which many writers make who have not been raised among Negroes and who seem to think that bad spelling and certain other forms of spelling make Negro dialect. No one should attempt a Negro story who is not thoroughly familiar with his ground, and then not unless he can tell a good story anyway. In other words, he must be an artist in that line, he must have a calling for story-telling, he must be able to create a great deal out of very little. For in Negro stories, as in all others, one fact, one glimpse is often sufficient for a whole story, as often one remark, aye, one word, shows us more plainly a person’s character than if we had spent years in studying him.

In Negro dialect, then, it is mannerism and not spelling that counts, for the fraud is quickly detected if the article be not genuine. The present darkies of Puck, Judge and other comic papers, and often even the stories in magazines, bear no more resemblance to the real article than dried apples do to the real fruit.

I know of nothing that misses the mark further, unless it be these same comic papers’ drawings of the Negro. These really represent nothing, and the “Mister Johnsings” darky and the darky that ends everything in a broad “ah” may be the product of Northern tenement houses, but his kinfolks down here would not know him if they met him in the road.

But as far as bad spelling is concerned, all dialect writers use more of it than is necessary. As a matter of fact, the Middle Tennessee darky, or he of the Black Belt of Alabama, who has been raised by educated white people, or been thrown much in their society, speaks much more correctly than the uneducated whites. For the Negro is nothing, as I said, if not an imitator; and of all people he loves to imitate the better class of whites. He has, therefore, caught fairly well their pronunciation of all common words, their tone and inflection. The real fun occurs in the use of his words and the incongruous relations he places them in. But the poor white—the ignorant, uneducated white—is not an imitator, but a creator, and some of the creations are enough to make us want to call out the National Guard to save the king’s English. For instance: “I taken a walk,” “I taken a drink,” “I taken my corn to mill.” This invariable use of the past participle for the past tense by the unlettered white is never used by the darky. He will say: “I tuck a drink,” “I tuck a walk,” which is much nearer right than the first named. “No, thank you, I wouldn’t choose any,” is the ignorant white’s way of declining a dish at a meal. He loves the subjunctive mood better than the indicative, as his invariable “Might you pass me them molasses?” shows. The darky will never make such mistakes as these. He is an imitator, pure and simple, and he never imitates that kind of a white man.

The truth is, there is and always has been, a strong antipathy—nay, positive aversion—between the poor white and the darky. Any trouble between the two races in the South is always between these two classes. The old-time Southerners of the better class, who owned the darky, or whose fathers owned him, are his best friends and staunchest supporters. But for them I sometimes think the poor white, with his ignorant, prejudiced ways and his natural hatred of the Negro would drive the darky out of the country. As it is, the better classes are for him, because they know him and have been raised with him and know him to be faithful and true and admirably adapted as a laborer to the country. The so-called[393] Negro problem in the South exists more in the minds of writers of the Thomas Dixon order and in newspapers than in the land itself. And what there is of it will be solved forever and effectually the day the great tide of immigration is turned southward.

And not any good can come to the South in the yellow novels which Thomas Dixon is writing. That they are not literature goes without argument; but a novel may not be literature and yet may sell, just as oleomargarine may be colored deep saffron and passed for butter. As literature, then, they will deceive no one except, perhaps, the young who read them and know no better. And this is to be regretted, because there is danger always of the young growing up with false ideas of literature as well as of life, and they may imitate him. There are Dixons in every age of literature. They run from Smollett to the House of Mirth. They take advantage of the sores under the collar of the Galled Jade of Things to put money in their purse. They die and their stuff dies with them. They live as long as they do because the world has many people who would rather look at a sore than a star.

To the older people of the South, who really knew what the Ku Klux was before he fell under the magnifying glass of national politics and became the distorted Behemoth upon which to make political capital, the lime-lighted melodramas of Mr. Dixon bring only smiles. The thing originated in the fun-loving plethora of the surcharged idleness of a summer afternoon among a healthy lot of grown-up boys out for a lark and to frighten newly-freed Negroes. Silence and a mystery appals any Negro. It was a mystery and it rode in sheeted silence. It proved more effective than a shotgun to send prowling Negroes to bed. It meant “ghostes” and if a Negro has any religion in his bones it is the religion of ghostes. It was so effective that it grew and was used as an admirable and effective means of a superior race under the bayonet of their conquerors, to maintain the racial integrity against the flood of freed and elevated slaves. It owes its magnified proportions entirely to the red paint of politics. Then, as with lynchings now, the busy and better people of the South gave it neither their salvos nor their sanction. They were too intent upon planting cotton, developing their great mines and rebuilding their country. It was a half-mystic, half-lawless, much-talked-of lodge of half-necessary lawlessness, whose stock in trade was blood-and-thunder mystery and whose purchaser was ignorant, black Superstition.

It was one of the thousand and one means a superior intelligence will always find to control inferior ignorance without butchering him in blocks or pens.

But in its rollicking and rankest days it was never as bad nor had it ever as strong a hold as lynching and homicide have to-day in all sections of the Republic. And it never saw the day when it was half as cruel or killed and flogged together in a month as many black Negroes as Southern cotton mills kill of the white poor children of the South in a day. Compared to the voiceless, swift-moving Juggernaut of the child-killing cotton mill, Ku Klux was the painted, grinning clown of a country show throwing rotten apples at a coon’s head stuck through a sheet!

And as to child-labor—hear this metaphor:

Deep in the hills lies the little stream which is the beginning of the river.

It is concealed in the ground that it may be protected, for so small is its beginning that a too-rough footstep might destroy it, a ruthless track might change it from the destiny of its way to the sea.

Growing, it creeps forth, but under leaf and mold, under the hanging vines and protecting shrubs and only when it is strong enough to resist all efforts to change its course does it flow out into the open and run the race of its life.

How careful is nature to protect all things which are young.

“Youth is not for work,” she says, and she writes it from the stars of the daisy field to the stars of heaven.

There is no flower which does not shelter[394] its unblossomed buds, if necessary, even with thorns. The wild doe hides her fawn in the bush; the king of beasts hides his in the desert caverns.

Only man has decreed in his selfishness that his children must lose their childhood to the greed of gold.

As for the negro himself, here are some plain, never-lying, physiological, bred-in-the-bone truths about him which the sooner the world recognizes, the easier will the problem of his being be. The Negro is first and always an imitator. He cannot originate. He cannot go upward, save as he copies from the whites, and if that prop be removed, he will quickly go back into barbarism. There is something wanting in the Negro character—in the very fibre of his being—that says as plainly as God can say it of a race: “Thus far shalt thou go and no further.” And left to himself for centuries on the most fertile continent of the globe, he has remained to-day where he was at creation’s dawn. Egypt, Assyria, Greece, Rome, the Saxon—all these civilizations have been added to the world, and still the Negro remains as God made him.

There are some people who think they can improve on the Almighty’s plan. The Maker of All did not intend that the Negro should be a white man in a black skin, as some who are solving the Negro problem would think. If He had, He would have made him like the white man and given him that indefinable, inexplicable quality that makes the white man a doer of deeds, a fighter, an advancer, a dreamer, a conqueror. The Negro is none of these. He is merely a good natured, inferior man, a non-combative race, made for some purpose of labor, to be directed always by a superior mind, and in his highest development an imitator.

There has been so much said on the Negro problem lately that I have inadvertently, as it were, thrown out this. It is good for one to be set straight now and then, on first principles. It is easy for man to get all wrong if he starts out on a wrong hypothesis.

In a letter from a correspondent in Medicine Lodge, Kans., the other day, appears a sentence we have been looking for all our lives. “Facts, ideals and a thrill,” he says, “is a terse definition of every great story,” and he is kind enough to say that Trotwood’s fills the definition. “Facts, ideals and a thrill”—I should love to know just who originated that boiled-down recipe for real literature. If I might advise all of my writers (and I am called on daily by letters to help advise many of them), I would say adopt that motto and go write your story. As for us hereafter, we will nail it to our masthead and try to build up to it.

Another well-wisher suggests that we change the words on the title page from Farm, Horse and Home to The Southland—her land and her life. That is not bad, either. We publish this to let you know that we appreciate all such suggestions. We feel that you would not do it if you did not like us. And that is what we are here for—to get you to like us.

And here let us say that the next issue of Trotwood’s will inaugurate a long-cherished idea of its editor. Under the heading of “Trotwood’s Travels through the South,” in a special advertising departure we will visit various sections of our great Southland and tell what we saw. We wish to show to the world just what we have here in the newly awakened South, with all its natural wealth and its old ideals. Nor will we take this space from the body of Trotwood’s—it will be additional. Our first visit will be to the beautiful valley of the Tennessee, at the growing little city of Florence, Ala., the head of the Mussel Shoals. Last week the President signed a bill permitting a five million dollar company to harness the waste waters of the great shoals, giving power to the towns and cities within a radius of two hundred miles of it. We will show what that means and what chances there are in Florence, with all her resources. For the June number the cantaloupe-raising industry of Lawrenceburg, in Lawrence County, Tenn., has been selected—Lawrence County, where one hundred dollars and more per acre were cleared last year in her newly discovered improvement[395] in the Rocky Ford cantaloupe, and lands are trebling in value. From issue to issue we will take different sections of the South, from Georgia to Texas. And as we go we propose to tell the history and the romance of it too. For what is a land without its romance? A woman without a love affair is more interesting.

Business Department

There is hardly a day but we receive from one to half a dozen letters from our subscribers telling us how they appreciate Trotwood’s Monthly and Trotwood. His stories seem to please the people, and they are all loud in their praise, but we do not recall having received anything of a complimentary nature regarding his writing—with a pen. We often have to translate some of his letters for people who fall down when they try to read them, but the following letter written to Mr. Sterling C. Brewer, principal of the Link School, Thomasville, Tenn., seems to hold the record:

The above is a facsimile of the letter written by Trotwood.

Mr. Brewer writes as follows.

“When I received Trotwood’s letter I saw at once that it was a rather a tough proposition, and I turned it over to one of my pupils for translation. She called her chum and they studied it very diligently for awhile, and to make sure that none of it escaped, wrote it down, and it came to me in a small vertical hand as plain as print:

“‘Dr. M. Braver:

“‘I struck pie 10 inches. Pretty if clean and well done of a jay man. I’d like to charge it some after meat. It would make a snake sweat trying to propel hayseed. I shall snatch and extract a pin from prim hind legs (calling no man). Jim Wren is in Grotmood exactly.

“‘Hoplood towhit to whoo



“I then turned it over to another pupil[396] that would eagerly chase an obscure fact through a whole set of the Encyclopedia Britannica, and here is her translation:

“‘Dr. Bu Brur:

“‘I drank the 10 March. Poetry is clean swell done for a gay man. I take to change it some of the time too. It would make a great old hash story of the Prophet Daniel. I shall snatch an extra pen point if it aint better (calm no man) Jno Der is Trotword exactly. Hoeneald to meet you by and by

“‘Fretfully yours,

“She fell down on the signature, but said it looked like some kind of a Woodbine, but she wasn’t sure about it.”

We see nothing out of the ordinary about this letter, and can truthfully say that it is a great improvement over some of the “copy” Trotwood sends in. The letter is plain enough, and reads as follows:

“Dear Mr. Brewer:

“I thank you so much. The story is clean and well done for a young man. I’d like to change it some if I use it. It would make a great Old Wash story if properly handled. I shall quote an extract from your letter (calling no names). Your idea is Trotwood’s exactly. Hoping to meet you some day,

“Faithfully yours


We have a letter from a gentleman living in Montana as follows:

“Gentlemen: I have just learned that your magazine has been started through my niece.”

We are extremely sorry, and hope the young lady will suffer no ill effects, but we do not see that we are to blame, as we did not tell her to do it. We have no clubbing arrangements with other publications, but in this case we would recommend a copy of the Literary Digest.

Brittain Tobacco Works

Smoking and Chewing Tobaccos

Columbia, Tenn., Feb. 24, 1906.

TROTWOOD’S MONTHLY, Nashville, Tenn.

Dear Sirs—Thinking that you may be interested in knowing something of the results obtained from our “ad” in your esteemed magazine we wish to say that we have been highly pleased with same.

When we began running this “ad” we thought it would pay if we kept at it long enough, but we did not hope to reap so great results in so short a time.

We have used other publications as a medium of advertising our products, but yours has brought us more business than any we have ever tried. We are in daily receipt of letters coming from almost every state in the union in reply to the “ad” which you have been running for us. We have received as high as twelve to fifteen orders a day as a result of same.

We will ask that you continue same till we advise you to cut it out and we will not do this so long as results are as satisfactory as they have been.

Wishing you the greatest success possible, we are,

Yours very truly,


By W. R. Hutton, Treas.