This Week in Rockland: Newspaper Excerpts: Flashback Friday: Week of September 30

2022-09-30 TWIR Image-Antrim Dam

September 28, 1872 – 150 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Journal

       The announcement through the JOURNAL and by posters that the great orator, Frederick Douglass, would address the people of Nyack, on Monday evening 23d inst, in behalf of Republican principles, had the effect of calling together the largest number of people, perhaps, that ever assembled at any one time in a building in Nyack. Smithsonian Hall has ample accommodations to seat seven hundred and fifty persons, and with extra seats about one hundred more, but at eight o’clock on the above evening scarcely a seat could be found, and half an hour later hardly standing room; the stage itself being occupied by as many people as could get on to it. Among the audience were a great many ladies who testified their interest in politics by turning out in force, many coming from long distances The Grant and Wilson Escort and the colored men’s Club paraded with torches and presented a fine appearance as they marched through our principal streets headed by the Nyack Brass Band.
       About 8:30 p.m. the renowned speaker, Frederick Douglass, took his seat on the stage amid the enthusiastic plaudits of his audience and in a few moments the president of the Grant and Wilson Club, Hon. S. B. Cole, announced the audience that Mr. Hawes would recite, by request, Whittier’s thrilling poem the “Fugitive Slave.” This was given in a most impressive manner and his style of rendition was warmly applauded. Mr. Douglass was then introduced to the audience, and although the packed condition of the room made ventilation almost impossible, and the effort of speaking an extremely difficult task, yet he held his audience as if by magic for the space of an hour and forty minutes, and had he been able to speak double that length of time, they would have deemed it all too short.
       A large portion of Mr. D.’s address had reference to the social position of the colored man as a slave and as a freeman; and as he dwelt upon the fact that it was to the policy of the Republican party that the colored man is indebted for his freedom and sense of manhood, there were few eyes in that vast assembly that did not flash with exultation, and few hearts that did not swell with pride at the glorious achievements of that party which our opponents would fain have us believe had fulfilled its mission of usefulness.
       While Mr. Douglass carefully abstained from indulging in personal allusions—an example which our Liberal and Democratic friends would do well to follow—his speech from beginning to end exhibited or rather revealed a vein of biting sarcasm, which, like a keen blade, cut wherever it touched; and as he alluded to Sumner’s flimsy charge against President Grant for failing to invite him (Mr. D.) to dinner, the hall fairly shook with applause and laughter when he said that he had known Mr. Greeley intimately for thirty years, and not once during that time had he even invited him to visit Chappaqua.
       The personal appearance and ringing address of Mr. Douglass will long be remembered by all who saw and heard him last Monday night, and the Republican party has no braver champion, or one who will deal heavier blows in this campaign, than Frederick Douglass.
       At the conclusion of his address, three deafening cheers were given with a will for the Republican National and State tickets, and three more for Frederick Douglass.

September 30, 1932 90 YEARS AGO
Ramapo Valley Independent

[Image: Lake Antrim Dam, Suffern, NY, undated color postcard, courtesy of the Suffern Free Library]
       The interest of the citizens of the lake district in the improvement of Lake Antrim has not ceased with the recent raising of the water level and the repair of the dam. Four swans are being kept in an enclosure until they become acclimated and then they will be set free to glide over the waters at will.
       The swans were purchase by a group of people in the lake district who feel that the birds will be useful as well as ornamental. A swan-house was built by Joseph Martin, manager of the Suffern Stone Company, who has been active in improving the lake. The birds will be cared for by A. Haeussler.
       Mayor John H. Kocher and Trustee George T. Williams have made a request that the public help to care for the swans and to see that no harm comes to them. Small boys will have to be taught that the birds are not to be bothered or molested. People in the neighborhood who own dogs that roam about the lake shores can also help by keeping the dogs away from the graceful, feathered beauties.
       Many people love to watch swans floating on water and their presence will make the entire lake area more attractive. Those who have made it possible for the swans to be placed on the lake have performed a public service and the people of the village can show their appreciation by helping in every way to cooperate with the idea.

September 28, 1972 50 YEARS AGO
The Journal News

       Haverstraw town police are urging crime victims to consider bringing lawsuits against the town board for “failure to provide reasonable police protection.”
       In a strongly worded release from the town Policemen's Benevolent Association, police were said to be “prophesying complete collapse of law enforcement” in the town “due to the manpower shortage coupled with the spiraling crime rate and the increased demand for police services.”
       “Until the situation can be resolved” police recommend crime victims contact their attorneys to determine if a lawsuit could be lodged.
       The PBA reported it has reached an impasse in contract negotiations with the town, and requested a mediator from the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB).
       PBA spokesmen charge the town refused to negotiate safety provisions in the contract, saying the board called establishment of these provisions an infringement on the town board's prerogatives and asserting that police have no business incorporating them into a contract.
       The PBA calls these provisions a legitimate area of negotiation under the Taylor Law. They charge the town board with refusing to “provide safe working conditions for its policemen under its own initiative.”
       The PBA says a department with a chief, two sergeants, 10 patrolmen and several special officers is not enough for 20,000 residents and 65 miles of road.
       The police say they feel it is dangerous for one or two men on the road to patrol such a large area. They say that with rising population and apartment construction, the town board should “insure adequate police protection to the community.”
       Police note the police chief had to call in State Police to investigate the recent murder of Frank Anderson of Garnerville.
       Although the town police are quick to praise the results of the State Police investigation, they point out that the rapid solution of the crime is no comfort to Mr. Anderson.
       “It is the town police who must provide the around-the-clock patrol of the community, and one policeman cannot possibly handle the job properly. One of the main tenets of police work is to prevent crime by aggressive and adequate patrol, but in the town of Haverstraw an auto accident, an oxygen call or even a false burglar alarm report can put the entire on-duty force out of action, leaving the town wide open for criminal activity,” the PBA said.
       Haverstraw police scheduled a meeting with Stony Point police about similar problems with negotiations.
       The Rockland County PBA is “in complete sympathy” with North Rockland police in their contract negotiations, according to county PBA president Martin Pignatelli.

This Week in Rockland (#FBF Flashback Friday) is prepared by Clare Sheridan on behalf of the Historical Society of Rockland County. To learn about the HSRC’s mission, upcoming events or programs, visit or call (845) 634-9629.


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