National Affairs: Medicine Man

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Does a Negro woman's husband gulp down his evening meal, reach for his hat, announce that he is "going for a walk," setting out to get a cigar, starting for a lodge meeting, calling on a sick friend, or give any other of the ancient husbandly pretexts for effecting an egress from his home, what steps are proper for his wife to take? Not tears or smiles, not reproaches or endearments, not cries or kisses, according to Negro "Dr." Samuel Kojoe Pearce, lodged last week in a St. Louis jail. The correct procedure is to purchase one or another of the many potions, powders, charms peddled by "Dr." Pearce and most efficacious in promoting domestic happiness.

There is for instance, his Tie-Them-Down Powder, which, slyly slipped into tea, coffee or other beverage is guaranteed to fill the husband with an intense desire to spend his evenings at home. If, having been given Tie-Them-Down, the husband still shows no signs of curtailing his cruising radius, he becomes an "Aggravated Case" and the situation calls for Bring-back Powder, similar in nature but greater in potency than Tie-Them-Down. The Bringback retails at $50 for 25 powders; Tie-Them-Down at $25 for 25 powders. They are sold by the West African Remedy Co., the Pearce Health Institute, the Oriental Institute of Science and the Africa-American Institute of Science, all of which corporations have a very interlocking directorate consisting of "Dr." Pearce himself.

In addition to his powders, "Dr." Pearce also does business in charms. There is the Allah Charm, which will aid the wearer in contracting a wealthy marriage and is priced at only $3.49. There is the King Solomon's Wisdom Stone, "very valuable and charged with invisible life." There is the Black Cat's Wishbone, excellent for making dice behave and prompting the selection of winning horses. And there is the Lucky Turrarie, a general charm to keep evil spirits away from the homes it blesses.

"Dr." Pearce has done a mailorder business on a national scale; said he had received as much as $500 from a single customer. When arrested in St. Louis last week, however, he was unable to secure bail money and was therefore jailed while awaiting Federal Grand Jury action on his case. He was born in Nigeria (British West Africa), came to the U. S. from Hamburg, Germany, in 1920, claimed to be a licensed osteopath, and has "practiced" in New York, Detroit, St. Louis.

Negroes sincerely desirous of elevating their race last week agreed that persons promptly reporting other "osteopaths" of "Dr." Pearce's ilk would be performing valuable race service.

Some two years ago (TIME, Aug. 24, 1925) one D. Alexander, of No. 99 Downing St., Brooklyn, operated a charming dispensary with a stock remarkably like that of "Dr." Pearce. He had Tie Down Goods instead of Tie-Them-Down and King Solomon's Marrow instead of King Solomon's Wisdom Stone. He also had some additional merchandise: Boss Fix Powders (to keep employers well disposed) Guffer (or Goof-er) Dust, Happy Dust, Easy Life Powder and Buzzard Nest.

Both Messrs. Alexander and Pearce, however, agreed on one charm—the Black Cat's Wishbone (which was priced at $1,000 in a circular distributed by Mr. Alexander). About this potent charm the almost equally famed Goofer Dust songs have been written:

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