VIP A. Miner Griswold

A. Miner Griswold (January 26, 1834 - March 14, 1891)

Alphonso Miner Griswold was a journalist, humorist and lecturer who started his career as a reporter on the Buffalo Republic and Times. He soon won a name for himself as "The Fat Contributor," contributing humorous pieces to papers like the Detroit Advertiser and the Cleveland Plain Dealer. In 1863 he became city editor of the Cincinnati Times and in 1872 he founded the Fat Contributors Saturday Night, and wrote for it until 1883. 

The San Francisco Dramatic Chronicle published an item about Mark Twain and hashish on September 18, 1865, which promised more "experiences of the twain" in the following issue of The Californian.

As promised, The Californian (9/23/1865 p.6) carried this delightful piece, which was picked up in the SF Examiner on 10/25/1865:  

GRISWOLD AS A HASHEESH EATER. ­– Griswold, the "Fat Contributor," relates in one of his letters his experience as a hasheesh eater. Those who have read Bayard Taylor or Fitzhugh Ludlow on the subject, will read it with infinite satisfaction. It is as follows: 

"All at once the scene changed. From the fiercest torments and most horrible agonies, I was suddenly changed into seas of bliss. I found myself floating in an ocean of brown gravy which was dotted with islands composed of boned turkey and alamode beef. French rolls floated along in the gravy, warm from the oven, and dashed helter skelter down my throat, the only natural species of bread and sop that I ever heard of.

"Partridges on toast, with quail in the same delightful spread-eagle condition, danced along on the rippling gravy-like nautiluses on a spree, sails made of the thinnest and most delightfully seasoned omelettes hot and boiling. Potatoes bobbed along in pyramids, while turkey wings moved on savory pinions to my capacious mouth. 

"I climbed gleefully the island of boned turkey, and then trod with a light heard colonnades of bologna sausage, and along lanes of porter house steak. Fountains adorned the parterres from which squired cabinet pudding (both kinds of sauce.) and Alsop’s pale ale. 

"Conservatories, the roofs of which were composed of Welsh rabbits, were filled with the rarest puddings, while the lawns absolutely crawled with lobsters who were busy chopping each other into salad. Fried oysters hung in clusters from every bough, rivulets of turtle soup ran in every direction, irrigating the foundation of boned turkey underneath. 

"I rioted in fields of bowers where every twig was laden with ham sandwiches, mustard flowing naturally from every shrub. I rolled over and over in beds of oysters, all fat and luscious, each of which held up its head and begged the privilege of being swallowed. I threw handsprings in meadows of mushrooms, with stuffed hare running about, ready browned, with lemons in their mouths, entreating the pleasure of my teeth in their toothsome carcases. The trees bore eggs on toast, and the heavens rained pop corn and peanuts."

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