Sunday, April 17, 2011

Madison County- New York

  Before I went to make a visit to my wife's great uncle Walter in New York State in 1994, I had never heard of Brookfield, much less the county in which it is placed, Madison County. When we drove over to the Olde Palmer Home there, I became enlightened and educated in ways I could have never imagined. First of all, it was country. Rolling hills, wooded glades and fields of green, made up a vast area of what was once considered the "West" after the Revolutionary War. It was much more beautiful than I ever imagined New York could ever be. However, when we arrived at our destination it was much more than that, being an oasis apart from the world and a sanctuary from it.

  Madison County is an old county. The Palmer family came out "West" to settle there in 1792, but the white man had been wandering through the lands of the Oneida for a long time previously. The family of Lawton Palmer Esq. was the first white family to have a son born there in the county that year. Life on the frontier was hard, with many of the first settlers giving up and moving back East or dying in the process of establishing themselves. Regardless of this fact, Madison County grew, as far as a farming community can that is. It seemed that somehow all the surrounding areas acquired manufacturing plants and big business, like Schenectady, Utica, and Albany. But not Brookfield nor Madison County.

   If it were not for Google Books, a free online library of many wonderful works which are now free to use without copy write infringement, I may have had to look forever for the obscure facts I was able to find about the earliest settlers to the county. Luna Hammond Whitney wrote a wonderful history of the county in 1872, which helped tremendously. The descriptions of the people, commerce, government, agriculture and the Indians was revealing. It showed a lifestyle that has not entirely vanished from the scene, but had only been modified by the times and technology.

  What was extremely evident however, was the Chrsitian influence on the populace and it's government. The Chrsitian beginnnings of the county were a reflection of not only the people who moved there, but of the nation at large. Established first were the churches and the schools, the latter being created by the churches. The first instructors were the clergy themselves. Consequently, Madison County seemed at the time to be an established New World as envisioned by the Founding Fathers. A place where a man could live with his family in peace. This was the world that drew Lawton Palmer to Brookfield.

Today, Madison County is much the same, a sleepy farm community where if you were to turn off all the yard lights at night, would seem like you had stepped back in time. Not much has changed, commerce included. Only the names of the stores.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Curse an Eraser?

  I wondered why a Freemason would curse an object like an eraser. Obviously, it was something this apprentice was extremely familiar with. Something he would like to control. But, because of his stature in the class system of England, something he could not control -unless- he were a Freemason...

  We don't know his name, this apprentice. We do know he was enraged that his boss owned them all. That he was just an underling and unable to make the decisions concerning their manufacture. But, he thought, ' I do all the work! Why should he reap the benefits?' Sounds like many an apprentice. In haste, he goes to the dark side of Freemasonry for vengeance and makes a fatal mistake; a mistake that would cause his own death. Within two years of placing the curse and establishing his own business two doors down from Nairne, he mysteriously dies. A victim of his membership in the order created by Weishaupt. He was told to never place curses...

  His actions were felt by many- more than he ever envisioned. He had no idea that the erasers would never be used, except perhaps one or possibly two... He had no idea that they would ever cause so much death.

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