Friday, April 15, 2011

Cookeville Mobbing: Pelted with Eggs Number One

[A Survey of Mobbings in the Southern Star revealed a pattern; a shift from using guns in the 1880's to using eggs in the 1890's. Since the Easter season approaches, I thought we might enjoy a few examples. There are four in this series.]

March, 1898

During the latter part of March, Elders James Larson and R. G. Archibald entered Cookeville, Tenn., to canvass, preach, etc., but met with a very cool reception. Knowing that the brethren traveled without purse or scrip, many of the people did all that lay within their power to see that no food or shelter was provided them. The Easter season was near at hand, and eggs being very plentiful, the people showed their appreciation (?) of a visit from the "Mormons." Elder Archibald's hat was used roughly, being almost filled with eggs, while both Elders had them thrown upon their clothes, without respect to location. This gang of toughs was headed by the deputy sheriff of the county, Mr. Jared, and a newspaper editor, Mr. Sims.

The sheriff had granted the Elders permission to preach in the court house, but as they were about to begin services Mr. Jared entered, informing them that a rehearsal was to be held and they would have to get out. Next appeared a number of toughs, who also ordered the Elders to leave the court house post-haste. As they were going down the stairs leading to the street, a number of eggs were thrown, while one man threw a chair, which struck Elder Archibald on the head, nearly knocking him down, breaking his hat badly. As Elder Larson was going out of the main entrance someone from above dropped a brick which just grazed his hat. Had it struck him perhaps it would have ended his earthly existence. But in the midst of persecution the brethren were kindly cared for by a citizen, who, in the face of threatenings and abuse, was not afraid to denounce the unruly mobocrats.

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