Judgment Day, 1788
Monday, May 21, 2012 8:11:09 AM
The 19th of May, 1788, was remarkably dark in Connecticut. Candles were lighted in many houses, the birds were silent and disappeared, and the domestic fowls retired to roost. The people were impressed by the idea that the Day of Judgment was at hand. This opinion was entertained by the legislature, at that time sitting at Hartford. The House of Representatives adjourned, and the council proposed to follow the example. But a Colonel Davenport objected on remarkable grounds:
"The day of judgment," he said, "is either approaching, or it is not. If not, there is no cause for adjournment If it is, I choose to be found doing my duty. I wish therefore that candles be brought."
Davenport quote originally from Kazlitt Arvine's Cyclopedia of Moral and Religious Anecdotes (1890),
main text and citation of quote is from "Tuesday 19 May" in Forgotten English - A 365-Day Calendar of Vanishing Vocabulary and Folklore for 2009, by Jeffrey Kacirk.