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January 2004


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Dave Ruch <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
A LISTSERV list for discussions pertaining to New York State history." <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 31 Dec 2003 09:56:49 -0500
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Hi Susan,

Dont know much about firearms of the period, but I could tell you about a song that most definitely was sung on upstate  NY farms during the 1800-1810 period....perhaps it will be useful for your book.   It is an all-out salute to the farmer of the day (and his/her tonic), and portions of the lyrics made their way onto pottery & china from the same period.  I'll print a few verses below (there are fourteen in all):

"The Farmer's Toast"
published in the newspaper "American Farmer", Tioga, Owego Village NY  Wednesday, Feb 8, 1809 (the song had already enjoyed much currency at this point)

By plowing, by sowing
By reaping and mowing
Kind nature supplies me with plenty
I've a cellar well stor'd
And a plentiful board
My cottage affords ev'ry dainty

Let the lazy and rich
Loll in splendor and preach
I envy them not I declare it
I eat my own ham
My own chicken and lamb
I shear my own fleece and I wear it

Come each honest fellow
Who is cheery & mellow
Attend unto me and sit easy
One jorum is quiet
My friends let us try it
Hard drinking might make us all crazy

More content than a king
We will laugh, quaff and sing
Let noone feel here as a stranger
But shew me the ass
Who refuses his glass
And I'll order him hay in a manger 

The full text of the song also contains a few anti-British verses, such as this one:

May sober reflection
Deter base defection
Tory threats have disgraced the whole nation
But should times demand
We must all lend a hand
To avenge her and be her salvation

Hope this helps!

Dave Ruch
Historical Music Programs
Buffalo NY
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  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Susan D. Rosenberg, MD 
  To: [log in to unmask] 
  Sent: Monday, December 29, 2003 4:21 PM
  Subject: firearm question for 1800 - 1820

  Would anyone be able to tell me what type of firearm might be typically
  found on an upstate NY family farm around 1800 - 1810? I'm assuming most
  such farming households would have included some sort of guns.

  Thank you for your assistance,
  Susan D. Wagenheim, MD
  aspiring writer of historical fiction