Pastor Ephraim DeYoe began his pastorate at Christ's Church, now committed to the revivalist Hartwick Synod. He came from a 5-year pastorate at the Lutheran Church in Ghent, Columbia County, in the conservative New York Ministerium (helping that church separate itself from the Dutch Reformed Church). He conducted 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).
Region historian Alf Evers(1)
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 sickly and utterly mad Robert L. Livingston, 67, dwelling in his Clermont estate on the other side of the Hudson.
Livingston had long been 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. Tenants were becoming ever more bold in their resistance to Livingston demands for rent payments, especially with news of the simmering Anti-Rent agitation to the north.
Together with all and singular the trees, woods and under woods to be made use of on the premises and nowhere else; saving and reserving to the party of the first part, her heirs and assigns, all water courses suitable for the erection of mills, with a right to erect mills or other works thereon with three acres of land adjacent, thereto; and also saving and reserving a right to erect dams and out ditches for the use of such water work. And also saving all mines or minerals found on the devised premises with the sole right to dig for and work the same, the said party of the first part compensating for any damage sustained thereby.…Just as in the previous 2 years, however, the legislature, dominated by the great landlords and their moneyed allies, did nothing about it. Moreover, many ordinary citizens felt no sympathy with the Anti-Renters, for they fancied how romantic it was that Old World ways described by Sir Walter Scott novels had survived in New York State.
Yielding and paying therefore during the continuance of this present lease, yearly and every year the yearly rent of two fat hens and one day's labor, with a wagon, sled or plough with a yoke of oxen or pair of horses and a driver, at such time and place within ten miles as the party of the first part, her heirs and assigns shall require.…
And also it is further covenanted and agreed that upon every sale or assignment of the said premises… the party of the second part shall pay to the party of the first part one tenth part of the consideration money.(2)
Quoted in "Welcome Page of the Delaware County NY Genealogy and History Site" (http://188.8.131.52/search?q=cache:WUORtZrvW34J: www.rootsweb.com/"nydelawa /books/murraysectionVIII. html+Delaware+County,Moses+Earl ,rent&hl=en&ie=UTF-8). (Close)
The evils of this feudal system bore heavily upon the farmers in these rough and unproductive regions. To spare from their little wheat crops enough to pay the landlord his rent was a pinching process, which compelled the families to live upon rye and buckwheat. Or if the rent was payable in money, much of the returns from their little dairies was swallowed up for this insatiable purpose. Encouraged by Dr. Smith Boughton of East Manor (who had participated in the 1837 Papineau Rebellion in Quebec) and by Thomas Ainge Devyr (who had fled England after the suppression of the 1837 Chartist Rebellion), farmers were protesting in Albany, Rensselaer, Columbia, Ulster, and Schoharie counties, many of them planning forcible resistance. Anti-Rent associations were being formed with elaborate attempts at secrecy.
The New York Crown and Cylinder Glass Company of Bristol (Shady)--founded 32 years earlier by Stephen Stilwell as the Bristol Glass, Cotton and Clay Company--was still in business, although it was suffering ups and downs. The company shipped its 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, its 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. Stephen L. Heath, whose house still stands just to the east of the old brick post office building on Tinker Street. Dr. Heath was active in politics and was commissioner of schools. He would ride his horse all the way to the end of Mink Hollow to deliver a baby--for a fee of $5.00 ($91.10 in 2006 dollars). 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.
Betsy Booth, now married as Betsy Booth MacDaniel, was a local herb doctor, nurse, and midwife, who had learned her craft from an "Indian doctor" on Tinker Street. She is said to have been able to cure consumption by herbal means.
Milo Barber's inn in Shandaken on the shore of the Esopus was a favorite of trout fishermen. A writer for the Catskill Democrat praised the inn and noted that
any quantity of trout may be taken by those skilled in that delightful recreation [in the creek near Barber's while enjoying] accommodations of the first character, every attention being paid by the obliging Mr. Barber and his attentive lady.… The scenery of the neighborhood is of the most romantic kind.(3)The oldest inn in Roxbury, a noted haunt of fishermen, was now called the Hendrick Hudson House and was growing more and more elegant.
Excerpted from Evers, Alf, The Catskills: From Wilderness to Woodstock, Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, 1972, p. 397, citing the Catskill Democrat, May 29, 1844. (Close)
John Tyler, 52 (nominally a Whig), was President. The 27th Congress was in session. (The midterm elections that year would elect the 28th Congress.) A dollar in that year would be worth $18.22 in 2006 for most consumable products.
A cargo of slaves had revolted during the preceding year on the American brig Creole, which had been transporting them, legally, from Hampton Roads, Virginia, to New Orleans. The slaves had brought the ship into Nassau in the British Bahamas and had claimed asylum there. British authorities had promptly arrested the ringleaders and charged them with mutiny and murder, but, despite protests from the U.S. State Department, they had freed the rest of the 130 slaves.
In addition, there was still considerable ill feeling between the two countries over the 1837 Caroline incident, and the fallout 2 years earlier when the British had threatened war over New York State's plans to execute Canadian deputy sheriff Alexander McLeod for the murder of American Amos Durfee on the Caroline.
Still another difficulty between the British and the Americans was the unresolved boundary line between Maine and New Brunswick. Secretary of State Daniel Webster, 60, pictured here, had been negotiating with the British to resolve this problem; some of the inhabitants of the Aroostook region had been shooting at each other in the so-called "Aroostook War," so it was imperative that some resolution be reached. The Senate had been in no mood to compromise with the British, and Parliament had not been eager to surrender land to America. Each side had different maps of a boundary line they claimed dated from the original treaty in 1783.
Slightly alleviating all these tensions, the very anti-American British Foreign Minister Henry John Temple, Viscount Palmerston, now 58, had been replaced the previous year by the more conciliatory George Hamilton Hamilton-Gordon, 4th Earl of Aberdeen ("Lord Aberdeen"), now 58. Lord Aberdeen sent a new negotiator, Baron Ashburton Alexander Baring, 68, head of a great London banking house, to meet with Webster and to settle all the outstanding disputes.
Even before Ashburton's arrival, Webster arranged to get the U.S. Attorney General to defend McLeod in his New York trial. It was quickly determined that McLeod had an airtight alibi and had only been drunkenly bragging that he had murdered Durfee. McLeod was acquitted, thereby resolving one of the issues.
As for the Maine-New Brunswick boundary dispute, it turned out that each side's map actually supported the claims of the other side, which made a compromise fairly easy. The British cared little about the Aroostook lumber region, but they needed part of the northern part of the disputed region to build a military road connecting Halifax and Québec City. When Webster gave up some 5,000 of the 12,000 square miles in dispute (convincing Maine and Massachusetts representatives that they had better compromise lest they lose even more land according to the map he had), Ashburton then made counter-concessions elsewhere on the border. The United States had built a million-dollar fort (worth $18.2 million in 2006 dollars) at the northern end of Lake Champlain on what was actually Canadian soil; Ashburton agreed to cede this strip of land along the boundary with Vermont and New York. Ashburton also ceded some 6,500 square miles of wilderness between Lake Superior and Lake of the Woods (in present-day Minnesota), which would later prove to be rich in iron ore.
The two diplomats agreed to mutual extradition of criminals and to operate separate but cooperating naval squadrons off the African coast to suppress the slave trade. Although the final Webster-Ashburton Treaty contained no mention of the Caroline affair, Ashburton did informally apologize in an exchange of diplomatic notes, and the incident was written off. The Senate ratified the treaty by a 39-9 vote.
The Webster-Ashburton Treaty did not usher in an era of good feelings between the two countries; in fact, here is how the London Morning Chronicle described it:
See the feeling with which the treaty has been received in America; mark the enthusiasm it has excited. What does this mean? Why, either that the Americans have gained a great diplomatic victory over us, or that they have escaped a great danger, as they have felt it, in having to maintain their claim by war.(4)Many Americans likewise continued to be suspicious of the British. Nonetheless, with American need for British capital and the UK's need for American foodstuffs, it was important to patch up relations as much as possible.
Quoted in Bailey, Thomas A., Kennedy, David M., and Cohen, Lizabeth, The American Pageant: A History of the Republic, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1998, p. 384. (Close)
President Tyler, spurned by Whigs and held in contempt by most Democrats, sought to revive his fortunes by pressing for the annexation of Texas, enlarging the cotton kingdom of his beloved South. The UK, however, intensely interested in an independent Texas, employed many diplomatic schemes to prop up that independence: Such a republic would check the southward surge of the American colossus into the Caribbean and South America, where there were British colonies and British economic spheres of interest. An independent Texas could clash with the U.S., creating a diversion while the UK and France could exploit the New World without worrying about the Monroe Doctrine. Abolitionists in Britain wanted a slave-free independent Texas to inflame the slaves of the American South. British merchants regarded cotton-producing Texas as a potentially important free-trade (tariff-free) area, relieving British textile manufacturers of their dependence on American cotton. Britain supplied arms to the Texans to build up its defenses against a Mexico that regarded it as a province in revolt and refused to recognize its independence. Britain also schemed to thwart any U.S. designs to annex Texas.
Ex-President Martin Van Buren, 62, still a Democrat, and Kentucky Senator Henry Clay, 65, a Whig, each expected to receive their respective party's nomination in the Presidential Election 2 years later. Each of them realized that the issue of annexing Texas was extremely divisive, and they agreed with each other to publish a letter opposing immediate annexation. Van Buren predicted in his letter that a rush to annex would plunge the country into war with Mexico. Clay declared that he would welcome Texas only if the annexation could be done
without dishonor, without war, with the common consent of the Union, and upon just and fair terms.(5)
Quoted in Morison, Samuel Eliot, The Oxford History of the American People, New York: Oxford University Press, 1965, p. 556. (Close)
President Tyler was cool to attempts of the Whig-dominated 27th Congress to enact new tariffs, legislation that included provisions to distribute revenues among the states for the sale of public lands in the West--in particular, the preceding year's Preemption Act. The Whigs redrafted the legislation, getting rid of the dollar-distribution scheme and reducing the tariff rates to 1832 levels, roughly 32% on durable goods. Tyler reluctantly signed the bill.
Anti-tariff Democrats changed the 1840 Whig election slogan "Harrison, Two Dollars a Day and Roast Beef" to "Ten Cents a Day and Bean Soup."
The Massachusetts legislature limited the working hours of children under 12 to 10 per day.
Massachusetts Chief Justice Lemuel Shaw, 61, in the case Commonwealth v. Hunt, upheld the legality of trade unions, as long as their methods were "honorable and peaceful," overturning the common-law argument that unions were criminal conspiracies. Shaw argued that the purpose of the Boston Journeyman Bootmakers Society was not "to accomplish some criminal or unlawful purpose" but rather to persuade "all those engaged in the same occupation to become members." He ruled that a strike for a closed shop was legal and that a union was not responsible for the illegal acts by individuals.(6)
The Brook Farm commune in West Roxbury, MA, founded a year before by George Ripley, 39, and his wife, Sophia Dana Ripley, committed to the philosophy of transcendentalism, to pursue truth, justice, and order ("plain living and high thinking"), continued to grow and thrive.
William Miller, 70, a veteran of the War of 1812, worked out at Hampton, New York, the theory that the second coming of Christ would take place on 22 October 1843. He founded the Millerite or Adventist sect which persuaded thousands to sell their goods and, clothed in suitable robes, await the Second Coming on roofs, hilltops, and haystacks, which they believed would shorten their ascent to Heaven.
The reformers' People's Party held an unauthorized election in April, which made Dorr Governor of Rhode Island and chose a new slate of state officials. But another state government, elected under the colonial charter, defied Dorr's. Both governments appealed to President Tyler, who 14 years earlier had supported South Carolina's nullification but who now declared that only the old charter government was legal and that he would support it by force if necessary. That "Charterite" government led by Governor Sam Ward King, 56, issued warrants for Dorr's arrest, offering a reward of $5,000 ($91,100 in 2006 dollars) for his apprehension. The reformers announced that any interference from the government would be met by force of arms. Business was suspended, and the alarm was general throughout the state. Governor Sam Ward King, 56, declared martial law and asked for federal troops, which President Tyler, in spite of his earlier declaration, refused to send. Tyler stated that
the danger of domestic violence is hourly diminishing.… [However,] if resistance is made to the execution of the laws of Rhode-Island, by such force as the civil peace shall be unable to overcome, it will be the duty of this Government to enforce the constitutional guarantee--a guarantee given and adopted mutually by all the original States.In May, the reformers led an unsuccessful attack against the Providence arsenal. The Charterite defenders of the arsenal actually included Dorr's father, Sullivan Dorr, and his uncle, Crawford Allen, who together owned the Bernon Mill Village in Woonsocket. After their defeat, the reformers retreated to Chepachet, where they hoped to reconvene the People's Convention. Charterites fortified a Woonsocket house in preparation for an attack by reformers, but it never came. The Dorr Rebellion simply fell apart shortly thereafter, and Dorr fled the state.
The Charterites, thoroughly frightened by the prospect of civil war in the state, called another convention in September in Newport. There a session of the state assembly framed a new state constitution, granting the franchise to native-born white male citizens over 21 who paid a poll tax of not less than a dollar a year. The constitution was ratified by the old limited electorate before the end of the year and was proclaimed by Governor King in January of the following year (to take effect in May 1843).
Meanwhile, another Rhode Island citizen who had taken part in the rebellion, ironically named Martin Luther, had been arrested by Luther Borden, a state official. Borden had searched Luther's home and had allegedly damaged his property; Luther sued, contending that the charter government was not "republican" in nature because it had restricted the electorate to only the most propertied classes. Luther cited Article IV of the U.S. Constitution that
the United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Governmentand argued that Borden acted without proper authority. If Luther's argument were to prevail in court, Dorr's alternative republican government would be found to have been the lawful government of Rhode Island. The case escalated toward the U.S. Supreme Court.
Drawing in the public with extravagant commercials, Connecticut showman Phineas Taylor Barnum, 32, continued his career of showing carnival attractions. He had purchased Scudder's New York Museum the year before, and he now exhibited the midget Charles Sherwood Stratton ("Tom Thumb"), 4, no taller than 25 inches. He also exhibited other freaks and many hoaxes.
Thousands of Irish immigrants came to the United States, at an annual rate of 78,000. Thousands of German immigrants came to the United States, at an annual rate of 43,000. Note the conditions in Ireland that led to the massive emigration of the Irish.
British novelist Charles (John Huffman) Dickens, 30, observed during his tour of America and then reported in his American Notes the pigs swarming around Broadway in the Five Points district of New York City:
This is the place: these narrow ways diverging to the right and left, and reeking every where with dirt and filth. Such lives as are led here, bear the same fruit here as elsewhere. The coarse and bloated faces at the doors have counterparts at home and all the wide world over. Debauchery has made the very houses prematurely old. See how the rotten beams are tumbling down, and how the patched and broken windows seem to scowl dimly, like eyes that have been hurt in drunken frays. Many of these pigs live here. Do they ever wonder why their masters walk upright in lieu of going on all-fours? and why they talk instead of grunting?Dickens also advocated the abolition of slavery.
New York City developed its first municipal reservoir system: Water from Croton was piped in through hollowed-out logs leading to the Murray Hill receiving reservoir on Fifth Avenue between 40th and 42nd Streets. The city at last abandoned its wells and cisterns, thereby unknowingly eliminating the breeding places of many disease-carrying mosquitoes.
Violinist Ureli C. Hill and other professional musicians founded the symphony orchestra New York Philharmonic. Every musician except the cellist stood as they played in the manner of the Leipzig Gewandhaus concerts.
Lorenzo Delmonico, 19, opened his restaurant opposite Bowling Green in New York City, featuring European recipes prepared by European cooks and popularizing green vegetables, salads, and ices.
New York manufacturer Peter Cooper, 51, patented a gelatin dessert.
The Knickerbocker Baseball Club began playing the "New York game" in an open area near Broadway and 22nd Street in New York City.
The Erie Railroad now connected New York City with Goshen in Orange County. When the city received its first rail shipment of milk, consumers unused to butterfat-rich milk complained of the light yellow scum.
A railroad connecting Boston with Albany, NY, was completed.
The Democratic Party in New York State split over the issue of expanding the canal network with public loans--conservative "Hunkers" (named for those who "hunker" after office) for taking out the loans for public improvements and the the radical "Barnburners" (former Locofocos, named for those who would be willing to burn down the barn to get rid of the rats) for refraining.
Bouckville, NY, entrepreneur S. R. Mott began producing Mott's vinegar and Mott's apple cider.
Civil engineer Charles Ellet, Jr., designed the first wire suspension bridge in the U.S., 358 feet long and 25 feet wide, and costing $35,000 ($637,700 in 2006 dollars), over the Schuylkill River at Fairmont, near Philadelphia.
Roman Catholics in Philadelphia founded Villanova University.
The horse Fashion (favorite among Northerners) defeated Boston (favorite among Southerners) at Union Course on Long Island for a purse of $20,000 ($364,400 in 2006 dollars). There were thousands of spectators.
Boxing was quite popular: Two welterweights, Chris Lilly and Tom McCoy, fought 120 rounds with bare knuckles to a finish involving the death of McCoy.
Transcendentalist philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson, 39, pictured here, became editor of the influential periodical The Dial.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette began publication.
The U.S. Supreme Court, in the case of Prigg v. Pennsylvania, overturned an 1826 Pennsylvania law making the kidnapping of a slave a felony. The Court ruled that Pennsylvania could not stop a slave owner from recovering a slave (in accordance with the 1793 Fugitive Slave Act), but the state authorities were under no obligation to assist in the recovery.
Opponents of slavery in the North were divided into a number of sects. At the extreme left was William Lloyd Garrison, the Boston firebrand, pictured here, who demanded emancipation immediate and uncompensated, or else secession of the free states from the Union; Garrison denounced the Constitution, exclaiming that it was a "compact which exists between the North and the South" and that it was
a covenant with death and an agreement with hell--involving both parties in atrocious criminality, and [it] should be immediately annulled.According to historian James Truslow Adams(7):
The [extreme] abolitionists were ready to place their cause above all others. Slavery was a great evil, which civilized mankind was gradually growing away from, but unless the abolitionists could end it immediately, they were willing to sacrifice the nation.In the center [of the abolitionist cause] was Theodore Dwight Weld, Arthur and Lewis Tappan, and their friends in the American Anti-Slavery Society, who demanded the beginning of emancipation, compensated or otherwise, and who became an excellent pressure group for their cause. Their weekly journal The Emancipator had the largest circulation of any antislavery paper.… At the right wing of the emancipators were people who spurned the name abolitionist… and called themselves antislavery men. They opposed the extension of slavery into more United States territory, but did not propose to interfere with slavery in the states. The antislavery wing included many evangelists, such as [Charles G.] Finney, who warned "Brother Weld," his proselyte, that extreme sentiment would "roll a wave of blood over the land." Finney himself had called on Christians to join a crusade to stamp out the evil of slavery:
Let Christians of all denominations meekly but firmly come forth… and wash their hands of this thing. Let them give forth and write on the head and front of this great [evil], SIN.Similarly, Francis Wayland, 46, president of Brown University, warned the abolitionists that their agitation had
rendered any open and calm decision of this subject in the slaveholding states utterly impossible… [Abolition] would be a great calamity were it to terminate by violence, or without previous moral and social preparation.Emerson took a similar position. But most of the moderate antislavery men were eventually forced by Southern intransigence into more radical views.
When the Methodist Church in the U.S. insisted that one Southern bishop emancipate his slaves, the Southerners seceded and formed the Methodist Church South on a proslavery basis.
Ohio Congressman Joshua Reed Giddings, 47, was censured by the House of Representatives for introducing antislavery resolutions. He resigned his seat but was reelected.
Abolitionists sent tens of thousands of anti-slavery petitions to the 27th Congress. The House of Representatives continued to pass "gag resolutions," declaring that all petitions or papers "relating in any way" to slavery or the abolition thereof be "laid on the table" (and forgotten) without liberty of debate, and receive no further action. Massachusetts Congressman John Quincy Adams, 75, pictured here, continued to denounce the gag rule, in spite of exasperated threats of censure, expulsion, and even assassination. Using his knowledge of parliamentary practice and his harsh and bitter eloquence, he continued to present such petitions (and most of them had been addressed to him), one by one, sometimes as many as 200 in a single day, demanding the attention of the House of Representatives to each separate petition, thereby defending the right of even the poorest and humblest American to petition Congress. Abolitionist Theodore Dwight Weld, 39, came to Washington to participate, and in a letter to his wife he described a lively debate where Adams defended himself like a bear at bay(8):
Quoted in Morison, op. cit., pp. 522-23. (Close)
Old Nestor lifted up his voice like a trumpet; till slave-holding, slave trading and slave breeding absolutely quailed and howled under his dissecting knife. Mr. Adams had said the day before that he should present some petitions that would set them in a blaze, so I took care to be in the house at the time, and such a scene I never witnessed. Lord Morpeth, the English abolitionist of whom you have heard, was present and sat within a few feet of Mr. Adams, his fine intelligent face beaming with delight as the old man breasted the storm and dealt his blows upon the head of the monster. Wise of Virginia, Rayner of North Carolina, W. C. Johnson of Maryland, and scores more of slaveholders, striving constantly to stop him by starting questions of order and by every now and then screaming at the top of their voices: "That is false!" "I demand, Mr. Speaker, that you shut the mouth of that old harlequin!" A perfect uproar like Babel would burst forth every two or three minutes as Mr. Adams with his bold surgery would smite his cleaver into the very bones. At least half of the slaveholding members of the house left their seats and gathered in the quarter of the Hall where Mr. Adams stood. Whenever any of them broke upon him, Mr. Adams would say, "I see where the shoe pinches, Mr. Speaker, it will pinch more yet!" "If before I get through every slaveholder, slave trader and slave breeder on this floor does not get materials for bitter reflection it shall be no fault of mine."At one point Adams presented a petition signed by 45 citizens of Haverhill, Massachusetts, praying that Congress immediately take measures peacefully to dissolve the Union of States, because it was not agreeable, did not present prospects of reciprocal ideas, and would in its present form bring destruction in the end. Though Adams most fervently disagreed with the aim of the petition, he proposed that it be referred to a special committee to outline reasons why the prayer should not be granted. Ironically, so heated was the feeling among Southerners against Adams and everything he did, that his proposal's most furious assailants were from the very states that continually talked of secession. One Southerner moved to burn the petition in the presence of the House. Another offered a resolution to censure the member who presented such a petition.
There were shoutings and scenes of tense excitement as the House adjourned for the day.
Adams's opponents believed that at last they had him where they could crush him. That night a motion was framed, which charged that the petition Adams had offered involved high treason. The following day, April 25, with Thomas Francis Marshall, 41, of Kentucky as spokesman, it was offered with the provision that Mr. Adams, for presenting the offensive petition, should receive the severest censure of the House.
While Marshall delivered his speech denouncing Adams, the galleries were crowded and the membership of the House was fully represented. When the Kentuckian finished he was applauded by his supporters. But Speaker John White, also of Kentucky, called for order and announced that Mr. Adams was entitled to the floor.
The old, bald, gray man, "his hands trembling with constitutional infirmity and age," rose, and after a few short remarks, said, in reply to the "audacious charge of high treason":I call for the reading of the first paragraph of the Declaration of Independence.When the passage was read, which solemnly proclaims the right of reform, revolution, and resistance to oppression--When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.--the old man thundered,Read that again!The reading was in fact a vindication of him, in the sentences of the nation's own Magna Charta; and the sympathetic revulsion of feeling in the House and galleries was instantly evident. Though the debate lasted a little longer, the feeling of the members had changed. Adams was showered with compliments by his colleagues not only from the North, but from the South as well.(9)
Quoted in Wellman, op. cit., pp. 203-204. (Close)
Lard oil was replacing the more expensive whale oil in lamps.
More and more men were growing mustaches.
It was considered vulgar to mention "trousers" or "pants." Here are some sample quotes that include substitutes for describing this garment:(10)
Quoted in McCutcheon, Marc, Everyday Life in the 1800s: A Guide for Writers, Students & Historians (Cincinnati, OH: Writer's Digest Books, 1993), 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.
The Citadel was founded at Charleston, SC.
Ohio Wesleyan University was founded in Delaware, OH.
John Chapman, 67, known as "Johnny Appleseed," continued distributing Swedenborgian religious tracts and apple seeds to settlers in the Indiana wilderness. 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."
French Catholic missionary Edward Frederick Sorin, 28, founded Notre Dame University in South Bend, IN.
Bavarian immigrant Adam Gimbel, 26, purchased a 2½-story frame dentist's office and converted it into a trading post (soon to be department store) in Vincennes, IN, advertising "Fairness and Equality of All Patrons, whether they be Residents of the City, Plainsmen, Traders or Indians."
The 6-foot-4-inch-tall, 180-pound, narrow-chested, stoop-shouldered melancholic Illinois state assemblyman Abraham Lincoln, 33, a Whig, wrote pseudonymous letters to the Sangamo Journal of Springfield, impugning the honor of Democrat state auditor James Shields, 36, for not allowing notes from the Springfield State Bank, Lincoln's pet bank, from being honored. After a fourth scurrilous pseudonymous letter was written, actually by Lincoln's friend Mary Todd, 24 (with whom he had been temporarily engaged a year previously), and her friend Julia Jayne, implying that Shields was a coward, Shields challenged Lincoln to a duel. The two were finally reconciled before the duel, however, and Lincoln resolved never again to ridicule anyone. Lincoln was soon engaged again, and soon married as well, with Mary Todd.
John Deere, 38, peddled to farmers in the vicinity of Grand Detour, IL, some hundred of his lightweight steel-moldboard plows, which could be pulled by a horse rather than by a team of slow-moving oxen.
Illinois became the leading U.S. source of fluorspar (calcium fluoride), useful as a metallurgical flux.
Knox College was founded by Presbyterians in Galesburg, IL.
Iowa Wesleyan University was founded.
The entire Cherokee Nation in Indian Territory (Oklahoma) was split into two mutually hostile factions, the "Old Settlers," who had moved west years earlier in response to pressure from white settlers, and the Eastern Cherokees, who had arrived from (and had survived) the 1838 forced removal they called Nuna-da-ut-sun'y ("The Trail Where They Cried"), better known as the "Trail of Tears." Several missionaries and teachers who had been with the Indians a long time in the East had come with the Eastern Cherokees on the cruel journey. Now new teachers were arriving from the North. Some of these missionaries were violently opposed to slavery, but the Indian agents and other government officials, many of whom were from the South, believed in slavery very strongly, and, in fact, several Cherokees owned slaves.
Joseph Smith, 37, pictured here, was the "Prophet" of the 12-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.
Responding to persistent hatred from "gentiles" (non-Mormons), typically reacting to the polygamy doctrine but sometimes to bank fraud and general nuisance, the ever-growing Mormon congregation had been migrating from bases in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Missouri, and finally, 3 years earlier, to their own very rapidly growing theocratic settlement in Hancock County, Illinois, which they called "Nauvoo," with its own state charter authorizing independent municipal courts, the foundation of a university, and even its own army, the "Nauvoo Legion." The settlement continued to attract new followers, many of them from Liverpool, England, where Smith's lieutenant Brigham Young, 41, had promised poor workers and tenant farmers the prospect of decent living and later on heavenly "thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers."
Smith further inflamed the local gentiles by receiving a revelation specifically authorizing polygamy. Also, robbers and outlaws gathered within the settlement, called themselves "Mormons," and used the town as a base for committing crimes in the region. They then would take refuge in Nauvoo, secure from arrest from the county sheriff. The true Mormons were fanatics labeling all other forms of religion the "works of the devil," and they defended anyone who called himself a Mormon.
Passionate interest in Oregon grew among American farmers, who heard tales of wheat that grew taller than a man and turnips that were 5 feet around. "Oregon fever" was infecting frontier folk in Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, and Iowa.
U.S. Army Lieutenant John Charles Frémont, 29, pictured here, guided by trapper Christopher "Kit" Carson, 33, in an expedition from the Mississippi River to Wyoming's South Pass, mapped the Oregon Trail.
Physician Elijah White, 36, newly appointed Indian agent for the Northwest, led 120 emigrants to Oregon in a wagon train of about a hundred canvas-covered Conestoga wagons nicknamed "prairie schooners," with a herd of cattle on the hoof. He had mountain man Thomas "Broken Hand" Fitzpatrick, 43, as his guide. Fitzpatrick helped the party escape a raid of Sioux warriors near Independence Rock.
The 6-year-old Christian mission of Dr. Marcus Whitman, 40, and his wife, Narcissa Prentiss Whitman, 26, continued to flourish among the Cayuse Indians at Waiilatpu in the Walla Walla Valley of eastern Oregon Country. The missionaries had established schools and grist mills and had introduced crop irrigation. Unfortunately, however, the Cayuse were nervous about agriculture, since they believed that to plow the ground was to desecrate the spirit of the Earth. There were also misunderstandings because of the huge migration of white emigrants into Oregon: The Cayuse expected payment from wagon trains passing through their territory and eating the wild food on which the tribespeople depended; the settlers did not understand this and instead drove away the men sent to exact payment, in the belief that they were merely "beggars."
Missions were now being established not only among the Cayuse but also among the Flatheads (near the site of present-day Spokane, WA) and the Nez Percé, who were using a New Testament printed in the Nez Percé language.
Florida physician John Gorrie, 39, devised a method for cooling his wife's sickroom in Apalachicola: letting a vessel of ammonia drip from the top of a stepladder, thereby making artificial ice.
Virginia poet and novelist Edgar Allan Poe, 33, serialized "The Masque of the Red Death" in Graham's Magazine, which he edited until he was fired for drunkenness; his "The Mystery of Marie Roget" appeared in Snowden's Ladies Companion; he also produced "The Raven"; George Washington Harris, 28, published his humorous tales in Spirit of the Times; and poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 36, published "Poems of Slavery," "Excelsior," and "The Rainy Day," which contained the line
Into each life some rain must fall.Writer Washington Irving, 59, was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Spain. Author Samuel Woodworth died at the age of 58, and Joseph Hopkinson, the lawyer who had composed "Hail Columbia," died at the age of 72.
Other popular periodicals included the Niles' Weekly Register, the American Journal of Science, American Farmer, Christian Watchman, Saturday Evening Post, New York Mirror, National Preacher, Godey's Lady's Book, 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 "Old Rosin the Beau," "Flow Gently, Sweet Afton," "Home Sweet Home," "America," "Turkey in the Straw," "Amazing Grace," and "Woodman, Spare That Tree."
Showman Edwin Pearce Christy, 27, founded the Christy Minstrels. Here is a description of a typical minstrel show by historian Samuel Eliot Morison(11):
Morison, op. cit., pp. 495-96. (Close)
In the first act the performers, most of them white men in blackface, sat in a semicircle around the interlocutor, a dignified colored gentleman in dress suit who acted both as master of ceremonies and butt for the jokes of the end men--"Mistah Tambo" who banged a tambourine, and "Mistah Bones" who rattled castanets. Besides repartee and horseplay, the cast played banjo melodies and sang comic or sentimental songs. The second act, known as the olio, included a "hoe-down" dance, comic parodies of grand opera, and a "walk-around," in which the players one by one took the center of the stage for individual songs or dances while the rest clapped time to the music.
Commodore Thomas ap Catesby Jones, 52, an American naval officer cruising in western waters, landed and captured the town of Monterey, under the mistaken impression that the U.S. had declared war against Mexico. He held possession for just one day.
In the meantime U.S. Secretary of State Daniel Webster was toying with the idea of trying to negotiate with Mexico to purchase California--or at least the ideal harbor of San Francisco Bay.
Under the Texas constitution, Sam Houston, 49, had been unable to succeed himself and had been forced to watch from the sidelines during the interim presidency of Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar, 44, who had won the overwhelming hostility of the Indians and had emptied the treasury just when Mexico was threatening again.
Mexican forces made a fantastic, and unsuccessful, raid into Texas, presumably to reclaim the lost province. On-again, off-again hostilities continued between the Texans and the Mexicans.
In Mexico itself, the treasury of Dictator President Antonio López de Santa Anna, 48, pictured here, dried up and the army was unable to collect its pay. Forced out by a rebellion, Santa Anna went into hiding in the rugged mountains. The moderate, fairly sensible José Joaquín de Herrera, 50, took over as President.
The year-old civil war continued in Peru.
Poet-scholar Andres Bello, 60, founded the University of Chile in Santiago.
Bernardo O'Higgins, the liberator of Chile, died at the age of 64.
Manuel Oribe, 46, former President of Uruguay who had been ousted from power 4 years earlier, in alliance with Juan Manuel de Rosas, 47, the dictator of Argentina, started a civil war in Uruguay, in his effort to overthrow the government of President José Fructuoso Rivera, 52. He began besieging the capital, Montevideo. De Rosas was intent on making both Uruguay and Paraguay client states of Argentina.
Parliament did, however, pass the Mine Act, forbidding women and children to work in the mines.
Strikes and riots disrupted industrial areas in northern England.
Sanitary reformer Edwin Chadwick, 42, exposed the horrible squalor in Britain's milltown slums in his Poor Law commissioner's report, Sanitary Conditions of the Labouring Population of Great Britain; the report demonstrated the much higher incidence of disease among the working class than those in the middle and upper classes. As a result of the report, the Health of Towns Association was established, demanding "the simple blessings of Air, Water and Light" for everyone and calling for several substitutions:
health for disease, cleanliness for filth, enlightened self-interest for ignorant selfishness
English heroine Grace Darling, who had saved 9 people in a shipwreck, died at the age of 27.
The weekly periodical Illustrated World began publication in London, making extensive use of engravings and woodcuts.
Queen Victoria, 23, pictured here, traveled from Windsor to Paddington, London, by train.
Irish tenant farmers, on the 663,153 landholdings of less than 15 acres, were attempting to raise cattle and grain in order to raise rent money; for their own food they were dependent on potatoes. Bread was more expensive than whiskey, resulting in widespread drunkenness. Some 60,000 people were emigrating each year. Note Irish immigration into the United States and the conditions experienced by the immigrants.
A railway act in France provided for the government to construct roadbeds, bridges, tunnels, and stations.
A train between Paris and Versailles, pulled by two locomotives, jumped the tracks and caught fire, trapping many passengers inside the wooden carriages.
There are some 60 sugar beet factories in France, producing approximately 2 pounds of sugar per capita each year.
A 100-hour fire destroyed much of Hamburg, Germany, destroying thousands of dwellings (20 percent of the city) and killing some 100 people; damage reached $35 million ($637,700 in 2006 dollars). Contributions to help rebuild the city poured in from other German states and principalities.
The Buitoni factory in Italy produced 3,600 pounds of pasta every day.
Prince Michael III Obrenovic was ousted from Serbia by opponents who resented his heavy taxation. Aleksandr Karageorgevic, 36, was elected to succeed him.
The United States recognized the government of Hawaiian King Kamehameha III (Kauikeaouli), 29.
The British Parliament rejected the punchcard-programmed calculating machine ("analytical engine") of English mathematician Charles Babbage, 50, even though it had advanced £17,000 into the project over the preceding 9 years, supplemented by £20,000 of Babbage's own capital. Prime Minister Robert Peel quipped:
How about setting the machine to calculate the time at which it will be of use?(12)An Italian engineer then published an account in French of Babbage's "difference engine" (its original name). Augusta Ada Lovelace, 29, the only legitimate daughter of Lord Byron, translated the account into English and published it in Scientific Memoirs. Lovelace compared the machine with the Jacquard loom of 1801, also programmed with punched cards:
This and the following quotation are from Trager, op. cit., p. 444. (Close)
It weaves algebraic patterns just as the jacquard loom weaves flowers and leaves.Lovelace and Babbage form a partnership and try to use the machine to develop an "infallible" betting system for horse races.
German organic chemist Adolf Wilhelm Hermann Kolbe, 27, synthesized acetic acid; German chemist Baron Justus von Liebig, 39, published Die Thierchemie, studying animal tissues and suggesting that animal heat is a result of combustion, a suggestion that led to the science of biochemistry; German physicist Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand von Helmholtz, 21, described the relation between nerve fibers and nerve cells; Austrian physicist Johann Christian Andreas Doppler, 39, published On the colored Light of Binary Stars, describing the effect named after him, relating the frequency of a sound or light wave to motion; and Swedish anthropologist and anatomist Anders Adolf Retzius devised the cranial index for determining race according to skull size.
German scientist Julius Robert von Mayer, 28, published On the Forces of Inanimate Nature, which was foundational in the study of thermodynamics; and German scientist Ernst Werner von Siemens, 26, invented an electroplating process. French chemist and codiscoverer of strychnine and quinine Pierre Joseph Pelletier died at the age of 54, and Scots anatomist Sir Charles Bell died at the age of 68.
In the spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of lovePoems also included "Sir Galahad," "Morte d'Arthur," "Godiva," "Break, Break, Break," and "Ulysses." Irish man of letters William Maginn died at the age of 49, Irish poet John Banim died at the age of 44, Scots poet Allan Cunningham died at the age of 56, and British author Lady Maria Dundas Calcott died at the age of 57. Educator and Rugby headmaster Thomas Arnold died at the age of 47, and landscape painter John S. Cotman died at the age of 60.
French artist Théodore Rousseau painted Under the Birches, Evening, thereby establishing the Barbizon school of landscape painting. French portrait painter Marie Anne Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun died at the age of 87.
Austrian dramatist Johann Nestroy, 41, produced Einen Jux will er sich machen ("He Wants to Have a Lark") in Vienna; French librettist Augustin Eugène Scribe, 51, published La Verre d'eau ("A Glass of Water"); French novelist Honoré de Balzac, 43, published his incorporation of scores of short stories and novels into La Comédie Humaine ("The Human Comedy"); French novelist Eugène Sue, 37, published the 10-volume bestseller Les Mystères de Paris, which described the Parisian underworld; Spanish dramatist José Zorilla y Moral produced El Zapatero y el Rey ("The Shoemaker and the King") at the Teatro de la Cruz in Madrid; and Russian novelist Nikolai Gogol published the first part of Metitrye Dushi ("Dead Souls"). French novelist Marie Henri Beyle (Stendhal) died at the age of 59, Spanish poet José de Espronceda died at the age of 32, and German poet and novelist Clemens Brenato died at the age of 64.