The Otsego Herald for Nov. 9, 1818, compiled, with comments:

Thoughts on These Times

There was a time when the character of a real, but not a counterfeit, nor upstart gentleman, was defined in this way:

A true gentleman must not only have received a thorough and liberal education, but he thus likewise understand, esteem and practise the rules of morality, and he must discover (show) an easy, open, but not a stiff and reserved, affability of manners and behavior to his fellow creatures.

He must be a man of feeling and sensibility; and he must think his own race although poor, if honest, worthy his sympathy and attention. And thinking men are still of opinion that these ingredients necessarily enter into the character of a real gentleman.

But unthinking, rude, ill-bred, and affected up-starts are contented with such properties as these: accidental riches, rich and idolized relations or patrons, a fine and fashionable suit of clothes, vile rudeness of manners, glib cursing and swearing, the frippery of fashionable small talk, contempt of honest and intelligent poor people, attention and flattery to even the vicious rich, and in short, an open contempt of all intelligence, industry and virtue, if it appears in the habiliments of poverty.

And all this in a republic! What a degeneracy from their ancestors. ...

There is however one period of the year, when these proud men most graciously condescend to speak with common people; ... It is when they need the humble, and when they intend to recommence the exhibition of a shocking depravity. ...

It is when by treats, by mean flattery, by indirect threats, by promises they never intend to perform, and in a thousand artifices, they intend to corrupt and cajole the people out of their free and unbiased votes....

But alas! when the election is over, they no longer recognize these their poor familiar friends — their memory suddenly becomes treacherous, and they are estranged from the common man till another election comes round on the wheel of time, when their acquaintance as if by magic, revives.

But the people begin to understand this, and profit by their experience. ...

COMMENT: Have things really changed much since 1818?


DIED — in Hartwick, on the 31st (October), Major JAMES BUTTERFIELD, aged 64. He was an officer in the revolution, where he was distinguished for his patriotism; and the zeal he bore for the welfare of his country, was not shaken by the cruelties which he had to encounter, while a prisoner among the Indians for a number of years, though exposed to all the hardships and fatigues which savage barbarity could invent.

And during a long residence in this county, he has ever borne the character of an ‘honest man.’ and not a stain is left to blast the station which he was created to fill. — COMMUNICATED.

COMMENT: Maj. James Butterfield (1755-1818) was famous for his service in the American Revolution, and built a home in Hartwick in 1792, known as the White House, which has remained in the Butterfield family during much of its existence, and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2011. Lyman Henry Butterfield (1909-1982) was a distinguished historian and biographer, best known for having edited the papers of President John Adams. His father, Roy Lyman Butterfied (1882-1966) was famous as a county historian whose enormous library was left to the New York State Historical Association in Cooperstown.

Striking Spinners in England

The disaffected spinners at Manchester, Eng. still hold out for additional wages. — They are in number 20 or 30,000, and occasionally excite serious apprehension. In a rencontre the first of September, six or seven were wounded, one mortally.

They had persisted in their demands already two months; and a considerable body of troops were quartered in the neighborhood, to be ready on any emergency. To add to the public apprehension and distress, 5000 weavers had also struck for higher wages. — Albany Argus

COMMENT: The spinners worked in factories, and hence could form unions and strike as a body. Weavers generally worked in their own homes, and it was therefore more difficult for them to organize, but even they did so.

One Crop — Five Husbands

Some years ago, a woman lived in a village in Glamorganshire (in Wales), whose husband, with the little fortune he got with her, bought a small farm; he had hardly closed the purchase when death closed his eyes; however, not intimidated with this, the widow married a second husband, who sowed it; he likewise died; and she tried a third, who reaped it, but death soon snatched him away; she then married a fourth, who threshed it, but he also followed the fate of his predecessors; and she then married a fifth husband, with who whom she enjoyed the produce of it.

All this happened in the short space of eighteen months!

COMMENT: This story no doubt, in the printed word, “went viral,” like stories spread over the airwaves today. But I doubt if there was any truth in it.

Runaway Apprentice

SIX CENTS REWARD. RAN AWAY from the subscriber on the 4th (November), an apprentice Boy named HARVEY RANSOM, aged 9 years. All persons are hereby forbid harboring, trusting or employing the said boy on penalty of the law. Whoever will return him to the subscriber, shall have the above reward but no charges paid. — SAMUEL MUNRO, Edmeston, September 4, 1818.

COMMENT: Nine years old? It would be illegal to harbor, trust or employ him today, even if he were not a runaway apprentice.

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