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JOHN S. BARRY

BY H. H. RILEY

"Is that what all this noise is about?" exclaimed Mr. Barry. "You go home, sir—go to bed, and go to sleep. Black Hawk is this minute on the other side of the Mississippi and will never cross the river. Go home, sir! Go home. Good night, sir!" and down went the window with a slam. Mr. Barry was right. Black Hawk was at that very time on the west side of the Mississippi river.
Governor Barry had a grim kind of humor, mixed with sarcasm, which he sometimes used to complete his purposes. In 1851, among the reports of the public institutions of the state was one in which, among other things, the agent congratulated the state upon the fact that his institution was out of debt. The governor was informed that this was not true, that there was quite a large quantity of unpaid scrip floating about against the concern, and that it might be well to look into the matter. "Send, sir, " said he, "and procure for me some of this script, " which was done. The governor, armed with quite a large quantity of the stuff, sent for the officer in charge, who met him at his room at Lansing. He said to him that he was rejoiced to know that the state owed nothing—that his report showed a clean record, and that as they were out of debt, he hoped he would keep out, and he then went on and talked about matters in general. The governor bade the gentleman good morning, walked with him to the door, and all of a sudden broke in upon him with "I have forgotten one thing, sir. Come back a moment I wish to show you something. This state institution may be out of debt you say it is, " and opening his drawer, pulled out a handful of script and showed it to him. The joke was so good the victim himself told it afterwards, and seemed to enjoy it as much as any one.

Michigan


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