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A Victorian Scrapbook

A Scrapbook of Newspaper Articles Compiled by George Burgess (1829-1905)

Victorian Culture and Life

In the Fall of 1840

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Transcript from original newspaper article: -
In the Fall of 1840IN THE FALL OF 1840 I was traveling, in company with Father Kidwell, from Richmond, Indiana, to Dayton, Ohio, to attend a grand Harrison fandango. Mr. Kidwell was a famous Universalist preacher, and a warm politician. As we were riding along we passed a company of Irishmen at work on the road, when Mr. Kidwell roared out at the top of his voice,

“Hurrah for Tippacanoe, and Tyler too!”

One of the Patlanders responded most profanely by shouting “Hurrah for hell!”

“That’s right, my friend,” said Kidwell; “I like to hear every man hurrah for his own country.”

We had to whip up briskly to get out of the reach of the stones which followed us in answer to this home shot.

Some years ago Mr. Kidwell was preaching to a large audience in a wild part of Illinois, and announced for his text:

“In my Father’s house are many mansions.”

He had scarcely read the words when an old coon stood up and said:

“I tell you, folks, that’s a lie! I know his father well. He lives fifteen miles from Lexington, in old Kentuck, in an old log cabin, and there ain’t but one room in the house.”

At another time the same Universalist preacher was holding forth in a meeting house in Terre Haute. He had gone about half through his discourse when a man came in, quite the worse for liquor, and reeled up in front of the pulpit, where he steadied himself and listened. The preacher was earnest in proving there is no hell, and urged the Universalist doctrine with great eloquence, till the poor drunkard below cried out to him:

“That’s it, Kidwell, my old friend! Make them words true, or if you don’t I’m a goner!”

That brought the sermon to a close. I was an application quite unexpected, but all the more forcible on that account.