Life and Adventures of Ben Thompson the Famous Texan. Page: 155
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LIFE OF BEN THOMPSON 155
Shortly before the occurrences narrated, Thompson, desiring
to show what metal was in him, to change his line of
life, and to bring his children up relieved from the common
repute in which he stood, and to free his wife, whom he
dearly and tenderly loved, from further anxiety about his
personal safety, concluded to offer himself as a candidate
for city marshal of Austin, an election for which was then
coming on. He consulted with some of the best and most
responsible men in the community, both as to social posisition
and financially. From them he received hearty encouragement.
They promised him to give him support in
his effort to rise above a miscellaneous life, and anchor
himself to law and order.
Thus encouraged, he addressed a circular to the voters,
written with his own hand, in which he spoke plainly and
positively. But it best speaks for itself. Here is the circular:
"To the Good People of Austin:
" I have been solicited by a number of old citizens, who have
known and been kind to me from my boyhood, to become a candidate
for the office of city marshal. No man, from the highest
to the humblest, can successfully charge me with dishonor or dishonesty.
I can truthfully say, without boasting, that I have always
been the friend of the defenceless, and most of the difficulties
attending the independent life I have led were incurred by
sensitive love of fair play and an irresistible impulse to protect
the timid and weak, from the aggressions and wrongs of the
overbearing and strong. I am thoroughly acquainted with the
character of Austin and the magnanimity of her citizens. I have
a family of interesting children growing up under my hands, for
whose welfare and happiness in society I have an abiding solicitude.
I now beg to repeat in this public manner the promise I
have made to my friends in private, that if honored with the confidence
of the people, in their selection for the important and responsible
post to which I aspire, my whole time and attention
shall be given to the discharge of the official duties which pertain
to the place, and no good and law abiding citizen shall have occasion
to regret the choice, provided it shall be within the compass
of my ability or fidelity to the high and delicate trust to
prevent it; upon these terms and conditions I invoke the support
and suffrage of all my felldw-citizens.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
His opponent was Captain Ed. Creary, the incumbent,
who has the facility of calling around him a strong support
when running for office. He had been marshal for many
years, and had the floating population well in hand. A Re
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Walton, W. M. Life and Adventures of Ben Thompson the Famous Texan., book, 1956; Austin, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth38114/m1/166/?q=iron%20front: accessed June 15, 2021), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Austin History Center, Austin Public Library.