Tag Archives: Odds and Ends

Sleep Talking – Godey’s Lady’s Book May 1832

This is merely a modification of somnambulism, and proceeds from similar causes, namely, a distribution of sensorial power to the organs of speech, by which means they do not sympathize in the general slumber, but remain in a state fit for being called into action by particular trains of ideas.

If, for instance, we dream that we are talking to some one, and if these organs are endowed with their waking share of sensorial power, we are sure to speak. Again, the mere dream, without a waking state of the organs, will never produce speech; and we only suppose we are carrying on conversation, although, at the time, we are completely silent. To produce sleep talking, therefore, the mind, in some of its functions, must be awake and the organs of speech must be so also. The conversation, in this state, is of such subjects as our thoughts are most immediately occupied with; and its consistency or incongruity depends upon that of the prevailing ideas being sometimes perfectly rational and coherent: at other times full of absurdity.

The voice is seldom the same as in the waking state. This I would impute to the organs of hearing being mostly dormant, and consequently unable to guide the modulations of sound. The same fact is observable in very deaf persons, whose speech is usually harsh, unvaried, and monotonous. Sometimes the faculties are so far awake, that we can manage to carry on a conversation with the individual, and extract from him the most hidden secrets of his soul. By such means things have been detected, which would otherwise have remained in perpetual obscurity.


Swearing Oath

The Boy on the Witness Stand

Judge Grosh, of Pennsylvania, communicates the following:

After the plea “not guilty” was entered, and the jury was sworn or affirmed, a small, very intelligent-looking boy, was called to the witness-stand. The defendant’s attorney objected to his testifying, on account of his age, etc…

The attorney for the Commonwealth said the boy was unusually intelligent, and requested the Court to examine his competency; and I proceeded accordingly, very mildly:

Judge: What is your name, my son?

Boy: —– ——. (Giving his name very distinctly, which I do not now remember.)

Judge: Where do you reside, my little man?

Boy: In this city, sir.

Judge: Have you a parent or parents alive and residing here?

Boy: Only one; my mother.

Judge: Do you attend school, my son?

Boy: Yes, sir.

Judge: I presume, from your intelligent and praiseworthy conduct here, that you will soon be allowed to attend the High School, and become a useful man, and (if necessary) assist your good mother. (This drew tears of pleasure to his eyes, and he replied that, by the favor of the School Directors, he had attended the High School for the last six months.)

Judge: How old are you, my good boy?

Boy: My mother says that on tomorrow I will be thirteen years old.

Judge: Are you here to give evidence to the court and jury in this case?

Boy: Yes, sir; if required so to do.

Judge: Do you know the solemnity of the obligations of a judicial oath, my son? Reflect before you answer.

Boy: (Very modestly.) I think I do.

Judge: What will be your punishment, my dear boy, if you swear falsely, or speak a lie on oath?

Boy: I will be sent to the penitentiary, (weeping) and thus break my dear mother’s heart. (There were other eyes besides his in that house overflowing with tears.)

Defendant’s attorney: (frowning) Boy, don’t you know that if you tell a lie, on your oath, when you die you will be endlessly tortured in a fiery pool?

Boy: That would be an additional inducement to speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth; but that punishment can be avoided by a timely repentance; but repentance will avail nothing to keep me out of the penitentiary.

Judge: You are a noble boy! Who gave you these excellent instructions?

Boy: My mother, sir.


Scenes at the South from National Anti-Slavery Standard

Fatal Rencontre
We learn from the Yeoman, the particulars of a melancholy affray which took place in Scottsville, Allen county, Ky., on the 9th instant. It appeared that a man named Borden had put in circulation disreputatable reports concerning a woman of that town, in consequence of which he was called upon by David A. Porter and his three sons, to give him the alternative of signing a retraction, or of leaving the town.

On his refusing to do either, they assaulted him, but were prevented from doing injury, and left him. On meeting him in the street, subsequently, one of them armed with a pistol, and the others with clubs and stones, they again assaulted him. The old man and one of the sons struck him, upon which he discharged a pistol with which he had armed himself previously, which took effect, lodging three balls in the old man’s breast, who died in two minutes. Borden fell at the same time, and after he was so severely beaten that his scull was fractured in several places. Hopes of his recovery were entertained.


Poisons and Antidotes from Godey’s Lady’s Book 1854

We have before published poisons and antidotes; but we find, in Mrs. Hale’s “Household Receipt-Book,” directions so plain and short that we are induced to give them again. In fact, they cannot be published too often.

NOTE: These are from an 1854 publication and should not be used without first consulting with a physician – if at all.

Acids — These cause great heat, and sensation of burning pain, from the mouth down to the stomach. Remedies, magnesia, soda, pearlash, or soap, dissolved in water; then use stomach-pump or emetics.

Alcohol — First cleanse out the stomach by an emetic, then dash cold water on the head, and give ammonia (spirits of hartshorn).



Licentious Literature: A Warning from the Weekly Advocate

Black journalist Philip Alexander Bell was born in 1808 in New York City and cut his political teeth in early abolitionist politics in the Northeast.  Bell attended Colored Citizens Conventions as early as 1830 and established his first newspaper, the Weekly Advocate, in 1837 after working for William Lloyd Garrison’s Liberator.  After migrating to San Francisco, California in 1860, Bell maintained his connections with important abolition leaders such as Garrison and Frederick Douglass by reporting on black political and economic opportunities in the West.  (Source: Bell, Philip Alexander (1808-1889) — The Black Past: Remembered and Reclaimed)

We are happy to have the full series of  the Weekly Advocate and its successor, The Colored American in our African American Newspapers Collection.

Weekly Advocate Masthead

Weekly Advocate Masthead

The Weekly Advocate’s motto was Established for, and devoted to the moral, mental, and political improvement of the people of color and when it became The Colored American its motto became Righteousness Exalteth a Nation and the paper was “…designed to be the organ of Colored Americans—to be looked on as their own, and devoted to their interests—through which they can make known their views to the public—can communicate with each other and their friends, and their friends with them; and to maintain their well-known sentiments on the subjects of Abolition and Colonization, viz.—emancipation without expatriation—the extirpation of prejudice—the enactment of equal laws, and a full and free investiture of their rights as men and citizens...”