From the Otsego Herald
for Saturday, Nov. 28, 1812
Compiled, with comments
by HUGH C. MacDOUGALL
Weather: Utica 1812 Almanack: A spell of cloudy weather, then clear.
Died, in Burlington on the First inst. [Nov.] MR. JOHN PERKINS, in the 63rd year of his age; being at a conference meeting, at No. 10 Schoolhouse, the circumstances of his death are as follows:
He came to the meeting well, and was called on to make the first prayer, which he attended with much engageness [sic] of mind, and seeming impressed with a sense of the worth of precious and immortal soul, just at the close of prayer seemed to fail somewhat in his speech, when he sit down and immediately expired.
He was an examplary [sic] man, and a good member of society, whose loss we mourn, tho’ believing that to him it is a great gain; we add further that he has been a professor of a religious and steady traveller in the church for rising of thirty years.
COMMENT: John Perkins (1749-1812) came from Rhode Island, and his ancestor had come to America in 1630 along with Roger Williams. During the Revolution served as Ensign in the First Rhode Island Regiment in 1783. He moved to Pownal, Vt. in 1785, and came with his family to Burlington in 1794. His wife was Elizabeth (Harrington) Perkins (1749-1825), also from Rhode Island, and they had eleven children. He is buried in Burlington Flats. He was a Baptist.
Joseph Wilkinson, has just received from New-York, and offers for sale, a complete assortment of FALL and WINTER GOODS, CONSISTING OF Dry-Goods, Crockery, Hollow-Ware, Glass-Ware, and Groceries. Among the latter are ST. CROIX RUM, and CONIAC BRANDY, warranted of the most approved flavor.
The above goods having been purchased, with cash and on contract, in New-York; he is enabled to afford them at the Albany prices, with the additional expense of transportation.
15000 BUSHELS of various kinds of GRAIN wanted, the terms made known by applying to the subscriber. Cash paid for Wheat.
N.B. A quantity of warranted AXES; likewise a few Cwt. [hundred weight] of genuine English Blistered Steel for sale. A liberal credit given.
31st Oct. 1812.
COMMENT: Like most retailers, Joseph Wilkinson not only sold consumer goods, but was ready to purchase the products of the farmers who would buy them. We may hope that he did well by this advertisement, because his house and store, on what is now Main Street, burned down on March 17, 1814.
[More] New goods
The subscriber has just received a fresh supply of:
DRY-GOODS & GROCERIES, Cutlery and Hard-Ware, Crockery and Glass-Ware, Dye-Woods & Dye-Stuffs, Drugs & Medicines, &c. &c.
Which will be sold low for ready pay....
T. R. AUSTIN. Unadilla, Nov. 13,1812
COMMENT: Thaddeus Richard Austin (1778-1852) was born near Hartford, CT., and died in Otego (which until 1822 was a part of the Town of Unadilla). He served as Town Supervisor of Unadilla in 1819-1820. Austin married Bethiah (Fairman) Austin (1785-1868), and they had seven children. In 1830 Austin promoted the building of a toll bridge over Otsdawa Creek, and in 1834, he helped found the Immanuel Protestant Episcopal Church in Otego, and donated the land on which its church was built.
From Stuart Banyar Blakely, “The History of Otego” (1907): “Before 1803 Thaddeus R. Austin, a Connecticut Yankee, was merchant...on the site of the present Bowe block. In 1812 he built a new store directly across the street, which is now occupied by the post office. He also erected a two-storied frame building on the site of the Susquehanna House, in front of which was a lawn with trees and a flower garden. The latter was a great curiosity, for any but wild flowers were then a rarity.
“Austin was said to be of French descent. His brother, Roderick, who had lived thirty years in France, came from “down East way” to spend his declining years with his brother. We can imagine him sitting in the little country store maintaining a silence about his past that none dared break. Rumor had it that he had been a pirate on the seas. The truth is that he had been a privateersman on a ship called “The True Blooded Yankee.”
“An old man, in 1852 T. R. Austin sold out his interests here and started for Wisconsin, whither he had sent his household goods. He was taken sick at Unadilla where he died, and was brought back and buried in the town that he wished never to see again. Austin was the promoter of many enterprises, ‘bought and sold everything and was the agent for the Banyar estate.’ He was a very aristocratic and dressy man, ‘noted for the magnificence of his ruffled shirt bosoms.’ He is said to have been a passenger on Fulton’s steamboat on its first trip up the Hudson river.”
Extract from a letter from an officer in Plattsburgh, dated Nov. 6, 1812.
‘Our Camp is about 23 miles from the enemy’s country, where every thing remains perfectly tranquil. We have at this place between 1 and 2000 regular troops and 2 or 3000 militia, a great proportion of the latter are from Vermont, and have volunteered.....
“It is the opinion of many officers that a descent will be made on Canada this fall -- whether we go into winter quarters on this side the line, or look for them in Montreal must be decided in a very few days.”
COMMENT: In northern climates like ours, virtually all armies quit fighting and “went into winter quarters” during the winter months. American troops never reached Montreal during the War of 1812.