ALL WHITE MEN CAN VOTE.
When this bill was first reported to the convention by the suffrage committee The Gazette expressed the opinion that it would accomplish the purpose of the convention and that it would give satisfaction. Subsequent to its introduction the bill was pronounced unconstitutional by the two Senators from this State and it was dropped for that reason. Several other plans were proposed, but none seemed to meet with the approval of a majority of the convention. After vainly trying to find a suitable substitute to the original provision, which is known as section five, the committee decided to take it up again. It was reported back to the convention and it was adopted by a large majority, Mr. Landry of this parish, voting for its passage.
We believe that the bill as it was finally passed is a good one and will carry out the purpose of the convention. The Democratic party in this State did not intend to disfranchise the poor and illiterate white man as it has been charge by its enemies, and we felt confident that the convention, composed, as it is, of Democrats, would never consent to adopt a law that would take the franchise away from those of our citizens who can not read and do not own property.
The cry that the Democratic party wanted to disfranchise a certain class of white voters has been the stock in trade of loud-mouthed demagogues in this and other parishes. The action of the convention in regard to the suffrage shows clearly what the policy of the party has been and is now. It has passed a law that will disfranchise as many negroes as many negroes as possible, while letting in all the white men of the State.
In this parish it is safe to say that all the white men will be able to vote under the new law. The convention has done its work well and the delegate from this parish, Hon. R. C. Landry, has acted wisely in voting for the bill. Lafayette Gazette 4/2/1898.
The Constitutional Convention Makes a Mighty Effort.
And Finally Agrees Upon a Plan for Ballot.
Here is the new plan of suffrage in its entirety, as adopted by the constitutional convention:
Every male citizen of this state, and of the United States, native born or naturalized not less than 21 years old, and possessing the following qualifications, shall be an elector, and shall be entitled to vote at any election in this state by the people as may be herein otherwise prohibited.
Section 1. He shall have been an actual bona fide resident of this state at least two years, and of the parish one year, and of the precinct in which he offers to vote for six months next preceding the election; provided that no person's removal from to another precinct in the same parish shall operate do deprive him of the right to vote in the precinct from which has removed, until six months after such removal.
Section 2. He shall have been, at the time he offers to vote, legally enrolled as a registered voter on his personal application, in accordance with the provisions of this constitution, and the laws enacted thereunder.
The qualifications of voters and the registration laws in force prior to adoption, of this constitution shall remain in force until Dec. 31, 1898, at which date all the provisions of this constitution relative to suffrage, registration and elections, except as hereinafter otherwise provided, shall go into effect, and the general assembly shall, and is hereby directed, at its regular session in 1898, to enact a general registration law to carry into effect the provisions of this constitution relative to the qualifications and registration of voters.
Section 3. He shall be able to read and write, and shall demonstrate his ability to do so when he applies for registration, by making, under oath administered by the registration officers of his deputy, written application therefor in the English language or in his mother tongue, which application shall contain the essential facts necessary to show that he is entitled to register and vote and shall be entirely written, dated and signed by him in the presence of the registration officer of his deputy without, assistance of suggestion from any person or memorandum whatever, except the form of application hereinafter provided for; provided, however, that if the applicant is unable to write his application by reason of physical disability, the same shall be written at his dictation by the registration officer or his deputy, upon his oath of such disability. The application for registration, above provided for, shall be a copy of the following form with the proper names, dates and numbers substituted for the blanks appearing therein, to-wit:
I am a citizen of the state of Louisiana.
My name is ...... I was born in the state (or country) of ...... parish (or country) of ...... on the day of ...... in the year .... I am now ...... years, ...... and ...... days of age. I have resided in this state since ......, in this parish since ...... and in Precinct No. ...... of this parish since ...... and I am not disfranchised by any provision or the constitution of this state.
Section 4. If he be not able to read and write, as provided by section 3 of this article, then he shall be entitled to register and vote if he shall, at the time he offers to register, be the bona fide owner of property assessed to him in this state at a valuation of not less than $300 on the assessment roll of the current year in which he offers to register, or on the roll of the preceding year, if the roll of the current shall not then have been completed and filed, and on which, if such property be personal only, all taxes due shall have been paid. The applicant for registration under this section shall make oath before the registration officer or he is a citizens of the United States and of this state, over the age of 21 years; that he possesses the qualifications prescribed in section 1 of this article, and that he is the owner of property assessed in this state to him at a valuation of not less than $300, and if such property be personal only, that all taxes thereon have been paid.
Section 5.--No male person who was on Jan. 1, 1867, or at any date prior thereto, entitled to vote under the constitution or statutes of any state of the United States wherein he then resided, and no son or grandson of any such person not less than 21 years of age at the date of the adoption of this constitution, and no person of foreign birth, who shall have been naturalized prior to the 1st day of January, 1898, shall be denied the right to register and vote in this state by reason of his failure to possess the educational or property qualification prescribed by this constitution; provided, he shall have resided in this state for five year next preceding the date at which he shall apply for registration; and shall have registered in accordance with the terms of this article prior to Sept. 1, 1898, and no person shall be entitled to register under this section after said date.
Every person claiming the benefit of this section shall make application to the proper registration officer, or his deputy, for registration, and he shall make oath before such registration officer, or his deputy, in the form following viz :
I am a citizen of the United States and of this State, over the age of 21 years; I have resided in this State for five years next preceding this date. I was on the ...... day of ...... entitled to vote under the constitution or statutes of the State of ......, wherein I then resided (or I am the son, or grandson) of ......, who was on the ...... day of ...... entitled to vote under the constitution or statutes of the State of ......, wherein he then resided, and I desire to avail myself of the privileges conferred by section 5 of article 1 of the constitution or this State.
A separate registration of voters applying under this section shall be made by the registration officer of each parish, and for this purpose the registration officer of every parish shall keep his office open daily, Sundays and legal holidays excepted, from May 1, 1898, until Aug. 31, 1898, both included, during the hours prescribed by act No. 89 of the general assembly of 1896. In every parish, except the parish of Orleans, he shall keep his office at the courthouse, at least during the months of May, June and August, and, during the month of July, he shall keep it for at least one day at or near each polling place, giving thirty day's notice thereof by publication.
The registration of voters under this section shall close on the 31st day of August, 1898, and immediately thereafter the registration officer of each parish shall make a sworn copy, in duplicate, of the list of persons under this section, showing in detail whether the applicant registered as a voter of 1867 or prior thereto, or as the son of such voter, and or as a grandson of such voter, and deposit one of said duplicates in the office of the secretary of State, to by him recorded and preserved as a part of the permanent records of his office, and the other of said duplicates shall by him be filed in the office of the clerk of the district court of the parish, and in the parish of Orleans, in the office of the recorder of mortgages, there to remain a permanent record.
All persons whose names appear on said registration lists shall be admitted to register for all elections in this State without possessing the educational or property qualifications prescribed by this constitution, unless otherwise disqualified, and all persons who do not by personal application claim exemption from the provisions of sections 3 and 4 of this article before Sept. 1, 1898, shall be forever denied the right to do so.
The legislature shall, at its first session, after the adoption of this constitution, provide the manner in which persons whose names appear upon said registration lists shall hereafter register, which mode may be different from that required by persons registering under the other sections of this article, and shall also provide a remedy whereby subsequently to the close of said registration on Aug. 31, 1898, the names of any persons who may have obtained registration under this section by false statements of fact or other fraud, may by appropriate proceedings be stricken from said roll.
Sec. 6 No person less than 60 years of age shall be permitted to vote at any election in this State, who shall not in addition to the qualifications above provided, have paid for before the 31st day of December of each year, for the two years preceding the year in which he offers to vote, a poll tax of $1 per annum, to be used exclusively in aid of public schools of the parish in which such tax has been collected, which tax is hereby imposed on every male resident of this State between the ages of 21 and 60 years. Poll taxes shall be a lien only upon assessed property, and no process shall issue to enforce the collection of sane except against assessed property.
Every person shall before being allowed to vote exhibit to the commissioners of election his poll tax receipts for two years, issued on the official form, or duplicates thereof, in the event of loss, or proof thereof may be made by a certificate of the collector, which shall be sent to the commissioners of the several voting precincts, showing a list of those who paid said two years' poll taxes as above provided, and the dates of payments. It is hereby declared to be forgery, and punishable as such, for any tax collector or other person to antedate or alter a poll tax receipt. Any person who shall pay the poll tax of another or advance him money for that purpose, in order to influence his vote, shall be guilty of bribery and punished accordingly; provided, that this section shall not apply to persons who are deaf or dumb or blind nor to persons under 23 years of age, if they have all poll taxes assessed against them; provided, that this section shall not go into operation until after the general State election to be held in the year 1900, and that the legislature elected in the year 1908 shall have authority to appeal or modify same.
Sec. 7. Upon all questions submitted to the taxpayers, as such, of any municipal or other political subdivision of this State, the qualifications of such taxpayers as voters shall be those of age and residence prescribed by this article, and women tax payers shall have the right to vote at such elections, without registration, in person or by their agents, authorized in writing, but all other persons voting at such elections shall be registered voters.
Sec. 8 No persons shall vote at any primary election nor in any convention nor other political assembly held for the purpose of nominating any candidate for public office, unless he is at the time a registered voter. And in all political conventions in this State all apportionment of representation shall be on the basis of population.
Any person possessing the qualifications prescribed in sections 3 or 4, of article 1, of this constitution, denied registration, shall have the right to appeal to the district court having jurisdiction of civil causes for the parish in which he offers to register, and the party cast in said suit shall have the right of appeal to the supreme court, and any citizen of the state shall have a like right of appeal to said courts to have stricken off, any names illegally placed on said registration rolls under sections 3 or 4, and such appeals shall be tried by said courts in preference to all other business in open court or at chambers; and the general assembly shall provide by law for such appeals without cost, and for the prosecution of all persons charged with illegal or fraudulent registration or voting and all other crimes and offenses against the registration and election and primary election laws.
The following persons shall not be permitted to register, vote or hold any office or appointment of honor, trust or profit in this state, to-wit: Those who have been convicted of any crime punishable by imprisonment in the penitentiary, and not afterwards pardoned with express restoration of franchise; those who are inmates of any charitable institution, except the Soldiers' Home; those actually confined in any public prison; all interdicted persons, and all persons notoriously insane or idiotic, whether interdicted or not.
In all elections by the people the electors shall vote by ballot, and the ballots cast and shall be publicly counted. In all elections by persons in a representative capacity, the vote shall be viva-voce. Lafayette Gazette 4/2/1898.
Waterworks and Electric Lights.
Yesterday was the last of the thirty days specified by the contract for a thorough test of the waterworks and electric light plant. The Council will meet this morning for the purpose of deciding whether or not the work has been done according to the contract and whether or not the work was completed. Engineer Zell and Mr. Pasquier will be at the meeting of the Council.
The Gazette is informed that several minor defects in the work need to be rectified before the tractors. The boilers, it appears, are not giving satisfaction. The complaint is that they require too much coal.
The expense for the coal alone amounts to something like $250.000 a month, and the council will try to curtail this item as much as possible. In Alexandria and Lake Charles fuel is bought from the saw-mills for little or nothing, but here coal must be used exclusively. Wood would be still more expensive.
It will require the best kind of management to make the plant self-sustaining. Even with a very economical administration it is doubtful if its revenues for some time at least will be sufficiently large to pay running expenses. The strictest sort of economy will have to be practised by the Council. Much of the success of the plant will depend upon the number of patrons the waterworks will have. As the quality of the water is excellent is believed that many of our citizens will subscribe for hydrants.
Lafayette Gazette 4/2/1898.
WE NEED A RAILROAD COMMISSION.
An effort is being made by members of the constitutional convention to create a State Railroad Commission to have control over railroad, express, telegraph, steamboat, street railway and sleeping car companies.
Commissions of this kind are in existence in a large majority of the States and if Louisiana has not adopted one it is certainly not because the people are not in favor of such legislation. Every time a commission has been proposed at Baton Rouge the railroad companies have succeeded to defeat it. Years of experience in the lobby of the State House has made the agents of the railroads well high invincible in a contest before the legislature, and we can not hope for any relief from that source. If we are to have a commission we must look to the constitutional convention for it.
The conviction that it is the duty of the State to insist upon holding the balance of power between the public and the railway and telegraph corporations is growing everywhere in the union and we are pleased to see that at last the people of Louisiana, through their representatives, propose to follow the example of other enlightened communities.
Authentic reports from other States all show that wherever tried a railroad commission has resulted in much good to the people without any infringement upon the just rights of the railroads.
The right of eminent domain accorded the railway and telegraph corporations by the State gives them a semi-official character, and, if for no other reason, they should be under governmental surveillance. The strong hand of the State should interfere whenever a railroad corporation shows a disposition to be unfair. Railroad extortion and discrimination must be stopped, and the constitutional convention will have failed to fulfill its mission if a railroad commission is not adopted. The people of the State are are practically unanimous in favor of such legislation and those delegates who will allow themselves to be hoodwinked by the argument of slick corporation lawyers, will have a great deal of explanation to make to their constituents. The issue is clear. The corporations are on one side and the people are on the other. Let the delegates choose their company.
The success of every business man and the prosperity of every community are dependent upon a fair and equitable treatment at the hands of the transportation companies. Extortionate rates and discrimination will inevitably work great injury upon the individual or the community. The duty of the State is plain. The property owners are compelled by legislative enactments to grant the right of way to railway corporations, and it is unquestionably the duty of the State to see that the people are also protected in their rights.
The relation of the railroad corporation to the public was very stated in the report in 1886 of the Senate committee on Interstate Commerce. It reads as follows:
"The only reason for the existence of railroad corporations is that they might undertake a duty which the State was unable or unwilling to perform, and to that extent they exercise a public function. In the performance of his duty private capital was invested, for the use of which it was proper that due return should be made. It was also necessary to provide in some way for the expenses of maintenance and operation. As the most convenient and equitable method of raising whatever amounts should be needed for these purposes, such corporations have been authorized to collect these amounts from the persons making use of the facilities for transportation offered by the railroad, or, in other words, to place this burden which must in some way be borne by the people, upon the passengers and freight transported instead of upon the entire community, as other taxes are commonly levied. By granting railroad corporations authority this to levy a tax upon commerce, even with the expressed or implied reservation that their charges should be reasonable, they were necessarily given a monopoly of this right, at least so far as their own highways were concerned, and the that such a corporation is in the nature of a monopoly is a stronger and broader reason it should be subject to the control and regulation of the State, and widely extends the jurisdiction and rights of the State in that respect. And as the agents of the State in that respect. And as the agents of the State in that respect. And as the agents of the State in supplying the community with facilities for transportation, the railroad corporation necessarily rests under the same obligations to deal fairly and equitably with all its citizens without favoritism or discrimination as the State itself."
That the railroad corporations in this State have persistently and flagrantly failed to perform their plain duty is too generally known to admit of any denial. The railroad corporation will, unless checked by legislation, invariably charge all "that the trade will bear." In other words, it will exact of the people all that it can squeeze out of them. It has done so in the past; it does so now, and it is foolish to think that it will not pursue the same policy in the future. Therefore, it is not only the right of the State, but it is its bounden duty to adopt such a law that will protect its citizens against unreasonable transportation rates. In so doing the State will be only performing its simple duty; it will give to the citizen what lawfully belongs to him, without encroaching in the least upon the rights of the railroad company.
It has been charged that the present convention is too much under the baneful influences of corporations to pass any law, however wise and needed, inimical to the interests of railroad stock holders. Let it prove that such charge is untrue. Let it adopt a fair and broad commission, and in that way show to the world that its members are true representatives of the people and not the servants of corporations.
Lafayette Gazette 4/2/1898.
Willing to Back His Vote for War with the Sword.
Has Tendered His Resignation to the Governor.
To Take Effect when War Is Declared.
It will be seen from the following special from New York that Congressman Broussard of this district is not only willing to vote for war but he has made up his mind to fight if there is any fighting to be done. Mr. Broussard is evidently of the opinion that when a man advocates war he ought to be willing to go to war.
New York, March 30. - Representative Robert F. Broussard, of Louisiana, has tendered his resignation to the governor of his State, to take effect immediately upon a declaration of war with Spain, says the Washington correspondent of the Herald.
Mr. Broussard left for his home in Louisiana, where he expects to form a regiment which he will command in the event of war, which he says is sure to come.
"I have been receipt of hundreds of letters from citizens of my district," said he, "offering their services in case of hostilities, and I have decided to organize a regiment of my own. I have spoken and voted, and will speak and vote for war, and I am willing and anxious to back up my vote and words with a sword or a musket."
Mr. Broussard is not the only representative who also announced his intention of giving up a seat in the House for a sword and blue uniform. Representatives Sulzer, of New York, was the first to announce that he would raise a regiment in his district and Representatives Colson and Berry, both of Kentucky, have expresses their determination to go to the front. The latter was a colonel in the Confederate army.
"I am very anxious," said Colonel Berry, "to take a regiment of my old comrades, if maybe, and go to Cuba with them. We would soon show them what American soldiers, and Kentucky soldiers at that, were made of. We would show them that the men who fought under the blue and gray, who stood face to face with American bullets. are not afraid of Spaniards.
Lafayette Gazette 4/2/1898.
THE LAF. COTTON COMPRESS.
Messrs. Lehman, Stern & Co., of New Orleans, a firm well and favorably known in this community for years, propose to build a first-class compress and warehouse in Lafayette, the cost of which is estimated at $40,000. They have practically secured a very desirable site, and after obtaining the support of the community, of which there appears to be no doubt, they will proceed at once to begin building, this putting into circulation about $20,000 during the dull summer months.
The plant will give employment to at least fifty men, non to mention the necessary buying force, all of whom are men of families and are a class who earn large salaries. In addition to this must not be overlooked that the creation of an all-year round market, where planters can at any and all times dispose of their cotton for cash, thus saving to themselves the commission and freight charges which they would otherwise have to pay.
The erection of a compress means a great deal to the town. It means the expenditure of $20,000 in construction; a better price for cotton; 30, 000 bales of cotton brought here yearly; an increase in the town's revenues as it will patronize the waterworks and electric light plant; the building of several residences; trade for our merchants; in short, it means a vast amount of good to the whole community.
We hope our people will not let this splendid opportunity slip away from them, but that they will extend to Messrs. Lehman, Stern & Co. all the aid which it is in their power to give. Lafayette Gazette 4/2/1898.
More on Compress.
Mr. Coronna, representing the firm of Lehman, Stern & Company, met a committee from the Business Men's Association Thursday night in the bank building. Matters relative to the building of the cotton compress were discussed. A committee was appointed to wait upon the town and parish authorities to ask of them the exemption from taxation of the proposed compress for a term of ten years.
The compress is to be built by a stock company and an effort will be made to have several thousand dollars of stock subscribed by citizens of this parish.
Lafayette Gazette 4/2/1898.
Improvements to Sugar Factory. - J. Heschinger and Horace Gumbel & Co., were in Lafayette this week. These gentlemen's visit to our town was for the purpose of making the final arrangements for the extensive improvements which will be made to the Lafayette Sugar Factory. A stock company was organized and a board of directors was appointed. As we stated in a former issue of the paper the Gumbel factory will be one of the best in the State. Lafayette Gazette 4/2/1898.
A Lafayette Boy Who Will be Heard From.
A telegram received Wednesday evening by Judge A. J. Moss from his son, Lieutenant James A. Moss, stationed at Fort Missuola, Montana, reads: "Regiment ordered to Florida. Nothing definite."
Lieutenant Moss has bee at Fort Missoula several years and his company forms at part of the Twenty-fifth infantry. Lafayette Gazette 4/2/1898.
THE SUNDAY LAW.
It is to be hoped that the effort to have the constitutional convention prohibit the Legislature from passing a general Sunday law will be successful. As in the matter of prohibition the Sunday law ought to be left to the people of each parish. It is undeniable that in this section of Louisiana the law is very unpopular and its enforcement has been a failure. We do not think that it is possible to enforce it. Whether violations of the law can or cannot be punished the fact remains that all efforts in that direction have signally failed. Its open violation in this and other parishes has, we believe, been injurious to the enforcement of other laws. The same condition that Mr. Farrar says exists in New Orleans prevails in many country parishes, where a large majority of the people are opposed to it, and where juries have repeatedly refused to convict offenders of the law.
To those communities where the people are in favor of the Sunday law local option should be acceptable. Local option, it appears to us, should prove satisfactory to both the advocates and the opponents of the Sunday law. It will leave the question to the people of each parish. Lafayette Gazette 4/2/1898.
Houston Papers in Lafayette. - Houston is 217 miles from this place and the distance to New Orleans is only 144 miles. Papers from the Texas city reach here two hours and half before those of New Orleans. This accounts for the large number of Houston papers sold here every day, particularly at this time when people are eager to get the news as early as possible. An earlier train from New Orleans would certainly increase the sale of the morning papers of that city. Lafayette Gazette 4/2/1898.
Selected News Notes (Gazette) 4/2/1898.
Joseph Pellerin is now the agent of the Southern Pacific Company at this place.
Hon. Thos. H. Lewis and Judge W. C. Perrault, of the Opelousas bar, were in Lafayette Tuesday.
Prof. Robert Broussard, of the Pilette public school, is holding daily rehearsals preparatory to the entertainment on the 23rd of April.
The members of Home Fire Company are leaving nothing undone to make the concert and ball on April 10 a brilliant success.
The engagement of Sam Levy, of this town, and Miss Rosa Bergman, of New Orleans, has been announced.
All the members of the three fire companies are requested to meet next Wednesday at 8 p. m. at Falk's Opera House. This meeting will be held for the purpose of making necessary arrangements for the parade which will take place on April 10. A full attendance is desired.
Visit the new store of Hebert & Landry near the depot. Lafayette Gazette 4/2/1898.
From the Lafayette Advertiser of April 2nd, 1898:
BRASS BAND FOR LAFAYETTE.
Last Monday night, at Falk's Opera House, the musical element of Lafayette assembled itself, and the happy result was the organization of a new brass band. About 20 members have been enrolled.
The election of officers resulted as follows:
Dr. F. E. Girard,--Treasurer.
COMMITTEE ON BY-LAWS.
Louis Lacoste, Ed. McBride and Pierre Gerac.
COMMITTEE ON SUBSCRIPTION.
Dr. F. E. Girard, B. Falk and H. A. Van der Cruyssen.
The first rehearsal of the band will take place t0-morrow Sunday at 11 o'clock, a. m., at Falk's Opera House.
The band will participate in Lafayette Gala day on April 10th., and will add greatly to the various attractions.
We can't find praising words, in our vocabulary that could convey our admiration for the organization of this musical band.
It is a thing that Lafayette has been in need of for a long time. We don't know anything more in keeping with the progressive spirit of any community than a first class brass band.
Lafayette Advertiser 4/2/1898.
From the Lafayette Advertiser of April 2nd, 1912:
AX MAN AGAIN
Kills Six Negroes in Glidden, Texas. Crime Same As in Louisiana.
[From the New Orleans Item.]
Glidden, Tex. March 28. - Although bloodhounds are still on the trail of the fanatic who is supposed to have murdered six negroes here yesterday; no trace of the slayer has been found, and the authorities are just as much perplexed as were the police of Lake Charles, Lafayette, Rayne and Crowley (La.), and Beaumont (Tex.)
That all of the 35 victims of axes were killed by the same man the authorities here thoroughly believe, and the investigation proceeding along that line. From all that can be learned about the tragedy the object was not robbery, but the murderer was either moved by a desire to kill for the sheer brutality of murdering or because he was moved by some fanatical belief that has caused the Louisiana authorities to attribute the murders in that State to the "Church of Sacrifice."
This whole section is terror stricken by the new murders. The colored population has been to some extent aroused since the since the latest of the series of killings in Beaumont, but there has been no genuine fear that the axe-man would visit this town. The fear of the blacks is further increased this afternoon by the receipt of an unsigned letter declaring that the murder to be repeated in this section tonight. Negroes by the score are on their guard, armed against any intruder, while many other families have fled to Columbus.
Governor Colquit will be appealed to for assistance, and the state is expected to offer a reward for the fanatic who has slain so many with an axe.
The dead in this latest tragedy are: Lyle Finucane, aged 37; Ellen Monroe, aged 30; Jessie Monroe, aged 11; Dewey Lee Monroe, aged 12; Willie Monroe, aged sixteen.
Each of the negroes was hit with the blunt end an axe over the right ear. Lyle Finucane's head was crushed in and beaten away from the crown to the nose. Evidence indicates that the victims were struck before they were awakened.
Circumstances necessitate the theory that the murderer entered the premises from the rear, at the woodpile picked up the axe, entered the rear doors of the hall, approached the bed in the east room and killed Lyle Finucane. Before Ellen Monroe awoke. or before she could arise from the bed, she was struck over the right ear. Lyle Finucane fell to the floor by the side of the bed and made her way to the middle of the room at the foot of the bed.
Crossing the hall to the west room the "axe-man" crushed in the right temples of three children in one bed. They were Alberta, Jessie and Dewey Lee. He completed his bloody task by stepping to a cot in the southwest corner of the room and braining Willie Monroe, who lay with the right side of his face exposed.
Not one of the four children in the west rooms show evidences of struggles after the blows were received. They lay in their beds apparently in the positions in which they had been sleeping. Going to the back, the murderer apparently washed his hands in a tin wash pan and departed the way he entered. The bodies were found at an early hour this morning by a grown daughter of Ellen Monroe, who lives with her grandmother in a house nearby.
Lyle Ficucane was an octoroon of considerable intelligence, he had been employed as a caller by the Galveston. Harrisburg and San Antonio Railroad Company in the yards of the Glidden division. He was married several years ago to a girl of bright color and prepossessing appearance, but separated from her over two years ago. For the past two years he has been living at the Monroe house.
Ellen Monroe was the wife of John Monroe, who has been living at Yoakum the past two years. She was a black negress, the mother of fourteen children. Sheriff E. B. Mays, when notified of the tragedy, put two bloodhounds on the tracks found in the back yard. The dogs followed the trail to the home of negro who lives a mile away. The negro and five others have been placed in jail. No motive for the deed is known. From the New Orleans Item and in the Lafayette Advertiser 4/2/1912.
THE HAPPIEST EASTER.
A STORY OF THE QUEEN OF FESTIVALS AMONG THE TYROLESE.
(Copyright 1893, by American Press Association.)
Grandma sat knitting and looking out of window. was not far off, and Nellie had been talking of her new dress, which would be done that day, while Maggie has been thinking of a beautiful Easter card which she knew she would be sure to receive. All of them had been talking of the beautiful eggs of every imaginable color which they they would have that morning.
"Grandma," said Tommy as he quit pinching the cat's ear for a moment, "did you love Easter when you were a girl?"
"Yes, indeed," said a gentle voice.
"Tell us of the happiest Easter you ever remember," said Nellie as she glanced up.
Grandma sat looking dreamily out of the window for a few moments and then said:
"I will tell you about my Buster across the ocean."
Nellie climbed upon her knee, and Mary crept up closer, while even Tommy forgot to tease the cat, and it jumped down and scampered under the bed.
"Well," said Grandma, "it was many years ago that I lived as the happiest of happy girls in the beautiful Zillerthall of the eastern Alps. Poets may rave over Switzerland, but people cannot know what real beauty is till they have seem the mountains and valleys of Tyrol. I had been left an orphan when only 4 years old and had been reared by my aunt and uncle and treated as one of the family. I did my part of the work about the house just as the other girls - my cousins - did, and having known no other home was just as happy as they. We lived well for my uncle was in comfortable circumstances, as, in fact, all the Tyrolese are, but that did not prevent us doing the work that is a part of every Tyrolese family, and there were few girls in all the Zillerthal who were better judges of good wool and flax, or who would spin and weave faster or more neatly, than I. In the summer of my 17th year I met Wilhelm Constanz, who was two years older than I.
"For a week I had wondered how he looked. He was the son of our near neighbor and friend but I had never seen him, for he had spent all his life away from home except the two years I had been in Germany. For four years past he had been in the wonderful city of Inuspruck, with its deeply learned people, and since he had come back with his diploma I knew he must be very, very wise. So wise did I think him that I was really afraid to meet him, and when I went up on the side of the mountain back of our house and called the cows the echo of his mellow voice, which came across the valley, caused my heart to beat with a strange trepidation."
Sedate Miss Maggie, with a flush on her face, opened her book and appeared to be very much interested, and it deceived every one in the room, except grandma.
"Though he had been home for a week," continued the gentle voice, "I had never seen him when preparations were begun for the ceremony of "blessing the grain fields."
"What is that?" asked all the children.
"In the Tyrol, my dears, for many hundreds of years, the people have not had a great deal to do with the outside world, but have lived to themselves, untouched by the changes of civilization. As a result, they have preserved the primitive simplicity and childlike faith of generations gone before, and continue to celebrate the festivals and rites of their ancestors as they were originally celebrated. Two of their most important ceremonies are the blessing of the grain in midsummer, and the rejoicing of their joy at the beginning of their new religious year on Easter morning.
"When the morning for blessing the grain fields came, we all, for miles around, assembled down in the village in front of the church. I found that I had had been chosen to lead the girls and that Wilhelm was the leader of the young men. And then for the first time I saw him and saw how handsome he was. The procession was quickly formed. The venerable father - out priest - coming out from his church, carried the host under a golden hued canopy. Crowds of little girls in pure white went in front of him. We older girls came next, followed by the married women, and then came the boys, young men and elders. And all the time the procession was forming and marching through the streets, out of the village into the country, and during the chants and prayers on the way, and in the fields when the procession would stop and prayers of thanksgiving would be offered, followed by supplications for future blessings, I fear my thoughts were fare away from the religious ceremony.
"And as for Wilhelm, I fear his thoughts were equally astray, for whenever we came near enough to see each other a furtive glance would show me that he was looking at me. The festival of the Maria Himmolsfahrt - the ascension of the Virgin - when the sacred rite of blessing the grain fields takes place among the Tyrolese, is the great summer festival, and the beautiful church banners, the oil paintings of religious subjects, the highly colored or gilded statues from the church and chapels, all carried aloft by the men and glistening in an August sun, make a sight which once seen can never be forgotten. But all things come to a close, and even upon the day of the Himmelsfahrt the evening found me laying aside my quaint flat, round hat and bright colored silk apron to go up on the mountain side and call the cows and hear the "Hunter's Love Song" in Wilhelm's voice come floating across the valley, as usual to me.
* * * * * * *
"The fall and winter passed away and spring came. The snow still lingered on the top of the mountains, and the ice was still locked in its gorges. It was the closing of the season of , the time of humiliation and prayer and penitential thoughts. One day I went to uncle, who was a very stern man, and I summoned courage to tell him of the love existing between Wilhelm and me.
" 'Yes, the impudent fellow has told me,' said Uncle angrily, 'and I at once forbade him ever coming near here or speaking to you again. I have already selected your future husband. There is no better man in the Tyrol than Caspar Rechtmann, and his farm on the other side of the village is as lovely a piece of land as there is in the whole Zillerthal. Who is this Wilhelm? What can he do? A spoiled child rendered useless by indulgent parental. An idle minnesinger who knows only how to troll Tyrolese love songs to silly girls and waste his time hunting the red deer and the chamois when he should be garnering grain like an honest farmer. No! The tinkling sound of his zitner and the twang of his guitar may turn your foolish brain, but they cannot affect me.
" 'The broad acres of my friend Caspar and the gold in his strongbox will insure you a prosperous life and a secure home. And besides I have given him my word, since your father, relying upon my good judgment, left you to me in his will to be reared as one of my own daughters. I have spoken. You may go.' And I left my uncle's presence almost wishing I could die."
"You didn't desert Wilhelm, did you, grandma?" said Maggie as the color came and went.
"Children in the Tyrol do not lightly disobey their parents," said grandma, with a smile, "and while I might not have felt my duty go so far with uncle the dying wishes of my father. I felt were sacred. I think I must have wept all the nights and most of the days for the next week and one morning as I went to call the cows whom should I meet upon the side of the mountain but" -
"Wilhelm!" exclaimed Tommy, "and did he have his gun and pistols, and horse to carry you away?"
"No, dear," said grandma laughing: "he was almost as downhearted as I. And I told him about my father's will, and he bade me hope, for he did not believe it, and he would find out. And so I felt hopeful, for I knew that Wilhelm was very, very wise, since he had been among the learned men of Inuspruck.
"Next evening he met me, and his face was wreathed in such happy smiles that my heart leaped for joy. And he told me he had seen a copy of the will in the hands of the notary who held it, and that while it did say for my uncle to bring me up as one of his own daughters it especially said, 'But when my daughter reaches womanhood's estate I desire that her choice of a husband shall be free and untrammeled, so that in talking the one great step in life she shall follow only the dictates of her own heart.' And then I cried for joy, and Wilhelm insisted on going back to the house with me, and he and uncle were closeted together for a long time, so long that I went with my cousins to sleep and did not see them anymore that night.
* * * * * * *
"Next morning was Easter morn. Of course we were all up long before sunrise, for no one in the Tyrol would miss seeing the sun dances on Easter."
"You don't really mean to say that the sun dances?" asked Nellie, looking up into Grandma's face.
"Did you never hear of the sun dancing on Easter morn?" asked grandma in return.
"Why, the children of the eastern Alps from early infancy are told of this, and is said that the season of Lent, with its penitence and sorrow having passed away, the sun on Easter morn, starting a new full year of hope and promise after the washing away of sin, rises so full of happiness that it dances for joy.
"On the morning i mention my uncle, as soon as he knew I was awake, called me into his room and told me of Wilhelm showing him a copy of my father's will. He said he had not known of the 'strange request' it contained, as he had merely been told of its provisions by the notary, and while he was amazed beyond expression, yet having learned his dead brother's wishes he felt it his duty to carry them out, and hence withdrew any opposition to my foolish desires."
"But did the sun dance?" asked Nellie.
"It certainly appeared so to me that morning," said grandma. "When I went out of doors, the sun was just rising over the top of the distant mountains, and it danced and danced so that I could scarcely see it when I first looked at it, and my eyes filled so full of tears with unspeakable happiness that I finally couldn't see it at all."
"Oh,! You mean it looked like it was dancing because you were crying," said Tommy in disgust.
"And when the Trolese musicians singing Easter hymns, came past our house," continued grandma, "I knew a voice and a zither before they came in sight. They came up to the door, as they always go, and we rejoice in the chorus and to me the flowers that decorated the singers never looked so beautiful. The guitars and the zithers, with human voices, never blended in such exquisite melody, and the lovely Easter carols never before seemed to have such a grand yet tender meaning."
"Did you have any colored eggs?" asked Tommy.
"Oh, yes, and to the children who came along with the singers we made our offering of Easter eggs, which my aunt poured in to their baskets, and to the older ones we made other little offerings. Each one gave some little Easter offering to some one else."
"What did Wilhelm give you?' asked Nellie.
"A little jeweled heart which he said represented his own."
"And what was your offering to him?" asked Maggie.
"Myself," was the reply.
"Oh, I thought you married grandpa," said Tommy, "and his name was Heinrich."
"His first name was Wilhelm, my dear," said grandma as she wiped her spectacles.
Lafayette Advertiser 4/2/1893.
contact me via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Lafayette Advertiser 4/2/1893.
contact me via e-mail email@example.com