Until church members had a building of their own, they held services in their homes, subject to the weather and farm work schedules. Circuit-riding Reverend Frederick Henry Quitman, 47, was their official pastor, conducting services on different days in Rhinebeck (St. Peter's Church), West Camp (the Palatine Lutheran Church of St. Paul's), and Woodstock. There is some evidence that the church was holding services in German and English on alternate Sundays.(1)
Congregant John Connor's child was baptized.
Above are two pages from the church register. On the left is a record from 1807 through 1809 of the names and dates of children who were baptized as well as their parents and sponsors (with a big splotch of ink). On the right is a record of the officers of the church from 1807 through 1810, as they were elected on a rotating basis. To enlarge either picture, just click it.
In general, pastors and congregations belonging to the New York Ministerium (the synod) were not in favor of the evangelical revivals that were just beginning to be popular among American Christians--in particular, among the Methodists.
Since the Methodist movement grew out of Episcopal roots and shared much of the emphasis on "experimental religion" that dominated Lutheran piety, one might expect that Lutherans would cooperate with them fully.(2)Such was not the case in the New York Ministerium, however. Both its president, Dr. John Kunze (pictured here), and its secretary, our Pastor Quitman, had little regard for the Methodists. Dr. Kunze, in fact, perceived them as a threat, although there is record of Methodist clergy joining Lutheran synods.(3)
Here Anderson, p. 33, is citing Nelson, E. Clifford, ed., The Lutherans in North America [Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1975], p. 92. (Close)
New sects spring up daily. We are surrounded with frantic Methodists, Erastians or New Lights, Baptists, Universalists, etc. There is continually preaching (so called) in our neighborhood. The Methodists are at present in camp-meeting two-mile beyond the flats.(4)Pastor Quitman was possibly the most thoroughgoing rationalist who had ever been ordained in the Lutheran church; for example, he denied the authority of both the Bible and the Lutheran Confessions.(5)
Here Anderson, p. 46, is citing Kreider, Harry J., History of the United Lutheran Synod of New York and New England, Volume I, 1786-1860 [Philadelphia: Muhlenberg Press, 1954], p. 71. (Close)
During this year, Dr. Kunze died, and the Ministerium elected Pastor Quitman to replace him. During the Quitman presidency over the subsequent 19 years, the policy of the Ministerium became distinctly rationalist.(6)
Also during this year, the Ministerium decided that English should replace German as its official language. It also lifted its 1798 ban on English-language membership (that is, its silly resolution that it would never recognize a new Lutheran church that used the English language if that church was located where the members could avail themselves of English in an already established Episcopalian church).(7)
Region historian Alf Evers(8)
Excerpted from Evers, Alf, Woodstock: History of an American Town, Woodstock, NY: Overlook Press, 1987, pp. 23ff, 41, 150ff. (Close)
has described the Catskills as largely a region of absentee landlords and struggling tenants, in a manorial relationship more or less transplanted to upstate New York from medieval Europe. The principal landlord for tenant farmers and tavern keepers in the Town of Woodstock was "Chancellor" Robert R. Livingston, pictured, who, when not engaged in diplomatic missions for the Jefferson Administration, dwelled in his Clermont estate on the other side of the Hudson. Actually running the Chancellor's affairs with his Catskill holdings of about 66,000 acres, however, was his son-in-law, Robert L. Livingston, 32.
The typical official arrangement under which the tenant held his land was the "three-life lease": A tenant would be permitted use of Livingston land for three generations, and after the grandson of the original tenant died, the lease "fell in"--that is, the land would revert to a Livingston landlord. (For this reason, a tenant typically build a wood frame house or a rough log house, rather than the stone houses like those found in the Hurley or Marbletown lowlands.)
The Livingston landlord expected the tenants to increase the value of the land by clearing it, cutting the trees to feed the sawmill he had built on the Sawkill near the present-day golf course, and hauling the resulting boards and planks to the Hudson to supply the manufacture of gunstocks, houses, and ships. Stipulated in the typical lease was an annual rent of fifteen to twenty bushels of wheat per hundred acres, plus three or four "good fat hens" and from one to three days' work with team on the common land.
A tenant had the right to sell his leasehold, but if he did he had to pay the landlord one-sixth of what he received.What was actually happening, however, was often a little different:
[Not] only did [many tenants] fail to pay rent, but they cut timber for sale as boards, shingles and other uses at a lively rate.Even on paper, Robert L. Livingston's Woodstock lands and those in adjoining Shandaken and Olive never produced more than about $2,000 per year [$23,960 per year in 2006 dollars] in rents. And, because of the difficulty in collecting rents due, the income was considerably less.
Livingston--through his agent John Wigram, pictured here, the town supervisor who resided on Wigram Lane (Rock City Road) near the barn now known as Parnassus Square, and who farmed there with the help of his slaves--initiated several legal proceedings against recalcitrant tenants whom he considered scofflaws and trespassers. Livingston "regarded the tenants' own shiftlessness and dishonesty as responsible for most of their troubles." Wigram studied the rent rolls for previous decades and ferreted out discrepancies and omissions: Sometimes wheat delivered had not been of the "sound merchantable" sort; back rents had piled up; back taxes had not been paid. Wigram organized rent-paying parties at Isaac Eltinge's tavern at Yankeetown, at Jacob Montross's in Little Shandaken, and at the tavern of Philip Bonesteel (of our congregation) on the Sawkill at the edge of the Woodstock hamlet.
Some tenants tried hard to make amends: Frederick Wentworth, for example, drove his wagon across the frozen Hudson to deliver a load of charcoal to Clermont. He had a note from Wigram to Livingston:
He is a poor Honest Industrious Man has met with many Misfortunes has to maintain Father & Mother in law & his Wife has been under the Doctor's hands for some Years and has a very Indifferent farm--his boys are now coming on so as to be able to help him--he wishes to be so far favored as to have some of the Back Rent abated if you should be pleased as he say he never shall be able to recover if he is obliged to pay the whole of the arrearages--altho' so poor a man he has the Confidence of the Town & has been Collector and Constable for some Years and has performed his duty & paid taxes [on his rented farm] faithfully.Wentworth's charcoal was accepted and the arrears partly forgiven. Tenant Peter Bogardus, the blacksmith of Little Shandaken (Lake Hill), paid Wigram with two oxen worth $80 [$958 in 2006 dollars]; he promised to pay a year's back rent in wheat and showed a receipt for 11¼ bushels that had not been credited to him. Bogardus's neigbor, sawmill operator Daniel Sherwood, sent an ox worth $33 [$395].
The life of the tenant on Livingston land was not especially easy. The men worked at subsistence farming, they hunted, they logged, they produced maple sugar, they did part-time blacksmithing, and--with wood harvested from the still-large Woodstock forests (much of it belonging to the Livingston landlord, its harvesting thus constituting trespassing)--they produced charcoal and made such wood products as shingles and barrel and hogshead staves. In the late spring or early summer they peeled hemlock bark used for tanning, piling it in the woods and in the winter hauling it by sledge to smelly tannery of John C. Ring in the heart of Woodstock hamlet. (A few Woodstock tenants were sawmill operators [on sites reserved by the Livingston landlord] or tavern owners.)
Women cooked and baked in fireplaces, washed on the rocks beside a stream, sewed and spun flax and wool, churned butter, gave birth to children and then cared for them, and helped with the farm work, especially at harvest and slaughtering times: They made soap from ashes and animal fats, they dried apples, they pickled and preserved.
Robert Fulton, backed by landlord Robert R. Livingston, the Chancellor, launched the 133-foot-long, 18-foot-beam, paddle-wheel steamboat Clermont, with a 30-foot-high stack, and cruised 150 miles up the Hudson River in 30 hours, inaugurating regular service between New York City and Albany. His venture had heretofore been derided as "Fulton's Folly."
Meanwhile, stray animals, including large troops of hogs driven up from Kingston, were fattening on bumper crops of acorns or beechnuts in the Woodstock commons, devastating the young trees and brush and interfering with forest regeneration.
There were two doctors accessible to Woodstockers. One was Dr. Boaz Searle from Middletown, who advertised in The Plebeian of Kingston the low prices of his medicines:
To the honest poor he is determined to be friendly and indulgent, He will be ready at all times to attend to the calls of patients… and he will be faithful to his trust.(9)Dr. Searle's competitor was Dr. Benjamin R. Bevier, who actually had a degree in medicine from New York City's Columbia College.
Quoted in ibid., pp. 101-2. (Close)
New York City jewelry entrepreneur and land speculator Stephen Stilwell, who had bought property the year before in present-day Shady (soon to be called Bristol) with a vision of building a glass factory, was becoming bankrupt from overextension in his speculative schemes. He was already in trouble with the Ulster County sheriff. Now he turned hopefully to the veins of coal he was sure existed on his property. In December the Plebeian of Kingston printed under the caption COAL the following:
We understand that Mr. Stephen Stilwell has discovered a vein of Fossil coal near his Iron works in the town of Woodstock about 12 miles from this village [Kingston] from which sanguine expectations are indulged. The coal is found near the surface and the stratum is represented to us as being from 9 to 18 inches in thickness.(10)Stilwell appealed to the City of New York for funds to develop the mine. The committee of New York's Common Council issued the following report:
This and the following quote, as well as the intervening text, are excerpted from ibid., pp. 140-42. (Close)
They have submitted the Specimen of Coal produced by Stilwell to the inspection and examination of Doctor Bruce professor of mineralogy and Doctor Dewitt professor of Chemistry of the College of Physicians in this city. That those gentlemen are decidedly of opinion that the Specimen indicates the existence of a coal mine, the extent and quality of which can only be ascertained by actual exploration.As the committee suggested, the charcoal-making firewood required by the city dwellers was being brought in from ever farther away at an ever greater cost, and with the war raging in Europe, supplies of soft coal from England were getting harder to come by. Nonetheless, the Common Council turned down Stilwell's petition.
From satisfactory inquiry into the character of Mr. Stilwell your Committee are perfectly assured that the Specimen of Coal offered by him has been, bona fide, taken from a mine as set forth in his petition. The expense of exploring being too great and hazardous for him to attempt alone, he proposes to raise a fund of $50000 [$599,000 in 2006 dollars]) in Shares of fifty dollars each [$599 each]), pledging the land on which the Mine is situate for the benefit of the Subscribers together with a right to one half of the coalmine.
How far the Corporation may judge it expedient to contribute toward exploring the mine, either by subscription for a number of shares, or by an advance of a reasonable sum on such security as Mr. Stilwell can give, or by offering a premium for the first quantity of Coal amounting to [blank] Chaldrons produced from the mine, is submitted to the wisdom of the board,
The Committee cannot conclude this reference without observing that it is certainly an object of the highest consequence and a duty imposed on this Board to encourage every plausible plan that may tend to produce a supply of even an Article so essentially necessary for the comfort and existence of the citizens of this rapidly expanding metropolis as mineral Coal so called to distinguish it from charcoal especially when the resource can be found within the bosom of our own State, whereby our citizens will be relieved from the uncertain dependence on foreign supplies.
The Augmentation of our population exceeds, annually, the growth of Forests for Fuel, and unless additional resources be explored, this essential article of existence must bear extremely oppressive, as indeed it does at present, on the poorer classes of Society.
Isabella Bomefree, 10, a slave of the Dutch-speaking Hardenberghs in Hurley (and therefore speaking only Dutch herself), the daughter of slaves James ("Bomefree") and Betsey ("Mau Mau Bett"), had eight to ten older brothers and sisters living with her in the dark cellar underneath the hotel of her master. Each of the children was regularly sold off, individually or in pairs, after reaching an age deemed capable of slave labor. Here is how abolitionist Olive Gilbert, the literary mouthpiece of Isabella (in later life known as Sojourner Truth), recorded Isablla's description many years later of how one such sale took place:(11)
Quoted from Gilbert, Olive, Narrative of Sojourner Truth (a transcription with commentary of Sojourner's own words), 1850 (Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 1997), p. 3. (Close)
[The] little boy, on the last morning he was with them, arose with the birds, kindled a fire, calling for his Mau-mau to "come, for all was now ready for her"--little dreaming of the dreadful separation which was so near at hand, but of which his parents had an uncertain, but all the more cruel foreboding. There was snow on the ground, at the time of which we are speaking; and a large old-fashioned sleigh was seen to drive up to the door of the [master]. This event was noticed with childish pleasure by the unsuspicious boy; but when he was taken and put into the sleigh, and saw his little sister actually shut and locked into the sleigh box, his eyes were at once opened to their intentions; and, like a frightened deer he sprang from the sleigh, and running into the house, concealed himself under a bed. But this availed him little. He was re-conveyed to the sleigh, and separated for ever from those whom God had constituted his natural guardians and protectors, who should have found him, in return, a stay and a staff to them in their declining years.Isabella recalled her parents, especially her mother, recalling and recounting every memory of her departed children.
Catskill businessmen had taken over the publicly owned Schohariekill Road (approximately present-day Route 23A) and were attempting to convert it into a private "Little Delaware Turnpike," which, when completed, would stretch from Catskill all the way to the East Branch of the Delaware River (north of Roxbury). Unfortunately, with the Embargo Act of President Jefferson, there was a business slump, and it was difficult for these businessmen to recover.
Catskill bakery owner John Ashley harvested the tips of spruces on the shores of North Lake to obtain the "essence of spruce," from which he brewed (with water and molasses) and bottled spruce beer, as popular then as carbonated cola is today.
With various blustering threats and maneuvers, Neversink Valley landlord Gerardus "Gross" Hardenbergh, 63, had for the previous 5 years been pressing his "tenants" and those whom he insisted were squatters (even though they had fee-simple deeds he insisted were worthless frauds) to pay rent. He terrorized the valley, dragging farmers from their houses and committing outrage after outrage. All the farmers in the valley hated him fiercely. He realized that he would not be able to live in the valley himself, so he boarded at the big stone house of Mrs. Maria Masten in Kingston. He employed loquacious Judge Lucas Elmendorf to defend his land claims.
Thomas Jefferson (Democratic Republican), 64, was President. The newly elected 10th Congress was in session. A dollar in that year would be worth $11.98 in 2006 for most consumable products.
Men's wigs were passing out of fashion; the look of a Roman emperor became all the rage--clipped hair in back, ringlets or confusion on top, locks over the forehead. Luxurious hair was brushed forward, sometimes parted to one side. Most men were clean shaven. Women wore short curls waved on the forehead, hair sometimes ornamented with combs, fillets, tiaras, or coronets. Silk hats replaced beaver hats in European fashions; the demand for beaver pelts therefore declined, and the beaver population in North America began to recover from near extinction.
Lighting inside houses came from candles. Housewives preserved foods by drying, salting, and smoking. The fireplace or woodstove fire had to be stoked relentlessly and invariably extinguished itself during the wee--and coldest--hours of the night. The kitchen in summer was sweltering. With water needing to be heated over the stove, little wonder that irregular bathing was the norm. (Many people, convinced that bathing caused colds and other illnesses, bathed their bodies no more than once a year.)
We have principles from which we shall never depart.… Our neutrality should be respected.… On the other hand, we do not want war, and all this is very embarrassing.(12)
Once an Englishman, always an Englishman.When the torn Chesapeake limped back into the port of Norfolk, the citizens there, hot for war, mobbed British officers. The Washington Federalist reported:
We have never, on any occasion, witnessed the spirit of the people excited to so great a degree of indignation, or such a thirst for revenge, as on hearing of the late unexampled outrage on the Chesapeake. All parties, ranks, and professions were unanimous in their detestation of the dastardly deed, and all cried out for vengeance.(13)
Thousands of men were "impressed" from American ships, perhaps three fourths of them American citizens. Secretary of State James Madison characterized impressment as
anomalous in principle … grievous in practice, and … abominable in abuse.(14)
The Pretension advanced by Mr. Madison that the American Flag should protect every Individual sailing under it … is too extravagant to require any serious Refutation.(15)
French naval forces were seizing American merchant ships bound for the UK (considering them, according to Napoleon's Milan Decree, as actually British property), and British naval forces were seizing American merchant ships bound for French ports (if they had not first paid extortionist duties in England). Persuaded by Secretary of State Madison's policy of "peaceful coercion," Congress passed the Embargo Act, outlawing all exports. New England merchants, joined by tobacco and cotton farmers in the South, resented the loss of business and vigorously opposed the law, which they called the "Dambargo." They reasoned that if only one in three American vessels escaped harassment by British or French warships, the merchants still came out ahead; but the embargo strangled business entirely. American foreign trade dropped by 75% (exports from $108 million down to $22 million in one year [$1.84 billion down to $376 million in 2006 dollars]). The embargo did, however, stimulate the development of domestic manufacturing.
Senator John Quincy Adams of Massachusetts, son of former President John Adams, though a Federalist, supported the embargo as a good alternative to war, and this stance made him very unpopular with the voters at home.
A huge meteor crashed into Weston, CT.
Benjamin Silliman, chemistry professor at Yale, began selling in New York City bottled water carbonated with carbonic gas.
The New Jersey state legislature rescinded the right of women to vote, making the disenfranchisement of women complete within the United States.
Governor William Henry Harrison of Indiana Territory kept pressure on the Indians, grabbing their lands through promising aid to one group against another, penalizing one group for some misdemeanor, or corrupting another group. Shawnee Indian brave Tenskwatawa, known as the Prophet, preached that the Indians had to give up white ways and white artifacts, such as muskets, iron cooking pots, cloth, and whiskey. If they returned to ancient Indian ways, they would be able to gain sufficient power to resist the relentless pressure from American settlers.
John Chapman, 32, known as "Johnny Appleseed," continued distributing Swedenborgian religious tracts and apple seeds to settlers in the Ohio Valley. A small, wiry man with "eyes that sparkled with a peculiar brightness," he had a reputation for loving children and all living creatures, even mosquitoes. He made friends with all the Indians he encountered. He traveled barefoot, dressed in cast-offs or a coffee sack. He liked to read to settlers from the New Testament, calling it "news right fresh from heaven."
Pity the sword that dangles from his felon's belt, for it is doubtless made of honest steel!Marshall ultimately acquitted the Burr for "lack of evidence" on the grounds that the expedition had collapsed before it really began.
Cuban-born Louisiana (St. Louis)-resident Manuel Lisa traveled up the Missouri River to start a fur-trading venture. He built Fort Lisa (also called Fort Manuel or Manuel's Fort) on the Big Horn River in present-day Montana.
Jacob Albright staged the first convention of the U.S. Evangelical Association.
Popular periodicals included Boston Weekly Magazine, Lady's Weekly Miscellany, and Christian's Magazine.
Slavery was prohibited by the United Kingdom, after tremendous agitation in Parliament by William Wilberfoce.
King George III of the United Kingdom dissolved Parliament, which was about to grant emancipation to Catholics.
A British Order in Council outlawed neutral ships from trading with France and her satellites.
Combined Russian and Prussian forces engaged the French in the bloody but inconclusive Battle of Eylau. French forces captured Danzig and then defeated the Russians in the Battle of Friedland. The French occupied Königsberg.
After reaching as far east as the Niemen River, Napoleon concluded on a raft the Treaties of Tilsit with Tsar Alexander I of Russia and King Friederich Wilhelm III of Prussia. Russia recognized the French puppet state in Poland: the Grand Duchy of Warsaw. Prussia lost half of its territory. Russia gained Bialystock in new East Prussia. Russia, alienated from Britain because of its tepid support, was now an ally of Napoleon.
Yet another brother of Napoleon, Jérôme Bonaparte, became King of Westphalia.
Fearing that the French would seize the Danish fleet to make it part of an invasion force against the British Isles, British naval forces bombarded Copenhagen; heretofore neutral Denmark concluded an alliance with Napoleon, and Russia declared war on the United Kingdom. French troops occupied Stralsund and Rügen.
British Admiral Sir John Thomas Duckworth led a British squadron to capture the Dardanelles, but then the Turks forced him to retire. British forces occupied Alexandria for a short time, but the Turks forced them to evacuate. French forces reconquered the Ionian Islands.
Portugal refused to cooperate in the Continental System of Napoleon, so the French army under Marshal Andoche Junot captured Lisbon and occupied Portugal. The Braganza royal family of Portugal fled to Brazil aboard a British convoy.
Napoleon reiterated the ban against commerce with the United Kingdom in his Milan Decree.
Baron Heinrich Friedrich vom und zum Stein became Prime Minister of Prussia. He emancipated Prussian serfs.
Russian forces battled with the Turks for control of Wallachia and Moldavia.
Sierra Leone and Gambia became British Crown Colonies.
English chemist Humphry Davy discovered the elements sodium and potassium (or, at least, gave them their names in his On Some Chemical Agencies of Electricity).
German physician Franz Joseph Gall the founder of the practice of phrenology, arrived in Paris, claiming that emotional and intellectual functions were determined by parts of the brain that were revealed by bumps in the skull.
Thomas Cribb, 26, won the title of world boxing champion from Henry Pearce.
German composer Ludwig von Beethoven, 37, produced Leonora Overture and Mass in C major; German composer Karl Maria von Weber, 20, produced at Schloss Karlsruhe in Silesia Symphony No, 1 in C minor and Symphony No. 2 in C major; Italian composer Gasparo Spontini produced the opera La Vestale; and French novelist Mme. Anne Louise Germaine Necker, Baronne de Staël-Holstein, 41, published the novel Corinne.
J.G. Pleyel founded his pianoforte factory in Paris.