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The great Rogersville Flogging.

we gave the other day the First Chapter in the History of the Great Flogging behind the Second Presbyterian Church in the town of Rogersville, Tenn.--a flagellatory event which will hereafter secure for that edifice, heretofore humble and unknown, honorable mention in ecclesiastical annals. We showed how the “boy” of Netherland--Deacon of the church aforesaid, and colonel of some regiment, [17] the number and arms of which are to us unknown — was properly chastised beneath the shadow of the sacred eaves. The object of this whipping was to produce in the “boy” a penitent frame of mind, to extract from him a confession of the name of the evilminded and Bad Samaritan who had helped him to run away.

Now we propose-this being one of those cases which demand profuse details — to give the Second Chapter. The tongue of the “boy” remained dumb. He groaned and bellowed in the most pusillanimous manner at his stripes, in such a sonorous way, in fact, that the soft-hearted neighbors had serious thoughts of interfering, and of rescuing the weak-minded floggee from the strong-armed flogger. But there was a certain other “boy” --venerable and silver-haired this “boy” was — and it occurred to the Deacon-Colonel that this ancient juvenile knew something of the running away and hiding of the first-named “boy.” “Boy” Anthony bore peculiar relations to Deacon Netherland. In by-gone days, when that present stern champion of the Presbyterian Church was in his swaddling-clothes, the “boy” Anthony had helped to nurse him, had played with him, had carried the sucking Colonel upon his shoulders a hundred times.

Certainly poor old “boy” Anthony, under circumstances less pressing and less dangerous to the Presbyterian Church, might have hoped for a little mercy — a little mollifying recollection of the old times — a little yielding to gentle reminiscences. But the spirit [18] of Netherland was up. Here was the Second Presbyterian Church in Rogersville rocking to its foundations, to say nothing of the blessed structure of our political institutions, which was vibrating in the most alarming manner. So Netherland smothered his emotions and sternly subdued the promptings of pity, and determined to extract the secret from the breast of Old Anthony. Hie gave him up to be coaxed by the seductive “cat” into a confession. Anthony was taken by a negro-trader into an adjoining county. It was the blessed Sunday-but the better the day the better the deed. They conducted Anthony into a stable. He had not the honor to be flogged behind the Second Church, but he did have the honor to be flogged in a stable — an edifice similar to that in which, about nineteen centuries ago, our Saviour was cradled. He was carried, the poor “boy” Anthony, into a loft, and the ceremonies commenced. This holy and acceptable living sacrifice was stripped to nakedness, stretched on a plank, his arms tied together under a plank, his feet to a post, his head to a brace, so that the old “boy” could not move at all.

Now for the instrument of flogging. It was no common utensil. It was no vulgar cat-o‘--nine-tails. It was a carpenter's saw. Carpenters are scripturally classical. Joseph was a carpenter. Hence the theological propriety of using a saw. 'Tis a Mississippi invention, and all honor to the gallant State which introduced it! Well, they were rather hard on the “boy!” The neighbors closed their windows that they might not hear his cries. The women whimpered — as [19] the women will — till the owner of the stable stopped the proceedings, probably being ashamed to have them noticed by his horses. The trader was disgusted, and carried Anthony off to have his polishing completed in Rutledge. The slave went into fits, but for all these, he was taken to a jail and the whippings were renewed. The sheriff interfered. The stony-hearted jailer interfered. So the whipper was compelled to break off, and Anthony after waiting a week to be healed, returned-by a singular coincidence — upon a Sabbath evening to his home.

Now it is quite a remarkable fact, that in the opinion of the neighbors, all this labor of the trader was ill-expended, and that Boy No. 2 knew nothing of Boy No. 1, his fugacities and hidings. Hence, all this perspiration, this exertion, and even this Sabbath-breaking, was labor lost. Because if Boy No. 2 had nothing to tell-and it is certain that, in spite of his tortures, he did tell nothing-what was the use of whipping him? It was a sheer squandering of saws, blood, muscle and whips, to say nothing of the needless harrowing of Colonel Netherland's feelings.

However, the Colonel showed himself to be a regular Roman. He did not wince when poor Anthony dragged his mangled body home on that Sunday evening. He snapped his fingers at the Rev. Samuel Sawyer when that weak-minded priest censured him. He defended the deed. He called upon the church to dismiss the Rev. Samuel, and the church obeyed. [20]

Thus ends the Second Chapter in the History of the Great Rogersville Flogging. We have written it in no lightness of spirit, if with some lightness of speech. There are certain human inconsistencies and foibles, so terrible and degrading, that we greet them with a laughter which is akin to tears.

September 5, 1857.

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