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Address of Col. Allen T. Davidson at Lyceum Asheville, North Carolina

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Extract from an Address delivered by Col. Allen T. Davidson, at Lyceum Asheville, N.C. Nov. 7th, 1890.

“The most noted characters of the County who were in public life, were John Welch, General Thomas Love and Col Robert Love. These represented the County of Haywood for many years; preserved and maintained a high reputation until their death. Some of these had formerly represented Buncombe County in the Legislature; notably, Thomas Love, who represented Buncombe County from 1800 to 1808 (the sessions of the Legislature were then annual) afterwards served from Haywood form 1808 to 1828, perhaps, the longest service of any one man in the State continuously. He afterwards moved to Macon District of Tennessee; was elected to the Legislature from that State, and was mad Presiding Officer of the Senate. He was a man of very fine appearance. More that six feet tall, very popular, and a fine electioneer. Many amusing stories are told of him, such as carrying garden seeds in his pockets, and distributing them, always with the assurance that his wife had remembered the voters wife and sent them with her regards. The old gentlemen was fond of a good toddy, but did no resort to the mean subterfuge of electioneering with liquor. On one occasion, however, it is said of him that he signed a pledge of the temperance society which was then very unpopular. So at his first speaking he found there was a clamor raised against him on that account. While he would not notice it publicly, he told his friends that he would be glad to have some hard cider to drink while he was speaking which was procured for him. Some mischievous boys, however, concluded that they would play a trick on him, and began to add to a mug of cider a little corn whiskey. It was soon seen that the effects began to excite the old gentleman. He became animated and eloquent, when kind friends told him that the boys were pouring whiskey into his cider. The Rubicon was passed, and with great force, he said he didn’t care if it was all whisky.

I have a vivid recollection of the beginning of all his speeches. It was thusly: “Gentlemen and Fellow-Citizens: I have had the honor of representing you in the lower branch of the General Assembly of North Carolina for the last two and thirty years, and I have no doubt. My friends, if I should again be elected, I shall be able to do you abundance of good, etc.” Sufficient to say of this man that he made his mark on society, and retained the public confidence until he left the State.

Robert Love of Haywood County, the father of the large family now there, was a man of remarkable powers; stood high in the estimation of the public, and died at a good old age. He has a Revolutionary history which is very frequently mentioned in “Ramsey’s Annas of Tennessee”, in his service with John Sevier in their frequent encounters with the Chickamauga Indians. He was an elector for the State on the Jackson Ticket. He acquired great wealth, and died respected, leaving a large fortune to his children. He was a brother of General Thomas Love heretofore mentioned. These two men were certainly far above the average of men, and did much to plant civilization in the County where they lived, and would have been men of mark in any community.”

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