Mr. Gallaher: — We have observed in the “Intelligencer and Alexandria Gazette,” of this week, a paragraph extracted from the “Argus,” printed in Easton, Pa., detailing a “remarkable circumstance,” based on the high authority of Mr. Albert T. Wheldon, and other individuals not named. Mr. Albert T. Wheldon states that “he arrived on the line of the Chesapeake and Ohio canal, near Shepherdstown, on the 3d day of July, 1832. On the 15th of August, at 3 o’clock, P. M., he was attacked by the cholera, which was then raging in that neighbourhood, and which in almost every case proved fatal.— Wheldon sent for a physician, who attended, and prescribed the usual remedies. At 6 o’clock, he was pronounced in the collapsed stage of the disease, and at 7 o’clock was to all appearance dead. At 8 o’clock, he was placed, by a few friends, in a coffin, and taken in a light wagon to the place of interment, about half a mile distant. When arrived at the grave, a groaning was heard, proceeding from the coffin; and on opening it, poor Wheldon exhibited signs of life, and was released from his disagreeable confinement, and is now alive and well, and resides in our borough.”
We would be unwilling to accuse “poor Wheldon” of willing mendacity in his statement to the editor of the Easton Argus— we would believe it was intended purely as a metaphor. He did arrive in Shepherdstown, as many have reason to remember. The cholera which seized him shortly after his arrival, was the debts which he contracted; the remedies which the physician administered, and their inefficacy, was the tottering of his credit; the “collapsed stage” of the disease, the terrible fangs of the sheriff; his death represents the utter hopelessness of his artifices longer to deceive those whom he had duped; the coffin, the prospect of incarnation in another place, scarcely less terrible; the groaning, an “implied notice” to his creditors; and his release from the coffin, the polite leave which he took of them.
The tale of “poor Wheldon,” is told with infinite pathos; the expert manner in which he liquidated his “just debts,” indicates him a fellow of bathos, too. The tale, like many others narrated elsewhere, is romantic in all its details; but alas for the fame of its hero, it is but the illusion of his own fancy, the chimera of his own imagination— a sheer fabrication from beginning to end. Wheldon was well known here— he made an indelible impression on many of the citizens of this place. We congratulate him on his restoration to health, but the same congratulation we cannot extend to his creditors, for they are in a “collapsed stage,” as he regards the debts which he settled by payment, in the nature of swindling for his bond, and French leave for the security.
MANY CITIZENS. Shepherdstown, Aug. 3, 1833.
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