The Otsego Herald for Dec. 21, 1818, compiled, with comments:
To the Female Sex
“The influence of the female sex is universally acknowledged and felt. I want that influence to diffuse peace and love over the face of the earth. I scarcely know how to address myself to respectable matrons, who, after nursing their sons with the tenderest affection, send them away to the wreck of desolation, and rejoice in their success.
“When they make women, like yourselves, widows, and their children fatherless, or overwhelm an aged father and mother with sorrow, because their boy perished in the field by your young hero’s sword, then you praise God for what your sons have done. ...
“A greater number of celebrated female writers than the present, no age has produced. But what grave essay in prose, or what poetic effusion of yours do we find to bring war into disgrace, and to awaken the horror of every feeling heart against its miseries and its crimes: in which of your works have you come forth as the advocates of humanity and the champions of peace?
“Tell me, that I may withdraw the censure. You are silent — you blush at this reproach, and well you may: they may justly be the most burning blushes that ever reddened the female cheek ...
“To speak thus grieves me to the heart; but I am compelled to do it — for there are seasons when truths must be spoken, however painful it may be to the speaker and the auditor. You blush for your neglect; but I trust have more than blushes — I want fruits meet for repentance.
“My earnest wish is to see you become the determined foes of war and the most ardent friends of peace: I long to hear you plead with all your souls (and who can plead like you?) for the harmony of the world, and peace among the nations. ...”
COMMENT: This appeal was made by Rev. David Bogue (1750-1825), in his “On Universal Peace: Being Extracts from a Discourse Delivered in October 1813,” which, though published here in 1818, was originally given in England in 1813, in the midst of the War of 1812. Bogue studied at the University of Edinburgh, and became a dissenting preacher who was a founder of the London Missionary Society and write many scholarly books. Still, a nice message for Christmas.
Murder in Albany
On Saturday last, a coroner’s inquest was held on the body of a black woman, found dead near the slaughter-house, a few rods south of the lower ferry, in this city. Verdict wilful murder. The person charged in the inquisition as having perpetrated this horrid crime, we understand, has not been apprehended.
COMMENT: The names of African-American victims of crimes were often not given in the press — probably because nobody bothered to investigate.
Western NY Education Society
An application will be made to the Legislature at their next session for the incorporation of “The Western Education Society of the State of New-York.” The object of this society is the gratuitous education of indigent young men, of piety and talents, for the Gospel ministry.
The funds necessary for the complete attainment of the objects of the society, are one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. The application is signed by six of the principal inhabitants of the county of Oneida, viz: — Thomas H. Gold, John Frost, Joseph Kirkland, Jeremiah Van Rensselaer, Jonas Platt, & Walter King. — Albany Gazette.
COMMENT: Though dedicated to the education of Protestant ministers in general, the society in 1822 attached itself to the Presbyterians. From 1817 to 1827 it met annually, usually in Utica. In 1828 it moved from Utica to Auburn and to the newly established Auburn Seminary. It gradually became involved in international evangelism. In 1857 it finally incorporated itself as the Western Education Society and expanded eastward to include Congregationalists as well as Presbyterians. It seems to have disappeared about 1910.
Growth of Alabama
A letter from gov. Bibb, states the population of Alabama at seventy five thousand. in 1816, the territory contained only 28.000.
COMMENT: Governor William Wyatt Bibb (1781-1820) served as the only governor of the territory of Alabama (1817-1819) and then as first governor of the newly created state of Alabama (1819-1820). He had previously been a congressman and then a senator from his native Georgia. Following his death (he fell off his horse during a thunderstorm) the rest of his term (1820-1811) was filled by his brother, Thomas Bibb (1783-1829), then the president of the state Senate.
Impressment of Sailors
The Richmond Enquirer of the 8th (December) gives the following from his Washington correspondent:
“It is stated, with great probability of truth, that the long contended question between this country and Great Britain, relative to the impressment of seamen, has been finally adjusted.
“The law of the United States in regard to seamen being the basis of this arrangement, whose provisions no doubt are familiar to you. This event derives its particular interest from its immediate causing the war, of which it is no doubt a consequence.
“However it may in part be properly ascribed to the sentiments now avowed by Great Britain, towards the U. States which are of the most friendly kind.”
COMMENT: I have not discovered any special arrangement made in 1818, but since the end of the Napoleonic Wars, Britain no longer needed experienced sailors for its fleet, and thus had ceased intercepting American merchant ships to seize British sailors (and often Americans) serving on them. This issue — for which we had declared war in 1812 — no longer existed.