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Dec 11, 2023
Franklin County (MA) News Archive
The Franklin County Publication Archive Index

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Article Archives: Articles: Superstition

Showing 25

Posted by stew - Sun, Jan 24, 2010

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 20, 1875

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, 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...

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 - Mon, Feb 9, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 6, 1875
Shelburne Falls

Shelburne Falls - Little Mamie O'Connell, 6 years old, daughter of James O'Connell, is very fond of oysters, but she won't eat them only in the months which have an R in them. One year ago on the 1st of September, she was the first one in the village to get a quart of oysters, and this year she was right on hand the 1st day of September, and again received the first quart of oysters.

Subjects: Children, Fishes and Fishing, Food, Shelburne and Shelburne Falls (MA), Words, Superstition

Posted by stew - Fri, Feb 6, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 30, 1875
What savages think of twins

In Africa according to Dr. Robert Brown ("Races of Mankind") the birth of twins is commonly regarded as an evil omen. No one, except the twins themselves and their nearest relatives, is allowed to enter the hut in which they first saw light. The children are not to play with other children, and even the utensils of the hut are not permitted to be used by any one else.

The mother is not allowed to talk to any one not belonging to her own family. If the children both live till the end of the 6th year, it is supposed that Nature has accommodated herself to their existence, and they are thenceforth admitted to association with their fellows. Nor is this abomination of twin births restricted to Africa.

In the island of Bali, near Java, a woman who is so unfortunate as to bear twins is obliged, along with her husband, to live for a month at the sea shore or among the tombs, until she is purified. The Khasias of Hindostan consider that to have twins assimilates the mother to the lower animals, and one of them is frequently put to death.

An exactly similar belief prevails among some of the native tribes of Vancouver Island. Among the Ainos, one of the twins is always killed, and in Arebo in Guinea, both the twins and the mother are put to death (Popular Science Monthly).

Subjects: African-Americans / Blacks, Animals / Reptiles, Birth Control, Births, Cemeteries, Children, Crime, Curiosities and Wonders, Cutlery, Family, Households, Light, Literature / Web Pages, Luck, Murder, Native Americans, Rivers / Lakes / Oceans, Science, Women, Superstition, Canada, Geography

Posted by stew - Sun, Dec 7, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, July 12, 1875
News about home: Greenfield items

The grass upon the Clapp lot was cut on Thurs., cured and gathered into the barn without encountering a storm. For many years it was thought to be impossible to make the hay on this lot without having it wet, but it seems to be favored with better luck now.

Subjects: Farmers & Farming / Flowers, Greenfield (MA), Luck, Weather, Work, Superstition

Posted by stew - Sat, Dec 6, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, July 12, 1875
News of the week

Seven boys who were bathing at Fall River Tues. joined hands and walked off a sandbar into deep water, where 6 of them, John W. Fielding, James Jacques, William Jacques, William Dyer, Francis Kane and George McManus, were drowned. [I don't know; I fear there is a great curse on Fall River, based on all the articles and stories I've seen so far].

Subjects: Children, Superstition

Posted by stew - Mon, Dec 1, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, June 14, 1875
Hampshire County items

A few days since, Dr. Hitchcock received a box containing quite a quantity of curiosities from Western Africa sent him by Rev. Mr. Claflin, a missionary there. The most valuable of these specimens is the skull of an African warrior of the Mendi tribe [i.e. Mende http://www.footnote....width=290&height=400 ], which has good facial angle, unusual prominence and width of cheek bones, and is finely formed for anatomical purposes. Though wishing for a long time to obtain such a skull, Dr. Hitchcock has never before succeeded because of the superstition of the African tribes.

Subjects: African-Americans / Blacks, Archaeology, Curiosities and Wonders, Hampshire / Hampden Counties, Mail, Racism, Religion, Robbers and Outlaws, Science, War / Weaponry, Superstition

Posted by stew - Mon, Dec 1, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, May 24, 1875
Channel Island superstitions

Short article.

Subjects: Religion, Superstition

Posted by stew - Mon, Dec 1, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, May 17, 1875
The hair of a young lady in Vermont turned white overnight

The hair of a young lady in Vermont turned white overnight. She fell into a flour barrel.

Subjects: Accidents, Barber / Hair, Food, Jokes, Vermont, Women, Superstition

Posted by stew - Mon, Dec 1, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, May 10, 1875
Hartwellville, Vt.

Not many days since, some of our young folks had quite a time going down to an old fortune teller and having their fortunes told.

Subjects: Amusements, Luck, Spiritualism, Vermont, Superstition

Posted by stew - Wed, Oct 4, 2006

Gazette & Courier - Monday, February 22, 1875
Curious customs

Curious customs - In Wendish, Prussia there are villages where certain old customs are still observed on the death of the head of a family. If the man should happen to have been a bee keeper, one of the family goes to the hive, and striking the comb exclaims " http://www.gandolf.c...BeesAboutDeath.shtml Bees, arise , your master is dead". A similar custom prevailed, and possibly still prevails, in parts of England, and furnishes the idea for an interesting poem by Tennyson entitled http://www.poetry-ar...elling_the_bees.html "Telling the Bees " [actually this poem was written by John Greenleaf Whittier]. The English custom was based on the supposition that unless the http://ourworld.comp...keeping/whittier.htm bees are told of any death occurring in the family, they would quit the premises, and the manner in which the information was conveyed was by placing a black cloth over the hive. In the Prussian village already alluded to, it is the custom on the morning of the funeral of a farmer, for the man to proceed to the cattle sheds, and after causing the cattle to get upon their feet, place cheese before them and solemnly announce to them tht the body is about to be taken away.

Subjects: Animals / Reptiles, Curiosities and Wonders, English (and England), Family, Farmers & Farming / Flowers, Food, Germans, Insects, Mourning Customs, Obituaries, Poetry, Work, Superstition, Europe, Clothing

Posted by stew - Thu, Jun 15, 2006

Gazette & Courier - Monday, February 8, 1875
Deerfield Valley Farmers' Institute

Deerfield Valley Farmers’ Institute - met at Buckland Center Jan. 29, President D.L. Smith in the chair. J.H. Abbott opened the debate, giving some useful hints in regard to feeding cows, selecting milkers, etc.; said in this selection we should not be governed by size, breed or color: the value of a cow consisted in her capacity to convert food into milk. Col. R.H. Leavitt favored the meeting with excellent remarks upon the subject of dairying, taking it up somewhat in its retrospective and prospective aspects, urging young farmers to make it a specialty. Dr. Josiah Trow spoke of the necessity of gentle treatment, and the bad effect of the opposite upon the milk of the animal, rendering it unfit for food for children, etc. Messrs. Stockwell gave us the benefit of their experiments in feeding different types of grain, the results of which were strongly in favor of corn meal. Stated that they realized a profit of $1.50 to $2 per cow per week; raised the temperature of cream to 60 degrees before churning, etc. Mr. Truesdell of Shelburne gave some practical ideas of the subject: also statistics showing that he makes the business profitable. His product of butter from 9 cows in 1873 was 2185 lbs., cash received for it $381...O.J. Davenport has experimented with cows for setting milk, said cans holding 30 quarts, says the results are satisfactory; stated that he had a Jersey cow that produced 14 lbs. of butter per week. J.J. Dwight thinks that great loss is frequently the result of mixing the milk of different cows, and cited a cse to illustrate: he had a cow that was making 10 lbs. per week; mixed it with the milk of 2 other cows that gave nearly equal quantity with the first, and was unable to make but 12 lbs. And did space allow, should be glad to ntoice many other hints and suggestions of the speakers; the method of curing hay, feeding arrangement of milch cows, etc. The meting was unusually large and interesting. Dr. Josiah Trow thanked the officers and members of the institute on behalf of the people of Buckland for meeting. On motion of Col. R.H. Leavitt, the meeting returned a vote of thanks to the people of Buckland for the cordial reception and entertainment. The meeting then adjourned, to meet at East Charlemont Feb. 13th at 10 o’clock A.M. Topic for discussion: Should we encourage the formation of a Grange in every town, and how can we best market our produce? M.M. Mantor, Secretary.

Subjects: Amusements, Animals / Reptiles, Beverages, Buckland (MA), Business Enterprises, Charlemont (MA), Children, Clubs, Economics, Elections, Farmers & Farming / Flowers, Food, Medical Personnel, Shelburne and Shelburne Falls (MA), Vendors and Purchasers, Vital Statistics, Work, Superstition, Grange, National

Posted by stew - Fri, Mar 3, 2006

Gazette & Courier - Monday, February 1, 1875
The Soko

The Soko - The geography of the region through which Livingstone traveled in Africa, the customs peculiar to the different tribes, and the habits of the various animals which he enumerated are described in this journal with his usual care, accuracy and fullness. The soko, which Livingstone speaks of interchangeably with the gorilla, seems after all to be an entirely new species of chimpanzee, and as such is entitled to the distinction of having his portrait reproduced at length, just as the explorer graphically sketches it.

In the Manyuema country, under date of Aug. 24, 1870, he writes: "Four gorillas, or sokos, were killed yesterday: an extensive grass-burning forced them out of their usual haunt, and coming on the plain, they were speared. They often go erect, but place the hand on the head, as if to steady the body. When seen thus, the soko is an ungainly beast. The most sentimental young lady would not call him a ’dear’, but a bandy-legged, pot-bellied, low-looking villain, without a particle of the gentlemen in him.

Other animals are graceful, especially the antelope, and it is pleasant to see them, either at rest or in motion. The natives are also well made, lithe, and comely to behold, but the soko, if large, would do well to stand for a picture of the devil. He takes away my appetite by his disgusting bestiality of appearance. His light-yellow face shows off his ugly whiskers and faint apology of a beard; the forehead, villainously low, with high ears, is well in the background of the great dog-mouth; the teeth are slightly human, but the canines show the beast by their large development. The hands, or rather the fingers, are like those of the natives. The flesh of the feet is yellow, and the eagerness with which the Manyuemas devour it leaves the impression that eating sokos was the first stage by which they arrived at being cannibals; they say the flesh is delicious. The soko is represented by some to be extremely knowing, successfully stalking men and women while at their work, kidnapping children and running up trees with them: he seems to be amused by the sight of the young native in his arms, but comes down when tempted by a bunch of bananas, and as he lifts that, drops the child: the young soko in such a case would cling closely to the arm-pit of the elder.

One man was cutting out honey from a tree, and naked, when a soko suddenly appeared and caught him, then let him go. Another man was hunting, and missed in his attempt to stab a soko: it seized the spear and broke it, then grappled with the man, who called to his companions, "Soko has caught me". The soko bit off the ends of his fingers and escaped unharmed. Both men are now alive at Bambarre. The soko is so cunning, and has such sharp eyes, that no one can stalk him in front without being seen; hence, when shot it is always in the back; when surrounded by men and nets, he is generally speared in the back, too; otherwise he is not a very formidable beast; he is nothing, as compared in power of damaging his assailant, to a leopard or lion, but is more like a man unarmed, for it does not occur to him to use his canine teeth, which are long and formidable.

Numbers of them come down in the forest within a hundred yards of our camp, and would be unknown but for giving tongue like fox-hounds: this is their nearest approach to speech. A man hoeing was stalked by a soko and seized; he roared out, but the soko giggled and grinned, and left him as if he had done it in play. A child caught up by a soko is often abused by being pinched and scratched, and let fall. The soko kills the leopard occasionally, by seizing both paws and biting them so as to disable them; he then goes up a tree, groans over his wounds, and sometimes recovers, while the leopard dies: at other times both soko and leopard die.

The lion kills him at once, and sometimes tears his limbs off, but does not eat him. The soko eats no flesh; small bananas are his dainties, but not maize. His food consists of wild fruits, which abound. The soko brings forth at times twins. A very large soko was seen by Mohamed’s hunters sitting picking his nails: they tried to stalk him, but he vanished. Some Manyuema think that their buried dead rise up as sokos, and one was killed with holes in his ears, as if he had been a man. He is very strong, and fears guns, but not spears; he never catches women. He draws out a spear (but never uses it), and takes some leaves and stuffs them into his wound to staunch the blood; he does not wish an encounter with an armed man.

He sees women do him no harm, and never molests them: a man with out a spear is nearly safe from him. They live in communities of about ten, each having his own female: an intruder from another camp is beaten off with their fists and loud yells. If one tries to seize the female of another, he is caught on the ground, and all unite in boxing and biting the offender. A male often carries a child, especially if they are passing from one patch of forest to another over a grassy space; he then gives it to the mother."

Subjects: African-Americans / Blacks, Animals / Reptiles, Barber / Hair, Births, Cemeteries, Child Abuse, Children, Explorers, Eye, Family, Farmers & Farming / Flowers, Fires, Food, Jokes, Kidnapping, Literature / Web Pages, Meat, Medicine / Hospitals, Noise, Obituaries, Religion, Sex Crimes, Trees, Women, Work

Posted by stew - Sun, Jan 15, 2006

Gazette & Courier - Monday, January 11, 1875
The Shah’s jewels

The http://www.worldisro.../73022/photo780.html Shah’s jewels - The shah’s strongbox consists of a small room 20 x 14 ft., reached by a steep stair, and entered through a very small door. Here, spread upon carpets, his http://www.worldisro...s/73022/photo27.html jewels , valued at 7,000,000 pounds. Chief among the lot is the Kalanian Crown, shaped like a flower pot, and topped by a uncut http://www.geocities...e/1406/jewel/19.html ruby as large as a http://www.geocities...e/1406/jewel/20.html hen’s egg , and supposed to have come from Siam.

Near the http://www.worldisro...73022/photo1299.html crown are two lamb skin caps, adorned with splendid http://www.geocities...e/1406/jewel/10.html aigrettes of http://www.worldisro...s/73022/photo29.html diamonds , and before them lie trays of http://www.worldisro...73022/photo1294.html pearl , ruby, and http://www.worldisro...s/73022/photo26.html emerald , http://www.geocities...e/1406/jewel/14.html necklaces , and hundreds of rings.

Mr. Eastwick, who examined the whole, states that in addition to these there are gauntlets and http://www.geocities...e/1406/jewel/11.html belts covered with pearls and diamonds , and conspicuous among them the Kalanian belt, almost a foot deep, weighing, perhaps, 18 lbs., and one complete mass of pearls, diamonds , emeralds and rubies. One or two http://www.worldisro...s/73022/photo72.html scabbards of swords are said to be worth a quarter of a million each.

There is also the finest http://www.geocities...e/1406/jewel/82.html turquoise in the world, 3 or 4 inches long, and without a flaw; and "I’ remarked a smaller one of unique beauty, 3/8 of an inch broad; the color was lovely, and almost as refreshing to the eyes as Persian poets pretend. There are also many http://www.geocities...e/1406/jewel/66.html sapphires as big as marbles, and http://www.geocities...e/1406/jewel/16.html rubies and pearls the size of nuts, and I am certain that I counted nearly 100 emeralds from half an inch square to 1 3/4 inches long, and an inch broad. In the sword scabbard, which is covered with diamonds , there is not, perhaps, a single stone smaller than the nail of a man’s little finger.

Lastly, there is an emerald as big as a walnut, covered with the names of the http://www.worldisro...73022/photo1634.html kings who have possessed it. The ancient Persians prized the emerald above all gems, and particularly those from Egypt. Their goblets decorated with these stones, were copied by the Romans. The Shah also possesses a pearl worth 50,000 pounds. But the most attractive of all the Persian stones is the turquoise, which is inlaid by the native lapidaries with designs and inscriptions with great effect and expertise. The best come from Nish[?]r in http://www.gardenvis...ultaniehtotehran.htm Khorassan , whose mines ornamented the gold armor of the Persians, so much admired by the Greeks.

Chardin records that in the treasury at Ipsahan [probably http://www.jewishenc...p?artid=292&letter=I Ispahan ] he saw "in each chamber the stones in the rough piled high on the floor like heaps of grain, filling innumerable leather bags". As with the King of Burmah [i.e. King of Burma] and the rubies, the turquoises of Persia are always first inspected by the Shah. They are divided into two classes, according to the position in which they are found. The first, called sengui, or stony, are incrusted in the matrix, and have to be removed by means of a hammer; the second are taken from the alluvial deposits, and though larger are of less value than the former, which are of a deep blue color. Although the lord of Lords contented himself with taking the least valuable gems of his incomparable collection on his recent tour in the West, he carried no less than 200 talismans, which, while they may be poor in appearance, possess limitless value in the eyes of Persians.

Among others, there was a fine pointed star, supposed to be worn by Rooston, and believed to have the power of making conspirators at once confess their crimes. Around his neck the Shah wore a http://www.oldandsol...cious-stones-1.shtml cube of amber , reported to have fallen from heaven in the time of Mahomet, and to confer on its owners invulnerability. Most precious of all, however, was a little casket of gold studded with emeralds, and said to have the remarkable property of rendering the royal wearer invisible so long as he remains celibate.

Subjects: Archaeology, Astronomy, Birds, Criminals, Economics, Eye, Farmers & Farming / Flowers, Food, Italians, Literature / Web Pages, Luck, Magic and Magicians, Mines and Mineral Resources, Names, Poetry, Rich People, Royalty, Toys, War / Weaponry, Work, Superstition, Arabs, Europe, Jewelry / Gold / Silver / Treasure

Posted by stew - Sat, Dec 31, 2005

Gazette & Courier - Monday, January 4, 1875

Don't - pray don't - Don't tell the little one who may be slightly willful - "That the black man will come out of the dark cellar and carry it off if it does not mind". Don't create a needless fear to go with the child through all the stages of its existence. Don't tell the little 5 year old Jimmy "the school ma'am will cut off his ears" "pull out his teeth", "tie him up", or any of the horrible stories that are commonly presented to the child's imagination. Think you the little one will believe anything you tell him after he becomes acquainted with the gentle teacher who has not the least idea of putting those terrible threats into execution? Don't tell the children they must not drink tea because it will make them black, while you continue the use of it daily. Your example is more to them than precept; and while your face is as fair as a June morning, they will scarcely credit the oft told tale. Either give up drinking the pleasant beverage or give your child a better reason for its non use. Don't tell them they must not eat sugar or sweetmeats because it will rot their teeth. Pure sugar does not cause the tooth to decay, and sugar with fruits is nutritious and healthy notwithstanding the "old saw" to the contrary. The case of city children is often cited; the case of their pale faces and slight constitution being an over amount of sweet meats with their diet, when the actual cause is want of pure air and proper exercise. Don't tell the sick one that the medicine is not bad to take, when you can hardly keep your own stomach from turning "inside out" at the smell of it. Better by far to tell him the simple truth, that it IS disagreeable, but necessary for his health, and you desire him to take it at once. Ten to one he will swallow it with half the trouble of coaxing and worry of words, and love you better for your firm, decided manner. Don't teach the chidlren by example to tell white lies to each other and to their neighbors. Guard lips and bridle your tongue if you desire to have the coming generation truthful. Truthfulness is one of the foundation stones of heaven. Remember the old, old book say, "no liar" shall enter within the gates of the beautiful city. There is no distinction between white lies and those of a darker hue. A falsehood is an untruth whether the matter be great or small (Rural New Yorker).

Subjects: Astronomy, Beverages, Child Abuse, Children, Crime, Diseases, Education, Family, Food, Kidnapping, Medicine / Hospitals, Names, Racism, Religion, Sports, Urbanization / Cities, Women, Words, Work, Superstition

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 - Sun, Apr 17, 2005

Gazette & Courier - Monday, November 30, 1874
The latest of Vermont's numerous "spiritual" sensations is at Portland. For several weeks past, says a newspaper correspondent, stones have

The latest of Vermont's numerous "spiritual" sensations is at Portland. For several weeks past, says a newspaper correspondent, stones have been http://paranormal.ab...eries/a/aa042604.htm falling on a certain farmer's buildings, and the phenomenon cannot be accounted for, he says, except on the supposition that the spirits are at work.They fall, both in the daytime and at night, but particularly after dark. The bulk of them are from 2 to 5 inches in diameter, but a few days ago, one weighing 20 lbs. fell into the yard. Some of them fall upon the buildings near the eaves and then sportively climb up the roof and roll over the other side. Of course, big crowds visit the scene.

Subjects: Curiosities and Wonders, Farmers & Farming / Flowers, Literature / Web Pages, Spiritualism, Sports, Vermont, Work, Superstition

Posted by stew - Sun, Mar 20, 2005

Gazette & Courier - Monday, November 23, 1874
A novel cure for whooping cough

A novel cure for whooping cough - A curious http://www.isleofman...eritage/folklore.htm superstition prevails on the Isle of Man , to the effect that children may be preserved from http://www.isle-of-m.../iomnhas/lm3p303.htm>whooping cough by being placed in the hopper of a http://www.angelfire...ogist/folklore1.html mill . "Whooping cough" says a local paper, "is at the present time exceedingly prevalent in the south of the Island, and on Sun. a large no. of the children were taken to the Gremby mill in the parish of Malow, three miles from Castletown, in order to be subjected to the charm. Two hoppers of the http://www.pjonline....omment/onlooker.html mill were crammed full of children, and as soon as they were comfortably and safely settled, the motor caused the wheel to revolve three times , the parents of the children being present at the time. In order to be efficacious, the ceremony must be gone through at a time when the ministers of the district are engaged in preaching in their pulpits. For this reason, about noon on Sundays is generally the time chosen for the performance of this curious rite.

Subjects: Business Enterprises, Curiosities and Wonders, Diseases, Family, Literature / Web Pages, Quacks and Quackery, Religion, Superstition, Europe

Posted by stew - Sun, Mar 20, 2005

Gazette & Courier - Monday, November 23, 1874
Among the many wonderful natural phenomena in California is a tract of country near the head waters of the Keweah River [i.e. Among the many wonderful natural phenomena in California is a tract of country near the head waters of the Keweah River [i.e. Kaweah River ], which the Indians call the abiding place of the evil spirit. The country is rugged and rocky - mountains with deep valleys and precipitous cliffs. Snakes and reptiles of every description abound in untold numbers, and taken all in all, it is a wild and most uninviting region. But aside from this a most curious phenomena exists. The ground trembles and quakes [many fault lines here, including the San Andreas Fault] almost continuously, and the abundant rocks grind and grit together as if being urged by some terrible influence. Frequently deep discharges are heard, muted and dull, like the distant sound of heavy artillery. At night the sounds seem to be more abundant than in the day time. No Indian can be induced to venture near the locality, regarding it with superstitious horror.

Subjects: Animals / Reptiles, Charlemont (MA), Curiosities and Wonders, Native Americans, Noise, Rivers / Lakes / Oceans, Spiritualism, War / Weaponry, Superstition, Geography

Posted by stew - Wed, Feb 2, 2005

Gazette & Courier - Monday, November 16, 1874
The women of Europe by Mrs. E.B. Duffey

The women of Europe by http://www.geocities...ace20/etiquette.html Mrs. E.B. Duffey - In those nations of Europe which have attained the highest degree of civilization, women are found enjoying the greatest number of privileges, mingling freely with the other sex, most respected and honored, and most worthy of respect and honor. This is especially true of Germany, England, France, Sweden and Norway. Russia is just passing from a semi-barbarous state into a civilized one. With the reign of the present czar, the nation awoke to a new life. The serfs are already set free, and next follows the emancipation of women. In the higher ranks, women are already permitted to enjoy peculiar privileges, and the emperor has given his voice in favor of the higher education of women. In truth, many Russian women were allowed to depart from their country and become students in German universities, until for political reasons, it was deemed best (whether wisely or unwisely it is not for me to say) to recall them. Sweden and Norway have, until a few years past, presented a strange contrast in the condition of their women. Mayhew tells us that " women in Norway occupy a position of superior honor. They have, perhaps, more to do with the real business of life, and more share in those occupations which require the exertion of intellect and study than in England. They enjoy less compliment, but more respect, which all the sensible members of their sex would infinitely prefer. She indeed who provides for a household, under the peculiar domestic arrangements of the country, and presides over its economy, is held in higher estimation. Women, in fact, hold a very just position in http://www.likestill.../english/norway.html Norway , having that influence and participation in its affairs which develop their mental and cultivate their moral qualities. Yet it is far from true that they occupy themselves entirely with the sober business, paying no attention to the elegant arts of life. Many of them adorn themselves also in those lighter accomplishments which gracefully amuse a leisure hour; but they certainly do not exhaust on song or dance, or the embroidery frame, the most valuable powers they possess. The able and observant traveler, Laing, supplies a true picture of their character and position, observing that among the wealthier merchants the state of the female sex is less natural and less to be admired than among the humble classes, which compose the general mass of society. Generally speaking, therefore, women nowhere play a more important part in the affairs of social life, than in that remote and romantic part of Europe. Among the poor the division of labor between the sexes is excellent; all the indoor work is assigned to the women, all the outdoor labor to the men. With respect to the actual morals of Norway, we may assign them the highest rank. The same author from whom I have just quoted, gives the following as the great difference between the institutions of Norway and those of Sweden: "In the former, manners influence the law. In the latter, law attempts to regulate every detail of public manners". The position of women in Sweden has hitherto been an exceedingly inferior one. http://www-rohan.sds...n1/History_Page.html Fredrika Bremer uttered her heartfelt protest against the wrongs done her sex, and others have spoken and are still speaking, so that already these abject conditions are becoming somewhat modified. The present king and queen hold exceedingly liberal ideas and as a consequence, under their rule progress is more rapid. What the condition of women has been in Sweden, and what it no doubt still is, in some degrees may be discovered from the following quotation, also from Mayhew: "Men, says the public law of Sweden, attain their majority at the age of 21 years, but women remain in tutelage during the entire period of their lives, unless the king grants a privilege of exemption; widows, however, are excepted. Men cannot legally marry before the age of 21. Even to this rule there is an exception, for among the peasants of the north it is lawful for a youth of 18 to take a wife. Women may marry immediately after their confirmation, which never takes place before 14. A man may marry without the consent of any one, but a woman must obtain the sanction of her parent or guardian. The condition of women in Sweden is low in comparison with the other countries of Europe, and offers a strong contrast with that which we discover in Norway. Talks are assigned among the humble orders to the female sex, against which true civilization would revolt. They carry sacks, row boats, sift lime, and bear other heavy labors. Among the middle classes they hold an inferior situation; but among the higher, though little respected, they are comparatively free". I have had some conversation with a Swedish lady of intelligence concerning the present status of women in that country, and am gratified to learn that there has been a marked improvement in the condition of women during late years. Those women who show talents of either literature or art, receive great encouragement and the genuine respect of the community. This lady related to me a significant incident concerning higher education for women in Sweden which is really worth repeating. Upsala University [i.e. Uppsala University ] was opened to admit women, and recently a woman bore off the highest prize which had been accorded to any student for years, if not a generation, whereupon it was immediately decided by those having control over the university that it was not expedient to admit women to its privileges in future. The lady said she thought the public voice would be so strong in protest, that they would be obliged to revoke this decision, especially as royalty was in favor of giving women the best educational advantage. There is a marked contrast in the condition of the women of Germany in the different classes of social life. In the higher classes they are intelligent, refined and exceedingly domestic in character. They show an aptitude for study, and since some of the universities have been thrown open to them, they avail themselves eagerly of the opportunity for thorough education. The present crown princess of Prussia, the eldest daughter of Queen Victoria, is, in that country, exerting a strong and most beneficial influence upon society in favor of the higher elevation of women. In the middle classes the women are notable housekeepers, and perhaps, more or less the servants of the men with whom they are connected by marriage or ties of blood. The peasant women are mere slaves and beasts of burden. In this lowest rank in life they perform all the drudgery, while their husbands sit idly by, smoking and watching them. Women in Germany may be seen carrying the hod, wheeling handcarts, plowing, hoeing, chopping wood and engaging in all the menial offices of life, from which they are exempted elsewhere. They are even harnessed to the plow and made to do the labor of horses and mules. A traveler in Austria tells us all this, but goes on to say that these women are strong-minded as well as strong handed, and that their nominal masters suffer in every respect in comparison with them; and that if ever the time comes when political equality shall be extended to the lower class, the women will demand their rights at the same time with the physically and mentally weaker men, and will know how to make a good use of them.In all social revolutions this lowest class is always the hardest and the last to reach, but we may hope for a speedy improvement. In the condition of the women of the upper and middle classes, so that Germany will not long stand behind other nations in this certain evidence of advanced civilization. It is difficult to give any definite idea of the condition of the women of France. It is in many respects most favorable and in others most unfavorable. The Salic Law , which rules in France, and which totally excludes women from the throne, or from any political power whatsoever, has worked disastrously throughout society. Women are unconsciously degraded in the minds of men by the knowledge of this seclusion, and the laws are in many cases unjust to them. As a further consequence, those women who have aspired to political power have been forced to seek it in unrecognized channels and by unfair means. Forbidden to be stateswomen they have sought to influence statesmen, and to acquire by craft that power which they were forbidden to seek directly. Thus, less than a century ago, we had the spectacle of France ruled by an unscrupulous woman through a weak and dissolute monarch. In business relations women in France stand on an exact equality with men. The husband and wife are partners in business, the wife usually the head of the firm, and evincing her capabilities by the superiority and discretion of her management. Nearly all avenues of industry for which they are physically fitted, are open to women. In home life, if we go out of that great, boiling, seething cauldron of immorality - Paris - we find great happiness and fidelity. Husbands live for the love of their wives, just as in certain other countries wives are enjoined to live for the love of their husbands without any hint of mutual obligation. The family tie is very strong in France, and domestic happiness is perhaps the rule. The education of women in not yet all that it should be. The girl is a prisoner by her mother's side until she is sent to the convent, from which she issues to go to the conjugal roof . Even the book education is narrow and superficial - a mere smattering of accomplishments; but of human life and the grand interests of science and the world, the girl knows absolutely nothing. She has been kept jealously from this knowledge as though it would contaminate her. Until this false system of education shall be superseded - until convents shall no longer be the training schools of young girls, and they shall find instead a broad life within coeducational institutions, we shall never know the full capabilities of the French woman. Until that shall be done, and young men shall be taught to look upon all women with respect and consideration, it will probably be found, as it is now, unsafe for any woman to walk alone in the public streets, in broad daylight even. Men and women alike need this education in fellowship. Among the peasant class, French women, like German women, perform much of the drudgery. Indeed this may be said, the world over, of that class which is the farthest removed from complete civilization. I have even seen, in this enlightened America, the wife of a farmer get up at daybreak on a summer morning, chop wood, build fire, draw water, milk one or two cows, and then get breakfast for three or four men who sat idly waiting, and never offered to help her in any way. When I have seen such instances, I have been forced to reflect that we would all be savages still if circumstances had not made us, and that these circumstances seem yet to bring no force to bear on some individuals. The position of women in Spain is one especially humiliating and false. They are kept in ignorance and under restraint, and regarded with suspicion. A recent English writer who has had ample opportunities for witnessing social life in Spain, gives the following account: "In the lower walks of life the Spanish maiden is absolutely a prisoner - the prisoner of her madre or 'tea' [i.e. tia] or aunt - until a kind Providence gives her a husband. No Spanish maiden, however poor, can ever walk alone in the street, even for a few paces; if she do so, her character is gone. She cannot go out to service unless her madre or tea be in the same service; and hence all the 'criadas' or maid servants, are widows, who are allowed to have their children in the master's house under their own eye; or unmarried over 40. The Spanish maiden has her choice of only two walks of life, until married life and a husband's protection become her own. Up to the time of her marriage she may, if her mother and father be alive, go to a tailor's shop each day, returning at night, thus earning a few pence a day, and learning a trade. She is escorted thither and homeward by her mother, whose tottering steps and gray hair often contrast strangely with the upright carriage and stately walk of the daughter by her side. If the Spanish maiden, however, have a mother who is a widow, or who has no settled home with her husband, and is for this cause obliged to go out to service to earn her bread, the maiden will probably be with her mother, and, receiving little or no wages, take an idle share in the household duties, and receive each evening - of course in her madre's presence - the visits of her lover. As to saying a single word, or at least, having a walk or a good English chat alone, the young couple never even dream of such a thing. The mother during this period treats her daughter quite like a child. If she does wrong - no matter though she be on the very eve of marriage - the mother administers a sound beating with her fists, and sometimes even a sound kicking. The Spanish mother has no idea of trusting her daughters, nor does she ever attempt the least religious or moral culture. Her system is to prevent any impropriety simply by external precautions. Mother and daughter, though constantly quarreling, and even coming to blows, are very fond of each other, and the old woman, when they go out shopping together, will carry the heavy basket, or cesta, under the burning sun, that she may not spoil her daughter's queenly walk. Her dull eye, too, will grow moist with a tear, and her worn face will kindle with absolute softness and sweetness, if an English senor express his admiration of her child's magnificent hair or flashing black eyes. The moment, however, that the daughter is married, all this is at an end. The mother, to use a vulgar but expressive phrase, "washes her hands of" her care. From the moment of the completion of the marriage ceremony, the mother declines all responsibility, seldom goes to her daughter's house, and treats her almost as a stranger. "Among the higher classes, although different in kind, the treatment of the young, unmarried maiden is almost as strict. She, too, like her humbler sister, can never have the privilege of seeing her lover in private, and very rarely indeed, if ever, is he admitted into the sala when she is sitting. He may contrive to get a few minutes' chat with her through the barred windows of her sala, but when a Spaniard leads his wife from the altar, he knows no more of her character, attainments and disposition, than does the priest who marries them, and perhaps not so much." With the above graphic description of the life led by Spanish women, and their total want of moral and intellectual culture and discipline, can we wonder that Spain, as a nation, is so degraded, so superstitious and so unstable? The mothers mould the men, and give character to the State. How shall I describe the condition of women in England? In many respects it is as similar to that of women in our own country, that it needs no absolute description, only an indication of points of difference. Among the abject poor, both women and men sink far below the level of degradation and suffering, common to the lowest class in this country. If women in that class have no respect paid to their womenhood, and become mere human machines, the same is true of the men also, with this difference, that between individuals of the two sexes, man is always the master and woman the slave. That is to say, there is always one step below the man which the woman occupies. I need not speak of the injustice which the English common law is guilty of toward women, in nearly all instances in which it recognizes her specially. Every intelligent reader is already familiar with its various details. Besides, public sentiment is fast outgrowing this relic of a barbarous age, and already acts of special legislation are doing the sex tardy justice. But woman's position before the law in England is far inferior to that in the United States. Among the higher classes, women have many social privileges accorded them, and many of them display rare literary and scientific attainments. Some of the choicest scholars, artists and literateurs of the age are English women, whose abilities and performances compare favorably with those of the other sex. The English woman, however, of average attainments, and in the middle walk of life, must lead, as viewed from an American point of view, a monotonous existence. Shut out, as she is, by popular sentiment, from all participation in active life, forbidden in the name of her womanhood to seek a career of her own, her mental growth is stunted, her moral nature developed in abnormal directions, and her energies paralyzed. If she is married, and living in the country, her life must be strictly a domestic one, which can only be varied by indulging in the frivolous pursuits of society, or in the highly enspiriting pastime of district visiting and almoner to the poor. I do not wish to speak lightly of the latter task, only, when viewed as the sole mental and moral relaxation in an otherwise humdrum and narrow life, it seems a little dull, to say the least. But the married woman is, after all, exceedingly fortunate tempered with her single sisters. The unmarried gentlewoman, if left unprotected and without means, has no choice whatever in regard to her future occupation. She must go out as a governess or starve. She would certainly rather do the latter than venture into the many occupations which her more independent and (shall I say it?) sensible American sisters adopt without loss of self-respect or esteem of friends. If she have a little means - even if she be an earl's daughter, or the daughter of a millionaire, she is not likely to have much, unless she is an only child, as the law of primogeniture secures all the real estate to the eldest son; the personal property is needed to start the younger sons in life, and the daughters are not supposed to need more than just enough to secure them from want - she settles down in a narrow home with her maid, and her cat, and her vegetables; becomes intensely respectable, and more narrowed in mind and contracted in ideas as the years roll around. There are tens of thousands of English gentlewomen leading this selfish aimless life, forced thereto by the false ideas of an artificial society, to whom a profession or even a trade, to take their minds and thoughts out of the mean center of their own little worlds and give them an objective interest in life, would awaken them to undreamed of energies, and add a vital force to the physical, intellectual and moral power of the nation. Yet England, with all her conservatism, has taken one step toward radical reform in advance of this country. I refer to household suffrage, in which all possessing a certain qualification, irrespective of sex, are entitled to vote in municipal elections. In these elections women have voted quite as generally as men, and no disastrous results seems to have followed. On the contrary, the positive advantages have been so marked that the fact has proved a strong argument in the mouth of the advocates of female suffrage. However, in a country over which a woman rules, it does not seem incongruous that women should take active part in politics. The strangest thing is that there should be any doubt about the propriety of it. Well, the world moves. What we look forward to today as a goal to be reached, may to a future generation be only a landmark of the past. One thing is certain, as the world goes round, and as nations move in ever ascending circles of progress toward perfect civilization, we behold women becoming freer and freer, and more and more completely recognized as her own mistress, the arbiter of her own fate, and as holding the destiny of the world in her hands. Free men must be mated by free women; and wise men descend from wise mothers.

Subjects: Amusements, Animals / Reptiles, Art, Astronomy, Barber / Hair, Beverages, Business Enterprises, Businesspeople, Charity, Charlemont (MA), Child Abuse, Conservation of Natural Resources, Courtship, Crime, Dance, Dreams / Sleep, Economics, Education, Elections, Emigration and Immigration, English (and England), Etiquette, Eye, Family, Farmers & Farming / Flowers

Posted by stew - Sun, Dec 26, 2004

Gazette & Courier - Monday, October 12, 1874
The Boston Transcript publishes extracts from a private letter from Davenport, Iowa, giving the following account of the accident which resulted in the death of The Boston Transcript publishes extracts from a private letter from Davenport, Iowa, giving the following account of the accident which resulted in the death of http://www.rootsweb....11/trinitychurch.htm Bishop Lee [ Henry Washington Lee ], and mentions a singular dream by his son at the instant of the fall. Some two months ago Bishop Lee got up in the night to take a bath, and on returning to his room he made a mistake, and stepped off a long set of stairs, and landed at the foot with a tremendous crash, as he was very heavy, weighing over 200 lbs. It aroused the whole family, and Mrs. Lee and Carrie sprang from their beds, and lighting each a candle, went to see what had happened, and found the bishop lying on the floor of the entry. He got up, however, without aid, and seemed to have received no injury except a few slight bruises, though his right hand was a little lamed. Mr. H. and myself called on him two days after, and while telling the circumstances of the fall, he mentioned this coincidence. He had a letter in his hand, which he had just received from his son Henry, living at Kansas City. His son wrote "Are you well, for last night I had a dream which troubles me. I heard a crash, and standing up, said to my wife, "Did you hear that crash? I dreamed that Father had a fall and was dead". I got up and looked at my watch, and it was 2 o'clock. I could not sleep again, so vivid was the dream". And it made him anxious to hear from home. The Bishop said he was not superstitious, but he thought it remarkable that Henry should have had the dream at the very hour of the same night that the accident occurred. "The difference in the time there and here is just 15 minutes [ah, pre-standard time] and it was quarter past 2 by his watch, making it at the same moment. It as if he actually heard the fall. And the fall finally caused the Bishop's death. His hand became intensely painful, and gangrene set in, which after two weeks of suffering terminated his life. We are none of us spiritualists, as you know, but surely facts like this must go far to make us realize that there is a basis of truth for their hypothesis of spiritual faculties resident in man. How did Henry Lee become cognizant of the accident to his father?

Subjects: Accident Victims, Accidents, Charlemont (MA), Diseases, Dreams / Sleep, Emigration and Immigration, Family, Furniture, Households, Light, Literature / Web Pages, Mail, Obituaries, Prophecies, Religion, Spiritualism, Women, Superstition, Jewelry / Gold / Silver / Treasure

Posted by stew - Mon, Jun 28, 2004

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 14, 1874
Wolf boys

http://www.feralchil...owchild.php?ch=hesse Wolf boys - To the editor of the http://www.methodist...aug2003/thoburn.html Lucknow Witness - Sir: In a late issue of your paper you wished for some information regarding the so-called "wolf boys". When the late Sir http://www.btinterne...tures_feral_kids.htm William Sleeman was Resident at the Court of Lucknow, he interested himself much in this matter, and evidently believed that wolves did occasionally carry off children to their dens, and contrary to their natural instincts rear instead of devouring them. The writer of these lines, whilst employed by the Oudh Frontier Police, received an order from General (then Colonel) Sleeman to proceed from http://www.feralchil...ld.php?ch=sultanpur3 Saltanpore , [seen usually as Sultanpur ] Oudh, to Fyzabad [usually seen as http://members.tripo..._INDIA/Faizaba2.html Faizabad ], in order to secure a boy then said to have been seen in the latter place who had been nourished by a wolf. On arrival at Fyzabad no trace of the wolf boy could be found, the search having been rendered all the more difficult by the presence of immense multitudes both at Fyzabad and Ajoodhyah [probably Ayodhya ] on the occasion of a grand http://www.1upindia....yodhya/festival.html Mela . Whilst on the way back to Sultanpore, the writer heard that a wolf boy was to be found in the vicinity of Sultanpore itself. Messengers were accordingly dispatched to the locality indicated, and a boy was brought by them whom the villagers declared to have been reared by a wolf. The poor creature was about 13 or 14 years old, could utter no articulated sounds, could not walk erect, in fact crawled on all fours, and seemed totally deprived of intelligence, presenting, although perfectly harmless, a most repulsive appearance. Now and then he gave utterance to most uncouth and almost frightful cries. He was sent to Lucknow to Col. Sleeman and what subsequently became of him the writer cannot tell, but when the Oudh Durbar officials discovered what they considered to be a "shank" of the Resident, they hastened to produce several unfortunate idiots, positively declaring them to be wolf boys. There is no doubt that the natives believe in the existence of these wolf-nourished creatures, and the story of Romulus and Remus would tend to show that the Romans shared in the same belief. Nevertheless, the writer must confess to total scepticism in this matter. First, how difficult is it to believe that an animal as ferocious in its habits should, by some strange and incomprehensible motive, be induced to spare the life of a child completely in its power. True it is that animals have been known to nourish and rear the young of another species, but then in most cases these animals were in a domesticated condition and plentifully supplied with food, whereas it is to satisfy the very cravings of hunger that in the first instance the wolf seizes upon an unguarded child and carries it off to its den for the purpose of feasting on it, when suddenly changing its mind, it not only spares the child, nut nourishes and rears it! The total disparity between the child and its supposed gaunt foster parents throws another difficulty in our way, whilst in the case alluded to of animals nourishing young of another species, it will generally, if not always be found that some physical resemblance, however slight, exists between the nurse and its charge. Secondly, although the writer has heard of frequent instances of wolf boys having been found in Oudh villages, no instance has ever been cited to him of the discovery of a wolf-girl. Surely it is too much to ask to believe that wolves would be influenced by sex in the choice of subjects on whom to bestow their strange tenderness! Is it not probably a true solution of the mystery which, for so many years previous to the annexation of Oudh, has enveloped the history of these unfortunate creatures, to suppose that they were simply idiots who, straying away from the place of their birth, wandered, driven by hunger from place to place in search of food; their parents or friends, themselves perhaps poverty stricken, not being over anxious to search for and bring back to their homes such burdens on their scanty means. It must be remembered that in the days when Oudh was under its own rulers, there existed no asylums in which to shelter idiots, and they roamed about in perfect liberty, suported by the liberality of the people. And when we consier the great love all Orientals entertain for the marvelous, we need scarcely be stonished that on seeing such an object as the one which was brought to the writer's house at Sultanpore, for, still worse one possessing a savage instead of a harmless disposition the ignorant villagers should have been tempted to believe that such an animal could only have been brought up by a wolf, that animal so much dreaded by themselves that they will scarcely pronounce its name, and to which they attach the superstitious idea that if killed in or near a village, that village will asuredly ere long be deserted! True it is that sometimes nature indulges in strange freaks, and supposing even that "once upon a time" a wolf took pity on a child and nourished it, can it be supposed that such a circumstance would be of so frequent an occurrence as the villagers of Oudh would have one to believe? (O.P.A., Musoorie ) [i.e. Mussoorie ].

Subjects: Animals / Reptiles, Children, Courts, Curiosities and Wonders, Fairs, Family, Food, Handicapped, Households, Insanity, Italians, Literature / Web Pages, Lost and Found, Medicine / Hospitals, Names, Police, Poor, Royalty, Women, Work, Leyden (MA), Superstition

Posted by stew - Mon, May 31, 2004

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 7, 1874
(Greenfield) September contains the necessary R, and the lovers of oysters are happy. Sun. breakfast with the delciious bivalves are sadly incomplete. Hunter, the champion fish vendor, has opened a v

(Greenfield) September contains the necessary R, and the lovers of oysters are happy. Sun. breakfast with the delciious bivalves are sadly incomplete. Hunter, the champion fish vendor, has opened a vigorous campaign, as will be seen in another column.

Subjects: Fishes and Fishing, Food, Greenfield (MA), Sales, Words, Superstition

Posted by stew - Fri, May 14, 2004

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 31, 1874
(Whitingham Vt.) Another excursion party went to Haystack Mountain on Sat., consisting of Mr. Philander Hall and his city friends.Another excursion party came off Wed. to the haunted house at Elm Gro

(Whitingham Vt.) Another excursion party went to Haystack Mountain on Sat., consisting of Mr. Philander Hall and his city friends.Another excursion party came off Wed. to the haunted house at Elm Grove, Coleraine, consisting of Peter Holbrook and his Western friends, and according to Mrs. Nellie J.T. Brigham’s story the house is only undergoing a thorough rendition of repairs, and as she had found her residence there for nearly 9 years, she did not think the house was anything so remarkable as yet but what could be acounted for from natural causes, and from theories they could very readily explain to all.

Subjects: Amusements, Coleraine [now Colrain] (MA), Farmers & Farming / Flowers, Food, Households, Spiritualism, Urbanization / Cities, Vermont, Women, Superstition, Architecture / Construction

Posted by stew - Wed, Mar 31, 2004

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 10, 1874
Haunted house in Elm Grove

Haunted house in Elm Grove - L.A. Brigham [ Luther Ayres Brigham ], the husband of Mrs. Nellie J. Temple Brigham [ http://worldconnect....nedriscoll&id=I49305 Helen Juliette Temple ], the spiritualist lecturer,has been engaged the past season in making an extensive enlargement and in alterations of his house in Elm Grove, Coleraine. Not long since the inmates of the house were started from their sleep by a sudden shaking, a jarring of the edifice like that caused by an earthquake. It was found by looking that it was exactly 3 o'clock. An hour later the shock came again; and since that time it has been repeated every morning, first at 3, and then at 4 o'clock. The house has been occupied by http://worldconnect....nedriscoll&id=I35546 Mr. Brigham 's family, several visitors, and the carpenters at work on the building. All were awakened from the first by the strange noise and perceptible motion, but did not communicate with each other on the subject until after experiencing the phenomenon several times. Crockery and articles about the house are found to be disturbed by the shaking up, which would go to prove that it is not a creation of the imagination. Of course the Spiritualists will call it a manifestation, and the superstituous can see in it the operations of a ghost; but people who do not take stock in these supernatural performances will look for an explanation through some other source.

Subjects: Coleraine [now Colrain] (MA), Curiosities and Wonders, Dreams / Sleep, Family, Households, Noise, Pottery / Crockery, Spiritualism, Women, Work, Superstition, Architecture / Construction

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