Newspaper Page Text
Supplement to the Abbeville Press and Banner, November 30, 188T.
STORY OF A NEWSPAPER. HOW IT AWAKENED THE LATENT AMBI TION OF A LITTLE GIRL. Her Happy l*f nrrinjfo? Her Knno bllnir Hntl Elevating lnfluont,< Over Her HuNbund?Tlieir Chll (lrcn RIhc to Pronilnoncc?Tlirj Hleiw the Iftny (hut llroiijcht #? their Door* a SI ray -2 C'opy of i Newapnpcr. This story which was written bj Miss N. Jane Barmore, of this county was put in competition for the prize offered by the Press and Banner las summer, and was awarded the seoom premium. Believing that there are hundreds o boya and girls in Abbeville count/) whose natural abilities entitle them t< higher places in society than they now occupy, and that, if they were encour aged to make the effort, might read distinction in the future, the Press ana Banner has determined to publish this story in an extra sheet and send ii abroad in the hope that by reading ii the latent ambition may be awakeuec in the breast of at least some such bo} or girl to break the fetters of ignor ance in which tbey are bound by th( thoughtlessness and indifference of theii parents, in the matter of providing for them entertaining and instructive Via frtrtn o rrnflfl nfiwsna itmuiug iu i#uu iv/**" v* & ??i per. Extra copies of this sheet may b< had on application to the office of th< Press and Banner. I. THE TIME WHEN OUR PEOPLE DII NOT SUBSCRIBE FOR NEWSPA PER8?THEIR LIMITED EDUCA TION. Forty odd years ago it was the custorn with a majority of the well to dc farmers in the upper portion of Soutl: Carolina to educate only their physi cally delicate sons, but those of theii boys who gave promise of musculai vigor, after acquiring at the best old field schools the art of writing a tolera bly legible hand, and being sufficiently advanced in figures to be able to solvt the most of the problems in Fowler's or Smilie'o Arithmetic; and could reac a little better than their mothers oi grown up sister3, in the New York Reader, were considered as fully equip I ped for the struggles of life, at loasl in an educational point of view. Then with joyous hearts would they enter upon the settled avocation oi their lives and when fairly at home between the plo ffhandles, or when felling the native forests, were seldom if evei troubled with the thought that they might, if they only desired it, improve their education by reading. Aud as for the girls?the idea oJ sending them to college was too utterly preposterous to be thought of. They were considered as sufficiently &g\ J1 orJ isKan \r ?-? nur n ! ? a i^nUi VUUVMUVU nu^u bUCJf UUO W LUC illUlU' plication table and could, by spelling out the "hard words," make out to read a little in a simple reader. Of course sv tfcey must know the multiplication table, in order that they might be able to calculate, correctly, the number of threads necessary for the warp of a web of cloth, and it ?was important that they know how to read their Bibles?anything beyond this was considered as altogether superfluous. All general rules, however, admit oi exceptions, and John Wells and his wife were the exceptions in the community then familiarly termed, by the more enlightened portion of the county, "The Nation," a name which still clings to that portion of Abbeville county where lived the principal personages mentioned in this story. Julia Holland's father was post master of the postoffice in that, then, be. nighted locality. One cold dreary day in the winter of 1840 the Greenville Mountaianecr reached that obscure office. It was addressed to the post master who was requested to act as agent in obtaining subscribers. "Ha, ha, ha," laughed the post master after casually perusing its contents. "My neighbors would call me a fool were I to ask them to subscribe for a newspaper/' "No, no, Mr. Editor, we have nc time to read newspapers over here." Then with a yawn and a stretch oi his limbs, he threw the paper oo the table, saying: "I must go and see how the hands are getting on with their clearing in the new ground." II. 1118 IJTTL.E DAUGHTER TAKE8 UP TIIE PAPER AND BECOMES INTERESTED IN IT. When the old man had left the . house, Julia took up the paper, K prompted more by curiosity than otherwise, and soon became deeply in* terosted in its varied contents?so 4 uitfcb so that iu the course of a week she bad read and re-read over and over again everything in it. The mar^ riages, the deaths?even the advertiset ments?were all carefully spelled and j' read over and over until every word was indellibly impressed upon her ? mind. Oh, bow she did enjoy it. She } would be up by times every morning and hurry cheerfully through her day's task at the spinning wheel, jn order that j aim uuigub iiuvu u jhw mumeuia to r into the Mountaineer before it was dark, for she knew that as soon as the t supper was over with, and the dishes t washed, there was that bundle of sewI ing with which she must help her mother, and therefore, there could be 7 no time for reading after supper, how^ ever much she might desire to do. But if she could not both read and r sew at the same time, she could at r 7 ' least do the next best thing?talk about what she had read. So when the children had been tucked away in their trundle beds and her father had made himself comfortable, reclining on two chairs, as was his custom, in front of a orankincr Inor firf* h1ip? would relate to her mother all that she had read that day in the newspaper, while each plied industriously her needle. ) She was so charmed with the con* tents of this paper that she made up her mind to try to get her father to take it, although she had very . grave doubts as to the success of the > undertaking. Therefore it was with i great hesitancy she approached him . one day, just after he had eaten his r dinner?(she was wise enough to know r- that it was not prudent to ask a favor . of a hungry man though that man be . a father)?with the . request that he r subscribe for the Mountaineer. \ Had she wished a new dress, a new j bonnet or anything like that, there I would have been no hesitancy. i "But," mused she, "who ever heard : of a woman taking a newspaper ? Why . Parson Graves and Dr. Hunter are t the only persons who take papers at this office; and I reckon their women r folks don't read them for I never hear f them tell anything they have read in . the papers." r But to her great surprise her father's consent was easily obtained. Net however because he considered that i his daughter or any of his family would be benefited by reason thereof, f either mentally or morally, but simply . because it was the request of a dutiful, , loving daughter whose wish he, an indulgent father, knew not how to deny. I t r r ill. ! HAPPY MARRIAGE?THE ONLY NEWSl PAPER PEOPLE IN THE NEIGHi RORHOOD. s Iq the autumn of the same year ' Miss Julia became the happy Mrs. i John Wells. In addition to her colored maid, her loom, and her wheel ' and cards?the usual marriage portion s in those days?she took to her new home her Bible the Greenville f Mountaineer, which, together with > John's Bible, made up the library of - that happy home on the hill. It was not long uutil John (who was by the way a mau of line natural ability t though of limited education,) became > as fond of reading as was his wife ; still, work on the farm was never neglected and household duties were faith fully performed. Thrift and prosperity was indicated p by all their surrounding. System was ' so strictly maintained that work in all * the departments of both farm and > household was always fully up with, ' and a few hours of leisure gained every week which was pleasantly and . profitably spent in the perusal of their ' weekly visitor. The fondness for reading so grew on them that one paper didn't suffice very ' long. There being no county paper then, > the next best thing that they could do was to buy books, which they did with ' great care and judgment, buying none i except the productions of the best au? thors. But books being expensive in ' those days and their means limited, of * course they could not afford to buy many. One day, a short while after . ' ' I ... is. It was not the first time that that domestic hint had been plied to no purpose. With his contracted ideas of things, a newspaper was a useless expenditure. Nothing of good could be seen by him in all the newspapers published in all the land. "But, husbaud, you kuow that it is uatural for us to waut to go to tho post office to enquire for letters. I have enquired so often to no purpose that I am ashamed to send to the post master for the few letters that we do get. You know that there is in every one a feeling of mortification on being told that we have no mail?that nnhnnv John had made his first purchase of reading matter in the shape of books, as he called at the office for his mail, the Post Master handed him the Mountaineer with an additional paper, saying : "There, John, as you and Julia are the only newspaper folks we have in these parts, they have sent you another, opeu it and let us see what it is." It proved to be an issue of his denominational paper. He had but recently joined the church. His wife had united with the people of God when a girl. He thought of the money ho had so lately spent for books, and for a moment regretted the expenditure. It was only a transient regret, however, as is evident from the soliloquy held tho next moment, which ran somewhat thus: "I don't see how we could do without them, as when night comes on and all are well and the children asleep, wife sits down with baby in her arms and after throwing a piece of lightwood in the fire, she looks up at the shelf and says, not with so many words, but out of the corner of her eyes : "John, get one of those books and read to me as I am so tired, I don't feel like reading mvself." "No ; I'm glad I bought those books, but I must have this paper too. We can't afford to be ignorant of the affairs of our own church." Then with the air of one about to perform a pleasing task, he thrust his hand into his pocket, drew out the neccssary amount, and handed it to the postmaster, saying: "Order the paper for me," while he thought, almost aloud, "whatis money in comparison with the valuable information one can get from a good newspaper?" IV. RISING IN THE WORLD-?HIGH PLACES IN THE CHURCH AND IN HIS COMMUNITY. Mr. and Mrs. Wells were fast developing into what the world calls intelligent neonle?not that t.hpv wprn nn O t X J " turally more sensible than many of their neighbors, but they were better informed, having read so much they had ao quired a readiness of suitable language which enabled them to express their opinions in matters of converse with the greatest ease, often with surprising eloquence. Hence the expression of a young preacher, in describing Mrs. Wells to his mother, "She talks like a book." Mr. Wells's judgment, politically, from the fact that he seemed always informed upon all current events, had long been regarded by his neighbors the best in the community. It was not long after he united with the church until he evinced a surprising knowledge of all the enterprises of a benevolent nature undertaken by the various branches of the church at large and especially of his own church. Said a certain church member to his wife aa they were returning home from church conference where Mr. Wells had advocated very forcibly a certain enterprise, which was new to the most of the members present: 'When John Wells and I were at school, boys together,} I didn't think him any more than common?in fact, I used to help him with his 6ums, but now he seems to know everything." "Yes," responded the wife, "'while the other men have been carousing at musters and all such places, John Wells has spent bis leisure time in reading newspapers and books. Why, old man, its real nice to spend a day at their house. While his farm hands and horses are resting after dinner, he will get a paper and read something to Julia and me that I never heard in my life before. That's the way they know so much. They read the newspaper ; they do?yes, they do. I just believe if we would take the paper, we'd know as much about things as they do, and our children would talk smart too; if they had papers to read." These remarks, he thought, were a little too pointed, especially that portion about carousing at musters, as he had dntlA ft 1!U1a nf flint. Iiimaolf Aa ? W. ..? # WMWW M?U4tA/?4l WVJ with an impatient jerk of the lines, he said to his trusty old sorrel: nn .1 -r vjro long, jerry ; newspapers wont put corn in the crib, will it ?" Jerry gave his head a knowing toss, quickened his gait into a lazy trot, which said in unmistakable horse language: "What do I care for newspapers, so the oorn is in tha trough."^ * ' . H * ' ' ' *t * ^ / . , * V v\ has written to us, and that we have not even a newspaper in the post office. Why, I tell you, the postmaster almost laughed at me the last time I enquired for mail. He never got up from his seat to look for letters or papers. But, before i could fairly ask, he said, 'Nothing today, ma'am,' and just kept on reading his old book. We ought to take a newspaper. Our children often ask why we do not take papers like neighbor Jones, and I feel that we are as able and ambitious to advance our children as he is. Y"ou Oil nrhfr f A kotrA oaam * K o * ?v*? ~ vu^uv tw iiuvu oct/u uiai oauic puai/uittater jump up and hand Mrs. Jones her paper." When his wife appealed to his van* ity and pride he could no longer resist and so he subscribed for a newspaper, but for which he never cared himself, yet he had a commendable ambition for the intelligence and respectability of his children and ever after rejoiced at the thought of giving them the benefits of a newspaper, while he reall7Af1 miinU nlaocinra in n^? MWV* |ilVMCUAV AM OUU1U" thing from the post office every time lie went or sent for mail matter. V. JOnN WELLS'S INFLUENCE IN ESTABLISHING SCHOOLS?HIS NEIGHBORS HAD SO LITTLE EDUCATION THAT THEY DID NOT KNOW HOW IGNORANT THEY WERE. It was through John Wells's influence, accompanied by a heavy iift from his pocket book, that the community could boast of the best Bchool house in twenty miles of their county seat. But he could not always succeed in haviDg his choice of teachers. When the time came to elect that important personage, John Wells and his neighbora were generally at variance. With his neighbors it was not "who shall we get, as best suited, to teach the young idea how to shoot," but the question with them was, "who can we get to teach our children for the least money ?" It was not that they were l 4 r* r? - ? indigent; rar irom it. They were all, with few exceptions, prosperous farmers. Neither did they possess an inordinate love of the "filthy lucre." For any purchases they wished to make, money was never lacking. The simple fact was, they were ignorant and could not appreciate the advantages or pleasures of an education. They did'nt have education enough to know how isrnorant thev wer?. Th?v O J " ? ? *"VJ never read the newspapers themselves, and they were not aware of their immense value to their children. They never thought of the fact that much of the little which their children learned at one school term was forgotton before the beginning of the next school year for the simple reason that they had little or no opportunity to practice reading or to aoquire a fondness for intellectual exercise. It is true that there were in the house a few old books that few would read, and as for the pretty book which the book-agent left, and for which was _ 1 i paia enougn 10 gel a good newspaper for two years, the children were forbidden to touch it under the severest penalties. The idea that a child might actual* ly advance his education during vacation by reading the newsyapers was never dreamed of by these good but ignorant people. But Mr. Wells contended that money would not compensate for the ruin of their children's education, but they could not see it in that light. However he quietly accepted the situation, doihg all he could to stimulate in the minds of his own. children, a fond J: u_ i :? L!_ i uooo ivi loumug ujr neopiug uis uome well supplied, to the full extent of his ability, with the best books and periodicala of the day. One evening after they bad held an election for teacher, and not being at all pleased with the result, he said to hi* wife : j "In oue more year Lucy will be oM i enough to be sent off to school and I am determined to send ber where she can learn at least the rudiments of an education. Something she will never learn from such teachers as we have here. She shall not groiu up an ignoramus, if I can help it, and I know that all she needs is an opportunity." "Yes," replied the wife, "the dear cliild will appreciate the opportunity and will make the most of it. She'll soon be able to instruct such teachers as we have here. She can almost do it now." < Sure enough the following year Lucy was sent to the Female Seminary and Mary Taylor, whose opportunities in the old-field school had been the same as those of Lucy, accompanied her, and they were placed in the same class. They applied themselves with equal dilligence, but by no means with equal results. Mary was an ambitious girl i and did her utmost to improve the i privileges aftorde<l her ; but never < having had the opportunity to read the i newspapers, she had not acquired a ? fondness for literature Her mind was 1 untrained, and she was actuated more I by the promptings of an ambition i to appear as smart as Lucy Wells, that impelled her to study her 1 text books, thau from any desire for I an education, or thought of the satis- faction or advantage to be derived I from the same. s With Lucy's superior fondness for I books and reading generally, it was a < constant unfoldincr of nnw and 1 ive beauties. The one rejoiced when her I school days were over?the other i sighed and wished for still deeper draughts of the Pierian Fount. i While at school, when a doubt lin- i gered ii the mind of any fellow stu- i dent as to the correctness of any quo- I tation which she wished to make in < her composition, such girl would in- I variable repair to Lucy's room in i search of the desired information. Not only her school mates but her 1 teachers also soon discoverd that Bhe 1 possessed a head well stored with use- * r..i i i-j? 1 aui nuutvieugu. 1 "Oh" ! said the lady principal of the institution, "Lucy Wells is a remarkable girl. Slie never comes with 1 an imperfect recitation, and yet she finds time to read one leading secular and two religious periodicals every week." t "She can converse with ease and in? f telligence upon any of the current i subjects of tne day." c "We are proud of her. Yes, we are ? proud of Lucy Wells." 1 We shall not stop to follow Lucy's c brother and her three sisters through college; suffice it to say they all bore oft* from their Alma Maters laurels worthy the children of faithful parents. VJ. A TRAVELER'S MI8TAKE ? JOHN WELLS'S LIBRARY LEADS HIM TO BELIVE THAT HE IS PREACHER OR LAWYER. "You are a preacher, I presume," remarked a traveller to Mr. Wells^ with whom he by chance was spending the night. "Oh, no," he replied with much surnriao. I MT "A retired lawyer, then ?" queried the gentleman. The inquisitiveness of the traveller 1 called forth from Mr. Wells an enquiring look, accompanied with the exclamation: t "Sir ; I don't understand you ; I am r simply a plain farmer. You muBt he c mistaken in your man." t "I beg your pardon, sir; but that s extensive library," pointing, aa he t spoke at the heavily laden shelves ' looming up to the joice, "produced the t impression on my mind that my host e must be a professional man of some sort." "That library," responded Mr. Wells * with a pleased expression, "is the most appreciated property I possess. When the accumulations of many years of hard labor was swept away by the late war I 'ooked up at my library with overwhelming emotions of gratitude I that an investment of a few hundred li dollars in aotual money, but an iiyrest- ti ment of inestimable value to me, was tl still left. I have added to it since p then?may add still more, for I will h buy books." m "Do you know, sir, that when I b married I couid scarcely read ?" b "Indeed"! ejaculated the stranger, ^ while he mentally surveyed what he g \ regarded as a prodigy. *'A man," thought he, "with scarcely any education until fully grown possessing such Jeep aud broad intellectual views ; juch rare aud sensible ideas; such a refiued and cultured taste?one whose whole demeauor bespoke the cultured, Uhristiau gentleman?it was indeed a mystery too deep for him to fathom. "Yes, sir," Mr. Wells went on to say, "and it is to the newspapers .that l am indebted for much, if not all, of Lhe fondness for reading, and consequently the education that I have." Sir, I am a great believer in the newspapers as an educator"?his countenance lighting up as he remembered the great pleasure and benefit he had derived from them. "That library is a select one. JNo trash there, I cun assure you. When I say trash I don't mean that there are no works of fictiou as I do ?ot regard all fiction as trash. There are many novels that might be read by our young people, and old people as well, with salutary effect. I could name a score or more authors whose productions arc wholesome literary food for any one. You | will find on those shelves nothing but the productions of the best authors of aucient and modern literature. "You no doubt wonder how a man who never had a brush at college could be able to select such a fine library. Here again I must remind you that I have been for almost fifty years a con 3taut reader ot the beat newspapers of the land. They have kept me inforra3d of the authors, and the standard works, &c., /&c? and in this way I bave been kept posted as to the latest md most approved literature." "The school teacher may carefully instruct his pupil in the rudiments of in education but he has only laid the foundation. That pupil, if he wouH be learned, must add to his information by reading, not simply books, but first class newspapers and other period- >. icals. Thus was this accidental guest led ;o regard the power for good wrapped in in iKa fnlrla r\4- o " >u >uu iuiuo ui it guuu ucnopajici in i light never before dreamed of by iim. VII. VHAT BECAME OF THE FAMILY WHOSE FORTUNE WA8 MADE BY READING THE NEWSPAPERS. I ( For the benefit of those who wish HM ,o know what became of "the cultured amily," we will state that Lucy mar- j^H -ied an intelligent farmer and settled lown to be a model housewife. Kitty lud Jennie both married preachers. rlettie married au editor of a first :las8 magazine, and it is whispered hat few are the editorials that come >ut of that sauctum without havintr irst received a finishing touch from Nettie's pen. And Harry, that bright and erudite roung man is a lawyer, of course? indeed heia no such thing, but instead, s a farmer?a scientific farmer, nnd a uccessful one at that. He also finds ime to edit an agricultural journal. 3e theorizes for the farmers of his wj state and demonstrates his theories fry 1 )ractical application. He has family V )rayer around his hearthstone, super utends a Sunday School, is deacon in | lis courcn and, altogether, a most use ill man in his community. I VIII. I tEADERH OF GOOD N E W8PA r ER8 I NEVER GROW OLD. fl And now let me whisper, a secret to he young people, and it is this?that "" eaders of good newspapers never grow >ld, simply for the reason that they >ecome so interested in current events, o absorbed in the great question of he day, until they are oblivious of the act that time is swiftly gliding by and \ hat they are day by day growiDg old- \ r aod still older. W IX. IU. AND MRS. WELLS?THEIR HAP? PY OLD AGE?BLESSINO TUB DAY WHEN A STRAY COPY OP THE "MOUNTAINEER" PELL IN* TO THEIR HANDS. The happy and cheerful old couple, dr. Wells and his wife Julia, are still iving and have the solace of knowing hat they have reared for God and heir country one noble son and four raiseworthy daughters. And now, aving approached the evening of life lith that satisfaction whioh is to e derived only from the rememrance of a well-spent life, and ^ fith a competency of this world'* oods, and with no hurry and worry