Cortland Evening Standard, Saturday, April 15, 1893.
A Speech by Frederick Douglass.
There has always lain latent in the heart of Frederick Douglass one particular ambition of a personal nature. He has had ambition for his race and given his best years to help them. During the war he sent his sons to fight and maintained their families himself while they were in the army. The fame he has won as orator and public official has been quite as much satisfaction to him on account of his race as on his own account. But there remained the one ambition that he cherished on his own account and nobody can blame him who knows what that was. It was that after his life work was well nigh done, he might go back to the county in Maryland in which he was born and reared a slave, buy one of the handsomest old plantation places there and end his days as one of the first citizens.
His wish is to be gratified. He has negotiated for the purchase of one of the finest estates in Talbot county, Md. Recently while on his way to The Villa, which is the name of his new place, he stopped at Easton and made a short speech to the colored school children there. The best part of his remarks was that they are to be commended to white children as well as black. Mr. Douglass said:
I once knew a little colored boy whose mother and father died when he was but 6 years of age. He was a slave and had no one to care for him. He slept on a dirt floor in a hovel and in cold weather would crawl into a meal bag head foremost and leave his feet in the ashes to keep them warm. Often he would toast an ear of corn and eat it to satisfy his hunger, and many times has he crawled under the barn or stable and secured eggs, which he would roast in the fire and eat. That boy did not wear trousers, as you do, but a tow linen shirt. Schools were unknown to him, and he learned to spell from an old Webster spelling book and to read and write from copies on cellar and barn doors, while boys and men would help him. He would then preach and speak and soon became well known. He became presidential elector, United States marshal, United States recorder, United States diplomat and accumulated some wealth. He wore broadcloth and did not have to divide crumbs with the dogs under the table. That boy was Frederick Douglass. What was possible for me is possible for you. Don't think because you are colored you can't accomplish anything. Strive earnestly to add to your knowledge. So long as you remain in ignorance, so long will you fail to command the respect of your fellow man.
When analyzed, much of it will be found to be no slang at all, but good idiomatic English, conveying by metaphor a meaning more vivid than any other set of words could do. We may exclude altogether as real slang and unworthy the words that mean nothing at all, but are a mere gabble of sound. But let us take up some of the expressions that are condemned by self-styled writers of classical English. There, for instance, is the popular phrase, "He is in it," or "not in it," as the case may be. Sometimes it is made emphatic by the variation "in it with both feet." Does not this suggest at once ample measure, as when one is walking through deep snow or sand? It is not only suggestive. but actually imaginative and poetical.
There, too, is the phrase to "get it in the neck" when a misfortune has happened to one. Was not cutting the head off the old way of executing people? The phrase "get it in the neck" is therefore an allusion and even a classic allusion to a custom that is still the vogue in France. Take that saying, "He is out of sight." If you are extremely fortunate and happy, what more natural than that you are so covered with good luck as to be out of sight, or with misfortune by the same way should the contrary be the case?
It is true that one would hardly use any of the above phrases in a funeral sermon or a college commencement oration. But worse phrases than they have become in time good classic English. We would not wish to be understood as recommending for common use, however, the expression, "He is talking through his hat."
Y. M. C. A. ANNIVERSARY.
Special Services in two Churches Sunday Evening.
The fifth anniversary exercises of the Young Men's Christian association of Cortland will occur to-morrow. There will be special services all day. The boys' meeting will be held in the association rooms at 3 o'clock as usual. The men's meeting at 4 o'clock will be addressed by Mr. John F. Moore of Albany, assistant state secretary, and Rev. E. D. Face of Syracuse university. Services will be held in the evening at 7:30 o'clock at the Homer-ave. and Presbyterian churches, the Baptist, Congregational and Episcopal churches uniting. No collection will be taken or subscriptions solicited at either church. The following are the programs in the respective churches:
HOMER AVE. M. E. CHURCH.
Scripture Reading, Rev. Ward Mosher.
Prayer, Rev. W. H. Pound.
Opening Address, F. W. Collins.
Address, Rev. Ward Mosher of Ithaca.
Singing, Male Quartette.
General Secretary's Report.
Address, "Wanted, a Man," Rev. W. H. Pound.
FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH.
Scripture Reading, Rev. W. B. Clarke.
Prayer, H. A. Cordo. D. D.
General Secretary's Report, F. A. Ingraham.
Address, President J. W. Keese.
Address, Reasons for Supporting the Young Men's Christian Association, Rev. E. D. Face of Syracuse University.
Hymn, Choir and Congregation.
Address, The Coming Year, John F. Moore.
Remarks, Rev. J. L. Robertson.
LATEST NEWS BY UNITED PRESS.
Chineeman Attendee Exposition.
SAN FRANCISCO, April 15.—The last congress passed a measure granting the privilege to W. F. White and a Chinese named Chang Pak Quai of bringing 1,000 Chinese to the World's Fair for the purpose of putting up a Chinese village. To-day the steamer China is due here. She has on board nearly five hundred Chinese who are said to be on their way to the World's Fair. The delicate question is presented to the collector of the port of determining who are entitled to go to Chicago and who should remain here. As far as known these Chinese have no papers to show that they are part of the Chinese village. It is expected that every Chinese who arrives during the next five or six months will assert that he or she is en route to the exposition.
The Big Gun in Chicago.
CHICAGO, April 15.—The great Krupp gun reached South Chicago last night and will be taken into the World's Fair grounds and set up to-day.
Fire in the Screen Factory.
About 5:45 o'clock this morning George Simpson, night engineer at the screen works, discovered that the casement to the skylight had caught fire. As the man is a deaf mute, it was impossible for him to yell, and he accordingly blew the whistle long and loud. This brought upon the scene nearly all the men who had been working during the night in the machine room. The pump was started and pails of water were thrown on the fire. Mr. Louis Holdridge rushed to Col. Frank Place's residence, where he secured the key to alarm box No. 313 on the corner of Pomeroy and Port Watson-sts. The lever was pulled down but the fire bell did not ring. The gongs in the Emerald and Hitchcock hose rooms rang, however, and also in Chief Peck's house. Mr. Peck did not hear the fire bell ring and immediately rushed to Fireman's hall, where he rang the bell by hand.
The Hitchcocks arrived on the scene first, and laid their hose, but as the men had the fire under control no water was thrown. The Orris, Water Witch and Hook's got as far as the D., L. & W. railroad crossing on Port Watson-st., when a freight train pulled in just in front of them and they were compelled to wait till the engine had taken water, a matter of about a quarter of an hour. They did not arrive at the fire till it was nearly extinguished and consequently laid no hose.
The fire is supposed to have originated from a hot journal. The loss has not been estimated as yet. The engine and electric motor, which generated the light for the shop were damaged somewhat by water. The cause of the fire bell's failing to ring is not known but the matter is being looked up by Mr. Glenn Tisdale who put the system in.
Fire at East Homer.
The home of Oliver Schermerhorn at East Homer was burned early this morning. The fire caught in the woodshed—cause unknown. It was discovered about 2 o'clock by Mr. Schermerhorn, the entire west part of house being then in flames. Besides Mr. Schermerhorn there were in the house his mother, who is a helpless invalid, two brothers and a hired girl. The household was aroused and the mother carried out, the fire being then raging in the room adjoining the one where she slept. The only furniture saved was a bed and a sewing machine. The house cost $1200 six years ago. It was insured for $500.
On account of the storm the work on the cellar for the new Baptist church, the academy ruins and Mr. Charles Antisdel's new barn had to be suspended yesterday.
Mr. F. H. Smith is quite seriously ill with peritonitis.
Word has been received here of the death of Elias H. Lord, a native of Homer, in Boston, Mass. The deceased was 58 years of age and twin brother of Mr. Eli H. Lord.
Another large cistern was unearthed in the cellar for the new Baptist church while excavating yesterday. It was an unusually large cistern and contained about eight feet of water. A team of horses narrowly escaped going into it, as it was only covered with loose partially decayed planks. This makes the third cistern that has been found since the cellar was begun, besides a well, which had been filled up.
This is the last day that Simmons & Grant's clothing store remains in town before moving to Fulton.
Word has been received by the officers of the village to keep their eyes peeled for Herbert Gallery who escaped from the Western Reform school at Rochester Tuesday night. The boy is now fourteen years of age and was sent to Rochester from here two years ago for jumping "coal jimmies." He is well known in this section. He is four and one-half feet in height, gray eyes and when he escaped he wore the regulation uniform. His parents still live here and it is thought that he will visit them. Chief of Police J. E. Sager of Cortland was in town Thursday looking after the boy but he searched in vain.
The D., L. & W. pay car passed through about 9:30 o'clock this morning and only stopped long enough to make the boys happy.
Mr. Fred T. Newcomb is learning the intricacies of a new wheel.
Mrs. D. L. Brown is now settled in her new quarters in the Riggs block. She has a fine display of spring goods which are tastily arranged in the south window. Mr. L. B. Southwick will open his shoe store in the northern half of the store Monday.
—Twenty-eight years ago this morning at 22 minutes before 7 o'clock Abraham Lincoln died.
—A typographical error yesterday in the number of soups served to customers at C. F. Thompson's store made it 200 instead of 500 as it should have been.
—A newly married man of Hazelton, Pa., recently thrashed an editor because the headline, "A Horrible Blunder," was placed by mistake over his marriage notice.
—The Oneonta Normal school lately had all the diseases in the category—measles, scarlet fever, mumps, chickenpox and a few other harmless diseases which go to complete the education of the Normal girl—Walton Reporter.
—Extra music will be provided for the anniversary services of the Y. M. C. A. at all the meetings to-morrow afternoon and evening. Programs may be found in the pews of the various churches in the morning. All are cordially invited to attend these services.
A Coming Attraction.
Little's "World," which has been one of the foremost of America's standard attractions for over fifteen years, will be seen at the Opera House on April 19. The height of stage realism is reached, especially in the great wreck scene, when the steamship is seen to break up and founder at sea, leaving its helpless passengers adrift on a slight raft on the ocean. The raft scene is, if anything, even more startling than the former scene, showing the survivors of the wreck helpless at sea, finally culminating in their rescue by a passing ship. Every piece of scenery used in the many scenes is carried by the company, and we can confidently expect one of the best scenic and dramatic treats of the season.
Joseph Gordon Leaves a Wife and Two Children.
A report was in circulation late yesterday that Joseph Gordon had left the town, a wife and two children besides numerous debts, and a STANDARD reporter at once started out to get the facts. He learned from Gordon's neighbors that the report was true and was directed to Mrs. Gordon's parents' home at 23 Greenbush-st. They have just moved here from Watertown, and were not settled. Their daughter was not in, but from her parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Cripps, the reporter learned the following story: Gordon married their daughter, Mrs. Sarah Gann, about three years ago and moved to Watertown about a year ago and from there moved to Cortland in February of this year. The couple did not appear to live very happily together as the husband, it is alleged, spent about all the money that both of them earned. Gordon was employed by Mr. C. N. Hardy in the H. M. Whitney company as a trimmer. The wife worked hard and kept boarders.
On the evening of April 10 Gordon came home after receiving his pay at the shop, and after collecting $7 in money from the boarders he started to leave. His wife asked him for the money and he replied that he had to foot the bills and would keep the money. He left the house and, it is stated, became intoxicated and left town on the 11:20 train. When he did not return to his home his wife went to her parents and has remained there ever since.
Mr. and Mrs. Cripps came here from Watertown a week ago Wednesday. Their goods have not all arrived and Gordon had the freight bills. He carried them off by mistake and, as he had no use for them, he returned them to Mr. Cripps soon after leaving town. The letter was postmarked at Erie, Pa., and it is supposed that he is now safely lodged in Canada.
Mr. and Mrs. Cripps say that he left his wife in much the same way on two previous occasions—leaving also a number of unpaid bills—once when he left Canada for Watertown and another time when, in February, he left Watertown and came to Cortland. After he had been gone a short time he would send for his wife.
Gordon is a man about 30 years of age, with dark hair, black eyes, turn up nose and black mustache and wears a band ring. He always dresses well and is said to be quite a dude. He is very slightly lame in his right leg, due to his being thrown out of a carriage when a boy. He is about five feet eight inches in height and his home is in Chatham, Can.
Mrs. Gordon is of a medium height, has light brown hair and blue eyes, and is a very pleasant appearing little woman. Her first husband's name was James Gann. He is dead. Her two children are by her first husband, two little girls, one 9 and the other 11 years of age. Gordon left his wife penniless and except that he returned the freight bills has not been heard from since he disappeared.