November 11, 1904

Some persons believe all they hear. This is ignorance. Others believe all they read. This is the result of improper thought and reflection. It is said, “the papers are not read.” But put something in a paper that someone does not like; and it will soon be known the papers are read. There is a class of people who prey upon those who are beneath them in the status of education and intellectuality. Now if something against Mr. A. slightly criticizing his work or disposition be published, these jen de mots[i] will “borrow a paper” and go to the ignorant friend and begin in a discordant and dissonant voice to read the item, and paraphrasing it with every sentence of their own, they can, possibly. This they do to create hatred against the author of the peace [sic], and discuss against the paper that published it. Now these persons are exciters of sedition; and are unsafe to live with or under. We find such, however, the world over. Every little town has a few of them, male and female; whose business is to gossip and carry the news. Everyone in a community knows these persons, and if any sweet morsel (?) of slander becomes circulated, those expecting the news of the report will pleasantly await the arrival of Mrs. C., whom they are mentally certain will not be long delayed. And they are not disappointed, for Mrs. C. hurries with unneeded alacrity, searing someone more busy than herself will be there ahead of her. And this is something like the way the gossip mongers keep it. They are the disgust of the towns in which they live, and are considered the disgrace of the community. That they must be tolerated and pleasantly smiled upon, on account of their business; “for the poison of asps is under their lips,”[ii] and the darkness of hell surround them. Some of these ignoramuses are particularly virulent upon correspondents, and it would be supposed this class would be attacked by the men alone; but this is not the case. Some are women–or females, and when one of them has anything to say to you, O, furies! Look out! For “blazes!” They can do it! It is their profession! Some weeks ago we had a man to pitch into us on account of writing an article. “What did you write that stuff for?” said he, referring to our item. “Have you read it?” “No! But I heard about it. “ “Well, you go and read it; and when you are able to tell me what there is in it you don’t like, I’ll talk to you about it, I prefer to talk to sensible men, and generally write about what I please, with charity to all and malice toward none.”[iii]

Before this communication shall have been written, there will be some persons, politically, hurt in this great country of ours. This will be no more of them is expected. We must admit this campaign, considering the issues involved, has been the most quiet one we ever knew. There was the first political meeting held in town on Saturday night. This was in front of the Ponder House, where several Democratic political lights emitted their brilliancy to a not over-appreciative crowd. There has been no enthusiasm manifested by either party; and the apathy has prevailed which goes to say, “we don’t care how the contest goes.” [On] the day before the battle of Aboukir, on the Nile, Napoleon remarked to Murat “Go how it may, the battle of tomorrow will decide the fate of the world.” “Of this army at least,” replied Murat, “but if ever infantry were charged to the teeth by cavalry, they shall be by mine tomorrow.”[iv] While the contest of tomorrow (Tuesday) may not decide the fate of this country, it may mark an important epoch in its history.

On last Saturday nearly every family in town had a representative on the sidewalk, or in the street sweeping up the leaves; some burning them and others depositing them in some convenient place. The leaves are falling fast, and there’s many of them in Milton to dispose of.

S. J. Wilson has cut down one of the shade trees in front of his place of business. Some years ago there was quite a stir made by Town Council over Mr. Wilson’s shade trees, but he fought Council and came off victorious. The tree was removed last week on account of its decayed condition.

On other old landmark in the form of a large tree has been removed from the front of John Conoway’s residence on Federal Street.

James Ponder, Esq., attorney-at-law of Wilmington, has been the guest of his mother and sister.

“Bill” Robinson has remodeled and rebuilt his boat-house.

There are now four steamer yachts plying on the Broadkiln. The people of town, as well as their owners, are much interested in these little crafts.

The steamer will load with wood for Philadelphia this trip.

C. H. Atkins has received a cargo of coal, and is supplying his patrons.

The Milton ladies who have been visiting the World’s Fair[v], have returned home.

Burton B. Johnson, Charles Sharp and Charles Davidson, have commenced to build a house at Jefferson’s Cross Roads for William Wroten.

Lydia J. Welch died at her home in Ellendale, on Monday, of heart disease, aged 71 years, eight months and five days. Funeral at New Market on Wednesday, and interment in adjoining cemetery. Rev. Mr. Taylor conducted the services, and S. J. Wilson & Son inhumed the body.

Elmo Murphy died at the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. William H. Murphy, on Monday, aged eight years, two months and 22 days. Funeral service at Ellendale on Wednesday at 2 o’clock, and interment in Red Men’s Cemetery. Rev. Taylor officiated at the funeral, and S. J. Wilson interred the remains.

The regular monthly meeting of the Juvenile Missionary Society of the M. E. Sunday school, was held on Sunday afternoon. About $7.00 was raised


[i] Conner probably intended to write gens de mots, literally “men of words,” which is not used that way in French.

[ii] Quotation from the Old Testament, Psalm 140:3; the psalm is also paraphrased in the New Testament, Romans 3:13.

[iii] The last phrase should be familiar to anyone who has read Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address.

[iv] The Battle of Aboukir was fought on July 25, 1799. Napoleon’s army defeated the Ottoman Turks decisively, in part because of an extremely effective cavalry action by General Murat.

[v] 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition, more popularly known as the St. Louis World’s Fair.