Christ's Lutheran Church in 1813

Pastor Joseph Prentiss (sometimes spelled Prentice), 34, conducting services at the first church building on the Sawkill about ¾ mile east of our present location (that is, north [or should it be south?] of present-day Route 212, across from the country club).(1)

From Moseman, Magda, and Anderson, Mark, eds., Perspectives and Patterns: Christ's Lutheran Church, 1806-1976 [Woodstock, NY: self-published monograph, 1976]. In 2006, Mark Anderson learned that the original church building was not up on the ledge and north of Route 212 but was actually south of 212, between the road and the Sawkill. "This is congruent with the reported statement of Allen Nash, who transferred into the church from Rhinebeck in the 1830s when he said that there was an old, unusable church building still standing half-way between the one on the Bonesteel lease (on the ledge) and the mill at the east end of town (present golf clubhouse). Interesting, eh?" Anderson concludes that the "Church on the Rocks" might really be the second church building (north of 212 and on the ledge), which would have been built after the second Wigram survey in 1822 (which shows the original, south of 212, location) and before Nash came in the 1830s. Therefore, at this date, the church the congregation worshipped at, the first church building, would not have been on the ledge north of 212. (Close)

[ Reverend Quitman ] (Reverend Prentiss also acted as pastor on a rotating basis at the Episcopal Christ Church in Hudson. Rationalists such as the previous pastor and founder, Rev. Frederick Henry Quitman, 53, pictured here, who had prevailed upon Pastor Prentiss to take over the pulpit in Woodstock, felt that any ordained clergyman--Episcopal, Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist, Congregationalist, and [presumably] Lutheran--could be an interchangeable pastor for any one of those congregations.)

There is some evidence that Christ's Lutheran Church in Woodstock was holding services in German and English on alternate Sundays.(2)

From Anderson, Mark J., For All the Saints: Christ's Lutheran Church, Woodstock, New York, 1806-2006 [Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2006], draft, citing Evers, Alf, Woodstock: History of an American Town [Woodstock, NY: Overlook Press, 1987], p. 225. (Close)

Congregant Lewis Edson, 65, was a singing master (a man who went around and conducted singing schools in communities as part of his livelihood; the "schools" might be held in regular schools, in taverns, as well as in churches). It is likely that he would have been the song leader (chorister) in the Sunday services.

Reverend Quitman, our founding pastor, was still pastor of St. Peter's Church in Rhinebeck. He was also president of the New York Ministerium (the synod), and he was working on a new catechism in the English language.

The Woodstock Region in 1813

Region historian Alf Evers(3)

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 had been "Chancellor" Robert R. Livingston, who died during this year. Actually running the Chancellor's affairs with his Catskill holdings of about 66,000 acres, however, had been the Chancellor's son-in-law, Robert L. Livingston, 38, who now became the official landlord, dwelling in his Clermont estate on the other side of the Hudson.

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.)

Livingston 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 could sell his leasehold, but he had to pay the landlord one-sixth of the sale.

[ John Wigram ] 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, those who failed to pay rent and who cut the landlord's timber for sale as boards, shingles, and other uses. Livingston "regarded the tenants' own shiftlessness and dishonesty as responsible for most of their troubles."

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 and hoops.

The huge demand for hoops is suggested by the advertisements which Hudson River merchants and traders placed in Ulster county newspapers. Abraham Hasbrouck of Rondout, with whom many Woodstock people had dealings, offered cash… for 10,000 hogshead hoop poles and for 12,000 "barrel" hoop poles.(4) Quoted from ibid., p. 162. (Close)
(A few Woodstock tenants were sawmill operators [on sites reserved by the Livingston landlord] or tavern owners.) Tenant 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.

With the United States now embroiled in the worldwide war, demand for domestic manufactures was stimulated. Both Samuel Stilwell's Woodstock Glass Manufacturing Company and his brother Stephen's Bristol Glass, Cotton and Clay Company, both just over the boundary from Livingston land, were doing very good business, shipping their window glass (and their clay, sand, and soda) down the new Glasco Turnpike to the Hudson River landing in the new community of Glasco (from "Glass Company") and then by sloop on to New York City.(5)

The material on the glass factories is excerpted from ibid., pp. 131, 135. (Close) Unfortunately, the glassmaking industry denuded the forests around Woodstock and, as a result of the deforestation, caused massive erosion of the mountainside soil.

Meanwhile, Samuel's company, the Woodstock Glass Manufacturing Company, was able to declare a dividend of 10 percent.

Glassworkers, by the way, with their lungs well developed from blowing glass, were typically good singers, and they have been credited with bringing an interest in music to the Woodstock area.

Scots immigrant Dr. Ebenezer Hall had persuaded his fellow townspeople in Warwick, CT, to

lay aside the plough, the axe, and the spade, and to mortgage their possessions
to help set up a glass factory there. He realized that he needed some practical knowledge to make the scheme work, so he hastened to Woodstock, already famed for its high-quality glass products, and paid $500 ($5,525 in 2006 dollars) to George Seaman, superintendent of Samuel's company, for the secrets of glassmaking. Fortified with his new knowledge, Hall returned to Warwick to start up his factory.(6)

Excerpted from ibid., pp. 128, 134. (Close)

Dr. Jacob Brink of Lake Katrine, known in Woodstock and its environs as a "white witch" and "conjurer," was often called upon to deal with the black magic of reputed witches in the area. He was frequently called upon to contend with the "Mink Hollow witch," Becky Demilt (or Demill), reputed to be tall and thin, with black hair and snow-white skin, walking on a club foot adorned with three stockings and riding a black stallion.

New Paltz slave Isabella Bomefree, 16, originally of Hurley, worked very hard to please her master, John J. Dumont. Mr. Dumont was a reasonably kind master (beating her only infrequently), but his wife was a severe and very hard-to-please taskmistress. 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 her relationship with her master:(7)

Quoted from Gilbert, Olive, Narrative of Sojourner Truth (a transcription with commentary of Sojourner's own words), 1850 (Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 1997), p. 14. (Close)
[She] became more ambitious than ever to please him; and he stimulated her ambition by his commendation, and by boasting of her to his friends, telling them that "that wench" (pointing to Isabel) "is better for me than a man--for she will do a good family's washing in the night, and be ready in the morning to go into the field, where she will do as much at raking and binding as my best hands." Her ambition and desire to please were so great, that she often worked several nights in succession, sleeping only short snatches, as she sat in her chair; and some nights she would not allow herself to take any sleep, save what she could get resting herself against the wall, fearing that if she sat down, she would sleep too long. These extra exertions to please, and the praises consequent upon them, brought upon her head the envy of her fellow-slaves, and they taunted her with being the "white folks' nigger."… At this time she looked upon her master as a God; and believed that he knew of and could see her at all times, even as God himself. And she used to confess her delinquencies, from the conviction that he already knew them, and that she should fare better if she confessed voluntarily: and if anyone talked to her of the injustice of being a slave, she answered them with contempt and immediately told her master. She then firmly believed that slavery was right and honorable.

In his gazateer of this year, Horatio Gates Spofford wrote of the Catskills, as seen from across the Hudson at the Livingston mansion at Clermont:

[The Catskills provide an] elegant display of light and shade occasioned by their irregularity, their fine blue color, the climbing of the mists up their sides, the intervention of the clouds which cap their summits or shroud their sides only, with their occasional reflections from the surface of the Hudson, succeeded by the bursting terrors of their thunderstorms, all combined from this point of view, associate a mass of interesting, picturesque and sublime objects, no where exceeded in this country.(8) Excerpted from Evers, Alf, The Catskills: From Wilderness to Woodstock, Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, 1972, p. 286, citing Spofford, Horatio Gates, Gazateer, 1813, p. 164. (Close)

During the War of 1812, many tenants of General Lewis, whose wife Gertrude Livingston had inherited 19,400 acres around Lake Delaware in Delaware County near present-day Bovina, served in the military. Lewis had instructed his land agent to forgive a year's rent for each campaign served by a tenant.

The New York State legislature finished enacting an effective statewide system of "common schools" financed by state and local governments.

The United States in 1813

[ James Madison ]

James Madison (Democratic Republican), 62, was President. The newly elected 13th Congress was in session. A dollar in that year would be worth $11.05 in 2006 for most consumable products.

Waterville Literary College (later called Colby College) was founded in Waterville, Maine.

Democratic-Republican (or, simply, "Republican" [indicating the political party that would eventually be called "Democratic"]) James Madison was inaugurated for his second term as President. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, 68, his running mate, was inaugurated as Vice President.

For any mother who took seriously her responsibilities in her maternal role, the arrival of yet another child often posed anxieties:

The idea of soon giving birth to my 3d child & the consequent duties I shall be called to discharge distresses me so I feel as if I should sink. [I] see so many defects in my conduct to my offspring now, that I know not how it will be possible for me to do my duty then. Oh God, strengthen me!(9) Quoted from Zinn, Howard, A People's History of the United States, 1492-Present, New York: HarperCollins, 1980, 1995, 1999; Perennial, 2003, p. 114, who was citing Cott, Nancy F., The Bonds of Womanhood: "Women's Sphere" in New England, 1780-1835, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1987, 91, who was citing the diary of Susan Mansfield Huntington, 24 March 1813. (Close)
Her despondency might be somewhat alleviated, however, by the idea that she had something important to do: impart to her many children such moral values as self-restraint and advancement through individual excellence.

War of 1812

[ Tecumseh ] The Kentucky Brigade (the Kentucks) under General James Winchester captured Frenchtown after the Battle of River Raisin. The British under Colonel Proctor then recaptured Frenchtown and abandoned the American wounded there to be massacred or enslaved by the Indian allies of the British. Chief Tecumseh of the Shawnees, 45 (pictured on the right), did not approve of this massacre and blamed Proctor:
I conquer to save, and you to murder.(10) Quoted in Wallechinsky, David, and Wallace, Irving, The People's Almanac, Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1975, p. 153. (Close)
U.S. forces under Captain Chauncey and General Dearborn captured York (now Toronto) in Upper Canada (now Ontario) and burned it. They also captured Fort St. George, and they recaptured Detroit. The British defeated the Americans under General James Wilkinson, however, in the Battle of Chrysler's Farm near Montreal. British forces seized Fort Niagara and then burned Buffalo, NY. British forces under Sir George Prevost were defeated, however, in the Battle of Sackets Harbor on Lake Ontario and were forced to retreat. The Canadians retained possession of Fort Niagara.

"Hey, Betty Martin" was a favorite marching song of the American troops.

[ Captain James Lawrence ] The British Navy blockaded U.S. coastal ports, and most ships could not get out of the harbors for the duration of the war. The U.S.S. Chesapeake, with a green and mutinous crew under Captain James Lawrence, 32 (pictured on the right), was disabled, boarded, and captured just beyond Boston Harbor in fierce hand-to-hand combat by the British frigate Shannon under Captain Broke; Captain Lawrence was killed in the battle, uttering the words "Don't give up the ship!"

The Royal Navy made several hit-and-run raids on the Atlantic seaboard. Admiral John Borlase Warren and Rear Admiral Sir George Cockburn ravaged Chesapeake Bay--particularly around Lynnhaven Bay and as far north as Havre de Grace and up the Susquehanna, the Elk, and the Sassafras Rivers.

[ Lieutenant "Commodore" Oliver Hazard Perry ]

The U.S. fleet under Lieutenant "Commodore" Oliver Hazard Perry, 28, commanding a green-timbered 9-ship Lake Erie fleet, including the Niagara, out of Fort Presqu-île, defeated the British in the furious Battle of Lake Erie at Put-in-Bay north of the mouth of the Sandusky in Ohio, thereby disrupting the resupply of British troops on the northern frontier. He sent a message to General William Henry Harrison, Governor of Indiana Territory, 40:

We have met the enemy and they are ours: two ships, two brigs, one schooner, and one sloop.
Harrison advanced into Ontario.

Federalists, opposed to the war, continued protesting the commissioning of regular army officers to command local militias, the discrimination against New England commerce, and the neglect of coastal defenses. Some Federalists even urged secession. Federalist-controlled state governments refused to enlist militia for the war and lobbied against any lending of money to the national government. New England gold holders lent more dollars to the British exchequer than to the federal treasury. New England farmers sent huge quantities of supplies and foodstuffs to Canada.

The British fleet extended its blockade, now including New England waters. Patrols raided the shore for supplies and collected ransoms from villages in return for not bombarding them. Ugly rumors were afloat about "Blue Light" Federalists who supposedly flashed blue lanterns on the shore to alert the blockading British cruisers that an American ship was attempting to escape the blockade.

British forces evacuated Detroit. General Harrison defeated the British under General Proctor in the Battle of the Thames in Upper Canada (Ontario). Chief Tecumseh was killed in the battle, possibly by the forces under Colonel Richard Mentor Johnson of Kentucky, 32, and the confederacy that he had built up collapsed.

Creek Indian War

General Andrew Jackson, 46, somewhat distracted by a fracas with Colonel Thomas Hart Benton and his brother Jesse Benton, led U.S. troops against those Creeks in Mississippi Territory who were not willing to adopt white civilization and who called themselves "Red Sticks" (distinguished from the Creeks who wanted to live in peace with the land-grabbing whites) and defeated them in the Battle of Talledega. The Red Stick Creeks, under Red Eagle (alias William Weatherford), and aided by British and Spanish agents, then sacked Fort Mims in Alabama, massacring more than 500 whites--men, women, and children. Jackson established the tactic of promising spoils to Indians who would ally themselves with him against the Red Sticks(11): Quoted from Zinn, op. cit., p. 127. (Close)
[If] either party, cherokees, friendly creeks, or whites, takes property of the Red Sticks, the property belongs to those who take it.
Jackson complained to his wife about the quality of the troops he had to lead. They were, he said,
the once brave and patriotic volunteers--who a few privations, sunk from the highest devotions of patriots--to mere whining, complaining, seditioners and mutineers--to keep whom from open acts of mutiny I have been compelled to point my cannon against, with a lighted match to destroy them--that was a grating moment of my life--I felt the pangs of an affectionate parent compelled from duty to chastise his child--to prevent him from destruction and disgrace and it being his only duty he shrunk not from it--even when he knew death might ensue.(12) Quoted in Rogin, Michael Paul, Fathers and Children: Andrew Jackson and the Subjugation of the American Indian Piscataway, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 1991, p. 216. (Close)

U.S. forces occupied the rest of West Florida that it had not heretofore grabbed (the area stretching between Pearl River and Pensacola along the Gulf Coast), and attached it to Mississippi Territory.

Many state banks were chartered, most of them lending money recklessly, issuing their own currency, and generating inflation. Former President Thomas Jefferson, 70, remarked:

My original disapprobation of banks circulating paper is not unknown, nor have I since observed any effects either on the morals or fortunes of our citizens which are any counterbalance to the public evils produce.(13) Quoted in Garraty, John A., The American Nation: A History of the United States, New York: Harper and Row, 1966, p. 155. (Close)
John Chapman, 38, 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."

Science and technology in America: Specifics

Nathaniel Stevens set up a woolen broadcloth (flannel) mill in North Andover, Massachusetts.

Arts and culture in America: Specifics

Popular periodicals included Niles' Weekly Register.

The World at Large in 1813

Struggles for Latin American independence

[ Simón Bolívar ]

Simón Bolívar, 30 (see his picture [from the University of Texas Portrait Gallery] on the right), recaptured Caracas and, commissioned by the Congress of New Grenada, became dictator of Venezuela.

With the Congress of Chilpancingo, Mexico declared its independence from Spain. José Maria Morelos took over the government and began adopting reforms, distributing land to the peasants. Wealthy Creoles were aghast.

Sweden abandoned the slave trade.

The last gold guinea coins were minted in the United Kingdom.

After some disasters in British mines, humanitarians established the Society for the Prevention of Accidents in Coal Mines.

After a violent explosion of the Peter Street gasworks of Frederick Albert Winsor's Gas, Light, and Coke Company (later the British National Light and Heat Company) in London, the Royal Society under President Sir Joseph Banks led an investigation. The chief engineer proved that the gasworks were safe by lighting a candle to escaping gas and surviving.

Luddite disturbances

Leaders of the Luddite movement were subjected to a mass trial at York; they were convicted and either hanged or transported to Australia.

Napoleonic Wars

King Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia declared war on France; from Breslau he appealed for volunteer corps to fight a war of liberation and he established the Landwehr and the Landsturm Iron Cross. With the Treaty of Kalisch Prussia and Russia became allies.

Sweden allied itself with the United Kingdom, which agreed to send millions of dollars to Sweden and not to oppose Norway's being swallowed up in a united Scandanavian kingdom. Crown Prince Jean Baptiste Jules Bernadotte led Swedish troops against Napoleon.

[ Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of the French ] Russian troops captured Hamburg. Mecklenburg withdrew from the Napoleonic Confederation of the Rhine. Marshal Louis Nicolas Davout, Duke of Auerstaedt, withdrew his French forces from Dresden, and combined Russian and Prussian forces entered the city.

Napoleon (to enlarge his picture, just click it) raised a new army of 500,000 reluctant recruits. An Allied army of 85,000 attacked Napoleon at the River Elbe, but the French defeated them in the very bloody Battle of Lützen at Gross Görschen, suffering heavy losses in doing so. The Allies withdrew to Lusatia. Austrian Emperor Franz I entered Dresden.

King Friederich August I of Saxony returned from Prague and allied himself with the French. Napoleon defeated the Allies in the Battle of Bautzen and the Battle of Wurschen, but with tremendous casualties; General Duroc was killed in the battle. The Allies had to retreat across the River Spree into Silesia. Marshal Davout recaptured Hamburg after the Russian forces withdrew from the city. Hostilities temporarily ceased with the Armistice of Poischwitz.

With the Treaty of Reichenbach, the United Kingdom agreed to fund Prussia and Russia against the French.

Austrian Foreign Minister Klemens Wenzel Lothar von Metternich-Winneburg, 40, attempted mediation between Marquis Armand Augustin Louis de Caulaincourt, French Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Baron Wilhelm von Humboldt, Prussian Ambassador. When the talks broke down, Austria declared war on France.

Prussian General Baron Friedrich Wilhelm von Bülow defeated French forces in the Battle of Grossbeeren, thereby rescuing Berlin. The Saxon Crown Prince refused to come to the aid of French General Nicolas Charles Oudinot.

General Gebhard von Blücher led Prussian forces to defeat the French under Jacques Etienne Joseph Alexandre Macdonald in the Battle of Katzbach. King Friedrich Wilhelm III made Blücher the Prince of Wahlstatt.

Napoleon defeated the Allies under Austrian Prince Karl Philipp von Schwarzenberg in the Battle of Dresden.

Baron von Bülow defeated the French under Marshal Ney in the Battle of Dennewitz, thereby rescuing Berlin once again.

Allied forces planned to cut off Napoleon in Dresden, but he left the city and headed toward France. His Saxon and Württemberg allies deserted him. Prussian, Russian, and Austrian forces smashed the French in the Battle of the Nations at Leipzig, storming the city and capturing King Friederich August I of Saxony. Napoleoon retreated, having lost 30,000 men. The Napoleonic Kingdom of Westphalia ceased to exist, and its King, Jérôme, brother of Napoleon, fled from Kassel. The previous rulers of Oldenburg, Braunschweig (Brunswick), Hannover, and Kassel were restored to their domains.

Emperor Franz I of Austria made Metternich a hereditary prince of the Empire.

The Dutch rose in revolt against Napoleon. The French were ousted from Holland, and William of Orange returned to power there. The Allies under General von Bülow entered Holland.

Count Bernadotte led Swedish forces into Holstein.

Peninsular Campaign: British forces under Sir Arthur Wellesley, 44, Duke of Wellington, defeated Marshal Jourdan's French forces, depleted by the need to fight the Prussians and Russians, in the Battle of Vittoria and captured Pamplona and San Sebastian. "King" Joseph Bonaparte fled to Paris. The British then invaded France from the south, defeating Marshal Nicolas Jean de Dieu Soult on the frontier.

The Allies captured Dresden, Stettin, Lübeck, Zamose, Modlin, Torgau, and Danzig.

General Blücher led his Prussian forces across the Rhine and into France from the east.

Russo-Persian war

Hostilities ceased with the Treaty of Gulistan; Persia was forced to cede territory to Russia.

The British East India Company lost its monopoly of the Indian trade but continued its stranglehold over the China trade.

World science and technology

English inventor William Horocks set up a power loom.

French mathematician Joseph Lagrange died at the age of 77.

World philosophy and religion

German philosopher and educator Johann Friedrich Herbart published Introduction to Philosophy; German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, 25, published his thesis Über die vierfache Wurzel des Satzes vom zureichenden Grunde; and Lancashire New Lanark mill owner Robert Dale Owen, 42, published A New View of Society. The Grand Freemason Lodge was founded.

The Methodist Missionary Society was founded.

Arts and culture in the British Isles

Author Jane Austen, 38, published Pride and Prejudice; poet George Gordon (Lord Byron), 25, published The Giaour and The Bride of Abydos; poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, 21, published the antireligious Queen Mab and a treatise on vegetarianism; poet Robert Southey, 39, published Life of Nelson; landscape painter Joseph Mallord William Turner, 38, painted Frosty Morning; David Cox published Treatise on Landscape Painting and Effect on Water Colours; and the London Philhamonic Society was established.

World arts and culture

Swiss writer philosopher Johann Rudolf Wyss, 32, published Der Schweizerische Robinson ("The Swiss Family Robinson"); Austrian composer Franz Peter Schubert, 16, produced Symphony No. 1 in D major; and Italian composer Gioacchino Antonio Rossini, 21, produced the opera Tancredi and the opera L'Italiana in Algeri ("The Italian Girl in Algiers").

The waltz became very popular in ballrooms all over Europe.


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