Newspaper Archive of
Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
May 3, 2017     Hays Free Press
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May 3, 2017

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+ Hays Free Press * May 3, 2017 COMMUNITY Page 5C "n the Mayg, 1865 edi- tion of his newspaper .the Houston Tele- gram, publisher Edward Hopkins Cushing encour- aged his readers to keep on fighting and never to knuckle under to the Yankees. Throughout Lone Star history, the most zealous residents have often been those who were Texan by choice rather than birth. A prime example was Vermont-born and Dartmouth-educated Cushing, who became a naturalized citizen of Texas in 1850 at the age ofml. The educated New Englander came to teach but soon gravi- tated toward journalism. Seeking a forum for his strong opinions, in 1856 he bought the controlling interest in the Hous- ton Telegram, the most influential paper on the mainland. In a provocative series of maiden editorials, Cushing condemned King Cotton as a tyrant and urged his subjects to break the chains of one-crop oppression. "We send our cotton to Manchester and Lowell, our sugar to NewYork refineries, our hides to down-east tanneries and our children to Yankee colleges," he complained in a detailed indictment of the South's second- class status. Within the year, hostile reactions to his her- esy caused Cushing to change his tune. Howev- er, while he agreed to sing along with the pro-cotton chorus, the maverick edi- tor penned his own lyrics. by Bartee Halle Arguing "more cotton can be grown in Texas per acre than anywhere," Cushing advocated a ten- fold increase in produc- tion. He claimed that at- tainment of this ambi- tious goal would enable the Lone Star State to corner the world market. More cotton meant, of course, more slaves, an unpleas- ant fact of economic life that Cushing not only accepted but carried to its logical conclusion. Since the slow pace of human reproduction could not satisfy the demand for labor, the planters had no choice but to reopen the African slave trade. Going against his northern grain, Cushing had no moral qualms about the South's "pe- culiar institution." He openly insisted that destiny decreed bondage for the black and that his toil spared the white the In contrast to his publishing peers, Cushing grasped from the beginning the real nature of the bitter sectional battle, which he correctly defined as a war for southern independence. misery and disgrace of menial labor. Cushing knew full well his aggressive strategy put the rival regions on a collision course certain to climax in an armed apocalypse. Neverthe- less, he always showed genuine respect for Texas' foremost Unionist and even backed Sam Hous- ton for the presidency in 1860. In con- trast to his publish- lng peers, Cushing grasped from the beginning the real nature of the bitter sectional battle, which he correctly defined as a war for southern indepen- dence. He also un- derstood that Dixie was in for a long protracted struggle against a stron- ger opponent with vastly superior resources. Cushing criticized as wishful thinking the widely held belief that sympathetic European powers would intervene militarily on the side of the South. "Our people should not place any reli- ance upon foreign help," he wrote in 1862. "We should continue to act as if we had to fight the war out alone." The hard-headed edi- tot also refused to take at face value the rosy reports from Confederate officials on the progress of the war. He created at his own expense an effi- cient pony express which supplied The Telegram with eyewitness accounts of distant battles. At the same time, Cushing condemned as "blabbermouths" those that thoughtlessly divulged information detrimental to the cause. To avoid committing the same sin, he scrupulously censored his coverage of the conflict. A severe shortage of paper forced Cushing to improvise in order to keep the presses roll- ing. Late in the war, The Telegram was printed on everything from used handbills to wallpaper. As the tide irresist- ibly turned against the South, Cushing stood by the embattled regime in Richmond under at- tack from the respective states as well as the ad- vancing northern army. Despite the plummeting popularity of Jefferson Davis, he doggedly defended the Confeder- ate president and his conduct of the war. No sunshine south- ern patriot, Cushing cursed those Texans who proposed negotiat- ing a separate peace, a move that might have prevented the nightmare of post-war occupation. "It has been whispered that it is the duty of the state government, in the last resort, to take care of its destiny," he wrote in February 1865. "No more fatal, suicidal sug- gestion could come from any quarter." Three months later, in a desperate attempt to breathe new life into the Confederate corpse, Cushing issued his frantic appeal for kami- kaze resistance. Texans should take to the hills and wage a guerrilla war. But four years of slaughter and sacrifice had taken the fight out of them and their fellow southerners. The time had come to hightail it for Mexico or submit to Yankee rule. Bartee welcomes your comments and questions at barteehaile@gmail. corn or P.O. Box 130011, Spring, TX 77393 and in- vites you to visit his web site at Montage: Watch out for critters Continued from pg. 1C den while they graze. She told me, "Stay away." Just last week, two individuals contacted me regarding a"rescued" baby bird. Both had placed a baby bird that could not fly in a cage and made efforts to provide food. No! No!! A thousand times "no." When you see a baby bird hopping on the ground, leave the bird unless it's in peril. Some species of birds fledge (leave the nest for the first time) before they can fly. The parents of these babies tend to them. If the baby bird must be moved as a safety precau- tion, move it to bushes close by. You may not see the parents; but, it's likely the parents see you and will know where you placed their baby. Also consider that, sometimes, a bird parent tosses a nestling from the nest. Interfering with a fledgling on the ground is interfering with nature. Last week I mentioned some native plants in local nurseries have been treat- ed with insecticides while at the grower's facility. A manager at The Great Out- doors Nursery told me he's teaching customers that aphids on a plant show the plant is safe as a food source for wildlife, which is KissMe had a grand or time at Races. particularly important for butterflies. A volunteer sunflower plant near our garage has not encountered insecti- cides. On Monday, several beaulLful beneficial red- orange native ladybugs (genus Cycloneda, either "Red Lady" or "Orange Lady") sat on the top side of green leaves that underneath teemed with aphid life. Laura Craig and James Polk saw mention of Paint- ed Buntings. Laura saw her first Painted Bunting the previous week. James and Dianne saw their first "in all its colorful glory" on Thursday, April 26th. We saw our first on Tuesday, Patricia Porterfield on Maple saw a female on Saturday. They're baaaack, PHOTO BY MOSES LEOS III the annual Buda Wiener Dog all over Mountain City. A Rose-breasted Grosbeak has visited The Porterfield's feeder.What a beauty! KissMe had a great day at the BudaVflener Dog Races. After his leisurely run in the first heat (where he stopped to greet the blond at the finish line), he enjoyed attention in the grandstands and on the festival grounds. A preschooler, frightened of dogs, unfroze with KissMe's warmth. Child magnet that KissMe is, he got lots of strokes. 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