Benjamin's Second notice.
Screws again — B. Screws
The well-known B. Screws
Not to go into untimely refinements, Benjamin Screws.
The individual doing business in Gravier Street, New Orleans.
The only trader heretofore puffed in these columns without being distinctly ranked as an advertiser.
The man who deals in the cerebrums and the cerebellums, the skulls, the wind-pipes, the chests, the abdominal regions, the legs, the heels, the great toes, and the little toes of his fellow-creatures.
The man who sends out a card, announcing his large and well-assorted stock of human goods, who has the warranted cook-maids, and the blacksmiths, and the carpenters, and the pretty, wasp-waisted, bright-eyed little yellow women, for that matter, if you will but please to call for them.
Everything choice, solid, muscular, fascinating, and even voluptuous, upon the premises of Benjamin Screws.
Twice we have given Mr. Screws
a notice, and our readers may well be weary of him. But we feel it to be our duty to stand by Screws as a well-marked biographic phenomenon of the century.
The great flesh-broker is in trouble, and at such an hour it is not for us to desert him. He is at present in a sore state of litigation, brought on by his efforts to furnish the inhabitants of Louisiana
with A1 housemaids and field-hands, and to make everything pleasant in the homes of New Orleans.
Screws is now in the noble attitude of a plaintiff.
Heretofore we have considered him as a defendant.
When last we had occasion to speak well of him, Screws was in that receptacle popularly and in common parlance known as “the jug.”
Screws, in his intense and unwavering exertions to supply everybody with “field-hands, house-servants, carpenters and blacksmiths,” had sold the boy Toby
to Colonel Hardy
, instead of being a good, patient, hardworking and generally useful boy, had the audacity to die of the measles.
, before the measles, and before passing into the broking hands of our friend Screws, was owned by one Whitfield
, of Mississippi
to Screws to be sold.
And Screws sold him. And Colonel Hardy
(of what regiment is not stated) bought him. And Toby
suffered himself to catch the measles and died, notwithstanding his benefactor, B. Screws
, had warranted him sound in limb, wind and muscle.
Actually popped off with the measles!
Imagine the anguish of B. Screws
Imagine the greater anguish of Colonel Hardy
, who had nothing but a cadaver, when he fancied he had paid $1,350 for a tip-top nigger!
Imagine the still greater anguish of Mr. Whitfield
when he heard that Toby
was dead and Benjamin Screws would not, except upon legal compulsion, pay him over the $1,350--Toby
There seems to have been a great deal of distress all around.
was distressed for the $1,350; Colonel Hardy
was distressed at having only the fatal measles, when he expected a fine field-hand; and dear Benjamin Screws was distressed, because he had, in a thoughtless moment, compromised his character
as a negro-broker by disposing of a measly African
“ Send me my $1,350,” wrote Whitfield
“I can't do it,” wrote Benjamin in reply.
,” he continued, “is dead — of the measles.
I warranted him against the measles and all other cutaneous disorders.
He had one of them, however, and his life has paid the penalty of his audacity.
says I must pay him and not you.”
Whether or not friend Screws ended with “d — Toby
,” we cannot say. Very likely he has, in the most unnecessary manner, consigned Toby
to that fate before this.
Well, to make a long story short, Whitfield
, having an eager appetite for his money (as who has not in these days?), walked B. Screws
, to the calaboose, upon a charge of embezzling.
The benevolent Screws was actually locked up. And all because nigger Toby
had the measles.
The report from which we copy, that of a New Orleans newspaper, states that Mr. Screws
was “paraded before the public under no very pleasant relations.”
wanted the $1,350; Hardy
wanted the $1,350; and, of course, Benjamin Screws did not passionately desire to pay $2,700, to say nothing of the loss of his lawful commissions.
It was a dead lock.
But we think we have the key to unlock it.
It is evident that all this trouble comes of Toby
's willfulness in dying of the measles.
He had a grudge against Whitfield
for selling him; against Screws for broking him; against the Colonel
for buying him; so he died!
It served him rightly, the ungrateful
What would be thought of an ordinary servant, who, in the height of the season, should have the meanness to go away and catch the measles, and die just to avoid working
When Screws was haled before the court, the judge said: “Go, Benjamin!
Thou art innocent.”
And he did go, and stirred up his stock, we suppose, in a lively manner, by way of venting his feelings.
But he did not stop with the floggings, the paddlings and the picklings which the law allows.
He had been hurt in his good name.
The tenderest portions of his constitution had suffered an abrasion.
So he brought Whitfield
to account “for falsely and maliciously charging him with embezzlement.”
This civil action for incivility is still pending in New Orleans; and we hope to report that Benjamin Screws has recovered enormous damages.
Many persons have supposed Benjamin Screws to be a myth — a fabulous personage — a creation of this newspaper.
But it becomes more and more certain that: Screws is a veritable being.
We append his card, with an apology for not reproducing it in its original elegance — an act of justice which our typical resources will not permit.
Here it is, as well as we can give it:
Benj. Screws, Negro Broker, will keep constantly on hand, Field-Hands, House Servants, Carpenters, Blacksmiths.
Office, No. 159 Gravier St., New Orleans.
References: Shade F. Slatter, Thompson, Allen & Co., Maccaboy & Bradford, New Orleans.
November 26, 1857.