Wednesday, December 7, 2016

KILLED IN A SALOON, Augusta Chronicle, 1888

Political Factions Meet in New Orleans and a Fatal Fight Results.

New Orleans, LA, Jan. 1 – Soon after one o’clock this morning a shooting affray took place in Johnson’s saloon, 21 Charles street, in which city administrators, Patrice Mealey, was mortally wounded, Mike Walsh dangerously, and Daniel Markey painfully. The last named received a shot in the mouth.

All were taken to Charity Hospital, where Commissioner Mealey died at 2:10 o’clock this afternoon. Walsh remains in a comatose condition. 

It appears that Commissioner Mealey and a party of political friends, supporters of Nicholl’s, went late to the saloon for the purpose of getting drinks. While they were there half a dozen McEnery men, including Special Officers Louis Clare and John Gibson, came in. 

As to the origin of the trouble statements conflict materially, there being so many persons present. Each aide, however, charges the other with being the aggressors. Be that as it may, there was shouting for Nicholls and for McEnery. Mealy and Clare met together, and then the shooting began.

Twelve or fifteen shots were fired, showing that several weapons must have been used. All accounts agree in one particular, that Louis Clare and John Gibson began the shooting. Mealy declared that he had been shot by Clare. 

Both Clare and Gibson have been locked up and charges of murder will be made against them.

-- end of Augusta Chronicle article, January 2nd, 1888.
Ever wonder about the folks who came West? Ever wonder what they were escaping? Ever wonder about the shootouts in the East and down South? Well I recently received an email asking me if there were any shootouts in the deep South or back East that compared to what took place at the OK Corral?

I reprinted the article above to illustrate that while Dime Novelists and newspapers sensationalized what was going on in the Mid-West and the Far-West, as what California and Nevada were called at the time, other parts of the country had their gun battles that rivaled anything that took place out West.

Also, this illustrates that Americans can get very serious about politics. Political factions have a history of this sort of behavior. And we are not to the point of shootouts over the resent election, sadly the hate, the media bias, the riots, the discord we are seeing today over an election, are all really nothing new.

The Augusta Chronicle is still around today. It's the daily newspaper of Augusta, Georgia, and is one of the oldest newspapers still in publication in the United States.

Tom Correa


  1. Thanks for sharing, it was a pleasure reading news that old.

  2. I wonder what the fuss was about? It seems that the article mentioned that one of the three men was shot in the mouth. I assume his jaw was shattered since that usually happens when you are shot in the mouth. This is my first time hearing about this gunfight so I would love to know more. Thanks as always, Tom.


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