Old Isis Bargee

“At Saint Joseph (Mo.), better known by the somewhat irreverent abbreviation of St. Jo, I was introduced to Mr. Alexander Majors, formerly one of the contractors for supplying the army in Utah a veteran mountaineer, familiar with life on the prairies. His meritorious efforts to reform the morals of the land have not yet put forth even the bud of promise. He forbade his drivers and employees to drink, gamble, curse, and travel on Sundays; he desired them to peruse Bibles distributed to them gratis; and though he refrained from a lengthy proclamation commanding his lieges to be good boys and girls, he did not the less expect it of them. Results : I scarcely ever saw a sober driver; as for profanity the Western equivalent for hard swearing they would make the blush of shame crimson the cheek of the old Isis bargee; and, rare exceptions to the rule of the United States, they are not to be deterred from evil talking even by the dread presence of a ‘lady.'”

[“Old Isis bargee” = Thames river pilot, Isis being an alternate name for the Thames]