From the Lafayette Gazette of February 28th, 1903:
THE PRIMARY ELECTION.
The primary to be held in this town on March 4 to nominate a municipal ticket should be a Democratic affair at which none but Democrats should vote. The moment that Republicans are allowed to participate in this election it ceases to be a Democratic primary. The nominees of that primary should be the choice of the Democrats, not the Republicans. It is a fact that on several occasions in the past Republicans in this parish voted at Democratic primaries and then did not scruple to vote for their ticket at the general election. That is clearly wrong. Participation in a primary unquestionably imposes certain obligations upon the voter. No Republican should want to vote at a Democratic primary and no Democrat should want to vote at a Republican primary. To dispute this is to encourage political disloyalty and bad faith.
The Gazette appreciates the fact that there are quite a number of Republicans in this town. They were formidable enough a few years ago to carry this precinct for the Republican candidate for congress. They are still here. If any of them have been converted to the Democracy their conversion has not been given publicity. These men, if they are attached to their party because of its principles, will not presume to take part in a primary election in which they can have no possible interest. A spirit of common fairness, if not a sense of party fealty, should cause them to keep out. Of course, if the Democrats avail themselves of their rights under the law legalizing primaries, known Republicans legally can be prevented from voting, but it is to be hoped that that will be unnecessary.
Lafayette Gazette 2/28/1903.
Ideal School Grounds.
The purchase of the two lots of ground owned by Achille Figaro last Saturday, by the City Council, was the second serious step in the movement inaugurated several months ago to provide enlarged school facilities for the rapidly growing population of Lafayette.
This tract of ground, with its fine shade trees, added to the other two lots previously acquired from Mrs. Beraud, will afford an ideal location for the two-story modern school building which it has been the purpose of the Council to erect during the course of the present year.
Our present school accommodations are entirely inadequate, and no time should be lost in meeting the legitimate requirements of the community in this respect. And it will no doubt be of interest to the residents of McComb Addition to know that at the special meeting that the Council held to authorize the purchase of the ground referred to above, it was agreed to provide a separate school house at some convenient point for the children living in that section of the town, on account of the great distance between the McComb addition and the proposed new school building down town.
Let the good work go on !
Lafayette Advertiser 2/28/1903.
Lecture at the Institute.
The management of the Institute Lyceum Course will offer to the people of Lafayette Thursday evening, March 12, one of the best lectures yet delivered from the platform of the auditorium. This will be one of Mr. George. W. Wendling's famous lectures. Speaking of Mr. Wendling the Atlanta Constitution says: "When he had finished speaking the crowd literally went wild with enthusiasm." The Louisville Courier-Journal calls Mr. Wendling "one of the most accomplished orators of America." See next week's issue for further particulars. Lafayette Gazette 2/28/1903.
For Whose Advantage?
In propounding the above question The Advertiser desires to direct the attention of voters in the primaries to be held March 4th., to the communication signed "Cuf Bono" in this issue of the paper.
The question is a pertinent one and our correspondent has evidently been pondering over it, just as a great many other members of the community have been doing. It is reasonably certain, as so many people seem to believe that no advantage is to be gained by voluntarily giving up a set of public servants who have made an excellent record as such, then why propose or risk a change? It certainly could not be considered a judicious move to do so simply for the novelty of the thing.
On the other hand there is nothing passing strange in the fact that five members of the present City council have expressed a willingness to serve another term together with three others of their fellow townsmen who have joined them in the movement. They have labored long and well for the upbuilding of the community in which they live, and it is a natural and laudable desire on their part to continue their efforts in the same direction ; and theirs is a pardonable pride in wanting to direct to completion certain public improvements projected during their administration in office, and for which they stand. It is a perfectly natural feeling under the circumstances, and there can be no reasonable grounds of objection on that score.
Truly, their reason for applying for re-election should command the highest consideration of every thoughtful citizen, and the community should be glad of the privilege thus afforded them of retaining in the public service men of intelligence and integrity, who are animated by good motives in their willingness to hold office without compensation.
Lafayette Advertiser 2/28/1903.
THE DEMOCRATIC TICKET.
The following ticket is submitted to the Democratic voters of the town of Lafayette, for their consideration, in the primary election to be held on March 4, 1903.
MAYOR-Chas. D. Caffery.
COUNCILMEN-Felix Demanade, A. Emile Mouton, Geo. A. DeBlanc, John O. Mouton, D. V. Gardebled, M. Rosenfield, H. L. Fontenot.
DEMOCRATIC EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE-Wm. Campbell, Julian Mouton, I. A. Broussard, Henry Church, Alfred Hebert.
Lafayette Gazette 2/28/1903.
From "The Attakapasian," the official journal of the Attakapas Literary Society of the Southwestern Louisiana Industrial Institute.
Monday evening at 3 o'clock memorial services were held in the Auditorium in honor of the late Dr. J. L. M. Curry, the well beloved friend of education who passed away on Friday, February 13, 1903, and was buried on the 16th. The audience was composed of the faculty and students, the public school children accompanied by their teachers, and many of the town people; these had met to pay their last tribute of respect of this great man, who always will be remembered as a faithful friend to education as well as to other good causes for which he worked.
Rev. A. C. Smith of the Methodist church officiated at prayer services. Miss Montgomery played Chopin's Funeral March, after which Dr. E. L. Stephens delivered an able address, relating the life of Mr. Curry and as he had known him personally, and giving several reminiscences of him. "Lead Kindly Light" was then sung by a number of teachers and students, after which the audience left.
The program for the last meeting of the Rules of Order Club consisted as a valuable as well as charming talk by Prof. Smith about Nova Scotia. He spoke principally of some of the sports carried on during the winter, all of which was extremely interesting. He also gave some splendid details of the country itself, illustrating his talk by means of maps drawn for the occasion. The other numbers on the program were a song by the "Naughty Eight," who were "encored," and a reading by Miss Lucy Guidry.
Several visitors were shown around the building during the last two weeks.
The school is proud to boast of two literary societies; the Attakapas and the "Avatar" which was organized last Saturday night and which is composed chiefly of apostates from the old society. The idea of having two societies is a splendid one as it will awaken a new spirit among the different members.
Miss Huger has a very industrious set of girls in charge to whom she has just commenced teaching several kinds of fancy stitches and other sort of odd work that is done at the Newcomb College. At the May exhibition will be seen some shirt waists on which the girls will have made some of their original designs.
Mrs. Baker, Mrs. Stephens, Miss Mayfield and Miss McLaurin have joined this class.
The boys are really mean to the dormitory girls, for last week they had the audacity to catch one of our pet rabbits, who reside under our plank walk, and have a game of "catcher" with him. I suppose that what you would call it. One of the boys would throw poor little cotton tail as far out as he could -- and a mob ran after him to see which one would overtake him. Of course they caught him every time; and so, after having amused themselves during all of recess in this manner, one of the boys took the poor rabbit home to stew him for supper.
Another one of the boys' sports has been boxing. You have no idea what fine boxers we have, some of them I am sure will become famous as great fighters. It is very interesting to watch the games and see the boys give one another graceful charming love-taps. Several of them, however, have black eyes, broken fingers, and lips as big as eggs.
"What is a proverb," asked the teacher of one of the students. He answered correctly, but on being asked to explain, "Do not spur a good horse," he replied: "If you spur him he will throw you over and nothing more."
A great habit among the students is chewing gum, and Mr. Mayer has come to the conclusion that it is very injurious to the eyes as one of his pupils in stenography - a gum amateur - could not see the difference between the doubling and halving principles.
Since a few days Mr. H. D. Smedes has been more reasonable, and is handing in better looking papers. We are all wondering what could have brought about such a change. Can it possibly be that his long trousers are the cause of it?
Some one rang up at the dormitory for Mr. Hugh D. McLaurin. He really meant Miss McLaurin.
Miss Florence Theriot has resigned from the "A. L. S." Has she some attraction in the Avatar?
Little Minor Meriwether says should he ever get in trouble he would get a writ of "Corpus Christi."
The fourth year class English teacher will soon begin to teach her class how to conjugate the verb "See" as she has found it quite necessary to instruct them once more in English Grammar. It's all on account of Miss Alma Gulley, too, for she has not yet learned how to use the verb "See" correctly.
The other day an old man with a basket of books on his arm was looking high and low for "Miss Lilly Bridge," and finally he found him in the Commercial Department.
The south west part of the building was in great danger Tuesday morning. The third and second year classes were making beaten biscuits and if you had heard the pounding for a half hour, you would have had very serious doubts of ever seeing home and mother again.
Mrs. Baker has been endeavoring by all means possible to keep the boys away from the dormitory and her last attempt was in making a dozen scare-crows. She dressed her orange trees up in white and red. They look very queer, especially at night, but it is hard to tell if her scare-crows are keeping the young men away, for Mr. Woodson came up to the dormitory Tuesday evening and I don't believe he was the least bit frightened, for I saw him coming up, just as bold as ever with his hands in his pockets. Lafayette Gazette 2/28/1903.
Negro White Sentenced. - A few days ago Ben White, a negro, was sentenced to five years in the Federal Penitentiary by Judge Boarman of the Federal Court, holding a session at Shreveport. White has confessed having robbed the post office some time ago. He was apprehended through the efforts of Postmaster Paul Demanade, who scattered dodgers throughout Louisiana and Texas, giving a description of White, whom he suspected of the commission of the crime. This led to his arrest in Houston and his ultimate confession to an officer. Lafayette Gazette 2/28/1903.
George R. Wendling Lecture. - The management of the Institute Lyceum Course will offer to the people of Lafayette on Thursday evening, March 12, one of the best lectures yet delivered from the platform of the auditorium. This will be one of Mr. George R. Wendling's famous lectures. Speaking of Mr. Wenlding the Atlanta Constitution says: "When he had finished speaking the crowd literally went wild with enthusiasm." The Louisville-Courier-Journal calls Mr. Wendling "one of most accomplished orators of America."
See next week's issue for further particulars.
Lafayette Gazette 2/28/1903.
SHOULD ALL BE POLITICIANS.
"There is something defective in the education or rearing up of a people who care so little for their government. It would seem that the importance of discharging their civic duties has never been properly instilled in the minds of the men of to-day. Both the home and school appear to have been derelict in this respect. The percentage of a citizen who are not conversant with the workings of the government is appallingly great. The popular idea seems to be that the government is a thing which will take care of itself and that is not the citizen's business to take part in its administration.
"The only remedy for this condition of affairs lies in the hands of the State. It is the correct education of the child which the State alone is able to give offers the sole cure for this common disease which so seriously affects the body politic. In a country like this where the people are supreme and where the popular will is law, it is important that the voters should have a proper appreciation of their duty to the State. Too much about the government can not be taught in the schools, and it should be impressed upon the mind of every boy that it is a great privilege to be born an American citizens and it is still a greater privilege to be allowed to exercise the rights of American citizenship." - Lafayette Gazette
...The publication "The Felicianas" responds to the Gazette's article...
What the Gazette says is true - only too true. But how is the trouble to be remedied? There is not now a text book in existence that will answer requirements, nor is it possible to originate one. A great deal can be accomplished in this direction by text books, but they fall far short of requirement. The solution of this trouble is to be found in newspapers of the better class. One of the metropolitan dailies should comprise a part of the daily course of every school in the land, both as a source of general information and a means of arousing an intelligent, active and patriotic interest not only in this country, but in life itself. The schools of this or any other country could do the world no greater service than make a rule and practice to turn out habitual and methodical newspaper readers. Our government is controlled by this element, and it is entirely too small. We need more men and women capable of thinking and reasoning intelligently for themselves concerning the living issues of the day, instead of either ignoring them entirely or being led astray by demagogues who delight in coddling their ignorance. The disgrace is not in percentage of illiteracy in the several States, but in the degree of ignorance among those who are not illiterate, concerning the affairs of every day life, particularly of an intelligent conception of the duties of citizenship. We will never have a better class of citizens nor better government until we get a better and more general class of newspaper readers, and this will never be until children are taught at home and at school to make the papers a part of their daily study. Those who are not habitual newspaper readers cannot grasp the full import of this idea, but we beg those who are to ponder it well. It is worthy of serious consideration. To teach of the past and not of the present is to ignore the most important and practical half of history. It is preposterous that the living issues and incidents of the present should not be taught the youth of the land until they became ancient history. Matters educationally have not kept progress with, or availed of, all the facilities afforded by the Art Preservative. -- The Felicianas.
Now The Gazette now summarizes....
No doubt more newspaper reading by the people would result in a distinct gain along the lines suggested by The Felicianas; but it is in the schoolhouse where the work must be done. It is there the idea of civic duty must be instilled in the mind of the child. The boy must not only be taught that freedom is his birthright, but that he must do something to preserve it; that in order to discharge intelligently the duties of citizenship he should first understand what they are. It is a sad commentary upon the times that there are men of light and leading in this country - teachers, ministers, doctors, lawyers - who do not even vote.
The education of the young should be directed in a manner to render indifference to civic duties dishonorable in the eyes of the people. Every man should be a politician - not a politician in the modern sense, but in that better sense which means that he is a citizen who takes a proper interest in the administration of public affairs.
If all men were politicians as they should be, there would be no bosses and there would be no need of reformers with spasmodic attacks of political virtue. Lafayette Gazette 2/28/1903.
PUBLIC SCHOOL NEWS.
Misses Fadra Holmes and Zelia Christian, two of the most zealous teachers in Lafayette parish, gave their children a lesson in patriotism on Friday, February 20, in commemorating the birth and life of the greatest name in American history -- Washington.
The Gazette had occasion to refer a few weeks ago to the little attention paid to the subject of civics in our public schools. The subject can best be introduced to young children through the lives of such men as Washington, Lee and Lincoln. While it is impossible to have formal civics in the lower grades of public schools much interest can be aroused and local government can be profitably studied by the children of the lowest grades. The subject can and should be taught in the same manner as local geography is now taught by progressive teachers.
Miss Agnes Morris, of the State Normal School has prepared a pamphlet on the civil government of Louisiana which would be of value to all teachers.
It is to be hoped that next time Washington's birthday comes around every teacher in the parish will take advantage of the opportunity to impress upon their children the sublimity of character possessed by "The Father of his country" and to teach patriotism. We are all American citizens and the sooner our children are taught this fact the better.
On page 19 of Superintendent Alleman's pamphlet recently issued to the teachers we find these words: "It is well to have exercises on such days as Thanksgiving, Washington's birthday, Christmas eve, etc. In graded and central schools exercises should be given oftener".
Lafayette Gazette 2/28/1903.
From the Lafayette Advertiser of February 28th, 1891:
THE NEW ROUND HOUSE.
The new round house has now assumed shape and the carpenters will have inside work from now on. The roofing force has arrived and have commenced their work. The roof is to be concrete - a layer of heavy waterproof paper covered with asphalt and gravel, and will be fireproof. A proper conception of the magnitude of this building can only be had by getting on top and viewing the vast expanse of roof. It is sufficient for a good buggy drive.
Lafayette Advertiser 2/28/1891
At Falk's. - Last week at Falk's Opera House,at the close of Long's show performance, the bantam champion Mr. Kid Wilson, and his trainer Mr. Lonly SouBrady, gave a large audience an opportunity of witnessing a sparring match with soft gloves between professionals. Mr. Wilson stands high in boxing circles in New Orleans and Mr. SouBrady ranks well as a scientific and successful trainer, and as this was the first exhibition of the kind ever held here, much interest was manifested. The boys gave a pretty exhibition of scientific sparring, and the "Kid" is evidently a clever boxer. Some were disappointed because they did not knock down and drag each other out; but that was not the object of the performance. It was more on the order of the young fellow in "Georgia Scenes," who was trying to "see how he could'a fout." Others thought it was too tame, and expected to see them climb all over each other, tearing out handfuls of hair and hide. Now, what they did looks very easy, but just "put yourself in his place" and try it.
The only fauz pas made was when the "Kid," (as SouBrady claims,) wishing to show off before the ladies, reached under and handed SouBrady a vicious upper-cut, pasting a funeral notice on his left eye. Messrs. Wilson and Brady left for Texas Monday, where the "Kid" has a glove fight "on" for seven hundred dollars.
Lafayette Advertiser 2/28/1891.
The Municipal Contest
To The Advertiser.
I have been trying in vain to find a reasonable explanation for the desire of certain gentlemen in Lafayette to "oust" the present City Council. Even the supporters of the movement themselves are a loss to give any particular reason for doing so, when questioned on the subject. Nobody has been charged with malfeasance in office. It is conceded that the members of the Council now serving, against whom the opposition is being directed, are fully the equal in intelligence, good character and patriotism of any other set of citizens in the town who might be desirous of succeeding them in office ; it is admitted on all sides that they have given the people an honest and economical administration of public affairs. It is recognized that they have acquired experience in office which is bound to count for the advantage of the town in the future conduct of its affairs ; it is known that they have been maturing plans for several months past looking to the establishment of the public school interests of the town on a broad and enlightened basis ; to the end that every child in the community may enjoy the best school advantages that brains and money can provide ; it is acknowledged that it would be contrary to sound public policy to risk any interruption or interference in the good work already in progress, or that are on the eve of being undertaken. Yet, there must be a motive for wanting a change, and perhaps the following incident said to have occurred during President Cleveland's first-term, may supply the information:
Near the close of a reception held by the President, an important rural looking man entered the East Room, and passing his way quickly through the crowd, stood before the President. Removing his hat with one hand and bestowing a hearty grip with the other, he opened fire at once without dallying over what he doubtless considered useless preliminaries.
"Good morning, Mr. President" he said. "I've come all the way from Alabama to get my place. All you've got to do is just to say the word and I'm fixed, for I've got may papers all drawn up and endorsed." As the fellow drew a formidable pile of papers from the depths of a cavernous pocket in his breeches, the President looked at him with an expression of the blankest astonishment. At last mustering courage, he said :
"You have come all the way from Alabama to get your place you say? I do not quite understand you."
"Why, I want the position of collector of Internal Revenue, of course, in -------", naming a well known part of his State."
"But that place is already filled by a man of whom there has hitherto been no complaint."
"Complaint ! No, indeed, sir - nothing of the kind. He is a competent man in every way, so far as I know, but I want the place all the same and here are my papers."
A curious expression, a cross between a smile and frown flitted across the President's face as he listened to the astonishing reply.
"Then if the present incumbent is a thoroughly capable man" he said, "against whom no complaint can be lodged, I am at a loss to understand the reason for your present application."
The fellow looked the President squarely in the eyes, as he slowly and emphatically replied :
"You want my reason for the application? Well, then, Mr. President, it is the same as that which on last election day made us put Mr. Arthur out of his office and give it to you."
The colloquy ended here, but the man from Alabama went away as empty as he came.,
Lafayette La, Feb. 23, 1903.
Lafayette Advertiser 2/28/1903.
GIVE US BETTER ROADS!
Lafayette, Parish, Feb. 23, 1891.
Editor Advertiser: I will give you and your many readers a few sketches about our section. Our people, as is generally well known, have had that good ole "la grippe," but are now all about well.
I know we have mighty bad roads. I went to Lafayette Tuesday, accompanied by a friend. We came to a place where my friend thought it best for him to get down and walk around and let me drive over. But I didn't drive over. The horse and sulky went under. Had it not been that my friend was very active and caught the little pony by the tail, and I jumped out and caught the sulky by the wheel, sulky and pony would have been gone; but we managed to save them both. I think if the people of this parish ever expect to have good roads they will have to petition the police jury to levy a tax of so many mills on the dollar for road purposes, then that will exempt nobody from working the roads. As it is now, some are too old to work, some are crippled, or some other excuse. By so doing there will be no grumbling; every taxpayer will pay according to his assessment. Then let the police jury let the work out to the lowest bidder, in each ward - say a mile to one man; he to take it as so much, and he to hire men at whatever he could per day, also give security to keep such piece of road in good repair for twelve months, or two years; then give some one else a chance. In the present condition of the roads no work would do any good; we must wait until the ground dries.
Readers and friends, think a little about the roads! Don't only think, but try to do something in order to have better roads, for they are in a deplorable state. Come, now, good old citizens, let us put our shoulders to the wheel and see if we can't change that! and instead of bad roads, let's have good roads. I will close for this time, for fear I weary your readers.
By the way, what has become of Mr. Tugmutton, and Mr. Oberon, and others? We miss them.
Lafayette Advertiser 2/28/1891.
City Council Proceedings.
Lafayette, La., Feb. 19th, 1891:
A special meeting of the City Council was held this day, and there were present, W. B. Bailey, Mayor, A. J. Moss, J. G. Parkerson, F. Lombard and John O. Mouton. Absent - Ed. Pellerin and P. Gerac. The Mayor stated the object of the meeting to be to consider the petition of certain citizens and taxpayers of the corporation, asking for the opening of Congress street to Lafayette St, which said petition was read and after discussion thereon, the following was adopted.
Resolved, that the Mayor be and is authorized to appoint a committee of three to consider the expediency of opening said street as prayed for, and said committee is hereby instructed and empowered to negotiate with owners of lots necessary for the opening of said street, and to obtain from them such portions thereof needful for the continuation of said street at such prices as may seem just and reasonable to said committee.
The Mayor appointed on said committee Messrs. John O. Mouton, A. J. Moss and Leo Doucet.
The Council thereupon adjourned.
W. B. BAILEY, Mayor.
CHAS. D. CAFFERY, Secretary.
Lafayette Advertiser 2/28/1891.
Mishap On the Morgan Tap.
Train No. 50. on the Morgan tap, met with an exciting little episode, just about dark, at Lamore water tank, some distance above Cheneyville. They had about finished taking water when a hard looking character was observed suspiciously stealing towards the engine with his right hand hid beneath the breast of his coat. Mr. H. Jagou, who saw him first, immediately scrambled down into the water tank of the tender through the man-hole, leaving his nose sticking out of the water. Jack Tiernay and Tom Coleman saw him about the same time, and old "No. 516" skipped out of there in a hurry. The villain, who might have been one of Rube Burrow's gang, seeing that he was discovered, made no attempt to board the engine. In about a minute "Jay Gould" popped his head up out of the man-hole and exclaimed: "Psch-e-w! Boys, did we scare him off ! Mr. Bebe Hebert, the other brakeman, says he saw no robber; but every time he looks at "Jay Gould" the boys wonder what is the significance of that three-cornered smile he puts up? Lafayette Advertiser 2/28/1891.
Selected News Notes (Advertiser) 2/28/1903.
The weather during the week has been fair and windy, and the ground is drying out rapidly. Our farmers are stirring themselves and humming with preparation, like a hive of bees that have been shaken up from a long sheep.
Laf. Advertiser 2/28/1891.
Mr. Hebert Billeaud is erecting a couple of cottages on Madison street, adjoining
Mrs. Henry Landry's residence lots.
Laf. Advertiser 2/28/1891.
Mr. Henry Bendell has been in town for a few days. He will remain here at his old home a couple of weeks longer before going to Morgan City, where he will locate and go into business. Laf. Advertiser 2/28/1891.
We are glad to note that our clever young friend Mr. Wm. Kelly, conductor on the Morgan tap, who was confined to his room by sickness several weeks, was able to take his run again the latter part of last week.
Laf. Advertiser 2/28/1891.
Mr. Jno. H. Conniff, General Manager at the Crescent and News Hotel Co., stopped over Sunday with Mr. and Mrs. Hahn at the Crescent, on his way over the line to the West. Laf. Advertiser 2/28/1891.
Mr. H. L. Monnier has a lemon tree in bloom. We hope it will bear this year, as we have never seen a lemon tree in fruit.
The talented and popular young actress, Maude Atkinson, supported by her excellent company, will render the exciting drama "Woman against Woman," at Falk's Opera House to-morrow (Sunday) night. Miss Atkinson has appeared here before, and is quite a favorite with our people. Laf. Adv. 2/28/1891.
This time last year we were visited by a disastrous freeze, and the china and fruit trees were in full foliage. Now the trees are just putting forth tender leaves. The wiseacres tell us that a late season like this promises and abundance of fruit. The measles has been prevalent in Lafayette for several weeks, but it is of mild form and yields readily to treatment. Laf. Advertiser 2/28/1891.
Vermilion Bayou is falling, and the festive gaspergoo is said to be on the warpath again. Laf. Advertiser 2/28/1891.
Hon. Murphy J. Foster, of St. Mary parish, was in town during the week attending District Court.
The weather during the week has been fair and windy, and the ground is drying out rapidly. Our farmers are stirring themselves and humming with preparation, like a hive of bees that have been shaken up from a long sheep.
Laf. Advertiser 2/28/1891.
Robins are lingering here later that usual this Spring and are still quite plentiful. If you go to their roost late in the evening you can get all you want in a few shots. Sonny Landry now leads the record on robins with a bag of forty-nine in four shots. Laf. Advertiser 2/28/1891.
Blind Tom will appear at Falk's Opera House, Monday night, March 2nd. We would advise everybody to go if you wish to hear a phenomenal idiot give expression to the one light of his soul - music. Blind Tom will most probably never have a successor in this world; and as he is growing old, if you miss seeing him now, you may never hear his divine melody. The Evening Times, Little Falls, N. Y., says "Perhaps the greatest musical prodigy the world has ever known in Blind Tom, the colored pianist. He has played before the sovereigns of Europe, the great masters of Europe have heard him, and they all have been amazed by his extraordinary gifts. Blind Tom appeared in Little Falls a number of years ago, and he will give another exhibition of his extraordinary skill - if a natural gift can probably be called skill - at the Opera House, on Thursday of next week. A fine programme will be offered and no doubt every lover of good music that is not surpassed anywhere - will attend the entertainment. Lafayette Advertiser 2/28/1891.
From the Lafayette Advertiser of February 28th, 1913:
Told in Brief by Atty. Jerome Mouton in Entertaining Address to Forum.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
The Forum has interrupted a series of very entertaining discourses to hear what I fear will be a rather dull talk on a subject which is of great interest to me, but which I am afraid I cannot very well make interesting to you the History of the Parish of Lafayette. This subject naturally should quicken the interest of those who spring from the peaceful peasants who sought homes in the sloping prairies of the Attakapas country a century and half ago, and certainly there is enough pathos, courage and loyalty in the story of how these exiled crossed the continent and establish a colony in our midst to excite the sympathy and admiration of all.
I wish to thank the Forum for the gracious invitation extended to me to speak to you on the subject. It is quite a privilege to appear before this organization which means so much to the educational progress of the community, and to be asked to sketch, as it were, the history of my native parish, is an especial privilege.
I can on this occasion make only casual reference to the events that crowd one another on the pages of the history of the parish, in common with the destinies of the state and of our country, the plowed fields and green pastures of what is now prosperous and peaceful Lafayette were crossed in the 40's by the troops of Taylor and Davis and Ringold on their way to Mexico. Later on, for four year her homes were abandoned to her noble women and here fields lay fallow. The thrilling epoch of reconstruction which established racial integrity and the period during which the Vigilants established social order, are no less interesting to the student of history. And a pastoral could be written of the life of the humble and gentle colonists who sought a haven from political and religious persecution in this lovely land. But I can only sketch these epochs.
Lafayette Parish, comprising the territory now forming the parishes of Lafayette and Vermilion, was created by the legislative enactment in 1823, to be exact, On January 17, Robertson was then Governor of Louisiana; Jackson's victory at Chalmette was still recent and had stirred a new patriotism among the Creoles of Louisiana.
A mere reading of this act of the Legislature is interesting to me. For instance, here is a description of the limits of the Parish as set out in the act:
"The division line between the parishes of St. Martin and Lafayette shall commence at the southern boundary of the county of Attakapas, at the junction of the Bayou Carencro, with the bayou Vermilion; then down said bayou Vermilion with its meanders, to the lower line of lands formerly claimed by Leclare Fuselier; thence along the lower line of said tract of land, forty French arpents, thence along the back lines of the tracts of land fronting on the left or east bank of the bayou Vermilion, to a point marked C, on the division line run by William Johnson, parish surveyor of the Parish of St. Martin, and now deposited in the office of the secretary of state, thence east to the west or back boundary line of lands claimed by the heirs of Alexander Chevalier DeClouet, thence in a direct line till it the northwestern boundary of land formerly claimed by Francois Ledee, at a point marked, I on the plan of the division line run by William Johnson aforesaid; thence along said Ledee's boundary to the Vermilion thence as the bayou Vermilion meanders to the junction of the bayou Tortue with the bayou Vermilion, thence up the bayou Tortue as it meanders to the bridge over said bayou near the plantation of Louis St. Julien, thence along the line run by William Johnson aforesaid to Lake Peigneurs, thence south nine degress, ten minutes east, to the Gulf of Mexico."
Fusilier, DeClouet and St. Julien were not Acadians. The were young Frenchmen of education and culture who had come to the this country in spirit of adventure to seek new lands for the aggrandizement of their country, and a reading of the musty record brings to mind their names which are linked so closely with the History of this section of the state.
But I am inclined to believe that the Forum will not be interested so much in calling to mind the names of those pioneers of our parish, but it will find remarkable that in the legislative enactment, giving political independence to the parish, there is a clause which provides for an appropriation of eight hundred dollars per year for the support of public education. To-day such provisions in our laws are common enough but 100 years ago, is that not rather a striking fact?
In this connection, let me say, that approximately twenty years thereafter, the son of an exiled Acadian, singular to relate, who was the first of his people to rise to political leadership, wrote in the constitution of his native state, a clause dedicating the future of Lousiana to the cause of popular education. If for no other reason, Lafayette should be proud of the only Governor she has given to her state who thus became the founder of the public school system of Lousiana.
So it seems that this great cause received impetus in this parish many years ago, and has finally flourished in the establishment of institutions which I trust will secure the destinies of her youth.
In 1844, through what seems now an incomprehensible error, the broad acres comprising the territory in the parish of Vermilion, five times with its tremendous Gulf Coast, was cut off from the parish of Lafayette by legislative act. No one evidently then dreamed of the irreparable loss to our Parish by this dot to her only daughter. Lafayette was then in the fullness of her political and economic prestige, and only lack of foresight on the part of her public men allowed this donation of her wealth and lands.
A decade after the birth of the parish, on March 11, 1836, the town of Vermilionville, becoming Lafayette in 1878; was granted legislative charter.
The little hamlet was founded by an exile who could neither read nor write, who had drifted here, driven by the storms of English intolerance. Yet this child of misfortune was, in later days, to show a spirit of liberality and tolerance, unknown to his times. He grew to manhood in the wild prairies of the Attakapas, untutored and unlettered. In the course of years, by trading with the Indians, he accumulated landed estates, and among his accumulations he dedicated property for public and religious uses, and strange to say, that with the sting of religious persecution fresh in his heart, in dedicating land for sepulture, just behind yonder steeple, where the forefathers of the hamlet sleep, this ignorant, persecuted exile, said that this land was dedicated to the Catholics, the Protestants, the Jews, and to men of no religion.
While Lafayette Parish was granted municipal autonomy in 1823, it was already settled and its history begins over a half century earlier. Those who dwelt here in '23 were the sons and daughters of the Acadians who settled here in the latter part of the eighteenth century. Already for two generations their ancestors had tilled its virgin soil and swept its rolling prairies as herdsmen. That is the period of which no written record has been made. Trekking across a continent, people with a race then at war with their motherland, during a century marked with world-wide cruelty and intolerance, these home-loving, peaceful Normandy peasants, exiled from their newly found homes in bleak Nova Scotia, sought the hospitable shores of the Gulf to arrive here to find the yellow ensign of Spain fluttering over what they expected to be French territory. This seems to have been their fate for many years, to be thus pawns on the checkerboard of nations.
A few scores of them stopped their sad pilgrimage in this territory. You can picture them now. Their names were Broussard, Comeaux, Trahan, Guidry, Simon, Martin, Landry, Cormier, Meaux, Melancon, Arceneaux, Prejean, Sonnier, Boudreaux, Dugas, Bernard, Guilbeau, Mouton, and others. These were not the aristocratic Creoles of lower Louisiana. They were of the sturdy stock of peasant France, Normandy peasants, the cousins of the Normans who crossed the channel to England with such interesting historical results. They had left their Normandy poplars in the early part of the eighteenth century and had colonized Acadia, which became later under the English Nova Scotia. There they were for over fifty years right on the firing line in the greatest contest for supremacy of this continent between the English and the French.
There they tilled the unresponsive soil of a bleak country and planted their orchards, built their homes and erected their altars. In this, this colonization is unique. The Puritans sought New England as a religious refuge and Virginia and the Carolinas were colonized, in a great measure, by seekers after wealth. The Acadians built homes and became farmers and peasants when there were no farms on this continent. They bred horses which the English confiscated, and their granaries supported the contending armies.
Finally, their destiny was to become English subjects and because they refused to take the oath of apostasy to the their native land, they were exiled.
These inoffensive, peaceful peasants were exiled and history is almost silent in recording what seems to me on of the saddest and most pathetic events in all its annals. Only a few records of this epoch of the world's history have been written and even descendants of these men and women in Lousiana take little interest in knowing the history of their ancestors.
A handful of these harassed and battered exiles stopped their pilgrimage from the St. Lawrence to the Gulf in this Parish and never left its hospitable prairies. Their sons and daughters have never left them and to-day thousands of their descendants claim as their own this lovely land.
You need not take a census to ascertain how prolific they were. Simply call a Primary with name of Bob Broussard on the ticket and see the number of cousins he has.
The Parish of Lafayette played a leading part in the stirring events before, during and after the Civil War. Her fields were fertile and her farmers were prosperous. Her public men became leaders of thought in the state and when the great crisis came with its acid test of war, her manhood and womanhood showed pure and unsullied. It was a man from Lafayette who became President of secession Convention which determined the destinies of Louisiana. Hundreds of her young men received their baptism of blood in Virginia, on the mountains of Tennessee, and Vicksburg and on the battle fields in their native states.
A book could be written of the deeds of these men, and, however callous the present generation may have become, I, for one, would read this book if it contained only a roster of the Confederate soldiers who left at the call of arms in the service who left at the call of arms in the service of their state. If one is not interested in what these men did, then, indeed one does not admire loyalty, patriotism, bravery in men.
A student of the history of this country knows that political and public affairs in the early days of the Republic were more keenly discussed by its citizens then they are now, and I am told that the great struggle between the Whig and the Democratic parties, which shaped the destinies of the country in the decades just previous to the Civil War, were reflected in the political contests which fired the enthusiasm of our ancestors in our little parish, in a relative degree, it is true, but nevertheless with the same enthusiasm which was developed throughout the land. Louisiana alternated in Whig and Democratic victories, and Lafayette became the center of the Democratic forces of the state. This culminated in the 40's in the election of Lafayette Democrat as Governor of the State. While it is interesting to know the political advancement of one of the compatriots, to me it is more interesting to look into the causes and effects of these political indifferences, and I have always believed that Lafayette, unlike its sister parishes, was Democratic, because its men were all farmers, among whom the land was divided, and there were no barons or large land owners in its midst. There were not many slave-holders in Lafayette Parish, its men were free-holders, and these causes I believe, made its citizenship peculiarly susceptible to the principles of the Democratic Party.
I must take a minute of your time again to pay tribute to the soldiers of the Confederacy from this parish, and it is necessary only to tell you that from its confines there were several hundred young men who offered their lives to this cause. With me it is not so much that the cause was just, and it matters not whether it be for the soldiers of the north or the south no greater tribute can be paid to any man than that he has offered his life on the altar of patriotism.
From Lafayette there were enrolled over one hundred men in Co. "A", 26th. La., and one hundred men in Co. "E", 26th. La. There were enrolled one hundred men in Co. "A" of the 18th. La., and in the 8th La. a score. Besides these, the 8th. La. Calvary, the Point Coupee Artillery and the New Orleans Field Artillery received quotas of men from patriotic Lafayette. I would never tire to hear the names of these men read and their deeds told and I will now read to you the names of the first men to leave Lafayette in the 8th. La. in the Company of the gallant Alcibiade DeBlanc, who reached Virginia for Bull Run. There were: Arthur Greig, Edmond Pellerin, Edward E. Mouton, J. Numa Judice, D. A. Cochrane, Leonard Dupuis and his brother, whose name I do not know, L. Moss, E. Moss, S. Greig, Lucien St. Julien and Ed. St. Julien, Numa St. Julien and Edmond LeBlanc. One of them, Arthur Greig, gave me the names and if you want to know whether or not this little band did any fighting, i will give you an instance of what happened to one of them. Arthur Greig received four bullet wounds. One at Bristow Station, one at Cedar Creek, one at Fredericksburg, and one he fails to remember where.
But it was not only in the bravery of its private soldiers that Lafayette has reason to be proud. Some of its soldiers gained eminence in the Confederacy. Two of them became Generals in the Confederate Army; Gardner, the defender of Port Hudson, and Alfred Mouton, who gave up his life for his state at Mansfield.
The rank and file of the Confederate soldiers from this section could not have been interested in the maintenance of slavery; they were not slave-owners, but free-holders, and they had not inherited the century-old rivalries of the south with the north, yet they responded nobly to the call of the state.
I feel that I am tiring you with some of these details. Nevertheless I cannot close this sketch of Lafayette, even in its incomplete and unsatisfactory form, without referring with a tribute of praise to the men who re-established the supremacy and integrity of the white race in Louisiana. Lafayette again asserted its patriotism, and the White League and the White Camelias, patriotic organizations, were formed in the parish, and in a few years social order was restored and an era of peace and plenty followed. I have a roster of the membership of these organizations and I sometimes think that the children in the public schools of the parish should be taught to pay reverence and homage to their names.
Thus is closed this chapter of the history of the state. We have seen how these French peasants have come here as a pastoral people, and how they laid the foundation of our present prosperity, and let us hope that their inherited traits of thrift and economy, coupled with the genius of our Anglo-Saxon brothers for material achievements and self-government, will result in increased strength, grandeur, and power to our native state. Lafayette Advertiser 2/28/1913.
From the Lafayette Advertiser of February 28th, 1966:
NASA NEWS: Trainer Slams Into Building.
SPACE CENTER, Houston, Tex. (AP) - Astronauts Elliot M. See, Jr. and Charles A. Bassett II, the primary crew for the Gemini 9 space flight scheduled this summer, were killed today in a St. Louis plane crash.
The identifications were announced at the Manned Spacecraft Center, the training base for astronauts, about an hour and a half after the astronauts' T-38 jet trainer crashed while making an instrument landing in a light fog at the McDonnell Aircraft Corp. plant.
McDonnell builds the Gemini spacecraft. Astronauts assigned to the two-man space flight spend considerable time in St. Louis for training purposes.
See, 38, a civilian, was selected in the second group of astronauts selected in 1952. A native of Dallas, Tex., he was a Navy pilot from 1953 through 1956.
Bassett, 34, an Air Force captain, was a native of Dayton, Ohio, but was a graduate of Texas Technological College at Lubbock. He was in the third group of astronauts named in 1963.
The T-38 plane was making an instrument landing in light fog when it hit and knocked off a section of the top of the building, skidded over a roof, and then crashed into a construction parking area below.
The plane burst into flames and was destroyed.
The plane was one of the two T-38 circling in preparation for a landing at the St. Louis Municipal Airport adjacent to the McDonnell complex. The other plane landed safely.
The cause of the crash was not known. The Federal Aviation Agency said the plane was making an instrument landing. The weather bureau said visibility was 1 1/2 miles and the ceiling was 800 feet.
The Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston said the plane was one of 15 such aircraft used by astronauts to fly from Houston and to military and space installations around the nation.
Astronauts regularly fly to McDonnell in the T-38s for work with McDonnell on technicians in preparation for Gemini flights. They also take astronaut training in a giant space simulator machine McDonnell built. Lafayette Daily Advertiser 2/28/1966.
ALL ABOUT A HANDKERCHIEF.
The good women of Dallas, who figuratively speaking of course, made a kick because Miss Alice Roosevelt did not send them a $50 handkerchief have made an unfortunate exhibition of themselves. They wrote Miss Roosevelt asking her to give a handkerchief to be used to raise funds for some good cause sought to be promoted by a fair to be held at Dallas. Miss Roosevelt very kindly complied with the request, but as she is called upon every day to respond to many similar demands for the handkerchief sent to the Dallas ladies was necessarily not a very expensive article. But the recipients of this modest gift from the president's daughter were very much displeased because the handkerchief did not represent a big round of sum cash, and they proceeded at once to give the widest publicity to their disappointment. By ignoring the common amenities in this case the Dallas ladies have naturally earned for themselves a great deal of notoriety.
There is absolutely no reason why Miss Roosevelt should be expected to spend her father's salary buying things for the dear women of the Lone Stare State. To say the least of it, it was very clever to send anything at all to the Dallas committee, and it was exceedingly bad taste for the recipients to raise a great howl because the cost of the object given did not come up to their expectations.
Original source unknown. In the Lafayette Gazette of 2/28/1903.