Monday, June 8, 2015

1868 - 17 Pound Tumor

Mr. Luther Shattuck, of Groton, Mass., had a tumor removed from his neck, on the 11th inst., 16 inches long, 11 inches wide, 7 inches thick, weighing 17 pounds. The operation was skillfully performed by Dr. Norman Smith, of that place.

The Farmers' Cabinet
New Hampshire
June 18, 1868

1858 - The Dead Alive.

A few days ago, a respectable man in the employment of one of the largest mercantile houses in Quebec, took passage in a schooner for Baie St. Paul, on a visit to his relations. He carried with him a good stock of wearing apparel, and a check for the amount of his wages, a considerable sum.

On the voyage he fell sick, and apparently died, or what is more probable, became insensible, from some narcotic administered to him. The captain of the schooner having taken possession of his clothing and money, sent two of the crew ashore to bury the dead passenger. They dug the grave, threw him in, and had begun to cover the body, when the dead man, contrary to all law in such cases made and provided, suddenly sat bolt upright and inquired, "Have we arrived at last?"

The amateur sextons took to their heels and fled, leaving their task but half accomplished. The corpse vindicated its vitality by cries which brought the assistance of a gentleman fishing in the neighborhood, and the half buried victim was released from the grave, well cared for, and as soon as fit to travel forwarded home.

In the meantime the "false sea captain" proceeded on his voyage; arriving at St. Paul he told of the death of his passenger, and his burial, and he delivered to his friends a portion of his worst clothing, retaining his best and the check for his wages.

When asked whether he had no check or money, he denied it. Proceeding thence to Quebec, he changed the check, invested the money in flour, and returned home with flying colors, little dreaming that the buried man was following in pursuit.
Montreal Advertiser.

Newbern Daily Progress
New Bern, North Carolina

1894 - Intelligent Puss

A young woman bookkeeper employed in an office at South Manchester, Connecticut, has been in the habit for some time past of giving the office cat a piece of meat for its lunch every day. Precaution is taken to lay a piece of paper under the meat to avoid greasing the floor. The other day, at lunch hour, when there was no meat, pussy begged for some in her most intelligent fashion, and at last going to the waste basket dragged forth her regular paper table cloth and laid it properly for the meat.

The Indiana Democrat
Indiana, Pennsylvania

1883 - Eels Stop Paper

The machinery in a paper mill at Manchester, Connecticut, was stopped by four large eels blocking the wheels. One was taken out whole. Its length was three feet three inches, and its weight four and three fourths pounds. The other eels were so mutilated that they could not be measured, but they were all of enormous size. It took all day to get the eel fragments out of the wheel.

The Record-Argus
Greenville, Pennsylvania

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

1882 - Clever Woman

Mrs. Stewart was alone and unarmed when two tramps took forcible possession of her house, at New Vineyard, Me.  While they were eating and drinking in the kitchen, she whittled a stick into the shape of a pistol, blackened it with soot, then made a fierce onslaught on the rascals, who fled precipitately.

The Lafayette Adviser
Lafayette, Louisiana
February 25, 1882

1890 - Stationary Traveling

Thoreau believed, or sometimes talked as if he believed, that everything was to be found in  Concord. There was no great occasion for traveling, he thought. If you really needed to see anything, you had only to stay at home, and in due time it would come to you.

This was somewhat whimsical, and no one was better aware of the fact than Thoreau himself, who loved a paradox as other men love a dinner. But one of our exchanges knows of a man who seems to have been a pretty wide traveler without ever having been away from home.

He has lived in two states, in three counties and in three towns, and yet he has always lived where he was born. The facts of the case are these:

Charles Graham was born in the state of Massachusetts, town of New Vineyard, and county of Kennebec, the 28th day of May, 1819. In 1820 that part of Massachusetts was incorporated or set off as Maine. He still lived in New Vineyard, Kennebec county, but in Maine instead of Massachusetts.

The his part of New Vineyard was set off into the town of Industry, Somerset county. When Franklin county was incorporated, Industry was set off as a part of it. In 1850 the part of Industry where he lived was again set off into the town of  Farmington. So Mr. Graham, who is 70 years old, has lived successively in Massachusetts and in Maine, in Kennebec, Somerset and Franklin counties, and in the towns of New Vineyard, Industry and Farmington, and all the time on the same farm. - Youth's Companion.

The News-Herald
Hillsboro, Ohio
August 7, 1890

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

1891 - CURSED THE CHURCH. - A Canadian Priest Calls Down God's Wrath on a Catholic Chapel. WITH HIS UPLIFTED CRUCIFIX. The Edifice Was Erected Against the Orders of the Bishop. FEELING OF TERROR AMONG THE PEOPLE.

MONTREAL, July 3. - A most extraordinary scene took place in a little chapel in the parish of Maskinonge, about 40 miles from Montreal, on Monday last, which with Roman Catholics is the day of St. Peter and St. Paul. It was the cursing of a church by order of Bishop Lafleche, of Three Rivers, and has caused indescribable excitement in Roman Catholic circles. In the country districts the inhabitants are talking of nothing else, and those immediately concerned are simply terror-stricken at what they consider a fearful manifestation of the power of the Church.

The cursing of the church was done by a Redemptorist Father, acting evidently under orders of Rev. Mr. Lafleche, cure of Maskinonge, and nephew of Mgr. Lafleche, Bishop of Three Rivers. The action of the ecclesiastics is the result of a schism in the parish, brought about by dissensions as to the location of the new parish church at Maskinonge.

A Division in the Church.
Some months since it was decided to erect a new and larger church two miles away from the old building, so as to give greater accommodation to the population. Mgr. Lafleche visited the parish and selected a site on the east side of the Maskinonge river. The spot was indicated by the erection of a cross. A short time after the inhabitants on the west side of the river, who are said to from the majority, succeeded in inducing the Bishop to alter his previous decision, and two months ago the erection of the Church was commenced on the west side of the river. This gave such offense to the larger portion of the east side that they declared they would not attend church on the west side, alleging that they were the victims of an injustice and that the change had been made for motives which they did not approve.

While the erection of the church was proceeding they met and decided to erect a wooden chapel. At the time strong clerical influence was brought to bear upon the rebellious parishioners in order to induce them to give up the project, and the punishment of the church was then threatened, but they were stubborn and the work commenced.

Struck by a Bolt From Heaven.
The erection of the opposition chapel was proceeding rapidly, when, one night, a thunderbolt struck the new church, and it was burned to the ground. In the country round the ignorant inhabitants thought this to be a visitation of God, and those who were building the church were looked upon with horror, as having been placed outside the pale of religion for their blasphemous opposition to the will of the clergy. Such an effect had the event that several of the dissentors went to the confessional, acknowledged their sin and were received back into the Church. The clergy around, too, used the incident as showing the punishment that would be meted out to those who disobeyed the commands of the Church.

Others of the malcontents, however, still persisted in their stubborn determination to erect the chapel on their own side of the river, and eventually it was finished, although the priest in the district refused to consecrate it.

Met There for Worship.
Since that time some 200 men, women and children, having at their head some of the leading citizens of the place, have been in the habit of meeting there for worship. The schoolmaster of the locality read the prayers and recited the beads and a choir sang hymns, a favorite one being "Chretiens qui Combattons."

Monday, the feast of St. Peter and St. Paul, the dissentients had met in the chapel at the same time as the rest of the parish were at the old church, when they were greatly surprised to see Rev. Father Savard, of the Redemptorist order, enter the place in his robes of office and holding in his hand a crucifix. His arrival produced a great sensation. It was known that he had been called by Rev. Mr. Lafleche to preach a retreat in the parish church, and when he first entered many thought he was coming to bless the chapel. The priest walked down the aisle, and, standing in front of the altar, solemnly addressed the people, warning them to renounce their schism and return to the church.

One of the congregation said, "Father, bless our chapel and we will be happy to listen to you."

God's Wrath Called Down.
"What, I bless your chapel," replied the Redemptorist. "I should rather curse it," and with his crucifix uplifted to heaven he called down the awful wrath of God upon the sacred edifice. When the father had concluded his anathema he abruptly pulled his hood over his head, so that the congregation could not see his face, and left the chapel.

Before he could reach the door the congregation called out "Father, father, do not curse us and our families."

"I curse the place in which you have met," replied Father Savard. The scene that followed is said to have been frightful. Next to excommunication the cursing of their house of worship was deemed the most awful punishment the Church could inflict. Many of the women fainted, others shrieked and ran around wringing their hands, while others stood rooted to the spot with terror. Some of the little children, who could not understand what was going on, ran crying to their mothers, who were in many cases too helpless with terror to notice them.

Even the men were stricken with the effects of the priest's curse and stood for a time stupefied. Others of the men, however, were almost wild with rage and could with difficulty be restrained from pursuing Father Savard and mobbing him. In a short time, however, the congregation had dispersed, all going silently to their homes.

People Struck With Terror.
The news of the action of Father Savard spread through the country, and the inhabitants are awe stricken at the punishment accorded the rebellious parishoners. The latter are looked upon as being under the ban of the Church, and while they remain so are ostracised by all their neighbors. No one will have any business transactions with them, and the people are afraid to be seen speaking to those whom they consider the Church has condemned to doom.

The action of Father Savard will have the effect of breaking up the congregation. In ecclesiastical circles here Father Savard's action has come in for a good deal of discussion, as there are many who hold that there is no rule in the Roman Catholic Church permitting a priest to anathemize a church, although it is admitted that a priest has a right to warn his flock not to attend any particular church. There can be found in the history of the Catholic Church, at least in Canada, no precedent for Father Savard's action.

Some think that Father Savard has exceeded Bishop Lafleche's instruction, but those who know the latter say he will go to any length rather than have his wishes defied. In lay circles the affair has created a bad impression, and it is unfortunate that it comes at a time when His Grace, Archbishop Fabre, has issued a pastoral calling upon the Catholic community to raise $100,000 for the completion of a magnificent cathedral in Dominion square, the work being placed under the protection of the Virgin.

Pittsburg Dispatch
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania