Natchez Democrat, June 22, 1872

Natchez Democrat, June 22, 1872

THE RAILROAD.

The Barbecue at Dobyn’s Store.

RODNEY, June 18, 1872.

MR. EDITOR – We had the pleasure of attending the railroad meeting held at Doby’s bridge, last Saturday, and being as nearly disinterested as it were possible for one to well be, can give you as unprejudiced an account of it as can be had. Leaving Rodney, the stronghold of the opposition, in company with the anti-railroadites, we arrived at the place of meeting in good time, and found assembled the entire neighborhood; also a large number of citizens of Fayette, and Church Hill, together with many from Rodney. Prominent among the crowd were the faces of four or five gentlemen from Natchez.

The time was far spent and the sun had passed his meridian before the meeting was organized. There was some difficulty in arranging the terms for the discussion. After vainly trying for more than one hour to agree, the meeting was called to order by Dr. Richardson, who stated its objects, and introduced D. C. Kearns, Esq., of Fayette, who spoke for fifty minutes in favor of subscriptions, to a very noisy and inattentive audience. His speech was a good one, and had it been listened to, would have been a very effective one. The opposition having agreed to accept the terms offered, Mr. Kearns was followed by the Hon. James Cesser, who occupied his time with anything else but the subject in hand. His speech was filled with personal allusions, traducing the character of his opponents; there was nothing said by him for or against the road that amounted to anything. The Hon. Merriman Howard next took the “wagoon,” in defence of the railroad. He begun on Ireland and Cessor, and before he got through he had so wound the latter up we doubt it he has straightened himself yet. Following Mr. Howard, came the “big guns” of the opposition. Capt. Jones, of Rodney, got a hearing of fifty minutes, and in that time said all that could be said in defence of his position. He sprinkled small shot around rather promiscuously, and to give him credit, did not “fly the track.” He was the only one who confined himself entirely to the question. The Captain gave place to Col. Ireland, who didn’t hold his audience “spell-bound by the magic of his eloquence,” as it was intended. Nevertheless, he is a good speaker, and has as polite a way of telling a man he lies as any one I ever saw. Owing to some misapprehension or negligence, he was stopped before the expiration of his time. The mistake was discovered after Gen. Martin had taken the stand, and when asked by the General to return and finish, he declined, saying: “Go on, General, I will finish when you are through.” The latter would not consent to that, and so the matter rested. It is useless to tell you, or your readers, anything of his speech. You all know him, and that is enough.

As to the results of the meeting, I am not prepared to say. I do not think it a wise plan to mingle Rodney and Fayette too much together. You might compare them – the one to a can of gun powder, and the other a coal of fire when they meet – an explosion is sure to occur.

It was mainly owing to the promptitude and decision of the Sheriff of the county that a serious difficulty was avoided. The meeting was a large and enthusiastic one. But standing from where I do – knowing the strength of both sides, and being familiar with their workings – I cannot tell the result. The opposition to subscription is very strong in this “north-western corner” of the county. I. NO.

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