Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Two Corinthians Walk Into a Bar: The War on Christmas Holidays

Happy mem'ries, Christmases past

Warm wishes they'll in future last

Holy days once celebrated;

Down to one they have been grated.

"Department stores, you must shop now!"

says orange priest of golden cow.

this Servant being in an Airy Gale in the Christmas Holidays

American Weekly Mercury [Philadelphia, PA]. March 13, 1733: 2.

The said Magistrate, for preventing the Mischiefs and Outrages usually committed in the Christmas Holidays, thought fit to publish an Order for all Vintners, Victuallers, Cooks, Keepers of Ordinaries, Limonade Houses, &c. not to keep their Shops open, or sell any thing after Eight a Clock at Night, on Penalty of a Fine.

Pennsylvania Gazette [Philadelphia]. June 2, 1737: 1.

PORTSMOUTH, December 6.

Extract of a Letter from a Gentleman in London, to his Friend in this Town, dated Sept. 29, 1765.

"We just begin to hear of the Disturbances occasioned by the STAMP-ACT in America, and I assure you it will occasion as much here, more especially among the Woolen Manufacturers, great Numbers of whom are out of Employment, and are destitute of Support for their Families. The Parliament I believe will not meet till after Christmas Holidays are over, when I hope to have the Pleasure of informing you of a removal of the Grievances in Trade, which are so justly complained of by the Americans.”

Boston New-Letter. December 12, 1765: 2.

Tuesday next is the day fixed for both Houses of Parliament adjourning for the Christmas holidays.

Pennsylvania Gazette [Philadelphia]. February 24, 1773: 2.

It was a paltry and illiberal spirit who first broached the intention of robbing the negroes of their rude pastimes in the Christmas holidays. Is not slavery dreadful enough without adding to its horrors, by debarring the miserable creatures, whose hard fate it is to be thus degraded, of what each of them fondly thinks an inherent right? Away then with the unworthy idea! and let these unhappy wretches enjoy their little annual measure of happiness without molestation.

Pennsylvania Packet. January 29, 1785: 2.

the christmas holidays was the time fixed on for the rising

Alexandria Advertiser [VA]. January 29, 1801: 3.

A review of these contents brings at once before us, our happy holidays [...] The publishers have sent forth this volume in a delicate holiday dress; and we hope many good boys will receive it from their parents and teachers, as an acceptable Christmas and New Year's Present.

Boston Traveler. December 18, 1829: 3.

What bustle, what preparation, what feasting, what dancing gave the country folk enough to talk about during the happy Christmas holidays

Boston Traveler. May 11, 1830: 1.

The editor of the Bedford (Pa.) Inquirer has recently been married to a Miss Holliday. We wish him a great many happy holidays of happiness, besides a number of little Hollidays.

Dedham Patriot [MA]. November 22, 1838: 2.

the cheered mother would sit by the bedside, and talk to her girl of the merry holidays that were soon coming, and promising the poor child what she had never known before—a handsome Christmas box.

"Little Jane's Christmas Box." Times-Picayune [New Orleans, LA]. December 30, 1841: 2.

MR. EDITOR,—The merry Christmas holidays have come at last

National Aegis [Worcester, MA]. January 5, 1843: 2.

The holidays are upon us […] let the holidays be to them holidays indeed.

Times-Picayune. December 22, 1843: 2.


The merry, happy holidays,

Are with us here once more.

New-York Tribune. December 25, 1843. 3.


Of course we must have something to say upon this subject, as we are, at the very moment of writing, in the midst of the joyous holidays.

Edgefield Advertiser [SC]. December 27, 1854: 2.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Three Twenty-Nine (1865)

        Only one line,

        Three twenty-nine.

                Three Twenty-nine.

What was it that from Ames I took,

Stowed snugly in my pocketbook,

And then resumed my saintly look?


What was it, when the act was known,

That made my pious spirit groan

'Till I would have it called a loan?


What, when my case seemed very bad,

Did I in solemn tones and sad

Swear that I never, never had?


What did Ames have in black and white

That showed me up in my true light,

And left me in a sorry plight?


What were thus proved beyond a doubt

The figures for which I sold out,

And which I since have lied about?


What, more than any other thing—

Than salary grab or paving Ring—

My downfall at the polls shall bring?



When old Garfield is elected,

        In your mind, in your mind;

We'll have spoils that we expected,

        In your mind, in your mind;

Good fat jobs and contracts sure,

Like De Golyer and Mobilier,

We can county on them, that's clear.

        In your mind, in your mind;

For we'll count him in this year.

        In your mind.

Down in Maine we'll fix the figures,

        In your mind, in your mind;

We are first class thimble-riggers,

        In your mind, in your mind;

We need only give our sign,

Which we call "329,"

But of fraud we've no design,

        In your mind, in your mind;

Old Zach, didn't think it crime,

        In his mind.

Lansinburgh Courier. October 1, 1880: 2 cols 3-4.

        The Democrats might have been able to defeat Garfield if they had concentrated on his involvement in the Crèdit Mobilier scandal (see SCHUYLER COLFAX). During the Grant administration Garfield had received a $329 dividend check for stock in Crèdit Mobilier of America. Although he had never purchased any stock in the company, he had accepted the dividend check. The Democrats were effectively ridiculing his excuse that he thought it was a campaign contribution and identifying Garfield with corruption through use of the derisive slogan "three twenty-nine" ($329). However, the publication of a letter ostensibly signed by Garfield and advocating support of unrestricted immigration of Chinese backfired. The letter was exposed as a forgery, and Garfield won the election by a close popular but comfortable electoral vote, 214 to 155.

O'Brien, Steven G. American Political Leaders from Colonial Times to the Present. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC- CLIO, 1991. 152.

Gyory, Andrew. "The Phony Document that Almost Cost a President His Election (No, Not the CBS Bush Guard Memo)." History News Network. October 24, 2004.

"An 1880 'October Surprise.'" The Blog of James A. Garfield National Historic Site. October 19, 2012.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

"Sleigh Riding" by J.B. (1848)

        A GENTLEMAN who has been requested by a lady to write something sentimental on the subject of sleigh-riding, respectfully submits the following effort of his frost-bitten muse. If his verse lacks a proper warmth of sentiment, it must be attributed to the fact that the music in his soul was all congealed the other night—like the tunes in the horn of Baron Munchausen's post boy—during a remarkably cold ride. When it thaws out, in the Spring, he will be able to sing the delights of sleighing in a more genial strain.



                Sleigh-riding! isn't it very good fun,

                With the mercury almost too thick to run,

                Down below zero twenty-one?

                                When, if you sneeze,

                                The spray will freeze,

        And your legs are as high as your knees.

                                And if you should spit,

                                (A quid, to wit,)

        'T would rattle like ice on whatever it hit.

                Glorious pastime is this, I ween:

                How you admire the silvery scene,

                As your lungs collapse in the blast so keen.

                Of nose and ears, as the steeds progress,

                You pleasantly lose all consciousness;

                                And the buffalo hide,

                                And the cap well tied,

        And the woolen et ceteras too, beside,

                Are powerless all to shield off the blast

                That knifes your vitals in hurrying past.

        Oh, 't is fine, on a moonlit knight,

        Thus with the icy winds to fight!

                And frost-bitten ears, when the race is done,

                Aptly close the "capital fun."                                J. B.

Troy Daily Whig. February 14, 1848: 2 col 1.

Cut away sleighs, prance away horses, jingle away bells, and laugh away, boys and girls, say we!

“The Great Snow Storm—Its Extent—Sleighing Parties—Appearance of Broadway, &c.” New York Herald. January 23, 1846: 2 col 6.

COPARTNERSHIP NOTICE — The undersigned have this day formed a copartnership under the name and firm of Smith & Pierpont, for the purpose of conducting the Grocery business in all its various branches, at No. 12 Congress street, a few doors from River st. JASON SMITH,

        mh25 JAMES PIERPONT.

Northern Budget. August 4, 1846: 1 col 1.

CAMPHINE and Camphine Lamps—a nice assortment, for sale No. 12 Congress st., by


Northern Budget. August 4, 1846: 3 col 5.


Sept. 14th, by Rev. John Pierpont, Mr. James Pierpont to Miss Millicent Cowee, all of this city.

Troy Daily Whig. September 15, 1846: 2 col 6.

DISSOLUTION.—The copartnership heretofore existing under the firm of Smith & Pierpont, was this day dissolved by mutual consent. Troy, Sept. 18, 1846. JASON SMITH,

        o10 JAMES PIERPONT.

COPARTNERSHIP.—The undersigned have formed a copartnership for the purpose of carrying on the Lamp business, at No. 12 Congress street, and respectfully solicit the patronage of the public. Troy,

Oct. 1st, 1846. JAMES PIERPONT,

        o10 EDWARD K. COOLEY. […]

PORTER’S PATENT BURNING FLUID and Lamps of every description; Camphine, Derrick Lamps, Side Lamps for Camphine; Camphine Astrals, for sale at No. 12 Congress street, by

        o10 JAMES PIERPONT & CO.

Troy Daily Whig. October 27, 1846: 3 col 3.

        Our friends are improving the fine sleighing, and riding parties are all the go. The merry bells may be constantly heard jingling in the streets — "Go it while you're young, boys!"

Northern Budget [Troy, NY]. December 21, 1846: 2 col 3.

There is considerable snow upon the ground in this vicinity, and it will take some time to dissolve it under a warm sun. Sleighs are running and bells jingling merily.

Northern Budget. April 1, 1847: 2 col 5.

CHRISTMAS passed off quite merrily. The Dutch Saint was very liberal in the bestowment of his gifts upon his juvenile friends, and toys were scattered about in profusion. The sleighing was well improved—sleighs were running all day and the bells jingling merrily. The day was pleasant and all appeared happy.

"Local Summary." Northern Budget. December 27, 1847: 2 col 2.

Now is the time for sleigh-rides. The merry jingling bells are heard on all sides. Pleasure parties are out every night, and all are happy! Our advice to all is, make good use of the sleighing while it lasts.

Northern Budget. February 9, 1848: 2 col 3.

☞ During the present winter our streets have presented about as many different appearances as the chameleon, although not the beautiful colors of that animal. They have alternated from a snowey whiteness to a speckled brown so often that it would have bothered one to keep pace with their various changes. We believe a dun-brown may be set down as the prevailing color, although during the past week, we have had speckled gray, and snowey white, and its accompanyment the jingling of bells, &c.

Lansingburgh Democrat. February 11, 1848: 2 col 1.


J. PIERPONT would inform the inhabitants of Troy and vicinity, that he has taken rooms at No. 218 River street, a few doors below the Troy House, and is prepared to execute Miniatures in every style in vogue. Having all the recent improvements at his command, he feels perfectly safe in saying that his pictures shall be superior to say in the country, and in support of which statement, the public is respectfully invited to call and examine specimens.

        N. B. Perfect satisfaction guaranteed in all cases, or no charge. oc31 3m

Northern Budget. November 21, 1848: 3 col 3.


        Who wants a likeness, either of himself or his friend? There can be no more acceptable present than a likeness for some dear one. All who wish to perpetuate the remembrance of the “face divine,” can gratify their desire by calling at the Daguerrean Galleries of—

        J. PIERPONT, 218 River street; or HOWES & Co., 7 1/2 State street.

Northern Budget. December 23 1848: 2 cols 2-3.

OFFICE TO LET.—Over “Buell’s Low Price Store,” at present occupied by James Pierpont, as Daguerreotype Rooms. Apply to

        mh2 JAMES BUELL, 218 River street.

Northern Budget. April 21, 1849: 3 col 4.

Soak thy feet in ice water and rub them dry with a crash towel. Do they not glow? do they not send the blood circulating to the ends of the fingers? So does a sleigh ride—when the moon shines, and the white snow lies on the frosty ground, when all is light as day, and the heart as merry as mirth. Driver! touch the leaders ! laugh girls ! jingle bells! Give us snow in winter and let it fall on level.

[Boston Transcript.

"Winter." The Clinton Signal. December 20, 1850: 4 col 3.

☞ We noticed several large parties who were out enjoying the fine sleighing on Christmas—among others, a sleigh drawn by six spirited horses, containing the Tivoli Hose Co., of Albany.—The Hungarian flag was suspended from the sleigh, and was greeted with loud huzzahs. The party was indeed a merry one, and to all appearances intended to "go it while they were young."

Lansingburgh Democrat. January 1, 1852: 2 col 2.

Y.M.A.—It will be seen by notice in another column, that the Lecture Season of the Young Men's Association, commences on Thursday evening, Nov. 18. The Introductory poem will be read by Rev. John Pierpont. The gentlemen announced to speak during the season, rank high among the literati of the land, and their addresses will, no doubt, gratify and instruct their hearers.

Troy Daily Times. November 8, 1852: 2 col 3.

UNIVERSITY OF THE CITY OF NEW-YORK. — Anniverary of the Philomatheian and Eucleian Societies.

        The anniversary meeting of the above societies was held on Monday evening, in the Reformed Dutch Church, Lafayette Place, before quite a numerous audience, considering the unfavorable state of the weather. Dodworth’s band was in attendance, and enlivened the occasion with its spirit-stirring strains of music. Rev. Dr. FERRIS, Chancellor of the institution, opened the exercises with prayer, after which, the Poet of the evening, Rev. JOHN PIERPONT, of Boston, was introduced to the audience. The poem was a production of remarkable brilliancy and point, and delivered with the graceful and expressive elocution which the poet adds to his other rare gifts. Its subject was “The Scholar’s Hope.” Mr. PIERPONT traced the course of the scholar through the different professions of Schoolmaster, Lawyer, Preacher and Writer for the Press, showing that although the different professions of Schoolmaster, Lawyer, Preacher and Writer for the Press, showing that although the aspirations of youthful enthusiasm were not realized in the experience of life, the true scholar, who was also a true man, would find an ample reward in his devotion to truth and justice, and the harmony of his spirit with the Infinite Mind. The Poem throughout was enlivened with flashes of wit, and often sent a barbed arrow into the heart of prevailing abuses. Its allusions to several current topics of excitement were received by a large portion of the audience with marked approval, and the whole performance called forth demonstrations of enthusiastic applause, in spite of the request that no such expressions should be given. A few lines from the poem will show the style of the versification. A New-England Sleigh-Ride is the opening theme:

        The bright full moon looks down on crispy snow;

        Ice-loaded trees their crystal glories show:

        The well-filled sleigh, by its ear-piercing shriek.

        Says, “It is cold,” as plain as tongue could speak;

        Its merry bells jingle along the road,

        And belles as merry jingle in the load.

        The driver’s whip with laugh and joke is cracked,

        And like a jury is the party “packed.”

        Song, laughter, story, and a stolen kiss,

        With slap-responses tell the rustic bliss.

New York Daily Tribune. June 28, 1853: 5 col 3.

New York Semi-Weekly Tribune. July 1, 1853: 6 col 4.

Rev. John Pierpont had read the poem on an earlier occasion, part of it being transcribed in the Poughkeepsie Journal. December 25, 1852: 2.
☞ The sleighing is first-rate in this vicinity and within the limits of three or four miles around. But a few more inches of snow is wanted. What we have, however, has increased merry-making at least 100 per cent, and has afforded 2.40 nags plenty of exercise.

Lansingburgh Democrat. February 9, 1854: 2 col 5.

Two-forty Pace. With great speed. A 2.40 gait for a trotting-horse was, not long ago, thought to be very fast. Now a 2.15 gait would be the one demanded.

Barlett, John Russell. Dictionary of Americanisms: A Glossary of Words and Phrases Usually Regarded as Peculiar to the United States. 4th Ed. Boston, MA: Little, Brown, & Co., 1877. 725.

☞ Sleigh ride parties are all the go. Almost every evening a joyous load leaves town for Mechanicville, Read's Hollow, Jonesville, or some of the neighboring villages. All right. Go it while you're young! This sleighing will not alwayslast. We like winter. Show us the man who dislikes it, and we will show you a person who hates his mother, damns his father, and is crossways with all the world. What is more delightful than to engage a two-forty nag, a fancy cutter plentifully supplied with robes, and then ask Lucy Maria, the girl of your heart to accompany you. Again, we say, all right—we've been thar [sic]. What matters if the small hours of morning come creeping on, before you think of returning—you are comfortably housed, in a warm room, while the joyous notes of the piano keep time to the joyous footfalls of your companions. Sleighing is a great institution and no mistake. The girls all think so, and we vote with the girls.

Lansingburgh Democrat. January 17, 1856: 2 col 6.

The One Horse open Sleigh

Dashing through the snow,

        In a one horse open sleigh

O'er the hills we go,

        Laughing all the way.

Bells on bobtail ring,

        Making spirits bright,

Oh what sport to ride and sing

        A sleighing song tonight.

CHORUS.—Jingle bells, jingle bells,

                        Jingle all the way;

                        Oh! what joy it is to ride

                        In a one horse open sleigh.

A day or two ago

        I thought I’d take a ride,

And soon Miss Fannie Bright

        Was seated by my side.

The horse was lean and lank,

        Misfortune seem’d his lot,

He got into a drifted bank,

        And we ! we got up-sot.

A day or two ago,

        The story I must tell,

I went out on the snow,

        And on my back I fell.

A gent was riding by,

        In a one horse open sleigh,

He laughed as there I sprawling lie,

        But quickly drove away.

Now the ground is white,

        Go it while you’re young;

Take the girls to-night,

        And sing this sleighing song.

Just get a bob-tailed bay,

        Two forty as his speed,

Hitch to an open sleigh,

        And, crack, you’ll take the lead.

Lansingburgh Democrat [NY]. December 2, 1858: 2 col 4.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

"There was an old man of the 'burgh" (1879)

        Popular poetry:
There was an old man of the 'burgh,

Who carried a nice little jurg;

And he sipped from it frequent,

Wrote things most indecent

'Bout the people who lived in the 'burgh.

"Village Notes." Lansingburgh Courier. January 24, 1879: 3 col 1.

Monday, July 25, 2016

"Columbia's Century" by Arthur James Weise (1876)

            Columbia's Century.

                BY A. J. WEISE.

Come countrymen congregate!

        Contemplate, confederate,

Columbia's century celebrate!

Christian's chant, carillons chime!

        Canticles, cannon combine,

Commingle, circle Columbia's clime!

Come, chronicles circumspect!

        Consider, compile, collect,

Columbia's civil career connect!

Creeds, castes, colors coälesce!

        Compact colonies crownless,

Crowd Columbia's colossal congress.

Troy Daily Times. July 3, 1876: 3 col 1.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Moore & Nims Cartes de Viste Albums (1862)


        We have been, almost daily, adding to our stock of Cartes de Viste Albums, until we are now able to show the most complete assortment, selected from the best Stock of the best Manufacturers and Importers of New York and Philadelphia. Our stock comprises over sixty kinds varying in price from 40 cents to 12 dollars, holding from 8 to 100 pictures. The Binders are vieing with each other in the beauty of the designs, and sumptuousness of the binding, and are now furnishing the most beautiful Albums at much reduced prices.

                                When the father's head is hoary,

                                    And the mother's heart is cold,

                                And their lives' benignant story

                                     Is a Tale too surely told.

                                Then the aid of Art we borrow;

                                     Here each honored face appears.

                                Blessing every dim to-morrow

                                     As it blest our early years.

        Gentlemen and Ladies desirous of preserving their collection of Cartes de Viste Pictures, are invited to examine our assortment of Albums.

        my27                                MOORE & NIMS.

Troy Daily Whig. July 1, 1862: 3 col 5.

Hall's Rensselaer Dye Works (1866)


                Ladies attend, and up to Hall's

                Now quickly send your Brocha Shawls,

                For he will pledge to clean them right,

                And will restore their colors bright.

                Your Crepe Shawls he will also do,

                And make them look as good as new;

                Carpets and spreads will clean for you,

                And warrant satisfaction, too.

                Hall's Rensselaer Dye Works, 403 River st.

Troy Daily Times. July 25, 1866: 3 col 2.

The oldest of the three dye-houses in the city, that of Mrs. S. W. Hall, at No. 403 River Street, was founded by Aaron Hall, in 1827.

Weise, Arthur James. Troy's One Hundred Years, 1789-1889. Troy, NY: William H Young, 1891. 416.