The Otsego Herald for June 14, 1819, compiled, with comments:

Exporting Freed Slaves

At a court of Quarter Sessions held in April last for the county of Sussex, (Del.).

Lemuel Tam was convicted of selling, for exportation, a manumitted slave, and sentenced by the court to pay the sum of $500, the penalty enforced by the act of Assembly.

At the same term James Jones (who had been convicted by the Nov. term last) was sentenced by the court to pay the sum of $500, for exporting a manumitted slave.

The penalties in the above cases will be paid by the defendants.

COMMENT: By 1810 78% of Delaware’s blacks were free (more than in New Jersey or New York), but an enslaved boy could still sell for $150.

Cooperstown School Opened

NOTICE The Trustees of School District No. 1, will open a SCHOOL, in the public School House in this village, on Wednesday, the 21st (April) under the direction of Mr. L. SQUIRES. Terms of Tuition $2 per quarter. A proportion of Public money to be applied on the first quarter.

N.B. Any one sending in after the school commences, will not have any more to pay than their proportion of time from the time of commencing.


Cooperstown, April 17, 1819.


On Friday last, at Westford, Mass., the dwelling house of Mr. Thomas Cummings was destroyed by fire. Mrs. Cummings, in the absence of her husband to market, had gone at some distance to milk, and left the children in bed, when on her return the house was in flames and three of her children had perished.

At Murry (New York), a few days since, the house of Mr. Bovee, was destroyed by fire, and his two daughters were consumed in the flames; the parents were absent. — Commercial Advertiser.

COMMENT: It would be hard to find evidence of more common family tragedies than that of children burnt alive while their parents were away on ordinary errands,

Maine wants independence

The District of Maine (then still a part of Massachusetts) has petitioned to be erected into an independent state.

COMMENT: Maine was admitted to the union in 1820, as a free state.

Indians executed

The three Indians who murdered Ward and Bishop, have been tried, and sentenced to death.

COMMENT: “At the court of Common Pleas, held at Norwalk, Huron county, Ohio, May term, 1819: three Indians by the names of Neyonibe, Naugechek, and Negossum, were indicted and tried for a murder committed a few weeks since on the bodies of two white men John Wood and George Bishop — Wood and Bishop were out hunting and taken lodgings for the night, in a small hut, a few rods from Carrying river, and 8 or 10 miles from its mouth, where the horrid deed was perpetrated. — The victims were apparently hacked to death in their sleep, in Norwalk, Huron County, Ohio.

Negossum, aged 16 and of good character, was released, and the other two Indians were convicted and executed


NOTICE: Ran away from the subscriber, an indented apprentice girl, named AMY AYLSWORTH, about 10 years of age — All persons are forbid harboring or trusting her on my account, as I will not pay any debts she may contract. — Whoever will return her to me, shall receive one cent reward, but no charges paid.

ORES ADAMS, Milford, May 24, 1819.

COMMENT: As readers of this column will recall, such advertisements of runaway indented apprentices were very common, and the promised “one cent” reward concealed the real purpose — to ensure that the runaway could not run up debts to their one-time master. This one is unusual only because of the young age (apparently 10 years old) of the young runaway.

The family named Aylsworth, originally from Rhode Island, has often been changed to Ellsworth, as in the case of your compiler’s late wife, Eleanore Ellsworth of Cooperstown.

New Seeds

NOTICE: ROBERT CAMPBELL, Recording Secretary of the Otsego County Agricultural Society, has just received a variety of Foreign Seed Grains, to be delivered to such Members of the Society as call in time. April 30, 1819

COMMENT: James (later Fenimore) Cooper was its corresponding secretary.

Volunteers Mustered

Attention the Whole! The “Otsego Volunteers” are requested to meet at MUNN’S Hotel, on Saturday the 19th June, at half past 8, A.M. in full uniform, with Muskets, in order for firing, and 18 rounds of blank cartridges. By order. A,. BLISS, Serjeant. June 7, 1819.

COMMENT: The Otsego Volunteers had also been mustered for the Fourth of July, 1818, by their then-commandant, Ensign M. Comstock.

Col. Joseph Munn (1756-1830) was born in Brimfield, Massachusetts, and lived in Cooperstown for many years, where he kept a tavern where all kinds of public meetings were held between about 1813 and 1825. He married Sarah Crafts (1761-1800, who died in Cooperstown), and had three children. He died in Troy.