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mark of Cain

From the Richmond (KY) Climax, 12 August 1913, via of course the Chronicling America page.

The dispatches bring the information that Caleb Powers is disgusted with the way he has been snubbed and shunned at Washington and is anxious to have his Congressional term over. The surprise of it is that the creature has feeling enough left to realize that he wears the mark of Cain on his brow and that all honest men abhor him.

However anxious Rep. Powers may have been to end what at the time was his second term, he stood for and won re-election in 1914 and 1916. The Climax was clearly a Democratic paper; Caleb Powers was a Republican, of course. Oh, and the Governor that Caleb Powers was convicted of having assassinated was a Democrat.

Yes, assassinated. Did any of you know this story? I didn’t. Kentucky, 1899 gubernatorial election, chaos, massive fraud, a Democrat running as a third-party spoiler candidate, a bunch of ballots thrown out by a party-line vote of the Assembly, and then the Governor-elect (more or less, depending on who you ask) was shot while walking to the Capitol to be sworn in, the shots being fired from the State Building, probably from the office of the Secretary of State, one Caleb Powers. Who, by the way, was not in Frankfurt at the time, but was convicted three times, with the convictions vacated by the appeals court each time, followed by a fourth trial, a hung jury, a pardon and then four terms in Congress.

The assassinated Governor, by the way, had himself once killed a man in what was either a duel or a street fight, depending on who you ask—when two armed men meet in the street and shoot at each other, well, that jury came back self-defense, so that’s all right. No mark of Cain for him.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,


! Had no idea; hadn't heard any of this. Interesting.

Btw, I think you meant 1914 and 1916, though I like the idea of 2014 and 2016.

Er, yeah. Back then, a hundred years ago. Not absolutely sure that The Honorable Mr. Powers could be elected in 2014, even as a Republican from Kentucky. Pretty sure, though, that if he were, the local newspaper wouldn't trash him as effectively.


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