ON THE STUMP
Mr. Seward once declared that Andrew Johnson was the best stumper in America.1 However this may be, Johnson lived, moved, and had his being in the home of the "spellbinder." As there were few newspapers in Tennessee before the Civil War, the stump orator was at a premium, the destinies of both political parties depending on which side could "down" the other on the stump.
Thus in 1841 when "lank Jimmy" Jones, born between the plow handles, six feet two inches tall, and weighing a scant hundred and twenty-five pounds, led the Whigs, "he made a monkey of James K. Polk"2 and a great Whig majority was rolled up. On the other hand, in 1855 when Andy Johnson in speeches of two or three hours' length stamped his foot on the neck of Know-Nothingism, "the grand old Democratic party" was a sure winner. In fact, when Andy mounted the stump and set forth the virtues of Democracy "the crowds wept with joy"; but when he denounced the villainous and perfidious Whigs they "clutched the handles of their weapons."
During the campaign for Governor between Polk and Jones, the drollery, good temper and graveyard solemnity of "lank Jimmy" filled his party with such enthusiasm, their opponents "fled in dismay, as birds when a falcon is abroad."3
"And what did our man Polk say to-day?" a dismayed Polkite asked a fellow Democrat, who had ventured forth to one of the speakings.
"Oh! Polk made an ass of himself as usual," was the reply; "the idea of talking sense to a lot of d--d fools."
"And what did Jones say?"
" Jones--Jones? Why, I don't know what Jones said, nor____________________