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September 9, 2010

Otsego Herald: Merchants ask customers to pay up

— From the Otsego Herald for Saturday, September 8, 1810 Compiled, with comments



The Trenton True American gives us an account of great progress in religion in Georgia, principally with the Baptists and Methodists, and among other good effects is mentioned its influence on the slaves, and on slaveholders in ameliorating the treatment of their servants. — The Columbian, Aug. 28.

COMMENT: A very large proportion of newspaper ``news’’ published in the Otsego Herald was in fact copied (usually, but not always, with credits) from other newspapers.

The Post Office at this time allowed newspaper publishers to exchange their papers with each other without paying any postage, thus encouraging the spread of information around the nation. The True American was a weekly in Trenton, New Jersey, and The Columbian was a daily paper in New York City. Both, like the Herald, were supporters of the Jefferson-Madison Republican Party.


Extract of a letter from an American at Constantinople to a gentleman in Boston, dated April 21, 1810.

Yesterday a fire broke out in Pera, one of the divisions of the suburbs, and to the N. and E. of Constantinople. It raged with the greatest degree of rapidity, and presented a truly terrific sight to the spectators.

At 11 o’clock it extended nearly a mile, and formed one continual flame; nor was any stop put to it until sunset, when some stone buildings stopped in some measure its rapid progress, and about midnight its ravages were nearly at an end. It is supposed that 30,000 are now in the fields, and burial grounds with the little they were able to snatch from the destructive element. It is supposed that about 8000 buildings were entirely consumed.

COMMENT: Pera is the name of that portion of Constantinople (today’s Istambul) on the European side of the Bosporus. The British traveler and politician John Cam Hobhouse (1786-1869, First Baron Broughton), who was visiting the Ottoman Empire in 1810, wrote that: ``A fire which had burned down nearly the half of Pera, rendered it difficult to procure lodgings, but in three days we were settled at a house in the main street....

On the conflagration in Pera, just before our arrival, Sultan Mahmoud posted himself at Galata Serai.... He distributed, according to custom, several bags of piasters among the assisting populace. The householders are by no means gainers by this singular usage, which has often been the cause, and contributed to the continuance, of fires.... The Turks, who are very expert at pulling down the houses adjoining to those where the fire rages, often wait until the arrival of the Sultan ensures them payment for their exertions, and employ the interval in pillaging. The number of general fires in the capital and in the suburbs, cannot be rated at less than three annually.... The houses, of lath and unburnt brick, are soon rebuilt, and the inhabitants prepare by lodging all their valuables in a chest.’’


NOTICE: All persons indebted to the Subscribers in sums which ought to have been paid, one, two, three or four years ago, are hereby requested to settle the same by the 1st day of October next.

Those who treat the above with neglect, will (of necessity) be put to cost immediately after that date. COOK & CORY. August 31, 1810.

COMMENT: The partnership and general store of Oliver Cory (1762-1858) and Seth Cook (1782-1819) was established in 1806, and would break up in 1811. The Partners had been trying to collect old debts for years.


NOTICE! The Subscriber  intends starting for New-York after his FALL AND WINTER GOODS, on the first of next month, (October) previous to which time, he earnestly requests all those whose engagements are expired, to pay the WHOLE or part of their accounts.