growing despondent, whereupon George Patti-
son, the editor of the *Constitution,* a Demo-
cratic paper published in Indianapolis, wrote
a letter addressed to William Sebastian, then
the Democratic postmaster at Greenfield, In-
diana, in which he was requested to encourage
Chapman in the contest and in which letter
about these words occurred: *Tell Chapman
to Crow.* The letter was opened and laid
on the table an3 while so lying Walpole came
into the postoffice room; he was reported to
have read and copied the letter. At all events
the letter was soon thereafter published in the
DAVID S. GOODING
Indianapolis Journal.* If the files of
Journal for the year 1 840 have been preserved
the letter can be found therein at some date
between April, 1840, and August, 1840.
There may possibly be some slight inaccuracy
herein, but nothing material.
"I am, etc.,
"David S. Gooding."
Mr. Gooding, in 1859, formed a company
to establish a newspaper in Greenfield. My
grandfather, Mr. William Mitchell, was as-
sociated with Mr. Gooding in this enterprise.
The paper was called "The Hancock Dem-
ocrat,*' with Mr. Gooding as its first editor.
However, Mr. Gooding's connection with the
paper was of short duration as Mr. Mitchell,
early in its history, became sole owner and
editor. The paper never changed hands and
is today published by my father, Mr. John F.
I wish the space of this little book would
permit of the telling of some of the campaigns
through which this paper has passed, but as
I am simply tracing the origin of the Demo-
cratic emblem I am denied that privilege.
However, I shall state that during the War
of the Rebellion the paper was seized by the
Government and its presses used in printing
muster-rolls and other army orders. Two issues
of the paper did not appear on this account and
are the only ones missing from the files. Many
of the earlier poems of Mr. James Whitcomb
Riley first found their way into type in the
columns of this paper.
The story of the *'Rooster" was a favorite
theme of my grandfather and whenever it was
possible to use a cut of the proud bird in his
newspaper it was reverently incorporated. He
purchased in Cincinnati a mounted rooster dur-
ing the Tilden campaign and this old bird has
been used in parades during every campaign
since. It is now preserved in a glass case
and is no doubt the oldest rooster in the county.
It might be of interest to many to read the
following letter from Martin Van Buren Chap-
man to my father; I therefore present it. Mr.
Chapman enclosed a clipping in his letter from
the "St. Louis Republic" of April 8, 1907,
printed under the head of "Answers to Corre-
spondents," which gives a wrong statement re-
garding the subject of the sketch. The clip-
ping reads as follows: —
"The emblem of the Democratic party at
the time of President Jackson's administration
was the hickory pole and broom. About the
year I 840 there was a Democrat living in In-
diana named Chapman who was known in all
his neighborhood for his gift of crowing like
a rooster. One story is that in reply to a de-
sponding letter of Chapman about the political
situation in the presidential election of 1840,
in which William Henry Harrison was the
candidate against Van Buren, a friend wrote
an encouraging letter ending with the words,
*Crow, Chapman, Crow!*
"Another account makes the letter pass be-
tween two friends and ending with the words,
'Tell Chapman to Crow.' The letter, which-
ever it was, was published and the phrase
spread. In 1842 and 1844, after Democratic
victories in those years, the Rooster came into
general use as the emblem of Democratic vic-
Mr. Chapman's letter is as follows : —
"Ada, Okla., April 12, 1907.
"John F. Mitchell, Editor Hancock Democrat,
"Dear Friend and Pupil: — I am located
in this city and have been for seven or eight
years. I am now 73 years of age and in fairly
good health. My brother, W. W. Chapman, is
in Allen, Tex., now 71. Mrs. Caroline Chap-
man, widow of William Chapman, lives here
at the age of 81. T. J. Alley (Tom), who
has for ten years been exploring the Holy
Land, paid me a visit from Jerusalem, Pales-
tine. He is past 80. Doubtless you remem-
ber all of these parties as from Greenfield or
"I send you a clipping from the St. Louis
Republic concerning the origin of the Rooster
as an emblem of the Democratic party. The
question has been raised often, and again and
again answered that Joseph Chapman, of
Greenfield, by his great efficiency in imitat-
ing the crowing of a rooster, started the scheme
rolling. This is error, as my father never
crowed like a rooster. I visited Greenfield in
1886 or 1887, I think, and during my visit
Judge Gooding gave a statement to me in writ-
ing as to the origin of *Crow, Chapman, Crow!'
and told me to consult the files of the Indiana
State Journal, of April, May, or June, 1 840,
and the original letter that gave rise to the mat-
ter would be found. I sent Willie Mitchell, a
newsboy of the Democrat, to consult the files,
and Gooding's letter and the Journal's state-
ment were published in the Hancock Demo-
crat while William Mitchell was still living.
"Now in the interest of historic accuracy Ji
request you to examine your files and repro-
duce the article in question that a matter of
historical importance (politically) be correct-
ed and set at rest.
*'I would appreciate a copy of the Demo-
crat if the item appears.
"M. V. Chapman."
OCT ili 1928