This eccentric genius, who is now in Louisville, Ky., is expected in St. Louis, shortly ; accordingly FIELD, of the “ Reveille,” prepares his fellow citizens to anticipate rare fun, by recounting one of the Prophet’s freaks in Philadelphia—which was after this wise :––

George’s favorite neighborhood for “ holding forth,” was in or about the famous old “ State House,’ where, bare-headed—with unshorn beard, and adorned with a simple wooden cross, he, in a few moments, would collect a crowd. At length, the police arrested him for obstructing the passage, and George was sent to the Alms-House. In a few days he escaped from the institution, and, boiling with indignation, hastened back to his old haunt, to lay his grievances before the people. Having provided himself with a couple of gimblets, he entered the building, raised the large window above the back entrance, and placing himself on the old-fashioned entablature over the door way, ( the spot where the Declaration of Independence was read from,) he shut down the window through the sash, into the frame. Then, with much solemnity, he proceeded to paraphrase the “ declaration,” applying it to his own particular case. The scene was truly ludicrous. Below, was one of the high-Constables and an assistant policeman, together with a numerous crowd of curious hearers.

“ When in the course of human events”––began George.

“ Will you come down from there ?” demanded the Constable.

“ A long train of abuses and takings up without authority,––"

“ Aint you a comin ; now ?––if you don’t I’ll bring you,” threatened authority.

“ Our Mayor, like the Kings of old, set upon us swarms of corrupt and drunken officers to put the prophets of truth into pestilential abodes.”

“ Now, do, George, stop your lingo—that’s a good fellow,” said the officer, coaxingly, seeing that the usual means of reaching the offender were cut off ; “ and come down without bother.”

“ Look up !” shouted the indignant advocate of truth, “ look up, you stiff-necked, corrupt son of Belial !––you, dog in office !––you, that belch forth the corrupt effluvium of liquid death, commonly styled rum !—you are the chief of a band of authorized knaves, composed of evil expounders of the law, otherwise called pettifoggers, and certain other rogues in office, who are styled “ the police.”––You lead captive the senses of that blind old Mayor, who is bridled by your wickedness as the beast of the same name !––you cause him by your false tongues to do evil, but, there is a day coming—there is ! when, at a bar where your credit has long been chalked out, I’ll make an affidavy will knock you so far into the regions of darkness, that the final trump will sound like a penny whistle to your ear !––do you hear that !”

The policeman did hear that, but his amiability could stand it no longer ; so, procuring a watchman’s ladder, he commenced climbing to the prophet, who coolly unscrewed his gimblets, hoisted the window, lifted up his robes, and, shouting “ woe to the wicked,” beat a successful retreat.


Source: New York Spirit of the Times 15.3(15 March 1845): 21. (University of Virginia Alderman Library).

Erin Bartels prepared this typescript.

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