My dream was to be an international bestselling author. After I wrote that novel, my goal was to get my work published by any means necessary.
The Other Civil War A sheriff in the Hudson River Valley near Albany, New York, about to go into the hills in the fall of to collect back rents from tenants on the enormous Rensselaer estate, was handed a letter: The tenants now assume the right of doing to their landlord as he has for a long time done with them, viz: You need not think this to be children's play I would not pledge for your safe return.
When a deputy arrived in the farming area with writs demanding the rent, farmers suddenly appeared, assembled by the blowing of tin horns.
They seized his writs and burned them. That December, a sheriff and a mounted posse of five hundred rode into the farm country, but found themselves in the midst of shrieking tin horns, eighteen hundred farmers blocking their path, six hundred more blocking their rear, all mounted, armed with pitchforks and clubs.
The sheriff and his posse turned back, the rear guard parting to let them through. It was a protest against the patroonship system, which went back to the s when the Dutch ruled New York, a system where as Christman describes it "a few families, intricately intermarried, controlled the destinies of three hundred thousand people and ruled in almost kingly splendor near two million acres of land.
The landowner, as one sympathizer of the tenants put it, could "swill his wine, loll on his cushions, fill his life with society, food, and culture, and ride his barouche and five saddle horses along the beautiful river valley and up to the backdrop of the mountain. The economic crisis of had filled the area with unemployed seeking land, on top of the layoffs accompanying the completion of the Erie Canal, after the first wave of railroad building ended.
That summer the tenants resolved: Smith Boughton, a country doctor on horseback; Ainge Devyr, a revolutionary Irishman. Devyr had seen monopoly of land and industry bring misery to the slumdwellers of London, Liverpool, and Glasgow, had agitated for change, had been arrested for sedition, and fled to America.
He was invited to address a Fourth of July rally of farmers in Rensselaerville, where he warned his listeners: They agreed on calico Indian costumes, symbol of the Boston Tea Party and recalling original ownership of the soil.
The tin horn represented an Indian call to arms. Soon ten thousand men were trained and ready. Organizing went on in county after county, in dozens of towns along the Hudson.
Sheriffs and deputy sheriffs trying to serve writs on farmers were surrounded by calico-clad riders who had been summoned by tin horns sounding in the countryside-then tarred and feathered.
The New York Herald, once sympathetic, now deplored "the insurrectionary spirit of the mountaineers. A man sent onto a tenant's land to gather wood for the landlord was killed. A farm boy was killed mysteriously, no one knew by whom, but Dr.
The governor ordered artillerymen into action, and a company of cavalry came up from New York City. Petitions for an antirent bill, signed by 25, tenants, were put before the legislature in The bill was defeated. A kind of guerrilla war resumed in the country, between bands of "Indians" and sheriffs' posses.
Boughton was kept in jail seven months, four and a half months of that in heavy irons, before being released on bail. Fourth of July meetings in attended by thousands of farmers pledged continued resistance.
Similar attempts to sell livestock for rent payments were thwarted, again and again. The governor sent three hundred troops in, declaring a state of rebellion existed, and soon almost a hundred Anti-Renters were in jail. Smith Boughton was brought to trial.
He was charged with taking papers from a sheriff but declared by the judge to have in fact committed "high treason, rebellion against your government, and armed insurrection" and sentenced to life imprisonment. Those "Indians" found to be armed and disguised at Moses Earle's farm, where the deputy had been killed, were declared by the judge to be guilty of murder, and the jury was so instructed.
All were found guilty, and the judge sentenced four to life imprisonment and two to be hanged. Two of the leaders were told to write letters urging the Anti-Renters to disband, as their only chance to escape heavy sentences.
They wrote the letters. The power of the law thus crushed the Anti-Rent movement. It was intended to make clear that farmers could not win by fighting-that they must confine their efforts to voting, to acceptable methods of reform. Inthe Anti-Renters elected fourteen members to the state legislature.
Governor Silas Wright now commuted to life imprisonment the two death sentences and asked the legislature to give relief to the tenants, to end the feudal system in the Hudson Valley.
Proposals to break up the huge estates on the death of the owners were defeated, but the legislature voted to make illegal the selling of tenant property for nonpayment of rent. A constitutional convention that year outlawed new feudal leases.From the era of slavery to the rise of Donald Trump, wealthy elites have relied on the loyalty of poor whites.
All Americans deserve better. I’m just a poor white trash motherfucker. The figure seems about right. From the Wall Street Journal article Fast-Paced Best Seller: Author Russell Blake Thrives on Volumes “In , self-published books accounted for 32% of the top selling e-books on Amazon each week, on average.”.
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