Clarion-Ledger, October 12, 1871

Clarion-Ledger, October 12, 1871


Republican Convention in Jefferson County.

Tales Told out of School.

A Colored Man and Brother Calls a Mean White a Liar.

The Radical Sheriff Charged with Being a Defaulter by a Colored Radical.

Brethren, Let us P-r-e-y.

From the Fayette Chronicle.

Our reporter attended a Convention of Republicans at the Court House last Friday evening. What he saw he will tell; but what he heard ’tis beyond the skill of man to write.

He saw the gathering of the clans. He heard somebody talking. He entered the Court House. Lemuel Long, J. P., County Assessor, County Superintendent of Education and Deputy County Treasurer, had the floor. The old man waxed eloquent – He became excited; indignant; mad, because Merriman Howard aspired to become Sheriff. The old man’s feelings were outraged at such presumption. He was astonished at such a course, when O. S. Miles, the man who had done so much for the colored people by bringing the old man himself and his multitudinous family to the county and giving them nearly all the offices of profit. Why, Merriman was an enemy to the Republican party! He could not be trusted. He had purchased fine school houses for the colored children to be educated in; he got them competent teachers; he was doing much for their good; he could not be trusted. Merriman Howard was a bad man. And so the old man went, varying the monotony of his eloquence with a blow of illogical venom at poor, lean Kearns, and ambitious little Henry McClure. But he went back to charge Howard once more, when Kearns asked him about the old man’s changing the records in his office, because the records would not agree with the old man’s reports as Deputy Treasurer. O, the eloquence of Lemuel Long! How he was inspired by standing just where Prentiss had stood in days gone by! How he did speak words of nonsense, and shake his polished head until his glossy wig had well nigh fallen.

So much has been said about the old man, because he would have felt slighted had his imperfections been passed by with briefer mention. We would flatter him a more, but the next orator claims some attention.

When the old man ended his strain of eloquence, O. S. Miles was vociferously called for. He bashfully mounted the rostrum, and with a modesty unheard of, glorified himself unto the skies, and told what wonderful things he had done for himself, and the fifteen colored gentlemen he had brought there to applaud him. He even declared that he had borrowed money at 18 per cent to supply his laborers and took no security whatever. He convinced everybody that as a financier a success he was – not. Our reporter was here called away, and heared not the remainder of Mr. Miles’ remarks so laudatory of Mr. Miles himself; when he returned to Merriman Howard, old man Long’s big devil, was sweeping everything before him. He showed his record up clearly and denounced the assertions of old man Long as false, and affectionately told the man that he was “an infamous liar, and the truth was not in him.” This term of endearment was several times repeated, and those present agreed that there was a slight difference between the two individuals, and that Howard had decidedly the best of the question. Merriman next bestowed his attentions on the Sheriff and told how he was and is a defaulter to the amount of $1800, and when his “good friend Walton E. Long,” denied the “soft impeachment,” he told him with sweet simplicity that he was “an infamous malicious liar.”

After Merriman followed little McClure in impassioned strains of high-soaring oratory; genial, plite, refined J. Clarence Ellis in a speech replete with brilliant corruscations and scintillations of bombast; stuttering Nelson Hall, who briefly told J. Clarence that he “mi-might co-come d-down, as the colored folks w-were go-going to vote f-for Doug. McCormick and Wash Shackleford.”

To sum up, Howard came out far ahead of all competitors, and showed conclusively the utter incapacity, ignorance and rascality of the white men with whom circumstances have compelled him to associate.

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