|Miss Mills, the Enchantress, and Young Dame – Tother Side of the Story
We annex the following statement of W. A. Dame, explaining his connection with Miss Mille, a different version of which, on the authority of Mr. Mills, was published in the Herald.Mr. Dame certainly makes his case quite clear, and turns the tables entirely on his accuser. We have also a letter from the elder Mr. Dame, a highly respectable gentleman of Boston, assuring us that his son’s moral character in this transaction has been untarnished. We are glad of it – but it is always a delicate business for young married men to show too much sympathy for young and pretty ladies, or to be travelling around the country with them in any shape.
Boston, Feb 1, 1841
Mr. J. G. Bennett –
Sir – I take this, my first opportunity since my return to Boston, of writing you in explanation or rather in contradiction of an article which appeared in your paper of the 16th ult. implicating me in no very desirable a connection with Miss A. R. Mills, the quandam Lady Magician.
I write you therefore, at this time with no feelings of anger, but rather as one conscious of having been deeply wronged, yet innocently on your part, and feeling assured that, with the feelings of upright independence, for which your journal is esteemed, you will readily, and at once do me all the reparation you think due under the circumstances, by expressing a conviction that you were imposed upon by Mr. Mills, and that your article, consequently, did injustice to the parties implicated, through inadvertently on your part.
In the Daily Mail, of Saturday last, you may have noticed a card from Miss Mills, and my appeal to the public, in which the facts are briefly set forth. Mr. Mills, sir, is, I assure you, a miserable drunkard, and during the ten weeks he was in this vicinity, was, I venture to say, beastly intoxicated two thirds of the time, and had, in consequence, a violent attack of the delirium tremens, while at the Hanover House. – So far from my volunteering my services to travel, he offered me one third of the gross receipts, if I would accompany him and manage his business, assigning as a cause, that his habitual intemperance entirely incapacitated him for business. I consented to go, but he having previously told me that his wife and family at home had not money enough to keep a fire in the coldest days, I replied, “that I would go with him, but he needed the money that was made more than I did, and I wished no remuneration.”
You have always expressed yourself Mr. Bennett as a friend to the fairer sex, and I feel sure therefore that you would be the last man in the world to defend or assist that brute, (I will not say fellow creature) who would wantonly beat with his clenched fists, a woman – that too his own daughter, submitting to an humiliating employment totally unbecoming her sex, for the mere support of a destitute family. I can easily conjecture the probability of a man of tender feelings being excited in behalf of a man abused and even robbed, as he represented to you his case, but when the tables are turned, and an unoffending daughter is weekly, daily, and I might say hourly assaulted in word and deed, those feelings I should judge, would be aroused with ten fold ardor, and the misplaced sympathy be at once transferred from the offender to the injured party.
That your sympathy, and that of every man of honor, is needed in this case, I admit, but Miss Mills, not her father is the proper object. “Damned *** – bloody*** – five point**” (excuse such expressions,) were his constant epithets, and his kindest language to her; and I pledge you my word, sir, that as often as every fourth-eight hours, he outrageously assaulted her. At Albany, Syracuse, and Utica, New York State, his abuse was beyond endurance. At Savannah he was committed to jail for attempting to shoot her and in fact at ever place South, East or West, where she performed, his conduct to her was outrageous. This our southern and western contemporaries will corroborate.
Mr. Mills’ real name is Mark Rainy, originally a saddle and harness marker at Worksop, England; but on removing to this country some nine years since he assumed the name of Mills, which was his wife’s maiden name. His vile habits of intemperance and abuse of his family, are well known to Mr. McPake, grocer, corner of Wooster and Grand streets, (his landlord,) to Mr. George Baldwin, cab proprietor, Mercer street, rear of Brower’s, and to Mrs. Wilson, a milliner in Canal street, of whom Miss M. learnt her trade. The two last persons have repeatedly advised her to leave him, and he treats his wife I am told, even worse than his daughter. As one instance, I will state that but a day or two before he left New York for Boston the last time, he broke every chair, table, and article of crockery Mrs. Mills owned, and came to Boston, leaving her in that situation.
In this vicinity he was turned away from several hotels for his abuse to his daughter. At Cambridge he threw a pot of hot tea at her. At Charleston loaded a pistol and tried to shoot her; and at Watertown was in the act of throwing a hammer at her, when it was wrested from his grasp.
Most of these attacks I myself witnessed, but to all there were witnesses, and I have undoubted evidence of them.
About Salem you were entirely misinformed, and I beg to set you right. We went there on Wednesday morning, Jan. 6th, and she performed there that evening to $12. After returning to the hotel he wanted supper, which was cooked, but he would not taste it. In her room, in presence of the confederate, a bill poster, and another individual, he struck her twice in the face with his fist, and threw a brass lamp at her, which hit me. The next morning he knocked her down and kicked her, when I complained of him at the police office. The event of the trial I gave in the Mail. This was Thursday, and the same evening she performed to $18; and after the performance he assaulted her in the street. This $18 was paid to the bar-keeper for board, and the $12 together with $5 cash in hand on arrival, Mr. Mills had in his possession.
By advice of Mrs. Leavitt, the wife of the landlord, and a most worthy lady, Miss M—left Salem on Friday morning, at 11 o’clock. I accompanied her to a hotel, in the vicinity of Boston, gave the landlord my address, and explained to him her name and situation. I visited Boston daily – my family knew where we were – and Mr. Mills’ threats alone, publicly made, that he would shoot her, (for which purpose he bought, in Salem, a pair of pistols, for $7, and loaded each with two balls) kept us in seclusion. As soon as we learnt he had left Boston we returned to the city, and Miss M—has again left to take a situation which promises to be alike profitable and honorable. I am at my father’s, and my wife has never been ill, or the least alarmed concerning me, as she knew where I was.
I trust this explanation will convince you of the character of Mr. Mills, and that he grossly deceived you in his statement. I have been at some trouble to procure evidence to satisfy the editors of the Mail that Mr. M—misrepresented the facts to you, which they announced editorially on Saturday last.
I feel sure you will be disposed to do Miss M—and myself ample justice, and subscribe myself.
Very obediently yours,
W. A. Dame.