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This Week in Port Jervis History

On October 26, 1894, editor Charles Newbold Pine died at his home on Orange Street in Port Jervis. Pine was born in Camden, NJ in 1822 and grew up in Evesham, NJ. At sixteen years old, Pine gave the welcoming speech for Senator Henry Clay, when he visited Camden ahead of the 1839 Whig National Convention. Pine worked as a school teacher and then for the Philadelphia Saturday Evening Post and the Post Office in Philadelphia. In 1854, he started the pro-whig paper, Jersey Blue in Camden. In 1855, Pine moved to Indiana and three years later he started the Chicago Daily Herald. In 1861, Pine wrote a letter to former President James Buchanan requesting that he contact President Lincoln on his behalf. Buchanan politely declines in a returned letter. Pine would later meet Lincoln, but Pine was a Copperhead (or Peace Democrat), who opposed the Civil War and was critical of Lincoln. Pine returned to Philadelphia in 1862, where he served as an editor to several newspapers, including the Philadelphia Evening Journal. While Pine served as an editor for the Evening Journal, the newspaper’s owner, Albert Dick Boileau, was arrested for publishing a critical editorial of President Lincoln. The editorial is believed to have been written by William Bradford Reed or Pine. Boileau was released from Fort McHenry after writing a letter of apology and explaining his ignorance of the editorial. Boileau's arrest became a landmark case about freedom of the press. Pine took over the paper soon after the incident. Later that winter, Pine wrote, "If it be treason for a public journalist to insist upon a strict observance of the fundamental and supreme law of the land by men in office to condemn all officials who violate that and their oaths to observe it, then the undersigned desires to be deemed a traitor". Pine left Philadelphia in 1881 and resumed his newspaper work in October 1883 in East Stroudsburg to take over the Monroe County Democrat in what he called “an unwise venture”. A year later, Milton Dimmick Mott, the editor of the Milford Dispatch asked Pine to take over the Dispatch after his successful bid for the Pennsylvania Legislature. Pine began serving as an editor for the Port Jervis Gazette in 1888. After his funeral on Sunday the 28th at Grace Episcopal Church on Main Street, Pine was taken to the Erie Depot and then taken by train from Port Jervis to Crompton, Rhode Island, to be buried next to his wife.

On November 1, 1871, Port Jervis's most famous resident, Stephen Crane, was born in Newark, New Jersey. Crane's family moved to Port Jervis in 1876. In September of 1878, Stephen Crane began attending school at the Old Main Street School at the corner of Main Street and Sullivan Avenue. In December of 1879, Crane wrote his first known poem in Port Jervis, called “I’d Rather Have”. The following month, Crane began attending the Mountain House School located on West Main Street where his sister Agnes was a teacher. The school building was demolished to construct Park Avenue, although part of the original wall in front of the building remains just past the intersection of West Main Street and Park Avenue. Weeks later Crane’s father, Johnathan Townley Crane, passed away and Stephen spent the remaining winter and spring with relatives in Sussex County, when he moved back to Port Jervis and lived with his brother William at 21 Brooklyn Street until 1883. Crane would later visit his brother William in Port Jervis at his home on West Main Street. In a letter to his brother from 1897, Crane writes “My idea is to come finally to live at Port Jervis or Hartwood. I am a wanderer now and I must see enough but- afterward- I think of P.J. and Hartwood”.

On this date in 1900, Governor Theodore Roosevelt arrived at 1:00 PM at the Erie Depot in Port Jervis. He was met at the depot by the Erie Band, the Odell Marching Club, the Port Jervis Police and the village President, Obadiah Pellet Howell and the committee. Roosevelt proceeded to the Fowler Hotel and spoke to a cheering crowd of over six thousand people. Click here to view the full article in the Tri-States Union about Roosevelt's visit to Port Jervis.

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