Will Be Celebrated Next Year In Lafayette.
Merchants and Others Saw Their Mistake -
And Are Willing to Subscribe Large Amounts for Next Carnival.
Sadness was the order of the day in Lafayette last Tuesday. Except the cries of a few masqueraded kids, the town was dead and upon every face could be seen wrinkles of disappointment. The weather being very fine aggravated the fault committed. Looking to each other, reasoning , questioning the empty space, nothing was in sight for satisfying the wish looked for.
Everything lacked, everything was sad and gloomy, the town was deserted and those present were (unreadable words).
Now and then masquerades would appear but instead of being a relief their appearance was the reopening of a wound from which everybody seemed to suffer and the murmurs reached the highest pitch. Everyone looked ashamed of his lack of energy that he had manifested after such success of the preceding year.
The lesson was hard but will be profitable, we are quite certain of that, as the day after we heard nothing but words of encouragement as everybody is resolved to help and everybody will see that next year Lafayette will have its "Rex". We are better prepared than ever to celebrate the occasion as we took breath this year by doing nothing and we will have new strength for next year.
A great number of persons came to see us and have already subscribed large amounts for next year's festivities remarking that it is their desire to never witness any more, such a day in Lafayette as was last Tuesday. We have here all that is necessary to entice strangers to visit us and at the same time to keep our own people at home. The Mardi-Gras of the preceding year was but a miniature of what could be done in Lafayette with everyone pushing to the wheel and yet it was a great surprise to many.
By next year "Rex" and his imposing cortege will be grandiose as we will be in shape to unite in the celebration all the new corporations that are in formation and we will have firemen, militia, etc. etc.
Let us work from now until then.Lafayette Advertiser 2/26/1898.
Blind to Our Own Interest.
From official sources we found that 289 persons went from Lafayette to the Crescent City on last Tuesday, and that 454 went to New Iberia on the same day. Calculating the railroad fare ($4.30) of the 289 passengers to New Orleans we find that $1262.70 went away from Lafayette.
The fare of those who went to New Iberia amounted to 454 at 60 cts. - $272.40.
In supposing that the New Orleans passengers spent only $10 which extra which is a very low figure. $2,890 found its way from the pockets of our people into those of the wide awake people of the city, and adding to that $2,270 for the amount was disbursed by those who spent Tuesday in New Iberia which is a very conservative estimate as it only gives a $5 bill to each one of the 454 we have a grand total of $6,675.10, quite a snug sum to have our "Rex" at home.
Of course we realize now that we have made a mistake in allowing ourselves to fall into this lethargic state but it is too late to cry when the milk is spilled; all we can do now is to let the cream and milk go and keep out stock in readiness for another year.
Now adding to the expenses above the money that would have been left by our visitors, Lafayette would have been ahead, as year before last 2000 visitors were in our midst and allowing the same ratio of pocket money to each one of them that we allow to our people, $10,000 were into the pockets of our merchants.
Oh! blindness! blindness!!
It is surprising that we can't see our own interests in this matter, let us hope that in the future we shall remove the blindness from our own eyes and that we will understand that in investing a few dollars to entice visitors to come here we will reap a rich harvest. Lafayette Advertiser 2/26/1898.
Lafayette Fire Department.
The organization of the Fire Department took place last Thursday night. The Home Fire Co. assembled at the First National Bank. 30 members were present. It was resolved that all persons desiring to become members are required to pay their initiation fees (50cts) within one week from publication. Monthly dues 25cts. This Company will meet next Thursday night at 8'oclock sharp at First National Bank, at which time all committees are expected to report.
Lafayette Fire Co. No. 1 met at the Opera House with good attendance. It was resolved that the election and installation of officers be held on the 24th day of February of each year and in case of a Sunday, then on next day.
Lafayette Hook & Ladder Co. met at their hall in Racke's building at 8 o'clock. An initiation fee of 50cts and monthly dues of 25cts was unanimously adopted. A committee composed of S. W. McFadden, J. T. Allingham and Geo. A. DeBlanc was appointed to wait upon the City Council and investigate everything concerning the truck now at the Court House.
Lafayette Advertiser 2/26/1898.
HOME FIRE COMPANY.
Dr. G. A. Martin, President;
T. M. Biossat, Vice-president,
Frank. G. Mouton, Foreman,
Gus. Schmulen, 1st. Asst. Fireman,
Jno. L. Kennedy, 2nd Asst. Fireman,
O. B. Hopkins, Recording Secretary; A. V. Labbe, S. R. Parkerson, Financial Secretary; S. R. Parkerson, Treasurer.
Crow Girard, H. A. VanderCruyssen and Jos. Ducote.
COMMITEE ON BY-LAWS.CONSTITUTION AND REGULATIONS
Chas. D. Caffery, Dr. G. A. Martin, H. A. Vander Cruyssen, J. Alfred Mouton, Gus. Schmulen and Jos. Ducote,
COMMITTEE ON UNIFORMS
F. G. Mouton, H. A. Vander Cruyssen and Dr. G. A. Martin.
LAFAYETTE FIRE CO. NO. 1.
Wm. Campbell, President;
Judge. C. Debaillon, Vice-president, Felix Mouton, Foreman;
Paul Castel, 1st Asst. Fireman, John Graser, 2nd. Asst. Fireman, Henry Gerac, Secretary; D. V. Gardebled, Treasurer; Wm. Graser, 1st. Nozzleman;
Geo. Shear, 2nd. Nozzleman;
John Marsh, Keyman;
E. J. Lehman, Plugman;
Louis Hebert, Steward.
Judge O. C. Mouton, J. P. Revillon, and B. Falk.
Pierre Gerac, Edward Judice and S. B. Kahn.
COMMITTEE ON BY-LAWS, CONSTITUTION AND REGULATIONS.
Judge C. Debaillon, Judge O. C. Mouton, D. V. Gardebled, J. P. Revillon and B. Falk.
LAF. HOOK & LADDER CO. NO. 1.
A. E. Mouton, President,
M. Rosenfield, Vice-president;
Geo. A. DeBlanc, Secretary and Treasurer; Emmanuel Pellerin, Foreman; S. W. McFadden, 1st Assistant Fireman; L. A. Veazey, 2nd. Asst. Fireman; John Hahn, Trustee; Jack Nickerson, A. J. Coumes, Marshal.COMMITTEE ON BY LAWS.
M. Rosenfield, J. T. Allingham and A. J. Coumes.
A vote of thanks to Mr. A. E. Mouton, was ordered spread upon the minutes, for the free use of a house for the truck and hose. This company will meet the first Wednesday night of each month at 8'oclock at their hall.
Lafayette Advertiser 2/26/1898.
City Council Proceedings.
Lafayette, La., Feb. 24th, 1898.
The City Council met this day in special session with the following members present: Mayor Caffery, Councilmen, Hahn, Hopkins, Landry, Martin and Mouton.
The Mayor stated the object of the meeting to make arrangements for payment of the water works and electric light bonds falling due March 1st. 1898 being Nos. 1 to 5 inclusive of $500 each.
The bonds were issued August 16th 1897 and the first interest coupon amounts to $16.25 making a total of $1,170 of interest due March 1st. 1898.
The following was then offered by Dr. Hopkins:
Be it ordained by the City Council of Lafayette that the water works and electric light bonds and the interest on the entire amount of said bonds, falling due March 1st. 1898 as indicated by the foregoing statement be paid out of the water works and electric light fund, and mayor be and is authorized to warrant upon the treasury for the same and attend to the payment thereof. Be it further ordained that the mayor is authorized to make the best possible arrangement for the transmission of said money to New York the place of payment.
Adopted by the following vote: Yeas, Hopkins, Mouton, Hahn, Landry and Martin.
The following was offered by Mr. Mouton and unanimously adopted.
Be it ordained by this Council that the posting of bills or notices of any kind or in any manner on the electric light poles or the town is hereby prohibited nor shall any one be permitted to drive nails or tacks or in any other way mutilate the said poles, and that any one violating this ordinance shall be punished by fine not exceeding ten dollars and in default of payment of fine shall be imprisoned not exceeding fifteen days, at the discretion of the mayor.
There being no further business the Council adjourned.
CHAS. D. CAFFERY, Mayor.
F. STERLING MUDD, Secretary.
Lafayette Advertiser 2/25/1898.
School Board Proceedings.
Lafayette, La., Feb. 7th, 1898.
Among other business...
The school board met this day with the following members present: Messrs. Delhomme, Hopkins, Durke, Olivier, Dupuis, Broussard, Whittington and Clegg. Absent: W. G. Bailey.
The report of the Sheriff's collection of poll taxes was accepted as follows and a quietus granted him.
The Committee consisting of Ed. G. Voorhies, chairman, J. O. Broussard and Baxter Clegg reported that they had examined the account of I. A. Broussard sheriff, for the collection of poll taxes for the years 1893, 94, 95, 96, having found some duly accounted with proper vouchers thereof recommend that he be given a quietus for same for the years herein mentioned.
The following committee consisting of Messrs. C. D. Caffery, J. O. Broussard and W. G. Bailey was appointed to try and secure cooperation from the police jury in draining Sec. 16 T. S. 10 S. R. 8 of the public school land.
This committee is also to ask an increase in the appropriation made by the budget committee for school purposes.
The bill of Hon. C. D. Caffery for one hundred dollars fees in renting school lands was approved.
The bill for a black board laid over at the last meeting was approved.
Mr. Ben Avant account laid over at the last meeting was also approved.
It was resolved that no accounts for improvements or fixtures on school properties should be approved in the future unless previously authorized by the Board. Lafayette Advertiser 2/26/1898.
Ready for action. The first battle of the session is now being fought on the suffrage amendment. Decks have been cleared, linguistic guns have been repaired, worded ammunition has been provided, and the rank and file are watching each other, tactics will be employed to surprise the weak positions of the enemy but so far the various commands have only taken advantage of unconstitutional mounds upon the battle field to hide their forces behind. The field-marshall' hore has been mounted lately by his ordnance' officer and the marshal himself has fired the first gun in support of the suffrage fortress. In a skirmish of about two hours duration he reviewed the different positions assumed by the divers squads and ended his firing in acknowledging that it was not exactly what he himself would have done, but that it was the very best declaration of war against the illiterate, the paupers, the native born citizens and the negroes that could be mustered up under the circumstances and proud of his achievement his was sheathed once more.
As soon as the field-marshal had ended his linguistic assault which was also a beforehand defencing attack, the first squad under the command of Capt. Wise came on the field to sustain that position taken by the Marshall, adding that he had a gattling gun in the shape of a poll tax which could be easily adopted by the Constitutional army.Lieutenant Boatner followed with a discharge of rapid fire guns as well loaded and with plenty of ammunition in reserve attacking the strong fortifications and a protest against the electoral defences as proposed to be adopted by the army. It seemed to him that the militia had no business to plan for the regulars and he proposed to send back the protest without being looked into. This brought quite a wasting of ammunition of worded cartridges from Colonel Coco, who firing in rapid succession struck the Ware, declaring that the regulars were taken from the militia to to their will. Fire which was borne gallantly by Ware, who was by this time regarded his flag.
Lafayette Advertiser 2/26/1898.
Lafayette On the Way.
There are a good many improvements going about our wide-awake city and if our business men keep a sharp lookout they can secure their shares of prosperity. We are glad to inform our readers, that on last Wednesday, a special train from New Orleans, having a board Meesrs. Owen, Gumble, Wessinger, Godchaux and several civil and mechanical engineers stopped at our refinery. The object of the visit was to investigate and formulate plans of the construction of a large refinery, which will have a full capacity and will be furnished with all the latest improvements. The old mill and refinery attachments have been sold to a planter of Lafourche.
Lafayette Advertiser 2/26/1898.
A Letter From Father Forge.
"Mr. Editor: - Permit me to use your estimable journal to express my profound gratitude to the honorable members of the city council for their generous attention so delicately expressed towards me.
There are sentiments that honor as much those who bestow them as those upon whom they are bestowed.
In contributing to an enterprise so necessary to the interest and safety of our city I did only my duty as a citizen. The success of the enterprise of which I am proud and happy amply reward me for the light help that I may have given.
Any how, I have only responded to the appeal of men who are entitled to praise for their zeal and devotion shown for so many years in bringing prosperity to our good city of Lafayette. My collaboration with my respectful admiration will always be at their disposal.
Please accept, gentlemen of the City Council, my heartfelt thanks and I remain your humble and devoted servant.
The letter published above brings to our mind the interest manifested by its author in the enterprise of our waterworks and electric lights and of the generous gift donated to the Business Men's Association for this purpose.
We may say without fear of being contradicted that Rev. E. Forge, was in a certain measure the corner stone of this enterprise.
Lafayette Advertiser 2/26/1898.
Opera-house. - Mr. H. R. Lucas, of Virginia, the well known stereopticon exhibitor, has been secured to present one of his superb exhibitions at the Opera House Friday night March 4th. The program, Ten Nights in a Barroom, Piece Paper of Hamelin town etc., cannot fail to please any audience. Admission 25 cts. Reserved seats 35 cts. As this attraction will be instructive and of special interest to children, the reduced price of 15 cents is made to the pupils of the school. Lafayette Advertiser 2/26/1898.
News Notes (Advertiser) 2/26/1898.
When shall we have the electric lights?
Laf. Advertiser 2/26/1898.
It was quite cool at the beginning of the week.
Laf. Adv. 2/26/1898.
Arc Lights will brighten the night Tuesday night.
Laf. Adv. 2/26/1898.
The post-office, Bank and Public schools were closed last Tuesday on account of Washington's birthday. Laf. Adv. 2/26/1898.
If a rapid natural increase of population is a good sign for a town then Lafayette is to be congratulated. Laf. Adv. 2/26/1898.
The burlesque on Lafayette's Mardi Gras celebration was to gruesome to ben enjoyable, and was in bad taste. Laf. Adv. 2/26/1898.
Over forty musical numbers in "A Southern Kid" at the Opera House Saturday and Sunday nights Feb. 26th. and 27th. Laf. Adv. 2/26/1898.
The attention of the street committee is called to the protruding nails on plank side walks which is a great nuisance on shoe soles. Laf. Adv. 2/26/1898.
Lafayette is on a quiet boom. How much better pleased we would be it we could state it a little differently by saying Lafayette is "on quite" a boom.
Laf. Adv. 2/26/1898.
During the last few days a carnival hen has laid golden eggs about Lake Charles, New Iberia, New Orleans but she flew over Lafayette. Whose fault was it? Laf. Adv. 2/26/1898.
The attention of the street committee is called to a dumping ground on Lincoln Avenue opposite the Landry Hotel. This speaks very badly to a stranger walking this main thoroughfare. Laf. Adv. 2/26/1898.
La Petite Eileen, only 6 years old plays the title role in the roaring musical farce comedy "A Southern Kid." She is supported by a clever company and they come highly recommended. Don't miss it. Opera House Saturday and Sunday nights Feb. 26th. Laf. Adv. 2/26/1898.
$1,000 worth of musical instruments played on at the Opera House Saturday and Sunday nights, Feb. 26th and 27th - "A Southern Kid."
Ambroise Mouton, the only real estate agent in our parish, has had several visits of late from men with large means from other parts of our State, to examine our beautiful country. He drove them around for three days at a great expense to himself, but he is confident that sooner or later these men will invest here as they promised they would. Laf. Adv. 2/26/1898.
The manager of the New Iberia Opera House was arrested last week for violation of the law which prohibits ladies wearing high hats during any performance at the theater. It seems that he was absent and that his employees requested the ladies to remove their hats but they did not comply with the request. Hence the arrest which will test the law.
Laf. Adv. 2/26/1898.
Civil War. - A meeting of the Confederate Veterans will be held next Saturday March 5th, 1898, at the usual place and on time.
T. A. McFadden, Adjt. Lafayette Advertiser 2/26/1898
Sheriff Isaac A. Broussard.
Elected President of the Sheriff's Association of Louisiana.
[From the Daily States.]
Popular and fearless Isaac A. Broussard will preside over the Sheriffs' Association for the ensuing year. The organization held its annual election of officers in the rooms of the Jefferson Club yesterday, and Ike's popularity among his colleagues was demonstrated by their making him their chief executive unanimously and by acclamation. It were just as superfluous to state that "Ike" Broussard is sheriff of the parish of Lafayette as it would be to set forth that William McKinley is president of the United States. His people have shown their esteem and confidence in him by re-electing him to this responsible office for many terms past an has faithfully discharged the duties thus imposed upon him, gaining new friends, not only in this parish, but throughout the State and in the adjoining ones for that matter, during every successive term.
Aside from the election of officers, there was considerable discussion of the lessening of the expense of the different parishes in respect to criminals.
The new officers are: Isaac A. Broussard, president; C. T. Cade, vice-president, and Frank Marquez, secretary and treasurer.
Among those present were : R. F. Pleasant, Union parish; L. H. Marrero, Jefferson parish; A. V. Saucuier, Avoyelles parish; W. S. Franzee, St. Landry parish; J. V. Young, Baton Rouge parish; Chas., I. Frische, Assumption parish; Frank Marquez, Orleans parish; Louis Ory, St. Charles, parish; J. W. Connerly, Sabine parish; A. R. Thompson, Bossier parish; J. W. Womble, Franklin parish; J. W. Freeman, Natchitoches parish; Chas. Kilbaum, East Feliciana parish; L. D. Allen, Livingston parish; D. A. Johnson, Quachita parish; Frank C. Mercers, Plaquemines parish; E. W. Lyons, Acadia parish; F. J. Davis, Vernon parish; C. H. Lucas, Madison parish; W. F. Pegues, De Soto parish; J. H. Crawford, Winn parish; W. E. Uniacks, Orleans parish; Joihn Doehr, Catahoula parish; A. L. Lyons, Calcasieu parish; I. A. Broussard, Lafayette parish; John J. Stroble, St. Tammany parish; C. T. Cade, Iberia parish.
Lafayette Gazette 2/26/1898.
The three fire companies held meetings Thursday night and elected the following officers:
First District - Wm. Campbell, president; Judge C. Debaillon, vice-president; Felix Mouton, foreman Paul Castel, 1st. assistant; Jno. Graser, second assistant; Henry Gerac, secretary; D. V. Gardebled, treasurer; Wm. Graser, first nozzle man; Geo. Scherer, assistant; Jno. Marsh, key-man, Ed Lehman, plug man; Louis Hebert, stewart; Judge O. C. Mouton, J. P. Revillon, B. Falk, finance committee; Pierre Gerac, S. B. Kahn, Edward Judice, investigating committee.
Second District - Dr. G. A. Martin, president; T. M. Biossat, vice-president; Frank G. Mouton, foreman; Gus. Schmulen, 1st assistant; Jno. L. Kennedy, 2d assistant; O. B. Hopkins, recording secretary; A. V. Labbe, financial secretary; S. R. Parkerson, treasurer; Crow Girard, H. VanderCruyssen, Jos. Ducote, executive committee; C. D. Caffery, G. A. Martin, H. A. VanderCruyssen, J. Alf. Mouton, Gus. Schmulen, Jos. Ducote, on by laws; F. G. Mouton, H. A. VanderCruyssen, Dr. Martin, Uniforms.
Hook and Ladder and Hose Co., No. 3 - A. E. Mouton, president; vice-president, M. Rosenfield; secretary and treasurer, Geo. A. DeBlanc; Emanuel Pellerin, foreman; S. W. McFaddin, 1st assistant; L. A. Veazey, 2d assistant; Jno. Hahn, J. Nickerson, J. A. Delhomme, trustees; A. J. Comes, Marshal; McFaddin, Allingham, DeBlanc, committee on truck; Rosenfield, Allingham, Comes, on by laws. Lafayette Gazette 2/25/1898.
The Social Event of Valentine's Week.
The social event of valentine week was the entertainment of the Ladies' Five O'clock Tea Club by Mrs. A. Denbo, whose charming personality lent additional pleasure to the meeting. In the unavoidable absence of the president and vice-president, Miss Gladu ably presided. Arrangements for an anniversary supper was discussed, but final developments postponed until a called meeting which will take place this Saturday afternoon, at the residence of the Misses Trahan. A recitation by Miss Lizzie Mudd, vocal solo with guitar accompaniment by Miss Susie Hopkins, readings by Misses Trahan and Mudd were enjoyed. After the serving of choice cakes and a delicious ice, followed a Valentine party, a unique and appropriate diversion. The first prize, a dainty powder-box, was won by Miss Lizzie Mudd, the booby, a surprise-box, was awarded Miss Adele Young.
Lafayette Gazette 2/26/1898.
Our Mardi Gras. - Our Mardi Gras celebration this year consisted of several fellows mounted on ponies whose appearance betrayed a close acquaintance with the plow and a total absence or corn in the cribs of their respective owners. To break the monotony of the mounted brigade a few youngsters, dressed in all the colors of the rainbow and wearing hideous masks, appeared in different parts of the town and afforded much amusement to the little boys who crowded the street corners, and made the welkin ring with shouts of joy. Everything passed off very quietly, all the maskers behaving well and creating no disturbance of any kind. A spirit of fun and good fellowship reigned everywhere. However, there was one feature of the day's celebration which, we believe, was ill-advised and displayed very bad taste. It was the carrying of the coffin through the streets of the town. The coffins was placed in the center of a wagon and around it sat a half dozen maskers. This ghastly scene was explained by the following inscription evidently painted by some ambitious young artist: "Our carnival interest has departed, 1898."
After parading itself through the streets this lugubrious float stopped near the Southern Pacific depot, we presume for the purpose of showing to the passengers on the west-bound train what some of our local talent were capable of producing when properly inspired. This may or may not have been the reason why this dazzingly brilliant piece of Mardi Gras enterprise was exhibited to strangers, but it is safe to say that it made a rather unfavorable impression upon the minds of those who are not familiar with the eccentricities of some of our boys.
Lafayette Gazette 2/26/1898.
At the Opera House. - Arrangements have been made with Mr. H. R. Lucas, of Virginia, to present his stereopticon exhibit at the opera house Friday night, March 4. The program is well selected and can not fail to be very interesting. "Ten Nights in a Barroom," the great temperance masterpiece, "Pied Piper of Hamlin-town," the "Beauties and Wonders of the World" and the many humorous transformations are calculated to please any audience. The Selma (Ala.) Times says of this entertainment: "Scenes intensely brilliant, audience delighted." The Meridian (Miss.) News says that the views are charmingly realistic and the coloring artistic. Admission, 25 cents; reserved seats, 35 cents children 15 cents.
Lafayette Gazette 2/26/1898.
A RAILROAD COMMISSION.
Several newspapers agitating the question of a railroad commission, and are urging upon the constitutional convention the necessity of adopting an ordinance which will give to the people of this State protection against railroad corporations. The Gazette joins its confreres in their efforts to have the convention bring about this much needed legislation.
The Gazette is not in favor of government ownership of railroads, but it believes in the justness and wisdom of a law that will place railroad companies under governmental surveillance. This, we believe, in thorough accord with the Democratic idea of government and free from the least taint of socialism or populism. With the exception of one harmless Populist the present constitutional convention is composed wholly of Democrats. It is in the fullest sense of the word a Democratic body. The Democratic party will be held responsible for its acts of commission and commission. The Democracy of the State cannot and should not escape the censure which would result from its failure which would result from its failure to do its duty.
It is the boasted policy of the Democratic party to advocate the passage of the necessary laws to protect the people against the grasping and extortionate demands of trusts and corporations, and nowhere is this sort of legislation more needed than in Louisiana. Not only do the railroads charge what they please and discriminate as much as they see fit, but in the past they have held undisputed sway over the legislative bodies of this State. A law to force them to deal fairly with the people and at the same time insure their proper treatment at the hands of the latter would forever be a monument to the wisdom and sagacity of the present constitutional convention.
A splendid opportunity is offered the Democratic party of Louisiana to carry out one of its cardinal principles. Let it show to the people that its platforms and the utterances of its leaders are not merely the idle talk of the demagogues, intended to deceive the masses.
Lafayette Gazette 2/26/1898.
TOO POOR TO BURY ITS DEAD.
The action of the State department in accepting the offer of the Spaniards to bear the expense incurred in the burial of the victims of the Maine disaster may have been in accord with the laws that govern international relations, but it will hardly be approved by the great body of Americans. The administration at Washington was too busy receiving, and replying to, messages of sympathy from the Spanish government to attend to the proper burial of the unfortunate fellows whose remains now lie in alien graves, thousands of miles away from their homes. It was bad enough for this country to allow the interment of the sailors of the Maine, to take place in Cuba, but to the mind of the average American, it was far worse for it to grab at the offer of the Spaniards tom bear the expenses of the funeral. This country is rich enough to squander untold millions to support an army of public beggars, but the recent ill-advised action of the State department would show that it is too poor to bury its own dead and that Uncle Sam has grown so niggardly that he refuses to give a tittle of his vast denominations in which to bury the bones of his children. The endless palayer of Spanish sympathizers will will never soothe the sorrow of the widows and orphans of the dead seaman.
The Times-Democrat has very aptly said:
Nor do we think the bodies of American seamen should be placed at rest in a foreign land - and a semi-hostile one - where they have no friends or relatives at hand, especially when the shores of their native country are only sixty miles distant. It would be far better to bury the bodies on American soil, even though it be a sand spot on the coast of Florida, than have their graves to be cared for by "the Dons."
Capt. Sigsbee says that it would be difficult to remove the bodies to his country, and so it would be if they were to be carried to New York or New Orleans, or to the homes of the men; but the bodies could certainly have been kept to be interred in Florida as easily as preserved for a public funeral in Havana.
Lafayette Gazette 2/26/1898.
How much longer Congress can stand the strain which has been imposed upon it by the action, or rather non-action of the administration upon the destruction of the battleship Maine and the killing of 250 of its men, in Havana harbor, without an explosion, is problematical. Mr. McKinley has disappointed many of his supporters, and nothing but the unwritten law under which Congress has always supported the President in all questions of policy affecting a foreign nation has prevented an outbreak before this. Inasmuch as there are probably not 50 men in Congress who do not believe that the Maine was blown up intentionally, it is difficult to understand why Mr. McKinley and the Secretary of the Navy should so persistently assert their belief that the awful calamity was the result of an accident on board the Maine. The naval attache of the Spanish Legation, has publicly announced the same belief, and added that the accident was the result of carelessness and lax discipline. Ye gods! and this meddlesome fool has not been sent after de Lome. It could have been understood if Mr. McKinley and his Secretary of the Navy had said that they had no opinion to offer in advance of the finding of the naval court of inquiry, which has been appointed to investigate the awful affair, but why they should take a position that is a reflection upon Captain Sigabee and the other brave officers of the Maine, is only explainable upon the theory that they are afraid of offending Spain, and that in the event of the failure to find direct and conclusive evidence that the Maine was blown up by Spanish treachery, Captain Sigabee is to be made a scapegoat. It was the general opinion in Congress that Mr. McKinley should have ordered the entire U. S. fleet, now off the coast of Florida, to Havana harbor, to remain during the investigation, but so far, not even a single warship has been ordered there Secretary Long says that one will will be. It is not surprising that the Spaniards should think and say that we are afraid to send another warship to Havana.
Up to this time, Mr. McKinley has only done one thing that has met the unqualified approval of Congress, and the indications point to his having done that under that compulsion. That was to refuse to grant the request of the Spanish authorities at Havana, to have a Spanish diver accompany every American diver who made an examination of the hull of the Maine. Just who is entitled to credit for his having done that has not yet been ascertained, but it is certain that somebody is, as Secretary Long had seated before the official request reached Washington, and before it was known that it would granted. Congress doesn't wish the world to know that it differs with the President; hence it has so far done nothing further than to appropriate $200,000 to be used in saving as much of the Maine and her equipment as possible, but the strain is terrible, and it is still on.
There is a difference of opinion as to whether Senator Mason chose just the right time to make that red-hot speech of his, and also as to the good taste of some of his remarks, which were certainly not such as would be likely to increase our prestige abroad, but the truthfulness of the following is fully apparent: "Why should the administration now hesitate? The President hesitated because of autonomy. Why should he not set when the minister has confessed that it is not real, but a fraud and a sham? Autonomy, by the confession of the Spanish Minister, is a fraud, a delusion, and a snare-a common confidence game of a common thief, confessed out of his own mouth. No one could doubt the contempt felt by Mr. Mason for Spanish diplo mata and Spanish diplomacy, after he said: I would not sit down at the same table with a Spaniard unless I had an ironclad wall between his stiletto and my architecture. There is nothing in Spanish diplomacy for a hundred years which prove them anything but common scoundrels."
- Nothing yet seriously proposed in the line if paternalism goes further than a joint resolution offered by Representative Lovering, of Mass., providing for an amendment to the Constitution, authorizing Congress to regulate the hours of labor in all the states. The House Judiciary Committee has actually been giving hearings on that resolution. A delegation of cotton mill men from the South appeared before the Committee to protest against the resolution, but they could have saved money by staying at home. We may come that sort of thing in time, but not yet.
- Only 12 democrats and one populist voted for the Bankruptcy bill which passed the House by a vote of 159 to 124. The bill passed is a substitute for the Nelson bill passed by the Senate at the extra session, and it provides for the voluntary and involuntary bankruptcy.
Original source unknown. In the Lafayette Advertiser of 2/26/1898.