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Lighter Origins: Lakes of Pontchartrain (142* d) RE: Origins: Lakes of Pontchartrain 21 Apr 21


The Canton [Mo.] Press, Dec. 15, 1893, p. 4 (I've put spaces between the stanzas):


                      LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN

'Twas on one bright March morning, I bade Orleans adieu
Being on my road to Jackson, where I was forced to go;
The cursed Georgia money no credit there did gain,
Which filled my heart with sorrow on the lake of Pontchartrain.

Through swamps and alligators, there I did take my way,
A-stepping o'er the railroad ties, which 'neath my feet did play,
Till in the dusk of evening, some high ground I did gain,
Where I met a lovely Creole girl. on the lake of Pontchartrain.

I said to her, "Dear lady, my money is no good,
Were it not for alligators, O, I'd lie in the wood.
"You are welcome in here, stranger, no money would I gain;
We always keep a traveler on the lake of Pontchartrain."

She took me to her mother's home, they treated me quite well;
Round her neck raven tresses in graceful ringlets fell;
To try to paint her beauty, by me, would be in vain
So lovely is that Creole girl on the lake of Pontchartrain.

I have roamed through many a country, many people I have seen,
But ne'er was pressed so hardly as on this road I have been;
But then, with gentle kindness [she] relieved me of my pain,
Making me forget my sorrow, on the lake of Pontchartrain.

Farewell! my gentle damsel, I may never see you more,
But still I'll think with gratitude of that cottage on the shore;
And when in social circle the friendly glass I drain,
I'll always toast that Creole girl on the lake of Pontchartrain.

                                              A. DEVILBISS

If the unknown Devilbiss was the author, it's strange that some stanzas are missing. Space limitations?

"Jackson" may be Jackson, La., a small town and county seat between New Orleans and Natchez, Miss. (Jackson, Miss., is much farther away.)

If the Civil War has just ended, "Georgia money" most likely refers to state currency notes issued by Georgia banks. Even during the war, state notes were generally worthless outside the state of issue.

All state notes were rendered worthless by a new federal tax in 1866.


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