His Honor, the Mayor, was in the discharge of his official functions on last Saturday evening—the business before him consisting of two several charges of assault and battery ; to both of which our friend, the ubiquitous “Georgia Major,” was the respondent.

“ Do you plead guilty to the charge of assaulting the Rev. Mr. Williams?” asked the Mayor of the defendant.

“ I do; that is to say--"

“ Then I fine you ten dollars,” said the Mayor.

“ That is to say,” continued the Major, “ I plead guilty; but if there’s any way to get off from the fine, I should like very much to do it.”

“ Doubtless,” observed his Honor.

“ I will make a statement—or, as you may say, a defence—um—a-a-few remarks.”

The Court nodded permission.

“ You see, Williams came up to me and spoke something to me, and, said I, you d—d rascal, pull off your hat when you speak to me;” said the Major throwing himself into a military attitude. “ That’s enough—ten dollars and costs,” said his Honor. The Major bowed gracefully.

Proceeding now to the second charge, his Honor asked the defendant if he would plead guilty again. Not he! He would make a statement though, in relation, or in respect to, or regarding, the manner of the second fight.

“ I was in the person’s store who fought me, searching for one of the silver eyes which had dropped out of my walking cane in the previous fight, when that person ordered me out. Sir, said I, you must talk softly—dem’d softly when you address me, sir. Upon this, that person struck me with a skillet sir—an iron skillet, sir—in the face.” Here the major pointed to his face, the nasal feature of which bore some purplish streaks that beautifully varied its usual rich ruby. “And then, sir, I fell—staggered and fell as I returned the blow with my cane; immediately a crowd jumped upon me, and beat me ‘till they were pulled off—they didn’t whip me, though; that ca-n’t be done!” Here he stopped and looked round—(bye the bye we thought we heard the Major “holler.”)

A witness being called and examined, corroborated the Major’s statement, except as to the crowd’s having jumped upon him. No one interfered with the combatants. The witness stated in addition, that the Major had contrived to hide his head under the side of a hogshead, so as to protect it very effectually.

The Major cross-examined.

“ You say nobody touched me but that man?” pointing to his antagonist.

“ Nobody.”

“ Wasn’t the crowd all against me?” again asked the hero.

“ The crowd thought you deserved a whipping, for striking an inoffensive man—a minister of the gospel,” replied the witness very quietly.

“ Didn’t they all tell that man to whip me well?”

“ Yes.”

“ And didn’t he—that is—“

“ Didn’t he do it you mean to ask? Yes he did, nicely.”

The Major now “pulled up.” He had been deceived; his imagination had led him into error; completely carried him off; had transformed an individual not over the weight of a 150 pounds, into a large crowd; or at least, had furnished him with Briarean facilities for a “rough and tumble scrummage.”

“ Well, well,” said the Mayor, “as I have already fined you $10, and as it seems in this case you got a pretty good whipping, I reckon I must discharge you as to this.”

“ Whipping?” ejaculated the Major becoming positively tragic in his air; “whipping! is that a part of your sentence—that I—got whipped? Sir, I’d rather be fined five hundred dollars than have that entered on the record. It [1] wasn’t done! I, sir, have never been whipped—Angels couldn’t whip me!” And the Major loomed majestically about the room.

“ If it ain’t been done, it kin be done,” said somebody in the crowd—whereupon our friend collapsed into his original dimensions, in the folding of a Pea-cock’s tail; and wiping the perspiration from his brow, quietly retired.

Pulaski Whig Courier.


Source: New York Spirit of the Times 15.36 (1 November 1845): 419. University of Virginia Alderman Library.

Erin Bartels prepared this typescript.

[1] Original text reads “it.”

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