A MOCK PARADE.
The project was advanced of limiting each company to thirty members, and paying each man $30 a year for his services. A paid department! This project created the wildest excitement. From the parties who ran with the machine this scheme was hailed with undisguised expressions of supreme contempt. It formed the one ail-absorbing topic of conversation, and all, from the street gamin to the oldest fireman frankly and earnestly stated their views. The Common Council met and referred the question to the Engine Committee. After much consideration it was adopted. The announcement fell like a thunderbolt from a clear sky, and as the boys of the present say, “paralyzed” the firemen. This was in 1849.
Ot all the companies No. 9 alone resolved to give public expression to their heartfelt grief. To the rear of the engine was attached a large tree and firmly fastened thereto by bands of black and white fabric, was the celebrated “ Nigger Ned,” a noted character around the centre market. Ned was given a large whip. One hundred and fifty men manned the rope and the party started, Ned at frequent intervals cracking his whip. The idea sought to be conveyed was that the department was run by nigger drivers. First the boys serenaded all the Kngine Committee and then other notables. After makingan extended tourof the city, theparty on their homeward route reached Ui ion street. Here they were confronted by the Mayor and Judge Cole. Tired and weary the men left the scene, leaving the Engine and Ned to their fate. Poor Ned ! Tied firmly to the tree, unable to move, he gazed into the face of Judge Cole, who commanded him to come down.
Ned replied, “Now go’way, Judge, you’re the one that is making all the trouble.”
Further words followed when the Judge saw that Ned could not move w.thout assistance, and he was soon released.—Albany Press.