Otsego Herald for June 28, 1819, compiled, with comments.
Rise and fall of agriculture
For nearly thirty years the agricultural interest of the United States prospered beyond all example. The revolutions and convulsions of Europe drew from agriculture ... millions of men, and placed them in armies or navies — converting them from producers into consumers. Waste and destruction ... increased the deficiency of provisions. ...
Our farmers had this immense deficiency to supply. This gave them ready markets and high prices — the strongest stimulants and enterprize; and at the same time the greatest temptations to luxury and extravagance. Wealth flowed into our country in every direction.
Our ship owners pocketed the freight; our merchants the profits of the trade; our farmers the amount of their surplus produce; and from them money found its way to every class of society.
These prosperous days are over — Europe reposes in peace. Thousands of her sons have exchanged the implements of war, for those of husbandry and its sister arts. From consumers, they have again become producers. Europe can now provide for herself, and supply her colonies.... What are they to do?
The whole remedy lies in two words — INDUSTRY and ECONOMY.
By industry ... they must make in their families every thing necessary and convenient, which is in their power to make; but which their surplus produce has heretofore enabled them to purchase cheaper. ... They must dispense with many articles of extravagance and luxury, which in more prosperous times they indulged themselves and their families in.
They must prefer domestic manufactures to foreign ... and invite useful population from abroad, increase home consumption, and improve our own markets. ...
Those who do not see the truth of these suggestions now, will soon feel it. They have to choose between advice and experience.
Hotel prices lowered
The hotels and boarding houses in New York, have reduced the price of board, and many of the mechanics have reduced their wages in consequence of the pressure of the times. – Albany Argus, June 25.
COMMENT: At this time, many families — not rich enough to buy or build homes for themselves — tended to live indefinitely in Hotels or Boarding Houses, which as a result of the economic recession noted above, lowered their rates, while employers of laborers (“mechanics”), lowered their wages. – Albany Argus, June 25.
The weather has been uncommonly warm for some days the week past, and the progress of vegetation remarkably rapid. The prospect of abundant crops has not been so good for many years.
It is understood that there is much strife among the agriculturalists of this county, and there will probably be many candidates for the premiums at the cattle show in the fall. – Utica Gazette.
Lightning Strikes (sort of)
Hallowell (England), June 12.
Two men were killed by Lightning in Woolwich, on the 7th June. They had retired to bed in the garret, containing two beds, the head of each standing against the chimney, together with two others; the lightning struck the chimney, and killed one man in each bed; the other two escaped unhurt.
The lightning passed into the chamber below, where an old lady was reading her Bible, with her hands on the leaves and fingers spread open. It passed through her fingers, burning two of them, and the corners of half a dozen leaves of the Bible;
Thence it descended to the lower room, where a man was sleeping on an iron bound chest, it stove the chest to pieces, the man receiving no material injury.
There were 28 people in the house.
COMMENT: The often arbitrary way in which lightning strikes — or does not strike — its likely victims have long been noticed, and written about.
Another lightning strike
Extract of a letter to the editor of the Peekskill Gazette, dated York Town, Westchester Co., N;Y., June 8th
On Friday the 4th June Miss Emily, the daughter of Mr. Moses Fox, of Carmel, Putnam County, observing a thunder shower to be rapidly approaching, ran to assist her mother who was milking about twenty rods from the house, with other females.
The shower rising suddenly, her mother ordered her to return, and all to hasten to the house.
But the sprightly Emily had run only about 4 rods from the company when she was struck dead with a stream of lightning, whose whole force fell on her tender frame.
Married — at Milford, on the 16th June, by the Rev. Benjamin G. Paddock, Mr. JASON EDSON, merchant, to Miss SAPHRONIA BOWEN, both of that place. ...
COMMENT: Jason Edson (1786-1870) was born in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, but was an early settler of Milford, New York, where he was a tradesman, tavern keeper and shop keeper, as well as filling several municipal positions. Sophronia Bowen (1801-1868) was his second wife; they moved to Broome County, where he is buried in Pratt Cemetery, Harpursville, along with his wife and daughter Adelia (1828-1888) and other descendants.
Wanted at this office, for which a liberal price will be paid in Books or Stationery, if well combed and in good order.
January 18, 1819.