From The TSP Survival Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search


The Berners Street Hoax

Theodore Hook has the face of a fellow one can trust, but should not. He is a prankster. For example, he takes a cab, but he cannot pay the fare, so he knocks on a doctor's door and cries in despair that a woman needs a doctor. The doctor thinks he is about to deliver a baby. Hook insists that the doctor take his cab, but when the doctor arrives, it is the address of an old spinster woman. Thus the doctor must pay for his ride and Hook's as well. In another incident (and there are many) Hook bets a gold coin (about $322 in today's money) that he can make any address famous. Samuel Beazley takes the bet so Hook writes 4,000 letters and sends them out. On the designated day Beazley and Hook are watching Number 54 Berners Street as a chimney sweep arrives to clean Mrs. Tottenham's chimney. The housekeeper is irate. She did not order a chimney sweep. Then another sweep arrives and another and another, each claiming that he has an appointment to clean the chimney. Then wagons of coal arrive, and sweet tarts, undertakers, the Governor of the Bank of England, the Duke of York and the Lord Mayor of London. The house is in an uproar. The newspapers report on the hoax with the required disapproval and a bit of a smirk. Number 54 Berners Street is now famous. Theodore Hook collects his gold coin. [1] [2]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
I'm not even sure this was a real bet. Samuel Beazley was an architect, but he was also a playwright. He primarily wrote comedies. This hoax looks suspiciously like material for a play. Secondly, writing 4,000 letters by hand and paying for their delivery hardly seems like a profitable way to earn a gold coin. And I hope that no none tries such a hoax today. In most states contracting a workman without intent to pay is considered fraud. Nevertheless, everyone had a good laugh except for Mrs. Tottenham, her housekeeper and all of those fellows who had to load and unload those wagons of coal. And while I'm thinking of it, this was the time when coal became a popular way to heat homes. They used anthracite which is a lot less smokey than burning other types of coal. [3] [4]

Intercourse is Now Illegal in the USA

Not THAT kind of intercourse! They mean buying and selling. In the last few days of the Jefferson Administration, the ineffective Embargo Act is repealed and replaced with the Non-Intercourse Act, which is even MORE ineffective. Essentially it says that American shipping is free to trade in all ports except for those of the United Kingdom and France... which is just about everything. The intent of both the Embargo Act and the Non-Intercourse Act is to punish the UK and France by withdrawing the privilege of commerce with the United States. (Hey! Stop laughing! It might have worked... on Pluto!) This continues the steady march to the War of 1812. President James Monroe replaces Jefferson as President this year. [5]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
There are other Non-Intercourse laws having to do with the buying and selling of Indian lands. A large section of the Northwest was designated as "Indian Country", but as we know, that region was reduced over time. The taking of Indian land was not necessarily a coordinated long-term strategy, but it was predicted by George Washington from the beginning. Other than shooting the early settlers, the US government could see no way of keeping the settlers from moving West and pushing back the Indians. [6]

Significant Birthdays

  • Abraham Lincoln is born in Kentucky. He will eventually be elected President of the United States and preside over the American Civil War. [7]
  • Charles Darwin is born in England. He will develop a theory of evolution through natural selection and survival of the fittest. [8]
  • Edgar Allan Poe is born in Boston. He will write poetry, mysteries and strange, dark stories such as "The Tell-Tale Heart" that is best read on Halloween. [9]
  • Alfred Tennyson is born in England. He will be best known in America for his "Charge of the Light Brigade". [10]
  • Louis Braille is born in France. He will develop a reading system for the blind based on touch. [11]
  • Kit Carson is born in Kentucky. He will become an adventurer, and wilderness guide. His fame will grow as he becomes the subject of dime novels. [12]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1809, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. Barham, Richard Harris Dalton. The Life and Remains of Theodore Edward Hook. R. Bentley. 
  2. Guinea (coin) - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 16 June 2016. “The guineas of King George III weighed 8.4 g and were 24 mm in diameter, with an average gold purity (at the time of the 1773 assay) of 0.9146 (meaning it contained 7.7 g of gold).”
  3. Samuel Beazley - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 16 June 2016. “In 1810, Beazley made a bet with his friend, Theodore Hook, over whether Hook could transform any house in London into the most talked-about address in a week. This became known as the Berners Street Hoax, in which Hook sent out thousands of letters in the name of the resident at 54 Berners Street, requesting deliveries, visitors and assistance.[5] Hundreds of persons – including tradesmen, doctors, lawyers, priests, the Governor of the Bank of England, the Duke of York, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Lord Mayor of the City of London – arrived at the address on 27 November.”
  4. Jesse Fell - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 16 June 2016. “Jesse Fell was an early political leader in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. He was the first to successfully burn anthracite on an open air grate. His method and 'discovery' in 1808 led to the widespread use of coal as the fuel source that helped to foster America's industrial revolution.”
  5. Non-Intercourse Act (1809) - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 16 June 2016. “In the last sixteen days of President Thomas Jefferson's presidency, the Congress replaced the Embargo Act of 1807 with the almost unenforceable Non-Intercourse Act of March 1809. This Act lifted all embargoes on American shipping except for those bound for British or French ports.”
  6. Nonintercourse Act - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 16 June 2016. “The Nonintercourse Act (also known as the Indian Intercourse Act or the Indian Nonintercourse Act) is the collective name given to six statutes passed by the Congress in 1790, 1793, 1796, 1799, 1802, and 1834 to set Amerindian boundaries of reservations. The various Acts also regulate commerce between Americans and Native Americans.”
  7. Abraham Lincoln - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 15 June 2016. “On October 5, 1818, Nancy Lincoln died of milk sickness, leaving eleven-year-old Sarah in charge of a household that included her father, nine-year-old Abraham, and Dennis Hanks, Nancy's nineteen-year-old orphaned cousin.”
  8. Charles Darwin - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 15 June 2016. “He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors,[5] and in a joint publication with Alfred Russel Wallace introduced his scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection, in which the struggle for existence has a similar effect to the artificial selection involved in selective breeding.”
  9. Edgar Allan Poe - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 15 June 2016. “Poe is best known for his poetry and short stories, particularly his tales of mystery and the macabre.”
  10. Alfred, Lord Tennyson - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 15 June 2016. “Tennyson excelled at penning short lyrics, such as 'Break, Break, Break', 'The Charge of the Light Brigade', 'Tears, Idle Tears' and 'Crossing the Bar'.”
  11. Louis Braille - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 15 June 2016. “Louis Braille (4 January 1809 – 6 January 1852) was a French educator and inventor of a system of reading and writing for use by the blind or visually impaired. His system remains known worldwide simply as braille.”
  12. Kit Carson - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 15 June 2016. “Carson became a frontier legend in his own lifetime via biographies and news articles. Exaggerated versions of his exploits were the subject of dime novels.”

External Links

Personal tools