Pastor Perry G. Cole, conducting services at the second 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 of present-day Route 212, across from the country club).
Pastor Cole lived in Saugerties and served Athens and West Camp as well as Woodstock.
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., nearly 60 years old, owner of a sawmill in Mink Hollow that supplied the Shady glass factories nearby, was listed during this year as a trustee, He was also involved in leading the singing at the church. His sons, James Edson and Milton Lewis Edson, were listed as members of 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."(1)William Boyse, the pastor of the Woodstock Reformed Church, made this report to the Missionary Society:
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)
The Methodists … were off--set all their machinery to work, hired the Lutheran church [that would be our church],… set all their runners a going, called for meetings, sung, prayed, preached, called and dragged to get men, women, boys and children to come to the altar; called for earthquakes, kept their wagons flying like a gangway of a populous city, predicted the sudden downfall of Calvinism, declared they saw it tottering like the temple of Dagon …(2)In general, pastors and congregations belonging to the New York Ministerium (the synod) were not in favor of revivals. In the Hartwick Synod, which our church belonged to, however, revivals became a regular part of congregational life. President Lintner of that synod reported
Here Anderson, p. 47, is citing Evers, Alf, Woodstock: History of an American Town [Woodstock, NY: Overlook Press, 1987], p. 227. (Close)
so powerful and extensive has been the work of the Holy Spirit that upwards of 1,000 souls have been hopefully converted and admitted into the church.(3)During this year, the Hartwick Synod seceded from the New York Ministerium and united with the General Synod. The secession was in part because the New York Ministerium had refused to join the General Synod 12 years earlier. That refusal had happened because the Ministerium's president at that time (our church's founder and former pastor, Dr. Frederick Henry Quitman) had been a thoroughgoing rationalist, one who denied the authority of both the Bible and the Lutheran Confessions, and had not been able to abide the tenets of the General Synod--that is, the theological norms of the Reformation.(4)
Here Anderson, p. 46, is citing Kreider, Harry J., History of the United Lutheran Synod of New York and New England, Volume I, 1786-1860 [Philadelphia: Muhlenberg Press, 1954], p. 87. (Close)
Henry P. Shultis, 39, was Woodstock Town Supervisor.
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, 60. 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. There were fine churches and a three-story school. 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(5)
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, 55, 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's agent, John Wigram, residing on Wigram Lane (Rock City Road) near the barn now known as Parnassus Square, died during this year. He was succeeded by his son, John S. Wigram. This agent initiated several legal proceedings on behalf of Livingston against recalcitrant tenants: those who failed to pay rent or 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. Tenant George Shultis, Jr., a frequent offender, and Wiilliam Short each had to pay Livingston agents Cockburn and Sickles of Kingston $5 ($88 in 2006 dollars) in legal expenses in addition to damages.
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"). Dr. Hall employed many herbal remedies:
[T]ake equal parts of bloodroot and sweet flag--dry and pulverize--used as snuff 5 or 6 times a day--is said to relieve deafness.… [For] dissolving gravel in the bladder, [use] the bark of red thorn berry [probably a blackberry] and high blackberry made into a tea with plenty of flaxseed tea to prevent acrimony in the urine. Tried it on Matthew--it works.(6)Another resident doctor was Dr. John Fiero, 25. 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.
All quotations and other information in this section on medicine are from ibid., pp. 204-7. (Close)
An "Indian doctor" on Tinker Street was said to be able to cure consumption by herbal means. His doctoring involved "powing-wowing," the use of incantations inherited from ancient Indian medicine men.
Jessie Oakley of Newburgh, NY, manufactured and sold individually wrapped bars of soap of a standard weight. (The general practice at the time was for grocers to cut off hunks from large blocks.)
James Powers's 7-year-old commodious hotel, the Catskill Mountain House (also called the House on the Pine Orchard)--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--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. Dramatist William Dunlap produced A Tour of Niagara in New York City, which featured the hotel as a backdrop in a scene with Rip and the Kaaterskill Falls as another backdrop with Cooper's Natty Bumppo commenting on it. Poet William Cullen Bryant, 36, wrote the following about the enchanting Catskills in The American Landscape:
The traveller as he looks from the shore of the [Hudson] River to the broad woody sides of this mighty mountain range, turns his eye from a scene rich in cultivation, populous with human beings, and ringing with the sounds of human toil, to one of primeval forest as perfect as when the prow of the first European navigator divided the virgin waters of the Hudson--a wide sylvan wilderness, an asylum for noxious animals, which have been chased from the cultivated regions, the wild cat, the catamount, the wolf and the bear, and a haunt of birds that love not the company of man.… I am not sure that it does not heighten the effect of the scene when viewed from below, to know, that on that little point [where the hotel sits], scarce visible from the heart of the mountain, the beautiful and the gay are met and the sounds of mirth and music arise, while for leagues around the mountain torrents are dashing, and the eagle is uttering his shriek, unheard by human ears.(7)
Quoted from Evers, Alf, The Catskills: From Wilderness to Woodstock, Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, 1972, p. 379, citing Bryant, W. C., The American Landscape, New York, p. 9. (Close)
Former New Paltz slave Isabella Bomefree Van Wagenen, 33, originally from Hurley and now residing in New York City, continued her job as a domestic while she pursued her religious interests. She felt that she was in direct communication with God.
Andrew Jackson (Democrat), 63, was President. The 21st Congress was in session. (The midterm elections that year would elect the 22nd Congress.) A dollar in that year would be worth $17.62 in 2006 for most consumable products.
There were 12.8 million people in the United States, including about 150,000 immigrants newly arrived within the previous decade. (The population had tripled in 40 years.) More than half of all Americans were under the age of 30. About 9 percent of Americans lived in cities of more than 2,500. The census listed the deaf, dumb, and blind separately. New York State contained a seventh of the U.S. population. There were some 125,000 Native Americans (Indians) east of the Mississippi.
New settlers were rolling westward; there were already 30,000 people in Arkansas Territory.
Some 185,000 tons of iron were produced in the United States, an eightfold increase in just a decade.
Indoor lighting 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.
According to The Young Lady's Book, published during the year(8):
Quoted from Zinn, Howard, A People's History of the United States, 1492-Present, New York: HarperCollins, 1980, 1995, 1999; Perennial, 2003, p. 113. (Close)
… in whatever situation of life a woman is placed from her cradle to her grave, a spirit of obedience and submission, pliability of temper, and humility of mind, are required from her.
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.
Acute and contagious, scarlet fever attacked through the nose or mouth.(9)
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)
It was transmitted by direct contact, through utensils used by an infected person, or by infected milk. Common in children aged two through ten, it occurred in winter or late spring mostly to fair-skinned people. Symptoms included headache, sore throat, and vomiting, followed by a tongue rash and high fever. It subsided after five days, after which the skin peeled.
Every household had an outdoor privy.
Abortion was made a statutory crime in the United States.
The Boston & Lowell Railroad was established, the first steam railway in New England.
Henry W. Dutton and James Wentworth began publishing the Boston Transcript.
Amasa Whitney, 53, was the owner of a woolen mill in Winchendon, MA. The following are some of the rules and regulations "to be observed by all persons employed in the factory of Amasa Whitney":
Rule 1. The Mill will be put in operation 10 minutes before sunrise at all seasons of the year. The gate will be shut 10 minutes past 8 from the 20th of March to the 20th of September; at 30 minutes past 8 from the 20th of September to the 20th of March; Saturdays at sunset.
2nd. It will be required of every person employed, that they be in the room in which they are employed, at the time mentioned above for the mill to be in operation.
3rd. Anything tending to impede the progress of manufacturing in working hours, such as unnecessary conversation, reading, eating fruit, etc., etc., must be avoided.…
11th. [Smoking is] considered very unsafe, and is also specified in the insurance.…(10)
Quoted in Davidson, James West, and Stoff, Michael B., The American Nation, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1986, 1995, p. 383; "International Institute of Social History" (http://www.iisg.nl/today/en/05-07.php), accessed 24 January 2007. (Close)
Philadelphia was able to deliver 6 million gallons of water daily in its Fairmount Waterworks; the city was regarded as the cleanest in North America.
Printer Jasper Harding founded the Pennsylvania Inquirer (later the Philadelphia Inquirer).
New York manufacturer Peter Cooper, 39, built the steam locomotive Tom Thumb for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, which lost a 7-mile race in Baltimore against a horse-pulled stagecoach when its engine pulley belt slipped. New York watchmaker Phineas Davis won a $4,000 prize ($70,480 in 2006 dollars) from the B&O for building a locomotive that could pull 15 tons at 15 miles per hour. According to the Baltimore Gazette, reporting on the railroad:
Notwithstanding the great heat of the weather for the last three weeks, the amount of weekly travel on the railroad has not diminished, the average receipts being above one thousand dollars per week. In the hottest time of the hottest days the quick motion of the cars causes a current of air which renders the ride at all times agreeable. In many instances strangers passing through Baltimore, or visiting it, postpone their departure for a day and sometimes longer, to enjoy the pleasure of an additional ride on the railroad. We only repeat the general sentiment when we say, it is the most delightful of all kinds of traveling.(11)
Quoted in McCutcheon, Marc, Everyday Life in the 1800s: A Guide for Writers, Students & Historians (Cincinnati, OH: Writer's Digest Books, 1993), p. 71. (Close)
The New York West Point Foundry built the locomotive engine Best Friend of Charleston, which pulled four loaded passenger cars over 6 miles of track on the Charleston & Hamburg Railroad.
Thousands of Irish immigrants came to the United States.
Chicago was laid out as a village at Fort Dearborn on Lake Michigan.
Louisville, KY, began growing as a major port after the Louisville and Portland Canal enabled riverboats to avoid a 26-foot falls on the Ohio River.
There were 1,277 miles of canal in the United States.
More than 200 steamboats regularly plied the Mississippi River.
John Chapman, 55, 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."
Bell-voiced preacher Charles Grandison Finney, 38, pictured here, probably the greatest American evangelist, conducted religious revivals in country settlements in the Northeast and Midwest, urging true Christians to join reform movements. (To enlarge the revival meeting picture, just click it.) Finney 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, Kennedy, and Cohen, op. cit., pp. 336, 348-50. (Close)
The movement was triggered by Finney's evangelical preaching and by widespread excitement over religious conversion, social reform, and radical idealism. During this era, reform groups of all types flourished in sometimes bewildering abundance. 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, who preached 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.
The exaltation of the individual, whether black or white, was the mainspring of a whole array of humanitarian reforms.(13)
Much of the following, including the quoted material at the end of this paragraph, is from Morison, Samuel Eliot, The Oxford History of the American People, New York: Oxford University Press, 1965, pp. 517-18. (Close)
Many reformers were simply crackbrained cranks. But most were intelligent, inspired idealists, usually touched by the fire of evangelical religion then licking through the pews and pulpits of American churches. The non-intellectuals in America were influenced only indirectly by the New England transcendentalists, were taken with the wider romantic movement (Poe, Hawthorne, Melville, Longfellow)--with its sensitivity and love of the natural, its somewhat gloomy otherworldliness, its imaginative treatment of a dark inner struggle with inherent evil--but they were inspired by old-time revivalist religion and fervent causes, especially in the "leatherstocking region" of New York State.
The great breeding ground of mid-century 'isms' was… the area peopled by [transplanted New England] Yankees in the rolling hills of central New York and along the Erie Canal. These folk were so susceptible to religious revivals and Pentacostal beliefs that their region was called "The Burned-Over District" from all the hellfire and brimstone sermons preached there. There antimasonry began and the temperance movement gathered strength.
Joseph Smith, 25, of Harmony, PA, claimed theophany--that is, that he was receiving visits from heavenly messengers, particularly an angel named Moroni, telling him that he was God's Prophet, showing him the hiding place of inscribed gold plates, together with a pair of magic spectacles that enabled him to read the characters. In Fayette, NY, with the help of Oliver Hervy Pliny Cowdery, 24, Smith compiled these revelations into the 522-page Book of Mormon (published in Palmyra, NY), thus founding the "Church of Christ" (later called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), with the followers called "Saints" (or Mormons). 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 were commanded to redeem these lost Israelites from the paganism they had fallen into. The book also sanctioned polygamous marriage. Small branches of the church were soon set up in Palmyra, Fayette, and Colesville, New York; there was local opposition to these branches, however, and Smith soon dictated a revelation that the church would establish a "City of Zion" in Native American lands near Missouri. In preparation, Smith dispatched missionaries led by Cowdery to the area of this new "Zion." On their way, the missionaries converted a group of Disciples of Christ adherents in Kirtland, Ohio, led by Cambellite minister Sidney Rigdon, 37. At the end of the year, Smith dictated a revelation that the three New York branches should gather in Ohio pending the results of Cowdery's mission to Missouri. Rigdon was soon called to be Smith's spokesman and quickly became one of the early leaders of the Saints.
A national convention of blacks was held at Bethel Church in Philadelphia to better their condition.
Hicksite Quaker preacher Lucretia Coffin Mott, 37, pictured here, continued delivering sermons against slavery. Proslavery Quakers unsuccessfully tried to remove her from the ministry.
Slave auctions were brutal sights.(14)
The material in this paragraph has been quoted from Schwartz, Marie Jenkins., Born in Bondage: Growing Up Enslaved in the Antebellum South, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000, p. 368. (Close)
The open selling of human flesh under the hammer, sometimes with cattle and horses, was among the most revolting aspects of slavery. On the auction block, families were separated with distressing frequency, usually for economic reasons such as bankruptcy or the division of "property" among heirs. The sundering of families in this fashion was perhaps slavery's greatest psychological horror.
There were more blacks than whites in the State of Mississippi.
More than 3,600 free Negroes and mulattos owned slaves. Most of these slaves were purchased to serve as husbands, wives, or children, a lesser number to work on plantations.(15)
Quoted in McCutcheon, op. cit., p. 220. (Close)
The schooner Comet, carrying slaves on a voyage from Alexandria, VA, to New Orleans, LA, was wrecked. British authorities in the Bahamas declared the slaves free. The U.S. government registered a protest.
After Senator Samuel Augustus Foot, 50, of Connecticut proposed that the 21st Congress slow down the sale of public lands, Senator Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri, 48, denounced this idea as a barefaced attempt of Eastern capitalists to keep laborers from settling "the blooming regions of the West" in order to keep the cost of labor low. He summoned Southern Senators to ally themselves with the West against the North and East. Several Senators jumped into the fray, each delivering speeches hours long, using up an entire day's session, every word reported in the newspapers. The debate shifted from the sale of public land to which section of the country was the West's best friend and to the nature of the Union itself. Senator Robert Young Hayne of South Carolina, 39, public spokesman for Vice President John Caldwell Calhoun, 48 (who was also from South Carolina but had to keep a low profile in this debate, because he still hoped to succeed Jackson as President), supported Senator Benton vigorously and suggested an alliance between the South and the West. Senator Hayne roundly condemned the obvious disloyalty of New England during the War of 1812, as well as its selfish inconsistency on the protective tariff.
Senator Daniel Webster of Massachusetts, 48, defended the interests of the manufacturers in the North and East and accused Senator Hayne of promoting disunion. Hayne responded to this by defending states' rights and attacked the entire concept of the Union; he upheld the right of South Carolina to secede in protest over the high tariffs--in particular, the 1828 "Tariff of Abominations."
Senator Webster (pictured) took the floor again and for two days, in a speech lasting a total of more than 4 hours, defended the Constitution and the Union. He insisted, somewhat incorrectly, that the people and not the states that had framed the Constitution, and he decried the insidious notion of nullification. Either the Supreme Court would judge the constitutionality of laws, or the Republic would be torn by revolution. If each of the 24 states were free to go its separate way in obeying or rejecting federal statutes, there would be no union but only a "rope of sand."
The proposition that, in case of a supposed violation of the Constitution by Congress, the states have a constitutional right to interfere and annul the law of Congress is the proposition of the gentleman. I do not admit it. If the gentleman had intended no more than to assert the right of revolution for justifiable cause, he would have said only what all agree to. But I cannot conceive that there can be a middle course, between submission to the laws, when regularly pronounced constitutional, on the one hand, and open resistance, which is revolution or rebellion, on the other.…At the Jefferson Day dinner, Vice President Calhoun (pictured) attempted to trap President Andrew Jackson into endorsing the states' rights cause. Most of the formal toasts promoted states' rights; they were worded (in advance by Calhoun himself) to assert a connection between nullification and Democratic Party orthodoxy, culminating in the toast by Senator Hayne, making the final argument for state sovereignty. Now Jackson was introduced to offer his toast, and the states' rights proponents were sure that Jackson would hardly dare go against his strongest political supporters.
[T]he people of the United States have at no time, in no way, directly or indirectly, authorized any state legislature to construe or interpret their high instrument of government [the Constitution]; much less, to interfere, by their own power, to arrest its course and operation. If, sir, the people in these respects had done otherwise than they have done, their Constitution could neither have been preserved, nor would it have been worth preserving. And if its plain provisions shall now be disregarded, and these new doctrines interpolated in it, it will become as feeble and helpless a being as its enemies, whether early or more recent, could possibly desire. It will exist in every state but as a poor dependent on state permission. It must borrow leave to be; and will be, no longer than state pleasure, or state discretion, sees fit to grant the indulgence, and prolong its poor existence. But, sir, although there are fears, there are hopes also. The people have preserved this, their own chosen Constitution, for forty years, and have seen their happiness, prosperity, and renown grow with its growth, and strengthen with its strength. They are now, generally, strongly attached to it. Overthrown by direct assault, it cannot be; evaded, undermined, NULLIFIED, it will not be, if we, and those who shall succeed us here, as agents and representatives of the people, shall conscientiously and vigilantly discharge the two great branches of our public trust, faithfully to preserve, and wisely to administer it.…
I have not allowed myself, sir, to look beyond the Union, to see what might lie hidden in the dark recesses behind. I have not coolly weighed the chances of preserving liberty when the bonds that unite us together shall be broken asunder. I have not accustomed myself to hang over the precipice of disunion, to see whether, with my short sight, I can fathom the depth of the abyss below; nor could I regard him as a safe counselor in the affairs of this government, whose thoughts should be mainly bent on considering, not how the Union should be best preserved, but how tolerable might be the condition of the people when it shall be broken up and destroyed. While the Union lasts, we have high, exciting, gratifying prospects spread out before us, for us and our children. Beyond that I seek not to penetrate the veil. God grant that in my day, at least, that curtain may not rise! God grant that on my vision never may be opened what lies behind! When my eyes shall be turned for the last time the sun in heaven, may I not see him shining on the broken and dishonored fragments of a once glorious Union; on states dissevered, discordant, belligerent; on a land rent with civil feuds, or drenched, it may be, in fraternal blood! Let their last feeble and lingering glance rather behold the gorgeous ensign of the republic, now known and honored throughout the earth, still full high advanced, its arms and trophies streaming in their original luster, not a stripe erased or polluted, nor a single star obscured, bearing for its motto, no such miserable interrogatory as "What is all this worth?" nor those other words of delusion and folly, "Liberty first and Union afterwards"; but everywhere, spread all over in characters of living light, blazing on all its ample folds, as they float over the sea and over the land, and in every wind under the whole heavens, that other sentiment, dear to every true American heart--Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable!(16)
Quoted in Ravitch, Diane, The American Reader: Words That Moved a Nation, New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1990, pp. 52-53; Bailey, Kennedy, and Cohen, op. cit., p. 271. (Close)
But the President, eyes grimly fixed on Calhoun, declaimed in his toast:
Our union: It must be preserved!--thus stating his intention to oppose any Southern attempt to nullify the tariff. Jackson remained standing, holding up his glass, thus obliging the others to unwillingly get to their feet and join the toast. Calhoun drank this toast with trembling hand. Then Jackson excused himself to get back to the White House. Senator Hayne intercepted him with pale face, asking if the word federal could be inserted before union in the version of the toast given to the newspapers; Jackson assented. Senator Benton also stopped Jackson before he left the room and congratulated him:
Sir, in one sentence you have done more than Daniel Webster did in three hours of oratory. You have convinced Tom Benton.Jackson shook Benton's hand and responded:
If I only did that, it would be worth everything.(17)After Jackson had left, Calhoun offered an anticlimactic and verbose toast in response:
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. 110-11. (Close)
The Union, next to our liberty, most dear! May we always remember that it can only be preserved by respecting the rights of the states and distributing equally the benefits and burdens of the Union!Calhoun admitted that his conception of liberty was that of the slaveowner to the full product of his slave's labor:
[T]he real cause of the present unhappy state of things is the peculiar domestic institution of the Southern States.(18)President Jackson asked newspaperman and Kitchen Cabinet member Francis P. Blair, 39, to edit a newspaper presenting his administration's point of view. Blair founded the Washington Globe.
Quoted in Morison, op. cit., p. 433. (Close)
Cabinet wives, diplomats' wives, and wives of Senators and Congressmen continued to snub Margaret (Peggy) O'Neale Timberlake Eaton, 34, wife of Secretary of War John Henry Eaton, 40, regarding her as a "hussy" because she had apparently been having an affair with Eaton while still married to her late husband, John B. Timberlake (who had been absent at sea). 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. Even Mrs. Emily Donelson, wife of Major Jack Donelson, Jackson's nephew and secretary, disliked and distrusted Peggy Eaton. Only Secretary of State Martin Van Buren ("Little Van"), 50, pictured at left, a widower, and the British and Russian Ambassadors--Charles Vaughan and Baron Krudener, both bachelors--showed the pretty and witty Mrs. Eaton any attention.
One day President Jackson received a letter from Dr. Ezra Styles Ely, a Presbyterian minister from Philadelphia. In part the letter read:
From girlhood, sir, this woman has borne a bad reputation. You must be aware that the ladies of Washington will not speak to her, and have not for some time past. I must tell you that a gentleman, the morning after the British Minister's ball, said at his tavern breakfast table that "Mrs. Eaton brushed by him last night pretending not to know him; she had forgotten the time when she slept with him."Jackson showed the letter to Eaton, who declared it a "tissue of lies." A dozen of O'Neale's former boarders swore affidavits that they knew of no "bad name" that Peggy bore. The gentleman alleged to have spoken of "sleeping" with her--a Mr. Hyde--denied ever having made such a statement. Peggy visited the White House and wept hysterically at all the accusations.(19)
I am informed that her servants are told to call her children Eaton, not Timberlake, for Eaton was their real name. Furthermore, a clergyman of Washington has lately told me that Mrs. Timberlake had a miscarriage when her husband had been absent for a year.
As to Mr. Eaton, his own friends, seeking to save him from this woman, persuaded him to board elsewhere than at the tavern she frequented. I should also remind you, sir, that your late and lamented wife, Mrs. Jackson, had a bad opinion of this woman. And it is stated by numerous witnesses that Mrs. Timberlake and Eaton took trips together, and traveled as man and wife, recording it in hotel registers, in New York and elsewhere.
For your own sake, for your dead wife's sake, for your administration, for the credit of the Government and the Country, you should not countenance a woman like this.
When all the ladies ignored Peggy at the Jackson birthday ball, a Cabinet meeting had to be postponed. President Jackson then called a special Cabinet meeting solely to deal with the Eaton matter, even inviting Dr. Ely (who refused to exonerate Peggy). Jackson, however, defended Peggy, and read a paper charging some of the Cabinet members and their families, though not by name, with
avoiding Mrs. Eaton and thereby excluding her from society and degrading her.He said he would not dismiss War Secretary Eaton, and if other Cabinet members could not harmonize with him, they should withdraw, "for harmony I must and will have." He pronounced Mrs. Eaton "as chaste as a virgin." When Senator Henry Clay of Kentucky, 53, heard this, he quipped:
Age cannot wither nor time stale her infinite virginity!(20)
Quoted in ibid., pp. 106-07; Morison, op. cit., p. 428. (Close)
President Jackson, to the dismay of Westerners, vetoed legislation that would have authorized $150,000 of federal aid ($2.6 million in 2006 dollars) to a Kentucky turnpike from Maysville to Lexington; federal grants to local projects was unconstitutional, he reasoned: "The people expected reform, retrenchment and economy in the administration of this government," he explained to his protegé Van Buren,
… The great object of Congress, it would seem, is to make mine one of the most extravagant administrations since the commencement of this Government. This must not be; The Federal Constitution must be obeyed, state-rights preserved, our national debt must be paid, direct taxes and loans avoided, and the Federal union preserved. These are the objects I have in view, and regardless of all consequences, will carry into effect.(21)And then, 4 days later, he signed legislation appropriating $130,000 ($2.3 million in 2006 dollars) to survey and extend the Cumberland Road from Wheeling, Virginia, on the Ohio River to Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. Jackson reasoned that the Maysville project benefited only a single state (and thus was an internal state responsibility), whereas the Cumberland project benefited several states and thus had a national scope.
Quoted in Morison, op. cit., p. 426. (Close)
Chief Red Jacket, veteran of the wars against the Americans during the War of 1812, died at the age of 72.
Georgia continued to insist on taking over the territory of the Cherokee Nation, whose independence had been guaranteed by a federal treaty in 1791. The state had passed legislation to annex the territory and had 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. The Cherokees, who had been recognized by the federal government in a number of treaties (beginning with the Hoston Treaty of 1791) as a sovereign nation, were suing Georgia. Now Alabama and Mississippi wanted to have their Indians--the Choctaws, Chickasaws, and Creeks--removed from prime cotton land. President Jackson was very sympathetic to the state demands, but, sensitive to the issue of nullification, he did not want to authorize any state to flout federal law or treaties. When the Choctaws invited him to attend a four-tribe council in Franklin, TN, south of Nashville, Jackson--known to the Indians as "Sharp Knife"--accepted.
The Chickasaws arrived to the council first, the Choctaws were late, and the Cherokees and Creeks sent only observers. After all the preliminaries, including the smoking of the ceremonial pipe, President Sharp Knife addressed the Indians through an interpreter:
Friends and brothers:… You have long dwelt on the soil you occupy, and in early times before the white man kindled his fires too near to yours… you were a happy people. Now your white brothers are around you.… Your great father… asks if you are prepared and ready to submit to the laws of Mississippi, and make a surrender of your ancient laws and customs and live peaceably.… Brothers, listen--To these laws [of Mississippi], where you are, you must submit--there is no alternative. Your great father cannot, nor can Congress, prevent it.… Do you believe that you can live under those laws? That you can surrender all your ancient habits, and the forms by which you have been so long controlled? If so, your great father has nothing to say or advise.…Where you are, it is not possible that you could ever live contented and happy.… Old men! Lead your children [instead] to a land of promise and peace before the Great Spirit shall call you to die. Young chiefs! Preserve your people and nation.… Brothers listen--… Reject the opportunity which is now offered you to obtain comfortable homes, and it may not be offered again.… If you are disposed to remove, do so, and state the terms you may consider just and equitable.…(22)War Secretary Eaton and Colonel John Coffee, 58, worked out the actual terms after Jackson left the meeting. Here is Eaton's argument to the Cherokees(23):
Quoted in Wellman, op. cit., p. 118 (from the Western Sun, 25 September 1830, which was citing the Nashville Republican of an earlier date). (Close)
If you will go to the setting sun, there you will be happy; there you can remain in peace and quietness; so long as the waters run and the oaks grow that country shall be guaranteed to you and no white man shall be permitted to settle near you.Some of the Indians were impressed with the speech and agreed to capitulate.
Lewis Cass, 48, Governor of Michigan Territory, published an article in North American Review, entitled "Removal of the Indians," in which the following is an excerpt(24):
Quoted from "Lewis Cass Justifies Removal" (http://www.cerritos.edu/soliver/Student%20Activites/Trail%20of%20Tears/web/cass2.htm), accessed 18 February 2008. (Close)
The destiny of the Indians, who inhabit the cultivated portions of the territory of the United States, or who occupy positions immediately upon their borders, has long been a subject of deep solicitude to the American government and people. Time, while it adds to the embarrassments and distress of this part of our population, adds also to the interest which their condition excites, and to the difficulties attending a satisfactory solution of the question of their eventual disposal, which must soon pass sub judice. That the Indians have diminished, and are diminishing, is known to all who have directed their attention to the subject. It would be miserable affectation to regret the progress of civilization and improvement, the triumph of industry and art, by which these regions have been reclaimed, and over which freedom, religion, and science are extending their sway. But we may indulge the wish, that these blessings had been attained at a smaller sacrifice; that the aboriginal population had accommodated themselves to the inevitable change of their condition, produced by the access and progress of the new race of men, before whom the hunter and his game were destined to disappear. But such a wish is vain. A barbarous people, depending for subsistence upon the scanty and precarious supplies furnished by the chase, cannot live in contact with a civilized community.His article went on to propose that the Indians be settled west of the Mississippi River. The editor of the North American Review was sure that Cass's project
only defers the fate of the Indians. In half a century their condition beyond the Mississippi will be just what it is now on this side. Their extinction is inevitable.(25)Cass did not dispute this, but he published his article as it was.
Quoted from Zinn, op. cit., p. 132. (Close)
The 21st Congress began drafting legislation to remove the Indians from their lands in the Southeast. New Jersey Senator Theodore Frelinghuysen, 43, argued the Indians' case:
We have crowded the tribes upon a few miserable acres on our southern frontier; it is all that is left to them of their once boundless forest; and still, like the horse-leech, our insatiated cupidity cries, give! Give!… Sir… Do the obligations of justice change with the color of the skin?… Let us beware how, by oppressive encroachments upon the sacred privileges of our Indian neighbors, we minister to the agonies of future remorse.(26)Senator Frelinghuysen was criticized for mixing evangelical Christianity with politics. In a close vote, his colleagues passed the Indian Removal Act (narrowly in the Senate, 102-97 in the House of Representatives), authorizing the forceful resettlement of eastern Indians into a reserved "Indian Territory" (Oklahoma, parts of Kansas, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota) and appropriating $500,000 ($8.8 million in 2006 dollars) for the operation. The President was to protect the Indians in their new reservations, pay expenses of removal and one year's subsistence, and compensate the Indians for improvements they had done on the land relinquished.
Quoted from ibid., p. 138; "A Brief History of Frelinghuysen Township," Frelinghuysen Township, New Jersey. (Close)
Fifty delegates of the Choctaw Nation--including Greenwood LeFlore, 30, and Mushulatubbee, 60--were offered secret bribes of money and land by Colonel John Coffee, 58, and War Secretary Eaton to sign the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek, ceding all Choctaw land east of the Mississippi (some 11 million acres) in exchange for financial help in emigrating as well as a pittance for the land given up and a guarantee that they would never again be asked to move. Some 20,000 reluctant Choctaws in Mississippi, not represented fairly by those delegates, were now pressured to leave their homes. White liquor dealers and swindlers swarmed onto their lands, and the State of Mississippi made it a crime for Choctaws to try to persuade their countrymen from emigrating. Choctaw chief David Folsom, uttered the following in despair:
We are exceedingly tired. We have just heard of the ratification of the Choctaw Treaty. Our doom is sealed. There is no other course for us but to turn our faces to our new homes toward the setting sun.
The Sauk and Fox Indians of Illinois were forced to move west of the Mississippi. President "Sharp Knife" Jackson named a commissioner of Indian affairs and stated
Rightly considered, the policy of the general Government toward the red man is not only liberal but generous.(27)
Quoted in Wallechinsky, David, and Wallace, Irving, The People's Almanac, Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1975, p. 162. (Close)
The Cherokee Nation addressed an appeal to the federal government, the following of which is an excerpt(28):
Quoted from Zinn, op. cit., pp. 139-140. (Close)
After the peace of 1783, the Cherokees were an independent people, absolutely so, as much as any people on earth. They had been allies to Great Britain.… The United States never subjugated the Cherokees; on the contrary, our fathers remained in possession of their country and with arms in their hands.… In 1791, the treaty of Holston was made.… The Cherokees acknowledged themselves to be under the protection of the United States, and of no other sovereign.… A cession of land was also made to the United States. On the other hand, the United States… stipulated that white men should not hunt on these lands, not even enter the country, without a passport; and gave a solemn guarantee of all Cherokee lands not ceded.…President "Sharp Knife" Jackson, in his second Annual Message to Congress in December, pointed out(29)
We are aware that some persons suppose it will be for our advantage to remove beyond the Mississippi. We think otherwise. Our people universally think otherwise.… We wish to remain on the land of our fathers. We have a perfect and original right to remain without interruption or molestation. The treaties with us, and the laws of the United States made in pursuance of treaties, guarantee our residence and our privileges, and secure us against intruders. OUr only request is, that these treaties may be fulfilled, and their laws executed.…
We intreat those to whom the foregoing paragraphs are addressed, to remember the great law of love. "Do to others as ye would that others should do to you."… We pray them to remember that, for the sake of principle, their forefathers were compelled to leave, therefore driven from the old world, and that the winds of persecution wafted them over the great waters and landed them on the shores of the new world, when the Indian was the sole lord and proprietor of these extensive domains--Let them remember in what way they were received by the savage of America, when power was in his hand, and his ferocity could not be restrained by any human arm. We urge them to bear in mind, that those who would not ask of them a cup of cold water, and a spot of earth… are the descendants of these, whose origin, as inhabitants of North America, history and tradition are alike insufficient to reveal. Let them bring to remembrance all those facts, and they cannot, and we are sure, they will not fail to remember, and sympathize with us in these our trials and sufferings.
will place a dense and civilized population in large tracts of country now occupied by a few savage hunters.For Indians, the removal would
perhaps cause them, gradually, under the protection of the Government and through the influence of good counsels, to cast off their savage habits and become an interesting, civilized, and Christian community.… Toward the aborigines of the country no one can indulge a more friendly feeling than myself.… [However, the] waves of population and civilization are rolling to the westward, and we now propose to acquire the countries occupied by the red men of the South and West by a fair exchange.…
Former Tennessee Governor Sam Houston, 37, a Jackson protegé, now living among the Cherokees in eastern Oklahoma, arrived in Washington clad in Cherokee garments, to protest certain corrupt Indian agents and to bid on supplying better rations to the Cherokees at a cheaper rate. Duff Green, of the pro-Calhoun (and anti-Jackson) United States Telegraph, a friend of John F. Hamtramck, one of the five Indian agents dismissed on Houston's denunciations, saw to it that Houston's bid was rejected. Dr. Robert Mayo wrote a letter to President Jackson, accusing Houston of international adventurism:
Houston is organizing an expedition against Texas; to afford a cloak for which he has assumed the Indian costume, habits and associations, by settling among them in the neighborhood of Texas… and by the co-operation of the Indians in the Arkansas Territory and recruits among citizens of the United States… form a separate and independent government.Jackson, attempting to purchase Texas from Mexico, did not want anyone to muddy the diplomatic waters. When Houston returned to the Indian country, Jackson had him kept under surveillance and wrote to him a letter of fatherly admonishment, asking his "pledge of honor" never to
engage in any enterprise injurious to your country, that will tarnish your honor.Houston gave the pledge.(30)
William Sublette of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company and Jedediah Strong Smith, 30, led a covered wagon train from the Missouri River to the Rockies. At the fur Rendezvous, Smith sold out his interest in the company and retired a wealthy man in St. Louis.
Hall J. Kelley founded the American Society for Encouraging the Settlement of the Oregon Territory.
Sloop-of-war U.S.S. Vincennes continued its round-the-world voyage, presenting letters from President Jackson to various rulers, including King Kamehameha II of Hawaii, and showing the flag at Guam, Macao, and Capetown.
Foreign visitors often complained of American tobacco chewing and spitting. "Men came into the lower tier of boxes without their coats," Frances Trollope, pictured here, observed in a theater, "the spitting was incessant, and the mixed smell of onions and whiskey was [beyond disgust]." In describing a traveling preacher, she wrote:
He stepped solemnly into the middle of the room and took a chair that stood there, but not to sit upon it; he turned the back towards him, on which he placed his hands, and stoutly uttering a sound between a hem and a cough, he deposited freely on either side of him a considerable portion of masticated tobacco.(31)
Quoted in McCutcheon, op. cit., pp. 173-74. (Close)
Showman John Nepomuk Maelzel toured with his exhibition of useless inventions: an automatic trumpeter, speaking dolls, tiny mechanical birds that flew out of boxes, the "Conflagration of Moscow," and a mechanical chess player.
Physicist Joseph Henry, 33, used magnetism to produce electricity, thereby discovering electromagnetic induction; veterinarian Charles Grice opened an animal hospital in New York City; Connecticut chemist Benjamin Silliman, 51, published Elements of Chemistry; naturalist and ornithologist John James Audubon, 45, published Birds of America; and naturalist Constantine Rafinesque published Medical Flora of the United States.
The Roman emperor look continued to be fashionable for men.
Publisher Louis Antoine Godey, 26, began publishing Lady's Book (later known as Godey's Lady's Book), the first American publication for women, in Philadelphia. Other 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.
Ohio songwriter Daniel Emmett, 15, composed the minstrel tune "Old Dan Tucker." Thomas Dartmouth "Daddy" Rice, 22, sang the minstrel song "Jim Crow" on tour to audience raves. Other popular songs included "Home Sweet Home" and "From Greenland's Icy Mountains."
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. A Tory oligarchy called the "château clique," led by Chief Justice Jonathan Sewall (son of an old Massachusetts Loyalist) supported the Governor and kept the agitators in check.
In Upper Canada (Ontario) newly arrived settlers struggled for political equality with the United Empire 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. But a Tory oligarchy called the "Family Compact," led by Anglican Archdeacon John Strachan and John Beverley Robinson (a Loyalist whose background was Virginia and New York), controlled affairs here. The Opposition was led by William Lyon Mackenzie, 34, publisher of the Colonial Advocate, of York; he was repeatedly elected to the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada, and was repeatedly expelled for libel.
A large number of citizens of both Lower Canada and Upper Canada were frustrated with this political stagnation. Just south of the border, the United States was advancing rapidly in wealth and power, with an apparently workable representative government responsive to the public.
The grant of land on the Rio Brazos in Texas to Stephen Fuller Austin, 37, flourished, as well as the grants to swashbuckling empresarios 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 24 years earlier in a failed Venezuelan revolution), and the number of colonists reached 20,000 (including 2,000 slaves).
General Anastasio Bustamente, 50, after his coup of the previous year, assumed the presidency of Mexico. He abolished the constitution, declared himself dictator, prohibited any further entrance of Americans into Texas, suspended all empresario contracts, declared the emancipation of all slaves in Mexico, and stopped the importation of any more black slaves. (Texans evaded the prohibition against slavery by "freeing" their slaves and then signing them to lifetime contracts as indentured servants.) Bustamente showed general hostility to the colonists already in Texas and sent troops to enforce the prohibition against slavery (as well as the prohibition against Protestants).
Chile began exporting nitrates (300 tons this year, growing to 1.5 million tons annually by the end of the century).
American seal hunters from Stonington, CT, slaughtered some of the Falkland Islands cattle of the gauchos on the ranch of Argentine Governor Louis Vernet. Vernet caused two of the American vessels seized, plundered, and sent to Buenos Aires.
There were 26 steam cars on the streets of London.
The Royal Geographic Society was founded in London.
A railroad opened between Liverpool and Manchester.
The debauched King George IV of the United Kingdom, once so handsome but now so gross and corpulent that he was ashamed to show himself in public, died at the age of 67 and was succeeded by his brother, William, the Duke of Clarence, 64, who became King William IV.
John Russell and Henry Brougham introduced legislation in Parliament to abolish all "nomination" boroughs--pocket boroughs (controlled by single individuals or families) and rotten boroughs (election districts with the same voting power in Parliament as other districts with far more inhabitants). The Tories, led by Prime Minister Arthur Wellesley, First Duke of Wellington, 61, were naturally opposed to this. "I never read or heard of any measure," Wellington addressed the House of Lords,
which in any degree satisfies my mind that the state of representation can be improved.… I am fully convinced that the country possesses at the present moment a legislature which answers all the good purposes of legislation, and this to a greater degree than any legislature ever has answered in any country whatsoever.… The representation of the people at present contains a large body of the property of the country, and in which the landed interest has a preponderating influence. Under these circumstances I am not prepared to bring forward any measure of the description alluded to.(32)
Quoted in Churchill, Winston S., The Great Democracies, vol. 4 of A History of the English-Speaking Peoples, New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1957, p. 46. (Close)
In a general election the Tories were driven out of power, to be replaced by a Whig government under Charles Grey (Earl Grey), 66, as Prime Minister. Earl Grey appointed Henry John Temple, Viscount Palmerston, 46, as his Foreign Secretary.
Poor people in the villages and farms of the southeastern counties of England rioted, demanding a minimum wage of 14 shillings. In their frustration they broke up threshing machines, held a few hated landowners to ransom for a few pounds, demanded the clergy renounce part of their tithes, damaged some workhouses, but hurt nobody. The Home Secretary, William Lamb, Second Viscount Melbourne, 51, took strong measures to restore order. Three of the peasants were hanged; more than 400 were sentenced to "transportation" to Australia and Tasmania. The Radicals in Parliament protested vehemently.
The British Parliament introduced the national education system into Ireland, forbidding students from speaking Gaelic. English was the only language of instruction.
French and Belgian bakers were whitening bread with highly toxic copper sulfate and alum.
Prussian General Ludwig Yorck von Wartenburg, hero of the Napoleonic wars, died at the age of 71.
King Ferdinand VII of Spain married his fourth wife, Maria Christina of Naples.
Pope Pius VIII died at the age of 69.
The reactionary King Francesco I of the Two Sicilies (Naples and Sicily) died at the age of 53, and was succeeded by his son, Ferdinand II, 20, who continued the despotic rule of court favorites and brutal police.
Statesman, warrior, and poet Peter II, the last of the Vladikas dynasty, became King of Montenegro.
The cholera epidemic spreading from India through central Asia (Astrakhan, in particular) was now killing hundreds of thousands in Russia. Quarantines and demoralization led to widespread famines. Peasants rioted against quarantine controls; physicians, state officials, and quarantine police were denounced by the clergy as Anti-Christ. Nearly a million people died.
English explorers Richard and John Lander explored the lower Niger River in Africa.
In Van Dieman's Land (Tasmania) a combination of soldiers, police, free settlers and freed convicts were ordered into position on the "Black Line" to drive Aboriginal people out of settled districts and onto the Tasman Peninsula.
French chemist Jean-Baptiste Dumas, 30, developed a procedure for determining the nitrogen content of organic compounds; French naturalist Georges Leopold Chrétien Frederic Dagobert, Baron Cuvier, 61, interviewed his colleague E. Gouvion Saint-Hilaire on the unity of organic composition; German botanist Johann Friedrich Hessel demonstrated the 37 symmetry types of crystals; and English geologist Charles Lyell, 33, published Principles of Geology, proposing the Eocene, Miocene, and Pliocene as divisions of the Cenezoic Era.
London wine merchant and optician Joseph Jackson Lister, 44, improved the microscope by discovering the principle of aplanatic foci; Scots scientist Robert Brown, 57, discovered the cell nucleus in plants; and Scots surgeon and anatomist Charles Bell, 56, published The Nervous System of the Human Body, distinguishing between different types of nerves. French mathematician and physicist Jean Baptiste Fourier died at the age of 62, and German anatomist Samuel Thomas von Sömmering died at the age of 75.
It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents--except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.Writer and critic William Hazlitt died at the age of 52, and portrait painter Sir Thomas Lawrence died at the age of 61.
The Nazarene Brotherhood, an antiacademic society of German painters residing in Rome, disbanded.
French composer Hector Berlioz, 27, produced Symphonie fantastique; French composer Daniel François Auber, 48, produced in Paris the opera Fra Diavolo; Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti, 33, produced the opera Anna Bolena in Milan; Italian composer Vincenzo Bellini, 29, produced the opera I Capulete ed i Montecchi in Venice; and Polish composer Frédéric François Chopin, 20, performed his Concerto No. 1 for Pianoforte and Orchestra and Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Minor in Warsaw.
French poet Victor Marie Hugo, 28, produced the drama Hermani; French novelist Honoré de Balzac, 31, announced his plans to incorporate scores of short stories and novels into La Comédie Humaine ("The Human Comedy"); French poet Alphonse de Lamartine, 40, published Harmonies poétiques et religieuses; French political cartoonist Honoré Daumier, 22, began his association with Charles Philipson and his journals La Caricature (later Le Charivari); and French novelist Marie Henri Beyle (Stendhal), 47, published Le Rouge et le Noir ("The Red and the Black"), full of what he called emotional "crystallization" of experience. French author Comtesse de Genlis died at the age of 84.