BY HUGH C. MACDOUGALL
Remarkable Geographical Fact. -- The island of Boffen, or Penguin, sometimes called Seal Island, at the Western extremity of Table Bay has entirely disappeared beneath the waters. A convulsion was felt at Cape Town, in December, only two leagues distant, by which some damage was occasioned to the houses, but we do not understand that any lives were lost at that place, and it is supposed the earthquake extended to Boffen.
The island was about two miles in length, and one in breadth. The Dutch, when in possession of the Cape, kept a guard of 24 men on Boffen, and it was employed as a place of banishment for criminals. No women were then permitted to reside there, not even the wife of the Post-Master. At the southern extremity of the Island, a flag was hoisted on the approach of any vessel. -- London paper.
COMMENT: The widely reported disappearance of this island, following an earthquake on December 7, 1809, proved to be false. Today it is called Robben Island, and it remains at the entrance of Table Bay at Cape Town, South Africa. It served for many years as a political prison -- Nelson Mandela, the leader of the South African freedom movement, was incarcerated there from 1964 to 1982. Great Britain had conquered the Cape Colony from the Dutch in 1795, leading its Dutch settlers (Afrikaaners) to retreat to new nations (Orange Free State and Transvaal) in the interior where they remained until the South African War at the end of the 19th century.
THE FREEMAN’S JOURNAL
James Elliot, the crackbrained writer for the Freeman’s Journal, has commenced a series of letters on the very new, plausible and most edifying subject of French Influence! He is going to bring forward a volume of evidence to prove this foul blot on our country’s honor as plain as `pike-staff,’ and shew it in its `form and pressure -- very like a whale.’
Now if this poor hypochondriac, this ``motley fool’’ were not absolutely in a state of mind bordering on the wildest mania, and pitiable in the extreme, we should conceive it our duty to spend a serious moment in exposing his melancholy ravings or gloomy moans of his prosaic muse.
But as the case is, they must be suffered to pass as unregarded trash, and their author considered fortunate if he escapes the mad-house.
His attempt to elucidate French influence in our government and country will prove as impotent as his threat to impeach the president, which he so seriously and ludicrously made at Washington a short time since. -- Columbian (a New York City newspaper published 1809-1820).
COMMENT: No, this is not the Cooperstown ``Freeman’s Journal,’’ which, though founded in 1808, did not adopt its present name until 1818. ``Freeman’s Journal’’ was, in fact, quite a popular name for newspapers.
James Elliott (1775-1839) published the Philadelphia ``Freeman’s Journal’’ in 1808- 09. He was also a Federalist Congressman from Vermont from 1803-1809, which no doubt explains the Otsego Herald’s reprinting of these nasty remarks about him.
It was a standard Federalist argument to link the Jeffersonian Republican Party with France (and hence with violent revolution). Elliot’s columns written from Washington D.C., and printed in several newspapers over the signature of ``Ariel,’’ have led him to be considered one of America’s first Washington newspaper correspondents.
Lately died at Arnheim, in Holland, Mathys Bademaker, at the great age of 110 years. He worked at his trade, as a shoemaker, until the age of 90. He was only once married,and had no more than two children, both females.
Both of these, however, having married, the old man died grandfather to 10 persons, and great grandfather to 20, the eldest of whom was 21 years of age at the time of his decease.
He retained his faculties and health until within three weeks of his death. When King Louis visited Arnheim last year, he settled a pension of 400 guilders on him.
From that time he drank three bumpers of wine a day, in which he did not forget the health of his benefactor.
COMMENT: Perhaps the ``three bumpers of wine a day’’ were not so good for his own health. This story was copied, almost verbatim, from a long article entitled ``Obituary, with Anecdotes, of Remarkable Persons,’’ which appeared in the March 1810 issue of “The Gentleman’s Magazine and Historical Chronicle,’’ published in London.
BY HUGH C. MACDOUGALL
Taking risks and getting out of my comfort zone
I never thought that I would be trapped in so many whirlwinds of stressful thoughts about where I'm taking my life. There are so many different options to choose from, and so many decisions that have to be made. I feel like I am falling into an endless pit, awaiting my final decision that will inevitably lead me into the unknown that is my future.Continued ...
Denmark meeting expectations
Hej! My name is Max Ofer, and I am in Denmark through the Rotary Youth Exchange Program. I live in a small town called Hjallerup, consisting of 3000 people, in the northern part of Jutland, the main peninsula of Denmark.Continued ...
Local Voices From Around The Globe: Settling in and having a smooth transition
Oi! I'm spending my junior year as a Rotary Exchange student in Brazil.Continued ...
Teen Talk: Getting working experience has had its bumps in the road
Stepping into the working world has proven to be a lot harder than I thought it would be.Continued ...
Getting to attend a journalism and media conference
What has social media got to do with journalism? Why does the media focus on the topics it does, and how does that shape public opinion?Continued ...
Local Voice From Around the Globe:Thinking, 'How can this be?' all over again
I have at last bid farewell to India, and come home. However, the thread of my story did not stop at the departure gate, but continues on uninhibited, having only changed course.Continued ...
There is good, there is bad and then there is high school
Looking back at all my endeavors since freshmen year in high school, I realize that life moves on in a blink of an eye.Continued ...
Getting to know a man called 'Ee-yah'
Hughie Jennings died in 1928, but I feel like I know him well.Continued ...
Local Voice From Around the Globe: Keeping Thai while re-entering America
As I've begun my American life again, spending time with friends, holding up a job, etc, I've been able to stay above the tide of reverse culture shock and the sort of post-exchange despair that is common at this time for exchange students by meditating on some Thai-inspired thoughts.Continued ...
A new kind of racing is turning a dream into reality
There are really no words to describe getting on a race horse, getting behind the starting gate and taking off full speed at a trot. All I can say is it is a bumpy ride that gets the cheeks bouncing and your helmet pushing back in the wind.Continued ...
Fight to keep chicken alive has taken several attempts
I agree with the narrator of Robert Frost's poem "Mending Wall" that good fences make good neighbors - most of the time.Continued ...
'Read My Lips' may not be a memoir for everyone
Sometimes an actor or actress can be defined by a singular performance. Everyone remembers Vivian Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara in "Gone With the Wind," but most people would be hard pressed to name any of her other films (I can name one, "Caesar & Cleopatra," only because I saw it for a class in college).Continued ...
Local Voices From Around the Globe: It's been a year of inexplicable joy, struggle, hilarity and triumph
Recently I went with my host mother to travel through a central province of Thailand called Kanchanaburi. Here, I was able to sit among and pet sleeping tigers at a temple that serves as a tiger reserve/zoo.Continued ...
Attack on Sacket's Harbor
Sacket's Harbor, near the beginning of the St. Lawrence River from Lake Ontario, was the principal American naval base on Lake Ontario during the War of 1812.Continued ...
Once again, hope springs eternal ...
We are happy to report that although Mother Nature did her best to thwart the annual Upper Pioneer Street Block Party, she was not successful.Continued ...
Local performs costumed recitations of Casey at the Bat
Since 1996, I have had the privilege of doing costumed recitations of Casey at the Bat as part of my job at the Baseball Hall of Fame. Iâ€™ve performed the poem an estimated 2,000 times in 22 states, at ballparks, conferences, classrooms, Hall of Fame Induction ceremonies, weddings and other events.Continued ...
E-readers come in handy when traveling
I recently took a trip to California and it was the perfect time to make use of my e-reader. While I'm still devoted to actual books, I must admit that traveling with a thin, lightweight computerized device beats dragging along one or two bulky hard copy titles. The only issue is finding the right e-books to take on the airplaneContinued ...
Local Voices From Around the Globe: Arriving at the last bend in the River
The month of May is the height of the summer in India, a time best spent indoors with a good book and a sliced mango for company.Continued ...
Cooperstown election and law
On Tuesday the 18th inst. [May], the following persons were elected officers for this village for the ensuing year: --Continued ...
Local Voices From Around the Globe: Exchange has taught me to love my flaws
Hello from Germany! I'm currently on my second Euro Tour visiting and exploring most of Europe.Continued ...
- Taking risks and getting out of my comfort zone