Excerpt: “General Spinner as a Religious Enthusiast” [Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, Vol. 37, Issue 217 (June 1868) p 141]

On pg. 41 of Early Sketches 1851 – 1864, Vol. 1, Volume 15 it says that possible articles “designed to appear in the ‘syndicate’ of weeklies: ‘General Spinner as a Religious Enthusiast’ (no. 222), ‘Mr. Brown, the Sergeant-at-Arms of the Senate’ (no. 214), and ‘Interview with Gen. Grant’ (no. 215).” These three sketches were never published.

It appears Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, in June 1868 published what could be an excerpt…

The April Number of the Drawer contained a couple of anecdotes of General Spinner, United States Treasurer. Here is another apropos of the General as a religious enthusiast. In politics he is known as a thorough Radical; in religion, a devout Methodist. It began to be whispered around that, under very trying and extraordinary circumstances, General Spinner was guilty of swearing a little sometimes. The Church took the matter in hand as quietly as possible, and appointed a discreet sister (the grieving mourner of a husband and three gallant brother’s slain in the war) to inquire into the matter. Instead of gathering evidence at second-hand, she went to head-quarters; she posted herself among a crowd of waiting ones in the General’s office. The old man was absorbed in business, and working away like a steam-engine. File after file of men passed before him, and he shot his decisions at them in sharp, curt, sentences as they moved on. Finally, a tall, handsome man approached and handed in his documents for examination. The General ran his eye down the pages, and a thunder-cloud settled portentously upon his countenance. He threw down he papers and shook his fist fiercely in the gentleman’s face, and said:

“You have come to me with this! You sneaking hound of a deserter! You bring a paper here, signed by the President of the United States, setting forth that, when you deserted from the regular army to go and fight four years against your country, there were four more months’ pay coming to you from the Government you so outraged, and ordering me to pay you those arrearages. I’d see you and the President a hundred million miles miles in the hottest hole in hell first!”


New Harper’s Monthly Magazine, Volume 37, p. 141 [Google Books}

New Harper’s Monthly Magazine, Volume 37, p. 141 [Cornell’s site]




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