Perry G. Cole, from Schoharie County, became the official pastor, conducting services at the first [or the second? see the following footnote] church building, 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).(1)
Pastor Cole lived in Saugerties and served Athens and West Camp as well as Woodstock.
There were 39 members of the congregation at the beginning of Pastor Cole's pastorate.
Above is a page from the church register, recording the officers of the church during 1829 and 1830, as they were elected on a rotating basis. To enlarge the picture, just click it.
Lewis Edson, Jr. (owner of a sawmill in Mink Hollow that supplied the Shady glass factories nearby) was involved in leading the singing at the church.
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."(2)During this year, three years after the end of the presidency of rationalist Dr. Frederick Henry Quitman, the New York Ministerium published a faithful translation of Luther's smaller catechism, distancing itself from Quitman's rationalist Evangelical Catechism of 1814.
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)
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. New turnpikes were being built to reach the hemlock stands. The largest tanning operation was the New York Tannery in the factory town of Edwardsville (present-day Hunter), autocratically run by Colonel William Edwards, 59. In the atypically neat factory town of Prattsville, workers in the factory of Zadock Pratt lived in some hundred handsome classical-style houses, 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(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, 54, 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. Stipulated in the typical lease was an annual rent of fifteen to twenty bushels of wheat per hundred acres, plus three or four "good fat hens" and from one to three days' work with team on the common land. A tenant could sell his leasehold, but he had to pay the landlord one-sixth of the sale.
Livingston--through his agent John Wigram, pictured here, the town supervisor who resided on Wigram Lane (Rock City Road) near the barn now known as Parnassus Square, and who farmed there with the help of his freedslaves (though technically free, they continued to live and work exactly as they had as 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), both just over the boundary from Livingston land--the Woodstock Glass Manufacturing Company and the New York Crown and Cylinder Glass Company--continued, with inefficient operation, to produce window glass and bottles, shipping their products down the Glasco Turnpike to the Hudson River landing in Glasco (from "Glass Company") and then by sloop on to New York City. Unfortunately, their operation required vast amounts of fuel, principally wood, which denuded the forests around Woodstock and, as a result of the deforestation, caused massive erosion of the mountainside soil.
One of Woodstock's only resident doctors was Dr. Larry Gilbert Hall, who had thorough academic training and a good medical library and who lived in the house later torn down to make room for the present Woodstock Library. Dr. Hall was the owner of Woodstock's first recorded bathtub (described in his estate inventory as a "bathing trough"). Another resident doctor was Dr. John Fiero, 24. 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.
The 6-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, and from the Hudson River School paintings of famous "romantic realist" landscape painter Thomas Cole, 28, who this year left his quarters in the village of Catskill for a 4-year visit to Europe to study the Old Masters.
Former New Paltz slave Isabella Bomefree Van Wagenen, 32, originally from Hurley, moved from Ulster County to New York City, and took a job as a domestic while she pursued her religious interests. She felt that she was in direct communication with God.
John Quincy Adams (National Republican), 62, was President, succeeded during this year by Andrew Jackson, 62. The newly elected 21st Congress was in session. A dollar in that year would be worth $17.10 in 2006 for most consumable products.
President-Elect Jackson, "Old Hickory," lonely, feeble, and ill, set off for the inauguration only weeks after burying his wife: by steamboat from Nashville to Cincinnati to Pittsburgh, then by public stagecoach to Washington (on the high front seat, with the driver). English visitor Frances Trollope recorded Jackson's arrival in Cincinnati:
He wore his grey hair carelessly, but not ungracefully arranged, and, in spite of his harsh, gaunt features, he looks like a gentleman, and a soldier. He was in deep mourning, having very recently lost his wife; they were said to have been very happy together.… [A] greasy fellow accosted him thus:Once in Washington, Jackson stayed at Gadsby's Indian Queen Tavern during President John Quincy Adams's last month in office. Adams, sulking, left Washington the night before Inauguration Day. In the morning Jackson walked from Gadsby's to the Capitol, and on the portico he swore the oath before Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall, 73, amid wild celebration of some 10,000 "common people"--backwoodsmen, farmers, immigrants, old soldiers, shopkeepers, editors, and adventurers of every kind--who had crowded into Washington (population but 18,000). Senator Daniel Webster of Massachusetts, 47, remarked gloomily:
"General Jackson, I guess?"
The General bowed assent.
"Why, they told me you was dead."
"No, Providence has hitherto preserved my life."
"And is your wife alive, too?"
The General, apparently much hurt, signified the contrary, upon which the courtier concluded his harangue by saying, "Ay, I thought it was the one or the t'other of ye."(4)
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. 85. (Close)
[E]very face seemed to bear defiance on its brow.… Persons have come from five hundred miles to see General Jackson, and they really seem to think the country is rescued from some dreadful danger.Jackson delivered an almost inaudible and thoroughly commonplace inaugural address, shouldered his way through the crowd, mounted a horse, and rode off on the muddy and puddly Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House, where
the officially and socially eligible as defined by precedenthad been invited to a reception. The crowds followed Jackson, on horseback, in rickety wagons, and on foot. They pursued him right into the White House, where long tables laden with cakes, ice cream, and orange punch had been set up in the East Room. Jackson was pressed back helplessly as his fans tracked mud on the precious carpets and climbed onto delicate chairs to gawk at him. As one appalled onlooker, apparently not one of the common people, reported:
A rabble, a mob, of boys, negros, women, children, scrambling, fighting, romping. What a pity, what a pity! No arrangements had been made, no police officers on duty, and the whole house had been [filled] by the rabble mob.… [The President was] almost suffocated and torn to pieces by the people in their eagerness to shake hands.Additional barrels of orange punch were opened out on the lawn, relieving the physical pressure from Jackson, who managed to escape out a rear window and take refuge in Gadsby's. Inside, glasses had been broken and trodden under foot, several pails of punch had been spilled, and damask chairs had been soiled by muddy boots. Critics said that "King Mob" was ruling the nation, but Jackson supporter Amos Kendall of Kentucky, 40, said,
It was a proud day for the people. General Jackson is their own President.(5)President Jackson took up his duties with the firm intention of punishing the "vile wretches" who had attacked him and his late wife in the Presidential campaign. He introduced into national politics the spoils system, the practice of basing appointments on party service. Many federal employees were fired (with the excuse that the new administration was trying to "cleanse the Augean stables" of accumulated filth), to scrape the "barnacles" off the "Ship of State," to be replaced by Jackson supporters. Senator Henry Clay, 52, of Kentucky (the outgoing Secretary of State), remarked:
Quoted in Garraty, John A., The American Nation: A History of the United States, New York: Harper and Row, 1966, p. 258; Wellman, op. cit., p. 86; Athearn, Robert G., ed., American Heritage Illustrated History of the United States, vol. 5, Young America, New York: Choice Publishing, 1988, p. 393; Davidson, James West, and Stoff, Michael B., The American Nation, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1986, 1995, p. 332. (Close)
Among the official corps here there is the greatest solicitude and apprehension. The members of it feel something like the inhabitants of Cairo when the plague breaks out; no one knows who is next to encounter the stroke of death.An army of spoils seekers descended on Washington. "I am ashamed of myself," said one of them to a friend on the street. "I feel as if every man I meet knows what I came for." "Don't distress yourself," was the reply, "for every man you meet is on the same business."(6)
No man has any more intrinsic right to official station than another.… [Long-entrenched civil servants] are apt to acquire the habit of looking with indifference upon the public interests and of tolerating conduct from which an unpracticed man would revolt.Responding to the criticism of such "rotating" of public jobholders, that the rapid turnover might create confusion, he stated:
The duties of all public officers are… so plain and simple that men of intelligence may readily qualify themselves for their performance.(7)The President was forthright in referring, somewhat inelegantly, to the goal of the spoils seeker:
Quoted in Garraty, op. cit., pp. 261-62. (Close)
a tit… to suck the Treasury pap.One New Yorker spoils seeker summarized:
No damned rascal who made use of his office… for the purpose of keeping Mr. Adams in, and Genl. Jackson out of power is entitled to the least lenity or mercy.… Whether or not I shall get anything in the general scramble for plunder, remains to be proven, but I rather guess I shall.(8)Many of the new appointees were corrupt; the most notorious of them Samuel Swartwout, 46, who had been an accomplice of Aaron Burr's schemes and was now appointed the plum post of collectorship of the port of New York, where he would make himself very wealthy over the next few years.
Quoted in ibid., p. 263. (Close)
President Jackson let it be known that he intended to serve only a single term, so there was a great deal of wheeling and dealing about who would be President in 4 years. At first it appeared that Vice President John Caldwell Calhoun, 47, was the heir presumptive, that there had been a "gentlemen's agreement" among the supporters of Jackson and of Calhoun in the 1828 Election that Jackson would support Calhoun in 1832. (Calhoun might well have expected to succeed the very weak and ailing Jackson even sooner.) But it soon appeared that Jackson had another protegé: Martin Van Buren of New York ("Little Van"), 49, whom he appointed his Secretary of State.
The President's unofficial political advisors--a group of Democratic Party leaders (including Van Buren), close friends (including William B. Lewis of Tennessee, 45, and Jackson's nephew and private secretary, Andrew Jackson Donelson) and newspaper editors who had a good sense of the nation's mood (including speechwriter and Argus of Western America editor Amos Kendall and newspaperman Francis P. Blair, 38)--were called the Kitchen Cabinet (because they met in the kitchen of the White House). Jackson listened to their advice, but he never relinquished control; as direct representative of all the people, he considered himself the embodiment of national power.
Jackson appointed his good friend Senator John Henry Eaton of Tennessee, 39, as Secretary of War. Eaton had just months before married the young widow Margaret (Peggy) O'Neale Timberlake, 33, with whom he had apparently been enjoying a long affair during her previous marriage. Vicious gossip about them circulated in Washington society; it was rumored that Peggy had already had two children by Eaton and that her first husband had killed himself because of her infidelity. Mrs. Calhoun refused to receive the "hussy" in society, and the other Cabinet wives, the ladies of the diplomatic corps, and the wives of most Senators and Congressmen followed suit; they declined to call, and at official receptions they refused to speak to her. Only Secretary of State Van Buren, a widower, and the British and Russian Ambassadors--Charles Vaughan and Baron Krudener, both bachelors--showed the pretty and witty Mrs. Eaton any attention.
President Jackson appointed his supporter William Taylor Barry, 44, of Kentucky as Postmaster General.
In his first message to the new 21st Congress, President Jackson pointed out France's 20 years of failure to settle claims for damages sustained to American shipping during the Napoleonic wars, Britain's continued closure of West Indian ports to Yankee ships, the continued dispute over the boundary between Maine and Canada, and the desire of some Southern states to annex the Mexican province of Texas. Jackson proposed
to ask for nothing that is not clearly right and to submit to nothing that is wrong.He suggested an amelioration compromise to the 1828 "Tariff of Abominations." He brought up the prospect of removing Indians from lands east of the Mississippi, opening up that territory to white settlement. He wanted to go slow on internal improvements until the national debt of $48,522,000 [$829,726,000 in 2006 dollars] was paid off. He also attacked the Second Bank of the United States, which was controlled by Nicholas Biddle, 43, pictured at right. Jackson suggested replacing the Bank with an agency more in the public interest, since the Bank had
failed in the great end of establishing a uniform and sound currency.(9)The Bank was the official repository of public funds, which it could use for banking purposes without paying interest. States could not tax the Bank, and there could be no rival institution chartered by Congress. Of its 25 directors, only 5 were named by the government. Jackson felt that so great a private monopoly was a danger to the people; it allied the government to business and financial interests, and it had the power to manipulate the currency. Jackson wrote to Biddle that he was uneasy with the Bank:
Quoted in Wellman, op. cit., pp. 92-93. (Close)
I think it is right to be perfectly frank with you. I do not dislike your Bank any more than all banks, But ever since I read the history of the South Sea Bubble I have been afraid of banks.(10)Biddle, understanding that the South Sea Bubble of 1720 was best prevented by a strong bank, was dismayed by Jackson's peculiar reasoning and began to gravitate toward Jackson's political enemies, such as Senator Henry Clay. Still, he did not give up on influencing Jackson himself: He established a branch of the Bank at Nashville, and he appointed some of Jackson's friends on the board of directors of 25 branches from one end of the country to the other. He also visited the White House with a proposal he thought would win Jackson's endorsement: paying off the national debt, with the final installment made on the 18th anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans. Jackson thanked Biddle but declined the offer.
Quoted in Garraty, op. cit., p. 269. (Close)
Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Jay died at the age of 84.
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.
The standard bathtub, for those who believed in bathing at all, was a wooden box lined with copper or zinc, filled with buckets from the stove. 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.
The hallmark of smallpox was a skin eruption that left permanent scarring.(11)
Quoted in Frisch, Karen, "Childhood Diseases in the Victorian Age, Part II: The Victims," featured in "Ancestry Daily News" of MyFamily.com Inc. (© Copyright 1998-2002 by MyFamily.com Inc. and its subsidiaries). There are also quotes from Bailey, Thomas A., Kennedy, David M., and Cohen, Lizabeth, The American Pageant: A History of the Republic, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1998, pp. 342-43. (Close)
Caused by a virus, smallpox left its victims with severe chills, pain in the back and limbs, intense headache, vomiting, and fever. On the third day a rash began on the face.
Every household had an outdoor privy.
Lard oil began to replace the more expensive whale oil in lamps.
Boston merchant Thomas Handasyd Perkins, 65, and John Dix Fisher helped to found the New England Asylum for the Blind.
Chang and Eng, 18, male "Siamese twins" connected at the chest, having been discovered by British merchant Robert Hunter, arrived in Boston from Siam on the American ship Sachem, attracting wide attention among physicians and the general public. Hunter, their agent, took them on tour to England and France.
The 170-room Tremont House, the first modern hotel where guests were actually rented private rooms (rather than doubling up or tripling up in beds, as in other hotels), opened in Boston. A guest paid $2 per day for the room and four meals [$34.20 in 2006 dollars], plus a free bar of soap. Baths were available in the basement.
Thousands of Irish immigrants came to the United States.
Charles Grandison Finney, 37, pictured here, conducted religious revivals in country settlements in the Northeast and Midwest, urging true Christians to join reform movements. He was part of the "Second Great Awakening."(12)
This paragraph has been adapted with permission from William Strauss and Neil Howe, Generations: The History of America's Future, 1584 to 2069 (New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1991). Cited by them is Edward Pessen, Jacksonian America: Society, Personality, and Politics (1985), p. 70. There is also an extensive quote from Bailey, Thomas A., Kennedy, David M., and Cohen, Lizabeth, The American Pageant: A History of the Republic, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1998, pp. 336, 348-50. (Close)
(To enlarge the revival meeting picture, just click it.) The movement was triggered by Finney's evangelical preaching and by widespread excitement over religious conversion, social reform, and radical idealism. Reformers promoted rights for women as well as miracle medicines, communal living, polygamy, celibacy, rule by prophets, and guidance by spirits. Societies were formed against alcohol, tobacco, profanity, and the transit of mail on the Sabbath. Fad diets proved popular, including the whole-wheat bread and crackers regimen of Massachusetts Presbyterian minister Sylvester Graham, 35, who began preaching this year against white bread, pepper, catsup, mustard, fats, and meat, calling them injurious to health and stimulating to carnal appetites. Eventually, the crusade against slavery would be a cause to overshadow all other reforms.
Joseph Smith, 24, of Harmony, PA, 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 had showed him the hiding place of gold plates on his family's farm in backwoods New York State (near Palmyra, NY), plates that told of the ancient inhabitants of the western continents. Smith now claimed he had translated some of the "Reformed Egyptian" text from the plates. Unfortunately, during the preceding year, Smith had lost 116 pages of the manuscript translation. During this year, he resumed his translating, with his wife, Emma, 25, acting as scribe. Translation greatly intensified in April, when Oliver Hervy Pliny Cowdery, 23, became scribe. At the beginning of June, Smith and Cowdery moved to Fayette, NY, for the remainder of the translation, where the plates' title page indicated the book was to be entitled the Book of Mormon: An account written by the hand of Mormon, upon plates taken from the Plates of Nephi. Translation was completed by the beginning of July. The book claimed that the New World aborigines (the Indians) were descended from the lost 10 tribes of Israel, who had sailed from the Near East 2,500 years earlier, and who had received a visit from Jesus Christ after his resurrection in Palestine. Smith and his followers, called Saints, were commanded to redeem these lost Israelites from the paganism they had fallen into. The book sanctioned polygamous marriage.
Scots immigrant and social reformer Frances "Fanny" Wright, 34, settled in New York and continued agitating for women's rights and free public education. Here is from her lecture "Of Free Inquiry, considered as a Means for obtaining Just Knowledge" delivered at Park Theatre in New York City(13):
Quoted in Zinn, Howard, A People's History of the United States, 1492-Present, New York: HarperCollins, 1980, 1995, 1999; Perennial, 2003, p. 122. Note that the word intercourse had connotations different from the contemporary restricted sense. (Close)
I shall venture the assertion that, until women assume the place in society which good sense and good feeling alike assign to them, human improvement must advance but feebly.… Men will ever rise or fall to the level of the other sex.… Let them not imagine that they know aught of the delights which intercourse with the other sex can give, until they have felt the sympathy of mind with mind, and heart with heart; until they bring into that intercourse every affection, every talent, every confidence, every refinement, every respect. Until power is annihilated on one side, fear and obedience on the other, and both restored to their birthright--equality.She also shocked public opinion by openly discussing contraception, redistribution of wealth, an end to religion, emancipation of slaves and their resettlement outside the U.S.
The Workingmen's Party--advocating free public education, social reform, an end to debtors' prisons, and new banking laws--was organized in New York City under Universalist minister Orestes Brownson, 26, and began spreading to other states in the North. Two young mechanics started publishing The Workingman's Advocate, deploring the U.S. as a country where part of society lived in idleness and luxury, another part engaged in worthless employments, and the largest part suffering deprivations caused by the first two parts. "Workies," as members of the party were called, called for an end to the militia system, too, whereby all males were required to receive military training three times a year or be fined $12 [$205 in 2006 dollars], easily affordable by the rich, or jailed.
According to the Prison Discipline Society, some 75,000 Americans were in prison for indebtedness, more than half of them owing less than $20 [$342 in 2006 dollars].
Criminal codes in the states were gradually being softened, in accord with more enlightened European practices.(14)
Cooperative stores opened in Philadelphia and New York City.
Hicksite Quaker preacher Lucretia Coffin Mott, 36, pictured here, continued delivering sermons against slavery. Proslavery Quakers unsuccessfully tried to remove her from the ministry.
Baltimore (formerly of Ohio and Tennessee) Quaker Benjamin Lundy, 40, continued to publish his abolitionist newspaper Genius of Universal Emancipation. A slave trader attacked him and severely injured him. William Lloyd Garrison, 24, joined his staff as associate editor.
David Walker, 44, a free black living in Boston, published his pamphlet Walker's Appeal, advising blacks to rise up:
Let 12 good black men get armed for battle and they will kill and put to flight 50 whites.… Kill or be killed. Had you rather not be killed than be a slave to a tyrant who takes the life of your wife and children? Look upon your wife and children and mother and answer God Almighty, and believe this that it is no more harm to kill a man who is trying to kill you than to take a drink of water when you are thirsty.Walker was arrested in Richmond, VA, and never seen again.(15)
South Carolina Governor Stephen D. Miller proclaimed in his message to the state legislature:
Slavery is not a national evil; on the contrary, it is a national benefit.(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. 412. (Close)
Statutes in Southern states prevented the separation through sale of children younger than five from their mothers but permitted the sale of children ages five through nine if keeping them with their mothers would impinge upon the owner's financial interests.(17)
The material in these two paragraphs has been quoted from Schwartz, Marie Jenkins., Born in Bondage: Growing Up Enslaved in the Antebellum South, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000, pp. 1 ff. (Close)
Motherless children of any age were not covered by such legislation, leaving open the possibility that unscrupulous owners might falsify documents declaring that children were orphans or that they were older than they actually were. Slave traders carried food and supplies in wagons as they plied their trade throughout the countryside, offering little slave children fruit and trinkets and then kidnapping them; kidnappers captured and sold slaves of all ages, including adults.
By the time a slave child reached the age of 7 or 8, he or she was expected to perform work in the fields alongside adults. To encourage children to take on adult work as soon as possible, owners withheld full rations from nonproductive children. Rules for plantation management published in DeBow's Review advised that "each child doing any work" should receive double the rations provided "each child at [the] negro-houses." Plantation managers were advised to provide 1 pound of bacon and ½ peck of corn meal each week for children between ages two and ten. Once children began working alongside adults, the suggested portion was more than doubled to 2½ pounds of bacon and 1½ pecks of corn meal. A widely circulated article observed that owners commonly provided
each hand that labors, whether man, woman, or child [with equal rations]Those who did not contribute their labor in the field could end up "half-famished."
The sisters Sarah Grimké, 37, and Angelina Grimké, 24, disgusted by slavery, left Charleston, SC, for the North to become abolitionist Quakers.
The 2-year-old New York City antislavery newspaper Freedom's Journal, published by blacks John Brown Russwurm and Samuel E. Cornish, whose goal was to turn public opinion against slavery by publishing stories about the brutal treatment of slaves, published this year an article by one of their wealthy benefactors, black James Forten, 63, attacking Henry Clay for his advocacy of colonizing blacks back to Africa.
William Cullen Bryant, 35, considered America's leading poet, became editor of the New York Evening Post, where he served for the next 49 years.
The Welland Sea Canal, connecting Lake Erie with Lake Ontario and bypassing Niagara Falls through a tortuous 25-lock waterway, opened to limited shipping.
Sam Patch, 22, from Pawtucket, RI, tried to repeat an earlier successful jump over Niagara Falls--this time before a crowd of 8,000. He was killed in this attempt.
Francis Lieber, 29, who had fled Germany after imprisonment as a radical, began publishing the Encyclopedia Americana in Philadelphia.
The steam locomotive Sturbridge Lion, imported from the Stephenson Engine Works in England, began operation between Carbondale, PA, and Honesdale, PA. Meanwhile, New York manufacturer Peter Cooper, 38, was busy creating his own engine, the Tom Thumb, out of musket barrel scraps for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad.
John Skinner began publishing American Turf Register and Sporting Magazine, devoted to horse racing and shooting, in Baltimore.
Frances Trollope, pictured here, described an upper-class get-together:
Where the mansion is of sufficient dignity to have two drawing rooms, the piano, the little ladies, and the slender gentlemen are left to themselves, and on such occasions the sound of laughter is often heard to issue from them. But the fate of the more dignified personages, who are left in the other room, is extremely dismal. The gentlemen spit, talk of elections and the price of produce, and spit again. The ladies look at each other's dresses till they know every pin by heart; talk of Parson Somebody's last sermon on the day of judgement, on Dr. T'otherbody's new pills for dyspepsia, till the "tea" is announced, when they all console themselves together for whatever they may have suffered in keeping awake, by taking more tea, coffee, hot cake and custard, hoe cake, johnny cake, waffle cake, and dodger cake, pickled peaches, and preserved cucumbers, ham, turkey, hung beef, apple sauce and pickled oysters, than ever were prepared in any other country of the known world. After this massive meal is over, they return to the drawing room, and it always appeared to me that they remained together as long as they could bear it, and then they rise en masse, cloak, bonnet, shawl, and exit.(18)
Quoted in McCutcheon, Marc, Everyday Life in the 1800s: A Guide for Writers, Students & Historians (Cincinnati, OH: Writer's Digest Books, 1993), p. 200. (Close)
American "Fat Ladies" children Deborah Tripp, 3, weighed 125 pounds, and Susan Tripp, 5, weighed 205 pounds.
Now that Indian fighter Andrew Jackson was President, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi began to pass laws to extend their jurisdiction over the Indians in their territories, disregarding the 27-year-old Indian Trade and Intercourse Act, which applied federal law in Indian territory and prohibited land cessions except by treaty with the relevant tribe. President Jackson supported the states in their disregarding of that law: Tribes were no longer to be recognized as legal units, tribal meetings were outlawed, the powers of Indian chiefs were no longer legally recognized, Indians were subject to militia duty and to the payment of taxes yet were not given the right to vote, to bring suits, or to testify in court. Whites were encouraged to settle on Indian land, which began to be divided up and distributed by state lottery.
Sometimes blame for the rip-off was assigned to the states and sometimes on a mysterious Law before which all men, even those sympathetic to the Indians' plight, must bow. War Secretary Eaton explained to the Creeks of Alabama why they were being stripped of their land(19):
Quoted in Zinn, op. cit., p. 133. (Close)
It is not your Great Father who does this, but the laws of the Country, which he and every one of his people is bound to regard.Speckled Snake, a Creek warrior more than a hundred years old, made the following observation to his people(20):
Brothers! I have listened to many talks from our great white father. When he first came over the wide waters, he was but a little man… very little. His legs were cramped by sitting long in his big boat, and he begged for a little land to light his fire on.… But when the white man had warmed himself before the Indians' fire and filled himself with their hominy, he became very large. With a step he bestrode the mountains, and his feet covered the plains and the valleys. His hand grasped the eastern and the western sea, and his head rested on the moon. Then he became our Great Father. He loved his red children, and he said, "Get a little further, lest I tread on thee." Brothers! I have listened to a great many talks from our great father. But they always began and ended with this--"Get a little further; you are too near me."
Georgia insisted on taking over the territory of the Cherokee Nation, whose independence had been guaranteed by a federal treaty in 1791. Now that gold had been discovered in the Cherokee lands, Georgia considered the old treaty obsolete, passed legislation to annex the Cherokee lands, and--to forestall outside reformers from aiding the Indians--enacted a law forbidding white men from living in the Cherokee territory without first signing a loyalty oath to Georgia and purchasing a state license. Meanwhile, thousands of gold-hungry whites were invading the Indian territory, destroying Indian property, and staking out claims. President Jackson sent federal troops to remove them, and he ordered both whites and Indians to stop their mining. Then he removed the troops, and the white invasion resumed. The invaders seized stock and land, forced Indians to sign leases, sold them alcohol, and killed their game.
President Jackson professed to harbor protective feelings toward the Indians. He told Congress, for example, that their present condition
contrasted sharply with what they once were, makes a most powerful appeal to our sympathies.Could not something be done, he implored the new 21st Congress, to preserve "this much injured race"? Yet the Jackson Administration was on the side of Georgia. In spite of such sympathetic-sounding bromides, Jackson made his position clear to Congress(21):
I informed the Indians inhabiting parts of Georgia and Alabama that their attempt to establish an independent government would not be countenanced by the Executive of the United States, and advised them to emigrate beyond the Mississippi or submit to the laws of those States.War Secretary Eaton informed the Cherokees that they were mere tenants at will. The federal troops that President Adams had sent to protect the Cherokees were withdrawn. The War Department sent Major Ethan Allen Hitchcock to investigate frauds against the Cherokees; his report was so devastating that it was suppressed by the department.
President Jackson proposed a bodily removal of the remaining eastern tribes--chiefly the Cherokees, the Creeks, the Choctaws, the Chickasaws, and the Seminoles--beyond the Mississippi. Acknowledging that it would be "cruel and unjust to compel the aborigines to abandon the graves of their fathers," Jackson indicated that the emigration should be voluntary. Right.
Jackson reflected on the condition of the Indians, and on Indian-white relations(22):
Quoted in Bailey, Kennedy, and Cohen, op. cit., p. 281. (Close)
Our conduct toward these people is deeply interesting to our national character.… Our ancestors found them the uncontrolled possessors of these vast regions. By persuasion and force they have been made to retire from river to river and from mountain to mountain, until some of the tribes have become extinct and others have left but remnants to preserve for a while their once terrible names. Surrounded by the whites with their arts of civilization, which by destroying the resources of the savage doom him to weakness and decay, the fate of the Mohegan, the Narragansett, and the Delaware is fast overtaking the Choctaw, the Cherokee, and the Creek. That this fate surely awaits them if they remain within the limits of the States does not admit of a doubt. Humanity and national honor demand that every effort should be made to avert such a calamity.In other words, move them out. They were not going to be "forced" to move West, but if they insisted on staying, they would be obliged to abide by state laws that destroyed their tribal and personal rights and made them subject to interminable harassment by invading land-hungry whites. Here is how the President instructed his army major to address the Choctaws and Chickasaws(23):
Say to my red Choctaw children, and my Chickasaw children to listen--my white children of Mississippi have extended their law over their country.… Where they now are, say to them, their father cannot prevent them from being subject to the laws of the state of Mississippi.… The general government will be obliged to sustain the States in the exercise of their right. Say to the chiefs and warriors that I am their friend, that I wish to act as their friend but they must, by removing from the limits of the States of Mississippi and Alabama and by being settled on the lands I offer them, put it in my power to be such--There, beyond the limits of any State, in possession of land of their own, which they shall possess as long as Grass grows or water runs. I am and will protect them and be their friend and father.Generations of Indians, even into the late twentieth century, would recall with bitterness the phrase "as long as Grass grows or water runs."
Tennessee Governor Sam Houston, 36, a Jackson protegé, suddenly withdrew from his campaign for reelection for the reason publicly given as
private afflictions… deep and incurable.His bride of less than three months, Eliza Allen Houston, had left him and returned to her father's home. Houston disappeared into the wilderness, to live among the Cherokees in present-day eastern Oklahoma. He drank heavily, and he took Tiana Rogers, an Indian woman, as wife under Cherokee custom.
John Chapman, 54, 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."
Jedediah Strong Smith, 29, with two partners began trapping along the upper Yellowstone Valley in Montana.
Sloop-of-war U.S.S. Vincennes began a round-the-world voyage, presenting letters from President Jackson to various rulers.
Rhode Island engineer Zachariah Allen, 34, published The Science of Mechanics; and Virginia physician William Edmonds Horner, 36, published A Treatise on Pathological Anatomy.
hero, or principal character, shall be an aboriginal of this country(24)and Virginia poet and novelist Edgar Allan Poe, 20, published Al Araaf, Tamerlane, and Other Poems.
Quoted in Trager, op. cit., p. 413. (Close)
The Roman emperor look continued to be fashionable for men.
Phrenology, the popular "science" that held that a person's intellect and personality could be "read" in the shape and bumps of the skull, was all the rage. Many people paid good money to have their skulls "read," and amateur phrenology was popular at parties.(25)
Popular periodicals included the Niles' Weekly Register, the American Journal of Science, American Farmer, Christian Watchman, Saturday Evening Post, the New York Mirror, National Preacher, and Ladies' Magazine. 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.
Popular songs included "Home Sweet Home," "From Greenland's Icy Mountains," and "Jim Crow."
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.
In Upper Canada (Ontario) newly arrived settlers struggled for political equality with the Loyalists (those who had left the United States after the Revolution) and their descendants. Liberals wanted to make the executive responsible to the Assembly and threatened to secede from the British Empire. William Lyon Mackenzie, 33, publisher of the Colonial Advocate, in York, was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada, but he was expelled several times for libel. Egerton Ryerson, son of a New Jersey Loyalist founded a Methodist newspaper.
The grant of land on the Rio Brazos in Texas to Stephen Fuller Austin, 36, flourished, and the number of colonists continued to grow. Other empresarios had 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 23 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 Andrew Jackson offered to purchase Texas for $5 million [$85.5 million in 2006 dollars], but the Mexican government turned him down.
Kentucky adventurer Christopher "Kit" Carson, 20, joined an expedition to California.
Tory British Prime Minister Arthur Wellesley, First Duke of Wellington, against the strong objections of his own party, pushed through Parliament the Catholic Emancipation Act, enfranchising Catholics (in particular, the Irish) in the United Kingdom (enabling them not only to vote but to hold public office, including holding a seat in Parliament, but excluding Lord Chancellor and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland)--much to the dismay of Anglican conservatives who had long enjoyed their unrepresentative political monopoly in Catholic Ireland. Catholic officeholders were, however, required to swear an oath that they would not allow papal power to influence British domestic affairs, to uphold the Protestant succession to the royal throne, and to promise not to upset the Established Anglican Church in any way. Revolution in Ireland was averted, but the unity of the English Tories was fractured.
Now Irish political leader Daniel O'Connell, 54, agitated for the repeal of the 1801 Parliamentary union of Great Britain and Ireland.
In the Parliamentary debates over Catholic Emancipation, Lord Winchilsea had accused Wellington of dishonesty, and a duel at Battersea Park was the outcome. Neither party was wounded, and Winchilsea withdrew his insinuations.
English economist Thomas Attwood, 46, founded the Birmingham Political Union to demand Parliamentary reform.
English Tory statesman Robert Peel, 41, founded the Metropolitan Police Force in London to deal with heavy crime there (5 percent of the population were thieves or highwaymen). The policemen therefore became known as "Bobbies." The streets thereafter became safe after dark, and late-hour dinner parties became fashionable.
George Shillibaer designed an omnibus for London public transport. A steam-powered bus appeared also, but British stagecoach operators managed to stop any operations.
The Royal Zoological Society took over the menagerie at the Tower of London.
Oxford won the first amateur 2-mile Cambridge-Oxford boat race, at the Henley Royal Regatta in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, England.
William Burke, 37, who had smothered several victims in order to sell their corpses to cadaver-starved medical colleges, was hanged in Edinburgh, Scotland.
German publisher Karl Baedeker, 28, published his first travel guide--a guide to Coblenz.
Cantonal constitutions in Switzerland were revised to include universal suffrage, press freedom, and equality before the law.
Pope Leo XII died at the age of 69 and was succeeded by Cardinal Francisco Castiglione, 68, who became Pope Pius VIII.
The despotic King Francesco I of the Two Sicilies (Sicily and Naples), 52, left the government to his court favorites and the police, while he lived with his mistress, surrounded by soldiers to protect him from assassination.
Diplomats at the London Conference agreed that Greece would have complete independence, but they shrank its borders almost to the Gulf of Corinth. Greek patriot Count Ioannes Antonios Kapodistrias, 53, became dictator.
The cholera epidemic spreading from India through central Asia (Astrachan, in particular) was now killing thousands in Russia.
With Spanish consent (acquiescence), the British Slave Trade Commission assumed administration of Fernando Po, off the African coast.
German chemist Johann Wolfgang Dobereiner, 49, devised a classification for similar elements; Russian mathematician Nikolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky, 37, published his founding work on non-Euclidian geometry; Scots chemist Thomas Graham, 24, published his studies on the diffusion of gases; German scientist Friedrich Heinrich Alexander von Humboldt, 60, traveled to the Chinese border in his studies; Silesian farmer Vincenz Prießnitz, 28, developed hydropathy (water therapy); and French engineer Gustav-Gaspard Coriolis, 37, published On the Calculation of Mechanical Action, wherein he coined the term kinetic energy.
French physicist Joseph Nicephore Niepce, 64, and Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre, 40, formed a partnership to develop their photographic inventions; they had accidentally discovered that an iodized silver plate exposed to light in a camera produced an image when fumed with mercury vapor. English chemist Sir Humphrey Davy died at the age of 51, British chemist James Smithson died at the age of 64 (endowing £100,000 to fund a scientific institution in the United States), and French naturalist Jean Baptiste Monet de Lamarck died at the age of 85.
French artist Ferdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix, 31, painted The Death of Sardanapalus; German artist Karl Blechen, 31, painted Tivoli (considered the beginning of landscape realism).
Italian composer Gioacchino Antonio Rossini, 37, produced the opera Guillaume Tell ("William Tell"); Italian composer Vincenzo Bellini, 28, produced La Straniera in Milan; Polish composer Frédéric François Chopin, 19, produced in Vienna variations on "La Co Darem La Mano" for Piano with Orchestral Accompaniment; and German composer Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn, 20, produced Symphony No. 1 in C Minor and also conducted a centennial performance of Bach's 1729 St. Matthew Passion at the Berlin Singakademie, inciting a renewed interest in Bach's music.
Russian playwright Aleksandr Sergeyevich Griboyedov died at the age of 34, German romantic painter Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein died at the age of 78, and German poet and critic Friedrich von Schlegel died at the age of 57.