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November 14, 2013

Village ordinance

Cooperstown Crier


From the Otsego Herald

for Saturday, Nov. 13, 1813

Compiled, with comments


Destroying Public Property

Be it ordained by the trustees of the village of Cooperstown, That if any person shall wilfully injure or destroy any building, pump, pound, or other property, belonging to the trustees of this village, he shall forfeit and pay Five Dollars, besides a just compensation for the damage so done, to be recovered with costs of suit in any court having cognizance thereof.

And be it further ordained, That upon any pound breach or rescous [sic] of any hog, shoat or pig distrained for breach of the bye laws of this village, the pound keeper shall in an action in his own name, recover ten dollars, and costs of suit, against the offender or offenders, in any such rescous or pound breach, or against the owner of the hog, shoat or pig so distrained, in case the same be afterwards found to have come unto his possession—the one half, when recovered to be paid to the trustees of the village, and the other half, after paying the person distraining, to his own use.

GEO. POMEROY, Clerk of the Board of Trustees. November 13, 1813.

COMMENT: As is our practice, we transcribe Cooperstown Village Ordinances in full. It will be remembered that a couple of weeks ago the Village trustees enacted that hogs, shoats or pigs wandering in village streets could be seized by anyone and delivered to the Village Pound (where other stray animals were collected). Such pigs could be recovered by the owner only by paying a fine. Evidently some such owner had decided to take the law into his own hands, and sought to “rescous” one of his pigs being held at the pound.

Deserter from Cherry Valley

Ten Dollars Reward. Deserted from the rendezvous at Cherry-Valley, on the 9th of November instant, a private calling himself Owen Potter, but proves to be John Scoval, who deserted some time since from the 6th regiment and enlisted at this rendez-vous.

Said Potter, alias Scoval, is five feet six inches high, light complexion, blue eyes, brown hair; had on when he went away an old citizen’s hat, brown coat, old and torn, blue pantaloon, talks considerable about being a Sailor.

Whoever will apprehend said Potter, alias Scoval and return him to the rendez-vous in Cherry-Valley, or secure him in any gaol in the United States shall receive ten dollars reward, and all necessary charges paid bybALPHONSO WETMORE, 2d lieut. 23d Reg. U.S.I. Cherry-Valley, Nov. 9, 1813.

COMMENT: I haven’t caught up with the renegade John Scoval, who seems to have tried to play the common scam of enlisting in one regiment and collecting the money paid to volunteers, and then deserting and trying to enlist in another. Major Alphonso Wetmore died in St. Louis on June 13, 1849, aged 58, after serving 21 years as a US Army officer. During the War of 1812 he lost his right arm.

Attacked on Highway

100 Dollars Reward! ROBBERY & attempt to MURDER, by two Highway-men, on the evening of the 6th inst. [November] between Richardson’s tavern, in Nelson, and Woodstock settlement, in Cazenovia. Whoever will apprehend and secure the villians [sic], so that they may be brought to justice, shall receive the above reward. One of the villians was wounded in the head in the affray.

JOSEPH PURINGTON. Cazenovia, Nov. 7, 1813.

COMMENT: Except that the Puringtons mostly came from Maine or New Hampshire, I haven’t located this particular Joseph.


DIED in this town on the 9th instant [November], Mr. TRACY METCALF, aged 45. He was a valuable citizen, and all who were acquainted with him will sincerely sympathize with his afflicted family.

COMMENT: Tracy Metcalf was born in Lebanon, CT in 1767. He married Sarah Frink (1773-1843) 1794. and moved to Otsego County before 1800, settling—along with other relatives—on “Metcalf Hill” in Pierstown. The couple had five girls.

Ladies Society Formed

The first meeting of the Cooperstown Ladies Society, for the relief of poor Women and Children, will be held this day (Saturday) at the school room, precisely at three o’clock. It is expected that the members will then pay the annual subscription of one dollar. Nov. 13.

COMMENT: This is the first I have heard of this evidently worthy organization, and I don’t know how long it lasted.

American March on Montreal Crushed

Letters [inform] that an engagement had taken place between the advanced corps of Gen. Hampton’s army and the enemy consisting of 3000 British, Canadian militia and Indians; that the enemy attacked our troops in ambuscade, and after firing three or four vollies were repulsed at the point of the bayonet, by the main body of our army.

Gen. Hampton maintained his position in the field of battle; that he is now retrograding for the Four Corners, and abandoning the expedition against Montreal. The cause is ascribed to Gen. Wilkinson not having formed a junction with him, agreeably to the contemplated play of invasion....

COMMENT: South Carolina politician Maj. Gen. Wade Hampton (1752-1835) was defeated on October 26 at Chateauguay by French-Canadian militia led by Canadian national hero Charles de Salaberry. Maj. Gen. James Wilkinson (1757-1825) was defeated at Crysler’s Farm on November 11. Hampton and Wilkinson were perhaps the most incompetent (and most corrupt) high-level officers in the American Army at the time, and hated each other. In both battles they greatly outnumbered the small number of British and Canadian forces which defeated them. As in other combats, many New York militia refused to cross the state border into Canada.