100 TRUE STORIES OF OLD
who have never had a single fight in their lives. It makes me
feel awful sorry for them, for in that fact I discover another
great misfortune they have in being born in a place where there
are no old-fashioned swimmin' holes, no place to go huntin' and
flshin' except away off.
HATED NEGROES AND LOVED MULES.
OOR old Tom Delaney! Had the yellow fever spared him
in 1867 he would have left a lasting impression on Houston,
for he had much about his makeup that would make
men remember him. Tom was an ex-Yankee soldier,
who came to Galveston with the army of occupation and was
mustered out of the service there. He then came to Houston
and rented the old stable and lots on the corner of Smith and
Prairie, owned by Dr. Evans, and now occupied by the big brick
building of the Model Laundry. Tom had a little money which
he had saved and he invested in one or two horses and one or
two mules and began some kind of contract work.
He had one or two marked peculiarities. One was his intense
love for dumb animals and the other his intense hatred for
negroes. In his estimate a mule was far ahead of a negro and
anyone could get a fight out of him at a moment's notice by
merely suggesting that he had fought in the Yankee army to
free the negroes. He claimed that he had fought for the old
flag and that the negro got free through accident and not through
intention and that if the soldiers could have their way every
negro would be put back in slavery right off. This, by the way,
was the way nine-tenths of the ex-Federal soldiers talked, so
Tom was not peculiar to so great a degree in that respect.
Tom's love for his horses and mules was sublime. He was a
"muletarian" and "horsetarian" of the highest order. Now
everybody knows that, having such feelings, Tom was bound to
have lots of trouble with his mixture of negro drivers and mules.
He was in hot water all the time and but for the fact that he
was built on the giant plan and was able to use his fists with
almost as much force as his mules could use their heels, he
would never have been able to manage his negroes. Tom had
to employ negroes, for at that time white men did not care to
work for ex-soldiers as mule drivers. It was a case of pure
necessity. He hired the negroes but got satisfaction by knocking
them about whenever he found them out in any rascality. One
fixed and iron-bound rule was that the drivers should not ill treat
the horses and mules. Now anybody who knows a negro and a
mule knows how absurd that rule was. A mule expects to be
mauled and ill-treated by a negro and a negro could no more get
work out of a mule by treating him as if he were a Sunday school
scholar than he could fly. Tom had several fights before he
found out the truth of this and the negroes found out that he
was in dead earnest in enforcing his rules.
Young, Samuel Oliver. True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young.. Galveston, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth24646/. Accessed December 6, 2013.