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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF JUDGE BAZIL HARRISON

BY A. D. P. VAN BUREN

While we have found but few who claimed to have any direct information on the subject, all of the testimony, except that of Judge Wells, has been to confirm the theory that Bazil Harrison was the original of Mr. Cooper's character. Dozens of well known citizens have related to us an account of a conversation alleged to have taken place between Judge Harrison and Mr. Cooper, at the time of the novelist's last visit to Kalamazoo—the anecdote having been current ever since the incident is said to have occurred. Judge Harrison, so the story runs, having been interviewed by Mr. Cooper, after the introduction, remarked, "So you got me into your book, Mr. Cooper?"
"Yes, " replied Mr. Cooper; "I had to have some one, judge, and you seemed to be about the right sort of person to make my bee hunter out of. " "Well, Mr. Cooper, you are a smart man, or at least they say you are, but you ought to know better than to make a bee light on clover. They are too smart for that; they don't fool away with red clover when there's sweeter flowers easier to get at—" "Oh, I meant white clover, " interrupted Mr. Cooper. "Well, " responded the judge, "you are a smart man, Mr. Cooper, at any rate they say you are, but you ought to know that there wasn't any white clover here at the time you speak of. White clover don't come till after settlers come. " The judge is also represented as tripping up Mr. Cooper on other alleged inaccuracies. It seems curious that such a story should have been started twenty four years ago, and been repeated constantly ever since, if there was no foundation for it. It is well known, too, that Judge Harrison was an inveterate bee hunter.

Michigan


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