Pastor Augustus Wackerhagen (also spelled Wacherhagen), 43 (stepson-in-law of founder and former pastor, Dr. Frederick Henry Quitman), 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)
It was also during this year that Dr. Quitman, pictured here, published his Three Sermons.
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, including the pastor in Woodstock. Reverend Wackerhagen reported
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)
the principles of unostentatious piety seem to prevail among the generality of my people.(3)Congregant Lewis Edson, 69, 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., owner of a sawmill in Mink Hollow that supplied the Bristol (Shady) glass factories nearby, would also have been involved in leading the singing.
Here Anderson, p. 46, is citing Schalk, Carl, God's Song in a New Land: Lutheran Hymnals in America [St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1995], p. 69, and Kreider, Harry J., History of the United Lutheran Synod of New York and New England, Volume I, 1786-1860 [Philadelphia: Muhlenberg Press, 1954], p. 181. (Close)
Pastor Peter A. Overbaugh of the Dutch Reformed Church, who had laid more stress on love than on the fear of hellfire, took leave of his Woodstock congregation.
Colonel William Edwards, 47 years old, 6 feet 4 inches tall, with a huge head proportioned for a man twice that height, began construction on his New York Tannery factory at Red Falls on the Schohariekill Creek (the spot that would later become the village of Hunter). He imported gangs of millwrights and carpenters from Massachusetts. The settlement that arose around the factory became known as Edwardsville (later it would be Hunter). The factory itself, initially 300 feet long but soon to grow another 200, and spewing smoke and sparks from its four huge brick chimneys as fires inside warmed the long rows of hide-and-bark-steeping vats, was like nothing else that had ever been seen in the Catskills. The factory's outbuildings making up Edwardsville consisted of an office, a store, a blacksmithery, sheds for storing bark, a large boardinghouse for single workers, and rows of saltbox-style cottages for married workers. At the beginning of each workday, Colonel Edwards would read a chapter of the Bible to the workers and lead them in prayer; on Sundays he had them sit on benches while he conducted services.
The colonel's financial backers in New York City sent shipments of smelly hides to the factory, and the workers skinned the bark off hundreds of thousands of hemlocks in the hills surrounding the village (leaving the rest of the naked tree to die in place), shipments of tanned leather (with its reddish color characteristic of hemlock tanning) returned to the city for currying and finishing,
Region historian Alf Evers(4)
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, 42, 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.
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. 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 tanneries of John C. Ring or of Samuel, Philip A., or John Culver on the Tannery Brook 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.
Meanwhile, Livingston was having trouble managing the resources on his manor lands. Trees cut down on Livingston land were taken to non-Livingston sawmills, and the sawed boards taken to market with little attempt at concealment. As for the Livingston sawmills, the operators apportioned inferior boards for the landlord's share, selling the better ones for their own profit.
Imports from Great Britain continued their flood into the United States, and domestic manufacturing enterprises were suffering against the cutthroat competition. Manor lord Robert Livingston's Woodstock and Saugerties General Mining and Manufacturing Company languished, its reports of iron and coal deposits unfounded and its stock unsaleable. The two glass factories in Bristol (Shady)--the Woodstock Glass Manufacturing Company of William and John Mott and the Bristol Glass, Cotton and Clay Company of Stephen Stilwell, both just over the boundary from Livingston land--managed to muddle through against the competition, the extremely cold weather, and the dearth of good-quality sand.(5)
The material on the glass factories is excerpted from ibid., pp. 131, 135. (Close)
They shipped their wagons loaded with wooden boxes of window glass (and their clay, sand, and soda) down the Glasco Turnpike to the Hudson River landing in Glasco (from "Glass Company") and then by sloop on to New York City. Unfortunately, the glassmaking industry denuded the forests around Woodstock and, as a result of the deforestation, caused massive erosion of the mountainside soil.
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.
Dr. Ebenezer Hall, superintendent of Woodstock Glass Manufacturing Company, practiced medicine, as one of Woodstock's only resident doctors. Another doctor was Dr. Larry Gilbert Hall (no relation), who had much better academic training and a good medical library and who lived in the house later torn down to make room for the present Woodstock Library. A doctor in those days could pull teeth, bleed a sufferer, and lance a boil, as well as other medical duties. There was no hospital available to Woodstockers, but many women were skilled in nursing and midwifery. There were no drug stores, but the remedies most in demand were available at the general store, including opodeldoc, a soap-based liniment; camphor; spirits of hartshorn; castor oil; gum guaicum; syrup of squills; and opium and its derivatives, such as laudanum.
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.
The Ulster County Legislature proposed that a county "House of Industry," modeled on the British Poor Laws, be set up for paupers. According to the Ulster Plebeian, many reacted negatively to the proposal:
Many poor are actuated by as nice sensations of sensibility as their rich benefactors. Such would, unquestionably rather receive bounty from a neighbor, than from a stranger, and from a townsman, than one of another town or the county at large.… [The poor] also have their predeliction for the place of their birth, or that which a long residence has rendered dear.(6)
Quoted from ibid., p. 231. (Close)
The New York State Legislature had in 1799 enacted a gradual emancipation of slaves in the state: Any child born to a slave mother after July 4 of that year, would be freed from bondage after serving the mother's master until age 25 if female or age 28 if male. During this year, the legislature provided that
any Negro, mulatto or mustee within this State born before the fourth of July, 1799, shall from and after the fourth day of July, 1827, be free.New Paltz slave Isabella Bomefree, 20, originally of Hurley (unfortunately born before the 1799 cutoff, and so looking ahead to another decade of bondage)--now in a "marriage" after a fashion to fellow slave Thomas (in a relationship that could at any time be sundered by the sale of either of them)--began to bear children, thereby increasing the property of her master, John J. Dumont, who could at least get some labor out of the children for a few years. Dumont boasted about Isabella (whom he called "Bell"):
That wench 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.(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)
Eunice Chapman accused the Shakers of Watervliet, NY, of kidnapping her husband James and their children. The Shakers were defended in court by Peter Dodge, Seth Y. Wilson, and Joseph Hodgson, who maintained that married couples who joined the Shakers could remain married and bring up their children without control from the Shakers, that parents and other relatives could visit their loved ones if they conducted themselves civilly, that married men without their wives were welcome into the Society (but only with their wives' consent), that the Shakers had tried to reconcile James with Eunice, that they were not hiding the children, that they had taken the children in only because the children would have otherwise starved, that James was "pacifick" when with the Shakers, that Eunice was abusive in conduct and conversation, and that the State Legislature could examine the Society about whether sexual abstinence was sufficient cause for divorce.
Construction began on the Erie Canal, designed by New York Governor De Witt Clinton, 48, to connect the Great Lakes with the Hudson River (and, thus, the Atlantic Ocean). It was to be 4 feet deep, 40 feet wide, with 10-foot-wide towpaths on either side. Stretching for 363 miles, it was to have 83 locks, since Lake Erie was 570 feet higher than the Hudson. At first, the workers dug the cut by hand, but to speed up the work, inventors developed new equipment. A horse-drawn crane lifted rock debris out of the cut, and an "endless screw" attached to a roller, cable, and crank pulled down tall trees. A stump-pulling machine could extract 40 tree stumps per day. Most of the workers were Irish immigrants earning 37.5 cents ($4.31 in 2006 dollars) and about a quart of whiskey per day; snakebite, malaria, and pneumonia killed thousands of them.
James Madison (Democratic Republican), 66, was President, succeeded during this year by James Monroe, 59 (pictured at left). The newly elected 15th Congress was in session. A dollar in that year would be worth $11.05 in 2006 for most consumable products.
After his Inauguration, in which he said, "National honor is national property of the highest value," President Monroe made a good-will tour of the country, and he was warmly welcomed everywhere--even in Federalist New England. The Boston Columbian Centinel commented that the United States was entering an "Era of Good Feelings." The Washington National Intelligencer observed:
Never before, perhaps, since the institution of civil government, did the same harmony, the same absence of party spirit, the same national feeling, pervade a community. The result is too consoling to dispute too nicely about the cause.(8)William Read, a black boy, when learning that he could not take part in Election Day festivities, blew up a ship in Boston Harbor.
Quoted in Bailey, Thomas A., Kennedy, David M., and Cohen, Lizabeth, The American Pageant: A History of the Republic, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1998, p. 242. (Close)
Rumors abounded of a 70-to-100-foot-long 3-foot-diameter undulating sea serpent, with a long tongue darting from its gaping maw, cavorting off the coast of Gloucester, MA. Lanso Nash and ten others testified that its body was the size of a half-barrel and its tongue resembled a harpoon. Witnesses swore that the beast swam between 10 and 14 miles per hour, and that it sunk into the water like a rock rather than swimming downward.
Thomas Gallaudet set up a school for deaf people in Hartford, CT.
The steam ferry Nautilus, owned by Vice President Daniel D. Tompkins, 43, began operation between Manhattan and Staten Island.
A fire broke out in a Pennsylvania poorhouse when an old woman emptied her tobacco pipe into a spittoon.
The U.S. Supreme Court, under Chief Justice John Marshall, 62, in the case of Martin v. Hunter's Lessee, ruled that the Supreme Court had the right to review and overturn any judgment of a state supreme court.
The American Tract Society circulated with "circuit riders" (pictured here) religious literature to outlying settlements and isolated farms in the frontier.
Stephen Harriman Long explored the upper Mississippi, Fox, and Wisconsin Rivers.
U.S. Acting Secretary of State Richard Rush, 37, negotiated with British Ambassador Sir Charles Bagot, 36, to produce the Rush-Bagot Agreement between their two countries: Both would limit naval forces on the Great Lakes. Each nation could have four single 18-pound-gun vessels of 100 tons each--one on Lake Ontario, one on Lake Champlain, and two on the upper Lakes. Further naval construction on any of the Lakes was forbidden.
Peace in Europe caused farm prices in the U.S. to plummet.
John Caldwell Calhoun of South Carolina, 35 (pictured on the left), and Henry Clay of Kentucky, 40 (pictured on the right), fearing growing sectionalism in the country, argued for their "American System" in the new 15th Congress: Northern manufacturers would benefit from high tariffs on imports; with their greater wealth, Northerners would buy farm products from the West and South. The high tariffs would also reduce American dependence on foreign goods. Calhoun was enthusiastic:
Let us bind the Republic together with a perfect system of roads and canals.… [A protective tariff] would form a new and most powerful cement.(9)Calhoun expressed concern with the sectionalism:
Quoted in Morison, Samuel Eliot, The Oxford History of the American People, New York: Oxford University Press, 1965, p. 402. (Close)
We are greatly and rapidly--I was about to say fearfully--growing. This is our pride and our danger; our weakness and our strength.(10)Tariffs promised to benefit every section of the country: Pittsburgh wanted its charcoal-smelted pig iron to compete with British and Swedish iron, hemp weavers in Kentucky wanted to compete with jute manufacturers in Scotland, shepherds in Ohio and Vermont wanted protection from English wool, New York grain farmers wanted to retaliate against the British Corn Law tariffs. At this time, New England shipping interests were against tariffs.
Quoted in Athearn, Robert G., ed., American Heritage Illustrated History of the United States, vol. 5, Young America, New York: Choice Publishing, 1988, p. 374. (Close)
The 15th Congress voted to distribute $1.5 million ($16.6 million in 2006 dollars) to the states for internal improvements, but President Madison vetoed the measure as unconstitutional.
The Cumberland Road, with its 30-foot-wide gravel center on a base of stone, now stretched from Cumberland on the Potomac to Wheeling, Virginia, on the Ohio River. A contemporary observer remarked that 12,000 wagons had arrived at Pittsburgh from Baltimore and Philadelphia that year. It cost $9.50 to ship 100 pounds of freight from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia, but within a year the cost fell to $6.50 ($105 and $72, respectively, in 2006 dollars). Enterprising merchants could send selected goods overland from the Seaboard to the headwaters of the Ohio River, raft them down to New Orleans or sell them along the way, and then ship goods back to the Seaboard.
The 60-foot-long, bell-decorated Conestoga wagon, nicknamed "the Flying Machine" (and later known as "the prairie schooner"), could cover the 90-mile distance between New York City and Philadelphia in just 3 days. It was a very colorful method of transportation; it could carry a load of several tons. Its body was characteristically boat-shaped; its fore and aft were slanted to prevent cargo from slipping out on steep inclines. (Many of them were driven over mountainous terrains.) The Conestoga was typically pulled by six horses, although up to ten were employed for heavy loads.
John Chapman, 42, 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."
Indians in Ohio signed a treaty giving up their remaining 4 million acres in Ohio. They were pressured to give up their nomadic ways and become farmers. President Monroe stated:
The hunter or savage state requires a greater extent of territory to sustain it than is compatible with progress and just claims of civilized life… and must yield to it.(11)The American Society for the Return of Negroes to Africa was founded in Richmond, VA. The Society began sending blacks to Sierra Leone.
Quoted in Trager, James, ed., The People's Chronology: A Year-by-Year Record of Human Events from Prehistory to the Present, New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1979, p. 391. (Close)
Virginia plantations began to import Hereford cattle from England.
John Jacob Astor, 54, acquired a fur trade monopoly in the Mississippi Valley.
The stern-paddle steamboat Washington began operation between Louisville and New Orleans. Within the year, a dozen steamboats were traveling the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers.
Mississippi Territory was divided: The western part was admitted to the Union as the 20th state, Mississippi. The eastern part became Alabama Territory.
Spain was concerned with the tensions on the border between the U.S. and Florida. The Spanish Ambassador to the U.S., Luis de Onís y Gonzales, began negotiations with Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, 50, to work out a treaty.
The House of Representatives debated over privateering by American ships, which the federal government had been approving against Spanish commerce.
Massachusetts physician Jacob Bigelow, 33, published his 3-volume American Medical Botany.
The Roman emperor look was fashionable for men.
Cup plates became the fashion: People drank from saucers.
Popular periodicals included Niles' Weekly Register and the Christian Herald.
Lower Canada (Québec), populated mostly by Catholic French Canadians, and Upper Canada (Ontario), populated mostly by Protestant Loyalists driven out of the U.S. after the American Revolution, faced immigration from the British Isles now that the Napoleonic Wars were over. The natives of Lower Canada, however, were worried that immigrants would outnumber and dominate them. The natives of Upper Canada welcomed newcomers (who would increase land prices), but they would not treat them as equals. Also, Lower Canada and Upper Canada were quarreling with each other: Upper Canada's external trade had to pass through Lower Canada, where it was heavily taxed, and they disliked each other's religion.
Haitian strongman Henri Christophe celebrated the completion of his impregnable fortress atop a mountain after 13 years of the hard labor of some 200,000 former slaves at a cost of 2,000 lives.
Scots engineer John Rennie, 56, completed the Waterloo Bridge over the Thames in London.
Economic depression continued in the United Kingdom, with huge inventories, plunging prices, and hundreds of thousands of demobilized troops. The Corn Law that had been passed in 1815 to "deal" with the postwar economic crisis enabled British landholders to keep grain prices high by restricting imports (no foreign wheat unless the domestic price per quarter rose above 80 shillings). The cost of bread was high, and manufacturers were forced to raise wages to save the labor force from hunger. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Nicholas Vansittart, could not deal with the mounting government deficit and the unstable currency. Distress grew.
There were riots in Derbyshire, England, against grinding poverty, low wages, and Parliamentary suppression of civil liberties. Unhappy Britons set out to march from Manchester to London, each carrying a blanket for his night's shelter. This "March of the Blanketeers" was halted not far from Manchester by the frightened authorities, its leaders arrested and the rank and file dispersed.
When the Parliament opened for the year in England, radicals, demanding parliamentary reform, made an attempt on the life of the Prince Regent. Parliament then passed the Coercion Acts to outlaw meetings deemed seditious, suspend habeas corpus, punish attempts to incite military insubordination, and extend safeguards against treason to the person of the Prince Regent. Extremists in the radical movement were stimulated into further agitation. It was said of the reactionary Tories controlling the British government that if they had been present at the creation of the world, they would have beseeched God to preserve Chaos.
Robert Peel, 29, British Secretary for Ireland, set up a constabulary (nicknamed "Peelers") to suppress signs of Irish discontent before they boil over into rebellion.
Princess Charlotte, daughter of the Prince Regent and wife of Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, died in childbirth; her infant son was stillborn.
Juan Llorente, former secretary of the Inquisition, published History of the Inquisition in Spain.
Radical students in Jena organized the Wartburg Festival, commemorating the Battle of Leipzig and the Reformation. They burned reactionary emblems.
The Lutheran and Reformed Churches of Prussia formed the Evangelical Union.
Swedish chemist A. Arfvedson discovered the element lithium; Swedish chemist Jöns Jacob Berzelius, 38, discovered the element selenium; German chemist Friedrich Strohmeyer, 41, discovered the element cadmium; and French naturalist Georges Leopold Chrétien Frederic Dagobert, Baron Cuvier, 48, published The Animal Kingdom, Distributed According to Its Organization.