Seated---William E. Ryther, Luther Sargent, Rufus Pratt
George Charles Lawrence---Hotel Proprietor
Jarvis J. Crandall---Sheriff of Windham County
William E. Ryther---Newspaper Editor
Luther Sargent---Gentleman Farmer
Rufus Pratt---Meat Market Proprietor
A Trifle.---We were the other day sitting in our own snug editorial chair, in a very complacent humor, congratulating ourselves on being able to look upon the political arena, without mingling in the warfare. From our loophole of retreat, said we, we can serenely gaze upon the gladiatorial strife, and thank our stars that we at least are out of the atmosphere of politics. We mediated a most happy article on the subject, and were wheeling our quill that way, when voices high and shrill broke upon our ear, and dispelled the dear illusion: it was two of our best friends, who take our paper and extend their patronizing hands towards us, because we eschew politics, and let blackguardism alone. One was in a towering passion, and belabored poor Gen. Jackson till you would have sworn the old Roman could not escape with a whole bone in his body. The other swore down the opposition, and all therewith connected, as if his salvation depended upon the extinction of the "rascally Senate and the Monster Bank." Words grew high--we had a swift vision of a court of justice--our humble self arraigned as a witness to the bloody murder--a gallows in the distance, and a felon's grave. We hastily advanced to separate the adversaries, when we were agreeably surprised at a proposition from both parties, to step over to the tavern and drink a friendly glass to the Liberty of Speech. We breathed a mental thanksgiving and adjourned most willingly. Well, thought we, if this is a specimen of politics, we acknowledge that they are a mystery. We wish we could sing an Epithalamium on the marriage of Jackson and the Bank.
William E. Ryther, Editor
President Andrew Jackson did not tolerate the corrupting swindle known as the Second Bank of the United States.
Otis Hubbard Cooley (1820--1860) also painted oil portraits. His portrait of Dr. John Wilson, "Thunderbolt", remained in the Old Brooks Library for one hundred years, until its theft from the Brooks Memorial Library in August 1995, following the typically crude, unnecessary, and destructive "restoration" work by library mentors on the Thunderbolt Collection, which had recently been returned to the library after an unorthodox, long loan of almost two years' duration.
About this time the Universalists made arrangements to hold meetings by themselves in the old meeting house, after the regular afternoon service of the Congregationalists. A minister was engaged and some of the influential citizens of the town early embraced the new, and to some minds, mythical faith, and habitually attended these meetings. Among the prominent attendants were Uncle Levi Goodenough and Uncle Luther Sargent, as they were commonly known by everybody hereabout. After a time, it is related, the new minister began to digress from the strict path of theology, as some of his hearers put it, and took up the subject of temperance. It is unnecessary to say, perhaps, that in those days an assortment of pure liquors in one's home was considered about as essential to good housekeeping as a well-filled larder. Consequently, very many could not overlook, or even tolerate, anything in their preacher that tended in any manner to abridge their social and individual rights. The preacher continued to grow more earnest in his temperance preaching each succeeding Sunday, until his congregation concluded to make a formal protest, and a committee, of which Uncle Levi and Luther were members, was chosen to wait upon their pastor, with whom the whole subject was fully gone over with emphasis. The good minister heard with becoming patience the arguments of his respective parishioners, and finally inquired of Uncle Levi, the principal spokesman, if he would kindly suggest just what he would have him preach. The answer came quickly and with spirit, "Preach the gospel, by -----; and the committee without further ceremony departed.
Henry Burnham wrote twelve articles entitled "Reminiscences" during 1866. This is his biographical sketch.