200 YEARS AGO
Excerpts from a letter from the pen of John Jay, then a former Attorney General of New York State, since retired: “Little can be added to what has been said and written on the subject of Slavery. I concur in the opinion that it ought not to be introduced, nor permitted, in any of the new States, and that it ought to be gradually diminished and finally abolished in all of them. To me the constitutional authority of the Congress, to prohibit the migration and importation of Slaves, into any of the States, does not appear questionable. The first article of the Constitution specifies the legislative powers committed to the Congress. The ninth section of that article has these words; “The migration or importation of such persons as any of the now existing states shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the year 1808; but a tax or duty may be imposed on such importation not exceeding ten dollars for each person.” It will, I presume be admitted, that slaves were the persons intended. The word slaves was avoided, probably on account of the existing toleration of slavery, and its discordancy with the principles of the Revolution, and from a consciousness of its being repugnant to the
following position in the Declaration of Independence.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights – that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
December 20, 1819
175 YEARS AGO
Honor to whom Honor is due – A Ball, given in honor of James K. Polk, commemorating the joyful event of his election to the Presidency and the triumph of Democratic Principles came off at Middlefield Centre on Friday, November 29, and in a manner creditably to all concerned. The Ball Room was beautifully decorated with Democratic Banners, Devices and Mottos, together with the pictures and portraits of the several Presidents of the United Sates, among which a full-length portrait of the President-Elect attracted particular attention. Such a galaxy of wit and beauty from Middlefield, Springfield and Cooperstown never before assembled in this place; which, together with the exhilarating music, rendered it a scene of peculiar enjoyment. The rooms were thronged with young democrats more than usually gallant, and it was only regretted, not that the company was so numerous, but that the place was not more commodious. The sumptuous entertainment prepared by Mr. Wickwire was characterized by his usual hospitality. A Looker-on. Middlefield, December 3, 1844.
December 16, 1844
150 YEARS AGO
Local: Judge Nelson is now at his home in this village, and is in most excellent health. Hard work at Washington seems to agree with him.
We are requested by some of our best citizens again to call the attention of the Trustees of this village to the rowdyism and street fights which so frequently occur in and near the Main Street of this village, and to urge them to appoint at least for a brief period, an efficient and active Police, that will put a prompt and effectual stop to this growing evil.
December 23, 1869
125 YEARS AGO
Editorial: “The curse of the retail credit business,” said a dealer here the other day, “is seen more and more. If it does not bankrupt those who pursue it, their profits are cut down to a low figure, or others are charged too much to make up the losses. It is demoralizing and ought to be abandoned.” Very true. But, that is not the whole story, briefly told. It drives away not a few cash customers, who insist that they are entitled to better terms than those who get a credit of six to twelve months. It leads to extravagance in many families – it is too easy to say “charge it,” and often so hard to pay later on. Many an upright man has been driven to suicide, to drunkenness, or some other crime, by being run into debt unnecessarily and heedlessly by his family.
December 20, 1894
75 YEARS AGO
Despite the highest population of all states New York is coming into its own as one of the greatest deer-producing regions in the nation. Such was indicated by the still incomplete tabulation of the 1944 take which soared to a new record of 26,305 deer, of which nearly 19,000 were taken in the nineteen Southern Tier and Western counties where damage to agriculture has become serious. With unusually poor hunting conditions this year, 3,756 bucks were taken, a drop from 1943 when 4,515 bucks were reported. In the Catskills, Sullivan County exceeded the previous year’s take of 667 deer by nearly 100.
December 20, 1944
50 YEARS AGO
For the third season, the Mt. Otsego Ski Area in Pierstown has been leased from Lester Hanson of Cooperstown by Harry Peplinski, Theodore Lamb and Robert Pierro. The Cooperstown Ski Club has been making improvements on the hill. They have expanded the main hill on the top. The club has also been working on the lighting for night skiing. The ski area will be open weekends and on school holidays. There are 200 acres of slopes and trails, a T-bar and three rope tows, a ski shop, ski school and snack bar. A ski patrol, under the direction of George Ehrmann, is on duty.
December 17, 1969
25 YEARS AGO
The untimely death of a senior at Cooperstown Central School has wrought grief among students and faculty alike. Carey Ann Thayer, 18, died suddenly at her home Monday morning. “We got word today,” said Middle School Principal David Pearlman Monday evening, “about what happened that a senior girl had died. I was called out of class at about 1 p.m. and I went into a meeting with Doug Bradshaw, Barry Gould,” members of the crisis team. The senior class had just returned from its senior trip to New York City to see a play, getting back at 2 a.m. Sunday. “We were all shocked,” Pearlman added, “especially in light of the senior trip. She’s with friends one day, and a few days later you hear that she’s gone.”
December 14, 1994