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April 29, 2010

Otsego Herald: Otsego County holds elections

Hugh MacDougall

— From the Otsego Herald

for Saturday, April 28, 1810

Compiled, with comments

OTSEGO RETURNED TO THE WASHINGTON SYSTEM!

 From information received, we conceive it nearly certain that the county of Otsego has, as we predicted, given a handsome republican majority for governor, lieut. governor, senators, member of congress and assembly men.... We have heard from every town in the county, and the majorities for members of assembly are as follows: Otsego, 100

Federalist; Plainfield,19 Federalist;

Middlefield, 166 Federalist;

Springfield, 118 Federalist; Cherry

Valley, 36 Federalist; Hartwick,

103 Republican; Butternuts, 52

Republican; Milford; 61 Republican;

Otego, 10 Republican;

Exeter, 8 Republican; Burlington,

39 Republican; Richfield, 57

Republican; Worcester, 53 Republican;

Westford, 74 Republican;

Decatur, 4 Republican; Maryland,

4 Republican; Unadilla, 83 Republican;

Edmeston, 40 Republican;

Pittsfield, 54 Republican; New-

Lisbon, 45 Republican.

Majorities, 439 Federalis, 687

Republican

TOTAL REPUBLICAN MAJORITY 248

COMMENT: Otego is what is now Oneonta; the Towns of Otego, Morris, Laurens, and Roseboom had not yet been created.

Note that the Towns with Federalist majorities are those which had been under the political control of Federalist Judge William Cooper until his death in 1809. These figures seem to have been unofficial.

REVOLUTIONISTS IN CANADA On the 21st ult. (March), the Governor General of Canada, published a proclamation, announcing that certain seditious and treasonous writings had been printed, published and circulated in the Province of Lower Canada, disseminated at a very great expence, the source of which was not known; and that some of the authors, printers, and publishers had been apprehended and secured.

He calls on the civil and military officers, and all good subjects to be vigilant in detecting and securing for punishment all persons guilty in preparing or circulating seditious papers -- and contradicts the accusations which evil disposed persons have spread against himself and the government.

COMMENT: The seditious paper circulated in Lower Canada (i.e., Quebec) was the Frenchlanguage newspaper ``Le Canadien,’’ whose motto was ``Our Institutions, Our Language, Our Rights.’’ Established in Quebec City in 1806, ``Le Canadien’’ became the spokesman for French Canadians, and it was said that Americans were secretly supporting it. It was suppressed in 1810 and its editor arrested. ``Canada’’ at this time consisted of what are now two Canadian provinces, Ontario (Upper Canada) and Quebec (Lower Canada). Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland were still separate British colonies.

STEPHEN BURROUGHS Montreal, March 26. A warrant has been given out by Oliver Barker, esq. for the apprehension of Stephen Burroughs, as an idle, disorderly person; whereby the said Burroughs was apprehended and condemned to one month’s confinement in the house of correction (which happens to be the jail) at Three Rivers. It is expected that before the expiration of this period he will be disposed of in such a manner that he will not afterwards trouble this province with his pretence.

COMMENT: To describe Stephen Burroughs (1765-1840) as disorderly is an understatement, but he was anything but idle. He was born in Hanover, New Hampshire, where he was described as ``the worst boy in town.’’ Over his long life he was best known as a counterfeiter, and for his ability to break out of jail. But he was also a schoolteacher, and apparently a very good one, ``beloved by his pupils,’’ as well as something of a philanthropist. After a series of adventures in Massachusetts, he fled to Three Rivers (Trois Rivieres) in Quebec, Canada, where he spent much of his life heading a gang of counterfeiters, taught school, and died in 1840. In 1798 he published an autobiography (``Memoirs of My Own Life’’) which went through a great many editions and is still in print. An early biography says of him:

``his strange course of villainy made him notorious throughout the country.’’

FASHION NEWS

Among the presentations to the Queen of England on her birthday (18th Jan.) was Mrs. Pinkney -- the following description of her dress on that occasion was given in all the London papers:

Mrs. PINKNEY (the American Ambassador’s Lady) -- Geranium velvet; embroidered silver drapery, festooned with bullion rope and tassels; train of geranium velvet, embroidered in silver. Head-dress, feathers and diamonds.

COMMENT: This description was also printed in London magazines, along with the equally fancy costumes worn by all the other notables at the birthday party of Queen Charlotte (1738-1820), under the heading of ``Fashions for February.’’