Otsego Herald for Sept. 14, 1818, compiled, with comments:

Letter from the New School

We have entertained an exalted opinion of the usefulness as well as benevolence, of the institution at Hartford, Connecticut, for the education of the deaf and dumb, and we have now before us a letter from one of the pupils, which furnishes a strong proof not only of the capacity of the deaf and dumb to receive instruction, but of the skill and assiduity of the instructors of this excellent academy

We have obtained the consent of the parent to whom the letter was sent to publish it; and shall only further remark, that the chirography (handwriting) is very neat and uniform, and that there is in the whole letter but one deviation from correct orthography (spelling). — Boston Centinel

To Capt. Wilson Whiton, Hingham, Mass.


“I received a letter from you; it gives me much pleasure to hear from you. I am still well but weak. When you write what I shall do when I leave the asylum, I love you very much.

“We learn morning and aftern (sic) — we improve by degrees. I begin to have an idea of the creation of the world and of God and Jesus Christ. Mr. Clerc gives us a religious lesson every Saturday. He tells us about Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, the deluge, Noah, the tower of Babel, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Saul, David, Solomon, Mary and Joseph, the birth, childhood, miracles, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

“We are forty-seven pupils, twenty-five male and twenty-two female. How do you do? I love my little sister very much. Will you tell her to write me soon? I believe you are in good health. I am very glad to write you, and hope you will answer me.

“George H. Loring (a fellow pupil) is very well. We had hot weather during many days. There were some sick deaf and dumb in the asylum, but thanks to God, they are all well now.

“I have written to Mr. Abel Cushing. Mr. Wadsworth has gone to New-York last week. I still pray to God. I love Jesus Christ. (Thomas) Gallauded (sic) expects to go to Ballston with Loring to drink spring water. — They will set out next week, and return in twenty days. Mr. Clerc stays with us.

“I am, dear parents, your affectionate son.. WILSON WHITON, Jr.”

COMMENT: Touching but, I fear, rather coached — as though young Wilson (who was then 13 years old) were copying out phrases he had been taught to write by his teachers.

Wilson Whiton Jr. (1805-1873) was the youngest of eight children born to Wilson Whiton (1777-1854) and Chloe White (1781-1853) of Hingham, Massachusetts. He was a member of the first class at the Hartford Connecticut Asylum for the Education and Instruction of Deaf and Dumb Persons (now the American School for the Deaf) founded in 1817 by Thomas Gallaudet (1787-1851) and Laurent Clerc (1785-1865).

Wilson became a teacher at the school, and was still a teacher there in 1860. In 1855 he married Sibyl Richards (1812-1863) of Newburyport, Massachusetts, who was also deaf and dumb.

New Steamboat on Lake Erie

The steamboat Walk in the Water has returned to Buffalo from her first trip, and is found on trial to equal the best expectations of her builders and proprietors. She reached Detroit, a distance of more than 300 miles, in 48 hours, and afterwards proceeded to Lake St. Clair, and bro’t down a number of troops. May she prove as profitable to the enterprising proprietors, as she is likely to prove beneficial to the public at large.

Thus there is now established, on the St. Lawrence and its waters, steam boat accommodations for about 800 miles; and the distance of these facilities to travel will probably be doubled in a very few years by the introduction of these boats upon lakes Huron, Michigan, Superior, &c.

COMMENT: The “Walk in the Water” was 300 tons, and could carry 100 passengers. But she lasted only three seasons. In November 1821 she was caught in a storm off Buffalo, and driven onto a beach. Her passengers all survived (minus their baggage) but the Walk in the Water was beyond repair.

Stubborn Andrew Jackson

The intimation, in some of the western papers, that gen. Jackson intended to resign his command in the army of the U States, is, we learn, without foundation. — The general has in him constitutionally, so much “opposition stuff,” that it is conjectured, if he thought such a determination acceptable at head quarters, it would be the very reason why he would not. — Washington City Gazette

COMMENT: Jackson served briefly as military governor of Florida in 1821, and then as Senator from Tennessee in 1823-1825. He ran unsuccessfully for president in 1824, but without a majority of the popular or electoral vote the election went to the House of Representatives, which chose John Quincy Adams. Jackson ran again in 1828, won over Adams by a landslide, and served from 1829-1837.

The Sea Serpent (but it wasn’t)

Boston, Sept. 5. We lament in common with the public, the disappointment of the hopes that had been raised by the report of the Sea Serpent. Capt. Richard Rich ... on Thursday last, terminated a cruize of nearly three weeks, in pursuit of the Serpent, by the taking of a fish not very common in our waters (“Thunny or Horse Mackerel”), which from its singular appearance in the water, they had been led to believe was the Sea Serpent so often described....

He is only ten feet long, and is seven feet in circumference — his back, about 5 or 6 feet below his head, of a hard scaly substance, which a harpoon cannot penetrate. Capt. Rich ... (is) convinced he is the same animal which has been so often seen and described, and no other... — Daily Advertiser

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