Sunday, January 1, 2017


D. L. & W. R. R. line at far right, mid-map, shows first railroad bridge north from Cortland depot. This is the location of the train accident which killed two men. The map shows a train going to Homer just north of the second bridge over the West Branch of the Tioughnioga River. 

Elm Street trolley or street railway bridge over the Tioughnioga. The first railroad bridge north of Cortland's D. L. & W. R. R. depot was a bridge of similar style and height.
Cortland Evening Standard, Monday, October 2, 1893.

Brakeman Carroll on the Stand all the Forenoon.
   The case of The People vs. George Chaffee, who is charged with criminal negligence in allowing engine No. 7 to escape from the D., L. & W. yard at Cortland and cause the head-end collision on the night of June 5, 1893, was called at about 10:30 o'clock this morning. The first witness called was Brakeman J. E. Carroll and his evidence given in substance is as follows:
   "I was on the passenger train as brakeman at the time of the collision. The duty of Wallace and Sherwood was that of engineer and fireman respectively. I saw Sherwood after the collision. Engine No. 7 was standing about 200 feet south of the bridge and about 150 feet south of the train. She was facing north on the main track."
   The defendant's attorney, Mr. T. E. Courtney, asked to have the evidence of the engine standing on the main track stricken out, on the ground of its being incompetent, improper and inadmissible.
   District Attorney Jerome Squires moved that the court give Mr. Courtney an hour to blow off his surplus wind. The objection was overruled and the evidence continued.
   "I did not see Chaffee on the night of the wreck. I was at the wreck from the time the collision occurred till about 2 or 3 o'clock A. M. I did not know Chaffee by sight."
   Cross examination. "I have been in the railroad business for 16 years, having worked on the Michigan Central, New York, Ontario & Western, the Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg and the D., L. & W. railroads as switchman and brakeman. I have worked for the D., L. & W. for nine years. Do not remember how long on the other roads. Worked for the R., W. & O. R. R. three different times, first in 1879. I know what a blind switch is. It is a short rail cut in two and thrown out so as to let the cars run out. I never saw one in use on the R., W. & O., Michigan Central or N. Y., O. & W. railroads. Saw one in use on the D., L. & W. at Lamsons. Engine No. 7 was used on the work train. Don't know where it was kept. Have known the engine thirteen or fourteen years. Don't know whether it was used on the work train in June or not."
   "If, on the evening of June 5," asked the defendant's attorney, "it was run in on a switch of the main track, protected by a blind switch that you have described, properly thrown, could it have run out on the main track and caused the collision?"
   The district attorney objected to this on the following grounds, (1) that the question was incompetent, inadmissible and immaterial, (2) not a proper cross-examination, (3) that there is no evidence at this time to show that engine No. 7 was anywhere but on the main track and no evidence on which the question can be placed and (4) that the question as to whether the railroad company was negligent is not the question at issue in these proceedings. The question was overruled and the witness answered that the train would run on the ground. He then continued his testimony.
   "I run from Oswego to Binghamton. I work for the D., L & W. Railroad Co." On being asked where the D., L & W. track is between Syracuse and Binghamton, he replied that he supposed it was down here (pointing east.)
   "Is not that road run by the S., B. & N. Y. railroad company?"
   "I suppose it is."
   "Will you swear that you work for the D., L. & W. Railroad Co?"
   "I supposed that I was. I have worked on an engine as fireman for six or seven months in 1878. I can read and write."
   The witness was shown Volume II, New York Railroad commissioners' report, pages 585 to 501, 1891, and asked if he knew what it was. He replied that he did not. The court then objected to this being used as evidence because the report did not cover the time that the accident occurred.
   "I do not know of any other railroad between Binghamton and Geddes but the one I run over. I have never observed the length of time that a railroad locomotive will last. I have never observed the necessity of frequently repairing locomotives. Do not know of any railroad men here who are at work for the D., L. & W. Co., who have made observations. Should judge that there were a couple of hundred people present after the unfortunate collision. Would not swear that there were over 200 people there or that there was not 500 people there. Don't know anything about it, was busy."
   The fire bell then gave one stroke for noon and the case was adjourned till 1:30 o'clock this afternoon.
   The examination of Mr. Carroll was continued until 8 o'clock, when Louis Kistler was called to the stand. The testimony of both will be given to-morrow.

An Engineer's Heroic Conduct.
   PHILLIPSBURG, N. J., Oct. 2.—With his cab full of blistering steam Engineer Joseph Lutz of this place heroically stuck to his post on the engine of the Central express train leaving here for New York and brought it to a stop near Hampton Junction. Then he staggered from the cab and fainted away. A flue had burst and the steam scalded Lutz's face, neck and upper part of his body frightfully. It is thought that he will recover. His bravery is the talk among railroaders. To stop his train he had to stand right before the escaping steam.

Baltimore and Ohio Employees Fail to Better Their Condition.
   BALTIMORE, Oct. 2.—Most of the delegates representing the six brotherhoods into which the army of employees of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad company is divided have left for their homes. The conferences with General Manager Odell of the railroad company have been barren of results, except that differences which at present seem irreconcilable have developed. The company insists on a reduction said to be 7 1/2 per cent for an indefinite period. The committee declined this, but agreed to accept the reduction for six months, the old scale to go into effect again at the end of that time. This proposition was not entertained and the committee withdrew.
   Mr. Odell says that he doubts that the committee represented a majority of the roads employees and he believes that the contemplated reduction will be accepted. On the other hand the committee say they represent four-fifths of the trainmen, operators and trackmen, and will not accept the company's terms. The committee left with the understanding that the old rate would be continued for the present.
They Locked Wheels.
   Yesterday afternoon Mr. Charles Henry of Homer was trying the speed of his horse on Tompkins-st., and when just below the cemetery met Mr. John May, who lives still farther down the street. Mr. May was alone in a heavy top buggy. Mr. Henry had a light three-quarter buggy, with the top thrown flat back, and was accompanied by his wife. In some unaccountable way their front wheels locked and Mr. Henry's buggy was thrown exactly bottom side up. Mrs. Henry landed under the wreck, and strange to say no bones were broken, though her left side and the back of her head were bruised. Mr. Henry landed on his feet. The shock stripped his horse of the harness except the bridle and the reins and the latter was so tangled up in the wreck that before the horse could escape Mr. Henry had him by the head.
   Mr. May's buggy stood the shock nobly. Horse and buggy were forced back a couple of lengths but the front axle was bent, and that was all. A friend carried Mrs. Henry home, and Mr. Henry got his horse and broken buggy home as best he could.

Where Cholera Broods.
   Dr. Gerhard Rohlfs, the German explorer, makes some revelations concerning cholera that are calculated to make civilization's hair stand on end. It is his conviction after careful investigation on the spot that cholera originates in Mecca itself and in the valley of Muna, and nowhere else. The testimony of Sir Richard Burton, likewise of the German traveler Von Maltzan who visited Mecca 30 years ago during one of the pilgrimages, is corroborative in every respect of Rohlfs' opinion.
   The cholera is caused partly by the observance of a custom that began, putting it exactly, March 9, 632. That day, coming into the vale of Muna at the head of his followers, the prophet Mohammed sacrificed with his own hands 68 camels—one for every year of his life. His followers numbered 100,000, and each of these killed a camel or some other animal, so the story goes, that 100,000 dumb creatures were thus sacrificed in honor of Mohammed's sixty-third birthday. Whether this story is literally true or not, certain it is that every year a large number of sheep and camels are slain in sacrifice at the coming together of the pilgrims to Mecca. The earth becomes a sea of blood. Sir Richard Burton writes that once when in this vicinity he made all possible haste to get out of the pestilential valley, as the stench was something awful. Between 5,000 and 6,000 animals were thus sacrificed within Burton's knowledge.
   This horrid rite has now been annually celebrated upon the same blood-soaked earth for 1,260 years. To this must be added two almost equally disturbing facts. One is that the hundreds of thousands of pilgrims from the fringe of north Africa, from Arabia and elsewhere never change their underclothing from the time they set out till their return. The pilgrims from the north African coast journey to Mecca in steamers that are dangerously overcrowded. There is no one to interfere and prescribe to the captain the number of pilgrims he shall carry on their "holy" mission. Disease and death are consequently rampant upon even these ships. Your Mohammedan has a deadly horror of being buried at sea. Consequently the corpses of those who die on shipboard are concealed in the steamer below decks till the pilgrims return home, when there is a big funeral.
   Von Maltzan saw an army of pilgrims perform the terrible sacrificial rite in the vale of Muna. The crowd numbered 10,000 people. At their head was the cadi of Mecca. The cadi held a live sheep, painted in gaudy colors. At a given signal the cadi turned the sheep's head toward the house of the prophet and cut its throat. About a third of the pilgrims were provided likewise with sheep, and they immediately slaughtered them in a similar manner. Von Maltzan writes, "The sight was so horrible that I fled from the place and returned to Mecca." Perhaps Mr. Webb, who is trying to convert the American people to the holy, peaceful and cleanly Moslem religion, will explain these facts to us.
   At any rate, the Turk and his followers are unspeakable in more ways than one. Civilized nations ought for their own protection to rise and suppress these monstrous pilgrimages. Cholera always breaks out among the pilgrims. It would be a miracle were it otherwise. The conditions are aggravated by the fact that the visit to Mecca is made during the hot months. All the faithful cannot get into the vale of Muna at once. Tens of thousands camp upon the border and breed pestilence; then they go away and trail it over the world.
   Of the 9,000 deluded wretches that left Tunis and neighboring ports in May last, only half returned. The rest died of cholera. At the so-called Sacred Mount where the hosts assemble to hear a solemn address before visiting the birthplace and shrine of the prophet there were 100,000 persons June 24. Many of them were starving, and hundreds had died of cholera, while hundreds of others were dying. Worst of all, aid could not be secured to bury the corpses. Finally a battalion of 700 Turkish soldiers went to this charnel house to put the dead under ground. Five hundred of these soldiers themselves died of cholera.
   These facts are not pleasant, but it is time civilized people were made acquainted with them. Imagination can picture nothing more awful or loathsome than these pilgrimages. Down with them, even if to stop them the Turk must be exterminated! Europe and America should unite and suppress them with an iron hand.


No comments:

Post a Comment