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Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
Charles Town, West Virginia
July 28, 2005     Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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July 28, 2005

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4 SPIRIT OF JEFFERSON Farmer's ADVOCATE - Thursday, July 28, 2005 EDITORIAL By Bill Theriault Early spring. Asiatic cholera By the 12th, 50 persons had the a population, has! appears in Montreal. disease and 22 had died. corded. All the In the early 19th century, the June. Alarm increases withFor August 9 to 15 - Philadel- the road, except months of July, August, andexpectation of appearance of phia: 846 new cases of cholera fled from this September were considered to Halley's comet. Events like and 290 related deaths report- place of the be the "sickly season" in our these were thought to be aed. New York: 533 new cases of As the area, a time when more peo-sign of coming disasters. The cholera and 168 related deaths the incidence pie sickened and died from dis- Governor of Maryland issued reported; Norfolk, Virginia: 129 ished, but it eases that thrive in hot, humid a proclamation setting apart new cases of cholera and 34 pear in our weather. The summer of 1832Independence Day "for reli- deaths reported, deadliness was a frightening time for local gious observance, not only in August. Frederick, Maryland,weather. residents because it was when thanking God for the politi- Board of Health organized toIt was not the first world wide cholera ep- cal liberty we enjoy, but to of- prevent spread of cholera. Koch discovered idemic arrived in the United fer prayers for its continuance September 3. Upon the rec- of cholera. As States. and also that he would gra- ommendation of the C&O presi- proved, the Cholera had been endemic inciously arrest or mitigate the dent, the board of directors au- gradually India and nearby countries for threatened dreadful visita- thorized establishment of two devastation centuries, but in 1832 it began tion." hospitals on the canal line. ease was to spread through Europe and June (late) Henry Clay of-September - 2nd week. Sever-erations. America along the trade routes, fered a resolution in the Sen- al deaths occurred in Boonsboro, Today we know that the disease ate of the United States, ask- Sharpsburg, and the lower end of is caused by a bacterium. It is ing the President to appoint Washington County, Maryland. generally spread through wa- a day to be observed as a day One laboring man from the ca- Letters ter or uncooked food that has of general humiliation andnal died in Hagerstown. Two been contaminated with the prayer to Almighty God that deaths occurred in Williamsport. We welcome germ. Untreated cholera vic- he might in his mercy "avert Twelve cases and six deaths re- tiros suffer severe diarrhea and from our country the Asiat- ported along the canal, the editor, dehydration and often death, ic scourge, which is now tra- October 12-18. Seventeen rules that The bacterium passes out ofversing and devastating oth- deaths inHagerstown and a that such the body with the bowel dis- er countries. And should it number inother parts of the considered. charges, and under the natural be among the dispensationscountry. Hospital built in Hag- First, all letters unsanitary conditions found in of his Providence to inflict the erstown near present site of Ro- wells and streams, a 19th cen- scourge upon our land, may it man Catholic graveyard. tury community became pollut- please Him, in His mercy, to By this time, cholera had ap- address and ed with the germ and spreadameliorate the affliction as to peared in Jefferson County. Inber. We do not the disease, render its effects less disas- October 11th, the Virginia Free address and Back in 1832, people didn't trous among us." Press reported the "AWFUL know how cholera was spread, William D. Bell, moderator MORTALITY": unless and they lived in terror of this of Hagerstown, gave public"It becomes our duty today towriter. invisible killer. One theory notice that the cholera must make a most appalling record of No anonymous prevalent at the time was that shortly be expected to ap-"Death's Doings" in our neigh- the disease was caused by "in- pear in the town and that, un- borhood. The desolating mala- temperance," which includedder Providence, cleanliness is dy which has swept our country, excessive indulgence in food, the best protection. He there- has no where been more fatal in the name drink, or various vices. In the fore exhorted all citizens to its career, than at Halltown, four early days of the cholera epi- cleanse streets, alleys, gut- miles east of this place. Since demic, there was often a moral ters, cellars and vacant lots Sunday the 23rd ult. there has clear, legible stigma associated with cholera Hagerstown escaped with rel- been sixteen deaths by cholera, victims because of their sup- atively few cholera victims, in a population not exceedingters will be posed intemperance. July. Cholera was raging in 100 souls. In the family of Maj. All letters In our area, Irish immi- New York City. Deaths werePeters, its ravages have beenon grants and African Americans occurring at the rate of 75-100 heart rending. Five of his house- basis. frequently fell victim to the dis- per day; at least 100,000 peo- hold have been cut off: His sis- Letters ease. Although the communi-ple fled the city. ter Miss Elizabeth Peter, his son ty often regarded the deaths of July 4. Hagerstown. "All Thomas--and three of his ser-putes these people as God's punish- business was suspended andvants. Seldom has it fallen to the acceptable unle ment for their sinful excesses, a large concourse of people, in- lot of one man to drink so deep- involve the disease was caused by the cluding five hundred children ly, at a single draught, of the cup pressing public i unsanitary living conditions of the Beneficial Society and of affliction. On Tuesday morn- that blacks and immigrants the Sunday schools, gathered ing, he left his beloved sister and endured. Locally, both groups on Potomac street before the son in their usual health, and Letters were involved in building the Market House, and marched while in Charlestown, received C & O Canal, which was one in procession to the Lutheran the news of their alarming ill- source for the spread of this Church to engage in religious ness. Medical aid was promptly elsewhere in disease, exercises." obtained, but the work of death If you were a Jefferson Coun- August 1. Philadelphia: was too surely planned. In five such items. ty resident back in 1832, you 69 new cases of cholera and hours the fatal shafts were sped. Each letter would have scoured the news- 33 new deaths were reported And yesterday, he accompaniedown papers for updates on the prog- in Philadelphia between July them to the tomb. ered libelous ress of the cholera epidemic. 28 and August 1. New York Mr. Daniel Allstadt, a young Week by week, you would have City: 583 new cases of cholera man of 20, was among the vic-lished. watched it creep closer andand 234 deaths reported be- tiros; and the others were princi- closer until it was on your door- tween July 28 and August 1; pally workmen on the road. Sev- The Editor, step. total burials for July - 2733, eral of the citizens are yet down Here's a chronology of the of which 1982 were related to with the disease,'but are conva- ~gaD spread of cholera in the sum- cholera, lescent. 'Advocate, P.O. ] mer of 1832 as reported by the August 5. The first reported We question whether a similarCharles local papers: case of cholera in Baltimore. instance of mortality, in so small This newspaper has been reporting news, both good and bad, for some 160 years in Jefferson County. We have attempted, for the most part, to focus primarily on good news items about the ac- complishments of our local citizens and of events that bring pride and visitors to the county. In the past, we have tried to foster a relation- ship of cooperation with all of the elected bod- ies and officials in Jefferson County includ- ing the County Commission, Board of Education and the municipalities of Charles Town, Ranson, Shepherdstown, Bolivar and Harpers Ferry. But good relationships do not excuse and should not prohibit us from pointing out abuses bY public officials. Elected officials are placed in office to serve the' general public. These elected officials operate their offices with tax dollars. Many county opera- tions charge fees for services rendered or for re- cording public documents. It doesn't really mat- ter where the money comes from, it is all public money and how it is utilized should be scrutinzed carefully and often. Over the past several weeks, we have been reporting the story of County Clerk Jennifer Maghan, who hired her brother-in-law to serve meals to poll workers at a cost of nearly $2,000. Whether the clerk will be reimbursed for those meals at the public's expense is yet to be decided by the County Commission. The details of what has been characterized as "Catergate" will not be rehashed in this column. What we will talk about is this newspaper's re- sponsibility to uncover abuses by public officials. The Spirit of Jefferson-Advocate has had a tre- mendous response to its stories about the clerk's actions. A number of other newspapers in the area have picked up on the story as well. Only two responses out of many have been sup- portive of Maghan. We know that at least two, and perhaps three members of the County Commission supported Maghan in the last election. But it's time to put partisan politics or friend- ships aside and decide this issue on the facts. When all the facts are in we believe that the commission will make the correct decision and the public trust in that body will be preserved. TAKIt, 10 FlUte BEFORE tl'tr6 8-Mon (USPS 510-960) ESTABLISHED 1844 Published Weekly on Thursday by The Jefferson Publishing Company, Inc. 210 North George Street. Charles Town, West Virginia Telephone: (304) 725-2046 Mail Address: P.O. Box 966 Charles Town, W. Va. 25414 Periodicals Postage Paid Periodicals paid at Charles Town andadditional mailing offices nual P ce To Jefferson County addresses $23.00 (Including tax) To all other West Virginia addresses $25.00 (Including tax) To all other USA addresses $26.00 (no tax required) EDITOR & PUBLISHER Edward "Pat" Dockeney POSTMASTER: Please send address change to The Spirit of Jefferson-Farmer's Advocate, P.O. Box 966, Charles Town, WV 25414. lirA) (one time up to 30~ of opening balance) APY mmc~ ~a,:~0o6