MacDougall

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

by HUGH C. MacDOUGALL

Banks and shopping

To avoid hard times, attend diligently to the following hints.

When you see a bank door, consider it as the gate to destruction, and beware of entering therein.

When you see a store, consider it as a mansion of pestilence, and run for your lives.

When you find yourselves on the way to a store — look around you — feel in your pockets and see if you have any thing to pay for what your are after — if not — turn about — go home — put patches on your old coats and wear them a year longer.

Never carry your credit to a store and take therefor articles which you do not want, because the rogue behind the counter tells you they are cheap;

When you have the means of paying for any articles which you may want, never go to a store where you can read on the sign board — cash store — cheap store — and at the head of the fellow’s advertisement — cheap — cheaper than the cheapest — actually far less than cost!!

Never promise bear skins until you have catched them.

Never engage your butter, cheese, and pork for rum, calico, and looking glasses.

Do not tell me these things are necessary — and that you cannot do without them — away with such nonsense — you can do without them till fall — yes — until January.

Remember that the right of those things which you obtain on credit, does not belong to you — but to your creditors, who will not fail to prove it at a time which will be very inconvenient to your real and personal property.

Recollect that the difference between things gotten on credit, and things obtained for pay in hand, is from ten to thirty per cent. ...

Lastly — never envy — and never imitate those who ride in carriages for which they owe — and for which they are visited by the sheriffs.

PINDAR — From the Hampden Patriot.

COMMENT: Pindar was an ancient Greek poet, and this is obviously a pen-name signature, of somebody whom I have not identified. I notice that after one warning about banks, the rest of the article is all about shopping. There is a hamlet called Pindars Corners in Delaware County, near Oneonta. which was the home of the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynahan (1927-2003).

Newspaper price decrease

TO OUR PATRONS: The price of the OTSEGO HERALD, will be reduced to the following terms after the 1st of January next.

To subscribers per Mail $ 1.50 per year.

To subscribers in the village $ 2.

To Classes, 2 pence per paper.

Post Riders will be furnished at the usual reduction from the above prices.

COMMENT: Cooperstown’s weekly paper, the Otsego Herald, began publishing in 1795 — and on which we have based our weekly summary and comments since 1995, was evidently in trouble —notably from The Freeman’s Journal — and would in fact last only until 1822.

Rogues caught

Early on Saturday morning last, John Gardner, John Havens, and Joseph Gardner, stopped at Jeremiah Tourtellot’s tavern, about two miles west of this village (of Cooperstown). They were with a sleigh and horses, and after coming into the house, Mr. T. thought he recollected John Gardner and on questioning him, felt strong suspicions that he was concerned in breaking open the shop of Mr. Stephen Gregory, of this village, on the night of the 2d December.

Mr. Tourtellot went to the shed, where he discovered a chest containing shoes, and some other property, which he was satisfied was the property of Mr. Gregory. On returning to the house, he charged Gardner with the theft, who confessed it.

Mr. T. then brought the three persons aforesaid, immediately to the village, when the latter underwent an examination before Elisha Foote, Esq. It appeared from the confession of John Gardner, that he alone had taken the property from Mr. Gregory’s shop, on the night aforesaid, and deposited it in Mr. Miller’s barn, a few rods northerly of the village, where it had been secreted from that time till Saturday morning.

John Havens was considered as an accomplice with Gardner, and both were lodged in prison on Saturday last, to await their trial, which will probably take place in February next. Joseph Gardner, who drove the sleigh, and was the owner thereof, is a brother to John, and was acquitted and is supposed to have been innocent of the theft.

Mr. Gregory has, therefore very fortunately for him, recovered probably the whole of his property.

COMMENT: This article is obviously original with the Otsego Herald, and thus written in far more detail than one would normally expect. Stephen Gregory (1790-1867), the victim of the theft, was born in Danbury, Connecticut, and came to Cooperstown in 1815. In 1831 he became a founder of Cooperstown’s Universalist Church, whose building still stands on the corner of Pioneer and Church Streets. He served as village president in 1829, and several times as village trustee.

The stolen property

The subscriber has in his care a number of calf and leather skins, taken from the possession of John Gardner and John Havens. ... The skins amount to 33 in number, most of them marked. ... The property has undoubtedly been stolen, and judging from appearances was curried at different shops. The owner or owners, will make application to the subscriber, prove property, and adopt such steps as may prove instrumental in bringing the criminal to justice. They are now in the county jail.

ELISHA FOOTE, Justice. Cooperstown, Dec. 27, 1819

COMMENT: Foote was the justice who examined the accused criminals.

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