While researching the story of Charley Clay, an early black pioneer to the area, I came across a newspaper clipping that caught my attention. It’s a fascinating read on several levels. It speaks to Victorian mores. It includes some prominent early citizens such as Deputy District Attorney Fancher Sarchet (author of Murder and Mirth: The story of a Colorado Trial Lawyer) and Judge Stover. And despite this being a shotgun wedding, it seems that several of the couple’s friends joined them for their impromptu ceremony. Several white friends, that is. Which seems significant.
The portrayal of Daniel’s response at first made me cringe. It felt patronizing. But I’ve been mulling it over, and it’s possible that the author was trying to accurately portray the scene for the benefit of his readers and that he was only trying to capture Daniel’s accent and demeanor. Based on the love that the community held for Jesse’s father, Charley, and the fact that several White friends were in attendance, supporting the wedding, I’d like to give the author the benefit of the doubt and assume that his portrayal of Daniel was a nod to accuracy rather than stereotyping. But I’ll let you decide for yourself.