To the Editor of the Ledger:
My attention has been called to an article in your issue of the 31 inst., which I think does me some injustice. The article is headed “Biographical,” and purports to give a sketch of the life of Charles Bryson Simonton, Representative of Tipton county. That portion of the article to which I object reads as follows: “Before the people he was opposed by three independents, George B. Eggleston, Zack Taylor and J. P. Sturdivant. The former of these was intensely bitter, if not ill-tempered, in his canvass, and when a collision seemed inevitable Mr. Simonton, by his coolness and tact, invariably triumphed. His majority over his highest opponent was 177 votes.” The whole article reads like an autobiography, and was evidently penned by the hand of Charles Bryson Simonton himself. The fling at me is a piece of personal malice, admirably in keeping with the sneaking character of the subject of this biographical sketch. Captain Simonton, it is true, was elected by a very smal majority by clinging with desperate tenacity to the coattails of Tilden and Hendricks, and from the fact that the opposition vote was divided between “three independents” as stated above. He and a few others who were personally interested in his election also spread far and wide throughout the county the most infamous falsehoods and slanders about me. When these were traced home to him, and I had given them the “lie” direct through the columns of the county paper, and also to his face on the stump, it was then that a “collision” did “seem inevitable” to me. But by eating dirt with the most marvellous [sic] “coolness and tact” the “collision” was averted, and he “invariably triumphed.” In conclusion I will say that I have no objection to Captain Simonton’s enjoying all the newspaper puffery that he can write for himself or that his friends can write for him. It is both “cheap and nasty”, and he is very welcome to it all. Neither do I wish to reopen a political canvass that was fraught with so much that was villainous and disgusting. But I do seriously protest against being advertised as a man given to bitterness and ill-temper.
Moral: Some heroes are made of wretched stuff.
Geo. B. Eggleston
[Public Ledger, Memphis, Tenn., January 12, 1877]