Christ's Lutheran Church in 1836

Pastor Thomas Lape, 35, 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 Lape earned a reputation as a

clear, methodical preacher … instructive … gentle, amiable, cheerful and faithful pastor; … a humble Christian, and a sincere friend. He stood well among the Lutheran clergy of the State.(1) Anderson, Mark J., For All the Saints: Christ's Lutheran Church, Woodstock, New York, 1806-2006 [Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2006], draft, quoting the 1879 tribute presented by Rev. P. A. Strobel, of the Hartwick Synod obituary committee. (Close)
The church conducted its first recorded marriage: Pastor Lape married Peter Johnson and Leah Lewis.

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

Lutherans were not immune, particularly those who used the English Language.… [There were] reported protracted meetings in Lutheran congregations, periods of special interest and emotional excitement in pulpit and pew, and sudden extraordinary growth in church membership. There was much debate as to the proper methods for Lutherans to use in stimulating these revivals. Sharp distinction was drawn between the traditional methods of catechization and the high-pressure appeal to the emotions. One was called "responsible accessions to our congregations," the other was called "the new measures."(2) Here Anderson, pp. 45-46, is citing Wentz, Abdel Ross, A Basic History of Lutheranism in America [Philadelphia: Muhlenberg Press, 1955], p. 92. (Close)
In general, pastors and congregations belonging to the New York Ministerium (the synod) 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
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) 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)
The New York Ministerium decided at last to join with the General Synod. (It had refused to join 18 years earlier, because its president at that time and until 7 years earlier [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 he had thus not been able to abide the tenets of the General Synod--that is, the theological norms of the Reformation.(4)) Here Anderson, pp. 17-18, is citing Schalk, Carl, God's Song in a New Land: Lutheran Hymnals in America [St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1995], p. 69. Anderson, p. 23, cites one modern church historian, however, who does not agree with the assessment of Quitman being a "thoroughgoing rationalist." H. George Anderson, cited in Nelson, E. Clifford, ed., The Lutherans in North America [Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1975], p. 106, sees him as being a member of the school of "biblical supernaturalism": "Standing between the … rationalists on the one hand and evangelistic American Protestantism on the other, Quitman represents a hybrid theology. His statements sometimes seem contradictory, as when he asserts that man has not been deprived of his 'free moral agency,' and then goes on to declare that it is the Holy Spirit who provides 'every good quality of which the Christian is possessed.' In an earlier work he attacks local superstition about spirits and demons on grounds that would argue equally well against miracles; he condemns the 'miracles' of Pharaoh's sorcerers but does not question the miracles of Moses. His catechism does not deal explicitly with the divinity of Christ, yet refers to him as 'the only begotten Son of God' in several places. His definition of faith and his explanation of the Lord's Supper show an almost complete misunderstanding of Luther. In short, Quitman presents no finished Lutheran theological system; he simply tries unsuccessfully to restate traditional beliefs in a rationalistic language and manner." (Close) Even with this merger, however, Christ's Lutheran Church of Woodstock remained in the Hartwick Synod (which was part of the General Synod) and not with the New York Ministerium, from which it had seceded 6 years earlier.

The Woodstock Region in 1836

Henry P. Shultis, 45, was Woodstock Town Supervisor.

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

Hard times continued to plague the tanning business, and the price of leather had plunged, Pratt printed mottoes to be distributed throughout his village: "Honesty in the best policy," "Do well, and doubt not," "Be just, and fear not," and so on; his business muddled through. Likewise, the New York Tannery enjoyed good business practices of the young colonel. Other tanneries were not so lucky (although the small tanneries of John C. Ring and of Samuel, Philip A., or John Culver on the Tannery Brook in the heart of Woodstock hamlet stayed in business). Many turnpikes that reached the hemlock stands were now neglected or partly abandoned; Sullivan County tanners who could get their hides and ship their leathers over the Delaware and Hudson Canal had an advantage over those further north.

Region historian Alf Evers(5)

Excerpted from Evers, Alf, Woodstock: History of an American Town [Woodstock, NY: Overlook Press, 1987], pp. 23ff, 41, 150ff. (Close) has described the Catskills as largely a region of absentee landlords and struggling tenants, in a manorial relationship more or less transplanted to upstate New York from medieval Europe. The principal landlord for tenant farmers and tavern keepers in the Town of Woodstock, and for all his other Catskills holdings of some 66,000 acres, was Robert L. Livingston, 61, 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.

Many mountain folk were leaving for western New York and for Indiana, Michigan, and Illinois.

Livingston was having trouble managing the resources on his manor lands. Trespassing and unlawful lumbering had become 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.

Livingston was now struggling to recoup his losses from his nearly bankrupt Esopus Creek Navigation Company.(6)

The material on the Esopus Creek Navigation Company is from ibid., pp. 171-78. (Close) This company had proposed to enable the peeled logs from the numerous tanneries in the Catskills to be shipped downstream to Kingston. The Esopus and the Beaverkill were to be cleared of obstructions, and booms would be built to prevent numerous mills to be damaged from floating logs. From Kingston, the logs would be floated downstream to market in New York City. Labor--the dangerous work on the rafts--was supposed to have been provided by all his numerous tenants who were in arrears on their rent (in other words, either get on the rafts or be evicted). It had been nearly impossible to get the recalcitrant tenants to do what he wanted them to, however, and his company was falling apart.

Livingston's health was falling apart as well: He was suffering nervous anxiety and rheumatic attacks that left him quite lame.

Statesman Edward Livingston, uncle-in-law to manor lord Robert L. Livingston, died at the age of 72.

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. John Fiero, 31. 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.

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.

Milo Barber's inn in Shandaken on the shore of the Esopus was a favorite of trout fishermen.

Having survived nearly going out of business in 1834 because of an upturn in the general economy, James Powers's 13-year-old commodious hotel, the Catskill Mountain House near Kaaterskill Clove, continued to operate, but the principal creditor, the management of the mortgage-holding Catskill Bank, was watching developments nervously.

Thomas Cole, 35, of the Hudson River School of landscape painting, painted the series The Course of Empire.

"Locofoco" radical Democrats in New York State, rebelling against the established Democratic Party Tammany organization and advocating hard money, the end of charter privileges, and the enforcement of strict accountability of representatives to their constituents, negotiated with Whigs and other possible allies for endorsements in local and statewide elections.

The United States in 1836

[ Andrew Jackson ]

Andrew Jackson (Democrat), 69, was President. The 24th Congress was in session. A dollar in that year would be worth $18.21 in 2006 for most consumable products.

Thousands of Irish and German immigrants came to the United States.

On the New York City waterfront, striking laborers attacked scab strikebreakers. According to the diary of New York businessman Philip Hone, 56:

The Mayor, who acts with vigour and firmness, ordered out the troops, who are now on duty with loaded arms.… These measures have restored order for the present, but I fear the elements of disorder are at work; the bands of Irish and other foreigners, instigated by the mischievous councils of the trades-union and other combinations of discontented men, are acquiring strength and importance which will ere long be difficult to quell.(7) Quoted in Bailey, Thomas A., Kennedy, David M., and Cohen, Lizabeth, The American Pageant: A History of the Republic, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1998, p. 314. (Close)

Astor House opened in New York City, with 309 guest rooms and running water above the ground floor.

The Long Island Railroad began operations.

Connecticut inventor Samuel Colt, 22, who had the preceding year designed a pistol with a revolving cartridge cylinder, useful for men on horseback, now patented his "equalizer" of the frontier. The Patent Arms Manufacturing Company of Paterson, NY, began to produce rifles and revolvers.

The Erie Canal was widened and deepened. By now a fifth of the traffic on the Erie Canal was coming from west of Buffalo; the rest was all within New York State.

A. D. Phillips began manufacturing white phosphorus matches.

Philadelphia publisher Joshua Ballinger Lippincott, 23, founded the publishing house J. B. Lippincott & Co.

Indoor lighting came from whale-oil lamps and tallow and spermaceti candles.

The home was a woman's domain or, more accurately, her confines. Here, without electricity, without modern appliances, she did all her chores by hand. The wash. The preserving. The cooking. The cleaning. The sewing. The tending to her average flock of at least five children. A woman's work was never done. Imagine making all of your family's clothes by hand, and you begin to get an idea of just how labor-intensive the career of domestic manager was in those days.

Here are some household tips(8):

Quoted in McCutcheon, Marc, Everyday Life in the 1800s: A Guide for Writers, Students & Historians (Cincinnati, OH: Writer's Digest Books, 1993), pp. 91, 96, 98, citing Mrs. Child, The American Frugal Housewife (1836), p. 79. (Close)
Look frequently to the pails, to see that nothing is thrown to the pigs which should have been in the grease-pot.

See that the beef and pork are always under brine; and that the brine is sweet and clean.

An ox's gall will set any color--silk, cotton, or woolen. I have seen the colors of calico, which faded at one washing, fixed by it. Where one lives near a slaughterhouse… the gall can be bought for a few cents.…

Eggs will keep almost any length of time in lime-water properly prepared. One pint of coarse salt, and one pint of unslaked lime, to a pailful of water. If there be too much lime, it will eat the shells from the eggs; and if there be a single egg cracked, it will spoil the whole. They should be kept covered with lime-water, and in a cold place.… I have seen eggs, thus kept, perfectly sweet and fresh at the end of three years.…

If feather-beds smell badly, or become heavy, from want of proper preservation of the feathers, or from old age, empty them, and wash the feathers thoroughly in a tub of suds; spread them in your garret to dry, and they will be as light and as good as new.

New England rum, constantly used to wash the hair, keeps it very clean, and free from disease, and promotes its growth a great deal more than Macassar oil.

Barley straw is the best for beds; dry corn husks, slit into shreds, are far better than straw.

In winter, always set the handle of your pump as high as possible, before you go to bed. Except in very frigid weather this keeps the handle from freezing. When there is reason to apprehend extreme cold, do not forget to throw a rug or horse-blanket over your pump; a frozen pump is a comfortless preparation for a winter's breakfast.

Very hard and durable candles are made in the following manner: Melt together ten ounces of mutton tallow, a quarter of an ounce of camphor, four ounces of beeswax, and two ounces of alum. Candles made of these materials burn with a very clear light.

Honey mixed with pure pulverized charcoal is said to be excellent to cleanse the teeth, and make them white. Limewater with a little Peruvian bark is very good to be occasionally used by those who have defective teeth, or an offensive breath.

"Calf's head should be cleansed with very great care," wrote Mrs. Child on page 48 of her The Frugal Housewife,

particularly the lights. The head, the heart, and the lights should boil full two hours; the liver should be boiled one hour. It is better to leave the wind-pipe on, for if it hangs out of the pot while the head is cooking, all the froth will escape through it. The brains, after being thoroughly washed, should be put in a little bag, with one pounded cracker, or as much crumbled bread, seasoned with sifted sage, and tied up and boiled one hour. After the brains are boiled, they should be well broken up with a knife, and peppered, salted, and buttered.(9) Quoted in ibid., p. 176. (Close)
The wealthy and the middle class began bricking up their inefficient fireplaces and purchasing cast-iron cooking stoves, with cooking surfaces at waist level, eliminating so much stooping. (Rural families and poor Southerners continued to cook at the fireplace, however.)
Economical people heat ovens with pine wood, fagots, brush, and such.… If you have none but hardwood, you must remember that it makes very hot coals, and therefore less of it will answer. A smart fire for an hour and a half is a general rule for common sized family ovens, provided brown bread and beans are to be baked. An hour is long enough to heat an oven for flour bread.

The Roman emperor look continued to be fashionable for men.

It was considered vulgar to mention "trousers" or "pants." Here are some sample quotes that include substitutes for describing this garment:(10)

Quoted in ibid., p. 116, citing the Philadelphia Public Ledger (April 5, 1836); Knickerbocker Magazine (March 1837); Philadelphia Spirit of the Times (April 20, 1842). (Close)
The managers have resolved to insist upon their wearing stockings and unmentionables.

How could he see about procuring a pair of unwhisperables?

The child was wrapped in white linen, and then crammed into a bag made of the leg of a pair of inexpressibles.

Betsy Ross died at the age of 84.

Connecticut showman Phineas Taylor Barnum, 26, continued his career by exhibiting a 46-pound black ex-slave Joice Heth, alleged to be George Washington's midwife, the woman who brought him into the world in 1732, and over 160 years old.

Attorney Aaron Burr of New York was divorced by his beautiful and boastful wife Eliza Bowen Jumel (probably 68 years old) and died soon after at the age of 80.

Former President James Madison died at the age of 85.

[ Charles Grandison Finney ] [ Revival camp meeting ]

Bell-voiced preacher Charles Grandison Finney, 44, 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."(11)

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.

[ Ralph Waldo Emerson ] Massachusetts philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson, 33, published his Transcendentalism movement manifesto Nature, which stated:

The inevitable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common
and which advised readers to "enjoy an original relation to the universe."(12)

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. 429. (Close)

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, p. 437; 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. 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 Pentecostal 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.

The Second Great Awakening was one of the most momentous episodes in the history of American religion.(14)

Quoted extensively from Bailey, Kennedy, and Cohen, op. cit., pp. 330-32; Wellman, op. cit., pp. 24-25, citing Mrs. Frances Trollope, Domestic Manners of Americans. (Close) This tidal wave of spiritual fervor left in its wake countless converted souls, many shattered and reorganized churches, and numerous new sects. Itinerant preachers who traveled from church to church, as well as judges, serving very small and scattered populations, were known as circuit riders. The Second Great Awakening was spread to the masses on the frontier by huge "camp meetings." Whole families came from long distances to camp around the meeting places. As many as 25,000 people would gather for an encampment of several days to drink the hellfire gospel as served up by an itinerant preacher.

At times there was a tent for the revivalists, but more often the eager congregations sat on wooden benches in the open and listened to the exhortations of the evangelists who preached from wooden platforms. Unlettered and rude, the frontier cared little for tolerant religion. What it craved was violence in the pulpit, a strong smell of brimstone and fire, furious declamation, and turgid polemics. The Methodist, Baptist, and Presbyterian persuasions all lent themselves easily to such pulpit pyrotechnics.

There were, of course, plenty of sinners in the West, and since the object of each revival was to bring as many converts as possible to the "mourner's bench"--thus turning each camp meeting into a sort of scoring contest for the evangelists--the field for conversions was rich. Thousands of spiritually starved souls "got religion" at these gatherings and in their ecstasy engaged in frenzies of rolling, dancing, barking, and jerking. Under the lashings of tongue from the preachers, men, women, and even young children, rolled upon the earth, shrieked, shouted, went into contortions, and wept, in a perfect saturnalia of emotional excitement. While it is to be doubted that all who were thus "struck with conviction" remained godly for long--whiskey barrels stood conveniently about the camp meetings and religion was, after all, thirsty work--it cannot be denied that many remained as godly as they knew how to be for the rest of their lives.(15)

Quoted in Wellman, op. cit., p. 25. (Close)

While it is true that the preachers [in the West] were nearly all ignorant men--it required no seminary training to become a frontier preacher, a man only needed a strong voice, a "gift for gab," and some knowledge of the scriptures--it is also true that they were in the main men of powerful convictions and courage almost heroic. Circuit riders went their lonely way through the wilderness, bringing religion to isolated settlements regardless of weather and regardless of danger.… Godly men lived in almost every community. They gathered the people into churches, and their influence in maintaining not only the moral level of their communities, but respect for law and public responsibility can hardly be overstated. These old frontier preachers, most of whom farmed for a living, and gave without financial recompense their services in their ministries, had much to do with the fact that religion and politics, both gospels of equality, united to reinforce and make permanent the democratic ideal of the West.(16)

Quoted in ibid., pp. 25-26. (Close)

Methodists and Baptists reaped the most abundant harvest of souls from the fields fertilized by revivalism. Both sects stressed personal conversion (contrary to predestination), a relatively democratic control of church affairs, and a rousing emotionalism. As a frontier jingle ran:

The devil hates the Methodist
Because they sing and shout the best.

The optimistic promises of the Second Great Awakening inspired countless souls to do battle against earthly evils.(17)

Quoted extensively from Bailey, Kennedy, and Cohen, op. cit., pp. 336-37. (Close) The Transcendental idealists dreamed anew the old Puritan vision of a perfected society: free from cruelty, war, intoxicating drink, discrimination, and--ultimately--slavery. Women were particularly prominent in these reform crusades, especially in their own struggle for suffrage. For many middle-class women, the reform campaigns provided a unique opportunity to escape the confines of the home and enter the arena of public affairs. In part, the practical, activist Christianity of these reformers resulted from their desire to reaffirm traditional values as they plunged ever further into a world disrupted and transformed by the turbulent forces of a market economy.

Workingman's Party founder Orestes Brownson, 33, who had been a Universalist and a Unitarian, formed his own church--the Society for Christian Union and Progress.

William Miller, 54, published Evidence from the Scripture and History of the Second Coming of Christ, about the Year 1843.

John Humphrey Noyes, 25, a founder of the Free Church of New Haven, who had proclaimed that the Second Coming of Christ had already occurred in A.D. 70, continued to advocate the doctrine of perfectionism, holding that a person could become sinless by working at it.

[ Joseph Smith ] Joseph Smith, 31, pictured here, now of Kirtland, OH, was the "Prophet" of the 6-year-old "Church of Christ" (later called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), with the followers called "Saints" (or Mormons), whose doctrine was based on the alleged revelations Smith said he had been receiving for several years from the angel Maroni, now all gathered, translated, and published in the 522-page Book of Mormon. 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.

The ever-growing Mormon congregation was now based in Kirtland (in spite of the hatred from local "gentiles" [non-Mormons]) but was waiting for word from its scout Oliver Hervy Pliny Cowdery, 30, who had been commissioned to find the sect's "Zion" somewhere in the vicinity of Missouri (and had started a satellite congregation in Independence, MO). Meanwhile, construction was completed on the church's first temple in Kirtland. Many extraordinary events were reported in the new temple: appearances by Jesus, Moses, Elijah, Elias, and numerous angels, speaking and singing in tongues and prophesying. Meanwhile, Smith helped to organize the Kirtland Safety Society (KSS), a quasi-bank to serve the banking needs of the growing Mormon community.

Thomas P. Hunt published The Book of Wealth; in Which It Is Proved from the Bible that It Is the Duty of Every Man to Become Rich.

Maria Monk published Awful Disclosure of Maria Monk, as Exhibited in a Narrative of Her Suffering during a Residence of Five Years as a Novice, and Two Years as a Black Nun, in the Hotel Dieu Nunnery at Montreal, making wild charges of abuse in a Catholic convent, including the secret burial of babies. (The book was widely believed, but was later proved to be an anti-Catholic hoax: "Maria Monk" was a nativist bigot posing as an escaped nun.)

The annual convention of the American Temperance Union, originally founded to fight strong liquor, voted by a very narrow margin to ban the imbibing of even mildly alcoholic drinks, such as wine and malt liquor, heretofore considered harmless. Many members quit the organization.

Feminist Ernestine L. Rose urged the New York State legislature to give married women the right to hold property in their own name.

Mary Lyon, 39, founded Mount Holyoke Female Seminary in South Hadley, Massachusetts.

Female workers in the New England textile mills never earned more than 37½ cents per 12-to-16-hour day; thousands earned only 25 cents a day ($6.83 per day and $4.55 per day, respectively, in 2006 dollars).

Massachusetts authorities enacted legislation requiring children to attend school for at least 3 months a year until the age of 15; manufacturers were not allowed to hire children in the mills for more than 9 months a year.

Well-to-do conservative Americans gradually came to realize the benefits of free public education.(18)

This description of education in America liberally quoted from Baily, Kennedy, and Cohen, op. cit., p. 521. (Close) If they did not pay to educate "other folkses brats," the "brats" might grow up into a dangerous, ignorant rabble--armed with the vote. Taxation for education was an insurance premium that the wealthy paid for stability and democracy.

Tax-supported education triumphed in the United States (except in the slavery-cursed South) in this quarter century. Grimy-handed laborers wielded increased influence and demanded instruction for their children. But early free schools stayed open only a few months of the year. Schoolteachers, most of them men, were too often il trained, ill tempered, and ill paid. They frequently put more stress on "lickin'" (with a hickory stick) than on "larnin'." These knights of the blackboard often "boarded around" in the community, and some knew scarcely more than their older pupils. They usually taught only the "three Rs"--"readin', 'ritin', and 'rithmetic." To many rugged Americans, suspicious of "book larnin'," this was enough.

Abolitionist William Jay observed about the danger of slavery to everyone's freedom:

We commenced the present struggle to obtain the freedom of the slave; we are compelled to continue it to preserve our own.(19) Quoted in Morison, op. cit., p. 521. (Close)

[ John Quincy Adams ] Abolitionists continued to petition the 24th Congress to abolish slavery and the slave trade in the District of Columbia. The House of Representatives passed a "gag resolution," declaring that all petitions or papers "relating in any way" to slavery or the abolition thereof would be "laid on the table" without liberty of debate, and receive no further action. Congressman John Quincy Adams, 69, pictured here, denounced the gag rule as

a direct violation of the Constitution of the United States, of the rules of the House, and the rights of my constituents.(20)

Quoted in ibid., p. 522. (Close)

The most expensive slave, a "prime field hand" 18 to 25 years old, was worth $1,300 on the market ($23,673 in 2006 dollars).

The most well-known form of slave punishment was flogging or whipping, but slaveowners and overseers employed dozens of lesser-known penalties to keep their workers in line. These included: forcing a slave to eat all the worms he failed to pick off tobacco leaves; giving male slaves women's work, such as washing clothes; denying passes to social events off the plantation; forcing slaves to work on Sundays and holidays; confiscating crops from a slave's personal garden or truck patch; selling a family member to another plantation; locking a slave in a private jail built on the plantation; placing a slave in stocks with a ration of bread and water and no communication with anyone; placing a slave in irons, etc.(21)

Quoted in McCutcheon, op. cit., pp. 216, 221, citing Jenny Proctor, "Alabama," in Lay My Burden Down. (Close)

The United States government was still free from debt; there was even a surplus of $20 million ($364 million in 2006 dollars). State banks, no longer restrained by the Bank of the United States, lent money with very little regard to their reserves. Land speculation was causing a large augmentation in bank notes in circulation, and prices were rising. Cities were laying out and selling house lots far out of proportion to their population. Farmers in the West mortgaged their land to buy more land from the government, and then borrowed even more against their new deeds. Federal income from the sale of 20 million acres of land was $24.9 million ($453 million), an annual rise of 300 percent over the previous 3 years (only 4.5 million acres had been sold in 1834).

Actually, the United States was not free of debt. The debt had been transferred from the land-selling government to private hands. New York real estate soared to nearly double values; nearly eight house lots were sold for each resident of the city. Farm lands on Long Island brought fantastic prices. In Chicago, a village of fewer than 3,000 people, residential lots were sold for 25 miles around. Even waste tracts of poor Maine timber sold at double its real value.

[ Henry Clay of Kentucky ] Senator Henry Clay of Kentucky, 59, pushed through the 24th Congress another "distribution" scheme to spend the budget surplus on internal improvements (in spite of President Jackson's reluctance): The U.S. Treasury would "lend" (actually give) about $28 million ($510 million in 2006 dollars) to state governments. Some of the money was used for public works, some for education, but much was badly invested in land speculation.

President Jackson, alarmed with the speculative mania, countered in the summer with the Specie Circular (authored by his friend, hard-money advocate Senator Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri, 54, who thereby earned the nickname "Old Bullion"), ordering that the Treasury would receive nothing but hard money (gold or silver) for public lands. The land buying stopped abruptly, since overextended banks had no specie (money in coins) to lend. Prices plunged as specie holders began hoarding. Speculators abandoned their holdings to the banks, but the banks could not recoup enough from the foreclosures to recover loans.

President Jackson appointed Roger Brooke Taney, 59, the new Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, to replace John Marshall, who had died the year before. This time, the Senate, which had refused to confirm his appointment as Treasury Secretary in 1833 and as Associate Justice in 1835, confirmed this new appointment.

The French Chamber of Deputies had finally agreed to pay the $80.7 million ($1.47 billion in 2006 dollars) the French government was supposed to pay the United States, on condition that the French King receive des explications satisfaisantes of the President's message. Jackson had flown into a rage, as though he had been challenged to a duel. It looked like war might be inevitable. Finally, British Foreign Secretary Henry John Temple, Viscount Palmerston, 52, mediated with a formula that satisfied the wounded honor of both sides.

Presidential election of 1836

[ Martin Van Buren ] President Jackson hand-picked his own successor for the presidency: Vice President Martin Van Buren of New York, 54, "the Little Magician," pictured here, whose detractors said he was so vain that he wore out the carpet in front of his mirror. Jackson carefully rigged the Democratic nominating convention to ram his candidate down the throats of the delegates. (Many Democrats resented having a "bastard politician" smuggled into office beneath the old general's coattails.)

[ William Henry Harrison ] [ Senator Daniel Webster ] The Whigs relied on several "favorite sons" to oppose Van Buren: General William Henry Harrison, 62, from Indiana, pictured at left; Hugh Lawson White of Tennessee; Senator Daniel Webster, 54, from Massachusetts, pictured at right. The Whig hope was that the vote would be so scattered that the House of Representatives would have to choose the President.

Van Buren was elected President with more popular votes (761,549) than his four opponents combined (735,250). He won 170 electoral votes against the combined total of 124 for his opponents, led by Harrison, 73 electoral votes; White, 26; and Webster, 14.

Richard Mentor Johnson of Kentucky, 51, was running for Vice President as a Democrat, and he tried to capitalize on his reputation for having killed Tecumseh in the War of 1812. His supporters campaigned with the following verse:

Rumpsey dumpsey, rumpsey dumpsey, Colonel Johnson killed Tecumseh!
Since none of the four Vice Presidential candidates received an electoral majority, the decision was tossed into the Senate, who selected Johnson.

The 25th Congress was also elected, to begin serving the following year.

Cherokee removal

Georgia had been distributing through lottery the territory of the Cherokee Nation, whose capital was New Echota. The Cherokees had withstood a steady erosion of their ancestral lands into the hands of white settlers, despite their attempts to organize themselves with an elected tribal government and despite their treaties with the United States. Agents of the Indian administration, officials of the federal government led by General William Carroll and Reverend John Schermerhorn, had the previous year negotiated the Treaty of New Echota with a small minority of the chiefs, but most had refused to attend the negotiations. In the treaty, the United States had agreed to pay the Cherokee people $5 million ($99 million in 2006 dollars), cover the costs of relocation, and give them land in Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma) in exchange for the reservation land in Georgia and Alabama, previously guaranteed to the Cherokees. "The Ridge Party," as the signing faction came to be called, was led by Major Ridge, his son John Ridge, and his nephews Elias Boudinot and Stand Watie. By signing the treaty even though they were not elected representatives of the tribe, the Ridge Party actually had violated Cherokee law--a law that in fact had been proposed by John Ridge himself several years earlier. Once the deal had been approved, the Ridge Party was paid, and they had begun their journey west to live in Indian Territory among the "Cherokee Nation West," or "Old Settlers" as they came to be called, those who had already moved west years earlier in response to pressure from whites.

Unfortunately, the treaty had never been signed by any official representative of the Cherokee Nation. After news of the treaty had become public, these elected officials, led by John Ross, had instantly objected that they had not approved it, and that the document was invalid. John Ross and the Cherokee tribal council had begged the Senate not to ratify it. Massachusetts Senator Edward Everett, however, said they should ratify, yielding to

the force of circumstances… the hard necessity.(22) Quoted in Zinn, Howard, A People's History of the United States, 1492-Present, New York: HarperCollins, 1980, 1995, 1999; Perennial, 2003, p. 146. (Close)
The measure passed in May by a single vote, thanks in part to President Jackson's support. Georgia whites stepped up their attacks to speed the removal.

Second Creek War

The Creeks, who had been defrauded of their land in treaties over the previous few years, and who were now without money or food, refused to go West. Starving Creeks began raiding white farms, and Georgia militia as well as settlers were attacking Indian settlements. It was declared that the Creeks, by making "war," had forfeited all their treaty rights. However, one Alabama newspaper columnist who was sympathetic to the Indians commented(23): Quoted in ibid., pp. 135, 143. (Close)
The war with the Creeks is all humbug. It is a base and diabolical scheme, devised by interested men, to keep an ignorant race of people from maintaining their just rights, and to deprive them of the small remaining pittance placed under their control.
Thousands of Creeks, afraid of white reprisals, fled to the woods, pursued by an 11,000-man force. After the Creeks surrendered without attempting resistance, they were rounded up. Any braves whom the army suspected of rebellion or sympathy to rebellion were chained together and marched westward under guard; their women and children trudged after them.

Military detachments under General Winfield Scott, 50, invaded Creek communities, drove the inhabitants to assembly points, and marched batches of up to 3,000 of them westward. There was no compensation for land or property. Creek brave Menawa uttered this lamentation upon leaving his homeland:

Last night I saw the sun set for the last time, and its light shine upon the treetops and the land and the water that I am never to look upon again.
Unscrupulous private contractors escorted the unhappy Indians, and the emigrants were denied the promised food, shelter, clothing, blankets, and medical attention. Unsafe, rotting steamboats transported the overcrowded Creeks across the Mississippi. A trail of more than 15,000 were trudging all across Arkansas, many of them starving and dying of disease. Wolves and buzzards followed the trail.

Second Seminole War

Chief Osceola, 32, with his band of Seminole Indians, continued their guerilla actions against the U.S. forces of General Thomas S. Jesup, augmented by more than 800 Creek volunteers (fighting in return for a promise that their families could remain in Alabama). Seminole women and children hid in the Everglades. After the Seminole massacre of U.S. forces the preceding December, Congress took up appropriations for a general war against the tribe. Although Kentucky Senator Henry Clay was against the war and Indian removal in general, his Whig colleague Senator Daniel Webster remonstrated(24): Quoted in ibid., p. 145. (Close)
The view taken by the gentleman from Kentucky was undoubtedly the true one. But the war rages, the enemy is in force, and the accounts of their ravages are disastrous. The executive government has asked for the means of suppressing these hostilities, and it was entirely proper that the bill should pass.
General Winfield Scott took charge of the operation, but his troops could not find the Seminoles, who were hiding in the swamps. During that year, more than a hundred commissioned officers resigned from the regular army rather than face the prospect of fighting guerillas in the swamps.

Arkansas was admitted to the Union as the 25th state.

Ohio educator William Holmes McGuffey, 36, published his First and Second Reader.

John Chapman, 61, 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."

Chicago shippers sent its first cargo of grain to Buffalo for trans-shipment on the Erie Canal.

The Potawatomi were found to owe their creditors $130,974.60 ($2.4 million in 2006 dollars)--a debt eventually "settled" by their cession of all their hunting lands.

Wisconsin Territory was formed from the western part of Michigan Territory.

In response to a plea from four Flathead Indians who had visited St. Louis, the American Board of Foreign Missions sent Dr. Marcus Whitman, 34, and the Reverend Henry H. Spalding, as missionaries with their wives, Narcissa Prentiss Whitman, 20, and Eliza Hart Spalding, to cross the continent and settle in the Pacific Northwest. Narcissa and Eliza were the first white women to travel the Oregon Trail all the way for 5 months, discarding one article after another (even Narcissa's bridal trunk) from their hand-drawn cart--from Independence, MO, following the Kansas River upstream, then up the Little Blue, then the muddy Platte ("a mile wide and 6 inches deep," studded with patches of quicksand) to Fort Laramie, over the Continental Divide in the Rockies at South Pass, then a bit into Mexico (Fort Bridger), then northwest along the Snake River to Fort Walla Walla. (The trail continued from there along the Columbia to Fort Vancouver, the Hudson's Bay Company post [present-day Vancouver, WA], and into the Willamette Valley, but the missionaries stayed at Waiilatpu near Fort Walla Walla to minister to the Cayuse Indians in the vicinity. The missionaries also established schools and grist mills and introduced crop irrigation.)

The 101.4-foot steamboat S.S. Beaver sailed in the Willamette River and the lower Columbia--the first steamboat on the Pacific Coast.

President Jackson dispatched his secret service agent William Slacum to provide an account on the conditions of the Oregon country. Slacum reported that Britain's Hudson's Bay Company had an important post, Fort Vancouver, on the Columbia River and another post at the village of Yerba Buena (San Francisco). He also reported on the farming settlements in the Willamette Valley, including some Americans under the missionary Jason Lee, 33, as well as some mountain men and rascals, including Ewing Young. He also reported the presence of the Whitmans further up the Columbia.

Richard Henry Dana, 21, a Harvard dropout, concluded his 2-year voyage as a seaman on the brig Pilgrim, sailing around Cape Horn to California. (He would later describe the deplorable living conditions of ordinary seamen in a novel.)

Science and technology in America: Specifics

Massachusetts navigator Thomas Hubbard Sumner, 29, devised a simple way for sailors to figure out where they were; and John Ericsson, 33, patented a screw propeller with blades, which was tried out on the London-built S.S. Francis B. Ogden.

New York botanist Asa Gray, 26, published Elements of Botany.

Arts and culture in America: Specifics

Architect Robert Mills, 55, designed the U.S. Treasury Building and the Washington Monument; author Michel Chevalier published Lettres sur l'Amérique du Nord, asserting that Northerners were descended from Cromwell's Roundheads and Southerners from King Charles's Cavaliers; writer Washington Irving, 53, published Astoria about the Oregon Country; and Virginia poet and novelist Edgar Allan Poe, 27, published Maelzel's Chess Player. Poe also married his cousin Virginia, 13.

Popular periodicals included the Niles' Weekly Register, the American Journal of Science, American Farmer, Christian Watchman, Saturday Evening Post, New York Mirror, National Preacher, Ladies' Magazine Lady's Book (Godey's Lady's Book), Ladies' Companion, Yale Literary Magazine, Knickerbocker Magazine, Liberator (abolitionist), Emancipator (abolitionist), and Spirit of the Times. 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," "America," "Old Zip Coon" (later known as "Turkey in the Straw"), and "Amazing Grace."

The World at Large in 1836

In Lower Canada (Quebec), French Canadian Louis Joseph Papineau, Speaker of the Assembly, had combined with Scots liberal John Neilson and Irishman Edmund B. O'Callaghan to agitate for a government more accountable to the people than the "château clique," led by Chief Justice Jonathan Sewall (son of an old Massachusetts Loyalist). The government had rejected all the patriotic demands, including the minimum proposal, to let the voters choose the legislative council. The patriots were now boycotting British goods and wearing homespun. Young men continued organizing as Fils de la liberté ("Sons of Liberty"), and the countryside was secretly arming, displaying the tricolor, and calling extralegal conventions.

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. Methodists, Presbyterians, and Baptists--recent immigrants from the British Isles and the United States--pressed for public money from the dominant old-Tory Anglicans and Northern Ireland Presbyterians, as well as for an overhaul of the public land system. 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), insisted on reserving a seventh of every 640-acre township for the Crown and another seventh for the Church--reserves that obstructed roads, retarded settlement, and were generally a nuisance. In addition, the clique granted immense untaxed private lands to favorites.

The colonial office in London intended to appoint Sir Edmund Head as Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada, but mistakenly appointed his stupid cousin instead: Francis Head. After briefly flirting with the reform Liberals, Head called them a pack of traitors and embarked on a autocratic policy of repression. He vetoed all bills for roads, schools, and public works. The Liberals gained a majority in the Assembly, which was now dominated by their leader, William Lyon Mackenzie, 41, publisher of the Colonial Advocate, Mayor of Toronto. Governor Head dissolved the Assembly, and orated for Tories in a new election. With the aid of the Orangemen Presbyterians, whom Mackenzie had alienated with his anticlerical positions, the Tories won a majority of seats--principally through the Orangemen's strong-arm tactics at the polls. Meanwhile, Mackenzie founded the newspaper The Constitution to disseminate the ideas of the Reform Party. He also drafted a Declaration of Independence and armed and drilled thousands of settlers.

A railroad in Canada connected Laprairie on the St. Lawrence River with St. Johns on the River Richelieu.

California turmoil

Governor Nicolas Gutiérrez of the Mexican Province of Alta California was supplanted by Juan Bautista Alvarado. Some of the Americanos, the 200 or so "foreigners" who were living in Alta California, discussed the idea of setting up a separate nation, independent of Mexico. But Governor Alvarado himself declared independence first, proclaiming that California was a "free and sovereign state," announced that duties on all foreign goods would be lowered, called for a constitutional convention, proposed that the province be divided into two states (one from Santa Barbara south to San Diego, with Los Angeles as the capital, the other north from Santa Barbara, with Monterey as the capital), and began forming a militia. Isaac Graham, a wild, reckless, crack-shot hunter and fur trader from Tennessee, operating from his distillery at San Juan, organized the "Kentucky Riflemen" with William R. Garner and John Coppinger, both Englishmen, and Louis Pombert, a Frenchman. Southern Californians protested in vain. At last Juan Bandini and Santiago Arguello organized a revolution and seized Los Angeles, in order to overthrow the power of Governor Alvarado in the South. Native troubles in San Diego required the attention of the revolutionaries, so they left Los Angeles to return to San Diego and deal with the problems arising at home.

Texas Revolution

[ Sam Houston ] After their remarkable victory at the end of the previous year at San Antonio de Bexar, a rebel ragtag force under Colonel Francis Johnson, Colonel James W. Fannin, and Dr. James Grant moved toward Mexico, aiming to capture Matamoras. Generilissimo Sam Houston, 43, overtook the "cocky" forces, which were proceeding without orders, and tried to turn them back, but he was scorned and disobeyed. Houston wrote to Governor Smith:
No language can express the anguish of my soul. Oh, save our poor country!… What will the world think of the authorities of Texas?… I do not fear,--I will do my duty.(25) Quoted in Wellman, op. cit., p. 154. (Close)

[ General Antonio López de Santa Anna ] Houston learned that Mexican dictator Antonio López de Santa Anna, 42, pictured here, had crossed the Rio Grande into Texas, heading for San Antonio with an estimated force of 8,000 and a huge train of artillery and baggage, with several thousand horses and mules for transport and hundreds of women camp followers. Houston sent Colonel James Bowie, 39, a former slave smuggler, with 20 men to San Antonio, where Colonel Joseph C. Neill was guarding an abandoned but fortified mission called the Alamo. Bowie had orders to blow up the mission and transport the available cannon northward to the army Houston was forming. Neill left to join Houston, but Bowie stayed on with William Barret Travis, 26, to defend the Alamo.

Colonel Fannin, meanwhile, had left the force of Johnson and Grant and stayed at Goliad with about 400 men, complaining that he, not Houston, should be Generalissimo.

Houston rode to Washington-on-the-Brazos to attend a rebel constitutional convention, which declared its independence from Mexico, and elected David G. Burnet from Ohio as the President of the Republic of Texas. Houston was confirmed as Generalissimo.

Santa Anna sent General José Urrea with a thousand men to intercept the Johnson-Grant ragtag force. Urrea surprised Johnson's 70 men and butchered them at San Patricio (only Johnson and a couple of others escaped). He then struck Dr. Grant and his 70 men at Agua Dulce, and killed all but 2, who managed to escape.

Santa Anna, with gifts, stirred up the Commanches to attack the Texans. General Edmund Pendleton Gaines, 59, commanding the U.S. troops in Louisiana, was ordered to observe "strict neutrality," but he was given discretion to furnish aid against hostile attacks by Indians "against either Anglo-American or Mexican states." When the Commanches began depredations in northern Texas, General Gaines moved troops across the Sabine River and occupied Nacogdoches. The Texan rebels were then protected against attacks in their rear. The Mexican minister in Washington made strong and indignant protests, but the American troops remained in Nacogdoches.

Santa Anna led the main body of his army, a good 4,000 men, toward San Antonio. He began an 11-day siege of the Alamo, where the rebels were holed up. Travis sent the following message out:

I am besieged by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna. I have sustained a continued bombardment for 24 hours and have not lost a man. The enemy have demanded a surrender.… I have answered the summons with a cannon shot, and our flag still waves proudly from the walls. I shall never surrender or retreat. I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism, and of everything dear to the American character to come to our aid with all dispatch. The enemy are receiving reinforcements daily.… If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible & die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his honor or that of his country. Victory or Death! W. Barret Travis(26) Quoted in Wallechinsky, David, and Wallace, Irving, The People's Almanac, Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1975, p. 165; Davidson, James West, and Stoff, Michael B., The American Nation, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1986, 1995, p. 358. (Close)

Houston, at the constitutional convention (which was adopting the Lone Star flag), could do nothing to help Travis, but he directed Fannin, at Goliad, to relieve the Alamo. Fannin started toward San Antonio but then changed his mind and returned to Goliad. Travis sent another message to Houston and the convention:

I hope your honorable body will hasten on the reinforcements.… Our supply of ammunition is limited.(27) Quoted in Wellman, op. cit., p. 155. (Close)
Thirty-two rebels were able to reinforce Travis. The Mexicans won in the end, however, and they massacred a 188-man rebel garrison (among them Travis, Bowie, and former Tennessee Congressman David Crockett, 49, at a cost of 1,600 Mexican troops killed and many more wounded, at the Alamo (the Mexicans spared 30 American noncombatants [the wife of Lieutenant Dickinson, her baby daughter, a black slave, and several Mexican women], but they shot 5 prisoners). All the dead bodies were stripped, thrown into a pile in the courtyard, soaked in oil, and burned.

Houston took 4 men to Gonzales to organize troops to defend the convention, and he sent a courier to Goliad, where Colonel Fannin sat with his 400 men, ordering him to join the Gonzales force. Fannin, however, delayed too long and then divided his forces in order to remove families from Refugio. Urea annihilated the detached parties under Captain King and Colonel Ward, and then he caught up to Fannin at Coleto Creek and defeated them. Fannin's forces surrendered on a promise that their lives would be spared. Santa Anna, however, countermanded Urrea and ordered all the "foreigners" shot as pirates. More than 300 of the rebels, including the wounded in their beds, were butchered.

Houston gathered together 374 "effective men" in Gonzales, whom he led on a zigzagging retreat, much to their grumbling dismay. Santa Anna was obliged to break up his army into four divisions and extend his lines of communication across rain-swollen rivers, canyons, mesquite, cactus, and mud to try to find Houston. Santa Anna had to send his current mistress back to San Antonio, and he could keep only one artillery piece with him. One of his generals was able to force President Burnet to abandon the Galveston area, but Houston's forces remained elusive.

Through the report of some captured Mexicans, Houston learned that Santa Anna was at New Washington, on Galveston Bay, within a day's march. General Cos's forces, violating their parole, had reinforced Santa Anna. While the Mexicans were enjoying siesta, Houston, with Colonel Sidney Sherman, 31, and cavalry commander Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar, 38, from Georgia, crying "Remember the Alamo!" "Remember Goliad!" awakened and defeated the Mexicans in the Battle of San Jacinto, killing 632 of them (including one general, four colonels, two lieutenant colonels, and seven captains), wounding 208, and taking 730 prisoners (which included the wounded). Fewer than 200 Mexicans escaped. Only 6 Texan rebels were killed, 25 wounded (including Houston). Santa Anna, who had been bedding with a captured slave woman, escaped in his silken underwear, but he was captured the next day. Fearing the noose of vengeful Texans, Santa Anna issued orders to each of his commanders to leave Texas ("passing to the other side of the Rio Grande del Norte") and signed the Treaty of Velasco guaranteeing the independence of the new republic, pledging the cessation of hostilities, and agreeing to indemnification of persons whose property had been taken or destroyed.

The Texans ratified their new constitution, legalized slavery, and elected Houston President, replacing Burnet. The village of Houston was founded by J. K. and A. C. Allen. The new republic claimed disputed territory between the Nueces River and the Rio Grande, some 200 miles apart. Stephen Fuller Austin, 43, was made Secretary of State, but he soon died.

[ John Caldwell Calhoun of South Carolina ] South Carolina Senator John Caldwell Calhoun of South Carolina, 54, pictured here, told the Senate that

there were powerful reasons why Texas should be a part of this Union. The Southern States, owning a slave population, were deeply interested in preventing that country from having the power to annoy them.(28) Quoted in Morison, op. cit., p. 553. (Close)
But abolitionist Quaker Benjamin Lundy, 47, who had been in Texas, published a pamphlet entitled The War in Texas; a Crusade against the Government set on foot by Slaveholders, asserted that the Texas revolution was simply a plot to gain new territory for slave-grown cotton, a view that carried great weight in the North, and U.S. President Andrew Jackson, anxious to recognize Texas, had to go slow.

A plebiscite revealed that an overwhelming majority of Texans wanted to be part of the United States. President Houston sent his prisoner Santa Anna to Washington, DC, who was expressing eagerness to

guarantee the acquiescence of Mexico to the annexation of Texas by the United States.
He also sent a personal envoy, William H. Wharton, 34, to demand either annexation to the United States or recognition as an independent republic. Santa Anna was lionized by the Northern abolitionists. For example, the Woonsocket [RI] Patriot commented:
How can we style him tyrant who opposed the efforts of rebels and used them with deserved severity, and fought and bled to contravene the efforts of those who wished to substantiate the horrible system of slavery?(29) Quoted in Wellman, op. cit., p. 174. (Close)

Wharton, in contrast, wrote to Houston from Kentucky about his reception in the South:

The Southern papers… are acting most imprudently.… Language such as the following is uttered by the most respectable journals… "The North must choose between the Union with Texas added--or no Union."(30) Quoted in ibid. (Close)

President Jackson conferred with the prisoner Santa Anna and tried to buy both San Francisco Bay and Texas, but Wharton was against such a purchase. Jackson then shipped Santa Anna back to Mexico. Santa Anna, now thoroughly disgraced in Mexico, retired to his hacienda.

Peru-Bolivia war

Forces of Bolivian President Andrés Santa Cruz invaded Peru and set up a Peru-Bolivia confederation.

U.S. President Andrew Jackson sent a special agent to survey the possibility of a canal across Nicaragua--incorporating the existing waterway of the San Juan River and Lake Nicaragua.

Mount Hekla erupted in Iceland, creating widespread destruction.

The "Tolpuddle martyrs"--George Loveless and five other workers who had been arrested for setting up a union lodge in Tolpuddle near Dorchester two years before and who had been "transported" to Australia or Tasmania, were returned to Great Britain, to appease the public outcry.

Workers in Great Britain issued the People's Charter, initiating a national working-class movement, the Chartists, demanding universal suffrage and vote by ballot.

The entirely secular University of London was founded.

The Colonial Bank (later Barclays Bank) opened in London.

Charles Green took two passengers with him in the hot-air balloon Nassau from London to the German duchy of Nassau 500 miles away.

John Henry Newman, 35, at the Oriel College of Oxford University, delivered Tracts attacking the "national apostasy" of the Church of England in the Oxford Movement. The Church of England needed a basis in firm doctrine and discipline, rather than be an arm of the state. Was the Church of England a department of the Hannoverian state, to be governed by the forces of secular politics, or was it an ordinance of God? Were its pastors priests of the Catholic Church (as the Prayer Book insisted) or ministers of a Calvinistic sect? Did baptism bestow an indelible character on the soul? What does "consecration" of the eucharistic elements signify? Was the Reformation and Elizabethan Settlement a release from papal bondage, a disaster imposed by a heretical state, or a sophisticated via media between these two extremes? How were the "golden ages" of the early Church Fathers and Seventeenth Century Anglican theology to be recovered? Edward Bouverie Pusey, 36, focused his attention on the ritual observances of the Church.

The potato crop failed in the west of Ireland.

King Louis Philippe, the "Citizen King," in response to the previous year's assassination attempt, made his regime more oppressive. He gained personal power by splitting the liberal movement and appointing weak men to official positions. Charles Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, 28, tried but failed to bring about a revolt of the garrison at Strasbourg; he was banished to America.

The Arc de Triomphe was completed after 30 years of construction (it had been ordered by Napoleon).

Kaffir War and Boer independence

Hostilities continued. Thousands of Boer cattlemen, irritated with the previous year's emancipation of thousands of slaves and with British policy in general, continued their Great Trek to the north and east of the Orange River. They moved to new lands beyond the River Vaal (the Transvaal). The eastern part of the Cape Colony became seriously depopulated as a result. They founded Transvaal, Natal, and the Orange Free State.

Edward Gibbon Wakefield, 40, with a South Australia charter, brought settlers to land at Kangaroo Island. The village of Adelaide (named for Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, the consort of King William IV) was founded.

World science and technology

Galvanized iron (coated with zinc) was invented in France. British road surveyor and engineer John Loudon McAdam died at the age of 80.

German physiologist Theodor Schwann, 26, discovered the digestive enzyme pepsin; German botanist K. F. Schimper, 33, began his research into the Pleistocene Epoch; English astronomer Francis Baily, 62, described the bright spots along the Moon's edge during a total solar eclipse; Swiss naturalist Jean Louis Rodolphe Agassiz, 29, suggested that glacial ice had once covered much of Europe; Edmond Davey isolated acetylene; and English chemist and meterologist John Frederic Daniell, 46, produced the voltaic Daniell cell, which prevented polarization and provided a smooth, continuous electric current. French physicist A. M. Ampère died at the age of 61.

World philosophy and religion

German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, 48, published Über den Willen in der Natur ("On the Will in Nature"); and German Catholic theologian Joseph von Görres, 58, began his Christian Mysticism. Scots historian and philosopher James Mill died at the age of 63.

Arts and culture in the British Isles

English novelist Charles (John Huffman) Dickens, 24, published Pickwick Papers; novelist Frederick Marryat, 44, published Mr. Midshipman Easy; painter John Constable, 60, painted Stoke-by-Nayland; and Scottish historian Thomas Carlyle, 41, published Sartor Resartus. Novelist and philosopher William Godwin died at the age of 80.

World arts and culture

French landscape painter Jean-Babtiste-Camille Corot, 40, painted Diana Surprised by Actaeon. French painter Carle Vernet died at the age of 78.

French poet Alfred Louis Charles de Musset, 26, published the autobiographical novel Confession d'un enfant du siève; German Plattdeutsch novelist Fritz Reuter, 26, was condemned to death for high treason (but his sentence was commuted to 30 years in a Prussian prison); German author J. P. Eckermann, 44, began publishing his Conversations with Goethe; and Russian novelist Nikolai Vasilyevich Gogol, 27, staged the satirical play Revizor ("The Inspector General"). French soldier-poet C. J. Rouget de Lisle, who composed "La Marseillaise" in 1792, died at the age of 76.

French composer Adolphe Adam, 33, produced Le Postillon de long jumeau; Russian composer Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka, 32, produced the opera Ivan Susanin ("A Life for the Tsar"); German composer Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn, 27, produced the oratorio St. Paul; German composer Richard Wagner, 23, married Minna Planer in Magdeburg; German composer Jakob Liebmann Beer (Giacomo Meyerbeer), 45, produced Les Huguenots at the Paris Opéra; and German composer Robert Schumann, 26, produced Fantasy in C Major. Spanish soprano Maria Malibran died at the age of 28.


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