Christ's Lutheran Church in 1824

For the next five 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, 64, 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.

[ Revival camp meeting ] During this time, many ordinary American citizens were caught up in the the Second Great Awakening. At religious revivals, preachers would be "inviting" people to come forward to be saved. (To enlarge the picture, just click it.) This practice was started in the Erie Canal region by itinerant preacher Charles Grandison Finney, pictured here, who understood the Gospel to be a means of societal change as well as personal salvation; such social reforms as the temperance movement, women's suffrage, and abolition were all linked with the evangelism of the Second Great Awakening. Even Lutherans were affected:

[ Charles Grandison Finney ] Lutherans were not immune, particularly those who used the English Language.… [There were] reported protracted meetings in Lutheran congregations, periods of special interest and emotional excitement in pulpit and pew, and sudden extraordinary growth in church membership. There was much debate as to the proper methods for Lutherans to use in stimulating these revivals. Sharp distinction was drawn between the traditional methods of catechization and the high-pressure appeal to the emotions. One was called "responsible accessions to our congregations," the other was called "the new measures."(3) From Anderson, Mark J., For All the Saints: Christ's Lutheran Church, Woodstock, New York, 1806-2006 [Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2006], pp. 45-46, citing Wentz, Abdel Ross, A Basic History of Lutheranism in America [Philadelphia: Muhlenberg Press, 1955], p. 92. (Close)
In general, pastors and congregations belonging to the New York Ministerium (the synod), including former pastors of our church, were not in favor of revivals. On the other hand, when the pulpit of our church was filled with the Methodist John Crawford, the spirit of revival must have been stirring in Woodstock.

The Woodstock Region in 1824

The huge New York Tannery in the factory town of Edwardsville (present-day Hunter), run by Colonel William Edwards, 54, 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.

Colonel Zadock Pratt arrived in the village of Schohariekill (named for the stream running through it, present-day Prattsville) with $14,000 capital ($219,500 in 2006 dollars), derived from fur trading and oar manufacture, and a plan to build a tannery on the scale of the one in Edwardsville.(4)

The information on Pratt's tanning operation has been excerpted from Evers, Alf, The Catskills: From Wilderness to Woodstock, Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, 1972, pp. 340-50, citing Pratt, Zadock, Chronological Biography, New York, p. 8. (Close) Announcing that he had come "to live with the local people and not on them," he convinced the local folk not only that he was not another Colonel Edwards but also that he was not another "pirate tanner," like the scoundrels that had operated in the village only a few years previously. During this year, he bought the hemlock-stocked land he needed and constructed the tannery dam.

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, 49, 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.(6)

The material on the glass factories is excerpted from ibid., pp. 131, 135, 161. (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.

The stores of the two glass companies, as well as De Forest's store in the hamlet of Woodstock, were always happy to accept good hand-made barrel staves in trade. Livingston tenant Philip Eighmey, in a festive mood, bought spirits, gin. tea. tobacco, and pipes at the Bristol Glass Company store. Storekeeper William Greele noted

To be paid in staves next week.
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.

Meanwhile, many Woodstockers were still dreaming of becoming rich from mining coal.(7)

This explication about coal, and the cited quotations, are from ibid., p. 142. (Close) Horatio Gates Spafford, member of the coal committee of New York City's Society for the Promotion of Useful Arts, who had been promoting coal mining in Woodstock for ten years, quoted a "highly respected correspondent" in his gazetteer that
they are now boring for coal [in Woodstock], and have obtained about 20 bushels of the anthracite species, which has been used by smiths in the vicinity and tried in New-York, and found to be of superior quality.
Spafford opined that Woodstock
may afford the true coal, of bituminous origin, likely to exist in large fields.…

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 25 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, 7 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, 27, 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 3 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 2 years.

New York monopolist steamboat operator Thomas Gibbons, 67, sued New Jersey steamboat operator Aaron Ogden, 68, who was running a Hudson River ferry service in defiance of Gibbons's New York State-granted monopoly. The U.S. Supreme Court, under Chief Justice Marshall, 69, in this case, Gibbons v. Ogden, ruled that the monopoly violated the interstate commerce clause in the Constitution, thereby freeing all U.S. rivers from monopoly control. The national authority takes precedence when traffic crossed state lines:

The act of Congress is supreme; and the law of the state… must yield to it.… Commerce, undoubtedly, is traffic, but it is something more,--it is intercourse.(9) Quoted in Garraty, John A., The American Nation: A History of the United States, New York: Harper and Row, 1966, p. 231. (Close)
Competition among steamboat owners led to lower fares. (The ruling would later have broad implications involving railroads, airlines, telephone and telegraph companies, power lines, radio and television transmission, and the Internet.)

In particular, the Supreme Court decision indirectly benefited another operation. As the tourist season opened at the "House on the Pine Orchard" (soon to be known as the Catskill Mountain House, near Kaaterskill Clove and just a few minutes walk southeast of North Lake and South Lake and affording a dramatic view of the Hudson River and much of the entire region), operated by Catskill attorney James Powers as president of the incorporated Catskill Mountain Association, the commodious hotel, scorned by locals in the valley below as the "Yankee Palace," benefited not only from slick advertising (or just the fact that tourist passengers on Hudson River sloops could see the hotel in the mountains) but from romantic descriptions of the region in Washington Irving's 1819 tale of Rip Van Winkle and James Fennimore Cooper's 1823 novel The Pioneers. Now the breakup of manor lord Livingston's Hudson River steamboat monopoly resulting from the Gibbons v. Ogden case reduced tourist fares. Powers invited platoons of newspaper reporters and editors to the hotel, presenting some with cases of Madeira as they stepped ashore at Catskill on their way up to the Pine Orchard. According to the New York Statesman:

The inspiration rising from the sublime, beautiful, and picturesque scenery around, from good company, good music, good wine, and a hundred other good things, produced an elevation of mind far above the cloud-capt heights of these hills. Who would think of meeting with champaign [sic] in these wild and romantic regions, the home of the bear and the panther?(10) Quoted in Evers, The Catskills, op. cit., p. 362, citing the Albany Argus, July 21, 1824, which itself cited the Statesman. (Close)
Another newspaperman was Colonel William Leete Stone, whose lengthy report, full of pithy lauds the hotel could quote for years (containing his inclusion of the "stupendous and lofty cliffs of the Catskills" in his suggested itinerary for the American "Grand Tour"), was published in the New York Commercial Advertiser. Stone did have a couple of complaints, however. For one thing, there were not enough rooms for every tourist who flocked to the hotel, a chronic problem that seemed not to be alleviated over the years no matter how many rooms were added. For another thing, a sawmill at Parmenter's Pond above Kaaterskill Falls interrupted the flow of water unless the miller, for a fee, opened the opened the millpond gates when nature-loving pilgrims descended to get a view of the falls. (The miller would also lower a basket of picnic fixings, including champagne, for the tourists.)

Distinguished guests at the Yankee Palace included a couple of aristocratic Englishmen, the future Lords Wharncliffe and Taunton and the future Earl of Derby.

Shakers in Hancock, NY, began building round barns.

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 ($5.88 in 2006 dollars) and about a quart of whiskey per day; snakebite, malaria, and pneumonia killed thousands of them. Much of the canal was completed by now; 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 1824

[ James Monroe ]

James Monroe (Democratic Republican), 66, was President. The 18th Congress was in session. A dollar in that year would be worth $15.68 in 2006 for most consumable products.

Immigrants from Europe--especially large numbers of Irish--continued to pour into America.

Female weavers at a textile plant in Pawtucket, RI, went out on strike against increased hours and decreased wages. This was the first known strike of women factory workers; 202 women joined men in protests (but they met separately).

Vermont engineers built their first covered bridge over the Missisquoi River at Highgate Falls.

Vermont dairyman Alfred Crowley began producing Colby cheese.

Scots immigrant and social reformer Frances "Fanny" Wright, 29, began agitating for women's rights and free public education.

Prisoners at the Auburn (NY) Penitentiary were housed in cell blocks and worked in groups--an innovation.

Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, 66, visited from France and made a triumphal tour of the United States--all the major cities on the Atlantic Seaboard, up the Mississippi by steamboat from New Orleans--everywhere cheered as a great hero of the Revolution. He admired all the "immense improvements" he saw,

all the grandeur and prosperity of these happy United States, which… reflect on every part of the world the light of a far superior political civilization.(11) Quoted in Davidson, James West, and Stoff, Michael B., The American Nation, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1986, 1995, p. 310. (Close)
[ Senator Daniel Webster ] [ Henry Clay of Kentucky ] The 18th Congress stiffly debated a stronger tariff, up from about 23 percent to about 37 percent on dutiable goods. The slave states voted almost unanimously against it, but the Northern states and the Western states were mostly for it. Daniel Webster, 42 (pictured at left), representing the New England mercantile interests, was against it, but Speaker of the House Henry Clay of Kentucky, 47 (pictured at right), argued convincingly for it as part of his "American System." The tariff passed.

The Presidential campaign of 1824

[ Andrew Jackson ] There were several contenders for President. General Andrew Jackson, 57 (a Democratic-Republican [that is, a Democrat]), a Senator from Tennessee, was very popular, considered a hero for his victory in the 1815 Battle of New Orleans and his battles against Indians, his incursions into Florida, and his hangings of British brigands. Jackson's name was submitted by the Tennessee legislature "to the consideration of the people of the United States," but Jackson himself seemed to display little interest:
I have never been an applicant for office. I never will.… I have no desire, nor do I expect ever to be called to fill the Presidential chair, but should this be the case… it shall be without exertion on my part.
Jackson later modified this stand:
My undeviating rule of conduct through life… has been neither to seek or decline public invitations to office.… As the office of Chief Magistrate of the Union… should not be sought… so it cannot, with propriety, be declined.… My political creed prompts me to leave the affair uninfluenced by any expression on my part… to the free will of those who alone have the right to decide.(12) 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, pp. 57, 59. (Close)
His supporters prevailed in making him a serious candidate.

[ John Quincy Adams ] Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, 57 (a National Republican), from Massachusetts, was regarded widely and acknowledged by himself as

a man of reserved, cold, austere, and forbidding manners; my political adversaries say, a gloomy misanthropist, and my personal enemies, an unsocial savage.
He was a self-righteous puritan, without intimate friends, and he repelled rather than inspired those with whom he worked. Nonetheless, he was popular in New England and was widely respected for his astute diplomacy with Britain and Spain; he won considerable support in both the North and the South after the Missouri Compromise of 1820, where, for constitutional reasons, he did not want to restrict Missouri's entrance even though he privately condemned slavery.

Treasury Secretary William H. Crawford, 52 (a Democratic Republican--that is, "Democrat"), from Georgia, with his well-known states'-rights stands, controlled party machinery but was popular only in the South; he had also suffered a stroke the year before, leaving him crippled and partly blind. Voters crying "The People Must Be Heard" and "Down with King Caucus" denounced Crawford, who had been selected by a congressional clique.

[ John Caldwell Calhoun of South Carolina ] Secretary of War John Caldwell Calhoun of South Carolina, 42 (pictured at left), from South Carolina, had the same states'-right handicap as Crawford, but he could run pretty much unopposed as a Vice Presidential candidate.

Speaker of the House Henry Clay, the "Cock of Kentucky" who, it was said, "could charm the devil out of hell," who was "devoured with ambition," with a reputation for thwarting the plans of President Monroe and Secretary of State Adams, advocated expansion of the U.S.

reaching northwestwardly to the Pacific, and more southwardly to the River Del Norte [Rio Grande].
He also advocated an "American System" to eliminate "dependence on foreign markets" by a tariff that would "check the decline of American industry, which would then flourish and supply a greater market "for the surplus of agricultural products."(13) Quoted in ibid., p. 58. (Close) Clay had unfortunately lost support in both the North and the South because of his compromises, especially those in 1820 and 1821 over the admission of Missouri to the Union.

The campaign was ugly. One pro-Adams newspaper poked fun at Mrs. Jackson's frontier manners--in particular, her habit of smoking a corncob pipe.

How can the voters justify themselves and posterity to place such a woman as Mrs. Jackson at the head of the female society of the United States?(14) Quoted in ibid., p. 64. (Close)
Former President Thomas Jefferson, 81, said of Jackson:
When I was President of the Senate he was a Senator; and he could never speak on account of the rashness of his feelings. I have seen him attempt it repeatedly, and as often choke with rage. His passions are no doubt cooler now… but he is a dangerous man.(15) Quoted in Bailey, Thomas A., Kennedy, David M., and Cohen, Lizabeth, The American Pageant: A History of the Republic, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1998, p. 267. (Close)
In that period there was no single Election Day; each of the 24 states could choose their own dates, between October 27 and December 1. The final results, therefore, were not known until the middle of December. None of the four Presidential candidates received an electoral majority: Jackson received an impressive plurality of 99 votes from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, the Carolinas, and most of the South and the West (152,901 popular votes); Adams received 84 votes from New England, most of New York, and a few elsewhere (114,023 popular votes); Crawford received 41 votes from Virginia and his native Georgia (46,979 popular votes); and Clay received 37 votes from here and there (47,217 popular votes). Calhoun was the unanimous choice for Vice President.

The Presidential election was thus to be thrown into the House of Representatives, as stipulated in the Twelfth Amendment, to be decided in February 1825, with Henry Clay swinging the balance. All kinds of deals were being made, and being rumored to have been made.

The 19th Congress was elected during this year, scheduled to begin serving at the beginning of the following year.

There were an estimated 471,417 Indians in the United States and its territories.

The General Survey Bill was introduced in the 18th Congress, authorizing federal plans for roads that might be needed for national and commercial purposes. The legislation authorized the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to build harbors, dam and channel rivers, and develop waterways and other projects at the expense of the environment. Representative John Randolph of Virginia, 51, was strongly opposed to this measure; he had threatened to use

every… means short of actual insurrection
to defeat it. It passed nonetheless, and President Monroe signed it into law. The Corp began surveying possible road and canal routes.

The Wabash and Erie Canal Company began acquiring huge land grants, which would total 826,300 acres over the following ten years.

John Chapman, 49, 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."

Joseph Smith, 19, 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.

The American Sunday School Union was established in Philadelphia to encourage and organize Sunday School programs throughout the country.

[ Circuit rider ]

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

Kenyon College was founded in Gambier, OH, by Episcopalians.

Settlers in Indiana attacked an Indian village and massacred two braves, three squaws, and four children. Although the murderers claimed that

killing an Indian deserves a better purpose than killing a deer(16) 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. 403. (Close)
the white community did hang four of the killers.

An old Choctaw chief responded to proposals of the Monroe administration to remove Indians to the west of the Mississippi River(17):

Quoted from Zinn, Howard, A People's History of the United States, 1492-Present, New York: HarperCollins, 1980, 1995, 1999; Perennial, 2003, p. 132. (Close)
I am sorry I cannot comply with the request of my father.… We wish to remain here, where we have grown up as the herbs of the woods; and do not wish to be transplanted into another soil.

British Lancashire New Lanark mill owner and reformer Robert Dale Owen, 55, purchased the prefabricated houses and barns of New Harmony, Indiana, from German Lutheran Rappites, to establish his utopian commune there. Owen promoted the abolition of slavery, women's liberation, and free progressive education.

Tennessee (formerly of Ohio) Quaker Benjamin Lundy, 35, continued to publish his abolitionist newspaper Genius of Universal Emancipation. He moved to Baltimore, Maryland, to continue the struggle.

Jedediah Strong Smith, 24, of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company discovered the best way through the Rockies at South Pass in Wyoming. During the trek, Smith was attacked by a grizzly bear, and one of his party, Jim Clyman, described the encounter:

Grissly did not hesitate a moment but sprang on the cap't. taking him by the head first pitc[h]ing [him] sprawling on the earth… breaking several of his ribs and cutting his head badly.… The bear had taken nearly all his head in his capa[c]ious mouth close to his left eye on one side and clos to his right ear on the other and laid the skull bare to near the crown of the head.… One of his ears was torn from his head out to the outer rim.
Clyman was able to stitch up the gaping wounds, even saving the ear.(18)

Quoted in Athearn, Robert G., ed., American Heritage Illustrated History of the United States, vol. 6, The Frontier, New York: Choice Publishing, 1988, p. 532. (Close)

Jim Bridger, 20, discovered the Great Salt Lake.

The U.S. signed a territorial treaty with Russia, establishing latitude 54°40'N as the southernmost limit of Russian territory in North America.

Science and technology in America: Specifics

Descriptive entomologist Thomas Say, 37, began the 4-year publication effort of his 3-volume American Entomology; or Descriptions of the Insects of North America; and a school of science and engineering (later called Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) opened in Troy, NY.

Arts and culture in America: Specifics

Mary Randolph published the regional cookbook The Virginia Housewife, which included recipes for gooseberry fool, Virginia ham, and turtle soup.

The song "Home Sweet Home" was popular. "From Greenland's Icy Mountains" 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 1824

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.

The Hudson's Bay Company set up a great trading "factory" at Fort Vancouver on the Columbia River (present-day Vancouver, WA).

Anglican bishops were appointed for Barbados and Jamaica.

Struggles for Latin American independence

Mexican Emperor Augustín I (Augustín de Iturbide), 41, was captured by the forces of General Antonio López de Santa Anna, 30, and shot after returning from exile. Mexico was set up as a republic, with Guadalupe Victoria as President. Mexico designated Texas as one of its provinces.

The grant of land on the Rio Brazos in Texas to Stephen Fuller Austin, 31, to settle 300 families in Texas continued to flourish. Austin continued to bring in colonists and to rule them with nearly dictatorial powers. Other empresarios flocked in to claim land--including swashbucklers Robert Leftwich, Hayden Edwards, Green De Witt, Ben Milam, James Powers, and David G. Burnet (formerly of Ohio, who had been a soldier of fortune 18 years earlier in a failed Venezuelan revolution). Most of the new settlers were hard-working, honest, capable, self-sufficient, and law-abiding--as required by the required certification of "good character"--but some were shady characters of dubious history. The expression "G.T.T." ("Gone to Texas") was a byword for outlaws fleeing justice in the United States. The certification also required the newcomers to become Roman Catholic, but many of the newcomers found ways to flout that rule.

[ Simón Bolívar ] Revolutionary forces under Antonio José de Sucre, 31, and Simón Bolívar, 41 (pictured above at right [from the University of Texas Portrait Gallery], moved into the Andean highlands of Charcas and defeated the numerically superior Spanish royalist forces in the Battle of Junin and the Battle of Ayacucho. Some 23,000 royalist troops were forced to withdraw from Peru.

Germans began emigrating to Brazil.

M.P. Joseph Hume, 47, persuaded the British Parliament to repeal the repressive Combination Acts, thereby gaining for workers the right to organize into labor unions.

The British Royal Navy reduced the daily rum ration from half a pint to a quarter pint. Tea was substituted.

King Louis XVIII of France died at the age of 66 and was succeeded by his brother Charles X, 66.

Greek War of Independence

English poet George Gordon (Lord Byron), 36, joined the Greek revolutionaries, but he was killed in the Battle of Missolonghi. Turkish forces seized the island of Ipsara. Greek forces later crushed and nearly annihilated Ottoman forces in the Battle of Mitylene. Meanwhile, civil war broke out in several parts of the empire. The Sultan appealed to Muhammad Ali, Ottoman Viceroy of Egypt, for help. Egyptian forces seized Crete.

Ashanti War

Ashantis and Fantis continued their hostilities, with one side blowing war horns and the other side playing "God Save the King." The Ashanti defeated the Fanti in the Battle of Essamako and captured the British Governor Sir Charles M'Carthy, cut off his head, and employed his skull as a royal drinking cup at Coomassie. Ashanti King Osai Tutu Kwadwo (Quamina) was killed soon thereafter.

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

British expansion into India and southeastern Asia

Burmese forces captured the island of Shahpuri in defiance of British East India Company territorial claims. British Governor General of India Lord Amherst declared war on Burma. and British forces captured Rangoon.

The Dutch ceded Malacca to the U.K. in return for Bengkulen in Sumatra.

World science and technology

French physicist and military engineer Nicolas Léonard Sadi Carnot, 28, examined the efficiency of steam engines (requiring the cooling or venting of the surroundings) and explained thermodynamic concepts in his Reflexions sur la puissance motrice du feu ("Reflections on the Motive Power of Fire"); and English bricklayer Joseph Aspdin, 25, patented his process for making water-impervious Portland cement.

English astronomer John Herschel, 32, published his research into gravity in outer space; Charles Bell published Injuries of the Spine and Thigh Bone; English chemist William Prout, 39, isolated hydrochloric acid from stomach juices; French scientists J. L. Prévost and J. B. Dumas proved that sperm was essential to fertilization; Swedish chemist Jöns Jacob Berzelius, 45, isolated the element zirconium; and Norwegian mathematician Niels Henrick Abel, 22, proved the impossibility of an algebraic solution to a fifth-degree equation.

Arts and culture in the British Isles

Scots poet Sir Walter Scott, 53, published Quentin Durward, Peveril of the Peak, Redgauntlet, and St. Ronan's Wall; Tory leader and writer John Wilson Croker, 44, founded the Atheneum Club; and Parliament at last (after years of debate) established the National Gallery in London.

World arts and culture

French artist Ferdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix, 26, painted Massacre at Chios; and German composer Ludwig von Beethoven, 54, now totally deaf, produced Symphony No. 9 in D Minor (he had to be turned around at the end to see that the audience was applauding) and Mass in D Major (Missa Solemnis). French painter Théodore Géricault died at the age of 32.


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

See also the general sources.