Saloonitics

October 22, 2014 § Leave a comment

As the Pink Elephant crowd kvetches and moans about the nonexistent threat of voter ID fraud, it’s worth taking a look back at the good old days in Austin when men were men (and the only gender that voted) and fraud was really fraud.

October 28, 1875
Mayor Wheeler’s friends are busy naturalizing and registering voters, and of the 18 or 20 police, detectives, or what not, under the pay of the city, a large number seem to be on the general staff, that is, are working where they can do the most good — politically. This is only one of the many expedients used by a desperate political trickster to defeat the will of the people at the ballot box. The Mayor’s speech at “Mexico” on Tuesday night was but a repetition of his harangue of last week, full of the lowest appeals to the passions of the rabble. And all this from a young man who was elected to the high position he holds, but does not fill, by the vote of the Democracy two short years ago. Another case of vaulting ambition overleaping itself.

All the arts of the great cities and corrupt practices of debased Tammanies are practiced here in Austin. All sorts of roughs are being imported, and strangers are rapidly naturalized and furnished with registrars’ certificates, and 500 plug uglies may be boarded at the public expense from this time till Monday next. Therefore the knaves of all Texas gather in each town about election times. The candidates feed and whisky them, and thus taxpayers are robbed by roughs, and therefore the people should see to it that vicious-looking strangers, on election day, are kept away from voting places.

July 28, 1878
DEMOCRATIC SALOONATICS. — The late State Convention made the most complete provision for having fluid refreshment plenty and handy of any body which ever met in Austin or elsewhere. The corner next to the Convention Hall was a saloon, the corner opposite to that was a saloon, the side door in the hall opened into the alley at the back entrance to a saloon, across the street from Hubbard’s headquarters were three saloons, and on the corner across the street a fourth besides a liquor room attached to the headquarters. Throckmorton’s headquarters was over a saloon, with another across the street, the Dallas headquarters was at Charley Cortissoz’s saloon, Galveston hung out at Simon’s Sample room, Grayson over the Lone Star saloon, San Antonio at the Occidental saloon and other smaller delegations at different whisky shops. It has been estimated that it took $1,000 worth of whisky to nominate Roberts, and whether there is enough whisky left in the State to elect him is now the question. He will certainly not get a majority of the votes unless the patriots are too drunk to know what they are doing.

September 21, 1879
The bibulous patriot is anxious to know where he’s to get his drinks and what torch-light processions he is expected to march in during the city campaign.

August 13, 1880
Of course the patriotic voter has made up his mind for whom he intends to vote, but he cheerfully promises all the candidates and drinks their beer all the same.

Before the political tramp can go the rounds and see all the candidates, he is comfortable drunk and has to be carted to the station house.

The police court has been remarkably dull for the past two or three days. Whys is this? Why is it that the police fail to discover the boozy individual? Do the candidates have them carted off and stored away out of sight of the wide awake officers? If so, we beg of them to desist. The times are fearful dull for the reporters and they need every item possible.

Of course the patriotic voter has made up his mind for whom he intends to vote, but he cheerfully promises all the candidates and drinks their beer all the same.

Before the political tramp can go the rounds and see all the candidates, he is comfortable drunk and has to be carted to the station house.

The police court has been remarkably dull for the past two or three days. Whys is this? Why is it that the police fail to discover the boozy individual? Do the candidates have them carted off and stored away out of sight of the wide awake officers? If so, we beg of them to desist. The times are fearful dull for the reporters and they need every item possible.

December 17, 1880
Yesterday’s Election.
Yesterday morning was ushered in amid the usual hurrying to and fro incident on an election day. Hack drivers and expressmen who had been employed by the different candidates to haul the patriotic voters to the polls were busy making preparations to perform their duties. The candidates could be seen wearing expressions of deep anxiety flitting about giving directions, and everything indicated an exciting day. Promptly at the proper hour the judge and clerk of elections took their seats, opened the polls, and prepared to receive ballots. The polls were soon surrounded by friends of the respective candidates, and shortly after the voters began to straggle into the voting places to deposit their ballots. The vote, considering the large number of colored people out of town picking cotton, was very full.

June 14, 1881
The next city election is creating considerable stir on the streets and the “bosses” are preparing for an active campaign, to the great delight of the tramp, who has visions of torch light processions, free drinks and such things.

July 15, 1881
The candidates look gloomy, but the patriotic brigade of free drink voters are as cheerful as a May morning, and gaze into the future with intense satisfaction.

July 22, 1881
The patriotic voter, who is well up to the ways that are dark, when he drinks with a candidate, invariably calls for pony brandy, which is two bits a drink.

September 24, 1881
The Saylor legions are hard at work for their chief and hope by extraordinary efforts to carry off the honors. What are the legions marshaled under the banners of the other patriotic candidates doing? It is high time they were preparing free lunch stands and other potent agencies used in a city election.

October 8, 1881
The candidates for the different city offices will find it difficult to keep their constituents regulated. The darkies generally think they have a right to a share of the spoils in the way of policemen, porters, etc., and the smiling candidate is puzzled how to satisfy these demands.

It is clear that in consideration of all the difficulties that encompass the paths of the patriotic candidates, the best thing they can do is to pool their issues and publicly announce that no political bummer or rounder be employed to drum up votes. It will also be well while they are about it to determine that no carriages or public vehicles of any kind will be employed to haul voters to the polls on the day of election. The way city elections are conducted in this city is a disgrace, and the candidates who are now in the field can make a reform, and it is due the public that they take steps in this direction at once.

October 29, 1881
It is clear that in consideration of all the difficulties that encompass the paths of the patriotic candidates, the best thing they can do is to pool their issues and publicly announce that no political bummer or rounder will be employed to drum up votes. It will also be well while they are at it to determine that no carriages or public vehicles of any kind will be employed to haul voters to the polls on the day of election. The way city elections are conducted in this city is a disgrace, and the candidates who are now in the field can make a reform, and it is due the public that they take steps in this direction at once.

He Took.
“Do you take anything?” asked an Austin candidate, leading a prominent citizen into a saloon.

“Do I ever take anything? Don’t you remember I have been a member of the legislature?”

That settled it. He took something.

November 3, 1881
The friends of Major W.A. Saylor held a meeting last night in a room over the Workingman’s Hall, on Pecan street. Several of the colored brethren made speeches, one of whom suggested that it was “gittin about time for candidates to bring out their hacks as the culled folks wanted to ride some.”

November 5, 1881
OUTRAGEOUS CONDUCT.
An Officer Struck By Drunken Negroes.
About the hour the Statesman went to press Sunday morning, an outrageous affair occurred at the corner of Congress Avenue and Pecan street. A negro man was partaking of a Mexican supper, chile con carne y tamales, when he was approached from the rear by another negro and upset him in the mud. Thus irritated – not so much at having his clothes soiled as at being knocked out of his supper – the party of the first part rose and went for the other fellow. A melee ensued, when Officer Holland interfered to restore peace. He was knocked down by the negro who, in the first instance, caused the disturbance. The officer recovered himself and dealt the scoundrel several well-directed blows with his “billie,” but the crowd was too much for him. Holland was struck several times and when the Statesman reporter saw him, he was quite bloody. Threats were made by a number of darkies that they would “fix that officer” before daylight, but it was election whiskey that was talking, and nothing was done in that direction. The drunken negroes were very boisterous and their conduct was outrageous to a marked degree. Such proceedings are a disgrace to any community; but we may not look for a change until we get rid of the present system of carrying elections by the promiscuous use of whiskey.

November 8, 1881
Election Riff-Raffs.
The agony is over.

No fights yesterday.

Horseflesh suffered yesterday.

Yesterday was a field day for the hack men.

Free whiskey held high carnival in the city yesterday.

The colored troops fought nobly yesterday — because they were paid.

November 8, 1882
Colored men who have not even ridden on a dray for the last two years, were to be seen riding in carriages yesterday, looking as if they owned the whole outfit.

Around the polls in the first ward complaints were made that money furnished by certain candidates for election expenses, was used against those same candidates by the men whom they thought were their friends.

You may lock the doors, put shutters up, proscribe it how you will, but whiskey on election day, the boys will get it, still.

The cigar stands and drug stores had it all their own way in the cigar business yesterday, while the saloons were closed.

The gambling influence was no sufficient to elect the marshal of their choice. It is reported that large sums of money were used to elect one of the candidates, but was thrown away in the result.

December 6, 1883
How is it so many negroes have got such elegant suits of clothes since election who hadn’t even smelled of good cloth for a year before. Why is this thus?

December 12, 1883
One thing is certain: Austin has a mayor and 20 aldermen who were elected without any of those little indiscretions that are so common in cities outside of Texas. Not even a voter was treated to a cigar or a glass of cider, or any other valuable thing for the purpose of influencing his vote. Every man swore before Judge Walker and the mayor: That he had not directly or indirectly paid, offered nor promised to pay, contributed nor promised to contribute any money or other valuable thing, nor promised any public office or employment as a reward for the giving or withholding a vote at the election at which he was elected.

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