Smoky Mountain Family Historian

Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's 1835

I thought it might be interesting to see if I could find something about a New Year's Day of years ago. I found an interesting post from 1835 that shared a little of the author's opinion of the direction of the president and country as well as a few details of the day. The author was Philip Hone who had served as New York City's mayor in 1826-1827.

The new year commences auspiciously so far as the weather is concerned. There has never been a finer New Year’s Day; the air is clear and pleasant, and just cool enough to preserve the snow, which gives facility to the visiting part of the population. I went out in the sleigh at twelve o’clock, and visited until four, leaving several of my visits unpaid, which delinquency my wife and I made up in the evening. Broadway, from morning until night, and in the night too, was crowded with pedestrians, and the music of sleigh-bells was heard without the least intermission. Smiling faces were seen on all sides, and all the cares and troubles of 1834 appear to have been forgotten in the joyful anticipations of 1835. The year which has commenced seems destined to be an eventful one, at home and abroad. The administration of General Jackson and the continuance of his popularity will test the strength of our political institutions. If the people continue to support him in his most unwarrantable assumption of power, it will be idle to talk about the republican principles on which the government is founded. But among other difficulties which he has to encounter during the coming year is that of the quarrel with France, in which his unnecessary threats have involved us. The king is disposed to do us justice; but the Chamber of Deputies, composed of men who like bullying themselves, will not submit to the bullying of others, and I fear that our government has been committed by the President too far to admit of any peaceable compromise. The wisdom of Congress may save us, and it certainly would, if party-spirit had not more influence than a regard for the true interest of the country. But to the Senate we may yet look for patriotism and public virtue, and there we rest our cause.

Source: Tuckerman, Bayard, ed. The Diary of Philip Hone, 1828-1851. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1889. Vol. 1, p. 125.



  • I like the idea of sleigh bells instead of taxi horns. :P Happy New Year! :D

    By Blogger Maggie, at 11:25 PM  

  • Lori,

    Thank you for the great article. I love the idea of going out and visiting friends on New Year's Day. Makes you wonder who was actually home to visit! lol

    As for "The wisdom of Congress may save us, and it certainly would, if party-spirit had not more influence than a regard for the true interest of the country" -- here I was thinking that partisan politics was a recent invention. Silly me!

    Happy New Year!

    By Blogger Janice, at 10:57 AM  

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