The Otsego Herald for Sept. 28, 1818, compiled, with comments:
Mohicans have to Move
Several families of the Stockbridge Indians passed through this village a short time since, bound to White river, Indiana. The week past a number of the same tribe arrived here, on their way to the west. – Niagara Patriot
“The above paragraph contains a long wished for piece of intelligence. A great portion of those Indians are the most degraded wretches that ever wore the human form. Their civilization, with a few exceptions, has been an era of unparalleled degeneracy
“In abandoning their native character, all its virtues were annulled, and in assuming their new one, they become possessed of its obnoxious qualities. The men are generally, sots and vagabonds — the women, sots, bawds, and harlots. —
“Their species is literally brutalized.—they are daily seen reeling about the streets in squads, consisting of Indians, metamorphosed into half-whites, half-negroes, and half-mulatoes. A regular formed Indian, with thick-lips and a wool head, is an object of disgust, and are not unfrequently seen strolling, accompanied by a proper featured, half-white female, with long jetty locks and distinguishing Indian expression of countenance.
“They are generally inoffensive, idle and stupid. These lamentable effects, if traced to their causes would seriously inculpate the whites, but as it would not remedy the evil, we forbear. Emigration is the only means of reclaiming them.
“In speaking of the vices of a majority of the Stockbridgers, we should do injustice not to say that there are those who are as distinguished for exemplary conduct, as their brethren are for an opposite course. There are some industrious, reputable families of this tribe.” — Albany Register
COMMENT: I would not usually copy this nasty screed, but it gives me an opportunity to say something about this group of Indians, whom I have long admired.
The Mohican Indians (not to be confused with the Mohegan Indians of Connecticut) came from the tidal Hudson River valley, and still call themselves the “People of the waters that are never still.” Forced eastward to Stockbridge, Massachusetts, they fought on the side of the patriots at the Battle of Bunker Hill, but were pushed out of Stockbridge by whites during the War of 1812. They then moved to New Stockbridge in Madison County, New York, on land given them by the Oneida Indians.
But with their men often drowned in alcohol by white bootleggers, they were forced to move west again, and eventually ended up on a reservation in Bowler, Wisconsin as “The Stockbridge Band of the Mohican Nation.” See their website at www.mohican.com. Some years ago, I presented my large personal collection of books and other materials about them to the Arvid E. Miller Library/Museum on their reservation. See www.mohican.com/librarymuseum, where they also have online information on their history.
Died — in this village, on Saturday morning last, Mr. WILLIAM ELLISON, aged 77 years, an old and respectable inhabitant of this town.
COMMENT: William Ellison, a surveyor, laid out the streets of Cooperstown in 1786 and was one of the first inhabitants of the village.
Australian Penal Colony
The colony at Botany Bay, where the English send their convicts as they once did to Virginia, is represented to be in a flourishing condition, with a population of 40,000, entirely convicts and their descendants. The state of society is represented to be quite refined and moral — many abandoned characters, transported for their crimes, have entirely reformed and become virtuous parents and exemplary citizens.
Many have made great improvements and acquired considerable wealth. There is not a rational doubt, but that in the progress of a century, the colony in New Holland will grow into a populous, powerful and independent nation.
The Island is but partially explored. A large river, offering an extensive navigation into the interior, has recently been discovered — Albany Argus
COMMENT: The penal colony at what is now Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, was founded in 1788, when the so-called First Fleet arrived at Botany Bay with 778 convicts. A second fleet arrived in 1790 with 859 male and 300 female convicts — two of whom are ancestors of my nephew’s wife in Canberra, Australia — of which she, like all Australian descendants of the convicts, is very proud. The six British colonies in Australia were granted Independence in 1901, as a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations.
Otsego County Fair
Public expectation is on tip-toe respecting the approaching Cattle Show and Fair; and such is the excitement of public feeling; that the editors of the city papers have mentioned Otsego as making great preparations for a “splendid exhibition,” superior to any thing of the kind ever witnessed in this country.
Gov. Clinton, and ... some of the most distinguished men in the state, have announced their intention to be present at the Fair. With this knowledge, who is there among us all, that will not strive to the utmost to exhibit a show of cattle, horses, sheep, &c. which shall more than equal his Excellency’s expectations? ...
Rouse, then, good men of Otsego — put in requisition all your energies — come to the Fair with samples of the best products of our farms. ... Forego all minor considerations, and by a magnanimous devotion to the public interests, show yourselves worthy the honorable distinction of being an Otsegonian farmer.
COMMENT: The annual Otsego Agricultural Fair was the first in this state.
The Sea Serpent (of course)
Capt. Rich, who went in pursuit of the Sea Serpent, and captured a Tunny or Albercore, has published a lengthy statement in the Boston Daily Advertiser, which, if admitted, would deny the existence of the Sea Serpent. — Columbian.