Andrew W. Young was born in Carlisle, Schoharie Co., N.Y., March 2, 1802. His ancestry on the paternal side is traceable to Holland. His mother was a native of Ireland, though reared from early childhood in this country, and was one of those people who are often distinguished as the "Protestant" or "Scotch Irish." His vernacular language was that which had been introduced in this country by the Van Winkles, the Diedricks and the Knickerbackers, and their fellow immigrants; though, from its having been for two centuries in contact with other languages, it had suffered material adulteration.
His education comprised of a few years' instruction in the common schools and at the age of nineteen a half term in Middlebury Academy. His youth was spent in farm labor and teaching. He closed his first term of teaching at the end of his thirteenth year. Without any knowledge on his part, consent had been given by his father and it is believed without any specific agreement as to wages. The people of the district acknowledge themselves satisfied with their teacher, for whose three months' services and board, his father received the sum of $15! The teacher himself felt amply compensated by the pleasure of participating, as usual, with his former school-fellows in their plays, and the pride of having so early attained to the honors of the schoolmaster's degree, the highest object of his youthful ambition. He ended his labors as a teacher at the age of twenty-one.
After this, he was engaged for several years as clerk and as principal in the mercantile business. In May, 1830, he commenced the publication of the Warsaw Sentinel, which he continued nearly two years, when he purchased the Republican Advocate at Batavia, in which the Sentinel was merged, January 1, 1832. He continued the publication and editorship of the Advocate until April, 1835, when he sold his interest in it to D.D. Waite, its present proprietor.
In the spring of 1836, the American Citizen was established in Warsaw under the auspices of the Genesee County Anti-slavery Society, as the organ of that Society, and as an advocate of the general abolition of slavery. A. W. Young was chosen as its editor and conducted it during the first three months. Jonathan A. Hadley was employed as publisher and continued as such to the end of the first year. It was then moved to Perry, chiefly for the convenience of its editor, the late Josiah Andrews, who, though he resided in Perry, had been its principal editor during the last nine months of its publication in Warsaw. Its publishers in Perry were for a time Mitchell and Warren. Mr. Mitchell continued its publication until January, 1841, when it was moved to Rochester.
In the course of his editorial labors in Batavia, Young became deeply impressed with the importance of a more general diffusion of a knowledge of the principles of government, which he deemed essential to the national prosperity and the security of our liberties. Since that time, his labors have been directed to this object. In October 1835, was issued from his press in Warsaw the first edition of his "Science of Government." The book was literally an article of "home manufacture." It was written, printed and bound in Warsaw. The type setting was done chiefly by Seth Lewis, since a partner in the publication of a paper in Perry and for more than twenty-five years proprietor and publisher of the Marshall Statesman, in Marshall, Michigan. Among those who for short periods assisted in this work, was the Hon. William H. Kelsey, now of Geneseo, a representative in the present and former Congresses. Assistance at press work was rendered by Levi Spencer, without any previous experience in the business, who since became a devoted minister of the Gospel, and died in Illinois.
The "Science of Government" was the first work of the kind brought into general notice in this state and several other states. Though coarse in its appearance, it met with a favorable reception. Its defects, more apparent, perhaps, to the author than to others, induced him to re-write and thoroughly revise it. It appeared in an improved form early in 1840. This work was followed, in 1843, by "First Lessons in Civil Government," adapted to the capacities of younger learners, and designed especially for use in the State of New York. In 1845, he wrote a similar work, adapted for use in the State of Ohio, of which many thousand copies were sold.
About this time, his labors in his chosen pursuit were temporarily suspended. By successive elections, he was chosen to represent the County of Wyoming in the Legislatures of 1845 and 1846 and in the Constitutional Convention of 1846. The happiest reflection associated with this brief public service is, that these offices were spontaneously bestowed.
In 1852, he commenced the "American Statesman, a Political History of the United States," which appeared in the spring of 1855. This is believed to be the only work of its kind, being a purely political history or history of government in this country, during the whole period of our colonial existence, of the government under the Confederation and of the government under the Constitution.
In 1858, appeared his "Citizens' Manual," containing a compendium or digest of constitutional, common and statutory, and international law, designed more especially for adults; and in 1860, his "National Economy." His latest works for schools are the "Government Class Book," first issued in 1859; and in 1867, "First Book on Civil Government," being a simplified abridgment of the former work, and intended for younger learners.
A controlling motive to these labors has been a desire to be in some way instrumental in preparing American citizens for a more intelligent discharge of the duties of citizenship. This end will be secured when political knowledge in this country of free institutions shall be duly appreciated by the people generally, and when those to whom the interests of education are especially committed shall have a proper sense of their official responsibilities. There are other objects to which the subject of this sketch has not be indifferent. Impressed with the sentiment that virtue is essentially alike to the happiness and well-being of society and the safety of the state, he has given his encouragement and aid to measures for suppression of immorality and vice, in the various forms and for the promotion of what the founders of our free institutions deemed of vital importance in a community--"True religion and good morals."
Young came to Warsaw with his father and family in 1816, and with the exception of two brief intervals, resided in this town until 1856 when he moved to Ripley, Chautauqua Co., and in 1868 to Red Wing, Minn.
He married, October 4, 1827, while residing in Wethersfield Springs, Eliza Webster of Warsaw, who was born June 9, 1804 and was the first child born in this town. They had five children: David A. Lucy, Elizabeth, William and Mary E.
Summarized from Andrew W. Young's History of Warsaw, 1869. Young's original manuscript of his 1869 history is displayed at the Gates House Museum.