Sunday, June 3, 2007

News of the Day - 30 January 1866

In my spare time (heh - heh - don't we all have spare time?), I search the newspapers for items about people with the surname Seaver in hopes of adding content to my Seaver database.

I found some interesting articles tonight in The Adams Sentinel for 30 January 1866, published in Gettysburg PA:

John Seaver, of Portsmouth, N.H., accomplished the feat in that city of walking 100 miles in 100 hours, without sleep, completing the task on Saturday evening at 8:30 o'clock. Seaver is now, as he expresses it, "almost as good as new." This is said to be the first time that this feat has been successfully undertaken.

Benjamin Finney, a wealthy farmer at Rockport, Illinois, was recently poisoned to death by strychnine, by his fifth wife, a pretty girl, whom he married six weeks ago.

A girl of fifteen is on trial at Boston for bigamy. Her first husband, married at the mature age of fourteen, is in State Prison.

A Hartford gentleman, who was lunching with some friends on bologna sausage and ale the other day, found the end of a man's finger in the sausage.

The Middletown (PA) Journal says that, last week, while a number of ladies and gentlemen were skating on the dam in the Swatara River, a certain Miss, who had skated up to a place where the ice had been removed, was suddenly, but accidentally pushed by another skater, when the former fell into the water. Her hoops kept her afloat until rescued.

My comments:

I keep finding bits of information about John Seaver of Portsmouth NH, but I've not been able to determine his parentage. On the other hand, nobody has written to me saying they are descended from him, so maybe it won't make a difference that he set a world's record for not sleep walking.

How would you like to be descended from poor Benjamin Finney? He buries four wives and the fifth one poisons him! Who raised all the kids?

They must have had some privacy rules in 1866 - they don't name the young lady bigamist or either of her husbands.

I always wondered what the hoops in dresses were for. The hole must not have been too wide. I've been reading up on costumes as part of my Union Case photo study - the girls sure made the guys work for it, didn't they? Fumble fingered guys probably weren't too successful.

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