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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

***EARLY LAFAYETTE PEDDLERS/TRAVELING SALESMEN/DRUMMERS


 We are informed that Mr. Arthur Voorhies, the popular drummer, intends to move with his family to Lafayette and will occupy one of the buildings now in course of construction on P. B. Roy's lots. We hope that we will soon be able to claim Mr. Voorhies as a citizen of this town. Laf. Gaz. 1/12/1895.


Italian Rat. - Last Sunday Joe Pizzo, the fruit vendor near the post office made a find. In a bunch of bananas from a newly opened box he discovered an animal that seems to be extremely rare. It is anywhere between a squirrel and a rat - probably leaning toward the latter. Its captor has given it a home in an ordinary bird cage and considers himself on the high road to fortune. It has been a source of no little curiosity and interest. Local natural historians have eyed it very critically; one says it is a ground possum, others that it is a banana rat; whatever it may be Joe wouldn't part with it for much-a-money.
Lafayette Advertiser 1/13/1894.




"A Dago Rat." - Pizzo, the Italian fruit vendor near the post office, is in possession of a very peculiar animal which he found in bananas box that he had just received. It was hidden between the bananas and looks very much like a rat. Its head and nose are very pointed and it sports a tail twelve inches long. Several gentlemen who saw it failed to throw any light on the subject, but when shown to one of the railroad men, he unhesitatingly pronounced it a "dago rat." Laf. Gazette 1/13/1894.





Pack Peddlers. - Going out West the other evening on the 3 o'clock train from Lafayette we were struck with the pack peddlers who were on the train going out to all small towns along the road to sell their goods. No one has any idea of the money taken in by these walking merchants who go from house to house carrying their goods in bundles on their backs. They have no freight to pay on their goods and they live on very little per day so all they make on their goods above actual cost is clear money.
Lafayette Gazette 1/14/1899. 
 


Jules Hubert, a french peddler, was held up Wednesday by two negroes near Carencro, in this parish. One of the negroes struck Hubert with a hatchet, inflicting an ugly wound about the shoulder. Then he was robbed of $10 in cash and of about $40 worth of goods. This evening a negro named Marius Mamen was arrested by Constable S. Breaux, and subsequently identified by Hubert as the person who assaulted him with the hatchet. The other negro has not yet been caught. Lafayette Advertiser 1/16/1897.





"Fair Play" - That's All They Ask.
Every few days our local merchants are made to feel the gross injustice they suffer in consequence of a partial enforcement of the license law, by the arrival in town of a traveling salesman and one or more large trunks of samples of merchandise from which to make sales directly to consumers.

 For the privilege of supplying commodities of the same kind the visiting retail merchants sell to residents of this town, or local merchants are required to pay a tax and license to the town of Lafayette, the parish of Lafayette and to the state of Louisiana! Just why an exception should be made in the case of visiting merchants to this regard cannot be explained by any process of reasoning and we contend now as we have done in the past, that in law and equity the same fees that are imposed on the resident merchant for enjoying a stated privilege in any particular town in the state, can and should be exacted from the visiting tradesman for exercising a like privilege in each and every town in which he does business. The defense regularly set by the visiting tradesman that the firm her represents in not located in Lafayette, we will say for illustration, but in New Orleans, and that his firm pays taxes and licenses in that city and cannot be compelled to pay double tax and license, cannot be successfully maintained in the face of that fact that the tax and license paid by his firm to the city of New Orleans is for the privilege of conducting business in New Orleans only, and cannot grant the right of interfering with the laws and regulations governing other municipalities than New Orleans. Could anything be more plain? We believe the proposition is so patent that the facts need only be presented in a clear manner to any court of justice to be sustained. Let the question be propounded "for what particular privilege does the resident retail merchant of Lafayette pay taxes and license to the town of Lafayette and the state of Louisiana? Then ask the question what is the purpose of the presence of the visiting retail merchant in the town of Lafayette? And the answer is the same. Now if the local tradesman are both engaged in selling the commodities of life direct to consumers it is past our understanding why a tax and license should be imposed on one and not the other. If it be right for the visiting merchant to pay no license or tax then it is equally right that the local merchant pay no tax or license. There is no fairness in the present operation of the law and it is high time that the town of Lafayette should begin to enforce its rights in this regard and place its citizens on an equal footing with the with the strangers who visit this community regularly for the exclusive purpose of making money off the town.
Lafayette Advertiser 5/16/1896.
 


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