BUCKNER – A Lesson In Honesty


One day, said Uncle Ben, my father got into a heated discussion with a man on the streets of Louisville, and for some insulting remark made by the latter, my father knocked him down and admonished him severely. Whereupon the man sued him for assault and battery. I was present and saw the whole thing, and was summoned by my father to testify in his defense without any previous examination as to the character of my testimony. Greatly to his surprise my testimony went dead against him as the first agressor. So the other man won his suit and father had to pay the fine and costs. 1 thought I saw fire in the old man’s eyes as I told my story, and I tell you as soon as I stepped down off that witness stand I got out of there in a hurry, and was cutting around a corner to escape the thrashing I expected when I felt a slap on my shoulder and turned to face my father. And what do you think he said? “Ben my son! I’m proud of you! I’m proud of you! You told the truth and shamed the devil, if you did beat your father in that suit,—you dog you! Now sir you go straight to my tailor and tell him to make you a fine broadcloth suit and charge it to me, do you hear?”  With a hearty handshake we separated and away I went, thanking my stars I had missed the thrashing, and mighty glad to get the present. I won’t say but what the water got into my eyes, too—as I turned away.

Source: “Reminiscences of The Buckner Family”, by Mrs. Priscilla Aylette Buckner Reardon, about 1901, pages 11-12.