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CAPITAL CITY COURIER, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 19, t89i
THE BOYHOOD OF CHISP.
HIS STORY IS MORE ROMANTIC THAN
Bin I'urfinU Htnr Actum In Tlmlr ljr.
Ill I'Htron, .liunm Ilrtvln, Tlmn Writ,
but Krilurril by llm Vr-Iturulo Strug-
In of tlm I'llliirn Spnikrr.
Nasiivillk, Dec. 17. Though Georgln
has been the scone of tho ovolutlou of
Charles V, Crisp from n well nigh brief
less barrister to tho plethoric practice of
nn acknowledged leiuler nt tho Imr, ninl
though Qeorgin ballots elovutcd him
from tho dreary routine of n circuit
judgeship to tho potent arena of tho halls
of congress, yet his exportation on Ten
nessee soil Is doubtless rememliored by
him as tho incut unique of his life. The
English born lad (and Mr. Crisp Is the
only speaker who was born ontsldo of
Iho United States) was carried to Hards
town, Ky early in tho fifties by his par
ents, in company with an only brother
and two sisters, in order that their edu
cation might receive some attention,
their parents being actors.
At that time one of tho richest citizens
of Nnshvillo was James Davis. His
clothing and dry goods establishment
was known far and wldo as tho largest
between Louisville and Now Orleans,
Many 11 plantation was supplied from
his nmplo warehouse in exchange for
cotton and negroes, for the Cumberland
river was n very important artery of
commerce in thoso auterallroad days.
Profits were enormous comparod with
present margins, and as Davis had tho
means to purchase heavily for cosh, the
passing years saw him accumulate a for
tune princely for that period.
As his wealth increased, n natural
fondness for travel asserted itself, and
Davis made many a pleasure trip to
Louisville, Cincinnati, Now York and
tho far east. The stago was his hobby,
and ho was an habitue of the best te
sorts wherover ho went. On ono occa
sion he strolled into tho Niblo Garden
theater, Now York, when Mncbnth wiuj
on tho boards. V. H. Crisp, an actor
fresh from a tour of Hngland, was in the
title role and his wife impersonated the
lady. Davis was so charmed with their
rendition of tho characters that ho sought
an introduction to the husband. Con
genial tastes led to a closer acquaintance,
which developed into a life long friend
ship. In the conrso of their travels Mr. and
Mrs. Crisp found themselves in Cincin
nati, and the Tennessee merchant rode
by stago nearly tho entiro distance to
tho future porkopolis to greet his old
friends again. They came to Nashville,
and tho husband leased ttie Adelphi
theater, at that time ono of tho most
famous temples of Thespis to be found
in the west.
Tho actor organized a first class stock
company, and tho public responded bo
readily to tiis ability and pluck Unit for
tune seemed ready to bestow her long
withheld favors. Highly elated, Crisp
deoided to branch out, and became the
lessee of the best theater in Memphis.
Many an old citizen even now recalls
with pleasing recollections the golden era
of tho drama in Tennessee which fol
lowed. Crisp was in the plenitude of
his powers as an actor, and his wife was
a star of clearly recognized merit.
Tho father was a scholar of no mean
attainments, a man of versatilo talents
and extensive, observation. His wife
was n woman of matronly dignity, high
moral wortli and marked culture. They
frequently appeared before tho foot
lights and wero soon installed prime
favorites with this theater loving pub
lic. Crisp brought to Tennessee such
stars as Charlotte Cushman, Julia Dean
Eliza Logan, Ada Isaacs Menken, Con
nor, Anderson, Couldock and others of
tho first magnitude. Occasionally in
interims of their visits Crisp and his
wife, with others of their stock com
puny, would appear in towns within a
radius of 300 miles of Nashville, and
Mrs. Crisp became so pronounced a fa
vorite with tho people of Huntsville,
Ala., that they presented to her a long
lease of the theater there on tho solo
condition that she would, oven at rare
intervals, play in it.
Soon after moving to Nashville the
Crisps brought their children here. Of
the sons, Harry evinced a decided prefer
erenco for the stage and bent his ener
gies to fit himself for it as a profession.
Ho sucoeeded well, becoming in tini
leading man with Salvini. The younger
son, Charles F., was about twelve years
of age. His native sprightliucss and
manly demeanor soon attracted the at
tention of Davis, who approached his fa
ther with the proposition to take the hid
in his store and train him for a mer
cantile calling. So young Crisp win
transferred from his homo and became
a member of tho Davis household.
Tho lad accepted the situation cheer
fully and wont to work with a will. Hi
boyish "belongings" wero moved to the
Davis homestead, and ho entered on the
now career with tho determination to
earn as u merchant the money which his
parents had failed to wring from the
stage. His breakfast was dispatched
early, for boforo sunrise Crisp was e.x
pected to bo at tho store.
Tho early pedestrians who passed the
Davis establishment often beheld the
future speaker of the house of represent
atives of the United States with coat
collar turned high about his tingling ears
in winter, or in his shirt sleeve in sum
mer, by the dim light of awaking day
sturdily shoveling snow from tho door
of his patron, or wielding a broom as
tall as himself to clear away tho dim
from tho rude pavement. This prelimi
nary task executed, the embryo states
man could take his place behind the
counter and stay there all day with the
exception of an hour for dinner or service
as an errand boy. His constitution
hardened under steady labor, and the
assumption of the duty of self mainte
nance at so early an ago laid the founda
tion for that spirit of independence and
self reliance which bus been so potent a
factor in tho battles of after years.
Ills companions, now gray haired, say
that he shirked no duty, and his old em
ployer pays tribute to his steadiness and
morality. Regardless of tho weather
ho was always prompt in his presence
at tho store, and worked unremittingly
mouth after month at tho side of the
big force of men Milder the rich mer
chant. His cheery mid manly tempera
ment, Industry and sprightliucss soon
made him tho favorite with His asso
ciates and seniors that he was with
Hut tho lad evinced attention to nthet
matters than those in lino with business.
He loved books, and gathered about him
such as his scant purse would allow ami
his friends could loan. Shakesiteaie
was his ideal. Doubtless this taste tm
tho Uanl of Avon had been created b
seeing his productions presented on the
stago by Mr. and Mrs. Crisp in leading
rolesj but the boy admired his works the
more as his own reading of them e.
tended. After his dally labor was ended
ho would repair to his room and by the
light of a lamp poro over tho well wont
volume of Shakespeare's plays which lie
had found in the green room of the Atlel
phi, and ho frequently discarded attend
mice at church to scan the pages of that
author. This early study of Shakespenie
was continued by Mr. Crisp in his mn
ture years, and It is doubtful if there ate
a half dozen men now in public life who
are hotter Shakespearean scholars than
he. Of history, too, ho was particular! )
fond, and eagerly road every volume lie
This monotonous llfo was kept up un
til 1859, when a great misfortune befell
tho Crisps. Tho father's eyesight almost
completely failed him as the result of a
cataract which defied treatment. Then,
too, his theatrical ventures wont amisn,
He had overshot the mark in providing
stars too expensive for tho period. Life
was very dark to the iniily at this time
Their means of niiplu.t wero gone; the
father was broken in health and spirits:
they were too proud to trespass on the
kindness of friends and too poor to re
main where they were.
A singlo incident which occurred
while matters wero in this predicament
well Illustrates tho keen henso of honor of
tho parents of the speaker. Mr. Crisp
had, as a last resort to stem tho tide of
losses, engaged a star from tho cast for
an engagement at 175 a night, which he
hoped would refill his empty coffers, but
the experiment was a sore disappoint
ment. The star failed to draw, but she
demanded her money. Crisp did not
have as many dollars as she wanted hun
dreds. In this extremity Davis stepped
forward and footed all the bills.
Tho next morning Mrs. Crisp appeared
at his counting room, closely followed
by a negro who bore u heavy trunk,
which, at the lady's order, ho deposited
at the feet of tho merchant. Slio quickly
removed his wonder at the sceno by ex
plaining that tho trunk contained all the
silverware which she and her husband
owned, and that they desired to leave it
with hiiu as a guarantee, at least in part,
that as soon as they were able they
would repay every dollar of his loan.
Some of the silver was in tho shape of
handsome testimonials to Mr. Crisp from
theatrical friends; the others had either
been brought from England or purchased
in flush days in this country. It is need
less to say thnt the warm hearted friend
of tho family saw to it that the Crisps
did not lose their silverware; hut, it is
proper to add, they repaid after awhile
every cent of the debt. For aught to
the contrary, some of this very silver
ware that tho parents of tho speaker
offered nearly forty years ago as a
pledge for a debt of honor is now at his
homo in Americus, Oa.
When Mr. and Mrs. Crisp decided in
their extremity to leave Nashville they
resolved to make their homo in Georgia.
Tho question aroso as to w'hat disposition
should be made of Charles. His cm -ployer
had promoted him by degrees, was
personally attached to him and would
take pride in advancing his fortunes in
mercantile pursuits. Would it bo well, '
under these circumstances, his parents i
reasoned, to carry him to another state
where tho outlook for themselves was
dark? The lad quickly and with char
acteristic firmness solved tho problem.
He expressed to Mr. Davis his grateful
appreciation of the kindnesses done and
favors assured, but announced that ho
would never desert his father in his sick
ness or mother in trouble, that he would
cleave to his parents and cast his lot
with theirs in Georgia whether for weal
or wo. That settled it, and Charles
was ono of tho family group that left
Nashville in tho tall of 1B50
new homo in Americus.
Little did lie luid they dream that this
act of filial devotion marked an era in his
life; perhaps changed its whole current
and opened the avenue to fame. Had
ho remained here, ho would in all proba
bility have become a staid merchant
and trod in tho paths ot his patron. As
it was the civil war was scarcely over
and his record in it written, while he
was still a beardless youth, before an op
portunity presented itself for him to
Thenceforward fortune continuously
smiled upon him. By i,.uck stages he
became solicitor geneial, circuit judge,
congressman and now speaker, tho third
ofllcer in point of dignity in tho greatest
government in the world.
And James Davis, tho friend of his
youth, what of him"' Slaves and prop
erty vanished during tlie conflict of 1801
5, ami today merely tho wreck of his
onco princely fortune is left. Hut he
still renders obeisance to Tliespis, and is
fond as over of dwelling on the glories
of tho Adelphi when tho speaker's father
was in his prime.
Where that famous resort stood tho
Grand opera house now rears its hmd
in tho heart of a city of 75,000 popula
tion, and tho name of tho lad who forty
years ago swept his store clean by the
dim light of dawn is now heralded even
across tho ocean. It is needless to say
that no letter of congratulation which
Mr. Crisp lias received was warmer or
truer than that which gray haired James
Davis sent from Nashville tho day after
his early protege was nominated for
tpeaker by the Democratic caucus.
Okuikii: H. Aumihtrad,
IT LOOKED SUSPICIOUS.
K lili-nrn In I'ntVK Tlntt Ibn Olltor Man
Mn No I'ntrlnl.
Ho was reading a now tamper on a Fulton
street surface ear In llrooklyii, and nftm
nubile the. man beside him, who had a tin
teakettle between his feet which ho wiu
taking down to ns mended, kindly In
quired! ".Much now in tho paper todiiyr"
"Uml" grunted tho other.
"I can read, of course," said tho tea
kettle man, "hut my eyes Is rather weak a'
lute) ears. Aid them Italians sassln tlih
"Uml" was the same discourteous re
"What's this I hear about Chilly watitln
to Unlit the. Pulled States? Have wo bin
liuttlti her fei litis, or has she simply got n
cantankerous lit our"
"1 had sled a lame hack that I didn't go
to war when wo lit tho south," eoutlmusl
tho teakettle man as ho lifted the utensil
up and rested it on his knees, "but I'll lie
right on deck In ease any foreign power
wants to try us on. Whereabouts Is Chil
ly, and what sort o' folks nro tlieyf"
"I s'poe everything In Washington Is
purty (piiet Just uowr I hoard a f el lot
telliu that Harrison had come out and
said ho didn't want no more olllce, bull
skasely believe it. When a feller gits Into
tho White House ho generally wants to
stay there, I guess. Does It say anything
there about It!"'
"If you want to know what's going on
why don't you buy a paper?" crossly re
plied the other.
"Idoii'tallus think of It."
"Then don't bother people who do!"
"1 wasn't a-hotlierln. I was Just nskln
If there was any nows."
"Wall, there hain't no use glttln mad
shout It. I didn't know hut Chilly wan
sassln us agin, and It wouldn't hurt you
nay to tell mo."
"Does It look as If thero'd he a war?"
The man with the paper now folded It up
and put It In his pocket, and his actions
plainly showed that ho was provoked.
"Is Chilly much of a llghtlu power?" per
sisted tho man with tho teakettle.
The other got up and went out ou tho
"Wall, I declare!" said tho other, as ho
waved Ids teakettle around. "Jest every
body take notice of hhnl I'll liet nine dol
lars to a cent that If wo havo a row with
Chilly that 'ere chap won't bo none too
good to plzen our wells and hum our barns
while wo are at the front llghtlu to save
this Unlonl" M. Quad In New York Even
Doom Mlonil lutxrprctutlona.
I "HAVIXU IT OUT."
"COMIXQ TO A HAD UNO."
'A TIIKMKN'DOUS OIVI! A WAV.
A llrollirrly Kimliirait.
Ethan and Joshua Perkins wero broth
ers who lived together on a little farm
down east. Joshua was not remarkable,
hut Ethan had a phenomenally Ionic nose.
to make a ' ' was "ot simply a rather over developed
nasal oi'Kau, siieli as a man mlulit carry
along Washington street without being
mobbed; It was a Kenuiuo curiosity In
modern parlance, a "freak."
One day In summer the brothers were at
work In the barn, and Ethan began tit
twist his face into straiiKo shapes and
show signs of acute distress.
"Whot'tt the matter?" asked Joshua, as
tonished at liis brother's extraordinary be
havior. "Fly on my nose, Josh Jest tickles like
all get out."
"Well, why in thunder don't you brush
"Can't reach it, Josh. You brush it nil
for me, that's a nooil feller. You're nearer
to It 'n I bo." Hoslou lot.
A 1 1 aril Thing to Do.
Aubrey had serious objections to chop
ping wood. There are many boys like him,
I suppose. When he wits called upon for
tho work ho always found plenty of ex
cuses, and the family had learned all the
old ones so thoroughly that ho had some
times to rack his brain for a new supply.
"Aubrey," said Ids mother one day, "go
cut a few pieces of wood. There aro plenty
of laro pieces to cut. Your lame foot is
well, and you haven't had a toothache
since last week. You needn't change your
Nhoes, for you've not ou old ones. And tku
ax is behind the cellar door. I saw it
there tlvu minutes ao."
"Nfttr, mother," said Aubrey in an in
jured tone, "have you looked at that ax?
I How do you suppotu I can cut wood with
'an ax that has an cdue like tho coast line
I of North America?" Harper's Young
In the GloHiiiliig, Nine.
In tliu KloumliiK. O m' darling.
When I eoiuu tlilnu eyes to see,
Tie thu dou up-lle him tlhtl
Ttiea I'll feel it' safe for me.
Kajetlevlllu (tlii.) Now.
"GLAD TIDINGS OF GREAT JOY."
By visiting the Extensive Establishment of the
KILPATRICK-KOCH DRY GOODS CO.
Between now and the Holidays it will only take a small amount of money to buy a nice
present for each one of your family. By buying something for Susie and Lulu you will save
enough on these two purchases to be able to buy something for Charlie.
Silk Handkerchiefs and Mufflers.
, -p At this price we have
i" decided to oiler some ex
tra values in Ladies' and Gents' plain and hand
embroidered Japanese Silk Handkerchiefs,
some of which are worth $1.50.
p In this lot we have put
Z.UL. ,,u our 65c and 75c Silk
1 landkerchiefs in printed effects, embroidered
and plain colors.
A beautiful line of Foreign and Domestic
Silk Mnfllers Syc. One of these would make
a handsome present.
Visit our GROCERY DEPARTMENT
for your Christmas dinner delicacies.
TEEN DOZEN GENUINE
FRENCH BISQUE FIGURES
at the ridiculously low price of
If yon have ever bought anything in this
line yon will acknowledge they are cheap at
three times the money.
In this line we are offering some very at
tractive bargains in Plush Albums, Plush
Manicure Sets, Plush Collar and Cuff Boxes
and Plush Whisk Broom I Iolders at one
half price. Ask to see our Plush Manicure
Set that we arc selling at 99c, woith $2,00.
A FULL STOCK OF DOLLS.
Our line of Gents' Slippers is the largest, best assorted and most complete line in the
city We have them in style and prices to please the most exacting.
Ask to see our Chenille Embroidered Harvard tie for $1.00. We have several other
styles at the same price. These goods should have your close attention. We have an
Emerald Plush, Chenille, Opera Cut for $1.15 that is good value at $1.50. If yon wish some
thing more sedate, we have a Gondola Goat, Patent Leather turned slipper for $1.2, worth
50 cents more; and at prices ranging from $1.35 to $2.00 we have them in embroidered
velvet and plush, trimmed with Patent Leather, Goat, Gondola or Kid in all colors or all
Olir ftfQTI1 flfFflP A pair of line Dongola kid, llexible sole shoes, for ladies, reg
vui uiuiiu viiuii ular $2.qo shoe for only
Or a pair of Ladies' fine kid shoes, worth from $3.00 to $3.50, for $2..J9. This offer only
last until December 25th. Everything exactly as advertised.
KlLPATRICK-KoCH DRY GOODS Co.,
1618-1520 0 Street. Telephone 448.
And a Magnificent line ol
for the holiday season is now shown at our store. Yon
are invited to call and make a selection at
O'Neill & Gardners,'
Ha! Ha! Here we Are!
Not Santa Glaus
Hut tlio Live Leader
Clason & Fletcher
Willi 11 Magnlllcent ami Immense
which include nil thu popular works
of the day.!
in Alliums, Toilet Cases, laulcuru Kett4,
mid Fancy Cam's In endless variety.
of all kinds, Including JJMechaulcal,
mental uml Useful Articles.
1006 0 Street.
or everyone, in all Sizes KliuW, Colors
and iiunlltlf. In fact the assortment of
i i.o varied mul complete that it batlle
description. You know what tills means.
Call and see us.J
1 120 O St.