n.t. (Monitor Response to Dalton)

Source Type: Newspaper
Author: Ryland Randolph
Publisher: Independent Monitor
Place of publication: Tuscaloosa, AL
Date of publication: Jun 14, 1869 11:00 pm

A friend desires to know why we have not republished, according to our promise made two weeks ago, the abortive letter of D. L. Dalton, in relation to the Tuskalaosa troubles and in response to the clinching epistle of Mr. H. S. Whitfeld. A little judicious reflection has caued us to change our mind, fortunately for the Monitor’s readers. Truth is, Dalton’s letter covers much space, little sense, and less truth. It is emphatically cox praeterea nihil – gas, and nothing more. He fails to give a solitary name of one of the many informants against us, whom he bragged on being possessed of. Consequently, he stands before Alabamians in the unenviable light of a would-be assassin of an opponent’s good name; a falsifier of the lowest cast, and a sneaking poltroon. Dalton says, in his letter, that the unanimous opinion of this community is, that this paper has been deleterious to its peace and prosperity. Now, this is false. We know that, the large majority of this community have an opinion just the reverse of this. True men are unanimous in the belief that the Monitor has helped no little to save Tuskaloosa county from the reign of Radicalism, with its concomitant evil of negro insolence. And this is what Dalton does not like. He and his friend would be glad to see the Monitor destroyed, so that Tuskaloosa might sink back into indifference on the vital questions of the day. Dalton writes: “If space would allow a recital of the reasons assigned by various gentlemen why they did not withdraw their patronage from the paper, they would be found exceedingly amusing, to say the least.” – We well know that there are a few, thank God, very few, pseudo white men here who are opposed to us – men here who have essayed to indoctrinate this community with their chicken hearted views, and who regard us as an intruder upon their long unconditional influence. These would hail with delight our failure to keep the Monitor a going. They pretend, too, to be on the right political side. We pity the graceless fellows. These ingrates have forgotten that we have unhesitatingly risked our life, limb, and property; sacrificed our liberty in a dungeon; and are now working might and main – all for the cause of white supremacy, and for the especial good of this section. “Who does public good for multitudes, Finds few are truly grateful,” if we are to credit the report of D. L. Dalton. But, fortunately for us, We know that those who are disposed to withdraw their support from us are insignificant in number, and feeble in influence, either to perform much good or to inflict much harm. We are glad, for the sake, of the fair name of Tuskaloosa, that they are so few, for were they as numerous as Dalton would have it appear that they are, we would shake the dust of such a place from our fact. But Tuskaloosa, as a whole, is all right – true as steel – and we expect to make those few false Democrats, who have been engaged in back-bitimg us, “get up and dust” long before the Monitor ceases to prosper. There are other papers published around about, that meet the approval of the weak-kneed adherents of the Democratic Party, and the wants of the lowest-down characters of the negro party. Both classes of these politicians have been “touched up” in these columns – the one class, by editorials of a general nature – the other, by paragraphs of a more pointed character. Our support comes from the simon-pure Democrats, who are numerous, and from the more decent Radicals, who are few. With the aid of these, we do not fear the opposition of newspapers that please the sorry syllabub Democrats and the low-down Radicals, simply because they are too weak and timid to offend fools, and too tainted to disparage knaves. There be some self-important wights in every locality, who, to be contented, must lead instead of follow. A pliant, putty-like editor suits such, but he does not become the tripod; and will be contemned by the massee, whose sentiment should be formed, rather than followed, by the journalist. But, to return to D. L. Dalton, socalled Private Secretary to his “Excellency,” and his letter. We were about to forget to state the main reason for not republishing the foul scribble in our columns. During the weck, we have been so lucky as to ferret out a few of Dalton’s vulgar antecedents, which are so convincing as to his upstartism and meanness, that we cannot regard anything dropping from his pen as decent enough to touch, save in a mere passing way. Dalton took to himself, some years ago, a wife by the name of Darby, in Florence, Ala., the daughter of an old, stammering, drunken journeyman shoemaker, who never rose in his “profession” above a third-rate negro russet-brogan-maker. Dalton himself began life as what is called a “tramping tailor;” that is, he was such a poor hand with the thimble and the goose, that he had to keep moving in order to find custom. No one who employed him once ever tried his skill (!) a second time. He ranked amongst tailors as Purcell ranks amongst wood-butchers. He was an habitual sot until, by some inexplicable fatuity, Gov. Patton picked him up, and employed him at the Capitol, A fellow of his antecedents just suited his present “Excellency,” so he retained him in office, well conjecturing that he would be a good hand for the execution of bad work. Hie last effort, here in Tuskaloosa, proves that his master judged rightly of his capability to perform any act of meanness. It is significant that Dalton has never had his wife with him in Montgomery. – He has seen just enough of decent company to make him ashamed of one who should be near and dear to him. Ashamed of his wife! That little charge, well proved, speaks volumes against this apology for man. We now leave him, to let him chew the distasteful cud contained in the words: Ashamed of his wife! Poor devil! that reflection is punishment enough for him, for the present.