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[400]

A woman's pluck and patriotism.

An interesting incident is told concerning the independent and successful stand taken by a Union woman in New Orleans, in 1861. She and her husband, a Mississippi steamboat captain, occupied the middle front room of the lowest range of sleeping apartments in the St. Charles Hotel, at the time when the city was to be illuminated in honor of secession. She refused to allow the illuminating candles to be fixed in the windows of her room, and the proprietors remonstrated in vain, she finally ordering them to leave the room, of which she claimed, while its occupant, to have entire control. The rest of the story is thus told:

Determined not to be outdone in a matter of such grave Importance, the captain, who was not in the room during the above proceedings, was next found and appealed to. He heard their case; said his wife had reported him correctly on the Union question, nevertheless, he would go with them to the room, and see if the matter could be amicably arranged. The captain's disposition to yield was not to be seconded by his better half. The proprietors next proposed to vacate the best chamber in her favor in some other part of the house, if that would be satisfactory; but the lady's “No!” was still as peremptory as ever. Her point was gained, and the St. Charles was doomed to have a dark front chamber. Pleased with this triumph, Mrs. devised the following manoeuvre to make the most of her victory. [401] Summoning a servant, she sent him out to procure for her an American flag, which at dusk she suspended from her window. When evening came, the streets, animated by a merry throng, were illuminated. But, alas! the St. Charles was disfigured by its sombre chamber, when suddenly, a succession of lamps, suspended on both side of the flag, were lit up, revealing the stars and stripes, and the ensign of the Union waved from the centre of a hotel illuminated in honor of its overthrow. The effect was to give the impression that the whole house was thus paying homage to the American flag; and what is more significant, is the fact that the flag was greeted by the passing crowd with vociferous applause. So much for the firmness of a true Union woman.

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1861 AD (1)
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