From the Otsego Herald
for Saturday, Sept. 25, 1813
Compiled, with comments
by HUGH C. MacDOUGALL
NOAH PRESTON, an inhabitant of Camden, in the county of Oneida, being subject to turns of mental derangement, on Saturday the 11th [September] left his home and family, and after strolling around the fields and woods of his own town, was at last recognized by an old acquaintance, on Oneida creek, near Oneida Castle on the same night, and since which time he has not been seen or heard of.
The afflicted family of this unhappy man, alarmed for his safety, give notice, that any person who may have observed a stranger in delirium of the following description, would immediately write by mail, to the subscriber; and if possible detain him in his care until he can be sent for.
Mr. Preston is a man about six feet high, of slender person, and about 52 years of age; he had on a butternut colored coat, considerably worn, dark colored velvet pantaloons, and black cloth vest, with an old hat and a pair of coarse shoes without stockings; of a fair complexion, and grey eyes; he went away without any money.... WM. R. PRESTON, Camden, Sept. 17, 1813.
COMMENT: According to a Camden local history, Noah Preston “was one of the oldest inhabitants, and possessed qualities of industry and perseverance.” Noah Preston (1762-1835) came from Connecticut, and married Honor Rossiter Preston (1766-1847). He was a Revolutionary veteran and was given a pension. They had ten children, including William Riley Preston (1790-1834). As is evident from their death dates, Noah was apparently found and returned home and—indeed—survived the son who had advertised for him.
On MONDAY evening next, the Albany Company will perform at the Court-House, a Comedy (in 2 acts) called THE JEW AND DOCTOR; OR THE ORPHAN PROTECTED. After which a Comic Piece called THE PRIZE; OR 2,4,3,8, with entertainments, as will be given in the Bills. Sept. 25.
COMMENT: Both farces were popular at the time. “The Jew and the Doctor,” which first appeared in 1798 in London was by Thomas Dibdin (1771-1841), and was one of his first successes, “The Prize,” as its full title suggests, is a musical farce about a lottery ticket. The Albany Theater was opened in a brick building on Green Street on Jan. 18, 1813, despite a good deal of opposition on moral grounds. Admission was 75 and 50 cents. It didn’t do very well, and closed in 1818.
On Sunday last, a Mr. Hill by trade a Blacksmith, went with his two sons, one 10 the other 16 years old, to bathe in the East river, near Stuyvesant’s woods. The younger son imprudently ventured into the water beyond his depth, and not knowing how to swim, was in the act of drowning, when the elder brother observing his situation instantly flew to his relief, and in endeavouring to save him, they got entangled in each other’s arms and sunk once or twice. Upon which the father, who was standing on the beach, with all his clothes on, plunged in after them, in the hope of being able to save his drowning children. But alas! notwithstanding he got hold of them, and struggled for some time to bring them to the shore, he at length became exhausted, and they all three sunk into a watery grave. – New York Evening Post.
On the 13th [September] Mrs. Stone, wife of Mr. Oran Stone, of Watertown...was drowned in Black River.... a paper stating that the cause of her procedure must be forever buried in oblivion [was] left on the bank of the river.
The requisition of Artillery from this county, left this village on Saturday evening last, under the command of Capt. LEVI ADAMS, of Milford.
The Infantry company left here on Thursday, commanded by Capt. PECK, of Burlington.
The light Infantry drafted company of this county, marched from here yesterday, commanded by Capt. JOSEPH WESTCOTT, of Milford.
COMMENT: “Levi Adams came from Pawlet, Vt. and located at Edson Corners in 1787. Mr. Adams was the first settler at Edson Corners and the first carpenter In Milford. Mr. Adams was the first carpenter in the County that could work by the square rule.”
Capt. Joseph Westcott (1784-1859) “was... ordered up to Niagara where they were stationed for a time.... The Americans were of the opinion they could cross the river & rout the British & drive them back & take the Fort. The plot was conceived & Col. Stranahan was to lead the American troops. The Americans were not obliged to go out of the Territory of the U.S. unless they volunteered. Some of the American Army refused to go but a majority were willing to make the effort & try titles with the British. The Volunteers took boat & started for Canada & the British commenced to cannonade the Americans & a cannon shot wounded Capt. Westcott so he was unable to command & such command fell upon Lieut. John Quackenbush. After they arrived on the Canada side the Americans got the worst of the battle.... This the second Militia Company of Milford, retrained...until the State Militia was disbanded. This Company was very large & some of its members were very poor, hardly able to equip themselves. Some of them would attend the Company Training barefoot; & finally it was designated the barefoot Company.”
In this town, on the 14th [September] of the Typhus Fever, Mrs. Thankful Thurston, aged 63, consort of Mr. Edward Thurston.
COMMENT: Thankful Main Thurston (1748-1813), originally of Connecticut, had in 1764 married Edward Thurston (1740-1819), and they lived in Springfield, NY. They had 12 children.