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Oct 4, 2023
Franklin County (MA) News Archive
The Franklin County Publication Archive Index

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Article Archives: Articles: Witchcraft

Showing 18

Posted by stew - Mon, Dec 1, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, June 14, 1875

A question for scientists: the "Witch Hole", on a certain place in this town, to the knowledge of persons for 50 years it has remained the same. Continually filled up; continually sinking. A small hollow of a few ft. in circumference, never even with the surrounding earth, the line always clearly defined, no grass grown, or very slightly. It has been suggested by some an under current of water carrying the debris constantly away. But there are no brooks or rivulets near. Who can answer?

Subjects: Conway (MA), Curiosities and Wonders, History, Rivers / Lakes / Oceans, Science, Witchcraft

Posted by stew - Sun, Jan 29, 2006

Gazette & Courier - Monday, January 18, 1875
What a Greenfield man saw at What a Greenfield man saw at Chittenden , Vt. [Without the least faith in what is called Spirit Materialization, we publish the following communication because it shows some of the phenomena on which the belief is founded, and because the recent http://www.survivala...ntrols/katieking.htm "Katie King" exposure in http://www.survivala...graphs/crookes/2.htm Philadelphia , has made the subject one of considerable discussion and public interest - Eds.]. Editors Gazette & Courier: Since my return from http://www.theosophi...ericworld/chapter04/ Chittenden Vt., where I remained about 2 weeks at the homestead of the Eddy Brothers , to witness the new phase of spiritualism called "materializations", I have been so often questioned as to what I saw and heard there that I have written out the following statement of facts as I found them, which you are at liberty to publish if you see fit. Those who have read the accounts of http://survivalebook...0the%20Other%20World Col. Orcutt's [actually http://www.theosocie.../46-96-7/th-sbdo.htm Henry S. Olcott , or Henry Steel Olcott ] experience will have a good general idea of the phenomena as there exhibited. For the benefit of those who have not seen those articles I would say that the room in which these manifestations occur is almost 40 ft. long by 20 ft. wide, occupying the entire upper story of the ell part of the house, extending across one end of the room is a platform about 10 ft. wide and two ft. high with a railing about 3 ft. high, extending across the front of the platform to the steps which lead down to the audience room; at the rear of the platform is a closet built out, lathed and plastered, almost 7 ft. long, 6 ft. high, and 10 1/2 ft. deep, with a small window opening to the rear of the house, and across which is nailed a piece of gauze netting; this netting was placed there by Col. Orcutt, and sealed by him and the seal is still unbroken. An opening in the closet or cabinet, on the side towards the spectators with a blanket strung across answers for a door. The audience are seated on two benches, about 10 ft. from the platform, and the light is supplied by a kerosene lamp in the rear of the room, partly turned down, so that the form and size of a person on the platform can be plainly distinguished, though the features cannot be. A lady, Mrs. Cleaveland [i.e. http://www.freewebs....e/articles/honto.htm Mrs. Cleveland ], usually sits on one side of the platform, and another lady, Mrs. Jacobs, on the other side and plays a cabinet organ when music is required. There are three kinds of circles, the dark circle, where voices are heard, hands touched, musical instruments played upon, etc. a partially lighted circle when the room is lighted as described above, and in which the full form materializations occur. The one in which the most startling experiences occur is the partially lighted circle. In this the medium , http://www.blavatsky...great_beyond/ch3.htm William Eddy , goes into the cabinet alone, and while I was there I attended 11 circles, each circle occupying about one hour. One hundred and twenty nine forms of all sizes, ages and several nationalities dressed in their appropriate costumes came out of the cabinet and walked up and down the platform; some of them played on the organ, sang, danced and talked to the audience. Most of them were recognized by some of the persons present. One Indian called "Waukachee", came down from the platform, walked across the room within 4 ft. of where we were sitting, then put his hands upon the railing and easily leaped over the platform and then disappeared in the cabinet. http://www.blavatsky...reat_beyond/ch14.htm "Honto" , the Indian squaw, who appears oftener than any other one, frequently dances and occasionally invites some of the audience to join her on the platform. One evening she came down from the platform and shook hands with a gentleman who sat next to me. Once she danced so long she had not power to return to the cabinet, but apparently faded away from the rest of the party on the stage - two ladies and two gentlemen, whom she had invited from the audience to join her. In one of the forms that appeared I recognized an old friend of mine, Mr. C. Redding. He appeared on two different evenings, and although he was unable to speak he answered my questions by rapping. He was foreman at the central shaft of the Hoosac Tunnel, and while being lowered with 3 others the rope broke and they fell about 500 ft. to the bottom of the shaft. Four of my near relatives also appeared and answered my questions by tapping, but I could not see their faces distinctly enough to positively identify them. The most amusing one that appeared was "Jolly", recognized by Mrs. Jacobs as her former slave. She appeared several times, shook hands with her former mistress and talked with her. One evening she called for a pipe and on its being given to her she contentedly went to smoking. She then asked for a tamborine, and upon its being produced she took it and played and danced a genuine 'nigger' breakdown for 10 minutes. An Indian called "Black Swan" appeared dressed in a beautiful costume, which Mrs. Jacobs, who was on the platform, felt of and pronounced to be black silk velvet trimmed with pearls. "Witch of the Mountain" appeared on the platform, sat down in a chair and talked to us 15 minutes. A Mr. M___, who died about 3 months ago, came and said he wished to send the following message to his wife: "Tell her if I could only live my life over again I would treat her differently". A lady who was present from Troy, N.Y. recognized him, knowing the family intimately, and promised to take the message to the wife. In the light circle the medium, Mr. Horatio Eddy , sits upon the platform close to the wall in the rear, with a blanket in front of him reaching as high as his shoulders. One evening http://www.virtualve...pecials/eddybros.htm he called me up to sit with him, our chairs were close together and he took hold of my arm with both of his hands, while in this position the hand of a man appeared between us and wrote his name upon a card; then that of a lady, both of whom were the names of friends of mine, and then another man's hand with one finger missing wrote the name of 'George Dix', the name of the spirit who controls the dark circle. The three cards are now in my possession. The Eddy brothers , the http://www.vermontgu...2005/Afterlife.shtml mediums , are to all appearances, honest, hard working young farmers, with none of the look of "slight of hand" [sic] performers about them. The house is a country farm house in a very sparsely settled section of the country, and their confederates, if they have any, must live in caves or hollow trees. I know that there were no children, nor Indians 6 ft. high, nor negroes living in that house the two weeks I was there, and they must have been pretty lively to get in or out of the house without being seen by some of the numerous guests who were there, all anxious to detect fraud, if any. And now, what do I think of it? Since the exposure of the "Katie King" fraud in Philadelphia, it might be supposed that I might think myself deceived in what I saw at Chittenden. Not at all, for with any number of confederates they could not represent so to the life my old friend. Nor could they without quick detection produce from that cabinet in the short space of an hour and a quarter 16 forms, possessing speech and motion, varying in size and appearance, from the little child of 3 years with sunny ringlets, to the stalwart 6 ft. Indian with snow shoes, bow and arrows, etc. If this is a delusion, then it is a delusion that I met you, Mr. Editor, the other day on the street and spoke to you. The one to me is as much a reality as the other. H.H. Moody.

Subjects: African-Americans / Blacks, Amusements, Barber / Hair, Birds, Children, Curiosities and Wonders, Dance, Family, Farmers & Farming / Flowers, Furniture, Glass / Windows, Greenfield (MA), Handicapped, Hoosac Tunnel (MA), Households, Light, Literature / Web Pages, Magic and Magicians, Music, Names, Native Americans, Obituaries, Quacks and Quackery, Racism, Show Business

Posted by stew - Fri, Dec 30, 2005

Gazette & Courier - Monday, January 4, 1875
A Hindoo funeral

A Hindoo funeral - a strange picture of Indian customs. The London Times of Nov. 14 prints the following extract from the letter of Lieut. C.E. Yate , Assistant Political Agent, Bombay Staff Corps, relative to the death of the http://www.artoflege.../library/dictionary/ Maharana of Oodeypoor [this is really Udaipur]: the Residency , http://www.blonnet.c...2002021800130300.htm Oodeypoor Rajpootana, Oct. 12, 1874. "I would have written before if I could have found time, but I have been in such a continual state of excitement lately that it was impossible.

I wrote to you last, just after my arrival from Erinpoora [i.e. http://perso.wanadoo...20043%20erinpura.htm Erinpura , a military station] on the 3rd, and forgot whether I mentioned to you that the Maharana [ Maharana SHAMBHU SINGH ] was dangerously ill. He had been so for some time, but I am sorry to say that just when everyone began to think there was a chance of his recovery, he had another attack, and died most suddenly two days ago.

On the 4th. Dr. Macdowall arrived here from Neemuch (80 miles off) to consult with Dr. Burr here about the Maharana, for they had hope of his ultimate recovery, though very slight one. On the 7th he was much better, but at 10 o’clock at night the doctors were sent for, as the Maharana was in great pain. They returned to us very shortly to say that it was all over, and that they had left him dying; another abscess had burst in the liver, and the shock had been too much. Col. Wright, the political agent here, and I at once buckled on our revolvers, and jumping into the carriage, drove off to the http://www.dreamzico...-palace-udaipur.html palace as hard as we could go. The Maharana had died just a minute or two before our arrival, without naming any successor.

He had no children of his own, and he had always refused to adopt, as is customary acording to Hindoo law. [He actually had adopted http://www.mewarindi...20Singh%20Award.html Sajjan Singh , who became the next Maharana]. He left two uncles, both of whom were at deadly enmity with each other, and we were afraid that there would be a row between them for the succession: however, luckily, everything went off quietly. Each of these uncles, I must tell you, had been accused of having bewitched the Maharana, and the row was just coming to a crisis when the latter died.

One uncle at the time, was living in a garden next to the Residency, where he had come for refuge and the protection of the political agent. Three days before his death, the Maharana was weighed against gold , he in one scale and gold mohurs in the other. This enormous sum, about a lac and a half (150,000 rupees) was to be distributed among the Brahmins; consequently the city was crammed full of these people, who had come from miles round to participate in the spoil.

I saw, myself, no less than 30,000 of them fed in the palace a few days ago, and after the feast was over a piece of gold to the value of between 3 and 4 rupees was given to each as they went out of the palace gates; that is how the numbers were ascertained. Well, to return to the subject, Col. Wright and I, after hearing of the Maharana’s death, went down again to the waiting hall below. We fould that all Col. Wright’s orders had been carried out. The http://openscroll.or...atch_tower-21-0.html Zenana doors were locked, and everything was comparatively quiet.

The entire government, of course, lapsed into Col. Wright’s hands, and he is at present the de facto of the country. The excitement, which was greatest first, gradually got less, and about 2 o’clock in the morning it was all pretty quiet. We lay down in our clothes and took a short nap, but neither of us had any sleep. I do not think the women of the Zenana got news of the Maharana’s death for some time, and did not show their grief until early morning. Just at dawn we were startled by a fearful wail from the Zenana , which contains, I am told, 500 women, so you can fancy what a row all these wailing together could make.

[Interesting to think that with 500 women in his http://www.alovelywo...e/htmgb/udaipug1.htm harem , the Maharana still died without an heir]. Their cry was taken up by all the people in the palace, and went on, I may say, almost without intermission for some three hours, till the body was carried off to the place of cremation . Troops of women came in from the city, all wailing and crying in chorus. These all passed into the Zenana to add their lamentations to those of the inmates, and as day broke the preparations for the funeral went on and the crowd began to get thicker and thicker.

At this time the women in the Zenana began to get most violent. The two wives and the favorite concubine of the Maharana made most determined efforts to break through the doors, and doubtless they would have succeeded in getting out had not Col. Wright taken the precaution of having them locked in in time. I had possession of the key all the time. They wanted to be allowed to commit suttee [also seen as sati ] and to be burnt along with the Maharana, and sent message after message to Col. Wright to be let out. Their efforts to get out were so determined that Col. Wright at last posted the two chief nobles of the State at the doors, and told them that he would hold them personally responsible that no one got out.

It is a rule here that if a woman gets out of the Zenana and shows her face, she is either obliged to become a suttee and be burned, or else to commit suicide. At last the Maharana’s mother sent a message to Col. Wright begging that as none of the others were allowed to become suttee, she might have permission to do so, as no Maharana of Oodeypoor had ever died alone, and it would be a disgrace if her son was to do so. All the time great preparations were going on for the funeral procession.

The noise was tremendous. In addition to the wailing of some 1000 women in the Zenana, all the men were howling and beating their breasts. They brought a lot of jewels on a tray to the Colonel, which were to be put upon the corpse: a pair of ear rings, a beautiful necklace, and an anklet were to be burnt with the body. The rest were to be brought back. The Colonel’s permission was also asked to take 5000 rupees out of the treasury for distribution along the road. About 9 o’clock in the morning a lot of Brahmins arrived and went up into the palace, and shortly after the body was brought back, dressed up in full court costume and bedecked with jewels. It was placed in a sort of sedan chair in a sitting position, covered with a canopy of crimson and gold, and thus borne on the shoulders of a lot of Brahmins.

The procession was formed and went off: first a guard of Rajpoots, then men carrying the 5000 rupees, then another guard, then some 20 or 30 torch bearers with lighted torches, then some men with lighted candles, then a whole crowd of Brahmins in the midst of which was the body borne aloft on their shoulders. Some of them sprinkled the body with rose leaves and flowers, others carried palm branches, two others, one on each side, waved long yac tails [i,e, yak?] about to keep off the flies, just as would have been done had the Maharana been alive; then came the emblem of Royalty, the Hindoo Sooruj or sun, the red umbrella, and other paraphernalia.

The wailing, as soon as the body was brought out in sight of the crowd was tremendous. The place of cremation where all the royal tombs are is a place some two miles outside of the city walls. The whole populace followed the body there, and as soon as the ceremony was over, every man was clean-shaved - beard, whiskers, mustache, and even the hair of the hand. All Rajpoots wear very long long, flowing whiskers, which they are in the habit of winding round their ears, and it must have been a great grief to many a man to cut them off. There is not a man in the country with any hair on his face, and it gives them the funniest appearance possible.

I did not know many of the officials when I first found them. It was all certainly a most extraordinary sight, and one that I may never see again. The Maharana of Oodeypoor is the head of all the Hindoos in India, the direct descendant of their great Rama, and traces his descent for more than 1500 years back. I forget the exact date at the present moment. After the procession had started the Zenana women became more quiet; one or two threatened to throw themselves from a high window, to the terror of some of the chief nobles, who begged the Colonel to pitch tents and awnings under the window to break their fall - a request the Colonel refused, of course, as it would only have tempted them to do it at once, whereas the hard stones did not look inviting".

On Oct. 14, Lieut. Yates writes: "Yesterday 8 of the principal sirdars, or nobles of the state, came to Col. Wright with a request from the Queen Mother that Sohung Sing, the uncle of the late Maharana, and others might be arrested and imprisoned in the palace dungeons, as he had killed the Maharana by witchcraft, incantations, etc. It seems hardly creditable that in the present day charges of that sort should be seriously brought forward, but it shows what queer people these Rajpoots are to deal with. The intention of the Queen Mother, if she could get Sohung Sing [also seen as Sohun Singh] and his confreres in the palace was to starve them to death before the expiry of the 12 days of mourning.

Had Col. Wright not been here on the spot, it is allowed by all that there would have been no end of bloodshed. All these men accused of witchcraft would have been killed, and several suttees would have taken place to a certainty; and in all probability there would have been a regular disturbance and free fight. As it was Pusma Sale, one of the men accused of witchcraft was atacked on the way to the funeral, and only just escaped with his life. Col. Wright had that morning let him out of prison, and I fancy the old mother, enraged at his escape from her claws, instigated the assassination.

The old lady starved herself for 4 days after her son’s death, but then came round, as she found it harder to die than she expected - a most unfortunate thing for the community at large. All the sirdars want now to be allowed to spend 7 lacs of rupees (70,000 pounds) in alms giving, etc., and proposed to give the rupees to every Brahmin, man, woman or child who will come to take them. They say that was the sum spent when the late Maharana’s predecessor died, and even more ought to be spent now to make up for the slur cast on the Maharana’s name by Col. Wright having prevented the performance of the sacred rite of suttee".

Subjects: Animals / Reptiles, Assassination, Astronomy, Barber / Hair, Cemeteries, Charity, Children, Crime, Criminals, Cults, Curiosities and Wonders, Diseases, Dreams / Sleep, Economics, English (and England), Family, Farmers & Farming / Flowers, Fashion, Fires, Food, Furniture, Government, History, Households, Insects

Posted by stew - Tue, Feb 22, 2005

Gazette & Courier - Monday, November 16, 1874
(Whitingham Vt.) Wed. Nov. 4, Mrs. J.W. Morse met with an accident, at the house of (Whitingham Vt.) Wed. Nov. 4, Mrs. J.W. Morse met with an accident, at the house of http://search.ancest...en&ifr=1&ct=46878326 Parley Starr , now occupied by E.C. Starr. Mrs. Morse, in coming down the front stairs, the heel of her shoe caught upon the third or fourth, which caused her to fall headlong into a very narrow entry at the foot, and in order to save herself from any injury she threw out her arms, in consequence of which the right arm was broken at the wrist, and the inside bone; also a deep gash cut in the left hand. Dr. Johnson and Dr. Temple were in attendance.

Subjects: Accidents, Fashion, Households, Medical Personnel, Vermont, Witchcraft

Posted by stew - Sun, Dec 26, 2004

Gazette & Courier - Monday, October 5, 1874
(Whitingham Vt.) Whitingham is exercised over a fresh outbreak of "spiritual manifestations". The windows of Rev. N.D. Sherman'

(Whitingham Vt.) Whitingham is exercised over a fresh outbreak of "spiritual manifestations". The windows of http://www.rootsweb....ingtonReadsboro.html Rev. N.D. Sherman 's residence are mysteriously covered with etchings of a strange variety, in which believers see the portraits of dead friends. The windows in the house of his son-in-law nearby, are also being covered, and great multitudes of people flock to see the phenomena.

Subjects: Art, Family, Glass / Windows, Households, Obituaries, Religion, Spiritualism, Transportation, Vermont, Witchcraft, Work

Posted by stew - Sun, Oct 3, 2004

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 14, 1874
Leverett's centennial

Leverett's centennial - field meeting of the P.V.M. Association - Preparations - The good citizens of the town of Leverett, inspired by some of the energetic spirits in their midst, awoke a short time since to the fact that the 100th anniversary of their incorporation was speedily approaching, and called a town meeting to see what action was necessary for a suitable commemoration of this important epoch in the town's history. The following citizens were appointed a committee to make the necessary arrangements for the centennial: E.M. Ingram, Town Clerk; Frederick W. Field, William B. Stetson, http://www.gencircle...andalf/2/data/107901 Calvin Marvel [also seen as Calvin Pascal Marble, or Calvin Marvell], Selectmen; Rev. Baxter Newton, Rev. Asa F. Clark, Rev. J.P. Watson, Mrs. Luther Dudley, Mrs. H. Rice, Mrs. Josiah Rice. It was a part of the plan to invite the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association to hold their annual Field Meeting in the town and conduct the Centennial exercises, and it was decided that the grove at the foot of Mount Toby, and the 10th day of Sept. were the most suiatable place and time for the celebration. Mr. Goss, the proprietor of Toby, entered heartily into the enterprise and fitted up the pretty grove with numerous seats, a speaker's stand and a band stand and other conveniences and arrangements for the gathering. Thurs. morning came with a cloudless sky, and before the dew was dry upon the grass, the country for miles around was alive, and along the dusty roads the steady going farm horses were jogging with their merry loads, all thronging to the grand old nook beneath the overhanging rock to participate in the celebration. The trains that came from the north and south brought many too by rail, and by 10 o'clock the throng numbered its thousands, but it was a peaceful and respectful assembly, and quietly taking the seats that had been improvised, or clambering up upon the moss-grown rocks that projected from the mountain side, the people waited for the opening of the exercises. Who were there - Conspicuous among the crowd were many silvered heads, who could remember when the town was young, and who had come now, the proudest of all, to enjoy her centennial. There was the smiling face of Levi Boutwell, 82 years old, as active and strong as most men at three score. http://archiver.root...O/1999-08/0935471650 Aaron Dudley , 88, Ebenezer Glazier, 80, Moses Field, 83, Benjamin Beaman, 80, widow Celia Beach, 81, Elisha Ingram, 82, Jefferson Moore, 73, David Mason, 77, Elijah Montague of Northampton, a native of Leverett, and a grandson of the renowned Major Richard Montague of Colonial and Revolutionary memory, 75; Eliphaz Clapp of Montague, 68, Joshua Marsh of Montague, 77; Rev. Eli Moody of Montague, 80; Nathan Ripley of Montague, 83; Dea. Phinehas Field of Charlemont, 76, George W. Mark of Greenfield, 78, and who remembers very well when Washington died, and we dare say there are many others who had scored as many years as several we have recorded. Not only was the attendance made up from Leverett, Sunderland, Montague, Amherst, Hadley, Greenfield, and other neighboring towns, but many of Leverett's sons and daughters, who are scattered at a distance were there. Among them were http://www.geocities...nix/h/historians.htm Charles K. Field of Brattleboro, who is by the way, quite an antiquarian; Seth Ball and Moses Spellman Field of Stanstead, Canada; Gideon Lee and his sister, Mrs. Weston of Chester Vt. Mr. Lee is a nephew of http://www.clements....s/Arlenes/L/Lee.html Gideon Lee , once a mayor of New York City - Dr. Macomber and wife from Uxbridge, Mrs. Ansel Wright and her father, Robert Fitts of Northampton; E.A. Thomas of Amherst, Dr. Jerome Wilmarth of Upton, whose father, http://www.msrareboo.../w_BookDetailS/10324 Dr. Butler Wilmarth , was killed in the Norwalk disaster, and his sister, Mrs. Weston of Philadelphia; S.A. Hubbard of the Hartford Courant. Letters were received, regretting their inability to attend, from Oliver Warner, Secretary of State, who added, "and Leverett" to his stereotyped "God Save the Commonwealth of Massachusetts", from E.H. Goss of Boston, a relative of Toby's proprietor; from Lucius Moore, who sent the committee $25, and from Dwight Field of Saratoga, a son of William Field; Frank Hubbard of Toledo, Ohio, and his brother, R.B. Hubbard. When finally, all is in readiness the commencement exercises begin with music by the Montague City Band, Fred Bridges, leader, and W.L. Day of Greenfield, asistant. This band is a new one and composed of exceedingly young musicians, but the way in which they acquitted themselves during the day showed that they understood their business, and will, if they keep on, make a "crack" organization. Frederick W. Field, the chairman of Leverett's Selectmen, called the assembly to order, and the following Invocation Ode, by Dr. David Rice of Leverett, was sung by the assembly to the tune of "Old Hundred": "God of the mountain, hill, and plain / Once more we come to Thee again [a little redundant, no?] / In praise to raise our voices high/ beneath the banner of the sky"...Prayer was offered by Rev. Eli Moody of Montague, who, by way of accounting for being assigned to that duty, said that the committee would have had a clergyman 100 years old if they could have found him. He preached his second sermon in Leverett. Rev. A.F. Clark then delivered an address of welcome to the P.V.M.A.: "Ladies and gentlemen":...Before closing, Mr. Clark read the following poem, written by Rodolphus Hall Esq. of Leverett: Leverett To Her Children - Come to our arms, ye wandering one / Lovely daughters, industrious sons! / come, for we entertain no fears / You love us, with our hundred years/...Ages unknown, the red man here / On lands of ours, to him as dear / In native liberty and stoic pride / A forest sovereign, lived and died"...George Sheldon of Deerfield, president of the association, made the following response:[long speech]...One will tell you of the civil organization of the town: how the mother town, nestling at first close to the "Long River", but being "straightened for room", gradually pushed the settlers over these hills into your beautiful valleys. Perhaps he will tell you how Sunderland (possibly named with reference to [conduce?] events - a hint for the benefit of Mr. Taft, her historian), how Sunderland was found a century ago to be a land broad enugh to be sundered, and with people enough for two municipalities; so the mighty men of those days, using old Toby for a fulcrum, pried off the eastern part, and according to a doubtful tradition, this operation gave a name to the new town, Lever-it, and according to another tradition equally reliable, the huge fragments of rock which are scattered and piled in grand confusion before us, were thrown from the heights above by the action of the same levers. I only mention these traditions for fear they may have escaped the notice of our orator, who may perhaps assign another origen for the name of the town. This division of territory, whatever the means, was peacefully accomplished, and two little commonwealths grew up side by side, rivals only in patriotism and sturdy independence; in peace, the people have run on parallel tracks for a hundred years, only occasionally switching off to make close connections one with another. With many things in common, the soil of these two towns differs essentially; consequently the productions are widely diverse, Sunderland having become famous for her crops of the odoriferous onion, and the fragrant weed Mettawampee and his people loved so well, while the "Fields" of Leverett have long been justly celebrated for the cultivation of music, with which the kindred production of her "Rice" plantation, has blended in absolute harmony [of course, talking about two large Leverett families - the Fields and the Rices]. Let us bear in mind that the day we celebrate is not alone the secular year of Leverett, but it is also the second centennial of the year when Old Ku[sucksqua[?], as the Indians called the noble pile before us, passed forever from the control of the red man. Before the sharp click of the settler's ax had echoed from the mountain side, or his eye had rested on its summit, except from afar, an Indian chief named Waraw-a-lunk-sic, lived on an island called Mat-tam-pash lying in the Quinituk River, somewhere between We[puamps], called by the white men, Sugar Loaf, and the mouth of the Pocomtuck River, when he died about 1671. This chief had been a fast young man, and some dozen years before he had been fined 24 [?] of wampum for breaking windows, and other misdemeanors while on a spree at Springfield, being uanble to pay this fine and getting some in debt, he mortgaged his inheritance to Major Pynchon March 4, 1685, to secure the indebtedness. HIs mother, Mash-a-lisk, seems to have settled his estate, and April 4, 1674 Kunck-qui-chu and the territory for miles around was transferred by her to Major John Pynchon, to secure the indebtedness, the Major throwing in "one large Indian coat" and some small trinkets to balance the account.[Mr. Sheldon ends his speech by thanking Rector L. Goss, the "large hearted, open-handed man to whom we are indebted for the use of this charming spot today, the man of taste, who has disturbed the grand handiwork of nature only so far as was necessary to open up her own wild beauties to the foot and eye of civilized man and give an outlook upon a prospect unparalleled in its varied magnificence. I will now call the attention fo the assembly to one of the chief producers of the Fields of Leverett, under the direction of the Captain of them all". At this point Capt. Asa L. Field, 73, lead the old folks in such old time tunes as "Northfield", "New Jerusalem" and "Mount Zion". The hymns were caught up by the audience and rendered with old fashioned fervor. At the conclusion of the singing, the historian of the day, Rev. J.P. Watson of Leverett was introduced to the audience. He had had but 2 or 3 weeks to prepare his sketch of the town, but had brought to his task such perseverance and energy that nothing of importance in its history was omitted. The work involved in the preparation of such an address is only known to those who have tried it. Nearly an hour and a half was occupied in its delivery. We give the address, omitting only a few extracts from records which are without interest to the general reader. Rev. J.P. Watson's address: [Speaks of the topography of the land and the original setlers]...The first title recorded is dated Sept. 3, 1727, and covers a lot of 10 acres, marked 12 in the records, to Samuel Montague, and described as laying on the Fishpond rocks ( a range of land constituting a large share of the S. part of the town) on the east side of the Ash swamp that is at the north end of Juggle meadow, bounded at the N.W. corner on a witchhazel http://www.webster-d...g/definition/Staddle staddle splasht; on the N.E. corner on a heap of stones laid up together, and on the S.E. a stake and stones, and on the S.W. on a red ash splasht...Sawyer Field's farm is said to have been the first settled place in the town, and by Joseph Hubbard (perhaps the son of Dea. Isaac Hubbard, as it was about 20 years later than this title....As the demands and travel increased, a way was opened to Brookfield from Hadley and Northampton, through the "Equivalent Lands", so called, via Cold Spring (Belchertown). But this was circuitous for Sunderland and Deerfield; a more direct route lay through the first settlements to the east, viz. the old town of Lancaster. For nearly 100 years had she been the western frontier. Her interests would be greatly subserved by a road to Deerfield, and the upper towns on the river; her historic fame, and blood-drenched soil, and hardships and losses endured in those perilous time of savage warfare, could not restrain the enterprising spirit of her noble men and heroes. Hence the project to connect Sunderland, by a road thither, to itself. And this was equally desirable to the towns on the river...Before the close of 1733 they had picked and cut their way along the base of threatening Wachusett, climbed the sides of Petersham...New Salem and Shutesbury hills...In 1780 the town was incorporated under the name of Leverett, in honor of John Leverett, Governor of Massachusetts [A very long section follows, the entire original act of incorporation of the town]...Rufus Graves laid equally deep the foundations of literary provisions in raising the first $50,000 of the endowment of Amherst College, and in that regard may be called one of its founders...Our productive industries have brought sometimes annually to the market a million feet of lumber, one half million of shingles...Leverett had 524 population in the first census, 1790...Leverett bore honorable part in the service in 1812, and in the late war of the rebellion...Inventive genius has held a share in the field here. Patents of various inventions have been accorded to men of this town, and much unpatented and useful productions have been here constructed. We raised a painter also of no little repute. Able divines have here dwelt and labored. The first Sabbath School in this region was in Leverett, conducted and aided by Austin Dickinson. The Unitarian faith ws once proclaimed by men no less gifted than Bishop Huntington and his venerable father and that element in society was rival of the Orthodox. Hosea Ballou preached here a few times. A Universalist society was incorporated in South Leverett in 1818 with no unworthy array of names. One prominent man affiliated with Episcopalians long years ago. There are legends of one Witch, but she was not suffered to live. Of tragedies and romances we have no time to speak, but the buxom lasses of ye olden time had arts and wiles as shrewd as any. And frollics [i.e. frolics] then were harmless things. The honored dead, the living noble are with us here. The glimmering light of other years shines pale upon our path, but sheltered by these eternal bulwarks, the spirits of the ancient days whisper in our ears healthful counsels, link us with them in the great historic book unwritten still, and writing now. I close with this sentiment. The century to come - may its heroes be many and noble, its fortunes ample, its labors abundant and its achievements grand. Following the address came an ecclesiastical history of the South Parish, with biographical sketches, by Rev. David Eastman of New Salem, for 20 years a pastor of this church. We have not space for its publication this week, but propose to give it in full in some future issue, that the people of Leverett may preserve the interesting statistics which he has gathered. The collation - The feast of reason and of ancient lore did not prevent the multitude from becoming hungry, and when it was announced that there would be half an hour's intermission for lunch, there was a general feeling of pleasant relief. Although it was advertised as a basket picnic, hundreds came depending upon the generosity of Leverett's good housewives, and their confidence was by no means misplaced. The tables there were fairly loaded with cakes, pies, fruit, etc. which were dealt out without stint or measure, and coffee, tea, and lemonade were served until there wasn't an individual "Oliver Twist" in the crowd who could find voice or room for more. Lunch baskets were opened and little family spreads were made all over the rocks and through the woods, making a picture of rural beauty that some enterprising artist should have been upon the ground to photograph. By way of exercise, to settle down from the dinner, came the Granger's Parade. They were marshaled by Capt. Putnam Field of Greenfield, with Emory Whitney and Cephas Frary of Leverett and Rufus Putnam of Athol as Aids. The Leverett Grangers, numbering about 40 members, received their associates from granges in Hadley, Deerfield and South Deerfield, Amherst, Greenfield and Northfield, all in regalia, making quite a martial column, numbering over 100. The peculiarity of the parade was the fact that the Grangers could pair off with a lady on each gentleman's arm; and if "middle-men" and "monopolists" could have seen this warlike array of "beauty and chivalry", they would have surrendered without a shot. This interesting part of the exercises finished, there was another assembly about the "grand stand" for the enjoyment of the afternoon's programme. First came singing by the Leverett Glee Club composed of C.H. Field, C.M. Field, Edward Field and Silas Field, who sang very finely indeed. Rev. Baxter Newton of North Leverett was then introduced, who gave a history of the Old Baptist church, with notice of early settlers, which we shall have to differ publishing until another issue. Robert B. Caverly [ Robert Boodey Caverly ] Esq. of Lowell, the poet of the day, was now introduced and read his poetical adress with earnestness and effect. It was entitled "The Year of Pocumtuck", and for those who did not hear, and may read the poem, we shall publish it next week. Miss Allen of Warehouse Point next stepped upon the platform and read, as only the most accomplished elocutionist could, the excellent poem written by Dr. David Rice of Leverett, on "George Cheney's Race With Death", and published by us, our readers will remember, a few weeks since. Thre was the most respectful attention, and many in the audience were visibly affected with the tragic narrative. So hearty was the encore, that Miss Allen gave her hearers a recitation entitled the " http://www.mbr-pwrc....framlst/i4940id.html Bobolink ", which gave an opportunity for the wonderful compass and power of her voice. The voices of one half the feathered tribe were so neatly imitated that the birds on the trees overhead must have stopped their own songs in admiration and wonder. Dea. Field of East Charlemont was now called upon for a story, and as his fund of ancient anecdotes never runs dry, he was ready for the occasion. Prof. Levi Stockbridge of the Agricultural College responded briefly to a call, and told how when a boy he had hunted all over old Toby, and wound up with a story about Major Montague. A number of gentlemen were now called up and with appropriate remarks presented to the association interesting relics. Dea. Field's contributions included a curious Chinese map of the world. his mother's wedding dress, and his grandmother's shows, with high wooden heels. A box was presented by Elmer Graves , made from a panel of the pulpit in the First Baptist meeting house in Leverett. Arrows, stone implements and some ancient coin were given by Levi Boutwell. Jesse Delano of Sunderland contributed a number of old books and documents. A conch shell was given, formerly the property of Dea. Moses Graves of Leverett, and handed down from him to Esquire Roswell Field 75 years ago. It was used then to call the people to church. Since the death of Mr. Field it has been in the possession of Timothy Putnam. That the present generation might know how the shell sounded a blast from it was given by a Mrs. Putnam. Mrs. Charles W. Thurber presented the stone point of a chisel. Mrs. Deacon Samuel Childs, through Secretary Hitchcock, showed that our grandmothers were given to follies and devices as well as the fair creatures of the present day. Here was a stay or corset, as worn in 1795, largely composed of wood, that must have held the form like a vice [sic]. This lady also gave a copy of the "Columbian Centinel" of 79 years ago [approximately 1795], which contained among other interesting things a Proclamation of Washington, and the advertisement of a lottery to the benefit of Harvard Colelge. Mrs. Louise Moore [Elizabeth Miller Moore] presented a book containing several interesting sermons by Rev. Robert Russell in 1767, and another, the "Evidences of Revealed Religion" by the Mendon Association, printed in 1797. But what attracted as much attention as anything was an ancient listaff from Mrs. Dexter Moore of Leverett, and Mrs. Charlotte Woodard, 63 years old, sat down and showed her younger sisters how to spin linen. Mrs. William Vaughn gave a large bible, and Mrs. Th[?]er an ancient hatchet found in her yard. Rev. Mr. Newton held up to the assembly a wonderfully carved powder horn, a specimen of the handiwork of Major Richard Montague, who carried it in the retreat from Quebec under Montgomery, and who also wore it at the battle of Bunker Hill. And in contrast to these rusty relics, we must not forget to mention the exhibition of window gardens, brakets and carved work made by E.H. Marsh of Montague. The speaker's stand had beside it one of those window gardens filled with ferns, autumn leaves and flowers, and these articles of modern ingenuity were by no means out of place. The closing up - As good times necessarily have an end, and the lengthening shadow finally warned the assembled people that their centennial celebration must be brought to a close. Before separating however, Mrs. Lyman, Dr. Rice's daughter, sang in a fine voice http://www.victorian...912-2407/sb2092.html "The Old Arm Chair" , and the Doctor moved a vote of thanks to the orators and poets of the day, to the band and Mr. Goss and all who had in any way aided to make the celebration the enjoyable success it had in every way proved. The vote was heartily passed and a few reluctant ones still lignered about the stand, and Dea. Phinehas Field, in the youth and joy of his heart, broke into an original melody, which was rendered in characteristic tone and expression, and thus ended Leverett's centennial, and we only hope that the celebration of the second century will be the occasion of half as much pleasure and interest as this has been.

Subjects: Accident Victims, Advertising, Amusements, Animals / Reptiles, Archaeology, Art, Athol (MA), Barber / Hair, Beverages, Birds, Boston (MA), Business Enterprises, Charlemont (MA), Children, Chinese, Clubs, Connecticut, Connecticut River, Courtship, Crime, Deerfield (MA), Disasters, Drunkenness, Economics, Education

Posted by stew - Sun, Jul 11, 2004

Gazette & Courier - Monday, April 10, 1871
Shadow pantomimes

http://www.veithart....ildbeschreng/elk.htm Shadow pantomimes - can be very effectually arranged in parlors by fastening a sheet tightly across the space between the two folding doors. The room in front of the sheet must be quite dark. The back room, the performance operate, must by lighted by a candle, or large kerosene lamp, which stands upon the floor. To make an actor descend from above, he must stand behind the lamp and slowly step over it. The audience will see first his foot, and then his whole body gradually appears; and by stepping backward, he can be made to disappear in the same manner. Two gentlemen, or large boys, & one smaller one, with one lady, are enough for most pantomimes; and the properties needed are easily cut from stiff pasteboard, when they cannot be readily obtained in the house. The subjects are manifold, but first I will describe some of the simpler ones. 1. The barber's shop The barber & his assistant descend from above, & bow to the audience. Boy arranges chair. Old gentleman enters; is placed in the chair by the boy who proceeds to cover him with a sheet & apply soap with a feather duster. Barber approaches with huge razor. Boy trips up barber whose razor cuts off customer's head, which is done by quickly turning up his coat collar, & drawing razor through his neck. Consternation! They consult together and decide to throw the body up into the air, which they do, & then making their bows ascend out of sight. 2. The dentist. Same opening scene. A huge tooth is drawn with the tongs from under the patient's coat. 3. A duel, in which the sword can be run through the actor by passing behind them. 4. Boxing match between a small boy and a tall man. The one who falls is thrown up into the air as before. 5. Witch going up on a broomstick. By stepping over the lamp. 6. The Grecian Bend, illustrated by an extravagantly panniered young lady. 7. Jack the giant killer. The giant can grow or diminish by moving the lamp back and forth; and Jack can slowly ascend the beanstock, which can be shown and made to grow rapidly in the same manner. A little practice will enable the performers to keep the scenes well in focus, & cause much amusement to both spectators and actors.

Subjects: Amusements, Barber / Hair, Children, Fashion, Households, Light, Medical Personnel, Sports, Witchcraft

Posted by stew - Thu, Oct 23, 2003

Gazette & Courier - Monday, April 21, 1873
A little Bohemian [i.e. Bohemian] girl named Mary Kabal has been arrested at A little Bohemian [i.e. Bohemian] girl named Mary Kabal has been arrested at http://www.visitwino...client.cgi?G5genie=1 Winona, Minn. , on the charge of attempting to poison the family of Mr. Duncan. The girl lived with the family and, it is alleged, put some strychnine into the milk used for the breakfast coffee. She put the cup to her lips but did not drink, while the other members of the family, 7 in number, drank and were taken alarmingly ill, but were saved by the prompt arrival of physicians.

Subjects: Beverages, Children, Crime, Criminals, Family, Juvenile Delinquents, Medical Personnel, Poisoning, Police, Witchcraft

Posted by stew - Sat, Jun 7, 2003

Gazette & Courier - Monday, April 7, 1873
(Shelburne Falls) Miss Minnie M. Pierce, daughter of Marcus W. Pierce, has after months of hard labor and searching secured 999 butto

(Shelburne Falls) Miss Minnie M. Pierce, daughter of Marcus W. Pierce , has after months of hard labor and searching secured 999 buttons on a string, no two of which are alike. Some of them were worn 50 years ago on wedding garments. Some of them were worn nearly 100 years ago to balls and parties. They are all charming, and together will make up a charm which will keep off ghosts and witches, I'll warrant. Several little girls are at work collecting the mystic number of both modern and antique buttons.

Subjects: Children, Dance, Family, Fashion, History, Marriage and Elopement, Parties, Shelburne and Shelburne Falls (MA), Spiritualism, Witchcraft, Work, Jewelry / Gold / Silver / Treasure

Posted by stew - Tue, May 27, 2003

Gazette & Courier - Monday, April 7, 1873
Firebrands (from Godey's Lady's Book)

Firebrands (from http://www.memorialh...nced&transcription=0 Godey's Lady's Book ) - They are to be found in almost every community; creatures whose sole desire seems to be to make mischief all around, and breed general discontent in the witches' cauldron of false witness and tale bearing. They cannot let things be, and they cannot leave others alone. If they spy out a flaw anywhere - and their eyes are as sharp for flaws as a hawk's for hedge sparrows - they point it out to every one concerned, and make it a great deal worse than it really is. As as they're always on the lookout for their prey, and as nothing in this world is perfect, and as we for the most part find what we seek, flaws are sure to abound where the firebrand puts up; and people whom, until their advent, you had taken to be good sort of folks enough, turn out to be only Dead Sea Apples by their showing, with a clean skin and a rotten core. But finding out flaws is not the worst of the firebrand's little amusements. For, after all, it is your own fault if you let yourself be warped from an old affection, a new liking, or even a suspended judgment, because the firebrand tells you such and such a story, and you do not take the trouble of verifying it. If you are told that the man whom you have hitherto believed the very soul of honor, and as incapable of doing a mean thing as you are yourself, is nothing better than a swindler; that he cheated his ward, dealt with his client's securities, falsified his word, broke his solemn promises, or did anything else proper to a scoundrel, and impossible to a gentleman, it is your own fault if you believe what you hear...

Subjects: Amusements, Birds, Eye, Fires, Food, Miscellanea, Witchcraft

Posted by stew - Tue, Apr 1, 2003

Gazette & Courier - Monday, June 17, 1872
A visit to the howling dervishes of Cairo

A visit to the http://sircasaray.tu...u/sufism/dervis.html howling dervishes of Cairo - We entered a garden like court, planted with palm and plane trees and surrounded by ancient Roman columns. The background was a wall painted with broad red and white stripes, the middle part of which retreated niche-like, and was cut off by the few European spectators by a wooden grating. The floor was covered with fine mats, and a simple lamp hung in the center. The wall was partly covered with inscription from the Koran in Arabic letter. Their conductor, if I can call him so, was kneeling in a praying niche, surrounded by perhaps a dozen of his followers, squatting on their heels, who were chanting a prayer in a low, monotonous rhythm. With the courtesy which distinguishes the Orientals, so greatly to their credit, they offered us seats and coffee, and a stately man with long hair and beard, and characteristic intelligent features, came towards us. He was the sheik of the howling dervishes , and we little anticipated that he was to play the main part in the dismal drama that was so soon to be performed before us. He exhibited to us photographic portraits of himself and of his son, a vigorous 10 year old boy. While we, through our companion, who was thoroughly versed in the Arabic language, were engaged in an easy conversation with the chief of the dervishes, the singing of the first part came to an end, and a new set of performers came upon the scene. These were better clothed, and among them 4 boys of between ten and twelve years of age. The sheik...began in a slow tone the words "La Raha illa Hah" (There is no God but God). This sentence was repeated hundreds and hundreds of times by them all, in ever more rapid tempo, and resembled the Jewish exercises...The singing became constantly more rapid, and ever more shrieking, shrill and penetrating, while single wild cries like "Huhu!" and "Ah!" were heard at intervals, so that at last the whole song of the company resembled a yelling scream of anguish, in the midst of which they suddenly, all at the same time, fell prostrate on the ground, which they kissed, and the second part of the ceremony was over...These people weekly undergo this inexpressible torture , taking no money for their performance. It must be part of the highest grade of religious fanaticism. Now the singers...divested themselves of their head gear and of their upper garments, the former being sort of a knit cap or turban, like what the Doges of Venice used to wear, under which a long mane of flowing hair descended upon their shoulders. A flute was heard in shrill, plaintive tones, accompanied by the wild beating of tambourines and of drums. A monotonous melody of penetrating, doleful tones resounds shrilly through the hall. The singer distorts his face into an expression of the deepest sorrow...The rest of the company then set up a howl so unnatural, so terrible beyond all description, that I can compare it only to the roaring of wild beasts or the scream of a locomotive. "HI,Hi,Hi! Hu, Hu, Hu!"...Their bodies as if moved by some invisible power performed every possible motion ; their wild manes hung round them like slimy snakes; with distorted gestures they touched the ground, the upper parts of their body like a machine, swayed up and down, as if it would separate from the limbs; the howl grew ever madder and wilder, and the writhing of their bodies increased, while, to the beating of drums and the piercing shriek of the flute, these fanatics reeled around with foaming mouths, as if they were insane or very drunk. They looked to me like poisoned creatures - like men who have lost all hope and are in the last stages of despair. Never in my life have I witnessed anything more terrible than this act of divine worship. One black man with staring glassy eyes with white foam on his half opened mouth, seemed as though he would break in two in the middle...For more than an hour this mad witches' Sabbath lasted, and the maddest of the mad, the craziest of the crazy, the most delirious of the maniacs, was our friend the sheik...The howlers tore the clothes from their bodies, while the audible gasping of their tortured lungs and the reeling cramplike motions...combined to make up a hideous mixture, which ended in a piercing scream of frightful dissonance. Then, in a conversational tone, the master, suddenly calm again, spoke a few words to his followers, where upon they reverently kissed his hands; and, before we left the garden, the whole company was engaged in quiet easy conversation, and in listening to the teachings of the coffee sipping sheik. I, however, overcome with excitement, hastened home, and could not rid myself of the horror that possessed me until I had committed this description to paper (from Appleton's Journal).

Subjects: African-Americans / Blacks, Animals / Reptiles, Barber / Hair, Beverages, Cults, Curiosities and Wonders, Dance, Drunkenness, Insanity, Italians, Jews, Music, Noise, Poisoning, Religion, Show Business, Trains, Witchcraft, Leyden (MA), Europe

Posted by stew - Sun, Jan 26, 2003

Gazette & Courier - Monday, March 31, 1873
Strange superstitions in St. Louis

Strange superstitions in St. Louis - The St. Louis Democrat furnishes the following tale of ignorance and superstition: "John Wybrick, who lives at no. 3519 Broadway, is a blacksmith in comfortable circumstances. For the past three weeks one of his 7 children , an infant, has been dangerously ill with a disease the symptoms of which are similar to those of cerebrospinal meningitis. As the child did not appear to get any better, a priest was called in on Mon. eve., and to this priest the balance of this tale principally relates. Upon viewing the child, the clerical gentleman informed the parents that it was troubled with witches, and he thereupon laid a large cross upon the legs of the little one, which, he claimed, had the effect of driving out the evil spirits. They were only driven out of the body, however, to enter the bed upon which the sick child was lying. By direction of the priest the bed was then taken and burned in the back yard; but, as it was asserted that the devil still lingered in and around 4 other beds which were in the house, they were also burned up. As a crowd had congregated on the occasion of the first burnt offering, these beds were taken to a remote spot on the river bank, where an extensive conflagration ensued. The beds in question were worth about $150 and the neighbors, upon hearing of the sacrifice to be made pleaded piteously for them, but without avail. Not only were the beds destroyed, but also bolsters, pillows, and everything else which was constituted of feathers. Despite the well meant efforts of the parents to aid the recovery of their child, they were informed the witches still had possession of it, and that they could not be driven out, and further, the child could neither recover nor die until the evil ones took their departure. The parents devoutly believe all that has been stated by the priest, and in token thereof, a large cross at present hangs from the neck of the sick one, but its healing powers do not seem to be very efficacious".

Subjects: Children, Diseases, Family, Fires, Households, Religion, Rivers / Lakes / Oceans, Witchcraft, Superstition

Posted by stew - Fri, Jan 17, 2003

Gazette & Courier - Monday, March 18, 1872
Witch Hazel, aside from its supposed divination of the locality of springs and other hidden treasures underground, has long been

http://www.botanical...mgmh/w/withaz27.html Witch Hazel , aside from its supposed divination of the locality of springs and other hidden treasures underground, has long been known as an excellent remedial agent in all inflammatory afflictions, animals as well as men being cured by its healing virtues. Sandford's Hamamelis is claimed to be the best preparation of this medicinal shrub ever offered to the public, whose attention is called to a card in our advertising columns regarding the same.

Subjects: Advertising, Animals / Reptiles, Charlemont (MA), Diseases, Medicine / Hospitals, Witchcraft

Posted by stew - Mon, Nov 25, 2002

Gazette & Courier - Monday, May 19, 1873
A murderer's den

A murderer's den - The details of the finding of the body of http://roswell.fortu...gacy/cases/1227.html Dr. York , and the bodies of other persons in the murderers' den near Cherryvale, were received here yesterday, forming a most horrible chapter. The body of Dr. York was found about 10 o'clock, in a plowed field of about an acre in extent, and within 200 yards of the cabin of the http://skyways.lib.k...b/bender_family.html Bender family . The murdered man had been buried face downward in a hole about 4 ft. deep and 18 inches wide. The back of the skull was found to have been broken, and both temples crushed in as if by blows with a http://skyways.lib.k...b/bender_family.html shoe hammer . One eye had been driven from its socket, and the victim's throat was cut. A shoe hammer found in the house fitted the indentations in the back of the head. An attempt had been made to conceal the grave by plowing over it, but the earth had been thrown in so loosely that an iron end gate rod was easily thrust into the excavation. The remains were not so far decomposed as to prevent their easy recognition by Mr. Ed. York. The body was taken to Independence. The stench arising from the deserted cabin led to the belief that other bodies were concealed beneath it, and it was removed from its foundations. Three bodies were found beneath the house and four graves in different arts of the little field. Two of the victims were men and one a little girl. The bodies of the men, like that of Dr. York, were stripped to their shirts, showing that their clothing was partly an object in murdering them. One of the men was horribly mutilated in a manner usually practiced only by savages. The little girl had on a dress and apron. All the victims had evidently been killed by a blow in the back of the head with the shoe hammer. The scene of these awful disclosures is 6 miles northeast of Cherryvale, on a railroad claim, occupied about 2 years ago by a family named http://skyways.lib.k...b/bender_family.html Bender , consisting of John Bender and son, and http://skyways.lib.k...tte/1901/68-77.shtml his wife and her daughter , both understood to be children by former marriages. The young woman, http://www.leatheroc...nders.htm#Thumbnails Kate Bender , claimed to be a medium, and to possess wonderful powers, and was the leading spirit of the http://www.ausbcomp....s/PAPERS/WAL3VAL.HTM family . The sudden flight of the family , about 3 weeks ago, leaving their stock behind them, and leaving their team at Thayer, probably excited suspicion. They are being vigorously hunted for in every direction. They bought tickets at Thayer for Humboldt. The greatest excitement prevails at Cherryvale and throughout all the surrounding region. The excited people, suspecting a German named Brockman of knowing something about the murders [probably because the Benders were German], hung him 3 times, but succeeded in extracting no confession from him. (from the Lawrence Kansas Journal, May 8). [America's first serial killer family generated much attention for many years after the events].

Subjects: Animals / Reptiles, Children, Crime, Criminals, Executions and Executioners, Eye, Family, Germans, Horses, Households, Marriage and Elopement, Medical Personnel, Murder, Robbers and Outlaws, Spiritualism, Trains, Witchcraft, Women, Clothing

Posted by stew - Mon, Nov 4, 2002

Gazette & Courier - Monday, April 28, 1873
The drollery of medical practice

The drollery of medical practice - Ever since the detection of "Scratching Fanny" who ingeniously imposed upon all and sundry as the "Cock Lane Ghost" the skill of young females in playing off tricks and simulating maladies out of a spirit of pure mischief, often to their own detriment, has been a well recognized fact in the medical profession. In such performances, boys fall far behind. Miraculous wounds or miraculous cures do not suit the boyish nature. Girls possess the true inventive faculty and power of endurance for some secret purpose. Yet with a full knowledge of these qualities in the young female patient, physicians are constantly imposed upon; and for that matter magistrates too, as for example when, as has occurred, some young lady sustains a fanciful complaint, of being improperly treated in a railway carriage. Long ago, when almost everything unusual was ascribed to a supernatural interference, clever young females, with a relish for deception, resorted to a very pretty knack of astonishing simple minded people by making mysterious noises, scratchings, tumbling about articles of household furniture, throwing stones at windows, deranging flower pots and performing other outrageous antics. In that delightful amusing old book http://www.mastertex...oks/Chapter00016.htm "Satan's Invisible World Discovered" , we have a variety of incidents, all assumedly supernatural and very perplexing to the ecclesiastical authorities of the period, but which a sharp London detective would not have traced to some very clever but innocent looking girl, who enjoyed the exquisite pleasure of throwing a whole neighborhood into that state of utter consternation which resulted in an appeal to prayers and exorcisms. A love of deception by such freaks sometimes exceeds all imaginable bounds. Self accusation and even self torture, are well-known phases of this curious disorder of the female mind, for such it really is. A story is told of a lady patient who was in the habit of thrusting needles into her foot, and then submitting to a surgical operation for their removal. But this instance of self inflicted torture was far outdone in a curious case which occurred at the Carlisle Infirmary, and is mentioned by Dr. Priestley in a lecture delivered at the Middlesex hospital. We popularize it as follows: One day a young woman applied at the Infirmary to be treated for an ulcer having a very ugly appearance, and which was spreading at a great rate. Suspecting that the patient was secretly causing the irritation, the doctor in attendance caused the part to be covered in such a way that she could not get at it. The result was that, by a course of simple treatment, the sore was speedily healed. The girl did not like getting well. In a short time she tried a new trick. This was the contrivance of a gathering at the end of her finger, leading to the bone - a seemingly bad case, necessitating a surgical operation. To this she would on no count consent, and left the infirmary...She afterwards, however, went to Liverpool and there submitted to the amputation of a part of the finger. Taking care that the wound should not heal, the case became so bad that the hand had to be amputated. This did not satisfy the morbid desire for suffering. She still kept the wound in a state of irritation, and amputation above the elbow was resorted to. With the stump nearly healed, she quitted Liverpool and returned to Carlisle, where by and by the wound ulcerated, and she was again admitted to the infirmary. Again an amputation - this time, the arm off by the shoulder blade. The poor wretch was still unsatisfied. After being a little time at home, she presented herself with the wound in a bad way; at the same time producing two pieces of bone as having come away, but which the doctor saw were only two pieces of bone that had been taken from a leg of mutton. To prevent any fresh manoeuvre [i.e. maneuver], she was placed in bed with her remaining arm tied to her side, and in three weeks the shoulder was perfectly healed. Now about to be discharged, she fell on a new device. Her left eye appeared to be badly swollen, and on inspection, it was found that she had picked a piece of lime plaster from the wall and placed it under the eyelid! Dismissed from the Infirmary, she afterwards affected a new malady but was looked on with suspicion, and died without admitting her deceptions to any one. The girl who perpetrated these oddities is not spoken of as having been insane, and the medical man relates the cause, saying that the motives for self torture are not to be divined. The only rational conjecture is that she derived a pleasure in successfully playing off these ridiculous tricks on her medical attendants (from Chamber's Journal).

Subjects: Curiosities and Wonders, Diseases, English (and England), Eye, Furniture, Glass / Windows, Households, Insanity, Juvenile Delinquents, Literature / Web Pages, Meat, Medical Personnel, Police, Quacks and Quackery, Religion, Trains, Witchcraft, Women, Superstition

Posted by stew - Tue, Oct 15, 2002

Gazette & Courier - Monday, February 3, 1873
The High Priest of the Chinese Joss house, in the rear of Judge Gwinelle's Court, in San Francisco, was arrested recently and fin

The High Priest of the http://www.geocities...endigo/josshouse.htm Chinese Joss house , in the rear of Judge Gwinelle's Court, in San Francisco, was arrested recently and fined $50 for exorcising the evil spirit with squibs, bombs and crackers , thus interrupting the discharge of the business of the court by the din of his devotions.

Subjects: Chinese, Connecticut, Drug Abuse, Noise, Racism, Religion, Witchcraft

Posted by stew - Sun, Aug 18, 2002

Gazette & Courier - Monday, October 21, 1872
The Witches' Scene From MacGreeley.

The Witches’ Scene From MacGreeley.

Subjects: Literature / Web Pages, Poetry, Politics, Witchcraft

Posted by stew - Fri, May 3, 2002

Gazette & Courier - Monday, February 21, 1870
Witchcraft in England (long article)

Witchcraft in England (long article)

Subjects: Witchcraft

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