Getting back to reading Anna Bradbury's History of the City of Hudson, I came upon this description of what was going on in Hudson in 1785 and 1786, drawn from ads found in the Gazette, our city's first newspaper. The following is an excerpt from Mrs. Bradbury's book.
Mr. Robardet of Connecticut advertised in the winter of 1785, that he would open a class for "instruction in the polite accomplishment of dancing, after the most approved method." "Scholars would be taken from seven to fifty years of age." And this in a Quaker City!
Ambrose Liverpool advertised that he would open a Seminar, where he would teach all the English branches, also Latin and Greek classics; also at convenient times the principles of several musical instruments, and that he had also several dozen strong English beer, which he wished to dispose of.
Mrs. Hussey notified the ladies of Hudson that she would be happy to wait upon their commands in millinery, and mantua making after the most approved fashions, regularly received from New York City, at her house on the hill, near the wharf.
Monsieur Hyacinth L'Escure stated that he kept "a choice lot of Essences near the Market House," also that he would furnish cushions to the ladies and queues to the gentlemen, of excellent human hair, for which he would take his pay in wheat, and Indian corn." Monsieur L'Escure had been a drummer under Burgoyne, and was "barber to the corporation," there being no other at this time in the city.
He is described as having a frizzled head, broad low forehead, little black eyes, wide mouth and triangular visage, and was accustomed to walk back and forth before his shop door, humming a tune and snapping his fingers. His dress was in keeping with his person and profession; "a long striped calico gown, a short white apron, tight nankeen small clothes, and ruffled shirt, completed with silk stockings, and yellow slippers."
Hudson's first circus. On August 15, 1786, Mr. Pool advertised "a circus on the green" stating that he was the first American, who ever attempted equestrian feats, and among other wonderful things which he would exhibit, were two horses, which at word of command would "lay down and groan." The price of admission was three shillings, and ladies and gentlemen were "beseeched not to bring any dogs with them to the performances."
The first menagerie consisting of "two camels" was advertised for exhibition; they were described as "stupendous animals," "having necks three feet eight inches long, a high bunch like a pedestal on the back, four joints in their legs, and can travel fourteen days without water." The curious were invited to come and see them without fail. Admission one shilling.