Friday, August 20, 2010

"Finished!"--No Sir!

A reader sent me the link to the February 25, 1867, issue of The Daily Register. Among other things of interest in this document is this editorial response to a statement made by the editor of the Catskill Examiner, which provides intriguing insight into how Hudson viewed itself two years after the end of the Civil War.

The Catskill Examiner expresses the sage opinion that “Hudson is finished,” and “should be fenced in.” The fact is, the Catskill editor, when he leaves his little village and gets up here, becomes bewildered at the neatness, activity, and thrift that he sees all around him, and contrasting it with his own ancient borough, he imagines in his artlessness that there is no room for further improvement, and that Hudson surely must be “finished and ready to fence in.” Now we assure him that we are growing very rapidly up here, but we have no thought of “putting up the bars” yet, although the Catskill fellows are very fond of some kinds of “bars” of which we have too many put up already, as the Examiner man knows by his own experience.

We find abundant room for improvements, even with all our present perfection. For instance, we find it absolutely necessary to erect several large blocks of magnificent stores, a large number of splendid and costly residences, to lay out new streets, build the Columbia and Dutchess, Boston, Hartford and Hudson, and Hudson and Kinderhook Railroads; clear out the dug-way, to accommodate the immense trade with Athens, ‘cause they can’t find nothing down to Catskill; and last, but not least, put a bridge across the Hudson River, so that the Central Railroad may have a depot here commensurate with its gigantic business--Albany, you know, has so kind ’o wilted and died out.

“Finished!” why bless you, man, we haven’t got even started yet on our career of advancement. We have more projects on the tapis now than will be “finished” in three centuries.

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