The Otsego Herald, for Sept. 27, 1819, compiled, with comments:

Sloan’s oration

“The second subject to which I propose calling your attention, is the alarming progress of a now numerous horde of internal enemies, who if not arrested in their progress, will in a few years more than destroy that mediocrity on which the duration, strength and security of a republican government principally depends.

“It will raise on its ruins a great and powerful monied aristocracy, which will reduce a great ,majority of the honest. industrious. & most useful citizens of the United States to as abject a state of vassalage as the subjects of European despots are, under the remains of their feudal system. They may be designated in the following manner —

“1st. their satellites, that is to say, the numerous hordes of brokers, stock-brokers alias shavers, with which they are surrounded, who act the same part for banks that is said jackals do for lions — hunt and catch their prey.

“2d. The idle train of legalized gamblers, by which I mean lottery managers.

“3d. The ventriloquists, mountebanks, rope dancers, slight of hand deceivers, those who carry about wax figures, paintings and other deceptive likenesses, to draw from children and other weak minds, the product of their labor giving them in return no intrinsic value.

“To these may be added petty thimble gamblers.” — N.Y. Advertiser

COMMENT: James Sloan founded the Democratic-Republican party in Gloucester County, New Jersey and served in congress from 1803-1809.

He joined with Federalists in opposing the War of 1812. The thoughts he expressed could have been made today.


DROWNED, on the 14th August last, at Chicago on lake Michigan JAMES T. WHITE, in the 20th year of his age, son of Mr. James White (of Cooperstown).

COMMENT: James White, “a carpenter, well known for his industry and hard application to his work,” is the next oldest settler (as of 1862) of Cooperstown, who came in 1788.

Oaksville cotton

NOTICE: The stockholders of the Oaksville Cotton Manufacturing Company, are notified to meet at the store of R. Williams, in Cooperstown, on the 11th day of October next.

RUSSELL WILLIAMS, Cooperstown, Sept. 25, 1816 (?).

COMMENT: “Along Oaks Creek, partnerships of local men, including the Averills, Steeres, Todds, and Russell Williams, assembled the capital to open three cotton mills along its course between the years 1809 and about 1822. ... As transportation of goods shifted increasingly to railroads in the post-Civil War era, the economic viability of the mills along the Oaks Creek and Fly Creek decreased.” A cotton mill at Oaksville was owned in the later 1800s by Asa Flansburg (1847-1917).

Ohio at low level

Shawneetown, August 21

The Ohio river is at a lower ebb now than has been known for many years. Hardly a boat of any kind passed this place since the latter end of May. Several steam-boats have been lying between here and the mouth of the river all summer — some nearly or quite out of the water, others barely afloat.

It is astonishing to think that the Ohio, one of the largest rivers in the world — the Ohio whose swollen waters some short months ago presented a current of 1500 miles in length, and from one to ten in width, and whose depths were almost unfathomable, should now be (comparatively) a small stream, fordable in many places, and literally seeking its way over pebbles, to the great Father of Rivers, the Mississippi.

The interruption to our commerce is the more injurious to the western country, as it happens when symptoms of general distress, induced by other causes, are so sensibly felt.

COMMENT: Old Shawneetown is located in southeast Gallatin County, Illinois, on the northwest bank of the Ohio River, and seems to date back to 1748. It was the site of Illinois’s first bank, chartered (in a log cabin) in 1816. After the American Revolution, (Old) Shawneetown served as an important United States government administrative center for the Northwest Territory.

Shawneetown and Washington, D.C., share the distinction of being the only towns chartered by the United States government. However, after a disastrous flood in 1937, Shawneetown’s population was moved inland several miles to today’s New Shawneetown, Illinois, and today only a couple of hundred people still live there.

Luther’s thoughts

According to Martin Luther, “A man lives 40 years before he knows himself to be a fool; and at that he begins to see his folly his life is nearly finished, so that many men die before they begin to live.”

COMMENT: The Protestant innovator died at 63.

Another thought

“The safe and general antidote against Sorrow, or even Vice, is employment. Sorrow is a kind of rust of the soul, which every new idea contributes to scour away. It is the putrescence of stagnant life, and is remedied by exercise and motion.”

COMMENT: This thought is attributed to Samuel Johnson (1709-1784): “Is not domination by Selfishness and Preoccupation with Amusements? And is not the real cure selflessness, friendship, and the pursuit of truth.”

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