The following extract, is from the first number of the "Autobiography of the Delaware Gazette:" "At this period of my existence - a period in the age of newspapers when a prescriptive right to be garrulous has been fairly earned, I am disposed to sit down and have a little gossip of the 'good old times,' with my readers. I have attained to a greater age than is usually granted to newspapers, - in fact I am a kind of a paper Methusaleh; and no candid person will deny that my gray hairs entitle me to a respectful hearing. Delaware county and its villages have changed vastly for the better, since my birth; so have I changed vastly for the better in my size and personal appearance, during the same period. I am to-day, (1854,) just twice as large as when I was first wrapped in swaddling clothes; and the miserable whity-brown complexion, and uncouth toggery I wore when I made my first weekly call at your doors, have given place to a clear, healthy-looking face, and a dress really genteel, - in fact, I am a kind of Beau Brummel among the hebdomadals of this region.
"It brings sadness to my heart to sit down with you and conjure up the memories of the past, from 1819, when I made my first appearance, down to the present time! Most of the friends whose kind hands were extended to guide my first faltering steps, went to sleep long ago in the quiet county church-yards; the few left are old folks, going about with frosty locks, in place of the rich brown curls they wore in my boyhood, or sitting by their fireside, clothed with flannel, and waiting that summons which has already called away their loved ones. My early and kind patrons, the Gazette sends a hearty 'God bless you' to you all.
"In November, 1819, my then editor, John J. Sappan, issued the first number of the Gazette. It was the first newspaper ever issued in the county. This locality was thinly populated, and the people, then, as now, worshipped many political gods. Mr. Sappan wisely resolved, therefore, that he would not erect a shrine for the deities of any party, and sent me out a neutral in politics. I have not a copy of my initial number to show you, but I can call your attention to some of my numbers of that first year. Referring to them, I find that Isaac Ogden was then Judge of the Common Pleas; Robert North, of Walton, was Surrogate; Isaac Burr, still living, an aged and esteemed citizen of Meredith, was sheriff; Samuel Sherwood, Amasa Parker, Root, and Hobbie, Serinus Monson, Amasa Douglass, Phelps, and Romeyn, John B. Spencer, Henry Ogden, Foote, and Decker, and others, were attorneys; Gideon Frisbie, and Robert North, were Loan Commissioners; and from the post-office advertisement, I learn that Noadiah Johnson, afterwards the popular representative of the district in Congress, was assistant post-master."
The first number of the Gazette was issued, Thursday, November 18th, 1819. Mr. Sappan, its editor and publisher, who had been for some years associate editor of a paper in Otsego county, it is believed came to Delhi, then but a small village, and without any previous warning, commenced the publication of his paper.
In 1822, April 1st, Mr. Sappan sold out his interest to David Johnson, an apprentice in the office. Without any pecuniary resources, or capital of any kind, except the product of his own hard labor and industry, his successor was compelled to incur expenses and shoulder responsibilities, from which the profits of his paper proved hardly sufficient to release him. He was compelled by stern necessity to mortgage his office, and even type, to a heavy amount, to enable him to continue the publication of his paper, and to support his family.
In 1833, March 20th, Mr. Johnson left for New York, as was supposed with the intention of purchasing a fresh supply of material for his paper, leaving the office in charge of his assistant, J. D. Clark, a native of Hudson, N. Y., a practical and accomplished printer, who had spent the two preceding years in Sappan's employ, but not returning at the appointed time, the fact became publicly known that he had absented himself, and the creditors of the establishment came forward, and succeeded in effecting a sale of the entire establishment to A. M. Paine, the present editor, who associated with him in the management of the paper J. D. Clarke, referred to above, whose experience in the office, as well as his practical knowledge of the art of printing, rendered his services a necessary guarantee to the future success of the enterprise. Mr. Clark remained a copartner until May, 1839, when he closed his connection with the Gazette, disposing of his interest to his associate, Mr. Paine, who has since remained its sole proprietor.
The Gazette, as inferred from the extract we copied above from its "Autobiography," was established from considerations of policy, a "neutral" in politics; yet its editors from the first, had been democrats of the old school, and whether the Gazette even under Mr. Sappan's' supervision, did not frequently excite the watchful jealousy of leading whigs, we have not the data before us to infer, but it is certain that his successor Mr. Johnson, could not long remain on neutral grounds, and the truth soon became obvious that the Gazette had become a decided organ of the interest of the democratic party.
The first opponent to the Gazette was the Delaware Republican, as appears from the following communication:
"Delhi, February 5th, 1855.
"J. Gould, Esq: - In our conversation yesterday I omitted, what I had previously mentioned, that the Delaware Journal was not the first paper started in opposition to the Gazette. The Delaware Republican was started, I should think, within the first two, or possibly three years of the Gazette. It seems to have been in existence during the election of 1822. The first mention of it in the Gazette is on the 11th of December, 1822, when it speaks as having been assailed for some weeks by the Republican. I find no notice in any file of the Gazette of is discontinuance. The republican was first started by E. J. Roberts, but at the time I speak of, Wm. G. Hull sustained the relation of editor. The last mention of the Republican, in the columns of the Gazette, was on the 19th of March, 1823, and I think it closed its existence a short time after.
"Yours &c., A. M. PAINE."
The existence of the "Delaware Republican" is thus pertinently alluded to in the "Autobiography of the Gazette."
"On the 4th of July, 1821, a new candidate for popular favor, called 'The Delaware Republican,' made its appearance in this village, under the editorial care and supervision of Elijah J. Roberts. Mr. Roberts, I think, in after years, acquired some distinction as editor of the Craftsman, published at Rochester, and devoted to Trades' Unions. The Republican came into existence as a Bucktail Republican newspaper; and among other duties assumed by the editor in his opening leader, is that of 'watching the movements of the Clintonian remnant through the stages of their present decline, till the memorable epoch shall arrive, when the political recreant who now fills the executive chair, shall descend from his high elevation, and the places which now know his party, shall know them no more.; The severe charges made against his political opponents, and the harsh epithets applied to them, would neither be made against nor applied to the same persons, now that they and their acts have become historical; and we may properly learn from such retrospect, the propriety of moderating the intensity of our party feuds, and of skipping over the hard words we are accustomed to apply to those whose politics are of a different school from ours. Our political opponents, it is fair to presume, maintain their 'confession of faith" with as much sincerity and honesty of purpose, as we do ours; and he who reads thirty years from now, the political articles of our time, will probably take note of our injustice, and illiberality to our political opponents. Mr. Roberts wishes "to impress upon the public mind the maxim, that abandonment of principles for temporary purposes, leads to ultimate defeat,' - a maxim carrying an important truth to the public mind; and worthy of a place in a sermon as well as in a political article."
The Republican was discontinued for want of adequate support. The party of which it was the advocate were in a decided minority in the county. The discontinuance of the Delaware Republican, was a marked epoch in the history of the Gazette. That paper was immediately enlarged, and its columns declared free to the use of both parties. The editor says, "we shall hold our columns open to communications of all who may be disposed to engage in a liberal, dispassionate and manly discussion of such topics as may be deemed sufficiently interesting to engage the public attention, and shall afford every facility in our power to a free investigation of subjects of political importance."
The second opponent of the Gazette was the "Delaware Journal," established and conducted under the supervision of the president and directors of the anti-masonic society. George Mason was employed to conduct and publish it.
The excitement attendant upon the disappearance of Morgan, gradually died away, the anti-masonic society was disbanded, and at the expiration of one year, the Delaware Journal closed its existence. This paper was afterwards revived by Bowne and McDonald, and after a brief existence, was again discontinued.
There are at present, six weekly papers published in the county, viz. Weekly Visitor, Delaware Gazette, Delaware Express, Bloomville Mirror, Deposit Union Democrat, and the Hobart Free Press, to each of which, we design giving a brief notice.
For the following information, the author is indebted to S. D. Hulce, Esq., the able editor of the Deposit Union Democrat.
The first attempt to establish a newspaper in Deposit, was in 1847, about the time, or soon after the announcement of the supposed discovery of the "Central Sun," from which circumstance, the paper took its name.
A Mr. C. D. Curtis, a printer by trade, and Mr. A. T. Borroughs, then a merchant at Deposit, originated a subscription for the organization of a joint stock company, for the permanent establishment of the paper. The necessary amount of stock was readily subscribed, and about three hundred and fifty dollars, paid in, with which amount, Mr. Curtis was sent to New York, to purchase the establishment. A few days after the departure of the associate proprietor, a letter was received from him, stating that the money had been stolen out of his pocket. "Thus," says our correspondent, the "Central Sun went down in darkness ere it rose."
In 1848, C. E. Wright, Esq., induced Marshal R. Hulce, Esq., brother of the present editor of the Democrat, to enter into an association with himself, and advance the necessary funds for the establishment and support of a paper. A purchase was made of a printing establishment at Montrose, Pennsylvania, where a paper had been published for about six months, and discontinued for want of adequate patronage.
Mr. Wright commenced the publication of the Courier, in March 1848, as editor and publisher. The politics of the editor being of the Hunker democratic, the paper took that stamp also. The publication of the Courier was continued until May, 1853, at a loss to all concerned of upwards of two thousand dollars, at which time a sale was effected to the present proprietor, who commenced the republication of the journal in September of the same year, under the cognomen of
As we stated above, the politics of Mr. Wright, were Hard Democratic, in opposition to the line of the administration, and some differences arising between him and the department, in relation to post-office matter, the ex-editor was removed from the office of post-master, and the present editor appointed in his place.
The removal of Mr. Wright, and the appointment of his successor, excited the indignation of his personal and political friends, and a fund was raised for the establishment of another paper, with Mr. Wright as editor. the sum of four hundred and seventy-five dollars was raised, and the future editor was commissioned to New York, to purchase the requisite material.
The first number of the
Was issued on the 15th of February, 1855, and continued until the following May, issuing in all twelve number, when it was discontinued. The establishment was afterwards purchased by Mr. Hulce, and is now used in the publication of the Democrat. The politics of the Deposit Union Democrat are Administration, Democratic. The editor says;
"I have published this paper just two and a half years, it just about paying expenses, and the business improving. The last six months has been much better than before."
It is a verified part of past history, that from little and apparently trivial causes, flow frequently the greatest results. It is a wise and a beautiful process of nature, that the apparently inanimate acorn causes the majestic oak to spring forth, take deep root, and spread wide its overhanging branches to the breeze. Nor is it any more a law of the vegetable kingdom, than it is in the social and the intellectual intercourse of human beings. The proud statesman, whose voice exercises a controlling influence upon a nation's destiny, forgets not the rude school-room where he imbibed the first pure draughts, from that fountain, from which he has since drunk so deeply.
It is with such reflections as these, that we come to congratulate our friend S. B. Champion, upon the success of his novel enterprise.
The first number of the "Bloomville Mirror" was issued May 28th, 1851. It contained but one hundred and one words, printed on a sheet five by seven inches. Some six numbers were issued at intervals of two weeks. Up to July, '51, no price of subscription had been fixed. The copies which had been previously printed, had been gratuitously distributed, and everywhere met with favor. The new postage law, which provided for the free circulation of newspapers in the county in which they were published, induced him to fix the price of the Mirror at twenty-five cents a year, and to publish it as often as sufficient local news accumulated, to make it interesting. Up to July 1st, about sixty names had been handed in, with a request to be furnished with the "Mirror," and they would pay for the same when the price should be fixed. The publisher declined taking pay, stating "that he only printed them to while away his leisure moments."
The capital invested in the paper, at this point in its history, was extremely limited. He had only ten pounds of old cast-off type, that had been given to him by a brother printer in Schoharie. He had no printing press, and performed his press- work with a square block covered with cloth, upon which he struck with a mallet, as printers in some offices frequently obtain their proof sheets.
After the issue of the paper containing the announcement that it would be sent to subscribers for twenty-five cents per year, each mail brought in new names, and the list soon reached one hundred copies. On the 1st of September, the publisher visited Prattsville, and obtained a box of old type, made some cases himself, and proceeded to increase the size of the Mirror. He also rigged up a sort of Franklin printing press, and on the 8th of September, the size of the Mirror was about eight by ten inches, and was printed on both sides. It was printed in this shape until the 3d of November, when its size was doubled, and printed in imitation of a large newspaper, the sheet being about the size of a sheet of commercial note paper, or two pages of this book. It was printed in this shape until the 5th of April, 1852, when it was again enlarged by the addition of another column to each page, and the price increased to fifty cents per year. By publishing the paper regularly every week, and inserting more local intelligence than either of the other papers in the county, the paper became a favorite with the people, and in the Mirror for February 15, 1853, the announcement was made, that the subscription list had reached one thousand
Business thus increasing, the editor gradually became compelled to devote nearly his whole time to the management of his paper, his only office being a room rudely made in one corner of his grist-mill. After a time he procured a small building ten by twelve feet square, and his office soon began to assume more the air of a regular newspaper establishment.
Additions of new type, a new press, job type, &c., were obtained, as the publisher obtained means, and on the 4th of September, 1855, the Mirror was again enlarged, by the addition of another column. With a new plain and neat head, new type, and being a sheet sixteen by twenty-two inches, and four columns to the page, its appearance at once gave it a favorable reception among strangers, while its independent and fearless career, procured for it a large number of readers, and at this time (Jan. 1, 1856,) it has a circulation of two thousand copies per week, and has, at a fair estimate, twelve thousand weekly readers.
I copy the following appropriate remarks from the speech of the Hon. D. S. Dickinson, at Delhi, to the National Democrats, February 29th, 1854:
"It is said you have no press: remember this is not without a remedy. When the arid plains of Israel had become parched and heated by a long continued drought, so that all nature was burned and withered under the scorching rays of an eastern sun, at the invocation of the prophet there appeared upon the distant horizon, a little cloud no bigger than a man's hand, which gave out signs of abundance of rain, and its refreshing influences fertilized the earth, and gladdened the hearts of the people. And when the hot breath of sectional discord has withered and blasted the beauty of old Delaware's political verdure, when her sons have become thirsty for a return of the refreshing showers which formerly blessed them, they may descry in the distance a little cloud to cheer old Delaware, a little cloud (Bloomville Mirror,) which, though scarcely bigger than a man's hand, gives promise of copious streams of healing waters, which will cure all political diseases, and preserve the healthy from contagion."
The "Weekly Visitor" was established by George W. Reynolds, at Franklin, Delaware county, N. Y. The editor published his prospectus, March 28th, 1855. He says:
"The 'Visitor' will be printed on a sheet twenty-four by thirty-six inches, containing twenty-eight columns of matter, and in point of type and workmanship will be equal to any news-journal in this region.
"As a sheet of useful, entertaining, and instructive household reading, the 'Visitor' will endeavor to attain and hold a high rank, and make itself a favorite with old and young, and especially with all who seek for their families a literature wholly free from everything that can deprave the sentiments or vitiate the taste.
"In the columns of the 'Visitor' will be found the Latest News on all matters of Public interest - Local Items - Sketches from Real and Ideal Life - Original and Selected Tales - Biographies of Eminent Men - Choice Poetry, new and old - Travelling Sketches - Leaves from History - Instructive Anecdotes - Notices of New Books, with brief Reviews and Extracts - New Facts in Science and Art - a Careful Collation from the best Agricultural Journals - a Department for the Boys and Girls that love good reading - a Department of Religious Reading, and Local Religious Notices and Items. Besides all these matters there will always be room and welcome for good thoughts, in prose or poetry, that may aid the great movements of the present times - to educate, civilize, and make more human our own and other lands; to redeem the drunkard, and set free the slave.
"In regard to all the worthy reformatory efforts of the day, the great thing needed is full and free and fair discussion, and the same is true in regard to matters purely political. People will act rightly only as they think rightly, and that the people do more of their own thinking than formerly is apparent in the recent turn of affairs in our nation, as regards party arrangements, and the late elections. This paper will favor all such movements as may develop the true relation between parties and the people; and such as tend to bring out of the present chaos a cooperative policy in all that is really good.
"It is the purpose of the editor to pursue, as heretofore, an earnest warfare against all that wrongs or crushes any portion of the human race, yet he would always war with the weapons of truth and reason, and give to opposing views a candid hearing. The engineer on the car of progress must be heard, but so also must the brakeman. There will be room, then, in the 'Visitor' for the progressive, for the conservative, and for that better man than either, the progressive-conservative.
"Much attention will be given to the early history of Delaware and adjacent counties, and to the lives of those hardy pioneers who have made this 'Region of Hills' so full of beauty and fruitfulness, and who though dead or soon to die, have a right to be remembered. Facts for this department are earnestly solicited.
"To make the paper full of interest, the editor invites the correspondence of old friends everywhere; of all those whose student-life has been wholly or in part at Franklin; of old residents of this region, now scattered abroad; of the clergy, the mechanics, the farmers, the doctors, the teachers, the Lawyers, and of all who have something good and interesting to say for their respective localities, or for the general good.
"The 'Visitor' will be published on Saturdays, at one dollar fifty cents per annum, in advance. Any subscription unpaid for three months will be invariably charged two dollars. Advertisements for insertion, at the usual rates, are respectfully solicited."
After several unsuccessful attempts to organize a banking institution, for the convenience and acommodation of the inhabitants of the county, the Delaware Bank was finally organized, in conformity with the general banking law, passed the year preceding, and went into operation January 1st, 1839.
The original capital stock of the association was $100,000, or one thousand shares, with power at the discretion of the directors, of increasing the same to $500,000.
The pioneer directors of the institution were Herman D. Gould, Gordon H. Edgerton, Amasa J. Parker, Samuel Gordon, Nelson K. Wheeler, Charles Hathaway, Dubios Burhans, Charles Marvine, John H. Gregory, Darius Maples, Jonas More, Martin Keeler, Jr., and Orrin Griffin.
The power and rights of stockholders were vested exclusively in a bond of thirteen directors. Every director must be a stockholder in the bank to the amount of $1000, or ten shares, to render him eligible to the office. The election of officers occurs on the first Tuesday in October of each year, in the village of Delhi. The board of directors appoint one of their number president, also elect a cashier and such other officers as shall be deemed necessary from time to time.
Herman D. Gould was elected the first president, and continued to discharge its duties until his death, in 1849, when Charles Marvine, Esq., one of the original directors, was elected to fill the vacancy, and has since been continued in office.
Giles M. Shaw, was elected first cashier, and was succeeded by Dubois Burhaus, Esq., who was obliged to resign on account of ill health. Walter H. Griswold, Esq. is the present cashier.
The location of the bank is at Delhi, the county seat of Delaware county. The Metropolitan Bank in the city of New York, is the established agency where its bills are redeemed at a discount of three eighths per cent.
The DEPOSIT BANK owes its origin to the enterprise of a private citizen, Charles Knapp, Esq. The inhabitants of the western portion of Delaware, and the adjoining sections of Broom Co., and Pennsylvania, had long felt the increasing necessity of an institution of this kind, to obviate the necessity of a journey to Binghampton, Delhi, or Unadilla, to transact their banking business. Deposit, since the opening of the New York and Erie Railroad, had grown to become one of the first villages in the county. The lumbering interests of that section of country, were important and extensive - a species of industry, which above all others, is peculiarly calculated to create a requisition for a large surplus capital.
The question of establishing a bank, had, at various times been agitated, and as often unsuccessfully, until Mr. Knapp came forward, and boldly embarked his capital in the establishment of an individual bank.
We are indebted to the politeness of Mr. Knapp, for the following particulars: "This is an individual bank, for which no particular amount of capital is required. At least $50,000 must be deposited as securities in the Bank Department, for the redemption of its individual notes, before the individual can receive any such notes. At first, in our book reports, we reported as capital, the stock, bonds, and mortgages in the Bank Department, amounting to $54,084. But lately, a special account has been opened in the books of the bank, for the bonds and mortgages, and the stocks only have since been counted as capital. The bank, was organized and commenced business, on the 20th, of February, 1854. The sureties now held by the Bank Departments are:
New York State, 6 pr. ct. stock, redeemable in 1873, $23,000 New York State, 5 pr. ct. stock, redeemable in 1856, 7,000 Bonds and Mortgages, 30,049 _______ $60,049 _______
Enclosed I send a copy of our last quarterly report.
Statement showing the true condition of the Deposit Bank of Deposit, an individual bank, on the morning of Saturday, the 2d day of June, 1855.
RESOURCES Loans and discounts, except to Directors and Brokers, $78,562 68 All sums due from brokers, - - - - - 183 28 Bonds and mortgages, - - - - - 30,000 49 Stocks - - - - - - - - 30,000 00 Loss and expense account, - - - - - 567 14 Specie, - - - - - - - - 4,146 54 Cash items, viz.: Checks, - - - - - 209 50 Bills of solvent banks on hand, - - - - 9,525 00 Due from banks, viz: From solvent banks on demand, - 9,013 15 $162,261 29 LIABILITIES. Capital, $30,000 00 Profits, 2,163 36 Registered bank notes received and not returned, $59,700 Less registered bank notes on hand, - 2,911 Leaves registered bank notes in circulation, 56,789 00 Due depositors on demand 42,783 33 Due individuals and corporations other than banks and depositors, 14 70 Due banks on demand, 461 90 Due others not included under either of the above heads, 30,049 00 $162,261 29
County of Delaware, ss: Charles Knapp and Bolivar Radeker, being duly sworn, depose and say that the foregoing is, in all respects, a true statement of the condition of the said bank before the transaction of any business, on the morning of the 2d day of June, 1855, (being the day specified in the notice of the superintendent of the Bank Department, next preceding the date of this report, and requiring the same,) according to the best of their knowledge and belief; that the said bank is an individual bank, and is located in the village of Deposit, in the county of Delaware, where it has a banking house for the transaction of its business; and that from the 20th of February, 1854, up to the day of making this report, the business thereof was transacted at such location, and that no person or persons are interested with the said Charles Knapp, directly or indirectly, in the securities deposited with the said Superintendent, for the circulating notes obtained by him, or in the business of circulating said notes, or in the benefits and advantages thereof.
CHARLES KNAPP, President,
BOLIVAR RADEKER, Cashier.
Subscribed and sworn this 7th day of July, 1855, before me,
S. D. HULCE,
Justice of the Peace.
We scarcely deem it the province of the historian to enter the arena of discussion as to the merits or demerits of secret organizations, whether political or benevolent. The fact that they do exist, and have existed, is indisputable, and it belongs to us to glance at their origin, and delineate their history leaving the field of logical discussion for the eloquence of the statesman or the pen of the reviewer.
Freemasonry may be appropriately classed among the matters of interest connected with the early history of the county. This institution claims to trace its origin back to time immemorial. It is even asserted by some writers on the subject that Adam was the originator of the institution, and was himself, the first free and accepted mason. Others give the date of its origin, at the erection of Solomon's temple, and accord to the inspired wisdom of that great lawgiver, the credit of its existence. But notwithstanding these vague suppositions, which it can hardly be necessary here to state, are as groundless as fiction, it is definitely established as having existed in a modified form at the Christian era.
Masonry was first regularly established in the United States by Lord Weymouth, who emigrated to the Southern States and instituted a lodge in the State of Georgia, as early as 1730. In 1781, the Grand Lodge of the State of New York, was instituted, in consequence of a warrant from the Grand Lodge of England. It was from the Grand Lodge of the State, that all the sub-lodges derived their charters and vested powers.
The total number of lodges in the United States in 1816, as near as could be ascertained, was eight hundred and fifty eight. The number of lodges in the State of New York alone was three hundred and one, or more than one third of the total number.
The following is a list of the lodges organized in Delaware county, the town in which located, with the corresponding number by which each was recognized by the Grand Lodge, together with the date of the erection of each.
No. Name of Lodge Town in which Located Instituted 91, Morton, Walton, Feb. 12th, 1802. 168, Delaware and Ulster, Middletown, June 1st, 1808. 170, Charity, Thompkins, Sept. 7th, 1808. 180, Cassia, Delhi, March 1st, 1809. 224, Charity, Harpersfield, Sept. 27th, 1813. 227, Aurora, Meredith, Nov. 25th, 1813. 251, Franklin, Franklin, Oct. 13th, 1815. 296, Colden Middletown, Sept. 13th, 1817. 408, Eagle, Roxbury, 1820.
The number of degrees conferred upon accepted masons are in succession seven, viz., 1. Entered Apprentice, 2. Fellow Craft, 3. Master Mason, 4. Mark Master, 5. Past Master, 6. Most Excellent Master, 7. Royal Arch.
The principal symbols of the Masonic order, are, the square, the plumb-line, the level, and the compass, as emblematic of the craft whose name they bear. The ornamental decorations of the lodge room are, the Mosaic Pavement, Indented Tassel, and the Blazing Star. The Mosaic Pavement represents the ground floor of Solomon's Temple, the Indented Tassel, that beautiful border which surrounded it, and the blazing star in the centre, is in commemoration of the star by which the magi, or wise men of the East, were conducted to the place of our Saviour's nativity.
The rigid oaths administered to each member, as well as the horrid penalties affixed thereto, had effectually barred for ages the world without from a cognizance of the secrets of masonry. Some vague reports of certain rites and ceremonies too ridiculous to be believed, except by the ignorant and credulous, and which subsequent demonstration proved to be far from truth, were the only items of the modus operandi of its internal machinery, which it had seen fit to give the world, until 1828 when Morgan published his world-renowned "Revelations of Masonry," which cost that author his life, and gave to the world the mysteries of Masonic order.
The mysterious disappearance of Morgan, at or about the time of the publication of his work, together with the painful associations connected with his untimely death, struck like a magic chord upon the public ear. It was published in every newspaper, the theme of every writer, the subject of dreamers dreams, and the absorbing topic of conversation everywhere. The slumbering indignation of the masses of the people was aroused, and it was evident that public condemnation had passed a sentence upon Masonry, from which it could never recover.
The decline of Masonry was a marked epoch in the history of secret organizations - the supposed murder of Morgan,and the startling developments which the publication of his supposed work gave to the world, confirmed in truth as they were by the affirmation of members who seceded from the order, created in the public mind powerful prejudices, not only against masonry, but all organizations of a secret character, as conflicting with the spirit of our free institutions.
The decline and prostration of Masonry, and the universal antipathy lavished upon the order, affected to a greater or less extent all similar organizations. Foremost amongst these ranked the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, which had existed in a crude and detached state in various portions of the United States, prior to 1819, when it was formally and systematically established through the energy and perseverance of Thomas Hildey, a gentleman residing in Baltimore.
The association of Odd Fellows in this country, is wisely affiliated and compacted in a fashion bearing some resemblance to the form of our civil constitution. Its genius, however, unlike that of our civil government, is the genius, not of state rights, but of consolidated sovereignty. The minor lodges, in the several States and territories, are subject to the supervision of the grand lodges; and these again are subordinate to the Grand Lodge of the United States. The primary source of power and legislation resides in this latter body. This superior grand lodge is composed of representatives from the inferior grand lodges, together with the following officers (who constitute the executive department of the order,) viz., the grandsire, deputy grandsire, grand recording secretary, grand corresponding secretary, grand treasurer, grand marshall, grand guardian, and grand chaplain. According to the first article of the constitution, this superior grand lodge "is the source of all true and legitimate authority in Odd Fellowship, within the United States of America - All State, district, and territorial grand lodges and encampments, assemble under its warrant and derive their authority from it. It is the ultimate tribunal, to which all matters of general importance are to be referred, and its decisions thereon shall be final and conclusive. To it belongs the power to regulate and control the work of the order, and the several degrees belonging thereto; to fix and determine the customs and usages in regard to all things which concern Odd Fellowship. This grand lodge has inherent power to establish lodges and encampments in foreign countries. Such lodges and encampments shall work by virtue of a warrant granted by this grand lodge.*"
Every minor lodge is required to make quarterly returns of all business done, to the grand lodge of the State or territory, and this again to the Grand Lodge of the United States, so that the executive department is correctly and constantly informed in respect to all the proceedings of the inferior lodges, spread over the face of the country and extending in to foreign lands.
The principal business and objects of this association, so far as they are made public, are to provide a weekly allowance, for a brother when sick - the amount usually appropriated being $4 per week, except in the case of those holding certain offices, who are allowed $8 per week - an appropriation of $30, to cover funeral expenses of a brother, or half this amount if a brother is called to bury a wife. There is also some small provision made for the education of the orphan children of Odd Fellows. Inasmuch as this is not a matter regulated by law and statute, we know not how much such unfortunate children may or may not receive. It is also contemplated by means of these lodges to promote among the members a high degree of friendship, of which every member may avail himself at home and abroad. To accumulate a fund adequate to cover the expenses constantly accruing, the association demands of every member a proposition fee of one dollar, initiation fee of five dollars, one dollar for each of four different degrees, and two dollars for another. There are also small weekly or monthly taxes or dues, which every member is required to pay, besides two "intermediate degrees," as they are called, for which a given sum is no doubt required, though the amount is unknown to us, and we think not specified in any of their printed constitutions. The superior grand lodge, receives its funds chiefly by a tax of $30 for charters given to minor lodges and encampments; also from what is charged as "expenses" and "per centage on reports," from tax on representations, profits on the sale of books, cards, &c.
To prevent too great and sudden drafts upon the treasury of the order, it is directed in the several constitutions, that the association be composed exclusively of male members, of a sound bodily constitution, and under forty-five years of age; and if one is admitted beyond this age, an additional fee is charged of one dollar for each supernumerary year, so that if the applicant is seventy years old, his initiation fee will be $30.
The following list of the lodges in the county, the date of their organization, and the number of members, was furnished me by C. A. Foote, Esq., county secretary.
Delaware lodge was organized March 7th, 1847, in Delhi the number of members, as reported in August, 1855, was sixty-six. Hobart lodge, at the same date, contained sixty members; Oleout Valley, contained thirty-eight members ; Chehocton lodge, fifty-one members; Pakatakin lodge at Margaretville, contained forty-one members; Trempers-kill lodge, organized in 1854, in Andes Village, contained about thirty members; and Deposit lodge, at Deposit Village, contained about sixty members.
This spring is situated on Elk creek, about four miles from the village of Delhi. It is the property of Mrs. H. D. Gould. The analysis of the spring is contained in the following communication: -
"New Haven, June 18th, 1851. "Hon. Herman D. Gould, Delhi, N. Y. - "Dear Sir: - The analysis of the water sent by you for that purpose, has been completed, so far as we are able to complete it, from the quantity sent. " The specific gravity of the water at 60 Fahrenheit is 1.0180. The number of grains of fixed constituent parts in one gallon is, 826.0598 The composition of this amount is as follows: Organic matter, Silica and iron, 2.2715 Chlorine, 505.9472 Sodium, 265.6001 Calcium, 42.7886 Magnesium, 6.9682 Carbonic acid and Gas, 2.4842 826.0598 "You can depend upon the accuracy of these results, which are all, the mean of two concurring trials. This may be shown by calculating the amount of chlorine necessary to combine with the three cases mentioned above, sodium, calcium and magnesium. "Thus the whole amount of chlorine is 505.9472 grains: 265.600 grains of sodium, require chlorine 407.9176, forming chloride of sodium, or common salt; 42.7886 grains of calcium, require chlorine 75.8577 grains, forming chloride of calcium. 6.9682 grains magnesium, require chlorine 19.5773/505.3526 grains, forming chloride of magnesium. "The difference between the amount thus calculated, and the amount really found, is but .5906, or little more than half a grain. "You will see that 674 1/2 grains of the whole are common salt. The water would make a salt more than commonly pure. The iron present is proto-carbonate, and is kept in solution by carbonic acid. The quantity is very small. "After the above analysis was completed, the remaining liquid was carefully examined, and small quantities of bromine and iodine were found. The determination of the accurate proportions of these cannot be made, unless upon a fresh sample of not less than 12 or 15 gallons. "For medicinal purposes the determination of these substances would be quite important, but their proportions are so small that much water is required. If you desire it, these determinations shall be made, as soon as you can send on some water. If you would like the results in the per centage form, I can have it done for you. " I am sir, yours, "John P. Norton."
Was incorporated by an Act of the legislature, April 23d, 1836, with twenty-four trustees. The first building erected is of stone, eighty-six feet in length, forty in breadth, and four stories in height. It was opened under the care of Rev. Wm. Fraser, and two assistants, with 103 pupils. For some reason, though an able scholar, and an excellent man, he resigned his post in 1838, and was succeeded by Rev. Silas Fitch, Jr., who continued at the head of the school till May, 1846. The highest number of students, in any one year of his term of office, was 211.
His successor was Rev. George Kerr, L.L.D., with 186 students, during the first year. Under his administration, which continues to the present time, the school has realized more than the most sanguine hopes of its founders. Selecting, for his associates in the department of instruction, college graduates of high standing as scholars, and of peculiar aptness to teach, he soon placed the institution on higher ground than it ever occupied before. Two new and well arranged buildings have been erected, one for the especial accommodation of young ladies, with a boarding department, and the other for young men, with a spacious chapel on the lower floor, and with a large lecture room, and laboratory in the basement, to illustrate chemistry in its application to the arts, and to agriculture. Connected with the institution are several choice libraries, amounting already to nearly 2500 volumes, to which considerable additions are made every year. The classical studies are conducted to any extent desired, receiving, as they deserve, a very earnest attention. The mathematical course is nearly equal in extent, and fully so in thoroughness, to that pursued in our best colleges.
The greatest number of students, during any one year, and since Dr. Kerr has had the seminary in charge, is 414; and this is about the present number, with gratifying prospects of increase in the time to come.
The aim of this institution, is to take higher ground than that occupied by the common academy; not merely to prepare young men for the ordinary round of duty, but for any advanced standing in college that they may desire; to prepare them for public life, not only by the drill, which imparts the requisite intellectual strength, but by rousing the consciousness of what life and its weighty responsibilities are. And the great peculiarity of this school, which strikes the writer of this notice, is the unflagging enthusiasm of its head, which, in its outflow upon the students, can hardly fail to develop whatever sensibility or strength may lie dormant in their souls.
So far as experience enables us to judge, we do not hesitate to say, that the education of the sexes in the same classes, and course of study, is for their mutual benefit; the gentler sex gathering more strength, and the rougher, more polish.
The grounds around the institute are laid out in good taste, and adorned by the thrifty growth of several varieties of trees, which from year to year will put on fresh and additional beauty and attractiveness.
This institution was founded in 1848, by the Rev. Samuel D. Ferguson, and Sanford I. Ferguson, A. M. It is located in the valley of the Charlotte, a section of the country distinguished for the salubrity of its climate and the beauty of its scenery.
The establishment of a boarding academy, so remote from large cities, in a region of country but sparsely settled, and where but little interest had been manifested in educational matters, was considered a scheme of very doubtful expediency. The success however, which has attended this enterprise, has not only surpassed the expectations of its patrons and friends, but has formed an essential element in the educational interests in this county, and marks an important era in the history of the literary institutions of central New York.
With a mild but strict discipline, and a thorough and efficient course of instruction, it has risen to an elevated position among the seminaries of the State.
Connected with its almost unparalleled success, there are three points worthy of observation: 1st. Its location is such, that students are not exposed to the corrupting influences of tippling, gambling, and other collateral vices, which are the usual concomitants of cities and large villages.
2nd. Physical education receives its regular and appropriate attention. A systematic course in the instruction and practice of Gymnastics, has contributed much to the proper physical health of the students, both male and female.
3rd. Its social character. The examining committee in their report add: "The domestic character of this institution produces a parental, a filial, and a fraternal feeling, which gives to it a close resemblance to a well regulated and wisely governed family."
Connected with the institution, there is an excellent and improved farm, containing about two hundred acres, valued at five thousand dollars. The buildings cost $7000, including the Gymnasium, erected a year since, at a cost of $1000. The buildings are commodious, and accommodate one hundred and twenty boarders.
Rev. Samuel D. Ferguson, and Sanford I. Ferguson, A. M., retired from the institution in the summer of 1855, having devoted seven years of arduous and unremitting labor to the educational interests of the community. They were succeeded in the duties and proprietorship of the institution by James Oliver, Esq., whose elevated character, high standing and well known ability, afford the strongest guarantee of its future destiny, and recommend its earnest efforts to the patronage of all.
The institution is located in the town of Davenport, Delaware county. It is accessible by stage, either from Albany or Catskill, on the Hudson, daily.
The following is a copy of the constitution of the first temperance society formed in Delaware county:
To every reputable, honest man, in Meredith, be his religious or political opinions what they may:
It cannot have escaped observation, that the state of our society, for the last year or two, instead of bettering, has been waxing worse and worse.
Tavern-haunting, intemperate drinking, carousing and high scrapes, horse-jockeying and trafficking in depreciated and suspected bills; enticing and leading away, one and another of our unwary, unsuspecting neighbors, into like excesses and disgrace; and traducing, slandering, threatening and endeavoring to intimidate and awe into silence all who wish for better things, all who dare to discountenance and denounce the abandoned and the profligate in the mad career of their vices: -
These enormities, at first stealing and crawling covertly and slyly in among us, have, of late, assumed a bolder aspect, and made rapid and gigantic strides, till, at length, grown bold by impunity, they have dared to brave appearances, and even to show their impudent, brazen front, in open day - setting truth, decency, good manners and good morals, at utter defiance.
With these facts staring us in the face, what have we left us, but to yield to a pusillanimous and ignominious submission to the insulting empire of the wicked, whose tender mercies are cruelty, or, to unite, and place ourselves in the gap, array our breasts and our faces, as a mound and as a flint against the torrents of vice and the shafts of malice, that threaten to overwhelm us?
And can there be a single good member of society, who will hesitate for a moment, between these alternatives? Impossible. We cannot but choose the latter.
We therefore unite, as a band of brothers, and under the sanctions and obligations of a sacred league, pledge ourselves to each other, to make common cause, in endeavoring, to the utmost of our abilities and opportunities, to check, arrest and suppress the growing evils described.
We engage to stand by each other, and with our whole influence, example and precept, to strengthen one another's hands, and confirm one another's hearts in the good work of staying the progress of infectious vice, and turning back, upon itself, abashed and confounded, the whole phalanx of desperadoes, with their abettors and upholders; who, if left to themselves, would fain run down the good name, ruin the welfare, and even endanger the peace and safety of our common neighborhood! And, as means of bringing about these wished for ends, -
We engage, as much as may be to avoid frequenting the taverns ourselves, and when occasion calls us thither, mean to make a point of discharging our incumbent duties, with all convenient dispatch, and being off about our business, ever designing while there, to demean ourselves civilly and peaceably, and not to drink intemperately; that we may not, by our own sauntering and intemperance, encourage and hold in countenance the lazy herd of tavern-haunters and tipplers, habitually hanging about some of our inns, to the great annoyance of weary, wayworn travelers, as well as to the great disparagement and disgrace of themselves, and distress of their families and friends.
And as to those tavern-keepers among us, who keep reputable houses, and discourage tippling and tavern haunting, especially of towns-people, and who steadily disallow of drunkenness, profanity, high scrapes and immorality, generally, at their houses, and resolutely refuse dealing out liquors, when men have gotten enough for their good, and when more would only hurt them; to tavern-keepers of this description, we tender our best wishes, intending to patronize them, by recommending their houses, and giving them, so far as we conveniently can, the preference of our custom, as often as occasion shall require our visiting public houses; while at the same time, we design, by our influence, and by avoiding, as far as we consistently can, all houses of a different description, to disapprove and discountenance the conduct of those who keep them: and who render themselves unworthy the approbation and support of the respectable part of the community, by encouraging or even allowing of shameful doings and disgraceful carryings-on, at their houses: and by feeding town- tipplers and drunkards with liquor, when they have already gotten enough, and too much; and when they ought to deny, and send them home, to provide for their suffering families; instead of pouring out, and being pleased with seeing them pour down, dram after dram, and grog after grog, till they are lost to shame, and worse than lost to themselves, their families, friends and society; - till they become a nuisance, a living stench and chastisement, or a very pest and judgement to all about them!
And as to those young men and old, middle-aged, and boys, if of all such ages there be, who have betaken themselves not to constant, but to occasional, high scrapes, bacchanalian frolics, and drunken carousals, - we counsel them to desist. We do not give them over, indiscriminately, for lost: but recall them, all of them, who are not past recovery, gone, and given over to a reprobate mind, and to believe in a lie, till they plunge headlong into destruction. - All those, not thus irreclaimably gone, insane and lost, we anxiously recall, and kindly invite back, to participate in our company and confidence; assuring them, if they will forsake the husks, whereon, with the swine, they fain would feed, and do but feed; - if they will abandon bad company, and forsake their more hardened, dissolute companions, and return to better deeds, and better things, and better conduct, we are ready to meet them, with open arms, and to welcome their restoration to reputation and to good standing among the good.
But, we have another set of men, let loose upon us, incomparably worse than the foregoing: a thousand times more incorrigible; possessed, as it were, with seven evil spirits; a set, who appear to make a business of mischief; who idle, drink, curse, swear, carouse, and carry on, at a high rate; who beset, molest, often take in, abuse, wrong, and deeply injure, their neighbors; who strike a dread and terror upon the good, and make even the bad blush, at their impieties and baseness; who keep the neighborhood in a blaze, scattering as it were "firebrands, arrows, and death," wherever they go!
As to these, we have but little hopes of them; and we can only admonish them, that we mean to keep a strict watch over them! And, if they shall still dare to outrage decency, trample on the laws of God and man, and set civil authority at defiance, we are determined to unite, as one man, and make common cause, in bringing them to justice; in causing them to be arraigned, convicted, and punished! And, although they may rail at justice, religion, and the laws of the land; and at those who unite in putting them into execution, we can only ask,
We can only do our duty, and leave them, if they will, to avoid the consequences, by avoiding to expose themselves; by facing to the right about, forsaking their bad practices; becoming peaceable, unoffending, and useful citizens! And then they may rest assured, neither the laws, nor those who put them in force, will hurt so much as a hair of their heads. To evil-doers only, are the laws and the civil magistrates a terror.
And if any mischief-makers, or peace-breakers, infesting our neighborhood, not having the fear of God before their eyes, but moved by the instigation of the devil, be they who they will, whether inhabitants, stragglers, or loiterers about among us, shall be discovered, by any of us, plotting or conspiring or purposing mischief, toward any of us, in our persons, reputation, or estates; we pledge ourselves to each other, to give the earliest possible warning to those against whom all such mischief shall be meditated; to the intent, that it may be prevented; engaging moreover, that we, ourselves, will also endeavor, as far as in us lies, to prevent it; and, whenever unable to prevent, will unite in approving and encouraging every just and legal measure, to bring the perpetrators to condign punishment, assuring to all, who shall be active in bringing culprits to justice, our united aid, countenance and thanks.
And if there be a man who shall unite with us, in this sacred, social league, by affixing his name hereto; and who shall, notwithstanding, be so far lost to honor, and all else of man, that's worthy of a man, as to disregard and trample on the rights and duties he hereby engages to respect and fulfil; - over him too, will we, the residue of us, have our united and individual watch; and, unless he forsake the evil of his ways, and evidence a better life by better conduct, - toward him too, will we extend our reprehension and our best endeavors that he be brought either to reformation, or to condign punishment!
Every person affixing his name hereto, shall thenceforth, till he either withdraw his name, or remove out of Meredith, be taken to belong to this league; and shall be considered under the sacred obligations of honor, as well as of honesty and good conscience, to endeavor to fulfil the engagements hereby taken upon himself: Accounting the same no other than those obvious and urgent duties, which find at once their injunction and their justification, in that golden rule of him who spake as never man spake: "Whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so unto them."
But if any person shall at any time wish to withdraw his name, and be no longer considered as belonging to this league, he may do it at pleasure, on applying to him who for the time being, may be keeper hereof, and erasing his name.
Any person affixing his name hereto, and residing within half a mile of the centre of the town, may be keeper hereof; with the privilege to all others, who may subscribe, of free access to and perusal thereof.
Meredith, March 6th, 1810. LIST OF SUBSCRIBERS. Cyrenus Stilson, Amos Bristol, Benjamin Sears Isaiah Jackson, Elias Griswold Joseph Porter, Abner Pratt, William Bonton, Josiah D. Wells, Sarmuel A. Law, Edward Jones, Samuel Moody, Joseph Bassett, Eleazer Wright, Jr. Nathaniel Mitchell Is. Burr, Josiah Brown, Simeon P. Griswold, Nathan Stilson, Daniel Smith, Simon Baldwin, Ezra Thornton, Sylvester Rich, Elisha Bisbee, Pyam Mitchell, Simeon Crane, Wi1liam Cramer, Adam Saunders, Mathew Wiard, Samuel Shaw, Andrew Bill, Samuel Cottrell, John Chapman, Ira Thornton, Eldad Jackson, Barton Bisbee, Jeremiah Cook, Joseph Shaw, Henry Thornton, Charles Fish, Abner Pratt, Jr. Bildad Curtis, Joel Carr, Luke Brown, Joel Hunt, Josiah Garritt, Eleazer Millard, Pearce Mitchell, Daniel Millard, Samuel Remington, Oren Canfield, David North, Selah French, Nathaniel Stewart, Jr. Wells Spalding, Horace Jones, Anthony Judd, Medad Jackson, Truman Rowe, Daniel Remington, Truman Smith, Edmund Brawhall, John Thornton, Isaac Benedict, Herman Harwood, Nathan Stilson, Jr. Ariel Denio, James Vellentine, Josiah Shaw, Thomas Fish, Joshua Strickland, Lewis Brownson, Thomas Forbush, Moses Stilson, Shelden Bassett, Joshua Bailey, Orton Thompson, John Dibble, Elijah Georgey, Asahel Baldwin, Isaac Lake, Charles P. Price, Oliver Tuttle, Philander Jones.