Posts Tagged ‘1840’

Alvan Clark: Artist, Astronomer – Telescope Maker

August 18, 2011

SKILLED IN OLD AGE.

THE LATE ALVAN CLARK, FAMOUS TELESCOPE MAKER

The Story of His Useful and Busy Life.

How He Became an Astronomer — How His Telescopes Were Manufactured — His Honors at Home and Abroad.

Alvan Clark, whose death at Cambridge, Mass., at the age of 83, was recently recorded, did more to advance astronomical science than any other person of this century. As a telescope maker his reputation is world wide. when Dom Pedro, of Brazil, visited this country some years ago he said there were three persons in Cambridge whom he wanted much to see. These were Longfellow, Professor Agassiz and Mr. Alvan Clark.

At the age when most persons think they are too old to begin any new business or learn anything, or even go on energetically with what they do know, Mr. Clark began the work which made him famous. He did not so much as know anything about it. Nor did he ever see a lens in process of construction outside of his own shop. He lived on a farm until he was 22 years old. His early education was such as the common schools afforded. In his 23d year he went to Lowell and became a calico engraver. He had a talent for drawing which he developed unaided. For nine years Mr. Clark was a calico engraver. Meanwhile he took up portrait painting. He located in Boston and painted heads for twenty years, earning over $20,000 with his brush, without ever having been taught anything about art. Though he grew famous in quite another field, it was to his days of artist life that he always went back in memory with the most affection. And during his later years he again took up the brush and found pleasure and recreation in the work of his young manhood.

He was more than 40 when he became interested in telescopes. Assisted by his two sons he afterward produced the most accurate and the two largest instruments in the world. His oldest son, George B. Clark, while in college at Andover read a treatise on “Casting and Grinding the Speculum.” Inspired by that he conceived the idea of making a telescope. He consulted his father, who at once became deeply interested in it. They worked together at the experiment, and from this small beginning came the great work which brought them fame and wealth. Both sons were later included in the business, and the firm was known as Clark & Sons, and they worked together nearly forty years.

Grinding lenses is a work which requires the utmost nicety. Often, after months of careful labor, a flaw is found and all the work must be lost. Once when Mr. Clark was giving the final polishing to a lens upon which a year’s time had been expended, it fell to the floor and was broken. Looking woefully at the fragments a few moments in silence, he stood up saying: “Boys, we will make a better one.” The unlimited patience, which enabled him to be cheerful under such a disaster was his chief characteristic. And he was ever cheerful and companionable.

Mr. Clark was the first optician in the United States to make achromatic lenses, each completed lens being composed of two pieces, one of crown and the other of flint glass, and he invented numerous improvements in telescopes and their manufacture, including the double eye piece, an ingenious method of measuring small celestial arcs. He made the 18.5 inch glass now in the Chicago observatory; the one of 24 inches aperture for the Washington observatory, and the 30 inch refractor for the Imperial observatory of St. Petersburg, for which the honorary medal of Russia was awarded — the only one ever conferred upon an American. The last and greatest work of Mr. Clark and his sons was the construction of a 36 inch refractor for the Lick observatory on Mt. Hamilton, in California. This will be finished in a few months, and will be the largest in the world. Mr. Clark was also an astronomer of note, and made some valuable discoveries, for which the Lalande gold medal was awarded him by the French academy. The cheapest telescope Mr. Clark ever made cost $300, while the National he sold for $16,000, and the Lick glass will cost $50,000 without the mounting. The objectives alone to these instruments are worth $25,000 each, and are capable of a magnifying power of 2,000 diameters, and of increasing the surface of the object viewed to 2,500,000 times its natural size. It takes a month’s solid labor to make a good 4 inch objective, and a year for an 8 or 10 inch one.

In recognition of his great contributions to science degrees were conferred on Mr. Clark by the universities of Harvard, Amherst, Princeton and Chicago, but he had worked at telescopes for ten years without receiving the slightest recognition or encouragement from any official, scientific or educational quarter. And yet these ten years were those of the revival or foundation of practical astronomy in the United States. To Mr. Dawes, a scientific divine of Europe, is due the credit of bringing out this telescope maker. At the time Mr. Clark began a correspondence with Mr. Dawes there was not in all England an establishment which could grind a large object glass into accurate shape. England had lost the art of shaping object glasses, but rough glass of the necessary purity and uniformity was cast there as in no other country. Mr. Clark for some time imported his rough disks to fill the orders he received from Mr. Dawes, who was a telescope fancier, always on the lookout for improvements in construction and mounting.

Only the very largest lenses are ground by machinery. The tools for grinding a lens are very simple — merely round plates of cast iron, about three feet in diameter, hollowed out to suit the curves of the lens. They look like huge, shallow saucers. Three of these tools are necessary, one nearly flat for the inner surface of the flint glass, one convex, for its outer surface, and one concave, for the crown glass. The surface of the tool is covered with coarse emery and water, the glass is laid upon it, and the grinding is carried on by sliding the glass back and forth on the tool. While sliding, the glass is slowly turned around, while, at the same time, the operators continually move around in the other direction, so that the strokes are made successively in every direction on the tool. By these combined motions every inequality, either on the glass or the tool, is gradually worn away, and both are reduced to portions of nearly perfect spheres. Then finer emery is used until the surface becomes quite smooth. Then comes the polishing. The whole tool is covered with a thin coating of pitch, which is pressed, while still warm, into the proper shape. It is then covered with a layer of water and the polishing rouge, and the glass is again laid upon it, and kept in motion in the same way as in the fine grinding. Thus each surface of the two glasses is speedily brought to a high polish. Then the glass is tested to find the defects. It is set up on edge, facing a luminous point at a distance equal to ten or fifteen times the focal point. The image of the point formed in the focus of the glass is then examined with an eye piece of high power. The glass is then taken back to the tool and the polishing process is recommenced, only pressing upon those parts of the glass where it has to be ground away. It is tried again, and again goes to the polisher.

So far no extraordinary skill on the part of the workman is required; but as the size of the glass is increased the process becomes more difficult and tedious, and the difficulties of judging what the defects are increase enormously.

The telescope is by no means finished with the glass. It must be tubed properly. It must admit of being moved by clock work in such a way that as the earth revolves from west to east the telescope shall revolve from east to west with exactly the same velocity, and thus point steadily at the same star. The details of the machinery for attaining these and other results have required a large amount of thought and care.

Bismarck Daily Tribune (Bismarck, North Dakota) Sep 8, 1887

UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE.
ALVAN CLARK, OF CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS.
IMPROVEMENT IN TELESCOPES.
Specification forming part of Letters Patent No. 8,509, dated November 11, 1851.

To all whom it may concern:
Be it known that I, ALVAN CLARK, of Cambridge, in the county of Middlesex and State of Massachusetts, have invented a new and useful Improvement in Telescopes…


UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE.
ALVAN CLARK, OF CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS.
MOVABLE LOADING-MUZZLE FOR RIFLES.
Specification of Letters Patent No. 1,565, dated April 24, 1840.

To all whom it may concern:
Be it known that I, the undersigned, ALVAN CLARK, of Cambridge, in the county of Middlesex and State of Massachusetts, artist, have invented a new and useful Improvement in Rifles, which I call a “Loading-Muzzle,” …

Up To Snuff

June 18, 2010

“UP TO SNUFF.”

A volume of Italian Poems lately received in the British Metropolis, furnishes fine amusement for the learned wits. Leigh Hunt has shown himself up to snuff in giving a merry interpretation to some of these effusions. The following is a free translation of the line on Sneezing: —

What a moment! what a doubt!
All my nose, inside and out,
All my thrilling, tickling, caustic,
Pyramid rhinocerostic
Wants to sneeze and cannot do it!
Now it yearns me, thrills me, stings me,
Now with rapturous torment wrings me,
Now says sneeze, “you fool, get through it.”
Shee — shee — Oh, ’tis most del-ishi,
Ishi — ishi — most del-ishi —
(Hang it! I shall sneeze till spring.)
Snuff’s a most delicious thing.

The Peoples Press (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) Dec 4, 1835

Title: A pinch of snuff, anecdotes of snuff taking, with the moral and physical effects of snuff, by dean Snift of Brazen-nose
Author: Benson Earle Hill
Published: 1840 (Google book LINK)

Images from the “pinch of snuff” book. Also from this fascinating book, a bit of sneezing/plague trivia:

Become the ‘Life Guards’ of Your Country!

March 30, 2010

TORY COMPLIMENTS TO GENERAL HARRISON.

“Harrison is a Federalist.” — Just what might be expected of the disciple of Jefferson.

“Harrison is a Coward and a Granny.” — What else could we expect the favorite pupil of that old Coward and Granny, Wayne, to be.

“Harrison was beaten at Tippecanoe.” — Yes, and the Indians ran away and killed themselves in a frolic.

“Harrison was not at the Battle of the Thames.” — Just so, and Proctor surrendered to a ghost.

“Harrison lives in a log cabin, and should be called the Log-Cabin Candidate.” — Fool that he was, not to take, when he had the opportunity, enough of the people’s money to build a fine house, and live RESPECTABLY in his old age. No Tory would have been so silly.

“Harrison, while he lived in Cincinnati, begat three Indian children at Prairie du Chien.” — Rather an unusual feat for a Granny. He must have gone as far and as often “a courtin” as the Ohio Fund Commissioners went “to raise the wind;” and he must have been more successful.

“Who ever heard of Harrison? Who is he?”

Of him, Col. Johnson, (Vice President) thus spoke in the House of Representatives whilst a member of that body:

“Of the career of Gen. Harrison I need not speak — the history of the West is his history. For forty years he has been identified with its interests, its perils, and its hopes.

Universally beloved in the walks of peace, and distinguished by his ability in the councils of his country, he has been yet more illustriously distinguished in the field. During the late war, he was longer in actual service than any other General Officer; he was, perhaps, oftener in action than any one of them, and never sustained a defeat.

But the Whigs must not quote him any more, for the Tories mean to cast him off. — His name is disagreeable to the British, with whom the Tories are in great feathers.

“Harrison abused Maj. Croghan.” It is true that Croghan said he did not; but then Croghan was a coward, and dared not resent ill-treatment from his superior officer.

We have not room for any more of these pretty things this week; but we intend to keep our readers informed of all the slanders that the malignity of the Tories prompt them to publish against the Father of the West.

Huron Reflector (Norwalk, Ohio) Feb 4, 1840

An Eloquent Record.

WILLIAM H. HARRISON was born in Virginia on the 9th February, 1773.

In 1791, when 19 years of age, he was appointed by Washington an Ensign in our infant army.

In 1792, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant; and in 1793, joined the legion under Gen. Wayne; and in a few days thereafter, was selected by him as one of his aids.

On the 24th of August, 1794, he distinguished himself in the battle of the Miami, and elicited the most flattering written approbation of Gen. Wayne.

In 1795, he was made a Captain, and placed in the command of Fort Washington.

In 1797, he was appointed by President Adams, Secretary of the North Western Territory and ex officio Lt. Governor.

In 1798, he was chosen a delegate to Congress.

In 1801, he was appointed Governor of Indiana, and in the same year, President Jefferson appointed him sole commissioner for treating with the Indians.

In 1809, he was re-appointed Governor of Indiana by Madison.

On the 7th Nov. 1811, he gained the great victory of TIPPECANOE.

On the 11th September, 1812, he was appointed by Madison Commander-in-chief of the North Western Army.

On the 1st May, 1812, the siege of Fort Meigs commenced; lasted five days, and was terminated by the brilliant and successful sortie of Gen. Harrison.

On the 31st July, 1812, the battle of Fort Stephenson occurred.

On the 5th October, 1813, he gained the splendid victory of the THAMES, over the British and Indians under Proctor.

In 1814, he was appointed by Madison one of the Commissioners to treat with the Indians, and in the same year, with his colleagues, Gov. Shelby and General Cass, concluded the celebrated treaty of Greenville.

In 1815, he was again appointed such Commissioner, with Gen. M’Arthur and Mr. Graham, and negotiated a treaty at Detroit.

In 1816, he was elected a member of Congress.

In January, 1818, he introduced a resolution in honor of Kosciusko, and supported it in one of the most feeling, classical, and eloquent speeches ever delivered in the House of Representatives.

In 1819, he was elected Senator in Congress, and was appointed, in 1825, Chairman of the Military Committee in place of Gen. Jackson who had resigned.

In 1827, he was appointed Minister to Columbia, and in 1829, wrote his immortal letter to Bolivar, the deliverer of South America.

Huron Reflector (Norwalk, Ohio) Feb 4, 1840

Another Tory Compliment to General HARRISON.

“Harrison, while a member of the Senate of Ohio, voted to sell poor white men into slavery.” — that is, he voted to have men who were convicted of small crimes, and of whom the costs of conviction could not otherwise be collected, compelled to WORK them out. — What a monster! If such were the law, the sufferings of jail-birds would be intolerable. Instead of spending a few weeks in jail, with a plenty to eat and nothing to do, they would have to work to pay the expense of their punishment. Why! thieves and leg-treasurers should all rise as one man and oppose Harrison for that vote!

Huron Reflector (Norwalk, Ohio) Feb 11, 1840

Valley Forge (Image from http://www.sonofthesouth.net)

A VOICE OF ’76.

The Newburgh Gazette brings us the following eloquent letter from the last of the “Life Guards of Gen. Washington.” Let the freemen of America heed the honest warning of this venerable patriot. Let all who are able to enlist for the war adopt the advice of this aged veteran, and enroll themselves as the Life guards of the country. —Alb. Adv.

To the Descendants of Revolutionary Soldiers:

An old soldier of the Continental Army asks for the last time to speak to his countrymen. During the suffering services of the Revolution I was in sixteen engagements, and was one of the little band who volunteered under Sullivan to destroy the “Six Nations of Indians.” I was one of that small company selected as the Life Guard of Gen. Washington — but two of us are now living. I was at the tough siege of Yorktown, at Valley Forge, Monmouth, and in thirteen other hard battles, and saw Cornwallis surrender to our old General. My service ceased only with the war.

After all this hardship and suffering, in the street when I go out in my old age to see the happiness I have helped to give you, I am pointed at as a British Tory — yes, a British Tory — I have said nothing when I have been told so, but have silently thought that my old General would never have picked out a Tory to form one of his Life Guard, nor would a Tory have suffered what I suffered for you. This abuse has been shamefully heaped upon one of your old soldiers because he is what he was when the war broke out, and what Washington told us we must always be when he shook HANDS with us as we all were going home.

I was a Whig in the Revolution, and have been one ever since, and am one now. As a Whig I enlisted for the whole WAR was in favor with the other whigs of Thomas Jefferson, went with the party for James Madison, was in favor of the last war, and to be consistent in my last vote, must give it for Gen. Harrison. He is a brave man, and was never known wherever he has been to take a penny from his neghbor or the Government, that was not fairly his own. — We have trod over the same ground fighting for liberty. His father, 9he was one of us in the Revolution) signed our Independence roll, and then we all went out together to fight for it, and we proved it was true.

It really appears to me that this cannot be the same government that our old soldiers helped Washington to put up here. We fought to have a government as different from any in Europe as we could make it. — Well, we done it, and until lately things have gone on smoothly and Europe was beginning to get ashamed of the way she made slaves of her subjects by making them work and toil for seven poor cents a day with a Standing Army over them to force them to it. But our President now tells the people that things have gone wrong since the Old War and that there are twenty-two miserable Governments in Europe where the Kings wear crowns, the rich people wear silks, and the poor people rags, that we must fashion after them if we want to be happy and prosperous! —

We had English laws here once and they were the best in Europe, but we could’nt stand them and we put them under our feet. We used to work for mere nothing then, and we cannot do it again. Working for a few cents a day may do for slaves, but not for freemen whose liberty cost more blood, than liberty ever cost before, why, the very first thing that started the old war, was the Standing Army, that the King kept quartered upon us, we told him that we wanted no soldiers over us in time of peace, but he refused to mind us, and I saw Lord Cornwallis surrender up a part of them to honest George Washington. Our President now proposes to have a standing force — what for? — Beware.

Thom’s Jefferson never asked for armed men to re-elect him, or elevate his successor. James Madison asked for them only, in the time of the late war, and warned the people when he left his office, to be careful about keeping soldiers in time of peace.

Our streets are filled with idle men who were active laborers once, when employment was to be had. The men of enterprise who once employed them have been ruined by government. And now these honest, but unemployed laborers are told by the government, that when they go to work again, they must do it for a few cents a day — that labor must be as cheap here, as it is among the slaves of Cuba, or the slaves of Europe. Ambition and ignorance on the part of our Government have shut up our shops and stores, scuttled our ships, filled our streets with idleness and bankruptcy, and given no encouragement to the farmer as he looks at his grain. Are not these things so?

You know they are, and I have no motive in saying what may be false — I am too far advanced for office, or any thing else but death — it will soon be here. — My little pension, and I thank you for it, will soon stop, and I go home with the rest of the Life Guards. —

There is but one remedy only for the safety of the country I have saved. Put other men to stand at the tiller, and round the cables, and you will soon be back on the old Constitutional track. Gen. Harrison is honest, he never deceived you, and he never lost a battle, and the People wont let him lose this. Accept my advice, and you all have my blessing — my advice is, that all of you become the Life Guards of your country, and my blessing is that your old age may have less fears for liberty than mine.

BENJAMIN EATON.
One of the two surviving Life Guards of George Washington.

NEWBURGH, N.Y. Aug. 28, 1840.

Huron Reflector (Norwalk, Ohio) Oct 6, 1840

Nathan Hale

From the Newburgh New York Telegraph.
Gratitude, Gallantry and Feeling.

To record the incidents connected with the “old soldiers” of Washington — those few falling leaves of the tree of the revolution — is ever pleasing. But few of them remain. In a few brief years, the “last soldier of the revolution” will have died.

The following little incident, interesting and touching in its way, occurred here last week during the visit of that highly disciplined and soldier-like corps, the National Greys, of New York city.

One of their numerous marches, in the neighbourhood of our village, to receive the well-deserved hospitality of our citizens, was to Ettrick Grove, the beautiful seat of Mr. Hale, a mile below the village, taking in their way “Washington’s Head Quarters,” to which the company wished to pay a last visit before departure. The entire march was over consecrated ground. — Washington himself had known and traversed every foot of it — in the neighbourhood was the ground where the army was stationed, and in the ravine below, was the revolutionary cannon foundry, traces of which are still visible.

These were all pointed out, as also the remaining portion of the house (now Mr. Hale‘s kitchen) to which Washington was invited to an entertainment, in order to his betrayal by a band of conspirators against his life and his country’s hopes. These several reminiscences had each its interest; but the crowning incident of the march, and the one likely to live long in recollection was this:

On the outward march of the company, at a little distance in advance in the porch of a cottage, was observed the bowed and bleached head and wasted form of one of those immortals on earth, who shared the toils of war with Washington — it was BENJAMIN EATON, the last but one (Robert Blair, also of this village,) of Washington’s Life Guard.

The fact being announced to the officers of the corps, they eagerly advanced, in person, while the company uncovered, and thus all testified, in passing, their respect for the noble old Roman. On their return, the old soldier was escorted out, supported on either side by the Captain and Lieutenant, and the corps passed in review before him, uncovered, and with as profound respect and nice observance of military order as the old soldier in other days would have passed in review before his venerated Washington.

He was then escorted to the front and introduced personally to each member of the corps — and as each seized him by the hand and uttered the heart-felt “God bless you, General,” the gathering tear in the eye of each young soldier told the glow of gratitude and patriotism enkindled in his bosom. It was a moment and a scene to excite deep feeling. The eye of the veteran, dimmed by age, brightened again with pride and joy. The scenes and the forms of other days seemed reanimated and again brought to his view. But it was a transient vision, and came but for a moment to gladden the veteran’s heart.

Recollection but too soon recalled the realities of the present; and he was heard to murmur, “Alas! I have lived to be useless to myself and to the world!”

He told them, however, as a parting advice of an old soldier, to “remember their Great Commander.” He said he had been present in sixteen battles of the Revolution, and amid the dangers of them all had sought aid from above in prayer for himself, his country and his companions; and was himself a living witness, with the frosts of eighty-two winters upon his head, that these prayers were not in vain.

Benjamin Eaton has seen much service, and his country owes him much. He was in the battles and shared the dangers of Lexington, Monmouth, Flatbush, Brandywine, Harlaem Heights, &c., and served under the gallant Sullivan, in 1779, in his expedition against the “Six Nations” of Indians. Poor in every thing but spirit and merit, he has lived for years upon that evidence of coldest ingratitude — a pension of ninety-six dollars!!

Title    Hazard’s United States Commercial and Statistical Register, Volume 1
Editor    Samuel Hazard
Publisher s.n., 1840
pg 256

Benjamin Eaton - Rural Valley Cemetery

October 16, 1842.
Benjamin Eaton, said to have been the last survivor of Washington’s Life Guard, died at Cuddeback, Orange Co., N. Y., aged 85.
He joined in the pursuit at Lexington, and served till 1779, with an absence of only 20 days.

From: The New York genealogical and biographical record (Volume 102)
. (page 7 of 52)

Google Books LINK – You can read this book online.

The Close of a Dreary Day

March 25, 2010

The following anecdote was related to a writer in the Jerseyman, in a farm house in Virginia, during a night spent there some six years ago;

‘In December, 17_ _, towards the close of a dreary day, a woman with an infant child was discovered half buried in the snow, by a little Virginian, seven years old. The lad was returning from school, and hearing the moans of some one in distress, threw down his satchel of books, and repaired to the spot from whence the sound proceeded, with a firmness becoming one of riper years.

Raking the snow from the benumbed body of the mother, and using means to awaken her to a sense of her deplorable condition, the noble youth succeeded in getting her upon her feet; the infant nestling on its mother’s breast, turned its eyes towards their youthful preserver and smiled. as it seemed in gratitude for its preservation. With a countenance filled with hope, the gallant youth cheered the sufferer on, himself bearing within his tiny arms the infirm child, while the mother leaned for support on the shoulder of her little conductor. ‘My home is hard by,’ would he exclaim, as often as her spirits failed; and thus for three miles did he cheer onward to a happy haven the mother and child, both of whom otherwise must have perished had it not been for the humane feelings and perseverance of this noble youth.

A warm fire and kind attention soon relieved the sufferer, who, it appeared, was in search of her husband, an emigrant from New Hampshire, a recent purchaser of a farm in the neighborhood of ____, near this place. Diligent inquiry for several days found him, and in five months after, the identical house in which we are now sitting was erected, and received the happy family.

Major General Scott (Image from http://www.sonofthesouth.net)

The child grew up to manhood, entered the army, lost a limb at New Orleans, but returned to end his days, a solace to the declining years of his aged parents.’

‘Here,’ exclaimed the son, ‘I am the rescued one; there is my mother; and here, imprinted on my naked arm, is the name of the noble youth, our preserver!’

I looked, and read “WINFIELD SCOTT.’

Huron Reflector (Norwalk, Ohio) Jan 14, 1840

Forty-Niner Profile: Thaddeus B. Sturges

March 23, 2010

Thaddeus B. Sturges was one of the many men from Ohio who headed to California during the Gold Rush. He was the son of Lewis Burr Sturges, who was first married to Kezia Taylor Stiles, daughter of Ezra Stiles. Lewis later married Charlotte Belden/Belding, who I believe was the mother of Thaddeus.

Evidently, when Thaddeus Sturges left for the gold country, his wife, Eudosia Beach,  must have gone to live with  their daughter, Mrs. James Sidney Wilcox, in Utica, New York, where in 1859, she died. It appears they had 5 children: sons, Mahlon, Lewis and Thaddeus, and daughters, Eudosia and Marcia.

Thaddeus Burr Sturges was NOT one of the lucky ones. He did not make his fortune in gold. He died  penniless in California, like so many others.

View of Norwalk, Ohio - 1840's

From Historical Collections of Ohio, By Henry Howe – Vol. II – ©1888:

Norwalk in 1846. – Norwalk, the county-seat, named for Norwalk, Conn., is 110 miles north of Columbus and 16 from Sandusky City.  It lies principally on a single street, extending nearly two miles and beautifully shaded by maple trees.  Much taste is evinced in the private dwellings and churches, and in adorning the grounds around them with shrubbery.  As a whole, the town is one of the most neat and pleasant in Ohio.  The view given represents a small portion of the principal street; on the right is shown the courthouse and jail, with a part of the public square, and in the distance is seen the tower of the Norwalk institute.  Norwalk contains 1 Presbyterian, 1 Baptist, 1 Episcopal, 1 Methodist and 1 Catholic church, 9 dry goods, 1 book and 4 grocery stores, 1 bank, 2 newspaper printing offices, 1 flouring mill, 2 foundries, and about 1,800 inhabitants.  The Norwalk institute is an incorporated academy, under the patronage of the Baptists: a large and substantial brick building, three stories in height, is devoted to its purposes; the institution is flourishing, and numbers over 100 pupils, including both sexes.  A female seminary has recently been commenced under auspicious circumstances, and a handsome building erected in the form of a Grecian temple.  About a mile west of the village are some ancient fortifications.

Thaddeus Burr Sturges, Prior to the California Gold Rush

Thaddeus Sturges appears to have taken an active role in helping to build the town of Norwalk:

Huron Reflector, May 4, 1830

Commemorating George Washington’s Birthday: An Oration given by Thaddeus B. Sturges. (LINK)

Thaddeus Sturges reads the Declaration of Independence on the 4th of July:

4th of July.

The fifty sixth anniversary of our National Independence was celebrated at Monroeville on Wednesday last. A large concourse of people assembled at an early hour at the Hotel of H. GRIFFIN — at eleven o’clock, a procession of ladies and gentlemen was formed by Capt. W.B. MATHEWSON, Marshal of the day — among whom were several of  the old Patriots of the Revolution — preceded by a band of music, and moved to a grove, where the necessary platform was erected in good style by the committee of arrangements. The Throne of Grace was addressed by the Rev. F.H. JOHNSON — the Declaration of Independence was audibly read by T.B. STURGES, Esq. — after which C.L. BOALT, Esq. pronounced an Oration in his usual manner of eloquence. The procession then formed, and repaired to H. GRIFFIN’s Hotel, where an excellent dinner was prepared in a booth erected, and where a large company “fared sumptuously.” After the cloth was removed, thirteen select toasts were drank with cheers, music, and the discharge of cannon — then a host of spirited and pointed volunteers — all of which we omit for want of room. The company then parted under good feelings, and there was nothing to mar the harmony of the day.

Huron Reflector (Norwalk, Ohio) Jul 10, 1832

Huron Reflector – Jun 7, 1836

To the Citizens of Norwalk

YOU are respectfully invited to give your attendance at a meeting to be holden at the Academy, on the evening of Saturday the 12th instant, for the purpose of adopting measures for opening a High School at the Academy for the ensuing year.

It is thought that the amount now paid to the different teachers of our School is amply sufficient to support a Literary Institution, not excelled by any other in the State.
Every citizen, who feels an interest in the education of our youth, is earnestly solicited to attend.

?. Buckingham, P.P. Fusselman,
?. Buckingham, P. Latimer,
Asabel Morse, John Bedford,
Moses Kimball, T.B. Sturges,
?. Sheffield, S. Preston,
?. Jenney, Cyrus Butler,
?. Forsyth, H. Gallup,
?. Morton, W.B. Mathewson,
?.G. Raitt, I. Marshall,
Enos Gilbert, D. Higgins,
?. Benedict, L. Bradley.

Norwalk, Jan. 5, 1833.

Huron Reflector (Norwalk, Ohio) Jan 8,  1833

NORWALK SEMINARY

The ornamental branches usual for the young Ladies, will be taught in the Female Department if desired, at proportionate prices.

Two quarters will compose a term as usual of 23 weeks. The annual vacation will be in the month of August. Good board can be procured in respectable families, for $1.25 to $1.50 per week. It will be expected that the tuition fees be paid quarterly or half yearly in advance, and that Young Students from abroad have a guardian appointed in the village for the time being.

The Committee would further observe, that the Institution is opened under the patronage of the Ohio Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, upon liberal principles. The objects are to provide an Institution where all classes of persons can receive such an education as will prepare them to enter College, or upon the duties of active life; and so combine manual labor, (for those students who may desire it,) as will both promote health of body and vigor of mind, and at the same time diminish or defray entirely the expense of education, and also cultivate a taste for agricultural and mechanical pursuits. For the above purposes, the use of the building known as the “Norwalk Academy,” has been granted, where a large number of students can be accommodated. It is contemplated, as soon as practical, to procure philosophical apparatus, enlarge the buildings, erect Boarding Houses, rooms, &c. for the accommodation of the students, cultivate a garden, provide in which the students can recreate and employ themselves in inclement weather.

Norwalk is beautifully situated, and is a thriving and remarkably healthy village. It has a moral and an intelligent population. The Protestant Episcopal, Presbyterian, Baptist and Methodist Episcopal Churches, have stated preaching, besides occasionally other denominations. — These advantages, combined with the talent and experience of the Principal, the low price of tuition, the assurance that first rate assistants will be employed, and no pains spared to render the institution worthy, it is hoped, will secure that support, which an intelligent and liberal public are able to bestow.

TIMOTHY BAKER,
T.B. STURGES,} Committee.
H.O. SHELDON,

Norwalk, Oct. 19, 1833.  38tf

The Trustees at present, are Henry O. Sheldon, James Crabbs, Samuel Pennywell, Gershom Pierce, Ellzey Hedges, Sylvenus B. Day, Samuel Treat, Benjamin Cogswell, Benjamin Summers, Durin H. Tuttle, Julius House, Stanton Sholes, Edward S. Hamlin, Lemuel Powers, Platt Benedict, Thaddeus B. Sturges, Timothy Baker, Obadiah Jenney, Henry Buckingham, and William Gallup.

Editors in the north part of the State and in Michigan, friendly to the above Institution, will confer a favor by giving the above an insertion or two.

Huron Reflector (Norwalk, Ohio) Nov 5,  1833

History of north central Ohio : embracing Richland, Ashland, Wayne, Medina, Lorain, Huron and Knox Counties Volume 1
By William A. Duff
Historical Publishing Company, Topeka-Indianapolis 1931

**Thaddeus B. Sturges was listed as a trustee of the Academy. pg 125

Norwalk Academy was another early established institution which contributed materially to the educational progress of our state. Among its students were Rutherford B. Hayes, who became president of the United States; General James B. McPherson, Civil War commander, who was killed in the fighting before Atlanta; and Charles Foster, who became governor of Ohio and secretary of the treasury in President Benjamin Harrison’s cabinet. A catalogue of the academy March 17, 1829, gives the names of eighty-three young men and sixty young women, total of 143 who had been under instruction there.

Huron Reflector – Sep 2, 1834

NORWALK SEMINARY.

The following Resolutions were passed, at the meeting of the Trustees of Norwalk Seminary:

RESOLVED, That while we lament the loss of the Norwalk Seminary, with the Library, Apparatus, and Cabinet, we deem it our duty, instead of brooding over the calamity, to make vigorous and speedy efforts to repair it, by erecting an edifice upon an enlarged plan, in view of applying for a College Charter….

Huron Reflector (Norwalk, Ohio) Mar 15,  1836

LAND

1837: Thaddeus Sturges purchases several pieces of land. This is only one of the land purchase records. I think there were four or five of them, all purchased at the same time.

POLITICS

While Thaddeus Sturges‘ father, Lewis B. Sturges began his political career as a Federalist, Thaddeus appears to have started out as a Republican, later switching  to Democrat, specifically, a Loco Foco.

For the Huron Reflector.
NOMINATION OF SENATOR AND REPRESENTATIVE.
United we stand — divided we fall,

A sentiment containing a most important truth, and peculiarly applicable to us all, who are opposed to the misrule of General Jackson and his administration.
…..
A Convention was held at Norwalk last Saturday, composed of 52 Delegates from different townships in the county — after due notice having been given to all — a number greater than probably can be convened on any future occasion. — There was little or no division as to Senator. Doctor Tilden had nearly all the votes. There was more difference of opinion as to Representative; but our deliberations, after a harmonious and friendly consultation resulted in a decided majority in favor of Moors Farwell of Portland. Several of the Delegates, among whom, was the writer of this communication, would have been more gratified in their personal feelings, had some other favorite of theirs been put in nomination. Yet for one, I fully acquiesce in the decision of the majority, and my best judgment is to support Mr. Farwell; for I cannot possibly find a substantial objection to this Gentleman, either as a capable man, or as a man of the most perfect integrity — As to talents, he is highly respectable.
…..
Let us my friends, on this occasion, give up minor objections — prove, that as brethren, we are cordial in a righteous cause — divest ourselves of every personal, selfish motive; let our enemies know that Clay men can be united, and let us have for our motto — our Pole Star and directory, “united we stand — divided we fall” — and then we may be assured that victory is ours. If we shall not be so united, it is in vain to disguise the fact that defeat will be our deserved reward.

A Member of the Convention.

Norwalk, Sept. 17, 1832.

Huron Reflector – Sep 18, 1832

*     *     *

Republican Convention – Clip 2

For the Huron Reflector.
Messrs. Preston & Co.

You will please withdraw my name as a candidate for Representative for the ensuing election. Permit me to take this opportunity of returning my thanks to those who have generously proffered me their aid; of saying to those who have felt it their duty to oppose my nominations, that I fully appreciate the laudable motives by which they were governed; and of expressing to all my cheerful acquiescence in the decision that has been made, and trust that the coming canvass will only be distinguished by mutual concession, good will, and unanimity. Having a common interest to promote, it is to be hoped that we shall go to the polls with harmony and concord, determined to sacrifice all personal considerations and sectional feelings, and unite in one common effort to promote the general good of the county,

Yours Respectfully,

THADDEUS B. STURGES.

Norwalk, September 17th 1832.

The Editor of the Clarion will please note the above withdrawal. — EDITORS.

Huron Reflector (Noralk, Ohio) Sep 18, 1832

Huron Reflector Oct 1832

We omitted to notice last week, the result of the criminal trials which were decided at the term of the Court of Common Pleas of this county, which terminated on the 20th ult. after a laborious session of two weeks — present, Hon. David Higgins President, and his associates.

State of Ohio, vs. William H. Harrison. Horse stealing — T.B. Sturges Esq. prosecuting Attorney for State, L.S. Beecher and John Bedford, Esqrs. for defence. Verdict, guilty — Prisoner sentenced to Penitentiary for 10 years.

Same, vs. Nehemiah Higby. Horse stealing — T.B. Sturges Esq. pros. Att’y for State, C.L. Boalt and John Bedfore, Esqrs for defence. Verdict, guilty — Prisoner sentenced to Penitentiary for four years.

Same, vs. Abraham Inman. Horse stealing — T.B. Sturges Esq. pros. Att’y. Prisoner plead guilty, and was sentenced to penitentiary for three years.

Same, vs. John Smith. Assault with intent to commit a rape — T.B. Sturges Esq. pros. Att’y for State, M’Laughlin and Bedford, for defense. Verdict, guilty — Prisoner sentenced to Penitentiary for seven years.

Same, vs. Wm. R. Roberts. Burglary and larceny — T.B. Sturges Esq. for State, O. Parish and C.L. Boalt, Esq. for defence. Verdict, guilty of larceny, and not guilty of burglary — Prisoner sentenced to be confined to Jail for 6 days.

Same, vs. John Crusen jr. Assault and battery — T.B. Sturges Esq. for State, Francis D. Parish for defense. Verdict, guilty — Prisoner sentenced to pay a fine of five dollars and costs of prosecution.

Same, vs. Rachael Morris. Murder — T.B. Sturges and A. Coffinbury, Esqrs. for State, O. Parish, P.R. Hopkins and J. Bedford Esqrs. for defence. This case occupied the Court for three days in the investigation, but the Jury returned not guilty — quite a nuber of other Indictments are yet pending, and were not tried for want of time.

THADDEUS B. STURGES, Attorney and Counsellor at Law, intending a journey to the State of New York, and will probably be absent about four weeks, informs his old employers and others, that his father, LEWIS B. STURGES, Attorney at Law, will attend to their business, and will advise and direct them in his absence.

Norwalk, Jan 16, 1833.

Huron Reflector (Norwalk, Ohio) Jan 22,  1833

Huron Reflector – Oct 1833

*     *     *

Huron Reflector – July 1833

Milan, Sept. 14th, 1833.

Messrs EDITORS,

An unusual excitement exists in this section of the county, respecting the election of Prosecuting Attorney; and it is believed that those who have been most active in producing this excitement are actuated by the most envious feelings towards Mr. Sturges, the present incumbent; and a base desire to destroy his well earned and fast increasing popularity. There are those, undoubtedly, who have been busily engaged, of late, in different parts of the county, in circulating reports calculated to cast a shade over the character of Mr. Sturges; but happily for him and his friends, they have nothing to fear from an examination of his conduct, if fairly made, and he is certainly too well known to sustain any injury from the many shafts of envy, which are and have been hurled at his character and reputation. He stands as high as any member of the bar for talents, and his character, for integrity and correct moral deportment, has never been questioned. He is no upstart nor adventurer; but bears a name which has always entitled him to a rank among the first, as a public man in this county; and which will remain unsullied, until degraded by some other person than himself.
M.

For the Huron Reflector.

We trust that Mr. Sturges or his friends will not think it necessary, at present, to notice particularly a dishonorable attack, lately, implicating his fair character in a neighboring paper. Although we presume who is its author, yet we care not who he is. The intention of that publication is apparent to any man of sense — it is to create a personal altercation, and to divert the public mind from the merits of the contest between him and Mr. Root. The unbiased public opinion must be well known, as respects the claims of these two gentlemen. The decision is submitted to the candid electors of the County of Huron. This is communicated without the knowledge of Mr. Sturges.

JUSTICE.

Huron Reflector (Norwalk, Ohio) Sep 17,  1833

Thaddeus and Lewis Sturges 1835 Candidates

In 1835, both Thaddeus and his father Lewis, campaigned for elective offices. This campaign was particularly contentious, in part, I think,  because these two men were from the same family. The campaign commentary in the The Huron Reflector was quite brutal. Of course, that brutality held true for the later campaigns as well, being Thaddeus was a Democrat / Locofoco, and the Huron Reflector was a Whig/Republican paper. However, that is not to say that the mudslinging was one-sided; it was just as bad coming from the other side. In fact, during one election cycle, there was almost literally a “cat and mouse”  fight between the papers (Huron Reflector and The Experiment) regarding their respective candidates, one of which was Thaddeus Sturges.  The political flames were signed “cat” on one side, and “mouse” on the other.

Huron Reflector Aug 4, 1840

*     *     *

Huron Reflector – Sep 8, 1840

***

There was a Locofoco meeting at the Court House on Tuesday evening last. E.M. Stone and T.B. Sturges were the principal speakers. The former too ground against a national Bank, the distribution of the Land money and also against the present Tariff law. He said he was opposed to the distribution of the Land money, and to a Tariff, because these measures were calculated to REDUCE THE TAXES OF THE PEOPLE. He would not give his support to any measure of this kind, because he had no taxes to pay, — and if any measure was adopted, which would have the effect of reducing the present high rates of taxes it would be of no benefit to him. The tax payers of Huron county can make their own comments.

Mr. Sturges‘s remarks were principally confined to the subject of the Tariff. He made a statement, which we have every reason to believe he knew to be false at the time, to wit — that the manufacturers of Lowell, Mass., had realized a clear profit of 33 1/3 per cent, on the amount of capital invested in manufacturing the last year.

It is perhaps unnecessary for us to say that their profits have not averaged seven per cent.

Huron Reflector (Norwalk, Ohio) Mar 5,  1844

Locofoco Mass Meeting.

The Locofoco mass meeting for Huron county, that has been advertised in the Experiment for several weeks past, came off at this place on Saturday last. It was a very meagre affair. —

From the exertions made to get up a large meeting, we certainly expected to see a large crowd, but were disappointed. We are informed by those who counted the Locos as they marched to the Court-House, that the number was 165. Probably there were in the Court-House, including Whigs, 250 persons — not more.

After the Convention was organized, the following individuals were nominated as candidates for county officers, viz: — for Auditor, Lorenzo D. Conger; for Commissioner, Daniel Sowers; for Surveyor, Ert Mesnard; and for Coroner, a Dr. Gibson.

The Convention was then addressed by T.B. Sturges and E.M. Stone.

The remarks of Mr. Sturges were uncommonly rich, rare and edifying to the hosts of the “unterrified” there assembled. The burden of his song was in unfolding to the admiring eyes of the democracy, the peculiar beauties and unparalleled advantages of that El Dorado of a Locofoco’s hopes — the magnificent Republic of Texas — the fertility of which, he told them was so great, that one acre there was worth ten of the best land in Ohio! The little “neophyte” worked himself into such raptures upon this subject, that one would have thought he had received a regular sergeant’s commission, and was beating for volunteers among his Locofoco friends to follow those of them who have gone before to the ‘Republic of the Lone Star.’

And then as to the debt of $15,000,000 that was nothing. He had made a computation, and found that it would only amount to about 7 cents per acre. Who would not consider it a cheap bargain to buy five new States, — independent States — for seven cents an acre! Ah! then you go into it as a mere matter of speculation. Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio are already in the Union, and it would be a horrible violation of the Constitution to assume their debts, and let the National Government reimburse itself out of the proceeds of the public lands which the Government now holds in trust for these very States, — but to assume the debt of a foreign State — a State at war with a Government with which we are at peace, — that is perfectly right and constitutional, we would get the country for seven cents an acre!

About this point the orator was seized with a peculiar regard for the Tariff, and reasoned in this wise: If Texas is not annexed, the whole army of the nation cannot prevent smuggling along the whole line of our southwestern border! We are somewhat surprised at this tack of the gentleman’s argument; but in his new born admiration of the Tariff, he forgot to tell how much the case would be improved, either in this or in a military point of view, by changing the present boundary for the undefined and undefinable limits of the “vast Republic of Texas.” —

This matter requires a little explanation. Will he furnish it on some future occasion? He expatiated at some length upon the depredations, (present or prospective?) upon our revenue from this source, and then appealing to those special friends of the Tariff, the Locofocos, exclaimed — “reject Texas, and you reject me (unreadable).

“Gratiano speaks an infinite deal of nothing [unreadable 3 words] all Venice. His reasons are as two grains of wheat in two bushels of chaff: you shall seek all day ere you find them; and when you have them they are not worth the search.”

The next attempt was to excite some sympathy in behalf of “the statesman, the hero, the patriot Dorr.” The effort appeared ill-timed, and but little interest for the hero of Chepachet was excited. The orator depicted the sufferings of this apostle of liberty, — said Rhode Island had always been a colony of Great Britain, and her star ought not to be placed with the old thirteen. This nice pink of Federalism closed with the following traitorous sentiment. “LAW OR NO LAW, ORDER OR NO ORDER, THE PRISON DOORS OF DORR MUST AND SHALL BE BATTERED DOWN.”

We supposed the Quixotic gentleman had caught a fresh ‘inspiration’ from the progressive school in the east, in advance of his brethren. —

We did not expect to see this base and unholy sentiment of mobocracy responded to by even a Locofoco assembly — but so it was. It needs no comment.

Through the disgusting details of the rest of his speech, we have no desire to follow him. If he can derive comfort from such honor, let him enjoy it.

Huron Reflector (Norwalk, Ohio) Aug 27,  1844

The Tariff — High Prices of Goods.

We understand that Thaddeus B. Sturges and Ezra M. Stone, are in the habit of stating in their speeches in different parts of the country, that all kinds of goods are higher now in consequence of the Tariff, than they were before the present Tariff Law was enacted. When T.B. Sturges, or any other Locofoco stump speaker makes a statement of this kind, he knows he is uttering a barefaced falsehood. In order to nail this lie to the counter we publish the following certificate, signed by several of the leading merchants of our village. We will only add — that if any merchant alleges that his goods are higher, now than formerly, in consequence of the enactment of the present Tariff, we would caution every person against purchasing of him, unless he is anxious to be cheated.

CERTIFICATE.

We the undersigned, Merchants of Norwalk, Huron county, Ohio, do hereby certify that since the Tariff of 1842 went into effect, goods have been cheaper than in any two years since we have been in business.

We also further certify, that foreign goods are as cheap this fall as we have ever known them.

SHEPHERD PATRICK,
GOODNOW & WILLIAMS,
D. & J. STOUTENBURGH.

Norwalk, September 26, 1844.

Huron Reflector (Norwalk, Ohio) Oct 1, 1844

Huron Reflector – Sep 12, 1848

BUSINESS

In the 1840’s, Thaddeus B. Sturges seems to have tried his hand at being a businessman:

The Experiment – Apr 6, 1842

***

The Experiment – Mar 2, 1842

*     *     *

The Experiment – Jul 31, 1844

*     *     *

Thaddeus B. Sturges was also involved in the Temperance Movement:


Temperance Crusaders (Image from http://www.ohiohistorycentral.org)

Sons of Temperance Celebration.

Agreeably to the notices which have been published in the Huron and Erie papers, the Order of the Sons of Temperance, in the two counties, celebrated the day by a Mass Convention at this place. Unfortunately, the weather proved extremely rainy and disagreeable. Notwithstanding, the Sons (who love cold water) assembled in large numbers, and with them, also, an equal concourse of the cold water ladies.

About 11 o’clock, A.M., the Procession, which had formed on the public square, proceeded to the Grove selected at the west end of the place, conducted by the Bellevue Band, and attended also by the Milan Brass Band. The Procession presented a splendid appearance and afforded to all a vivid illustration of the moral force which the Temperance cause has acquired among us.

The arrangements reflected honor upon the Marshal, S. PENNEWILL, Esq., and his Assistants. Over five hundred ladies, from a single point, formed into the Procession, and it is supposed that an equal number of ladies proceeded from other directions. The total number of persons present, at the Grove, is estimated at about three thousand, of whom, two thirds were Sons, Rechabites, Cadets and Ladies.

The exercises at the Grove were announced by the President of the day, S.F. TAYLOR, Esq., of Milan. Prayer was offered by Rev. WM. L. HARRIS*, of this place. The Declaration of Independence was read by T.B. STURGES, Esq., also of this place, who prefaced it with some appropriate and eloquent remarks. The meeting was then addressed by the Orator of hte day, I.J. ALLEN, Esq., of Mansfield, in a speech of much interest.

NOTE: Rev. Harris was educated at the Norwalk Seminary, mentioned  previously in this post.

The violence of the rain caused an interruption of his address, and at the close of the exercises, the meeting was adjourned to the Court House. Owing to the inclemency of the weather, most of those from abroad were obliged to return; but the Court House was thronged with those who remained. M. ALLEN resumed his remarks, and in a brilliant and powerful address, reviewed the history of National Intemperance. He traced its destroying agency in the fall of successive Empires, from Nineveh to Rome, and showed the appalling influence which it has exerted on the destiny of former nations. He exhibited the intimate connection which exists between national liberty and national intelligence and virtue; and he proved that moral and educational associations were the best conservators of the Republic.

His address embraced a variety of important and deeply interesting views, and has left a profound impression on all who heard it. At the close, some Resolutions were presented by T.B. Sturges, Esq., which were adopted, and the meeting adjourned.

Notwithstanding the adverse weather, this demonstration cannot fail to produce a favorable effect on the prosperity of the Order in this section. There are now about twenty Divisions in the two counties, most of which have not yet seen their first anniversary, and we believe one only has witnessed its second. In this State, about 16,000 have joined the Order during the past year, and nearly 100,000, throughout the Union. It now includes over 250,000 members.

Huron Reflector (Huron, Ohio) Jul 11, 1848

Based on his son, Mahlon Sturges’ biographical sketch, Thaddeus B. Sturges’ financial problems coincided with rush for California Gold. In 1849, Thaddeus would have been about 48 years old,  which was older than the average gold seeker; but probably with nothing left to lose, he headed for the gold country.

Buckeyes Catch the Gold Fever: A Letter From the Plains

T.B. Sturges arrives in Gold Country: A Letter Received

Mahlon B. Sturges was one of Thaddeus’ sons. He also was a miner, seemingly out of financial necessity, and his story is almost as sad as his fathers. The following biography can be found at this link:  Alameda County California Biographies – 1883

MAHLON BEACH STURGES.—Was born in Norwalk, Huron County, Ohio, February 26, 1830, and is the son of Thaddeus B. Sturges—at one time District Attorney of that county for a number of years, a graduate of Yale College, and a pioneer of 1849 to California—who died in Placerville, in 1851. The subject of our sketch having received his early education in the common school of his native place, and finishing at a private school at Marcellus, Onondaga County, New York, at the age of eighteen prepared to go to college, but owing to the financial embarrassment of his father this course was abandoned, and he took to commercial pursuits. Obtaining the position of book-keeper in the Franklin House, Cleveland, Ohio, he there remained two years, when he changed to the Durham House, and held a like position there until the intelligence of his father’s death caused him to resign and proceed to California, to do which he was obliged to raise money by an insurance on his life, which has long ego been refunded. Coming by way of Panama, our subject arrived in San Francisco in March, 1852, and immediately on arrival secured a ticket for Sacramento, which left him penniless. On gaining that town he found it submerged. Mr. Sturges proceeded to the mines, in company with the late William B. Mastick of Oakland and Judge Carey of San Francisco. On arriving at Michigan Bar, where he found his brother, he engaged in mining as an occupation (Mr. Mastick and Mr. Carey continued on to the mountains) until the fall of that year, when he embarked in the mercantile business. Having proceeded to Sacramento to purchase goods, as ill-fate would have it, his newly-bought stock was entirely consumed in the great fire of that season. Broke in purse, he was by no means so in spirit, therefore he once more faced the mocking world, and proceeded to the mountains, by way of Marysville. Arriving at Rabbit Creek—a place now called La Porte, in Plumas County—he cooked for a company of miners that winter. He next worked for *ages for about one year, when he took up claims in company with J. M. Perry and George Stowe, both of Illinois. After three years’ toil he then sold his interest to his partners, who afterwards took out $64,000 worth of dust in three weeks, and in four years they took out over $300,000. Mr. Sturges now took up a claim for himself adjoining, and “struck it rich,” but owing to a change of the adjoining claim it swung him off, and he lost all. Once more his pocket was at ” bed-rock.” Undeterred, he proceeded to Jamison City, Plumas County, and conducted a hotel for James Kitts, where he remained until the fall of 1856; then moving to Mariposa County, he re-embarked in mining operations for one winter, but, the season being dry, and not meeting with much success, he footed it to Stockton, whence he found his way to San Francisco. He now accepted a position as steerage steward on board the steamer Sonora, then commanded by Captain Bobbie, in which he made several trips to Panama: He now returned to the Bay City, married, and went to the mines at La Porte, but soon moved to Richmond Hill, working for wages at anything that offered; Mrs. Sturges, in the first year, making on her own account $1,800. Our subject now changed his habitation to Sawpit Flat, where, purchasing a claim, he commenced working it, while his wife carried on the laundry business, at four dollars a dozen, clearing thereby from thirty to forty dollars per week. At the end of four years he gave up mining, and sold out his claims. At this period he served two terms as a Justice of the Peace and Notary Public under Governor • Low’s administration. Mr. Sturges next purchased the water rights of Onion Valley Creek, consisting of eight miles of ditches, which supplied the mines of Sawpit Flat and Richmond Hill with water. Two weeks after purchasing, the miners of Sawpit Flat struck rich pay, which made his purchase very valuable. In one year he made enough to pay for his purchase and leave a handsome balance. He continued in this undertaking until 1867, when he sold out on account of ill-health. He removed to San Francisco; and there he was engaged for a year in keeping a lodging-house, when, disposing of it in 1869,.he paid a visit to his former home in the Eastern States for the purpose. of securing a patent on an improved gas-burner he had invented. His intention was to settle in the Eastern States, but, owing to the great climatic changes between heat and cold, he returned to California in July, 1870, and purchased his present farm of fifty acres, situated one and a half miles from Washington Corners, on the main road to Centreville, on which he has made many improvements, being engaged in general farming and stock-raising, devoting much of his time to the rearing of thoroughbred short-horn cattle, a number of his raising having taken premiums at the different fairs throughout the State. Married in San Francisco, April 22, 186o, Miss Elizabeth Kane, a native of Philadelphia, of Irish parents; no issue.

A few snippets for Thaddeus Sturges’ father, Lewis Burr Sturges:

Lewis B. Sturges – 1832

***

Lewis Sturges Dies 1844

Although it states there will be an obituary notice next week, I checked the paper and couldn’t find one.

BURR Surname Trivia: Lewis BURR Sturges, and therefore, Thaddues BURR Sturges, are distantly related to Aaron BURR, by way of a common ancestor named Jehue BURR.

A General History of the Burr Family by Charles Burr Todd – 1902 – Google Book LINK In this book, Lewis B. Sturges is listed as an executor of a will for Thaddeus Burr. His father, I believe, also Thaddeus Burr, was married to Abigail Sturges.  There are other Sturges’ mentioned as well. These families seemed to  marry quite a bit. There was also a Sturges Lewis mentioned, although I don’t know exactly how he is connected.

Robert Burns: “John Anderson, My Jo”

January 25, 2010

From: The News (Frederick, Maryland) Mar 28, 1924

Intriguing comment [excerpt] left by Astri on a previous post about Robert Burns and Auld Lang Syne:

I just discovered at a local Robbie Burns party celebrating his birthday last night, here in western Canada, what I, for 3 or more decades, have loved and sung in Norwegian as an old Norwegian folk song. This is “Jon Anderson, Min Jo”.

Last night at the party, I discovered the English-language song called “John Anderson, my Joe” – to nearly the same tune (some of the ancient natural-scale tones common in the Norwegian folk music had been anglicized or ‘normalized’ according to english folk tunes) and with basically the same verses, in English.

I said to my friend driving home in the car, “I wonder if Burns heard this song and ‘lifted’ it for its beauty and lovely sentiment,” ~  maybe while travelling in Norway, or in a pub meeting Norwegian travellers (brought together by the prospect of beer, ever-alluring to both our peoples, from early days of mead-making and viking-travel, on doubt!)!

It would be interesting to find out when the Norwegians first started singing this song.  Might turn out to be one of those chicken/egg things, but I would be interested in finding out more. I tried searching the Norwegian title, and I only got 2 hits, neither of which gave any information.

This comment jogged my memory of a temperance poem I had previously posted, which turned out to be a parody of “John Anderson, My Jo.”  I decided to see what else I could dig up on this same poem, being it is Robert Burns’ birthday. Evidently, this poem was so popular, it was parodied quite a bit. Below is a sample of what I found:

From the Murder by Gaslight blog (link below)

Looking for a sausage vat picture for this first parody, I was surprised to find the above image actually took me to a blog  post about the murder referenced in the parody! Link: Louise Luetgert: The Sausage Vat Murder

Rather sick sense of humor, I think:

SAID IN FUN.

John Anderson, my Jo, John,
When you and I first met
We loved each other well, John;
But not, already yet;
We had a little spat, John,
Not many months ago,
And you boiled me in a sausage vat,
John Anderson, my Jo.

The Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) Oct 21, 1897

SAID IN FUN.

John Anderson, my Jo John
When we again prepare
To kill the boar black pigs John,
That scent the perfumed air,
We’ll bribe our fellow men, John,
With cash before we go,
To haul them to the slaughter pen,
John Anderson, my Jo.

The Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) Nov 22, 1897

I saw the great regatta go
A half a mile from land;
The sons of Eli tried to row
Their boat to beat the band.
The oars sank deep, the men perspired,
I heard them puff and blow —
Too slow the pace, they lost the race,
John Anderson, my jo.

The Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) Jul 10, 1909

*****

Now, for a couple of advertisements:

The Ohio Democrat ( New Philadelphia, Ohio) Oct 18, 1888

SKIDOO!

John Anderson, my Jo, John,
When last it was we met,
Our winter supply of Coal, John,
Hand not been purchased yet.
“It’s time you was skidooing, John,”
I hear all the wise people speak —
There should be something doing, John,
Then do it now — this week.

No.2 Chestnut . . . $5.75 the ton
UNION COAL CO. 119 Main St.

The Fitchburg Sentinel (Fitchburg, Massachusetts) Jun 25, 1906

*****

A political parody:

John C. Calhoun (Image from http://www.historycooperative.org

JOHN C. CALHOUN MY JO.

A COMIC POLITICAL SONG.
Tune – “John Anderson my Jo.”

John C. Calhoun my Jo John, I’m sorry for your fate,
You’ve nullify’d the Tariff laws, you’ve nullify’d your State;
You’ve nullify’d your party, John, and principles, you know,
And now you’ve nullified yourself, John C. Calhoun my Jo.

Oh! John how could you look into the face of Henry Clay?
The glory of the Western World, and of the World away;
You call’d yourself his ‘master,’ John, but that can ne’er be so,
For he ‘would not own you for a slave,’ John C. Calhoun my Jo.

The Father of the Tariff, and patron of the Arts,
He seeks to build his country up in spite of foreign parts;
And Harrison will soon upset the little Van & Co.
And renovate the ship of State, John C. Calhoun my Jo.

John C. Calhoun my Jo John, ambition in despair
Once made you nullify the WHOLE, the HALF of it to share;
The ‘whole hog now you’ve gone,’ John, with Kendall, Blair & Co.’
But ‘you’ve got the wrong sow by the ear,’ John C. Calhoun my Jo.

American mechanics, John, will never sell their votes
For mint drops or for Treasury bills, or even British coats;
They want no English coaches, John, while servants they forego,
For their carriage is of Yankee stamp, John C. Calhoun my Jo.

Oh! John he is a slippery blade with whom you’ve got to deal,
He’ll pass between your clutches too, just like a living eel;
You think he’ll RECOMMEND you, John, but Van will ne’er do so,
For he wants the fishes for himself, John C. Calhoun my Jo.

John C. Calhoun my Jo John, if this you dare to doubt,
Go ask the LIVING SKELETON who deals his secrets out;
His favorites are marked, John, the mark you cannot toe,
And you’ll soon repent the bargain made, John C. Calhoun my Jo.

This is dirty business, John, go wash your little hands,
And never bow your knee again to cunning Van’s commands;
‘How are you off for soap,’ John, I cannot say I know,
But ‘your mother does not know you’re out’ John C. Calhoun my Jo.

The brave sons of the South, John, will never own you more,
And Benton’s Mint Drops will not save — you’re rotten to the core;
The people will no power, John, on such as you bestow,
And you’ve jump’d your final sumerset, John C. Calhoun my Jo.

Then better men, my Jo John our sad affairs will fix,
Republicans in principle, the Whigs of Seventy six;
The offices they’ll purge, John, Swartwouters all must go,
And Sycophantic fellows too, John C. Calhoun my Jo.

The farmer of North Bend, John, will plough the weeds away,
And the terror of Tecumseh then will gain another day;
America will flourish John, mechanics find employ,
And our merchants will rejoice indeed, John C. Calhoun my Jo.

John C. Calhoun my Jo John, when one term shall expire,
He’ll drop the reins of power and with dignity retire,
To look upon a smiling land, that he has rendered so,
And every Whig will cry AMEN, John C. Calhoun my Jo.

MIDFORD BARD.
Poet’s Garret, Baltimore, January, 1840.

Huron Reflector (Norwalk, Ohio) Mar 7,  1840

Francis Scott Key

This last one is not a parody, but rather interesting, if Francis Scott Key actually penned these additional verses:

JOHN ANDERSON MY JO.

A Pipe Creek Man Awakens a Reminiscence of Francis Scott Key.

A correspondent of the Washington Evening Star writes: In your issue of Saturday you publish an added verse to Burns’ “John Anderson, My Jo,” written by a lady from Georgia.

Mr. Francis S. Key, the author of the “Star Spangled Banner,” wrote two additional verses to Burns’ poem, and not remembering having seen them published, I send them to you.

Mr. Key writes:

“There ought to be another —

John Anderson my Jo, John,
From that sleep again we’ll wake,
When another day’s fair light
On our opened eyes shall break.
And we’ll rise in youth and beauty
To that bright land to go,
Where life and love shall last for aye,
John Anderson, my Jo

OR

John Anderson, my Jo, John,
One day we’ll waken there,
Where a brighter morn than ever shone,
Our opened eyes shall cheer.
And in fresh youth and beauty
To that blest land we’ll go
Where we’ll live and love forever,
John Anderson, my Jo.”

Pipe Creek, October 13, 1842. B.

The News (Frederick, Maryland) May 21,  1885