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There are numerous tables of the time of opening and closing of the river and canals, published in different years by different papers, all of which disagree. The following was published by the Albany Argus at this time. In the first volume of the Annals of Albany will be found a table commencing at a much earlier date, of the times of the opening and closing of the river at this city.
John Wood died, aged 60.
December 2. Mary Guiton, wife of James Stewart, died, aged 28.
3. John J. Eckels, confined in the Penitentiary for defrauding the internal revenue, died of dropsy. He made confession to Calicott denying
that he had any participation in the famous Burdell murder Mrs.
Ann Bradley died, aged 57.
4. Edward Waldron drowned, aged 20.
5. John J. Johnson died, aged 47. Dennis Healy died, aged 28. Almira Frances Snyder, wife of Daniel O. Eaton, died, aged 29.
6. Great snow storm — navigation closed. In a gossipy Albany letter to the New York Leader, we find the following description of this sensational snow storm, and of a sleigh ride on the road. He was a profane as well as a prejudiced member of the legislature who spoke of Albany in words following: "It's ten feet under snow in the winter, ten feet under water in the spring, and so d—d hot in the summer that you cannot live there!" It snowed here Monday with a fury seeming to indicate that nature intended to verify that wicked legislator's unkind assertion Snow, like peace, hath its victories, and Monday's engagement proved a great triumph to the storm king. With the snow came sleighing, and with the sleighing came fancy cutters, fast horses, pretty girls and lots of fun. I interviewed a man who owns a 2 :40 nag this morning, and he asked me to take a turn on the road. Tho road is the thoroughfare which lies
between this city and the suburban village of West Troy. A very nice road it is. A cheerful cemetery nestles beside one portion of it, and close to the cemetery a widow lady keeps a tavern, where she dispenses hot drinks to cold customers. The air to-day is sharp and bracing. In the clear splendor of the winter sunshine the snow flukes glitter like diamonds, as they lie closely packed and hard on the frozen ground. Everybody is on the road. Merchant princes, politicians, gentlemen of leisure, men of business, lovely ladies and laughing children join in the general sport. Riding behind a team of bay horses you may see Erastus Corning, who seems of late, to have gained a new lease of life, and who is looking remarkably well and happy. I know of no man past middle age, with the single exception, perhaps, of Cornelius Vanderbilt, who has so handsome a face as Mr. Corning. More than half a century ago he came into Albany a crippled boy, friendless and penniless. By an industry marvelous to me, and a skill unknown to newspaper correspondents generally, this poor boy grew to be a very rich man; but unless the benignant mouth and mild, kindly eyes greatly belie him, he has not forgotten the suffering which poverty fetches and which wealth may relieve; and he cultivates that attribute which is of the three, greatest— charity. He bows pleasantly as we pass him in our cutter, and the fact that our horse can beat his team doesn't seem to trouble him as it would the Rev. Dr. Corey, of Murray Hill. Speeding along to the music of the tintinabulating bells, we presently met Governor Hoffman and his private secretary, Col. Van Buren. The governor handles the ribbons very skillfully, and seems to enjoy greatly this hour's relaxation from the trying duties of his official position. He is looking extremely well. The exercise has given a glow to his cheeks, which are ordinarily rather pale, and added new brilliancy to his eyes, which are never dull. If he was not in such a hurry, I'd stop him and inquire whom he was going to nominate for health officer of New York. The name of that gentleman would make an interesting item. Now comes VVilliam Cassidy, editor of the Argus, and the most accomplished and genial gentleman in Albany. He is driving at a very moderate pace, and is not, I should judge, much of a horseman, but he is a stupendous pedestrian. I took a walk with him the other evening, and after a few hours' experience I felt ready to back him against Weston or any other man. I have sketched but a few of the many who are enjoying this wintry pleasure. But I shall interview some more men who own 2:40 nags, and may hereafter meet other citizens worth describing on the road to Troy Catharine, wife of
John Walsh, died, aged 52. Mrs. Catharine Burns died, aged 75.
7. John Cooke died, aged 60. Mrs. Anna I. Kane died, aged 74.
8. Jane, wife of A. A. Dunljp, died, aged 49. Dr. P. B. McKelvey died in New Orleans, aged 63, formerly of Albany.
9. John De Coffs died, aged 64. Bridget Quinn died, aged 91.
10. James Lillis died, aged 65. Mary E. Clapp died, aged 21. Catharine McCarty died, aged 71.
11. Margaret Grady died, aged 75. Jesse C. Van Patten, formerly of this city, died at Joliet, Illinois, aged 40.
12. The church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, the well known building situated on the north side of Hamilton street, between Grand and Fulton streets, was solemnly dedicated to divine worship by very Rev. E. P. Wadhams, administrator in the absence of Bishop Conroy. The building is a recent purchase from the First African Baptist Sooiety. It has been in the possession of the late occupants since 1826, as a church and school-house, and in view of the fact that the residence of a majority of the late congregation had become too remote from the locality, was recently thrown in market and found a ready sale for a fair consideration. The French and Canadians in this city and vicinity have long desired a church of their own. From time to time efforts have been made to erect one, but apparently without success. The number of this class of our adopted citizens is constantly increasing, and the responsibility of the recent purchase having been assumed by competent parties, the African church passed into the hands of its present owners. It has been materially improved throughout. Its late dingy exterior has been brightened with a fresh coat of delicate hued paint, the old fashioned small paned window sashes have been replaced by modern plate glass, and the entrance door has been handsomely grained. Outside, in fact, the old building would hardly know itself. Inside, the busy hand of improvement is even more manifest. Upon the late interior, from ceiling to floor, remorseless time had bestowed a complexion which was indescribable. It was neither mysterious white nor undecided brown, but whatever it was, is undiscoverable now, so completely is the old obliterated by the new. The pews have been repaired, every part of the interior thoroughly cleaned and the ceiling and walls neatly frescoed and tinted. It is really a very pretty church. The sanctuary is of good dimensions and the altar tastefully designed. The altar piece representing The Assumption of the Virgin is a painting of much beauty, and in proportions as well as subject, admirably adapted to the position it occupies. It is the work of a distinguished artist. The services yesterday morning were attended by a congregation numbering perhaps four hundred. The mass was celebrated by Very Rev. Father Wadhams. Rev. Mr. Shehan was also present on the altar. The dedicatory sermon was delivered by Rev. Father Gagnier, of Montreal. It was in the French language, and was a fervently eloquent discourse. The preacher is a man of distinction, and both in manner and matter was well worth attention. At the close of the service, Rev. Mr. Wadhams briefly congratulated the assemblage upon the auspicious event of the day and alluded in terms of pride to the beautiful little edifice which their zeal and energy had secured for the French and Canadian people. The music consisted of what is known as the Gregorian plain chant, and was rendered with good effect by a number of sonorous male voices. It was a relief to listen to it, unpretentious and yet solemn as it was, after the operatic hop-skip-and jump music of the period. There are said to be about one hundred and fifty French and Canadian families in this city and vicinity who will attend this church exclusive, we believe, of a number attending other Catholic churches.—Argus William H. Smith
died, aged 37. He had been a member of the old Veteran fire department of which he was at one time assistant engineer.
13. The American Hotel, 100 State street, underwent another transformation, and came out as the Watkins House. It was opened on the European plan, under the auspices of Mr. Charles Watkins, and was so completely renovated that the Hosfords, if they were living, would not recognize the edifice they erected for a printing and publishing house in the first quarter of a century Jacob Relyea died, aged 50.