MacDougall

The Otsego Herald for Nov. 8, 1819, compiled, with comments:

Domestic Economy

(From Plattsburg NY Republican, Nov. 13, 1819)

I was conversing ... on the subject of prevailing vices, and ... I imagined that society had somewhat improved. ... I therefore thought that, under decreasing vice I might reckon gambling.

You are in error, observed my friend, and I am sorry to say it. Once gambling was confined to a high sphere — none but kings and noblemen. ... It shortly spread like an epidemic, and infected what were called high classes — the mechanic, the laborer, was preserved by what were thought that purity of thought which arises from employment and economy, but alas! the disease has even infected them.

Come, said he — take a walk with me and, and I will show you how this vice is the heart of a moral country. ... And on going upstairs in a long room, we found a large table surrounded by mechanics, dirty laborers and ragged boys; — they were employed in a game called lotto or kino — the master drew the numbers on a wheel, the company covered such as appeared on small placards before them, and when they obtained a certain number they took the purse. ...

No gambler ever died rich — though fortune, for years, may have deluded him with smiles, yet she deserts him at his utmost need.

HAROLD

COMMENT: We usually call it bingo, and seems to be a harmless occupation for old ladies. The author of this is certainly Mordecai Mamoud Noah, a very prominent early American Jew of enormous abilities, who signed himself “HAROLD.”

Balloonist recovers

Mr. Guille has returned to New-York, with his balloon, from Connecticut, where it fell without sustaining any damage. He proposes to convince the Yorkers of his disinterested wishes to gratify their curiosity, by ascending in it gratuitously.

COMMENT: Balloonist Lewis Charles Guille, a Frenchman, began his American activities in 1818. In 1821 he made the first balloon trip in Massachusetts, but was successfully sued for $90 because of damages caused by the public come to watch his landing, on grounds that they were trespassing and he was enticing them. He also pioneered in the use of parachutes.

Thanksgiving proclamation

PROCLAMATION by De Witt Clinton, Governor of the State of New York.

WHEREAS, the offering up to Almighty God of public & and united thanks for his blessings, is an evident duty of religion; and the recommendation of a particular day for that solemn purpose, while it in no way interferes with the freedom of religious opinion or practice, is the most direct and proper means of uniting individual thanksgiving in one social expression of the public gratitude. ...

Now, therefore, I have judged it my incumbent duty to recommend to the good people of this state, the observance of WEDNESDAY, the twenty-second of December next as a day of Prayer and Thanksgiving, and I do so in the earnest wish that all, except as may be withheld by scruples of conscience, will on that day assemble in their respective places of worship, and present the sublime spectacle of a whole people offering the homage of devout and grateful hearts to that great and good Being from whose bounty we derive all that we enjoy. ...

COMMENT: General Thanksgiving days have been proclaimed for generations, at the state and national level, and often in November. Governor De Witt Clinton’s version is typical of religious proclamations in New York, going back to the New Netherland period, because of the variety of religious sects then — as now — tolerated in New York state.

Odds and ends

Several shocks of earthquake have been experienced at St. Louis and other places on the Missouri.

The Salem Register states, that a Mr. Perry shot in the offing of that harbor, at one shot 53 Canada ducks, weighing each from two to three pounds.

Public notice is given, that cents in any reasonable quantity, may be obtained from the U.S. mint at Philadelphia.

William Bibb is elected Governor of the new state of Alabama.

The White Hills, in New Hampshire, have been covered with snow since the 7th Oct.

At Heidleburgh, Germany, a plunder of the Jews commenced on the evening of the 29th August. The populace broke the doors and windows, & completely robbed or destroyed the furniture in three houses without the interference of the civil authority or military, when further outrage was unexpectedly prevented by the students of the university, who appeared armed with swords or sabres, and arrested the ringleaders and delivered them over to the municipal authorities.

The Ohio was lower on the 30th Oct. The water was 57 feet 4 inches lower than the great freshet two years ago.

Piracies have multiplied to an alarming degree in the West Indies latitudes. We scarcely receive a mail which does not detail some new aggression of this kind which calls for the interposition of civilized governments.

Mr. Jefferson, we are gratified to learn, is recovering from his late dangerous indisposition.

We continue to receive afflicting accounts of the dreadful destruction of lives and property in the W. Indies, by the Sept. gales. On a rough estimate, not less than 1000 lives have been lost & not less than six or 700 vessels destroyed, in the different islands.

The wife, six children and a niece of Jacob Zantman, of Upper Mahony, Pa., were lately burnt to death in the flames of his house.

COMMENT: Room was not sufficient for information about a stray cow, a stray mare, a pair of pantaloons, and a runaway negro indented servant, aged 14 years old, for whom a reward of six cents is offered.

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