Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Two Corinthians Walk Into a Bar: The War on Christmas Holidays

Happy mem'ries, Christmases past

Warm wishes they'll in future last

Holy days once celebrated;

Down to one they have been grated.

"Department stores, you must shop now!"

says orange priest of golden cow.

this Servant being in an Airy Gale in the Christmas Holidays

American Weekly Mercury [Philadelphia, PA]. March 13, 1733: 2.

The said Magistrate, for preventing the Mischiefs and Outrages usually committed in the Christmas Holidays, thought fit to publish an Order for all Vintners, Victuallers, Cooks, Keepers of Ordinaries, Limonade Houses, &c. not to keep their Shops open, or sell any thing after Eight a Clock at Night, on Penalty of a Fine.

Pennsylvania Gazette [Philadelphia]. June 2, 1737: 1.

PORTSMOUTH, December 6.

Extract of a Letter from a Gentleman in London, to his Friend in this Town, dated Sept. 29, 1765.

"We just begin to hear of the Disturbances occasioned by the STAMP-ACT in America, and I assure you it will occasion as much here, more especially among the Woolen Manufacturers, great Numbers of whom are out of Employment, and are destitute of Support for their Families. The Parliament I believe will not meet till after Christmas Holidays are over, when I hope to have the Pleasure of informing you of a removal of the Grievances in Trade, which are so justly complained of by the Americans.”

Boston New-Letter. December 12, 1765: 2.

Tuesday next is the day fixed for both Houses of Parliament adjourning for the Christmas holidays.

Pennsylvania Gazette [Philadelphia]. February 24, 1773: 2.

It was a paltry and illiberal spirit who first broached the intention of robbing the negroes of their rude pastimes in the Christmas holidays. Is not slavery dreadful enough without adding to its horrors, by debarring the miserable creatures, whose hard fate it is to be thus degraded, of what each of them fondly thinks an inherent right? Away then with the unworthy idea! and let these unhappy wretches enjoy their little annual measure of happiness without molestation.

Pennsylvania Packet. January 29, 1785: 2.

the christmas holidays was the time fixed on for the rising

Alexandria Advertiser [VA]. January 29, 1801: 3.

A review of these contents brings at once before us, our happy holidays [...] The publishers have sent forth this volume in a delicate holiday dress; and we hope many good boys will receive it from their parents and teachers, as an acceptable Christmas and New Year's Present.

Boston Traveler. December 18, 1829: 3.

What bustle, what preparation, what feasting, what dancing gave the country folk enough to talk about during the happy Christmas holidays

Boston Traveler. May 11, 1830: 1.

The editor of the Bedford (Pa.) Inquirer has recently been married to a Miss Holliday. We wish him a great many happy holidays of happiness, besides a number of little Hollidays.

Dedham Patriot [MA]. November 22, 1838: 2.

the cheered mother would sit by the bedside, and talk to her girl of the merry holidays that were soon coming, and promising the poor child what she had never known before—a handsome Christmas box.

"Little Jane's Christmas Box." Times-Picayune [New Orleans, LA]. December 30, 1841: 2.

MR. EDITOR,—The merry Christmas holidays have come at last

National Aegis [Worcester, MA]. January 5, 1843: 2.

The holidays are upon us […] let the holidays be to them holidays indeed.

Times-Picayune. December 22, 1843: 2.


The merry, happy holidays,

Are with us here once more.

New-York Tribune. December 25, 1843. 3.


Of course we must have something to say upon this subject, as we are, at the very moment of writing, in the midst of the joyous holidays.

Edgefield Advertiser [SC]. December 27, 1854: 2.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Three Twenty-Nine (1865)

        Only one line,

        Three twenty-nine.

                Three Twenty-nine.

What was it that from Ames I took,

Stowed snugly in my pocketbook,

And then resumed my saintly look?


What was it, when the act was known,

That made my pious spirit groan

'Till I would have it called a loan?


What, when my case seemed very bad,

Did I in solemn tones and sad

Swear that I never, never had?


What did Ames have in black and white

That showed me up in my true light,

And left me in a sorry plight?


What were thus proved beyond a doubt

The figures for which I sold out,

And which I since have lied about?


What, more than any other thing—

Than salary grab or paving Ring—

My downfall at the polls shall bring?



When old Garfield is elected,

        In your mind, in your mind;

We'll have spoils that we expected,

        In your mind, in your mind;

Good fat jobs and contracts sure,

Like De Golyer and Mobilier,

We can county on them, that's clear.

        In your mind, in your mind;

For we'll count him in this year.

        In your mind.

Down in Maine we'll fix the figures,

        In your mind, in your mind;

We are first class thimble-riggers,

        In your mind, in your mind;

We need only give our sign,

Which we call "329,"

But of fraud we've no design,

        In your mind, in your mind;

Old Zach, didn't think it crime,

        In his mind.

Lansinburgh Courier. October 1, 1880: 2 cols 3-4.

        The Democrats might have been able to defeat Garfield if they had concentrated on his involvement in the Crèdit Mobilier scandal (see SCHUYLER COLFAX). During the Grant administration Garfield had received a $329 dividend check for stock in Crèdit Mobilier of America. Although he had never purchased any stock in the company, he had accepted the dividend check. The Democrats were effectively ridiculing his excuse that he thought it was a campaign contribution and identifying Garfield with corruption through use of the derisive slogan "three twenty-nine" ($329). However, the publication of a letter ostensibly signed by Garfield and advocating support of unrestricted immigration of Chinese backfired. The letter was exposed as a forgery, and Garfield won the election by a close popular but comfortable electoral vote, 214 to 155.

O'Brien, Steven G. American Political Leaders from Colonial Times to the Present. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC- CLIO, 1991. 152.

Gyory, Andrew. "The Phony Document that Almost Cost a President His Election (No, Not the CBS Bush Guard Memo)." History News Network. October 24, 2004.

"An 1880 'October Surprise.'" The Blog of James A. Garfield National Historic Site. October 19, 2012.