"I should marry a millionaire" (1913); Republican/Horse Thief & Will Rogers (1925)

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Sun Jan 30 05:04:16 UTC 2005

This joke just came to mind and I'd better record it for Posterity.  I believe I saw it in some 19th century magazine.  Maybe it's not that funny after all.

After the Confederate surrender at Appomattox Court House, Southern soldiers were given parole on the sole condition that they endorse a paper pledging their permanent allegiance to the duly elected Government of the United States.

During one of these signings, after many and many a erbel soldier had accepted his pardon from the government of Uncle Sam, an old grizzled veteran of Joe Johnston's army appeared before the Yankee officer to be paroled.  After reading the document, the old veteran looked the hated Yankee in the eye, and said with bitterness, "Well, we guv you *H--l* at Chickamaugy!"

"Just sign the paper," exclaimed the Union man. "And no more of your sauce!"

"I *said*, 'We guv you *H--l* at Chickamaugy!'"

"Come, come!" expostulated the officer, whose patience with the old fellow was now wearing thin. "Come sign immediately or I'll have you arrested and imprisoned as the traitor that you have been and are !"

The old man shifted his tobacco, and realizing his dire circumstances, quickly affixed his signature to the official document sanctioning his freedom.

"There, my good man," said his interlocutor. "Now you are once again a citizen of this Great Republic, as good as any man you see here."

"The clever old man replied, 'You mean I'm a Yankee now?'"

"Yes, of course!" came the reply.

"Jest like you?"

"Yes, yes, I have siad it is so."

"Wall, in that case I just have one thing left to say."

"And that thing is --- ?

"They guv us *H--l* at Chickamaugy!"

(With a tear for the America that was,)


Bapopik at AOL.COM wrote:
---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: Bapopik at AOL.COM
Subject: "I should marry a millionaire" (1913); Republican/Horse Thief &
Will Rogers (1925)

Syracuse Herald Monday, June 16, 1913 Syracuse/, New York/
...SHOULD I SHOULD cAre. I SHOULD MARRY A mIllIonAIre. If he SHOULD dIe. 1 SHOULD.....newspAper. nevcr'Slxey. oIl mutlrrA SHOULD bA AddrxMwII to to lu emplojn flf..
Pg. 8, col. 5:
I should worry,
I should care.
I should marry a millionaire.
If he should die,
I should cry;
I should marry another guy.

(PROQUEST HISTORICAL NEWSPAPERS)("I should marry a millionaire")
JAMES NEILD. New York Times (1857-Current file). New York, N.Y.: Dec 19, 1926. p. XX12 (1 page)

2. B.A. Botkin, Folklore Expert, Is Dead
By MURRAY ILLSON. New York Times (1857-Current file). New York, N.Y.: Jul 31, 1975. p. 30 (1 page):
Dr. Botkin's investigators found that one of the most popular and widespread children's chants was:

I should worry, I should care,
I should marry a millionaire.
He should die, I should cry.
I should marry another guy.

Another was:

Take a local,
Take an express,
Don't get off
Till you reach success.

One of its characteristic anecdotes was the following:

"Why," asked the Northerner, "are you a Democrat?"

"Well," drawled the Southerner, "my father was a Democrat, my grandfather was a Democrat, and my great-grandfather was a Democrat, so of course I'm a Democrat."

"Ah," said the Northerner, "suppose your father had been a horse thief, what would you have been then?"

"Oh, I guess I'd a been a Republican."

--Buffalo Commercial.

The Worst Story I Have Heard Today
By Will Rogers. The Washington Post (1877-1954). Washington, D.C.: May 26, 1925. p. 6 (1 page):
He (Gov. Al Smith--ed.) said one time President Roosevelt was making a political speech in Maine; he asked if there was a Democrat in the audience. An old, long-whiskered man arose in the back of the room and said: "I am a Democrat. My father was a Democrat, and my grandfather was a Democrat." Roosevelt then said: "Then if your father had been a horse theif and your grandfather had been a hose thief, you would be a horse thief?" "No," he said. "I would be a Republican."

Now, I claim that a story to be good must be true or based on truth. That story Al told is not true. In the first place, Roosevelt wouldn't be speaking in Maine. No politican ever wasted speeches in a State he already controlled. And in the second place, all Republicans are not horse thieves. At the biggest estimate not over 90 per cent are horse thieves. Every once in a while you meet a pretty nice one.

Coming to Terms With Politics; Book World SAFIRE'S POLITICAL DICTIONARY. By William Safire (Random House, 845 pp. $15.95)
Reviewed by Norman J. Ornstein. The Washington Post (1974-Current file). Washington, D.C.: Nov 20, 1978. p. D13 (1 page)

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