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12 corrections, most recently by anonymous - Show corrections


- -{Philadelphia News."] """'

I remember that two orthreeyears ag >I incidentally referred to a prominent 'physician of this city wearing shoes made from the skin of negroes. He still adhered to that custom, insisting that the tanned hide of an African makes the most endur- ing and the most pliable leather known to


only last week I met him upon the street with a brand new pair of shoes. I looked at his footwear as I always do his pedal coverings have an irresistib'e fascination for me-and said with a smile,

"Is the down-trodden african still be- neath your feet ? ' in the most matter of fact way, and without the shadow of a smile he answered, " I suppose you mean to inquire if I still wear shoes made of the skin of a negro. I certainly do, and I don't propose changing in that respect until I find a leather that is softer and will last

longer and present a better appearance. I

have no sentiment about this matter. Were I a Southerner-in the American sense of the word-I might be accused of being actuated by a race prejudice But I am a foreigner by birth, but now an American citizen by naturalisation. I fought in the rebellion that the blacks might be freed. I would use- a white man's skin for the same purpose if it were sufficiently thick, and if any' one has a desire to wear my epidermis upon his feet after I have drawn my last breath, he has my anta mortem permission. '

The doctor's shoes always exhibit a peculiarly rich lustrousness in their blackness. He assures me that they never hurt his feet. The new pair he was using when I last saw him emitted no creaking sound, and appeared as com- fortable as though they had been worn a month. Their .predecessors, he told me, had been in constant use for eight months, He obtains the skins from tho bodies of negroes which have been dissected in one i of our big medical colleges. The best leather is obtained from the thighs.

The soles are formed by placing several layers' of leather together. The skin is prepared by a tanner at Womseldorf, 1C milos from Beading. The shoes are fashioned by u Fiench shoemaker of this city, who knows nothing of the true cha- racter of the leather, but who ' often wonders at its exquisite smoothness, and says that it exoels the finest French calf-


, Do .not for a moment think that this doctor presents an exceptional case of one who puts the human skin to a practical use. Medical students frequently display a great variety of articles in which in the skin or bones of some dissected mortal has

been gruesomely utilised, and iu bursts of generosity they sometimes present these to their friends, who prize them highly.

One of the dudest dudes in town carries a mutch-safe covered with a pot tun of the skin of a beautiful young woman who was found drowned in the Delaware river. It still retains its natural colour. Another young man with whom I am acquainted carries a ciga'-case made of negro skin, a ghastly skull and, croasbones appearing on one side in relief.' One of the best known Burgeons iu this country, who resides in this oity, has a neautif ul instrument case, entirely covered with leathermadefromauAfricau'sskiu. A young society lady of this city wears a beau- tiful pair of dark slippers, the remarkable 1'istrousuess of whose leather invariably excites the admiration of her friends when they see them. The young doctor who presented them to her recently returned from an extended foreign tour, and he told her that he had purchased them from a I Turk in Alexandria, and that he did not

know what sort cf leather they were made ef, but he supposed it was the skin of some wild animal. As a matter of fact, the skin carne from a negro cadaver, which was once prone on a Jefferson College dissecting table, and the leather was prepared in Womseldorf. The rosettes on the slippers wore deftly fashioned from the negro's kinky hair.