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Life on the Moon Teases Exeter Residents in 1835

by Barbara Rimkunas

This "Historically Speaking" column was published in the Exeter News-Letter on Friday, June 21, 2019.

This year’s New Years’ resolution is “always know where the moon is.” Admittedly, the simplest way to do this is with a phone app, but the real reason to undertake moon watching is to force yourself to look up. Look up and away from the ground. The moon is a knowable solid truth during a time when such things can seem hard to find. You can always depend on the moon. A son of Exeter, Dudley Leavitt, who described himself as a “teacher of mathematics and other branches of useful knowledge,” began publishing an almanac, called “The New England Farmer’s and Scholars Almanack” in 1797. In it, the cycles of the moon are carefully charted to keep farmers apprised of the planting seasons and tides. People were well aware of where the moon was back in earlier times.

The Exeter News-Letter, our town’s faithful old newspaper, was first published in 1831. As newspape…

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