Natchez Democrat clipping

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Lynch, John Roy, 1847-1939; Perce, Legrand Winfield, 1836-1911; Lynch, William H., active 1872-1888; Jacobs, Henry P.; Bowles, George F.; Hence, William W.; Political conventions; Adams County (Miss.)

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THE RADICAL MOB.

Perce Repudiated and Lynch Endorsed.

Disgraceful Proceedings.

The Preliminaries.

All Wednesday night, there was fuss and excitement, recrimination, log-rolling and whisky-drinking amongst the Radical part of this community, occasioned by the two primary meetings held that night in the city, both of which were characterized by rows. The anxiety of the respective adherents of Lynch and Perce, in view of the County Convention held Thursday to express a preference for one of them for Congress, was intense. At an early hour Thursday morning the friends of both the aspirants flocked around about the market, the City Hall and the Court House, discussing the chances. It was soon evident to a close observer that Lynch was the stronger, and that the Convention, when it met at noon, would in all probability select Lynch delegates and repudiate Perce entirely. Each of the City Districts had in the confusion and fuss of the night before got up two sets of delegates - one for Perce and one for Lynch, and there was no little bitterness in the denunciation of each by the other as bogus. At ten o'clock, when the County Districts had been heard from, the betting was two to one on Lynch, and the odds against Perce grew as the hour for opening the County Convention approached. At last the hour of noon came, and with it not only the delegates but lots of other people prompted by a desire to see the fun. The delegates first repaired to the City Hall, but that was found to be inadequate to the size of the crowd, and on the suggestion of Bill Lynch, who wanted, as he said, to get the delegates where they "could be free from outside influence," the Convention proceeded to the Court House - the crowd following and gathering numbers rapidly.

Disposition of Forces.

Arrived here the delegates took seats in the jury box and around it, the Lynch men going by affinity towards the Sheriff's side of the house and the Perce men on the other side. Right here it was observed that the Lynch side was the stronger by several delegates, and the betting got to be as high as three to one that Perce would be thrown overboard.

The Calm Before the Storm.

After all were seated there was a momentary dead calm, such as precedes a violent storm. It was clear from the looks of the managers on either side that they were watching an opportunity to spring upon one another like tigers, and fight to the death with their - tongues.

On the Lynch side, among the most prominent and fierce looking, were Bill Lynch, who paced to and fro like an enraged lion, looking meanwhile as wise as an owl, and as fierce as though he could easily eat up the other side for dinner and take Perce for dessert. Then, actively supporting him on that side, were Pomp Strickland, Louis Winston, Jeremiah the mathematician, and others, all ready and apparently eager for the fray. The only white men on the Lynch side of the house were Bronn and Buie, the former of whom having been previously agreed upon by the Lynch men for permanent Chairman, sat quietly back looking much as tho' he were about to be immolated a willing victim on the altar of Lynch.

On the Perce side the number of delegates was smaller by several. Chief among these were the Old Wheel Horse Castello (who was doomed to early defeat), John Peck, Walden, Griffin, Cornelius Henderson, Jacobs, Meekins, Bowles, Tony Jones, Hence, and a few others.

Call to Order.

The contending forces being thus disposed, and leaders ready, Justice Wilson Wood, as Secretary of the County Executive Committee, called the Convention to order, whereupon one of the Lynch men suddenly touched fire to the fuse and fired the first gun by moving that Bronn be called to the Chair, temporarily.

Pandemonium Number One.

Walden, from the other side, moved to amend to table to motion. Lynch moved to table the amendment; and now there began to be enacted a scene which, for outrageous noise, pandemoniacal confusion, furious recrimination, shaking of clenched fists, continuous hammering with the gavel, and general screeching, howling and hooting, surpassed anything ever witnessed in a civilized community and baffles all powers of description. All sorts of motions were made by all sorts of delegates, but the President could not command silence enough to put them. Finally, the Convention became a perfect mob in every sense except actual violence, and that might ensue at any moment. Mayor Wood then, in a very excited manner, mounted the bar and commanded order. This was finally obtained, and the Mayor took advantage of it to denounce such riotous action, and to threaten that if it were not desisted from he would use his municipal authority to disperse the mob with the police.

A Lively Tilt.

At this juncture, Jacobs requested the Mayor to clear the Court House of all but delegates. Bronn opposed such action strenuously. The Mayor stated that if the Convention would pass a resolution requesting it he would proceed to eject all persons not members of the Convention. This speech started McCary, who, mounting the rostrum, pitched into the Mayor vigorously - telling him the Court House was a public building, and that this body was a public body; and that the Mayor had no right to expel the people; that he, as Sheriff, defied him to do it; and finally said to the Mayor: "I, sir, am your warm personal friend, but if you attempt this act I shall go back on you forever."

The Sheriff's speech was very loudly applauded, as it deserved to be, and the officious offer of Mayor Wood commensurately rebuked. The sentiment of the people was such that we think it would have been a dangerous business for the police to attempt to expel the citizens from the Court House.

This quieted Wood, and also the apprehensions of the several hundred spectators, as it settled the question of ejectment.

Order for Three Seconds.

Something like order having again been restored, after several efforts to put the question of a Chairman to vote, each effort being marked by the greatest fuss and confusion, the vote was had, and the Lynch men succeeded in getting Bronn in the Chair.

Pandemonium Number Two.

Peace had reigned for about three seconds, when Bill Lynch moved that the Chairman appoint a Committee on Credentials, which started the war again, and confusion became worse confounded. Every delegate seemed on the floor - each hallooing at the top of his voice. Motions were made without number or order - the gavel, meanwhile, never ceasing to come down rapidly and as heavily as Bronn could wield it. Motions to amend, to table, to amend the amendment, to adjourn, to appoint Sergeants-at-Arms, to request the Mayor to disperse the mob, to indefinitely postpone, to increase the number, to adjourn till three o'clock, to ballot for a committee, and sundry other motions came in the most inextricable confusion. Once in a while, and that rarely, the Chair would succeed in putting a motion to adjourn, and whenever this was done, the Lynch men displayed their superior strength by voting it down, and then would follow a shout of victory, and pandemonium would ensue again. In this way the thing proceeded for an hour - the Lynch men seizing every opportunity to secure the vote on the appointment of a Credential Committee, and the Perce men - Jacobs, Castello and Walden most prominent - by motions to adjourn, to indefinitely postpone, and to table, maneuvering to prevent the vote. Every once in a while Jacobs and Williams would measure swords; then Bill Lynch and Castello would take a round; then Jacobs would denounce the thing as a disgraceful mob; and then it would be just what Jacobs said it was. But, finally, the Perce men began to find that their parliamentary subterfuges were nearly exhausted, and that the Lynch men, aided by their Chairman, were gradually getting closer to the previous question for the appointment of a Committee, and it was becoming every moment more clearly evident that it would soon be put and carried in spite of everything, and would prove, when put, a Waterloo to Perce.

The Convention Splits.

Suddenly the Perce men began to go for their hats. Abandoning their tactics, they gathered around the Old Wheel Horse for a council of war, which was conducted in quick whispers. Defeat stared them in the face if they remained, so they organized a bolt. Jacobs made one more expiring effort to indefinitely postpone action, or to adjourn the Convention, sine die. This raised another furious uproar, in the midst of which Castello arose in all his Wheel Horsical majesty, and while his twelve or fifteen trusty followers gathered solemnly about him, he looked like an Ajax defying the lightning, or like Hercules about to begin his eighth labor. This produced a pause, and silence reigned, when Castello thundered forth a volley of imprecations upon the Lynch men, accusing them of a determination to brow-beat and to defeat the will of the people (in all of which the boot happened to be on the other leg) and closed by saying: "All who are in favor of going to the City Hall, where the business can be conducted quietly, fairly and honestly, FOLLOW ME!" - With this the Wheel Horse moved majestically off, followed by Griffin, Peck, Walden, Meekins, Tony Jones, Hence, and several others. The Lynchites hissed them as they left, and the whole crowd hooted most vigorously as the bolters wended their way to the City Hall.

Bowles Disgusted.

While this was going on, Bowles, who had hitherto been acting with the Perce side, became disgusted with the whole thing and left the Convention entirely, declining to act with either wing.

Order Restored.

Shortly after the occurrence of the bolt, quiet was restored, and both Conventions (or both fragments of the one Convention) proceeded to business.

The Perce Convention.

The Perce men, in the City Hall, organized with Castello in the Chair, and Griffin as Secretary - Walden doing the principal engineering. A Committee on Credentials was appointed and the report received and agreed to. A committee was appointed to select six delegates to represent the Perce wing in the District Convention at Brookhaven, next Wednesday, and another to reorganize the County Executive Committee for the ensuing year.

The Perce County Executive Committee.

The following were announced and adopted as the County Executive Committee of the Perce wing:

Jefferson Hotel Precinct - E. J. Castello, John Peck, Fountain Ballard.

Court House Precinct - H. P. Jacobs, Fred. Parsons, Henry C. Griffin.

Washington Precinct - Cornelius Henderson, Jerry Netter, Green Bateman.

Pine Ridge Precinct - W. W. Hence.

Kingston Precinct - Theo. Lumber.

Helm's Precinct - Henry Williams.

Organ's Precinct - George Johnson.

Dead Man's Bend Precinct - George F. Kienstra.

The following were reported as entitled to seats in the Perce Convention:

Court House Precinct - H. P. Jacobs, G. F. Bowles, H. C. Griffin, S. S. Meekins, Burl Fisher.

Jefferson Hotel Precinct - E. J. Castello, John Peck, C. C. Walden, Allison H. Foster, R. Pollard.

Pine Ridge Precinct - W. W. Hence, Tony Jones.

Washington Precinct - Cornelius Henderson, Frank Scott, Green Bateman, Jerry Netter, George Lee.

Kingston Precinct - Theodore Lumbar, Aaron Conner, and Richard Bacon.

The delegates chosen to go to Brookhaven, and if admitted, to vote for Perce, are E. J. Castello, H. C. Griffin, William Hence, Cornelius Henderson, C. C. Walden and S. S. Meekins.

This body of seventeen then adjourned, sine die.

The Lynch Convention.

The Lynch men, after the bolt, proceeded quietly with business. Bronn was made permanent Chairman, and Lewis J. Winston permanent Secretary. The Committee on Credentials was appointed and soon reported, and the report was received and agreed to.

The following were reported by the Lynch Credential Committee (after the bolt) as the only ones entitled to seats in the Convention:

Jefferson Hotel.

Delegates - J. W. Alexander, Monroe Wilson, Lewis J. Winston, Geo. Morris, J. P. Buie.

Alternates - R. W. Fitzhugh, William Smoot, Anderson Thomas, J. M. P. Williams, Anthony Hoggatt.

Court House.

Delegates - W. H. Lynch, G. W. Carter, Pomp Strickland, Eugene Henderson, Patrick Foley.

Alternates - Geo. Brady, Sam'l Fredericks, John Stevens, Albert Brooks, Jacob Richardson.

Pine Ridge.

Delegate - Wm. Hence.

Alternate - Tony Jones.

Organ's.

Delegates - Pascal Williams, Wm. McGregory.

No Alternates.

Dead Man's Bend.

Delegate - Peter Foster.

No Alternate.

Kingston.

Delegates - L. S. Bronn, Thos. Robinson, Samuel Carter.

No Alternates.

Helm's.

Delegates - Geo. Seldon, Willis Davis.

Washington.

Delegates - Cornelius Henderson, G. Bateman, Alex. Turner, G. Johnson.

It was discovered that of the above, four had bolted and gone with the City Hall Crowd.

The Lynch Delegates.

The Convention then balloted for six delegates to go to Brookhaven, and, if admitted, vote for Lynch. The following were chosen: Wm. McCary, Robert H. Wood, Leroy S. Bronn, W. H. Lynch, Alexander Turner, Henry Wilson.

Alternates - Geo. W. Carter, Willis Davis, Adam Jackson, J. M. P. Williams, Sam Andrews, J. P. Buie.

The Lynch Resolutions.

On motion of R. W. Fitzhugh,

Resolved by the Republican Party of Adams County, in Convention assembled, That we hail with pleasure and satisfaction, the nomination of U. S. Grant and Henry Wilson, for President and Vice-President of the United States; and we pledge ourselves to use all means in our power to secure their election.

Resolved, That the action of Horace Greeley, in deserting the Republican party and accepting the nomination of the Baltimore Convention has entitled him to the condemnation and repudiation of every honest Republican in the country.

Resolved, That we take great pleasure in presenting the name of Hon. John R. Lynch to the Republican Convention of this District as the choice of the Republican party of Adams county, for our next Congressman; and we hereby instruct our delegates to the Congressional Convention to use all honorable means in their power to secure his nomination.

Resolved, That the thanks of this Convention are due and are hereby tendered to Hon. L. W. Perce for the able and efficient manner in which he has discharged the duties of his position.

The Mob Dispersed.

The Convention then adjourned, sine die.

And thus closed the proceedings of as veritable a mob as ever assembled, after having made the neighborhood hideous with their yells and hoots and mad antics, generally, nearly all the day.

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Natchez Democrat, “Natchez Democrat clipping,” Mississippi State University Libraries, accessed May 20, 2024, https://msstate-exhibits.libraryhost.com/items/show/729.

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