The Church-Yard Humming-Bird

Susan Fenimore Cooper and others

The following is an evidently “one time” comic newsletter issued in 1865 by Susan Fenimore Cooper and friends in Cooperstown’s Christ Episcopal Church, apparently in connection with a Church fair raising money for a new Church carpet. The original was published in four pages [as indicated in the text below], each with three columns. Though the original published text did not indicate any authors, the copy from which this is transcribed has pencilled identification of the authors of each portion of the newsletter, which we have indicated in this transcription. They are:

“Miss Cooper” — Susan Fenimore Cooper (1813-1894)

“Katie Anthon” — Katherine Mary Scott Turner Anthon (1831-1917), Susan’s friend and a daughter of Cooperstown Banker Henry Scott, who was visiting Cooperstown at the time.

“Roy Keese” — George Pomeroy Keese (1828-1910), Susan’s cousin.

“Miss C. Cooper” — Anne Charlotte Fenimore Cooper (1817-1885), Susan’s sister.

Although the “Church-Yard Humming-Bird” is intended to be comical, it raises a number of issues then of concern to Susan and her friends. In addition to the need for a new Church carpet, they include the expected completion of a railroad connecting Cooperstown with the rail line between Albany and Binghamton (which was done in 1869); the impending collapse of the Main Street bridge over the Susquehanna River (a new one was built in 1867); and the need for a Village Improvement Society (which Susan organized in 1870). I have added a number of footnotes to this text, explaining matters less familiar today than they were in 1865.

— Hugh C. McDougall, Corresponding Secretary, James Fenimore Cooper Society





[By “Miss Cooper”] 1

Good evening, dear ladies and gentlemen! Will you allow me to make one of your goodly company, this pleasant Summer evening? A little merry, flitting, fluttering humming-bird will do you no harm, and surely will not take up much space in your fine hall. Room to spread my tiny wings, an occasional sip of dew-drops from some blossom, a moment’s perch on some evergreen sprig, these are the only favors I ask.

You must know that I am out on a frolic! I have given myself a holiday. I have been roving about all day long, over hill and dale. I breakfasted by star-light at Natty’s Cave, fluttered over Prospect Rock and Mt. Vision at early dawn, crossed the Lake to Hannah’s Hill to watch the sun rising over the valley — then off again for an airing on the lake. Excuse my saying so, but you men and women are very slow plodding creatures. I have seen you make a great fuss about an occasional pic-nic! Why, my dear friends, we humming-birds enjoy twenty pic-nics in one day — we winged creatures have more variety, more fun, more adventure in an hour than you booted bipeds in a month. A friend joined me on the lake and we had a charming flight, winging our way, free as the breeze, where’er fancy led us. For the fun of the thing we alighted awhile on the mast of the “Jenny,” who was out for a sail — but your human contrivances in the way of boat-craft, are only a very poor imitation of our feathery pinions. And as for your coaches and locomotives, what hideous things they are. I once ran a race with a locomotive and left the horrid monster panting and screeching far behind, in just three minutes. I mean to run another race with the first locomotive that shows itself in this valley — next year, is it not? 2 As for your coaches, think of a race with the Fort Plain stage — forty passengers, outside and in, more or less! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

Well, my friend and I were soon tired of the Jenny’s mast. In a trice we were off again, over the hills and far away to Canaderaga lake. Why will youcall that fine sheet of water Schuyler’s lake? Pray show reverence in naming the features of Mother Earth, as your predecessors, the Red Men, did. We humming-birds know by tradition the names of every hill, lake, point, bay, in this part of the country, from the Iroquois. Some day or other I may perhaps tell you the true names of your brooks, and hills, and bays. I am disgusted whenever I hear you talking of your One Mile Point, Two Mile Point, Three Mile Point, etc. Pray have you men only one, two, three ideas on such subjects? But I am growing saucy. Excuse me. We humming-birds are fiery little creatures, accused of having sharp tongues and tempers sometimes.

Well, we returned from Canaderaga lake about mid-day, and held our nooning at Wild-Rose Point — the Three Mile Point, if you will have it. Here we took a nap in a hazle-nut bush. But we were frightened away by a party of youths-they brought with them so many bottles and jugs, that we thought that mischief would be likely to follow. Alas, in our wanderings to and fro, we have seen so much evil coming out of those jugs — we dread the sight of one! We have seen many a noble-looking youth poisoning not only his body, but heart, mind and soul, in that way. With a sigh we flew away, and turned our ruby breasts homeward again.

Now it chanced as we were flitting over Main st. we saw a party of lovely young ladies, bearing in their hands most beautiful baskets and wreaths, and clusters of flowers! A sight to warm the heart of any humming-bird in the land. I made a rapid descent into the street, and flew whirring round the ladies and the flowers, presently other ladies, and other bouquets appeared from an opposite direction-again a third little floral group came in sight! I was half beside myself. I am not accustomed to seeing such a wealth of flowers in the streets of Perfectionville.* (* For information regarding Perfectionville, inquire of the President of the Agricultural Society.) 3 Of weeds, there are no lack, as you well know — dock, mullein, thistle, and twenty other kinds thrive there, in luxuriant growth. I remember, when I was a young bird, a year or two since, hearing some talk about a Village Improvement Society, 4 which should drive all the weeds from the streets, road-sides, and door-ways. Perhaps, now we are blessed with peace again, that little society may awaken from its dormant state, and uproot the pigweed. Well, of course this beautiful and novel show of flowers delighted me. Flitting to and fro, from one basket to another, I gathered from the conversation of the ladies that there was to be a Fair this evening! Now I had never been at a Fair — and to go this evening occurred to me as a charming close to my holiday — the idea of luxuriating among so many roses and lilies, quite turned my tiny head. For a moment, however, I was embarrassed by the subject of ways and means. With money I have nothing to do — never made a penny or spent one in my life — and of course could not pay for a ticket. But my little wits are sharp! I am a regular little chevalier d’industrie! I watched the right moment — a gay young gentleman came along — there was a pause in the particular basket over which I was hovering — there were smiles, and bows, and blushes — it was just as I expected — I know human nature — seizing the right moment, when the gentleman and lady were looking unutterable things at each other, I glided into the basket, and in a trice lay snugly hid underneath a noble damask rose. So very intent on each other were the moustache and waterfall 5 above me, that I was perfectly safe — a crow might have alighted on the rose, unheeded! So it was, that after a while, the basket, the rose, and I, were brought into the hall.

And what a charming array of flowers I found here! For the first half hour I flew about in perfect ecstasy — enjoying every blossom, fancying each bouquet more beautiful than the last — delighted too with the pleasant faces, the cheery talk, the children’s prattle!

After awhile I sat me down to rest awhile on a hemlock twig, and then I became sober — I began to have some serious thoughts: you would not believe it — but we humming-birds are deep thinkers, at times. I chanced to hear that this was a Church Fair — a fair for my own particular church. I was born in the church-yard-in a tall {page 2} mullein that grew to a stately height, near the southern fence, just where that luxuriant buckthorn hedge — is not! My parents would have gladly built in a Virginia creeper, or an Ivy, if there had been anything as beautiful adorning the church-walls — and in that case I should have been born in much more dignified position. But nevertheless so dear to me was my humble mullein leaf, paternal nest, that, when I married, the following summer, I settled there myself, in one of the old pines. Humming-birds have built on that spot, for more ages than I can count, long before a white foot had trod the ground, or white boys, and cats climbed the trees. Of course we feel a very great interest in the little church which has grown up so near us. We are devout birds, we love to hear the hymns and anthems sung within those walls. All birds are devout. Of course, men having souls, immortal spirits, must naturally be much more devout. We delight to see the congregation passing beneath our old pines, in family groups, and entering at the holy door — we would fain follow if we dared.

Every evening after the workmen have gone, I fly in and out, about the new pile you are raising, anxiously watching its progress. Ah, if we humming-birds had souls how greatly we should enjoy going to church! And I think if we humming-birds were to build churches we should open their doors very wide to the poor. I think we should make them free!

But I shall weary you. I must not chatter away, like a blue-jay. With a general flying bow, I take leave, and am off for my nest in the old pine!

[By “Katie Anthon”] 6


Nowhere has the true idea of a pic-nic been more happily or fully realized than by the people of Cooperstown. This assertion may be deemed conceited or prejudiced, but we are ready to maintain it, nevertheless! Not long since (in a place which shall be nameless) we attended a nondescript sort of affair, whose misnomer, was — picnic. People went in carriages and omnibuses. It was hot and dusty, and every way uncomfortable. Finally reached what the deluded company called a “grove!” If a few scrubby looking trees and myriads of mosquitos constitute a “grove,” most certainly we had found it! Here we passed the day in pursuit of rural happiness! (killing huge quantities of mosquitos formed the principal ingredient of said happiness. If our memory serves us, no other one circumstance contributed quite so largely!) Night came at last, finding us all very much exhausted, the bumping ride home in the omnibus, finishing us and the pic-nic together. The company were very enthusiastic and pronounced it a great success. In our eyes it was a ludicrous failure, as necessarily it would be, contrasted with our own Lake Otsego theory of a picnic. We may be pardoned if we again repeat that this is a subject which we have long and faithfully studied, have contemplated it, in every phase, cultivated and refined on it, until we may fairly consider our education in this respect nearly perfect. We may do a great many things badly, but certainly we understand, the very nature, letter, and spirit of a picnic.

Why should we not, when we consider how many years we have made it a specialty, while elsewhere it is often only a solitary incident — an exception, — an accidental variation in the summer’s out door programme.

Another thing, we have the materials. Where will you find those more ample, or close at hand? We go, not in omnibusses, over a dusty road, 7 but in row boats and sail boats, skimming gaily over the waters of a beautiful Lake. A goodly company are landed at the famous “three mile point,” and the festivities of the day begin generally opening with a substantial lunch. Who can ever forget those plethoric baskets huddled together under the trees, and the informal onslaught upon the sandwiches? How vastly superior to any we have tasted since! This pleasant introduction over, people separate into various parties, and the whole place becomes the scene of the liveliest enjoyment and animation. Manifold are the modes of entertainment — fishing, sailing, dancing, flirting, love making! — (omit the last two, and you commit a capital blunder, for which you will be sorry all the rest of your days; for nowhere else will you find the facilities so great!) And thus the hours fly on, matters culminating about five o’clock in a grand hurly-burly, miscellaneous, luxurious dinner, spread on tables facing the lake; very funny and unique, partaking somewhat of a scramble, especially about the time when Joe’s fried potatoes make their appearance! (Query: How many bushels of potatoes has Joe fried on this self-same spot?) 8 The dinner waxes long and jovial; fun and laughter become contagious, and the whole table seems to resolve itself into a regular high carnival! Oh, the rare jokes, the sparkling wit, the quick repartee we have heard at that rustic board! a thousand pities people should ever give dinner parties in any other form! At last this merry feast must end; the party must break up and come home, which they do in a most delightful way, namely: by moon-light — lingering long on the lovely sheet of water, reluctant to terminate a day of such rare enjoyment.

This “three mile point” has ever been the favorite resort. It must once have been the very paradise of picnic lovers before the present public road was built. Beautiful as it now is, the utter seclusion and real fascination of the spot can hardly be imagined by one who never saw it in its primeval loveliness. Too easy of access at the present day, it has lost much of its original charm; still it must ever remain a dear, ancient landmark around which will always cluster a host of happy associations and some of our tenderest memories. The old tree yet stands upon whose bark are carved the initials of so many names of persons whose voices are now hushed forever; voices which once rang clear and joyous through these lovely woods! They are silent now, and forever! A generation or more has passed, since they laughed and talked and made merry under these same old trees, where we now meet to repeat again the same festivities! A sad commentary upon human life and its transitory pleasures. And touches it not nearer home, as we look in vain for those dear ones, who but as yesterday were among us, the very life and spirit of these rural gatherings! They come with us no more. Their names are carved indelibly upon our hearts — and year after year, as we miss one and another from the old familiar ground, we sigh and find it harder to be gay! A tinge of sadness deepens with the coming years: Outwardly we seem joyous, but a cloud hangs over the scene once so fair, and we are overpowered with a thousand “thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.” 9

[By “Miss Cooper”]

PEACE. — In the present year of our Lord, 1865, it would seem as if every social gathering, whether public or private, should offer at least a brief expression of the thankfulness which fills every loyal American heart, for the blessings vouchsafed to the nation — the return of an honorable peace, the restoration of the Union we all love so well. Dear reader of our little sheet, we might this evening, you and I, instead of making part of this cheerful company, have been sitting in misery by desolate hearthstones, hungry and weary, our fields and gardens a waste, our very churches laid low by the hand of violence, — such might have been our condition at this moment, but for the Fatherly Hand which has guarded our homes and guided the nation safely through the perils of a fearful storm. For blessings so great, let us all cherish a life-long thankfulness.

{page 3}

The Bridge of Sighs 10

I stood at evening on a bridge of size — A village and a township on each hand;  I saw neat homesteads all around me rise  As from the stroke of an enchanter’s hand.  A thousand trees their leafy arms expand  Around me, and a lovely Nature smiles  At the dismay of every traveling band  Drawn here to see (perchance from many miles)  Otsego sit in state, throned on her rubbish piles.

Soon will Otsego’s echoes sound no more,  And silent row the songless gondolier;  While this sad wreck is crumbling to the shore  The bravest, even, will not venture near.  The bridge may go-but beauty still is here;  Stones fall, planks fail-but nature doth not die.  Oh, might these plaints, sweet spot to all so dear,  Our pride! our boast! no more neglected be,  But reach the heart and ear of each Trustee!

[By “Roy Keese”] 11

An In-spire-ation

Perhaps many of our congregation do not know how near we came to having a lightning rod on our spire, and how the project fell through. It was on this wise:

One bright morning in early summer, after the swallows had come and when the humming-birds were sipping the honied dew from the flowers, a member of the vestry was waited upon to know “if he was one of the trustees of that ‘ere meetin’ house as was being repaired up on the hill.” The phraseology was such as to cause some doubt in the mind of the individual addressed as to the import of the question. But, upon a little reflection he replied that he was a vestryman of the church. This being considered as an affirmative answer, a second query was propounded as to “whether we did not want a conductor on our steeple.” At the mention of the word conductor, it was at once surmised that the speaker was an applicant for the situation on the “Cooperstown and Susquehanna Railroad,” and he was referred to the Board of Directors of that Corporation. He at once hastened to correct the error and said, that he aspiredto attach a lightning rod to our spire; and exhibited a bundle of rods with a spiraltwist, which he said were just the thing for our purpose, and which would tempt the electric fluid to the earth in the most approved modern style, so that it would not go kitingaround as it once did after an old man of the name of Franklin.

This rod was to have a copper head with a silver point — and here his proposition came very near receiving its quietus at the outset; as he was informed that the church did not meddle with politics in any form, and than any allusion to copperheads, 12 whether in the pulpit or on the spire, was equally inadmissible. He replied that, in this case, the copper was entirely unobjectionable, and that a copper- head on our lightning rod was quite as harmless as copper- toes on our children. This little point being conceded, and having been furnished with the names of the vestry whose consent was to be obtained before proceeding with the work, he departed.

In the course of the afternoon he returned saying, that the trustees “was a willin’,” and that he was about to “rod the steeple, at once.” The writer was informed by the vestryman of what was going on, and shortly afterward repaired to the spot, having quite as much curiosity to see the man ascend the spire, as the village in general had to see Prof. John Dernier walk upon the tight rope. 13

Arriving upon the ground, we found two wagons and four horses in the church yard, bearing the ladders and points and spired rods which were to complete our church improvement. A man walking noiselessly, in rubber shoes, appeared upon the scene, who, for the moderate sum of two dollars, was to ascend to the top of the cross and affix the copperhead with the silver point, in position.

The owner of the valuable patent for spiralrods approached, perspiringfreely from the excitement of the occasion, and, with respirationsdeep, announced, that he was about to aspireto immortal fame or expirein the attempt.

A preliminary augur hole was bored from the inside of the spire, just below the cross, and a small rope let down with which to draw up the ladders. All things were in readiness — the eventful moment had arrived — when the man with the rubber shoes struck for higher wages. The spirehad risen in his estimation, but his spiritshad not been correspondingly elevated, and he thought that it would require at least fivedollars to enable him to reach the top of the ladder.

Yielding to the necessities of the occasion, this sum was guaranteed him, and he set his foot upon the first round of the ladder, whose top, if it did not reach the clouds, at least pointedthat way. Just at this critical moment we were called away; our engagements did not allow us to return until the following morning, when we expected to see the copperhead with the silver point glittering above the top of the cross, and the spiral rod, which was to woo the lightning, buried in the depths of the earth. But nothing of the kind met our gaze, — there was no rod, no point in sight, — the four horses, the two wagons, with their loads of iron and glass and ladders and ropes, had departed; the man in the rubber shoes had noiselessly stolen away, and our perspiring friend had descended among the herd of common mortals and was seen no more: the churchyard had a vacant look, the busy scene of yesterday had given place to the wonted quietness of the spot. Nothing remains to tell the tale of what had once been attempted by adventurous man, but the augur hole in the top of the spire, which can be seen on any clear day, by those curious in such matters, with the aid of a good opera glass. When the Atlantic cable shall have been successfully laid, and the first message flashed across the wires from Europe to America, may we hope for a second and more happy issue of this daring experiment. P.

What is the favorite plant of critics?  The censure-y (century).

The Hemlock Bridge.

The Humming-Bird has received the following parody on Longfellow’s “Hemlock Tree.” Although the “Bridge” may be considered a worn out subject, yet, as it may not be with us much longer, we submit this in our columns.

O hemlock bridge! O hemlock bridge! how faithless are thy timbers!  Dry and rotten in summer time,  Weak in the winter’s frost and rime!  O hemlock bridge! O hemlock bridge! how faithless are thy timbers!

O passer by! O passer by! I pray thee do not linger!  Death peers from out the stones about,  Regardless of this traveled route!  O passer by! O passer by! I pray thee do not linger!

O rower in thy pleasure boat! shoot quick beneath these arches!  Speed thine oar, look up no more,  Hie thee to the friendly shore  O rower in thy pleasure boat! shoot quick beneath these arches!

O humming-bird! O humming bird! light not upon this railing!  The feather on the camel’s back,  Thy weight upon this hemlock track!  O humming-bird! O humming bird! light not upon this railing!

[By Miss Cooper]


These few scattered threads are woven together in behalf of the Ladies’ Fair for the purchase of carpets for the Church.

We wish the fair and the cause all success and express the hope that the funds raised will be sufficient to cover the cost of the tacksas well as the carpet, so that we may not be taxeda second time for the object.

We hope the binding will be sufficiently strong to unite the whole congregation, so that no one will be disposed to carp at the selection of the ladies; and further, that no one will go off in a pet if the pattern or the quality does not suit, and leave the church in consequence.

We hope no one will suffer his judgment to be warped by any invidious remarks which may be made outside, or feel alarmed if any dissatisfaction should loomup in undue proportions. In short, whether the carpet is red and black or black and red, or ingrain or three ply, we hope the members of the congregation will walk to their pews without any unfavorable bias, and whether sitting in the transept or in the nave, will look at the floor in as favorable light as possible.

[By Miss C. Cooper] 14


When in my first you chance to ride,  

With my sweet second by your side,  

You wish my whole beneath her feet  

To hide a scene so far from neat, —

Though we don’t mean to place it there:  

To buy that whole is now our care.  



[Page 4]


AIR — “Uncle Ned”

There was a little town and it had a little Church,  And the carpet in this church grew old;  So the faithful met together and they had a nice tea,  Then resolved to do a thing that was bold!  Then lay down the Duster and the Broom,  And take up the Needle in its room,  For there’s no more rest for the people to be blest,  Only work, work, at morning night and noon!

So they went to see the young and they went to see the old,  And they told them how the carpet had departed,  And one was set at this, and another set at that — All at work, then they knew the thing was started!  Then lay down the worsted in the lap  And make it into “mitten” and to “mat,” For there’s no more rest for the people to be blest!  Worldly people, now what d’ye think o’ that!

How the young man vowed and the young maid sigh’d  Is something far too solemn for me now;  But at last the thing was done, and the agony was o’er,  And drained had been the village to a-cow!  Then lay down your paper and your spec’s  And place in your empty purse an X,  For there’ll soon be rest for the people to be blest  If you’ll only do your duty like a “Rex.”

[Probably by Miss Cooper.]

Vita Rusticæ.

“A country life, without the strife,  

And noise and din of town,

 Is all I ask. I take no heed  

Of splendor or renown.”

— [DICKENS]. 15

Milton has remarked that “to him who has been long pent up in cities, no rural object can be presented which will not delight and refresh some of his senses,” 16 and surely the charms of Nature may be enjoyed, the healthy breezes of the morning may be inhaled, the calm serenity of an autumnal evening may cause to glow with feelings of rapture the heart of him who is neither naturalist, botanist, or philosopher; the mind as well as the body may be benefited by change of occupation only, and more so by occasional relaxation. The body is generally invigorated and strengthened by a country visit, whether we intend it or not; but whether we return to our homes with our minds improved, our spirits revived, and our hearts gladdened, must depend mainly upon ourselves. Let us not then scorn the pleasures and attractions of a rural life. If we return from them peevish and disappointed let us examine if there be not something radically wrong in ourselves.

“Beatus ille qui procul negotiis,  Ut prisca gens mortalium  Paterna rura bobus exercel suis.” 17

The man who passes a life of idleness in town, and merely exchanges it for a life of idleness in the country, will find little more than tediousness and vacancy. He also, who has all the best feelings of his nature seared by avarice, or whose taste is vitiated by the falsely-styled pleasures of the gaming table, and other midnight revelries of the town, will find enough of ennuiduring his temporary residence in the country. To him whose mind and affections are absorbed in schemes of future gain, or wearied with the concerns of his counting-house or shop, rural scenery will present few charms; the landscape will smile in vain; flowers may blossom, birds may warble, and gales may waft their fragrance in vain; he heeds them not, or if he heeds them at all, it is only with an involuntary exclamation, a transient admiration which dies with the breath that utters it. But, shall the humble, untaught peasant live a life of happiness and content amid nature’s loveliest scenes, and shall the citizen, who would fain boast of superior understanding, not taste of her fountain? Certainly that mind which is rightly directed will ever find a glow of devotion in his breast in contemplating the beauties of nature. He who visits the country in expectation of happiness and tranquility should yield himself to the objects which there surround him, and forget as much as possible those duties and avocations which occupied him when at home.

[By Miss C. Cooper]


Why are Ladies’ Fairs like great procrastinators?  

Because you hear nothing but buy and buy (by and by) from them.

Why are the people of this place in danger of growing crabbed?

On account of their sidewalk.

What nursery refrain instills into the infant mind the first lesson of practical economy?”

Buy low, Baby, buy low, buy low.”

Why are the authors of the articles in this sheet like persons caught up in a large tooth wheel in a factory?

Because they are in-cog — (incognito.)

Why is the object of this Fair, like a fondled Railroad dog?  

Carpet — (Car-pet)

Why do a trio of oarsmen represent the purpose of this Fair?  



To Substantial Business Men!

A CAPITAL SPECULATION: — Bullion received for Bubbles — not the first time in the history of the world-at the tables of the Ladies in Bowne Hall 18 — for this evening only.

Wanted Immediately.

Five hundred CARPET KNIGHTS! 19 Volunteers for active duty, as aids to Lady Managers. Apply without delay at the office of the Humming-Bird.


FIFTY SOLID GRANDPAPAS, with benevolent hearts and open hands, disposed to brighten little faces, and make little hearts merry, by appropriate gifts — purchased of course from our charming sales women.

Cake! Cake!

Whole souled, large hearted, House-keepers, well disposed to spread their tables with Sponge, Fruit, Jelly, Almond, Cup, Pound, and other delicacies, are invited to provide liberally, and pay extravagantly, at our tables, where every variety of taste may be satisfied to a T.

[By Miss Cooper]

Flowers! Flowers! Flowers!

The Humming-Bird respectfully calls attention to the charming display of flowers on our tables this evening. We have beautiful baskets, prepared expressly for cheering and heightening the family parlor. Beautiful social bouquets, a pleasing offering from friend to friend. Rosebuds for sweet seventeen. Innocent little bunches, and toy baskets, for children. Hasten to purchase! Let not one flower waste its sweetness on the desert air!

P.S. To lovers: You may be accommodated with posies for every stage of the tender passion: Declaration Rosebuds; Desponding bouquets of Bleeding heart; The Non-committal Bouquet, surrounded with Love in a Mist; Flirting bouquets made up of odds and ends of garden stuff: Bouquets for jilts, made up of snap-dragons: in short, any gentleman, by confiding in the Humming-Bird the state of his affections, will be immediately provided with the very blossom he needs.

Wanted Speedily.

A Village Improvement Society to make this the neatest, brightest, cheeriest little town in the State — as it is already the most beautifully placed.

Apply to the President of the Agricultural Society for information.

[By Miss Cooper]

Wanted — Proposals!

Not by Ladies, but by Trustees.

The far-famed Bridge of Sighs over the Susquehanna, in this village, having reached its last stage of un-picturesque and dangerous ruin and decay, is expected soon to sink entirely beneath the weight of some passing cart, carriage or cow — and that catastrophe once reached, the Trustees of this village will cheerfully receive proposals for immediate reconstruction. A substantial stone bridge, with parapet and sidewalk, and hung with creepers, is expected to replace the melancholy fabric over which the community has been passing, with trembling limbs and downcast eyes, for the last five years. Address office of Humming-Bird.

[By Miss C. Cooper]

The What-Not!

FOR SALE — A very Original piece of work — A New Invention. An Enigma in Cotton — the like never seen before in this country. Highly ornamental. Extremely useful. Remarkably appropriate. Very desirable. The latest fashion. The newest pattern. Faultless in design. Elegant in form. Suitable for both sexes, all ages, and every condition of the human family. Its contents enjoyed by all — spicy, piquant, delicate, homogeneous.

Ladies and Gentlemen!

Call, wonder, admire, PURCHASE!


[By Hugh C. McDougall]

1 Susan Fenimore Cooper (1813-1894)

2 The Cooperstown and Susquehanna Valley Railroad, from Cooperstown Junction, reached the village in 1869.

3 The then President of the Otsego County Agricultural Society was George Pomeroy Keese, who also contributed to this newsletter.

4 Susan Fenimore Cooper established a Village Improvement Society in 1870, which leased Three Mile Point. See her “Village Improvement Societies,” in Putnam’s Monthly, vol. 14, issue 21 (Sept 1869) [online at Cooper Society Website]

5 Man and Woman.

6 Katherine Mary Scott Turner Anthon (1831-1917)

7 The road up the west side shore of Otsego Lake was still new; the old road went via Pierstown.

8 Joseph Thomas Husbands (1808-1881), commonly known as “Joe Tom,” was an African American boatman in Cooperstown noted, among other things, for his catered picnics at Three Mile Point

9 William Wordsworth, “Ode: Intimations of Immortality From Recollections of Early Childhood” (1807), last line.

10 Construction of a new bridge across the Susquehanna at Main Street only began in 1867.

11 George Pomeroy Keese (1828-1910)

12 “Copperheads” were northerners who favored the South before and during the Civil War; “coppertoes” were boys’ shoes the toes of which were sheathed in copper.

13 John Denier (d. ca. 1902) (Keese misspelled the name) was a well-known tightrope walker; he performed in Utica on February 13-14, and in Binghamton on August 15-17, 1865, and perhaps in Cooperstown in between.

14 Anne Charlotte Fenimore Cooper (1817-1885)

15 From Charles Dickens, The Village Coquettes (1836)

16 Milton: Paradise Lost, IX, 445, as paraphrased in Samuel Johnson, The Rambler, No. 136 (1751)

17 From Horace, Epodes, II

18 The “Iron Clad Building” at 88-92 Main Street, built 1862

19 Slang for a “lady’s man”