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Ft. Gibson Post

Vol III No 29 (the May 7th issue was No 28)

Thursday June 2, 1898 (Part 1)

Abstracted / Transcribed by Linda Haas Davenport

When the print is so faded that it cannot be read <.....> will be used . All transcription will be as found in the paper, misspellings and all

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Dividing Line

<No issues on the microfilm between May 7th and June 2nd. However, in looking at the "No." of the issue on the masthead the May 7th issue was No. 28 and this one is No. 29. It may be that no paper was printed between the two dates.>

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A Big Battle Reported at Santiago, But Not Yet Confirmed
     It was reported over the wires yesterday that Commodore Schley had entered Santiago harbor with his warships and attacked the Spanish fleet, and that a desperate battle was being fought, but up to 3:30 yesterday afternoon the report had not been confirmed. The very latest is the following dispatch from Washington.
     Washington, D. C., June 1 - It is the general belief here that there has been some sort of a fight between Schley and Cervera, although up to his hour there has been no official news received.
     Some of the navy official are inclined to discredit the news, but unofficial reports indicate that some sort of action has occurred. ...
     War Ship Captured. Key West, Fla., Jun 1 - Commodore Watson received news from the Eastern fleet yesterday, the latter signalling the vessels of his fleet that the St. Louis captured the Alphonso XIII. The Spaniard made a game struggle and it was necessary to put seventeen shots into her before she was captured.
     A Third Call Expected. - A dispatch from Washington Tuesday says that a third call for volunteers is likely to be issued within the next two weeks. Military authorities are convinced that there is to be a demand for troops that cannot be met with the force available under present conditions. ... First an army of 125,000 for Cuba. Second an army of 60,000 for the Philippines. Third an army of 30,000 for Porto Rico.
     The Invasion Commenced - The transportation of United States troops to Cuba began Tuesday. ...

     Immediately following the teacher's institute held in Tahlequah July 3-7, a summer normal will begin in that city, to continue three or four weeks, as the convenience of the
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member of the normal dictates. A competent faculty has been selected, and they are now at work preparing a course of study and program for the work.
     We wish this normal to have in attendance very public school teacher in the Cherokee nation, and every one else who is interest in school work. The tuition fee will be made moderate, and special arrangements will be made for board, bringing it down to a minimum cost. After the normal the usual examinations will be held, and work done in the normal will have due consideration. Those who attend this normal will have a great advantage over those who do not.
     School work in the Cherokee nation is on the upgrade and this normal will greatly add to the efficiency of our teachers.
     Make all your arrangements now, that you can be on hand on the opening day of the normal.
     Tahlequah is a healthy place, and an ideal spot for the work. The time spent there in this normal will be pleasant as well as profitable.
J E Butler, M L Paden, G W Mitchell, Board of Education for Cherokee Nation.

HELP NEEDED. - The International School for the Blind to the Public.
     It has lately been published in a number of territorial papers that congress has appropriated $10,000 for the support and maintainance of International School for the Blind, at Fort Gibson, I.T. This is altogether a mistake, and in order to show that it is such we publish the following private letter from Judge John S. Little, the gentleman who introduced our bill, and who knows whereof he speaks:
     "House of Representatives, U.S. Washington, D. C. May 14, 1898 - Miss Lura Rowland, Fort Gibson, I.T. My Dear Madam: Your letter of the 10th inst. received. The bill for the relief of the International School for the Blind and appropriating $10,000 for that purpose, I am sorry to say has not yet passed and I do not think it will this session of congress. The extraordinary demand on the treasury for war purposes, make new appropriations very difficult to secure. With much respect, John S. Little"
     It is hoped that the above letter will be sufficient proof to the public that we have not yet obtained the desired aid from the government, as has been reported, and until such aid is secured we need and implore the assistance of the good people of the territory, and elsewhere, in the carrying on of this much needed work of educating the blind Indians and whites of Indian Territory. ...

     In our advertising columns will be found an announcement of Ex-Senator John J Ingalls' forthcoming book entitled, "America's War For Humanity." Canvassing agents will find in it a book of remarkable interest, and certainly of extraordinary salability. The history of the war is told in picture and story, and in a way that always characterizes the brilliant pen of Senator Ingalls. ... It is published by N D Thompson Publishing Co., of St. Louis , Mo. ...

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     How Mayor (!) Watts and His Satraps Run Things.
           A Few Specimens of Law and Justice as Meted Out
           Without Regard to Guilt or Innocence.
Special Report to The Post. Muldrow, I.T. May 30
     By request of several persons who have suffered injustice and indignities, and in justice to the good people of Muldrow and surrounding country who do not sanction the state of affairs existing here, I give a few specimens of law and justice as administered here in Mayor Watts' so-called "Kangaroo Court," which has already attained an unenviable reputation.
     It would seem that it is about time that the infamous doings were made public.
     It was publicly charged that his first term as mayor was obtained in a fraudulent manner, and that his second election in April last was still more fraudulent, as can be shown. During his first term as mayor, among other misdemeanors, he was tried and convicted of two brutal assaults, one on a colored man and the other on a highly respected white man, using, as it is claimed, brass "knucks" in both cases. His trial in these two cases and another for disturbing the peace, were before his cousin, W W Payne, recorder.
     All through his first administration it has been one sided or "Kangaroo" justice. Chums or members of his gang have been favored, and outsiders dealt with unjustly or severely. C C Marcum, a stone mason here was imprisoned and chained down for refusing to work on the streets, although he was legally exempt from such service. It appears that Marcum had made himself obnoxious to Mayor Watts by making public "his Honor's" nightly haunts in Fort Smith.
     A friend of Mayor Watts was on trial charged with disturbing the peace, the mayor having carefully selected the jury, which is usually left with marshal. When the trial was about half finished word came in that one of the jurymen had bet $5.00 that the accused would come clear. Notwithstanding the jurymen owned that he had offered to bet five dollars on the result of the trial and wished to be excused, and despite the protestations of counsel for the prosecution, W H Norrid, Mayor Watts would not have him released. Of course, his friend came clear.
     A most flagrant case of injustice was that of a traveling preacher who called himself "Elijah the Prophet," who was imprisoned on a trumped-up charge of disturbing the peace. Poor Elijah had told too much truth to suit certain ones, and had no town chums nor no "friend at court."
     An outrage on justice was the case of a young man, a friend or chum of Mayor Watts, who entered a house in town where a 14 year old girl was alone, and attempted a criminal assault upon her. She fled from the house into the street where her assailant followed her, taking hold of her person and swearing he would accomplish his criminal purpose. He was finally driven off by approaching parties who heard the girls cries for help. For this aggrevated criminal assault the man was arrested charged with "disturbing the peace," sent to work on the streets and allowed to escape after committing a penitentiary offense. Affidavits can be given in these cases if necessary, and the half has not been told. - Citizen

     The editor of The Post can remember how about a year ago, what a time I had with this same Watts and his gang, about the time I moved this paper from Muldrow. I have just passed through or entered upon another ordeal with this same outfit,
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who still do not despair of driving me out of town, because I condemn and expose their infamous doings.
     On the 14th inst. I was arrested by John Bailey, town marshal, because I would not open my house and give him possession of my library. The farce called a trial, was before Will Blackard, recorder, a cousin of Mayor Watts, who was acting as attorney. Of course I stood no more show of justice than a rat in a chinese josh house - was pronounced guilty of "resisting a civil process." I refused to pay the fine and was put in prison where I remained about seven hours, until the arrival of my wife who threatened to make it warm for the gang, when I was released.
     Next Tuesday, the 17th inst. John Bailey, town marshal, went to my house with two others broke open the door and loaded into a wagon several hundred books from my library, all of which were taken to the office of "his honor" the mayor. Previous to all of this I had made out a schedule showing my library was exempt from execution.
     The books were offered for sale at public auction on the 18th inst. by order of Mayor Watts, when the public were made acquainted with his unjust and dishonorable doings by showing that my books were unlawfully seized and offered for sale for a debt of $20 due the Graham Paper Co. of St. Louis by his father, W J Watts, which debt was contracted while Watts and I were partners in the newspaper business about 4 years ago. The public also learned that while Watts and I were partners, about 4 months, I had paid several debts for him, which he would not do, a debt of his own contracting to A N Kellogg Newspaper Co, of $35, and a joint note of about $18, to H C Hite of the Fort Smith Times Sun. The people refused to bid after hearing this statement and Mayor Watts bid in somewhere about 150 volumes of choice books to satisfy a debt of $20 that his father should have paid. In some cases $3 books sold as low as 15 cents. Among the books were some cherished mementos of boyhood days, a number of books presented to me by the authors, with autographs. The remnants were turned over to me, some in damaged condition. This is part of the public doings of Mayor Jess Watts to date, and of which can be substattiated, with more to come. Perhaps they will drive me out. We shall see. - J S Holden.

           He Took A Dose of Carbolic Acid, Thinking it Was Whisky.
     Mr. Henry Spears, who was seriously shot in the face about three weeks ago by some unknown party, died last Thursday afternoon from the effects of drinking carbolic acid through mistake for whisky. Since Mr. Spears was shot whisky has been administered to him as a stimulant. The day of his death it seems a whisky bottle containing carbolic acid had been inadvertently left on a table near the bed and during the absence of the family from the room Mr. Spears reached over and took a large swallow of the poisonous drug, thinking it was whisky. He immediately called for help and a doctor was sent for, but nothing could be done to save his life. He died in less than an hour in intense agony.
     At the time of the unfortunate mistake Mr. Spears was recovering nicely from the wound he had received and would have been up and about in a few more days.
     The funeral occurred Saturday morning at 10 o'clock from the family residence and was largely attended. The services wee conducted by Rev. Huber of the Presbyterian church. Two sons, O A Spears, of Iowa, and D B Spears of Little Rock, Ark., and his daughter Miss Lillie Spears, were all the relatives that were present at the funeral.
     The deceased had many friends in and around Fort Gibson who extend sympathies to the bereaved family.


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