The Month That Was – December 1867

All articles originally appeared in The Oshawa Vindicator

Please note – there are two articles, transcribed as they appeared in 1867, describing the grim death of a woman.


December 4, 1867
Page 1
A man in Toledo, Ohio, lost his wife by death at nine o’clock in the forenoon, at three o’clock in the afternoon he buried her, and at six o’clock in the evening he was married again.

Page 2
A monster hotel will be put up at Niagara next summer – Canadian side

Five hundred thousand dollars changed hands on the recent New York election

The health of Mr. McGee – We learn that Mr. McGee still continues in very ill health.  He is quite unable to take his seat in the Commons in consequence of ulceration of the ankle.  His general health is very much depressed, and though advised by his medical attendants to take stimulants to keep him up, he nevertheless refuses to act upon that advice. Under these circumstances his recovery cannot be expected to take place very rapidly.  Indeed, it is questionable whether he will be able to attend to his parliamentary duties again be the adjournment.
*This article appears to be referring to Thomas D’Arcy McGee, Father of Confederation, and the first of two Canadian political assassinations.

Mechanics Institute – on Friday evening last a sale of the periodicals for the current year was held.  Owing to the inclemency of the weather the attendance was not as large as would otherwise have been the case.  A portion only of the magazines and papers were sold, and these conditionally.  They will again be offered for sale tomorrow night. Any one not present at the last meeting will have an opportunity then to purchase any o the large number of periodicals on the list of the Institute. Those who desire to obtain the [cream] of the literature of the day at about one-half the price that they would otherwise have to pay should not fail to be present tomorrow evening at eight. A meeting of the general committee is called for seven the same evening.

The Hall Works – In order to wind up the estate of the late Joseph Hall, these extensive premises will be sold by auction on Wednesday next. The sale will be held on the premises at two o’clock. The whole of the machine shops, plant, &c., will be offered, forming one of the largest lots ever put up by auction in the Dominion.

December 4, 1867, page 2

December 11, 1867
Page 2
The Local Representation
The eligibility of Dr. McGill to a seat in the House of Assembly seems likely to create an owling amongst old and musty statues that will delight the heart of a chancery lawyer. The case has assumed complications unexpected at first sight. During the term of Mr. Mowat’s reign, over the post offices of the land, the Doctor was offered either a coronership or a magistracy, he chose the latter, and was so appointed. A year or so ago, at the solicitation of Mr. Gibbs, he was appointed a coroner. – But section 17 Cap. 100 of the consolidated Statues declare that no Coroner can be a Justice of the Peace. – The Doctor was a Justice before being a Coroner, and the question arises, does the latter invalidate the former office or vice versa. An old statute of Edward VI seems to favor the latter view. – We understand that this is the reason why Dr. McGill has received no fees for the inquest he held. Since his appointment, the Dr. has acted as a Justice of the Peace, consequently either his acts as a coroner or as a magistrate are illegal. The case may yet come before the Legislature for adjudication, and the probabilities are, there will be no election at least for some time.

December 11, 1867, page 1

Fire Alarms – On Friday evening, a fire alarm was rung. It was caused by a chimney in Pringle’s Hall being on fire. The flames were very fierce, and as the wind was very high, it for a time seemed dangerous, but it was soon put out. Shortly afterwards the chimney of Mr. Gurley caught fire. The gamins made a rush to get into the house, but Mr. Gurley knew better than that, and kept them out with his constable’s baton. Scarcely had this burned out when a chimney of Dr. Clarke’s house was discovered to be on fire. All burned themselves out without damage.

Enlargement – The congregation of the Wesleyan Methodist Church, Columbus, have made arrangements to enlarge their burial ground, and erect a new building for the Sabbath School, and also a new shed. Nearly the amounts required has been obtained, the members having subscribed very liberally.

Hotel Changes – Next spring, Mr. Pringle will move into the large new hotel now being erected by Dr. Eastwood on the old Arkland property. – Mr. Merritt has leased Woons’ hotel for a term of years and will move in when Mr. Pringle moves out.

December 11, 1867, page 2

December 18, 1867
Page 2
Frozen to Death
On Wednesday night last, about six o’clock, as a man on horseback, was going from Oshawa to Whitby, near Gadsby’s corners, he discovered a woman on the road side endeavouring to walk, but apparently unable to do so. He dismounted, picked up a bundle which he found near her, and endeavoured to lead her along. She was so benumbed with the cold that he found it impossible to get her along. He proceeded to Constable Campbell’s and notified him of the case of the unfortunate woman. The constable at once proceeded to the spot and found her speechless. He got her into Mrs. Gadsby’s hotel, but frozen as the woman was, Mrs. Gadsby refused to receive her into the house because she was colored. The constable, instead of compelling the heartless landlady to keep her, procured a cutter, put the already more than half-dead creature into it, and he and an assistant dragged her for two hours through the piercing cold of that bitter night about the streets of Whitby, seeking to obtain some place of shelter. At about midnight he got her into Spurrill’s hotel. Dr. Carson was sent for, but of course by this time the woman was frozen almost solid. He tried every remedy, but she died before morning. Such are but a portion of the facts of a case in which was manifested an utter absence of common sense and Christian charity, such as, for the credit of our civilization, seldom occurs. In the centre of a town, a human being, and that of a woman, freezes to death because no one would take her in!

Christmas Tree – A social entertainment in aid of the funds of the Sabbath School will be held in the Christian Church on Christmas Eve. One of the articles of the entertainment will be a Christmas Tree, the fruit of which will be distributed amongst the audience. Addresses will be delivered by several ministers and gentlemen of the town, and the choir and Sabbath School children will sing some of their choicest pieces. The admittance fee will be a voluntary offering at the door.

December 18, 1867, page 2

For sale.
The subscriber offers for sale, cheap, a DOUBLE PLEASURE SLEIGH, and a young Gray Horse.  Apply to John Hyland, Sen. Oshawa, Dec. 16, 1867.

December 18, 1867, page 3

Page 4
Removal – The subscriber begs to inform his customers that he has removed his Carriage Shop to Bond Street, west of H. Pedlar’s Stove and Tin Shop. Whilst returning thanks to his old customers, he hopes to retain their patronage. – Strict attention will be paid to repairing Buggies, Waggons, Sleighs, &c.; also general repairing.  J. Craig

December 25, 1867
Page 2
Dickens realized $20,000 out of his four readings in Boston.

Brazilian bug necklaces are becoming fashionable in New York.

Mr. and Mrs. Brown of Canaan, NY, have been arrested for killing their child to obtain an insurance of $85,000 on its life.

The Frozen Woman – The colored woman who was frozen to death at Whitby was named Johnson.  She had lived for some time near the lake shore, to the east of Oshawa. Some eight weeks since she came into town, and being homeless, Mr. Fletcher, the barber took her in. She left suddenly about four weeks ago, and for a time was unheard of, but after a few days she again returned, having, in the meantime, being living at an Indian camp four miles from Oshawa. She again disappeared and was not heard [from] until found frozen. The Town Council have properly resolved to investigate the circumstances of her death, and find out upon whose shoulders the responsibility rests. A special committee has been appointed for the purpose.

Christmas Cheer
We are pleased to note that the excellent idea initiated by Mr. Glen, of presenting each of his married employees with a Christmas Turkey, has been this year followed by Messrs. Whiting and Cowan. Over 120 birds were required to supply the two firms. The happy heads of the largest families were presented with the heaviest turkey, and we hope this will encourage the less fortunate paterfamilias, not to remain always in the receipt of the lesser gifts.

Earthquake – On Wednesday morning last, an earthquake was heard and felt throughout the eastern part of the Dominion and a portion of the northern part of the State of New York. A letter from Kingston under date of the 18th says: –

“At ten minutes to three o’clock this morning, I felt a tremulous motion of the earth and a loud rumbling noise, which continued about three minutes. I got up, for the bed and chamber furniture was in a state of vibratory motion. I looked, the air was clear and serene, and the rumbling sound appeared to die away to westward.”

The shock was slightly perceptible here, several persons having felt the trembling, and heard the noise. No damage was done at any place.

Provided for – Mr. Toms has for a second time provided the Vindicator Christmas dinner by presenting us with a pair of young toothsome turkeys, for which he has our best bow. It is comforting to think that even in this uncharitable age there remain some with tender hearts for the unfortunate.

December 25, 1867, page 3

Page 4
Lots for Sale.
The subscriber will sell by private sale, village lots on Centre and Avenue Street. Terms east. RG McGrigor. Oshawa, Nov 6th, 1867.

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