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Page 92


In one of my letters, you know, I said newspapers were
dreadful smoky things, and anybody couldn't read in 'em half
an hour without having their eyes so full of smoke they
couldn't tell a pig-sty from a meeting-house.

But I'm thinking, after all, they are more like rum than
smoke. You know rum will sometimes set quite peaceable
folks together by the ears, and make them quarrel like mad
dogs—so do the newspapers. Rum makes folks act very
silly—so do the newspapers. Rum makes folks see double—so
do the newspapers. Sometimes rum gets folks so they can't
see at all—so do the newspapers. Rum, if they take tu much
of it, makes folks sick to the stomach—so do the newspapers.
Rum makes folks go rather crooked, reeling from one side of
the road to t'other—and the newspapers make one half the
politicians cross their path as often as any drunkard you ever
see. It was the newspapers, uncle Joshua, that made you bet
about the Speaker last summer, and lose your bushel of corn.
Remember, that, uncle, and don't believe anything you see in
the papers this summer, unless you see it in the Daily Courier.

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Page 95



From the Portland Courier of July 21, 1830.

We delay this paper something beyond the usual hour of
publication in order to lay before our readers the important
intelligence received yesterday from Downingville. This we
have been able to accomplish, tho' not without extraordinary
exertions and extra help. But the crisis is important—we
had almost said appalling—and demands of every patriotic
citizen of Maine the highest sacrifices in his power to make.
The important proceedings of the grand convention at Downingville
reached here, by express, yesterday, about a quarter
before 3 o'clock, P.M., having traveled the whole distance,
notwithstanding the extreme high temperature of the weather,
at the rate of thirteen and a half miles an hour. And but for
an unfortunate occurrence, it would undoubtedly have reached
here at least three hours earlier. Capt. Jehu Downing, who,
with his characteristic magnanimity and patriotism volunteered
to bring the express the whole way, having taken a
very high spirited steed for the first ten miles, was unfortunately
thrown to the ground in attempting to leap a barrier
which lay across the road. Two of his ribs were broken by
the fall, and his right arm so badly fractured that it is feared
amputation must be resorted to, besides several other severe
contusions on various parts of the body. We are happy to
hear, however, that Dr. Zachariah Downing, who, on hearing
the melancholy intelligence, very promptly repaired to the
spot to offer his professional services, pronounces the Captain


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out of danger, and also that the Captain bears his misfortune
with his accustomed fortitude, expressly declaring that the
only regret he feels on the occasion is the delay of the express.
Here is patriotism, a devotedness to the welfare of the country,
and to genuine Democratic National Republican principles,
worthy of the days of the Revolution.

Lieut. Timothy Downing forwarded the express the remainder
of the way with the utmost dispatch, having run down three
horses, one of which died on the road. But we keep our readers
too long from the gratifying intelligence received.


Downingville, Monday, July 19, 1830.

At a large and respectable meeting of the Democratic National
Republicans of Downingville and the neighboring parts
of the State, convened this day at the centre school-house, the
meeting was called to order by the venerable and silver-haired
patriarch, old Mr. Zebedee Downing, who had not been out to a
political meeting before for the last twenty-five years. The
venerable old gentleman stated, in a few feeling remarks, the
object of the meeting; that he had not meddled with politics
since the days of Jefferson; but that now, in view of the
awful calamities which threatened to involve our country in
total ruin, he felt it his duty, the little remaining time he
might be spared from the grave, to lift up his voice and his
example before his children, grand-children, and great grand-children
whom he saw gathered around him, and encourage
them to serve the country for which he had fought and bled in
his younger years. After the enthusiastic applause elicited
by these remarks, the old gentleman called for the nomination


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[Description: 688EAF. Page 097. A man sits in a seat above a crowd and another man stands to address him and the crowd. ]
of a chairman, and Joshua Downing, Esq., was unanimously
called to the chair, and Mr. Ephraim Downing appointed Secretary.

On motion of Mr. Jacob Downing, voted, that a committee
of five be appointed to draft resolutions to lay before this
meeting. Whereupon Mr. Jotham Downing, Ichabod Downing,
Zenas Downing, Levi Downing, and Isaiah Downing were
appointed said committee, and after retiring about five minutes,


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they returned and reported the following preamble and

“Whereas, an awful crisis has arrived in the political
affairs of our country, our public men all having turned traitors,
and resolved to ruin the country, and make us and our
children all slaves forever; and whereas, our ship of State
and our ship of the United States are both driven with tremendous
violence before the fury of the political tempest, and are
just upon the point of being dashed upon the breakers of political
destruction; and whereas, nothing short of the most
prompt and vigorous exertions of the patriotic Democratic
National Republicans of this State and of the United States
can avert the impending danger,

“And whereas, the Jacksonites and Adamsites, and Huntonites,
and Smithites, have so multiplied in the land, and
brought things to such a pass, that our liberties are unquestionably
about to receive their doom forever; therefore,

“Resolved, That it is the highest and most sacred duty of
every patriotic Democratic National Republican in the State
to arouse himself and buckle on his political armor, and make
one last, one mighty effort to save the State and the country,
and place the Constitution once more upon a safe and firm

“Resolved, That the awful crisis of affairs in this State requires
a firm, devoted patriot, a high minded and gifted states
man, and a uniform, unwavering Democratic National Republikan
for chief magistrate.


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“Resolved, That in this awful crisis, we believe the eyes
of all true patriots are turned upon

late of Downingville, but since last winter a resident in Portland,
the capital of the State.

“Resolved, That we have the fullest confidence in the talents,
integrity, moral worth, tried patriotism, and unwavering
and unchangeable sterling Democratic National Republicanism
of the Hon. Jack Downing, and that his election to the office
of Governor in September next, and nothing else, can save the
State from total, unutterable, and irretrievable ruin.

“Resolved, therefore, That we recommend him to the electors
of this State as a candidate for said office, and that we
will use all fair and honorable means, and, if necessary, will
not stick at some a little dishonorable, to secure his election.

“Resolved, That it be recommended to all the patriotic,
Democratic National Republicans throughout the State, to be
up and doing; to call county meetings, town meetings,
school district meetings, and village and bar-room meetings,
and proceed to organize the party as fast as possible, by appointing
standing committees, and central committees, and
corresponding committees, and bearers and distributors of
hand-bills, and, in short, by doing everything that the good
of the cause and the salvation of the country requires.

“Resolved, conditionally, That in case General Jackson
should be likely to be re-elected, we highly and cordially approve
of his Administration, and believe him to be second to
none but Washington; but in case he should stand no chance
of re-election, this resolve to be null and void.

“Resolved, That the thanks of this Convention be presented


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to Miss Nabby Downing, for the use of her school-room
this afternoon, she having with a generous patriotism dismissed
the school for that purpose.

“Resolved, That the proceedings of this Convention, signed
by the Chairman and Secretary, be published in the Portland
Daily Courier, the official organ of the Hon. Jack Downing's
correspondence, and any other genuine Democratic National
Republican papers in the State.


“Attest: Ephraim Downing, Secretary.”

We are assured by Lieutenant Timothy Downing, with
whom we had a short interview, that the best spirit prevailed
in the Convention; not a dissenting voice was heard, and all
the resolutions passed unanimously. We add an extract or
two from private letters.

From Ephraim Downing to the Hon. Jack Downing.

“Well, Jack, if you don't acknowledge we've done the thing
up in style, you're no gentleman and not fit for Governor. I
wish you to be very particular to keep the Sheriff's office for
me. Father says cousin Jeremiah has thrown out some hints
that he shall have the Sheriff's office. But butter my ristbands,
if you do give it to him, you'll go out of office again
next year, that's positive. Jerry's a clear factionist, you may
rely upon that. No, no, stick to your old friends, and they'll
stick to you. I'm going to start to-morrow morning on an
electioneering cruise. I shall drum 'em up about right. You
only keep a stiff upper lip, and you'll come in all hollow.”

From Joshua Downing, Esq., to the Hon. Jack Downing.

“Dear Jack, things look well here; with proper exertions
I think you may rely upon success. I am in great haste, and


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write this jest to tell you to be sure and not promise a single
office to any mortal living, till I see you. These things must
be managed very prudently, and you stand in need of the
counsel of your old uncle. I think I could do as much good
to the State by being appointed Land Agent, as any way;
but I'll determine upon that when I see you.

“N. B.—Make no promises.

“Your affectionate uncle,