January 7, 2015

Two Men Stabbed at Election Polling Sites in Pulaski, 1876


Click here for a list of my other Pulaski/Rockcastle/Laurel County KY articles


[November 10, 1876] -


TUESDAY, Nov. 7th, 1876.
The day for which all other days were made, (as the negroes and radicals seemed to think), has at last drawn to a close. Since 5 o'clock, this morning, the ground, in front of the court house, has been swarmed with a mongrel conglomeration of humanity. At six o'clock, the spacious doors of the court house, were thrown open, and the sheriff announced that the voting would commence. But, as some enterprising individual presented himself to vote, it was ascertained that the poll-books had been left at somebody's house, so a messenger was dispatched for them, who returned to discover that the ballot-box had not put in an appearance. It was sent for and brought, but for sooth, it was then discovered that no pen and ink were present. All things at last being ready, the jam commenced; country negroes, railroad negroes, town negroes, big negroes and little negroes, took possession of every available point of egress to the polls, filling the air with their peculiar perfume, and crowding out entirely the Democrats, who felt above being jammed by such a throng. Every Radical was jubilant, and seemed to think that they would have everything their own way. But, toward noon, the Democrats began getting in their work, and wonderful to say, the polls closed with a Radical majority of less than ninety votes. This is a tremendous Democratic gain, considering that the Radicals have usually a majority in it without the two hundred and fifty railroad negroes, who fraudulently voted to-day. One thousand and seventy votes were cast in this precinct alone, a gain of about two hundred over former elections.Every means that is low, unfair and contemptible, have been resorted to by the Radical wire pullers in the county, but it has utterly failed them--and to-night they hang around with fallen crest, and looking as mean as their prototypes--sheep-killing dogs. Their secret meetings, running around railroad camps to secure negro votes, by duping them with lies, of the foulest description, taxing their officials in the district to buy votes for Bradley, and introducing social equality, have done them mighty little good. While the Democrats have, every where, gained strength and have reduced, (we have no doubt), Bradley's majority in the county, from six hundred to less than three hundred. Hurrah for Durham, the white man's candidate.

You would be surprised to what base level, some previous honorable men in this county, have descended. It has been anything to gain votes for Bradley, and the lower the means used for it, the better with them. His brothers-in-law have worked like trojans, and not content with hugging and consorting with negroes in their secret meetings, they have established social equality, and have feasted numbers of negroes at their own tables, and dealt out free whisky without stint. However much this kind of doings may suit the other brother-in-law, we are sure that it is distasteful to Col. Morrow, whom we regard as a thorough gentleman, but we are very much afraid the devilish bad company he keeps, will be his ruin socially and politically; come back, dear Col., come back.

Everybody predicted that there would be a big row here to-day, but thank God the prophecy was not fulfilled, with exception of a few small difficulties; nothing transpired worth chronicling. A sufficient guard, half white and half negroes, were stationed around the polls, which did good service in keeping order. One of the guards, in carelessly handling his gun, discharged it, a portion of the load burying itself in a couple of negroes' feet.

Robert Gibson, Judge Pettus, Judge Kendrick and Will Curd, are names worthy of honorable mention, and they deserve to be handed down to the children's children of honest men, for their untiring efforts in behalf of the Democracy, to-day. May they live forever and enjoy the fruits of their labor--an honest government.

We have not been able, as yet to here from all the precincts in the county, but from those we have heard from, the gain is on the honest man's side.

The number of illegal votes, cast at this precinct, is enormous, and but for the noble efforts of the Tilden and Hendricks Club, a great many more would have been polled. The writer of this can swear that negroes, who have not been in the State three months, shoved in their ballots, while numbers voted who had been in the State less than twelve months. All such have, however, been spotted, and will be arrested within the next few days. A law should be enacted to prevent railroad men, who have no particular home, from voting at all. It would save a great many of them a vast deal of trouble.

At Bent precinct, a difficulty sprung up between a couple of brothers by the name of Dykes, one is a Democrat the other a Radical. Knives were used, and a gentleman named Burch, in attempting to act the part of peacemaker, received a terrible stab in the abdomen. At Point Isabel, there was another stabbing affray, a man whose name we were unable to learn, getting a scalping gash across his forehead, nearly blinding him. [1]


[November 24, 1876] -

Mr. Dykes, who stabbed Jas. Burch, on election day, at Bent precinct, an account of which was published at the time in the Interior Journal, had his examining trial last week, and in default of $1,000 bail, has gone to take winter-quarters with the Hon. Wm. Sheppard. [2]


[1] Excerpt from "Some Pulaski County Items." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. November 10, 1876. Page 2. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84038328/1876-11-10/ed-1/seq-2/

[2] Excerpt from "Some Pulaski County Items." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. November 24, 1876. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84038328/1876-11-24/ed-1/seq-3/

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