Sunday, October 30, 2016


Auburn Prisoners and Keeper.
The Cortland Democrat, Friday, April 21, 1893.


Deadly Work of the "Blue Nigger" from Clyde—Fellow Convicts Fatally Cut.

   AUBURN, April 17th.—John Johnson, also known as the "Blue Nigger" from Clyde, ran amuck in the broom shop of Auburn prison this morning. He was armed with a sharp knife used in cutting broom corn and first attacked Charles Peck, a fellow convict from Westchester county. Leaving him dead in his tracks, he next fatally stabbed another convict and wounded two others before he was [stopped] by a keeper and rendered powerless.
   Johnson was first sentenced to Auburn prison for ten years for assault in the first degree. He was released a year ago [on good behavior,] but was rearrested at the gate after a desperate struggle, and was taken back to Clyde for trial on other indictments. He [was sent] back on a sentence of four years and had not given any trouble until this morning. He had also served a term in Sing Sing for receiving stolen property. Charles Peck, his victim, was sentenced from Westchester county in 1889 for burglary first degree to thirteen years.
   The other convict most seriously stabbed by Johnson was Daniel Britton. The blade entered his stomach and he now lies in a precarious condition in the hospital. It is thought he will die. Johnson stabbed right and left while he was at liberty, and several other convicts suffered cuts. The blade of Johnson’s knife was broken off during the melee and cannot be found. He directed a vicious blow at Keeper Mitchell after the blade had been broken, but it did not penetrate his clothing. The keeper drew his revolver, but just as he was about to pull the trigger somebody hit his arm and the ball went wide of its mark. It frightened Johnson into surrendering, however, and he made no further resistance. He was taken to the prison jail.
   The autopsy on Peck showed a gash in the heart in which a finger could be inserted. 
   The cause of the trouble is said to have been an old grudge held by Johnson against a number of convicts in the shop and he had made a threat that as soon as Captain Baker had a day off he would do up the shop. Baker was not on duty to-day and Johnson started in early to carry his threat into execution.
   Daniel Britton, one of Johnson's victims in this morning's stabbing affray at the prison, died at 1:30 o'clock. He was an Oswego county man, and had a transfer from Elmira. The others are in the hospital, but their wounds are not serious.

USS Boston landing force in Honolulu.
Washington Letter.
(From our Regular Correspondent.)
   WASHINGTON, April, 17, 1893.—Neither President Cleveland nor Secretary Gresham have any apologies to make for the action of Commissioner Blount in carrying out his instructions, declaring the protectorate proclaimed by Minister Stevens, without a shadow of legality or authority, at an end, and in withdrawing the protection of the U. S. flag and marines from the provisional Government of Hawaii. And the attempt of a few republicans to use the incident as a means to create bad blood between members of the two parties has fallen very flat, as far as Washington is concerned. There is no politics in the matter. It was simply a question of righting a wrong which was officially acknowledged to be a wrong by the Harrison administration, but was not righted then, as it should have been. If the provisional government of Hawaii is not strong enough to maintain itself without the United States, it is not strong enough to be recognized in any negotiation looking to annexation or any other settlement of the present problem. What has been done is neither for nor against annexation, in fact, has no bearing whatever upon it. It is simply a step towards doing the right thing, as soon as the right thing shall become apparent. Meanwhile the administration is fully determined that no other nation shall interfere with Hawaiian affairs.
   Senator Butler, of South Carolina, scored a point, as he usually does, whenever an opportunity is given him, when Senator Lodge, of Massachusetts, offered an entirely needless resolution, directing the Secretary of State to inform the Senate by whose authority the American flag was hauled down at Honolulu, by offering an amendment adding the words, "and also by whose authority the same was hoisted." Mr. Lodge knew that the President was responsible for lowering the flag, and the resolution was only offered for buncombe.
   Secretary Hoke Smith is in Georgia attending to some pressing private business. He will return to his desk this week.
   Extraordinary efforts are being made by republicans to put the democratic Senators in a false position before the country in regard to the proposal to investigate Senator Roach's connection with an alleged bank embezzlement fourteen years ago. The republicans wish it to appear that the democrats refused to allow the investigation because of their wish to protect Mr. Roach. No such conclusion can be reached except by a willful distortion of the facts. Senator Roach has from the first personally desired that the investigation be made, as he manfully told the Senate last week; he has asked for no protection, and what is more to the point, he wants no [tariff] protection. The opposition of the democratic senators to this or any other investigation of events in a Senator's life before he became a Senator is based upon the highest authority in the land—the Constitution of the U. S., and it is mighty small business for anybody to try to make it appear otherwise, but then, you know, small business is second nature with some people.
   The first installment of the investigation of the Weather Bureau has been completed, and the immediate results will be the dismissal of several minor officials for their inability to distinguish the difference between their own property and that of Uncle Sam, and the final result may be striped suits for them. The second installment, which deals with bigger fish, will be started this week, and it is expected that it will result in showing that the big officials regarded the positions under the Bureau in about the same light that the minor officials regarded the property of the Bureau.
   President Cleveland told a Senator, Saturday, just before the extra session of the Senate adjourned, that he had not taken up the question of the appointment of a public printer yet, but expected to do so very shortly. There is no lark of candidates, and the most of them are men whose reputations are such that it will be extremely difficult to choose between them.
   Secretary Carlisle isn't borrowing any trouble about the prospects of another run on the gold in the Treasury for shipment abroad. He has, as the law directs, suspended the issue of gold certificates for the present, and is thoroughly confident of his ability to meet all demands that are likely to be made, but, although he will not say so, it will probably be necessary to issue a few bonds in order to do it.
   The Kentucky colony, temporarily in Washington, was reinforced by Hon. Henry Watterson, on Saturday. Mr. Watterson called at the State Department, but said he merely called to pay his respects to President Cleveland, and it is not improbable that he put in a word or two for some of his numerous friends who are anxious to have a go at official life. No office in the President’s gift is big enough to tempt Watterson away from his paper.

Daniel S. Lamont.

Secretary Lamont's Reform.

   Secretary [of War] Lamont has started a "reform" that is not a palatable one for some officers who thought that their ambitions and politics influence would secure "soft berths" for them. The secretary says that he intends to deny the applications of many officers for duty at the World's fair. General Miles presented the names of several officers who had applied for duty at the World's fair, but the secretary has concluded to make a careful study of the list of special assignments, with a view of making a large reduction in the number of officers on detached service. The New York Tribune reports that Secretary Lamont has determined to shut down upon applications of young officers for long leaves to go to Europe for pleasure, or to remain at home to see if they can find some more remunerative employment than that offered by the service. Several instances have occurred where officers have resigned to accept places in civil life paying four times the salary given to them in the government employ.

   Storms in the west and southwest were very destructive last week. Many buildings were destroyed and some entire towns almost wiped out by the cyclones.
   U. S. Commissioner James H. Blount arrived in Honolulu about three weeks ago and after looking the ground over came to the conclusion that a protectorate was unnecessary. On April first, in the presence of a crowd numbering probably 2,000 persons, Lieutenant Draper, marine officer of the Boston, blew the notes of the retreat from his bugle and "Old Glory" sank from the sight of the crowd and was replaced by the colors of the Hawaiian Monarchy, which still remains the flag of the Island. The report that Commissioner Blount would order the American flag down and the Protectorate abolished got abroad on the night of March 31, preceding the day of the occurrence, but did not become general. On the afternoon of March 31, the Commissioner held a lengthy and secret conference with President Dole and the ministry, at which he notified them of his intention to declare off the Protectorate established by Minister Stevens February 1. It is understood that he gave as his reason therefor that the Washington administration did not regard the protectorate as necessary, and further that it was incompatible with any diplomatic negotiations that might be arranged between the two countries. The United States, however, would brook no hostile interference in Hawaiian affairs by any foreign power.

"What I know."
   "The question as to who fired the last shot in the war comes under the category of 'what I know,'" said W. C. West, who is at the Lindell. "I know that the late Gen. Kirby Smith fired the last shot in defiance [sic] of the rebel flag. I participated in the battle referred to—on the Federal side—which was fought at Palmetto ranch, Rosca Chica, Texas, near the mouth of the Rio Grande, May 13, 1865. On the day of the battle Gen. Kirby Smith had retreated to the Texas line with a force of 600 cavalry and some light artillery. Col. Barrett, of the Thirty-fourth Indiana Infantry, assisted by four companies of Sixty-second United States Colored Infantry, attacked the Confederates. The result was a defeat for the Union forces, and the last battle was not a victory for the Union as has generally been reported. Col. Barrett could not rout the rebel cavalry, protected as they were by six-pounders, and they were compelled to retreat to the cover of the siege guns, which were at Brazos de Santiago. The object of' the federal force was to capture Brownsville, thirty miles up the Rio Grande, after driving Kirby Smith from his position. The battle of Palmetto Ranch was fought on the famous field of Resaca de la Palma, which lent additional charms to that last victorious stroke of the south. To escape capture, the color-bearer of Col. Barrett's regiment tore the flag down from its staff, tied the stars and stripes about his waist, jumped into the Rio Grande and swam to the Mexican side. The river at that point is wide and swift, which made the action of the color-bearer very perilous. On going down the Rio Grande a few miles, the brave protector recrossed the river and joined his comrades. I wrote out the official report of this engagement for the federal colonel in command, and know that what I have said is true."—St. Louis Globe-Democrat.

Photo from Grip's Historical Souvenir of Cortland.
   Insurance agent M. C. Eastman has opened an office in the Standard building,
   A horse belonging to R. H. Beard is suffering from lockjaw, caused by a nail in its foot.
   The sheriff's sale of the Cortland Top & Rail Company has been postponed to the 26st inst.
   The "King's Daughters'' will meet in their rooms, 9 Clinton Ave., Saturday, April 22d, at 2:30 P. M.
   Mr. R. B. Fletcher has sold a half interest in his undertaking business to Mr. C. F. Blackman, of Gilbertsville, N. Y.
   The dwelling house of Charles Tracey, in Cuyler, was struck by lightning during a recent thunder storm and slightly damaged.
   Hon. L. J. Fitzgerald has sold his chestnut team to his brother, Mr. William Fitzgerald, of Chicago. They were shipped to that city Wednesday.
   Mr. A. S. Burgess is tearing down the old cobble stone school house on Church street, preparatory to the erection of a new dwelling for himself on the site.
   The stockholders of the Cortland Opera House Co. will hold their annual meeting for the election of directors in the office of A. Mahan, May 2d, at 2 o'clock P. M.
   Mr. G. M. Hopkins has purchased the stock of groceries of Geo. McKean & Co., in Masonic hall block. This is the store formerly occupied by his brother, Mr. E. A. Hopkins.
   The Lotus Glee Club, one of the finest organizations traveling, assisted by Miss Minnie Marshall, elocutionist, will give an entertainment in Cortland opera house this Friday evening.
   Dr. E. M. Santee was elected second Lieutenant of the 45th Separate company last week, to fill the vacancy caused by the promotion of Fred. L. McDowell to be first Lieutenant. The Doctor is a hustler and will make a good one.
   A bill has been introduced in the Assembly fixing telegraph charges in the day time at 15 cents for ten words, and one-half cent for each additional word; the night rate to be 15 cents for twenty words, a half cent for each additional word.
   Old tin cans are at last utilized. From a wagon load about forty pounds of solder can be recovered by melting; then the tin is removed by acids, and the iron is rolled into balls. A wagon load of cans sells in New York at from four to five dollars.
   The Wyoming conference of the M. E. church held in Honesdale, Pa., made the following appointments in this section: Harford, J. C. Estes; Willett, S. D. Galpin. Rev. E. R. D. Briggs was returned to Marathon, much to the satisfaction of the people of that village.
   The prices of doors, sash and blinds were advanced on April 1st by the Association of Manufacturers, which association controls all the leading factories of the country. This advance was rendered necessary, it is said, by the scarcity and increased cost of pine lumber.
   C. F. Brown, successor to Brown & Maybury, druggists, has a new advertisement in another column.

Grocery and Meat Market.
   W. J. Nash has opened a grocery store and meat market at 114 ½ Elm-st. He has secured the services of a first-class meat cutter for his market. All goods sold cheap for cash. Give him a trial and he will surely please. (5w2)

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