From the Otsego Herald for Saturday, June 2, 1810 Compiled, with comments
BY HUGH C. MACDOUGALL
Letter from the Cape of Good Hope, Dec. 13, 1809.
``As you will probably have heard of the earthquake which has taken place here, I wish to let you know that I am perfectly well, having escaped injury, much alarmed.
It took place on the fourth of this month; the first shock about a quarter after ten at night.
``We were roused up suddenly by a most violent, loud, hollow, rumbling, subterraneous sound, with a considerable degree of motion over the entire house; which from its cracking and rocking, we imagined it could not stand. The bells rang most violently; we therefore made our escape as fast as possible into the open air.
``The shock continued about a minute, and after a moment’s calm, was succeeded by a second one, much more alarming and heavy than the first, and attended with all the same symptoms, but in a much more terrible degree, and proceeding like it from the centre of the Table Mountain, nearly due south, into the sea; the sky perfectly clear and bright with stars, and not a cloud to be seen.
``This continued about two minutes, and was most dreadful. -- There were three others within the space of half an hour from the first, all comparatively light.
``The chief symptoms, during this most awful phenomenon, were the dogs barking and howling most terribly; watches and clocks either stopping entirely, or else losing time; the bells in all the houses ringing violently; houses cracking from top to bottom; the earth discharging water in places hitherto dry; and the stars shooting in every direction across the sky.
``We have had lesser ones, either by night or day ever since, which leaves us in the most unpleasant state of suspense.
``To attempt giving an idea of the confusion and dismay of the inhabitants and every class of people, is quite out of my power. Most of them were in bed at the time, and in a moment the streets and government garden were filled with persons of all ages, sexes, and colors, nearly naked, screaming and wringing their hands, in expectation of being swallowed up every moment.
``They remained out the whole night, since which they have pitched tents in the different squares and open places, where they remain during the night; nor do I think they will be induced to sleep within their houses for some time.
``Providentially there were no lives lost, as no houses were actually thrown down, but many persons have been obliged to take theirs to pieces, in consequence of the injury they have sustained.
The thermometer was, during the whole time, between 77 and 79.”
COMMENT: This December 4, 1809, earthquake was one of the first known to have occurred in South Africa. Its magnitude has been estimated at 6.3 on the Richter scale, which was not exceeded in southern Africa until the 1960s. There seems to have been at least a small tsunami, as ``a heavy swell came into Table Bay after the shocks.’’
The following amendments are proposed to be made to the Constitution of the United States. The last one has already been agreed to by Congress.
``No Senator or Representative, after having taken his seat, shall during the time for which he was elected, be eligible to any civil appointment under the authority of the United States, nor shall any person be eligible to any such appointment until the expiration of the Presidential term, during which such person shall have been a Senator or Representative.’’
``If any citizen of the United States shall accept, claim, receive or retain any title of nobility or honor, or shall, without the consent of Congress, accept and retain any present, pension, office of emolument of any kind whatever, from any emperor, king, prince or foreign power, such person shall cease to the a citizen of the U. States, and shall be incapable of holding any office of profit under them, or either of them.’’
COMMENT: Neither proposed amendment was adopted. The first seems intended to prevent a President from bribing a Congressman by promise of a government job. The second was to prevent any citizen from being bribed by a foreign government.
From the Otsego Herald for Saturday, June 2, 1810 Compiled, with comments
Local Voices From Around the Globe: Mother's visit was a benchmark for this year
Last week, my mother made the 25-hour plane trip out to Thailand to visit her son, me, after nine months of having only choppy Skype sessions and scattered emails to give her an idea of what I look and act like since having left home last August.Continued ...
Local Voices From Around the Globe: World traveler calls Euro-Tour experience of a lifetime
While I've had a great time throughout my entire exchange, I can say hands down that the month of April brought me the best memories of my exchange if not some of the best of my entire life. What kind of wonder would bring me to say this? Simple. Euro-Tour.Continued ...
Maryland port attacked
Havre de Grace, May 3. "This morning, a little after the break of day, a British armed force, under cover of armed vessels which anchored in front of this town ... landed below a small breast work which had been roughly thrown up, and in which were one 9 and two 4 pounders, manned by 50 militia.Continued ...
Memoir reflects on 'roller-coaster life and career'
Apparently, the third time wasn't the charm. The way Reynolds described him, the third husband was worse than the first two combined and that's saying a lot. Eddie Fisher literally walked away from Reynolds and their two infant children to chase a sex goddess. At least he got his just desserts when Elizabeth Taylor tossed him aside for Richard Burton.Continued ...
Imagine what might have been ...
A while back we got a telephone call from a reader of this column wanting to know why we had not written a column in support of Otsego Manor continuing to be owned and operated by Otsego County. And even though we have followed the debate over this issue in the newspaper, we readily admitted we did not feel we knew enough about the situation to take a stand.Continued ...
Herpes virus brings harness racing to a halt
I've been going to harness horse race tracks my entire life. My family has been in the business for years.Continued ...
Time, if not traffic, moves on ...
It is with sadness we note the passing of two people who we have known since moving to Cooperstown in 1982.Continued ...
Canadian capital captured
Dear Sir, I have just returned from Fort Niagara, where I saw a Captain of the United States' navy. He is just from little York, the capital of Upper Canada, and gives the following account, which is confirmed in official dispatches from Gen. Dearborn to Gen. Lewis ...Continued ...
Local Voices From Around The Globe: Exchange is like a life in a year
All exchange students realize the credibility of this statement. Like all lives no exchange is the same, all are incredible unique exchanges. The metaphor of life, from baby to old age, extends to every part of the exchange.Continued ...
Movie depicting legendary Jackie Robinson does not disappoint
Going to the movies is not something I do often. I can count the number of times I have gone on my fingers, unless you include trips to the drive-in. And even so, it took me years before I made it to one of those -- going for the first time two summers ago.Continued ...
'Dubious' about weather, Hawkeyes 'suitable' nickname
Unfortunately, it seems to us that this spring has, thus far, been anything but spring like. In fact, we are still more than happy to stay bundled up in our polar fleece.Continued ...
'Who's on Worst?' reveals the ugly in baseball
The Baseball Hall of Fame celebrates the greatest players, managers and owners from our national pastime. Any of us who have watched Major League baseball have inevitably seen some of these immortals practicing their craft. But we have also likely witnessed a sample of their opposite brethren, players who shouldn't have been in the Major Leagues. Has there ever been a definitive source that "celebrates" the non-accomplishments of the worst that Major League baseball has to offer?Continued ...
Swallow talk and bluebird vigilance
I assume the swallows have returned to Capistrano. They have returned to Hawthorn Hill as well.Continued ...
Local Voices From Around the Globe: Life in Hungry has taken a turn for the better
I can truthfully say spring has finally arrived in Hungary. It's almost time to wear shorts and sandals, for summer will be just around the corner. This brings me great happiness and great sadness, my adventure is coming to a close. Really what a time it was, I don't think I can compare it to anything else.Continued ...
The importance of speaking up ...
Over the years we have come to understand that, in writing a weekly column, it is not possible to always please everyone. And such was the case with our column that ran at the end of March in which we wrote about our experience as in inpatient following a total hip replacement.Continued ...
Public schools created
The Common School Act of 1812 marked the start of New York's public school system. Much of the credit for this was due to the radical Otsego County politician Jedediah Peck (1747-1821). To quote the NY Education Department:Continued ...
Book takes readers on path for equal rights
One of the most troubling aspects of our history is race relations. It takes a long time to achieve true equality in a society when the heritage of one ethnic group is slavery and Jim Crow laws. Even today African Americans are more likely to be stereotyped as athletes than doctors, lawyers or entrepreneurs. The path to a "color-blind" nation is still a work in progress.Continued ...
Local Voices From Around the Globe: Experiencing India at every new turn
Come, sit down. Hold this and, wait ... ah, there you go. Obeying these commands, I found myself seated on the pavement, wearing a turban and attempting to make sounds out of a recorder-like instrument for the black cobras in the baskets not two feet away from me.Continued ...
Local Voices From Around the Globe: Will I be American or will I be Thai today?
When would someone have the ability to present themselves as a native of a country of their own choosing? When theyâ€™ve lived eight months as an exchange student, of course!Continued ...
- Second host family makes Hungary feel like home
- Local Voices From Around the Globe: Mother's visit was a benchmark for this year