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44 (67) TWW Roughing It in Red Hot California With Reverend

44 (67) TWW Roughing It in Red Hot California With Reverend

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Published by: stephen richard eng on Sep 02, 2011
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07/11/2014

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TWW Roughing It In “Red Hot California” with Rev. Fitzgerald 1
TWWROUGHING IT IN"REDHOTCALIFORNIA" WITH
REVEREND FITZGERALD
"As for gold, it is inthe mines; but nothingmore definite andcertain, andreliable for 
the press, canbe gatheredhere thanin Nashville
.Amurder was committed a fewdays ago, bya
Frenchman on an American, for which he is to be
hangedina dayor so. The people arevery
orderlyinthis place."
--Nashville Christian Advocate, Decembe
7,
1849
"Brother Fitz is dedicatedtoshowingSoutherners,ina Southernway, toa Southernheaven."
--Mark Twain, Christian Advocate,
[Nashville],
August 18,
1911
By the time Oscar PennFitzgeraldwas four yearsold,
he was alreadyexhortinghis playmates torepent otheir 
sins...
And for good reason... almost since the dayhe was
 born--August
24,
1829, inCaswell County, NorthCarolina--his
 parents hadbeentakinghimtocampmeetings andrevivals.
 Naturally, Fitzgeraldgrewuptobe a preacher, intheMethodist Episcopal Church. But his heavyblasts of righteous brimstone
went unappreciated, byhis congregationinSavannah, Georgia.
Astutely, his superiors re-assignedhimtogold-tainted 
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TWW Roughing It In “Red Hot California” with Rev. Fitzgerald 1
California... where, presumably, some more deserving ears might
hear his sermons. Onhis waythere--in
1855--he paused inAlabama..and got married.
InCalifornia he preachedinthe goldcamps...
. the
2394041
42
 
TWW Roughing It In “Red Hot California” with Rev. Fitzgerald 1
 beganeditingthe Pacific Methodist, publishedat Nashville
 bythe Methodist PublishingCompany. Fitzgerald defende
the SouthernChristianvalue of slavery...as the Civil War 
impended, then exploded.
But he was a popular journalist,
whose success brought himbacktoNashville, where heedited 
the parent-paper, the Christian Advocate from
1878
to
1890.
His first volume of California Sketches was publishedin
1880
at Nashville--goingthroughsixprintings ina year!A
secondcollection appearedin
1881, and a combined versionin
1895.
His tales are well-crafted, pointed, wryvignettes...
generallyunderstated.
Inhis tale "The California Politician," the Tennesseans
andthe Virginians are the outstandingcampaigners, having perfectedtheir stumpspeaking backhome. Fitzgeral
remembers a speechgiven downinthe mines...interuptedbyhisses
andboos, till the candidate pulleda pistol andvowed his speechwouldcontinue evenif it occasioneda funeral otwo! The
crowdthrilled ("The one thingtheyall believedinwas
courage")--andafter he was finished, theybore himawayon
their shoulders.
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