Thursday, 30 August 2012


John L. Sullivan, once noted for his prowess as a prize fighter, and a champion of the ring so long as he lived a temperate life, was interviewed the other day in New York by a newspaper reporter, and among other things he said was : “Booze was the only thing that put me out of the fighting game. Booze always was and always will be champion. If you have a lad at home, tell him that booze can meet any weight, concede any handicap, and win hands down. It’s a cinch that booze will beat you.” John L. is not the only man who could give that experience. Some of the brightest intellects, men capable of managing the largest industries, have been wrecked by too frequent indulgence in intoxicating liquors. The successful men of business are those who drink sparingly, if at all. Take the heads of all the great enterprises in the city of Hamilton and you will find them men of moderate habits. John D. Rockefeller, the millionaire of the Standard Oil Company, who less than thirty years ago was a man of moderate means, says that it was by keeping a clear head, free from the fumes of wine, that he was enabled to work out his road to wealth. More than one bright Hamilton man, who stood head and shoulders above his fellows in the management of business affairs, has gone down to obscurity and poverty through the free indulgence of strong drink. Many years ago, an intellectual Scotsman, who had been brought down through drink to become almost a barroom loafer, would occasionally exclaim in front of a saloon, as he saw a young man enter, “Stop, you sinner, stop and think, before you further go!” It was a terrible warning from one who had run down the scale of respectability till he had become so low that even the bartender would not tolerate him unless he entered with some old-time acquaintance to get a drink. There are everyday evidences in the streets of this city of what strong drink will do. The men you see in rags and poverty were once like you, young man, who could take a drink and leave it alone.
          Last Saturday afternoon, a respectably-dressed man, of sixty years of age, or more, was forcibly ejected from a prominent hotel in this city somewhat the worse for liquor. Even in his degradation, he was a gentleman in manners and it was a sad sight to see him roughly-handled by a young man connected with the hotel office. Probably the old man was an acceptable visitor while his money lasted, even though it was a Sunday. Unfortunately such sights are too common in city life. There was a time when that old man boasted in his strength to drink a glass of liquor or leave it alone.


          It did not turn out so badly after all, yet for a time the people were exited at the thought that they would have uncomfortable homes during the winter, or spend all their money in soft coal or wood, both of which became suddenly inflated in value, although they cost not a cent more to produce than in ordinary times. We have become so accustomed to hard coal and furnaces and base burners, they are necessaries instead of luxuries. Every room in the house has to be heated up to seventy degrees to be comfortable in wintertime, and even the poorest family can enjoy the luxury of a warm house when hard coal is only $6 a ton. Indeed one need come under the class of the oldest inhabitant to remember the time when only the well-to-do could afford to have more than one stove in the house besides the kitchen range, and the parlor stove was rarely fired up except on Sundays and holidays. Such a thing as a furnace, except in the house of a nabob, was unknown. Go back half a century or more and the majority of houses in Hamilton were built with a large fireplace in the kitchen, with an iron crane to hang the pots and kettles on. Cooking stoves were a luxury, and the average citizen enjoyed the open fire, piled high with wood, and the mothers of those days baked the family’s salt-rising bread in round iron pots covered and surrounded by red-hot coals; and when they indulged in the extravagance of roast beef or turkeys or geese at Christmas times, the meat was suspended by a string or wire in front of the wood fire and browned to a turn. It makes one’s mouth water even now to think of the delicious roasts of the olden times. If mother was busy, one of the children was put in charge of the roast to keep it properly basted so that the beef or turkey or goose would not bake dry or be burned. Ah, what a flavor that meat had! But let us get back to the heating question. Wood was cheap in those days, the best dry maple and beech selling for $1.50 a cord. The men who chopped the wood and hauled it to town were not making a fortune at the price they charged, but they had to clear up the farms and better get $1.50 a cord than burn it with the brush to get rid of it.
          Even with wood as cheap as it was then, the people in town were saving of it, and when nine o’clock at night came, except on rare occasions, the fire on the hearth or in the stove was carefully covered up with ashes, and within an hour, the kitchen or sitting room was as cold as a barn. No one thought of having a fire in a bedroom, that would not only have been extravagance but very unhealthy. Old-fashioned people were great sticklers for cold rooms to sleep in, but they would bury themselves under a mountain of blankets and quilts, have the windows and the doors closed tight, and not a breath of fresh air was allowed in those rooms during the night. People have learned better now, and heat their bedrooms, while they let the window down from the top for ventilation.
          But this is all digression. How one rambles when the memories of the days of yore come back! The coal strike turned out at last to be more of a scare to consumers of coal than anything else. Of course, the owners of the coal mines and the local coal dealers took advantage of it and reaped a golden harvest while the strike lasted. And the men who had wood to sell, both in town and country, squeezed the poor consumers till the Queen’s head on the five cent pieces groaned in agony at the extortion. It is all over now, however, and it will not be long before hard coal will be so plentiful that even the poorest person will have it to burn. The price may be a little stiff for awhile, but buy it in small quantities till the dealers are compelled to get back to the old figures. Providence has tempered the wind to the shorn coal bins, and thus far in November, the houses have been kept comfortable with but little expenditure of fuel.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012


Lord, how this world is given to lying!” Shakespeare hit the nail square on the head. David, the sweet singer of Israel, in one of his Psalms, suggested the same thought before William became the Bard of Avalon, when he said: “I said in my haste all men are liars.” David and William were pretty good judges of human nature in their days, but if they had lived till the twentieth century, they would have made the indictment still stronger. Once it was that when a respectable man or manufacturing company offered to the public an article of food, and certified by endorsement on the package that it was what it was represented to be, the confiding purchaser bought it and used it, fully believing in its purity. In these days of adulterations, it is a pretty difficult matter to tell the spurious from the genuine; and, probably, there is nothing in which the public is more humbugged than in the jams and jellies that are put on the market by so-called reputable fruit preservers. The other day an examination was made of the product of one of the jam factories in Montreal, and all but two or three of the ten or twelve specimens examined were innocent of bot raspberries and sugar. An analysis of the jams showed that they were made of turnips, glucose, salicylic acid and other preservatives. This is the kind of stuff that was sent to South Africa as delicacies for the brave boys who were fighting under the British flag, and the same jams are sold to the retail dealers of Canada for people who depend upon the store to furnish luxuries as well as necessities for the table. And when these Montreal jams are exported to countries with which Canada has trade relations, no wonder that honest manufacturers have to suffer for the rascality of men in the same trade. With fruit and sugar cheaper now than they have ever been in the history of Canada, it is an outrage upon humanity to palm off turnips, glucose and salicylic acid as jam made from raspberries, or other fruit, and sugar. It is said that in London, England where oranges are cheaper than they are in the Hamilton market, nearly all of the orange marmalade is made in part from the orange peel gathered in the streets. The manufacturers buy the orange skins from people who make a living by gathering them. Thousands of bushels of turnips are shipped from Burlington, Copetown and other stations not far from Hamilton to Chicago every year to be made up in the most delicious jams and jellies.
          Almost every thing one eats, except fresh vegetables and meat, is more or less adulterated. In France and Italy, the selling of adulterated food in the home market is punished severely, but there is no law against selling the stuff in foreign countries. Chicory in coffee, alum in bread, starch in cocoa, and flour in mustard may be perfectly harmless, but why not let the purchaser do their own mixing? Wood alcohol is a poison, yet it is used by many manufacturers of alcoholic beverages. Whiskey made in the regular way is bad enough for the one who has an unfortunate appetite for it, and will bring the victim down in due course of time. The manufacturer who uses wood alcohol should be satisfied with his profits made in a legitimate way. Newly-made beer is given age by being adulterated with salicytol and other drugs of the same nature. Why will distillers and brewers deliberately kill the goose that lays the golden egg? At least give him pure whiskey and beer while his money lasts? But any kind of budge will satisfy the poor drunkard.
          In no one article of diet should boards of health be more particular in looking out for adulteration than in milk. Every family uses more or less of it, and there is nothing in the way of food that the vendors make freer to doctor and tamper with than milk. Many of them begin at the pump and then methyol or formaldehyde to give the milk a rich, creamy color, and keep it from turning sour. These preservatives may be all tight for embalming dead bodies, but they are tough on stomachs of living bodies. The exposure of the bogus jam factories in Montreal should call attention of the Dominion authorities to the adulteration of nearly everything we eat and drink.


Some of the chroniclers of the ancient history of Hamilton give credit to Terry Branigan for the authorship of the Branigan Chronicles, that were first written and published some time about 1855, Old Terry was a quaint character in Hamilton in those days, and represented one of the wards in the City Council for a number of years. He was a banker by trade, and carried on that business, diversifying it by keeping a tavern. If he had any educational ability, he must have kept it to himself, although there was an impression that in early life he had been destined to the holy calling of the priesthood. Be that as it may, Terry’s oratory in the City Council was not such as would carry away an audience or even carry conviction that the matters he advocated were for the best interests of the city. Hamilton’s aldermanic wisdom along during the early fifties was not always of a high order, though, now and then, a good man would by accident be elected to represent some of the wards. Terry was gifted with a vein of wit that occasionally sparkled out and illuminated the old council chamber, which was then over the market house. Terry Branigan, Larry Devanny and Owney Newlon were a trio that kept things lively for local lawgivers at their weekly session, and they were always sure of a crowded house of citizens who attended the meetings to enjoy the fun. Dodger Gray was an aldermanic feature for two or three years, representing St. Patrick’s ward, but Dodger got the Corktowners down on him, through his braggadocio in saying all he had to do was bend his walking stick up into Corktown and they would vote for it as loyally as they did for him. When the next election came, the Dodger was down at the bottom of the pool, and that ended his aldermanic career.
The Growler was the name of a little paper that was published weekly about 1855, edited by Tom Fleming, better known as Tom Pluff. Tom was a printer, and the only schooling he had was a few years in the Central school when he was but a young lad. In those days, the Hamilton boys had to begin the battle of life earlier than they do now, and before Tom was 15 years old, he was a printer’s devil and learned to stick type. What he lacked in schooling, he made up in practical experience in a printing office, and while he was no grammarian equal to Lindley Murray, nor could he write as smooth paragraphs as Goldwin Smith, yet he was gifted with native Irish wit that made the Growler quite interesting and in great demand. Tom had no capital with which to pay printers to set up the paper, so the boys who worked in the other offices in town used to gather in on Thursday and Friday nights to put the matter into type. Reporting the proceedings of the City Council was Tom’s “best holt” and Terry, Larry and Owney furnished a bright paragraph for each issue. More than one printer’s boy gained his first experience in writing in the columns of the Growler. One Saturday, the whole town was convulsed with laughter when Branigan’s Chronicles was duly credited to Terry in the paper, and the readers took it as a matter of course that Terry’s hidden genius as a literary man was being suddenly developed. The Chronicles were an exact imitation of the book of that name in the Bible, and in them were depicted all the foibles of the day, and more than one man who supposed himself prominent in a public way had the conceit knocked out of him. The Chronicles were a hit, a palpable hit and Tom Fleming and the Growler were lifted out of poverty, and became self-sustaining and able to pay wages to printers to get the type. Terry Branigan at first disclaimed the authorship, but when the chapters were repeated week after week in the Growler, he was modestly content to receive the honor. However, Terry never wrote a line of the Chronicles, nor had he the ability to do so. The true author was a bright, young Scotsman who was a porter in a wholesale crockery and glassware house on the south side of King street. He was a close student of the Bible, and was thus enabled to paraphrase the sacred history and deal some telling blows at the way Hamilton public affairs were being managed. It is very doubtful if Terry knew enough about the Bible to tell the difference between the Chronicles and the Revelations. The old fellow was not a business success, so he stepped from the chambers of the City council into the profitable job of market clerk, where he had a life tenure. The volumes of the Growler during the years of its publication would furnish much history of the times in Hamilton during the fifties. Tom Fleming served as a sergeant in a cavalry regiment during the civil war in the United States and made a good record as a brave soldier. He died a few years ago over in New York state.   

Saturday, 25 August 2012


The handsome new public library building, which will formally dedicated on Monday afternoon, will be a perpetual monument to Andrew Carnegie, whose beneficent gift of $100,000 made it possible for Hamilton to erect such a building. Its location could not be better selected, for it is removed from the noise and bustle of business, while at the same time, it is convenient to residents from every quarter of the city. In its construction, it has had the careful oversight of the architect as well as the members of the library board, many of whom are practical men so that we may infer that it was built to last for ages. The building is compact and solid, and in its interior arrangements is planned after the most modern library buildings. One of its attractions will be the art gallery, the foundation of which are the paintings of William Bruce, a native of Hamilton, who won fame as an artist in foreign counties during his brief life. He was the son of William Bruce, now retired and living on the mountain top, and who is spending the closing years of his life in the study of astronomy and adding his mite to scientific research. The young artist began his studies in this city under capable teachers, and with the assistance of his father, who has natural artistic talents, he became noted abroad. Among his pictures is one of valuable historic interest, The Bathers of Capri and Snow Blind. In the art gallery at Ottawa is one of his pictures. These paintings the young artist wished to become a part of a civic art gallery in Hamilton whenever such a department was founded on a permanent basis, and the city came near losing them on account of the dilatoriness on the part of controllers and library board to decide upon founding an art hall in the new public library building. There are other valuable paintings from the brush of the young artist, as well as many of the works of Mr. Bruce. These are the foundation  of what Hamilton hopes may become an art collection that will grow and be of great value to future students of our local art school. However, the writer of these musings will not follow up this subject, but will leave it to the reporters upon whom will devolve the task of not only describing the architecture of the new library, but also its interior and its art room. Monday will be a red letter day in the history of Hamilton.


          Let us go back sixty years when Hamilton (in 1853) celebrated the opening of the Mechanics’ Institute building on James street. That even was a long stride ahead of the old-time library that had its home on King street west, in a black, dingy room. Mechanics’ Institutes were an ancient institution, and we read of them in Dickens’ novels. They were workingmen’s library and social recreation rooms, where the men and apprentice boys could meet in the evening to read newspapers and books belonging to the library. It was a free and easy resort, but it was conducted with due decorum so that visitors could spend a quiet evening in the enjoyment of a pipe of tobacco and some favorite book or newspaper. Probably if there were such reading rooms nowadays where young men who live lonely lives in boarding houses could spend their evenings, they might act as a drawing card against the attractions of the saloon and its sociability and pleasant surroundings. Libraries of the present day are certainly bright and attractive, but the incense of tobacco is debarred from their sacred walls. The old reading room on West King street has passed from the memory of even the oldest inhabitant, but the new institute on James street is yet remembered by a few ancient Hamiltonians. It was completed and opened to the public about the time that the Great Western railway ran its first trains from the Niagara river to this city, and the reading rooms and library were largely controlled and patronized by men employed in the Great Western shops. One of the most active of the railroad employees was David McCulloch, who was gifted with speech, and was a leader among his shopmates. Mr. McCulloch was employed in the upholstering department at the Great Western shops, and as a matter of history we might state that he helped to trim the first sleeping coach made in this country. The training that Mr. McCullough received in his lyceum days afterward stood him in hand when he entered the field of politics as a party speaker and editor of the Spectator. The old Mechanics’ Institute was a great educator in its day, to the boys and men who availed themselves of the advantages presented. There was hardly a town of 500 or 1000 population in Canada and the United States that did not have its mechanics’ institute, and connected with the library was the lyceum with its course of lectures during the winter season. The lecturers were among the ablest scholars of the day, and the lectures were on all the interesting topics, the admission price being so low that it did not require one to have a bank account to be able to buy a season ticket. There were giants in those days in the lecture field. Old Hamiltonians can recall the names of many of the finest scholars who lectured in the hall of the mechanics’ institute. One rarely ever hears of one these days.


          It was an unfortunate day for Hamilton from an educational viewpoint when the old Mechanics’ Institute got into deep water, and there were not public spirits enough among the people to save it from the hands of the sheriff. When the building was opened in 1853, there was but a small indebtedness on it. The men who were interested in erecting the building gave liberally of their means in the hope that the library and reading room would be a benefit to the workingmen and boys who could not afford to own libraries of their own. Bad management in its later life substantially swamped the institute, till finally Joseph Kneeshaw took hold of it in the hope of saving something from the wreck. Mr. Kneeshaw had been engaged in the book trade and had a practical knowledge of the management of a library. It was uphill work all along the line till finally the time came when the sheriff sold the building to Isaac McQuesten to satisfy the mortgage held by him. The debt had been increasing steadily and no effort was made by the directors to stem the flood. Before the library was closed forever, A.T. Wood, who was one of the directors, and Joseph Kneeshaw offered to turn over the ten thousand or more volumes to the city providing the council would make provision to continue the library. Those gentlemen offered to pay off whatever floating indebtedness there was on the library, and thus save the books to the city. Thomas Burrows saw the beginning and the ending of the old Mechanics’ Institute, for he was one of the members at the start and was the auctioneer when the books were sold. They told a good story on the genial old auctioneer. He was selling a copy of Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress when some man in the audience called out, “Who is the author? I really can’t remember just now the name of the gentleman who wrote it but the book is by one of the most noted literary men of the day.” “Going, going, gone” was the cry of the witty Irish auctioneer, and when the last book and the last bit of furniture were sold, the Mechanics’ Institute passed into history. The only thing by which to remember it is the official seal, on which is inscribed “Hamilton and Gore Mechanics’ Institute. Established 1839.”


          The new library building will soon absorb the one that has been in existence in these later years. A few words about Mr. Andrew Carnegie, the donor that made the new library possible. He is a native of Scotland, and came with his parents to the United States when he was but a lad. As a boy he worked in a cotton mill, but being ambitious and an apt scholar, he did not long remain at the bottom of the ladder. As a messenger boy in a telegraph office, he learned to manipulate the key, and soon became an expert telegrapher. He got a position in a railroad office, and when the civil war broke out in the United States, he entered the service as a telegrapher. In whatever position he was called to fill, Andrew Carnegie always made good. After the war, he returned to railroad work, lived economically, and saved his money. He began speculating in a small but sure way, and in the course of time connected with the iron business. In less than fifty years, beginning at a very small wage, he became one of the multi-millionaires of the world. He became alarmed lest he should die rich, so he began to endow library buildings as a means of perpetuating his name, and at the same time, helping to educated the young man to a knowledge of books that they might never have had, had it not been for his liberal giving.

Friday, 24 August 2012


People nowadays say the route of the Great Western railway through Hamilton was a mistake, and that the track should have been built so as to come into the center of the city, but when the line was surveyed more attention was given to the importance of water transportation than now, and it was not until two or three years after the line from Niagara Falls to Detroit that Hamilton and Toronto were connected by rail. The Great Western was intended for a purely western road, and it had its own line of steamboats from Montreal, which touched at all intermediate points. In those days Hamilton was a great wholesale market for dry goods, groceries, hardware, etc., for Western Canada and the steamboat line was a valuable asset to the Great Western. And what a delightful way it was to travel in summer months, and what little tourist travel there was fifty years ago from the United States through Canada came by way of Hamilton and down the lake to the Thousand Islands and the St. Lawrence river to Montreal, and then across to La Prairie and over that twelve or fourteen mile railway t St. John’s The Great Western steamboats were floating palaces, and it was a luxury to take a trip on any one of them. This probably was the reason why the line was run where it is, for certainly it could have diverged a little southward, avoiding the deep cut through this city and the costly construction between here and Copetown. The construction of the road between Dundas and Copetown was more costly for the short distance than three or four times the length on any other part of the line. In order to expedite the work, it was necessary to get a locomotive on the Copetown section so as to work toward Hamilton, but as no track could be laid to the Falls, a locomotive was brought from Montreal. It having come across the ocean from the manufacturers in the old country to that city by steamboat, and the contractors here unloaded it, and with eight white horses hauled it up James street and out the Dundas road and on to Copetown. It was a gala day in Hamilton, and but little attention was paid to business while the distinguished stranger to Canada was passing through the city. This was the first view that a majority of people had of a railway locomotive. Fifty years ago locomotives were but small affairs, compared with what they are now, and it was not much of a job to handle one and transfer it ten or twelve miles on the wagon road. The construction of the line between Hamilton and Copetown was very costly, and for years, the landslides were dangerous to travel and expensive to keep cleared away.


          Early in the last century, when Hamilton was not much more than a name and a location on the government map, there came from the other side a regular specimen of the Down East Yankee. He was a cabinet maker by trade, and being handy with tools, he was kept busy in the summer months in the building and in the winter, when it was too cold for outdoor work – and the winters were cold even this part of Canada three quarters of a century ago – he made up a cheap kind of furniture, for early Hamiltonians did not have much money to spend on Luxurious appointments in their homes. Being an industrious man and knowing the value of a dollar, he had all the work he could do besides giving employment to a number of hands during the busy seasons. Farming lands and town lots could be bought for almost a song, and as money was scarce, our early Hamiltonian exchanged his labour for land and lots, and in a few years made a respectable showing on the assessment rolls. A reference to the tax collectors’ books of fifty years ago would show that the man referred to in this brief sketch was one of the solid men and that his early purchases had been profitable investments. The land that he bought by the acre 75 years ago is now the most valuable business property in the city, and today would sell for a higher price per foot than a half dozen acres cost then.


          People used to be older forty or fifty years ago than they are now, for a man or woman who had turned the half century mark was transferred to the old list. Nowadays a man or woman of eighty years feels insulted if called old, and one can see them any pleasant day in the summer scorching on bicycles up and down King street and dodging the street cars and teams as they make the turn at the corner of King and James streets. There is nothing like nursing the fire of youth and putting off old age till it comes time to lay down and die decently, so as not to become a burden to the world or keep the younger generation too long out of their prospective inheritance. Think of the long years King Edward had to wait before he could wear the crown. However, the children of an old Hamiltonian did not wait for him to die to get the estate divided and each get his or her portion. In the year 1862, the treasury of Hamilton was in a very depleted condition and unable to meet the payment of interest and bonds due British creditors. As this was a matter of only forty years ago, the history may be fresh in the minds of younger Hamiltonians. The city was brought to the verge of bankruptcy and wanted an extension on its indebtedness, so that it could catch up and get a fair start, but the British creditors were heartless and demanded the pound of flesh. It is true that money was scarce about that time, for it was in the second year of the civil war in the United States, and the stress of hard times across the Niagara river was felt here. That, too, was in the free trade days, when Canada was the slaughter market for all kinds of manufactured goods, and as there was but little work, the people had no money to pay their taxes. The manufacturers in Hamilton used to close down in January to take stock to find out how much poorer they had become during the year, and the shut down ran into February and March very often. What a difference now, under a protective tariff, when manufacturers can hardly spare the time to take stock!


          When John Bull gets after his debtors, it makes but little difference whether they belong to the great Canadian branch of his family or some pesky little South American republic like Venezuela, the cash must come. John had no mercy on Hamilton in its calamity, and he instructed Sheriff E. Cartwright Thomas to levy on the tax books and the household furniture in the city hall out of which to make part of the debt. Thomas Beasley was city clerk, then as he had been from time immemorial, and is still custodian of the records, and, he, acting of James Cummings, one of the most level-headed businessmen in Hamilton at that time, secretly removed the tax and other record books to keep them out of the way of the sheriff. It was thought at the time that Mr. Beasley had taken the books with him over to a sulphur springs watering resort in New York where he went to spend a few weeks till it would be too late to get service on him, but the books were all the time in an old safe belonging to the city, which was stored in the Buchanan, Harris and Co.’s building on the corner of King and Catharine streets. The sheriff did start to sell at public auction the furniture in the city hall, and the first thing offered was the picture of Her Majesty Queen Victoria, which hung over the mayor’s chair. This was knocked down to B. B. Osler, Q. C. for 15 cents. Then the row began, the loyal people of Hamilton objecting to having her majesty’s portrait sold by a bailiff, and had not the sheriff postponed the sale, there would have been a riot on his hands in less than five minutes. The sheriff threatened to put Mr. Beasley in jail for contempt in refusing to hand over the tax books, but the genial Tom laughed at him and told him to fire away.


          To get back to our old Hamiltonian and his property, it was generally supposed that the creditors could levy on every bit of property in the city and sell it to make the amount of the debt, and the old man felt very uneasy lest he should lose all that he had accumulated in the thirty or forty years preceding. His children played upon his fears, and persuaded him to deed over to each one a portion of the real estate, and when the scare was over, he would get it back again. This he did, and before the ink had hardly time to dry on his signature to the deed, one block of buildings was mortgaged to a money lender in Toronto for $5,000. When the old man learned of that transaction, he turned what he had left into cash, and with some $20,000 in gold, he bade Hamilton farewell and went to Detroit. But the old fellow had not yet got to the end of the string, for he fell into the hands of a woman at whose house he boarded in Detroit. She claimed to be a war widow; that her husband had been killed in the army and that she was in sore distress. Our Hamiltonian had his sympathies aroused, and, it is said, made love to the widow. He had forgotten Tony Weller’s advice to his son Samuel, to beware of the vidders, and there is where he missed it. She persuaded him to make over to her all his wealth, and then she would marry him and when the transfer of valuables had been made, the husband of the supposed widow returned from the war, and, of course, it was all off, the old love taking precedence of the new. The old man was left penniless in a strange city, and was too proud to let his condition be known to his friends in Hamilton, and it is said that he finally ended his days in poverty in Detroit.