Sunday, January 22, 2017

His Insulting and Abusive Letter is Received

The owner/editor of the Delaware Gazette (Delhi, NY) in its January 11, 1821 issue wrote the following letter:

We inform James Miller of Bovina, that his insulting and abusive letter is received. In noticing Miller, thus publicly, our readers, no doubt, will be inquisitive to know the cause; we therefore, without hesitation, state the reason, as we believe, of his hostility to the Delaware Gazette. Some time since, we received a communication, no doubt intended to be poetical, which we did not think proper to publish - The communication was called for and delivered to a person living in Bovina, (whether this person or James Miller was the author we are unable to say,) who very politely notified us that we might expect hostility from that quarter, in the withdrawal of their names from our subscription list. Who this James Miller is we do not know nor very much care:- but brim full of "wrath and cabbage," he has, with great labor, in an epistle of some considerable length most outrageously attacked my reputation in regard to the management of the paper. We have neither time nor disposition to notice James Miller farther:- he has perfect liberty to withdraw his name, for we neither think him capable of writing, spelling or judging of a sentence correctly.

The paper noted they did not know who this James Miller was and, to be frank, neither do I. I found three James Millers that probably were living in Bovina around this time. There was James, son of William Miller and Janet Kedsie. Born in 1781, he was married to Grace Archibald and died in 1840. The second and third possibilities were a father and son both named James. James, born in 1775, was married to Isabella Armstrong. He died in 1851. Their son James was born in 1802 and was married to Agnes Coulter. He died in 1878.

If this newspaper could not figure out who this James was, we likely may never figure out either.

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