Otsego Herald for Nov. 1, 1819, compiled with comments.

St. Bart’s, St. Martin’s destroyed

Wells, (Me) Oct. 12

“I arrived at Kennebunk yesterday from Morris Bay, (Martinico, Martinique) from which place I sailed on the 23d Sept. On the 26th I touched at St. Bartholomew’s, where I obtained a list of American vessels which went on shore during the hurricane of the 20th September. ...

“At St. Barts it must have been dreadful beyond the conception of any person, who never saw the place before; and since the gale it is said to have been more destructive than any that ever preceded it in the memory of the oldest inhabitants.

“Every vessel in port, without a single exception, went on shore, and most of which were totally lost.

“A great many of the houses and stores were blown down — a number of lives were lost. It came on so suddenly and violently, that a great many persons saved nothing from their houses, and with difficulty escaped with their lives. The streets were filled with ruins of buildings, broken furniture, masts and spars of vessels which went ashore, hencoops, binnacles and boats — and so very impetuous was the wind, that it actually blew away one of the keys or rocks situated of the harbor, which had been standing perhaps ever since the creation of the world.

“St. Martha (Martin) has suffered equally with St. Barts. Six boiling houses were all that were left standing, and it was said that one hundred and forty-seven lives were lost there; and a few at Anguilla, which suffered more in comparison than either St. Barts or St Martin. St. Kitts received a great deal of damage — Antigua had not been heard from.”

COMMENT: From “History of Barbados”, p. 691 (1848): “1819 Sept. 21 and 22. A most destructive hurricane caused the greatest damage and loss of life in the Virgin Islands. It extended to Porto Rico; it was likewise felt at St. Martin’s, St. Christopher’s, St. Bartholomew’s, Antigua and as far south as St. Lucia.”

St. Bartholemew’s (St. Barts) Island is now French, St. Martin’s Island is now half French, half Dutch. Both were very badly hurt by Hurricane Irma in Sept. 2017.

Treaty with Chippewa

Detroit, Oct. 1. — We understand that the Treaty with the Chippewa Indians has been concluded by Gov. Cass, for the cession to the United States of a considerable portion of this territory, including all the country upon the Sagana(w) river and its branches. The boundary of the tract now purchased commences at the present Indian boundary line west of this place, and runs ... due west sixty miles ... to the head of thunder Bay river, and down ... to the mouth ... which is ... 75-100 miles northwest of Sagana(w) Bay.

The treaty has been concluded upon terms equally advantageous to the United States and to the Indians. ... There is reason to hope ... they will become a stationary, industrious and farming people.

This cession, containing more than six millions of acres, is very important to this Territory. ... We anticipate a speedy migration to this tract, and a great increase of population and wealth to the territory. — Gazette

COMMENT: The Treaty of Saganaw Marker of Sept. 24, 1819, was negotiated and signed by Gov. Lewis Cass (1782-1866) of Michigan Territory.

World’s oldest man

The Rutland (Vt.) Herald, after giving the particulars of the Cattle show at Castleton ... mentions the following.

“The day was rendered particularly interesting by the presence of Henry Francisco, of the age of 137 years! who ploughed a furrow with the oxen that day. ... This veteran, who in the year 1702 bore arms at the time of the coronation of Queen Anne, in the year 1819 held the plough a section of the country which was uninhabited and scarcely known when he had attained to his threescore and ten.”

COMMENT: Hendrick “Old Henry” Francisco (Fransoy) is said to have been born in France in June 1686, and to have died in Whitehall on Oct. 25, 1820. He is said to have been born of a Huguenot (Protestant) family which moved to England to escape religious persecution. In 1702, as a drummer boy, he played at the coronation of Queen Anne, and later fought in the battles of Blenheim (1704) and Ramelies (1706).

He moved to New York colony and settled at Whitehall, and in 1754 rejoined the British Army to fight in the French and Indian War. In 1777, at the age of 91, he joined the Continental Army. Discharged for medical reasons in 1778, he returned to farming in Whitehall. He died (of malaria) in 1820, and was buried in the “Old Skene Cemetery, which has now been lost, and the cemetery location and his grave remains undiscovered.”

A “Legend of Henry Francisco,” was published in 2014, and many people seem to claim him as an ancestor.

Canal’s first boat

During the last week, the first experiment was made on the waters of the Great [Erie] Canal. The CHIEF ENGINEER, an elegant boat for passengers, built by a company of enterprising gentlemen at Rome, after a model furnished by that ingenious mechanist and useful citizen, Mr. Ely, has just been completed for the purpose of the first trial.

It is neatly finished and has two commodious cabins. On Thursday last about thirty gentlemen of Rome, took passage for Utica. The number was greatly increased on the way. They had a fine band of music, and the banks of the canal were crowded with people. ...

On Saturday morning the boat was prepared to return. ... About one hundred persons took passage (including) Gov. Clinton. ... The boat arrived at Rome ... and returned to Utica the same afternoon, a distance of 32 miles. ... But two horses were used, one at a time going, and both together returning.

COMMENT: Progress on the Canal was regularly reported in the Otsego Herald. 

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