Old Times in Cass

The Courant American Newspaper
Cartersville, Georgia
December 3, 1896, Page 1
Transcribed and submitted by: 

Old Times in Cass.
When Alexander Stephesn Spoke at Old Cassville.
Big Crowd and Barbecue.
Judge Joab Lewis Gives Some Recollections of Fifty Years Ago.—Noted Men at That Time.

I have been writing of some things which happened in our county in the long ago, and my thoughts turn back to an event at old Cassville which was one of the biggest days of my boyhood. It was in 1844 and politics were running high in Georgia. The issue was whig and democrat, and Henry Clay and James K. Polk were the candidates for president.

The occasion of which I write was the biggest barbecue I ever saw and was gotten up by the whig party at old Cassville. The place selected was the Russell spring in the suburbs of the town, owned at that time by Bob Russell, I think. It was one of the most beautiful places for the occasion that could have been selected. It was estimated that four thousand people were present, and I can say that I saw more cooked pigs, sheep, beef and wagon loads of bread than I ever saw on a similar occasion.

The speaker of the day was the great Alexander Stephens. He was conducted to the stand by Col. Word of Cassville, who was a very portly man, and Mr. Stephens a dwarf, and it made a striking contrast. The large crowd was already seated and anxious to hear the big speech which they knew was coming.

Mr. Stephens was introduced by Hon. Bartley Terhune, who had more wit and fun than any man I ever heard speak. I remember a little anecdote he told on himself during his introductory speech. He was a homely man but a brainy one. He said he was traveling on horseback down in southern Georgia when he passed a couple of boys on the side of the road. One of them remarked to the other that “that must be old Bartley Terhune, of Cassville, for they say he is the ugliest man in Georgia, and that must be him,” “but” he said, “I am not as ugly as Bro. Jack Jones.” Mr. Jones rose from his seat and made some witty reply. I very well remember his features today, a little homely but very intelligent.

Mr. Stephens then addressed the people on the issues of the day for more than two hours, during which time he held them spell bound under his fine oratorical powers. At the conclusion of his speech the great crowd assembled at the longest table and the biggest barbecue I ever saw, and everybody seemed to enjoy it immensely.

If there is any one now living at Cassville, or anywhere else they will remember a striking feature while the speaking was going on. A wagon with six large horses drove around the stand and the wagon and horses were covered with clay. In a short while another wagon with six fine horses drove around with polk stalks and berries tied all over the horses and wagon. You can imagine the excitement on such an occasion.

I will mention some of the prominent citizens I saw there on that day. There was Col. Warren Akin, Thomas Sullivan, George S. Black, Joseph Bogle, Mike Frix, Patton and Chunn, Col. Lindsey Johnson and many others I could mention. I had an uncle, David Lewis, who lived four miles from there at the place now owned by Col. Saxon. I was visiting him at the time. I then lived in South Carolina. On that day I got acquainted with Bill Arp, Charley Smith’s man, then quite a boy, and as I thought, one of the most peculiar fellows in his conversation I ever saw. I should like very much to see Major Smith and talk with him about old times. If any one should read this who was present on that day I should like to hear from them.

Cash, Ga.

J. A. Lewis.


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