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|Table of Contents|
|Start of eBook||1|
|THE SECRET BAND OF BROTHERS.||1|
|CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS.||44|
|DEBATE ON GAMBLING,||97|
|FALLACY OF LOTTERIES AS A MEANS OF REVENUE.||151|
|INSURING NUMBERS, OR POLICY DEALING.||151|
|PROF. GODDARD ON LOTTERIES.||152|
Explanatory remarks—The Grand Master of The Secret Band of Brothers—Vice-grand Masters—Ordinary members—Objects of the Order—Colonel Brown sacrificed lest he should betray them—Taylorites and Brownites 66
The mysterious box.
Anxiety about the missing papers—Cause of the hostility of the Band to me—The papers supposed to be deposited in the United States Court—Clerk’s office broken into, and the box containing Taylor’s indictment and the spurious money stolen—Suspected—Placed in prison for safety—The robber discovered—My release—The mysterious box—The stranger—Conversation with Wyatt—The box opened 75
The pork trade, or driving the hogs to A wrong market.
The trading operations of the Band—Lectures at Lawrenceburgh—The Browns and the hog-drover 84
Constitution and by-laws of the secret band of brothers.
Initiation—Penalties—The Grand Masters—The secret writing—The six qualities, Huska, Caugh, Naugh, Maugh, Haugh, Gaugh—Vocabulary of flash words—The post-routes.—The horse-trade explained—Allowances— Specimens of correspondence—The biter bit—A letter of introduction with an important note—Subsequent inquiry into the case 90
A chapter of affinities.
Thieves and thief-catchers—A family of five—Penitence and Penitentiaries—The chain-driver and his gang—Lawyers’ fees and Lawyers’ privileges—Our representatives 139
Gambling expedition in the Choctaw nation.
Character of the inhabitants on the Texas frontier in 1833—The murder of Dr ——. Operations at Fort Towson—Edmonds and Scoggins—Robbery— Journey to Fort Smith—The dumb negro speaks—His character of Scoggins and Edmonds 147
Correspondence connected with my visit to the Auburn prison, and conversation with Wyatt, the murderer.
1. Chaplain Morrill’s letter commendatory of my visit—2. My own account—3. My second visit—4. Mr. Gary’s letter—5. Reply to the accusations of Mr. Morrill—6. Mr. Merrill’s charges—7. Vindication from these charges—8. Further particulars relative to the life of Wyatt alias Newell alias North, and a horrid murder committed near Perrysburgh, Ohio—
Debate on Gambling 193
Drawing of Lottery Tickets 267
Insuring Numbers, or Policy Dealing 288
Lottery Combinations, etc. 299
Secret band of brothers.
In perusing the following pages, the reader will learn the history of a class of men, who, for talent, cannot be excelled. He may startle at the horrid features which naked truth will depict—at deeds of darkness which, though presented to an enlightened people, may require a stretch of credulity to believe were ever perpetrated in the glorious nineteenth century.
It will, no doubt, elicit many a curious thought, especially with honest men, and the “whys and wherefores” will pass from mouth to mouth in every hamlet, village, and town, where the following recital may find a reader or hearer. All will declare it mysterious. It is a mystery to myself in some particulars, but in others it is not. It is strange, passing strange, to think that such a black-hearted, treacherous band of men, as I am about to describe, could have existed so long in a civilized and Christian country.
With a trembling hand do I attempt to bring to light their ruling principles, to develop a system of organized and accomplished villany. My reasons for assuming so daring a position may seem to require an explanation. It may be asked why I did not make this revelation before, as far as I had knowledge, or what is the occasion of the present exposition? To the preceding queries I will briefly reply.
First, There has been no period in my life, prior to 1846, when I could dare to lay before the world what I contemplate doing at the present time. It will be long remembered by many, that in August, 1842, I renounced a profession, in which I had worse than squandered twelve years, the sweet morning of my life. In doing so, I knew I must, of necessity, experience deep mortification, in a personal exposure, which would attend me through life.
Gambling, with all its concomitants, had taken full possession of my depraved nature. Thus it was that I, like all wicked men, refused to “come to the light,” and I feared to oppose a craft so numerous as the one of which I was a professed member. Well did I know that I was carrying out a wrong and wicked principle. Conviction produced reflection. After a careful deliberation of the whole subject, I declared with a solemn oath, that, by the assistance of Almighty God, I would renounce for ever a profession so ruinous in its every feature.
From a careful examination, I have learned the lamentable fact, that the most prominent opposers of moral reforms are composed of two classes, the hardened Sinner, who makes money his god, and the extremely ignorant. Let not the reader understand, however, that I suppose there are not ignorant rich men as well as poor—the latter have their share of bad men, and so also have the former—but that vice and ignorance are common to both.
In the year 1843, I commenced lecturing against the fearful vice of gambling, for no other reason than to stay the gambler in his ruinous course, and save the youth of our land from his alluring wiles. For this I received in public the “God speeds” of all classes, and the prayers of all Christians in secret. I soon learned I had much with which to contend—opposition from directions I little anticipated. The gambler, unfortunate man! he carried upon his countenance an expression of open hate, indicating a deadly hostility to my reformatory movements. The ignorant man, I found, was disposed to make his avarice the highway to happiness. He was unwilling to favour any reform that would invade the territory of his contracted selfishness. His reply, if he had any, would be that stereotyped one, “such a course will have a tendency to make more gamblers than it will cure.” If his reasons were asked for such a statement, you could get no satisfactory answer. Perhaps he would say, “I am satisfied of the fact from my own disposition.” He might as well give a child’s reason at once, and say, “Cause!” Such persons have seldom heard a lecture, or read a syllable, and yet are always prating with a great show of wisdom, but rather, in fact, of blind conceit. Their silence would be of far more service to the cause of virtue than their opinions. In many cases, it will be found that such persons are not only ignorant, but dishonest.
Again, there is the rich, moral, or religious man, who takes another position. He opposes with the declaration “his sons will not gamble: they have such good and moral examples,” &c. This is sometimes a want of consideration, that prompts them thus to speak; with others, a secret villany, driving them to such ultra positions, a mere tattered garment to cover their own moral deformity. They must oppose the reformation, or be held up to public disgrace. In nine cases out of ten, the opposer of this class, is, or has been, a participant in the works of darkness whose exposition he so much dreads.
Finding many disposed to act thus, and to teach their children to imitate their own pernicious examples, I have made it a study to demolish, if possible, the foundation of their positions. The success attending my efforts to trace them out, assures me, that I am correct when I affirm that two-thirds of all opposers are influenced in their conduct by the basest of principles; one-sixth act through ignorance, united with vice, and one-sixth are wholly ignorant and cannot be morally accountable, if their want of information is in any way excusable. But what may be still more startling, about one-fourth of the whole are members of the various churches, yea, even men of this class are found in sacerdotal robes. This fact came within my knowledge long since. I felt it my duty to publish the same, but delayed, till I should gain experience in defending my position. I was satisfied, however, that the efforts of a certain New Light minister to traduce my character and hinder my influence, must have been prompted from some of the foregoing considerations. Would the world know who this man is? It will be necessary to go to the very town where he lives to secure the information. I doubt whether his name would ever have appeared in print, but for his newspaper controversy, or in case of his death. His unwarrantable attack put me on my guard, and caused me to search out the ground of his base and unchristian treatment. One thing is very certain, he is no gambler. It may not be a want of disposition, but rather a sufficient amount of sense, to make him a proficient in the business. He may be an ignorant dupe—a mere tool of the designing, the “cats paw” of some respectable blackleg, who thinks to cover his own crimes, by exciting public opinion against me, through an apparently respectable instrumentality. But I did not wish to bandy words with him, being impressed with the propriety of a resolution I made while a gambler, that it is only throwing away time to attempt to account for the different actions and opinions of weak and prejudiced minds; and therefore I dropped the whole affair. I would have remained silent, but for the position taken by other divines from his false and garbled statements. Many have condemned me unheard, listening willingly to my accusers, without hearing a word in my own defence. Not satisfied with such an expression of their excessive
In the county where I was bred, I have numbered, in one day, thirteen who sustained honourable places in society, nine of whom were rich, strangely rich in view of their facilities for acquiring wealth in a newly settled country. Not one is a professional man. Few bear the callous badge of industry and physical exertion upon their hands. Several are, by an outward profession, Christians,—but invariably opposed to all the benevolent institutions of the day and works of reform, unless their views of what is the right course are fully met, which are generally so extravagant as to preclude all hope of co-operation. With these I had a severe contest. Well did they know, there was something behind the screen which, brought to light, would expose their villanous transactions, open the eyes of honest men, and greatly endanger, if not destroy, their craft. That I had letters, written by themselves, they knew—nor dare they deny it—letters which might lead to a conviction of crime, that would raise them to a position somewhere between heaven and earth. They may rest assured that I have documents that place more than one thousand of them in a relative position to law and society.
In a previous work of mine, called “Gambling unmasked,” an allusion is made to an evident conspiracy against my life, sometime before I became a confirmed gambler. Goodrich was the name which I gave, as the chief actor. This same doubly refined villain, it will be remembered, by all who have read the above work, was foremost to aid in my arrest when I made good my escape to the Pine woods, lying back of New Orleans. The reader will likewise recollect, that I could not, at that time, account for such manifestations of unprecedented malignity, on the part of one from whom I might rather expect protection than persecution. But the secret is out, and I now have the power to give clear and truthful explanations.
This Goodrich, who resides at the present time in or near New Orleans, and who holds the rank of gambler-general in that city of Sodom, was an old and advanced member of the “Secret Band of Brothers.” Knowing, as he did, that I was engaged in assisting the honest part of the community to convict two brothers who were plotting my downfall, as a sworn member of the above fraternity, he was solemnly bound to do all in his power to aid in the consummation of my personal ruin. That the world might know something of this Goodrich, (though the half cannot be told,) I gave, in my autobiography, several incidents, in which he acted a prominent part. What I then said will answer for an introduction.
That he was connected with an organized association of gentlemen blacklegs will not be denied. The proof is abundant. Nor was he an apprentice, a mere novitiate; but long schooled in vice and ripening year by year, he swelled quite beyond the bounds of ordinary meanness, till he became a full-grown monster of his kind. Not content to gather riches by common roguery, he sought out the basest instrumentalities as more congenial to his real disposition. His chief riches were obtained by dark and murderous transactions; and had he a score of necks, with hempen necklaces well adjusted, I doubt whether he could pay the full forfeiture to the law.
From my first acquaintance with him at Louisville, with blood-thirsty vigilance he sought my destruction. Here began the risings of his malice, and this was the cause. In the year 1830, I gave information to the city police in relation to Hyman, who, at that time, was the keeper of a hotel. It was while at this house, that Goodrich became my determined and implacable foe. I had been duped by two brothers, Daniel and James Brown, who were then confined in the calaboose for passing counterfeit money. Large quantities were also found in their possession. I was their confidant, so far as prudence would allow them to make any revelations. That they were guilty of the crime with which they had been charged, no honest man could doubt, after being made acquainted with the circumstances. Yet they would swear most stoutly, even in my presence, that they were innocent, and that they had been deceived. I could not but believe they were guilty, after having witnessed so many of their iniquitous actions. Often have I been told by the wife of one of them, that they could call to their assistance, if necessary, a thousand men. Who they were and where they were, so ready to uphold these abandoned men, I had, at that time, no knowledge.
At length their situation became desperate. Already had they passed one year within the walls of a gloomy prison, without the privilege of a trial. They were required to give bail in the sum of twenty thousand dollars each. No satisfactory bonds could be procured. The whole community were incensed against them. They had for a long time trampled upon private rights and warred against the best interests of the people. They had set at defiance all laws instituted for purposes of justice and protection, and they could not but expect a stern rebuke from all the friends of morality and good order. The only prospect before them, upon a fair trial, was a sentence of twenty years to the penitentiary. This was by no means cheering, especially to those who had lived in ease and affluence, whose bodies were enervated by voluptuousness and hands made tender by years of idle pleasures. Crowds were gathering to witness their trial, and waiting in anxious suspense the issue. Disgrace, public disgrace and lasting infamy stared them in the face. They were put upon their last resources, and necessity became the mother of invention. They fixed upon the following plan to extricate themselves.
Public opinion must be propitiated. An interest in their behalf must be awakened by some manifestation that would touch the chord of sympathy. A double part must be played. They would affect to change their sentiments. In this they acted according to the laws of the secret brotherhood. With them, any thing was honesty that would effect their purposes. But to consummate their design, another object must be secured—some innocent person must be implicated and made a scape-goat for, at least, a part of their crimes. This game they understood well, for they had been furnished with abundant means and instructions. It required also deep-seated iniquity of heart, and in this there was no lack, for they were the sublimation of depravity. They must also have time and capital. These were easily provided, as will be seen in the sequel. There was an individual with whom they had become acquainted in Cleaveland, and upon whom suspicion had rested for some time. He was the man fixed upon as their victim. Of course he was not a member of their organized band. “Honour among thieves” forbids the selection of such a one. It was necessary, however, that he should be somewhat of a villain. Here also they exhibited much sagacity in the selection. It now only remained to slip his neck into the noose that was in preparation for themselves. All the instrumentalities being prepared to their liking, they immediately set the infernal machinery in active operation.
The first thing to be done was to change the direction of public opinion as to the real perpetrator. It must be called off from the persons who were now so hotly pursued, and put upon a different scent. The agents were at hand—The Secret Band of Brothers. These “dogs of war” were let loose, and simultaneously the whole pack set up their hideous yell after the poor fellow previously mentioned. Many of them being merchants and holding a respectable relation to society, and most of them being connected with the different honourable professions, their fell purpose was the more easily accomplished. A continual excitement was thus kept up, by breathing forth calumny and denunciation against one who, however guilty of other things, was innocent of the thing laid to his charge. At the same time, the ears of the principal bank-officers were filled with words of extenuation and sympathy toward the two brothers. Their former high respectability was adduced. That they were guilty was not denied, but they had been misled and seduced. Intimations were given that the name of the real villain who had caused their ruin would be given, provided they would ease off in their prosecution already in progress. And then it would be such a glorious thing to secure the prime-mover.
By these fair and seemingly sincere pretensions, they soon kindled relentings in the hearts of the prosecutors. How could it be otherwise? for “they were all honourable men.” Several of the individuals who assisted in maturing the plan were men of commanding influence, in the very town where I was bred. I had abundant opportunities to know them. A proposition was finally made through them by the instructions of the officers, that, as the brothers knew their guilt was fully established, it would have a tendency to mitigate their sentence, if they would expose the head man, by whose knavery many extensive property-holders were threatened with total bankruptcy. This was the precise position at which the secret band of brothers had been aiming. The next step was to secure, if possible, the younger brother as “state’s evidence” against the appointed victim of Cleaveland notoriety, whom, for the sake of convenience, I will designate by his name, Taylor.
He was a man of extraordinary abilities and gentlemanly deportment. He and the two brothers were mutual acquaintances. They had been accomplices, no doubt, in many a deed of darkness. But as “the devil should have his due,” I am bound to exculpate him from any participation in the alleged crime. That he was innocent in this affair I have the fullest evidence. I was solicited by the pettifogger, (I will not say lawyer,) for the brothers, to take a bribe for perjury, and swear poor Taylor guilty of giving me five hundred dollars of counterfeit money, which money he would place in my hands. Of this fellow, I will speak in another chapter. The younger brother was now to declare himself and brother as having been seduced by Taylor. It was to be done without the apparent knowledge of the elder brother, whom we will hereafter call Colonel Brown. It was to be communicated to one of the officers, with a solicitation to keep it a secret from the colonel. He also had an appointed part to play. The character he was to sustain in this drama of well-concocted treachery, I will next present.
The colonel’s physician advised him to take medicine, to reduce his system, and give him the appearance of one rapidly sinking under a pulmonary affection. He consented, as such a plan was considered the most likely to succeed. It will be readily seen, that the design was to work upon the sympathies of the officers, and thus procure his enlargement. Nor were they disappointed. The colonel’s health began to fail. The drugs acted their appropriate part. Some of his friends made vigorous exertions to have him removed to the hospital, declaring it necessary for the continuation of life. Others were actively engaged in giving forth intimations, and expressing their fears that he would die before his trial came on, always taking care to assert their confidence of his innocence. This was a mere ruse, to trick the officers into a consent for his removal. But they had mistaken the character of the men with whom they were dealing. They were not to be moved by exhibitions of suffering humanity. Their hearts had become insensible to human misery and they resisted all appeals to sympathy.
There was now but one alternative for the friends of the prisoner. They must apply the drugs more assiduously, till they made a mere skeleton of their subject; and then try the virtue of the “almighty dollar.” This now seemed to be the only thing that would move the hearts of seven-eighths of the police judges, marshals, wardens, and prosecutors. Such were the administrators of public justice, at that time, in New Orleans. The greater part were men, who, at some period of their lives, had been steeped chin-deep in infamy. Some were men of wealth and liberally educated. They were men who would shrink from giving an account of their early years. Several were verging upon three score years and ten. All the wealth they possessed had been plundered from another set of villains, whose misfortune was, a want of sagacity in escaping the rapacity of their more accomplished compeers. That there were a few honourable exceptions must be admitted, but I could not with a good conscience assert, that one-eighth of the police was as honest as is generally the case with those city officers, for I have facts to the contrary.
The whole of that Southern Sodom at an early date had been inundated with this “secret band of brothers,” or this fraternal band of land pirates. As they became wealthy they ceased their usual occupation, and began to speculate in a different way. Having it in their power, they would rob even their nearest friends, thus overleaping that common law of “honour among thieves.” They would do this with the utmost impunity, whenever they saw proper. There was no redress. The very officers were, many of them, under fictitious names and would assume deceptive titles, for the more successful perpetration of their villany.
The unfortunate prisoner discovered, when it was too late, that his supposed honest brotherhood were not what their profession had led him to believe. Poor fellow! he had not taken enough degrees to learn the full “mystery of iniquity.” Every effort was made to procure a light bail, but it could not be effected. At last an arrangement was made, and for a stipulated sum he was placed in charge of a committee, who had him removed to the hospital. The colonel, by this time, was, to appearance, very dangerously ill. He was removed to his new quarters, but not permitted to regain his health, lest the spell of their deceit should be broken. His visitors were numerous. To his face, they appeared his most sincere friends. They seemed deeply interested in his welfare, and made bountiful proffers of sympathy and assistance. His true friends, who were capable of rendering him succour, were very few. He had many of the lower class of the brotherhood, the novitiates, who were ready to act energetically and in good faith. But the head men—the very individuals who had reaped the spoils of his doings—were his worst enemies. They had received the lion’s share, without leaving the poor jackall even the scraps, but turned him over, unaided, to the tender mercies of a felon’s fate. They had filled their pockets with the richest of the spoils, and would not now contribute a penny to reward their benefactor.
At this time, there were one hundred of the brotherhood in the city, who might have procured bail; but gratitude found no place in their hearts. They had also violated their oaths. Day after day would parties of his old friends and neighbours visit him, both in the prison and hospital. They would tell him that arrangements were in progress to effect his escape. The whole, however, was false, as no action had been taken. The prisoner depended much upon a delegation from Dearborn county, Indiana, of whom he had a right to claim assistance; but they, like the rest, proved traitors. I have counted thirty different men from that county, who visited him from time to time. These, at home, were men of good standing, equally respected with other citizens. Several were leading men in all the moral and religious enterprises of the day, and generally individuals of wealth. Two of them, I knew, made great professions of religious enjoyment and zeal. One was a very strict church-going man, but with the heart of a Judas. His hypocrisy was of such a deep and damning character, I can hardly forbear giving his name. Duty might demand his exposure, but for the injury that would be inflicted upon an innocent family. These men may reform. I am delaying exposure. I hope ere long to have an evidence of their sincere repentance, but fear they are too far gone, too much in love with the wages of iniquity. They have too long turned a deaf ear to the pitiful cries of the widow and orphan whose ruin they have effected, whose natural protector they
The sworn friends of the prisoner had forsaken him in the hour of need, and left him single-handed and alone to meet the stern rigours of the law. There was no remedy unless in his own stratagem, which was now being matured. It was as follows. His brother was to remain in prison as an evidence against Taylor, mentioned in the previous chapter, while he was to assume all the responsibility of the counterfeit money, plates, &c., as well as all the other villanies which had been charged upon them conjointly.
The colonel was very sick from the action of the medicines. He supposed every effort had been made to bail him, but was greatly deceived. His fate was sealed. A conspiracy was formed against him. He suspected foul play, because his former associates did not come forward and bail him. His removal to the hospital was only a pretence set up by them, that might give more time to carry out their treacherous designs. He was a prisoner, and they were determined to make him such the remainder of his life. He had his friends, however, warmhearted, and true. He was almost worshipped by the poorer members of the brotherhood. The richer part envied him for his superior skill in his profession and general popularity, and feared the consequences. In this he differed widely from his brother, who was neither loved nor feared, and was only respected from his relationship. When the plan was devised for the younger brother to swear the counterfeit money and plates upon Taylor, it was intended by these professed friends, that he should be caught in his own net, and be thus prevented from rendering the colonel any assistance. The consummation of this plan, I will next detail.
The younger brother was to produce various letters which had been written to him from different parts of the Union, by different individuals. That this could be done will be seen by what follows. The colonel had been an extensive speculator in merchandise of almost every kind. He was extensively known. His correspondence was wide-spread. In his villanous communications, however, letters were never addressed to him in his proper name, unless some one should labour under the impression that he was an honest man. He used two fictitious names; the one was George Sanford, and the other that of his brother.
To obtain the desired end, and give greater security, instructions were given to the wife of one of the brothers to examine carefully all the letters, and select out from them those of a specific character, and to keep them sacred, subject to the order of the colonel. These letters had been conveyed in a chest from Canada, where they had been preserved with great secrecy. This chest was sent for in February, 1832, and arrived the next April. Some three days after the reception of the trunk containing these papers, information was given that the removed letters had come, and were ready for the examination of those who were acting as prosecutors of Taylor. By this time, public opinion had become so much changed toward both of the prisoners, that a very little effort would have secured their acquittal. They had acted with great skill and prudence, and were in a fair way to succeed. This was perceived by the leaders of the fraternity. They were unwilling such a man as the colonel should escape. A deep plot was consequently laid and rigorously carried out to thwart him in his efforts to escape the penalty of the law. His trial was put off and the inducement held out that bail should be obtained. All this was done to keep up appearances. His enemies dared not openly provoke him. They dared not come out and proclaim their hostility, for they well knew he had the means to expose them. To seek his ruin by an open show of opposition would be to touch fire to the train, that, in the explosion, would involve them all in a common ruin. They must approach him, Joab like, and drive the dagger to his heart while saluting him with professions of friendship. But his patience had become wearied by a protracted sickness and continued disappointment.
The letters above referred to were done up in packages of three hundred each. I was present when the trunk was opened, and witnessed the selection of many of the letters. The lady who assorted them threw about one out of every thirty in a separate pile. I made no inquiry respecting them, but my curiosity, as you may well imagine, was not a little excited, especially as I observed several familiar names. The lady finally unrolled six pieces of parchment, which were blank in appearance. She folded them up in a square form of about six inches. She then folded up some three hundred and seventy letters, and placed them upon the parchment. Upon these she placed a written parchment containing the copies of about six hundred letters, and having carefully enclosed the whole in a sealed envelope, she placed them between two beds upon which she usually slept. The remainder she packed up and sent to her husband’s attorney. Immediately she left the room to visit her husband in prison.
Scarcely had she retired, before my curiosity was intensely excited to learn the contents of the concealed package. I ventured into the room with the intention of satisfying myself. I no sooner placed my hand upon the package, than I felt the blood seemingly curdling in my veins. The thought that I was about to act the part of a dishonest man impressed me deeply. I reflected a moment, and then dropped the package, and hastened to leave the room. As I turned from the bedside, my desire to know the contents of the package came upon me with a redoubled force. The passion was too violent for resistance, for I was confident some of these letters were written by men I had known from my infancy. Whether I acted properly or improperly, an impartial public must determine; but after thinking upon the subject a moment, I turned, grasped the package, and bore it off under the keenest sensations of alarm and fear of detection. I hastened down stairs and made my way to the house of a man by the name of Watkins. He was a good man, and a sincere friend to me. His wife was a kind-hearted and benevolent woman. I met her at the door, and told her a friend of mine had given me this package to take care of, and I would let her see the contents at another time. She took it and laid it away; I then hastened to the prison to meet Mrs. B——, who I knew expected me to accompany her, or to be present with her that day. Could I get to the prison as soon, or sooner than she, suspicion of my having taken the package would be lessened. I soon found myself at the prison gate. The lady had not yet arrived. The prisoners were standing around the door on the inside. I waited some ten minutes, when I heard B. say he did not see what could detain his wife so long. I stepped to the door and remarked that I had been waiting some time, and was expecting her every minute. Immediately she made her appearance and remarked,
“You have got here before me. I looked for you before I left.”
I had observed her looking into the room I occupied, when she was about leaving the house; I, however, was in an opposite one, occupied by another boarder. After conversing a short time with her husband, she remarked, that she must return to the house, as she had left the package where it might be found. She called upon me to accompany her. I did so, and we soon arrived at the house. I remained below while she hastened up stairs to her room.
In a few minutes she came running to the head of the stairs and called me; I immediately answered her.
“Green,” said she, “some person has been robbing my room.”
I felt as though I was suspected, for “a guilty conscience needs no accusing.”
“What have you had taken?” asked I.
“Oh! I have”——then she paused, as if studying what to say. In the mean time, the landlady had heard her say she had been robbed, and hastened to the place where we were standing, but being unobserved from the excitement, was occupying a position at Mrs. B.’s back.
“Oh! I have lost a package of letters, of no value to any person but myself. They are family relics, but I will have them at the peril of my life. I will swear that I have lost other things besides the papers, and will get them back, or make this house pay well for harbouring thieves. Mind, Green, what I have said. Keep mum, and I will have them back at the risk of——”
She was interrupted by the landlady, who very kindly assisted her in finishing her sentence by adding—“at the risk of perjuring yourself!”
Mrs. B. being startled, exclaimed, “Oh! no, madam, don’t mistake me. I only meant I would make a great stir about them—that I would offer a reward to the servants, and at the same time let on as if something very valuable was missing.”
“Of course I would not intimate, and do not, I pray you, understand me as thinking that any person has taken them with the design of retaining them. I have no idea that the individual having them, whoever he may be, will be base enough to keep them from me. Some of them are very ancient, and among the number are several sheets of blank parchment, which belonged to my grandfather. I have preserved them as a memento. Their loss would be a source of great grief.”
The landlady turned away, apparently satisfied with her statement and forced apology. She then turned to me and said,
“I will have those papers at the price of my life. If they are lost”—here she made a stop and added, “I shall dislike it.”
I discovered an extreme anxiety depicted in her features—her breast was actually heaving with emotion.
“Green,” said she, “has old Cunningham been about here to-day?”
“I believe not,” was my reply. “I have not seen him.”
“Well,” she continued, “I hope he may never enter this house again, though he appears to be the best friend that my husband and the colonel possess. He pays strict attention to his business, at the same time, which does not seem consistent.”
This Cunningham, so abruptly introduced, was a man quite advanced in years, a member of the fraternity, and, considering his age, was a very active and efficient agent. At this juncture, the old servant, who attended to the room, entered. She (Mrs. B.) inquired “if any person had been in her room during her absence to the prison.” The servant tried to recollect. While he delayed, my heart palpitated violently from fear, lest he might say he had seen me enter her room. I was on the point of confessing the whole matter. I felt that I was suspected. At this critical moment he broke the silence—a silence burdened with anxiety to the lady as well as myself, by remarking that he had seen the old gentleman (meaning Cunningham) “go up stairs, and he thought enter her room.”
“I have it!” exclaimed she. “He has got them.” I need not tell the reader I felt greatly relieved, that there was at least the shadow of evidence, which would serve to clear me and implicate Cunningham. The lady appeared to be intensely excited. I was in doubt what course it would be prudent for me to pursue. Finally, I went to the house of Watkins, and told him that the package I had given him was of no value to any person but myself; that it was made up of various articles of writing, containing hundreds of names, many of which were familiar to me. He looked them over in a cursory manner, and remarked,
“I think there must be witchcraft in these. The letters, though very simple, bear upon their face a suspicious appearance.” He, however, agreed to preserve them with care.
After my interview with Watkins, I felt greatly relieved. I hastened to the hospital to see the colonel, as was my custom, often several times a day. I found him surrounded with visitors, all of whom appeared to be affected while in his presence. He needed sympathy. His mind was tortured. His whole life seemed made up of successive throes of excitement and desperation. His heart was torn by conflicting passions. His confidence and affection for former friends were evidently waning. If any remained, it hung like the tremulous tones of music uncertain and discordant upon its shivered strings. After the principal visitors had retired, the following individuals, three from Lawrenceburgh, two from Cincinnati, one from Madison, and one from Frankfort, made their appearance, accompanied by one of the colonel’s legal advisers. They counseled with him for some time. The legal gentleman remarked, at the close of the mutual conversation:
“It will do. I have conversed with your friends,” calling his two principal attorneys by name. “They say something of that kind must be done. It will have a powerful effect. T. cannot ward off such licks as we will give him.”
The meaning of this fellow was, that bribery could be effectually used. This man, who thus offered to subvert, by the basest of means, the claims of public and private justice, was so lost to shame and self-respect, that he verily thought it an honourable and creditable act, if he could render himself notorious for clearing the most abandoned scoundrels. It argued the most deep-seated depravity, to commit unblushing crime and then glory in his infamy. He heeded not the means, so he accomplished his end. He would not hesitate to implicate himself, for it was but a few days after this, when he offered me a bribe, as before stated, and likewise the counterfeit money. (I here have reference to the five hundred dollars, to which I referred in my work called “Gambling Unmasked.”)
After the party had retired, the colonel said in a few days he would be able to secure bail—that they were waiting for an intimate friend,—a wholesale merchant from Philadelphia. He then conversed with me more freely, and told me much about his enemies in Dearborn Co., Ind., and also his intimate friends. Said he:
“You may live to hear of my success in making some of those Dearborn county fellows glad to leave their nests, which they have feathered at my expense.”
It was the next day after this, that I made known to Mr. Munger the fact, that a bribe had been proffered me to swear against T., in favour of the brothers. Some two days after, I received the note containing the information respecting the hidden treasure. See the work above mentioned.
These circumstances, with the excitement occasioned by the loss of the package, created a great sensation, especially with the friends of the colonel and his brother. Fear and jealousy were at work with the whole banditti of public swindlers. They knew not on whom to fix the imputation of purloining their valuable papers. Cunningham was suspected, and likewise Spurlock, another old confederate, who had frequently visited the room of the unfortunate lady. Sturtivant, one of their principal engravers, was thought to be implicated, and even one of their pettifoggers was on the list of the proscribed. They did not fix upon me till several days after. The circumstances of this suspicion I will now detail.
The Lawrenceburgh members had not complied with their promises. One was waiting to turn his produce into cash, and when he was ready to fulfil his engagement, no action could be taken, because his fellow townsmen had their excuses for delay and non-concurrence. The Philadelphia merchant had arrived, but suddenly left, as the report says, “between two days.” Two others of the intended bail were among the missing. I carried a letter to another, who owned a flat-boat. I went on board and found his son, but learned that the father had gone up the coast on business, to be absent several days. The son took the letter, broke it open, and read it. He told me to say to the colonel that his father was absent and had written to him that he intended starting home in a few days, probably by the next boat. I went back and bore the message. The lawyer who had given me the letter cursed me for permitting the son to open it. The colonel turning over on his bed, and fastening his eyes upon the enraged attorney, with a mingled expression of anger and despair, said,
“I am gone, there is no hope for me. I see, I see, they have robbed me of my property, my papers, poisoned, and then forsaken me. I have not much more confidence in you than in the rest.”
“My dear colonel,” said the implicated sycophant, “do you think I would ever treat so basely a client so liberal and worthy as yourself,” at the same time wiping his cheek as if a tear had been started by such an unkind imputation.
He then requested me to go for Mrs. B., and tell her, he requested her presence at the hospital. I went in search of the wife, but did not meet with her. I found some ten or fifteen of the band awaiting her return. Night came on, and she had not yet made her appearance. I perceived they were in great perturbation.
This same day my room had been changed to a small apartment in close proximity with the one occupied by Mrs. B., separated only by a thin board partition. About two o’clock at night she came home, accompanied by two females. One left in a few minutes, as she had company waiting for her at the door. The other remained and entered into conversation with Mrs. B. I laid my ear to the partition and could distinctly hear every word which was spoken. I heard Mrs. B. say, “I have searched in a satisfactory manner, and am convinced that some one has removed the earth. I did not expect to find it, after my husband told me some one had answered him in my name and taken the note.”
I was now satisfied that she had been in search of the money I had found at the root of the tree, on the corner of Canal and Old Levee streets. I could not hear the opinion they entertained, but the strange female remarked, that
“Colonel Goodrich suspects him, and will certainly catch him, provided he has got it.”
“I do not think he can have it,” said Mrs. B.; “I have never seen the least evidence of guilt; besides, the colonel,” meaning her brother-in-law, “says he is perfectly harmless.”
I was then convinced that it was myself they were talking about. My fears were awakened, so much so that I passed a very restless night.
Early the next morning I hurried away to Mr. Munger’s room and laid open my fears. It may be proper to state in this connection, that this Mr. Munger, whom I made my confidant, was the United States deputy-marshal.
The search above referred to was for money which had been hid by Sandford, and he, at his death, had informed Mr. B. where he had deposited it. The particulars, together with the manner by which I came in possession of it, are detailed in “Gambling unmasked.”
I found Mr. Munger in his room, and related the incidents of the past night. He said he could not understand their meaning. I could, but I did not tell him that the letters had been taken. For the want of this information, things looked mysterious. He told me not to fear, but to flatter those who had requested me to perjure myself, with a prospect of compliance with their wishes. I went from his room to my boarding-house, and from thence to the hospital. Here I found the colonel surrounded with some twenty citizens, who resided in and about Wheeling and Pittsburgh, all members of the fraternity. Some were men of great respectability in the community where they lived, and doubtless remain so to the present day. They held out flattering hopes that bail would yet be secured, but all left the city in a few days, without rendering any assistance whatever.
The preliminaries for the trial were arranged. Taylor was indicted. The younger brother being state’s evidence, had an encouraging prospect of acquittal. Unfortunately, the colonel had taken a wrong position at the start. He had been betrayed by those of the brotherhood who had the influence requisite for assistance. The cheat had been carried so far by fair and continued promises, it was now too late to retrieve himself. I felt deeply interested for him. He was a noble specimen of mankind. He possessed abilities worthy of a more honourable application. He bore all his misfortunes with unexampled fortitude. The night after his Wheeling and Pittsburgh associates had betrayed his confidence, he conversed with me for some time. The main topic of his conversation was about certain men who resided in Lawrenceburgh and its vicinity. He gave recitals of things which had been done by men living in and near that place, which cannot be contemplated without a feeling of horror. I was actually shocked and chilled, especially as I knew the actors. The whole seemed to me like some dreadful vision of the night, and I could hardly believe the evidence of my senses in favor of actual perpetration. The colonel continued:
“They fear me; they are seeking to crush me while professing the greatest friendship.” He paused after adding, “to-morrow I will give you some advice which will be of everlasting benefit. Be careful that you do not mention it.”
Having returned to my boarding-house, I was very closely interrogated by Mrs. B. and the aforesaid pettifogger, in reference to my absence.
“Where had I been all night, and what had detained me from my meals the day before?”
I told them, at which they eyed one another closely. Mrs. B. observed—
“I think the colonel must be hard run for assistance, to keep two or three constantly waiting on him.”
To this I made no reply, but ate my breakfast fast, and returned to the hospital. I found Colonel Brown very restless. During the day several men, from different cities and towns at a distance, called. Three remained about two hours with him. They were from Charleston, on the Kanawha river, Va. After they retired, he lay in a doze for about an hour, when he was awakened by the arrival of four visitors, accompanied by his physician. One made a stand at the door of the colonel, three came in, while the doctor, with the fourth, passed along the gallery, to see some other of the inmates. I soon, learned that two of the three present were from Nashville, Tenn.; one a merchant, the other a negro trader. When they began conversation, I stepped to the door. They talked very rapidly. One said his friend from Paris, Tenn., would be down in a few days with several others, from Clarksville. The colonel listened to them with patience, and replied:
“They had better come, and not disappoint me.”
These three left. In a few minutes the physician, in company with the fourth, came to the door. The doctor made a short stay, leaving the other man in the room with the colonel.
It was a matter of surprise to witness the liberty that was extended to visitors, as well as the prisoner. He had a guard, it is true, but the steward of the sick rooms had been ordered not to permit any one to enter the apartment without a pass, signed by the Board of Trustees; yet all who wished to visit were allowed a free ingress, and no questions were asked. I had been taken there at first by Mrs. B., after which I had free access. But to return.
The man left there by the doctor, I knew. After viewing him closely, consider my surprise, when I recognised a person I had known from my first remembrance. It was the man who was said by his son to have gone up the river, and, as I supposed, had returned home. It was the usual custom of this man, not to go with his flat boats, but being ladened and committed to skilful pilots, he took passage upon a steamboat and waited their arrival at the place of destination. He seemed very much disconcerted in my presence, but I said nothing to strengthen his suspicions that I knew him. He cast several glances at me, at every convenient opportunity. When he left, it was near night. I was requested by the colonel to go to my supper and then return. I went away, and being weary I laid down upon my bed, from which I did not awake till daylight. On examining my clothes, I found some person had rifled my pockets. My wallet was robbed of one paper, which contained a list of names, but nothing else. Fortunately, however, I had written the same on my hat lining. I expected to have heard something concerning the affair—especially the record of names, but in this I was happily disappointed.
Having eaten my breakfast, I went to the Custom house. The United States court was then in session. Hundreds of the colonel’s acquaintances were there every day. They were frequently giving their opinions as to the issue of the trial. Some entertained one opinion and some another,—their chief conversation was in reference to the two brothers, and their connection with Taylor. One of the group I discovered was from Lawrenceburgh, Indiana. I knew them all, and with the exception of this one, they extended to me the hand of friendship. They seemed glad to see me, and were in fact honest men. He, however, did not seem friendly, though he did speak, but at the same time gave me a look of disapprobation, as much as to say, you have no right to be in company with such honest men. I paid no attention to his looks, as I knew him better than any man in the crowd. He knew he had laid himself liable to detection, and hence did not wish me to be in communication with his old friends, lest I might become an informant. He rather desired to have them discard me, but as they were upright, unsuspecting men, they did not give heed to his conduct. They conversed freely, and tried in every way to amuse me. At length he discovered there was a growing sympathy in my favour, and assumed another attitude to secure my departure. He began to talk somewhat in the following strain.
“I know Green is a smart boy, but they say the Browns have him here to run on errands, and he is strongly suspected of not being what he should be, in regard to honesty.”
One or two of the honest countrymen spoke in my behalf, and the whole was turned off in a jovial way, not wishing, as I suppose, to injure my feelings; at which he, with a sigh that bespoke the consummate hypocrite, added:
“Well, Green, God bless you. You had a sainted mother, and I always respected your old father, but you boys, I fear, are all in the downward road to ruin. You had better return home and be a good boy. Beware of the company of the Browns, as you know they are bad characters, and that I, and many others, held them at a distance, when they were in Lawrenceburgh.”
The rest of the company retired while he was thus lecturing me so sanctimoniously.
No one can imagine the feelings I then had. I was at first confounded, then enraged, to witness the conduct of that black-hearted villain, he little suspecting that I knew him to be the very man that was in the room the day before, dressed in disguise. How could I feel otherwise. There he was lecturing me about duty, as if he had been a saint. It is true, he sustained that character at home. I had known him for many years as a leading man in the very respectable church to which he there belonged. Had I not been satisfied of the base part he was acting, when I met him the day before in disguise—his hypocritical lecture might have been beneficial. But I discovered he was an arrant knave—a real whitewashed devil, and I could with difficulty refrain from telling him my thoughts. I left, wondering how such a Judas could go so long “unwhipt of justice”—how he could avoid exposure. Probably it was by a change of dress.
It was now time I had visited the hospital, to show reason why I had not fulfilled my engagement on the previous evening. The colonel received me with a welcome countenance, and remarked, he “was glad I had returned, for,” said he, “I feared you had gone away.”
I told him I was weary when I went home; that after supper I had laid down to rest a few minutes, and slept longer than I intended, and that was the reason I had not returned. He was satisfied with my excuse, and introduced another subject. He inquired if I had heard any news, or seen any of the Lawrenceburgh citizens; and if so, had his name been mentioned? I replied, that it had been the principal topic of conversation, some speaking well of him, and others illy. He then wished to know, who had spoken evil of him? I told him the man’s name.
“And he talked about me, did he?” inquired the colonel.
I replied, “He has spoken very hard things against you, alleging that he never associated or had any dealings with you.”
“He told you, he never had any dealings with me? What did you think of that?”
I answered, “When you resided in Lawrenceburgh, I was too small to notice such things.”
I answered thus designedly, for I had seen him walking arm and arm with the colonel, time and again, but I was afraid to let the colonel know that I had even a moderate share of sagacity.
“Green, how often have you seen him,” continued the colonel, “and where, since you have been in the city? You know his son said, he had returned home, a few days since, when you carried him the letter.”
I told him I had not seen him before, since I came to the city.
“Are you certain of that?”
“I am confident I have not seen him.”
“You are mistaken,” said he, “you met him yesterday.”
I knew what he meant, but dared not let him know that I had recognised him. Again he interrogated me:
“Do you not recollect him?” at the same time eyeing me with an intensity of expression. I replied that I was certain I had not seen him.
“You are mistaken,” said the colonel. “You met him here yesterday. He was the man that remained after the doctor had left.”
“It cannot be,” I rejoined. “You must be mistaken, as I was certain that man had light hair, nearly red.”
“It was him, Green,” said he. “He had a wig on, but for your life mention not a syllable of this to your best friend. He is a villain of the deepest dye, and I know him to be such.”
I, of course, agreed that I might have been mistaken.
“He knew you,” continued the colonel, “and was the worst frightened man I ever saw, for fear you would recognise him. I am glad you did not, for it might have cost you your life.”
“I suppose, then, colonel,” said I, “he intends furnishing you with bail, does he not?”
“He did not manifest such a determination, did he, when you met him?”
I replied: “He might have had his reasons for acting as he did; it may be, it was to find out whether I knew him as the person I met here yesterday. You say, colonel, then, I actually met him yesterday?”
“Yes, he is the very villain. I know enough about him to make him stretch hemp, if he had his dues.”
I told him he was esteemed by many, where he lived, to be a very good man.
“Yes, they respect him for his riches,” said the colonel; “but they would not respect either him, or many of his neighbours, if all knew them as well as I do.”
After this, he proceeded to give me the promised advice, and addressed me thus:
“Green, I believe you are a good boy, but have been imposed on by the world. I am about to give you some advice. I feel it right I should do so. I am in bad health, and can never recover, and my only object in procuring bail was to secure a decent burial, but I have no hope. Green, I tell you this, that you may know the condition in which you are placed. You are surrounded by a set of devils incarnate, and you know them not. You are just entering upon a life of misery and crime. You can now see, to a limited extent, what has caused me to lead a wretched and abandoned life. As soon as you can, leave this place. You know not your danger. You have about you some desperate enemies. I have told the most inveterate of them, that they were mistaken as to your character.”
I here inquired what they accused me of.
He continued, “Of being treacherous to one of the brotherhood, of which my brother is a member.”
“I never knew before that such a society existed,” said I.
“They accuse you of three different crimes. You know whether there is any foundation for the charges. First, that you agreed to swear against Taylor; then, after the spurious money was placed in your hands, you gave the facts to Taylor’s lawyer, and that your evidence will now be used in his favour. If such is the case, I advise you to abandon such a purpose, for you will certainly lose your life if you persist in this thing.”
I denied to him any such intention.
“Well,” said he, “what have you done then with those five one-hundred-dollar notes given you by one of the assistant attorneys of my brother?”
I replied, “They are in my chest.”
“If such is the case, it will make every thing satisfactory in that matter.”
I now left, and went to Mr. Munger, and related the substance of my late interview. He handed me the notes that I might make good my declaration. I took them immediately to the hospital. When I entered I found two merchants, who resided at Memphis, in close conversation with the colonel. He told me to call again at two o’clock. About that time, I returned. The visitors were gone, but the colonel appeared much distressed. Some new event must have added to his former anxiety.
“I wish you,” said he, “to bring those notes and let me see them.”
Having them in my pocket, I presented them to him.
“I am glad you have them. You have been strongly suspected of foul play—of giving them into the hands of the defendant.”
I was well convinced from this, that it was one of the clan who had rummaged my trunk and pockets a few days previous. I then asked him, what else they had laid to my charge?
He replied: “A man by the name of Sandford gave information to my brother, that a certain amount of money had been hidden by him. Sandford died, and gave the money to my brother, and gave directions where he could find it. My brother prepared a note for his wife, and told her where she could find the money, and my brother reached the note to the wrong person.” [See gambling unmasked.] “Some person told him you were the receiver; that they had seen you take the note.”
I knew, however, that no one had seen me take it, that the whole was a mere conjecture—a plan to worm a confession out of me. Hence I denied it stoutly.
“I do not believe it myself,” affirmed the colonel, “but the whole clan, remember, dislike you; among others, a negro trader, by the name of Goodrich. He has marked you out as a transgressor, and is determined to put you out of the way.” I have mentioned this same Goodrich, once before. He is well known as one accustomed to sell runaway negroes, as a kidnapper, who lives with a wench, and has several mulatto children, and probably does a profitable business in selling his own offspring.
I replied, “I do not know Goodrich, and know as little about Sandford’s money.”
“Well, Green, I believe you are innocent of the two first accusations, and hope you may be of the third.”
But now came the “tug of war.” These others were only a preparatory step for a fearful inquisition. I knew what was coming, and mustered all my fortitude to meet the exigency. If ever there was a time when I was called upon to summon my collected energies, to express calmness and betoken innocence, it was on this occasion. The colonel, fixing his eagle-eye upon me with severest scrutiny, proceeded:
“A certain package of papers has been taken, which has produced a great excitement, and has caused me serious injury.” When he mentioned papers, there was a sensible pause, and a piercing look which exhibited a determination to detect the slightest expression of guilt. I was enabled to command myself, however, in such a way, that I think I satisfied him I was not guilty.
In reply, I asked the colonel “Why they should accuse me of acting so base a part?”
“Unfortunately for you,” said the colonel, “you have been seen talking with the friends of Taylor.”
I replied, “Perhaps I have, for I cannot tell who are his friends, or who his enemies.” I likewise asked him if he thought it possible I could or would do any thing to injure him.
“I think not,” said he, “yet mankind are so base and deceitful, I have but little confidence in any one. I will now show you how dreadful must be my position in regard to the package, and then you can understand why its loss will go so hard with me.”
I listened with the utmost attention, and he entered upon this part of the subject as follows:
“I am a member of a society called ‘the secret band of brothers.’ It is an ancient order, of a religious (?) character. The leading members carry on an extensive correspondence with one another. All letters of business are subject to the order of the one who indites them, allowing the holder the privilege of retaining a copy. I had many letters written by leading men in my possession; besides a large package of copies. These with the original letters have been taken. Now, Green, you promise secrecy, and I will give you the whole plan, so far as in my power, and you can then judge how seriously I shall be affected if those papers are not recovered.
“At the time of my arrest, on the charges for which I am to be tried, my friends were numerous and wealthy, and I had the utmost confidence in all their promises. The excitement was intense, and I did not deem it proper to call upon them until it should subside. After waiting a suitable length of time, I wrote to many of my acquaintances, and, among others, to several whose names are familiar to you. They were under personal obligations to me, aside from the common claims of friendship. They had made
“I now had recourse to my friends in Chillicothe, Cleaveland, Buffalo, Detroit, Zanesville, Beaver, Lexington, Nashville, Philadelphia, New York city, Boston, and Cincinnati. As usual, they gave me the most liberal promises, but in no case fulfilled their engagements. I was now driven to new measures. I found those in whom I reposed the utmost confidence hollow-hearted and treacherous. I next entered upon the plan of making a certain villain share in my wretchedness and disgrace. In this I was joined by my brother, who, in perfecting the scheme, acted somewhat imprudently. I advised him to take a different course, but he listened to others who professed to befriends to us, and were, indeed, members of the same fraternity, but turned out the worst kind of
Here he stopped for a few minutes, and then began to state the little trouble it would have given his friends to have aided him if they had felt disposed.
“But I am an invalid, and God knows I do not deserve such treatment.” (The reader may think it strange that such a man should call upon his Maker, especially when he reads the constitution of the secret conclave, of which he was a member. The phrase “God knows,” was used often in his private conversation.) “These persons I have always considered my friends, and have never given them occasion to be any thing else. Finding, however, that I had no hope from them, and that I must stand my trial, I was willing to make use of other means. I therefore agreed to proposals made by the most wealthy of my friends, and yielded to their arrangements, in order, if possible, to escape punishment. There was a man by the name of Taylor, the same whose trial is now pending, whom they feared, and who was known to community as an accomplished villain. He was the person selected upon whom it was designed to heap the burden of the guilt. By that means, the attention of our prosecutors would be diverted. The plan was set in operation, and soon the infamy of Taylor was sounded from Maine to the confines of Texas. They had their agents in almost every city to help on the work. From the first, I had but little hope of success in this manoeuvre, but consented reluctantly to the trial. I was confident he had many enemies, and not without cause. Having been foiled in all my former plans, I now experienced the deepest anxiety. I was especially solicitous that as long a time should elapse as possible before he was arrested. Some time after the report of his guilt he was arrested, and my brother promised to secure evidence to prove him guilty, and likewise to establish my innocence. It was also agreed by the committee of arrangements at that time, that I should take medicine upon a feigned sickness, in order to secure a change in my situation. In this way I could be removed to the Marine Hospital, when reported by the committee of health as being in danger. I was to appear ignorant of my brother’s design, of which in truth I was. I took medicine, which had the desired effect. It made me desperately sick, producing excessive prostration. Application was made for my removal to the place where you now see me. Being conveyed hither, arrangements were made for my bail by my supposed friends. I was persuaded that I should continue in this state of
I here found his strength would not permit him to pursue the narrative further, and upon his promising to resume and finish the subject the next day, I left the hospital.
 When he spoke of this fraternity, I then supposed he referred to some of the benevolent societies of the day.
In returning to my boarding-house I was met by the blackleg pettifogger, who treated me with great coldness. I met him again the next morning at the prison, and he treated me in like manner. But I was especially anxious to hear what more the colonel had to say, and hastened to his room. He began his account where he had left off.
“This man, who was dressed in disguise, was greatly alarmed, lest certain of his letters in the package should come to light, which had not been retained. He started for home, as stated by his son, but returned to secure his letters. You have witnessed the tremendous excitement which exists, the running to and fro, and the many strange visitors that frequent my room. There is a cause for all this which I will now relate.
“My brother sent for those papers, which, upon arrival, were submitted to his wife that she might select the most important to be produced as testimony in court against Taylor. In accordance with directions, she examined them all and laid aside all the business letters, (meaning the package lost,) which in some way have been mislaid or stolen. These, you are accused of having taken, and also of having taken a note that was reached through the grate by my brother, as he supposed to his wife, but it proved to be some other person, and they suspected you as that one. They also charge you with giving information as to the man who gave you five hundred dollars, and also that he used my name, saying at the same time, ’If you will swear that money on Taylor I will make you a rich man,’ and that you concerted in this thing to act a deceitful part.”
I replied: “I promised to take the money and swear according to directions, but it was not for any respect I had for the man who offered me a bribe, or the pecuniary compensation, but for you and your brother.”
“Green,” said he, “have no respect for my brother. He has not an honest heart. He would betray his own father, and be sure that you refuse to do what the pettifogger has advised.” (See a full account in Gambling Unmasked.) “Green, take care, or you will lose your life. You have enemies that watch you closely. They also watch me, but I cannot help myself. I wish you well and believe you innocent.”
This last was uttered in a suppressed and pathetic tone, and I perceived his eye was intently fixed upon mine as if he would read in its expression the secret workings of my heart. I was determined he should not effect his purpose, and managed to evade his glances.
“I am aware of their foul intentions,” continued he, “but know not how to evade it. Green, I have all confidence in you as an honest boy, and do not think you would do any thing to injure me, but have thought you might have had a curiosity to know the contents of some of those letters, and have mislaid them with the intention of giving them back when you had read them.”
I again protested my innocence, and solemnly declared I had no knowledge of the package.
“Then,” exclaimed he, “I am a doomed man. There is no hope, and I will tell you the reason why.
“You know I have had many friends calling upon me, day by day, from all parts of the country. You have seen among them some of the most wealthy in the town of Lawrenceburgh. They are my sworn friends and all members of a Secret Society, which obligates each one, under a most solemn oath, to assist a brother member out of any difficulty, provided he has not violated his obligations. Now my brother has acted most imprudently in pledging himself to produce certain papers, and to bring other witnesses besides himself against Taylor. These men were apprehensive that we had mutually laid a trap to expose the whole band. This has involved me in the most
I inferred, from the last remark, that he had reference to the judiciary. I had noticed that during his two days’ conversation, no person had visited the room but the physician and a certain judge who lived near Florence, Alabama, and the latter remained only a few minutes. I found out his name by seeing it written upon his hat lining, which had been placed upon the window opening on the piazza. After the judge had retired, the colonel resumed the conversation.
“I am accused by my friends with treachery to the brotherhood. They think that I, in concert with my brother, have laid a plan to clear ourselves by their downfall. When the news was out that the papers were lost, I saw the most marked indications of hostility. They came forward and pledged to bail me in any amount, provided I would return their letters, but swore that I should never go from this room alive, if I did not produce them. I am certain to suffer death. My sentence is fixed, and I have no hope. My brother and his advisers have ruined me. They have had me borne hither that I might not understand their plans. I am satisfied the papers are in the hands of the intimate friends of my brother and those who had manifested such an interest in my removal to this place. I have been reduced by medicine, and my inability to exercise—so contrary to my general habits—has seated a fatal disease upon my lungs.”
His disease had been occasioned by the constant use of medicine, which exposed his system to cold, and this, by constant repetition, had entirely destroyed his constitution. I have no doubt that a slow poison was mingled in his medicine. When he had finished this tale of sorrow, he gave me some affectionate advice in something like the following words:
“Green, I advise you to leave the city as soon as possible. There are two parties of the ‘secret band’ that seek your life; those who are so much enraged at the loss of the papers, because their reputation, fortunes, and lives, are thereby in jeopardy, and those who are the personal friends of my brother, and who support him, do or say what he may. They take his word with the infallibility of law and gospel, and are by profession great friends of mine, as well as of the other party, who swear they will have those papers at all hazards, right or wrong; meaning if you have them, they will obtain them in some way; that if I have them they shall be returned. I therefore advise you to leave the city immediately.”
I told him I had no funds.
“I have not one dollar,” said he, “to help you off, or I would give it to you.”
I told him I was under great obligations for his kindness. He further remarked:
“Now pledge me secrecy to what I have related, for it can have no effect in assisting you, and will ruin me.”
I did so, and bade him farewell. I hastened to see Mr. Munger, and told him what the colonel had said about the counterfeit money and the money I had found by Sandford’s note, but not a word as to the mysterious package.
Shortly after the events detailed in the foregoing chapter, I had a conversation with Mr. Munger, who told me, he was satisfied that my life was in danger, and advised me to leave the city for a few weeks, or, at least, to change my boarding-place, and keep myself in seclusion. Accordingly, I changed my quarters as soon as possible. I could not well leave the city, as Mr. Munger informed me I must be present to appear in court when Taylor was tried, in case the younger brother acted the part he had promised; and if not, it would be equally important for me to be on hand, as they intended to indict him and his pettifogger, for their wicked designs upon the man they were endeavouring to ruin. As I could not go far out of the city, under these circumstances, I considered it more safe to remain concealed: I waited, therefore, several days, until the colonel’s death, which occurred not long after I bade him farewell.
I had met Cunningham—the old man at first charged with having the package by Mrs. Brown—several times after the colonel had advised me to leave the city, and in our last interview, he gave me to understand that the colonel would never get out of his bed alive, or leave the hospital, except when carried to his burial. I asked him, why.
“There are many reasons. His health will never be any better; he cannot recover from his present illness. I know it is hard, but there are many who think it is preferable that one should suffer than thousands, who consider themselves better men. He has brought this trouble upon himself, by not living up to his oath. He and his brother are both traitors, and have placed the fraternity, of which they are members, entirely in the power of their enemies, but it will all come out right; there is no mistake. You heard that Madam Brown had lost a certain package of papers, letters, or the like, did you not?”
I replied in the affirmative.
“Well, they believed for a time that I had them, or would have made others think so; but that kind of accusation would not take with men who knew me. They next laid the charge against you: I have satisfied the interested party, that they are not in the possession of either of us, but that the colonel and his brother have them, and intend thereby to slip more necks into the halter than poor Taylor’s. I am of the opinion, their own necks will pay the price of their treachery.”
I then replied, that I knew Mrs. Brown had said she had lost a package of papers, but what they contained, I knew not.
“Nor ever will know,” said he.
“I have no curiosity about the matter,” I replied.
“And you might as well never have, for curious people will pay dearly for reading them, especially if they undertake it in court, as evidence against the brotherhood.”
The reader can hardly imagine the intense desire that was created, by this time, in my heart, to learn all about this “brotherhood,” and “fraternity,” so often introduced, and yet so obscurely as to give me no certain information.
I took this opportunity to ask Cunningham, what title this society had assumed; whether they were Masons or Odd Fellows? He laughed, and said:
“I thought I had explained some of the particulars to you.” He then stopped, as if to consider, when he continued: “Certainly, Masons and Odd Fellows both, and all other good institutions—but, I can tell you, Green, the brother who has turned state’s evidence swears terrible vengeance against you. Do you be careful. He has many who are watching you. I belong to the party opposed to him and the colonel, and they throw all the blame upon you. You are the victim of their suspicions and hate, and you will do well to leave this place without delay; but tell no one, by any means, that I have given you this information.”
I bade him good day, and we separated.
I now thought I would call once more, and see the colonel. I hastened to the hospital, but as I drew near, I discovered two men riot far from the steps, and the third coming down. I walked by them, without being recognised, and as I passed, the third man had entered into conversation with the other two.
He was asked, “Is it a fact, that he is dead?”
“Yes, certainly. He has been dead about three hours.”
“I knew,” said one, “that he could not stand it long.”
Two of the men, I perceived, were from Lawrenceburgh, the two who stood remotely, one of whom was the identical person who wore the wig, and gave me such good fatherly instruction. I passed to the room, where I found the steward, with three assistants, laying out the corpse.
“We do not wish any more assistance at present,” said the old French steward. I understood his meaning, and left immediately.
The news of the colonel’s death soon spread through the city, and many gathered to witness the burial, but owing to the inclemency of the weather, few followed to the grave. When the hearse bore the body away, it rained very hard. I did not make my appearance on the occasion, for I well knew that many would be present to relieve their anxious minds—to rejoice rather than mourn over the dead, and who would sooner see my dead body deposited by that of the colonel’s, than any other on earth. I was determined not to be mourned for in that way, by the desperate villains. I therefore kept aloof from their society.
Several days elapsed, during which time I remained in concealment from all the clan, but Cunningham, who expressed a concern for my welfare. I also had frequent conferences with my friend, the deputy-marshal. Three days after the colonel’s death, Cunningham informed me, that he was convinced that both of the Browns deserved death.
“But I dare not tell you why,” said he, “and if I should, you would not be able to comprehend my reasons. Be assured, if they are guilty, the other brother will never come from that prison alive. He will find out, that the brotherhood are wide awake.”
All his insinuations were perfect Greek to me, for some weeks after; but when Taylor had his trial, the whole matter was explained. Their import I will now unfold.
From the time the plan was concocted, for making Taylor suffer the penalty of another’s crime, the utmost promptitude was required for its execution—the machinery must be actively employed by the friends of the colonel, and his brother. First, the colonel must be made sick, and a sympathy thereby awakened, and hence the plea for his removal would be the more plausible. His enlargement was important. He was a principal man, with whom it would be necessary to have much consultation—an intercourse more vital to the cause of his pretended than his real friends. Besides, there were many who really desired his escape, but being among the first class of society, as to wealth, respectability, and influence, they were unwilling to frequent the prison to visit the unfortunate colonel. Though interested deeply in his release, they were not willing the public should understand that they were sworn friends. The part the younger brother was to sustain, has already been detailed in a former chapter. The medicine was administered with the desired effect, and the colonel was removed to the hospital. He was now in a situation to be consulted. Many would now visit him, who never would have gone to the prison. If a reason was required for their familiarity with so base a man, it could be found in the dictates of kindness, called forth by suffering humanity. After his removal, his brother was under obligation to do as he had promised, to produce the spurious plates, the counterfeit money, and the correspondence, and swear them upon Taylor, as the real agent and proprietor. As the signatures of the letters were anonymous, other testimony was required to establish the real author.
It will be remembered that the plates and letters were in Canada for safe keeping, and must be sent for, and conveyed to the city before the trial of Taylor could proceed. In the mean time, jealousy and consequent dread on the part of the colonel’s confederates were daily receiving new strength. Conscious were they of having acted a most dishonorable and deceitful part with one of whom, under ordinary circumstances, they were accustomed to stand in awe; but now they were more especially apprehensive of danger, because there was a provocation for seeking vengeance. They knew he had every means to involve them in a more signal overthrow than that which awaited himself. The only alternatives were, either to wrest the weapons of destruction from his hands, or render the possessor incapable of wielding them. They were driven almost to desperation, when they reflected on their deeds of wickedness reaching through many years, the record of which was in the hands of a powerful and justly provoked enemy, who in a day might spread out for the gaze of the world the portraiture of their former characters, in which were mingled the features of darkest villany and the more glaring expressions of open violence and crime. Goaded on by an awful apprehension, they were prepared for any thing that might save themselves and families from exposure and disgrace.
Colonel Brown was a Grand Master of the band of Secret Brothers. The members of the fraternity who sought his ruin were of the same degree, together with those holding the relation of Vice-grand Master. He had nothing to fear from the common brotherhood, who were kept in perfect ignorance of the transactions of those more advanced. Indeed, they were his warmest friends, and regarded him with especial reverence, because he commended himself to their confidence and esteem by his naturally good disposition, and, most of all, by his relation of Grand Master, which is always accompanied either with dread or marked respect. The inferior order was very numerous, but seldom wealthy, generally of a suspicious character, who had no fixed residence, but wandered from place to place, preying upon the community in the character of bar-keepers, pickpockets, thieves, gamblers, horse-racers, and sometimes murderers. They may be found in all parts of the United States and Canada. These were controlled by some two hundred Grand Masters, conveniently located, who were generally men of wealth and respectability, and often connected with some learned profession, yet but seldom applying themselves to their profession sufficient to gain a livelihood. These men, of both orders, would often confer together, especially when one had been detected in any crime—or some dirty job was to be done, which was likely to bring into the hands of the superior order any considerable wealth. In fact, these so-called respectable men would lay plans which they dared not execute for fear of detection, but having any number of agents in readiness
The danger of a full exposure now threatened them in connection with Colonel Brown; at least they apprehended it. They knew they deserved it, and the circumstances of their accomplice pointed in that direction. He had the means—their own letters, and a knowledge of their deeds. It was only necessary to give information to a third person, and the work would be done. Besides, he was a man of extensive acquaintance and influence—a ruling spirit among his fellows. A revelation from him would have been direful in the extreme, as, in addition, he had in his possession the constitution and by-laws of the fraternity, which were always lodged with the ruling Grand Master. Under these circumstances we need not wonder that there was excitement, that every expedient was employed to rescue the documents or make away with their possessor. He was now in confinement. It was vital to their designs to keep him there till they could secure the letters and constitution above referred to, or, in case of failure, make his life pay the forfeit. They cared but little for his brother, as he was of an inferior grade. The Grand Masters, then in office, had but one object in view, and that they were intent upon accomplishing. The acquittal or conviction of the two brothers was a matter of no consequence
The papers were sent for, as before stated, and all their designs, of a public and private nature, set in active operation. Of this the colonel had no knowledge at the time. Mrs. B. was to give them up to the committee appointed for the purpose of inspecting them. All that would have any tendency to injure or expose the fraternity, if brought to light, were to be selected, and the rest brought forward for the purpose of convicting Taylor. The intention of bringing these papers to the city being, in the mean time, made known to the colonel, he gave directions to his sister-in-law to reserve such papers as he specified, and hand the balance over to the committee. The trunk in which they were deposited having arrived, Mrs. B. acted according to directions, reserving the notable package which she concealed between her beds, while she conveyed the residue to the prison office for legal purposes—to be used by the committee, who met there by consent of one of the prison keepers—he being a Grand Master of the secret band and one of the principal policemen. After delivering up the papers, she returned and found her valuable deposit had been removed as previously stated.
The fact of their removal being made known to the brotherhood, they thought some base person had robbed the lady of her important charge. This opinion prevailed with the fraternity generally. Not so with the two hundred grandees. Their opinion assumed the character of their former suspicions, while their suspicions were converted into fact. They were now fully convinced that the colonel contemplated the destruction of their order, and was intent upon keeping the papers in his own power: that he had even entered upon the act of defeating the very purpose they had in view, in bringing those papers to the city. At this time the city was crowded with the members of this secret society, and private rewards were offered by the two hundred or that portion of this band then in the city, for the recovery of the papers. These rewards made a great stir, especially with the officers of all parties, both those for and against the colonel. Taylor was a mark to be shot at by about seven-eighths of the
The constitution, by-laws, and about one thousand and three hundred letters, including copies and original, were missing; and the destiny of the whole band of Grand Masters depended upon their recovery, before ever they fell into the hands of one who could explain them to the brotherhood; and still more calamitous would be the condition of the entire fraternity, if they were ever revealed to the public. Those more immediately concerned were confirmed in the opinion that the colonel had secreted them for future use. Finding they had not accomplished what they intended, in bringing the papers to the city, they had recourse to a certain clause in the constitution, to compel the colonel to produce some of them, if in his possession. That clause required the holder of an original letter to return the same, when requested by the writer, after copying, if desirable. This law applied, however, only to letters having the secret “qualities,” or, in other words, the private description of the bearer in full, which was written in acid, and could be read only after subjection to chemical action. Three hundred and seventy-nine of the letters in the package were of this kind; one thousand were copies, whose original had been returned. The former had been written to the colonel, and one bore date as far back as July 9th, 1819; the latter had been addressed to various individuals, and some bore date as far back as 1798.
To secure these letters was a work of great delicacy. Though the constitution granted the right of asking the unreturned letters, yet the writers feared to make the requisition of the colonel, lest he might suspect them of a conspiracy, and being thus exasperated, let loose his engines of destruction. They finally fixed upon the following plan. They were to hold out the idea that they were ready to bail him, provided he would leave the country. In case he consented, they were to request the retention of the letters, feeling confident he had not destroyed them.
From the time of the visit by the Dearborn county man till the death of Colonel Brown, embracing about six weeks, there were constant and fierce wranglings among the fraternity. A considerable change had been made in the feelings of some of the colonel’s former sworn friends, which of course made those who knew him innocent more bitter against any one they might suspect guilty of bringing such a calamity upon him. His friends and foes were equally interested in finding the retainer of the lost package, but all to no purpose. There was, however, but one sentiment in the Grand Council; they still believed that the colonel had them, and designed, as soon as he was liberated, to make a general exposure of the whole organization to the world. But their own consciousness of personal injury—of having acted a treacherous part against this man—was, in reality, the ground of their conviction as to his guilt; for it was not in the nature of the man to be false to his pledged honour. It only remained that they should prevent his liberation; and the most effectual way was to act in accordance with the assassin’s maxim, “Dead men tell no tales.” Their hatred rose to such a pitch that they began to exhibit their enmity toward any one that either sympathized, befriended, or was even familiar with the colonel. Here was the ground of their deadly animosity toward me. They supposed I was his confidant, and might be an agent for the execution of his designs.
These murderers,—(I ask no pardon for so harsh an epithet, for they were such in thought and deed,)—these Grand Masters, who visited the colonel while I waited upon him, and thus became personally known, have, ever since that event, assumed a hostile attitude toward me. It is true they have never attacked me publicly, yet I am confident they have hired others to do it. From the time I drew the money put in deposit by Sandford, and bore off that object of curiosity, so carefully concealed in the bed, until the day I was chased as a mad dog by an infuriated mob through the streets of New Orleans, and finally made good my escape through a troop of less hostile cotton snakes, as recorded in my Gambling Unmasked, I was singled out as an object of open and private hate by the whole tribe of organized desperadoes. To recover those papers, no steps were too desperate for the Grand Masters—they having any amount of money to accomplish their object; and I am now about to present the reader with another exhibition of their daring and indefatigable perseverance.
They now came to the conclusion that those papers had been given to the officers of the bank, and were deposited in the clerk’s office of the United States court, to be used against them at some future day. They offered rewards to several of the inferior grade, for the purpose of getting possession of the box containing the plates, counterfeit money, and, as they supposed, the lost package. Their only hope now lay in getting that box. The time of Taylor’s trial had been fixed. Mr. Munger informed me I could leave the city for a few days, and he would let me know when my services were wanted. I went to Bayou Sara, one hundred and fifty miles above New Orleans. A few days after my arrival, Mr. Munger came after me in great haste, bringing the information that a great and daring burglary had been committed the same night I left the city. The clerk’s office had been entered, and the box, containing Taylor’s indictments, plates, and spurious money, had been taken. Taylor’s jury had not agreed, and he would get clear, in case the box could not be recovered. He informed me that I had been suspected and accused of the deed; but that he knew I was innocent, for he had inquired of the boat, and found I had left on the previous night, some time before the robbery was committed. He did not wish any one to know that he had any knowledge of my location, but told me I had nothing to fear. Indeed, I knew I could prove an alibi by more than one person, and I consented to return. While on our way back to the city, I told Mr. Munger I did not wish to go into the prison where the younger Brown was confined; I feared he had some designs upon my life.
“Do not have any apprehensions,” said he, “on that account. You will not be hurt, for you will be put into the debtor’s apartment, where Brown is not permitted to visit, and of course can have no chance to do you an injury.”
I was placed in prison upon my return—a position of greater safety to me than any other. Being assured by Mr. Munger of protection, I went without hesitation—expecting to be released the next day. The next morning I was brought out and informed, to my great surprise, that if discharged I must furnish a very heavy bail. This was a source of alarm; but my friend calmed my fears, by saying that all would be right when I was examined; that the excitement was great, and it was only necessary to wait for the return of the Lady of the Lake—which was on a trip to Natchez, and would be back in a few days—when abundant evidence in my favour would be secured, and I would be acquitted.
In a few days, I was accordingly set at liberty. The plates and papers had been found in Natchez, and a man by the name of King had been arrested—who confessed the crime, but alleged that he had been hired by a certain party to do the deed. This King was one of the brotherhood, and had been employed by the committee of Grand Masters to enter the office and secure for them the box, by which they expected to obtain the package. In this they were mistaken, and placed in a worse dilemma than before.
On the day of my discharge I was visited by a man, to me unknown. He informed me that he had procured my acquittal, and was my sincere friend and well-wisher; that he desired always to remain the same—and would, during life, on condition that I acted in accordance with his wishes.
I considered him a strange person, to introduce himself in so singular a manner. He advised me to leave the city as soon as possible. I told him that was my intention. I likewise informed Mr. Munger of the same, and he readily consented, as Taylor’s trial had been put off. Arrangements being made with him, I expected to leave the next day. In the mean time, I had an interview with Cunningham, who told me I must look out, for the brotherhood in general suspected me of foul play as to the papers. I denied all knowledge of them—for I found it my only safety to pursue one uniform course.
He continued: “The party are determined to have them at all hazards, and are now more convinced than ever that you are in the secret. All the circumstances are against you—more especially since the custom-house was broken open, which robbery was perpetrated for the express purpose of finding the papers. It was thought if the colonel had disposed of them, they would be found there; but now they will hold you responsible. I bid you farewell.”
On the same evening I had this conversation with Cunningham, I went with Smith to the gambling-house: the same day, too, on which I won seventy dollars in the flat boat—the first and dearest money I ever won at gaming, as it nearly cost me my life—the full account of which is given in the work previously mentioned.
On the second day after this, as I was about leaving for Mobile, I met the gentleman who had procured my release. He advised me to depart forthwith, promising to meet me at another time. As we were separating he placed in my hands a box.
“Here,” said he, “is a box, containing something I wish you to keep with great care. You must not open it till I give you permission.”
I took the same. It was a small box, made of oak, three inches high, eight long, and five wide. Its possession gave me much uneasiness for twelve years—during which time I remained faithful to my instructions. I frequently met with my benefactor. The last time I saw him was in Philadelphia, in 1841. I have received from him nine letters, in all, of a good moral character, and always referring to the box. This individual’s name I have never been able to learn. No two letters ever bore the same signature, but the identity of their contents convinced me they were all from the same person. That mysterious box I have preserved to the present day.
It will be remembered by the reader that I confided the papers, taken from Mrs. B., with a man by the name of Watkins. This individual died with the cholera, in 1832. I called upon his wife for the package, who returned the same to me at Cincinnati, in 1833. I found every thing as I had left it, excepting the blank parchments. They were gone. Here was a mystery I could not solve. How should a part be missing and not the whole? I never gained any satisfactory information until last summer. While travelling through the state of New York, I had occasion to visit the state’s prison, where I met with a certain convict who passed by the name of Wyatt, but whose real name was Robert H. North. He gave me information about a certain “Flash,” or comprehensive language used among professional gamblers and blacklegs. Many of the phrases were familiar, but I never could ascertain their origin. He was soon convinced of my ignorance, and then informed me of the society whence they originated. He likewise explained the reason why I was so persecuted by the notorious Goodrich. “It is known,” said he, “wherever the fraternity exist, that you obtained the package; but they are satisfied you destroyed the same, and it is well you did, or else you would have been put out of the way long before this.”
I told him I had taken the package, but there was nothing in it save letters and a few blank parchments.
He laughed and said:
“If you had warmed those parchments, they would have presented an exhibition worthy of your attention.”
This information made me restless with excitement and anxiety to peruse those letters and notes which I still had in my possession. I may here remark, the letters were, for the most part, unintelligible to a common reader, because of the secret language in which they were written. I had examined them again and again, without much satisfaction. I knew they were penned for the purpose of clandestinely carrying on a wholesale plunder—a deliberate imposition upon public and private rights. By frequent perusal I had become familiar with many of the terms which were often explained to me by those who were acquainted with their use, though they are used by thousands, without any knowledge of their origin.
After I commenced an exposure of the vice of gambling, I was often attacked by certain low, vulgar editors in a manner that indicated deep-seated malice. I could not account for their abuse. They would admit that society should be rid of the evil in question, but at the same time exhibited the most bitter hostility to me as one who had dared to expose the abominations of gaming. I was conscious there was something that moved them in their work of calumny not yet developed. The mystery rendered me unhappy. I was anxious to know the cause of this public opposition, and the more so, that I might satisfy the people that the whole arose from influences akin to the vice I was
A long time had elapsed since I heard from the mysterious stranger who gave me the box,—long enough, I had supposed, to free me from obligation of further restraint upon my curiosity. It had now been in my possession several years, and I felt myself at liberty to examine its contents. Having consulted with a few friends previously, I then made known, in the fall of 1842, to Rev. John F. Wright—formerly of the Methodist Book Concern, Cincinnati—that I had such a box, and my intentions. I likewise gave the same information to Arthur Vance—formerly of Lawrenceburgh, Indiana—Mr. John Norton, of Lexington, Kentucky—Thomas M. Gallay, of Wheeling, Virginia. I informed each of them how I came by the box, and the unaccountable conduct of the man who placed it in my hands. Having opened it, I found the same number of parchments I had missed from the package, all blank in appearance. In these was a note, which read as follows:
“The parchments, now in the hands of the possessor, contain much sad intelligence, and can be read, provided they are heated. They are exposed by A brother of the band, A doomed man, one the world has known to its sorrow for forty years. May the owner and holder consider the doomed one A most kind friend for ever!
“New Orleans, May 3d, 1832.”
I soon hastened to ascertain the contents of the parchments, and found the statement made correct.
The contents of these papers are such as almost stagger belief, even in the most credulous. They not only go to prove the existence of a league of villany, but also laid open the machinery by which their wickedness was concealed; still, from many incidents of my own life, and from what I have learned by observing events which have transpired around me, as well as from narratives of undoubted truth which I have heard, I am constrained to believe that the band above alluded to does now exist, and that it has flourished for a long time, with astonishing power.
I have reason to suppose that many of the band settled in and about Lawrenceburgh, Indiana; and from the year 1800 to 1827, they were very numerous, and some of them wealthy; they were mostly close traders, who turned every cent they got, honestly or dishonestly, into real estate. Many of them, also, were well educated, and composed the aristocracy, while the poor honest man was crowded down by these influential members of society.
There are now three classes of wealthy men in that neighbourhood: the honest, whose property was obtained fairly; the members of the band; and some, of whom I am doubtful whether they belong to the band or not. If they do not, they are villains by nature, and do not need their assistance.
In the year 1846, I delivered a lecture at Lawrenceburgh, in which I exposed this band, and showed the manner in which their correspondence was carried on. The old members of the band had art enough to persuade the doubtful rogues that they were the persons alluded to, and they believed it. Whether conscience had any thing to do with their belief or not, I do not pretend to say; but the community generally seemed quite ready to grant them that honour. It was very amusing to notice the difference between the conduct of the guilty and that of the innocent, in relation to the exposure. The “Brotherhood,” all at once, were very much concerned about the fair fame of their neighbourhood—called me a slanderer, and in fact caused a much greater excitement against themselves than would have occurred, had they kept still; while the honest citizens quietly asked for the names of the “brothers,” and whether any of their relations belonged to them; they begged me to go on, and expose every member.
Since 1802, many robberies have been committed under circumstances which strongly indicate that such a band existed. Public agents, and other highly respectable citizens, have been robbed of funds which they held in trust, and no trace of the robbers could be found, and no curiosity seemed to be excited by the fact. Sometimes the person robbed shared in the spoils, and sometimes they were innocent; and it has sometimes happened that the innocent man was suspected. The honest citizens of Lawrenceburgh have, for forty years, known what a curse it is to have bad neighbours.
During the excitement occasioned by my lectures above mentioned, a resident of Lawrenceburgh related the following incident, which is only one among many which might be named to show the nature of the transactions in which these men engaged, and their facilities for carrying them out. I will give it as nearly as I can recollect in his own words:
“During the year 1832, a stranger came into the town of Lawrenceburgh, and for several days was noticed in the public places watching every one who passed, as if looking for some one. At length he came to me, and told me that he wished my assistance in the business on which he came, but that it would be necessary to keep the matter secret. I answered, that if it were proper, I had no objections to secrecy. He then related the following facts as introductory to his business.
“He resided in Ohio; some eighteen months previous a friend had been induced to purchase a large drove of hogs for the market; he made the purchase on credit, with a promise to pay when he returned. While he was preparing to start, Daniel and James Brown bargained and contracted for them, to be delivered at a certain landing on Lake Erie, at a certain day, at which place and time they promised to meet and pay him. He gathered his drove, and proceeded to the landing, where he arrived several days before the time appointed. He was there met by some men, who told him that Brown had been there, and left word for him to drive the hogs to a landing two or three days’ journey further on, where he had made arrangements to butcher and pack them. He went as directed; he found neither of the Browns there, but found the men who had directed him before; they informed him that they had orders to commence killing and packing the hogs, and that Mr. Brown would be there that day, or the next. He consented, and the hogs were killed and packed. A merchant at the landing advanced money to pay the man, and also furnished salt, and barrels on credit. On the day that all was finished, the two Browns arrived, bringing with them another large drove. They pretended to be very much surprised to find our friend there, and much more so to find the hogs butchered. They declared that they had not bargained for the slaughter of the hogs, and that they contracted for them in another place, and would have nothing to do with them here; that he had broken his contract, and they should demand heavy damages. He sought for the men who had directed him hither, but they had dispersed as soon as paid, and no trace of them was to be found. He told the Browns how he had been deceived, but they denied all knowledge of the affair, and again talked of damages. The merchant then presented his bill for supplies, and money advanced to butchers and packers. Our friend not having the money, he seized on the pork. What could he do? The case was desperate. He had bought on credit; would his pitiful story satisfy his creditors? His character was ruined. You may imagine the state of his mind. At this crisis, the Messrs. Brown took him aside, and told him that since he was in difficulty, they were willing to befriend him, and to show him how he could soon make money enough to pay off his creditors. An oath of secrecy was required and given. They then offered to settle the merchant’s bills, which were very extravagant, and pay him for the pork in counterfeit money, at twenty per cent., with which he was to buy stock through the country. In his despair, he consented; a few days after he was detected, arrested, and tried, under a false name, and condemned to the Ohio penitentiary. His friends, remaining entirely ignorant of his fate, began to suspect foul play. The Messrs. Brown effected his pardon, and hurried him away; but not before he had contrived to make known his story, and the fact that he was under restraint among a band of bad men, and that he could not escape without assistance. He was never heard of more.
“The stranger gave me his address, and requested that I would keep an eye upon the people who should come there, and if I should see the Browns, or hear of his unfortunate friend, that I should let him know. He had visited Lawrenceburgh, because that was the former residence of these two men, and he hoped to see them; but being disappointed, he was compelled to go back to the family of the lost neighbour without having received any intelligence of his fate.”
The reader will have seen by this time, that, probably, the whole transaction was arranged before the man bought the first hoof of that drove of hogs. Some emissary of the Browns advised him to speculate in pork; to use his credit, which was good, and he did not see the Browns till he was preparing to start. They make him liberal offers, because they never intend to pay, and it matters little what they offer. He then sends some of the meaner members of the gang to the landing, to order him a few days’ journey further, and there they meet him again, and butcher, and pack the hogs. They are well paid for their villany by the job, which they take care to make a fat one. The merchant was paid for his part of the rascality by the profit on his stores, and perhaps by a bonus out of the money advanced. They then thought that if they could implicate him in any unlawful business, he would tell no tales about them; accordingly, they entice him, or rather drive him to the counterfeit trade. But conscience makes bad men cowards, and they felt uneasy, so, by means of some of the band, they have him arrested; the proof is so positive that he must be convicted, and the poor fellow was thrown into the penitentiary. But even here they did not consider him safe, although under a false name; so, through the influence of some of the aristocracy, they get him pardoned; and then the moment he is free, they meet him, tell him of all they have done for him, and propose a new scene of action. Poor fellow, what can he do? He goes with them to this new scene of action, but in all probability he finds it a state of rest, for “dead men tell no tales.”
Thus, for the paltry price of a drove of hogs, was an honest man ruined, and, for fear of detection, murdered.
Probably in no era of the world, and certainly never among a Christian people, was there formed a more bold, daring, and, at the same time, secret association, than the one whose constitution and by-laws we now present to the reader. Composed of men of all classes and grades in society, from the priest at the altar, the judge on the bench, the lawyer at the bar, down to the most common felon and street thief or pickpocket, all bound together by a solemn oath, they laboured for the general cause of secret plunder, to the enriching of themselves at the expense of the mass. But having previously shown how I procured my information regarding these desperadoes, I shall leave farther comment on their acts, for the present, to the public, before whose tribunal they must be arraigned, and proceed at once to present their
Hanging Rock, Western District
July 12, 1798.
Section I.—Art. 1. This society shall be known by the name of the secret band of brothers.
Art. 2. It shall be governed by brethren who have become prominent by their many valiant deeds for the promotion of the society.
Art. 3. The officers of this society shall be known as Grand Masters, and shall be duly authorized, by this constitution, to initiate, as members of this society, any male or female, who comes well and duly recommended by a brother, in good standing, as having served the probation which this constitution requires.
Art. 4. It shall be the duty of a brother, before he gives the applicant information who the Band of Brothers are, to take him on probation three months, during which time he shall notify the Grand Master, that at such a date he will introduce the person, on probation, for initiation.
Art. 5. It shall be the duty of the Grand Master to notify all the Brotherhood, so far as he has it in his power, that such an individual will pray for the privilege of becoming a member of the Honourable Brotherhood, at such a date; and to likewise apprize them of the duty set apart, so far as in the power of each member, to carefully scan the motives of the said candidate, and, if they can ascertain by word, deed or action, that the candidate is not a fit person to become a member, to convey the same to the brother who recommended him, and the same must, in all cases, apprize the Worthy Grand what has been said against, and in favour of the said candidate;—and it must be strictly observed, that in no case shall the Worthy Grand condescend to be introduced without proper notice; and the same must in all cases be strictly obeyed.
Art. 6. It shall be the duty of every member to make the candidate the subject of trial, in every secret manner which he may think profitable to test his qualities as a true believer in the virtue of the Brotherhood; and likewise to throw every temptation in his way, which may be likely to sour his disposition against the formalities of the world, and thereby lead him into a closer commune with the Holy Brotherhood, of which he is to become a member, and which he is to believe to be true and honest in every sense of the word; and that all other religions and creeds are base, and founded upon speculative motives—that this is the only TRUE, by which he must stand through good or ill, and never secede, on pain of death on earth, and punishment eternal hereafter.
Art. 7. It shall be the duty of every brother to be strictly on his guard, concerning this brave and generous band, and give no intimation to any mortal being of its existence, unless he is fully persuaded that he or they are worthy by thought and act of the high and honourable character which the honourable body will ever confer upon them, by receiving them as men and brethren, worthy of the protection of the only true society under Heaven.
Art. 8. It shall be the duty of all, both members and Masters, to guard against the influence of party spirit, either political or religious, as termed by a certain class of people, who, from their weak and shattered principles, have been led to suppose that the great and overruling Bible, among certain classes, is the Divine inspiration of the Deity, and was hewn from a solid rock, for the purpose of satisfying all men of the power of God, whom this band hold sacred, as a being of unchangeable character, who will, in the immortal state, prepare an everlasting place of rest for all who do not by their oaths confirm the total disapprobation of his supernatural power.
Art. 9. It shall be the duty of all brethren of this benevolent band, in their becoming members of this Christian (!) fraternity, to deny the principles of the book called the Bible, to be other than the work of priestcraft, got up to delude the weaker portion of mankind, and whose principles have been carried out to the uttermost parts of the earth, until even the heathen have suffered by the base intrigue of missionaries, of this rascally compilation of nonsense, by being made subservient to their most outrageous and villanous transactions.
Art. 10. That we do deplore the perversion of the power of God, as men and Christians, and believe it highly commendable to this, the only true society of Christian principles, to associate and connect ourselves with all churches, of every denomination, and with all societies, not for the purpose of supporting them, but through these means to the furthering of our own designs.
Art. 11. That we labour to make proselytes of all with whom we come in contact, when it can be done without suspicion and danger to ourselves; that we believe this a true principle—founded upon Nature herself, our ruler—that policy dictates to us the necessity of keeping at peace with the world, and often appearing humble and Godlike, that we may be taken as pious and God-serving people: at the same time, that we keep our “lights so shining,” that all who wish, may be able to understand, appreciate, and embrace our principles.
Art. 12. That we hold, as a duty to mankind, that the God of nature, the only God, has made a benevolent donation to all his beings; and that it is against the principles of true Christianity, to allow one man to fare sumptuously day by day, while his neighbours, as good by nature, and far better by practice, shall be made his servants;—and therefore, we, the members of this honourable body, do pledge ourselves to try, by every means in our power, to diffuse the necessaries of life throughout the universe, that all may fare alike who live as Nature’s Christians.
Art. 13. We pledge ourselves to take from the rich, and give to the poor; and, as none of the honourable body wish for more than the God of Nature has given—which is an abundance of this world’s goods—we agree to take from the one, and give to the other; and that the wealthy, or the enemies of this society, shall be the ones we will strive to harass, by disapprobation of their tyrannical course; and no respect will we pay to persons, either politically or religiously, but swear to prove true to all the bearings which we have laid down in this our Constitution.
Art. 14. We pledge ourselves to strive for the promotion of the true principles as set apart by us, and to use every means in our power to enlarge our institution, and to abhor—save when dictated by policy—everything like priestcraft, (such as may be found in that book, called the Bible, in the twentieth chapter of Exodus, and known as the “ten commandments,” which were said to have been written by the finger of God, and which have since been the cause of nine-tenths of the crime against the welfare of mankind,) and yet to take every means in our power—knowing, as we do, that we are the only rightful Christians, and few in number, in comparison with the other denominations—to carry out our motives, as dictated by policy, by linking ourselves to them by bonds of this same priestcraft; in other words, to be, if possible, promoted to the charge of their flocks, as priests or ministers; and all advancement of the like shall be duly appreciated by every worthy member; and the industrious and honest brother, so succeeding, shall be looked up to, and respected as one of more than ordinary talent.
Art. 15. We pledge ourselves to educate our children so as, if possible, to prevent them from becoming members of any society save that of the Holy Band,—known as the Secret Band of Brothers—the only correct and Christian people that strive to place all men upon an equal footing,—and, furthermore, to destroy all principles we may from time to time see developing in favour of that class of people whom the world calls Christians, and that we do sincerely feel it a duty we owe to ourselves and the God of Nature, to try, by every means in our power—and in this case all means shall be considered justifiable—to overthrow all institutions which take the Bible as their standard—as we hold that the God of Nature has set apart for us three principles and no other.
First: That all men are made to live their time of probation on earth, and are not answerable hereafter for any deed they may commit, so it be sanctioned by the laws or constitution of this society.
Second: That the course mankind in general pursues, particularly the so-styled religious class of community, is wholly contrary to our views, and therefore wrong; and that the God of Nature, as our God, requires that we put down the fabulous book called the Bible, to save mankind from priestcraft and delusion, and bring them over to our principles.
Third: That there is but one unpardonable sin, which is, to allow Christians, our tyrants, to progress when we can make them retard, by leaguing ourselves with, and instilling into their minds, and more particularly their offspring, all the noble sentiments which may tend to overthrow former prejudice and eradicate the present false views of moralists, until the Bible shall be looked upon by them in the light it now is by the followers of Mahomet, and until all the present laws of society be considered tyrannical and unjust.
Art. 16. The God of Nature, we hold as our God, has in no principle required us, through his wise construction of our component parts, to be in any manner driven by, or subject to man,—that He, as a wise, intelligent being, created all mankind upon an equality, and that all men should so stand in regard to each other—that no being was ever placed upon this earth to rule as monarch over others,—and, therefore, that all monarchies, all governments, which are headed by rulers, such as kings, presidents, governors, &c., are unlawful in the sight of God, and unjust—and that we, as men and Christians of the Holy Brotherhood, do hereby pledge ourselves, aye, do swear by all we hold sacred, that we will use all the cunning of our natures to put down all kingdoms, all governments which are ruled by crowned heads, presidents, or governors, or ruled by any principle of religion other than, nature—and that all religion, priestcraft, &c., is unholy in the sight of the Most High God, and that He requires of us, as a paramount duty, that we labour zealously for its final extermination, to the glory of Him and the benefit of mankind here and hereafter.
Art. 17. We hold that the foregoing articles are wholly correct, and fully sanctioned by the God of Nature—that whoever of our fraternity proves in anywise recreant to them is a traitor to us, to himself, and his God;—that the candidate for membership, in view of this, does by this article most solemnly declare and avow that all the foregoing are according to his most unbiased views—that such, and only such, he will ever support, nor shrink, nor waver from, nor expose the same, even in the agonies of death, on flood, or field, in prison, on the rack, scaffold, or feathered couch—that he understands this fully, and all the bearings of it, with all of the foregoing, his name, which he deliberately, without compulsion, sets to this constitution, stands as lasting, undeniable proof—that he has come to this solemn determination after calm, mature deliberation—that he is over twenty-two years of age—and, finally, that he is willing to go through with all the oaths and ceremonies which this band sees proper to impose; in proof whereof, he now repeats the following
Almighty and all-merciful God! the Great Author and Disposer of all beings! I hereby pledge myself, in thy sight, to keep sacred the holy principles, one and all, which I this day have had set before and disclosed to me, by the Worthy Grand Master of the most ancient order under heaven—known by the appellation of the Secret Band of Brothers—and I pray thee, Almighty God! to watch the workings of my cultivated nature; and, Heavenly Father! keep me sane in mind, that I may always know the everlasting punishment which awaits me, if I prove recreant to the vows which I herewith do take upon me, with my own free will, in thy holy sight—and I pray thee, Almighty God! should I prove false
Page 48to the vow or vows I now make, in becoming a member of this Holy Brotherhood, to shut from me the light of thy countenance—to visit the wrath of thy indignation upon me—to let my walks here on earth be paths of desolation, at the end of which be famine and death, and, in the world to come, torment and more tormenting pains racking my soul for ever! But, Almighty God! should I keep and carry out these, the only true principles, which thou in thy wisdom hast set aside for thy children to follow, then mayest thou be pleased to grant me a well-spent closing life on earth, and an undying existence with thee in thy holy kingdom of heaven!—Amen.
Art. 18. The foregoing articles having been read and acceded to by the candidate for membership, and the prayer having been repeated by him, he shall be considered a member of this fraternity—known as the Secret Band of Brothers—and the Grand Master shall then proceed with the following:—
Most worthy Brother! You have now been initiated into some of the secrets of the Holy Brotherhood, otherwise called the Secret Band of Brothers; you have become a member of an Order which, I trust, you will ever cherish—feeling it is worthy of any of God’s children; and, if you so consider it, and also consider yourself a true and lawful member, you will now make the same manifest by an inclination of your head, in token of assent,
Art. 19. The member having bowed in assent, the Grand Master shall again proceed, as follows:—
Now, Brother, you, through choice, can take one degree, which will entitle you to a benefit in sickness or in distress; and likewise entitle you to the use of the SCALE, which will enable you to converse with any Brother without any possible chance of detection, by paying the trifling sum of twenty-five cents per month, to the Worthy Grand, who is the proper person for you to apply to for assistance, which in all cases must be done verbally:—in token of assent that you wish this degree conferred upon you, you will now lay your hand upon your heart and answer in the affirmative.
Art. 20. After conferring the foregoing degree, the Grand Master shall again proceed, as follows:
Brother, it is now my pleasant duty to inform you that the degree just taken entitles you to a full membership of the Holy Brotherhood, and also entitles you to a benefit of thirty-three cents per day, if imprisoned, or confined by sickness, caused by exposure or otherwise,—which you, in all cases, must make known to the Worthy Grand, if possible, through a Brother, but by no other process; and you must be careful to observe one particular point, which is, NEVER, under any circumstance, to approach the Worthy Grand as an intimate acquaintance, for fear of being suspected as such, and thereby bringing mistrust upon him through some person who may have had their eye upon you, as a man not carrying out the principles which they approve of as being the ones best calculated to promote their priestcraft.
Art. 21. The Grand Master shall thus continue:
You being now a member of this Holy Brotherhood, it falls to my lot to apprize you of the position which you now occupy, and some of the duties incumbent upon you. This society claims you as a Brother, and, should you be sick, will prepare hospitable means for your comfort—should you be in difficulty, through misfortune, you will ever find friends ready and willing to assist you: should you for any offence be brought to trial, your judges, jurors, witnesses, &c., you will find composed of men selected from this Holy Brotherhood: you have the privilege at any time to go and come as you please, to retire or live in public life; but you are to make known every transaction whereby certain classes may be considered as dishonest—and if the person offending is not committed by a Brother, you are bound, if possible, to see that the offender is brought before the tyrannical bar, and, likewise, if it lies in your power, to have the said offender convicted; and, if convicted, it shall furthermore be your duty to apprize the Grand Master the length of time he is sentenced, to what prison, and what punishment—as we, as men and Christians, hold it a duty for each member to throw every obstacle in the way of the people CALLED Christians, for the purpose of bringing them to the laws which Nature’s God has set apart.
Art. 22. Having now informed you of some of the benefits and duties falling upon you, as a Brother, I now come to an article of penalty, which you will find requires your close attention, as follows:
If you betray a Brother, this Constitution allots to you but one punishment, which is—#DEATH BY VIOLENT MEANS!#—AND THIS SENTENCE WILL SURELY BE CARRIED INTO EFFECT—as sure as that there is a sun at noonday, or stars at night; and the Brother, so terminating your career, shall receive, in compensation, the sum of THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS, which shall be paid to him by a Grand Master, for this society.
Art. 23. If you are ever true and faithful to the Brotherhood, you shall be sustained by them, in all your undertakings, right or wrong; and should you meet with danger, by reason of the Brotherhood, which sometimes happens, by your making the same known to the Grand Master, he will, if your quarterly and annual payments have been regularly made, refund you the full amount. You will be charged, annually, five dollars for your head, and a half cent per annum on all your common chattels and freehold property,—which you will be required to pay in advance, yearly, to ensure you the benefit and full privilege of the Secret Band of Brothers’ Mutual Insurance; the principle of which is adopted for the special benefit of the Brotherhood, as we feel no interest in befriending any, not even our own blood relations, unless with a motive of sooner or later bringing to bear our Christian creed, and making them true and faithful Brethren.
Art. 24. If at any time you think it would be policy for you to withdraw—or, in other words, retire—you will find it beneficial for you to watch for, and detect every species of fraud—done by any other clan than the Brotherhood—and convey the same to your worthy Brethren; and in all cases, do all you can to make war with what the self-styled Christians call moral principles; and whenever you see or hear of an imprudent act in a Brother, it shall be your duty to convey the fact to the Brother—if not by your own tongue, by that of some Brother of the band,—and if you see any manifestations made throughout the community of a moral, or, what is termed of a religious nature, it shall be your duty to oppose and oppress the leaders in every shape and manner possible, as we hold all such calculated to keep in darkness many who might, otherwise, be made true and faithful Brethren, and followers of Nature’s God: and the moral part of the community, so termed, who will not give us an opportunity to enroll their names, watch; and if by aping them you can make inroads upon their creeds, or false views, you will add not only to the promotion of the society, but will sustain a character throughout the Brotherhood, not to be forgotten; and, furthermore, as there are many ways to find out the principles of men, it is to be the constant duty of each member of this Brotherhood, to take advantage of every opportunity of finding out the opinions of the mass—by talking as much as possible about the villanous transactions which happened at an early day, in the new settlements, and the active part which he took in detecting the band, &c.—by which means he not only learns who are friendly towards the promotion of this Brotherhood, but also who are the ones for this society to watch as their most deadly enemies;—and a Brother must, in no case, refuse to give money for the construction of the most popular churches, and must always pay great respect to the priests—for through them we hope to hide many of what might be termed, by our enemies, deeds of darkness; but such as we, as men and Christians, believe to be lawful and proper duties: and one who does not comply with the rules and regulations of this band so far as in his power, after having taken the solemn oath, shall be treated by all honourable members as unworthy of their protection, and shall be proscribed by the Brotherhood—WHICH PROSCRIPTION LEAVES HIM LIABLE TO SUDDEN AND VIOLENT DEATH, AT ANY MOMENT!
Art. 25. Each member who has been duly sworn in, as Grand Master, can have the privilege of withdrawing his name from the Holy Brotherhood, by recommending one whom he considers worthy, and in whom he pledges himself can be put unbounded confidence, and one who has never failed to pay his quarterage and yearly dues in advance; (as such a failure assuredly prohibits him from promotion;) and this office grants to the holder his travelling expenses, and two dollars per day, while on business of the society, and, likewise, secures him double the benefit of a private, in sickness or difficulty. Now, therefore, Brother, you have the full meaning of the foregoing, and the same chance of promotion as either of the Brethren.
SECT. II. Art. 1. The Grand Masters of this society shall consist of six, to every fifty mile square,—five of whom have no power, other than to bear the annual returns, in case of absence or sickness of the principal Grand—in which case they are entitled to his pay, for their services and expenses—said pay to be deducted from the moneys in their possession, at the meeting of the society; and in case of death or resignation, the seat or seats of the former Grand or Grands must be filled by the next Grand or Grands, in rank—said rank to be through the official age of the subordinates; whose seats, as THEY rise, must again be filled by some one of the private members, whose appointment must be confirmed by a petition, signed by three-fourths of the Brethren; and, in case of two or more candidates running for the same office, the one having the most names shall be considered duly elected—whereupon he must solemnly pledge himself to keep the funds intrusted to him, belonging to the Brotherhood, secure; that should he, at any time, be required to resign, by three-fourths of the Grands, he will make due returns of all moneys in his possession; and that, in all cases, he will be ready to render a correct account of all moneys received and paid out by him, which account shall, also, be duly made out and handed in at every annual meeting.
Art. 2. It shall be the duty of every Principal Grand to keep his accounts, and the Constitution of this society, written on paper, with a certain kind of acid, which cannot be read, unless held to the fire, when the heat will bring to the face of the paper the desired intelligence; and it shall, furthermore, be the duty of the Grand Master to commit to memory this Constitution and By-laws,—that he may, at any time, be able to give any passage verbatim, without the assistance of referring to the article itself, as it endangers the Brotherhood to have the documents on hand;—and it shall also be the duty of the Grand Masters, in office, to supply the five, who are not matured officers, with one article at a time, until they commit the same to memory; when it shall be their duty to instruct them the manner in which the same is written in acid; and then to demand a written Constitution from each, which, if not written correctly, must be corrected and returned every three months, until perfected.
Art. 3. It shall be the duty of the Grand Masters to examine their five subordinate officers, four times each year, until they find each capable of drafting a constitution, and of giving each article its correct No. and proper place,—with full instructions as to secrecy, in keeping all the six words, with their proper tables, from the ordinary members—as the ordinary members are not entitled to the use of the six words, which are termed Qualities;—and, furthermore, if any of the Grand Masters know of a letter of importance, which one of the members has written to a Grand Master or Subordinate Grand, it
Art. 4. It shall be further observed, that no Grand, if known to reveal to any common member more than the initiation prayer, and what has been specified in the foregoing—with the exception of the meaning of the figure 9, in the fourth column, to which all are entitled—can be thought worthy of the honourable Grand’s station; and in no case can such an offence be forgiven—and that, as a punishment for such an offence, he shall not only be discharged from the high and honourable office of Grand Master, but shall have a vote of censure passed upon him, which shall for ever disqualify him from holding office; and he shall, thenceforth, be closely watched, and in case he shows, or in any way manifests, any sign of malicious disapprobation, he shall be tried in secret, by the Grands and members of his District; and upon three-fourths giving their opinion that he is an enemy to the Brotherhood, it shall be the duty of the Grand Master to take him on probation, six months, and apprize him of the fact, that he is, in the opinion of the Brotherhood, acting, or about to act, a treacherous part,—and that he has been granted the state of probation, and the privilege of leaving the District, or changing his treacherous principles:—if he choose the former, his name must be sent to every Grand Master in the Union; if he choose the latter, his after good works must recommend him; but in case he should refuse either, it shall be the duty of the Grand Master to put upon his head the usual reward—of a traitor, which is three hundred dollars, to whoever takes his life, with the highest approbation which can be placed upon the Brother, so doing, by his honest Brethren.
[The following qualities are known and used by the Grand Masters alone, the common members being wholly ignorant of their existence; and thus it is, that these grandees can so completely foil their followers, without the least risk of the latter being the wiser. The qualities are made for the special purpose of designating each individual, and at the same time be entirely safe from the least suspicion. When a Grand Master has had the honour of promotion conferred, he is supplied with the table of qualities; likewise the secret of correspondence is submitted to his confidence, under an oath, the penalty of which is death, if he,
Art. 5. The Grand Master shall be fully invested with power to give out the following catalogue of useful flash words. The six words of QUALITY are highly beneficial in conversation, and must, in all cases, be used when one is present who is not known to be a member. By this means can be found out the strange Brethren, who are ever ready for any sound so familiar to their ears. The dualities, also, serve to advance the Brethren, who are made acquainted with them, to the higher seats of honour, and are as follows:
First: HUSKA—a flash word, signifying GOOD—is fully described by the subjoined numbers, the signification of which is annexed:
No. 1 signifies Bold. " 2 " Intrepid.
No. 3 signifies Artful. " 4 " Undaunted. " 5 " Cunning. " 6 " Active. " 7 " Assiduous. " 8 " Temperate. " 9 " A true Brother, without cultivation—meaning one who,
from infancy, has had sufficient strength of mind to carry out his
principles. This number is considered highly honourable to the Brother
bearing it, who is said to have the same conferred upon him by the God
Second: CAUGH—a flash word, signifying BAD—is also described as follows:
No. 1 signifies Treacherous. " 2 " Ungrateful. " 3 " Presumptuous. " 4 " Meddlesome. " 5 " Quarrelsome. " 6 " Impudent. " 7 " Imprudent. " 8 " Dilatory. " 9 " Intemperate.
This last number is one which will prohibit whoever is entitled to it, from holding the high and honourable office of Grand Master; and whoever is known to sell or give intoxicating liquors to a Brother, for the purpose of making him subserve to his avaricious purpose, shall be highly censured, and made to pay over double the amount which the victim has lost. If a Brother sees proper to distil, or vend intoxicating spirits, and at the same time notifies the Brethren, when they call on him, that he does not make and sell the same for any other purpose than to prostrate the minds of the tyrannical priestcraft, and their victims, he shall be sustained in his noble enterprise.
Third: NAUGH—a flash word, signifies SIZE AND COMPLEXION—and, therefore, each number has a double meaning.
No. 1 signifies the person to be Large and Tall. " 2 " " Low and Heavy. " 3 " " Tall and Slender. " 4 " " Medium. " 5 " " Small. " 6 " " Sandy Complexion. " 7 " " Light Complexion. " 8 " " Dark Complexion, " 9 " " Coloured.
A person of the last-named colour is never to be admitted, unless as an outlaw, who is to be used by the Worthy Grand, and who is to be so educated that he will not dare to commit any daring act, without permission from the Worthy Grand; and it shall be highly reprehensible in any Brother to converse with any coloured Brother, upon any business pertaining to the Brotherhood; and all such shall lay themselves liable to a vote of censure—as the man of colour is not admitted for other purpose, than to carry out deeds thought highly honourable, but which many worthy Brethren dislike to execute, but for which the Worthy Grand can always depend on his coloured Brother; and, furthermore, should he be detected, the Brotherhood will be in no manner endangered, as the coloured Brother’s testimony cannot be used against them.
Fourth: MAUGH—a flash word, signifying PROFESSION—is designated thus:
No. 1 signifies a Brother of wealth and a Labourer.
" 2 " Seaman. " 3 " Lawyer.
" 4 " Physician. " 5 " Mechanic.
" 6 " Merchant. " 7 " Sporting
Man. " 8 " Planter or Farmer.
+ " 9 " Felon.
This last number is considered in a different light from any of the others. When a cross is placed over it, it signifies that the Brother bearing it has been a martyr in the great and noble cause of Equal Rights; or, in other words, that in performing his duty as a freeman, he has been seized and cast into prison by the tyrants of the world: and it shall be considered a deed worthy of censure, for any Brother to mistreat, or throw any obstacle in the way of another, who may be entitled to the cross over the figure 9, in the fourth line of Quality;—and all
Fifth: HAUGH—a flash word, signifying DISEASE—embracing under it, imperfections, scars, marks, &c.—is described as follows:
No. 1 signifies Consumptive. " 2 " Rheumatical.
" 3 " Gout. " 4 " Dropsical.
" 5 " Hypochondriacal. " 6 " Scrofulous.
" 7 " Stoppage in Speech, or Stuttering.
" 8 " Pox-marked, or Hair-lipped. " 9
" Loss of an eye, tooth, or limb—a
head, or any noted scar exposed. This number will require close
inspection, in order to avoid being deceived; as the mechanical
construction of wigs, glass eyes, false teeth, wooden legs, false
whiskers, &c., has been brought to such perfection, that, without the
very closest scrutiny, they will, many times, escape our observation,
and pass as the real members created by the God of Nature.
Sixth: GAUGH—a flash word, signifying AGE AND MANNER OF SPEECH—is described as follows:
No. 1 denotes the person to be 70. " 2 "
" from 50 to 60. " 3 " "
" 40 to 55. " 4 " " " 30
to 40. " 5 " " " 21 to 30.
No. 6 denotes the person to be Very Gray. " 7 " " Dappled. " 8 " " Quick Spoken. " 9 " " Slow and Indistinct.
These private Qualities are not to be explained to any but Grand Masters; and when a Brother becomes familiar with these private dualities, he can correspond with other Masters, without any fear of detection, as all of the Qualities, though apparently simple, are impossible for any one to understand, unless he has the key; and he who shall DARE to instruct another in this mystery, unless entitled to it by the law of our constitution, will find it would have been better for him had a mill-stone been tied about his neck, and he been cast in the bosom of the deepest sea.
[The table of “flash” words contained in article sixth, section second, are words used among the fraternity in general, and by the common members believed to be the only secret language of the order. In this they have been kept wholly ignorant, by the cunning of their leaders. We have but little doubt in our mind that there may have been a great many words added to the original vocabulary, since the adoption of the constitution, as we find among the gamblers, and other dishonest men, language entirely incomprehensible to all without a key. The gambler, though not anywise connected, stands in his profession ready to conciliate them in their works of death, under the horrible idea that Nature, as their God, has plainly sanctioned the profession. And the religion of Nature they aver to be the only true religion on earth.]
Art. 6. It shall be the duty of the Grand Master, upon the initiation of a member, to supply him with a list of flash words used by the Brethren of this society, and shall likewise inform them of the great importance, for the safety of the Brotherhood, that they commit the few words given them to memory,—which they will also find of great importance in conversation and correspondence—as, in the few words which are diffused in their respective places, no person, without a complete key, can explain or interpret their true meaning. The words adopted are but few, yet answer, with common language, to enable the Brothers to converse with ease without being understood by others concerning their business, or matters and things pertaining to the Brotherhood. It likewise enables a Brother, in common conversation, to designate another; or, in addressing thousands, he may be identified by, as it were, accidentally using any one word of his discourse in connection with the Brotherhood:—the latter, however, is never to be done, unless in extreme cases. The most essential service is in conveying the meaning, which, in all cases, must be done in its proper place.
If you wish to ascertain if a Brother be present, you can easily do so by SOUNDING. SOUNDING signifies FEELING, or ASCERTAINING; and if you wish so to do, use the word CULLEY, which signifies Brother, Friend, Partner.
The word CONEY means Counterfeit paper money.
" BOGUS " Spurious coin, &c.
" CRABBING " Robbing, Stealing, &c.
" DUMBY " Pocket-book, purse, &c.
" DROP " Pocket, &c.
" CADY " Highwayman, murderer, &c.
" GLIB, STRIKER " Incendiary.
" CRACK " Break. As crack a crib.
" CRIB " House, trunk, desk, &c.
The word THIMBLE means Watch, crome, clock.
" PRAGUE " Horse, mule, or ass.
" GLIM " Light.
" SIFTER " Burglar, house-breaker, &c.
" GEISTER " An extra thief.
" FEELER " Dirk, sword, knife, &c.
" REACHER " Gun, pistol, &c.
" PAD " Bed.
" BLOTTER " Writing—such as letters, &c.
As Nature, in every feature, dislikes a traitor, no provision has been made for dissembling. This society is ruled by Nature, as our God!—and it is the duty of each and every member to do all in his power to promote the welfare of his Brethren, as, by so doing, he must in time convince all observers that the Secret Brothers are the only true Christian sect on earth; and this we, ourselves, individually and collectively, believe; and we make this manifest, by placing our names to this scroll, and thereby pledging our fortunes and our lives to maintain and carry out these principles in all sincerity and truth; and should we ever offer to take up another faith, and renounce this, may our prayer-oath be fulfilled to the extent of all its agonies; aye, and more: we now again doubly pray, that if we ever offer to secede from this, our religion, that we may thereby seal our immortal state with an undying existence in a world of torment, prepared for all priestcraft and treacherous mortals.
* * * * *
The singular circumstances connected with my obtaining these papers, and the awful obligations contained in the constitution, will prepare the reader for some strange developments. The constitution, although not elegantly worded, proves its author to have been a man of uncommon shrewdness, and knowledge of human nature, and forethought. We may therefore expect that the plan of operations should be so laid as to baffle detection by ordinary means. I will try to give some idea of it.
It was necessary that letters should be transmitted from one member to another, in a distant location, yet the person to whom the letter was addressed might be miles from a government post-office, and it might not be safe for him to present himself for a letter, lest he should be recognised as a desperate man, and letters were liable to be opened and their desperate projects exposed. To avoid this danger, they established a line of communication, extending from Toronto, Canada, to New Orleans. Not precisely direct, but lying through large towns.
On this route were post-offices; consisting of hollow trees, caves, cavities in rocks, &c. Those who wished to send letters deposited them here; with full directions. All the “brothers” knew these post-offices; and when, in their travels, they came near one, were bound to stop, and examine the letters. If they found letters directed to persons on their route, they must carry them along. If the letter was directed to a person beyond the extent of his journey, he must at least carry it to the next post-office, if he was going so far; and from that, some other Brother would pass it along. It was death, in all cases, for a member to open a letter not directed to him.
As Brothers are constantly passing along the line, in both directions, considerable despatch was secured. If a letter should chance to be lost, it was written in such a manner that one not knowing the secret would suppose it to be an ordinary business letter, and the persons alluded to were so mentioned as that only the individual to whom the letter was addressed, or some person interested in the same transaction, could understand the allusion.
The person to whom the letter was addressed must return the letter, if requested, but might keep a copy. Along this mail line lived many of the Brotherhood, and as they knew each other by signs, and were able to converse in a flash language, unintelligible to the community generally; when we recollect that they were bound by solemn oaths to aid and defend each other in every emergency, right or wrong—that both men and women belonged to the order—the reader will see what security a villain could enjoy when hunted by the police; how easily the respectable citizen, the country merchant, the lawyer, the captain of a steamboat, could conceal the fugitive, and put the officer upon the wrong scent.
In addition to this caution, any thing which must be so explicit that a stranger to the order might understand, if he should see it, was written with sympathetic ink, which would appear only when heated, and would disappear again when cold; and even this was written in a perfectly unintelligible cipher, to which, however, I very fortunately found the key among the letters. I insert it for the benefit of the curious.
One of the most profitable branches of their business was that of trading in horses. For this, as will be seen, their combination gave them peculiar facilities.
One of the common robbers steals a horse, rides it fifty or a hundred miles, and offers it to a respectable robber, called a trader. If it do not appear a dangerous bargain, he makes the transaction as public as possible; he takes a bill of sale, and enters it on his books, and the common robber goes on his way rejoicing. Presently the owner comes along, and claims the horse. The respectable trader is very much astonished at the discovery, but makes no resistance. The owner, rejoiced to find his property again, gladly pays the expenses of keeping and goes home. But the respectable trader is very sure to have not the slightest clue to the whereabouts of the man who sold him the horse, and although it was done so publicly that the owner cannot have a doubt of the innocence of the trader, yet, strange to say, nobody knows which direction the thief took, even when he left the settlement.
Lest some member should get another into his power, it is provided in the constitution, that for every transaction they shall “pass” or exchange receipts. This gives to each the same power, provided they are both of the lower grade. That is, whoever has bought a stolen horse of some member of the band, can be proved to have done so by the thief, from the receipt; and the thief in like manner is in the power of the trader. Again, it is of importance to the poor robber to have a receipt from some eminent trader, since it gives him character as a man of business, and serves as a letter of introduction. They are written in the usual form of an ordinary business transaction.
The Grand Masters, who, alone, it will be recollected, have the secret of using sympathetic ink, and the cipher, always add to the receipt, with invisible writing, the description and character of the individual who bears it, thus holding the poor fellow completely in his power.
But should a poor scamp get caught, and lie in prison a year or two, he is entitled, by the constitution, to thirty-three cents per day for the whole time. By the same constitution, also, he is directed how he must proceed to get it. He proceeds, therefore, in due form, as follows: Going to the Grand Master of the district in which he was convicted, he addresses him thus:—“Most worthy Grand Master, I have this day come before you, to place my hand upon the seal and swear that upon —— day of ——, in the year ——, I was confined in prison, (or by sickness) for —— months and —— days; during which time I have contracted the following expenses; I therefore make my petition that such money as may be my due may be given me for my assistance.”
The Grand Master, or Grand as he is called, then asks the following questions:
“How long have you been a member?
“Where were you initiated?
“To whom have you paid your dues?
“What evidence have you that such are the facts?”
If, then, the poor brother have not receipts proving the transactions for which he was imprisoned, and further, proof of his actual imprisonment, (or evidence of his sickness,) no further notice is taken of him. But if he have such regular proofs as are required, the Grand declares that they have but a small amount of funds in the treasury. But that the Brother may get his dues, he gives him drafts upon the various Grands in the country, to the amount of his dues. If the amount were five hundred dollars, he would receive fifty ten dollar drafts upon fifty Grands, scattered over the country, from Canada to Alabama, and of whom, in all probability, he will never see three; and they are payable to none but the person in whose favour they are drawn. And “to make assurance doubly sure,” with sympathetic ink, the cunning officer writes a full description on each draft, of the age, size, complexion, profession, peculiarities, &c., of the bearer, so that if he should undertake to send by another, he would have his labour for his pains.
We have now submitted the constitution to the judgment of our readers, as we found it, having only added a few explanatory remarks, which we are enabled to do from knowledge acquired in various ways; and we now select from those letters which came into our possession a few, written by some of the individuals noticed in this work, which will throw additional light on the character of the Band. The note to each letter is explanatory of the language contained in the ciphers.
Lawrenceburgh, September 24, 1825.
Most Worthy and Respected Brother,—Let me introduce the bearer of this, who visits you for the purpose of promoting our benevolent institution and his operations. I have not the least doubt you will find his visit not of importance to him alone, but to you and all the friends of humanity and kind feeling which belong to our benevolent society.
Yours, in great haste,
101000 000000 000300 000004 500000 000000 000000
[This letter bears upon its face the following ciphers, which interpreted read as follows:—The bearer is BOLD, CUNNING, TEMPERATE, LARGE, and TALL; by profession a LAWYER, and has been a CONVICT, he is marked upon the face; his age is from THIRTY to FORTY, and QUICK in speech. The cross (+) upon the number 9 designates the bearer to have been a convict, and that he is entitled to much respect among the Brotherhood. This, however, the Grand Masters teach their subordinates to acknowledge, for the purpose of finding out among them such as they can have confidence in in carrying out any desperate scheme; and likewise to prevent them from exposing others, through their associations; and thus it is that they, as brethren, feel no delicacy in acknowledging to a brother, the honour of having been a martyr.]
Lawrenceburgh, October 13, 1825.
Friend Brown,—According to our agreement, I was at the place appointed, where I remained until three o’clock, much distressed on account of your absence; and my situation was very little better when I learned you had been detained through the negligence of our friend in Boon county. I have no confidence in him, nor ever will have, so long as he makes use of so much whisky. I exchanged the coney I had for four hundred pounds of feathers, and left them subject to your order at friend —— ——, grocery store, Lower Market street. I called and took breakfast with the judge, and he tells me times have never been so close upon the coney trade since he resided in the city. I likewise called upon the Irish friend, and the first word he spoke was an oath that Cincinnati was bankrupted; that constant calls were continually made by the boys, and not one dollar to accommodate them with. I hope you will be at home before I leave for Indianapolis, as I cannot remain long upon the way, and I have many calls to make, and be there by the 20th, as that is the day appointed. Raise all the funds you can, and I have no doubt every thing will come out right. This will be handed you by one whom I recommend strictly honest, as I have had recommended. Though he has lived in the burgh ten years, I never knew him until our old friend told me that he was a member. He knows you only by sight.
Yours, —— ——,
000110 000000 003000 000000 000005 600000 000000 888000 000009
[The figures of this letter describe the bearer as follows: ACTIVE, TEMPERATE, DILATORY, TALL, AND SLENDER, DARK-COMPLEXIONED, WEALTHY, without any particular occupation. That he is CONSUMPTIVE; his age is between TWENTY-ONE and THIRTY; his speech SLOW and INDISTINCT.]
Greensburgh, October 20, 1825.
Friend Brown,—I have, as you see by this letter, arrived at Greensburgh, having travelled several nights over some of the roughest roads I ever placed foot upon; my journey, otherwise, has not been so disagreeable; but night-travelling always disagrees with me. I was joined by our friend, the doctor, and his intimate friend from Brookville. They tell me they have been absent from Brookville twenty-one days. We met at our good old friend’s house, near York ridge. He is as pleasant as ever, and full as religious, and paid me one hundred and twenty-five dollars—squaring accounts—and traded me two notes on our Madison merchant, amounting to one hundred and thirty-five dollars, which are as good as gold, as he endorses them, and I believe and know the principal to be as good as any man in Madison.
The doctor tells me some of the boys have had a flare-up in Buffalo; but that is nothing new, as our Canada friends act very imprudent. He tells me since he left us, that several cabs have been traced out, and no traces of the workmen left which can injure any one party. He came through Columbus, Ohio! He says they are hard at work, but scarce of material, and no means to procure it. I have not the least doubt but you might find it profitable to go or send some one to supply their wants, so we can make it very profitable. Our friends, —— ——, —— ——, take Fort Meggs, and at Manhattan (I have reference to our judge and the lawyer we met in Manhattan, Ohio) have made out well with the horses, taken them in the summer, and say they wish the boys would bring them one hundred head before the lake closes. The doctor brought me a letter to that effect. I leave this place to-morrow evening for the Forks of the road, where I shall expect a letter from you. Let my friend —— —— know I am well.
Yours, —— ——,
000000 002200 000003 400000 000000 600600 077000 800008 000000
[This describes the bearer to be UNDAUNTED, ACTIVE, TEMPERATE, IMPRUDENT, LOW, and HEAVY, LIGHT-COMPLEXIONED, by profession a LAWYER and MERCHANT; age from FORTY to FIFTY-FIVE, QUICK-SPOKEN.]
Four Corners, October 24, 1825.
Friend Brown,—I have arrived at the Four Corners, where I was pleased to receive your favour of the 17th, and having the good luck to learn that five of the brethren of Virginia are in the neighbourhood, and would leave to-morrow evening for their homes by the way of Lawrenceburgh, I make ready this and forward it by them for the purpose to inform you that our friend —— ——, the cooper, cannot, without my consent, have any more stock, unless he pays for it in advance, as I am satisfied he does not wish to act out the correct principles. He tried, the day before I left, to make me agree to take cooperage for the last stock he got; and though he made it answer to the whole face, two hundred, yet he did not wish to pay me thirty in cash, and said you promised to supply him at fifteen cents per hundred,
Yours, —— ——.
100000 002000 300000 000004 000000 606600 000000 800008 000000
[This describes the bearer as being BOLD, ARTFUL, ACTIVE, TEMPERATE, LOW, and HEAVY, SANDY-COMPLEXIONED, by profession a MERCHANT; age from THIRTY to FORTY, QUICK-SPOKEN.]
Sugar Creek, October 24, 1825.
Esteemed Brown,—After two nights’ hard travelling, I find myself well provided for, in company with our old “Bogus Friend,” who informs me he has just returned from Toronto, Canada; and has brought some of the most splendid bogus I ever have seen, and sells it, in trade at 33-1/3, 28 in cash. I purchased two thousand of him, part trade, part cash; and he is to deliver it to you. He has sent a large quantity to Brookville, Indiana, and he will send your two thousand from Brookville. I let him have four horses, which I purchased from our Rising-sun Brethren. He sent them immediately to his lawyer, in or near Sandusky, who will forward them immediately to Michigan. I believe the horse trade is better, and a great deal more safe than the slave. There are many brethren living here, and of the best order, and live up to the principles of the Brotherhood; and of the many which live here, and in fact all through these parts, very few are considered other than men of the highest respectability. But I hear many making inquiry about our Lawrenceburgh Aurora, and Rising-sun brethren, and say the brethren have acted in many respects badly, and our friend —— ——, in the burgh, who purchased the pork he shipped from some of them; they say that he has deceived them. I feel mortified to think he has no more principle: I want you to call and tell him he must settle, and I think he ought to know the same without advice. They are the wrong men for him to try to gull; I have every right to suspect him of dishonesty, when I think how much the Brotherhood has done for him, you and I in particular, and know how he treated us; and though we have given him all of the start he has, he would sacrifice us both, with our families, for a hundred dollars. I have found out that Sulivan did not make his escape, as he assured us he did, but was
Yours in haste, —— ——.
101000 000000 300000 000004 000000 000000 007007 800800 000000
[This describes the bearer as follows: BOLD, ARTFUL, TEMPERATE, LARGE and TALL, LIGHT-COMPLEXIONED, PLANTER by profession, HEAD DAPPLED GRAY; age from THIRTY to FORTY, QUICK SPOKEN.]
Indianopolis, November 5, 1825.
Friend Brown,—I have been waiting four days for your answer to mine of the 24th, and this day have the pleasure of receiving it. I am glad to hear that your friends in the east have not forgotten you; I had a letter forwarded me to this place, speaking of your liberality to the people in Pittsburg, when you visited there last spring, and our friends —— & Co., the iron traders, are very anxious for another trade. I think they have made better use of their trade than our two Marietta merchants —— ——; the latter, I believe, some of the boys got hold on, as he was going east, and he returned, one thousand minus, in clear dust, and his twelve hundred in coney. The Steubenville merchant is here, and has contracted with me for two hundred dollars’ worth of coney, assorted; he tells me that a brother in a flat boat has been put aside for his plunder, which, sad to relate, was but little; and that he saw the wife of the deceased was trying to make up the amount at this time in Cincinnati; if she has not effected it, I think some attention had better be given her before it is too late, as she is satisfied it was done through mistake. You had better go or send some one to see her; you will find her on Sixth street, at the widow ——, or if you inquire at, —— ——, cabinet-maker, on Sycamore. I will give ten; you will give the same: tell —— ——, on Lower Market, he must do the same; it is a pity she should suffer through mistake. She is a fine woman, and all of the Brotherhood should befriend her. I hope you have, from your letter, become satisfied with the friendship of —— ——. I told you they would not do—I have known them from boys, and the day they got that bogus from you so cheap, I would sooner have thrown it in the river. The airs they put on about that negro, satisfied me that they had forfeited all principles of honesty, which is the way with such men after they become able to live—never think they are beholding. I will write you again in a few days. The bearer of this I have learned is a good brother.
Yours, —— ——.
110000 002000 300000 040004 000000 006660 070000
[This describes the bearer to have been BOLD, ARTFUL, TEMPERATE, TREACHEROUS, MEDDLESOME, IMPRUDENT, LOW and HEAVY, SANDY-COMPLEXIONED, a MERCHANT by profession, and that he had been a convict; his age between THIRTY and FORTY, disease SCROFULOUS.]
Indianopolis, November 9, 1825.
Friend Brown,—The town is full of our warm friends, and I am happy to say that there is a fine spirit existing. To-morrow night I will leave for Fayetteville; I have received your package of coney, and disposed of three thousand to the old doctor we met while we were in Canandaigua; he is the man we sold the flour to at Buffalo. He resides in St. Louis, Missouri, I hope he may do well, as he is a great man, and has more knowledge of mankind than any man of his age in America, and will trade from a pin to a steamboat. He tells me he purchased the lot of negroes which were in Madison, and he says that he heard, since he left, that three more had been deposited for sale by the same man; if so, he wishes you to write him a few lines to Terrehaute, and a copy of the same to Vincennes. He tells me he will be able to get rid of every dollar at these two places, and that he can purchase one hundred head of horses if he wished, all which have come from other states, and some fine blooded stock. I learn through friend —— ——, of Bairdstown, Kentucky, that there has been some hard talk about Judge ——, at Lexington. I have no confidence in a man who drinks and gambles, as he does; I do not care how wealthy he is, nor how great a title he wears; for my part I intend to keep clear of him, with all of his wealth and title; and your friend in Maysville is another. I write in haste, and send it by our brother.
Yours, —— ——.
101000 000020 300000 000004 000000 000600 070007 808000 000000
[This number describes the bearer to be BOLD, ARTFUL, TEMPERATE, IMPRUDENT, LARGE and TALL, of DARK COMPLEXION, by profession a MERCHANT; he is diseased with RHEUMATISM; his age from THIRTY to FORTY, hair DAPPLED.]
Lexington, June 3, 1827.
Dear Brown,—I have at last arrived in this wealthy part of Kentucky, which I assure you is a treat for a man that has been so much exposed to the fatigues of travelling over cliffs, and swimming creeks, and all other inconveniences that man could imagine. I arrived at Winchester, Kentucky, where our old friend resides. It was two o’clock when I arrived, but I found him in his shop playing cards with a black journeyman old sledge, at twenty-five cents a game, and you ought to have seen him scrabble for the cards when I rapped upon the window. I left Winchester for Maysville, where I remained four days with our friend, the same old block of sociability; yet he tells me he does well in the stock trade. He says he sold forty odd horses in one year.
Yours, in haste,
P.S. I hope you will answer this immediately.
Direct to Nashville,
Tennessee. This Brother is a true blue.
100000 002020 000003 000400 500000 000600 070000 800088 000000
[This describes the bearer to be CUNNING, TEMPERATE, TREACHEROUS, IMPRUDENT; size LOW and HEAVY; by profession a PHYSICIAN and a MERCHANT; disease RHEUMATISM and FACE DISFIGURED; age from FORTY to FORTY-FIVE; QUICK-SPOKEN.]
Lawrenceburgh, April 9, 1827.
Friend Brown,—I am happy to have the extreme pleasure of introducing to your acquaintance one of my most intimate friends. He visits the city on business, which may require assistance; if so, you can confer no greater favour on your humble servant, than by serving him.
Yours, in haste,
The following was taken from the same sheet, having been interlined in fine hand in sympathetic ink, which was entirely a secret to the bearer, and read when warm, as follows:
In a side pocket made upon the inside of an old black velvet vest, you will find eighteen hundred dollars in United States money. In an old hair trunk, tied around with a rope, he carries twelve hundred dollars in silver. He is fond of spirits, and occasionally gets drunk, and when drunk, has no memory, and would not acknowledge the fact of being drunk for twice the amount. He is a man of wealth and of honour. Destroy this immediately.
The history connected with the above letters may be considered of great importance to explain the villanies of this band; and from the circumstances connected with this history, I have every reason to have full confidence that the same letters this note refers to, were the occasion of the bearer being robbed of some thirty-one hundred dollars. We will now give the foundation for our belief. During the examination of my original package of letters, I discovered a very familiar name attached to one of those apparent business letters, which caused me to examine the import, and upon so doing, I found that it contained the same which I have given, with a few omissions which I considered of importance to my personal safety, viz., the names of the parties, the place of residence of the man robbed, &c. When I found that I had a familiar name to so base an article, to satisfy myself that it was not a forgery, I examined the same person’s signatures which had been written in the year 1827, and found they compared satisfactorily to my mind. I then set upon a plan to ascertain from the man who lost the money, without his having an idea of my intention, which I did as follows. I wrote to a responsible man living in the same place, to know of him if such a man of his village had ever lost any money, and if so, what amount, the date he lost it, &c.; to which I received the following brief note: “Sir,—You have written me upon a subject which I was not familiar with at the time I received your letter, but have made inquiry, and found that in the spring of 1827, the person alluded to in your letter was robbed while in Wheeling, on his way to Philadelphia, out of rising three thousand dollars: which money he has never heard of. He is a man in good circumstances, and was at that time, in fact he has always been, considered wealthy. I conversed with him one time upon the subject, but he dislikes to have it mentioned to him. You likewise wished me to inquire if he received any letters of introduction or recommendation previous to his departure, on the date mentioned. He had several, and with one exception, they were all from his best friends. One he had given him by a man residing in Lawrenceburgh, Indiana, was for the purpose of introducing him to Daniel Brown, a merchant of Dearborn county, whom he met in Cincinnati, on his (Brown’s) return, and had but a few moments’ time to converse with him, after he gave him the letter. You, therefore, know all I can ascertain about your request.” I could then see through the whole lead of his misfortunes, and it is about in this way. The letter which he bore to Brown, having the particulars concerning his temperament, likewise the amount of money, &c., enabled Brown to set the band upon him, who robbed him, and then divided with Brown and his Lawrenceburgh friend. These letters I had transcribed and put them up and lectured to the citizens of Lawrenceburgh concerning the horrible fact of their existence; and these are the letters spoken of, that made the pigeon’s flutter, and likewise caused so many threats of my assassination; and all that prevented them was, that they feared whoever might have the handling of the papers hereafter might handle them with less mercy.
I have frequently, in the course of this work, had to notice the very intimate connection which those concerned in the administration of justice, or ostensibly in the suppression of crime, had with those who perpetrate it. In all of our large cities, this occasionally forces itself into public notice. Anxious as the authorities always are to conceal any thing of this kind, it accidentally leaks out. The opportunity for concealment, and the advantages afforded by official station, have not been overlooked by the Brothers, and the police of every city contains several of the fraternity. In all fairness, however, the great mass of crime connected with such establishments ought not to be laid to their charge. The very wish to be connected with the police, indicates a morbid disposition of the mind—a desire to be familiar with crime; for it is necessary to detect it successfully, to come in contact frequently with the criminal. In consequence, by familiarity, crime loses its enormity: the police officer sees how seldom the perpetrator is detected; how often, when detected, he escapes unwhipped of justice; he connives at some petty offence, in the hope of entrapping the criminal in some more flagrant act, and tampers with crime, till the little moral sensibility he had when he entered the service is destroyed. This is obviously a true picture of human nature; but I must proceed with the story, which suggested these remarks.
In no city of the Union has the depredations of the Band of Brothers been more extensive than in Cincinnati, Ohio, yet there seems to be a prevailing wish, entertained even by those who have witnessed their ravages, to doubt the existence of any such organization. Nor am I surprised at this incredulity—the thought that we are surrounded by hundreds of individuals, sworn to protect and assist one another in their ravages upon our lives and property, is no very pleasant prospect for contemplation. Sincerely I wish it were merely a dream of the night, but the unaccountable and sudden downfall of some of the most respectable and talented families of that city convince that it yet exists in all its awful realities. In confirmation of this I will introduce the history of one family, guarding myself as much as possible from saying any thing that might hurt the feelings of any of the relatives yet living. It consisted of five boys—at least that number is all that has come under my notice; the eldest, at the age of sixteen, connected himself with bad associates, was committed to the jail on a charge of theft, and convicted. In a short time the next brother followed in the same course, and shared the same fate. The remaining children were yet young, and to preserve them from the vicious habits of the elder ones, the father kept them at hard labour every day. We are not intimately acquainted with the character of the father, but we never heard any thing laid to his charge but that
This same year of his death the third brother got into difficulty, and was sentenced to the Penitentiary for three years. Before the expiration of his sentence, the fourth was convicted. The fifth boy at this time was about seventeen, and he too was caught stealing, convicted, and received his sentence about the time the fourth regained his liberty.
The third brother, after serving the specified period in what is called the Penitentiary, took his way south, where he was again committed for robbery, and sentenced to five years’ confinement in the Louisiana State Prison. At the expiration of that period he started for home, but when near the island of Sixty-six, on the Mississippi, he concluded to take a trunk and jump overboard. This feat he accomplished successfully; but unluckily for him, it was in the same year in which so many outlaws were put to death by the citizens, and having connected himself with a band who were at that time flooding the river with counterfeit coin, negro-stealing, and indulging in all manner of villany, he was taken by a company, and with about forty others put to death, some being shot, and others tied up in sacks and thrown into the Mississippi.
The fifth brother was now in the Ohio Penitentiary, the fourth in the Indiana State Prison, but the eldest brother was released from confinement, and returned to Cincinnati. His long confinement, however, seems to have had no very beneficial effect, for in a few months he was again convicted of petit larceny, and sentenced to serve in the chain gang. Here he conducted himself so well as to gain the unqualified commendation of one of the drivers, who in consequence treated him indulgently. About this period, there was much excitement, caused by the frequency of night robberies, and no trace of the thieves could be found, by which they could be detected. The most vigilant means were used, and many were sent to the jails and penitentiary, but still the robberies went on. Among those committed at this period, was the fifth brother, who for a short period had enjoyed his liberty. The eldest brother served out his time in the chain gang, and after being liberated, suddenly disappeared; and, which surprised many, the driver of the chain gang disappeared at the same time. A day or two after their disappearance, a drover from Kentucky, who had been at Cincinnati, and was on his way home, was taken from his horse, robbed, his throat cut, and left for dead upon the road side. They had, however, merely severed the windpipe, and on being discovered, he was able to give such information as led to the detection of the driver and his friend, the convict. They were arrested, and identified by the mangled drover; and the citizens, knowing the desperate character of the elder brother, who had served an apprenticeship in their own State Prison, gave them a trial according to “Lynch” custom, and hung them both. Thus ended the life of the eldest of the brothers—the third who had suffered the penalty of death for their crimes.
The suspicions of the people were excited by this occurrence, and a train of investigation set on foot which left no doubt but that the recent robberies were committed by the chain driver and his gang. At night they were freed from their chains, allowed to prowl about and plunder, and brought their spoils to the prison, where it could easily be stowed away without suspicion. We believe that we are quite within the mark, if we attribute one-eighth of the robberies committed in large cities, to the police, or perpetrated with their connivance. Many, we hesitate not to say, are done by men whom the public believe to be in prison. It has become a proverb, “Set a thief to catch a thief,” and the public seem to have acquiesced that thus it shall ever be. There is an allowed and constant connection between the criminal and the officer engaged in suppressing crime, but whether it be necessary and unavoidable, or the best disposition possible, deserves some consideration. The hangman is in general only a little more fortunate than his culprit. The leader of a band of Regulators is commonly more ferocious, and as lawless as the
Our readers may be anxious to know what became of the other two brothers, the fourth and fifth. At this moment we believe they are both in the State Prison. Now how was the ruin of this once respectable family accomplished? Why did the fate of the elder not deter the younger from crime? Were they merely drawn along by the contagion of ill-example, or were there more potent influences at work in their destruction? And why did punishment and penitentiaries do so little in their reformation? The greater part of their lives were passed within their walls, cut off from the influence of evil, but we see no sanitory effect. We will not answer these questions directly, but in the course of this work will supply the reader with materials to answer them for himself. We have every reason to believe that the eldest and the second were entangled in the meshes of The Secret Band of Brothers, in a manner from which there was no escape. They are ever on the look-out for any individual who has forfeited his character, and who promises by his ingenuity or dexterity to be a fit tool for their purposes. Their agents are to be found in all the professions, in the magistracy, and in the prisons and penitentiaries; sometimes, under the vail of hypocrisy, assuming a fair exterior at the time they are engaged in all manner of villany; at other times, when their influence in any place is in the ascendency, openly showing their real character. Men can be found in many of our towns so notoriously profligate, that not one individual in the place could be found that would say they were honest men, yet through solicitation, party spirit, and sometimes through fear, they are elected to official stations. It is one of the leading objects of the Secret Band, to have as many of the brotherhood in the magistracy as possible, and neither money nor importunity are spared to effect their object. They know what they are about: they are too sagacious to suppose that a thief will catch a thief; that a gambler will suppress gambling, or a drunkard promote temperance; and it would be well that those who really desire any of these objects, were equally “wise in their generation.”
The spring of 1833 found me travelling through the Choctaw nation, which, at that time, with the exception of the government posts, was a wilderness. Fort Towson, Duxborough, Jonesborough, Lost Prairie, Horse Prairie, Pecan Point, and several other places throughout this wild and newly settled country, were crowded with every kind and description of people from the states, from, the government agents and contractors to the wild and mysterious refugee—the latter being very numerous, and having settled upon the south side of Red river, to evade the pursuit of the United States’ officer of justice, that portion then being considered within the boundaries of Texas. The whole region was one of peculiar debasement in all respects. As might be suspected, seasoned as it was with such a population, drunkenness, debauchery, and murder walked abroad, hand in hand, day and night. Human life was valued no higher than the life of an ox or a hog, and the heart of the settlement was cold, and palsied to the most remote touch of feeling, and hardened to the recital of brutalities and crimes of the most indescribable enormity. Men talked of their evil doings, their deep, revolting guilt, with the most impudent freedom, and laughed and chuckled over them as though they were the best jokes in the world!
It was in one of the Texan settlements, in this rude, wicked tract of country, that an incident came to my knowledge, quite by accident, which I will relate. The settlement contained some seventy to eighty people, men, women, and children, white and black. I was taking a stroll with one of the settlers among the cabins and huts, he being familiar with the occupants of each, their habits and history. When we passed a spot worth notice, he gave me the character of the owner, his wealth, &c., and although all about the settlement wore an appearance of the most abject poverty, I was surprised to find the wealth which many of the inhabitants of so desolate, dreary, and forbidding a place possessed. We finally came to a small log cabin, at the extreme end of the settlement, apparently about twenty feet in length by eighteen deep, a story and a half high.
“Who lives here?” said I.
“The widow ——,” replied my guide, whose name was Edmonds—“the widow of ——, but—yes—the widow of Dr ——, who was killed a few days ago.”
I was struck with my companion’s pauses, and thought there was something singular in them, especially as his countenance at the time seemed to change slightly. I soon mustered resolution to ask him who were the murderers of Doctor ——, but his reply was simply that he did not know.
“I should like to see the widow,” said I; “will you introduce me?”
He declined, stating that he must then leave me, and go along some half a mile further, where some men were at work, chopping down a bee-tree.
“Very well,” said I; “I will step in and introduce myself. You have awakened some little curiosity in my mind to know more about the murder of this man.”
He left me without making any reply, and I entered the cabin, the door of which was standing ajar. I found, seated near the fire on a rude bench, a female, perhaps thirty years old, whose countenance wore a look of deep dejection, but at the same time betrayed strong evidence of having been once quite attractive. A little girl sat in her lap—two boys of the ages of perhaps seven and eleven occupied a bench at her right—an infant of, I should think, three months old, slept in the cradle, which a little girl apparently about five years old stood rocking. The group was a very imposing one. As I entered, I gave a tap upon the door, which caused the mother to turn towards me; but she did not speak, waiting, it would seem, for me to introduce my business. I apologized for my unceremonious entrance, saying, that I had learned she was formerly a resident in the states; and that I being also from thence, felt some interest in her and her family. She beckoned me to a seat, and after some time, told me she was born in Philadelphia, but that, having married a Kentuckian, she moved there, and lived some eight or nine years in that state—that her husband, at the expiration of that time, had taken his family to Little Rock, Arkansas, where they resided one year, and that from thence they had come to the place where I found them.
Here there was a pause; in fact, I discovered that the poor woman’s voice faltered the moment she approached the subject of her arrival at her present residence. The silence was broken by the child, who stood rocking the cradle, and who said, “This is a bad place, ain’t it, Ma? Here the bad men live that killed Pa.” At this the mother burst into tears. As she did so, she kindly told the child to hush.
After the mother’s tears had partially subsided, I told her to talk to me without restraint; that I had visited the settlement on the other side of the river on government business, which I expected to transact, and leave in a very few days. I here was guilty of falsehood. I had not visited the settlement for government, of course, but to pursue my iniquitous course of gambling with the refugees.
The woman implored me to be watchful; that I was in the midst of the most abandoned description of men that could possibly be conceived of; and that they would make a victim of me the more readily, on account of my extreme youth. I told her that they could want nothing of me, for the simple reason that I had nothing valuable about me. She assured me that it was not always avarice which tempted these men to deeds of blood. They had butchered her poor husband in the very house where we were, within hearing of herself and children, and when all were imploring that his life might be spared. And yet money was not the temptation. She then gave me a history of the cruel murder of her husband, which was as follows:—
Doctor —— was educated a physician in the city of Philadelphia, though a native of Kentucky. He married his wife in that city; after which he went back to Kentucky, where he settled down in the practice of his profession. It was not many years after he took up his abode in his native place before he became involved, and subsequently being accused of committing a forgery, he concluded it was best to leave his native state. His first stopping-place, after leaving Kentucky, was Little Rock, Arkansas, where he remained until his brother-in-law joined him with his family. Becoming uneasy and unhappy there, he finally removed to the settlement, where an end was put to his earthly career by the band of assassins.
His wife, when she came to this portion of her husband’s career, was again deeply affected; but she soon mustered composure enough to continue the story.
After my husband came here, he proceeded to build this house, and we all moved into it in a very short period after the first log was laid. He was a changed man, and my health had become impaired by the exposures which it was necessary to encounter, in travelling through this wilderness. Doctor —— was a changed man; most painfully was this the case. He was not only moody and sullen in his temperament, and at times unhappy to the last degree; but he did not seem to take that pleasure which he once did in the society of his wife and children. Now and then he would drink hard, and become intoxicated, in which case he abused me most shamefully, and I bore all for the sake of the children. Some few days before his death, he entered into a speculation with some bad fellows here, to smuggle spirits through the nation, which they succeeded in doing, and with great profit. About this time, or just after, when in a calm and subdued mood, he confessed to me, that he was not an honest man; that he was a refugee from justice, and a doomed man; that a trap had been laid for him a short time after he was married; that he fell into it; that he was a sworn member of a band of desperadoes and villains, and that he was doomed to be a guilty wretch so long as he lived. I thought he was crazy, but his assurance was in a few days fully verified.
Not long after my husband made this confession to me, he ran a partition across the cabin—making two rooms. In the other department he put two beds, and whenever any of his cronies called to see him, he would order myself and the children into the room. Here we remained while he and his companions drank and played cards—making sometimes such a noise that it seemed as if the very roof would be raised. They often kept it up all night long.
One morning, after one of these frolics, he said to me he wished I was at home with my father; that he never intended to return to Philadelphia himself; but he would see that I was safely taken there. I asked why he was so much inclined to part from me. He stated that that was his business; I must leave him. Only the night before, he had been accused of divulging secrets to me in regard to his companions; that he had promised them to send me home. He added, that I might take all the children but the two eldest boys. I protested against separating me and my children. His only reply was, that his determination on the point was fixed.
That night he ordered myself and the children into the room, in a more angry tone than ever, and barred us in. It was not long after this before his wicked companions arrived and planted themselves down at the table. I listened at the door, and while my husband had gone out of the cabin for some purpose, I heard them whispering busily together. As he entered the apartment, however, the whispering ceased, and one of them said, “Let’s play for the liquor first, and decide that point afterwards.”
After this, they played and swore, and one would have supposed the room to have been occupied by fiends incarnate rather than by men. At about twelve o’clock, one of the company said, “Well, boys, now is the time; what are we here for?” “Out with the light,” said another. My husband now asked what they proposed doing, when, without giving him the slightest notice, the light was put out, and a heavy blow descended. I heard my husband cry out, “Do not murder me;” but the strokes fell heavy and fast, and spite of my screams and the screams of my children—spite of our efforts to beat the door in, the bloody work was kept up until I heard my husband’s body fall upon the floor. In a short time his murderers left. I tried to burst the door open, but without success. At last, I raised my eldest boy to the window, and he crawled outside, and ran round, entering the door which led to the room containing his father’s corpse. As the child moved towards the door of the room, for the purpose of unbarring it, he fell over the dead body of his father. The door was finally unbarred, and I rushed into the room where my murdered husband lay. Oh, sir, I cannot tell you what were then my feelings. The lights which the children brought into the room exposed the whole scene, and it was one which I could not describe if I would—my husband’s body lying upon the floor, weltering in blood. I tried to lift it up to the bed, but could not. I then, with the assistance of the children, rolled it up in a counterpane, and we sat down and watched it till morning—fearing that, if we did not, it might be carried off by wolves—a large number of which howled about the house until day dawned. Oh, sir, it was a sorrowful night! The next morning several of the neighbours called in, and after expressing their horror at the deed of blood, assured me that they would aid in bringing the murderers to justice. That they knew them, and that they resided on the Sabine river. Would you believe it, sir? Two of the very sympathizers I knew to have been concerned in the murder of my husband.
A coffin was made, into which my poor husband’s body was laid, and then the neighbours buried him, but in such a manner that he lay but a foot or two below the earth’s surface. I have been afraid the beasts of prey which infest this region would get possession of his corpse; so, with my children, I build every night a fire near his grave.
“Now, sir,” added the woman, “I have told you the painful story, and you will see in what a dreadful situation I am. I am here in this dreadful place, with perhaps one hundred dollars in money, and five children, nearly all of whom constantly require my watchful care. Can you not assist me in my wretchedness?”
I told the poor thing I would endeavour to do something for her. I had hardly done so, when Edmonds passed the door of the cabin on his way back from the choppers. Seeing me, he turned back and said, as I passed out to meet him, “Well, Green, what do you think of the widow?” My reply was, that she was so shy and distant that I could not learn much about her, one way or the other; that she appeared unwilling, or afraid to converse.
“It is well enough that she did,” was Edmond’s reply, “she does not know what she talks about. When she does choose to speak, I believe her to be either crazy or foolish, and d——n me if I know which.”
Edmonds invited me to go with him to his home. So I went along. I found there a man, named Scoggins, with whom Edmonds got into a very free conversation. I heard him say, “We must send that woman away; she talks to somebody every day; she must be taken care of in one way or the other. She must, Scoggins, she must.”
It was not long after this, before Scoggins took me aside, and in a friendly manner advised me not to go to the widow’s again; that she was a bad and a meddlesome person withal. I did not visit her afterwards; indeed, I had no opportunity to do so, for the day following the incidents I here related, in company with Edmonds and Scoggins, I left the settlement for Fort Towson—about one hundred and fifty miles east. Our object was to play cards with the officers at the fort, and lighten them of some of their change. We also expected to fall in with some of the half-bred Choctaws, who are not inexpert in the shuffle. Edmonds and Scoggins were ordinary players, and depended on my skill. The former was a shrewd fellow, a Georgian by birth—aged about forty-five; the latter, a Canadian, was about the same age. They had served together during the war of 1812, and in the same company. Two more peculiar men could not be found. Like a pair of well-trained horses, I saw very soon, after we joined company, they pulled together. They had a negro with them, who was deaf and dumb; and he was one of the best servants I ever saw. He had been Edmonds’ attendant for fifteen years, and was, I should think, about fifty years old. This old negro knew every route from Canada to Texas. He would stand and sleep, like a horse, for hours, and seemed to care much more for horses than he did for himself. I thought there was something more than at first appeared about the old darkey. While at the fort, he would, in our company, stand for hours, it seemed to me listening attentively to all that was said, and appearing to understand it. He was very submissive and polite to any one who noticed him, and, from the beginning, appeared to take a wonderful liking to me. At Fort Towson I tried to get rid of Edmonds and Scoggins, telling them I had resolved to leave them, and that I was going to cross the Nation to Fort Smith, about one hundred and fifty miles distant. They appeared to like the route I had chosen, and said they would accompany me. While at Fort Towson, I discovered that both of my companions had a large number of acquaintances there, mixed in among the Indians; and, likewise, that many of the slaves appeared to know them.
We finally left the fort, in company with ten Choctaws. I had purchased, while in the nation, twelve head of horses, two of which were quarter horses, that is, intended to run a quarter of a mile in singularly quick time. I obtained them of a half-bred Choctaw, and they were valued at five hundred dollars each.
We encamped, the first night after our departure, about thirty miles distant from Fort Towson. The next morning I found that my two valuable quarter horses, with six others of the drove, were missing. I said something about my chance of finding them again, but soon had every hope of the kind destroyed, by being informed that the Pawnee Indians were very numerous in the neighbourhood; that they were great horse thieves; and had undoubtedly appropriated to themselves my valuable beasts. We went fifty miles further, when we again encamped. Here the horses of the dumb negro and Scoggins were missing. They appeared to think their animals might be recovered, and turned back for that purpose, promising to overtake us, if possible, at Fort Smith.
When we arrived at the fort, I disposed of the horses I had left, and took passage on the steamboat Reindeer, for the mouth of White River. Edmonds insisted on accompanying me. I made no objection, of course, but was anxious to get rid of him. It was about the twentieth of May, when we arrived at Montgomery’s Point, on the Mississippi. Edmonds, daring the passage, frequently sympathized with me on the loss of my horses. He also, now and then, spoke to me about the widow of Doctor ——, commiserated her forlorn situation, and stated that he had a strong desire, and in fact determination, to communicate intelligence of her deplorable condition to her friends in Philadelphia. He asked me, if I did not, myself, think of doing something of the kind. I told him that I had forgotten her name, and had I remembered it, I hardly thought that I should trouble myself about her or her affairs. He said, he, too, had forgotten the name, but he could procure it of Scoggins when he returned.
We remained at the Point several days, awaiting the arrival of a steamboat. Finally, the Chester came along, bound for St. Louis. I took passage in her, and left Edmonds behind, not a little to my gratification. We had not proceeded far from the Point, when the Chester broke down, and I was obliged to get on board of a down boat, and return to the Point. On arriving there, the first person I encountered was the dumb negro, who told me that Edmonds had died suddenly, since my departure, of the cholera, which was raging at that time on the Mississippi, and which cut men down almost without warning. On inquiry, I found the negro had told me the truth, and must confess I was not a little astonished at it. But a few hours previously, I had left Edmonds, apparently well; now he was a corpse! The thought gave me a shade of melancholy, especially as I knew and felt that he had been cut down in guilt; for that he was both a robber and a murderer I could not for a moment doubt.
I made some inquiry about the amount of money left by Edmonds, and discovered that after paying all the expenses of his funeral, the amount of nine hundred dollars would be left, which, according to his request just before his death, was to be sent to his friends in Savanna, Georgia.
Not long after I got back to the Point, when walking out alone, the dumb negro joined me, and motioned me to follow him: I did so, without hesitation. We had not gone far out of the way, before he placed himself near me, and, to my surprise, spoke to me as plainly and distinctly as any one could. He said he knew he would surprise me when he talked like other folks; but he would give me a good reason for having seemed to be dumb. He then gave me a sketch of his chequered career. He was once a slave, but had been a free man between thirty and forty years. At the age of twenty, he was purchased from his master, at Petersburg, Virginia, to save his life, by a band of outlaws of which he became a member, in a servile capacity. These men had freed him, soon after they purchased him from his master, and in consideration he had taken the oath as one of their gang, and had sworn, with other things, to appear to be deaf and dumb, so long as he should live—the penalty for any forgetfulness, or otherwise, that should betray that he could either speak or hear, being death! That he had been educated to this end; that the band had men who could converse with him readily by signs, and that he had been so much accustomed to communicate his thoughts in that manner, that it had become second nature. He told me he was now determined to go to Canada, where he proposed remaining for the balance of his life. I asked him how he meant to go? His reply was, that he should make the journey by land; that he knew every foot of the route, and had hundreds of warm friends all the way along. He further said that he could communicate to me a secret, which he thought it would be better for me to keep—and this is the first time I have ever publicly revealed it.
The secret was, that he and Scoggins, after leaving Edmonds and myself, had retraced their steps to the skirts of Texas; that my horses had not been taken, as I supposed, by the Indians, but that hired tools of Edmonds and Scoggins had stolen them. That it was well for me I laid my money out in horses: had I not done so, they would have murdered me, to possess themselves of it. He further assured me, that I had been for three months in the most heartless and desperate region which the country affords, and among my worst enemies. The negro added, that he had heard hard letters read concerning me since I was in the country. That they were written a year before, by certain men belonging to the same band, whom I knew, but least suspected. One of them lived near Lawrenceburgh, Indiana; another was Goodrich, the notorious villain to whom I have alluded in the preceding part of the work.
This negro also told me that Dr. ——, who had been murdered on the Texan frontier, was himself a member of the Secret Band, and that he was killed to save many a better man. That he and Scoggins had gone back to see that the widow and her family were removed; but they found, on reaching the settlement, she had left. We had learned, moreover, that when seventy or eighty miles on her journey to her friends’, she was taken sick and died, and that she had lost her youngest child before she left the settlement. It was further stated that the remainder of her family were at Little Rock, with a friend of her husband’s, who would provide for them till her family could either send for them, or give some directions in regard to their disposition.
The negro advised me never to divulge my opinions in relation to the doctor’s death, nor to the history of his family out west. I told him I did not recollect their names, and therefore could not do so if I would. He assured me that it was well for me, perhaps, that it was so; and that it could do me no good if I did. I spoke to the negro about the lively sympathy which Edmonds had expressed for the family, a few days before I parted with him; that he had told me, in case he could procure the name and residence of their friends at the east, he would write them; and that he had asked me if I remembered them. I told him I did not.
The negro assured me that it was well for me I had been so ignorant on the subject; Edmonds was only trying me. Had I appeared to have known any thing, and betrayed any disposition to give publicity to what I knew, he would have prevented me, even if he had taken my life.
I discovered from the negro, that the secret band of outlaws, to whom I here alluded, had a large number of members scattered among the different tribes of Indians; that they are all about the western country, in fact, and that all are true to each other as steel itself. The negro assured me that he could find friends at every turn; yes, those who would die for him! He was well off, however, without them, and had determined to pass the remainder of his days in living a life of honesty; hoping that, by so doing, God would forgive him, if man did not.
The negro told me much more in regard to himself and his companions. He said he had been deaf and dumb, in order to find out what was going on. He stood about and heard much said, which would not have been said had it been supposed he could hear, and much, too, that was at times extremely valuable to the band.
I told him that I had often noticed and pitied him. His reply was, that he saw I felt for him, and it was none the worse for me that I did. This very county where we were, was afterwards infested by Murrill and his gang; and it was here that, in 1841, the citizens turned out and put to death, by shooting and drowning, some forty or fifty villains.
But to return to the negro. I told him that his intelligence startled me. He assured me, that while with him I was not in danger; that, to tell the truth, where we then were was not a very bad tract of country. For, said he, the brethren of Arkansas and Mississippi are not “clear grit.” That a few weeks preceding, a man by the name of Jeffries, who had passed counterfeit money, they permitted to be taken and put to death. He had, it seems, got off about one thousand dollars of the spurious money on some river boatmen and traders; who returned when they found the money was bad, pursued the counterfeiter to an island on the river; where, after having stripped him naked and tied him to a tree, they beat him to death! It was true this man was not a member of the secret fraternity; but he would have been had his life been spared.
At this point of my conversation with the negro, I discovered the steamboat HURON near by, so I shook hands with him and left him. Rejoicing that a boat had at last come along, I was soon on board her, bound for Louisville. We “wooded” some thirty miles distant from Montgomery’s Point, and at the wood-yard, I overheard one of the workmen telling about the skeleton of a man which had been found on an island near by; that it was tied to a tree, and that it was the remains of a man who had been whipped to death for passing counterfeit money. The woodman added, that the poor victim’s watch and clothes were found hanging near his skeleton. This story confirmed the statement of the dumb negro on this point, and gave me confidence in all he had told me.
In the first chapter of this work, I have spoken of various attacks upon my character; but not knowing from what motives they originated, I paid no attention to them, nor should I to the one I shall here attempt the exposition of, had it not been to satisfy the public that it was made through a motive which I have every reason to believe a sinister one. I will not offer through any remark intentionally to say such is the fact, in relation to the intention of my imprudent opposer in my lone work of mercy, for of the motives of a man no other man can judge; but will lay our correspondence before the public, that they may examine and judge for themselves.
State Prison, Auburn, April 7, 1845.
To the Editor of the Tribune:
We have had a recent visit from Mr. J. H. Green, the “Reformed Gambler,” of whom you have previously spoken favourably in the editorial department of your paper. Many are highly pleased with the man, and think he should be sustained by public patronage and the press, inasmuch as he comes with good credentials of moral and Christian character from the church. Many think his course calculated to do much good, for this and coming generations. He appears admirably calculated and accomplished for exposing the deceptive marks and tricks of this heartless race of land-pirates, called Gamblers, alias “Sportsmen.” His description of their infernal conduct and character cannot fail to put men on their guard in season to shun them as they would a deadly pestilence that walketh in darkness, and destruction that wasteth at noonday.
The grog-shop, the brothel, and the gambling-room, are three of the blackest fountains of human misery over which the devil presides. From these he gathers the bitterest waters of hellish destruction, and spreads them broad-cast over creation: of which eternity can only measure the full amount.
The Temperance Cause has attacked one of those sinks of Satan; the Moral Reform enterprise has commenced upon another, and Mr. Green has now taken the third “bull by the horns.” Money and talent, and the press, are enlisted against the two former, and shall we stand aloof, and leave Mr. Green to combat the dragon single-handed and alone? It is high time the whole community was aroused to the desolating evils of Gambling; and the press, too, in thunder-tones, should be made to speak out upon this, as upon other soul-destroying vices of the land.
Mr. Green has given five Lectures in our village: two in the Town Hall, two in the Methodist Church, and one in the State Prison. On Sabbath, sixth instant, at four o’clock, P.M., he addressed the children of the several Sabbath-schools of the town, in the Methodist Episcopal Church, to good effect; and in the evening, the same house was filled to a perfect jam. Here Mr. Green was listened to with the best possible attention; and I believe the great bulk of that immense throng, not only believed him a reformed man, but also that he was doing a good and necessary work in this country.
At nine o’clock, Sabbath morning, Mr. Green spoke to the unfortunate inmates of this prison, numbering some eight hundred convicts, besides a large concourse of citizens, who flocked to hear him at the same place. His discourse was listened to in breathless silence by those men, and hundreds of them wept freely, while listening to a recital of the horrors of Gambling, as experienced during twelve wretched years of his own gambling life, and of his reformation and salvation by grace in Christ. A deep and powerful impression pervaded the vast concourse, while all was graced by beautiful strains of vocal music by the “Boston Quartet Club,” and all passed off finely.
After Chapel service, Mr. Green and myself visited the cell of Henry Wyatt, the murderer of James Gordon, of which the papers have spoken. They readily recognised each other, as having been members of the same gambling fraternity in the south and west. More than fifty gamblers were named by them, whose doleful history was equally familiar to both.
Previous to this visit by Mr. Green, Wyatt had told me that gambling was the cause of his ruin. At the close of our visit of some two hours, Mr. Green gave Wyatt a pathetic exhortation to read his Bible, and pray much, to repent of sin, and believe in Christ, and to seek religion as the only thing which could prepare him for his approaching doom. Tears flowed freely, and Wyatt exclaimed, “What a pity it is that you had not come out in this way four years ago; then I should not have been here in chains, as you see me now.” We wept together, and left his cell in silence.
Respectfully yours, &c.,
O.E. MORRILL, Chaplain.
From the Christian Advocate and Journal.
GREEN’S FIRST VISIT TO AUBURN STATE PRISON.
Dear Sir,—I shall be happy to contribute to your valuable sheet the following communication:
I visited the Auburn State Prison, upon the morning of the 4th instant, accompanied by the Boston Quartet Club, better known in New York city than in this region for their valuable services in calling out so many thousands to hear the eloquence of John B. Gough, in behalf of temperance. We passed through the different workshops of the prison, where many hundreds are doing the different labours allotted to them by their agents. The health of the prisoners is as good, and spirits better than any institution I have ever visited. Though the gloom of the prisoner was not made manifest by his haggard countenance, yet I could not prevent the melancholy reflection, that every heart knew its own sorrow. I have seen much of human depravity in this wicked world—I have felt the sensitive nerve made like an ice-drop by the cold finger of scorn—I know how to sympathize with the child of circumstances—with the heart-broken parent, whose pale, care-worn cheek but too plainly speaks, “We feel trouble, but ye know it not.” How many friends and relatives are now bemoaning the loss of that boy who was once the pride of all that knew him in the days of his affluence! Rising eight hundred souls are now confined in the Auburn State Prison; and as my thoughts expanded in their melancholy train, I asked myself, Who are to blame for all the crimes committed, and which have incarcerated so many human beings? I answered by referring to my own sad experience. By the carelessness of the parent or guardian, the bud is nipped before the blossom puts forth, and should it not scatter its leaves to the four winds, it cannot fail to produce evil fruit. With these sad feelings, I wended my way through the prison, which speaks well to the praise of the different agents placed there to conduct the working departments.
On my return to the prison office, I was introduced to the chaplain, Rev. O.E. Morrill, which reverend gentleman informed me that a man by the name of Wyatt, then confined in one of the cells for the murder of Gordon, on the 16th of March, in the Auburn State Prison, had confessed to him that he had lived a gambler several years in the south and west, and he would like I should call upon him. I accompanied him to the cell of the murderer. The door was thrown open upon its grating hinges, when the reverend gentleman introduced me as an acquaintance of his who had travelled south several years, and thought that he (Wyatt) would be glad to converse with him. He said he was happy to see me, and asked me to be seated. After a short discourse, relative to the different classes of men then in confinement, I asked him what he followed
J. H. GREEN.
Auburn, April 10, 1845.
From the Christian Advocate and Journal.
GREEN’S SECOND VISIT TO AUBURN STATE PRISON.
Dear Sir,—I made my second visit to the prison on Sabbath morning, the 6th instant, accompanied by the Boston Quartet Club. As we were winding our way through the halls and passing the gloomy cells, I felt sad and melancholy upon reflecting on the purpose of so large a prison. Is it possible, thought I, that our heaven-favoured land of freedom requires institutions of so extensive a character as this to keep down the vices of a people who boast of their morality? Yet, horrible as it appeared to me, I thought, if many of the foreign travellers, who are ever ready to criticise and condemn our institutions, were conducted through the Auburn State Prison, without any intimation of its design, they would put it down in their journals of travel as an institution to diffuse literary science and useful knowledge; and from what we have learned of institutions of the latter kind, under monarchical governments, we have little hesitation in saying, that they would not compare well with this prison. Nor would they be willing that some of their plans for the diffusion of useful knowledge, in the way of charity, should be compared, in respect to health and religious principles, with this institution, intended only for the punishment and prevention of crime, and the reformation of criminals. And if it be the fact, that our state’s prison is better calculated than some foreign institutions designed to educate the poor of the land for this same purpose, it certainly will stand good that our land of liberty is comparatively the land of morality.
We entered the chapel, where were seated nearly eight hundred convicts, and something like one hundred citizens, who had been admitted for the purpose of hearing the sweet melody of the Boston Quartet Club, and to hear the reformed gambler speak upon a vice which had brought over one hundred within the gloomy walls of a state’s prison. Service commenced with prayer by the chaplain, Rev. O.E. Morrill. The Boston Quartet Club then sung the beautiful sacred piece, “Hear my Prayer,” during which breathless silence made manifest that the music was enjoyed. I was then introduced as the reformed gambler, Mr. J. H. Green. When I arose, there was profound silence
The chaplain and myself visited the cell of Wyatt, the murderer. We found him sitting upon the straw which covered the floor. He seemed to be somewhat indifferent when the chaplain first spoke to him, but upon his second speech, telling that Mr. Green had again called to see him, he sprung to his feet and shook hands with me—said he was glad I had called—that he had been fearful I had left the prison, after giving my address, without seeing him, and added, “Mr. Green, I would love to hear you give your experience.” I told him of the attention the prisoners had given me, and the advice I had given them, about signing the anti-gambling pledge, so soon as they were released—to come out with their sad experience, and they would find the good and generous-hearted ever ready to receive them. He turned round to the chaplain and said, “How much good such a society as that would have done, had it been formed before I became a gambler!—How many men it would have saved from the dagger of the midnight murderer! But it is too late to save me.” I changed the subject, by asking him about different gamblers of our country. We talked about many with whom we both had been intimate. Some, he tells me, now live in your empire city, and were leading men among the politicians in the last presidential contest. I knew them to be leading men. I knew them to be gamblers and swaggering bullies; and I knew them to be at one time connected with Wyatt, but did not know them to be murderers; yet they certainly are.
Wyatt asked me if they permitted such men to vote? I told him they did. Said he, “A gambler should not be entitled to a vote, nor to his oath.” He spoke correctly; and said he, “The day is not far distant when the man, who is known to the world as a gambler, will not be countenanced.” Neither his vote nor his oath would be taken at the present day, if the citizens, who are the bone and sinew of the country, would take into consideration his real principles. He said, “No man who bets upon elections should be entitled to his vote, nor to his oath; for a man who can be excited to bet upon an election, can be excited when upon oath to stretch the blanket; or, in plainer language, to swear to a lie. Such I believe to be facts.” “And lotteries are another species of villany,”
I told Wyatt that a man by the name of Tucker was supposed to have been murdered about that date between Natchez and New Orleans. He laughed, and said he knew something about it. “Myself and three others,” said he, “went to Natchez as produce speculators. Tucker owned a boat load of produce. We contracted for it, advanced him money sufficient to pay off his hands, telling him we had sufficient help; that he could go with us to New Orleans, and that on our arrival there, we would pay him the balance due. He did so. We paid him in a Mississippi bath. We murdered him, and then threw him overboard.” I asked him if he ever was suspected. He said, not that he knew of. I asked him if he was not afraid, when he was committing such a murder, that the body might rise upon the water and be the means of their being suspected. “We cut their entrails out,” said he, “then they never rise until resurrection-day.” I felt heart-sick at his dreadful description of the murder of Tucker. I knew him. He was a good, honest man. I arose from my seat, took him by the hand, and bade him good day, promising him to call again. I will, in my next, inform you of the particulars of my third visit, which will lead you further into his dreadful history. I will in my next also speak of his views on the subject of religion.
J. H. GREEN.
Auburn, April 17, 1845.
The following letter was written and published by the unanimous consent of every honest citizen of Cleveland, Ohio, of which place I can only speak in the language of commendation. It is one of the most virtuous cities in the state, according to its population; and from the interest two of the principal organs took in behalf of the anti-gambling cause, I am certain that no filthy sheet can ever pollute its moral principles.
To the Editor of the Cleveland Plaindealer:
Mr. Gray, Sir—The Herald of last evening contained a letter over the signature of O.E. Morrill, dated July 25th, 1845, charging J. H. Green, “the Reformed Gambler,” with misrepresenting the confessions made to him by “Wyatt, the murderer.” The Anti-Gambling Society of this city have requested me, as its President, to publish the following letter, in justice to Mr. Green, and in answer to Mr. Morrill. It was written on the 12th of July last, in reply to Mr. Morrill’s “private note,” referred to in his letter published last evening. A true copy was made, and the original forwarded to Mr. O.E. Morrill on the day of its date, by Dr. Cowles, of this city. Deeming this letter a complete refutation of the charges against Mr. Green, the Society have taken the liberty, without his knowledge, of requesting you to place it before the public.
Your obedient servant,
John E. Cary.
Cleveland, August 5, 1845.
[This letter was written in reply to a letter addressed me by the Rev. O.E. Morrill, requesting my return to Auburn, fifteen days previous to his publishing my statements as false, and letter No. 7 will show in what manner I replied.]
Cleveland, July 12, 1845.
Mr. O.E. Morrill:
Dear sir,—I have just received yours of the 10th. Speaking in regard to Wyatt’s case, you state that you was very much surprised at my letters. Why did you not tell me so before they were published? You also heard both the first and second letter before I left your section. Why did you not object to them before?
Again, you say, some parts are my own representations. This I deny. I will not say that I have given them verbatim, but this I do say, and will maintain, that I have not exaggerated in my statements.
Yet I do not wish to injure that poor doomed man. God forbid. I do not think as you do about Wyatt. I know him better than you do, or can. I know that he has been the child of circumstances. I know that he is not a man who will strictly confine himself to the truth; and fear of death will make him do any thing that he is told to do. His denying what he told me, I care nothing for. In my statements, if they were not correct from him to me, I am not accountable; I believe them to be facts.
Now for a few questions to brighten your memory. When we entered his cell for the first time, you introduced me as a man who had lived in the south. I interrogated him on his past life. Did I not commence at Huntsville, in the year 1832, and trace him to November, 1835, at the mouth of the Ohio, with the Texas troops? When he told me that he had known me up to that date, that he also saw me at St. Louis, do you not recollect his asking me if I had not heard of a man being murdered in, or near St. Louis, one man hung, and the other acquitted? And do you not recollect I told him I thought I did; also, that at the same time I was informed, that the people thought that the guilty man was cleared, and the innocent one hung. He laughed, and said he was the guilty one, or something amounting to the same? Do you recollect, in your own letter to the Tribune, you stated that over fifty gamblers were recognised, with whose doleful history we were both familiar? Also, do you not recollect his telling about their lynching him; about the cords cutting his arms? Do you not recollect when I talked about the Tucker, or flat-boat murder, he told how they cut out the entrails, to prevent the body from rising? Do you not recollect that you and myself talked the same over at your house? You certainly cannot forget. He told me so much, I can think of but little, which I thought most essential to remember. I am willing to say nothing more about his case, until his execution; if I am satisfied it will be beneficial to the community, as well as Wyatt. But to retract one syllable, I cannot, unless I find myself mistaken, in which case I will make any acknowledgment necessary.
You ask, or say, that, if I come back, something may be done satisfactorily. I presume it can be done without my coming. You can write to me at this city; I shall remain here two weeks. I suppose the change of officers has made some in relation to the confession, of which I know nothing about, but there is no fabrication, as far as I am concerned, and the fact of a newspaper quarrel between you and I cannot fail to injure, or at least excite the people more against him. You say you will be forced into it. Do not be hasty. I do not fear any inconvenience from any act of mine, but, of course, if you contradict my statements, I have the same chance to support them; and, perhaps, there are some facts, which, when revealed, will make you better satisfied that the confession you have of Wyatt is not more than one-fourth true. His dates are almost every one incorrect. His crimes are enlarged in some places, diminished in others. You have the best right to his confessions, if he alters it, and you have the most truthful history. I told you when we parted, that I knew things relative to Wyatt, which he would never tell you, with which you should be benefited after the trial. They are in my possession, and I will not reveal them until he has been tried, unless it should be necessary to show the fact of his (Wyatt’s) horrible character.
What has been said by me, cannot so far injure Wyatt, unless it is perverted. But what I have said are facts, which I will not retract, and they are of that nature which need no retractation. My memory is as good as yours. I am striving to do right, the same as yourself, and will contend that you are as liable to be mistaken as I am, especially when I knew him in different circumstances. I blame you not for doing every thing that is right to make Wyatt as happy as he can be, under his present circumstances, but be careful that you are right.
I leave this matter for your consideration, believing that you will do what is correct, so far as you are able. You can rest assured, that I will do any thing in my power to assist. You will find, however, that I am correct in my statements. Write me, and your letter shall have immediate attention.
Yours, with respect,
J. H. GREEN.
From the Auburn Journal, July 30th.
State Prison, Auburn, N.Y., July 25, 1845.
Sir,—In justice to an unfortunate prisoner, now in chains awaiting his trial at the next sitting of the court in this place, I feel in duty bound to say to the public, that whatever Wyatt’s character or conduct may have been, or however many murders he may have committed, and may ultimately be revealed to the public through the proper channels—yet all Mr. Green has said about Wyatt’s having confided to him, that he, with three others, were whipped a thousand lashes at Vicksburg, which had been the cause of seven murders, and that Gordon was the seventh man that he (Wyatt) had killed, and that he (Wyatt) positively killed the man at St. Louis, for which an innocent man was hung—and that he (Wyatt) said he killed Tucker in 1839, between Natchez and New Orleans, is untrue to my certain knowledge.
Mr. Green’s visits were all made in my presence, while Wyatt was confined in his cell, a room some four by seven feet in size; hence, all that passed between them could be distinctly heard and known by all three of us.
I have no disposition to injure Mr. Green, but I should do violence to every principle of justice and humanity, were I to remain silent, and see a fellow-being tried for his life in the midst of that prejudice which has already condemned the criminal to a thousand deaths, by Mr. Green’s published declarations of Wyatt’s own confessions of bloody deeds and horrid murders, when, in reality, the prisoner has made no such confessions to him, to my certain knowledge.
To avoid this unpleasant task, I addressed a private note to Mr. Green, calling for a satisfactory explanation; but, in his reply, he utterly refuses a single retraction, and the only alternative left me is to let the prisoner suffer this great injustice, or disabuse the public mind from the wrong impressions made by fabrications of Mr. Green.
I hope to be spared the disagreeable necessity of resorting to the newspapers of the day to correct any further improprieties of Mr. Green on this subject. If I am not, I will give a specific catalogue of them in my next.
All editors of newspapers, whether political or religious, are requested to give the above an insertion in their columns, as an act of justice to an injured man, and very much oblige.
Your obedient servant,
O.E. MORRILL, Chaplain.
Toledo, August 5, 1845.
To the Editor of the New York Tribune:
Dear sir,—I beg leave to introduce to your columns the following article, written for the purpose of satisfying the honest part of the community, that a letter written by the Rev. O.E. Morrill, on the 25th of July last, is an unprincipled misrepresentation of my purpose, in bringing to light the horrid deeds of murder committed by Wyatt, now in the Auburn State Prison.
I visited Wyatt four times, in company with Mr. Morrill, Chaplain of the Prison. The time I spent with him in all these visits was about five hours, during which we conversed about his former course of life. It is impossible for me to state in one article all that he revealed to me, but what I do remember, I published in my letters, relative to my visits to the cell of Wyatt. The second of these letters was dated April 7th, and the first about the 1st of April. I read both these letters to the reverend gentleman; the first before it went to press, and the second as soon as published, we being at both times together, with some officers of the institution, in the State Prison office.
I now call the attention of the reader to a letter, from the reverend gentleman, to the editor of the New York Tribune, of the date of April 7th, in which he speaks in the highest terms of my conduct. The reader will notice that this is after my first letter was published, and after he had heard them both read, and after he knew that I had given Wyatt’s confessions, which he now, in his letter of July 25th, declares to be nothing more than “fabrications” of mine. If my statement of Wyatt’s confession were known to Mr. Morrill to be false, why did he recommend me so highly in his letter of April 7th, and why has he not contradicted me before this? The reverend gentleman says, that he did not wish to injure me, and so addressed me a private note. If I could be so base as to put forth to the world such falsehoods as he accuses me of, in regard to a fellow-being, so soon to be launched into eternity, no fear of injury to me can excuse the gentleman for his not exposing me immediately to public scorn and detestation.
When at Auburn, after my visits to the cell, I spoke several times, in the presence of Mr. Morrill, and other gentlemen, of Wyatt’s confessions to me; and yet Mr. Morrill, though present, never disputed one relation. I also lectured some fifty times, within fifty miles of Auburn, and, in nearly all, gave the same statements which he now contradicts. Why has not Mr. Morrill published, together with his contradiction, my reply to his note of July 10th? If he had, the community would have seen my reasons for not retracting my former statements.
I am truly sorry to have any difficulty with the reverend gentleman, on this subject or any other, but my duty in regard to this malicious slander, (the motives of which I am unable to fathom,) compels me to reply, and for no other purpose than to satisfy the community, that I could have no personal object in view, in casting a stigma upon the character of this unfortunate convict, by any statement he made to me, for I certainly could not be benefited in any manner by publishing falsehoods in relation to him.
I repeat again to the world, and ever will, that the unfortunate Wyatt did to me confess all I stated he did, and much more, which it is impossible for me to remember. If he stated falsehoods to me, I am not responsible. He told me that he was one of four that had received a thousand lashes at Vicksburg, in July, 1835; and I knew a young man, by the name of Henry North, to be about Vicksburg, and to be in the employment of North, the gambler, who was hung at Vicksburg, by the lynchers, in July, 1835. Henry, though of the same name, was not related to the other, as I understood. When I went to the south in the fall of 1835, I inquired about the gamblers of Vicksburg, and was told that Henry North, alias Wyatt, or Newell, was, with four others, whipped, tarred and feathered, hands bound, and set afloat, and the supposition was that he, and
I also call on Mr. Morrill, in justice to myself and the public, to answer the following questions. 1st. Did not Wyatt confess in his presence the murder of individuals besides Tucker, on the Mississippi? 2d. Did he not say he cut the entrails out to prevent their rising? 3d. Did he not say he was tried at St. Louis under another name, (I think it was North,) and did I not turn to Mr. Morrill, and say, I knew some men had been tried at St. Louis, but knew none of the parties; and did not Wyatt then say that he was tried for murder at St. Louis, that he was convicted on his first trial, but acquitted on a new trial, and that an innocent man was hung? 4th. Did I not tell Mr. Morrill, that Wyatt informed me that he had been a convict in the Ohio Penitentiary; and does not Mr. Morrill recollect that upon my third visit to Wyatt’s cell, I said to Wyatt, that it was reported he had been in the Ohio Penitentiary, at which Wyatt frowned, and I changed the tenor of my question by stating, that Gordon said he (Wyatt) had been there, and that Wyatt laughed, and said it was such d——d lies which occasioned Gordon’s death; and did not Mr. Morrill say to me, he knew many of Wyatt’s misfortunes, which he kept secret from the agent of the prison; and will Mr. Merrill deny that when we went into the office, after my last visit, that the clerk again repeated that Wyatt had been in the Ohio Prison, and did not I then decide with the clerk, the probability of such being the fact, and did not Mr. Morrill still insist that it was a false report?
In conclusion I will say, that whatever may be the reverend gentleman’s intentions towards me, and in his own behalf the motives for which I am not able to penetrate; yet, although he brands my statements as false, and although the cell was but four by seven feet in size, I leave it to the community to decide, whether two men, who can speak the “flash language,” in which one word can convey sentences, may not hold a conversation not easily understood by a third person, ignorant of its meaning—and can Mr. Morrill assert what meaning was conveyed by such language between Wyatt and myself? if so, he is the first man I ever knew that could interpret a language or tongue he never studied. At least one-fourth of the conversation between Wyatt and myself before Mr. Morrill, was of this kind. I do not think Mr. Morrill understood all he heard, yet the greater part of what I published in my letters was spoken in plain English, and Mr. Morrill, at the time, gave vent to his feelings over the dreadful disclosures.
I ask the papers of the day to publish this statement in justice to both parties, as well as the public at large.
J. H. GREEN.
Correspondence of the New York Tribune.
Perrysburgh, Ohio, August 16, 1845.
Mr. Greeley,—I wish to introduce to the columns of your valuable paper the following. Though it may seem mysterious and out of date, it will be read with much interest by many, and may have a tendency to cast a light upon one of the most horrible murders ever committed in this or any other Christian land. There is not one shade of doubt remaining in my mind but that the murderers, as well as their victim or victims, long before the date of this article, might have been discovered, had there been sufficient effort made. True, efforts have at last been made, and the skeleton of one murdered victim found, and much search made for the other. The particulars which led to the but small effort which has already been made, are collected from circumstances as follows:—As near as we can learn, in September, 1844, a gentleman, by the name of Stephens, from the state of New York, made his appearance in Perrysburgh, remained in and near some days, left, sometime after returned. About the time of his departure from the second visit, he made known his business, that he had kept secret until the time near his departure. He then told that two men had been murdered, and their bodies concealed in the woods about one-half mile from the last turnpike gate, which is about four miles from Perrysburgh. His statements corroborating some previous signs of murder, induced the citizens to turn out and scout the swamp in search, knowing as they did that certain packages of clothes had been found in the Maumee river by a fisherman, on the 17th April, 1844. The clothes found were done up in parcels, coat, pantaloons, and vest, with a stone tied round each, with strips of handkerchiefs cut or torn for the purpose. Upon examination, the clothes were cut in a way to show they had been ripped off from the body. The pantaloon’s legs cut open; the coat cut open from the back and sleeves; the vest also cut open from the back. The coat had many cuts in the left sleeve, also a hole about the lower button on the right side, which hole was in the pantaloons, cutting the lower suspender in two. The vest had several cuts in it, immediately back of the neck, through the collar, and two knife holes. The vest is a figured worsted piece of goods, of lilac colour, about half-worn. The coat is a black cloth frock, or surtout, but little worn, no velvet upon it, lined inside of the skirts with black silk or serge, the sleeve lining twilled linen. Inside of the left sleeve is a mark of the merchant, which is one cipher—nothing more. From the looks, I should have taken the coat to have cost twenty dollars. The pantaloons are rather of a blue colour, striped casinet, and have never been worn much. The suspender, which
Now for the mysterious visits of Mr. Stephens. About his departure from the second visit, he disclosed certain things, which I will give according to my information. He said he had been informed by certain convicts, then in the New York State Prison at Auburn, that they had murdered two men in the said swamp, and had concealed their bodies. One they had stripped; the other, left his clothing upon him. They stated that the murdered men were travelling in a buggy, and that they (the murderers) stopped the buggy, presented their pistols, forced them into the woods, where they shot one, and stabbed and butchered the other. Not far from the same place, a hat was found with a bullet-hole in it, but no sign was left upon the body found which would indicate that he had been brought to his death by a ball, which also goes farther to prove the probability of the murder of two men. They buried them, as they state, about one-half mile apart, strip ping the clothes off from one, which they took along with them in the buggy, and made their way to the Maumee river. Not thinking it politic to cross at the toll-bridge, they went up to the ford, near Fort Meigs, and found the river not in a fording state. They tied stones to the clothes and threw them in the river, where they were afterward found, and crossed the bridge to the north side of the river, went below Toledo, took the buggy to pieces, sank it and the harness in the river, and took the horse out back of Manhattan and killed it. In the early part of the summer following two men were arrested near Geneseo, New York, for committing burglary. Apprehension of another attack almost forbids me giving their names, while duty doubly nerves me to speak and let the public know that Wyatt, alias Newell, or North, and Head, his accomplice in the burglary at Geneseo, are the two murderers who gave Mr. Stephens his information, and caused his visit to ascertain the truth of such horrid deeds. Other circumstances leave no doubt resting with the people of this part that the same two men, Wyatt and Head, murdered John Parish, of Hancock county, while attempting to arrest them for horse-stealing. A small explanation of this fact I will make. It will be remembered by many that Wyatt attempted to make his escape from the Auburn prison, and when Gordon, the man he afterward murdered, told the keepers, he was searched, and upon his person a letter was found, which letter contained no names of men or places, nor was it directed; but from the
J. H. GREEN.
This article is introduced for several purposes—all of which we consider of importance to substantiate the facts we have laid before them. Those murders, near Perrysburgh, were committed by Wyatt and Head, his colleague, who is now in the State Prison at Auburn, New York. After the controversy had taken place, I availed myself of the opportunity to search into facts concerning Wyatt, and found, in addition to those set forth in the preceding letter, the following:—Wyatt, alias Robert Henry North, was hired as a stage-driver near Chillicothe, Ohio, in the latter part of 1838, but decamped in a short time afterwards with a horse belonging to another man, and made his way to Portsmouth, Ohio; where he was taken and carried back to Chillicothe, tried, and convicted to serve three years in the Ohio Penitentiary. In 1841 he was released. He then left for Missouri, where he again got into difficulty, which detained him until 1843. He told me he was tried for his life in St. Louis, convicted, got a new trial, and was acquitted. If he was, it was under a different name from any above mentioned, and the murder he was tried for must have been Major Floyd. But I do not believe he was one of those tried, and acquitted, as he professed to be. He then made his way across the country to Louisville, Kentucky. From there to a town called Mount Gilead, in Ashland county, Ohio, where he went to work at the business of tailoring, a trade he had learned in the Ohio State Prison. In a short time after he arrived there, he married a very respectable lady, with whom, for the short period they lived together, he led a very disagreeable life. In the latter part of 1843, or the beginning of 1844, he left for Toledo, Ohio, where he hired out, and lived up to the time spoken of in the preceding letter, and where he committed the crimes referred to in the same. After which,
Finally, let me say to those who may be anxious to know more of the history of this unfortunate man, and of his crimes, that I have looked with great anxiety for the third letter, spoken of in my second to the Christian Advocate and Journal. That the mystery of their not appearing has been no fault of mine. I wrote four letters, and but two appeared. Whether they were detained by the false and garbled statements which have been set forth by the Rev. O.E. Morrill, or whether they have ever been received, I am unable to say. However, I have written twice to Dr. Bond, and, as yet, I have not been able to learn by what authority they have been detained. But should I have them returned, the public may be welcome to them for their worth.
Since the execution, we learned from those present, that Wyatt was taken from his cell, faint from the loss of blood he had shed a few days before, in his attempt to commit suicide. When seated in his chair, under the gallows, he made remarks like the following: “I have lived like a man, I will die like a man. I am not afraid to die. I am about to enter eternity, and appear before my God. My conduct has been misrepresented—men have sworn falsely against me—I cannot and will not forgive them—I am not the man I have been represented to be—I did not commit the murder charged upon me in Ohio. I am thankful to the sheriff and his family for their kindness.” He manifested no religious penitence to the last. He died an unbeliever.
* * * * *
In conclusion, I would say to those who have perused this work, so full of strange and startling incidents, let not their mysterious and dark character cause you to doubt of their truth. Recollect that there are strange events in the life of every man, many of which he cannot fathom; and were the whole circumstances of your own life disclosed, it is not impossible that many of them would exceed belief. Horrible as is the picture of depravity here exhibited, the half has not been told, nor would I reveal one iota more than I deemed necessary to awaken the public attention to a sense of their danger, and a corresponding sense of their duty. Reader, you may be standing upon the edge of a precipice, though you know it not. Fathers, your sons may frequent these haunts of vice, and be entangled in the snares of the destroyer. Wives, mothers, sisters, daughters, lend us your aid to save those you love from destruction. You need not be ignorant, that around you are hundreds of individuals who live in affluence upon the spoils of their industry. It is not gamblers that support gaming. If the merchant, and lawyer, and tradesman, and the man of fortune did not supply them with the material, their profession would die. In all my works I have shown how gambling lends to, and is connected with, all other crimes; and I beseech you, as you love your families, yourselves, and our common country, that you lend your aid and influence to abate this evil. This vast conspiracy against your lives and fortunes, which I have here developed, is no chimera. Its workings are everywhere felt, though the machinery is unseen. I have no object but your good in making this disclosure; and should it meet the eye, as I have no doubt it will, of some one not a stranger to its crimes, I beseech him to consider his ways. Why should he live a curse to the earth—a destroyer of his kind—a blot upon creation—a dishonour to his Maker? Heaven and earth are equally ready to receive the returning prodigal. The only danger—the only disgrace is to continue where you are. In behalf of our Maker, in behalf of humanity, in behalf of all that is noble and virtuous, I beseech you to TURN, why will ye die?
MR. FREEMAN THE AVOWED GAMBLER, AND MR. GREEN, THE REFORMED GAMBLER; BEFORE THE CITIZENS OF PHILADELPHIA, IN THE LECTURE-ROOM OF THE CHINESE MUSEUM, ON THE EVENINGS OF THE 10TH, 13TH, AND 15TH OF MAY, 1847.
Mr. Freeman’s challenge, and Mr. Green’s acceptance, as published in the papers of the city of Philadelphia.
From the Inquirer.
It is well known that Mr. Green, the Reformed Gambler, gave a Lecture at the Museum on Monday night last, in which he exposed the arts and devices of the Gambling Fraternity of the Union. His audience was quite large, and his illustrations were listened to with no little interest. It seems from the following article, which we copy from the Sun of yesterday, that a professional Gambler was present. His Card or Challenge is quite a curiosity:
Mr. Editor:—Having attended the Lecture of J. H. Green, last evening, at the Chinese Museum, on the popular vice of Gambling, and differing from him in each and in every view which he took, and which he is in the habit of taking upon that subject, I beg leave respectfully to say to him through the medium of your columns, that I have made up my mind to confront him in debate, in regard to the right and wrong of the subject in question. I say, I am willing so to do, provided it meets his views, and those of the community. If he, and those who admire his theory, are the friends of truth, surely they will not shrink from investigation?—and if I cannot sustain myself in debate, why, his triumph will add strength to his cause.
With regard to who I am, I will say in a single word that I am a professional Gambler. I shall set out, if we meet, to prove to the audience, among other things, that in his illustrations of the cheatery which he says the gambler practices upon his victim, he is actually at that very moment practising a palpable cheat upon the very audience which he is proposing to enlighten. As regards any profits that may arise from such a meeting, I want none, although perhaps as needy as Mr. Green.
As regards experience in debate, Mr. G. has decidedly the advantage of me in that respect. I have had the honour of addressing public audiences four times in my whole life, and but four—two of these were in favour of Old Tip, in 1840, and the other two upon the subject of temperance. I am well aware that there are many persons who would look upon it as a sort of inconsistency that a man, occupying my position, should be the honest advocate of temperance—but they so reason because they are uninformed in regard to the higher order of gambling!
Should Mr. Green accede to my proposition, he only has to name his time and place—or if he prefers to have a personal interview, he can do so. I am willing to wait on him at his boarding-house, but would like to have at least one respectable person present to hear all that passes between us.
N.B.—I am a native of South Carolina; I am known from Virginia to Orleans. Mr. Green I have seen in that city, and he no doubt recollects me, though I never had any intimacy with him.
We publish below another communication from Mr. Freeman, in which he announces that Mr. Green has accepted his challenge to debate, and lays down his points for argument. We are glad of this, and have no doubt the public will share in our curiosity to know what kind of a defence can be made by a gambler, even so polished as Mr. Freeman, for a vice fitly characterized by Mr. Green as “fifty per cent. worse than stealing.” Expectation is on tiptoe.
Communicated for the Sun.
Mr. Editor—I return to you my sincere thanks for having kindly published my letter to Mr. J. H. Green, the reformed gambler; and beg leave now to state to you, that I have had an interview with him, and that he fully consents to go into the debate. It now devolves upon me, since I have assumed the character of plaintiff in the action, to define minutely the exact points to be discussed.
The first position, then, that I shall assume, is that all those states in this Union that have enacted very severe laws against gambling, such as making it a penitentiary offence, &c., have acted both tyrannically and unwisely—tyrannically, because they are an infringement upon those sacred reserved rights that never were yielded in what law commentators call the “social compact”—and unwise, because their tendency is to generate immorality rather than stop it.
The second ground that I shall take, is that the character of that class of beings called “gamblers” is less understood by the community at large, and especially by that portion of it that have had no intercourse with them, than any class of men in the world. That it has ever been the misfortune of the gambler to be misrepresented, not only of late by Mr. Green, but generally by those that have attempted to portray his character in the prints.
I shall undertake to show him up in his true character, making it neither better nor worse than it really is—“Let justice be done if the heavens fall.”
In the third place, I shall propose to prove beyond question, that cheating at cards is decidedly the most unfortunate thing for the cause of gambling and gamblers, that possibly could exist. And on the other hand, that it is the very saviour of that portion of mankind who have a sneaking fondness for play.
In the fourth place, I will attempt to prove that those tricks that Mr. Green is in the habit of illustrating with cards, are entirely worthless; that they can not be reduced to practice; that if they can, it must be on persons wholly destitute of common sense; that an opinion that he can tell any cards by the back, is entirely untrue; that neither he nor any other man can do any such thing, unless the cards have been marked either by himself or some other person.
In the course of those proceedings, I shall take upon myself, for the benefit of the young and inexperienced who may be present, to make such developments as will be of lasting importance to them in their sojourn through this mazy world; for, as Mr. Calhoun once said of the Constitution of the United States, if there be any one man that loves innocent youth better than all others, I claim to be that man. To seduce one into any vicious habit when uncontaminated, is a thing I would scorn to do. And the pleasure which I feel, when I reflect upon it, of having actually saved some half dozen from ruin, is to me unspeakable. But for this I know I am never to be credited; for Mr. Green has informed us that the gambler is hardened, for he never goes to church, and if you reach him at all it must be with a penitentiary act.
But, pardon me, Messrs. Editors, this is not the time nor the place for the argument.
Yours, respectfully, J.G. FREEMAN.
Mr. Green says he will inform me on to-morrow when it will suit to have the meeting.
Mr. Green, it will be seen by the following letter, has consented to meet his challenger in debate on the subject of gambling. We are glad of this, inasmuch as Mr. Freeman is said to be quite an intelligent gentleman, and stands at the head of his profession. The discussion, if conducted in a proper spirit, will be attended by good results.—ED.
For the Daily Sun.
Philadelphia, April 29, 1847.
Messrs. Barrett & Jones:—In the “Sun” of the 28th and 29th inst. are two communications, over the signature of J.G. Freeman, proposing to controvert my positions relative to the gamblers, and challenging me to a public discussion.
This individual called upon me after the publication of his first letter, and seemed to be honest in his intentions to defend his system of untold enormities. If the public, therefore, can be benefited, and my reformatory purpose in this particular promoted, as I suspect it will, I would rather court than avoid such an interview.
I have long wished for, but certainly never expected such a discussion.
I see the shoe begins to pinch. I am glad to perceive that those for whom it was made are beginning to feel and cry aloud. Just as I anticipated, the law seems to be the part which binds most. Men who are most without conscience are generally most restive in view of a threatening penitentiary.
I will accept the challenge to meet him on the several points proposed in his communications. Indeed I am happy that he has chosen his own grounds; for the best which such opposition could select is likely in all conscience to be bad enough.
Suffer me therefore to say to your correspondent that I intend lecturing on the evenings of the 10th, 13th, and 15th of the coming month, (May,) at the Lecture-room of the Chinese Museum, on George street; at which times I will be very happy if he will attend and defend such positions as are assumed in the two communications alluded to.
I shall require, however, that a committee of gentlemen be chosen to control the discussion.
J. H. GREEN.
The Lecture-room of the Museum will, we think, be found much too small to accommodate the audience, who desire to be present on these interesting occasions. Would it not be better to take the upper part of the Museum building? It would certainly be filled.—ED.
Messrs. Editors:—There is a feature in Mr. Green’s acceptance to my challenge to meet him in debate upon the subject of gambling, with which I frankly confess I am not at all pleased. Upon looking over it, you will discover that he uses the following language: “Suffer me, therefore, to say to your correspondent, that I intend lecturing on the evenings of the 10th, 13th, and 15th of the coming month, (May,) at the lecture-room of the Chinese Museum, on George street; at which time I will be very happy if he will attend and defend such positions as are assumed in the two communications alluded to.” Now, I should like to know Mr. Green’s motive for calling a debate a lecture? Why not call things by their right names?
You will, therefore, Messrs. Editors, be pleased to inform your correspondent, Mr. Green, that I cordially consent to meet him at the time and place designated by him, for the purpose of debating the gambling question; and the cash which may be taken at the door to be divided between us, if any, after all the expenses are paid, or to be disposed of in such a manner as the committee may deem just and proper. ’Tis true, I did say in my first communication that I did not care to have any of the money, and I so felt and so thought at that time; but since, I have employed some reflection upon the subject, and, like some of our modern politicians, I have changed. ’Tis true that money is no part of the motive, but then, as Mr. Polk once expressed himself in regard to the tariff and protection, I am willing that it should come in incidentally.
Now, it falls to my lot to know much more of the history of Mr. Green than any of those who know it only from his own statements and publications. About four or five years ago, in the city of New York, I became acquainted with a gentleman by the name of Ball, a dealer in ivory; this Mr. B. exhibited a large quantity of Mr. Green’s cheating cards, and said that Mr. Green was largely in his debt, and that his only way to make the debt was to sell those cards, and asked me to buy. He then took me into another room and exhibited to me some very costly machinery, and certainly the strangest I had ever seen;—it had been invented by Mr. Green to put a sign on white-back cards, so as to know them by the backs. He also showed me other stamps invented by Mr. Green. Now the consummation of this work had cost Mr. Green not only much valuable time, but all the money he could possibly borrow; but, after all, the thing ends in disaster—the cards don’t sell. Desperation seizes upon him. Like Arnold, he now throws his eye over to the other camp, and thinks what might be done in the way of a reward. He consoles himself with the reflection that he will, at least, be upon the side of virtue: “I will tell the public that my only motive is to benefit the rising generation, (a profitable thought with Mr. Green, ’the rising generation’); but in order to begin right, I will publish to the world a full history of my life, in which it will devolve upon me to make a confession of my sins. All, I will disclose to the world; but as to that ponderous machinery at Mr. Ball’s in New York—I rather think I will skip that.”
Now when poverty pinched the prodigal son, as it did Mr. Green in New York, what was the language of that truly penitent. Alluding to his old father, he says: “I will go and tell all I ever done, &c.” But when Mr. Green resolves to put on a mask of penitence, what is his course? I will go and tell those good ministers of the gospel, and others, half I ever done, &c., and then take good care to run my hand as deep into their purses as possible.
Now in Mr. Green’s crusade against gambling and gamblers, if he had shown signs of purity of motive, and had not wantonly and knowingly misrepresented the men, and disguised the facts in regard to the profession, I would be the last man living to impugn him. But the motive, I consider, was corrupt—’twas spoils;—and in the mode of attack, the established principle in morals has not been regarded, which is, that the means in the accomplishment of any public good must always be as honest as the ends; and for these reasons I do feel sanguine in the belief, when the trial comes off at the Chinese Museum next week, that if I do not get the verdict, I shall do more—I shall deserve it.
Yours, &c. J.G. FREEMAN.
N.B.—If the gentlemen, editors generally, of this city, will give the above communication a place in their columns, with such comments as they may think fit to make, they will confer a favour upon one of the proscribed, but one who suffers no man to stand in front of him as a lover of truth.
Communicated for the Sun.
Messrs. Barrett & Jones:—I had supposed that my consent to Mr. Freeman’s request to be heard in defence of his fraternity, had fixed that issue. I did not intend by the announcement of my lecturing on the evenings alluded to by Mr. F., that they were to be any thing more than a fair discussion of the character and tendencies of gambling, if Mr. F. should think proper to participate. I wish it now to be so understood. I want a committee of gentlemen to arrange this matter. But why Mr. F. should suppose that he should have half the proceeds of the meeting, I am unable to conjecture. He seeks an opportunity to defend his business against attacks which it seems has excited no small share of alarm on his part, or those whom he represents, and yet he demands remuneration! The fraternity must be in a rather forlorn condition at present, if they are unable to pay their attorney, in so philanthropic a cause. When we consider the source, this demand sits with ill grace upon such a champion. I have laboured now for four years, having commenced my reform without a dollar, to expose this damnable vice. If I am not supported by the public which my labours are designed to benefit, those labours must necessarily cease.
Were Mr. F. similarly engaged, I would share with him not only the profits of my meetings, but my heart’s best feelings also.
I shall be very happy if I am met, as I was led to believe, am no speaker, but somewhat skilful with cards, and their use by me before an intelligent audience is my argument; I want no better for my purpose.
J. H. GREEN.
Messrs. Editors:—It appears from Mr. Green’s last communication that he and I are at issue in regard to the preliminary arrangements of the debate that is to come off next week, upon the gambling question. He thinks that he ought to have all the proceeds of the meeting; and I think it should be equally divided, or else given to some charitable institution, or else have it free. Mr. Green’s argument for supposing that he should have all, is, that because he has been labouring four years, he ought to be rewarded: and in rather a threatening tone gives the public to understand that if they do not reward him he will quit. “If I am not,” he says, “supported by the public, which my labours are designed to benefit, those labours must necessarily cease.” Now, my argument for supposing that the proceeds should be equally divided is, that I claim to be the real reformer; that it will be seen by those who may attend the discussion, that it is I that am the true moralist—I shall go with the New Testament in one hand, and Dr. Paley’s Moral Philosophy in the other, and upon that battery, and no other, will I plant my artillery. He that is green enough to suppose that I am green-horn enough to get up before a large audience, in the enlightened city of Philadelphia, to defend an absurdity, must be verdant indeed I go not to defend gamblers, but to defend truth, and to show that Mr. Green, like a corrupt witness, in his eagerness to procure a verdict for his party, goes beyond the facts; and that too when there is no necessity for it, for the gambler has real sins enough without heaping others upon him which he never committed. Now then, to end all this difficulty at a blow, I make to Mr. Green the proposition—That the honourable Mayor of the city, if he will do it, be the person to appoint the committee that is to conduct the debate, and to the decision of the committee, as to the funds, will I cordially submit, but not to Mr. Green’s ipse dixit. And here I will further suggest, that the committee be composed wholly of lawyers. This will be proper, because it is a question of law that is to be discussed; and further, it is presumed that they understand better than any other class of men what is called parliamentary usage.
Should this proposition not be acceded to, which I know is fair, my course will be to debate the question on “my own hook,” and in that case take all the money and give Mr. Green not a dollar of it, but invite him to come to my quarters, and defend himself, for I shall certainly be down upon him—and so let him go to his house the next night and take what may be offered at his door, and allow me to answer him in what he may have to say.
When Mr. Green, in his acceptance of my challenge, would call the debate a lecture, I saw that old habits, that of cheating, had not yet left him. Why it looks as though he has the unblushing impudence to attempt to turn a Jack from the bottom, upon me, in the very blaze of day, the very first deal; but the gentleman ought to know that he is now in contact with one who knows how little things are done. Yes, he would have it that the debate was a lecture, and Mr. Green’s lecture, not mine, and why? Why because if it be his lecture, all the cash would, as a matter of course, be his. Also, is this not, I ask, the trick of a perfect black-leg?
First Night, from the Times.
On Monday evening, at the Lecture-room of the Chinese Museum, the debate between Mr. Green, the Reformed gambler, and Mr. J.G. Freeman of the opposite side took place, in the presence of a very large and highly respectable audience, partly composed of ladies.
Dr. Elder, at the appointed time, announced that the disputants were upon the ground, and prepared to enter into the discussion of the subject of gambling. He then introduced Mr. Freeman to the meeting.
Mr. F. said his antagonist and himself had settled the preliminaries, and in regard to the proceeds of the debates, it had been agreed that Mr. Green should receive those of the two first meetings, and that Mr. Freeman should receive the returns of the third meeting, provided, on motion, a large majority of those present were in favour of it.
He would not attempt to disguise his real feelings from his hearers, and the gratification he experienced in having the opportunity of speaking, for once in his life, to an audience composed of men of intelligence and integrity. He well knew the difficulties under which he laboured, being unused to speaking in public, and surrounded as he was in the community by the reverend gentlemen and the press, who were avowedly opposed to him, and who had thrown their bomb-shells and Congreve rockets liberally at the gambling fraternity, without mercy, but he regarded these weapons as harmless, for they had fallen at his feet without inflicting a single wound.
Mr. F. then turned to the consideration of the laws making gambling a penal offence, and particularly referred to the act of Assembly passed by the last legislature, which he denounced as unjust and impolitic. He did not appear for the purpose of defending gambling, but to speak a word in favour of those who had been represented to be the worst members of society, and against whom the voice of proscription had been raised. He contended that a man had a constitutional right to do what he pleased with that which was legally his own property, and all laws passed to abridge that right ought to receive public reprehension.
He was at a loss to understand why Mr. Green should have taken so active a part in the passage of the law at Harrisburg. It had been said that gambling must be checked, and in order to put it down, you must make it a penitentiary offence. He regarded this as an egregious error. Gambling, he was convinced, ought to be treated in the same manner as Intemperance—by moral suasion—and not by passing a law that puts a man in the penitentiary for exercising a legal right. But there were fewer gamblers than drunkards, and the former had no influence at the ballot-box.
He denied the statements of Mr. Green, that young men had been enticed to gambling-houses. They invariably went there of their own accord, and he related instances in which the relatives and friends of young men were called upon by gamblers, to exercise proper authority in restraining them from visiting such places.
He alluded to the excessive penalty attached to the law, and argued that it would never be enforced, there being no inducement for the police to detect the offenders; and that from the face of the law is shown, that it was not made for the punishment of wealthy gamblers, but the poor itinerant wretches who had no local habitation. These being birds of passage, he questioned whether they would remain long enough in one place to be caught, while the rich operator and speculator would be permitted to go on unmolested, in his gilded career of depredations upon his fellow man.
Mr. Green then arose and expressed his surprise that any individual could have the effrontery to stand up before an intelligent body of citizens, a part of that constituency, from whom the legislature of the state had derived its authority, and denounce a law which had not only been passed with entire unanimity of the members of that body, but which had met with general favour from the people. He then referred to the act of Assembly, and made some explanatory remarks upon it. He ably defended the law from the remarks of his opponent, in regard to its vagueness and insufficiency. On the whole, he regarded it as a good one. It could be effectively put in force, and was calculated to crush the evil of gambling.
He said he had no wish to conceal from the people his former habits and mode of getting a livelihood, but on the contrary, had repeatedly, in public, represented himself as being a wary gambler, and acknowledged that he had done, perhaps, as much with cards in a professional way as any man claiming the same amount of information in regard to them.
He then passed to a review of the terrible consequences of gambling, and showed that those who became addicted to it, acquired a passion for play, that predominated over every other feeling, and closed up the springs of affection and sympathy in the human heart.
These facts he forcibly and eloquently illustrated by relating some painful occurrence, which came under his observation. On one occasion he was playing with a party, one of whom was losing his money very rapidly. In the height of a game, his family physician entered the room, and saying that it was with much difficulty that he found his whereabouts, informed him that his daughter had been seized with extreme illness. The gambler replied, that he would return to his home very soon.
The doctor left, but not long after returned with the gambler’s wife, who implored him to come home, as the girl was dying. He desired the doctor to lead his wife from the room, with the solemn promise to follow them; which promise he seemed to have forgotten the next instant, so deeply was he interested in the play, and he remained at the gaming-table. In a little while after, the doctor returned and told him his daughter was dead. For the moment, he appeared to be greatly affected, but he still sat at the faro table of that h——l, and when he arose from it he was a ruined man.
The man has since reformed, and Mr. Green said that when he last saw him, in Baltimore, he attempted to describe the feelings which rent his breast, after he had realized the sad events of that night. His first desire was to commit suicide, but the hand of Providence stayed his arm, and by His interposition he was enabled to turn from the vice, and shun the society of those who practise it.
Mr. Green re-asserted that all he had stated about plans being laid to catch the unwary, by gamblers, was strictly true. He had been cognisant of plottings of the fraternity, and in speaking of some individual who was about to be plucked, the common expression among them was, “that he was not ripe yet.” The remarks of Mr Green were listened to with great attention by the audience.
Mr. Freeman followed, and after briefly replying to the points of the previous speaker, said that it was his intention, at the next meeting, to prove that all species of speculation is, properly speaking, gambling.
The Rev. John Chambers concluded. He confessed his disappointment. He expected to find a man here who would attempt to defend gambling, but he congratulated the audience that no such thing had been attempted, Mr. Freeman having acknowledged gambling to be an evil.
The Reverend gentleman’s remarks were of a general character, and in the course of their delivery he upheld the law of the state, and unsparingly denounced those for whose detection and punishment it was passed.
First Night, from the Saturday Evening Post.
The discussion on gambling, between Mr. Green the Reformed gambler, and Mr. Freeman, of the “Profession,” which has been looked forward to with so much interest, opened upon Monday evening. The audience generally, however, were rather disappointed, inasmuch as Mr. Freeman stated that he did not come there to defend gambling, but only to prove the folly and injustice of attempting to put it down by making its practice, by professional gamblers, an offence punishable by imprisonment in the penitentiary. But although Mr. Freeman made this avowal, he evidently did attempt in various parts of the discussion to defend gambling—not, however, as a thing good in itself, but as being no worse than many other practices which society tolerates, and which no man loses his reputation, or is in danger of imprisonment, for engaging in.
We have no scruple in confessing, that we were much interested in Mr. Freeman. He appears to be one of a singular class of men, some one of whom may be found in nearly every pursuit, however dishonourable—men of keen and subtle minds, and of as much goodness and honesty of purpose as is possible in the life which they have chosen, or into which perhaps they have been in a degree forced. In the course of his remarks, he made one allusion to his own history, which while it told as much as any thing that was said in the course of the debate against gambling, opened unto us, in a degree, the secret of his present position. He said that when he was a young man, he had lost his all at the gaming table, and that from that blow he had never recovered—“it had broken his heart.” And yet, strange anomaly, he now not only makes his living by gambling, but stands up before the world as its defender.
But let us look a little further into Mr. Freeman’s arguments. He did not state them very plainly, being evidently unaccustomed to public speaking, and, as the English say, to “thinking on his legs,” but if we are not mistaken, he reasons to his own heart as follows. Gambling in cards is not right abstractly, but it is the same in principle as gambling in stocks, in breadstuffs, in merchandise, in land, or in any thing else. None of these are right, but they are necessary fruits of the folly and wickedness of men, and inevitable in the present condition of society. “I make my living, I know,” he probably says, “from the weakness and wickedness of my fellow men; but so do the physician, the judge, the lawyer, the jailer, and the hangman.” If we are not mistaken, in this way does Mr. Freeman make out a clear case to his own conscience; and to some small extent he is right in what he asserts. To gamble with cards is the same principle as to gamble with stocks, or any thing else—the difference is only one of degree; but although the gambler and the judge both live, in a certain sense, off of the vices of their fellow men, the difference is very evident between him whose business conduces to increase those vices, and his whose noble office it is to lessen them.
But Mr. Freeman complains that, while the gambler with cards is proscribed by society, and branded with all marks of shame, and laws passed to imprison him if found practising his art, the gambler in stocks is neither reviled nor imprisoned. At the rank injustice, as he, in our opinion, honestly believes it, of this course on the part of society, he can hardly contain his indignation. Those “uncouth gestures,” as one of our contemporaries designates them, were not in our opinion intended for effect, but were the natural language of uncontrollable indignation at what he believes to be the rank in justice of society, which he could not adequately express in words. The audience laughed, but the speaker was far from laughing—a perfect tempest of conflicting emotions, it seemed to us, was agitating his bosom. Strange as it may sound to our readers, he evidently thought that his cause was just, and wanted to make it appear so, not to the gamblers and their friends, hundreds of whom were present, and ready at any moment with their applause, but to the crowd of intelligent, virtuous men and women, in whose audience he stood. We saw the breaking out of this feeling in the half-contemptuous manner in which he alluded to the tastes of gamblers in general, as contrasted with his own—“he did not keep the company of gamblers; he had nothing to say against them, but his tastes were different.”
But is it unjust to punish the gambler with cards by imprisonment and public proscription, while the gambler in stocks, &c., whose crime is the same in principle, though not in degree, goes unwhipt of justice? Undoubtedly it is, for it is no reason that one vice should go unpunished, because another is able to escape for the present. Mr. Freeman’s argument is very good, so far as it applies to inflicting upon the gambler in stocks the same penalty as on himself; but the law of Progress, and the best interests of society, demand that these things should never be allowed to work backwards. For the way society advances, is simply this—the worst manifestations of vice are first proscribed, and then their proscription is made a stepping-stone to demolish others. For instance—we attack gambling with cards, the worst manifestation of the gambling principle; we make it abhorrent to the moral sense of the world; we so confound it, and justly too, with robbery, that future generations shall grow up in that faith, and all the efforts of interested sophistry never be able henceforward to separate them to the popular apprehension. Having done this, in the course of some fifty or one hundred years, certain dealings in stocks, for instance, are called in question. If they can be proved to be rightly described by the phrase “GAMBLING in Stocks,” the battle is half-won. For the proscription of the worst kind of gambling has given a vantage ground from which to attack the principle of gambling wherever found. And this, we say, is the only law of progress.
Another ground taken by Mr. Freeman was, that “a man has a right to do what he chooses with his own, if in so doing he does not injure anybody else.” In a limited sense, this is true, doubtless—but he does injure somebody else if he fails to perform his duties to his family or to his country. For instance, he has no right to commit suicide. But gambling cannot be done without injuring somebody else, as it takes two to play at it—leaving out of view the injury done to society at large, as Mr. Green has shown in his various works on the subject. But there is no necessity in dwelling upon this point—it cannot be defended for a moment.
As to Mr. Green’s part in the discussion, it is not necessary to say much. He has our confidence and sympathy. We consider his present course a most noble one, and wish him all success in his efforts to overthrow the abominable vice from whose clutches he has come forth a reformed man.
We have taken up considerable room with this subject, because we feel great interest in both parties engaged in the discussion. Did Mr. Freeman appear to be only a bold, bad man, we should hardly have wasted a single paragraph upon him or his arguments. But he is evidently a man of considerable information and talent, and to all appearance, strange as it may sound, of much sincerity and cross-grained honesty. That he may be led to forsake his present pursuits, before his gray hairs shall have gone down to a dishonoured grave, is our fervent wish and prayer.
From Scott’s Weekly.
The interesting question between Mr. J. H. Green, the Reformed Gambler, and Mr. J.G. Freeman, as to the rights of gambling, was discussed in the Lecture-room of the Museum Building, on Monday evening last. A large audience attended, and notwithstanding the zeal of Mr. Freeman more than once carried him a little beyond the limits of propriety, the whole passed off pleasantly.
The announcement in the papers was not adhered to, which created some dissatisfaction; but then the speeches of Mr. Freeman were of themselves well worth the price of admission. He did not defend gambling—he could not, he said, pretend to defend it—he only meant to deny the sweeping aspersions of its foes. He spoke at great length, and sometimes his logic was quite ingenious.
Mr. Green confined himself to a few facts, leaving the more minute part of the discussion for a subsequent evening.
The Rev. John Chambers closed the proceedings by a few timely remarks, in which he reviewed what he considered lawful and unlawful pursuits—among these latter, he hoped to see the time that every vender of intoxicating liquors would be placed in the same catalogue that gamblers are by the recent law—imprisonment. He then referred to the decorum of the audience, and expressed a hope that all the future discussions would be listened to in the same spirit—that all the truth possible may be elicited in reference to that terrible vice—gambling.
From the Inquirer.
The long-talked-of debate upon gambling and its tendencies, was commenced last evening in the Lecture-room of the Chinese Museum. The audience was large, and deep interest was manifested in the discussion. Aboard of highly respectable gentlemen presided as Moderators, and Dr. Elder officiated as chairman.
Mr. Freeman, the challenger, opened the debate, and proposed that the question be met in a categorical form, thus:—Were the laws of the different states which make gambling a Penitentiary offence unjust and impolitic? Were they formed in good policy or not?
Mr. Freeman considered himself as honoured in being permitted to speak before the meeting on the question. Fearful odds were against him; all the ranks of battle were on the other side. The clergy, who were accustomed to public speaking, were against him—as well as the editors and the press. In the war now raging, the climate—the sickly climate, was more dangerous than the shells and shot of the enemy—and in this case, the sickly climate was the prejudice, the prejudice of opinion, which was against the cause he espoused, or rather defended. Mr. F. also referred to other influences against him. Mr. F. contended that even, if the states in which such laws were passed, disliked the vice of gambling—it was no reason why they should pass laws that were unjust and impolitic.
Mr. F. contended, in opposition to such laws, that a man had a perfect right to do what he pleased with his own things. Any legislation to the contrary was tyranny. More mischief and immorality would result from such laws than from the vice itself—for it was a violation of one of the rights of man on the mere score of expediency. He contended, therefore, that men had a perfect right to do what they pleased with their own things, so long as they did not interfere with the rights of others. A drunkard could not drink without disturbing other people—why not make his a Penitentiary offence? Yet a gambler was considered a Penitentiary offender, though he did not interfere with the rights of others.
What were speculators in railroads, &c. &c.?—Why many of them gamblers on the largest scale!
In noticing the temptations of gambling, Mr. F. said that he and other gamblers had often warned youths against entering upon that dangerous course, and had thus saved them from ruin.
Mr. F. argued against the law recently enacted at Harrisburg against gambling, on the ground that it was partial and unjust.
One of the strangest things was, that a man who had been imprisoned, had been an outcast himself, should be the first to betray, and to place others in the same situation, and send them to the Penitentiary. Yet such was the case with the gentleman who had come from Ohio to Harrisburg to assist in obtaining the passage of the law against gambling.
Mr. Green replied, and defended the law in question, as it was passed in Pennsylvania; and read a section, in which gamblers, without a fixed residence, were, upon conviction, to be imprisoned, &c.; and Mr. G. said that although no games were mentioned, yet all gambling games were included. Mr. G. admitted that he had been a gambler for many years, and had done much evil to the community—as much as most evil men—but he was now, he hoped, reformed. Mr. G. then contended that several gambling-houses and tables had been closed under this law—and surely this was a great advantage to the public—surely such closing of gaming-houses had saved many persons from ruin.
Mr. Green gave much experience of his gambling life, and contended that principles of honour were not common among gamblers. Gambling was a principle of robbery—of robbery from beginning to end. If gambling was right—why, Mr. Green would ask—did the former speaker persuade young men not to come into gambling-houses? Mr. Green described a splendid gambling-house in Calvert street, Baltimore, and the snares of robbery laid for the unwary—and the method adopted to entrap a rich and unwary citizen. The revelations were truly startling, and displayed a painful instance of the "facilis descensus averni"—a father whose feelings were blunted, and hardly to be re-awakened even by the death of a beloved daughter. And this was but one instance out of thousands, in which the sum of $1200, $1500, and $2000 had been lost at various times, and a fatal, fascinating infatuation contracted.
Mr. Freeman resumed, and again contended for the right of any man to gamble—that he had a right to do what he would with his own—and that a law was unfair which punished this one vice, and let other and greater vices alone. It was cowardly legislation. A gambler was said to have no home, and would not be missed, if he were sent to prison; but send a man of property, of standing to prison for some one of his vices, and there would soon be a fuss in the wigwam. Mr. F. was very severe upon the great body of editors, for following servilely public opinion, without courage or independence to express a manly opinion of their own.
Mr. F. said that all ministers were not good men—there were a few exceptions—neither should all gamblers, in fairness, be considered as scoundrels. He, Mr. F. as a gambler, never would admit his inferiority to those individuals who, without labour, gained money and circumvented others by extensive and fraudulent schemes of speculation.
The Rev. John Chambers summed up with great eloquence and ability, and said that he was disappointed—he had expected a defence and vindication of gambling as an honourable profession—but he was glad to find that the gentleman who had spoken, Mr. Freeman, had not even attempted to advocate gambling as truthful or honest.
Mr. Chambers considered all dealing fair, in which a man received a quid pro quo—but whether a man cheat at cards or in the sale of a bale of dry goods, he was equally a scoundrel. If Mr. Freeman would make it appear that gambling was a fair business, he (Mr. C.) would not wish it to be a Penitentiary offence; but if gambling was, as Mr. Green had shown, a system of robbery—why then, it ought to be a Penitentiary offence. Mr. C. said that Mr. Freeman had behaved honourably—for he had said to young men—“Do not come into this place!” And why? Because it was the road to ruin.
Mr. C. regretted that Mr. Freeman should have made several scriptural allusions. No virtuous man would ever support gambling—for it gave no equivalent either in money or reputation for the losses sustained. As such was the case, gambling should be a Penitentiary offence—but if Mr. Freeman could prove that it was an upright and honourable calling, why then, perhaps, he might induce us to apprentice our children to it.
After Mr. Green had spoken for a few minutes, the debate was adjourned to Thursday evening next.
From the Evening Bulletin.
The great discussion on the subject of gambling came off last night at the Chinese Museum, between Mr. Green, the celebrated Reformed Gambler, and Mr. Freeman, the individual who acknowledges himself one of the “sporting” band. The audience was very large and respectable. A board of worthy gentlemen were appointed a governing committee, of which Dr. Elder acted as chairman. The whole proceedings were marked with the greatest decorum.
Mr. Freeman spoke first. He is a man somewhat advanced in years, and possesses abilities, which we could wish were better applied than in the defence, or even palliation, of such a corrupting habit as gambling. He directed his batteries mainly against the late gambling laws in this state.
He did not like the application to professional and not private gambling. He denounced editors and ministers by wholesale; in regard to the former, declaring that there was only one in the country who was really independent, and that one, Bennett of the New York Herald! He quoted Scripture, but that is not surprising, for we are told by the poet, “the devil may cite Scripture.” His manner was violent, and his allusions to his opponent, Mr. Green, the very essence of bitterness. He tried to slide his repugnance to that gentleman into the small corner of contempt; but the whole audience could see that he, in reality, entertained no such trifling feelings towards his opponent.
Mr. Green spoke in reply to Freeman, not only like a gentleman, but like a Christian. He treated the sneers of his opponent with kindness, seeming to be sorry, if one might judge from his manner, that he should have boldly placed himself in the point which he occupies before the community. There was a plain, straightforward honesty, as well as a gentleness in the tone and manner of Green, which, though he did not indulge in such a flow of language as his opponent, spoke volumes in favour of his sincerity, and won for him new friends and admirers. His opponent had intimated both by word and act, that he was not to be trusted; he did not seem to feel it necessary to go into a defence of his motives in reply, but appeared to say, “Here I am,—I come to denounce a habit of pestiferous corrupting influence, of which I have practical knowledge; I will stand or fall by the position which I have taken,—leaving the future to show the world whether or not I am honest.” Freeman spoke again after Green concluded, and very much in the same style as in the early part of the evening.
After he had concluded, the Rev. John Chambers made an address, which was marked with strong argument and a fine Christian-like tone. Mr. Green then said a few words, and the meeting adjourned to Thursday evening, at the same place, when the discussion is to be resumed. There doubtless will be a large attendance. No subject could be more interesting to the public, and the agitation of none can exercise a better moral influence.
From the North American.
A good-humoured illustration of the right of every one to say what he pleases, took place at the Lecture-room of the Museum last evening. Mr. Freeman, an uncouth man, who gesticulates as if he was mending shoes, but who has naturally no inconsiderable endowment of brain and nerve, delivered himself of a tirade against everybody in general, and against the press and clergy in particular. He complained that everybody was against him—compared the clergy to Gen. Scott and his regulars; the editors to bomb-shells and Congreve rockets, and what else we know not; himself individually to Gen. Taylor, and the race of the poor persecuted gamblers to our Saviour—who, he said, like them, had not where to lay his head!
The impious jumble of fustian and blasphemy was accompanied in the delivery by every species of grimace and buffoonery, and a fierceness of dramatic action and posture far more ludicrously affecting than the classic attitudes of Gen. Tom Thumb, who was defying the lightning, as Ajax, dying like the Gladiator, and taking snuff like Napoleon, in the room overhead. At the bottom of all this ridiculous exhibition, which drew repeated shouts of laughter from the very large and respectable audience, lay two principles upon which Mr. Freeman might have erected an imposing argumentative structure. These were, that every man has a right to do what he pleases with his own, so that he does not disturb others; and that laws punishing professional gamblers and letting citizens go free, are unjust.
Mr. Green, without going into the metaphysics of the question, showed by some very plain and straightforward remarks the fraud and villany of professional gambling, and proved that it was throughout a system of deliberate robbery. This being the case, it follows, of course, that the general good of the community, which has ever been acknowledged paramount, requires it to be put down. Thus satisfactorily stood the question when we left, and we do not see how it can fairly be removed from this broad ground. It is evident that Mr. Green is a sincere man, and we firmly believe that he is engaged in a good work.
From the Inquirer.
The discussion between Mr. Green, the Reformed gambler, and Mr. Freeman in opposition, was continued yesterday evening, in the Lecture-room of the Chinese Museum, Leonard Jewell, Esq. in the chair.
Mr. Freeman contended that not one of his arguments, on the previous evening, had been answered by Mr. Green, but anecdotes and doleful stories had been told instead. Mr. F. defended his allusions from Scripture, and said that they had been misconstrued; that he only meant to say that the Saviour of mankind had recommended us to do good, and to return good for evil; but some of the clergy had not followed the golden rule in this matter, for punishment and the Penitentiary had been recommended by them as a cure for gambling. As it was known that he (the speaker) played, he came only to defend gambling as far as truth went, but no farther—there he would stop.
Mr. Freeman complained that Mr. Green had classed all gamblers as men of the worst character—as if they were thieves or counterfeiters, whereas Mr. G. knew that he could mention many who were incapable of doing any thing mean—men who would denounce a counterfeiter as soon as any one in that room. Mr. Freeman related a story of a fraudulent trick, by which a large sum of money had been fraudulently obtained, and its recovery prevented by force—one individual, who was named, menacing with a bowie-knife; and Mr. F. said of the getter-up of the plan—pointing to Mr. Green—“as Nathan said unto David, there sits the man!”
Mr. Green admitted that it might be so—that it was so.
Mr. Freeman said that he knew Mr. Green’s friends had a reply to cover all such things—because he was a reformed man—Mr. F. hoped it was so, but he really had some little doubt.
Mr. F. distinguished between deep play, which he likened to the strategie of generals in the field, the one to mislead the other, and open, undisguised cheating, which he denounced. Mr. F. referred to several distinguished men who gambled—and to several well-known gamblers—and he defied Mr. Green to say that any one he had named would or could be guilty of a mean action.
There was in the world a certain amount of wealth—the many of mankind were (the industrious) producers—but he held that all men, speculators, who circumvented others by their wits, living without work, were in point of fact—gamblers. If a man were to go into the street and gain $3000 in a morning by a stock or other speculation—why, as surely as we lived, somebody lost that money—aye, and by gambling on the largest scale. Men who lost their money at a gaming-table went there to win money of the gamblers—but generally lost their own. Their object was to put the gambler’s money in their own pockets; and when they were disappointed, they exclaimed against gamblers. Gamblers lived on the depravity of men; if men were not depraved, gamblers would have no chance; but they were encouraged by the depravity of others. Mr. F. condemned and would punish cheating, whether by gamblers or other speculators.
Mr. Green did not wish to say any thing personally against any of the men or gamblers who had been named by Mr. F. Some were benevolent men—but one or two he had named were men without heart. He (Mr. G.) knew several gamblers, amateurs and professional men, who were straightforward in their gambling transactions. He did not desire to hurt the feelings of any of these individuals—he attacked not men but vice—and he contended that gambling was a system of robbery, from beginning to end. That it was that he contended for—and that, he hoped, he had already shown. Mr. Green admitted that Mr. Freeman’s story of the scheme gotten up, bowie-knife, &c., was in the main correct. If meeting contracts was honest—why then, many gamblers might be called honest. He did not mean to say that such HONEST gamblers would put their hands in a man’s pocket and steal money—no—they would not do that.
But he would say what they would do;—they would sit up all night, have suppers, wine and spirits set out to tempt men, and they would play with any that came; and though some such customers were known or suspected to have obtained the money they played with by robbery, yet he never knew that the gamblers had ever refused to allow such men to play, so long as they had money. Mr. Green described several snares that were practised by gamblers, particularly one at New Orleans, called the “broker.” He hoped some of the gamblers of this city would reform as soon as the new law went into effect. He had already heard of some having turned collectors, policemen, &c.—but he doubted their reform if they were turned over to the police—for though there were some very good policemen in this city, he could confidently say also there were some spotted ones.
Mr. Green considered the bowling-alleys and billiard rooms as the very bane of the city—leading men on step by step to the vices of gambling and drunkenness. Mr. Green stated that he had never met with a gambler in his life, who played honestly, and got his living by playing cards honestly—for all he had ever known would take advantage, sometimes—which perhaps the world might call cheating. Mr. Green practically illustrated with a pack of cards the modes of taking advantage, (cheating in plain English,) that were truly surprising. Mr. G. said that such things were done by gamblers, called honourable, and if any one had charged such men with dishonesty, why a duel, or worse, might have been the consequence.
On one occasion, he (Mr. Green) had been cheated out of several hundred dollars by a brother gambler. He knew it, but lost his money and said nothing—at length, he found out the method of cheating—and went home and set up all night by way of studying a cheat that would recover his money and more. He succeeded at last, and went and won all the money of his antagonist and party—in fact, he won enough to break the whole party. Mr. Green then showed by cards how he had been engaged in winning (by tricks) money from a planter in Louisiana.
Mr. Freeman replied, and contended that Mr. Green had referred to only a few mean gamblers—and by his inference charged their practices upon the whole body. But our limited space warns us to be brief. Mr. Freeman only contended that a gambler was honest in a relative point of view—as honest as other men who in trade or otherwise, or in speculation, did things as bad or worse than gamblers. Mr. F. related anecdotes to show that persons charged with faults and crimes were almost always condemned by public opinion, and their faults and crimes exaggerated. Mr. F. stated that in former times, the keepers of gaming-houses in New Orleans paid heavy licenses, and were subject to ruinous fines if they cheated in the smallest degree.
Mr. F. contended that cheating at cards was decidedly a disadvantage to the gambler—because, if he lost his character as a fair man, people would not play with him, and so cheating was to him a loss: on the principle of a man in England, who said he would give a hundred thousand dollars for a character. “Why?” asked his friends. “Because,” replied the first, “because I could gain two hundred thousand dollars by it!”
Mr. F. introduced several anecdotes. Mr. F. had heard several sensible men in New Orleans say, that if gaming-houses there were licensed, there would be little or no cheating, because those houses would be under the police, and people could not then do as they now do in holes and corners. On the principle of “Vice is a creature of such hateful mien,” &c. &c., Mr. F. thought that Mr. Green, by showing and explaining some of his tricks, would be likely to tempt some persons to practise such tricks, if they wanted a little money; and on this point he would quote Scripture, and say—“Lead us not into temptation!”
Mr. Freeman exhibited a capital trick on the cards, quite equal to some of Mr. Green’s. But, said Mr. F., all such things were nothing—for, in gambling, playing on the square with fairness is the best policy. [Mr. Green admitted Mr. Freeman’s trick to be very superior—and it was at length understood that at the next meeting (on Saturday night) several of these mysteries would be shown on both sides.]
Mr. Green declared that he could show the principle of gambling to be a hundred per cent. worse than stealing.
The debate was listened to with much interest, and we learn that it will be closed to-morrow (Saturday) evening.
From the Evening Bulletin.
Messrs. Green and Freeman renewed their discussion last night, at the Chinese Museum, in the presence of a crowded audience, Leonard Jewell, Esq. in the chair. Mr. Freeman spoke first, and very modestly contended that none of his arguments of the previous evening had been answered by his opponent, but that, instead of this, painful anecdotes and stories had been told. He had quoted Scripture only to show that making stringent laws to punish gambling was contrary to the spirit of our Saviour’s teaching, viz. to return good for evil. This argument, will, of course, apply to all laws for the punishment of crime. Freeman went on to except to Green’s wholesale denunciations of all gamblers; it was well known that some were honourable men. There were a few bad ones, his opponent knew, and one, in particular, who on a certain occasion drew a bowie-knife to prevent a sum of money, fraudulently obtained, being returned to its proper owner. Green acknowledged that he was the man to whom Freeman alluded. He would not deny that he had been as guilty as the guiltiest.
Freeman continued by saying that he supposed his opponent would get over this by saying he had reformed. Green looked assent.
Freeman justified gambling by business operations, which were the result of chance, such as stock-jobbing; but we confess we cannot see where the parallel begins, the one being a clear matter of chance on both sides, the other, if Green’s stories be true, which we firmly believe, all on the side of the gambler, who cheats from the beginning to the ending of his playing, what with tricks of the trade, marked cards, &c. Freeman took the ground that gamblers were honest, and thus made out a better case than the facts will sustain.
Mr. Green’s reply was quiet and unaffected. He knew some gamblers who were straightforward and honourable in their playing. But the majority of the profession were dishonest, and the community was demoralized and impoverished by them. He admitted the story about the bowie-knife. He had never been disposed to conceal any of his wicked acts while one of the profession. There was one point on which all gamblers were unprincipled; they would play and win money of men they knew were totally ignorant of the arts of card-playing. This was a fraud—it was dishonest; a strong argument against the whole band, good or bad.
Mr. Green denounced bowling-alleys and billiard saloons. He then exposed the tricks by which gamblers cheated, and in doing so interested the audience very much.
Freeman’s rejoinder was still to the end that some gamblers were honest and honourable. He knew that there were rogues among gamblers, who practised tricks, and he gave an excellent specimen of their adroitness, in a trick which Mr. Green acknowledged was a capital one.
The debate was listened to throughout with great attention. It will be resumed on Saturday evening.
From the Daily Sun.
On Saturday evening, the debate between Messrs. Green and Freeman, on the subject of gambling, was resumed, in the Lecture-room of the Museum building. There was a full audience in attendance, and towards the close of the debate, the proceedings became intensely interesting.
At the appointed hour, Dr. Elder, the moderator, made a few remarks, by way of opening the meeting, and introduced
Mr. Freeman, who, upon advancing to the table, said that he regarded it as complimentary indeed, that he was permitted to proceed with the discussion. Under all the circumstances, he considered it a great compliment, that a highly intelligent audience should listen to one of the proscribed fraternity. But friends, (said the speaker,) if the scene of the discussion lay farther South, in the region of the spot where he was born, he would not consider it so much of a compliment—he would not make such a concession, even from the great Harry of the West down to my fallen foe. In looking round the staging he observed new faces, and missed those who had previously occupied their places—he had heard those men had consulted their dignity, and any man (in the opinion of the speaker) who thinks more of his dignity than his duty is not fit to occupy the sacred desk. The arguments which he had brought forward on the previous occasions have not been answered. Mr. Green has not even attempted to do so, but he (the speaker) had found that a worthy gentleman had entered the field, though not verbally, and endeavoured to supply the place of his opponent. He would take the liberty to compliment him—the distinguished editor of the Post—though he did not know him, nor that such a paper as the Post was printed. That editor, like many others whose prejudices overbalance their reason, had misunderstood him. The speaker then indulged in a critique on the editorial, principally upon the ground which he had taken—that a man has a right to do with his own things what he pleases, provided, in so doing, he does not infringe upon the rights of others. On this point, it appeared that the editor thought and argued differently, and Mr. Freeman said, that in taking the above ground, he did not claim originality, for it is a principle of law, as laid down in Blackstone, Paley, and others—it is the language of great commentators, and upon it he would stand or fall, and leave the distinguished editor to battle with those men.
Some things, continued the speaker, may seem inconsistent at first, which, upon examination, are not inconsistent. A thing may be legally right and morally wrong, and whilst he could defend it legally, he could not morally. For instance, suppose a rich man had two sons, both of whom acted as sons should act, and the father in making out his will should devise his whole estate to one son, and cut the other off, as they say in England, with a shilling. Now, who would deny his right to do so if it pleased him; who would say that it is not legally right?—no one. But would it be morally right?—certainly not. What is morality?—love your God, your neighbour, and yourself. And though he could defend the will as legal, yet in a moral point of view he could condemn it as unnatural. The editor of the Post (said the speaker) confounds gambling with robbery, and what for?—that future generations may grow up in faith. It is, said he, a settled principle of morality never to hoist false colours, but to raise the standard of truth and defend it to the last. (Applause.)
He remembered an anecdote: a physician was sent to attend a poor sick boy, and when he arrived at the couch of pain and distress, he found it necessary to administer a pill—a very nauseous dose. Said the mother—“Doctor, it would be better to put a little sugar on it, and then he can take it, and not know it’s a pill.” “No, madam,” replied the doctor, “it won’t do to deceive him. Here, my son,” said the practitioner, “take this medicine and it will cure you,” and the little fellow swallowed it like a man. Thus it is with Mr. Green and the green editor; they associate the gambler, without distinction, with assassins and robbers. In doing so they are wrong; they do not speak the truth. The speaker then proceeded to show how a young man may often be lured into temptation—by representing gamblers as assassins, who, upon acquaintance, he finds are apparently gentlemen, and he is induced to think that he has been hitherto misled and deceived in regard to such men. He then cultivates their acquaintance, and finally, through his own depravity, he becomes worse and worse, until he is at last swallowed up in the vortex of degradation. This is the result of employing dishonourable measures to prevent him from visiting such places, or to carry out honourable ends.
A man has a right to commit suicide, so far as propriety is concerned. If he does not owe any thing, and feels it in his conscience that he would like to die, he has a right to do so—but if that man owes five dollars, he would certainly violate a moral principle by killing himself, because he ought to live as long as he can to pay his debt. The speaker once knew a man, in good circumstances, who was weary of existence, and feeling disposed to take a journey to “that bourne whence no traveller returns,” committed suicide. There may be many who would call it murder—but the community are murderers—they sometimes murder in cold blood. But lately a man was taken to the gallows, and they hung a young man because he had killed somebody else, and yet there are many persons who believe this is right, and that suicide, such as the speaker had selected, is wrong.
The speaker now proceeded to criticize the law relative to gambling, passed at the recent legislature, in which he said that if a man has a fixed place of residence and carries on a dry goods business, he might gamble as much as should please him and the law would not take hold of him. He would ask anybody to read the law understandingly and then deny this round assertion. This act, said he, is bugbear—it is a disgrace as it now stands, for it smacks of cowardice. The legislators, he presumed, had a little sense, and they knew that some kind of a law must be passed, and they were ingenious enough to know how to frame it to sound well, and yet be comparatively powerless. They knew by such a statute that nolle prosequis could be entered—and solicitors make more money—they well knew that there were many religious people among their constituents, and it would not do for them to act singular, or else they would find so short an account at the next ballot-box that they would not be sent back. He would spurn such legislators and keep them for ever in private life. (Applause.)
In conclusion, he said that he was decidedly an anti-gambler, and he did not defend the subject morally. In order that he might enlighten the people on the subject of gambling, he would give one lecture, in which he would relate his experience, and promised that it should be the richest and most interesting thing that could be listened to. He did not want money. He would only ask enough to pay expenses of the room—the ladies and the reverend clergy may come in gratis—all he wished was that the truth should be told about gambling.
Mr. Green now took the stand, and said that it appeared to him that there was something in the law which seemed to stick to his opponent, Mr. Freeman. He complains that the Jaw is dull—that it is trash—a bugbear, and heaps other similar epithets upon it, and yet he appears to make considerable noise about it, and why should he attempt to ridicule me, in connection with the law. Every man in this state knows that Mr. Green himself could not pass the law without the aid of the legislature. He (Mr. Freeman) goes on to take many other positions which he (the speaker) could not understand, and therefore would not further allude to them. He thought that if the young men were warned properly to keep aloof from the gambling shops, and they should heed the warning, they would escape a life of infamy. ’Tis true, a young man may go from the parlour to a gambling-place. He will first find the gamblers fascinating—rooms handsomely furnished—fine suppers given, and in fact, every temptation may be set out to catch the unwary novice. The gambler will tell him this reform is all priestcraft—you can see for yourself that we (gamblers) are not the assassins which we are represented to be—these reformers don’t speak the truth. The young man is blinded—he thinks he knows by this time all about the gamblers—but in fact he knows
Let me relate an instance which came under my immediate notice:—A young man in Baltimore, sometime after he had been ruined at a gambling hell, went there, but having no money, was not cared for by the gambler. He laid down on the floor in a corner of the room, night after night. One day, in particular, it was asked who he was. “Only a loafer,” replied the gambler. The young man was aroused from his stupor by the one with whom he had gambled and lost, and was told to go about his business. The young man replied, “Sir, you should be the last man to treat me so; it was with you I first played cards, it was under your roof where I tasted the first glass of wine;” and whilst thus expostulating, the gambler pushed him out, he reeled down the stairs, fractured his skull on the curb-stone and fell into the gutter. Mr. Green was present and saw this base transaction. He raised the young man from the gutter, gave him a handkerchief to wipe the blood from his forehead. The next day that young man was found dead under one of the wharves. Now he, Mr. Green, could not say that the gambler murdered him, but he was dead and held the handkerchief in his clenched fist. That young man had swallowed the wrong pill; why did not the gamblers tell him they were robbers and assassins, why did they not stick to the truth. They dare not do it, and he (Mr. Green) thought it his duty as a reformed man to speak truly and act honestly. The present law which so much troubles Mr. Freeman was passed with due deliberation unanimously, and when it goes into effect on the first of July he would not wonder if there should be a very great amount of trouble among more gamblers than Mr. Freeman. (Applause.)
Mr. Freeman. The gentleman wants to know, why this law grieves me so—why! because it is trash. He (the speaker) did not expect to live in Pennsylvania but a few days longer, as he intended going South, and if he should chance to come back again, and choose to play a game of cards, he did not wish to be placed on a par with incendiaries, robbers and murderers. All of you, no doubt, have heard of steamboat racing, boilers blowing up, &c.—everybody is up in arms about it, and cry aloud for a law to stop this abominable racing. Now he (the speaker) could make the round statement that there never has been one explosion of a boiler during the time of
Mr. Green (quickly.) Why is it so?—because the gamblers are eelish, and not because they don’t deserve the penitentiary; Mr. Freeman knows that. (Roars of laughter and continued applause.)
Mr. Elder. Ladies and gentlemen, it is now proposed that a vote be taken on the distribution of the proceeds of this evening. Mr. Green has had the receipts of the two previous evenings, and at the first meeting it was agreed to let the audience decide as to the third meeting.
Voice. Were not the lectures given by Mr. Green?
Many Voices. Question, question, question.
Voice. I demand an answer to my question, for I wish to vote understandingly.
Voices. Calling question from all parts of the room.
Another Voice. Mr. Speaker, I wish to know one thing. Mr. Green says, since his reformation, he has given back over twenty thousand dollars of property which he won when he was a gambler. Now I wish to know if he will give the proceeds of the night to the gamblers, if the question is decided in his favour.
Voices. Question, take the question; loud talking and grumbling.
First Voice. Suppose it is decided in favour of Mr. Freeman, I wish to know if the debate can be continued or not.
The question was now taken by rising, and silence being restored, the Moderator said—“It is the decision of the chair, that the proceeds belong to Mr. Freeman, by a very large majority.”
Voice. Sir, there is a mistake.
Moderator. Are there any gentlemen here who are dissatisfied with the decision?
Voice. I am.
Hon. Charles Gibbons, speaker of the Senate, proposed to take the question by voice. This was agreed upon.
Mr. Elder. All in favour of the proceeds being given to Mr. Freeman, say I. Here there was a tremendous response. The contrary opinion was then taken, and the chair decided that the I’s were in a large majority. (Great applause.)
Voice. Mr. President, I demand back my quarter dollar—I can’t pay money to go into the pockets of a gambler. (Hisses.)
Mr. Freeman. The gentleman can have his quarter back with pleasure. (Applause.)
The rest of the evening was consumed in the explanation of tricks of gamblers by Mr. Green, which was intensely interesting, and he was greeted with rounds of applause, as he successfully performed them.
From the City Bulletin.
A large audience assembled on Saturday night to listen to the last debate on gambling. Mr. Freeman opened the ball with a great deal of self-possession, and talked away in defence of a palpable wrong, with as much coolness and composure as if he was discussing the last news by the steamer. But his sophistry, as well as all the sneers and jeers of his brethren in the audience, which betrayed themselves when Green began to speak, could not keep the truth under. Before the evening closed, he had every thing his own way, and was complete master of the field. Freeman battled against the late law passed in this State—and contended that it was of no avail in crushing the evil of gambling. He added that if it was effective, it was effective against the wrong persons. He then slurred over his opponent’s position, charged him with insincerity, and denounced all his tales of horror. He incidentally, however, took occasion to say, that he could a tale unfold which would harrow up the soul, a tale of his own personal adventure, as a gambler, and he invited the audience to its recital to-morrow evening.
Mr. Green rose with the same pleasant smile which he always has worn during his debate with Freeman, and met his opponent’s positions, not with smooth, oily, plausible words, but in a plain spoken, substantial, truth-telling language. He reiterated all that he had charged against gambling at former meetings. He said gamblers were no better than thieves, that they cheated always when they could, and that they had every advantage over those who fell into their clutches.
The audience were now called upon to vote as to the disposal of the receipts at the door—Mr. Green having agreed that his opponent should have them, if it was so decided. The vote was taken, and by a large majority the receipts were awarded to Freeman.
The tricks now came on, Freeman having taken the ground that they could not be done without detection with any cards. He accordingly placed upon the table a pack of cards which he said he had purchased that evening. Mr. Green in taking the cards asked that a committee should be appointed to witness his tricks, and report to the assembly, but Freeman and his friends put in a decided objection to this. Green at once told the audience he would gratify them and perform the tricks openly. Here came his triumph, which was complete. He took the very cards which his opponent had bought, and with them showed conclusively, that all he had charged in relation to the expertness and skill of gamblers, and of course, their immense advantages over their opponents, was true.
Thus has ended a debate which, we do think, has been productive of good to the community, while it has vindicated most fully the position which Green takes in his work of reform. We have no sympathy for Freeman, while he maintains his present stand, though we freely confess he is a gentleman of ability, and that we should be most happy to see him a co-labourer with Green, in crushing the vice of gambling. He says he is broken down in health and spirits. We know of nothing which can restore the last, and make him bear the first with greater resignation, than retire to the path of virtue.
From the North American.
The gambling discussion between Messrs. Green and Freeman was closed on Saturday evening, before a very large and interested audience. After some speaking on either side, which was listened to with becoming patience and attention, the tricks—which were evidently the great point of interest—were in order, and Mr. Green proceeded to fulfil his promises to the letter. Mr. Freeman had brought a pack of cards of his own selection and preparation, and Mr. Green objected that this could hardly be considered fair, and said that he should prefer the appointment of a committee to provide cards, and superintend the experiments. Upon this Mr. Freeman commenced declaiming in a triumphant tone against his antagonist; but Mr. Green cut him short by stating that he was willing to proceed with the cards that Mr. Freeman had brought. Mr. Gibbons then took the pack and marked it with a pencil, so that he might be sure of recognising it. Mr. Green then took them from him, shuffled them a moment with his hands under the table, and showed them to Mr. Gibbons, who pronounced them the same he had marked. Mr. Green then dealt them in separate heaps, and Mr. Gibbons turned up the faces, and showed the audience that each of the thirteen heaps contained the four aces, four kings, four queens, and so on down to the four deuces. The cards were then shuffled, and Mr. Green ran them off, the backs being upward, so rapidly that the eye could scarcely follow the motion of his fingers—naming each card as he threw it off, and making but one mistake in the whole fifty-two cards. This extraordinary feat was received by the audience with acclamations, as being most convincing proof of the power of gamblers to perform the swindling deceptions with the cards, that Mr. Green has charged upon the nimble-fingered fraternity. The audience then good-naturedly voted Mr. Freeman the pecuniary proceeds of the evening, as a remuneration for the zeal he had displayed in a bad cause. The question was then put to the audience whether Mr. Green had satisfactorily performed all he had undertaken, and loudly answered in the affirmative.
From the United States Gazette.
The discussion on this important subject was continued and concluded, on Saturday evening, by Messrs. Green and Freeman.
A man who can for a few minutes interest an audience so much in favour of the vice of gambling, as to make them shut out its horrible deformity, must possess more than ordinary powers, and we question much whether, of the whole fraternity of gamblers, one could be found better adapted for the Herculean task which Mr. Freeman set himself. That which the mind is accustomed steadily to dwell upon, and upon which action is had repeatedly, will scarcely want for self-justification—and while the error of proceeding is reluctantly admitted, whatever may tend to justify, however slightly, is eagerly seized upon and proclaimed. There is scarcely an evil practice for which the doer may not raise up or create reasons in justification, and plausible arguments may be made to gloss over the most detestable and indefensible crimes.
A kind of Letheon is administered to the judgment by continual progression in some improper path, till that which is to all others palpably and painfully degrading becomes pleasant and eminently proper in him who labours under the mental oblivion. Such a course Mr. Freeman has trod, for while he admits that gambling is pernicious, he clamours for the natural right which all men possess, to do it so long as they do not meddle with others, and insists that it in no way gives occasion for the exercise of legal power by the fact that he has played at cards, and lost or won money. If it could be confined to individuals—if the penalty of the crime was visited only upon the doer—– if the moral and pecuniary destruction which gambling visits upon all who offer tribute at its altar, went no farther than him who made the offering, then Mr. Freeman would have a proper privilege, and would be right in saying that a man violated no law by the practice of the nefarious profession. But there are few, very few, we suppose, who are not connected by the ties of blood, the bonds of matrimony, or the relation of father to child, who are all affected by such degradation as the gambler visits upon himself, and who feel the bitter poignancy of the stroke with greater force than he whose heart has been gradually but surely abased. While a man has a single relation or friend, he should not gamble; and if he stood alone in the world, with no friend, the fear of the eternal judgment should deter him from the commission of the sin.
Mr. Freeman is a plausible man; he talks earnestly and fluently, and his argument is clear and comprehensive, so far as it goes. He thinks readily and speaks aptly. As a debater, he far excels his opponent Mr. Green, and with a good cause would be an opponent difficult to conquer. But few, we think, expected so much of the metaphysics of gambling as he gave, but after he had constructed his argument, and presented the justification of the fraternity, it was marvellous how quickly the one crumbled and the other was turned to condemnation, by the application of the tests of reason and truth which Mr. Green applied. Facts stood stubbornly before Mr. Freeman’s theories, and bore them down, and the experiments with the cards which closed the lecture, demonstrated, beyond a doubt, how far an unscrupulous gambler could carry his villany against an unsuspecting victim. With a rapidity that defied observation and detection, Mr. Green performed several tricks, by which he produced any card or series of cards at will, and even read eighteen cards in succession by the backs.
In his argument, Mr. Freeman invariably rose in the estimation of the audience, but he rose only to fall again. There may have been respect for his abilities, but there was greater sorrow that so unprofitable and degrading a direction had been given to them. Every argument that he used became, upon reflection, an argument against gambling, and the only thing he really effected, was the proof that the law recently passed against gamblers by the legislature of this State is not stringent enough.
Mr. Freeman announced that on Wednesday next, he would deliver a lecture, in which he would review his course of life, and offer arguments against gambling—which he freely confessed to be a vice, even while he proclaimed his right to practise it. Such an exposition cannot fail to be of deep interest.
From the Inquirer.
This controversy was continued on Saturday evening, Dr. Elder in the chair. The Lecture-room at the Chinese Museum was crowded on the occasion.
Mr. Freeman commented on the notice taken by the press of the controversy—in general it was manly and dignified; Mr. Freeman read from the Post, in which gambling was severely opposed. The ground on which Mr. Freeman had canvassed this matter was, he contended, in accordance with Blackstone, Paley, and other great men, who thought—namely, that a man had a right to do what he liked with his own things. Mr. Freeman held that a thing might be legally right and morally wrong. A man had a legal right (he contended) to gamble—but in a moral light he would not defend it. Suppose a man had two sons, and, from some trivial cause, he resolved to cut off one of them with a shilling. He had a legal right so to do—but perhaps he was morally wrong. Mr. Freeman answered an article that had appeared in the Post. Mr. Freeman contended that young men who engaged in gambling, did so generally from a bad system of education.
The Post had contended, in opposition to Mr. Freeman’s maxim that a man had a right to do what he pleased with his own things, so long as he did not interfere with others, that gambling did interfere with the rights of others; for example, it might prevent men from paying their debts, or it might prompt them to commit suicide, either of which was a wrong to society. Mr. Freeman contended, nevertheless, that a man had such a right—certainly he had, if he were not in debt—but if he were, it was then his duty to live as long as he could, to endeavour to pay his debts. Mr. Freeman illustrated his points by allusions to Gen. Taylor and Gen. Jackson—adding, “let the truth be told if the heavens fall.”
Mr. Freeman again opposed the new law passed against gambling—for, he said, it was so shaped, that if a man of property gambled, he could not be troubled, but a poor, itinerant gambler could be punished. Mr. Freeman read the law in proof—wherein a difference certainly appeared to be made between those who had something to live upon, and a merely itinerant gambler—the latter liable to imprisonment if he kept a gaming house, of from one to five years. Indeed, “being without a fixed residence” is one of the features of the law. Such a law appeared to Mr. Freeman as if, for example, a man of standing were to go into a store and steal, he would be let off—– whereas, if an itinerant man were to steal, he must be punished with years of imprisonment. The cases were parallel, and yet, it seemed to him that a man of good standing
Mr. Freeman said that he considered himself as an anti-gambler—but injustice had been done to gamblers, and he had defended them as far as he consistently could—and if an audience would meet him on Tuesday night, he would give them an anti-gambling lecture. He differed with Mr. Green.
Mr. Green wished to know why Mr. Freeman should dislike the law so much, if he considered gambling a bad vice—he (Mr. Green) really did not understand such a position. Such was the effect of gambling upon the mind, that he was sure that when Mr. Freeman first lost his money, (three thousand dollars,) and first became a gambler, he would not have spoken as he had that night. A young man, in gambling, was driven on by degrees, by the excitement of cards, of fine wines, society, &c. Gamblers ridiculed all ideas of reform, and said to the young man, you know all about us—we are called gamblers—and the young man thinks he knows all about them, as he finds them fascinating—but he knows nothing about them. When the young man is ruined, what do the gamblers do for him? Nothing. Such a young man in Baltimore was thus ruined, and became a sot—and at length had no place to sleep, unless the gamblers allowed him. One night, he was awakened by the gambler shaking him, and calling him a loafer. The poor man said, “I do not deserve this at your hands. This was the first house I gambled in.” The gambler threw him down stairs, and his head struck the curb-stone, and Mr. Green lent him his handkerchief to bind up the wound, and prevented further mischief being done to him. The next day he was found under one of the wharves—dead! And such was the treatment inflicted on him by the gamblers. Mr. Green then defended the new law.
Mr. Freeman said that he opposed the law because he thought it discreditable to Pennsylvania—that there should be a law to the effect that, “If I play cards, a man may say to me—there, you have done an act that, if legally visited, would send you to the Penitentiary.” Mr. Freeman illustrated his views by a reference to the explosion of steamboats. Mr. Freeman said that there was never but one gambler put into prison south of Mason & Dixon’s line. Mr. Freeman hinted that Mr. Green at Harrisburg had shown gambling tricks upon cards, with packs that were known to him—prepared cards, in fact. He thus astonished the natives. And this was one influence brought in aid of a passage of the law.
A vote was then taken on the question—“Shall the proceeds of this night be given to Mr. Freeman?” It was decided in the affirmative by a large majority.
Mr. Freeman did not deny that cheating was practised by the gamblers. But Mr. Freeman contended that Mr. Green could not perform the tricks, could not cheat with cards that he was not familiar with. Mr. Freeman produced a pack which he had just bought, and were otherwise untouched—and he said that Mr. Green could not operate with that pack. He defied him.
Mr. Green said that this was no argument. But if Mr. Freeman would agree, and the meeting would appoint a committee of twelve citizens, he would before that committee meet Mr. Freeman, and with those cards exhibit tricks of gamblers.
Some discussion ensued, and it was agreed that a committee should be appointed. Subsequently Mr. Green said he would exhibit before the audience; but that if Mr. Freeman shuffled the pack, he might of course disarrange his (Mr. Green’s) play. But Mr. Green had contended that any gambler in his own play could cheat. And Mr. Green displayed several extraordinary tricks, in which he was remarkably successful, particularly in illustrating the facility with which two partners in gambling could win from their opponents with certainty.
At the conclusion of the meeting, upon Mr. Freeman submitting to the audience the question—“Have I sustained my position?”—it was decided in the negative. The question however, was not put until the audience had risen to depart—but the response was general.
From the Daily Sun.
We have been no inattentive observers of the debate on gambling, between Mr. Green, and his able and plausible antagonist, Mr. Freeman—who brought to the defence of a bad cause, an energy, an earnestness, and a power of illustration, which, on any other subject, must have crowned him with the laurels of a brilliant victory. But what power of logic—what force of elocution—– what stretch, of fancy, can defend gambling?—which, even if right in itself, is yet attended by such baneful consequences—such appalling effects—as to strike terror into the hearts of the most reckless, and seal the lips of eloquence by the blood of the unfortunate? This was illustrated in a most striking manner in the recent debate—where a long tissue of false logic, on the part of Mr. Freeman, was blown to the winds by the simple recital of a fact, by Mr. Green detailing the death of a ruined gambler by the hands of a prosperous one! Blood dispelled all the illusions of logic. Argument evaporated before the corpse of the victim. Applause for ingenious argument was hushed in a moment, when the dead body of the gambler appeared in view! What a tribute to the power of truth—what a tremendous triumph of nature, and her sacred laws, over the flimsy artifices of passion, fiction, and a diseased imagination, fevered by habitual vice.
Dr. Johnson says that the gambler is no better than a robber, because he acquires property without an equivalent. The whole gist of the argument lies here. You strip a man of fortune, or tear from his hands the earnings of a long life, and give him in return—nothing! Mr. Freeman says, in answer to this—yes, you give him the chance of robbing you! And he goes so far in his sophistry, as to contend that if a man attempts to rob you on the highway, you have a right to rob him! Such is the language of the gambler, on the rule of right, who wanting a principle of virtue, resorts to every extravagant theory, to justify his violations of the first law of nature.
Justice is the foundation of all human institutions: and this ordains, that no man shall take from another, what is his own, without paying him an equivalent. The gambler pays no equivalent—and hence, he stands on the same platform with the robber.
The strong point in the logic of Mr. Freeman was, that other professions also acquire property without paying an equivalent, and therefore gamblers were not criminal! We marvelled that a man of his sagacity should venture on so gross a sophism. He alluded to speculators and stock-jobbers, who gained their thousands without an exchange of values, and exulted that the gambler was no worse. But could this make the gambler an honest man, because other men were rogues? How desperate the cause that could clutch at so frail a straw for support! Yet Mr. Freeman appeared perfectly unconscious of the imbecility of his reasoning. More perfect hallucination we never beheld!
Every man feels, when he gains property without an equivalent, that he has done a wrong. Every dollar so acquired plants a fang in his heart. Conscience goads him. He is miserable, restless, tortured, and for temporary relief flies to the transient oblivion of the bowl. When he wins, he drinks—and when he loses, he drinks to desperation. He feels that when he wins, he is a rogue—and that when he loses, he is a victim—no matter whether gambler, speculator or stock-jobber—he has violated the rule of right, by acquiring property without an equivalent; and he feels the degradation of the robber, who cries “stand!” to the passenger on the highway, and extorts his purse, with the pistol at his breast.
Of the fascinating charms of gambling, history has left us too many records to make us insensible of the importance of the safe-guards which society ought to erect, to defend itself from the poison of so infectious a contamination. Who would believe, that the great Wilberforce was once a gambler! That even Pitt once stood on the brink of a gambler’s hell. But Wilberforce was cured by winning L2000 at Holland-house—and such was the pain he felt for those who had lost their money, that it prevented all “his future triumphs in the infernal regions.” But in those regions, flourished the greatest statesmen and wits
There is a kind of democracy of crime, contended for by Mr. Freeman, that has its charms to the ears of the groundlings. He is opposed to a law that punishes one class of gamblers only, instead of bringing all, within the focus of its penalties! There is much truth in this. Laws ought to be equal in their operation—but if they cannot be equal, this is no reason why there ought to be no laws at all. This conclusion is not warranted by any rule in logic or in government.
No man has a right to dispose of his property to the corruption of the public morals. Mr. Freeman adduced the instance of a father having a right to disinherit one son and prefer the other. This is not a parallel case. The parallel would be a rich man leaving his fortune to found an Institution of demoralizing tendency—say to teach you the art of cheating! The laws would annul such a bequest. Society has an original, inherent right to defend itself from all evil—and that gaming is an evil, whether played with cards, lotteries, dice, stocks, or betting, not even Mr. Freeman could seriously deny.
In the late debate between these celebrated speculators,—one reformed, the other confirmed in his vicious career—it was observed, what a tower of strength truth gives to the man who espouses the just cause. Mr. Green stood self-vindicated by his very position—while the labour of Sisiphus devolved on Mr. Freeman. But the stone would not stay rolled up hill. It was no sooner at midway from the summit, but back it rolled upon its unfortunate and panting labourer.
The fostering power which intemperance derives from the excitements of the gaming-table, would itself prove an effectual argument against this monstrous infatuation, if no other existed. But when we find intoxication, only one of a legion of vices that attend on it—and that fraud, cheating, forgery, swindling, robbery, murder, and suicide, are its unfailing companions—we may well marvel that it should find any man so reckless of public opinion, as to venture its championship. Mr. Freeman went so far in this mad advocacy of his darling pursuit, as to justify suicide! In this, however, he was perfectly consistent—for if gaming of any kind is right, so is murder, robbery, and suicide. In this, Mr. Freeman over-reached himself—and by attempting too much, exposed the futility and weakness of his case.
One fact, of a highly useful import, was established by this debate—and having received the concurrent attestation of Mr. Freeman, must now be considered as no longer open to doubt—that cheating is a necessary part of gaming, from which even honourable gamblers—(what a revolting solecism!)—do not shrink! But this is not the worst of the admissions made, in the course of this debate—which we here enumerate:
1. The winner is always in danger of murder—and runs for his life.
2. The loser becomes a cheat, a murderer, a suicide, or a drunkard.
3. The tortures of the damned are common to all gamblers, winners and losers.
4. Deception and lying are their common attributes.
5. Outlawed by public opinion—they wage implacable war against the morals, peace, and happiness of society.
* * * * *
So many allusions have been made to the Laws of Ohio and Pennsylvania against gambling, that it is thought necessary to append them here, that the reader may judge for himself how far the charges of impolicy, partiality, and non-efficiency are justified by these instruments.
[Law of Pennsylvania for the Suppression of Gambling, drafted by J. H. GREEN.]
SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, in General Assembly met, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, That if any person shall keep a room, building, arbour, booth, shed, or tenement, to be used or occupied for gambling, or shall, knowingly, permit the same to be used or occupied for gambling; or if any person, being the owner of any room, building, arbour, booth, shed, or tenement, shall rent the same to be used or occupied for gambling, the persons so offending shall, on conviction thereof, be fined in any sum not less than fifty nor more than five hundred dollars; and if the owner of any room, building, arbour, booth, shed, or tenement, shall know that any gaming-tables, apparatus, or establishment is kept or used in such room, building, arbour, booth, shed, or tenement, for gambling, and winning, betting, or gaining money, or other property, and shall not forthwith cause complaint to be made against the person so keeping or using such room, building, arbour, booth, shed, or tenement, he shall be taken, held, and considered to have knowingly permitted the same to be used and occupied for gambling.
SECT. 2. If any person shall keep or exhibit any gaming-table, establishment, device, or apparatus to win or gain money, or other property of value, or to aid, assist, or permit others to do the same; or if any person shall engage in gambling for a livelihood, or shall be without any fixed residence, and in the habit or practice of gambling, he shall be deemed and taken to be a common gambler, and upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned and kept at hard labour in the penitentiary not less than one, nor more than five years, and be fined five hundred dollars, to be paid into the treasury of the county where such conviction shall take place, for the use of common schools therein, to be divided among the accepting school districts in such county, in proportion to the number of taxable inhabitants in each district.
SECT. 3. If an affidavit shall be filed with the magistrate before whom complaint shall be made of an offence against any provision of this act, stating that the affiant has reason to believe, and does believe, that the person charged in such complaint has upon his person, or at any other place named in such affidavit, any specified articles of personal property, or any gaming-table, device, or apparatus, the discovery of which might lead to establish the truth of such charge, the said magistrate shall, by his warrant, command the officer, who is authorized to arrest the person so charged, to make diligent search for such property and table, device, or apparatus; and if found, to bring the same before such magistrate, and the officer so seizing shall deliver the same to the magistrate before whom he takes the same, who shall retain possession, and be responsible therefor until the discharge, or commitment, or letting to bail of the person charged; and in case of such commitment, or letting to bail of the person so charged, such officer shall retain such property, subject to the order of the court before which such offender may be required to appear, until his discharge or conviction. And in case of the conviction of such person, the gaming-table, device, or apparatus shall be destroyed, and the property shall be liable to pay any judgment which may be rendered against such person; and after the payment of such judgment and costs, the surplus, if any, shall be paid to the use of the common schools aforesaid, and in case of the discharge of such person by the magistrate, or court, the officer having such property in his custody shall, on demand, deliver it to such person.
SECT. 4. If any person called to testify on behalf of the state before any justice of the peace, grand-jury, or court, upon any complaint, information, or indictment, for any offence made punishable by this act, shall disclose any fact tending to criminate himself in any manner made punishable by this act, he shall thereafter be discharged of and from all liability to prosecution or punishment for such matter or offence.
SECT. 5. It shall be lawful for any justice of the peace, chief magistrate of any municipal incorporation, or judge of any court of Common Pleas, upon complaint upon an oath, that any gaming-table, establishment, apparatus, or device is kept by any person for the purpose of being used to win or gain money or other property, by the owner thereof, or any other person, to issue his warrant, commanding any sheriff, or constable, to whom the same shall be directed, within the proper jurisdiction, after demanding entrance to break open and enter any house or other place wherein such gaming establishment, apparatus, or device shall be kept, and to seize and safely keep the same, to be dealt with as hereinafter provided.
SECT. 6. Upon return of said warrant executed, the authority issuing the same shall proceed to examine and inquire touching the said complaint, and if satisfied that the same is true, he shall order the officer so seizing such gaming establishment, apparatus, or device, forthwith to destroy the same; which order the said officer shall proceed to execute in the presence of said authority, unless the person charged as keeper of said gaming establishment, apparatus, or device, shall, without delay, enter into a recognisance in the sum of six hundred dollars, with sufficient sureties, to be approved by said authority, for the appeal of said complaint to the Court of Common Pleas, next to be held in the proper county, conditioned that the defendant will appear at the next term of the court to which he appeals, and abide the order of said court, and for the payment of the full amount of the fine and all costs, in case he shall be found guilty of the offence charged, and judgment be rendered against him in said court.
SECT. 7. The officer taking such recognisance shall return the same to the clerk of the court to which said appeal is taken forthwith, and such clerk shall file the same in his office, and the complaint shall be prosecuted in such court, by indictment, as in other criminal cases; and upon conviction thereof, the appellant shall be fined not more than fifty dollars, and shall pay the costs of prosecution; and such gaming establishment, apparatus, or device shall be destroyed.
SECT. 8. If any person or persons shall, through invitation or device, persuade or prevail on any person or persons to visit any room, building, arbour, booth, shed, or tenement, kept for the use of gambling, he or they shall, upon conviction thereof, be held responsible for the money or properties lost by such invitation or device, and fined in a sum not less than fifty, and not more than five hundred dollars.
SECT. 9. It shall be the duty of all sheriffs, constables, and all prosecuting attorneys to inform and prosecute all offenders against this act, and upon refusal thereof, they shall pay a fine of not less than fifty, nor more than five hundred dollars.
SECT. 10. This act shall be given in charge to the Grand Jury, by the President Judge of the Court of Quarter Sessions in the respective counties.
SECT. 11. This act shall take effect on the first day of July next.
[Law of Ohio for the suppression of Gambling, drafted by J. H. GREEN.]
SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio, That if any person shall keep a room, building, or arbour, booth, shed, or tenement, to be used or occupied for gambling, or shall, knowingly, permit the same to be used or occupied for gambling; or if any person, being the owner of such room, building, arbour, booth, shed, or tenement, shall rent the same to be used or occupied for gambling, the persons so offending shall, on conviction thereof,
SECT. 2. If any person shall keep or exhibit any gaming-table, establishment, device, or apparatus to win or gain money, or other property of value, or to aid or assist, or permit others to do the same; or if any person shall engage in gambling for a livelihood, or shall be without any fixed residence, and in the habit or practice of gambling, he shall be deemed and taken to be a common gambler, and upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned and kept at hard labour in the penitentiary not less than one, nor more than five years, and be fined five hundred dollars, to be paid into the treasury of the county where such conviction shall take place, for the use of common schools therein.
SECT. 3. If an affidavit shall be filed with the magistrate before whom complaint shall be made of an offence against any provisions of this act, stating that the affiant has reason to believe, and does believe, that the person charged in such complaint has upon his person, or at any other place named in such affidavit, any money, or any specified articles of personal property, or any gaming-table, device, apparatus, the discovery of which might tend to establish the truth of such charge, the said magistrate shall, by his warrant, command the officer, who is authorized to arrest the person so charged, to make diligent search for such money or property, and table, device, or apparatus; and if found, to bring the same before such magistrate—and the officer seizing the same, shall retain possession thereof, subject to the order of the magistrate before whom he takes the same, until the discharge, or commitment, or letting to bail of the person charged; and in case of such commitment, or letting to bail of the person so charged, such officer shall retain such property, subject to the order of the court before which such offender may be required to appear, until his discharge or conviction. And in case of the conviction of such person, the gaming-table, device, or apparatus shall be destroyed, and the money and other property shall be liable to pay any judgment which may be rendered against such person; and in case of the discharge of such person by the magistrate, or court, the officer having such property in his custody, shall, on demand, deliver it to such person.
SECT. 4. If any person called to testify on behalf of the state before any justice of the peace, grand-jury, or court, upon any complaint, information, or indictment, for any offence made punishable by this act, shall disclose any fact tending to criminate himself in any matter made punishable by this act, he shall thereafter be discharged of and from all liability to prosecution or punishment for such matter of offence.
SECT. 5. It shall be lawful for any justice of the peace, chief magistrate of the municipal incorporation, or judge of any court of common pleas, upon complaint on oath, that any gaming-table, establishment, apparatus, or device is kept for the purpose of being used to win or gain money or other property, by the owner thereof, or any other person, to issue his warrant, commanding any sheriff, constable, or marshal of any municipal corporation to whom the same may be directed, within the proper jurisdiction, after demanding entrance, to break open and enter any house or other place where such gaming establishment, apparatus, or device shall be kept, and to seize and safely keep the same, to be dealt with as hereafter provided.
SECT. 6. Upon the return of said warrant executed, the authority issuing the same shall proceed to examine and inquire touching the said complaint, and if satisfied the same is true, he shall order the officer so seizing such gaming establishment, apparatus, or device, forthwith to destroy the same; which order the said officer shall proceed to execute in the presence of said authority, unless the person charged as keeper of said gaming establishment, apparatus, or device, shall, without delay, enter into a recognisance in the sum of two hundred dollars, with sufficient sureties, to be approved by said authority, for the appeal of said complaint to the Court of Common Pleas, next to be held in the proper county, conditioned that the defendant will appear at the next term of the court to which he appeals, and abide the order of such court, and for the payment of the full amount of the fine and all costs, in case he shall be found guilty of the offences charged, and judgment be rendered against him in said court.
SECT. 7. The officer taking such recognisance shall return the same to the clerk of the court to which said appeal is taken forthwith, and such clerk shall file the same in his office, and complaint shall be prosecuted in such court, by indictment, as in other criminal cases; and upon conviction, the appellant shall be fined not more than fifty dollars, and shall pay the costs of prosecution; and such gaming establishment, apparatus, or device shall be destroyed.
SECT. 8. It shall be the duty of all sheriffs, constables, marshals of incorporated cities, towns, and boroughs, and of all prosecuting attorneys, to inform and prosecute all offences against this act.
SECT. 9. This act shall be given in charge to the Grand Jury, by the President Judge of the Court of Common Pleas in the respective counties.
SECT. 10. This act shall take effect on the first day of March next.
ELIAS F. DRAKE,
Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Speaker of the Senate.
Jan 17, 1846.
During the three evenings of the debate the Lecture-room of the Museum was crowded with a most respectable audience; and thousands must have read the reports given by the different Newspapers on the following mornings. Throughout the community there was considerable excitement, and we have no doubt that good has already resulted. The evils of gambling are now familiar to many who never previously thought upon the subject; and the excuses and defences urged for participating in the vice have been stripped of their fallacious guises. For this work we owe many thanks to the conductors of the public press who have come forth ably and willingly to our assistance.
But we trust that the immediate advantages from the discussion are not the only ones. It will be perceived from the reports given, that we met with no common opponent. Mr. Freeman is perhaps not excelled, if he has an equal, among gamblers, for talent, learning, and, what is more rare, candour and honesty of character. From a lecture which he has since delivered, we learn that he was on a professional visit to Philadelphia, where he had bought some implements for gambling and was about to return to the South, when his attention was arrested by a notice in a paper that Mr. Green was to give a lecture in the Museum on the following evening. For some years he had formed a resolution that if ever he had an opportunity of hearing him, he would embrace it, and he now concluded that he would stay another day for that purpose. He did so, attended his lecture, and from antipathy to himself and the course he was pursuing, was induced to send the challenge to the Sun newspaper which led to the debate in the preceding pages. It is not improbable that while thinking on the points he proposed to defend, his naturally acute mind perceived their fallacy, as there was a gradual shifting of his position from the subject of the original challenge, till on the last evening of the debate he ended with the astonishing announcement that on the Tuesday following he would deliver a lecture against gambling in the same place. Since then, he has delivered several lectures on the same subject, has taken the temperance pledge, been admitted into one of the divisions of the Sons of Temperance, and promises fair to be an efficient labourer in the cause of truth and virtue. Like Paul, he seems to have been arrested midway in his career, and by the power of conscience compelled to build up what he once exerted himself to destroy. May God prosper him in his labours, and give him grace to continue unto the end.
Cincinnati, July, 1843.
We, the undersigned, believing that Mr. J. H. Green’s proposed publication ["The ARTS AND MISERIES OF GAMBLING”] will be eminently useful in counteracting one of the most pernicious and demoralizing vices of the age, take great pleasure in recommending it to the patronage of the public.
Rev. CHARLES ELLIOTT,
Editor of the Western Christian Advocate.
Rev. L.L. HAMLINE,
Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Judge of the Superior Court, Cin. Ham. Co.
Rev. JAMES P. KILBRETH.
Judge of the United States Court.
Rev. W.H. RAPER.
THOMAS J. BIGGS,
President of the Cincinnati College.
SAMUEL W. LYND, D.D.
Pastor of the Ninth Street Baptist Church.
Hon. JACOB BURNET.
Rev. JOHN F. WRIGHT.
Mayor of Cincinnati.
This is as deceptive, and as base a business, as was ever introduced into any country. The apparent respectability of it, and of the men who carry it on, is calculated to remove the scruples many might otherwise have to patronizing it. The facility with which it can be patronized, without the liability of exposure, and the promises of sudden gain so artfully held out, are inducements not easily resisted by a money-loving people, totally ignorant of the odds against them in the game they play.
All other games generally require the personal attention of the players who patronize them; but this is a game at which any one can play, and need never be seen, even by those against whom he may be playing. Thousands of persons, who stand high in the estimation of their neighbors for good conduct; men who would not, on any account, be found at a gambling-table, will patronize lotteries. The ease with which it can be done, without exposure, enables them to gratify, to the full extent of their means, their passion for this base species of swindling. In many of our large cities, numerous well-dressed young men are constantly engaged in vending tickets through the streets, or from house to house, and they can be bought as privately as the buyer may wish, or he may send his servant for them. Thus it is that a man may gamble as extensively as he pleases in lotteries, without his proceedings being at all likely to become public.
In my description of lotteries, I shall confine myself to the lottery scheme before us; because it will serve as an example of all others, and because the reader will be better able to comprehend explanations of this system than if I were to write of some scheme not here inserted.
By a reference to the tables of tickets, it will be seen that there are fifteen packages of whole tickets, as many of halves, and thirty packages of quarter tickets. Each package contains all the numbers, from one up to seventy-eight, without a repetition of any one of them. The tickets found in these tables are all that are intended for any one drawing; and every successive drawing is but another edition of the same tickets, all arranged in the same order, and with the same combination numbers; but they have a different class number on them. The proprietors of a lottery furnish the printer with a copy of these tables, arranged in a blank book, and this book is called the scheme-book, from which as many as may be ordered from time to time are printed.
The arranging of the class numbers is a matter of fancy, as to what they shall be; their only use being to determine to what particular drawing any particular ticket belongs, in order that a ticket which proves to be a blank may not, at some future drawing, be handed in for a premium, on account of containing some of the numbers then drawn.
[Illustration: Drawing of Lottery Tickets.]
THE DRAWING. There are several methods of conducting the drawing; but that which is most commonly used is as follows:—
There is a hollow wheel, as represented in the plate; then there are seventy-eight small tin tubes, scarcely half an inch in diameter, and about three inches in length; these are for holding the numbers, from one to seventy-eight; each number is on a separate piece of paper, which is rolled up and put into a tube; these tubes, when the numbers have been placed in them, are all put into the wheel, and a person is selected to draw out one at a time from the wheel, which is opened, and cried aloud, for the information of those present who may be interested. The number is registered, for the future guidance of the lottery-dealer, in determining what he shall pay those who may hold one or more of the numbers so drawn. After this, the wheel is again turned, so as to mix well the numbers contained in it, and a second is drawn; and the same proceedings are gone over with, until twelve numbers are drawn, and registered in the order in which they are drawn. Sometimes thirteen will be drawn, it being customary, on many occasions, to draw one number for every six contained in the wheel; but I cannot give this as a universal rule, because I have often found it deviated from. Sometimes little boys are selected to draw the numbers from the wheel—to give the impression that every possible step has been taken to render the management as fair as possible; but in this there is also much deception.
Swarms of domestic servants, day labourers, and the most poor and needy persons daily visit these worse than gambling shops, where they risk their little all, and get nothing in return but the delightful anticipation of being rich when the “drawing” takes place.
True it has been the case that prizes have been drawn, and trumpeted forth to the world, as inducements for others to buy. Having known how some of these prizes have sometimes been obtained, will it be too much to suppose that others are obtained in like manner? that is by the proprietors of lotteries being swindled through the unfaithfulness of their agents. A case came to my knowledge of a man who drew a capital prize; and the mode of operation, by which it was effected, was as follows: An agent, who was stationed in a town some distance from the principal establishment, made two confidants, who, doubtless, readily acted with him from hope of gain. One of these was the post-master of the town, and the other an acquaintance, a patron of the lottery. The duty of the agent
This same man has since met with reverses of fortune, and would now, I believe, find it difficult to raise money sufficient to purchase a ticket even of a low price.
Among the many cases of lottery swindling, every body has heard of the great Louisiana real estate lottery, in which the prizes were to have been the St. Charles Hotel, the Verandah, the St. Charles Theatre, the Bank, the Arcade, and other magnificent buildings in New Orleans. It is quite needless to say any thing of this, as the public has been pretty well enlightened in regard to it, through the public journals of the day.
The following is a copy of a handbill issued by the proprietors of the lottery immediately after a drawing, for the information of ticket-holders, and all others interested:—
DRAWING OF THE LOTTERY.
The following are the numbers
which were this day drawn from the
seventy-eight placed in the wheel, viz.:—
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 ------------------------------------ 20 51 61 24 74 77 46 36 69 29 26 3
and that the said tickets were drawn in the order in which they stand: that is to say, No. 20 was the first that was drawn; No. 51 was the 2d; No. 61 was the 3d; No. 24 was the 4th; No. 74 was the 5th; No. 77 was the 6th; No. 46 was the 7th; No. 36 was the 8th; No. 69 was the 9th; No. 29 was the 10th; No. 26 was the 11th; No. 3 was the 12th, and last.
Those tickets entitled to the
110 highest prizes were drawn in the
1 2 3 $30,000 | 7 8 9
4 5 6 10,000 | 10 11 12 2,367 20
Those 6 tickets having on them the
2 3 4 | 3 4 5 | 5 6 7 | 6 7 8 | 8 9 10 | 9 10 11 > each 1,500
Those 100 tickets having on them the
1 2 4 | 1 4 7 | 1 7 9 | 2 3 11 | 2 6 10 \ 1 2 5 | 1 4 8 | 1 7 10 | 2 3 12 | 2 6 11 | 1 2 6 | 1 4 9 | 1 7 11 | 2 4 5 | 2 6 12 | 1 2 7 | 1 4 10 | 1 7 12 | 2 4 6 | 2 7 8 | 1 2 8 | 1 4 11 | 1 8 9 | 2 4 7 | 2 7 9 | 1 2 9 | 1 4 12 | 1 8 10 | 2 4 8 | 2 7 10 | 1 2 10 | 1 5 6 | 1 8 11 | 2 4 9 | 2 7 11 | 1 2 11 | 1 5 7 | 1 8 12 | 2 4 10 | 2 7 12 | 1 2 12 | 1 5 8 | 1 9 10 | 2 4 11 | 2 8 9 | 1 3 4 | 1 5 9 | 1 9 11 | 2 4 12 | 2 8 10 | 1 3 5 | 1 5 10 | 1 9 12 | 2 5 6 | 2 8 11 > each 1,000 1 3 6 | 1 5 11 | 1 10 11 | 2 5 7 | 2 8 12 | 1 3 7 | 1 5 12 | 1 10 12 | 2 5 8 | 2 9 10 | 1 3 8 | 1 6 7 | 1 11 12 | 2 5 9 | 2 9 11 | 1 3 9 | 1 6 8 | 2 3 5 | 2 5 10 | 2 9 12 | 1 3 10 | 1 6 9 | 2 3 6 | 2 5 11 | 2 10 11 | 1 3 11 | 1 6 10 | 2 3 7 | 2 5 12 | 2 10 12 | 1 3 12 | 1 6 11 | 2 3 8 | 2 6 7 | 2 11 12 | 1 4 5 | 1 6 12 | 2 3 9 | 2 6 8 | 3 4 6 | 1 4 6 | 1 7 8 | 2 3 10 | 2 6 9 | 3 4 7 /
All others with three of the drawn numbers on, (being 110) each 300Those 66 tickets having on them the 1st and 2d drawn numbers, each 100 Those 66 tickets having on them the 2d and 3d, each 80 Those 66 tickets having on them the 3d and 4th, each 50 Those 66 tickets having on them the 4th and 5th, each 40 Those 132 tickets having on them the 5th and 6th, or 6th and 7th, each 30 All others with two of the drawn numbers on, (being 3960,) each 20 And all tickets having one, only, of the drawn numbers on, each,
Now, let us spend a few moments in examining this bill, and we shall see how much truth there is in it. It says, that the ticket having on it the three first drawn numbers will be entitled to the capital prize of $30,000. Now, in the whole scheme before us, there is no such ticket. The combination, 20, 51, 61, is not to be found in this arrangement. Consequently, there was no ticket whose numbers entitled it to this prize. Next, the bill says, the ticket having the fourth, fifth, and sixth drawn numbers, which would have been 24, 74, 77, would be entitled to a prize of $10,000. There is no such ticket in the combination. Consequently this also is false. Now, it is evident that the dealers, in publishing this bill, mean to impress the public with the idea, that tickets, containing the necessary numbers to draw these prizes, are in the lottery, and that somebody must, of course, draw them; but it is all false, and a very little investigation will convince any one, that a greater system of deception can hardly exist. Bear in mind, that the bill says these prizes were drawn. The third prize was $5,000, and the ticket which contained the seventh, eighth, and ninth numbers was to draw this prize. These numbers are 36, 46, 69. There is no such combination
It is next asserted, that there were in the lottery one hundred tickets, having three drawn numbers, and entitled each to a prize of $1,000. This I have examined, and I find that, instead of being one hundred, there are but two—the first in magnitude being one from package number six, of half tickets, bearing the numbers 20, 36, 51,—these being the first, second, and eighth of the drawn numbers, and would entitle the holder to one half of the $1,000, subject to a deduction of fifteen per cent. The other is a quarter ticket, bearing the numbers 46, 51, 74—from the twenty-seventh package, of quarters—being the second, fifth, and seventh of the drawn numbers, and would entitle the holder of it to one quarter of the $1,000, after deducting the fifteen per cent. But it is well known that, frequently, scarce one half of the tickets of any one class, intended for a particular drawing, are ever disposed of, and are consequently returned to the manager’s office, to be destroyed. Then, what guaranty have we that the numbers entitled to the above pitiful prizes were sold? They are as likely to be among the tickets returned unsold, as among those sold. Next, the bill states that there were one hundred and ten others, each having three drawn numbers, and were entitled to a prize of $300 each. By a close investigation, I find but one single ticket of this kind in the whole scheme. This is the ticket in the twelfth package of quarters, bearing the numbers 61, 69, 77; and if it had been sold, it would have entitled the holder to one fourth of the $300, deducting 15 per cent. Next, the bill says, those sixty-six tickets having the first and second drawn numbers, will each be entitled to a prize of $100. In searching for these in the scheme-book, I find but one that bears the first and second numbers; that is, in package fourteen. The ticket having the numbers 20, 51, 66, is the only one having the two first numbers; and if sold, the holder was entitled to one half of the $100, it being a half ticket. Now, the reader may perceive that I have examined and laid open, so that he too may examine, this masterpiece of villany. I find that of the two hundred and eighty-six highest prizes, which, their own handbill states, existed in their lottery, and which, by their own figures, amounted to the enormous sum of $195,967, and, in order to be drawn, only required that the tickets should be bought,—I find, allowing every ticket to have been sold, and afterwards every holder presented his ticket for the sum to which it might be entitled, that of the two hundred and eighty-six said to be in the scheme, there are but five, and these very inconsiderable; and that the greatest amount of these five prizes, without deducting the fifteen per cent, is only $875, instead of the enormous sum of $195,967. Can it be possible that any person will be found to patronize lotteries, after considering these facts?
I pass over those small prizes named after the first sixty-six having the first and second drawn numbers on them, and will prove the balance to be falsehoods, as the greater portion of the first part of the bill is.
In the first place, let us see how many prizes are represented to exist, not to say any thing of the blanks. In counting up the prizes named on this bill, we find them to be 30,316; and I do not think they would pretend to say that more than one half of their tickets were prizes. Then we will say that they had an equal number of blanks. This would carry their scheme up to over sixty thousand tickets; and even if they were all prizes, and no blanks, (which they do not pretend,) who cannot see the extreme improbability of their disposing of 30,316 tickets in one week? for it must be remembered that these were all of one class, and for one particular week’s drawing. But the last witness, whose overwhelming testimony will settle the question, is their own scheme-book, of which an accurate copy is here given, and which shows the number of tickets, for any one drawing, to be but 1,560, the half of which, by great exertion, they might succeed in selling; each successive drawing being another edition of these same combinations, with a different class number on them. Now, let me ask, where are their 30,316 prizes to come from? What a scheme of deception do we here behold! and one, too, that has been so long submitted to and patronized by the public of this and other countries.
Another method of still further swindling the buyers of tickets, is much practised in some parts of the country. The agents who sell the tickets are authorized to insure them. When a man buys one, the price, perhaps, might be ten dollars. The seller, if he has been authorized, will say, “Now, sir, for ten dollars, I will insure your ticket to draw a prize.” This is enough for the buyer to have his ticket insured to draw a prize, and possibly the capital prize: he pays an additional fee, and the agent forwards the numbers of all the tickets, so insured, to the office where the drawing is to be held; and there they manage to have these tickets contain one (seldom more) of the drawn numbers. This entitles the buyer to receive back the price of his ticket, after taking out 15 per cent.; and as it was not a total blank, the insurer is safe, and retains the sum paid for insurance. The buyer remains swindled out of the insurance, and 15 per cent, of the cost. These swindling shops are numerous, and are sometimes called policy offices.
We sincerely hope that our readers will examine with some attention the developments we have made in relation to the deceptive schemes of the lottery managers; for we feel that they cannot fail to convince every man of common sense, who has a particle of moral principle and moral honesty left, that he who encourages this basest of all swindling, by purchasing tickets, is not alone an enemy to himself and family, but he countenances a species of gambling that is extensively mischievous and ruinous, and has for its victims many of our best citizens, young and old; while, at the same time, he unintentionally throws a veil over the villanous deeds of the lottery gambler and his unprincipled, as well as his inexperienced supporters. We once more invite our readers to examine our statements with attention.
The following tables represent, completely, the entire contents of a lottery dealer’s scheme-book, made for the guidance of the printer, in printing tickets. At the close of the tables is represented a ticket, with its class and combination numbers.
--------+ | #1# | #2# | #3# | #4# | #5# | #6# | +--------+----------+----------+---------+-----------+------
---+ | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | +--------+----------+----------+---------+-----------+------
---+ | 1 27 53| 1 28 55 | 1 29 54| 1 30 56| 1 31 57| 1 32 58| | 2 28 54| 2 29 56 | 2 30 55| 2 31 57| 2 32 58| 2 33 59| | 3 29 55| 3 30 57 | 3 31 56| 3 32 58| 3 33 59| 3 34 60| | 4 30 56| 4 31 58 | 4 32 57| 4 33 59| 4 34 60| 4 35 78| | 5 31 57| 5 32 59 | 5 33 58| 5 34 60| 5 35 61| 5 36 77| | 6 32 58| 6 33 60 | 6 34 59| 6 35 61| 6 36 62| 6 42 71| | 7 33 59| 7 34 61 | 7 35 60| 7 36 62| 7 37 63| 7 43 70| | 8 34 60| 8 35 62 | 8 36 61| 8 37 63| 8 38 64| 8 44 69| | 9 35 61| 9 36 63 | 9 37 62| 9 38 64| 9 39 65| 9 45 68| |10 36 62| 10 37 64 | 10 38 63| 10 39 65| 10 40 66| 10 46 67| |11 37 63| 11 38 65 | 11 39 64| 11 40 66| 11 41 67| 11 37 76| |12 38 64| 12 39 66 | 12 40 65| 12 41 67| 12 42 68| 12 38 75| |13 39 65| 13 40 67 | 13 41 66| 13 42 68| 13 43 69| 13 39 74| |14 40 66| 14 41 68 | 14 42 67| 14 43 69| 14 44 70| 14 40 73| |15 41 67| 15 42 69 | 15 43 68| 15 44 70| 15 45 71| 15 41 72| |16 42 68| 16 43 70 | 16 44 69| 16 45 71| 16 46 72| 16 27 57| |17 43 69| 17 44 71 | 17 45 70| 17 46 72| 17 47 73| 17 28 56| |18 44 70| 18 45 72 | 18 46 71| 18 47 73| 18 48 74| 18 29 55| |19 45 71| 19 46 73 | 19 47 72| 19 48 74| 19 49 75| 19 30 54| |20 46 72| 20 47 74 | 20 48 73| 20 49 75| 20 50 76| 20 31 53| |21 47 73| 21 48 75 | 21 49 74| 21 50 76| 21 51 77| 21 47 65| |22 48 74| 22 49 76 | 22 50 75| 22 51 77| 22 52 78| 22 48 66| |23 49 75| 23 50 77 | 23 51 76| 23 52 78| 23 30 53| 23 49 64| |24 50 76| 24 51 78 | 24 52 77| 24 27 53| 24 29 54| 24 50 63| |25 51 77| 25 52 53 | 25 27 78| 25 28 54| 25 28 55| 25 51 62| |26 52 78| 26 27 54 | 26 28 53| 26 29 55| 26 27 56| 26 52 61| +--------+----------+----------+---------+-----------+------
The above lottery schemes were accurately copied from the scheme-book of a lottery dealer in Vicksburg, Mississippi, and may be considered a fair specimen of lottery combinations generally. The tables are for a 78 numbered lottery, every three perpendicular lines of figures containing a package, and each package all the numbers, from 1 to 78, inclusive; and there are also 26 tickets in each package.
--------+ | #7# | #8# | #9# | #10# | #96# | #97# | +--------+----------+----------+---------+-----------+------
---+ | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | +--------+----------+----------+---------+-----------+------
---+ | 1 34 59| 1 60 78| 1 61 64| 1 35 36| 1 38 39 | 1 41 43| | 2 36 60| 2 61 77| 2 62 65| 2 37 38| 2 40 49 | 2 42 45| | 3 35 61| 3 62 76| 3 63 66| 3 39 40| 3 41 50 | 3 44 47| | 4 37 62| 4 63 75| 4 29 78| 4 41 42| 4 42 51 | 4 46 49| | 5 38 63| 5 64 74| 5 28 77| 5 43 44| 5 43 52 | 5 48 51| | 6 49 74| 6 65 73| 6 27 76| 6 45 46| 6 44 53 | 6 50 53| | 7 50 75| 7 66 72| 7 30 50| 7 47 48| 7 45 54 | 7 52 55| | 8 51 76| 8 67 71| 8 31 51| 8 49 50| 8 46 55 | 8 54 57| | 9 52 77| 9 68 70| 9 32 52| 9 51 52| 9 47 56 | 9 56 59| |10 27 78| 10 53 69| 10 33 53| 10 53 54| 10 48 57 | 10 58 61| |11 28 53| 11 27 52| 11 34 54| 11 55 56| 11 58 67 | 11 60 63| |12 29 54| 12 28 51| 12 35 55| 12 57 58| 12 59 68 | 12 62 65| |13 30 55| 13 29 50| 13 36 56| 13 59 60| 13 60 69 | 13 64 67| |14 31 56| 14 30 49| 14 37 57| 14 61 62| 14 61 70 | 14 66 69| |15 32 57| 15 31 48| 15 38 58| 15 63 64| 15 62 71 | 15 68 71| |16 33 58| 16 32 47| 16 39 59| 16 65 66| 16 63 72 | 16 70 73| |17 48 73| 17 33 46| 17 40 60| 17 67 68| 17 64 73 | 17 72 75| |18 47 72| 18 34 45| 18 41 67| 18 69 70| 18 65 74 | 18 74 77| |19 46 71| 19 35 44| 19 42 68| 19 71 72| 19 66 75 | 19 76 78| |20 45 70| 20 36 43| 20 43 69| 20 73 74| 20 27 76 | 20 35 40| |21 44 69| 21 37 59| 21 44 70| 21 75 76| 21 28 77 | 21 34 39| |22 43 68| 22 38 58| 22 45 71| 22 77 78| 22 29 78 | 22 33 38| |23 42 67| 23 39 57| 23 46 72| 23 27 28| 23 30 34 | 23 32 37| |24 41 66| 24 40 56| 24 47 73| 24 29 30| 24 31 35 | 24 31 36| |25 40 65| 25 41 55| 25 48 74| 25 31 32| 25 32 36 | 25 27 29| |26 39 64| 26 42 54| 26 49 75| 26 33 34| 26 33 37 | 26 28 30| +--------+----------+----------+---------+-----------+------
At the beginning of the first package you will see the numbers 1, 27, 53; they are placed on one ticket; and so with each succeeding three numbers through the whole scheme.+--------+----------+----------+---------+-----------+-
--------+ | #98# | #99# | #100# | | #101# | #101# | +--------+----------+----------+---------+-----------+------
---+ | 13 | 14 | 15 | 00 | 1 | 1 | +--------+----------+----------+---------+-----------+------
---+ | 1 45 44| 1 62 70| 1 27 78| | 1 2 53 | 1 2 60| | 2 46 47| 2 63 71| 2 28 77| | 3 4 54 | 3 6 61| | 3 48 49| 3 64 72| 3 29 76| | 5 29 55 | 4 7 62| | 4 50 51| 4 65 73| 4 30 75| | 6 30 56 | 5 52 63| | 5 52 53| 5 66 74| 5 31 74| | 7 31 57 | 8 51 64| | 6 54 55| 6 52 75| 6 32 73| | 8 32 58 | 9 50 65| | 7 56 57| 7 53 76| 7 33 72| | 9 33 59 | 10 49 66|
Page 144| 8 58 59| 8 54 77| 8 34 71| | 10 34 60 | 11 48 67| | 9 60 61| 9 55 78| 9 35 70| | 11 35 61 | 12 47 68| |10 62 63| 10 56 67| 10 36 69|Here ends| 12 36 62 | 13 46 69| |11 64 65| 11 57 68| 11 37 68| Fifteen | 13 37 63 | 14 45 70| |12 66 67| 12 58 69| 12 38 67|Packages | 14 38 64 | 15 44 71| |13 68 69| 13 59 61| 13 39 66|of Whole | 15 39 65 | 16 43 72| |14 70 71| 14 51 60| 14 40 65| Tickets | 16 40 66 | 17 42 73| |15 72 73| 15 27 39| 15 41 64| | 17 41 67 | 18 41 74| |16 74 75| 16 28 40| 16 42 63| | 18 42 68 | 19 40 75| |17 76 77| 17 29 41| 17 43 62| | 19 43 69 | 20 39 76| |18 43 78| 18 30 42| 18 44 61| | 20 44 70 | 21 38 77| |19 27 42| 19 31 43| 19 45 60| | 21 45 71 | 22 37 78| |20 28 41| 20 32 44| 20 46 59| | 22 46 72 | 23 36 53| |21 29 40| 21 33 45| 21 47 58| | 23 47 73 | 24 35 54| |22 30 39| 22 34 46| 22 48 57| | 24 48 74 | 25 34 55| |23 31 38| 23 35 47| 23 49 56| | 25 49 75 | 26 33 56| |24 32 37| 24 36 48| 24 50 55| | 26 50 76 | 27 32 57| |25 33 36| 25 37 49| 25 51 54| | 27 51 77 | 28 31 58| |26 34 35| 26 38 50| 26 52 53| | 28 52 78 | 29 30 59| +--------+----------+----------+---------+-----------+------
There are, in these schemes, 15 packages of whole tickets, each containing 26, which make an aggregate of 390, and the same number of halves, which, if added to the former, will make 780; also, 30 packages of quarters, making, in all, 1560. These comprise the whole of the combinations here given, and are intended for one particular drawing, constituting one class. For each successive drawing, another edition of the same combinations are offered for sale, only with different class numbers.+--------+----------+----------+---------+-----------+-
--------+ | #103# | #104# | #105# | #106# | #107# | #108# | +--------+----------+----------+---------+-----------+------
---+ | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | +--------+----------+----------+---------+-----------+------
---+ | 1 3 61| 1 3 65| 1 4 66| 1 4 67| 1 5 68| 1 5 69| | 2 4 62| 2 41 66| 2 42 67| 2 5 68| 2 6 69| 2 6 70| | 5 6 63| 4 42 67| 3 43 68| 3 45 69| 3 7 70| 3 7 71| | 7 8 64| 5 43 68| 5 44 69| 6 46 70| 4 45 71| 4 8 72| | 9 31 65| 6 44 69| 6 45 70| 7 47 71| 8 46 72| 9 48 75| |10 32 66| 7 45 70| 7 46 71| 8 48 72| 9 47 73| 10 49 76| |11 33 67| 8 40 71| 8 47 72| 9 49 73| 10 48 74| 11 50 73| |12 34 68| 9 39 72| 9 48 73| 10 50 74| 11 49 75| 12 51 74| |13 35 69| 10 38 73| 10 49 74| 11 51 75| 12 50 76| 13 52 78| |14 36 71| 11 37 74| 11 50 75| 12 52 76| 13 51 77| 14 31 77| |15 37 70| 12 36 75| 12 51 76| 13 29 77| 14 52 78| 15 32 68| |16 38 72| 13 35 76| 13 52 77| 14 30 78| 15 30 67| 16 33 67| |17 39 73| 14 34 77| 14 41 78| 15 31 66| 16 31 66| 17 34 66| |18 40 74| 15 33 78| 15 40 65| 16 32 65| 17 32 65| 18 35 65|
Page 145|19 41 75| 16 32 53| 16 28 64| 17 33 64| 18 33 64| 19 36 64| |20 42 76| 17 31 54| 17 29 63| 18 34 63| 19 34 63| 20 37 63| |21 43 77| 18 30 55| 18 30 62| 19 35 62| 20 35 62| 21 38 62| |22 44 78| 19 29 56| 19 31 61| 20 36 61| 21 36 61| 22 39 61| |23 45 53| 20 28 57| 20 32 60| 21 37 60| 22 37 60| 23 40 60| |24 46 54| 21 52 58| 21 33 59| 22 38 59| 23 38 59| 24 41 59| |25 47 55| 22 51 59| 22 34 58| 23 39 58| 24 39 58| 25 42 58| |26 48 56| 23 50 60| 23 35 57| 24 40 57| 25 40 57| 26 43 57| |27 49 57| 24 49 61| 24 36 56| 25 41 56| 26 41 56| 27 44 56| |28 50 58| 25 48 62| 25 37 55| 26 42 55| 27 42 55| 28 45 55| |29 51 59| 26 47 63| 26 38 54| 27 43 54| 28 43 54| 29 46 54| |30 52 60| 27 46 64| 27 39 53| 28 44 53| 29 44 53| 30 47 53| +--------+----------+----------+---------+-----------+------
The venders of lottery tickets possess an immense advantage over the buyer, which is mostly in the extreme improbability of a prize of any considerable amount being drawn. The numbers 1 to 78 are capable of making 76076 combinations on what I may term the increasing ratio—that is, the second larger than the first, and the third larger than the second, in arithmetical progression; as, 5, 10, 15, &c.+--------+----------+----------+---------+-----------+-
--------+ | #109# | #110# | #196# | #197# | #198# | #199# | +--------+----------+----------+---------+-----------+------
---+ | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | +--------+----------+----------+---------+-----------+------
---+ | 1 6 70| 1 6 71| 1 7 72| 1 7 73| 1 8 74 | 1 8 75| | 2 7 71| 2 7 72| 2 8 73| 2 8 74| 2 9 75 | 2 9 76| | 3 8 72| 3 8 73| 3 9 74| 3 9 75| 3 10 76 | 3 10 77| | 4 9 73| 4 9 74| 4 10 75| 4 10 76| 4 11 77 | 4 11 78| | 5 10 74| 5 10 75| 5 11 76| 5 11 77| 5 12 78 | 5 12 74| |11 32 75| 11 33 76| 6 12 77| 6 12 78| 6 13 73 | 6 13 72| |12 33 76| 12 34 77| 13 33 78| 13 52 72| 7 14 72 | 7 14 73| |13 34 77| 13 35 78| 14 34 53| 14 51 71| 15 45 70 | 15 46 71| |14 35 78| 14 36 70| 15 35 54| 15 50 70| 16 46 71 | 16 47 70| |15 36 69| 15 37 69| 16 36 55| 16 49 69| 17 47 69 | 17 48 69| |16 37 68| 16 38 68| 17 37 56| 17 48 68| 18 48 68 | 18 49 68| |17 38 67| 17 39 67| 18 38 57| 18 47 67| 19 49 67 | 19 50 67| |18 39 66| 18 40 66| 19 39 58| 19 46 66| 20 50 66 | 20 51 66| |19 40 65| 19 41 65| 20 40 59| 20 45 65| 21 51 65 | 21 52 65| |20 41 64| 20 42 64| 21 41 60| 21 44 64| 22 52 64 | 22 45 64| |21 42 62| 21 43 63| 22 42 61| 22 43 61| 23 44 63 | 23 44 61| |22 43 63| 22 44 62| 23 43 62| 23 42 62| 24 43 62 | 24 43 60| |23 44 60| 23 45 61| 24 44 63| 24 41 63| 25 42 61 | 25 42 63| |24 45 61| 24 46 60| 25 45 64| 25 40 60| 26 41 60 | 26 41 62| |25 46 59| 25 47 59| 26 46 65| 26 39 59| 27 40 59 | 27 40 58| |26 47 58| 26 48 58| 27 47 66| 27 38 58| 28 39 58 | 28 39 59| |27 48 57| 27 49 56| 28 48 67| 28 37 57| 29 38 57 | 29 38 56|
Page 146|28 49 56| 28 50 57| 29 49 68| 29 36 56| 30 37 56 | 30 37 57| |29 50 55| 29 51 55| 30 50 69| 30 35 55| 31 36 55 | 31 36 54| |30 51 54| 30 52 54| 31 51 70| 31 34 54| 32 35 53 | 32 35 55| |31 52 53| 31 32 53| 32 52 71| 32 33 53| 33 34 54 | 33 34 53| +--------+----------+----------+---------+-----------+------
In the following combinations there are but 1560, where there might be 76076; and if this latter number were printed and sold, some one must hold the three first drawn numbers, every ticket-holder having one chance out of 76076 of drawing the capital prize. But, in this combination, if a man were to purchase the whole of the tickets, being 1560, there would still be 49 chances against his holding the three first numbers, to one for it. As there are no two tickets holding the same three numbers, of course but one can hold the three first, which is the prize.+--------+----------+----------+---------+-----------+-
--------+ | #200# | #206# | #201# | #202# | #203# | #204# | +--------+----------+----------+---------+-----------+------
---+ | 15 | 00 | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | +--------+----------+----------+---------+-----------+------
---+ | 1 9 76| | 1 9 77 | 1 10 77| 1 10 78 | 1 11 21| | 2 10 77| | 2 10 78 | 2 11 78| 2 11 77 | 2 12 22| | 3 11 78| | 3 11 76 | 3 12 53| 3 12 76 | 3 13 23| | 4 12 75| | 4 12 74 | 4 13 54| 4 13 75 | 4 14 24| | 5 13 74| | 5 13 75 | 5 14 55| 5 14 74 | 5 15 25| | 6 14 73|Here ends | 6 14 72 | 6 15 56| 6 15 72 | 6 16 26| | 7 15 72| Fifteen | 7 15 73 | 7 16 57| 7 16 71 | 7 17 27| | 8 16 71| Packages | 8 16 70 | 8 17 58| 8 17 70 | 8 18 28| |17 52 70| of Half | 17 51 71 | 9 18 59| 9 18 69 | 9 19 29| |18 51 69| Tickets. | 18 50 69 | 19 52 60| 19 36 68 | 10 20 30| |19 50 68| The | 19 49 68 | 20 40 72| 20 37 67 | 31 41 51| |20 49 67|following | 20 48 67 | 21 50 62| 21 38 66 | 32 42 52| |21 48 66| Packages | 21 47 66 | 22 49 63| 22 39 65 | 33 43 53| |22 47 65| are | 22 46 65 | 23 48 64| 23 40 64 | 34 44 54| |23 46 64|Quarters. | 23 45 64 | 24 47 65| 24 41 62 | 35 45 55| |24 45 63| | 24 44 61 | 25 46 66| 25 45 63 | 36 46 56| |25 44 62| | 25 43 62 | 26 45 67| 26 43 60 | 37 47 57| |26 43 61| | 26 42 63 | 27 44 68| 27 44 61 | 38 48 58| |27 42 60| | 27 41 60 | 28 43 69| 28 42 59 | 39 49 59| |28 41 59| | 28 40 59 | 29 42 70| 29 46 58 | 40 50 60| |29 40 58| | 29 39 58 | 30 41 71| 30 47 57 | 61 67 73| |30 39 57| | 30 38 57 | 31 51 61| 31 48 56 | 62 68 74| |31 38 56| | 31 37 56 | 32 39 73| 32 49 55 | 63 69 75| |32 37 55| | 32 36 55 | 33 38 74| 33 50 54 | 64 70 76| |33 36 54| | 33 35 53 | 34 37 75| 34 51 53 | 65 71 77| |34 35 53| | 34 52 54 | 35 36 76| 35 52 73 | 66 72 78| +--------+----------+----------+---------+-----------+------
By a little investigation, any one may discover that his chance for drawing a prize, even of a trifling amount, is extremely small. By the following method any one may ascertain the number of combinations which any given number will produce, as in the present case, 78 x 77 x 76 = 456456 / 6 = 76076, the number of combinations of three numbers each; the 78 multiplied by 77, and the product by 76, and that product divided by 6 gives the number of combinations of three numbers each, which the numbers from 1 to 78 will produce, no two combinations containing the same three numbers.+--------+----------+----------+---------+-----------+-
--------+ | #205# | #206# | #207# | #208# | #209# | #210# | +--------+----------+----------+---------+-----------+------
---+ | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | +--------+----------+----------+---------+-----------+------
---+ | 1 12 23| 1 13 25 | 1 14 27 | 1 15 29| 1 16 31 | 1 17 33| | 2 13 24| 2 14 26 | 2 15 28 | 2 16 39| 2 17 32 | 2 18 34| | 3 14 25| 3 15 27 | 3 16 29 | 3 17 31| 3 18 33 | 3 19 35| | 4 15 26| 4 16 28 | 4 17 30 | 4 18 32| 4 19 34 | 4 20 36| | 5 16 27| 5 17 29 | 5 18 31 | 5 19 33| 5 20 35 | 5 21 37| | 6 17 28| 6 18 30 | 6 19 32 | 6 20 34| 6 21 36 | 6 22 38| | 7 18 29| 7 19 31 | 7 20 34 | 7 21 35| 7 22 37 | 7 23 39| | 8 19 30| 8 20 32 | 8 21 33 | 8 22 36| 8 23 38 | 8 24 40| | 9 20 31| 9 21 33 | 9 22 35 | 9 23 37| 9 24 39 | 9 25 41| |10 21 32| 10 22 34 | 10 23 36 | 10 24 38| 10 25 40 | 10 26 42| |11 22 33| 11 23 35 | 11 24 37 | 11 25 39| 11 26 41 | 11 27 43| |34 45 56| 12 24 36 | 12 25 38 | 12 26 40| 12 27 42 | 12 28 44| |35 46 57| 37 49 61 | 13 26 39 | 13 27 41| 13 28 43 | 13 29 45| |36 47 58| 38 50 62 | 40 53 66 | 14 28 42| 14 29 44 | 14 30 46| |37 48 59| 39 51 63 | 41 54 67 | 43 55 67| 15 30 45 | 15 31 47| |38 49 60| 40 52 64 | 42 55 68 | 44 56 68| 46 57 68 | 16 32 48| |39 50 61| 41 53 65 | 43 56 69 | 45 57 69| 47 58 69 | 49 59 69| |40 51 62| 42 54 66 | 44 57 70 | 46 58 70| 48 59 70 | 50 60 70| |41 52 63| 43 55 67 | 45 58 71 | 47 59 71| 49 60 71 | 51 61 71| |42 53 64| 44 56 68 | 46 59 72 | 48 60 72| 50 61 72 | 52 62 72| |43 54 65| 44 55 66 | 45 47 73 | 49 61 73| 51 62 73 | 53 63 73| |44 55 66| 46 58 70 | 48 61 74 | 50 62 74| 52 63 74 | 54 64 74| |67 71 76| 47 59 72 | 49 62 75 | 51 63 75| 53 64 75 | 55 65 75| |68 72 75| 48 60 71 | 50 63 76 | 52 64 76| 54 65 76 | 56 66 76| |69 73 78| 73 75 77 | 51 64 77 | 53 65 77| 55 66 77 | 57 67 77| |70 74 77| 74 76 78 | 52 65 78 | 54 66 78| 66 67 78 | 58 68 78| +--------+----------+----------+---------+-----------+------
--------+ | #296# | #297# | #298# | #299# | #300# | #301# | +--------+----------+----------+---------+-----------+------
---+ | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 22 | +--------+----------+----------+---------+-----------+------
Page 148| 1 18 35| 1 19 37| 1 20 39| 1 21 41| 1 22 43| 1 23 45| | 2 19 36| 2 20 38| 2 21 40| 2 22 42| 2 23 44| 2 24 46| | 3 20 37| 3 21 39| 3 22 41| 3 23 43| 3 24 45| 3 25 47| | 4 21 38| 4 22 40| 4 23 42| 4 24 44| 4 25 46| 4 26 48| | 5 22 39| 5 23 41| 5 24 43| 5 25 45| 5 26 47| 5 27 49| | 6 23 40| 6 24 42| 6 25 44| 6 26 46| 6 27 48| 6 28 50| | 7 24 41| 7 25 43| 7 26 45| 7 27 47| 7 28 49| 7 29 51| | 8 25 42| 8 26 44| 8 27 46| 8 28 48| 8 29 50| 8 30 52| | 9 26 43| 9 27 45| 9 28 47| 9 29 49| 9 30 51| 9 31 53| |10 27 44| 10 28 46| 10 29 48| 10 30 50| 10 31 52| 10 32 54| |11 28 45| 11 29 47| 11 30 49| 11 31 51| 11 32 53| 11 33 55| |12 29 46| 12 30 48| 12 31 50| 12 32 52| 12 33 54| 12 34 56| |13 30 47| 13 31 49| 13 32 51| 13 33 53| 13 34 55| 13 35 57| |14 31 48| 14 32 50| 14 33 52| 14 34 54| 14 35 56| 14 36 58| |15 32 49| 15 33 51| 15 34 53| 15 35 55| 15 36 57| 15 37 59| |16 33 50| 16 34 52| 16 35 54| 16 36 56| 16 37 58| 16 38 60| |17 34 51| 17 35 53| 17 36 55| 17 37 57| 17 38 59| 17 39 61| |52 61 70| 18 36 54| 18 37 56| 18 38 58| 18 39 60| 18 40 62| |53 62 71| 55 63 71| 19 38 57| 19 39 59| 19 40 61| 19 41 63| |54 63 72| 56 64 72| 58 65 72| 20 40 60| 20 41 62| 20 42 64| |55 64 73| 57 65 73| 59 66 73| 61 67 74| 21 42 63| 21 43 66| |56 65 74| 58 66 74| 60 67 74| 62 68 73| 64 69 74| 22 44 65| |57 66 75| 59 67 75| 61 68 75| 63 69 76| 65 70 75| 67 71 75| |58 67 76| 60 68 76| 62 69 76| 64 70 75| 66 71 76| 68 72 76| |59 68 77| 61 69 77| 63 70 77| 65 71 78| 67 72 77| 69 73 77| |60 69 78| 62 70 78| 64 71 78| 66 72 77| 68 73 78| 70 74 78| +--------+----------+----------+---------+-----------+------
Lottery-dealers are aware of the great odds against the buyers, and are very cautious in keeping all the secrets of a fraud to themselves, by which they are robbing the public continually. But it shall not be the fault of the writer of these pages if their swindling machinations are longer concealed from the community. Thousands upon thousands of dollars are expended annually in lottery tickets in this country; and how very seldom is it that you hear of a capital prize having been drawn! If there should chance to be a prize of any magnitude awarded to a ticket-holder, it is trumpeted from one end of the Union to the other, by those most interested in lottery speculations, stimulating others to try their luck, and by that means making their very losses minister to their gain; for, in all likelihood, months and years may elapse before another large prize will be drawn from the same lottery.+--------+----------+----------+---------+-----------+-
--------+ | #302# | #303# | #304# | #305# | #306# | #307# | +--------+----------+----------+---------+-----------+------
---+ | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | +--------+----------+----------+---------+-----------+------
---+ | 1 24 47| 1 25 49 | 1 26 51 | 1 12 24| 1 13 27 | 1 14 39| | 2 25 48| 2 26 50 | 2 27 52 | 2 13 25| 2 14 28 | 2 15 38| | 3 26 49| 3 27 51 | 3 28 53 | 3 14 26| 3 15 29 | 3 16 37| | 4 27 50| 4 28 52 | 4 29 54 | 4 15 27| 4 16 30 | 4 17 36| | 5 28 51| 5 29 53 | 5 30 55 | 5 16 28| 5 17 31 | 5 18 35| | 6 29 52| 6 30 54 | 6 31 56 | 6 17 29| 6 18 32 | 6 19 34| | 7 30 53| 7 31 55 | 7 32 57 | 7 18 30| 7 19 33 | 7 20 33| | 8 31 54| 8 32 56 | 8 33 58 | 8 19 31| 8 20 34 | 8 21 32| | 9 32 55| 9 33 57 | 9 34 59 | 9 20 32| 9 21 35 | 9 22 31| |10 33 56| 10 34 58 | 10 35 60 | 10 21 33| 10 22 36 | 10 23 30| |11 34 57| 11 35 59 | 11 36 61 | 11 22 34| 11 23 26 | 11 24 29| |12 35 58| 12 36 60 | 12 37 62 | 23 49 66| 12 24 25 | 12 25 28| |13 36 59| 13 37 61 | 13 38 63 | 35 50 65| 37 51 65 | 13 26 27| |14 37 60| 14 38 62 | 14 39 64 | 36 51 64| 38 52 66 | 40 53 78| |15 38 61| 15 39 63 | 15 40 66 | 37 52 67| 39 53 67 | 41 54 77| |16 39 62| 16 40 64 | 16 41 65 | 38 53 69| 40 54 68 | 42 55 76| |17 40 63| 17 41 65 | 17 42 67 | 39 54 68| 41 55 69 | 43 56 75| |18 41 64| 18 42 66 | 18 43 68 | 40 55 70| 42 56 70 | 44 57 74| |19 42 65| 19 43 67 | 19 44 69 | 41 56 71| 43 57 71 | 45 58 73| |20 43 66| 20 44 68 | 20 45 71 | 42 57 72| 44 58 72 | 46 59 71| |21 44 67| 21 45 69 | 21 46 70 | 43 58 73| 45 59 73 | 47 60 72| |22 45 68| 22 46 70 | 22 47 72 | 44 59 74| 46 60 74 | 48 61 70| |23 46 69| 23 47 71 | 23 48 73 | 45 60 75| 47 61 75 | 49 62 69| |70 73 76| 24 48 72 | 24 49 74 | 46 61 76| 48 62 76 | 50 63 68| |71 74 77| 73 76 77 | 25 50 75 | 47 62 77| 49 63 77 | 51 64 67| |72 75 78| 74 75 78 | 76 77 78 | 48 63 78| 50 64 78 | 52 65 66| +--------+----------+----------+---------+-----------+------
It will be seen by the lottery combinations we present, how infinitely disproportionate are the chances in this species of gambling—how vastly the odds bear against the purchaser of tickets, and what mischievous results must of necessity spring from a vile system of frauds, perpetrated, as it is, by the sanction of law, and the tolerance of custom.+--------+-----------+----------+---------+-----------+
---------+ | #308# | #309# | #310# | #396# | #397# | #398# | +--------+-----------+----------+---------+-----------+-----
----+ | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | +--------+-----------+----------+---------+-----------+-----
----+ | 1 18 53| 1 19 53 | 1 20 53 | 1 21 53| 1 22 45 | 1 23 46| | 2 19 54| 2 20 54 | 2 21 54 | 2 22 54| 2 23 43 | 2 24 45| | 3 20 55| 3 21 55 | 3 22 55 | 3 23 55| 3 24 44 | 3 25 55| | 4 21 56| 4 22 56 | 4 23 56 | 4 24 56| 4 25 56 | 4 26 56|
Page 150| 5 22 57| 5 23 57 | 5 24 57 | 5 25 57| 5 26 57 | 5 27 57| | 6 23 58| 6 24 58 | 6 25 58 | 6 26 58| 6 27 58 | 6 28 58| | 7 24 59| 7 25 59 | 7 26 59 | 7 27 59| 7 28 59 | 7 29 59| | 8 25 60| 8 26 60 | 8 27 60 | 8 28 60| 8 29 60 | 8 30 78| | 9 26 61| 9 27 61 | 9 28 61 | 9 29 61| 9 30 61 | 9 31 77| |10 27 62| 10 28 62 | 10 29 62 | 10 30 62| 10 31 62 | 10 32 76| |11 28 63| 11 29 63 | 11 30 63 | 11 31 63| 11 32 63 | 11 33 75| |12 29 64| 12 30 64 | 12 31 64 | 12 32 64| 12 33 64 | 12 34 74| |13 30 65| 13 31 65 | 13 32 65 | 13 33 65| 13 34 65 | 13 35 73| |14 31 66| 14 32 66 | 14 33 66 | 14 34 66| 14 35 66 | 14 36 72| |15 32 67| 15 33 67 | 15 34 67 | 15 35 67| 15 36 67 | 15 37 71| |16 33 68| 16 34 68 | 16 35 68 | 16 36 68| 16 38 71 | 16 38 70| |17 34 69| 17 35 69 | 17 36 69 | 17 37 69| 17 37 70 | 17 39 69| |35 44 70| 18 36 70 | 18 37 70 | 18 38 70| 18 39 69 | 18 40 68| |36 45 71| 37 45 71 | 19 38 71 | 19 39 71| 19 40 68 | 19 41 67| |37 46 72| 38 46 72 | 39 46 72 | 20 40 72| 20 41 72 | 20 42 66| |38 47 73| 39 47 73 | 40 47 73 | 41 47 73| 21 42 73 | 21 43 65| |39 48 74| 40 48 74 | 41 48 74 | 42 48 74| 46 51 74 | 22 44 64| |40 49 75| 41 49 75 | 42 49 75 | 43 49 75| 47 52 75 | 47 51 63| |41 50 76| 42 50 76 | 43 50 76 | 44 50 76| 48 53 76 | 48 52 62| |42 51 77| 43 51 77 | 44 51 77 | 45 51 77| 49 54 77 | 49 53 61| |43 52 78| 44 52 78 | 45 52 78 | 46 52 78| 50 55 78 | 50 54 60| +--------+-----------+----------+---------+-----------+-----
All the combinations used in this lottery have been given, as also the number that might be made; and, of course, the less the dealer in lotteries makes, the greater the chance in his favor, and the less in favor of the buyer. The figures heading the classes of combinations, on each page, are class-numbers, and those below the first figures, and immediately above the columns, are placed there to indicate the number of packages.+---------+--------+ | #399# | #400# | +---------+--------+ | 29 | 30 | +---------+--------+ | 1 24 53 | 1 25 53| | 2 25 54 | 2 26 54| | 3 26 55 | 3 27 55| | 4 27 56 | 4 28 56| | 5 28 57 | 5 29 57| | 6 29 58 | 6 30 58|Here ends | 7 30 59 | 7 31 59|the Thirty | 8 31 60 | 8 32 60|Packages | 9 32 61 | 9 33 61|of Quarters. |10 33 62 |10 34 62| |11 34 63 |11 35 63| |12 35 64 |12 36 64| |13 36 65 |13 37 65| |14 37 66 |14 38 66| |15 38 67 |15 39 67| |16 39 68 |16 40 68| |17 40 69 |17 41 69| |18 41 70 |18 42 70| |19 42 71 |19 43 71| |20 43 72 |20 44 72| |21 44 73 |21 45 73| |22 45 74 |22 46 74| |23 46 75 |23 47 75| |47 50 76 |24 48 76| |48 51 77 |49 51 77| |49 52 78 |50 52 78| +---------+--------+
[Illustration: MARKED CARDS. See Green on Gambling.]
The above are specimens of patterns of playing cards, that the reader may rely upon the gambler’s knowing by their back as well as the generality of amusement players know by their face. The same may be said of all the patterns spoken of and presented to the view of the reader on another page of this work.
[Illustration: Literature Lottery BY AUTHORITY OF THE STATE OF KENTUCKY Class No. 205 Com Nos 10 48 75
This Ticket will entitle the holder to one QUARTER of such Prize as may be drawn to its Numbers, if demanded within twelve months after the Drawing. Subject to a deduction of Fifteen per cent: Payable forty days after the Drawing.
For A. BASSFORD & CO., Managers.
#Covington, 1841. QUARTER.#
[This plate represents a lottery ticket with the numbers placed upon it. The numbers seen upon its face are of the same order as those found upon every ticket when sold, and are used to designate one ticket from another, and by comparing them with the numbers at the head of any of those packages of combinations, on another page, you will see the manner in which they are arranged, and the great advantage in favor of the managers.]]
FALLACY OF LOTTERIES AS A MEANS OF REVENUE.
We are indebted for the following exposition to our moral friend, Capt. John Maginn, of New York city.
“Although they may produce, by the various deceptive allurements which they hold forth, a temporary influx into the treasury of the state, yet the prostration of industry, the formation of idle habits, intemperance and various other vices, have invariably been the consequences wherever they have been introduced. No farther evidence of this position is requisite than the fact that in England, where many of the common necessaries of life are heavily taxed, it has been satisfactorily ascertained from observation, that for several days preceding the drawing of a lottery, the consumption of such articles was very materially diminished. It is moreover equally true, that a very small proportion of the tax actually paid, through the purchase of lottery tickets, is available to the state: by far the greater part being absorbed in the expenses, profits, &c., of managers and venders.”
INSURING NUMBERS, OR POLICY DEALING.
As the system of insuring numbers is at present practised to a fearful extent in this city, and as its votaries are mostly the ignorant and unthinking portion of the community, we proceed to give a plain matter-of-fact investigation of the chances.
There being on the day of drawing a certain number of tickets in the wheel, out of which a particular number of them are to be drawn, it follows that there are so many chances to one against a given number being drawn as the number which are to be drawn are contained in the entire number of tickets in the wheel. To illustrate this practically, suppose you would insure the payment of $100 upon the event of a certain number being drawn from the lottery wheel to-day; suppose it is a 78 number lottery, and that 12 ballots are to be drawn; the chance then is evidently 78/12, or 6.5 to 1 that you lose: accordingly, in order to make the chances equal, you must pay 100/6.5, or
Page 152$15.38, for insurance: if therefore the insurer should ask $32, there would be about $16 fraud: in other words, you would have to contend against about 100 per cent. The only inducement for the insurer to pursue this vile practice, in defiance of constitutions and laws, is a liberal per centage. This varies from 30 to 70, and even 125 per cent. Under circumstances like these, when the chances of gain are obviously so remote, it would seem incredible that any one endowed with even ordinary sagacity could be so deluded—so desperate—as to adventure; though, sad to relate, hundreds and hundreds in this city daily spend their little all in effecting insurance on numbers, and that, too, at the sacrifice of the common necessaries of life.
Another system of insurance, which we will proceed to analyze, is effected by what is termed a station number. The adventurer selects a number, and declares that it will come out the first or second drawn, or in some other place, for which he pays six cents, and if the number is drawn in the order indicated, he is to receive $2.50. To illustrate this, suppose you select a certain number, which you declare will be the third drawn; suppose also that it is a 78 number lottery, and that there are 12 drawn ballots. In this case there are evidently 78/12 = 6.5 chances to 1 against the selected number being drawn. It is also plain that should it be a drawn number, there are 12 chances to 1 against it being drawn in any particular order; wherefore it follows, that there are 6.5x12 = 78 chances to 1 against the selected number being the third or any other particular drawn number. Accordingly, to equalize the chances, in case of winning you should receive 78x6 = $4.68; hence, under these circumstances the insurer gains $2.18, which is nearly 100 per cent. Again, suppose it is a 98 number lottery, and that you pay 25 cents: here we have 98x25 = $24.50, the sum you ought to receive in case of winning, instead of which you only receive 25/6x2.5 = $10.626; hence the insurer gains $13.975, or more than 125 per cent.
PROF. GODDARD ON LOTTERIES.
We give below a very able memorial, from the pen of Prof. Goddard, of Brown University, to the Legislature of Rhode Island.
The undersigned, citizens of Rhode Island, have long regarded the lottery system with unqualified reprobation. They believe it to be a multiform social evil, which is obnoxious to the severest reprehension of the moralist, and which it is the duty of the legislator, in all cases, to visit with the most effective prohibitory sanctions. Entertaining these convictions, the undersigned memorialists cannot withhold them from the Hon. General Assembly of Rhode Island. They invoke the General Assembly to exercise their constitutional powers, promptly and decisively, for the correction of a long-continued, and wide-spread, and pestilent social evil. They ask them, most respectfully
Page 153and earnestly, to withdraw, as soon as may be, all legislative sanction of the lottery system, and to save Rhode Island from the enduring reproach of being among the last States to abandon that system. The memorialists beg leave to disclaim, in this matter, all personal or political considerations. They are seeking neither to help nor to hurt any political party. They contemplate no aggression upon the rights or the character of individuals. They are engaged in no impracticable scheme of moral reform. They have no fondness for popular agitation. They are what they profess to be, citizens of Rhode Island, and it is only in the quality of citizens of Rhode Island, that they now ask the General Assembly to resort to the most operative penal enactments, for the entire suppression of a system which exists, and which can exist only to disgrace the character of the State, and to injure both the morals and the interests of the people. The memorialists are persuaded that a commanding majority of the citizens of every political party entertain sentiments of decided hostility to all lotteries. In praying, therefore, for legislative interposition, they feel that they are not in advance of public opinion, that they are not urging the General Assembly to anticipate public opinion, but only to imbody it; to accelerate its salutary impulses, and to augment its healthful vigour. The constitutional power of the legislature to interfere in the premises being undisputed, the memorialists beg leave to submit, for consideration, a few only of the many reasons which have forced upon their minds the conclusion—that Rhode Island should lose no time and spare no effort in extirpating the lottery system:—a system which has already worked extensive evil within her borders; which is repugnant to a cultivated moral sense; and which has been branded, both as illegal and immoral, by some of the most enlightened governments upon earth. In this connection, it should be stated, that England, and, it is believed, France likewise, have abandoned the lottery system. Some of the most populous and influential States in this Confederacy have abandoned it. Massachusetts has abandoned it; Pennsylvania has abandoned it; New York has abandoned it. Nay more, so hostile were the people of the latter State to the lottery system, that in revising its Constitution a few years since, they adopted a provision which prohibits the Legislature from ever making a lottery grant. These examples are adduced to show the progress of an enlightened public sentiment upon this subject, and to exhibit the grateful spectacle of governments, differently constituted, exercising their powers for the best interests of the people. The evils which the lottery system creates, and the evils which it exasperates, are so various and complicated, that the undersigned memorialists cannot attempt an enumeration. They are so revolting as to furnish no motive for rhetorical exaggeration. A few only of these evils the undersigned memorialists will now proceed to mention.
1. Lotteries are liable to many of the strongest objections which can be alleged against gambling. They have thus far escaped, it is true, the infamy of gambling, but they can plead no exemption from its malignant consequences. Like gamblers, they are hostile—not to say fatal—to all composure of thought and sobriety of conduct. Like gambling, they inflame the imagination of their victims and their dupes, with visions of ease, and affluence, and pleasure, destined never to be realized. Like gambling, they seduce men, especially the credulous and the unthinking, from the pursuits of regular industry, into the vortex of wild adventure and exasperated passions. Like gambling, they ultimately create a necessity for constant vicious excitement. Like gambling, they often lead to poverty and despair, to insanity and to suicide. Like gambling, they furnish strong temptations to fraud, and theft, and drunkenness. Like gambling, they work, in but too many cases, a permanent depravation of all moral principle and all moral habits. This fearful parallel might easily be extended. The picture here presented of the evils of lotteries, however fearful it may seem, is not overdrawn. This picture will be owned as just, by many a bereaved widow and by many a forsaken wife, who trace all their woes to the temptation into which this respectable and legalized species of gambling had betrayed once affectionate husbands. It will be owned as just by many a child, who has been doomed perchance to a heritage of ignorance and poverty, by a father, for whose weak virtue the potent fascinations of the lottery were found too strong. In many respects, the lottery system may be deemed even more pernicious than ordinary gambling. It spreads a more accomplished snare; it is less offensive to decorum; it is less alarming to consciences which have not lost all sensitiveness; it numbers among its participants multitudes of those who ought to blush and to tremble for thus hazarding their own virtue, and for thus corrupting the virtues of others; it draws within its charmed circle men and women who fill up every gradation of age, and character, and fortune.
2. The lottery system, as at present constituted, presents the strongest temptations to fraud on the part of all those who are concerned either in the drawing of lotteries or in the sale of tickets. It is not known that fraud has in any case been perpetrated, though fraud is suspected. If perpetrated, it would be no easy matter to detect it. The ignorant and the credulous men and women, who seek to better their fortunes by gambling in lottery tickets, know nothing of those mystical combinations of numbers, on which their fate is suspended. Utter strangers as they are to all the “business transactions” of the lottery system, if cheated at all, they are cheated without remedy.
3. The lottery system operates as a most oppressive tax upon the community. This tax is paid, not by the rich and luxurious—but it is paid mainly by those who are struggling for independence, and by those who earn their bread by the sweat of their brow—by the servants in our kitchens—by clerks and apprentices, and day-labourers; by mechanics and traders; by the men and women who work in our factories; and in too many instances, it is to be feared, by our hardy yeomanry, who, impatient of the slow profits of agriculture, vainly expect from the chances of the lottery that which is never denied to the efforts of industry. The amount of pauperism and crime, of mental agitation and perchance of mental insanity, which the lottery system must create among these numerous classes, it would not be easy to calculate.
4. Lotteries are the parent of much of the pauperism which is to be found in this young, and free, and prosperous land. It entails poverty upon multitudes directly, by exhausting their limited means in abortive experiments to get rich by “high prizes”—and, yet more, by withdrawing multitudes from a dependence on labour, and accustoming them to hope miracles of good fortune from chance. After repeated disappointments, they discover, when it is too late to profit from the discovery, how sadly they have been duped, and how recklessly they have abandoned their confidence in themselves, and in that gracious Being who never forsakes those who put their trust in him. They sink into despondency, and, seeking to forget themselves, they bring upon their faculties the brutal stupor of intoxication, or they exhilarate them by its delirious gayety. Suicide is often the fearful issue. Dupin ascribes a hundred cases of suicide annually to the lottery system in the single city of Paris. Many years ago a lottery scheme, displaying splendid prizes, was formed in London. Adventures to a very large amount was the consequence, and the night of the drawing was signalized by fifty cases of suicide!
5. Success in lotteries is hardly less fatal than failure. The fortunate adventurer is never satisfied. He ventures again and again, till ruin overtakes him. After all the tempting promises of wealth, which are made by those concerned in this iniquitous system, how very few, except managers of lotteries and venders of lottery tickets, has it ever made rich! and well may it be asked, whom has it ever made more diligent in business, more contented, and respectable, and happy?
6. Lotteries, it is believed, are rendered especially mischievous in this country by the nature of our institutions, and by the spirit of the times. Here, the path to eminence being open to every one—but too many are morbidly anxious to improve their condition; and by means, too, which in the wisdom of Providence were never intended to command success. A mad desire for wealth pervades all classes—it feeds all minds with fantastic hope; it is hostile to all patient toil, and legitimate enterprise, and economical expenditure. It generates a spirit of reckless speculation; it corrupts the simplicity of our tastes; and, what is yet worse, it impairs, not unfrequently, in reference to the transactions of business, the obligations of common honesty. Upon these elements of our social condition and character, the lottery system operates with malignant efficacy.
The undersigned memorialists are far from thinking that, in the preceding remarks, they have exhausted the argument against the lottery system. They have dwelt, in general terms, upon only some of its more prominent evils. They do not allow themselves to believe that, aside from the ranks of those who have a direct personal interest in this system, a man of character could be found in Rhode Island to defend it. The memorialists deem lotteries to be in Rhode Island a paramount social evil. They entreat the General Assembly to survey this evil in all its phases, and then to apply the remedy. The interposition which is now asked at the hands of the Legislature has been delayed too long, either for the interests or for the character of the state. It is time that we protected our interests, and retrieved our character. It is time that the lottery had ceased to be the “domestic institution” of Rhode Island. It is time that we abandoned, and abandoned for ever, the policy of supporting schools, and building churches, with the wages of iniquity. The memorialists are aware that the General Assembly have made lottery grants, which have not yet expired. They seek not in any way to interfere with those grants; but in concluding this expression of their views, they cannot avoid repeating their earnest entreaty that the legislature would come up without unnecessary delay to the great work of reforming an abuse, which no length of time, or patronage of numbers, or policy of state, should be permitted to shelter for another hour.
EXTRACTS from a Report to the Society for the Prevention of Pauperism in the city of New York.
“It is not possible to estimate the sum that may have been drawn from the people by lottery devices. Nor is it possible to estimate the number of poor people that have engaged in lottery gambling. We have been told, that more than two hundred of these deluded people have been seen early in the mornings at the lottery offices, pressing to know their fate. There might be seen the anxiety, the disappointment, and mortification, of unfortunate beings, who had lost their all!
“Thus we see that this demoralizing contagion has spread its destructive influence over the most indigent and ignorant of the community. The injurious system of lotteries opens a wide door to gambling, fraud and imposition; of which the speculating, dishonest, idle, profligate and crafty avail themselves, and deceive the innocent and ignorant.
“If we place this subject in a pecuniary view as it relates to the public funds, the mischievous effect is more obvious. From an estimate, made by a gentleman of accurate calculation, it appears, that the expense, or the amount drawn from the people, to raise by lottery the net sum of 30,000 dollars, amounts to $170,500, including the expense of the managers and their attendants, the clerks and attendants of the lottery offices, the expense of time lost by poor people, and the amount paid the proprietors of lottery offices. This enormous sum is paid for the collection of only 30,000 dollars. This is, therefore, not only the most expensive, but also the most demoralizing method that was ever devised to tax the people.
“Upon the whole view of the subject, your committee are decidedly of opinion, that lotteries are the most injurious kind of taxation, and the very worst species of Gambling. By their insidious and fascinating influence on the public mind, their baleful effect is extended, and their mischievous consequences are most felt by the indigent and ignorant, who are seduced, deceived, and cheated out of their money, when their families are often suffering for the necessaries of life. Their principles are vitiated by lotteries, they are deceived by vain and delusive expectation, and are led into habits of idleness and vice, which produce innumerable evils, and, ultimately, end in misery and pauperism.”
The numbers on lottery tickets are formed by combinations of certain numbers previously agreed upon; as from 1 to 60, 1 to 75, 1 to 78, &c., &c.
Combination consists in taking a less number of things out of a greater, without any regard to the order in which they stand; no two combinations having the same quantities or numbers.
Problem.—To find the number of combinations which can be taken from any given number of things, all different from each other, taking a given number at a time.
Rule.—Take a series of numbers, the first term of which is equal to the number of things out of which the combinations are to be made, and decreasing by 1, till the number of terms is equal to the number of things to be taken at a time, and the product of all the terms.
Then take the natural series 1, 2, 3, &c., up to the number of things to be taken at a time, and find the product of all the terms of this series.
Divide the former product by the latter, and the quotient will be the answer.
How many combinations of 3 numbers can be taken out of 78 numbers?
78x77x76 = 456456 and
1x2x3 = 6
How many combinations of 3 numbers can be taken out of 70 numbers?
70x69x68 = 328440 and
1x2x3 = 6
How many combinations of 3 numbers can be taken out of 60 numbers?
60x59x58 = 205320 and
1x2x3 = 6
How many combinations of 3 numbers can be taken out of 40 numbers?
40x39x38 = 59280 and
1x2x3 = 6
We have sufficient experience in lottery gambling to assure the community that their whole system is as foul as highway robbery. We purchased a wheel from one of the fraternity in Washington City, and drew in Philadelphia three times, then carried it to Washington, and there demonstrated to the satisfaction of those who witnessed our drawing, that what we asserted was true to the letter. We copy the notices of the American Courier, one of the first papers of our country in the cause of humanity, and ever ready to diffuse that which will promote the happiness and welfare of mankind.
“On Saturday night, drew the prize of fifty dollars for the proprietor, he having declared to the audience the intention of giving them blanks, which he did to the satisfaction of the judges. We have the best authority for stating the belief that his expositions will prove not only interesting, but highly beneficial, in opening the eyes of thousands to the frauds practised in the shape of fairness by the lottery managers.”
After which the editor received the following:—
Frederick, June 9th, 1848.
Dear Sir—Will you oblige some of your readers by giving them an idea of “Green’s” manner of exposition of frauds, as practised by the lottery managers? and by so doing, no doubt but you will confer a favour on many of your subscribers.
A. M’Makin, Esq., Ed. American Courier, Philad.
In obedience to the request of “B,” we have conversed with a gentleman who was one of a committee of the audience to superintend the drawing of “Green’s Lottery” on a recent occasion. He says that the tickets were prepared and distributed precisely after the plan of the regular lottery managers, with the exception that Mr. Green announced to the audience that he had purposely reserved certain combinations of numbers, which he knew by calculation would draw for him the highest prize, and leave for them blanks only!—Each individual in the audience held a ticket, with a different combination of numbers, such as they choose to select from the packages opened to them. The numbers were placed in the wheel precisely in the usual way, the drawing conducted by the committee from the audience, and on the announcement of the drawn numbers it was discovered, sure enough, that the audience had received all blanks, and upon Mr. Green pointing to a package on the table reserved for himself, it was examined by the committee, and lo! there lay the ticket having the combination of numbers drawing the capital prize!—ED. A.C.
Communicated to the American Courier from Washington, D.C.
Green’s great Consolidated Lottery drew in this city on the 22d inst. The Reformed Gambler astonished a highly respectable audience at his complete exposition of the fraud practised by lottery speculators throughout our Union. Mr. Green stated to the audience that though he wished them to understand the lottery system to be fraught with deception, he did not wish it to be understood that he was competent to make a clear and comprehensive exposition. This was his fourth effort, and he had succeeded in three to the satisfaction of his audience.
He then stated that he would draw from the ternary combination of 42 numbers, and take therefore 8 drawn ballots, being equal to 15 in 75. He then placed in R.H. Gillet’s hand 42 tickets, which he declared contained the drawn numbers, where any 3 numbers should be upon a ticket. Having explained satisfactorily his intentions, he requested Mr. J. Thaw to act as his commissioner, Mr. Thaw being well known as a gentleman of integrity.
Mr. Green then requested Mr. Gillet to mark the numbers from 1 to 42, so that there should be no doubt resting upon the mind of any one that they were the same numbers which should afterwards be drawn out. The tickets were marked, and Mr. Thaw deposited them singly in tin tubes, from 1 to 42. Mr. Thaw then revolved the wheel, mixing them thoroughly; he then drew one at a time, until he drew 8, being the correct drawn ballots. Mr. Green then asked the audience if they had any prizes. Receiving a negative answer, he stated that he could draw one half of the numbers from the wheel and still they should have none, though they had some 400 tickets against his 42. The commissioner continued drawing, the prizes still falling in the manager’s package, and the numbers from 1 to 29 were taken out of the 42 before the audience received a full compliment of 3 numbers on a ticket. The drawing appeared fair; the numbers placed in the wheel were those taken out. The wheel is one Mr. G. purchased from a lottery vender in Washington city. Mr. G.’s explanation of his power to prevent prizes being drawn without his consent appeared very satisfactory. He declared that the managers had it in their power to assort out certain numbers, and by the villany of those concerned in the distribution, were enabled to keep any numbers from the hands of the drawer.
I must own that this exposition of Green’s has taken me altogether by surprise. I did think that the deluded thousands who live on, day after day, in the vain hope of a prize, instead of depending solely upon their industry, skill, and talents, had some remote chance of getting a good drawn number. But, it seems that this is all a delusion, and that lotteries can be “stocked” as well as a pack of cards.