BLANC BROTHERS EXPIATE THEIR CRIME.
LAFAYETTE THE SCENE OF INTENSE EXCITEMENT.
Immense Crowds Witness the Execution.
Trap Drops at 2:20 o'clock p. m.
Account Of Their Stay in New Orleans.
NEW ORLEANS, FRIDAY, MARCH 26, 1897.
The Blanc brothers seemed to be in better spirits yesterday than on any day since they reached the Parish Prison. There were two reasons for their improved feelings. The first was that Sheriff Uniacke had issued an order allowing them to spend some time in the corridor that ran in front of their steel cages, and they were given an opportunity of reading the statement of the French consul, published in the Times-Democrat, in which he stated among other things that the French population would make a strong effort to save them, and that fourteen French societies had already resolved to get up a monster petition to be presented to the Board of pardons and the Governor in behalf of commuting their sentence.
The Boys believed the first ray of sunshine had crossed their path since they entered the dingy looking little jail at Lafayette a few months ago and confessed to the murder and robbery of Martin Begnaud. The brothers seemed to think that they had found friends by the thousands, staunch ones at that, and consequently were hoping for the best.
The meeting of the French societies in their opinion, cannot but result in some good to them. Then the deputies have a kindly feeling for the youthful prisoners, and do not hesitate to say that they would like to see their sentence commuted. If this cannot be done they declare the Governor should at least respite them, as they are of the opinion that the boys have been buffeted about from one parish to another in such a way that they have not even been given proper time to prepare to die.
In view of all this Ernest Blanc for the first time yesterday felt they they not only had found friends where they least expected them, but workers, and consequently they were cheerful and hopeful.
So carried away were they by the change that had taken place in their favor that they gave little or no thought to the death warrant that had been read to them only a few hours before, nor would they discuss their feelings on that subject. When the two youthful murderers were returned to their cells Ernest Blanc asked for a pencil and some paper, and it was thought he desired to write a letter. Instead he made the sketches which are reproduced. For the first time he gave an idea that he possessed any talent in this line.
The following communication was sent to the Times-Democrat:
Pardon the liberty I have taken in asking you, through your paper, to do all you can to commute the sentence of the poor youths, the Blanc brothers, now in our prison. I have waited so much in hopes that some of the kind mothers' hearts would go out to them, and a plea from the mothers of this city would come out in their behalf. It is hard to see so young, in a strange land, without mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers or friends, to say one kind word to see them hang like dogs. No one to show any regret or feeling. It must not be said not a hand was extended or a word of sympathy was shown. I but ask for a commutation of sentence. They are not prepared to die. Do not send these young souls into eternity with such sin upon them. They are but boys, not yet entered manhood. Think of them. No mother's kindness, no one to give them counsel, no friends. True, their crime is great, but remorse brought them back to where they had committed this dreadful deed, and they told the story, showing there is some good in those brothers. If they are taken back from here to Lafayette, among those blood-thirsty men and the sheriff, who is so anxious to cut the rope, there will be no hope for them.
Won't you do what you can to save these poor boys? I feel Gov. Foster, if urged will commute their sentence. He would listen to the mothers' appeal from this city. Trusting you will pardon my intruding so long.
AN OLD LADY CITIZEN.
The following is editorial comment on the above communication by the Times:
A communication, signed by "An Old Lady Citizen," among Letters of the People to-day, makes a plea for the commutation of the death-sentence of the Blanc brothers, the murderers of old Martin Begnaud of Lafayette. "An Old Lady Citizen's" communication presents a request moreover that The Times-Democrat may use whatever influence it has in the direction of having the sentence commuted.
The plea advanced by "An Old Lady Citizen" in the murderers favor is that they are absolute strangers in a strange land, that they are so young, that they are not ready to die, that there is a pulse of good in them if only it were stirred, etc.
We are sorry that we are unable to comply with "An Old Lady Citizen's" request that we use our influence to have death-sentence commuted. We are by no means without pity for the awful plight in which these two friendless boys find themselves, and we can well understand how the warm and sympathetic hearts of good women are touched to the quick by their pitiful case; but justice and the welfare of the community require that they shall be punished for their awful deed.
And what but the extreme penalty of the law would be the punishment at all commensurate with their diabolical crime? Did they, for all their youthful years, evince one spark of feeling for their benefactor, one touch of mercy toward their aged and un-offending victim? No; they deliberately and cold-bloodedly bound and gagged him; and when he was in this helpless condition they knifed and butchered him with almost unexampled ferocity.
On what ground then can a plea of any extenuation of their sentence be made for the two murderers? Their youth did not keep them from the perpetration of one of the foulest crimes known in Louisiana's annals; why should their youth keep them from the gallows? Their friendliness cannot be (unreadable words) should not be allowed to displace the judgment, it is preeminently a case in which the law ought to be permitted to take its course.
This is due moreover, to the people and the sheriff of Lafayette, upon whom An Old Lady Citizen is disposed to pour out the vials of quite undeserved anger, for the self-restrained way in which they have all comported themselves toward the Blancs. In most other parishes of the State the murderers would have had short shrift after such a deed; they would elsewhere have been strung up to the nearest limb. It is due therefore to the people and the sheriff of Lafayette that two criminals be hanged; the withdrawal of their necks from the rope would be a strong argument and inducement to a lynching.
And, finally, there will be a general satisfaction in reading, as may be read elsewhere in our columns this morning that Gov. Foster has decided not to interfere, but allow the law to take its course.
New Orleans, Monday March 27, 1897.
Martin Begnaud's slayers, Ernest and Alexis Blanc, saw their last Sunday on earth yesterday. The slender thread of hope that the youthful murderers had entertained ever since the visit of the French consul to them some days ago and the meeting of the fourteen French societies in this city in their behalf was swept away yesterday morning when Capt. Fulham, of the prison, entered their cages and read them the reply of the Governor to the French consul refusing to respite them.
The two men took the news philosophically, yet their faces showed clearly their great disappointment.
Alexis and Ernest both remarked that they were not surprised; they were satisfied that the French consul was going to do all he could for them, but they thought at the time that it was too late. They felt now that it was over, and what remained for them to do was to prepare for the fearful ordeal that they would be called upon to pass through next Friday.
They said they were going to confession, and would take communion this week, and would spend the remainder of the days left them to prepare their souls for eternity. The brothers visited the chapel yesterday morning and participated in the Catholic services. They were then returned to their cages and at intervals were permitted, under the strict surveillance of the death watch, to promenade in the corridor in front of their jail cells.
When a Times-Democrat reporter with Capt. Fulham, visited them last evening they had little to say. Alexis requested the captain to have them furnished with coffee instead of tea at night, and the captain at once gave instructions to that effect.
Sheriff Broussard is expected this morning to take the prisoners back to Lafayette. As the law requires that the accused shall be hung within an enclosure, and as the jail yard of Lafayette is not enclosed, Sheriff Broussard had, during the past week, had carpenters at work preparing an enclosure to the jailhouse. Notwithstanding this fact, several thousand people will undoubtedly go to Lafayette next Friday to the brothers executed. Sheriff Broussard (unreadable words) for the respite for the Blanc brothers, and that the Governor had replied to the same politely but at the same time firmly declining to stay the sentence.
Mr. D'Auglade was asked if he would furnish a copy of the Governor's letter to the press. He replied it impossible for him to do so, as it was part of the archives of the office. He said, however, that the letter contained a full statement of the Governor's views and reasons for declining to grant the respite sought. Mr. D'Anglade added that he supposed this letter from the Governor had been written before the receipt by the Chief Executive of a petition for commutation of signed by several hundred citizens of New Orleans and forwarded to him through the consul, as no reference was made to the petition in that letter. This petition is one to the Pardoning Board and had been sent to the Governor, he said, that it might be in this wise transmitted to the board for their action.
NEW ORLEANS, TUESDAY MARCH 30.
Ernest and Alexis Blanc will leave the Parish Prison this morning for the parish of Lafayette Sheriff Broussard, with several deputies, will reach the city at 8:30 a. m. and will leave at once with the two condemned boys on the Southern Pacific Railroad. They will reach Lafayette about 2. p. m. They will be transferred to the parish jail, where they will be kept until Friday, when they will be executed.
The death watch will be put over them as soon as they are incarcerated at Lafayette.
The fact that they were to leave for the scene of their crime this morning was not told to the boys, and this fact kept them from them until they are notified by Sheriff Broussard that they must start. They were, however, advised to send for a spiritual adviser, which they did, and one of the fathers of St. Joseph's Church came and remained several hours with them. During the time both went through the confessional service. The father will visit them this morning at 6 o'clock, when they will take communion in the prison chapel.
Both boys passed the day quietly and have very little to say. They seemed to realize how close they are to the grave, and the effect upon them, particularly the younger brother, is perceptible.
During the day each boy was permitted to leave his cage and promenade at intervals in the corridor.
NEW ORLEANS, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 31.
This morning the Blanc brothers, the young murderers, who are to pay with their lives upon the gallows Friday afternoon for the cowardly murder of Martin Begnaud, of Scott, La., will leave for Lafayette, where the execution will take place.
Yesterday morning, Sheriff Broussard, accompanied by Deputy Broussard, accompanied by Deputy Sheriff Mouton, reached the city and quietly went about making arrangements for the transfer of the prisoners, who have been confined in the parish prison for the past few weeks.
Fearing that if the boys knew that he (unreadable words) them fro, the time of their arrival until the moment of the execution. This is done more to prevent them from harming themselves, as the sheriff does not believe that any one would raise a hand to hurt the boys now that they have been convicted and are to die upon the gallows.
The march to the gallows - a death machine which was used in Crowley, La., some time back to execute a negro criminal, will be started at 4 o'clock Friday afternoon, and it is expected that in five minutes after leaving their cells the brothers will be mounted on the trap-door, and no delay will be had in springing it.
Contrary to the precedent established by other sheriff's, Mr. Broussard will serve as executioner, intending to bind the hands of the boys, as well as their feet, and slip the nooses about their necks and finish the task by cutting the rope that will support the trap-door.
"That is what my duty commands me to do," said the sheriff, "and I do not propose to neglect that which I have sworn to do. It is unpleasant, but I will not pay a man to do work that is distinctly commissioned to be done by a sheriff."
The boys prayed devotedly yesterday, unconscious of the arrival of the sheriff, and were under the impression that they would not be removed from their present place of confinement until Thursday morning.
NEW ORLEANS MARCH 31, 1897.
It was a few minutes after 8 o'clock this morning when Sheriff Broussard with Circuit Judge Mouton, appeared at the gates of the parish prison of New Orleans and announced his readiness to take his prisoners. Captain Fulham had an hour or so before aroused the brothers, and told them they would be taken back to Lafayette to-day. Alexis showed much agitation, and when released from his cell by Deputy Sheriff Blouin he rushed to the cell door, where Ernest stood smiling, and excitedly told him that Broussard was in the city and meant to take them away. "Well, it is just the same," said Ernest, "for us to go now, as we must go there for Friday." This somewhat stayed Alexis' agitation, and he began talking pleasantly with Blouin and Captain Fulham, with Sheriff Broussard's handcuffs, entered and bade the boys to extend their hands. The irons were snapped on their wrists and the boys were soon locked together. There was a momentary delay, in which an inspection of the handcuffs was made and then the prisoners passed out of the prison proper and were taken charge of by Sheriff Broussard, with Deputies Cahill, McGiveny and Blouin, accompanied by Judge Mouton and the newspaper men. The sheriff and the prisoners started for Carondolet street, marching out Gravier, attracting much attention as they went. To the relief of the party, as well as the prisoners, a Clio street car was boarded, bound for the Southern Pacific Depot, at the head of Elysian Fields street.
In the conveyance the prisoners were subjected to the ogling of the curious, and to avoid it they continually looked out of the window into the street. Even on the railroad-transfer boat, which bore the passengers across the river to Algiers, people gazed curiously at the boys.
While on the boat Sheriff Broussard held the manacled brothers in their coat collars, for standing by the guard rails there was a possibility of their leaping into the river. Yet they made no attempt, and had very little to say, now and then remarking the height of the river, or some object afloat. Both complained to their captor that the irons on their wrist had been pressed to much and gave them pain, so Sheriff Broussard let them out a notch.
In going into the smoking coach Sheriff Broussard exercised great vigilance, holding to the coat tails of the lads, for had he not they could have slipped into the crowd and caused some trouble. Once inside their legs were shackled together and the danger of escaping was settled.
Quite frequently the brothers spoke to the sheriff and Ernest said that they might escape still, but Broussard laughed at this and said that the chances were indeed slim.
"Where there is life there is hope," argued Alexis. "Try it if you can," said the sheriff. But the boys saw that it was useless.
Ernest grew quite serious and wanted to know if the sheriff would give them good protection if a reprieve was granted them for there was some little hope of gaining one through the efforts of M'Anglade consul for France."
"Yes, I will protect you with my life," replied the Sheriff," and there will be friends of mine who will stand by me."
The presence of the newspapermen caused Ernest to ask the of the sheriff if they were making the trip to see them hung, and when told that such was the case. Alexis seemed put out to think that one could be so depraved. The sheriff explained that newspapermen went as a matter of duty, and would much rather not see such things, it they had their choice. It was only then that the brothers could reconcile themselves, and from that time they were more friendly to the reporters.
"Sheriff who will bury us?" asked Ernest.
"I guess the coroner will do that."
"I thought you would."
"No, my duty ends with the execution."
"Well," said Alexis, "please don't let the doctors cut us up after we're dead."
"That is not likely," assured Broussard.
In passing New Iberia Alexis caught a glimpse of the cemetery of that town and pointing to a big tomb, said that he would like to be buried in a tomb instead of the cold ground. Ernest laughed lightly and said it made no difference, to him, for he would not feel it.
Alexis who has shown more weakness in the past day or so than his brother, attempted to be humorous and asked Sheriff Broussard if there would be a brass band and procession at the depot in Lafayette to meet them. Broussard answered that as for the band he was not certain, but the procession would be on hand. Whenever the conversation would lay, Alexis' eyes would swell up with moisture and could have been stirred to cry. Ernest noticed that and to keep up his brothers courage he would pat him upon the leg seemingly without intention.
When the prisoners alighted from the train to Lafayette, with the sheriff, fully three hundred men and boys followed them to the prison, all the time mumbling something about their deserving of the fate decreed them. At the door of the jail the people fell back and sheriff Broussard, hurried the boys into the jail. They were not long in the room which had formerly been used as the kitchen prison when Sheriff Broussard called for Lacoste.
The man who is a smithy here was in another part of the jail, and on hearing his name called he yelled that he was ready. When he stood before the prisoners he held in his hands a hog chain about 10 feet in length the ends of which held a shackle. Ernest's left trouser leg was rolled and it was not long after before the shackle was riveted to his ankle. He grew red in the face while the iron was being fastened. The sheriff then passed the chain around one of the heavy bars of the window, which looks into the yard where the gallows stands, and the other shackle was riveted on Alexis' ankle.
"This is funny," said the younger, when the smithy had finished.
Ernest was silent. There was no hope for an escape with such a precaution. The handcuffs were removed and both seemed relieved at that. Chairs were brought for them, and Simeon Begnaud, a brother of their victim paid the murderers a visit. He volunteered to help them if they needed anything, but Alexis said they simply wanted a bottle of wine and would be grateful to him if he would get it. A few minutes later the boys finished the bottle with their dinner.
Father Knapp, of the Dominican Order, and Father Boulard spent sometime praying with them, and both promised to take communion Friday.
When the priests departed Alexis having thoroughly studied the gallows which stood before them in the yard, and in a quiet way began explaining to his brother how the trap worked, and what distance the they would fall. Ernest listened to all and now and then interrupted Alexis with some question as to detail.
The scaffold stands about 20 feet high, and has two trap doors which are worked open by an iron lever to the left side. The trap door to the right has an iron eye, which is termed a steeple, and this goes through a cut in the other trap. A bar of iron which is hinged to an upright lever passes through the eve and holds the doors firm, but as soon as the lever is pulled it flies from the steeple and the traps open.
This scaffold, which stands no behind a new fence about 18 feet high, was built several years ago in Calcasieu parish. It had been erected in Lake Charles, to hang Sylvester Abshier who killed deputy sheriff Mc. Lyons some years back. Abshier was awaiting to be executed when he was granted commutation and sent to the penitentiary for life. Later it was used for the unexpected execution of Octave Thibodeaux, who wrecked a train on the Eunice branch of the Southern Pacific Railroad, killing a fireman. He was found guilty and sentenced to be hanged. He escaped from prison, and when caught secured a new trial and was acquitted. But he was arrested for perjury and was sentenced to five years in the penitentiary. When Sheriff Broussard began hunting for a gallows, he learned of this one, which was in Crowley, and a few days ago it was sent to this place and erected.
While the newspaper men were inspecting the death machine. Alexis called to the sheriff to take the reporters and make them test the reliability of the gallows, for they would not want to get on it unless sure that it was in good working order. Of course, everybody laughed, and Alexis asked the newspaper men if he had offended them. "No," replied one.
"How would you like to be in that fix up there?" asked the younger of the boys.
"Well, not very much."
"It is bad, yes. You look at it quite long, well it will be a good lesson."
Ernest was asked if he intended to say anything to the crowd before he met his death.
"I don't know yet; of course, I will say good-bye. You see, if I have anything to say, I will say it, and if not, I won't. A man may think he is going to die bravely and then die a coward, and it might be the contrary. Now, I may be too busy with other things to speak on the gallows."
The friends of the brothers have not given up hope, for this evening Judge Debaillon received a call from Ex-Governor Mouton, who defended the brothers, bearing a petition from the French consul in New Orleans, asking that Judge Debaillon sign for a commutation of sentence. Judge Debaillon would not, and when Ex-Governor Mouton remarked that he had not thought over the matter, and he had not thought over the matter, the judge replied that he had, and he could not see where the boys were deserving of any clemency. When Ex-Governor Mouton left him he immediately wrote a long letter to Attorney General Cunningham, saying that he had refused to sign, for the boys had been convicted after a fair trial, and the criminals were not entitled to any mercy.
Governor Foster as wired by Judge Debaillon of the refusal to sign the petition, and summarized his reasons for denying the request. Anticipating such a move some days ago, Judge Debaillon made an elaborate account of the court proceedings, showing plainly that the brothers had been given a fair trial. This was done to offset a plea of unfairness before the board of pardons, if Mr. D'Anglade brought the case before the body. However, on Tuesday Judge Debaillon received a letter from Mr. D'Anglade, saying that he had forwarded the petition to Ex-Governor Mouton, at St. Martinsville, Mr. D'Anglade outlined the contents of the petition and did not insinuate that the prisoners had been treated unfairly. Seeing that Mr. D'Anglade would not use such an argument, Judge Debaillon withheld his account of the trial from the board of pardons.
THE DAY OF EXECUTION.
About 4,000 persons surrounded the jail and everyone was eagerly endeavoring to get a glimpse of the condemned brothers through the grating of the different openings. Sheriff Broussard had given strict orders that no one be admitted excepting sheriff's, deputy sheriff's, physicians and newspaper men. When we entered the prison the Blanc brothers were engaged conversing with the persons present, with complete composure. All of a sudden Ernest's attention was attracted to a number of people perched on the limbs of a tree near to the gallows and he said:
"Here are some who will surely have their necks broken in advance of ours."
The condemned men went to confession and took communion this (Friday) morning. They ate breakfast at 9 o'clock, the meal consisting of eggs, ham and bread. The sheriff offered them wine. "We will have some wine" replied Alexis, "for it will not be good to die with water in the stomach.
"Ask for anything you may want" spoke Sheriff Broussard. "We have had we desire."
The prisoners had three prayer books in their possession and promised to give one to Sheriff Broussard, one to Deputy-sheriff Thomas Mouton and the third to Andre Billeaud.
At the conclusion of their breakfast Alexis remarked: "Well, we have but four hours longer to live."
Ernest seemed much more preoccupied than his brother, appearing to realize more the gravity of their situation than Alexis who, however, gave evidence of complete resignation.
In answer to question propounded the prisoners on religion, they replied that they truly believed Almighty God would have mercy on their souls and would forgive them for the crime they committed. Being questioned as to family relations in France they stated that they had none left to them.
Ernest had sketched a caricature delineating a certain subject and when asked his reason for doing so answered it was to satisfy a small feeling or revenge, but as their religion did not permit them to harbor enmity against anyone and commanded them to forgive all who may have offended them, they had destroyed the caricature by burning it.
At 10:30 o'clock the sheriff provided himself with two ropes to be used for the hanging, and secured them to two iron rings on the beam of the scaffold. There were three rings placed there, which furnished occasion to one of the condemned to remark: "The third ring should serve to hang the reporter of the Times-Democrat" but this was said in a purely jesting spirit.
As an illustration of the unprecedented callous ways of the boys, one of the brothers remarked to the other, "We will have a large audience, they are the spectators, we will be the actors, which latter part, in this instance at least, we might dispense with, were it possible to do so. Not long preceding the hour of the execution the brothers were holding a discussion as to which might be the easiest mode of death, viz: the guillotine or hanging. Such conversations, doubtless, were meant to encourage one another for the hour of the closing scene.
The Sheriff being about to dress them with a shirt collar, Alexis remarked.
"There is no need of this we can well appear before the audience in negligee dress.
At 12:30 Sheriff Broussard, having ordered them to be up and prepare by dressing for the final hour, these toys, which as much sang froid, as was ever known by one performing an every day toilette, donned their black funeral new suit and were in readiness for the execution.
At 1:05 the Rev. Knapp of the order of the Dominicans arrived at the jail, and at once began the exhortation for death. At 1:55 the witnesses to the execution were called in and the Sheriff read the death warrant to the prisoners. Immediately following this the Rev. Father Knapp prayed fervently with the misguided boys for fully 15 minutes.
The following were the witnesses.
B. Doucet, J. P. Mulkern, Simeon Begnaud, Jean Begnaud, Leo Judice, Jean A. Begnaud, Dr. P. M. Girard, P. B. Roy, V. E. Dupuis, Adam Bourgeois, A. Comeaux, Wm. Campbell, L. Billeaud, E. Breaux, H. Church.
At 2:15, with a firm and steady step, Alexis and Ernest Blanc, started their solemn and last march up the scaffold steps being preceded by the good Father Knapp, Sheriff Broussard leading the rear held the arm of Ernest while Alexis was likewise escorted by one of the deputies.
The trap fell at 2:30 o'clock p. m. the Blanc brothers were launched into eternity. With hands uncovered, without a single muscle quivering, Ernest, the eldest addressed the vast multitude of men, women, and children thusly: "Fellow men, pardon us and we forgive all. My friends, these are our dying words; never depart from the teachings of your religion, and follow the precepts as taught you by your parents; never read yellow back novels, or bad books, and may you ever eschew the course that has brought us to such an awful and ignominious death.
This is all we wish to say, again say we, forgive us as we forgive all men.
After being in position upon the scaffold, the unfortunate, benighted youths, turned to, and embraced one another, bidding the sheriff to do his duty, that they were ready.
With these last words, the black cap as then put over the face of Ernest and Alexis Blanc. This completed Sheriff Broussard stepped back quickly laying hands upon the lever and the trap fell.
At 2:34 Coroner Trahan announced to the sheriff that death had taken place, and the mortal remains of the Blanc brothers were cut down and immediately placed in coffins, and were buried in the Catholic cemetery of this place. 5 minutes after the fatal drop, death resulted, the coroner having declared that both their necks were broken.
Sheriff Broussard deserves credit for celerity of execution.
Lafayette Advertiser 4/3/1897.
Heavy Blow Sunday Night.
The parish was visited by a severe wind storm again Sunday night, but little damage was done in Lafayette, beside blowing down a few shade trees and some parts of the telephone lines.
Carencro as so unfortunate as to again be in the part of the storm, the handsome new church, which but a week before had sustained damages to the amount of $500, was completely wrecked by the gale, the new building as not yet fully completed but as it stood represented an outlay of $9,800, this amount had been amassed by the zealous and untiring efforts of the Pastor Rev. Father Leforest, supported by the energetic and enterprising people of Carencro. This is a rude shock to their hopes for a permanent church home but we trust they will not be discouraged and extend our sympathy in their misfortune.
Lafayette Advertiser 4/3/1897.
A Close Call. - John Lisbony met with a very painful and quite serious accident at the oil Mill Monday morning. While attending to his work around the machines, in some manner his leg was caught and drawn into the machinery, but luckily the machine was stopped before any bones were broken, the injuries being all flesh wounds.
Lafayette Advertiser 4/3/1897.
Dixie Pale Beer. - The first consignment of beer for the Lafayette branch of the American Brewing Association, of Houston, arrived Tuesday. This Company have erected a cold storage warehouse near the railroad, where Mr. Ed. Higginbotham will look after their interests and supply the trade with "Dixie Pale." Lafayette Advertiser 4/3/1897.
Drank Poison. - The little girl of Mr. S. Kahn met with a serious accident Wednesday which well nigh proved fatal, the little one playing picked up a bottle containing carbolic acid and drank some portion of the contents, the face and mouth were severely burned where the caustic fluid had come in contact with the flesh and some portion of the fluid found its way to the child's stomach. The little sufferer was in a very precarious condition for several hours. It is to be hoped no permanent injury will be sustained.
Lafayette Advertiser 4/3/1897.
Painful Accident. - On last Saturday a lady from Carencro met with a very painful accident and one which might have resulted seriously. As she was getting out of her buggy onto the sidewalk between Moss Bros. & Co. and T. M. Biossat's she stepped on the end of a loose plank which flew up striking her violently in the face and badly stunning her for a few moments, in a short time her face was badly disfigured by the swelling resulting from the blow. This is accident No. 4 which has happened within the last six weeks, and all from defective side walks on the principal streets. Wait until some stranger gets a broken limb or a cracked head and then that $1,200 surplus will go for repairs that will not add to the prosperity of Lafayette.
Lafayette Advertiser 4/3/1897.
Selected News Notes (Advertiser) 4/3/1897.
Mrs. L. O. Broussard and little son of Abbeville, is the guest of Mr. and Mrs. C. K. Darling this week.
Mr. Vavasseur Mouton, the genial assistant Cashier of the First National Bank, has been confined to the house for the past week, but we are glad to be able to state that he will soon be at his old place.
The handsome new residence of Mr. Maurice Mouton, is progressing rapidly and will be a great advantage to the town, the architect Mr. B. F. Anderson shows that he is the master of the situation when it comes to house building.
On Tuesday and Wednesday April 6th and 7th, Assessor A. M. Martin will be in Carencro to register the voters in that ward and corporation. During those two days the office in Lafayette will be closed. Lafayette Advertiser 4/3/1897.
|Lafayette Advertiser 4/3//1897.|
From the Lafayette Gazette of April 3rd, 1897:
The Last Act in the Awful Drama - Two Souls Swung into Eternity.
Ernest and Alexis Blanc, the murderers of poor Martin Begnaud, were hanged yesterday between the hours of 2 and 3 in the afternoon. People began to arrive in town Thursday, when an unusually large number of strange faces were noticed on the streets of Lafayette. Since the early hours of Friday it was clearly apparent that the crowd attracted by the hanging would be the largest ever seen in the town. The wall which had been erected around the scaffold to comply with the law was of such a height that those who were not contested with looking at the unfortunate young Frenchmen before the fatal drop, climbed trees and roofs of houses in order to be able to witness the end of the awful drama which was about to be concluded.
It is estimated that there were fully 4,000 people present. Every town from New Orleans to the Texas line was represented. So many were hanging in the trees on the court-house square that Alexis facetiously that "those trees were full of fruits." Most of the people impatiently waited for the hour of the execution while others applied to the sheriff to let them visit the Blancs, but as that officer had his hands full with more serious duties he could not always attend to the visitors. With few exceptions the immense throng behaved well, occasionally some who had probably imbibed too freely of alcohol, made themselves disagreeable. At about 12 o'clock Sheriff Broussard went to his office where he deputized the following citizens to assist him at the execution: D. A. Cochrane, Aurelien Olivier, J. O. Broussard, Alex D. Verot, Hamp Benton, Aurelien Patin, Israel Prejean, Rudolph Roy, Geo. Melchior, J. W. Broussard. The following gentlemen who were present took their oaths as witnesses: D. Doucet, Leo Judice, Jean Begnaud. The sheriff requested the witnesses to be at the jail at half past one o'clock, while the presence of the deputies was required there an hour earlier.
The night of April 1st was the last time Ernest and Blanc enjoyed the restorative influences of balmy sleep. They were cheerful; as much so as it was possible for two human beings to be, with such a dreadful fate staring them in the face. They recognized and cordially greeted all comers; even some persons they scarcely knew, they remembered and addressed politely. Showing that their mental faculties were in perfect order, their pulse beat normally, and there was not a quiver of the muscles. Nothing indicated their animal instincts shrank from the ordeal they were shortly to undergo, while the moral part of their beings was not profoundly affected as they indulged in some of the ghastliest jokes that ever fell from human lips. For instance when questioned about their early training and the studies they preferred at school, Alexis expressed a preference for history and geography, which was in unison with he said on a former occasion that his boyish ambition had been to be a marine and that the works of fiction which he remembered with peculiar gusto were those of Gustave Ayamar which dealt with adventures among the Indian tribes of North America, while Ernest said that he had no particular penchant for any study at school unless it was that of (with a laugh) gymnastics, but that he would shortly have an opportunity to practice gymnastics in a sort of trapeze performance, a serio-comedy in which he and Alexis expected to be the chief actors with a howling rabble as an audience. They kept up a running fire of badinage.
Ernest drew a picture, not a muscle of the finger twitching, representing a highwayman with a cocked-pistol and dirk, holding up a poor chap who was on his knees before them. This picture they showed to Mr. Simeon Begnaud, but upon this gentleman turning away with apparent disgust, they both assured him there was no intention of reproducing anything like a picture of their crime, and on Mr. Begnaud's advice they tore it up. They answered all questions quickly and intelligently.
When urged to lie down so as to get as much rest as possible to prepare for the ordeal they had to go through the next day, they insisted on sitting up and chatting until after 1 o'clock in the morning. Even after retiring they spoke and joked with each other until exhausted, when nature threw around the mantle of charitable oblivion.
They told the sheriff to arouse them at 5 a. m. which he did, but they begged to be allowed to sleep a little longer and they dozed off until 5:30. They did not break until they received holy communion at 8 0'clock. Then visitors began to arrive at the scenes of the day before commenced. They were perhaps a trifle less full of levity, but they still indulged in humorous sallies. Their color became a little heightened towards noon, but they yet displayed that marvelous composure they manifested from the time of their arrest.
At one o'clock Father Knapp, a Dominican friar, who is holding a mission here, came in to render the last sad rites of consolation of mother church. The father, who is exceedingly handsome, made the scene the more impressive. His stalwart figured, clothed in Cossack, his classic face beaming with kindness and humanity, will long be remembered. The silent moving of the lips as if impelled by inward prayer, asking, doubtless, the Great Jehovah to pardon the youthful criminals and temper the morbid crowd was noticeable.
When Father Knapp arrived the prisoners were about to take a bath, which they did scrupulous care, washing their feet and bodies in a tub. They put on neat garments which Sheriff Broussard had provided for them, and when dressed they were a very handsome pair of young men. Being offered collars they refused to put them on, Alexis saying that he did not want to place any obstruction in the way of the rope. A short while after Father Knapp entered the call and remained with them.
At 1:45 Sheriff Broussard to that document with perfect composure. Under the tutelage of Father Knapp their faces lost some of their levity, although Ernest frequently smiled while talking, and Alexis' eyes maintained their glitter and his voice its usual vivacity, the only evidence of any unusual strain was an occasional gulping on the part of Alexis as though a lump formed in this throat, while Ernest was observed to moisten his lips with his tongue.
At 2:04 the march to the gallows began, in the following order. 1st, the holy man of God, 2d, Sheriff Broussard with Alexis, 3d, Ernest with Deputies Isreal Prejean and Alex Billaud.
The two brothers walked up the stairs with a firm tread. When they reached the summit of the scaffold they knelt when they were blessed by Father Knapp who recited the act of contrition with them.
Ernest then in a clear, well modulated voice, addressed the crowd in chaste French the substance of which was the caution to young men to avoid evil books which might have a tendency to start them on the the down grade of a criminal career, as it had done for them. He counseled them to follow strictly the tenets of religion and the advice of their parents.
As soon as Ernest concluded his remarks, Sheriff Broussard adjusted the fatal noose around Ernest's neck and then he placed it around Alexis's; he quickly covered the brothers' faces with the black caps, tied their legs, and before many were aware of it, the engine of death was set in motion and two lifeless bodies were launched in space.
The drop fell at 2:10 and at 2:14 all muscular tremor had ceased, both necks were dislocated by the fall. They unquestionably lost all sensation the moment the drop was sprung. There was slight bodily movement of the bodies for four minutes after being mechanical. The last mechanical spasmodic movement of Alexis was a stiffening of the right arm.
At 2:23, 13 minutes after the drop fell Coroner A. R. Trahan, Drs. Webb and Mouton, pronounced Ernest and Alexis Blanc dead and the bodies were lowered, placed in coffins and carried to the court-house where, upon examination by Dr. Trahan and his assistants, it was ascertained that their necks had been dislocated.
With the exception of the detaching of a plank, which the Sheriff immediately replaced, there was nothing to mar the harmony of the dismal scene.
Thousands were admitted to view the bodies as they lay in front of the court-house in their white covered pine coffins. The discoloration of their faces had commenced to pale and to assume the waxen hues of death.
During the afternoon the bodies were taken to the Catholic church and were given decent burial.
Too much credit cannot be accorded Sheriff Broussard, who, in the conduct of this case from the inception to the end, carried out every detail so successfully. His dealings with the large crowd were characterized by firmness and good-humor. The law prohibited a public hanging and he performed the execution in private, as far as it was humanly possible to do so. The wall surrounding the scaffold was 14 feet high, the upper halves of the bodies being visible. A great load has been lifted off the sheriff's shoulders.
Lafayette Gazette 4/3/1897.
THE CONFESSION OF THE BLANC BROS:
...AS WRITTEN BY ALEXIS BLANC.
The following is a literal translation of a portion of the manuscript given by the Blancs to Mr. Thomas Mouton. It was written by Alexis and signed by both. It is a full history of the crime and a sketch of the murderers:
Sunday, Feb, 28, 1897.
At the moment I am incarcerated in the jail at Lafayette. Through the bars of my cell I am able to see only a small spot of the green earth. The weather is beautiful; the sun lights the town with its golden rays, none of which shine on me confined in my dismal cell. But why are we here, without hope and with the scaffold as the only alternative? It is because we have committed a crime, the penalty of which we must pay with our lives.
A few years ago, it was in Paris, France, that our beloved mother breathed her last after a long and painful illness. Poor mother ! How she must have suffered, if from her heavenly abode she looked down upon us and followed us through our lives. We were left alone on earth, two unhappy orphans with unhappy orphans with no parents to guide us. We were then, one 16 and the other 15, years old. By the sale of a few household articles we realized a little money. Considering our position we decided to leave France as we had no reason to remain there. We journeyed through Belgium, visiting Brussels, Bourgues and Anvers, and finally boarded a steamer bound for New York where we landed on the 24th of August, 1893.
Immediately after our arrival there, the love for adventure took possession of us and having enough money we departed for St. Louis, passing through Norfolk, Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Louisville, arriving at St. Louis, where we soon spent all our money. Being penniless, we entered upon a life of privation and misery. For two months we had little to eat and sometimes nothing at all. After several efforts to secure employment, a farmer near St. Louis gave us work and a home; we remained there all winter. With the approach of spring, our adventurous spirit again took possession of us, and not having been paid in money we did not care to remain where we did not care to remain where we were. Then we packed our belongings and left for New Orleans, and a month later reached that city, having suffered much from cold and hunger. But in that French city, we received not much more hospitality than in the American cities, and we crossed the river and continued our journey having nothing in view but the procurement of employment. It is in this way we arrived at the home of old Col. Boudreaux and for two years we worked on his plantation following the pursuits of farming. It was a life of tranquility, sweet and honest, which we regret having discarded to follow the evil promptings of ambition; the love of fortune, and the desire for gold which the devil suggested to us through the leaves of a book entitled the "James Hoys." It was by reading this book we were lead to steal. Why work in the field ? Why walk behind a plow ? And at the end of the year we receive not enough to buy clothes to put on our backs ?
To rob one of his gold in a single night appeared to us much easier. That birds had eaten the crops and we were discouraged. Then to put our new plan into execution we bought two revolvers and made two poignards of files. After being well armed we decided to rob Martin Begnaud and eight days afterwards we were on our way determined to execute our project. For two days we hesitated, but the third, (the day following the election) April 22, 1896, we fully succeeded. That night we arrived at Scott at 9 o'clock. All was calm and quiet. Nearly everybody in the town were asleep, with the exception of those in Simeon Begnaud's saloon. It was yet too early to begin our work and we sought refuge in the tall grass along the railroad, watching all those who were in the saloon were shut and everyone went home. We saw Martin Begnaud going toward his store. The time to act had come. It was then or never. We walked hurriedly to the store, but we arrived too late, the door having already been closed. We knocked at the door. Martin Begnaud came and asked, "who is there ?" "It is us," we responded; then entering the store we bought a pack of tobacco, stating that as we worked all day we could not come earlier. We conversed upon different subjects before an opportunity presented itself for an advantageous attack, he being behind the counter. We were about to leave when the idea came to our mind to ask him to show us some rat traps, for which he had to come from behind the counter, and now the opportunity for which we had long awaited came. He showed us the traps, and after explaining how to use them he leaned against the counter. His back was turned to us and when he turned around he found himself facing the revolver and dagger of Alexis. He was so surprised that he leaped towards us in a vain effort to disarm us. "Do not move. If you do you are dead," Ernest replied pointing his pistol closer to his head. Paralyzed by the feat of being shot or pierced with a dagger, he remained quiet. It was then that Alex shut the door which was opened. We then told him: "Now, Martin, all that we want is that you open your safe in order that those crisp bills may pass from your safe into our pockets." Without saying a word he walked to that small piece of iron furniture, whose contents have excited more than one human mind. Five minutes later the safe was opened and it was with some difficulty as he trembled very much before he found the combination. It was then without further to do about the money, we began to tie his hands and to entwine his body with calico to make him more secure, and after conducting him to his room we tied his feet and made him sit on the bed, the pistol in my hand watching every movement of the unfortunate prisoner, while Alexis ransacked the safe with as much sangfroid as a banker does his own. Despite the gag Martin could speak distinctly and it was at this moment that he said: "Why do you treat me in this manner? Had you asked me to give you some money I would have done so." But I replied, "You are saying this because you are caught." Alexis then said he had to tell him where the keys of those two little drawers. Martin replied: The keys are in one of the opened drawers, and furthermore, one of the drawers contains only private papers while the other contains some gold." Alexis returned to the safe and found but one key which opened the drawer containing the gold; he searched for the other key, but could not find it, but being satisfied with the money he had found, he believed Martin's word that the other drawer contained only papers. After waiting impatiently near the bed about fifteen minutes I walked over to where by my brother was to see if he had finished rifling the safe. I noticed on the floor near the safe two sacks filled with money while Alexis' pockets were puffed with bank notes. We were discussing the manner in which we would tie him so that he could not give the alarm before morning, when he said:
"Do not destroy my account books nor my private papers, without which I cannot make a living."
In the silence of the night this sonorous voice appeared probably stronger that it really was and impressed us with a feeling impossible to express, and we rushed to his room and I (Ernest) stabbed Martin who was sitting on his bed. How many times I stabbed him, I know not, nor did I ever know. All that I remember is that Martin uttered a smothered groan after the first plunge of the dagger, which was certainly mortal. Without losing any time we walked out of the house and fled along the railroad track to our cabin. After arriving, the first thing we did was to bury the money, and conceal our bank-notes and weapons, and we burned all clews. The next morning when we heard of the crime we were with Col. Boudreaux in his orchard picking Japan plums. The old colonel was stupefied. We feigned to be equally affected. A short while after we are informed that the sheriff would arrive on the scene with blood-hounds to track the murderers. We had not thought of blood-hounds before and this information caused us some uneasiness, and the consequence was we remained in our cabin all day. At four o'clock in the afternoon the dogs, after trailing around the store, seemed to take a trail along the railroad which they followed to the place where we left the track the night before. We were very much relieved when we felt sure that the dogs had lost the scent. After staying one week without being suspected and making believe that we had received some money we left on the 12:40 train for New Orleans with the stolen money strapped around us. Immediately upon our arrival in New Orleans we bought valises and going to a hotel soon relieved ourselves of our belts. The next morning we left for Atlanta, thence to New York where we rested several days before taking our departure for Europe. After six days of traveling we arrived at Southampton, England, and the next day we were at Havre, France. We purchased new clothes and lived several days there indulging in the best of wines and the finest of French cooking. Dressed as Princes, and loaded with gold, we made our triumphal entrance into Paris, where we lived as millionaires, rode fine horses, visiting all the theatres, and continuing to indulge in good wines and associating with pretty women. Soon tired of this life of dissipation we again desired to travel. After visiting Belgium and England we boarded a steamer for New York City arriving there on the 12th of July. We had already spent the greater portion of the $3,000. Then we commenced our journey across the United States, visiting Chicago, St. paul, Helena, Portland, Sacramento, San Francisco, Los Angeles, El Paso, Salt Lake City, Ogden, Omaha, Council Bluffs and St. Louis. In the latter city we spent the remainder of our money. Each one having ten dollars, we took the Frisco line one foot, passing through Missouri, Arkansas, Indian Territory and Texas, and followed the Texas-Pacific as far as Mexico, where we rested a few days. All along the route we tried to get work, but failed. There was nothing for strangers to do. It is in this manner that we reached Lafayette on January 2, 1897. Knowing so many people there we thought it would be easy to find employment. We knew we were risking our necks, but being so miserable, did not car very much.
The day after our arrival at Col. Boudreaux's we received a visit from the sheriff who arrested us and conducted us to prison, and being interrogated by Sheriff Broussard and others, we confessed our crime, and the same day we were conveyed to New Orleans for fear of mob law.
We remained in the city a month and a half and on the 10th of February, 1897, we were brought to Lafayette for trial. The trial was fixed for the 17th of February but postponed to the 25th. The trial lasted two days and half a night and we were condemned to hang after eloquent pleadings of our attorneys.
We are now awaiting the day of our execution, thinking that it is hard to die so young, but God's will be done.
To Mr. Thomas Mouton, 3rd, 1897.
Lafayette Gazette 4/3/1897.
AN IDEAL STORE
David Levy's Handsome Structure - One of the Finest in the Country.
If you visit Rayne the first thing you will meet your eye is a magnificent structure on the eve of being completed. When finished and filled with goods it will be one of the handsomest and largest stores in Southwest Louisiana. Upon inquiring of any resident of the thriving little town you will be informed that it is "Dave Levy's new store." The readers of The Gazette have all heard of and known Dave Levy, the hustling and enterprising merchant, who opened the "Acadia Cash Emporium" in Rayne in the beginning of the year 1887 and who has gained much an enviable reputation in the commercial world.
Like all intelligent business men Mr. Levy is an extensive advertiser having spent a small fortune with the papers of Acadia and neighboring parishes, and to the power of printer's ink he attributes his success.
Although the building occupied presently by Mr. Levy is one of the largest in the town of Rayne its capacity is inadequate to the volume of business transacted and about three months ago Mr. Levy contracted with Messrs. A. C. Lewis & Bros., for the construction of a building that would offer ample accommodation. The dimensions of the new structure are 38 x 100 feet. The front store-room is 14 feet high, 38 feet wide and 84 feet in length. While in the rear there is a ware-room 16 x 38. In the center of the main apartment is a very neatly constructed elevated office with a stairway at each end. The counters are unusually large, two of them being each 24 feet in length and two measuring 32 feet. In idea can be had of the magnitude of the main room when it is known that the shelving consists of 192 feet. In the grocery department there are 12 wooden bins and 8 metallic self-closing bins.
The second story will be used principally to keep stock. A ceiling 12 feet high and twenty windows make it a very pleasant and airy place.
Mr. Levy will move into these commodious quarters during the latter part of April.
Mr. Levy is aided by a corps of gentlemanly and competent clerks. Mr. A. C. Poulet is book-keeper and Mr. William Martin assistant; the salesmen are: Bennie Christman, Max Sommers, Gustave Besse, Ed Wimberly and Morvin Cunninghan, all affable and energetic young men.
Lafayette Gazette 4/3/1897.
SHERIFF ISAAC A. BROUSSARD.
[From the St. Bernard Voice.]
One of the most efficient and clever sheriffs Louisiana has ever known is Hon. Isaac Broussard, of Lafayette. The name is a synonym of honesty, integrity and noble citizenship; a gentleman in the truest sense of the word, no one lives who could, with any regard for truth, utter a syllable to his discredit, while there are hosts of those who can bear evidence to his virtues.
Like almost every one who leads an upright and exemplary private and public life, possessing the most noble traits of character, Sheriff Broussard has mortal enemies, who, actuated by envy, jealousy and malice, have sought to assail his unimpeachable reputation by circulating all sorts of false and scandalous rumors concerning his official conduct. Pursuing the course that any gentleman would have adopted under the circumstances to still the calumnious tongues, he asked for an investigation into his official life by the grand jury of Lafayette, which was accorded and he was promptly exonerated.
The aspersions cast upon Sheriff Broussard by his enemies will only tend to make him more popular and elevate him to the estimation of his fellow-citizens - those who know his true worth and appreciate his many good qualities of head and heart. The Voice was highly pleased to note his vindication, which we always felt was certain to follow the examination of the grand jury. Lafayette Gazette 4/3/1897.
A GREAT MISFORTUNE.
The destruction of the Catholic church at Carencro on the night of March 28, can only be regarded in the light of calamity. It will prove a check to enterprise and determination, a blow to a people that have sacrificed much and who have worked with a will that is seldom seen anywhere. Their means and their time were limited, but they gave freely of both that their town might be in the lead, and that they might possess a temple of worship that many places of greater pretentions could well be proud of. But, if it was a blow to them, what was it to their leader, to their good pastor, who has striven in every way to help them in their purpose - whose very soul seemed wrapped up in his work. There are few indeed, who do not feel deeply impressed, and full of sympathy for Father Leforest. They realize their great loss, but fully understood how much more it must effect the good priest who sees his ambition shattered, and his glorious work a failure.
Words are inadequate to express the loss that it really is to Carencro.
The Gazette hastens to offer its sincere sympathy to the people of Carencro and particularly Father Leforest in the great misfortune which just befell them in the destruction of their new church building. Father Leforest has certainly worked faithfully to give his people a place of worship of which they could well have been proud. Although not yet completed, it was one of the most handsome structures of its kind to be found in the State, and was the result of years of labor on the part of Father Leforest, liberally assisted by the citizens of Carencro. Seldom has a minister displayed as much devotion in behalf of his congregation, and it is due principally to his energy and perseverance that the building was on the eve of being completed. From what The Gazette has been able to ascertain, very little of the lumber can be utilized and the loss is a very heavy one as nearly $9,000 had been expended in the construction of the building. Such a sudden and terrible calamity is exceedingly disheartening, but The Gazette believes that the plucky little town, lead by the courageous priest, will renew its efforts with increased vigor and determination.
Though now only a mass of debris, the magnificent edifice, as it stood before the storm, will always be referred to as a monument to Father Leforest's zeal and energy. Lafayette Gazette 4/3/1897.
From the Lafayette Advertiser of April 3rd, 1869:
TALK OF RAILROAD.
There is much talk of a Railroad being built through our section of country to Texas and the Red River Valley. What certainty there is in the rumor we cannot be precise ; but we can say, that several companies, of ample means, and experience, are determined to carry the project into execution ; all probabilities are in favor of an early completion of the contemplated Road. We, who are deeply interested personally, and as members of the broad community to be benefited by the construction of the said road, and feel the vital importance of the further and complete development of the immense, countless, and some as yet unknown, resources of our beautiful prairies, must certainly realize the fact, that the present system or amount of labor is not adequate to that grand result. Leaving aside the urgent necessity of systematizing labor under compulsory process, and ignoring even the construction of the contemplated Road, we again, and will again, call upon our fellow-citizens, to invited immigration in our midst. Our fields are rich, they are almost boundless, and demand cultivation, and with the proper labor, would yield plenty to the honest laborer, and make our country what it was once, the gay abode of peace and granary of prosperity. Our fields are immense and rich, aye, but labor is wanting ; how many acres are now vacant and untilled ! It is very true that the resources of our section of country are generally unknown to the world outside, and the traveler from abroad, who crosses our plains, always wonders at the bright field for labor, which has been so far, lost to public appreciation.
The assertion is daily made by the wayfarer - we had no idea, no knowledge, of such a rich country as this ! And the question, how come such fertile and immense vacant fields are not under cultivation is daily asked !
Are we of the Parish of Lafayette disposed to sleep over the hidden treasures and known resources of our native fields !
Shall we always remain dormant, and never awake from the lethargy which seems to have overpowered our energies ? No, we give the answer to the interrogatories propounded. A short time and the iron horse will pant over our lands ; this is a fact known to all, let us prepare for the great event - let us invite imagination in our midst - let us introduce labor, intelligent, motivated, go-a-head labor, in men who will faithfully perform their contracts, settle our vacant lands, and seek its most hidden wealth.
The action we propose to be adopted by our co-parishioners, is being followed by other parishes, and we should follow their people. Let us divide our lands into tracts of twenty-five, thirty, or fifty acres, or more, and let them come from Erin, Sweden, Norway, France, and all parts of the earth, they are welcome ; let the sturdy sons of Germany come and disembowel the earth of its hidden treasures ; but, to do this, we must and should have immigrant societies, they are indispensable to the carrying out of the project. We call the attention of all our planters of our Parish to our above remarks.
Lafayette Advertiser 4/3/1869.
Surveyor. - Gov. Warmoth has appointed Gen. Frank Gardner, Surveyor of the Parish of Lafayette." The above we gather from the Crescent of the 30th ult. The appointment is cheerfully welcomed by all, and all wish success to the brave soldier of many battle fields, and the heroic defender of Port Hudson. Lafayette Advertiser 4/3/1869.
A Family Laxative.
Physicians are not inclined to recommend self-medication to the laity. Yet there is one need which they are almost unable to supply. We refer to the "family laxative." The family physician is able to prescribe for the most complicate and obscure maladies and yet is often puzzled to know just what to give when asked for a remedy which can be kept in the house of family use as a laxative, that shall be effective, free from danger, and not unpleasant to take. When absent on our summer vacation we were asked by four different parties, representing as many families, what we thought of the "Syrup of Figs." Not one word did we volunteer on the subject, and we were somewhat surprised to find that this small token of the very general use of that preparation. These parties said they derived more benefit from it and found it more pleasant to take than anything of the kind they had ever used. The simple question with them was, is it a dangerous compound? We informed them that its active ingredient was a preparation of senna, and that it was entirely free from danger. With this assurance they volunteered the information that they should continue to keep it in the house.
The therapeutical properties of senna are so well known that comment on this seems unnecessary. It might be well to notice, however, that Bartholow says it is "a very safe and serviceable cathartic," and that it is "highly prized as a remedy for constipation." He also makes the important observation that its use "is not followed by intestinal torpor and constipation."
The simple truth of the matter is, we have altogether too few preparations which we can recommend to our families as effective laxatives. But the California Fig Syrup company has one of the most desirable combinations for this purpose with which we are familiar. The Fig Syrup company gives to the profession the composition of this preparation, therefore there is no secret about it; the persons who use this laxative speak in the highest terms about it, and we are pleased to notice that a large number of physicians are prescribing it.
Viewed from the narrowest and most selfish standpoint the physician will lose nothing by recommending such a preparation as Syrup of Figs to his patients; while viewed from the highest standpoint od doing the best possible by those who place themselves in our care, we would say the profession cannot do better than give their endorsement to such a preparation. - American Analyst.
Lafayette Advertiser 4/3/1894.