A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“I used to work in a fire hydrant factory. You couldn’t park anywhere near the place” (11/19)
“Watch repairmen always get to work on time” (11/19)
“I never use body butter. I don’t want to make myself irresistible to cannibals” (11/19)
“Why do midgets make bad parents?"/"Because they struggle to put food on the table.” (11/19)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (11/19)
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Entry from August 15, 2007
Fiddler General ("Couldn’t get elected Fiddler General")

"Fiddler General” is a fictitious position in government. When David G. Burnet ran for president of Texas against Sam Houston in 1841, it was allegedly said that Burnet “couldn’t get elected fiddler general.”

The “fiddler general” term is similar to someone who “can’t get elected dog-catcher.”


President David G. Burnet - Later Years - Texas State Library
David G. Burnet
(...)
Presidential candidate: Burnet ran for president against Sam Houston in 1841. The campaign was marked by vicious name-calling. Burnet alleged that Houston, in addition to being an alcoholic, was an opium addict who had the “blind malignity of a rattlesnake in dog days.” For his part, Houston derisively called Burnet “Little Davy” and “King Wetumpka” (hog thief). Burnet was soundly defeated by the popular Houston; as one San Jacinto veteran noted, “Burnet could not be elected fiddler general to the old chief.” When he took office for his second term, as a final act of revenge against his foe, Houston blocked payment of Burnet’s salary for his tenure as vice-president.

Wikipedia: David G. Burnet
David Gouverneur Burnet (April 14, 1788 – December 5, 1870) was an early politician within the short-lived Republic of Texas, serving as Interim President (1836 and again in 1841), Vice-President (1839-41), & Secretary of State (1846) for the new state of Texas after it was annexed to the United States of America.

This Dog’ll Really Hunt:
An Entertaining and Informative Texas Dictionary
by Wallace O. Chariton
Plano, TX: Republic of Texas Press
1999
Pg. 214:
Political office, nonexistent: fiddler general
Pg. 215:
Politician, poor:... couldn’t get elected fiddler general of Texas

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Wednesday, August 15, 2007 • Permalink