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Fairs, Steamboats and “The Quota” : 150 years ago in Rockland County

What was happening in Rockland County 150 years ago? You can read the digitized issues of the Rockland County Messenger online at http://news.hrvh.org.  The editor of the Messenger bragged about the quality of the Steamboat service as the ships returned to service after the winter in an article entitled "Our Steamboats".  This weekly newspaper published the schedule for the steamships on the back page of each issue.   There was an announcement for a local fair in Nyack and a "Metropolitan" one in New York City to help support the efforts of the U.S. Sanitary Commission, a private relief agency created by Federal legislation to help sick and wounded soldiers during the U.S. Civil War.

 

A small notice entitled "Our Quota," reported on the status of the draft in Rockland County.  Each town was required to supply a certain number of troops based on population.  In this notice it is mentioned that Haverstraw has a deficiency of 117, Clarkstown 17, Orangetown 1 with only Ramapo not only filling the quota but delivering a surplus of ten men.

As much of the local population was against the war, the towns eventually developed a system whereby they could collect a tax and purchase a substitute to fight.   The cost was $300, but there was much corruption amongst the town clerks. For more on the quotas in Rockland, read Frank Green's History of Rockland County, pages 311-322.  You can read this week's entire issue of the Rockland County Messenger from 150 years ago online at http://new.hrvh.org.

If you would like to search all historic newspapers from Rockland County on HRVH use the following search box:

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