Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Charles H De Wolfe

Notes from: "History of the press of Maine" edited by Joseph Griffin - (Brunswick):

The Oldtown Index was the only newspaper ever published in Oldtown, Maine. It was issued occasionally between 1848-49... It was managed mainly by Charles H. De Wolfe, an Englishman by birth.... "a man of peculiar notions in vegetarianism, free-love, etc..."

He didn't last long .. next he turned up in Oregon... where he carried on with a woman out of wedlock.. in front of the judge, Wolfe said he would get married to her and she to him... the judge married them there and then...

Wolfe died in California.

Notes from: The Bengal Catholic Herald (Calcutta, India), Saturday, October 25, 1851; pg. 236; Issue 17.

"The company (Vegetarian Society in London) were addressed by Charles H De Wolfe and Rev Metcalfe who have travelled 3000 miles from America to be present on this occasion."


Notes from: "Proceedings of the [Temperance] convention, held in New York, Sept 6 1853":

Charles H De Wolfe is a delegate from Old Town Temperance Society, Maine.
Dr Russell Thacher Trall also in attendance

Notes from: "The battle cry of freedom" by Samuel A Johnson:

"The Vegetarian Settlement Company was formed in the summer of 1855 with Charles H. De Wolfe of Philadelphia as president, Dr. John McLaurin as secretary, and Henry S. Clubb as treasurer.  It was proposed to form a settlement of vegetarians on the fantastic 'octagon plan,' whereby tracts two miles square were to be cut up into sixteen triangular farms, forming an octagon, with a village in the centre, and the corner triangles used as common pasture and timber land.  The Octagon Settlement Company formed..."

[Dr Russell Thacher Trall and Dr John McLaurin wrote a book together about potatoes. "The model potato: an exposition of the proper cultivation of the potato; the causes of its diseases, or "rotting"; the remedy therefor; its renewal, preservation, productiveness, and cooking", Times Print & Pub Co. 1872]

Notes from "The Water Cure Journal" - July 1855:

Vegetarian Company - Kansas
"This is the first instance on record of a spot on the earth's surface being consecrated to the "Vegetarian Principle" (the next memorable being Magna Grecia created by Pythagoras, the author adds... plus he mentions Epicureans, Brahmins...)

In England, Rev. William Cowherd adopted a vegetarian diet, and founded a denomination called the 'Bible Christians;' and that church has continued in the practice to this day.  There are 2 Societies in England and one in Philadelphia belonging to this church.

In 1840, James Pierrepont Greaves (a man of philanthropy), disciple of Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi (Swiss education reformer) founded the "Concordium" in Ham, Surrey (now Richmond) conducted strictly on the vegetarian diet.  "Many of the present Vegetarians in England received their dietetic instructions from this institution."  It was situated on a garden of 4 acres.  It was conducted for some years by Mr William Oldham - and broken up during his absence in 1847.  The difficulty was the cost of land...

The Kansas Vegetarian Company proposes to locate land in entirely new territory.  16 sq miles amongst 64 people.  160 acres to each settler.   Settlers initially live together in a boarding house whilst the houses are built.

By June there were 22 members of the company including (with 25 relatives):
James Adams (Blacksmith, Rahway, NJ); Henry S. Clubb (Reporter, Secretary, NY City)
William H Colt (Horticulturist, Hopkinton, NY); John Cooke (Farmer, Huron Co, Canada?)
Israel France (Farmer, Enterprise, Pa); Thomas Gibson (Shoemaker, Brookville, IN)
J. Milton Hadley (Teacher, Friends Mission KT); A. B. Hicks (Teacher/Farmer, Jelloway, O)
George Hobbs (Nurseryman, Hicksville, O); Jane Holloway (Marcellus, NY)
Samuel A Kingsbury (Baker, Providence, RI); William J McCown (Merchant, Richmond, IN)
J. McLaurin (Physician, Treasurer, Bytown, CW, WC); Charles Morley (Colporteur, Topeka KT)
William H Orr (Printer, NY City); W. W. Parminter, Jr (Farmer, Mt Vernon, OR)
Joseph Small (Shoemaker, Fergus, Wellington CO. CW); William Somerville (Weaver, Lonsdale RI)
J. H. Smith (Builder, Cerro Gordo, IN); Henry Voorhus (Farmer, Lodi, NY)
Lyman Wheeler (House Painter, Villenova, NY); Charles H De Wolfe (Gentleman, President, Philly)

Also... in this issue - it is the 6th Anniversary of the American Vegetarian Society - May 16th 1855
Meeting held in New York. (at rooms of Dr Trall's Hydropathic & Hygienic Institute)
President of the Association - Dr William A Alcott of Massachusetts in the chair.
Corresponding Secretary - Rev. William Metcalfe, M.D. 
Recording Secreary - Metcalfe .. in absence of Joseph Wright, A.M. of Penn.
Appointed as Committee on officers and other business:
  Charles H. De Wolfe, Esq; Dr John Grimes; Dr R. T. Trall.

Officers for following yr:   Vice Presidents:
Dr R. D. Mussey - Cincinatti, OH
Dr John Grimes - Boonton, NJ
Dr R T Trall - NY City
Rev David Lott - Lottsville, Penn
Rev Peter H Shaw - Greenfield CO
Charles H De Wolfe - Philly, PA
Dr J H Hansford - Nantucket, MA
Dr A W Scales - Harrodsburg, KY
Jonathan Wright, Esq - Philly, PA

Treasurer: James Horrocks, Esq - Frankford, PA
Recording Secretary: Joseph Wright, A.M., PA
Corresponding Sec.: Rev. William Metcalfe M.D., Kensington, PA

Letters read by Alcott and Metcalfe

Resolved: "That Vegetarianism is the 'Archimedian Lever' by which to move the world"
Resolved: "That we hail with pleasure the fact that there has formed, and is now existing a 'Vegetarian Kansas Emigration Company'"
Resolved: Corresponding Secretary should collect $1 annual membership per member.

Evening:... speeches... by
Shaw, Alcott, Mr Henry M. Parkhurst, Metcalfe, De Wolfe, Rev Mr Avery, Dr Trall, Clubb.


From "Went to Kansas: being a thrilling account of an ill-fated expedition to that fairy land, and its sad results : together with a sketch of the life of the author, and how the world goes with her" by Miriam Davis Colt - 1862

Jan 5th 1856 - We're off to Kansas!
"The Vegetarian Company that has been forming for many months, has finally organized, formed its constitution, elected its directors, and is making all necessary preparations for the spring settlement.

The directors of the company are : Charles H. DeWolfe, President; John McLaurin, Treasurer; Henry S. Clubb, Secretary.


Clubb says in his circular: "In September last, Dr John McLaurin, as one of the directors, proceeded to explore Kansas Territory, and after spending several weeks in travelling along the Kansas, Osage, and other rivers, he came to the conclusion that a fine site on the Neosho river, between latitude 38 deg and the boundary line of the Osage Indian lands, and between 18 and 19 deg longitude west from Washington, would be the best location for the Vegetarian Settlement."


Clubb writes - Mar 26th 1856 - W. H. Colt. Dear Sir, come now.. bring little luggage...


They arrive but nothing has been built up... there is no shelter - they have to make do as best they can... for months whilst they sow the crops and build the houses.

Nothing more for now on De Wolfe...