A Ramble of Six Thousand Miles through the United States of America eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 172 pages of information about A Ramble of Six Thousand Miles through the United States of America.
and another gentleman, had a gouging scrape on the hustings.  The major in this contest proved himself to be a true Kentuckian; that is, half a horse, and half an alligator; which contributed not a little to ensure his return.  After the election, I was conversing with one of the most violent opponents of the successful candidate, and remarked to him, that I supposed he would rally his forces at the next election to put out the major:  he replied, “I can’t tell that!” I said, “why? will you not oppose him?” “Oh!” he says, “for that matter, he may do his duty pretty well.”  “And do you mean to say,” continued I, “that if he should do so, you will give him no opposition?” He looked at me, as if he did not clearly comprehend, and said, “Why, I guess not.”

The boatmen of the Ohio and Mississippi are the most riotous and lawless set of people in America, and the least inclined to submit to the constituted authorities.  At Cincinnati I saw one of those persons arrested, on the wharf, for debt.  He seemed little inclined to submit; as, could he contrive to escape to the opposite shore, he was safe.  He called upon his companions in the flat-boat, who came instantly to his assistance, and were apparently ready to rescue him from the clutches of this trans-Atlantic bum-bailiff.  The constable instantly pulled out—­not a pistol, but a small piece of paper, and said, “I take him in the name of the States.”  The messmates of this unfortunate navigator looked at him for some time, and then one of them said drily, “I guess you must go with the constable.”  Subsequently, at New York, one evening returning to my hotel, I heard a row in a tavern, and wishing to see the process of capturing refractory citizens, I entered with some other persons.  The constable was there unsupported by any of his brethren, and it seemed to me to be morally impossible that, without assistance, he could take half a dozen fellows, who were with difficulty restrained from whipping each other.  However, his hand seemed to be as potent as the famous magic wand of Armida, for on placing it on the shoulders of the combatants, they fell into the ranks, and marched off with him as quietly as if they had been sheep.  The rationale of the matter is this:  those men had all exercised the franchise, if not in the election of these very constables, of others, and they therefore not only considered it to be their duty to support the constable’s authority, but actually felt a strong inclination to do so.  Because they knew that the authority he exercised was only delegated to him by themselves, and that, in resisting him, they would resist their own sovereignty.  Even in large towns in the western country, the constable has no men under his command, but always finds most powerful allies in the citizens themselves, whenever a lawless scoundrel, or a culprit is to be captured.

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A Ramble of Six Thousand Miles through the United States of America from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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