Thursday, July 9, 2015

Gansevoort Melville on Frelinghuysen, "a very good sort of person to talk to a party of old ladies."

Image Credit: New York University
Just a taste of Gansevoort Melville's speech at the 1844 Nashville convention. We knew about the "Dying Douglass" passage, but not this bit about the problem of spelling "Freylinguysen":

New York Express (August 26, 1844)
"... Mr. Melville, of New York, followed. This flippant city gentleman undertook to be witty. He thought Western folks did not know how to spell Frelinghuysen, and said he was a very good sort of person to talk to a party of old ladies. Very smart this! We think the Western people know too much to take lessons in spelling or writing, or any thing else, from Mr. Melville."
Later in the 1844 campaign, as reported in the melvilliana post on Gansevoort's height, Gansevoort was criticized in the Whig press for calling Frelinguysen "a small potato Whig" and worse.

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