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Title: Stephen H. Branch's Alligator, Vol. 1 No. 6, May 29, 1858
Author: Branch, Stephen H.
Language: English
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  LIFE OF STEPHEN H. BRANCH.                                10

  LEGISLATIVE ROBBERS.                                      13


Volume I.—No. 6.] SATURDAY, MAY 29, 1858. [Price 2 Cents.]

For Boys and Girls, and Wives and Husbands, and Venerable Men to
                   read and remember forever!

_The corrupt antecedents of Judge Russell and Superintendent
Tallmadge—Sad revelations—The founders of Straw Bail dissected
to their marrow bones, by a man who was in collusion with them in
their deeds of public villainy._

In 1841, I (Stephen H. Branch) went into the law office of
Mr. Seely, in Fulton street, who, being absent, I awaited his
return. He had an interesting boy to open his office and run
errands. I asked him if he was a native of the city, and he said
yes, and told me that his father and mother were dead, and that
his grandmother had recently died, and that his only surviving
relative was an aunt, who was an actress, and travelling over
the country, and that she seldom visited the city, which made
him feel very lonely and unhappy. I asked him if he would like
to have me teach him gratuitously, and he said he would—that he
was at school in Connecticut before his grandmother died, and was
obliged to close his studies in consequence of her death—and
that he would have travelled with his aunt, after his grandmother
died, if she had not made him promise on her bed of death, that
he would never become an actor. I saw genius in the youth, and
strongly sympathised with his loneliness and misfortunes, and
soon began to teach him during his leisure hours. His aunt was
long absent, and sent him no money, and the lady with whom he
boarded got uneasy, and I took him to board with me, at Mrs.
Mitchell’s, in Broadway, with whom Otto Dressel, the Reverend
Doctor George Potts’ music teacher, subsequently boarded in
Bond, and at the corner of Houston and McDougal streets. While
we boarded with Mrs. Mitchell, an English boy came there, and
formed his acquaintance, who had recently come to America with
a German traveller. They were about the same age, and congenial
from mutual loneliness, and they immediately formed a devoted
friendship. I taught them, both in English and Latin, and I
dearly loved them. I did all I could to please them, and improve
their minds, and I took them to Flushing, and Newark, and Albany,
for pastime. The English boy left the city with the German
traveller, and was absent several months. I got the American
boy situations in lawyers’ offices and dry goods stores, where
he seldom stayed long, and he became a great tax on my limited
means, but I clung to him in my darkest hours. He told me that he
desired to dine at the Astor House, with the son of a lawyer,
in whose employ he had been. I rather doubted his story, but let
him go. Soon afterwards, he requested me to let him go again,
and I did so, going myself, soon after he left me, and took a
position near the door, after the gong had summoned the boarders
to dinner. On emerging from the dining room after dinner, I asked
him where the son of the lawyer was. He said that he was in the
dining hall. I told him that I would like an introduction to him.
His cheeks were naturally as red as a rose, but my unexpected
presence, and request for an introduction to the lawyer’s son,
made his face as pale as a ghost’s, and I saw that he had stolen
his dinner, which he slowly acknowledged, and admitted that he
had dined twice at the Astor without an intention to pay for his
dinners, and that he knew no son of a lawyer residing at the
Astor House. I violently upbraided him, and told him that he
would ultimately become the tenant of a prison, and perhaps die
on the scaffold, if he did not check his thievish propensities.
He said that I observed small things, which so provoked me,
that I told him I must abandon him,—that he was in the bud and
blossom of the precarious Spring, and easily blighted for ever by
a frost or tempest,—that even the mighty oak, that has defied
the storms of centuries, is felled to the earth by a blast of
lightning,—and that the towering avalanche, which is formed from
silent and solitary flakes of snow, could bury the largest city
of the globe. He evinced great sorrow, and cried bitterly, and
assured me that he would never steal another meal. I then paid
for both dinners, and left the Astor, and kept a close guard
over his movements. In about three weeks, he was arrested for an
attempt to rifle a man’s pocket in Wall street. The gentleman
did not appear against him, and he was discharged. I then went
to an actor to ascertain in what part of the country his aunt
was, and immediately wrote to her, and she came to the city, and
I surrendered the thievish boy to her future protection. She got
him a boarding place, and left the city to fulfil her theatrical
engagement. He urged me afterwards to give him a recommendation
to the extensive wholesale dry goods firm of Fearing & Hall, in
Exchange Place. I told him that I would do them great injustice,
as he might steal, and then they would hold me responsible. But
he said his aunt had not sent him money for a long time, and
that he had nowhere to live, and wept aloud, in Chatham street,
and so wrought upon my feelings, that I consented to recommend
him. During my interview with Mr. Fearing, (who was the senior
partner of the firm,) he said that out of one hundred responses
to his advertisement for a clerk, he had chosen my young friend,
because he was pleased with his appearance and address, and that
he was the only boy out of the one hundred who had removed his
hat on entering his counting room. I had a year previous told
the boy to always remove his hat when he entered the presence of
a lady or gentleman, and this was the propitious fruit of his
recollection and exercise of the politeness I had imparted. Mr.
Fearing also said that although he could get the boys of affluent
parents for nothing, (who deemed the knowledge of business they
would acquire as a compensation for their services,) yet he was
so pleased with my young friend, that he would give sufficient
means to support him, if he proved industrious, and displayed
the talents he thought he discovered in him. I left, and the boy
went on the following day as a clerk of this extensive firm, who
soon informed me that their anticipations were realised as to the
capacity of the boy,—that he was as quick as a flash, in all
his movements, and was more valuable to them than any boy they
ever had. Mr. Fearing made him presents of apparel, and paid his
board, and gave him pocket money, and treated him like his own
son. He soon got into the habit of attending balls, and places
of amusement. Money was missed, and although traced to him, yet
Mr. Fearing kindly forgave him. More soon disappeared, and was
fastened upon him, and he was discharged, amid the tears of Mr.
Fearing, who fondly loved him. He alternately boarded in Fulton
and John streets, and borrowed an elegant pair of tight dancing
pantaloons of a fellow boarder and companion, named Robert M.
Strebeigh, who is now the first book-keeper, and one of the
proprietors of the _New York Tribune_, and a near relative of
Mr. McElrath. He wore the pants to a ball, and stained them,
and burst them, and never returned them, which sorely troubled
poor Strebeigh for a long time, and I often have a laugh with
Strebeigh at this remote day about those pants, but he can never
smile when I allude to the loss of his fancy ball pantaloons.
Some months later, he was arrested for stealing clothing, and had
an accomplice, who escaped. He was arrested at the Battery, while
getting into an omnibus, and strove to bribe the officer with
money. I went to the Tombs to see him, and wrote to his aunt, who
came to the city. She was (and is) an actress of uncommon talent,
and enacted the leading characters of Shakespeare. I had often
seen her elicit tears from a vast assemblage, with her affected
pathos. But now I beheld her unaffected sorrow, and heard her
piercing cries for the deliverance of her nephew from his dreary
and degraded confinement. And her strong, clear, and musical
voice, and large, dark, penetrating eyes, and uplifted arms,
and dishevelled hair, and rapid pace too and fro, and furious
gesticulation, and frenzied glances, harrowed my feelings beyond
endurance, and I had to shield myself as far as possible from her
pitiful and overwhelming presence. I went to the Tombs, and saw
the boy, and told him his aunt had arrived, and he desired to
see her. I returned and told her his request, and she exclaimed:
“I know he wants to see his beloved aunt—the dear, dear boy,
with no father, nor mother, and his kind old grandmother also
dead—I know he yearns to see his only surviving relative—the
dear, darling, unfortunate boy, and I will go to see him, and
kiss him, and comfort him in his dreary dungeon, and die with
him, in his captivity, if necessary,” and thus she soliloquised
and wept in tones of strangulation, while arranging her shawl
and bonnet before the glass, and I cried also, and besought her
not to go, as I did not desire to witness the harrowing prison
scene between herself and beloved nephew. But she assured me
that she would control her feelings, and would not weep, nor
evince extraordinary emotion in his cell, if I would accompany
her. I doubted her power of dissimulation, when she beheld her
nephew, in his narrow cell, with a stone and block for his
bed and pillow, and restrained of his liberty by locks, bars,
bolts, and chains. But she most earnestly assured me that she
could master her sympathies, and appealed to her control of her
passions on the stage, as evidence of her ability to subdue her
feelings in a prison. She did not convince, but smiled like
an angel through her tears, and persuaded me to go in accents
that would have conquered and melted a fiend into submission.
On our arrival at the Tombs, her eyes were excited with fear,
and as we ascended the steps that led to the cell, she trembled
like a little girl, and hoped I would pardon her tremulation,
as it was her first appearance in a real prison, and trusted it
would be the last. I tranquilized her fears, and we enter his
cell, and when she beholds his pale and sad and lovely face, she
screams, and embraces, and hugs, and kisses him, until it seems
she will strangle and devour him. After the shock, she slowly
recovers herself, and adheres, as far as possible, to her pledge
to check her agony, until we arise to leave him, when I behold
a scene between herself and nephew, far more affecting than I
ever witnessed on the stage of a theatre, or in human life.
She raved and pulled her hair, and pressed him to her panting
bosom, as though she was bidding him an eternal farewell, prior
to his immediate departure for the scaffold. The boy becomes
alarmed, as she had almost suffocated him with affection, and in
his herculean efforts to extricate his neck from her terrible
Bearish embraces, they both fell violently on the floor of the
cell, when I implored her to release her grasp, lest she would
strangle him. But she was in a trance of affection, and was
utterly unconscious, and the boy soon cries for instant succor,
or he must die, when I seize her with all the strength I could
summon, and after a severe struggle (in which I tear the apparel
of both, and scratch their faces,) I separate them, and in
half an hour, through the most tender persuasion, I effect her
emergence from the cell, amid an avalanche of renewed embraces,
and mutual kisses, and parting words. On leaving the cell, a
captive (who had the freedom of the prison, and whose heart was
moved by the noise in the cell, and the touching presence of
the lady,) beckoned me aside, and told me that a friend of his
got out of prison the day before for thirty dollars, and that
he expected to obtain his liberty the following day for twenty
dollars, which was all the money he could raise. I asked him how
it could be done. He said that Abraham D. Russell was the lawyer
of himself and friend, and got a great many guilty persons out
of prison for a small sum of money, and that if I would consult
him, he could easily get my young friend out in a day or two. I
thanked him kindly, and left the prison with the boy’s aunt, and
to restrain her tears, I immediately imparted to her the pleasing
news I had heard. She was almost frantic with joy, and said that
although she had not much money in consequence of the great
expense attending her suit, then pending for divorce, against her
brutal husband, yet she would pawn her jewelry and theatrical
wardrobe, if necessary, to release her nephew from his dreadful
incarceration. I told her the prisoner said that it would cost
only thirty dollars, which she promised to raise as soon as she
could send the servant to the pawnbrokers. I escorted her to the
boarding house, and left her to procure the money, while I went
to Mr. Russell’s office, to ascertain if the prisoner told the
truth. Mr. Russell was absent, but his boy, Theodore Stuyvesant,
(recently a member of the New York Legislature,) said he would
soon return, and in about ten minutes he came into the office.
I briefly stated the case, and he said that for thirty dollars
in advance, he would have the boy restored to liberty. I ran to
the boy’s aunt, and told her the precious news, and she let me
have thirty dollars, which she borrowed from the stage manager
of a theatre in this city, and thus saved the wounded heart and
cruel sacrifice that are the sure result of forced dealings with
pawnbrokers. I hastened to Mr. Russell’s office, and cheerfully
gave him the thirty dollars, and went to the prison and told the
boy what I had done, who was wild with delight. On the following
morning, I went early to the Court of Sessions, and a gang of
thieves made their appearance, and were huddled like sheep in
a corner of the Court Room. I had firmly refused the request
of the boy’s aunt to be present, and if I had not, I think she
would never have survived the awful scene. To behold a youth
so beautiful and classical, amid a group of ugly burglars of
all hues, and of either sex, was a spectacle that painfully
disgusted me, and made me almost sick of life, but I disguised
my feelings as far as I could, and rivetted my eyes on the boy
and the officer who called the prisoners for trial and sentence,
which were nearly simultaneous. The boy’s name was near the close
of the list, and was not called that day, and he was remanded
to his cell. Throughout the painful scene, I was writhing with
suppressed anger, at the absence of Mr. Russell, and after the
boy was remanded to prison, I rushed to Russell’s office in
terrible anger. I demanded why he had abandoned the boy after
receiving thirty dollars, and that if three more prisoners had
been called to appear in front of the Judge for trial, my young
friend’s name would have been reached on the list of culprits,
and he doubtless would have been condemned and sentenced to the
States Prison for the want, perhaps, of a lawyer to defend him.
Russell said that he was busy, and could not be in the Court of
Sessions to defend him; but that he would certainly be there on
the following day, and save him. As he had got the thirty dollars
in his relentless grasp, I deemed it expedient to restrain my
anger, and try his integrity once more. The morning came, and
the thieves were again driven like cattle into the Court Room,
and I soon discovered the bright eyes and noble features of my
young friend among the hideous and wretched criminals. But Mr.
Russell was not there, and I inquired for him, and a young
lawyer told me that he was in the ante-room, whither I literally
flew, and asked him why he did not come into the Court Room, and
he prepared to defend the boy, as the Judge was in his seat, and
the prisoners were about to be called and tried. He told me not
to be in such a flurry, and that he should come when he pleased,
and not before, which so exasperated me, that I cried out: “Then
give me the thirty dollars I gave you to effect his liberty.”
He stared at me with his bad and revengeful eyes, like an owl
in a midnight tempest, but he breathed not a syllable. Several
persons heard my voice in the Court Room, and came into the
ante-room. I then exclaimed: “You black looking rascal, restore
the thirty dollars instantly, or I will tear you to pieces.” This
terrified him, and he gently took my arm, and besought me, in
God’s name, to be silent, and not expose him, and most solemnly
declared that he would go immediately into the Court Room, and
have the boy’s trial postponed, and that he would get his sacred
friend, Frederick A. Tallmadge, the Recorder, to permit him to
be discharged on bail in a few days. This pacified me, and he
went into the Court Room, where I watched his movements as a cat
does a rat, and presently he caught the eye of the Judge, and
smiles and winks were simultaneously exchanged, and the boy’s
trial was postponed, and he was again conducted to his gloomy
cell. On the second day following, Mr. Russell, myself, the boy’s
aunt, and a well clad, and very genteel one-arm man, went to the
office of Frederick A. Tallmadge, the Recorder, and the Straw
Bail Court was opened, in whose infamous proceedings I enacted
as vile a part as Russell or Tallmadge, or the neatly attired,
and otto-perfumed, and sleek haired one-arm man, who was engaged
by Russell to be the spurious bail, although my motives were on
the side of humanity, and theirs on the side of gilded lucre.
The Recorder said: “Well, Mr. Russell, please state your case,”
and Russell said: “A lad is confined in the Tombs on a charge of
stealing clothing. That he is guilty of theft is not yet proved,
as he has not had his trial. But his aunt and friends are here
in deep affliction, in whose name I most devoutly pray that
your honor will release the boy on bail, with a solemn pledge
from his aunt and friends that he will immediately be sent to
sea.” A few winks, and blinks, and intelligent smiles, graced
the eyes, and lips, and cheeks, and temples of several persons
present, while the Recorder was considering the merits of the
case, with his perturbed and thoughtful visage buried within his
hands, which he anon removed, and desired the friend of the boy
to come forward, who was prepared to be his bail, and presto!
the long-haired, and smiling, and smooth-faced, and fragrant,
and well dressed one-arm man, appeared in front of the Recorder,
and with a great display of New York or London assurance, he
signed the document that restored to liberty one of the shrewdest
little rogues of the age. The boy’s aunt thanked Mr. Russell and
the Recorder, and the one-arm man and myself went through the
same formality, (I apologising to Russell for my harsh words at
the Tombs,) and we separated, and the boy’s aunt went home in
an omnibus, and I went to the Tombs, to witness the discharge
of the culprit captive boy. He was released from his cell, and
both Turnkey and Russell warned me to beware of the Judge, and
we descended the prison steps, and I shall never forget the
shock we received as we were passing through the prison yard,
at meeting the Sessions Judge, who had just got information of
Russell’s operations, and would doubtless have detained the boy
until he got his share of the thirty dollars from Russell. But
the boy adroitly, and like lightning, turned his head, and the
Judge passed on without recognising or suspecting that the boy
was already on his way to liberty. We paused a moment at the
prison gate and desk, where the boy’s name was carefully examined
on the books, and the boy severely scrutinised, and the clerks
imparted their sly and extremely expressive leers, and the last
prison gate was opened, and the boy was free, and went to his
aunt’s boarding house, and rushed into her arms, who swooned,
and fell like a corpse to the floor, and was with difficulty
restored to consciousness. Like the pure and noble Socrates, I
always conceived it a monstrous crime to illegally effect the
liberation of captives, and I repeat, that in all this violation
of law, and stupendous villainy, I knew that I was enacting as
vile a part as Russell and Tallmadge, and the One-Arm Straw Bail
Scamp, but it has always been a pleasing solace to know that
sympathy, and not money, led me to embark in a plot to effect
the liberation of a notorious little convict. Lawyer Russell
and Recorder Tallmadge subsequently became (and are now) the
City Judge and Superintendent of Police of the great commercial
metropolis of the Western World, and the one-arm man I recently
saw in Broadway, and on the steps of the Tombs, as glossy as
ever with sweet oil and broadcloth, and who always reminded me
of that class of conspirators under the monster Cataline, whom
Cicero describes as past all hope of a restoration to private or
public virtue. I subsequently learned that the one-arm man was a
penniless and cunning and thievish vagabond, and had subsisted
for years from what he got from straw bail lawyers, for being
bail to prisoners. I do not positively know that the Recorder
knew he was utterly irresponsible, and even if he did, he may
have accepted him as bail, from motives of the purest humanity,
although, in doing so, he must have known that he was violating
and degrading his position as a leading City Magistrate, and
that he was treacherous and ungrateful to the people who kindly
elected him to protect their lives and property from the thieves
and murderers of the metropolis. But we are of the opinion that
Russell powerfully aided Tallmadge in his election as Recorder,
and that there was collusion between them, and that they both
knew what a miserable scamp and outcast the straw bail one-arm
man was and is to this day. It now devolved on me to send the
boy to sea, and the aunt signified her readiness to aid me, and
to procure his sea clothes, and the boy was willing to go, and
I went on board of several vessels, and at last obtained him a
situation as cabin boy, but his health was very delicate, and
I feared he would die, and I could not let him go to sea. I
then proposed that he should visit the village in Connecticut,
where he went to school before his grandmother died, in order
to recruit his health, and his aunt gave him some money, and
he left for the country, to return in the autumn, and obtain a
situation in some respectable pursuit. His aunt left the city,
to join her theatrical company, and I continued in my business
as teacher of colored and Irish and other servants. I soon
received a letter from the boy, informing me that he was in a
very melancholy mood—that his old school mates had all left the
village, and the people with whom he formerly boarded had learned
of his thefts through the newspapers, and he desired to return to
the city. I wrote immediately, and directed him to come to the
city, and I would strive to get him a place to learn a trade,
and did so, but he soon left, and got into vicious society, and
I had to let him pursue his own course, as I was very poor and
ill, and he had nearly worn me to the grave. The next I heard of
him, was that he had been arrested in Philadelphia, and taken to
Boston, where he had committed forgery, in connection with an
old convict. He wrote me several letters from the Boston jail,
which I could scarcely read, in consequence of their melancholy
character. I wrote to his aunt in vain, as she either did not
receive my letters, or, if she did, concluded to leave him to his
awful fate. He turned State’s evidence, and thus got his term
of punishment reduced from five to three years. I visited him
at the prison in Charlestown, and I was the only person of his
acquaintance, who went to see him during his long imprisonment.
I also, by his request, sent him the New York _Evangelist_ and
_Observer_, and other New York papers. The kind Superintendent
of the Prison often wrote me, that the boy was popular with the
officers of the Prison, and also with the prisoners in the Sunday
school, and prayer meetings, and in the debating Society of the
captives, and was a leader in all the religious and musical and
literary exercises of the prison. His time expired, and he came
to New York, and immediately flew to me. I gave him money, and
he soon ascertained in what part of the country his aunt was
engaged in her profession of theatricals, and he soon found her,
and became an actor, although he had promised his Grandmother on
her dying bed that he would never be an actor. He subsequently
performed in this city, at Burton’s in Chamber street, and
Burton discharged him and leveled a revolver at his head, for a
suspected intimacy with an actress. He went to Providence, where
we saw him perform at the Theatre in Westminster street. The New
York _Police Gazette_ attacked him and exposed his antecedents,
whose publication he assured me Burton obtained and paid for,
to injure him and drive him from this section of the country,
and I told him he had no right to cast affectionate glances at
Burton’s actress; that Burton was justified in his revenges
even unto death, and I advised him to leave New England and the
central States, and he did, and got married, and had children,
and I recently saw his affable and accomplished aunt, who told me
that her nephew had risen to the summit of his profession, and
that he was a good husband and father, and that he was rapidly
accumulating a splendid fortune. And now, dear reader, you may
enjoy this exciting and truthful narrative, but I do not. And
I will tell you the reason why. This boy has become a valuable
member of society, and entertains multitudes of his species,
and excites their mirth and grateful sadness, and arouses their
hatred of dishonor and oppression, and is, like every meritorious
actor, an honor and a benefactor of his race. And hence it is
most acutely painful to array his past sad career before his
vision and the world. And yet I had to disclose his melancholy
story, in order to expose the rascality of the officials of
this Metropolis. And here again I am in sack cloth. For Judge
Russell is the ardent friend of James Gordon Bennett, who has
clung to me in days of illness and penury and gloom, when I
often expected to drop dead in the streets of New York. And
then again, Wm. Curtis Noyes married the favorite daughter of
Superintendent Frederick A. Tallmadge, and Mr. Noyes has been
like a brother to me, and has loaned me money to buy bread and
shoes during my recent pecuniary calamities, when nearly every
being on the face of God’s earth refused to loan me a farthing
to save my trembling frame from starvation. I weep (as few ever
wept, over these melancholy lines), to find myself compelled to
hold up to wasteless scorn, the friends and relatives of Wm.
Curtis Noyes and James Gordon Bennett, but I would trample the
bones and ashes of my father in his coffin, if I knew that he
died with the odium on his forehead, that will pursue Russell and
Tallmadge to their graves, and forever degrade their unfortunate
posterity. If murder is never out-lawed, these crimes are still
fresh, and the culprits should be punished. And shall friendship
screen those public monsters, who render New York a purgatory,
through their official protection of thieves and assassins, and
the whole catalogue of human devils? Nothing but a voice from
Heaven could have saved the head of Benedict Arnold, if George
Washington had got him in his clutches. And shall Russell and
Tallmadge and other traitors to justice and the people, be
screened from the public execration, because I love the humanity
and private succor of their friends and kindred? No, no. In tones
of thunder and earthquakes, and the crash of a trillion worlds,
no, no, no. I now have a Press to expose the public villains, and
I will stab down to ignominious graves, and to hell itself, all
the plunderers and murderers and accursed traitors of my adored
country. And I defy the Universe in arms to paralyze the Will
that dissects the precocious monsters of this pernicious age.

Stephen H. Branch’s Alligator.


DEGRADATION.—Mayor Tiemann walked arm in arm with
George W. Matsell, in front of the City Hall, (while the former
reviewed the Eighth Ward Police,) to the disgust of private
citizens and the policemen themselves. We recently intimated that
Peter Cooper, James W. Gerard, Ambrose C. Kingsland, and Mayor
Tiemann were afraid of Matsell’s Black Book. Tiemann’s review
of the Police, leaning on the arm of Matsell, (with Tallmadge
]coldly neglected in the background,) partially corroborates
our assertion with reference to the Mayor. And we believe that
Matsell could make Tiemann take his arm and parade in worse
localities than the Park, and could make him kiss his big toe, or
force him to degrade himself, or distribute his vast patronage
as the alien perjurer, and inhuman abjurer of his native land

What induced Frank Leslie to attack the Milkmen? To make money
from the sale of his nauseous pictures. And thus benificence
flows from mercenary minds. Leslie is a British alien, and cares
far less about American cows and milk, and poisoned infants,
than the American dollar. The town is in a perfect uproar about
rat’s bane milk, but all will soon be as placid as a summer sea.
Gilded metal will soon heal the human palm of all its ills. We
have witnessed these milk spasms all our days, and we lived near
the Sixteenth street depot, many years ago, and nearly died
from the poisonous atmosphere. Let fathers and mothers, and
grandfathers and grandmothers assemble at these murderous depots,
and saturate the guts of the proprietors with their bloody and
scabby milk poison, and then put them in a pillory, and pelt
them with rotten eggs, and then tie them to a whipping post, and
give them a thousand lashes, with cow tails, until their hacks
are raw down to their bone and marrow. And we doubt if even this
terrible scourge would drive them from their fatal avocation. For
years on years our most respectable citizens have petitioned the
Common Council to destroy these poisonous milk establishments,
but their proprietors have always united and bought a majority of
the members of the Common Council to refuse their just and humane
petitions. And where is Ex-Mayor Havemeyer, who has resided
within a stone’s throw of the Sixteenth street cow establishment
for twenty successive years? He, alone, could have released those
poor dumb animals, and have saved the lives of ten thousand
infants. And we had rather incur the perils of twenty murderers
at the bar of God, than the mysterious and incredible leniency
of Ex-Mayor Havemeyer towards the milk assassins, who have
committed their deeds of hell under his very nostrils at the foot
of Sixteenth street during a third of his mortal career. God’s
wrath on him should and will be terrible indeed for his inhuman

Can Mayor Tiemann or Peter Cooper inform us who originated the
Ward Island speculation, through which the city has been and will
be plundered till doomsday? We will bet heavily, that Tiemann and
Cooper know more about the Ward Island purchases than they would
like to disclose. We shall see.

We approach our career as a lover in the next chapter of our
“Life.” We dread this, as it is nearly the only portion of the
past that we review with sadness. But we must commence the
painful task in the next number of the Alligator, which will
elicit many a tear and smile from the curious children of Adam
and Eve, but there will be more tears than smiles from us, as we
record, for coming ages, our most extraordinary domestic history.
The Turks and Mormons and descendants of the amorous patriarchs
will wildly stare, when they peruse our legal relations with
human divinities.

Who was the confidential friend of Joseph S. Taylor? Mayor
Tiemann.—Who was forever prowling around the Street
Commissioner’s Office in the days of Jo. Taylor? Mayor
Tiemann.—Who boasted that he could always control the vote of
Ex-Governor Tiemann? Jo. Taylor. And who always did control the
vote of Ex-Governor Tiemann? Jo. Taylor!—O Moses!

A young scamp sends us a threat. His surname begins with K.,
which is the initial of “Knell!” Knave! Dost thou understand?

  Go to thy work,
  With probe and fork,
  And earn thy pork,
  And pay thy debts,
  And cease thy threats,
  And Godless frets.

Coward! Save your ink and paper and valuable time, and bring your
threat, and we will spank you, or we are no American.

Some complain of the length of our articles, but let all read
them understandingly, and they will find them short and sweet as

  Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1857, by
  In the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of the United
  States for the Southern District of New York.

Life of Stephen H. Branch.

Some students met to play a game of cards, when one proposed
to bet some money, which was accepted. This led to universal
betting. Cauldwell, of Virginia, proposed a heavy bet, which I
accepted and won. Cauldwell then asked me to accompany him to
his room, where we could play by ourselves, and I went, and we
gambled several nights, including Sunday. We were about even,
and I proposed to play a limited number of games and stop, as I
loathed gambling, and feared it might lead to a gambler’s fate.
My proposition was accepted, and at the close of the games, he
owed me about eighty dollars, which he paid me the following
day, which closed my gambling at Cambridge. I seldom attended
the recitations at the Law School of Judge Story and Professor
Greenleaf, but rode fast horses with the Southern students, and
accompanied them to the opera of Mr. and Mrs. Wood, in Boston,
and other places of amusement and dissipation. My sojourn at
Cambridge cost my father a large sum, for which I acquired
nothing. And, disgusted with myself and lamenting my ingratitude
to my father, I proposed to leave Cambridge, and return to
Andover, to which, to my surprise, my father readily acceded.
I engaged excellent board and parlor, and hired a horse daily
for exercise, and employed three private teachers in English,
Greek, and Latin, and I studied fifteen hours a day for six
months, and acquired a more critical knowledge of principles
than I had obtained in all my life. I gave my English teacher two
dollars an hour, who devoted four hours a day in recitation and
explanation. I gave my Greek and Latin teachers two dollars an
hour, who each taught me two hours a day. I permitted no one to
visit me, save my teachers, and my only recreation was a ride,
on horseback every day. Large as my bills were, my noble father
paid them without a murmur. The only serious mistake I made
during my residence at Andover, was a journey to Washington, by
invitation of Nathaniel P. Causin, Jr., who, during his visit
to Providence, while I was in the Post Office, was introduced
to me by Tristam Burges, Jr. I thought young Tristam neglected
Causin, and I introduced him to the students and pretty girls of
Providence, for which he often expressed the warmest gratitude in
letters from Washington, and I at length favorably responded to
his frequent importunities to visit him. So fond was Causin of
me, that while I was in the Law School at Cambridge, he desired
to join me in my class, and room with me, and actually packed
his trunks at Washington for his departure to Cambridge, but
I advised him to go to the New Haven Law School, as I did not
dare have him come to Cambridge while I had the itch, lest he
might catch it, through our constant intimacy. I left Andover
with one hundred dollars, and was warmly received by Causin on
my arrival in Washington. He accompanied me to the President’s,
to either House of Congress, to the Executive Departments, and
to Mount Vernon, where we fertilized the tomb of Washington with
our tears. And he now proposes a dinner in honor of me, to which
the distinguished ladies and gentlemen of Washington are to be
invited, which made me nervous, and I send a note affecting
sudden illness, when Causin comes and implores me to accompany
him in a carriage to his father’s. I feared to go as the lion
of such a gay and polished throng, as doubtless would be there,
but I yield to his irresistible persuasion, and assure him
that I will come in the evening. Causin departs, and I repair
to the abode of a Virginian in Washington, who was a famous
linguist at Cambridge, and inform him that I am invited to an
intellectual festival, at which would be the genius and beauty
of Washington, and that as it was a compliment to me, I trembled
lest I should be forced to give a toast or make a speech, or be
propounded questions which I could not answer with fluency and
accuracy. My friend sympathises, and consents to go, and talk
to them, if necessary, in six languages, and give them toasts,
and speeches, and answer all the questions they could ask in
the whole range of the sciences, and freely partake of all the
liquids and solids they could place before him. And he directs me
to be sure and sit close beside him, and when I get cornered, to
pinch him, and he will monopolise the conversation, and keep up
such a loud and everlasting chatter, that I can have no possible
chance to respond to the questions of the guests. Young Causin’s
father was the physician of Henry Clay, and other Senators and
Representatives, and when I enter the parlor and behold Clay
himself towering above the assembled intelligence and dazzling
magnificence of our National Capital, I thought I should fall,
and leaned firmly on the arm of my accomplished companion for
support. With Causin as our faithful guide, we passed around,
and bowed to the intellectual guests, and their lovely wives
and daughters, who gleamed with jewels, and formed a brilliant
constellation. My Virginia friend was perfectly at home, and
shook the hand of Clay with as much nonchalence as if he had been
his own father, and saluted the wives and virgin coquettes like
his own mother and sisters; and one glorious and irresistible
creature, I thought he would kiss and conquer on the spot, so
interminably did their tongues revel in French, Spanish, and
Italian. But I was giddy, and asked Causin for water, and through
this happy pretext, emerge from the gorgeous display. My friend
desires to linger, but I twitch and coax him to leave with myself
and Causin, as I fear he might seat himself at the approaching
dinner beside some black-eyed maiden, and thus place me in the
dilemma I had sought to avoid by inviting him to the festival.
We descend the stairs, and drink wine, and smoke segars until
the gong summons us to the banquet. Causin clings to me, and I
to the Virginian, and we seat ourselves in the centre of the
table with myself between Causin and my guest. The covers are
removed, and the posterity of about all the ducks, and hens, and
roosters, and flocks, and herds, that were preserved in the Ark
are in the arms of death before us, for their last grind and
annihilation. But as I was a professed invalid, I dared not eat,
although my stomach craved the ducks and venison most acutely.
After the poor animals were hacked and devoured, the pastry,
jellies, cream, and fruits appear in such profusion, that it
seemed as though Java, Madeira, the tropics, Indies, and all
of the Mediterranean isles had been pillaged and desolated to
appease our palates, and corks flew like rockets, and rivalled
the reverberations of rifles in a siege. I drank some wine, but
was extremely cautious, and more than once besought Causin to let
me retire, but he peremptorily refused. And now the majestic form
of Clay arises, who addresses the ladies in a strain of fervor
and exhilaration that fascinated every heart. He then addressed
the gentlemen, and when about to close, rests his searching eyes
on me. I begin to tremble, and when he articulates my name as
the distinguished guest of the occasion, I can scarcely breathe,
and unconsciously take a glass of brandy (for water) which was
designed for my Virginia friend, and which nearly choked me, and
plunged me in deeper misery. The great Kentuckian closed with
a glowing eulogium on Rhode Island, and her manufactures, and
warriors, and statesmen, and lingered on the genius, and valor,
and eloquence, and patriotism of Greene and Perry, and Tristam
Burges. All eyes are now upon me, and I pinch the Virginian
in vain, and fear paralysis, unless he instantly relieves me.
So, having a gold toothpick in my hand, I plunge it into his
leg as far as it would go, and up he sprang as though suddenly
galvanised, and breathed a strain of eloquence worthy of the
best days of old Virginia. He extenuated my non-response to the
pleasing remarks of the distinguished Kentuckian, on the ground
of indisposition, and, after happy allusions to the patriotism
of Rhode Island, Virginia, and Kentucky, in the darkest period
of American history, he rivetted his piercing eyes on the
magnificent array of female loveliness, and entranced the sweet
angels with language as luxuriant as Antony’s to Cleopatra, in
the high antiquity of Roman and Egyptian splendor. The matrons
smiled and the virgins clapped their tiny and lily fingers, and
the gentlemen struck the table, and stamped their feet, and rose,
and ejaculated bravo! Senators, and Representatives, and scholars
spoke in strains of powerful eloquence, and elicited enthusiastic
praise. All now arise, and repair to the parlors, where vocal and
instrumental music, and dancing, and waltzing, and intellectual
communion of the most solid and brilliant minds of our country,
close the pleasing exercises of the memorable occasion. The
Virginian departs for his abode near the President’s, and Causin
and myself go to Gadsby’s. While strolling on Pennsylvania
Avenue, on the following evening, Causin said: “Branch, in yonder
marble edifice is a band of gamblers, where many a promising
youth and meritorious gentleman have been ruined for ever.” I
accompany Causin to his residence, and listen to the delightful
music of his sister, and invite him to dine with me on the
following day, and leave for Gadsby’s, and halt at the portal of
the gambler’s den, and thus soliloquise: “My expenses have been
more than I anticipated, and I have hardly sufficient funds to
pay my bills, and reach Cambridge, and a week must elapse ere I
can obtain money from my father. I have always been fortunate in
the half a dozen times I have gambled, and I will try my luck
once more, and for the last time,” and I enter the gamester’s
hell, and drink some delicious wine, and eat some turkey and
pickled oysters, and advance to the gaming table, and in one hour
I am penniless. I return to Gadsby’s, and retire, but cannot
sleep, rolling from side to to side like a ship in a howling
tempest. Causin and his cousin dine with me, and after dinner,
we stroll in the beautiful paths around the noble Capitol, and
visit some lovely girls in the evening, whom Causin had known
from childhood, and we separated at nearly midnight. I then go to
the gamester, and beseech him to restore a portion of the money I
had lost, to convey me to my distant home, which he refuses with
the glances of a demon. I then go to a Member of Congress from
Rhode Island, who was a friend of my father, and ask him to loan
me sufficient to pay my bills and defray my expenses to Andover,
which he readily vouchsafes. On the following morning, I go to
Causin’s, and bid himself and father and mother and sister a warm
adieu, and depart for Andover by way of Hartford and Worcester.
I knew the son of the Superintendent of the Lunatic Asylum
at Worcester while he was a student at Brown University, in
Providence, and am anxious to see him, and leave my hotel about
10 P. M. for the Asylum, which was in the suburbs of Worcester.
On arriving at the gate, I am permitted to enter after a brief
delay, and proceed to the Institution. I had not gone far, when
I am attacked by two huge Newfoundland dogs. I coax one, and
intimidate the other, and advance. On reaching the front entrance
of the Institution, I find it closed, and pass round to the rear,
and enter the basement, where I find a solitary candle emitting
its last beams, and a stout lunatic is seated in the corner, who
instantly approaches me with distended tongue, ejaculating: “Lar,
lar,” about a dozen times in rapid succession, when I inquired:
“Is young Mr. Clark at home,” to which he responds, with both
hands on my shoulders: “Lar, lar, chick-a-de-dee.” and his eyes
rolled fearfully, and his tongue appears and disappears with the
velocity of an angry rattle snake’s. I am alarmed, and strive
in vain to extricate my shoulders from his giant grasp, when
he knocks off my hat, and grabs my hair, and pulls it so hard
that I cry murder, and he releases his hand, and kisses me, with
both arms around my neck. While picking up my hat, he grabs me
again around the waist, and belches his infernal “lar, lar,” and
protrudes his tongue, and laughs like thunder, and again incloses
my neck with his long arms, and evinces the affection of a bear,
and squeezes me so hard, that I can scarcely speak or breathe,
when I summon all the vigor that God and Nature gave me, and cast
him fearfully to the floor, and run for my life, with the lunatic
and both dogs close at my heels. I proceed not far, when a ball
comes whizzing by, which is fired by a sentinel from the window
of the Asylum, which increases my speed, and presently down I
go all sprawling into a vault, that was partially cleansed that
day, or I would have been instantly drowned from a most awful
suffocation. I crawl out, with the aid of the man at the gate,
who comes to my rescue when he hears the report of the rifle,
and the bark of the dogs. Presently the sentinel comes, and I
accompany them into the dreary basement of the Asylum, where
the candle is in its final throes, when young Clark makes his
appearance, and, after recognising my voice, is about to embrace
me, when I most solemnly warn him to stand off, and, for God’s
sake, to forbear until I am scraped and washed, and freshly
clad. He runs to his bed room, and brings apparel, and a tub,
and soon I am clean as mountain snow, and we eat and drink and
smoke and sing and laugh until the daylight does appear; and at
meridian, I leave Worcester for Andover, resolving never to leave
again, until I close my intellectual career in its sacred and
mellifluous groves.

(To be continued to our last roam.)

Legislative Robbers.

There is a small tornado in the coffee-pot about the scamps
who bought a majority of the Municipal and Rural Legislative
Members to vote them a lease of the Washington Market property.
Words and threats and Legislative and Court appeals are all
moonshine.—When the scoundrels who lobbied the obnoxious Bill
through the Legislature with gold appear in Washington Market,
let the butchers and fishermen and hucksters seize them and
put a cable around their necks, and carry them to the piers’
extremities, where big sharks often roam, and sink them to the
water’s bed, and draw them to the surface very slowly, and
let them blow as long as a porpoise, and sink them again, and
yet again, trebly and quadruply, until they relinquish their
Dev-lin-ish claim to the market property, and swear on the
surface of the chilly waters, that they will never shadow the
Capitol with their odious carcases during their natural lives.
This is the only mode, in these degenerate days, of foiling
the thievish propensities of the leading traffic rogues of the
Republican, American, and Democratic parties. All other means
will prove idiotic abortions.

The following meritorious gentlemen are wholesale agents for the

  Ross & Tousey, 121 Nassau street.
  Hamilton & Johnson, 22 Ann street.
  Samuel Yates, 22 Beekman street.
  Mike Madden, 21 Ann street.
  Cauldwell & Long, 23 Ann street.
  Boyle & Gibson, 32 Ann street and
  Hendrickson & Blake, 25 Ann street.

Advertisements—One Dollar a line IN ADVANCE.

BROADWAY, corner of Houston street.

Subscriptions for American or Foreign Papers or Books, from the
City or Country, will be promptly attended to.

Foreign Papers received by every steamer. Store open from 6 A. M.
to 11 P. M. throughout the week.

P. C. GODFREY, STATIONER, BOOKSELLER and General Newsdealer, 831
New York, near 13th street.

  At Godfrey’s—Novels, Books, &c., all the new ones cheap.
  At Godfrey’s—Magazines, Fancy Articles, &c., cheap.
  At Godfrey’s—Stationery of all kinds cheap.
  At Godfrey’s—All the Daily and Weekly Papers.
  At Godfrey’s—Visiting Cards Printed at 75 cents per pack.
  At Godfrey’s—Ladies Fashion Books of latest date.


You are sincerely warned not to look at THE PICAYUNE.


Or if you must have it, STEAL it.


JOBSON, in his RED FLAG, of the 24th inst. (published on
Thursday), is mauling your beloved Bennett and L. N. Bonaparte,
in a manner the most inhuman.

STOP HIM! by buying and burning a copy of his sanguinary Journal,
for 8 cents, at the office, 102 Nassau street, or any respectable


                         TRANSCRIBER’S NOTES:

—Obvious print and punctuation errors were corrected.

—A Table of Contents was not in the original work; one has been
 produced and added by Transcriber.

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