Sunday, May 29, 2016

Hudson in May 1866

There are a fair number of visitors in Hudson this weekend, as there were 150 years ago in the last week of May, when Hudson was host to the Sabbath School (or Sunday School) Convention. But there were also some less upstanding folks in town then, as evidenced by the mid-19th century version of the "Police Blotter" that follows, which appeared in the Hudson Daily Star for May 24, 1866.


The article indicates that Patrick Flarrel, arrested for disorderly conduct on Warren Street, "had no stamps." During the Civil War, and apparently for some time afterward as well, postage stamps could be used as legal tender. When the war lasted longer than expected, people panicked and started hoarding silver and gold coins. The production of new copper coins was restricted because metal was needed for weapons. To address the problem, Congress passed a law permitting the use of postage stamps as currency. Click here to read more about this.

City Hall, where the events described in "Police Doings" took place, was in 1866 the building we now know as the Hudson Opera House. Completed in 1855, it would have been a relatively new building when Clara Williams, Amelia Hines, Patrick Flarrel, and Charles Ludaber appeared before the Justice on that morning in May.

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