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Full text of "The life of George L. Smith, North Carolina's ex-convict : boldest and bravest blind tiger man, who has run blind tigers in nearly every town in North Carolina .."

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North Carolina's Ex-Convict 

u Boldest and Bravest Blind Tiger Man ° 

Who has run Blind Tigers in nearly every town in North 

;— i Carolina, and served 23 times on the Chain Gangs and r— i 

been 208 times in jail, and been driven out of 64 towns 

. and counties of North and South Carolina, and 4 times J 

/_ ordered by Judges to leave the State. IA 

I have traveled this road 16 long years. If I had only lis 

U tened to my poor old father and mother's advice' I would not \J 

_^ have gotten on this road at all. No one can listen to his father Z_ 

I j| and mother's advice too much, because they would work for you |^_j 

7"} when you could not for yourself. £3 

Your mother would rock your cradle when you could not rock 
it yourself, and she would answer to your call when no one else 
V would. She is the only friend you have on earth and when she y 
=^ dies you can tell her goodbye at the grave and say that the best =^ 
vy friend you ever had on earth is gone. Then sorrow will come '-* 
and friends will come but your mother will never come. 

To all motherless children lead a Christian life, then you will 

have no trouble here en earth, besides your poor soul will spend 

rn eternity in heaven which will be so much better than to live in t 5 

r~"l sin and trouble here on earth and then die and spend eternity in 

f hell, which means forever and ever, like a wheel which has no 

end to it. That is an awful thing to think about. 




To all who read this book please forgive 
me for the life I have lived, then God 
will forgive you. Amen. ^ 




BOLDEST BLIND TIGER MAN. 23 times on the Chain Gang and 208 
times in Jail. This is the road you will travel, my boy, if you don't mend your way. 

A great dream in this book I had on the night of October 27, 1909, it 
changed my way; it will change yours. If you don't change your way, where are 
you going to spend eternity? 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 



I, G. L. Smith, was born the year 1878, August 1st, in the County 
of Sampson, N. C. At the age of nine I went into business by 
picking huckleberries to the amount of 72 cents, which I sold to my 
uncle, C. C. Smith, and took in trade from my uncle's store. The 
amount in trade, which he sold me at cost, I purchased the 72 cents, 
in candy, clay pipes and cakes, which I brought to my father's house 
and put same in little play house which I had built to play in and 
sold same to negro laborers on my father's farm at some profit, 
about $1.37 for the 72 cents invested. I invested my $1.37 in candy, 
sugar and black pepper and soda, for which I realized the amount 
of $2.35. And from then on my little business increased very much 
and the people in the neighborhood saw I was determined to go into 
business, and I had to build me a little store about 8x10 feet in my 
father's yard, and nearly every boy and a good many other people 
around my home came to my little store for a good many things I 
kept in the way of groceries. In the year 1887, my first year in bus- 
iness, with only 72 cents invested, I realized a profit of $37.80. Now,. 
beginning the year of 1888, known as the year of the largest huckle- 
berry crop in the history of the State of North Carolina, with only 
$37.80 to do business on, I bought 287 crates of huckleberries, at an 
average of about $1.80 per crate, which I shipped to the Northern 
market and realized about $3.60 per crate, therefore I doubled my 
money, getting two dollars for one dollar invested, and during the 
fall of the same year I bought over 250 bushels of corn and about 
four or five bales of cotton in seed, which I paid for same in trade 
out of my little store, and at the end of the year 1888 I had a profit 
of about $680.00 for the 72 cents I invested in the year 1887. 

And my business still increased, and in the year of 1889 I found 
it necessary to build a second larger store, 12x16, which I filled with 
a few dry goods, notions and groceries, but the year 1889 was a very 
small crop of huckleberries, and I only bought about 150 crates, and 
it seemed that everybody went into buying huckleberries all over 
the country, which of course put up prices of berries and my profit 
was not near as much per crate as the year 1888, and my profit on 
huckleberries for year of 1889 was about $180.00, but I had a good 
fall trade, buying cotton, corn, chickens and eggs, on which I real- 
ized a nice little profit and "at the end of year 1889, out of my 72 
cents invested in 1887 I had a clear profit of about $1,250.00. 

And my business was still increasing and during the year of 1890 
I was compelled to build my third store, which was 16x24, in my 


father's yard, and 1 filled the same with nice little line of dry goods 
and groceries, and on Saturday evening it looked like a little town, 
as I had the whole yard full of customers, and I had to call on my 
father and mother to help me wait on my customers. And I want 
to state now to my readers that they were the best days of my life, 
as I had no expenses at all ; my father and mother clothed me free of 
charge, and hauled all of my goods from the town of Warsaw, which 
place you will see later on I moved to and went into business. While 
living at my father's, I bought most of my goods from my first cous- 
in, J. B. Winders, who is now postmaster of his town. He, seeing 
that I was afflicted, and trying to make an honest living, he helped 
me a great deal in my business, which I appreciate up to this day. 
And in the year 1891 I built my fourth store, 20x32, and filled the 
same with general merchandise. 

And did a nice business for several years up to 1891, and I begged 
my father to let me move to the town of Warsaw, as my business 
was six miles out in the country and I thought I could do better in 
town. But he seriously objected, but I still kept after him, telling 
if I only could get in a town and rent me a place and put in about 
$1,500.00 stock of goods I could soon get rich. Finally he agreed to 
let me go, I being only 13 years old. I moved my stock of good's to 
the town of Warsaw and opened business. My business in Warsaw 
was a success for a short while. I carried about four or five thou- 
sand dollar stock of general merchandise. I only stayed at Warsaw, 
N. C, about two years and moved back to my father's home worth 
about four thousand dollars. I then moved my fourth store from 
my father's yard out on the public road known as the Wilmington 
and Goldsboro dirt road, in Sampson County, North Carolina. I did 
business at this place during part of the year of 1894, and increased 
my stock to about five thousand dollars. Now, being the age of 16, 
during the fall of 1894 I came to town of Warsaw about October 
1st, and met a man who offered to sell out a stock of general mer- 
chandise to me at 75 cents on the dollar. I took him to be my 
friend, as I had known him for several years. I then proceeded to 
move my stock of goods from my country store to the place I bought 
out, which I had paid so much money down to confirm the trade. 
After I had gotten all my goods in his place of business I was to pay 
him $50.00 per week balance due him until good's were paid for. 
During the time I had become pretty well known in business and 
could buy goods from any of the wholesale merchants in Wilming- 
ton, N. C, being recommended by Mr. W. R. Newbury, of Magnolia, 
N. C. I bought quite a large stock of goods, filled my store up and 
sold out on credit that year about $2,000.00, and was unable to col- 
lect over $250.00 that fall. Being unable to meet the $50.00 payment 
per week to the man whom I bought out, he closed down on me and 
then my creditors in the different cities also came down on me and 
took everything I had made up to this time, which was about five 
thousand dollars, whereas, if I had taken my father's advice I would 


have been at home now doing a good business. Now, being the year 
of 1895, on January 1st my doctor advised me to go to Baltimore for 
treatment for catarrh of the head, which I did, and stayed there for 
four months. During the four months I worked most of my time in 
a candy factory, and the doctor told me they could do me no good. 
I bought me a small candy outfit, also popcorn machine, which cost 
about $277.50, and the Worth Company, of Wilmington, N. C, being 
a good friend of mine, paid for same. I opened my first candy bus- 
iness in Wilmington, N. C, June 1st, 1895, and stayed there about 
four months. Weather being very warm, did not make a success at 
the business candy melting and could not find any sale for same. I 
left Wilmington and came home for a few weeks. After staying a 
short time I begged my father to let me try another town, as I was 
only 17 years old. He finally decided to let me go and I went back 
to Wilmington and my friends, the Worth Company, who advised 
me to go to Fayetteville, which I did, and stayed three months, they 
still backing me up. At the end of three months in Fayetteville, I 
never made my expenses, and I decided to go to Clinton, N. C, and 
open up business, which is only 11 miles from my father's home. 
Only stayed in Clinton two months, and my brother decided to go in 
business with me, and we left Clinton, N. C, about January 1st, 
1896, for Greensboro, N. C. After arriving in Greensboro I found 
there was no room for me in the candy business, as the town was 
full up. So, I only stayed in Greensboro a short time, and had to 
sell out my popcorn machine to get out of town, and we left Greens- 
boro for Rock Hill, S. C, and only made pure candy for about eight 
months, the building I was in, the party who owned same, was go- 
ing to tear down and replace it with brick building, and I could get 
no other place, and I decided to go to Greenville, S. C. Could not 
get any house to open my candy business in, so I left Greenville, 
S. C, for Spartanburg, S. C. I looked around for two or three days 
and could not get house in the town, so my brother and myself de- 
cided to return to Rock Hill, S. C, and we walked down to depot to 
catch a train for Rock Hill. While waiting at the depot for the 
train a well-dressed man came in the depot and to my brother and 
myself, asking us what train we were going off on. I told him the 
train for Rock Hill, S. C. He stated he was going on the same, but 
it would be two hours before the train was due, and remarked to us 
to let's take a walk down the railroad as we had plenty of time to 
do so, and we went with him, and we came to a large lumber yard 
and looked across the lumber yard and saw another well-dressed man 
and the man that we walked from the depot with said let's go over 
there and see who the man was sitting on a pile of lumber, and we 
all walked over there and spoke to him, and my brother and myself 
found out after a short time that the two well-dressed men were 
partners. The man sitting on the lumber asked the one whom 
we walked down the railroad with if he ever saw the ball that killed 
Jesse James, and he said, "No, let me look at it." So he ran his 


hand in his pocket and pulled out something, opened up like a book, 
nicely lined with blue velvet cloth, and inside there was three half 
shells of English walnuts and one little black ball, and he began to 
shift the ball from one shell to another, and offered to bet five dol- 
lars the ball was under a certain shell, and the man whom we left 
the depot with, said, "Come, boys, let's bet him five dollars apiece," 
and the man working the shell had to put up fifteen dollars against 
ours. We all won for the first time or two, and we continued to bet 
with him and he finally won all we had but enough to get us back to 
Rock Hill, S. C. 

My brother and I went back up town and swore out a warrant for 
them. The police found them and arrested them, and made them 
give $100.00 justified bond until next morning at 10 o 'clock, and my 
brother and I were locked up to have us as witnesses against them 
next morning, when the case was to be tried. Next morning at 10 
o 'clock they were found guilty and fined $50.00 apiece and costs. It 
did not cost my brother and me anything, except one night in jail, 
and that was only done to hold us as witnesses. And we left Spar- 
tanburg the same evening for Rock Hill, S. C. 

When we arrived at Rock Hill we had no money at all, but had 
one good friend, and he loaned us $25.00, and I secured him with 
my candy machine, and opened up my candy business once more in 
Rock Hill, and run it for three months, and a man came in my place 
of business, whom I took to be a friend, and advised me to open a 
blind tiger business. Of course, you all know that means selling 
whiskey without license behind the curtains. Well, I made out my 
first order for whiskey from W. H. Hoover, Charlotte, N. C, consist- 
ing of 40 pints of corn, 40 pints of rye and two barrels of beer, and 
as soon as my brother found out I had ordered tne whiskey he left 
me and went to work in the cotton mills until he got enough money 
to get back home on. In a few days my whiskey and beer arrived 
at express office at Rock Hill and the express wagon delivered same 
to my place of business at back door. I then cut a hole through my 
store floor and made a box large enough to hold the whiskey I had 
ordered. I also hid my beer in the same way in another part of the 
house. It was only a short while before the drinking class of people 
found out I was handling whiskey and beer on the sly. I soon sold 
out what I first ordered and doubled my order next time, and con- 
tinued on in this way for about three months, when some of the peo- 
ple who were opposed to such business got straight behind me, but 
could not catch me, as I knew who to sell and who not to sell. So 
they sent to Columbia, S. C, after a revenue officer by the name of 
James Thompson. He drove up in front of my place of business, 
muddy all over and looking very much like an old farmer. He tied 
his horse to a post in front of my place and walked in and said to 
me: "Anything doing? Have you got anything you can warm up 
a countryman with? I have driven ten miles through the cold and 
would give anything for a drink of red-eve." This man looked so 


much like a backwoods farmer, I told him I had anything he want- 
ed, and asked him what kind he wanted. He told me to let him have 
a pint of white corn, for which he paid me 60 cents, for he told me 
he had several friends he wanted to bring round to get some. I told 
him to bring them on if they were all right. In about thirty minutes 
he came back with two other men and all three wanted a pint apiece 
and put the money on the counter, and I reached under the counter 
and handed them the three bottles of whiskey. They all went out 
and walked up town and in about an hour and a half they returned 
to my place and wanted more whiskey, which I let them have — three 
more pints — and they left my place again, and in another hour they 
came back with two policemen, and then the man I first sold the 
whiskey to showed me his revenue badge. The police had a warrant 
for me for selling whiskey to the revenue officer and two other men 
who were with him at the time I sold it. And they arrested me and 
locked me up until next morning at 10 o'clock. They tried me for 
selling whiskey and finding 125 pints of whiskey in my store, also 
about three barrels of beer, I was convicted before the mayor's 
court and put under a $200.00 bond. This was about the 12th of De- 
cember, 1896. I was tried in January, 1897, at Yorkville, S. C, in 
York county, was convicted and the judge in sentencing me said 
that as it was my first offense he would give me only 30 days on the 
roads at hard labor. Many nights have I lain on my old bunk and 
never slept one wink — thinking of my poor father and mother. And 
if I had only taken their advice I would not have been where I now 
am in a convict camp down in South Carolina. After serving my 
sentence of 30 days, I returned to Rock Hill and opened up my 
candy business again for about 30 days, but craving money so much 
and not making it fast enough in the candy business, I ordered more 
whiskey and beer and opened up another blind tiger in the same 
place and sold it for about four months before they got up with me 
again — the same revenue officer running up on me some time in 
June, 1897, and placing me under arrest, locked me up in the guard 
house until next day at 10 o'clock. 

They brought me out for trial. The revenue officer swore he saw 
me deliver two pints of whiskey to a certain man and I was con- 
victed in mayor's court and the mayor gave me three days to leave 
town in and not return in two years or he would bind me over to 
court again. So I decided to leave and sold my candy outfit to Lee 
Hand and left Rock Hill, S. C, the same night at 8 o'clock on blind 
baggage of passenger train with $460.00 in my pocket. I rode clear 
to Danville, Va., before I was detected, but at Danville the depot 
policeman found me on blind baggage and wanted to know what I 
was doing up there and where I was going. He called me down off 
train and put me under arrest and took me to the police station and 
locked me up. Next morning they had me before the mayor and put 
a fine of $10.00 and costs on me for beating my way on the train. I 
paid him and left city on same train that night on blind baggage. 


Rode within about 50 miles of Washington, D. C. It was about day- 
light and they caught me again and put me off, but I was not arrest- 
ed. That night about sunset I caught another train on blind bag- 
gage and reached Washington, D. C, about 8 o'clock. That night 
the' conductor found me as soon as the train stopped and turned me 
over to. the police and police seemed to be sorry for me and let me 
go. I walked around and went into an alley where I found a large 
dry goods box and crawled in box and went to sleep. A man passed 
by me about daylight and woke me up and told me I had better get 
up or the police would get me. I got up and found a place to wash 
my face and hands. I stayed in Washington, D. C, about two days 
looking around. I left Washington one night about 8' o'clock on 
blind baggage for Philadelphia, Pa. Went all the way without be- 
ing caught. About thirty miles out of Washington, train making 
about 35 miles per hour, taking on water while running, I being 
next to the tender, when tank was filled, water flew out of top tank 
and almost drowned me. This was about July 1st, 1897. I was very 
cold when I reached Philadelphia about daylight. The conductor 
found me when the train stopped at Union depot, but I begged him 
not to have me locked up, as I was a long way from home and al- 
most sick from exposure being out nights. I stayed in Philadelphia 
one day and night and went down to freight yard and caught a 
watermelon train for New York. Stayed in New York three days 
and left there on blind baggage for Philadelphia. When I arrived 
there I looked around the city for three days. The last day I was in 
fhe city of Philadelphia I was sitting in front of a large building 
near the freight yards. About three o'clock in the evening three 
well-dressed men came by and spoke to me, asking if I lived in Phil- 
adelphia. I told them no, that I was from North Carolina, Sampson 
county. They asked me how long I would be in Philadelphia? I 
told them I was going to Baltimore on first train tonight. They 
said they were going there, too, on the same train, to come go 
with us. that it would not cost me anything. So I went with them 
to freight yards and there we found seven more sitting up on a lit- 
tle hill under a shade tree. We all walked over to where the crowd 
of seven were, and the three I was with said to the seven others, we 
have another partner. So we all sat down together and talked for 
about thirty minutes, and all of us put in a little money and sent and 
got a bucket of beer. Soon the beer man was back. We all drank 
some and about 30 minutes more we sent back for another bucket 
full and drank that, and in a short time we sent for the third bucket 
full and drank that; by that time we all were feeling jolly and 
good-by for Baltimore. We all crawled into an open box car which 
had been loaded with watermelons. About 12 miles out from Phila- 
delphia we- all got off at a little town called Mooretown, Pa. We all 
struck out from house to house begging for something to eat. We 
had the good luck of getting plenty to eat for our supper. We then 
went out of town a short ways, and sat under a large tree and ate 

what we had begged, all eating together. Then we began to look for 
some place to sleep, as it was about night. We finally found, ar old 
ice house about a mile from town. Had to go through an old bay 
pond to find it. Seem that some of the party in the crowd had been 
there before as they knew where it was. No floor in it, we had a 
good many old newspapers that we put on the ground and lay on 
them to keep from being on the ground. About 2 o'clock that night 
they thought I was asleep. I heard several of them talking about 
getting up and going out to turn a switch so as to wreck a passenger 
train due along there about day, so they could rob and loot the train 
of all they could find. Just before daylight seven of the party left 
to go to the freight yard in Mooretown to wreck the passenger 
train for the purpose of robbing the passengers. The engineer dis- 
covered that the switch had been thrown from main line to the sid- 
ing and he stopped his train, and, seeing such a large crowd, the 
train backed into Union depot at Philadelphia. The seven men who 
left us at daylight came back to where we all slept and lay down for 
two or three hours. I still lying down like I was asleep, I heard the 
men who had left us talking to the three they left with me, saying 
they had failed to wreck the train for the first time. In a short time 
we all got up and went down to the freight yard and found a box 
car opened on side track. The crowd all got into the car but my- 
self. I tried to slip off, for I did not want to be in any such crowdf, 
but they all got after me and made me get into the car. We sat 
there about one hour and talked. They all plotted how to get our 
breakfast. Some went one way and some another. They left three 
in the car with me so I could not slip off from them. In a short 
while they all come back and had plenty of breakfast for us all, and 
we all ate together in the car. 

As soon as we finished eating we talked for about an hour andl 
five of them got up and went a little way from the car and were 
plotting something. In a few minutes they came back into the ear 
and asked me if I had a pocket knife or a pistol. I told them I had 
no pistol, but had an old pocket knife. They asked me to lend them 
my knife, and I let them have it, not thinking they meant to do me 
any harm. As soon as they got my knife they told me that T had 
money in my pocket, and would not spend it, so they said, "Come 
on, boys, and let's take it away from him," and they overpowered 
me and took $42.00 from my pockets. 1 had $400.00 in my shoes — 
paper money, and a few large bills, which they did not find until 
later on. I tried very hard to get away from them to report them to 
the police, but could not get away at that time. 

It was very warm about the middle of July, 1897. Some of them 
spoke of a pond of water about three hundred yards from the ear 
we were in, and proposed going over to the pond and go in bathing. 
As it was in the woods where no one could see us and a nice place 
to bathe, they all started off but myself, and I told them I did not 
want to go, but they made me go with them. When we all got there 


five of them nndressed and went in. They said the water was warm 
and for me to come in. I told them I did not care to go in as I was 
nearly sick with cold.' The five who were in the pond went across 
to the other side, and called the other five to come around where 
they were. They all talked there a short time, plotting something. 
They all came back on the side where I was and told me I had to go 
in bathing. I told them I would not go in. One of them remarked 
to the crowd that I had more money, and they believed I had it in 
my shoes. Then I wished I had run when they were en the other 
side of the pond plotting. They made me take off my shoes, and 
found my $400.00 and took it from me. I tried to get away from 
them, but could not get away .then..: The crowd talked about cutting 
my throat and throwing me in the pond, and leaving me there, i 
sat down on a rock and put my .shoes back on. One of the crowd 
asked the others if they had that sharp knife. He said to the fellow 
give it to me. The man who had the knife said to the others, "Hold 
lim. I will cut his throat." They started toward me and I jumped 
and ran for my life. T.iiey took after me and ran me for nearly 500 
yards until I came near some houses, where people were living, and 
they turned around and. -went back towards the woods and called to 
me, if 1 would come back^they would give me my money back, but I 
played like I did not hear them and went on to one of the houses and 
rang the doorbell and an old lady came to the door, and I told her 
all about what had happened,, the best I could. She told me her son 
was eating supper, but would come out and see me in a few minutes 
and advise me the best he could, as he was a lawyer. In a short time 
he came out and saw me, and asked, me my troubles. I told him all, 
the best I could. He asked me did they take every cent I had. I 
told him yes. He asked m-e, where \ was from. I told him from 
North Carolina, Sampson county:. He asked me if I had had any- 
thing to ; eat that day. J t#ld..lrim 1 had had a little breakfast that 
morning. He told '-his, servant ;|P, fix me a place at his table, and 
give me supper, all 1 waited, which she did. He told her to fix me 
a lunch to take with me,.,- jf3^ gave. me enough money to pay my car 
fare to Chester,. Pa.,, four miles from Mooretown, Pa. Also enough 
money to get me a place tosle^ej) that night. He wrote a note for 
me to give to the chjef of police^ telling him all that had happened. 
He went with me to the car lin.e and when I got to Chester the first 
man I saw was a Je.\y„ ; running a, large clothing store. I asked him 
where I could find t.h.e ( chief.. police. He walked with me and found 
him for me. I gave fh,e, npj^j I, had to the chief of police. He read 
it and questioned me all about jWthat had happened and how. He re 
marked, that he thought, it,wa,s ( the same crowd that tried to wreck 
the passenger train the .night; before near Mooretown freight yard. 
I told him they were .tne same, crowd, for I was with them that night 
they tried to wreck the.trai£.. ;v T r here were eleven of us in an old ice 
house near Mooretown, wher ; e f jW f eJiad gone there to sleep that night. 
I heard several of them plotting to wreck the early morning pas- 


senger train going to Baltimore. The chief of police phoned the gen- 
eral superintendent of the Baltimore & Ohio Railway to send some 
detectives at once, as he thought he had a man that could put them 
on the track of the men who tried to wreck the train at Mooretown 
a night or so before. The superintendent phoned back to the chief 
of police to lock me up and hold me until next morning ; that he 
would have men there to investigate the matter. The superinten- 
dent and detective came next morning and called for me, and I told 
them all I knew about the whole matter. The superintendent of the 
Baltimore & Ohio Railway told me if I would point out to them the 
parties that attempted to wreck the train and robbed me he would 
get me my money back and give me $500.00 for my work. Also a 
ticket back to my home in North Carolina. 

I rode over with the superintendent and his detectives to Philadel- 
phia. They telegraphed over the whole country for four or five hun- 
dred miles around to look out for all hoboes, suspicious persons not at 
work and to lock them up and hold them until they could get their 
man around to identify the parties, if found by any one. We went 
to every town that they had wired the superintendent they had sev- 
eral locked up, but was never able to find the parties. We traveled 
for about three weeks, day and night, and we finally had to give up 
the hunt in Philadelphia, and the detective and superintendent 
asked me did I want to go home. I told them yes. So I went as far 
as Baltimore with the superintendent and detective, and I went up 
to the superintendent's office, and he gave me a pass from Baltimore 
to Warsaw, N. C, also $10.00 in money. 

I reached home about four o'clock in the afternoon, and walked to 
my father's home and got there about sunset. Before I got home I 
went through our field and met a negro I knew, and asked him 
where my father planted his watermelon patch this year. I was 
thirsty and wanted a melon to eat. He told me where it was at, and 
I got me a nice one and went up near the house and sat on the fence 
and was eating it when my mother and father saw me. They were 
very much surprised, and could not talk to me for some little time 
for crying, to think I had reached home again and out of trouble. 

If it had not been for a colored man from my home, who was 
working in a coal yard in Philadelphia, by the name of S. H. 
Wilson, I would have been held for the attempt at wrecking the 
train at Mooretown, Pa., in July 1897. 

I stayed home from about the 1st of August until about the first 
of October of the same year. Then I borrowed some money from my 
father and ordered me another candy outfit. When it reached War- 
saw, N. C, I took it over to Clinton, N. C, and opened up a candy 
store about eleven miles from my old home, and made candy all of 
the fall of 1897, and about January 1st, 1898, my candy business did 
not make me as much money as I thought I needed, so I decided 
again to open another blind tiger business. I craved money more 
than anything else, and knew there was lots of money to be made at 


this kind of business. So I ordered two cases of corn whiskey, 40 
pints to the case, and one case of rye whiskey, 40 pints to the case, 
also three barrels of beer, which I called the Black Brew Tonic. I 
ran this business for about four months, during which time my 
father came to Clinton often and begged me to quit this kind of bus- 
iness, for, he said, sooner or later I would suffer for it, and for my 
mother's sake please to stop this business. If I could not make a liv- 
ing making candy alone, for me to come home, and he would take 
care of me ; but I would not come and do as they said, but kept on 
selling whiskey and beer and was caught about the last of April, 
1898, on one Saturday evening about 3 o'clock, caused by three or 
four boys being drunk and disorderly on the streets of Clinton, 
N. C. They were arrested and brought before the mayor, and he 
questioned them as to where they got their whiskey from, and they 
told him that they bought it from me, and the mayor wrote out a 
warrant against me for selling whisk'ey without license. The chief 
of police came over to my place of business and arrested me, and car- 
ried me before the mayor. I was found guilty and bound over to 
court under a $300.00 justified bond. My lawyer gave the bond for 
me. Court convened the first Monday in May, same year. I was 
tried and convicted, and they passed sentence on me the 16th day of 
May, giving me ninety days in the county roads of Wayne county. 
On the following Monday I was taken from the jail in Sampson 
county and carried to Goldsboro, and put in jail for about three days 
until the road overseer, T. T. Lucas, .came after me to take me on 
the road. It was about night when we reached the camp. They put 
me in a tent and showed me my bunk in with the crowd and put 
shackles around my ankles every night. Every morning we had to be 
up by daylight, and get ready for breakfast and go to work on 
the road. Everybody had to wash in the same bucket and same 
water, about seventy-five of us, on the road, white and black, all 
slept under the same tent. We had every morning for breakfast fat 
white side, cold, and corn bread, about two inches thick and four 
inches wide, cooked the night before, never sifted the meal at all. 
Also they gave us black molasses, all in one tin pan, grease about 
half an inch thick in the pan, and it cold. It seemed all but im- 
possible for me to live on this diet for ninety days, but working so 
hard in mud and water up to my knees, my appetite soon came to 
me, and the fat meat and corn bread and molasses tasted as good to 
me as anything I ever eat before getting on the chaingang. I re- 
ceived several letters from my dear mother, saying how sorry she 
was for me. She sent me the nicest box of something good to eat, 
but it stayed in the depot at Mount Olive so long I was unable to 
eat it when I received it, as it was stale. How glad would I have 
been to have gotten it before it spoiled. Never a night passed but 
what I said to myself, if ever I lived to get back to my home with 
father and mother I would lead a different life and take their 


The time dragged on and my ninety days were about out. Min- 
utes seemed like hours, days like weeks and weeks like months ; but 
the time came at last, as I gained nine days on account of good be- 
pints, and two barrels of beer. It took a short while to sell this and 
I shall never forget that, as there was a heavy black cloud in the 
northwest coming up, but I never stopped for that. It was nearly 
dark, and before I got 500 yards from the tent it poured down rain. 
I kept on. until I came to a little house by the side of the railroad 
about three miles from Goldsboro. There I spent the night, lying on 
the floor. Next morning about daylight I got up and started for 
Goldsboro, N. C. After I arrived at Goldsboro I bought me some 
clothes and got a good bath and caught the three o'clock train for 
Warsaw, N. C, and arrived there at four o'clock p. m. My brother 
met me at the depot and we drove out to my old home, six miles 
from Warsaw, N. C. I stayed at home about one month, and went 
back to Clinton and bought out a small grocery business from a man 
by the name of Lewis Pearce. I also opened up my candy business, 
too. I continued this business for a few weeks, but was not making 
expenses, so I could not help on account of love for money from 
opening another blind tiger. So I ordered two cases of whiskey, 80 
pints and two barrels of beer. It took a short while to sell this and 
then I duplicated my. order, when my supply on hand began to get 
low. I continued on in this for about three months. Having been 
caught at this business in this town once before, they watched me 
very closely, and at the end of three months they had rounded me 
up once more and carried me before the mayor, and I was convicted 
the second time in Clinton for the same offense. The mayor put me 
under a $200.00 bond to appear at court. My lawyer went on my 
bond again, and I was tried at the February term of court, 1899. 
They convicted me, but it so happened that it was not the same 
judge who tried me before, and only put $100.00 fine and costs upon 
me. I got a horse and buggy and drove to my father and borrowed 
part of the money and went back to Clinton. The judge said he would 
give me until next term of court to pay the balance of my fine. So 
the sheriff came around every week and I paid him so much each 
week until it was all settled. The mayor of Clinton then allowed me 
to sell malt tonic. I sold this for about two months and the people 
of the town began to kick on this, so the mayor sent police to my 
place and told me to stop selling the malt tonic. At this time I had 
eight barrels on hand, so I sent it up to my house and put it in my 
barn. In a few days a man came around and bought my business 
from me except my candy outfit. I then moved from Clinton to 
Wallace, N. C, Duplin county, and opened up a candy business. 
After I got my candy business running I had my eight barrels of 
malt shipped to me at Wallace, N. C, and began selling it. I sold a 
half barrel when the people of Wallace began to kick heavily 
against it, and a party came to me on one Saturday and told me if I 
did not stop selling it they would have me arrested and put under a 


bond for my appearance at court. Then I sold my candy outfit and 
shipped my malt back to Clinton, N. C, and I left "Wallace, N. C. 
for Norfolk, Va., to buy some pool tables, which I did purchase — 
three tables — and had them shipped to Clinton, N. C. Then I rented 
a two-story building and opened up my pool room. I then sent to 
the depot and had my malt tonic brought up to my pool room and 
had it put upstairs over my pool room. 

I had a very good run with my pool room. Also the boys would 
run upstairs and get a bottle of malt. They begun to go so often 
after malt that, of courae, having been in trouble there twice before 
they were watching my place very close. So the police standing in 
front of my door watching one Saturday night, took the names of 
all the boys whom he saw going up and down the stairs. He then 
had them before the mayor the next Monday morning. Some of them 
swore they bought malt from me and then the mayor sent for me 
and tried me and found me guilty and put me under a $100.00 bond 
until court convened in May, 1899. I was again found guilty, but 
sentence was reserved until the last of court, and I was locked up 
in Clinton jail until sentence was passed upon me. The judge sent 
for me on the last day of court to come up in the court house to re- 
ceive my sentence, which was three months on the roads of Wayne 
county. The sheriff took me to Goldsboro, N. C, the following Mon- 
day, and put me in jail and the road boss came after me the next 
day and took me out to the camp, this being my second time on the 
roads of Wayne county, it did not go quite as hard with me as the 
first time, but the fare was no better. 

My time was out on the 28th of August, 1899. I reached Golds- 
boro the same night and left the next morning at 7 o'clock. On 
reaching Warsaw, N. C, at 8 o'clock v I walked out to my old home 
again. I only stayed a few days. My mother begged me not ever 
again to sell strong drink, for I had nearly killed her with trou- 
ble. When I started to leave for Clinton she followed me to the 
gate ; the last word she said was, please don't do anything that would 
get me in any more trouble. When I got to Clinton I packed up my 
pool tables and put them in the depot and shipped them to Concord, 
N. C. Then I left Clinton for Concord the next day, and when I 
reached there I began looking around for a house to open up my 
pool room in. I got my house by the time my tables arrived and put 
them up and was ready for business in a short time. My business 
was very good, it being a large cotton mill town, and everybody had 
plenty of work to do and spent their money freely. 

In about a month after getting acquainted with the boys, especial- 
ly the class that drink old booze, I decided I would open a little side 
line along with my pool room. So I ordered me two cases of whis- 
key, one of corn and one of rye, and five barrels of beer. This order 
only lasted a short while, so I doubled my order the next time. I 
continued doing a good business for eight months without any trou- 
ble at all. Along toward the last of eight months they were getting 


• too bold and rowdy, fighting right much. In one of the fights there- 
was about eight or nine in it, and the police came around and put 
the whole crowd under arrest. This was on Saturday night, and 
they put all of them under bond until Monday morning, and then 
they had all of them up before the mayor. He fined the whole push. 
$10.00 and costs apiece. They mayor asked them where they got so» 
much whiskey from. Some of the crowd gave me away and the 
mayor wrote out a warrant for me and the chief of police came after 
me, and carried me before the mayor, who tried me and found me 
guilty, and put me under a $200.00 bond until court. I put up the 
money for my bond. I was tried in the May term of court, 1900., 
was convicted and sentenced to the county roads for four months. 

This time I would not let my mother know anything about this r 
for she had seen enough trouble over me. This was the worst chain- 
gang up to now I had ever been on. I worked in nothing but clay 
mud up to my knees all the time. I often got letters from my moth- 
er saying she was glad I was getting on so nicely, she not knowing: 
I was on the chaingang again. When my time was out I went back 
to Concord about the last of September, 1900, and took charge of 
my pool room. The man that I left in charge of my business while 
I was on the chaingang made me over $200.00 profit while I was; 
away. Then I took charge of my business and ran it a few weeks- 
I had become so hardened that I made up my mind to sell whiskey- 
regardless of anything, even though they kept me on the road half 
of my time. I then ordered another supply of whiskey and beer„ 
and kept on selling for about two months before they caught me 
again, as they were watching very closely, and on one Friday night 
late I got into a fight with some boys whom I had been selling whis- 
key to the same night. One of them came near killing me with a 
cue. I had to phone for a doctor to come and sew the cut place ia 
my head, which cost me $10.00 on the next day. Saturday they ar- 
rested me and the other boys and had us up before the mayor ? 
which cost us $10.00 and costs. The boys whom I had a fight with 
gave me away as to selling them whiskey, and the mayor had me ar- 
rested on the charge of selling, and found me guilty and bound me 
over to court under a $200.00 bond. I put up a cash bond for the 
second time in Concord for the same offense. This happened about 
the last of November, 1900. I was tried in December and found 
guilty. The judge passed sentence this time to three months on the 
roads. I asked the judge if I could not pay a fine and not go oh 
the road. He said no, that I had to serve my time out on the chain- 
gang as I had been selling whiskey long enough. 

So I was locked up in jail until the following Monday niorningV 
and then I was taken once more from this town to serve three more 
months on the road. "When my time expired, about the last of Feb- 
ruary, 1901, and I came back to Concord, N. C, and continued on in 
business until I was taken up five different times, in all serving- 
about sixteen or eighteen months on the road at hard labor, serving 


last sentence and got out about the middle of December, 1902, with 
•a clear profit of over $1,600.00, and I decided to leave Concord. 

So I sold out my pool room to Dr. "Williams, who now runs the 
Concord Drug Store. He paid me $200.00 cash and $50.00 a month 
until balance was paid, amounting in all to $800.00. I packed up 
my soda fountain, which I did not sell with the pool room, and 
shipped it to Rock Hill, S. C, where I sold it to C. W. Gregory for 
$300.00, which he paid me $25.00 cash and $15.00 per month until 
same was paid for. After selling out everything I had I went to 
Monroe, N. C, with the intention of opening a pool room, but could 
not find a house suitable for the business, so I left there and went 
to Lumberton, N. C, to open up a pool room, but the town seemed 
to be stocked with pool tables, so I bought out a cool drink stand 
near the depot. 

When I bought this business I fully intended opening another 
blind tiger, and after getting acquainted a little I put in an order 
for one case of corn whiskey from South Boston, Va. When the 
whiskey arrived I got it from the express office and carried it to my 
little cool drink stand and sold some of it, but before I could dis- 
pose of it all they caught up with me and put me under arrest, car- 
ried me before the mayor and convicted me, and the mayor gave 
me one week to sell out my little business and leave town, and I sold 
out and left, this being about the last of February, 1903. 

I then went to Laurinburg, N. C, and opened up business and 
ordered two barrels of beer and labeled it The Black Brew. Also 
I ordered one ease of whiskey. I was only there about thirty days 
selling blind tiger before I was caught again and taken up before 
the mayor and was convicted again and bound over to court under 
a $50.00 bond. I stood my own bond by putting up the cash. I con- 
tinued selling until court convened about the 1st of April, 1903. 1 
was tried and convicted and was sentenced for thirty days, the 
court stating this being my first time in Laurinburg, N. C, he made 
the sentence as light as he could possibly do so. I served my thirty 
days out on the road, being kind of hardened to this, it never went 
so hard with me. 

When my time expired I returned to Laurinburg — about the mid- 
dle of May, 1903. I opened up business at the same stand, doing the 
same kind of business, but they watched me very close, and caught 
me again within thirty days. They had the shrewdest police at this 
place I ever came into contact with. So he carried me before the 
mayor again and I was tried and put under a $100.00 bond this 
time. I put up the money for my bond and sold whiskey right on 
until July court, when I was tried and convicted again. The judge 
sentenced me to 60 days this time and told me he was going to dou- 
ble my sentence every time I came up before him. They locked me 
up in jail until the next Monday and then took me to the road, 
where I had been once before, to serve my 60 days, which I did, and 
got back to Laurinburg about the last of September, 1903. 1 opened 


up again at the same stand, doing the same business. They ran up 
on me again before I could sell out my first order. The same police- 
man got me. I went through the same thing as heretofore, only the 
mayor put my bond to $150.00. I stood my own bond again with 
the cash. I was tried about the 1st of October, 1903, by the same 
judge, and found guilty, and he sentenced me to four months, and 
told me he wanted this to be my last time to come before him, and 
wanted to know if I had any home, also wanted to know if I had 
any father and mother living. I told him yes. He told me then, 
why did I not go home and go to work and quit fooling with the 
blind tiger business. 

When I served my four months out I got back to Laurinburg,. 
N. C, about February 1st, 1904, went back to my same place, opened 
business, putting in small stock of groceries. In a few days I or- 
dered one case of whiskey and one barrel of beer. I got the same 
and put it in my place of business. In about two days the police 
came to my place of business and told me the mayor said to go over 
to his office for a few minutes, he wanted to see me. I went over 
there with the police and the mayor said to me. I want to give you 
some advice, stating that this was a dry town and he intended to 
keep it dry, and "I will give you only ten days to sell what little 
mess of groceries you have and leave this town, and if you are not 
away from here inside of the ten days you will get in more trouble 
than you ever have been in before." So I sold out my stock and 
left for my home. 

I stayed there for a few days only, but was never satisfied un- 
less I was somewhere selling whiskey. So I went back to Clinton 
to rent me a place to do business. When the police found out I 
was going to open up business there again he would see to it that 1 
should not open business in that town any more. So I gave up- 
the house I had spoken for and left and went to Mount Olive, N.. 
C, to buy out a party. Soon as the town authorities found out 
I intended going into business there they came to me and told 
me the best thing I could do would be for me to leave there "ass 
we have heard too much about your reputation as a blind tiger 
dealer, and we are not going to allow any such business in this 
town." So I left on the first train for Durham. 

I got to Durham about March 2, 1904, rented me a house near 
the N. & W. Raidroad, next to the street car shed on Main street, 
went down town and bought me some fruit of all kinds, also went 
to the bottling works and bought some soft drinks in bottles, and 
had it all sent to my store I had rented. Then I ordered five 
barrels of beer from Danville, Va., and one case of whiskey from 
J. Gr. Patterson, South Boston, Va. When it arrived in a few 
days, I sent after same and had it put in my back door. I went 
down town and had me some labels printed "The Black Brew 
Tonic," and put on my beer bottles and sold it for about four 
months; also whiskey, and a man by the name of John Gates, 


who clerked for R. E. Hurst & Co., whom I made believe this was 
my own patent, and he knew I was making money out of it by 
selling from five to seven barrels a week at 15 cents a bottle, and 
this man Gates wanted to know what I would take for my county 
right and leave town. I told him $150.00. He told me alright, 
and gave me $5.00 to confirm the trade. In a few days he paid me 
the other $145.00. Then I left Durham for Wilson. 

I reached Wilson about the first of July, 1904. I looked for 
a place to rent. Some one found out I wanted to open up a near- 
beer business, and he was selling it himself. He did not want any 
opposition to him. He knew me before and went to the mayor 
and told him that I was the worst blind tiger man in North Carolina, 
and the mayor refused to give me any license to sell any kind of 
drinks at all. 

So I left Wilson for Goldsboro, N. C. Goldsboro had not been 
«, dry town but a short while, so I rented me a place on John 
street, near the Postoffice, and I opened up business, buying out a 
man who was selling eider. I sold cider and other soft drinks 
for a short time and then I decided to order more whiskey and 
beer and I had a good trade and continued in business for nearly 
three months. About the middle of October, when the police be- 
came suspicious of my place and finally caught me about the last 
of October, 1904, and took me up before the mayor of the town 
and tried me for selling whiskey and beer. They had six or seven 
witnesses against me. They found me* guilty and bound me over 
to the November term of court under a $100.00 bond. I gave cash. 
I continued on in my business until court, when I was tried and 
convicted and sentenced to the chaingang for three months in 
Wayne County. I served my time out and came back to Golds- 
boro about the 1st of February, 1905. I opened up again in the 
came back and asked me was i selling this drink. I told him yes, 
two barrels of beer, and labeled the beer "The Black Brew Tonic." 
I sold on for about three weeks and one day the chief of police 
came in my place of business and went behind my counter and 
got a bottle of my beer, which was labeled "The Black Brew 
Tonic," and carried it over to the mayor. In a short time he 
came back and asked me was I selling this drink. I told him yes, 
I got it to sell. He told me the mayor said for me not to sell any 
more of it, if I did, he would have me arrested. As it was noth- 
ing more than beer I tried -to work off what I had on hand on the 
sly. Every night when I lay on my bed I would study and plan 
how to fool the town on another beer drink. So I wrote to Robert 
Portner, Petersburg, Va., to ship me one barrel of lager brew 
which there could not be any revenue tax on. I put it in my 
store. I took the label off and put a label on called "Yellowade," 
my own get up. I put this up before the public on my shelves. 
Then I ordered me two barrels of pure beer with no label on it. 
Then I labeled this also "Yellowade," and showed it to him, and 


asked him if it was against the law to sell this. He said open it 
and let's see how it tastes. Which I did. The chief of police came 
in my place. I took a bottle off my shelf. He told me if I could find 
anybody to buy such a mess as this, to sell all I wanted to. I kept 
the town fooled selling beer for "Yellowade" about four months. 
About the last of May the chief of police and mayor came in my 
place one day when there were three or four men in there drinking 
the pure beer that I had labeled "Yellowade." The police got hold 
of a bottle of it and tasted it and said it was pure beer, and asked 
the mayor to taste it, and he said the same thing. He told me I had 
been in enough trouble in this town, and if I did not leave here in 
three days he would arrest me and have me bound over to court. 
Then I sold out and left the town on the third dav for Greensboro, 
N. C. 

I arrived there about May 10th, 1905, and rented me a store house 
on Sycamore street. I then ordered me five barrels of beer and put 
it in my place and labeled it "The Black Brew Tonic." I whole- 
saled and retailed it out for about four months before the town au- 
thorities began to think there was any harm in it. The police went 
in a place where I had sold a barrel at wholesale and got a bottle 
of the Black Brew Tonic and sent it off to have it analyzed. In 
about three days after they came to my place of business and put 
me under arrest on Saturday night, and locked me up until Monday 
morning and notified the parties I had been selling this stuff to at 
wholesale to come up for the trial before the mayor. They found 
me guilty, but the parties I had been selling this to came clear, as 
they were fooled by me in buying it ; but they put me under a 
$200.00 bond and I lacked $35.00 having enough money to stand 
my own bond. So they locked me up and I got a friend to phone 
my brother-in-law at Raleigh, N. O. He arrived at Greensboro the 
next morning about 6 o'clock. He came to the jail and talked to 
me and asked me what the trouble was. I told him I needed $35.00 
to put up a cash bond of $200.00, that I only had $165.00 myself. 
He let me have it. So I put up the bond and got out then. I went 
around trying to collect from the parties I had been selling to at 
wholesale. Then I left town, forfeiting my bond, and went to 
Charlotte, N. C. 

I arrived at Charlotte about the last of September, 1905. I went 
out in suburbs of the city and rented me a store. Charlotte had just 
gone dry. I then went up town and bought a lot of canned goods 
and two kegs of cider and put in my store. Then I ordered me two 
cases of whiskey and two barrels of beer. The express wagon de- 
livered it to me at my store. Then I began my blind tiger business 
in Charlotte, still labeling my beer "Black Brew Tonic." I sold 
here for about two months, and had a good trade, selling about five 
cases of whiskey and from five to seven barrels of beer a week. The 
last Saturday I was in town I sold two cases of whiskey and about 
three barrels of beer. I could have sold more if I had had it. So 


I went to supper and started back to my store. I met a colored man 
who knew me ; he told me not to go back to my store, as the chief 
of police and one more policeman were there waiting for me with a 
warrant to arrest me. So I thanked the negro very much. Then I 
turned and went back to my boarding house and. sit there until 
good dark. The man whom I boarded with phoned for a wagon to 
come up and take my trunk to the depot. Then I went to the near- 
est car line and caught a car for the depot, and took the first train 
out for Statesville, N. C. 

Next morning I^went to the mayor of Statesville and asked him 
if I could sell The Black Brew Tonic in this town. He asked me my 
name. I told him. He said he had seen my name in the papers as a 
blind tiger dealer for over 25 times, and the best thing for me to do 
would be to catch the first train and leave this town. This was 
about December 1st, 1905. 

So I left on the first train for Concord, N. C. When I got there 
I tried to buy a man out who was running a fruit stand and sell- 
ing cigars and tobacco near depot, but did not make it on account 
of the police telling me I could not get any license in this town to 
do any kind of business at all. 

So I left Concord that night for Fayetteville, N. C. The next day 
I went to the mayor of the city and asked him if I could sell a drink 
called The Black Brew Tonic. He asked me how much alcohol it 
contained. I told him about 2 per cent. He said if it did not contain 
more than two per cent of alcohol that I could sell it there. So I 
rented me a store about two blocks from the market house and 
opened up business and ordered two cases of whiskey and three 
barrels of beer, labeling the beer "The Black Brew Tonic," and sold 
it in this part of the city about three weeks. The man keeping next 
to me began to kick and one of them came to me and told me if I 
did not leave this part of town he was going to prove I was selling 
whiskey. So I looked around for another place and finally rented 
the chief of police's old office in the old market house. I sold there 
for about three months, whiskey and beer, until one day a preacher 
and the president of one of the banks saw me loading a wagon with 
empty beer bottles and walked up and said to me, "Your place 
smells like a public barroom," and said it should not be run any 
longer. So I asked them to give me just one week to move. They 
said they would see the mayor about it, and the mayor sent the chief 
of police back with them and told me they would give me one week 
to leave town. So I left and went to Hope Mills, N. C, seven miles 
from Fayetteville, and opened up in Hope Mills about April 1, 1906. 
I ordered one case of whiskey and one barrel of beer. I sold this 
out in a short time. I ordered more and continued to sell there for 
a month, when the mayor of the town wrote me a note and sent it 
by the police, telling me I had better leave town; if I did not he 
would have me arrested. So I moved out to No. 2 Cotton Mill, about 
one mile from town limits, and opened up on the public dirt road 


m a little store house there. I ordered more whiskey and beer and 
then I hired a man fey the name of Dave Williamson to run this 
place for me, and then I left there for Lumberton, N. C, again to 
open up another blind tiger. The mayor of the town found out I was 
there and sent the police to me, telling me I had been in trouble here 
before and the best thing I could do would be to leave town, and I 
left that night for Laurinburg, N. C, and as soon as the police saw 
me he told me the best thing was for me to get out of town at once, 
as they were not going to have any more trouble with me and I left 
on the first train for Hope Mills, N. C. The man I had working for 
me at that place told me if I would go over to Fayetteville and go 
right outside the city limits near three large cotton mills, business 
would be good. So I went over there and could not get a house and 
I went back over to my place near Hope Mills and told the man 
who was working for me I could not find any place to open up busi- 
ness in. He told me to get a horse and buggy and he would go with 
me and find a place over there. So we went and both of us failed 
to get a house, so we went back and he told me if he was in my place 
he would rent a small lot and build a little house on it, before he 
would be outdone. So we went back to Fayetteville to find out who 
owned those vacant lots. So I found the man who owned them and 
rented a half-acre of ground and put me up a little store house, 
12x12, which cost me $42.00. It was near two dwelling houses. On 
the first week I opened up, about twenty-five cotton mill boys came 
one Saturday night. All got drunk. They brought some whiskey 
with them and I sold them a lot of whiskey and beer, too. They 
all got to arguing and it finally ended in a big fight. I told them 
all to get out of my place and leave from around my door. They 
all picked up a lot of empty beer bottles and blew out my lights 
and began throwing them at me and breaking them all up side of 
my store. I hid behind a beer barrel. I expected to be killed any 
minute. When things got a little quiet I slipped to the door and 
bolted it, then they began throwing bricks against my store, curs- 
ing me to everything. The people living near came out to my store 
and told me to open my door and I would not open it for some time, 
until they told me who they were and that I should not be hurt. 
Then I opened my door and they said to me that they wanted to 
give me my orders to leave there by Monday at 12 o'clock. I told 
them that I was not going to be run off and had as much money 
as they had to stand a lawsuit. So they went to my boarding house 
and called him out and told him that they were surprised at him, 
being a sanctified man, and boarding a man who he knew was sell- 
ing blind tiger whiskey. So when I went there to go to bed he told 
me I had to look for another boarding place, because the people 
around here were getting down on him for boarding me, as people 
were lying around my place drunk all the time. On Sunday morning 
I went down to my other place near Hope Mills, through the snow 
about eight inches deep. This was about the middle of December, 


1906. When I got there the man who was working for me there 
told me to go get Bill Smith and take him back with me over near 
Fayetteville to my place and run that place or die. So I took Bill 
Smith back with me Monday morning and opened up business. The 
parties who had told me to leave there by Monday at 12 o'clock, 
came out and told Bill Smith they were surprised at him working 
with a blind tiger man like me. But we went right on selling it, 
and the next day about 12 o'clock went to Fayetteville and swore 
out papers against me for selling beer and whiskey, and being a 
nuisance to the community. The deputy sheriff came out to my place 
and arrested me and Bill Smith, carried us before a justice of the 
peace and tried us that day about 3 o'clock. I had three of the best 
lawyers in the city to defend me. They tried me for selling whis- 
key and found me guilty. They had seventeen witnesses. They put 
me under a $200.00 bond. I put up the money for my bond. I also 
stood Bill Smith's bond of $100.00, put up the cas hfor it. They 
tried me for a public nuisance on Friday after my trial for whiskey 
business, and found me guilty and put me under a $300.00 bond for 
that. I could not give the bond that day, so my lawyers and sher- 
iff went with me to the telegraph office, so I could telegraph Con- 
cord Citizen's Bank for the $300.00 in monej^, and I. gave the sheriff 
$5.00 to sit up with me that night until I could hear from my wire 
for the money. Next morning about 9 o'clock my lawyers and the 
sheriff went with me to the telegraph office and my lawyer asked for 
a telegram for G. L. Smith. They gave him the telegram. He read 
it — stated my check was good for that amount of money and more, 
too. So my lawyer wrote out a check on the Bank and I signed 
it, and then they turned me loose. I then went across the county 
bridge and opened another business about two miles from where I 
was indicted on the public road. In a few days the sheriff found 
out that I was out there ; and sent me word that I had better leave 
from there ; that he would come out and get me again. So I packed 
up what I had and sent over to my place near Hope Mills, where I 
had a man running a business there for me. I had three barrels of 
beer coming to me at Fayetteville, so I stayed around my place near 
Hope Mills until it arrived at Fayetteville. I then got a horse and 
wagon and went after it ; also found one case of whiskey there for 
me. I got it and started back. When I was about a mile from 
town I opened the whiskey and took out a pint and went to drinking 
on it. When I began to feel the effects of it, I opened a barrel 
of beer and drank five or- six bottles and finished the pint of whis- 
key. I was then getting pretty drunk. When I was in a mile of 
my place I was trotting the horses down a hill near the creek bridge. 
They were going very fast, and the more I pulled the faster they 
went, and the lines broke. They ran away and tore up the wagon, 
throwing the whiskey and beer out, breaking nearly all of it. I went 
to get out and fell in the wheels ; came very near getting killed. 
The horses went on home. The man who owned the horses went 


out looking for the wagon, and found it by the side of the road, 
broken all to pieces. He began to look for me and found the beer 
and whiskey all along the road, and found me near the creek bridge 
nearly dead. I could not walk. I told him to tell the man who was 
working for me to send or come after me. In about an hour he came 
after me in a buggy and took me to my boarding house. I had sent 
after a doctor. That night he came and bound up my arm and leg r 
which was swollen twice normal size. There was a splinter in my 
arm as long as my finger. It was nearly three weeks before I was. 
able to get out any at all, and when I got able to get around I de- 
cided to sell out my business to the man who was working for me,, 
which I did — and left for Goldsboro about January 20th, 1907. 

I there rented a store on John street near where I had done busi- 
ness before. I opened up my blind tiger again and ran it for about 
sixty days. There came two men in my place the last Saturday night 
I was in Goldsboro. They said they worked at the iron foundry. 
They both got beastly drunk and both went in my back room and 
lay down and slept until nearly daybreak Sunday morning. Their 
•wives were out looking for them Sunday morning by daylight. They 
asked me had I seen anything of them. I told them no. They went 
to the police to find out if they knew anything about them. He told 
them no. The policeman said to the women that maybe they were 
in my place. So the police came over to me and told me to open 
my door, which I did and he went back in the rear of my store and 
found them laying down asleep. The police waked them up and said, 
"What are you doing in here? Did this man get you drunk?" 
They said, "I do not know." Police made them get up and go 
home with their wives. Their wives said they had nothing to eat at 
home, and I knew they had spent all their money they made the 
week before for whiskey. "When Monday morning came they had 
me up before the mayor, and these two men as witnesses against me 
for selling them whiskey for a good many times before this. They 
found me guilty and put me under a $100.00 bond. I gave a cash 
bond and sold out my business to a barbecue man, and left Golds- 
boro for Fayetteville to attend a court the first week in April, 1907, 
where I was under a cash bond for $600.00, $500.00 for myself and 
$100.00 for Bill Smith. "We stood trial and were convicted and fined 
$150.00 each and costs, all amounting to $420.00, which left me 
$180.00, I having already paid my lawyers $110.00 out of my pocket, 
this making my blind tiger business around Hope Mills and Fay- 
etteville cost me $530.00. 

So I left Fayetteville about the middle of April, 1907, for Char- 
lotte, N. 0. I opened another blind tiger near the place I was at 
before in Charlotte. I went down town and bought some fruits, a 
few canned goods and soft drinks. I then made an order for five 
barrels of beer and two cases of whiskey — 80 pints. When it arrived 
the express wagon delivered it to me at my back door. I run the 
business for about five weeks. The last Sunday I was in town one 


-of my customers came to my boarding house and begged me to go 
down to my shop and let him have something to drink. I did not 
want to go, but he insisted so hard I went down, and he slipped in 
at the back and let him have one pint of whiskey and four bottles 
of beer, during that time a crowd began shaking the door, trying 
to get in, and I let my customers in, all whom I took to be my 
friends. About the time they got to drinking some one on outside 
phoned uptown for the police. Two police came to my place and 
tried to open the door. I peeped out and saw they were policemen, 
and I would not open the door. They left the door for a while. 
Thinking they were gone, I opened the door and let the crowd out, 
and I locked up and started back to my boarding place. The police 
came out from behind a corner and took me in charge, and we took 
the car line uptown, where they locked me up until Monday morn- 
ing. And they took me before the mayor, where they had six or eight 
witnesses against me for selling whiskey. I sent out and employed 
a lawyer to defend me. They had two cases against me, one for 
selling on Sunday and one for running a regular blind tiger busi- 
ness. They tried the Sunday case first, and convicted me and fined 
me $10.00 and costs. Then they tried me for selling whiskey and 
"beer, found me guilty and put me under $200 bond. I put up my mon- 
ey for the bond and went back to my business and commenced sell- 
ing again. The same policeman came to me and told me if I did not 
close my place up he would take me down town and have me locked 
up again. So I decided to pack up and leave town and jump my 
bond. This was about the last of May, 1907. 

I went back to Concord, N. C, again. Thought I would open up 
there once more. But they ran me out of town before I could even 
get a chance to rent me a house. 

So I left and went back to Greensboro and opened up there for 
the third time and rented me a house from the same man and near 
the same place I did there before. This was about the 1st of June, 
1907. I sold beer and whiskey this time for about six weeks, my 
business being better than ever before, selling from ten to twelve 
barrels of beer a week and five and six cases of whiskey — about 
40 pints to the case. They caught me after only being there six 
weeks and had me up before the mayor and could not prove any- 
thing at this time. But on the next Saturday evening about 3 
o'clock the mayor of the town and the chief of police walked into 
my place of business, where there was a large crowd in there drink- 
ing and cutting up very noisily. They searched my place, finding 
something over three barrels of beer, but never found my whiskey. 
About that time it seemed to me every policeman in Greensboro was 
coming in my place ; also lot of other people. The chief of police and 
the mayor were in my back room talking together. Soon they came 
to me and told me they would have to put me under a $200.00 bond 
for my appearance Monday morning, and they took what beer I had 
on hand. I put on my coat and acted like I was getting ready to go 


with them to the lock-up. I went to the door and looked around to 
see which way to run. Soon as I got a chance I jumped out of my 
door and ran to first corner and turned down to next corner, and run 
faster than I have ever before or since, as every policeman in town 
was after me ; but I outrun the whole police force. After getting 
out on edge of town I ran through a little field, coming to a fence 
that looked like about ten or twelve feet high. I went over it with- 
out any trouble. If at any other time, I hardly think I could have 
gotten over it in fifteen minutes. I kept going as fast as I could 
until I came to a place called negro town and went into a blind tiger 
and drank several bottles of beer and got me a pint of rye whiskey. 
I was talking to the blind tiger negro, telling him my troubles. He 
told me to hang around his place until 12 o'clock that night and he 
would take me to the depot in his top buggy, so I could catch the 
first train out of town; and about that time I looked and saw two 
police coming. I started to run and they took out their guns and 
told me to halt and they came up and arrested me. They said, "You 
were fixing to give us another race?" So they carried me about 
three hundred yards and they had a hack there waiting for them. 
"We all got in the hack and drove back to town, and they carried me 
to the police and the chief of police spoke to me, saying he was glad 
to see me back. They locked me up until Monday morning, and took 
me before the mayor, and tried me and found me guilty, put me un- 
der a $200.00 bond. I would not give the bond so they put me in the 
county jail for about three hours. I saw I could not get the bond 
down any, and I gave them a check for $200.00 on the National Bank 
of Greensboro. Soon as they found the check was good they turned 
me out of jail. This was about the first of August, 1907, when I left 
Greensboro for Durham, forfeiting my bond. 

I rented me a house on Main street, near the street car shed. I 
then went down town and bought about $50.00 worth of fruit and 
canned goods. I ordered five barrels of beer and two cases of whis- 
key — 80 pints. As I had been to Durham before I knew lots of the 
boys who drank, so I ran the business by myself about one month. 
A man kept coming to my place regular, wanting me to hire him to 
help me sell my whiskey, and beer ; said he knew most everybody in 
town. His name w r as Reuben Smith. I hired him, paying him $2.50 
per day. Then I sold from eight to ten cases of whiskey a week — 
40 pints to the case ; also sold from eight to ten barrels of beer a 
week, labeled "Yellowade." I ran this up to about the 20th of De- 
cember, 1907. One morning I took my horse and wagon and drove 
down to the express office to get three barrels of beer and five cases 
of whiskey. As I came back to my place I saw two policemen 
standing at my door waiting for me with a warrant against me. I 
began to unload my wagon. They said. "You need not unload your 
wagon; we will take charge of what you have in it." They got up 
in my wagon and told me to get up, and they would take me with 
what was in the wagon. So they drove on down to the mayor's of- 


fice. The mayor put me under a $200.00 bond until the next morn- 
ing. I put up the money for my bond. I took my horse and wagon 
back" to my place. They took what I had in the "wagon, but I had 
some more on hand in my store. So I kept on selling it, sending off 
another order that same evening for more beer and whiskey. And 
the same night I drove out to a blockade still, three miles from town, 
and got five gallons and brought back with me. Next morning the 
mayor found me guilty and put me under a $100.00 bond and gave 
me back my other $100.00. I kept on selling until the January court, 
1908, during which time Reuben Smith also was caught and put un- 
der a $200.00 bond. So I put up the money for his bond. About 
three days later the revenue officer got me for the same offense the 
town had. me for. They carried me before the United States commis- 
sioner and put me under a $200.00 bond. I would not give it right 
then, so they locked me up in the Durham county jail for about three 
days. I was studying a plan to get out. So I decided to come off 
of Reuben Smith's bond and get out and let them lock Reuben up, 
which they did. In a few days Reuben's father went on his bond 
and Reuben left tonvn. Then I continued selling whiskey and beer 
until January court when they tried me and convicted me and passed 
sentence, giving me six months on the road at hard labor. My law- 
yer got up and told the judge I had an awful case of catarrh of the 
head. So the judge sent me to jail and had a doctor go there to ex- 
amine me. The doctor examined me the same day and reported to 
the judge that I had the worst case of catarrh of the head he ever 
saw ; did not see how I could live unless something was done for me. 
Next day the judge sent for me and said to me if I would leave the 
county and never come back again he would make my sentence 
$50.00 and cost, which I paid and left Durham in five days after 
getting out of this trouble, with orders never to come back to 
Durham. This was about the last of January, 1908. 

I went from there to Raleigh, N. C, stayed there about three days 
and rented me a place on Duke corner in the rough part of the city. 
I opened up a blind tiger there for about one month, made my order 
for beer and whiskey, and did a good business in Raleigh, waiting 
for my case to come up in the United States Court, which I gave 
bond in Durham to appear at Raleigh in February for blockading 
in Durham. My case was tried in United States Court. I was found 
guilty on Friday and they put me in jail that day and kept me there 
one week. During that time my lawyer from Durham came to Ral- 
eigh and got up and made a talk for me to the judge, telling him 
my condition and affliction. The judge told my lawyer if I would 
leave the State of North Carolina within thirty days he would set 
me free without any cost. Then the judge sent for me from the jail 
to go into the court house ; he "wanted to talk to me. He said to me, 
"If you will leave the State of North Carolina, I will let you go 
free." I thanked him and told him I would leave as soon as I could 
get a little business straight, as a party in Durham owed me one 


hundred dollars and I wanted to stop there and collect it. I was 
on my way to Charleston, S. C, and stopped over in Durham to 
collect my money. I went up to my old boarding house and spent 
the night. Next morning I went to the party who owed me the 
hundred dollars to collect it. He gave me a check for the money. 
I went dcwn from there to the depot to catch a train for Charleston 
S. C, which was due in about thirty minutes. I was getting ready to 
get a ticket and check my baggage, when a policeman walked up and 
saw me. He hurried off after the sheriff and got him and came back 
to the depot and placed me under arrest and said to me, "Did not 
the judge tell you never to come back to Durham again, and he left 
it open for me to take you up if I ever saw you here and put you on 
the county roads for six months. He then took me to jail and locked 
me up. That same evening they sent me out to the convict camp 
on the county roads for six months hard labor. I served my time 
out and was turned loose about the fourth of August, 1908. I came 
back to Durham and took a general cleaning, bought me some nice 
clothes, went around to a blind tiger and took several drinks of whis- 
key and drank a lot of beer! I got pretty full and they locked me 
up in the guard house. Next morning I was up before the mayor 
and he fined me $10.00 and costs. So I left town and "went to Ral- 
eigh to see my brother-in-law for a few days. Then I left Raleigh 
for home about the 10th of August, 1908, and stayed there for a few 
days and went to turkey, N. C, a small town about four miles from 
my home, and opened up a cold drink stand, ordered me two barrels 
of beer and labeled it "Yellowade. " I could not make enough there 
to pay rent and board, so I left there and went to Goldsboro about 
the middle of September, 1908, and went to the mayor and told him 
I had a new drink called "Mead," that there was no harm in and 
'was sold in all dry towns. He told me if it was nothing more than 
water that I could not open business any more in this town, and 
told me to leave town on first train or he would have me arrested, 
that my reputation was enough and he did not want any such men 
in our city, like me, and for me to go home and go to work. 

So I left Goldsboro for New Bern, N. C, about the 10th of Sep- 
tember, 1908, and as soon as I got off the train I met a friend of 
mine from near my home. He was working insurance. He knew my 
business then, and told me this was a good town for me. So I looked 
around town and came across a man by the name of Brinson selling 
a drink called "Mead." He offered to sell out to me and I bought 
him out, paying him about $40.00. I took charge of the business and 
ordered five barrels of beer and two cases of whiskey. I labeled the 
beer "Mead," and ran this business up to the last of December, 
1908. On the last Saturday in December about 9 o'clock, I was very 
near drunk myself and did not know what I was doing. A police- 
man walked over to my place and told me that I was too drunk to 
do business and I had better close up and go to my boarding house. 
I told him I was paying rent for this house and would close up when 


I got ready. So he came in my place and took me by the arm and 
led me out and told me he was going to take me to the lock up. I 
told him if he was man enough to do it. He tried to carry me and 
I would not go, so he called for a hack that was close by and he 
made the hack driver help get me in the hack. They both could not 
get me in, so they called for more help and before they could get 
me in the hack I threw the policeman over my head. He got up and 
struck me twice on my head. I grabbed him and tore his collar and 
tie off. Finally they got me in the hack and took me to police sta- 
tion, but on the way I kicked the dashboard off and broke the buggy 
whip. During the time I lost my false teeth, but they finally locked 
me up. I lay down and went to sleep. When I waked up I did not 
know where I was at. On Sunday morning the man whom I boarded 
with came down to see me. I told him to find out from the mayor 
how much bond I would have to give to be turned out. He came 
back and told me $10.00. I gave the man $10.00 to put up for me. 
Then the chief of police came and let me out. Monday morning I 
stood trial, and was found guilty of being drunk and disorderly, fine 
and costs amounting to $8.65. The mayor gave me a week in which 
to leave town. He said that he knew that I was selling whiskey, 
but if I would leave town he would not bother me, so I left town 
about the middle of January, 1909, and came to my home for a few 
days and left for Clinton, N. C, about eleven miles from my home. 

I opened up here a candy business again, also sold a drink called 
"Mead," but it was beer and only labeled "Mead," up to July 15, 
1909. The town put a tax of $500.00 for selling this stuff, so I sold 
out my business and left there for Mo ant Olive, N. C, to open up a 
near-beer saloon. The police told me I had to go back to Clinton 
and get six good men to sign a paper showing I had never sold any- 
thing intoxicating, also that I had been a straightforward man. I 
knew I could not do that, so I left Mount Olive for Wilson, N. C. 

I went to the mayor of Wilson for license to sell "Mead." He 
asked me my name. I told him, and he said he did not want me 
to open any kind of business in that town, as he had heard of me 
before. I left Wilson for Rocky Mount, N. C, but could not get 
any house there. So I left for Tarboro, and went to see the mayor, 
and asked him what the license was for selling near-beer. He told 
me I could not get any license unless I could give good recommenda- 
tion. I knew I could not do that, so I left there for New Bern, N. 
C, and rented a place on Broad street, opened a blind tiger business 
and ordered two barrels of beer, one case of whis- 
key and a barrel of near-beer. This was about the 1st of 
August, 1909. I only ran this business about one week. The same 
policeman that I gave so much trouble when I was there before 
came to me and told me I could not do business in this town again, 
said he would give me until Friday night to close out and leave town. 
I told him I had a license to sell near-beer for three months. He 
said he would see that I got my money back for my license. So we 


went around to the city tax collector and he gave me my money 
back and I stayed there about ten days on a big drunk. I and an- 
other man. I went home with this man one night. Both drunk. 
Next morning we went down town, found a blind tiger and both got 
drunk again. I went out to the river bank and lay down under some 
trees, so the police would not get me. Lay there for half a day. If 
it had not been for a colored man passing by I would have rolled 
in the river when I waked up. I had no hat at all. So I sent the 
man uptown to buy me a cap. We both got up and went to his home 
and spent the night, and the next few days I sobered up, and left 
for Washington, N. C. 

I went to the mayor and asked him what license was on near-beer. 
He said $25.00 a year. He asked my name, and I told him, and he 
looked at me and said, "You can't get any license here for any 
price, as we know your reputation as a blind tiger man." 

So I left there for Greenville, N. C, got there at 8 o'clock at nighty 
had a valise in my hand. I met the chief of police in front of the 
postoffice. I asked him what license was for selling near- beer in the 
town and he said $50.00 a year. He asked my name. I told him. 
He said no strange man could get license there. He said, "I'll bet 
you have that valise full of nvhiskey now, ' ' and if I was not .careful 
that I would be arrested before I could get out of town. "You look 
like a blind tiger man; You look like you are drunk now." So next 
morning I left there for K'inston, N. C. 

This was about the 15th of September, 1909. I went to see the 
mayor of Kinston and asked him if he would allow me to sell near- 
beer in that town and what was the license. He said license was 
$25.00 a year. He asked me my name, and where I was from. I told 
him. He said to me, "You are the one who has been in so much 
trouble in nearly every town in the State." I told him I reckoned 
I was. So he said it was nearly train time, and that it would be best 
for me to get on it and leave. So I left on first train for Durham, 
N. C. 

When I got there I went to see the mayor, and asked him if I 
could sell near-beer called "Mead." He said, "Are you the man that 
our last mayor before me ran off from here and you came back and 
they caught and put on the road for six months?" I told him yes. 
"So you had better leave at once." But I got on a drunk and did not 
go that day. So they got me for being drunk and locked me up 
about 11 o'clock. They turned me out that evening about 5 o'clock 
on a $10.00 bond. I got with an old friend and we went out to the 
park and we got drunk and to cutting up all over the park. The 
park police came and arrested me and carried me back to town and 
locked me up in jail Next morning they tried me for both cases and 
fined me $10.00 and costs in each case. So I left Durham and came 
back to my old home. 

This was about the 20th of September, 1909. I stayed home for 
two days and went to Clinton and made candy for about one month. 


I also sold whiskey and beer and quit the business and came home 
the last of October, 1909, and decided that I would never again sell 
anything intoxicating or drink any. The last time I was on the 
county roads of Durham about two weeks after I had been there I 
had an awful dream. I dreamed I was dead and falling through the 
earth. It seemed to me to have been natural. I was going down un- 
derneath the earth and finally I came to a large opening. It looked 
like a large ocean, only it was walled up with brick so high I could 
not see over it. The walls were red hot and I thought I was in Hell, 
but I was not in the burning part, and I looked across the large open- 
ing and saw a man coming from the burning part of Hell; looked 
like he would weigh 300 pounds. He was black as tar, his eyes 
looked like they were as big as a cup and red as fire; he was the 
meanest looking man I ever saw. He asked me what I was doing 
there. I told him I was sent there for selling whiskey. He said 
there were more people in Hell for selling whiskey and drinking 
than any other class. I asked him who he was and he said the Devil. 
He said he was the man that you heard so much talk about. He 
pointed to the bottom pit of Hell, saying, ''You see that man across 
over there in the bottom part of Hell?" I said "Yes." He said he 
was there for being a drunkard, and that other one by his side is 
there for selling whiskey. He took me to another place and showed 
me where he had another chained down in the very bottom pit of 
Hell for selling, blockading and drinking whiskey. Then he called 
his angel to him and told him here was another whiskey man to put 
in the hottest place he had. About this time I waked. I decided then 
never to fool with whiskey again. I dreamed something like this 
for several times. I asked him when my time would be out, and he 
said there was no end ; there always. 

The last whiskey selling I did was in Clinton, N. C, in the month 
of October, 1909. On the night of the 27th of October I dreamed the 
same thing over again . So the next morning I threw all I had on 
the ground and made up my mind never to fool with whiskey again 
or anything else intoxicating, and to live a better life the remaining 
days here on earth. I know a man near Anderson, 111., who is a 
farmer. No one but he and his mother, he was a drunkard. The 
last drunk he got on he stayed drunk for three months. One morn- 
ing while on this spree he drove out to the town and went to the 
barroom and spent all the money he had with him. He went back 
home about 12 o'clock. His mother was cooking dinner. He asked 
his mother for some money. She said, "Sam have you spent what 
you had this morning?" He said, "Yes. " His mother had $260.00 
tied around her neck ; also some diamond rings on her fingers. He 
begged his mother to give him the money and rings, but she would 
not do it. So he left her and went in another room and got a ham- 
mer and came back and slipped up behind his mother while she was 
cooking. He struck her on the head, killing her. He then took the 
money and rings, while she was dying. He left her and drove back 


to town and went into the same barroom, drinking and spending the 
money he had taken from his poor old mother. Two policemen came 
in and arrested him and told him he had killed his mother. He was 
so drunk he did not know anything about it until next morning, 
until they told him about it again while in the lockup. He then 
fainted. They tried him for murder and sent him to the peniten- 
tiary for life. 

Once while in Durham I knew a man named John Hodges, the 
first man ever hung in that county. He was hung February 8th, 
1907. He was a first-class carpenter. He got on a drunk one Sat- 
urday night and went home. His wife was in bed asleep. He took 
her by the hair of the head and dragged her out on the floor and took 
his gun out and shot her twice, killing her dead. His only son tried 
to keep him from killing his mother, so he shot at him, but missed 
him. He did this just because his wife got after him for coming 
home drunk. He then went down to the railroad and sat down, and 
the police came up and arrested him. He asked the police what he 
had done. He told him, "You have killed your wife." He said, 
"If that is so I will give up, but I do not know anything about it." 
After he was condemned to be hung I went with his boy to the jail 
several times to see him. He asked his boy to promise him never 
to drink a drop of whiskey, "for I don't want you to get in trouble 
like this, for whiskey has caused all of this." 

During all my trouble while fooling with whiskey, selling and 
making and drinking it, I have been locked up 208 times. I have 
also been run out of 64 towns, first and last, and have been ordered 
to leave North Carolina four times. Have been on the chaingang 
23 times during all of my sixteen years of trouble with whiskey. I 
have not got sixteen dollars today. That should prove to all my 
readers that money gotten in this way, selling whiskey, never does 
any one good besides all the trouble it causes and the sins committed. 
But I trust all that read this book will forgive me and I trust the 
good Lord will forgive me, as I intend to lead a better life in the 
future. Remember, life is short, and if we spend it in sin we can 
never call it back. "What good would it be to gain the whole world 
and then lose your own soul? If I had only taken my father's and 
mother's advice I would have been worth thousands of dollars to- 
day, where it is now I am not worth anything. And also lost my 
health from exposure while on chaingang and dissipating. Also have 
catarrh so bad in the head I have almost lost my voice and cannot 
hear good. Many a night have I lay awake on my bed expecting 
the police to come after me. I trust that all who may read this book 
will be benefited thereby and never lead teh life I have ; then I will 
not regret the sixteen years of my life spent in trouble, knowing I 
have done others good by writing this little book of my life. 

"While I was in jail in Raleigh, N. C, there came in some Chris- 
tian women one Sunday afternoon. One of them asked me what I 
was in there for. I told her the revenuers had me for selling whis- 


key. She reached through the bars and took my hand, and said 
she had a boy who was in the penitentiary for life, and who was only 
seventeen years old, and that whiskey was what caused him to be 
there. He got mad with his father and left home when he was only 
fifteen years old, and he had been gone two years before he was sent 
to the penitentiary in South Carolina. He took up with bad com- 
pany one night about 9 o 'clock and went into a blind tiger and took 
one drink, and it went to his head so quick that he did not know 
what he was doing. He got into a fight and cut a man to death. 
And when the police came to arrest him they found the bloody knife 
in his hand. They found him guilty and sentenced him to the peni- 
tentiary for life. 

This good lady told me if I ever got out of jail, for her sake and 
mine, never have anything more to do with whiskey, that one drink 
had caused her life to be Avrecked like it was over her dear boy, and 
that many nights she couldn't sleep for thinking about where her 
boy was. She held on to my hand and talked and cried and said if 
she could only recall the time when in his youth she could lay his 
head on her breast, she would give the whole world. So nine trou- 
bles out of ten are caused by whiskey. When I was in Greensboro 
jail I saw a man in there named Freeman, who was put in there for 
murdering his wife, and sentenced to be hung. He told me he was 
going to have a new trial. He said that he came home drunk one 
night and his wife was gone to bed. He dragged her out by the 
hair of the head, and broke her left arm, then pulled out his pistol 
and shot her through the heart. The police then came in and ar- 
rested him and carried him to the jail. And the day I was put in 
jail his children came to see him. I heard him tell his oldest boy to 
promise him that he would never have anything to do with whiskey 
in no way, shape or form. -'You can see that whiskey is the only 
thing that has caused my trouble ; my wife died on the floor and I 
have got to die on the rope." He said he could see that whiskey 
had caused all his trouble. 

A man by the name of Tom "Walker, in Fayetteville, N. C, killed 
two policemen. He was running a blind tiger, and the policemen 
came in with a warrant for him one Saturday night. He was drunk 
and shot them as they came in the door. The day he was hung he 
made one hour's talk to the public, and told them that whiskey 
was what caused the end of his life ; and said that he wanted to 
give them warning to never drink it or sell it or make it; that it 
will get anybody into trouble that has anything to do with it. He 
said: "Today I've got to die, and all of you out there free." And 
said he would give this whole world if he could call back the time 
and be free like they were. "If I could I would promise you all to 
lead a different life. There is not any man living that knows my 
feelings today. If I had only taken my mother's advice, I would 
not have to die on this rope. Last night I rolled from one side of 
my pallet to the other, thinking of the advice my mother had given 


me." There was a man in Charlotte, N. C, who had served twenty 
years in the penitentiary in Texas for murdering a policeman. He 
boarded at the same place I did, and we were in our room one night. 
I was telling him about the troubles I had been to about whiskey. 
He took hold of my hand, with tears in his eyes, and told me that he 
bad been in trouble for twenty years on account of whiskey. He 
said he got drunk one day in LaGrange, Texas., and that he had a 
bad reputation for drinking, and the time the police went to arrest 
him he asked them would they take him to his friends to see if they 
would stand his bond. While they were walking along together the 
policeman asked him if his mother and father were living. He told 
bim his father had been dead for over five years, and that his 
mother was living. The policeman told him that his mother wasn't 
much or she would look after him better than she had, he being only 
eighteen years old. He asked the policeman not to repeat those 
words again about his dear old mother. So the policeman repeated 
the words. He knocked him down and jumped on him and took his 
pistol and shot him through the head. He was then taken to the 
LaGrange jail. The court found him guilty and sentenced him to 
the penitentiary for twenty years. The devil was in him so much 
he made up his mind he was not going to work. He was then sent 
to the whipping bench and they took his trousers down. The boss 
had one of the guards to put thirty-nine hard licks on him and turn- 
ed him over and put the same on the other side. The captain then 
asked him if he was willing to go to work. He said he would die 
first, and that he would be better off. So he was tied and taken 
out in the hot sun and let lay there all day, and when night came 
the boss had him whipped again. He was put in a mad cage until 
he decided to work. But many nights he lay awake thinking of 
the advice his mother gave him, and he would nearly go crazy think- 
ing of home. One night the guards took him out and whipped him 
at 2 o'clock. But until he decided to go to work he didn't get any- 
thing to eat but dry bread and water. Many nights he had lay and 
cried, thinking of what his mother had told him, and that whiskey 
had caused all his trouble. 

I hope this little book will teach you all a lesson about whiskey. 
No one_ can listen to his mother's advice too much, because she 
rocked your cradle when you couldn't rock it yourself, and she~ 
would answer to your call when no one else would, for she is the 
only friend you have on earth, and when she dies you can tell her 
good-bye at the grave andlsay that the best friend you have is gone. 
Then sorrow will come and many a friend will, hut your mother 
will never come. Many nights I have slept on my pallet when I was 
on the chaingang, thinking of what my poor old mother had told 
me. When I would get ready to leave home, she would tell me not 
to drink or sell anything intoxicating. At last I have made up my 
mind never to drink or sell anything intoxicating. Many men say 
they can't quit whiskey, but it is all because they don't want to. I 


have said the same thing, but I have made up my mind to not let 
anything intoxicating go through my lips, on the 27th day of Octo- 
ber, 1909, and I don't have any taste for it at all. There is no man 
that can't quit if he will make up his mind. I knew a man from 
my neighborhood who has always been a drunkard until about a 
year ago, and he has been to Keeley at Greensboro, N. C, eight times, 
and that never did him any good, only a short while at a time. One 
night he was thinking of the troubles whiskey had caused him, and 
he made up his mind never to drink another drop, and that he was 
going to listen to his mother and his wife. So he hasn't drunk any- 
thing since. So the way to quit is to get right with God, make up 
your mind never to touch another drop. You see whiskey will make 
you wear ragged clothes and bring you down to the dogs, so that 
people won't respect you, and will cause many a man's children to 
cry for bread, and besides it will make you fill a drunkard's grave. 
.Then you will have many a friend to go by your grave and say to 
each other that man died a drunkard. "When he was living he used 
to come home drunk and whip his wife and children. 

Now, if every one who reads this book will make up their minds 
never to have anything to do with whiskey, I would never regret 
my sixteen years of trouble. Whiskey is a dangerous thing, and it 
will make a man do things that he will be sorry for forever. Every 
day we pass one day toward our grave and eternity. To every boy : 
Don't never drink anything that will make you drunk. Did you 
ever think of one thing? Whenever a man takes a drink of whis- 
key, he is drinking the old devil's blood. It goes to show that it is 
the devil's blood, because when a man gets drunk the old devil rises 
up in him. To all children, obey your parents. God will bless you 
for it. Get right with God. Take your mother's advice, because 
she is the best friend you have. No one can listen to his mother's 
advice too much, because she rocked your cradle when you couldn't 
rock it yourself, and she would answer >to your call when no one else 
would, for she is the only friend you have on earth, and when she 
dies you can tell her good-bye at the grave, and say that your best 
friend on earth is gone. Then sorrow will come, and many a friend 
will come, but your mother will never come, unless you get right 
with God and meet her in heaven, where you will be forever happy; 
then that will be worth more than this whole world is. Get right 
with God, and remember mother's prayers. Amen. 



Get right with God. Your life is short here on earth. 

Little children, always obey your parents, and do not drink any- 
thing that will make you drink many times. Your father and moth- 
er may tell you to do things, then you think you can't, but if you 
ever come to be a convict and have boss men over you and have to 
come and go when they call you, you can't get up and say you can't, 
because you have to go or be whipped nearly to death. 


Things that lead you to hell : Unbelief and Sabbath breaking, 
and lying, and stealing, and fancy millinery, and cigarettes, and to- 
bacco, and whisky, and pool, and dancing, and card playing, and 
cursing, and loafing. Are you hit? Any one of these things are 
stepping stones to hell. I have tried it myself but now I am living 
a Christian life. Now it is so much better to live for God than it is 
to live for the devil, for God so loved the world that He gave His 
only Begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not per- 
ish, but have everlasting life. Are you saved? If not, get right 
with God. Every day that passes over our head is one day nearer 
the next world which will be eternity — that means forever and ever. 
Like a wheel, it has no end to it. There is no rest in hell, day or 
night. I only wish I had my voice. I could tell some poor soul 
something about God. I lost my voice by having catarrh of my 
head so bad, and can't taste anything, and can't smell anything. I 
can't hear out of but one ear. It was all caused by catarrh. My 
doctor said I can't live long in this fix. It is now turning to con- 
sumption. He said if I would go South where the weather is 
warm I would get well of it ; so I am selling the little book to get 
money to pay my way South. I am on my way now. But one. God 
will bless you in all your works. I can't preach any on account of 
my voice, so I will preach my sermon to myself and put it in my 
little book. I sure hope this sermon will get you all closer to God 
than you ever have been before. I hope this will cause some poor 
soul to be saved from hell. I thank God I am living a Christian life. 
I find it so happy to live for God. if you saved your poor soul 
from hell then you would have made more than the rich men have, 
because you have gained your poor soul for the next world, and the 
rich men have gained the world and lost his own soul. Then when 
you die you have no more sorrow, and no more pain, and no more 
troubles — it all having passed away, and God will bless you, if you 
only get right with him. Remember mother's prayer. Amen! 

Just think how hard it is to be put in the jail for a little while. 


That is bad enough. Suppose you had to spend eternity in hell, 
then what. that is something to think about. Join the church 
and go try it and lead a Christian life; God will help you. Don't 
work for the devil any more. God bless you. Amen ! 


This is the road you will travel, my boy, if you don't mend your 
ways. If you follow this road out to the end, in hell you will open 
your eyes. Any man can stop drinking if he will try. If you can't 
make up your mind to stop drinking, there is one way you can stop, 
that is get right with God. Amen! 

Get right with God and lead a Christian life. It is so much better 
life to live. I am selling this little book that shows you how bad I 
have been, and God has cleansed me from it all. By leading a bad 
life and hardships of life, it has given me a bad case of catarrh of the 
heacl and stomach. My doctor said my catarrh is turning to con- 
sumption now. 

I am trying to do something for God and people's poor souls. 
One soul saved from hell is worth more than ten thousand worlds. 
There is no rest in hell day or night. get right wit h G od. There 
is no end to eternity. You can't get too close to God. I only wish 
I had my voice to talk and preach to some of the poor souls going to 
get lost. I would be so happy then, if I could only talk. The rea- 
son why I lost my voice I got catarrh of my head and throat and 
stomach so bad I can't hear out of but one ear, not much out of the 
other ear. Also I can't taste anything, and I can't smell anything at 
all. Also I lost all my teeth by having catarrh so bad. I have been 
to Baltimore, Md., to hospital for treatment. They could not do me 
any good at all. The doctor said I had catarrh worse than any- 
body he ever saw. He said he could not see how I could be living. 
He said I could not live long in this fix. He said if I go away out 
South I would get well. I want you good people to buy a book from 
me, so I can go out South to put me up an honest business until I 
get good and well of my catarrh. I hope every one will buy one to 
help me along. God bless you for it. I will pray that this book 
will get you right with God. Amen. Remember mother's prayers. 


Don't you want your poor soul to go to heaven when you die? 
When you get there you never will have any more troubles, and 
never have any more sorrow and never any more pain. Your troub- 
les and pain and sorrow are all over there. You will be forever 


happy, and there will never be any end to this happy home. To my 
dear boy: Did you ever think it over when you are working Yot 
this happy home? Then you are not looking for any trouble here 
on earth ; then see when you go by this one law of God, you are 
going by all the laws. 

To everybody: Don- ? t drink anything that will make you drunk. 
Try to be somebody, i'ou can be somebody or you can be nobody. 
You can be just what you want to be. If you take your poor old 
parent's advice you can be somebody. Then everybody will think 
something of you. A good name is better than great riches. What 
good is it to be rich? Nobody don't think anything of you. You 
can be a Christian here on earth and have everybody think some- 
thing of you, then go to heaven when you die. Try a Christian's 
life, then you will see how happy it is. * ~^^ 



It seemeth such a little way to me, 
Across to that strange eountry, the Beyond ; 

And yet not strange, for it has grown to be 
The home of those of whom I am so fond ; 

They make it seem familiar and most dear, 

As journeying friends bring distant countries near. 

So close it lies that, when my sight is clear, 
I think I see the brightly gleaming strand; 

I know, I feel that those who've gone from here 
Come near enough to touch my hand. 

I often think, but for our veiled eyes, 

We should find heaven round about us lies. 

I can not make it seem a day to dread 

When from this dear earth I shall journey out 

To that still dearer country of the dead 

And join the lost ones so long dreamed about, 

I love this world, yet shall I love to go 

And meet the friends who wait for me, I know. 

I never stand about a bier and see 

The seal of death set on some well-loved face, 
But that I think, one more to welcome me 

When I shall cross the intervening space 
Between this land and that one over there — 
One more to make the strange beyond seem fair. 

And so for me, there is no sting to death, 
And so the grave has lost its victory ; 

It is but crossing, with a bated breath 
And white, set face, a little strip of sea, 

To find the loved ones waiting on the shore, 

More beautiful, more precious than before. 



My Father is rich in houses and lands; 
He holdeth the. wealth of the world in His hands : 
Of rubies and diamonds, of silver and gold, 
His coffers are full — He has riches untold. 

Chorus : 

1 'm the child of a King, 
The child of a King ! 
With Jesus, my Saviour, 
I 'm the child of a King ! 

My Father's own Son, the Saviour of men, 
Once wandered o'er earth as the poorest of men; 
But now He is reigning forever on high, 
And will give me a home in heav'n by and by. 

Chorus : 

,1 on ce was an outcast, a stranger on earth, 
A sinner By choice and an alien by birth; 
But I've been adopted, my name's written down — 
An heir to a mansion, a robe, and a crown. 

Chorus : 

A tent or a cottage, why should I care? 
They're building a palace for me over there. 
Tho' exiled from home, yet still I may sing: 
All glory to God, I'm the child of a King. 

Chorus : 


I will bid you all good-bye, 
For they say that I must die. 

That my stay on earth can not be very long. 
"With the cleansing blood applied, 
Soon I'll cross the mystic tide, 

To a land of love, and light, and joy, and song. 

Chorus : 

Good-bye, good-bye, I am going up to glory there to stay,. 
My Redeemer I shall see, and with Him forever be. 
Will you meet me in that land of cloudless day? 

I will bid you all good-bye, 
For the end is drawing nigh ; 

See, my breath is short and my body's growing cold. 
In a city fair and bright. 
In a robe of spotless white, 

Safe I'll dwell forever in my Master's home. 

Chorus : 

I will bid you all good-bye, 
I am not afraid to die. 

Hark ! I hear my Saviour calling me to come ; 
See the waves wash over me, 
For a beacon light I see, 

It is shining in my everlasting home. 

Chorus : 



On a summer's eve, as the sun was setting 

And the wind blew soft and dry, 
A young man lay on a bed of fever, 

And the tears stood in his eye. 
Oh, mother, dear, come here and listen, 

As I talk awhile with you ; 
I've something ere I pass the portals 

That I must confide to you. 

Chorus : 

I'm dying, mother, I'm surely dying, 
And hell is my awful doom ; 

Oh, hold my hand, and press it tighter, 
For my heart is sad with gloom. 

The other night, as I left the meeting, 

God's Spirit bade me stay; 
But I said, not now, for next week only 

I must go and dance with the gay ; 
After this I'll go and get converted, 

And be a Christian bright, 
But alas ! Too late ; I see the folly 

Of saying "Not tonight." 

Chorus : 

Now, mother, dear, tell all my comrades 

Not to do as I have done; 
But when God calls, do not reject Him, 

Or put it off in fun. 
Then he took his mother's hand in his, 

With the other raised on high, 
And with tears rolling down his cheeks, 

Said, "It is so hard to die." 

Chorus : 

Then he asked his mother, as his voice grew weaker, 

If she for him Avould pray. 
"For my eyes grow dimmer, and the way gets darker, 

And I can not see the way." 
Then she knelt, and in a voice that trembled, 

She asked God to.saye^her boy, 
But he said, "Alas, too late, I perish, 

I've missed eternal joy." 

Chorus : 

My unsaved friends, who sH and listen, 

To the fate of mother's boy, 
Oh, come tonight and get converted, 

And be filled with holy joy. 
By and by the days of grace are ended, 

And the Spirit no more will wait ; 
And you will call for mother's prayers 

Only when it is too late. 

Chorus : 



Having drunk so much he could drink no more, 

Tom Gray lay down on the bar-room floor, 

And fell asleep with a troubled brain 

To dream that he rode on the Hell-bound train. 

The engine, with blood was red and damp, 

And darkly lit with a brimstone lamp. 

An imp, for fuel was shoveling bones. 

As the furnace roared with a thousand groans. 

The boiler was filled with lager beer 

And the Devil himself was the engineer. 

A rack was stacked with cigarettes, 

And a help yourself my darling Pets. 

A great large box of snuff was there 

With the common sign of an ugly bear ; 

A corn-cob pipe with a goose quill stem 

And tobacco for all that was one of them. 

The passengers made such a motley crew — 

Church member, Atheist, Gentile and Jew, 

Rich men in broadcloth and beggars in rags, 

Fallen young women and withered old hags, 

Yellow and black men, red and white, 

Chained all together, a horrible sight, 

Faster and faster the engine flew, 

Wilder and wilder the country grew, 

Louder and louder the thunder crashed, 

Brighter and brighter the lightning flashed; 

Hotter and hotter the air became, 

Till the clothes were burned from each quivering frame, 

And in the distance they hear such a yell, 

"Ha! ha" croaked the Devil, "we're nearing Hell!" 

And oh ! how the passengers shrieked with pain, 

And begged the Devil to stop the train. 

But he capered about and danced with glee, 

And laughed and joked at their agony. 

"My faithful friend you have done my work, 

And the Devil will never a pay day shirk. 

You have bullied the weak and robbed the poor, 


And the hungry brother have turned from your door, 

You have gathered up gold to canker and rust, 

And given free vent to your fleshly lust ; 

You've justice scorned, too, and corruption sown, 

And trampled the laws of nature down, 

You've drank, and rioted, and murdered and lied, 

And mocked at God in your hell-born pride ; 

You've paid full fare so I'll carry you through, 

For it's only right that you get your due, 

For every laborer is worth his hire, 

So I'll land you safe in my lake of fire : 

Where your flesh shall roast in the flames that roar, 

And my imps torment you more and more." 

Then Tom awoke with an angry cry, 

His clothes wet with sweat and his hair standing high, 

And he prayed as he never prayed before, 

To be saved from drink and the Devil's power; 

And crying and praying were not in vain, 

For he never more rode on the Hell-bound train. 


This is the road you will travel, 

Unless you mend your ways ; 
'Tis the prison that it leads to, 

And there you'll end your days, 
From rum you have become a bum — 

And wine and women, too, 
And filthy dives and gambling dens 

Have made a brute of you. 
The prison gate is open, 

And awaits your dismal face ; 
And there you'll go to mope and die — 

Unless you change your pace. 



Over the ocean wave far, far away, 
There the poor heathen are dying for day ; 
Groping in ignorance — dark is their night. 
No blessed Bibles shoAv them the light. 

Chorus : 

Pity them, pity them, Christians at home, 

Send them the bread of light — hasten and come. 

Here in this blessed land we have the light, 
Shining from God's own word, free, pure and bright 
Shall we not send them Bibles to read, 
Teachers, preachers and all that they need? 


4 A 


Be careful what you sow, my boy, 

For seed that's sown will §row, 

And what you scatter, day by day, 

Will bring you joy or woe. 

For sowing and growing 

Are the surest things that you know; 

And sighing and crying and sorrow undying 

Will never change seed that- you sow.. 

Be careful of your acts, 

For words can cut and deeds bring blood, 

And wounds are stubborn facts. 

Whether sleeping or weeping, 

The seed that's sown will grow. 

The rose-tree brings roses, 

The thorn tree discloses 

Its thorns as an index of woe. 

Be careful of your fr iend s, b oys , 

Nor walk nor mix with vice 

And fly when sin jenticg.; 

The seed that one is sow ing 

And each will gather its own. 

In joy or sorrow today or tomorrow, 

You'll reap what your right hand has sown, 

And when temptation would ensnare, 

Remember Mother's night prayer. 




~ ? &^^^£*&^z&^?&^#&^^^&^z 



And lead a Christian life. You will find it so much 
better life to live in. Then God will bless you in all 
your work. The hardships of life have caused me to 
suffer with a worse case of catarrh of my head and 
stomach. It is so bad I have lost my hearing. I can't 
hear out of one ear, and not much out of the other 
one. I can't smell any at all, and I can't taste any- 
thing at all. It is all caused by catarrh. All my doc- 
tors say it is turning to consumption now. They said 
if I go South for about five years I would get well of 
it. I am selling this book of my life to get money to 
go South on. So please buy a book from me. It has 
got a lot of good advice in it. A police in Durham 
bought one. He told me he would not take five dollars 
for it, and do without it. So much good advice in it. 
Please buy one and help me to save my life; because 
the doctor said I can't be here on earth long unless 
something is done for me. If you don't care to read 
this book of my life, please help me a little anyway. 
Help me save my life, then God will help you in all 
your works. You all will please forgive me the life I 
have lived, and God will forgive you. I am leading a 
Christian life now. I find this is a happy life to live 
in. I can lay down and sleep now all night, without 
looking for any officer at all. God bless this life. Get 
right with God and lead a Christian life, and remem- 
ber your mother's night prayer. Amen! 

Price only 25 cents. Buy one. It may. save your 
poor soul from hel.1 for eternity. 

I am also selling a good Shaving Soap, good for 
many uses. Price 10 cents the box, 3 for 25 cents.