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May 30, 2013

Cooperstown election and law

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Cooperstown Crier

---- — From the Otsego Herald

for Saturday, May 29, 1813

Compiled, with comments

by HUGH C. MacDOUGALL

Village Election

On Tuesday the 18th inst. [May], the following persons were elected officers for this village for the ensuing year: --

Isaac Cooper, Elijah H. Metcalf, Robert Campbell, Henry Phinney and Cyrus Clark, Trustees. George Pomeroy, Treasurer. John F. Ernst, Collector.

On the same day, the trustees elected Isaac Cooper, for their President, and George Pomeroy, Clerk.

COMMENT: Isaac Cooper (1781-1818), second son of William Cooper, would remain village president until his unexpected death in 1818. He had moved into “Edgewater” on Lake Street in 1813. Elijah Hyde Metcalf (1778-1821) came from Connecticut and married a daughter of Cooperstown’s Elihu Phinney; he served two terms in the New York State Assembly. Robert Campbell (1781-1847) was an attorney, and a founder of the Otsego County Bank.

Henry Phinney (1781-1850) was the son of and a successor to publisher Elihu Phinney; he built Willowbrook (now the Cooper Inn). Cyrus Clark (1772-1822), with his twin brother Cyrenus, built Cooperstown’s Presbyterian Church. George Pomeroy (1779-1870) was a druggist and retailer who married William Cooper’s daughter Anne, and for whom William built Pomeroy Place, the stone house at the corner of Main and River streets. John F. Ernst (1779-1830) was the son of Cooperstown’s first minister (Lutheran), but himself became a Warden of Christ Episcopal Church here.

Cooperstown Street Law

Passed 21st May, 1813:

I. Be it Ordained by the Trustees of the Village of Cooperstown, that one fifth part of the streets on each side thereof, be appropriated for side-walks, and that no person shall lay or deposit, or leave any wood, timber, wagon, cart, sleigh, wheel-barrow, or other obstruction whatever, in or upon the said side-walk, under the penalty of fifty cents for every offense, and the further sum of fifty cents for every twenty-four hours the said obstruction shall be thereafter suffered to remain on the same.

II. And be it further ordained, that no person shall drive any wagon, cart, sleigh or sled, or ride on horseback on any of the said side-walks, under the penalty of twenty-five cents for every offense.

III. And be it further ordained, that every person shall keep open the ditch, adjoining the side-walk opposite his lot, and that every person who shall neglect or refuse so to do, within twenty-four hours after notice given him by one of the trustees, shall forfeit and pay twenty-five cents.

IV. And be it further ordained, that no person shall between the thirtieth day of April and the first day of December in each and every year, deposit any fire wood, timber, boards or other obstruction in any street or ally [sic] within this village, and suffer the same to remain twenty-four hours, under the penalty of one dollar for each offense; and a further penalty of fifty cents for every twenty-four hours thereafter. —Provided always, that lumber or other materials, for the purpose of building, may be deposited opposite to the lot so to be built — by a written permission of one of the trustees.

V. And be it further ordained, that no person shall suffer any geese or swine, to run at large within this village under the penalty of one dollar for each & every offense. All complaints for the breach of this ordinance, must be made to one of the trustees, & on conviction of the offender, the informer shall receive the penalty.

VI. And be it further ordained, that no horse racing shall be allowed within the streets of this village, under the penalty of two dollars for every offense.

VII. And be it further ordained, that all former laws relative to the streets be & are hereby repealed.

VIII. And be it further ordained, that the owner of every dwelling house, office, shop or store, shall provide on or before the next day of October next, (under the penalty of one dollar for neglect or refusal to so to do,) one leather fire bucket, for every two fire places in each and every dwelling house, office, shop or store; and that each dwelling house, office, shop or store that may have but one fire place, shall, nevertheless, furnish and provide one fire bucket; and that the said fire buckets may easily be obtained at all fire alarms, it shall be the duty of the owners to place or suspend the said buckets in the most convenient place therefor—& further, it shall be the duty at every fire alarm to place or cause to be placed such buckets without the door for use.

IX, And be it further ordained, that any person refusing to obey the reasonable order of any one trustee, during the alarm of fire, shall forfeit and pay one dollar.

X. And be it further ordained, that the captain of the fire company shall have the control of the fire-engine during the alarm of fire. Published by order of the board of trustees. GEO. POMEROY, Clerk.

COMMENT: This Ordinance re-enacts, with relatively slight modifications, Articles I – V of the Village Ordinance of Nov. 22, 1812. The others (concerning horse racing and fires) are new.

The African-American Vote

Black Representation. — It has been often mentioned by federalists, as a reproach to republicans, that they derived their majority in the national legislature, not from negro votes, but from negro states.

The recent election in our state affords perhaps the first instance on record in this country, of the political complexion of a house of assembly being decidedly negro votes. It is a notorious fact that the votes of the people of color in the City of New-York, carried in the federal assembly ticket, and therefore secured a federal majority in the lower house! It is stated that the black votes exceeded five hundred, and were almost exclusively given to our opponents. We expect to hear no more said against our black brethren after this. Albany Argus.

COMMENT: When the Democratic-Republicans adopted a new State Constitution in 1821, it made it much harder for African-Americans to vote.