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Title: Stephen H. Branch's Alligator Vol. 1 no.7, June 5, 1858
Author: Branch, Stephen H.
Language: English
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  LIFE OF STEPHEN H. BRANCH.                                 2


  PRESS—BENNETT, GREELEY, AND RAYMOND.                     11

  A SWEET LETTER.                                           12


Volume I.—No. 7.]      SATURDAY, JUNE 5, 1858.      [Price 2 Cents.

      Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1857, by

                          STEPHEN H. BRANCH,

 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.

While pursuing my studies at Andover, I am corresponding with a girl
who resides in my native city. There were girls in Providence far more
beautiful than her, (and whose parents were more affluent than hers,)
from whom I could doubtless have selected a companion for life, but
her father had been a boy with my father, and she loved me as a sister
her brother, or as a fond mother loves her precious offspring. These
truths had their influence with me. Moreover, this girl had pursued
me for years, and (to illustrate her devotion) if I went to a ball,
she was there. If I took my position in a cotilion, she would soon be
opposite, and staring me broadly in the face, and, as we crossed over,
she would cast the most tender glances, and press my hand with deep
affection. If I proposed to dance with her, her eyes would kindle with
the wildest enthusiasm. If I went to church, she would be in the next
pew, and enter mine, if it were not full. If I turned a corner, I often
would meet her. If I looked behind, while promenading Westminster, (the
Broadway of Providence,) she would often be prancing towards me like an
Arabian courser. She would address letters to herself through the Post
Office, and call for them when I was at the letter delivery. If I went
to a party, she would contrive to get an invitation, and a day seldom
passed, when I did not see her. Juliet never loved Romeo more fervently
than she loved me. And because I knew she loved me as no virgin ever
loved, I resolved to have her. All her kindred favored our union, and
before I went to Andover, her father came, on summer evenings, to the
Post Office, and conversed with me in the most friendly tones. So, in
the Autumn of 1836, I bade adieu to Andover, forever, and repaired to
Providence, and married her at her father’s. The wedding was large and
magnificent. My father obtained me a clerkship in the Rhode Island
Cloth Hall, but manufactures were long depressed, and its directors
resolved to close its affairs, which deprived me of a situation.
The commercial desolation of 1837 was in embryo, and merchants were
curtailing, and extensive failures transpired, and clerks and mechanics
were discharged throughout the country, and my father could obtain no
lucrative employment for me, and dared not establish me in business
in such a frightful panic. Myself and wife resided at her father’s.
I made several journeys to Boston and New York for a clerkship, but
I could obtain none. The Spring of 1837 arrived. I was proud and
ambitious. Heartless comments were made, all over Providence, about
my idleness, and my prolonged residence with the parents of my wife.
I got uneasy, and was mortified beyond expression and endurance. I
made a final passage to New York, and resolved, if I obtained no
employment, to have a crisis. I could procure no situation, and went
to Philadelphia, where I was also unsuccessful. I saw an advertisement
for a clerk in Westchester, Pennsylvania, whither I repaired, but a
clerk had been obtained. My means were nearly exhausted, and I strove
to sell a diamond ring and gold pencil case to the barkeeper, and was
suspected as a thief, and arrested, and my trunks examined in the
presence of a large crowd, who came to the Hotel from every part of the
town. I was honorably acquitted, and instantly left for Philadelphia,
where I sold my ring and pencil case, and proceeded to New York, where
I sold my watch. I now became desperate, and resolved to bring matters
to an immediate consummation. I wrote a letter to father, and told him
that I was almost deranged, and besought him to save me. The banks
suspended specie payment on the day I wrote to my father, and the whole
country was a commercial ruin. Father wrote me, that he had spent
thousands of dollars for my education,—had recently paid my debts in
Andover and Providence, amounting to a thousand dollars,—had let me
have large sums since my marriage,—was not worth over twenty thousand
dollars,—feared he might soon be compelled to assign his property,
and could obtain no clerkship for me while the money panic raged. I
proceeded to New Haven, and wrote to him again, and he responded that
he would see my father-in-law, and pledge himself to meet him half-way
in any proposition he might make to save me, if he sacrificed his last
dollar. I went to Norwich, and wrote him again, and he informed me that
he had seen my father-in-law, who declined to aid me to the extent
of a penny, and said that I must effect my salvation in my own way.
Although my father-in-law was worth several hundred thousand dollars,
he had let me have but twenty-five dollars before or since my marriage,
and when he placed this amount in my hand, he sneeringly exclaimed: “I
always like to help the unfortunate.” In view of all this, I loathed my
father-in-law, and loved my father, and wrote a fearful letter to both,
(superscribing it to the former,) threatening to visit Providence,
and tear their hearts out if they did not instantly relieve me. I
included my father in this awful letter, so that my father-in-law
could not be the sole complainant against me, as I feared he would
consign me to prison for years, if possible. And I was fortunate in
including my beloved father in my dreadful letter, as the sequel will
show. I then advanced to Scituate, about ten miles from Providence,
and wrote another letter to my father and father-in-law, threatening
to come to Providence on the following day, and take their lives,
if they did not rescue me from my horrible dilemma. Two constables,
named Gould and Potter, came to Scituate, and arrested me at the Hotel
of Dr. Battey, (from which I had dated my letter,) and took me to
Providence in a carriage, and put me in jail as a debtor, on a debt
of five hundred dollars, created for the occasion by the wisdom of my
father. My father-in-law desired to imprison me as a criminal, (as I
had anticipated,) but my father’s counsels prevailed, and I was saved
from a felon’s doom. In those days, debtors were incarcerated, and I
was confined in a dark cell, by locks, and bars, and bolts, as all
Providence feared I would escape, and kill my father and father-in-law,
and perhaps others. Their fears were supremely ridiculous, as, if I
had seriously contemplated their death, I would not have told them
where I was in Scituate, nor the precise period that I should come to
Providence and dispatch them. But my object was attained. I meant to
have a crisis, and I got it with a vengeance on all sides. The night I
entered my cell was the happiest of my life. My bed was on the floor,
and rats and bugs crawled over me to their hearts’ content. I never
slept more sweetly, though occasionally aroused by the enormous rats
squealing and nibbling at my nose. The privy of the prisoners in the
large debtors’ apartment joined my cell, and the stench was almost
intolerable, and yet I soon became accustomed even to that, and for
days I laughed and danced and sang as never, for I had emerged from
anxiety and torture approximating purgatory itself. Mr. Parker, a
debtor, soon joined me in my cell, and we played cards, and narrated
our curious experience, and had a merry time; but Parker obtained
his liberty, and I was again alone, and I soon got melancholy, and
I wept bitterly over the calamities of my beloved wife, through her
penurious and demon father. In three weeks I was permitted the freedom
of the jail, which imparted perfect bliss to my disconsolate mind. I
reviewed my classics and mathematics in prison, and some faithful
companions called, and time again passed merrily. In six weeks my
father came, and (as my only complainant) effected my discharge, by
withdrawing his fictitious suit for debt against me. He accompanied
me in a carriage to the steamboat, and gave me money, with his most
affectionate blessing, and I departed for New York, an outcast, in
company with a dear relative named Franklin Cooley, who had been very
kind to me during my entire confinement, and through all my days. I
left my benefactor in New York, and departed for Albany, and went to
my Aunt Lucy’s, whom I had not seen for ten years, who resided in the
town of Groveland, near Geneseo, in Livingston County, in the State
of New York. My grandfather, on the mother’s side, left Connecticut
forty years ago, in consequence of extreme melancholy, after his
wife’s demise, and buried himself in the wilderness of Groveland, and
wrote to none of his kindred for twenty years. He first worked on a
farm, and as the country became more populous, he taught school and
realized enough to buy him a farm from the famous Mr. Wadsworth, whom
he knew in youth in Connecticut. At the expiration of twenty years, he
wrote to East Hartford, Ct., and his surviving daughter, Lucy, with
her husband, a drunken and cruel vagabond, went to Groveland, and in
about five years after their arrival, my grandfather died, and Aunt
Lucy and her husband coaxed him in his closing hours to leave his farm
to them, which was worth about twenty thousand dollars, one-half of
which should have reverted to my mother’s children, who were allowed
one dollar each, so that they could not break the will. On my arrival,
I found my aunt’s husband drunk, and she told me that he had involved
the farm in debt, which was mortgaged for a large amount, and that he
treated her like a brute. They lived in a one-story hut, consisting of
one room, and a pigeon-house in the roof. I arrived at midnight, in a
stage coach, and as there was no house within a mile, I was compelled
to stop all night, but where I was to sleep I could not divine. Aunt
Lucy asked me if I was prepared to retire, and responding yes, she
lit a cheap candle, and led me to the rear of the hovel, and up she
went a ladder, like a squirrel, and bade me follow. On arriving at
the door of the pigeon-house, she suspended one leg to enable me to
pass her, and then gave me the candle, and we bade each other good
night, and I crawled in, passing through dense partitions of cobwebs,
and battalions of spiders and rats, and down I lay for the night, and
counted minutes until the morning’s dawn, when I emerged from the
hideous hole, in which I had nearly suffocated. I took breakfast,
consisting of pork and herring, and visited my grandfather’s grave in
a distant field, and departed for Geneseo in the mail coach, where I
examined my grandfather’s Will, and found that my mother’s children
could never obtain their share of his beautiful estate. I left for
Rochester, and departed for Albany in a canal boat, and worked a short
time in a printing office at Utica. I left for New York, and worked
a brief period in the job office of William A. Mercein, and went to
Philadelphia, where I worked a week, and left for Baltimore, where I
found my brother Albert, who was a compositor in the printing office
of the _Baltimore Sun_, just started by Mr. Abel, (an old friend of
mine,) whose editor and subsequent famous Washington correspondent
was Sylvester S. Southworth. [Mr. Abel is a native of Warren, Rhode
Island, and established the _Philadelphia Ledger_ after the _Baltimore
Sun_. In earlier years, Mr. Abel and myself often worked side by side
as compositors in Providence, Boston, and New York.] I worked a few
days in Baltimore, and arrived in Washington just prior to the extra
Session of Congress in 1837, and obtained a situation in the job office
of Gales & Seaton, through the influence of their bookkeeper, Levi
Boots, who was a room-mate of mine when I worked and boarded with Wm.
Greer, of the _Washington Globe_, during my residence in Washington
in 1830. I got $10 a week at Gales & Seaton’s, and soon entered
Columbian College, which was located nearly two miles from Washington,
whose worthy President was Mr. Chapin. I studied nights, and recited
privately with Professors Ruggles and Chaplin, at daylight, and took
breakfast with the students, and left for Gales & Seaton’s with bread
and cold meat, in a little basket, for my dinner, and, after working
all day, returned to Columbian College at sunset. These were the
glorious days of the American Senate, and I was enchanted with Clay,
Calhoun, Webster, Benton, Preston, Crittenden, Buchanan, and others,
whose eloquence and anathema against the public robbers, were equal
to the philippics of Cicero and Demosthenes against the scoundrels of
their respective countries. The House of Representatives was full of
duelists, tigers, monkeys, screech-owls, and wild-cats, who formed
a perfect menagerie. I heard the exciting debate that led to poor
Cilley’s immolation, and attended his funeral, whose exercises were
the most imposing I ever witnessed. I saw the unearthly Calhoun in the
mournful procession, as it moved from the Capitol, whose brilliant eyes
reflected the profoundest sorrow. I studiously avoided my old friend
Causin, as I did not wish to see him after my terrible reversion of
fortune. But we met by chance in the Rotunda of the Capitol, and when
I related my sad story, he was deeply affected. We met again, and he
seemed quite friendly, but the charm was broken, and our enthusiastic
friendship soon became a matter of oblivion. I now receive a letter
from William Augustus White, (dated Burlington, Vt.,) with whom I was
intimate in Andover, while I was a member of Phillips’ Academy, and
while I studied under private teachers. Young White wrote me that the
Massachusetts Education Society undertook his education, but it had
failed during the bankruptcy of 1837, and he was at the College at
Burlington, Vt., and knew not what to do, and solicited funds to enable
him to join me in Washington. I told his story to the President and
Professors and students of Columbian College, and to Gales & Seaton,
and to Mr. Gronard, the generous foreman of the job office, and other
liberal gentlemen, who contributed money that I forwarded to White,
and he came to Washington, where I obtained him a situation with Mr.
Abbott, who had a Classical Academy near the President’s. White roomed
with me at Columbian College until 1839, when I became so ill, that I
was compelled to relinquish my studies. My blood rushed fearfully to
the brain, and I was so nervous, that I imagined if I spoke beyond a
whisper, that I would break a blood vessel. I also thought if I ate
solid food, I would have the cholic as soon as it entered my belly. Dr.
Thomas Sewell, of Washington, came out to the College, and the students
and professors gathered around my bed, and I thought I was about
to die, when the Doctor, (after punching my belly rather roughly,)
exclaimed: “Why, Branch, you are not dangerously ill, and you could
not die, if you wanted to, without suicide. You are only nervous and
dyspeptic, and you remind me of a nervous person recently described in
an eminent British periodical, who imagined that he had glass legs,
and that, if he attempted to walk, they would snap like pipe stems.
He made his friends dress him, and carry him about the house for a
long period, until he nearly wore them out, and they resolved to do
it no longer; and believing that he could walk as well as they, they
determined to try an experiment. So, they asked him if he would like to
take a ride into the country. He said he would, if they would put him
in the carriage. They first placed masks, torches, horns, and Indian
apparel in a trunk, and placed him in the carriage, and off they drove,
arriving in a deep wood before sunset, and asked him if he would get
out, and sit on the grass. He said he would, if they would take him
out. They carefully took him out, and seated him on the grass, and then
got into the carriage, saying that they were going back to London, and
that, if he accompanied them, he must get into the carriage himself,
which he assured them he could not do, without breaking his glass legs.
So, off they drive, amid his frantic cries to take him with them. In
about two hours, a thunder storm arose, and four of them, in their
frightful disguises, rapidly approached him, (amid rain, thunder, and
lightning,) all masked and attired like devils and wild Indians, and
made the woods ring with drums, and horns, and bagpipes. He sat firmly
until they were about to inclose, and apparently devour him, when he
sprang to his feet, and ran so fleetly on his supposed glass legs, that
they pursued him for half a mile, and gave up the contest. They then
repaired to their carriage, and although they drove tolerably fast,
yet, when they arrived at their home in London, they found him sitting
quietly in his easy chair, as though nothing had transpired, his fancy
glass legs having distanced the fleetest horses.” I had not laughed
for two months, but Dr. Sewell’s funny and truthful story made all the
students, and President, and professors roar, and I had to join them
against my will. When they all retired, I arose from my bed, for the
first time in ten days, and dressed and shaved myself, and raised my
voice far beyond a whisper, and in one hour talked in my usual tone,
and called for some beef steak, of which I ate quite heartily, and
found that my nerves had bamboozled me most shamefully, and I recovered
rapidly. But I was delicate, and could not work at the printing
business, and my blood concentrated in the brain, and I had to cease
my severe mental application, and I resolved to return to my father’s
in Providence as the prodigal son. Young White accompanied me to my
father’s door, and told my mournful story, when my father embraced me
with his wonted affection, after an absence of nearly three years.

(To be continued to our last moan.)

Stephen H. Branch’s Alligator.


This is the seventh week of the ALLIGATOR, and nearly every editor in
this city has had the courtesy, and kindness, and generosity to notice
my efforts to establish a journal on the basis of truth and justice,
save James Gordon Bennett, Horace Greeley, and Henry J. Raymond. As
I have written for the _Herald_, _Tribune_, and _Times_ nearly since
their birth, the premeditated slight of Bennett, Greeley, and Raymond
seems so impolite and unkind and ungenerous, that I have resolved to
analyse the editorial career of these notorious big and little villains
of the press, who are a greater curse to the people of this country
than all the thieves who ever entered the City Hall, or our State or
National Capitols. And next week I will begin their dissection, and
pluck out their livers, and cast them to the cadaverous and greedy
vultures for a choice repast, which will present the novel spectacle
of thievish crows devouring the livers of their own species. It is the
custom of these editors to unite and crush those who dare oppose them,
and expose their crimes, by refusing to let the wholesale newspaper
venders have the _Herald_, _Tribune_, and _Times_, if they sell the
public journals of their adversaries. If they strive to deprive me of
bread, by intimidating the wholesale newspaper dealers of Ann, Nassau,
and Beekman streets, so help me God, I will enter their editorial
closets, and lash them until the blood streams from every pore, if I
am slain in the attempt. Next week, then, and as long as I can wield a
pen, I will show the people of this country how these editors blow hot
and cold, and black mail, and collude with thievish politicians, and
share their spoils, and _sell the people_! And from my knowledge of
Bennett, Greeley, and Raymond (after a close communion with them for
twenty years,) I brand them as three of the biggest villains that ever
breathed. So, next week, let the American people prepare for startling

JAMES R. WHITING is a man whose head commands our profoundest respect,
and his heart our warmest attachment. This is no age for him. He is
like a cat in a strange garret among the Busteeds, and Connollys,
and Pursers, and Devlins, and Smiths, and Erbens, and other perjured
aliens and plunderers that prowl around the City Treasury. But James
R. Whiting would have been adored in the halcyon or tumultuous days
of the Persian, Egyptian, Grecian, or Roman Empires. But neither the
press nor the people will ever appreciate his wisdom, patriotism, and
sacrifice in these degenerate times. God bless James R. Whiting! and
when he dies, the honest people will weep over his departure, as the
Athenians did over the bones of Socrates, whom they kicked, and cuffed,
and taunted with insanity, and accused of corrupting the youth of his
country, and thrust poison down his throat, but they deeply regretted
their folly and cruelty, and the Grecians of every age have mourned
his melancholy fate, and cursed their ancestors for their neglect
and persecution of the scholar and patriot, and unrivalled Father of
Philosophers, since the globe was launched into the atmospheric waves.

Peter Cooper’s Avarice and Infernal Antecedents.

We all know how John Jacob Astor and Stephen Girard got their first
thousand dollars. And now let us see how Peter Cooper obtained his
first fifteen hundred dollars. When quite young and penniless, the
American Government owed Peter Cooper’s aunt fifteen hundred dollars,
as pension money, which Peter long besought his aunt to let him
strive to obtain, and she invested him with the power to collect it,
and he soon obtained it without much difficulty through some of the
vagabond politicians of those days, for whom he had done some dirty
work in securing their election to Congress and other civil trusts.
On obtaining the money, Peter requested the parties who got it for
him never to disclose it, and they promised they would not. After he
got it, Peter would often visit his sick and needy and aged aunt, and
assure her that he had not obtained it, nor would he ever be able
to force the Government to pay her. One evening a friend called on
Peter’s aunt, (who had been absent in a foreign land,) and found her
very ill, and in the last stages of poverty, having sold or pawned
nearly all she had. On perceiving this sad state of her affairs, he
exclaimed: “Why, my good lady, how could you so rapidly squander the
fifteen hundred dollars, with interest, that Peter Cooper obtained
for you from our Government, as the pension due you for the patriotic
services of your illustrious kindred?” She slowly raised her skeleton
form from the bed, and reclining on her hands and side, she said in a
husky and feeble tone: “My dear nephew, Peter Cooper, has often told
me that my claim is invalid, and that I can never obtain a cent.” Her
friend then started from his chair, and shook her hand, and kissed
it, and told her to be of good cheer, and rushed from the house, and
was on his way to Washington in one hour, and soon returned to New
York with a letter from the President of the United States, (who knew
her husband in his early years,) affectionately assuring her that her
claim was paid to Peter Cooper, as her accredited agent and nephew.
Great mental excitement and a protracted and dangerous illness followed
these painful disclosures, during which Peter did not visit her.
After she partially recovered, she instituted a suit against Peter,
which he resisted through all the Courts for sixteen years, when the
Court of Appeals directed Peter to pay his aunt four thousand and
five hundred dollars. The instant Peter heard of the Court’s fatal
decision, he mounted a fleet horse and reached his aunt’s at midnight,
and approached her with these sweet words: “O, my dear aunt, how do
you do? I am so glad to see you. I declare, how well and young you
look for one so old as you. Well, my dear aunt, I have come to pay you
the money I owe you, which I have kept all this time, and opposed you
for sixteen years in the Courts, simply because I feared if I let you
have it, somebody would get it away from you, and you would then be
poor and penniless in your declining years.—Now, my dear aunt, I do
assure you that I always intended to let you have the money; but your
memory was so very bad, and you were always so charitable and easily
influenced, that I thought I could take care of your money much better
than you, and so I have always kept it against my will, and solely for
your good. And now, dear aunt, I have written a receipt for you to
sign, and if you will just take this pen, and sign it, you can have all
this money in gold that you see in my handkerchief, which will keep you
comfortable all your days.” And the poor old infirm creature tottered
to the table, and put on her spectacles, and signed a receipt with her
skeleton and trembling hand, for two thousand dollars, in full of all
demands against Peter Cooper, which the unparalleled villain had thus
cunningly written to defraud her of the balance of two thousand and
five hundred dollars, which the Court of Appeals had directed him to
pay her, after sixteen years of obstinate and wicked litigation on his
part. He then gave her two thousand dollars, and left her as a robber
darts from a habitation when its tenant is after him with a dagger or
revolver. She threatened to prosecute him for obtaining $2,500 through
false pretences, and he dared her to do it. But she descended from
patriotic blood, and was so excited and exasperated at his wrongs, and
disgusted with her species and modern kindred, and being superannuated
and broken-hearted, and literally worn out, that, while sitting in her
bed dictating a letter to the President of the United States respecting
the monstrous robberies of Peter Cooper, she fell back and expired,
with her withering execrations of her nephew on her lips. And it was
the belief of the most eminent jurists of those days, that her sudden
demise saved Peter Cooper from a residence of ten years in the dungeons
of the State.

Peter Cooper has long bamboozled this city and country with his bogus
philanthropy. He has not, and never will surrender his right, nor that
of his heirs, to the building bearing the imposing inscription of
“Union” and “To Science and Art.” He will let the first four stories,
and pocket the rent, but the fifth story being (like the upper story
of the Wall street buildings,) almost valueless, and which he could
hardly let at all, he designs devoting to human learning, by letting
it to itinerating lecturers for as much as he can squeeze out of them,
and put that in his pocket also. And from my knowledge of his narrow
mind, (he having been my Grammar pupil in his old age,) I do not
believe that he will ever let the fifth story of his bogus scientific
edifice to any lecturer who differs with his political or religious
views. The penurious old rascal has furnished the immortal “Union” and
“Science” and “Art” fifth story with the dilapidated and wormy benches
of the old Wash Tub Tabernacle, and of Dr. Spring’s old brick church,
which were too much decayed for a wholesome and patriotic or political
bonfire. By all his noise and imposture about devoting his building
to “Union, Science, and Art,” he has succeeded in prohibiting the
construction of an edifice (on the vacant square at the junction of the
Third and Fourth Avenues) far more beautiful than his, and by foiling
that project, he greatly enhanced the value of his own property. And
through his stupendous “Union,” and “Science” and “Art” imposition, he
has cheated the New York Common Council into voting him a reduction of
$8,000 worth of taxes on his building. There never was such a cunning
wretch as Peter Cooper, whose craft would make the devil himself blush.
Through his pretended love of his species, and his spurious earnest
regard for the culture of the youth of the present and of coming
generations, he has foisted the merest old granny that ever existed on
the noble Metropolis as Mayor; and, not content with the Mayoralty and
nearly all of the Executive Departments in his grasp, this cunning old
rat directs the Mayor (who married his adopted daughter) to appoint
his (Peter’s) own son Edward as Street Commissioner, which is worth
millions in the hands of such cunning old thieves as Peter Cooper and
Daniel F. Tieman, who have been stealing the public money through their
enormous speculations and gigantic suburban operations, ever since they
entered the Common Council in 1828. I have got the data to write a
hundred pages on Peter Cooper’s indictment, while he had a glue factory
on the old Boston road, and his niggardly meanness to his nieces and
nephews, and other kindred, and to the poor Irishmen at present in
his glue factory in the vicinity of New York. He screws down all in
his employ to such low wages, that he barely permits them to subsist,
although their employment of skinning diseased cows feet and making
glue is the most offensive labor under Heaven. For his cruelty towards
an inoffensive apple-woman, (whom he seized by the throat, and dragged
from his store, and threw into the gutter,) he should be horsewhipped
from the Battery to Harlem. And through his artifice and eternal
excuse, (to the poor starving wretches who have solicited aid since he
began his bogus intellectual edifice,) that he could not contribute a
dollar to any charity except his building, he has saved thousands that
other equally affluent citizens have contributed to relieve the sick
and hungry and naked during the several winters of famine through which
we have passed, since Peter Cooper began the construction of his sham
literary institution. And these reprobates now strive to starve the
sick old fathers and mothers and grandmothers and dear little brothers
and sisters of the noble newsboys who sell their papers amid the rain
and sleet and freezing cold, while these leprous and chronic-pile
old scamps are sweetly reposing in feather beds they stole from the
tax-payers, under the garb of City Reform. Peter Cooper must soon meet
his plundered aunt in the realms of shadows, whose contemplation makes
him tremble like a murderer going to execution.

 The Early Penury of the Three Napoleons of the American
 Press—Bennett, Greeley, and Raymond.

The Hon. John Kelly (now Member of Congress from the city of New
York) told me that he was the first boy whom James Gordon Bennett
employed, when he issued the first number of the _Herald_,—that he
(honest Johnny Kelly) was then a poor, barefooted boy, with scarcely
means to live,—that his duties consisted in sweeping out the office,
running errands, folding and selling the _Herald_, and in doing every
thing required in and out of the office,—that Bennett then had an
office in the basement of a dilapidated building in Wall street,
near William, which was in constant danger of falling, and for which
he paid no rent,—that Anderson & Ward then published the _Herald_,
whose printing office was in Ann street, in a building subsequently
destroyed by fire, and which occupied the lot of the present _Sunday
Atlas_ edifice,—that Anderson & Ward would not let Bennett have a
solitary copy of the _Herald_ until he paid for it,—that he (John)
used to go every day with Bennett to Anderson & Ward’s to get the
_Herald_ papers, and that Bennett often had no money, and would appeal
in vain for the _Herald_,—that in tears he often pawned his watch to
Anderson & Ward for the _Herald_ newspapers,—that on one occasion,
he had no money, and Anderson & Ward held his watch as security for
the preceding day’s _Heralds_, and Ward was drunk, and Anderson was
absent, and Bennett cried so long and hard that Ward finally let him
have the newspapers,—that nothing but Ward’s generosity, arising
from his intoxication, saved Bennett on that critical occasion, as,
if Ward had withheld the papers, and the _Herald_ had not appeared as
usual, it might have ceased to exist, and the World have never heard of
James Gordon Bennett. And thus one event (even the whim of a drunkard)
often shadows or illuminates our pathway to ceaseless adversity or
prosperity, or to eternal obscurity or immortality.

The Hon. Horace Greeley was so poor when he published the _New Yorker_,
that he could not pay his Wheat Bread Board, and even failed to pay
his Unbolted Wheat, or Graham Bread Board. I boarded with Mr. and Mrs.
Greeley for seven years at the old Graham House in Barclay street, and
(sometime after Greeley established the _Tribune_) Mrs. Greeley often
borrowed money of me, from one shilling to five dollars. She always
paid me, but often kept it for weeks, which subjected me to great
embarrassment, as I was at the portal of starvation. But Mrs. Greeley
was a poetess, and very interesting in conversation, and a sweet and
gentle lady, and extremely beautiful, and her pretty smile emitted the
solace of an angel’s wand, to a cadaverous and gloomy Grahamite like
me, which was of infinite value to my digestive organs, and I never
could resist her arch persuasion to loan her money, although it was
often my very last shilling. I know a printer in this city who caught
Greeley in one of Simpson’s Pawn Boxes. Greeley had just pawned a
coat and silver watch, (which the printer saw dart up the spout like
a Fourth of July rocket,) and he, Greeley, being near-sighted, was
leaning over the counter, counting the pawn money, when the printer,
being in the next Pawn Box, (and who had worked as a journeyman printer
by the side of Greeley in a printing office in Chatham street some
years before,) seized Greeley’s ear, and slapped him on the back, when
Greeley looked up, and blushed profusely, and trembled from hat to
boot, and picked up his money from the counter, and walked out of the
pawnbroker’s shop, with gigantic strides, amid the screams of Simpson
and his clerks, and the printer, and all the miserable wretches
present, including the darkies. Three years afterwards, Simpson got
the boss of the printer to print some auction placards, and told him
that Greeley never redeemed his coat and watch, which were sold at a
Pawnbroker’s public sale.

Lieutenant Governor Henry J. Raymond, (soon after he came to New
York,) was the room-mate of my brother Thomas in Beekman street,
nearly opposite Saint George’s Church, at the boarding house of a
superannuated Presbyterian clergyman named Brown. Gov. Raymond told
me, three weeks since, that my brother Thomas was the first person
he roomed with in New York. My brother Tommy had run away from home,
and appealed to me for money, and to get him a situation. He arrived
from Providence in a snow storm, and as Mrs. Tripler, (with whom I
boarded, opposite Saint George’s Church,) was full, I got him board
at Parson Brown’s, in a small dark attic room, for two dollars a
week. Two days after he began to board at Brown’s, young Mr. Raymond
came there, and Brown put him in Tommy’s apartment, where they roomed
and slept together for a long period. Raymond was very short, but
Tom was much shorter, with the hump of King Richard on his back, but
they slept soundly, and snugly, and sweetly, and cosily, and seldom
kicked or scratched each other. After Raymond came into Tom’s bed, (it
was a double, ricketty, second-hand cot,) Brown reduced Tom’s fare
twenty-five cents, which made his board one dollar and seventy-five
cents a week, and even that was quite a tax on my attenuated purse.
Tom has often told me that he and Raymond would sometimes talk on
religion and politics until the doleful hours of midnight, and related
many funny anecdotes of Raymond, which I shall publish in the “History
of my Life.” Tom said that Raymond was so poor at this time, that he
could hardly subsist, and used to have his hair cut close to the skull,
to save barber’s money, and wash his handkerchiefs and stockings, and
sometimes his shirts, and used to mend his shirts and stockings every
Sunday morning, and the room was so cold, that Raymond sat up in the
cot, with his legs covered with the sheet and blanket, while he darned
his stockings and sewed the rips of his shirts, and that he, (Tom,)
suffered severely while Raymond was sitting up in the cot mending his
duds, letting in the cold air on his (Tom’s) back and legs. Poor Tommy
is cold now, (dying from the rheumatism and dropsy that Raymond gave
him,) and I recently bore his tiny body, and big heart, and intelligent
brain to our family tomb in Rhode Island, by whose side I may soon

Bennett, Greeley, and Raymond are now at the summit of the American
Press, and we shall soon show that they have not been true to the
children of the Great Being who raised them from utter penury and
obscurity to their present exalted position. And we shall review the
source and rise of their Secretaries, Hudson, Dana, and Tuthill, on
some very fine day, and then we shall analyse our own mysterious
career, and then——O me! O glass! O paint! O putty! O Cooper! O
Tiemann! O Edward! O Jeremiah! and the Italian Tasso!

A Sweet Letter.

  RAHWAY, May 15th, 1858.


_Dear Sir_,—Having read a great deal about you, I have taken a great
interest in you. Although a stranger, I take my pen to address you
a few lines, hoping you will excuse the liberty I take. It is pure
admiration of your persevering character that causes me to write;
for I have never seen your face to my knowledge. In your poverty, I
deeply sympathised with you, and in your prosperity, I rejoice with
you. And now I suppose you would like to know who it is that takes
such an interest in you. I am a country lady. My name is Miss James,
not the whole of it though, the rest I will give when I hear from you.
I reside in Rahway, New Jersey. I hope at some future day to become
better acquainted with you. If you take interest enough in the writer
to answer this—please answer this at once, and direct to


  Rahway, New Jersey.

  O Carrie, Carrie,
  Why will you tarry?
  Come, O come with me,
  And my darling be,
  And we will soon be three,
  And roam o’er land and sea,
  And free lovers be
  To eternity!
  O how I cry
  To see thy eye,
  And hear thy sigh!
  O! I! O! my!
  I almost die
  To see thy thigh!
  Good by, Carrie,
  Thee I’d marry!
  So come quick to town,
  And I’ll buy a gown,
  And to _Potts_ we’ll trot,
  Who’ll soon tie our knot,
  And to the Astor we’ll go,
  And put honey on our dough,
  And say avaunt to woe,
  And scream and jump Jim Crow,
  Till the Rooster doth blow
  His cock-a-doodle do,
  And hens cut-ka-dar-cut.
  And cats mew from their gut.
  And we will gaze, and hug, and kiss each other,
  Like Adam, our father, and Eve, our mother:
  And we will toil like thunder,
  In winter and in summer,
  To have a brat far better
  Than poor old Cain, our brother.
  So do not tarry,
  Sweet little Carrie,
  But come to me,
  And I’ll love thee,
  Forever and ever,
  And scold thee never:
  And now on my lone bed,
  I will lay my poor head,
  And dream sweetly of thee,
  Until thy face I see!

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


Broadway, New York. Letters delivered in the city and to the U.
S. Mails, just before their times for closing, in all directions.
Stationery—a general assortment wholesale and retail. Lockwood &
Warren’s Ink, a very superior article—jet black—does not corrode. All
orders punctually attended to.


P. C. GODFREY, STATIONER, BOOKSELLER, AND General News dealer, 831
Broadway, New York, near 18th 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.

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.



You are sincerely warned not to look at THE PICAYUNE.



Or if you must have it, STEAL it.


                         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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