Webpage 2 of a series of articles from the newspaper The Democracy, which started publication May 30, 1854.
Webpage 1 is located at Democracy 1.

Friday, November 17, 1854

PERTINACITY AND SUCCESS - A gentleman residing in the vicinity of a magnificent mansion in this town, said to harbor the person responsible for the panic now affecting monetary interests, tells an amusing anecdote, illustrative of the good resulting from pertinacious endurance in demanding justice under adverse circumstances. On Wednesday morning a German woman called at the door of the castle - every man's house is his castle - which was opened; a few moments conversation ensued, and the poor woman was rudely repulsed, and the door shut in her face. Nothing daunted, however, she kept her place upon the step, and commenced a vigorous attak [sic] upon the bell pull and the door panels, with an occasional resort to her vernacular tongue, in short and pithy speeches. For two mortal hours she remained there, alternating from the bell-pull to the Teutonic, and from the Teutonic to the door panel. She talked, rang and hammered, hammered, rang and talked, talked and hammered. For a wonder, she did not raise a crowd, passers-by evidently taking her for an asker of alms, and not pausing to learn the tenor of her remarks. At the end of the two hours, however, the door was opened, a head protruded, a business transaction was evidently consummated, and the poor woman turned, slapping her hand on her skirt pocket, and one broad smile from head to foot, to pursue her way up the street.

The beleaguered garrison had clearly capitulated, but the process of the besieger was unique and amusing. Let those laugh, however, who win.

Friday, November 17, 1854

At a special meeting of the citizens of the 4th, 5th and 6th wards held at Weimar's Hall, corner of Batavia and Michigan streets, called by hand bills, for the purpose of informing all the land-owners and tax-payers of the above-mentioned wards of an enormous tax assessed on the territory forming the old 4th ward of the city, except Judge BENNETT's property, and for the purpose of abating said tax, which the tax-payers interested in the Batavia-street market consider erroneous and unjust. DR. DELLENBAUGH, of the 5th Ward, was called to address the meeting, The speaker most eloquently explained the above tax erroneously assessed, also the rights of the tax-payers as well as those of the Common Council, according to the city charter; also he understood that part of the Council are willing to confirm said tax roll, whether right or wrong; if so the Council ought to be prevented from doing so, by an injunction so that they may not do wrong, if they cannot do right. Also that some honest individual, who is familiar with the city charter, might be employed to observe the operations of the Council, and there protect our rights, if some of our Aldermen will not do so.

On a motion of Mr. J.W. Wenz, resolved that Dr. Dellenbaugh propose a suitable person to observe the movements of the Council, and to protect our rights. Dr. Dellenbaugh proposed ex-Alderman Baker, and recommended him as the most suitable gentleman for that purpose. Unanimously adopted.

On a motion of Mr. J.W. Wenz, a committee of six were appointed to draw a remonstrance relative to the assessment in question. Said committee are - Messrs. Dr. Dellenbaugh, Peter Rechtenwalt, Frederick Zinns, Geo. Milner, Jas. Sirret, Christopher Rodenbach.

On a motion of Dr. Dellenbaugh, a committee of five was appointed to confer with other wards of this city. Said committee is - Messr. Geo. Milner, John Greiner, Dr. Dellenbaugh, J.W. Wenz and Fred'k Zinns.

Mr. Geo. Milner also addressed the meeting very eloquently.

On a motion of PETER RECHTENWALT and others, the following gentlemen were appointed to obtain signatures to the remonstrance, viz:

Fred'k Dellenbaugh,
Dr. F.J. Weyland,
John Schweigert,
Stephen Huber,
Peter Wetter,
Mr. Eggerts,
Nicholas Wagner,
Peter Kramer,
Peter Rechtenwalt,
John P. Kotch,
John H. Schmiring,
Xavier Schindler,
Christopher Lindeman,
Christopher Rodenbach,
John Mischo,
John Brechtel,
F. Schenkelberger,
Frederick Meyer,
Matthias Holfelder,
Edmund Smith,
John Bedford,
Geo. Rupp,
Daniel Mason,
John Vanderbusch,
Hartmann Wagner,
Orlando Webster,
Michael Branner,
Chas. Irish, Jr.,
Peter Schaffler,
Mr. Hardicourt,
Conrad Haering,
G.H. Merritt,
Peter Munschauer,
Franklin Lewis,
J. Van Arx,
Sebastian Diebold,

O.G. Steele,
Chas. Lay,
A.D. Warren,
David Webster,
Capt. Billings,
Giles Husted,
J.H. Husted,
Joseph Coatsworth,
John Sieffert,
Henry Mueller,
Jacob Gitlere,
J.H. Harris,
John Fink,
John C. Schwinn,
Matthias Buetler,
John Ubing,
John Haller,
H. Stevens,
Richard Miller,
August Ganson,
Peter Gerigen,
Thomas Coatsworth,
Conrad Schuller,
James Mosier,
Henry Schwartz,
Samuel Husted,
Philip J. Reinhard,
Godfrey Schultz,
Mr. Debus,
John Feger,
John Schurmann,
Christian Knoll,
Joseph Staub,
Henry Koods,
Charles Stern,
Conrad Hanck

On a motion of Dr. Dellenbaugh, the meeting adjourned to meet at Weimar's Hall next Friday evening, November 17th.
                                  H.G. Merritt, chairman
Gregory Ritt, Sec'y

Tuesday, November 21, 1854

We learn that a German, named Fred'k Hoffmann, living on Burton Alley, between Washington and Ellicott street yesterday attempted to commit suicide, by cutting his throat. He did not succeed, however, in his design, though inflicting a wound which renders his recovery doubtful. He was removed to the Hospital of the Sisters of Charity where he now lies. We did not learn the cause of the attempt.

Wednesday, November 22, 1854

The police have been strenuously endeavoring to obtain some clue to the authors of the outrage, which resulted in the death of the German referred to some days since, but heretofore without success. It is to be hoped that they will soon be able to throw some light upon the circumstances of this heinous crime.

Thursday, November 23, 1854

MASS MEETING - At a large, respectable meeting of the tax-paying citizens of the 9th, 10th, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th wards, at the Old Court House, on the 20th inst., to take some action to defeat the contemplated assessment of $62,000 to purchase land at the corner of Chippewa and Washington streets, for the Market, Ald. A.S. BEMIS was called to the Chair, and ALONZO TANNER chosen Secretary.

H. SEYMOUR, addressed the meeting, and on his motion, a committee of fifty was appointed to circulate remonstrances against the confirmation of the same.

Remarks were also made by James M. Smith, Ald. Bemis, A.L. Baker, and Goerge L. Marvin, in opposition to the assessment. Mr. Seymour volunteered to circulate the remonstrance against said assessment, and obtain the signatures of the tax-payers in the district, bounded by Niagara, Genesee and Main streets; H.J. Meech, in like manner, district bounded by Main, North, Cottage and Virginia streets; Thomas McDonald, district embracing upper block in 9th, 10th wards; Edward Downs, district west of Delaware, south of Tupper and Carolina, east of Palmer and north of Chippewa street; Thomas Boyonton, block between Chippewa, Huron, Pearl and Franklin streets; L.A. Page, district bounded by Genesee, Niagara, Mohawk and Morgan streets; P.A. Balcom, districts between Main, Mulberry, Virginia and North streets; E. Rose, district bounded by Niagara, Main and Terrace streets; E.B. Trowbridge, district between Goodell, Virginia, Main and Mulberry streets; C. Wilgus, district bounded by Niagara and Carolina, southerly and easterly by district taken; C. Vollmer, district fire limits within his beat as fire warden.

A.L. Baker volunteered to see agents of non-resident land-holders in said territory and circulate remonstrances.

On a motion of A.L. Baker.
Resolved, That the committee appointed to circulate said remonstrances be requested to meet at the Genesee House on Saturday, the 25th inst., at 7 o'clock P.M., to report progress.

On motion, Resolved, that the proceedings of this meeting be published in the several city newspapers.

The meeting was adjourned to meet at the Old Court House on Friday, 1, at 7 P.M.
                                  A.S. Bemis, Chairman
Alonzo Tanner, Secretary

Tuesday, December 12, 1854

CHIPPEWA MARKET - INJUNCTION - It will be seen by reference to the Common Council proceedings in another column, that the Common Council by their President, has been served with an injunction from the Superior Court, restraining them from any further action in relation to the Chippewa St. market assessment.

Thursday, January 11, 1855

Transcriber's note: This article was on page 2, column 3 and took up three-quarters of the column.


On the 8th of January, the anniversary of Old Hickory's thrashing of the British, at New Orleans, Senator PUTNAM presented to the Senate in Albany the following Petition of the Church of St. Louis in this city:

To the Senate and Assembly
The undersigned trustees and ex-trustees of the St. Louis Church, situate [sic] in Buffalo, beg to lay before the Legislature the following statement of facts, in the hope that some legislative action may be devised to remedy the evils of which they complain.

In the year 1829 an estimable citizen of Buffalo, the late Louis Le Couteulx, Esq., conveyed two valuable lots on Main and Delaware sts. in that city, to the then Bishop of New York, Dubois, in trust for the use of the Catholic Church to be thereafter organized, under the act of 1813, under seven trustees, and has continued from that time till the present, said congregation from time to time electing their trustees according to the requirements of said statute. This organization was affected with the hearty concurrence of the worthy Bishop, and of the liberal donor of the land. A Church was erected by the Congregation, and dedicated by the Bishop and the Society continued in harmony and prosperity until the death of Bishop Dubois, about 1840, and the death of Mr. Le Couteulx in 1842.

Shortly after these events, Bishop Hughes attempted to compel the trustees to convey the title of this church property to him. With a view to coerce compliance with his demands, the Bishop withdrew the priest and suspended the ordinance in St. Louis Church. The trustees declined to yield, and sent one of their number, Wm. B. Le Couteulx, Esq., to Europe, for the purpose of preventing this arbitrary and, as was claimed, this illegal action of the Bishop. Through the intervention of Cardinal Fornasi, the Pope's Nuncio at Paris, Mr. Le Couteulx succeeded in his mission. No further efforts were made at the time by Bishop Hughes to disturb title to the Church, and its members fondly hoped that peace was permanently restored -
Subsequently the diocese was divided, and those of Albany and Buffalo were erected. Bishop Timon became the head of the latter. He was installed into his holy office in this Church of St. Johns, the title of which then vested in said Trustees. In process of time Bishop Timon renewed the effort to compel the Trustees to surrender to him the title of said Church. They again resisted resolutely. This procured various annoyance to the congregation, among which was the withdrawal of all Priests from that Church. Deprived of all spiritual guides, the congregation were accustomed to meet at their church on the Sabbath and make their prayers in common. The case was at length presented to the Holy Father and the College of Propaganda at Rome - the result of which was that in 1852 a special envoy, Father Bedini, was sent to the United States to correct these abuses. The Prelate, yielding to the unfortunate influence which surrounded him, early took sides against us, and our remonstrances were totally disregarded.

High-handed measures were then taken against us. For refusing to comply with what we regard is the illegal and unjust demands of the Bishop, to surrender property thus committed to our charge, as the legally constituted trustees of said church, the Bishop was pleased to issue against us a decree of excommunication.[see June 27, 1854]. During the last three years the church itself has been in effect, closed against the admission of her clergymen, and the ordinances and sacraments of the Catholic religion were withheld from the members of that society.

Such are the unvarnished facts to which we earnestly solicit your attention. The embarrassments and inconveniences resulting from this action of its Bishop, have been to us painful and oppressive. * * * For no higher offence than simply refusing to violate the Trust Law of our States, we have been subjected to the pains of excommunication, our names held up to infamy and reproach. For this cause, too, have the entire congregation been placed under ban. To our members the holy rites of baptism and to burial have been denied. The marriage sacrament is refused. The priest is forbidden to minister at our altars - In sickness and at the hour of death, the holy consolations of religion are withheld. To the Catholic churchmen it is scarcely possible to exaggerate the magnitude of such deprivation.

We yield to none in attachment to our religion, and cheerfully render to our Bishop that obedience in spiritual matters, which the just interpretation of our faith may require; but in respect to the temporalities of our church, we claim the right of obeying the law of the State whose protection we enjoy.

We would respectfully suggest that we are not unmindful of the fact that the American policy, which has been generally adopted, requiring church property to be vested in Trustees, who shall be elected by the members of their respective congregations, we instituted for the purpose of retaining these extensive, ecclesiastical estates in the hands of those whose interests are linked to and identified with the principles and fortunes of our beloved country. And with regret and mortification have we observed that the recent attampts to change these salutary laws respecting the tenure of church property have excited the jealousies, and have brought odium and reproach upon the church to which we belong. Could, however, the untrammeled judgment of reflecting and intelligent Catholics, on this subject, be ascertained, we feel assured, that their voice would be decidedly in opposition to this effort of the Bishop to monopolize the temporalities of the church.

Until within the last twelve to fifteen years, those temporalities have been held by trustees, according to existing statutes and during that earlier period the American Catholic Church was blessed with emminent prosperity and success. While many churches throughout the State have, for the sake of peace, reluctantly submitted to the demands of the Bishops in this respect, a large portion of the several congregations in every locality have regarded this project as alike unjust and impolite.

We feel confident that, by proper legislation, an end can for ever be put to these controversies and difficulties. We, therefore, ask for the passage of a law enforcing, under sufficient penalties, a faithful compliance with existing statutes, respecting the tenure of Church property. To the true Catholic, it is painful to be brought in antagonism with his Bishop and spiritual guide. Such a law will prevent the unpleasant condition of affairs. By no portion of our community will the rigid enforcement of such a statute be hailed with greater satisfaction than by intelligent and faithful Catholics.
    And your petitioners will ever pray.


And Seventeen others.

*Transcriber's Note: The October 4, 1854 edition of The Democracy, in listing the new trustees elected to the Board of St. Louis Church, lists the name as Michael Mesmer.

Saturday, January 13, 1855

THE TRUSTEES OF THE ST. LOUIS CHURCH AGAINST STEPHEN BETTINGER, is the title of a cause recently tried in the Erie County Court, a decision in which was rendered by JUDGE SHELDON a day or two since. The action was brought to recover the amount of pew rent due from the defendant, who set up in defense the want of property in plaintiffs, alleging that it was in the Bishop instead. The original deed from LOUIS LE COUTEULX to BISHOP DUBOIS, of the land on which the church is erected, was introduced, and JOHN TIMON was proved to be the legal successor and the present Bishop, a new diocese having since been formed, including within its limits this Church. The rules and canons of the Church were also introduced, to show the property of the Bishop in the Church. It will be seen, therefore, that the case hinged upon the much agitated question as to the vesting of Church property in Trustees or Bishops. The learned Judge, after reviewing the facts tending towards the establishment of the legal existence of the Church and the formal holding of the plaintiffs as Trustees, says:

"I find as a matter of fact proved, that the defendant rented and occupied the seats in question, in the manner and for the price claimed and above stated, and the only point remaining for consideration in this connection is, whether the defendant as tenant can dispute the title and right of the plaintiff, and the legal effect of his tenancy, when taken in connection with all the other evidence in the case, is now to be decided."

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Having leased the premises, he is bound to respond to his agreement upon two principles, first, that he agreed to do so, and did use and occupy; and second that he is estopped from denying the legal consequences and liabilities of his acts.
"The defence sought to be established is briefly this, that the fee simple of the property is in the Bishop by virtue of succession, and also by deed, and the trustees acted merely as his agents in renting the seats, and that the defendant in fact entered and occupied as the tenant of the Bishop. The unfortunate controversy existing between the plaintiff and the spiritual head of the Roman Catholic Church, and which was attempted to be presented for adjudication in this case is, confined to the temporalities of the Church, the trustees contending that they are by virtue of the statute, and by operation of the law, the lawful possessors and owners of property, dedicated to definite legal purposes, and are properly observing of the purposes of an ascertained trust, while the Bishop claims that the rules and discipline of the Roman Catholic Church are not confined, as in other Christian sects, to spiritual affairs, but can rightfully pretend to temporal authority. When these questions are distinctly presented for consideration, an interesting field will be open for judicial inquiry, but in the present case, owing to the relation existing between the parties, I an compelled to forego that investigation, and place my decision upon the grounds above stated.

The plaintiff must have a judgment for the use of the seats at the price stipulated, for the term of six months."

Saturday, January 20, 1855
Page 2, column 2, half way down the page.

Senate - Friday, January 19

Notice of Bills - To amend revised Statutes in relation to church property.
Assembly - Friday, January 19
Petitions - Relative to tenure of Church property.

Saturday, January 27, 1855

STREET HAWKERS - We never before knew as many itinerant hawkers in our streets as at present; the town is literally overrun with boys and girls, and not without some sprinkling of larger and older people of both sexes, who present their baskets at every turn, and urge upon the public their apples, nuts, oranges, candy, matches, and so forth. From the morning to night our office is beleaguered by hosts of these peddlers, and we presume every place of business in town is similarly visited. If one give the least encouragement to a member of the class, by purchasing a penny's worth of their wares, a chronic bore is at once established, which no future refusal can remove. It is a toilsome, painful method of making money, and can not yield a large revenue, yet it is an honest calling, and, aside from the annoyance it causes, is far better than beggary or idleness, for the children's sake as well as the public good. Most, if not all of these hawkers, are of foreign extraction, and a great proportion, far the largest, are Germans. Wherever industry, thrift, and the aggregation of small profits promise success, there we find the inevitable German, patiently laboring, saving, and stinting, and by-and-by, we hear of him paying his taxes and taking part in politics, this very town is not so young but that it can show numerous instances among its German population, of men arrived at affluence and respectable standing, who began the world with a shingle of molasses candy, or a basket of apples. How different from the Celt, who knows no thrift, and cares not a straw for the morrow.

Go to Democracy 3 for articles starting January 31, 1855