The Wicked Journalist of Port Huron, from Andreas 1883

Devil's apprentices, who are "printer's devils"

Woodcut illustrating a devil and his apprentices, the printer’s devils.

Perhaps the editor Andreas* refers to in this little story took the title “printer’s devil” a little to seriously during his training.  Another example of guile and subterfuge at the local level, neighbor against neighbor.  But back to the story, which adds life to a time unknown to us.

Once there was a wicked journalist in Port Huron.  There may be wicked journalists in Port Huron now, but this wicked journalist is there no more.  Once while he was there, Elder Smart proposed to get up a revival, and went about the work systematically.  He set the date three weeks ahead, got out posters and made all arrangements to draw good houses.  The wicked journalist did not believe in revivals, and he said one day to another Port Huron editor who was not truly good, “I believe we can break  up that revival.”  The other editor thought not. 

Now it was just the time when the spelling mania was sweeping over the land.  At once the wicked editor put an item in his paper suggesting that Port Huron shouldn’t lag behind the age, and it was high time she began to spell.  T’other editor copied the item and urged Port Huron to do her duty.  The third day a call was issued for a spelling match.  In a week everybody had a spelling book in his pocket and studied at every odd moment.  Orthographic exercises  were the order of the day. 

When the time came for the revival to open, Port Huron and Sarnia were booked for an international spelling match, and Port Huronites scarcely knew whether they had souls to save or not.  They only knew they would spell the Canadians down or die in the attempt.  The revival was abandoned.  This does not profess to be a story with a moral, although it may tend to show how easily it is to set folks wild over nothing, and how like sheep they will go astray, or any other way, when some one chooses to lead them.

From History of St. Clair County, Michigan (Chicago: A.T. Andreas & Co, 1883), page 506.

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4 thoughts on “The Wicked Journalist of Port Huron, from Andreas 1883

    • 🙂 Yeah, and for someone like you it’s old news, but I thought I’d post it since I’m sure there’re some out there who hadn’t read it yet. I thought it was a good Sunday post, too. Thanks for visiting and commenting, by the way!

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  1. Do you have info on the cemetery…Pictures, address? Our home at 922 Erie Street Port Huron, No was supposed to be a funeral home at one time as well. Any info on that?

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    • Hello. You may not need to contact us again in the future, but just so you know, there’s a contact form here that can be used for more privacy, and our email is porthuronhistory@gmail.com. I would need to look up your house as I don’t know right off-the bat (and I’m a volunteer). That neighborhood desperately needs to be surveyed, so since there is no survey, original research needs to be done. There was a cemetery in the Military Reservation, which was a huge area, and those burials were indeed moved. I’m writing this quick, before looking, just to let you know. If we communicate via email I should be able to provide you some more informations and sources of information, including how to check more on your own if you don’t want to pay a researcher (I personally do research and could share my rates). Thanks for contacting PHAHPA!

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