George Brott was proprietor of lower St. Cloud and had started a paper, The Advertiser, to invite immigration. There were two practical printers in town, both property-owners, both interested in its growth, and when the resources of The Advertiser had been consumed and they had had union rates for work done on it, they fell back on their dignity and did nothing. They had enlisted in the wrong army, did not belong with this band of pioneers, making its way against savage beasts and men. They were soldiers of a union whose interests were all opposed to those of St. Cloud, so they were looking on, waiting to see if the great need of a paper would not compel their neighbors to pay tribute to their union.
Mr. Brott asked me if I would take charge of a paper and take town lots for a salary. I told him I was an abolitionist. He laughed, and said:
“A lady has a right to be of whatever politics she pleases,” and went on to say, that if I could recommend Minnesota to emigrants, and St. Cloud as a town site, he cared nothing for my opinions on other points. He thought we might unite all the town proprietors, and so raise money to pay the printers, so I wrote to each one, asking his support to the St. Cloud Visiter, as an advertising medium. All, save Gen. Lowrie, were prompt in making favorable response; but from him I had not heard, when there had been three issues of the paper. Mr. Brott was in the office, and I said:
“There is one thing more. I feel that some day I will attack Gen. Lowrie, who is your friend. He will set Shepley on me; I will make short work of him. Then we will have a general melee, and I will clear out that clique. Shepley is your lawyer, and I do not want to use your press in that way without your consent.”
While I spoke, his jaw dropped and he sat staring at me in literal open-mouthed wonder, then threw back his head, laughed heartily and said:
“Oh, go ahead! I bake no bread in any of their ovens!”
Very soon I had a letter from Gen. Lowrie, saying:
“I myself will give the St. Cloud Visiter a support second to that of no paper in the territory, if it will support Buchanan’s administration. Otherwise I can do nothing.”
I had not finished reading, when the thought came: “Now I have you.” Yet still I knew it looked like, ah, very like a man catching a whale with a fish hook secured to his own person, when there were a hundred chances to one that the whale had caught him. I replied that the St. Cloud Visiter would support Mr. Buchanan’s administration, since it could not live without Gen. Lowrie’s assistance, and such was his ultimatum.
On the second day after that contract was made, brother Harry came, all trembling with rage, and said:
“Lowrie is telling all over town that he has bought you, and that the Visiter is to support Buchanan!”