Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Turkeys, Thanksgiving, and Hudson in 1870

Yesterday, Donald Trump pardoned two turkeys from Iowa, Corn and Cob. An article that appeared in the New York Times the previous day suggested that pardoning turkeys was one of the things Trump enjoyed most about his job as POTUS: "What Donald Trump Liked About Being President." 

Yesterday, in the Hudson Daily Star for November 25, 1870, I discovered another story of clemency for turkeys, which took place right here in Hudson. 

In 1870, November 25 was the Friday after Thanksgiving, so the arrival of the "regiment of turkeys" would have happened on Thanksgiving Day. I'm not entirely sure where "the grounds of Capt. Geo. H. Power" were located, but we do know that from 1865 to 1881 George Power lived at 400 State Street, the building that was for many years the Hudson Area Library and is now the headquarters of the Galvan Foundation. 

In 1870, the area behind the house was a vast open space, used for farming when the building was originally constructed as the Hudson Almshouse in 1818 and perhaps also used as a kitchen garden by Power, so this may well have been where the turkeys took their "promenade." It's delightful to think of a thousand turkeys being marched from the river to Fourth and State on Thanksgiving Day and back again on the day after the holiday. It would have been like a Thanksgiving version of the "Goose Parade" that made the rounds on Facebook yesterday.  


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