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C. Russell Christian (c.1861-1889) was a well known regional poet born in Logan County, WV. A son of B. and E. (White) Christian, he married Marian Trent, fathered at least one son (Carl), and died of typhoid fever at Kirbyville in Wyoming County, WV. He is buried in Oceana, WV.
C. Russel Christian has written a card denying that he is the author of an ode to Grover Cleveland which graced the columns of the Milton Star recently. We have not read the ode, but have no doubt that it is much better than the Mountain Bard’s “Epistle to Jefferson Davis.” It could not be much worse.
Source: Huntington (WV) Advertiser, 3 July 1886.
THE MOUNTAIN BARD ON THE WAR PATH.
The Mountain Bard has dedicated a poem to one of the editors of this paper and that unfortunate mortal confesses that he regards it as the most calamitous and disastrous thing that ever happened to him in the course of his existence. He does not pretend to understand such figures as “the angry bard for vengeance swarming far years,” and “spying a groveling farm along his path,” but supposes them to be esoteric. Here is the poem, in its naked sublimity, as it appeared in the Commercial last week:
WRITTEN FOR THE INSTRUCTION OF AND RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED TO EDITOR WIATT, OF THE HUNTINGTON (W.VA.) ADVERTISER, JULY, 1886.
BY C. RUSSEL CHRISTIAN
Author of “Epistle to Jeff Davis,” “Epistle to Useless Gibson,” “General Johnston and the Dude,” “The Rebel Holiday,” &c., &c.
When hungry critics quit their lawful prey,
And rise in arms where real Muses stray,
The faithless public greets with loud applause
The first attack–and then its aid withdraws!
Meanwhile, the Bard upon the scene appears–
The angry Bard, to vengeance swarm for years!
Along his path a groveling farm he spies,
And hurls the dart that rankles as it flies!
The stroke once o’er, the victor hides for shame,
And yields the vanquished half of all his fame.
So once a bull attacked a lightning train;
The world applauded, but applause was vain.
The cars, careering, darted o’er the line–
I’m glad Sir Bull was never bull of mine!
Source: Huntington (WV) Advertiser, 21 August 1886.
The many friends and admirers of C. Russel Christian will be pleased to learn that that brilliant poetic luminary will not go to North Dakota, as was recently reported, but will continue to lift the torch of poesy upon his native hills. Like the immortal Homer, the Mountain Bard is wandering from house to house–not the songs of love and war, but the praises of the “Life and Adventures of Sam Jones,” for which valuable and interesting book the bard is taking subscriptions. This work, which combines the spicy flavor of Brick Pomeroy’s Democrat with the dignity and humor of a patent medicine almanac, ought to be somewhere about the premises of every householder, and we hope that the bard will be abundantly successful in its distribution.
Source: Huntington (WV) Advertiser, 2 April 1887
We publish on the fourth page of this impression a job lot of the “Mountain Bard’s” poetry. This does not necessarily imply that we think the Bard is improving. We publish his poetry as the evidence of a witness of doubtful veracity is given to a jury–for what it is worth.
Source: Huntington (WV) Advertiser, 9 July 1887.
NOTE: To see Mr. Christian’s marriage record, follow this link: http://www.wvculture.org/vrr/va_view2.aspx?FilmNumber=571278&ImageNumber=41
NOTE: To see Mr. Christian’s death record, follow this link: http://www.wvculture.org/vrr/va_view2.aspx?FilmNumber=597573&ImageNumber=138
NOTE: To see Mr. Christian’s widow (a “washerwoman”) and son Carl in the 1900 Logan County (WV) Census, follow this link: https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-68V3-3TX?i=11&wc=9BWW-L2W%3A1032173901%2C1030658301%2C1033170701%3Fcc%3D1325221&cc=1325221
NOTE: For samples of Mr. Christian’s poety, follow this link: https://archive.org/details/mountainbardseri00chri