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^ 



«» 



THE 

LIFE OF DAN" KICE 



BY 



MARIA WARD BROWN 



LONG BRANCH, N. J. 
PUBLISHED BY THE AUTHOR 



4 



OraiRilMk 



COFTRIGHT, 1901, BY 
MARIA WAUD UBOWN 




PREFACE. 



TITERE is no more fascinating exercise for the mind or imag- 
ination tiian to contemplate the career of a gifted man or 
woman; and the man who illustrates and adorns the profession, to 
which choice or chance has assigned, slmuld ever he regarded as 
a lit item for history — whatever that lot might have hcen. But 
more especially is this the experience with the man. who, from 
any circumstances or powers of mind, bursts the fetters of a lowly 
foriune or position, and, rising superior to common fate^ makes 
for himself a path to higher destiny and forms a niche in its tem- 
ple which, in aftertime, an impartial world will deem him worthy 
to occupy. 

" Honor and fame from no condition rise 
Act well your part — therein the honor lies." 

The bistoiy of Dan Rice is replete with startling incident, in- 
structive fact, and dramatic situations; whilst the trend of 
thought and action which that history develops, exhibits a 
mind, heart, and purpose, combined witli the rarest elements. 
He has lived a varied, adventurous life, has travelled extensively, 
and mingled with all sorts and contlitions of men, the noble- 
minded and the base. He has l)een a keen observer, a profound 
etudent of mankind, and in his own j)erson has been subjected 
to almost every sort of trial, domestic or otherwise, bitter ex- 
periences whirh have served to expand and strengthen these 
characteristics which have proved to be the mainsprtng of his 
triumphs in after life. 

Imbued with a well-nigh insatiable love of nature, of a no- 
mutlic Iciidenry, with just n trifling tinge of the Kfibcniian in Ids 
temperament— little wonder liiat at an early age be left the roof 
of his childhood and became a cosmopolite, before he had im- 
bibed scarcely more than the primary rudiments of the school- 
room or formed any stable habits of the right, for at that early 
period — when association was most likely to give bias to his 
character — he was cast U[ion the cold and unsympathetic ocean of 
life — no beacon light to direct his pathway — the child of circum- 
stance — the nursling of fate. 

Too much credit cannot be awarded to one who commenced 
his career under such untoward conditions and conflicting cir- 



IV 



PREFACE 



cunistances, and yet achieve so proud a footlioltl among his 
fellows. 

It is an incentive to the ambitious — a spur to the self-reliant 
but lowlv circuntstaDced in life, exemplifying as it does, with 
such a wealth of eloquent and effcetive incident and ndventure, 
divsheiirtening triab and tenii>tationR, incidental to and insep- 
omble from the isolated and self-sought eareer whieli the brave- 
hearted but friendless Ind niapjied out for himself, how in after 
years the sturdy stripling, having developed his native gifts and 
utilized the knowledge nequired in the school of ex|terience, for- 
ever removed, through the influence of a rugged honesty of pur- 
pose and unswerving principle in execution, the tradilional odium 
from a peculiar clnt^s, and thus conferred a benefit upon till who 
may become identified with a profession of which he was so prom- 
inent — and it may be added, the most illustrious — member. 

He was yet to know the inebrialing sweetness of a popular 
applause, to witness the bitter revolutions consequent upon that 
profession's subsequent la])se from popular favor to well-merited 
censure. An active, athletic lad of quick perception and ready 
tact, practically friendless and homeless, young Dan Rice, how- 
ever, was not long in attracting the attention of all with whom lie 
came in contact. The very novelty of such a juvenile, precocious 
cosmopolite induced the inquiry, ''Who is he?" and his per- 
tinacity in repelling all such inquiries gathered around him an 
ever-increasing curiosity and interest. His taste for and love 
of horses, which has since been so strongly evinced, led him to 
the racecourse and to every place where horses or horsemen were 
collected. 

A certain magnetism of manner, inviting amiability and !ion- 
est ingenuousness, which in a more mature manhood culminated 
in an almost resistless fascination, attracted toward him an illus- 
trious circle of lifelong friendships, many of whom have acquired 
national distinction, and it is significant of the resistless charms 
with which he swayed individuals, and vast audiences, that those 
friends of his early youth have been faithful and constant to the 
end. No public man can boast of a larger or more conspicuous 
circle, including as the list does, statesmen, scholars, scientists, 
men of world-wide fame in the armies and navies of every nation, 
as well as countless thousandift who have acquired fame in the 
more humanizing wallcs of life. 

Wht'U he finally drifted into the profession wherein he ac- 
quired sucli fame, and wherein at tlie outset he distinguished 
himself from liis fellnws by his 8n]>erior activity, and athletic 
and gy^nnastic powers, it was not long until it was discovered 
that Jiis native wit, acute sense of the ridiculous and humorous 
conception could be most profitably utilized in motley garb. II is 



PBEPACE 



wit was Attic and spoBtaneous, conceived with electric instinct, 
and thus was given to the world a humorist whoee ftupreinaty 
was at once recognized, and whose fame was equal with the mo^t 
distinguished memherj' of the more as.'^uining histrionic profes- 
sions. 

It was thus that upon the very threshold of his career he 
attained celebrity for" not only rare genius, but for a refinement 
and ])olish of address, high-toned sentiment, and sterling worth; 
the latter quality being established by his benevolent and chari- 
table actions. Hence he obtained easy access to any and every 
avenue of social life in which he desired to move, and became the 
courted guest of every clianned circle in which intellectuality 
held sway. 

In the course of his eventful career opportunities had been 
presented in a more exalted sphere, and he bus been importuned 
to enter the arena of politics, and upon more than one occasion 
overtures have been made to allow himself to be nominated for 
Congress and State Senate, and at one period for President, in 
lb(i8, in New York., wdiere liis oratorical ability and brilliant 
originality would have been of incalculable service to the party 
he espoused. But, however dist-asteful the profession with which 
he was connected, he shrank from the harassing turmoil, agita- 
tions, and antagonisms of political strife, and preferred to reign 
supreme in the more remunerative, if less exalted, walk of life, 
which in later years he invested with a distinction unknown prior 
to his advent. 

A waif thrown on the world at an almost childish age, yet 
struggling with the inherent ambition of his nature to build up 
a name and position, surrounded hy influences which wouhl dis- 
may the less resolute, and combating circumstances which were 
most unfavorable to the development of his genius, yet with the 
indomitable spirit of a hero, in whose vocabulary there was no 
such word as fail, he succeeded in establishing a name and repu- 
tation which will live after these memoirs have left his memory 
behind. And yet his name will live forever fragrant witli 
memories of his many charitalde and beneficent betfuests, which 
are not the less appreciated because unblazoned and without 
ostentation. 

His rise was rapid, meteoric; from his school-boy days when 
he succeeded in upsetting the gravity of the learned faculty of 
Princeton with ludicrous translations and burlesque construc- 
tions of the ancient classics, making game of august professors 
in grave discussions upon disputed )>oints in ethics, and tinally 
on his way home, with a '* fiefi in his ear'* and his expulsion in 
his pocket, on nj> to when, still a men* lad. he is soon after found 
in the West, eliciting the most sapient of sayijigs from tlie ntosL 



PREFACE 



erudite of pigs, dancijig himself into the good graces of the Dig- 
gers about Galena, III., an a vcritablf Puthiupian — his life was ka- 
leiduscopie. Kow we find him niiniing the gauntlet of Ihc 
authorities of DavenpurL and liock Island for licenses unpaid, 
disseminating ilonnon dcK-trines^ with an e^piH-ial oonnnission 
from Joe Smith at $50 per month, to see a miracle, to whieh Ma- 
homet's coffin wat< not a circumstance. 

Next we find him exposing the great mesmerizer Be Bonne- 
ville, for being too strong a competitor of his learned pig, and 
the next day, having lured away his subject, lecturing upon 
rhreno-mesmerism, with an eclat to which the great Magnetizcr 
could not aspire. Political controversies, temperance lectures^ 
herculean labor, comic negro songs, and still more comical 
speeches — with itinerant shows — leading characters in the Peri- 
patetic Thes]>ian Corps — everything served to keep the ball in 
motion, until abo^t three years after, when Dan succeeded 
in discovering the true bent of his genius and set himself to 
work to achieve a reputation. 

Indefatigable stu<ly, incessant researebes, and a more than 
usual share of nature's gifts, caused the mountebank who made 
his dibitt as a clown of a circus on the Western prairies, three 
years since, to wake up in New York four months afterward 
with a fame well-nigh world-TsHde. From this time his strides 
to the goal of his ambition were rapid. Taken by the hand in 
New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore by many who detected 
the latent spark of genius, there was soon presented the singular 
spectacle of a fool in motley dress calling out audiences who had 
never before deigned to cater to anything less artistic than an 
Italian opera troupe or a five-act tragedy. ITis rise was meteor- 
like, bringing to bear as he did, all the accessories with which his 
varied life had made him familiar. 

Truly his career furnishes an extraordinary example of what 
can be accomplished b}- tact, combined with indomitable per- 
severance and energy. In the course of his life he made and 
spent several fortunes, rendered his name "as familiar as a 
household word '* in every part of the United States, and created 
a prestige for the establishment which he originated, and wJiich 
was exceeded in popularity only by the striking originality of 
Colonel* TJice himself. As the proprietor of the " One-Horse 
Show," struggling against the opposition of capital, harassed and 
annoyed hv persecutions, he enlisted the sympathy of the public 
to a wonderful degree, and from that equestrian establishment 
in which the equine department was represented by and consoli- 
dated in one solitary horse, had grown the monster exhibition 
which made him world famous. As a trainer of animals, he stood 
without a rival. He was the only man who ever eucceedod in 



PREFACE 



▼if 



subduing the rhinoceros. ThohO who have witnessed the ex- 
traordinary feats of the horses. Excelsior and Kxcelsior, Jr., the 
former of which was the identical horse which constituted the 
" One-Horse Show," cannot have failed to appreciate his skill as 
a horseman. Still, liis great reputation has been gained as a 
humorist, a cognomen which he introduced in contradistinction 
to that of the ordinary circus clown, and in which capacity he was 
acknowledged to stand without an equal. His originality, his 
ready wit, and his entire good sense, combined to render his 
delineation of that rule acceptable to every class of the com- 
munity. 

He had ever a way of doing everj'thing and saying everything 
that may be considered idiosyncratic and might be called " Dan 
Rice-ish." Ordinary subjects received new interest from the 
garb with which he clothed them. No person probably had ever 
become a more universal favorite. 

His great personal popularity, and the moral force he carried 
with him, as the embodiment of everything respectable in the 
circle, were the secret of his signal triumphs throughout two 
continents. 

In this biographical age. when almost every ambitious char- 
acter imagines that the public has an interest in his antecedents. 
Lord BjTon's celebrated quotation is l)r<^ught to mind: 

** 'Tis pleasant to see one's name in print, 
A book's a book, tho' there's nothing in't." 

It was not so in bygone days when only the memoirs of men 
or w^omen were published whose fame and remarkable lives were 
a certain guarantee to both the public and the publisher. To 
the former, that the perusal would well repay the cost and time, 
and to the latter that the books would not be left upon his hands 
and eventually sold as waste paper. In presenting in this vol- 
uiue, the life of Dan Rice, the biographer feels that she is about 
to place before the public a volume of an entirely different de- 
scription to the dull and uninteresting works alluded to. It will 
contain a series of adventures and incidents alternating from 
grave to gay; descriptive scenes and thrilling events; the record of 
half a century of a remarkable life, in the course of which the sub- 
ject was brought into contact with many of the national celebri- 
ties of the day. It will abound in anecdotes, humorous and other- 
wise; and it will afford a clearer view of the inside mysteries of 
show life than any account heretofore published. 

As a journalist also, he lias figured successfully; his paper, 
*'The Cosmopolite/* of Hirard. Pa., having had. and stOl con- 
tinues to maintain, a wide circulation throughout the Lake 
States. 



vm 



PREFACE 



In short, the " Memoirs " will be found replete with such a 
strange and varied round of adventures, as to supply additional 
evidence that '* truth h stranger than fiction.'' A biographical 
gketch of Dan Rice's parentage is introduced, which will contain 
interesting and hitherto unpublished iucidents io the lives of 
Aaron Burr, Madame Jumel, and other historical personages of 
a bygone age. 

In closing this synoptic analysis of Mr. Kice's professional 
career that is so full of phenomenal development, especial pride 
is taken in giving to the world the best that can be produced 
from the gifted pen of the critic and the established customs 
that sway the masses. In weighing the words of cultured men 
we are brought within the limit of their understanding, and the 
exacting tide of popidar approval, or otherwise, is the inevitable 
result; therefore, the character delineated ))y an accurate esti- 
mate of true worth and actual merit shines forth with bright 
elTulgence through deeds that have crowned themselves with 
more than ordinary lustre and acknowledgment. Without a 
peer in his particular sphere in the amusement world, he still 
stands as a monarch whose fame is unt^irnished by the buffet ings 
of clannish presumers, and whose strength has been tried by time 
and its progress. His fortress has been the hearts of the people 
and an impenetrable stronghold he found in their unbiased 
opinions, which place he still occupies and fondly cherishes with 
a name unscarred by design and its adjuncts. The indescribable 
traits inherent in his character in earlier life can be traced 
through all the later efforts of his raaturer years; and in those 
characteristics probably lie the secret of the brilliant successes 
that Iiave pronounced him the Prince of Jesters and the pride of 
the social circle in which he moved. With a strength of resolve 
to bravely meet every apparent duty pointed out by the finger of 
fate, he promptly responded with his versatile talent and em- 
phasized it by unselfish contributions in a monetary way, as has 
been demonstrated by innumerable expressions of public grati- 
tude that repaid him a thousand-fold. Without a thought of 
holding malice, this impenetrable character has calmed the rage 
of his enemies and offered the hand of good-fellowship to his 
fallen foes when bitter antagonism waged its war of words in tlie 
press and circus ring; but, through all, his star was in the ascend- 
ancy, and vindictive accusations were buried in charity by this 
old-time knight of the circle. Bright oases these to encounter 
in the arduous toils of a busy, public life of over a half a century, 
contending with every phase of strife, professional, political, and 
social. The world is critical in its judgment of prominent men 
whose lives are open to inspection, and these pages invite its in- 
tellectual perusal; but it is also humane in pronouncing its sen- 



PREFACE 



tencee, which cannot but give to its retinue of subjects the un- 
tarnished name of the Jester Clown, Dan Rice. 

Dan Kice, the world-renowned jester, is no longer before the 
public as the life and soul of the arena, the presiding spirit whose ' 
original jests, gibes, and witticisms were wont to keep the con- 
gregated thousands in a roar, but. fortunately, through his cour- 
tesy, the author of this work has had the privilege of inspecting 
a pile of manuscripts and papers sufficient to enable her to pre- 
sent to the public a volume of the great Jester's most pungent 
jokes, comic harangues, caustic hits upon men and manners, 
lectures, anecdotes, sketches of ndventure, original songs and 
poetical effusions; wise and witty, serious, satirical^ and senti- 
mental sayings of the sawdust arena of other days. The author 
has been induced to issue this work at the earnest request of a 
host of Col. Dan Rice*s friends and old admirers; at the same 
time the young of the present generation will be enabled to com- 
pare the genius of the motley representatives of the past with the 
weak and degenerate wearers of the cap and bells of to-day. Itn 
penisal, while it will assuredly excite the risibilities of the most 
unimpressionable, will be found not lacking in instructive mat- 
ter. No public character has experienced a more checkered life, 
and it may be truly said that no one, either belonging to the 
legitimate drama, or the tented circle, has acquired the widely- 
spread fame or popularity of Colonel Rice. With these few 
prefatorial remarks, this literary venture is launched, leaving a 
discriminating public to pass upon its merits. 



Reminiscences of Dan Rice 



CHAPTEK I. 

DAK rice's parentage — AN EPISODE OF LOVE, AND AN 
ELOPEMENT — THE COURSE OF TRUE LOVE NEVER RUNS 
SMOOTn — lilRTH OF THE HERO AND SEPARATION OF HIS 
PAHKNTS — A LEAP IN THE HISTORY OF AARON BURR AND 
MADAME JUMEL — THE MATCH-MAKER — MARRIAGE AND 
DIVORCE — AN ENGAGEMENT BROKEN THROUGH A BAD BET 
OF TEETH^A GRATEFUL AND MUNIFICENT BBqUSST. 

THERE are few men living whose lives have Ibeen so ad- 
vent uru us or characterized by what may be termed " U[)S 
and downs" of life as the lieru of these memoirs. While the 
placid course of an uneventful life may be, and is, the lot of 
many, there are otliers wliose careers are traced by a series of 
events, many of which wouhl serve as a sensational ebapler of a 
Hovei, wiiile some may he criticised as imaginative and unreal. 

At the solicitation of many of the personal friends* of Dan 
Rice, the biographer has been induced to compile for publication 
the reminiscences of a period of his existence, dating from early 
boyhood, through the teeming years which have since intervened. 

To give the reader a correct insight into the influences which 
in a measure controlled his after life, a brief review of his par- 
entage and the events preceding his birth is necessary, and it 
will then be understood that the name of Dan Rice is merely a 
patronymic that has withstood the tests of intelligent criticism. 
llis father, Daniel McLaren, was born in the city of New York, 
and resided in i^fnlherry Street, which was at that time one of 
the best business and residential sections of the city. His mother 
was Elizabeth Oruni. the daughter «f Richard Onim, a Methodist 
preacher, who was bom in Ilaverstraw, N. Y.. in the year 17ft3. 
Mr Tnim afterwarrl, in early manhood, settled in Ocean Town- 
ship, in Monmouth rounty, N. J., and, being married, he became 
the father of a numerous progeny, ffuirteen of whom survived 
and reached maturity. Our hero's mother was the tenth chUd, 



9 



JUUUNISCBNCEh OF DAS RICE 



being born March 4, 1803, and a8 she was evidently the favorite 
of liur father, more than usual pains were taken with her educa- 
tion, and, eontrary to the uniiges of prevailing customs tit that 
period, she was indulged, perhaps too much so, to participate in 
the enjoyment of many social privileges that belonged to older 
maidens. 

It was thus at the age of eighteen, she was allowed to attend 
several *' merry-makings "' and dances held at Long Branch, a 
short distance from the paternal home, and it was on one of these 
occasions that she met young Daniel McLaren. 

It was the old, old story of love at lirst sight, and the friend- 
ship thus formed became essential to the happiness of both, for 
it early terminated in an elopement to New York. Young Mc- 
Laren, being promj>led by entirely pure motives, would not allow 
a shadow of a reflection to rest upon the fair name of the maiden 
of his choice, so on the return journey the couple stopj>ed at 
Heghtstown in New Jersey, where they were married by a Jus- 
tice of the Peace> This hai)pened in the year IB'H, and the 
young bride was taken to her husband's home on Mulberry Street, 
where, on the 2r)th of January, in the year l.s^>3, slie gave 
]}irth to the subject of these memoirs. Daniel McLaren, being 
the only son, was a partner with his father in the grocery business, 
but, meanwhile, following the inclinations of his talent, he was 
studying law under the famous Aaron Burr, of whom he became 
an ardent admirer. During all this time tliere had been a 
vigilant search by Mr. Crum. to locate the runaway bride, which 
finally proved succesBful. when tbe indignant father immediately 
instituted proceedings against McLaren, and by means of a writ 
issued by the court, she was fomibly taken from her husband 
and returned to her old home at the farm. The marriage was 
declared null and void, and a suit was instituted against our 
hero's father for seduction. Damages to the amount of $1,()U0 
were awarded, which sum, being paid, was transferred to the 
child's mother to be held in trust for the boy. Little Dan was 
subsequently in his mother's custody taken to the home of her 
father, and, although the grandfather loved the child for his 
daughter's sake, liis misguided judgment never forgave Daniel 
McLaren, and he would not allow his grandson to use his father's 
surname, bestowing u{>on him the surname Hice which belonged 
to the maternal side. Thus all intercourse between his parents 
ceased. It was an impulsive love match, a rose-tinted dream that 
filled two young lives unfolding to the experiences of this world's 
cares, and a rude awakening by arbitrary and unnatural condi- 
tions, that created a sorrowful conclusion. 

The parting was final. The mother, now that her marriage 
had been pronounced invalid, impelled only l»y a filial discern- 



I 



I 




BEMINISCENCES OP DAN RICE 



8 



ment of duty, made reconriliation with tlie high-strung McLaren 
iin])08fiible, and so the young husband lived only in her memory. 

It has been previously stated that little Dan's father was 
equally interested with Daniel McLaren, Sr., in the grocery 
business. It was at that time one of the largest establishments 
embraced in that line in New York, and its patronage was com- 
posed of many of the select families, wlin preferred to have their 
articles guaranteed, a fact that savors of probable adulteration 
even at that early day. Among those who availed themselves of 
securing the best standard articles at the McLaren establishment 
was the historic Aaron Burr. It was here he purchased his claret, 
imported liquors, tea« etc., the lirm being widely celebrated for 
their excellent quality of the latter article, the senior partner 
having been, in conjunction with John Jacob Astor, one of the 
earliest importers of tea in the United States. 

Another patron of the establishment was the famous Madame 
Jumel, whose name is so inseparably connected with the later life 
of Aaron Burr. This was in lii22. Madame Jumel was a woman 
of more than ordinary attractions, and her husband, although 
considerably older, was one of the finest specimens of well-pre- 
served manhood in New York, His death occurred as the result 
of an accident by the collision of his vehicle with a carman's dray 
at one of the wharves. The carman's horse becoming frightened 
and unmanageable, fell from the wharf into the river and was 
drovmed. and Mr. Jume! was thrown from the light cart he was 
driving. The accident was witnessed by a crowd of people, who 
loudly expressed their sympathy with the drayman, and Jumel, 
who did not at the time realize the extent of the internal injury 
he had received, drew from his purse a bill, and, presenting it to 
the carman, said to the crowd, '* I pity him ten dollars. How 
much do you pity him?" The carman by this means realized 
an amount that more than covered the value of the horse he had 
lost, but Mr. Jumel was destined to succumb to the unfortunate 
accident. 

He was seventy years of age when he died, while his widow was 
but little past the prime of life, and in the full flush of her 
womanly charms. Young McLaren had become well actjuainted 
with Madame Jumel by frequently calling to make collections for 
her purchases at the establishment, and at this juncture she 
consulted him upon engaging a competent and reliable person to 
look after her estate and personal matters. 

As previously stated, although cr|ually interested in business 
with his father, young McTjaren was a law student under the 
instruction of Aaron Burr, find although he never became an 
active practitinner.h** was iconsidered nn exrollcnt authority where 
difficult legal questions were involved. With an inclination to 



BEMINI8CENCES OF DAN RICE 



advance the interests of his preceptor, he named Aaron Burr as 
eminently the best gelecKon ^ne eouid make. Madame .Tumel, hav- 
ing heard many unfavorable reports of ilr. Burrs previous ca- 
reer, made objections to McLaren's recommendations, but he 
pleaded so eifectually in Burr's behalf that she finally agreed 
to consult him, and the interview resulted in Madame Jumel in- 
stalling him as her agent and attorney. 

At the time of Madame JumeFs first consultation with Mr. 
Burr at his ollice in Reed Street, he was seventy years of age, hut 
of most fascinating presence, being straight, active, and agile, 
with a perfect Chesterfieldian deportment. 

Little Dan*s father, who is credited with a penchant for match- 
making, and who really was as much of an adept in the art as 
any diplomatic duenna exploiting the eharais of some fair 
debutante, was not slow to perceive the favorable impression 
made by the elderly Adonis upon the susceptible widow, and 
forthwith conceived the idea of consummating a match which he 
succeeded in carrying to a successful conclusion. Aaron Burr 
had no more steadfast friend than Daniel ilcLaren, whose sin- 
gularly devoted zeal continued to the last, but it may be said that 
few lived who could exercise a more masterly influence over those 
of either sex than Aaron Burr. 

All this happened in 18;il>, the year when the cholera first 
visited America, and Madame Jume!, after delegating her busi- 
ness afTaira to Aaron Burr, decided to take a carriage tour in the 
interior of the State. During the trip she visited Saratoga 
which about that time became celebrated for its waters. Since 
his clandestine marriage and the loss of his 3*oung bride, Daniel 
Mcl^aren, Jr., by successful enterprise and strict attention to 
business had become what in those days was considered wealthy. 
In the year 1853, he was elected President of the New Jersey, 
Lombard & Protection Bank^ and subsequently he purchased 
a large property at the Saratoga Springs which he assisted in 
making famous by a work which he published concerning its 
medicinal waters and which went through several editions. 

Madame JumeFs visit to Saratoga resulted in her purchase of a 
completely furnished house fmm young McLaren, but she did 
not make it a permanent residence, and only visited it occasion- 
ally. Meanwhile her intimacy with Aaron Burr became more 
and more pronounced, and the result was a marriage, kept secret 
for a while, but finally being publicly acknowledged. 

The subsequent separation of Mr. Burr and Madame Jumel was 
caused hy a land speculation in Texas and an effort on the part 
of Aaron Burr to found a German colony on the property. He 
and Daniel McLaren had, in IRIin, bought considerable property 
in that part of the country, then a dependency of Mexico, Some 



i 



* 



fiEMINISCEKCES OF DAN filCS 



time after this marriage. Burr fitted out an expedition, consisting 
of Germans of both bcxcs. for the purpose of settling the land, 
but it was not suucessfuJ, and the money which he had used, 
consisting of collections from the Juinel estate, was a total loss. 
Madame Jumel-Burr became very indignant, and insisted upon 
taking the management of the estate out of his hands. This he 
resisted, and a controversy ensued, which created a breach that 
even the friendly interposition of the " mutual friend " failed to 
heal, and a separation was the result. Notwithstanding this state 
of alTairs existing between them, when Madame Jumel learned 
that Mr. Burr was lying ill, she buried her prejudices, went to his 
relief, and had him taken to her own home where she could 
minister to his wants by proper attendance. As a result, their 
marital differences were healed, but not for long. A violent 
rupture followed later, making a ifinal separation inevitable. The 
fateful tract of land that created the lifelong difference between 
Burr and Madame Juniel, was subsequently purchased by Mr. 
McLaren. 

The tragic termination of the Burr marriage did not alienate 
the friendship existing between Madame Jumel and McLaren, 
and she continued to consult him on legal matters. Business 
again engendered the tender passion, and Madame Jumel-Burr 
was ready to assume a new role under the name of McLaren, and 
90 hecome a stepmother to no less a personage than Dan Rice 
himself. She was little more than " forty " and exceedingly fair, 
and Mr. McLaren admired her beauty and her wit alike. The 
obstacle that prevented Dan Rice from having Madame Jumel 
for a stepmother is as odd a one as any in his varied career. 

Mr. McLaren was a fine specimen of physical manhood, except 
in one respect. His teeth were very defective, and Madame Jumel ^ 
as she has always been called in spite of her marriiige to Burr, 
could not endure an ugly mouth. She agreed to become Mrs. 
McLaren on condition that Daniel should have his teeth ex- 
tracted and replaced by a complete new set. This seems arduous 
enough even now, but in those days the dentist was generally a 
barber by trade and a dentist for amusement. The ordeal which 
Daniel McLaren was thus called to face, before the time of an- 
lesthetics, was frightful and he protested that marriage on such 
conditions cost ton much. 

But she insisted that she would not have a man with such a 
'* mouthful of snaggle teeth," and as both were obstinate, the 
projected marriage came to naught. People who had watched 
the progress of the courtship, said that, however smart McLaren 
had proved himself in matchmaking for others, he had most 
signally failed in making one for himself. Mr. Rice says that 
his father should have married the Madam in spite of his teeth. 



i 



REMINISCENCES OF DAN RICE 



Among his many acts of froe-liaiided generosity there was one] 
wliicli especially is worthy of mention, injisniueh as it was ai 
benefaction which hroiight a ten-fold return. As early as 1820^ 
he gave the command of the schooner " Comet," originally a 
privateer in the War of 181c*, and which he had purchased, to aa . 
impecunious friend, one Captain Brown, who, however, con-f 
tinned to ho pursued by had luck in every venture. McLaren, 
nevertheless stuck to him and advanced him several thousand 
dollars to help him to a fresh start in business. Captain Brown's 
affairei took a turn and he acquired what at that time was con- 
sidered a princely fortune. He did not forget the generous hand 
which had lifted him from the mire of poverty, lie was one of 
the wealthiest men in Arkan!?at!, and at liis death it was found 
that his early benefactor was down in his will for $10U,0U0. Col. 
U. Brown, for he bore that title at the period of his death, was 
one of the most popular men in the State. The hero of that act 
of friendship was the father of the famous fighter, Commodore 
Brown, of the Confederate navy, whose exploit in running the 
Union blockade at the mouth of the Yazoo River forms one of 
the thrilling incidents of the late War of the Rebellion. The 
blockading ileet seemed to have cut off all hope of escape, but 
Commodore Brown took it by suri)rise, dashed boldly through in 
the early morning and got away with a badly crippled but still 
seaworthy vessel, the ram *' Arkansiis." After the war the gal- 
lant tar purchased a cotton plantation in Mississippi just opposite 
Helena, Ark., and lived there in delightful retirement until 
within a few years. There, too, Mr. Rice, the prince of clowns, 
has often been entertained by his friend and admirer of his 
father. 

In the latter part of hia life Dan Rice*s father succeeded 
to the sole grocery business in Pine Street, New York. One 
hundred thousand dollars in uncollcctable debts remained on his 
books when he died, and their perusal offers the student of human 
nature a curious satire on the morals of what we term society 
even that long ago. McLaren^s generosity was not confined to 
the extension of credit to hungry and thirsty gentility. In hia 
papers there is a hotel bill which he paid at Saratoga for the 
lovely and unfortunate wife of that Blennerhassett who was 
tempted to his destruction by bis friend Aaron Burr. It read ae 
follows: Saratoga Springs, August 14, 1832. 

Mrs. Sarah Blennerhassett, to Lewis Putnam, Dr. 
To Board and Entertainment for Mrs. B., serv't and child, 

being 2 weeks $13 

Rec'd Thirteen dollars from D. McLaren this Aug't IK in full 

Lewis Putnam. 



KEMIN18CEXCES 'OF DAN KICK 



This lady was tlie wife of the celebrated Harman Blenner- 
|Jkts&ett^ who was a victim of Burr's conspiracy. He was born in 
'Hampshire, England, but possessed of large Irish estates, which 
he sold for $100,000 and came to America in 1797, where he pur- 
chased an island of 170 acres on the Ohio River, a short distance 
below Parkersburg, \&. Upon this island he built a fine nian- 
Bion, with all the emhellishuionts wliich wealtii and taste could 
command. His home became widely known for its elegance and 
the culture that distinguished its inmates, and among the visitors 
to this beautiful retreat was Aaron Burr, who became acquainted 
there in 1805. He soon enlisted his host in his Mexican schemes 
in the belief that the country was likely to be involved in a war 
with Spain, and a fortune might easily be made by enterprise. 
Burr was to be emperor and Blennerhasset a duke and ambas- 
sador to England. In this way Blennerhasset was induced to 
invent largely in boats, provisions, arms, and ammunition, lie 
left his home and family and went to Kentucky, where being 
warned of Burr's real designs, ho returned to the island greatly 
disheartened. However, through Burr's solicitations, backed by 
his wife's influence, who had now enlisted in the undertaking 
with her whole soul, he yielded to the overture of the project. 

A proclamation against the scheme having been published 
by President Jefferson, Blennerhasset t, who was in hourly expec- 
tation of being arrested, escaped from the island and, managing 
to elude pursuit, joined Burr's flotilla at the mouth of the Cum- 
berland Kiver. He was afterward arrested and sent to liich- 
mond for trial in 1S07, but the case against Burr having resulted 
in acquittal, the other conspirators were disehtirged. 

In the meantime his island had been seized by creditors and 
everything upon it tliat could be converted into money was sold 
at a ruinous sacrifice. The beautiful grounds were used for the 
culture of hemp, the mansion being converted into a storehouse 
for the crops. In 1811 he cndi-avured to recover from Governor 
Alston, Burr's 8on-in-!aw, $2',J,rjO0, a balance of some $r)U,()00 
for which he alleged .\lston was res})onsib!e. He afterward 
bought 1,000 acres of land near Port Gibson, Miss., for a cotton 
plantation, on which ground Djin Eice has many a time 'since 
erected his show tent. But the War of 1813 prostrated all ram- 
mercial enterprises. Becoming continually poorer, in 1S19 he 
removed his family to Montreal, where for a time he jiracticed 
law. He subsequently sailed for Ireland in 18*^2 to prosecute 
a reversionary interest still existing there, and in this he failed. 
He next endeavored to procure emjiloyment from Portugal and 
from the United States of Colom])ia. But during tire latter years 
ni his life he was supported by his maiden sister who, at her 

ath, bequeathed her property to his wife and children. 



8 



EEitlN'iBCEKCES OF DAK BICE 



Miuc, Blennerhassett puljlished two volumes of poetry— in 
18^2, " TIjl" Deserted Isle " and in IS'^-l '* The Widow of tbe 
Rock." Henry Clay preseoteil to OnigrchS her petition lor re- 
imburseoifnt for her losses by the United States, but she died 
before it could be acted on, in the care of the Sisters of Charity 
in New York City. Dan Kice's father paid for the education of 
one of her sons^ the lawyer, afterward a somewhat noted prac- 
titioner, wlio became a citizen of St. Louit:, where Dan Kk-e has 
often been his client. Mrs. Blennerhai^bett was a lovely and 
virtuous woman, who won the respect an<i admiration of all who 
knew her. ^J 

In taking a backward glance at the career of Aaron Burr, it is ifl 
pathetic appeal to the liunianizing instincts that mark the gener- 
ous thought of our progressive age. With his proud spirit broken 
by the weight of repeated failures; wlien his foes assailed him in 
the decline of his power and his friends had not the courage to 
uplift him in his heli)Iessness, he turned in sorrow and Imniilia- 
tion from the social world and vanislied into retirement, appeal- 
ing to bis daughter, Mrs. Alston, of South Carolina, to come to 
him and thus, Ity her presence, help him to regain a renewed 
huld on life. This reijuest from her father touched the sensitive 
nature of Mrs. xVlston, and as her failing health required a change 
of climate, she decided to join him on Stalen Island and share 
his loneliness. All the world knows the sad sequel, and can ten- 
der its generous sympathy, even at this late day, for the anguish 
of one of our most conspicuous lights of the historical past. 

When the news linally reached Aaron Burr in New York, that 
his daughter, Tiicod<*sia, had lost her life on tiie North Carolina 
coast by the wrecking of the pilot boat " Patriot," on which she 
had taken jjassage in order to reach her IVither at the earliest 
possible moment, his strong spirit was crushed by his terrible 
loss and her sad misfortune. In the midst of these trials, when 
the shadows were gathering fast around his life, and jminful 
memories thrust their realities before him for future retrospect, 
he sent for his trusted and valued friend, Daniel McLaren, know- 
ing full well that his sympathies were genuine and his friendship 
unalloyed. Mr. Kice informs us thai JBurr entrusted to his 
father the management of a private arrangement to investigate 
the wrecking of the " Patriot/' for floating rumors aroused a sus- 
picion tliat the vessel might probably have fallen into the hands 
of the land i)irates who infested the Carolina coast and those of 
other States where the sand-bars and other formations made it 
dangerous for shipping in those times when the government 
signals were sparsely scattered along the water line. The hind 
pirates, taking advantage of that fact, continued to follow their 
unholy calling by placing decoy signals, 1 tiring the vess 



REMINISCENCES OF DAN RICE 



of safe paths in tempestuous weather and causing them to strand 
on the bars and fihojils; when, under the pretense of giving aid to 
the imfortunate crew and passengers in acts of mercy, they would 
board the stranded wreck, secure the valuables, and inhumanly 
compel the peo])]e to " walk the plank." 

Many a life was lost under such circumstances, and many dark 
deeds and weird scenes were enacted, whose haunting memories 
still live in the shadowed history of those early days. Being 
satisfied that such was the fact in regard to the unfortunate 
** Patriot," upon which the daughter of Aaron Burr took passage, 
Daniel McLaren, as previously intiniateci, privately planned and 
financially supported the investigation that successfully proved 
beyond a doubt the truth of the rumors that reported the fatality 
of the pilot boat *' Patriot " on the first day of January. 1813. 
At that period there was a shrewd, prominent public character 
in New York, by the name of Hayes, and Mr. Hice informs us 
that, judging from his fatherV description and his own personal 
boyhood knowledge of the man, he possessed al! the intriguing 

Jualitics of a Bymes and the penetrating cleverness of the 
inkertons of to-day, in the subtle points of the police and de- 
tective service. This man, possessing all these natural capacities, 
was well fortified for llie mission to unravel the tangled ends of 
the mystery surrounding the death of Aaron BurPs beautiful 
daughter. 

So Daniel McLaren, interesting himself in the cause of suffer- 
ing humanity, secured this man's confidence and furnished him 
With funds to promote the object, and satisfy his old friend and 
previous instructor as to the real fale of his cherished clidd. 
Therefore, nearly six months after the wrecking of the *' Patriot," 
Mr. Hayes started from New York, furnished with ample means, 
disguises, etc., and with such instructions as would assist him 
in his mission of mercy, and arrived in Norfolk, Va., on the first 
day of June. In due time he began his investigations. Dis- 
guising himself as a sailor, he visited their lodging-houses and 
resorts, and by affecting the seaman's swagger, slang, etc., he 
Boon became quite popular among the seafaring fraternity, and 
won, in time, their confidence. In making inroads upon their 
prejudices by offering occasional " grogs " whenever and wher- 
ever they met, he gained an insight into the true character of the 
different individuals; and, by insinuating his familiarities, he 
radually began to weave his web around the victims. After 
Piucceeding, by long, ])ersistent efforts, in finding among his boon 
companions the \\Teckcrs of the " Patriot," he sought their so- 
ciety and gained their confidence to such a degree that they re- 
vealed their places of rendezvous and gave to him the secrets of 
the wrecking system. The vantage ground of the ** bankers " 



10 



HEMINISCENCES OF DAN RICE 



was on the long sand-bars that fence the coast outside of Ci 
tuck, Albemarle, and Pandico Sound, and they i^.xplijined fur hi 
benefit the *' Ininkers' '' method, and rehited, among other iuc^ 
dents, the story of the flTcck of the *' Patriot/' and of their ini- 
plicatiou in the death of the crew and passengers, among whom 
was a beautiful lady. Mr. Hayes was now confident that he had 
sutficient evidence to justify his opinion that he had the 
assassins within his grasp, so he hastened the proceedings. He 
had the three men placed under arrest, and, at the hearing before 
the magistrate, they niiftde a confession and gave to the world 
the solved mystery of the " Patriot." The main incidents at 
the trial were as follows: 

A decoy signal liad lured the fated " Patriot " on a sand-bank 
off Kitty Hawk and Nags' Head, and the *' bankers," after board- 
ing the vessel, rided the crew and passengers of money, jewels, 
and other valuables. Every individual was either killed in hand- 
to-!iand combat or forced to *' walk the plank." 

To the great surprise of the pirates, the beautiful lady, who 
was none other than Theodosia, the daughter of Aaron Burr, 
sprang forward of her own accord, and, rushing along the cruel 
patluvay, threw her arras imploringly to heaven as she sank be- 
neath the waves. And the sweet spirit of Theodosia Burr was 
soon beyond the reach of such painfully cruel experiences in the 
calm of a merciful forgetfulness. Before she made the fatal 
plunge, the leader of the pirates, perhaps imbued at tliat moment 
by a faint gleam of conscience, shouted his orders to '* save the 
lady." But they came too late to prevent the tragedy. Thus 
perished one of the most beautiful, accomplished, and perfect 
women of those days of chivalr}^ Besides being the daughter of 
a man whose historic career had made him famous as a true friend 
to those who had tested his friendship, and an enemy to be feared 
when Justice to himself demanded it, this superior woman was 
also the gifted wife of Governor Alston, of South Carolina, who 
worshipped her memory as the fleeting years brought him nearer 
to the pure retreat of her spirit's home. Thus, through the com- 
bined efforts of Daniel McLaren and Mr. Hayes, together with 
the full approval of Aaron Burr, the death of that lovely woman, 
Theodosia Burr-Alston was avenged, and the three arrested men, 
Abner Smith, Joseph Gale, and George Roebeck, the self-ac- 
cused criminals, paid the penalty with their lives, being hanged 
on June 28, 1813. 

The only hope that served to brighten the declining years of 
Aaron Burr had vanished with his daughter's life, and he never 
ceased to mourn her loss. Being in ill-health at the time, almost 
ruined socially and financially, and living in anticipation of the 
expected coming of his daughter, who had previously written to 



REMINISCENCES OF DAN RICE 



11 



him that she would take passage on the " Patriot " in coming to 
New York, as Captain Carter was her husband's friend, and she 
would feel safe under his supervision in the hazardous journey 
before her, he felt that her presence would, in a measure, serve 
to harmonize conflicting opinion and cause a smoother flow as he 
drifted down with advancing years. But the realization never 
came, and instead, the sobbing sea sent forth a dirge that moaned 
the passing of his daughter's life. 

Mr. Rice tells us that his father's authority in guarding the 
memory of this man is unhiaijed in its authenticity, notwithstand- 
ing the fact that the world has been prejudiced and taught to 
think differently. Mr. McLaren has saul that " those who 
were closely associated with Aaron Burr and were intimately 
aecjuainted with the inside character of his private life never 
failed to find anything but grand incentives engendered in his 
great mind, that have ever been misinterpreted, because of 
a universal failure to approach liis nature correctly, and ' give 
honor to whom honor is due.' The proof of which is evident 
in the fact that his natural pride never indulged in controversies 
in defence of himself/' 

CHAPTER U. 

THE MANAHAN ROMANCE — ^THE MOTHEll'S REMARRIAOE — ^LITTLE 
DAX'S BOYHOOD DAYS IN NEW YORK— HE LEARNS TO 
RIDK AT FIVE, AND BECOMES A 8LCCES8FLL QIARTER- 
HOHSE JOCKEY — ^TAKEN BY MANAHAN TO PHILADELPHIA 
AND TRENTON TO RIDE, WITHOUT HIS MOTHERS KNOWL- 
EDOE — SEKVING MILK IN A MlNIATrilE CART— THE TWO 
DLFFY BROTHERS — DAN*8 INDEPENDENT NATURE — HIS 
ADVENTURES — PETER COOPER HIS LIFELONG FRIEND. 



WHEN little Dan Rice had spent two years on the farm in 
New Jersey, where he aci|uired his love of fresh air and 
nature, his mother, who had resumed her maiden name since 
her separation from his father, went to New York on a visit to 
her sister, Mrs, Hugh Heed, who lived at the corner of Centre and 
Franklin Streets, near where the Tombs now stands. The milk 
Baby Dan drank, while on this visit, came from Manahan & Mills, 
who managed one of the largest dairies in the city, and it was 
served each morning by Mr. Mnnahan himself. In thope days 
Manaban was considered n handsome man of pleasing address, 
and Miss Crum was young and gifted in like manner; therefore 
it is not strange that Cupid's darts pierced both hearts and 



12 



BEM1NI6CENCES OF DAN HICE 



created a courtship, for such it proved to be, that was carried on 
like that of the reapers and niilJanaids in the old sung, " In the 
earlj morn." 

The young mother had, during the early part of their acquaint- 
ance, confided to him the story of her lite and unpropitiuus mar- 
riage, and as she was then beyond the age of parentnl interfere 
euce, she accepted! his proposal, and after six months they were 
married at the home of her sister, Jlrs. Reed. As the mother bad 
command of the one thousand dollars received from her former 
husband, at which time she assumed the position of trustee of 
her boy, she very unwisely allowed a portion of this sum to be 
invested in purchasing the dairy interest of Mills, Manahan's 
partner, and also in stUl further increasing the capacity of the 
establishment. The newly wedded pair had commenced house- 
keeping on Mulberry Street, at a point between Spring and 
Prnice Streets, and were seemingly devoted to each other; and in 
consequence everything opened propitiously for a happy future. 

Contrary to the usual custom under similar circumstances, 
little Dan was an especial favorite with Ids stepfather, who ever 
treated him with parental affection, so that his early life was 
nurtured in love and tenderness. 

Through all the peculiar phases of his varied life, Mr. Rice 
has never forgotten the hrst accident which befell him in those 
early days, and it was, indeed, of such a character as to leave a 
lasting impression through life. Shortly after Manahan's mar- 
riage, he one day carried little Dan to the dairy stable, in which 
there was a great commotion amongst the cattle, and he found 
that a fractious cow had broken loo.se. Before unfastening the 
stable door, with a view of securing the unruly animal, Manahan 
stood the boy vipon a plank lying across a Imge square l>ox r»f 
stable earth. It required several minutes to restore order in the 
stable, but when be returned for Dan he was startled to find that 
he was no longer in sight. He rushed to the box where the only 
evidence of the boy*s existence was seen in the shape of a small 
pair of red shoes projecting from the surface. He had topjded 
over headforemost into the vat, and when drawn out was in- 
sensible. Had he remained a few seconds longer, this history 
would never have been written. His first visit to a stable re- 
sulted unfavorably in a disgusting experience, but did not re- 
strain him from making repeated trips to where the cattle w^cre 
statded, and as time advanced, his childish labor performed its 
share in the demands of increasing cares. He was accustomed 
to say in after years that he " matured so early benause be had 
been manured so early." the clown's initiative of his premature 
entrance into the world's cares and its strife.^?. And a friend has 
also remarked of Mr. Rice, when drawing a comparison, that " A 



BB]EINISC£^C£S OF DJLN BICE 



13 



jewel found in an offal pile loses none o£ its worthy but sparkles 
with increiised brilliancy wlwii worn upuii the botfoin of virtue." 

instruction, also, at an earl)- age was not lacking to open to 
the precocious niiud of little Dan Kicc the rudiments of theories 
that were of such vital importance in his early advent into prac- 
tical experiences. When he was four years of age he was sent to 
school regularly; therefore the fuundation was laid for the re- 
gulls that followed in succession in after years. 

The Alanahan dairy had in the meantime flourished and the 
town had grown in such close proximity to it, that a sole was 
consunuuated by Dan's parents and the proceeds were invested 
in Thirteenth Street near Sixth Avenue. Success again followed 
the Alanahan dairy and it prospered, but the city stUl continued 
to grow, and finally encroached upon it onee more, when a second 
ffiole was made, and Manahan established his business in a locality 
now occupied by Twenty-sixth Street and Sixth Avenue, but 
which was at that time a remote spot jast opposite the X'arian 
Farm. A new era now opened m the life of the little lad, and it 
was to his stepfather's love fur burses that Dan owed the be- 
ginning of his career on the turf. Manahan taught him to ride 
when he was five years old, and he became an expert quarter- 
horse rider by the time he reached the age of seven. His step- 
father had a passion for quarter-racing, which was then a prime 
sport with a large portion of the inhabitants of Manhattan Island, 
as such pastimes invariably are in such primitive neighborhoods. 
In these quarter-mile races Dan was generally successful. 

Manahan was the owner of a blotKled mare named Bhick Maria, 
which he had matched for a half-mile dash against an equally 
celebrated mare belonging to a man named Ludlow. The race 
was arranged to come off at Iloboken upon the New Jersey side 
of the North Kiver, and tlie excuse that Manahan made for tak- 
ing Dan away from his mother was that he wanted him to assist 
in driving home a milch cow. While the party waited at the 
ferry lanrling for the boat, the boy, with his natural curiosity ever 
on the alert, was attracted by the sight of the shipping, and 
stepping around a pile of cordwood to obtain a better view, 
jH^sped a projecting stick which happened to be loose and was 
instantly precipitated into the water, which, as the weather was 
cold, was thinly covered with ice. The child sank beneath the 
Burfare, but a sailor from a sinop Ijing at anchor near by had 
witnessed the accident, plunged in. securing the boy as he rose, 
and saved him from drowning. Manahan was nnturally much 
alarmed and offered the man ten dollfirp for risking his life to 
Rave that of the lad^ hut the sailor refused to receive it, remarking 
*' it would be a mean business f or n man to mnke n charge for sav- 
ing a fellow-creature from drowning." The small fellow-crea- 



u 



I1EMIN18C£J<IC£S OF DAN BIOS 



ture had, in the meantime, met with a narrow escape, and after 
he had been resuscitated was put to bed in the Bear Tavern, sit 
ated on the site of the well-kuowu Everett's JJotel in Barclay 
and \>sey JStreets, Every precaution was taken to prevent tlie 
development of unpleasant results that might arise from his ac- 
cidental plunge, and by the time his clothmg was dried he was 
again in a condition to meet the requirements of the racing pro- 
gram, and as an example of the elastic frame and physical en- 
durance of young Kice, it nmy be state*! that within two hours 
after the immersion he wiis oo his way to lloboken, and that he 
came olf the victor in a well-contested race. These scenes oc- 
curred in 18Si8, and it may here be mentioned that little Dan 
heard tlie declaration of the noble sailor who waved his life, and 
he treasured it deep in his heart, for from that day he evinced 
a lively interest in whatever coneernod the welfare and advance- 
ment of seafaring men. In after life, his contributions to the 
building of Seamen's Bethels and donations to Seamen's Homes 
were fruitful testimony of the warm feeling he cherished in their 
behalf, nor has any seaman in distress ever appealed to him for 
assistance without having cause to hold Dan Rice in grateful 
remembrance. The assertion can be sustained that sturdy little 
Dan aclually rode quarter-races for his stepfather when he was so 
small that it was found necessary to insure safety by tying hi 
on the horse, a fact that appeals as a protest against Manah 
initiating infancy into the reckless sports of the racing. 

Old New York residents may remember the old yellow tave: 
that stood on a road that represents the present Sixth Avenue,"* 
the space between the tavern and Twenty-first Street being ex- 
actly a quarter of a mile. This was the track upon which thea^J 
()uarter-races were run, and many an audience composed of th^^ 
sporting fraternity cheered the jockey in embryo on these occa- 
sions, and those nearest to him by natural ties little dreamed that 
in the early future he would begin his life's career by an opening 
on the racecourse. Although Dan was so young and small, yet 
he was remarkably strong and athletic, and hence was soon in 
demand as a rider. He was so proficient in the exercises that 
the prominent sporting character, Jim Kell}'. of Philadelphia, 
who owned a celebrated horse named Snowball, induced Manahan 
to take Dan to that city to ride him a thousanrl-yard race. Snow- 
ball was, without floubt. the fastest horse of his time, and it is 
queFtiona1)le if his superior exists at this day in point of speed. 
He was matched against General Wilkinson^s horse. Buck. It 
may be here mentioned that General Wilkinson is the officer cred- 
ited by common report in those days with having given informa- 
tion to the government concerning the expedition of Aaron 
Burr, although he was in Mr. Burros employ. Snowball 



BEMINI8CENCES OF DAN BICB 



16 



wa8 a bad one to get off from the score. Ue bad a habit of rear- 
ing that would at tiniL't^ tliruw him olf his balauce and be would 
fall over baekwards,j and upon many occasions caused serious 
injury to the rider. After several eltoriti in tbis event they got 
a send-off, and were neck and neck, when about half-way up tiie 
track Buck bolted towards the cemetery, tuid first swerving from 
the course, he made a sudden gtop at the stone wall. Tlie boy 
who rode him was thrown over the wall, and his bead striking 
full upon a tombstone, the skull was fractured and he was taken 
up dead. 

Dan was next taken to Trenton to ride at the Fall Meeting, 
where he was engaged by the owner to exercise the ill-natured 
Buck who had caused so fatal a termiiiatJou to the race at Phila- 
delphia. Young as be was and inheriting a love for animals that 
had in it no trace of fear, Dan felt sure he cuuld cure the horse 
of bolting and was willing to ride. Buck was matched against 
a mare named " Big Larry's^ Marc," her owner being Big l^arry, 
a member of the sjiorting fraternity who lived in Brooklyn and 
lipped the scales at tiiree hunilred pounds. There was a large 
attendance and considerable betting. It was an even race untd 
they came to the homestretch, where tliere was a fence on each 
side of the track, and at this point Buck made an attempt to bolt. 
He had previously had some cx[)crience of Dan's discipline with 
the butt of the whip, and quick as thought it was brought down 
with a heavy hlow on his nose. This })roved to be an etfectual 
persuader, for there was lui other attempt at bolting, and Dan 
brought him home a winner by half a length, Mannhan was 
highly elated over the success of little Dan as a race rider and in- 
tended to take him again to Trenton to attend the regular fall 
meeting of the Jockey Club, and in the interval returned home. 
lie had won considerable money during the trij) to Philadelphia 
and TVenton, to which was added that which Dan had earned hy 
riding; The prospective attendance at the meeting of the Jockey 
Club came to naught, and Dan remained home the whole of that 
winter. Child as he was, he milked four caws every morning 
before daylight, afterwards driving a milk-cart, for Manahan 
had a special nne of small size made for liim to deliver milk to 
a certain round of customers. Thus he was also early initiated 
in a business capacity, and it will be observed that the home life 
of the little man was {iilod with all the novelty and endless variety 
of tasks that are comprised in a busy home. His mother, not- 
withstanding her failing heallh, regularly attended the church 
service on Sunday, at which times I it He Dan's presence was also 
indispensable; and besides, he was re*rjuired to attend the Sabbath- 
scliool, the impressions of which wer(* lasting, for if brought into 
itciion .ill the eloquence and moral suasion that his mother could 



10 



BEMINISCENCES OP DAN BICE 



command to prove to him that a duty neglected is something 
eternally lost. 

In the spring, at his mother's request, he was taken from the 
charge of the milk route and sent to a sehool located in what 
is now the iSeventh Avenue near Twenty-first Street, New York 
City. With the spirit for mischief reigning uppermost in his 
boyish nature, it seemed almost impossible to interest him in 
school tiisks, and, as he was very apt, Iw intuitively caught, at a 
glance, that which would prove hard work to others of his little 
companions. The ret^tless promptings of his active temperament 
ol'tcn led him into committing heedless otfences, and, when the 
summer came, echool lii'e was a secon<lary alTair in his ojiinion, 
and the balmy air offered its allurements in numerous tempta- 
tions that often caused him to play the truant and led him to the 
riverside. Dan and his half-brother, William, went fretjuently 
with other boys to the North Kiver to watch the swimmers; and 
amung these truants there would invarialdy be found two 
brothers named Peter and Barney Duffy. As little Dan Kice's 
friendships were warm and true, he formed a great liking for 
these two brothers, and they claimed a large share of his boyish 
patronage. Upon one occasion, while watching the pastimes of 
the swimmers, they stood upon an uncertain raft on the water, 
and Dan, in his natural forgetfulness of all else except the fun, 
unfortunately fell in tlirougli an airhole, and would certainly 
have been drowned if it had not been for the presence of mind in 
that great-hearted lad, Peter DulTy, who slipped down through 
the hole and with a great effort caught Dan as he was rising, but 
not before he bad floated under the logs. It was an act of mercy 
that bound more closely the friendship of the two boys; and, re- 
gardless of the distance between them in after years, and the 
diiTcrence in their careers, that one event was never bridged 
over by forgetfulness. Peter was somewhat of a pugilist when 
a boy, and gave Dan his first instructions in boxing, and. whether 
to his credit or not, Dan proved an apt pupil, and found many 
opportunities in his after life in which to bring young Duffy's 
theory into practice, to which many a previous antagonist can 
testify, even at this late day. Dan*s gratitude to Peter Duffy was 
evinced in later years in an extraordinary way. 

The next event that occurred in little Dan's life was his 
entrance to the Kellogg Seminary that stood at Prince Street and 
Broadway, and to which he was driven every morning by one of 
his father's em])!oyees, who also returned for him in the evening. 
This state of afTairs would have proved of incalculable benefit to 
the lad had he hccn left to the entire manRgement of his devoted 
mother, but Mr. Manahan's great love for sport was the handi- 
capping hindrance to his improvement at the Seminary, for on 



BEMINISCENCES OF DAN BICE 



11 



Saturdays he would create some business excuse, and take little 
Dau to some prearranged rendezvous to ride quarter-races. 

Tuckers Lane, near llarJeni.had now superseded the old Yellow 
Tavern for those quarter stretches, and this place was the scene 
of tile boy's next advent in the racing world. The excitement 
attending these races soon had a tendency io give him a distaste 
for school and filled his young mind with ideas that made him 
restless when under restraint, and as a result, on one occasion, 
to gain his entire freedom, he ran oiT with Peter DutTy and re- 
mained away two days and nights. The two boys were afraid to 
return home when tliey awakened to the serious strait into which 
the misdemeanor had led them; so, to preserve their independ- 
ence, they obtained situations in Peter Cooper's glue factory. 
Whde there, they were as full of mischief as it is possible for two 
such exuberant spirits to be, and indulged in all sorts of i)ranks 
in consequence. Upon one occasion, oirn little fellow thought- 
lessly dared the other to follow him to the extreme edge of a roof 
of the factory, and Mr. Cooper at that moment happened on the 
scene and, from beneath apprehending the danger, commanded 
them to stop. He ordered an employee to place a ladder against 
the eaves and bring the boys down, after which he boxed their 
ears as a form of mild rebuke, and having previously found out 
who they were, eeiU them directly to their homes under escort. 
Little Dan received a severe chastisement at the hands of his step- 
father, but tile spirit of the iad was not broken nor even sub- 
dued, and he resented the indignity by again running away. 
This time he repaired to the home of his aunt, Mrs. Hugh Reed, 
who lived in Centre Street opposite the Collect. Being a great 
favorite of hers, he was sure of a warm sympathy in his behalf, 
which she was not slow in rendering; so Dan felt encouraged 
to resort once more to his native independence, and his cousin 
Hugh procured for him a situation in Lorillard's tobacco iactory, 
where he expected to be initiated in a new field of action. But 
he was not destined to remain long in his new surroundings, for 
liis stepfather, having learned of his whereabouts, went to the 
CBtablifhment, and, adopting a process radically dilforent from 
the previous policy he had employed, persuaded the little hid to 
return home with him, and as a panacea to cover the results of 
his former harshness, ofTercd him a handful of silver coins. Tlie 
compromise being satisfactory, the boy returned to his home and 
commenced life again under the old regime, again attending the 
school, and upon Saturdays, as in previous times, being taken 
by his stepfather to ride the quarter-races. 

If is worthy of mention here that Mr. Manahan never after- 
ward resorted to hnrsli severity with his stepson; for experience 
had taught him that the high-spirited lad inherited a nature that 



18 



BEMINI8C1NCES OP DAN RICE 



would not bear it. Living as he did, in an atmosphere where 
inipcDding sliacluws fcet.*iiied ever iutriuiiiig, althoitgU nurtured 
with the fondest care his gentJe mother could bestow, be, with 
the quick jierccption of childhood, intuitively felt that something 
was going wrong as her health gradual!}^ failed,atul her increasing 
efforts in his belialf tilled the little man's heart with an awe that 
only his matured mind, in later years, could interpret. 

It has ever been characteristic of Mr. Rice to remember the 
friends of his early days, and his benevolent si)irit can be traced 
in many circumstances that bear evidence of this manly attribute, 
that cjiused many a heart to take on new courage when his be- 
hests have been extended ungrudgingly and with wide-open hand. 

In the palmy days of allluence, during the height of his pro- 
fessional career, one little incident, out of scores of others of 
greater moment, may be mentioned lu^re. Mr. Rice had ever 
been grateful to Peter Dulfy for his kindness to him in his early 
days, and, having a strong desire to remunerate his old friend 
with something more substantial than words, be had a deed 
drawn in Dull'y's name for a handsome farm of two hundred acres 
near Mr. Rice's old home in Girard, Pa., fully equipped with 
stock and appurtenances, and presented the deed to bim per- 
sonally. As Mr. Dul!y had always been a proverbial city man, 
his ideas of life at farming were somewhat crude. He felt that 
he could not honorably accept that which ho was entirely un- 
fitted for. so with tears in his honest eyes as he looked in Mr. 
Rice's face, he remarked, *' Why, Lord bless you, Dan, Pd starve 
to death on a farm! " 

Late in the fall and winter of 1857-58 when Mr. Rice had his 
great show at Niblo's Garden, he visited Mr. Cooper at his lovely 
home on Lexington Avenue, and when he made known to that 
gentleman who he was, Mr. Cooper remarked, " Are you the 
famous clown jester, Dan Rice, that I read so much about in the 
papers? " To which Mr. Rice replied, that he represented that 
personage. In the course of conversation Mr. Rice related to Mr. 
Cooper the subject of his boyish pranks at the glue factory and 
mentioned the practical reprimand he received from his hand, 
and added, " The impress of your hand on my ears, Mr. Cooper, 
1 have never forgotten, and I think such impressions made at the 
right time often follow a hoy through life." To which he made 
a laughing rcnly that they often did, and asked what had he- 
come of the other hoy. Mr, Rice informed him that Peter Duffy 
was now a respected citizen and struggling manfully with the 
stream of human adventure. Mr, Cooper's retentive memory 
held many reminiscences of those earlier years, which were as 
vivid as when they first occurred. 

He had a fondness for horses and trained animals and advo- 




REMINISCENCES OF DAN BICE 



19 



cated athletic sports, bo Mr. Rice invited him to bring his family 
to Nibio's that evening and see the exhibition, which he did, and 
expres^d himself as highly pleased with every phase of the per- 
formance. During Mr. Cooper's presidential campaign in 1676, 
Mr, Rice being a great admirer of the distinguished candidate, 
distributed over three hundred thousand circulars favoring Mr. 
Cooper's election as he travelled with the great show through 
the different States. 

In April, 1883, when Mr. Rice was in New York, he was again 
the guest of Mr. Cooper, and accepted an invitation to accompany 
him 10 the Cooper Union, where he was to deliver an address 
that evening. The weather was decidedly unpropitious, and, 
Mr. Cooper, being very infirm, glndly availed himself of Mr. 
Rice's assistance, and with his help ascended the steps and 
reached the auditorium, taking Mr. Rice with him on the plat- 
form. The chairman of the evening, who introduced Mr. Cooper, 
in the course of liis remarks paid a fine tribute to the many 
philanthropic acts of that gentleman, who had done so much 
towards placing advantages within the reach of the people who 
had aspiring minds, and especially in the erection of the grand 
building in which they were assembled. " It is a home," he said, 
" in which growing minds can develop and grapple with the 
flirticnlt problems of theory and learn how to apply them prac- 
tically in the requirements of every-day life. And the Cooper 
Union will ever be a monument to the philanthropic donor whose 
honored name it bears." Mr. Cooper rose slowly to address that 
vast concourse of people, anrl in his opening remarks said that, 
while he had been enabled to do much towanl the advancement of 
the deserving, he very much reprrottod that he had not been able 
to do more. That which ho had tieen instrumental in doing had 
been confined fhiefly to local objects; but he took great pleasure 
in introijucing to thnt vast assemblage a distinguished gentleman, 
the famous clown and jester, Mr. Dan Rico, whose philanthropic 
arts were universally scattered broadcast throughout the land, 
and his last achievement that he had read of commended itself 
to all loyal, loving people — that of erecting, at his own personal 
expense, in Girard, Pa., a splendid monument, commemorating 
the deeds of the heroic dead who sacrificed their lives in the War 
of the Rebellion. At Mr. Cooper's mention of the monument 
the audience gave an enthusiastic and prolonged applanse. to 
which l\Tr. Rice responded by rising and gracefully bowing his 
arknowledgment of their appreciation of his cfTorts. Mr, Cooper 
then continued his remarks: but. in a short time, begged the 
nudience to excuse him as be was not feeling well. He repaired 
at once to bis home, accompanied by Mr. Rice, bis inrlisposition 
increasing meanwhile, and he partook of a hot beverage to coun- 



m 



REMINISCENCES OF DAN BICB 



teract the chill fiuperinduced by exposure to the damp and frosty 
night air. Mr. Rice hade Jiim good-night and went to hie hotel, 
feeling, with the rest of his friends, that Mr. Cooper would in a 
short time be restored to his usual good health, hut in a few days 
was surprised and pained to read the obituary in a morning 
paper. Thus another grand life passed to his reward^ garnered 
into the progressive etate unseen by mortal eyes. 



CHAPTER III. 



MEMORABLE NIGHT AT THE "OLD BOWERY THEATRE 
DOMESTIC TROUBLES— HIS MOTHER'S DEATH — HUGH MAN- 
AHAN's remorse— young dan leaves HOME AND BE0IN8 
LIFE ON HIS OWN RESPONSIBILITY — FROM SCHOOL TO 
SADDLE— HIS SUCCESS IN THE RACING WORLD— NOTES ON 
THE CLOWN AND THE CLERGYMAN — DANIEL McLAREN'S 
BEREAVEMENT. 




W'HILE this etate of affairs was pending, Mr. Manahan had 
began to show a disposition to neglect his family and to 
frequently absent himself from them at night; and Dan, taking 
advantage of the fact, would steal away from his home in com- 
pany with young Dulfy, and together they would wander down- 
town, bent on seeking amusement. They frequently went to the 
Bowery Theatre and caught the passion for the play. On one 
occasion a ghostly performance was being enacted, in which there 
was a scene representing a graveyard with apparitions of demons, 
etc, and Mr. Charles Tarsons, one of the greatest tragedians of 
that day, acted the leading part. It created a marked sensation 
in the audience and the younger element especially were pro- 
foundly impressed. Our two young heroes being numbered with 
the latter, it is to be inferred that they also were afflicted with the 
contagion. 

It was near midnight when the play ended, and Dan and 
young Duffy started immediately for their homes. They parted 
in Thirteenth Street, where Peter lived, and our little man 
pursued his way home alone with his mind wrought to a high 
state of excitement by what he had experienced. He sturdily 
strode along rapidly, ruminating on the gruesome incidents of the 
evening, when suddenly there started up acrojjs his path a large 
black dog. and, to his exaggerated vision, it was, indeed, the 
largest he bad ever seen. It was a moment of ^reat terror to the 
boy, the lateness of the hour dawned upon him, and, with his 




BEMINISCENCES OF DAN RICE 



21 



nervous temperament strained to the utmost, he imagined that it 
vas the evil one himself thai had come to frightea him out of 
existence. As a natural consequence, the supreme moment came 
when the great black creature bounded away, and then the terri- 
fied lad found safety in tlight. iSo foot race on record was ever 
marked in better time than he accomplished, as he almost Hew 
over the public thoroughfare to his home on Twenty-sixth Street 
and Sixth Avenue. Xo thought of the midnight marauder that 
might enter the house and molest the other inmates ever entered 
his head as he rushed in, leaving the door wide open behind him, 
and he seemed to be imbued witli but one impression — that " self- 
preservation is the first law of nature." and he was satisfied that 
he had found it when he jumped into bed without undressing 
and buried his head beneath the covers. Many years elapsed be- 
fore he entered another tlieatre, for circumstances were forming 
a path in which he little dreamed his feet would wander; but the 
memory of that night was never obliterated, although the frosts 
of time have now whitened the head of our hero. 

In the meantime Dan still continued his course of studies at 
the Seminar>% where the preceptor had received special instruc- 
tions to improve his talents as rapidly as his capacity would allow, 
without regard to monetary' consideratioD, therefore every elTort 
was put forth to gain that end. But still the evil genius pursued 
him in the form of the races; and after witnessing the contests 
on the Union Course, to which his stepfather took him on one 
occasion, his sole ambition, reganlless of all opposition to the 
contrary, was to become a great rider. It was only a step from 
the school to the saddle. The course Mr. Manahan pursued with 
the little stepson was not approved by the bo/s mother, whose 
ideas were at variance in regard to Mr. Manahan's apparent in- 
difference to the lad's moral well-being when he was out of the 
influence of her presence: whilst Manahan, in his mania for the 
excitement of the sports of the turf, took especial pains to invent 
misleading excuses to keep from her the knowledge of his en- 
couragement of the youngster's natural bent, and little Dan him- 
self with his acute perception was also cultivating an ingenious 
faculty in the same direction. 

Mr. Manahan was a man of fine presence. Dame Nature having 
bestowed upon him some of her choicest gifts in that direction; 
but it requires inherited attributes of an elevated standard to 
gire character and strength to mental adornment, which he failed 
to discover, being trammelled by a spirit of inconsistency, albeit 
a liberal man in his views. The exacting Methodism of his wife 
annoyed him, his connection with turfmen and the sporting 
fraternity did not tend to strengthen his moral nature; and soon 
the winecup and its inferred associate evils made him oblivious 



n 



REMINISCENCES OF DAN RICE 



of his duties as a hysband and father. He was one of a coterie 
of victims led in fetters liy that filk de. joie, Helen Jewett, whose 
Buhtle charms eaiised many a grief in homes that were supremely 
happy het'nre her advent. She was a Boston girl of rare heauly, 
and possessed all the accomplishments and cultivated arts that 
afipeal to man's susceptibility, and, in many instances, causes his 
downfall. The real name of this woman was Mary Rogers and 
her wild race in life ended on April 10, 183(j, wdien she fell by the 
hand of an assassin, who was one of her paramours, named Rob- 
inson. The murder created a great sensation, especially among 
those who had been inveigled by the subtlety of her snares, and 
tliey had reaped a wTctched harvest while her memory sank into 
forgetfulness. Mr. Manahan, prior to his acquaintance with 
Roliinson, had become infatuated with this woman, and seem- 
ingly made no effort to conceal his liaison from bis wife. As the 
hust>and became more estranged, his conduct to his wife and 
family assumed a more unnatural bearing, until entreaty and re- 
proaches alike were hopelessly unavailing. But the end was fast 
approaching when the mother's heart would forever cast aside 
the painful memories of her short but eventful life, and enter the 
new existence where time makes all things right and where for- 
giveness is indeed unalloyed. It should be home in mind that» 
although Mr3. Manahan was the mother of several children, in- 
cluding little Dan. she was only on the verge of twenty-eight 
when she died, in the winter of 1831. During the consciousness 
of her last moments when she had made a disposition of William, 
pjlizabeth, and Catlierinc, the children that composed their little 
family, Manahan betrayed one redeeming quality in his nature 
that had not been entirely eradicated by his associations, by ask- 
ing her — " What shall I do with Dannie? " The mother's heart 
knowing full well the independent spirit of her cherished lad, 
answered, " He will take care of himself." Then missing his 
presence, she inquired, " Where is Dannie? " The almost heart- 
broken boy had been standing outside the doorway, an eyewitness 
to the sorrowful scenes that were being enacted, but, hearing his 
own name mentioned, he hastened to his mother's side, and with 
her hand on his young head, heard the last words that proved his 
talisman through a long, eventful career. " Always look after 
your little sisters; never lose sight of them and never desert 
them." These parting words whispered in his ear reverberated 
long after the mother's form was laid to rest in the old graveyard 
at the comer of Carmine and Hudson Streets, and helped to de- 
velnp the spirit of self-reliance which, when in after years cir- 
cumstances threw him among the mixed associations of bis pro- 
fessional career, stood him in such good stead. 

Soon after his mother's death, home associations proved so 




BEMINISCENCES OP DAN RICE 



j» 



(llstaetcful to the sensitive lad that he resolved to leave the scenes 
of his painful memories and look for something, he kjiew not 
whttt, to ussist him in forgetting them. He sighed for some relief 
to deaden his first real sorrow that he could scarcely realize and 
but crudely interpret. The vacant place in the home was a 
fource of sadness that was almost unbearable, and his child-heart 
was crushed with its weight of loneliness, for the gentle mother's 
absence had left an aching void. Being high-spirited, and with 
no grown relative near to advise him, he left his stepfather's 
house and exhibited the indepemlcnce in his nature by seeking 
his fortune in the wide world. He never dreamed, in his heart- 
broken sorrow, of appealing to any one near him by the ties of 
relationship. He manfully shouldered his own burdens and 
faced his life of fate alone. 

One day, as the early evening came on, the solitude was most 
depressing, and he determined to make a beginning in forming 
the opening chapters of his new career. He prepared, as was his 
custom, the children for retiring, and, as he embraced for the 
last time his brother and two little sisters, he mentally vowed, 
with bursting heart and eyes full of tears, that he would return to 
them when a man and take care of them. The promise he gave 
to his mother he was ever mindful of during a long period of 
active usefulness, and it has been redeemed abundantly. It nmy 
l>e mentioned here that the one thousand dollars that had been 
settled by his grandfather upon little Dan was largely expended 
by Mr. ilanahan in New York and the residue of it was used in 
purchasing a farm at Fresh Pond (now called North Long 
Branch), on the Shrewsbury Eiver in New Jersey. The j)ur- 
ciiase was made from Joseph West, an uncle of Dan^s on the 
maternal side. After Dan left his home on that memorable 
evening, his previous experience inclined him to look to the turf 
for a living; so he crossed the F!ast River at Catherine Street 
ferry, and made his way to the old Union Course, back of Brook- 
lyn, to which Mr. Manahan had, on several occasions, taken him. 
He was now a sturdy, agile, and strong-minded lad of eight years, 
and hod already given promise of the pbenonienal physical 
strength of which he has since made so much capital. He wan- 
dered to the racecourse stables of Mr. Jolm McCoun, one of the 
most experienced horse-trainers in the country, who, when he saw 
the boy. expressed great snrprisp that be should be so far away 
from his home at night. But when the lad explained, he compre- 
hended the situation at a glance, and took the little fellow into 
the circle of his own family, and in a few days, having recognized 
hig ability, he engaged him in the business, and his task was to 
exercise and ride the two-year-olds. 

It was very fortunate for the boy that he selected the guardian- 



24 



EEMINISCENCES OF DAN RICE 



ship of Mr. McCoun, for that gentleman was well qualified to 
sow the seeds of first principles in the right direction in a nature 
that was so euscoptible at that time of life, lie became Dan's 
first patron on the turf, and it is an interesting incident to be 
remembered in that eoiineetion that John MoCoun's son and suc- 
cessor, Dave Mct'ovm, won the great Suburban race on the 
B ro o kl yii t rac kin 1 S L> 1 . 

The peculiar circumstances that caused our hero to seek the 
protecting care of ilr. McCoun were sullicient to enable him to 
take the boy at once under his special care, and he soon discovered 
that his prot^'ge wouhl eventiuiliy become one of the best ridere 
upon the course. The thought of returning the youthful truant 
to hts home, or of advising his stepfather of his whereabouts, 
never entered Mr. McCoun's head, as it was a principle with him 
to relieve the unfortunate if possible. While horsemen are gen- 
erally liberal and generous, and pnssably honest except when 
making a horse trade, their morality is universally conceded to be 
somewhat at variance, and it was Buhver who remarked that the 
atmosphere of the stable probably had something to do with that 
fact, but, be that as it may. the knowledge of Dan's escapade 
rather advanced him than otherwise in the estimation of his 
trainer as a boy of pluck and spirit, and Mr. MeCoun gave him 
every advantage to become an expert in the business and an 
honor to himsetf as well. Our young lad at this time, 1831, had 
just rounded his eighth year, and as he proved an apt pupil, was 
pronounced a credit to his trainer, who during his rudimentary 
training ns a rider, took the liveliest interest in his advancement. 
His first professional mount was at Trenton, N. J., at the Fall 
races in 18;]2. President Andrew Jackson, who, with a portion 
of his cabinet, hsid been entertained with the great chief Bhick 
Hawk at dinner that day in Trenton, was present at this race, 
and Dan rode the filly Lizzie Jackson, named for the President's 
favorite niece. It was mile heats and he brought Lizzie cleverly 
to the front and passed the post a winner. As this was his first 
professional triumjih, it was rendered more memonible by the 
special notice of President Jackson, who, being doubtless much 
gratified with the success of the filly named for his niece, placed 
his hand on Dan's head and said, " My boy, if you live, you will 
make either a great man or a great fool/' In a measure this re- 
mark was proidietie in a dual sense; he was destined to become a 
great clown. Such a compliment from the " Hero of New Or- 
k'fins," filled the hoy's soul with delight, and though at this late 
day memory recalls the impression of ** Old Hickory's" hand 
upoji his head, Mr. Titiee at times remarks that it did not hit him 
hard enough to make a Jackson ian Democrat of him. .\fter the 
Trenton episode he returned to Long Island, where his next race 




HEMiyiSCENCES OK DAN RICE 



25 



was upon a horse called April Fool, the property of Walter Liv- 
ingstone, of Oyster Buy. The race was a single dash of two miles, 
which he won. The riders in this post stake were CJeorge Nel- 
son, Gil. Patrick, and Charlie Hood. His next mount was 
Emilius, rated the best three-mile horse in the country, were it 
not for the fact that in the progress of a race he was liable to 
sulk and suddenly stop, and besides he was addicted to a vicious 
habit of reaching around and biting the leg of the rider. As 
Dan was selected to ride him, he agreed lo do so provided he was 
permitted to adopt what measures he pleased to protect himself. 
Mr. McCoun, the trainer, who had previously had evidence of the 
boy's good judgment in such instances, gave his consent, and 
Dan had a strong leather legging made to cover the left leg, as the 
vicious creature had never been known to attack the right one. 
The legging was thickly studded with sharp brads, and when Dan 
was giving the horse a walking exercise, he allowed him full play 
of the bridle. In a brief period I^milius reached around with 
open mouth anrl seized the leather covering, but in a monient let 
go and did not attempt to bite until he reached a comer of a road 
on which lived a well-known individual of that day, the Daniel 
Drew of steamboat fame, and whose house was passed on the way 
to the sand track. It was there Emilius made another attempt 
to bite, holding on to the legging for a moment, but he mon again 
let go with his mouth pierced and bleeding. At the same time 
Dan increased the painful treatment by striking him over the 
nose and ears with the handle of his riding- whip. This punish- 
ment repeated for a few days completely l»roke him of his pro- 
pensity for biting. Next came the question of the best means 
of breaking him of the habit of sulking, which made him un- 
reliable when the race was in progress, and to effect this, Dan 
adopted a purely original methftd. He brought into re^piisition 
a pitchfork with three sharp tines, and when exercising the horse, 
had one of the sons of Nathaniel Rhodes, who owned the sand 
track, to ride behind him on Emilius armed with the pitchfork. 
The first experiment was made on the old sand track when Dan 
Was taking the Imrse through the process of a sweat. The fitful 
nature of the spirited creature possibly rebelled against the 
double burden he was bearing, for Emilius sulked and stood per- 
fectly still. Young Rhodes thereupon applied freely the punish- 
ment of the pitchfork, at which Emilius snorted, reared, plunged, 
and kicked, but the discipline was continued imtil he started off. 
The saine treatment was subse<iuently repeated in a trial of speed 
which finally broke him of the habit; consequently he was en- 
tered for the three-mile race, and with Dan for his rider, he won. 
The horse was the prcvporfy of Duff Green, a sporting man of 
New York, who recompensed Dan for the trouble he had taken 



d6 



BEHINISCEN'CES OF DAN BIOE 



with his valuable racer by presenting liim with a new Buit of 
clothes and twenty dollars in money, which was a perquisite 
worth possessing for a boy of his age. He was taught and ad- 
vised by Mr. JlcCoun to hold his salary nnd pret^ent money sub- 
ject only to his personal needs, and he invariably followed that 
advice during those early tkys of his career which had a tendency 
to govern him to some extent in after life. But miserly instincts 
were entirely foreign to his nature, as subsequent events in his 
later life showed. 

The young boy's success in breaking this vicious racer at- 
tracted great attention and made him famous among prominent 
horsemen in that locality, and, consequently, his services were 
much sought after and he became (piite a hero. He was in par- 
ticular complimented by Hiram Woodruff, in after years the 
chief of drivers in trotting-horse contests, es])ecially with Flora 
Temple, and the two brothers, John I. and Jerome Snediker, 
declared him to be a ** brick." The successful breaking of 
Emilius was the first knowledge Dan had of his practical capacity 
in breaking and training horses, a faculty in which, years after- 
wards, he beciime so proficient as to cast all competition in the 
shade. About this time i>an was transferred by Air, ilcC-oun to 
"English Joe," a remarkal»Ie racehorse trainer, whose horses 
were stabled at John I. Sne4iker s, at whose hotel Dan was take^ 
to board. 

His services having been transferred to " English Joe," th 
prominent yonng rider continued to be treated with equal con- 
sideration and kindness, and on account of his genial nature an^ 
abundance of good-humor, Dan made many friends under thea 
circumstances that lirought him before the public fre(|uently. 
He was engaged to ride two and three-year-old colts, and his pre- 
vious reputation for subduing " the liery, untanu^d steed " proved 
to be somewhat of a disadvuntage, as it procured for him some of 
the worst and most unmanageable colts. The first horse he rode 
under his new trainer was a spirited animal called Dr. Syntax, a 
two-year-old who was a terror to all the young riders, for he 
would rear up and fall hack, and in this manner had injured 
many who had attempted to ride him. During his first exercise, 
knowing full well that only severe punishment would correct 
his habits, Dan supplied himself with a heavy cowhide whijs and 
seating himself in the saddle, was ]>repared for any emergency. 
By meeting every attempt of the horse at rearing by punishment, 
he finally broke him of the habit, and in a two-mile post stake» 
he beat the remarkable Dosoris and two other colts. At the Fall 
meeting, John C. Stevens, a prominent gentleman and member 
of the sporting fraternity, engiiged Dan Kice to ride Dosoris 
against Dr. S^mtax, a two-mUe race, which he easily won. His 



k:e^» 

tlP| 
on- 

tlv. 1 




REMINISCENCES OP DAN RICE 



27 



repeated triumphs caused much joalousv among ihe other riders, 
and the climax of their envy was reached wlien Mr. Stevens took 
Dan home to live at his hoube, where he spent the winter, was also 
admitted into the family circle, and was sent to school. Such 
a thoughtful arrangement on the part of Mr. Stevens for the 
boy's welfare is worthy of mention, and how few lads, compara- 
tively, thus circumstanced, have such advantages in this pro- 
gressive age. 

Mr, Rice says that his mothers death occurred during one of 
the most terrific blizzards ever known in New York up to tliat 
time, equalling the one that occurred in March, 1888, in violence 
and magnitude. Some idea of its severity can be conceived when 
he assures us that several days elapsed before they could bury the 
body, and the snowfall was so deep that the citizens turned out 
en masse along the funeral route, and made a road from the 
home, situated at the corner of Twenty-sixth Street and Sixth 
Avenue, to the churchyard, a distance of nearly two and a half 
iniles. It was only with the greatest ditficulty that three of Mrs. 
Manahan's sisters, who resided in New York, could attend her 
funeral. They were the only members of her family, near and 
dear to her, who could possibly get to her residence to attend the 
last sad services. 

But there was a stranger noticed following the funeral proces- 
sion at some distance. A till, distinguished man, so muf!led 
in a long, heavy Spanish c!oak, that he was not recognizable. 
His }»eculiar style and bearing caused Mr. Hice's aunts to suspect 
that the muffled stranger was Daniel McLaren, who was their 
sister's first husband and lifelong friend. It eventually proved 
that such was, indeed, the fact; for, after the interment had been 
made and the a.'^^emWage dispersed, he was recognized by the 
sexton as he stood besidp the new-made brave wherein one was 
laid who occupied and held the highest place in his mind and 
heart during a l(»ng and eventful life- 
lie placed a memento on her resting place as he stood there 
painfully absorlied with his own thoughts, and finally left as 
Bilentlv as he had come. 

In after years he substantiated these facts to Mr. Rice when 
they were once more drawn together by natural ties that even the 
world could not sever. 



S8 



EEMINISCEXCKS OF DAN RICE 



CHAPTER IV. 

HOW DAN PLAYED CARDS WITH LOUIS NAPOLEON, THE EXILEH 
FRENCH PRINCE— LIST OF OWNERS YOCNG RICE RODE FOR, 
AND THE RACES WITH WHICH HE BRCSHED THE Tl'RF 
—HIS MARVELLOUS JOURNEY TO BUFFALO — ARRIVAL IN 



PITTSBUEQ. 



i^^ 



TTN'DEK the kind guardianship of ifr. Stevens, a new li 
LJ seemed to open to the growing lad, u development to new 
ineentives that were encouraged by the Stevens household, for 
they recognized in Dan's indomitable will the fair promises of 
great aptitude in any vocation that he might he fitted for in the 
years to come. Encouragement coming from such a source, tilled 
the boy^s mind with a desire to aspire to the requirements of a 
(lilFerent calling,, but the time had not yet arrived for such devel- 
opments, so he pursued the old course until he could meet the 
demands with a broader experience. Isaac Van Leer was Mr. 
Stevens* trainer, and Dosoris was entered for the Spring meeting 
in a race of t\vo miles and repeat. While Mr, Stevens was away 
in New York, the colt, in a trial of speed, sprained a sinew of the 
foreleg, and Dan was dispatched with a letter to him advising the 
withdrawal of the horse, Mr. Stevens was staying at the Hotel 
de Paris on Broadway, and Dan was ushered into his presence in 
a room where, with several distinguished gentlemen, he was en- 
gaged in a game of draw poker. He delivered the missive to Mr. 
Stevens, who excused himself to answer the letter.at the same time 
introducing Dan. " Gentlemen," he said, " this is ray favorite 
rider, Yankee Dan." and continued, " here, Dan, play this hand 
for me." One gentleman of the party, whose costume impressed 
Dan as foreign and peculiar, was addressed as Count Louis. It 
must be borne in mind that our hero, although otherwise unex- 
ceptionable in his morals, had by his associations with riders and 
stablemen become an adept at cheating at card-playing, and so, 
while the rest of the party were engaged in conversation, Dan put 
up the cards, dealing his own hand from the bottom. As the 
Count was out of chips, Dan loaned him, from Mr. Stevens* pile, 
seventeen dollars, and afterwards " took the pot." The Count 
Louis who impressed Dan with his personality was Louis Na- 
poleon, afterwards the destined Emperor of France, who was at 
the time sojourning in the United States, and as he had a fond- 
ness for the races and the sporting world in general, he spent 
much of his time at the clubs among turfmen and all good fellows 
who enjoyed the chances of the card table. 




REMINISCENCES OP DAN KICE 



29 



In the racing fraternity Dan was an acknowledged favorite and 
liad for some time been recognized as the ex]iert rider of iiis day, 
in fact one of the best on Long Island, an<i as his engagements 
M-ere continuous, he remained Jiere until 183G, when he turned 
"thirteen years of age. His position brought him in contact with 
anany prominent persons who interested themselves in his welfare 
and extended their friendship, which continued long after he 
liad gained prominence in the world of entertainment. Among 
tile well-known o\nicrg for wlioni he rode were Robert L. Stevens, 
John C. Stevens, Billup Seaman, and Gibbons, of Staten Island; 
Walter Livingstone, of Oyster Bay; Duff Green, of New York; 
Moccasin Jackson, the owner of Bucktail; Harry Sovereign, the 
owner of Oneida Chief, and Mr. Elliott, of Baltimore, owner of 
Betsy Kan pom. His competitors were all noted riders of their 
day, the most prominent of which were Willis, the head rider of 
Richard M. Johnson, of niehmnnd, Va.; Gil Patrick, George Nel- 
son, Charley Hood, Jim Mid Ed. Jewell, and Hiram WoodrutT, 
In each and every contest our hero acvjuitted himself admirably 
and won more than his share of the honors of the turf, and on 
account of his extreme yt'nth, these continued Buccesses were per- 
haps more noticeable than they would otherwise have been under 
different circumstances. Mr. Sovereign was the owner of the 
pacing horse k-nown as Oneida Chief that Dan rode in the unprec- 
edented time of two minutes and ten seconds in a trial of speed, 
which fact created an unusual stir in the sporting circles and 
served to enhance his reputation among the turfmen in general. 

The horses rode by young Dan Jik-v in the course of his brief 
e5p4?rience on the turf were all celebrated flyers. The most 
prominent among them were Dosoris. Dr. Syntax, Imported En- 
voy, owned by Judge Wilkins, of Pennsylvania, who on his return 
to the United States from Russia, where he acted in the capacity 
of Minister Plenipotentiary, imported the horse from England 
and placed him under the training of "English Joe" at Long 
Island: Boston, when a colt of two years, April Fool, Mingo, and 
Post Boy, which he mde against the famous filly. Fannie Wyatt. 
His latest mount was Dusty Foot, one of the most remarkable 
four-mile horses of his rlay. Another era now opened in the life 
of the young lad, the arduous beginning of which would have 
cmshed the stamina and moral rourage of most men, hut the 
indomitable perseverance of youth conquered in the nature that 
knew no such word as fail, and who ran question the fact but 
that some unseon influenre preserved ihe boy by leading him 
safely through the abyss of diirifulfirs that faced him and tried 
liis powers of pndoranre to thn utmost caparfty. In the year 
1837 he was destined to bid adieu to TiOng Island, where many 
cherished memories lingered, and assume the charge of Dusty 



30 



BEMINI8CEXCES OP DAN RICE 



Foot, whicl) lie rode* iu many of liis previous raoes. The intcn- 
i'wu ol' tilt' owner of the liorse, WillJaiii Uonuii, a Caiiailian Ijv 
aiJoj)tion, was to tran^fjiort liim to Fittsburg, Pa., hy wav of 
BuITylo. 

Ill those days, as is well known, railroad faeiUties in the United 
States were in their infancy, and after reaching Albany by way 
of a stcant tug, Dan's instriietions were to lead the horse to his 
linul place of destination, and upon no account to ride him. He 
left Albany on the '^{Hh of October, 1H3T, and commoniced his 
wearii^onic journey. ]\Io,st boys of his age would not have heeded 
the prohibition against riding, but notwithstanding his five years' 
Bojoiirn among the turfmen and riders of *|uestionalde morality, 
lie stuck nninfully to the task, and so, loading the horse with one 
hand, and with bucket, sieve, brush, and currycomb upon the 
other arm. he pluckily pursued his way. It was a dreary, tedious 
jouniey, and the weather became bitterly cold, with occasional 
heavy falls of snow, but although sulfering severely, he bravely 
struggled on and reached Bulfalo the first of December. The 
horse was consigned to Mr. Henry Mosier, who resi<leil at Cold 
Spring, tlircc miles from the city, where t)an found rest and re- 
lief, for his feet were frostbitten and he was otherwise prostrated 
by his arduous sind perilous travel. Knowing the ditrn-ultics 
through which the lad would naturally have to pass under the 
most favoraljlc circumstances, and having some doubt as to 
whether he had not yielded to the temptation of riding the racer 
during sonic part of that long, tedious tramp from Albany, Mr. 
Mosier queried. " Why did you not ride the horse?" *' Because 
1 was forbidden;' replied Dan as innocently as if he had always 
Iteen in attendance at Sunday-school, instead of for half a decade 
the comjuilsory associate of sporting men and stable boys. Mr. 
Mosier gazed curiously at the lad, still almost doubting his verac- 
ity, but there was such an open look of lionesty and ingenuousness 
in his countenance, that, as he afterward remarked, he could not 
help being convinced, and Dan received every attention and kind- 
ness in consequence. As a natural result, the fatigue and expos- 
ure to the extreme cold. etc.. brought on an attack of fever, during 
wliicli Dan was tenderly nursed by the family, and when suffi- 
ciently recovered to continue bis journey, bis host furnisheil him 
with ample pecuniary means to meet the rei|uirements froiu day 
to day. On bis way through Cattaraugus Swamp, which was 
inhabited only hy Indians, he met with a novel experience as he 
passed through the reservation. 

The strange spectacle of a horse clothed in trappings and led 
by a mere boy, excited the curiosity of the Indians, and the whole 
comnuinitv assembled en masse to comment upon it. They w^ere 
BO fascinated with tlie strange sight that they filled Dan's bucket 




REMINISCENCES OF DAN RICE 



31 



to overflowing with beads, moccasins and other Indian gifts, thus 
ejcpressing their pleasure at the appearance of the horse, and, per- 
haps, synijtathy for the hoy who was laboring through the huge 
snowdrifts and at times compelled to shovel a path for his eijuine 
charge. Pursuing his way under such extreme dilllculties in that 
Pt'gion, he reached the town of Erie, Pa., in eight days from the 
time he left Buffalo, and was there taken under the charge of 
G(?n. Charles M. Reed, who had bct-n nolifitd by letter and ad- 
' vised of Dan's coming. For the brief period that our hero re- 
mained there to rest General Reed cared for him with all the 
' tendernes.s and consideration of a father, and evinced a lively 
interest in the !>oy, who, in turn, was also impressed with a scnti- 
luent of regard that bordered upon affection for his kind enter- 
tainer. 

The young boy's eventful journey closed at Pittsburg, Christ- 

, mas Eve, 18'J7, having lasted two months and four days, and 

'iJujity Foot was consigned to Judge Wilkins, who, recognizing 

the lad who rode his horse on Long Island, made life very [ilcas- 

ant for him during his stay in that hospitable home. Dan's 

faitliful fulfdlment of his mission had entailed the endurance of 

hardsliips which would have tried the stamina of the most robust 

man, but in youthful inexperience, and having no conception of 

the exorbitant demands maile u]>on his physical endurance by 

the perils of such a journey, lie never rjuestionerl the heartless 

JrapoBition of Mr. Goram, but merely considered he had done his 

'i9uty. 

Tl)crc are certain persons still living in Pittsburg to-day who 
have ever}* reason to remember the advent of the boy who brought 
the racer " Dusty Foot " into the city dressed in his winter 
clothes. The spectacle of a horse caparisoned and thus care- 
fidly guarded against the weather, caused a deal of merriment 
among the street urchins, who made Dan's entry a trifle too con- 
spicuous by hooting and throwing jtiercs of coal, etc.; so asking 
* Bome gentlemen. Avho stooil near watcbing the proceedings, if 
'they would ht>ltl the horse, to which tbcy readily assented, our 
young hero threw aside bin heavy top-coat, and, in the })oy's ver- 
naoubir, " pitched in.** lie caught two of the young arabs and 
inipressed his personality upon ihom in well-<lirected i>lows that 
ushered in his first successful boy-fight in the Smoky City. 



dd 



REMINISCENCES OK DAX lilCE 



CHAPTER V. 

dan's success as a VENDEU— the CELEBRATED BACEB, DU 
FOOT — NICK DIDDLE's WATERLOO— THE RACE WITH GEOR 
8EALY — LIFE OX REPPERT FARM— THE CHERRY PiK EPISOI>E 
— THE FINE OLD STYLE SPORTING GENTLEMAN — THE 
MANCE OF MADA3IE CELESTE AND SIR. ELLIOTT, 



3D^1 



AFTER his weari^nnic jouriK-y from Albaoy, Dan quickly 
rt'cuiterated under the kind treatment he reeeivcd from 
the family of Judge Wilkins, and was able to meet Mr. (jorara, 
the o\viH?r of Dusly Foot, who soon after came to Pittsburg, and 
the whole party retired to Wllkiusburg, ii short di^tunee from 
that place, to spend the reitiainiler of the winter. Mr. (loram 
brought with him Barney Ohhvine, a youth from Long Inland, 
who was, years aftenvards, a well-known pilot on the Ohio River. 
Coram, tlie trainer, possessed very little of this world's goods 
beyond his ownership of the racer. But being gifted with the 
genuine shrewdness of the Vermont Yankee, he felt obliged to 
bring that gift into active practice and devise some method 
whereby the party might exist until the racing season opened. 
Acting on thi^ scheme, he constructed a workshop in part of the 
house he occupied, and conceived the idea of making rakes, half- 
Imshcl and peck meafiures; and in this venture depended upon 
the possibility of soliciting a trade for such articles among the 
farmers and tradespeople of the surrounding country. There 
lived in the community a Pennsylvania Dutchman named George 
Pecbh^fi, who kept a hostelry known as tlie Yellow Wagon Tavern, 
situated between Wilkinshnrg ami Ihc little village of East Lib- 
erty, lie also owned a large farm with a fine lot of timber land 
remote from the house, and on Sundays when everything was 
quiet and resting, Gorani would take the boys to these woods and 
coinniaod them to cut saplings and timher, which they would be 
reqiiircfl to carry half a mile over cross lots to their home. This 
mMterial was made up into the arlielcK intended for peddling, 
and as soon as there was a sufficient supply to meet the supposed 
demand. Dan was initiated to the degree of head salesman, and 
was sent out to solicit trade and dispnse of the wares. It was 
mitural for him to appeal to those with whom he had come in 
contact since locating in Wilkinsburg, so the first j)lace he called 
at as a peddler was the Peebles Tavern, where lie knew he was 
a favorite, for during the long winter evenings he had frequently 
entertained the family and habitues of the tavern with charaeter- 
istic negro fiongs^ dances, etc., and he felt uure of securing their 




REMINISCENCES OP DAN RICK 



33 



custom in disposing of his goods. And in this enterprise he was 
not mistaken, for Mr. Peebles bought liberally, and addressing 
his wife in broken German, said. " Old vonian, das ish der best 
of timber/' alluding to the material of which the rakes and meas- 
ures were made, and, turning to Dan, a&ked who made them. 
He replied that it was Mr. Gornm^ the owner of the horse, and 
when asked where he obtained the wood, Peebles received the as- 
tounding declaration that it came from his own farm. Instead of 
showing any displeasure and becoming indignant at this disclos- 
ure, which had been made by the boy in all innocence, the good- 
natured German laughed heartily as he exclaimed to his wife, 
'* Old voman, das ish der best joke vas I haf efer seen," and after 
paying Ban for his purchase, he dismissed him with a message 
to Goram to come and see him. 

Whatever transpired between Mr. Peebles and Goram at the 
interview, was never, of course, disclosed, but results proved that 
Mr. Goram was forced to employ his inventive genius in other 
directions, and without the staple article appropriated from the 
Peebles farm. Besides the above short-lived manufacturing en- 
terprise, Goram made contracts for training horses, and soon had 
quite a stud, which business was, without doubt, the most profit- 
able to him pecuniarily and otherwise. It was the task of the 
two boys to exercise and care for the horses, and they were in the 
habit of procuring the straw needed for their bedding from the 
Peebles farm, but it was done in strict accordance with the knowl- 
edge of the farmer, for the boys were obliged to thresh the grain 
by the old method of stam]>ing it with the horses. His com- 
panion exhibited a prominent dislike for the labor and proved to 
he a slothful lad. and Dan, in open good nature, reproached hira 
with leaving to himself the heavier part of the task. These re- 
proaches Barney resented in earnest, and the result was a boy 
fight, in which the crude pugilistic j>ower8 of each youthful com- 
batant were brought to play in a furious onset, in which, although 
Dan was the younger, Barney was brought to terms by the blows 
of his antagonist, and being of a sulky, unforgiving disposition, 
he declared his intention of leaving Mr. Goram unless Dan was 
discharged. But Mr. Goram not being interested in their per- 
Bonal controversies, showed a decided preference for Dan, which 
60 exasperated Barney beyond his endurance, that he made good 
his threat and left the trainer's employ. He never forgot his 
defeat and ever cherished his malice for future developments, 
should he ever meet the victor of his spoils, and it subsequently 
•xTUTTcd that such was the feeling when Dan and he met at the 
races at Oiarh.'stnwn, Kanawha County. Va. Tapt. Tom Friend 
was the owner of the horse, Nick Biddle, against which Dusty 
Foot was entered in a two-mile race, and this gentleman'e horse 
8 



84 



BEMINISCEN'CES OF DAN HICE 



had Dan's old antagonist, Barney, for the rider. Mr. Goram 
told Barney, to whom he was indL'btcd. tlml tin; only hope of his 
ever being paid was to let Dusty Foot win the nice, and this 
scheme was willingly agreed to by Barney, who had Inng waited 
for Goram to cancel the indebtedness, so it was mutually 
ranged that Barney should make Caj)tain Friend's horse bolt fro 
the track if there was any possibility of outfooting Dusty Fg 
But in consequence of the aniniosily he stdl cherished agai 
Dan be disobeyed the instructions and won the race. The 
day the horses were again entered in a four-mile race and repeat. 
This was to be a s(|uare race, and Dan, who well knew his horse 
had the bottom, as it is given in horse parlance, was determined, 
if possible, to win, for Barney had indulged in considerable boast- 
ing after winning the previous race, and apparently felt that his 
chances for '* getting eveu '* were all but realized. The excite- 
ment of this race was exceedingly great, and high enthusiasm 
prevailed, for the first heat was close, but at the last turn Dusty 
Foot led and came in a winner by two lengths. Barney was ex- 
asperated and complained to the judges that Dan had cheated in 
the race, for as they turned into the homestretch, Dan bad 
spurred his horse in the shoidder, but it was evident to the judges 
that Barney had done the sjiurring himself, for like all Western 
riders of that day. in riding toe up, and without any brace in the 
Btirrup, his heel had moved forward and the spurring was the 
inevitable result. 80 amid great enthusiasm the heat was given 
to Dusty Foot, winch so enraged Barney that he unwisely insulted 
Dan, who replied with a direct blow upon Barney\s nose which 
caused some of his angry blood to flow. The contest was abruptly 
brought to a close, but not before it was evident that Barney was 
holding second place, as usual, and as soon as the young com- 
batants were quieted they prepared for the second heat. Feeling 
sure that his horse had the staying power, Dan grew ambitious, 
and was determined to inflict upon Nick Biddle and his rider a 
Waterloo defeat, and he accomjjlished his object by pushing the 
race from the start, and at the close shut out his rival completely. 
Intense excitement prevailed and our young rider was the hero of 
the hour. Fronv rharlestown the hoy was taken to Lexington* 
Ky., and as his Long Island reputation in a racing capacity had 
preceded him in the West, his services were, therefore, in great 
demand. He also rode for both Harper and Alexander wdiilo 
there and brushed the turf at Crab Orchard, having first obtained 
the permission of Ooram, with whom he was under contract. In 
following up these advantages he derived much information from 
his experiences in the racing world, and keeping always in view 
that one idea of securing a difTerent position when he grew older, 
he still retained all the cheerfulness of his happy nature am' 



REMINISCENCES OP DAN RICE 



3r> 



tinued to struggle on to where tlic star of his dcfitiny led him, 
Kc went with Mr. Goram to Pekin, ()., where he was again suc- 
c?essful with Dusty Foot, A four-iiiilc race was also run at Pekin, 
and to conipete in it, George Sealy, a capital fellow, came over 
:from Steubenville, 0., to ride Mr. John Hanson's horse, Bull-of- 
the- Woods. George won the first heat from Dan by spurring 
T)u8ty Foot in the shoulder and thus sheering him off in the last 
"turn. This inju^tiee aroused the indignation of Dan, who rode 
up to the judges and complained of George, who answered the 
charge in race-rider fashion by the vehement exclamation, 
** You're a liar! " He was a heavier and an older boy than Dan, 
l)ut puch epithets could be followed by but one result, which was 
demonstrated in quicker time than young Sealy had expected, 
for the words were scarcely uttered l>efore Dan had left his im- 
pression so strong upon his young opponent that he needed no 
other reminder than the repeated volleys of blows that were 
rapidly implanted upon his personality by the sturdy fists of little 
Dan Itir-e, which quickly brought him to terms. The judges 
ruled him oil" the course, and Dan won the other heats, and the 
race, of course, was plaeed to his credit. George Sealy, until re- 
cently, ke])t a stable in Baltimore, and ho and Mr. Rice became 
very good friends in after years. The great good nature of Mr. 
Rice is proverbial, and it was never possible for him, in his youth- 
ful days, to hold maltee or entertain the slightest degree of ani- 
mosity for any length of time, and he invariaV)Iy showetl a spirit 
of inclination to settle all diflieulties on short notice with his 
young foes, as numerous ones have readily testified in later years. 
With the winning of this notable race ended also his engagement 
with Goram, aud l)an hade his old companion, Dusty F'oot. a last 
farewell. They had shared the honors of the turf together, and 
Dan's love for the equestrian art had been perfected in a great 
degree by the fine control he had gained over the spirited nature 
of Dusty Foot, whose intelligent instinct so obediently complied 
"lith the artistic manoeuvres of the equally spirited boy in the 
idle: thus the mutual attachment ended. Dusty Foot to pass 
into the care of another rider and yonng Dan Rice to seek a 
higher fiosition in his vocation. With his reputation as a rider 
fltill increasing with the better class of turfmen, he next formed 
an engagement with Dr. McDowell and Dr. Addison, of Pitts- 
burg, to exercise their horses and to winter them under his own 
regime until the following spring, )>ut he soon found that the 
racing qualities they possessed would never make them succcpses 
in the racing world, so he pronounced them failures, as they ulti- 
mately proved to be. From there he next formed an engagement 
at the Shakespeare Gardens, owned by James Wilson, a sj)orfing 
nmn of East Liberty, near Pittsburg, who was also half owner of 



36 



EEMINISCEXCES OF DAN RICE 



the thoroughbred racer Aroostook, in conjunction with Tom Wa 
lace, another sporting character. Mr. Wallace, who was pasnion 
ately fond of the races, was exceedingly wealthy, and Mr. Ric 
has often since declared that Wallace was the only member of the 
fraternity that he had ever known to die possessed of ample 
means. Dan was selected to attend Aroostook to the races at 
Wheeling, in West Virginia, on the occasion of the opening of the 
new track on Nimrod Farm, budt by Y. N. Oliver, of Culpeper 
Courthouse, Va. Upon the auspicious two-mile day, after a 
closely contested race, he won a broken heat, and on the next day 
he rode a four-mile heat for Kichard R. Johnson, which he also 
won. 

In those sporting days of the olden time, when a man's honor 
rested on the words he spoke and not on the legal transaction!? of 
trickery, Mr. Johnson was one of the most prominent members 
and interested patrons of the turf. He was a Virginian by birth 
and belonged to the old school, and was as generous and whole- 
souled a gentleman as ever i)Iaced foot in the stirrup or measured 
the range of a racer's speed, but alas, for the vicissitudes of life, 
and of turfmen of that period in particidar, some years later, in 
1850, when Mr. Johnson was drifting on the stream of adversity, 
in New Orleans, ^fr. Rice, with a few old friends, assisted in con- 
tributing to the support of this waif of the old-time chivalry. 
After the engagement closed at Wheeling, Dan went with Aroos- 
took to Louisville, Ky., where he was entered for the four-mile 
race over the Oakland course, but Hugh (lallagher, the trainer, 
advised the withdrawal of the liorse, as he showed symptoms 
of Iam])as and refused to take his food, but those interested in 
the racing persisted in entering him for the trial, and Dan» 
who was especially gifted with foresight in such instances, 
apprehending the outcome of the result, advocated the train- 
er's advice and refused to ride. The feeling this refusal 
engendered caused a breach of engagement, which was forth- 
with annulled, and another boy, Warren Peabody, was pro- 
cured as rider. There were four entries on this occasion — T^eg 
Treasurer, owned by Jim Bell, of Nashville, Tenn.; Wagner, 
owned by Campbell Bros., of Baltimore: Blacknose, owned by 
Colonel Shy, of Kentucky, and Aroostook, On this exciting oc- 
casion, Dan WHS selected by Col. Jim Shy, of Lexington, to ride 
his horse Blacknnse, which position he accepted and won the 
race, Aroostook being distanced, ns was foreseen by both Pan and 
the trainer, so also was the four-mile horse Wagner that had 
eclipsed the great Kentucky favorite. Gray Eagle. After the 
ending of this series of repeated successes, our young rider had 
an inclination to leave the turf, as bis mind craved the advantages 
that might lead him eventually into different channels in which 




EEMINISCENCE8 OF DAN filCE 



37 



his talents could be improved for tetter openings, so he returned 
to Pittsburg, Ills adopti'd hunio, and had given to him the care of 
Kobert Massingham's stables at the comer of Front and Ferry 
Streets in that city. But he was not destined to remain here for 
.any length of time, for his reputation as a rider secured for him 
the position of trainer. Ho was, therefore, engaged by Mr. Gar- 
rison Jones to put his horses in training for the races at the 
Mound IJactfcourso (the track at the Nimrod Farm having gone 
into disuse); and he was especially engaged to ride " Pandora," 
a four-mile mare, and " Polly Piper," a mile-heat animal, or 
the best three in five, which he did in three straight heats. These 
horj*es were the personal property of a mini named Victor, a 
blacksmith who lived in Wheeling, lie was herculean in stature, 
as well as in strength, for he stood nearly seven feet in height and 
was a proverbial tohacco-ehewer, having his tobacco put up for 
his special use by a nmn named Stogy, the inventor of a peculiar 
form of cigar called the " Wlieeling Stogy." Mr. Victor was in 
the ha))it of chewing a pound of tobacco a day, which proved 
quite an item of interest to the unfortunate, crippled manufac- 
turer. Mho reminded one of Uriah lleep, that peculiar freak of 
Charles Dickens' genius. 

At the conclusion of the race the excitement was very great, 
especially among the Wheeling people, and Mr. Victor was so 
enthusiastic that he set Dan astride his shoulders and paraded 
him before the grand stand, where the people threw down 
money to the boy who brought the Wheeling horse in a 
winner. 

From thence he went to Slarietta, 0., where he placed under 
training Kat Catcher, belonging to Nat Bishop, a blacksmith; 
Kosciusko, owned by Warren Wilcox, a merchant; and Osceola, 
the property of Robert Johnson, a harness maker. He was lo- 
cated four miles below Marietta, upon the Humphry Farm, owned 
and occupied by Mr. George lleppert, a Pennsylvania Dutchman, 
who evinced adecided interest in Dan and made him a gue'^t inhis 
own honje. It was while there that lie himself organized a Jockey 
Club, and estaldishcd a mile track, which won considerable prom- 
inence, and during the summer of that year he caused to be con- 
structed a judges* and a grand stand, and in the meaniime matured 
and trained horses for the Fall races, and was also generally cm- 
ployed in training horses for persons living in the surrounding 
country. The enterprise being quite a new undertaking in that 
vicinity, created much excitement among the inhabitants, and 
the Fall meeting was registered to open in October, after the 
harvest season was over. Fortune seemed also to favor the young 
Ud in a monetary way, for he won every purse through his su- 
perior knowledge of horsemanship. His successful venture then 



38 



BEMINISCENCES OF DAN RICE 



led him to Parkersburg, Va., to which place he repaired, taking 
with him Oscculu and a four-yeiir-old ri)Hii colt, which he stable 
with a farmer, llr. Paul Cook, near the racecourse. 

Something in the hoy's nature arted like magic on the sens 
biJities of those with whom he came in contact, for he had tfc 
hap])y faculty of meeting with people who, though representii 
every stratu of society, never failed to treat him in the kindliefl 
manner possible. There was ever an air of mystery about the 
lad, who carefully guarded the knowledge of his ancestral identit^^ 
from the curious, and never to his most interested patrons on th^H 
turf (lid he become confidential to that degree to give them hi^™ 
fanuly name. Some innate individuality apy>arently forbade 
connecting that sacred tie to the vocation he followed, and many 
worthy patrons respected the sealed secret of his life on the race- 
course, and called him merely Dan-the-nice-rider, or invented 
some nom-de-plume that suited the occasion. Thus the happj^^ 
boy met his hosts of friends on equal footing. It was at Parkcrffl^B 
burg that Dan became acquainted with three line gentlemen wh^^ 
were prominent throughout the State, and these well-known men 
were Mr. Mote Ilolliday, General Maybury, and General Jack- 
son, all of whom were enthusiastic lovers of the turf. So ilevoted 
was General Mayhury to the sports of the course that he neve 
failed to give tlie racing his full attention when the season was i^ 
progress, and it was at the races he died many years after, at t} 
advanced age of eighty, while sitting in his carrijige and witnes 
ing the performance of a specially interesting contest. These 
gentlemen were all thoroughbred Virginians of the old school, 
and General Jackson was an earnest Presbyterian church digni- 
tary and the soul of honor, as indeed they all were, including ^Ir. 
Cook, who was famous for his superior hospitality. At the con- 
clusion of the exciting experiences that followed in the course of 
events at the Fall meeting in Piirkersburg, Dan returned to the 
Keppert Farm near Marietta, where he spent an enjoyable winter 
after delivering the horses to their respectivedestinations and bal- 
ancing the accounts of the season. Life at the farm was one con- 
tinual round of enjoyment peculiar to the inhabitants of that 
locality in those early, hospitable times, when a man's character 
was measured by the traits he exhibited and not by the length of 
the purse he carried. Ample means ore always essential bless- 
ings, but it did not, at that time, follow that they were absolutely 
necessary in order to contract friendships on an equal basis, so 
young Dan Rice was welcomed among these superior people fo 
the real true worth that beamed in his great good nature, 
young grandson of "Mr. Reppert's made his home at the farm, 
and, although an older lad, a strong friendship was formed he^ 
tween the two boys, who were brimful to overflowing with fun an4^ 



ited 

1 




Situated on St. Charles street. 

Between Poy<1rsij» st Jc Catiiiiicrclal Place. 




40 



REMINISCENCES OP DAN BICE 



m 

any 



source of great merriment to the younger members of the family, 
and fierhaps no two of them enjoyed it mort' hugely than ilid 
young George Barclay nnd Dan Rice, for they brought all thei 
mischief into full play, reserving the climax until ibe marri 
eeremony was ended. While the newly wedded pair were recei 
ing the congratnlationp, the piercing cry of " Murder " 
heard coming from the front porch, and the entire compan 
rushed in undignified confusion to ttie scene of the tragedy, to 
behold a poor victim with face and bands gtrcaming with gore 
and the features gruegomcly distorted out of all sendilance of bis 
former self. The wedding festivities were totally forgotten by 
this unfortunate disaster, and all thoughts were turned to the 
victim. Investigation was made in great baste to learn the ex- 
tent of the injuries he bad received, when the applications re- 
vealed the fact that mischievous Dan Rice was covered with the 
juicy contents of a huge cherry pie which young Barclay liad 
thrown at bim designedly to create the sensation. The plot was 
betrayed by the smiling look of unconcern with which each 
youngster greeted the vast assemblage of invited gusts, who were 
tndy gratefnl that it was only a ** cherry-pie tragedy." And 
dear old Mother Reppert was forced to emphasize in her broken 
German, " Oh^ mein Gott, mein Gott, Dan, you be such a teufel! " 



CHAPTER VI. 



li 



TOUIS'O rice's PTRST MEETING WITH THE DISTINGUISHED HENRT 
CLAT — THE WRECK OF THE *' MOSELLE *'^EXPIX>SION OF THE 
BOILER ON THE STEAMBOAT ON WHICH RICE AND HIS RACE- 
HORSE WERE PASSENQERS— THEIR MIRACULOFS ESCAPE — 
YOUNG RICE AS A POSTAL OFFICE R.-^BUNCH O'BONES 
— ABRAHAM LINCOLN JUDGE IN A QUARTER RACE — WHY- 
TOUNO RICE WITHDREW FROM THE TURF. J 



w 



IIILE the party were at Pittsburg the previous winter, Mr. 
Williatii Hughes, a celebrated sporting character of tliat 
day, having heard of Dan's sui»erior skill with the racers of the 
turf, forme<l a contract with Mr. Ooram for the lad*s services 
to ride his four-mile horse, '* John Clifton," at the Louisville 
races. Accordingly at the opening of the season the boy started 
with the horse from Moundville, taking passage at that place in 
alight-draft stern-wheel boat, with two barges in tow.loaded with 
emigrants. The water being low, the steamer necessarily ran 
very slow, and there was plenty of time to devote to amusement. 




B£MtNIBCEKCES OF DiLN RICK 



41 



r 



Among the pagsengers on the boat was the distinguished Senator, 
Henry Clay, who wa« on his way to his home in Lexington, Ky. 
Mr. Clay, with his genial good nature, indulged in the pastimes 
of the voyage, and on one occasion he walked down to the deck 
of one of the barges where some of the people were dancing. He 
was accompanied by Dan, whose acquaintance he had formed by 
noticing the lad who had in his charge the racer, and together 
they watched the performanres of the emigrants. "Can you dance, 
Dan? " asked the Senator of the young rider. " Not those Ger- 
man dances, sir," he replied, " but I can do a jig or reel." " Well, 
then," said ^Ir. Clay, '* let me see if I can't play something for 
you,*' and suiting the action to the word, he borrowed a violin and 
played the air " Money Afusk," which was at that time very popu- 
lar, to which Dan danced an encore. Jle has since said, that 
of all the tunes to which he ever danced, that one of " Money 
Musk " seemed to him the longest. Arriving at Cincinnati, Mr. 
Hughes met Dan at the levee, and transferred him and the horse 
to the steamboat '■^MoseIie,"]>l}'ing between Cincinnati, Louisville, 
and St. Louis. She was nearly new^ and was regarded by many as 
the fastest boat upon the river. Dan took his horse, John Clif- 
ton, aboard and located him on the extreme stern of the boat on 
the larboard guard. This was upon April 2(J, 1838, a day mem- 
orable for years afterwards to the people of Cincinnati. The 
captain, whose name was Perkins, after taking freight and pas- 
Bengers at the Cincinnati wharf, steamed up the river a mile and 
a half to the village of Fulton for a family that had engaged pas- 
8age. Another Louisville boat had started ahead, and while 
uraiting for his Fulton passengers to embark he tied the *' Moselle" 
to a lumber raft, still keeping up a head of steam. This was a 
dangerous proceeding, as the Evans safety guard to prevent the 
explosion of steam boilers had not yet been introduced, but ho 
'Was anxious in passing the city to exhibit the speed of his boat 
as well as to pass hisrival and reach Louisville first. After the Ful- 
ton part went on board, the " Moselle " cast off and commenced 
her journey. At that moment a man who had seen the steam 
gauge, nished through the engine room to the stern of the boat 
shouting loudly, *' By G — d, this boat is going to blow upl " and 
then sprang into the river on the shore side. Dan, with his im- 
pidsive nature, at once became excited, and, unfastening the 
horse, succeeded in forcing him overboard, and quick as thought 
sprang in after him. There were several panic-stricken passen- 
gers on deck, who, having heard the man's wild shout of alarm, 
also did likewise, but Dan had scarcely time to mnunt the horse 
before the lioiler iMirst and there was an explosion which rever- 
berated like a clap of thunder from the surrounding hills. Tt 
was a wild and terrible scene and indescribable in its dire results, 



42 



BEMIXISCENCES OF DAN RICE 



but Dan managed to preserve his presence of mind and directe 
the horse towards the Kentucky shore o[)posite, avoiding as bee 
he could the Hying f ragmen tti around and about him, while tli©^ 
heart-rending cries of the perishing passengers and crew smote 
painfully on his car. Still the boy persevered in guiding the 
racer in this struggle fur life, and, by almost a miracle, he and 
the horse made the shore in safety, landing in Covington, which 
was at that time merely a village. After the explosion, what re- 
mained of the "Moselle" drifted a short distance dov^-n the stream 
and sank, and the j)lacid waters of the Ohio held in her bosom 
the secret of the terrible tragedy. With the exception of tlie 
few passengers who were in the ladies' cabin and those who, like 
Dan, had taken to the water prior to the explosion, all were killed 
outright or so fearfiilly scalded tliat they died shortly afterward. 
The exact number lias never been ascertained, but it was esti- 
mated that at least two hundred were victims to the cajitain's 
criminal and insane auiliition to outrace any boat upon the river. 
After experiencing these harrowing events, Dan remained witli 
the horse that night at Covington, and started for Louisville by 
land the next morning. It was impossible for him to eonimunicale 
with Hughes, the owner of the horse, and that individual know-, 
ing of the accident, supposed that both the boy and horse bad 
perished in the general calamity. Nur did he suspect otherwis 
until a few days afterwards when be went to Louisville, he dia 
covered our indomitable hero exercising the horse upon the Oak-' 
land course. Tn say that Hughes was astonished expres.«;es the 
situation Init mildly: he was as much anuized as if he liad wit- 
nessed the resurrection of horse and rider from the tomb. Mr.. 
Tiiee has since remarked in his cjuaint way that he never wa 
quite certain as to w^hich of the two Mr. Hughes was most jileased 
to behold, himself or the thoroughbred; but he gave Mr. Hughei 
the benefit of the doubt out of charity, for he proclaimed young"' 
Hiee's presence of mind and successful etfort in the rescue of the 
horse throujrrhout the sporting circle of Louisville, until our hero 
became indeed the hero of tlie hour. It is to he regretted that 
the horse was not destined to win the race after passing through 
such trying difliculties, for it would have been a triumphant 
climax to the fame of the boy who rode him. But in forcing him 
over the side of the boat info the river and in swimming the Ohio, 
the animal had been strained, and at the time of the race had no| 
sufiiciently recovered from the ordea! to win out. But it was' 
admitted that it was not through Dan's mismanagement that the 
unfortunate results followed. ^M 

At the conclusion of the race that proved so unsatisfactory oi]^|' 
acconnt of the accident lo the racer, young "Rice math' prepara- 
tions to return to Mr. Goram at Charleston and conclude the pro- 



lai^ll 

ist^l 

h's^ 

ik-^ 

die 

^it- 

lieS 




HEMINISCENCES 01' DAN BICE 



43 



gram at that place, but decided to stop at Marietta on his return 
journey and visit his old friends at the llei)pert farm. He had 
been there hut a short time when he received word to come 
directly to Moundville, as Colonel Jones, his guardian, was very 
ill and supposed to be d3'ing. He made haste to obey the sum- 
mons, but as the steamboat was delayed on account of low water, 
he arrived only in time to attend the funeral of the kind-liearted 
man w^ho had proved such a true friend to the young boy under 
his charge. After a few days Mrs. Jones informed Dan that her 
husband had, before his illness, formed an engagement for him 
with Capt. Tom Moore, of Wheeling, to ride in St. Louis, at the 
Fall meeting, that gentleman's four-mile mare, " Karina." He, 
therefore. j)repared himself and accompanied Captain Moore with 
the animal to 8t. Louis, but the race was not successful, as the 
mare broke down in her forelegs in the second heat, after winning 
tile first- However, Dan received one hundred dollars for his 
services according to contract, which, in a measure, proved some 
rompcnwitiun to llie nmhitirtiiH lad, who earnestly sought to give 
ftitisfaction in every instance that followed in his vocation. 

At the close of the racing season, Mr. Stickney, one of the post- 
office officials at St. Louis, who was afterwards a well-known 
landlord of the Planters* House, engaged young Rice for a special 
mission, which consisted of taking the official papers and riding 
cross country to the mouth of the Illinois River and establish- 
ing post-offices as directed by the government on the way. In 
those days every one ran fjuarter horses all in the western coun- 
try, a sj)ort that seemed to be the prevailing ])a8time for several 
decades. At these races young Rice, who was passionately fond of 
athletics, became an active student of gymnastic exercises, in the 
science of which he became very expert and displayed superior 
Rkill, employing the same untiring energy that had over marked 
his career upon the turf. He was at this period only seventeen 
years of age, but was always prepared to banter the field in a foot- 
race, wrestling match, jumping, or throwing the sledge, and so 
well were his power.'* known, tliat seldom was there found a con- 
testant hardy enougli to accept the challenge, or if accepted, vig- 
orous enough to escajfe defeat. He accepted a match with Dick 
Bradt. the celebrated western footracer, at the little hamlet of 
Bethel, near Springfield, HI., in which he exhibited the same 
spirit that characterize every sport in which he participated. 
In the course of these foot races, in connection with John Ethel, 
who afterward became a Icjid miner at Oalena, young Rice as- 
sumed control of *' Bunch O'Bones," a quarter-horse that had 
never l»een beaten. BiinfJi O'Bones had become coinparafively 
imnrofitflble. as he was invarinbly " expected '* in all the quarter- 
mile races. Young Rice, lH:*ing always possesfted of the one am- 



44 



REMINISCENCES OF DAN KICE 



bitioB to rise to a different condition, applied himself to get th 
horj«e in order with a view to enlarge his sjihere of action in 
trip througil Kentucky, Ohio, and Virginia. 

An amateur of the turf called Tom Whiton, a well-known Ohio 
Kiver pilot, of Marietta, was also coonoeted with the fraternity 
when not following hia legitimate vocation. Having, in com- 
mon with the great sporting gentry, heard often of Bujach 
CrBones, and knowing — no profound was his owner's eonlidence in 
him, that a horse that could beat him would *' win his pde," pro- 
i'ured " Hotspur,'' a quarter-horse in Virgiiiiii who he was willing 
to put against the comhined forces of racers. His previous sue- 
cesties induced Mr. Whiton to bring his stable to St. Louis to at- 
tend the Fall races there, and feeling fortitied to meet young Kice 
in his venture, he then jiroceeded to BetheL where a match was 
Boon arranged between llotspur and Bmich 'Bones, 

Quite an excitement was created in the country around, and 
Whiton laughed at the sly hints of sjTupathj, that he, a com- 
parative amateur in the business, should risk a match with Bunch 
'Bones, notoriously the fastest horse in the State, and con- 
gratulated liimself that Dan did not suspect that Hotsjtur was 
an assumed name covering a steed that had won so many hardly- 
contested laurels. Young Rice felt some misgivings in regard to 
the coming race, although the match was only for fifty dollars a 
Bide, and either party would have sacriiiced the whole amount of 
the purse to have known to a certainty which horse would win, 
and Iioth young men probably resolved in their minds how this 
information could be obtained without the knowledge of the 
other. Three days hefore the race, Dan was greatly surprised 
that Whiton, with whom he had a trivial misunderstanding the 
year hefore at Wheeling, was now unusually courteous and urgent 
in his invitations to a chat and a social glass at Case's Tavern, 
but his surprise was changed to suspicion when he overheard a^_ 
groom whisper to Whiton, *' At this rate you'll never get Hio^H 
drunk enough to open the stable." '^^ 

Then it was that he understood their object. Their pretended 
friendship was a conspiracy (o i^et Bunch 0*Bones out of the 
stable to run a trial race. Tlie suspicious remark which he ac- 
cidently overheard caused young Rice to change his methods and 
feign to be gradually overcome by deep potatinus. and finally to 
lose all control over himself. He successfully managed his part 
in the play and soon appeared so nearly overcome with sleep as 
to require to be shaken vigorously. Another glass of the bever- 
age was mixed, and shortly after the owner of Hotspur and the 
groom kindly assisted him to his room and put him to bed to 
sleep ofT the effects of dissipation. N<^ sooner, however, did Dan 
hear their retreating footsteps, than he quickly arose, prepared 




BEMXNI8CENCES OF DAN BICE 



45 



himself, and, nirmmg swiltJy to the rear of the barn, he effected 
an entrance to the back of the stiible, and changed Bunch O'Bones 
from the front stall to the back stall, putting in Bunch U'BoueB' 
place another quarter-horsic. Gamut, owned by a friend who ac- 
companied hiui on the journey speculatively, which horse re- 
sembled Bunch O'Konea so closely that any one who had seen the 
latter only twice, as Hotspur's owner had, would not be likely to 
detect the change, especially at night. This change being made, 
he secreted himself iu the hay-mow overhead, lirst making a pas- 
sageway through which he could see into the stable below. 
Young Rice had only time enough to accomplish this change of 
horses and prepare his place to watch the proceedings, for almost 
as soon as this was effected, he heanl tlie staple forced out of the 
locked door and Whiton and the groom entered stealthily. It 
was the work of a moment tu take out Gamut and j)roceed to a 
level lane, where they were followed by Dan, who, by scaling the 
garden fence in the rear and keeping the sliadows, arrived unseen 
on the field of atf^tion as soon as they. Hotspur soon followed 
Gamut in the hamls of the groom and Dan had the great satis- 
faction of seeing lloty|iur, after a hardly- fought trial of speed, 
come out ahead of Gamut about (»ne length, which Ilotsfjur's rider 
declared could be increased a length more on the day of the race. 
Contented with what he had learned, Dan returned to the stable 
and soon found an opportunity to exchange the horses to their 
respective stalls, after wliich he hastened to his room without 
being detected, greatly relieved in mind and with a fund of spirits 
the next morning that failed to conceal an affectation of head- 
ache and drowsiness. He was satisfied that Bunch O'Bones could 
beat Gamut three lengtlis easily, and, of course, was good for two 
with TTotsi)ur. From tliat time on each side was confident, and 
Dan took every bet that was offered, advising his friends that he 
had the ** deadwood " on it. Each party was in such good huraor 
with himself on the day of the race that no trouble was had about 
preliminaries. Dan rode Bunch O'Bones and the same rider that 
rode liim on the night escapade mounted llot^iijur. Both started 
off in the finest style of action, but to the unspeakable mortifufa- 
tion of Hotspur*s owner and the consternation of his rider. Bunch 
O'Bones slowly but surely forged to the front, coming in first 
just by a nose as was decided by the judge amid the hoots and 
jeers of the natives. But all opposition to his decision was soon 
quelled by tlie judge himself, whose standing in the community 
was very high, and furthermore the judge had gone so far as to 
Wager a dollar or two himself on Hotspur, who was the neighbor- 
hood's favorite. 

Xow comes one of the most extrnordinary incidents in the 
fltory. This judge was a gawky young Illinois lawyer named 



46 



REMINISCENCES OF DAN JUCE 



Abraham Lincoln, who held all the bets made on the race, ai 
handeil thciii over to the wiuncrs. He had stopped overnight at 
Bethel on his circuit from Spriiiglield to Jacksonville, III, and 
had been selected to act as stakeholder. His fcHowH?itizens were 
quite indignant at his decision in Uice's favor, for they had lost 
every UlI, and their cxelieqiKTvS wurc exhausted. But when lie was 
President, Mr. I.ineoln and Mr. Ilice enjoyed many hearty laughs 
over Bunch 'Bones' victory. 

Having successfully fulfilled his mission with ilr. Stickney, 
young Kice returned to 8t. Louis, and after having sold the horse 
to Boil (rBlcnnis, u well-known character of that city, for a large 
sura, he gave up his projected tour to tlie South, and finally re- 
tired from the turf to follow inclinations that eventually led him 
into a different calling. 



CllAPTElt YIL 
MU. eice's debut on the stage— ue meets the original 

FAKIR OF AVA — HIS ItOLE AS DEMON OF THE FIERY 
FOUKST— WINNINCI A STKAMllOAT FROM ITS CAPTAIN — 
Hlnil WAGES WHILE A COACHMAN AT THE ALLERHANY 
ARSENAL — A NARROW' ESCAPE IN ASSUMINC. THE R0LE OF 
fSHOST — DANCES THE CAMPTOWN HORNPIPE AT THE NICH- 
0LI*S' CIRCUS IN PITTSBURfi — YOUNG RICE's FIRST MEET- 
ING WITH SECRETARIES BU8K AND WINDOM IN EARLY 
DAYS. ._ 

ON young Dan Rice's retirement from the turf in the autumn 
of lH;^f>, and on his return to St. Louis in December, fate 
hiid fircpared for him a dranifitic debut of which he was not slow 
to take iKlvnntage. He had reportdl to ^^r. Stickney the result 
of his post-oflice mission, and while cogitating on the advisability 
of returning to Pittshurg. he visited several places of amusement, 
one of which was the St. Louis Museum on Market Street, where 
he was recognized by severnl amateur actors. Among the num- 
ber was Mr. J. II. McVicker, who eventually became the father- 
in-law of the renowned actor, Edwin Booth. This gentleman 
cordially greeted Mr. Rirc and introduced him to Professor 
Jilarshail, the manager of tlie museum, who kindly asked him to 
remain unt! nttcnd the pcrfornif^ncc. After the play was over, 
Mr. Pice invited a number of his friends, among whom was Mr. 
AfcVicker, with wliom ?ie had previously become acquainted with 
at the races, to lunch with him, which invitation they accepted. 




REMINISCENCES OP DAN RICB 



47 



While they enjoyed Uieniselvfs in the hearty good-fellowship 
that usually attends such occasions, iir. McV'icker asked Mr. 
liiee to dance at his benelit in negro character ** The Camptown 
liompipe/' a very popular dance in tlios^ days. This he agreed 
to do and the henelit luuk place a few evenings afterwardB. Tims 
young liice was brought to the public notice in a new guise and 
entirely different kind of business, and he »nade a good hit, for 
he was encored several times. When Professor ^larshalL the 
i'* Fakir of Ava/' saw the natural ahility of the young nuin, he 
r asked him to take a sinall role in a new production about to be 
brought out at the nmseuni, 

** The Sleeping Beauty, or the Demon of the Fiery Forest," 
was to be introduced l»y Marshall, with a close attentitin to thrill- 
LlDg detail, and Mr. Kice was cast to play the demon, a y>art more 
anspicuous in name than in reality. Mr. Mc\'icker was cast for 
Ithe leading role, that of the virtuous young hero whose aim it 
rajs to rescue the Sleeping Beauty from the machinations of the 
demon. Mr. McVlcker was at that time pursuing the business 
of cabinet-maker, with a strong leaning toward the theatrical, and 
M'hich eventually l)ecame his calling in life, as is well known in 
the theatrical world. The manager on this particular occasion 
had not been sparing of scenic elTects, and when the auilience saw 
the great snakes, hideous dragons, and monsters of form and ges- 
ture, hitherto undreamed of, peering from the foliage and anuing 
rtlie trees and insinuating their wTithing fohls across the Fiery 
^Forest, there was a distinct sensation. Young Rice, although 
dressed in the full garb of a demon, proved to be the most pro- 
foundly scared mortal in the house. It appear.^ that he had not 
indulged in the pleasure of these adjuncts at reheiirsals, therefore, 
as the curtain rose, he was beheld standing in the midst of these 
blazing horrors, exceedingly fierce in aspect, but oh. so faint at 
heart at sight of these goblins doomed, that he suddenly ran off 
(the stage with his tail between his legs, and stood cowering in the 
[▼ings. The audience. rccogni/>ing Dan Rice and his genuine 
rrtage fright, roared nut its encouragement of security. 

*• Get back there and t^kc t}ie centre of the stage! " shouted 
McVicker, striding on in full heroics, prepared to rescue tiic 
Sleeping Beauty, who was apparently resting on a mossy bank. 
But young Rice had already recovered his presence of mind. An- 
noyed nt McVicker's brusque language, which had ended with a 
very pronounced aspirate oath that unmi.stakably proclaimed him 
an idiot, he was not shtw to pen-eive that the cries of the people 
were giving him !uore than his share nf promtnence in the play. 
So he responded with pretended reluctance to the shouts of a 
i5eore or more of his friends, and with them, flames and all, de- 
hberately took the stage from the enraged McVicker, and the 



48 



JiEMINlSCENCES O? DAN SlOf 



disconsolate, but now wide-awake Beauty, shouldered his Devil's 
tail and "pitched inlo " the " Camptovvii Hornpipe." Thia in- 
congruous interlude had a tendency to break up the performance— 
that was advertised, tlie* curtain dropped and the audience di^H 
persed screaming with laughter. ^^ 

It was at this i)eriod that gambling was the passion of the day, 
and tlie Mississippi steamboats have been characterized as verUy 
table *■* floating hells ^' on the bosom of the " Father of Watera.^^ 
It is to be regretted that this vocation was soon to become n»ore 
than amusement to young Rice, for the hand of fate seemed dis- 
posed to add also that experience to the decree of his destiny. 
After leaving St. Louis, where his unfortunate d^but as an actor 
ended in such a ludicrous manner, he drifted into a new channel 
where circumstances propelled him, and thought of a life on the 
river as (he next step toward elevating himself to a higher stand- 
ard. With his peculiar aptitude at cards, he soon developed into 
a professional that had but few, if any. superiors, and in a sur- 
prisingly short time he made regular preparations to lay siege to 
the purse of the travelling public. He procured a fireman's out- 
fit and fihii)ped on the steamboat Czar, a St. Louis and ritts})urg 
packet, commanded by Capt, Billy Forsythe, a celebrated man on 
the river at that day, though long since gone to his reward, and 
with all his energies he launched into this new undertaking. 
These preparations were to enable young Rice to get a chance to 
play cards with the unfortunate deck passengers, a regular fire- 
man meanwhile working below in that capacity in his place. 
With the same exhibitions of success following him that had 
marked his career on the turf, he won furniture^ horses, money, 
and. indeed, so much in general of everything that suspicion was 
aroused and he was obliged to disembark at Louisville. There 
he again ventured on the New Argo, Captain Steele commanding, 
to go up the Kentucky River to Frankfort, and while on the boat 
he figured m a watchman. After donning his watchman's garb 
and going on deck, he would solicit patronage and forthwith 
proceeded to win everything in sight, and after playing on the 
New Argo the whole winter, he won the boat itself from the cap- 
tain; but with the instinctive principle of Justice that niled him 
in every transaction, he gave her back to Captain Steele when he 
left the service at Frankfort. 

Yearnings for a permanent location seemed to take possession 
of the young man in the various phases of his career, and he was 
natural!}' inclined to Pittsburg through the force of circum- 
stances. His old-time boy friends were there and also many 
prominent persons who had interested themselves in his welfare 
during his racing days. So it was to that city that his heart in- 
clined, and he left Frankfort by stage-coach for Pittsburg, by way 




REITINISC'EN'CES OF DAN RICE 



49 



of Cincinnati. The ruling propensities that governed him dur- 
ing the past few months on the river predominated during his 
journey, and he found wdling victims to indulge in his favorite 
winning games at cards while en route to Pittsburg. The ex- 
traordinary hold the passion for play had, at that time, on the 
American people is shown in George W. Devol's remarkable work, 
"Forty Years a Gambler on the Miesissippi Kiver." It was in 
the spring of 1840 that young Rice arrived in Pittsburg, where he 
bought a third interest in a livery stable at the corner of Front 
and Ferry Streets, owned by an Eoglishmao named Massingham, 
who has been previouBJy mentioned and with whom Dan had 
formerly associated. In the autumn of that year he disposed of 
his interest in the stable and deposited his money in the bank. 
Roddy Patterson, an acquaintance with whom he had often ex- 
changed favors, was a well-known livery-stable keeper in Pitts- 
burg, This person knowing that young Rice was embracing 
overy opportunity to better his condition, one day informed him 
that Captam Harding, the commander of the Alleghany Arsenal, 
"Wanted a careful, experienced man to drive his family carriage. 
** And Dan," said Patterson, ** why don't you go and take the 
4ob? " After carefully thinking over the possibilities that might 
occur if he should take the position, he obtained a note of intro- 
duction to Captain Harding. He found this gentleman well 
disposed toward him and he was commissioned by the captain 
to go and see Mrs. Harding, whose private apartments were lo- 
cated across the plateau in the Arsenal enclosure, and assure her 
«8 to his capabilities as a driver. The commandant's wife was 
8o exceedingly timid that the slightest display of spirit on the 
part of a horse alarmed her almost to the verge of hysterics. Cor- 
respondingly great, therefore, was her husband's desire to secure 
a driver with whom not only he, but his wife as well, might feel 
the assurance of safety. In the very beginning, Mrs. Harding 
expressed her belief that Dan was too young and forthwith began 
questioning him as to his past experience. Young Rice, who did 
not lack confidence, replied satisfactorily, until she asked him 
how near the edge of a precipice he could drive without tilling 
over. And to this he replied that he would not try the experi- 
ment but would keep as far from it as po.nsible. " You will do," 
the lady exclaimed, and dismissed liim with a brief note to her 
husband, who read it with great care, and, after a few prelimi- 
naries, began the final agreements as to what salary he expected. 
" T'nderstand,'' said he, "you will not be expected to attend 
to grooming the horses; all that you will have to do will be to 
mount the sent when the carriage is brought out, and drive, and 
upon your return the groom will take the horses Vmck to the 
stable.* Now," said the captain, " what wages will you require? " 



50 



BSnONISCENCES OF DAK RICB 




Dan heeitated a moment, and tliL'ii replied that he tliouglit 
sixty dollars a moolh would be a fair compensatioD. 

" Sixty dollars a month,'' whuud the eaptaui in a tone of asj- 
tonishment, ** did 1 hear aright?" 

"You certainly did/' rejoined Dan, ** I said sixty dollars a 
month; do you thmk it too much? " 

■' Why, of oouiVf 1 do/' replied tlie captain. 

*' \'ery well," said Dan, '* no harm is done, and 1 wish you, sir, 
a very good-day." 

But as he was preparing to leave, the captain called him 
and again asked him if he had not made a mistake in his tigu: 
and if he did not himself think them unreasonably high. 

"Well, sir,'' replied Dan, ** they do appear high, hut 
arc not so for the work 1 propose to perform. JS'ow 1 
make a proposition. Within one month 1 will engage that the 
laily wdl be taught to drive the teaui herself wiliiuut fear 
hesitation, and if 1 fail in this, then 1 will forfeit a month' 
salary/' 

*' If you do this,'" said the captain, *' I will not grudge you tt 
sixty dollars," iind the contract being made, u]Kin ihe fullowir 
Monday young Hice was duly installed in his new and comfortahll 
quarters. 

They were decidedly superior to his apartments in the Massing- ' 
ham stable, and altogether it was to him a new life. Tie was 
never treated os a menial, but, except when guests were invited, 
he had his peat at the table as one o( tlu^ family, and could he 
have remained contented, his life would have been exceedingly 
pleasant. True to his promise, a month ha<l not ehqised before 
Mrs. Harding not only mounted the geat of the carriage but 
handled the reins and drove the horses in such a fearless way tlu 
it astonished tlie garrison. 

The TIardings hail four children, three boys and one girl, thd 
younger boys, William and Van Burcn, heing at home, and 
Ebenczer. the elder, at school at Carlisle, Pa. Mtschievous, high 
spirited, fnnduving youngsters they were. Scarcely a nigli 
would pass but William and Van Buren were found to have stolen 
away from the paternal rooftrce. Th<^ captain tried at first to 
frighten them into stajdng home at night by the recital of hair- 
raising and blood-curdling ghost stories, but all to no avail. So , ., 
one nighty be hired young Rice to play ghost, and the result eami^H 
very near ending Dan's life, for William had happened on that 
occasion to sally forth with a shotgun, one commonly supposcvl 
by his father to he unloaded. Dan, swathed in sheets, stood 
boldly out in the moonlight, holding high over his head a stout 
wooden cross, over which a sheet was dra]>ed. On being confronted 
with this awful apparition, Wdlie calmly fired his fowling-piece. 



"1 

th^ 




KEMINISCENCES OF DAN RIOE 



61 



and the entire charge passed tlirough the sheets into Lhe cross, 
just above Dau's head. 

This was one of his tirst fipectacular appearances, but the role 
of ghoel came ver)' near being his hist. 

The Harding family have now, at this date, all passed away 
with the exception of the daughter, who is the wife of Oliver T. 
Barnes, of Kew York, the [iruiiniient civil engineer who was so 
important a factor in the survey of the Pennsylvania Kailroad 
hnes. She is a noble woman, and Colonel Kice feels that, to the 
refining influence of the happy home in which he knew her family 
fifty years ago in Pittsburg, he owes a debt of lasting gratitude. 
The lesson unconsciously learned at that time had a wonderful 
eflect upon his morals, for he had arrived at that impressionable 
age when life is opening new avenues to the understanding and 
['Creating desires of a more exalted character, ami the associations 
of refinement and integrity met the innate ideal of our yoimg 
hero's aspirations, and the result was more redeeming than the 
tiardings ever suspected. The family was highly connecteiL and 
i n this lionie, where he was more of a friend and companion than 
<^»lherwise, young Kice came in contact with such of the friends 
and kinsmen as the Cowens. Harmon Denny, and the Robinsons, 
oU of whom were people of worth and culture. Mingling as he 
clid with the Hardings, brought him also in friendly intercourse 
Avilh the ofhcers and subordinates of (he garrison, the most of 
'^^'hom were intelligent, polislied men, and his native s])irit 
l^earned to meet them on an ctpial footing. This was an impos- 
sibility in the position which he held, and his proud nature felt 
^"it most keenly, and notwithstiHuling the kind and considerate 
'treatment which he received, he sighed for a more active and ad- 
"Venturous career tliat wouhl elevate him to the jiosition he craved 
among his fellow-men. But how to leave these worthy people was 
the question. He coohl form no jilausible excuse, and then, in his 
ignorance as to the affairs at the Arscual, he thought that having 
taken a position there, he was in the condition of a soldier, so 
that if he insisted upon going away he might he arrested and 
incarcerated in the Black Hole, the fate of more than one de- 
serter, as had already come under his observation. 80 be pa- 
tiently waited for circumstances to shape themselves as to the 
result of his fulurr action. Ho had now been at the Arsenal 
three months, and Iiad not drawn any of his salary, but this was 
to one of his thoughtless disposition a secondary consideration. 
At last he made up his mind. and. ignoring his three months' 
sjilary. k'ft this pleasant home without announcing his departure, 
and returning to Pittsburg, took refuge in his (»ld apartments 
at the Massingbnm stahle. 
While waiting for a change in the tide of affairs, by which 



REMINISCENCES OF DAN niCE 



he could command a remuneration worth accepting, he concluded 
to go and visit old friends in iLirietta and also spend a brief 
period at the Reppert farm, around whieli previous associations 
hovered that were dear to his mind and liearL The young man 
was welcomed with hearty cordiality hy those warm-hearted 
Germans who extended their hospitality as freely as on other 
occasions, w)ien tlie racing business called him in their vicinity, 
and he occupied his old place in their midst, while they regaled 
themselves wit!i rehearsini^ past Teniiiiiseenccs of his fun-loving 
l^ropLMisities. Young Kice's stay in Marietta, at this time, was 
characterized by a series of adveiitures that reminded him of 
other days, and eventually was the means of f<tnning new friend- 
ships that proved interesting as well as lasting. 

In due time he left his old associates and returned to Pittsburg; 
that offered new attractions for his vivacious nature to indulge 
in and investigate. 

Although young Rice had left the Hardings without receiving 
his salary, he was not without money, for he always had a gener- 
ous deposit in the bank, and was, therefore, secured in almost 
any emergency. There was at that time a wooden structure 
erected on what was known as the Broadhurst lot, near the canal 
on Penn Street, that was used by the showman, Sam Nicholls, 
for an amphitheatre. It was now the winter season, and not 
being engaged, young Rice was almost a nightly visitor to the 
circus, for the horsemanship fascinated him, and the acrobatic 
sports appealed to and were a part of his exulierant nature, and 
very naturally, being similarly constituted, he soon becanie ac- 
quainted with the performers. It was, in reality, a star company, 
consisting of Caroline Jlevine, who afterwards became Mrs. James 
M. Xixon, Mrs. Samuel Nicholls, Mrs. Matt Buckley. Messrs. 
W. W. and Horace Nicliolls, Tom McCnllum, James M. Xixon, 
Matt Buckley, Jfonsieur Ctuillot, the Hercules and strongest man 
of his day; Dave Harlin, a star rider; Hamlin, the contortionist: 
and Herr Kline^ the famous tight-rope performer. The clowns 
of the company were George Kiiajip and John May. Xnapp was 
one of the most lugubrious clowns that ever appeared in a motley 
garb, anil May afterward acquired some celebrity, but unfortu- 
nately, finally ended his dnyf^ in an insttne asylum. 

Under the infinence of the exciting exhibitions, it did not re- 
quire repeated persuasion for young Rice to be admittetl behind 
the scenes, and upon the occasion of a benefit taken by John May, 
he was induced to volunteer the " Campto^^m Hornpipe," in 
which, as has been previously stated, he was known to excel, 
this occasion, tie was encored to reju'fit it until h*' became 
hausted, and then his friends in the nurlience suggested a change 
in the programme and called upon him to sing a negro song. 







BEMINISCENXES OF DAN BICE 

Yonng Rice tried to excuse himself, alleging that he knew but 
one which he did not wish to repeat, but it was all in vain, for 
there was a universal chorus from the audience, " Then give us 
that one." His innate modesty recoiled from giving the song in 
question, which was exceedingly broad, and the last verse espe- 
cially would not bear repeating, but urged as he was by the con- 
course of people, decided at last to sing it. The mixed masses 
roared and applaudt-d, but those in the boxes testified their dis- 
approbation by turning tlicir heads. This was Mr. Rice's first 
introduction in connection with a circus. 



CHAPTER Vm. 

YOUNG bice's success AS AN ATHLETE — THE FIRST OF A 
SERIES OF PHYSICAL ENCOUNTEES WUICU HADE DAN 
bice's FAME AVIDKSPKEAD TIIUOL'GU THE COUNTHY — HOW 
"DEVIL jack" WAS TAMED— UICE's FIUST VENTURE AS 
A SHOWMAN— HIS INTEREST IN ** LORD BYRON " — BY 
WHOM GEORGE WASHINGTON'S NURSE WAS FIRST DROUGHT 
TO NEW YORK — SUCCESSFUL TOUR OF THE ** PIG SHOW " 
— A SENSATIONAL DISCLOSURE CONNECTED WITH IT — LO- 
CALIZING HIS FIRST EXTEMPORE SONGS. 

A NOTHEK era now opened in the life of Dan Rice, in which 
--iTjL. he felt an inelinatiun tu icht tlie |iuS8ibilitics it might have 
iii store for hinu so be made every elfort t(t iniprovt? his mind and 
^jrepare liis ])hysiL'al capacities according to scientific rt^gime. As 
^. beginning to tliose preparations, be commenced his first lessons 
^11 gjmnustics with Monsieur Guillol, the " Strong Man " of the 
uchollft Circus. His whole life had been, however, a continual 
'athletic exercise and vigorous exertion, no matter what its im- 
incdiate ol)ject may be, and especially if indulgeil in the open 
^ir, develops the physical man to belter advantage than elaborate 
gymnasium [iractice in(h)ors. 

Young Rice had, to a great degree, lived out of doors from the 
time he was three years old, indulging in all the boyish sjrorts that 
^characterized the pastimes nf ehihlhood. As he grew older, he 
liad his wrestling matches with boys of his own circle, and in 
running, jumping, etc., he excelled many of his young friends 
in y)owers of execution and endurance. These were some of the 
mothods by whirh his musrlcK wert* hardrntMl, his sincus tough- 
ened, and the foundation laid for that ;ist(tnis)iing physi<'ul vigor 
and endurance which eur]>rised every contestant with whom he 



64 



BEMINISCENCES OF DAN KICE 



came in contact. Under GoUlot's inBtmction he evinced great 
aptitude, and his naturally robust frame Wiis, by the calisthenic 
exercises through which the French gentleman put him, con- 
verted into as jjowerful a human niuehim? as any one of his day 
and generation ever saw. Every one who knew Kice was aware 
that whenever he was required to act upon the defensive, he 
was found equal to the demands in every particular, for he never 
failed to punish an overt act, and in doing so he was generally 
victorious, and also secured the good opinion of those who wit- 
nessed the affair, and the opponent usually " buried the hatchet " 
afterwards. In Bayardstown^ just across the canal from Pitti 
burg, there lived a notorious barroom character called by thi 
ftpprobinus nom-dc-plume " Devil Jack," who, having heard of 
Dan's j^rofessional powers, had boasted that he would whip hi 
the first time he saw him. But he was advised by John Paisle; 
and Koger Jeffries, two worthy young fellows, that it would 
bi'tfer to let that matter alone, for he would probably be defeat 
in the attempt. But being assured of his own powers and not dis- 
posed to credit the warning given hinn by the young men, ho 
pursued the (d)jcct of his challenge and decided to test it with hi" 
pugilistic skill. Many of the young " roughs " who regardei 
Jack as their hero, also determined what they would do will ^ 
young Rice at the first opportunity, Pittsburg was a noted resort' 
in those days for rough characters and fighters. The river popu- 
lation consisting mainly of foreign element w^as as disorderly in 
many respects as any ever known in this country, and Rice, dur- 
ing his residence there, had felt the necessity of keeping guarded 
in liis remarks if he would avoid personal encounters with the 
lower element. The notorJmis gang who upheld Jack*s su- 
preuiiicy nnmhered among its leading members CofTey Richard- 
fion, Jake Cameron, and Andy Jackson, each of whom was a 
pugilist of no mean repute, but all yielding the palm of supremacy 
to their chief, Jack. Young Rice having been invited, as de- 
scribed previously, to take part in the benefit given to John May, 
one of the clowns of the Nicholls Circus, was asked with t" 
rest of tiie company after the perfonnance to participate in n 
freshmenfs at a public house, kept by James Ash worth, an Eng- 
lislmum. and which was a favorite resort of the circus people. 
While the company was conversing, ** Devil Jack," with the 
menibcrs of his party, entered, and in a loud voice called out, 
'MVhere is that Dan Rice who thinks he can whip anybody?'* 
Young Rice was standing at the rear of the room, and appre- 
hending that tronlde was lirewing, quietly removed his coat, and 
no srtoncr hnd he clone so, than Jack, who recognized him. hurled 
a heavy glass at him. Onr hero, being on the alert, dodged the 
missde, and, unfortunately, it struck the cIowti, John 



of 



!e- 

i 




BKKJNiaCENCKS OF DAN lUCB 



M 



tenable blow in the abdomen, and he cried out in agony, after- 
^»'«^rd8 becoming insensible from the injury. Rice, in the mean- 
*^ti*e. iiad assumed a crouching ])osition, and, with a rapid move- 
">«^iu towards the desperado, caught him with one hand and 
hi t-\}ck him a terrible blow in the face with the other. Then fol- 
^*^>"^red an extraordinary exhibition of strength, scientifically dig- 
l***tyeJ by the young athlete. Jack was a large, burly fellow, but 
^^'^ardlees of his weight and strength Rice drew him to the stove, 
J^ *iich, as the night was very cold, was excessively hot, and firmly 
"^^Id one side of his face against it. A shriek of agony from the 
^*c;tim caused those who witnessed the scene to interfere and he 
'^^s rescued from the perilous situation into which his bravado 
^J^d misdemeanor had placed him and which he justly merited. 
*^\it he was marked for life ))y the hideous scars, and as he had 
J^et prestige, his friends of tlie lower element deserted him and 
■^^ disappeared from their enrollment as '* The Bully of Bayards- 
^<:>wil'* At the time of the encounter one of the first to "desert 
*^i8 old chief was Andy Jackman, who approached Dao, and, seiz- 
^i^g his hand, .shook it warmly, expressing for him good-fellow- 
^iiip. He afterwards withdrew from those associations that were 
^Xirely dragging him to a condition from which eventually it 
■ *^^ould be ditiicult for him to extricate himself, and subsequently 
I T>roved one of our hero's stanchest friends. He shortly after- 
I "^^ards married an estimable young woman, and proved himself a 
I clevoted husband and father as well as an esteemed citizen. And 
I ^Li his death, many years afterwards, he left a family of children 
^■K>f whom any community might be proud to accept as worthy of 
^^pt. heir esteem and respect. 

The natural, fun-loving propensities of Dan Rice had gained 
:for him another step in the world of entcrtninment, and after 
"the exciting scenes at the Xicliolls Circus, at which he became 
>^en" popular, his impulsive nature grasped the idea that he 
oould, himself, venture in a similar undertaking in a small way, 
nnd, perhaps, at the same time, utilize the instructions of Mon- 
i?ieur (luillot by putting them to practical use. 

This venture was planned tind eventually executed almost 
>»'holly for the purpose of sight-seeing nnd the pleasure he might 
extract from such a tour. The monetary consideration to one of 
his calibre was merely secondary, and with one or two compan- 
ions, he was ready to face the world in this new entertainment 
and derive what benefit he could from the small fees he might 
gather in his wanderings. In framing the final arrangements 
of his plans, be decided that he would l>e more strongly fortified 
to take the people by storming the citadel with a conspicuous 
attraction, so he lost nn ibiie in laying siege to, and securing, 
tliis novelty in the shape of a " Learned Pig/* that was the 



66 



UnilNISCENOES OF DAX RICE 



joint posseesion of two conspicuous characters who had gained 
some repute by their previous exhibitions of his majesty, Lord 
Byron. 

Mr. Osbome, a resident of Cazenovia, N. Y., a barber by trade, 
and who was afterwards the doorkeeper of the Assembly at Al- 
bany, owned the creature originally. Mr. Osborne was a very 
intelligent old gentleman, and, as Mr- Rice has since said, ** How 
could he be otherwise, being an old, live Whig? " In all prob- 
ability his astuteness may have made some impression on the 
tender mind of the four-fooled wonder; for soon after its pre- 
cocity became noised abroad in Cazenovia, C. L. Kise, an ingen- 
ious Connecticut Yankee, became part owner of the pig by pur- 
chase. This extraordinary animal seemed destined to prove a 
success, for when Mr. Kise exhibited *' Lord Byron " under a 
tent in the Broadhurst lot in PittBbnrg, it was the result of that 
exhibition that caused young Rice, pining for a new field of action 
for the exercise of his genius, to mature his plans. He was con- 
stantly watching every available opportunity whereby he coidd 
display his physical powers and create a name in the athletic 
world. As Mr. Osborne wished to withdraw from this form of 
entertainmeiit^youngKice purchased his half-interest in the show, 
Mr. Kise still remaining the owner of the other half. Before 
going any further, it is due to Mr. Kise to mention in connection 
with these niemnirs tlie fnct that it was he who first brought 
George Washington's " Black Mammy " nurse, Joyce Ileth, from 
honored obscurity in old Virginia and put her on exhibition in 
New York City. She was first seen in the Bowery, near the old 
Chatham Theatre, and was afterwards taken at P, T. Barnum's 
earnest solicitation, to the American Museum where she was in- 
spected for some time by the interested public. Even in that 
day, ColoTiel Kicc ssiys, the imposture was regarded as a sort of 
patriotic '' fraud -' which at once endeared itself to Mr. Bammn*8 
soul for that reason. Mr. Kise also procured for Barnom tfie first 
"mermaid'* seen on dry land, and even the *'* mysterious lady" 
herself was the product of that gentleman's ingenuity. 

In returning to our subject, we find " Lord Byron " install 
as the joint property of 0. L. Kise and Dau Rice; and in the 
spring of 1841. they commenced a starring tour with hopeful 
expectations that the outcome would furnish to them the desired 
results, namely, a monetary benefit in the case of >fr. Kise, but 
merely a name for Dan Rice. This was Mr. Rice's first inde- 
pendent venture, but he soon became aware of the fact that in- 
defatigable labor attended the business, and only a strong will 
and perseverance would pronounce it a success. He, therefore, 
centered all his energies to establish that end, and hie mind grad- 
ually expanded in his efforts to employ his inventive genius, and 







REMINISCENCES OF DAN KICE 



57 



I rapid progress in later years, in that peculiar capacity, origi- 
nated with that little waBduring band in tlioije early days. The 
•* Learned Pig " undoubtedly had certain aceomplishments, as he 
was advertised to foretell the future, to play an invincible game 
of cards, and read the Book of Fate. Mr. Kise with his happy 
faculty exhibited the creature to good advantage, but the strong 
feature of the show was the *' Young American Hercules," Dan 
Rice, with his repartee, his songs of gentiment and pathos, and 
his inimitable feats of strength. Now began that delicate, com- 
plicated study of human nature in which he was a natural adept; 
that tenacious grasping after the hopes, sorrows, and joy& of the 
** plain people " which contributed so conspicuously to Colonel 
Bice's success in after years. No item of news gathered at the 
roadside while soliciting a ride with a good-natured teamster, 
or gossiping with an old person at a farmhouse or an inn, was too 
trivial or unim}>ortnnt to be treasured in his retentive memory. 
Every circumstance conjiected with the histor)^ of persons and 
.^piacea collected in his peregrinations, no matter how remote or 
Mnall in detail, was stowed away to bo utilized to an advantage 
whenever, by chance, he might visit that place or come in con- 
tnct with the individual whom it concerned. Like the gypsy, he 
was always enabled to astonish some coterie or family in every 
village in whirli tlie quadruped was exhihited with revelations 
that savored of necromancy, and spread the fame of his lordship 
far and wide. In all the well-known games of cards, the four- 
footed gambler, as might have been expected, with young Rice 
overshadowing the cards of both competitors, was invariably the 
dinner of the small coins staked by his verdant admirers. At 
Jacksonville, Pa., a Mr. Spangle, an incredulous dignitary of the 
phnrdi of that place, who doubted the po-isibility of a pig beat- 
ing him at " all-fours," a game that had been favorite with him 
in time previous, was, the week following Rice's departure, called 
wUiTv Ihe church tribunal and suspended from his ofbcc for in- 
'iul]a:iTig in " high-low-Jack," in which he was beaten by this 
pe<lantic grunter. So largely did Mr. Rice attrilniie his success 
in after life to the experience he gained in this employment, that 
"e tnnpht to u poodle dop he called Scth, the most plausible of 
•^"•ne charlatans, the rudiments of the classic lore for which the 
P'K hurl previously been celebrated. Many readers of these pages 
'"ill rofollect the advent of " Seth.'* from where, no one knows, 
'^•^ l»y fln old tattered beggar, under whose wig and worthless 
S^iniionts was the graceful and mnscular form of Dan Kice, with 
^^^l.'irit ripe for any adventure, no matter how hazardous or wild, 
'"''^assnmcd impersonation on the part of Mr. Hice was merely 
3 scheme invented by him to advertise the ** Pig Show." Soon 

ft»l*'r Iho bflcrJinnirsor nf liia fnnir HfitVi fl^jii nirf vniinrr T??/>n OVerllCard 



J beginning i 



! pig young 



5$ 



HEMINISCENCES OF IJAN RICE 



an allugion to a barn that had recently been burned in Greena- 
burg, a small town in Western Pennsylvania, which he proposed 
visiting the next day. He soon gleaned I'roin the gossips all the 
facte with which every one was acquainted, namely, that the barn 
was burned the preceding Monday night and a man named WU- 
liam Gates was suspected of the crime. The apjiearance of Gates 
was described as well as that of another person named Jaacks, 
who was owner of the barn, but there was no other reason for the 
suspicion of Gates excepting the fact that a quarrel had occurred 
between the Iwo men a short time previous to the burning of the 
building. After reaching Greensburg the next day, Mr. Rice 
placarded the place with his twelve-ineli square showbills with a 
picture of " Lord Byron " at the top, decked in ribbons, wig, and 
spectacles and scanning what was intended to he the " Book of 
Fate." Beneath the picture was a glowing description of how 
the pig foretold General Jackson's election fully six months be- 
fore it occurred; predicted correctly the number of children Mrs. 
North would have; how long old ilrs. Jones would live; to whom 
and when Miss Smith would be married; would play and win a 
game of " all-fours '* with the most dexterous gambler in the 
place, and would expound all questions relating to the past, pres- 
ent, and future; besides telling who borrowed Mrs. Barker's 
epoons and failed to return them, and what biped laid waste the 
Wilkins chicken-house. This advertising being accomplished, 
in order to prevent the suspicion of his having learned his news 
from the townspeople, and partly to enhance his importance by 
avoiding the eyes of the rabble, he and his inseparable companion 
confined themselves to their room for the remainder of the day, 
with a cabalistic curtain hung up liefore the window, and an unin- 
telligible jargon between the two whenever a servant had occa- 
sion to enter the room or a listener was supposed to be at the key- 
hole. In tlie evenings when young Rice and the pig made their 
appearance in tlie tent, it was, as usual, filled with anxious specta- 
tors, as might have been expected with such a pig and such 
strong advertisement. 

The audience was evidently predisposed in favor of the pig, 
so gayly was he decorated with parti-colored rilibons and so 
cleanly and tidy did he appear after a toilet as carefully prepared 
as the most pampered lapdog ever received from its interested 
mistress. 

After a few introrlurtory remarks to the people assembled. !Mr. 
Rice usually gavt- a brief synopsis of the creature's endowments, 
and demnnstratcd the same in a manner so novel and peculiar, 
that, to the audience, the facts aj)peared real and langihle. On 
fliis particular occasion he so framed liis remarks that he brought 
about the interesting expose of the burned building. 





REMINISCENCES OF DAN RICE 



s» 



** Now," said Mr. Rice to his Lordship, *' we will see what you 
know. Can yuu tell me what o'clock it is? " 

The j>ig jumped with his forelVet against bis interrogator and 
caught the seal of his watch gonily iK'twccii his teeth. *' Uh! 
anybody can tell by looking at the watch, but 1 suppose you inusjt 
have your way, here it is." 

The pig inspected the timepiece knowingly, and then went to 
the figured cards that were laid on the jjlalfurra and brought to 
his master the ligure seven. " Now/' said Mr. Hice, " show me 
how many minutes past seven," and he returned and brought to 
him the number ten, signifying, Mr. I?ice e.xi>lained, thnt it was 
ten minutes jnist seven o'clock. On submitting the watch to the 
audience, behold, it was found to be correct. 
. " Will some gentlesnan," pursued Mr. Rice, " draw one of these 
cards?" producing a well-worn pack. Accordingly, the six of 
hearts was drawn and then returned to the pack, which was spread 
face upwards on the floor. Being asked what card had been 
drawn, the pig picked up the six of hearts. 

** Byron, who is t)ie greatest rogue in the room?" Everybody 
njove«l uneasily in their seats as the animal seemingly glanced 
ihoughlfully over the audience, and their ilelight knew no bounds 
when he stnjipcd opposite Mr. Rice himself and thrust his nose 
against his limbs. 

*' Byron, what do you deserve when you won't be washed and 
combed? " 

Byron ran and brought Mr. Rice's walking stick and laid it at 
his feet. 

" Now, ladies and gentlemen, those who want tlieir fortunes 
told will please stand up here in a row." 

The verdant element, after n great deal of giggling and ban- 
tering, proceeded to assemble, and a score of rustic beauties 
and gallants of the village advanced, while Jaacks and his 
wife at that moment entered and took their seats. Mr. Rice 
recognized them readily from tlie description }ie had previously 
obtained, and after a myi^tcrious conference with the pig, Mr. 
Rioe said, addressing Jaacks, who sat in the front row with his 
apt'd wife: 

'' Your name, sir, is Jnacks!. and you have come to inquire who 
^i fire to your barn last Monday night." 

Had a torpedo been cast into the tent, it could not have jtro- 
<1ueed greater consternation. rTnncks alone was roniposed. for bis 
anxiety to ferret out the ofTender had taken the place of the 
amnzement he would nfhenvipo have felt. 

" Yell, who ish te tarn rascliull a^^b purnt my parn? " 

"Byron always charges ten dollars in advance for making 
an imj»ortant revelation like this," respojidcd Mr. Rice. 



60 



EEMINISCENCES OF CAN RICE 



*' Here ish de monishl Now, den, ash your pig, and if he dells 
me te tarn raschall, 111 givu half a lollar more." 

*' Well, sir, Byrou, do you know who burnt Mr. Jaacks' barn?^ 

The pig picked up the word " yea '" from the floor. 

" lljid he Uni'k hair? '' 

The pig pickiHl up the word " no " and brought it to his mast 

" Was his hair red? " 

" No." 

Byron then i>roeeeded to describe the culprit accurately 
words printed on cards. '* Vy Uot, te very man. I sliall go 
straight to de Justice, by Got, and sue hiin to jail. Now just 
ash de pig if he has a scar on his eye." 

Upon that hint, of course, Byron decided indubitably he had 
a scar over his eye. 

" Dunder and blitzon! 1 shall speeny te pig to de trial and Bill 
Gates shall go to Benetentiary.'* 

These remarkable revelations put all other experiments out of 
the heads of the audience, who made their way in awe from the 
tent. 

Contradictory accounts are rife in regard to the subsequent 
proceedings. On western steamhoats, the story is told tlmt Mr. 
Jaacks had Lord Byron up before the Grand Jury of the county, 
who were as superstitious as himself, and that a true bdl was 
found against Gates, on the pig*s evidence, after which the pig 
was held in recognizance of $1,(K)(K to appear at the ne.vt term of 
the county court, where, with his interpreter, Mr, Kiee, he bore 
testimony so cnuchisive tigaiiis^t the prisoner that the jury pro> 
nounced him guilty without leaving the box, and also that Gates 
was confined in the county jail n fortnight, until the lamented 
Governor Shunk heard of his ridiculous incarceration and par- 
doned him. 

The correct version of the afTair is, that Mr. Jaacks, armed with 
these portentous revelations, which were to him "confirmations 
strong as proofs of holy writ." made liberal use of the pig's pre- 
tended truth before the grand jury, confusing his own suspicions 
with Lord Byron *s evidence in such a way as to make a pretty 
good ex parte case, and that the grand jury adopting the general 
impression of the county, some of them having been present, pos- 
sibly, at the exhibition, without any reasonable gi-ounds found a 
" true bill.'* That Gates was tried, all accounts agree, but upon 
a careful examination of the archives of the Secretary of State's 
oflRce, no record of such conviction or subsequent pardon can be 
found. 

Li the conimnnity, however, where these circumstances oc- 
curred, implicit faith was centered in the pig*s omniscience. 

It was at this period of his career that Mr. Rice first developed 




EEMINI8CENCES 0^ DAN filOS 



61 



his remarkable faculty, afterwards bo useful, of composing and 
singing extempore songs ou the toines of tiiu hour. He had been 
a boy friend of .Stephen C Foster and Morrison Foster, his elder 
brother, who were the sons of the Mayor of Allegheny City. 
Stephen showed in his earliest years the talent that afterwards 
made him famous, and Mr. Kiets with some instructions from ids 
gifted chum, afterwards succeeded in accomplishing this difficult 
art of song-raaking for himself, tiiat he used to sueeessfui advan- 
tage in localizing events and portraying character. His lirst 
effort, "' Hard Times," as composed and sung on the^ '* Learned 
7ig " tour, is as follows: 



HARD TIMES. 

Come listen awhile, and give ear to my song. 
Concerning these hard times — 'twill not take you long; 
How everybody is always trying to bite, 
In cheating each other, and think they do right — 
In these hard times. 

The landlord will feed your horse on oats, com, and hay, 
And as soon as your back's turned, he'll take it away; 
For oats be^ll give chatf, and for corn he'll give bran. 
Still he will cry, " Tm too honest a man 
For these hard times." 

There is the Miller, who grinds for his toll; 
He will do your work well, as hell care for his soul — 
As soon as your bact's turned, with the dish in his fist, 
He w'ill leave you the toll, and himself take the grist. 
In these hard times. 

There is the Lawyer — hell turn like a key — 
He will tell a big lie to gain a small fee; 
He will tell you your cause is honest and right. 
And, if you have no cash, he will swear you're a bite, 
In these hard times. 



There is the Tinker — he will mend all your ware, 
For little or nothing — some cider or l>eer; 
Before he commences he will get half-drunk or more, 
And in stopping one hole will punch twenty more. 
In these bard times. 



REMINISCENCES OF DAN RICK 

The Jeweller — he works in the finest of gold, 
lie makos the be^t earrings tiiat ever were sold; 
Telia peddlers to lie, to dispel ladies' fears, 
Till the verdigris eats olf their fingers and ears, 
In these hard times. 

There is the Printer — he is a hard case; 
You always can tell him liy the brass in his face; 
If yon owe hira a dollar, yon will think it no harm. 
But, if you don't fork it over, he'll lock up your form, 
In these hard times. 

There is the Barber, who labors for pelf; 
He shaves every blockhead that can't shave himself; 
A dime he will have from his friends or his foes. 
Or else he wdl never let go of your nose, 
In these hard times. 

There is the Constable, who thinks himself wise; 
He will come to your house with a big pack of lies; 
He will take all your pro])erty and then he will sell-^ 

Get drunk on your money — that's doing d n well. 

These hard times. 

There is the farmer — Oh, Lord! how he'll cheat, 
With his oats, corn, and barley, and rusty old wheat; 
He will thirst for a penny till he is blue at the nose. 
And he'll d — n yon for thanks, that's the way the world goes 
In these hard times. 

The priest will tell you which way you must steer, 
To save your poor souls, which he values so dear; 
And if he can't draw something out of your purse, 
He will take off his blessing and whack on a curse, 
In these hard times. 

There are some Young Men, who a-courting will go, 
To see pretty girls, you very well know; 
The old folks will giggle, tliey'il squint, and therll grin, 
Crjing — '* Use him well. Sail, or he won't come again, 
For it's hard times." 



There is the merchant, his goods are the best 
That ever arrived from the East or the West: 
With his damaged calicoes, jews'-harps, and brass clocks, 
Are qnite necessary for all clever folks, . 
In these iiard times. 






BBKINIBCBNOn Of DAN RICE 



08 



Now come the Ladies, those sweet little dears, 
To the balls and the parties, how nice they appear, 
With their whalebones and corsets, themselves will squeeze, 
And they have to unlace them before they can sneeze, 
In these hard times. 

From father to mother, from sister to brother. 
From cousin to cousin, tlicy cheat one another; 
Maids about nindesty make a great rout» 
And rogues about honesty often fall out. 
In these hard times. 

The Blacksmith says he pays cash for his stock. 
Therefore it's hard for him to trust it out; 
HeMl sell a few shoes, and mend an old plow. 
And when the Fall comes, he must have yotir best cow, 
In these hard times. 

The Doctor will dose you with physic and squills, 
"With blisters and plasters, and powders and pills; 
When your money's all spent, and your breathing most done, 
The Doctor cries out — " Poor soul, you're most gone," 
In these hard times. 

The Baker will cheat you in bread that you eat — 
So will the Butcher, in the weight of his meat; 
He'll tip up the scales to make them weigh down, 
And swear it is weight when it lacks half a pound, 
In these hard times. 

The Tailor will cabbage your cloth and your skin — 
Be*ll cheat and defraud you, and swear it's no sin; 
Although lie is honest, as all the world knows, 
^ut he will have his cab])age wherever he goes. 
In tliese hard times. 

There are some yming men who cut quite a dash; 
They strut around town without a cent of cash — 
"Witii low pocket pants, and pigeon-tail coats, 
-And hair on their chins like a parcel of goats. 
In these hard times. 

At Washington City, Politicians throng — 
Try various ways to mnkr their sessions long; 
Many rensons they give why they are itldiged to stay. 
But the clonrest renson y<'t is eight dollars a day. 
In these hard times. 



64 



BEICIKISCEXCES OF DAN BICE 



The Judge on the bench is honest and true — 
He'll gaze at a man, as though to look bim through; 
He'll send you six months or one year to jail. 
And for live dollars tuore he'll sena you to h — II, 
In these hard times. 

Now, a word for myself, before I make any foes, 
There are exceptions in all trades, as all the world knows. 
Although in my song you may errors detect, 
I hope 'tis as good as my friends could expect. 
In these hard times. 



CnAPTER IX. 



ME. RTCB AS A POET— HIS FIRST EFFUSIOIT IN HONOR OF 
LORD BYRON— THE ONLY " READINQ NOTICE" HE EVER 
PAID FOR IN A NEWSPAPER — ADVENTURES WITH BASIL 
imOWN. WHOSE DEATH HE SO STRANGELY FORETOLD — IN- 
CIDENT OF COL. F. K. UAIN'S BOYHOOD— MR. RICE IN PHI- 
LADELPHIA — HIS DERUT UNDER PHINEAS TAYLOR IN FEATS 
OP STRENGTH^HE OltTAINS AN ENGAGEMENT WITH HOWE'S 
CIRCUS BY WINNING A HARDLY CONTESTED WRESTLING 
ROUT— CONTRACT WITH BARNUM— HERCULEAN STRENGTH 
VERSUS AN EMPTY PUNCHEON — CHARACTERISTIC ANECDOTE 
OF P. T. BARNUM— ENGAGEMENT WITH JENNY LIND'S AGENT 
TO 00 ABROAD. 

THESE new features which Mr. Rice voluntarily introduced 
in his performances and the spontaneous recognition which 
greeted his efforts in this direction had a tendency to assure hiim 
that his cttorts were appreciated. And that knowledge spurred 
him onward in his attempts to reach a higher standard. His 
extempore speeches consisting at first of only a few well-chosen 
remarks, gradually enlarged until he craved for higher subjects 
that would be a source of interest to the more intelligent of his 
spectators. This standard could be reached only by hard, in- 
cessant study, and our hero, being aware of that fact, applied him- 
self to a regime of mental cultivation which has occupied a long, 
eventful life. 

Being possessed of a powerful and retentive memory, it has 
sen-ed him faithfully in all the intricate phases of his usefulness, 
and never, in any instance, betrays him; therefore, he is always 
prepared, even in his advanced a^e, for any occasion, and ade- 



i 





MINISCENC 



OF DAK HIOB 



qnate to the demands made upon his social requirements without 
any previous preparation. His first poetic etiusion on the 
*• Learned Pig " pronounced his genius in that direction to be 
also in emhryo, and the following little incident in connection 
vrith it has been related by Colonel Kice himself in later years. 
During one of his interviews he remarked, '' The only ' puff * I 
ever paid for in a newspaper, to use an offensive word, was poetry. 
It was a poem in honor of the Learned Pig, and I paid a half- 
dollar for its publieation in the ' Commonwealth/ of Washing- 
ton. Pa., in 1841. The lines ran as follows, to the best of my 
recollection: 

" * Pve seen the Learned Pig. 'Tia queer 
To see a hog become a seen 
He knows his letters and can hunt 
The alphabet without a grunt; 
Can add, subtract, and knows the rule 
As well as any boy in school: 
By working with his head and snout 
He finds the truth without a doubt. 
'Tis wondrous how a brute so low 
Was taught by man so much to know! " 

" Now it seemed to me," added Mr. Rice, " that the production 
was worth publishing fnr its own sake. But the editor of the 
Washington * Commonwealth ' did not so see it. Well," with a 
touch of the old-time humor. '* his oofTers may have been low, and 

I thought his conduct equally so." From Washington, the Pig 
Show departed for Claysville, Pa., and having reached that place, 
made arrangements for spending the night at the stage hotel 
kept by Basil Brown> a thrifty bonifare. Brown's Hotel was a 
well-known stop on the National Turnpike, a thoroughfare ihen 
in the height of its glory. Nothing unusual occurred during the 
night, as the pcrforniance was conducted harmoniously and the 
audience was satisfactorily entertained. The Learned Pig and 
his exhibitors were driven away in the conveyance next morning 
to Middletnwn, Pa., and as they stopped in front of the hotel at 
that place, they were surprised to perceive that Basil Brown, their 
host of the jirevious night, was there to meet them. Before they 
had alighted from the wagon that contained the paraphernalia of 
the show, including a chest, which, at times, was improvised into 

II seat in case of an emergency, an ofTRcer appeared with a warrant 
(uithorizing him to search the show- wagon for a stolen overcoat. 
Here was a novelty entirely unlocked for and unsolicited, and 
indignant as tliey were at the outrageous accusation, Mr. Rice and 
his companions 'submitted willingly to the search, in the course 



RKMINISCENCES OF DAK RICE 



of which, however, they were both confident that the miasing coat 
would not be found among their effecti«. 

A? the officer was on the point of giving up the search. Brown, 
all the while stood looking on with a sardonic smile. At last, hei 
reniarke<l to the officer. ** Look under the chest," and to the sur- 
prise of Mr. Rice and Mr. Kise. there the missing coat was found. 
Accordingly, the whole outtit was seized, and before one word of 
remonstrance could be uttered by young Rice and his partner, 
ihev were taken back to Washington and confined in the jail. , 
Brown, on the way back, offered to compromise with Mr. Kisc^ 
for the sum of twenty- five dollars, and expressed a desire to pay ^ 
the costs, which Mr. Rice refuseil to accept, as it would not relieve 
them from the stigma of dishonesty. Mr, Seth T. Hurd, a popu- 
Ur lawyer, was engaged to defend them, and the public interest 
was aroused to a high state of excitement, for yoimg Rice was 
widely and favorably known thi>:»ughout the country. 

Mik Cadwallader Evan^, a wealthy lady of Pittsburg, whose 1 
hwlMuid invented the safety gnard to prerent the explosion of 
flMm4M>iler$, was, at the time, Tisiting in Washington, and en- 
listed bCT sympathies in the case, as she was a friend of Mr. Rioe'a<j 
and one of his patrons when he was in the lirery bnsineas in 
Pittslmrg. This lady kindly offefrd to famish bail on this o<s 
enaon, but young fiice declined to accept it, preferring, as be 
iafDnned her. to stand trial, as he felt smne that some evidence 
wxnild be furnished to prove them both innocent without any re- 
jection on them. Xor was his confidence in the argament mis- 
taken* for the landlord of Middletown md bis wife both volun« . 
tarihr appeared at the trial and t e stifi ed tkat wlien Brown arrived j 
at tlkeir hotel at early dawn tbat momlag. Iw wore a hrown over-l 
coat, and after ord«ing bnakfast left the hotsL When he re-i 
twmd. jwl pcmovs to the arrival of the jomag men with the 
siiow, he had bo overcoat, and they ovefheaid him aay to the offi- 
cer who mde the searcK *^Look under the chesL" It was 
deartr proved that Brown mnst have eaiplojred some menM 
* the coat where it was fonnd while jWQg Siee nd 
•wtr mmkit^ their wav to IGddlHowa, for he kw 
wcttwhtttlolociiAeit Mr. Hurd iMiJa mm slp^ft mpam 
hArffefaeTOM^mMiandAwwMafTi«M|ihiBtiMTOttalof 
the sriBOMffflL TWt efeam^ in the haiel fislar al W aahii^- 
ton. Jlr, Rk« c ekh mt td tihe ink of Cke ofivrMai jWimh hj 
■■(ring a sotts in HMMigrcl i«ne d aicfqitin of the whole priKj 
iilil^^ik IB which Mr. HvowbV inw %wc4 ima%m m vmti j, ~ 
\t^ mred with latirkal fr iK i k m. TW ai wa J Ib this 
Biwvedio WaffftBgf oBe Ui srrwil tfctaai Tcbt 
Sa IM^ CMMid Bice, who ww mv halh widkhr 
itotetBVBoCCMMlgi^a^Miwft 



BEMINI8CENCKS OP DAN HICE 



er 



designated for the night was reached, it was found to be 
*' Brown's Hotel." As Colonel Rice walked from the clerk's desk 
where he had registered, to go to his room, he noticed a hand- 
fionie^ matronly woman in one of the parlors looking at him with 
apprehension in her eyes. She oalie<l to him softly as he was 
passing and said, *' Mr. Rice, spare us! Years ago my husband 
wronged you, but you won't pursue your vengeance after so long 
a time. We are well-to-do and respected here, and our son is a 
cashier in the bank. Let bygones be bygones! '* Colonel Rice 
lost no time in reassuring her, but in the course of conversation, 
remarked, " Madame, 1 am gifted with.the light of prophecy. I 
gee disaster impending over your household; your husband's oc- 
cupation exposes him to many perils. If his life is not insured, 
I advise you to persuade him to insure it at once." llie expres- 
sions Colonel Rice used were not meant to distress the woman, 
but were made merely to annoy her husband. This good lady, in 
whom he saw, with the eyes of faith, the potentiality of a rich 
and favored widow, promised to follow his ailvtce; but a few 
mornings afterwards when the stage-coach drove up to the en- 
trance of Brown's Hotel, the host went to assist with the luggage 
and a drummer's trunk fell upon him from the top of the coach 
and he was instantly killed. 

Many amusing incidents have been rehited to the younger gen- 
erations by the rustic element in those Pennsylvania villages and 
hamlets in connection with the Rice and Kise Pig Show, and we 
select the following as it has a bearing upon the early boyhood of 
the late Col. F. K. Main, so conspicuous in the financial world tjf 
New York as the esteemed and well-known chief manager of the 
Manhattan Elevated Railroad System. Tlie circumstance oc- 
curred in Wormelsdorf, near Stoutville, Col. Hain's native village 
in Pennsylvania, in the course of the visit of Mr. Rice and the 
Learned Pig. Farmer Hain attenrled the show accompanied by 
his little boy. Being one of the imjiorlant men of the neighlior- 
hood, the audience felt gratified at the honor conferred when Mr. 
Hain was invited to play cards with *' Lord Byron," and conse- 
quently the game was watched with close attention. Mr. Rice's 
signals to the pig consisted of snapping the thumb and finger 
nails together, a process unobserved by everyone except Lord 
Byron. As the animal's wonderful ailajitatron had created quite 
a stir in the country circles, Farmer Hnin's little son, being a close 
observer, had not accompanied his father for mere pleasure only; 
it was a visit of searching investigation us well. When he ob- 
served the cold, critical eye of the four-footed seer fixed on the 
cards his father held; be instantly exhibited that shrewd resource- 
fulne*:s, which, in later years, so successfully characterized hia 
ement of affairs, and cried out impulsively, " Take care, 



68 



REMINISCENCES OF DAN RICE 



Pop; take care, the pi|,' will beat you. He's looking in your 
hand." The farmer skillfully oianipukted his cards, hut all to 
no purpose, for the pig, hnving j)rolited as everyone thought, by 
the stolen glances, successfully won the game. Which fact may 
be attributed, of course, to the adroitness of Mr. Rice, whi 
though young in years, was one of the most skillful card-playe; 
of the day. 

The Pig Show episode was concluded in September, 1841, with 
some profit, and as a controversy arose in regard to the future 
possessor of " Lord Byron " he was executed after the manner of 
his common brotherhood, eacli jjartnt-r receiving his quota ac- 
cording to the terms or conditions of contract. 

This Solomonesque partition was made in Riter's Hotel in 
Kensington, Pa., and Mr. Kice soon afterwards retired to Pitts- 
burg. Thus the faithful, obedient creature was disposed of 
answer the requirements of a business controversy, and " Lo 
Byron " dwells only in the shades of memory. 

" The pig," said Colontd Kice in later years, " is by no meai 
the most stupid of animals, and there have been Learned Pigs 
all ages. The cjuality of the pig, on which I mainly relied in 
performing Lord Byron was his extreme acuteness of hearing. 
Few animals have such keen ears. The noise of snapping one 
finger nail against another was distinctly intelligible to the crea- 
ture and conveyed to his brain a distinct idea, to which he in- 
stantly responded when the cards were reached, that answered 
the questions that were jiro pounded." 

The miniature enterprise consisting of the Pig Show had been 
the means of giving Mr. Kice a self-conlideiice that he could not 
have gained under better auspices, as long as he had determined 
to adapt his talents to this form of entertainment as a feature of 
his future professional career; therefore, his asjyirations were en- 
couraged by his previous successes and he sought recognition 
among the better class of managers, who filled the profession 
with the best talent they could obtain. With his youthful mind 
filled with high hoi>es of success, he made arrangements to leave 
Pittsburg and go to Philadelphia, which city would, in all prob- 
ability, afford better opportunities for a desirable opening. In 
taking this step, the results proved very satisfactory to our hero, 
for in October of 1841, he began an engagement witli Phineas 
Taylor, the uncle of P. T. Barnum, in Masonic Hall on Chestnut 
Street. The exhibition was called the " Battle of Bunker Hill," 
and showed a number of life-like figures engaged in combat. It 
was an ingenious mechanical contrivance, illustrating the scene 
of the battle with historical accuracy. Mr. Rice's part in this 
show was to do "feats of strength,'* comic songs, and dances. 
On the same evenings, in the Ciiiiiese Museum on Sansom Street 






ts- 




REMINISCENCES OF DAN RICE 



69 



ove Ninth, he would sing in character accompanied by the 
hperior talent of Miss Hose Shaw^ This accomplished lady, who 
I an old friend of Mr. Kicc's, afterwards became Mrs. Charles 
loward, and later Mrs. Harry Watldus; her husband being the 
ell-known actor and playwright of that name. She was the 
pungest of the well-known and talented Shaw family who origi- 
lly came from England, and is also the sister of Josephine 
baw, the theatrical star who afterwards became Mrs, John lloey. 
lien the Shaw family first came to this country, they were em- 
loyed by Mr. Kice's father, Daniel McLaren, to entertain the 
aests of the famous Pavilion Hotel and Gardens, at Saratoga, 
' which he was the owner and proprietor. Gen. Winlield Scott 
and others of natif>nal reputation heard them sing there. The 
lily consisted of three sisters and a brother. 
Mr. Rice made a decided success in this, his first paid profes- 
Honal engagement, and after two weeks he w^as asked to go to 
the Walnut Street Theatre where Howe's Circus was perform- 
ing. '* Uncle Nathan " Howe, S. B. Howe's elder brother, sent 
Mr. Kice wt^rd that he wanted an interview, and that young 
fitleman lost no time in o)}eyinp the summons at the first op- 
brtunity. After a few preliminaries, ** What about those feats 
* strength of yours," asked Uncle Nathan, " are you really very 
ang?" Mr. I?ice answered readily that he thought he was. 
lave a chew? " Uncle Nathan asked, passing to Mr. Rice some 
Dbacco, and keeping his eye all the while fixed on the young 
athlete's modi-st face. Young Rice responded in the negative; 
he did not chew tobacco. 
*' How much a week do you want?" was the old gentleman's 
ext question. 

** Fifty dollars," was the reply; and it was a large sum of money 
in those days. 

' Can you wrestle? " asked Uncle Nathan. 
' 1 am considered somewhat of a wrestler," said Mr. Rice. 
"Well," the old gentleman went on, 'Ml you can throw Joe 
Gushing, Ul! engage you for the circus for fifty dollars a week." 
■^hat stipend was a consideration worth risking,, so the arrange- 
^Kents with Mr. Howe were completed by Mr. Rice accepting on 
^Hlose terms. The news that young Rice was going to test his 
B^Towess in the ring with the great fighter and sidehold wrestler 
of Howe*s Circus was soon noiscH altroad among the attaches. On 
he occasion in question, Cusliing and Rice were attired in 
estling costume and exhibited before a large audience, con- 
jering there was no charge and no time to advertise. The 
st fall, sirlc-hohl, Rice won. to nvcrybody's great surprise, and 
bat settled the issue satisfiictorily to Uncle Nathan and he en- 
eed Mr. Rice according to agreement for two weeks. In re- 



70 



REMINISCENCES OF DAN RICE 



gard to Cuslung, it should be stated that his imprudent habits 
had for the time being iiiijiaired his physical strength, and hia 
condition, when he took part in the contest, contributed largely 
to making it a failure for hioi. Mr. Kice*s rhiJadelphia engage- 
ment* proved a drawing card before nietroi>olitiio audiences, and 
when he finished his contract with Phineas Taylor, he engaged to 
go to Barniim'6 Museum in New York, at the corner of Broadway 
and Ann Street, at a salary of fifty dollars per week. 

There wag a dearth wf attractions at the Aluseuni at that time, 
as Joyce Heth was dead, and Tom Thumb, the mermaid, and the 
Fiji had not yet been discovered; iind Mr. Taylor was making 
strenuous efforts to educate his nephew, ilr. Barnum, to be a 
showman; and it was Mr. Taylor who engaged Mr. Barnum's peo- 
ple and advised him generally in those days. Mr. liiee reached 
the Museum the last week in December, 1841, and after the pre- 
liminaries regarding terms, benefits, etc., were settled, in which 
Mr. Barnum's well-known aptness in bargaining shone conspicu- 
ously, something like the following conversation ensued: " You 
say that besides all this, you can support upon your breast a barrel 
of water? " asked Mr. Barnum. " Yes, sir." " Well, then, as 
the old routine feats of pulling against horses, breaking hempen 
ropes of thirty-sLx strands, etc., etc., have been exhausted by the 
French Monsieurs hereabouts, we will have to make the most of 
your extempore songs, negro acting, and water carrying. Of 
course you can support a puncheon as well as a barrel? '* 

** How pray * of course '? " asked Mr. Rice. " A puncheon is 
twice as heavy as a barrel." 

" You are green," said ifr. Barnum. " It is easy enough. If 
you can lift a barrel filled with water, you can lift a barrel 
empty?" 

** Of course. 

" Well, supporting an empty barrel will be no greater exertion 
than to support an empty puncheon — no ganger will officiously 
take the measurements of the cask. In fact a pipe of 12(5 gallons 
will tell so much better than a hogshead of 6.3 gallons that we may 
as well try the whole hog." 

" But you forget, Mr. Barnum^ that it will be necessary to call 
for assistance from the audience to place the pipe upon me and 
they would smell the cheat in an instant." 

" Intolerable verdancy? I fear you are too soft. Listen! We 
will have — lei's see — four men did you say were necessary to lift 
a barrel of water? We will have at least ien of our employees 
seated among the audience, dressed each night in different guise, 
80 that when a call is made for assistance, they will after a little 
persuasinii nnd exhibition of natural diffidence, good-naturedly 
step furth, and never be recognized as having done the same 



4 



4 





«EVINI8OEN0B8 OF DAK BICE 



71 



manoeuvTe the previous evening. This, too, will furnish us with 
a couple of men to put on top of you and eight more lor an 
effective tableau. There's notiiiiig like piling ii on thick." 

** Well, Mr. Bariium, 1 am green, and you are a genius! " ad- 
mitted >Ir. Kicc. The next day Init one, Banium-B posters, al- 
ways interesting, even in tiie greatest dearth of novelties, loomed 
tip with unwonted briliianey as follows: 

AMERICAN MUSEUM! 

Corner of Broadway and Ann Street, 

P. T. Baraum, Proprietor and Manager. 

DAN RICE, 
THE YOUNG AMERICAN HERCULES, 

Having executed his twelve labors west» and, like another ALEX- 
ANDER, sighing for another labor to achieve, makes his debut 
here this evening in his entire round of novel characters; As the 

VIRGINIA NEGRO! 

He acts the negro so naturally as to shame Simon-Puro Darkeys, 
Bo miserably do they look the negro in comparison. He will 
dug a 

BUDGET OF COMIC SONGS! 

Founded upon matters and things occurring through the day, and 
which as well as his negro songs, will be extempore. He will im- 
provise in metrical notes upon any Kubjert the audience may sug- 
gest, and conclude with his *' ASTOUNDING FEATS OF HER- 
CULEAN STRENGTH! " which have never been and probably 
never will be accomplished by any other man, and have a parallel 
only in 

SAMSON'S CARRYING OFF THE GATES OF GAZA! 

in which he will support a pipe of 120 gallons of water, with two 
men standing thereupon on Iiis breast; a weight so great that it 
requires ten men with handsj>ikes to raise the vast vessel to its 
desired position." 



The whole of this was surmounted by a large wood-cut, repre- 
senting Mr. Rice in the re^iuired position, surtnountcd by a pun- 
cheon, two men and eight Kutiordinate!^. with ciij)stan bars, who 
were supposed to have raised up the puncheon to a level with Mr. 
Bice'fl breast. Great was the excitement in Gotham and inces- 



72 



BEMINI8CENCES OF DAN RICE 



sant the demand for tickets. The audience was enchanted when 
our young Ilercuk-s performed to the letter all the ditficult parts 
promised of him, and Mr. Barnimi hogan to retrieve his repula-^J 
tion for this once in exhibiting precisely what he advertised with-^^ 
out any dij^jointed druwhiuk. The second night the house wa^* 
even more thronged and Baniiim was elated beyond measure, 
congratulating himself not a little at his success in driving such 
a close bargain with the " green Yankee " boy who was engaged 
"for jiix nights only/' witli the provisionary clause for as many 
more as " the said Barnimi might desire upon the same terms." 

The third and fourth nights the public seemed to be elated with 
excitement, and Barnum already projected an enlargement of the 
lecture-room to accommodate the hundreds that were nightly 
turned away, " to liis great regret that they should be deprived uf 
s^uch an extraordinary sight, particularly as Mr. Hice remained 
but two nights more, positively.'^ 

On the lifth night an unusually brilliant audience was assem- 
bled, and many who did not favor a theatre ujuler any circum- 
stances made a compromise with tJieir consciences and, under the 
name of a " museum mIoou," made their ap])earance and wit- 
nessed a performance theatriral in every phase, except theatrical 
talent. I^oud cheers greeted Mr. liice when the curtain arose, 
and were so long continued that he became weary of forcibly 
bowing his acknowledgments, and almost forgot the subject that 
had been sent from the audience for him to improvise on. But 
he cauglit tlie insi)iration from the surroundings and sent forth 
in mellow measure his adroit innuendoes at everyone and every- 
thing in general, with a review of the '* on dits '" of the day. 
When Mr, Kiee appeared in character the audience could scarcely 
realize that it was the same fine-looking performer who had left 
their presence so recently, and were inclined to think it was 
another hoax imposed upon them by the irresistilrle Barnum, 
until the character created shouts of laughter by indulging in an 
abandon that they easdy recognized as the handiwork of the same 
artist. 

But it was when the curtain arose for his appearance as Her- 
cules that the excitement was most intense. His entire salary 
for the week had been expended upon fancy tights, scarf and 
sandals for this chef d^csuvre of feats, and many an artist's eye 
scanned critically the perfection of his proportions and his mus- 
cular and symmetrical limhs. A huge pipe was discovered in the 
background, with levers through ropes slung around it. A digni- 
fied bow and look of calm superiority preceded his gracefully 
throwing himself backward into a bending position upon his 
hands without taking his feet from the floor. Then a pale youth 
in tinselled Turkish garb a])i)cared and desired " ten strong men 




BKMINISCENCES OP DAN BICE 



n 



> 



to assist in lifting the pipe." After a little natural dalliance 
ten men were reluctantly perBuaded to overcome their bashful- 
nesa and win the gratitude of the audience by stepping forth. 
With measured tread, accompanying tiie hand-organ in the win- 
dow, they proceeded to take hold of the levers. Every nerve was 
apparently strained to the utmost, and, the perspiration breaking 
from their faces, they managed finally to raise the pipe to a 
plane with Mr. Rice's breast. Gradually, and with great effort, 
they lowered it carefully until it rested upon him, threatening 
to crush him to the floor. At first he bent under the immense 
weight, as with one hand they steadied it, until he gradually 
became accustomed to the burden, while with the other hand 
they brushed away the evidence of extreme exertion from their 
faces. , 

Soon his strength reacted, and his body, that had at first 
iwayed with the weight, was observed to recover its equilibrium 
and return to its crescent position. The levers were then re- 
moved, and the audience sliouted and apj)lauded. Two men, 
joining their hands from opposite sides over the pipe, placed one 
foot on the recumbent Hercules and simultaneously rose to- 
gether, standing upon him. The eight subordinates arranged 
themselves in an effeftive tableau, leaning on their levers, four 
on each side of him, tiieir frames swelling and receding with the 
hard breathing consequent upon such unusual exertion. The 
house was frenzied, when, Imrribile dietu! as the two men stepped 
down, the pipe rolled on the door with an empty sound which 
told louder than words that there was not over five gallons of 
water in it. 

One of the men who had stood on his breast, in getting down, 
accidentally put his foot on Mr. Rice's hand, and the pain caused 
him to flinch and throw the puncheon out of balance. The bung 
had not been inserted, and the barrel turned so far over that 
its practical emptiness was evident, and Mr. Barnum darteil out 
to slop the rolling of tlie telltale pipe, exclaiming, " By thunder! 
I'm sold! " 

The audience surmised at once the state of the case, and re- 
turned homo to laugh over this exposure, while Mr. Bamum put 
out the lights, ruminating upon the old adage, " There*s many a 
Blip, etc." The next morning at ten o'clock a new poster an- 
nounced that 

MR. DAN RICE, 

In consequence of temporary indisposition, 

WILL NOT APPEAR 

at the American Museum 

UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE! 



H 



BEMINISOENCES OF DAN RICB 



Mr. Barnum was thoroughly mortified over this affair, but al- 
ways declared that the property men failed to fill the pipe, and 
were, therefore, to blame for the liasco. In liis 8ettlement with 
Bamum Mr, Rice declined to sign a receipt in full, and in ex- 
planation he reminded that gentleman that when he, Barnum, 
had been arrested in Pittsburg a year or two previous for sur- 
reptitiously removing his own luggage from the Grant House, 
Mr. Kice, then in the livery business, had come to Mr. Barn urn's 
rescue. The showman, accompanied by a celebrated Jig-dancer, 
Johnny Diamond, was fined seven dollars, the hotel bill and 
costs, in Squire ilcMasterfi' court. Young Rice had followed 
the crowd in the controversy to hear the proceedings, and, seeing 
Mr. Barnum's plight, in his great-hearted, good-natured way, he 
relieved him from his position by advancing the seven dollars 
which covered the amount required. 

Mr. Barnum at once remembered this generous act when Mr. 
Rice alluded to it in New York, and, handing him a twenty- 
dollar gold piece, remarked, " There, my boy, there's principal 
and interest.** Mr. Barnum was anxious to re-engage Rice, but 
he declined, as he had formed a new engagement which would 
take him across the ocean as an entertainer. 

Mr. Win ton, an amusement agent, was in the States at that 
time looking after the united interests of Jenny Lind and Mr. 
Robert L. Fillingham, the English purveyor. While looking 
around, in Iiis business capacity, he saw that Mr. Barnum was 
fast gaining the rejmtation of being in the supremacy in the 
realm of his pursuits, and, recognizing the fact that Jenny Lind 
would be a brilliant star in this venture, he went to Mr. Barnum 
for the purpose of advancing her interests, but taking great care 
to conceal the fact that he was her special agent. He made a 
private contract to secure the lady if Sir. Barnum would advance 
him ten per cent, of his share of the entire gross receipts, to which 
Mr. Barnum agreed, and thus the bargain was made and sealed 
as Mr. Winton desired. And Barnum failed to see the possibili- 
ties of the situation until it was too late. Mr. Winton thus re- 
ceived a double percentage by his shrewd adjustment of the cir- 
cumstances. It was at this same period that he engaged Mr. 
Rice in the interest of Mr. Fillingham for twenty weeks at one 
hundred dollars a week, including his expenses, as he had wit- 
nessed his feats of strength, etc., at the American Museum, and 
on Mr. Winton's return to England Mr. Rice accompanied him to 
fill his contract with Mr. FUlingham. 




REMINIBCENCES OF DAN RICB 



75 



CHAPTER X. 

tB. RICE'3 arrival IN EUROPE — COMMENCES A STABBING 
TOUR — FLATTERINO ATTENTION PAID** THE YOUNG AMERI- 
CAN nERCULES " — CORDIALLY RECEIVED BY PATRONS AT THE 
FOREIGN CAPITALS — PERSONALLY INTERVIEWED BY KING 
WILLIAM OF PRUSSIA — QUEEN ISABELLA'S FAVORITE — HER 
DEMOCRATIC INTRIGUES — WARNED BY THE AMERICAN CON- 
SUL TO LEAVE BARCELONA — A SHIP DETAINED SO THAT 
THE ERRATIC SOVEREIGN'S LATEST CAVALIER MinHT RETURN 
IN SAFETY TO NEW YORK— MR. RICE'S RETURN FROM 
EUROPE — COMMENCKS A TOUR IN THE UNITED STATES— DIS- 
PLAYS FEATS OF STRENGTH IN NEW YORK IN 1842, AND 
VISITS OTHER CITIES THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY — AN IN- 
GENIOUS INCIDENT CONNECTED WITH A MEMBER OF THE 
LEGISLATURE AT HA RKISHURG— CONTINUED SUCCESSES IN 
DIFFERENT PLACES OF AMUSEMENT. 



OUR young hero wns now fairly launched up/in the sea of 
success, ami the name he lia<i ef>ught in so many uusucceBs- 
ful efforts wag at last in his possession, and his life from this time 
on was destinenl to be a continin>iis round of applause that fol- 
lowed him oo both sides of the Atlantic. No future elTort that 
ho made, when onre he hecauie recognized in the world of enter- 
tainment, hut unfolded a wealth of advantage fur his almost 
charmed life. Ex]ierienee enriches with practical lessons every 
phase in life, and creates an education by its own contrasts with- 
out the preparatory acconiplisiuiients of theory; but when both 
are combined, a precocious mind is fortified for the inevitable 
ohstacles that arc strewn in the path of life's destiny. Thus it 
proved in the life of Dan Rice in the subseriuent adventures that 
gave breadth to his develo|»ing character and enlarged his views 
l)y critical contrasts. After perfecting his j^ans for his journey, 
Mr. Rice, in company with Mr. Winton, sailed from New York 
to England early in 184'3, and sjient live months in giving his 
entertainment in London and other important cities, and also in 
Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Diddin. He spent some time in Paris, 
and also visitetl Mcnna. Berlin, Madrid, and Barrelona. It was 
til. the last scries of exliiliitions in Barcelona that Mr. Kice at- 
tracted the favor of thai i-cmarkaVjlc woman, Qneen Isabella of 
-'^fiiiin, that personage then being in the first flnsh of her charms. 
l?arcelona was reached in the early autumn, and was the last city 



76 



HEMINISCENCEB OF DAN EICB 



on the tour. No American entertainer had as yet had the hardi- 
hood to visit the country of the hidalgos, and the arrival of Mr. 
Rice created the nearest approach to a Bensation of which the 
Btately demeanor of the nation was capable. On the occasion of 
the opening night Queen Isabella eaine to the Itoyal Theatre, as 
it was her custom to do on " first nights,'" and oceni)ied the royal 
box. Perhaps her intriguing propensities were in this instajice 
employed for the imrpo.se of improving the personnel of her 
army, for she was ever on the alert for recruits of stalwart phy- 
sique and handsome peryonal jtroportions. In young Kice she 
eeemed to think she had found an additional attraction. The 
applause from the royal box during the ftcrformanco was an 
unusual incident which attracted universal attention, and the 
audience therefore applauded more vigorously. Assuming one ^j 
character after another, the young American looked, in every ^B 
instance, the roles he impersonated of Hercules, Ajax, Apollo, ™ 
and Milo, and the next morning all Barcelona was commenting 
on the appearance of the young athlete and his exhibitions. After 
the curtain had fallen on the evening's pleasure Mr. Rice was 
summoned to the royal box and presented to the queen. She re- 
ceived him most graciously, and was disposed to •[ueslion him as 
to his family, his history, and his marvellous strength, which she 
declared she desired tested in private. In arranging the hour for 
the private interview she presented to Mr. liice a rose from her 
corsage boutpiet, requesting him to keep it until Ihey met again. 
The meeting was not long deferred, for scarcely had Mr. Uiee 
arrived at his hotel before an equerry from the royal apartments 
was announced, with an invitation for him to come to the queen 
and partake with her at lunch. He prepared liimself for the 
occasion, for such an invitation from such a source was tanta- 
mount to a command, and on his arrival was surprised to find that 
the lunch party consisted only of Queen Isabella and himself. 
The lady, after dismissing her private attendants, rer-eived her 
guest with a democratic simplicity rarely revealed under similar 
circumstances on this side of the Atlantic; therefore Mr. Uiee 
was, in a short time, as much at ease as if he were being enter- 
tained by one of his own countrywomen. Her English, though 
defective, was not unintelligible, while Mr. Rice's Sjianish con- 
sisted merely of expressive gesticidation. The situation being 
entirely unsought on the part of Mr. Rice, was a source of f>rivate 
amusement to his venturesome undertaking, but the lady did not 
close the interview until after the early morning hours had ad- 
vanced, when she herself summoned the equerry to reconduct 
her new favorite to his hotel. Mr. Rice was aa verdant as any 
young man of his age who had led his adventurous life could be, 
but he did not, in hi.9 wildest dreams, aspire to posing in the eyes 




RBMnaSCBNCES OF DA?r RIOB 



I 



of the Spanish people as even an ally to royalty. The next even- 
ing, and still the next, he was giinimoned to lunch with Isabella, 
and sat in her boudoir partaking of the tempting viands, listen- 
ing to her Castilian English and indulging in private comments 
a8 to the objec-t of thi^ curious woman, the first in the realm, in 
conducting herself on such democratic principles that were so 
foreign to the demands of court life. But historical revelations 
have since solved the problems of this liumaii enigma, at which 
the eyes of all Europe have looked with undisguised scorn. The 
queen was a good judge of wine, but with all her etlorts at in- 
triguing she could not succeed in persuading Mr. Kice to take 
anything stronger than eollee, as he iuformed her that it inter- 
fered with his feats of strength, and he was obliged to keep in 
training. The results were invariably the satue at each inter- 
view, and, when she dismissed him, she summoned the ssime 
equerry to conduct her guest to his Imtcl in a carriage. On the 
morning of tlie fourth day after tlie exhibition at Barcelona Mr. 
Kice was surprised to receive a personal call from the American 
consul, who invited him to drive to the consulate. When that 
gentleman iirst entered Mr. Hice*s apartments his face wore an 
anjcious expression, as if he would not have been surjmsed to 
find our hero missing, and he so expressed himself. In the 
course of conversation with the young jterformer at the consulate 
he remarked, " You would not like an army life here, I think.'* 
" I do not think so," said Mr. Rice in re[»ly. *' Well/' continued 
the gentleman, "judging from what I have heard about the fate 
of Queen Isabella's favorites, an army life is about the most agree- 
able thing that ever befalls them. Sometimes they are not seen 
again after their consignment to the military ranks. Listen to 
my advice, which I hope you will act upon, for it may save you 
from serious complications. The Espanula, a »Span)sh ship bound 
for New York, is to sail to-morrow. I will sec her captain and 
use my inllucnce to have her hold over until you can arrange 
your affairs to sail home on her. Don't you think you had better 
do it? '* There was some disposition on the part of Mr. IJice to 
evade the responsibilities of his position, as he had formed an- 
other appointment with her majesty, but wisely considering tho 
advice of the consul, he closed liis performance that night and 
ililed the next morning, without apprising any one of his inten- 
tions, the arrangement having previously hcen consummated by 
llie consul for an urgent passenger. So ended an international 
romance. 

t^ieen Isabella at that period was a stout and rather fme-look- 
iDfT young woman, with a penchant for bestowing gifts upon those 
>vhom she favored. Uj^m )jersmiding Mr. Rice to accept some 
token from her, he selected only a heavy braided silken fillet, 




T8 



heminiscences of dan hice 



which was need in tying her abundant hhick liair. All other 
in'ftK. both costly and rare, which she persistently thrust upon 
him, he invariably refused, but the fillet he kept for a short time 
Mo a memento. The lady's tender recollections of Mr. Rice, 
which he also shares, will be shown later on in the circus experi- 
ence. 

Queen Isabella was not the only povereign who manifested a 
personal interest in Air, Rice. King William of Prussia, after- 
ward the beloved Eini)eror of Germany, while on a visit to the 
Auistrian court, on the occasion of Mr. Kice's opening in Vienna, 
allcn<1ed the exhibition and sat in the royal box. He sent for 
the hero of those hercnlean feats of strength after the perform- 
ance, and inquired personally if he really did raise two thousand 
one hundred pounds dead weight or whether it was all a trick, 
to all of which questions it was a pleasure for ifr. Rice to reply. 
And we may safely judge that he was becomingly elated when 
tlie king and his private officers admired his physical proportions 
and commented freely on the athletic performances in which he 
In 1 JO red to excel. 

The wily intrigues of the Spanish queen being foiled by the 
timely intervention of our worthy American consul, Mr. Rice 
arrived in New York in due time without any further adventure, 
and having occasion to feci grateful, as he has since expres; 
for his fortunate escape from a bondage that would proba 
have resulted seriously. 

About this time the arrival in the United States of M. Paul, 
the French Hercules, directed popular attention specially toward 
manifestations of physical prowess. Jlr, Rice's whole life and 
training bad tended to make him one of the strongest men of his 
time, a discovury lie had not been slow to make, and his reputa- 
tion as a modem Hercules was now established in Europe as well 
as in America, and he adapted himself accordingly. The 
" Learned Pig " tour bad given him the zest of popular applause, 
the love of being with and among people, a social characteristic 
even to the present time, and he had become an adept in manag- 
ing public assemhlies, no mean coadjutor in the success of show- 
men. 

So, on his return to Xew York, he retraced the ground over 
which he hod passed. Thousands who had suspected collusion 
between the ** Learned Pig " and its master would rush to see 
the same youth pull against four horses, particularly as the per- 
mission contained in the bills that the audience might furnish 
the horses precluded the possibility of an illicit understanding. 
Other similar feats now, from their frequency, exciting little 
surprise, were then exposed first to the bewddered eyes of the 
public. 



urc. 





HEMIXISCENCES OF DAN RICB 



n 



His old employer, Phineas Taylor, still had his "Battle of 
Bunker Hill " show in Broadway, and prevailed upon Mr. 
iiice, immediately ujion his arrival in New York, to play an on- 
^gement of two weeks, which he did guccessfully to crowded 
liouiie». 

On hifl tour west from the metropolis he had a remarkable ad- 
venture at Harrisburg. The legislature was in session, and a 
highly ejcciting political debate engrossed so eorapletely public 
attention that his exhibition did not draw. Even the introduc- 
tion of a set-to with Tteorge Kensett, the famous pugil!S^t, who 
was sojourning for a few days at the Pennsylvania capital, did 
little toward replenishing hi^ coffers. The nuxt day, when the 
vexatious debate had reached his climax, in which personal in- 
vective made a resort to arms not improbable, and a few lessons 
from Rice and Kensett not undesirable, the hotels and corridors 
were plastered with a placard announcing " to the citizens of 
Harrisburg and the members of the legislature, another exhibi- 
tion of the 

NOBLE AND MANLY ART OF SELF-DEFENCE! 

L Interspersed with Songs, Comic, Ethiopian, and Sentimental, 

1 to he concluded with a 

^^^ PASSAGE AT ARMS AND SET-TO 

^^^^B Between ^Ir. Rice and the Distinguished 

^P MEMBER OF THE LEGISLATURE! 

Who desires his name to l)e withheld until he enters the lists, 
^hen of course all will recognize him, and learn those most un- 
pleasant circumstances which have, in his opinion, rendered it 
his duty to reeort to the practice and learning of this rao<le of 
>«-arfare." 

What the singer and boxer could not do the " distinguished 
inember of the legislature *' did do — be filled the house to over- 
flowing. Members of botli houses of legislation and politicians 
anticipated some rich exposure, from the hints thrown out in 
the placard. A resolution was almost carried tendering to the 
two distinguished boxers the use of the assembly chamber for the 
proposed sparring exhibition. The hall was crowded to its ut- 
most capacity with ladies longing to see the handsome " Her- 
cules " — and dreaming of the days of chivalry and tournament. 
Tlie politicians came, more out of curiosity than anything else, 
to see what member of the legislature was going to make a apec- 




80 



REMINISCENCES OF DAN RICE 



taclo of himself. Tho programme was carefully gone througli 
down to the last act, viz: 

A SET-TO BETWKEX A MEMBER OF THE LEGISL.^ 
TUKE AXI> iMIi. DAN EiCE. 

Here of course tho whole audience were npon the qui vive. 
After a few intjinents, which suspense magnified into an hour. 
Mr. Kice stepped forth attired in the most approved fashion, and, 
after bowing, with ii ghmee around the room, stood as if in ex- 
pectation. Soon he assumed an indignant mien and, stepping 
toward the audience with another bow and with the air of aa 
injured man, said; 

'* Ladies and Gentlemen: I had trusted that at this late mo- 
ment the coming forward of the gentleman whose appearance was 
announced this nujrning would save me from the humiliating 
necessity of making an apology. Though surprised at his non- 
apjjearance when the entertainment began, I trusted he was for- 
tifying himself for the set-to and would now redeem his engage- 
ment. I did not believe a man who enjoyed the conlidence of the 
citizens of one of the richest counties in the State would conde- 
scend to practise this vile imposition upon you and upon me. 
Such unworthy conduct shall not succeed, and if he is now aiuung 
you, 1 warn him tu retrieve himself by cuining to the s<:'ene of 
action at once, or impose the humiliating self-infliction of apolo- 
gizing to the audience.'* 

ITere a dozen voices shouted " His name! Tlis name! " " Give 
us his name! " 

Then continued Mr. Rice: 

" Ladies and t^entlemen, have charity enough to hope he is 
ill, or has been unexpectedly called away, jind therefore I must 
beg of you the indulgence of being permitted to withhold his 
name until to-raorrow morning. Then, if he does not see tit to ac- 
count to you forthwith for this strange proceeding, I pledge you 
my word and honor" — here followed a deferential bow that 
would make the fortune of an ofhce-seeker or dancing master — 
"to publish his name. What more than this to say I do not 
know, 1 have been cruelly deceived, and am overwhelmed with 
my painful situation." 

" No matter, Dan; " " Publish the rasca! to-nuirrow, Dan," and 
"Serve him right/' "Don't be frightened, Mr. Hice" (from a 
hidy), "* We are all satisfied/' ]iroceeded simultaneously from half 
tiie nenple jiresent, and all arose and noiselessly left the room, 
wondering who could be the recreant member. 

That night a dozen choice spirits from both houses of the legis- 
lature, who for several days before had thrown aside politics and 




REMINISCENCES OP DAN RICE 



81 



deserted their seats, on discovering the mine of fun Mr. Rice 
alTorded, were speechless with hiughter when our hero explained, 
what the reader had doubtless expected, that the honorable nicjii- 
ber of the leg^islature existed onl}^ in his imagination, and was 
an ingenious device to procure the means for such suppers as 
they were then eating. The next morning, of course, the 
fitory went broadcast, and the laughter on all sides, like oil upon 
water, arrested the angry discussions among the sages at the 
Capitol. 

The tour thereafter was successful, and Mr. Rice played in the 
Pittsburg Theatre, owned by the Simpsons; in Shire's Garden, 
managed by Wdliam Shire; in Cincinnati, on the site of what is 
now the Burnet House; in Louisville, at the Jefferson Street 
Theatre; in St. Louis at Ludlow & Smith's old St. Louis Theatre, 
and so also to Quiney, Nauvoo, and the Western circuit. 



CHAPTER XI. 

RICE AS A REVIVALIST — HI8 ADVENT AMONG THE MORMONS — 
ASSUMKS THE ROLE OF PREAnHER AND MAKES CONVERTS 
FOR TRK FAITHFUL — JOSEPH SMITH'B MIRACLE AND HOW 
MR. RICE DEFEATED IT — MR. RICE NARROWLY ESCAPES EX- 
THEME MEASURES AT THE HANDS OF CITIZENS OF MONTROSE 
— DIFFICULTIES ADJUSTED UY A HAPPY COMPROMISE — CON- 
TROVERSY BETWEEN MR, RICE AND SMITH REGARDING 
FINANCIAL SETTLEMENT — THE MORMON PROPHET WALKING 
ON THE WATER— LUDIt'ROrS RESULTS — MU. UICE AGAIN A 
SHOWMAN — POSES AS A MESMERIST — HYPNOTIZES A HOSTLER 
AND THUS DEFEATS A RIVAL — THE NOVEL WAY IN WHICH 
HE PAID HIS LICENSES AT DAVENPORT AND ROCK ISLAND 
—AMUSING SEQUEL. 



"VTAl'VOO, ILL., the home of the Mormons, was then in its 
JJN palmy days, and some ten thousand souls were held in 
spiritual subjection by the "^prophet,"' and at this place, Mr. Rice 
rightly calculated, was an abundant field for bis labors. He 
argued, reasonably enough, that in a community where the trans- 
I parent pretexts of Joseph Smith were swallowed with avidity, his 
apparently puperhuman accomplishments might well make him 
famous, particularly as the lucky thought occurred to him that 
he and Smith w<mid make a pretty strong team professionally. 
Joseph Smith readily graeped at a chance for a new miracle, now 



82 



UXINIBCENCES OF DAN RICE 



that his old dodges had become somowhat etale, and his flock 
tliirsted for Bonie new uiantft'staliuii8 of divine partiality. He 
easily yielded to Mr. Hices tunns for a eopartuerHhip, whifii 
iuvojvtul an u(pial distribution of the spoils arisinf( from the con- 
nection, and it was not hard to demonstrate, to aueh an in- 
genious schemer as Smith, that they could be made somethin 
handsome. 

ilr. Rice did not demur to the stipulation in the arrangement 
that the elect should redound to the sole use and behoof of th 
"prophet/* as he had received suHieient evidence that such wa 
the intention of the proprietor of tine Nauvoo mansion, of which.; 
the "prophet" was the huuhord, and in that wiiy Mr. Kice waa 
enlightened, as he was constantly with him. But what were 
those remarkahle feats of strength which were heralded to the 
elect as miracleB? Mr. 8mith was too old a practitioner to be 
caught with flimsy material; besides, he would not enter into this 
compact without testing Jlr. Riee's powers in private, to which 
exhibition of his skill he was perfectly wdling. At the rehearsal 
in the presence of the " prophet " two horses were called into use, 
and were unable to dislodge " The ^fodern Samson " from a 
workbench upon which he had hastily fastened himself; nor could 
the *' prophet " break with a sledge the back doorstep of stone 
which, with the assistance of his wife, he managed to place on 
Mr. R lee's abdomen as he e.vtended himself on all fours. The 
** proj)het '' was in ecstasies, which were by no means lessened 
by our liero's catching up the tongs as he again entered the room 
and, on hia bare arm, bending the douhle irons into a semicircle. 
This last feat Mr. Rice tbrew in for effect, and Smith and his 
wife, in alarm, began to intercede for the rest of the furniture, 
not doubting but that he would pull the building down about 
their heads. Here was a California mine for Smith, out of which 
he would be able to re]denish his exhausted treasury, impose a 
tax in a less olmoxious form than a direct levy, and rivet liis hold 
on the blind confidence of the people in a manner that would 
thereafter make it blasphemy to question his direct communica- 
tion with the Almighty. 

In two hours, as might have been expected with two such able 
projectors, their plans were matured. It was noised about that 
the morrow would bring a new and still more imposing evidence 
of the "prophet's" divine endowments — that a poor wayfarer 
had been guided by the spirit to go to him and say, " Beliold 
your nnworlhy servant! The Spirit has admonislied me at 
divers times and in sundry places to proceed to the 'prophet' 
of the faithful and submit myself to his guidance. Jforeover, 
the Spirit commands me to say, * Tn me shall he fulfilled 
miracles! And whatsoever thou commandest thy servant to do. 



4 



n 




HBitnnscByoBs op dan rfce 




.S3 



ven to the performance of acts impossible to man, it shall be 
■^onc/ " 

The " prophet " himself proclaimed from the foot of the tem- 
ple, which had already progressed above its foundations, that at 
12 o'clock the next day this ministering agent from the Al- 
mighty would appear as an humble instniraent for the mauifegta- 
tion of divine power, to encourage the faithful in their Uiltor on 
the temple^ and that all the city on sucli a memorabli? occasion 
should contribute twenty-live cents. Mr. Kice here quietly sug- 
gested to Smith the advisability of admitting children at half- 
pric^. '* Children, too/' the *' prophet '* added, after a little 
hesitation, "might be imbued with the holy spirit, upon the 
contribution of twelve and a half cents, and come in to see these 
miracles." 

Dense was the throng in front of the temple as the hour ap- 
proached. On his way up from the tavern Mr. Rice observed 
that all the houses appeared to be disgorging their occupants; 
from this he foresaw a harvest that would mark a new era in his 
financial affairs, to say nothing of Smith's spiritual career. The 
" prophet's " Council meanwhile, prudently unaware of the pro- 
posals of the prophetic humbug, marked his mysterious prepara- 
tions with anxiety. The Ia<lics eyed him askance, and without 
any hesitancy openly a<lmircd liis manly proportions and muscu- 
lar apj)earance. The thousands of spectators who gathered, 
awaiting with breathless interest the phenomenon, were (irepared 
to see any improbable miraculous manifestalion, even, almost, to 
the desf.-ent of Jehovah Iiimself in a cloud of flame. A storm 
hovered portentously over the horizon as the crowd proceeded, 
in awe, to deposit their quarters in tlie ** Baptismal Font," hewn 
out of solid stone and guarded by the " prophet " himself. This 
financial operation finished, Mr. Rice and the " prophet *' stepped 
forth together: a deep silence prevailed, uninterrupted even by 
the cries of the children, who could be counted by hundreds, 
their deluded j>arents trusting that, perchance, they might brush 
the hem of the divine agent's garments. 

A hundred willing worknum, at the "prophet's" command, 
brought forth a ladder, trestles, and a pair of dray horses which 
>iad been in use in the construction of the temple. 

The ladder, being firmly fastened, horizontally, to the trestles, 
>»'ith Mr. Rice extended nt. full length, his hands and feet firmly 
fixed on the rungs, the horses were attached to a rope which 
Smith had brought coilod about his arm, and which was now 
adjusted to tlie shonlders nnd the loins of this new [)rosrlyte 
to Mormonism. At the signal the powerful horses extendiHl 
their traces and, leaning in their collars, made a noble effort to 
tear Mr. Rice from his fastenings, which, it is hardly necessary 



84 



BEMINISCENCES OP DAN RICE 



to say, they would have succeeded in doing had they not been 
compeDed to pull at a disadvantage. 

But for tlie awe that, at the nvnnifestation of the spirit, con- 
strained them, the whole mass would have fallen down and wor- 
chipped the " proi>het," who w.is supposed to have conferred this; 
great power upou the young man. 

At another command, a score of hands were extended with! 
alacrity to place a building stone upon Rice's breast as he as-l 
sunied the familiar position, and a pair of stalwart mechanics 
soon broke the stone into fragments with their ponderous sledges. 
Then» shaking off the debris^ he nimbly resumed his upright posi- 
tion, the rocks rolling from him on either side. 

In another moment a bar of inch iron was brought from the 
amithy of the temple and bent nearly double across the naked arm , 
of the youthful giant, protected as it was by the kniotted muscles,] 
now contracted in rigid tension. 

With the same expedition a strong rope was detached from the' 
hoisting tackle used in the temple, one end secured around a 
vast pile of building stone and the other to Mr. Rice, as he again 
extended himself on the bidder, still iirndy resting on trestles. 
Bung by rung, he slowly advanced in this hempen collar until, 
reaching the fur end of the ladder, the rope could stretch no 
more, and parted like flax. 

This was? the clinuix to the day's wonders, and the infatuated 
crowd returned to their houses to commune about the miracles 
and glorify their " prophet.** ifr. Rice, with Smith, repaired to 
the sanctum of the latter in the hotel, where the receipts of the 
exhibition had been previously sent, but which had mysteriously 
diminished since being deposited in the font, so Mr. Rice thought. 
He received for his share six hundred dollars, not, however, with- 
out being obliged to threaten the " prophet *' with a little private 
exhibition of his strength for pretending to compute the half of 
twelve hundred to be five hundred. The evidence of Rice's! 
powers that day had been too palpable to permit Smith long to 
persist in such a dangernus mathematical error. 

From this motnent tlic *' projihet " perceived that Mr. Rice was j 
a shining light who coubl not be dispensed with in his cabinet I 
eBpecially, for the " prophet" found that he could not only sing 
a capital song and crack jokes by the hour, which no one enjoyed 
better than Smith, but be could also preach with a zeal and 
fervor that was calculated to bring hundreds into the fold of 
this great shepherd. At the same time tliey commenced a run- 
ning account of money and sentiment, in which Rice, indeed, 
was imprudent enough to suffer himself to be the greatest cred- 
itor, with the ultimate hope that by some cow/? de mnin he could i 
aspire to the same exalted position as was enjoyed by his 




RBMIKISCENCE8 OP 

coadjutor. For he was now sure of tlie imliraited control he 
could eaeiJy gain over this body of f una tics. Feigned revela- 
tions were daily made in connection with occult practices that 
iTouId have consigned hira to the stake in the reign of New 
England witchcraft, and in these he brought to bear an intimate 
knowledge of chemistry and of legerdemain, as well as tact in 
controlling an audience. 

It was not long before Smith began to apprehend serious re- 
sults following Mr. Kice's increasing influence, and thought it 
expedient to dispatch him on a pilgrimage to Iowa, to make 
proselytes, under the plausible pretext that no one else could 
undertake the task with such a prospect of achieving it. Mr. 
Rice met with great success in his role as preacher until he 
reached Mnntmse, just across the river from Nauvoo. There 
he performed his ** miraculous feats of strength " after a sermon, 
which made a powerful sensation. 

But several St. Louis merchants, who were returning from 
the Eastern tStates. where ihey had witnessed M. Paul's perform- 
ances, exposed the pretended Mormon's miracles. This so ex- 
asperated the crowd, many of whom had subsequently assisted 
in driving the Mormons out of the State of Afissouri, as Governor 
Reynolds' murder hnd been charged to their account, that in the 
short time required for such proceedings in that country' a suffi- 
ciency of tar and feathers and a reasonably angular rail were 
prepared. Our hero's danger was most imminent. He was in 
the hands of those who felt no particular compunctions about 
administering such doses on account of his assumed clerical ap- 
pearance. The multitude surrounded him too efTectunlly to 
afford any prospect of success in an attempt at flight. He felt 
that he could overpower a dozen of the strongest, but to be vic- 
torious with a multitude would be a veritable hecatomb. His 
active mind, cool even during these intimidating proceedings, 
at once decided that tact and ingenuity alone could save him. 
Confidence in himsrlf imbued him with conrfige to trnst to diplo- 
macy. "Let me sing you a song." ho shouted. '*and afterward 
do your pleasure with me! '* Being thus urged, they halted in 
their proceedings. " A song from the Mormon, a song from the 
preacher! " was satirically echoed on every side. 

Mounting the top of the tar barrel, so as to obtain a view of the 
whole assemblage — for in the disturbance ho hnd been forced 
from his temporary pulpit — he commenced improvising a comic 
song, narrating with such irresistible humor how he had 
fbped the l^Iormons, and dwelling so pathetically upon his 
ridiculous situation, that long before he had hoped to succeed 
the whole multitude joined with him in the singing, each person 
having already mentally decided to forgive him. The music and 



B£MINI8CENC£6 OF DAH BIGI3 



the rhythm were probably not so raellifluous as the extempore 
Bongs with which hu has since regaled his audiences, but wore t; 
more elTectivc upon his rough auditors for being so unpolishw 
An eyewitness now residing in Kci)laik describes the j^t-ciie as 
mo^t exciting. Each man present^ unconscious of the detcrminit 
lion of his neighbor to save the recent object of their vengean 
began to feel almost as much concern as ilr. Kice himself h 
lately felt. But Rice, however, who could read their faces, and 
had already discovered his safety in tlicir plaudits, ceased singing 
for a moment to tell them, if tliey would carry away that ugly 
rail, barrel of tar, and basket of feathers, he would give them an 
extempore show. 

There was no disguising the fact that they had a jolly time, 
and tbe people dispersed pleased with the performance, and 
Mr. Rice with a feeling of gratitude tliat his taet bad preserved 
him from the humiliating ordeal that so nearly proved being a 
reality. This episode, happening so near Nauvoo, must, in the 
courj^e of events, reach the Mormon " prophet " very soon, so 
Mr. Rice crossed the river at once and hastened to Smith's house 
to demand a settlement, not only of money loaned, but of his 
salary as preacher at fifty dollars per month and expenses. His 
pretext for the settlement was the auspicious opening to make 
a new start ''nd mm converts along tbe borders of Missouri and 
Iowa. Mr. Rice snb&etpiently learned that Smith had been prac- 
tising many expedients during his absence to regain his tottering 
sway as the only worker of miracles. One of these was to be per- 
formed on some indefinite morning yet undecided, when, at si 
rif^e, be was to walk for fifty yards on the waters of the irisgis8ip_ 
Mr. Rice found the Mormon prophet ready to receive him on 
his arrival. Little averse to a rupture with our hero now that 
he had advertised a nnraele to he performed by himself, Smith, 
on this occasion, carried bis false computations into practice with 
success, and cheated Mr. Rice shaniefully in that settlement. 
But, as he could not hope to meet Smith alone and secure a proper 
adjustment, he was fain to express himself satisfied with the por- 
tion of the consideration ofTered by Smith, determining eventu- 
ally, however, to g<}t even. This idea of walking on the water, 
had been, in fact, a plan of Mr. Rice's, suggested by him to the 
prophet on his first arrival, and was to be effected by the con- 
struction of a narrow, raised gangway of planks placed ankle-deep 
under the water so as not to be detected, and he had no doubt 
but that such was the way in which Smith proposed to accomplish 
this newly advertised miracle. Early in the afternoon of the 
day preceding that finr.lly decided upon for the feat to be ac- 
complished, Mr. Rice was ferried over to Montrose, ostensibly on 
his mission to Missouri. In the course of the night, however. 



ore 

• as 
ini^J 

ha^^ 



^er- 
on I 




BEMINISCEXCES OF DAN RIO£ 



8T 



he returned stealthily, and with a skiff rowed out into the river, 
and, groping where the platform was laid, took up and carried 
awav a section of thirty feet from the shore. The next morning, 
in his high-priegtly robes, the prophet walked out to the river 
brink in the presence of an immense concourse of people. The 
great miracle was again nnnoiineed with imposing ceremony, and 
lu- started out to walk on the water. The crowds of people from 
the entire city had been waiting j)atiently since early dawn in 
eager anticipation. Mr. Rice, far out in the stream, and in dis- 
piise, sat in a small boat watching the ceremonies. It had been 
originally arranged between Rice and Smith that the prophet 
should walk out thirty-five paces, counting as he went, so as not 
to come to the end of the submerged gangway unexpectedly. 
Confidence was apparent on his vis*ige as the prophet made his 
thirtieth step, when the section Mr. Kioe had eliminated failed to 
rapport his holy feet and he went down into the depths of the 
Kj flood. A universal shout of surprise went up from the crowds 
'^n the shore, but ilr. Rice's peals of laughter were distinctly 
audible as he rowed back to Montrose. The Mormon prophet 
heing speedily rescued by his followers from his perilous situa- 
tion, he suffered the humiliation of having this so-called miracle 
Mposed by the practical joke of a man who had taken desperate 
^'hanres of opening the eyes of a deluded frtllowing to a sense of 
<he hallucinations under which they were laboring for the ag- 
gfJindizement of their peculiar religious calling. 

On esca}>ing from his Mormon surroundings. Rice the preacher 
h<K.'aine a showman again and took the first boat down the Mis- 
sissippi to the town of (^uincy. 111. Here, after engaging the hall 
J'^'er a cooper shop which had been prepared for amateur per- 
^'^I'mances. he dispensed with his conventional garb and donned 
tile necessar}' paraphernalia for his legitimate business. In vain, 
'•o^-ever. did he put out his most attractive bills and insert the 
'^^e^t glowing cards in the weekly journal, for Professor Boone- 
^'^He was lecturing there on .\ninial Magnetism, and engrossed 
'f*o public attention. Tlir first night our hero's audience con- 
^'**ted merely of himself, his doorkeeper and fiddler, throe families 
J^^io had complimentary tickets, and a ragged urchin who had 
''^^ped in at half-price. 

-At this rate the season was likely to be most disastrous in a 
'^Tiuneial way and his inventive genius was sorely taxed to coun- 
^'^^•act the " Magnetic Booneville " current so strongly set in 
^^ninst him. so the following day the village was thrown into 
^^r»\isnal excitement. The streets were placarded with an an- 
T^ouncement that Mr. Rice, in addition to his already ad- 
vertised feats to numerous to mention, which were performed 
to the 




REMmiBCBNCBB OF DAN BIOS 



"DELIGHTED ELITE! 

Of Quincy last night, will to-night 

EXPOSE MESMERISM! 

And the charhitanisiii of 

PEOFESSOH BOONEVILLE, 

And by a new science, much more wonderful and practical 

than AMMAL MAGNETISM 

Make in one minute a 

PAIR OF SHOES WORTH ONE DOLLAR! " 

Consternation seized the professor and great was the excite- 
ment among the beau monde. At seven o'clock Mr. Rice's doors 
were thronged, and at half-past seven he had the pleasure of see^ 
ing the professor himself come down the street and buy a ticket, 
a sure evidence that this time it was the professor's turn to have 
deserted rooms. After a running address, with practical illns- 
trations and herculean feats, he proceeded to say: 

'* Ladies and Gentlemen: I have prefaced my evening's enter- 
tainment with a selection of novelties that I see you are pleased 
with, but as humbugging is all the rage, I could not finish the 
evening without giving you a spice of its quality. I am now 
about to make a pair of slioes in one minute, worth a dollar." 

He produced a pair of boots, cut them off at the ankle, and, 
making an incision down the front, with a punch made holes and 
placed strings therein, all the while talking. 

Which operation being completed, he held them up to the 
inspection of the audience with the remark. "And T appeal to 
you if I have not so far redeemed the pledge I made in the bills 
this morning? I will proceed to expose human magnetism. 
Come here, Patrick.*' This summons was addressed to the 
hostler of the Quincy House, who was Booneville's best subject, 
whom Mr. Rice harl bribed during the day for two dollars, twice 
the amount the professor gave him. A sensation was per- 
ceptible in the professor, as well as in the audience, when Patrick, 
who was well known, stood up. Pat had been unquestionably 
magnetized by the professor, and was not cunning enough to con- 
spire with anybody. When Mr. Rice plnced him upon the st^ge 
he had not yet settled in his mind how he. Rice, would ridicule 
the professor*? science, but trusted to his wits, which had never 
yet failed to yd him creditably out of a dilemma. After a few 
preliminary passes and manipulations, done precisely as he had 
Been Booneville do, Pat closed his eyes and was pronounced 




SBXINISOENCES OF DAN BICE 



89 



asleep. Then in imitation of the professor^ Mr. Rice went 
through many amusing evolutions, himself surprised more tlmu 
4n}' one else at Pat's ready obedience and in a quandary as to the 
euccesbful ending of the burlesque. He was half inclined to 
believe himself that he had somehow unconsciously imbibed this 
subtle and mysterious jtower. Causing Pat to follow his hand 
filowly baclwward and forwards over the stage, while collecting 
his now really disturbed thoughts, his eye caught the stove in the 
miniature orchestra at the bottom of the stage, to which there 
were no footlights. Walking quietly that way with the Irishman 
still following the extended finger, he stepped noiselessly one 
Bide when in a straight line with the stove. In an instant Pat 
was precipitated upon it with a tremendous crash. Rubbing his 
cheeks and his hands which were smarting with the burns as well 
48 his ribs with the fall, Patrick, to his inexpressible relief, threw 
the audience into convulsions by exclaiming, *' Be Jabers, I 
wasn't asleep at all, at all." 

With a look of defiance at Mr. Rice he rushed from the house 
in high dudgeon and in the midst of vociferous shouts. 

It seems the honest Irishman thought it necessary, in order to 
eaiu his two dollars, to feign s!eei> when he found it would not 
come in the usual way. He had been able to obey Dan's signals 
with his eyes closed by recollecting the rules of the professor, in 
Mch cases made and provided, whom Mr. Rice imitated exactly, 
totil in walking down the stage he depended too implicitly upon 
the hitherto faithful ear. Then followed his startling fall, and 
the fiasco got Rice out of his predicament. Of course this started 
a tide of ridicule which the professor could not stem, and his 
departure the next day left Mr. Rice in sole possession of the field. 

His next adventure on his tour was his famous visit to the 
beautiful village of Davenport on the upper Mississippi, in Iowa, 
which was then a territory. Ilis inimitable social qualities soon 
niade him the favorite of Mr. Miller, the prominent merchant 
of the village, as well as the courteous host of La Claire House, 
*D(i also formed the friendship of La Claire, a noted Indian 
chief who resided in that place. The friendship contracted with 
these pentlrmen, as well as with other prominent citizens of the 
t^wn.has always been preserved with mutual pleasure, and to-day 
their descendants are as marked in their approval of the rare per- 
fonnances of the Dan Rice of later years as their ancestors were 
h the scenes of his struggles in those early days. 

On the occasion of his visit here. Mr. Riee advertised an exhi- 
hition whirh filled the dining-room of the hotel. Generous Hv- 
inu, however, made heavy demands upon his purse, and his in- 
^^ehtedness already equalled the aggregate of his receipts, and still 
there was yet the license to pay. The license that was imposed, 



!>0 



REMINISCENCES OF DAN RICE 



he, in common with the community, thought exorbitant, and it 
was a question, indeed, whether it could be demanded for the 
kind of exhibition he proposed to give. Therefore he felt in- 
clined to resist the payment, but if the collector felt disposed, as 
he did, to enforce it, then Mr. Rice felt equal to the emergency 
by indulging in a little pardonable temporizing to evade it; there- 
fore, on various pretexts, payment of the license had been post- 
poned until the performance was over. 

On returning to the hotel and making an estimate of his re- 
sources, he found it necessary to put off either his hotel or license 
bill. Tu relieve himself of the perplexity, which an argument 
of the matter would have involved, he paid his hotel bill and sent 
for the ferryman who plied between Davenport and Hock Island. 
To him he agreed to give two dollars and a half if he would have 
his boat ready at the shore all night to ferry him across at a mo- 
ment's notice. As soon as the collector suspected that Mr. Rice 
intended to evade payment, he placed in the hands of the con- 
stable a warrant for his arrest for exhibiting without a license. 
Rice, under the guise of subterfuge, told the constable that he 
would remit him the money from Rock Island, where he was an- 
nounced to exhibit the next evening, but tlie constalile demurred 
aud prepared to arrest him. Mr. Hice stepped back a pace and, 
warning the officer not to approach him, shouldered his carpet 
i>ag, which had been previously packed, and walked out of the 
door as the crowd in the rear made way for him. The constable 
called on all good citizens to assist him in arresting a man who was 
"resisting the law," but as. all had 'W'itnessed his "feats of 
strength " at the exhibition, no one was willing to expose him- 
self to the encounter. A colossaK two-fisted eountr\'^man, to 
whom a more direct appeal was made by the constable, rci)lied 
with indignation, " Do you suppose I want to touch a Samson? '*' 

Mr. Rice rejected the intervention of his friends who proposed 
to go on his bail, and persisted in making his way to the river, a 
short distance away. The crowd followed him down to the 
boat, accompanied by the constable who was inclined to keep at 
a respectful distance from Mr. Rice, for he had turned to him 
when he thought be encroached too near with the threatening 
inquiry whether " he expected to breakfast in the bosom of his 
family or in that of Father .Abraham's, on the morrow? " 

In this way he reached the river where the faithful boatman 
was ready w^ith bis oars. "Rut even here the posse could not 
muster the courage to rush upon him. so he stepped deliberately 
in the boat, deposited bis baggage in the bow, adjusted bis dress, 
reuioved bis hat, and, bidding adieu to his friends whose faces 
lip recognized in the moonlight, he made a sardonic speech to the 
collector and his coterie. The crowd enjoyed the discomfiture 




REMINISCENCES OF DAN BICB 



n 



0/ ihe constable and the bravery of the showman and involun- 
tarily joined in prolonged cheers which accompanied Eice half- 
way across the river. 

Much anxiety was felt, however, about the safety of the brave 
young man; indeed, the boatman himself declared the tide was 
too strong, but ilr. Rice coolly informed him that he would im- 
pose upon him the penalty of drowning if he did not proceed, 
so the manipulation of the oars was conducted at once. 

At Rock Island he alt^o had some misgivings as to whether ho 
t-'ouM again evade the license, but the news of his victory over 
the Davenport authoritiee had preceded him and produced un- 
bounded satisfaction, so great was the rivalry between the two 
places. The village authorities to whom he applied upon the 
fiuhjcct of lowering the license, good-humoredly replied that 
"tiuMr minimum price was twenty-live dollars, and that he was 
at liWrty to play them a trick, as he did in Davenport, if he 
could." This set his wits to work, and was an incentive to spur 
him on again to escape the license, even though the recei]>ts 
would justify him in the jtaymcnt of so large a sum. A dozen 
tliffert'Dt versions of the affair on the opposite side of the river 
were current, and he was the absorbing topic of the day. The 
Mcitement increased towards night, and the doors of Barrett's 
hfitel were thronged early by the crowds, and the authorities had 
fWided t.hnt he nmst pay the license before he exhibited. Mr. 
Rico was at the door, collecting the admission fees, when the 
collector approached him with the license. The hallway was 
f^ill of ])eople going in. and Mr. Rice said to the officer. '' All 
right, sir: step in and take a seat while T attend to these people 
«lDd I will pay you before the jK-rforoianoe commences." Sup- 
'^ing that he had not yet rendiTcd himself amenable and that 
^e intended to pay the license out of the money he was then re- 
^i^ing, the oflRcer passed on with the rest and took a scat, wait- 
'^P for Mr. Rice to notify him when the performance wrts to 
^?in. Mr. Rice had discovered thai the rush had subsided, or 
wther that he was prechided from taking any more money liy 
^liproom being already filled to its utmost capacity. He asked the 
officer who had the license prepared ti> take his jdace at the door 
ft tnoment while he went in to start the music and count tlie 
money. As he walki^d from the door through the side aisle with 
^'«hat under his arm, the nudietu'c cheered him and ihe ladies 
*^rp at once captivated bv his appearance and enlisted in his 
''•^or. As he passed behind the blanket, borrowed of Barrett 
'f>r a cartnin. the utmost silence prevailed excepting the rnusic 
^f the orchestra, which consisted of one violin played by ihe negro 
Wherof the town. Afler five minutos* breathless suspense, the 
inori' daring ventured up*>n n few thumps with their canes. The 




BEMINISCENCES OP DAK BICE 



solitary fiddler scraped with redouijled fury. Stamping, hand- 
clapping, aud encouraging cheers soon drowned tlie desperatt.* 
din of the lone violin. The oilieer mt tiie door peeped in to see 
if it waa not applause greeting Mr. Kice's initial act. Although 
he thought sufficient time had passed for his return, still he did 
not like to desert the responsible post with which he was en- 
trusted. At this moment a curious little hoy in front who could 
not resist the temptation of lifting a corner and peeping behind 
the curtain, thrilled the audience with the cry, " He ain't there! " 
The bird had flown; every one suspected the joke and left the 
room with but one idea in view, that of reacliing home hefore 
it was discovered that they had been to the show. The fiddler, 
the only accomplice Rice had, besides the ferryman, hastened to 
receive the two dollars he was to have in the event of the show- 
man's safe retreat, forgetting that the very condition of his agree- 
ment would effectually prevent him from taking any steps to get 
his money. Mr. Rice had thrown his carpet bag out of a window 
upon the projecting woodshed in the rear of the hotel and imme- 
diately followed himself. With baggage in hand, he jumped 
from the shed just as Barrett was passing under after a pitcher 
of water. Alighting on his shoulders, Barrett was throttii 
sprawling upon the ground and the pitcher broken in fragments. 
As Barrett knew that Mr, Rice ought to be above stairs amusing 
the audience, he surmised the trouble, and gathering himself as 
soon as possible made chase for his tavern bill and room rent. 
By this time the constables were in Barrett's train, and as it was 
dark and Rice was incommoded by his carpet bag which con- 
tained his personal effects, and by the ignorance of the topog- 
raphy of the premises, he was nearly overtaken when he went 
headlong in the vault of a neighboring yard and the whole parly 
" came tumbling after" just as he managed to draw himself out 
of the slough. Under cover of this diversion, he made his way 
to the ferryboat, into which he emptied his pockets of the night's 
receipts, and, undressing, he tied his clothes with a string to the 
side of the boat, and so in puris naturalibus clung outs^ide to the 
rudder as the trusty ferryman pushed into the stream. The noise 
of the rowlocks soon attracted the ears of that portion of his 
pursucTB who were in a condition to follow, and they gave chase 
to the river in full cry, supposing that he was concealed some- 
where about the yards and could not elude the close watch set 
upon him. To get out a dozen boats in pursuit was the work 
of only a few minutes, during which time Mr. Rice seized an oar 
and made such good use of it that they were soon in close 
proximity to the Davenport shore. His object was to present 
himself openly in Davenport and win the forgiveness of its citi- 
zens by his triumph over the Rock Island authorities who had 




REMINISCENCES OF DAN BICE 



laughed heartily at his previous day's adventures. But it would 
Dot do to land in his present plight, and, before he would have 
time to drc6i5, the Hoek IsiJaml flotilla would be upon him. He 
saw the Illinois shore illuminated with lanterns and torches, and 
apart of his pursuers running to and fro in wild excitement over 
the supposition that the boats would secure him and bring him 
Ijack to Roek Island, Mr. Rice, taking in the situation at a 
glance, eeased to row, and the ferryman allowed the boat to go 
noiselesiily down the current at the rate of five miles an hour, 
nntil six miles below Rock Island, w^here, after remunerating 
the ferryman for his trouble, he landed at a wooded shore alone, 
arranged his toilet and made his way to Grand Detour, with one 
star only for his guide. As he had not performed at Ro<ik Island 
lie could not have been compelled to pay the license. 

For several years afterwards any of the villagers would have 
^liaked a coat of tar and feathers, in either of these localities, by 
■lllquiriiig how Dan Uice got rid of the license, and in a high- 
spirited manner did they bandy jeers and taunts at each other 
across the water for being so easily outwitted. When Mr. Rice 
Had become the owner of a circus, which was in reality an estab- 
lisliment worth patronizing, and when lie was no longer reduced 
to the necessity of giving leg-bail to license collectors, the arrival 
in that part of the world of his ailvance agent created jin excite- 
fncnt that threatened io suspend all the ordinary occupations of 
the inhabitants. Another generntiun had jmrtly grown up, who, 
^h\\ the recent settlers had so oft on heard the story, tliiit they 
begun to look upon Dan Rieo as Bluebeard or some other fabulous 
personage. The victims had not before suspected that the Dan 
l^ice of their troubles was t!ie atldctic clown of whom they had 
lit'aril and read so much. The affitir was more interesting as Mr, 
Kife had instructed his agent tn pultlisb at Davenport that again 
ln' would *• dodge the license," and no one doubted but that he 
*<>iild carry his tiirent into execution. As Chief La Claire, bow- 
''^'^r. tendered him the use of a beautiful lot outside of the cor- 
pfiration limits. f|uite easy of access to its inhabitants, Mr. Rice 
avoided the license without being obliged to use any particular 
ingenuity. 

At Rock Island, where the same intention was to be carried 
into effect, the authorities met him in a more liberal manner, and 
it Would have been ungeuerous to have played another prank on 
^Hftm. The foremost among those who gave him a hearty wel- 
("ome was Mr. Barrett, who alwnys di'dared that A[r. Rice had 
Pii'l him bis tavern find room bill. The ex-sherif? of Davenport 
bounty and the constables of Rock Island tendered him a weJ- 
^nio nlso that had no rcflertinn of the pre'vious episode in it. 
f^ven the ex-mayor of Rock Island confessed, as a secret he had 



94 



HEMINISCENCES OF DAS KICE 



never before dared to divulge, that lie was present at the exhibi- 
tion that was never jtrodueed and cheered loudest when Mr. Rice 
disappeared behind the curtain, and was greatly chagrined when 
"he ain't there," resounded through the room. And although 
he had observed all the respectalde ])ortion of the villagers in 
attendance, no one would ever acknowledge his presence, and he 
did not like to subject himself to the universal ridicule of being 
the only one who composed Dan liice's audience on that occasion. 
It was advertisei] tliat every person who had gone to Bee the 
performance at Barrett's Hotel that memorable evening w^ould 
now receive, free, an admission to the circus, as Mr. Rice felt 
morally bound to atljust himself honorably with the community. 
But every man had committed himself by Vf^wing that he had 
never been near the previous show at all, therefore the ex-mayor 
of Rock Island received a complimentary family ticket as a 
reward for bis honest confession, and Mr. Rice's humorous re- 
marks in the arena, of the previous affair, created great amuse- 
ment at the expense of those who were unmistakably sensitive to 
his ridicule. 



CHAPTER XII. 



S 



CIRCrS LIFE AS IT WAS AND IS — OLD AND NEW SCHOOLS — 
PRESENT AND PAST METHODS COMPARED — MORALE AND PER- 
SONNEL OF THE PEIIFORMER.S — TIlEIlt METHODS, TEMPTA- 
TIONS AND HARDSHIPS CONTRASTED WITH THOSE OF THE 
PRESENT-DAY ARTISTS — A LlOURRlorS INCIDENT— A BIBU- 
LOUS IIRIDEOROOM— A HAPPY DENOUEMENT— A C.RUESOME 
AWAKENING — SAD DEATH OF A ROOM-MATE. 

IN striving to enhance the interests of his little travelling es- 
tablishment, ^^fr. Rice was ever on the alert for some attrac- 
tion to please the public mind and eye, and introducing new 
novelties of his own invention to strengthen the programme for 
dilTorent localities, and thus win an interested patronage. In 
the summer of 1843 he revisited Quincy, HI,, and on the way to 
that [ilace he secured, as a drawing card, a nephew^ of ex-Governor 
Carlin, who had won somewhat of a reputation among his towns- 
men at Carlinville as a slack-wire performer. And on account 
of his professional notoriety, he became an adjunct of the Rice 
show which was extensively berabled as containing "among its 
many attractions, a nephew of the ev-Oovernor of Illinois." But. 
unfortunately, the very first tinu' young Blacksbear gave a per- 
formance on the strength of this announcement, the wire broke, 




BEMINIBCENCES OF DAN BICE 



96 



and he was injured to such an extent by the fall that he was 
obliged to postpone his eugagement indefinitely. Also in the 
summer of 1843, Mr. Rice exhibited througli the mining region, 
of Illinois, attracting much attention among the miners by the 
superb feats of strength he performed. He now added to his 
regular program the lifting of pigs of lead, beginning with 1,400 
pounds and gradually increasing the weight to 2,(IOO pounds. 
The miners could scarcely believe this feat possible, and the 
strongest among tbem was unable to duplicate it. 3Ir. Hice was 
of medium stature, and the lead, having been laid regularly on a 
platform, supported by two trestles, he was able to get under the 
platform with bowed shoulders and bent knees, and by straighten- 
ing his lower limbs would lift the platform clear of the trestles. 
Among the sturdy fellows of sujiorior strength brought forth by 
the miners to test the great burden was John Ethel, a powerful 
man, and also a previous acquaintance of Mr. Rice's, whose efforts 
to lift the enormous weight were also unsuccessful. The secret 
of the failure was, that they wore all, as a rule, too tall, and 
when passing under the platform were obliged to bend bo much 
as to destroy their leverage, and they therefore had no strength 
that they could bring into requisition. It was merely a question 
of proper adjustment of the trestles to meet the stature of the 
person who was testing the burden, and Mr. Rice^s knowledge of 
anatfimy enabled him to calculatf the exact angle and extension 
so perfectly that he rarely missed those calculations. His daily 
practice, besides, created a precision that could only be gained 
by persistent usape. All throufih that w\]d, primitive country 
Rice continued his exhibition, travelling with a horse and buggy 
and indulging in his favorite game of '' seven-up " with the card 
champion of every new field he visited. His expenses were not 
very large, but his extravagance consisted mainly in his great- 
hearted, liberal nature, that could never withstand the appeals 
made upon his jmrsc, for be wns often called upon to contribute 
to different objects out of compliment, a courtesy he rarely re- 
fused. 

At Snnke Diggins. afterwnrds called Potosi, in Jo Daviess 
Countv, he encountered the only man be met on the tour who 
could play "seven-up" better than he. Hi.s name was Lemue! 
Smith, an old sport, who won six hundred dollars from him, and 
his horse and buggy also fell a sacrifice, which, however, was 
returned to him. and fifty dollars besides. This sum Smith 
loaned to Mr, Rice, with which to go to Plnttsburp. Mineral 
Point, and Galena, ^^fr. Rice informs us thnt his assistant on 
Ibis tour was a yoiinir mon who gave bis name as Arthur S. 
Pf-nrlce. nnd the two young persons formed a strong friendship 
for each other. 



96 



BEMINI8CENCES OF DAN RICE 



Pearles represented himself as a Bostonian, and it is evident 
that he was ao iiitellei'tuiil ifldividuul, and also u tine musician, 
for he was master of several LhlTcrent inslriimeuLs, but what i»e 
eiiecially preferred was tlie violin. He was also possessed of line 
morals and earefulJy held himself as far apart as was possible 
from the rough element of those early dnys. He told Mr. Hice 
that he had been carefully raised^ and» as he wae not naturally 
strong, he had been advised by his ]>hysician to go to the min- 
ing country and lead a life among its hardsiiips; to experiment 
if it would effect a cure, as the climate in I^oston was too rigid. 
The result had been so satisfactory that he concluded to return 
to his home, and, as he preferred a journey long rlrawn out, he 
engaged to travel with Jfr. Rice and thus eventually accomplish 
the end with renewed vigor by entering into what seemed to be to 
him a pleasant pastime. A few days previous to the performance 
at Plattaburg, Mr, Pearles had been ailing with premonitory 
symptoms of the quinsy sore throat, and was really quite ill by 
the time they reached Mineral Point, the next place on the route. 
The exhibition was held as usual in the dining-room of the hotel, 
and Mr. Pearles played for Mr. Rice in the songs and dances, 
but was unable to continue the programme during tbe feats of 
strength. He was obliged to retire directly to his room, where 
the landlady made him as comfortable as possible under the cir- 
cumstances, renewing the poultices on his throat, etc.. for Afr. 
Rice had strictly charged that Pearles shoidd have the best at- 
tention, and it was rendered accordingly. 

Mr, Rice, necessarily, retired late, and as he occupied the same 
room with Pearles, he took to him a hot beverage which, the 
young man told him, he could not possibly swallow. Mr, Rice, 
after seeing that Pearles" wants were supplied, retired by his 
side in the same couch, and was soon in a profound slumber. On 
awakening the next morning about live o'clock he inquired of his 
friend if he were feeling better, and, not receiving any response, 
he laid his hand on him gently to rouse him, and found, to his 
consternation, that the man was cold. 

Further investigation by a physician proved that the abscess in 
Mr. Pearles' throat had broken and sulToeatcd him. As there 
wns no organized graveyard in that mining coimtr}\ Mr. Rice 
contracted with the landlord to set olT a plot of ground with a 
rude fence, and secured a carpenter to make a stanch box, in 
which they laid Arthur Pearles away, without any ceremony, in 
n lonely grave which they dug with their own hands, and left 
him 'mid the lights and shadows that .<?hiftod over tbe prairie. 
Mr. Rice gathered together the young mnn's cfTecis, and after 
locking the trunk and fastening the key on the cmPT. hfld it 
addressed and despatched to the Mayor of Boston^ to whom he 




BBMINI8CENCE8 OF DAK BIOB 



97 



also wrote apprising him of the circumBtances as they occurred 
abo-ve, and then continued his journey. To that letter he never 
rec?-c5ived any response, and he does not know whether the relatives 
of -Arthur Pearies ever heard of his death, hut the sad incident 
is iBtill impressed on his memory, after ail these years, with a 
pa-inful viWdness. 

IBefore crossing the Wisconsin, Mr. Itice stopped over night at 
Pat:ch*s Grove, on tlie prairie, and in lireside gossip, before retir- 
ing that night, discovered that Mr, Patch was related to his 
stopfather, by his marriage with a Miss Manahan, of Cayuga 
Laalvf, N, Y. A bond of relationship having thus been estab- 
lislned, it was agreed that he should be Mr. Patch's guest for 
se-veral days, and give an exhibition in his house. The news 
ha.ving been circulated in that sparsely settled country, the rustic 
^•^^u.\ and belles of the neighborhood gathered on the evening 
f>f the entertainment in the immense living room of the Patch 
family, which did duty for both sitting-room and kitchen, while 
tHe gigantic fireplaee, curtained olT by two sheets, served for 
<i *"es8ing-room and stage alike. The silhouette of Mr. Rice's 
°^a.Tily form, as he divested himself of his clothes to don his stage 
^«.jrb, came out in clear relief on the curtain and provoked much 
P^iTth, as well as some little consternation, in the audience. It 
'^_ also recorded that Mr. Rice actually blushed and was greatly 
^* *^oomfited when he disrovered that he had, without any rle^ign 
**^ his part, been the innocent cause of deep mortification to the 
l^*"«irie belles and their beaux; but notwithstanding this hiHinroua 
*^-^ne, the remainder of the prognimnie was carried out with 
^1 iially good effect. In continuing his journey after a series of en- 
^^rtaininents at Patch's (irove. Ijcfore crossing the Wiseonsin 
;^ IviT on his way to Baraboo, Mr. Rice observed a monstrous black 
'^nke in the road over which they were driving. This circum- 
stance would have seemed only a trivial affair to many, but to 
'^He so constituted as he, and who has sueh an intense aversion 
^o those reptiles as he entertains, the mere sight of one is almost 
^minous, and, besides, he holds peeuliar views in regard to them, 
^ot being in a position to despatch this one, which be disliked 
much to pass, the party urged the horse to the limit of his 
«^eed and made no halt until they reached the arranged destina- 
tion, so determined was Mr. Rice to get out of that part of the 
country and leave his evil genius behind him. 

Mr. Seth ITurd, a popular resident of Baraboo, at that period 
owned the stage line at that plaee, and also kept the hotel at 
which Mr. Riee's party registererl, and it was in the dining-room, 
as usual, that he gave his pf^rformances. On one occasion he 
repaled his audience by executing a genuine war-dance to please 
the Indians, many of whom had come to see the Strong Man. 



V8 BKMINISCENCES OF DAN RIOE 

Colonel Rice has remarked that it was a curious spectacle to see 
the swarthy felkjws geated around on the floor with their blankets 
folded abuut them and trinkets displayed to good advantage on 
this occasion, as they were part of the audience. And they ex- 
hibited great interest when he went through the war-dance, ap- 
parently to their satisfaction. They expressed therjiselves freely 
at his feats of strength, and applauded every feattire of the 
perforniancc. 

On his return journey he remained over night and gave a 
performance at Fort Winnebago, a great army statiou, at which 
many prominent officers were then quartered^ including (Jen. 
Zachary Taylor; young JeflFerson Davis, who was afterwards Gen- 
eral Taylor's son-in-law; ami Gen. Simon Cameron. Also Lieu- 
tenant l^odman, the inventor of the famous Rodman gun. This 
gentleman had ]>reviously met ilr. Rice, when he was a boy, at 
tlie Allegheny Arsenal m Tittsburg, and on this occasion, he was 
Mr. Rice's sponsor for the evening. The performance was a 
grateful change to the monotony of garrison life and all expressed 
their pleasure at the efforts of our hero in *' driving dull care 
away " in the few short hours that he remained their guest. 

L^te in the spring of 1844 he gave his i)erfornMnce in Ottawa, 
111., at the headwaters of the river. He had grow^l wearj- of the 
Far West, as that country was considered at that period; the 
romance had vanished from the life he was leading and he at last 
determined to return to the East and follow some other vocation. 

Among tbe audience who saw his show on the last night at 
Ottawa, was the Kev. Ski})worth Griswold. a remarkable char- 
acter. Though a preacher of tbe Rajitist Cburrlu at Danbury, 
Conn., Mr. Griswold was travelling tlirough the West as the 
advance agent of tbe North American Circus, of which G. R. 
8paulding, of Albany, N. Y,, was proprietor. 

Clergymen were not paid salaries in those days, and Mr. Gris- 
wold, who was a good man, was forced to travel ahead of a circus 
in summer to get money enougb to support his family in winter. 

His superior educati<vn made him an excellent representative, 
and his geographical knowledge, as well as his influence, were of 
great benefit to such an organization. After Rice^s jmrfornianee 
was over. Mr. Griswold walked back to the hotel with him. 

"That is a fine exhibition, Mr, Rice." said be, ''and it makes 
a splendid impression, T wonder you do not join a circus and 
display your surprising feats and do your negro songs and 
speeches under canvas. I feel sure you would make a great 
clown, and you know good clowns are hard to get." Mr. Rice 
was impressed with Mr. Griswold's earnestness, hut be had never 
thought of joining a circus. Still, any change, of whatever char- 
acter, seemed just at that time desirable, and when Mr. Griswold 




BEMINI8CEXCES OF DAN RICE 

ofr^T<?d to give him a letter of introduction to 0. R. Spaulding, 
whi«3 would soon be with his circus at Galena, Mr. Hicc accepted 
il eagerly, as he was greatly iniprertsed by Mr. Gnswold's gen- 
tle luanly bearing and his evident sincerity. One peculiarity this 
geiatloman had tliat distinguished him from his brothers in the 
profession, and that may have been a \irtue, was, that he would 
nij-ver travel ou Sunday. His employer, however, in tliis in- 
8tsi.nee, appreciated the tone he gave to the circus by observing 
tl»4i.t custom and thus catering to the church-going public. In 
lJic->se days a circus temained a week, and sometimes two, in a 
toAvn like Galena, and its patrons would assemble from all parts 
"^ the surrounding country. Un the arrival of Mr. Spaulding, 
^"ir^. Rice found that he was by no means umici|uainte<l with his 
^**-r«e, for everyone in that country knew of Dan liice by his 
l**~^viou8 career among them. The letter of introduction was 
!~l^lv presented, and Mr. Spaulding soon began cross-examining 
^ * In as to what he could do. 

I*' You say you can sing comic songs? " 
**Yes." ' * 
"And do negro songs and dances? " 
" Yes." 
"And pull against horses?" 
« Yes.^' 
" And climb the fireman's ladder? '* 
" Yes." 
"Would you like to go with the circus?" 
" Yes; Vm tired of roaming around the country alone." 
"Can you drive a team?" 
"Yes." 
" Can you learn to ride, and tigure in the Grand Entry?" 
" Yes." 
" Can vou play clown? " 
'* I can try." 

" Well, if you can do all those thing?!, and play clown, and 
Vrhip three men a day in addition, I'll board you and give you 
^15 a month." 

Mr. Spaulding was having his own little joke in all this ramble, 
snd Mr. Rice was well awiirc of it. but he accepted, nnd on the 
fourth day made his first appearance in the circus ring. He was 
at once successful and carried out his contract religiously, not 
excepting the three presumed beatings a day to be administered 
to the champion of the local bullies who beset trnvelling circuses 
in those days, notwithstanding varied reports to the contrary. 

The circus of the early times bad nothing in its profession to 
cast reflection on its firtors. anrl ^fr. Rice says he has nothing to 
regret by being connected with it. 



lUU 



REMIXISCEXCES OF DAN RICE 



He made bis ilebut as a cirrus down ut (lalona. 111., on tlio 
afternoon of a liot day in iiiidsunniR'r in ]x\i, and wiiile lie made 
every ethnt to pk-asc the audicnee. he thinks he succeeded, hut 
says he perspired as well as asjured in about equal proportions. 
On the whole, his dehut may have been pronounced a brilliant 
success, for a large number of friends and acquaintances were 
there to cheer and enooiirage him, and everything passed off 
smoothly at the entertainment. Among Mr. Rice's acquaint- 
ances who witnessed this, his first, eirctis performance, was a 
miner by the name of John Ethel, a tall, gailnt, unprepossessing- 
looking individual, but a |:^ood fellow, and industrious workman, 
and an honest man as well He had been in good luck lately, 
having struck a rich vein of lead ore, and had purchased a neat 
little home into which he had conducted, on the very morning 
of Mr. Eice's dehut, the rather pretty little daughter of a Con- 
necticut dominie or minister. 

John Ethel himself was not an educated man, but his wife had 
been a ** schoolmarm,' ' and John regarded her attainment and 
learning as colossal, while she almost worshipped his physical 
powers, which were not overestimated; so, as each person admired 
in the other some quality the chosen one really possessed, the 
chances for their mutual happiness were good, and the prospects 
positively assuring, 

John Ethel and Mr. Rice had met occasionally, and were 
socially on excellent terms, so the groom determined to take in 
Mr. Rice's debut on his wedding day as part of the festivities 
of the occasion, and he took it for granted, of course, that his 
bride would accompany him; but in this natural calculation, he 
was mistaken. Mrs. John Ethel had been strictly reared by her 
parents under the true ** blue laws " of Connecticut, and had 
been laught to regard a circus as sinful uidess a menagerie went 
with it> " If only there were some animals, John, dear," she 
said; "a tiger or two would save it, you know, or a lion would 
make it all right, or even a leopard or a camel might take away 
the curse, hut no animals at all, dear; only horses an<l men in 
tights and women in spangles and gauze, nothing on; ah, I 
couldn't do it, John, it would break father*s heart, so don't ask 
me, John." And John, after this, did not insist upon her going, 
but kissing his bride good-hy for awhile, left her to fulfil his 
engagement, that embraced Mr. Rice*s d6but. Having previously 
stopped at various taverns and partaken of more than was neces- 
sary of spirituous refreshments, he reached Spaulding's Circus 
tent, where Rice was performing, in a " glorious " condition. On 
entering and seeing Mr. Rice in the ring he called out his name, 
and running down to where he was standing, seized him by the 
haml and shook it heartily. Mr. Rice acknowledged the impul- 




JEtfiMlNlSC£NC£S OP DAN BICS 



101 



sive demonstration of Mr. Ethel, as he did not wish to have the 
performance interrujfted. Meanwhile, John's great l>iirly body in- 
tercepted the view of the iiudieiice, and calls of " Sit do^^-n there, 
John Ethel," arose from the crowd. John looked around and not 
finding any scat vacant, the tent being full to oversowing, delib- 
erately sat down on the ground beside the ring, interrupting Mr. 
Rice now and then with his views of the performance, including 
his own share therein. All was proceeding smootldy when a 
etorm suddenly burst over the tent — a storm of wind and rain, 
which carne, as mo^ of those tornadoes do. with scarcely any 
previous warning. It blew the tent down and every one nar- 
rowly escaped being hurt. They hurried away, performers and 
all, the latter for the once having the best of the situation, as they 
had hotels or taverns to go to for shelter, which were close at 
hand. The storm lasted for several hours and prevented any 
evening performance, l>iit after supper it began to abate in vio- 
lence, and Dan Rice, the new clown, and another member of the 
Spauiding Company, a young man who afterwards became fa- 
mous as W. W. Hobbes, the dashing rider, taking their umlirellas 
went down to the river to see tlie steamljoats. There was a 
notable public house, a stone structure, called the Eagle Coffee 
House, which was, in after years, the favorite resort of General 
Grant when he was a young man, and which was then, as now. one 
of the landmarks of the water front. Holibes and Rice entered 
this house and looked on a while at the gathering crowd, conspicu- 
ous among whom was John Ethel, now hilarious in the secondary 
stages of intoxication, lie was dispensing both fun and funds 
with a degree of extravagance that lacked good judgment, but 
this was his wedding night, and he the happy but bibulous bride- 
groom was celebrating the connubial event. Seeing Mr. Rice and 
Hobbes, he accosted the former and invited him and his com- 
panion to have a drink. " Ban." he said, as Mr. Rice accepted 
the invitation, " I saw your debut to-day,'* with an accent on the 
but, " and said you were the worst clown I ever saw." which was 
plain and not complimentary. " Til tell you what I'll do with 
you, Dan Rice; paint me up for the clown and 1*11 play it all 
around for drinks," The crowd thought it a form of joke, but 
Ethel was in earnest. *^ Paint me. Dun," be cried, and for the 
sheer fun Mr. Rice sent for sonu* stuff fo the nearest drug store, 
such as vermilion, Spanish whiting, and India ink, and painted 
hlra in a most hideous fashion, first whitening bis face and neck. 
then painting his mouth from ear to ear with vermilion, and 
then painted his eyebrows with Tndia ink. adding: ink also to the 
comers of the mouth, thus the clown was portrayed in caricature. 
He bad taken off his coat and vest, and Mr. Rice completed the 
pictorial outfit by tying a white handkerchief around Eihel'a 



102 



BEMINISCENCES OF DAN BIOE 



head, which framed his painted features in a most hideous way. 
The gathering was convulsed with laughter, as J oho, in his 
maudlin state attempted the clown's grimaces with distorted 
features, and as he slipped on the wet tloor in his wild, un- 
steady gyrations, his appearance was indeed fiendishly funny, 
and simply indescribable. The hilarious sport increased, rather 
than diminished, and the evening waned into midnight, and soon 
there remained, of all the revellers, only Mr, Kiee, his friend, the 
barkeeper, and Jolin Kthel. The hile hour ushered in the time 
for closing and those present mude prepamtions for leaving. 
Ethel was about exhausted in his frantic efforts to play the 
clown, and concluded that he would make his way home to his 
waiting bride. As he shook Mr. Kice^s hand at parting, he said, 
" Well, good-bye, Dan, you're the worst-looking clown I ever saw, 
except myself,'- he added as he caught a glimpse of his own ap- 
pearance in the glass, in front of which Mr. Rice was standing. 
The figure, impersonating himself, looked so hideous, that he 
glared at it with a sort of fascination that had a tendency to sober 
him into a realization that he had made a ridiculous exhibition of 
himself, for he remarked, *' By gosh, 1 can't go home to my wife 
on my wedding night looking like this." He made a frantic 
dash for the pump which stood in front of the tavern, and the 
location of which he knew well enough to guess at in the dark- 
ness. In his rash haste to perform his ablutions, and with his 
brain still unsettled by his potations and aggravated by his ]^re- 
Tious violent exercise, he followed the wrong direction and made 
his way directly to a hitching post, against which a reveller was 
braced, and indulging in a series of violent efl'orts to relieve him- 
self of his Bacchanalian feast, the digestion of which was im- 
peded, no doubt, by his partaking too freely of the liquors fur- 
nished at EtheFs expense. The supreme moment for him came 
just as John staggered up to his imaginary pump, and, securing 
the man's arm,, which he mistook for the pump handle, he raised 
it and gave a vicious lunge downward which caused the Baccha- 
nalian stream to flow profusely, which John caught in his out- 
stretched hands and proceeded forthwith to wash his face. A 
repetition of the performance was substantial evidence, in his 
dazed condition, that he was absolutely clean and in readiness 
to meet the newly made wife in presentable order. 

Mr. Rice and his friend accompanied him to his home to as- 
sure themselves that no other accident should befall him on the 
way. On reaching his cottage door, Ethel knocked gently, hav- 
ing just a glimmering ray of common sense left to remind him 
that he must approach his dwelling quietly, so as to give assur- 
ance to the waiting bride that all was well, even though the late- 
ness of the hour was rather ominous. In response to his knock- 




REMINISCENCES OF DAN BICK 



103 



ing came the tones of a timid voice inquiring, " WTio is there? " 
*' it's me, your John," was the answer, in a deep bass voice, that 
she recognized eo mcU. His wife opened the door and started 
back aghast, as the light fell full on his face and revealed to her 
the conglomerated mixture with which he had performed his 
ablutions, and the nature of which she could not possibly mistake. 
His unsightly general apj)earance appalled and disgusted her, and 
ahe could only gasp, " Why, John, what on eartli is the matter 
with you? Look at your soiled clothes and iilthy condition.'' 
And his deep voice hiccoughed out exultantly though rather un- 
steadily, " Why. Mary (hie), you ought'er seen me (hie) 'fore I 
was washed," and the cottage door closed upon the first act of the 
serio-comic drama, the continuation of which was enacted in 
private. 

The mortification of that night's adventure lasted John Etliel 
his lifetime, and that one glaring deviation from the path of his 
hitherto previous respectability caused him to form a resolution 
that it would be the last, which, indeed, it proved to be, in his 
long and honorable career that followed. The initiation of the 
newly made wife into the almost unpardonable blunder of her 
Ikosband, was a severe test to her naturally refined sensitiveness, 
l3ut her womanly instinct covered his first fault with a prudent 
Judgment that exhibited more of sympathy with his lack of dis- 
oretion in regard to himself than in the injury to her confidence, 
of which he was so forgetful. In explaining this much to Mr. Kice 
in after years, he alsu added that the course his wife pursued on 
that eventful night had shaped the whole of his future career. 



CHAPTER XIIL 
xjan's d^but in the equestrian worli>— the composite 

CLOWN — RICE IN THE r6lE OP MANAGER AND rROPKIETOE 
OP HIS FIRST CIRCUS — STRICKEN WITH YELLOW FEVER- 
NURSED BY GEN. ZACHAHY TAYLOR — A FACE, A FORTUNE, 
AND THEIR EFFECT ON A FEVER CONVALESCENT — A WOULD- 
BE ASSASSIN— IHCE*S RARE PRESENCE OP MIND — NEW OR- 
LEANS citizens' grand TESTIMONIAL— the ARREST. 



"%^B. R1CE*S star of success was now destined to rise in the 

jJfA, ascendancy, and the future held for him results that 

reached far beyond his highest expectations. The keynote of his 

respirations had struck the vital chord that was to reverberate 

[Irom the rustic borders of our growing country to the sea, and 



104 



BBlfINIS0£N0E3 OF DAN RICB 



elevate the standard of the circus to the heights of a meritorious 
calling which was, at once, both artistic and dignified. Now that 
Mr. Mice had at last become a legitimate circuji performer, it will 
be well to glance, in a general way, at the condition of the circus 
world in his early days as compared with the circus of the present 
time. The main difference of the circus fifty years ago and that 
of this period was that the former was a circus pure and simple, 
an equestrian exhibition, neither less nor more. There were no 
animals in the old-time amusement except horses, for the circus 
was not, as now, a menagerie combined with a side show% and the 
noticeable features that distinguished the circus of 1840 from that 
of the present day is that the system was conducted on a more 
economical and restrictive basis in the forties. There were not 
as many performers and the salaries were snmllcr, even allowing 
for the difference in the value of money at that time and now. 
A man who received $r)0 a month and expenses in 1840 was re- 
garded in the same light as one who gets fifty dollars per week 
and expenses in 1900. To-day every one is a specialist and con- 
fines himself to one line of business only, hut forty years ago 
every one was expected to do everything when it was necessary, 
and generally accomplished it, even to the daring Bare-Back 
Rider, who assisted in erecting the tents, and the King of the 
InvineiUes who aided in the arranging of the seats, A circus star 
was practically a " general utility," and perhaps this made him 
a better " all around man," There were but few appliances, but 
there was more individuality. 

A circus manager, for example, made less ado, but accomplished 
more and better results, and although he did not travel with a 
brass band or a staff of assistants, managed to equip the estab- 
lishment with artistic accompaniments Just the same. Although 
a variegated, and on the whole, a hard life, yet the experience of 
the circus performer was, in those days, not an unpleasant one. 
The company travelled in wagons, roomy and comfortable, from 
town to town, selecting the best hotels along the routes. There 
was always a spice of adventure and romance about each da}''8 
experience, and the performers were generally orderly, excepting 
an occasional demonstration of professional Jealousy which oc- 
curs in every organization to some extent. There was, of course, 
a show of more or less combativeness between the members of 
a company, and the country element along the route were, at 
times, disposed to create trouble in order to display supremacy, 
but such troubles arose mainly in the mining and manufacturing 
districts where certain types of the foreign element predominate. 

Frequently the circus people were at fault on other occasions, 
but as a rule, circumstances generally forced them to be aggres- 
sive. With very few exceptions, the general order of affairs pro- 




RTCB 



scd pleasantly and the accounts of trouble have been greatly 
i^gerated. 

l^he truinmg of tlie equestrian was most rigid, and his early 
labors most arduous compared with the condition of the young 
equestrian neophyte of to-day, which is now greatly ameliorated. 
I-'ormerly he was subjected to great cruelly, and every step in his 
advancement accoiii])anied with the lash and curses; now, with 
tjccasional exceptions, the apprentice is treated humanely and, as 
might be expected, his advimcciiient is more rapid. Hence the 
singular fact that young Hernandez and M'lle Rosa, though mere 
children, are better performers than those of tlie old school. 

There was nothing about the business thnt necessarily militated 
against law and good morals, nothing inconsistent with the most 
exemplary life and rigid profession of religion. A disorderly 
equestrian was an anomaly, or, if disorderly, it was still more rare 
to find his comrades countenancing him. Non-resistance, though 
more ostentatiously jvrofessed, is never more rigidly practised. 
When, however (their property dilapidated, their [versons at- 
tacked, and their names maligned by a prejudiced community) 
*' forbearance becomes no longer a ^^^tue,^' they do resist, and 
usually with success. Who has ever seen the aggressor neglect 
to apply for legal redress, or, applied, refused? The showman's 
case is always prejudged. To be accused is to be convicted. 

Fortunately a brighter day is dawninsj. A fondness for eques- 
trian and gymnastic exercises pervades the highest and best in 
the land, and with their good opinion the maledictions of others 
can be borne. They know that prurient imaginations that could 
not safely view the old masters or revel in the beauties of the 
painters and sculptors of whom the country is so proud, M'ithout 
finding food for corrupt thought, should, of course, never visit 
a circus. With such, nothing but what is cold and austere and 
hare is pure, watching ever to detect a lurking Cupid or Venus 
in every position and a double entendre in every expression. 

The fanatic may have con.«olation in the great moral as well 
as economic axiom that the demand regulated the quality as well 
ae the supply. The trader furnishing the articles most in de- 
mand amongst his customers does not regard their utility, nor 
does the merchant in the glaring color in his fabrics when such 
are in vogue trouble himself about the purity of the taste of hia 
patrons. 

The extraordinary uniqueness of the entertainments Colonel 
Rice presented was in bizarre but business-! ike fidelity with 
which the minutest detail was invested. The indescribable spirit 
that imbued everything with its infectious and impressilde in- 
•lividuality, to say nothing of the genius for organization which 
held in check and moulded into a unit the crude and ever-clash- 



106 



KEUINISCENCES OF DAN RICB 



ing interestB of a professional personnel, rarely if ever encoun- 
tered in any other channel of the world of amusement. All these 
characteristics had an inevitable tendency to win a public patron- 
age, in the face of an ever-present and powerful compelition, 
little short of the marvellous, when the reader seeks to analyze 
the secret of Mr. Eice's unparalleled triumphs in the circus arena. 

The cordiality with which the better classes and more influ- 
ential citizens responded to his odd Wiiy of casting oil the stale, 
mechanical method of the past in introducing innovations that 
ordinarily require a century to mature — all this can be accounted 
for only by the originality and determination, pure and native 
tact, and brilliant genius of the great moral champion of the 
arena. 

The following year, 1847, when he hud scarcely attained liis 
twenty-fourth year, young Dan identilicd himself with the Welsh 
National Circus, making his initial bow in the equestrian world 
at the National Theatre, Philadelphia. It was while filling an 
engagement there that his wonderful versatility asserted itself 
in a marked degree. If in the character of a Shakespearean 
clown he had hitherto achieved an unrivalled renown, in hi*^ 
presentation of the new, boldly uriginal, and strikingly comic role 
of an equestrian clown, he had certainly reached the comiel 
climax, so to speak, of his world-wide fame us a fun-maker. 

The composite clown, in which these two opposite types com- 
bined, was only made possible by such a genius iis Rice, and re- 
vealed in him one of the richest and most natural grotesfiues that 
was ever surmounted with the sugar-loaf hat. 

Perhaps no artist is thrown more completely on his own re-' 
sources than is the equestrian clown. Unlike the low comedian, 
he has no humorous Bjieeches, monologues, jests, jokes, or conun- 
drums manufactured to the bidding by the best wits of the day, 
working overtime at that; neither has he the assistance of con- 
federates drilled to their parts or the extrinsic aids of the arenic 
illusion and dress. He is, on the contrary, compelled to invent his 
wit, as it were, on the wing, and being the centre of attraction, 
the observed of all observers, if a spontaneous sally should prove 
amiss, he has no alternative but to bear the recoil upon his own 
shoulders. 

In this serai-blend of the wise fool and the knock-about-Jack- 
of-all-jokes sort of character were revealed the exhanstless re- 
sources of the remarkable man. 

Mr. Rice was never at fault — never at a loss for anecdote or 
repartee in any emergency, and while his art was often pungent, 
his mirth-inspiring personality made ever the object of his shafts 
the subject of an enviable interest than a target for popular and 
distasteful gossip. 



BS1CINISCEN0B8 OF DAN HICB 



. the development of the dual character Mr. Eiee had a 
two-fold purpose. 

The Shakespearian jester, sui generis, had entailed an in- 
credible drain upon him. In creating or assimilating the cques- 
l-rian clown he discovered a sort of side line, a foil in fact, to re- 
lieve the tremendous strain, mental and physical, which the 
former role demanded. 

He realized in so doing that, in the event of success as the 
<ielineator of the ** twin-opposites," his future was assured. 

The mirth he provoked proved indeed a mint of money. It 
eeemed as if at one bound he had reached the top round of his 
professional ladder. 

Wherever he appeared throughout the United States the most 
tremendous and enthusiastic audiences greeted his niirih-inspir- 
ing presence. This is not a little extraordinary when it is con- 
sidered he made his debut in the ring only three years prior, that 
38, in the year 1H44. His reputiilion, sprung up thus suddenly, 
however, was simply and solely due to his indomitable ami tire- 
less energy, reinforced by a business and a social tact that were 
only surpassed by his engaging personality and professional 
talenta. 

Some one has said that the man who makes two blades of grass 
grow where but one thrived before is a public benefactor; upon 
the same principle he who makes us lau^h twice when we laughed 
hut once before is as great a philosopher and more truly entitled 
to the admiration and applause of his fellow-men, Dan Bice 
was, indeed, such a benefactor; great as a man, yet greater as an 
artist. His success was electric — instantaneous. He was fairly 
swamped with flattering offers at home and from abroad. He 
was flattered and feted on all sides. His Philadelphia engage- 
ment was one continuous ovation. So it was that under such 
itifying auspices the youthful prince of jesters once more 
inched out for himself, a new departure that proved to be the 
epping-stone to far greater triumphs in broader fields, as 
anager and proprietor of his first circus. 

Late in the spring of the year IStfi, with the first circus he 

Br owned on board of the steamboat " Allegheny Mail," which 

arted from St. Louis, he ascemlcd tlie Mississipjvi River as far 

us St. Paul in Minnesota, exhibiting at alternate towns on both 

ies of the river. In returning he descended the lower Missis- 

j)pi with a view of spending the winter in New Orleans. Ar- 

^ving at Milliken's Bend, near the mouth of the Yazoo River. 

Mr, Rice^s indisposition, of which he had complained two Hays 

evious, had now developed into a raging fever. At this point, 

everal gentlemen, including an overseer from the surround ing 

plantations, called to see Mr. Rice, and concluded from his symp- 



108 



REMINISCENCES OF DAN RICE 



toms that he was, in all probability, suiferiiig from the firet stages 
of the yellow fever. They advised him lu leave his boat and 
make use of the overseer's quarters while he was under treatment, 
at the same time recomuiendiiig for his medical adviser tlie plan- 
tation physieian, Dr. U'Neill, a young student from Cincinxiati. 
Mr. Kice retained a reliable employee of his own as night nurse, 
and during the day he was attended by a planters young son 
by the name of Jim Ooit. In appearanee this young man was of 
a sullen, suspicious type, and Mr. Kice imagined that he was 
capable of any crime, aud as his safe, containing $'28,UUO, was 
removed with him from Ibe boat, that fact made him apprehen- 
sive of its contents. Therefore he was ever on the alert, with 
his mind actively engaged on iJie one absorbing thought, that 
of watching the safe during the day, thus diverting his attention 
from his illness, which was evidently the best thiJig that could 
have happened under the circumstances. Finally, by the time 
Mr. Kice became safely coirvalescent, his boat arrived after meet- 
ing the appointments on the Yazoo lliver, and he was then taken 
by his atteuding physician to Bayou Sara in Mississippi, to be 
treated by a celebrated yellow fever practitioner. Dr. Gordon. 
This gentleman being aware that the young students usually 
practised first among the plantation negroes, aud being surprised 
that he should have a white jiatient under his charge, asked Dr. 
O'Neill what had been his method of treatment in Mr. Rice's case. 
When the young physician had explained, Dr. Gordon said that 
it was only by a miracle that the patient had survived under it. 
Mr. Rice, whose humor was always uppermost, responded: '* I 
lived, Doctor, under the pressure of that iron safe with $*^8,000 
in it, and 1 couldn't die with all that money lying around loose." 
After the evening exhibition Mr. Kice was able to be taken 
on the boat and continue the journey with his company to Baton 
Kouge, Dr. Gordon having advised him how to proceed during his 
convalescence. Arriving at Baton Kouge, Mr. Kice was removed 
from the boat to the hotel, where he remained several days, dur- 
ing which time a number of old friends called to in(fuire after his 
condition. Among them was Gen. Zachary Taylor, who had, a 
short time previous, returned from the War in Mexico loa<led with 
victorious honors. Having had large experience with yellow 
fever, he insisted that he would become Mr. Rice's nurse, and 
through the GeneraFs kind attention and the delicacies he fur- 
nished, the patient rapidly improved, so much so that after a few 
days he was assisted to walk from the hotel to his boat, leaning 
on the arm of the General, to whom he ever felt grateful,, as he 
afterwards proved by his tribute to him in the arena. A curious 
incident in connection with this episode occurred long afterward 
in the autumn of 1875, when Mr. Rice was making liis tour hy 




HEMINISCEXCES OF DAN RICE 



WJ 



boat down the river as ugua). He landed at Duckport, a few 
miles below Millikeirs Bend, Ji locality made famous iu history 
by General Grant digging a canal to cut off Vicksburg from the 
mainland. The exhibition was held at night only, as t!ie oegroes 
were busily engaged by day colton-picking. While the prepara- 
tions were being made for the evenings entertainment, Mr. liice 
took a stroll to look at the old relic of war times, the Grant Ciinal, 
when his attention was drawn to a couple of bears chained to a 
tree. He threw himself down on the Bermuda grass whicli cov- 
ered the entire levee, to watch their antics, when he was suddenly 
accosted by a stranger who was bending over him. He glanced 
up and saw an uncouth character standing there with an arsenal 
around his waist, and rising to hia feet, greeted the stranger 
with the question, '" Do you live here, sir? " '* Yes, sah, this is 
my plantation, and thar, yandah, is my grocery." AmJ then 
pointing to the circus tent in the distance, he continued, " What 
is that thar? " To which Mr. Kice rei>!ied, " That is Dan Rice's 

Horse Show." The man remarked, " If a a lie, sah; Dan 

Rice is dead." Mr. Kice explained, " Dan Rice is not dead," to 
which the man resimnded, ''Yes, he is; he died at Milligjurs 
Bend over twenty years ago of yellow fever. I know what I'm 
talking about," and with a gesture of a man of that class who 
shows that he is not accustomed to being contradicted, his hand 
sought the pistol in his belt. Mr. Rice knew the meaning of the 
ominous sign, but continued nevertheless, *' I tell you, sir, Dan 
Rice is not dead! I am the only Dan Rice that ever lived and 
I've never been dead once since I was born." " Stranger," the 
man said solemnly, *' I was nurse to Dan Hice when he war down 
with the yellow fever at Milligan's Bend." " What is your 
name? " asked Mr. Rice, beginning to recognize him. He replied, 
"Jim Ooff, Everybody knows me in this country, sah; I work 
over 2W hands." Upon this information, Mr. Hice, knowing 
that those 200 negroes could not aitend his show without the full 
consent of the master, brought all his policy to bear upon that 
question, and with a financial eye to windward, he invited the 
stranger to come down to his boat at the levee, and, as was Ids 
custom, treated his guest very hospitably. In the course of con- 
versation, Mr. Rice remarked, *' Well, OofT, I really owe my life 
to you," at which the man smiled. '* Do you remember," he 
continued, " the iron safe I had with me in my room?" " Yes, 
sah." " Well, there was $2S,000 In that safe, and I read petit 
larceny in your face and it was my anxiety about that money that 
kept me alive." " Wlint was that you rearl in my face? " asked 
Jim, doubtfully. As Mr. Rice saw that he did not fully catch 
the meaning of the term, he felt safe in repeating it, so he re- 
plied, " 1 said that I read petit larceny in your face, sir." Jim 



no 



BEMINISCENCES OF DAN EICE 



broke into a smile that did not tend to enhanee the contour of his 
feature^-, and remarked jubilantly, " Well, they didn't reckon me 
a good-lookin' feller in them days! That's a fact." Mr. Rice 
was closely observing the man, and says the lurking ifiend looked 
out in every feature, and the desperado was ytamjjed in every 
movement and gesture. As he grasped Str. Rice's hand on his 
departure from the boat, that gentleman asked, *' What do yoi 
keeji in your grocery, sir? " " Plantation supplies, sah," h 
answered. Jlr. Rice then asked if he had any eggs for sale, and 
OofT replied, " I've got one hundred dozen fresh eggs, sab, at 
twenty-hve cents a dozen." *" Then, I will take them all," said 
Mr. Rice; " send them up to the boat with your bill.'* " A!l 
right, Rth.'' " Bye-thc-l>ye," said Mr. Rice, "here is a family 
ticket for you to attend the show this evening,'* " I've got no 
family, i^nh; only a nigger gal and her mother who keeps house 
for me. But I'm much obliged to you, sah, for your ticket," and 
he gnis|ted Mr. Rice's hanil once more before he started away 
with, " I'm yo friend, sah. Anything I can do for you, sab, com- 
mand me, mh" After the eggs had l>een delivered from the 
jJiintation and his hill settled, Mr. Rice was surprised to see him. 
return and purchase two hundred tickets for the negroes to at- 
tend in the evcniug. The news of Mr. Rice's meeting with Jink 
Ooff spread among the adjacent phintations, and they wer<? 
largely ropresentcii by the colored population that evening, to- 
gether with about one hundred ladies and gentlemen who occu- 
pied the reserved scats. The large audience was due, mainly, i 
Mr. Rice's diplomacy in dealing with the outlaw. Mr. Rice says 
tbat a S*»outhern gentleman would have resented the indignit 
which Jim Ooff offered in calling him a liar, but, coming ae he di 
from the North, he was of cooler blood and remembered the ol 
saying that, " A drop of honey gathers more flies than a gallon 
of vinegar."' 

When Mr. Rico had fully recovered from the fever, he revived 
his professional season in the succeeding winter in New Orleans 
under very auspicious circumstances. The company, being com- 
posed of some of the very best available talent, was suflicient 
assurance for the attendance of the elite of the city, and Gener 
Taylor and the nthcers of his stat? were also frequent visito: 
from the barracks at Baton Rouge. 

With his great capacity for localizing events and the broad 
license of the arena. Mr. Rice always vividly displayed the virtues 
of the hoary old hero of Buena Vista, and continually kept him 
before the people in ston^ and song, composing them as the cir- 
cumstances recjuired and the opportunities olTered. The scene 
he introduced of the " Battle of Buena Vista " was one of his 
greatest successes in the arena. 



IS 





RKMINISCEXCEM OF DAN KICE 



111 



General Taylor was daily growing stronger into the afTcctiona 
of the people and Mr. Kire wiis oir' of the first to advocate the 
<Teneral for the Presidency and labored assiduously for that end, 
"bringing all his powers to ln-ar while in tlie arena and out of it. 
Mr. Kice was one of ihe delegates froin Louisiana to the eon- 
vention which nominated General Taylor for the Presidency, and 
was also jiresent at the inauguration ceremonies. Being a strong 
personal friend and admirer of the grand old hero, General Tay- 
lor offered Mr. Rice a place of honor on his private staff, which 
was aecejited for friendshi]>'s sake, the tieneral conferring upon 
him the legitimate title of Colonel, which title he is proud to 
assume as the gift of tme of our greatest soldiers in the nation's 
list of great and good men. 

During General Tayh>rV limited term of office, his warm, per- 
sonal interest was ever enduring, and when the hero of lliese 
memoirs was summoned to the l)edside of his prostrate friend 
there was no heart in that assemhlage that beat in greater sym- 
pathy than did that of Col. Dan Rice in those supreme minutes 
when the President's life went out to penetrate the mystery of Ihe 
great unknown. Colonel Rice was solicited to act as one of the 
jiallbearers at the obsecpiies, which honor he was, unavoidably, 
unable to serve. It has indeed been well said *' He was the 
noblest Roman of them all. His life was gentle, and the ele- 
ments so mi\*d in htm, that Nature might stand ii}) and say to all 
(he world, * This was a man! ' " 

In pronouncing liis eulogy on General Taylor, the Hon. Jolin 
Man<hall said that he was " great, witlumt |>ri<le; cautious, with- 
out fear; brave, without rashness; stem, without harshness; mod- 
est, without bashfulness; apt, without flippancy; sincere and 
honest as the sun." 

General Scott, who also knew him well, paid a fine tribute when 
he said, '* He had t!ie true basis of a great character, pure, in- 
oorrupt morals cnmhini'd with indouiitahle courage; kind- 
hearted, sincere, and hospitable in a f»hiin way, he had no vice or 
Prejudice; many friends, and left behind him not an enemy in 
the world." 

In the spring of this same season, 1848. on the occasion of u 
lienefit tendered him by the citizens of New Orleans, Mr. Rice 
M'B8 the recipient of a massive gold medal presented by a <'om- 
Jtiittee representing some of the best business and social elements 
of the Crescent City. It was executed by the firm of H. E, Bald- 
Xrin & Co., the Titfany of those days, in that section. The gem 
>»'as gurniounted by an ex<]uisitely wTougbt nuehorse. with the 
rider in jockey dross, the whole being beautifully jewelled and 
enamelled. 

On one side was the inscription '* Presented to ^Ir. Dan Rice, 



112 



hrmikiso£:ncss of dan rice 



the Shakespearian Jester, as a mark (^f esteem for private worth 
aud {)( aihiiiralion for professional talent. New Urleans, ilarch 
4, 1H4S." On the reverse side is Mr. Hiee's erest with the inscrip- 
tion " Filius Momi " — Sou of Mirth — and heneath a eareworn 
face, with a branch of birch between, signiluant of Dan Rice's 
success in l)rus}iing away dull care. The medal was presented in 
behalf of the donors, in tlie jtresenee of rt,(K)i) people, by Mr. 
Poster, a brdliant young Virginia lawyer, in the spring of 184S. 
From New Orleans Mr. liice went to St. Louis in the spring 
of 181!>, where he met with an overwhelming demonstration. 
Parades and banquets were given in his honor. On the last night 
of his apjjcaranee, while the pavilion was crowded to its utmost 
capacity, the Missouri Fire Company presented the " Prince of 
Clowns, of managers, and good fellows," with a splendid silver 
cup. 

During the performance, at a suitable opportunity, Mr. J. A. 
ValentiiHL' eolfred the ring and, advancing towards Mr. Rice, 
made him the following neat and appropriate address: 

" Mr. Rice. — As a slight return for the kindness you have 
shown them, and as a token of respect to your professional merit 
and to your private worth, the members of the Missouri Fire 
Company, through me, desire to present 3'ou with this cup. They 
beg of you to accept it as a token of their friendship and esteem, 
and allow me to add upon my own responsibility, sir. that 1 sin- 
cerely trust fifty years hence you may i>e able to qualT your wine 
from it, in hale health and fine spirits," 

To which Mr. Kice answered: 

"Mr. Valentine. — This spontaneous expression of the good 
feeling entertained toward me by the Missouri Fire Company is 
indeed as gratifying as it was unlooked for. I am highly de- 
lighted if my efforts to please here have met with their approba- 
tion. I shall always endeavor to retain their good opinion. To 
this compliment as to my professional merit 1 will say that it 
has always been my fli"i to im])rove the style of humor of the 
arena, and I am glad to see that those efforts have met with appro- 
bation. To tlu'ir declarations of ]irivate esteem I can only say 
that from my heart I thank them kindly." 

Mr. Rice with bis company then proceeded to Cincinnati in the 
steamer '* Jewess," having disposed of the steamboat " Allegheny 
Mail," and met there his siient partner, G. R. Spaulding, who 
had. during Mr. Rice's southern engagement, organized a large 
wagon show, with wliich to continue ibe enterprise in Northern 
territory, which was lo be opened at Pittsliurg. 

During the succeeding two years, ISoO-lSHl, the great humor- 
ist, after an absence of two seasons made a tour of the Northern 
States. 11 is appearance in New York State was the signal for a 



llEMlNlSC&NXfiS OF DaN ftlCfi 



IIJ 



DJOBt extraordinary series of home-welcomingfi. His startling 
succegscs, however, proved the cause of a most sensational hap- 
{)ening. 

Since he had last appeared in his native State, he had encoun- 
tered many mishaps, and enemies had done their utmost to crush 
him. For a brief period his foes had exulted over his apparently 
hapless fortunes, but they knew not the man witli whom they had 
to deal. Misfortunes only served to devfloj) his true character, 
and the indomitable spirit which existed within him enabled him 
to rise from adversity and triumph over the machinations of those 
who sought to destroy him. The tact and genius which nature 
had so lavishly bestowed on him won for him a world of friend- 
ships, and so while the engines of persecution had been working 

I against him, he had been steadily growing in public favor. His 

f fame as a fighter, as well as a fun-maker, had preceded him. The 
relentless revenge with which Spaulding and Xnn Orden had pur- 
sued him, only served to kee]> him more closely in touch with the 
popular heart. On every side he was met by the most enthusi- 
astic manifestation of resj)ect and esteem. 

Wljilst Mr. Rice was exhibiting at Roehester in the fall of 1850» 
Spaulding and Van Orden, lashed to fury by the great success 

I everywhere attending their former associate's enterprises and the 
consequent failures of their own exhibitions, on a trumped-up 
eharge of alleged slander, procured a warrant for the arrest of 
Rice, and had him incarcerated in the so-called ''Blue Eagle" 
Jail. The sheriff who executed the warrant was known as 
*' Wooden-leg " Chamberlain. 

Ban Rice did more to increase the fame of the " Blue Eagle '* 
Jail than any other living man. He it was who christened it the 
" Blue Eagle," the name l>y which it has l>een known all over the 
country. Dhu Rice was arrested by Sheriff Chamberlain, and 
confined in the "Blue Eagle" in the fall of 1850, and the ex- 
planation and history of his confinement he gives in his once 
fanjous song given below. This song was written on the wall of 
the jail l»y Rice himself, and the words herewith were taken from 

I B copy made many years ago, and is suppo.«;ed to be the only one 
now in existence. The writing has become so faded by age that 
it was almost impossible to decipher it, in fact parts of the last 
two lines have entirely disappeared. It has been stated that the 
inscriptions made by Mr, Rice on the jail wall are still visible. 
This statement is erroneous, because numy years afterwards it 
was entirely obliterated. Visitors to tlie jail would invariably 
inr|uire which was the cell Dan Rice, the clown, occupied. So 
popular was the song that persons of all ages and sexes were 
wrought up to such a state of excitement and sympathy, that 
they would shed tears, and for years Rice could never get out 
8 



lU 



BEMIXISCENCES OF DAN BICE 



of the ring without singing that song — visiting tlie siiiut; pli 
annually. Parents would smg the song and transmit it to 
children, and tsonie are still singing it to-day in many place 
Califoroia and Oregon. TIh' song was written to the air of^ 
*' Landlord's Pet/' an old English tune. 

THE SONG: 

Kind gentlefolks, all give ear to my ditty, 

While 1 relate a sad tale, 
"What happened to nie in Rochester City 

Where 1 was* in " Blue Eagle " jail; 
But to tell you the cause, and the cautie of the eauae 

It would tause you to sit here some time. 
But as you and 1 do not wish to cry. 

Therefore I will he hrief in my rhyme. 

A man named Van Orden, Fd have yon to know. 

Who was at one time my agent. 
He stole my farm and stole my show. 

And rohbed me of every cent; 
And hecause I told the public so, 

It raised this gentlenum's dander; 
So at Pittsford. in the County Monroe, 

He had me arrested for slander, 

I being a stranger^ and unknown in town, 

Therefore I knew no l>ail. 
So the sheriff straightway took the clown 

Down to " Bhie Eagle " Jail. 
And my bail when it came could be no better. 

It came from Albany town; 
Accompanying it was the lawyer's letter 

Saying, " H is good bail for the clown.** 

But there I stayed for one long week, 

Because they would not take my haih 
I believe the sheriff and Van were col leagued 

And determined to keep me in jai!. 
For which I hi owed them up sky high 

Every night played in the town. 
And stated facts they could not deny, 

All about their misusing the clown. 

The citizens then did all complain 

Of the sheriff who used mc so mean. 

Their names were Pardee and Cbandjerlain, 
Two of the meanest men over seen. 



BEJiilXISCEXXfiS OF DAN BICE 

I know thej were prevailed on to refuse bail 

By Mr. Van Orden & Co., 
And there 1 was kept in the *' Blue Eagle '' jail. 

By " Dot and go one " of Monroe. 

For my appearance at court I then did give bail. 

A bail ihey could not refuse. 
And 1 bid farewell to the ** Blue Eagle " jail. 

The moment that I was let loose. 
So here I am as you do see 

These matters to explain, 
I am determined to show up rascality 

If they put me in the " Blue Eagle " again! 

In exposing Van Orden, I never will cease 

As long as my name it is Dan, 
He had me arrested for saying that he was a thief, 

Which I am to prove, and I can. 
For he knows full well it is the truth I tell, 

For a greater villain than he never run, 
So on my fortune he cuts a great swell, 

Whicli money was made by my fun. 

So good gentlemen here, and kind ladies all. 

It is now I must close up my song 
€>f my ups and downs on the raging canal, 

And how I have been getting along; 
But one word I must say before I go away. 

And then my song is at an end: 
If you would avoid a-going astray. 

Never trust too much to a friend. 



115 



CHAPTER XIV. 



JESTER AND JrDGE — X CLOSE CALL— RICE 8 REMARKABLE 



NERVE— THE 



YANKEE YAHOO — A STATE SEtltET — 



SPAl'LDINO AND ROGERS TREACHERY — FOILED HY THE 
PILOT— IN THE ARKANSAS WILDERNESS— DAN RICE HIS 
OWN ADVANCE AflENT — MEETINO WITH TOM MAY, THE 
WESTERN OUTLAW — A SENSATIONAL EPISODE— THE START- 
LINO SEQUEL TO A DREAM — THE SNUFF-DIPPER'S STORY. 

WHEN the winter seapon closed in the latter part of March, 
1852, Uw Orent Show started North, cxhihiting along 
the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, and eventually brought up at 



116 



EEMIXISCENCES OF DAN RICE 



St. Louis the following August. Among the many spicy adven- 
tures which Berved to enliven llic homeward journey, two inci- 
dents are worthy of more than passing notice. While exhibiting 
in New Madrid, Mo., the local Justice of the Peace, a veritable 
*• Poo-Bah *' in that section, came Bhamhling down to the circus 
in cowhides and clay-jn'pe outfit, looking more like a hobo than 
a Lord High " Executioner '* of justice. 

Colonel Rice took exception to his tramp-like tendency to 
Bhullle and lounge about, and, of course, not knowing who he 
was, ordered him away. On his refusal to go, 3Ir. Rice liandled 
him pretty roughly in the process of ejection. The old judge 
left, vowing vengeance. 

In about an hour a messenger came hurrying to the circus and 
informed the Colonel that tlie judge was coming down with a 
pistol to shoot hira. As soon as the latter heard the name of the 
object of his wrath mentioned by his friend he recalled the mem- 
ories of many a desperate encounter in which the grizzly " fire- 
eater" had figured. Rico was inclined at first to avoid a colli.'^ion, 
but when tbe justice came swaggering down the wharf, horse- 
pistol in hand, and filling the atmosphere with sundry hints about 
"Yankee Yahoos,'" etc.. Colonel Rice hurried down the gangway 
of the steandxjat and, snatching the "shooting iron" from the 
grasp of the man, deliberately fired its contents into the air. Then 
turning to the thoroughly rattled justice, he handed the gun 
back, remarking, "" Here, judge, is your pepper-box. I am Dan 
Rice." The former was stumped. The latter, however, with a 
tactful eye to business, the circus opening that night, extended his 
hand and invited the dispenser of justice to join him in a drink. 
Explanations. followed and many other things until the "wee 
hotirs "' of the morning at the conclusion of the performance. 

The judicial gentleman above referred to afterwards hecame a 
very pillar of strength in the national politics of the country. 
For obvious reasons his name is not disclosed. 

The other adventure previously referred to happened while 
en route a few days later. Spaulding and Rogers had constructed 
at Cincinnati a floating amphitheatre, or '* Marine Palace," em- 
bracing a ring, auditorium, etc., wherein they gave performances. 
The undertaking, however, was operated at a heavy loss, and wa« 
finally abandoned. 

As the reader may recall, a bitter rivalry had existed since 184D 
between Spaulding, Van Orden & Co. and the Great Jester. The 
latter waged war against his enemies on legitimate lines as an 
honest competitor; the former carried on their campaign against 
him through disreputable methods. They, failing to compete 
successfully, inaugiirated a system of persecuting opposition, be- 
Betting him with the tricks and devices and cowardly resource 




BEMINI8CEKCE8 OF DAK Bid 



117 



characteristic of the guerilla. It was rule or ruin, a question 
of the survival of the httest. It was a most costly struggle for 
supremacy, carried as it was^ for four long years, entailing an 
outlay of over one huodred thousand dollars by Colonel Rice. 

They resorted to every contciDptible stratagem to injure one 
vrhom they frequently tried, l>ut failed, to ruin. An instance in 
point. It appears they were a day ahead of Rice's show on the 
^lississinpi. (hi the way to Caseyville the '* Marine Palace " ran 
aground. It took therii nearly a day to sheer off, when, in order 
to place Rice's in a similar predicament, they anchored the buoys 
so as to effect that result, and then hove to three or four miles 
above to await developments. But the pilot, Allan Sutton, quickly 
noticing the displacement of the )>U()ys, slowed the boat, ordered 
the lead to be heaved, and, striking tiie channel, passed safely on. 
It was a very transparent trick, and so, as the Rice boat steamed 
past the " Palace," the latter was greeted with ironical cheers. 
The following song, illustrative of the event, was composed and 
I sung by Mr. Rice at the next stopping place: 



Some New York sluirps, I'd have you know. 

They struck upon a plan — 
They built a boat on tlic river to float 

To ruin this old fool Han, 
And as they failed in previous attempts, 

And found it was no go. 
They surely thought the *^ Palace '* would prevent 

Success to the one-horse show. 
And oh, the one-horse show, my boys. 

It is the show for fun; 
And like this country's motto, 

You find us " many in one." 

This floating scow from Cincinnati, 

Which passed here the other day, 
The mechanics there that did work at her 

Did not get all their pay, 
Kotwithstandinp they were told 

By Messrs. Van Orden & Co. 
That Commodore Spaulding had plenty of gold 

To ruin the one-horse show. 
And now, if he has plenty of gold, 

Then I should like to know 
Wliy the " rnlace *' wiis attached and nearly sold 

By the friends of the one-horse show. 

Tliey try to ring the public in 
By a church-bell chime, 



tiB B£M1NISCENC£S OF DAN RICE 

And after you have paid your money. 

All you hear is an organ grind, 
Whifh i^(|ueaks; and sijualls most mournfully. 

Ami makes a duleful «>und, 
And seems tn say. " Oh, sinners pray, 

Wliy tlie ilevil don't you kneel down 
And prepare to meet your fate; " 

Wliieh 1 tell Ihem is below, 
Or return to Dan before it's too late. 

What belongs to him and his one-horse show. 

They tried to eatcli me in a trap 

As I left Shawneytown; 
At Caseyville they laid false buoys 

To lead me hani aground. 
But Allan Sutton was wide-awake, 

And knew the channel to a spot; 
Says he, "Old Zac ean never be eaught 

In such a shallow plot." 
Our manager. Whit beck, stood on our deck 

A-Iaughiog at the " Scow,"" 
His comj)liiuents to Spaukling sent, 

To beware of the one-horse show. 

It's now we are over Treadwater Bar, 

All dirty tricks we shun. 
We always keep in channel deep, 

And follow the rising sun. 
So you wealthy men on the floating scow, 

To the breeze unfold your flag, 
But do not IqucIi the ouc-horso show. 

For itV an awful snag. 
So leave nie ah)ne, keep to yourselves. 

To break me is no go, 
For t!ie joke is out, when Dan's about 

With his awful one-horse show. 

It was in the spring of 1852. after a season of the hardest wor 
the great elnwn liad ever accomplished in fighting his old antag 
onists, Spaidding and Van Orden. He arranged the route for 
his " One-rforso Show " on the river to secure for himself a 
month's respite to recuperate, as lie was almost exhausted, both 
in mind and body, with the heavy demands upon his artisticj 
powers, in fdling nearly a six months' season of the most ex4 
f raordinar}^ efTorts of his life of vagaries and in accomplishing the' 
success of defeating bis enemies, driving them out of the " Old 



BEMINISCENCKS OF DAN SICB 



lis) 



American Theatre," they ab&conding under the cover of darkness 
to the city of Mobile. Ue had arranged for his agent, Fred 
Hunt, to advertise thu river, leading out all the large towns, a* 
far as Napoleon, taking only plantations on the way, and giving 
only afternoon performances each day, as the planters would not 
permit their slaves to be out at night. But Hunt, not favoring 
the idea of ' subject ing himself to the dangerous elunient that in- 
fested Arkansas, declined to advertise the interior; so Mr. Rice 
concluded to till his place, and represent the interests of his 
j)rofe8sion, by becoming his own agent. He therefore gave in- 
stnictionB to the management what course to pursue on the route, 
leaving out the cities, as his absence in the ring would have 
proved disastrous in prominent places, and proceeded on his 
journey alone, taking with him a case of show bills. 

He to<ik the steamer " Xatchez " at New Orleans, and, as he 
himself was commander of the circus boat '* The United States 
Aid,'* it was most fitting for Capt, Dan Bice to become the guest 
of Capt. Tom Leathers, commander of the '* Natchez," Mr. 
Rice intended to go as far iis Chico, now called Arkansas City, 
and during the journey was introduced to Mr. Shears, whom Cap- 
tain Leathers called his " most honored friend," and requested 
him, when they reached Chico, to "^ Let Dan have a team of horses 
to drive through the country, for he wants to advertise his ' One- 
Horse Show ' in all the towns up the Arkansas River as far as 
Fort Smith, and he will ship them back to you from Memphis 
by boat. And FIl stand good' for it." 

And now began the journey by land. Arriving at a settle- 
ment, now called Montieello, consisting of a few habitations, and" 
about thirty miles from Arkansas City, he next day proceeded 
to Pine Bluff, a distance of fifty miles; thence to Little Rock, the 
capital of the great State of '' bowie knives," but which is now, 
in 1900, one of the raost peaceful, progressive, productive, and 
hospitable states in the grand constellation. Mr. Rice adver- 
tised the rest of the towns as far as Van Buren, si.v miles below 
Fort Smith, where the news came by stage that the river was 
ipidly falling, and it would be disastrous to make any attempt 
t ascend the Arkansas. Tie then engaged a messenger who was 
lighly recommended by the landlord of the hotel, as the beet 
man he could secure for the requirements of the case, as he was 
well acquainted with the whole country and knew the character- 
istics of its people. He was sent with a letter of instructions to 
the manager pro tem. of the show, and was to await its arrival 
at Napoleon, a town at the mouth of the Arkansas River. From 
there the management went to Helena, and Mr. Hunt preceded 
it to Memphis, to advertise it for one week. 
Stopping at the same hotel there was an agent of General Ross, 



REMINISCENCES OF DAN BICE 



the chief of the Cherokee Indiang, who was on his way to Xaa 



riile, Tcnu., and 



)le 



days 




uld elapse before 
arrival of the stage, at the suggestion of the landlord, Mr. Kice 
consented to give the Ross agent a seat in his wagon as far as 
Batesville, a distance of one hundred or more miles. In fact 
he was glad of the agent's eonijjany, for hitlierto he had been 
travelling alonei ciivus agents at ihat time doing their work 
singly, without tiie assistance of a ftaff of employees o^iual to that 
of an army general, as is the system now in vogue. Well, the 
started in tlie afternoon and remained that night at the ho 
of a farmer, eighteen miles distant. This man, Tom May, b( 
the reputation of having killed several men, and, at one ti 
belonged to the notorious ^fiirroU gang of land pirates. 

After the evening repast they were ushered in the dim 
light to a loft, where a couple of cots and straw beds were }ire' 
pared for them to pass the night. It was early in the evenin, 
but candles or lam])s would have been deemed extravagant lur 
ries, not to be indulged in. or even thought of, in Tom Ma^ 
household. However, the weather was quite cool and the rough 
roads that impeded their travel had predisjiosed them to sleej 
which they did soundly until aljout four oVlork in the mom 
when Mr, Rice was awakened by the Indian agent, who asked 
he had oliserved any one enter the loft during the night. Mr. 
Rice, half asleeji, rei>lied in the negative, and was turning over 
to finish his nap when the agent said that some one had robbed 
him of his Itolt. 

At this infonnation Mr. Riee became wide-awake, and excitedly 
rising from Iiis cot, ini]uired of the agent what he meant. Sho' 
ing a red mark around his waist, evidently the impression made 
a girdle, he replied that it was gone, and that it contained notes 
and gold to the amount of ten thousand dollars, which had been 
intrusted to him to jynrchnse supplies for the Indian Nation. 
After this there was no more sleep for Mr. TTice, wlio rose a 
made an ineffectual search in the agent's cot for the missing bel 
A knowledge of the bad rejuitation <«f Tom May. the landlord, 
caused them to form the conclusion that during the night he had 
entered the room and taken it from the agent's person. The 
latter had a forlorn hope that it might have become unbuckled 
the night ])revious. while at Van Buren, and had slipped from 
his waist to the bed while he slept. I^feanwhile. during this un- 
certainty, Mr. Rice wn.'? most unhappy, for be was jealous of his 
character and reputation, and he naturally concluded that the 
loss of such a considerable sum of money by a roommate wotild 
cast reflection of suspicion upon him, especially as circus people 
then, as now, did not hear a too immactilate reputation. He 
therefore offered to drive the agent back to Van Buren to inveeti- 



tee 
'en 




BEMIXISCENCES OP DAN BICK 



121 



gate the affair of the lost belt, and declining the breakfast of com- 
dodgerg and rusty bacon which the Indian agent, despite his loss, 
appeared to relish, he hastened to the barn, harnessed his horses, 
and then drove to the house to settle his bill. He was surprised 
to meet the agent at the farmhouse door with hie face wreathed 
with smiles. '* I have found my belt! " he excitedly exclaimed. 
" IIow? Where was it?" asked Mr. Itice, equally excited, 
" Well," said the agent, ** I'll tell you. Wbile sitting at break- 
fast I all at once remembered a dream I had during the night. I 
thought that Tom Mny was after my money and 1 arose, and 
^standing upon the cot, unbuckled my belt and thrust it among 
the rafters overhead. This dream, as 1 have said, occurred to me 
while eating, and I immediately went up to the loft, and, standing 
upon the cot, I thrust my arm among the rafters, and, sure 
enough, it was there." 

This, to Mr. Rice, was an agreeable finale to that wliich had 
threatened to become a serious adventure. Had the agent not 
remembered the dream, the belt might have remained hidden 
until this day, or, until the house was eventually torn down to give 
place to a more pretentious dwellin*,^ in the progressing age. 
And Mr. l?ice and old Tom May wouhl have remained mutually 
suspicious of each other through the circumstantial evidence of 
^ilt. He often met Tom in after years at his woodyard several 
miles below Little Rock on the Arkansas River, where he pur- 
chased a large tract of timber land. Having previously lost his 
wife, he lived there a hermit life, managing his woodyard and 
negro slaves. 

The exciting scenes of that night caused the Indian agent to 
change his |»lans, and he decided to retrace his .steps, deeming the 
journey to Batesville too hazardous to venture. He also advised 
Mr. Rice to do the same, pointing out the perils of the rtnite 
through that rou][?h and lawless country. But Mr. Rice was 
guided by his native courage, and decided to carry out his prc- 
viously matured plans, and proeecded on the journey. The agent 
finding his advice of no avail, hired Tom May to take him back 
to Van Buren, and thus Mr. Rice parted with him and never saw 
or heard of him aftcns'ard. 

On the way to Batesville he passed through the most poverty- 
Btrickcn and benighted country that ever befell the fate of a 
traveller, and one that even a man of experience would not be 
anxious to revisit again. But being possessed of an indomitable 
will he pressed onward until evening, and as he had travelled 
many miles and saw no cabins in sight, he was fearful of having 
to remain in the woods until daylight. Still continuing on in 
the darkness, he, all at once, heard the barking of dogs, and was 
overjoyed to find by a dim Light that a habitation was near. He 



ISS 



EEMINISCBNCES OF DAN HIVE. 



approached a good-sized cabin, when a pack of hounds came 
bounding out to make it known that a stranger was near. ilr. 
Rice halted near the cabin and a tall woman appeared to put an 
end to the canine pandemonium, lie asked the lady if it would 
be convenient for her to allow him to remain during the night 
and furnish him with suj^xt and have the horses fed and sheU 
tered. She replied that if he could put up willi the accommoda- 
tions she had to olfer, he was quite welcome to stay, but would 
have to look after his own horses, as her *' man is away, and thar*B 
no tcllin' when he'll git home, fur he went to Batesville to 'tend 
the 'lection." While the horses were being fed and attended tlie 
hostess busied herself in preparing the evening meal, which con- 
sisted of pork and hoc-cake, and a very mild ingredient to which 
she gave the exhilarating name of cofTee, However, it was all 
very acceptable to Mr. Rice, who rather enjoyed the novelty of the 
occasion, and his humorous propensities were ever on the alert 
to make the best of the situation that was forced upon him by 
a series of circumstances. 

While he was enduring the repast with all the fortitude of his 
nature, the conversation that had nlso proved meagre in its de- 
tails began to lag until it reached a point where Mr. Rice sought 
to enliven it by his ingenious, hap|>y faculties. By way of a 
preliminary, he asked the woman if she had a family, and being 
informed that she was the mother of six children, he brought his 
observation to bear upon the individual before him, and fonnd 
her to be a tall, gaunt creature whose pale face and pinched fea- 
tures betrayed the resultfl of a life warped by the fate of surround- 
ing circumstances. 

The conversation continued to prove so uninteresting in its 
nature that it finally ceased entirely, so there was no other alter- 
native for our hero hut to submit to the inevitable. 

As the time wore on and night advanced, the monotony in- 
creased, and the woman, weary with waiting for her husband, fell 
asleep in Mr. Rice*s presence. While his mind was ruminating 
on his strange adventures and dwelling on the possibilities of his 
business prospects in that wild district, the sleeping woman all 
at once gave a most appalling shriek, which not only awakened 
her from slumber, but also starllefl the weary traveller from his 
reveries. With that bewildering air that comes to the suddenly 
awakened sleeper, the woman exclaimed, •* Jim, did you kill that 
cowardly cnss that insulted me? " But, recognizing at last the 
fact that she was addressing a stranger instead of her husband, 
and being aware that he could not return without her knowledge^ 
she remarked hv way of apology, that she " hed bin dreamin*. and 
wonld go to bed," which she did, wishing him a good night's rest. 
Before she left the room, however, Mr. Rice, having a curiosity to 




BIMINI8CENCES OF DAN BICE 



123 



knov of whose hospitalit}' he was partaking, asked his hostess 
to inform him as to whom her husband was, and she tuld him that 
liih name wa^ " Jim May, brother of Tom May, who lives a few 
miles from Van Buren." 

Onrhcro was uneasy at this startling news, and debated iu his 
mind whether it was <|uite prudent to remain under a roof whose 
master was one of the notorious Mays who raided tlie country in 
connection witli a Lawless gang tiiat brought terror to the re- 
speeuible element, and threatened individual safety. Tie at once 
concluded that he was in a very dangerous position, particularly 
if the man May should return and find him a guest in his home; 
Init, being naturally gifted with a courage that was always ready 
to adjust circumstances as the present required, he prepared him- 
self for any emergency that would be likely to meet hiiu unawares. 
So holding his revolver by his side with his finger on the trigger, 
lie felt that he was comparatively secure, and tried to banish ail 
thoughti? of the unpleasant situation, endeavoring, at the same 
tiJiie, " to woo the drowsy god to his embrace.*^ 

All at once the dogs outside began tu bark, and the noise 
<'i^:?ated such a state of excitement that Mr. Hice was impressed 
*^ith the idea tliat May had returned, and, should he be seen by 
the outlaw, had his trusty weapon ready to meet any aggressive 
demonstration from the desperate fellow, and also preserved an 
oatwfird calm tliat would have deceived even Jim May himself. 
But it provcil to he a false alarm, however, for the dogs soon 
<'ea8e<l barking, and everything around and about the cabin set- 
tled into «|uiet and repose. The ui^dit was well advanced and lie 
*iis beginning to feel an assurance that cireumstnnces would so 
^ha[>c themselves that all troulde would be avoided should the 
man chance to return. And without any further apfirehension 
ill regard to the possibilities that might occur, he again tried to 
«oo the god of slumber. As the moment of forgetfulness was 
^earat hand and the experiences of the night previous were be- 
t^oming obliterated, our weary traveller was again aroused by a 
mutfled noise in the adjoining apartment, and, while conjecturing 
1? to its cause, in a moment he was sttirtled by seeing a tall, white 
fipire emerge from the room with a bundle in its arms. It si- 
l*'iit]y apprnaclied the iire[ilnce r^nd, bending over the hearth, 
^f'llod the bundle in some loose ashes and tlren (piietly retired. 
This strange, iiet*uHnr prnrecding tended still fnrfher to banish 
sleep, and Mr. iiMce lav cogitating ujion it. wlien he again heard 
" repetition of the same noise emanating from the room, and 
^fom it emerged the figure with, apparently, the same bundle in 
l^fir arms. The operation was again performed by rolling it in 
^'le ashes and a silent disnppenrancc as in the former case. After 
^hese singuhir proceedings nothing more occurred to disturb the 



124 



REMTXISCEXCKS OF DAX niCE 



stillnesB of (he remaining night, and soon the day began to dawn, 
much to the relief of Mr. Rice, wlio was thoroughly exhauiJted by 
his experiences of the past two days, lie took leave of his hostess 
at the earliest possible moment, when she said to him as he took 
his departure, " stranger, if you meet my man, Jim, on your way 
to Batesville, don't tell him you elayed all night here, fur he's 
orful jealous of me! " Mr. Kice told her that she might rest as- 
sured that he would never mention it to any oue. And he gave 
double assurance in his expression when he remembered what 
she had uttered in her delirious dream. Still having a desire to 
satisfy his euriosity as to the strnnge proceedings of the past 
night, he said to the woman at parting, "^ Will you tell me the 
reason why you eiime into the room so many times during the 
night, and each time rolled a bundle of something in the loose 
ashes on the hearth?'' " Oh," she replied, "we've hed a long 
drout. No rain fur several months, an' ther little spring nigh 
a mile away jes gives null to drink, and bile yams» an' it's rily at 
thet. So you see I can't wash elo'es or nothin' else an' the 
children are so greasy an' dirty, they slip out of the bed, an' when 
they do, 1 hev to get up an' roll them in the ashes to make 'em 
stick to the bedclo'es." From what our hero saw in that forlorn 
household during his forced sojourn there, he knew the poor 
"snuff dipping" woman had told the truth. 

In the winter of 1853 while exhibiting in New Orleans (in 
Frenchtown), Spaulding & Rogers, who were still dogging with 
vengeful persistence the path of the Great Clown, eame along 
with their " combination " and '" staked " their csinvas on an ad- 
joining lot, expecting to play a successful game of freeze-out. 
But tlie people would have none of them. In two days Fnele 
Dan called their hands, and so, in the vernacular of the " green- 
cloth," chilled feet resulted. 

Spaulding had with him at that time the great English clown. 
William F. Wallett. The dressing-rooms of the two shows were 
not far apart. Between the acts, the famous American Clown, 
as well knowii for his magnanimity as for his genius, in motley 
garh, invited Wallett to come into his circus and he would intro- 
duce him. Arm in arm the two clowns walked into the ring in the 
garh of tlieir respective nationalities. After the introduction, 
Uncle Dan made a brief speech, saying he considered Mr. Wallett 
a personal friend and hoped he would meet with a cordial welcome 
from the citizens of the Crescent City, and begged to assure that 
gentleman that as long as he remained on American soil he shoidd 
never go hungry for the lack of Rice. Wallett responded with 
his accustomed wit and repartee, assuring his American friend 
that his " Wallett '' should ever be at his disposal. 




hemixiscexces of dan mice 



Ui 



njT. A disagreement later on with Spatilding refiulted in Mr. Kicu 
Hfenring Wallett's services for four weeks' eugugenucut, iluring 
"^rhich Kice and lie alternately played clown and ringmaBter tu 
tremendoiLs audiences. 



CHAPTER XV. 

AT HKW 0RLSAX5 — XNAUOURATIOK OP DAN BICE'S MAMMOTH 
A^MPHITHEATUE — A REMARKABLE POPULAR UPRISIXO — A 
UNIQUE DRAMATIC INCIDENT — A CLOWN IN TEARS — COL. 
rice's TERRIBLE ARRAIGNMENT — ORGANIZATION OF THE 
SOCTHEEN MUSEUM. 

IN the fall of 1853, Colonel Rice erected on Charles Street, New 
Uriean^ where the Academy of Music now stands, one of the 
ttiofft magnificent places of amusement erer constnicted in tbe 
Crescent City. 

It waa known a£ Dan Bioe'a Amphitheatre. In a! )ity 

it mar^ced up to that time the moat meniorablc • hi» 

career. Despite the horror of the fact tha* >w fever vaa 

nging at this period, eonnting its rictims L . .... ..joaaads, And 

that, as a conceqaeDce of the der&ftating pestilence, a panic had 
proetnted ererr branch of indnstrT, the anditoriiun on the opeO' 
ing night overflowed with the mnet enthtuiaatie i^odtencif th«t 
Colonel Bke aajs he had erer greeted in any acrtion of tfao 
ooontry. 

Colood Biee deliTered the UOkmiBg cfatfactcfirtie 
-wmatooB prologoe on that oecMion: 

Yes. m J kind frienda, I «ai hefe in Sew Orlcm. 
And at the thought food Benory pktvn mamj an 
This theatre of mj tiiala. triniipha, fartanc, Ihbc, 
All good tlHt dvlcB maid My tasUt MUBC, 
Xay, start not, poUtieian, aa^pe^ «r befo« 
A down mmj luTe a fame as well as 5ero, 
Byiun, P^ayne, ar any other eif» 
Born to annoy the worid and ta < 
The yestcr^ff nose on ftfot Ufltanr g 
In eoloB hr^M and happy, hnt the 
Of felWv M^^wVr eoma 4ovn 

And ii ili MifiM wHiy af yaar an 

BuMaeiti 
Batrn aoe: 

It fib ST 



1S6 



REMINISCENCES OF DAN RICK 



And if to posterity it never descends, 
Your presence here to-uight makes all amends. 
80 to my task, for it is my delight 
To see you here, as it will be every night, 
And as your aequaintanee 1 wisfi much longer, 
May friendship'^ bond uach d»iy grow stronger. 
Mine he the task, with all my Tuight and main. 
To shake cobwebs of c.ire from every brain, 
Bid Father Time hie wrinkled front undo. 
And as his stej) is noiseless, be it trackless too. 
Nor leave his footprint rough, on beauty's brow 
Or manhood's lofty front; so cheer up now. 
Bring in the horse and let the fun l)egin. 
For if there's fun about, be sure Dan's in. 

After the performance had proceeded a most sensational inci- 
dent aroused the vast audience to an extraordinary pitch of ex- 
citement, recalling with painful vividness the persecutions with 
which Spaulding and Van Ortlen had dogged Kice's steps, bring- 
ing utter ruin not only to his professional enterprises but to his 
domestic relations. Hundreds of personal friends of the Colonel 
in that great throng, keenly sensitive of all the details of the 
fierce antagonism and revengeful rivalry of his former partners, 
when the great clown reappeared in the arena, greeted him with 
a veritable cyclone of cheers, alternated with derisive cries, in 
which the names of Spanklingand Van Orden figured with venge- 
ful em]dmsis, " Go for them, Dan "; " Pillory the pirates "; " Let 
rip on the blackmailers," and scores of similar questionable con^ 
pliments echoed and reechoed through the vast enclosure, 
thousand throats took up the cry; again and again Colonel Ri 
sought to stay the tide with courteous but deprecatory gestu: 
but the throng would not he denied. The Prince of Jesters 
visibly aifected. His eyes and voice, but a moment before beam- 
ing with brilliant bon mots and jest-provoking laughter, grew 
dim and Inisky. The jester and the man fought it out for a few 
minutes; the former was overwhelmed. The man met the occa- 
sion. Choking with emotion Colonel Rice made the following 
jmpassionate address: 

Ladies and Gentlemen: A etrange fate has heen mine since I 
last had the honor of appearing before you, and I learn that those 
who were the instruments of that fate have been most busy in 
attempts to poison the minds of the citizens of this place against 
me. otherwise I shoidd not intrude my private affairs upon your 
notice. These people say they started me in business. So they 
did, and to me most disastrous business, for I was called by them 



Let 

om^ 




REMINISCENCES OF DAN BICE 



127 



from a very profitable engagement in Baltimore to New Orleans, 
to play for them. 1 weut; when 1 got there, they first tried to 
cajole me into less favorable terms than tliey had offered me, but 
linally, finding that I was more important to them than they 
were to me, they came to terms, by which their shattered fortune 
▼as redeemed, as the good people of the South were pleased to 
favor me with their smiles, and money flowed to the coffers of the 
managers. After a while I wanted a settlement, as they owed 
ine considerable money- Then it was they started me in busi- 
ness, for, being unable to pay my claim, I was compelled to pur- 
chase one-half of their old stock at a high price, and thus heconie 
a circus proprietor. You can appreciate tlie kindness of such a 
start. Well, we made money; fortune seemed to woo us in every 
way, and I thought myself rich, but I was deceived. I had given 
Mr. Van Orden most unlimited control of my affairs, and I too 
late found that where I vainly supposed bills had been paid, notes 
for i)aymcnt only had been given, as I had authorized him to 
sign my name. Wluit became of the money I have yet to learn. 
But when I returned, under his charge, to New York, 1 found 
myself liead over ears in debt, mostly on account of Van Orden 
& Spaulding. One curious nuitter will here present itself for 
your consideration as involving a new principle in arithmetic. 
Mr. Van Orden was my agent, and received for his services f$100 
per njonth. He was not worth $10 when he started on that duty; 
lived like a prince while so engaged, and at the end of eighteen 
months brought me in debt $;i,r«)n, but he was both bookkeeper 
and treasurer. I leave you to ascertain what rule would work 
out such a result. 

While deluding me with the idea that I was rich, or, to speak 
more plainly, while he was perfecting his scheme of robbing, 
he persuaded me to let him be my agent in the purchase of a 
farm near Albany, a lovely place. I did so, and gave him the 
money to make the first payment, for I had been permitted to 
handle a little of my own money, and this it seems he wanted to 
get. The farm was bought and my family moved upon it. It 
was furnishc»d and storked at my expense, and the cirrus stock 
was placed there to winter, while it was agreed that T should go 
South and ])lay a series of star engagements, such as have always 
been open to me. Previous to going. Van Orden suggested that 
I had better mortgage the personal property to Mr. Spaulding for 
fear some other creditors should take advantage of my absence 
amd it should he sacrificed. The chief of these creditors, whom 
T was taught to regard as merciless, was my friend II. M. Whit- 
hee)<. by whose kindly aid I am able now to see you in spite of 
them. 

Having foolishly arranged all things to please them, I started 



128 



BEMINISCENCES OF DAN Jll€E 



Soutli, and had been absent but a few days when 1 reeeivcd a tele- 
grapliiu detjijatch to the elFeet liiat Spaulding had foreclosed the 
iJiortgagu, aiul tliat my fatiiiJ}- were left m the hout^e and would 
be, in a lew days, withont the most eoiniuon necessaries of life. 
1 returned in haste, and by my presence stopped the sale, for, 
learning that 1 was there, neither of the gentlemen dared to show 
his face at a sale of their own a]tpointiiient. Having, as 1 sup- 
posed, jmta quietus to this proceeding, again 1 started to fultil ray 
engagements. The next news 1 got was that the sale had been 
made; tliat Mr. Van Urden's fatlicr had claimed the farm as his 
property; that my family had been turned out of doors in mid- 
winter, and that by a triek of tlie law I was a houseless wanderer. 
1 hastened to Albany and there learned that the farm had never 
been deeded to me, but ilr. \'an Orden, poeketing my money, 
had caused the farm to be deeded to his own father, who was 
then in possession. The otTendcr was absent How I burned 
with indignation, I leave you to guess. But I was moneyless, 
and, therefore, in law, helpless, 1 knew ray only hope was to 
get money, therefore 1 took my wife's jewels, and upon them 
raised money to start another circus. iJut 1 learned to dread 
the tricking of these men so much that 1 now started in the name 
of F. Rossten, a boy whom I had raised, and who, I thought, was 
bound to me by so many ties of gratitude that 1 was safe in him. 
In this I was deceived — they bought him. Stung to desperation, 
1 denounced the whole party, told all the facts, and so incensed 
the community against them that they were scouted from society. 
They dared not retort one word while in a place where both were 
known. But waiting until 1 reached Rochester, in New York, 
where they thought I was not known, they pounced on me in a 
suit for slander, and Spaulding, by virtue of a bill of sale from 
Rossten, attjiehed my property, an attachment wliich he has been 
pleased to release and quietly i)ay $1,000 rather than stand a trial. 
I was imprisoned, and. notwithstanding hail worlh fifty times the 
amount required by the court was offered, I could not get a re- 
lease for one week. As 1 have sued the sheriff for false imprison- 
ment, this will all come out in good time. 

Again 1 thought myself free to pursue the even tenor of my 
way, and started to reach tlie sunny South where I k^new there 
were warm hearts to welcome me. Soon after my arrival in 
Pittsburg I learned that Van Orden was there^ and had sworn he 
would destroy me: that it wtis his and Spaulding's determination 
to do so; that for the purjjose of pursuing me they had starte«l a 
circus company, which was to pursue my track, and they were 
both to keep up a fire upon me until T was finally (destroyed. 

I fort!iwith caused a writ for conspiracy to be issued against 
them, and they are now under bail to answer to that charge. 




BEMINISCENCBS OF DAN RICE 



129 



learning some facte relative to a portion of money surreptitiously 
obtained and disposed of by Van Orden, I had him also arrested 
Xor larceny, and to both of these he mu^t answer. 

I had witli me at Pittsburg a performer of good qualities on 
horseback, but unprincipled. This man lie hired and cajoled 
into a series of act& whirli have caused him to be arrested on a 
erimimil charge of grave eliaracter. The party sliot ahead of me 
down the river, and, I learn, have endeavored to spread a poison- 
oui< influence against me. 1 therefore deem myself justifiable in 
all 1 have said. Not that I ask any man's sympathy, or court 
any man's favor. If the public come to see me and ray perform- 
ance, 1 will try to satisfy them, and as far as this quarrel is con- 
cerned, I wish your motto to be that of the ancient lawgiver, fiat 
justilia, mat atlum. 

In the same year the Southern Museum was projected and 
organized by Colonel Rice. It was the first museum of any con- 
siderable size ever opened in New Urieans, or. in fact, in the 
South, and it was a matter of general astonishment that such a 
place, coii^bining in the Northern cities so many resources of 
annisement and instruction, with successful returns to the pro- 
jectors, had not, long before, become one of (he settled features 
of New Orleans. Colonel Kice seized the first opportunity to 
Ratify the public desire and sujiply the vacuum, and by his enter- 
priiSf anil lilierality, the .Southern Museum was opened to the 
public for the first time on the *^5th of January, 18,53. An estab- 
lishment of this kind. It is well known, demands years of lalior, 
diligent research, extreme care, and a vast expense to make it 
Complete, or even to bring it within any degree of completion. 

In fact, a museum never is complete so long as anything of a 
Hovel description can ho added to its stores; hut its organization 
of ohjects representing the multifarious departments of human 
knowledge, customs, history, etc., may be rendered perfect 
though on a skeleton plan, and it is then I>ut a work of time and 
industry to fit ui» the ranks of the battalions of cunosities. 

The Southern Museum formed the nucleus, and its active and 
indefatigalde proprietor r^onstantly added to its resource. His 
agents were everywhere and iost no opportunity to increase the 
stores of the museum. Already two four-story, large brick build- 
ings were required to give them proper disjday, and it needed 
but a brief inspection to convince the most careless onlooker 
that the hand and eve of one tlionuighly cognizant of his dlPTi- 
cult task bad superintended the division and arrangement. Not 
only dead, bnt living objects of natural history were there in 
niimhers. and the student of all the " ologies *' did not fail to 
find plentiful material for his investigations. 




ido 



BEMINISCliNCliS OF DAN iUCK 



The museum was open to the public all the year round from 
9 A.M. to 9 I'.M., the price of admisjsion being twenty-tive centa, 
children, fifteen cents?^ — cheaji enough the litlle ones say to see 
" the live eleplioot stulfed with straw," as the old joke has it. 

The following is a brief description of the amphitheatre, S^ 
Charles Street, Xew Orleans: ■ 

This large and elegant building, an accurate view of which if 
given by the engraver, was ereok'd expressly for Colonel Rice, 
during the summer and fall of the year ISo.i by Mr. Lawrason, 
owner of the property, one of the must prominent and respected 
citizens of Xew Orleans. It oceu[iied a central and commanding 
position in that busiest and gayest of the Crescent City's many 
gay and busy thoroughfares, 8t. Charles Street, and its original 
and picturesque exterior immediately arrested the attention of 
every one who passed. Situated near the Southern Museum and 
the St. Charles Theatre, it presented a more elegant architecural 
appearance than either of those noted l>uildings, and. indeed, it 
had but few rivals, in this respect, in the entire city. The amphi- 
theatre was designed for both equestrian and dramatic perform- 
ances and possessed a large and solidly fitted up "ring" or 
" circle " where the bold rider has ample room for his feats of 
graceful or daring horsemanship, and where the jester par excel- 
lence, Dan liice himself, swayed night after night, in his raotl^ 
garb, crowds of delighted listeners. 



CHAPTER XVI. 



; moUa| 



C0ED8 OF WOnr> AND "COON WHISKEY — A WESTERN DESPE- 
RADOES LAVISH GEKKROSTTY — MEETING WITH A FAMOUS 
LAWYER— A TIMELY WAKNING — FATE OF THE INDIAML 
AGENT — ASSASSINATION AND ROHBERY — COL. RICE^S STAl 
LING DISCOVERY— TRACES FRUITS OF THE CRIME— SILES 
AND SAFETY. 



LUAA 

1 



IX April, 1853, Mr. Rice, after finishing the winter season in 
his amphitheatre in New Orleans, left the city to meet the 
appointments laid out by his advance agents in the cities and 
towns along the Mississippi River and its tributaries. In each 
place he was received with great enthusiasm by the public and 
with increased admiration and sympathy, as they had been kept 
informed as to the warfare with his common eneraies, Spaulding 
and Van Orden. 

Mr. Rice then ascended the Arkansas River as far as Fort 
Smith, which he failed to do in the spring of 1853 on account 




BEMINIBCBNCES OF DAN RICE 



low water. Among tlie several yards at whicb he took wood 
-was one seviTal milcB bt'low LittJu Itock, at whicli bu lauded aud 
• informed the proprietor, *' 1 want fourteen cords of wood. What 
ifl your priee for the same, sir? '' The individual addressed threw 
a eareless glance at the speaker as he answered, '' Two dollars 
a cord, sah.'' Mr. Eice knew the man at once, hut gave no out- 
ward sign of recognition. 

In the meantime the boat was made fast to the hank, and the 
men at once began transferring the wood to the boat, whde the 
proprietor went on board. '* Are you the captain of this yah boat, 
1 Bah ? " he asked. Mr. Kicc re{>iied, "' Yes, sir ; I am the captain of 
this boat." ** All right, sah," he said; ** have a drink, sah?" 
" No, sir; have a drink with me, .sir," said Mr. Kice, who, having 
discovered that the man displayed two great horse pistols in his 
overcoat pockets, and knowing that he would possibly stop there 
again on his return trip, felt that it would be jiolicy to treat 
the man with courtesy and great liberality. They then proceeded 
to the bar. They smoked their cigars while the men were load« 
ing the boat and indulged in a general conversation, Mr. Rice 
, considered the situatiou and asked his visitor to take another 
'drink, which he did, and Mr. liice enjoyed another cigar, wliile 
his guest smoked his pipe,and, becoming quite social, he turned to 
the captain and asked, "What is yo' business, sah?" " I'm a circus 
man, sir,'' said Mr. Rtce, " and have my company and horses all 
on this boat^' " Well, what circus is it, sah? " the man asked. 

" Dan Rice's Circus," was the answer. " By , sah! Fve seen 

Dan Rice's Circus in New Orleans. He beats all the circus 
clowns I ever seenl Where is Dan?" he continued. "Well, 
Fm Dan Rice," was the reply. ** I*m proprietor of this circus, 
and captain and owner of this steamboat, sir." He shook Mr. 
Rice*8 hand with much warmth and said, " Lot's take another 
drink." Which expression was cut short as the last cord of wood 
was being put on board and the ready bell had rung. Said Mr. 
Rice, " My friend, go to the office and get your money, and sign 
a receipt." Seeing the nwney lying on the desk he signed the 
receipt and the clerk handed him the amount, which he counted 
and said, " You have paid me, sah, for fourteen cords of wood, 
and I want pay for twenty, sah." Mr. Rice said, *' I think you are 
mistaken." " No, sah! I put twenty cords of wood on the bank. 
sah!" At the same time his hand fell on his pocket. Mr. Rice 
then said, " We'll have no more controversy about this matter, 
sir," and turning to the clerk, said. "Pay this' gentleman 
twelve dollars more and take a receipt for same." To Mr. Rice's 
surprise, when the man came nut of the oflRce. he said, *' Captain, 
call all your men up to this bnr. snh; while T call my niggers. 
eahl " and he kept drinking with them. Mr. Rice called all the 



132 



BEMINISCENCES OP DAN BIOB 



.service of the boat: tlie pilot, engineers, firemen, deck-hands, 
grooms, canvasnieii, and, finally, the performers, and this curious 
individual then insisted upon champagoe for the ladies, llis 
bill of tifty dollars he readily paid without oJIermg one word of 
remonstrance. The bell now rang for starting. The master 
with his slaves got ashore, and, being exceedingly hilarious, they 
gave three cheers for the circus. The master shouted, " Captain 
Dao, stop and see me on yoiir way down the river, and don't 
forget it! " As the boat steamed away uyt the river, Mr. Kice's 
mind was filled with anxious, gloomy thougbt*i of the dark, hor- 
rible deeds committed by this man, who wus the notorious Tom 
3Iay, and especially as to the fate of the Indian agent of General 
Boss. 

Landing at Little Rock Sunday evening, May 1, 18rj3, he was 
advertised to perform for one week. Having enjoyed the journey 
up the river to the fullest extent, and participating in the pleas- 
ures of never-ending changes that naturally attend such a trip, 
Mr. Rice was therefore in excellent condition, and his recupera- 
tive powers perfect. Before leaving New Orleans he had received 
several letters of introduction to prominent people in various ports 
of the country through which he had to pass, and among them 
was one from Mayor Crossman, of the City of Xew Orleans, to the 
Hon. Albert Pike, the distinguished lawyer of Little Hock, which 
letter Mr. Rice presented, and was received with due recognition 
and respect, and was introduced to some of the most prominent 
citizens of the capital city, who called on Albert Pike at his big 
log-cat>in home to be [jresented to the famous clown, who was 
Mr, Pike's guest during his week's stay. The friendship formed 
at that time continued until the death of Mr. Pike, that grand 
specimen of Dame Nature's choice labors. During the week, in 
the social intercourse with his distinguished host, Mr. Rice 
thought he had discovered what had become of General Ross' 
Indian agent. After telling Mr. Pike of his experience at a wood- 
yard several miles below the city, that gentleman remarked, 
" Friend Rice, I sold to that man a thonsan<l acres of tindjer land 
where that woodyard stands, and it seems a sacrilege almost to 
see those great, mammoth trees of walnut, white oak, cherry, and 
other valuable woods cut down to be burned on the steamboats." 
Mr. Rice remarked, "You must have got a good price for it?" 
" Well, yes," was the answer. " I got five dollars ])er acre for it." 
" How long is it, Mr. Pike, since you sold this land? " He re- 
plied, " About nine months ago." Mr Rice siiid, " Will yon ex- 
cuse me, sir, for being so inquisitive. Imt what kind of money 
was it you received? " He replied, " In gold and hank hills on 
the Canal Bank of New Orleans." ^fr. Rice remarked, " That 
settles it! Many thanks, Mr. Pike; I think I now know the fate 




EEMIMSCENCBS OF DAS RICK 



133 



of General Ross' Indian agenti ^' That gentleman showed his 
i surpriije when he asked, " Why, Friend Rice, do yo\i know this 
man who is proprietor of the woodyard? '' '* Yes, fiir, I do/' was 
tJie answer, "and his brother Jim, also!'' Mr. Pike asked 
L quickly, ** Who are they?" Mr Rice answered, "They were 
formerly members of MnrreH's gang of land pirates/* Then said 
Mr. Pike, ** My yoiuig friend, 1 know them also, but I keep my 
own counsel, and 1 would advise you to do the same, if you ever 
expect to visit this country again, for they are very numerous 
among us, and the slightest intimation of an exp<ise of any of 
them would endanger your life. Many of them occupy promi- 
nent positions in the mercantile, financial, and stock-raising busi- 
lliess, and are highly respected; are useful citizens and have ex- 
Icellent families." After this expression from Mr, Pike in tr\'ing 
Ho mitigate the deed of outlawry among the better representa- 
iives of the " Murrell gang,'' Mr. Rice thanked him for his advice 
and assured him that he would govern himself accordingly. 

Mr. Rice soon after continued his journey up the Arkansas 
River as far as Fort Smith, taking in the alternate towns on 
either side and remaining one day at Fort Smith. He located 
his tent adjoining the United States District Court in the Indian 
Territory. Great crowds of people had assembled from all parts 
of the country to witness the execution of two Indians condemned 
■lor murder, and ilr. Rice also had the melancholy pleasure of 
'Seeing them make their exit to the happy hunting grounds. 
Immediately after the execution the band began playing, the 
doors were opened, and, in a short time, the canvas was filled 
with a large audience, consisting of about one thousand white 
>ple, one thousand Indians, and five hundred slaves, and the 
pickets sold for one dollar singly. 
Mt. Rice had the pleasure of meeting the distinguished Dr. 
miface of the United States Army, whose acquaintance he had 
ormed at Pittsburg at the Allegheny Arsenal during his boy- 
Dd days, when he drove the carriage for Captain Harding. Mr. 
Rice exhibited at night to an audience composed mostly of the 
citizens, who turned out en masse, and the artists were the re- 
cipients of unbounded applause, and the lady performers received 
many bouquets. It was the most appreciative audience Mr. Rice 
had met on the river since he left Little Rock. The next morn- 
ing he left Fort Smith to begin the trip down the river, and, stop- 
ping at Van Buren, gave two performances to a large concourse 
of people. He availed himself of the pleasure of visiting the 
landlord with whom he stopped the year previous, on the occasion 
xrhen he was acting as hi? own affent in advertising the country. 
Tie found an opportunity of making an inquiry in regard to Gen- 
eral Rose' Indian agent, and was told that he had not been seen 



134 



REMIX I£;C£:NC£S OF DAN BIOS 



or heard of since he left with the circus agent, having arranged 
to ride with him to Batesville. Mr. Hice then inquired of the 
landlord if he knew Tom May, and was told ihal he knew^ hmi 
well, but had not seen him lor over a year, as he had left the 
country, having lost his wife, and had hjealed several miles below 
Little Eock and had started a woodyard there. Having secured 
the required infonnation, the landlord was then invited to come 
to the circus and see Dan Riee in liis professional attire, and the 
gentleman was greatly surprised to recognize in the clown the 
circus agent who was his transient guest the year j)revious, and 
lie was very much elated to know that the famous clown had been 
his guest. After the entertainment the landlord was serenaded 
by the circus band and was very lavish in his hospitality, as were 
all the people of that country in those early days. 

Mr. Rice left the next morning to take in the alternate towns 
on the dow^nward trip, and arrived at Little Hock at the entl of 
a week, remaining there two days, giving four performances. 
The entire gross receipts of llie second afternoon performance 
were given to benefit the ** Deaf and Dumb Asylum " at the 
suggestion of Albert Pike, who was a philanthropist whore be- 
nevolent institutions were concerned, Tlie gift to the institution 
exceeded a thousand dollars and was gratefully recognized by the 
officials of the city, represented by Mr. Tike, who spoke in appro- 
priate words of acknowledgment. 

Mr. Hice was delightfully entertained the following day, Sun- 
day, by the prominent jJcoide of the city, and the pleasant asso- 
ciations will always live in memory. The stay over in Little 
Rock also gave the performers a ehiinee to attend religious wor- 
ship, and, as several members of the troupe were cburcli-going 
people, it proved a pleasant source of gratification to their prin- 
ciples of devotion. At four o'clock in the evening, the cirrus 
moved otT down the river after tiring a salute with the hoat's 
cannon, amid the cheers of the throng assembled on the levee, 
while the band played its sweetest airs. Arriving just above the 
four-mile bar, the boat was tied up for the night as it was hazard- 
ous to continue the journey in darkness, as the river was full of 
enags. 

Mr. Rice hailed the captain of a passing steamer and asked him 
if there was any wood at May's woodyard. He replied, " No. I 
took all there was on the bank; but there is plenty of it cut hack 
in the timber, I wmdd advise you. Captain Dan. to send May 
word to have it on the hank, so that you can get it early in the 
morning." Remembering the presping invitation that he had re- 
ceived on the upward trip to visit May again, when he descenrled, 
Mr. Rice ordered a yawl and attendants and concluded to attend 
to the matter in person, and prepared to arm himself accordingly. 




} 



KEMIXISCEXCES OF DAX RICE 



135 



Els weapons of defence consisted of a gallon of liquor known a« 
*' nigger " whiskey, a quantity of tobacco, and some cigars. These 
articles were indispensable adjuncts to the consummation of a 
scheme that Mr. Rice had resolved to execute in regard to the 
outlaw who had swindled him out of six cords of wood that he 
never received, besides exposing this robber and murderer l>efore 
his own slaves and the entire company. In half an hour Mr. Rice 
stood in Tom May's presence with his arms hlled with ammuni- 
tion, was greeted with a hearty welcome, and hospitably invited 
to take supper, that consisted of the inevitable " hog-meat " and 
'* corn-dodgers " that had just been prepared. Having accepted 
May's invitation to remain during the night, Mr. Rice made 
known his errand — that of procuring twenty cords of wood. The 
negroes were roused from their quarters and at once proceeded to 
cart the wood to the river bank while the proprietor made inroads 
upon the whiskey and tobacco, and Mr. Rice smoked his cigar. 
A peculiar rigid custom prevailed in those early days among the 
])anditti, as well as among the best of the better classes, in 
requiring a guest to drink even though he should feel inclined to 
refuse. It was in this situation that Mr. Rice found himself; but 
being equal to any emergency, he pretended to indulge from his 
leaden cup, drinking a health each time to the worthy proprietor 
of the woodyard, and thus satisfied his host that he had partaken 
equally with him. In the meantime he regaled the outlaw with 
story and song, allowing the whiskey to furnish the finale, which 
came sooner than was expected, for May was so helplessly over- 
come that his body-servant was obliged to put him to bed, after 
which service he retired to his quarters, and Mr. Rice was left 
alone with the branded outlaw, who soon began to indulge in 
what subsequently proved to be an habitual performance of the 
nasal organs, which Mr. Rice describes, in his inimitable way, as, 
" A whirlwind of cadences as furious as the attempts of an ama- 
teur brass band." Mr. Rice, in order to perfect the projects of 
his scheme, proceeded to disarm his host by securing his pistols, 
rifle, and bowie-knife, the only weapons he could discover in the 
cabin, and concealed them, unobserved, under the bank of the 
river. On returning to the cabin he found his host still indulg- 
ing in his involtintary and furious pastime, and taking a candle 
from the table, looked long and searchingly into Tom May*s 
countenance as he lay in his unconsciousness. He read in the 
yielding features that he was not ]ox\^ for this world and would 
soon pass before a tribunal whose legal chains would hind him 
round about with bands like steel, from which he could not 
escape on account of his cruel deeds. The early da\vn was now 
approaching and the steamboat blew her whistle for landing, so 
Mr. Rice left the cabin and repaired to the river bank where the 



HEMIMSCENCES OP BAN BICK 



slaves with their ox teams were hauling and cording the wood. 
The boat " romided to/' and, coming to the woodyard, the stag- 
ing woij run out, and the working brigade commenced rapidly ' 
" toting " the wood aboard, Tom May's body-servant came to 
Mr. Kicc as he was watching the proceedings and asked him if 
he should wake up his master. Mr. Rice replied, ** Yes, wake 
him up; put him in good sha])e and tell him I've invited him to 
come down to the boat and take breakfast with me." In half an 
hour he made his appearance at the cabin door, and roughly ac- 
cused his negroes with stealing his *' shooting-irons," which they 
all denied most emphatically, saving. '" We all clar to God, Mars* i 
Tom, we hain't bin nigh dat yah cabin, fer sence yer called us ^ 
we's bin totin' wood all night." Finding they were all combined 
in declaring their innocence he made no more comments and al- 
lowed his Ixidy-servant to take him on Mr. Rice's boat, and after 
indulging in a couple of " whiskey cocktails " to set him straight, 
he went with Mr. Rice to the boiler deck and smoked while wait- 1 
ing for breakfast. The following conversation took place as they 
enjoyed the morning air. and May asked, " Captain Dan, how did 
you sleep last night?" ''I didn't sleep at all, sir!" '* Why, 
sah? " asked May. ** Because y«u gave me such a musical enter- ' 
tainment," said Mr. Rice, " that I laid awake to listen to it. sir." 
" What do you mean, sah? " " Why. you snored so loud that an 
elephant couldn't sleep in your presence," said Mr. Rice. " You 
tell me, sah. that I snore, sah?" asked May. "Yes, sir!" an- 
swered Mr, Rice, being emboldened to speak out plainly, as May J 
was unarmed, and, also knowing that most men are sensitive on 
that point, he was not safe in declaring himself. At this point 
of the proceedings. May arose, and straightening his huge frame 
of six feet to its full height, assumed a threatening attitude. Mr. 
Rice simultaneously arose also, expecting an attack from the 
outlaw, when May said, " Capt. Dan Rice, do you tell me that 
I snore, sah?" "Yes, sir." answered Mr. Rice emphatically. 
" Well, sah," said May, " understand distinctly, sah. that I am the 
boss snorer of Arkansas! " and he broke into a laugh as he spoke 
these words. The company that had by this time assembled in- 
dulged heartily in its appreciation of the curious expression of the 
outlaw when they interpreted his Joke and Mr. Rice also caught 
the infection, and Tom Slav's joke became proverbial. The bell 
now rang for breakfast, after which the mate of the boat came to , 
Mr. Rice and informed him that the wood was all on board and 
the steam up ready for the start. Tom May was hurried to the ' 
office to get his money, and signed the receipt for forty dollars, 
his signature being almost unintelligible as he was still nervous | 
from the debauch of the night before. As Mr. Rice handed him 
the money he said, " Tom, it's a poor rule that won't work both 




"vays. When I took wood from you on luy up trip, you bulldozed 
me out of twelve dollars for sL\ cords of wood that I never re- 
ceived/* Pressing the money into Tom's hand, he couliiiued, 
*' There's youi thirty-four dollars, all you're entitled to. Now, 
^et ashore! '* Calling the body-servant, he ordered him to take 
Iiis master on shore. A\\ the troupe were as8eml>led on the 
.^ards and deck of the boat to hear tlie announcement that Mr. 
Eice had to make. As Slay stood at the end of the plank par- 
tially bewildered by tlie turn of the tide of alfairs, and trying to 
collect his scattered thoughts and recover his failing powers, al- 
though he knew he was unarmed, Mr. liiee turned to the company 
and, calling their attention, said, '* This is Tom May, an outlaw, 
once a member of the notorious Murrell gang of land pirates. I 
stayed at his home one night about a year ago and he hasn't recog- 
nized me. I had accomjjanying me a gentleman who was Gen- 
eral Koss' Indian agent, and on his way to Nashville to procure 
supplies for the Cherokee reservation. He concluded to return 
tu Van Buren, while 1 proceeded on to Batesville. He has never 
been seen or heard of since, but that man. Tom May, knows what 
became of him, and so Go I! " The wretched man on the river 
bank grew ashen with fury as the accusing words fell upon his 
ear and he glared at Mr. Rice, who continued, '^ This agent had 
ten thousand dollars in gold and hank bills on the Canal Bank of 
New Orleans secured in a belt ar*>und his waist, and that man 
Tom May knew it lie murdered and robbed him! " May then 
grew desperate and shoutcfl to his servant. *' Oo get my rifle! '* 
and the rest of the slaves stood aghast, stupefied by this terrible 
declaration. The servant returned without the rifle, which Mr. 
I?ice had previously hidden the night before, apprehending some 
diffic\dty with the desperado, and May's face grew dark with rage 
and his body c{uivered with pent-up execrations that never found 
Voire in words. And Mr. Rice continued, " With part of that 
nioney he purchased this land of Gen. Albert Pike, of Little Rock. 
Kow. Tom May, f advise you to make peace with join God. for 
yowT days are numberefl, and if you do not die a natural death, 
and if I live to get to Batesville. you will die with a rope around 
3'our neck." The wretched being never uttered a word, but 
turned away and slowly marie his way back to bis cabin, his once 
erect form now bending with bis load of guilt. The boat moved 
from the landing-place and proreerled on her journey while the 
last act of a cruel tragedy was being pcTformod in the miserable 
home of the notorious Tom May. The end came quickly, for. 
Btrange to tell, when Captain Creighton of the regular steamer 
of the Memphis line overtook Mr. Rice at Pine Bhiff the next 
day, he informed him that Tom May. at the woodyard. had died 
dttring the night while in delirium tremens. Thus justice doth 



138 



BBMINISCEXCE8 OF DAN RICE 



work out her deeds; in her peculiar way. 3Ir. Rice says he will 
ever regret leaving the remainder of tlnit gallon of whiskey mmIIj 
May, for it would have given him great riatihjfaetion to have beell 
ioBtruiueiital in hauging tlie iirst man in Arkansas for murder. 



CHAPTER XVIi: 

MEETING WITH JEFFEHSOX DAVIS — A CLRCUB " CRCESCS — 
SHADOWS OF COMINU EVENTS — CALM BEFORE THE STORM — 
DOUGLAS AND LEE— AN INTERESTING INTERVIEW — *' SEE-, 
INO THE elephant" — A LUDICROUS "ELUCIDATION^ 

ring and rostrum — patriotism and price — senatol 
Cameron's ominous order — rice on the track- 
president LINCOLN'S practical JOKE. 



THPi season of 1854 proved to he the most successful one in 
Colonel Kiee's professional career. It was an unbroken 
series of triumphs, almost without parallel in tlie circus world of 
those days, unniarred as it was throughout hy accidents or inis- 
udventures so inseparnhle from the rush and hustle, risks and 
trials of the transportalion of circus troupes while on the road. 

The season closed with a net profit of over $100,000 — a well- 
nigh unprecedented gain in those days. 

In the spring Colonel Rice hade farewell to New Orleans, dis- 
posing of his interest in the famous amphitlieatre and museum, 
and removed his entire circus outfit to Schenectady, X. Y., where 
he wintered with his family at the Gihhons Hotel. 

In the fall of that year he nuule a tour of the Southweste 
States. Whilst exhihiting at Calhoun, Pittshoro County^ Miss., 
Colonel Rice received his first introduction to JelFerson Davi 
It was brought about at a hanqnet given in honor of the stalwa 
Secessionist. The Colonel delivered the address of welcome 
the illustrious guest. Davis, at that time, was a popular idol. 
Mr. Rice describes him as a man of most marvellous personal 
magnetism, modest of bearing, reserved yet not secretive — all in 
all, a man of most en "paging ]>ersonality and yet possessed of the 
most radical and positive traits. An obstinate extremist in his 
views of public men and measures, but most courteous, hospitable, 
and conservative in his social relations. ^' Davis/' adds Uncle 
Dan. " was an immortal lover and an eternal hater." 

It was customary in those ante-helhim days for Northern and 
Southern friends at pfirting to cxv^hnnge gifts — swap souvenirs 
as it were. Colonel Rice presented the great agitator with a sil- 








REMINISCENCES OF DAN KICB 



139 



TCT-mounted rabbit's foot, expressing the hope that the talismanic 
traditions associated with the souvenir would not fail of ful- 
filment. In return he received a rare Mexican silver coin, 
which General Davis had picked up on the battlefield of Cha- 
pultapec. 

During the subsequent seasons from 1855 to 1859,and until the 
outbreak of the Civil War, Colonel Kice " swung around the 
circle," as he puts it, from Dan to Beersheba, from himself, as it 
were, alternately to the reniotesit points of the circus compass; 
in truth from the wheat lands of the frigid North to the Bice 
fieUh of the Sujiny South. A s^ort of "Cereal Circle," adds 
Tncle Dan. He had now reached the topmost crescent of the 
wave of prosperity. 

Professional triumphs and honors crowded thick and fast upon 
him, bringing pecuniary prctfits to his coffers, with such fal)ulitus 
rapidity, that the late ('jovernor Curt in Of Pennsylvania was con- 
straine<l at a han«|uet given in his honor to characterize the 
Prince of Jesters as tiie Crrcsus o( the Circus. The spring of 
18GII found the Mammoth Show at the National Capital. 

At F'airfax Ctiurt House was given the initial perfornianrc of a 
tour through Virginia and other Southern States, which was 
destined to be the last appearance of Colonel Eice in the Soutliem 
Circuit for many years. 

Coming events liegan to cast their shadows before. The cords 
of the national hcnrt, harassed with maddening doubts and 
W|ually fatuous hopes, were even then straining at the leash of 
reason, swayed as they were by the passion of sectional prejudice 
and political bigotry. 

The terrihie tension upon the popular patience and patriotic 
pride of all lovers of tlie Union, the intemperate and impulsive 
Utterances of Southern sympathizers and Northern fanatics, had 
already begun to tcti nn every side. Washington society was a 
pmouldering volcano. The suspense was oppressive, the ominous 
calm before the storm, ^fcn in everv station of life, political 
plants, financial kings, all men, Southern and Northern alike, 
felt the stifling dread of impending danger. 

Bosonv friends looked askance, or greeted each other in a 
Tx-rfunctory way. Kinsmen felt the most sacred ties gradually 
loosen and unravel under the pitiable strain. 

In the light of after years, when the " storm bad spent itself " 
and that ** heavenly calm like a herald of hell " was dispelled — 
little wonder that the render may find food for gratifying thought 
in the folbnving incidents which occurred in those feverish days 
at the National Ctipital. 

Colonel T?ice, on his way to his apartments one early morning 
in the spring of IStjn, met two men, one of whom subsequently 





HBMINISCENCES OP DAN RICE 



Septeml>er, 18C1, found the Ureat Show homeward hound. 
For some time Colonel Kico hud heen liard at work speuking for 
the Union with fearless eiiorgy throughout tlie South, leaving the 
circus combinations io run it.^cJf. T\n< folh)vving analysis of tlie 
man, his motives and nietJiods of advocating the I'liion cause 
may be quoted with singular ap[tn*i)riiitcn<.'>s in ihis coiineetiun. 
It 16 from the i>en of an unknown cMntributur to a Northern 
paper: 

" I attended a public meeting in Mason City, Va., a few days 
since, and among those who spoke was a gentleman by the name 
of Kice, whom the venerable Lincoln introduced as a citizen from 
Erie County Pa., in the Keystone State. Of course, as a Penn- 
aylvanian, I felt an interest in the man; so, therefore, 1 gave his 
remarks more than ordinary attention. lie was eloquent, power- 
ful, and easy in his address and mamier, and won the admiration 
of all who surrounded his rostruui. His practical knowledge of 
the habits of men in different localities and tlie system he pur- 
sued in pointing out the impossibility of the success of secession 
was no less significant for its originality than its truthfulness. He 
told what the manufacluring North could do, and how essential 
the activity, genius, and skill of her pco]de were to the welfare 
of tlje great agricultural territory of the * Sunny South.' He did 
not abuse or ridicule any people for their peculiarities or scoff at 
the manners or conventi<malities of those who live in certain lo- 
calities. Ue showed himself a Union man who had made the 
liistory of his country a study, whose object it was to ])reserve 
it whole and undivided, and cause it to go conquering and to 
conquer. 

" But who do you suppose this fine orator to have been? No 
less a personage than Dan Kice, the American humorist, wliorfi I 
had seen and heard frequently in QuakeropoHs. I heard that 
Dan was smart, but had no idea that his talents ran in a political 
channel. He it* dignified on the ])hitforni, but, as in his profes- 
sional circle, evidently seems to command, 

" Ue is not an enthusiast, neither does he appear like a man 
who is laboring for the grnlificatiun of personal amliilion or pecu- 
niary advantage. To speak plainly, ho talks like a well-informed, 
educated gentleman, who knows what he is talking abont, and 
who works for the love of the cause he has enlisted in. I do not 
know whether he has a desire for office, and I presume he has not, 
but it occurred to me that a nnin like him, who has travelled so 
far, has observed so much anrl was so familiar with the wants, 
habits, and manners of the i>eople of all localities, could not speak 
in vain among the law-givers and sage councils of the nation. 
Perhaps the next place I may encounter this rising young man. 
Bice, will be in the State Senate, or in the Halls of Congress. 




lU 



REMINISCENCES OF DAN RICE 



More unlikely things have happened, and men of far less ability 
and character have been honored in that way. Depend upon it,J 
that Kiee will make his mark and turn his abilities to good ac-J 
count." 

In 1861, at Baton Rouge, Colonel Rice received a letter from'' 
the secretary of the Confederate Navy, at Montgomery, Ala., re- 
questing information as to whether his steamboat, "James Ray-i 
niund," could be purchased, and on what terms. Rice replied,^ 
in a diplomatic wny, asking for time to consider the proposition. 
It was a time when temporizing was tantamount to treason. As 
no answer was received Uncle Dan *' pulled up stakes " and 
sought safety in flight, In-ing well aware that the next step would 
result in confiscation at any price. Subsequently, in 18G2, whilst 
exliibiting in Washington at the National Theatre, a sensational 
Itut witlnil ludicrous sequel grew out of this incident. One eve- 
ning whilst indulging in the barbarous pastime of being shaved 
at Wiltard's Hotel. Senator Simon Cameron, of Pennsylvania, 
then Seeretr.r}' of War, after greeting Colonel Rice in a somewhat 
brusrpie manner, informed him, in an austere and somewhat dic- 
tattirial tone, that tlie President desired to see him immediately. 
Dan demurred, as his circus performance was about to commence. 
Cameron becoming apparently incensed at Rice's apparent indif- 
ference, remarked as he walked away in a significant tone, " Well, 
a bayonet prod may prove more elfective." Uncle Dan became 
suddenly distraught. Something was wrong — there was trouble 
hrewing; ami so when, after the circus ended, he received an ad- 
ditional summons to appear before the President, he lost little 
time presenting himself at the Wliite House, The cabinet was in 
session. Rice was ushered in. The first to greet him was the 
President, who with an air of almost oppressive gravity iufjuired, 
if he, Colonel Rice, had while at New Orleans an interview with 
Secretary Thompson of the Confederacy; if he had not been in 
communication with members of the Confederate cabinet; if he 
had not offered to sell his steamboat to the Johnny Rebs; if he 
had not written a letter to that elTect; if he had not received a 
re[vly bearing favorably upon that offer, etc., etc. The rapidity 
With which these questions were uttered, the grave bearing and 
intensely severe expression of the venerable President's face al- 
most caused the Colonel to collapse. He looked hurriedly from 
one cabinet officer to the other, and felt be was up against a crisis. 
With fiery indignation he denied the charge, protested his patri- 
otism, bis loyalty, and wm about launching out in an impassioned, 
and possibly immortal burst of eloquent defence, when Secretar}' 
Stanton stepped fonvard and. presenting a dog-eared letter for 
the Colonel's inspection, asked him if the signature attached to 
that communication was written by Colonel Rice. The Secretary 




BEMINISCKNCE8 OF DAN RICE 



145 



would not permit the great showman to scan its contents. The 
Colonel, now bewildered beyond relief, admitted its genuineness, 
but not before he brought hh hst down with tremendous force 
on the table fronting liim and demanded to know *' what in h — 11 
it all meant?' '* President Lincoln roared laughing, the spell was 
broken; the other members of the cabinet joined in the merri- 
ment, and a few moments later Uncle Dan realized he had been 
the victim of a practical joke. The letter wTitten by him to the 
Secretary of the Confederacy had been intercepted in transit by 
the Federal authorities and forwarded to Washington. It fur- 
nished a clew to turn the laugh on the professionnl merrymaker, 
whose aggressive patriotism was as familiar as his fun-making 
fame. 

It was at this time while performing at the old Bowery Theatre, 
New York, under the management of Sam Stiekney, that Mr. 
Spaulding sought hirn out and begged l/ncle Dan to bridge over 
the estrangements of the past — bury the hatchet so to speak, and 
renew their business associations. This, at firt^t blush, was re- 
volting to the feelings of the Colonel, who protested that, al- 
though he never carried a grudge against living or dead, and 
therefore whilst willing to forgive the ruin which tlie revengeful 
acts of his old enemy, abetted by his partner Van Ordcn, had beset 
his career, still a business alliance was quite another matter, and 
one which he did not desire to undertake. Spaulding pleaded 
his personal regard for Rice, and sought Stickney'a assistance to 
placate the Colonel. But Rice was relentless. For several days 
Spaulding labored in many ways to accumplish his purpose. He 
finally renewed his clVorts, through a nmtual friend, with the 
result that Tnclc Dan yielded and a contract was executed, which 
in consideration of $5,(100 gave Spaulding an undivided one-half 
interest in the profits of the show. This somewhat unnatural 
business union lasted three years, and was finally terminated in 
18G4, through the dishonesty of Mr. Spaulding's sons, who, in 
various capacities, were identified with the enterprise. Colonel 
Rite closed his season at Pittsburg, Pa., October 5, 1864, where 
his mammoth circus properties went into winter quarters. In 
the spring of 18fi3 the troupe travelled through Canada west, 
entering at Samia and trailed along the line of the Grand Trunk 
to Kingston, leaving the province for Oswego on board the 
steamer '* American Lake." Shortly after the steamer had started 
for Oswego with Colonel Rice and his retinue a salute of seven 
guns was fired in honor of his departure. This was about three 
or four o'clock Sunday morning. The " good-by-hoom " accord- 
ing to Uncle Dan, came from Fort Frederick. He had formed 
the acquaintance of many of the garrison stationed there, hence 
this flattering display of their good will. 
10 



146 



KEMINISCENCES OF DAN RICE 



CHAPTER XVII. 

IN January, 1861, the principal cities on the Ohio and 
si}>pi were visited l)y the Great Sliow. At New Orli 
Colonel Kice joined his company. His reappearance in the Cre 
cent City was the occasion for many remarkable demonstratior 
of popular favor. The war fever was rapidly spreading. To 
uphold " Old Glory" on the one hand; to jireaeli the gosjiel of 
the Union, and on the other hand to hold his grasp upon the 
popular heart, of which he was a veritable idol, was a stupendous 
task, drawing to the utmost upon tlie resourcefulness of the man. 
But Dan's diplomacy and native tact won the day. Whilst ex- 
hibiting at New Orleans, the following eloquent tribute, paid 
Uncle Dan by *' Chips," the brilliant correspondent of the New 
York " Spirit of the Times," very ell'eetively emphasizes the eft^H 
teem in which the genial jester was held: ^H 

My Dear Colonel Porter: Did you ever meet Dan Rice? 
I presume you have, as it has been your luck to enjoy the pleas- 
urable associations of nearly all worthy dignitaries. But for fear 
you have not, let me, for my own ]>crsomil gratilication and the 
edification of some of your many thousand readers, give you my 
opinion of the man. Now as a general thing I am not a very 
ardent admirer of the circus, and as for clowns, why I abominate 
them. Joe Millerisms are good enough in their way, but when a 
fellow in a motley garb with a spotted co^mtenance and whit 
washed cheek, attempts to pass them otf on me as original wit 
cisms, I feel disposed to treat the aforesaid mountebank in a 
raarkably hostile manner. A good ring jester I liad not see: 
since William F. Wallett was here some few years ago, so, actuated 
by curiosity, I was persuaded to forsake the legitinmte dramn, 
forswear the oitera, repudiate the burnt-cork melodies, and neg- 
lect the charming Maggie Mitchell, who was at that moment 
aforesaid playing the ancient and venerable gentleman in black 
with susceptible young men who have a proclivity for handsome 
young girls with neat gaiters on pretty (pet, short dresses, capital 
bonnets, curly hair, and saucy eyes, all of which teasing adjuncts 
Miss Maggie has got at command. 

Well, to turn from the Bublime to the ridiculous, I went into 
the Academy, when, judge of my surprise to find, instead of an 
ugly clown who unscnipulously murdered the King's English and 
made grimaces with impunity, a well-built, commanding gen- 
tleman, dressed in a court suit, and who walked with grace, 
manly bearing, and dignity, with a youthful face, n fine forehead, 
an expressive eye, and a fascinating mobility of countenance. 



[I u. 

1 




UEUIMSCKNCEB Of DAN 1UC8 



147 



Dan Rice stood before mo. Ho began to talk. He allutletl to 
the state of puljlic affjiirt«; lie interspersed his renmrks with 
quaint, funny. »iul, withal, modest ineidentif. 1 was agreenhly 
disa|»j)ointed, and 1 woiidered how a niuo 8o eminently endowed 
by nature, with a well-bulaneed mind, a quick intellect, and a 
liueral education, could ])ossiljIy have devoted so many years to 
bat pursuit, which, though honorable enough in its way, can 
ever rank with prufessinntj that now command the respect and 
kdniiration of the world. 

Kice is, however, a genius, and one who will be regarded as a 
right light, and through hit; example and efforts the "Show- 
Hen '* are somewhat higher in the social ^;cale than formerly. 

What a romance of reality would Rice's career make! Person- 
lily. 1 don't know him, but the impression he made upon rao was 
Host favorable. 1 have been told that he has been made the vic- 
"^m of many misrepresentations^ and is the child of misfortune, 
but that his indoiuitalile will. Hrraness of mind, and powers of 
forl>earnnee have enabled him to live down all obstacles. So 
might it be. Perhaps, dear Colonel, when 1 know more of Rice, I 
may have Bomething more to say about him. 

" Chips." 



CHAPTER XVIII. 




A X r> I'O PU LA RITT — TU^ 
rUITlc's CONCLUSION — 
ONCE AGAIN — A MAM- 
MOTH rXDERTAKING — SHOWMAN AND POLITICIAN — UNCLE 
DAN HKEAKS DOWN— THE FUN-FACTOHY AFTER FOHTY 
YEARS SUfTS DOWN — A FAREWELL TOl'R AND FINAL BOW 
— PROFB88IOXAL AND PERSONAL TRIUMPHS. 



IK THE CRESCENT CITY — PATRIOTISM 

I GREAT clown's CANUIDACY — A 
IN TUK MANAGERIAL HARNESS 



IN 1864 he was nominated for the State Senate of Pennsylvania 
^^ by the soldiers. He was in the Far West at that time and liad 

P^but tvi'o weeks to give his answer, which was to the effect that if 
tliey ran him they must do it upon their resftonsihility as he had 
no time to devote to the labors of n political campaign. Jic ran 
eighteen hundred votes ahead of the ticket, and was thnnkful for 
the narrow escape he njarle from being elected, for he coubl not. 
under existing circumstances, serve a term as State Senator. His 
letter of acceptance bad hnt one xveek's time for circulation 
among the people of the district. 

T^ter. in 1>!n('>. be wv^ nominafetl by the soldiers of the 19th 
Congressional District, Pennsylvania. Colonel Rice declined the 



148 



HEMINISCENCES OF DAN RICE 



honor, withdrawing in favor of Glenni W. SchofielJ, who was 
elected. 

In April, 1805, Colonel Rice was engaged by Forepaugh & 
O'Brien, opening at the Walnut Street Aniphilheatrc, Philadel- 

{>hia. SuljSLMjUentiy, whilst with his greatest show at Chicago, 
Monel Kice received the news of the assassination of President 
Lineoln. lie at once cancelled all future engiigenients and re- 
turned to his home in Girard, Pa. Later he purchased ihe Mabcy 
Bros.' circus outfit. He also secured the first herd of sacred 
cattle ever brought to this country;, at a cost of $5,000. and ex- 
hibited the beautiful beasts throughout the Lake cities. They 
were jmrchased from the Ilofnagel estate at New if ope. Pa. In 
18(i(i he renewed his copartnership with Forepaugh. making a 
tour of the Jliddle States. A year later he a]>pearcd again under 
the management of Cooper, Gardner & Hemming, receiving 
$1,000 a week for his services. The years of ISlKi and 18(.;7 found 
Colonel Kice in the managerial harness once again. He huinched 
another mammoth enterprise, a circus and menagerie, organized 
on a scale hitherto unrivalled in variety and novelty of attraction 
and lavish expencUture of time and monc}'. It was the largest, 
most complete, and successful venture ever undertaken by Colo- 
nel Kice. The menagerie embraced, anu:)n;^ mjiny other remark- 
able attractions, some of the rarest quadruped novelties known 
to the amusement-loving people of two continents, and witliout 
a shadow of doubt, the most costly stud of educated horses ever 
seen the world over, was represented in this marvellous aggrega- 
tion. Excelsior, the most wonderfully trained horse on earth, 
whose equal has never been seen before or since, was the star 
attraction. The act performed by this blind horse, borne as he 
was on a platform carried on the shoulders of twelve stalwart at- 
tendants, who paraded the living statues<|ue equine around the 
ring, the horse resting on three legs, while one of his forefeet was 
adjusted with graceful effect on a pedestal, ]iresentcd one of the 
most exquisitely picturesque tableaux ever conceived by a horse 
trainer or limned by a Rosa Bonheur. The arenic attractionB 
presented to the public an array of talent never gathered togelher 
theretofore under one canvased roof and in a single ring. This 
unique and conqilete exhibition of circus and menagerie made a 
tour of the Atlantic seaboard States, giving n final exhibition on 
the cotton factory lot. Second Street above Nortli, in the f*ity of 
Ilarrisburg. Pa. His presence there was the occasion of the fol- 
lowing tribute to him as a showman, as a patriot, and something 
of a politician: 

" Mr. Rice ns n showman has a reputation in his line of business 
which is unequalled, and is known to almost every man, woman, 
and child in the country. In his private walks of life he has be- 



REMINISCENCES OF DAN RICE 



141> 



come equally famous for his liberality and undaunted persever- 
ance. Jn giving one or two instaneei? to illuiilnae this, we Iiopo 
be will pardon iis lor thus bringing his privalt* with his public 
reputation in jtrint. We hiive given, from time to time, the 
movements in ditferent counties of our ^tate for the purpose of 
creeting monuments to their brave sons who fell in the Rebellion, 
hut as yet, in no instance, excepting one, have we learned of the 
consummation of this |»raisevvorthy jturpose, and in this we are 
indebted to the liberality of the man that nlmost every negro and 
bootlilack on the street familiarly styles ' Dun Kice, the flown/ 
Jlr. Riee, though Ijy no means a * million heir,^ partaking of the 
patriotic spirit, went to work flt once, ohtaineil the consent of the 
authorities of the town he resides in, tSinird, Erie County, and 
erected, at bis own expense, a iriagnihcent monument to the 
soldiers who fell in hattJe from thiit county, costing him thou- 
sands of dnllars. Nor is this the only instance of Ids liberality, 
his frequent contributions to tlie sick and wounded soldiers, are 
acts deserving the highest praise. 

Mr. Itice has also taken considerable part in political matters, 
and was al>out this time nominated for State Senator by his 
friends in a district hirgely against the party of which he was the 
nominee, but was so pojudar that Ins opponent barely escaped 
defeat by a very small vote. Dan was oil travelling with his 
show, but had he remained at home and taken the stump in the 
canvas, he would have been elected. He had recently travelled 
much through the South, and since his return, at the request of 
Secretary Seward, has given the government mucli valuable in- 
formation relative to those States." — Jlarrisburtj Patriot and 
Un inn. 

After thirty weeks of the most brilliant campaign he had ever 
experienced Colonel Rice, mentally jaded and physically ex- 
hausted, returned to his palatial home in Girard. Pa. He was 
shattered in health and bis physician urged a much needed rest. 
But not for long. The merrymakerV mercurial nature would not 
be denied. Hcst; was one thing — restraint (piite another. Of 
physicians, Uncle Dan had a healthy abhorrence, presumably 
because he had been somelhing of a *' Medicine llan " himself. 
His confinement chafed. It was a sort of strait-pieket to his 
animal s[)irits. The fun-factory, winch had been running, and 
working overtime at that, for forty consecutive years, was rusting 
with inaction. To jdan was hut to put into practical operation, 
or as Fncle Dan says, "With me it vrn^ at that time a ease of 
kicking and conquering. T won out. got on my feet and put into 
execution a determination to make a farewell tour of the principal 
cities of the North and West. I had amasjied. it is true, several 
fortunes. I have given all but the one I now had away. I was 



RKHiN16C]iNG£6 OF DAK BI 



tempted to enjoy it. I deciiknl to withdraw from the amusement 
world. This would he my linal bow." That toiir was an extraor- 
dinary series of }>rofesHional girecesses and personal triumphs, 
horn only of the esteem and admiration in which he was held and 
Avhifh were rarely if ever before accorded to an entertainer in hi» 
peculiar sphere. 

Tl}e following eloquent tribute** of the press at this time gave 
an added interest to his We^stern tour, which seemed destined to 
mark the pIor- of liis cireu8 career among a people whose regard 
for him as a man was sicareely paralleled by their admiration for 
him in a professional role. 



Doth 
iro^n 



From the *' ililwankee Sentinel: " 

The attendance at Dan Kicc'fi tireat Show yesterday was 
deed comphmcntary contiidering the intense heat, and both ente™ 
tnininents fully jnstitied our remarks of yesterday. Both per- 
former!* and animals seemed inspired by the rest obtained during 
their sojourn in our beautiful eit>', and one and ali pla^'ed their 
parts excellently well. As for the great centre of attraction. Col. 
I)an Rice, he even outdid himself. Although physically greatly 
depressed and hoarse to a painful degree, he summoned Imth 
niuscuhir and mental powers to do jujitice to the occasion of " 
farewell to his warm Milwaukee friends, and never on the si 
dust was witness^ed and enjoyed as liright and too brief an hour 
eloquence, pathos, wit, and humor. 

In doffing his helmet of felt to say good-by forever, Dan 
particularly happy and touching in his remarks. After wan 
tbanking his friends in this vicinity for the patronage and per- 
sonal encouragement which had invariably greeted him, he mod- 
estly and heautifnlly alhided to the disposition of the immense 
sums of money be had made in his arduous and often misunder- 
stood profession. He stated that during a career of nearly thirty 
years he had given various charitable objects the munificent sum 
of nearly a million and a half dollars. lie did not speak nf it 
hoastfuliy. but secuic<l really impressed with a true sense of the 
blessing Providence had bestowed upon him in permitting him 
the privilege of so generously giving, 

Dan Rice is truly a remarkable nian^remarkable for the abil- 
ity, energy, and success which has marked his career; remarkable 
for philanthropynot to have hecn looked for in onewho had much 
of disconrageuient and disadvantage to contend with, and still 
more remarkable for an earnest desire to elevate and benefit 
where selfishness and hard-beartedness were to be looked for. 

In bidding him farewell, we really regret to part with one who 
has afforded us so much pleasure, and perhaps taught ua lessons 
of charity in estimating deeds rather than professions." 



I 




BEUINIBCENCKS OF DAS RlCK 



151 



The " Pittsburg Republic " gays of the farewell tour: The 
rush to &ee the equestrian idol of the masses and to hear his words 
of farewell was perfectly tremendous. A living avalanche 
threatened to bury tiie ticket wagon and poured into the tent 
until every available foot was occupied, and the closing of the 
doors upon grievously dipoppninted hundreds of applicants for 
admission was rendered imperative. Rut the merry genius of the 
ring, made a charmed one by the wit and humor of him whose 
shoulders the mantle of Mom us lias dropped, waved his baton of 
felt over the vast throtig, and good humor, sometimes perhaps 
just a little boistemuH, was the rule without exception. No 
other living man but Dan Hice could have so successfully con- 
trolled such a crowd, whose anxiety to see and hear everything 
wnuld have defeated itself but for that firm and yet not un- 
gracious management born of the aliility to command. Mr. Rice's 
appearance in the ring was greeted with elieers and continued 
applause. It was apparent that the severe labors of the thirty 
weeks* amusement canjpaign be was about so brilliantly to con- 
dude had severely ta.xed even his iron constitution, but ralljnng 
with wonted determination and energy, his wit, genius, brilliant 
and |»hilosophic humor and quaint originality were never more 
elTectively displayed. He, of course, curried' his auditors with 
him, and left a permanent impression no one, in his lifetime, at 
least, will equal or decrease. In the early part of the evening's 
<»ntertaininent, the )>rinlcrs of Pittsburg presented Mr. Rice with 
a magnificent copy of Shakespeare's Avorks, as a sincere tribute of 
respect and esteem from the flisciples of the " art preservative of 
arts." 

HIS FAREWELL ADDRESS. 

The " Commercial " says: Before retiring to doff the motley 
for the last time in Pittsburg. Mr. Hice stepped into the circle 
which had been the scene to him of so many triumphs and spoke 
as follows: 

It was in this city that I spent many of my boyish days. Prob- 
ably I may have been regarded as being full of wild opinions and 
some waywartl pranks, as all boys are. and perhaps a little dis- 
posed toVesent an insult when it was offered, and T confess I have 
not entirely recovered from such a spirit yet. (Theers.) But 
if this has been the case, I have endeavored from that time to this 
during twenty-six years, to be in all things ju.«t — purely just. 
(Applause.) I have been in this profession since 1^41. that is. in 
the show business. I have striven hard during that time, and 
have labored day and night to interest and amuse the people. I 
regard the profession T have followed as an honorable and legiti- 
mate calling. Like all departments of trade, there will be found 



Ifi2 



BEMINISCENCES OP DAN BICB 



good and bad people engaged in it. I have endeavored at al 
times, aod under all cireum^tunces to elevate it, and 1 think 1 d 
not exaggenite when I tell you I have bo far tjucceeded as to 
patronized by the niot>t learned, eloqiiieat. and distinguished gen 
tlemen in the land. (Aiijdau^e.) I well reineniher Judge WU — 
kini*, Harmon, Denny, and Major Harding. There are other 
yet living. 1 am glad to iiieTition (iciienil Kobinson, to wliom JT 
am deeply indtd)ted fur much of the suireMs 1 have won. animated 
as 1 was by the enunsel ol these ihslingnished gentlemen. l*t 
built up in my mind siieh an auilulion that at least I can proudly 
eay, in truth and candor, placing my hand on my heart, that no 
man can say aught again.^t my rharaeter. (Luud ap]>hiuj*e.) I 
look back with feelings of gratitude as 1 think of the time when 
the citizens of J'ittshurg came to my at^si^tanee in the dark hours 
of misfortune, letting the rays of sunshine down into my heart. 
It may not be uninteresting to you for nie to say that in all cases 
you have come to my assistance and encouraged and jiatronized 
me; for this sympathy so generously Itestowed you will ever be 
entitled to my sincere gratitude. Although once a poor boy, a 
stable-boy if yon like, a livery stable boy (applause), I have come 
back to be taken by the hand by all classes of society. Ladies 
and gentlemen give their smiling approval and words of kindness, 
and how could 1 feel otherwise than grateful? No, my heart is 
filled with gratitude toward.s you. It may please you to know 
how I have conducted myself financially since T started out in the 
business, and I consider the time has come for nie to tell you. 1 
have made more money tlian any six of the richest circus men in 
the world, and not by trickery or fraud, or gew-gaws or six-penny 
plays, but what I have accumulated has l>ecn accumulated hon- 
estly by laboring in a circle forty-two feet in diameter, the ring. 
(Applause.) The question may arise what have I done with my 
money? In order that my many friends may know what T have 
done with it, 1 will say that since 1841 I Inive devoted to chari- 
table and patriotic societies, and have given away to assist in 
succoring the poor, wnundeil, sick, and oppressed, over a million 
and a half dolhirs. and I have the documents to prove it. (Loud 
cheers.) Srj ynu see how much good can he accomplished by 
laboring to benetit mankind. 1 have always endeavored to put 
this fortune whicJi has been given me to proper use, and have 
ever been ready to listen to the voice of sorrow and distress: con- 
stantly eager to do good with it, that I might say that I am grate- 
ful for these gifts. I might have done ninre. 1 might have done 
better, hut I have been :is judicious in carrving out my plans as 
niy humble ability would admit. TTow rejoiced 1 am to think 
that Ood has enabled me to do what 1 have, and yet left me an 
abundance of this world's cheer for my wife and children. (Ap- 




&EMiMSC£XC'E.S OF DAN RICE 



153 



j)Jaus€.) And now I would say to you, young men, in starting out 
in life, bo minilful that you can do good; never close your hearts 
io the appeal of hun^'er. sorrow, or distruf^j;, but try coujitantly to 
relieve the wants of sutfering humanity. Be an omaraent to so- 
ciety, mindful of your dependence upon the (Jiver id all good, and 
when you do this, you can look forward with liopc to the time 
when you can expect to receive a crown of glory. That God may 
blesfi you and prosper you all is the heartfelt wish of your humble 
(servant, Dan Rice. 



COL. DAN RICE'S FAREWELL TO MILWAUKEE. 

{From ike Milmiul-ce Neivs.) 

Dax Kick's Last Visit: Dan, the original, the remarkable, 
the innovator, the homo jester, and the happy humorist has come, 
and — we pen it with sincere regret — gone forever. He made his 
brief visit among us as brilliant and |i!easing as we had a right to 
expect from his ability and popularity. Of the character of the 
jHTformances, we have already sp4»ken. Those of yesterday were 
wjual in merit to their predecessors and received the same hearty 
commendation from the public. 

The exhibition of last evening was n*ndcred more than ordinar- 
ily remarkable iiy the famous ndilrcss of Colonel Uif-e, an address 
which, for earnest eloquence, jmtlms, and power, deserves a better 
chronicling than the reporting facilities of a circus tent admitted 
of. After gract'fully tluinking his Milwaukee friends for their 
continued countenance, he pertinently and beautifully reverted 
to his own eventful career and defended his prf>fession from the 
mistaken aspersions ignorantly or nraiiciously cast upon it. 
Naturally and |)roi<erIy the occasion called fnrth reference to tlie 
disposition of the large fortunes acquired during his thirty years* 
of arenic experience. We. as hundtle chroniclers of events, have 
h>een especially interested in the career of the famous clown and 
Jeeter, Dan Rice, for a nundter nf years, and know of his many 
large charities which arc creditjible both to hts heart and head. 

We bid Dan Rice a<lieu with regret, not only as one who has 
^Tom our earliest years afforded ns many hours of recreation, but 
«fcs a pattern of unostentatious and wide liberality who has fur- 
xiished an example well worthy of imitation and respect. 



154 



REMINISCENCES OF DAN RICE 



CHAPTER XIX, 



A SERIES OF SENSATIONAL, SPECTACULAR, AND flIOANTIC 
ENTERPRISES— COL. RICE's GREATEST TEXTURE — rXPAR- 
ALLELED SUCCESSES— A PINNACLE OF PECUNIARY PROFITS 
—THE WORLD-FAMOUS PARIS PAVILION— AN ALADDIN'S 
FLYING PALACE — AN ALEXANDER OF TOE ARENA — A PRE- 
MONITION — THE TELLTALE CREVICE — A DREADFUL DIS- 
ASTER. 

IN the year 18G8 Colonel Riee identified himself with the Fore- 
paiigli Cirous, receiving $1,OOU a week and exi)enses. The 
following weiificn he ijurchased, at a cost of $10,(H)U, the steamboat 
** Will S. Hays/' so named after the popular Western poet. He 
toured the principal citiei> from St. Paul to New Orleans, giving 
the clos^ing exhibition at St. Louis. About this time Avery 
Smith, John A. Xathant*, and Girard Quick formed a eoj)artner- 
ship which subsequently was kuowTi in the circus world a.s the 
'" Flat- Foot Party.*' lli*w they came to l)c branded with this 
lugubrious title Pncle Dau knoweth not, except, as he faretiously 
suggests, tiecause they were always walking "on tjieir up])ers." 
Under their iiiauagement was a trou])e of Tt«!ian performers, 
which Dan Hice, when he reached Jfemphis in the spring of 1870 
consolidated with his great show. This mannnoih institution 
up to tlitit date represented beyond doubt the greatest arenie tal- 
ent that two continents eoubl produce. It was the most sensa- 
tional, spectacular, and gigantic arenie entertainment ever wit- 
nessed in the Pnitcd States. Never before had such a combina- 
tion of circus i)crformers been massed umler one canopy. Every 
artist was an unchallenged world champion in his class. Beauty. 
merit, and muscle were c<uul>ined to an unj^recedented and ex- 
traordinary degree; all in all it proved to be the most elaborate, 
elegant, novel, and varied entertainnu'nt which Dan Rice, as 
manager and proprietor, ever presented to the jHiblic. This vast 
circus ccunbine made an extended tour of the Mississippi and its 
tributary streams, visiting the ])rineipal cities and towns of the 
South and Southwest. Some idea of its magnitude may he de- 
rived from the fact that it employed two steamers, the " Will S. 
Hays" and " Dan Rice, dr./' t)ic former t« transport the small 
army of performers, the magnificent stud of horses, and the gen- 
eral paraphernalia of a great show, and the latter to carry the 
advertising contingents and the tons of illuminated and gorgeous 
circus posters, to herald the coming of the largest show on earth 
or water. From the organization to the disbandmcnt of these 



BEMINI8CENCE8 OF DAN BICE 



155 



two unrivalled couipiinies of artists, the veteran sliowiuan ex- 
perienood tise most <,^ratifying triiniijilis uf his urofessional life, 
not ulone in the iiiipuhir applause and landatory trilmles of tlie 
press, but in the monetary gains, which ivaehed ihe very j>innaele 
of pecuniary profits, in the ononuous net return of over $r^o,i)UU. 
The suceeeding season of 1870 fouiul Colonel liice again " ex- 
ploring and exploiting/" as he puts it, on the constant, tireless, 
irrepressible seent after some new and stdl more startling devel- 
opments with which to tickle the i>ulj|ic pahite. His instincts 
for novel innovations were as marvellous as the rapidity with 
which he caused his plans to materialize and take firactical and 
profitable IVinn. He spurned the adapter's artifices — he was 
original or nothing. Woolly horses, Mcrmiiids, and What Is It's? 
were not the mediums with wiiich his creative brain sought to 
help himself and humbug the pu)die. As the successful news- 
paper man must possess a natural nose for news to enable him to 
rise above his fellows, and attract public recognition of his merits, 
80 I'ncle Dan possessed a well-developed nose for novelties, " and 
you nuiy add a pretty prominent proboscis on physical lines at 
that," 1 hear Uncle Dan laughingly hint over my shoulder as f 
vrriie. His andntion soou found its projter vent. Tjitth^ wonder 
then that be decided to purchase the world-famous Paris Pavilion 
or Amphitheatre Portatif, wdiich was effected in the spring of 
1871. This undertaking outranked, strange to say, every pre- 
vious venture of his sensational career. It seemed like the cap- 
ping of a elima.x; surely he cuuld go no higher; prolmhly the 
altitude was too great a risk; well it appeared to be an alternative 
of the tofunost rung or the t>o(toni of the |Ht with Colonel Rice. 
Whatever the result. Colonel Kice endiarked in the enterprise 
with his usual fund nf indomitable pluck and doggedness of pur- 
pose, and opened to the public this magnificent palace of amuse- 
ment at St. Louis, Mo. 

The purchase by Colonel Rice of this magnificent portable 
am|)hitbeatre, known as the " Paris Circus Pavilion,'' together 
with the immense quantity of costly wardrolie, traftpings. Gobelin 
carpets, curtains, and general superb parajibcrnalia of the most 
expensive material specially manufactured in Paris, therefore, 
with a view of giving arenic cxhilntions therein in the larger 
cities of America, inaugurated a new* and brilliant era in the 
worhl of popular amusements, and was a daring innovation u])on 
the established and manifold discomforts and dangers heretofore 
regarded sis inseparable froiu and indispensable to circus perform- 
anees<, which Mr. Rice was assured the people would duly, appre- 
ciate and liberally reward. As this elegant realization of 
Aladdin's Flying Pahicc was tlie only *'diRcr of tlie kind in exist- 
ence, or ever constructed, and had never been thrown open to tlm 



15(1 



EEMINTSCEXCES OF DAX HICE 



public until that time, a brief chronicle of its origin, iintl a suc- 
cinet description of it.s n<>vel, ingenious, and i>criVct plan is neces- 
sary and will he found of interest. 

IHiring the ^inmmer nt \Hi'Ai Jive of the wealthiest and mast 
enterprising showmen of the Tniteti States conceived the idea ol' 
estahjisliing a circns cornjvotied of champion performers of the 
New World, in Pari?, iluring tiie groat WorUre Fair, or Exposition 
Universelle, of 1H(>?. In fnrtherance of this project, and that 
nothing might he wanting to xuccessjfully minister to the fastid- 
ious taste and favonihly impress the hyiiercritical populace of the 
earth's gay capital, the services of the most celebrated architects 
ami nieehanies of the day were enqdoyed, whose practical skill 
and ex[)crieiice was for months devoted to, and an enormous sum 
expended in, designing and minutely [terfecting the Paris Cirrns 
Pavilion, or " An>])hilheatre Portatif d'Ete." This ancnnalons 
yet complete, heaiitifuL and imposing structure was shipped to 
France in a steamer specially chartered to transport the precious 
freight; but owing to errors in advance management and the 
vehement opposition engendered hy its jtreceding fame in the 
jealous, alarmed minds of managers to the manor horn, was never 
erected on. the then. Imi>erial soil. Its disappointed and un- 
justly treated owners resliifi|>ed it to this country and carefully 
stowed it away in New Orleans, where it iiad remained until 1871 
in undeserved obscurity, with the exception of being jiartially put 
up on one or two occasions for display, in hope of securing a pur- 
chaser. The unfortunate experience of its proprietors seemed 
to have eomewbat demoralized them, and though exceptionally 
confident when travelling tJie old, well-worn show route, their 
nerve failed them in confronting the exfiense. risk, and labor 
attendant upon the eis- Atlantic employment of their admirable 
conception, and it remained a magnificent elephant upon their 
han<jls, until rescued, the ensuing winter, from threatened oliliv- 
ion by Colonel Rice, who. recognizing at once its superior excel- 
lence, reposing full as much faith in American as in foreign ap- 
preciation, and reasonably reliant upon a thirty years' day and 
night experience and acquaintance witli the needs and wishes of 
the amusement-loving public, became at once its proprietor and 
the revolution izcT of the very circus system of which lie had been, 
for over a quarter of a century, the recognized lender. 

The giant stride in the path of amusement progression, tlie 
deference to the ease and security of the public, the radical 
erasureof conventional ring-marks — the substitution of luxurious 
comfort for torturing posture and obstructed vision, the trauB- 
fonnation of bellying and unstable canvas into firm-founded 
and perfectly appointed amphitheatre — ;ill this hap not been eon- 
euminnted without an outlay and possible intervention of con- 



MEtOXISCEXCES OP DAS ftlCK 



Ihl 



tingieiicies that no one, arc Dun Rice alone among thr nisnv able 
and wcalthj m^nberg of his profe«doL had the spirit and confix 
denee in the people to assunie. Of the ^i£e and fumplctene^ of 
the pavilion, and the labor, expense, and respimsibility involved 
in itfi transportation and erection, a par " ' l^.^^ 

from a consideration of tlie fH»t that, d ue 

of the largest-sized freight an extra force ol* experKnced 

men, under a master of c< >n. wati required to put it up 

and handle it. 

The interior view and diagram presented on a preceding page 
represent with scrupulous accuracy its appearance, arrangement, 
and ca|>acitT, and will aid the reader in locating the following 
description, w^hich is merely in the nature of a brief and su- 
perficial sketch of its general appointment)* and prominent me- 
chanical peculiarities, ta^ no mere word ])ainting can convey any 
adequate conception of the maj^niticent coup tiVi/ presented 
hy the vast circular auditorium, when deftly comhined. in grace- 
ful strength and harmonious design, the gorgeous hangings and 
decorations bathed in a dazzling flood of gaslight. In order to 
secure perfect symmetry, unyielding strength, and entire equality 
of observation the sides of the pavilion were subdivided into 
twenty-two sections, formed into a circle and supporting each 
other at their termini upon the principle and ancient design of 
the Great Solomon the keystone of the arch. This gave the build- 
ing a diameter of 120 feel, making, of course, a total circumfer- 
ence of 3fiO feet. Each of these sections was UJ feet in height 
and composed of handsomely finished and substantial wooden 
8trij)s closely joined at the sides and dovetailed at the ends, assur- 
ing mutual strength and support. 

Let us, in the conveniently snpposable absence of the gentle- 
manly doorkeeper, pass free through the broad-arched central 
entrance and avail ourselves of tlie opportunity to make our 
** First appearance in the ring," and from the centre of tluit 
ground dedicated to Hercidcs. Apolbv, Mercury, and the Centaurs 
take in the novel and ftttraetive situation nt a sweeping glance. 
Your preconceived imjiressitms of circus interiors, established 
from dim childhood recollection, of a sort of tent, n screened aTid 
inhabited lumber yard, where some nomadic lunatic has been ap- 
parently engaged in a hasty and futile cfTort to square the circle 
with a tot of treaeherous and shifting planks, each one harder to 
sit on than a stool of repentance, and nowhere n rest for the 
weary dangling leg, will turn a double somersault and bring you 
to the sudden conviction that after all there is something de- 
cidedly new under the circus sun. 

Fri>m the edge nf the ring extends to the furthest verge nf 
the grand outer circle a matched floor with a sufficient ascending 



158 



REMINISCENCES OP DAN KICK 



tendency to secure an iiniiilcTfupted view of the performaooe 
from every part of the building, which in this desideratum it n^H 
be here remarked is democrat ioaily perfect as far as seeing is c^fl 
cerned, there being abt>olutely no preference in seats, all of whieb. 
were bo arranged as to render it iuipossible for any one to obstra|^ 
the view of others. ^| 

The division of seats as to classification begins at the ring;' 
those nearest there representing the ]>ar«.juette, in fact ae well &a 
name, and being first on the price list. These premieres, as 
they are designated in the diagram, contained five hundred and 
forty lu.xurious, portable, cane-bottomed sofa seats in sections 
of twenty-seven (27) each. They commanded the nearest vM|y 
of the performance and performers, and were therefore con^^H 
ered the most desirable. 

Directly back of these par<|uette seats, and elevated consider- 
ably above them, is a circle of forty-four (44) elegant j)rivate 
boxes, designated in the diagram as " loges,*' divided by railings 
handsomely finished in bliirk walnut and each supplied with six 
easy chairs. Many preferred these to seats in the parquette and 
they were specially adapted for the cosy enjoyment of family 
parties. Behind the loges was a lobby of three feet in wi4 
running the entire circle of tlie building, for the use ot vi*if 
and occupants of the loges. These did not at all interfere 
the occupants of the family circle who were behind. Tliis family 
circle, or secondes, which was raised gradually to the outer wall, 
and in turn raise*! several feet above the boxes, contained over 
1,000 chairs. This was a very coinmodious station and afforded 
an excellent view of the whole bouse. Behind the secondes was 
another lobby of four feet wide, touching the wall and ninning 
around the entire circumference, which was also reserved 
promenaders. 

Immediately opposite one another were two very noticeal 
elevations. One, that of the main entrance, was originally in- 
tended as the Grand Imperial Box for the special honor and 
glory of his late Majesty, Napoleon III. Colonel Rice, in grateful 
appreciation of invaluable favors and kindness, rcdedicated it, 
this time to the Republican Majesty of the Free Press of the 
land, to whose representatives its exclusive use was cordially and 
respectfully tendered. Here all necessary writing materials, etc., 
were provided for editorial use. Tlie elevation opposite above the 
mysterious dressing-room curtain was reserved to the splendid 
orchestra of th? circus, under the leadership of the distinguished 
young Prof. Edgar Mentor. 

The building was brilliantly lighted with gas. there being in 
addition to the powerful star centre-pole chandeliers, candela- 
bra, with globes, upon each post around the circle of boxes, and a 



ouiuy 



ling 

i 




^- .:( 



B8 OF DAN BIGB 

row of the same around the family circle, besides the burners in 
the editorial box and ordiestra. 

Special attention had been paid to the important matter of 
ventilation, whicli was secured by an opening of some four feet 
in width, extending all the way round the top of the sides, and 
provided with a canvas screen of elegant design, which could be 
raised or lowered, according to the thermometrical and baromet- 
rical dictation. 

Finally, this splendid establishment, whiuh could on occasion 

comfortably seat over 3,<)U0 people, was canopied with a canvas 

^O]) the peak of which soared fully si.xty feet above the earth. 

It was manufactured of a newly discovered material, transparent 

to the sight, but almost as impervious to water as an otter's back. 

All in all this unique structure was the most elegant edifice of 

its kind ever dedieated to the Ood of laughter by so worthy a son 

of Momus as the subject of these memoirs. 

The following years, from 1872 to 1877, were marked by the 
«?amo restless, insntiable thirst and passion for "the something 
iiew." The Alexander of the arena was ever alert for some un- 
oonquered or undiscovered field for his masterful and ambitious 
nature, to enable him to add to his almost unbroken series of 
managerial triumphs. No venture, however risky, no enterprise, 
liowover hazardous, checked his progressive and equally aggres- 
sive ambition. His native versatility of expression was only 
equalled by his limitless love of variety. Hippodrome and Rac- 
ing Associations whifh he organized no sooner served their popu- 
lar purpose, than a circus of trained horses followed as an accom- 
plished faet, A little later he *' starred " with the Stowcs' Circus 
throughout the South. 

A well-nigh miraculous escape from a shocking death attended 
a visit made ahmit this time by Colonel Rice to the pit of a lead 
mine, at Roseciair on the Ohio River, about five miles below 
Elizabeth. Uncle Dan had decided to show at this mining town 
and give a benefit there in aid of the sappers' famUies, many of 
whom some time previous had been rendered destitute by the 
devastation caused by the raviig<f's of fire and flood. Accepting 
an invitation to accompiiny Mr. t'liittendon. the mining superin- 
tendent. on a visit into the labyrinth of lead. Colonel Rice was soon 
at the bottom of the main shaft. After making a few minutes* 
round of inspection, it was suggested that a visit be made to 
where a large body of miners were employed, when Uncle Dan 
could muke known, after an intmdiirfinrK Ihe benevolent pur- 
iMise of his visit. .Vboiit Ihtrty feet from the main shaft Mr. 
Kice. whilst examining tlu^ lornHnr roust nici ion of the roofing 
and shoring system, noticed directly over head a great seam in a 



IbO HEMINISCENCES OP DAN KICK 

clmraber braced by heavy beams, the fissure extending some dis- 
tance down and dtaguiially towards tliu well of the main shaft- 
He imagined as lie noted tlie deep creviee that it appeared, to 
W\A distorted vision, to open and close, widen and warp fronci- 
(ime to time. Suddenly he became possessed of an uncanny 
jiremonition, a sense of impending,' disaster, and turning rathe:!- 
abruptly to Mr. Chittendon requci^ted him to defer his intended 
visit to the miners until the following day, pleading meanwhile 
personal discomfiture due to his unusual surroundings. A fe^r 
minutes later, when Superintendent Chittendon and Colonel Ric^ 
had reached terra liruia, a sudden sound» half-rumble, half-roar-, 
accompanied by a f|uivering sensation as if the ground beneath, 
their feet was as so much shifting sand, and followed by a den&e 
cloud of smoke from a distant shaft, forecasted the horrible 
holocaust that followed. In twenty minutes the great cavern 
of lead collapsed, burying the unfortunate miners in its ruins. 



CHAPTER XX. 



LIGHTS AND SHADOWS— BREASTINQ THE TFDE — SINKING OP 
THE STEAMBOAT ** DAMSEL" — " E.XCELSIOR's " REMARKABLE 
RESCUE — JOHN HOOAN's HEROISM — COL. RICE's ROYAL 
RECEPTION AT SAN FRANCISCO — MRS. MARK HOPKINS'S 
FBANK AVOWAL — ONE OP THE MOST PAINFUL, PLEASANT, 
AND PROFITABLE INCIDENTS IN COL. UICE's CAREER — 
TWO UNPARALLELED MISFORTUNES— A RAILROAD FIRE 
AND FINANCIAL FAILURE, BRINGING RUIN TO 
GREAT CLOWN— TWO FORTUNES SWEPT AWAY — A PBO' 
DENTIAL INCIDENT. 




THE succeeding six years, crowded as they were with the 
versified interests and manifold incidents inseparable from 
life on the road, only served to throw new lights and shado 
on Uncle Dan's kaleidoscopic career. Now the shadows wei 
growing deeper, tinged with the blinding mists of domestic an 
financial eomplicatious, then again a silver strand fringed the 
gloomiest prospects. The indomitable spirit of TTncle Dan began 
to bend under the strain. Business reverses occurred and re- 
curred with startling rapidity, at unexpected intervals. Mii ^ 
fortunes seemed to crowd thick and fast upon his heels. Bank^ 
rupted, crushed with weight of accumulated dclds. and broken in 
health. Colonel Rice was forced to face fearful odds to breast the^ 
tide which had set in against him. Still with heroic persistenj 



nd^^ 
le 
in 




BEMINISCENCKS OF DAN XUCB 



i*Jl 



he fought on to recover his old prestige and its rewards. In the 
6uninit»r oi 1871), while in transit fruni St. Louis to Northern 
Nebraska, a calamity overtook the great show about seventy-tive 
miles below Decatur on the Missouri Hiver. The steamboat 
** Damsel/' which wus conveying the entire circus exhibits, era- 
bracing not only the entire property necessary to an arenic enter- 
tainment, but treasures of untold value to Colonel Uiee and his 
employees was destroyed by fire — all in all a most disastrous and 
disheartening experieme. The steamer and cargo proved an ir- 
redeemable loss, with but one exception, the peerless blind equine 
nmrvei, *' Excelsior," who was enabled to swim ashore in the 
terrifying stonn, gmded by his faithful groom, John Hogan. 

From C'lncinnati to San Francisco in th'e year 18S2, Colonel 
Hico went overland with the John IJobinson troupe. 

A remarkable circumstance in connection with this visit to the 
Golden Gate, and which at the time became the all-absorbing 
Bubject of the circus world, was developed by the fact that this 
circus comlii nation was doomed on all sides by the devotees of the 
sawdust circle to be a dismal and most disastrous undertaking. 
It was dubbed, and apparently justly so, a makeshift affair, a sort 
of counterfeit presentment in the circus line. On the whole a 
second-hand show of the most antiquated type. In truth, Uncle 
Dan was to enact the Herculean role of a " circus colossus," bear 
the brunt of the whole business, prove to be the bright particular 
star, the supreme satellite around which every other performing 
appendange was to scintillate, pretty much as a tallow dip might, 
through some astronomical miracle, be suffered to wink and 
wither in the wagging wake of a comet's tail. But the dismal 
and disastrous prediction of the past proved far from verification 
in the near-by future, at least in one direction. ^Yliether I^ncle 
Dan proved to be the all-absorbing orb, or the appendages builded 
better than the circus critics knew; or whether an estimable and 
wealthy lady, by one touch of nature proved a mascot to the 
alleged nrisfit menage, one fact survives all shafts of prophetic 
and forecasted failure, inasmuch as that tour netted a profit of 
well-nigh $;^r)0,000. When the Colonel, with the " Robinson 
Kovers," reached Frisco, be was confronted with a condition of 
things wholly unparalleled in all his circus career. The city took 
on a holiday dress. The mining spirit of M9 dominated, per- 
meated everything. The route of the grand street parade pre- 
sented scenes hitherto without precedent in the history of the 
empire city of the Pacific slope. The home-coming of a con- 
rpiering hero, Inden M'ith the priceless treasures of foreign con- 
quest may, in a mensure, serve to reflect to the mind's eye of the 
TCflHer some idea nf the overwhelming charncter of the ovation 
w^hich greeted the Prince of Jesters as he was escorted through 
11 



169 



REMINISCENCES OP DAN RICB 



the city. The husiness as well as residential portions of the lii 
of march furnished a bewildcringly beautiful picture, the bu 
ings being decorated with bunting, banners, bannerets, and othi 
devices, in which Old Glory's colors blended again. Flags and 
flowers flanked the procession as it wended its way amid the 
dense mass of humanity that greeted its progress. Floral arches 
of every conceivable design bridged streets and avemies» great 
banners, emblazoned witli the inscriptions " Welcome to Dan 
Rice/' " Hail to the Prince of Jesters/' etc., paid flattering tribute 
to the genial and poj)ular Uncle Dan. A somewhat sensational 
incident occurred during tlie passage of this most triumphal spec- 
tacle. A wheel became detached from one of the chariots pre- 
ceding the carriage which Colonel Kice occupied. The accident 
happened in front of Busch's Hotel. The Colonel's vehicle was 
quickly surrounded by anxious and enthusiastic friends and ad- 
mirers. Old ** Forty-niners " hurried forward and started to un- 
hitch the horses and bear off, on their stalwart shoulders, the 
laughing but embarrassed occupant. Presently a handsome 
Avonian, whose charming face was familiar to the excited and 
bustling bystanders, elbowed her way through the throng and 
reached tJfie side of the now rescued Bice. Extending her hand 
she exclaimed, " Why, Dan. how are you; don't you know me? " 
In the crush and confusion Colonel Rice» for a moment, evidently 
failed to meet the situation with his wonted gallantry. In a 
flash a pair of feminine arms encircled his expansive shoulders; 
well, something happened, something, perhaps, too divinely fine 
for the most adroitly delicate touch of biographic description to 
attempt to portray. If the situation then and there was half as 
trying in the concrete to Colonel Kice as it is now in the abstract 
to his biographer, tlie discomfiture of the genial jester must have 
indeed been complete. But then there are circumstances, if 
not situations, when the truthful chronicler is constrained to 
suppress her emotions, and im]>elled by a sense of duty to record 
what she hears, if what she sees should only be viewed as through 
a glass darkly. When Uncle Dan, however, a moment later had 
pleaded many apologies for his apparent forgetfulness, why then 
and there something was said which brought up the Colonel with 
Buch a sudden round tm*n, that doubtless all Califomians in 
general, and 'Friscans in particular, to this day, have but to 
recall to be convulsed. Still retaining the blushing and be- 
wildered Rice in her embrace, and within earshot of a hundred 
spectators, the fair admirer of other days, with an artless, girlish 
abandon, enthusiastically exclaimed, " Why, T^ncle Dan, T 
danced ^\•ith you in my native to'v^n. You hugged and kissed 
me then, and we were very good friends until — ^well, until you 
pinched me in the stomach and I got mad, but never mind, " 




BEMIXISCENCBS OF DAN RICB 



103 



US make up now." The effect wsls electrical. For a brief mo- 
ment the onlookers regarded alternately with amazement the 
withal thoroughly i^lf-posfiessed lady and the confused and over- 
wrought Rice; amazement, however, was rapidly followed by 
mingling roars of laughter and applause. Speaking of the oc- 
casion in later years Colonel Kiee said it proved to be at once 
the most painful, pleasurable, and profitable experience of his 
entire existence in the show business, adding that it was tlie 
prime cause of the success of the show, the extraordinary incident 
having been exploited by the press and public to the utmost limit. 
The charming cause of this most spectacular and sensational 
scene was the beautiful and great-hearted widow of Mark Hop- 
kins, the California multi-millionaire. This estimable lady» 
during the stay of the show at 'Frisco, expended upwards of 
$1,000 through the purchase and distribution of circus tickets to 
the school children, orphans, and waifs within the city's limits. 

The years of 1872 and 1873 were marked by two events pa- 
thetically suggestive, not only in their nearness, but in the order 
of their happening, events so strangely reciprocal that they will 
be invested with a peculiar interest to the reader, resulting as 
both did in losses practically beyond redemption. The first oc- 
curred when fire destroyed, in one of the cars of the train con- 
veying Colonel Rice's troupe on its farewell tours througli the 
West, the priceless treasures of a lifetime of patient hoarding; 
trophies, tributes, testimonials, gifts of the rarest and most costly 
devices set in precious stones and prized beyond all pecuniary 
standards of value, gathered together from all parts of the world, 
expressive of the esteem, the friendship, and the affectionate in- 
terest in which he was held, and which bound him, like so many 
golden links, to the professional and social triumphs of the past. 

The greatest loss, however, was sustained in the destruction of 
the data, diaries, scrap-books, clippings, letters, portraits, etc., 
which were to form the material of these memoirs. As a result, 
the reader may, in some small degree, appreciate the herculean 
task involved in the preparation of this work, necessitating, as it 
did, an enormous expenditure of time and money. Following 
closely in the train of these seemingly hopeless conditions which 
confronted Colonel Rice when he saw the basic source of the in- 
Bpiration wherewith to build his autobiographic sketch of his 
checkered life forever swept away, there came another and appar- 
ently more overwhelming calamity when the great hanking house 
of Jay Cooke & Co. announced that it could not meet its obliga- 
tions (1873). The collapse of this financial tower came like the 
shock of an earthr|iiake over the civilized world. It was a tre- 
mendous catastrophe. Colonel Rice was a depositor, in fact, the 
bulk of his fortune, $80,000, was in the vaults of that firm. The 



164 



REMINISCENCES OF DAN RICE 



night prior to the crash Colonel Eice^ who was in Indianapolis 
at the time, received a telegram iVom a friend reciting the ru- 
mored involvement. At miilniglit he ehiirtere<l a 6j)eeial ear and 
locomotive and hurried to Washington, But the harm hud h 
done; the great hanking intititution had closed its doors a 
Uncle Dan's possessions were forever lost. It was to him a mad- 
dening situation. The pecuniary loss was had enough — it dazed 
him. But whUe his philosophic nature enabled him to meet 
that disheartening aspect, he became desperate, dangerously go, 
when he recalled how Jay Cooke, his confidant and friend, be- 
trayed and wrecked htm. The sense of monetary loss was as 
nothing to the realization of the sacriiieed friendship, confidence, 
and trust which he rejiosed in the great, and, withal honest, 
financier. It was gall and wormwood to the soul of the genial 
Uncle Dan. For two days and nights he sought out the cause 
of this apparently unpardonable sin. Every device, every pre- 
text, every influence was brought to hear to secure an interview 
with Mr, Cooke. The failures in that direction were indeed most 
fortunate, providentially so. It may he added that the failure 
also involved many of Colonel Rice's associates, among whom 
was his ringmaster^ whose life savings, $20,000, were swallowed 
up in the collapse. It also may he of interest to note that the 
same personal friend at Washington who apprised Colonel Rice 
of the gossiped embarrassment of the big hanking firm was an 
intimate of President Johnson's, hence the latter's rapid move in 
withdrawing $50,000 the night preceding the banker's downfall. 
The years 1884 and 1885 found Colonel Rice on the lecture plat- 
form touring the Southwestern States. This new departure was 
the signal for innumerable popular demonstrations throughout 
his itinerary, surpassing, certainly from a social viewpoint, every 
previous reception accorded the versatile veteran in the palmiest 
days of his circus career. The succeeding year Colonel Rice 
sought again to retrieve his somewhat impaired fortunes by em- 
barking in another gigantic enterprise. At Cairo. III., he con- 
structed a floating opera house vriih which he made a circuit of 
the South. It was not a financial success. Seemingly it was the 
beginning of the end; mayhap it marked the close of the pro- 
fessional career of the most gifted man that ever, garltcd in mot- 
ley, entered the canopied arena of the circus ring. Failing 
health and financial losses again impelled the peerless Prince of 
Jesters to feel sadly in need of a well-merited retirement, perma- 
nent perhaps in his isolation from public view as an entertainer 
in r^les in which he had won his greatest laurels. What shape 
destiny has decreed bis life story should develop these pages have 
at least sought to faintly reflect, and yet. however vague in out- 
lines the marvellous tale may prove, sufficient light, it is hopc^. 



an^j 
an^H 




&E1CINI5CEXCES OP DAK WCB X^ 

has been thrown npon the Iwekgrountl of his noble character to 
inspire the reader as well as the n.'i-orvler with a grateful tribute 
to Father Time that so remarkable a man lived so long to link 
so great a past with our younger generation. From the abun- 
dant proceeds of his ministrj- of mirth schools have been built, 
soldiers* monuments erected, seamen's homes founded, orphan 
asylums established, and churches endowed. Throughout the 
length and breadth of his native land the memory of his munifi- 
cent deeds will be in itself an enduring monument. To his gen- 
erous countrymen and the patriotic, peerless women of three 
generations this book is now most respectfully and most affection- 



ately dedicated. 



^econb 13od&. 



RICE'S PERSONAL RECOLLECTIONS. 

HEN HE MET— INCIDENTS AND IMPRESS10Nt>— 
TRIBUTES— CAUSTIC CRITICISMS. 

THE first circus known Id the history of Ancieiit Rome was 
the Circus Maxiraus, located oq a strip of land between 
the Palatine and Aventiiie Hills. This was a glorious period of 
Roman history. Since tlien a long line of " fools," " gestours," 
*• jongleurs," etc., has descended to these tlays. The peniianence 
of the character of the Jester is not surprising when the useful- 
ness of his functions is considered. *' To shoot folly as it ilies,'* 
and with pointed wit to strike and burst the bubble of the hour, 
and to do so, evoking the laughter of an audience without causing 
a pang or blush, is no mean acconiplishnient. We need not won- 
der, therefore, to find the names and sayings of " fools " carried 
down the stream of history with those of kings and poets and 
warriors. One of these waifs is familiar to the readers of " Edin- 
burgh Review,"' though few are aware that its caustic niotlo, by 
Publius SjTUs, *' Judex damnatur cum nocens ahsolvitur," is the 
sentence of a Roman clown. The editor of Hee's Encyclopaedia 
remarks: 

" We with difficulty can imagine some of the grave and 
Judicious reflections of Syrus to be extracted from the panto- 
mimes which he exhibited on the stage. The applause given to 
the pieces of Plautus and Terence did not prevent even the better 
Rort from admiring these jiantomimie farces when enlivened by 
wit and not debased by indecency. The niimographic poets of 
the Romans, who chiefly distinguished themselves in these 
dramatic exhibitions, were Cneius Matins, Decinius Liberius, 
Publius Syrus, under Julius Ctrsar; Philiston, under Augustus; 
Silo, under Tiberius; Virgilius Romnnus, under Trajan, and Mar- 
cus Marcellus, under Antoninus. But the most celelirated of all 
these were Decimus Liberius and Publius Syrus. The first di- 
verted Julius Cipsar so much that he made him a Roman knight 
and conferred on him the privilege of wearing gold rings. He 




REMINISCENCES OF DAN HlCfi 



liiifl sufli a wonderful talent at seizing ridicule as to make ever_ 
Olio rlrwiil his abilities. To this Cirero alludes in writing in Tn^-" 
butiutJ, when he was in Britiiin with Julius Csvsar, telling him 
that if he wn^ ahscnt much longer inactive he must be ex]>ected 
to he attacked by the iniiuo LilM'rius. Puhlius Syrus, liowever^J 
gained so much more applause that he retired to Puteoli, wher^B 
he eousoled himself for his disgrace and the inconstancy of th^^ 
people, and the transient state of human atlairs by the following 
admirable verse: 

" * Cecidi ego: vade et qui seqoitur: laus est publica.' 
" A similar sentiment is thus expressed by Dr. Johnson, 

" ^ New fashions rise, and different views engage, 
Superiluous lags the veteran on the stage.' 

*"' In England the jester was formerly held in eonsiderable 
teem. It should be noted, however, that there was generally a 
distinction between the office of the * Jester ' and that of the 
* fool,' the former being deemed honorable. It was frequently 
filled by an educated gentleman^ while the latter was consideroi^B 
menial. One Benlic 'Joculator' to William the Con4}\ieror wo^l 
presented with three towns and five caracutes in Gloueestershire. 
Will Somniers, Jester to Henry VI L, was also a man of mark 
and his portrait is preserved at TTam))ton Court. Archie Ar 
stTong, court fool to James I., must have been a great favnrit 
for that tobacco-eating monarch actually granted him a patec 
for the manufacture of pipes. And it is even surmised that thd 
prince of all dramatists and poets. Shakespeare himself, once ful- 
filled an engagement as jester. There are four years of his life 
unaccounted for, unless the clue may be found in a letter ad- 
dressed in that period by Sir Philip Sidney to his father-in-law. 
Walsingham. He says, ' I wrote to you a letter Ity Will, my 
Lord of Leicester's jesting player.* Mr. Bruce, in the first vol- 
ume of the Shakespeare Society's papers, asks. * Who was Will? ' 
Besides Shakespeare there were only two players of the name 
known at that time. 

"As might be expected, the true ideal of a professional jester 
is to be found in Shakespeare*s ' Yorick,* the King*s jester, tlie 
absence of whose eloquent and hn-ing lips Hamlet mourns when 
contemplating his skull. ' A fellow of infinite jest, of most eX'^J 
eellent fancy,' he elevated or rather restored in his representa'^1 
tion the character of a clo^ra from t!iat of a coarse bntfoon to that 
of a merry doctor of philosophy, sometimes attempting the cure 
of vice and folly after the manner desired by the cynical Jaques. 





HEMIXI8CENCES OP DAN RICE 



I«9 



" * Invest me in my motley; give me leave 

To si»uak my mind and 1 will through and through 
Cleanse thi; foul lnuly of the infectud world 
If they will patiently receive my meLlicine.* 

Sometimes purging out ' loatliud melaneholy ' by the exhibition 
of wholesome mirth, sometimes brightening even cheerfulness 
itself by means of 

" ' Quijjs and cranks and wanton wiles, 
Nods and beeks and wreathed smiles. 
Sport that wrinkled care derides 
And laughter holding both his sides/ 

and at all times infusing the spirit of wisdom in the wine of mer- 
riment. The advantages of the motley suit are very apparent. 
The sense of the ludicrous is awakened by the eye before it ia 
excited by the ear, and thus the way is prepared for the pros- 
perity of the jest which, as Shakespeare says, lies principally * in 
the ear of him that hears it.' Like the wearers of other profes- 
sional costumes, legal and clerical, jesters are privileged to say 
and do many things which would not be kindly received from 
laymen. And as children require pills to be gilded and medi- 
cine to be sweetened, so many a salutary and unpalatable lesson 
naay be administered in the guise of a joke. These things con- 
sidered, it may be doubted whether the proportion of folly is not 
greater in the wearers of sober suits than in those disguised as 
clowns and fools." 

The first place among the eulogies of our Prince of Jesters 
must be given to the following sonnet by a true poet: 

" Full oft thy efforts in the mimic art 

Fve watched, and marvelled at those facile powers 
That through the bright and swiftly gliding hours 

That through the bright and swiftly gliding hours 
In truth I scarcely know what is thy part. 

Whether to play the fool in sparkling showers 

Of jest, or in this sinning world of ours 
With sterling wisdom to amend the heart. 

But this I know — thy genial wit for me 
Hath stirred life's pidses beating weak and slow. 
And chased the heavy shadows from my brow 

And lit my languid eye with healthful glee. 
And so T pray thy gifts may long remain 
To gladden future days and banish care and pain." 

" A merry heart doeth good like medicine,'* and is generally 
the offspring of l^enevolence seeking to diffuse the happiness it 



ITO 



EEMINISCENCES OF DAN RICE 



enjojs. The veteran jester here self -portrayed is an eiiiinent_ 
example of thig rule and of the reward of the imsellish. " ho\ 
honor, reverence, and troops of friendt," are his, and his ina 
eharities may cover the imperfection his enemies would discovfl 

It will readily be Ibolieved that our task has been easy 
agreeable. Thousands can testify of our dictator, that 

*' A merrier man within the limits of becoming mirth 
I never passed an hour's 1^1 k withal." 

Tn conelupion we can only wish that you may have as mucli 
pleasure in reading as we have had in *' taking the life " of the 
" Jester CIowti," Dan Rice. md 

" Three decades ago I doffed the costume of a clown. But my 
memory reverts to the good old days of the motley when 1 made 
mirth for tlie multitude and money for myself. I am disgusted 
with the circus of to-day. which is no more than a big show. 
The idea of performances in four rings at once is absurd, while 
the clown, who in former days was the standard and star at- 
traction of every circus, has sunk to the level of a mere panto- 
mimist. The market rule with these big aggregations seems to 
be quantitv at the expense of quality. Oh! for the circus of our 
daddies, when the entrance of one into Waybaek or Torpidtown 
meant a holiday for all the country round. The circus of to-day 
is but a mountebank show. 

" I think the tjentTal decadence of the clown in this land has 
been brought about by the encroachments on the field of fun by 
the newspaper paragrapher. He has, with his flashes of humor 
and wit, gradually forced the men of the motley out of sight; his 
audience is more readily reached, but is not so responsive to 
subtle wit as when it is presented keenly by an inflection or 
modulation of the voice. The retirement of the clown has not 
been caused at all by a dearth of mirth-makers and satirists. 
Humor is made by Dame Nature in her merriest moods. It is, 
withal, a scarce commodity; there is little of it in the market. 
A humorist is by the Almighty made. A wit is a feather, he 
shifts with every wind; a satirist, a rod — he cuts; a humorist one 
of the grandest works of God. Bob Tngersoll was not a wit. He 
simidy catered to the vitiated appetites of the uncultured minds 
of the masses. Artemiis Ward, Mark Twain, and other great 
humorists have arrayed against them a long record of uncredited 
jests, puns, yarns, and humor stolen from the ring. I clasa 
them not as genuine humorists, such as Minor Oris wold, who was 
bom to his humor, and reeled it out not with a crank, hut as the 
ebullition of his nature prompts it. Wit comes by rote. The 




REMINISCENCES OF DAN RICE 



171 



Becret of the modern humorist's success is best known by the true 
humorist. But, alas, tliis is an age of plagiarist*! I never said 
a. witty thing, to recognize it as such at the time, Imt my mental 
ketorehouse has at intervals leaked little drops of wisdom and 
panned out nuggets of sense. Park Benjamin called me as 
scathing a satirist as Ben Jonson. Let the people judge of the 
truth of this. 

** But about the clown. People used to go to a circus to laugh. 
I discovered thai fact early in my career, and made money out 
of it. A successful clown must possess more intellect, ability, 
I and originality than a comedian. He must be a crack mimic, an 
elocutionist, a satirist, and so ready-witted that he. to the ring- 
master, is a stupid fool, a buffoon; to the audience a wise man, 
whose every remark is impregnated with philosophy as well as 
humor. This is the dual character of the true clown. No mat- 
ter how badly a clown may feel, no matter what sorrows and 
cares may burden his life, while with laugh and jest and sparkling 
quip he seeks to allay the sufferings of others, he must conceal 
his own. More than once I have played with a breaking heart 
and was at roy best in making the multitudes merry. Ah, there 
has been pathos in the jester's life, tears as well as laughter, sun- 
sliine chased away by shadows. Ah, well, life is like a cocktail — 
it needs a dash of bitters to make it palatable. 

" About myself? Well, I achieved greatness in life at an early 
age. 'Twaa when I was scrub-deck on a Mississippi flatboat that 
I became great. I carried the tails of President William Henry 
Harrison's long great coat as he swept majestiealiy down the 
gangplank. But. unfortunately^ ray kindly ofTicc prnvcd fatal. 
1 lifted his coat so high as to expose his thinly clad nether limbs 
to the keen air until the President contracted the cold from 
which he died. Thus was fulfilled the front end of Old Hickory 
Jackson's prophecy about me. 

" The clowns of European circuses were all pantomimists, 
called trick clowns, or * wiesers.' To America belongs the honor 
of producing the first * talking clown/ or jester, in the person of 
Joe Blackburn, who made his appearance in England about 1831. 
He was an uncle of the present Kentucky senator of the same 
narae. Joe was a scholar as well as a gentleman Jester, and was 
horn in Mason Tounty. Ky. A graduate of Dansville College, he 
"wag highly cultured and pnsfsppsed of marvellous w^t, much wis- 
dom, faultless grace, and Chcsterfieldian manners. His chief 
charms to the susceptible were his songs,snng in a mellow, pathet- 
ically sweet voice never to be forgotten. His wit was pure and 
sparkling, his jests and songs models nf chastencss. Little won- 
der that be was a man of many friends. W. F. Wallett, better 
kno\^T3 in England and America as " the Queen's jester," was at 



172 



HEllINlSCEJfCEH OF DAN KlLli 



the time a comedian of repute. He studied Blackburn's creation 
of the clown, and fruin iiini drew his conception of the character, 
Wallett was the beau ideal of u Touchstone. He was also ft' 
collegian, well U[i in standanl literature, a Shakespearian stu- 
dent, and a widely read mau. He became a clown, he told me, 
because there wat? more money to be made by playing the fooU^ 
Wallett had all the ea^y assurance, gentle ways, and polieh of 
society, but in my mind, had not, in its entirety, the right coi 
ception of his character. He recited Shakespeare inimitably in 
the ring whenever he could apply it to circumstance?, interpret- 
ing truly the hiiiguage of the author. Now I had a diilcrenl 
idea of the character of the clown, and curly won the title ol 
Shakespearian Jester by my little parajjhrases of the Bard 
Avon, now t?o familiar to all schoolboys. Wallett made his Mr 
American appearance in John Tryon's circus, in Astor Place, i 
the fall of 1850. I made my debut in New York at S. B. How 
t'ireus, where Palino's Opera House afterwards stood, in Cha 
bers Street. Wallett was a great drawing card in New Yorl 
and attracted the attention of the elite. 1 was then clow 
regnant U* Uw American people. Although no direct challeu 
had passed between Wallett and myself, it was generally nude 
stood that we were pitted against each other in the contest i 
public approval. With an eye to a sensation, I engaged Walle 
to play in my circus, thus narrowing down the contest for su- 
}>remacy. As a result, a <lecided sensation was created. We 
played to enormous business, opening in Ned tlrleans. I too 
a great liking to Wallett, intrixlucing bim at each performan 
with merited praise, and seeing that his name appeared in hirgei 
print than my own. 

'' Now for tlie di (Terence between the two clowns. Wallett, 
when occasion permitted^ quoted Shakespeare in an eloquen 
inquisBJoned manner that connnanded admiration for his abilit 
and scholarly training. 1 followed with a parajihnise. For m 
stance, once Wallett quoted from * Macbeth ' tlie familiar * Is thiii' 
a dagger I see before me,' etc. When I came on with a great 
fiourish I paraphrased it thus: 

*' * Is that a beefsteak I see before me 
With the Imrnt side toward my band? 
Let me clutch thee! I have thee rmt. 
And y<'t T see thee still in form as palpable 
As that I ate for breakfast this morning.' 

"That sort of wit delighted circus-goers nil over the land. T 
'':id a marked advantage over my beloved friend Wallet, in that 
I had added to my comicalities by dancing, tumbling, leaping," 





aEMlNISCKNCES OF HAN Rl< E 



178 



and riding. Wallett and 1 were great friends, though an ocean 
separated nie from ihat ^and nierryojiiker, now gatlifred lo his 
fathers, but not until he had l)wn honored with tlie title by 
royalty itself of ' The t^iuen'^s Jester." 

" TLere is money in the circus busines??. Ail that's ncces6>ary 
it to get it out. 1 have often lu^en asked what waii the higheist 
salarj' 1 ever received. For my services and the use of my name 
for nine years I drew $1,(MK} a week. At the end of that time I 
had to borrow my carfare home. .\ |»ig was the mcants of making 
a sliowman of me. In IMI I wu8 a partner in a livery businciss 
at Ferry and Front Streetn, Pittsbur*;, when a man nanu.'d Os- 
borne, of Cazenovia, N. Y., came there to exhibit an educated 
pig. I was so impressed with the tricks of the animal that I saw 
big money in it. 1 sold out my share in the livery business, and 
with the proceeds purchased Osborne's j)ig and started on the 
road. Osborne afterward was a doorkeeper of tlie Xew York 
Assembly. My pic; made money for me. lie told a person's 
age by cards and indicated affirmative and negative answers by 
motions of his head. My first hit I made with the pig was at 
Greensburg. Pa. A Dutch faruicr named Jiick had recently had 
his barn burned, and susfiectcd that a recently discharged hand 
had touched the fire. I heard of the fire and old Herr Jack's 
suspicions and saw a rare o[»portunity lor a rich joke and miirh 
advertising. Jack and his wife were inJuced to visit my edu- 
cated pig. and the farmer, after seeing the creature perform seem- 
ingl}' wonderful feats of intelligence, asked me if the animal 
could tell who fired his barn. 1 assured him gravely that the pig 
possibly couhl tell him all about it. I had seen the suspected 
incen<liary, ami ostensibly proceeded to descrilie him to the pig, 
asking it oecasionally if he was the man. From time to time the 
pig nodded assent, and led the Duteiiman to infer that it knew 
the incendiary's age and habits of life. In aujazement Jlerr 
J Jack declared the pig to be in league with the devil, as by no 
[other means could such a knowledge of the unseen be attained. 
[jFanner Jack at once had a warrant issued for the suspect's ar- 
eet. and the pig and myself were subpienaed as witnesses for the 
te. I shall never forget that court scene. The judge had 
l>een dniy jjosted', and the crowd of sjteetKitors looked breathlessly 
on while the [)ig gave the testimony that sent the licensed to jail 
for thirty days, fur arson, as the Dutchman thought, hut in real- 
jty for disorderly conduct, for I he pig's testimony was all a 
farce, as the court olluials knew 1 prompted. Rut the public wtis 
in ignorance, jind the news of the affair sped ibrough tdl the 
of^untrv. and brought thousands »»f peoi>h' tn see the educated 
pig. That was a rlever stroVe of ndverf'sing. 
" Subse«picntly I developed into the * Y'oung American Hercu- 



174 



IIEMINISCENCES OF DAN RICE 



les,' and astoniahed the country folks by feats of strength, lifting 
I2,3U0 poundri with iny back. Well, there are tricks in all trades 
but ours. 

" An amusing episode was in the training of elephants. Once 
I was training a young elephant to stand on its head, a feat, by 
the way, never before or afterwards acconiixliehed, and was sud- 
denly called away on business to another section of the country. 
Before going I instructed my under-trainers about this particular 
lesson^ and thought my instruction would be faithfully carried 
out. Imagine my consternation when I subserjuentiy rejoined 
the circus to find that my elephant would not stand on its head 
as advertised on the show billj^ all over the country. I was in 
a sad jircdicanient, ami, to add to my consternation, was arrested 
at Elliottsville. N. Y.. charged with obtaining money under false 
pretenses, advertising what I was unable to exhibit. It was a 
blue town, and 1 was hauled before a blue court. I explained 
that it was all a mistake of my advertising agents, who had in- 
advertently pasted the elephant pictures upside down on the 
fences, so that they looked like those of a pachyderm standing 
on its head. Strange to say. tliis story didn't go down. Then I 
assurcfl the court that my elephant could and would stand on its 
head, but as it was a female, innate mr^desty led it to decline to 
make t^neh a spectacle of itself save under cover of darkness. Of 
course I was then honorably discharged. The story got into the 
papers and was inex|)ensive advertising. 

*' Keally, 1 had wonderful success as a trainer and subjugator 
of wild beasts. With jiatience and an apt pupil I made a tight- 
rope walker of the great elejduint Lalla Rookh, who made her 
appearance in that role at Ni bin's. Besides, I subjugated the 
fiercest of her kind that ever killed people in this country. 
The secret of the wild animal trainer is tact. Will-power goes 
for little, but judgment a long ways. Until my day, bearding a 
lioTi in his den was thougfit the most daring feat of the circus 
man. Imt I trained the kings of the forest so they played and 
gambolled harmlessly about in the sawdust arena. Tlie great 
awe of the lion is inspired by his ferocious appearance. He 
isn't so bloodthirsty as he looks. His growls are often for very 
joy. but the audience don*t know it. A lion always growls for 
joy when bis food appears, and grows to earess the hand that 
feeds him. I always fed my lions while training them, and they 
always growled wit!) displeasure when I left them. But the pul>- 
Viv docs not understand it that wav. Lion-training is not of 
necessity danperous, not more so than elephant training. I once 
tamed a rhinoceros, a hitherto unaccomplished act. They had 
been said to he untamable, but T taught mine a simple trick or 
two that pleased the people vastly. Howeverj a rhinoceros is, 



4 




HEMIN78CENCE8 OP DAN RICE 



indeed, a veritable leiUherhead and cau't be taught inut-li. 
JForscs and dogi< are susceptible of uiucli I'ducation, and lions can 
be ruadiiy taught many of the tricks done by eats. 

'* The secret of making money with a good sihow lien in the 

advertising of it. The only (luestion is how to do the most etl'ee- 

tive advertising. I found no advertising more profitable than 

that obtained by me or my circus being attacked from the pulpit, 

\rhich was sometimes the ease, though I am, and for many yt-ars 

have been, a stanch sujiporter of the Christian religion. Down 

in Tennessee, in my money-making days, I caused to be given 

a circus performance for the sole benelit of a church in the town 

Arhere we lay. Then the pastor of another church bitterly at- 

lacked circuses in general, and mine and me in particular. Hia 

attacks were reverted to in tiie ring, and 1 did my best to ridicule 

liini, but not his holy calling, aud enlisted the j>eoj)le of that 

jBection in the squabble. His name was Chapmun, and 1 shot 

Bitire at him until, realizing his mistake, he uttbilrew his bat- 

eries. But the war was so much inex[»ensiye advertising for me. 

Afterward 1 ran across this same clergyman living in tJrenada, 

Miss. I opened on him in the ring there, and he soon left the 

field. Up in New York State the JRev. Dr. Dunham, Baptist, 

began a crusade against tiie devil and Dan Kice. The hitter 

looked out for himself, and the fight weut so well that neither 

Dr. Dunham nor the devil have been in that town since. 

** Another metho<l of advertising was also forced ujjon my at- 
tention. It was being arrested. Several times 1 have been in 
durance vile, with great benefit to my finances. Once I was ar- 
rested and locked up in the old Blue Kagle Jail, in Elmira, and 
the neM-8 was telegraphed far and wide tliat the biggest rascal 
unhung was caged in that town. I stayed there a couple of 
weeks, won the sympathies of the people, and when I emerged 
from the jail gave circus perfornuoices there until I got nearly 
all t)ie money in town, I had been arrested for a miserable little 
debt that I didn't owe. but J made it pay ine big returns. This 
event boomed business and jnit me on my feet again. The im- 
prisonment I commemorated in a popular song of forty years ago, 
' The Blue Eagle Jail.' Several times in my life as a showman 
1 was arrested in towns where fanaticism's fires burned high, 
charged with vagrancy. Mind you, vagrancy, and my profession 
"Worth thousands a year to me. It took a strong argument at 
times to secure my release, but I always came oft victorious on 
"the merits of the case. In fact, I enjoyed the arrests, which were 
"the cheapest and most effective advertising my shows could get. 
^Iv old circus also got a great boom when one of my canvasmen 
l<illfd a man up York State by a lilow with a neck yoke. The 
siiTair cost me $13,000. The canvasman died a good Methodist 



n<i 



REMINISCENCES OF DAN BICE 



a yenr or so ago, and but lew people ever knew that he had kilk'd 
lii!^ man. 

** When IIjl- xviir ciinie on 1 hayLciied Xurlh, and though 1 neve 
carried a gun, Dan Itk-e's circus made money for patriotic pur 
poses. At the clothe of the war 1 settled down at Girard, Pa 
having there a nmgniticent coimtry j)lace on the edge of Lakfl 
Erie. Attached to the premises was ii tiplendid park of tine Ire 
and to it. during a tcmpdrary ahseucc, 1 t^ent a party of titled 
Englishmen to shoot. 1 never saw them afterward, hut 1 liear' 
from them. They had anliei[iated fine sport and big game, buH 
Mhen they presented their passes and asked for the 'head for' 
ester," there arose a slight misunderstanding. My game ]>re«crvd 
was populated by a lame elk, three worn-out eirens hutfaloes, and 
a couple of stutTed black bears. T}iey went bufralo-tmnting first 
hut the critters refused to run; they shot the stuffed bears fu' 
of bullets, and the hinie elk followed theni about like a lamt 
Then it gradually dawned upon them ihat tliey !iad been madd_ 
the victims of a practical joke, and they left Girard in high 
dudgeon. 

" And now to think, after all these years and all ray narrow 
eftcajjes by field and flood, I am sitting liere quietly in tlie twi^ 
light of advancing years, convinces me that there is a divinitj 
tliat shapes our ends. It seems strange that here at hong Branefi 
under such peculiar, quiet eircnmstances, after years of struggle 
and triumphs, where my ancestry lived and died, I shouhl hav^ 
solved the greatest of problems, the secret of contentment." 

'' Hey, Kube! " Thk Cry. 



THE OMINOUS SLOGAN OF TUE OLD-TIMR CIHCUS MEN — .4LWA1 
A PRELUDE TO BATTLE — TIIR CANVASMEN WERE FAMOUl 
FIGHTERS, AND WERE EVER READY FOR TROUBLE — TIMl 
HAVE CHANGED NOW, AND THE CIRCUS COMES AND Go! 
IN PEACE. 

The circus fight is not what it used to be. Canvasmen have 
forgotten the traditions of their younger days, and it is no un- 
common thing for the whole circus to go into a town, show two c ' 
three times and then gather up all the small boys and some of tl 
large girls and go on to the next town without having once hear 
the cry of " Iley, Rulic! " nnd without having seen or heard of 
a single fight 

This is not the way it used to Ite. Time w^as when the circua 
had to go about the country prepared to break beads as w<'ll as 
hearts, and while the dandies of the company were making havoc 




BEMIXISCENCES OF DAX RICE 



1- 



"vith the flighty young women who semed to think barehatk 
Tilling was the way to perfcit hu|ijpirit.'sj&j tlie other men — the imes 
vhoHe talent lay in hig niiisele and \n\T<\ fists — were iisimlly hijjiy 
in leaving their print on the noses of all the bullies in touTi. 
Dhler men of today will remember some of the tights* back in the 
dttvs before the war, when it really looked as if the spirit of the 
country had developed to siith a point that a little blood-letting 
nas necessary, sueh a« old Zaeh Chandler had said. But one does 
not need to go back to anteliellum eras, {^ireus lights continued 
clear down to the end of the last decade, though in the past ten 
years one seems to notice a marked falling off in nu(nl>er of 
fatalities. 

Showmen themselves used to keep a record of the hard towns, 
and if they i-ould get through one of them without a row they 
felt like congratulating themselves. And they also kept a list 
of the good lighters, and when the show season came along these 
fellows with records bad \i much surer cbnnce of employment 
that did the men nf whom the boss canvasnieii know nothing. 
Cohoes, X. Y., used to be considered one of the hardest towns in 
the country for a circus. It was a town that paid pretty well 
if the show got through at all. but it was given up to the sluggers 
from the iron works on show days, and the police had no more 
control over affairs than if they liad never been born. Oldtown, 
Me.» was another bad one, pnividing the show came along in the 
spring or fall, but if it was in the middle of the season, when 
the men were either in tlie woods or not yet come up from the 
lower country, then the tights might not occur at ail. Paterson, 
N. J., was one nf tlie hardest towns on the continent for circus 
fights, and even Cham]tai^'n, 111., is down on the showman's black- 
book for a very cond)ativ<' name. 

Scranton. Pa., and, indeed, every coal mining or iron working 
district, M'as expected to furnish a fight every time the canvas 
Was raised in it. And it might surprise some people to know 
that e<lucational centres hud a much worse name for this species 
of lawlessness than did any of the rude districts of the unlettered 

fdains. It took unnumbered thumpings for the men at Yale to 
earn they could nnt successfully lam the whole travelling out- 
I Ht. but they seemed to have imbibed wisdom at last. .Ann Arbor, 
tlie seat of the Michigan Tniversity, was one of the last to learn 
the same sidutary lesson, but the advent of the railroad show and 
the disbanding of the companies that were carried about the 
country in wagons seemed to bring some degree of discretion 
wen tn these young men. 

Down at »fu<'ksonvfllc, Tex., in 1873, Robinson's show under- 
took to exhibit and they got into one of the hardest figlrts on 
record. The battle lusted from three in the afternoon til! mid- 
19 



178 



B1MINI8CENCES OF DAN RICE 



night, and twenty-tliree men were killed and more than fifty 
wounded. At Somerset, Ky., in LS-jIj, Bariunifs t?ho\v ran acrosjj 
i\ very bad gang of railroad niuii, and m Ihu tight which followed, 
tweiUy persons were killed, iijnong them several women. Fore- 
paugh's men got into a, row with roughs in Kentucky once, and 
before it ended they had followed hiin for three days, stopping 
hi.s show iu that many towns. 

John O'Brien, who, in 18?;^, ran the best circus on the road, 
used to carry what they called the Irit^h Brigade. They were a 
lot of men who seemed to be hired for the general work of can- 
vucimen, but whose duties were really to do all necessary fighting. 
They were trained in it from the toughest parts of lough cities, 
and they loved a row. They were never beaten, und when they 
struck a gang of rowdies they always wore them out very 
promptly. At Quincy, 111., in' 18T2> some of the three-card- 
monte men and tliieves who always go with a show if they can, 
robbed a boy. and a negro policeman undertook to arrest them. 
A showman came to the assis^tanee of the sharpers, and a row 
followed, in which the negro was killed. The local militia com- 
pany assisted the town officers, and every man belonging to the 
circus was arrested. In the trial which followed, the circus man 
was acquitted, hut the first to start, the trouble was fined $400 for 
assaulting an olfifer. 

In every one of these cases the circus men go along togetlier as 
long as they can without getting whipped, and then they raise 
the cry " Hoy, Ruhe! " This seems to be a slogan which calls 
to the asistance of the man making it all the men in the show. 
It is, to any mam who understands it, a terrible cry. It means 
as no other expression in the language does, that a fierce, deadly 
fight is on, that nu?n who are far away from home must band 
together in a struggle that means life or death to them, and that 
the men outside who have incurred their enmity must expert 
every inch of ground to he hitterly contested. "Hey, Ruhe!" 
is the battle crv of the showmen. Xo one ever raises it unless he 
is in dire straits, and when once heard every man is hound by 
the law of self-preservation to go to an instant relief. The cry 
was raised in Montpelier some twenty-five years ago, and the 
fight that followed was so severe that the legislature for many 
years refused to grant circuses a license in Vermont. 

One time I was showing in a Southern town when my tent 
was blown down. The roof part was mined, so T had to show the 
next day with only the walls up, and the people sat there in the 
sun and had a good time until two drunken loafers insisted on 
coming in without paying, and then a bitter fight began, ending 
in the killing of four men and the serious wounding of many 
more. Along in the sixties Yankee "Robinson and Frank Howe's 




REMINISCENCES OF DAN KICK 



179 



shows struck an Iowa town on the same day, and as many of the 
showmen had friends in the other party, all got together and 
had one of the wililest times on record. They took the whole 
town, and when the marshal undertook to make an arrest, he 
was knocked down and a riot followed. The State raditia had 
to he called out to quell the disturhance, but before it did so 
several men were killed on hoth sides. In 1H81 W. C. Coup's 
show was giving an exhibition at Cartersville, Ga., when the 
town marshal hit one of the hands over the head, and in the row 
that followed, three men were killed and three more crippled for 
life. 

Showmen who tell about these things always lay the blame on 
the brtd men of the town or neighborhood where the trouble 
occurs, or on too otlieious ])eace othcers who try to exercise all 
their authority in a minute. But it often happens that the show- 
men are themselves to blame. Sharpers and gwndilers of various 
descrii>tions travelled with the circns and kept in the favor of 
the fighters with the show by giving them a share of the money 
they would take from the countrymen. When the fleeced native 
would insist on the return of his money, he would he met with 
the whole fighting force of the rompany. It often happens, too, 
that men not really in the em|iloy of the show owners remain vvith 
it for months at a time and are fruitful of nothing but trouble. 

Of late years the big shows that chiefly go to large cities have 
had more peaceful experiences, and the tight that turns out a riot 
is fast becoming one of the things obsolete. The cry of " Hey, 
Bube! " is falling into such disuse that in a few years the younger 
showmen will have to carry a lexicon along to tell them what the 
time-honored old cry used* to mean. 

THE CIRCUS OF THE FUTURE. 



BY DAN RICE. 

An old saw, which everybody has heard, says that history al- 
ways repeats itself. Tlie saying can be applied just now to the 
circus business. For the circus business, like history, is about to 
re 1 1 eat itself. 

Fifty years ago a circus was designed to amuse. It was not 
like the circus of the present, meant to amaze by its glittering 
profusion. An old-time circus comprised an aggregation of solid 
merit. There was then but one performing ring, and everything 
that went on in it was critically watched. The pretty lady bare- 
back rider, the gymnasts, and even the clown all had to be at the 
top of their profession to be worthy of an engagement. 

But in the circus of the present, mediocrity reigns. It is now 



180 



SEMIN16CEN0ES OF DAN BICE 



the fashion to have three performing rings, in each of which 
tliere are siniultaneous performances. No person can watch three 
rings at a time, and the circus managers, with the present system 
of gigantic aggregations, can engage some really good performers, 
and can fill in the picture with other cheaper talent, and few in 
an audience can be the wiser. 

Glitter, gaudy costumes, clowns with no wit, but witii a physi- 
cal aptitude for falling over a ring, and thus, by buffoonery, rais- 
ing a laugh, make up the circus of the present. 

But the people are becoming weary of this false presentation 
of a circus, and in the circus of the near future there will be a 
decided return to the good old days of a one-ring circus, and the 
best talent that a manager can jtrocure will be a necessity, not 
an incidental, as at present. This movement is already in the 
air, and next year there will be several of the old-time shows, 
which, to the present generation of young circus lovers, are new. 

The first two-ring circus that ever was formed was that of the 
Great Eastern Aggregation, of which George \V. De Haven, in 
18<iG, was the manager. Then came P. T. Barnum and his triple- 
ring combination, and since then until the ))a8t year no one has 
dared to take a proper step and make a one-ring first-class circus a 
Buccese. 

But from the patronage accorded my present one-ring show I 
ara convinced that the future circus is to be a revival of the old- 
time aggregation. 

There is one phase of this revival that will affect the pocket* 
of the bright young actors who now act so cleverly in farce- 
comedies. With the revival there will be a demand for clowns 
who have humor and spontaneous wit 

With the death of Charley White, not long since, the best of 
the old-time clowns passed away» and the clever young farce- 
comedy men will have a new field each summer open to them in 
the revival, for there will be a great demand for clowns to take 
the places of the old-timers who have passed into the great here- 
after. 



GREAT LIGHTS OF THE CIRCTJS.~ONE DOLLAR 
A MINUTE. 

"The greatest circus clown I over met was Joe Blackhiim, 
Kentucky. He was in some way related to the late eminent 
Senator from that State, was a man of crlucation, a gentleman, 
and brave as a lion. He was Imricd in Maysville, Ky., some time 
in 1843. It was for many years a custom among circus men 
whenever they visited Maysville, to take their bands and play a 
dirge at Joe Blackbum^s grave." 



annXISCENCES OF DAN HICE 



181 



" And the best voltigeur, who ? " 

" Mose Lipman, who is yot alive in Cineiiinatj. He is on record 
as having turned sixty-!«L*ven somersaults in succession. Jno. L. 
Ajniar, one of four brothers, was another noted vaulter. He 
broke his neck in London, at Astlevs, trying to turn a triple 
somersault. 

" The greatest bareback riders I ever knew were Jim Robinson 
and Will Showles. In New York, in a little alley running off the 
Bowery, was boni Michael Fitzgerald. He was apprenticed to 
John GoBsin, a famous clown. Some time in the year 1S46 Mike 
was transferred, for a cousi<lerntioii, to Jnme}? Robinson, and 
taking his name rendered it doubly distinguished in cireos an- 
nals. Robinson was certainly a splemlid rider, but William 
Showles, whose father and mother are residents of Long Branch, 
is, in my opinion, the greatest bareback rider in the world. Oh, 
yee, Jimmy Robinson is still riding, though he must be over fifty 
years old, 

"The greatest American equestrienne undoubtedly was Kate 
iStnkes, former wife of the late John Stetson. The whole family 
were very talented. The father was one of the best riding mas- 
ters known. One sister married J. B. Doris, the circus manager. 
A young i^ister, Bella Stokes, is a charming actress." 

*' And the best horse trainer? " 

" S. Q, Stokes, of Kentucky. He it was who imposed ' Ella 
Zoyara ' upon the world. * Ella's ' real name was Omar Kingsley, 
He was born in St. Louis, and heing <}uite efTeminate in appear- 
ance, used to do female acts for Stokes. Omar liked the assump- 
tion well, and stuck to it; wore female clothes in the streets. In 
Germany he associated entirely with ladies, some of them per- 
sons of social distinction, and was everywhere received and 
treated as one of the softer sex. When the deception was first 
found out in Europe, Stokes narrowly escaped with his life. One 
old Baron, or Barren — means the stime thing in his case — who 
had offered * Ella ' his hand in marriage, was so enraged when 
he discovered the imposture, that he threatened to kill Stokes 
on sight. Stokes didn't seem to scare nnich, but he returned to 
America quicker, 'tis said, than he had at first intended doing. 

" Frank H. Rosston has been praised as the best of ring- 
masters, and the distinction was deserved. He was a Journeyman 
tailor in Philadelphia, and after joining the circus, which he did, 
I think, at my suggestion, developed into the most graceful, ac- 
complished, and impressive ringmaster in the business. 

" The highest salarv I ever received was one dollar a minute. 
Alvah Man of the National Theatre, in Philadelphia, paid it 
to me." 



HEMINISCENCES OF DAN RICE 



A MILLIONAIKE SHOWMAN. 



BARNUM WAS BY NO MEANS THE WEALTHIEST CIRCUS MAl 
UNCLE DAN RICE TALKS ENTERTAININGLY ABOUT SI 
B. HOWES, WHO HAS ROLLED UP TWENTY MILLIONS AS 
HIS rROFlTS FROM THE SAWDUST RING. 



sh^^ 



*' 1 regard Seth B. Howes ns one of the most famous sh 
men the world hm ever known. Baniuni? Why, Barnum was 
nowhere in comparison. In ImHiiiess tihility and enterprise, the 
two tilings Barnnin \\i\8 most noted for, tliis man 1 am telling 

you of was fur and away his superior. Why, B , well, Barnum 

is dead, so we won't Iry to l>e!ittle him, but my man is alive and 
hearty. Barnum left a couple of millions or so; this man lives 
and enjoys twenty millions or more, and all made out of the show 
business. 

'' Setli B. Howes is now retired from business and living very 
(fuiotly at Brewster's, N. Y., where many years ago he built him* 
self a substantial country hou.se on the very spot where he was 
bom. Where the onion lied was that he used to have to weed 
as a hoy, he now ha.s his greenhouse, and grows orchids, I suppose 
one single root of which may !pe worth more than the whole bed 
of onions of the days gone by. You will see him occasionally 
at the Murray Hill Hotcd, a <|uiet, wiry-built old gentleman of 
seventy-seven, with white mustache and no stuck-up airs about 
him. In fact, you wouhl take !iim for a parson rather than a 
showman. 

" Hi.s wife was generally with him, as she has been ever since 
they were married- She is a handsome, queenly Englishwoman, 
xery much his junior. 1 remember them in the sixties when 
they travelled with the show. Although she is a thoroughly 
well-bred woman and wealthy in her own right, in addition to 
the large amount her husband had scraped together, both she 
and the old man went about from town to town with just a little 
handbag apiece. That shows the kind of life partner she is. 

" It wap a wonder to everybody that Howes got married at all; 
it was still a greater wonder that he managed to capture a woman 
in herself charming and so well up in the world of London. The 
marriage took place in IStil. Howes w^as then thirty-six years of 
age and had slunvn no disposition for woinen*s society whatever, 
or for *;carccly any other society, so to speak. He was all business, 
and seemed to think of nothing else. But among bankers and 
business men he had already earned a reputation for ability and 
wealth, and it was in just such society that he mot Miss Amy 
Mosely. Her father was a London merchant and she had many 




HEMINISCENCE8 OF DAN EICB 



183 



suitors. She not only chose him from among them all, hut im- 
inediatt'ly adapted heri?eif to his life. She wat? born a husiness 
woujan aiifJ it was not long before tilie was running one of her 
husband's two great shows in England, 

" HoweB comes from a family of fihovvnien, the leadere of the 
profesgiou in this country. His brother, Nathan A. Howes, in 
partnership with Aaron Turner, of Danbury, Conn., started a 
circus from Brewster's in IH'^tl, Seth was working on his 
brother's farm at the time, hut two years later he joined the 
show. He became a partner in IHlil, Kiehard Sands having 
taken the place of Turner in the firm. They had good success 
for seven years, when tlie company difibanded. 

" 1 made ray debut under Seth Howes' management. That 
was in 18ir>. at Palmer's Opera House, on Chambers Street. 
Madame McCarte was another of the stars. The partnership 
consisted of Hnwes ami the brothers Kdmund and Jeremiah 
Jlabie, and it began business in 1840 and continued for eight 
years. 1 was with the show for two years, yet never knew until 
after that Howes had anything to do with it, so close was he 
about all his business affairs. He was the shrewdest circus man 
whn was ever on the road. 

" AtK)Ut this time he saw that Barnum was making quite a 
name, so he joined him. Then he inflated Barnnm's head into a 
belief that a show travelling around the country would advertise 
his museum, which, you will remember, was on the corner where 
the * St. Paul ' building u<nv stands. So the ' Barnum Exposi- 
tion on Wheels ' was started, and Howes carried it all through 
the country. Pie was supjiosed to have agents all over the 
world searching for and importing to the show the most wonder- 
ful animals that ever existed. As a matter of fact, he bought all 
the animals in this country; Imt even Barnum did not know this 
until long after. However, during the five years he ran the show 
he made Barnum money, so that did not signify. 

" During this time he was figuring on a circus of his own in 
Xew York, and two years before he separated from Barnunj, 
which was in 18.5.5, he opened the Franconies Hip))udrome, which 
was on the site of the Fifth Avenue Hotel. In IH-Vl I paid him 
$5,000 for the elephant * Lalla Rookh,' and went to Boston with 
his partner, Cushing. ' Lalla Rookh ' was a wonderful elephant, 
the most wonderful that ever lived. She used to perform on the 
tight-rope. I*oor thing; she went bathing in the river in Indi- 
ana on a Sunday, took cold and died. 

" Well, after that I sold Mr. Howes my trick mules for $5,000, 
and he bought them without ever having seen them perform. He 
was n man of wonderful enterprise. Tn March, 1857, Howes & 
Cushing*8 Circus left here for England. No, that was not the 



184 



REMINISCENCES OF DAN KlC'E 




first American sliow that went to Europe. I tbink the first vra^ i 
1842, owued ijy Juiin Titus niul Angtviue. That was the tin 
to compete with Wuuibwt'irt* llt'iiagcrie, then and for many jeai 
after an institution without which no English country fair 
complete. 

" Howes & Cushing's Circus had a great success in Englan-^*^ 
from the start. They took over with them seventy-two hor^c^^el 
nnd fifty performers and assistants. They travelled throucz^gH 
England lor a year, and then opened at the Alharnhra Paliu- 
London. whert^ (^iieen Victoria iind the royal family honore- 
t' em with a visit. That wjk* in 18r)8. They were at the Palair 
twt'lve months, and then tented it through England and Irelan 
for four or live years, din-ing which, as 1 told you, Howes nm 
aged to pick up his estimatiie life partner. 

" They brought the cirom= baek to New York in 18G4, aft 
having made barrels of money. Why, at one time Ifowes offere 
me $tOO,fiOO for my blind horse, the most intelligent animjs= 
and the nuvst marvel Ions performer tliere ever was. Understoo— -^ 
every word spoken to bim. Howrs' idea was to put him on th ^^ 
stage. That was my mistiik<'. That horse ought never to hav " ' 
gone into a ring. He was good enough to play ail by himrself. 

'* I joined Howes' Cireus at Mobile in 18tio. In lSir» he pai^"^ 
me $50 a week; in 'if«\:'i he paid me $1,UOO. He called the show=^^ 
Howes & Cushing's London Cireug. and everywhere he went w— ^ 
gathered in the dolliirs rapidly, T suppose the ohl man was gctr ^ 
ting to think he had made^as much money as he cared for. for i^^ 
18Tn be sold tlie liusiness to Jiimes Kelley and Egbert 0. nowe« - 
und retired. But for all bis wealth he was never boastful; on th^^ 
eoiitrary. H you rbanced to suy to him. 'Splendid bouse to- — 
night! - he would slowly reply, ' Well, yes. it will just about paj^ 
expeii.'ics.' He was liberal, though, without being a fool with hi^ 
money.'' 

JAMES A. BAILEY. 

The subject of the present brief sketch was bom in the city 

of Detroit, in 1S47, and at the unusually tender age of ten ; 
gave unmigtakablo evidence of the ])ossession of those rare (a 
and energy that later in life .=0 markedly distinguished him abov«? 
all his cfmtemporaries. Wlu^n at that early age he detennin 
upon leaving home and seeking bis fortune, he sacriticed a co: 
fortable home and surrounding?, for, although bis parents wei 
not what would be called to-day wealthy, they were well-to-d( 
and at the death of his father, in 1853, his mother was left 
possession of a modest competency, flis mother's death occur- 
ring, however, shortly after, and upon his brother-in-law being 
appointed his guardian his disUke for the inactive life he was 







KEi£lXlSCE^XES OF UAN lilCE 



1S5 



leading caiised him to hurriedly put into practice the ideas he 
had formed vt *' going it alontj " on the road of life. First turn- 
ing his thoughts to the country upon leaving home, yonng 
Bailey sought the founlry and found employment on a farm at 
the muniricent salary of $3 per month, but thid existence after a 
few months proved too tanie for Iiis youthful aspirations. He 
forsook it and made his way to the city of Fontiae, Mich., and 
aocured a position in the loading hotel there as a bell-boy. There 
was one important factor determining this move, that should not 
be overlooked, as it serves to show the plnek and spirit of the 
boy, i|uaiities that afterwards entered so largely into making him 
successful as a man, enablijig him to meet and overcome whiit to 
many others would have jtroved insurmountable didiculties. 
There was another boy on the farm whose sahiry was $3.50 per 
month, half a dollar more than young Bailey rceeivcd, and as the 
latter, although in receipt of less money, was conscientiously per- 
forming his duties and earnestly working nuire than the other 
boy, it naturally engendered a spirit of reb-^Ilion against such 
distcriminations, and as his employer could not appreciate, or did 
not, the hardest worker, the latter thouglit he would remedy the 
matter himself, and did so, by first thrashing the boy, and then 
leaving the farm. 

It can be readily understood that out of his salary he would 

'not have a fortune saved up, so. witli a light heart, a tjuiek step, 
and fifty cents he sought the hotel in Pontiae, Mich. While en- 
gaged in tlie hotel his general cleverness, sincere attention to 

i duty, and alertness attracted the attention of the proprietor as 
well as the guests of the hotel, so it came to pass that when the 
agent of the Kobineon & Lake Circus came to Pontiac, he also 
noticed the smartness of the hoy, and was so impressed with it 
that he induced young Bailey to go with him. From tiiis period 
dates the career of one who subserjuently became what he is to- 
day, the leader of showmen, and virtual dictator in that line of 
amusements. His career from this time on was a checkered one, 
rising, however, very rapidly in the estimation of all those with 
whom he became as8oeiate<i. Remaining with the circus until 
18(j;3, he left it to take the position of advertising agent in a thea- 
tre in Nashville, where, besides attending to his regular duties, he 
assisted the manager, and at night acted as usher. This was dur- 
ing the war, when salaries were small and living expenses high. 
While here one night, a Mr. firecn, holding the position of 
Fnited States sutler, happened in the theatre with a friend, and 
finding the house crowded, with few, if any, seals unoccupied, 
in his desire to ol)tain good seats applied to Mr. Bailey, who, at 
no little personal trouble, finally secured them. For this cour- 
teous Bervice a $5 bill was quietly slipped into his hand by Mr. 



18« 



BEMINIBCENCEB OF DAN BICE 



Green, but it was instantly returned with thanks by young 
Bailey, who aeeoinpanieil tJie action with the remark, *' 1 ani 
amply paid by the house for courteously treiiting its patrons and 
cannot accept your generosity/* Mr. Greeji was so struck by 
this conduct that he instigated inquiries concerning so remark- 
able a young njan, which ret^ulted in his offering him emplomeni 
with him at double the salary he was then receiving. So our 
hero became tiie trusted clerk of an artuy sutler, and during hi* 
engajjement was witness of ail the battles of the war occurring 
between Chattanooga and Atlanta. At the close of the hostili- 
ties, being sent in charge of his employer's goods to Louisville, 
and finisliing all the business entrusted to him. he went for 
a few days to Cincinnati^ where he accidentally again met 
llr. Lake, his old circus employer, who exacted a promise 
from him to again enter that line of business. When Mr. fJreen 
learned of this he felt great regr-et at having to part with hia 
trusted clerk and tried hard to get him to remain with him, hut 
as a promise had been given, it was useless^ so the following year 
saw young Bailey Itack again in tlie show business, where he re-' 
maincd until IHtilJ. The following year Mr, Bailey became in- 
terested in the privileges with Heirimings, Cooper & Whitby's 
Show. When the firm of Hemndngs & Cooper was changed ii 
1H71, Ifr. Bailey was offererl, and accepted, a position with then 
as general agent, remaining such until Mr. J. K. Cooper formed ; 
new firm in 187'*? with Mr, Bailey as his partner, the new lirir 
being known as Coofier it Bailey. We now see Mr. Bailey as 
proprietor, a proud position and one earned by himself without 
either capital or aid other than the ponsession of talent, but whoscs^ 
qualities and abilities were of such a high order that he was ii 
demand everywhere, but it remained for Mr. Cooper to put the 
highest value upon them and to secure him. offering him half in-t 
terest in tlie show to remain. It was now his talents were devel- 
oped as an advertiser, and he showed the rciu;irkahle powel 
of his now maturer judgment and rijier years, with the ventur 
some spirit that so conspicuously distinguishes him even at pres 
ent. He projected and successfully carried out a tour of th< 
world with the Cooper ^ Bailey Show in 187d-77» visiting the 
Sandwich Islands, Australia, New Zealaml, India, and Soutl* 
America, with varying financial success, returning to this coun- 
try in December, 1878, after that extraordinary trij), just in tim^" 
to' purchase the Great Ijondon Circus. With this latest addi— 
tion the Cooper & Bailey Show became the largest, as it was the? 
finest, of all tented shows up to that time, and the birth of a. 
bahv elephant, ihe firt^t ever l>orn in cajdivity in the world, so 
incrpased the reputation of the show and added to its attraction?, 
that Mr. Bailey at once determined upon striking a blow that 





"Ua^ rice 



187 



\%'oiild place hh show to far bovond al! other!* that there wmild 
i~<?ally bv but one. How well he plaaned is bet^t evidenced by 
siibse<|Uent eventu. The hite P. T. Barmim was tlien at the head 
of the busiiness. ilr. Baih^y '* went for him " iii tiie language of 
the day, and fought liini so vigorously, deteniiinrdly, and ad- 
ruinistered tiuch hard knocks, that he forced the Burnuni show 
to fly, giving up it*! favorite territory in the East, thus leaving 
tliat valuable section to the Cooper tS: Bailey Circus. Next sea- 
son (18vS4), with the i^hrewdnehs tliat characterized Mr. Barnuin, 
lie sought Mr. Bailey and made him an oiler of jjartnership. As 
lie could not compete with the I^jndon Circus. Mr. Banium de- 
sired to be associated witli it and its manager, and the negotia- 
tions resulte<l in llie grand combination known as the Barnum 
and L<jndon Shows, of whieh Mr. Bailey was the sole manager. 
From this time out Mr. Barnum ceased to take any more active 
part in the circus business than to aid with his money the carry- 
ing out of the projeets emanating in the fertile brain of his young 
partner, and it is a faet, not known to the public, bowever, that all 
ihe vast details of the business of whatever kind orxleseription re- 
lating to the combined shows were transacted by Mr. Bailey ulune, 
just as he does to-day, and it is hoped by all bis friends he will 
e<»ntinue to do so for many years to come. Ever since Mr. 
Bailey assumed a proju'ietary interest in the circus, it is worthy of 
iiute, that he has striven with great zeal to elevate the Imsiness; 
Ims souglit with <l<iggcd pertinjirity to t.4iminate everything of an 
offending character, correct ing aliust'S when any existed, remedy- 
ing defects, altering, iini>r<»ving, and final ly cleansing and clarify- 
I '/ig the whole until the great institution of to-day, known as the 
"Greatest Show on Kartli," with its thousand employees, stands 
H monument to the genius and extraordinary ability of one man 
'itid that one J. A. Bailey — an institution of sucli high and coni- 
inercial chara<ter tlnit its checks are erjual to legal-tender notes, 
H'ho&e l)usiness methnds are the best known and whose stan«ling 
nijd reputation in the )>usiness world arc seconel to none. s(»und 
T>riiiciples governing all. It vvns this grand slmw Mr. Bailey 
«">ri^anized and sent to Europe in lSf)J), iuu] for f be i)ast two years 
^las amazed the people, the sovereigns, and nobility by its mag- 
11 Undo and nuignilicenre. 

WALLETT. 

Wm. Frederick Wallett. the Queen's Jester, was the greatest 

«"*lovi'n England ever y^odnced. Cnlike many «ther profei^sionals, 

lie lK»re his real nanir. and it {>* a name sm-li as he had a right to be 

I l^Toud of. TTo aynicarcd in almost every bind where tbo English 

i language was spoken, imd in manv )daces where it is not. and he 

niade friends wherever lie appeared. Tie made his first public 



1S8 



BEMIXTSCENOES OF DAN RICE 



appearance at Hull, hk native town, where he played a eub- 
ordinalo part at the Th(?atre Uoyal, ISinre then his life has 
litH'u one ffmtiniicd neriL'S of prnfu-ssional triumphs. Wallclt was 
never a bulFooo. He was a jester of the old-ti'joe school. Mis 
contagioUB fun had been of a jture character wliieh left a health}' ^^ 
palate hehitul. He made his tirst success professionally in con- — 
junction with Van Aniljurgh, and subsequently added to his faiue -^5 
and fortune in identifying himself with my American enterprises. — 
In the theatre as a pantominiist, and the circus as a jester, he ^= 
conclusively denmnstrated that a man may be a clown and yet a — ^ 
gentleman— a jester and yet a phihvsopher. Wallett was also an _^ 
author, who hus written a nH»st entertaining autobiography. His -«i 
passing away lately has left nie pretty much, in the circus world, ^— 
like the last man of the club^ call the roll, and none answere 
but myself. 

BLONDIN. 

One of the most daring athletes and original performers of 
the century j)ae<sed nwny a few years ago in England at the age of 
seventy-three. Bhmdin, whose real name was Jean Francois 
Uravelet, was a native of Xortliern France, »ind son of a gymnast 
who had served under Napoleon. Forty years ago Americans 
discovered that the king of rope walkers and equilibrists had ar- 
rived in this country as one of the attractions of the Ravels. 
Biondin was rather a small man, but of si(uare build; well, but 
not excessively, muscled, and with a look of middle age rather 
than of youth. His feats [jhieed him in a class of his own and he 
never had a real rival. Walking a rope was to him like walking 
a floor, and he seldom used a pole, P'mpty-handed, he turned 
somersaults backward and forward on the rope, landing on his 
feet, displaying more than the agility of a cat. He walked the 
rope on stilts and went through vaulting ev<dutions upon it with 
a basket on each foot. 

H did not take the j)ublic long to discover that this serious-' 
faced Frenchman was a phenomenon, and he was a favorite for I 
many successive seasons. He became much attached to America J 
and looked around for new oit])ortunities to inspire wonder, 
though be was always able to execute a hundred feats that nobody 
else could touch. In the course of his travels he reached Niagara 
Falls and saw as much that interested him in the gorge and whirl- 
pool as in the waters of the great lakes tumbling over a precipice. 
He had never before run across such a fine set of scenery for an 
equilibrist. The idea of walking above the thundering cataract 
on a bridge of rope never left him. It awoke him in terrific 
dreams and yet fascinated him the more. At the close of ISoS 
he resided at the falls for several weeks to study the ground- 




REMINISCENCES OF DAN HIOE 



I8i) 



Tlic'U lie tohl tlic world that he proposed to ntretch a rope 1,100 
feet long. l?n feet above the torrent, and walk across. He kept 
his word June 'M), \i>^>ii, in the preBence of 50,000 spectators. 
Later, he erossed blindfolded, with a man on his hack and mado 
sensational rope- walking one of the marvels of the time. 

The feat which tried his nerves tbe most, according to his own 
Btatement, was trundling \m infant daughter in a wheelbarrow 
over a rope 200 feet long at tbe Crystal Palaee, London, and he 
confessed he would not have undertaken it if his wife bad not 
strengthened his confidence by her own. Ordinarily. Blond in had 
no nerves and was jiroof iigainst a false motion. lie was very 
carefnl in personal habits and never touched even tbe ligldest 
wines. Jlis oidy beverage was chocolate. Sometimes his at- 
tendants blundered, or the rope was disturhed liy accident, but 
he had a code for avoiding a fall hy liooking a leg on tlie rope. 
He took a young lion in a wheelbarrow partly across a high rope 
at Liverpool on a windy day, and then, finding tbe brakes de- 
ranged, lmcke<I to the starting poiid. Of course he persevered 
until be carried tbe feat tbrongh, for that was one of his charac- 
teristics. Hlondin said that when he first started up a rope in 
boyhood it seemed as easy to 1dm as walking on a ftlank. He 
stuck to the rope for over fifty years, mafle an iuiniense aggregate 
of money, and died with sound Itones at a goo<l old age. There 
is no way to explain the man except to say that he was Blondin. 

GRANT— JOHNSON. 



SOME STARTLINO REVELATIONS BY THE "CLOWN OF OUR 
daddies"— COL. DAN RICE ON THE CAUSES WUICU LED 
TO THE IMPRACnMENT OF .FOHNSON — GRANT THE UNSUS- 
PECTING DUPE OF DESIGNING MEN — JOHNSON^S UNION" 
RECORD. 

Col. Dan Rice was an intimate personal friend of Henry Clay, 
Presidents Lincoln and Johnson, and knew Ueneral Grant per- 
haps as well as he was known hy any man. During the days of 
reconstructioTi he was a United States detective, having heen ap- 
pointed by President Jobuson to protect the interests of the 
Government and tbe cotton raisers of the South against Die dis- 
honesty of Goveniment agents. Colonel Rice was in Washing- 
ton at the time of Johnson^s inangnration, and for some time 
after- 
Recalling the circnmstances leading up to the breach between 
President Johnson and those who afterwards sought his impeach- 
ment, Colonel Rice says: 



r.>(> 



BEMINISCEXCES OF DAN RICE 



" A few days after the inauguration of Johnson, while I was at 
the White liou^e iji fonvcrsalion with the President, Col. John 
W. Forney, of Philailelphia, sent in iiis t-unl. Colonel F'ormy 
was well known as jin ardent admirer and staneh supporter o£ 
Johnsou, having heen intimately ivs.so<Mated with him <luring the 
events attending his acee^sion "to the Prei^idency. I retired to 
an adjoining room occupied by Colonel iloore, the President'^ 
private secretary, where I heard, distinctly, the conversation 
between Colonel Forney and the President, Forney presented 
to the President a list of post-ollice and custom-house appoint- 
ments for Philadelphia for the President's sanction. Johnson 
said, "John, if there is anything 1 can do for you personally, 
command me, but as President, I cannot accept your slate." 
Forney left the While House abru|>tly, and on the following 
morning, his two papers, *' The Washington Chronicle'' and 
" Philadelphia Press," familiarly known as " My two papers, 
both daily," oj)cned on the Presi<lent in an article headed, " What i 
is the matter at the White House? Tlie President closeted with 
a clown." I was very intimate with Colonel Forney, and, meet-j 
ing liim on the street, asked him what was meant by the articles] 
in his pajiers. He replied, ** Oh. iCs a big card for you, Rice,"^ 
" But," said I, *' John, you have made a mistake. The President 
was right." He complained bitterly at his treatment, and re- 
marked that he would ruin Johnson as he had rnine<l Buchanan. 
This was, undoubtedly, the occurrence which led to the open 
rupture between the President's party and the impeachment fac- 
tion. The minds of the iieojile as well as of Government officers 
were filled with suspicions of the times, and suggestions of di.^-| 
loyalty from any (juarter found ready credence. Forney did! 
everything in his power to ruin Johnson, even going as far as toj 
indirectly accuse him, through the columns of his papers, of 
being concerned in the nft^-^attsinatitm of Lincohi. What wasj 
Grant's connection with this matter? Grant was one of the most i 
unsuspecting men in the world, and his credulity was imposed 
upon by the Capitol clique, led hy John W. Forney. Thad Stevens, I 
Simon Cameron, and others. I was at that time in Washington] 
with a big show bearing my name. I was directing the parade] 
from my seat on the band wagon, and after having serenaded the 
heads of the various departments, gave the order " On, to the 
White House! " Grant and Forney were standing together on 
the sidewalk and overheard the order. Both shook their heads, 
and Forney, advancing, advised nu> not to go, on the ground thatd 
it would make me unpopular. Grant said nothing, but gravely j 
shook his head. Xevertheless, ws proceeded, nnd the band, under ] 
my direction, played '* Hail to the Chief," concluding with 
"Dixie." Forney was mistaken, for the vast crowd which had 



BEMINISCENCES OF DAN RICE 



191 



gathered was vociferous in its demonstrations of enthusiasm. It 
was Forney who put the idea into Grant's head that it wa» John- 
son^s intention to l>ecome '* the Cromwell of the hour," and that 
his, Grant's, appointment to Mexico was made in order to re- 
move litm from the roniniand of the army, where he was a 
continual nienaee to the President. It was at one time the in- 
tention of the President to dissolve Congress in order to put an 
end to the incendiary speeches of that body, which were a[)t to 
lead to another revolution. It must be remembered that the 
troops of Maryhind, New York, and Pennsylvania were in readi- 
ness to answer to the President's call. '* Seward's counsel," how- 
ever, prevailed. He was first in favor of this plan, hut later ad- 
vised Johnson to wait, thinking that .some better solution of the 
difficnlty would be developed. But Johnson's speech at the head 
of Pennsylvania Avenue, one night, destroyed all oppurtunities, 
if any existed, of a compromise between himself and Coni^ress. 
What was the chur/jje that Johnson was in sympathy witli tlie 
South and disloyal to the Pnion? I ktiew Johnson from boy- 
hood. He was honest, patriotic, self-saerifiein*j in liis loyalty. 
Owing to his L'nJon sentiments, he was comjielled, in the fall of 
18^)!) or the spring of ISGO, to flee from his home in Greenville, 
Tenn., leaving his property unprotected and his family in tears. 
He was piloted through the timber to a place of safety by a col- 
ored boy liy the name of Diek Kennar, an illegitimate son of the 
great Kcnuar of Louisiana. Hick was at one time snare drummer 
in my band, and afterwards he hecame a hack driver in New 
Orleans. 

Johnson made his way by a painful and tedious journey to 
Cincinnati, where he arrived in a destitute condition, and made 
his famous speech in front of the Burnett Plouse. From that 
time onward his star was in the ascendant until <limmed by the 
conspirators at the Capitol. The statement of General Butler, as 
published in a sul)sequent interview, that he had in his possession 
doenments of a secret cliaracter which could have been intro- 
duced at th(! impeachment trial, and which he refused to make 
public, I regard as an invention of that ingenious politician. 



What's in a Name? 

Col. Wm. P. Preston, nf Louisville* Ky., was a candidate for 
Congress. He was the descendant of an ancient family of Vir- 
ginia. Col. Wni. C. Preston was Dan Rice's circus agent, and 
livcfl a few ndles frotn the city. At the sanu' time that Wm. P. 
IVi'ston was running for Congress, Wni. C, Preston was adver- 
tised to appear in a play at the theatre, the circus season being 
over. 



192 



BEMIXI8CENCES OF DAN" RICE 



Col. Wm. P. Preston had a strong advocate in an Irigh citizen, 
wlio eontralk'd tlie Irish vote. Tin? oppoi^ito party were trymg 
to ctii)ture him uud hi.s intiuencc, uml laughed at hiin in the way 
of ridiruii; of his candidate, by saying' that he was nothing but a 
theatre actor. (While Col. Wm. V. Preston was my agent, he was 
also an actor, and when he got through travelling with the circus 
he made a contract lor a week or two to pky Mazeppa, his favor- 
ite play.) Tlie Irishnum indignantly denied it. They took him 
out and showed him the lithographs representing Mazeppa on a 
horse being chased by mountain wolves. The Irishman naw the 
name, and said, " Be jabbers, I'll go to the theayter. and if it is i 
so,, the divil a vote will he get from me friuds." The night ar- 
rived, the Jrii^hiuan was [iresent, and was so carried away with 
the excellence of Col. Wm. C. Preston, thinking he was the 
politician, that he got up on the stage when they were called outj 
and, taking him by the hand, said, *' Oi1l vote, and all me frinc 
will vote for ynn. Ye're a damned soight betther actor tiian ye| 
are a lawyer." 

The incident created great applanse and excitement. 

Wm. P. Preston was a general in the late war. An incident ofl 
an interesting character occurred in connection with the distin- 
guished general, living in Lexington, Ky., in 1885. Dan Ricel 
lectured at the 0|>era House in Lexington when he was on hia] 
sixteen months' lecture tour, and he noticed present General 
Preston, He fold the above story to the delight of the vast audi-"^ 
ence. It created great laughter and applause. The general was 
one of the interesting and honored citi/iens of the Blue Gras^j 
State, lie waited with his friends for Dan Rice, and escorted 
him to his palatial homo and entertained him most royally that 
evening, Preston was an ** old-time " Wliig. It was this demo 
cratic vote that elected him. 



A SiNouLAR Coincidence. 

In the winter of 1881> Colonel Rice was being entertained bj 
the late CoL John A. Cockerill, Judge Duffy, and Gen. Jame 
R. trBeirne, when one evening a gentleman approaclied tli€ 
Colonel as they >**it in Room No. 1 at the Astor House, and asked," 
•"Is this Dan Rice?" Colonel Rice arose, and, extending his 
hand, replied, ** Yes, sir; but you have the best of me." The 
gentleman remarked, " Well, ynu got the liest of me about thirtj 
years ago when you came into my law office at Cincinnati an^ 
wanted my advice about bringing a suit against Nick LongworthJ^ 
one of our wealthy citizens, for $80,000. 1 gave yon the adviec^ 
and you went off and settled with the gentleman for $00,000, and 
never came near your lawyer again." 




B£MINi8CENCE8 OP DAN RICB 



103 



It eventually turned out to be T. C Campbell, of Cincinnati, 
now a citizen of Harlem, a leading politician, and a succussful 
awjer, who as he concluded his remarks hurried away, but not 
before Colonel Rice had called out to him that the check he re- 
ceived for the $60,000 went to protest and was now part of the 
assets of other days. As he has not, up to this date, sought to 
enforce his claim, the distinguished lawyer is doubtless gen- 
erously availing himself of the statutes of limitation to the ad- 
vantage of Colonel Kice. An hour or so later as Colonel liice was 
standing at the entrance to the Astor House, Hartley Campbell, 
thegreat dramatist, accosted him, and after a few brief and pain- 
fully disconnected inquiries as to Mr. Rice's financial affairs, 
drew a check-book from his pocket, and after afilxing his signa- 
ture to a draft, he iianded it tn the Colonel, remarking as he 
hurried away, '' Write in the amount yon need and it will \ye 
all right.'' A few days later again meeting Colonel Cockerill, 
Colonel Rice, in speaking of the strange coincidence of meeting 
the two Campbells, he was shocked to learn that that very morn- 
ing the great-SGuled Campbell had become forever mentally un- 
balanced. 

To Hox. Ex-TJ. S. Senatob Rufus Blodoett. 

Not to describe men as they are is not to describe them at all, 
and if they should exhibit some few venial imperfections, which 
is the lot of men, like flaws or specks on a diamond, they are lost 
in its general brilliancy and lustre, as viewed from the standpoint 
of this writer. He has one quality, however, said to bo the usual 
concomitant of greatness, and which, no doubt, springs from the 
strict purity of his motives, and the sincerity of his opinions, and 
that is obstinacy, or, as it is called in more courtly language, firm- 
ness. He generally adheres to his opinions certainly from no 
selfishness or want of mngnantniity. but because he firmly be- 
lieves those opinions to he right, although T positively assert 
*' it is much more magnanimous to retreat than to persist in 
error," let us say what we may. A proper tenacity of opinion is 
assuredly preferaltlc to a vibratory, vacillating presiding ofiicer 
over an intelligent, deliberative body such as our Long Branch 
Commissioners are presumed to he, who changes his mind as 
freely and frecpiently as his apparel, and with much less regard 
for appearance. H has been said that " obstinacy and firnmess 
spring from the same root: it is obstinaey when the course is bad, 
firmness when it is good,^* and with this understanding in il.s 
application to our Honnrable Mayor let us call it firmness. It 
matters not to what post be has been called — to the State Legis- 
lature, the United States Senate, the Superintendent of the l^ew 
Jersey Central Railroad, or Mayor of Long Branch, in all he has 
13 



li>-i 



HEM1NI8CENCES OF DAN RICE 



provefl equal to it and uever one jot above it. He did not grad- 
uate from Princeton, but bus good sense abundant. Me never 
amazes witb bis wisdom, nor shocks you by his folly, the just 
medium ib his highest and safest distinction. He engages the 
confidcncL' of all without ever having justly forfeited the kind 
regards of any. 

Zach Chandler. 

During a politicfil campaign I wati journeying from Cincinnati 
to Chicago on a midnight train. Sleep was out of the question. 
1 had taken an insi<!e seat and, as is usuiilly the case witli mo6t 
travellers, began my railway journey by looking out of the win- 
dow in an abstracted sort of way and thinking of nothing in par- 
licular, when 1 suddenly wiis inade awiirc oi; the j)resence of a 
fel!ow-traveller Ity a grulf voice asking if tiie adjoining seat was 
preempted. Looking up, hefort' removing a valise vvbicli rested 
there, 1 recognised antl cheerily greeted my old friend, Zach 
Chandler, lie rei-eived my cordial Inind-gnisp in a perfunctory 
way. I noticed he seemed wretchedly wasted. He certainly was 
so mentally jaded that, desjiite my best efforts to arouse him 
witb amusing yarns, be scarcely smiled. Hemarking that he was 
evidently worn out and needed rest, the grizzly political war-horse 
shook his mane and, placing his arm across the back of the car 
seat, hiilf grunted with a cynical smile, ** Kest, Hico. rest. Where 
in h — 11 am 1 to get it here? What kind of rest — like that rock 
over there," ]minting to a big boulder abutting the tracks of the 
flying train. "See here. Rice, can yon harvest witliout ploughing; 
reap without sowing? " After a lapse of several minutes be con- 
tinued: *' I am tired, hut there is no let-up. It's a case of keep 
moving with me, or the curtain falls. 1 am pretty much like a 
horse my fatiier once had: he was a thorougbbrc<l, Init age was* 
creepinpf on. For nearly eleven months he could not be induced 
to lie (Jown in bis stidl; he knew if he did be would never get 
up. One winter morning J wont to the barn to feed him. He 
was dead — h<^ died on bis feet." 

Twenty-two hours later I accomjianiod I^Ir. Chandler to Mc- 
Cormick*s Hall, Cbicngo, where he was scheduled for a campaign 
speech. When he concluded I alone escorted him to the Grand 
Pacific Hotel. After a light supper and a cigar he retired to 
rest. If be slej^t he never woke again; death came to him: ho ] 
was found lifeless in the morning. 

Meeting Oeneral Orant on his return from his trip around the- 
world, jit the 8t. Charles Hotel, New Orleans, I had a long con- 
fidentinl talk witb him, during which he asked what I thought 
of the third term scheme. I replied, *' General, under no 



REMINISCENCES OP DAN RICE 



195 



cumstances do you allow yoiir good name to be presented before 
the National Republican Convention, for you will not only be 
defeaterl but it will dim the lustrv of your military gruatness and 
be a target for your political enemies to direct their shafts of 
venom. They wUl dissect the defects of your two administra- 
tions, such as the whiskey ring at St. Louis, where Ueneral Mc- 
Donald and Colonel \Vm. MeKee, and others were locked up at 
the Four Courts. Althougli you pardoned them out, still it 
doesn't change the complexion of the rascality and scandal 
of your two administrations. Those )iolitical comets will 
move heaven and eartli to blast your character and prejudice 
the people.'* 

Houston and Cameron. 

Ib Washington, during his last term in Congress, 1 was intro- 
duced to Gen. Sam Houston, hy Henry Clay, of Kentucky. I 
also, on that owasion, met Capt. Forbes Britton, of Corpus 
Christi, a gallant Texas IJanger. He and General Houston and 
I were walking on Pennsylvania Avenue, from the Capitol, when 
we met Hon. Simon Cameron, of Pennsylvania, with whom I 
was also intimately acquainted. We shook hands, and Captain 
Britton was introduced. General Cameron jocularly remarked to 
General Houston, " You must be a Connecticut man." " Why? " 
asked the General. " Because 1 see you not only on the floors 
of Congress but on this great thoroughfare whittling a stick.'' 
" Friend Cameron," said Houston, '* 1 am always laboring to be 
useful. This is a very small piece of pine timber, you see; it 
comes from Pennsylvania, your own State. If I could only whit- 
tle a ton of it a day I would do so if it would only keep a good 
many of your rabid constituents * sawing wood and saying noth- 
ing ' about my people and their private affairs — you Yanks want 
to know too much.'* Cameron, whi^ was plainly ruffled, radi- 
ated one of his graveyard grins and sauntered silently away. 

HOBART. 

It was during the summer of 1899, made memorable in Long 
Branch by the presence of Vice-President Hobart, who lived at 
Norwood Park in comparative retirement on account of failing 
health, that Colonel Rice was a frequent visitor at Xormanhurst 
by special invitation and otherwise. Formalities were dispensed 
w'ith by Mr. Hobart's request, and the Colonel made his visits 
whenever he felt disposed to do so. Those informal visits were 
a source of mutual interest to both gentlemen, whose past ac- 
quaintance with Wnshington life cTnbraced all the shades of so- 
ciety, both civil and political, with this exception — Colonel Rice's 



196 



BEMINI8CENCES OF DAN HICB 



broader experience with the " old school " politicians of earlier 
days. To be in the ColoiieFs presence was a fitting excuse for 
Mr. Hobart to throw off the dignity of his official requirements 
and be hiin.seli" with a congenial spirit; eo, on one occasion, he 
invited Colonel Kice to devote an afternoon to an outing with 
hjra, which appointment was religiously kept by the Colonel. 
The day in question was in August. The Colonel drove over to 
see the Vice-President and his horse was put in the Hohart 
stables, and together tliese two genial spirits in the Hobart car- 
riage spent a few^ hours; one to forget the responsibility of public 
life and of the arduous toils of office, the one to neutralize the 
regrets of the memories of other days, the other the burdens of 
a professional one. 

Colonel Rice played the part of chaperon on this occasion, and 
so faithfully did he meet the requirements that no one ever sus- 
pected that Vico-President Hobart was the debutant on that 
day's outing. They visited several of the suburban towns, going 
over the beautiful drives that make Long Branch famous. Mr. 
llobart was particularly communicative to Colonel Rice about 
his successes in life, his ambitions, failures, etc., and to quote him 
from Colonel Rice's notes, *' I am weary of it all. Colonel, and 
my failing health makes it doul)ly so. Although I am a young 
man, this attliction is a source of constant torture to me, for I 
feel that I have only a short time to stay here, and yet should 
stay longer, as my real work in life is but half completed. It 
tested the Colonel's strength of will to divert Mr. Hobart's mind 
from himself; but with that delightful tact which characterized 
him in the forum and in the arena, he gradually brought his 
humor into play until Mr. Hobart again saw the sunny side of life 
with the famous old clown as his entertainer. They each in turn 
reliearsed past reminiscences which were, no doubt, a trifle ex- 
panded by a limited quantity of champagne, which was indulged 
in merely for mutual good-fellowship's sake. Mr. Hobart ex- 
pressed himself as not satisfied with the place of his birth. *'' Lack 
of energy is so marked among the native born," he said, " and all 
enterprise is due to the stranger who has made it his adopted 
home." 

'* What is the cause of it all. Colonel?" he asked. "I have 
but one answer, Mr. Hobart,*' the Colonel replied, " it is said that 
from time immemorial Long Branch has been the name of a 
watering-place, for the Indians used it as such. I think, in all 
probability, they left their spirits in the air." 

Mr. Hobart suddenly? bursting into a hearty laugh, replied, 
*' Spirits in the air; quite good, Colonel, very good. Too much 
fire-water you know. Colonel!, made the red man a poor business 
man; perhaps the weapon our Christian people in the past used 



^ 




BEMIKtSCEKCES OF DXN RICB 



197 



(with powder and shot afi an incidental aid) to exterminate the 
Indian is an irony on each other in this beautiful place of my 
birth. 1 have observed two things to-day," continued the Vice- 
President, " which eoggest the meaning of my remark. 1 wat 
startled to see so many saloons in Long Branch apparently pros- 
pering, and in the immediate outskirts such monotonously nu- 
merous repetitions of houses and farms placarded with the 
startling legends * To Let ' or * For Sale.* It is apparent to mu 
that it is a pathetic case of cause and effect Spirits in the air. 
Colonel, surelY not Indian spirits." 

Observing boys playing a game of ball in a near-by field as thoy 
rode by the Vice-President suddenly exclaimed, ** I wish I was 
there playing shortstop, 1 do believe I was the most conceited 
shortstop that ever lived in the world of amateur baseball; I 
never let anything pass me, never losi an opportunity that came 
my way." The Colonel, taking advantage of a moment's pause, 
ventured to add, " And so it was through all your life, Mr. 
Hobart, you were always on the alert, wide-awake to take advan- 
tage of every opportunity that came your way to honorable ad- 
vancement. In truth, you never stopped short until you reached 
the Vice-Presidency." 

" Speaking of my boyhood days," continued the Vice-Presi- 
dent, ** suggests a humorous ' swaddling ' story. Since 1 re- 
turned to Long Branch as a summer resident I have been re- 
peatedly accosted by scores of old school-fellows, who, with par- 
donable, if mistaken, pride greet me as an old class chum. Well, 
honestly. Colonel, it was cruel to disabuse tlieir well-meant im- 
pressions because, although I was born on what is now Broadway 
in I^ng Branch, and although my father was the village school- 
master opposite where Gus Byard's farm is to-day, I was live years 
old when father gave up his charge and migrated to other parts. 
I did not directly disabuse the minds of these gentlemen but 
good-naturedly suggested — maybe I went to the same school, but, 
alas, in my mother's arms." 

Thomas McKexna, Long Branch Commissioner. 

A public man of courage and capacity, as just in unniaskmg 
the guilty as he was zealous in defending the right; a man in- 
capable of giving currency to statements having no foundation 
in fact. 

Bourbonic, perhaps, in presenting his method, yet fearlessly 
honest in uttering his opinions. Without prejudice or venom, 
he is naturally devoid of an honest enemy. 

The influence wielded by such a man cannot be of a mushroom 
growth; its full force can grow but slowlyj and improve, like 
wine, with age. 



198 



REMINISCENCES 0I>' DAN BICE 




Here in all he is a man for conscientious men to cozen to, and 
one from whom poHtical rogues must shrink. 

His last defeat as a CommissiGner will yet prove to be the 
stepping stone to his greatest triumphs. 

Commodore Vanderbilt and Dan Rice. 

The humble origin of the head of the millionaire family is wel 
known. When a very young man, he sold clams in the street 
of New York from a cart and this was the burden of his cry: 

" Here are fine clams, fine clams to-day. 
Irately come from liockaway. 
Oh, my cart is broke, my horse is blind, 
Pray little boys keep off behind," 

Dan was one of the little boys thus appealed to, and in after- 
life, when Vanderbilt became a millionaire and Dan had becom 
famous, the former was a great admirer of the aspiring young- 
jester, and upon several occasions volunteered friendly advice 
interlarded with anecdote and incident pertaining to himself. 

His youngest daughter was his especial favorite when a child, 
and she was almost his constant companion. Upon one of his 
visits to Saratoga, accompanied by his little girl and while walk- 
ing upon one of the principal promenades, he espied an old- 
huckster woman upon the opposite side of the way attending a, 
fruit stand, whom he had known well in his youth while strug- 
gling with poverty and fighting the battle of life, and cross—, 
ing over he shook her by the hand, greeted her cordially and 
seating himself upon a stool, commenced a familiar chat. In the 
meantime his little girl, whom he had left standing upon the- 
opposite side, was accosted by some of her bon-ton ac(|uaintanoes,, 
who expressed surprise at the open familiarity of her father witbu 
the poor vender of fruit. Miss, herself, was mortified, and ero 
ing to his side she pulled his sleeve and whispered, " Papa, 
pray come away, everybody is wondering at your sitting here. 

" My little darling," said the commodore, " shake hands witlm. 
this old lady, she is an honest wife and noble mother. Pay no 
attention to what remarks are made by frivolous fools, for thi& 
lady is an honest, virtuous woman, commodities scarce in th^ 
market. And remember, darling, that poverty is no disgrace, for" 
when I married your mother she was a washerwoman." 

This revelation made such an impression upon the mind of th^ 
child that it affected the current of her after life, which, up t 
the present period has been one of charity and benevolence, ren 
dering her name among those with whom she has come in con- 
tact a cherished memory. 




4 

•es.p 
itl».^J 




REMINISCENCES OF DAN RICK 



Dan Bice on Jay Gould. 



The great railroad manipulator was born in the County of 
Delaware, State of Xew York, and while a child he exemplified 
the adage that " the hoy is father to the man." The ruling 
principle was illustrated by an incident that occurred in his 
native town. 

Some dainty pies in a confectioner's shop attracted his atten- 
tion, hut the price didn't liuit him; they were twopence each. 
While the attention of the female attendant was attracted to a 
customer, Jay tiirust his finger into one and broke the cruet, and 
upon her return he pointed to it, remarking that it was so dam- 
aged that she ought to let him have it for half price, and he got 
the pie upon his own terras. 

He has pursued the same course in his dealings with railroads, 
first depreciating and demoralizing the stock and then buying 
, up at half price. As Shakespeare says: 

*' The devil speed hira; 

No man*s pie is ' freed * from his ambitious fingers." 



Reciprocal Gratitude. 

'in the early fifties, while fighting his enemies. Colonel Rice 
often found himself placed in positions that required financial 
assistance, and it rarely, if ever, occurred that his requests in 
that direction were not recognized. Hip reliability was unques- 
tioned, therefore he could command any amuont without even 
so much as the scratch of a pen. It was on one of tlicpc occa- 
sions that Colonel Rice called on Daniel Van Wonder to go on his 
bond for five thous^and dollars to carry on his professional battle, 
and this man, who followed the vocation of a butcher in Cin- 
cinnati, came promptly to his aid, and willingly furnished the 
amount with only a verbal understanding between them. The 
money, with interest, was returned to Van Wonder at the ex- 
piration of the time agreed upon. As time advanced he met with 
reverses, and Colonel Rice was prosperous, and in the sjiring of 
1856, while the Colonel was in Cincinnati. Van Wonder ajiplied 
for a loan of five thousand dollars, with which to buy cattle and 
save himself from bankruptcy. Colonel Rice gratefully remem- 
bered the favor which Vsm Wonder had previously bestowed in 
his behalf, and he willingly gave the sum to his embarrassed 
friend under the same conditions of a verbal contract. In four 
years the indebtedness was cancelled without a word having been 
spoken by Colonel Rice on the subject. Mrs. Bereford, a daugh- 



200 



BEMINriSCENCES OP DAN BICB 



ter of Van Wonder, lived also in Cincinnati, and Bubsequently 
told the Colonel that her father had instructed his children to. 
"alwujs he a friend to Dan like." An opportunity was offer 
some years later to demonstrate the faet ihat the father's instru 
tioiiB were not forgotten. Several of the Vjiii Wonders locat 
in St. Louis, and in 1875, Colonel Rice, being in that city, w 
hunting around for a loan of ten thousand dollars to replev 
some horses that were owned by the firui of Ulidden & Manife 
They had been trained by Bartholomew in Denver, CoL, and we; 
fiuj)erb creatures ailapted to any performance in the ring. In- 
quiring of the livery keeper if he knew where any of the Van 
Wonders lived, he received for reply, there is one of them now- 
lying asleep on the couch in the olfice. It proved to be Jam 
Van Wonder, a eon of the Colonel's old friend, who lived in S 
Paul, and was, at present, visiting his brother in St. Louis. Aft 
renewing his acquaintance witli Colonel Rice whom he bad nol 
met for years, the Colonel made known his wishes in regard to the 
bond, and \'an Wonder readily assented to signing the doeumen 
"But you live in Minnesota," said Colonel Rice. "Well/" 
said, *' 1 can easily fix that all right by telegraph." ** But," sa 
the Colonel, '* the ca.«c is not in St. Louis, it is in Edwardsvill 
111." Van Wonder replied, '' as I own a large tract of land in S 
Clair County, I am a freeholder. If it takes the whole claim 
will sacrifice it. That was the instruction of my father, to al- 
ways be a friend to Dan Kice/' The result was that Van Wond 
telegraphed to the county clerk; the lawyers were satisfied, t 
sheriff accepted the replevin bond, and the bcJrses were releasi 
and shipped to Cincinnati. 



Dan Rice and George D. Prentice. 

On Tuesday evening George D. Prentice visited the Nationj 
Theatre and wos the recipient of a marked compliment from ihe^ 
celebrated humorist, who, after adverting u]>on the calamities of 
the country, and the disasters which had befallen the Union 
cause through political "prestidigitators.** expressed his pride 
and satisfaction at the attendance of our great, accomplished, 
patriotic, and devoted member of the press. " That man," said 
he, pointing to the gentleman who occupied a conspicuous posi- 
tion in the i>oxes, " is George D. Prentice, of Louisville/' 

The effect was electric; the audience rose en masse, and three- 
cheers were given for the talented journalist, followed by threep 
more for Dan Rice, Mr. Prentice bowed an acknowledgmen 
and appeared deeply impressed with the compliment, which Wi 
indeed an impromptu demonstration. — " Enquirer," May, 1861 



i 





BEMIXISCENCES OF DAN BICB 



201 



A Dishonorable Flag. 

While the circus was exhibiting iu Troy, N. Y., Mr. Rice niade 
one of his characteristic speeches with a point to it. Said he: 

" I am a eon of New York, but I cannot admire the city fathers. 
They are, in social life, pretty good fellows, but in public, they 
are a sort of human cormorant. They also possess capacious 
pocketSj all of which must be tilled. 

** Some persons have been rude and ungenerous enough to ac- 
cuse them of stealing, but this must be an error. A parr, of their 
public business is to make appru[iriations. Some of these they 
make, but never pass; they carry them with them. Hence arises 
the charge of peculation. If a man is desirous of losing his 
character, he has only to become an alderman. I once heard a 
mother say to her offspring who had been detected in some little 
pilfering, * If you go on this way you will either be sent to priscm 
or be made an alderman.' Our city fathers are generally fonil 
of celebrations, they like to see the Stars and Stripes floating in 
the breeze. But there was one Flagg they could never raise — 
Azariah C. They tried to put him out because he would not pay 
out some of the city's bills, but he turned the tables on them and 
let the creditors put out the auctioneer's flag instead. * There 
was a sell all around.' " The gist of the last joke was that A. C. 
Flagg was the Mayor of Troy, and during his term of office he 
at one time apjiroached a certain alderman of that city as follows: 
Said he, '* A lady called upon one of the memhers of the Board 
to ask his contribution for an Institution for Foundlings. The 
alderman was known to be soracwliat promiscuous in his amours 
and ho was eriually noted for his parsimony. ' Madame;' said 
he, * I have already contributed largely to similar institutions.* 

"* I have no doubt of it,' she replied, * but please contribute, 
in this instance, in money.' " 

Dan Rice. 

A name familiar in almost every household in America. 

Not long since the *' Enquirer" published a reminiscence in 
the life of the old showman which was read by Mr. George A. 
Emmitt of this city, and it recalled to his mind the time when 
Mr. Rice came to Waverly with what was then considered his 
mammoth circus and menagerie and exhibited his wonders in the 
lot now occupied by the court house. 

This property was owned by Hon. James Emmitt, and the 
conditions on which Mr. Rice secured the privilege of pitching 
his acres of tents there were that he should have the ground lev- 
elled off, the fence repaired, and all other damages occasioned 



2<«2 



BEMINISCENCES OF DAN RICE 



during his stay were to be remedied before he left town. To 
this Mr. Hice willingly agreed, but owing to the rush of busines 
and the late hour uf getting tfjgetlier his lung train of wagur 
preparatory to starting to tlic next town, the grounds were abuul 
to be left in their untidy &;tate, when the con!?tahle arrested hii' 
for breaeli of contract. 

The humorous oireus manager mounted a store hox. and» in le 
that half an hour, !ie had the whole popuhiee eonviilsed witk 
laughter liy hi>> eomieal plea(bng of his own ease. Mr. Emmit 
was lenient and, instead of jnishing the protiecution, insisted 
entertaining Mr. Rice at his elegant home and the grounds wei 
afterward put in order at the latter's expen.se. 

Dan Rice's Aunt's Opinion of a Game of Chess. 

Bice — Do you play ehesa, Mr. N ? 

Mr. N. — Oh, yes, sir, whenever my professional duties will per— 
rait: I am very fond of it, sir. 

litre — It's a noble game, and bow beautifully our young Amer- 
ican champion has heaten the profieients of the Old World; not:: 
one of theio could cope with the sjileiidid Morphy. Tlie veterans 
in the chess circles have met him and heen defeated. One onlv 
declined to meet him. His excuse wn,^ transparent. He says« 
*' I might under other circumstances; and 1 might at some future^ 
tinu^; and my occupation might form an excuse." He is some- 
thing like an old Staunton cheese — full of mites! 

Air. N. — Harwitz ami Anderssen acted more nobly. 

Bice — Bid they not. They had been accustomed to defeat all 
with wlu» they came in contact; they were gentlemen, and showed 
that even when their skill failed before the ebess-giant of the? 
West, they could be gentlemen still. It's a splendid game, t 
have an old aunt, however, win* rather inclines to regard it as rt. 
sort of social trap. She is sonunvhat antiquated, and we seldonx 
quarrel with her notions. She will sit bolt-upright in her high- 
backed chair — one of the ten thousand brought over in the May- 
flower with the Pilgrim fathers — with her hands crossed upon- 
her lap, her spectacles elevated to her forelicad. and her cap frill 
bobbing with every motion of her head. She says: 

" Chessf Yes, itV all very well to {Any chess, but it ginerally^ 
ends in airnest. A gal gits her feller right afore her. and com — 
mences her movements. The fust on it is them pawns, I knoi^" 
how they used to redeem pawns when I was a gal. Then th^ 
knights goes galivantin' round the queens in their castles. Str» 
she advances and backs out, and he keeps a-follering up, an* the>^" 
get the bishop into the scrape, an* it idl ends in their matinee- 
It's a dangerous percedin', an' very much practised by the gals,** 




BEMLNISCENCEM OF DAN lllCE 



203 



Dan Rice's Story. 

Col. Dan Rice places hrs history in Pittfiburg, and the date 
early in 18;)(), He wiys at tJmt tiiiiL' there was a livery-stable 
keeper by the name of '* Billy '' Futterson and hii^ jilace of busi- 
ness on Penn Avoiine near Fifth Strdet. Patterson had in his 
employ a rather green Irishman, whose name was Terrenee Leary, 
and who loved Patterson better than life. In fact, during the 
long winter nights, when Patterson's friends would congregate 
around the stove in the stable office, Terrenee would declare that 
he would murder the man who would dare lay a hand on Patter- 
son. The friends thereupon chilled Terrenee, but the doughty 
Irishnum would take it all in good humor, but still stuck to his 
declaration. 

Finally, Patterson's friends decided to put Terrenee to a test, 
and got Patterson himself in the secret. They chose a time when 
Terrenee was near-by in the stableyard, and then Patterson set 
up an awful yell. 

'* Murder! Help! Terrenee, they*re killing uie,'" he cried, 
and Terrenee, hearing the shrieks of agony, stopped his work and 
rushed for the office. 

*' Who hit ' Billy ' Patterson? " 

Terrenee did not wait to o]>en the door, hut in his mar] rnsli to 
come to his friend's assistance, crashed straight through it and 
bolted into the ofhee. Furniture was overthrowii, and in a comer 
lay Patterson, 

^'^ Who hit * Billy ' Patterson?" demanded Terrenee, his eyes 
flashing fire, and seizing one of Patterson's friends wdio happened 
to be near the prostrate man, threw him bodily through the win- 
dow. The other jokers f]ed precipitately, and, in a second, Ter- 
renee and Patterson were left alone. Terrenee was soon told of 
the Joke, but it soon got noised abroad. Colone! Rice got hold 
of it and was soon telling it from the ring of his *' nne-hnss '* 
show, and in the meantime every one was asking, " Who hit 
* Billy 'Patterson?" 

Tim Doxahite's Philosophy. 

Capt. Forbes Britton, of Corpus Ohristi, a gallant Texan 
ranger, was not only a heroic soldier, a prince of raconteurs, but 
one of the best of dancers. He was peculiarly fastidious in all 
his ways, either business or social. In his attire he was a perfect 
riiesterfield, and the only man who became noted for Ww atten- 
tion devoted to his toilet on the eve of battle. I fail to discover, 
in reading the history of onr great warriors, one who ever made 
a point of wearing a ruffled shirt in battle. One of the best 



m^ 



IIEM1N18CENCES OF DAN RICE 



stories I ever heard him tell was when ho had his company in 

the Mexican War, under General Taylor. On a certain occasion 
there wus a station not far from Victoria. Here tlie General 
isj^ued an order tluit he would review the troops on a certain 
morning, lie had often heard of the gallantry of Captain Brit- 
ton'wS company, and one Tiinotlij Donohiie, who evidently was an 
Irish gentleman of culture, but who became demoralized in New 
Orleani*. Hecniiting oflicers in t)iat city got him to enlist to go 
to Texas, where he joined Captain Britlon's com]>any. On the 
occasion alluderl fo the roll was called and all aFiswered but Tim- 
otiiy Itonabue. Captain Britton suspected the cause, as Tim 
woukl sometimes imbil»e too freely when off duty. An orderly 
was dispatched to tlic eanjp, when Tim was soon seen coming, 
gtaggering, with musket on his shoulder. He fell in line and the 
Captain addressed him in very stem tones: '* Timothy Donahue, 
you are drunk on duty. I had hoped, on this occasion, to have 
General Taylor make some recognition of your many gallant 
deeds by shaking hands with you, but here you are drunk on 
duty.'' He answered, " Hist, Captain! Not ano{h<'r word. I 
have only to ask — how do you expect all the virtues in a man for 
thirteen dollars a month ? " 

Ben TiiOKNiiujiu's Fame. 



At the age of ninety-seven Ben Thorulnirg has died in the 
Washington County Poor Ilonse. Although having rounded 
out a century with the exception of three years, the man's only 
claim to fame is that many years ago he whipped Dan Rice, the 
showman. It was not a great feat. It brought him local celeb- 
rity, bnt nothing like so much as Napoleon won by being de- 
feated instead of victorious at Waterloo. Yet Napoleon and 
Thornhurg died in quite similar predicaments. 

However, licking Dan Rice is not necessary to make all the 
reputation for a man thr.t he needs. Fame is nothing more than 
a place in history and in the mouths of the people who talk. It 
Batisfies vanity, hut only occasiimally brings bread. Hundreds 
of vonng Americans who are comfortably started in life's battle 
and making business move successfully, would not trade their 
satisfying incomes for Shakespeare's world-wide fajne. Fame, 
after all, comes only with the accomplishment of soiuething un- 
common. If all were to be famons, fame would he common- 
place. Ben Thornhurg grew famons throngh his trouncing of 
Dan Rice, and maybe he never did anything else m his life hut 
what was more to his credit. Millions of men are pegging away 
day after day doing meritorious things, lookinjr after their house- 
hold.s, and living exemplary lives. They nuike no name for 



BKMINISCKNCKS OF UA\ lllCE 



205 



themselves, Ijeeausc tbey are not whipping; cirrus rloims, lemling 
armies, wearing tlieir liair long and playing football, niaking big 
winnings in pool rooms, etc. But they serve just as good a pur- 
pose in the world, and that i^* all that is required. Ben Thorn- 
burg's peeuliar fame is ju!?t a? good as anybody's. 

Miis. Ktans. 

The Evans family, of Pittsburg, was a noted one in those days, 
and many of them were inventors, and it was Mr. Rice's personal 
friend, (Jeorge Evanj*, a nephew of Mr. I'lidvvaliadcr E\ans, who 
invented the ailjustahle lire-ladder, ainl tirawji a royalty on it at 
the present day. Mis:^ 8ara!i, a daughter of Mr. Cadwallader 
i^vans, was considered one of the most l>eautifut women in Pitts- 
'l)urg — indeed, the whole of the Evans family were distinguished 
Sfor their jihysieal and intellectual charms. Miss Evans married 
^er cousin Oliver, who bore the same family name, and as she 
Btill continued her residence in Pittsburg after her marriage, 
ehe manifested the same inkrcst in Mr. Kiee's welfare that ex- 
isted in her girlhood days. A short time previous to her hus- 
"l>and's early death, not enjoying very rugged health, !?lie decided 
fclo go and spend an indetinite time for recuperation at Ravenna, 
I'O., a resort not far from Pittsburg, and Jlr. Rice was selected 
Tiy her mother to accompany Mrs. Evans, who was to travel by 
carriage. Tpon her arrival at the hotel the proprietor, Mr. Mc- 
Xibben, who was also a friend of the family and had been advised 
of her coming, paid every attention and furnished every comfort 
that the lady couid desire. On aceount of her personal charms 
she attracted as much attention at Ravenna as she did at her 
home in Pittsburg, and a few days after her arrival, as she sat 
on the porch of t!ie Ravenna Hotel one afternoon, Mr. Rice being 
Btill in attendance on her there, a handsome Kentuckian of dash- 
ing presence and captivating address drove up in a magnificent 
equipage. No sooner had he alighted than his eyes fell upon 
the attractive Mrs. Evans as she sat apart from the other guest«, 
and the gentleman at once betrayed an interest that was readily 
interpreted by the ohservert; sis a clear ease of *' love at first sight." 
In vain he entreated .Mr. ?iIcKiblten, the host, to present hira. 
The answer was always that Mrs. Evans was not a woman to 
tolerate any breaeli of eticpiette comn>itted by a stranger, Init the 
newcomer, who was no less a ]>ersonage than Ten Broeck, the 
well-known horseman, persevered, and linnlly recognizing Mr. 
Rice as the successful rar-e-rider of previous years, renewed his 
acquaintance, and persuaded that young man to deliver a note to 
Mrs. Evans begging the honor of jm introduction, 
Mrs. Evans tore the note into fragments, declaring there was 




2ui; 



JJK.VJIXISCEKCES OF DAN RICE 



no reply neceBsary, and her indignation at the fact of Mr. Ricc^ 
being used as the instrument of such an undertaking, togetherr^ 
with tlie otfentrive peraeveranoe of Mr. Ten Broeek, was sutticient::^ 
cause for her tu shorten her stay at Ravenna. She was relentless^ 
and when Mr. Rice drove her back to Pittsburg, a few days after — ^ 
ward. Ten Broeek was unknown to her save by reputation. Or 
examining the carrijige the next morning after their return, Mr. 
Kiee found a magnifieent srtlitaire diamond ring in a corner under 
the carpet. Soon afterward a maid came from the Evans man- 
sion to inquire if the jewel had been found, as Mrs. Evans had 
missed it on her return. Mr. Rice said nothing, but put the rin£ 
into his pocket and went to the Evans house. With all the 
freedom of his im]>idsive good nature he asked Mrs. Evans, witl: 
a roguish smile, " Wliat will you give to get the ring back?' 
''One hundred dollars/' she cried; *' it cost sixteen hundred.'^ 
Mr. Riee said nothing, but k'ft the house, leaving Mrs. Evans in^ 
a state of uncertainty. After he thought he had caused her suffi- 
cient anxiety, ha finally called and restored to her the solitaire-,, 
refusing, of course, to take any reward, and telling her that ht^ 
had only punished her a little for her cruelty to handsome Mr- 
Ten Broeek. But Mr. Ten Broeck's case was hopeless, thougl^ 
he was afterward presented to Mrs. Evans in Pittsburg througlm. 
the courtesy of Mr. McKibben. Jfrs. Evans was early left s. 
widow, and stune time after her husband*s death she visited Phila- 
delphia, where she stayed at the Merchants' Hotel, which wa» 
kept by McKibben, who had previously entertained Mrs. Evans at 
Ravenna. It was during her sojourn in Philadelphia that sh^ 
married McKibben, and thus ended a romance that had in it th^ 
eentiment of the olden time. 

Jean Lafitte Joukson. 

This sketch of the life of Johnson will compare in romantic 
interest with the ideal heroes of most works of fiction. Hia 
grandfather was the famous Jean Lafitte, the celebrated hucca-1 
neer of Barataria, who was born in France, either at St. Malo or 
Marseilles in 1780. There is uncertainty about his early career,, 
and accounts vary, but the most authentic describes him as a lieu-f 
tenant of a P'reuch privateer, which was captured by a British 
7Han-of-war an<l taken into an English port, where, with the 
otftcers and crew of the vessel, he was thrown into prison and 
confined for several years under circumstances of peculiar hanl- 
ship, which were the more galling, as, long before, all his com- 
rades had obtained their release. His resentment thereat and 
hatred of Plngland in consetpience, inspired, it is s^iid, his subse- 
•|uent career, and the important service he did the United States 
during the British expedition to New Orleans. 



REMINISCENCES OF DAN RICE 



30T 



Upon his liberation, in consequence of peace being proclaimed 
betwL^en Franct' and Groat Britain, be obtained a privateer's cum- 
mission for the C*arthagenian *(overnmenl:. then at war witb 
Spain, under cover of whicli hv is said to have carried out bis 
revenge by the capture of several English merchant ships, as 
well as those of Spain, and it was this which first caused him to 
be proclaimed a pirate, although there is no authentic record 
of his having plundered the vessels of any other nationality. Sub- 
sequently he settled in New Orlcanji in 1<SU?, where, it is said, he 
worked at the trade of a blacksmith, his forge being locatetl at the 
corner of Bourbon and St. Phillip Streets. The war between 
France and Spain caused tiira and his brother Pierru, who was 
also a seafaring man, to fit out another privateer, with which to 
prey upon the rich commerce of the Spanish pos.scssions, then 
the most valuable and productive in the New World, At that 
period the seas were swarming with these pests of the ocean, and 
the i*hips of neutral nations w^re fretjuently subjects of plunder, 
and u general crusade by the warships of Tuaritime nations was 
instituted. It wa**, therefore, found expedient to secure some 
safe harbor into which they coub! escape from the ships of war, 
and where, too, tliey could establish a depot for the smuggling 
and sale of their spoils. The little bay or cove of (I rand Terre 
was selected. It was called ** Barataria,'* and several huts and 
storehouses were built ^ and cannon jilanted u|)on the beach. It 
was inaccessible to men-of-war, and it was near the city of New 
Orleans, and from it the lakes and bayous alforded an easy water 
coraniunication nearly to the banks of the Mississippi, within a 
short distance of the city. A regular organization of the priva- 
teers was established, officers were cliosen, and agents ap[tointed 
in New Orleans to enlist men and negotiate the sale of goods. 

Gradually, by his success, enterprise, and address, Jean Lufitte 
obtained such ascendancy over those herce and lawless nu^n that 
they elected him their commander. It is not intended in this 
sketch to relate the adventurous career of Lafitte, which in itself 
would embrace a space equal to that employed in this narrative. 
The object is simply to trace the ancestry and origin of one who^ 
at one time, was intimately connected with the subject of these 
memoirs. How, through the agency of Lafitte, the Government 
of the United States was put into possession of tlie plan of cam- 
paign of the British, in the contemftbited invasion of Louisiana, 
is a matter of history. The proverbial ingratitude of Republics 
was also exemplified in its treatment of him and his folh)wers, 
when a combined naval and bind force, under the command of 
rommodore Patterson and Colonel linss. entered the bay, and, 
as the Baratarians would not fight against the flag of tlie L'^nited 
States, seized their vessels, filled them with the goods found upon 



REMINISCENCES OF DAN RICE 



the island, and made captive the buccaneers. But Lafitte, being 
forewurned, was not there. lie had escaped to a point above 
Xi'w Orleans, known as the German coast, in one of the vessels 
wherein was consideralih- treasure. Tliat he was ollered a ridi 
reward by the British authorities to aid the English invasion, 
has never been controverted, and that he dallied with them until 
he could convey their plans to Governor Claiborne is also undis- 
puted. The packages of Col. Kdward Nichols, Commander of 
His Britannic Majesty's land forces, and of Sir W, 11. Percy, 
commander of the naval forces in the Gulf of Mexico* dated 
September 1, 1814, to "Mr. Lafitte,*' and forwarded to the Gov- 
ernor, may be seen in the records of the United States District 
Court in New 0rlea?i6. Their authenticity was at first doubted, 
but afterwards it was fully established. After the retirement of 
Commodore Patterson, Latitte and those with him who had es- 
caped, reoccujtied Barataria, and subsequently obtained an am- 
nesty and pardon of himself and followers, as well as tlie libera- 
tion of his brother Pierre, who had been taken prisoner, and in 
connection with a United States officer, he was employed in for- 
tifying the passes of Barataria Bay, and in command of a party 
of hie followers, be rendered etiicient service in the battle of 
January 8, 1815. President Madison confirmed the amnesty 
which had been granted to all the Baratarians who had enlisted 
in the American service, but Lafitte never received any further 
reward for his services. The story that he perished at sea in 1H17 
is not borne out by facts. It is known that, after aiding Jackson 
at the battle of New Orleans, he founded a settlement on the 
site of the present city of Galveston, where there is a grave known 
till this day as the Lafitfo grave. This rendezvous wm broken 
up by a naval force in command of Lieutenant, after Commodore, 
Kearney, in 18*21, luit there is nothing authentic of the after- 
life or death of Lafitte, who is descri1>cd as a man of noble pres- 
ence, over six feet high, hazel eyes, and black hair, and winning 
and affable address. The tenns offered him by the British com- 
mander. Colonel Nichols, for his cooperation in the invasion of 
Louisiana were $30,000 and the command of a fine brig of war, 
which he spurned, only to be afterwards denounced by General 
Jackson as the leader of a "hellish banditti/* 

Barataria is once more a solitude, a few dark mounds and scat- 
tered debris the only evidence of its brief state of active and law- 
less existcrfce. A tradition exists that there is wealth hidden 
beneath its surface, buried by the buccaneers, and the same is 
said of the Island of Galveston, but so far the enterprising 
searchers have found nothing to repay their efforts. Lafitte had 
an only daughter, who, at an early age, became the wife of one 
of his lieutenants, a young man named Jolmson. The fruit of 



HEMIXISCENCES OF DAN BICE 



209 



the marriage was the Bubjeet of this brief eketch, Jean Lafitte 
Johntiijii, named after hit* grainlfaUier, the so-called '* Pirate of 
Baratana," and a girl who^e 8iii>i=t'<|uent history is unknown. 
After the dispersion of the buccaneersJ at Galveston, Johnson and 
his wife settled in New Orleans where Jean was born and chris- 
tened by a priest named Ilejuaeourt, as the record of his baptism 
ft'ill show. When only seven years old his mother died, and 
subsequently his father removed to St. Louis. It was in the 
spring of 1S49 when Dan Kice was in the city that Johnson de- 
termined to cross the plains to the Pacific slope. He had been 
working as a stevedore, and, as at that time the California fever 
was strong, he determined upon an elTort to better his fortune 
in the golden region. His son, Joan, was then a youth, but 
strong and active, and with a fono which might have served as 
a model for Praxiteles. Mr. Rice, who knew the father, saw that 
lie might readily he made an aeqoisitioo to the arena, and he 
agreed to take him as an apprentice, thus relieving the father of 
considerable anxiety. 

John.'ion started, and it was the last seen of him, as on his 
liazardous journey across the plains he was murdered by the 
Indians, ut least such was supposed to have been his fate. In 
the meantime young Jean proved himself an apt scholar, and be- 
came a favorite with the public. His symmetrical and graceful 
figure and pleasant and ingenuous countenance, added to his 
speedily acquired skill as an equestrian, were attributes which 
bid fair to exalt hirji above most of his fellow professionals, nor 
did his tntor, Mr. Rice, relax an effort in perfecting his educa- 
tion, not only as a rider but in the higher school of calisthenics. 
Before he had served a year of his apprenticeship, Dan Rice's 
horses were seized at Covington, Ky,« as narrated elsewhere, and 
Jenn Lafitte Johnson became the equestrian hero of the '' One- 
Horse Show." He shared the varying fortunes of his preceptor 
until the end of his apprenticeship in 1854, when he left and 
engaged with other companies. Finally he became connected 
with John Robinson's Circus, of which he was a distinguished 
find popular member. At this period he fell in love with on 
a(lo])ted daughter of the proprietor, Maggie Homer by name, 
whose father was an old member of the Cincinnati police force. 
She was a fascinating young girl, barely turned sixteen summers, 
and the attachment was mutual, for Jean was at that time a 
counterpart of " James Fitz James." as described by the immortal 
author of the " I^dy of the Lake." 

" Light was his footstep in the dance, 
And firm his stirrup in the lists. 
And oh, he had the merry glance. 
Which seldom lady's heart resists." 




210 



HEMI.VISCENCES OF DAN RICE 




The result was a clandestine marriage which was discovere-- — '■■ 
almost iniiiiediutely after tliu iierforiimiu-e of the eeremouy, an -^ 
bofure an hour hud elapsed, his young bride was torn weepin -^ 
from him by the Robinson family, and he himself summaril ^ 
discharged. It was a sad termination to '* Love's young dream, 
and a cruel persecution of a couple who might have lived hapj)il 
and together fought successfully tlie battle of life. Of the tw 
poor Jean felt it most poignantly, Maggie's nature was inor 
elastic, for in the course of time she again Jiiarried, and becam 
the wife of " Bdly Emerson," the celebrated Ethiopian comediai 
with whom she lived several years. But it is presumed that he 
second marriage was merely one of convenience, her heart w.i 
not in it, and finally they separated, when she drifted to Xev 
York and became one of tne most noted of the denii-monflc. Bu 
poor Jean Lafitte never rallied from the blow which was laic^ ' 
with such relentless force upon his devoted head. His had beec^":^^ 
a pure and unselfish love, as it was his first. From that tim^^ 
pride, ambition, and all that had previously incited him to actioiL 
and a determination to achieve name, fame, and fortune, la 
dead and buried. Life had lost its charm and he became a reck 
less castaway. Had the shock and sorrow killed him, or eve 
driven him madly unconscious, it would have been a mereifu 
dispensation, but he lived on to find relief and forgetfulness onl 
under the baleful influence of the intoxicating cup. His pro 
fession was abandoned, and he became a wanderer about thc^ 
streets, begging from those who knew him in happier days thc:^ 
wherewith to gratify his craving for the liquid damnation. 

A circumstance which endears itself to Mr. Rice's mind as an 
incident of his boyhood worth remembering, gives the present 
reader an insight into purity of heart and purpose, that existed 
in so many families that belonged to the old-time chivalry. It 
was the habit of Mr. Rice, as he (ravelled continually, to entrust 
a portion of his money with some responsible person for safe- 
keeping, as the facilities were not so advantageous for depositing 
as those of the present day. Colonel Jones*, of Wlieeling, W. 
Va., wife was a very benevolent lady, whose name, in connection 
with his, was a household word in all the surrounding country. 
She was especially beloved and admired for her kindness of 
heart, and her scrupulous regard in acts of charity, and never 
neglected a trust that appealed to her sense of honor. Of the 
many who enjoyed her confidence, Mr. Rice was one of the nura- 
her, and, as he was a great favorite on account of his cheerful 
disposition and sense of the humorous, she took great interest in 
his affairs, and her instructions were always a pleasure to con- 
template and ponder over. A few days after Colonel Jones had 




BEUIXISCEXCES OF DAN RICK 



rdll 



been 
leave. 



laid to rest, while Mr. Rice was making his preparations to 
> she came to him and said, " My boy, before the Colonel 

_1 — onrax" )lP iCl\t\ T»P fhjlt if nnvthirifr K .. ...«^.. ^.1 »_ I.- , 



It as ne was Lr«»i.*""6 ».«xx.«„ v.v,«olouiij num pmce lo ] 
asked her to keep it for him, as she had done on other occasions. 
She readily assented, and soon after Mr. Rice left and never mw 
her afterwards. Some time had elapsed and he was agiiin in- 
stalled in Pittsburg, when, one day going to the baoking house of 
Holmes & Co., where he had previously deposited his money form 
time to time, he was notified that fifty dollars in gold had been 
added to his credit, and gave him a letter that had accompanied 
the amount. Which letter explained that Mrs, Jones did not 
long survive her husband, and, when she was rapidly declining, 
she%ent the money to Mr. John McCourtncy, of Wheeling. W.' 
Va., who acted in tlie capacity of conlidential agent for the bank- 
ing' house, and he, knownng that Mr. Rice had deposited his 
money with them previously, put the amount in their charge, for 
which Mr. Hice was credited. Thus Mrs. Jones discharged a 
duty which has few equals in these days of perplexing embarrass- 
ments. 

It was at the Wheeling races that young Rice met, in the Vir- 
ginia Hotel, his former patron, Mr. Klliott, of Baltimore, and his 
beautiful wife, Madame Celeste, whom he had married under 
the following romantic circumstances: 

Mr. Elliott and a party of his friends attended the old Bowery 
Theatre in New York, on the evening of June 2T» 18:^, tn wit- 
ness the performance of Madame Celeste in the play of " The 
French Spy," The fame of this artist had preceded her in this 
country, and she was creating here, as she had in Europe, a great 
sensation. Not only by her pantomimic action, but also her 
artistic display of terpsichorean skill and fascination, is what 
caught the impressionable nature of Mr. Elliott, and he pre- 
sented to her from his box, as she responded to the encore, a very 
valuable diamond ring that he look from Ins finger. Mr. T. S. 
Hamblin, the manager, who was present in the box, immediately 
went liaek on the stage and informed the lady through the tnlcr- 
preter that the gentleman^s designs were honorai>Ie, then relum- 
ing to the box he invited the coterie of friends to the green-room. 
Mr. Elliott was then introduced to the great artist, who invited 
him and his friends to lunch with her at the Hotel dc Paris on 
Broadway, which invitation they accepted. While on the way lo 
the hotel, Mr. Elliott made a bet of five thousand dolljirs with Mr. 
Harry Sovereign that he would marry the lady within a month, 



la 



REMINISCENCES OF DAN EICB 



which he did, much to the amuseraent of his friends and the 
amazement of Mr. Sovereign, who met the eontract with all the 
spirit of olil-tiniG ehivalry. Mr, Elliott and his lovely wife lived 
together several years, during which time a daughter came to 
grace their home. She was educated at Baltimore, and married 
eventually one of its most prominent citizens, Madame Celeste 
returned to London after her separation from Mr. Elliott, and 
continued her professional career, being a pronounced favorite 
in the phiy-going fraternity. 

Among the numerous little episodes that entered the opening 
career of his early manhood, Mr, Kice mentions one in which he 
ligured largely in subduing t!ie question of right of way in the 
]>ublic thoroughfare, in one locality at least, and which was es- 
tablished by a resort to honest blows, guided by scientific rules 
that made the results most enijdnitic and impressionable. Con- 
sequently, he was the conquering hero in a well-earned combat, 
and had, for an opponent, a distinguished statesman in embryo. 
In the early days, before the railroad had penetrated the remote 
districts, the main towns being connected by different stage 
roads, there was, necessarily, much opposition among the rival 
stage lines that ran on scheduled time over the routes. Promi- 
nent among those in eastern Ohio, were the two opposition lines 
running between Columbus and Marietta, One under the inter- 
ests and ownership of several of the best and most prominent citi- 
zens, was called the Hildebrand Company Stage Line, and in- 
cluded the landlord of the Mansion House, Capt, John Lewis, 
.John Marshall, ow^ner of the Horse Ferry, the Barboiir Bros., and 
Mr, Holmes, a prominent merchant. The other was called the 
Js^eil Moore & Co. Stage Line, and the divided honors of the two 
companies were about equal. The route at' one point lay along 
the Muskingum River and the overflow after storms was liable 
to cause a crevasse in the embankment, and thus impair the stage 
road so that only one vehicle could pass at a time, while others 
waited beyond the break. The feeling of opposition ran very 
high between the drivers of the rival companies, who were gen- 
erally strong, hardy boys from the farms in the adjoining coun- 
try, and the excitement was very great when two opposition stages 
happened to meet at a crevasse where one would be compelled 
to stop for the other to pass. Many a wordy battle ensued, wliich 
often led to both drivers dismounting and indulging in an em- 
pathic " rough and tumble " that would delay the passengers 
beyond the schedule time, and each company found it necessary 
at times to employ guards to assist in preserving the law of 
order. On such occasions, Mr. Rice, who was then a sturdy lad 
and not afraid of entering a contest with the largest of them, 



1114 



REMINIUCENC'ES OF DAK UICE 



notable career of ^fr. Husk is well known, and his name 
household word during Prosident Benjamin Harrison's adminii 
triitinn, wlien in* acted as iSccrelurv of Agriculture. His ear 
manhood was^ guided and aetuatcd hy good motives that deve 
oped him into a brillijiiU ueeessory as time wore on, and go 
tleeds were the iDovitiible results of his statesmanship. Belove 
for his hearty gnud-hunior, he was always approachable, even 
his offieial s?tate, and henevftlence was imprinted in every line 
nietit of hh fealiires. " Uncle Jerry " Rusk was a personal frien 
of Mr. Kiee all through his life, and j)lea8ant aoc'ial fetes ha^ 
hroiiglit them mauy times together. Tliey enjoyed many hear 
laugh? over the stage line experienee, and he always insisted tl 
if Mr. Rice had not thrown hini into Ihe gully, he would, to 
hi;: own language, *' have got away with him." In recalling 
mind the death of General Rusk — which occurred while he 
under the influence of anaigtheticti, and pa.«sing through a surgic 
ojH'ration jierfurmed by the Surgeon-General, Dr. Hamilton, f<j 
a painful malady — it is a strange coincidence that Mr. Rice, lieil 
a victim to the same ailment, passed fiuceet^sfully through tl 
same operation without the use of anaesthetics under the skilf 
surgery of the eiuinent Dr. D. M. Barr, of Long Branch, X. J^ 

In connection with the cfiisode of the stage-line difficulty, 
interesting occasion was celebrated the next day in Mariett 
which Mr. Rice attended with all the fires of patriotism burnii 
in hiti impulsive nature. The great Whig mass meeting openfl 
its session in the interest of Gen. William H. Harrison for Pref 
(lent, and the Hon. Thomas t'orwin for Governor. The speeeli 
of the candidates were exceiitionally fine, and Mr. Rico regar 
Mr. (\»rwin as the most able and eloquent stump orator that 
ever ItBtened to. His perfect control over the facial e.vpressid 
has never been equalled either on or off the stage, ilr. Rice i 
that time had the reputation of being a tine natural singer, ai 
the Committee of Arrangements invited him to go on the stage 
and join in singing the campaign songs, which inntation 
cm^lially aeepted. He had received his first instructions 
l^olitics from his esteemed old friend (Jeorge Reppert. at thi 
farm, and there had instilied in his mind, a proper understanding 
of the ]>rinciples of the Albert Gallatin school. The erowd^B 
gathered from all parts of the country to attend the in ass mee'^^l 
ing, and Mr. Rice led the principal vocalists in singing the mem- 
orable song of 

" Tippecanoe and Tyler too. 
And witli them we'll heat little Van. 
Yanf Van! Van is a used-up man, 
And with them we'll beat little Van! " 



the 




■KKDnMsscn or has msce 



215 



JbDOog the dioniB mmgen oo tltat oocasion wts ICr. Wiiliam 
'WiBdoBy of Brhwit Covntj, O., who erentiudl j became a pium- 
imokt lawfer, and acted in the capacity of anomej in sereiml 
iiwtaBen for Mr. Riee vhcsi he was in the ctrcns hnnnrw It ia 
well known how his aatmallj gifted mind gntdoaUj derdf^xd 
into that of a Atperior statesman, and he afterward became Secre- 
tanr of the Tnmmrj under President Benjamin Harrison, He 
was ffterioudy a Cahinet officer under Pz^dent Garfield^ and 
waa ooe of the most efficient statesmen in manipulating great 
iaraes that affected either the Stale or Qofenment that be repre- 
sented. In later jeara, when Mr. Rice had retired frcvm hia public 
career, be renewed the acquaintUDee with Mr. Windom, and 
iher enjojed many social pleasantries, and exchanged opiniona 
on the pr^raiUng topics of the period: but, upon one subject they 
always agreed, ihey had both song together the Whig cam}Niign 
aong of 1840, andVtill retained enough of the old-time spirit to 
he daand in the school of Old line Whigs. 

Capt. Tom Leathsbs. 

Tom Letthersw the braTe and big-hearted, has gone over at last 
to join the majority He has made his laft landing, and I tm^t 
east anchor in the tideless port of heaven. He was one of my 
firmest and most faithful friends. He was a man of superb pres- 
ence and sterling ehaxacter. He lived in the most romantic and, 
at the same time, most material and sensational days of the Be- 
public. He was the piont?er pilot of the Mississippi River, and 
far and away the best-known and roost popular man in the 
imperial domain of the V Valley, whose greatness he 

did so murh to develop, an h he was so majestic a figure. 

In the early '40's I first made his acfjuaintance. Words are in- 
deed too weak to recite in detail the story of our mutual interest 
or do adequate justice to the memory of days that formed the 
unfaltering friendship that I still maintain for him. The follow- 
ing tribute of a mutual friend, anent the announcement of his 
death will suffice to depict, in some measure, his noble character 
and ennobling career: 

** The popularity and fame of Captain Leathers were a house- 
hold word in the Mississippi Valley and the staterooms on his 
boats brought premiums. He never lost a life. His coolness 
and presence of mind never failed him when danger menaced, 
which was often. He knew his business thoroughly and his rise 
was due to merit. His first boat, I think, was the old * Princess.' 
of which he was mate before being promoted to her command. 
In 1858 he built the first * Natchez.' and from that day his 
prominence as a river man was assured. When his boat was 



S«6 



REMINISCENCES OF DAN IlICE 






burnt on the Black River by the Federal soldiera just after the 
war coniiiienced^ ("aptaiii Tom was mined. AH his earning* 
were inve8ted iii tht* Ijoat, Init his friends stood by him and 
bought the * Magenla,* which he ran for a wliilo until the second 
* Nalflu'Z ' wag alloEil. This iti Ihe hoal wliieli took part in the 
historic rare with the ' Ifoliert E. Lee ' from New Orleans to 
St. Louis. The race created great interest throughout the w 
country. Along the river the big race occupied public atlen 
exehisively for weeks before it came off. The betting on the 
come 18 said to have been the heaviest ever known. 

" Cajttain Leathers eomnianded the 'Natchez' and Captiin 
Canon, another pojmlar l)«>atnian, the 'Lee.' Both captains 
pre[Kircd tlieir boat>i with care. Every extra pound was taken off 
the • Lee.' even the doors and ^luitterB, and the dc<-k? of both 
racers were piled with resinous knots. On the day of the start 
the Crescent City went wild with excitement, and the river for 
twenty miles up stream was lilled with excursion craft loaded to 
the guards with adniircrrt (tf the rival boats. The start was on 
June -'^n, 1870. The race was a close one and along the river tlje 
peopk' came nnles from the interinr to catch a fleeting glance of 
the flyers. The * Lee ' won by several hours, making the dis- 
tance in three days, eighteen hours and fourteen minutes, ar- 
riving in St. Louis on July 4th. where her crew as well as that 
of the defeated * Natchez/ received the freedom of the city. 
After this the ' Lee ' " wore the horns ' as C|ueen of the river, 
the result was not considered entirely conclusive. The ' Xatc 
was delayed by fog during the first jjart of the race and the coiP 
ing arrangements of the * Lee ' were much better. She took her 
coal on l)oard without slackening speed from fast steamers sta- 
tioned at points on the route, while the * Natchez ' had to run in 
and take coal Ijarges in tow. This was the last great race on the 
river." 

Captiiin Leathers successively built and commanded five boats 
called *' Natchez," all of them magnificently appointed steamers. 
In those days the boats monopolized the river passenger traffic, 
and as there was much competition, the accommodations were of 
the costliest description, and the tables on fir^t-class boats were 
enual to those of the be.'st hotels of tlie present day. The big 
saloon cabins every night after supper were cleared and the pas- 
sengers had their choice of amusements. There was always a 
good band for dancing, and card tables stood invitingly in the 
forward saloon. These were the palmy days of gambling, and the 
boats were patronized by all kinds of professional sports. It was 
difficult for a captain to protect his passengers, but so well-known 
was Captain Tom Leathers' determined way with eard sharpers 
that his boats enjoyed comparative immunity from the swindling 



CI I J. 

c3W 




JIEMIMSCKNCES OP DA.V HlVK 



217 



frtjk. ternity. He never drank to excess or gambled himself, and if 
a p>agsenger was fleeced nn his boat the aecust-d man was hunted 
^J^^ summarily investigated, and, if guilty, the boat's nose was 
P*^inted to the nearest bunk and the offender " walked the plank " 
**^ d waded through mud and water to the shore, &f>metimes many 
"^iles from a settlement. Ag such experiences were unpleasant, 
^«a.ptaLn Tom's boats were given a. wide birth by sharpers, and 
'■"^^iisequently the wealthy river-front plaoters between Vicka- 
l>virg and New Orleans preferred the * Natchez ' always for them- 
^^^Ives and families. 



The Captajn's Histouy. 

Captain Leathers is a Keiiluckian, hailing from Co¥ington, 

^-xnd hai! followed the river since childhood, lie has married 

^A^iee. His second wife was Miss Claiborne, and a member of the 

"^^"^ell- known New Orleans and iSt. Louis family of that name. 

^ie has six children living, three boys and three girls. Captain 

I-^eathers gave u]> active life on the river ten years ago. He is 

^*^ow largely interested in the company running boats between 

^V'icksburg and New Orleans, and has otfices in the latter city. 

ijis eldest son, Boland, commands a stern-wheel " Natchez " 

^^elonging to the line and is a chip of the old block. The other 

"tjoys likewise followed in their father's footsteps and are 

"Jjopular. 

Captain George A. Devol, who lived for many years in New 
CJrleans and travelled constantly wath Captain Leathers and his 
<i"oni peers, siiid yesterday: " Yes, 1 am well acquainted with Cap- 
lain Leathers. 1 knew all of tlu* ohl-tiine river captains inti- 
3imtely. There was a Captain Canon — he is dead. Captain 
Tobin is dead also. Ca})tain White is gone. I guess Ijeathers 
is about the only one left of his generation. And what splendid 
fellows they were, brave, generous, and charitable. They took 
the greatest pride in their profession, and were square and trust- 
worthy. I could never get one of them even to accept a present. 
The hist * Natchez ' was the fastest boat over put in the Missis- 
Bippi River. Slie struck a snag seven or eight years ago while in 
command of Boland Leather.^ and was a total loss. Just before 
she started cm her last trip her insurance of $12r>,n00 was reduced 
to $2<),!I00, and the loss was a bad blow to the old captain. He is 
rich, though, and lives in splendiil style in New Orleans. He is 
just the same unassuming Captain Touk as ever, and an old 
friend is always welcomed heartily. His reminiscences of river 
life are fascinating. 1 hope to enjoy another ' pil)e ' and a 
julep wMth Captain * Tom ^ before either of ns makes our last 
landing." 



218 



fiEMINISCENCES OF DAN HICE 



Mifflin Kenedy. 

Another brave, strong, gentle spirit lias passed away. In the 
fullness of his ripened year8, enriched with the memories of a 
good and useful life, armored with the respect and aureoled with 
the tender love of legions, in the twilight of his life's day the 
end came and dusk melted into dawn. 

His was an instructive career, an inspiring life. 

lie was a pioneer^ anrl turned from the peace and tranquility 
of his Jioyhood home to mingle in the sterner, ruder scenes in the 
border hind of romance and adventure, lie bad within bim the 
same inquiring, adventurous blood tlnit set Drake and Raleigh 
afloat on the unknown seas and spurred Columbus when he 
turned his back to the sun and set the Star of Empire forever 
in the West. 

In a time and country, and among a people where might was 
often right, he only used his influence and power to make them 
synonymous. 

There is not a single unjust or oppressive act debited on the 
ledger of Mifflin Kenedy's life. 

He was early thrown amid associates where violence was not 
uncommon; he never gave nor took a blow. It was known that 
ho possessed a resolute will, an iron nerve, and a sujierlj eonnige. 
He commanded respect. His heart was as tender as a woman's. 
He inspired affection. 

He knew friendship's sacred meaning. To his friends be 
was ae 

" Constant as the N'ortbern Star, 
Of whose true, ti.vcd, and resting quality 
There is no fellow in the firmament." 



Hatred was a luxurious dissipation of the soul from which his 
spirit revolted. He abhorred deceit, dishonesty, and dishonor, 
and when he found them in any human being he shunned hif^. 

His charity was as wide as the sk'y, and wherever he found 
human sutfering, human niLsfortune, his sympathy fell upon it 
as the dew. 

Humanity is better because he lived. 

He never sought nor held any ])olitical office. This alone 
entitles him to distinction. But he was keenly alive to the duties 
of American citizenship, and witfiin the scojie of his influence 
few moves on the political ches.sl)oard were ma<!e witiiout his 
advice, given alway.s for good, always for rigJit. 

His time and labor and money hail been freely given to bring 
progress and prosperity to tiiis country and its people, and his 



SEMmiBCBNCSS OP DAN BIOB 



hopes were centred in their upbuilding and betterment. It is 
litiful that he could not havK stayed to see the material regen- 
tion of those whom he had led and loved and Kerved so long- 
Just now when every sign points to fairer weuther, when the 
commercial hilltops herald the eomiug of the better day, when 
the seed be sowed in generous wisdom is ripening into bounteous 
harvest, when the people, emerging from the wilderness of doubt 
and. despair, behold just beyond the glint and gleam of the prom- 

^^ised land, his leadership is still needed, his voice and presence 

^Bftill be sadly missed. 

^H " One blast upon hia bugle horn 

^B Were worth a thousand men." 

MifHin Kenedy was a keen, sagacious business man. He ae- 
' cumulated wealtlL but he used money — he never abused it. Upon 
his soul sellishness left not a single sordid stain. He loved the 
l»eautiful, and wealth harnessed literature, art, and science to his 
bidding. 

IAN Rice, Esq., Girard, Pa. 

^ij dear Sir: You must not think that I have forgotten your 
dness, 1 write now to say that it will be impossible for me to 
present on the first day of November, when the munument 

u propose to raise at tiirard to the heroic defenders of the 

public is to be dedicated. My time is too much oceuiyied with 
newspaper and other public matters to allow me to leave even for 

moment. I trust the celebration may be worthy of the noble 
object you have in view. For myself, 1 can say, having watched 
your course during the whole rebellion, that your services deserve 
to be remembered and honored by the country. Constantly 
meeting vast audiences, men, women, and children of all parties, 
nothing but loyalty has ever fallen from your lips. Even the 

rly difficulties that beset your imth were removed by the eon- 
Bstency and courage with which you illustnite<l great ])rinci[i!es. 
I remember well, in the darkest hours of the war, how you 
cheered the hearts of those who saw and heard you. Well I do 

traember accompanying you to see Mr. Lincoln when you took 
lim the draft on the United States Treasury over from General 
Fremont for $32,tM)0 in payment of steamboat "* James Ray- 
Tn<»nd " which he forced into service at St. Louis, and how grate- 
ful he and Mr. Seward and Mr. Stanton were when you asked 

om to distribute it to the widows and orphans of the soldiers, 
igain regretting that I will not lie able to be firesent on the first 

" November, I am, my dear sir, very truly yours, 

BiMON Cameron. 

Washington, October 33, 18G5. 



I m< 
I no 

^^11 



->i}0 



KEMINlfiCEXCES OF L>A\ RIPE 



Dax Rice, Esq., New York. 

I)ear bHr: I fully ajiiirffialo your vhmn to lie called a " pnli 
iiiun,'' and, in comiiinn wtlli llie f,a-L'at iiuii-8 with whom you are i 
constantly in intcri'oursc, ret(i|;iii/A* tiiu cxtt'ut ami value of you 
services as a pui>lic man. Whatever niny have been StiintonTi 
true sentinicntti atfcclin^j: the admonition and advice you proB 
fered the (iovernnicnt involving Southern and Western condi- 
tions, 1 frankly ilii^avow any huspicimi of insincerity as to your 
purpose in presenting;, as you did, with so eloquent and forcefu^H 
emphasis^ the startling facts concerning Ids own ivcrsonal safetjl^ 
The ears of judjlie men are honeycombed these days with similar 
rumors. Doubtless this may be cxphmatory of his scjnjewhat 
heated reply — that if you were a " publie man " you might ha' 
learned to laugh such threats to scorn. 

It is unnecessary for me to tyiy nmre to one of your intelligen 
tact, and courage, than, go ahead as you began in your career 

BUCCCSS. 

With assurances of my appreciation of your friendly exp 
sions. Very respectfully yours, 

S. A, Douglas, 
Washington, July '.iO, 1861. 



lat 

J 



Reminiscences of Half a Century Ago. Toe Venerabi 
Showman Writes to His Old Friend, Hon. S. Nei 
TON Pettis. 

The following letter has Iteen received hy Hon. S. Nevrto 
Pettis, of this city, from rolonel Kice, in his day the greate 
circus clown known, and always a favorite here. As is generar 
known. Sir. Kice was born and raised in Girard, Eric County. 

LoNo iiRANCH City, N. J., Septendier 27. 
Hon. S. Newton Pettis. 

Dear Old Friend: 1 hatl long thought you an inhabitant -. 
the city of the dead» where marble shafts bespeak the departed 
great, statesmen loyal and those of craft, had ail succumbed to 
nature's mandate, but thanks to a unitual friend, Calvin J. 
Hinds, atlorney-at-biw at (Jirard, Erie County, who sent to nie 
an Erie paper containing glad tidings that you still live, though 
on '* crutches," therefore allow nic to congratulate you, I trust 
that you will soon be able to abandfui them, and that your exi 
ence on this *' mundane .sphere '* will be painless and that yo< 
great nerve and physical activity will carry you into a grand ar 
ripe old age. enabling you. Mhen the time arrives to shake " 
this mortal coil, to look back u|M>n a well-spent life with a iiei 
full of hope. 1 have often thought of you and the many soc 




RSUINISCEKCKS OF DAN HICK 



221 



plewsantrieis we have enjoyed in the delightful paet. and as Moore 

says: 

** Ix't fate do her worst, there are nioinoiUs uf joy. 
Bright dreuins of the past that she cuonot destroy, 
That come iu the night time of sorrow and care, 
That bring back the features that joy used to wear. 
Long, long be my lieart with sucli memories filled. 
Like tlu' vase iu wljich roses have long been distilled; 
You may break, you uuiy shatter the vase if you will, 
But the stent of the roses will cling lo it stdi." 

My dear judge, the joy to me was unspeakable wlu-n I read 
the enclosed newspaper clipping which answered a letter of in- 
quiry as to your whereabouts, if living. The accident you met 
with came very near causing a different report to reach me. Uow 
sad it is to hear of a person, especially one who has lived a life 
of usefulness, passing out of this life wlien years of experience 
have made him doubly <lear to the cnimuunity at large, and it is 
thus in your case. Had it been a report of your having left this 
sublunary world to join the great majority in the dim and mys- 
terious region upon the other side nl* Styx. I, in common with all 
who know you best, would have mourned the loss of one who was 
useful to his fellow-man, and an honor to his country. 

And yet why grieve over the departed spirit of him whose 
exalted virtue and umlerlying faith in the blood of Calvary are 
an earnest of l^-atitude tt) come? And why should sinners 
mourn the Christian dead, who, having shaken off life's weary 
load, mount tu the regions of etermii bliss to rest u]»on the 
bosom of their God? 

I am, an<l have l>ecn. engiiged in writing my history, which is 
about reiidy to l>e placed in the hainls of my biograiihor to revise 
and compile, and then the pubiisber takes it and prints in the 
best leading style for the world's iiinuwt»ment and instruction. 
And now, as you are aware, 1 have labored over half a century 
under a circus tent, within a radius end)racing forty-two and a 
half feet of diameter, to pronmte the hajqiiness of my fellow- 
man in the rnpidly progressing ages, and 1 now leave l>ehind me 
a work which has almof*t exhausted my pleasure-freighted mind, 
in order to meet the demands that have emanated from my ex- 
perience and career in the jesting world, and when T have passed 
" to the bourne from which no traveller returns," 1 will have left 
a memento which will cause all who read to smile at the vagaries 
of the clown, Dan Rice. 

By dictation, per private secretary, M. W. B. 

P. S. — I would be more than pleased to receive a few lines 



KEMINISCKKCES OF DAN' UICE 



from you, and to hear v^ your purfei^t restonition to health, and 
my good wishes follow you to that eo<{. Truly yours, 

Dan Rice, 

. Per M. W. B. 

The oldeT class of our citizens, notably Col. James E. McFi 
land, James G. Foster, and J. D. Gill, will |>robably call to mi 
the ineident that ori^nnated the jjleasant rc'liitions referred to hj 
Mr. Kiee as having long t'xiftted between him and Judge Pet 
About l.S5"^. CoJunel Hire, wliile in the zenith of his professio ^ 
glory and prosperity, advertised to give three performances on 
the Diamond in one day — morning, afternoon, and evening. In 
the morning, soon after the Colonel's pavihon on the Diamond 
was pitched, Hon. John W. Howe, us attorney for Judge David 
Deriekson, had liiee arrested, charged with maintaining a 
nuisance in the square. William H. Davis, Esq., a])peared for 
Rice, hut the magistrate, W. D. Tucker, decided that Kice must 
either move his tent» give hail, or go to jail. At that moment 
the coniitable naw Mr. Pettis j>assing the otlice, and said to Rice, 
" There goes a young man who has a great deal of snap in him, 
and I would advise you to call him in," and Kice rej)lied, "Do 
go." Pettis looked at the papers ami directed the magistrate to 
make out tlie jail coniniitment, and asked the constable to come 
by his office en route for the jail. When the constable and 
Colonel Kice reached the ofRce, Pettis joined them with a petitii 
for a writ of haheas corpus, which Judge Adrain soon allow 
and gave notice to Mr. Howe that a hearing would take place 
ten minutes, uj}on the writ looking to and praying for the dis- 
charge of Rice from the commitment. 

Upon the appearance of Mr. Howe, Mr. Pettis made a spei _ 
of a few minutes, cbjirging that the interference with Mr. Rice's 
business was unauthorized, unlaw^ful, unconstitutional, and in 
violation of the hill of rights, and concluding witli the statement 
that Mr. Rice's liills were out for Waterford the next day, and 
Erie the following day, and then sat down to hear what Mr. 
Howe might have to say against Mr. Rice's discharge. Ab Mr, 
Howe rose. Judge Adrain adres.HCfl him as follows: 

" Mr. Howe, he brief, be Itrief, my mind is made up. Mr. Rice 
cannot be dej>rivcd of his liberty in any such way. He has to 
show in Waterford to-morrow, and it is my duty to discharge 
him." Mr. Howe, it is said, accepted the inevitable gracefully, 
fell back in good order without saying a word, although joining 
in the general applaujie that followed the judge's decision, and 
Kice went scot free. The whole scene was reproduced by Dan 
that forenoon, afternoou. and evening in the ring, to the amii 
ment of every boil y hut Judge Derickson. 



ine 
»nd 

m 








BEMINISCEXCES OF DAN BIOS 



^23 



Deab Mr. Rice: 

Yesterday's '* Enquirer " contained the enclosed slip which I 
forward to you with the best wishes of an unknown friend. I 
cannot hut wish to congratulate any being who does his best to 
make merry, even for a little while, sad hearts tmd gloomy 
mortals. 

Stored away in the dreamland of my memory are many photo- 
graphs, and among them is a cheering une in which you tigure 
conspicuously, and your nauie always brings forward, possibly 
even yon may not have forgutten it. The incident occurred back 
in the fifties. John Uohinson wante<l to have his circus in the 
west end of our city and the most suitable place in his mind was 
a vacant portion of mj father's, Samuel II. Taft, lumber yard, 
so Mr. Robinson requested as a favor the use of it, without men- 
tioning any remuncnilion. My father was a great lover of practi- 
cal jokes, so in return requested the privilege of inviting a few of 
his friends, his signature I>eing all that was necessary on the 
ticket. Then his big heart wurnied towards children who were 
always his friends, and ]mor people, and he determined to give 
them the memory of at least one circus in their lives. So he 
sent word to all the schools uf Green Township to close on a 
certain day to allow the ehddren to attend en masse, as well as a 
general invitation to the whole of that township to come to the 
circus, all with tickets with his signature to he admitted free. 
Only please call early iit his office to avoid crowding and give him 
a chance. Though but a child, I well remember the comical 
sight of wagon after wagon of every conceivable style filled to 
overflowing with chairs on which the country people were seated 
fairly choking up Western Kow (now Central Avenue). Father 
was rushed from early morning till after circus time signing. He 
said Robinson was at first mady but finally the situation got too 
overwhelming for words even for Robinson. Father said he 
never had but one regret about it and that was that he had not 
invited the whole of Hamilton County. The actors enjoyed the 
joke and did their best, so, for the pleasure you gave that day, 1 
wish you a long and happy life. 

Most cordially, 

Ej!ma Taft Taylor. 

Cincinnati, 331 Park Ave., Walnut Hdls, Dec. 9, 1894. 



GiRARD, Erie County. Pa., Nov. 22, 18C7. 
Messrs. C. I. Taylor and T. G. Stevenson, Editors " Tonia 
County Sentinel," Ionia, Mich.: 
I cannot address you as " gentlemen," as yoii have both 
stamped yourselves as mendacious blackguards and malicious 



224 



REMINISCENCES OF DAN RICE 



]iars» liy the unjust, cowardly, and unprovoked assault upon me 
in your paper, a copy of wliich has just reached me through a 
friend. 

Neither can I ask you to give me, through your columns, 
opportunity to refute yonr charge that I abuse religion and i 
followerfi, or entertnin feelings of animosity toward the colon 
people, for the reason that knowing your allegations to be u' 
terly false, and simply a scurrilous dodge to manufacture a ca 
tal for the part}^ of destructionists, political thugs, and thiev 
of which you are both, in intellect and character and habits, sud 
eminently fit representatives, you would not dare, of course, al- 
though you may lie about that too, to give nie the benefit of 
contradiction. I am, therefore, compelled to resort to the o: 
other public way left of branding and exposing your villainy. 

As far ns you are individually concerned, to notice your libel 
ous attack would be a condescension I should never think o 
granting, and that I now accord you even a brief moment of con- 
temptible notoriety is due solely to the fact that, unfortunately ' 
for both the rejiutation of the Press and the good of society, yoi 
have the facilities for perpetuating and disseminating your 
slanderous lies. 

It is not because I do not respect true religion and its followers 
that you deliberately violate the ninth comjuandment in assaili 
me, hut because I will not bow down and worship the idol with t 
face of brass and feet of clay wliich you have set up, as now, 
your National God, and cry, " Slayl Slay! " before it wh 
resistance has ceased, and through the murder and oppression 
my countrymen 1 may taste ollicial pap. 

My religion is that of the Bible which teaches forgiveness and 
charity; yours that of Judas to betray and steal. Bom of the 
flesh-pots of Egypt, the bastard offspring of shoddy and centrab 
ization, it is at once the creed of the desperate and the damned; 
the prelude to destruction and the battle-cry of Hell. 

You, as its apostles and prolef/is, are expected to blaspheme 
at and howl against every sentiment of Ciiristian patriotism and 
honest loyalty, and still divided, distracted, and almost ruin 
country, a betrayed soldiery, and an impoverished treasury, tei 
tify well to the Devil, your master, that you are indeed his faith- 
ful servants. 

Liars and tricksters that you are, you charge me with cherish- 
ing unkindly sentiments towards the colored people. Let us 
compare records, if you dare. I built the first church for slaves 
ever erected in this country. I have freely given to educate an 
elevate the colored race to a standunl of intelligence justifyi 
their admission to the rights of citizenship, and I have oppi 
constitutional amendments proposing to immediately and rec! 




nd^j 




bacMiie 1 ui JiiMiilY Ui^m I — mctiam far ttwe 
, » wbU « tiM* of Om v^oto cmnMUUtj. 

Wkst bsre }«■ itae lor tfcm? Taxed die eouiij so Uat 
Uier miciit Mm cnne tknm^ Itres of idle dipeadtncg mputi 
public ineiitf; cneonnced tfaem to bivkse T i ol e oc * by iaflMt- 
vj SfipeBkaiid pnwiaes of ptimder; uidertekHi to aim tbfHi 
with a weapon botb agamet tbe comatiy and thiiwKeB by ptec> 
b^ tbe ballet in tbeir igeomit and reckleai bandt. And for 
vbat? To eneme their freedom and their lights before the law? 
To establikb a great principle or correct a great vroQg? Not so, 
je liars, demagogoes, hypocrites, and gamblers, for ti^e seamlcat 
mantle of Liberty! Yoa would betray them as you have betrayed 
yonr eoimtry. You would make them an in^trunionUlity for the 
rerival of ciril war, well knowing in your black hearts that they 
must certainly be cru&hed to atoms in the sanguinary and fratri* 
cidal atrugi^e, murdered, that with their blood you may patch 
up your broken power and establish another interregnum of ra9> 
cality. You would make the negro believe himself bt'tter ihnn 
the white man, and leave him far lower in the scale of humanity 
than he is, weighed down forever with the ponderous load of 
your iniquity and ingratitude. 

But, thank God! you have utterly, signally, and miserably 
failed. It is but natural that in the agony of your despair and 
defeat you should hiss and snap your fangles« jaws at the hand 
which has, in a humble way, beon instrumental in bringing that 
righteous judgment of the people upon you. Twin srrpcnts 
torn from the bodies of the Furies, by the hand of Discord, and 
fleeing, surcharged with venom, in our midst, you are at last 
scratched and the cheering spectacle by your death wrilhings is 
a source of thankfulness and congratulation to. 

One of your smiters, 

Dan Rice. 



A correspondent, writing to tbe Philadelphia *' Inquirer," says, 
"I attended a public meeting of the Union men in Mason City, 
Va., a few days since, and among those who spckt^ was a gentle- 
man by the name of Rice, who the vencnible rhainmvn introducrd 
as a citizen from Erie County, Pa., the Keystono State. Of 
course, as a Pennsylvunian I felt an interest in the man. so there- 
fore I gave his remarks more than ardinary attention. He was elo- 
quent, powerful, and easy in his address and nuuiner. antl won 
the admiration of all who surrounded his rostrum. His practi- 
cal knowledge of the habits of men in dilfcreut localities, and the 
system he pursued in pointing out the bitter possihility of the 
success of secession, was no less signiticant for Its ori^iimlity 
than its truthfulness. lie told what the manufacturing North 
IS 



SS6 



BEMINI6CENCE8 OF DAN RIOB 



could do, and how essential tlie activity, genius, and skill of her 
people were to the welfare of the great agrieultural territory of 
the • Sunny South/ He did not abuse or ridicule any people 
for their peculiarities, or scoff at the manners and conventional- 
ities of those who live in certain localities, lie showed himself a 
Tnion man, who had made the history of his country his study, 
whose object was to jjieserve it whole and undivided, and cause 
it to go ' conquering and t^tiJI to conquer.' I am told that Mr. 
Kice has, for some time, been hard at work speaking for the 
Union, leaving the * Institution^ to run itself. He is not an 
enthusiast, neitlier docs he appear like a man who was laboring 
for the gratilication of personal ambition or peeuniarj advan- 
tage. To speak plainly, he talks like a well-informed, educated 
gentleman, who knows what he is talking about, and who worij 
for the love of the cause he has enlisted in. I do not knfl' 
whether he has a desire for office, and 1 presume he has not, 
it occurred to nie that a man like him, who has travelled so ^ 
has observed so much, and was so familiar with the wants, habitsT 
and manners of the }>eople of all localities, conld not speak in 
vain among the lawgivers and sage councils of the nation. 

" Perhaps the next place 1 may encounter this rising young 
man, Mr. Dan Rice, may be in the State Senate, or in the Halls 
of Congress. More unlikely things have happened, and men of 
far less ability and character have been honored in that way. 
Depend upon it, that Kiee will make his mark, and turn his 
abilities to good account." 

New Orleanb, February 12, 1851. 
Dear Sir: IncJosed find my check for five hundred dollars on 
the Canal Bank of this city, given as a small evidence of my ap- 
preciation of the noble cause you are engaged in. May (iod in 
his goodness prosper you. Although a circus clown, 1 can s}i 
pathize with those who sacrifice self for the good of fellow-men. i 

Truly yours. 
To Theobauld Mathew, D.D. ' Dan Rice. - 



New Orleans, February 13, 1851. 

Dear Sir: Your munificent gift to the cause of temperance 
in wliicli I am a faithful laborer, is gratefully received. 1 have 
been already apprised of your many charitable donations in this 
part of your great country for which you are akeadj rewarded, 
for it is the conscientiousness of having done a good act that 
man*s reward. 

Your affectionate friend in the cause of temperance, 

Theobauld Mathew. 

To Colonel Dan Rice. 



BEM1NI8CKNCES OP DAN BIOS 



227 



Dan Rice and Charity. 

EvANSViLLE, Ind., May 14, 1853. 
To THE Match of Loitisville. 

Dear Sir: Being about to pay you my accustomed spring 
visit, 1 avail myself of the oecasioii, to returo, througli you, to the 
generous citizens of Louisville, my sincere thanks fur the kind 
feeling and liberal support they have ever extended to me. 1 
assure you, sir, that 1 shall ever remember with the liveliest 
gratitude the encouragement I met with in your city when fickle 
fortune had frowned upon my efforts to hulfet adversity. My 
circumstances at present alTord me the pleasure of making 
some small return for these many favors, and to the extent of 
my humhle meantii, I seize the present opjjortunity of doing so. 
1 shall be in Louisville with my Hippodrome and Menagerie, on 
Tuesday the :ilst ami Wednesday, June lst» and I tender the 
afternoon perfornsauce — the second day — the same to be devoted 
to any purpose you in your wisdom may deem most laudahle. I 
renmin with great respect. 

Your obedient servant, 

i)AN Rice. 

Mayor's Office, Louisville, Ky., May 25, 1853. 
Dan- Rice, Esq. 

Dear Sir: Your note hae Just been handed to me, and I as- 
sure yon, none of your old friends could be more rejoiced at your 
success in life than the citizens of our city, who have had the 
pleasure of witnessing your performances, and also your liber- 
ality on former occasions. From the many acts of charity per- 
formed by you, we would supj>08e success would attend you 
through life. I will, therefore, on the part of the citizens, accept 
your very liberal offer, and designate the ** Orphan's Asylum " 
as the recipients of your charity. 

Very respectfully, 

Jas. S. Speed, Mayor. 

A War of Wits. 



DOESTICKS VS, DAN RICE. 

Two well-known public characters, both at present sojourning 
in this city, and both noted for their ambition and faculty for 
making the public laugh with, not at, them, have lately taken it 
into their heads to pitch into each other, and see if they cannot 
make each otiier cry, while the public still laugh. Mr, Thomp- 
son, of the '" Tribune," widely known as Doesticks, the author of 



288 BEMINISCENCES OF DAN RICE 

many graphic and eccentric sketches of men and manners, not 
liking the style, stulF, prolixity, etc., of Dan Kice, of Nixon ^. 
Co.'ti Circus, recently criticised that humorist and couvcrsatioiiiu- 
ist in a rather tart and testy ojaimer; said he was too tedious ni 
his talk; wrong in his pronounciation, and wholly guiltless ui 
fun or other merit as a clown. In return for which public- 
notice bestowed through the columns of the " Tribune," Mr. 
Kice very naturally retorted, in his province in the ring, and said 
several severe things of Mr. Philander Doesticks, which could 
ncit he very agreeable to him, unless he is more eccentric than 
the public have given him credit for being. Both the fuu- 
niakera are professional men, eaeh in his line. Both are reiwrt- 
ers, and can give a good or bad report of any one, at any tune, 
with the advantage of a large circulation. Thus it is caustic pun 
against caustic tongue. Each has his partisans, who, no doubt, 
severally exclaim, as they sum up the respective hard hits ad- 
ministered, '* If I were not Doesticks, 1 woiild be Dan Kice! " or, 
** If 1 were not Dan Kice, 1 would be DoestJcks.'" Whether the 
war will continue, or when it will end, none can judge, say those 
who have had experience in the business of bandying person- 
alities, and can calculate the amount of pleasure and i>rofit in 
such a game of public give-and-take. The ** Tribune " has a 
large circulation, and Doesticks drives a glittering pen. But on 
the other hand, Nixon's Circus is of such unusual excellence, 
completeness, and originality as to fill Niblo's Garden nightly, 
and Dan Kice, with a large audience, has been known to wield 
a tremendous influenQe in the South and West, swaying them 
pretty mucli as he pleased. Dan is an old war-dog, though a 
eomiJaratively young man, and his success in taming wild ani- 
mals, such as the rhinoceros, elephant, bear, ctimel, and mule, 
let alone the horse and pony, argues eloquently for his persever- 
ance, and, besides this, he has owned and managed circuses, 
menageries, steamboats, theatres, and we know not what else, 
though we can't say how he will succeed with the " Tribune." 

For our part we are generally advocates of peace, but in this 
case, we don't care how long the fight lasts. It is a free fight. 
The pair are well matched. And what with the eccentricities of 
Dan and the gall of Doesticks, tliere is plenty of sport for the 
readers of the '* Tribune " and tlie patrons of Niblo's. 



Is There a Spy Among Us? 

The New York " Tribune," of Monday, has the following: 
*' A sharp lookout should be kept up for the detection of spies. 
A correspondent writes to inform us that one Dan Kiee, the down 
of a certain circus, being in New Orleans last umter, formed his 



BEMINISCENCES OF DAN EICE 

compaDV into a secession military organization under the name 
of Dan Rice's Zouaves, iiud that he threatened all his eompony 
vho declined to join his erew, with summary discharge. 

" Ijitely coming northward, thi.s same man has tried to pai>s 
Hmself off as a Union man, and a few days ago, actually had tlie 
effrontery to deliver a war speech to the vuluntwrs at Erie, Pa. 
It is also said that he has in his train several Southern men who 
would make very convenient spies for the Kehels to use. This 
Bice may, after the manner of his class, be skilled in riding many 
horses about the limited circle of his arena, hut his attempt to 
perform a similar feat with two stools will undoubtedly be fol- 
lowed by a merited and un]>rofitable fall." 

*' Dan is now in this city, and rides but one horse here, and this 
is a Union one. If, however, he })icks up anything that w^ould 
\)e consoling to Jelf Davis, he should be penniffed fo lele(jraph it. 
We may add in passing, tliat Daniel fires a good many |)oint-blank 
squibs at secession in his ring performances, and seems peculiarly 
sensible of the <lisastrous elfeets of secession. "^ — " The Daily 
Commercial," Cincinnati, 0., May 15, IHtil. 

Dax Rice on .IIorace Greeley. 

Cincinnati, May 17, 186T.. 

?blTOBS OF " COMTVfFnCIAL." 

Oenthmen : Uauy of my |)ersonal friends, you, sirs, among the 
tmniber, have e.\}»ressed a wondtT at the vehement remarks the 
^ew York *' Tribune " jiromulgated in regard to me. An absurd 
one you quoted a day or twu since, and kindly, in your editorial, 
Jiroved its fallacy. 1 respect a free and honest press; appreciate 
^heir good feelings, and sun willing at all times to be the subject 
^f their criticisms, 1 know the potential nature of the pen, but 
1 do object to misrepresentatitm and to have my loyalty ques- 
tioned. The rmeule emanated between myself and one of the 
** Tribune" employees, who aspired to be the great humorous 
TTTiter of the age. My opinion was that he would fail and he has 
done so. His pride was hurt, he became jealous of me, and 
vented his spleen in the columns of the paper. This soreness 
accounts for the milk in the coconnut. As a loyal, humor-loving 
man, I vindicated tbt* honor of Ihe flag. I was horn under the 
American banner and I reproved the man who hissed at it. I did 
so publicly in the Academy of ^fusic, Xew Orleans, where I was 
performing. Perhaiis were Mr. Horace Greeley man enough to 
go there and attem|d the sanu\ he would create a greater excite- 
ment than I could. Petty malice I scorn, therefore I have a poor 



230 



MHrNISCEKCES OF DAN RICE 



opinion of the " Tribune's " raids against me, and I flatter my- 
self that I am too well known to be injured by theiu. 

Tnily yours, 

Dan Kice. 
— "Daily Commercial," Cincinnati, 0,, May 18, 18(il. 

Dan Rice and tue Critics. 

Our good-natured friend, Dan Kice, whose pleasantries in the 
circle have done more to make people Ijiiigli tiian all tlie efforts 
of a modern funn\' writer has ever aehiuvcd, appears to have 
awakened the spleen of our amicable eontem{)orary of the 
"Tribune," and generated one or more very iJl-natiired com- 
ments in the columns of the immaculate sheet aforesaid. Of 
course the pnblie, particularly in the locality where the cynical 
propinquities of the black man's organ are known, receive all 
the shafts cum grano salis^ and we believe Dan, who is callous to 
malevolence and misrepresentation^ laughs at the attack and con- 
siders himself under obligation to W. Horace or his subordinates 
for a first-rate notice. We, as Journalists, are fully aware of the 
responsibilities that devolve upon the position, do most em- 
phatically object to any paper professing to he respectable, abro- 
gating to itself the right, by virtue of its privilege, to misrepre- 
sent a public man, no matter in what relation he stands before 
the people. 

Personally, we care very little for Mr. Eice, but the position 
he has acquired in his profession at once proves the total absurd- 
ity of the " Tribune's " remarks. A man who can start from this 
city, alone and friendless, as this person did some years ago, and 
pass the ordeal of criticism before the best jvidges of humor in 
the land, succeed in establishing a universal reputation for ex- 
cellence from Maine to New Orleans, return to the metropolis 
and proudly take possession of the finest place of amusement our 
great city can boast of, must snrely have merit of no common 
order. 

Beauty, fashion, and intelligence patronize him, and the papers 
epeak well of his ability. 

Still, the " Tribune " man votes him a bore, and recommends 
his speedy annihilation. Have mercy, most sanguinary scribbler, 
for remember by your own assertions, you should like Dan, for 
has he not taught his mules to act genteely in good society? Do 
consent to his remaining on this mundane sphere a " few days 
more," and, perchance, when novelties grow scarce, he may 
achieve another triumph in rendering acceptable some of the assi- 
nine individuals who bray so piteouslv through the columns of 
the " Tribune."—*' Evening Mirror." ^ 




BEM1NI8CENCES OP DAN RICE 



231 



AS OTHERS SAW HIM. 




A.TJTO-BIOORAPHIC AND POSTHUJIOCS SKETCHES OF THE LIFE 
OF THE SUBJECT OF THESE ilEMOlIiS BY BRILLIANT AND 
UNBIASED CRITICS, WHOSE RELATIONS WITH COL. BICE 
WERE PECULIARLY FAVORABLE TO A DISPASSIONATE ANAL- 
YSIS OF THE MANY PHASES OF THE CHARACTER OF THE 
GREAT JESTER, AND A GRAPHIC REVIEW OF THE TREND 
OF CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH MOULDED HIS LIFE MOTIVES 

a2sd rounded out his remarkable career. 

Rice's Tact axd Col'rage. 

a rare tribute. 

Charles Stow, the well-known writer of the Barnum find Bailey 
Show, writing in a reminiscent way of Rice's extraordinary ca- 
reer, says, "although there have been clowns who were more 
humorous than he, there? have lieen none who po^sc^sed a tithe 
of his eloquence, personal magnetism, and singular ability to 
aptly localize the current events of the day. I recall one incident 
which strongly illustrates this faculty: 

" In the spring of 18(i8, during the height of the impeachment 
trial of President Johnson, Rice's show opened for a week in the 
city of Washington. Of course, the excitement created by the 
trial militated against all kinds of amusement, and the circus 
suffered proportionately. The beggarly attendance at the open- 
ing afternoon exhibition convinced Rice that in order to suc- 
cessfully meet with what he facetiously termed the competition 
of that cross-eyed clown, Ben Butler, at the Capitol, he must 
bring the impeachment question in some shape into the ring, 
and thereby attract the attention of the public. 

" At the evening exhibition he found his opportunity. Among 
the patrons of the show was Senator Zach Chandler, of Michigan, 
well known as an active mover in the imf)eachment proceedings. 
Senator Chandler occupied a place in the cross section of seats, 
which, in those days, divided the menagerie from the circus ring, 
as both were located under the same canvas. While Rice was in 
the ring his attention was attracted by a tall colored woman 
With a colored bandanna handkerchief tied about her head, who 
was craning her neck in an effort to find a desirable seat. Taking 
a position immediately in front of where Senator Chandler sat, 
"Rice, in that stentorian voice for which he was famous, said de- 
liberately * Wd! the Senator from Michigan please seat the col- 
ored sister? * 




REMINISCENCES OF DAJ« RICE 



" Chandler, thus uuexpectedly addressed, turned crimson with 
embarrassujent, but after a luonients hesitation, arose, went to 
the coh>red woman, hat in hand, and esrurtrd her lu tlie seat 
which he bad occupied. The crowd, which bud watched the little 
by-play with puzzled interest, sud<lenly broke into a perfect 
storm of applause, and when it had subsided, Kice, taking otf his 
felt fool's hat and making a jirofouiid bow, exclaimed: ' Tliat's 
right, I honor you, Zach Chandler, for I always like to see a man 
practice what Ttie preaches. Three cheers for Zach Chandler! ' 
and they were given with a force that made the centre pole 
quiver. 

*' After the performance, upon reaching his quarters at Wil- 
lard's Hotel, Rice was confronted by Senator Chandler, who in- 
dignantly reproached him for the unwarrantable liberty which 
had been taken with him. Rice, who wa8 a consummate actor 
in his way, was apparently overcome with surprise at being re- 
proached by Chandler, and with an asumption of sincerity abso- 
lutely convincing, replied: ' Is it possible that you so cruelly 
misapprehend my motives? I was animated by the purest feel- 
ing of personal regard and respect, and, sir, I wish here and now 
to assure you that to-night you are envied by every politician 
in Wasinngton, and, that, sir, if you will but follow my circus for 
six months 1 will make you President of the rnited States/ Of 
course, before such an explanation, genial Zach Chandler's wrath 
could but melt away. 

" Rice was essentially a brave man, and I am sure that 1 do 
not exaggerate when 1 say tliat he never knew the sensation of 
fear. Like most absolutely courageous men he was kindly and 
forbearing under provocation. At the same time, he was, in his 
prime, the strongest man 1 ever knew, although of medium 
stature, probably not weighing more than one hundred and 
seventy pounds, and possessed of extraordinary agility, 

" In those days ditliculties between a certain element of the 
public and circus people were more freipient than now, and Rice, 
through no desire or fault of his own, gained the reputation of 
being an invincible lighter. This bred in the hearts of butlies 
everywhere a desire to gain prominence by whipping the great 
clown. 

" Rice always tried to avoid these ditRculties, but after patience 
and forbearance had failed, as they usually did, he would turn 
to and in short order blight the hopes of these aspirants for 
fistic honors. He never was wbipi)ed by any man, frequently 
vanquishing several opponents at a time, and came out of all these 
rough contests without serious injury. Possibly his fearlessness 
was in part due to the fact of his l}eing a genuine fatalist, as he 
frequently remarked that the bullet was not moulded which 



n^ At the pistol £ moatli pra««d 

VKj dviTB the Father of Walcn 
~ am Bfll alvm mIc or pimmiit, 
, •■ the Bed Kii«r. Hik pbm 
■d vatw «l the time, the 
; of fvfiaaft a* erer terrorized 
I tkat» ai aonut of the pre> 
UMldbe 
; IB the tovBy md 
wm vned him bo4 Id dmw^ bai to thai ainee he turned a 
r cv, oqdr irph^ ' IVfl Ike pcofie «r Shivvcpoat that I 
cdAit there as aantunired' Kc«« af this deterMiutaaB 
[ hna, cPBatimg a faroeg of enitiiLBt aad apptehi iMigHj 
and alHB hk boat reached the tovB, a denae cxtmd was at the 
vhaif to iwcifv hlBL When the gngyink m nm aihare he 
m the felt to kad, and ao gnat «M &e leqpect fnmlBd W 
~ Nria^ ttel, while fcthy aaaiats vere heaiKd 
'y aflowed to vaload hia ehov and csect hb tent 
Bat the fielii« ^ViHt hxB «aa «a hiltw 
that hia catiie eoaipaa j iiiaaad to qipear* the faaad tiSBpadad, 
and cvoi hk veteran eantacoMB earn boI he iaiHed to vocfc." 



THE GREAT CONTEBTED. 

SlOr UC3 AS SKBCHSD BT OSS WBO OTEIT HIM— BIS SASLT 
LI7B, TAAIKD lOBTCXK AlTD BOMXXTIC CA&KEB— FX&- 
80VAI. COMBATS AXD THBHUVO UiCII^BinS. 

CwLAA, Stow n« the •* Butfalo Daily Coubisb.'' 

Hie neent eonvenioii of Dan Rice, the worid-vide fuBow 
' and dowB, has attncted so ranch attostioii, and 

so manj enoneons attempts at biographT, that be 

Bught have veil czdaimed vith the jealovs Moor, " Speak of me 
aa I aa&! " The avakened intereat Baaaifeatcd in the Man of 
Jfodcj naj render aome pemnal wttiags* by one vho knew him 
JBtiiBtaly, aeceptoble to yoar leadenL 

The arenic brand Jnst snatched from the boming by the hand 
ef the ersngeUst at St Loois, was bom in tiie city of *Xew Yoidc, 
abovt the y^aa 1890. 

While yet a mere boy, Dan wandered as far west as Marietta, 
O., and became &moiis the entire len^h of th« Ohio Rirer as a 
darinig jockey and remarkably snceessfal oaarter-horse rider. He 
■dBeqncntly naided at Pittabus; bb^ hmvb became identified 



234 



EEMINISCKNCES OP DAN RICB 



with the first negro minstrel troupe ever organized. Tlie ex- 
hibition of a learned pig was his first venture in the show business 
on his own account. Next he successfully appeared in the more 
pretentious role of 

"the modern SAMSON," 

giving extraordinary illustrations of strength. This served as 
his introduelion into the ring in his original and unrivalled role 
of down, or '' Shakespearean Jester/' as he was loudly lined on 
the bills. He speedily eclipsed all rivalry and achieved unparal- 
leled popularity and success, and for years his name alone was a 
terror to opposition, and sufficed to draw crowded houses. 
Strange as it may at first appear, to this latter fact his subsequent 
misfortunes are partly attributable. For five or six years, pre- 
ceding 18{it*, he was regularly engaged by other circus managers 
who paid him 

A THOUSAND DOLLARS A WEEK 

for his services and the use of his name, and bankrupted hifl 
popularity and brilliant professional reputation by associating 
nim with inferior exhibitions, for the shortcomings of which the 
public held him responsible. Previous to this he owned and 
managed different circuses, and the fact that he remained for an 
entire season in the State of New York, drove every other tent- 
show out of that territory, and cleared nearly a hundred thou- 
sand dollars, is sufficient evidence of his extraordinary hold upon 
popular favor. 

In 18G9, Dan resumed the reins of management on his own 
account, but, like Cassio, he had " lost his reputation/' and, still 
more unfortunately for himself, had got above his business. In- 
stead of attempting to reestablish himself as a clown, he foolishly 
undertook to play the gentleman in the ring, and substituting 
semi- political exhortations and pointless lectures for song, jibe, 
jest, and pantomime, prosed and prosed until even his most 
faithful admirers fell away. With almost heroic obstinacy, he 
kept on, as he himself best expressed it, *' fighting fate " until 
1872, when the weight of accumulated debts crushed him. His 
beautiful home and valuable property, at Girard, Pa,, his flour- 
ishing newspaper, his fine stock, his show — everything was swept 
away, and yet an enormous deficit left, from which he took refuge 
in bankruptcy, estimating his debts at something like $200,000, 
and stating his assets as " one suit of clothes, t$35." Since then 
he has made repeated starts and failures, and even prolonged 
dissipation, enough to have killed a dozen ordinary men, did not 
seem to sap his indomitable energy and iron will. Until long- 



^ 




BEMIN'ISCENCES OF DAN BICE 



235 



continued misfortime drove him to the intoxicating cup for 
solace and oblivion, Dan was eomparatively a temperate man. 
Let this be remembered in his favor. 

It would literally require volumes to contain the romantic and 
thrilling incidents in the jmblie career of one of the most ex- 
traordinary of men, fur such was Dan Kice, possessed, moreover, 
of many of the attributes of positive genius. It is certainly con- 
clusive evidence of greatness to be greatest in anything, no mat- 
ter what the culling may happen to be, and that Dan Kice was the 
greatest clown that ever lived admits of no argument, if success 
and public opinion be acccj»ted as the standard by which to judge. 
He has set the motley pattern for his age, and had scores of 
imitators, hut not an equal. His histury is part of the traditional 
romance of the arena, and thousands of gray beards yet survive 
to chuckle over his earlier escaj>ades. and tell how they have often 

I Jeen the performances interrupted with shouts of '* Go on, Dan! 

'"ire don't want to see any circus; we came to hear you! " With 
the masses he was the domi-god of the sawdust; throughout the 
length and breadth of the land they flocked in eager crowds to 
greet him; sang his songs, repeated his jokes, and prolonged his 
praises. Personally, he was probably the best knowTi man in the 
world, and there was scarcely a hamlet on the continent in which 
he could not find an acquaintance, and recognize hioi when 
found, for his memory of names and faces was phenomenal, and 
after a lapse of several years could call by name persons whom 
he had met hut once before. 

Dan» as a pantomimist, was simply inimitable. He recog- 
nizefl the fact that gesture, expres.iion, and attitude were fun- 
nier than words, and employed them with such consummate 
art that his mere entrance into the ring was greeted with 
Tears of laughter. Add to this a splendid physique; the most 
sonorous and far-reaching voice ever heard under canvas, fair 
vocal powers, a happy talent for localizing, keen, quick, and 
infallible perception, perfect confidence and self-possession, 
great natural gifts of oratory, personal magnetism sufTicicnt 
to impress the large audience, unchallenged and graceful 
mastery over the horse, and a deserved reputation for courage, 
physical powers, and reckless liberality, and you have the 
secret of success, as well as the imjierfect portraiture of a man 
more truly siii generis than any of his profession,, if not of 
his time. * Out of such n wcnitli of material, proper education 
and training might readily have moulded a great man in any of 
the higher walks of life, and it is well within the range of pos.<i- 
bility that with grace in continue steadfast in the faith, be 
might have heconie a miphty propngator of the Gospel. As a 
member of the church mditant be w^ould have also been most 




286 



REMINISCENCES OP DAN RICE 



redoubtable, for not only was he worthy to he ranked with Ney 
as *' bravest of the bmvtj/* but as a physical and fighting wonder 
he outranked j-ueh celebritief> as Bill Poole or Yankee Sidlivan, 
though without the otfentiive pugnacity of either. He was about 
five feet nine inches in height, and weighed about one hundred 
and seventy-five jmunds, being far from the " giant form/' and 
yet a condensed Hercules in strength, and lithe as a leopard. 
lie has doubtless had more pergonal encounters than any other 
man of his time, and came off victorious from every one. lo few, 
if any, cases, was he the aggressor. Local bullies, or rural 
.Jcnight-errants of the fists, hearing of his prowess, came long 
^distances expressly to wiiip him, and used few courtly terms to 
make their mission known. Dan invariably sought to avoid bat- 
tle by enlarging on the beauties of peace and the folly of fight- 
ing for fame alone; but when it was evident kind words avaiiled 
not, he summarily thrashed the aspirant for his undesired and 
inconvenient laurels within an inch of bis life. He thus polished 
a number of quarrelsome ruffians into quite respectable citizens, 
and was much esteemed as a jHiblic benefactor therefor. 

It may be reasonably doubted whether Dan Rice ever experi- 
enced the sensation of fear, and that his courage was absolutely 
bullet-proof admits of no question, upon the thrilling evidence 
furnished by his first tri]< to the South just after the war. Ban 
had l>een a great favorite in that section and the jteople were pro- 
portionately incensed against him by the malicious circulation of 
a false report to the effect that he commanded a negro regiment 
during the rebellion. Threats to shoot him on sight were fre- 
quently indulged in, and word was repeatedly sent him, earnestly 
advising him, as he valued his life, to stay away. His stern and 
only reply was, " I am coming,-' and he went. The danger had 
not been exaggerated; it was simply aiqjalling, and sometimes 
caused his bravest men to fly and leave him entirely alone to face 
it. His magnificent courage rose equal to every occasion, and 
trinmi)hed in every emergency. In one instance he exposed his 
breast to a howling mob and dared them to shoot, and in another, 
learning that at a certain rendezvous a crowd was assembled, 
thirsting for Idood, he went there, revealed himself, made an 
explanatory speech in the face of a dozen cocked revolvers, con- 
vinced his mercurial hearers that he had been gros.sly slandered, 
and was finally carried in triumph on the shoulders of those who 
had sworn to kill him. 

At a small town in Mississippi, while he was taking tickets at 
the door of his tent, a drunken bushwhacker came up and fired 
point blank at him, the bullet passing through bis cont. With- 
out changing a muscle, he looked bis nssailant straight in the eye 
and calmly said: " Oh, put that up; wo are used to that sort of 



ltEMIN16C£NCE8 OF DAN HICK 



887 



Ihiug here. Tickets! TicketsI " " By G— d/' exchiinied llic 
assassin, ** you aru too brnvc a man to shoot! " aud he thrust his 
pistol in his belt and staggered olL It did seem Jis though Dan's 
life was mirar-ulously, and in the light of recent events, it may 
be thought providentially, preserved. 



HouANCE IN Real Life. 



BY W. C. CHUM. 



Editor Flurldft 8tat« RiiKihllcan. 



It was past the midnight hour on a heautiful July night in 
184.S, when loufl rajis were heard nl the liall door of a Methodist 
preaolier'8 house. That house was conspieuously located on tlie 
main thnrniighfure of a delightful rmintry village situated in a 
pieturesque valley in the interior of the great State r»f Xew York. 
For a eJergyman's family of stait! and regular habits to he dis- 
turbed at such an unusual hour in the thoughts from the visions 
of the night, when deep sleep falleth ou men, was among the 
rare things to happen, espeeially among a people who had prac- 
tised the maxrm of " Early to bed and early to rise makes men 
healthy, wealthy, and wise." It was several moments^ therefore, 
before the follower of Jolin Wesley became sutliciently aroused to 
the fact that a stranger was knocking at the door. The good 
man hastily dressed himself and, with light in hand, proceeded to 
the door, and on further inquiry, opened it, when the well- 
dressed form of a handsome young mHu of less than five and 

twenty summers appeared, who asked if Gardner lived 

there. On being told that he did, the anxious and blushing 
young man was surprised to discover that the benignant dominie 
did not recognize him. 

" You are my uncle,*' says he, quickly. " Don't you remember 
the boy you used to call Dandy? " 

*' Dandy, Dandy/' says the preacher, rapidly revolving in his 
mind, "why, yes; my sister Elizabeth had a son whom we used 
to call * Dandy ' when he was a little fellow. Do you tell me 
you are my sister's son? '' 

" Yes, uncle. I am the same fellow, only they don't call me 
'Dandy 'now." 

This last expression, uttered with an air of mental reserve, 
erented just a little feeling f)f dnubt in the mind of the sus- 
picious unf'le, who took a rapid review of the dashing young 
stranger, whose entire appennnuc indieafcd a great transition 
from the plain and unpretentioue surroundings of his amialjJe 



238 



BEM1N1SCENCE8 OF DAN RICE 



sister's Methodist home, as lie last knew it, while visiting her 
years before iii a suburban town, where is situated now one of the 
most fashionable watering places on the Atlantic seashore. How 
can it be possible, thought he, that my sister's son could have 
suddenly met with a fortune that would justify such wealth of 
dres^, diBplny of jewels, and flash of diamonds? This is hardly 
compatible with the unostentatious habits of early Methodist 
life. But the instinct of cousanguinity soon bubbles over where 
evidences of blood kin relationship stands out so conspicuously 
as it did on the classic features of tfie hone.^^t young man who 
stood in full outline before his uncle. He could not but recognize 
in his face the lineaments of both his father and mother, who 
wa.^i considered the lielle of the place in her girlhood days, while 
his father possessed Ihe physi<[ue of a peer of Scotland. It re- 
quired but a moment longer to unravel the secret of this brief 
introduction; so, without waiting for any further ceremony, the 
young man sprang into his long-looked-for uncle's arms, and it 
may well be imagined how earnest and alfectionate was their 
mutual embrace. Had the young man dropped down out of tlie 
heavens, it could not have been a greater surprise to his uncle, 
who rubbed his hands and shrugged his shoulders, and gave 
many other manifestations of the great joy he experienced on 
iHjholding, after the lajise of so many years, the veritable 
"Dandy*' of his ideal and idolized sister's heart. Years had 
passed since he had heard anything definite, and these only 
rumors, in regard to '* Dandy's " youthful career. He knew that 
he had somehow cut his cable, launched forth into the world, and 
fondly deemed earth, wind, and star his friends, to become tlie 
architect of his own fortune. But as to the vicissitudes which 
had transpired in his career, and the multifarious freaks of for- 
tune which interposed from the visions of childhood to the more 
mature thoughts of adolescence, it was plain to the uncle's mind 
that the dashing young nephew had developed to the full stature 
of a magnificent si>ecimen of the (ftmts homo, dressed in fault- 
less style, possessing a physique that would rival an Apollo- 
Bel vid ere. 

" Where did you come frora» and by what conveyance? '* eaid 
bis uncle in expressions of surprise. 

" I came from Jefferson," said he. " and in my own coach, 
which is at the door. I cannot stay but a few hours, as I am to 
apfiear at Mr'chlingburg to-morrow, which is twenty miles fromj 
here, and I ought to be there by twelve o'clock noon." 

By this time all the members of the family were fully awak- 
ened, and joined heartily in the family greeting. When thi 
street in front of the house was reached by the inmates of thj 
parsonage, a Bight met their gaze hardly paralleled in the seen- 



I 
I 



REMINISCENCES OP DAN RICE 



23y 



of tlie Arabian Xight>i' Entertainment. Tliere, before a royal 
brougham (?) bedizzened with an orifiame of tints as gorgeous as 
Guidons aurora, or Elijah's chariot of fire, stood four of as beauti- 
fid milk-white Arabian thoroughbreds, richly eaparisoned witli 
an ornate and elaborate solid gold mounted harness as ever 
graced the royal equerry of King Solomon's court. On the 
front Bat a proudly- dressed colored Jehu holding the ribbons, 
four in hand; on the rear sat a liveried footman, draped after the 
custom of his order, lending to the tout ensemble a strikingly 
pieturesi|ue air. Exprespions of admiration and surprise from 
all the members of the household followed in rapid suecesj-ion, 
while directions were given to the grooms to carefully house the 
unique equipage. Suitable lodgings were also provided for the' 
various attaches. It was well into the wee small hours before the 
studious disciple of the " Fellow of Lincoln College " exhausted 
himself of questions necessary to solve the meaning of such an 
elaborate turnout. Briefly running over a few years of bis later 
life, '* Dandy " entertained the family with hints only of his 
chequered but romantic career, which, in elfect, possessed all the 
charms of a fairy tale. The particulars, however, of this portion 
of our story must be reserved for the future. 



John B. Doris' Reminiscences of Dan Rice. 



" I can see back thirty-six years as though it were but yester- 
day," said Mr. Doris. ** My first visit to Washington was in 
18t)3, as an agent for the old Dan Rice show. He played that 
season down on Four-and-a-half Street, near the Avenue. Within 
a stone's throw was the government reservation, afterward trans- 
formed by the landscape artist intn one of the most picturesque 
j)arks in the world. Four-and-a-half Street wasn't a very swell 
neighborhood at that time. It was low, damp, malaria-breeding, 
and from the door of our tent I could see for blocks over a vast 
expanse of mud and lowland. But Colonel Shepherd, the Michael 
Angelo of Washington, came later on and gave the nation a city 
fit for location in the corner of a star. Dan Rice was, of course, 
the reigning attraction in those days. 

" We played here a week in 18(53, and President Lincoln and 
his wife were among our distinguished callers. The President 
was a personal friend of Rice, and came around to Dan's dressing- 
room after the ])erformance and recalled Dan's barnstorming 
tours through Illinois in the fifties. 

"Mr. Rice never tired of recalling that visit of the martyred 
President; of how the great man tossed aside all austerities and 
decorum and sat on the edge of a huge trunk, his long legs 



240 



REMINISCENCES OF DAN RICE 



entwined, his knees in his hands, and his high, flat-rimmed tile 
on itn angle, as he chatted, laughed, tiiid cracked a batch of favor- 
ite gags. We played Washington every season from 18G3 to the 
early seventies. In 18(iT, we rented a lot near the Baltimore 
and Potomac Station, on Sixth Street. That was my first year 
with the Forepaugh show. In the early sixties Rice was under 
the management of Spanlding & Kogers, who made a fortune 
in the fifties on the Mississij)pi River with their boat shows. They 
had a floating circus, and played the towTi along the levees. The 
ring was ])itched in the middle of the boat, and the jjerforniance 
consisted of trained dogs and horses and the old clown specialties. 
Spaulding left an enornvous fortune, and his son. Col. Charles 
Spaulding, the owner of the Olympic Theatre, and a million 
dollars* worth of property in St. Louis, is the wealthiest theatre 
jiroprietor in America, though few, even among theatrical people, 
are aware of that fact. 

'* J)an Rice signed a contract for a long term of years with the 
Forepaugh show at a salary of $;? 5,000 per year. The younger 
generation cjf theiii re-goers who hear their tladdies and momraerB 
rave over Dan Rice Imve but a hazy idea of the talents of this 
great genius of the sawdust ring. 

"Rice was a man of versatile talents and a fine mind, deeply 
read in everything, from the classics to the latest political and 
sporting events. To he sure, he depended first of all on his suc- 
cess as a clown, but he wasn't the sort of conventional clown we 
see in the circus to-day. Rice was a talking clown or jester, a 
sort of Touchstone with elocjueuce, wit, poesy, and mirth, the 
originator of all his quips and sayings. 

" It required an actor of no mean ability to produce the enter* 
tainmeni provided by Rice. His artistic Touchstone style of the 
clown was never equalled before or since. The Rice clown died 
with his retirement and gave way to the hybrid species of the 
hufl'oon. This buffoonery replaced the legitimate jester of the | 
Rice type and the clown of to-day is merely an incident of a 
circus, a fdler-in on the programme, a fickle shadow of the bril- 
liant substance of the Rice days. Bvjt Rice's talents were not 
confined to the clown specialty. lie was a trainer of animals, 
horses being his specially. His trained horse, K.\celsior, was ] 
one of the most intelligent animals that ever bowed to the heck 
of its master. Excelsior was as blind as a bat. Certain words I 
from his master meant certain tricks. The feat of training a 
blind horse was regarded as a sensation in those days and wou14 
be just as much of a sensation to-day. for that matter. Rice's 
trick stallion, Stephen A. Douglas, a graceful Arabian steed, was 
another of Rice^s pet trick animals, and he was almost as big a 
favorite with the public as old Excelsior." 




BEMIXISCENCES OF VAS RICE 



^41 



Dan Rice to the Fork. 



CHECKEttKD CAREER OP THE MAN. 



BY J0Hi7 A. CX>CKKIULL. 



U 



Eighty years have sj^ed along sinoo he first aaw the light of 
(lay. in the earlier years of his career Dim Kiee was one of the 
best-known characters in America, and he was a sort of model 
for the boys and girls who ttocked to see his show. 

Wealth rolled in his culTers and the great showman-clown was 
believed to be a millionaire, lie wus extravagant in his habits, 
and, like many men who posset^sed a miicli greater share of edu- 
cational and refining intluenees, he could not stand prosperity 
and gradually lie ran down the grade and was lost to [mblic view, 
'bearing the fatal stamp that to him his life was a failure. About 
a year ago many friends who had a pleasant recollection of his 
former years of prosperity, and sympathizing with the veteran 
down in his declining years of adversity, inaugurated a testi- 
monial benefit at the Union Square Theatre, and thus raised a 
(substantial sum of money, which placed the old man above imme- 
Oiate want. 

Fornierly Uncle Dan made lus headquarters in New York, 
and with his faithful wife found a home in the Everett House, 
where Daniel Webster, Henry Clay» and other noted men fre- 
quently have enjoyetl all the comforts of home. The old clown 
felt an irrepressible desire for a long time to return to the scenes 
of his first love and earlier triunqdis, and expressed a hope that 
he might, like Richards, at least die with harness upon his back. 
Rome of his ancient friends and zealous admirers extended en- 
couragement to him by drawing painful pietures of the strong 
contrast between the clowns of to-day with the unique and origi- 
nal character he portrayed. 



SKETCH OF THE OLD SHOWMAN. 



Dan Rice's real name was Daniel Mclirtren. WTien a lad he 
was a stable-boy on vario\is race-tracks and was known as ** Dusty 
Dan." lie was agile and acrobatic and became an acrobat, with 
wonderful energy and nmaz-ing physical strength. It was not 
remarkable, with such training and early surroundings, that his 
physical prowess should lead him into the roped arena, and in 
1R2H it is recorded that the Pennsylvania Legislature adjourned 
to witness a sparring exhibition !>etween Kensett, the John L, 
Snllivan of the day, and young Dan Rice, as he wati known then. 
1 1« 



212 



HEMINISCENCEj< OF DAX RU'B 



He was a strapping fellow of twenty, and by this event Uncle 
Dan's age at present is tixed among the eighties. 

Shortly after thiti listic encounter, Dan, who was pofisesfied 
largely with the gift of gab, began his career as a clown. He 
modelled bis work after Wallett, a famous English jester, and 
speedily took front rank as a wit in the West and Southwest, hia 
earlieist field.s of conquest. His popularity became so great that 
he started a show of his own with a wonderfully trained pure 
white stallion christened Excelsior, and rival managers used thia 
feature to refer to him as running '* a one-bor-;e show." The 
horse was a winner, however, and proved to he such a success that 
when Excelsior died another horse much like liini and bearing 
tlie same name soon supplied his place. Rice in those days was 
an elotinent stumj) orator, and when his show reached a small 
town he would harangue the populace from the balcony of a small 
tavern while the circus was being filled u]>. and at its conclusion, 
he would extend a cordial invitation to his hearers to visit ** Dan 
Kiee's Great and Only Show." 



A PUBLIC DEXEFACTOR, TOO. 

Not only as a clown, but as a benefactor, was Dan Rice known 
in his early days. He built an iron fence around one of the 
parks in New Orleans, made generous donations to building 
schoolhouses, churches, orphan asylums, and market-houses, and 
often made the small boys happy by scattering a handful of shin- 
ing coins among them while his procession was moving along the 
streets. 

Once he landed in jail in Albany. The "\Vliip," a virulent I 
paper published at the capital by George Jones, late of the New 
York " Times," and edited by the late Hugh Hastings, attacked 
Dan, and be employed its author, Chester Clarence Moore, the 
author of " The Night Before Christmas," to respond in an at- 
tack upon the late Dr. Spaulding. Dan was arrested for libel 
and was thrown into the " Bine Eagle Jail." Spaulding's son 
Charles, of St. Louis, and Rice joined fortunes years afterwards | 
and t!ie show was taken to Paris, but the law was evoked for- 
bidding the erection of frame buildings and the venture was a 
failure. In this city, during the year of the Tntemational Fair. 
he became involved pecuniarily and unable to keep engagements 
elsewhere; be hit upon a happy expedient hy placarding th« \ 
fences of Philadelphia with big posters, reading, " Dan Jiice 
Can't Oct Away." The late Avery Smith was pleased with the 
wit of the clown and loaned to him suificient money to take him 
to the Quaker City. 



HtMlMbCEKCIiS OF DAK BICK 



948 



DILEMMA BLIiING TUE WAB. 

When the Civil War broke out Dan was on a steamboat bound 
for Mobile, but he presonled his show under the Stari* and Bars, 
and on bis return North made amends for this indiscretioTi by 
fiending the Stars aud .Strij^es to the breeze and subse(]uently 
erecting a handsome monument in Erie^ Pa., dedicated " To the 
memory of the soldiers of Erie County who fell in the defence of 
their country — erected by Col. Dan Itice." During one of the 
Presidential campaigns in this city Dan had banners flung across 
Broadway reading: 



For President, 
COL. DAN RICE, 

or 
PENNSYLVANIA. 



His agents laughed at it and made an advertising scheme of 
it, but the ageing showman entertained the matter seriously, and 
politics turued his head. His show was a failure, and Dan tried 
hard to be sent to Congress from one of the Pennsylvania dis- 
tricts, but failed. In 186.') Forepaugh jiaid him $35,OUO a year 
■to join his show, and during the seasons of 18CiG and 18(>7 he re- 
ceived $'^7,500 a year, the largest salary ever paid to a circus 
clown. 



KNEW DAN RICE. 

URS. ITEMMINOS* TALK OF THE OhJt CLOWN WHO HAS JFBT 
DIED—WAS roPCLAR AMONG CIRCUS PROFESSION AS 
WELL AS THE PUBLIC. 



The death of Dan Rice, clown, circus owner, the forerunner of 
P. T. Barnum, recalls to one Philadelphia family in particular 
the career of ime of the most renuirkalde uien in his line that 
ever catered to the amusements of the public. Richard Ilem- 
mlngs, of H.m Norlli Tenth Street, wlm. in the sixties, was the 
]>art owner of the Hemmings & Cooper Circus, paid Dan Rice in 
tlie season of 1807, $'21,rjOn, wliich was a salary of $l,OiiO a week. 
.According to tiie recollections also of the ** earlier inhabitants'* 
of this city, Dan Rice gave full equivalent to the public in so far 
that he furnished fun by the wholesale. 




344 



REadlNISCEKCES OF UAN RICE 



Mr. Hemmings is in Bftltiiuore at present attending the great 
Elk meeting, Ijut Mrs. Heimniiigs, wiio was one of the Wiiitby 
family, equestrian performers, in those golden days of the circus 
ring, is intimately acquainted with the life history of Dan Kice. 
Mrs. Hemmings, already as a child! performer, looked upon Mice 
as the greatest circus uian then alive, and her reminiscences of 
him would fill a volume. 

It seems a long, loDg whde ago when the name of Dan Jticc 
became known to me. I remember distinctly, however, how the 
country went wild over Kice's antics in the sawdust ring. The 
older residents of this eity should recall easily how he made them 
shake with laughter. His history, of course, it is not for me to 
recount here, but from a personal standpoint, ami that of my 
husband^ who was his employer once, we had much to do with 
Bice. How he lost his fortune, reftjrmed his ways, and again Lost 
his all, will some day become part of circus history. Two years 
ago he called on us and stayed over night at the house. He was, 
of course, not the same Dan Rice who used to amuse the public 
and his fellow-performers alike. But there was enough of the 
old favorite about him to make the visit one we shall long 
remember. 



Rit'E AS AN Artist and a Gentleman. 



BT PARK BENJAMIN. 



One who knew the illustrioua Dan only when rigged out in his 
motley suit and parti-colored garments, would hardly recognize 
this quiet and gentlemanly looking personage on Broadway to be 
one and the same, Han Mice is a New Yorker born and bred. 
But years have elapsed since lie first shone like a meteor in the 
ring, when his rollicking wit and contagious hmuor and wanton 
wiles set the whole audience in a roar. We have seen a great 
many attempts of fun in our day, but never one who seemed to 
be possessed of so genuine a spirit of frolic, with so capital and 
quick an apprehension of the humorous, with a more certain 
power of controlling his hearers as if by the influence of animal 
magnetism. H he goes on as he has begnn, studying his art and 
endeavoring to excel in it, the biography of the stage or circus 
will present no more successful jester. He will surpass even the 
renowned Joseph Grimaldi, whose memoirs employed the piquant 
pen of Charles Dickens through two very considerable volumes. 
There is a good-looking sobriety and placid composure in Dan's 
countenance, which are hardly consistent with one's ideas of the 
character of a clown. But we can assure our readers that Mr. 



BEHIKI8CENCKS OF DAN BICK 



245 



Rice is a very respectable man in private life, of irreproachable 

morals, uDde\iatiiig propriety of conduct, gifted with feelings of 
kindness, courtesy, and benevolence, lie does not imagine, like 
too many of his profession, he han a license of behavior because 
he is a showman, but thinks that every calling can be rendered 
honorable by the honor of him who follows it. 

Just after Du Chaillu departed I met Dan Rice, and felt about 
twenty years younger in a moment, for while 1 was a small boy, 
Dan was the most famous clown in the world, and a bigger man 
in my eyes than the President of the luiled States and all the 
crowned heads of Kuropf combined. 1 recalled a terrible strug- 
gle within my little self in an Illinois town as to whether I 
should go to the circus to see Dan Kice or hang about the hotel 
tg see Abe Lincoln. 1 got out of it by learning that Lincoln 
himself had gone to the circus, as every one but the preachers 
did in those days. Dan is about three-score-and-ten, but looks 
not a year past sixty, and is loaded to the muzzle with good 
stories, which he lires otf with hair-trigger i|uiekness. He has 
put many of his recollections in a book, soon to be published, 
of which he has high hopes. It is dangerously funny, two men 
already having laughed themselves to death over the opening 
pageSj'but he thinks, perhaps, the victims had some unsuspected 
organic weakness before they began. Dan was one of the few 
showmen who were bigger than their business. During the Civil 
War he used to make patriotic speeches at each of his perform- 
ances and they were full of soul and sense. He subscribed liber- 
ally for many patriotic purposes during the war, and for soldiers' 
monuments afterwards. He also did some effective religious 
exhorting and turned an intimate acquaintance with John Bar- 
leycorn to good purpose by lecturing on temperance, in which he 
is still a firm believer, although admitting that there are notable 
exceptions to the advisability of total abstinence. He said to me: 
" Drink is very bad for most men, but I can't learn of a really 
great man in tne world who doesnH take his occasional tod — and 
have to do it" — Anonymous N. Y. Letter to Chicago " Tribune.** 



Rice's Personality. 



BY DU. PnEDERICK VALKSTINK, 



My first personal interview with Dan Rice cost me ju^t $50.25 
and T do not regret it. He came to my little den on the 18th day 
of October, 189.1, with a card of introduction from a mutual 
friend — a very charming mutual friend I may say — he came to 



246 



BEMINIBCENCES OF DAN BICE 



remain but a few miuuies and these he wished to cut ^hort be- 
caiise he siiw huw busy 1 was» 

The minutes grew to lioiirs, tliat yet seemed seconds. This 
grand old juvenile who has lightened so many hearts in his bluff, 
cordial manner, whose charilitB are none the less sjrlendid be- 
cause be kept them secret, whose bonhomie and cheerfulness 
make his seventy-one years of life a simile of the perpetual 
youth Ponce de Leon did not find, drove to oblivion the cares and 
troubles that weigh heavily upon us all. He mellowed by his 
mere presenee, by his perennial wit, by his impregnable buoyancy, 
the very atmosphere, so that my engagements for the day, which 
would have paid me fifty dollars, were forgotten. He augmented 
the expense by smoking a cigar that cost me twenty-live eeuts at 
wholesale, and, irrepressible entertainer that he is, he consumed 
a wealth ol mutches. His jokes were numerous, the cigar con- 
tinually went out. 

He is the only man 1 ever met who can use the personal / with- 
out appearing egotistical. He has the modesty which is an essen- 
tial to greatness. 

Our conversation was barely finished when he clapped one of 
his vigorous hands upon my shoulder and exclaimed: " Val, my 
biography must be written and you are the culprit to do it! '* 

It was said in the manner, in the voice, and in the facetious 
earnestness with which erstwhile he made his bow in the circus 
ring. 

So this, without the spangles and the paint, this in the sober- 
ness of real life was the great clown — no, '* jester.'^ His every 
action made me a boy again — wishing the old tent were nearby, 
80 that with throbbing heart I might hear the blare of the band 
and, if I had not the quarter to purchase admission, might steal 
my way in, to where the very air was redolent with Dan Rice^s 
jokes — and sawdust. 

Who could refuse the offer, who could decline the honor of 
endeavoring to make all the world young again by recording the 
reminiscences of this boy — this hearty, great, good-natured boy, 
though he has seen seventy-one summers? 

'* But 1 warn you, old man; ' he said, " you will be the seventh 
who undertakes the task." 

"The seventh? ''I asked. 

*^ Yes. tlic first died, the second broke hiB leg, the third lost 
his mother-in-law and went crazy with joy, the fourth caught 
consumption, the fifth gave it up as a hopeless job, the sixth 
merely copied some of my incoherent manuscript and got a hun- 
dred dollars out of me — which I blush to confess. So if you 
take your life into your hands, you must have it ineured before 
you begin the work." 



BKHlXISCBKcaB OF DAN KICB 



M7 



lien have insured and lost their IItcs in lees worthy canses. 

In accCTiting the appointment to record Dan Rice's reminis- 
cences and jot down eome of the things about him which he has 
not told me, I deplore that cold t>-pe is inadequate to redect his 
inimitable manner, his strong, mobile feature*, the gilver sheen 
of his hair and beard, white as the driven snow — nothing of the 
remarkable vitality of this great-grandfather. who will in memory 
stand as the protot>-pe of '^Cludner, the ever yonthfuL" To 
paraphrase the author, 

" Dan Rice stand immer an diesem Ort 
Und wird so stehen ewig fort,'' 



Tas Recollections of a Vbtbbak. 



IN'TERESTIXG REMINISCENCES OF THE DAYS OF THE OHB 
HORSE SHOW. 

Uncle Dan Rice, the veteran showman and clown, entertained 
gnite a coterie of old friends and acquaintances at the Emtnitt 
House yesiterday afternoon. At the conclusion of his lecture, 
which seemed to be vastly appreciated by the audience, a " Daily 
News" representative sought and obtained an interview with 
him. Seated in the reading-room of the above-mentioned hos- 
telry, a very pleasing hour was sjient in chatting with the veteran 
of the sawdust arena, probably the most popular and original 
man that ever donned the motley garb, and made jocund the 
rural heart with genial quips and jests. Although placarded and 
billed generally as the " Clown of our Daddies; ' and from the 
familiarity and notoriety attached to his name, Sfr. Rice is not 
a Methuselah as might l)e supposed by many. His May of life 
has not fallen into the seer, the yellow leaf, as Mr. Macbeth re- 
marked of himself, to any considerable degree. To our repre- 
sentative he appeared like a well-preserved gentleman, slightly 
this side of his sixtieth milestone on the journey of life. He is 
stoutly built, of a good figure, and from his philosophical and 
contented appearance, the reporter came to the conclusion that 
he was comfortably lined with good Kmmit House capon. A 
shrewd, kindly, weather-beaten face, ornamented by a snowy 
beard dependent from his chin, l^eamed above a billowy expanse 
of white vest. Wlien he opened the floodgates of mind and mem- 
ory, the talk flowed incessantly, and was frequently enlivened by 
a ripple like a dash of epigram or satire. As be had just stated in 
bis lecture tliat he used to be a frequent visitor to Chillicothe, 
the reporter asked him when he last came here. He replied that 



248 



REMINISCENCES OP DAN RICE 



he believed it was in 18G4, when he gave an exliibition on the old 
Campbell lot. " 1 have been all anmnd here since, but haven't 
touched Chillicothe or Circleville, which Ui^ed to be a nice little 
town. 1 travelled by canal then, and had my one-horse show. 
There were only two asistants in my business then. One was 
Jim O'Connell, the tattooed man, and the very best performer 
in his way I ever saw. The other was Jean Johnf^on. who did 
song and dance and neg^ro business. Johnson is now in Cincin- 
nati, a broken-down wreck. Poor 0*C'onnell is under the daisies. 
He used lo do an egg dance and other surprising feats, and got 
off a thrilling account of his adventures in the Fiji Islands, 
where he pretended to have been tattooed. Ilis last request was 
unique, and in accordance with it, after he was committed to the 
earth, my band played a lively tune, and Johns-on danced a horn- 
pipe over his grave. These two boys, with the band, myself as 
clown, with songs and introduction of the horse, made up a better 
show, I believe, and gave more genuine entertainment, than a 
great many of the more pretentious ones nowadays/' ** The 
war had a rather depressing effect upon the business, did it not? " 
queried the reijorter. " Ble^s you, no; why we fattened on our 
country's calamities. The greenbacks were plentiful then, and 
I made more money than I ever did before in my life. John 
Morgan ruined several circuses, and caught me out in Indiana, 
getting away with eight of my horses. I knew him and went 
straight to his quarters and told my doleful tale. He immedi- 
ately wrote out an order and sent a man with me to redeem my 
property. * You see, Dan,' he cxplainc<l, 'the boys were out 
foraging, and they are no respecters of persons.' He was a gal- 
lant fellow. That was the only difficulty of that kind that I ever 
encountered, and you see I got out of thai very nicely." In re- 
sponse to another question, Uncle Dan said: *' I have been a 
clown over forty-one years, and I propose to remain in the harness 
until the last, I am organizing now in Cincinnati, and preparing 
to start out upon the road again next season. These lectures 
that I deliver are a little side play, 1 can't abide idleness, and 
must be doing something. I would die if I couid not be em- 
ployed at some kind of work. The political excitement is too 
strong now to make any kind of an exhibition profitable. I am 
an old-time Whig and am not greatly interested which way the 
tide turns; I believe in country above all parties. I shall return 
to Chillicothe and deliver a lecture which will be a continuation 
of the one given to-night. The theme is endless and boundless, 
and the beauty of it is that you can talk about anything. — " The 
DaUy News," Chillicothe, 0., November 10, 1884. 



BEUINISCENCEB OF DAN IIICE 



249 



TRIBUTES. 
Dax Ripe, Clowx, Dead. 

918 DEATH AT LONG BKASCU ItlK TO BRIGHT's DISEASE — 
CAREER OF THE FAMOUS HI NO JO K Ell WHO BEGA.V LIFE 
AS A STABLE BOY AND MADE AND LOST THKEE FOR- 
TUNES — 111:3 EDUCATION' IN SHAKESPEARE — HIS NAME 

WAS McLaren. 



I 



Long Branch, N. J., Feb. 2'i. — Dan Kice, the veteran clown, 
died to-night at seven o'clock after a lingering illness. He was 
eeventy-seven years old. Mr. Kice suifered from Bright's dis- 
ease acd dropsy, but he had been able to go out for a drive until 
a week ago, when he took to his bed. At the time of his last 
illness he was writing a book on his life. He had about com- 
pleted the closing chapter. 

Dan Rice's real name was Daniel McLaren. He was born in 
New York City. His father, Daniel McLaren, nicknamed the 
boy Dan Kice, after a famous clown in Ireland. After his 
father's death bis mother married a man named Manalmn, wlio 
had a dairy near Freehold. Monmouth County. N. J., and Dan, 
when a small boy, delivered milk to his stepfather's customers. 
His sister Klizatjcth married Jacob Showles, a circus rider, who 
resides at Long Bninch, N. J. Dan, weary of the milk route, 
struck out fitr himself when young and made his way to Pitts- 
burg, where he was successively stable-boy. race-rider, and hack 
driver. After a little time, under the name of Dan Kice, he 
achieved prominence, if not exsutly fame, as the owner and ex- 
hibitor of a learned pig^ with which he and a man named Lindsay 
travelled througli Pennsylvania and neighboring States. Kice 
and Lindsay sang songs and danced, but the pig was the principal 
attraction. 

Old friends of Dan relate that the death of the star performer 
broke up the show and he drifted out to Naucoo, HI., where the 
Mormons then were under Joseph Smith's leader8lii[i, and re- 
mained with them for a time. He returned to Pittsburg and 
went to hack driving again. He married there his first wife, 
and came to New York in 1844, making here his first appeurance 
as a clown and negro song and dance performer with Dr. Spauld- 
ing's company in the Old Bowery Amphitheatre, then under the 
management of John Tryon. In the company with him at that 
time were Barney Williams. Dan Emmett, Dun Gardner, Frank 
W. Whittaker and others whose names have since attained wide 
celebrity on the stage and in the ring. 




250 



BEMINISCENCES OF DAN BICB 



In the season of 1815 Dun Iravelled with »Seth B. Howe's 
Circus. Seth B. llowu was a brutliiT of Nathan llowe, one of 
the old '• Hdt-foot conibintitiun," whieli sturtini the famous 
Zoological Institute at 37 Bowery, lie billed and advertised 
Dan liice more extensively than any clown ever was advertised 
before in this country. One of his advertising dodges was to 
supply Dan with a speeial carriage and horses to take him 
through the country. In the winter of 184.">-4i) Dan made his 
first a])pearanco in Philadelphia in Gen. Rufus Welch's National 
Amphitheatre, which was then at the corner of Ninth and Chest- 
nut Streets, on the site now oecuj)ied by the Continental Hotel. 
At tliut time he was simply a good ** rough knock-about clown," 
in the phraseology of the ring, not ^juiek to catch jioints on the 
audience from the ringmaster, and innocent of any knowledge 
of Shakespeare. He tried successively Nicholas Johnson and 
Ben Young, both actors, and Horace Nichols and somebody else, 
in the capacity of ringina^^ter, yet rould not nirike a hit with 
either. Finally he got Frank \V. Whittaker. who was at the time 
master of the ring for other clowns in the same show, assigned to 
him, and on his first night made a hit, on business suggested 
by Whittaker, wliiih carried him intrj instant popularity with 
Philadelphia audiences. 

That hit cost Sandy Janiieson, leader of the orchestra, a new 
violin, for the part of the funny business consisted in Dan*8 
tumbling Frank headlong among the orchestra. 

During the summer of ISttJ Rice was a clown with Welch's 
travelling show in Canada, and In the succeeding year he went to 
New Orleans, w'ith his first manager. Dr. Spaulding. At this 
time, it is said. Mr. Van Orden, a brother-in-law of Dr. Spauld- 
ing, took a liking lo Dan and urged him to much-needed mental 
improvement, supplying him with Shakespeare, Byron, and other 
dramatic and poetic works, aiding him in making from them the 
selections on which he subsequently became known as a " Shakes- 
pearean clown,'' and encouraging him in study, not only for his 
professional purposes but for the acquisition of general knowl- 
edge. Afr. Van Orden also wrote a number of Hire's most popu- 
lar songs. After a season or two Rice obtained an interest with 
Dr. Spaulding and thai connection was kept up until about 18r>0, 
when they separated. In 185:^, in consequence of some legal 
proceedings insfitned by Spaulding for recovery of payment for 
n show with which he had fitted Rice out a couple of years before. 
Rice lost a handsome farm which he bad acquired in Columbia 
Cnuntv. N. Y. Shortly afler that Dan hnught a homestead in 
Oirard. Pa., and a fine farm two or three miles from that town, 
where he sheltered his show^ in the winter. 

By 1856 he had 60 far recovered from the difiaster which fol- 



BEMINISCEXCES OP DAN filCB 



251 



lowed the severance of his connection with Spaulding thai he 
was deemed a wealthy man and certainly was a popular one 
wherever he travelled. For he was a genial, whole-souled fellow, 
kind and generous, seeming to think nothing of riches more than 
as a means to promote the happiness of all around him. Fortune 
smiled upon hiju steadily up to 18(J0, when there was a separation 
between him and his wife. Old showmen said: " Dan lost his 
luck when he parted from her." 

She was spoken of as a noble woman, who by gentle methods 
supplied Dan with the guidance which he needed. She had 
never been a professional before her marriage, but he taught her 
a '* manege act," which she continued to do up to the time of 
their separation. Her daughter Elizabeth became the wife of 
Charles Reed, a celebrated ])ad rider. The daughter Catlierine 
married and lived in Girard, Pa., with her mother. Soon after 
her divorce, Mrs. Rice married Charles Warren, Rice's treasurer, 
who had acted as agent between husband and wife in the negotia- 
tions preceding the divorce, and the couple rejoined the show, 
he proposing to continue to act as treasurer and she to continue 
her riding, but after a short time both places were vacant. 

In the early part of 18<j0 Rice's show journeyed by wagons 
from the East to St. Louis, where a steamboat was bought for the 
transportation of the company through the rivers and bayous 
of the South. It is related that at about that time Charles Reed 
and Julian Kent were apprentices with Dan Rice and he required 
them under all circumstances on Sunday to read to him from one 
to three chapters of the Bible, an eccentricity akin to that which 
prompted him to build meeting-houses for the colored people 
down South. He is said to have built half a dozen meeting- 
houses. From 18ti0 to I8f>'4? he was in the South. The story 
got afloat in the North that Dan had bloomed out as a rau^pant 
rebel, and when he appeared in the Walnut Street Theatre, Phila- 
delphia, in the winter of 18(;2-l>3, he met with a very hostile 
reception. 

When the supposed rebel appeared in the ring there was a 
crowded house to greet him with a tornado of hisses, groans, yells 
of "secessionist," " Johnny Reb,'' and suggestions that he should 
be shot or hanged. Fortunately for himself he had the courage 
to stand op in the ring and face his accusers until they were 
weary of shouting. Then he told them that he was and always 
had been a Union man. that his home and interests were North- 
ern, but that he could not get out of t!ie Confederacy sooner or 
otherwij^c than hi- did, and that he had done nothing that be 
deemed deserved any apology. His manliness, even m^re than 
his words, won for luni new consideration, hut though there was 
no longer any idea of mobbing him, enough doubt was left in 



252 



REMINISCENCES OF DAN RICE 



many minds to cast a shadow over liis pttpularity. In 18(.i:j h.s 
ehow, after a disaatrous eeasoii, went to pieces and most of it. was 
Bold lor debt. Out of the wreck he biived liis famous} tritk horse 
Excelsior and his pair of trained Burmese cattle, lie was the 
Hrst man w^ho ever trained and introduced in the ring a perform- 
ing rhinoceros. In i8*M a contract for two tiea:?ons was made 
with Forepaugh, by which Rice received for his services as a 
clown and for the services of his trained horse and cattle $35,000 
for each season. In 1806 he got $1,000 per week through the 
season as clown with John O'Brien, and for a season of twenty- 
six weeks in 1807 he received $21,500 from Gardner, Hemmings 
& Cooper's Circus. 

From that time on his star seemed to be steadily waning. His 
property at Girard was swept away by the foreclosure of a mort- 
gage. He had married again. His second wife, the daughter of 
a banker in Girard, owned a considerable amount of property in 
her own right, but Hice was mined. Disappointment seemed 
to embitter him and his habits grew worse, but he kept in the 
ring as clown each season with young circus men. In 1881 he 
was out with Will Stow, under the tirni name of Rice & Stow, 
but the partnership was dissolved by his enforced retirement 
before the close of the season. Some years ago be struck an oil 
Well on his wife's property in (IJrard^ put up a derrick, set a drill 
at work, organized a stock company and sold stock to Avery 
Smith, Seth B. Howe, and J. J. Nathans and other '* old-timers " 
of the circus business, but it was soon ascertained that there was 
not a pint of petroleum within a hundred miles of the well. 

In 1878 Dan Kice reformed in St. Louis, and afterward de- 
livered temperance lectures, occasionally slijjping back into old 
paths. Forepaugh once said that he w'ould let Dan Kice iix his 
own terms for a season in (California if he would engage to keep 
sober the season through, but the offer was refused. In 1879 
Nathans, June & Bailey telegraphed to Dan, in Girard, that they 
would pay him his own price as a clown for four weeks in this 
city, if he would permit his salary to stand untd the conclusion 
of his engagement as a bond for his sobriety. He refused the 
offer, eaying that he would rather have a hundred dollars a week 
and liberty to do as he pleased than any terms on such conditions. 

In Girard at one time he ran a newspaper called the " Cosmo- 
polite." He sought election to Congress in 1879 from that dis- 
trict, but failed to get it. When wealthy he gave away great 
sums of money to public institutions in that part of the country, 
and still more, it is said, in private charities. He built a sol- 
diers' monument said to have cost $:35.OO0. Yet, as an old show- 
roan and friend of his said, there were long years in which Rice 
could not borrow five dollars in Girard if he wanted it. 



REMINISCENCES OF DAN RICE 



253 



During the war General Fremont seized a steamer Rice owned, 
the "James linymond,'* at St. Louis, and made use of it for Uov- 
enmient pur])o.sos. Kice a]t|ilied to the Government for com- 
pensation and $^2,000 damages was awarded him. At liis re- 
quest tliis money was spent by President Lineoln and Secretary 
Stanton caring for wounded sohliers and their famUies. 

Dan Hice made tliree fortunes, but died a comparatively jjtoor 
man. He married three tirries. His third wile survives him. 
She lives in Texas. — "' Xew York Sun." 



REMINISCENCES. 

PERSONAL— WITTY — HCMOROCTS — GRAVE AND GAY— LIVELY 
AND SEVERE — JOKES— JESTS — ANECDOTES — SATIRES- 
S0NQ8 — SPEECHES ETC. 



DAN RICE, THE HTTMORIST. 

There are refoiTiis in ever^-thing mnndane. Rcfonns are the 
first great causes of revohitiun.^, tliey liave been the pioneers in 
the nmrclies of improvement, they have founded new faiths, es- 
tablished lilieral governments, peupled new countries, crushed 
out feudal systems in the old world, and destroyed illiberal preju- 
dices in the new. Reforms are antagonistical to the old fogyism, 
they are the beacon lights of the *' good times coming." 

Jn the hitter sixties liberal teachers, a cheap press, and com- 
mon schools were not, as to-day, indispensable aids to our exist- 
ence. Then g(jO(I conniion sense alone actuated avery thinking 
man to coolly examine each object presented either for public 
benefit or enjoy nnmt. What was then an intellectual feast de- 
generated later into a saturnalia of sensual gratifications. Whilst 
the dark veil of proscrijttion once thrown around the charmed 
circle of the circus arena had not been entirely dispelled by the 
Jight of liberality, anrl public amusements regarded as they are 
to-day necessary institutions, alTording a healthy relaxation for 
the masses, yet withal a Puritanic sftirit of intolerance made it- 
self felt to such an extent that for many years a hitter war was 
waged against the vulgnr circus of early days, which sought alone 
to gratify a coarse mind at the expense of the intellectual. Colo- 
nel Kice at first resented the seemingly higoted and unjust eriti- 
ciem of the circus world, ii» n whole, and for a while bore the 
bnint of a battle which involved him in an interminable tangle of 
criminations and recriminations. Later Fnele Dan saw a new 
light, and, guided by its inspiration, became an ally of the pulpit 
and the ])res8. As a result, reform in circus methods was actively 



254 



REMINISCENCES OF DAN BICE 



urged. Colonel Kice's efforts were crowned with succeas. Hi 
soon drew au iiir of rutim>nieiit around the aruna, tliat in the day 
of the OlynipiiKl was so purely classicrtl, aud made it here a ])laf; 
where the elite, the profouiul, the philosopher, the naturalist, aii( 
the admirer of physical beauty, could resort to for amuscment- 
refleelion, and insrtruetion. lie restored to the people the gaiii^^ a 
of the eurrieuluni, the beauties of ehivalry, the taming of wdd P~^ 
boatjts as Ln the days of ancient Koine, all in all, revolutionizccKIzrd 
the stale and sabicious forms of amusement so prevalent in th e ■ ! 
past. The thonbaiuls of weil-ediuiited, intelligent peojde, whrr > 

in every section of the country, liberally sustained both the per — 

manent and transitory exhibition;;, i^piickly evinced liy their Id 
eral patronage Colonel Rice's laudatory eiforts to cleanse the 
Augean stables. Queiitionable by-j)lay, indecent geistures, and 
suggestive jests were no longer tolerated^ their places beings 
usurjK'd by rollicking but refinefl humor, repartee, pungent buc 
Btinglcss liatircs am\ true wit, supplemented by a speclaeidar' 
splendor which had iiitherto never been criualleil and certainly 
never surpass^cd. No man, ilierefore, did, Ijctween 18G0 amL 
1870, more to bring about this salutary reaction than Dan Itice. 
He made t!u^ arena a plaee of classic resort. The grovelling 
babbler in spotted dress, and the low buffoon were quickly driven 
from the ring, so there is little oceaijion or wonder why he then 
stood out so proudly and won such world-w^ide fame as the moBt- 
original humorist of his day. 

Dan Rice had a genius for fun. His humors were adapted to-J 
the times, his hits local, his satire telling, his wit pointed, hi*, i 
jokes harmless, and his conversational i)owers unlimited. Ae the 
man who tells a good story at the festive board is indispensable- 
at a goodly gathering, so is the presence of the King of Jesters 
absolutely required in a Great Show, lie was as the central 
figure of the tan-bark circle, the man whom, above all, the peopk- 
raost admired. With an enviable reputation for integrity ofl 
character, and a universal fame as the most ainosing man of mod- 
ern times, his name was a tower of strength. Amongst the upper 
circles of the metropolitan cities, in the villages, towns, and ham- 
lets of all this broad domain, Dan Rice wa» the magnet of attrac- 
tion. Individually he liad more personal friends and supporter 
than any artist of his times. 

It seems that sovereignties are never complete without a clown 
in motley. Every court has had its fool and each king its jester 
with cap and bells, the fool usually possessing more wit than his.] 
master. As it was in ancient times, so it is in these modem days. 
The sovereign people right royally crowned Dan Rice tiieir 
peerless Prince of .Testers. This renowned professor in the Court 
of Morau.'i has been before the public for fifty years. His Bongs, 



SU1XI8CKXCB8 OF HAS MKX 



355 



jokes, and dndlaricB were alvajs free from the Tolgaritj which 
Qfiually chanctarimft the eajings of the ring and wholly deToid of 
anything wliidi ooidd offend the most fastidious. Indeed Dan 
Ruse stood alone in the profession he adopted and which he has 
laiwd far ahore what it formeriy was. His versttilitv of talent 
was remarkaUe^ and hig occasional flashes of gpniu^i Astonished 
even thoee who were most intimately acquainted with him. As 
the fancy took him he changed from gay to grave, from the lu> 
dicrous to the sublime, from the mo8t pathetic portrayal to the 
mofit pungent, piercing satii>e with a mairelloug rapidity that 
stamped him as a genius and the premier artist of his generation. 



AXCIENT AND MODEBN QriDDITIBS. 

The art of making anecdotes. Jokes, puns, and other witticisms 
is of much greater importance than many people are apt to 
imagine. In certain dull seasons of torpid reiK)se, when wars are 
veiatiously rare, and munlers seldom occur, and highway robber- 
ies are scarcely known, and conflagrations, tornadoes, earth- 
quakes, freshets, breaches of marriage contract and Dakota di- 
vorce mills are not working overtime to occasionally relieve the 
universal drowsiness, the exercise of this art is most especially 
requisite. 

The ancients, when tired of recording marvellous things for 
the purj)ose of exciting astonishment, wisely sought to refresh 
the world with jokes, quips, and quiddities. Merriment was the 
sauce, the catsup, that made more palative the more solid viands. 
Helaxation was found to be of infinite service, it contributed to 
keep people properly in countenance, for after a long stretch of 
the muscles over the miraculously tough tales of Pliny, Livy, 
Plutarch and other wonder-mongers, men's phizes were discov- 
ered to be most alarmingly lengthened insomuch that china 
dropped into waistbands, nether lii)s were in danger of being 
trodden upon. Whereupon I. Mr, Rice, and other fun-giving 
wags, sought to apply remedies in the form of fable and epigram, 
diveris laughter disposing crunks, reflecting like characters or 
charnis ujron the fearful rigidity and longitudity of aspect, and 
brought back the distant faces of all thnt were curable to their 
natural oxi^iinf^iou of feature. Jifoutlis that form a continual 
a]>|>lication of the terrific and amazing had acquired a monstrous 
prominence towards the centre of gravity, were observed to cor- 
rugate into a pleasant horizontal, sometimes even turning up at 
the corners, into a curve from ear to ear: eyes upon whose pro- 
tul>erant spheres one might have traced (lie heavens and the earth 
as it were, upon globes celestial ami terrt'striiil, sank eonifortably 
into their sockets, guarded ajid encompassed by the crowf(x)t of 



256 



BEMIXISCENCES OF DAN RICE 



gnyet}'. Thus by making a judicious average of horror and mer- 
riment tlie " human face divine '' was [nvtferved in due .sliape, 
the visage of man, like a washed stocking, being useless when 
pulled to its utniDst length. 

Three-fourths of the bon-niots, witty 8aying.s» and tart repar- 
tees with which the world has been diverted since the days of 
Nebuchanezzar, are fabulous ones made out of whole cloth that 
contains less warp than filling, without foundation, cuni^istency, 
or plausibility. 

An honest, an authentice history of the origin of all genuine 
articles of this sort, and a biography of the inventors of such 
as were manufactured for sport, wuuld be highly amusing at this 
present Juncture, Indeed a work of such nature is much needed. 
It might throw such light on the art of making fun. which, to 
certain hard-driven wit-snappers, would be of exceedingly great 
value. 

COLONEL RICE TELLS OF EARLY DAYS OF THE 

CIRCUS. 

THE VETEHAN showman tells of toe fake SPAXISn MAN 
OF IRON— UIS CANNON BALLS TCHNED OUT TO BE IN- 
FLATED RUBBER— THE GREAT HOODED PYTHON OF THE 
AMAZON AND OTHER FAKES TO FOOL THE UNSUSPECTING 
PUBLIC. 

Dan Attributes His Early Success to a Red-Headed 

Girl. 



There are tricks in all trades, and 1 suppose the circus business 
is included in the category. In all my career I guarded against 
impostures and fraud of all kinds, well knowing that I had a 
reputation to maintain, but in sfiite of all my strenuous etforts, 
my agents would occasionally trick me, and succeed in cleverly 
humbugging the American public, which, as all showmen know, 
loves to be humbugged. One incident of the kind in particular 
occurs to my mind. 

It was while playing in the Eastern States in the early '50'a, 
that I picked uj> Bill Turner, who, I am safe in saying, was the 
shrewdest showman 1 ever saw. but he was unscrupulous. Bill 
was a likely looking young Yankee, smart and active, and quickly 
arose from one position to another until he became assistant man- 
ager of my circus. At Xewbnryport, ilass., Signor (tustivo, the 
' Italian Samson, otherwise Bdi Smith, of Beonett'e Mdls, N. J,, 



HEMINISCKNCES OF DAN RICE 



257 



who had been astonishing circus-goers by his prodigious feats of 
strength, got angry at surnetliing and deserted the show. 

That put nie in a serious [>redicament» for he had been widely 
advertised, and I had no one to take his place. It was at that 
juncture that Bill Turner appeared and sought an interview with 
me at my hotel, which ended in my engaging at $100 a week, 
Don Sebastian, the Spanish man of iron, whose specialty was 
toying with large cannon balls. 

Turner was engaged at moderate salary as attendant upon Don 
Sebastian^ who was as 1>right a looking Irishman as I ever saw. 
The engagement be^an at an afternoon performance, when it 
took four men to carry Sebastian's chest, containing four cannon 
balls, into the ring. The ringmaster announced the performance 
of a few feats of strength and endurance by the strongest man 
in the world, who handled cannon halls of two hundred pounds 
weight as easily as a lady would Iiandle balls of yarn. Sebastian 
picked up the balls from the chest and laid them with a deep, 
dull thud on the platform. Then he placed a l>all on each shoul- 
der, where he balanced it, whilr he lightly tossed a third to the 
top of the tent and gracefully caught it in its descent. The audi- 
ence went wild over his performance, and manifested their en- 
thusiastic appreciation in a tremendous outburst of applause as 
he ran lightly from the ring. 1 was more than satisfied with his 
success. 

Don Sebastian proved to be one of the strong drawing cards 
of my circus for several weeks, when, to my surprise, I one day 
noticed that when he laid the balls upon the platform the sound 
of their fall did not ring out until a susjiiciously long time after- 
wards. I at once realized that there was some fraud concealed in 
the strong man's performance: therefore the unrivalled reputa- 
tion of my circus was at stake, and so at once quietly began an 
investigation, with the result that the Spanish Iron man was sat- 
isfactorily proven to be a rank fraud. 

The cannon balls proved to Ijc made of rubber and were in- 
flated with air like footballs. The dull, dee|) thud which re- 
sounded when the balls touched the platform was made with a 
heavy hammer in the hands of an accomplice behind the curtain. 
I felt outraged at the deception and sorry for the duped public, 
and hauled Turner vigorously over the coals, while Don Sebas- 
tian was reduced in rank and made a candy butcher. 

Had I known that Turner was a party to the deception, I wouUl 
have immediately discharged him. In view of subsequent events 
I concluded that Turner was the leader in the iron-man fraud. 
Upon entering a Kentucky town, after a few days' absence from 
the show, I found one of our most extensively advertised attrac- 
tions to be the " Great Hooded Python of the Amazon, 38 feet 
17 



KEMINI8CENCES OF DAN KIC'E 



in lengtJi. The only specimeo in ciiptivity." It was further 
ruprcsentcd that go powerful and vt'iioiiious was this reptile, it 
was necessary to keep the monster cons:tiintly under the influence 
of opiates. Upon entering the cirrus I found a great crowd uf 
people viewing the python, whicli was coiled in apparently deep 
slumher in a gla^s-enelosed cage. It was a great loathsome ro{>- 
tile, eight inches through. Turner aatisfactorily accounted for 
its presence, and it drew crowds until I accidentally discovered 
that it was cleverly made of linsey woolsey and stuffed with saw- 
dust. 

In caiudy looking back over the years I can plainly see thai 
Bill Turner lacked conscientious scruples. There was the in- 
ebriate hear, for instance. Tliat was liis contrivance. It was 
somewhere in the 8outh that puch a creature was exhibited and 
lavishly advertised as " A great animated teniperence lecture, 
aj)proved hy pulpit and press," 1 saw the attraction. It was a 
black bear that at every performance waddled into the ring and 
drank copiously from a large bottle of cheap whiskey until thor- 
oughly intoxicated, when it would ludicrously stagger back to it« 
cage. One day I was horrified to hear the drunken bear burst 
out with a torrent of profanity, which was followed by the 
maudlin singing of *' Landlord, Fill the Flowing Bowl," while 
the disgusting creature was led to a cage behind the curtain. I 
humbly ajjologized to the audience and said that there was no 
accounting for the work of whiskey. 

Without delay 1 went behind the curtain, stripped the bear- 
skin from the insulting drunkard, and gave Fen Dole, a canvas- 
man, tile worst licking of his life for his part in the most out- 
rageous fraud ever perpetrated upon an unsuspecting and gulli- 
ble public. And the matter didn't end there, for the newspapers 
got hold of the affair and vigorously denounced me, and that was 
the first stain ever cast upon my character as a moral shovrman. 

I subsequently discharged him. He wandered to the West 
and became a missionary or something or other among the 
Indians. It took me some time to recover from the ill-efTects 
of the inebriate bear episode, which was one of the best-paying 
attractions I ever had on the road. It was a pity that to me was 
attached the blame of foxy Bill Turner's impositure. But I got 
a lot of free advertising from it. whether profitable or UJI 
profitable. 

You may not know it, but there are hoodoos in the circus b 
ness as well as in other lines of trade. The only difficulty is to 
be able to know what the hoodoo is and get rid of it. I remem- 
ber onee old John Robinson's circus constantly lost money on the 
Central States circuit, where two seasons before it had made hii 
unusually successful tour. Old man John couldn*t undorfitaijJ 







KEMIXISCKNCES OF DAN BICE 



259 



it, but finally concluded that it could not be among the mem- 
bers of his staff, neither was it one of the performers, for every 
one on that side of the circus had been with him the season 
before, which was one of unequalled prosperity. Jn perplexity 
he began to reorganize the other jiarts of his concern, and new 
liands were discharged by the wholesiile. At last he discovered 
the hoodoo. It was a side-show lecturer, who always wore an 
alarmingly rod necktie. As soon as the lecturer was discharged 
the circus prospered. 

Phineas T. Barnum one season had a iioodoo that stayed with 
him until his employer was well-nigh ruined before he was dis- 
covered and discharged. In that instance the Jonah was a very 
clever plate-spinner. The trouble with the hoodoo is that he 
does not imagine the ill-etferts of his mere presence in the circus. 
Adam Forepaugh's worst hoodoo was a cross-eyed candy butcher, 
and his great circus had very bad luck until the vender of sweet- 
meats was discharged. John O'Brien's hoodoo was a sweet-faced, 
soft-spoken lad\' performer, who lirought him mighty l>ad luck 
until he released her. Old Van Amburg made barrels of money 
and prospered travelling through the country with Scriptural 
mottoes painted upon his wagons, but all that changed as soon as 
he employed a peg-legged colored cook. His ticket-wagon re- 
ceipts at once fell off amazingly, there was bad hick in the ring, 
constant desertions from his company, and several valuable ani« 
male died. 

I am perfectly familiar with the history of the noted death- 
dealing elephant Romeo, who killed three keepers before being 
brought to this country, where he succeeded in killing four more. 
Romeo was never anything else than a money-maker and a devil 
on four legs. In his day he was the greatest drawing card a 
circns or travelling menagerie could possibly have. Why, the 
first clergyman I ever saw visit a circus went solely for the pur- 
pose of seeing the notorious man-slayer. Nearly every circus 
proprietor in the country was eager to get possession of that ele- 
phant and anxiously endeavored to buy him. for his value as an 
advertisement was something enormous. I opened my dicker for 
him at }p'35,O0O, but others raised it until the animal was finally 
sold for $47,500. 

Kow, a red-headed girl or lady in the company is always said 
to bring luck to the circus. Call it auburn hair, if you prefer, 
but the redder her hair, especially if she be a performer, the bet- 
ter the luck the little lurid locks will bring. I have bad them 
more than once in my circus, and so know whereof 1 sjicjik. I 
recall one in particular. Mile. Oermaine de Oreville, otherwise 
Eliza Butcher, of Ohio. T>\Tien she joined my company, business 
at once Ijcgan to boom and continued to boom throughout the 



200 



ItEUIXISCENCES OF DAN MICE 



several seasons she was in ray employ. I presented her with ^ 
magniticeiil, well-trained while lioree, and her lialr was so da^*^* 
gerously red that, when performing upon her snowy charger, gt*^® 
looked like a rocket Hashing around the ring. My success whL ^^ 
she was with my circus was really wonderful and mystified tl'^»-^; 
most experienced circus proprietors of the country. I knew or:*^^ 
of the secrets of that success, hut kept silent, ^ j 

Eliza knew that she was a[)preeiated hy her employer, an 
upon completing her turn in the ring, was often presented wit- ^tk 
a magnificent bouquet of flowers. But, despite my thoughtfiL Al- 
ness, 1 at last lost little 'Lize, She went and got married, am <3 
to the homeliest man that ever drew breath. When her boy twio-S 
were horn she split my name in two and gave each one half. 

ElCE ON LAUOnTER. 

A hearty laugh is a catholicon. After all, what a capital, 
kindly, honest, jolly, glorious thing a good laugh is! It's an ami- 
dyspeptic; it stirs up the slumbering tires of our nature, caused 
hy ennui, excites our risiliilities, and puts us in better humor 
with ourselves and the rest of mankind. What a tonic! Whal 
a digestorf What a febrifuge! What an enemy of evil spirit 
Better than a walk before breakfast, or a nap after dinner. Ho% 
it shuts the mouth of malice and opens the brow of klndne 
Whether it discovers the gums of infancy or age, or grinders i 
folly, or the pearls of beauty. Whether it racks the sides an 
deforms the countenance of vulgarity, or dims the visage, 
moistens the eye of relinement — in all phases and in all face 
contorting, relapsing, overwhelming, convulsing, the humaii 
form into the happy, shaking quaking of idiocy, and turning tl 
human countenance into something appropriate to Billy Buttoi 
transformation. Under every circumstance, and, everywhere, i 
laugh is a glorious thing. Like a thing of beauly. it is a jc 
forever. There is no remorse in it. It leaves no sting, excep 
in the sides, and that goes off. Even a single, unpartieipated 
laugh is a great thing to witness. But it is seldom, single. It is 
more infectious than scarlet fever. You cannot gravely con- 
temjjtate a laugh. If there is one witness, there is, forthwith, 
two laughters, and so on. The convulsion is propagated like 
sound. Wliat a thing it is when becoming epidemic: 

For your long-faced grumblers 
With me are no go; 

They give you cold comfort, 
And none of their dough. 

For my part, and I say it in all solemnity. I have become sin- 
cerely suspicious of the piety of those who do not love pleasu 




BEMLNISCENCES OF DAN RICE 



201 



in any form. 1 cannot trust the man who never laughs, who is 
always sedate, wlio Jiat* no ujjparent outleta for springs of sport- 
iveness that are perennial to the human gouJ, 



Adveutistnq as an Art. 

Since Barnum's death many good stories have been told of his 
methods in advertising his shoWj, but Dan Kico has, in his day, 
been the originator of many clever tricks that not only increased 
his fame, but his fortune as well. 

His first exjierienee in the circus line was with a trained pig, 
which he purchased fmm one Osborn, of Cazenovia, this State, 
with the proceeds of the sale of his share of a livery stable at 
Ferry and Front Streets, New York, which he partly owned at 
Ihe lime. The animal would toll a person's age with cards and 
nod its head in a manner that indicated yes or no when questions 
were put to it. It proved a profitable investment and brought 
big money to its owner wherever exhibited. At Greensburg, Pa., 
both pig and owner made a decided hit. Shortly before they ap- 
penred in that place fire visited the kirn of a Dutch farmer named 
Jack. The farmer suspected an employ^ of tiring the barn. He 
heard f)f the wonderful intelligence of the pig and was induced 
to visit it. nice knew of Jack's suspicion as well as his coming. 
When, after the pig liiid amazed everybody by its clever per- 
formance, Jack infjuired if the animal could tell who burned his 
barn. Kice ansivered in confident tones and with apparent seri- 
ousness that it could, and he started to describe the supposed 
incendiary to the pig, asking frequently in the meantime if the 
person described was the incendiary. The pig always gave an 
affirmative nod to this particular question. The farmer was at 
a loss to understand it all and openly declared tlie educated 
porker to he possessed of an evil spirit when it led him, through 
the affirmative bobbing of its head, to believe that the suspect's 
age and habits were also known to it. 

Jack swore vengeance and lost no time in procuring a warrant 
for the arrest of his former workman. The judge had, in the 
meantime, been posted and he summoned Kice and his pig as 
witnesses to testify against the prisoner. The court room was 
packed with a curious crowd of country people, who looked on 
with awe. The court attaches knew of the joke that was being 
perpetrated, the victim of which was sentenced to thirty days' 
imprisonment on the alleged testimony of the pig. This proved 
a clever and inexpensive advertising dodge, as the newspapers 
took the matter up, and both pig and owner attained a national 
prominence that resulted in bringing thousands of persons to 
see both. 



262 



EEMUriSCENCES OF DAN filCE 



Once the old showman got into a tight corner all on account:^ 

of an elephant which he hiul Ix-en teaching to stand on its head 

and the failure of his uuilcr-trainer to obey his instructions. The??— 
elephant was a young one and the first to perform this trick. 
One day I?ice was called away snddenly on business while the — a 
show was at Elliottsville, N. Y. The whole country round had — M 
been literally covered with jtosters illustrating the elephant ^=z 
standing on its head. Upon his arrival he was horrified to find^JB 

that the elephant had not beeii receiving its lessons regularly, — 

His instructions had not been carried out and the elephant had 
forgotten all about tlie trick. When the time for the perform- 
ance arrived no explanation would satisfy the audience and Rice 
was arrested. He tried to make the court believe that a mistake 
had been made by his men in posting the bills upside down, but 
that story would not he accepted. He then took another tack, 
and after giving his assurance that the natural modesty of the 
beast, which was a female, was the only thing that led it to de- 
cline to perform the trick except under cover of darkness, he 
was discharged. 




A Curious Coincidence. 

The city of New Orleans has always been held in high regari 
by Colonel Rice, for many of his most interesting professionaL 
seasons have been spent among its people, who ever extended a. 
liberal patronage. A strange coincidence connected with his ca- 
reer found its creation in the Crescent City, and its romantics 
ending took ])laee in the Lone Star State. In bestowing hiiSt 
munificence the Colonel was always liberal, and on the occasion, 
in question, in 1852, he presented one of the fire companies with 
a new engine. In their appreciation for this recognition, the 
firemen formed a committee, and gave the Colonel an elegant 
watch, wliich he cherished on account of the source frojn wliieh 
it emanated. He had possessed it but a short time when, in some 
mysterioutt way, it disappeared and no trace of it could be found. 
A private detective failed in his efforts to locate it, and after a 
time, as no advertising brought it to light, the watch wag given 
up as lost. While on his lecture tour in 188(), Colonel Rice 
drifted into Texas, and gave one of his inimitable lectures at 
the town of Ennis. During his visit of several days in that place, 
he met many old-time friends, and was informed by one of them 
that his watch had been seen at a jeweller's establishment in the 
city. With his curiosity aroused as to the now ancient timepiece, 
he proved its identity, but had much difficulty in obtaining it. as 
legal proceedings had to be enforced to secure the keepsake. Its 
value to the Colonel was merely based upon the associations con- 



4 




fiEMlKISCEKCES OF DAN BICB 268 

nected with it and the long years that had elapsed since it was 
stolen. With his old treasure recovered, he returned to the city 
of Mariin, where he had previously lectured, and, in relatin^j the 
circumstance to friends, was astonished to discover that the old 
engine which he had presented to New Orleans so long ago, was 
then in possession of the Mariin Engine Co. No. 1. The engine 
being the same fpr which he had received the donation of the 
token he had so recently recovered. By just such curious coin- 
cidences. Colonel Rice has been able to trace everything of value 
that has been surreptitiously taken from him, but his proverbial 
charity prevents him from exposing the shortcomings of frail 
humanity. 

A Tale of Two Cities. 

To those who are well-acquainted with the personal traits of 
Colonel Rice, it is an established fact that he had a great fondness 
for children, and he has been known to make sacrifices in their 
behalf that have surprised even his most intimate friends. In 
days gone by many little men and women have received gifts 
from him of ponies, tiny gold rings, and other trinkets that chil- 
dren prize so highly, and his great heart was satisfied if he could 
but make them happy. This mania for the little folks often 
placed him in ludicrous positions, from which he was often com- 
pelled to take refuge in flight, as the following instance, given in 
his own words, will show. Colonel Rice was giving an enter- 
tainment in one of the opera houses in Waco, Tex., and in the 
course of his remarks, something occurred to remind him of an 
esperience in Galveston, and he applied it in the following man- 
ner: " In spealcing of children," said the ColoneK " when 1 was 
in Galveston a few weeks ago, I displayed my proverbial weakness 
for children, by presenting a pair of new-born twins each with a 
ten-dollar-btll. The fact became known, and it wasn't a week 
before several baby carriages containing twins had been wheeled 
in my presence. My money soon gave out, and as there seemed 
to be no end to the Galveston twins, I made a bee line for 
Houston where they don't have twins." 



An Experience With Train Robbers. 

It was while on a business trip to Omaha that Colonel Rice 
had his experience with the James gang in their first train 
robbery. The incident occurred July 20, 1873, on the Chicago, 
Rock island and Pacific train, which was eastward bound, and 
fifteen miles from Council BIufTs, la. Colonel Rice occufded the 
first seat in the front end of a car, when, without any previous 
warning, four masked men entered, two of whom took their 



264 



EEMINISCENCES OF DAN MCE 



stations of guard at each entrance. Simultaneously with their 
appearance they covered the terrified passengers with their fire- 
arms and called out *' Hands up." In an instant every person 
had complied with the command, and turning \m head to look 
at his fellow-passengers, Colonel Rice exclaimed in a loud voiee, 
*' The first time Dan liice, the circus clown, ever held up his 
hands excej)t when over a game of puker.'* A4 the desperadoes 
proceeded through tlie car, they rided the passengers of their 
money and other vahuibles which they deposited in bags which 
they carried. When they reached the Colonel's end of the car, 
they left him unmolested, and as they were in the act of leaving, 
one of the men addressed him with '* llow are you. Uncle Dan; 
Fm one of the boys you used to pass into your circus." The 
identity of the speaker remained a mystery until a few years ago 
when Colonel Rice, while on a lecture tour, met Frank James at 
Huntsville, Ala., to which place he hud heen remanded fur trial, 
accompanied by a large number of friends and relatives. On 
heing introduced to James, Colonel Rice was fiivorahly im[)re8sed 
with his agreeable address and manner and the conversation 
turned upon different topics that were very interesting. James 
remarked that he had known the Colonel from childhood and 
that he was one of the boys that used to secure admittance to the 
circus without paying for it, a |irivilcge that always pleased the 
barefooted youngsters. In touching upon the experience of the 
train robbery, he admitted to Colonel Rice that his brother had 
related the incident to him, and also that it was Jesse who made 
the remark, " How are you, Uncle Dan? " etc. It is more than 
probable that Colonel Rice escaped much annoyance through the 
remembrance of a kindness shown to Jesse James in his early 
boyhood. And the jester has said that it always jiays to remem- 
ber the barefoot hoys and one never loses anything by being kind 
to them, which he has had demonstrated in other instances than 
the one above mentioned. 



On the Subject op Grain Elevators. 

The following is too good to be lost. Something like it ap- 
peared in the ** Knickerbocker '' last fall, but the true state of 
affairs having never heen made fiuhlic, we, from the most dis- 
interested motives, give them the benefit of our researches. 

R. P. Jones, the beet show editor and general writer I ever 
met, had occasion to visit Cleveland, 0.. in September, 18 — , just 
before the State Fair commenced. His business was official, and 
in less tbiin three hours all the compositors in town were un- 
usually husy, and the demand for steam-presses wrs decidedly 
active. Now Jones, who was a young man of most prepossessing 



ejcterior, and in suitable times and at projicr seasons is a perfect 
D'Ursay in apparel, did on this occasion give evident proof that 
^ptie liad " travelled " souie, and hadn*t long waits to attend to liis 
B^rardrobe. There was in the " Forest City " one certain Fair- 
^banks, a printer, a publisher of the *^ Herald/' a first-rate paper. 
By the way, Fairbanks, good-natured soul, finding that Jones 
AS as W(irn down by the cares of his position, volunteered to " ride 
him out" to tile fair grounds, aiul witness the preparations for 
the anticipated fete. Jones went it " in the rough," and when 
lie got upon the grounds was (tlirongh a n^i.^take of Fairl)ankfl, 
of course) identified as one of the wealthy yeomen from Hamil- 
ton County. They wanted one man, a practical fanner, to serve 
as one of the committee on agricultural implements, so poor 
Jones, nolens volenSy was enlisteil; like a hunh for the sacrifice, 
he was introduced to the various other committees in attendance 
and decorated inth twn yards, more or less, of colored ribbons. 
Now it so haj»pent*d that " Xativc Wines " were objects of inter- 

»est in the Buckeye State, and that, in all the fairs, manufacturers 
of the aforesaid article competed for prizes — -like skilful physi- 
cians they never swallow their own drugs — per consequence, a 
little whiskey was always around for private comfort and con- 
Bolation. 

The committee on " Native Wines " were men after Jones' 
own heart; they were *' his style," and he tasted their specimens 
and compared the various domestic brands, until he began to feel 
an utter indifference in regard to the i>eriod " when school 
broke," and there is no knowing but what he would have drank 
to excess, had not three inemberB of his own committee suddenly 
demanded his opinion as umpire in regard to the merits of several 
_ grain elevators. Out Jones bolted, got the several owners to the 
V several machines to demonstrate their plans of operation, and 
after he became satisfied with the performance, turned around 
and said, "Gentlemen of the Committee, I am a man of few 
words, understand me, of few words; the elevators we have all 
seen are good, gentlemen, I may say d — n good, Injf when it 
comes to he reduced to fine points, curse me, gentlemen, if the 
'greatest grain elevator in the world ain't Oh! Kye/ " The 
eommittee so reported^ much to the horror of the temperance 
folks, and the amusement of Jones, who had forgotten the rir- 
[ cumstance until he found it printed in the annual journal of pro- 
lings, a copy of which was sent him in due time by virtue of 
[^office. 

Not Bad. 

A spark from a rough diamond ofttimes produces brilliant 
eflects. Whde in Washington, that city of infernal (Dickens was 





266 



REMfNISCENCES OF DAN BICB 



wrong wheD lie styled them magnificent) distances. Colonel Ilice 
endured a walk with Captain Sarii'ord, a well-known and popu- 
lar manager of minstrel fainc. In the course of their ramble 
they had occasion to pass an impobing looking place of worship, 
against one of the pillars of which leaned an individual who was 
too genteel in appearance to be mistaken for a politician or even 
a Congressman; as they approached, a smile of recognition over- 
spread his face, and coniing towards the Colonel, exclaimed, 
" Cood morning, sir!" "How are you?" res[uriuied Colonel 
Rice with his usual bland manner, *' but — a — ah — excuse me, you 
have the advantage of me." 

" Well, if 1 have, I'm the first one ever got it," was the 
rejoinder; '* but you ought to know me — Fm Batters, Cully 
Batters, the boys used to call nie. Don't you remember, 1 drove 
the property wagon for you.'* 

" Ub, yes," said the Colonel, '* But, Cully, what are you doing- 
here?'* at the time eyeing the cditice with a peculiar look of 
eetrangement. 

" Me? why I'm Bexton of this crib! " 

"Sexton!" exclaimed Colonel Rice, astonished, "why. what 
on earth induced you to leave the ' show business * and turn- 
sexton?" 

" Well,'* responded Batters, '* you see, to quote the language of 
the preacher, I thought it better to be a doorkeeper in the housfe 
of the Lord than dwell in the tent of iniquity, and that hippo- 
drome of your^, old fellow, was the most consarned tent of in- 
iquity I ever did see — so 1 left." 



An Instance of UNrARALLEXED Ignorance. 

In the old palmy days before the war, Colonel Rice had 
staunch friend in Col. W. C. Preston, who oisTied a plantatioa 
at Poverty Ridge, located a short distance from Louisville, Ky. 
This gentleman's love of adventure led him to become the ad- 
vance agent of Colonel Rice's Circus, and in his admiration of 
the popular jester, he liestowed the name of Dan Rice upon his 
youngest child, to whom !ie was greatly attached. The regular 
nurse who cared for the little one was taken seriously ill, and 
Mrs. Preston was forced to call in an ignorant plantation girl to 
discliarge the nurse's duties. In previously doing errands about 
the place, she often heard her jnistress indulge in words of en- 
dearment to the babe, and one that seemed to impress the fancy 
of the dusky maiden consisted of the expression "you are a dear 
h'ttle angel.'* Being rcrpiestcd one day to take the little one 
for an airing, she wandered some distance from the house, and 
having seen Colonel's Rice's elaborate showbills, on which were 



KBMIJJISCKKCES OF »AX BICK 



267 



the figures of spirits adorned with wings, representing ethereal 
subjects, the thought suddenly wcurred to her that the baby, 
which she had so often heard spoken of as an angel, could also 
fly. Tliereforc, acting on the impulse, with all her strength she 
threw the baby into the air, exclaiming, •' Dah, yo deah little 
angel, yo now ily." The result can be easily imagined. It was 
followed by the funeral of the little namesake of Colonel Rice. 

Dr. Love is said to be the only real live American resident in 
Alexandria. Love is bound up in the story of the Rose of 
Jericho, however, in more ways than one. By it the wonderful 
octogenarian I)e Lessseps met his present wife, a l>eautiful young 
woman, who was one of the five blooming sisters in a Parisian 
family the great engineer used to visit, lie had been left, at 
sixty-eight, a widower with a whole troop of sons and daughters. 
He had a Jericho rose and carried it in his vest jwcket one day 
when he went to call on the five beauties. The prettiest of them, 
who asked him in a charmingly ingenuous manner why he had 
never married again, received the Resurrection flower as a gift. 

Whftn De Lesseps made his next visit the young girl ran out 
to him with the wonderful rose. It was in full bloom, '* See," 
said she, " what a miracle the water has effected. It is like the 
blossoming of love in old age! " 

The old man did not need more than one suggestion, innocent 
though it was. He proposed, or rather finished the proposal, 
and their nuptials were soon solemnized, 

Webster defines the Rose of Jericho as " a plant growing on 
the plain of Jericho— the anastation hierochuntina. It is evi- 
dently not the resurrection flower which has become familiarly 
known of late by this romantic name. 



Crawling Under the Canvas. 

An incident that occurred years ago, when Uncle Dan was 
showing in Kentucky, in which a prominent banker and Ken- 
tucky distiller figured, is related with a great deal of gusto, by 
Colonel Rice. " I wasn't performing that year, but simply went 
into the ring at the opening in citizen's clothes and made a little 
speech. In the hotel in the morning 1 licard a couple of old men, 
who were evidently wealthy and solid men, discussing the circus. 
They had an itching to go and see the performance, but one of 
them had a suspicion that I was not with the show, and he told 
the other man so in such a loud voice thut I sought an introduc- 
tion and convinced him that he was wrong. Then what did the 
two old fellows do hut ask me to let them crawl under the tent 
as they had done when they were boys. Well, I humored them, 



208 



EEM1NISCEXCE8 OF DAN RICE 



because 1 eaw a way to get a joke on them and make the perform— 
aDce lively. The tent was pinjked lull when I took tliem dowi:*^ 
to a place near the dressing-room, raised up the canvas a tritie^^ 
and tucked them under in a hurry. The place wliere 1 put then'* 
in was the space at the end of the reserved seats where the horse^fc. 
and performers came into the ring. Half a dozen of the circus*, 
employees eaw and seized upon them at once, and there was ^l. 
great uproar, the entire audience standing up to see what \\i\^ 
going on, and laughing at the discomliturc of their solid fellow — 
citizens. Meanwhile 1 came in and tipped tlie boys the wink^ 
and the old fellows went off and sat down in the meekest frame 
of mind imagmable. When 1 came to make my speech I got lli€ 
whole audience in a roar by telling how I iiad ])l:iyed tlie joko^ 
on them, and 1 will say that when they understood it, the 
laughed as heartily ae any one." "" 

The late Congressman Dick, recently, in a reminiscent mood, 
tells this story of an experience in Wasliingtoii: " lly father was 
very fond of the circus, and was in Congress when Kice's Greatest 
Show on Earth gave a day's performance at the capital. Father 
didn't want to let on to us boys that he would go to the circus, I 
and I think that he was a little bit afraid to let his fellow-mem- 
bers in Congress know he would take it in, for he slipped away < 
quietly and went to the performance all alone. He took a seat 
where he thought no one would see him, hut when Uncle Daa 
came in as the clown and began to make his speech, he alluded 
to his Congressman, the distinguished General Dick, pointing i 
him out as he spoke, while as many as 200 Congressmen and Sen-] 
ators who were present craned their necks to spy out father- [ 
Father used to tell of it afterward, and laugh tdl the tears ran-| 
down his cheeks, as he thought how the tables had been turned 
on him by the old showman." 

A Singular Fourth of July Movement in Lowell. 
IN 1856, 



A GUN SPIKED. 

It seems almost incredible to intelligent belief that in one o/' 
the most popular centres of our great country the following inci- 
dent occurred on the occasion of celebrating our patriotic na- 
tional holiday, but such was indeed the case, as the frdlowing 
statistics show, and the origin, emanating as it did from the 
municipal authorities, made the fact more conspicuous than ordi- 
nary circumstances could possibly have done. 

It is related that a resolution to appropriate $3,500 for a cele- 



BGHINISCENCES OF DAN lilCE 



269 



bralion in Lowell, Mass., was killed by the Board of Aldermen, 
Although they voted to have the customary salute fired. The 
Common Coimtiil, considering that if they could not have a big 
celebration, tiiey would not have any, killed the vote of the 
Aldermen for the salute, Consequently Lowell was entirely un- 
provided by the City Fathers with any kind of a eeleliration. 
Mr. Rice, whose " Great Show " was to he exhibited on the 
Fourth, heard of this state of affairs, and telegraphed to the 
Commander of the City Guards to lire the salute and he would 
foot the bill. The olTer of Mr. Hire, who was somewhat noted for 
his oratorical pyrotechnics was generally understood at Lowell. 
But when the detachment of the Guards went to get their gun in 
order on the morning in question, tliey found that the piece had 
been spiked. The vandals who did the malicious miscnief went 
deliberately to work to consummate this plot, for, it appears, they 
cut a pane of glass out of a window of the gun-house, so that 
the hand could reach in and remove the whole sash by taking olf 
the inside fastenings. After this work was done, the sash was 
replaced and a new j>aue of glass nicely fitted in the place of the 
one broken. The idea probably was that in taking the gun be- 
fore daylight, the spiking would not be noticed until the squad 
was on the ground for action when it would then he too late to 
remedy the matter. But the trick did not w^ork. It was dis- 
covered and the piece was taken to the machine shop where a 
new vent was speedily drUled so that, after all, the morning 
salute of thirty-three guns was lired four minutes after one. 
Commander Bushee of the City Guards showed great energy in 
repairing the mischief so speedily. 

The affair created a great deal of excitement in Lowell, and 
Mr Kice did not fail to enlarge upon it in his speeches in the ring 
arena, bringing down the house at every allusion be made to it. 

Assuming an attitude of dignity, the clown was lost sight of, 
for Mr. Rice was all eloquence, and the following are as near hia 
remarks as can be condensed to give them to the readers: 

** Another evolution of the wheels of time lias brought around 
the birthday of the Nation's Freedom, a day sacred to every lover 
of his country and her glorious institutions; a day on which 
the heart of every American freeman throbs with patriotic emo- 
tion. Seventy-five years have passed away since a few patriots 
pledged ' their lives, their liberty, and their sacred honors ' to 
throw off the shackles of British tyranny, and yet our country is 
but in its infancy. The hist of this brave band has passed away, 
and even of those who flourished in the times that * tried men^s 
sonls * but a small remnant remains scattered over the land. 
Could those who were prominent actors during that fearful strug- 
gle revisit the earth and gee the giant oak that has sprung up 



270 



REMINISCENCES OF DAN IIICE 



from the little 



that they planted, great indeed would 



acorn 
their astonishment. They would see a mighty empire stretcli 
from the St. JohnV to the Kio (irande, from the Atlantic to tbe 
Pacific, and flourishing cities standing wliere, hut a few years agO,j 
the wigwam of the savage stood; the echoes of the shrill whistf 
of the locomotive ami steamboat now reverberates where the bay 
ing of the wolf and the scream of the panther and the war who 
of the savage alone were heard. 

" No person with one spark of patriotism can look about Uifl 
and see the rank liis country holds in the eyes of the world i 
this time without emotion and pride. Let us then fervent! 
tiiank him who made and preserved us as a nation, let us rcnfl 
our oath on the altar of God, * eternal hostility to every form i 
t}Tanny over the mind of man.* 

"Let us enjoy the day in a national manner as becomes fr 
men. Let us remember the unanimity of those who fought, ble 
and flied for our country, and though the horizon is sometin 
clouded by the clamor of persons and fanatics, let us never Icw^ 
sight of our motto: * Our Country, right or WTong,' and pray for 
' Th(.' Union, now and forever.' " 

These sentiments of patriotic appeal awoke in the people of 
Lowell the slumbering fires of loj'alty and their demonstrations 
were successive rounds of noisy cheers that more than repaid the 
jester for the conspicuous part he played in the city's celebration. 
The press [tronounced his overtures a brilliant success and 
affair called forth a universal approbation. 



Henry Clay anb Dan Rice. 



Congress adjourning to attend a circus! Just imagine it. Dan 
Eice, one of the celebrated showmen of the past generation, 
tbe story, and, of course, vouched for its truth. In April, 1S3 
he appeared in the circus ring at Washington as the ** great je 
and clown '* to stnrtle and delight the assembled statesmen. 

The day had been set aside for Riee's benefit, and something 
out of the ordinary must be done. He did it in an unexpected 
manner. The members of both bouses of Congress, the hea^H 
of departments, the President and Cabinet, and scores of leadi^H 
people in the social life of the Capitol received elaborate invita- 
tions printed on satin for the benefit performance that day. 
Nearly everybody accepted the invitation, and it was generally 
supposed that the bits of satin were free passes to the show. 

Among the first to arrive at the tent was Henry Clay with a 
pnrty of ladies. His colored servant was in advance, and 
satin invitations were presented as passes of admission. 






BEMINISCE^'CES OF DAN RICB 



271 



"How many in the party? " sternly asked the doorkeeper, who 
had been drilled for his post. 

" Twelve," answered the great leader, solemnly but conii- 
dently. 

'* Twelve dollars! " exclaimed the doorkeeper; *" buy your 
tickets at the box-office." Dan Hice was behind ihe canvuts look- 
ing through a peephole and enjoying the evident agitation of 
ilr. Clay, when, after fumbling in ids pockets, he was unable 
to find the neeessary amount. The practical joker had provided 
for such eraergeiicies, and had nearby a well-known Washington 
tradesman of that period with pockets stutTed with silver dollars. 
Henry Clay's einbarra»sincnt was relieved and liis imrty passed 
in. He i*emarked: " I'll bet this is one of Dan's tricks." It was. 
Lewis Cass, wbo oamc later, was dis[iosed to be ugly, but 
neither he nor others of the distinguished statesmen hesitated 
about taking the tradesman's money when necessary. It was a 
great day for Dan, and a big success. President Zach. Taylor 
vras there; so were Daniel Webster, John C, Callioun, Stephen A. 
Douglas, and scores of others who were part of the history of that 
O])och of National life. That Dan was a high-roller is evinced 
l)y the fact that he rattled off fifty original verses of " local hits," 
iind everybody was scored, from the austere President down to 
the pages in Congress. 



How Frkrtdext Lincoln Got Rid of a Bore. 

During the early part of the war, while professionally visiting 
Washington, Dan Kice calleil upon President Lincoln, whose 
acquaintance he had made long before, while Mr. Lincoln was 
practising in Springfiebl, 111. He was conlially received and in- 
vited to call again and again^ for Dan was a good story-teller, 
and so was the President, and herein was verified the old adage 
of *' birds of a feather.'* Upon one of these occasions Dan had 
an dlustration of Lincoln's adroit method of getting rid of a 
bore. 

He was in familiar chat wnth the President in the White 
House, when the card of Judge Throckmorton, of Massachusetts, 
who had been sent by the philanthrojiic people of that State to 
protest against the placing of the negro tmops in the front of 
battle, and he forthwith began to urge upon the President tbe 
necessity of interference in behalf of the colored bretbrcn. 

Lincoln listened courteously to his statement and then wrote 
for the Jurlge a letter of intmduction to Secretary of War 
Stanton, under whose supervision the matter came. The Jmlge, 
however, persisted in the fliscussion, and the PresirlenL who was 
nnxious to hear the eonolnsion of the story which Dan was in the 



273 



REMINISCENCES OF DAN BICE 



middle of when interrupted, turned and said, *' Judge, excuse me, 
1 negleclt'd lo introduce you to my ij*iend liere, VoL Dun Rice, 
the most famous circus clown m tlie world." 

The Judge was too dumfoundod lo extend his hand, but 
bowed himiself out, and reuiarked, as he i)asse<l the doorkeeper, 
" Great heavens, is it posjsible that ihe President of the United 
States can allow himself to be closeted with a clown? ■' 



President Joknson and tile Impeachment Faction. 

There is an iuside and unwTitten history to every important 
occurrence of a national chariK'ter, and the following is Dan 
Kice'ii version of the impeachuicnt of President Johnson. Dur- 
ing the days of reconstruction, Dan Itice was a United States 
detective, having been appointed by the President to protect the 
interests of the government and the cotton raisers of the South 
agiiinst ihe dishonesty of government agents. 

liiee was in Washington at the time of Johnson"*s inauguration 
and for a considerable time after, but, a few days before the event, 
lie was privy to a conversation between Johnson and Col. John 
W. Forney, of Philadelphia. 

While liiee w^as in commimion wuth Jolmson, Forney sent up 
his card, and Kice retire<l to an adjoining room occupied by Colo- 
nel Moore, the President's jirivate secretary, where he distinctly 
overheard the conversation between the President and Colonel 
Forney. 

Tlitherto the latter bad been an admirer and staunch sup- 

Sorter of Johnson, having been intimately associated with him 
wring the events attending his accession to the Presidency. At 
this interview, Forney presented a list of post-office and custom- 
house appointments for Philadelphia, for the President's sanc- 
tion. The latter said, '* John, if there is anything I can do for 
you personally, command me, but as President, T cannot accept 
your slate." 

Forney left tlie White House in undisguised anger, and upon 
the following morning his papers, the '* Washington rhronicle '' 
and the " Philadelphia Press," familiarly known in Washington 
as " my two papers," both daily, opened upon the President in an 
article headed, ** What is the matter at the White House? The 
President closeted with a clown." 

Now Rice was very intimate with Forney, and meeting him on 
the street, he asked what was meant by the article in the papers. 
Fornev put it off with the replv, " Oh, iPs a big thing for vou, 
Dan."* 

"But," said Dan. "you have made a mistake, the President 
was right." At this Forney burst out, and complained bitterly 




REMINISCENCES OF DAN BICE 



of his treatment, and in the Leiglit of hia passion he swore that 
lie would min Johnson, a& he had previously ruined Buchanan, 
and IJice naturally fiuniiified that this was the prelude to the open 
rupture between the President's party and the impeachment 
faction. 

The minds of the people, as well as of the government officers, 

^iore filled with the suspicions of the times, and suggestions of 

Hlisloyalty. from any quarter, found ready credence. Forney did 

^everything in his ]mwer to ruin Johnson, even going so far as to 

indirectly accuse him, through the columns of his papers, with 

being concerned with the assassination of President Lincoln. 



^.cha 
^*^)as 



Too Much Vibtue For Thirteen Dollabs. 

Few men have been upon such familiar terms with notable 
^.characters, or individuals of national re])utation, as Dan Rice, 
»d his reminiscences of the distinguished persona, who are fast 
passing away, were equally entertaining and instructive. In an 
early day he was introduced to (ieneral Houston by Henry Clay 
and one day while walking with the former on Pennsylvania 
Avenue, they encountered the Hon. Simon Cameron, w^ith whom 

I Dan was also well acquainted. There was in company another 
gentleman, a gallant othcer. Captain Britton, of Corpus Christi, 
and a celebrated Texas Ranger. He was a capital story-teller, 
an immaculate dancer, and a perfect Chesterfield, or Beau Bruin- 
mel in his attire, and it wa« said that he was noted for his atten- 
tion to his toilet even preceding a battle. At the time he had 
a company in the Mexican War. under General Taylor. P'^pon 
a certain occasion the fJeneral issued an order that he would re- 
view the troops upon a specified morning. He hnd often heard 
of the gnllantry of Cnjitain Britton's company, and of one Timo- 
thy Donahue, evidently an Irishmnn of culture, but who becjime 
demoralizer! in New Orleans, and recruiting oflicers there in- 
fhiced him to enlist and go to Texas, where he joined Captain 
Britton's company. 

On the occasion alluded to. the roll was called, and all answered 
but Timothy. Captain Britton suspected the cause, as Tim 
Would often get drnnk wlien off duty. An orderly was dispatched 
to the camp, where Tim was seen advancing and staggering with 
musket on shoulder, and as he fell in, the Captain addressed him 
in a very stern tone, " Timothy," said he, " you are drunk on 
duty, i had hoped upon this fjccasion to have had Oeneral 
Taylor make some recognition of yonr gallant deeds by shaking 
hands with yon, but here yon are drunk on duty. He answered, 
"Hist Captain, not another word: how do you expect all the 
virtues in a man for thirteen dollars a month?" 
18 



27i 



BEMINISCENCER OF DAN' lUCE 



Shaking Hands With iMajesty. 

Dan Rice claimed to be the only AmericaD that ever shook 
hands with Queen Victoria. Years ago whcD Franklyu Pierca 
was President, and Uncle Dan was nol quite old enou<;)i to be att 
uncle, he was a bearer of State despatches fruni Washington tOi 
England. The despatehes were received hy Her Majesty in per 
son, who, upon taking them, handed the [lackagc to the seer 
tary. She then bowed very graeioutily as ii to intimate that t 
interview was at an end, and iu doing so slightly extended h 
hand. Dan instantly put forth his huge paw, seized her ham 
and said in his hearty style, " My dear Madame, this is th 
American fashion/' and he gave it a hearty shake. 

Dan says that the story of young Van Burcn having danced 
with her, lie believes to be all " poppycock/' but that it is true 
that he shook her hand for all it was worth, much to the horror 
and amazement of the secretary. 

But since that time, other Americans, and the real, simo 
pure article, have had the lionor of giving Queen Victoria a ban 
shaking. Upon her Majesty's visit to Butfalo Bill's Wild W 
Show in London, after the performance she interviewed the 1 
dinn chiefs, when, according to the published report, '* Yello 
Striped Face,'' the half-breed interpreter, was jjresented, a 
then eame two squaws, mothers of two pappooses in the cam 
The little girl pa[>pooee was tirst presented. The Queen patt 
her cheek with her black-silk gloved hand, and then the litt 
thing stuck out her brown paw. and the Queen shook it. Aft 
this tlie Queen stepped back but the mother was not conten 
She walked up and stuck out her band, and the Queen shoo] 
hands gravely and bowed. Then the other scpiaw came up am 
said, " How/* and offered her hand, and, finally, a little bro 
boy pappoose came up and offered his hand. The Queen shoo 
hands with them all, these being the only members of the Wild 
West party wdio were thus honored. Then Messrs. Cody and 
Salisbury were presented. Both of them bowed gravely, and 
Colonel Cody smiled pleasantly at the compliment paid to him 
by the (Jiieen. She told bim that she had been very much inter- 
ested and that bis skill was very great. A moment after this an 
equerry signalled for the carriage, and it came dashing up. The_^ 
Queen gave directions to have the top of the carriage lowere^^H 
She then turned to the Marquis of Lome nnd extended to him^ 
her right hand. He bent very low and kissed it and then fell 
back. ^m 

Dan Rice's Gratitude. ^B 



An intereflting incident is related in a late number of the 




EEMlNiaCENCBS OF DAN MCE 



275 



"Beading Gazette." It appears that some fourteen years ago 
Dan left fJcading with an uxiiibition of t^onie sort, whii li turnoil 
out badly, and involved the proprietor in ditiiculty. Judge 
Heidenreich, of Berks County, found him in this condition, and 
lent him a horse and wagon, in order that he might pursue his 
business. Dan was still unsuccessful. In this dUemma lie was 
forced to sell the horse and wagon, which the Judge had only 
loaned him, in order to raise means to take hid wife home to 
Pittsburg. Not long after this he obtiiined a situation in one of 
the theatres of the city, where the Judge saw and recognized liim, 
and in the morning called at his lodgings. Dan was still poor, 
and fully expected reproaches, if nothing worse, from his old 
patrop, but instead of these the Judge insisted on his going to 
the tailor's and being titted out at his expense. To this, how- 
ever, Dan would not consent, and they parted, never to meet 
again until one day, when his company was performing at 
Heading and the Ju*lge came to attend court. Dan's first duty 
was to hunt up his old friend and invite him to take a short ride 
about town, to which he consented, and a horse and vehicle were 
soon at the door. 

Dan's equipage, like that of his profession generally, seemed 
a pretty stylish turnout. It consisted of a bran new carriage of 
elegant make and a spick and span new set of glistening harness. 
The drive was taken and enjoyed, and time tlevv swiftly by, as the 
two friends talked and laughed over the half-forgotten events of 
old times. Dan drove the Judge back to his lodgings, stepped 
out npon the pavement, and. before the Judge had time to rise 
from his seat, handed him the reins and whip, with a graceful 
bow, and said, '* These are yours. Judge, the old horse and wagon 
restored, with interest; take them with Dan Rice's warmest grati- 
tude! " The Judge was stricken dumb with anuizement for a few 
moments, but soon recovered his self-possession and began to 
remonstrate. But Dan was inexorable; he closed his lips firmly, 
shook his head, waved a polite adieu to his old friend in the 
carriage, walked off to his hotel, and left the Judge to drive the 
handsome equipage, now really his own, to the stable. 

How TO Detect a Kentuckian. 

When introdneing his famous horse Excelsior at NiWo*8 Gar- 
den, New York, in the winter of lHo7, a controversy arose "be- 
hind the scenes," as to whether there was a Kentuckian in the 
audience. '* I'll settle that dispute," said Dan, and going for- 
ward he proceeded to give a brief liistftry of t)ie horse and his 
pedigree. " Tie was." he commenced, " sired by Kentucky's 
favorite horse, ' Gray Eagle ' " (applause from one person only), 




2T6 



HEMLNISCENCE8 OF DAN RICE 



Dan continued, '*and further, ladies and gentlemen, he was 
foaled in Kentock-y." Thereupon the enthusiastic gentleman 
who had before applauded, arose and shouted, " Dan Rice, so was 
I." Great hiughter and applause, when Dan, with finger on 
his nose, remarked, " My friend, you're not the only jackass that 
has been foaled in Kentucky." There was uproarious laughter, 
but the Kentuckian failed to see the point. 

A Showman's Last Request. 

In the early stage of the "* one-horse show," Dan Rice's only 
performers were Jean Johnson and James O'Connell, known as 
the tattooed mon who professed to have the same distinguisliing 
embellishments upon his cutaneous coat as the Fiji Islanders, al- 
though it is doubtful if his acquaintance with that geographicid 
part of the globe had any closer relation than in his imagination. 
His principal act was in dancing a hornpipe between rows of 
eggs, which was really an agile and clever feat. ^Vhile travelling 
with the show, he was taken sick and unable to perform, but he 
was kindly looked after by Dan Rice and the few members that 
comprised the company. They did not abandon or leave him 
behind but carried him along, although hts malady increased und 
his condition became hopeless. Finding the closing hour np- 
proaching, he made a characteristic request which was finally 
carried out. When committed to the earth the band played a 
lively tune and Jean Johnson danced a hornpipe over the grave. 
Poor O'Connell thoiigbt, and perhaps justly, that the transition 
from a life of privation and sufTering was more appropriately 
celebrated by music and mirth tlian grief and lamentation. As 
stated, these two performers with Dan Rice as clown and vocalist, 
together with the band and the perfomance of the wonderful 
horse, made up the show, and a more popular one never travelled 
the length and breadth of the American continent. In the slang 
language of the profession, other circuses, no matter how exten- 
sive or chock-full of performers, had to " get up and get " when 
Dan's avant courier made his appearance. 



The Fottr-Leaf Clover. 

In the summer of 1842, Dan Rice was exhibiting in Pennsyl- 
vania. It was a hall exhibition wherein be perfomed feats of 
strength, legerdemain, and other miscellaneous acts, to the grati- 
fioation and astonishment of the ]*rimitive Teutonic denizens of 
that region. Some of his prestidigitating illusions in particular 
were amazing to the rustic populntion, who spread the report that 
he was ** ter tuyfil " himself. Dan and his assistant travelled 



REMINISCENCES OF DAN BICE 



277 



with a horse and wagon loaned him by Mr. Heidelright, of Cooks- 
towTi, an admirer of Dan's and who subsequently became a county 
judge. In due course tliey arrived at tlie village of Womeldorf 
and put up at the tavern in the plaee kept by an old Pennsylvania 
(Jerman, who, like the majority of the inhabitants, was a firm 
believer in the power and efficacy of the four-leaf clover in pro- 
tecting its possessor frozn evil intluence and impositions. Dan 
ififiued his advertisement for an exhibition which was to be given 
in the dining-hall of the tavern, and, being apprised that the 
landlord had provided himself with a four-leaf clover, he resolved 
to humor his conceit. Accordingly upon the night of the exhibi- 
tion he borrowed a quarter of a dollar from ihe old gentleman 
-%A'hich he placed in a box and announced his intention to transfer 
it to another box, which the landlord held in his hand, and who all 
tlie time had one of the fingers of the other hand upon the four- 
leaf clover. Dan, in iiis conjuration, uttered a few words of gib- 
herish but the charm wouldn't work, and, to his apparent chagrin 
and mortificHtiwn, lie gave it U]j when the elated landlord, draw- 
ing forth the four-leaf clover, held it exultingly aloft, at the same 
time exclaiming, " Ah, ah, you s^how fellers can't fool me. By 
himmel, 1 got das four-leaf clover and so I beats ' ter tuyfiL' " 
The audience ajqyliiuded to the eclio, nor wus there one who was 
not satisfied of Lhe superior power of the quadrupie-leaf clover 
over the magic of ** ter tuylil,*' 

In tlie meantime Dun had instructed his attendant to harness 
their horse, load up the traps and wait a short diatanee upon the 
road where he was presently joined by Dan, who had uncere- 
moniously decamped without settling the bill, leaving behind 
him the following brief note, " How about that four-leaf 
clover; have you got it yet? You can't be fooled, eh; but you 
you can't beat ' ter tuyfil.' " 
It was seven years after this occurrence, in 1849, that Dan was 
in the zenith of his fame, with a splendidly equipped circus and 
travelling luxuriantly in a carriage formerly belonging to Louis 
Philippe, the deposed King of the French. The route lay 
through Pennsylvania and Dan instnicted hift agent to make a 
stand at Womeldorf, much to the letter's surprise, as the *'Show" 
was not wont to exhibit at so small a [dace. But Dtm, remem- 
bering the scurvy joke he had ])laycd upon the landlord, had a 
mind to see how he would regard the reappearance of "ter 
tuyfil." 

The old German was well aware that his old customer was the 
proprietor of the big show, and Jis the carleije filed past the 
tavern, he sat in an ensy chair U[)on the porch looking anxiously 
for the fellow who had served liim the trick. During the per- 
formance Dan told the story in the ring amid peals of merriment 



278 



REMINISCENCES OP DAN BICE 



at the exjwnse of the kndlord and his four-leaf clover. The old 
fellow, howf ver, sat stolid and unmoved, but the next morning 
Ujion settling tlie bill, ikn's old account was found anneied, 
which Dan laughingly paid. 

Anxious to Fill the Bill. 

While Dan Rice's Circus was in Memphis *' long 'fore de 
as the darkies say. Colonel Bankhead, editor of the '* Memp 
Whig," presente<l his hill for advertising at the ticket wagQ 
which was promptly paid and the genial editor wished the shoii 
run of good luck, A short time afterwards Dan Hice receive 
the following letter: 

Deak Dan: In the money paid me for advertising there was 
a counterfeit two-dollar bill which 1 return. Please send me 
another at your earliest convenience. Yours etc. 

In the course of a month Dan answered the letter with an 
closure. It read: ** Dear (.'olonel: I have travelled through 
State of Indiana before I could find vanothor' such a bill &a 
desired me to seud, I hope it will suit you. 

Youres 

Dan Ricb/ 

The editor recognized the spll and enjoyed the joke and pu 
lished the correspondence. 



A Gift That Was Declined. 



Dan Rice has, perhaps, been the recipient of as many favors 
as any public living man, but at Mcadville, in the vicinity of his 
then home, he received an offer which he was fain to decline. 
After a long and arduous season of travel his mental conditi 
was such that he was constrained to retire and seek quiet 
repose at home. He quickly recuperated and, visiting Meadvi 
he was congratuhile<l by the friends he met there upon _ 
recovery. Among them wa« an elongated specimen of a Penn- 
sylvania undertaker, named Jonathan T.ong, a most appropriate 
patronymic for one of his longitude. Striding up to Dan and 
extending his hand, "Dan," said he, "I have not forgotten that 
when I was a boy yon made me a present of a pony, and I feel 
grateful to yon to this day. Now, some time while travelling in 
some outlandish country, like Texas or Arkansas, yon may be 



line. 





NISCENCE8 OF DAN BICE 



taken sick and die and all I have to say, old fellow, is this, that 
i Want you to send me word and 1 will send on the finest burial 
^^a«ket in my eBtablishment for you to remember me by." 

One of Dan's peculiarities was to give ponies to boys, whether 
^e was acquainted with tliem or not, and no souvenir is more 
^^ceptable to the average youth. He will remember the donor 
to the end of tune. 



A Law-Abidlng Citizen. 

At the time that the Fifteenth Amendment was passed Dan 
dice's show was up the Red Hiver and advertised to exhibit at 
Cotile, some distance above Alexandria. The news of the pas- 
sage of the anienduieul spread far and wide and created much 
excitement especially among the newly liberated colored popula- 
tion, but few of whom, however, could explain what it actually 
meant. There was one who was particularly anxious. His 
name was Ben Colfax and he was looked up to by the colored 
community of that section as an oracle. Accordingly he hied 
kimself to an Israelite who kept a plantation supply store, to 
explain what the Fifteenth Amendment meant. The Jew, who 
was a jocular sort of fellow, told him it meant that every colored 
man in the country must provide himself with fifteen wives. 

At this explanation Ben snn])ped his fingers, gave a bound, 
and exclaimed, ^* l*m d — d if I ain't a law-abiding citizen." 

Two days after this conference with the Jew, Ben called at 
the ticket wagon where Dan himself was presiding and^ handing 
in a dollar, said, " Massa Rice, give me a ticket for my wife." 

He got the ticket, when he handed in another dollar, with the 
request of another ticket for his wife. The second ticket was 
given him. " And now," said he, '* give me another ticket for 
my wife." 
" Why, Ben," exclaimed Dan, " how many wives have you? " 
'* Massa Rice," replied the uxorious Ben, " I was a law-abiding 
citizen and I mean In lib up to that Fifteenth Amendment. I 
hah only knowTi about it two days and I got already five wives, 
but before the week's out Til hab the hull fifteen amendment, 
you bet." 

Capt. Thomas P. Leathers, a most unique and interesting char- 
acter, can be classed as one of the earlv friends of Mr. Rice in 
Xew Orleans; and during all the intervening years that connect 
the past and present, no circumstance ever occurred to mar that 
friendship or create a doubt as to the genuine hearty principles 
of Captain Leathers. He was a Kentuckian by birth, claiming 



280 



BEMINISCENCES OF DAN BICE 



Covington as his native place, and is now about four-score. He 
was also the oUk'st steiimboiit man in tlie pomntry. 

Being a man of great individuality and lirnme^tj of character, 
his name is a household word Uiroughout the Missis,si|tj)i Valley. 
His bearing was very commanding, for he stood over six feet and 
was as fine a s]»oeiinen of physical luiinhood as the eye of man 
ever looked upon. Mr. Rice said that his whole life has been 
devoted to good deeds, which fact commands respect, and he was 
honored and beloved by all who knew him. His successful ca- 
reer as a steamboat captain was the result of pure merit. Lead- 
ing a life of constant activity, he was, naturally, a great friend of 
Mr. Hice's *' One-Horse Show/' when it was situated on St. 
Charles Street* in New Orleans, during the winter of 1831 and 
1852, and he never failed to give it his jmtronage whenever he 
was in the city. At that time the clouds of adversity hung heavy 
over the establishment in St. Charles Street, for Mr. Rice was 
battling with enemies and fate, and striving to regain what he 
had lost by a misplaced conUdence in men who were j>reviously 
his partners and pretended friends. Captain Leathers, being 
aware of the villainous treatment to which Mr. Uice hud been 
subjected, and which was still trying to crush him, never ceased 
to condemn those men who, adding insult to injury, were en- 
deavoring to ruin Mr. Eice's efforts in exhibiting under a tent, 
while they, representing a strong circus company with plenty of 
means at command, were jdaying in the American Th<>n(re on 
P^ — Street. Public sentiment was strongly in favor of Mr. Rice, 
as he was a general favorite, and its sympathies were with him, 
therefore it woidd not tolerate the vituperation of his enemies 
against him. That fact, coupled with his peculiar satires on the 
wrongs he had previously endured, was suthcient cause to ruin 
their prospects of success, and in a few weeks they were com- 
pelled to leave and extend their efforts in the upper river coun- 
try. So incensed were the people of New Orleuns against the 
proprietors, Spaulding and Van Ordcn, of the circus in the Amer- 
ican Theatre, that, before they left the city, it was positively 
unsafe for them to appear on the streets after dark. Thus prov- 
ing that public sentiment shapes its own circumstances in ad- 
justing its interpretations of right and wrong. Mr. Rice's suc- 
cess was unprecedented throughout the season, and though his 
enemies eluded the warfare of his scathing satire by escaping 
from New Orleans, they renewed their attacks against him dur- 
ing the season of 18'i'2 with increased attractions, the principle 
feature of which was W. F. Wallett, " The Queen's Jester." 



REMlMSCENCEh OF UAN BICE 



281 



Rice in the Ring. 

AREXIC WIT.^hQROTESQUE HUMOR. 

lat " varietv is the spice of life/* aod the miscellany 

which we have compiled would not be complete without a selec- 

lion of the jokes, repartee, and quaint sayings of Dan Rice, when 

playing the fool in the sawdust arena. Tntike the stereotyped 

edition of modern clowns he never studied his jokes,, they were 

rendered off-hand and upon local and immediate events, many of 

which would actually occur within the paviHon or theatre during 

the performance. To " shoot folly as it tlies " was his peculiar 

forte, and he never repeated a joke. The ring master, whose 

province it was to reply, was frequently nonplused in a vain 

endeavor to conjecture what was aimed at or when or where the 

point of the joke would come in. His apt and ready extempore 

"wit, as much of a novelty then as now, took his audiences hy 

etorm, and he at once, meteor-like, shot upward to the very 

zenith of his iirnfession. He has had scores of imitators, and so 

had Shakespeare and Dickens, but they have fallen as far short 

of the original Dan Kiee as the modern playwrights are beneath 

the Bard of Avon, or as the strained humor of the imitators of 

" Boz " is flat and insipid in comparison with their illustrious 

model. Of course the following dialogues occurred at various 

times and in various places, and as before stated they were ex- 

temi)ore, without any prearrangement with the ring master. The 

scrap-books of Mr. Rice having been i>reservcd, we are able to 

draw from the vast repository countless selections, a few of which 

are given by way of illustration. 



k 



Dan Rice and tue Ring Master. 

COLLOQUY. — the POWER OF MILDNESS. 



The rider comes into the arena for his act and before mount- 
ing the horse, throws off his top garment and hands it to Mr. 
Rice, and when the rider pauses in the act. the clown has folded 
the cloak about his form. The ring master exclaims: 
Rinfi Master — " Why, fool, wrapping yourself in the cloak of 
B|le rider on a mild night like this surprises me." 
^ Chwn — ^* Shakespeare says, * When the clouds begin to gather, 
then wise men put on their cloaks/ Master, just before I en- 
tered the arena T looked without and found the clouds were thick 
and ominous. Though this is the first time I ever assumed the 
abandoned habit of my neighbor." 
B. JIf.— " And still thou art a fool " 




282 



BEM1N1SCENCE8 OF DAN RICE 



Clown — " And yet 1 am a wise fooU for Shakespeare says, * I 
have it in my nose' " (pointing to liis iinse). 

R. M. — '" You Imve, goodness knows." 

Claim — " You sjKike, Mast<*r, of the mildness of the weather; 
do you know there is a great power in mildness? " 

it 3L — " Ex])lain yoursflf. as you iire siu*h a wise fooL" 

Cloirn — ** Y'ou know the fable in whieli ^Esop related tlie con- 
test hetweeii the wind and tlie sun, demonstrating as to whirli of 
them should nuike the traveller jjart with his cloak. Also allord- 
ingaij illustration of the means most likely or eflVrtive in iiidue- 
ing men to throw iiside their prejudiees; or, as the Jews or any 
other religious seet would prefer in each ease to cling to the faith 
of their forefathers. As to the story of the traveller and his 
cloak, it is told thus in the old nursery rhyme: 

" * The wind quite a hurricane blew, 
But could not provoke 
Him to part with Ids cloak, 
Which around him the closer he drew.* 

"The mild, melting rays of the sun, liowever, made garment 
oppressive and inclined him to throw it aside. 

MOHAL. 

"*Tis thus that we find 
The great nmss of numkind; 

By mildness arc easdy won; 
Persecution compare 
To the boisterous air, 

Religion's the light of the sun." 



Descrtption of a Coquette, 
colloquy. 

Clown — " Master, you know Shakespeare says, ' All the world's 
a stage, and men and xvomen are but players, and in their lives 
]Any ninny parts! * " 

/?. ^f. — ** Very true, eir, very true." 

Chnrn — " 1 saw the other day a eharacter they call a coquette." 

/?. ^f. — "Ah, indeed! Can yon describe it?" 

Clown—'' Yes. sir; I'll attempt it." 

7?, M. — " Well, give us your version of a coquette, Mr. Merry- 
man.** 

Chtim — " It's a female. Mr. Master, who is fond of you for a 
moment; faithless for a year; fickle forever. A painted doll, a 



BEMINISCENCES OF DAN RICE 



283 



glittering trifle, a feather, a toy, a bauble. A transient pleasure 
or eternal pain. An embodiment of absurdities, and a collection 
of contradictions! " 

B. M. — *' Mr. Merrvnian, you are entirelv too hard on the 
ladies." 

CAown — " I said nothing about ladies. Master, I said a female. 
But for fear my remark might lie misinterpreted by many, in 
justice to myself, I wish it distinctly understood that I respect 
everything in the shape of a female, or, I may say, woman, 
whether she is of lowly or exalted hirth, rich or poor. In fact, 
my admiration and love for woman is so great, 1 never neglect 
to show my gallantry; even if you hung a bonnet or nightcap on 
a post, 1 would n^y homage to it." 

R. M. (applauds) — " Well done, well dtme, Mr. liice." 

Clown — '* In truth, as B^Ton says, ' 1 wish all women's mouths 

were melted into one that 1 might kiss them all at once, and 
) >j 

R. M.—''Am\ what?" 

Clown — " And then, let em run." 

(The rider goes out and the Ring Master prepares to follow, 
but the clown advances ahead of him. This challenges the Ring 
Master to reprimand him. He roughly seizes the clown and 
hurls him back saying): 

R. M, — '* Remember sir, I never follow a fool," 

Clown — " All right. Master, I'm not so jjarticular about it; I 
will." (Clown stops at the door, turns his face to the audience 
and soliloquizes.) 

Clown — " He ruthlessly hurled me from him! Why did he use 
me thus? I love him ever. As Shakespeare says, 

" Let Hercules himself do what he may. 
The cat will mew, and dog will have his day.' 

And that is the beauty of this great country, where the god of 
equality rides on every gale. To-day I shine my master's shoes, 
to-morrow my beaver's uj*, be may have to shine mine! We all 
cannot be masters; and all masters cannot lie truly followed, but 
sooner than be expects my master may hnd he's left the wisest 
man behind, for I've noticed that, 

" * When one sweeps a room. 

The dirt always goes before the broom.' '* 



COLLOQITT. 

Mr. Rtee — "I have read the Bible, sir, with a great deal of 
interest and marvelled at its metaphors." 



284 



REMINISCENCES OF DA\ RICE 



E. M. — " What circumstance has led you to that conclu.^ion, 
Mr. Rice?" 

Mr. like — '* Weil, 1 liave read that the good Lord gave to Xoali 
the vine and told him to plaut it, and reap its fruit. I also read 
in the Bible that ' wine gives joy to the human heart.' Kurther- 
niorc our Saviour turned water into wine and dnink it, and even 
used it in holy communion. 1 find, however, that the water 
simpleton, the rich man in torment whi) lifted up his eyes to 
Lazarus, pleaded for a drop of water. Ah! Master, many opinions 
conflict on the wine queation.*' 

/?. .¥.— " That i^ very true, sir." 

Mn Mice — " Byron says, 

" * Wine invigorates the soul of man, 
Makes glow the cheek of beauty; 
Makes heroes fight and poets write, 
And friendship do ita duty/ " 

i?. 3f.— "Beautiful! That i^ a heautiful thought, sir." 

Mr. Rice — *' Then you appreciate it, Mr. Master? " 

E. M.—'' I do, sir." 

Mr. Rice (insinuatingly) — '* I know why." 

/?. M. — " Well, sir, explain why." 

Mr. Bice — " Because you are in favor of wine." 

R. M. — " Well, Mr. Kice, 1 confess 1 do enjoy a glass of fine 
wine at dinner," 

Mr. Rice — " Then, sir, you love woman " 

R. 3/.—" Does that necessarily follow?" 

Mr. Eire — '" Most assuredly! I have an authority for it." 

R. 3/.— 'Indeed?" 

Mr. Rice — '* Yes, It is said that a man who loves a horse, 
loves woman, and he who does not love a horse, women, or wine, 
lives a fool his whole lifetime." 



COLLOQUY. 

A young lady comes into the arena to perform her act, and the 
Ring Master, addressing the Clown, says: 

R. J»f.— " Mr. Rice, assist the lady." 

Chtvn — '* Oh, yes, a sweet maid of tender years." (The clown 
in assisting makes a painful ellTort and assumes an attitude as of 
Buffering.) 

R. M. (assuming alarm) — "Why, Mr. Rice, what is the 
matter? Have you hurt yourself lifting the lady on her horse? " 

Clown — " I took a crick in my side, sir. You see, Master, Fm 
getting old; it is hard to raise a girl now." 

R. M.-~" Yes, I see you are getting very old," 



ttEMLNlSCENCES OF DAN filCU 



28S 



Clau-n — '' Yes, Mr. blaster, but I am strong and lusty, for in 
my youth I did not apply the hot, rebellious liquors to ray blood." 

li, M. — '* No, but you have made up for it in your advanced 
years." 

Clown — " You het! I have had a heap of fun with John Bar- 
leycorn, and liave paid the penalty of my folly." 

H. M. — "" I am aware of the fact, iiir. Mr. Kice, it is an old 
truism that, * An honest confession is good for the soul.* " 

Clown — " I am glad you approve of my confession in go priestly 
a style. Now, being absolved from the error of my ways and 
turned over a new leaf " (hesitates). 

R. M. — " Well, then, Mr. Rice, take good care it doesn't blow 
back again." 

Clown — " But, ^Master, I am perfectly cognizant of the fact 
that, * To err is human; to forgive divine/ and you will over- 
look and forgive iny youthful indiscretions? " 

/?. 71/.—"' 1 do so, fully, sir/' 

i?. 3/. — " Very good, Mr. Rice. Now see what the young lady 
stopped for." 

Clown — '' I know what she stopped for." 

i?. M. (looking earnestly at the clown). — " Well, sir, what did 
she stop for?" 

Clown (innocently) — ** Why, you did not know, Master, that 
I'm a psychologist? " 

R, M.—*' No, sir." 

Clown — " Yes, sir, I am, and I know what the lady stopped for 
without going to ask her." 

R. M. (cracking the whip)—'' Then tell me immediately, sir." 

Clown — *' Hold your whip. I will tell you. She stopped to 
start again, sir." 

H. M. (annoyed) — " Why you ridiculous fool." 

Clown (strikes an attitude) — " No, not ridiculous, Master; Fm 
a happy fool. I'm r«rff aois in terra, a happy man! " 

(The rider at this point starts to finish her act of horsemanshij) 
and in taking her graceful pose, a sudden increase of speed caused 
her to fall from her horse, fortunately landing on her feet. While 
assistants were readjusting the difficulty, there was, necessarily, 
a delay, and the cIowti's duty on such occasions is to draw the 
attention of the audience from tlie incident, and at the same time 
to so govern his remarks as to appropriately fill the gap caused 
by the sudden detention with well-timed wit and humor. Turn- 
ing to the rider, he remarks): 

Clown — " Don't be discouraged, young lady, you know Shakes- 
peare says, 

" * Wtmian mu.'^t fall once in her life, 
Be she maid, widow, or wife.* 



2SC 



REMTNISCEXCES OF DAX RICE 



Then turns to the Ring Master and exclaims, ' So fell our mother 
Eve, and Adam heard it.' " 

Looking at the horst; buing made ready, he inquires: 

Clown — *' What made the young lady fall from her horse, Mr. 
Master? " 

R. M. — *'' The horse gave a sudden start; the trappings became 
disarranged and a strap broke, striking' him on the forearms." 

Clown — *' And that caused him to run irreguhir? " 

E. M.—'' Certainly, sir.'' 

Clown — *' Even JShakesjieare knew that, for he says, *The 
slightest alteration in the pace of the anima! mars the beauly 
of the most gifted equestrian.' But it never interfers with my 
riding, Mr. Master." 

B. il/.— " How is that, sir? " 

Clown — " Why, Fm like the immortal Abraham Lincohi, in 
early times in the practice of his k^gal profession he always trav- 
elled on ' Slianks's Mare/ and tlnit is tlic same vehicle 1 ride in, 
Mr. Master. But the lady landed on her feet. She must be a 
Jersey girl, Master, and gifted with a broad tire for travelling in 
the sand." 

E. M,—'' Why so, sir? " 

Clown — " Because in Jersey they have to travel in the sand, 
especially when they go shell-fishing.'* 



COLLOgUY. 

As a lady rider appears in the arena, the clown remarks: 
Clown- — *' The lady is so unique and so artistic in her terpsi- 
chorean displays, that it stam[)S her a star." 
B. M. — '* You are very eomplimentar}' to the lady, Mr. Kiee." 
Clown (aside) — " As Shakespeare says, * A liltle flattery some- 
times does well.' " 

R. J»/.— '* Ah! But you cause the lady to blush." 
Clown — " Why didn't you blush, Mr. Master, last evening in 
reference to yourself? " 
R. i¥.— "Why so, sir?" 

Clown — "When I quoted Shakespeare, and applied it, as I 
thought, most appropriately." 

U. M. — " Why, I don't remember, sir. What was it? " 
Clown—** I said you were a marvellously gay fellow, with a 
good leg and foot, and a whip for an emblem." 

R. 3/. — " And I'll show yon, sir, that T know how to handle 
it." (And cracks the whip, apparently striking: the clown on his 
lower limbs, which causes him to assume an attitude of pain, and 
exclaim): 



BMmiSGEKCeS OF DAN RICE 



CZott'rt— *- llaster, you have made a mistake. I never allow 
3y one to feed crackers to my calves! " 
/?. iV.— *''You discover, sir, that I am not susceptible to 
flatter3\" 

Clown — " Then, sir, you stand isolated and alone in the world." 

B. 3/.—" How so, sir? " 

Chwn-^'' For Dean Swift says that, 

" * Jt is an old maxim taught in schools, 
That flattery is the food of fools; 
And now and then the wisest wit. 
Will condescend to take a bit/ " 

72. M,—" Why, sir, Fm not a fool." 

Clmvn — " Well, according to ISliakespeare and Bums, we are 
all fools to a gresii or less extent. vShakespoare says, ' A man who 
commits a foolish action is a fool for doing so/ Now, show me, 
blaster, one who never committed a foolish action and I will 
show you a white cJiieken that lays a black egg.'" 

i?- M. — •* Well, what does Bobbie Burns say about it? " 

Clown — " He says, 

" * My son, these maxims mak' a rule, 
An' bind them weel togither, 
Th' rigid righteous is a fool, 
Th* rigid wise anither.' " 

7?. M. — " Well, sir, that will do now. Go and see what the 
lady rer|uire8.'' 

Chini (aside) — " Go yourself." 

(Ring Master cracks his whip as if in anger, exclaiming very 
emphatically); '' What is that you say. sir?" 

Cloirn — '* I won't do anything else! Wliy, Master, don't get 
angry at the clown's folly. On reflection, I find that 1 am mis- 
taken." 
7?. ^f. — " Explain yourself, sir." 

Clown^-''' Why. in my opinion, you'll never go mad, for the 
imniortal Bard of Avon, my favorite author, says, " Fools never 
run mad.' Now Til sc'ck more agreeable company, and see what 
the star requires. Master, if this lady was not worthy of being 
classed in the category of erjucstrifln constellations, still she is a 
Btar, in my humble judgment. For * Woman is the morning- 
Rtar of infancy, the dny-star of manhood, the evening-star of age. 
l^less ynur stars! May we ever bask in the sunny smdes of their 
starry influence until they blow us sky high and make us see 
sstnrs out of our own r>yps! * " The clown moves towarrlf* the 
^faster nnd appnrently put--^ his finger in his eye. At the same 
time asking, " Master, did they ever make you see stars? ** 



288 



When 



E. M.—" No, sir " (imgrily). 

Clown — *' YouH'e not been married long enough yet. 
you have, shell show you/' 

li. M. — '* But you have already shown me, sir, by putting your 
finger in my eye." (Covering his eye as il it hurt hiiu.) " Sup- 
pose, sir, you hatl put my eye out? " 

Cloirri — " 1 always euit the action to the word; the word to the 
action." (Ring Master, with his hand still on his eye, angrily 
chafes the clown with the whip.) 

Clown (falling on his knee, imploringly raises his hands, ex- 
claiming) — '* Master, I beg your pardon; 1 did not mean to hurt 
you.'' 

R. M. — " Well, sir, rise. I forgive you/' 

Chufn — " You do forgive me? Then give me your hand [both 

extend hands]. That's Christian-like, Mr. Master, for as we ex : 

pect forgiveness, so should we be ready to forgive. [Shakes hand 

cordially]. Now, Master, m you have been so liberal as to for - 

give me, I have one request to make,'^ 

n. J/.— "What i&it, sir?" 

Clown (rising) — " Give me " 

E. 3f.— "Well, what is it?" 

Clown — " A chew of tobacco." 

/?. M. — " I never chew, sir. I never use the weed.** 

Cloirn — "Then you cannot give me what you do not have. Ynu::- 
are in a similar \\x to that of Bobbie Burns when a friend wrote 
to him for the loan of a sum of money. Burns replied: 

" * A man may have an earnest heart. 
Though ]>overty often stares him; 
A friend can take another's part, 
But have no cash to spare him/ " 

i?. M. — " Now, Mr, Rice, all this is very pleasant and agree— — ' 
able, hut suppose you had put my eye out when you pointed youi — ^ 
finger in my face? " 

Clown — " Then you would have been in the same fix that Lonl 
Nelson was in when he called to the lookout, ' Do you see Tra- 
falgar? ' The man replied, * Yes, I think I do/ The answer not>i 
being satisfactory to Nelson, he said, ' Til go aloft and go on»j 
eye on it,' having lost an eye in a previous engagement/" 

R. M. — " Do you think the great admiral saw positively what 
the lookout was not positive of? " 

Chirn — ** Most assuredly." 

/?. ^f, — " Explain how Nelson could see accurately with one? 
eye what the lookout could not with two." 

Clown — "T will illustrate to you. S\ippose you had lost art! 
eye, you could see me with two eyes while I could see you with 






BEMLNI8CENCES OF DAS RICE 



but one. Do you see the p'int Master? Now, again, suppose I 
had put both your eyes out? " 

B. M. — " iSuppose you had done so, Mr. Rice, it would have 
been a most lamentable misfortune.'* 

CUiwn — ** 1 think not, from a moral standpoint, especially in 
your caae." 

R, Jf.— «How8o?" 

Clown — " I have read in tlie Good Book, * What the eye does 
not see, the heart does not grieve after.* " 

COLLOQUY. 

Mr. Rice — " Do vou know, Mr. Master, there are six signs of 
a fool?" 

R. Jf.— " Well, what are they? " 

Mr. Rice — '* A fool may be known (1) In anger without cause; 
(2) In speech without profit; (3) In change without motive; (4) 
In inquiries without object; (5) In putting faith in a stranger; (6) 
In not knowing one's friends from one's foes.'* 

R. 3/.—" I take is^e with you, ^Ir. Rice, on the sixth point." 

3/r. Rice — " Explain, Master.'* 

R. 3/-—" He mu^t be a brainless fool not to know his friend 
from his foe; for all animals from the highest to the lowest grade 
know a friend from a foe." 

Mr. Rice — " Xo» no; Master, I differ vrith you. I don't think 
there is such a thing as a brainless fool, for no person can live 
without brains.** 

R. 3/. — " Well, I agree with you, Mr. Rice; no one can live 
without brains a great while.'* 

Mr. Rice — " 1 beg to differ with you again, Mr. Master. I 
know they can live without brains." 

R. 3/.—*' Well, you are so very sharp, tell me how long a man 
can live without brains." 

Mr. Rire — " Well, 1 can't exactly tell how long they can live 
without brains, but if any one will tell me how old you are, 1*11 
tell him how long a man has lived without them," 

R. M. — " Oh, sir, you are a fool indeed," 

3/r. Rice — ** Shakespeare sayg, * Call me not a fool till heaven 
has sent me a fortune.' Master, heaven has not been very kind 
to me. It sent me a fortune at one time, and then sent a man to 
fool me out of it.'* 

R. M.—'' I've heard so.** 

Mr. Rire — " I was young then; but, let them fool me nowl " 



COLLOQUY. 

Mr. Rire — " Let us suppose a case, 
knock you down what would you do? " 
19 



If I should liit you and 



290 



REMINISCENCES OF DAN BICB 



R, Jf— " Dtsdiarge yoii/* 

Mr. Rice — " 1 don't umierstand you." 

R. M. — *' I mean 1 would ship you off." 

Mr. Rice — " Thon I congratulate you, Master." 

i?. if._" Why so, sir? " 

Mr. Rice — " You woidd then he a shipping merchant, you 
could not locate nor go into Ijusiness in a better city nor among 
more agreeahle peojde." 

R. M, — " No, no; you don't understand me, I mean that I 
would trade you off." 

Mr. Rire — ** Then vou would be dealing in produce.** 

R. ilf.— '"Howso. eir?" 

Mr. Ricf — ** Because yon would he trading in Hice, well, who- 
ever yon might f<ell nie to, they would llnd me n tough customer 
to chew on. I might be palatable but the devil himself couldn't 
digest me. However, whether I might be found palatable or not,^ 

" In my own guise I appear 
Shining dimly or bright, 
If it's shining at all 

*Tis with borrowed light. 

And in speaking of the devil reminds me of hell. Do you know»i* ' ^ 

where hell is. Master? " ' 

R. M. — '* No, gir, I do not; do you? " i 

Mr. Rice — " Yes, it is here [placing his hand upon his heart ]]BTf| 

each one in his life creates his own hell, and the devil is at o 

elbow.*' 

Mr. Rice — " Some very religious people pronounce cards to 

the devil's hook. You plav, I 
R. M.— * Yes, sir, a little/' 
Mr. i?t>e— " A little [aside], 

cellar door yesterday." 

/?. M, — *' What are you muttering about, sir? " 

Mr. Rice — " I eaid I never heard yon say so before. Well ^ 

if you do play, you ought to be fond of High, Low, Jack, ancJ- 

the Game.'* 

/?. M.—" Why so, sir? ** 

Mr. Rire^'' Because you would be likely to win.'* 

R. 3/.—" Always likely to win. Pray tell me how? " 

Mr. Rice- — ** Because you would be always low.** 

/?. M. — ** You are impertinent, Mr. Merryuian [cutting biT«'» 

with the whip]; take that How do you like that trick? *' »{M 

nice rushes and knocks him down.) 

R. M. (rising) — *' Zounds, sir. what do you mean by that? *' 
Mr. Rice — "Oh, I just thought T would throw up my ban*.^ 

and give you one to finish the game.'* 



suppose/ 

I saw him playing euchre on 



4 




HBMINISCENCES OP DAN RICE 



291 



The Ring Master comniands him to hand a hoop to the rider 
and ilr. Hice runs after him. 

R. M. — " AJi, sir, you came near not overtaking him; you did 
not run fast enough." 

Mr. Rice — '* Oh, yes, I ran fast enough, hut I didn't st^t soon 
enough." 

R. AL — *' Nonsense, sir — hush." 

Mr. nice—"' Do you know, sir, that I once owned a horse? '* 

R. M. — ■'* Bid you? Well, was lie a good one? " 

Mr. Riee^-"^ Yes, sir; lie was a fii'et-rate one if it hadn't been 
for a couple of shght failings." 

R. 3/.—*' Pray, sir, what were they? " 

Mr, Rice — '* Well, sir, one was he was devUish hard to catch." 

R. .1/.—" And the other, sir? " 

Mr. Rice — " Why he was good for nothing when he was 
caught." 

R. M. (cracking his whip) — " You never open your mouth un- 
less upon something soft." 

Mr. Rice — " True, 1 opened upon you last." 

While exhibiting in Chicago during the war, Mr. Rice re- 
marked one evening, that some of the people there were so loyal 
that they wouldn't ride in the South side cars, and wliile per- 
forming in Philadelphia a misunderstanding occurred between 
Mr. Rice and Dr. Shelton McKenzic, the dramatic and literary 
editor of the "Press" and a gentleman of more than ordinary 
ability. At one time in early life the doctor paid hk addresses 
to a young lady, but when visiting her one evening he was such 
a sticking plaster that he outraged propriety by remaining until 
very unseasonable hours. One night in particular he was more 
than usually tedious, and the lady becoming weary, in order to 
give him a hint, arose and went to the door. He followed her, 
when she dropped her handkerchief outside. He istoopcd and 
picked it up, upon which she said *' good night " and shut the 
door. The doctor, who didn't see the point, wrote her the next 
day an aj)ology for his abrupt dejtarture. The anecdote was cur- 
rent and Dan Rice got of! the following, " Wliy is Dr. Shelton 
McKenzie like the artesian well at Columbus* 0.? Because both 
are great bores." The occasion for the satirical pun was in- 
spired by a somewhat caustic criticism of Colonel Rice in the 
"Press." While playing at Hudson, N. Y., in the year 1844, 
during the anti-rent war, Mr. Rice, then a comparative novice, 
perpetrated his lirst conundrum. The leader of the insurrection, 
known as " Big Thunder," was captured by Judge Edmunds, of 
New York, and sentenced to he confined in jail, or, in New 
York slang of the day, " the Jug." " Why," asked Dan of the 



292 



REMINISCENCES OF DAN RICE 



Ring Master, " is Judge Edmimds a greater man than Dr. Frank- 
lyn?" and the answer was*'* Because Franklyu merely bottled 
lightning, but Judge Edmunds Jugged Thunder." 

During the bloomer dress era when short skirts and long pauta- 
lets were the prevailing style with the followers of the aggi'essive, 
strong-minded females, Dan Rice got olT tlie following while ex- 
hibiting in Rochester, N. Y., then the headquarters of the 
Bloomers. 

Rice — " Master, have you noticed how the fashion of short 
skirts and long pantalets is becoming general with the ladies? " 

R. M. — " I have, bit. Do you object to the style? " 

Rite — " Oh, no, bit; I go in for the largest kind of liberty in 
dress as in everything else; I've reduced my idea into rhyme." 

R. if.—" Well, sir, let us hear it." 

Rice— 

*' Let the dtimes of America do as they please; 
Should they all cut their petticoats round by the knees, 

"ris only a bold protestation 
Against a bad habit called sjnitans in Latin, 
That spoils every place where their hiishands have sat in, 
Defiles all their carpets and dirties their matting! 

And sticks to the skirts of the nation! 
Don^t fancy, dear sir, that ladies are flirts 
Because they have out their old dangles the skirts, 
They have done it to *ihame you they readily own. 
And will lengthen their habits when you mend your own." 

Rice — " Master, did you ever enjoy a full-breasted kiss? ** 

R. AT.—" What kind of a kiss is that? " 

Kice — " I'll give you an illustration. A lady friend of my 
wife says that the first time she was kissed she felt like a big tub 
of roses swimming in honey, cologne, nutmegs, and cranberries. 
She also felt as if something was running throngh her nerves on 
the foot of diamonds escorted by angels, shaded by honeysuckles, 
and the whole spread with the melted rainbows. Jerusalem! 
what power there is in a full-breasted kiss." 

R, M. — " Well, sir, I never enjoyed that sort of a kiss." 

Rice — "I thought not; now. Master, do you know that I can 
prove that an Irishman's mud cabin is better than heaven? '* 

R. M, — ** No, sir, you cannot prove it." 

Rice — ** Now listen, ain't a mud cabin better than nothing? " 

R. M> — " Certainly it is better than nothing," 

Rice — " And nothing is better than heaven, ergo, the Irish- 
man's mud cabin is better than heaven. Master, I can prove that 
a cat has three tails." 

R, jjf,— "Granted/* 



KEMINISCEXCES OF DAN ItlCE 



293 



Bice — " Then a cat has one tail luore thau no cat. Do you 
see the point? " 

E. M. — ** Yes, but 1 don't Bce the throe tails." 

nice — **" By the way, ilaslur, I saw you elbowing your way 
through a crowd yesterday/' 

R. M. — " Yes, sir, 1 was in a hurry." 

Rive—** Did yon poke your elbow into any person's stomach? " 

A'. J/.—'' Xo, sir, 1 did not injure any person's stoniaeh." 

Rice — ** Xo, the only stomach likely to be injured by the crook 
of your elbow is your own." 

R, M. — " Do yon mean, sir, that I am addicted to drinking? " 

Rice — " Oh, no, but 1 have heard that you were troubled by 
snakes, and you know luird drinking cures the bite. Say, Master, 
have you made your will? " 

E. 3f.— " XX pir. Have you? " 

Rice — '* Oh, ye?, and it is short and sweet. It reads * I have 
nothing, I owe nothing, and I give the rest to the poor.' Now 
why do they call a powerful mind a high wind? " 

E. M. — " T can't say, sir." 

Rice — " Well, sir, the wind is the merriest and maddest and 
eaddeyt and gladdest of pipers in the world. He nmkes alt things 
his instrument, lie wliislles on the reed and sighs on the flag. 
Sometimes lie nmkes a chimney his mouthpiece; then the tunes 
he plays on a single smoke-pi|»e are the wildest and he puffs and 
blows and smokes like a burgomaster. And speaking of the wind, 
master, do you know that it has been all day blowing a terrible 
gale?" 

R. J/. — '* Yes, I found it very disagreeable walking the 
streets." 

Rice — *' Xo doubt. I noticed an impromptu race in the street." 

E. M.—'' What sort of a race? " 

Eice — " A race for a hat. May I ask you a single question? " 

i?. J/._" Why, yes sir, ask it." 

Eice — *' Han you tell me what a mathematical wind is? " 

E. jTf.— " I give it np." 

Rice — ^* A wind that extracts roots from the earth." 

7?. 3f. — " Why, sir, that is mere nonsense." 

Eire — '* Well, sir, that is my business here and it is my province 
to indulge in every species of nonsense, so that laughter may hold 
his sway, and for which I've labored night and day. Hide, blue 
devils, fly and drive dull grief from every face and eye. By the 
way, Master. I hear that you are dabbling in coal oil." 

R. ^f. — " I think of embarking in that trade. What is your 
opinion of coal oil?" 

Ricf! — " Coal oil, sir. is t!ie perspiration of bit-u-min-ous coal» 
and being an offspring of bit-u-men it signifies or implies that 



'2'J4: 



HEMINISCEXCES OF DAN HICE 



you meu will get bit. Muster, wl' were speaking of nousjcuse just 
now, would you like to know the most nonsensical thing I ever 
came in eonUict with?" 

R, 3/,—" Well, sir, what was it? " 

Rice-^" It was ni Saratoga Springs in the State of New York. 
A young man got married in the early part of the evening and 
then sat up the balance of the night eourting his wife.*' 

R, M. — *' He must have been a verdant young gentleiuau." 

Rice — *' Yes, a bigger fool than Thompson's eolt. 1 say, Mas- 
ter, do you know the greatest ease on record of absence of mind? '' 

R, if._"No, eir." 

Rice — *' A married lady put a house cloth in the cradle and 
wiped up the floor with her baby.'* 

li. M. — " Now, sir, how do you know so much about it? " 

Rict — " I was tliere." 

R, M. — "* Then tell me how did she discover her nustake? " 

Rice—''^ Why, Master, she discovered her mistake when she 
wrung out the baby." 

A'. J/, (cracking ids whip) — " Such nonsense is ridiculous." 

Rice — '' Then you don't appreciate it. Don't you know that 
" A little nonsense now and then 
Is relished by the wisest men— 
(aside) but he don't see it, he's a fool." 

R. M. — *' What was that you said, sir? Did you call me a 
fool?" 

Rice — *^ No, sir, I said keep cool." 

At the National Theatre, Philadelphia. 

Ric$ — " Master, you read and studied a deal in your time." 

R. M. — '' Yes, sir, I have." 

Rice — " You have read ancient and modern history, I pre- 
sume? " 

R. M.—" I have, sir." 

Rice — '' You have read the twelve Apostles?" 

R, if._<* Yes, sir." 

Rice—'' The twelve Cffisare? " 

R. 3f .— " Yes, sir," 

Rice—'' The nine muses? " 

R, if.—" Yes, sir." 

Rice — "The seven champions of Christendom?" 

R, Jif ._« Yes, sir." 

Rice — "And the fifty-six signers of the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence who pennerl the death w^arrnnt of tyranny?" 

/?. M.—*' Yes, sir." 

Rice — ** You have read 'era all, have you? " 



ftUtXKISOBNCES OF DA.\ BICE 



805 



R. M.—'' 1 have, sir." 

JRice — " Did you ever read of the sL\ great Daniels or Dans? '* 

R. M. — *' No, sir, 1 have not; have you? " 

Eite^-*' Yes sir, 1 have." 

B. J/.—*' Well, who are they? " 

Rice — " There was Dan the prophet, whose fame no one dared 
scoff at; there was Dan Liiiiibert the stout, history says died with 
the gout; there was ohl Dan Tuel^er, wlio was too late for liis 
supper; there was Daniel O'Connell the agitator, who, by tlie by, 
was no small potato; there was Dan Webster, the expounder, 
whose word weighed a poimd, sir; and here's Dan Rice, the fool, 
who sends jackasses to school." 

This last was in allusion to his having accomplished a hitherto 
deemed iniijossible task in the education of a stubborn mule; he 
heing the first and only man that had ever succeeded in develop- 
ing the intellect of such an animal, whose performanee invariably 
provoked more laughter than any other comic scent* in the circle, 
at the same time was demonstrated the wonderful capacity of 
Mr. Rice in stimulating the intellect of so dull, obstinate, and 
unmanageable a brute. It is a fact that dnring his professional 
car<ter he trained four pairs of those animals which he disposed 
of to other shows for $5,000 a pair. 

Ring Master is ahout walking off. 

Rice — " Where are you going, Master? " 

E, M. — '' I am warm, and Pni going to get a little air.'^ 

Rice — "■* Going to get a little heir, eh? Well, sir, name him 
after me." 

R, M. — *' Yon seem to be very happy this evening." 

Rice — " Yes, sir, as the Irishman says, * I*m as happy as a flea 
in a blanket/" 

R. M. — " Well, I can readUy account for your happiness." 

i?iVp— ^^Howso?" 

R. M. — " Yon ve got a charming, beautiful wife," 

Rice — '^ Look here, we've always been friendly, haven't we? " 

R. M. — '' Of course we have, Mr. Rice." 

Rice — '* And vou wish to continue so? " 

R. 3/.—" Most assuredly I do." 

Rice — '' Then avoid such compliments in the future." 

R. M.^'' \Vliy what remark did I make to offend? " 

Rice — " You are a frequent visitor to my house, ain't you? " 

R. 3f.— " Why, yes." 

Rice — " And I have always treated you in a hospitable man- 
ner? " 

/?. 3f .— " You certainly have." 

Tiice — " Then don't you ever again remark that Tve got a 
charming young wife." 



2116 



REMINISCENCES OP DAN KICK 



a, M, — '* Why, Hiee? There's nothmg in it." 
Mice — " No, but there might be." 

In her principal act the equestrienne fell from her horse. Mr. 
Rice asked the King Msister what made the lady falL The Kingj 
Master replied that she lost her equilibrium, whereupon Mr. Ric 
goes peerin«T around the ring. 

li. M. — " What are you looking for, sir? " 

Rice (innocently) — " I'm looking for the lady's equilibrium/' 

R. M. — '* Oh, you stu]ud fellow; I meant that she had lost her 
balance." 

Rice — " Don't you know. Master, that woman is less pliable, 
than man ? " 

R. M.—'' Prove it, sir." 

Rim — " 1 will, in rhyme." 

*' Said a gent once contending how high in the scale 
Stood man above woman so feeble and frad. 
When the trial of virtue and vice first began, 
Satan durst not pre.sent bis temptation to nmn. 
* Nay,' answered tlie fair one, ' say not that he " dared,''' 

The old Berjtent kTiew well that some pains might be spared. 

" For/' thought be, '* if I first get the man in my chain, 
The most dillicult part of my task will remain. 
But could I succeed tlie fair Eve to allure, 

Adam follows of course, and then both are secure." ' 
So cease your proud Ijoast of man's firmness and own 
If superior either, the woman's the one, 
Since a woman could overcome Adam, poor elf. 
But to overcome woman, took Satan himself/' 

Tlie following colloquy took place in Brooklyn, N. Y., during 
the celebrated trial of Henry W'ard Beecher. 

R, M. — '* Why, IMr. Rice, you look sad this evening; I mean_ 
that you appear in a reflective mood." 

Rice — " Well, sir, can't a fool have bis moments of reflection! 
WTiy, Master, there arc times when I am a melancholy fool/' 

R. M. — '* Well, cheer up, cliecr up, and tell me what you ar 
thinking about." 

Rice — *' I was thinking of what Shakespeare says in one of hi^ 
plays, 

" * Man is but a walking shadow, 

A poor player, that stmts and frets his hour upon the stage, 

And is heard no more, 

A tale told by an idiot 

Full of sound and fury signifying nothing.' " 





fiiSVINlSCENCES OF DAX BICE 



297 



E. Jf .— " True, most true." 

iiftce— *' HuwevLT, Master, it is but nature; sooner or later we 
have all got to return to mother earth. Did you ever reflect, 
ilasler, that we came from the dust, and all through life we kick 
up a dust trying to throw dust into each other's eyes, until old 
Father Time^ tlie Universal Duster, calls all, both great and 
small, to his universal du!?t-hole the earth. What a sweeping 
time there will be when that takes place; when ail mankind and 
all wonienkind are trans-ujagnilied and metamorphosed back to 
their original powder, the duet. And it will take a very large 
broom, too, 1 am thinking, as large as eighty acres of forest trees 
tied all tugether. Then dukes, dandies, potentates, politicians, 
in fact, old, young, good, bad, indifferent, regardless of color or 
previous condition will be swept off like flies ot! the bung-hole 
of a molasscK cask. Oh, let us hope while going back to our 
original element that the grains of human virtue may he sepa- 
rated and rise up as clouds of grateful incense to its Creator. 
(The Ring Master smiled.) 1 see that you smile. Master. You 
have cause to snnle, for 1 rarely imitate men at all, and when I 
do strive to imitate his virtues and not his follies, and a man 
might possibly be worse employed than in imitating so distin- 
guished a divine as Henry Ward Beeeher (puts his finger to his 
nose and winks). And, Master, there was a certain occasion 
when I would very much have liked to imitate him." There 
was silence for a minute until the audience saw the point, and 
then a universal roar. 

Kice shied his hat at the Ring Master, who kicked it. 

Rice — *' I dare you to do that again." (Ring Master kicks 
it.) 

Rice — " You dare not kick it again." (Again he kicks it.) 

Rice — " Now, I'm getting mad; let us see you do it again." 
(King Master kicks it around the ring.) 

Rice — *' Well, keep at it; I dare you to kick it all night." 
(Ring Master turns away.) Sir. Rice thus apostrophises the hat: 
*' Ill-used castor, the hour of retribution is at hand and you shall 
be avenged. No longer shall your venerable years he insulted. 
I will avenge your wrongs." 

(Sings) " We have lived and loved together 

In sunshine and in shade, 
You've shielded me in wet weather. 
And warmed my aching head. 
But though you're old and naplesa, . 
And spurned by fashion's crew. 
Old friend, however hapless, 
I'll still to you prove true." 



298 



REMINISCENCES OP DAN RICE 



Dan Rice to his Ring Master on Louis Philippe abdicating the 
throne of France: 

Louis Philippe, King of France, was xtravagantly xtoUed, 
xeeedingly xecrated. Ho xhibitcd xtraordinary xcellence in 
xigency; he was xemplary in xternals, xtrinsic on xaniination. 
He was xtatie under xbortation, xtrcuie in xcitement and xtraor- 
dinary m xtemimre xpressions. He was xpatriated for xceeses, 
and to xpiate his xtravagance, xists in xile. 

DeaU? No, still lives! For what sunshine and shade are to 
the grateful earth the strains of Shakespeare are to the human 
heart. 

Clown (to his master) — " I went shopping to-day, for my wife.'' 

Master — *' What did you gut?" 

Cloirn — " I bought a new hat. Oh, it was a tiresome job." 

Master — " Why so? " 

Clown — '^ After I bought it I ran all the wav back to the hotel 
with it." 

Master — '' Why so? " 

Clown — '' For fear the fashion would change before I reached 
there." 

" You are rude," said the Ring Master, " and I feel that all my 
instruction is lost npon you." 
Clown — " What have I done?" 
Muster — " You a]>pear hotter fed than taught." 
Clown — " Yes, I feed myself, and you teach met " 



RiOE THE Rationalist, Philosopder and Moralist. 

A more interesting and instructive insight to the philosophic 
side of Rice as a student of human nature, a dissector of the mo- 
tives of his fellow-men, the causes and olfects of human conduct, 
the pleasures, pains, and penalties bom of the hopes , ambitions, 
follies and frailties, vices and virtues, loves and friendships of 
his kind, could scarcely be furnished with more strange and 
startling force than may l>e found in the following fragmentary 
excerpts, pregnant as they are with thoughts that touch the deep- 
est depths of worldly wit, wisdom, and scathing satire, softened 
by a veil of sincerest sympathy, and enveloped throughout by a 
cloak of ennobling and inspiring forbearance, pity, and Christian 
charity. IJis love of mother nature, mortal life, of human lib- 
erty, are illustrated with an eloquent economy and forceful pithi- 
ness of expression tliat cannot hut impress the reader with an 
added sense of his greatness of heart and nobility of nature. 



BEMINISCENCES OF BAN KICE 



21)1) 



The Clown's Wisdom. 

He ever is assured whose heart is open to the eye of day, who 
I wears no lurking danger in his smiles, nor dreams of tigers' 
hearts beneath the fleece of inoffensive flocks; what should I fear? 
Shall I embitter all the Joys of life to shrink from death and die 
in my own fears? While naught but poisoned bowls and air- 
drawn daggers and treacherous friends or enemies disguised, and 
snares and lures and dark conspiracies flit through the fevered 
brain in endless terror, beset the affrighted soul and prey upon 
it, till naught remains of life, but dread of death, and all of death 
is suffered but the name. 1 pause no longer: flood or ebb in for- 
tune, he rides the waves triumphant; the ills of life, the tests and 
touch stones of external glory, by which alone its currency is 
tried, and sterling cnin distinguished from the false, increase his 
weight and stamp new value on him. 

Contentment. 

I have seen men in tempests of passion, in the greatest depths 
of grief; the former 1 have always found easily sulidued, the latter 
readUy consoled. All that is required is to know the spring of 
the heart. The grave is the only grief that has tempordl hope 
there, the only cure is to look beyond it. 



Silence. 

Silence, the watchful Bentinel of night, with noiseless step and 
undiverted ear challenged each sound. 

Romantic love is like the cataract which foams and rages while 
impediments obstruct its swelling serge. Give it full sway, and 
lo, its silvery sheen glides gently on and lulls itself to sleep with 
its own music. 

Like a man who walks backward to destruction and looks at the 
stars or sun to the last. 

How times are changed. Now Prim plays the lover, and Eng- 
land's Helen rushes to his arms; while all the pride and pomp 
of ehivalr}' smile on the triumph of three-score and ten. The 
rose of spring clasped in the arms of winter, the aloe would befit 
his highness better; it blooms hut once in sixty years. 

I've borne these ribald jests Ijeyond that point where patience 
is a virtue. Provoke my rage no longer, ^tis not mete that we 



300 



REMIKISCENCES OF DAN BIOS 



Bhould prattle of our inmost griefs; but there are depths withir»- 
this wounded hearty which, probed unskilfully, result in deatl"»^ 
to patient or physician. 

We'll talk no more of women; the winds and waves shall nov^ss 
our topics be, they are not more changeful and less perilous. 

Oh, Alexander; what a eoul was thine, that in the prime ol 
manhood and of love — decked with a thousand triumphs — con 
resist the matchless Persian beauty, Bright Sattra. 

The ruling passion is a substitute for courage. If a man be 
coward, only offend his ruling passion and he becomes brave 
its defence. Look at the miser defending his gold. 

Epitaphs. 

Torn from us in the springtime of his heart; sundered fron^r^ 
those dear arms that clung around thee in all thy loveliness, whafl 
now remains with the survivorn to allay their griefs but the ricli 
memory of thy spotless life, radiant with hope and redolent with 
virtue, and pointing to those bright realms of endless joy whos^ 
earthly portal is the peaceful grave. 

Exalted virtue and undying faith in the atoning blood o^ 
Calvary, an earnest of beatitude to come. Wliy should survivor* 
mourn the pious dead, who, havin*^ shaken off life's weary load^ 
mount at the regions of eternal bliss, and rest upon the bosom of 
their God. 

" Music hath charms to sooth the savage beast, to soften rocks. 
or bend the knotted oak. I've read that things inanimate have 
moved, and have numbers and persuasive sounds." 



Time. 

The man that takes twice as much time to accomplish 
object as is necessary, abridges his life one-half, and nearly de- 
stroys the other half by an acquired sluggishness and supineness. 

Why is it that you trim your plants and your trees to remove 
what is decayed and offensive to the sight, and to promote the 
growth of that which remains? The very storms that visit the 
forest remove the rotten or useless portions of the limbs and 
branches, and thereby increase their general growth and beauty 
—such are the benefits of adversity. 



REMINISCENCES OF DAN RICE 



801 



A well-provided breast hopes in adversity and fears in pros- 
perity. 

I No vice so bad as virtue run mad. 
Rogues in Religious Robes. 

Men who sometimes watch and pray, ofttimes watch to prey. 

The argument resembles a peacock's tail, filled with beautiful 
plumage, but supported by deformed and hideous legs. 

There is holy love and a holy rage, and our best virtues never 
glow so brightly as when our passions are excited in the cause. 
Sloth, if it has pnn'cntod many crimes. 1ms also smothered many 
virtues, and the best of us are better when roused. Passions 
are to virtue what wine was to Escbyliis and Anniue — under ita 
inspiration iheir jiowers were at their height. 

To Make LfOVE. 

If yon cannot inspire a woman with love for you, fill her above 
the brim with love for herself; all that runs over will be yours. 

A false friend is like a shadow on a dial, it appears in clear 
weather but vanishes as soon as a cloud appears. 



To Be Happy. 

Be honest not only in your dealings through life with your 
fellow-man, but be honest in thought and never allow your neces- 
sities, be they ever so great and pressing, to force you into the 
doing of an act that will either compromise your self-respect or 
forfeit your integrity. 

Laws of Nature. 

They are just but terrible, there is no weak mercy in them. 
Cause and consequence are inseparable and inevitable; the ele- 
ments have no forbearance. The fire burns, the water drowns, 
the air cnnsnmes, the earth buries, and perhaps it would be well 
for nur race if the punishment for crimes against the laws of man 
were as inevitable as the punishment of crimes against the laws 
of nature — ^were man as unerring in his judgment as nature. 



3oa 



BSKIKISOENCES OF DAN RICB 



Two LlYEB. 

There are two lives to each of us, gliding on at the same time, 
Bcarcely connet'tt'd with each other — tlie life of our existence and 
the life of our minds; the external and the inward histor}', the 
movenients of the frame, the deep and ever restless workings of 
tiie heart They who have loved know that there is a diary of 
the affections which we might keep for years without having 
occasion even to touch upon the exterior surface of life, our busy 
occupations, the mechanical progress of our existence, yet by 
the last we are judged, the first is never known. 

Preserve integrity. The consciousness of thine own Tightness 
will alleviate the toil of business, and soften the harshness of 
disappointment and give thee a humble confidence before God 
when tlie ingratitude of man or the iniquity of the times may rob 
you of all other due reward. 

If crazy knave built on this construction, deaths' decrees shall 
lose their bloody impress, and become a passport to regal enter- 
tainment. 

Advice. 

"VHiat's in your breast let no one know, 
Ni>r to your friend your secret show. 
For when your friend becomes your foe. 
Then will the world your secret know. 

Punctuality begets confidence, temperance the best physic, 
honesty the best policy, which is the sure road to honor and 
respect. 

Good actions know themselves with lasting bays, 
Who well deserves, needs not another's praise. 



Capital versus Labob. 

The attitude of capital toward labor is a gigantic blunder, be- 
cause it is in direct conflict with the requirements of the golden 
rule, which most capitalists profess and which few of them or 
any other class practice. They forget that labor is no longer 
abject; labor may he unreasonable, brutal, even mad at times, 
but it has ceased to be afraid; it has attained dignity of self- 



REMIXISCENCES OF DAN RICK 



303 



respect. Why does not capital see the *' handwriting on the 
wall," and meet labor in a Christian spirit. Why this fhureh- 
going if ye lived not up to the teachings of the Golden Rule. 
Labor asks for arbitration, why not; it k a fact that labor has 
ceased asking perniiision to live in the world; it has ceased to 
kneel; it no longer takes o\X its hat; labor is erect, it has intelli- 
gence; is ever worthy of its hire, and it knows what it has done, 
and is still doing for the world; it knows that it has been robbed 
and it proposes a new regime, as Bobby Burns says, 

" What tho' on hamcly fare we dine, 
Wear hoddin gray rind a' that; 
Gie fools their silks and knaves their wine, 
A man's a man for a' that." 

Where is that palace where into foul things sometimes intrude 
not; who has a breast so pure, but some uncouth apprehension 
keeps leet and law days, and in sessions sits with meditations 
lawful. 

Advice. 

if we cannot derive support from religion, it is not that reli- 
pon cannot furnish it, but because we want faith in its ctliciency. 
God elects all who elect him. 

A man who spends his life getting even, for real or supposed 
injuries, is an enemy to himself and a traitor to his friends. 

For heaven's sake a quiet life, a constant friend, a loving wife, 
a good repute, a fund in store, oh! what can man desire more. 

For every evil under the sun. there's a remedy or there's none; 
if there be one, go find it; if there be none, never mind it. 

In faith and hope, the world will disagree, but all mankind con- 
tinue in charity. 

Mine is the hand should strike the deadly blow, and mine the 
eye should look unwavering on. 

We think more of ourselves than of others, and more for others 
than ourselves. 



A wise man always hesitates to judge another's sin. 

It's good old common sense to wait till all the facts are in. 




304 



HEMINISCEXCES OF DAX BICE 



Ye wuiikl be leaders, shame upon yo; leaders who never yet 
have Icuriied to folluw whorr glurj uiarked the wjij, hence to 
your homes, in this i\ fit oeeasion when Spuin's fortunes s^taiid 
likely etiuipoie'd iti fate's dread buhiriee. aiiil heaven and earlli 
pause on her destiny, thus by inglorious faction to provoke the 
epeoial vengeance of superior powers; but what care you for life's 
vicissitudes; the night storm drives harmless over your heads, 
none but the great, the good, the God-like, feel it. You are 
below its fur}'. 

Silent Piety. 

I bend me towards the tiny flower, that underneath this tree, 
Opens its little breast of sweets, in meekest modesty; 

And breathes the ehxiuenoe of love, 

A cypress, not a bosom, hides ray poor heart. 

Innocence. 
The harvest of a quiet eye that broods and sleeps on its heart. 



March, 

Beautiful, uncertain weather. 

When storm and sunshine meet together. 

Chebrfti^nesb. 

With earth it seems grave holiday, iB heaven it looks 
jubilee. 

They lack all heart who cannot feel the voice of heaven within 
them thrill 

Severed Affections. 
Heart bankrupts both are made. 



Redeem the Time. 

Reflection cannot shun the shaft of fate. 

Endure it as slie may, 

Thought is ton slow, 

Resting on past to meet approaching woe. 

0, my mother; in that sacred name liow many hours of guiU 
less happiness, of sportive and unchcckcred innocence roll htK^^^ 
upon the ocean of past years, and burst upon the view. 




REMINISCENCES OF DAN BICE 



305 



Death and Virtue. 

Death, the destroyer, from thy potent spell no sex, nor age, nor 
Btrent^th, nor weaknettt* 'RiijK'.s 'I'iiiiL''^ hoary kx-ks*; the nngletn 
of gay youth; the hero's laurel and the poet's wreath — love, 
honor, health, and beauty are thy s]>oil: the mitred and the 
geeptred peld to thee, in deferential honor, all, all submit, save 
Virtue, who in radiant smiles beholds thy dread approach and 
arm'd in heaven proof. 

It is said that in every situation pecuniary competency is neces- 
sary to happiness: this is a ^reat error, this would be to degrade 
and destroy the lofty character of man, who, in truth, depends 
upon nothing for bis happiness but a virtuous life and unlimited 
faith in hiiJ Creator; that a dollar more or less should exercise 
any influence upon his position, as rightly understood, is to make 

I him the meanest, instead of the noblest, of God's creatures. 
I Fortune attends his smile ere she turns her wheel, and Fate 
iwaits his sigh ere slie signs her fiats. 

Nothing tran*iui!izes excited and angry passions more, or con- 
veys a more salutary lesson to the mind in soothing or composing 
it, than the sight of a sleeping infant, climbing to the nest of the 
—vulture and Ending a trembling dove w^itbin. 

H When 1 see children struggling in hostility over a parent's 

Jfcrave. or when I bebohl Mammon thrusting his guilty, gilded 

hand between hearts that were made for each other, between 

^'Drethren who should dwell together in unity/' I thank God I 

was not made like other men. 



Power. 
Whose smile was fortune, and whose will was power. 



h 



I've searched with care the page of life, 
And learned of man the common lot, 

lie lives — his days are toil and strife — 
He dies — and is forgot. 



What lineage has yon fair and radiant star, that bears the 
stamp of an immortal hiind? What orbit does it move in but its 
own: shines in luit its own juirc anrl pristine light, not like your 
,own fair moon that glows in borrowed light. 
20 




;iuo 



REMINISCENCES OF DAN RICE 



Vice. 

The martyrs to vice far exfei^d the martyrs to virtue, both ii» 
endurance and in numbers. So bhnded are we by our passions 
that we suffer more to be damned than to be saved. 



Love. 

Why cease to love or cease to be beloved? The great Creator 
taught the breast to glow with generous emotion, and cling close 
to sympathetic anus as to life itself. What is the glare of pomp 
and pride of pagcfintry? They cannot buy, vain-glorious as they 
are, the least emotion that I feel for thee; who is the richer then, 
the wretch that hugs his golden hoard and nightly gloats upon it, 
or the warm spirit that shakes off its chains? 

Faults — self-reproach are more than half atoned, and prompt 
repentance does the work of mercy. 

hard condition that makes tlie }>rincely state of wretchedness 
supreme as well as proud. The humble man toils .and sweats 
from morn till eventide, still sits supreme upon his bosomed 
throne in native majesty and sways the heart to his own purpose, 
loves and is !oved, and in the dwarf delight of nuitual joy looks 
down upon the worldly pageantry, the pride, the pomp, the tu- 
mult and the parade that hides the anguished soul and drowns 
its groans. 

The heart can never learn to throb by rule or shun what it 
adores. Friendship may swell to love and fill the soul, but love 
can never shrink to friendship till it dies. Extremes hegct ex- 
tremes, and sometimes hate usurps the throne of tenderness and 
joy, and riots in their pain. True love shudders at diminution 
as at death. Nay it is death, tlve glowing heart is cold, is cheer- 
less, all its rharms are lost, and from its former height it sinks 
at once to the low level of the instinctive brute. 

His tongue took an oath but his heart was unsworn. 

There is nothing earthly that is not dependent upon something 
else earthly; while all depend u]ion the Creator. 

A woman if she maintain her husband, is full of anger, im- 
pudence, and reproach. 

Those powers that are most terrible in action are always most 
tranquil in repose. Look at the glossy surface of the smiling 



BEMlNISCEJfCES OF DAN RICE 



3i»T 



ocean when kissed by the southern breeze just ready to expire, 
and then imagine the terrors of the storm. Look at the sleeping 
lion, and fancy, if you can, the same animal roaring and raiu})ant 
for his prey. Look at Samson slumbering in t lie lap of Delilah, 
and who but ghuddLTs at the fate of the Philtstiues? The tran- 
quillity is increased by the unconscious corujiarisnn or rather con- 
trast between extremes, or presented by the same object. 

Care still delves its deepest furrows in the fairest, softest brain; 
brightest eyes are dimmed with sorrowing; ruby lips shall cease 
to glow. 

He wiebled neither the keen scimitar of Saladin, nor the pon- 
derous battle-axe of Kichard, but the dull cleaver of a cold- 
blooded butcher. • 



Like a Lily Lolling on a Rose. 

Prayer was not invented for man; man was born to pray. Man 
was not made for the Sabbath, but the Sabbath was made for 
man. 

Quote not the vices of philosophy to justify indulgence of your 
own, but emulate her virtues, if you can. The love that twines 
most closely round the heart disdains the use of words and shuns 
the eye-like truth, despising outward ornament in native worth. 
The God you worshi}» bends a feeble bow and dips his shaft in 
wine; the wound soon heals. 



Intolerance in Religion. 

A war against Catholics would involve a war against natives, 
and not only a religious but a social and doujestic war of neighbor 
against neighbor, brother against brother, husband against wife, 
parent against child, and child against parent. 

Good springs from evil, strength out of weakness; the pen that 
governs, guards, adorns, and sustains empires was plucked from 
the wing of a goose. 

Silent they sit, all faculties absorbed by black despair, the 
world has vanished and the soul is dead to earthly sympathies, 
to earthly care, brooding alone on its eternal fate and prostrate 
in the presence of its God. 



BEMIXISCENCE8 OF DAN" EICE 



Metaphysics. 



The souls of idiots are of the same pieces as those of statesmeni 
but now and then nature is at fault, and this good guest of ours 
takes soil in an iiii]>crfect body, and so Is slackened in showing 
her wonders, like an excellent musician that cannot utter himself 
upon a defective instrument. 



Love. 



All thought, all passion, all delight, whatever stirs this mi 
frame, all are but ministers of love and feed its sacred tlame. 

Happy Taih. 



TnorisI 



^ 



Crown them with Joys perennial, ye blest powers, and guard ^ 
their hearts Against agonies like mine, too grave to bear, 
poignant to conceal. 

'Think*st thou I would transplant t!iat fragile flower, from i 
gay parterre which it now adorns, exhaling odors on the ve 
gale, to pine and perish on this winters bed? 

Moderation in Success. 

Be wary of success, and bear it wisely, as best becomes the 
changing tides of life; let not the siren and seductive wiles of 
proud i^rosperity ensnare 3'our heart. Self-conqnest is the 
and proudest triumph, and victory ivithout it is defeat. 



Happiness. 



be^ 



Blest recompense of evils and dangers past, come to this heartj_ 
and therefore reign, thou art the victor. Maria — let me croi 
thee with thy own work — chains best become the captive. 

Affection. 

The feeblest impulse that affection feels is worth a kingdot 
Kingdoms cannot buy it. It springs spontaneous in the human 
heart, unbrib'd, unfetterM — precimis as the blood that thrills in 
circling eddies through the vein)* — offspring of life's citadel. 
Millions of tribute which unwilling hand pays while the soul 
withholds its sympathy or shrinks from the exaction. What are 
they, but the dull and slavish homage of a slave — ^giving what 
fear forbids him to refuse or power resistless ever may enforce. 
What mutuality can this bespeak beyond external eeemingj the 




REMINISCENCES OF DAN RICE 309 

baBe traffic of sordid worldings wedded to theniBelves giving to 
take or yielding to receive. 

Friendship. 

For weary anxious years in camps, in courts, in grief, and 
management we have been more than brothers. Tell me then, 
what good or evil has befallen thee, that 1 may share the one, 
redress the other. 

Who dares to love, yet dares not show his love to the object 
that inspires it; say ^lie's a queen, in love she is a subject; the 
crottTi begirts her head, but not her heart. The heart's a woman's 
throne, 'tis there she reigns, 'tis there she rules, is ruled, and 
must be won. 

Night. 

The glare of day, the grosser glare of pomp, is past, and now 
be noon of night prevails. Distraetetl and excursive thougbta 
'Teturn freighted with good or ill, and cast their load of joy or 
grief on the expectant heart And how sweet, how beautiful is 
the night; how mild, yet how hixuriant are the rays that f>eam 
from yon cerulean ni*>narchy. Pale ('>Tithia and all her starry 
train oVr a tempestuous world hiH'd to repose, transient, short- 
lived repose. To-morrow's dawn shall wake the slumberers and 
renew their toil. 

Valor. 

Put up your weapon till the time shall serve; this is no scene 
for blood. Valor that needs the tongue's loud flourish, and a 
ladj^s eye, may well be doubted; though I doubt not yours. Your 
courage, sir, will keep— so let us part. IIow we shall meet — how 
part when met — let time and fate determine. 



k 



Aristocracy. 



The aristocracy pull off their hats to those whom they hate; 
the democracy will not do it to those whom they love. There is 
more policy in one, more honesty in the other. 

Hear this, ye Gods: Where sleep your thunderbolts, that thus 
the guilty triumph in their guilt, and bold impiety out-faces 
heavezi. 




310 



HEMINIbCENCES OF DAN RICB 



Resolution'. 

Ccmrage, my friends; remember that this hour fihall make your^ 

fame eternal as the stars, should fortune smile upon you. Shot] 
ghe fniwiu wliy let her frown, at worst we run but die. and dyi] 
in defence of virtue's freedom, is to suhdue the unpropitio 
Gods, and win those honors which stern fate denies. 

Traxsiext Beauty. 

For women are as roses, whose fair flower heing once displaye 
doth fall that very hour. 

Simplest strains do soonest sound the deep founts of the 
heart. 

I^Ien take more pains for this world than heaven would cost 
them; and when they have what they aim at. do not live long to 
enjoy it. The grave lies unseen hctween us and the object which 
we reach after. When one lives to enjoy whatever he has in 
view, ten thousand are cut off in pursuit of it; so runs the giddy 
world away. 

So idle are dull readers, and so industrious are dull authow 
thai piilTi'd nouiiense bids fair lo Wow unpulTed sense wholly out 
of the field. 

Contemporaries appreciate the man, rather than the merit, but 
posterity will regard the merit rather than man. 

A rugged countenance often conceals the warmest heart, as I 
richest pearl sleeps in the roughest shell. 

Test the gratitude of men when you <'an do without it; ne 
rely upon it In our emergency friendship then, or love, is 
only dependence. Religion is the consolation where all otl 
resources fail. That never fails. 

Great men, like comets, are eccentric in their causes, 
formed to do extensive good by modes unintelligible to vul|a^ 
minds, hence, like those erratic orbs in the firmament, it is the 
fate lo he misrepresented by knaves, to be abused for all 
good they actually do. and to be accused of ills with which they 
have nothing to do, neither in design nor execution. 

Tt is easier to pretend to be what you are not, than to hide wY 
you really are; he that can accomplish both has little to learn 






M 



*• 



i 



B£M1X1SC£>X£S OF DAX E1C£ 311 

hypocrisy. In our attempt to deceive the world they *re tlw 
mo6t likely to detect us who are sailing on the sime tack, or, in 
other words, set a rogue to catch a rogue. 

Grant graciously what you cannot refuse safely, and conciliate 
those you cannot conquer. 

EXVT. 

Envy as the rays of the sun. notwithstanding their velocity, 
injure not ye by their minuteness, so the attacks of envy, notwith- 
standing their number, ought not to wound our virtue by reason 
of their insignificance: for envy and detraction are the inevitable 
attendants to genius, for why should the eagle wince at the hos- 
tile gyrations of the vulture. Again envy surrounded on all 
sides by the brightness of another's prosperity, like the scorpion 
confined within his circle of fire will sting itself to death. 

A Blackguard. 

If you cannot avoid a quarrel with a blackguard, let your 
opponent manage it rather than yourself. Xo man sweeps his 
own chimney, but employs a chimney sweeper who has no objec- 
tion to the dirty work — it is his trade. 

PcLPiT Eloquence. 

The greatest difficulty is to give the subject all the dignity it 
80 fully deserves without attaching any importance to self. Some 
preachers reverse the thing; they give so much importance to 
themselves that they have none left for the subject. 

In the company of the woman you love it is difficult to avoid 
two follies, rhapsody and silence. Fortunately the first is never 
esteemed by her as folly, and the last is considered as the still- 
ness of brooding love. 

Knowledge. 

If a man empties his purse in his head no one can take it away 
from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best 
interest. 

Irrational Fears. 

Our doubts are traitors to heaven and ourselves, and antedate 
our doom. The craven heart that shuns impending peril expires 



312 



BEMlNlttCENCES OF DAN lilCE 




on its own spear, while dauntless courage grapples with death^ 
and rendg his terrors from him. Had 1 a thousand lives, " 
each immortal, I'd jeopard all for the last hour of honor. 

When traitors shall grow weary of their lives, fate has &^ 
plied them other means of death than staining with their bio 
an honest sword. 

His parting words sink liko a funeral knell ioto my soi 
freeze my blood with horror. The fading day, the death-like 
sleep of nature, the treacherous ridm thai rests upon creation, 
and the deep torpor that invests my brain, are the precur ^rs ol 
calamity. -i-^— 

War. 

Why should we talk of war when wine inspires our hearts with 
thrilling eestacy: let frigid eynies seofT at Cn])id's chainti, no 
valued trophy that the hero wears clings half so elosely to ihe 
hctirt as love. 

Tinsel and trappings stdl have virtue in them. 
A block of frieze would cover twenty lords. 

Popular Furor. 

Where are the people, the Sertoria hand, who cling around 
with unwavering love like the fond ivy twining round the gnarled 
oak, or life's warm eddies circling through the heart in conquest 
and defeat. 

Pull of fresh verdure and unnumbered flowers — the negligence^ 
of nature. 




O, they love least that let men know they love. 



Separation. 



4 



And calm and smooth it seemed to take its moonlight way be- 
fore the wind, as if it bore all peace within, nor left one brea 
heart behind. 



ki^ 



Raise we that beggar and denude this lord — the Senator shall 
hear contempt hereditary, the beggar native honor. 

Plots are the dark and back way to a throne; miss but one i 
we roll with ruin down. 




BEMIXISCEXCES OP DAX RICE 313 

He psnses indeed with the vork of destruction, \mt be psiwed 
like the Pnhian Apollo, while balancing his bodj, fixing his eye» 
adjusting hi« bow, and deliberatelj directing the unerring shaft 
to the heart of his victim. 



The Ruling Passion. 

It is hope or our despair. It often secures success — and in 
success enjoys the chief happine^, as in caj^s of failure it gufTen* 
the chief miserj. 

He that is rich or he that is poor, knows but half of his own 
nature. Tlie experience f urni&hed by both is the best knowledge. 



Gbeat Men. 

Most men would be greater in the close of life if they were not 
so great in the beginning. 

What, are ye a hireling tribe to be bought out by he who bids 
the highest ? If the design be noble, grasp it nobly, and do not, 
like a band of sordid slaves, embrace your bondage for the golden 
fetters. 

A Rare BEArrr. 

Bright eyes like rubies, teeth like pearls, and a quiet tongue 
within them. Oh, that I could exclaim " Eureka! " 

The gratification of a ruling passion is our chief pleasure, its 
disappointment our chief earthly penalty. Virtue has its en- 
joyments in any result and often is more benefited by defeat 

than success. 

God Elects All Who Elect Him. 

The thoughts passing through an ordinary mind, would, in the 
course of a long life, if they could be collected, furnish more 
instruction to mankind than the works of Bacon or Newton. 
Shakc'speare, of all mortals, has exhibited most of his mind, yet 
he concealed more than he displayed. 



Speech. 

Speech is the morning to the soul. It spreads its beauteous 
images abroad, which else lie furled and clouded in the brain. 



314 



BEM1NISCENCE8 OF UAN BIGE 



A man is meaner in adversity than prosperity. In the former 
lie builds upon himself, in the latter his fortune. 

Adversity in itself is nothing, even to a generous spirit. It ia 
the thousand mounnesges to which you are exposed that coneti- 
tute its chief misery. 

SpiniTUALlSM. 

One of the moi?t remarkahle things with Spiritualists is tliat 
while they believe everything tliat few other persons can believe, 
they deny everything that most reasonable men fidly beUeve. 

My greatest diffieulties in life have sprung from my greiitest 
successes, and the preatest enjoyments of life from what have 
been considered the greatest privations. 

Few men are ever improved by prosperity, hut thousands have 
been benefited by adversity. It is a rough but excellent teacher, 
whose lessons are rarely forgotten. 



Mind. 



m^ 



The mind is never impaired except through the disordered 
functions of the body. If the mind could in itself be diseased 
it could die; a supposition which would bo opposed to the doc- 
trine of immortality of the soul, and is, therefore, to be utterly 
rejected. 

If thou doest any beautiful thing with toil, the toil passeth 
away, but the beautiful remains. If tliou doest a vile thing with 
pleasure, the pleasure passeth, but the vileness remaineth. 



I don't know how it is with others, but I am never so much 
disposed to be proud as when my worldly hopes are humblest. 



Political Corruption. 



4 



In those unhappy times when good men are rendered odious, 
and bad men popular; when great men are little and little men«i 
great, he who would serve his country best must be above per— ^ 
sonal consideration. 

Beauly. like the fair Hesperian tree, laden with blooming gold-,,* 
has need the guard of dragon's watch with enchanted ej'e. 




BEMINISCENCES OF DAN BICE 



315 



Good Natuee. 

Good nature is the best feature in the finest face. Wit may 

liaise admiration, honesty may coniiimnd respeet. and knowledge 

I attention; beauty may inliamc the heart with love, but good 

nature has a more peaceful elTeet, it adds a thousand attractions 

to the charm of beauty and gives an air of beneticence to the 

most homely face. 

The man who has suffered the greatest evil in life, can suffer 
no more. Like death, it cures everything else. 

Being asked why I was so firm a believer in the Saviour, I re- 
7)lied, " Both from reason and faith.'* Reason itself shows that 
without faith in the doctrine of Christianity no man could be 

To deep and earnest spirits, nature wears the countenance of 
Deity, but joy an<i joyful hearts tliink of her only as a host at 
whose bounteous table they may freely feast. 

Symbolized Inebriact. 

Red noses are lighthouses to warn voyagers on the sea of life 
to keep off the coasts of Malaga, Jamaica, Santa Cruz, and 
Holland. 



A nip of a mad dog and a nip of adulterated whiskey — ^both 
>roduce a horror of water. 



The National Colors Symbolized. 



r 

II The Red. Wliite, and Blue. I'lic red cheeks, the white teeth, 
and blue eyes of a lovely girl arc as good a flag as a young soldier 
[in the battle of life need fiight under. 



Bad Ixvestmexts. 

Some men deposit all their money inside their vests, in the 
form of beer and wliiskfy, niid call that investing it; they have 
no faith in anv other bank. 



EmDHACE ClIBISTlAXITT. 

Wo should embrace Christinnity even for prudential reasons, 
for a just and benevolent God will not punish an intellectual 



316 



BEMINI.SCENCE8 OF DAX RICE 



beiiQg for believing what there is go niuch reason to believe; there- 
fore, we run no ribk by receiving I'hristinnity if it be false, bul u 
serious one rejecting it if it be true. 

Many men of talent are alw^ays under a eloud; they arc scarcely 
noticed and seldom heard. To he considered " Somebody/' it 
is unnecessary to make a great noise. Let the world know you 
are succesBfuI in .something, and immediately you become fa- 
mous. If you wait until they find your virtues you will pass into 
obscurity like a tlower on a prairie. 

Success is the ladder to greatness. No matter how you get on 
the top, once there, you are adored, until the hook of history 
takes you down, which is evidence that prosperity swells your 
head, and you are busted. 

Keep Good Company. 

I know from experience that intercourse with persons of de- 
cided virtue and excellence is of great importance in the forma- 
tion of a good character. The force of cxamidc is i)owcrful, we 
are creatures of imitation, and by a necessary influence on temper 
and habit, l>ecomc largely the counterpart or model of those with 
whom we familiarly associate. 

Modesty. 

There is no object that was ever eulogized that equals a modest^ 
woman. Earth never revealed a holier vision; the eye of man 
never gazed upon a lovelier sficcimen than a chaste woman robed 
in simple attire. It is a picture that tills the intellectual eye 
and commands adoration; it matters not whether she dwells in a 
palace or lives in a hut, she is, indeed, an angel — that is, before 
marriage. 

Money 

Should be made subordinate to one's moral duty, to society, 
to country, and especially to God; for he that pursues riches 
under the impression that their possession will set them at ease 
and above the world, in the end, " gets left! " 



The OitiGiN OF Sorrow. 

Wc fancy that all our afflictions are sent to us directly from 
alMJve. Sometimes we think we recognize them in piety and con- 
trition, but oftener we see thenj in moroseness and discontent. 



BEM1NI8CENCES OF DAN ftlCS 



317 



It would be wt'll, however, if we attempted to find the causes of 
theni. Wu would probably find their origin in some region of 
the heart whieh we had never well explored or in whieh we had 
seeretly deposited our worst indulgenees. The elouds that in- 
tereejJt the heavens from our view eome not from heaven but 
from earth. 

Marriage. 

Young man, get married! If you truly love and that love is 
reciprocated. If you have no money, it matters not, for what has 
money got to do with matrimony? You may say, '* How am I to 
pay for the marriage certiHeate? '* Go to a Justice of the Peaee. 
"Suppose he will not credit nue? " Then go to the Minister 
and etand him off, like the majority of his congregation do. 



Sextiments. 

Young men, this bear in mind, 
A trusty friend is hard to tind; 
And when you have one good and true. 
Never change the old for the new. 

Religion. 

A religious life is one of the greatest recommendations. What 
does it profess? A ]>eace with all niankiml. It teaches us those 
attributes which will contribute to our present comfort as well 
as to our future hap[)ines8; ami its greatest ormiment is charity. 
It inculcates nothing but love and simplicity of affection. It 
breathes nothing but the purest spirit of delight. In short, it is 
the system perfeetly calculated to benefit the heart, improve the 
mind, and enlighten the understanding. 



The Bible A Wonderful Book. 

In every respect the Bible is, indeed, a wonderful book. The 
impress of divinity is in all its pages. Every event is seen liy 
its light linked to dot]; every doctrine tends to glorify Ilim and 
every precei)t to bless His ereatures. There is no trace of tlattery 
to the readers, nor vanity in the writers; no anxiety to do juetice 
to any fact by coloring it, or to explain any circumstance that 
seems inconsistent. They wrote as those who felt they were 
amanuenses of God, the sworn witnesses to facts. They conceal 
nothing from fear, palliate nothing through shame of human 
nature and have proclntnu'd the suffering One on the cross to be 
the Son of God. And from the so-called infidelity of Paine and 




318 



REMINISCENCES OP DAN RICE 



Bosseau, there are admissions^ it is said, ttiat might be advan- 
tageously collected that recognize the Bible as the Book of (fu 

MoiiAL Suasion. 

The principle would liold good in altuosl every worldly affair 
with three exceptions. First : To persuade a woman she is wrong 
when she has made up her mind tihe is right. Second: To per- 
suade a mule when he does not want to go. Third: To move 
a steamboat ofl' a sand-bar when she is aground. 



Wit. 

Some men who have evinced a certain degree of wit and talen 
in private companies fait raii*embly when they attempt to apj)e 
as public characters in the grand theatre of human life. Gre 
men in a little circle, but little men in a great one: they sho 
their learning to the ignorant, but their ignnrj^nce to the learne 
The powers of their mind seem to Ite parched op and wither 
by the public, like the Welsh Cascades before the summer su 
which, l>y the by, 1 know are vastly fine in the winter when 
one goes to see them. 

Peace. 

If you would be known :ind not to know, vegetate in a 
if you would know^ and not be known, live in a city. 



M 



TfiiiTMrH OF Truth. 

A wise minister would rather preserve the peace than gain 
vietorj', because he knows that even the most successful war 
leaves nations generally poorer, and always more profligate than 
it found them. These are real evils that cannot be brought 
into a list of indemnities, and the demoralizing influence of war 
is not among the least of them. The triumphs of truth are the 
most glorious, chielly because they are the most bloodless of all 
victories, deriving their highest lustre from the number of 
saved, not of the slain. 

Beauty. 

Would you have stars or liquid diamonds? Oaze on her hrigll 
eyes which light the way to joy. Pearl? Call to mind the treas? 
ure of that mouth. Coral? Behold her lip. But, oh! Beware 
vou linger not amidst the sweet enchantment, this lab3rrinth of 
love. 




REMINISCENCES OF DAN BICE 



319 



How Should It Be? 

When youth^s consigned to the embrace of time, when life is 
fettered in the arms of death? Canst read the human face and 
not perceive how fate lies lurking in the wreathed smile? De- 
crepit age, corruption and decay prey on the vernal cheek and 
blight its bloom, the temple where this union is confined (?) 
should be a sepulchre, a charnel house, and bridal robes and 
jewels and parade give pkee to sackcloth, shrouds, and tears of 
blood. 

EXPEHIENCE. 

Every burden of sorrows seems a stone hung aroimd one's 
neck; yet are they often only like the stones used by the pearl 
divers which enable them to reach the prize and rise enriched. 

The tears we shed for those we love are the streams that water 
the garden of the heart, and without them it would be dry and 
barren, and the gentle flowers of affection would perisL 



ucirren, ai 



Charity. 



Nothing requires more judgment than the dispensing of 
one's confidenee and charity, if the recipients are not worthy. 
\Ve are betrayed in one instance and abused in the other. 

A gentleman never insults another, and the offensive remarks 
of an inferior ]>erson cannot insult a gentleman. In fact, a well- 
legulated mind does not regard the abusive language of ignorance 
in the light of an in^^idt, and deems it beneath revenge. All the 
abominations to wlnrh ignorance can give utterance cannot raise 
the speaker one jot above his proper level, or depress a gentle- 
man in the slightest degree below his sphere. 

Human Life. 

invites the poetry of the boy, but memory that of the 
Man looks forward with smiles, but backward with sighs. 
Such is the wise providence of heaven, the cnp of life is sweeter 
at the brim, the flavor is impaired as wo drink deeper and the 
dregs are made liitter that we may not struggle when the cup is 
taken from our lips. 

iNTEORtTY. 

In nil things preserve fntegTity. The consciousness of thy own 
nrTiubtness will nllcviafe the toil of business, ami soften the 
harshness of disappointment and give thee an humble confidence 





^80 BEH1NI6CENCE8 OP DAN BICE 

before God, when the ingratitude ol man or the iniquity of the 
times may rob you of the due reward. 

This is a bond of hands and not of hearts; ia this generous? 
Nay, is it just that doting age, forgetful of the tomb, should tlius 
Btretch forth its gifkly, palsied hand to crop the bloom of youth 
and blight her days beyond all hope of a reviving spring? 

In adversity the mind grows tough by buffeting the tempest, 
but in success dissolving sinks to ease and loses all her Ib-nmess. 

The Liar His Oayx Dupe. 

Like one who having unto truth, by telling it, made such i 
Binner of his memory to credit his own lie. 

In vain the dews of heaven descend above the bleeding floi 
and blasted fruit of love. 



The Actualities op Libertt. 

Personal liberty, oven as a current phrase, is undoubtedly the 
noblest watchword of our national life. In the vanguard of 
true progress it has ever resounded as an unanswerable shout of 
victory, and at the distant echo, oppressors in their short-lived 
tyranny have trembled. Humiliating submission has never 
taken any root upon the soil of this great, free country, and 
never shall, in i^ronf whereof the patriots of the past may be 
pointed to, who often sealed in deutli their splendid scorn of sug- 
gestions to surrender their valued sights as freemen, and shall we 
of the present day be less courageous or less watchful? I trust 
not. It is our duty neither to sleep throughout our watch nor 
sulk within our tents; neither, however, need our hearts heat 
funeral marches; they ought rather to throb gladly in national 
unison to the old golden watchword of liberty. The present 
time, too, is assnroflly a season to try the nation's metal, to test 
its sincerity, the vain, unbiased vaporings. the ultra-Socialist 
ideas, once the incipient anarchistic leanings of the day must 
counteracted, and he who carefully considers the precious her 
age of freedom will not he slow to see thfit Ids plain duty, 
lover of commonwealth, is, in truth, a personal privilege as we 
To keep silence is a crime against friends, a concession to 
enemy, and a servile realization of the lines of Moore: 

Thus freedom now so selrlom wakes, the only throbs she sives 
Is when some heart indignant breaks, to show that still she li^ 




ilNISCENCES OF DAN BICE 



321 



Patbiotism. 

The brave man should never outlive his country. As clings 
the infant to ite mother's arms, blessing and blest, bo cleaves 
the nation's heart to the embraces of its native soil, at once de- 
serving and imparting life. 

I Traitor. 

The felon that purloins hia eoimtry's glory and prostitutes it 
to his country^*8 shame. 

Bear up, my soul, and, worthy of thyself, endure approaching 
peril, as the paet, dying as all shall die, who hope to live in the 
proud pages of futurity. 



' Gratitude, 

As a May rooming arising from the East, or day dismounting 
in the golden West. 

I Idleness. 

The sloth perishes on the limbs after having eaten all their 
leaves. 

O. what a deal of scorn looks beautiful in the contempt and 
Bnger of his lips who ptllorics an ingrate. 

A murderous guilt shows not itself more soon than love that 
A*'ould seem hid. 

Virtue is sooner found in lowly f'heds with smoky rafters than 
in tapestried halls and courts of princes or brownstone fronts. 

Youth, beauty, pomp, what arc they to a woman*s heart? 
Compared with eloquence, the magic of the tongue is the most 
ilangerous of all spells. 

The whole globe outstretched between the soul and its desires, 
were shorter than the tiresome, tedious league, that turns the 
r back on joy. 

Hopes destroyed endear those which remain. 
31 



322 



AKiUNISCBNCES OF DAN filGB 



Caprice. 

From pride we doth borrow. 
To part, we both may dare. 
But the heartbreaks of to-morrow, 
Nor you nor I can bear. 

The golden day guilds yon sky-hehned mount with purple 
hucB, like fabled dolphins, varying as it dies. 

Ambition. 

His eagle-winged ambition soars so high that we are only left 
to gaze and wonder at the proud pinnacle in our lowly sphere 
beneath him. 

Labor. 

The laboring claspes of the community in the cities are vastly 
inferior, in point of intellect, to the same order of society in the 
country. The mind of the city artificer is mechanized by the 
constant attention to one single object, an attention into which 
he is of necessity drilled and disciplined by the minute subdivi- 
sion of labor which improves, I admit, tlie art, hut debih'tates 
the artist, and converts the man into a mere breathing part of 
that machinery by which he works. The rustic, on the contrary, 
is obliged to turn his hand to everything, and must often make 
his tool before he can use it, and is pregnant with invention and 
fertile in resources. It is true, that by a combination of their 
different employments, the city artificers produce specimens in 
their respective vocations far superior to the best of the rustic. 
Bnt if, from the effects of systematic combination, the city arti- 
ficer infers an individual superiority, he is wofuUy deceived. 



At Home. 

The highest style of being at home grows out of a special state 
of the affections rather than of tlie intellect. Who has not met 
with individuals whose faces would be a passport into any society, 
and uhose manners, the unstudied and spontaneous expressions 
of their inner selves, make them welcome wherever they go, and 
attract unbounded confidence in whatever they undertake. They 
are frank, because they have nofhin^ to conceal: affable because 
their nature overflows with benevolence; unflurried, because they 
have nothing to dread; always nt home, because they have within 
themselves that which can tmst to itself anywhere and every- 
where, purity of soul and fulness of health. Such are our best 



BElfTNI§CE?rOE8 OP DAK HIOE 

guarantees for feeling at home in all society to which duty takes 
ug, and iu every occupation into which we are obliged to enter. 
They who are least for themselves, are the least embarrassed by 
UDcertaintieg. 

Woman is the morning star of infancy, the day star of man- 
hood, the evening star of old age. Bless our stars! May we ever 
bask in the sunshine of their smiles until they make us see stars 
out of our eyes! 

The grave closes all accounts witli this world and strikes a 
balance sheet in the next. 

That which he decides, fate's awful fiat stamps as irrevocable — 
it is done. 

Great fortunes little men allure to those proud supernal heights 
which only Gods, and men like Gods, attain. 

There is this wonderful benignity in the providence and econ- 
omy of God that our very sufferings produce our relief. From 
this excess great pain renders us insensible to pain. Great heat 
produces, naturally, refreshing showers. 

God only can cure the wounds that life inflicts. 

Death only hides the scars. 

Time, Force, and Death: 

Do to this body what extremes you can; but the strong base 
and building of my love is as the very centre of the earth, draw- 
ing all things to it. 

Sympathy lightens grief, the weight that all men share from 
sympathy so lightened; but the thunderbolt that falls on one 
poor heart, scathes, scatters, and destroys it. 

She died, but not alone; she held within a second principle 
of life which might liave dawned a fair and sinless child of sin; 
but closed its little lieing without light and went down to the 
grave unborn, wherein blossom and bough be withered with one 
blight. 

Ten thousand fools, knaves, cowards lunched together, became 
all-wise, all-righteous, and all-mighty. 




m 



BEMINISCENCES OF DAX EICE 



Old Men. 



These old fellows have their ingratihide in them hereditary, 
their blood is caked, is cold, it suklom flows; His lack of 
warmth, they an; not kind, and nature as it grows again towar^ 
earth is fashioned for the journey dull and heavy. 



jditary, 
timely I 
o waitla J 

m 



lik^ 



There is religion in amusement. Man takes the wrong course 
who tries to dam up human nature, I love that man who tries to 
turn human nature in a right direction, and to let men have 
good amusenientfi, for they like them. Where is the man who 
does not like amusement? A circus especially. To see the child 
in its mother's arms, when the old clown comes in, jump up and 
down iu its mother's lap, clap its tiny hands with joy. 1 like 
to see a kitten chase its own tail. If the ministers of reli^ 
had done their duty in trying to guide and direct the am 
ments of the people, there would not he so many bad amusements 
as there are at the present time. Instead of the elei^ standing 
askance from amusement, 1 would like to see them taking more 
interest — taking part in them. John Wesley said some people 
found fault with him for taking tunes which had been associated 
with foolish songs, and applying them to sacred hymns. Replied: 
I see no reason why the devil should have all the good things 
in the world. There is music, painting, chess, baseball, cricket, 
the circus^ etc., 1 would take them all in the service of reii^^ 
and virtue. There is a class of people, and I may say minist 
too, who imagine they are serving the Lord by appearing alwi 
and under all circumstances, sanctimonious — 

W^ho confound the ains they're not inclined to. 
And damn all those they have a mind to. 

Thy candor wears the livery of Truth, the vesture of the starry 
court above, where virtue reigns supreme, and the free soiil 
owes fealty only to the King of Kiugs. 



Rice on the Rostrum. 

Had Dan Rice chosen the lecture field instead of the motley i 
garb he would assuredly have made bis mark as one of the most 
Buccessful and popular lecturers in the United States. Fob- ' 
Beaeed of a commanding presence, an engaging frankness and .. 
charm of address, combined with a most sonorous voice and clear H 
enunciation, and, above all, a singular expansion of ideas and 
marvellous resourcefulness and versatility, there is but little 
casion for doubt that he would have achieved a gratifying repu 




REMINISCENCES OF DAN RICE 3x5 

tion on the lectorium^ furniin;^^ n fitting anfl graceful sequel to 
the wi'U-nigh iiuparallok-d Hiuwf^s he \ui^ reajHHl in the many- 
sided rules of his remarkable life as a public eutertaiiicr. 

The Oratory of the Forum and the Rino. 

" *It is a curious circunistance,' said a writer in Blackwood, 
*that every EngHtjhnian thinks he can do two things, and is 
never convinced uf lits error until he tries; one ifi that he can 
write for a newi^paper, and the other that he can swim/ To this 
we may add, that every Ameriean thinks he is an orator. Tiie 
young lady of ten, in all the glory of crinoline, silk flowers, ami 
kid gloves, astonishes a select company with a reading from 
Tennyson. The young man of the &ame age, with new jacket 
and ' shining morning face; carried ofT the palm at a school 
exhibition by declaiming the adventures of a ' boy ' who remained 
unnecessarily upon some ' burning deck ' from which every sen- 
Pible person iiad tied.' The adolescent orator passes next to the 
village dchating society discussing with mucli tcfiierity social 
and political themes, which grave men approach with fear and 
trembling. When he retires from college, witii all the dignity 
«)f j»archment. Itlue ribbon, and the brtchelor's gowTi. he pro- 
nounces a Latin valedictory which he is quite certain is finer than 
any of Cicero's orations. At the bar, or in the pulpit, at the 
political meeting, the State Legislature,, or in the Congress of 
the nation, our orator addresses the people, and, as a rule, fails. 
The number of orators is quite disjiroportionate to the number 
of speakers — in all the ilebatcs in the Colonial Legishxtiire pre- 
vious to the assendjling of the Continental (^ongres*:, but few 
speeches are reUitendu'red, In Congress, but few great orators 
have ever appenred, and they are all dead. But these facts do 
not lessen the nuridxT of orators — or abbreviate Hhe speeches. 
So well is it understood that every member of Congress must 
speak at some time or other, whether he has anything to say or 
not. the rules provide that the House may, at convenient times, 
resolve itself into committee of the whole on the state of the 
Union, when any member may occupy an hour in talking about 
anything that occurs to him. The amount of desultory nouseuse 
that is spoken in committee is sonu'thing fearful to contemplate. 
Some members are jtrofoundly stu]iid, like Dogberry, of Messina; 
Rome essay the role of the ' Motley fool ' in the * Forest of Arden"; 
others are hopelessly dull like Chamberlin — in * Hamlet' The 
fjj)eeches are upon all imaginary subjects, earthly and heavenly, 
terrestrial and celestial. They are not unlike the speeches made 
by Dan Hice, the jester clown at Xiblo's. who is the exponent 
of the oratory of the ring, as contra-distinguifihGd from tlie ora- 




32fi 



REMINISCENCES OF DA\ BICE 



tory of the fomni. Rice resolves himself into a committee 
the wholt> every evcnillj,^ iiiid {uklrcssyt^ tlu" audiencL- upon the 
topics of the day. He has hUely incurred the wndh of p!iiloso- 
phers of the ' Trihuno,- who Inive oonie down upon htm, in tiie 
usual neat and elegant stvle of the journal. The showman de- 
fends himself exactly like a nuMuher of Congress. He hegins hy 
cleprecatiug the journal as being heneath his notice; * hut,* said 
he, * as it might get into sonio deeent man's house, and create a 
false impression against me, 1 am hnund to say that though I am 
a fool by profession, I have some regard for eonsisteney. Now, 
I don't think that a. newspaper which is continually preaching 
about hot com, vegetable diet, and ^n forth, shuuld object to that 
celestial grain and South Carolina staple — rice. The chief use, 
however, made by the '' Tribune " people of grain, was in the 
form of whiskey, under the influence of which he had been as- 
sailed. H he (Kice) thought himself as mean as some of these 
Seople, he would " desert the Fnited States and go to live in 
ersey." ' Now as a piece of denunciation, snrcasm, ridicule, 
and wit, this specimen of the oratory of the ring is not inferior 
to the average of Congressional speeches. H it had been one of 
the Ely Thayers of the House, it would have been doited all 
over with 'laughter* in parentheses, the conchidiiig mot is en- 
titled to * great laughter,* and would have been so received in 
Congress. 

*' There is a growing disposition among our orators of the 
forum to cultivate the joke department — it might be considered 
had taste for a grave Senator to don the parti-eolored habit of 
the buffoon, but the funny meniUers might take a lesson from the 
great clown above mentioned. Let the professional jokers of 
Congress summon Rice to the bar of the house, and extract his 
jokes under oath. It will serve to enliven the debates, and, in 
due time, some of the members may fit themselvc.9 for the cap 
and bells thev seem so anxious to wear."— From N. Y. *' Herald/* 
1858, Niblo's Garden, Ned Wilkins, Reporter, in Box. 



LECTURES. 



Is there one in all the world who has not heard of "DaTi Hice, 
the jester of the nineteenth century? Who of "our daddies" 
hag not seen him in his inimitable [»erformances of the circus 
ring — the man whose drolleries, wit, and facial exjiressions have 
made both hemispheres laugh for half a century: who has amused 
and made more happy more people than any other man the world 
has produced? In this he has been a great benefactor, driving 
sorrow and dull care away with the health-giving laugh, causing 



BIEICINISCEXCES OF DAN BICE 



m 



the young and the old, the peasant and the king, from the Hot- 
tentot to the polished Caucat^iun to hold thi'ir sides in uproarious 
mirth. Think of the good one ran do who niakcs everybody 
laugh that eonies across his way. *' Thiyed the fool for a life- 
time," says Dan, " to amuse the world. '^ ** The clowu of our 
daddies/' as Dan is pleasied to term himself, visited Corpu.s 
Chrigti last Tuesday, and gnve one of his uiiifine entertainments 
at Market Hall, entitlefl " Tiie Fool's Wif^dom." A representa- 
tive audience of our eitixens was present. Mayor Heath in a 
few well-chosen wonli? introdured the veteran king of the saw- 
dust ring, who, with one of tliose graceful salutations to the 
audience eharacteriiitic of " happy Dan," made an imprefipion 
that placed him and his hearers at once on a common plane of 
familiar ease. He hegan hy raying he had arrived that day over 
the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railroad to Papalote, thence to 
this city by stage; complimented in high terms tlie new road and 
its management, the excellent stage line, and described his sen- 
sations on crossing the reef — all of wliicli he enjoyed very much. 
** For years," he continued. '* 1 liave cherished a wish to visit 
Corpus Christi, hecause of its historical associations and the fame 
of its beautiful location, l>ut chiefly because here lives a friend 
of my lioyhood flays, now the well-known and honored citizen of 
this city. Capt. M, Kennedy, the man whose foresight, liberality, 
and public spirit have made possible the great railroad enterprise 
that is about to lift your city into rapid growth and prosjierity. 
Wo were youths together in Pittsburg, and dT,iring the long years 
since, I have cherished the most pleasant recoiled ions of him, 
notwithstanding we were rivals at one time for the same girl." 
ITc referred to the bright future of Corpus Christi and the enter- 
prise and growth that are soon to follow in the wake of the iron 
horse. He talked for nearly an lionr an<l a lialf. giving rendnis- 
cences from his rich experiences, often causing the audience to 
shout with laughter. The entertiiinnient Wednes<lay night was 
a continuation of the " Fool's Wisdom," and to a much larger 
audience, among whom were a large numl>er of ladies and chil- 
dren, also the clergy of the city who were represented l)oth nights. 
Throughout the whole Dan tells his tales and points the morals. 
He dwells especially on the nujral'and religious life, on education, 
the dignity of labor, the moral influence of the mother, the in- 
fluence of the wife over the husband, the duty of tfic child to its 
parents, and especially of its duty to its mother. His tribute to 
women is tndy beautiful. Dan often grows pathetic, touching 
the tender cord of bis hearers, obsening which, he winds up with 
a description or story that would turn a tear into a shout of 
laughter. There is a world of fun in him and it will come out. 
His description of his visit to the Holy Land, his belief in the 




328 



REMINISCENCES OF DAN BICE 



Biblf, ami Iub sc-athiiig denuufiation of infidels are alone 
wortii tilt' time of overy oiio io hear. His preeentdtion of the 
fcaiuret^ of huuimii lifu — tlie idiosynLrasies of the human mind- 
are not only moral and uiiiijne, hut opuu up new avenues {i 
thought jind reflection. Dan draws from a fund of knowled 
and well-remembered experience that is remarkable. He quo 
readily passages from the best authors to give force to his poiiii 
and embelliiih his periods. His familiarity with the Bible 
remarkable, for one does not expect such from the old clown. 

Tlie " Caller " representative noted the intense interest of his 
hearers, noticeable in all from the street urchin to the talent 
divine. Notwithstanding our citizens have an aversion duri 
tiie heated term to gatlieriiig in Market Hall for any entertai 
ment, the ma^met of the worhTs greatest humorist was irresisi 
hie and the second night the elite of the city gathered in fi 
force. While here Mr. Kice was part of the time the guest 
Captain Kennedy. As the two friends sat down to the elc;^ 
dinner many were the old-time episodes recalled of their liv 
as spent in Pittsburg. Put in print they would make interest! 
reading for the public, but we forbear. Mr. Rice ha.*? l>een i 
Texas for about fourteen months, looking after some land inter- 
ests. He speaks in flattering terms of Texas jieople, our tow 
etc., and especially (d* Sun Antonio and this cit>'. His visit 
Corpus will Irmg be remembered by our citizens who had the go 
furlune to see and hear him. The " Caller" advises those of 
readers who nniy have the oijporlunity, not to fail to hear tlie 
** old clown " lecture. — From the Corpus Christi *' Caller,j 
August, 188G. 

Common Sense. 

It is generally supposed that nearly everj^one is possessed 
common sense, while a few have unconnnon sense, or, in othe 
words, that there arc a favored few who are geniuses. But in 
my opinion, there are many less than we suppose who have even 
the ordinary quality which is so essential to our success in life. 
When 1 see a man whom the world calls " smart " and '* ener- 
getic/' who, in truth, lias talents, but instead of using them for 
the good of mankind, uses tliem for his own sel(i.sh ends, at 
does not seek to benefit the world by his existence, but lives on^ 
for self» and does not look beyond this world for his rewar 
whose highest aims and phms <1o not go farther than this lit 
when I see stich a man, who might be an ornament to society bil 
for his own selfish views, I think that person has a great want 
common sense. When I see a man who makes the *' almight 
dollar " his aim, who hesitates not to commit any crime, no mat 
ter how great it is, who will, without the least pangs of con- 



1 




BKMIXISCENCES OF DAN BICE 329 

science (if he has a conscience), defraud men out of their rights, 
and when money in in view, puis at.idc all other plans, and rushes 
madly on for the licklc prize; who, instead of laying up treasures 
above, makes riches his idti! — such a mao, 1 think, lacks very 
much in sound sense. But, perhaps, there is no character bo 
devoid of sense as the hypocrite. It has been said that " it takes 
a smart man to be a rogue "; this may he true, yet it is a kind 
of smartness in which there is not much good sense. The hypo- 
erite may have a sort of subtle cunning, yet he is destitute of 
morals, religion, and sense. A man who goes through the world 
trying to make people believe that he is something which he ia 
not, whose life is all a mere farce, he appears outwardly to be 
honest and ujiright. hut inwanlly is filled with {Jead man's hones; 
he is clothed in long robes, and at the same lime devours widows' 
houses. He may be a lawyer, a merchant, or a physician, but in 
all these places he is as much to be abhorred as those who are 
openly base and coiTupt, and although he may get through this 
world without it being known how corrujit he is, yet he will one 
day come before Him whom he cannot deceive, and then it will 
be seen that he hieked very much in common sense. There are 
many others who do not act as though they had the least particle 
of sense: eyes have they, but they see not; ears have they, but 
they hear not; souls have they, hut they feel not. But a word in 
regard to the geniuses: it has been said (and with a great deal of 
truthfuines.s, too) that genius is industry, hard and long work; 
unceasing elTort; and it is in the power of every man to set his 
aim as high as be will, and with industry he can come up to that 
aim. True, every man cannot be a Webster or a Washington, 
yet he may attain to n high position in some of the many ways 
that are open. How many examples have we of men who arose 
to rank and station, who at some time in their lives had utterly 
despaired of reaching a high and noble position, but who, by 
untiring industry, at last arrived at the height of their ambition. 
Daniel Webster was not horn a genius^ although he afterward 
became one. And so it is with all of our great men, it is labor 
that makes the genius. Thus we see that we should possess com- 
mon sense, and with that we shall he sure to prosper. 



Pathos and Mirth. 



COL. RICE DELIVERS ONE OP HIS FAMOUS LECTURES. FOR THE 
BENEFIT OF M, E. CHUECH, SOUTH, HOT SPRINGS. 

Col. Dan Rice, the world-famed jester, ehowman, and lecturer, 
delivererl one of his characteristic talks at the M. K. Church, 
Sonth, Tl«»t Springs, last evening. A large and appreciative andi- 



3B0 



REMINISCENCES OF DAN BIOS 



lee- 

1 

in- 
ks, 
m- 

tty 



ence was entertained by the white-haired veteran of the ring and 
roBtrum, during one and a half hours of mingled mirth and 
jiathoti, intcrL'Sling reiiiiiiisLCiH-os of men and iilaces, personal 
experiences, humorous and pathetic, the sublime and the ridi 
lou!^. ail deftly sandwiehed together in a manner that caui 
alternate smiles and tears to come and go upon the faces of 
auditors. Among the audience were the energetic pastor of 
elmrch and many prominent citizens. The distinguished lec- 
turer was frequently internipted hy sjionlaneous rounds of a] 
jdause, and after his beautiful and logical closing perorati 
received the hearty congratulations of the asseml>ly who wi 
loath to leave the edifice. Being in a ehnn h, the siK-aker's woi 
deri'ul spirit of natural humor was consistently checked to coin- 
cide with the surroundings, for, as T^nrie Dan truthfully remarks, 
"an edifice devoted to the worship of God, no matter how hum- 
ble, is a temple sacred fn»m profamition l)y word or deed.' 
any one doubts that humor nujst not be coarse clothed, or 
inseparable from vulgarity, he needed but to have been present 
have been convinced to the contrary. Beginning with a witty 
preface, the speaker led his audience over the route of his li 
wanderings through the length and breadth of the civili 
globe, to the courts of royalty and the sacred garden of Ge 
semane, under the burning equatorial sun and. over rolling 
and back to the canvas-covered 4'^^-foot realm of stiwdust where 
he reigned the king of the clowns for over fifty years. He paid 
a glowing tribute to woman — woman as she should be and woman 
as she is — with some rib-tickling personal experiences. 
** Woman,'* said he, " was the latest and most perfect handiwork 
of God.'' Passing to the subject of intemperance he gave utter- 
ance to advice that all .should heed. Said he: " I have quit lec- 
turing on temperance because I have quit drinking; nine-ten " 
of all so-called temperance lecturers are either drunk at the ti 
or immediately after. He eulogized the power of moral suasion 
in working reformation, but, said he, " there are some thin, 
that moral suasion will not accomplish. It won't move a ste; 
hoat off a sand-bar, because I have tried it myself." Speaking 
Hot Springs, he said, " I have never met so many rheumatic 
people in my life; every other man is its victim, but this is the 
footstool nf mother Nature, who cures and consoles them all," fol- 
lowing with humorous imitations of old men and remarks aboi 
his OUT! disputed age. He gave a pulpit picture of Henry Wa: 
Beecher and related an amusing incident of the great divine 
connection with the sacred cattle of Hindoostan which he (Ri 
was the first to exhibit in this country. He quoted profusely 
from past and contemporarT poets and authors and evinced a si 
prising familiarity with historical events and sacred writin 



itic 
the 
fol- 

i 




BESflNlSCENCES OF DAX RICE 



331 



LNo pen picture can portray hia kaleidoscopic power of oratory, 
[and gnffice it to gay that all was eiiiinently characteristic of rhe 
l^veiitful career of the original and only Dan Rice. — From the 
' Daily News," Hot Springs, Ark., May 25, 1885. 



( 



Uncle Dan's Farewell Talk. 

,ight8 and shadows of an eventful life— painted by a 
master hand— a tkiirmph of oratory. 



I 



Last night Col. Dan Rico, who ha8 been sojourning at the 
springs for several weeks recuperating, appeared in a farewell 
lecture for the benefit of the Knights of Labor, at the Academy 
of Music. While the audience was not as numerous as the occa- 
sion deserved, it more than made up in enthusiasm what it 
lacked in numbers. When the silver-haired veteran of the 4*^^- 
foot diameter ascended the rostrum, he was greeted with a spon- 
taneous burst of applauding welcome frouj ladies and gentlemen. 
As he faced the assembly with his genial smile, precursor of the 
fun that was to follow, he was |)reseuted with a beautiful floral 
tribute, the gift of our distinguished citizen, Colonel Sumpter. 
Uncle Dan, as we love to call him. alluded to the gift in an elo- 
quent and touching manner. He eulogized the generosity and 
public spirit of the Colonel and spoke feelingly of the interest 
the donor manifested for the good of his fellow-men. The trib- 
ute touched the hearts of his auditors and evoked a hearty out- 
burst of approbation. Passing lo bis theme the Colonel said: 
" I am here to tell you of the Fool's Wisdom, culled from the 
tose-clad but thorn-laden paths of life. For Iui!f a century I 
have worn the motley garb of the fool, laboring for the amuse- 
ment of mankind. Fools never die, for the fool is ever ' wise at 
last.^ '* He took his eager listeners to the "dark continent," to 
the *' Historic banks of the sluggish Nile," to the " Sacred shores 
of the Dead Sea," to the realms of royalty and the abode of 
princes, and brought them back with a brilliant mob to the tint 
and tinsel of the tented ring where he wielded the royal sceptre 
of mirth from the early memory of the oldest inhabitant. He 
convulsed his hearers with characteristic illustrations of the old 
men approaching him daily with tottering steps and the in- 
evitable remark: '* Why, Dan, I went to your circus when I was 
n boy." T/ikf> the flitting figures of the kaleidoscope, he reached 
hither and thither, jducking rich gems of thoughl and flowers 
of oratory, which he intertwined with wreaths of humor, and 
prospnfed in a beautiful hnuiiiiet of mirth, melody of expression, 
and moral precept. He paid a deserved compliment to the work- 
ingmen — the Knights of Labor — illustrating with examples of 




332 



BEMINISCENCKS OF DAN RIOE 



prominent men and notably the career of our honored President. 
His tribute to woman — girl, wife, and mother; his advice to 
young men, und his laudation of our moral guide, the Holy Bible, 
were etTortg of oratory rarely heard, and were enthuBiasiicaliy 
received. He plucked the ]>Iunies from JngersolFs turban and 
trara|4ed them in the dust of denunciation. He exposed the 
artifices of humbugs and ])retenders, and threw the calcium rays 
of truth on the cloaked forms of deceitful workers. " Truth." 
paid he, *' is the bulwark of eternal happiness." Inspired by the 
presence of old friends, he scciued to rise above himself, and 
words of wisdom and eloquence ri]>})led forth with the rhythm of 
the running brook. Our pen fails to picture the enchantment of 
that hour and a Imlf. The well-worn jihrase "must be seen to 
be appreciated," fully expresses the opinion of all who were pres- 
ent, and when he bowed his thanks and withdrew, all were loat" 
to leave- Notwithstanding the fact that the Academy has borne- 
no enviable reputation, owing to mismanagement, many pronii-^ 
nent ladies were present, and thoroughly enjoyed the entertain- 
ment. Uncle Dan's magnetism overcomes all obstacles, and as 
thi! story is told to-day on the streel and in marts of trade and 
homes, the careless absentees "kick" themselves for missing 
the most enjoyable feature of our amusement season.— From 
" The Sunday News," Hot Springs, Ark., May 28, 1885. 

Dan Rice's Tribute to Woman. 

an eloqitent appeal for the fair sex at a ban"! 
given at the astor house, new york, in 
winter of 1846 in honor of bancroft, the great 
historian. 

Dan Rice was an invited guest. At that time the reputation of 
the great jester liad spread all over the city, and it was de rifjuer 
to invite him to such gatherings in the expectation that he would 
im[uirt a zest to the entertainment by his original wit and humor. 
In this they met with memorable rlisappointment, for very fre- 
quently when they expected a burlestpu? harangue, or an out- 
pouring of humorous satire, they were regaled with an address 
wherein morality, philosophy, and sound and sober argument 
were the salient features. And thus it happeued at the historical 
banquet. After a variety of toasts had been given and responded 
to, that of *" Woman " was left until the last, and ns Dan Riee'j 
was called upon to reply, a smile stole over the faces of all j^resent, 
hut rising to his feet, with kindling eye, and clof^ucnt gesture, 
realised the tender grandeur of the subject, and the joke — for' 
such it wns meant when he wns named as the respondent — turned 




BBMINISCENCE8 OF DAN RICE 



333 



u|KiD themselves. " Woman," said he, ** if first in our afTections, 
should not be the last in uur toasts. Sho has fallen into my arms, 
and 1 will uphold her with all the chivalry of the feudal age. 
Woman is a theme worthy the ]>oet or the orator. Did not 
Homer, the blind bard, sing of woman, and when we read of 
Hector, bearing thick battlu on his sounding t*hield, or holding 
aloft young Astyuax, trunibling at his nodding ptuine, do we not 
revert to the l)eauleous Helen aii<l Andromaehe. Wontan is the 
type of civdization; in savage life, a slave, in reJined j;oeiety, a 
tjueen. What distinguijihe.s this nation moft. Miiat impresses 
the noble of other lands tliat the ' American ' is more delicately 
retined, is our veneration for wonmn; she can travel alone 
through our vast country, her guardian angel the spirit of Ameri- 
cjin manhood. 

** I cannot read the future, the horizon is obscured, the firnia- 
ment is not elear. Who can tell what will grow out of tonftiets 
in the Old World, and the anxieties of the New? This 1 believe, 
that as long as the American jteoplc preserve their resj>ect for 
woman, and respect fellows* worth, the American lieituWic will 
live. This I know, that if the mothers of the nation are good and 
pure, the sons of the nation will be strong nnd free. Woman! em- 
pire is in thy hand. Lead fortii from beyond the mountains, from 
the far Pacific, out of the virgin bosom of the peerless West the 
young States, and they will come to our Fnion as mighty as our 
own, without a cankcT to consume their youth, without a cloud 
to darken their destiny. Woman is suj)reme in good or evil. 
Did not Cleopatra lead captive eon<}Ueror? Who but Eve could 
have destroyed Paradise? where day was ecstatic joy, and night 
came as the afjproach of gentle ]imsic; where the couch was 
fragrant ^vith the breath of tlowers, when the very mountains 
arose in their sublimity to extend their shade over man's repose. 
Though the chosen* angel of the Destroyer, still her name is 
^,•tanlpcd on the decalogue, ' Honor thy mother.' In song, who 
more impassioned than Sappho? in prophecy, who more inspiring 
than Miriam, with harp and tind)rel by the shore of the sininding 
gea? Her destiny overshadows man's — his fate trembles in hers. 
Napoleon tore from his heaven, his morning star, Josephine, and 
St. Helena, in retributinn, iirose from the ocean. Did not the 
mother of Washington fashion his great mind and breathe her 
gtainless purity into his great heart? More eloquent than tongue 
ran tell, more glorious than pen can write, are the simple words. 
Mother, Daughter. Sister, Wife. * Mother,' how sweet from the 
lip8 of the gleeful girl: how holy from the trembiing voice of 
RickneiiB. To the dying captive, to the bleeding soldier, to the 
great man, to the mnb'factor on the seafTold, thy name, * IHother.' 
corner radiant with the light of young P^len days. Wife is thy 




334 



BEMINISCENCES OF DAN HICK 



better self; Sigter thy loveliest peer; Daughter, sunshine, danc- 
ing ou thy knee. In heathen mjlhology, Jove was the parent ( ' 
Wisdom, which spnmg a goddess, all created from his inimor 
mind. In Christianity thu Virgin was the mother of our Lord. 
Woman has ever heen divine; with the ancients the symbol ol, 
plenty, of beauty, of purity, and wisdom; Minerva, all perfe. 
Ceres with her sheaf of wheat; Diana, with her bended hoi 
Venus arising from the crowning foani of the sea. With us 
the New Testament, she has been chosen as wife and daughl 
for tlie exj)rossion of miracle — at the marriage feast, when tli 
water blushed to wine, and when He bade the daughter of Jariij 
arise and walk. Faith. Hope, and Charity abideth most in he 
wbo touched but the hem of His garment and was made whole, 
and in the widow who. in giving her mite, gave most to the Lord. 
Yes, woninn is divine. Mow many orisons ascend daily to the 
Blessed Mother? Woman is divine, even in her fall. Do 
not remember that our ' Saviour,' bowed to the earth, wrote up 
the saiul. and would not look upon her shame, her degradali 
or her punishment. In the creation, heaven lavished upon 
woman its latest perfection, moulding her in graceful and 
chiinting loveliness, and planted an altar for her worship in 
bosom of man, where incense to her shall burn forever. 

" With instinctive pride and modesty, she conceals her charms 
from all but the being she adores, and even from him except in 
tlie full fruition of her love. She is in her perfection, the em- 
bellishment of man, whose greatest pride is, or should be, to 
adorn and l>eautify her person. The egotistical philosopher, or 
spiritual pnritan, may affect a holy horror at the exquisite taste 
with which fashion robes the female form, but no unselfish, en' 
tared man can be insensible to the high chiim of a beautif 
costnme of the gentle companion heaven commits to him to 
nurtured and developed into the aerial atmosphere of love." 



lion^n 



The Veteran 



Dan Rice, in the M. 

Sunday Evening. 



E. Chubch Last 



FHOM THE ARKANSAS CITT JOURNAL. 

After being introduced by the pastor of the church, in a f e _ 
well-timed remarks, he presented the entertainment promised 
on the " Idios^Ticrasies of the Human Mind/* to the most intelli- 
gent audience of our city and surrounding country. The subject 
chosen for the occasion, covered such a vast field, and furnished 
such a wonderful scope of thought, that the mind fails to grapple 
with its entirety, nevertheless the various points were handled 
in a masterly manner. The veteran showman appeared to be oa 




REMINISCENCES OF DAN UICE 



335 



much at home in the pulpit as he ever was in the sawdust ring, 
and at times the aiuhenre WJit> aroujied to a pitch of intentse 
enthusiasm, notwitiistancHng tliat it ijrnke over the restraint ul" 
church rules. The Coh:>nel hrieflv but visibly i)ortrayed his? en- 
trance into circus life, relating the history of liis wonderful 
travels in diU'erent parts of the world, alluding to such spots as 
Jerusalem, Jericho, the Sea of Galilee, and many other places 
rich in historic memory. He also related his exiierience in Asia, 
Egypt, and points in Africa, to which countries he had been called 
in the purchase of wild animals and birds, fretjuently interspers- 
ing his remarks with numerous humorous anecdotes. A gentle- 
man present in the audience, Captain Haynes, who had travelled 
over the countries nanie<], bears testimony to the wonderful mem- 
ory and the accuracy of the Colonel's remarks. It is rarely that 
our citizens are favored with an opportunity of listening to one 
whose experiences have been so varied, and whose name is 
known, ni>t only throughout the great continent of America, but 
also in the capitals of Europe. His lessons of instruction to the 
young people present will prove profitable; the high moral tone 
of his language seemed to astonish many who had seen him only 
in his professionol attire. The points be made on tbe subject of 
divorce had a telling effect u[ion all persons present, and his ad- 
vice to young men in pursuing the path of duty will, no doubt, 
after due retiection, lead luany of them to more frerpiently visit 
the house of God. His scathing remarks on '* Bob Ingersoll," 
whom he knew when a school-teacher at Sbawneetown, HI., were 
of such character that, could Ingersoll have been present, he would 
have covered his head in shame. The parallel that he drew be- 
tween President Cleveland and James G. Blaine, giving a brief 
history of both, was something that has never appeared in print 
We could readily detect, however, that ho was a warm adn\ircr of 
Cleveland, and that he had always been suspicious of school- 
teachers, when they became leading politicians, for having come 
in social contact with the most prominent ones in their homes 
and in the halls of legislation, and having watched them closely 
from King Louis Phillipe down to the present day, and invariably 
found them wily and unscrupulous demagogues. His tribute 
to woman was couched in the most flowing hmgnage, and her 
influence over the nnwise ways of man captivated all present. 
He stated, just after the w^ar, he had appropriated the first money 
to tbe building of this church. After strenuous efforts on the 
part of the citizens they have succeeded in erecting a very credit- 
able house of worship, although still unfinished, wliich, however, 
he hopes to see completed l>y next fall, when, if not, he 
promised to render aid. His entire discourse was silver words of 
wifidom, the result of long experience, and was an intellectual 



336 



REMINISCENCES OP DAN RICE 



treat to he long remenibored with pleasure, and in the words of j 
tlie New York " TriliuiiL'," '* As tlieie never was hut one Sh»kej-| 
jiearo, ll)(?iv will uvxer be Init one Dan Hicv." — From " The Cow-J 
mercial," Pine JilulF, Ark.. April 11, 1885. 



ADDREsa Delivered Befoke the Faculty of TJniversiti 
OF Ann Arbok, Jan. 1, 18G6. 

Among the desiret^ planted in man by the Creator, the desir 
to please i& one ul" the niotit nutural as well ass l>enelicinl. Ali 
elaisse.'i of humanity in every dejiree or station of life whatsoeverJ 
aeknowledge its sway, and with the gentle but potent force 
love, our tribute is exaeted: and we bow ourselves as willing sub 
jeets to its reign. Folly ami wisdom are, in their natures, 
extreinep, and the distinction between the two at their great* 
points of diversity, reveal as great a diiTerence to the under 
standing as light or the meridian of the sun and darkne 
at the hour of midnight to the sight. Yet as light and darkne 
so mingle bi^woen tlie dawn and the HUiu'ise. and in the iiiterva 
between tlie setting thereof and night, as to be in reality sus-' 
ceptible to neither the name of light nor dark. 8o. also, at the_ 
uiargins where wisdom and folly join, it is extremely dilTieult 
assign the medley produced to eitlier wisdom or foily, but plaeiB 
them at their most distant points, the contrast is of a nature 
observable that only those bereft of sight can fail to realize th 
distinction and note the diiTerence. Like as to the two poles 
a battery, wisdom is the positive and folly the negative. Wiedon 
is understand ing; folly, the hick of it. Of all the follies of wliic 
humanity can be capable, the greatest is our attempt to do tha 
which reason proclaims an impossibility. The knowledge 
Iniman nature reijiitsile to the reason, (leducting the fact concern- 
ing the imjwssibility of pleasing every one, is so slight, that he, 
who has not been observant enough to gather such knowledg 
must indeed be blind to all the motives that impel human actioa 
and having wandered so far from the realm of wisdonj. must il 
deed have indiibed much of folly, if it has not totally become hi 
element and habitation. The desire to j>lease was i)lanted 
mai by his Deity for good use. the frnits whereof should he 
blessing, and not to rob him of iharacter by making of him 
chameleon, which, having no color of its own. bears the !uie 
objects in juxtaposition. The individual who tries to pleas 
everyone is soon robbed of character and becomes an object 
dislike to those whom he would please; a skeptic on all points cor 
cerning the true nobility of man or the virtue of woman: loathe 
self, simply an animated existence without the least rejiemhlanc 
of a virtue prized by men. The Scriptures say it is impossihla 



REMINISCENCES OP DAN BICE 



as; 



lo 8erv<" btith God and Mammon. To serve is to please — to serve 
(Jod is lo pk'asp the ju.st; to serve Maiiinioii is U> iik'iij>o the uii- 
jii^i; to please all is to ^erve all, w hieh, bemg an impossihility, is 
folly. A kite eamiot ritie with the wind hut against it. In i)rdei' 
that there be justice, injustice is necessary; the very fact of death 
j>roves the fallacy of life — pleasure, eorrow, love, hatred, wisdom, 
folly. 

Nothing in the world is single, 
All things by a love divine 

In one another's heing mingle; 
Thereby propagate their kind. 

If, therefore, in the beginning, it were possible for one to have 
pleased all. and euch indivi<lual being j^ossessed of that power, 
pleasure, being constant, would have produced upon human na- 
ture a society which would as surely have formed a negative 
etate as that produced by the pure rays of light in turning sweets 
gour. Plainly it must be seen tliat for the existence of pleasure 
it must have a negative state. As it is im|iossil>le for two atoms 
to (vccupy the same space in existence at the same time, so it is 
impossible for us to l)e goo<I and evil, just and unjust, pleased 
and disjilciisefl, wise and foolish, at one aiul the same time. To 
please all one must have or possess this power, knowing that such 
a state of affairs is out of the range of all laws that govern exist- 
ence. The mild term of folly is too limited an expression to 
depict such voluntary insanity. If, with the all-wise Architect 
of the universe there he an imiiossibility^ the same is not ren- 
dered [lossible within the creation of a heing endowed with less 
wisdom tlijit He possesses. Demonstrated, as it is. day by day, 
that His just, wise, and all-seeing dispensations do not please 
everyone, how can we, the creatures of his handiwork, hampered 
hy tenements of day, revel in such folly as an attempt? The 
pious man is one who endeavors to please his God; the conscien- 
tious man to please conscience; the just man to please his credi- 
tors; the wise man to please the majority; the man of folly to 
please all. 



His Lectdre on Chemistry Befoue the Students of the 
Medical University of Puiladelphia, 

In the spring of 1H4T Doctors Goddard and Pancoast, Directors 
of the Medical College of Philadelphia, invited Dan Rice to at- 
tend a meeting of tlie Faculty, when the subject of chemistry 
M'as discussed. 

It was jocularly suggested hy Dr. Goddard that Mr. Rice should 
present his ideas on the subject; *' for," said he» " Dan has di- 
83 



338 



REMINISCENCES OF DAN BICE 



rtM?ted liiB iiiiml to tho study of everything of importance, and 
BUrt'ly he caoiiot luive iit'gk'('le<l chcini.stry." Tlie proiioHtio! 
was greeted with IjiughU-r and apidause, and Dr. l*aiie«»iij«l jm 
\»)iiL'i\ tliat he Ije eleeted (.'hainiuiii, wliirfi was unHnimouijl 
a<loi>ted and Mr. Kicu wan forthwith escorted to tlu* scat of honi 

The following in a report from the *' Philadelphia Ledger" 
the date: 

Upon taking the chair, he delivered the following exterapoi 
address; for, of eoiirse, ho had no eoiH'e[itinn that the meeti 
would resulve itself into so hiuiioroug an astJerably. or that b 
lejsque was to take the place of a dry, gcientilie lecture. 

" Young gentlemen," said he, " chemistry in itii various rami- 
fications is one of those sublime sciences which are adapted to 
the development and f>erfection of Ininian greatne^i^ and to the 
mixing up of paints and dye stntTs. 

" The chair, gentlemen, to which 1 am now called in thi.n 
gchoolhoiijic, is the chair of chemistry, ns most of you are probably 
aware of, that is to say, when I ,>;ay proliahly, 1 mean possibly. 
This chair, gentlemen, 1 will tell you privately, is the most dis- 
tinguished in the whole professorship of the sehoolhouse, and 
anyone hut myself were now addressing you it would not ^>o i 
proper for him to state to you that it takes a smarter Tnan to fill 
this chair than it does to till any other chair in the whole faculty. 

*' Situated as I ana, however, and restrained as I am l>y the 
delicate position I occupy, it will not do for nie to say a word 
about it. 

** Ambition to he great is one of our innate and most prouiinent 
passions. It is a passion that ilistinguishes humanity and per- 
vades evon the brute creation. It was this passion that led Xaji 
leon to light the camp-lires of Moscow ami induced Oeneral Ho 
burger to forsake the repose of his hermitage for the clangor 
political strife, 

"This insatiable craving after greatness led me, too, in early 
life, to forsake all else except the study of Shakespeare, and di 
vcloping the intellect of that noble animal, the horse, and al 
to devote my giant energies to the study of chemistry. And 
I am not the greatest chemist in the country, their toil has lost 
its reward and disappointed ambition is the only fruit of my un- 
paralleled labors. 

" In speaking of the universality of human anihition for great- 
ness, I omitted adverting to one man who forms a remarkable 
exception to the proposition. That man is ' Old Tidy.* 

" He is as insensible to the fascination of earth's greatness as 
the (lead are to whiskers. His aniliition for greatness seems 
merely nominal, reaching no further than the end of his fishing 
line, or to the bowl of his pipe, where it is wholly gratified in the 




rlv 




RC.IHMSCEN'CES OF HAN RKE 



339 



nibbling of a fish or in contemplating the ashes of his tobacco 

rnflagrtition. 
*' Such iti ' Tidy's ' highest ambition. But let ur^ now turn to a 
nobler picture. Gaze upou ' Potty/ nursed in the lap of uiubi- 
tJon and fed. from his infancy, upon the hope that he would !>ome 
day be the Jupiter Amnion, wliotJe oniclet^ fihould be ihe law to 
the literary and refined, ' Potty ' stands before the world as the 
very incarnation of liuman anihition. 

*' Chemistry, ^euHeiuen, in brief, embraces the nature and 
qualities of ilie mind, kites, soap bybbies, thunder, lightning, 
bed-bngs, fleas, mosquitoes, ])ara<ites, adulterated teas, coffees, 
su^ar and drinks, mut^ic and perfynicry, besides many other in- 
gredient}* which, if 1 am a^^ain called lo preside over this learned 
assembly, I shall take occasion to notice more i>articnhirly/' 

lo the winter of '4(> and M7 Mr. Dan Uice, the original iShakes- 
pearcan Clown and dester, played in Iiis great character the en- 
tire winter in Welch «S: ilann's *' National Circus/' located on the 
corner of Ninth and Chestnut Streets, Philadelphia, where the 
Continental Hotel now stands, and nnnd)ercd among liis admirers 
the most eminent lawyers, judges, doctors, jioets, authors, and 
members of the press; prominent among whom were C(d. James 
Page, David Paul Brown, Lucas Hurst, and young Benjamin 
Brewster, who afterward l>ecame distinguished for his legal abil- 
ity and as a wise counsellor, and. at the zenith of his fame as such, 
unsolicited he was called to fill the position of Attorney-General 
of the Winter States; Dr. Paul Goddard, Dr. Pancoast, Dr. Rush, 
and other eminent physicians; Thomas Dunn English, Walt 
Whitman, and Dr. 8hcllon McKcn/iie, inithi>r of the mont authen- 
tic history published of the celebrated Charles Dickens; Judge 
Sharswoo<l, Judge James Thoiufison, Jndge Jeremiah I. Black, 
and others, who were all lovers of the circus in those days. 

^r Dan Rice's Lecture. 



MONMOUTH COUNTY DEMOCRAT— A WONDERFUL OLD MAN. 

Owing to a number of social gatherings on Friday evening, 
and possibly to insufficient local advertising, Dan "Rice's lecture 
was quite slimly attended. Among the andience, however, were 
a number of citizens who had known the showman in his palmier 
days, and were glad to greet liim again after an absence from 
onr town of nearly a qnarter of a century. His personal resera- 
bbmce to his half-brother, the late William C. Manahan. at one 
time a resident and well-known (hroughout our county, was 
noticeable as well as certain peculiarities of speech and manner, 
cspeciidly his earnestness of expression and his positive and mas- 




;i4o 



BEMINI8CENCE8 OP DAN HICE 



terful way. There was this difference, however, to be obBenreAj 
in tlie two men — Manahaii was uncoiupromizing in his likes and! 
dislikce, while Hiue showed that he had learned to exercise aT 
politic diplomacy in dealing with the puhlic, and to concihdte 
where he eoukl not eonvert. He made a good impression on ilia, 
jflatforra, and, for the most part, was easy and graceful in Uii^ 
biyle, but occasionally, in the recitation of i|uoUitions from dr 
matic authors, he lapsed into a '* stagey "" melodramatic style, nc 
ijuired, no douht, in his nmck delineations in the ring, vei 
effective, potisibly, with the appropriate surroundings, but some 
what incongruous in a literary ]icrforriiaiu.-e on the lecture plat 
form. He ojjcned willi some interesting reininiseences of hlA 
bo3'hood days at Colt's Neck, with reeolloctiong of *' Sam Laird " 
and other notables of that neighborhood a generation ago. Ue 
then dropped easily into reminiscences of his travels as a shofl 
man in Eiirojie and Aniericn and in the Holy Land — told how 
had bathed in the Kiver Jordan and played in the Garden 
Uethseinaue, and dosed with a panegyric upon the Bible and it 
influences, remarkable as eojiiing from one whose early life ha 
been spent among associations sn antagonistic to the teaching 
of that Book. His lecture was interspersed with amusing anec-1 
dotes, old songs, and qnaint and wise exi)TessioBs, with oeca- 
sional flashes of pure and quiet humor worthy of Diekens oi 
Douglas Jerrold. His sallies of wit were frequently npplaudc" 
and he held his audience for an hour, who all appeared to 
highly delighted with his effort. We had a short interview witJ 
him the afternoon before his lecture and found him a highlj 
entertaining conversationalist, overflowing with interesting anc 
dotes and recollections of distinguished personages and promiij 
nent events in both hemispheres, and, above all, with a heart fo 
humanity as big as his ample physique. He bears his years well 
and has the s])ringy step of a man of forty. He has led 
strangely wild life from boyhood, and down to a recent peric 
the rough influences which surrounded him largely governed hia 
life and moulded his character, hnt he has lived to reform all 
that, and we are glad to know that his influences are now on the 
right side, and that by precept and example he is trying to re- 
trieve the past, in which effort we can all wish him abundant 
success. 



Rich, Hare, Racy — Eloquent and Pathetic?. 

Last night the veteran clown. Ban Rice, appeared before 
Madison audience, not as he is familiarly known to every maB 
woman, and child, as the clown of clowns, the clown of 
daddies, but in the new role of lecturer. The audience that 




BEMINISCEXCES OF DAN RICE 



341 



sembled at Odd Fellows' Hall last night was composed of repre- 
sentative citizens, who could appreciate the words of wisdom in 
** The Idiosyncrasies of the liiunan Mind, or a Fool Wise at 
Last." Uncle Dan appeared on the rostrum unintrodueed, need- 
ing none, and immediately began his lecture with a few introduc- 
tory remarks. He said that in appearing before a Madison audi- 
ence he always felt inspired, and in all his wanderings he ever 
retained a warm s]K>t in his heart for the citizens of this place, 
and his thoughts often reverted to the happy days spent in the 
city 'neath the hills. The Colonel, in a feeling manner, paid a 
wortliy tribute to the memory of the late Colonel Garber, with 
whom he was exceedingly intimate, and related several character- 
istic anecdotes of our lamented chief, in which he acknowledged 
gratefully the many press favors he had received at his hands. 
He referred to him as one of the most warm-hearted, honorable 
gentlemen he had ever met in his long list of acquaintances in 
all parts of the world, and spoke of htm with gratitude for his 
kind and proffered assistance in the days of the *' One-Horse 
Show," when a friend in need was a friend indeed. His many 
years of experience as a clown has given him that ease upon the 
stage that at once attracts an audience and undivided attention. 
The Colonel related in his own happy mood many amusing inci- 
dents that convulsed the audience with laughter, and elicited 
hearty applause. 

The lectnre is one founded upon years of experience, and none 
can say that the life of Dan Rice, checkered as it is with fortune 
and failure, does not afford ample grounds for such a lecture. 
The speaker, with wonderful case, would lead the audience to 
laugliter by his anecdotes, and to deep and sober thought by his 
flights of eloquence Jind pathos. 

The nature of the lecture admitted of a wide discussion of 
several of his favorite themes, among them the experience de- 
rived from travel, the sawdust ring, and intemperance, and the 
knowledge from these various sources, imparted by a man who 
has actually been in contact with thcra, did not fad to impress 
all present with the wholesome advice. 

Dan Rice as a popular lecturer is eminently successful, and 
those who failed to hear him last night missed a rare treat. — 
From the "Evening Courier," Madison, Ind., September 20, 
1884. 

Dan Rice at the Opera House. 

There was an audience of representative people at the Opera 
Tlouse to hear Dan Rice on the " Idiosyncrasies of the Human 
Mind." There was *i cold rain without, preventing the attend- 
ance of many ladies, but there were warm hearts within to greet 



342 



B£M1N1SC£NC£S OF DAN UlCE 



tlie Clown of our Daddies. He ojyened in characteristic form by 
ail alhiiJioii to the postponed performauec of Maud S. (Robert 
Bonncr'si wuDderful nuiiig nuiru), then entered upou reinini*- 
ceiices id" Lexington, and alluded tu the Wieklitis, Wartield 
Blaekburus, Bufurdt., Bretkcnridges, luid latl, but not least, 
iuimortal Chiy, whose mantle he considered had fallen on 
p^et^elU. unoitj)OKed eandidate for Congress. His allusion to M 
Blarkhurn was greeted with applause. He stated that in via 
ing the cemetery he had noticed the tall shaft looming up, ind 
eating that even after death lleury Clay was far above his pee 
as was the ease in his nuble life. Firt^t he said, " How revereiie 
is the face of the tall pile whose syoimetrical pillars rear ale 
its iuvhed and ponflerous mof, by its own weight made steadfa 
and imniovjibie." Looking Iranqiiiily, we regard this tribute i 
of the most poetical passages in tlie Lnglish language. Colon 
Eice, in speaking of the elotiuence of the immortal Henry C\^ 
said, " Whenever he spoke, heavens! how the listening thr 
dwelt f*n the swelling music of his tongue, and when the poM 
of eloquence b?M try, then lightning struck you. Ah, then 
breezes siglied." 

He stated that his maiden vote for President was east 
Henry Clay, who was defeated in two attempts of his friends : 
place him in the Presidential chair, which honor he could lia^ 
realized by a sacrifice of principle, and many of his numer 
friends urged him to sacrifice pride to the exigencies of the tiir 
but Iris answer was emphatically, " No! I would rather be rifi 
than be President." (Loud applause.) 

He referred tn his visits to the churches yesterday, in the 
morning to bear the son of an old friend. Dr. Xolan, and in 
evening tn listen to Dr. Hidens** afhiress on the subject of BibH 
rending. From tliis he hram-hcd out info >in expression of 
opinion on the Holy Sg-iptures, the like of which has never ' 
beard. He impressed ujion bis hearers such words of wisilom, i 
rived from his own experience, as cannot but 1m? profitable to ; 
fleeting minds. F^specially impressive was he on the subject ' 
divorce. He stated emphatically that divorce brings a curse uf 
a man by marking him for the finger of scorn and susj)icii] 
through life. His tributes to the departed dead were of suij 
character as to show that " T^ncle Dan " is 1*etter posted in rega 
to them than many who were born and raised here. Speaking^ 
the fame of Kentucky, and especially of Lexington, he said: " " 
ilhistrions sons and representative statesmen are kno^-n all ov 
the civilized world." He told a good story of a Kentucky Ifld. 
betting at New Orleans on the great racehorse, " Lexington.** 
After she bad put up all her money and jewels on her favorite, 
she sprang up and said she was willing to bet her husband Lex- 




INIS0ENCE8 OF DAN BICE 



343 



ington would win; and win, hi' did. His triliute to womun was re- 
markabJy fme, and all through the entertaining humor of tho dis- 
course of nearly two hours way a deej>, rich vein of worldly wis- 
dom and Christian philosophy, that only too many of our 
preachers fail to discover.^Lexington, Ky., " Daily News," Octo- 
ber 29, 1884. 

Col. Dan Rice. 

Now that Waco is honored by the presence of this admirable 
gentleman, the " Examiner *' suggests that some of our leading 
citizens call on him and ask the favor of a lecture. He is one 
of the most interesting talkers on the rostrum now in this country 
and he would fill any public hall in the city to overflowing. A 
lecture from Dan Rice on any subject would be full of sound 
morality and sound philosophy. The "Examiner" votes for a 
lecture. 

The same journal, a few days later, published the following: 
Colonel Rice, ujxm the urgent solicitation of many leading citi- 
zens of Waco^ will give one of his chaste and intensely interesting 
personal entertainments at Garland's Opera House on Thursday 
night, ()ctol»er 15th. Mr. Oarbiud has generously tendered 
Colonel Rice the house for that night free. We cun promise the 
citizens of Waco an intellectual treat. Colonel Rice is known 
wherever the English lant^uage is spoken as one of the leading 
humorists of this or any other age, and he is withal, a genial, 
scholarly gentleman, and with the warmest heart that ever beat 
in hujiuin bosom. The Colonel has given over a million dollars 
to charity during bis wonderful career. I^et the generous people 
of Waco turn out and give the distinguished gentleman a rousing 
reception. 

Co], Dan Rice, the elown of our daddies, gave a lecture at the 
Garland Opera House to-night which wns well attended. "The 
FoolV Wisdom " was his theme, and he handled it very cleverly. 
Yesterday morning the Colonel went down to the three hundred 
students at ebapel hour. He quotes Scripture as readiJy and 
ferventlv as anv i)reacher, and sticks to the King James version. 
—From'** The Waco Examiner," Waco, Tex., October 1?, 1885. 

The same paper quotes the following day: It was a pretty 
picture, last night, in the dress circle of the darland Opera 
Tlouse. in looking down to the parquette, where an even hundred 
of tlie l>right-face(l, pretty girls of the Waco University sat. Dr. 
Bnrleson, the venerable president, necupied one of the prosce- 
nium boxes, aud dress circle and galleries were filled with an 



344 



BEMINISCENCES OF DAN I»CE 



elegant ami enthusiastic audience. All were there to listen to 
the " Foofs Wisdom, or lliu Idiosyncmsies of the llumaii Mind," 
as expounded by Colonel Hiee. The lecture was a potpourri of 
wit, humor, patlios, and eomriion sense; a talk that was practifal 
and beneficial, and if aj)plied properly it ought to do his hl?a^ 
good in more ways than one. Nobody got wearied, and at liu 
the old gentleman was afi])lnuded to the echo. There is a move-* 
ment to induce him to give a semi-moral lecture at the eami: place 
on next Sunday evening. 



•tit-aJ 

iiove-^i 

ice j 



Colonel Itice gave a series of lectures, ninety-two in all 
throughout the Souiliern States for the benefit of widows and 
orphans of the Confederate dead; contributions for the H. E. 
Lee Memorial at New Orleans, and last, but not least, Galveston 
has cause to be gratcfid to the old circus down for a contribution 
of $1,000, sent ]>y him to the Howard Ai»tii)ciation here, from 
Lansing, Mich., in 18(>7. when the population of this city wiis 
being flecimatcd by the yellow fever scourge. — From " The Dai'^ 
Waco, Tex., October l.j,' J8S5. 






Dan Rice's Lecture. 

The lecture of Col. Dan Rice, the veteran showman, from 
bandstand on the Beach Hotel lawn, yesterday afternoon, 
tracted iiuirli attention, and the old showman completely 
tared his hearers and held them in sym|iathy with himself 
subject throughout, for t^uch a heterogeneous audience, suchi 
generally assemble at the Reach on Sunday evenings. The " 
ture being a sort of jmtponrri of wit. humor, sentiment, and wis- 
dom, was admirably adapted, and few speakers could have 
their attention as successfully as did Colonel Rice. He 
nounced his subject as a '"' Fool's Wisdom, or, the Idiosynerai 
of the Human Mind." Just wherein the subject matter fitted 
the caption, it was difficult to discern, without the lecture which, 
taken in its enlirety, was the outgrowlh of the idiosyncrasies and 
peculiar originality of the speaker. It was, indeed, an effort orig- 
inal in its conce|)tion, as tlie ordinary run of lectures go, and quite 
as original in its st^le of delivery. Though very hoars<?. Uncle 
Dan made himself heard quite distinctly, his voice being pecu- 
liarly suited for outdoor speaking. Within the range of his 
theme ho endjraced nearly everything, and would drop from the 
vsublime to the ridiculous and fly from the sentimental and 
pathetic to the humorous with a grace and ease of method that 
were absohitely remarkable, showing a perfect mastery of his 
subject, lie never seeim^d at a loss for words or language to ex- 
press his ideas, and would string together with a single link 




heminiscences of dan rice 



345 



thetical subject luattor witli a faeiliiy thai was marvellous, pre- 
jierving a unity throughout as pleasing m a medley of popular 
airs. It was a lecture that none but Dan Rice could have deliv- 
ered, and one that never eould be produced in tyjie, for. shorn 
of the peculiar numnerisins of (he speaker and divested of the 
humor he imparted, it would he of little interest. Uncle Dan's 
early training in the sawdust ring comes admirably to his aid 
upon the lecture stand, anrl his thorough command of facial 
expressions, art of acting, and mimicry, are the secrets of his suc- 
cess in being so peculiarly entertaining. He was frequently in- 
terrupted by applause and voeiferously clieered at the close. — 
From the "Daily News," Galveston, Tex., August 24, 1885. 

Address in the Ring. 



THB CLOWN 



AND THE PARSON— A FANATICAL 
A SERMON IN THE SAWDUST. 



PREACHER — 



As a clown, Dan Rice*s reputation and success superseded all 
others who had preceded him, or who have since appeared in the 
motley garb. There is no doubt but that he would have been 
equally successful had he ado[jted the stage as a profession. As 
an elocutionist be had few rivals, and when lie occasionally quoted 
Shakespeare tbere were many distinguished actors wlio might 
hove profited iu the hearing. But, after all, it is as a preacher of 
the Gospel that Dan thinks hv would have made a still greater 
reputation, and if he had cho.sen the ministerial path to fame, 
at this time he and his admirers arc of the ojiinion that three 
names would have been linked, Beecher, Talmage, and Rice. 
The time of the delivery of the following sermon was May. 1851. 
Dan Rice's one-horse show was advertised to exhibit at Weeds- 
port, in the State of New York. Jn the interim the Rev. Mr. 
Dunning, of the Methodist Church, denounced all such shows 
in a st}'le which exhibited, iu a marked degree* an intolerant 
spirit. He was jmrticularly severe upon the one-horse show, 
and concluded with an excommunication threat to all who visited 
the show. This did not prevent the attendance of an immense 
crowd upon the arrival of the circus, and in the course of the 
entertainment Dan paid his respects to the preacher, and jdc- 
tnred him in such a ridiculous light that the audience, many 
of them mendters of his church, were convulsed with laughter. 
As a climax, Dan announced that upon the following day (Sun- 
day) he would let the canviis remain and preach a sermon in 
opposition to his uncharitaltle neighbor, so that all who attended 
might see with what facility a clown could transform himself 
into a minister of the Gospel. At the appointed hour, ten 



346 



HEMINISCENCES 01' DAN IMCK 



o'clock, on the morning of the 4th of May, ISal, the interior of 
the canvas was crowded to witness the novel exhibition. The 
result was in the nature of a surprise, and the severest rebuke to 
Dan's assailant was that, in the discourse, he was utterly ignored. 
A special reporter from the *' SjTacuse Daily Standard '* was in 
attendance, who took down and published the sermon, wliich, 
as delivered by Dan liice, was extempore. 



SERMON BY DAN RICE. 

The following is the text: '* The Lord of Hosts; I am the first 
and 1 am tlie last, an<l beside me there is no God." 

Tliese words establish most conclusively the doctrine held by 
the Xew Jerusalcni Church concerning the Lord, which is taught 
in the following words: That Jehovah Gud, the creator and pre- 
server of heavtii and earth, is essential love and essential wisdom 
or essential good and essential truth; tliat He is one both in 
essence and ifi person, in whom, Tievertheless, is a Divine Trinity, 
consisting of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, like soul, body, and 
operation in num; and that the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is 
that God. 

Adopting, therefore, an urderlj arrangement of the subject, 
let us consider: 

First: The proposition that the Lord in His essence is divine 
love and divine wisdom, or, what is the same things divine good 
and divine truth. Second: That ile is one, both in essence and 
in person, in whom, nevertheless, is a divine trinity, consisting 
of Father, Son, and lluly Spirit, like soul, body, and operation 
in man; and third: That the L<ml and Saviour Jesus Christ is 
that God. It must be apparent to everyone that our considera- 
tion of this divine subject must be greatly circumscribed, inas- 
much as the tinu' usually allowed to a discourse will necessarily 
confine us to a very general view of the doctrines here a<hanced, 
and not pertnit nf that enlarged and extended survey of all its 
important particulars which the scritnisly conteinj*lative mind is 
disposal to make. Indeed, to consider the subject in all its par- 
ticulars nnd singulars were the work of eternity, for we may ex- 
haust all tlie powers of human cDUception in the contemplation 
of it single attribute of the Great Jehovah, and, after all, we shall, 
as it were, be merely entering upon the threshold of its considera- 
tion. The subject is infinite, and therefore can never he fully 
examined by finite comprehension. The first proposition is 
'* that the TjonI in His essence is divine love and divine wisdom, 
• ir. what fs the same thing, divine good and divine truth," or, 
what is still the same, divine hetit and divine light. 

Our Lord says: " I am the first.** He is, therefore, unereate 



BEUIXISCENCES OF DAX RICE 



347 



and infinite, and because He is uncreate and infinite He is life 
it&clf, or life in Himself. Now love is the life of man. This is 
evident I'runi tliis, that if you remove alfeetion, whieh [& of love, 
you can neitiier think nor act. It uiay nl^o be made to appear 
from its eorro^pondeiiee with beat, witliout which wo knttw that 
it is impossible to exist for a moment. Now the Lord, because 
lie is love in its very essence, that is, divine love, appears before 
the angels as a sun, an<l from that sun proceeds heat and light; 
the heat thence proceeding in its essence is love, and the light 
thence proceeding in its essence is wisdom. 

Because the Lord in tlie heavens is divine truth, and in divine 
truth there is light, tijereliirc, the Lord in the word is caHcd light, 
and likewise all truth which ig from Him. Jet^us said: *' 1 am the 
light of the world; he that followetii me shall not walk in dark- 
ness, but shall have the light of life. As long as I am in the 
World I am the light of the world." Jesus said: "' Yet a little 
while the light is with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest 
darkiies^s come upon you. While ye have the light believe in the 
light, that ye may be the sons of light." '* I am come a light 
into the world, th:it everyone t!iat bidievcth in Me may not 
remain in darkness." *' Light hath come into the world, but 
men have hived darkness rather than light." John says, concern- 
ing the Lord: " This is the true light which enlightencth every 
man." "' The people who sit in darkness shall see a great light, 
and to thou whtj t-at in the shadow of death, liglit hath arisen." 
'* The nations that are sjived shall walk in His light." *' Send 
Thy light and Thy truth; they shall lead me.'* In these places 
and in very many others the Lord is called light. Since from the 
Ijord as a sun, there is light in the heavens, therefore when He 
was transfigured before Peter, James, and John, " His face ap- 
peared n>^ the .«un, and His garments as the light, glittering and 
white as snow," That the garments of the Txtrd apj>care<^ so was 
because they represented divine truth, which is from Him in the 
heaTens, " Since the light of heaven is divine truth, therefore 
also that light is divine wisdom and intelligence; whence the 
same is understood by being elevated into the light of heaven, 
as by being elevated into intelligence and wisdom, and being en- 
lightened. Because the light of heaven is divine wisdom, there- 
fore all are known snch as they are in the light of heaven." And 
the heat of heaven in its essence is love. It proceeds from the 
Lord as a sun, which is the divine love in the Lord and from the 
Lord. " There are two things which proceed from the Lord as a 
sun — divine truth and divine good: divine truth stands in the 
heavens as light and divine good as heat, but they are so united a< 
to be bnt one," just as the light and heat of the sun of this world 
are united and are one. 



348 



REMINISCENCES OF DAX RICB 



'' And from this that the divine essence itsell is love and wis- 
dom, it is that inau han two faculliL'ti of life, Troiii one of whirli 
he lias understanding and rnmi tlie otlier lie has will. The 
faeidty from which he ha.s iiindci\<tandin^^ derives its all frnni the 
inlliix of wtfdoin, frcnn CJod, and the faculty frnin whieh he has 
will derives its all from the influx of love from tiod.'' " Hence 
it is manifest that the divine with a man resides in these two 
facultieji, which are the faculty of being wise and the faculty of 
loving: that is, the faculty to do so." 

*' From thiK, that the divine essence itself is love and wisdom, 
it is that all thingi^ in the universe refer themselves to i;ood and 
truth. For all that which ]>roeeeds from love is called good, and 
that which proceeds from wisdom is called truth." From this, 
that the divine essence itself is love and wisdom, it is that the 
universe and all things in it, as well the animate as the inanimate, 
subsist from heat and light; for heat corresponds to love and light 
corresponds to wisdonr; wherefore also spiritual heat is love and 
spiritual light is wisdom/' 

From the divine love and from the divine wisdom, which make 
the very essence which is God, [iroeeed all affections and thoughts 
with man; the affections from divine love, and the thoughts from 
divine wisdom, an<l all and each of the things of man are nothing 
but affection and thought; then are tliese two, as it were, the foun- 
tains of all things nf )iis life; all the delights and pleasures of his 
life are from them; the delights from the affection of his love, and 
the pleasures from his thought thence. Now, because man was 
created to be a recipient, and is a recipient, so far as he loves God 
and from love to tiod, is wnse; that is, so far as he is affected by 
those things which are from God, and so far as he thinks from 
that affection, it follows that the divine essence, which is creative, 
is divine love and divine wisdom. 

Yet, though we never can lind out the Almighty unto perfec- 
tion, we may, if we be so disposed, by putting away fnmi us what- 
ever is in opposition to the spirit and life of the Lord, and look- 
ing to Him for light, be enablTc'd to see the King in His Glory. 
For being created with capacities for the reee|)tion of love and 
wisdom, l)y which we may become images and likenesses of Him- 
self, if we exercise them right, we may behold, admire, and love 
the character and attributes of Him who is the King of Israel 
and his lledcemer, the L<trd of Hosts. And we may he assured, 
if we put away our evils and look to Him in the way he has 
pointed out to us in His word. He will manifest himself unto us 
as He does not unto the world. 

Let us then approach the consideration of this subject with 
becoming reverence. Let us put away from ns every thought, 
every affection, every tendency of the n)ind which would in the 



m OF DAN RIOB 

fmallcst degree ol^jitnul ilie light (jf ilivine truth, or liincler or 
oppose tl)e (livioe inllux in its deseent into our iiiimis, and, in- 
voking His divine aid, pret^emv, and blessing upon our medita- 
tionfi of Him, let us proceed to notice what the Lord has revealed 
to us concerning Hin>self in Hits huly word. 

At. the coneluftion of the sermon, Mr. Kice, with a ministerial 
expression on his counteniinee, announced the fwUowing hymn to 
be sung by the Circus Troupe aceomjmnied by the l}and, and it 
was rendered with thrilling etteet. So much h), that the Rev. 
Dr. Graves of the Prt'sltyterian church, moved by an irresistible 
impulse. pronounce<l a benediction, probably the first that was 
ever called down ii{)on ai conoonrse of people assembled under a 
circus tent. At the close hundreds of people passed before Mr. 
Bice to shake his hand and congratulate him, and many expressed 
the opinion that he had mistaken his calling. 

Uod is love; ids mercy brightens 

All the path in which we rove; 
Bliss he wakes and woo he lightens, 

God is wisdom, God is love. 

Chance and change are busy ever; 

Man decays, and ages miove; 
But Ins mercy waneth never; 

God is wisdom, God is love. 

E'en the liour tluit darkest seeraeth. 
Will bis changeless goodness prove; 

From the frhMun his 1»rightness streameth, 
God is wisdom, (fod is love. 

lie with earthly cares entwincth 

Hope and cum fort from above; 
Everywhere his gh:)ry shineth; 

God is wisdom, God is love. 



The New Dei'artube. 

part of a discnirhk of d.\x uwe in new orleans. 

Slavery has been swei>t away forever* whetlier as an act of polit- 
ical expediency or military necessity, it ia useless now to inquire. 
In the bare fact tiie statist and lawgiver will find much to inter- 
fere with and reverse their ob1-tiuie calculations. The causes 
which interfered with the jiublic sclniol system in our country 
Tuirishes and made it there ''a miscrnble failure." exist no hmgcr. 
Between the once rich planter ami the poor farmer or mechanic, 
tliere is now no dilTerence on the score of wenlth; all classes have 
been reduced, as it were, to the same common level, and the in- 



3:*() 



RRMIN'ISCENCES OF DAN IMCE 



telligent planfor, who was once too \mt\u\ U> send his cliildreii I 
a free public »»(huol will he the first now to recognize its benefits,- 
Though a |>nrti"n of h'n^ (il<l jiride !jiay vel reiuain. it is not of m»' 

preference to intel- 



ihk 



:'ter jis to he i'ostei 



iinreiigojial)l( 

ligencre, iiiul as soon as the prejucHces against a free pulilic school 
sygtera are once overcome, it will be found 4|uite as applicflUej 
to the country parishes as to our own metropolitan district. 

Not only are the circumstances of our old residents changes 
hut we will soon have great additiou-s to our white populatioUiJ 
and with pvery i*uch ad<lition the public school system will 
come more and more ynitctl to our wants. The newcomers, 
nuiy he fairly iis^iumed, will regard the free school as a publitS 
blciJsing. It has been predicted l>v a Northern lecturer that "ill 
ten years Xew England will lose more than a Ihinl of her popalt 
tion. The young and vigorous, who have learned for theuisolvlj 
the great advantages which we possess in soil and cliinftte, 
leave their old sterile homes and tlock to us as wild pigeons an 
swallows do on the approach of winter. In ten years we sha 
hear no more of <he sparse pofudation of our country parishes. 
Such changes will he wrought as were never before accomplished 
in a singlf dccaile. I'he ]>rediftian of President Madison, whea_ 
standing on the Imnks of the lower Mississippi, will yet be v( 
fied. '* Not far distant from tbis spot.'* said he, " will stand 
future capital of our great I{ej)ublic." Then witii the wr 
gaze of a seer and philosopher, looking into the future, he adde 
"This valley will yet be unrivalled in agriculture, unrivalled 
arts, unrivalled in arms, the great deep its only emblem, whicll 
glorying in its ninjesty, dignity, and strength, laughs at the 
opposition of tyrants." 

The recommendation in reference to colored schools is a ve 
pro])er one. Though the negro has been freed God has set I 
mark upon him which has always been regarded as well by blac^ 
as whites as an urnnistakaldc sign of inferiority. Only wh( 
puffed up by demagogues and fanatical humanitarians does th 
negro pretend to he the wliite man's equal, and though our people 
entertain no deep-seated prejudices on the subject, yet the two 
races can never stand on the sume social level, either pracfieally 
or theoretically, and different schools will have to be provided for 
their children and their children's children for all tinie to come. 



Usixo TiTE Eyes. 

CLTPPTNO TROM A LECTURE ON THE ABOVE. 

How many of us go through life without ever realizing that ' 
eyes have to be educated to see as well as our tongues to speak, 



BEaUNISC£NC£S OF DAN BICK 



S51 



and that only the broadest outlines of the complex and ever- 
changing imager focused on the retina urdinarily impress them- 
selves upon the brain? That tlic education of the eye may be 
brought to a high state of perfection is shown in numerous ways. 

There are many delicate processes of raanufacture which de- 
|)end for their practical success upon the nice visual perception 
of the skilled artisan, who almost unconsciously detects variations 
of temperature, color, density, etc., of his materials which are 
inappreciable to the ordinary eye. 

The hunter, the mariner, the artist, the scientist, each needs 
to educate tlie eye to quick action in his special field of research 
before he can hope to become expert in it. The following story 
from the " Penn Monthly," which is quite apropos, is related of 
Agassiz, and it is sufficiently characteristic of this remarkably 
accurate observer to have the merit of probability. We are told 
that once upon a time the professor had occasion to select an 
assistant from one of his classes. There were a number of candi- 
dates for the post of honor, and finding himself in a quandary 
as to whifb one he should ehoo.^e, the happy thought occurred io 
him of subjecting three of the more promising students in turn to 
the simple test of describing the view from his laboratory win- 
dow, ivhich overlooked the side yard of the college. One said 
he merely saw a board fence and a brick pavement; another added 
a fiireara of soapy water: a third detected the color of the paint on 
the fence, noted a green mould or fungus on the bricks, and evi- 
dences of " bluing " in the water, besides other details. It is 
needless to tell to which candidate was awarded the coveted posi- 
tion. 

Houdin, the eelebnited prestidigitator, attributed his success in 
his profession mainly to his quickness of perception, which, he 
tells us in his entertaining autobiography, he acquired by educa- 
ting his eye to detect a large number of objects at a single glance. 
His simple plan was to select a shop window full of a miscellane- 
ous assortment of articles, and walk rapidly past it a number of 
times every day, writing dow^^ each object which impressed itself 
on bis mind. In this way he was able, after a time, to detect in- 
stantaneously all the articles in the window, even though they 
might be numbered by scores. 



Political Speeches and Patriotic Addresses. 

COLONEL rice's PROFESSION MADE HIM A COSMOPOLITE. 

While ydaying an engsigcnient in Stone & McCrjllom's Circus 
nt ChaHcston, S. C. in the winter of 1849 and iHoO. a compli- 
mentarv* dinner was tendered the famous jester by fifty young 



353 



REMINISCENCES OF DAN KICE 



"M 
1 



gentlemen, the cream nf South Carolina's chivalrous sons, many 
of whom were upon a hnlidnv vacation from the colleges uf the 
North. DuriDg the evenin^^ there was an extraordinary difepluf 
of collegiate erudition, and each gentleman became an expnumler 
of the ela!5sirs. includinjij quotations in the original language from 
Greek and Roman writers. The hum])le clown sat u silent but 
attentive listener, until he was finally called upon, either to m«ke 
a speech or sing a song in response to a complimentary toast. 
The result was a recitation, which hoth astonished and amuR'd 
Ids entertainers. The following from the Charleston " Literary 
Gazette" was the burthen of his speech: 

Of all the characters of ancient or modern times my favoril 
was Scaramouch; now^ you may divine that this is an imitatii 
of " Rabelico '* and Southey's " Doctor.-^ We will call it Poni 
prus. 

Meanwhde Scaramouch took himself off and applied to all 
sorts of Divination for the purpose of discovering where the lost 
bottle was lying. He tried Aeromancy, or divination by the air; 
Alectryemaney, or divination liy a fowl-cock; Alenromancy, or 
divination by flour; Alonmney, or divination by salt; AnemoafjU 
cosy, or inspection of the winds; Anthraeomany, or divination bjfl 
charcoal; Arithmonaney, or divination by numbers; Astromancy, 
or divination by the stars; He divined according to Bactromancy, 
or by a rod; Bostrychomany, or by the hair; Botanomancy, or by 
the plants; Brizomancy, or by the nodding sleep: Capnomancy, 
or by smoke; Catoptromancy, or by mirrors; Cephaleonomancy, 
or liy the head of an ass turned around; Chartomancy, or by the 
cards; Cleidomancy, or by the keys; Cleromancy, by lot and dice; 
Cymomancy, by beans. He tried the divination of Dactylio- 
mancy, by rings; of Daphnomauty. by burning laurel leaves; of 
Extispieiny, by inspecting the entrails of victims; Geloscopy, by 
laughter; of Geomancy, by the earth; of Geofy, by sorcery; of 
Gynecomancy, by women; of Hremoniancy, by blood; of Ho: 
copy, by calculation nativities; of Hydromancy, by water; 
Icthomancy, by (Ish; of Kerannoseopy, by thunder; of Lampa 
maney, by lamps; of Lil>animianey, by incense smoke; of Litho^ 
mancy, by stones, lie divined by Metaposcopy, the lines in the 
forehead; hy Myomancy, rats; by Necromancy, evocation of the 
dead; by Nephelemancy, the clouds; by Oinomaucy, wine; by 
Onoirocracy, dreams; by Oomancy, eggs: by Ophiomancy, ser- 
pent: by Opthalmascopy, eyes: by Ornithascopy. birds; by Parthe- 
nonmncy, virgins; by Pa?domancy, children; by Pelomancy, mud; 
by Pinacomancy, tablets; by Syehomacy, evocation of souls; by 
Ptarmoscopy, sneezing: by Pyromancy, fire. He divined, more- 
over, by Rbapsodomaney, verses of poets; by Skiamancy, shad- 
ows; by Spodoraancyj cinders; by Sticomancy, verses of Sybils; 




REMINISCENCES OF DAN RICE 



353 



by Stoicomancy, "the elements; by 8yconiancy, figs; by Tevatos- 
copy, prodigies; by TetraiJOilumancy, quiidrupeds; by Theolepsy, 
ecfitaey; by Theurgy, celestial spirits; by Tyronianey, eheese; by 
L'ranoficoi)y, the heavens; by XyhJinancy, wood; by Yhjnianry, 
forests; by Zoomaney^ living things; and thus, having gone 
through the aljihabet of Divination without discovering where 
the anielling-bottle was, he eut three thousand three hundred and 
thirty-three and a third capers, turned ninety-nine thousand 
nine hundred and ninety-nine sunnnersets, pulled his left ear 
Beveial times, until it was ehmgated to the extent of several hun- 
dred cubits, tweaked his noge until it was an sharp as a needle 
forty hundred leagues long, and giving a great cry of hullaballi- 
I boowhoohooyoosee, he went to sleep. 

Being suddenly awakened by an astonishing dream, he cried 
in Hebrew, Anoehi, hannabi asher itto ■halom — I am the prophet 
with whom is a dream! 

He added in Arabic, Ma ya'lamu taweelahu— No one knows its 
interpretation! 

He added, moreovx-r, in Syriac, Shma'u mishwa, v'lo thesheha- 
lun vas'hru nuchzo v'lo thed'un — Even if you hear it you will not 
understand it, and even if you see it you will not know it! 

He cried in Chaldee, 'Helmaya basimin yattir min dubvaha — 
Dreams sweeter than honey. 

And he added in Persian, Djan asa ahet amiz, summa zudaz, 
dil Kusha — Kugia teshrif awnrdid^ — tiiving rest to ttie soul 
bringi]ig ((uiet, driving away misfortune. 

He cried in Armenian, I'sd amenian desleanus aisorig, vet- 
' zitoxe anoosliaiiidoo1eam]> f^tuirjim — According to all this vision, 
six times over am I moved with gayety! 

At intervals, during the delivery, peals of laughter and ap- 
plause greeted the speaker, and at its conclusion, one of the party, 
in a tit of entlmsiasm, arose to his feet, gesticulating as he ex- 
l claimed: 

"fientlemen, notwithstanding that our famous guest is from 
the Xorth, still, by G — -, he is somewhat of a gentleman/* 



Dan Rice*s Benefit to ME.MPnrs, 

On yesterday afternoon was given the exhibition for the bene- 
fit of the Memphis sufferers at Dan Hice's Paris pavilion circus. 
llie performance in its entirety was excellent, and this alone 
should have secured the exhibition better patronage than it had. 
The cold weather, however, prevented the large attendance which 
had been anticipated. At the close of the performance, Vene P. 
Armstrong unexpectedly appeared, and thus addressed Colonel 
Bice, who was standing in the ring: 



354 



REMINISCENCES OF DAN RICE 



Colonel Dan Rice? — Sir: I feel it an honor and no let^s pleas- 
ure, sir, to appear for the first time in the ''ring" before so 
happy an audienee and so honoralde a gentleman as yourself. 
On behalf of the sufferers of Memphis and our committee, allow 
me, sir, to tender you the heartfelt thanks and gratitude of a 
suffering people for your noble generos^ity upon tliis ocension; 
and let me assure my old friend that many a pair of trembling 
lips will send their message heavenward in these words: " tJod 
bless Dan Riee." It i.s not strange that, while you are feeding 
the hungry, ckithing the naked, shielding the wirlow, and pro- 
teetiug the or[)han, you ore, by words of wit, making others more 
fortunate that they laugh at misfortune and hard times. Such 
is life. Some huigh while others cry; some smile, others weep; 
some live, others die. And your large heart, so full of the " milk 
of human kindness," is never closed to any appeal when human- 
ity says, '' Dan, give." Sir, while you are a veteran in the circus 
ring, and cannot be called one of " last year's chickens.^* still you 
htive always hmkeil upon the cheerful side of the picture of life. 
You are yet young euftugb to live to see your charities appre- 
ciated by a magnanifuous people. Again allow me to thrtuk you 
and yourcominiuy for this excellent entertaitnnent, the proceeds 
of which will he forwarded to Memphis to alleviate the sufferings 
of an atllicted peojile who have been less fortunate than our- 
selves. May you ** live long and prosper " is the heartfelt wish 
of all who are present here to-day. I believe I speak the senti- 
ments of our entire city of Mem]>his and the M'hole Union when 
1 say, *' May (rod Idess and may long live Dan Rice, the philan- 
throjuet, the wit, and the gentleman." Mr. Rice seenu^d deeply 
affected by Mr. .Armstrong's earnest speech, and wiped his great, 
honest face with Ids handkerchief sc^veral times. For a moment 
his feelings were " too deep for utterance," but the great chari- 
table old heart wouhl he heard, and standing as erect as a Co- 
lossus, he said: 

Ladies and Gentlemen: My heart is really too full to express 
in appropriate language what t would like to say to you. I know 
the very unpropitious weather nnist have detained many from 
attending this iienefit under the frail protection of a circus tent, 
who, if the weather had been better, would have been here. But, 
anyway, those who have come here, whose hearts warm towards 
those who are in deep distress, care not for the weather. My 
friends, this is characteristic of Tjouisville and Kentucky. The 
people are pioneers in cluirity and good-fellowship, ever ready to 
respond from whatever source the demand or cry for help comes. 
Tt does not become me, my frirnds, to sfieak of what T have 
done; whatever T have done it has been mv duty to do. Those 
people in Memphis are a warm-hearted and generous people. 



BEMINISCENCES OF HAN RICE 



355 



I too. They have never failed yet to respond to the calls of 
eiinrity. When eouiiniiiiities far away from them were visited 
' by dire alUietion they reuelied out the hand of fellowship and 
I deep sympathy, as you all ha\e done to-day. 1 juU!?t say, my 
friends, that 1 feel proud of Mr. Arniy'trong and the eommittee 
he repre8ent*j> beeaytJe they have labored so hard in behalf of 
jsutTering humanity, showing uie that they entered into this mat- 
ter with that humane and dee]) sympathy whieh eharaeterizes a 
Christian people. They went into it in full foree, attending to 
the affairs of the benefit in order that things might be eondiieted 
properly for the benelit of the Memphis sutferers. You remem- 
Wr, uiy friends, what the good Lord has said to those who re- 
inember the sick and the poor, " Blessed is he that remembereth 
the poor," and may that blessing eome upon you all, is Pan Rice's 
earnest wish. 

Colonel Kiee withdrew amidst the thunderous cheers of his 
auditors, as he is, and always has been, a great favoi'ite of Louis- 
Tille people.^From tlie " Louisville Courier-Journal," Novem- 
ber 2d. 



' An Official Compliment to Dan Rice. 

The following correspondence speaks for itself: 

' Mayor's Office, Memphis, November 8, 1860. 

'Capt. Dan Rice. 

Dear Sir: The Hoard of Mayor and Aldermen, meeting No- 
"vemher 7, LS<i<J, as a compliment to yrm for your repeated aets of 
liberality in giving benetits to benevolent institutions, through 
your exhibitions in the city of ^[empbis, and for your gentle- 
manly deportment and' manly earriiige, have retpiested me to 
present you with their compliiiu'nts and tender you the privilege 
of exhibiting *' Dan Rice's (treat Show" for one week free of 
any charge on the part of the city of ^Memjibis. 

Very respectfully, 

R. D. BAUon, Mayor. 

Memfhts, November 9, 18150. 
To the Honorable Board of Mayor and Aldermen of the city of 
Mi'mj)his. 
Gentlemen : The peculiar nature of the romplimeilt which you 
have so generonsly conveyed <o nu^ in the communication of his 
Honor the Mayor, dated the 8th inst., so overwhelms me with 
gratitude that 1 find myself endmrrassed to express in adequate 
Words my sense of the lionor you have conferred upon me. It is 
only one of the iiiany favors and kindnesses which I have received 




350 REMINISCENCES OF DAN UlCF. 

at the hands of the guod jjoopk* of >FL'iuph(i*=-a community, 
which to the last day of riiy life, will he cherislicd in my Fiiomory 
with the most hi-arlft'Il <.?mohont< of rospi'rt, gratitude, anil 
esteem. 

Most ohediently, your obliged and grateful servant, 

Dan Rice. 

Dan Rice anb the Sons of Malta. 

In pursuance to an arrangement previously agreed upon by ' 
the otticers of the S. Grand Council of the State of Lrt>uistana, 
and the memhers of the various lodges now in working order, the 
augUht and honorable S. G. C. met on Saturday, the 5i(lth inst., 
for the purpose of tendering to Brother Dan Rice a compli- 
mentary benefit, under the auspices^ of the I. O. S. M. 

Upon the meeting being called to order, it was moved and 
seconded that one-half of the dress circle of the Academy of 
Music he secured for the express convenience of the Sons. 

It w«s further resohci] that the (i. C. will appear with appro- 
priate badges and the members of the eubordinate lodges appear 
decorated with the cross of the order. 

It is further resolved that the Sons will proceed to the Acad- 
emy in a body. 

A committee was formed to oflQcially wait on Dan Rice, and in 
the name of the 8. G. C. of the L 0. S. M. to extend to him their 
proposition. 

Correspondence. 

New Orleans, January 26, 1861. 
Dan Rice, Esq. 

tSir: The undersigned have been ajipointed a conmiiltee on 
behalf of the S. (I. Council, 1. O. S, M. of the State of Louisiana, 
to tender you a complimentary benefit on such evening as you 
may designate. 

Respectfully yours, 
D. I. Ricardo, Aid to S. G. C, of i:, S.; L. A. Clarke,S. G,C. of La,; 
J. L. Jacobs, V. C. G. of U.; R A. Richardson. 8. G. S.; 
John Burgess, G. P. of La.; J. 11. Jones, G. M. of La.; E. D. 
Willetf, P: V. G.; E. F. Proctor, P. G. C. 

Steamer "James Raymond," January 26, 18fU. 
Brethren: Permit me, as a Son of Malta and an ardent lover 
of the teachings and practical examples of charity as taught by 
your august Honorable Order, to express my heartfelt gratitude 



REMINISCENCES OF DAN RICE 



357 



for the pains you have taken to render lue the recipient of a pub- 
lic honor that 1 shall over reiiieiuIxT with pride. 

Not to aeeept cheerfuLly woliJd be hypueritical on my part, for 
as a man, my heart hums with enthnsiafeni when I feel that my 
professional eourse has enabled me to eommand the respeet and 
regard of such a noble body as you kave the honor to represent. 
Jn accepting, allow me to name Friday, the first of February, as 
the most convenient time for reeeiving you. 

Fraternally yours, 

Dan Ricb. 

To l>. I. Ricardo, L. A. Clarke, and others. 

New York, AprD 7, 1859. 
Dan Rice, Esq. 

Dear Sir: In recognition of the varied and peculiar talents 
whirh you have dij^played in your profe>^sion, and of the sterling 
qualities of mind and heart which we acknowledge yuu to possess 
as a man, we desire to testify in some fitting way our appreciation 
of the etforts you have made, through a long t?eries of years, lo 
amuse and iuf*triiet the public. 

Such a testimonial would seem to he appropriately timed upon 
the eve of your departure uii your farewell tour through the 
United States. Aside from motives of personal friendship, we 
would thus unite in an endonjcment of the elevated style of 
humor in the arena which yuu have originated, and which, while 
it has had a tendeney to reffirm, rather seeked to please by its 
innate merit than by the buffoonery of the clown. We wish also 
to give on cxiyressiou of our admiration of the liberality of 
Nixon & Co., in bringing you again before a metropolitan audi- 
ence. 

We propose, therefore, to offer you a complimentary benefit at 
Niblo'i^ (rarden at surh tinu? as may seem to the manager and 
yourself the most appro]>riate. We are, dear sir, with regard 
and interoet, 

Your friends, 
Fairchild, Wnlker & Co., Edwin Forrest, Simeon, Leland & Co., 
J. (i. Pjirmalee, Avery Smith, George Sherman, Judge Rus- 
pell. I. V. Fowler. D.M Uclevan, Dr. Valentine Mott, Hon, 
O. n. Bernard, [)r. Quaekenboss, Horace tireeley, William 
Cullen Bryant, Heorgc Jones. George William Curtis, James 
Gonhm Bennett. Sr., Hugh Hastings, Sarony & Co., George 
1^1 w, .lohn Owens. 

New York, April 8, 1859. 
Messrs. Valkn'Tink Mott, FrnvTN* Fohiikst. Gi5:f>R0E Law, etc. 
Gentlemen: It needed but your kind offer to fill to overHowing 




B58 



BEHINISCElfCES OF DAN HIVE 



the measure of gratitude for the liberal and continued patronage 
which hafcj been bestowed upon iwq since my advent in the city. 
Alore than all do 1 esteem your recognition of my ettorts to elt»- 
vate my profession to a position beside kindred arts. To this 
end I have labored long and faithfully, a labor amply repaid sinct 
acknowledged by those wlio have been my friends and patroni 
1 love the pursuits which fate or my own predilections have 
me into, and 1 may dare to claim, without the charge of egotii?ni, 
t}iat no act of mine, either public or private, has ever given oct«- 
tiion to my fellow-artists to blush for their brother. But 1 m 
not trumpet my own praise, although I confess your weleoii 
and unexpected letter has given me a very great opinion 
myself. 1 am induced to think that I am somebody. But, se 
ously, gentlemen, 1 feel indebted bcj^ond all power of expressiol 
for the kind tender made me, and although not desiring to di 
claim all credit, yet I feel your generous partiality has given 
more credit that 1 perhaps deserve. I will not. however, affect 
modesty that might in its turn affect my pocket; therefore, with 
renewed thanks, I beg to announce my acceptance of the tct^ti- 
monial, Messrs. Mixon & Co. wish me to convey to you their 
sense of your flattering mention of their administration of the 
series of amusements, and ytate that, with my consent, they hav^f 
named the evening of April 11th as the most convenient for tbt™ 
occasion, it being also the last night of the e<iuestrian season at 
Niblo's Garden. 

I am, gentlemen, with gratitude, 

Your obedient servant, 

Dan Rice. 



lynne^l 



The following is an extract from the New Orleans " Picayune^ 
of December, 1853, in relation to a |>ul>lic testimonial of the 
Rev. Father F. il. T^a France to Dan Rice for his liberal dona- 
tion towards the building of St. Ann's Church: "Yes, my 
friends, the money benefit we are now receiving in Dan Rice's 
contribution of one thousand dollars, has equally pleased and sur- 
prised me. In my boyhood 1 have often visited the circus, and 
the last one I attended was Dan RiceV, at which time I had often 
read of his large charities to convents, churches, charity hospitals, 
and Howard Associations, as also to the rebnihling of Dr. Clapp's 
church \vhich was destroyed by fire, 1850. For this latter his 
subscription was larger than that of any other citizen except Judy 
Yuro. Little did 1 dream of ever receiving aid to our church 
without intimation or solicitation. But upon reflection it is not 
80 surprising for * Dan * to so act. considering that during his 
season in New Orleans he has donated large sums to our ory>han 
asylums, the poor of the municipalities, the Irish Immigrant 




KKMINISCEXCES OF DAN KICE 



350 



Society, to the widows and orphaQB of the fire department, as 
well a8 a large donation trnvards the moiiuiiieiil uf (ienend Jark- 

Ison. fiecorder Jonti, Seuzenao, Mayur Cjussiuiin, Totii Poule. 
Biers, and Don Kicardo inform me tliai Dan Uiee's jmUlic dumi- 
Sons in Xcw Orleans sinee li>i7 aniouoii iu over ninety thousand 
lollars, therefore let us praise and thank New tJrieans' bene- 
fector, or, as we miglit more pro|icr)y tviy, Lonisiana'ii benefactor, 
for all over the State we have read of his lienevolent acts, and let 
hoj»e tbat his good deeds vvitl be [jroduetive ti> him of happy 
lits in the future, as have beeu yielded in the past, and let us 
hsh him that liaj)pine8s which has been promised to those who 
jntribute to God's glory." At tl^e conclusion of the address 
the Beverend Father, there was a simultaneous burst of ap- 



iuse. 



Homeward Bofnd. 



Dan is homeward hound and is annoimce<l to give his last ex- 
hibition for the season in Xew Orleans on Saturda}^ next, the '^Sth 
HjiDst, His "Great Show" will, of course, attract a "multitude 
^H>f witnesses," He is an original in his profession, and is every- 
^Blirhere popular. Our fellow-citizen seems to have succeeded in 
^ftfitonisbing some of the members of the press. A correspondent, 
^Brriting to the " Philadelphia En(|uirer/* says: 
^" I attended a public meeting of the Union men in Mason City, 
Va., a few days since, and among those who spoke was a gentle- 
man by the name of Rice, who the venerahle president introduced 
kas a citizen from Erie Coimty. Pa., in the Keystone State. Of 
pourse, as a Pennsylvanian, I felt an interest in the man, so, 
Hierefore, I gave his remarks more than ordinary attention. He 
Was eloquent, powerfuK and easy in his address and manner, and 
Won the admiration of all who surrounded bis rostrum. His 
practical k-nowledge of the habits of men in different localities, 
and the system he pursued in pointing out the jH>ssibility of the 
success of secession, was no h^ss significant for its originality than 
[jts tmthfulness. He fold what the manufacturing North could 
Jo. and liow essential the iictivity, genius, and skill of'her people 
were to the welfare of the great agricultural territory of the 
" Sunny South." He did not abuse or ridicule any people for 
their peculiarities, or scolT nt the manners or conventionalities 
of those who live in certain localities. He showed himself a 
Union man. who had made the historv of his country a study, 
whose object was to preserve it whole and undivided, and cause 
it to go " conquering and to conquer." 

But whom do you suppose Ibis fine orator to hfivc heon? "N'o 
less a personage than Dan Rice, the American humorist, whom 




300 



BBIONISCENCES OF DAN HIC£ 



I had Beou ami huard frequently in the arena on Quakeropoli^. 
i heard iJan was siirmrt, but I had uo idea that his taleul nai m 
Ihf politit.al tlianni'I. U*.* ih dij^^iiilit'd i»n tliu platfonu, but, liki; 
in ills jirofessifnial i-irfle, uvidciilly rieeuis to coiuiuand, 

1 am tohi thai he has for tsonie time Ijceii hard at work speaking 
for the I'uion, leaving the " institution " to run itself. He is 
not an enthusiast; neither does he appear like a man who waft I 
laboring for the gratiliration of personal ambition or pecuniary 
advantage. To speak plainly, lie talks like a well-infonued,] 
educated gentleman, vvlio known what be is talking about, anA] 
who works for the love of the cause he has enlisted in. I do no 
know wlietber he has a desire for olliee, and 1 jireHume he ha 
not, but it oceurred to me that a man like him, who has travelle 
so far, iias observed so mueli, and was as familiar with the wantl/l 
habits, and manners of the people of all localities, could not 
speak in vain among the lawgivers and sage councils of the iia^ 
tion. Perhaps the next place I may encounkT this rising you 
man (Rice) may he in the State Senate or in the Halls of Con 
gress. More unlikely tilings have hapj)ened. and men of far le 
abdity and charaqter have been honored in that way. 

Dan Kice's Gbeat Show. 



i 



Last night OAer 3,500 people attemled the *' Xational," te 
evince to Dan Rice the high regard the public entertain for him 
as a man and a manager. The recipient of the ovation appeared 
in good eonrlition, and was remarkably communicative and 
peculiarly happy. And he should have been, for we think thi 
Dan Rice, both j^rivately and publicly, occupies a [msition whic 
any man might be proud of. Some' of the horsemen of Phill 
delphia, '* Excelsior's '* frienrls, deterniinerl to show him how 
stood in their estimation, so they got friend Kelch, of Fifth and 
Prune Streets, to get up a cover at the moderate snni of oe 
hundred dollars. Xelch did it and also contrihuted hi** share 
the jiurchase, and Mr. Janieg Kelly, one of the candidates ffl 
Sheriff, threw it into the circle. Mr. Rice made a sjieech, and] 
good one, too, and " Excelsior," rigged out in iiis new attir 
appeared as though he was aware that considerahle importanc 
was attached to his presence. Melville, the Australian, made hij 
df%}tt, and took the people hy surprise. lie is a wonder and pe 
forms feats that no other rider can accomplish. ITe ift a Centaur, 
and his skill in daring, breakneck, dashaway riding baflles de^^ 
flcription. We are glad to know that the "Great Show" wi||H 
remain until Saturday, and that Melville will ride every night^* 
— " Evening Argus," Philadelphia. April 1, 1858. 




EEMINISCEJfCES OF DAK RICE 



Sfil 



Dan It ice as an Ohator. 

citizens wlio have licard Mr. Rice on various occasions 
and subjects, know tliat his statements are quite within tnith. 

Not the lertst anionjij^ the many oratoriea! etfuftions with which 
the people of our land were regaled on tlie late memorable anni- 
yei^ry cd" our National Indepondenee. was the address delivered 
%t Rochester to a con^rregation of three or four thoufyind jieople 
"b}' the eelebrated Dan IJiee. We had supposed that this gentle- 
man, after havinn^ gained an honoral»le fame in the husine-^s to 
which he has dtfv«»ted Ids wliole life, would rest satisfied with the 
results of Ids labor, and leave other departments of excellence 
and honor to other candidates for the public esteem. Not so, 
however. Mr. Hiee seems determined to excel in more things than 
the training of stubborn inuU's and obstinate men, and judging 
from his elTorts at lioehester, is destined to wear the proud laurels 
of an oratur. Since the erunnieneenient of this war we have lis- 
tened to many able and elear expositions of its real causes and 
its real naturt — Init muiu more elear than that of the great wit 
and jester on that occasion. It was the frank, honest outburst 
of a true, honest heart, and as such it was received by the assem- 
bled tiujusands with applause iterfectly rapturous. Unpremedi- 
tated, and sjtoken with scarcely a previous thought as to how it 
should be delivered, »! was, nevertheless, a masterly etfort, and 
one which would have done cinment honor to the proudest ora- 
tor in our land. His expositions of the subject were nujst lucid 
and powerful, and his exhortation to duty and earnest appeals 
to the loyalty and patriotism of his hearers, beautifid and touch- 
ing. It was the impetuous and fiery, yet sensitive effort of a 
bom orator, and since its delivery we have not heard the name 
of Dan Rice mentioned without increasing respect. It is im- 
possible to estimate the good which a man with Dan Rice's op- 
portunities and abilities has accomplished in the cause of our 
eoumtry, and jnay he live long to be honored therefor. — From 
fiochester correspondent of the " N. Y. Leader." 



k. 



Dan Rice. 



^I^^othing extenuate nor aught set down in malice." We 
take pleasure in laying before our readers the following extracts, 
showing in their legitimate light the past and j>resent position 
of Dan Rice, Ksq., our worthy fellow-citizen, on the great ques- 
tion of the Union and the war, which absorb so mucli **{' the at- 
tention of the people at present. Certain New York and Phila- 
delphia papers, wliicli are renin rkalilc for tJieir spotlessness and 
purity, but which signally failed in their endeavors to levy 




362 



HEMJN1SCENCE8 OF DAN BICE 



blackmail upon the Great Show, ore, and have been, very busy in j 
circiihiling the report that Hire is a Se<-e8Hionii:t, thereby seeking 
to do him u prulestiioual injury, and prejudieiiig the miutls of |m.'n1 
sons who do not know the faets of tlie eat«e, n»*t only against him 
personally, but against the exhibition thnt bears bis name. 

This is manifestly a wrong. We know that Dan Rice has, fin 
and last, as the following extracts will show, been a loyal citizen^ 
and in the fuee of opposition whieli at one time came near eostiag j 
liini his life, has stui:d up nobly in defence of the Union and lb 
Stars and Stripes. 

You will pardon me, my dear and well-tried friends, for yoaj 
were mine in the hour of adversity, if I should, as an AmericaM 
citizen, allude to the present state of political affairs. 1 am 
public servant, and know no North, no South, no East, no \V« 
and one who draws his supjwrt from the people of the constella- 
tion of States — this great Union, whose youth is but excelled 
by the fame its own glorious career has given Inrth to. Wlij^B 
should I not, in common with you, shed a patriotic tear for hei^B 
anticipated downfall. My mission is to make you happy, for, as 
Uan Kice, the humorist (<rr clown as I am familiarly styled), I 
have caused smiles to usurp the place of tears, and have made 
genial radiance give place to darkened brows. Cosmopolitan by 
force of cireumstiioces, 1 have, as they say in the vemticular, 
*' travelled some." 

When Boreas reigned supreme above the line of IVIason an4 
Dixon. 1 found the icicle melt beneatli the warm grasp of friend«j 
ship, which here your warm welcome has opened as genially 
the orange blossoms of this tropical State. 

Nor can you pardon this burst of enthusiasm, yes, patriotism., 
1 have been on the held where Jackson won the never- to-be- fop 
gotten battle of New Orleans, an<i silently and alone I have rais 
my hat reverentl}^ before him who was " first in peace, first in 
war, and first in the hearts of his countrymen." and who wiU™ 
ever be gratefnlly remembered as CTCorge Washington. In Phil*^J 
delphia 1 have pondered in Independence Hall, and sat myi^elf 
down within those sacred walls where the first Congress ever 
assembled. A tall shaft at Boston once told me that I stood on 
Bunker Hill, and a simple granite slab had written upon it, 
" Here fell Warren." Amidst the " last, sad honors " and the 
grateful hosannas of the people who encircled the statue of that, 
nolde man, the finger of history pointed to the birthplace Oifl 
Franklin. Beyond it, far otT in one of the mctst cbivalric of tt 
(Vmfcdcracy, the Palmetto State, South Carolina. I saw the Stai 
and Stripes waving over Fort Moultrie, planted tliere when shfl 
down by the enemy by Sergeant Jasper. They float there ye 







MEMINISCBNCES OF DAN UlLLl 



363 



id I hope, in fhe tlispensiatlons of a Divine Providence, they 
■will until time is no ni^re. The Soutli ha^ hcen aggrieved and 
she knows it. and the whole civilized worhl knows it; but none 
more seriously than ihot-e whi) have attempted to deprive her of 
her rights, those fanatical people who have violated those holy 
I»rivilege8 of the Inillot hox Uy passing laws contrar}* to the Con- 
stitution, The folly of their ways they have already discovered, 
and that powerful ooniedy, good, t^oiind, common sense, is al- 
ready beginning to operate in those States, the citizens of which, 
it appears, did forget the eleventli i-ommandrncnt, " Mind your 
own business/' lly fcllnw-citizens^ do not let us, as men. per- 
mit the monster of fanaticism to disturb our equanimity as a 
nation; our forefathers witli strong arms and some with their 
lives, hequeatlied to us this sacred trust. Let ns, in maintain- 
ing our rights, he true to t!iat inheritance, which, though now 
nurs, njust in time be that of our children.— From the " New 
Orleans Newsboy," December 11, 18(J0. 



% Speech Delivered at the Metropolitan Hotel, New- 
York, April 1, 1859. 

Genikmrn: I cannot plead the popular excuse in extenuation 
of any irrelevant remarks wbich I may make, for I am " used 
to puldic speaking.*' though I confess that there is less terror to 
me in the presence of tbonsanrls than in the society of the select 
few who have honored me with their company to-rlay, And for 
this very palpable reason, the jjublic come to see the *' humorist " 
and to laugh at his fnlly, while you look to the man, and expect 
him to apjtear as other than Filins Mrtjui. Yet, as T am. here T 
am; and if J appear riiliculous. you will attribute my short<'oui- 
ings to long associations. It is undenial*le that our pursuits color 
dispositions; for instance, the man who follows the almighty 
dollar with a xest that knows no abatement, finally assumes the 
hue of metal and hccooies pffUer, or else bilious, both physically 
and pecuniarily, But 1 must not be my own trumpeter at the 
expense of your patience. D is my last week in New York, and 
I could not leave without liearing with me some remendtrance 
of my friends here. 

1 generally tind acquaintances nuiy carry me. hut those I leave 
are never superseded In' the new. AYIuitever is behind me must 
be tender, for I am so constituted; 1 expect always to push ahead, 
but no circumstances can ever crowd such pleasant scenes as 
these from my pleasure-freighted memory. We may build new 
reservoirs, hut they are not to disidace the old, we may contract 
new fricndshi|is, hut not at the sacrifice of others. The past is a 
bank that will ever houor Memory's drafts drawn, no matter how 




;i(;4 



REMINISCENCES OF DAN RICE 



long after date. Amid all the press of cvery-day life, not except- 
ing the castigations of tliu duilj press, one meuiber of wiiich huB 
arrayed the terrors of its tribunal against aie^ 1 shall Hud occa- 
sion to look iipun til it* day as one e?;peeially dedicated to frieud- 
ship. You will bear with nic if 1 allude for a inument lo the 
unprecedented siaress that has uiarked our exhibitions in tiiis 
eity. 1 do not do this in order to take to myself any great degree 
of credit, hut I cannot forget tlie a])plau&e with which 1 have 
been favored, an applause which must be shared with that won- 
derful horse. Excelsior, and the ass-tute mules, I recollect, some 
years ago, giving an exhibition in one of tlie interior towns of 
Pennsylvania. Among the inhabitants was one who was opjwsed,. 
not oj)on ])rinciple, but interest, to all siieli shows. I heard of 
tiiis and enclosed a card of admission with the request of his com- 
pany. He returned my note, without tlie ticket, declining to 
attend. I felt sure, however, tiiat he would be there. I hai 
him watched. Shortly after the commencement of the perfon 
ances the gentleman entered. He sneaked in and kejit in tlv 
background. The mules idayed [►articularly well, and almosi 
convulsed the people with laughter. Our solemn friend enjoye 
it until the tears ran doAvu his cheeks copiously, ily detectiv( 
walked yp to him and, laying his hand gently on the hroad sIiou!*| 
ders of the visitor, said, *' You are in tears, my friend." " Yes,' 
re]>lied Broadbrim, taking out his handkerchief and wiping hi 
eyes, " 1 am sorrowful. It grieves me to see so much talent per- 
verted," Whether he meant in my person or in the mules. I 
never knew, hut he has ever home the name eince of " Perverted., 
Talent." I must stop, for I perceive that you are laughing at 
me, and T cannot hear ridicule. Allow me to propose a sentl 
ment: May you never have the nightmare from indigestion, am 
should a diet he recommended, may you ever hold in remem- 
brance the peculiar properties of Rice. 



i 




Washinoton's Birthday in 1859. 

a patriotic gatnerinq. 

A select and talented company met at the Metropolitan in > 
York City, upon the 22d, to do honor to the " Father of his 
Country." and, at the same time, unite in their expressio 
of regard for the puhlic's favorite. Dan Rice, tlie humoristj 
There was no unnecessary display at this reunion, no noisy osten- 
tation that, with a prelude of puHing. vvi^uld mark such a meet- 
iTig. and parade the fact that sueh a tiling was about to occiir^H 
Tliere was an appropriate modesty ahmit the whole affair, at^ 
once characteristic of those who were the hosts, and of the un- 




REMINISCENCES OF DAN KICE 



36^ 



pretending career of the recipient. In response to the principal 
Bentinieiit ilr. Kice rosii to reply. As near!y as we (.an gnu ins 
remarks from memory, they are appended, aJ though we must 
confess our inability lu blend, as ho did, the paLhos, patriolihiii, 
and humor whiffi were delivered in turn. After a few appropri- 
ate remarks, complimentary to those who had thus honored him, 
he went on to say: 

** I'here is an every-day patriotism which men can boast be- 
ing possessed of, and which they ostentatiously parade when- 
ever an allusion made to our dear native land will permit — a 
noisy and proscriptive enthusiasm that is more like galvanized 
metal than true gold. 1 do not like the mouthy of the barroom. 
There is a deeper feeling inwrought into every nature of the man, 
and one that, while it can never lie quenched, yet never Imirns 
in fitful fiames. It is the very life of his inner soul, and the heart 
must cease to beat ere one spark of that quality ceases to illu- 
minate his character. 8uch, I claim, is the reverence I bear to 
my country and her immortal son. 

" It is with trembling lips that 1 pronounce the name of Wash- 
ington. 1 entertam no mock humility, as I bow before the un- 
dimiueil gl<"*ry of that great man's memory* and I thank (Jod that 
he gave to our race one who in living, ennobled, and in dying 
innnortali/ed it. Tlie first name, next to those of my heavenly 
and earthly fathers, my lips were tauglit to pronounce, was his, 
and the lessons taught me then, amid all the changes and chances 
of a busy career, have never been forgotten, and never can be. 
I would not be irreverent, yet I feel as did the sailor who, branded 
for disobedience, was asked if he would not always remember 
the act. " Yes,' he replied. * you have impressed it inddibhf upon 
me.' A kinder system led me to rememi>er the ' great one,' but 
it is indelibly imjircssed upon my heart as though branded there. 

*' Not only in the manhood and continued virtue of the later 
years of Washington may we find food for instruction and deeds 
to emulate. His youth was no less marked by truth and honor. 
The many anecdotes that have come down to us, all precious 
heirlooms, upon the stage of history, fully attest this. lie has 
served, *Ju'n. as a model for the young and a glorious example 
Lfor those of riper years, but otlu'r lips than mine have this <lay 
'pronounced cnlogies upon him and I must not be presumjituous 
enough to attempt it. I am reminded in this connection of an 
incident that once came under my notice. 

*' I was sojourning in one of the sujall towns of Canada, near 
the American line, and was seateil upon the stoop of its principal 
hotel, when there passeil by its door an aged and travel-stained 
wayfarer, lie bad a snuill package strapped to bis back, while a 
stout staff sujjported his almost tottering limbs. 1 addressed 



360 



BEMINISCENCE8 OF DAN RICK 



liim; he paused, and in trembling accents said: * Vonlej voua ! 
tiuimiz moiuu vore d'eau? * 1 8U|i]jlied him from the cool spring ' 
at the door, llu wiped the pcTi^piralion from his high, broad 1 
brow, and bowing, was about to pass on. ' You are a native oil 
La BcDe Francu,' I said; ' whither are you journeying? ' ' Oai,' 
Monsieur, I am a native of France,' he answered in broken Eng- 
lish; ' mais j'al leav her forever a pilgrim to ze shrine of liberty , 
— to ze land of Washington! ' It is sutiieient for me to say iha 
the exile went no farther on foot. 1 saw him afterwards bow 
reverence before the tomb encloifing the ashes of him who wa 
' lirst in war, first in peace, and tirsL in the hearts of his country-^ 
men.' And that shrine is to be preserved! All praise to thosa 
noble daughters of America, whose best elforts are given to the 
jmrehase of tbat hallowed t^pot. All honor to the great and go 
men who have joined them in the work of love, llount Vernon 
shall become the nmscot of the coming generations, the grand 
incentive for us to emulate and hold before the unfolding minds 
whose innate patriotism is still concealed in embryo. Wheaj 
these nntoldings shall have blossomed into the perfect flower oB 
maturity, let us hoise llmt upon the e.vpanded leaves there will lie ' 
found the three magnetic names that compose our Nation's 
Trinity — our (irnl, our Country, and our beloved Washington.'y 
(Vociferous aiiplause.) 



Dan Rice's Fourth of July Speech. 

We are able to Iny before our readers but an imperfect report 
of Dan Rice's speech under his mammoth pavilion on the 4th ins 
U* an immense audience of the sturdy yeomanry of Rock Coun 
and our own fellow-citizens, which not only illustrates the sei 
timents of tlie great American humorist on topics of a nation; 
character, but also gives evidence of his power and ability to sway' 
the publie, which he never fails to entertain, please, and in- 
struct, be it in the motley garb of a jester, or laying aside his 
professional rolics and assuming the character of a fellow-citizen, 
he always makes his mark and leaves a good impression behind 
him. After expressing his thank's and courtesies to the public 
for their liberal ]>atronnge, etc., he proceeds to remark as follows: 
'* Wc feel highly Mattered, Mr. Rosston (addressing the ring- 
master), to see such a goodly nnmber of ladies and gentlemen 
present. Anfl then everything is so quiet and orderly, the ci 
fathers, trustees, iddcnnen, and common council, in fact, thi 
entire city of danesville, presents snch a beautiful picture 
harmony and industry that wo cannot fail to notice it. To mi 
ladies and gentlemen,*' again addressing the people, " the Fourth 
day of July is one that always comes freighted with interest and 



en 

ity I 




BEMINI80BNCE8 OF DAK UlCfi 



especially 

doubly iutcreiitiiig by the trial!;, cdiitliets, and gigantu' efforts 
now being put fortli to s^uukh the Itisl vestige of that rehullioo 
which has: already cost the sacrilice of the best blood thai runs 
in freedom'is veins, threnteus to drive us to tiie .same alternative 
that forced the Declaration of Independence, and made the 
American {leople a unit, and the great ttuestions involving the 
future life, welfare, and perpetuations of these Inited States. 
We have lived too long under the henign eyes of those institu- 
tioDs dedicated to the sons of Freedom by our forefathers, and 
through whose fostering care we have l>een elevated to the rank 
of a first-rate power in the eyes of the world, not to revere and 
perjietuflte the memory of those noble patriots who had the man- 
hood to declare themselves free and independent people, and to 
celebrate in an aj^propriate manner that glorious natal day which 
tolled the dealli knell of tyranny in this once desjiotic hind, and 
'W'itnessed the birth of Freedom and independence. From a 
small and huml>le iiand of Pilgrim Fnthcrs who sought in this 
native wild an osyluni for the oppressed and ' freedom to worshij) 
God/ we have grown up to be a great and inde|)endent nation, 
and tliough we are now passing through the ordeal of secession 
and rebellion, to put down which requires the united efToris of 
all Union-loving men, we, nevertheless, have great confidence 
in the power and ability of the Government and should go to 
every length to sustain and defend it. Taking this view of the 
subject and in view of a possible disaster to our army before 
Richmond, which, .iccording to the ini^rning"s dispatclies, hns 
been oliliged to withdraw with heavy loss of blood and arms, there 
should he hut one sentiment in reganl to the duties of the people, 
to sustain Honest Abe IJncoln, lose sight of all partisan predilec- 
tions, and go it strong for the Union.'* 

Mr. Kice continued his speech much longer and said yqtv many 
good and telling things, Iilending his occasional flights of oratory 
with wit and humor, which told ciTcctiially upon his audience 
and elicited frcvpient nnd repeated rounds of applause. — From 
the " Daily Gazette." City of Janesville, July 8, \SVy2. 



r 



Dan Rice's Great Show — Hih Speech, 



The third performance of Dan Rice in this city on Tuesday 
night was n perfect ovation nnd of a highly flattering character 
to Dan and his inimitnhle company. The cnnvas was densely 
rrowded, and the entire pcrfornmnce being novel nnd magnifi- 
cent gave entire sntisfaction. The great fenture of the evening 
was Dan Rice's Union siieech, a Bynopsis of which we will at- 
tempt to give. 




3C8 



BEMINISCENCES OF DAN RICE 



Mr. nice said he was able to speak of the country from actual 
observation, mid no man wlio hud not done so was able to lorm 
any L-onceptioo ai the magnitude and strength of the foe that 
levelled dettlli iiiid de>;truetioii at the rairest and hes^t govemnienl 
ou earth, lie wu* jio politician — lie was for the Tnion. He had 
earried the Stars and Stripes aloft in the South during the botteat 
of the secession mania. 

He had been ordered to haul it down, was shot at, but the old 
tlag was never dishonored in his hands, lie kept it iloating and 
he hoped and knew that it would yet be unfurled on the very 
plaees from which it had been haided down in disgi'aee. The ' 
noble Union men of the South were battling bravely for their 
rights; they needed Northern assistance, and so long as the North 
remained true to the Constitution and tlie laws the old tlag would 
find supporters South. The secessionists advocated that the Re- 
publican party of the North were abolitionists and composed of 
men who did not res-pect the Constitution or the laws^ — men 
whose sole object was the total extinction of slavery wliether or i 
no. He had heard the noble and jtatriotie Johnson and Ethe- 
ridge appeal to their countrymen for the Constitution. They I 
pledged that the North was not abolition; that the Administration i 
was not abolition and that this war was conducted without refer- 
ence to extreme oidnions. but solely with a view to the enforce- 
ment of the terms of the Constitution and the hiws. Let the- 
North suhscrihe to the fanatical doctrine of abolitionists and the 
war would then assume a sectional attitude. Aid need not be [ 
expected from Kentucky, Missouri, Maryland, Delaware, or 
Western Virginia, and in that case it would require every man 
to subdue tlie rebels. This was no time for y)olitics. The only 
aim of the masses should be the selection of good Union men for 
ot!ice, all party ties should be severed, we should be united as 
brothers in the holy cause in defence of the Constitution and the 
laws. Elect your strict partisans, place your rabid abolitionists 
in power, assert l*y your votes that the war is not constitutional, 
bnt sectional, and you will then drive millions from your sup- | 
port and sympathy. These are the times to try men's souls and 
men's patrioiisni. Discard, for the sake of your bleeding coun- 
try, all prejudices. Rally to the support of the Constitution 
without reference to the sentiments of extreme abolitionistj*. and 
all will 1k» well. If this course is pursued, you may expect a 
speedy termination of the war— the serpent of secession will re- 
ceive a death-blow, and the old flag will soon be triumphant. I 
am glad to know you have a Union ticket in this county — it is 
rcrmposed of good men — both Republicans and Democrats, who 
have ncce)»tef1 the constitutional basis. Those of the DemocracT 
on that ticket acknowledge their error and now go in for the wai^ 



i 1^ 




EEMIXISCEKCES OF DAS EICE 'Mv 

and the support of Old Abe Lincoln. Lincoln has done T\ghi — 

he is an honest man, and in iiis constitutional 
deals heavy bl«ms Ixnh uj>^>u iibolitioni^jm ami - 
as it ^hould be. it is ju$t; it is, in my opinion, ibo only stric 
constitutional administration that has existed for the ^m:<t twentj 
years. Stick to the Constitution at all hazards, and by doir 
so, you aid in maintaining this l>eautiful structure of Ameri- 
can Liberty. You have a candidate for Senator in this county 
who has enunciated mo«t inhuman and barbarous doctrines;. 1 
mean Mr. Lowry. He has entered the field and advocates strict 
abolition doctrine — a doctrine which is in opposition to that of 
Mr. Lincoln. Endorse his doctrine and you but add fuel to the 
flames. When Mr. l»wry left Wlieeling and left his hat in his 
hurry, 1 presume that he was aware that the men of Western 
Virginia were not in favor of his odious doctrine, vet he would, 
by his advocacy, without venturing personal aid, render the 
breach between the North and South yet wider, that millions of 
lives may be lost in battling upon strict sectional issues. God 
forbid that my fellow-citizens of this county shall endorse a 
doctrine so odious and unconstitutional as Mr. Lowry is the rej)- 
resentative of. Let the masses disregard the wants of political 
tricksters and assert their power at the polls in defence of the 
Union, the Constitution, and the Laws. This is my platform 
and it should be yours. It is the platform of freemen, men who 
love their country above all else, and of men who are willing to 
^ac^ifice upon the altar of their country all political dissensions. 
Support the .\dministration. support it through Fnion candidates 
without party platforms, then you will have done your doty and 
exhibit your love for the T^nion and the glorious Stars and Strij>es, 
Mr. Kice was vociferously cheered throughout the speech mid 
we are free to confess that the sentinieuts so expressed tomebed 
the right chord in the hearts of the people. — From " The Dis- 
patch," Erie, Pa., Octo!>er 5, 18GL 



Dan Rice in Louisvillb — He Makes a Speech upon the 
Crisis of the Times. 

It was whispered during last week that Dan Rice would express 
his views on the absorbing issues of the present day some time 
during the performance of Saturday night. The whisperings 
so fraught with mystery had the effect of drawing n large, intelli- 
gent, and appreciative audience to the inamnmth pavilion, all 
anxious to hear what the great wit and humorist and shownuin 
had to say upon the occasion. About an hour after the opening 
of the evhibitfon Dan was announced and appeared in the ring, 
greeted by cheers and a clapping of Jiands. During the progress 
84 



370 



HEMIN-TSCENCES OF DAN RICE 



of au equestrian act, he spoke of his world-wide travels, and when 
ill foreign lands how his tlmuglits turned toward his native 
shores, luul liis heart thrilk'd at the siglit of the national eriiblcia ] 
of hi^; government. Hv alluded to the stories that wore eircu-[ 
lated by the Northern j)re?s at the comoicncenient of the rfl)el-| 
lion, that he, travelling through the South at the time, had! 
adopted the views of secession and )>ecome a traitor to the Stan 
and Stripes. It was not neeessiiry for him to pronounee the 8tor 
false, as his words and acts had long !*inee proved it to be a has 
fabrication and a lie, lie claimed that he had been unfaltering 
in the support of the Union, having raised his voice against 
cession and given at^ much money ns any man in the I'nite 
States to aid and advance the interctits of the Union cause. He 
referred to his early friendship with John G. Breckenridge, and 
how, when last Ihey met at l^sidueah, he h:id tried to prevail upon 
him to abandon all thoughts of rebellion against the National^ 
Government. He paid an ehH|uent tribute to the memory 
that noble Kentucky patriot, the Iflmented Crittcndon. lie re 
membered hitn as the venenihle gray-haired man. the brightea 
genius of the age, the noblest of Iventucky sons, the proudest of 
heroes, the best of ])atriots, and tlie ablest of fearless statesmen 
The close of this gnicefnl tribute was wildly !ip])hiuded In' thel 
thousands gaihered beneath the canopy of the pavilion, and Dnn^ 
then spoke of the present inipemling crisis, and how sadly Ken- 
tucky hnd been chiinged by the ravages of the war. 

lie rtlUided to the disorganized state of society, the arrests 
citizens, and the power exerciseii by the military, lie claimed 
that it was not the object of Federal bayonets to throttle fre 
speech, but to beat hack the invader, afford protection to thfl 
citizen and preserve the hnvs iuviolfite. He argued that the citi-^ 
zens should, by tirm, decided action, assert their manhood and ' 
preserve the rights guaranteed to them by the Constitution of 
the United States. He siiid that the Government should be sui> ' 
ported, that nothing should be done to embarrass the movement 
of our armies in crushing out the rebellion and restoring peac 
to the distracted country. He asserted that if the people desiredj 
a change of rulers they should unite, without regard to part} 
principle, concentrate their vote on some good man, and by thai 
6u])|jme power of the election franchise, raise him to the proud { 
position of Chief Magistrate of the land. He cautioned prudence 
firnmcss, and unity of action. Strict attention was paid to hil 
remarks throughout, and he was frequently npplauded. As Da 
retired from the ring the ojunion gained currency that he wail 
almost as good a statesman as he is a showman. We congratulate] 
him upon his new-earned laurels. — '* Louisville Journal," Mon-J 
day, August 31, 1864. 



BEMINISCENCES OF J)AN RICE 



371 



Dan Rice in Western Vikginia — His Union Speech to 
THE Volunteers and Citizens of Mason County. 

Our friend, Dao Rico, wliose feelings towanU the Union ho has 
never attempted to oonceul, having freely confestjed them even 
when Secessionists were in the majority, has heen in Western 
A'irginia, giving full scojie to his patriotism and eloquence. On 
Thursday last. Election Day, he happened oil a visit to several of 
his old friends in Mason City. The soldiers and citizens of the 
place, becoming aware of the fact, called all hands to muster, 
waited on Dan, and, through a committee, requested him to ad- 
dress thcni on the political aspect of tlie |tresent crisis, lie. 
though somewhat reluctant., acquiesced, juounted the rostrum 
rudely and hurriedly ]tre])ared anud the rolling of the drum, the 
shrieking of the fife, the waving of the National ICmhlem, the 
cheers of the men. and the smiles of tlie ladies, and then pro- 
ceeded to grant their request, a sjTiopsis of which is the follow- 
ing: 
Fellow-citizens &nd Volunteers of Mason City: 

Although 1 am not an asi)irant eitlier for political fame or 
jgrandizcment, 1 feel as though 1 would make too great a sacri- 
ice of personal pride and honor not to avail myself of the kind 
invitation you have extended to me. 

During the jiast few weeks my ears have been shocked by the 
erics of secession, uttered l)y those whom I liad always loved 
with heartfelt tenderness — men who were my friends in the dark 

ys of tribulation — men who but a year or two ago would have 

ruck to earth as a dastard he who would have dared to sow in 
this hap]»y land Ihe seed of discord, I beIie^e that in the seced- 
ing Stales already the throes of the fetus of uionarcliy. the com- 
ing shadow of discord, the ajjproaching footste])s of the dcagon 
"issolution. have completely pHralyzed them. Surely Satan has 

en loosed for a season, jiiid his tiery breath is drying up the 
wells of loyalty. Would there were more men in the forum and 
tripod down South like Parson Brovvnlow and Andrew Johnson, 
of Tennessee, who dare write their thoughts and are not afraid 
to speak them. But exclnsive power and coercion rule, and well- 
meaning men have bowed their necks to receive the yoke of op- 
jtression, and unlike you, have lacked the moral courage to step 
forth and in a proud tone exclaim to the leaders of the rebellion, 
" Thus far shall tlmn go and no farther." Yes, my fellow-citi- 
zens, whether to the manor born, or children of the United States 
by ado]>tion, you have nobly done your work to-day and indelibly 
stamped upon the hislorieal pages of this country acts that will 
not cause your posterity to blush when future time shall point 
them to the recortl. This evening as the sun hies him to his 



"TBI 



Ua 

Ktr 







3T2 



HEMINIBCENCES OF DAN RICE 



golden L'ourh, and your cannon proclaims the Union men's tri- 
umph, the hills and valleys of your sister State. Ohio, will rever- 
benite with joy. and liefore old Sol shall have risen, the lightning 
conductor^ that fleet courier, the tclegrjiph, will make the whole 
country awurc that the tires of lilierty have not resolved them- 
selves into aslies, nor have the fiivored altars set up by our patri- 
otic pires of '76 hecn overturned. (Cheers.) 

As I have hcfore intimated to you, my province is not in the 
political avenue — my sphere is more limited; hut in common with 
all sober, thinking men, I entertain my ideas of the evils that 
surround us mid the causes that gave them hirth. Look at thai, 
proud t^tandard waving tliere with her thirty-four stars, the majoi 
portion of which the thirteen adopted after their children ha' 
purchased them with iheir l>lood. The tree of despotism w 
hewed down in Virginia at Yorktown; let me conjure you, m; 
friends, that you tread down the first germ of it you see springinj 
up in your midst. (Cries of " We will") 

If that flag inspires you to much here, what must be the sensa- 
tions on seeing it in foreign lands? I have experienced this,] 
When quite a hoy, myself and three companions, two of whom' 
were Southern boys, the other a Pennsylvanian like your humbl ' 
servant, spied the banner of Columbia waving from the mast o! 
an American ship, moored near the docks of London. We 
Bimultaneously raised our hats and exclaimed, " God save the 
Union," and now I hope, and humbly bow before the tril.iunal 
of the All-seeing eye, praying and trusting that our prayer of oi 
boyhood was heard, and will be granted. (Cries of " It will bej 
In God is our trust.") 

It sometimes seems strange what inspiration there is in thai 
piece of hunting. Why, my friends, in one of the river town 
(►n the (Hiio. a party of volunteers were about leaving to vindicate] 
the honor and integi-ity of their country. The town was full o' 
enthusiasm, and the *' gem of the ocean " waved from windo 
and housetops, save one humble cottage. It was the home of a 
poor but brave man, who at the first call of his country shoul- 
dered his musket and marched to battlefield, leaving his wife and 
children to struggle with adversity until he should return to 
convince them that their lilierties were protected and they wc 
still safe under a free administration. As a rule, women are 
equal to any emergency. She seized the undergarments of her 
little one, tacked three of them together, then fiaunted as good a 
'* red, white, and blue " flag as anybody. This spasmodic act 
awakened the liveliest enthusiasm: the people applanded hef 
and the volunteers passed by witti uncovered heads. WTiwe ii 
the man who would not raise hie hat to petticoats when thu5 
exhibited? Yesterday, at GallipoHs, a lovely httle girl came to 



to 

a 
t 




BBMINISCENCES OF DAN BICE 



373 



|uio and handed me a beautiful bouquet, the flowers arranged in 
the form and colors of a Hag. Said the child, " Here are flowers 
pthered from my papa's ganlen; my ]>apa is a Union man, and I 
hear you are too; your little girls are not here to weave them 
for you, po I liavo done it for iheni.'' My heart was touched, the 
better feelings^ of my nature were aroused and I gloried in the 
thought iJiat patriotism is not dead in the land where parents 
thus teach their children. 

1 wish to assure you, uu-n in arms, that you are not to meet 
^rdinary juen in the coming cootlict. The Southern soldiers are 
iiot. cowards, although their leaders are derjiagogues and specu- 
lators, hut your cause is a holy one; theirs a speculative one, 
JThey wish to give power to designing usuTjkm's; you to defend a 
triumph gained by the pioneers of liberty. You wish the banner 
k)f independence to stand where our forefathers planted it; they 
^'ish to flitunt a foreign rag in its stead. Never let this be done, 
^nd although the field of carnage may be more deejdy reddened 
|by your blood, remember the escutcheon of your country must 
jnever be stained by the raitacirvus hand of speculation. Fcllow- 
[citizens, I must close. 1 will have to talk again to-night. In 
'truth I have labored hard the last six months to save our glorious 
iVnion. In conclusion 1 thank you for your kind attention and 
pleased with all save tlie name of your city. However, T presume 
it derives its name from some other than the one from which a 
f Senator is connected. So mote it be. I am suspicious of all 
Masons except they are free and accepted ones, who work, I 
guess, *' on the square." 

Fourth of July oratory is above mediocrity. The striking 
difference between Dan and some other " Hail Columbia Ora- 
tors " consists in the important fart that he is far wiser than he 
seems, and they arc greater fouls than they take themselves to be. 
Friends and Fellow-citizens: 

I address you by a new title nt this tiuie. llithcrio we have 
always met in the reUition of auditors and actors^ and custom as 
well as courtesy denuinded that my style of address to you should 
be " Ijadies and Gentlemen,*' but now the partial kindness of a 
few friends whose hearts wouh! make mc all I ought to be, has 
placed me in the position of active participator in the festivities 
which ever attend the anniversary of our independence, and 
standing now in the proud majesty of an American citizen, 
mingling my voice with the voice of American citizens, on the 
day which made ns free jieople, it is my privilege to address those 
before me as my '* Friends and fellow-citizens/' We are here to 
celebrate tlie deeds of those whose patriotism jiiid wisdom this 



day seventy-five years ago consummated the glorious plan which 




:^T4 



BEMINISCENlJib Ul DAN KICK 



has secured to us the blessings of a freedom. Freedom — now, 
indeeil, 1 do fft'l n\\ uwii littleness wlieii I iitteiupt to give utier- 
ance to tht> j^tii|iendous gush of burniii^'^ thoughts tliat olusteri 
round tlie word. Frcudoiii iKilitical, iiitollt'ctual, and rt'ligiou 
frei'dniii. pTwdoni the tcdij^nianic t^ound wliieii dis^)t'^!^e^ iIm 
mists of ignorarict^ the clouds of «u|iprstition, and the storn 
of dospotisiti, and rnables man to stand forth in the full niajcftl 
of his nature, and maintain the higli position whiclj his (Jo 
when He ereated liini in His own likeness intended iiini to occup 
Cold and senseless indeed must he that heart which does not Ihr^ 
with a livelier pulsation at the mere nu-ntion of the name 
Freedom. B«it^ my fellow-eitizens, if this word gathers roun 
the hearl such emotions when generally usetl, what, oh! wlu 
sentiments should animate an Amerie^m freeman! Cast vc 
eyeso\-er this vast continent replete in all things whieh can mir 
ter to man's happiness or dignity, presenting a picture of int^ 
leetual grandeur for the admiring contemplation of the Olj 
World, and terror to those whose seeurity of position rests in 
ignoranee of mankind, and who now tremble at the storm whia 
man's awakened wrath will cause to descend on their devot 
heads. Know that all this came from the holy fire of freedo 
which burned u])on the altars of your father's hearts, and tell 
if you can, what are your emotions. 

Fellow-citizens, 1 dare not trust myself upon this theme. 
know not how to play upon human feelings as with a toy. 
when I touch this chord, so fearfully grand is its wild music th 
I ]>lav the child and cry in the fullness of my joy. But, t_^. 
friends, let us for one moment cast our eyes abroad over the vast 
country whieh ntiw is ours, and see if there is not enough in it I 
call forth the loudest pieaiis of grateful hearts; let us see if 
fire of pride and cntliusiasm that fills every American heart 
eye when he thinks of his country be only tlie pride of home i 
whether there Is intrinsically in the country that whieh coa 
niands, not only the pride of the Americans, hut the adminitiq 
of the world. 

Scarcely a century has jiassed since a few pilgrims, driven 
tyranny from their native land, sought in the wilderness nf 
Western henusphere a home, where they might worship God 
cording to the dictates of their consciences, nor thought they» 
far as we know, aught more. But 0i)i)repsi<ui followed them; 
rod of the tyrant was still over them; they still were made 
know they had masters, hard, relentless masters whose appet 
for rapine, plunder, and ojrpression. seenred only sharpened 
the writhings of their victims. But, my feUow-eountryme 
these men had now breathed the free, unpolluted air of natuf 
and a new spirit was infused into them, a light had broken iati 



KEMINISCENCKS OF DAN UICE 



375 



their minds, a new lire animated their hearts and inspired their 
ac'tioiie:. Tiieii fame furlh llie edict that spoke a mighty nation 
into being. Tlieii was pnjolainied the heavcn-bom lioetrine, 
that '* all men were liorn iree and equal."' The mighty truth de- 
elartul, pervaded the liearts and minds of all men, and each stand- 
ing forth in tlic conscious dignity of his intellectual nature, 
looked upon his fellow only as a fellow, feeling ihat, being man, 
lie was man's equal, and that no one had been booted and spurred 
by the grace of (rod tu ride upon his neck, he resolved to live 
man's equal or the. (bi this resolve these pilgrims acted, and 
by this resolve a t mint's power fell; an obscure colony became 
a niiglity nation; that whicli was unknown became the cynosure 
of the world. » 

The history of the development of mind in this country has 
exhibited a range of thought iinil power which is absolutely in- 
conceivable to those who live under less enlightened governments 
and which has slajiqied upoji tlie age the sobriquet of "" The Ago 
of Progression." And mind being wholly untrammelled by legis- 
lative enactment or executive usurj)ation travels at will, from the 
Yery necessity of its nature, over the vast fields of thought, ex- 
ploring every avenue of knowleJge, opening every mine of intel- 
lect. It is true that many led astray by the vagaries that must 
attend such roving, pursue an ingnis fatuus, through their dark 
labyrinths; but even these as they pass brush jewels from their 
beds; succeeding travellers seize the glittering specks, free from 
impurities, and set them in the ijroiid (bjidem of knowledge until 
we behold upon lier brow n circlet of gems; so rich, so varied, 
so fast do tliese things force Ihemselvi's upon us, that we, on wak- 
ing in the morning, find the impossible of yesterday the practical 
of to-day. 

In illustration of this, permit me to relate an incident. Trav- 
elling tile other thy, I met a clever Knglishman, an iron-founder, 
who had just lamled in this country and who was anxious about 
business in his own line of trade. Conversation naturally turned 
upon it, and after lij^tening to a dissertation from us as to the im- 
provements in casting now in progress in Kngland, I asked him 
whether the Knglish foundries iiad yet ado|>ted the plan of cast- 
ing in cylinders without mooMs. The man stared, 1 repeated 
the question, when he laughed outright, but recollecting who [ 
was said, " Ob. I forgot you are licensed to jest and quizz whoever 
you can, and wherever you please." On my assuring him that 
i was in earnest, he looked wistfully at me, bis eyes speaking as 
plain as eyes eon speak. " You jire a ernzy man." Nor would he 
be convinced until visiting a foundry bis own eyes witnessed to 
him the pnrndoxicsd operation of cnsting an iron cylinder by the 

ftutiful application of a simple law of nature, the law of centri- 



376 



EEMINISCENCES OF DAN HICE 



fugal force, impressed upon the molten metal. Then in amaze- 
ment, he cried oxiU *' Woiiilcrful jiooplel " and left the cstab- 
lighment perfectly coiivinft'd thiit he had come to America to be 
taught, not to teaeh. And. iny Irieiids. tliis is but one ilhu^tra- 
tion of a thousand in every department of knowledge which 
throng upon us from the ever-ready, ever-restless American 
brain, to trace a dim outline of which would occupy a volume 
and consume a year instead of an hour, and leave the mind W 
wildered in tlie meshes of it^ own weaving. From the momint 
that the mighty fact '' W'c are free! " was pronounced, up to the 
present have the same causes |irodiiced the same results, and un- 
doing, ever expanding in their nature, they must onntiniiL' to 
devekip new wonders^ivhilo time shall lust. And a single thought 
of atlvance is taken up and ymrsuetl through every possible raau- 
Hcation of i>ractical good. Franklin chained tlie lightning; 
Pain harncpsed it and made it subservient to the powers of loco- 
motion. !M or.se made it the instrument of thought and writt-s 
with it iis with a pen, making it a means of immediate and in- 
stantaneous communication for thousands of miles, and now it 
courses through the vitals of the countr)' as the nerves do through 
the animal frame, giving to the centre instantaneous news of the 
affairs of the sulairlis. Fulton made steam the means of loco- 
motion, and the nuijestic steandioat that now " walks the waters 
like a thing of life" is a monument of his genius more lasting 
than columns of brass or iron. But who can tell the limit of the 
use of steam? Now it is used to nuike every instrument of grkod. 
from a shoe ]>eg to a crowbar, and works ever}' machine from 
a jiin mill to a pile-driver. What is the cause of all this? Is the 
American mind made of dilfercnt material from other racn'^ 
minds? Xo, my friends, it is tlie genius of our country, which, 
opening the avenues of knowledge to all, and leaving all free to 
act, makes the son commence where the sire ended, and thud 
each goes on to perfection, all giving evidence of the boundlcst^ 
capacities of the human mind. Such is a faint picture whiclTt 
constilutes the living, moving, breathing ])anorania of America!:*- 
freedom, and now say is it not intrinsically good, grand, beauti — 
ful, and should we wonder that we love and that other men ar^ 
amazed at it? But there are those who would tamf)er with t 
mighty fabric, and for selllsh purposes wotdd endanger, ai 
destroy it, men thrown U])on the surface of the ])olitical tem- 
pests as seaweed is thrown up by the temjiests of nature, who, 
knowing no love of country, wouhl risk the Union for the pitifal 
audiition of notoriety. Bui let them fume and fret and rage. 
While the helm of State is guided by the wisdom and patriotism 
wbich now directs our councils, the storm of fanaticism m 
howl; it wdl spend its fury in impotency, or bursting, fall u 



KEMtXISCENCES OF DAN RICE 



377 



fthe devoted heads of the wicked dematfogues who raised it, con- 
iigning them, as tliey sliould be, to everhisting infamy. — August 
5,1887. 



Dan Kick on His Nok-Intehcourse Stump Speech, 18i>0. 

Dan Rice's Great Show in Phihidelphia had already been a 
favorite resort for strangers from the South and West and espe- 
cially fnr the Southern medical students, of whom there were 
generally a large nundjer jmrsuing their studies at the various 
medical colleges in the city. During hint winter, in consequence 
of a feeling treated in regard to the shivery querttion, several 
hundred of the students left the city. IVevioub to their de- 
parture, they visited the " Great Show " en masse, and the inci- 
dents are thus described in the *' Daily Press" of the following 
day: ** Yesterday was a gala day at Dan Kiee's Great Show, and 
rarely has a more brilliant audience assembled at any place of 
amusement in our city. In the first place, it being an off-night 
at the Academy of Jfusie, the entire company, principals and 
subordinates, were present en masse, and ajjpeared highly de- 
lighted with the various performances, applauding them to the 
echo with true Italian gusto. In the seeond place, the large dele- 
gation of Southern medical students. nuiTd>ering Iwf) or three 
hundred, who had heen holding meetings preparatory to a return 
to their StJUthcrn homes, assembled in force, as if for a valedic- 
tory' gala. Jn the course of the evening Dan Rtce made a strong 
I'nion and conservative speech, abandoning for once the role of 
humorist, and delivering a plain, matter-of-fact oration, as be- 
comes a citizen, that brought down the house in thunderous ap- 
plause. As a resident citizen of Philadelphia, he stood uj) boldly 
for the Keystone City of the Keystone State, and begged his 
young friends then present not to lie rash or hasty in jumping to 
a eonclusifui, or imagine that the fanatical principles broached 
by the few were the sentiments of the many who governed piddic 
opinion, advising them not to tai<e steps in a rash moment of 
public excitement which they ndght live afterwards to regret. 
Mr. Kice alluded to the kindness lie invariably rei-eived in the 
South which had placed him under a debt of gratitude that he 
could never repay, and that feeling now ]>rompbMl him to speak 
to those about him in a spirit of kindlv friendship, which he 
trusted would be understood and ap|ireeiated in the same spirit 
it was intended. General -Tackson had, in his day, strangled the 
financial hydra-headed monster, and public ojiinion would adopt 
the same course with that of k^ss worthy note, reared for fanati- 
cism. Mr, Rice went on to say that fanaticism of one kind or 



i 



378 



REMINISCENCES OF DAN RICE 



another had been rampant in all ages of the world, and that his- 
tory had left its absui-dilies on record as landmarks to succeediug 
genera tioiitj, hut in every instance, the t^ober, common sense of the 
jicuple had come to the rescue of the many, against the inipoteiuy 
uf the few would-be disturbers of the public peace, and such 
wouhl undoubtedly he die ease in the present instance. He knew 
nn sei'tioH of cDuntry and lived for tlic whole Tnion. believing 
tirndy that if by accident n sjioke in the wheel got knocked out, 
the Federal machine would have to be i?top|)e<l until the damag ~ 
was rej)aired, which wuuld be done immediately, when it wou 
run on in its courHe better than ever — the tire being sound an^ 
the spokes tightened right U|) to the hub. Speaking of tfc 
North and Kast, he sait! they had etjual claims on his gratitad 
as the 8iiuth. and when the North and South thoroughly unde 
stood each other, and the great community of interests whic 
Viund them, a!l fanatical attempts to disi^ever them would 
laughed to scorn. »S]U'akin,i: nf his colored friends, he alluded 
having built a place of wnrshiji for them, and conceived that 
long as they obeyed the hiws of this great I'nion, and the sove 
reign state in which they lived, they were entitled to all the 
enjoyments of fiunuinity in equal proportion to the whites — a 
sentiment that elicited a recognition of approval, whilst his 
kindly allusions to the blacks were invariably received with tu- 
multuous applause by the Southern students. The warm ami 
generous impulses of the Southerners were forcibly alluded to, i 
also the gayety of the negro in his plantation home. The gust 
with which Mr. btice described the incidents of Southern IT 
showed him to be perfectly familiar with his theme, while 
introduction of negro stories wnfi^ inimitable, and seemed highly 
relished by the colored gallery. 

Mr. T?ice concluiled with some forcible allusions to the 
I'nion meetings and the strong conservative feeling evino 
throughout the country, commenting on the absurdities of .si 
]>osing that the ** tree of Liberty " could exist if deprived of 
"Southern mots."' *' Fellow-citixens.** says he, '^nur spreadir 
tree of Liberty could no more flourish, deprived of its Souther 
roots, than a banana can bloiun in the icebergs of Spitzborgen.' 
Mr. Rice's speech w^as greeted with marked attention and enthii 
siastic applause throughout, and on its conclusion three che 
were unanimously given for the great jester, followed by an 
eqmilly enthusiastic recall. 

Mr. President. IViends. and Fellow-citizens: 

The name of Kice being somewhat rare in this locality, I gne# 
T am llie man cnlb^d for. 1 am proud to he here, and being berf. 
1 know of no reason why I should refuse to resj^ond to the ' 




BEM1NISCKNCE8 OP DAX BICE 



3T9 



of my fellow-townsmen who have congregated here for the pur- 
pose of encouraging volunteers to enlit*t for the Jefent^e of the 
Union and the maintenance of the honor and dignity of its* tlag. 
1 am not a liepubliciin not yet a Detnoeral, tliouglj it is well 
known lo moM of you, perlmjjs, that J am a dbeiple of [irineiples 
and doetrines enunciated liy Mr. Ouuglas, iind now hcing faith- 
fully carried out liy Mr. Lincoln and his administration. It is 
true that 1 waB ojtposed to the ekHtiim of Mr. Lincoln because I 
believed him to be a seetiomil candidate. 1 have travelled ex- 
tensively in tJie South, and in my professional career have experi- 
enced many instances of Southern kindness and generosity. But 
when 1 siiw that u snudi party of politicians, who have managed 
to control the administration of this government for over thirty 
years, were on the eve of destroying one of the nolilest fabrics ever 
constructed by the genius of man, and last merging our peace- 
ful country into the horrors of civil war. 1 thouglit it my duly 
as a citizen of Ihii* commonwealth lo use all my endeavors to de- 
fend the natiomil Hag, and tender my services ainl means for the 
purpose of putting down this great rebellion. The viuestitMi with 
which we have now to deal is not that of Abolitionism; not tbut of 
Kepublieanism or DeiiuJcracy, but that of actual war. bloody, 
civil war. The North rjuist prove tnie to herself. No party 
lines or predilections should mar the harmony of the North, but 
every man should stand up in the dignity of his nature and give 
not <L*nly his money, but himself if necessary, to swell the ranks of 
our gallant v<dunteers. I am personally acquainted with delT 
Davis — whom 1 charged half a dollar for the privilege — and 
familiar with the cause of this rcbcllittn. I know the feelings 
of liostility which prompt him and his enraged minions, but their 
days are numbered, I "speak from the card." 1 have been 
there and a "looker-on in Venice." No moneyed aristocracy 
ghall be allowed to rule this land of freedom. We are proud to 
defend and keej) intact that frtH'ilom which was achieved by the 
blood of our patriotif^ sires. We shall never sulimit to lie nded 
hy the despotisuj of the doomeil Soutli, never! Fiat justitia, mat 
cjelum. We revere the stnl that was moistened by the tears and 
blood of our ftatriot ancestors, and lling to the breeze those 
glorious Stars and Stri|)es that floated over the weary colunmp 
of Washington*s victorious armies as they marched to the field of 
battle. The time has come wheti men must act — sympathy for 
the T'^'nion alone will not save it from the desolating tide of war. 
^Miat we need is the brave, stalwart arm of the brave volunteer. 
The gallant jrcTiane, whose fiersonal saerifices and labors in 
form a regiment place bevond a doubt his devotion to his conn- 
try, stands rcadv to lei^d flu^oi to tbi^ Held of glory. To the young 
men of Erie County I would say, ** Stand nttt upon the order of 




S80 



liEMI.\I8CENCE8 or DAN KICK 



going, but go at once." Thu Union ijiun of the South are wa 
iog witli ojieii iiriiis to receive yuu, such iiieu an Johnsuu and 
Etlieridge, ul' Tennessee; Holt, the God-like Critteudon, aud \ 
Vnion-loving rreiiticc, of Kentoeky. are bidding you to ^J>ee 
I believe, 1 know lluit victory awaits you, while every pulsatii 
of your hearts beats responsive to the call. The euemiee of 
Reiiubliran Government are seeking to destroy our iuBtitutio] 
l)ef(ire the great principle of :?elf-governmenl is practically Ci 
rie«l out, and we believe with Washington that, ■" Wliatever mw 
ure.s have a tendency to dissolve the Union or contribute 
violate or le.sa-n tlie sovereign authority ought to bo eonsidei 
as hostile to the Liberty and independence of America, and t 
authors of tln-ni treated accordingly.*' And with Henry C^ay, t" 
** If any one State choose to place tliemgelvcs in military 
agains*t the Government of the Union 1 am for trying 
strength of the Government. 1 am for ascertaining whether 
have got a Government or not. j>ractical, etlicient, capable 
maintaining its authority and of upholding the powers and 
terests which bclnng hi a governitient. Nor, sir, am I to 
alarmed or difisuaded from any such course by intimations of i 
spilling of blond. If blood is to be spilt, l>y whose fault is it 
be spilt? U]>on the su[rposition, I maintain it will be the fa^ 
of those who choose to raise the standard of disunion, and 
deavor to prostrate this government, and, sir, when that ig do 
as long as it please fJod to give me a voice to express my sen 
ments, or an arm, weak and enfcehled as it nuiy l)e by age, that 
voice and tJmt arm will be on the side of my country fo 
supjHirt of the general authority and for the maintenance o 
powers of the Union. 
Erie County, 18G1. 



DelITERED at PlTTSBFRr.. V.K. 



Ladies and Genfkmen: In taking my leave of you, I cannot 
refrain from an attempt to give expression to some of the f» 
jn;''^! whieJi have overjtowered me ever since I entered Pittsbu 
That 1 shall succeed in any degree^ 1 hardly hope. But I ro 
try. 

To nine-tenths of the audience here present, I am privately 
and personally known — known too, in all the vagaries, froli 
indiscretions, mayhap, dissipations of boyish wildncps, for Pit 
bnrg was the home of my bovish davs; the theatre of my earl 
moments, the spot of earth hallowed Ijy all the joyous pictu 
that gather round that bright ]>eriod «f our lives when all 
Funny, when no clouds o'crdiadow the scene, and the heart seni 




moi 

'1 




BEMINlSOENCES Ol- DAS lilCK 



iiai 



liorth joyous notes to every chord we strike. I went fortli from 
your midst the same wihl l)oy. I entered the world, a foolish 
boy to play th» fool, which 1 did after a while. Time passed. 
Hy jests were relished by the people wherever I went; money 
came to my eoll'ers^ and 1 returned to you a man; one, too, on 
"Whom the world had smiled. You weleomed me with a molher's 
fondness. 1 was truly, for the time, fortune's child. Again 1 
■went forth. Still the l>lind goddess showered her favors on me — 
I was rich. Thus carest^eii, thus prosperous, possessed as it were 
of Midas' touch wliith converted everything into gold, is it to be 
vondered at that I was confiding, and I met a smooth-tongued 
.hj'pocrite, who, operating upon my credulous nature, won my 
heart. I would have trusted him with my life. I, with my 
family, was thrust upon the world, homeless wanderers, (jrather- 
ing together all that I could of the wreck of my fortune, I 
started anew on life's pdgrimage and through trial and perse- 
cution I reached my home again. 1 a|)[icared in y<uir mi<kt. 
I was received witli open arms, by warm licarts. And here 
again. 1 feel the unlmrn energy rekindled by your smiles, and 
thus sustained, I shall rise superior to the machinations of vil- 
lany an<l once more become a wooer of fortune's fickle smiles, or, 
if not, I'll wring my hard-earned favors from her unwilling grasp. 
To portray the emotions that gather around my heart, as 1 at this 
minute contem|date a separation from yrm, is impossible; to ex- 
press my gratitncic. a hopeless task. All 1 can do is to say, " tiod 
Oless you. Farewell! " 

Unveiling of Munument to the Memory of the De- 
parted Soldiers of Erie County, Penn. 

f DAN RICE'S GRE.\T SHOW. 

THE INAUGURATION OF THE MONUMENT ERECTED TO THE 
MEMORY OF DEI'AHTEP SOLDIERS OP ERIE COUNTY— IM- 
MENSE CROWD OF PEOPLE — FULLY 10,000 CONGREGATED— 
UNPRECEUENTFD ENTHUSIASM — SPEECHES, PROCEEDINGS, 
ETC.— INCIDENTS AND ACCIDENTS. 



A finer day than yesterday never dawned, and a fitter assem- 
blage could not possibly have greeted it. The sky was clear, 
the atnitx^jpherc bracing, ami the streets, though a little 
danijicr than necessity demanded, were yet in excellent looking 
order. 

At a little past eight o'cloekj the first department under the 




382 



KEMIXISCKNCES OF DAX lilGB 



direction of Chief Engineer J. S. Stafford, fonned in 
Street in tlie following order: Mrst came "Perry, Jr.," a foni- 
pany of juveniles, twi-nty-Mvc in number, elad in the n-gulatioB 
rod t^liirls and black pantaloons, bearing a banner under the 
reetion uf Joseph Cniig; following tbeni came Torry No. 1, fifi 
men, commanded by the foreman, \V. J. Winlield, with the 
unifornifi as their predecet^sors; next came Goodwill Xo. 3, six' 
men, under the direction of William Hubbard, foreman, elud 
white shirts* and bhick }UHUti; after them came Eagle No. 2. fif 
men. under foreman William Shoddy, in uniform; and lasll 
Keyj^tone Hot;e Company No. 1, ten men, led by Josepii Boy 
foreman. The ]>rocesiiJion was led Ijy Mehi's BraBs Band, ai 
took their line of march from the engine house down Peach 
Fourth, then to State, and up State to the depot. They mai 
a splendid appearance and attracte<l a great deal of attenti 
The train left promptly at the appointed time and reached Gin 
in due season, *' right side up and iree from damage." A la 
number of citizens accompanied the excursion, among wh 
were many of our most prominent business and political ni 
Presipic U\c Lodge, No. 17T, I. O. 0. F., in full regalia, wa* 
hand and formed one of the distinctive features of tlie delegatii 
from Erie. It was a great day, not only for Uirard, hut for Ei 
County and the county adjacent. If Dan Rice had made t 
weather for the occasion, he could not have suited himself 
others better. The excursion train from Erie consistecl of t 
teen cars crammed to their utmost capacity. This was folio 
by the regular train, which disgorged at Girard almost as large 
mass of eager humanity, and the train from Greenville, weetwa: 
brought a thousand more or less. 

The scene about the depot was one of excitement but not o 
of confusion, thanks to the preparations made by Dan Rice 
the executive ability of the committee of arrangements. A nu 
her of teams from Dan Rice's show were on hand to convey tl 
ladies and the invited guests to the village. The procession 
about a mile long and jircsented a very line and variegated ap- 
pearance. There were military oHicers, conspicuous amo 
whom were General Brown; the military bands. Guilfonl's 
Girard, Mehl's of Erie, and QuclFs Highland Band, consisting 
very small Scotchmen and very large bagpipes. Colonel Ri 
then opened his house with his accn.^tomed hospitality to the in 
vited guests, among whoTu were Governor Curtin of this Sta 
Ex-Govornor Todd, Judge Miles of this county, and other noi 
bilities. We Pfiw here L. W. Yolk, the sculptor who design 
and execnted the monument for which the celebration of t 
day was intended, and the sculptor of a splendid marble bust 
Dan Rice, which stands in his }mrlor. He also executed a 




1 




REMINISCENCES OF DAN KICK 



883 



bust of President Lincoln before his nomination, 
his headquarters in Chicago. 



Mr. Volk has 



I 



THE MONUMENT. 



The column is formed of a Corinthian pillar of white marble 
draped with the Stars and Stripes and t^urmounted by a laurel 
wreath and the American Eagle. Tlie pedestal upon which it 
stands consist of three bases or plintlis, plain, bearing a die 
sunnounted hy a cap whicii is guppnrted at each of the four 
corners by a cannon in relief boutnl with laurel. Around the 
summit of the die and at the foot of the shaft is a bas-relief girdle 
of cannon bails. The whole is surrounded by a handsome oval 
wire fence. The monument is placed in the centre of the path, 
a most beautiful spot, and will form an attraction where interest 
will increase through all coming generations. It is in height 
twenty-five feet, with a sub-base six feet square. The pane! is 
three and a half feet square and the column ten and a half feet 
in height. 

On the arrival of the procession at the centre of the vQlage, 
William A. Galbraith, Ksq., of Erie, introduced (Governor Curtin 
to the people in a few appropriate wonis, which were answered 
by the Governor briefly, when the crowd dispersed to meet at the 
ceremonies of the inauguration at half after one o'clock. Promi- 
nent in the procession was a comjiany of soldiers, volunteers in 
the late war, who oiu-e more marclied under arms for the benefit 
of their country. They numbered about fifty men and marched 
with uncovered heads at all points in the route of the procession. 
One of the most prominent features of the procession was a car, 
drawn by an elejdiant handsomely ca))arisoned and attended by a 
baby elephant, containing a coterie of beautiful damsels dressed in 
black, each wearing a black hat and plumes with the names of 
the States which each respectively represented emblazoned on 
their head frunts. The seats of the ear were arranged in pyramid 
form, rising gradually to the summit, which was surmounted by 
a single seat oeeupied by Miss .Annie Barker, who represented the 
Goddess of Liberty. The names of the young ladies, with the 
reppective States they i>ersnnified, are as follows: Maine, A. N. 
Ward; Xew Ilamp-shire. Nancy Daggett; Vermont. Mary Gulli- 
ford; Massachusetts, Kmnia Hart; Rhode Island, Inez Shipman; 
ronncctinut. Mary lioekwdl; New York, Belle Oliphant; New 
Jersey, Emma Gulliforfl; Penn.«ylvnnia, Beatrice Keiser; Dela- 
ware. Maggie Evans: Maryland, Helen ^ferielland; Virginia, 
Mary Stcrrett; Nurth Carolina. Jane role; South rnrolina, Dora 
Morris; Georgia, Florence Deggelt; Florida, G. Bliss; Alabama, 




^84 



REMrNrsCENCES OP DAN RICB 



Maggie Kane; Nebraska, D. Woodward; Miefiissippi, Adu 
Buchanlaii; LonJHmiiii, Kate Kice; Texas, Jennie Greenwardjl 
Ohio, JI. J. Sullivan; Indiana, Frank Fletcher; Illinois, E. S.1 
Deggett; Kentueky; Cathie Hihb!>; Tennessee, B. M. Poilay; 
Michigan, Nettie Murray; Wiseonsin, Mary Gillett; Iowa, Ada, 
Hathaway; Missouri, L. Traut; Arkansas, K\n, Miller; Californ 
Mary Pettibone; Minnesota, Adia Pettibone; Oregon, Netti^ 
Kendjg; Kansas, L. Hopkins; Nevada, Ella Hart. 

AVe will not lay ourselves? open to the charge of sectionalism 1 
declaring onr ehoiee or |*refi'reiice of the impersonitication whici 
represented the States won anew, renewing their allegiance to ih 
Constitution and the oh! Union, Imt if. personally, we put 
recorci our ai>preeiation of the appearance of Louisiana, we hop 
we iTuiy not lay ourselves open to censure or a charge of partialilj 
when tlie fact is that we do not know the hidy. Veterans of tlj 
War of 181 "3 formed a prominent feature of the procession. 

John Play. Girard; E. B. Hedtlen, Springfiehl, Pa.; John 
Gage, Kingsville, ().; Samuel Ball, Girard; Daniel Kossitier, Con" 
neaut, 0.; Jewse Mills, (aumeaut; Stephen Francis. Franklin^ 
Pa.; Thomas K. Mills. Springheld, Pa.; Walter Derby, SprL 
field, Pa.; John Kelly, Girard; J. W. Miller, Girard; Ezek 
Carrier, Springtield, Pa.; Levi Francis, Franklin, Pa.; Dae 
Seyre, Girard. It was nearly two o'clock before the proeessitj 
re-formed to marc)i to the Speakers stand antl proceed to 
dedication of the monument. Some ten thousand people h 
assembled. The citizens of tlie village exerted themselves 
their utmost to care for and entertain all who came within thfl 
reach. Colonel Hire's resirlcnee was the renrlezvnns of the 
vited guests from al>road, the njembers of the press, which 
represented by the "Cleveland Ilerahl and Leader," the "' 
cinnati Commercial," the *' Philadelphia Press,'' the " Erie 
patch," Conneautsville. Pit Hole City, and other localities, 
procession formed, headed l>y Rice's Cornet Band, followed 
carriages containing the Governor and suite. General McC 
mont, president of the day, the Mayor of Erie, and the invi 
guests. Then followed the funeral car above alluded to, the 
department of Erie, and a long procession of carriages and per 
on foot. The procession baited in front of the Speakers' slai 
in the south side of Public Square, near the monument, 
Btand was fronted by an arch decorated with evergreens and su 
mounted with the motto; '* Home gratitude to our fallen heroefl 
The meeting was called to order by the president of the d« 
Gen. \. B. MeOalmont, of Franklin, who introduced Rev. Chi 
B. Shipman. who made the following prayer: 

'* Almighty Sovereign of the Universe; God of nature and 
men, we invoke Thy blessing. Wo thank Thee for this occasifl 



nnd fnr the favorable cireumstances whicli we ore this day place'd 
in; we thaok Thee fur the siniHng i?an; we ihank Thee for llie 
evidcDce of Thy power in the rollimg away of the eloials that have 
darkened tlie t^ky in llie days that are jiast; we thank Tliee for 
the lal)ors uf Thy love; we thank Thee espeeially for the presenee 
of this large number of [ieo[ile convened on this occasion to pay 
their respects to the memory- of thot^e brave men wiio laid down 
their lives for this government which has been bequeathed to us 
by our fathers. And we thank Tliee, XJod, for the spirit of pa- 
triotism that animates all our hearts. We ask Thee that we may 
live such lives that we wi!l realize and love tiiat cause the mure 
in behalf of whieli they died: that we umy consecrate ourselves 
more fully to the government in the interest of which they have 
fallen. We ask that Thy blessing nuiy rest on the amlience 
whicii has assembled in Thy presence; we pray Thee that those 
wlio shall sj>eak to-<lay may lie inspired and the hearts of the 
hearers inspired to put their trust in Thee, and more especially 
that the jvroud sjtirit of patriotism be develo|)ed in every bosom. 
We ask that Thy blessing may rest over all men; esi>ecialiy, 
Father, we invoke the riches of Thy grace upon thosre who fought 
for liberty in defense of this government and were permitted Ijy 
Thee to again return to their InnucB, But bless those who rest 
in far-off Southern graves, who gave their lives in defense of that 
liberty; bless mw nation tbnuijtiliout all its trials; bless the Presi- 
dent of the Tjiited States and all in authority; bless the govern- 
ment of this ConHnnirvveidtb, and all those who occupy positions 
under it; bless all in authority throughout our land. And bless, 
we humbly pray Thee, the occasion which Inis convened us to- 
gether at this time, and bless this magniJicent monument which 
we have this day reared and will consecrate to the memory of 
those who have fallen from tliis country in defense of the govern- 
ment under which we live; a perpetual memory, reminding all 
how much we owe iheni, and we embalm their memories in our 
hearts, and consecrate those memories so that we may seek to do 
them all honor by every means that rests in our power. We in- 
voke Thy blessing upon him whose heart has conceived, whose 
hand has wrought this moiuiment, who after so many difficulties 
in the jireparation of this monument, may the I^>rd he with him; 
we thank Thee for the spirit of patriotism which has actuated 
and urged ])eople up to the very conclusion of the war. And, 
Father, we ask that Thy blessing may rest and shine over all. 
Help us to consecrate this monunu'iit more fully to Uherty, Jus- 
tice, and Right, t<* the preservation of the government our fathers 
luivc he<pieathed to iis. nnd at last receive us in Thy bosom, where 
jieace reigns forever. Amen." 
The monument was then uncovered by the artist who executed 
25 




386 



KKM1NI8CENCES OF DAN KICK 



it, and its beauty and FymmetTy exposed to the view of 
admiring nmltitudu. (Jeni-nil McCuliiiont then dedicated it willil 
a nnxsi iniprefcisjive itnd appropriiite .speeeh, which we are uuabll 
to give on ucount of hick of time and spaee. It was an ellort 
which did justice to the occasion and justice to the speaker, 
was followed hy Governor Curtin, the orator of the day, who pr 
ceeded as follows: '* Fellow citizens: The weather which wi 
yesterday jjo inauspicious, has to-day changed, and the sun smile 
ujion the earth enabling ms upon this solemn occasion to fulfi' 
our duty. This occasion, my fellow-eitizens, is a glorious ev 
denee of the patriotic spirit of the citizens of this village. The 
spirit of liberality which induced you to erect that beautiful 
monument to those who have fallen in defense of the governraeD 
proves what you are. Words cannot e.xprt^ss what 1 feel, wor 
cannot add to the intelligence of the vast multitude who are pr 
ent here to-day, unless 1 might sjiiy tliat the lessons of the 
made me reflect upon the stiihhorn Hdelity with which you hat 
maintained your government when it was assaulted l>y treasoi 
Not in the history of mankind, not in the history of the worlfl 
can there anything he found that approaches in sublimity li 
heroic devotion, the stubborn fidelity of the people of this eou 
try to the (iovernment, inherited from their fathers, which gaf 
and gives them so much freedom, which they love so much. Tb 
vast nmltitude before me must have studied well the lessons 
the war when they assemlile in this place in thousands to pa 
respect to the memory of the heroic dead. This nionument, m 
friends, was erected to the memory of the soldiers who have falle 
for tlieir country. It Is not a monumeni of warl We are calle 
to pay reverence to the memory of the private soldiers of tli 
Republic. Presidents and cabinets, members of the national ai 
State legislature, generals, sink into insignificance when ca 
sidered even coHoctivt'ly, to the spirit and ardor of the priva 
soldiers who have suffered under the war and contriimted to tl 
jjreservation of the institutions of American lil>erty. 
jjageant follows his funeral. His name scarce passes into histor^ 
It slund>ers in the rolls of the War Otfice, or in the military djj 
partineuts of the States. And, indeed, he often falls in batt 
and his name remains forever * ujiknown.' His pecuniary 
ward from the government is small, scarce enough to maintain 
his family which he !ias left at home and which has to be pro- 
vided for by speeial institutions. Yet it is to just such men 
thest' that we owe the preservation of the government. We of 
to the private soldiers, to the brave men living or dead all tl 
wv havi'. and the ]>eoide. in this n^onunu-nt. show, that thoug 
dead, they respeet their memory and will hold it in oternal rever 
enee. It is one of the pleasant recollections of the times, and 




«c 



tLm»i 



i^^^< 



:<t