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November 29, 2012

New goods

(Continued)

“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.”

War news

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.

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