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David Rogers, Whipping the devil around the stump : autograph manuscript and letters


Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Delaware Library Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

David Rogers was the superintendent of the Queens County Insane Asylum in New York during the late nineteenth century. He was born around 1833 and had at least three children, Clinton, Lena, and Carrie. In a handwritten account, he described a political campaign rally in Glen Cove, New York, that took place during the 1864 U.S. presidential election between Republican incumbent Abraham Lincoln and Democrat George B. McClellan.

1880 United States Federal Census (accessed via on August 17, 2017)1900 United States Federal Census (accessed via on August 17, 2017)Information derived from the collection.

Brief, handwritten manuscript by David Rogers regarding a near riot at an 1864 presidential campaign rally, accompanied by several letters to and from Rogers, a clipping, and court records.

In this 4 ½ page memorial of the event, written retrospectively forty years later, David Rogers described his role in defusing a potential riot at a Republican political rally in Glen Cove, New York. The rally, headlined by New York anti-slavery Republican politician, A.N. Cole, and Lincoln supporter Horace Greeley, was getting underway when Rogers saw trouble coming: “I saw two men they were making sines which I did not like I left the place ware I was siting and whent to speak to them when they saw me coming to them they left in a hurry and pushed thire way down the stares to the street.” After following the potential troublemakers down to the street, Rogers encountered a “bige lot of bad men” as well as a rival campaign rally for Democratic candidate George B. McClellan. In hopes of defusing the tension, he led agitators across the street from the Republican rally, jumped on a horse-mounting block, and “begain to sing a campain song with all my power.” After disarming an agitator, he found the mob leader, threw his hat on the ground, and “wourled [whirled] him a round and gave him with all my power a kight [kick] in his rear sent him home flying.” Finally, Rogers successfully dispersed the crowd by sending them to a nearby bar to drink at his expense. On three occasions, Rogers described his actions as “wipping the devil around the stump.”

This collection also includes four autograph signed letters written by Rogers, two letters written by family members, an undated newspaper clipping about the Queens County Insane Asylum, and documents pertaining to a legal dispute between Rogers and Harry Hyde. In his letters, written in 1903 and 1904, Rogers wrote to friends and family members to ask for their help and reminded them of all he had done for them over the years. Frustrated by the constant hectoring, Rogers’ son responded to his father: “…I have been twitted enough by you, on what you have done for me…I am not made of money.”

Box 71, F1022: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0099 manuscript boxes.

Purchase, January 2017

Processed and encoded by Elizabeth Jones-Minsinger, August 2017.

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2017 August 17
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce isrequired from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library,

Collection Inventory

David Rogers, Whipping the devil around the stump : autograph manuscript and letters, 1892, 1903-1904.
Box 71 Folder F1022

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