The Otsego Herald for Oct. 25, 1819, compiled, with comments:

Jabez D. Hammond

To the People of the County of Otsego

FELLOW CITIZENS — Two publications having recently appeared in the Watch Tower, charging me with deceitful and dishonorable conduct, while I had the honor to represent the Electors of this County in the Congress of the United States, upon reflection I have concluded that respect for you as well as for my own Character imposed on me the duty of proving those charges false. ...

I am charged with “voting all through the progress of the salary bill ... for the highest sum; that I declared to my colleague ... that I should support it throughout with my vote ... but ... after ascertaining that the bill would pass without my aid, I cunningly slipped my head out oft the halter by voting against it & saved as I supposed my popularity, while I pocketed the fifteen hundred dollars. ...

I never ... encouraged the passage of the ... bill, and that any insinuation to the contrary was utterly false. ... My opposition ... was ... that it was improper to make legislators salary officers, and ... that the amount of compensation ... was extravagant; that I was unwilling to act on an ... increase of my own compensation at all. ...

(Article goes on to accuse the Watch Tower newspaper of “malicious falsehood,” and offers extensive proof of it.)

Cherry Valley, Oct. 16,1819. JABEZ D.HAMMOND

COMMENT: Jabez Delano Hammond (born in New Bedford, Mass. in 1778, died in Cherry Valley on Aug. 18, 1855) had a long and varied career in both elective and appointive positions in American politics, including as Congressman in 1815-1817.

He is best known today, however, as the author of “The History of Political Parties in the State of New York ... to December 1840” (2 volumes, 1842), plus a third volume (1841-1847) published in 1852). They have been very frequently reprinted, and are still in print.


The absurd indulgence with which parents anticipate every wish of their children often paves the way for their destruction, and entirely unfits them for returning that affectionate care which is due the authors of their being. ... By supplying children with all the superfluities of life, we at once weaken the springs of exertion, and induce a habit of indolence fatal to future improvement, for why should they exert themselves to procure that which is ready at their call? ...

Happy is the man who in early life, has been taught by experience the blessed effects of honest industry, and the inestimable value of time. Multiply time by industry, and what is the result? Peace of mind, the innocent enjoyment of life, and every thing that can exalt human nature.

By industry I must not be understood the incessant drudgery pursuit after sordid gain; I have likewise reference to mental industry; the improvement of the intellectual part of our views above the narrow scene of things, and teaches us to go to heaven.

COMMENT: Perhaps by the mysterious “Philo Howard.”


DIED — in this Village, on Tuesday morning last, WILLIAM COOPER, Esq. in the 34th year of his age, son of the late William Cooper, Esq.

COMMENT: Perhaps the perfect example of the article above! William Cooper Jr. was the pride of his father, but grew up to be a proud, indolent, spendthrift son and a rebel. At Princeton College, he was suspected of burning down Nassau Hall (but never convicted of it).

Though he studied law, William Cooper Jr., said of himself “I am not, and probably never shall be in any business by which money can be made or lost, and therefore must rest my security upon my patrimony.” Of him Alan Taylor wrote, in “William Cooper’s Town” (1995), that: “Instead of becoming the great man, William Cooper, Jr., ended up a nothing. He was ruined by the insidious combinations of too much money too easily had with expectations far beyond his abilities to achieve.”

Another death

In Pittsfield, in this County, on the 10th (October), Mr. GARDNER M. CARPENTER, in the 27th year of his age.

COMMENT: I have not further identified him.

The sailor and the juggler

A sailor went to see a juggler exhibit his tricks. There happened to be a quantity of gun-powder in the room beneath, which took fire and blew up the house.

The sailor was thrown into a garden bed, without being hurt. He scratched his arms and legs, got up, shook himself, rubbed his eyes, and then cried out (conceiving what had happened to be only a part of the performance.) “D—n the fellow, I wonder what he will do next.”

Aid for Erie Canal

We understand that the Holland company have conveyed to the people of this state, 100,632 acres of land, situated in what is termed the Holland Purchase, toward the completion of the Great Western Canal, according to the provisions of an act of the Legislature of this state, passed the 15th April, 1817; the land so deeded as a donation, may be considered as worth half a million of dollars — Ulster Plebean.

COMMENT: This was an early name for what became the Erie Canal. The Holland Company, owned by a group of Dutch bankers, purchased land in western New York in 1793, and began selling from its headquarters in Batavia in 1801. It sold something like 3 million acres. When it was all sold, the company dissolved in 1846.

I recall reading that the Holland Company owned lands greater in size than the Dutch colony of New Netherland before 1654.

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