An Aspirant For Congress

A few years ago, the "Hon." John Whimpery Brass, of Georgia, one of

the "thoughtful patriots" of the period, who now and then found

time to lay aside the cares of statecraft to nurse little private

jobs of his own, allured by the seductive offers of "Wogan & Co."

of New York City, wrote to that somewhat mythical concern proposing

to become their agent for the circulation of the "queer." Even

after receiving the first installment of their wares, the honorable

gentleman did not comprehend that the firm dealt exclusively in

sawdust, not in currency. He wrote again, complaining that, after

a journey of sixty miles over a rough road to the nearest reliable

express office, he found nothing but a worthless package, marked

"C. O. D.," awaiting him. Did Wogan & Co. distrust either his

parts or fidelity? He ventured to assert that no man in the State

could serve them so effectually. He had just run for Congress, and

though beaten at the polls by "fraud," intended to contest the seat

with the chances of success in his favor. The mountaineers among

whom he lived did not care whether the money in their pockets was

good or bad so long as it circulated. He could put thousands of

counterfeits afloat without the slightest fear of detection. His

constituency believed in him and would stand by him. Currency was

very scarce in that congressional district, and it would really be

doing his people a great favor to give them more. After setting

forth the mutual benefits to accrue from trusting him, he appealed

to Wogan & Co. with the vehemence and energy of the sewing-machine

man, or life-insurance agent, to send on the goods without further

delay. They should never regret dealing with him, his character

and standing being a sufficient guaranty that he could not play

false. He was acting in good faith, and expected like treatment in


Unfortunately for the political aspirations of "Hon." John Whimpery

Brass, the authorities not long after made a descent upon the den

of Wogan & Co., finding a great many letters from credulous fools,

and a large supply of sawdust--their only stock in trade. The

missives of the prospective congressman were published, thus

gaining much more extensive currency than he proposed to give to

the imitation greenbacks. It was supposed that the noisy fellow

would slink away to some cave in his native mountains, and never

show his brazen face among honest people again. But the impudence

of "Hon." John Whimpery Brass rose to the level of the emergency.

Instead of hiding or hanging himself, he published a card

representing that he embarked in the scheme for the purpose of

entrapping Wogan & Co. and bringing them to justice.

Pathetic was the spectacle, showing the confidence of an ingenuous

soul in its own prowess, of the volunteer detective, digging

parallels on the southern spurs of the Blue Ridge for the capture

of the wily swindler a thousand miles away! Armed with a kernel of

corn, the doughty gosling sets forth to catch the wicked fox that

is preying on the flock! If the bold mountaineers, the

constituency of "Hon." John Whimpery Brass, cannot commend the

discretion displayed by the projector of the enterprise, they must

certainly admire his pluck. In face of the odds, few goslings

would volunteer.

Perhaps the card might have been accepted by the more trustful

class of adherents as a satisfactory explanation of the letters,

had not the aspiring statesman in course of time fallen under the

ban of the law for defrauding widows of their pensions, the

campaign against Wogan & Co. having so completely exhausted the

virtue of the amateur who planned it as to leave no residue to

fructify in subsequent operations.

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