The Month That Was – November 1862

All articles originally appeared in the Oshawa Vindicator

November 5th 1862

Singing School in Oshawa

“Music the fiercest grief can charm,
And Fate’s severest rage disarm:
Music can soften pain to ease,
And make despair and madness please:
Our joys below it can improve,
And antedate the bliss above.”

In the belief that there is as much truth as poetry in the above lines from Pope, Mr. William Andrew purposes convening a meeting in the Sons’ Hall, Oshawa, at the hour of seven o’ clock on the evening of Saturday next, for the purpose of forming a class for instruction in the principles and practice of vocal music. The public in general are cordially invited to be present on the occasion – both male and female.

wall paper and books

November 5th 1862

Whipping in Schools

At the late session of the Teachers’’ Association of Canada West, held at Hamilton last month, a Mr. McCallum read an essay on “School Rewards and Punishments.” The essayist discussed the subject with much ability, enforcing his views with an abundant display of illustrations and anecdotes. He strongly inculcated the principle that the law of kindness should be carried out in schools to its fullest practicable extent. He considered that corporal punishment should only be resorted to in the last extremity, when milder means failed.

calendar 1862

November 12th 1862

High-heeled Shoes

Can any tall person give a good reason for wearing high-heeled shoes or boots? In the case of persons of short stature there may be an excuse, if not a reason for the practice. Every one naturally desires to stand up to the average height in community, and an extra inch of leather under the heel is perhaps an inexpensive way of gratifying this vanity as can be devised. Yet it onsets more than may be supposed – more we think than the benefit derived can balance. The arrangement is clearly an unnatural one.

drugs and medicine ad

November 12th 1862


A friend informs us that at a concert which took place in a town that shall be nameless, recently, a gentleman in the audience rose up just as the third piece of the program had been performed and said; “Mr. Conductor, will you oblige me, sir, by requesting your vocalists to either sing louder or to sing in whispers, as there is a conversation going on close by where I sit that is conducted in such a loud tone as to entirely hinder my enjoyment of the music. I prefer, certainly, to hear the concert; but if I cannot be so privileged, I desire to hear the conversation.” There was an extremely quiet and attentive audience in the hall during the rest of the evening.

photograph ad

November 19th 1862

American Affairs

The state of which affairs among our Republican neighbours is not just such as those who sympathize with the North could desire. The best friends of Mr. Lincoln’s administration among his own people are as little satisfied with the progress of the war as those who are in a position to survey the field of operations with a friendly but impartial eye, and who would rejoice at the triumph of the North as a fall of assurance of the final downfall of slavery. When the rebellion first broke out, judging from the boastings of the press and the people of the Free states, the subjugation of the rebellious South was to be an easy task. Superior in numbers, wealth, and resources, it was presumed that an army would at once be brought into the field which would crush out revolt in a few short months, if not weeks. But what has been the result? The second campaign is now drawing to a close, and, judging from what appears on the surface, but little actual progress has been made toward conquering the South, and consolidating the Union in the former, or any other basis.

November 26th 1862

The Grocery Trade

Mr. Hay’s new grocery establishment is to be opened on Saturday next. We will then have three first-class grocery stores in Oshawa. Five years ago, there were none, and many persons thought Mesers. Burk & M’Gaw rather green when they proposed opening one in 1857. Now the grocery trade has almost forsaken the dry goods stores, and is fairly standing alone.

dentist ad

November 26th 1862

School Trustee meeting.

A full and special meeting of the Board of School Trustees took place on Monday evening last, for the purpose of considering the question of hiring a staff of Teachers for the School for ’63. The session was long and somewhat lively. The result was a decision which will sound rather strangely to outsiders – namely, that instead of the present staff of four teachers being kept up or added to, only three teachers be employed to teach the 391 scholars, which are now, with four excellent teachers, but poorly instructed to say the least. The first grade of the school, containing 55 of the smallest children, receives only one hour each day, and during the remaining four hours that they remain in the school- room, are left in the care of two or three older scholars, who thereby lose the instruction they ought to be receiving in the higher classes. The reason as signed by the members of the Board who voted for hiring but three teachers was: perhaps the ratepayers, at the annual meeting in January, might decide not to continue the free school system another year, and if so, there would be such a decrease in the attendance that three teachers would be sufficient. We hope the result of the annual school meeting will be such as will show the trustees that their anticipations of reaction were premature if not entirely groundless.       

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