Written for the “Spirit of the Times.”

“Are you in favor of Biennial Sessions of the Legislature?” asked a manager of an election in Alabama, of a voter.

“Who?” says the voter, whose name was ANCE VEASEY, and withal, tolerable green.

“Are you in favor of Biennial Sessions of the Legislature, Sir?”

“Bennial Sessions! I don’t know him. Is he any kin to Reub. Sessions? Sir ; ef he is I’ll be d—d ef you ketch me a votin fur him! You never hearn me tell about that fite I had long with Reub. Sessions, up in Shelby, did you?”

“Never mind your fights, now, Mr. Veasy : answer yea or nea.”

“I dos’ent know what you mean by your ya and na’s, but I’ll be dod rotted ef I vote fur enny uv the Sessions family, no how you can fix it! Bah! Benial Sessions, indeed! jest as much fit fur Guvnur as h—ll is fur a ice-house!”

“Are you in favor of the removal of the State House, Mr. Veasy?”

“Well, I wonder ef tha is ‘gwine to move the State House agin? Why tha moved it only two or three years ago to Wetumpka. I don’t see no use of thar movin it enny more—I think it’s in a very good place myself, I does them, punkins!”

“You are thinking of the Penitentiary, Mr. Veasy. It’s the State House they wish to move!”

“Well, it taint nothin too me whether tha move it or not, so I wont vote for it, nor Benial Sessions nuther!”

Several now pressed around Ance to get him to tell about his fight with Reub. Sessions, up in Shelby. He said he would come to these terms. They were to give him a good drink of whiskey and he was to give them the story. They agreed to it, and gave him the whisky, and he commenced.

“You see a passel uv us fellers made up a camp-hunt betwixt us, and Reub., he went with us, but he never tuck no gun, kase he wuz so infurnal lazy that he woodn’t even take a stand and watch fur deer. He jest went along too eat wenzon and to help the fellers cook. Well, the fust evenin we were out, we killed a mitey fine tow hed deer, and we fotch him in and cooked wun quarter fur supper. Reub. ett ‘bout half uv that quarter ; and arter we went sleep, and ‘bout midnite I got awake and razed up, and thar wuz Reub. eatin away like he was paid fur it. I never sed nuthin, but laid down and went too sleep : an ‘bout daylite I waked up and begun too get reddy too go out and kill sum game, and I’ll be dod durned ef Reub. wuzn’t eatin away still, or ruther, pickin the bones, fur he had ett up all the hole deer an wuz pickin the bones. Git up you holler-legged, pot-gutted, turkey-buzzard, sez I, and make tracks fur home jest as fast as you kin poot wun leg afore the tuther! and I tuck the feller side uv the hed with my fist and sorter turned him over ; but he got up pooty soon and done sum uv the tallest kind uv walking for home.

“About two or three weeks after the hunt, that we wuz all at Simmon’s Grocery, on the Montevallo road, an I wuz tellin the fellers ‘bout Reub.’s eatin a hole deer an nawin the bones besides, an the feller got rite ashy ‘bout it, but I didn’t mind him nor never paid no ‘tention to him, till he bucked up too me an give me a feller rite under the ear, an I tell ye it made my hed kinder dizzy. When he gin me the fust lick it made me sorter mad, but I woodn’t a minded ef he hadn’t kept pilin on the agony ‘bout my ears and smeller. When I did git my Norf Carliner up, the way I pitched it in too him was a caution to mules. We fit round and round about the barrels an boxes ‘bout half an hour, when I got his hed under my arm an I made him squeal immediantly, but I wuzn’t ‘gwine too let him off without givin him sumthin too ‘member Ance Veasy by, an I tell you fellers, I natally peeled the skin off his face an then I turned him loose. He tuck up this hat, an when I sorter turned my back too him, he picked up an ole axe helve an gin me a wipe aside the hed that laid me cole fur a while I tell you. But I picked myself up an started sorter arter him, but he wuz on his hoss an fast banishing out uv site over the hill.

“The sheriff cum an tuck me up an tried me for trying to kill, but tha found me requitted, an let me loose, coz I gin myself up. But Reub., he ran away, kase he thort how he had killed me, an he stayed away too or three months ; but wen he heerd as how I wuzn’t ded, he cum back an the sheriff nabbed him an carried him too the Cort-house, an tride him fur salt and batter an murder with intent too kill. Tha found him requitted of murder, but tha found him gilty uv salt an batter. I didn’t see enny salt in the fite, but thar wuz sum batterin done, but I done all the batterin myself, except wot he done with the axe helve. I don’t think the feller wot tried him done fair by him, kase tha kused him uv ‘tackin me with pistols and knives, but thar wuzn’t narry pistol nor knife on the ground at the time. Enny how the Judge says he,

“ ‘Mr. Sessions, the jury has found you gilty uv salt an batter, an you must go too jail fur wun munth an pay twenty-five dollars besides.’

“ ‘I don’t keer ef you make it two munths, by——!’ says Reub.

“ ‘Fine him ten dollars, Mr. Sheriff, fur swarin in Cort.’

“ ‘I don’t keer ef you make it twenty dollars, by ——!’ says Reub.

“ ‘Fine him twenty dollars and three munths inprisonment, Mr. Sheriff,’ says the Judge.

“That made Reub. stap cussin in the Cort House, I tell you, an the Sheriff tuck him off too jail and locked him up, an he had too stay thar 4 munths by himself.

“I had a fite wunst over on the Cahawba river, with a Tennessee Waggoner’s dog—did you ever hear me tell ‘bout it? but never mind now, fellers, I’m gitten mity dry, an I have to wate until I git a nuther horn, an I don’t keer who pays fur it, so I don’t.”



Source: New York Spirit of the Times 15. 35 (25 October 1845): 405. University of Virginia Alderman Library.

Erin Bartels prepared this typescript.

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