Christ's Lutheran Church in 1823

For the next six years, the church had no official pastor; "the church was supplied more or less" by pastors William J. Eyer and John Crawford, the latter a Methodist minister.(1)

Quoted from Frederick, Rev. Walter, "Historical Address, Woodstock, N.Y., May 3, 1931," itself citing, without attribution, Traver, Charles H., D.D., of West Camp, "History of Christ's Lutheran Church, Woodstock, N.Y., 1806-1906," an earlier source from the centennial, when Reverend Frederick was pastor. (Close) That a Methodist minister could preach at a Lutheran pulpit would not have seemed odd: Rationalists such as our founding pastor, Dr. Frederick Henry Quitman, 63, then president of the New York Ministerium (the synod), felt that any ordained clergyman--Episcopal, Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist, Congregationalist, and (presumably) Lutheran--could be an interchangeable pastor for any one of those congregations.

Services were held at the first [or the second? see the following footnote] church building of Christ's Church of Woodstock, designated the "Church on the Rocks," because it sat on a rocky ledge overlooking 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).(2)

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)

Lewis Edson, Jr. (owner of a sawmill in Mink Hollow that supplied the Bristol [Shady] glass factories nearby) was involved in leading the singing at the church.

The Woodstock Region in 1823

The huge New York Tannery in the factory town of Edwardsville (present-day Hunter), run by Colonel William Edwards, 53, 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. Edwards's operation was so successful that other enterprising men were copying it (thereby sinking the price of leather): Scores of new stinking tanneries nourished by the same New York City backers had sprung up all over the Catskills, including along the Sawkill, wherever there were hemlocks to slaughter.

Region historian Alf Evers(3)

Excerpted from Evers, Alf, Woodstock: History of an American Town [Woodstock, NY: Overlook Press, 1987], pp. 23ff, 41, 150ff. (Close) has described the Catskills as largely a region of absentee landlords and struggling tenants, in a manorial relationship more or less transplanted to upstate New York from medieval Europe. The principal landlord for tenant farmers and tavern keepers in the Town of Woodstock, and for all his other Catskills holdings of some 66,000 acres, was Robert L. Livingston, 48, 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."

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. Livingston hired people to visit his sawmills weekly to claim decent wood to be sent off to Clermont. Nonetheless, trespassing and unlawful lumbering continued, becoming part of the Woodstock way of life by indigent tenants (termed "beggars" or "rascals" by Livingston agents), in spite of deputy sheriffs being sent to Woodstock to discourage the practice.

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--had been muddling through against cutthroat competition from cheap British imports and the dearth of good-quality sand. The two factories continued to produce window glass and bottles.(4)

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.

Meanwhile, James Pierce, writing on the Catskills in the American Journal of Science, said of the "Bristol glass works" that

window glass is the principal article manufactured, and four miles north east of this establishment in an elevated and secluded mountain valley another manufactory of glass has been erected [the Mott factory]. Sand for these manufactories is procured from Philadelphia and the sea coast, and the other materials from a distance. The advantage resulting from the cheapness of wood and soil, will not compensate for the enhanced expense incurred in transporting the ingredients of glass and the bricks, stone, lime and clay, for the furnaces and crucibles, and many necessaries of life, sixteen or twenty miles over mountain roads.(5) Quoted from ibid., p. 129. (Close)
Pierce also commented on the romantic quality of the surroundings (Indian Head range rising beyond the Sawkill and the pastures of Keefe Hollow):
A small hamlet of about thirty houses has been erected adjacent to the upper or mountain glass house, on ground favorable for gardens and meadows. North of this village an elevated, wood clad and steep mountain ranges to the westward; its wildly irregular waving summits are several miles in view.(6) Quoted from ibid. (Close)
Pierce also drew national attention to Woodstock's possibilities of coal resources:(7) This explication about coal, and the cited quotation from Pierce [p. 97], is from Evers, pp. 142-43. (Close)
I have observed narrow strata or seams of coal at several places in the southern part of the Catskill ridge. The widest is situated in a perpendicular ledge of gray wacke slate on the eastern face of the mountain, in the town of Woodstock, Ulster County, at an elevation of about 1000 feet above the Hudson. This seam, which has been recently explored, is eight inches wide on the surface, and is observed for some distance on the face of the ledge. The coal is stratified, and inclines with the rock at an angle of near fifteen degrees. Narrow strata of argillaceous slate, imbedded in the gray wacke ledges, form the roof and floor of the coal bed. This slate contains alum, and cubic crystals of sulpheret of iron, and sometimes presents a dark surface glistening with carburet of iron.

The coal bed, in exploring, widened to twenty-two inches; but diminishing in the interior to a narrow seam and the adjacent rock being of different fracture, the pursuit has been abandoned for the present. Another vein of coal is located in a higher ledge of the same mountain, and coal has been noticed to the southwest in this range for three miles. The coal of the Catskill mountain appears of a good quality for upper strata. It is light, shining and burns with a moderate flame proceeding from bitumen or sulphur.

If beds of coal of this description could be found five feet in thickness they might be penetrated without breaking the rock, and would be valuable.…

Flames from spontaneous combustions, generated in beds of coal or sulpheret of iron have been seen issuing from the ledges of the Catskill mountains by neighboring inhabitants. Combustions of this character often occur in the coal districts of Europe and America.

Adjacent to and forming a threatening canopy over the entrance of the coal excavation in the mountain near Woodstock, is a rock of several tons weight. It is separated from the ledge and balanced on a narrow base of decaying alum slate by an opposite projection of equal weight. From progressive decay this base is lessening, and the rock will before long be precipitated down the steep side of the mountain.…

Evers has noted that that "threatening canopy" is still in place, looking ever bit as threatening today, to the west of the upper part of Lewis Hollow.

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 24 years earlier 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, 6 years before, 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, 26, originally of Hurley--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.(8) This and the following quotations are from Gilbert, Olive, Narrative of Sojourner Truth (a transcription with commentary of Sojourner's own words), 1850 (Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 1997), pp. 14, 18. (Close)
Isabella had been born 2 years before the 1799 cutoff and so, technically, had to look ahead to another 4 years of bondage. But Dumont had promised her that
if she would do well, and be faithful, he would give her "free papers," one year before she was legally free by statute.
So now lifelong slave Isabella was looking forward to freedom in 3 years.

Attorney James Powers of Catskill obtained a charter for his new corporation, the Catskill Mountain Association, and permission to build "a large and commodious hotel" (first known as the "House on the Pine Orchard"), at the site he had purchased a year earlier near Kaaterskill Clove just a few minutes walk southeast of the twin lakes (North Lake and South Lake)--and, with a little trimming, affording a dramatic view of the Hudson River and much of the entire region. The planned summer resort would become known as the Catskill Mountain House. Throughout the summer hemlocks were felled and carpenters banged away, and masons and bricklayers clinked their trowels. Oxen and horses pulled glass, lime, window and door trim, and a host of other materials up to the site. The locals down in the valley scoffed at the project for building what they termed the "Yankee Palace." Passengers on Hudson River sloops could see the building rising up and were intrigued.

During this year, novelist James Fenimore Cooper, 34, published The Pilot and The Pioneers. The latter book referred to both Kaaterskill Falls and the Pine Orchard: the hero Natty Bumppo, "the Leatherstocking," described with enthusiasm the romantic American wilderness that was now within easy reach of a hotel. Former New York Governor De Witt Clinton, 54, visited the hotel and praised it in his diary, which was quoted extensively by gazetteer publisher Horatio Gates Spofford.

Leather currier and painter Thomas Doughty, funded by rich Baltimore patron and collector Robert Gilmor, Jr., exhibited in Philadelphia paintings of Niagara Falls and a Hudson River scene. The exhibit dramatically stirred the 22-year-old landscape painter Thomas Cole.

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 ($5.29 in 2006 dollars) and about a quart of whiskey per day; snakebite, malaria, and pneumonia killed thousands of them. Over three-quarters of the canal was completed by now, and it was in operation from Albany to Rochester. Tolls collected along the completed canal were used to pay for the rest of the construction.

The United States in 1823

[ James Monroe ]

James Monroe (Democratic Republican), 65, was President. The newly elected 18th Congress was in session. A dollar in that year would be worth $14.11 in 2006 for most consumable products.

Immigrants from Europe, especially from Ireland, were pouring into America.

Boston cabinetmaker Jonas Chickering established a piano company.

Systematic instruction in gymnastics was instituted at the Round Hill School in Northampton, MA.

Trinity College was founded in Hartford, CT, by Episcopalians to preserve country boys from the wickedness of Yale.

Irish immigrant merchant Alexander Turney Stewart, 20, opened the A. T. Stewart Department Store, the first of its kind, in New York City.

Nicholas Biddle, 37, became president of the Second Bank of the United States. He instituted sound fiscal policies to stabilize the national currency and combat inflation.

German immigrant George David Rosengarten established the chemical firm Zeitler & Rosengarten (later Merck & Co.) in Philadelphia.

Secretary of the Treasury William Crawford, 51, suffered a stroke (possibly from an overdose of lobelia, administered as a cure for erysipelas), leaving him crippled and partly blind.

Joseph Smith, 18, a farmer in backwoods New York State (just outside Palmyra, NY), claimed theophany--that is, that he was receiving visits from heavenly messengers, telling him that he was God's Prophet. Smith alleged, for example, that he had been visited by an angel named Moroni, who indicated that Smith had work to accomplish. He was to find and publish a long-buried book of gold plates protected by the angel, which told of the ancient inhabitants of the western continents.

John Chapman, 48, 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."

[ Circuit rider ]

The American Tract Society circulated with "circuit riders" (pictured here) religious literature to outlying settlements and isolated farms in the frontier.

First Black Hawk War

In the Illinois wilderness, U.S. forces defeated those of Sauk and Fox Chief Black Hawk (Makataemishklakiak), 56, and his Winnebago, Kickapoo, and Pottawotamie allies. Illinois was then opened to U.S. corn farmers.

New Hampshire explorer Stephen Harriman Long, 38, explored the sources of the St. Peter's River (Minnesota River) and the area along the northern border of the United States west of the Great Lakes.

Tennessee (formerly of Ohio) Quaker Benjamin Lundy, 34, continued to publish his abolitionist newspaper Genius of Universal Emancipation.

[ Andrew Jackson ] General Andrew Jackson, 56 (pictured at right), was put forward by his supporters to unseat Senator John Williams of Tennessee. When Jackson reached Washington to take his seat in the new 18th Congress, he resumed his friendship (broken by their nearly fatal 1813 barroom fracas), with Senator Thomas Hart Benton, 41, of Missouri. Jackson moved into the inn operated by Major William O'Neale, along with his Tennessee friends, John Henry Eaton, 33 (the other Senator from the state), and Representative Sam Houston, 30. Jackson also met O'Neale's eldest daughter, Margaret (Peggy), 27, who was married to Navy Lieutenant John B. Timberlake (who was absent most of the time on cruises). There was already rumors about Peggy Timberlake having an affair with Senator Eaton. According to one Congressman:

Mrs. Timberlake was considered a lady who would… dispense her favors wherever she took a fancy.… Eaton's connection with… [her] was notorious.(9) 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. 60. (Close)
Jackson refused to believe anything against her, however (after all, Senator Eaton was a married man!).

A small contingent of Florida Seminoles signed the Treaty of Camp Moultrie to acquire large personal landholdings in the northern part of the territory in return for agreeing that the Seminoles as a whole would retire from the northern coastal areas and migrate to the interior (for example, the Everglades, where it was nearly impossible to grow food).

Trapper and explorer Jedediah Strong Smith, 23, working for Missouri Lieutenant Governor William H. Ashley, 45, having spent the winter high up on the Missouri River, was sent by Ashley's associate Andrew Henry, 45, to bring more horses for the camp. Smith's party stopped to trade for horses with some Arikara Indians, who, instead, attacked them, killing 14 of the party and wounding 9. Smith made it back to Ashley's headquarters and organized a punitive expedition against the Arikaras.

British Foreign Secretary George Canning, 53, proposed to the U.S. Ambassador Richard Rush, 43, that the United States join Britain in opposing European (French or Spanish) interference in the newly independent Latin American republics with a joint Anglo-American declaration to that effect, each nation further pledging that it would never annex any part of Spain's old empire. (Canning wanted to keep the newly opened British commerce with the former Spanish colonies, likely to become restricted if Spain were to regain its New World empire.) Former Presidents Jefferson and Madison agreed that this would be a welcome step, especially as it might be applied to Russian designs on the Oregon Country. Jefferson, 80 years old, in placid retirement at his Monticello estate said that his studies of Horace and Tacitus kept him out of touch with current events, but this question of cooperation with the U.K. was

the most momentous which has ever been offered to my contemplation since that of Independence.…America, North and South, has a set of interests distinct from those of Europe, and peculiarly her own.… One nation, most of all, could disturb us in this pursuit; she now offers to lead, aid, and accompany us in it.… With her then, we should most sedulously cherish a cordial friendship.(10) Quoted in Morison, Samuel Eliot, The Oxford History of the American People, New York: Oxford University Press, 1965, p. 413. (Close)
Madison, from his retirement estate at Montpelier, wanted to enlarge the proposed joint declaration to include support for Greek independence.

[ John Quincy Adams ] But Secretary of State John Quincy Adams of Massachusetts, 56 (pictured at right), felt that the U.S. should act independently from the UK. He was concerned not only with the possibility of French forces helping Spain recover her colonies (the U.K. concern) but with Russia's designs on Oregon (fairly threatening, especially after the Russian Ambassador to the U.S. dismissed America's "expiring republicanism"). Adams also felt that the U.S. should concentrate entirely on the Western Hemisphere in its policies and rejected ideas that the U.S. ought to support Greek independence from the Ottoman Empire. (Such ideas were rampant in official and unofficial statements from the U.S., and President Monroe wanted to acknowledge Greek independence in his annual message to Congress.) Finally, Adams did not want to abandon the future possibility of annexing Cuba or some other part of Latin America to the U.S.

Adams convinced President Monroe to make a statement independent of the United Kingdom:

It would be more candid, as well as more dignified, to avow our principles explicitly to Russia and France, than to come as a cock-boat in the wake of the British man-of-war.
President Monroe announced what would later become known as the Monroe Doctrine in his annual message to Congress, warning European nations not to interfere in the Western Hemisphere.

The American continents, by the free and independent condition they have assumed and maintain, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers… We should consider any attempt on their part to extend their [political] system to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and safety.(11) Quoted in Churchill, Winston S., The Great Democracies, vol. 4 of A History of the English-Speaking Peoples, New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1957, p. 29. (Close)
In return, the U.S. asserted its intention not to take part in European wars (including the fight for Greek independence). The reaction overseas to Monroe's statement was mixed.

Science and technology in America: Specifics

Maryland eye surgeon George Frick, 30, published the ophthalmology manual A Treatise on the Diseases of the Eye.

Arts and culture in America: Specifics

Painter-inventor Samuel Finley Breeze Morse, 32, painted The Old House of Representatives; and painter Raphaelle Peale, 49, painted After the Bath.

"A Visit from St. Nicholas" was published anonymously (but probably by New York lexicographer Clement Clark Moore, 44) in the Troy [NY] Sentinel.

The song "Home Sweet Home" was released and became popular.

Popular periodicals included Niles' Weekly Register, American Journal of Science, American Farmer, and the Christian Herald.

Aristotle's Masterpiece, an anonymous sex education book, illustrated with explicit woodcuts and describing sexual mechanics, was popular among young men, who read it behind the barn.

The Roman emperor look continued to be fashionable for men.

The World at Large in 1823

French Canadian politicians in the Assembly of Lower Canada (Québec) made vehement speeches and refused to vote money for the salaries of royal judges and British-appointed officials. New arrivals from the British Isles into Upper Canada (Ontario) struggled with the older inhabitants, mostly former Loyalists who had been driven out of the U.S. after the American Revolution, and their descendants. Lower Canada and Upper Canada were quarreling with each other, too: Upper Canada's external trade had to pass through Lower Canada, where it was heavily taxed, and they disliked each other's religion.

Mexican Emperor Augustín I (Augustín de Iturbide), 40, confirmed the grant of land on the Rio Brazos in Texas to Stephen Fuller Austin, 30, which had been granted in 1821 to Austin's father, to settle 300 families in Texas. Each head of family would receive over 4,000 acres of grazing land and 174 acres of tillable land. And unmarried man would receive only a quarter as much land. Good character, compulsory Catholicism, and an oath of allegiance to Mexico were required.

Struggles for Latin American independence

After the Battle of Córdoba, Emperor Augustín I of Mexico was forced to abdicate and to go into exile in a revolt engineered by General Antonio López de Santa Anna, 29.

An assembly at Guatemala City declared the sovereignty of the United Provinces of Central America (Guatemala, San Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, and Costa Rica). Mexico recognized its independence.

Philanthropist politician William Wilberforce, 64, with help from wealthy brewery magnate Thomas Fowell Buxton, established an antislavery society to end the slave trade and free slaves throughout the British Empire.

The United Kingdom, as well as other countries of the Old World, had a mixed reaction to U.S. President James Monroe's declaration that was later known as the Monroe Doctrine. Of course, the Monroe Administration hoped that the Britannia, ruling the seas, would enforce the Monroe Doctrine, even though it was proclaimed with such an independent spirit. British Foreign Secretary George Canning, 53, made the following comment:

The avowed pretension of the United States to put themselves at the head of the confederacy against Europe (Great Britain included) is not a pretension identified with our interests, or one that we can countenance or tolerate. It is, however, a pretension which there is no use in contesting in the abstract, but we must not say anything that seems to admit the principle.(12) Quoted in ibid., p. 30. (Close)
Other European nations dismissed Monroe's message as "arrogant" and "blustering" and worthy only of "the most profound contempt." Austria was outraged; Foreign Minister Klemens Wenzel Lothar von Metternich-Winneburg, 50, wrote bitterly of the "dangerous" new manifesto, with its
unprovoked attacks… indecent declarations… evil doctrines and pernicious examples.
Russia was also outraged, France was divided, and Spain was--strangely--indifferent.

Soon thereafter the UK followed the example of the U.S. in recognizing the new governments in Latin America (even though the reactionary other members of the Cabinet and King George IV, too, were against Canning's view in this).

Parliament, persuaded by Home Secretary Robert Peel, 35, abolished the death penalty for more than 100 British crimes.

Student William Webb Ellis, 17, at Rugby School in England, devised the game of Rugby football. He saw that time was running out in his soccer game, so he picked up the ball and began running with it in defiance of the rules.

Switzerland refused to grant asylum to political refugees.

Pope Pius VII died and was succeeded by Annibale de la Genga as Pope Leo XII.

Spanish civil strife

King Ferdinand VII, backed by invading French forces, was able to defeat revolutionaries in the Battle of Trocadero and was restored thereby to power. The United Kingdom expressed outrage at this intervention but to no avail, since the French had the support of other European governments in the reactionary Congress of Verona (an offshoot of, and not to be confused with, the Congress of Vienna), in particular the support of influential Austrian Prince Klemens Wenzel Lothar von Metternich-Winneburg, 50.

The French government advised King Ferdinand to introduce a moderate constitutional regime, but he instead revoked the constitution that he had restored three years earlier. Cruel repression ensued.

Rumors had been circulating that French forces might soon help Spain recover her New World colonies, now declared independent. The Monroe Doctrine and British naval support of that doctrine forestalled any such action.

Greek War of Independence

Hostilities continued.

Petroleum began to be extracted from the Apsheron Peninsula on the Caspian Sea near Baku in Russian-controlled Azerbaijan.

The cholera plague spread from the east into Russia at Astrakhan.

With the Treaty of Erzurum, hostilities ceased between the Ottoman Empire and Persia.

Ashanti War

Ashantis and Fantis continued their hostilities, with one side blowing war horns and the other side playing "God Save the King."

The British administration in South Africa continued a policy of anglicization, replacing Dutch Afrikaans with English.

World science and technology

English physician William Sturgeon, 40, devised an electromagnet (a varnished iron bar wrapped with copper wire whose terminals were connected to a voltaic pile, resulting in a magnet capable of lifting a few pounds of iron); English mathematician Charles Babbage, 31, manufactured a prototypical calculating machine; English inventor Francis Ronalds, 35, invented a prototypical telegraph system and offered it to the British Admiralty, which rejected it out of hand ("Telegraphs of any kind are wholly unnecessary and no other than than the one in use [installed in 1796] will be adopted"(13)); 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. 401. (Close) and Scots chemist Charles Macintosh, 57, invented a technique for waterproofing cloth using the coal tar distillate naphtha.

Irish mathematician Sir William Hamilton, 18, discovered conical refraction; Swedish chemist Jöns Jacob Berzelius, 44, isolated the element silicon; English chemist and meterologist John Frederic Daniell, 33, published his research on trade winds and the atmosphere Meteorological Essays and Observations; English chemist and physicist Michael Faraday, 32, liquefied chlorine; and English physician and reformer Thomas Wakley, 28, began publishing the weekly medical journal Lancet.

Arts and culture in the British Isles

Architect Robert Smirke, 42, designed the British Museum; poet George Gordon (Lord Byron), 35, continued publishing his Don Juan; English composer Henry Rowley Bishop, 37, and American librettist John Howard Payne, 37, produced the opera Clari, or the Maid of Milan, which starred Charles Kimball, 48, and included the song "Home, Sweet Home"; and Charles Lamb, 48, published Essays of Elia. Scots portrait painter Sir Henry Raeburn died at the age of 67.

World arts and culture

French poet Alphonse de Lamartine, 33, published Nouvelles méditations poétiques; French vaudeville dramatist Augustin Eugène Scribe, 31, produced Le Menteur Véridique ("The Truthful Liar"); Italian composer Gioacchino Antonio Rossini, 31, produced Semiramide; German composer Ludwig von Beethoven, 53, now completely deaf, produced Missa Solemnis (opus 123); German composer Karl Maria von Weber, 37, produced Euryanthe; Austrian composer Franz Peter Schubert, 26, produced the music for the opera Ballet-Musik aus Rosamunde, written by Wilhelmine de Chézy, 40; and French piano manufacturer Sébastien Erard, 71, constructed a grand piano with a double escapement. French painter P. P. Prudhon died at the age of 65.


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