More on The Murder of Beverly Pryor

I obtained a copy of the article on the racetrack death of Beverly Pryor which was published 17 May 1836 in The Democrat (Huntsville). It doesn’t add anything to ID this Pryor (see earlier post), however there is an extra paragraph of commentary– Almost 180 years ago “gun control” had entered the dialog in the US.

Comment upon this melancholy rencoutre is not, we presume, called for from us. One remark, however, we cannot refrain from making. The practice which is becoming so common, of carrying pistols and knives, cannot be too much condemned. If public sentiment does not restrain the strong arm of the law ought to be brought in to put it down.

History is interesting. It’s interesting that the commentary was run in the Alabama paper and by the time the story had made it’s way to the Gettysburg, PA newspaper, the commentary was discarded. I don’t know the history of the time so I don’t know if there was a difference of sentiment in the North vs the South (it was 25 years before the Civil War). Or did the PA paper have limited space and they cut the only paragraph that didn’t give details of the murder?

While this may be something for historians to ponder, genealogy researchers should always look for the difference in news articles… one paper may print a more complete article while another many carry an edited version.  Read each article…. you never know what you may be missing.