From the Otsego Herald
For Saturday, Jan. 29, 1814
Compiled, with comments
The State of the State
“Gentlemen of the Senate, and of the Assembly,
The War: “It would have given me great satisfaction to have had it in my power to congratulate you on this occasion, upon the return of the advantages and blessings of peace. ... If the late proposition [by the British] has proceeded from a willingness to restore amity ... the impending conferences will, very probably eventuate propitiously. But we ought not to permit the hope of that result to lull us into fatal security; for it may be that we must ultimately depend upon an unanimous, vigorous and successful prosecution of the unavoidable contest in which we are involved ...
“It was not to be expected after so long a period of peace, that upon the first declaration of a war by the United States, a well organized and efficient army could immediately be brought into the field. There was little of the experience of the revolution remaining in the country; and to develop [sic] military talents and national resources, and to give them the most wise and beneficial direction, is the work of time ...
Navy and Army: “The navy has maintained, if not brightened, the luster of its antecedent character, surpassed by none recorded in the annals of history, and which have given splendor to the American name ... [Certain land actions] were honorable to our arms, and have exhibited traits of conduct and intrepidity in the army that justify high expectations. These gratifying events, it is true, have been followed by some disappointments and disasters ...
Invasion of Western New York: “The recent invasion by the enemy of the western frontier of this state, and the extraordinary surrender to him of the garrison and fort of Niagara, the burning of flourishing villages and settlements, the pillage of private property, and the massacre of peaceable inhabitants of that frontier, by a savage foe, are melancholy occurrences ... The conduct of the enemy during that invasion was marked by a disregard of the rules of civilized warfare, and by a malignant ferocity ...
The Militia: “You will permit me, gentlemen, to remark ... that the want of some legal provision, whereby the burdn of defense may be more equitably diffused, and the less wealthy part of the community be relieved from the disproportionate share of actual service to which they are subjected by the existing laws, the want of legal power for enforcing summary obedience to the authority delegated to officers by the militia law, and to supply food, quarters and transportation for troops called out under state authority, render it impossible for the militia generals to repel invasions immediately and effectually.
Federal Taxes: “By an act of Congress passed in June last, a direct tax was laid upon the United States; and ... the sum of [$430,141.62] has been imposed upon the State of New-York ... The same law... entitles each state to a deduction of [15%] by paying its quota ... before ... the 20th day of February ... The savings to the citizens of the state [will amount to] about 65,000 dollars ... The ... sacrifices of the inhabitants of some counties ... would at this particular juncture [make it] unreasonable ... to levy upon them any part of the direct tax. The state can advance the present tax without any material embarrassment of its treasury or call upon its citizens ...
Domestic Events: “The progress and success of domestic manufactures and improvements of every kind—the high price obtained by the husbandman for the products of his labor ... which has prevailed within our state during the last year, call upon us to render fervent gratitude to that ... Providence who has mingled so many of the enjoyments and benefits of peace with the afflictions of war ... [Governor] DANIEL D. TOMPKINS. Albany, Jan. 25, 1814.”
Whereas a number of the Mechanics of the towns of Milford, Otego and Laurens, have had a meeting at the house of L. Jencks, in the town of Otsego — and, after consideration of the advance of Grain and other commodities, have thought proper to request the Mechanics of the different towns in this county to meet at the Inn of B. Fitch, in the village of Cooperstown, on the 19th day of February next, at noon, there mutually to agree on the prices of their work, that they may be enabled to support their families and pay the Farmers and vendors of goods, wares and merchandise, their dues.
Should the Mechanics of different towns think proper to meet and choose a committee to meet on the above day every purpose will be answered thereby.
Daniel S. Stanton, Simeon Lawrence, Jas. S. Smith, Joseph Mulkin, Jacob Pratt. Laurens, Jan. 16, 1814.
COMMENT: Prices were rising during the War of 1812, and these workers were seeking to combine forces so as to set higher wages. I don’t know whether it worked!
Absconded from the service of the subscriber, on the 18th inst. Richard Rice, an indented apprentice. All persons are forbid trusting or harboring said apprentice, on penalty of the law—whoever will return said boy to the subscriber shall receive one half cent reward, but no charges. SAMUEL W. STANTON. New-Lisbon, Jan. 24, 1814.
COMMENT: Could this be the Richard Rice (Nov. 7, 1801-April 17, 1886), buried in the Mount Vision cemetery and said to have been an itinerant preacher? Samuel Stanton was born in Pownal, Vt. on Aug. 1, 1777, and died in New Lisbon on Dec. 25, 1852. He married Polly Garden (b. 1777) and had five children.
The following are the terms on which this paper will be hereafter published.
Village and mail subscribers, Two Dollars and 50 cents, per year. Two Dollars per annum, to subscribers who call at the office. To persons in classes, who pay when they receive the papers, three pence per paper.