Monday, March 9, 2015


The Cortland Democrat, Friday, July 19, 1889.


Why a Western Democratic Editor Doesn’t Want to be Postmaster Anymore.
   There are many forms in which a letter of resignation may be written. It may be a simple notice of "giving up the job," or it may be a prolix in whys and wherefores. It may be solemn, even tearful, and, on the contrary, incisive and sarcastic. But letters of resignation are seldom humorous and when one of that character does turn up, it is worth recording, as an example of how some people can "step down and out."
   The following is delightful and refreshing in its candor and humor, and we publish it as a model for those who find it incumbent upon themselves to resign places which they otherwise stand a fair chance of being turned out from:
MOUNT CARMEL, Ill. June 7, 1889.
To Hon. B. Harrison, President, etc.
   SIR: By the grace of God and Grover Cleveland I am Postmaster of Mount Carmel. My official term will expire Jan. 20, 1890.  In addition to editing the mails of this city I am also the editor of the Mount Carmel Register, a live local Democratic newspaper, established in 1839, and published at $1.25 a year, cash in advance; a discount of twenty per cent to ministers and Presidents.
   While the office has agreed with me, and I have in the main agreed with the office, and while I might reasonably entertain the hope of holding on for eight months longer, yet I feel it my duty to tender you my resignation.
   Being a Democrat, I have preached that "to the victor belongs the spoils." I feel disposed to practice that which I preach.
   Your immediate predecessor hoped to build up his party by keeping the opposition in office. You are probably aware, if you are at all familiar with the vocabulary of true and trite sayings, that his name is now Dennis [Grover Cleveland—CC editor].
   I am moved further to tender you my resignation because of the anxiety of a barnyard full of patriots to succeed me. I believe that a tariff is a tax. They do not. Therefore they are of your own kith and kindred, and he who provides not for his own household is worse than an infidel. I am told that you are not built that way.
   But to resume the thread of my discourse: The boys who are anxious to be my successor are very hungry; they have been feeding on shucks and icicles for four long weary years; the official calf is fat and they yearn to taste its tender joints. They fought (among themselves), bled (at the nose), and are willing to die for the G. O. P.
   When I asserted that you were the Chinaman's candidate and ate rat tail soup with chopsticks, they swore by Dudley and Foster that it was a campaign canard, and threatened to detail blocks of five [people who cheat at elections—CC editor] to fry the fat out of me. Fortunately for me their threats were not carried into execution. They carried torches, drank with the coons, sang "Grandpa's Hat Will Just Fit Benny," and did divers and many foolish things, none of which would they have been guilty of doing had they not scented an aroma of post office on the crisp in morning air. And the paeans of praise which they sounded when it became evident that you "had got there Eli" will never be a Sahara in my memory,
   For this and other reasons unnecessary to mention, I tender you my resignation with the hope that my successor will be animated by a similar spirit in 1893. If he is your Democratic successor, [he] will be spared the painful necessity of "turning the rascal out." I am respectfully yours,
   N. B.—I would rather be right than be Postmaster.

It is Johnstown, N. Y. That is Under This Time.
   JOHNSTOWN, July 10.—A cloudburst in the Cayutta valley, near this place, Tuesday afternoon, flooded the lower part of the valley and swept away several bridges. The railroad bridge at Johnstown and the one over the Cayutta [Cayadutta Creek--CC editor] at Fonda were washed away. The Central railroad was washed out for 300 feet at a point one half mile east of Tribes Hill, and half a mile further east near Akin, another washout occurred, tearing out the track for 150 feet.
   The washout delayed all trains. Late in the afternoon, however, the Central trains bound east were transferred from Akin to Fulton station on the West Shore railroad, and over that line to South Schenectady, where connections were made with Albany. Wednesday morning the trains were running over the West Shore, as stated above, about half an hour behind time, the delay being causal by the transfer at Fuller's Station.
   Great excitement prevails throughout the Cayutta valley The fire department has been called out and is searching for bodies, for it is thought a great many were drowned. The heavy rain that prevailed all the afternoon has raised Cayutta creek till it was a roaring torrent.
   At the foot of Perry street, about 6 o'clock Tuesday evening, some fifty persons—men, women and children—gathered on the stone bridge over Cayutta creek to watch the flood. The water came with tremendous force against the abutments of the bridge, but as it was a stone structure of great strength no one suspected that it was in danger.
   The bridge was suddenly swept away, but quite a number of those on the structure escaped to the street and were saved. The report of the disaster spread like wild fire through the village. The rain continued to fall in torrents, and the valley was in darkness, the heavy clouds hanging low over the village. Many could not believe that the bridge had been destroyed until they had personally visited the scene of the disaster.
   Perry street and the bank of the creek were soon crowded with persons looking for their friends, and the greatest excitement prevailed. The search for the missing was begun at once, and in the excitement it was not easy to find members of the same family who had become separated in the crowd.
   The estimates of the number of drowned range all the way from six to thirty. Efforts are being made to obtain a correct list of the drowned.
   The bodies of three men were recovered this morning. One of them has been identified as a glove cutter named Frear. All hands are doing their best to find the bodies of others known to be missing.
   The flood carried away two skin mills, one belonging to Simon Scriver. Both mills were in the village limits and on the bank of Cayutta creek. Several coal sheds and small buildings were also swept away. The big iron railroad bridge at Johnstown was swept away and the iron railroad bridge over the Cayutta creek at Fonda. All the wagon bridges over the creek between Johnstown and Fonda were also carried away.

   Bert H. Jordan has been appointed postmaster of Taylor Centre.
   Trustees of school districts must file their reports by the 25th of July.
   Sunday ball playing is still one of the pastimes in vogue in this village.
   The King’s Daughters will meet with Mrs. C. F. Thompson, 23 Clayton St., Saturday 3 P. M.
   About 175 of the children of St. Mary’s Sunday school held a picnic at Floral Trout Park last Thursday.
   A new plank walk is being put down on the sidewalk of South Main street, fronting the property of Wm. K. Randall, Esq. It promises to be a great convenience.
   In our supplement will be found the new charter for this village. It should be read by every citizen, and as printed, will [ be very] convenient to preserve for future [reference.]
   The laying of the corner stone of the new Presbyterian church will take place July 24th at 3 P. M. Rev. Dr. G. P. [?] of Binghamton, one of the ablest pulpit orators in central New York, will deliver the address.

   Lyons is to have a street railway.
   Buffalo claims 287,000 inhabitants.
   Mrs. Harvey Tufley of Tully has eloped with the hired man, Harvey Kenyon.
   The 50,000 iron and glass-workers in the vicinity of Pittsburg threaten to go on a strike.
   Fred Douglass has been appointed Minister to Hayti, the "Black Republic" of the West Indies.
   There will be an opening for iron workers and steel mill men in the new Johnstown, [Pa.] Fifteen hundred of the old employees of the Cambria company are missing.
   Mr. Brush, of the arc electric light, owns a million dollar house in Cleveland, O. He was a newspaper reporter on a salary of $15 a week less than 15 years ago.
   An Ithaca woman, who is only 28 years old, has been married four times. One husband is dead, one is in State prison, one is divorced, and she lives with the fourth.
   A Lewis county farmer heard a cow bellowing in the field the other day.
When he approached he found a snapping turtle with its jaws fastened to the cow's nose. The turtle's head had to be cut off before the cow could be released.
   W. L. Eggleston, a prominent negro politician of Kansas, is the prime mover in a scheme to induce the negroes of the South to emigrate to Oklahoma. He has organized a company composed of colored men. The company has agents in all the leading cities of the South. Eggleston expects to have 10,000 colored people in Oklahoma by next July.
   For some time back the Ontario & Western tracks have been found occasionally obstructed at different points between Guilford Center and Sidney, and there have been narrow escapes from wrecks. After a deal of clever detective work, late Saturday night Roadmaster M. Finnegan and an officer from Norwich found the guilty party near Bennettsville, and lodged him in the Norwich jail, after obtaining a full confession from the culprit, whose name is Palmer, a lad about 17 years of age, residing near New Berlin Junction.
   A few weeks ago the Chicago city council passed an ordinance depriving aliens of the right to serve the city in any capacity whatever. It went into effect Monday, and no man not a citizen can be carried on the pay rolls of the city. The ordinance was so worded as not to interfere with existing contracts, the result being that as yet hundreds of Italians and unnaturalized Irishmen are still working on the city's streets. When the contracts on which they are employed run out they will be discharged.

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