A Mare’s Nest


Texarkana, Arkansas-Texas – Friday, August 25, 1884

lemlys_drugOur city contemporaries have discovered a mare’s nest in the fact that Judge Mitchel, while a state senator advocated the establishment of a whipping post for petty thieves and plunderers, and parades the nest in their columns with a shout of hallelujahs and blowing of trumpets, thinking thereby that they may be able to create a prejudice in the minds of the colored voters against the Judge. This effort upon the part of these Democratic organs is an insult to the honest and intelligent colored people who are in favor of law and public economy, for the bill upon the face show that it was only intended to punish petit thieves and save costs to counties. If our contemporaries desire to create the impression that all colored men are thieves, they are mistaken. A very large majority of the colored race are law abiding, and orderly people, and are opposed to all petit stealing and rascality, and, like Judge Mitchel, believe in punishing offenders with the least possible cost to the counties.

Oh, no, friends, your object is [illegible word], notwithstanding you would create the impression that the law was proposed to have been passed for all the colored people, for they have good judgement enough to know that it was intended for petit thieves, without regard to race, color or previous condition; and the records of the circuit court in this district will show that as many white men have been convicted of petit thievery as there were colored men. Hence, the whipping post would have applied to all alike, and as Judge Mitchel said in his canvass for senator: “If there was a whipping post at every fence corner in the land, no honest man, white or black, would be found hugging them.”

[Mare’s Nest: imagining that one has found something remarkable when in fact one has found nothing of the sort.]