MacDougall

The Otsego Herald for Nov. 15, 1819, compiled, with comments:

God for everyone

He who does not at proper times commune with his God, loses a great temporal luxury and hazards his eternal happiness. You may be free in your religious opinions; indifferent as to the strict performance of its duties — you may philosophize, on its mysteries, and coldly comply, for form’s sake, with what morality requires.

But there is more than form or fashion, or sentiment which God requires of his creatures; and there are times when the most free and indifferent calls upon him for protection and support. We may judge from common relations in life, how pleasing it is to be sincerely pious in our orisons.

We hail the friend who served us, with gratitude — we gaze upon our companion for life with affection — we feel towards children and relations the sentiments of love and kindness; but how strongly combined should all those feelings be when addressing the fountain of life — the disposer of good — the merciful, indulgent and omnipotent God.

Not with the shouts of fanaticism, or the fretful penances of temporal authority — not as dealing damnation to one sect and blessings to others — not in crushing one portion of his creation and elevating another; but as a just and righteous God whom you fear to offend ... whom you call upon for salvation and blessings with that freedom which arises from an unsullied conscience. ...

HOWARD. — From the National Advocate. 

COMMENT: This much longer philosophical article was written by Mordecai Manuel Noah (1785-1851), a very prominent early American Jewish philosopher, whose columns (signed HOWARD) were frequently included in the Otsego Herald from 1818 to 1820.

King John of Portugal

From a letter dated July 14,1819, Rio de Janeiro.

“The king, king John of Portugal, imbecile in his person and mind, weak and contemptable in his national character, grinds down the faces of his poor subjects, till heart and frame ink alike into a state of listless apathy and shameless dereliction of principle.

“Compelled to pay first a tythe, then something less than a moiety (half) to the king himself, then two or three different imposts to the revenue ... an original commodity dwindles to a mere token of itself, and the subject must find some other means than honesty to live. To cheat the king, the customs and the laws, is a branch of dangerous though continually practiced science.

“Kings, Dukes, Lords and subjects, have nearly all marks of characteristic meanness and depravity. The women are all lecherous and unchaste, the queen herself is not exempt from the clearest and most direct imputations. ... Whenever any sprig of the royal branch appears in view, no one remains covered under any circumstance. ...”

COMMENT: King John (Joao) I of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves from 1816 to 1825, who is denounced in this letter, moved his capital from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1807. His son, Pedro I, seized power in Brazil in 1822, as first Emperor of Brazil. John returned to Portugal, where he died (possibly of arsenic poisoning) in 1826. One source calls him, “indolent, silly and clumsy, subjugated by a shrewish wife, a disgusting glutton who always had baked chicken in his coat pockets to eat them at any time with greasy hands.”

Death of a child

Hudson, Nov. 8.

On Tuesday last, Isaac, an active little boy of Mr. Samuel N. Blake, about three years old, while playing in a room occupied for purposes of pressing hay, and while the horse was turning the machinery, the head of the boy was caught between the lever and the beam, and almost instantaneously killed.

Comment: A very pressing caution to those who have charge of similar works to prevent children approaching where such imminent danger awaits them.

Love story

Detroit, October 3.

Our citizens are often amused by information, contained in newspapers printed in different parts of the union, of interesting and extraordinary events, said to have occurred in this territory.

Among other news which has been pretty widely circulated, we find a statement of a romantic love scene, between a young Indian and a Mrs. Somebody, who was a passenger in the Steam-Boat to Mackina.

COMMENT: This seems to be a story published, in much longer form, in the Ladies Literary Cabinet, Vol. I, pages 165-166, which appeared in New York in 1819. The Indian was named Machiwita.

Mourning ordered

At the recent session of the honorable General Assembly of Rhode Island, the subsequent resolutions passed both houses unanimously. “Resolved, That the Members of the General Assembly, lamenting as a public calamity, the death of Commodore Oliver H. Perry, will, in testimony of their respect for his distinguished worth, and their regret for his country’s loss, wear crape on the left arm for the space of 20 days; and sensible of the great and lasting effect to be derived from the example of his elevated character and important services ...

“Resolved further, That Benjamin Hazard be requested to compose and publish the biography of Commodore Perry.

“Mr. Hazard is a distinguished lawyer, in Newport, and from his talents and intimate acquaintance with the gallant Commodore, must be amply qualified to perform the interesting duty assigned him by the General Assembly.” — R. I. Paper

COMMENT: I find no evidence that Judge Benjamin Hazard (1774-1841) did in fact write a biography of Perry.

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