Pastor Augustus Wackerhagen (also spelled Wacherhagen), 44 (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)
Congregant Lewis Edson, 70, 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.
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)The New York Ministerium (whose president was Dr. Quitman) and the Pennsylvania Ministerium proposed a plan to unite with the North Carolina Synod into a "General Synod," with the authority to establish new synods, improve the liturgy, and arbitrate disputes. The New York Ministerium ultimately rejected the plan, based on the objections of President Quitman, the most thoroughgoing rationalist who was ever ordained in the Lutheran church (for example, he denied the authority of both the Bible and the Lutheran Confessions); he did not want to subscribe to the theological norms of the Reformation. The rationalists rejected pietism and required that ordinands were to be acquainted with the language and doctrine of scripture, be competent in natural and moral philosophy, and be able to compose and deliver a sermon.
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)
[A]ny minister "ordained by a Bishop, Convention, Presbytery, Association, or Council" [that is, any Episcopal, Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist, or Congregationalist clergyman--what did it matter?] if a person of … character, and literacy, could be received into the association of clergy without examination or ordination!(4)The New York Ministerium would not join the General Synod for another two decades.
Here Anderson, pp. 17-18, is citing Schalk, p. 69, and Scholz, Robert F., Press Toward the Mark: History of the United Lutheran Synod of New York and New England, 1830-1930 [Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 1995], p. 35. 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)
The huge New York Tannery in the factory town of Edwardsville (present-day Hunter), run by Colonel William Edwards, 48 years old, 6 feet 4 inches tall, with a huge head proportioned for a man twice that height, continued to convert the shipments of smelly hides sent from the colonel's financial backers in New York City into tanned (softened) leather (with its reddish color characteristic of hemlock tanning) to be shipped back to the city for finishing. Millions of hemlocks in the surrounding countryside were being skinned for their bark to be used in the tanning process, the rest of the naked trees left to die while standing.
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, 43, 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."
A great flood "carried away" tenant Wynkoop's snuff mill on the Sawkill in Zena (the present-day site of the dam of Kingston Reservoir No. 1),
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 unsalable. 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.(6)
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 New York State Legislature had 19 years before enacted a gradual emancipation of slaves in the state: Any child born to a slave mother after July 4, 1799, would be freed from bondage after serving the mother's master until age 25 if female or age 28 if male. Then, in 1817, the legislature had 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, 21, originally of Hurley (unfortunately born before the 1799 cutoff, and so looking ahead to another 9 years 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)--had been bearing 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)
Construction (begun in 1817) continued on the Erie Canal 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. 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 ($4.40 in 2006 dollars) and about a quart of whiskey per day; snakebite, malaria, and pneumonia killed thousands of them.
The West Point Foundry in Cold Spring, NY, began to work and forge iron in huge blast furnaces.
James Monroe (Democratic Republican), 60, was President. The 15th Congress was in session. (The midterm elections that year would elect the 16th Congress.) A dollar in that year would be worth $11.74 in 2006 for most consumable products.
The public school system in Boston extended schooling for children as young as 4 years old.
Yankee merchant ships began trading for pepper in Sumatra.
Connecticut abolished property qualifications for voting.
Ex-President Thomas Jefferson, 65, opined in a letter that women should not read novels "as a mass of trash" with few exceptions.
For a like reason, too, much poetry should not be indulged.… [Female education should concentrate on] ornaments, too, and the amusements of life.… These, for a female, are dancing, drawing, and music.(8)
Quoted from Zinn, Howard, A People's History of the United States, 1492-Present, New York: HarperCollins, 1980, 1995, 1999; Perennial, 2003, p. 118. (Close)
Transatlantic packet lines (with sailing ships) began operation between New York City and Liverpool; the average trip on the Black Ball Line lasted a month.
Henry Sands Brooks opened his exclusive clothier shop Brooks Brothers in New York City.
The 135-foot 338-ton steamboat Walk-in-the-Water took a hundred passengers across Lake Erie from Buffalo to Detroit, rivaling the Canadian steamboat Frontenac, which plied only Lake Ontario.
Baltimore merchant John A. Brown founded the mercantile house Brown Brothers & Co. in Philadelphia.
Professional horse racing began in the United States.
The Cumberland Road was extended to Wheeling, on the Ohio River in western Virginia.
Many traveled the extensive rivers of the Old Northwest (the region between the Appalachians, the Great Lakes, the Mississippi, and the Ohio) in slow, heavy flatboats, which were poled along or allowed to drift with the current. The river journey began in Pittsburgh and went down the Ohio River into Indiana, Kentucky, and Illinois.
John Chapman, 43, 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."
Entrepreneurs began packing pork in brine-filled barrels, which will make salt pork an American staple and give Cincinnati the nickname "Porkopolis."
The American Tract Society circulated with "circuit riders" (pictured here) religious literature to outlying settlements and isolated farms in the frontier.
Illinois was admitted to the Union as the 21st state.
The 15th Congress finally settled on a design for the U.S. flag: 13 alternate red and white stripes, with a blue square containing a white star for each state in the union.
The American Fur Company of John Jacob Astor, 55, sent agent Solomon Laurent Juneau to open a trading post on Lake Michigan (the future site of Milwaukee, WI).
The Senate ratified the Rush-Bagot Agreement of 1817, formalizing the treaty known as the Convention of 1818. The U.S. and the U.K. established the U.S.-Canadian border at 49°N latitude from the Lake of the Woods to the Rocky Mountains (called "Stony Mountains" in the treaty), while David Thompson fur trader for the Hudson's Bay Company, continued his survey. The boundary in the Oregon Country was left undecided, but the two nations agreed on a "joint occupation" for a 10-year period.
The treaty also settled the Newfoundland fishing question--sort of: American fishermen could take, dry, and cure fish, and gather wood and water, inside the 3-mile limit on certain sections of the Labrador and Newfoundland coasts. But they were not authorized to purchase bait, a prohibition that rankled the Americans.
The treaty considered but did not resolve the issue of American slaves carried off by the British during the War of 1812. Tsar Aleksandr of Russia was asked to mediate in this dispute.
Directors of the Second Bank of the United States--in particular, William Jones--allowed all kinds of corruption and chicanery in the management of credit and the voting power of shareholders. The Bank's 18 branches had by this year issued notes in excess of ten times their species reserves, twice what was allowed by law. Now Jones became concerned with the evident overextension, but too late to save the Baltimore branch, which ran out of funds.
Because of high freight costs, the price of coffee in Cincinnati was 16 cents per pound ($1.88 per pound in 2006 dollars) more than it was in New Orleans.
John Henry Eaton, 28, a married man, was elected Senator from Tennessee. He rented a room in a Washington, DC, tavern and began a relationship with the owner's married daughter, Margaret (Peggy) O'Neale Timberlake, 22, whose Navy purser husband, Lieutenant John B. Timberlake, was often off to sea.
The Spanish Government is bound by treaty to keep the Indians at peace with us. They have acknowledged their incompetency to do this, and are consequently bound, by the laws of nations, to yield us the facilities to reduce them. Under this consideration, should I be able, I shall take possession of the garrison [of St. Marks] as a depot for my supplies, should it be found in the hands of the Spanish, they having supplied the Indians; but if in the hands of the Indians, I will possess it, for the benefit of the United States, as a necessary position for me to hold, to give peace and security to the frontier.(9)Communication between Jackson and the government in Washington was too slow to stop the operation.
Quoted in 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, p. 53. (Close)
General Jackson sent Lieutenant Sam Houston, 25, to shepherd a delegation of Cherokee Indians to Washington to negotiate over their lands. Houston, who had lived among the Indians, knew their language and customs, and was the adopted son of one of their chiefs, attired himself in Cherokee costume as a diplomatic gesture. War Secretary Calhoun received the Indians courteously, but he castigated Houston for appearing "dressed as a savage" and, with no evidence to back the charge, accused him of complicity with slave smugglers. Houston immediately proved the charge false, but Calhoun would not apologize, nor would he go after the actual smugglers.
General Jackson, meanwhile, ordered all friendly Indians to join him immediately or they would be treated as hostiles. His forces captured St. Marks and had two British agents, Alexander Arbuthnot and Lieutenant Robert C. Ambrister (formerly of the British Royal Colonial Marines), court-martialed them at Fort St. Marks on charges of inciting the Indians to attack the American frontier, and executed them (Arbuthnot hanged and Ambrister shot before a firing squad). A couple of Indian chiefs were hanged as well. Jackson then proceeded to Pensacola and captured it, ousted the Spanish governor, and installed a U.S. garrison.
In the 15th Congress, Henry Clay of Kentucky, 41 (pictured at right), worried about the uncontainable General Jackson; leading a 30-day unsuccessful effort to censure Jackson, he trumpeted:
Recall to your recollections the free nations which have gone before us! Where are they now and how have they lost their liberties? If we could transport ourselves back to the ages when Greece and Rome flourished… and ask a Grecian if he did not fear some daring military chieftain, covered with glory, some Philip or Alexander, would one day overthrow his liberties? No! No! .… [he] would exclaim, we have nothing to fear from our heroes.… Yet Greece had fallen, Caesar passed the Rubicon.… [It] was in the provinces that were laid the seeds of ambitious projects that overturned the liberties of Rome.(10)Secretary of War Calhoun wanted to have Jackson court-martialed. Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, 51 (pictured at left), however, insisted that Jackson's actions had been justified, since impotent Spain was too weak to control her Indians; he felt that Spain should cede Florida to the U.S.
Quoted in ibid., p. 55; Morison, Samuel Eliot, The Oxford History of the American People, New York: Oxford University Press, 1965, p. 410. (Close)
Public opinion in the U.K. was bellicose. The "ruffian" who had murdered two "peaceful British traders" was denounced; the U.S. should either apologize instantly and pay reparations, or it should prepare for war. British Foreign Minister Lord Castlereigh, however, realizing that Britain had enough on its hands with the postwar settlement in Europe, avoided war; he declared that the "unfortunate sufferers" had been engaged in such practices
as to have deprived them of any claim on their own government for interference.(11)The Spanish demanded that Jackson be disavowed and punished, but Adams supported Jackson, remarking to President Monroe and the rest of the Cabinet, that despite the British activities in Florida during the past few years, not
Quoted in ibid. (Close)
a whisper of expostulation was ever wafted from Madrid to London.(12)The Spanish Ambassador to the U.S., Luis de Onís y Gonzales, continued his negotiations with Secretary of State Adams to work out a treaty settling the status of Florida. Adams pressed Onís on other issues, though, including the western boundary of the Louisiana Purchase. Onís proposed a line in the middle of current Louisiana, and Adams countered with a line through the middle of current Texas.
Quoted in Wellman, op. cit., p. 54. (Close)
Meanwhile, President Monroe asked former President Thomas Jefferson, 75, if it might not be a good idea to appoint General Jackson as Ambassador to Russia (probably to get him out of the country). Jefferson replied:
Why, good God! He would breed you a quarrel before he had been there a month!(13)
Quoted in ibid., p. 66. (Close)
The Roman emperor look continued to be fashionable for men.
English-American scientist Thomas Cooper published Discourse on the Connexion Between Chemistry and Medicine; and Connecticut chemist and Yale professor Benjamin Silliman founded the American Journal of Sciences and Arts (Silliman's Journal).
Other popular periodicals included Niles' Weekly Register, American Journal of Science, and the Christian Herald.
The population of Canada was an estimated 800,000.
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.
Scots explorer Sir James Ross, 41, led an expedition into the Arctic region to discover at last the Northwest Passage. He found the 8 miles of red snow cliffs overlooking Baffin Bay, which later became known as the Ross Ice Shelf.
Jean Pierre Boyer, a mulatto who had fought under Toussaint L'Ouverture, became the President of Haiti.
The revolutionary army under José de San Martín, 40 (pictured at left), defeated Spanish royalist forces at Maipú. After gaining the support from rebels at Buenos Aires and from former British naval commander (but now disgraced for speculative fraud) Thomas Cochrane, 43, San Martín was able to assure the independence of Chile, which it had proclaimed.
German physician Johann Gottlieb Benjamin Siegert invented angostura bitters at Angostura, Venezuela.
The population of England continued to grow rapidly, partially due to the progress of medical knowledge, partially due to the parochial aid to large families, partially due to the need for child labor in the new factories. Rural workers drifted into the towns, into cramped housing.
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.
The British Parliament repealed the previous year's legislation that had suspended habeas corpus.
The Dukes of Clarence and Kent, brothers to the Prince Regent and in line for the throne, were paid off to make royal marriages.
Allied forces evacuated their troops from France.
Constitutions were proclaimed in both Bavaria and Baden.
Prussia abolished internal customs.
Danish distiller Peter Heering introduced Cherry Heering.
King Charles XIII of Sweden died at the age of 69 and was succeeded by Crown Prince Jean Baptiste Bernadotte, 55, who took on the name King Charles XIV.
Swedish chemist Jöns Jacob Berzelius, 39, published the molecular weights of some 2,000 chemical compounds; German astronomer Johann Encke, 27, discovered the orbit of a comet named after him; German astronomer Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel, 34, catalogued over 3,000 stars in his Fundamenta Astronomiae; French chemist Jean-Baptiste Dumas, 18, treated goiter with iodine; and English surgeon James Blundel performed the first successful blood transfusion.
Manuale Tipografico by the late Italian printer Giambattista Bodoni (designer of the "modern" Roman Bodoni typeface) was published.