1826: Jerod Chapel to Lot Clark


Lot Clark Gravestone

This letter was written by Jerod Chapel (Abt 1795-Aft 1840) of German, Chenango County, New York. His letter is an appeal for political influence to assist in the creation of a new town to be carved out of the existing towns of German and Lincklaen in his county. His efforts must have been successful for the town of Pitcher was formed by the Legislature on 13 February 1827 — less than two months later. The town lies on the west border of the county, north of center, and is bounded on the north by Lincklaen, south by German, east by Pharsalia, and west by Cortland County. Jerod Chapel is not listed among the prominent citizens of Pitcher in the History of Chenango County but his name appears (“Jerod” Chapel) as a school commissioner in 1827.

Jerod Chapel is believed to be the son of Jonathan Chappell (1756-1822) — a native of New London, Connecticut, who came to Chenago County before his death in 1822. Jonathan was married to Mary Randall. Jerod is enumerated in the 1840 Census in Smyrna, Chenango County.

Jerod sought the political influence of Lot Clark (1788-1862) who resided in Norwich, the county seat of Chenango. Clark was the District Attorney for Chenango from 1822-1823. He then served in the 18th U.S. Congress (1823-1825), and then returned to Norwich where he served as post master from 1825-1828, and again as District Attorney from 1828-1829. He later moved to Lockport and Buffalo, New York. He was President of the Niagara Falls International Bridge Company at the time the company had the distinction of building the first suspension bridge over Niagara Falls.

Image 25


Addressed to Lot Clark, Esq., Norwich, [New York]

German [Chenango County, New York]
December 5th 1826

Dear Sir,

Image 24We have it under contemplation to petition to our legislature the next session for a division of the now towns of Lincklaen and German into three equal towns and on me is the main dependance to carry it into execution. We have obtained three hundred and forty-seven petitions for it and now my friends in political struggle depends on me for an influential support in the Legislature and as I am not personally acquainted with any of the members composing that body except those of Cortland County, I have to beg some assistance from you to use your endeavors to assist me as our members of this county differs from me in political tenets. I harbor an opinion that my exertions will not weigh much with them and some assistance from a friend is necessary in the hour of trouble.

Image 26It is my wishes that you would assist me to give your best wishes to our political friends in the Legislature and drop me a line containing your views on the subject as soon as possible for I have no time to lose if you want to see the situation of the territory contained in the towns, Esq. Clapp has a map of the towns. The two towns are 19½ miles in length and but 4½ wide and the center of each town is in an uninhabited place and no place near the center of either town to do public business. And if you can help me, you would oblige. Yours, — Jerod Chapel

Image 27N.B. My political friends lay dormant at the poll of election in this struggling time not dared to sound an echo to the cause. I fought the battle alone and lost the day but it is said be not dismayed, the cause stands good yet. If I can get my measures adopted, I think I shall ruin the day in a future struggle. I am respectfully your obedient servant, – Jerod Chapel


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