Posts Tagged ‘1852’

Morris Street Fire – Children Burned to Death

October 18, 2011

1882 image of Broadway and Morris from The Tower Building website


Three Children Burned to Death — Several Persons Injured

We have again to record another painful calamity that occurred yesterday morning in the lower part of the city which was attended with loss of life, while a number of persons being terribly injured. About 8 o’clock the Hall bell struck an alarm of fire for the eighth district.

The fire originated on the first floor of the building No. 18 Morris-street, occupied as a grocery store, by Patrick Fitzsimmons, and owing to the flames spreading among the liquors they swept through the floor above with great fury and baffled all the exertions of the firemen for some time. The upper portion of the building was occupied by a large number of poor families, the children of whom were yet in their beds, and in consequence of the powerful streams of water that were played into the rooms, the occupants became bewildered, and some of them leaped from the windows to the icy side-walks, sustaining serious and probably fatal injuries. The fire was finally subdued and the contents and interior of the premises were found to be nearly destroyed.

Three little children perished in the flames, and their bodies were subsequently found in the mass ruins, all charred and burned to a crisp, so as to render it almost impossible to recognize them, — the parents of the dead however identified their unfortunate little ones, and they are as follows:

Elizabeth Arrey, aged 3 or 4 months.

Anne Arrey, aged 8 or 9 years.

A child of Sarah Crosby.

Mrs. Crosby was also badly bruised, and was taken to the Hospital.

The following are the names of those who were injured, and also those who are missing:


Carrick Crosby fell from the second story window, and had his back broke. He was taken to the City Hospital, by Officer McCabe of the first Patrol District, and is beyond all hopes of recovery.

Cornelius Towny fell from the second floor to the first, among the burning ruins, and was nearly burned to death. Conveyed to the Hospital.

Mrs. Towney, (wife of Cornelius,) had her arm crushed by a fall, while endeavoring to save her two children, who were finally rescued from the devouring element alive, but were considerably burned about their faces, breast and arms.

Mrs. Arrey, (wife of Thomas,) had her leg crushed by jumping from the upper story window; taken to the hospital by officer McCabe.

A man by the name of John Woods, a printer, boarded in the house and is yet missing; fears are entertained that he has also perished in the flames.

A lad named Henry Hickey, was also missing, but has since been found.

The other tenants of the premises barely escaped with their lives, but afterwards were nearly frozen to death in the street, before they could be provided with shelter. The fire department worked with great energy, and the poor houseless sufferers were rendered every assistance by Captains Silvey, Van Zandt, officer McCabe, and other members of the First Ward Police.

After the remains of the mutilated bodies were extricated from the ruins they were conveyed to the First District Police Station, and inquests held upon them severally by Alderman Moore, who acted as Coroner, the verdicts of which in each case were in accordance with the facts and heart-rending circumstances as given above.

New York Daily Times (New York, New York) Jan 15, 1852

Gotta Shoot a Man to Start a Graveyard

August 15, 2011



The following sketch is from the pen of “Brick” Pomeroy, and was originally published in the La Crosse Democrat. It is so interesting, and so aptly illustrates life in the early times that I take the liberty of using it here: —

“It has been humorously claimed for the average frontier town, as a point in favor of its climatic conditions, that it was necessary to shoot a man for the purpose of starting a grave-yard. While this may be true of La Crosse, a ramble among the tomb-stones and monuments of Oak Grove Cemetery will discover the fact that it was unnecessary to resort to such an extreme measure as an inaugural, its identity was more clearly established by being the burial place of a murdered man.

“In the spring of 1852, a man named David Darst, came to La Crosse from Illinois, bringing with him in his employ, William Watts. Mr. Darst was a man of means, and his object in leaving civilization for the hardships of the frontier is unknown. However, he located on a piece of land in Mormon Cooley, and engaged in farming.

“On the 5th of June, 1852, six or seven weeks after his settlement in the Cooley, his body was found in the bushes by a man by the name of Merryman, stripped of every rag of clothing and tied to a pole which the murderer had used to carry the body from the shanty in which they lived. Merryman was attracted to the spot by the barking of his little dog. He came into town and reported what he had found, and a number of citizens volunteered to go to the Cooley to investigate the matter and try and arrest the murderer, if he could be found. Several parties were arrested but all proved their innocence to the crowd and were released. — On returning to town the man Watts was found with Darst’s clothes on his back — even to his shirt and underwear. He had all his household goods, money, two yoke of cattle and everything the man had. — He was arrested and, there being no jail, he was given over to the keeping of a Mr. McShodden, who kept him in his cellar, chained to a post. He evidently belonged to a gang of outlaws, as evidenced from letters received at the post-office for him both before and after his arrest.

“One evening he escaped. The whole plantation turned out to hunt him; boats scoured the river bank in all directions; men on horseback and armed searched the prairie. But they could find no trace of him. Parties of boys were also looking for him. About midnight he was found by the noise of a file he was using to get rid of his chains, by a party of these small boys and taken into custody. He afterward was furnished by his friends with a file and some iron-colored-paste. This he used in his “prison” and escaped a second time, and was not found for a long time. He was discovered as a hostler at the Ridge Tavern by a man who had been sent for the mail. The mail-carrier, without appearing to notice him at the time, on his arrival home reported him to the Sheriff, who immediately went out and secured him. A one-story stone jail had been erected by subscription after his first escape. He was incarcerated in this and made his exit through the roof of this institution. A new and stronger roof was put on the building, and a large quantity of stone put loose over the ceiling in such a manner that if he tried again it would fall on him and crush him.

“Watts confessed his crime. He said that Darst was lighting the fire on the morning of the murder, he struck him on the head with an axe. He had no other reason for the deed than that of securing the money and property of the victim. — At the funeral of Darst, which occurred the Sunday following the discovery of his body, the services were held in a small building on State street, with the murdered man in his coffin and the murderer in chains standing at the head. It was understood very generally, that as the funeral procession left for the cemetery, Watts was to be lynched. The Rev. S.C. Sherwin conducted the services, and, although more than one rope was in the hands of the party, such was his influence over the populace that he prevailed upon them to let law and order take their course.

“A few years afterward a party of gentlemen were attracted to the spot where Merryman’s dog had discovered to him the body of Darst by the same animal, and there they found the body of Merryman himself in the icy embrace of death.”

Indiana Progress (Indiana, Pennsylvania) Sep 8, 1881

This version from The History of LaCrosse, Wisconsin gives more details:


A great many fights and fracases occurred about this time, but on June 3, 1852, one of the most deliberately-planned and cold-blooded murders ever chronicled was committed in Mormon Cooley, which greatly excited the entire community, and came near ending in the lynching of the accused. David Darst, it seems, had at a comparatively early day removed from Galena, 111., and settled on a claim out in Mormon Cooley. He built him a log hut, and, with two yoke of oxen, was soon in a prosperous condition for a settler of the times. In the spring of the year in which the murder was committed, there came up the river from Galena a young man named William Watts, who had known Darst previous to his removal hither, and seeking him out, proposed making a visit to his friend of former days. After remaining here a short time, accepting the hospitality of his whilom friend, Watts deliberately murdered Darst, and, stripping the body of clothing and valuables, hid it in a plum thicket that occupied a ravine near the house. The murderer dressed himself in the garb of the dead victim of his devilish covetousness, and yoking up the oxen, came into the village for the purpose of disposing of the plunder.

The same day that Watts came out of the cooley, Mr. Merriman, an old bachelor, who had a cabin not far distant, was riding up the ravine on horseback, accompanied by a dog, his daily companion, the keen scent of which detected the dead and decaying remains of the murdered host of Watts. The dog ran into the thicket and thence back to his master, manifesting the utmost concern, and betraying an anxiety that indicated something out of the usual channel. Mr. Merriman finally dismounted, and following the dog into the thicket, was nearly paralyzed and stricken dumb by the horrible sight which met his gaze. There lay his neighbor, stiff and stark and dead, his skull crushed and his throat cut, in the last stages of decomposition, and exuding an odor which was stifling. He at once gave the alarm, and hurrying to the village, startled the inhabitants with the story of what he had seen.

While this condition of affairs was rendering the village a scene of pronounced commotion. Watts was engaged in drinking and carousing, and when he had reached a condition of helpless intoxication, he solved the mystery which had surrounded the crime, and was arrested, narrowly escaping lynching.

An inquest was held over the remains of Darst, his murderer being obliged to confront the remains, and when moved to stand at the head of the coffin. During the funeral there were a number in attendance who had ropes concealed about their persons, and but for an eloquent appeal made by Elder Sherwin to let the law take its course, and not disgrace the village by mob violence, the prisoner would have been executed.

At that time the court house was finished, but no jail had yet been provided, and the stone basempnt on Pearl street, between Second and Third streets, was leased from Col. Childs for the confinement of Watts, who was guarded by a man named McSpadden, hired for that purpose. The prisoner was heavily ironed and safely kept for awhile, but the expense was very considerable, and a jail was built for the safe keeping of the prisoner and others who had been arrested for trifling offenses. In its construction the ceiling was made of joists spiked together, and the attic filled with pounded rock, to the end that a prisoner, if he attempted to bore through the ceiling would be deluged with stones. It was not long, however, before the prisoner dug out through the foundation walls, and when his escape was announced the public turned out to effect his re-capture. About midnight on the second day of the pursuit a party of boys engaged in the search heard the noise of some one filing in the prairie grass near Deacon Smith’s. The alarm was given, and Watts was re-taken and re-conveyed to jail, where he was heavily ironed. Notwithstanding this, and the further assurance endeavored to be secured by the Sheriff visiting him at all hours of the day and night, the prisoner eluded the vigilance, attempted and escaped once more.

Search was again undertaken, but with poor success, for awhile at least. He could not be found anywhere, and the officers and citizens were about giving up the search, when a stagedriver, who twice a week made trips to Hazens, out on the ridge, discovered that Watts was disguised and acting as a hostler at that place. Upon his return he detailed the whereabouts of the fugitive, who was arrested and brought back, and, obtaining a change of venue to Bad Axe County, was tried, convicted and sentenced to Waupun for life.

The account of Sheriff Elder differs materially from the above ; and that no factor or phrase of the horrible crime may be wanting, the statement of that gentleman is submitted substantially as follows:

In the spring of 1852, Watts and Darst came in from Peoria, 111., to Mormon Cooley. where the latter purchased a claim, on which former assisted him to build a cabin. Before its completion, according to an account of the crime furnished by Watts, he asked Darst for some money, which enraged the latter, who retorted that he (Watts) owed him $80; that he had kept him poor, and would not rest until he had ruined him. In the excitement of the moment, Darst made an assault upon his subordinate, who tried to escape, but, being headed off at the door and window, neither of which had been closed in, whereupon Watts seized an unfinished ax-helve, and swinging it around in a threatening manner, struck Darst a fatal blow under the ear. Being “then tempted of the devil,” as he protested, he rifled the murdered man of his money and carried the body part way up the bluffs, near to a point where the two had obtained stone to build a chimney. Upon returning to the house, he yoked up the oxen, and visiting the residence of the Kimball brothers, the three went fishing at the Chipmunk Creek. While driving the oxen, Watts met Mr. Merriman, the nearest neighbor of his victim, who enquired after Darst, with whom he had an engagement to join their teams in some work they had decided it was necessary should be done. »

Watts replied, “he has gone away for a few days, and says you are a d—d scoundrel, and wants nothing to do with you.”

This uncivil and uncalled-for speech on the part of Watts excited Merriman’s suspicions, who sought assistance and discovered the body of Darst. An alarm was given, and Sheriff Eldred arrested Watts and the two Kimballs, all three of them very much intoxicated. That night he locked himself, with the three accused, in Chase & Stevens’ office, and in the morning the Kimballs were horrified upon being informed of what was alleged against them. They at once proposed to “churn out the brains of that critter,” alluding to Watts, but were dissuaded from such an act by the Sheriff, and permitted to visit their families on parole, whence they returned in a few hours to stand trial.

Watts was confronted with the dead body of his victim, but gave no sign of guilt, and a cry was raised to lynch him. This, however, was not done, owing to cooler counsels, and the prisoner was turned over to a Mr. McSpadden, residing on Front street near the present ferry, who kept him in a room in his house, the outer door of which was made fast by rolling a pipe of liquor against it.

The prisoner escaped soon after, and was not recaptured until the following February, notwithstanding the offer of $200 reward for his apprehension, when he was retaken by Messrs. Kellogg and Wasson, and immured in the jail which had been constructed in the meanwhile, where he was manacled, shackled and chained to the wall for safe keeping until his trial, which took place in Crawford County, and resulted in his conviction.

The jail to which allusion is here made was a small one-story stone structure, extending four feet beneath the surface of the ground and abutting upon the rear wall of the court house, into which entrance was afterward made. It was not safe, and in after years was succeeded by the present compact and secure building. The account preceding was obtained from Mr. Eldred, who made the arrest of Watts in the first instance.

When the war broke out, Watts received a pardon, conditioned upon his enlisting in the service, which he did, and all subsequent trace of him was lost.

Mr. Darst lies buried in Oakwood Cemetery, where a plain tombstone relates that “David Darst was murdered by William Watts June 3, 1852.”

A most singular occurrence attended the end of Mr. Merriman. Just two years from the time in which his little dog was the means of enabling him to discover the dead body of Darst, he went wandering up the same ravine, and fell dead in the identical thicket whence he assisted in removing the murdered remains of his friend. The old man was missed by his neighbors, who instituted a thorough search for him, and, while passing through the little cooley back of the missing man’s hut, they encountered his dog. The animal again acted strangely, and scampered off to the thicket as he had done when Darst was missing, then returning and repeating this several times. The searchers finally followed the dog, and were led to the corpse of his master. It was thought that he met foul play, but an examination led to a verdict by a coroner’s jury that he had fallen down dead from an attack of heart disease, almost in the form hollowed out by the body of Darst two years before.

Thus ends the particulars of one of the pioneer murders committed in La Crosse after it became a county—certainly, one of the most cold-blooded and brutal the criminal annals anywhere record, and one whence escape from the usual penalties was comparatively easy. But the frontier settlements even then were too sparsely settled to admit of the expense of a cumbersome system of jurisprudence employed in older settled communities, and the first settlers were always a law unto themselves. But as time passed and the majesty of the law was established,the practice of holding one’s self responsible for his conduct became obsolete, and the redress of grievances was reserved to the courts, those agencies of civilization, and, so equitably have the scales of justice been adjusted, and so irresistibly right have questions arising thereunder been adjudicated, that if it is beyond the wisdom of man to avoid erring in all the affairs of this life, the practice of repetition in evils that have been decreed as such should have been abrogated years ago.

Title: History of La Crosse County, Wisconsin
Author: Consul Willshire Butterfield
Publisher: Western Historical Co., 1881
Pgs 395-400

Thevenard’s Cinderella

May 3, 2011

Image from Wiki Common


The origin of the tale from which this pantomime was adopted is sufficient curious. It was about the year 1870 that a French actor, of equal talent and wealth, named Thevenard, in passing through the streets of Paris, observed upon a cobler’s stall, the shoe of a female, which struck him by the remarkable smallness of its size. After admiring it for some time he returned to the house; but his thoughts reverted to the shoe with such intensity, that he reappeared at the stall the next day; but the cobler could give no other clue to the owner than that it had been left in his absence for the purpose of being repaired. Day after day did Thevenard return to his post to watch the reintegration of this slipper, which proceeded slowly; nor did the proprieter appear to claim it. Although he had completed the sixtieth year of his ae, so extravagant became his passion for the unknown fair one, that he became (were it possible for a Frenchman at that day to be so) melancholy and miserable. His pain was, however, somewhat appeased by the avater of the little foot itself, appertaining to a pretty and youthful girl in the very humblest class of life. All distinctions were leveled at once by love. The actor sought the parents of the female, procured their consent to the match, and actually made her his wife.

Watertown Chronicle (Watertown, Wisconsin) Jun 2, 1852

*Spelling differences/errors were in the original newspaper article.

A little about Thevenard from:

Title: The fascinating Duc de Richelieu, Louis Franqois Armand du Plessis (1696-1788).
Author: Hugh Noel Williams
Publisher: Methuen, 1910
Page 44

Grammar in Rhyme.

March 5, 2011

Image from the Calisphere website.


We advise every little Grammarian just entering on Murray, Brown, or any of the thousand Grammars in use, to commit to memory the following easy lines, and then they never need to mistake a part of speech. – Exchange paper.

1. Three little word you often see,
Are Articles — a, an and the.

2. A Noun’s the name of any thing,
As School or Garden, Hoop or Ring.

3. Adjectives tell the kind of Noun,
As great, small, pretty, red or brown.

4. Instead of Nouns the Pronouns stand —
Her head, his face, your arm, my hand.

5. Verbs tell of something being done —
To read, write, count, sing, jump or run.

6.How things are done the Adverbs tell,
As slowly, quickly, ill or well.

7. Conjunctions join the word together,
as men and women, wind or weather.

8. The Prepositions stand before
A Noun, as in or through a door.

9. The Interjections show surprise,
As oh! how pretty; ah! how wise.

The whole are called Nine Parts of Speech,
Which Reading, Writing, Speaking teach.

The Ohio Repository (Canton, Ohio) Mar 17, 1852


Another “GRAMMAR” poem:

Mrs. Grammar’s Ball

Faded Valentines

February 14, 2011


Paper lace and golden rings,
Doves and darts and dainty things,
Verses traced in letters quaint,
As the psalter of a saint.
Tucked away in dusty nooks,
As the leave of moldy books,
Where the moth in darkness dines,
Lie the sweet old valentines.

Ghosts of girls of olden times
Haunt the Cupids and the rhymes,
Winsome maids in combs and curls,
Scarlet heels and strings of pearls,
Gallants, too, in buckled shoes,
Jeweled swords and ribboned queues,
What romances one divines
From the yellow valentines!

All the hearts that fluttered so
Are in ashes long ago,
But I fancy belles and beaux,
Sweet with lavender and rose,
From the shadows reappear
In their places once a year,
And together read the lines
Of their faded valentines.

— Minna Irving, in Criterion

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Feb 17, 1899

MILAN, Ohio, Feb. 16, 1852.

FRIEND HADLEY — As this is the anniversary of that illustrious and widely honored personage, Saint Valentine, and delicately worded verses, on pretty little bits of sweet scented paper, so soft and velvety, and all bright as California round the edges, are just now “the rage,” perhaps a duplicate of one of these poetic effusions just drawn from a tender section of your friend and correspondent’s heart, as an offering to the shrine of its worships, may be an acceptable “item” for a corner of your paper.

To _____, of Chestnut Hill, Ohio.


St. Valentine’s day! indeed, ’tis very true,
And here I’m minus — really ’tis too bad!
Not one verse written — Oh, I’m, I’m glad,
For ’tis begun, a Valentine to you.

‘Tis not in fancy nor in jesst I write;
My words have meaning if you take them right —
Embellished not with language — but for sound,
Deep in their thoughts an affluence may be found.

Once on a time — it was not long ago —
No matter when — although you really know —
I met — don’t, I beg your pardon — ask me what
A lady, Georgie, close resembling you.

With eyes of lustre, bright as the gazelle’s,
I felt at once their glance and owned their spell.
Her form was light and agile as the roe;
In motions graceful as the willows grow.

Around her brow sweet auburn curls entwined,
Befitting Venus or a Josephine’s,
While o’er her face the graces did impart
A charm of beauty borrowed from no art.

But not in beauty had that face its charm,
Nor sylph like motions of that lovely form;
‘Twas more than this that had such magic spell,
And made the bosom with emotions swell!

‘Twas more than this that kindled hopes like mine,
Round which the joys of brighter days entwine;
‘Twas more than this that woke my silent lyre,
And warmed my heart with its celestial fire.

‘Twas mind, its treasures radiant with a glow,
Sparkling like pearls through waters deep below,
That gave to all like summer to the sky,
Those features charms, and brightness to the eye.

‘Twas heart — such hearts as few have known;
Oh, how I’d prize its affluence to own,
Kind to a fault, and noble as ’twas true;
(Here the resemblance makes me think of you.)
United to those cultured gifts so rare,
That crowned her queen among the jeweled fair.

Now all that’s left in semblance or in form,
Of that fair lady, bright as dewy morn,
By thee’s possessed; yes, Georgie’s thine,
And, I can’t but own it, am your Valentine.

Watertown Chronicle (Watertown, Wisconsin) Mar 3, 1852

The Tee Total Pledge

February 7, 2011


Note 1, the object at which they are aiming, viz, the removal of a nuisance, — the total overthrow of the rum casks. All the parties engaged seem to have this object in view, and all are laboring in their respective ways to accomplish it.

Note 2, the different kinds of instruments used for the purpose. Every one must be struck with the admirable adaptedness of the Teetotalers‘ fixtures to accomplish the object. Here is a fulcrum with a broad base, immovably fixed at a suitable distance, upon a solid foundation; lever of suitable size and length is nicely adjusted under the nuisance, and rests upon this fulcrum. Our teetotal men throw their weight upon the extreme end of the lever, and it would seem as certain as the laws of mechanics that the whole range of rum casks must tilt over.

But just as they begin to exult in the prospect of certain success by their admirable contrivance, one of them hastily cries out, “Hold, hold, neighbors, not too fast. You fulcrum is too near; I am afraid you will do injury to our cause by this precipitate measure. Let me place my moderation fulcrum under the lever, a little further back. We must be cautious, gentlemen, that we don’t injure the cause. Bear away upon my fulcrum while I hold on and steady it.”

These honest and zealous neighbors, ever ready to do any thing to remove the evil, again throw their whole weight upon the lever. They pull, and tug, and sweat, till they almost break the lever itself. But the rum casks stand firm; they budge not an inch. The moderation man persists in holding on to his fulcrum, and insists upon it that his plan is the only one that can succeed.

Now is it not perfectly apparent that all efforts upon “moderation” are utterly useless, and that the strength expended by it is lost.

Is it not then perfectly evident, that Mr. Moderation, however well meant his efforts, is in reality standing in  the way of more effectual measures, and doing more hurt than good to the cause.

Is it not also as clear as noonday, that if we would succeed, “moderation” should be laid aside, and all our efforts concentrated upon the “teetotal pledge.”

We commend the above illustration to the consideration of our moderate friends. It certainly contains matter for their serious reflection.

Alton Observer (Alton, Illinois) Jul 20, 1837

Image from the Melissa Launay Fine Arts website.

From the New England Spectator.

The Temperance dinner and celebration was held at the Marlboro’ hotel, which was opened on that day, by Mr. Rogers. Mr. Fletcher, member of Congress from this district, presided.

We were much gratified to find such an array of talent and influence at a tee-total dinner, on the 4th of July, and at the opening of a tee-total hotel. It augurs well to the cause. Among others, were the editors of the Advocate and Mercantile Journal, Mr. Hallett and Mr. Sleeper; of the Clergy, Rev. Dr. Pierce, Mr. Pierpont, Mr. Taylor, Mr. Stow, Mr. N. Adams, Mr. Colman, Mr. Clough, &c.; and of other distinguished citizens, John Tappan, Moses Grant, Stephen Fairbanks, Dr. Walter Channing, &c.; and Mr. Snelling and others of the legal profession. There was a degree of hilarity suited to the occasion; and we did not see but that the inspiration of wit and poetry was as well excited by cold water as it usually is by wine.

At the close of the dinner, the following appropriate old composed for the occasion by Rev. Mr. Pierpont, was sung:

In Eden’s green retreats,
A water-brook, that played
Between soft, mossy seats
Beneath a plane-tree’s shade,
Whose rustling leaves
Danced o’er its brink, —
Was Adam’s drink,
and also Eve’s.

Beside the parent spring
Of that young brook, the pair
Their morning chant would sing;
And Eve, to dress her hair,
Kneel on the grass
That fringed its side,
And make its tide
Her looking glass.

And when the man of God
From Egypt led his flock,
They thirsted, and his rod
Smote the Arabian rock
And forth a rill
Of water gushed,
And on they rushed,
And drank their fill.

Would Eden thus have smiled
Had wine to Eden come?
Would Horeb’s parching wild
Have been refreshed with rum?
and had Eve’s hair
Been dressed in gin,
Would she have been
Reflected fair?

Had Moses built a still,
And dealt out to that host,
To every man his gill,
And pledged him in a toast,
How large a band,
Of Israel’s sons
Had laid their bones
In Canaan’s land?

“Sweet fields, beyond” death’s flood
“Stands dressed in living green;”
For, from the throne of God,
To freshen all the scene.
A river rolls,
Where all who will
May come and fill
Their crystal bowls.

If Eden’s strength and bloom
COLD WATER thus hath given,
If, even beyond the tomb,
It is the drink of Heaven,
Are not good wells,
And chrystal springs
The very things,
For our HOTELS?

Alton Observer (Alton, Illinois) Jul 27, 1837

Image from the Ohio History Central website.


There is a society of young ladies in Hartford, who pledge themselves not to receive the addresses of any young man who has not signed the tee-total pledge.

At a temperance meeting, not long since, a fair one offered the pledge to her friend, saying, “John, will you sign that?”

He hesitated, and finally declined. “Then,” said she, “you will understand, I shall not be at home next Sunday evening.

Madison Express (Madison, Wisconsin) Apr 14, 1842

‘The moon,’ said a total-abstinence orator, ‘is not quite ‘tee tee total,’ but she lets her ‘Moderation’ be known to all men, for she only ‘fills her horn once a month.

‘Then she fills it with something very strong;’ observed a by stander, ‘for I’ve often seen her half gone.’

‘Ay,’ said another, ‘and I have seen her ‘full.”

Tioga Eagle (Wellsboro, Pennsylvania) Jul 13, 1842

Image from Karen’s Whimsy

“A frog,” says Professor Pump, “is an amphibious animal, as vat likers on cold water, consequently he inwented the teetotal society. He always walks with a jump he does; and ven he sits down he has to stand up. Being a lover of native melodoes, he gives free concerts every night, he does himself. He perwides music for the millyon which he has been so called because it is usually heard in the mill pond. He is a varmint wot aint so bad when broiled on a griddle. No sir ree.

Rock River Pilot (Watertown, Wisconsin) Jul 5, 1848

Image from the National Women’s History Museum website.

Maine Liquor Law.


It is worthy of note that a large proportion of the Tee-totalers when they go a journey, leave their tee-total principles at home and become temperance men, and take a little wine or brandy occasionally for the stomach’s saxe and their many infirmities. Again it is asserted that a large majority of the people in the State are in favor of the Maine Law. —

Democratic State Register (Watertown, Wisconsin) Mar 15, 1852


An honest farmer in this State married a Miss from a fashionable boarding-school, for his second wife. He was struck dumb with her eloquence, and gaped with wonder at his wife’s learning.

“You may, said he, bore a hole through the solid airth, and chuck in a mill-stone, and she will tell you to a shavin’ how long the stone will be going clean threw. She has kimistery and cockneylogy, and talks a heap about ox hides and chimical affinities.

I used to think that it was air I sucked in every time I expired, howsomever, she telled me that she knew better — she telled me that I had been sucking in two kinds of gin! ox gin and high gin! I’m a tumble town tee total temperance man, and yet have been drinking ox gin, and high gin all my life.”

The Adams Sentinel (Gettsyburg, Pennsylvania) Nov 28,  1860

From Wiki

Teetotal Huzza.


As I rambled about one fine summers night,
I passed by some children who sung with delight,
And this was their ditty they sang at their play,
Teetotal forever, teetotal huzza.

Our fathers were sots, they had learned to love ale,
Our mothers were ragged, and their faces were pale;
The teetotal breeze blew their rags all away,
Teetotal forever, teetotal huzza.

Our bonnets were torn, and our shoes went click clack;
Our frocks went to uncles and could not get back;
But master Teetotaler did fetch them away,
Teetotal forever, teetotal huzza.

Our houses were naked, we had scarcely a chair,
The strong drink had broken the  crockery ware,
We have now chairs, and tables, and china so gay,
Teetotal forever, teetotal huzza.

We lived on dry bread, and just what we could get,
And if we had nothing we scarcely durst fret.
We have now beef and pudding, on each Sabbath day,
Teetotal forever, teetotal huzza.

We lived in deep sorrow, and darkness, and strife,
And who knows the ills of a drunkard’s child’s life.
But now we are happy, can dance, sing and play,
Teetotal forever, teetotal huzza.

Cedar Falls Gazette (Cedar Falls, Iowa) Feb 12, 1869

A water-spout — A teetotal lecture.

Indiana Progress (Indiana, Prennsylvania) Jan 29, 1874

Why Catsup? It’s Ketchup

January 28, 2011

Image from Grow & Resist.

When I first ran across this article for Ohio Ketchup, I had no idea that “ketchup” was ever anything except the red stuff that comes in a bottle.

Seasonable Recipes.

OHIO KETCHUP. — The Buckeyes are in the habit of making a certain kind of ketchup which I have found no where else, and have, therefore, taken the liberty to call it “The Ohio Ketchup.” Is is an article that should be found in every household. You may pardon me for not attempting to give you an idea of its deliciousness, because my pen cannot do justice to the subject. The season will soon be here when this “happy combination of vegetables” can very easily be made. I will therefore transcribe the receipt for the benefit of your readers: Take about three dozen full grown cucumbers, and eight white onions. Peel the cucumbers and onions; then chop them as finely as possible; then sprinkle upon them three-quarters of a pint of fine table salt, then put the whole into a sieve and let it drain for eight hours; then take a tea cup-full of mustard seed, half a cup of ground black pepper, and mix these well with the cucumbers and onions; then put the whole into a stone jar and fill up with the strongest vinegar and close tightly. In three days it will be fit for use, and will keep for years.

Let all your readers give the Ohio Ketchup a fair trial, and you and I will receive sixty thousand thanks for letting them into the secret of making it.

TO PRESERVE TOMATOS. — The following has been handed to us as the receipt of a good housewife for preserving or “curing” tomatoes so effectually that they may be brought out at any time between the seasons “good as new,” with precisely the same flavor of the original article; Get sound tomatoes, peal them, and prepare just the same as for cooking, squeeze them as fine as possible, put them into a kettle, bring them to a boil, season with pepper and salt; then put them in stone jugs, taken directly from water in which they (the jugs) have been boiled. — Seal the jugs immediately, and keep them in a cool place.

Watertown Chronicle (Watertown, Wisconsin) Sep 4, 1850

NOTE: The Republic Compiler (Gettysburg, PA) Jul 29, 1850,  also carried this article and  included its author as E.B.R. Springfield, Clarke co., Ohio, 1850.

TOMATO KETCHUP. — The following, from long experience, we know to be the best receipt extant for making tomato ketchup.
Take one bushel of tomatoes, and boil them until they are soft. Squeeze them through a fine wire sive, and add —

Half a gallon of vinegar,
One pint and a half of salt,
Two ounces of cloves,
Quarter of a pound of allspice,
Three ounces of cayenne pepper,
Three table-spoonful of black pepper,
Five heads of garlic, skinned and seperated.

Mix together and boil about three hours, or until reduced to about one-half. Then bottle without straining.

Daily Commercial Register (Sandusky, Ohio) Sep 9, 1852

** Bushel: In dry measurements, equals 8 gallons or 32 quarts of a commodity. Associated Content from Yahoo

Tomato Catsup — Tomato Sauce.

As the season is drawing near for all good housekeepers to commence putting up different kinds of preserves, pickles, &c., we copy the following recipe from the August number of the [American Agriculturist] for making tomato catsup and sauce: “The basis of tomato catsup, or ketchup, is the pulp of ripe tomatoes. Many defer making catsup until late in the season, when the cool nights cause the fruit to ripen slowly, and it may be t is gathered hurriedly for fear of a frost. The late fruit does not yield so rich a pulp as that gathered in its prime.

The fruit should have all green portions cut out, and be stewed gently until thoroughly cooked. The pulp is then to be separated from the skins, by rubbing through a wire sieve so fine as to retain the seeds. The liquor thus obtained is to be evaporated to a thick pulp, over a slow fire, and should be stirred to prevent scorching. The degree of evaporation will depend upon how thick it is desired to have the catsup. We prefer to make it so that it will just poor freely from the bottle. We observe no regular rule in flavoring. Use sufficient salt. Season with cloves, allspice, and mace, bruised and tied in a cloth, and boiled in the pulp; add a small quantity of powdered cayenne.

Some add the spices ground fine, directly to the pulp. A clove of garlic, bruised and tied in a cloth, to be boiled with the spices, imparts a delicious flavor. Some evaporate the pulp to a greater thickness than is needed, and then thin with vinegar or with wine. An excellent and useful tomato sauce may be made by preparing the pulp, but adding no spices, and putting it in small bottles while hot, corking securely and sealing. If desired, the sauce may be salted before bottling, but this is not essential. To add to soups, stews, sauces and made dishes, a sauce thus prepared is an excellent substitute for the fresh fruit. It should be put in small bottles containing as much as will be wanted at once, as it will not keep long after opening.

The Heral and Torch Light (Hagerstown, Maryland) Aug 2, 1882

— Old Virginia Ketchup. — Take one peck of green tomatoes, half a peck of white onions, three ounces of white mustard seed, one ounce each of allspice and cloves, half a pint of mixed mustard, an ounce of black pepper and celery seed each, and one pound of brown sugar. Chop the tomatoes and onions, sprinkle with salt and let stand three hours; drain the water off; put in a preserve kettle with the other ingredients. Cover with vinegar, and set on the fire to boil slowly for one hour.

— Ladies’ Home Journal.

The Wellsboro Gazette (Wellsboro, Pennsylvania Sep 5, 1895

** Peck: Equivalent of 2 gallons of dry weight, or 10 to 14 pounds.  Associated Content from Yahoo

Image from the Local Food Local Farms Local Sustainability website.


Why catsup? Nearly every bottle which comes from a public manufacturer is emblazened with that spelling. Wrong Ketchup is the word. It is a corruption of the Japanese word kitjap, which is a condiment somewhat similar to soy. It is a pick me up, a stirrer of the digestive organs, a katch me up, and hence its application to the mingling of tomatoes and spices, whose name it should bear.

— Philadelphia Times.

North Adams Transcript (North Adams, Massachusetts) Jan 15, 1896

NOTE: At the link for the mushroom ketchup (scroll down,) it says that Ketchup came from a Chinese word, rather than Japanese.

Image from the Simple Bites website – Real Food for the Family TableCanning 101 Home Canned Tomatoes


When you cut up the tomatoes remove that part of pulp which holds the seeds, as that produced only some of the watery fluid which afterward must be got rid of. Then cook the tomatoes until perfectly soft and strain like this: Take a pan sieve; place over a two gallon crock, the top of which is a little smaller than the sieve. Set the crock in a dishpan. When you pour the hot tomatoes in the sieve, the thinnest liquid will run through the edge which extends over the crock, into the pan, and you can throw all that liquid away, which otherwise would have to be boiled away. Then with a spoon, and afterward with your hands, rub the tomatoes through the sieve. In half the time the ketchup is better and thicker than ever. When it doesn’t cook too long, the ketchup also is lighter in color. This fact, and because I tie the spices in a bag, makes it as bright as that you buy.

Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) Jul 1, 1907

Sauce for Chops.

Pound fine an ounce of black pepper and half an ounce of allspice, with an ounce of salt, and a half ounce of scraped horseradish and the same of shalots peeled and quartered; put these ingredients into a pint of mushroom ketchup or walnut pickle; let them steep for a fortnight and then strain it. A teaspoonful or two of this is generally an acceptable addition, mixed with the gravy usually sent up for chops and steaks; or added to thick melted butter.

Another delightful sauce for chops is made by taking two wineglasses of port and two of walnut pickle; four of mushroom ketchup; half a dozen anchovies pounded, and a like number of shalots sliced and pounded; a tablespoonful of soy and half a drachm of Cayenne pepper; let them simmer gently for ten minutes; then strain, and when cold put into bottles, well corked and sealed over. It will keep for a considerable time.

Suburbanite Economist (Chicago, Illinois) Jan 23, 1914

American Pickles for Queen Victoria.

Lusden & Gibson, grocers, of Aberdeen, Scotland, regularly supply Balmoral Castle, the Queen’s residence, with Heinz’s sweet pickles, tomato soup, pickled onions, ketchup and chutney. The goods are supplied through H.J. Heinz Company’s London Branch.

— New York Sun.

The News (Frederick, Maryland) Mar 1, 1899

T.M. Shallenberger comes to the defense of labor as an institution. The subject is one that admits of endless discussion, without arriving anywhere. If a man like to work, it is entirely proper that he should be given the privilege; but it not fair that people who detest work are compelled to work if they would be considered respectable. It  would be just as reasonable to compel a man to play ball, although he abhors the game.

There is something wrong with the man who really enjoys working: he is not balanced right; the busy bee is a sample worker; it sweats around all day, going three or four miles to get raw material that could be obtained just as well a few yards from the hive.

Ketchup is another worker; when it is bottled, instead of taking things easy, it begins to work and gets sour and spoiled. That is the way with most people who work; they get sour and spoiled.

We are arranging to organize a new political party, composed of non-workers. The only toll permitted will be the working of candidates for cigars, which is a pleasing and profitable employment.

The Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) Aug 13, 1899

I wonder if this works:

Household Hints

WHEN cooking ketchup, etc., try putting a few marbles into the kettle to prevent burning. The heat will keep the marbles rolling and prevent the stuff from sticking to the kettle.

Appleton Post Crescent (Appleton, Wisconsin) Jun 9, 1922

When the slow eater calls for ketchup, he means business.

–[N.O. Picayune.

The Mountain Democrat (Placerville, California Jun 19, 1880

When Casey’s small son was asked by the teacher to give the plural of tomato, he promptly answered: “Ketchup, mem.”

Suburbanite Economist (Chicago, Illinois) Jul 4, 1913

The following poems aren’t  ABOUT ketchup, but the do mention it. I have bolded ketchup:

Image from the USDA National Agricultural Library

A Sunnit to the Big Ox

Composed while standin within 2 feet of Him, and a Tuchin’ of Him now and then.

All hale! thou mighty annimil–all hale!
You are 4 thousand pounds, and am purty wel
Perporshund, thou tremenjos boveen nuggit!
I wonder how big you was wen you
Wos little, and if yure muther wud no you now
That you’ve grone so long, and thick, and phat;
Or if yure father would rekognize his ofspring
And his kaff, thou elefanteen quodrupid!
I wonder if it hurts you mutch to be so big,
And if you grode it in a month or so.
I spose wen you wos young tha didn’t gin
You skim milk but all the kreme you kud stuff
Into your little stummick, jest to see
How big yude gro; and afterward tha no doubt
Fed you on otes and ha and sich like,
With perhaps an occasional punkin or squosh!
In all probability yu don’t no yure enny
Bigger than a small kaff; for if you did,

Yude brake down fences and switch your tail,
And rush around, and hook, and beller,
And run over fowkes, thou orful beast
O, what a lot of mince pize yude maik,
And sassengers, and your tale,
Whitch kan’t wa fur from phorty pounds,
Wud maik nigh unto a barrel of ox-tail soop,
And cudn’t a heep of stakes be cut oph yu,
Whitch, with salt and pepper and termater
Ketchup, wouldn’t be bad to taik.
Thou grate and glorious inseckt!
But I must klose, O most prodijus reptile!
And for mi admirashun of yu, when yu di,
I’le rite a node unto yore peddy and remanes,
Pernouncin’ yu the largest of yure race;
And as I don’t expect to have a half a dollar
Agin to spare for to pa to look at yu, and as
I ain’t a ded head, I will sa, farewell.

LeRoy Gazette (LeRoy, New York) Apr 20, 1859


I built a house for Cinty Ann — an made it red and rich,
An rigged it up with cuperlows an lightnin rods and sich,
An built a wide piazzer roun ware she could set and sew,
An take her knittin work an gab with ole Kerturah Snow.

An Cinthy Ann was happy fer about a week or so,
And then she foun the chimbley draft wus workin ruther slow;
For the smoke came in her kitchen an she couldn’t bake her pies,
An her pudd’n only sizzled, an her johnny cake wouldn’t rise.

An soon she foun her buttry wuz too small to hol her stuff,
For apple sass and blackb’ry jell it wasn’t large enough,
An all her things were scrooched right in ez tight ez she could cram,
Her pickles, an her ketchup, an her elderberry jam.

An then a dog day storm came on an drizzled for a week,
An the roof around the chimney had to go an spring a leak,
An mildewed four er my white shirts thet she hed made an biled,
An her winter muff was rooined and her weddin dress was spiled.

An then sez I to Cinthy, w’en she sut down to cry,
“Ther ain’t no home upon this side the mansions in the sky
But what has some leak in the roof, some trouble in the flue,
Some mis’ble cluttered buttry” — an poor Cinthy said “Boo hoo!”

We build our pooty houses that are ternal fine to see,
An we stick’em up with cuperlows and sich like filigree,
An in our dreams they’re fair ez heaven, but let us wait a week,
This pooty palace of our dreams is sure to spring a leak.

— S.W. Foss in Yankee Blade.

Edwardsville Intelligencer (Edwardsville, Illinois) Sep 14, 1892

Boiler Explosion of the Locomotive, Achilles Proves Fatal

December 7, 2010

Above image of the DL&W camelback 4-4-0 #952 (not the train mentioned in the article) is from the Kodtrak Kountry website, where you can find more New York train history.

Terrible Railroad Accident.

SYRACUSE, Nov. 21.

The freight train of the Syracuse and Utica railroad, this morning about 4 o’clock, drawn by two engines, when about three quarters of a mile from the depot, the boiler of the foremost locomotive, Achilles, exploded with disastrous consequences. It exploded in the fire box — The machinery and wood work were demolished, and the locomotive is left and almost worthless wreck. The power of the agent of this mischief may be imagined from the fact, that the entire locomotive was lifted from the tract and carried around so as to lie directly across the second parallel track, and the tender was thrown entirely off the track in an opposite direction.

Israel Morgan, engineer, was blown into the air, and fell in the road about 150 feet distant. He received the full effect of the steam and hot water upon his person as it was forced through the door of the furnace. Most of his clothes were torn from his person, and his body was terribly scalded and burned.

William Canton, the fireman, was in a more fortunate location, and tho’ blown some feet to the side of the road, where he was found in an insensible condition, escaped with some scalding and bruises, which are not considered mortal.

The second locomotive, Thesis, had nearly the entire machinery of one side carried away.

Messrs. Howard and Palmer, the engineer and fireman, narrowly escaped injury.

The probable cause of the explosion, was high steam and low water, preparatory to accomplishing the difficult grade of road as it leaves the city.

Watertown Chronicle (Watertown, Wisconsin) Dec 1, 1852

The above article is almost identical to the one below; one a few words appear to be changed.


Syracuse, Sunday, Nov. 21. — 7 1/2 P.M.

The morning freight train on the Syracuse and Utica Railroad, this morning started from the East at 4 o’clock drawn by two locomotives. When about three-quarters of a mile from this depot, the foremost locomotive — the Achilles — exploded with terrible and disastrous consequences. The boiler exploded in the fire box. The machinery and wood work were rent asunder or demolished, and the locomotive left an almost worthless wreck.

The power of the agent of this mischief may be imagined, from the fact, that the entire locomotive was lifted from the track, and carried around so as to lie directly across the second and parallel track, and the tender was thrown entirely clear of the track, in the opposite direction.

ISRAEL MORGAN, the engineer, was blown into the air, and fell in the road, about one hundred and fifty feet distant. He received the full effects of the steam and heated water upon his person, as it was forced through the door of the furnace, and was undoubtedly instantly killed. Most of the clothes were torn from his body, and he was terribly scalded and burned.

The fireman was in a more fortunate location, and although blown some feet to the side of the road, where he was found in an insensible condition, he escaped with a severe scalding and bruising, which are not considered mortal.

The second locomotive — the Thesis — had nearly the entire machinery of one side carried away. MESSRS. HOWARD and PALMER, the engineer and fireman of this engine, narrowly escaped injury.

The probable cause of the explosion was high steam and low water, preparatory to accomplishing the difficult grade of the road as it leaves the city.

MR. MORGAN had been an engineer some seven or eight years, and was considered very careful and competent. He leaves a wife and three children.

The report of the explosion was tremendous, and was heard at a great distance. Fragments of the locomotive were thrown hundreds of feet, and several houses on either side of the street were slightly damaged by the clapboards breaking through, windows smashed, &c. MR. MORGAN’S watch was found in a vacant lot fully two hundred feet from the scene of the disaster. It was still running, and in no way damaged, except that the crystal was cracked.

The loss to the Syracuse and Utica Railroad Company by the accident, is estimated at from twelve to fifteen thousand dollars.

The New York Times – Nov 22, 1852

The New York Times article can be found on the GenDisasters website.

Make Mad the Hearts – Pumpkin Pie

November 21, 2010

Pumpkin Pies.


Let some folks boast of spicy mince,
Care not a fig for such do I;
Or largely talk of sweetened quince,
Fine as the luscious grape of Lintz,
Plumbs doubly dipped in Syrian dye —
I deem them tasteless all as flints,
Compared with one good pumpkin pie.

I know our pumpkins do not claim
The honored growth of foreign soil;
They never felt the torid flame,
And surely they are not to blame,
Though reared not by the bondsman’s toil,
In clime where man, to burden tame.
Unpaid, consents to tug and broil.

Talk not of vineyards breaking down,
And fields that droop with oil and wine;
Where burning suns with ripeners crown
The sweets that man’s best manhood drown,
By lying poets sworn divine.
I rather have than all — don’t frown —
The product of my pumpkin vine.

See, on you melon covered height,
My chosen fruit, like globes of gold,
Lies ripening in the sunbeam light,
Ah, ’tis a stomach staying sight.
And soon to house them from the cold,
Shall freemen with strong hands unite.
Paid laborers and freemen bold.

And then the girls who make our pies,
Bless them! all other maids outshine.
Their raven locks, and hazel eyes,
And cheeks, whose ever changing dyes
The lily and the rose combine,
Make mad the hearts that love the prize
Of all this loveliness divine.

Vermont! thou art a glorious state,
Though small in acres and in skies,
But ’tis not length that makes one great,
Nor breadth that gives a nation size.
Thy mountains ane thy mountain air,
Have reared a noble race of men,
And women, fairest of the fair,
Their labors and their love to share.
Where shall we see thy like again?
I love thee all, which most, I shan’t advise
Thy mountains, maidens, or thy pumpkin pies.

Watertoown Chronicle (Watertown, Wisconsin) Jan 14, 1852


January 18, 2010

From the N.Y. Tribune.



The Old men all remember —
as ‘it were but yesterday —
When Britian sought, on Freedom’s soil,
Againt to plant her sway,
The Old men all remember
Who hurled her back again —
‘Twas Winfield Scott at Chippewa,
‘Twas Scott, at Lundy’s Lane!
So fling for Scott the banner out,
And sing for Scott hurrah;
With him we can the Locos rout,
And win for Chippewa.

The Young men all remember —
‘Twas not five years ago —
Who led our boats to victory,
And conquered Mexico;
The Young men all remember
How Churabusco’s field,
And Vera Cruz, and Contreras,
Where made by Scott to yield!
So fling for Scott the banner out,
And sing for Scott hurrah;
With him we can the Locos rout,
And win for Chippewa.

The Old men and the Young men —
With Scott to lead the fight —
From hill and dale, from shore and wave,
Will rally and unite;
The Old men and the Young men —
With Scott to lead them on —
Will make the hero of two wars,
Their chief at Washington!
So fling for Scott the banner out,
And sing for Scott hurrah,
With him we can the Locos route,
And win for Chippewa.

The Huron Reflector (Norwalk, Ohio) Aug 24, 1852