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The Athens Post
The Athens Post
Contributed by Gigimo

Description: A Rascal at Large.

Date: February 21 1851

Newspaper published in: Athens, TN

Page/Column: 2

Under this head, the Montgomery Advertiser exposes a fellow whose destiny, we think, is hanging. It were a bootless task to enumerate all the "rascals at large," even if one could see into and get at them. This fellow, however, we are resolved to give a lift. His name is James R. SMART, alias R. SMART. The Advertiser says he is a Mason, and has used his connexion with that order to swindle his brethren in various ways. He pretends to be a pension agent, and to attend to other claims before the government; and that he is acquainted with all the great men of the country, exhibiting letters from them (written by himself) to corroborate his statements. He left his home in Union county, Ga., in July last, stating that he was going to South Carolina for a few weeks; went to Tennessee, and there obtained money by representing himself as a worthy Mason in distress. He also pretended to be a zealous Methodist, and defrauded many of the brethren of that nomination. He left Tennessee, and is now thought to be in this State; he is said to have been Sheriff of one of the counties in North Alabama some years ago. His true name is said to be James Smart REID; he was born and raised in North Carolina; has been connected with a gang of counterfeiters; was in jail in South Carolina for passing counterfeit money, whence he made his escape; was lost sight of for a number of years; turned up again in Knox county, Tennessee, married there an amiable young rich widow the name of COBB - squandered all her and her children's property, and then abandoned them, together with six children of his own. 'He was at one time,' says the letter, 'connected in negro trading in Alabama with Thomas L. UPTON, a Tennesseean of high character.' He swindled one man out of a new saddle, borrowed money of another; and, in short, seems to be one of the most finished scamps of the age. The letter describes him as being 50 or 55 years of age, about 6 feet high, slender made, walk erect, grey eyes, silvery hair, generally dresses well, and makes a good impression on strangers. 'He has seen much of the world, has an extended acquaintance, is fond of conversation - is willing to let you know that he has been about. He rides a sorrel stallion of the Leviathan stock.'

This information the Advertiser compiles from a letter written by Andrew YOUNG, Secretary of the Alleghany Lodge, and dated "Blairsville, Union county, Georgia." So accomplished a scoundrel is worth looking after, and, therefore, we trust every honest man will keep his eyes open for an "observation."

(Mobile Tribune.)

Submitted: 04/27/18

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