Christ's Lutheran Church in 1825

For the next four 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, 65, 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, 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:

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 1825

All over the Catskills, including along our Sawkill, smelly tanneries were converting animal hides into leather, using chips and powder from hemlock bark in the tanning (softening) process and thereby leaving millions of bark-skinned hemlocks to die while standing. The largest such operation was the New York Tannery in the factory town of Edwardsville (present-day Hunter), autocratically run by Colonel William Edwards, 55.

A little to the northwest in the village of Schohariekill (named for the stream running through it), Zadock Pratt began his operation on land he had purchased the year before, with hides supplied by New York City leather barons Gideon Lee, Jonathan Thorne, and Charles Leupp. For his workers, Pratt had some hundred houses built in the village, which took on the new name of Prattsville--not shanties typical of other factory towns but handsome houses in the classical tastes of the decade, with pilasters and sunburst gable windows. A 224-foot covered wooden bridge crossed the Schohariekill, and a thousand elms, maples, and hickories lined the streets. Pratt boasted that by getting rid of the hemlocks, he was providing pastureland to the village, so that in time, butter produced by cows grazing there would rival the famous butter from Orange County.

Region historian Alf Evers(4)

Excerpted from Evers, Alf, Woodstock: History of an American Town [Woodstock, NY: Overlook Press, 1987], pp. 23ff, 41, 150ff. (Close) has described the Catskills as largely a region of absentee landlords and struggling tenants, in a manorial relationship more or less transplanted to upstate New York from medieval Europe. The principal landlord for tenant farmers and tavern keepers in the Town of Woodstock, and for all his other Catskills holdings of some 66,000 acres, was Robert L. Livingston, 50, 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 instructed Wigram and others of his agents the following:

It is most necessary that my business at Woodstock should be prosecuted with energy, and that your undivided attention should be paid to see my instructions executed--heretofore my property in Ulster and Sullivan has been much neglected, owing in some degree to my time having been employed on business of greater importance. It has become absolutely necessary that the rents due should be collected, but in a way not to injure the tenant but to serve him.… [If] the tenant knows that his rent must be paid, he will exert himself to fulfill his engagement--he will become more industrious.(5) Quoted from ibid., p. 157. (Close)
The agents were given a schedule of days on which rents were to be paid.

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), both just over the boundary from Livingston land--the Woodstock Glass Manufacturing Company of William and John Mott and the Bristol Glass, Cotton and Clay Company of Stephen Stilwell--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. (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.

Meanwhile, during this year Stilwell's company was rechartered as the New York Crown and Cylinder Glass Company, with Daniel Elliot as superintendent. Spafford's Gazetteer of New York stated that

the Bristol and Woodstock glass manufacturies are said to produce good profits and good glass.(7) Quoted from ibid., p. 129. (Close)
Not everyone agreed with this assessment, however.

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 26 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, 8 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, 28, 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 borne five children, thereby increasing the property of her master, John J. Dumont, who could at least get some labor out of the children for a couple more 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 2 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 just 1 more year. Unfortunately, she was suffering from a badly diseased hand, which gave her master an excuse to renege on his promise, because her work was allegedly not up to its usual quality.

Meanwhile, Dumont sold Isabella's 5-year-old son, Peter, to a Dr. Gedney, who intended to take him to England as a personal servant. Finding Peter too small for service, however, the doctor sent the boy to his brother, Solomon Gedney, who promptly sold him to the husband of his sister Eliza, the Alabama planter Fowler, who routinely and savagely beat his slaves. This last transaction (Isabella was ignorant of all the transactions after the first one) was illegal by New York State law, stipulating that no slave was to be sold out of state.

The 2-year-old commodious House on the Pine Orchard--also 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, scorned by locals in the valley below as the "Yankee Palace"--enjoyed another glorious tourist season (with more guests than rooms, the surplus obliged to sleep outside), benefiting from the lower Hudson River steamboat fares from the 1824 Supreme Court decision Gibbons v. Ogden, from the fact that steamboat tourists could see the hotel in the mountains, 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. Distinguished guests this year included the future Earl of Derby (for his second stay), Senator Daniel Webster of Massachusetts, and Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story.

Another guest was the relatively unknown "romantic realist" landscape painter Thomas Cole, 24, on a sketching trip funded by his protégé, rich New York City patron, dealer, and collector George W. Bruen. Cole fell in love with the Catskills, and the sketches he made there became the foundation of the Hudson River School style. Dramatist and collector William Dunlap bought a Cole painting of South Lake for $25 ($427.50 in 2006 dollars) and sold it to Philip Hone, former New York City mayor, for $50 ($855). Dunlap also anonymously praised Cole in the New York Evening Post, making the painter the talk of New York.

Construction (begun in 1817) was completed on the Erie Canal, connecting the Great Lakes with the Hudson River (and, thus, the Atlantic Ocean). It was 4 feet deep, 40 feet wide, with 10-foot-wide towpaths on either side. Stretching for 363 miles, it had 83 locks, since Lake Erie was 570 feet higher than the Hudson. New York Governor DeWitt Clinton, 56, officially opened the canal. On opening day, a cannon fired a volley in Buffalo, NY. When the sound was heard in the next town along the canal, it fired a cannon, too--all the way to New York City. The salute took 80 minutes to travel the entire route. Freight was slower, but very impressive for those days: 10 days from Buffalo to New York City. Packet boats, pulled by stocky horse teams on towpaths on the banks, moved at 4 miles per hour. Freight rates dropped from $100 per ton to $5 ($1,710 down to $85,50 in 2006 dollars). Fares for passengers were less than 4 cents per mile (68 cents), and bed and board were included; the ride was superior to that in packed stagecoaches. The cost of the canal was $7 million ($120 million), a sum made up in less than a decade.

An "Atlantic and Mississippi Railroad" was being discussed in Sullivan County that would use horsepower rather than steam. Several Catskill businessmen, including Orrin Day, president of the wealthy Tanners' Bank, proposed a "Canajoharie & Catskill Railroad" to restore business lost to the Erie Canal.

The United States in 1825

[ John Quincy Adams ]

James Monroe (Democratic Republican), 67, was President, succeeded during this year by John Quincy Adams, 58. The newly elected 19th Congress was in session. A dollar in that year would be worth $17.10 in 2006 for most consumable products.

By this time, some households had a wood-burning kitchen stove, but most folks still cooked over the fireplace.

Interior lighting still came from candles for most people, although for some it came from whale-oil lamps and tallow and spermaceti candles.

Housewives preserved food by drying, salting, and smoking. The fireplace or woodstove fire had to be stoked relentlessly, and it invariably extinguished itself during the wee--and coldest--hours of the night. The kitchen in summer was sweltering.

With water needing to be heated over the stove, little wonder than irregular bathing was the norm. Many people, convinced that bathing caused colds and other illnesses, bathed their bodies no more than once a year.

Houses and barns alike were constructed with heavy beams joined with carefully and skillfully fitted mortise and tenon.

Many people enjoyed jigsaw puzzles.

The horse-drawn reaper was replacing lines of peasants with scythes.

Patriotism was strong among Americans in every section. Most people paid very little attention to social differences (except as regards blacks and Indians). Most were focused on the future progress and prosperity of the United States. For the most part, people worked hard, pampered their children, honored their womenfolk, and were very welcoming to strangers. Everyone seemed eager to make money, but people donated generously to charities. At once vain and eager to please, tough fighters but sentimental, bullish about America but sedulous apers of European "culture."

The Presidential campaign of 1824 (continued)

[ John Caldwell Calhoun of South Carolina ] The election of 1824 had decided the Vice Presidency: Secretary of War John Caldwell Calhoun, 43 (pictured at left), from South Carolina. But the Presidency was still in doubt. None of the four Presidential candidates had received an electoral majority: Senator Andrew Jackson, 58 (a Democratic-Republican [or, simply, "Democrat"]), from Tennessee, had 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). Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, 58 (a National Republican), from Massachusetts, had received 84 votes from New England, most of New York, and a few elsewhere (114,023 popular votes). Treasury Secretary William H. Crawford, 53 (another Democratic Republican, or "Democrat"), from Georgia, had received 41 votes from Virginia and his native Georgia (46,979 popular votes). Speaker of the House Henry Clay, 48, the "Cock of Kentucky," had received 37 votes from here and there (47,217 popular votes).

The election was thus thrown into the new 19th Congress's House of Representatives, with each state casting a single vote, as stipulated in the Twelfth Amendment, to be decided on February 8, 1825, among the top three: Jackson, Adams, and Crawford. Since Crawford had suffered a stroke two years before, the contest was really between Jackson and Adams--with Henry Clay (pictured at right), disliked by both of them, in a position to swing the decision to either of them. A majority of 13 states out of the 24 would decide the election.

[ Henry Clay of Kentucky ]

In early January, James Buchanan, 34, of Pennsylvania, approached Jackson as an intermediary from Clay, suggesting that Clay might help Jackson if Jackson promised to appoint Clay Secretary of State (an apparent path to the Presidency). Jackson snorted:

Before I would reach the Presidential chair by such means… I would see the earth open up and swallow both Mr. Clay and his friends, and myself with them.
According to Adams's diary, then, Clay
told me [in a whisper] that he should be glad to have with me soon some confidential conversation upon public affairs. I said I should be happy to have it whenever it might suit his convenience.
Clay a week later met with Adams.
Mr. Clay came at six, and spent the evening with me in a long conversation explanatory of the past and prospective of the future.
[ Senator Daniel Webster ] According to the diary, the two men discussed matters of "great public importance." Adams noted that Mr. Clay had "no hesitation in saying that his preference would be for me." They apparently reached an "understanding," if not a "bargain." Clay soon thereafter announced that he would support Adams. Then Daniel Webster of Massachusetts, 43 (pictured at left), reported that former President Thomas Jefferson, 82, had told him that Jackson was
one of the most unfit men I know of for such a place.(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, pp. 65-66; Bailey, Thomas A., Kennedy, David M., and Cohen, Lizabeth, The American Pageant: A History of the Republic, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1998, p. 260. (Close)
Jackson had carried 11 states in the election, and his supporters expected the Crawford states, Missouri, and Kentucky to go their way. Adams had 9 firm states. Webster helped win Federalist Maryland over to Adams, and Louisiana joined, too. Clay still needed to get Missouri and New York over to Adams's side to get the needed 13. Speaker Clay did everything he could to whip Congressmen into line, and just before noon (2 hours before the House was due to assemble for the vote), Missouri's single Representative, John Scott, announced for Adams in the face of bitter denunciation from Jackson's Missouri friend, Senator Thomas Hart Benton, 43.

[ John Randolph of Roanoke ] Clay, desperately trying to avoid a deadlock, fearing that momentum would then build for the Jackson forces, now focused all his browbeating energy on the New York delegation. Within that delegation was an old, indecisive war veteran, Representative Stephen Van Renssalear, who, as both sides were storming at him, dropped his head on his desk as if in prayer; he saw a discarded Adams ballot on the floor and dropped it into the box as his vote--which swung the New York delegation for Adams, which swung the election for Adams. Virginia Senator John Randolph of Roanoke, 52 (pictured at left), a Jackson supporter, proclaimed bitterly:

It was impossible to win the game, gentlemen. The cards were stacked.(10) Quoted in Wellman, op. cit., p. 68. (Close)
Jackson himself was unperturbed, perhaps even relieved. According to Hezekiah Niles, Jackson
had no doubt but that a good proportion of the citizens would be satisfied by the choice.… [He] observed that many… were unpleasantly situated, seeing they were compelled to act either against Mr. Adams or himself.… And he further remarked that it was a matter of small moment to the people who was their President, provided he administered the government rightfully.
Later, a witness recorded how Jackson met Adams at a White House reception:
General Jackson, who was escorting a lady, promptly extended his hand, saying pleasantly: "How do you do, Mr. Adams? I give you my left hand, for the right, as you see, is devoted to the fair. I hope you are very well, sir." All this was gallantly and heartily said and done. Mr. Adams took the General's hand and said, with chilling coldness: "Very well, sir; I hope General Jackson is well." The military hero was genial and gracious, while the unamiable diplomat was cold as an iceberg.(11) Quoted in ibid., pp. 68-69. (Close)
[ Andrew Jackson ] Soon thereafter, President Adams announced that he had appointed Henry Clay as his Secretary of State. Jackson supporters were furious and began flinging the phrase "Bargain and corruption!" as a slogan and rallying cry. Jackson himself (pictured at right) was enraged. He wrote his friend Major William B. Lewis, 41:
So you see the Judas of the West has closed the contract and will receive the thirty pieces of silver, his end will be the same. Was there ever witnessed such bare faced corruption?
President Adams himself felt uncomfortable with the election results, recording in his diary that the election had not taken place in
a manner satisfactory to pride or just desire; with perhaps two-thirds of the whole people adverse to the actual result.(12) Quoted in ibid., pp. 69, 71. (Close)
Jackson resigned his seat in the Senate and began to organize his supporters for the Presidential campaign of 1828.

In President Adams's first Message to Congress, he ambitiously recommended--against the advice of Secretary Clay and the rest of the Cabinet--a national university, government financing of scientific explorations, establishment of a uniform standard of weights and measures, building of an astronomical observatory, creation of a Department of the Interior, reform of the patent laws, and internal improvements on a huge scale. But in his address, he scolded Congress for

refraining from exercising its powers for the benefit of the people,
as constituting
treachery to the most sacred of trusts,
and he unfavorably compared the United States with
foreign nations… advancing with gigantic strides.(13) Quoted in ibid., pp. 71-72. (Close)
The new 19th Congress was enraged. The unfavorable comparisons produced cries of "Tyranny" and the accusation that "All Adamses are monarchists."

Particularly vituperative was Senator Randolph from Virginia, who opened his shrill tirades with a jab at Vice President Calhoun, whom he detested:

Mr. Speaker! I mean Mr. President of the Senate and would-be President of the United States, which God in his infinite mercy avert!
Randolph at various times referred to President Adams as "a traitor," to Senator Daniel Webster as "a vile slanderer," to Senator John Holmes of Massachusetts as "a dangerous fool," and to Edward Livingston of Louisiana, 61, as
the most contemptible and degraded of beings, whom no man ought to touch, unless with a pair of tongs.(14) Quoted in ibid., p. 73. (Close)
Secretary of the Treasury Ricard Rush, 45, forcefully recommended a strong protective tariff to help manufacturers. Southerners and Westerners vigorously protested, labeling the tariff as a scheme to strengthen the North at the expense of their sections.

Immigrants from Europe--including thousands of Irish--were pouring into America.

Norwegian Quakers fleeing a hostile state Lutheran church emigrate on the sloop Restauration to New York City, initiating a huge Scandanavian immigration into the U.S.

William Ellery Channing, 35, the Boston former Congregationalist pastor who had founded Unitarianism in 1819, organized the American Unitarian Association.

Some 600 journeymen and apprentice carpenters in Boston went out on strike, demanding a 10-hour workday. Master carpenters condemned the strike, defending the dawn-to-dusk workday as sheltering workers from "many temptations and improvident practices."

The New York Trotting Club built a race course on Long Island.

The New York Stock Exchange opened, with most shares in canal, turnpike, mining, and gas lighting companies.

[ Charles Grandison Finney ] [ Revival camp meeting ]

Charles Grandison Finney, 33, pictured here, a lawyer in western New York, did not own a Bible but he had an epiphany when coming across references to Mosaic law in his practice. He began conducting a religious revival in the Mohawk Valley of New York. (To enlarge the revival meeting picture, just click it.) Theodore Dwight Weld, 22, joined the "holy band" and began preaching in western New York against the horrors of drinking.

Joseph Smith, 20, a farmer in backwoods New York State (just outside Palmyra, NY), had for years been claiming 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.

A "Baseball Club" was organized in Rochester, NY.

Stimulated by the commerce on the Erie Canal, the meat-packing industry of Buffalo, NY, began flourishing.

Queen's College in New Brunswick, NJ, changed its name to Rutgers in honor of benefactor Henry Rutgers, 80.

The Schuylkill Canal opened, connecting Philadelphia with Reading, PA.

Pennsylvania passed a "personal liberty law," protecting its free black citizens from being "captured" by professional slave catchers who were not particularly concerned with positive identification of fugitive slaves from the South.

Baltimore (formerly of Ohio and Tennessee) Quaker Benjamin Lundy, 36, continued to publish his abolitionist newspaper Genius of Universal Emancipation.

General Simon Perkins founded Akron, OH, near Lake Erie. The settlement would benefit from the traffic generated by the new Erie Canal.

William Henry Harrison, 52, was elected to the U.S. Senate from Ohio.

John Chapman, 50, 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."

British Lancashire New Lanark mill owner and reformer Robert Dale Owen, 56, officially established his utopian community of New Harmony, Indiana. Owen promoted the abolition of slavery, women's liberation, and free progressive education. His perfect society was to be based on principles of reason rather than religion. It was devoted to bettering the human condition through socialism and free education. It established a kindergarten, a trade school, and a community-based public school system. Some 1,000 settlers came to the colony; most were idealists unprepared to deal with such practical necessities as running a factory or a farm. With no authoritative control, strife resulted.

Fort Dearborn (Chicago, IL), with a garrison of 70, began to grow from the traffic generated by the new Erie Canal.

Frances "Fanny" Wright, 66, established the Nashoba community near Memphis, TN, to train blacks to be able to establish a colony outside the U.S. Wright bought slaves and then emancipated them.

Cotton now sold at 15 cents a pound ($2.57 a pound in 2006 dollars) on the New Orleans market. A good black field hand who would have been worth only $500 two decades earlier ($8,550) was now worth $1,500 ($25,650).

The 19th U.S. Congress adopted a policy of removing eastern Indian tribes to lands west of the Mississippi River.

The Cherokee national legislature established a capital called New Echota at the headwaters of the Oostanaula River in Georgia. The little village was the site of the first Indian-language newspaper office and one of the earliest experiments in national self-government by an Indian tribe.

Creek Indians at Indian Springs, GA, rejected the treaty ceding all their lands in the state to the U.S. government. The Creeks vowed after "deep and solemn reflection" and with "one voice" not to sell 1 foot of their land to the government.

We would not receive money for land in which our fathers and friends are buried.(15) 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)
Several chiefs and leaders, however, did sign a treaty selling almost all Creek territory within the state of Georgia as well as some land west of the Mississippi for $400,000 ($6.84 million in 2006 dollars). The local Indian agent objected to this spurious treaty, and the signers of the treaty--McIntosh, Tsutunugge, and Hawkins--were executed, according to Creek justice. Governor Troup of Georgia, fearing an Indian uprising, rushed news of their executions to Washington. President Adams sent a special agent to gather facts. The President called the chiefs to Washington to draft a new treaty, which gave less land to the government and allowed the Indians to remain where they were until 1827.

One of Henry Clay's first public statements as Secretary of State was to endorse, at a cabinet meeting, a policy of genocide toward American Indians:

[The Indians are] essentially inferior to the Anglo-Saxon race… and their disappearance from the human family will be no great loss to the world. [I do not] think them, as a race, worth preserving.(16) Quoted in Bailey, Thomas A., Kennedy, David M., and Cohen, Lizabeth, The American Pageant: A History of the Republic, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1998, p. 281. (Close)

Lewis Cass, 43, Governor of Michigan Territory, promised in a treaty council with the Shawnees and Cherokees that would award them land west of the Mississippi River(17):

Quoted from Zinn, op. cit. (Close)
The United States will never ask for your land there. This I promise you in the name of your great father, the President. That country he assigns to his red people, to be held by them and their children's children forever.

Fur trader Pierre Cabanne established a trading post on the Missouri River in Louisiana Territory that would become Omaha, NE.

Missouri Lieutenant Governor William H. Ashley, 47, operating his Rocky Mountain Fur Company, arrived through the South Pass of Wyoming to the rich Green River Valley. He set up trapping operations under a new system:

The place of deposite, as aforesaid, will be the place of rendavoze for all our parties on or before the 10th July next.
which became the rendezvous system for the American fur trade. Supply caravans would come to the trappers, buy the pelts and sell supplies. Trapper explorer Jedediah Strong Smith, 25, attended and became Ashley's partner, replacing Andrew Henry, 46.(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. 534. (Close)

Science and technology in America: Specifics

New York inventor John C. Stevens, 76, built Action, an experimental steam locomotive. Yale College purchased a collection of 10,000 minerals from Rhode Island mineralogist George Gibbs. New York canner Thomas Kensett patented tin-plated cans. Nathaniel Jarvis Wyeth patented an improved ice-harvesting method, and he devised a way to insulate them in sawdust.

Gunsmith Henry Deringer, 39, designed the short, single-shot, percussion Deringer pistol.

Arts and culture in America: Specifics

Pennsylvania Quaker carriage maker and painter Edward Hicks, 45, painted his first The Peaceable Kingdom; composer John Davies and libretto writer Samuel Woodworth produced the opera The Forest Rose, or, American Farmers in New York City; poet William Cullen Bryant, 31, published Rizpay, Monument Mountain, Autumn Woods, Forest Hymn, and 16 other poems and became considered the nation's leading poet; and Sarah Knight published her diary The Journal of Mme. Knight. Actor Edwin Forrest, 19, was on stage in Albany, NY, with the English actor Edmund Kean, 38. When Kean was playing in Boston, he was forced off the stage by egg throwers.

Duncan Phyfe, 57, began producing furniture in the Empire style.

The song "Home Sweet Home" was 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 1825

Sir John Franklin, 39, explored the Arctic regions.

The United Kingdom and Russia concluded a treaty delineating the boundary between Russian Alaska and British Canada.

Scots botanist David Douglas, 27, discovered the coniferous evergreen Douglas fir (Psuedotsuga taxifolia) in the Pacific Northwest.

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.

A forest fire consumed 4 million acres of New Brunswick and destroyed the towns of Chatham, Douglas, and Newcastle.

Canadian Peter Skene Ogden led a "brigade" of Hudson's Bay Company trappers down the Bear River

and found it discharged into a large Lake of 100 miles in length
--that is, the Great Salt Lake (in Mexican territory, present-day Utah). Some 25 American trappers, with the U.S. flag "ostentatiously displayed" camped nearby and began to outbid Ogden for the furs his own men had brought in. Ogden protested, and the Americans brandished their rifles, saying that Ogden was trespassing on United States soil. Ogden retreated.

Guadalupe Victoria continued to serve as President of Mexico amid incessant troubles between the conservative clergy and liberals, troubles fomented largely by General Antonio López de Santa Anna, 31, to destabilize the government.

Mexican authorities opened Texas to settlement by U.S. citizens in general, not just the 300 families agreed to in the original 1821 grant. By that time the colony of Stephen Fuller Austin, 32, on the Rio Brazos had a population of some 1,400 whites and over 400 slaves. 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 19 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.

U.S. President John Quincy Adams appointed Joel Roberts Poinsett of South Carolina, 46, as Ambassador to Mexico. He made a mess of his mission there. The Mexican republicans wanted to establish the York (Yorkino)-rite Masonic lodges in opposition to Scottish (Escoceses)-rite lodges used by the British and the Mexican monarchists, and Poinsett helped them obtain York-rite charters. But all Mexico became divided between the two, and civil war broke out. The Escoceses won, and Poinsett was recalled. (He brought back cuttings of the scarlett flower named for him, however.)

Struggles for Latin American independence

Antonio José de Sucre, 32, convened a congress at Chuquisaca in upper Peru to proclaim the independence of Bolivia (the "republic of Bolívar") from Peru (and to have himself proclaimed its first President).

The government of Portugal, persuaded by British Foreign Minister George Canning, 55, recognized the independence of Brazil. Canning, in fact, beat the United States in recognizing every one of the new Latin American republics (whereas the United States had recognized by that time only six of them). This was considered an accolade by the republics. Canning wrote jubilantly:

Spanish America is free, and if we do not mismanage our affairs sadly, she is English, and novus saeculorum nascitur ordo [a new era is born, the motto on the U.S. Great Seal].(19) Quoted in Morison, Samuel Eliot, The Oxford History of the American People, New York: Oxford University Press, 1965, p, 418. (Close)
British merchants, which had been inhibited from commerce with Latin America for three centuries, were ecstatic.

Argentina-Brazil war

Uruguayans revolted against Brazilian authorities and declared independence. Argentina aided the rebels in the hopes of annexing the territory. Argentina began war with Brazil also in the hopes of acquiring the Banda Oriental.

The British Parliament enacted a law allowing workers to organize in labor unions, but not to strike or to threaten violence. The law provided summary methods of conviction.

The 27-mile-long Stockton-Darlington Railroad in England, promoted by Edward Pease, 58, and engineered by George Stephenson, opened, the first steam locomotive passenger service. The 15-ton engine Active pulled a tender, six freight cars, the director's coach, six passenger coaches, and 14 workmen's wagons.

Meanwhile, there were horse-drawn buses in London.

Sir Marc Isambard Brunel, 56, began construction on a tunnel under the River Thames.

With the Law of Indemnity royalist authorities in France compensated the nobles for their losses during the French Revolution. Compensation was to be at the expense of government bondholders, mostly members of the upper bourgeoisie.

French law made sacrilege a capital offense.

Engineer Marc Seguin, 39, designed and built the world's first wire suspension bridge near Lyons, France.

King Maximilian I of Bayern (Bavaria) died and was succeeded by his son, Ludwig I.

King Ferdinand IV of Naples, 73, who had ruled oppressively with spies and informers, supported by his wife, Maria Carolina of Austria, died and was succeeded by his son, Francesco I, 47. The new King left the government to his court favorites and the police, while he lived with his mistress, surrounded by soldiers to protect him from assassination.

Tsar Alexander I of Russia died in agony at the age of 47 after eating poisonous mushrooms in the Crimea. (There were rumors, however, that he had not died but had disappeared into Siberia as a religious hermit. In 1926 Soviet authorities opened his casket and found it empty.) He was succeeded by his brother, Nicholas I, 30.

The wretched conditions in Europe were fostering the development of socialism.

Decembrist revolt in Russia

The Decembrists, a secret revolutionary society of Russian aristocrats weary of the Romanov Dynasty, staged an uprising. When rebel troops in St. Petersburg Senate Square refused to surrender, cavalry loyal to the Tsar charged them. Though the horses were ill-shod and slipped all over the square, the rebels were suppressed.

Greek War of Independence

Ottoman forces under Mustafa Mehmet Reshid Pasha, 23, besieged Missolonghi in Greece. Turkish and Egyptian forces under Muhammed Ali's son Ibrahim subdued the Greeks in the Peloponnesus (Morea).

Ashanti War

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

Scots explorer Alexander Gordon Laing, 32, began to explore the Niger basin via Tripoli. After crossing the Tuat Desert, he became the first European to visit Timbuktu.

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

Anglo-Burmese war

British forces battled Burmese at the eastern reaches of the Indian subcontinent.

Javanese conflict

The Javanese revolted against Dutch control.

King Kamehameha III of Hawaii, 12, began his reign, following the death of his older brother the previous year in England.

World science and technology

English scientist Sir Goldsworthy Gurney, 27, invented the oxygen-hydrogen limelight.

French naturalist Georges Leopold Chrétien Frederic Dagobert, Baron Cuvier, 56, suggested that great catastrophes in the past had altered the earth and wiped out entire animal species; French physicist André Ampère, 50, developed the electromagnetic theory; Swedish chemist Jöns Jacob Berzelius, 46, isolated the element titanium; and English chemist-physicist Michael Faraday, 32, isolated benzene.

The French lawyer-gastronome Jean-Anthèlme Brillat-Savarin published Physiologie du Goût ("The Physiology of Taste, or Meditations on Transcendental Gastronomy").

World philosophy and religion

English philosopher John Stuart Mill, 19, published the psychology manual Analysis of the Phenomena of the Human Mind. French socialist Comte de Saint-Simon died at the age of 65.

Arts and culture in the British Isles

Essayist William Hazlitt, 47, published The Spirit of the Age, or Contemporary Portraits; essayist Thomas Babington Macaulay, 24, published Milton; Scots poet Sir Walter Scott, 54, published Tales of the Crusaders, The Betrothed, and The Talisman; painter John Constable, 48, painted The Leper's House; architect John Nash, 73, designed Buckingham Palace; and the Diary of seventeenth century commentator Samuel Pepys was published. The Ninth Symphony of Ludwig von Beethoven was performed in England. Painter Henry Fuseli died at the age of 84.

World arts and culture

French composer François Adrien Boieldieu, 50, produced the opera La Dame blanche; French scholar Augustin Thierry, 30, published Histoire de la Conquête de l'Angleterre par les Normands ("History of the Norman Conquest of England"); Italian poet and novelist Alessandro Manzoni, 40, published I Proessi Sposi ("The Betrothed"); Swedish poet Esaias Tegnér published the epic poem Frithjofs Saga; Russian poet Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin, 26, wrote the historical tragedy Boris Godunov; and the Bolshoi Ballet was established in Moscow. French painter Jacques Louis David died at the age of 77, German author "Jean Paul" (Johann Paul Friedrich Richter) died at the age of 62, and Italian composer Antonio Salieri died at the age of 75.


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