Christ's Lutheran Church in 1814

Pastor Joseph Prentiss (sometimes spelled Prentice), 35, replaced during this year by George Joseph Wichterman, 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)

Congregant Lewis Edson, 66, 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; his son, Lewis Edson, Jr., would also have been involved in leading the singing.

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) From Anderson, Mark J., For All the Saints: Christ's Lutheran Church, Woodstock, New York, 1806-2006 [Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2006], p. 33, citing Nelson, E. Clifford, ed., The Lutherans in North America [Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1975], p. 92. (Close)
Such was not the case in the New York Ministerium, however. Pastor Wichterman, the first candidate to have been ordained by the Ministerium 19 years earlier, was not likely to have withdrawn from that organization, nor would he have favored revivalism.

[ Reverend Quitman ] The church's former pastor and founder, Rev. Frederick Henry Quitman, 54, pictured here, was still pastor of St. Peter's Church in Rhinebeck. He was also president of the New York Ministerium. He was a friend of both William Ellery Channing of Boston (the leader of the American Unitarians) and the president of Harvard College. It was during this year that Harvard awarded him his D.D.

[ Catechism of Dr. Quitman ] It was also during this year that Dr. Quitman finished his five-year project of writing on a new catechism in the English language, Evangelical Catechism. (To see some of the pages in the book, click on the cover.) With this effort, he began to earn the greatest criticism from many of his contemporaries and certainly from later Lutheran historians and theologians. Dr. 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--and, of course, his catechism reflected that rationalism. The catechism made no mention of Martin Luther, and it was "full of rationalistic teaching." Not all of the pastors in the synod appreciated his work, and some made direct translations of Luther's catechism over the next few years.(3)

Here Anderson, pp. 17-18, is citing Schalk, Carl, God's Song in a New Land: Lutheran Hymnals in America [St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1995], p. 69, and Neve, J. L., A Brief History of the Lutheran Church in America, trans. Joseph Stump [German Literary Board, 1904], p. 51. Anderson, p. 23, cites one modern church historian, however, who does not agree with the assessment of Quitman being a "thoroughgoing rationalist." H. George Anderson, cited in Nelson, p. 106, sees him as being a member of the school of "biblical supernaturalism": "Standing between the … rationalists on the one hand and evangelistic American Protestantism on the other, Quitman represents a hybrid theology. His statements sometimes seem contradictory, as when he asserts that man has not been deprived of his 'free moral agency,' and then goes on to declare that it is the Holy Spirit who provides 'every good quality of which the Christian is possessed.' In an earlier work he attacks local superstition about spirits and demons on grounds that would argue equally well against miracles; he condemns the 'miracles' of Pharaoh's sorcerers but does not question the miracles of Moses. His catechism does not deal explicitly with the divinity of Christ, yet refers to him as 'the only begotten Son of God' in several places. His definition of faith and his explanation of the Lord's Supper show an almost complete misunderstanding of Luther. In short, Quitman presents no finished Lutheran theological system; he simply tries unsuccessfully to restate traditional beliefs in a rationalistic language and manner." (Close)

[ Hymnal of Quitman and Wackerhagen ] Dr. Quitman, along with his stepson-in-law, Augustus Wackerhagen (also spelled Wacherhagen), 40, and Dr. P. F. Mayer (Wackerhagen's brother-in-law), published the second English-language Lutheran hymnal in the United States: A Collection of Hymns, and a Liturgy, for the use of the Evangelical Lutheran Churches. Bound together with the hymnal is a liturgy and a collection of prayers. To see some of the pages in a readable size, click the title page thumbnail. According to John Nicum, a prominent Lutheran historian:

The new hymnbook was a vague and completely un-Lutheran work.(4) Ibid., p. 24. (Close)
Dr. Carl Schalk, who is enormously insightful regarding the music of the Lutheran church, is quite clear in his general disdain for Lutheran hymns in America during the nineteenth century and equally clear in pointing to Dr. Quitman's hymnal as the nadir of such efforts during that century.

A volume like this is very rare, because not very many were printed. For one thing, few people could afford such a volume. Possibly even more important was the fact that many of Dr. Quitman's colleagues were by this time questioning whether he was "authentically" Lutheran, and works like these were eventually repudiated (and perhaps destroyed?) by the Ministerium.

The Woodstock Region in 1814

Region historian Alf Evers(5)

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, and for all his other Catskills holdings of some 66,000 acres, was Robert L. Livingston, 39, 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 Livingston. (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."

To pay some of his back rent to Livingston, David Short hauled 250 pounds of maple sugar made at Yankeetown to Clermont and was credited with a little over $26 [$253 in 2006 dollars].

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.

Livingston leased for one year the ruined mill of Daniel Sherwood in Little Shandaken (Lake Hill) to Henry and Jacob Bogardus, who contracted to repair the mill and dam and supply a new saw. Livingston was to be paid a third of the mill's output of 300 logs. The Bogarduses agreed

to get the logs from the commons & to take those that are down when they are to be had and not to permit any sawed stuff to be taken from the mill until they shall be divided by some person sent by Mr. Livingston for that purpose.(6) Quoted from ibid., p. 165. (Close)
Evidently, Livingston did not trust the Bogarduses to deliver his share without oversight.

Agent Wigram helped circulate a petition to the Postmaster General asking for a post office to be set up in Woodstock, citing its increased population and its hosting two glass factories. The petition was successful, and the first postmaster was probably Richard Keetor, a bookkeeper and sometimes justice of the peace.

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 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.(7)

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.

Manor lord Robert L. Livingston was stimulated by the success of the two glass factories just beyond his property boundary to develop a similar project of his own. The New York State Legislature granted a charter to his Woodstock and Saugerties General Mining and Manufacturing Company, authorizing it to establish

a manufactory of cotton and wool, flax and hemp, earthen ware, glass, iron and also to apply such part of their capital for the purpose of digging for iron ore, lead and coal, as they may judge expedient, in the towns of Woodstock and Saugerties, and in other places in the counties of Ulster and Sullivan where the said company may think proper…
Livingston was the president and treasurer of the company, with John Wigram and Rufus Briggs (miller and land agent at Clermont and later at Saugerties) among the incorporators. Capital stock was set at 8,000 shares of $50 each [$487 in 2006 dollars].(8)

Excerpted from ibid., p. 156, citing "An Act to Incorporate the Woodstock and Saugerties General Manufacturing Company," in Laws of New York, Thirty-Seventh Session, vol. 3, ch. CIV, Albany, NY, 1815, p. 111. (Close)

Acknowledging the "coal mania" seizing much of the U.S., with the development of better methods of burning anthracite, many Woodstockers were dreaming of becoming rich from mining coal.(9)

This explication about coal, and the cited quotations from Transactions, Society for the Promotion of the Useful Arts, vol. 3, Appendix B, February 13, 1814, are from Evers, p. 142. (Close) Meanwhile, in New York City, the Society for the Promotion of Useful Arts resolved
[that] this society deem it highly important to make researches for the discovery of Fossil Coal, and that a committee be appointed to procure pecuniary aid for this purpose…
A committee was duly appointed and got right to work on procuring and discovering. Recalling that the city of Albany had recently offered a reward of $1,000 ($9,720 in 2006 dollars) for the discovery of nearby coal, the committee urged the "corporation of the opulent city of New-York" to offer "twice or thrice" that sum for exploration and the making of borings. Committee member Horatio Gates Spafford noted in his gazateer his hopes for coal in the Woodstock area:
The inhabitants are reserving coalmines in all their transfers of land, and suppose they have found sure indications of that valuable fossil.… But I do not learn that any coal has yet been found.

Woodstock voters elected commissioners and inspectors of schools, including Stephen Stilwell, John Wigram, and Dr. Larry Gilbert Hall.

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, 17, 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:(10)

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.

During the winter Colonel Zadock Pratt shipped some 100,000 oars made out of white ash down the Schohariekill Road (about present-day Route 23A west from Palenville) down to the Hudson and then on to New York City.

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. Lewis went so far as to forgive all back rents of those served if the tenants were "actually resident on their farms." The total back rents forgiven were estimated to be $7,402.63 ($71,953.56 in 2006 dollars).

The United States in 1814

[ James Madison ]

James Madison (Democratic Republican), 63, was President. The 13th Congress was in session. (The midterm elections that year would elect the 14th Congress.) A dollar in that year would be worth $9.72 in 2006 for most consumable products.

Emma Hart Willard, 27, of Middlebury, Vermont, set up a school of higher education for women.

Tuition at Harvard was about $300 per year ($2,916 per year in 2006 dollars).

A large lending library network was established west of the Alleghenies, consolidating several circulating libraries in Pittsburgh.

A group of Pennsylvania Germans established a religious-communistic utopian village called Harmonie in the Indiana wilderness.

War of 1812

With the defeat of Napoleon in Europe, thousands of crack British veterans were available for the conflict with the Americans. Some 11,000 of them assembled in Montreal under Sir George Prevost to crush the U.S. Prevost advanced into the U.S., aiming to split the country by taking the Hudson Valley, but he was just barely defeated on Lake Champlain by a U.S. defense line under General Alexander Macomb and a U.S. fleet under Lieutenant Thomas Macdonough in the marine Battle of Plattsburgh, fought on floating slaughterhouses.

The Times of London, smarting from wounded pride on the sea, urged chastisement for the Americans:

The people--naturally vain, boastful, and insolent--have been filled with an absolute contempt for our maritime power, and a furious eagerness to beat down our maritime pretensions. These passions, which have been inflamed by success, could only have been cooled by what in vulgar and emphatic language has been termed a "sound flogging."(11) Quoted in Bailey, Thomas A., Kennedy, David M., and Cohen, Lizabeth, The American Pageant: A History of the Republic, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1998, p. 237. (Close)
American forces under General Jacob Brown and Brigadier General Winfield Scott, 28, captured Fort Erie and then defeated the British in the Battle of Chippewa. Both the British and the Americans claimed victory in the Battle of Lundy's Lane near Niagara Falls; Colonel James Miller led a valiant charge and captured the British artillery. These battles effectively stopped any British invasion from the north.

Meanwhile, the British occupied Maine east of the Penobscot, and the Royal Navy, from its ruinous blockade along America's coast, raided various New England ports. Custom revenues were choked off, and the bankrupt U.S. Treasury could not meet its maturing obligations.

A British force of 4,000 under General Robert Ross rendezvoused with fleet commanders Vice Admiral Sir Alexander Cochrane and Rear Admiral Sir George Cockburn and then landed in Maryland. They routed 7,000 Americans (out of the 95,000 who had been called up) under incompetent Brigadier General William Henry Winder, 39, in the Battle of Bladensburg ("the Bladensburg races") on the outskirts of Washington, DC. First Lady Dolley Madison fled the Presidential Mansion with the silver plate, a portrait of George Washington, some government papers, and her parrot. The British then captured Washington; they burned the Capitol, the Navy Yard, and, after finding a table spread for 40 guests recently and hurriedly abandoned, the Presidential Mansion (the "Yankee Palace"). (Admiral Cockburn took as souvenirs one of the President's hats and a cushion from one of Dolley's chairs; he drank a toast to "Jemmy's health" and added vulgar pleasantries.) For a while, President Madison was commanding an artillery battery, but when he saw that defeat was certain, he skedaddled in a coach.

The Library of Congress was destroyed, but Congress authorized the $23,700 purchase "at cost" of Thomas Jefferson's library ($230,364 in 2006 dollars).

General Ross then bombarded Fort McHenry in Baltimore (where incarcerated Francis Scott Key, 35, composed "The Star Spangled Banner" to the tune of "Anacreon in Heaven" as he gazed at the 15-star, 15-stripe flag), but the British could not overcome the American defenders under General John Stricker. General Ross was killed during the action, and the British called off the Chesapeake campaign.

Secretary of War James Monroe, 56, proposed a draft and generous bounties to raise an army of 100,000, but the 13th Congress did not act on the proposal. Congressman Daniel Webster, 32, of Massachusetts and New Hampshire, warned that his region would nullify any conscription law.

The British raids on Washington and Baltimore caused a financial panic, as investors in the wild state banks demanded to convert their deposits into silver and gold. Every bank outside of New England suspended specie payment. Soon a paper dollar was worth only 85 cents in Pennsylvania and even less in Maryland. Secretary of the Treasury Alexander J. Dallas began lobbying for a Second Bank of the United States.

Federalists, opposed to the "Mr. Madison's War," were called by Harrison Gray Otis to meet in the Hartford Convention in Connecticut; 26 representatives actually attended and met for 3 weeks. They were frustrated with "that Little Man in the Palace" (Madison) and the Republican "Jacobins." Some, led by Timothy Pickering, and John Lowell, proposed to seek a separate peace with the United Kingdom and to secede from the Union, setting up an independent New England Confederation. The Times of London applauded this viewpoint, stating:

New England allied with Old England would form a dignified and manly union well deserving the name of Peace.(12) Quoted in Morison, Samuel Eliot, The Oxford History of the American People, New York: Oxford University Press, 1965, p. 397. (Close)
Moderates, however, were pressing merely for modifying the Constitution: no 3/5 rule (where a slave counted as 3/5 of a person, thereby giving the Southern states a voting edge), no new States without a 2/3 vote in Congress, no declaration of war without a 2/3 vote (unless the country were invaded), no embargo without a 2/3 vote, no admission of new states without a 2/3 vote, no holding office for naturalized citizens, no second term for President, and no successive Presidents from the same state. The moderates called for federal financial assistance to compensate for the lost trade.

The United Kingdom proposed peace, and the U.S. Senate confirmed the following peace commissioners: Minister to Russia John Quincy Adams, 47, House Speaker Henry Clay, 37, former Senator James A. Bayard, Treasury Secretary Albert Gallatin, 53, and Minister to Sweden Jonathan Russell. The puritanical Adams was chairman of the delegation, and he disapproved of the high-living Clay. At first the British demanded that the U.S. abandon the entire Northwest Territory (the region between the Ohio River and the Great Lakes, between the Appalachians and the Mississippi River) to the Indians as a buffer state. They wanted complete control of the Great Lakes. They refused to concede anything regarding the impressment of American sailors. Adams exclaimed in exasperation:

The causes in which the present war originated… will scarce form the most insignificant item in the Negotiations for Peace.(13) Quoted in Garraty, John A., The American Nation: A History of the United States, New York: Harper and Row, 1966, p. 200. (Close)
The British were also demanding a corridor between St. John, New Brunswick, and Québec City as well as the headwaters of the Mississippi River. And they did not want to honor American claims to Newfoundland fisheries. They also proposed that all the territory they had conquered be permanently part of the British Empire-- eastern Maine as well as anything that further invaders might conquer before peace was finally concluded. The Americans insisted on the 1783 boundary. Sir Arthur Wellesley, 45, Duke of Wellington, was invited to take over the British forces in America, but he stated:
That which appears to me to be wanting in America is not a general, or general officers and troops, but a naval superiority on the Lakes. The question is, whether we can acquire this. If we can't, I shall do you but little good in America, and I shall go there only to prove the truth of Prevost's defence; and to sign a peace which might as well be signed now. I think you have no right from the state of the war to demand any concession of territory from America.(14) Quoted in Morison, op. cit., p. 398. (Close)
The Treaty of Ghent was essentially only an armistice. Both sides simply agreed to stop fighting and to restore the territory conquered. There was no mention of the Indian menace, search and seizure, Orders in Council, impressment, confiscations--all the grievances about which the Americans had made war. John Q. Adams summed up the treaty:
Nothing was adjusted, nothing was settled.(15) Quoted in Davidson, James West, and Stoff, Michael B., The American Nation, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1986, 1995, p. 291. (Close)
He also said:
I hope it will be the last treaty of peace between Great Britain and the United States.(16) Quoted in Garraty, op. cit., p. 200. (Close)
It was.

Both sides agreed to return to the status quo ante bellum. Boundary commissions were established to settle border disputes between Canada and the United States. This long and nebulous boundary, the rival fishing and fur interests, the competing navies on the Great Lakes--all provided many points of friction. One British banker with investments in the U.S. complained about Canada, wishing that the U.K. would return it to the Indians, since it

was fit for nothing but to breed quarrels.(17) Quoted in Morison, op. cit., p. 405. (Close)
The Treaty of Ghent specified that the two nations would "use their best endeavors" to end the African slave trade, too. The war was now officially over. However, news of the treaty did not reach North America until the following year. Relieved Americans took solace in the vain boast: "Not One Inch of Territory Ceded or Lost."

Creek Indian War

General Andrew Jackson ("Old Hickory"), 47, with the indispensable help of Cherokees who had been promised government friendship, defeated the Creeks (underwritten by the British) under Chief William Weatherford (Red Eagle) in the Battle of Horseshoe Bend on the Tallapoosa River in Alabama, killing 557 of them. Weatherford, later walking into Jackson's camp and surrendering, told Jackson:
I am in your power; do with me as you please. I am a soldier, I have done the white people all the harm I could. I have fought them and fought them bravely. If I had an army, I would yet fight, and contend to the last. There was a time when I… could have answered you.… I could animate my warriors to battle, but I cannot animate the dead.… I beg you to send for the women and children… who have been driven into the woods without an ear of corn.… They never did any harm. But kill me, if the white people want it done.
Jackson poured Weatherford a glass of brandy and took one himself, and he promised to help the women and children. Weatherford promised to persuade his braves to peace and was allowed to leave camp unharmed.(18)

Quoted in Wallechinsky, David, and Wallace, Irving, The People's Almanac, Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1975, p. 154; Wellman, Paul I., The House Divides: The Age of Jackson and Lincoln, from the War of 1812 to the Civil War, Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, 1966, pp. 51-52. (Close)

Jackson pursued the Creeks into Spanish West Florida, who in the resulting Treaty of Fort Jackson surrendered to the U.S. their lands in southern and western Alabama--some 23 million acres, more than half of their total lands, the largest single cession of southern American land. Some of the losers included Creeks who had been on Jackson's side. When Tustanagee Thlucco (known as "Big Warrior"), chief of the friendly Creeks, protested, Jackson responded(19):

Quoted from Zinn, Howard, A People's History of the United States, 1492-Present, New York: HarperCollins, 1980, 1995, 1999; Perennial, 2003, p. 128. (Close)
Brother, listen,… The United States would have been justified by the Great Spirit, had they taken all the land of the nation.… Listen--the truth is, the great body of the Creek chiefs and warriors did not respect the power of the United States--They thought we were an insignificant nation--that we would be overpowered by the British.… They were fat with eating beef--they wanted flogging.… We bleed our enemies in such cases to give them their senses.

Unaware of the progress of the peace negotiations, a small British contingent under the Irishman Colonel Edward Nicholls landed at Pensacola in Spanish West Florida and began drilling Creek refugees and the "maroons," black slaves who had escaped from the United States. Jackson continued his invasion into Florida and captured Pensacola. Nicholls made an "offensive and defensive alliance" with the Seminole Indians (a composite of runaway Creeks, Apalachees, Yuchis, and Yamasees) against American interests. Meanwhile, some 800 escaped black slaves who had joined the Seminoles, and who were called Black Seminoles, occupied a fort on the Apalachicola River in West Florida, 60 miles south of the Georgia border, that had been abandoned by the British. The fort was stocked with a dozen pieces of artillery, 2500 muskets, 500 carbines, 500 swords, 400 pistols, 300 quarter casks of rifle powder, 763 barrels of common powder, and other ordnance.

British Major General Sir Edward Pakenham at Negril Bay in Jamaica, also unaware of the progress of the peace negotiations, prepared an assault force of 3,000 men, joined with naval forces of Vice Admiral Sir Alexander Cochrane, consisting of 6 ships of the line, 14 frigates, dozens of smaller vessels, and 11 transports. They set out at the end of the year with the intention of occupying New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, encouraging Louisiana to secede from the United States.

John Chapman, 39, 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

Connecticut clockmaker Eli Terry, 42, invented a 30-hour shelf clock out of interchangeable parts; and Massachusetts industrialist Francis C. Lowell, 39, set up a completely mechanized factory for turning raw cotton into finished cloth. He employed farm girls, housing them six to a room.

Physician Benjamin Barton published a report on extinct plants and animals; and Massachusetts physician Jacob Bigelow published the standard botanical Flora Bostoniensis.

Arts and culture in America: Specifics

Singing in the Park Street Church in Boston was accompanied by a flute, a bassoon, and a cello; and architect James Hoban, 52, was commissioned to restore the burned Presidential Mansion, which was renamed the White House, because he used a lot of white paint to disguise the fire damage.

Popular periodicals included Niles' Weekly Register.

The World at Large in 1814

Struggles for Latin American independence

Spanish forces defeated revolutionary forces in Chile, Venezuela, Guatamala, and Mexico.

The Sutherland clearances

George Granville Leveson-Gower, 56, Duke of Sutherland, married to the Countess of Sutherlandshire, began destroying homes of Scottish Highlanders in Sutherlandshire, driving nearly 10,000 people off to make way for sheep. Many of the Highlanders emigrated to Nova Scotia.

George, the Prince of Wales and Lord Regent, banned his hated wife, Caroline of Braunschweig (Brunswick), 45, from court. She left for a European tour.

The Donkin-Hall factory in England produced tinned food to be sold commercially.

Lancashire New Lanark cotton mill owner Robert Dale Owen, 43, joined in business English utilitarian philosopher and economist Jeremy Bentham, 66, along with Quakers William Allen and James Walker, to set up a humanitarian mill that would generate a reasonable return on investment.

The British Parliament repealed the 1563 Statute of Apprentices to clear the way for business-friendly policies that would oppress workers. As food prices soared, London banker Alexander Baring, 40, argued in Parliament that it was "altogether ridiculous" to worry about the price of wheat because workers could only expect to eat dry bread either way.

Napoleonic Wars

[ Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of the French ] French General Joachim Murat switched sides and began to support the Allies. Allied forces under Prussian General General Gebhard von Blücher defeated the French in the Battle of La Rothière. But then Napoleon (to enlarge his picture, just click it) defeated von Blücher in the Battle of Champaubert, the Battle of Montmitrail, the Battle of Château-Thierry, and the Battle of Vauchamps. Napoleon smashed the Prussian army in the Battle of Nangis and the Battle of Montereau. The Allies offered to respect the 1792 frontier of France, but Napoleon refused.

Then the Allies defeated Napoleon in the Battle of Bar-sur-Aube and the Battle of Laon. British forces under Sir Arthur Wellesley, 45, Duke of Wellington, captured Bordeaux.

The Allies defeated Napoleon in the Battle of Arcis-sur-Aube and the Battle of La Fère-Champenoise. The Allies stormed Montmartre and then entered Paris.

Napoleon was forced to abdicate unconditionally and was exiled to the island of Elba, 95 square miles, sovereignty over which he was granted with a 2-million franc annual pension and the right to keep his imperial title. Napoleon's wife, Empress Maria Luisa, 22, was given sovereignty over Parma, Piacenza, and Guastalla.

The Comte de Provence, 59, entered Paris and was restored to the French throne as King Louis XVIII, and Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord, 60, was named Minister of Foreign Affairs. The Congress of Vienna (not to be confused with its 1822-23 offshoot, the Congress of Verona) convened, determined to restore the balance of power in Europe with the Peace of Paris. The United Kingdom was represented by Foreign Secretary Robert Stewart, 45, Marques of Londonderry and Viscount Castlereagh, a firm believer in the balance-of-power concept.

Abortion was outlawed in France.

King Ferdinand VII was restored to the Spanish throne.

Christian Frederick of Denmark was elected King of Norway. By the Treaty of Kiel, Denmark then ceded Norway to Sweden, and Crown Prince Jean Baptiste Jules Bernadotte, 52, led Swedish forces into Norway, ousting Christian Frederick and forcing the Norwegians to accept King Charles XIII of Sweden as their King.

Hannover became an independent kingdom.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands was established from the union of Holland with the Austrian Netherlands (Belgium) under the Protocol of the Eight Articles. The Dutch abandoned the slave trade.

Returning to Rome from his captivity by Napoleon, Pope Pius VII reestablished the Inquisition and the Index; he also restored the power and prestige of the Jesuits.

British expansion into Africa

Cape Province in South Africa became a British colony. The United Kingdom paid the Netherlands and the Dutch East India Company an indemnity of £6 million.

British expansion into India

Lord Hastings, the Governor General of India, declared war on the Gurkhas of Nepal. An Anglican Bishop was appointed for India.

Reverend Samuel Marsden set up a mission in New Zealand, converting many of the Maoris to Christianity.

World science and technology

English inventor George Stephenson, 33, built a practical steam locomotive at Killingworth Colliery near Newcastle. The Times of London was printed by a steam-operated press. St. Margaret's in London's Westminster was entirely illuminated by gas.

Swedish chemist Jöns Jacob Berzelius, 35, published Theory of Chemical Proportions and the Chemical Action of Electricity; English botanist John Lunan published Hortus Jamaicensis, coining the term grapefruit; and French physician Mathieu Jean Baptiste Orfila published Toxicologie générale.

Arts and culture in the British Isles

Author Jane Austen, 39, published Mansfield Park; poet William Wordsworth, 44, published The Excursion; poet George Gordon (Lord Byron), 26, published The Corsair; Scots poet Sir Walter Scott, 43, anonymously published Waverley; painter Thomas Lawrence, 45, painted The Congress of Vienna; composer John Field, 32, produced Nocturnes; and tragic actor Edmund Kean, 25, debuted as Shylock in Merchant of Venice. Dulwich Gallery in London opened.

World arts and culture

French author François de Châteaubriand, 46, published De Buonapart et les Bourbons; and German jurist Friedrich Karl von Savigny, 35, published The Claim of Our Age on Legislation. German philosopher Johann Gottlieb Fichte died at the age of 52.

Spanish painter Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes, 68, painted The Second of May 1808 and The Third of May 1808.

French painter Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, 34, completed Grande Odalisque; French painter Theodore Géricault, 23, painted The Wounded Cuirassier; French dramatist René Charles Gilbert de Pixerecourt, 41, produced Le chien de Montargis, ou La forét de Bundy ("The Dog of Montargis, or The Forest of Bundy"); German author and composer E. T. A. Hoffman, 38, published Phantasiestücke in Callots Manier (part of Tales of Hoffman); German composer Ludwig von Beethoven, 44, produced the opera Fidelio, oder Die eheliche Liebe; Italian composer Gioacchino Antonio Rossini, 22, produced the opera Turco in Italia ("The Turk in Italy"); and Austrian composer Franz Peter Schubert, 17, published his first lieder. J. N. Maelzel invented the metronome. German actor and dramatist A. W. Iffland died at the age of 55.


The copyrighted material cited on this page comes under the definition of "Fair Use."

See also the general sources.