The James P. Newcomb Letters From the San Antonio Public Library’s Archives

 

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From Fisk, Jas. N. to Newcomb, J. P.[1]

 

San Antonio April 22' 1872

 

Honbl J P Newcomb

     Dear Sir.

Enclosed find Navarros Certiticate as delegate with Endorsement to you as his proxy We have the Sourest Silt of Vansimetit's to look at here they went to the Turners hall Saturday night and Van made them a speach in which he stated that the Democrats had broken up the meiting at firemans hall. Wurshbach told Van he Lied and Van Swallowed it Like a little man Degener also addressed the meeting; the Grand Rally consisted 25 men with as many boys the Coulered men Seam well Satisfied with the result of our meeting

Verry Truly

 

yours

James N Fisk

 

 

 


From Huston, Wm. H. to Newcomb, J. P.[2]

 

San Antonio, Texas, July 31st 1872

 

Mr Newcomb

     Dr Sir

Your favor of 26th inst is at hand. We had already moved in the matter of organizing a Grant & Wilson Club. Hope by the last of this week to have a club of one hundred members, organized and ready for work.

Where can uniforms be procured at the price you mention-$3.00.

We shall try and get the colored people organized, by the last of next week- Fisk has started a Mexican club and says, he believes he can have an organization numbering 100, in one week. J. M. Chavez to be president.

Write to Navarro and stir him up a little.--he seems to be willing but is not active enough.

The enthusiasm of the Greeleyites seems to be on the wane. I believe another month will about dry it up.--They were too loud and noisey at the start to last long. -a truly southern characteristic.

Present my regards to N

 

Tuck And Johny. Truly Yours

      Huston

 

 


From Alex E. Sweet (click on Sweet’s name to find out who he is)to J. P.Newcomb[3]

 

San Antonio.

 

Aug 13th

 

1872

 

Friend Newcomb.

              The coalition of the bolting republicans with

the straiaht out Democracy has not been a success, ...

 

 

(He continues)We have the colored voters organized and are in a more flourishing condition, politically, now, than we have been for years.

Write me your views on this subject -----­

 

Yours as ever Alex

 

P.S. According to the law a City election is to come off in Nov and another in the following Jan. How is this?

The Laborers Association the oldest colored association here want to be chartered. I understand that the Gov has the authority to do so.

Do you think a charter could be obtained if it were thought advisable to do so. I am not yet satisfied as to its soundness.

 

Alex

 


From Alex E. Sweet to J. P. Newcomb[4]

 

San Antonio.

 

Sep 18th /72

 

Dear Newcomb.

             (Sweet is discussing the Convention and various Republicans before he goes on to describe a meeting at the “colored club.”

 

We had a very enthusiastic colored Club meeting last night, composed of the very best colored men in the County and the way the understand the situation as far as the democrats and the Germans is concerned is very refreshing. Mosel, Kampmanns servant was there and joined the Club and made a really excellent speech-- he is anti-German to the handle and will work.

Smith, a colored policeman, made the most humorous speech I ever heard. It was side splitting. He is a darkey with a long peaked nose with receeding chin and forehead and a pair of the smallest funniest eyes I have ever seen. He was dressed in a black swallowtail coat and his very appearance would have made you laugh. He said. "I know some of dese men dats got fat offices, when dey run for dem offices dey nearly used to hug and kiss me, and bless de Lord dey used to wear de leather off der tongues licking around Mr. Newcomb, but now dey goes past dis child and when dey passes dey just drops der eye and dont know me. Never mind some of dese days dey is gwine to be hungry again and den when dey talks to you jest pull your hat over yer eye and drop it on 'em.

It'can be reproduced but when he talked about Peyton's tea party reminding of the time when de cuI Iud folkes warnt allowed to hold prayer meetings, and a few of the more faithful and pluckey use to meet near de cotton gin, I

wished you had been there. '

The Mexican Club is comming on finely. I was at a meeting last Saturday night and am satisfied that they are doing well. Col Newton will address them next Saturday and I am booked for a Spanish speech shortly. I think Knox and his crew are becoming discouraged.

 


From Alex E. Sweet to J. P. Newcomb[5]

 

San Antonio.

 

Sep 30th 1872

 

Friend Newcomb.

Nothing of importance that would interest you has occurred and I have been very busy, . . .

(Sweet goes on to describe individuals and issues in the city before discussing the issues of the ethnic votes)

 

The Negroes in the City are not so unanimous as I could wish, they are being bribed and tampered with but out in the Post Oaks and in the County generally they are all right.

We can split the Mexican vote but we must have money to do it.

 

More shortly-­   Alex

 


From Alex E. Sweet to J. P. Newcomb[6]

 

San Antonio.

 

Nov 19th 1872

 

Friend Newcomb--­

(Sweet discusses political issues in San Antonio before returning to the subject of African Americans and Hispanics.  Consider the language he utilizes within these letters.)

 

In the mean time the natural enemies of all law and order were not idle. They made use of all honorable means to secure a little chicken-pie. If a negro was arrested for rape, house breaking or some other trivial offence, and we did not instantly honorably acquit him a committee composed of.the most respectable and wealthy democratic tax payers would wait on him, request the honor of being allowed to go on his land-- Why in the Recorders Court the colored culprits ceased to call for a jury but plead guilty and the Executive Democratic Com settled the bill at once.

At last the election came off and seated at the window taking in the ballots I had an excellent opportunity of observing how our institutions are preserved. All day long I could see Bill Knox seizing greasers in whose veins flowed the pure blue blood of Castile (ha! hat Soap?) leading them ever as an ox is led into the slaughter to the place where they were to assert their manhood as freemen, pressing at the sametime into their sun burnt paws a dollar or a dollar and six bits as the nature of the case demanded, when some Aztec son of a thief had his scruples (most of them had drains) he was seized by Penaloza and his wops and bunddled into Teel's law office and

               "She, who went in as maid,

                As maid ne'er came out again"

or words to that effect.

Teel's office being close at hand did more to defeat us

than anything else, notwithstanding the gallant efforts which were made by Gallan, and a few other noble minded Mexicans who knew they stood no chance if the democracy

succeeded, and hence refused to bow the knee to Baal, that thrift might follow fawning.

[Unsigned. May not be end of letter.]

 


From Alex E. Sweet to J. P. Newcomb[7]

 

San Antonio

      New Years Day

             1873

 

Friend Newcomb:

 

(Sweet again is discussing various political business before he again addresses the issues of “colored voters.”)

 

Newton wants to be Mayor, the Germans are willing to accept him they are even anxious to do so with Dittmar for Recorder and of course the preponderating German influence in the Board. The idea is to have joint committees consisting of radicals and dissatisfied Germans who shall make up a ticket not subject to the ratification of the colored voters. If this plan succeeds we shall have the same old thing over again. In fact any coalition with the Germans means the success of Lyons Karber Van Slyck & Degener, because they will scratch in favor of the German alderman on both sides. The anti-German issue is now up before the people, and on that line will the fight be made. Newton is willing to c?ncede anything if he can only be Mayor, and he will probably be elected, but I for one shall vote for no German under any circumstances. We hold the key of the position; and if you will come over we can turn it on our enemies.

 

The chances are however that there will be an independant ticket in the field but if you will come over, the entire colored vote can be concentrated. Now, you know all about it-­

 

Adios

   Von Schwet

   [Alex Sweet]

 

 



[1] Fisk to J.P. Newcomb, Apr. 22, 1872, Volume 2 “1872,” James P. Newcomb Letters, Trans. By Shirley Mackay, San Antonio Public Library, San Antonio, TX.

[2] Huston to J.P. Newcomb, Jul 31, 1872, Volume 2 “1872,” James P. Newcomb Letters, Trans. By Shirley Mackay, San Antonio Public Library, San Antonio, TX.

[3] Sweet to J.P. Newcomb, Aug. 13, 1872, Volume 2 “1872,” James P. Newcomb Letters, Trans. By Shirley Mackay, San Antonio Public Library, San Antonio, TX.

[4] Sweet to J.P. Newcomb, Sept. 18, 1872, Volume 2 “1872,” James P. Newcomb Letters, Trans. By Shirley Mackay, San Antonio Public Library, San Antonio, TX.

[5] Sweet to J.P. Newcomb, Sept. 30, 1872, Volume 2 “1872,” James P. Newcomb Letters, Trans. By Shirley Mackay, San Antonio Public Library, San Antonio, TX.

[6] Sweet to J.P. Newcomb, Nov. 19, 1872, Volume 2 “1872,” James P. Newcomb Letters, Trans. By Shirley Mackay, San Antonio Public Library, San Antonio, TX.

[7] Sweet to J.P. Newcomb, Jan. 1, 1872, Volume 3, James P. Newcomb Letters, Trans. By Shirley Mackay, San Antonio Public Library, San Antonio, TX.