The Otsego Herald for Feb. 28, 1820, compiled, with comments: 

Alabama Territory vs. Negro Toney

The jury ... in a few minutes returned a verdict of not guilty. — The foreman, however, observed to the honorable court, that, as it appeared in evidence before them that the said negro Toney had not been very respectful to his superiors, the jury have agreed to recommend “that he be reprimanded by the court.”

The learned court at first appeared to have some doubts ... as to the manner in which this reprimand was to be carried into execution — whether by stripes, putting the prisoner’s head in the fence (a North Carolina substitute for stocks) or otherwise. ...

The learned Chief Justice ... declared “that it was the unanimous opinion of the court that the constable do take the said Toney to some convenient place, and there reprimand the said Toney, by giving him thirty-nine lashes on his bare back, well laid on.” 

Even the constable refused to execute the sentence without a written order, (which was granted of course) because Mr. P. (Toney’s lawyer) had threatened that if he punished the negro without such order, he would prosecute him, and that if the court gave such an order he would bring suit against them in favor of the owner of the slave.

COMMENT: “Negro Toney” is clearly just a version of “Negro Tony,” and hence a name commonly to be found in cases from the slave states. The implication of this article are that “negro Toney” did escape being whipped after his being found innocent of the main crime in question. The article was originally based on a statement by a lawyer in the case, who gave it to somebody in Claiborne, Alabama, calling himself “P.Q.”


Married, at Middlefield, on the 15th February, by the Rev. Andrew Oliver, Mr. EBENEZER S. RICE, to Miss CAROLINE WHITE, both of that town. 

COMMENT: Ebenezer Sawyer Rice (b. Middlefield 1795, d. 1845, Salina, Onondaga County, married Caroline White (b. Chatham, Connecticut, 1796, d. Middlefield Center, 1883).

Ebenezer came from Middlefield. After their marriage, they raised their children in Onondaga County. On Nov 6, 1840, Ebenzer received a patent at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for an apparatus for sinking wells in alluvial soil.

Caroline lived in Onondaga County. She moved with her son Lucien to Adrian, Michigan before 1860. She moved back to New York before 1870 and lived in Middlefield until her death in 1883, and they are both buried in First Ward Cemetery in Syracuse. They had seven children.

Another wedding

Married, in the same town, on the 23rd February, Mr. Wm. GRAHAM, to Miss MARY BLAIR, both of that town.

COMMENT: I found William Graham and Mary Blair in 1850 in Montcalm County Michigan. Mary Jane Blair was living with them. In 1860 Mary Graham was still there living with a daughter Hiram and Martha Rossman.

Yet another wedding

Married in Hartwick by the Rev. John St. John, OL. SHORT to Miss CLARISSA GROMSON, both of the same place.

COMMENT: Oliver Short, (b. Hartwick, 1799, d. Ottawa, Ohio, 1844) married Clarissa Ruth Grummon (b. Hartwick, 1801, d. Ottawa, Ohio, 1893). They had five children.

Terrible snowstorms

Hartford, CT, February 14,

We have experienced for a number of weeks a rapid succession of snow storms, the like of which, we suspect from all accounts has not been witnessed since the memorable winter of 1780.

At present the roads in every direction from this city are almost impassable. On Thursday the Albany turnpike between this city & Sheffield, literally presented a continued snowbank, in many places covering the fences. How the roads can be passed since the storm Thursday night, we cannot perceive, unless the inhabitants are prompt in beating paths.

COMMENT: To quote from a modern source, “The winter of 1779–1780 has been called among the harshest in the 18th century. A total of 28 snowstorms hit the United States, some dropping snow for several days in succession. The temperature rarely rose above freezing as the Delaware and Hudson Rivers froze over.”

Missing husband

ISAAC REES, who left this city about 4 weeks ago, in search of work, has not since been heard from his family. Any information concerning said Rees, will be thankfully received by Mrs. Rees. A letter on the subject, directed to her at Albany, will be gratefully acknowledged. Albany, Feb. 1.

COMMENT: I haven’t identified him with any certainty.

Hard times

New-York, February 21.

Hard times — In proof that the cry of hard times, that is heard in our street corners so loud and so frequent, is well founded, the fact may be mentioned, that at an auction the day before yesterday, a number of cashmere shawls were sold at 300 dollars and upwards, a piece. No wonder that they are all the rags (rage?) of the day.

Probably no reigning fashion for a long time has such a powerful recommendation to the higher order of society.

There is little danger to be apprehended, of their becoming common.

COMMENT: Cashmere is made from the wool of the cashmere goat, and is soft, warm, light and strong — and can last for up to 30 years. It is shorn in mid-winter, causing frequent mortality among the goats, which some think unethical.

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