Monday, January 28, 2013

Thefts in Bovina

A writer for the Delaware Republican in 1888 took advantage of several thefts in Bovina to make a plug for protective tariffs.  Basically, Republicans were for a such a tariff while Democrats saw it as a tax and demanded 'Free Trade.' In the October 20 issue, under the Bovina column was a paragraph about the thefts:

Certain parties in town believe in freed trade and they practice what they preach. Result has been mysterious disappearance of roosters and chickens from several hen roosts, some of our neighbors have been saved the trouble of gathering their apples, while E.C. Dean's flour barrel went down faster than wheat went up in Chicago, and A.D. Thomson was minus a half barrel of pork as a result of this Free Trade. Shot guns have been examined and the next time these Free Traders are found prowling around hen roosts, flour and pork barrels, they will carry home a charge of shot. Protection is the cry in Bovina.

The following week's paper had more on the issue: "... the great question of the hour - the midnight hour - am: 'How am we gwin' to protect our hen roosts.' That is why so many go to the hardware store, to buy powder, shot, padlocks and files - files to sharpen their dog's teeth. 'Shoot 'em on the rise, Edd, steady now.'"

A week later, there was yet another story on the thefts, tied again to the Free Trade issue:

Another hen roost heard from - S.G. Bramley minus twenty chickens, and still our democratic friends cry, 'The Tariff is a Tax.' When, Oh when, will they be convinced that protection is a necessity. Just wait till they wake up some morning and find their democratic rooster has been sacrificed at the altar of "Free Trade," and then they will whoop her up for protection.

It appears that at least some of these thefts were happening around Bramley Mountain.  Edward Carlyle Dean (1854-1926) and Stephen Girard Bramley (1838-1928) both had farms on Bramley Mountain.  Another theft took place at the Pink Street farm of Andrew Dixon (A.D.) Thomson (1845-1890).

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