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Apr 13, 2021
Franklin County (MA) News Archive
The Franklin County Publication Archive Index

To search for a particular subject term, click on the highlighted link containing that term at the bottom of the article. For example, if you are seeking more articles about animals, click on the highlighted link which says Animals/Reptiles/Amphibians.

Article Archives: Articles: Households

Showing 25

Posted by stew - Wed, Feb 24, 2010

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 20, 1875
Greenfield

Greenfield - Front room to let on Federal Street, first floor, to gentleman and wife, or to one or two ladies. Furnished or unfurnished with one sleeping room on 2 flights of stairs. Apply to Joel Wilson.
 

Subjects: Advertising, Dreams / Sleep, Greenfield (MA), Households, Marriage and Elopement, Roads, Women

Posted by stew - Wed, Feb 24, 2010

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 20, 1875
Greenfield

Greenfield - Tenement to rent on Wells Street near Main, 4 rooms, $6,25 per month in advance. Apply to Joel Wilson.
 

Subjects: Advertising, Economics, Greenfield (MA), Households, Roads

Posted by stew - Wed, Feb 24, 2010

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 20, 1875
John Chinaman in New York

John Chinaman in New York - The New York Tribune describes the haunts of the Chinese in that city as follows:

In the Sixth Ward is a small district where most of the Chinese in New York live. A visitor to their opium smoking dens may go to Baxter Street, just below Franklin, where was formerly Donovan’s lane, the resort of the most desperate villains in the city, but which is now a Y-shaped court shut in on all sides by high tenement houses.

On the ground floor of one of these buildings is the establishment of "Old John", a Chinaman 74 years old, who has been in the United States 47 years, and was the first of his race to become naturalized. His quarters comprise three rooms. By the door is seated his assistant, who gives out the drug. Upon one side of the room is a low platform or dais; sometimes there are two, one above the other, like births upon which men are to be seen reclining in the different stages of opium intoxication. [How interesting - guess that’s where the word ’berths’ comes from].

The pipes consist of a bamboo stem and a porcelain bowl about 2 inches in diameter, in the centre [sic] of which is a small receptacle for the opium. A small piece of the drug is taken up on an iron rod and heated until it is dried to a proper consistency. Then it is inserted into the pipe, and the smoker slowly draws the smoke through, soon filling the whole room with a peculiar smell.

The proprietor furnishes his customers with pipes and a place to lie down. The drug is weighed out upon a rude pair of reed scales. The weight used is a silver coin. Each smoker is provided with a small horn box, which will contain about 15 cents’ worth of opium, enough to last an average smoker all night. The preparation is undoubtedly adulterated, since it costs the druggist $23.50 a pound.

A few doors below, on the same side, is another place where smoking is carried on, which does not differ materailly from Old John’s. There is, however, a temple connected with it. On the wall is hung a gayly [sic] painted picture of some Chinese god, at whose shoulder, on one side, man’s good angel is represented, and on the other, his evil angel.

The faces are very grotesque, and resemble those painted upon tea chests. Hanging upon the picture are numerous tinsel and paper flowers, with faces painted upon the petals, and a little below the picture is a shrine upon which stand two candles, to be lighted only upon festival occasions.

In the middle is a dish containing sand, in which are the burned fragments of several joss sticks. The pious Celestial lights one of these, and placing it in the sand on the altar prays to his deity. From the ceiling hangs two Chinese lanterns, and there is also a glass vessel containing some kind of vegetable oil in which floats a burning wick.

A cup of the same oil is placed in the shrine for the especial use of the god. Upon the wall are hung bulletin boards where the news which agitates the Chinese world is pasted. A curious scroll, resembling the red cover on a pack of fire crackers, attracts attention and proves to be a directory of business of the principal Chinese merchants in San Francisco.
 

Subjects: Art, Beverages, Births, Business Enterprises, Businesspeople, Chinese, Criminals, Drug Abuse, Drugstores / Drugs, Economics, Emigration and Immigration, Fairs, Farmers & Farming / Flowers, Fires, Furniture, Glass / Windows, Households, Light, Literature / Web Pages, Names, Old Age, Racism, Religion, Roads, Smoking and Tobacco

Posted by stew - Wed, Feb 24, 2010

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 20, 1875
Why she didn’t catch it



Why she didn’t catch it - One of our prominent merchants was informed a day or two since , when he went home to tea, that there was a mouse in the sitting room; it had run in there during the afternoon, and they had shut the door to keep it in until someone came to catch it. "Well, why didn’t YOU catch it?" said the gentleman to his wife as he started for the sitting room, banging the door pretty sharply behind him.

The ladies - there were 2 or 3 callers present - waited in breathless silence and were soon startled by a yell that sent the lady of the house into a swoon and one of the callers to the rescue.



Opening the door, there was the gentleman with his pants half off, both hands grasping the antipodes of the small of his back,and he executing a Modoc war dance in the middle of the room.

The lady said "What is it?" The gentleman said "You clear out and call my wife". Soon as cold water and camphor had revived her, the lady of the house went in and quiet soon was restored. Inquiry elicited the fact that when the gentleman went in and discovered the mouse he went for it at once, and the mouse went up the leg of his pantaloons and got in such a position that he could not be shook out, and fearing that he would bite as well as scratch, he seized him with both hands, and then found it impossible to get his pants off alone.When the mouse was finally removed his wife quietly remarked "You see now why I didn’t catch it". The gentleman said he did. (Faribault Democrat) [Minnesota].


 

Subjects: Animals / Reptiles, Beverages, Businesspeople, Dance, Households, Jokes, Literature / Web Pages, Marriage and Elopement, Masculinity (Machismo), Medicine / Hospitals, Native Americans, Noise, Vendors and Purchasers, Women, Clothing, Water

Posted by stew - Sun, Feb 21, 2010

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 20, 1875
Metcalf & Luther

Metcalf & Luther - [Illustration of an eye, with an imp leaning on top of it with a bandage covering one eye, between the letters O and C]. O C $50,000.00 worth of house furnishing goods to be sold this Fall, regardless of cost! ...

Furniture, carpets, crockery, stoves, tin ware, wooden ware, bedding, feathers, etc....

Metcalf & Luther, 435 Main Street, opposite Court Square,Springfield, Mass.
 

Subjects: Advertising, Art, Birds, Business Enterprises, Courts, Economics, Eye, Furniture, Hampshire / Hampden Counties, Households, Pottery / Crockery, Roads, Sales, Stores, Retail

Posted by stew - Sun, Feb 21, 2010

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 20, 1875
Mrs. Dr. L.F. Hagar



Mrs. Dr. L.F. Hagar, healing medium, has taken rooms at the house of D.G. Shaw on Wells Street, where she is prepared to prescribe for the sick or attend to calls if desired. Special attention given to chronic diseases and the diseases of children. References given if required. A liberal patronage is desired.
 

Subjects: Advertising, Children, Diseases, Greenfield (MA), Households, Medical Personnel, Medicine / Hospitals, Quacks and Quackery, Roads, Spiritualism, Women, Work

Posted by stew - Sun, Feb 21, 2010

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 20, 1875
Situation wanted

Situation wanted - An American lady wishes a home to assist in light housework and sewing. Satisfactory reference given. Address Miss C.S. Lock, Box 15, Greenfield, Mass.
 

Subjects: Advertising, Greenfield (MA), Households, Racism, Women, Work

Posted by stew - Sat, Feb 13, 2010

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 20, 1875
Obituaries

Died in Greenfield at the residence of J.J. Graves Sept. 12, Curtis D. Graves, late of Boscawen, N.H., age 24, Mary A. Fudge, daughter of Elijah Hayden, age 22.


 

Subjects: Emigration and Immigration, Greenfield (MA), Households, Names, New Hampshire, Obituaries

Posted by stew - Sat, Feb 13, 2010

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 20, 1875
North Leverett

North Leverett - Elmer Graves has sold his farm to Alexander C. Sh[?] of Bernardston for $2000. Mr. Graves goes to Athol, where he has built a house.
 

Subjects: Athol (MA), Emigration and Immigration, Farmers & Farming / Flowers, Households, Leverett (MA), Sales, Vendors and Purchasers, Architecture / Construction

Posted by stew - Fri, Feb 12, 2010

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 20, 1875
Whitingham, Vt.

Whitingham, Vt. - Mrs. S., an old lady 82 years old, has worked out doing housework and haying all summer; has spread, raked, loaded and opened hay equal to most men. How is that for [?].


 

Subjects: Farmers & Farming / Flowers, Households, Old Age, Vermont, Women, Work

Posted by stew - Fri, Feb 12, 2010

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 20, 1875
Heath

Heath - Messrs.Editors: The death of our most aged mother and much beloved neighbor and friend, Mrs. Martha Spooner, widow of the late Philip Spooner, who died at her home in Heath with her son Deacon N.W. Spooner Aug. 21, aged 96 years, she being the oldest person in town - is deemed worthy of something more than a passing notice.

For more than 60 years the deceased was a resident of this town. Left in early life with a large family of children, almost entirely dependent on her labor for support, she neverthless maintained them in comfort and respectability, early training them to habitual industry, temperance and frugality, teaching them to reverence the Sabbath and be guided by the principles and precepts of God's word...
 

Subjects: Contests, Economics, Family, Households, Literature / Web Pages, Obituaries, Old Age, Religion, Temperance, Widows and Widowers, Women, Words, Work, Heath (MA)

Posted by stew - Fri, Feb 12, 2010

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 20, 1875
Silver wedding

Silver wedding - Whoever originated the modern idea of celebrating wedding annniversaries deserves much credit, as all will testify who were present at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. F.G. Davis of Sadawga,Vt. Aug. 25, it being the 25th anniversary of their wedding day. The worthy couple were surprised at dinner by the arrival of friends from Brattleboro, and soon after appeared in a body, 15 other teams, bringing neighbors, relatives and friends to the number of 40 or more, who unceremoniously took possession of the old house, and after greeting and hand shaking, proceeded to enjoy themselves in the most approved style, and as man (and woman as well) is a social being, they succeeded admirably.

Late in the day Mrs. Davis was again surprised by the arrival of sisters and friends from Bennington and White Creek, New York, who had crossed the mountain that day to assist in the celebration.Meanwhile sundry boxes and baskets appeared from their hiding places and their contents loaded the dining tables with the many good things which our mountain ladies know so well how to produce.

The tables were also beautifully decorted with flowers and two elegant vases, the gift of one of the guests, added much to their tasteful appearance. After refreshments Rev. N.E. Jenkins, in a few timely remarks, addressed the bride and groom, and in behalf of the donors presented a few articles of silver - a caster, cake basket, napkin rings, spoons and forks and some pieces of statuary.

Mr. Davis responded briefly, but to the point, referring to the same day 25 years ago. Though a shade of sadness marked the occasion, on account of the recent death of the aged father of the groom, the day was one long to be remembered by those present. Four generations of the family were present - the mother of the groom, his children, and one grandchild.
 

Subjects: Amusements, Animals / Reptiles, Children, Cutlery, Family, Farmers & Farming / Flowers, Food, Furniture, Horses, Households, Marriage and Elopement, Obituaries, Old Age, Parties, Religion, Rivers / Lakes / Oceans, Roads, Statues, Transportation, Vermont, Women, Jewelry / Gold / Silver / Treasure

Posted by stew - Fri, Feb 12, 2010

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 20, 1875
Shelburne Falls

Shelburne Falls - The Charles Pelton place is being repaired and enlarged.
 

Subjects: Households, Shelburne and Shelburne Falls (MA), Work, Architecture / Construction

Posted by stew - Fri, Feb 12, 2010

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 20, 1875
Shelburne Falls

Shelburne Falls - James W. Whitman is getting along very well with his new house.
 

Subjects: Households, Shelburne and Shelburne Falls (MA), Architecture / Construction

Posted by stew - Fri, Feb 12, 2010

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 20, 1875
Shelburne Falls

Shelburne Falls - The friends of the Hook and Ladder Company are [?] them to buy a new speaking trumpet.

[This is a special megaphone - most useful for yelling "Get out! Your house is on fire"!]


 

Subjects: Fires, Households, Noise, Shelburne and Shelburne Falls (MA), Vendors and Purchasers, Words, Work

Posted by stew - Wed, Feb 10, 2010

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 20, 1875
Orange

Orange - Prescott Foskett, a respected citizen and well-to-do farmer, committed suicide by hanging himself at Orange, Sat. afternoon the 11th. He visited his son's wife, and deposited his spectacles, money, and a few mementos, stating that he was going to put himself out of the way. Upon being asked what was the trouble, he said he had seen trouble enough.

His son was immediately informed of his father's intentions, and a search was commenced for him, but after an hour proved unsuccessful; then an alarm was given, and business about the place was generally suspended. After another hour search, the body of Mr. Foskett was found suspended to a tree, about a half a mile from his son's house. The act occasions intense excitement in the vicinity. Domestic troubles are said to have led to the act. He was about 68 years old.
 

Subjects: Economics, Eye, Family, Farmers & Farming / Flowers, Households, Marriage and Elopement, Orange (MA), Rich People, Suicide, Trees

Posted by stew - Wed, Feb 10, 2010

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 20, 1875
South Deerfield

South Deerfield - S.F. Fisher has reopened his harness shop in the basement of the Methodist Church; P. Corcoran a shop in Pierce's block; James Baghardt a shop over the post office; E.H. Warren a stable at his residence, and James M. Houston has opened a hotel in the second story of Pierce's block.
 

Subjects: Business Enterprises, Businesspeople, Deerfield (MA), Fires, Horses, Hotels, Households, Mail, Religion, Vendors and Purchasers

Posted by stew - Wed, Feb 10, 2010

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 20, 1875
South Deerfield

South Deerfield - O.S.. Arms is greatly improving his house, damaged by the fire, by putting on a new and higher roof, at an expense of about $300.
 

Subjects: Deerfield (MA), Economics, Fires, Households, Architecture / Construction

Posted by stew - Wed, Feb 10, 2010

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 20, 1875
Greenfield items



Greenfield - Frank Lansing Grinnell, who met his death by a sad and singular accident at Bridgeport, CT, was a son of George B. Grinnell of New York, and a grandson of Hon. George Grinnell of this town. He had just graduated at Yale and was about entering into business. A most exemplary young man, and fond of outdoor exercise and amusements, including the game of baseball in which he was skilled.

At the time of the accident, he was at Bridgeport to take part in a match game. Previous, while endeavoring to catch a flying ball, he stepped backward, unawares, into the line of 2 young men who were passing a ball, before they perceived it. The ball was the hardest on the ground, and thrown by the most powerful pitcher of the club, and struck young Grinnell on the back of the head, just at the base of the skull.

He fell instantly, and was soon after taken to the house of Hon. W.D. Bishop, where he received every attention possible. His friends arrived as soon as telegraph and steam could bring them. He remained unconscious until Friday, when he seemed to recognize them, and hope revived among his friends; but he sunk away and died on Saturday eve.

He was much beloved by his classmates and others in college, and only 2 weeks ago spent several days with his grandparents, where he met many acquaintances who mourn his early death.

[Additional information can be found in the
1875-1876 Obituary Record of Graduates of Yale University online].
 

Subjects: Accident Victims, Accidents, Amusements, Businesspeople, Connecticut, Education, Family, Greenfield (MA), Households, Literature / Web Pages, Obituaries, Sports, Telegraphs / Telephones, Transportation

Posted by stew - Wed, Feb 10, 2010

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 20, 1875
Greenfield items

Greenfield - A number of our citizens, principally ladies, were taken in some weeks ago by a fellow pretending to be getting subscribers for a periodical called "Cottage Hearth".They paid their money, and when, after waiting a reasonable time the periodical did not make its appearance, they wrote to the publisher. They were told that no such agent had been engaged and they had been swindled. Moral: don't trust book agents, etc. with your money until you get the equivalent, and still better, don't have anything to do with them.


 

Subjects: Crime, Criminals, Economics, Greenfield (MA), Households, Literature / Web Pages, Robbers and Outlaws, Vendors and Purchasers, Women, Work

Posted by stew - Sun, Jan 24, 2010

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 20, 1875
Conway

Conway - We saw an item 2 or 3 weeks since in the "Courier" speaking of a sudden death while swearing, reported by another paper as occurring at Burkeville, etc., contradicted by a correspondent, the item belonging to Burkville, Kentucky, not Conway, Mass. Perhaps there are but few living in our town who know that such an incident really did occur in our midst many years ago, living witnesses attesting the truth at the present time, called to remembrance by the item mentioned.

The facts were these, as nearly as I could gather them: a colored man by the name of James Hall, living or standing near the house now occupied by Russell Bond, was swearing fearfully, blaspheming the name of God because there had been a religious interest in the place and his wife was converted.

Wishing to join the church, she applied for baptism - we think for the Baptist Church here - and was accepted. Her husband’s anger was roused, and while terrible oaths were on his lips, swearing that the rite should not be administered to her, he fell forward dead!

"God fearing" may be our community, as a class both then and now, but is it not rather the mercy of Heaven that spares the swearer from alike state? It is not OUR goodness which keeps men alive, not even in Christian Conway!

[There actually is a Burkesville, Kentucky - see Wikipedia].


 

Subjects: African-Americans / Blacks, Conway (MA), Households, Jokes, Literature / Web Pages, Names, Obituaries, Religion, Women, Words, Superstition

Posted by stew - Mon, Jan 18, 2010

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 20, 1875
The Coleraine Murder

The Coleraine Murder - As briefly stated in our last issue, Daniel Dwight, supposed to be one of the murderers of Joseph R. Farnsworth, was arrested Sat. night at the door of his father’s house on Catamount Hill, Coleraine, where he had come 5 days after the murder. There were 6 men, under Deputy Sheriff John Gould, stationed around the house, and between 10 and 11 o’clock, they saw a man coming up the road, which proved to be young Dwight.

They allowed him to approach near the house, when a signal was given, and they stepped from their hiding places. Dwight ran around the house in the direction of the barn, but he was then surrounded and forced to surrender. When taken into the house before his father, he fainted.

Dwight was confined in the lock-up at Shelburne Falls, and on Mon., Trial Justice Brainard of Greenfield held a court at the office of H.M.Puffer, Esq., and had the young man brought before him. A large gathering of people were in attendance, and among them Dwight’s wife, father and mother.

He pleaded not guilty, and the magistrate, without having a hearing of evidence, arraigned him on the charge of murder and continued the case to Mon. the 17th. Officers Swan and Gould then brought the prisoner to Greenfield,where he is now confined in jail. Dwight appears quite calm and is not disposed to talk much about the affair. He accounts for his absence and his whereabouts during the 4 days as follows:

"I had some trouble with my wife on Tues. aft., which had ended by my saying I was going off, and her replying that she hoped I would, and what was more, that I would stay away. She then started to go to father’s house, which is only a short distance from mine, and I started for a pasture where some of father’s cattle were grazing.

On the way I met Herbert Davenport, and together we went to Farnsworth’s house, and afterward went down the lane to the road leading to Shelburne Falls. Herbert wanted a cane, so we stopped and cut one, I bending the tree over while he cut it; but he did not carry it long before he threw it away.

From there we went through the fields directly to my house, where I changed my clothes and gave a suit to Herbert, as his were all patched and dirty. We left home about 5 o’clock, and went down the mountain to Heath, and then through Hartwellville down to North Adams, getting there on Wed. aft.

We walked all Tues. night.Wed. night we slept on the hills near North Adams, and on Thurs. morning, after staying a while in North Adams, we walked to Pownal on the railroad track. At Pownal we got on board a train which was returning with the firemen from the muster at North Adams that day.

At Petersburg Junction Herbert got left with some Salem, N.Y. firemen, because the train started so quick, and I could not get off, it was going so fast. That night I stopped at Greenwich, N.Y. and registered my name in the hotel book in full - Daniel J. Dwight, Coleraine, Mass. I remained there that night, but had nothing to eat, as I only had money enough to pay for my lodging.

[For more information on this area, see the Internet Archive’s "Williamstown, the Berkshire Hills, and thereabout"]

The next day I walked to Troy. I did not remain there long because I was hungry and sick, and thought I would go right home and go to work for father, and let my wife do as she chose. Coming back I got a ride part of the way on a freight train, and got to N. Adams Sat. aft.,and walked to central shaft in the tunnel, and from there I rode to the east end on the workmen’s train and walked to Zoar, where they let me ride on a hand car to Charlemont. From there I rode with a Mr.Wells as far as his house, and then went across the fields home".



A portion of Dwight’s story has proved to be true. Bradley Davenport and Wesley Woodard, sent to Petersburg Junction, sent back that two men answering the description of Dwight and Davenport had been there. At Greenwich, N.Y., Dwight’s name was found registered in full, as he had said, and there is nothing to show that Davenport was with him at the time.

The Davenport boy arrested - Search was continued for Davenport and finally he was tracked to Williamstown, and Thurs. aft. was found there by a Mr. White. He made no efforts to escape, but on the other hand seemed glad to give himself up.

He was brought through the tunnel to Shelburne Falls Fri. morning, and Trial Justice Brainard of Greenfield held a preliminary trial, arraigned him for murder, and continued the trial until the 27th. The Davenport boy’s narrative is substantially the same as that given by Dwight, but he does not deny that they killed Farnsworth.

He says their only object was to obtain money, that he had no enmity or ill will towards the murdered man. He and Dwight had made up their minds to go West and hoped to get enough money from Farnsworth to pay their expenses, but he says they only got about $4.

There were 2 sticks cut, he says, a walnut and a maple. It was with the latter that Farnsworth was knocked down. He says that he did not do the striking, though he was there. After he was left at Petersburg Junction, he wandered from place to place, working for something to eat when he could get employment, and was endeavoring to get back home.

Davenport is not of ordinary intelligence. He was dull at school, and has since been lazy and shiftless. Want of mental responsibility will be entered as a plea in his behalf. His mother says that he has always been a "strange boy". She has another son and a daughter who are bright, active and industrious.

Davenport was brought to Greenfield and lodged in jail on Fri. by Deputy Sheriff Swan. Both boys, who are allowed to be together when not locked in their cells, do not appear to be cast down or afflicted much with remorse. They will be brought before the Grand Jury at the November Court and if bills are found against them the trial will be before a special session of the Supreme Court.
 

Subjects: Amusements, Animals / Reptiles, Charlemont (MA), Coleraine [now Colrain] (MA), Courts, Crime, Criminals, Diseases, Economics, Education, Family, Farmers & Farming / Flowers, Fires, Food, Greenfield (MA), Handicapped, Hoosac Tunnel (MA), Hotels, Households, Juvenile Delinquents, Marriage and Elopement, Missing Persons, Murder, Names, Police

Posted by stew - Mon, Feb 23, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 20, 1875
Oration of Hon. George B. Loring at Bloody Brook, Sept. 17, 1875

Oration of Hon. George B. Loring at Bloody Brook, Sept. 17, 1875 - Fellow citizens: 200 years ago an event occurred on this spot, which on account of its significance and its touching details, has passed into that long heroic line over which the mind of man is compelled to pause and ponder...At the name of Bloody Brook the men, women, and children of New England started and held their breath in horror, in that primeval time when the sickening tidings were borne on the wings of the wind as it were from hamlet to hamlet...

The sad event of the 18th of September 1675, calls upon us still to remember the trials through which our fathers passed and to rejoice over that fraternal spirit which bound them together in their day of sorrow, and watered the soil of this charming valley with the choicest blood of the sons of Essex. I stand on ground made sacred to you by the sacrifices of your hardy and devoted progenitors; but I meet here the names of Lothrop and Stevens and Hobbs and Manning and Dodge and Kimball and Trask and Tufts and Mudge and Pickering, of the three-score braves who died that you might possess this goodly land and these pleasant homes...

How would they who were familiar with the cruel warfare of the savage; whose ears had heard the shrieks of the tortured mother mingling with the groans of her dying child, and whose eyes had beheld her fear, her patience and her despair; whose highway was an Indian trail, and whose home was a frontier block-house - how would they rejoice over these sunny fields, these laughing harvests, these busy towns, these tasteful homes, this cultivated landscape adorned with these institutions of learning and religion; and how would they count their own sufferings but small when compared with the manifold blessings which have descended upon the spot made sacred with their blood?

...Deerfield two centuries ago, was on the very confines of civilization - one of the outposts of a feeble Christian people, who had hardly a foothold on this continent, and between whom and the strongholds of power and wealth and learning, rolled 3000 miles of stormy and almost unknown sea. The fate of a great and wide spread empire rested then in the hands of a few colonists scattered along the Atlantic seaboard, divided in interests and tastes, perishing continually from exposure and want, not all actuated by the highest motives, but all recognizing, as by an unerring instinct, the fundamental principle out of which was to grow the American government, and all in danger of being exterminated at any time by the "pestilence which walketh in darkness and the destruction which wasteth at noonday".

Scattered up and down the great extent of territory stretching from the Passamaquoddy Bay to the capes of Florida were but about 200,000 souls, of whom Massachusetts, with Plymouth and Maine, may have had 44,000; New Hampshire and Rhode Island, with Providence each 6000; Connecticut from 17,000 to 20,000; that is, all New England, 75,000...

These people had come largely from that "Germanic race most famed for the love of personal independence". They were not men of high estate, but they were men who possessed an inherent love of land, with all the individual honor and freedom which go along with it...

Of one colony said "Spotswood, a royalist, a High churchman, a traveler", "I have observed here less swearing and profaneness, less drunkenness and debauchery, less uncharitable feuds and animosities, and less knaverys and villanys than in any part of the world where my lot has been"...

In all their customs they were obliged to exercise the utmost simplicity and they voluntarily regulated their conduct by those formal rules, which, in their day, constituted the Puritan’s guide through the world. We are told, as an illustraton of their character and manners, that by the laws of the Plymouth Colony, in 1651, "dancing at weddings was forbidden". In 1660, one William Walker was imprisoned one month for courting "a maid without the leave of her parents".

In 1675, because "there is manifest pride appearing in our streets", the "wearing of long hair or periwigs", and so "superstitious ribands, used to tie up and decorate the hair were forbidden under severe penalty"; the keeping of Christmas was also forbidden "because it was a popish custom". In 1677 an act was passed "to prevent the profaneness of turning the back upon the public worship before it was finished and the blessing pronounced".

Towns were directed to erect a cage near the meeting house, and in all this all offenders against the sanctity of the Sabbath were confined. At the same time children were directed to be placed in a particular part of the meeting house, apart by themselves, and tything-men were ordered to be chosen, whose duty it shall be to take care of them. So strict were they in their observance of the Sabbath that "John Atherton, a soldier of Col. Tyng’s Company", was fined 40 shillings for wetting a piece of an old hat to put into his shoes, which chafed his feet on the march; and those who neglected to attend meeting for 3 months were publicly whipped.

Even in Harvard College students were whipped for gross offenses in the Chapel, in presence of students and professors, and prayers were had before and after the infliction of the punishment. As the settlers of Deerfield are described as being of "sober and orderly conversation", we may suppose that these laws and customs were here rigidly enforced.

[Here follows a section on "subsistence and diet of your ancestors". Also talks about how they were good farmers, fishermen and readers]...

...Possessed evidently of a common origin, for "between the Indians of Florida and Canada the difference was scarcely perceptible", they were divided into tribes, which differed from each other mainly in their fighting capacity, and the vigor with which they roamed from place to place; and they were liable at any time to be swept off by disease, or exterminated by war, or absorbed by other and more powerful tribes.

In language, the North American Indian was limited by the material world, an abstract idea finding no birthplace in his brain and no expression on his tongue. "In marriage the Indian abhorred restraint, and from Florida to the S. Lawrence polygamy was permitted". Divorce meant merely desertion. The wife was a slave. Domestic government was unknown. The Indian youth grew up a warrior, adorned with vermilion and eagle’s feather, as fleet of foot as the deer, and as tolerant of hunger as the wolf; the Indian girl grew up a squaw, degraded and squalid and servile.

A rude agriculture, resulting in a weedy corn crop, and a few squashes and beans, was the Indian’s, or rather the Indian woman’s occupation; he had neither trade nor manufactures. "There can be no society without government; but among the Indian tribes on the soil of our republic, there was not only no written law - there was no traditionary [sic] expression of law; government rested on opinion and usage and the motives to the usage were never imbodied [sic] in language; they gained utterance only in the fact, and power only from opinion...

The Indian had a government without laws; a State without institutions; a church without faith, or creed, or head; a town without schoohouse or meeting house; a punitive system without jails or gibbets; a history based on tradition; a religion based on superstition; he was ignorant of the ownership of land; and knew nothing of a system of inheritance.

As in peace he was an idler - so in war he was a marauder. An organized army was to him unknown. He fought in small bands, seldom over 50 in number, to surprise and slaughter. He pursued, and killed, and scalped. He had neither commissariat nor hospital. He fought his enemy in the rear and in ambush; and he tortured and roasted and devoured his captives. These were the national characteristics which our fathers found on this continent.

Nor did their attempts to modify and humanize and Christianize them meet with much success. The Indian could be tamed, but he was the Indian still...Neither John Eliot nor Roger Williams was able to change essentially the habits and character of the New England tribes..."They are unspeakably indolent and slothful; they deserve little gratitude; they seem to have no sentiments of generosity, benevolence or goodness".

The Moravian Loskiel could not change their character...In New Hampshire and elsewhere schools for Indian children were established; but as they became fledged they all escaped, refusing to be caged. Harvard College enrolls the name of an Algonquin youth among her pupils; but the college parchment could not close the gulf between the Indian character and the Anglo American.

The copper colored men are characterized by a moral inflexibility, a rigidity of attachment to their hereditary customs and manners. The birds and brooks, as they chime forth their unwearied canticles, chime them ever to the same ancient melodies; and the Indian child, as it grows up, displays a propensity to the habits of its ancestors...

The trouble lay deeper. Year after year the Indian discovered an irreconcilable difference between himself and the stranger...When he entered the home of the settler, he discovered that the joys of the fireside could never be found in the group squatted beneath the shelter of the wigwam. He felt the antagonism - and his soul burned within him. The strife was not for land...It was for supremacy. And as revenge is stronger than ambition, and hate is stronger than avarice, so the war raged with unspeakable fury, and was as cruel as the passions of a desperate savage could make it.

The great contest which grew out of this antagonism, and lasted more than a year, unabated either by the heat of summer or the frosts of winter, threatening destruction to the New England colonies, was known as Philip’s War. With the story of this conflict you are all familiar. The peaceful death of Massasoit at a good old age, after a long life of friendly relations with the Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay colonies; the sadder death of his son Alexander, worried out of life by the failure of his intrigues against the colony, and the exposure of his meanness and his crimes; the gradual development of the worst of passions in the breast of Philip, and his passage from treachery to war are all fresh in the memory of all who have traced the hard path which our fathers traveled in the work of settling these shores.

The war which began in Swanzey on the 24th of June, 1675, reached this spot on the 18th of September - three months of murder, and fire, and all the bloody horrors of savage warfare. At the time the war broke out Deerfield had been settled 10 years, or had been deeded for the purposes of settlement to John Pynchon that length of time. It was then, as it is now, one of the most delightful spots in New England...

http://images.nypl.org/index.php?id=808204&t=w

And here in the luxurience of that natural beauty, and in the wealth of wood and stream, the Indian found his favorite resort. In this town and in the towns of Hadley and Hatfield he mustered a numerous and a powerful tribe. And upon these lands purchased by the settlers, with titles confirmed by the court, the whites and Indians lived together in peace for years. It is amazing with what rapidity the war, once opened, spread from village to village, and from tribe to tribe in this wilderness...

The Pocumtucks had received their orders - and in a day had stepped from the blessings of peace to the misery of war. having promsied to deliver up their arms, on suspicion that they might misuse them, they broke their promise, fled to Sugar loaf Hill, engaged with Captains Beers and Lothrop commanding the English here, lost 26 of their number, and then sought shelter under the standard of King Philip...

Deerfield too was abandoned; and the attempt to secure a quantity of wheat which had just been partially threshed by the farmers there before their flight, resulted in the massacre which still thrills me with horror, and the anniversary of which we have met to commemorate...From behind hundreds of trees the savages poured their deadily [sic] fire. At the first volley many were killed, and the remainder were panic stricken...Lothrop...was among the first to fall. The savages, numbering nearly 700, "rushed upon the defenceless men, and the work of slaughter was soon complete.

But 6 or 7 Englishmen escaped to tell the tale, of whom one had been shot and tomahawked and left for dead, and another forced his way through the yelling ranks of the savages with the but [sic] of his musket...

While the Indians were employed in mangling, scalping and stripping the dying and the dead, Captain Moseley, who, as has been observed, was ranging the woods, hearing the report of musketry, hastened by a forced march to the relief of his brethren. The Indians, confiding in their superior numbers, taunted him as he advanced, and dared him to the contest. Moseley came on with firmness, repeatedly charged through them, and destroyed a large number with the loss on his side of but 2 killed and 11 wounded...

A quantity of bones lately found in that quarter is very probably the remains of the Indians who fell there at the close of the action. The united English force encamped for the night at Deerfield. They returned in the morning to bury the dead and found a party of the Indians upon the field stripping the bodies of their victims. These they quickly dispatched, and the remains of the brave young men, or some portion of them, were committed to the earth near the spot which we have this day consecrated anew to their memory.

The stream on whose banks they fell, and whose water ran red with their blood, has been called from that day, in memory of the disaster, Bloody Brook...[Two more entire columns follow, but they are quite blurry and unreadable].
 

Subjects: Archaeology, Barber / Hair, Birds, Business Enterprises, Cemeteries, Children, Connecticut, Connecticut River, Courtship, Crime, Criminals, Dance, Deerfield (MA), Diseases, Divorce, Drunkenness, Economics, Education, English (and England), Eye, Family, Farmers & Farming / Flowers, Fires, Fishes and Fishing, Food

Posted by stew - Sun, Feb 22, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 13, 1875
Sunderland

Sunderland - Albert Hobart has built a new tobacco barn and corn house. Deacon Gay is thoroughly repairing the house he bought of the E.E. Robinson estate. Tobacco is mostly on the poles, and on the whole is an average crop. Apples are selling low, there being more than was expected. The crop of onions is good, but prices rule low.
 

Subjects: Economics, Farmers & Farming / Flowers, Food, Households, Sales, Smoking and Tobacco, Sunderland (MA), Vendors and Purchasers, Architecture / Construction

Posted by stew - Sun, Feb 22, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 13, 1875
Shelburne Falls

Shelburne Falls - C.C. Puffer and his family from Charleston, S.C. are visiting at the residence of his father, Dr. S. Puffer. He was an earnest supporter of Governor Chamberlain, and largely instrumental in his nomination and election.

http://www.clements....ides/NP/PufferM.html
 

Subjects: Amusements, Elections, Emigration and Immigration, Family, Government, Households, Politics, Shelburne and Shelburne Falls (MA)


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