Impromptu Stump Speaker Was “Intellectually a Human Nondescript”

On 04-05-1871, the “impromptu stump speaker,” a political fixture, was intellectually known as a “human nondescript.” He was likened to a kind of terribly crushed meat, specially salted, saged and peppered, which became known as “souce” (from the Latin word “salsas,” (which is always ready for use).

A stump speech is “a standard campaign vocalization used by someone running for public office.” The term is derived from the early American custom in which candidates campaigned from town-to-town and stood upon a sawed off tree stump to deliver their discourse.”

The word “impromptu” fit him well because of his busy pace of campaigning, which often included addressing folks several times a day. The candidate usually penned a single speech to be delivered at most, if not all, public gatherings.

The campaigner was further described as being like a “liberated open-countenanced, strong-lunged canine, always prepared to sound off at a moment's notice, to bark for anybody and at anything and to yelp as long as his prepared speeches pleased or annoyed his public, but they were never ignored.”

The orator was likened unto a barn door hung on face hinges, opening not only with easy screeches, but one way was just as easy as another, and when you shut him off in one direction, he was sure to open in another and possibly in several… all at the same time.

The politician resembled an old continental musket, powerful on a shoot and, if the charge be moderately heavy, he kicked back with as much force as he shot forward, often more so, and if occasion required it, he found no difficulty in exploding and effected others sometimes in the same way.

The spokesman was like a weather-cock in the midst of a crazy March storm, wheeling in all directions; sniffing the breeze from every point of the compass and facing every thing that approached his particular front.

Young Abraham Lincoln as a Stump Speaker

Internally, he was a compound mixture of all kinds of moral liquors charged heavily with soda, so as to secure ready and powerful fermentation, hence his supply of intellectual froth and foam was next to inexhaustible.

In a musical sense, he was a combination of all instruments in an orchestra that depend upon active air (or perhaps wind) as a motive tone power.

The man on the stump was a scientific porcupine; he couldn't be taken by storm and if captured by slow siege, the victors would find themselves vanquished in the end.

Mr. Impromptu was full of nerves, so much in fact, that they hung out loosely all around him. Hence, he was very sensitive, so much so that his absorbing powers of sensation were much superior to all possible supply that his personal feelings were never wounded.

The speaker was an animation and vitality smelting furnace and hence, his words and even actions were as fully clothed with mutilating sparks as a fire-puffed cupola.

The stumpman was an automatic commentary on sliding literature and exercised all the privileges which poets and lecturers could have the presumption to claim mechanically. He was a most ingenious comic repair shop.

The non-descript individual was a scientific chime of human bells, and in a singular musical sense, he was not only a riddle, but a most skillful fiddle, capable of being tuned and keyed up to any other instrument demanded for whatever the special occasion.

Altogether, the impromptu stump speaker was quite a clever fellow; he sold in markets for several times his real worth. He got along well with the world, and the earth would feel sadly at a loss without him. Whilst others were not laughing at him, he was always amused… at others and himself.