Lehigh County Commissioners are probably going to need some time to recover from their encounter earlier this week with Northampton County Council. Commissioner Bill Leiner, for instance, thinks we could do better with feral cats.
Northampton County politics is, without question, a bloodsport. But we can be civilized at times. Last night, for example, I bumped into Lamont McClure and Charles Dertinger at Easton's River Grille after the council meeting. They were both very pleasant and shook my hand. They even introduced me to Charles' very pretty young daughter, who was spending the night with her old man. Lamont gave me a little hug.
I thought to myself, "These guys aren't so bad. I really should try to be nicer to them. After all, they're fathers. Why am I such a jerk?" Later that evening, I realized the bastards had stolen my wallet. That's OK, because I had earlier alerted the police to be on the lookout for two drunks.
Northampton County Dems have always been nutz. When they met in downtown Easton in 1861, they burned Congressman Philip Johnson in effigy and then rushed him. A mob of two thousand gutted the Sentinel newspaper office and even tried to destroy two other newspapers. The mayhem continued until 2 AM, when the bars closed. Now you know why Northampton County Democrats never have meetings.
Here'a a partial account from the August 20, 1861 edition of the Daily Evening Express, which sold for 2 cents, when Shadtown consisted of the Boroughs of Easton and South Easton.
"We are called upon, to day, to record one of the most violent outbreaks that have ever occurred in our usually quiet Borough. As is generally known, the Democrats of Northampton County held their regular County meeting yesterday afternoon. In ordinary times, these gatherings pass off with little or no excitement, but yesterday a number of hot debates occurred between members of the different political parties, one or two fights occurred, engendering much bad blood, and the whole thing ripened by night into one of the most terrible affairs that we have ever been witness to. At an early hour in the evening, a party of men, many of them returned volunteers, proceeded to the residence, in Centre Square, of Hon. Philip Johnson, member of Congress from this District, and elevating an effigy of Mr. J., they set fire to and burned it, in the presence of Mr Johnson, who sat upon his front step with one or two friends. After the burning of the effigy the crowd made a rush in the direction of Mr. J., who fled into the house on their approach, and escaped. They then called upon him to show his colors, when he appeared at a window with a small flag in his hand and spoke a few words, assuring them of his devotion to the Union, and stating that if they would come to him in their calmer moments, he would convince them of his loyalty to the Government. For a time, it wns feared that violence would bo done him, so terribly exasperated were the crowd in front of his dwelling, but they became somewhat appeased by his remarks, and finally moved off from the house. The cry then arose: 'To the Sentinel office!' when the crowd, with a tremendous shout, turned their steps towards that establishment, and entering, gutted it completely. Type, cases, desks, stands, stoves, this week's edition of the paper, (printed on one side,) cards, books, and everything that could be moved, was thrown into the street. The office, in a few minutes, was a complete wreck, the material lying in one confused heap in the street.
"From the Sentinel office, the crowd made their way to the Argus establishment. — This office is on the second floor, and the heavy steel door leading to it having been well barred, in expectation of an attack, the destroying party were obliged to climb over an awning to gain entrance to the office. They destroyed but little property at this office, having been induced by their friends to forego, for the present, their purpose. No less than two thousand persons had gathered at this point. After abandoning their design to gut the Argus, the crowd proceeded to the office of the Correspondent and Democrat. Here they broke in the door, and were about commencing the work of destruction, when some one suggested that the proprietor be given till the next night to publish a card containing his sentiments. This arrangement was agreeable to all parties, and the crowd moved on again, bound, this time, for the residence of Hon. Richard Brodhead, where they found the stars and stripes floating over the door, which satisfied them."
There's more, but I think you get the drift. I was unable to find any reference to Joe Long.