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Fisher's River
(North Carolina)
Scenes and Characters (1859)


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I once lived near a town where a friend of mine named King often went, and he would uniformly stay all night with me.  He lived in St. Clair County, Alabama, and by staying with me he accomplished two objects:  he saved his bill (an important item with him) and enjoyed my company, of which he seemed very fond.  He was a quiet, harmless creature, and the only injury he ever did me was the loss of my time in keeping him company.  The only pay I could get out of him was to tease him a little.

We have no right to raise the question why a wise and sovereign Being has made some seemingly bad jobs, physically and intellectually.  They belong to the great family of man, and fill some important sphere, if we could see it.  Though you may regard them as nothing more than bores, not so with the sovereign Maker and Disposer.  Now my friend King was what some would call, in the process of man-making, an intellectual failure.  Here, reader, is the proof.  In 1848, when General Taylor was nominated for the presidency, Friend King called on me, and, after salutations, inquiry was made after the news of the day.

Author.  What is the news in St. Clair, Mr. King?

King.  Right Smart.

Author.  Very well, what is it?

King.  Well, thar's a man over thar runnin' fur President.

Author.  Who?

King.  I b'leeve they call him Ginnerl Taylor.

Author.  Where did you say he lived?

King.  Over in the back part of St. Clair, ur a little beyant.

Author.  Is he running pretty well?

King.  He is that.  I b'leeve he's a-gwine ter be elected.  Nairly all St. Clair's a-gwine fur him.

Author.  What!  old Democratic St. Clair going for Generl Taylor?  But who is this man General Taylor, any how?

King.  Why, hain't you hearn on him?  He's a-bin lickin' out the Maxicans fur some time, over thar a leetle beyant St. Clair.

Author.  Are you for Taylor --- as good a Democrat as you?

King.  I ain't that!  not becaze I'm a Dimmicrat, but on anuther account.  Sich a man can't git my vote.

Author.  Why not?

King.  Hain't you hearn what he done to the Maxicans over thar at a big spring?  Now I ain't no friend to the Maxicans,but they ought to be fout farly and be licked out farly, and not treated in sich a onhuman way.  Now efGinnerl Taylor had a fout 'um far, and had a licked 'um up like a cow a-lickin' salt, I wouldn't a kearn;  but the way he done it he can't git my vote.

Author.  How did he do it?

King.  Thar warn't but one spring o' water in all the country, and Ginnerl Taylor got possession o' that, and wouldn't let the Maxicans have one drap o' water, which was onhuman.  Last the Maxicans couldn't stand it no longer, and come runnin' to the spring, like thirsty oxen arter water, and Ginnerl Taylor shot 'um down like he would deer.  Sich a onhuman man can't git my vote fur dog-pelter.

Author.  Any more news?

King.  Nothin', on'y I'm gwine to leave Alabam, and s-gwine to Georgy.

Author.  Why so?

King.  Taxes is too high;  break me up;  can't nur won't stand it.

Author.  What is your annual tax?

King.  Seventy-five cents.  Poll-tax ain't but fifty cents in Georgy.

Reader, this man is one of the sovereigns of the country.  He is a King;  the only tyrant that ever ruled over him was Poll-tax.  He got rid of twenty-five cents of the tyranny of King Poll-tax by moving to "Georgy," where he is doubtless congratulating himself on the economy of his removal.  Should these lines ever fall under his eye, he will see that they are "according to Gunter."



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