Thursday, January 30, 2014

"On the death of Thomas Seleski Waterman" by A.M.N. (1843)


        On the death of THOMAS SELESKI, only child of William and Almira Waterman, who died, March 12th, 1843. Mr. Waterman being absent at the time rendered the circumstances more affecting.

And is he gone! the gay and laughing boy,

Whose bounding step, seemed on the breezes borne.

His Father's idol, and the brightest joy

Of her, whose heart successive griefs had worn:

Her who had clung with such unearthly love,

To one who woke the sweetest hopes of bliss,

While hovering 'round him like a lonely dove;

Ah, little thought she of an hour like this—

While his glad voice she hailed at early day,

And gazed delighted on his sparkling eye,

And thought on him, they loved, now far away,—

She never dreamed her cherished one—would die.

As some tall flower that bows its stately head,

Scathed and blasted, by the lightning's wing,

While heaven's refreshing dews were o'er it shed,

And it was fanned by the rich breath of spring—

Tho' those she loved, did her so early fade,

The God who formed them, for bright worlds on high,

Removed them gently to a holier shade,

To live and bloom beneath a purer sky;

Oh may she bow submissive to the will

Of Him, who doth our destinies control;

And while she feels that death had power to kill,

May she rejoice—immortal is the soul. A. M. N.

Daily Troy Budget. April 17, 1843: 2 col 6.

Thomas Seleski Waterman is interred somewhere in Old Mount Ida Cemetery:

"Thomas S. Waterman, d. March 12, 1843, 9 yr. 1 mo. 12 dy."

"Lines upon the death of a young friend Charles Freddie Atwood" (1863)


Lines upon the death of a young friend, Charles Freddie Atwood—Respectfully dedicated to his Mother.

God gave, and He has taken,

        One that we so dearly loved;

But we hope one day to meet him

        In his heavenly home above.

Young, bright and beautiful,

        Though unto manhood grown;

The hope, pride, joy of our life,

        God called him for His own.

Our hearts were bound to thee, dear one,

        The link was hard to sever;

Though while we linger here on earth

        We will forget thee, never.

Farewell, Freddie; 'tis hard to part.

        But like a hallowed spell,

Thy image ever in our heart

        With love and faith shall dwell.

Troy Daily Times. May 11, 1863: 3 col 4.

"Lines on the Death of an Infant" by Orville (1860)

Lines on the Death of an Infant

Dear parents, check the flowing tear:

No longer weep for me;

What though the blow may be severe,

Remember, I am free.

Bright angels on the wings of love,

Came from the spirit land,

Inviting me to realms above,

To sit at God's right hand.

I enter on eternal life,

Amid the heavenly spheres,

Free from the world's vain sinful strife,

Free from its toils and cares.

Perennial flowers around me bloom

Whose beauties ne'er decay;

I sleep not in the silent tomb,

But live in endless day.

'Mid scenes of bliss I ever roam—

Then weep no more for me,

For, oh! I have a glorious home

Throughout eternity.

And we shall meet again, oh, yes;

A few more years of pain,

Then we shall meet 'mid scenes of bliss,

And never part again.                ORVILLE.

NAIL FACTORY, February 29.

Troy Daily Times. March 3, 1860: 3 col 6.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

"Lines on the death of James L. Henry" by M. (1842)


On the death of JAMES L. HENRY.

O ye heavenly angels your wings spread space,

        And convey consolation most healing to those,

Now bewailing for him whom they ne'er can replace;

        For he sleeps in delightful and placid repose.

'Tis a husband, a father, protector, and friend,

        That Jehovah, the Great, has been pleased to recall,

From this valley of tears—never more to contend

        With its troubles—its sin, the most fearful of all.

He has gone just in manhood's meridian bloom,

        When his sun was just rising most brilliant & bright,

To the dismal, the dark, and oblivious tomb,

        From the friend of his heart—he, her soul and delight.

But the spirit has flown to those mansions above,

        Where the upright, the honest, the dutiful, blest,

Are commingling together in friendship and love,

        Where bles'd angels reside and the weary at rest.

Troy, April. 1842. M.

Daily Troy Budget. April 2, 1842: 2 col 6.

Dr James Lawrence Henry (1815-1842)

Monday, January 27, 2014

"Abraham Lincoln" by James S. Thorn (1865)



There are little knots on the corners to-day,

        And with bated breath they utter

Not alone a dirge o'er th' inanimate clay,

        But avenging whispers mutter.

There are aching hearts in the households to-night;

        There are eyes that are red with weeping;

And tender hearts, oh not bursting quite,

        In the gall of despair are steeping.

They are sobbing to-day on the old camp-ground,

        And spirits undaunted by foeman,

That trembled not when the battery frowned,

        Are blanched as the cheek of woman.

Comes a Nation's wail o'er her prostrate son;

        For her joy has been changed to sorrow;

She fears there's the dusk of doubt begun,

        And alas! who can tell the morrow?

So pure and so great, aye, so grandly good,

        Sic semper tyrannis belies him:

Greatest of living men he stood;

        Dying, the world shall prize him.

Though the head lies low, yet the body lives:

        There are heart-strings that death cannot sever:

HE taketh away, but yet HE gives,

        And the Union shall stand forever.

We are tasting to-day of the bitter cup:

        Oh lesson, we heed thy warning;

We know but ONE who can lift us up:

        'Tis night, it will yet be morning.

The dead of to-day will grow divine

        Like the martyrs of ancient story,

And with Washington's, Lincoln's name shall shine

        On the scroll of our country's glory.

                                Troy Daily Times. Saturday, April 15th, 1865.

A Tribute of Respect by the Citizens of Troy to the Memory of Abraham Lincoln. Troy, NY: Young & Benson, 1865. 27-28.

A version of the poem with some different verses appeared in Magazine of History with Notes and Queries. 17(65). 1920. 37.

James S. Thorn (1838-1866)

Oakwood Cemetery, Troy, NY

"Troy" by Col. William H. Rowe, Jr.


Once again the dear old town

        To me of so much joy;

Here's another toast to you,

        And to the men of the City of Troy.

Here's to John Dou, Frank Mann, the Shields,

        Arthur Smith, Frank Twining and Hi Gordinier;

May everything in life come to them,

        And all that they hold dear.

Here's to Editor James H. Potts, the Thomases,

        The Darlings, the Fellows and Roy Brown;

May they get all their desires,

        And all the best in town.

May it be sweetest of music,

        Yes, the sweetest songs of the larks,

For Le Grand Cramer, the Hawleys, the Moreys,

        Harry Ludlow and R. Edson Starks.

Here's to Frank Norton, Henry Wheeler, John Knox,

        John MacNamara, the Warners and Walter Mead;

May they have all the good of life,

        And be blessed with the kindliest deed.

Here's to Doctor Gordinier, George Alden, the Tibbits,

        Edward M. Green and the Blosses, Doctors J. P. and Fred;

Wherever it is, wherever they go,

        May they all come out ahead.

Here's to the Winslows, the Bradleys, the Williamsons,

        The Hagans, the Jacobs, Knowlson and Kings;

May all sorts of luck be borne to them,

        Yes, borne on the swiftest of wings.

The Greens, the Corlisses, the Crandells,

        The Bushes, the Griffiths and the Connors;

May all the best in life be theirs,

        May they win all coveted honors.

Here's to Doctors Fairweather, Bissell, Green,

        Buchanan, Cooper, Booth, Bontecou;

Here's the highest medical honors,

        My wish for each one of you.

Here's to the servants of God in Troy,

        They stand ready to answer each call;

Walsh, Freeman, Enos, Simmons,

        Anderson, Mead, Babcock and Hall.

Here's to the Colwells, the Hayners, the Specks,

        The Betts, the Drapers and all;

I wish I could think of every one

        On whom I would like to call.

Rowe, William H., Jr. Verse and Toast. Vol. 2. Albany, NY: J.B. Lyon, 1908. 96-97.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

"Lines to the Memory of Esaias Warren Esq" by John W. Curtis (1829)

To the memory of ESAIAS WARREN, ESQ., of Troy, N.Y. a liberal benefactor of the Sunday School Union.

                Una salus ambobus erit. Virg.

I stood upon the burial-ground

        That lies o'er Ida's hill;

The sun was going calmly down,

        And earth and heaven were still;

No sound, save that of Poesten's fall,

        Deep down his dark ravine;

And shades began, o'er Ida's brow,

        To lengthen o'er the scene.

Beneath my feet lay many a friend

        That I had loved full well,

Now dwelling in that narrow house

        Where all are doomed to dwell.

And I beheld a new-made grave,

        That stood enclosed with one

Which I had often wet with tears—

        Thine, Warren! Sire and Son!

Alas! that I who sung so late

        The patriarch sire's decease,

So soon should raise a requiem

        For thee and thy release—

But there ye slumber side by side,

        The sainted son and sire;

Like yonder evening's sun ye set—

        God's chosen thus expire.

The tenor of your lives the same,

        The same in death your peace;

The same salvation winged each soul

        To joys that may not cease;

And now with saints of ages past

        In paradise ye rest—

'Tis God's own word—'the dead, who die

        In Christ the Lord, are blest.'

The Family Visiter and Sunday School Magazine 1(12). June 6, 1829. 135.

Curtis, George H., ed. Poems by the Late Rev. John W. Curtis, M.A. NY: Edward O. Jenkins, 1846. 108-109.

"Pardon, sweet lady" by Wilkinson (1843)

TO — —,

Pardon, sweet lady, if my daring fingers

        Sweep from my lyre one song to love and thee!

'T will be like night winds on the harp that lingers,

        A strain of pure but mournful melody;

Without the vain, presumptuous hope, to waken

        An answering echo in thy gentle breast,—

'T would be too blissful, by the world forsake,

        To gain thy pity, on thy heart to rest!

Such cannot be my fate, nor such my dreaming,

        I only ask to love thee unreproved,

To meet thy calm eye calmly on me beaming,

        To look for kindness, not to be beloved.

So many gay dreams of my youth have perished,

        So many ties been rudely torn from me,

So many hopes been crushed I fondly cherished,

        'T were mad, indeed, to dream of winning thee.

        Troy, Sept. 28. WILKINSON.

Troy Daily Whig. October 3, 1843: 2 col 1.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

"A Centennial Memorial" by Sylvander Green Benson (1889)


Our father's God, from out whose hand

The centuries fall like grains of sand,

We meet to-day, united, free,

And loyal to our land and Thee,

To thank Thee for the era done

And trust Thee for the opening one.

Through storm and calm the years have sped

        Our nation on from stage to stage

A century's space, until we tread

        The threshold of another age.

Surging across our pathway swept

        A torrent fierce of blood and fire;

We thank the ruling power who kept

        Our city safe from mad desire.

Oh! checkered train of years, farewell,

        With all thy strifes, and hopes, and fears:

But with us let thy memories dwell,

        To warn and lead the coming years.

And thou, the new-beginning age,

        Warned by the past, and not in vain,

Write on a fairer, whiter page

        The record of thy happier reign.

                                                        —S. G. Benson.

Troy Daily Times. January 5, 1889: 3 col 3.

The funeral of Sylvander G. Benson was held from the Universalist church at 10:30 o'clock this morning. There was a large attendance of relatives and friends. Among those from out of the city was Mrs. Martha A. Whitman of Orange, N.J., a sister of the deceased. Rev. H. Bernard Smith, pastor of the church, officiated and was assisted by Rev. H. Bernard Smith, pastor of the church, officiated and was assisted by Rev. Dr. George C. Baldwin and Rev. Dr. R.D. Williamson of the United Presbyterian Church. Those who acted as bearers were Charles H. Curtis, F. O. Stiles, Frank L. Fales, H. Judd Ward, George B. Fales and H. H. Halladay. A number of beautiful floral tokens were displayed. The remains were taken to Heath, Mass., for interment.

Troy Daily Times. March 23, 1897: 2 col 3.

Sylvander Green Benson (1820-1897)

Center Cemetery, Heath, Franklin County, Massachusetts

"Troy's Centennial—1789—1889" by Franklin Jay Parmenter (1889)

Troy's Centennial—1789—1889


Where rolls the rapid Delaware to greet the Schuylkill's tide

       A band of hardy patriots resolved, whate'er betide,

That this fair land Columbus found, to which the Pilgrims fled,

       Should bow beneath no tyrant's rod while they had blood to shed!

They fought, they won, and passed away, and on their graves the sun,

       As mindful of such sacred dust, an hundred years has shone.

Their country's harps their praise have hymned, and History's graver pen

       Has traced the struggle well and oft of those bold-hearted men;

And as we celebrate to-day a City's birth, and view.

       With hasty glance, her mighty strides a busy Century through,

Our hearts turn back to those true souls that sowed for us to reap,

       And their bequest of Liberty in grateful memory keep!

And other men, and nearer friends crowd on the scene to-day:

       The Founders of our City that so lately passed away,

Whose vigorous brain impelled the power that, like Uranus' son,

       Struck with a hundred-handed force till victory was won,

And "Vanderheyden's Ferry" that had grown a strong-limbed boy

       Received the manly toga, and the classic name of Troy;—

A name the blind old harper sang throughout the Isles of Greece,

       A City war can't terrify although her paths are peace!

Of those gray Sires to whom we owe so great a debt, a few

       As they were stepping Heavenward, ourselves and children knew

A Tibbits with his stalwart frame worn more by toil than age,

       Once only, and while Death looked on, I saw that reverend Sage;

Like him, the Warren brothers left their impress all around.

       And we behold with grateful hearts their footprints on the ground;

Nor does it bring less joy to us or the observant Muse

       To see their children's children stand in the ancestral shoes.

The Lanes, the Vails, the Harts unite in equal zeal with those,

       And like her ancient prototype our lofty City rose;

That upon old Scamander's bank and this by Hudson side,

       As wide apart in time and place their fame may be as wide;

Though let us hope that odes shall not beneath the sword expire;

       As for its ally, we have shown we gather strength from fire!

But let us pause to look around and mark what change is here

       Where scarcely stops the cradle's rock before we call the bier,—

Along the shores of yon bright stream that rolls his peaceful tide

       Whilom, the red Mohigan in his bark canoe did glide:

And where the cunning [?] wheel in ponderous round is whirred,

       In aid of Labor's handicraft the Pequoit yell was heard.

And all along our eastern bounds and where the Poestenkill

       To turn the spindles of the town leaps roaring down the hill,

The Indian camp fires burned; and there beside the brawling stream,

       The dusky brave his maiden wooed beneath pale Dian's beam;

They did not tarry long with us, but they have left behind

       The most euphonious names of all that History can find:

Tomhannock, Mohawk, Wompecanek, and Schaghticoke are known;

       Bad taste has blotted others out and interlined his own.

Our thoughts come back to later times, and with a joyous pride,

       Hail Fulton's genius panting up the noble Hudson's tide;

No son of ours, but yet we feel an interest in his fame,

       And every town the tide waves wash should bless his sacred name!

See yonder toiling Ferryboat, two horses on each side,

       Sore struggling under thousand oath to cross the heaving tide,

Lo, what a change! [?] built craft floats gracefully and free;

       A Stillman applied the steam where "Bromny's power was, "[?]"

And on the glorious river's breast where crawled the sloop so slow,

       Dependent on the fitful breeze whether she stand or go,

The rapid steamers laden with the products of our town,

       With busy men, and women fair, sail swiftly up and down;

And on our streets the lumbering [?] no longer shocks the sight,

       And Gas and Electricity have put whale-oil to flight.

To Morse who loosed the Lightning's tongue, to him whose telephone,

       As man to man or woman speaks, to both our debt we own;

Yet to our own home enterprise the stirring Century through,

       More than to any other source our present strength is due.

One instance must suffice to show how Trojans override

       All obstacles that come athwart their profit or their pride:—

Three stout young Trojans (two of whom are now returned to clay,

       Though Robinson is vigorous still) felt much inclined one day,

       To stroll through Boston Commons, but the Mountain barred their way!

Opposed by such tremendous power what could our trio do?

       Return?—They seized the pick and spade and forced the daylight through,

Went on their course, surveyed "The Hub," secured what freight they could,

       And then came back; but Weed and Vail are resting at Oakwood!

Trade and our Manufactories are seldom idle here,

       Except when Labor, wrong or right, gets upon his ear,

Throws by his tools, suspends his craft, and forming some compact,

       Blessed if himself and Capital both suffer from the act.

'T is strange a twain that God ordained to journey hand in hand

       Can find no common ground where each with equal rights may stand!

We must not boast too much to-day, though pride may tinge the theme

       And vanity close whisper us to let the eagle scream;

And so my Muse with humble brow forbears to sing or say

       Yon mountain could not stop our march nor conflagrations stay;

       But modesty, she thinks, may urge nor startle him who hears,

That not a city in the state within these hundred years,

       Has taken longer strides, and shown what enterprise can do,

Aided by thoughtful hand and brain, with future weal in view,

       Than this, the City of our love, that sits on Hudson's shore,

Whose furnaces and workshops ring with labor's ceaseless roar,

       And where to Toil and Capital she opens wide her door.

Where so much virtue can be found within our city's bounds,

       If one should find a fault or two it should not call for frowns;

Most rules have their exception, and the virtues I have named

       Cannot be dimmed by censure, nor should blush when justly blamed;

So if my now censorious Muse in tune a little out

       With her glad song that's gone before shall sing to you about

A few sad evils that exist but easy to remove,

       She hopes you'll heed the parting strain and cordially approve;

You'll own it is a sore reproach that seventy thousand dweel

       Within a city that contains not one first-class hotel!

Those that we have are fairly kept but surely cannot vie

       With many in less wealthy towns that stand reproachful by!

And then we need a cable road, an inclined plane at least,

       So that our pent-up citizens will people the broad East

That lies in sunlight sweet and vast, and smiling with good will,

       And singing in her healthful voice, "wise men, come o'er the Hill!"

Besides, we've not a breathing spot to free the lungs of Toil,

       Where Pain may find a quick relief and Pleasure stroll awhile;

Where Beauty with her warming face may trip along to see,

       As if she saw him not, her lover sighing by the tree;

Where Age may hold his crutch, and sit beneath the tuneful shade

       And take a little grateful rest before his grave is made;

And where the heaviest taxpayer may find relief from care,

       Nor think his purse too highly taxed for all his comforts there.

Do I assume too much my friends, when I express belief,

       That ere these blessings come to us the time will be but brief?

Surely, our man of Ross has not the only heart that beats

       With philanthropic sentiment upon our crowded streets

A thousand others just as strong but on the pulse less fast

       Only require some time for thought before the die is cast.

But I must close; the century ends, and here must end my song;

       [?], or I would sing [?] will be remembered long;

It but remains for me to hope the next one hundred years

       May bring to those [?] more joy and fewer tears.

Troy Daily Times. January 5, 1889: 11 cols 6-7

The formatting of the poem has been changed somewhat, since each line had been broken by the newspaper into two lines in order to fit in a column.

Unfortunately, the scan of the microfilm of the newspaper is too faint and blurry in some parts to make out some words. Hopefully a better copy exists; perhaps some day if the original newspapers still exist then new scans could be made directly from them.

Troy Centennial poem by George Lynde Richardson (1889)

(The title of the poem was cropped from the scan of the microfilm of the newspaper)

        The stanzas below were written by George Lynde Richardson, a teacher in the Troy high school, who has contributed in the Williams college publications many of the brightest pages in college literature:

A hundred years! O wondrous change

        From tiny seed to stately tree!

The lonely hamlet by the stream—

        The busy city, great and free;

The quiet, peaceful meadow-land—

        The crowded mart, the noisy street;

A by-way then, a highway now

        With ceaseless tread of countless feet.

A hundred years! Our fathers' thought,

        Our fathers' toil, our fathers' zeal,

A mighty labor now hath wrought,

        A greater promise doth reveal;

We see the fruitage of their hopes

        Their earnest effort, wisely planned,

Then onward! to our mightier task

        With keener thought, with stronger hand.

A hundred years! But not the end;

        'T is but one mile-post in the race.

No pause, no check—on! on! we pres,s

        The fleeting days slip by apace;

With this our watchword—God our guide,—

        Away with doubts, away with fears;

Thrice prospered may our city be

        When comes again one hundred years.

Troy Daily Times. January 5, 1889: 3 col 4.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

"The Naming and Progress of Troy" by Benjamin H. Hall (1889)

The Naming and Progress of Troy.

A hardy English sailor,

        Renowned for pluck and skill,

Once wooed the favoring breezes,

        His venturous sails to fill,

Determined to discover—

        Such was his hope, at least—

By sailing to the northward,

        A passage to the East.

Upon the broad Atlantic,

        Within the Half Moon pent,v

With a twenty chosen seaman,

        A half a year he spent,

Till coating past Manhattan

        He touched that noble stream—

The queen of western waters,

        Of poets' song the theme.

He touched that beauteous river—

        The Hudson—and his fame

Shall to the distant ages

        Flow onward in that name,

And men shall thus remember

        The navigator bold,

Whose shallop on those waters

        Its canvas first unrolled.

To Amsterdam returning,

        Throughout that busy town

The story of his travels

        Revived his old renown:

And thousands home forsaking,

        In vessels good and true,

Left Netherland the ancient

        Her Netherland the new.

Fort Orange soon was builded:

        The "colonie" was formed;

And Dutchmen fresh from Holland

        Drank schnapps, and swore, and stormed:

And, all along the river,

        The red men shouted, "Come,

"We like your broad-based breeches,

        "We love your good old rum."

There was a bright-eyed trader,

        Called Brant Van Slichtenhorst,

Who never in a bargain

        Or horse-trade got the worst,

He ruled within the "colonie,"

        Was deemed a man of might,

Sagacious in the council,

        Invincible in fight.

One day in early springtime,

        Rowed in a gallant boat,

He speeded up the river,

        Clad in a gorgeous coat,

Rested at fertile Paanpaack—

        The lovely field of corn—

And treated all the Indians

        From his capacious horn.

Then from his generous pockets

        He drew of pipes enough

To furnish every Red-man

        Who wished to take a puff;

These filled he with tobacco,

        And, 'mid the fire and smoke,

The squaws were two-thirds smothered

        And straight began to choke.

Their backs he rubbed and patted

        And brought them safely through;

Meantime the horn of plenty

        He filled with schnapps anew,

And made the drink so mighty

        That every red man's nose

Looked like a conflagration

        Or blossomed like a rose.

Thus mellowed with the fluid

        The Indians found their tongue,

And soon with talkee-talkee

        The river-borders rung,

Till, moved by friendly feeling,

        They made a full release

Of Paanpaack, the fertile,

        And passed the pipe of peace.

With marks of bows and arrows,

        They duly signed the deed;

The writing was omitted

        As no one there could read.

In Killaen Van Rensselaer—

        Patroon as he was termed—

Who furnished the tobacco,

        The title was confirmed.

This clever work transacted,

        Van Slichtenhorst, the brave,

Pushed off his little dory,

        Sang out a jolly stave:

And while upon the red men

        His glowing face did beam,

Set out for grim Fort Orange

        And floated down the stream.

This was the earliest purchase

        Of any of the lands

That form the site where, proudly,

        Our Troy-fair city—stands,

And thus it duly followed

        In sixteen fifty-two

Old Paanpaack was added

        To Rensselaerwyck, the new.

The red men when recovered,

        And free from smoke and gin,

Looked at their beads and ear-rings,

        Their medals made of tin,

Grew tired of these baubles,

        Forgot the grant just made,

And stated their intention

        To drive another trade.

Anon, to Jan Barentse,

        The Poesten bowerie fair

They sold, without reserving

        The former granted share,

Including all the valley

        Between the Poesten kill

And Meadow creek, the streamlet

        That runneth down the hill.

Old Jan Barentse dying,

        His widow, fat and fair,

Found little consolation

        From wailing in the air,

And so to young Teunise

        Van Velsen, she did give

Her broken cardiac organ,

        So long as she should live.

Van Velsen, crafty fellow,

        The widow's papers took,

Surveyed her pleasant acres

        That stretched from brook to brook,

And conscious that her title

        Was not without a flaw,

He sought from Gov. Nicolls,

        By force to conquer law.

This Nicolls was the colonel,

        Who, several months before,

Had bullied Petrus Stuyvesant,

        Placed soldiers at his door,

And finally, obeying

        The orders of his king,

For Charles and merrie England

        Had made the Dutchmen sing.

Van Velsen told his story.

        His purse was full, and—well,

His case grew interesting,

        And thus it soon befell,

That all the Poesten bowerie

        To him was well confirmed

By royal letters-patent,

        As kingly grants were termed.

Van Woggelum, christened Pieter,

        Beheld this goodly plain,

And bought it of Van Velsen,

        And could not then refrain

From purchasing the valley

        That northerly extends

To where the creek Piscawen

        In tortuous courses wends.

Till seventeen hundred seven

        Van Woggelum kept the land,

Raised corn of goodly stature,

        Dug mussels in the sand:

Then Derick Vanderheyden

        The meadow bought, to till

From northerly Piscawen

        To southern Poestenkill.

That primal grant so ancient,

        Still hung as hands a cloud,

And like the threatening shadow

        The title did enshroud;

And so the honest Derick

        To Killaen's heirs applied,

To vest in him their interest

        Within the bowerie wide.

To this request they yielded,

        And made a lease in fee,

Of all their claim and interest,

        Whatever that might be;

But two fat hens or capons

        And fifteen pecks of wheat

As annual rent they gobbled,

        To make the sale complete.

Matthias Vanderheyden

        In seventeen fifty-two

Contrived a low-roofed dwelling,

        With bricks of reddish hue,

Which though decayed and battered

        For six score years and more

Stood near the street, Division—

        A few feet from the shore.

Years passed, the place grew slowly—

        Though known by many a name:

'T was Vanderheyden's Ferry,

        'T was Ashley's, all the same;

Sometimes with variation

        It passed as "Ferry Hook;"

"The Crossing" and "The Ferry"

        Were other forms it took.

The wise heads all assembled

        In seventeen eighty-nine,

Determined that the hamlet

        Should have a title fine;

That so, throughout the ages,

        In peace as well as strife,

Some brilliant designation

        Should ever give it life.

And first they took the Bible,

        And turned its pages o'er;

Read Numbers and the Chronicles,

        Did Joshua explore:

Then thumbed the leaves of Rollin,

        Josephus studied through,

And sought in Guthrie's system,

        For something that might do.

"They copied all the proper

        Names, and improper, too;

Exhausted combinations

        Till every man was blue,

Then spelled each title backward,

        In hope at last to find

Some startling appellation

        For future fame designed.

Ten hours in fruitless effort

        These grand old heroes passed,v

Till nature faint, exhausted,

        Gave signs she could not last;

The tongue of one was twisted,

        Another's neck was wry,

A third was still with lock-jaw,

        A fourth desired to die.

"Such was the fearful present;

        More dark the apparent fate,

That on their mental labors

        Seemed threateningly to wait;

When one old classic scholar

        On trembling legs arose

And drawing out his mouchoir,

        Attended to his nose.

Thus spoke he—"I remember

        When I was very young,

The story of a city

        In ancient fable sung,

That for ten years resisted

        Siege and starvation slow,

And then surrendered only

        Through treachery of the foe.

"The name of that walled city

        Was good in olden days,

But we can use it better

        By means of modern ways;

And keep it as a lesson,

        That no insidious foe

Must be allowed to enter

        And turn our weal to woe.

"For ten hours we have labored,

        And not a single name

Has yet been deemed sufficient

        To sound our local fame;

To save this noble people,

        For grief to give them joy,

Oh! call these dozen dwellings

        And five small groceries—TROY."

He said: a gleam of sunshine

        Shot from the western sky,

The river burned in crimson,

        The heavens in Tyrian dye;

The sages of the village regained,

        At once, their strength,

Shouted for rum and treacle

        And swallowed drinks of length.

Like lightning, through the hamlet

        The joyful tidings flashed,

And from that dozen houses

        Five dozen people dashed,

While from the corner groceries

        At least a dozen more

Rushed forth in wild confusion

        and through the highway tore.

The men and eke the women

        And little children too,

And pigs and dogs and horses,

        And goslings, not a few,

Joined in the general chorus,

        While, like a grand refrain,

That word of beauty—TROY—

        Rang high above the plain.

It struck the eastern hill-tops,

        And thence, in echoes clear,

Rolled grandly down the river,

        In tones that all could hear;

At Albany it awakened

        The Dutchmen from their sleep,

And with prophetic terror

        Their flesh began to creep.

But when next day a shallop

        Sailed proudly down the stream,

And brought the news that Troy

        No longer was a dream,

The streets were all deserted,

        Each true Albanian wailed,

A fast-day was appointed,

        Five sturgeon-venders failed.

In time, from this beginning

        A city fair arose,

To friends benignant, gracious,

        A terror to its foes;

Where those who bravely struggle

        Win honor and renown;

Where labor is ennobled,

        And skill obtains the crown.

A hundred years have faded

        Since that eventful day,

When this fair spot was christened

        With name so old and gray;

Yet is its title simple,

        And Tim and Pat Molloy

Have never missed the station

        With their baggage checked for Troy.

"A hundred years!" We say it,

        But who can grasp the thought?

Who measure all the meaning

        With which those words are fraught?

Who trace the various changes

        Which, as the days have flown,

Have made the time departed

        A time almost unknown?

'T is night! within the city

        Streets, shops and houses blaze

With gas, or electricity

        Of sun-like lightning rays.

Our fathers, when the day was done,

        To make a brilliant show.

Illumined with a tallow dip,

        A hundred years ago!

The good, old-fashioned tinder-box—

        A trusty friend and tried—

Was carried by our ancestors,

        With flint and wool supplied;

They'd strike and blow, and blow and strike,

        Until the fire would catch;

Oh, how they might have saved their breath

        Could they have had a match!

Hark to yon wild, unearthly shriek!

        Hark to yon whistle shrill!

A rumbling now along the plain!

        A roaring from the hill!

A mingling of unearthly sounds!

        Yet who did ever know

An engine and a train of cars

        A hundred years ago?

Why, in those days a man would mount

        His snorting courser fleet,

With saddle-bags each side of him

        A-dangling at his feet;

And twenty miles a day he'd made

        O'er corduroy and rails,

Outstripping, in his journeyings,

        The fastest two-horse mails.

The matron, when she went to church,

        High on a pillion plac'd,

Rode, with the good man perch'd before,

        Her arm around his waist;

And what a stir about the door,

        How cease'd the boys their play,

When, round the corner, hove in sight

        The deacon's one-horse shay.

And when within the sacred courts

        The congregation met,

No organ's sound assailed the ear

        Or caus'd the just to fret:

But when they prais'd, a lathy man

        Drew out his tuning-fork,

And having pitched the sacred tune

        Began the singing-work.

No heater warmed the chilly air;

        Breath gathered like a cloud;

The minister got exercise

        By praying long and loud.

The ladies, with a wholesome dread

        Of chilblain, cough and cold,

Their footstoves wisely brought to church,

        And faced the weather, bold.

One Sunday when the people came

        They saw a fearful sight—

A stove, of length portentous

        And two feet ix in height;

Six maiden ladies, instantly,

        Fell in a faint most dire,

But breathed, on finding that the stove

        Was destitute of fire.

The modern house of worship!

        How changed in each respect

From what it was in days of yore,

        No matter what the sect;

The fashion of religion now,

        The signs of joy and woe,

Would scarcely have been recognized

        A hundred years ago.

Gently an ivory knob we press,

        Join'd to a slender wire,

And ask a man in Russia

        Whether the last great fire

Damag'd the coming ice crop;

        We step across the hall,

And twenty minutes later

        He answers, "Not at all."

In former times the sun was used

        To keep this old earth warm,

To make the summer beautiful

        And lend the spring a charm:

But now his achromatic power

        Is bound by man's device,

And forced to paint us heliotypes,

        All for the lowest price.

When we were boys Hood wrote a song—

        The sad "Song of the Shirt"—

The wail of woe despairing,

        From famine, cold and dirt;

But Howe and Singer still'd that wail

        Now woman draws the seam,

And sees the steely fingers work,

        Alive, by skill and steam.

The summer sky gives tokens, sure,

        That tell the coming rain,

And long-drawn winds sweep o'er the fields

        And bend the yellow grain:

The storm impends, but ere it bursts

        In overwhelming flood,

The crop is safely harvested,

        The reaper is a Wood.

We shoe the horses of the world,

        Make steel of any length,

And bever fail to recognize

        Our Burden as our strength:

Our brand is on the nation's neck,

        "Troy" is the mark it bears,

And honored is the subject who

        The Trojan collar wears.

Art, letters, law, theology,

        Culture and taste refin'd,

Have found securest dwelling place,

        Within the modern mind;

But most of all, by active brain,

        Crowned with a fearless will,

The century past blooms radiant,

        A century of SKILL.

So standing on the threshold fast

        Of this new age sublime,

We see before us stretching out—

        Within the temple Time—

The length'ning vistas, from whose depths

        In streams of power shall flow,

The force of mind which there abides

        Veil'd in the future's glow.

Troy Daily Times. January 3, 1889: 3 cols 5-6.

Troy Daily Times. January 4, 1889: 1 cols 6-8.

January 5, 2014 was the 225th anniversary of the naming of Troy. The above poem was written for the 100th. The treatment of the Native Peoples of New York in history and in the poem: shameful. "Dirk Vanderheyden's Dream" by William E. Hagan (1890) appeared in the same paper as the above.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

"The Laughing Girls" by Frank Fletcher (1840)



        One fine morning last summer, while seated under a tree on the banks of the Poestenkill, I was suddenly aroused from a revery into which I had fallen, by merry and repeated peals of laughter.—On starting up, I was not a little surprised to see one of the neighboring hills literally covered with the fairer portion of creation. Whether they had suddenly sprung up by some enchantment, or had come from the TROY FEMALE SEMINARY, I know not: but this much I do know, that their merry laugh, as it rang through the grove, and was echoed back from hill to hill, made such music as would put to shame the most skillful performances of art. And I could not help exclaiming—

Laugh on, laugh on, ye merry girls,

        I love your laugh to hear,

As mingling with the song of birds

        It falls upon my ear.

Full often in these forest shades,

        A lonely wight I stray,

To listen to the wild bird's song,

        Or dream the hours away.

And ne'er from birds, did melody

        So sweet, my ears assail,

As that your merry voices send,

        Upon the gentle gale.

I love the voice of merriment—

        I love the voice of glee—

That speaks the light and buoyant heart,

        From earthly sorrow free.

And why to grief's heart-rending tones,

        Should voices e'er be strung,

Of those so innocent and pure,

        So lovely, and so young?

Laugh on, laugh on, ye merry ones,

        I love you laugh to hear,

As mingling with the song of birds,

        It falls upon my ear.

Laugh on, laugh on, ye merry ones,

        Long may ye thus be gay,

Life's happy hours are few at best,

        Enjoy them while ye may.

Troy Budget. January 24, 1840: 2 col 6.

Monday, January 6, 2014

"Lines Written on a Blank Leaf of Mrs. Hemens' Poetical Works" by "W." (1851)


Written on a blank leaf of Mrs. Hemens' Poetical Works."

Sweet Songstress! whose enchanted lyres

Awaketh passion's slumbering fire,

Or murmering oft a gentler strain,

Calmeth the maddened soul again!

For thee we twine a chaplet fair,

A glorious chaplet, rich and rare:

We bring thee from the heart's deep bow'r

Unsullied LOVE—a modest flow'r

That bloometh e'en in yonder sky,

Watched by the angel strong on high!

We bring thee FAME—with its coral red,

That springs from the warrior's moss-clas bed;

From the moss-clad tomb to memory dear,

And flingeth its perfume far and near,

Sweet HOPE we weave in the well-won wreath—

Sweet hope that buds on the barren heath;

When naught but its own dear self would bloom,

"Alone in the depths of the desert's gloom!"

Thus—thus for thee a wreath we twine,

And fling it upon the hallowed shrine;

For thee, whose spirit from earth was riven,

To dwell forever throned in Heaven.

                                        W * * * * * *

        Troy, August, 1851.

Troy Daily Times. August 7, 1851: 2 col 1.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

"Death of James V. Eddy" by Charles H. H. (1872)

Death of James V. Eddy, Dec. 15, 1871.

See our darling little Jamie

        Peaceful in his slumber lay;

Gently to the grave we'd bear him,

        Lay him from our sight away.

Sweet one, thou art gone forever,

        We no more thy voice shall hear;

Gone to brighter worlds above us,

        Far above all sin and care.

But we know that God is wisdom,

        Brings afflicting to us all;

And we humbly bow before him,

        Waiting for his future call.

List and hear the angels' welcome,

        As our child floats far above;

We'll not weep, for Christ has called him,

        And we know that God is love.

Dec. 21st, 1871. CHAS. H. H.

Troy Daily Whig. February 20, 1872: 3 col 4.

"The Late Rev. Dr. J. W. Somerville" by Rev. Joseph C. Booth (1925)

The Late Rev. Dr. J. W. Somerville.


Troy Conference against has bereaved,

        And called to mourn the death of Somerville—

        A man of stalwart body, mind and will,

Whose soul was great as was his work achieved.

He preached the simple Gospel he believed,

        And organized his gospel teams to till

        The soils of needy sections, and fulfill

The obligations that his heart conceived.

Evangelism and Christian stewardship,

        By precept and example, he declared;

The Fundamentals held with giant-grip

        And many a broken, hopeless life repaired:

The mem'ry of his life's a fragrant leaven,

Inspiring men and now enriching heaven!

Troy Times. January 19, 1925: 14 col 2.

"A Golden Wedding Sonnet" by Rev. Joseph C. Booth (1915)

A Golden Wedding Sonnet.

(To Rev. Dr. Mrs. Hughes, Mechanicville.)


Chief-Nestor of Troy Conference, all hail!

The Church of Methodism honors thee

And owns with pride thy marked ability.

For more than fifty years, o'er hill and dale,

Thou didst, as prophet, hear the joyful tale

Of man's redemption. Thou hast held the key

Of statesmanship and wise diplomacy

And led the church of God through cloud and gale!

On June fifteenth in eighteen-sixty-five,

Upon the nuptial sea thou didst embark;

And now, thou dost old memories recall

As to thy Jubilee thou dost arrive.

To Doctor Hughes and wife, good wishes mark

Their wedding anniversary from us all.

Troy Times. June 16, 1915: 13 col 3.

"Dr. Edwin P. Stevens" & "Rev. Dr. Charles V. Grismer" by Rev. Joseph C. Booth (1926)

                Honoring Retired Methodist Preacher

        The following sonnets have been written by the Rev. Joseph C. Booth, pastor of the Methodist church in Elizabethtown, 1895-1898, in honor of two prominent retired preachers of the Troy Conference, Rev. Dr. C. V. Grismer of Delmar, N. Y., and Rev. Dr. E. P. Stevens of Saratoga Springs, N. Y., the latter having been pastor of the Methodist church in Plattsburg back in 1893 and 1894. Both were former presiding elders, now called district superintendents. Both have exercised their splendid gifts in commendable uplift work and it is proper that they have "the flowers" while here on earth.

                Dr. Edwin P. Stevens

Dear Doctor Stevens: Please accept, from me,

        This sonnet-letter I've so long delayed;

        At last I have the pressing Muse obeyed

And set my captive thoughts at liberty.

Yours was a grand, successful minister;

        With logic, fired with eloquence, you swayed.

        Your auditors, your leadership displayed

Your wisdom, tact and Christian charity.

And now, at Autumn-time, your harvest field

        Reveals the culture of your soul and mind;

Your former labors now rich fruitage yield

        In churches that your glad successors find;

May eventide prolong its mellowing ray

And make your life's December bright as May!

                Rev. Dr. Charles V. Grismer

Let me bestow the honors that are due

        To Doctor Grismer—my unfailing friend,

        In whom great qualities of manhood blend

In rich profusion. Ah, how well I knew

Him as Presiding Elder, as he grew

        In my affections. Wise to comprehend

        All questions that arose and to extend

His knowledge from the pulpit to the pew.

An able preacher, meek, yet dignified;

        A worthy scholar—humble as a child;

A faithful follower or ready guide—

        By lust of greed or office undefiled;

Now in retirement, free from care or frown,

His blameless life his great achievements crown!

        Brandon, Vt.

The Adirondack Record-Elizabeth Post [Au Sable Forks, NY]. January 28, 1926: 8 col 6.

"Troy Conference Reaches Her Centenary Port" by Rev. Joseph C. Booth (1919)

Troy Conference Reaches Her Centenary Port

        (A congratulatory sonnet to the ministry and laity of Troy Conference in honor of the splendid achievement of the Conference in going "over the top" in the Centenary drive.)


Like some great airship that has crossed the sea,

Troy Conference wings her Centenary Port—

Captained by Burt, Brown, Keeney, Higgins, Fort;

Mead, Statham, Angeil, Sturgess, Pardon me,

The pastor-pilots turned the golden key

That opened laymen's treasures; many caught

The vision and began to pray, exhort

And tithe—the miracle's a mystery!

To her traditions Troy is proudly true

And stable as her rock-ribbed mountain peaks;

With zeal she puts her obligations through

And Methodism listens when she speaks:

Troy is a Centenary leader now,

"Over the Top"—with laurels on her brow!

Troy Times. June 7, 1919

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Troy newspaper poets buried in Troy (and elsewhere)

A partial list of interment locations of poets published in Troy newspapers:

John Baker's obituary indicated "his ashes will be deposited at his loved summer home at Linekin, Me" ("Obituary." Troy Times. February 4, 1922: 3 col 1.)

Others yet to find, several of whom have yet to be fully identified in order to locate them, including:

Lucy H. Batt

Mrs. Harriet E. Benedict

Capt. William J. Cunningham, Sr. (d. June 1944)

Benjamin Danforth

Melanchton Fairchild

Frank Fletcher

Benjamin Homer Hall (d. April 8, 1893)

Harry C. Hearman (d. August 21, 1941)

Franklin Jay Parmenter (d. March 29, 1912)

Col. William H. Rowe, Jr. (d. May 24, 1928)

Arthur E. Smith

Ethan O. Smith

John J. Stegmayer (d. aft 1939)

Mary Lena Saxton Thompson AKA Sister Ruth (d. November 24, 1948)

Lena S. Thompson (d. Nov 24, 1948)

Annie S. Wallis

Ebenezer Wilson, Jr. (d. 1843)

Roland B. Woodin

Josiah L. Young

They weren't necessarily even New York residents, much less Troy residents, so it might be challenging.

Friday, January 3, 2014

"Beloved Alice Cary" by Carolyn Winchell Pember (1871)


Ithaca Journal, Feb., 1871

Thy voice is hushed!—thy hand is still

        And we miss the snatches of song:—

The homely ballads and quaint old rhymes

        We have known and loved so long.

Sometimes they came when our hearts were light

        When life seemed a gala-day;

Sometimes when its glory was turned to night,

        When dear friends were far away.

But whenever they came, in sunshine or storm

        A place in our hearts they found:

For they held a strange though gentle charm,

        And a quiet, home-like sound.

        They whispered of patience, of hope and love

        Of faith and a modest grace,

        While above and around them seemed to shine

        The light of thy womanly face,—

A face that told of its patient toil,

        Of watching and waiting long;—

Of one who had learned through grief and tears

        To suffer on and grow strong.

Thou hast reigned the queen of nature's songs

        A lovely household fairy,

Thou are singing now in brighter climes

        "Beloved, Alice Cary!"

Pember, Carolyn Winchell. Household Rhymes. Geneva, NY: W.F. Humphrey, 1913.

Alice Cary (1820-1871)

Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, Kings County, NY

Edwards, June. "The Cary Sisters." Dictionary of Unitarian & Universalist Biography

"Alice Cary." The Poetry Foundation.

"Jack Frost's Halloween" by Rev. Joseph C. Booth (1918)

Jack Frost's Halloween


Jack Frost broke loose the other night,

A Halloween had he;

He knocked the mercury out of sight;

He painted every pane of light

And glued the sash of windows tight,

        In his frivolity.

He made a call at every home

And passed no stranger by.

he pinched the hen and rooster's comb;

Turned cows' and horses' breath to foam:

Filled every nostril full of rheum,

        Himself to gratify.

He cracked the boilers, burst the pumps

And closed some mills and schools.

He startled us with bangs and thumps;

he filled some kiddies with the mumps

And left their parents in the dumps,

        According to his rules.

He crawled along the cellar floor,

Searched every bin and dish;

He heard the fiery furnace roar,

Knew coal supply would soon be o'er

And almost all one had in store:

        Jack Frost has had his wish.

Troy Times. January 11, 1918: 18 col 2.

"After the Snow" by Jonathan E. Hoag (1920)

After the Snow.


The snow, the snow, lies deep and still,

In darkened vale, on wooded hill;

The purling brook has ceased to sing,

Till wakeful bird proclaims 't is spring.

O'er mountain heights the sweeping gale

Spreads fleecy flakes o'er hill and dale,

Nor cease their flight through murky day,

Though, drifting high, impede the way.

Beneath a robe of pearly white

The rising moon peers o'er the height;

Then climbing high o'er earth below

Serenely rides o'er fleecy snow.

The sleeping rose, enrobed in white,

Awakes the springtime coming light;

The tender birds asleep in morn

Till gorgeous flowers the fields adorn.

The peeping blades of verdant grass,

The creeping things of life at last,

The hum of bees from flow'r to flow'r,

All Nature hails the April shower.

We hail the breezy breath of May,

The apple bloom at close of day;

We seek the shade at sultry noon,

At eve we greet the crescent moon.

Now let all Nature-life awake;

Let hungry souls of Life partake;

"Praise Him from whom all blessings flow"

To grateful mortals here below.

    Greenwich, N. Y.

Troy Times. March 25, 1920: 6 col 3.

"Victory Christmas" by Caroline Winchell Pember (1918)

Victory Christmas


Victory Christmas! Ring the bells,

Till through the land their music swells!

For right has conquered might to-day;

"Our boys" are on their homeward way.

Victory Christmas! Tell it out!

No more we dwell in fear and doubt!

No pirate foe lurks on our shore,

The "call to arms" is heard no more.

Victory Christmas! Tell it o'er

Till hearts shall throb from shore to shore!

The tyrant who would conquer all

Is humbled now beyond recall.

Ring out the bells, extol the brave,

Who died for us, the land to move!

And from the heart thank God, to-day,

That cruel strife has passed away.

       Wells, Vt.

Troy Times. December 24, 1918: 3 col 1.

A few late finds of Troy Times Christmas poems, of which the above is one... some people still have their decorations up, I'm guessing?


Rutland Herald, Dec., 1872

Again we hear those dear old words

        So full of song and rhyme—

Again ring out the joyous bells

        For the merry Christmas time!

Glad sounds! They tell of warmth and love,

        Of home, and the dear ones there:

Bringing once more a youthful thrill

        To hearts grown old with care.

They whisper of God's great love to us,

        They tell of the blessed morn,

When angels filled the earth with song,

        When Christ the Lord was born!

Our hearts are glad; because we know

        His love toward us, remains

The same as when the guiding star,

        Shone over Bethlehem's plains;

Then let not bitter hate and wrong

Lend discord to the chime;

But let the vine of charity

        Bear fruit, at Christmas time.

Pember, Carolyn Winchell. Household Rhymes. Geneva, NY: W.F. Humphrey, 1913. 14-15.

“CAROLYN WINCHELL […] Born Olive, N.Y., 2 Nov. 1846; m. at Caroline Center, N.Y., 3 Oct., 1872, Emmett R. Pember, a farmer and lumber dealer of Wells, Vt. […] Carolyn was educated at Ithaca Academy and Fort Edward Institute. She is active in patriotic societies and a state officer in the D. A. R. She has contributed often to the press, especially in poetry. She wrote A Song of Old Vermont, used widely at Vermont reunions, and has published a book of Household Rhymes from which the following is taken to illustrate her style [her poem “Two Moods” follows]”

Winchell, Newton H. and Alexander Winchell. The Winchell Genealogy. 2nd ed. 1917. 317.

Carolyn Winchell Pember (1846-1932)

Wells Town Cemetery, Wells, Rutland County, VT

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Sir General George Cooke, M.D., F.R.S., LL.D. (1787-1873)

“I’m doctor of doctors, wise folks have the notion,

My medicines prevent intestine commotion.”

“Medical Assistance.” Daily Albany Argus. July 10, 1844: 3 col 1.



What brings our Friend across the sea?

What, but the love of Masonry!

What moved the General's noble heart

From kindred and old friends to part?

A yearning for the Brotherhood!

To join with them in doing good;

To watch the progress of the School,

Where Masons' daughters learn each rule

By which Creation's Architect

May honored be, by every sect

Acknowledging his power divine,

His love of good, his hate of crime!

Oh! blessed be our ancient Craft,

Which Virtue's self did deign engraft

On weak mankind in early days,

To make it worthy love and praise.

If followed be its golden rules,

By those who spurn the ways of fools,

How rich the fruits that thou dost yield!

Thou join'st together in a band

The children of each distant land;

Producing peace, in lieu of strife,

And spreading blessings o'er the life

Of countless beings, who might be

Steeped, but for thee, in misery;

And who through thee sustained in mind

And body too, much comfort find,

With increase full, from God above!

The fountain of Masonic love.

Freemasons' Quarterly Review. September 30, 1847. 308.

"Tis that which so much confidence inspires,

Proof positive no further proof requires."

“Old Dr. Cooke.” Broome Republican [Binghamton, NY]. November 28, 1860: 4 col 4.

        Dr. George Cooke of No. 3 Norton street, an old and eccentric citizen of this city, died yesterday, at the age of eighty-five. He was born in England and came to this country in 1830, when he began the practice of medicine. Owing to the opposition and persecution he received from the hands of the regular physicians, he acted upon the advice of a distinguished surgeon in New York, and came to Albany, where he adopted a specialty which often falls into the hands of quacks. By this means he rapidly acquired wealth, and possessing himself of a very fine wardrobe, he was seen every day walking on Broadway attired in knee-breeches, silk stockings and shoes with gold buckles, his hair white and flowing, the observed of all observers.

        “He, with Stephen Van Rensselaer and Edwin Forrest, gave a thousand dollars each to the Young Men’s association in its infancy, and one of the unkindest cuts he ever received was a few years ago, when, at an anniversary of that organization, he was allowed to sit in the gallery throughout the entertainment without being noticed. His bust is still to be seen in the rooms of the association. He was the early patron and friend of the late Amos Dean, and also of United States Senator McDougall of California.

        “The old doctor at one time owned a country seat on the banks of Lake Ontario, near Oswego, where he repaired every summer. He frequently visited England, and had diplomas and degrees without number hanging in his office.

        “His death was caused by chronic rheumatism, from which he has suffered for a number of years, the last attack being brought on by an attempt of the old man to assume his former gorgeousness of apparel and appear on the street in silk breeches and low shoes. He was opposed to all doctoring, and Dr. Vanderveer, who attended him, was only called in by the authority of a friend. The room in which he died showed the want of a woman’s care. He has no relatives in this country, but his remains will be buried in accordance with his wishes in the Rural cemetery. He left a will, but its provisions and the amount of his property can not be definitely stated. It is known, however, that he leaves $1,000 to the Albany city hospital. Daniel W. Wemple of the State national bank is said to be his executor.

“Dr. George Cook.” Albany Daily Evening Times. January 13, 1873: 3 col 6.

Albany Rural Cemetery

Buckeye Sentinel [Elyria, OH]. July 22, 1945: 4 col 2.

More on this character will follow!