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Cornell University Library 
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History p^.UyingstonCount^j,N^^^^^^^ 





Cornell University 

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the Cornell University Library. 

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l^icingston Ol^wnntn, 



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By JA^livlES H. Sls^ITH, 


Published by D. MASON & CO., 



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CHAPTER I. — Aborigines — Pre-Historic Period — page 
The Iroquois Confederacy — Its Origin and 
Organization — Tribal Relations — Secret 
of Its Power — Its Superiority and Suprem- 
,acy — Its Degeneracy <j 

CHAPTER II.— Indian Habits and Usages— Indian 
Dwellings — Indian Towns — Social Usages 
— Dress and Habits — Law of Marriages — 
Experimental Marriages — Family Disci- 
pline — Amusements— Dances and Feasts 
— Tlie War Dance — Stated Annual Festi- 
vals — Medical Feasts — Dreams — Wizards 
and Witches — Burials — Wampum — Hos- 
pitality 20 

CHAPTER HI.— Early Discoveries— European Com- 
petition in the Western Continent — Settle- 
ments and Conflicting Claims of the 
Dutch, French and English — The English 
Supercede the Dutch in New Netherlands 
— Iroquois and Early Colonists — Cham- 
plain's Invasions of 1609 and 1615 — Loca- 
tion of the Fort attackedby Champlainin 
1615 — Iroquois make Peace with French 
— Iroquois Conquests and Supremacy 32 

CHAPTER IV.— French and EngUsh Rivalry- Ex- 
pedition of M. de Courcelles against the 
Mohawks — M. de Tracy's Expedition 
against the Mohawks — Peace of Breda — 
French and Iroquois at warin 1669 — Peace 
of 1673 — M. de la Barre's Expedition 
against the Senecas — M. de Denonville's 
Expedition against the Senecas — French 
and English War of 1689— Attack on Mon- 
treal and Quebec — Frontenac Invades the 
Onondaga Country — Treaty of Eyswick — 
Treaty of Utrecht— Tuscaroras admitted 
to Iroquois Confederacy — French and 
English War of 1741-1748— Treaty of Aix- 
la-Chappelle — War Renewed in 1755 — 
Treaty of Paris — Pontiac's Conspiracy — 
War of the Revolution — Present Status of 
Iroquois 39 

CHAPTER v.— The Senecas— Their Origin and Sym- 
bols — Antiquity and Extent of their Coun- 
try — Their Status among the Iroquois — 
Their Early Town Sites— Greenhalgh's 
Journal — The Senecas Visited by LaMotte, 
Hennepin and LaSalle — Mission of Sieur 
de Joncaire — Jesuit Missions — Jogue's 
Mission to the Mohawks — Le Moine's 
Mission at Onondaga — Chaumonot Estab- 
lishes the Missions of St. Joseph among 
the Cayugas and of St. Michael 
among the Senecas — Missions of Fathers 
Fremin, Raffeix and Garnier — Seneca 
Mission Resumed by Fathers Gamier and 


Vaillant — Fathers Bruyas and Fenelon — 
Episcopal Missions — New England Mis- 
sions — Rev. Sam'l Kirkland — Missionary 
Societies ef Massachusetts and New York. 59 

CHAPTER VI.— Titles to the Soil— Extinguishment 
of Indian Titles — Line of Property— Con- 
flicting Claims of New York and Massa- 
chusetts — Preemption Line — New York 
and Massachusetts Surrender Claims 
to Territory to Federal Government — 
Treaty and Cession of 1784 — Phelps and 
Gorham's Purchase — Treaty and Cession 
of 1788— Pultney Estate — Holland Land 
Com pany — Holland Purchase — Connecti- 
cut Tract — Transit Line — Morris Reserve 
— Forty thousand acre Tract — Morris Hon- 
orary Creditor's Tract — Robert Morris' 
Letter to President Washington — Treaty 
and Cession of Big Tree in 1797 — Red 
Jacket's Insincerity — Difficulties Experi- 
enced in Determining the Extent and 
Boundaries of Reservations — Mary Jemi- 
son's Farm — Lessee Company — Effort 
made to Disme^iber the State — Reserva- 
tions made in 1797 — Treaty and Cession 
of 1826 70 

CHAPTER VII.— Early Civil Divisions— Formation 
of Livingston County — Original Towns 
in Livingston County — Subsequent Ter- 
ritorial Changes — Topography — Bounda- 
ries, Area and Geographical Situation — 
Improved Land in 1820 and 1875 — Char- 
acter of Surface— Genesee River — Falls 
at Portage — The Genesee made a Public 
Highway — Charlevoix's Description of 
the Genesee in 1712 — Indian Name of 
the Genesee — Its Principal Tributaries — 
Canaseraga Creek — Oashaqua Creek — 
Conesus and Hemlock Lakes — CUmate of 
Livingston County — Soil — Staple Produc- 
tions — Chief Industry — Comparative Anal- 
ysis of the Census of 1875 — Livingston 
County Compared with other Counties in 
the State — Towns in Livingston County 
Compared 77 

CHAPTER VIII.— Geology— Succession of Under- 
lying Rocks in the County — Water-lime 
of the Onondaga Salt Group — Onondaga 
Limestone — Comiferous Limestone— Mar- 
cellus Shales — Hamilton Group — Gene- 
see Slate — Portage Group — Cashaqua 
Shale— Gardeau Shale and Flagstones — 
Portage Sandstones — Diagonal Lamina- 
tion — Ripple Marks — Casts of Shrinkage 
Cracks — Concretions or Septaria — Casts 


CHAPTER VIII.— (Continued.) , "" 

of Flowing Mud, Etc. —Indications of 
Coal— Sulphuretted Hydrogen Springs- 
Avon Springs— Brine Springs— Alluvial 
Deposits — Marl — Chara — Mastodon Ke- 


CHAPTER IX.— First Settlements and Measures 
Leading Thereto— Military Tract— Mill- 
Yard Tract— Census of 1790— First Set- 
tlements in Livingston County— Commun- 
ication opened with the Settlements in 
Pennsylvania — Arks — Charles William- 
son becomes Agent of the Pultney Estate 
—Progress of Settlements under his En- 
ergetic Exertions— The Village of "Wil- 
liamsburgh Founded — Settlements Re- 
tarded by War with the Western Indians 
and unfriendly Attitude of the British in 
Canada— " Simcoe War "— Remarkable 
Progress of Settlements— Scotch Colony 
at Caledonia— Robert Munro's Descrip- 
tion of the Genesee Country in 1804 — Set- 
tlements Interrupted by War of 1812 — 
Population at Different Periods— Homes 
and Privations of the Early Settlers 91 

CHAPTER X. — Internal Improvements — Indian 
Trails— Routes Indicated by Blazed Trees 
— Improvements in Natural Water Chan- 
nels — Western Inland Lock Navigation 
Company — Old Genesee Road — Cayuga 
Bridge — Seneca Turnpike Company — 
First Mail between Whitestown and the 
Genesee — WiUiamsburgh Road — First 
Vessel and Steamboat on Lake Erie — The 
Erie Canal — Early Speculations Regard- 
ing It — First Survey Thereof —First Board 
of Canal Commissioners — First Contract 
on Erie Canal — Construction Commenced 
— The Completion Celebrated — Erie Canal 
Enlargement — Navigation of the Genesee 
— First Canal Boat and Steamboat thereon 
— Genesee Valley Canal — Preliminary 
Measures — Construction Luthorized — Its 
Completion — Dansville and Rochester 
Railroad — Genes A and Pittsford Rail- 
road — Attica and Hornellsville Railroad — 
Portage Bridge — Portage Riot — Buffalo 
and Cohocton Valley Railroad —Rochester 
and Genesee Valley Railroad — Genesee 
Valley Railroad— Avon, Geneseo and Mt. 
Mon-is Railroad — DansviUe and Genesee 
Valley Railroad Company — Erie and Gen- 
esee Valley Railroad — Silver Lake Rail- 
road — Canandaigua and Niagara Falls Rail- 
road — Rochester, Nunda and Pennsylvania 
Railroad — Rochester and Genesee Valley 
Canal Railroad 106 

CHAPTER XI.— Societies— The Medical Society of 
the County of Livingston — Its Organiza- 
tion and First Officers — Succession of 
Presidents of the Society — Names of 
Members from its Organization — Origin 
of Homeopathy — Its Introduction into 
Livingston County — Homeopathic Med- 
ical Society of Livingston County — Its 
Constituent Members — Succession of Pres- 
idents of the Society — Additional Mem- 
bers — The Livingston County Agricultu- 
ral Society — First Oificers — Premiums 
Awarded — Classification of Members in 
185.5 — Prominent Stock Raisers and Hor- 
ticulturists in County — Succession of Pres- 
idents of the Agricultural Society — Liv- 
ingston County Stock Association — Liv- 
ingston County Historical Society — Liv- 
ingston County Pioneer Association 110 

CHAPTER XII.— The Press of Livingston County— taos 
Origin of the Press— The American Press 
—Its Marvelous Growth— Early Journal- 
ism in Livingston County— The First 
Newspaper in Livingston County— The 
Union and Constitution— The Livingston 
Republican — The Dansville Express — 
The Laws of Life and Journal of Health— 
The Nunda News— The Dansville Adver- 
tiser—The Mt. Morris Enterprise— The 
Livingston County Herald- -The Union 
Citizen— The Caledonia Advertiser— The 
Springwater Enterprise — Obsolete Pa- 
pers '--''■ 

CHAPTER XIII.— Early Courts— County Seat Des- 
ignated—First County Officers— County 
Buildings — First Court in Liviagston 
County — County Poor-House — Insane 
Asylum — Livingston County Civil List — 
Delegates to State Constitutional Conven- 
tions—State Senators— Members of As- 
sembly-First and County Judges— Surro- 
gates — District Attorneys — Sheriffs — 
County Clerks — County Treasurers — 
County Superintendents of the Common 
Schools — School Commissioners — Presi- 
dential Electors — Representatives in Con- 
gress 127 

CHAPTER XIV.— War of the Rebellion— Its Under- 
lying Cause— Secession of South Carolina, 
Followed by Other States — First Measures 
to Repress Rebellion — Ready Response of 
the North — Additional Troops Called for — 
Prompt and Generous Response of Liv- 
ingston County — Thirteenth Regiment — 
Twenty-Seventh Regiment— Thirty-Third 
Regiment — Regimental Camp at Geneseo 
— One Hundred and Fourth Regiment, or 
Wadsworth Guards— Calls of July 2, 18G2, 
and August 4, 1862 — Military Districts 
Formed — The One Hundred and Thirtieth 
Regiment, or First New York Dragoons — 
One Hundred and Thirty-Sixth Regiment 
—The Draft— Quotas Under Various Calls 
— Subsequent Calls — County Bounty — 
Enormous Local Bounties — State Bounty 
— Local Bounties Abrogated — Contribu- 
tions to the Support of the Indigent Fam- 
ilies of Volunteers — Quotas Under Last 
Three Calls 134 

CHAPTER XV.— History of the Town of North 

Dansville 155 

CHAPTER XVI.— History of the Town of Ossian. ... 209 

CHAPTER XVII.— History of the Town of Spring- 
water 216 

CHAPTER XVIII.— History of the Town of Spai-ta. 224 
CHAPTER XIX. —History of the Town of West 

Sparta 235 

CHAPTER XX.— History of the Town of Nunda... . 242 
CHAPTER XXI.— History of the Town of Portage. 262 
CHAPTER XXII.— History of the Town of Mount 

Morris 283 

CHAPTER XXIII.— History of the Town of Conesus 323 

CHAPTER XXIV.— History of the Town of Leices- 
ter 338 

CHAPTER XXV.— History of the Town of Grove- 
land 348 

CHAPTER XXVI.— History of the Town of Livonia 361 
CHAPTER XXVII. -History of the Town of Gen- 
eseo 381 

CHAPTER XXVIII.— History of the Town of York. 410 
CHAPTER XXIX.— History of the Town of Avon... 426 


CHAPTEB XXX. —History of the Town of Cale- 
donia 447 

CHAPTER XXXI.— History of the Town of Lima... 469 


Aiverson James Lawrence, LL. D., Lima, portrait, 

(steel) facing 487 

Atherton Oliver, Leicester, portraits self and wife, 

facing 343 

Ayrault AUen, Geneseo, portrait facing 395 

Allen, Samuel P., Geneseo, portrait ^ facing 888 

Barker S. S., Nunda, portraits self and wife. ..facing 260 
Barney George W., Mt. Morris, portraits self and 

wife facing 310 

Beardsley Jared, Portage, view of residence, .facing 270 
Beebe James E., Leicester, portraits self and wife 

facing 338 

Beecher John S., Livonia, portrait 381 

Bennett Charles D. , Portage, portrait facing 278 

Bennett George Hosmer, Lima, portrait facing 489 

Bennett Joel C. , Portage, portrait 277 

Bennett Mrs. Walter, Portage, portrait 279 

Bennett J. Yates, Portage, portrait 280 

Bigelow Epaphrodittis, Geneseo, portrait 407 

Bingham Bros. , Mt. Morris, bank block facing 303 

Bissell Daniel H. , M. D., Geneseo, portrait... .facing 405 

Blake Jesse, Livonia, portrait 380 

Blakeslee Senator, York, portrait between 424-425 

Brooks Gen. Micah, Mt. Morris, portrait facing 316 

Brown Merritt H., Dansville, portrait 201 

Butler Frederick W. , Geneseo, portrait.... 406 

Cameron Angus, Caledonia, portrait 463 

Cameron John, Caledonia, portraits self and wife, 

facing 451 

Cameron Duncan A. , Caledonia, portrait 465 

Chamberlain Oscar L. , West Sparta, portrait 239 

Coe Nathaniel, Portage, portrait facing 278 

Coe George F., Conesus, portrait facing 333 

Colt Hon. Charles, Geneseo, portrait 409 

Craig William, York, portrait facing 426 

Crossett John, Geneseo, portrait, (steel) facing 404 

Court House Frontispiece 

Donnan David, York, portrait between 424-425 

Dickinson E. O., Nunda, residence between 242-243 

Driesbach Elias, Sparta, residence between 226-227 

Driesbach Henry, Sr. , Sparta, portraits self and wife, 

facing 226 

Driesbach Henry, Jr., Sparta, portrait, (steel) 

between 234-235 

Driesbach Elias, Sparta, portrait, (steel),between 234-235 

Ebenriter Mary Bickel, Groveland, portrait facing 356 

Faulkner Dr. Jas., Dansville, portrait, (steel). .facing 1.97 

Field Leonard B. , Dansville, portrait 240 

Flory John, Sparta, portrait facing 233 

Foote Chester, Mt. Morris, portrait facing 278 

Fowler N. Harmon, Livonia, portrait 378 

Francis Franklin B. , Lima, portrait 489 

Fraser William, York, portrait facing 416 

Galbraith John, Sparta, portraits self and wife 

facing 228 

Geiger Elias H., Ossian, portraits self and wife, 

(steel) between 214-215 

Geiger E. H., Ossian, view of residence, between 210-211 

Gibbs Hon. Leman, Livonia, portrait 379 

Gilbert Charles S., Avon, portraits self and wife, 

between 442-443 

Gilbert Charles S., Avon, view of residence, 

and mills..; between 442-443 

Gilbert Joel, Conesus, portrait 337 

Gray Dr. Arnold, Springwater, portrait 224 

Gray Thomas, Geneseo, portraits self and wife, facing 383 
Oilman John, Groveland, portraits self and wife, 

facing 354 

Grant Giles P., Caledonia, portrait, (steel) facing 464 

Hartman Wm., Dansville, portraits self and wife, 

facing 188 

Hamilton William, Caledonia, portrait, (steel), facing 462 


Hamilton William, Caledonia, view of residence. 

warehouse and elevator facing 456 

Hampton Isaac, Ossian, portraits self and wife, 

facing 212 

Hanby John, Geneseo, portraits self and wife, facing 385 
Haynes Jonathan Hunter, Geneseo, portrait... facing 384 

Haynes John, Geneseo, portrait facing 384 

Hedges Job 0. , Dansville, portrait facing 190 

Hendershott Charles, Groveland, portraits self and 

wife facing 353 

Hyde Corydon, Ossian, view of residence facing 214 

Hyland George, Dansville, portrait facing 196 

Hyde Corydon, Ossian, portraits self and wife, facing 214 
Jackman Moses, Livonia,, portraits self and wife, 

facing 373 

Jacques Kussel E. , Livonia, portrait 380 

Jackson Dr. J. C, Dansville, portrait, (steel)... facing 192 
Johns Geo. H., Sparta, portraits self and wife... facing 229 
Johnson Leicester, Avon, portraits self and wife, 

between 446-447 

Johnson Seymour, Avon, portrait facing 447 

Kiehle Benj, Sparta, portraits self and wife. ...facing 231 
Kysor Mrs. Julia A., West Sparta, residence ...facing 240 
Kysor Benjamin F., West Sparta, portraits self and 

wife facing 240 

McClintock Joseph, Geneseo, portrait 405 

McLean Archibald H., Caledonia, portrait, (steel) 

facing 465 

McLean Hector, Caledonia, portrait, (steel) facing 468 

McPnerson Daniel, Caledonia, portrait 467 

McPherson Donald, Avon, portrait, (steel) facing 446 

Mann Wm. K., Groveland, portrait, (steel). ...facing 359 

Martin A. H., Lima, view of residence facing 472 

Martin A. D., Lima, view of residence facing 472 

Martin Alexander, Lima, portrait, (steel) facing 486 

Mills Myron H. , Mt. Morris, portrait, (steel)... facing 318 
Norton William H., Springwater, view of residence, 

facing 216 

Norton John B., Springwater, portrait 223 

"Our Home Hygienic Institute," Dansville, view of 

between 176-177 

Page Herman D., Nunda, portrait facing 244 

Page Albert, Nunda, portrait facing 244 

Paine Earl J., Nunda, portrait facing 260 

Parker David Curtis, Lima, portrait facing 470 

Passage Daniel, Nunda, view of Water Cure. ..facing 2(;'_' 

Pease Henry, Livonia, portrait 378 

Ferine James P., West Sparta, portrait facing 241 

Perrin Andrew N., Conesus, portrait facing 336 

Perrin Mrs. K. M., Conesus. view of residence.. facing 324 

Pierson Frederick Busbnell, Avon, portrait facing 445 

Pray Isaac, Groveland, portraits self and wife, facing 360 
Pierson F.B.. Avon, view of residence. ..between 428-429 

Pray Isaac, Groveland, view of residence facing 360 

Proctor Lucian B., Dansville, portrait 205 

PhilUps Jonathan, Mt. Morris, portrait facing 278 

Piffard David, York, portrait, (steel) facing 419 

Eeynale Wm. H., M. D., Dansville, portrait. ...facing 194 

Kiley JJichard Alsop, Geneseo, portrait facing 386 

Root Capt. George W., York, portrait facing 423 

Royce John Sears, Leicester; portrait, (steel)... facing 347 

Sanders C. K., Nunda, view of residence facing 246 

Sackett Col. Orange, York, portrait, (steel)... .facing 421 

Shutt John, Sparta, portraits self and wife facing 230 

Sleeper Col. Reuben, Mt. Morris, portrait 322 

Smith John, Mt. Morris, portrait facing 28S 

Smith Col. George, Livonia, portrait facing 362 

Smith Willard H., Caledonia, .portrait, (steel). ..facing 453 

Smith Joseph W., Dansville, portrait facing 194 

Smith Jesse, Sparta, portrait 233 

Society of Christian Believers, Sonyea, view of the 

home between 358-359 

Stevens Archelaus, Dansville, portrait 202 

Stewart Niel, York, portrait, (steel) facing 422 

Townsend John H., Nunda, portrait facing 260 

Vary William, Lima, portrait, (steel) facing 488 

VanDoreu Wm., West Sparta, portraits self and wife, 

facing 241 


Weidman John, Springwater, portraits self and wife, 

facing 224 

Wan-eu Samuel, York, portrait facing 424 

Ward Rev. Ferdinand DeW., Geneseo, portrait, facing 401 

Walker David, Caledonia, portrait 469 

Weidman John, Springwater, residence facing 224 

Wells Harlow W., M. D., Caledonia, portrait, (steel) 

facing 46(J 

West Erastus, Livonia, portraitsself and wife. ..facing 370 

Wiard Matthew, Avon, portrait facing 430 

White Wra. M., Ossian, portrait, (steel) facing 209 

White John, Groveland, portrait 361 

Whiteman Reuben, Dansville, portrait facing 193 

Wbitmore Wm., Leicester, portraits self and wife, 

(steel) between 348-349 

Wbaley Charles E., Avon, portraits self and wife, 

between 436-437 

Wbaley Charles E., Avon, view of "Sanitarium," 

between 436-437 

Wilhelm George, Conesus, portrait facing 335 

Williams Col. George, Portage, portrait 281 

Woodruff BuellD., Livonia, portrait 379 

Zerf ass George, Dansville, portraits self and wife 204 


Allen Samuel P., Geneseo facing 

Atherton Oliver, Leicester facing 

Alverson James Lawrence, LL. D., Lima 

Ayrault Allen, Geneseo facing 

Barker Seth S., Nunda 

Barney George W., Mt. Morris facing 

Bennett, Joel C, Portage 

Bennett Charles D., Portage 

Bennett Mrs. Walter, Portage 

Bennett J. Yates, Portage 

Beebe James E., Leicester facing 

Beecher John S., Livonia 

Bennett George Hosmer, Lima 

Bigelow Epaphroditus, Geneseo 

Bissell Daniel H., M. !)., Geneseo 

Blake Jesse, Livonia 

Blakeslee Senator, York 

Brooks Gen.Micah, Mt. Morris facing 

Brown Memtt Holmes. Dansville 

Bunnell A. 0., Dansville 

Bunnell Major Mark J., Dansville 

Butler Frederick W., Geneseo 

Cameron John, Caledonia facing 

Cameron Angus, Caledonia 

Cameron Duncan A., Caledonia 

Chamberlain Oscar L., West Sparta 

Coe Hon. Nathaniel, Portage 

Coe George F., Conesus facing 

Colt Hon. Charles, Geneseo 

Crossett John, Geneseo 

Craig William, York 

Christian Believers, Society of, Groveland 

Dickinson E. O., Nunda 

Donnau David, York 

Driesbach Henry, Sr., Sparta facing 

Driesbacb Elias, Sparta 

Driesbach Henry, Jr., Sparta 

Ebenriter Mary Bickel, Groveland facing 

Faulkner Dr. James, Dansville 

Field Leonard B., West Sparta 

Francis Franklin B., Lima 

Flory John, Sparta facing 

Foote Chester, Mt. Morris 

Fowler N. Harmon, Livonia 

Eraser William, York 

Geiger Elias H., Ossian " 

Gibbs Hon. Leman, Livonia '_" 

Galbraith John, Sparta facing 

Gilbert Charles S., Avon between 442- 

Gilbert Joel, Conesus 

Gilman Phillip, Groveland facing 

Gilmau .John, Groveland facing 



Grant Giles P. , Caledonia 464 

Gray Dr. Arnold, Springwater 223 

Gray Thomas, Geneseo facing 383 

Hampton Hon. Isaac, Ossian facing 212 

Hamilton William, Caledonia 462 

Hanby John, Geneseo facing 385 

Haynes Jonathan Hunter, Geneseo facing 384 

Hendershott Charles, Groveland facing 353 

Hartman William, Dansville facing 188 

Hedges Col. Job Clark, Dansville facing 190 

Haynes John, Geneseo facing 384 

Hyland George, Dansville 196 

Hyde Corydon, Ossian 214 

Jackson Dr. James C, Dansville 192 

Jackman Moses, Livonia facing 373 

Jacques Bussel E. , Livonia 380 

Jemison Mary, Mt. Morris 285 

Johns George H. , Sparta facing 229 

Johnson Leicester, Avon 447 

Jones Capt. Horatio, Geneseo 409 

Kiehle Benjamin, Sparta facing 231 

Kysor Benjamin F., West Sparta 241 

Logan Edward, Groveland 360 

Mann W. K., Groveland 359 

McLean Col. Archibald H., Caledonia 464 

McLean Hector, Caledonia 467 

McClintock Abraham, Geneseo 405 

Martin Alexander, Lima 480 

Mills Myron H., Mt. Morris 318 

MoPherson Daniel, Caledonia 467 

MoPherson Donald, Avon 446 

Norton John B. , Springwater 223 

Page Herman D. , Nunda facing 244 

Paine Earl J., Nunda 261 

Page Albert, Nunda , facing 244 

Parker David Curtis, Lima facing 470 

Pease Henry, Livonia 378 

Ferine James P., West Sparta.. 241 

Perriu Andrew N., Conesus 336 

Pierson Frederick Bushnell, Avon 445 

Phillips Jonathan, Mt. Morris 321 

PifPard David, York 421 

Pray Isaac, Groveland 360 

Proctor Lucian Brock, Dansville, 205 

Eejmale Wm. H., M. D., Dansville 194 

Eiley Richard Alsop, Geneseo facing 386 

Boot Capt. George W., York 423 

Eoyce John Sears, Leicester 347 

Sackett Col. Orange, York 421 

Shutt John, Sparta facing 230 

Sleeper Col. Eeuben, Mt. Morris 322 

Smith Joseph W., Dansville 19;-, 

Smith Jesse, Sparta 233 

Smith John, Mt. Morris facing 288 

Smith Col. George, Livonia facing 362 

Smith Willard Huntington, Caledonia 465 

Stevens Archelaus, Dansville 202 

Stewart Niel, York 422 

Townseud John H., Nunda 261 

VanDoren William, West Sparta .!!!!!!!!.!.!!!!!. 241 

Vary WiUiam, Lima. ... 488 

WardEev. Ferdinand DeW. , Geneseo....! [faciiig 401 

Water Cure and Mineral Springs, Nunda 262 

Warren Samuel, York 424 

Weidman John, Springwater ....!.."... 224 

Walker David, Caledonia .................'. 468 

West Erastus, Livonia ..'..'facing 370 

WeUs Harlow Willard, M. D., Caledonia 466 

White John, Groveland 3(u 

Whitmore William, Leicester ."..."..'..'.'.".".'. 348 

White Hon. William M., Ossian 214 

Whiteman Eeuben, Dansville !!!!!!.!! 193 

Williams Col. George, Portage 280 

Wilhelm George, Conesus 336 

Woodruff BuellD , Livonia 378 

Wiard Matthew, Avon ...'.'.'facing 430 

Whaley Charles E., Avon ." between 436-437 

Zerfass George, Dansville 204 


IN THE preparation of the history of the county treated of in this volume the authors have endeavored 
to confine themselves to a concise and truthful statement of facts, leaving deductions and moralisms, 
except where such were necessary to a proper elucidation of the subject, to the individual reader; and 
in gleaning these facts they have laid under contribution every available source of information in the 
effort to arrive at correct data. This, however, has not always been possible, for much is given that rests 
for its authority entirely upon verbal statements, which, even among the best informed, are subject to the 
lapses of memory. When conflicting statements have been observed, as was to be expected there would 
be in so broad a field of inquiry, an honest effort has been made to reconcile them and make them con- 
form to the probable fact ; for while each individual expects the record of a fact to conform to his 
remembrance, it is notorious that all do not retain precisely the same recollection of it. To this end 
also, records have been consulted where such existed and were accessible, both to supplement and 
establish a verbal fact, and as an original source of information. These, however, were often fragment- 
ary, sometimes entirely wanting, and while their incompleteness was perplexing, their frequent indefinite- 
ness was even more so, so that it was often necessary to supplement them by verbal information. 

The materials for such a work were widely scattered. They laid mainly in the imperfect town, 
county, church, school, society and private records, and in the vague and faded memories of individuals. 
Much time, labor, diligent research and patient inquiry have been required to gather these materials and 
collate them into systematic order. Every town has been visited, and its records and well-informed 
citizens have been consulted. In addition to these, the files of local and other papers have been 
scrutinized, and the works of numerous authors laid under contribution ; but as the latter have generally 
been .referred to in the text, especially when quoted, we do not deem it necessary to enumerate them 
here. A few local gleaners, of acknowledged ability, in this field of historic inquiry, had rescued from 
oblivion much that has served to embellish the annals of Livingston. The fruit of their labors was 
kindly placed at our disposal. 

Much more might have been given, enough to swell the volume to twice its present size, by the 
multiplication of details which some would regard with interest and others as unimportant ; much indeed 
was prepared and still more gathered, but it was found necessary to eliminate it to bring it within the 
scope of this work. In discarding matter we have aimed to retain that which seemed most important — 
most worthy of preservation. 

An earlier preparation of the work would have lessened the labor and produced more satisfactory 
results ; would have given access to the personal experience and relations of the very first settlers, with 
whom have died facts and incidents which are now beyond recall. But few of the first generation of 
those who settled and subdued this wilderness are now left with us, and fewer still of that sacred remnant 


retain their faculties sufficiently to relate coherently and positively the interesting incidents of that early 
period; but we still have their "oft told tales" from the lips of their immediate descendants, and have 
thus been able to collect and chronicle, with a close approach to accuracy, the facts of early history. It 
must, therefore, be obvious that the time for the publication of this work had fully come, and that a 
longer delay would only have added to the obscurity of the facts and the difficulty of their acquisition. 

Happily the very full and scholarly " Relations " of the faithful Jesuits and other French mission- 
aries give us a minute and definite account of the manners and customs of the American Indians, the 
supposed aboriginal occupants of this country, with whom they mingled as early as the fore part of the 
last half of the seventeenth century, though they are chiefly concerned with the relation of their efforts 
to Christianize them, and to engraft upon their rude natures some of the arts and usages of civilization 
in their time. Numerous evidences of this intercourse have been disclosed by means of the plow and 
other agencies in this county, which for a considerable period was the home of several cantons of the 
most numerous and powerful of the tribes of the Six Nations, the Senecas. These consist of gaudy 
trinkets and other articles of use and adornment, which possessed an intensely magnified value in the 
eyes of the untutored savage, and were the means by which these zealous missionaries sought to 
ingratiate themselves with the natives and prepare the way for the successful accomplishment of their 
ulterior object. The mural remains, now mostly obliterated by the agency of the plow, and other 
economic and sacred relics which were familiar objects to the first white settlers in the Valley of the 
Genesee, bore abundant testimony to the fact that Livingston county was long the seat of a numerous 
Indian population. 

Though this county is not as rich in historical incidents fraught with tragic interest as the counties 
which bordered on the confines of civilization during the French and Indian wars, the sanguinary 
struggle of the Revolution, and the more recent but memorable war with the mother country, which 
etched in lines of blood the history of their eventful scenes, it witnessed one of the most pathetic and 
memorable incidents of the Revolutionary struggle, and the culmination of an event which was fraught 
with the most important results affecting the development of Central and Western New York. Its soil 
is hallowed by blood shed to establish those principles which, eighty-two years later, its sons so nobly 
fought to perpetuate. It has, too, a pacific history to which many will recur with interest— yea, with 

The authors take this opportunity to tender their grateful acknowledgments to the many who, in 
various ways, have so kindly aided them in this laborious work, and to testify to the uniform courtesy 
which was extended to them, and the cordiality with which their labors were seconded by the hosts from 
whom it became their duty to solicit information. 



Livingston County. 


Aborigines — Pre-Historic Period — The Iro- 
quois Confederacy — Its Origin and Organi- 
zation — Tribal Relations — Secret of Its 
Power — -Its Superiority and Supremacy — Its 

TITHAT we usually term the beginning of 
VV history," says Humboldt's Cosmos, "is only 
the period when the later generations awoke to self- 
consciousness." The historic period for the region 
of country the history of which it is the purpose of 
this volume to give, may be said to date from the ad- 
vent of the Jesuit missionaries into Canada, as their 
Relations give us the first as well as the most exact 
and comprehensive account we have of the people 
who then inhabited it, and who are classed under 
the generic term Indians — a name which obtains 
from the fact that when this continent was discov- 
ered by Columbus and others who succeeded him 
in search of a western passage to the East Indies, 
it was supposed to be the eastern shore of the con- 
tinent of India.* Their history prior to their inti- 
mate association with civilized people is shrouded 
in obscurity and is transmitted to us in the form 
of vague and fragmentary legends. The Indians 
were a barbaric race and have left no written his- 
tory, except that we occasionally discover traces of 
their rude paintings, and still ruder engravings. 
But these are pronounced merely the totems of the 

* Indians of North America, I, 3. 

Indians by Catlin, who says, " I have been unable 
to find anything like a J)' j/w^ of hieroglyphic writing 
amongst them."* This absence of a connected 
written history is, however, compensated in a meas- 
ure by the less enduring relics, consisting of the 
implements of husbandry, the chase and war, 
which the plow and other means of excavation 
have numerously disclosed. Their fortified villages 
and places of burial are rich also in suggestive 

Who were the aborigines of this country is a sub- 
ject of much learned inquiry. It is pretty gen- 
erally believed that the races who occupied it on the 
advent of the Europeans, were preceded by one 
more numerous and highly cultured, though the 
evidence that such is the fact, is meager and un- 
satisfactory. DeWitt Clinton points to the numer- 
ous mural remains which existed through the north- 
ern, central and western parts of this State, and to 
the more remarkable ones bordering the Ohio and 
Mississippi Rivers and their branches as evi- 
dence of the fact ;t while more recent authors, 
reasoning from more exact data, ascribe the origin 
of the former works to a much more recent date, 
and to a different race of people than the latter.f 
The evidences referring to a pre-historic period 
within this State are rare ; though the celebrated 

*Catlin's North American Indians, II, Z46, 

t Collect ions of the New York Historical Society for 1814, 89. 

t SaysE. A. Squier, M. A., "• » * none of the ancient works 
of this State, [New York,] of which traces remain displaying any con- 
siderable degree of regularity, can lay claim to high antiquity. All of 
them may be referred, with certainty, to the period succeeding the com- 
mencement of European intercourse." Antiquities of New York and 
ike JVcst. 9. 



Pompey stone* and the argent relief of the 
Genesee Valley may be cited as instances of this 
character, while neither can be said to furnish ne- 
cessarily conclusive evidence. 

That the nations of the Eastern hemisphere had 
knowledge of the existence of the American con- 
tinent long before its discovery by Columbus, their 
literature gives abundant evidence ; and that its 
aboriginal inhabitants were descended from eastern 
peoples is generally conceded, though the theory 
that American antiquity ante-dates that of Asia, is 
not without its advocates. 

Humboldt, from his observations of the remains 
of the civilizations of Mexico and Central America, 
was convinced that communication had existed 
between the Eastern and Western continents, evi- 
dence of which he found in the religious symbols, 
the architecture, the hieroglyphics, and the social 
customs made manifest by these ruins, and the 
Abb^ Brasseur de Bourbourg shows that the sym- 
bols of phallic worship, once so prevalent, and still, 
to some extent, practiced in the East, were de- 
scribed by the Spanish writers at the time of the 
conquest. " These," says Baldwin, "with the ser- 
pent devices, the sun worship, and the remarkable 
knowledge of astronomy that existed in connection 
with them, show a system of religion," of which, 
with the social institutions it consecrated, " Asia," 
says the Abbe, " appears to have been the cradle." 
" The traditions of these countries," says the same 
author, " are still more explicit. Their uniform tes- 
timony is, that the ancient American civilization 
came originally from the East across the ocean." 
The native histories examined by the Abbt^, de- 
scribe three classes of ancient inhabitants, first, the 
Chichimecs, "who," says Baldwin, "seem to have 
been the unciviUzed aborigines of the country ;" 
second, the Colhuas, " who were the first civiHzers, 
and by whom the Chichimecs were taught to culti- 
vate the earth, cook their food, and adopt the 

* This is a small boulder about thirteen inches long and twelve inches 
wide, bearing a most remarkable inscription and figures, which, if genuine, 
and correcily interpreted, furnishes what is supposed to be the earliest 
evidence of the presence of Europeans in North America. It dates back 
to a period earlier than the discovery of New England, New York or 
Virginia, a hundred years earlier than the founding of Plymouth colony, 
and within twenty-three years of the discovery of the new continent by 
Cabot. It has been reasonably conjectured by the author of Clark's 
Onondaga, to be a sepulchral monument, erected possibly by a party of 
Spaniards, who, stimulated by the love of adventure, allured by the love 
of gold, or driven by some rude blast of misfortune, may have visited that 
region and lost one of their number by death. 

t " On the flats of the Genesee River, there was found on the lands of 
Mr. Timothy Judd, a bit of silver, about the length of a man's finger, 
hammered to a point at one end, while at the other it was smooth and 
square, on which was engraved in Arabic figures 'the year of our Lord 
6oo.' " Ms. Address on the AntiquUy of the IVorld, by Dr. M. H. 
Mills, of Mt. Morris. 

usages of civilized life ;" and third, the Nahuas or 
Toltecs, " who came much later as peaceable im- 
migrants, but after a time united with the uncivil- 
ized Chichimecs, caused a civil war, and secured 
power." The Colhuas originated the oldest and 
finest monuments of the ancient civilization. T)6- 
sirt; Charnay, referring to the ruins of Mitla, " points 
out," says Baldwin, "that the most ancient archi- 
tecture, painting, mosaics, and artistic designs are 
in the highest style, and show 'marvelous work- 
manship,' while the later editions are in much lower 
style, and seem to be the work of a people less ad- 
vanced in culture and skill than the original found- 
ers of the city." The finest and most remarkable 
monuments of these countries seem to be the re- 
mains of that great and ancient kingdom of Xibalba. 
"It is said repeatedly that 'the Colhuas came from 
beyond the sea, and directly from the East;' " and 
the Abbe' states that "there was a constant tradi- 
tion among the people who dwelt on the Pacific 
Ocean, that the people from distant nations beyond 
the Pacific formerly came to trade at the ports of 
Coatulco and Pechugui, which belonged to the 
kingdom of Tehuantepec.'" The traditions of 
Peru told of a people who came to that country 
by sea, and landed on the Pacific coast ; referring 
doubtless to the Malays, a great and ancient mari- 
time empire, the dialects of whose language are 
scattered across the Pacific Ocean as far as Easter 

Many ingenious theories are advanced to ac- 
count for the origin of this ancient civilization. One, 
of which Adair and Boudinot are noted advocates, 
ascribes it to the " Lost Tribes of Israel j" this 
CatUn isincHnedto sanction,! while Bancroftf seri- 
ously refutes it, Foster § discards it, Bradford 1 
likewise refutes it, and Baldwin || regards it an ab- 
surdity; another, the " Malay theory," which Bald- 
win regards as " much less improbable, though not 
satisfactory;"** a third, the "Phcenician theory," 
which Baldwin discredits, while he admits that "the 
known enterprise of the Phoenicians," (who have 
been thought to be identical with the Colhuas,) 
and their " ancient knowledge of America, so vari- 
ously expressed, strongly encourage the hypothesis 
that the people called Phoenicians came to this 
continent, estab Hshed colonies in the region where 

* Pre -Historic Nations, by John D. Baldwin, A. M,, 392-395. 
t Catliu's North American Indians. H, 231-235. 
J History of tile United States. 

§ Pre-Histortc Races of the United States, by J, Vf. Foster, LL. D. 
IT A mericaji A ntiquities, 240. 
If A ncieni A merica, 166. 
** Ibid, 167-171. 



ruined cities are found, and filled it with civilized 
people,"* and a fourth, the "Atlantic theory," ad- 
vanced among others by Brasseur de Bourbourg, 
who has studied more thoroughly than any other 
man living, the monuments, writings and traditions 
of this civilization, which he avers is the first of man- 
kind — -a theory which attributes it to the Atlantides, 
who occupied the " lost island of Atlantis," referred 
to by Plutarch, Solon, Plato andTheopompus, and 
supposes it originated on a portion of this conti- 
nent now submerged by the Atlantic Ocean, into 
which it extended in a long, irregular peninsula, 
was visited by a cataclysm which engulfed it, ex- 
cept some elevated portions, including the Canary, 
Maderia and Azores islands, and destroyed its in- 
habitants, except such as escaped in ships, or fled 
to the tops of high mountains, whence they made 
their way to Central America.t 

The origin of the barbarous Indians of North 
America is buried in even greater obscurity than 
that of the probable aborigines of this continent. 
Our information regarding them is wholly conject- 
ural. Efforts have been made to connect them 
with the Mound Builders as their progenitors, and 
there are able advocates of the theory which sup- 
poses the unity of the races; but, says Foster, J 
a broad chasm is to be spanned before we can 
link the two, who, he says, " were essentially dif- 
ferent in their form of government, their habits and 
their daily pursuits." The former, " since known 
to the white man, has spurned the restraints of a 
sedentary life, which attach to agriculture, and 
whose requirements, in his view, are ignoble. He 
was never known to erect structures which should 

^Ancient Anierica,i7i-i74, 

^Ancient America, 174-184; also BaldwitCs Pre-Historic Nations-, 
396-400. The latter quotes from Diodorus Siculus, book V., Chap. 11., 
the following *' important passage concerning America," which, it says, 
" is not niythical, and seems to be given as a historical fact rather than a 
tradition : 'Over against Africa lies a great island in the vast ocean, many 
days' sail from Libya westward. The soil is very fruitful. It is diversi- 
fied with mountains and pleasant vales, and the towns are adorned with 
stately buildings.' After describing the gardens, orchards and fountains, 
he tells how this pleasant country was discovered. The Phoenicians, he 
says, having built Gades, sailed along the Atlantic coast of Africa. A 
Phoenician ship, voyaging along this coast, was, 'on a sudden, driven by 
a furious storm far into the main ocean : and after they had lain under 
this tempest many days, they at length arrived at this island.'" For 
further information upon this interesting subiect, the reader is referred to 
Pre-Historic Races of the United States ; Abbe Brasseur de Bour- 
bourg's translation of the Teo A moxtli, which is ths Toltecan mytho- 
logical history of the cataclysm of the Antilles : The lifted and subsided 
Rocks of A Tnerica, by George Catlin ; Biography and History of the 
Indians of North A nterica ; A mericatt A ntiguities and Researches 
into the Origin and History of the Red Race, by Alexander W. Brad- 
ford, and others, which might be cited but which we have not the space 
to quote at length. 

A ttcieni A merica, 205, which quotes Bourbourg's Qnatre Lettres 
Source de V Historie du Mexique, 

% Pre-Historic Races of the United States, 347. 

survive the lapse of a generation." " The Mound- 
builders," he adds, " cultivated the soil in a meth- 
odical manner, far different from the mode pre- 
sented by the present Indians," and cites as evi- 
dence " the vestiges of ancient garden-beds " left 
by them . Many other radical points of differen ce are 
cited by him. Baldwin says, referring to the sav- 
age tribes, or wild Indians, their barbarism was 
"original;" there was nothing to indicate that they 
or their ancestors, near or remote, had ever been 
civilized, " even to the extent of becoming capable 
of settled life or organized industry."* He adds, 
"the constant traditions of these Indians, support- 
ed by concurring circumstantial evidence, appears 
to warrant the belief that they came to this part of 
the continent originally from the west or north- 
west, at a period too late to connect them in this 
way with the Mound-builders." After referring 
to the skill of the Mound-builders in the ceramic 
and other arts, he asks, "who can imagine the 
Iroquois or the Algonquins, [the two great families 
who two hundred years ago occupied the Valley of 
the Mississippi and the regions east of it] working 
the copper mines with such intelligence and skill, 
and such a combination of systematic and persist- 
ent industry ! They had no tradition of such a 
condition of life, no trace of it. It is absurd to 
suppose a relationship, or a connection of any 
kind, between the original barbarism of these In- 
dians and the civihzation of the Mound-builders. 
The two peoples were entirely distinct and 
separate from each other. If they really belonged 
to the same race, which is extremely doubtful, 
we must go back through unnumbered ages to 
find their common origin and the date of their 
separation. "t 

The Iroquois, with whom the subject of this work 
is more intimately connected, are supposed by 
Lewis H. Morgan, who has discussed "Indian 
Migrations" in a series of interesting papers in the 
North American Review, to have " separated very 
early from the same original stem which produced 
the great Dakota family ; " and from their relative 
position in the East as compared with the Algon- 
quins, who were spread most widely over the coun- 
try when it was first visited by Europeans, Mr. 
Baldwin assumes that they preceded the latter 
there. I 

Livingston county is a part of the broad domain 

* A jtcient A merica, 59. 
\Ibid., 59— 61. 
Mlid, 60. 



of the Iroquois* Confederacy, which, in general 
terms, extended from the Hudson to the Genesee, 
and from the north to the south boundaries of the 
State. This confederacy was composed of the 
following nations, named in the order of their loca- 
tion from east to west: the Mohawks, {Ganea- 
gaonos,'\) on the river which bears their name ; the 
Oneidas, (Onayofekaotws,) Onondaga.s, { 0/iimda- 
gaoiws,) and Cayugas, {Gwengwekonos,) a.d.]a.ct\it 
to the lakes which bear their name ; and the Sen- 
ecas, {Ntindawaoiws,) between Seneca Lake and 
Genesee River. Its origin is buried in the obscur- 
ity of vague tradition and was unknown to civihzed 
nations in 1750.^ The traditions of the Iroquois 
ascribe it, as well as the origin of the individual 
nations, to a supernatural source. They, Hke the 
Athenians, sprung from the earth itself " In re- 
mote ages they had been confined under a moun- 
tain near the falls of Osh-wah-kee,§ or Oswego 
River, whence they were released by Tharouhyja- 
goH, the Holder of the Heavens."|| Schoolcraft in- 
cUnes to the opinion that the confederacy is to be 
referred to a comparatively recent date, early in the 
fifteenth century; Mr. Webster, the Indian inter- 
preter, a good authority, about two generations be- 
fore the white people came to trade with the In- 
dians ; Pyrlaus, a missionary among the Mohawks, 
"one age, or the length of a man's life, before the 
white people came into the country ; " while Clark, 
the author of Clark's Onondaga, "from the per- 
manency of their institutions, the pecuhar struc- 
ture of their government, the intricacy of their civil 
affairs, the stability of their religious beHefs and 
the uniformity of their pagan ceremonies, diff'ering 
from other Indian nations in important particu- 
lars,'' thinks it must have had a longer duration. 
They declare themselves to be the most ancient 
and greatest people in America.lF 

* Iroquois was the French name for the five confederate nations of In- 
dians residing mostly within this State. By the Dutch they were called 
*'Maquas." They denominated themselves "Mingoes," meaning 
United People.— C/nr^'j Onondaga. Their true name is " Hodenosau- 
nee," or "People of the Long House," because the five nations were 
ranged in a long line through Central New York, and Hkened to one of 
their long bark houses. —Farkman^s yemits. Ruttenber says they bore 
the title of ^'Aquinosbione," or "Konosbione," having the same mean- 
ing. They also called themselves "Canossioone," or ^'Konossione," 
meaning in the Iroquois language, ^' the whole house, or all the Indians 
together." Colonial History, iv. yS, 296. The appellation Iroquois was 
given them by the French, because they usually began and finished their 
speeches with the word hiro, which means " I say," or " I have said " 
and combined as an affix with the word Koue, is an exclamation express- 
ing joy or sorrow, according aS the pronunciation is long or short. Char- 
levoix, GtirnenH^s History 0/ Canada, 

+ The Iroquois termination in ono. means peop]e.—Parkman's yesuits. 

t ColdetCs Five Nations. 

§ Signifying, "I see everywhere and see nothing."— C&r/S'j 0«o«- 
daga " 

II Indian Tribes of HudsotCs River. Ruttenber. 

I.Col. Hist, iv., 12Z. 

Long ago, says the Iroquois tradition, Taounya- 
watha, the deity who presides over the forests and 
streams, came down from his abode in the clouds 
to make free the former to all, to remove the ob- 
structions from the latter, and to bestow good gifts 
upon the people. In the locahty of Oswego he dis- 
closed to two hunters of the Onondaga nation whom 
he there met, the object of his mission, and pre- 
vailed on them to accompany him up the river and 
over the lesser lakes, while he made ample provi- 
sion for the sustenance of men, and taught them 
how to cultivate the soil and hve happy, united and 
prosperous. Having accomplished this beneficent 
mission he divested himself of his divine character 
and took up his abode among men, assuming their 
habits and character. He chose for his habitation 
a beautiful spot on the shore of Teonto (Cross) 
Lake,* where he built a cabin and took a wife of the 
Onondagas, by whom he had an only and beau- 
tiful daughter, whom he tenderly loved. His 
excellence of character, great sagacity, and wise 
counsels won for him a profound regard, and 
by universal consent he was named Hiawatha, 
signifying very wise man. His advice upon mat- 
ters both grave and trivial was eagerly sought, 
and he was regarded as possessing transcendent 
powers of mind and consummate wisdom. Under his 
direction the Onondagas early gained a pre-eminent 
distinction as the wisest counselors, the most elo- 
quent orators and expert hunters, and the bravest 

While Hiawatha was thus living quietly among 
the "people of the hills," the tribes were attacked 
by a ferocious and powerful enemy from the north 
of the great lakes, who invaded their country, laid 
waste their villages, and slaughtered indiscriminate- 
ly men, women and children. While a bold resist- 
ance could not intensify the ferocity of the enemy, 
neither did supine submission ensure palliation ; 
utter destruction seemed inevitable. In their ex- 
tremity they looked to Hiawatha, who, after 
thoughtful contemplation, advised a grand council 
of all the tribes that could be gathered, " for," said 
he, " our safety is not alone in the club and dart, 
but in wise counsels."t 

This council is supposed to have been held on 
the east bank of Onondaga ( Ohnentahd) Lake, on 
the high ground where the \'illage of Liverpool now 

* Ruttenber. — According to Clark the name of the lake is Teunngktoo, 
the discrepancy probably arising from a difference in tribal dialects. 

1 Ruttenber. — Clark puts this language into the Chieftain's mouth : 
" our safety is in good counsel and speedy, energetic action ;" and Clay- 
ton, the following : " Become a united people and you will conquer your 



stands.* There was a vast assembly of chiefs, war- 
riors, men, women and children, and although the 
council fire had been burning for three days they 
still awaited the presence of Hiawatha. Messen- 
gers were dispatched and found him troubled with 
melancholy forebodings of ill-fortune. He had re- 
solved not to attend the council by reason of this 
distress of mind, but he yielded to their importuni- 
ties and set out with his daughter to join the wait- 
ing throng. The white canoe in which the vener- 
able Hiawatha made his journeys by water, and 
which was regarded by his people with almost as 
much veneration as himself, glided silently down 
the deep waters of the Seneca, through the narrow 
outlet and into the placid Onondaga, and as it ap- 
peared to view, the assembled multitude welcomed 
their chief with a glad shout. As he ascended the 
steep bank and approached with measured tread 
the council ground, a loud sound was heard Uke 
a rushing mighty wind. Instantly all eyes were 
turned upward and beheld a mass of cloudy dark- 
ness rapidly descending into their midst, and in- 
creasing in size and velocity as it approached. All 
sought safety in flight save Hiawatha and his love- 
ly daughter, who calmly awaited the impending ca- 
lamity, the former having uncovered his silvered 
head. With a mighty swoop a huge bird, with long 
distended wings, descended and crushed the cher- 
ished girl to the earth, destroying in her remains 
the very semblance of a human being, and perish- 
ing itself in the collision. 

The dismayed warriors cautiously returned to 
view the dismal scene. The bird was covered with 
beautiful plumage of snowy white, and each warrior 
plucked therefrom a plume to adorn his crown. 
From this incident the Iroquois braves forever af- 
ter made use of the plumes of the white heron, as 
their most appropriate martial decoration. 

Hiawatha was disconsolate. He prostrated him- 
self with his face upon the ground and gave himself up 
to the most poignantgrief for three days and nights, 
refusing to be consoled. His grief was shared by 
the whole assembly,-who sincerely mourned his 
great and sudden bereavement. 

At length he regained his composure and took 
. his seat in the council, whose deliberations were 
participated in by the ablest counselors of the as- 
sembled nations. At the conclusion of the debate, 
Hiawatha, desiring that nothing should be done 
hastily and inconsiderately, proposed that the coun- 
cil be postponed one day, so that they might weigh 

' In The Song 0/ Hiawatha^ Lon ;reliow locates it on the south shore 
of Lake Superior, between the Pictured Rocks and the Grand Sable. 

well the words which had been spoken, when he 
promised to communicate his plan for considera- 
tion, assuring them of his confidence in its success. 
The following day the council again assembled and 
amid breathless silence the sage counselor thus ad- 
dressed them : — 

" Friends a?id Brothers : — You are members of 
many tribes and nations. You have come here, 
many of you, a great distance from your homes. 
We have convened for one common purpose, to 
promote one common interest, and that is to pro- 
vide for our mutual safety, and how it shall best be 
accomplished. To oppose these hordes of north- 
ern foes by tribes, singly and alone, would prove 
our certain destruction ; we can make no progress 
in that way ; we must unite ourselves into one com- 
mon band of brothers. Our warriors united, would 
surely repel these rude invaders and drive them 
from our borders. This must be done and we 
shall be safe. 

"You, the Mohawks, sitting under the shadow of 
the 'great tree,' whose roots sink deep into the 
earth, and whose branches spread over a vast coun- 
try, shall be the first nation,' because you are war- 
like and mighty. 

"And you, Oneidas, a people who recline your 
bodies against the 'everlasting stone' that cannot 
be moved, shall be the second nation, because you 
give wise counsel. 

"And you, Onondagas, who have your habita- 
tion at the 'great mountain,' and are overshadowed 
by its crags, shall be the third nation, because you 
are greatly gifted in speech and mighty in war. 

"And you, Cayugas, a people whose habitation 
is the ' dark forest,' and whose home is everywhere, 
shall be the fourth nation, because of your superior 
cunning in hunting. 

" And you, Senecas, a people who live in the 
' open country' and possess much wisdom, shall be 
the fifth nation, because you understand better the 
art of raising corn and beans and making cabins. 

" You, five great and powerful nations, must 
unite and have but one common interest, and no 
foe shall be able to disturb or subdue you. 

"And you, Manhattans, Nyacks, Metoacks and 
others, who are as the 'feeble bushes' ; and you, 
Narragansetts, Mohegans, Wampanoags and your 
neighbors, who are a ' fishing people,' may place 
yourselves under our protection. Be with us and 
we will defend you. You of the South and you of 
the West may do the same, and we will protect 
you. We earnestly desire your aUiance and friend- 

"Brothers, if we unite in this bond the Great 
Spirit will smile upon us, and we shall be free, 
prosperous and happy. But if we remain as we 
are we shall be subject to his frown ; we shall be 
enslaved, ruined, perhaps annihilated forever. We 
shall perish and our be blotted out from 
among the nations of men, 

" Brothers, these are the words of Hiawatha. 
Let them sink deep into your hearts. I have said 



The council was adjourned one day to afford 
time to consider this weighty proposition, which 
made a deep impression on its hearers. It may 
seem strange, in the hght of a century of our own 
federate existence, that time should have been 
required to reach a conclusion so obvious ; but it 
was a marked characteristic of the Iroquois to act 
only after mature deliberation on questions of grave 
importance, and in this lies much of that great 
power they exerted both in council and in war. 
Assembling the next day, the wisdom of the 
proposition was unanimously conceded, and then 
was formed that celebrated league of the five Indian 
nations which no external power has effectually brok- 
en. Whatever may have been the circumstances con- 
nected with its origin, which is invested in the hy- 
perbole and metaphor with which the Indian lan- 
guage abounds, its great effectiveness is a matter of 
history, and stamps the mind which conceived it a 
genius of a high order. Pending this action, Hia- 
watha, admonished by the death of his daughter 
that his mission on earth was accomplished, pre- 
pared to take his final departure. As the assem- 
bly was about to separate, he arose in a dignified 
manner and said : — ■ 

" Friends and Brothers : — I have now fulfilled 
my mission upon earth. I have done everything 
which can be done at present for the good of this 
great people. Age, infirmity and distress set heavy 
upon me. During my sojourn with you I have re- 
moved all obstructions from the streams. Canoes 
can now pass safely everywhere. I have given you 
good fishing waters and good hunting grounds. I 
have taught you the manner of cultivating corn and 
beans and learned you the art of making cabins. 
Many other blessings I have liberally bestowed 
upon you. 

" Lastly, I have now assisted you to form an 
everlasting league and covenant of strength and 
friendship for your future safety and protection. 
If you preserve it, without the admission of other 
people, you will always be free, numerous and 
mighty. If other nations are admitted to your 
councils they will sow jealousies among you, and you 
will become enslaved, few and feeble. Remember 
these words, they are the last you will hear, from the 
hps of Hiawatha. Listen, my friends, the Great 
Master of Breath calls me to go. I have patiently 
waited his summons. I am ready; farewell." 

As his voice ceased, sweet sounds from the air 
burst on the ears of the multitude; and while 
their attention was engrossed in the celestial melo- 
dy, Hiawatha was seen, seated in his white canoe, 
rising in mid-air with every choral chant, till the 
clouds shut out the sight, and the melody, gradu- 
ally becoming fainter, ceased. 

The political and social organizations of the Iro- 

quois though simple in their structure were effect- 
ive in their operation. They were qalculated to 
violate as little as might be the high regard this 
people had for individual liberty, which they re- 
quired should be the largest, consistent with the 
general welfare. The method by which they secured 
efficiency without imposing undue restraint was as 
unique as it was simple and happy. No light tie 
could hold to the harmonious development of a 
common interest so fierce and barbarous a people 
as these. The problem was eminently worthy of 
the genius which solved it ; for while it held them 
inflexibly, yet unrestrainedly, to all matters relating 
to their federate existence, it secured the utmost 
elasticity and freedom in their tribal and national 
relations. The entire control of all civil matters 
effecting the common interest was vested in a na- 
tional council of about fifty sachems, though in 
some instances as many as eighty, chosen at firjt 
from the wisest men in their several nations, and 
afterwards hereditary in their famihes. All met as 
equals, but a peculiar dignity was ever attached to 
the Atotarho, or war chief, of the Onondagas.* All 
the nations were represented, and each had one 
vote in the council. This general council was held 
by common consent in the principal village of the 
Onondagas, the central nation. Thither, if the 
matter under consideration was of a deep and gen- 
eral interest, not the sachems alone, but the greater 
part of the population, gathered; and while the 
sachems deliberated in the council house, the chiefs 
and old men, the warriors, and often the women, 
were holding their respective councils apart, and 
their opinions, laid by their deputies before the 
council of sachems, were not without influence on 
its decisions. All questions of tribal, national and 
federal polity were discussed and decided in coun- 
cils. They had no written constitution, and no 
attempt was made to coerce a nation or individual. 
The authority of these sachems was measured by 
the estimate the people put upon their wisdom and 
integrity, and the execution of their plans rested 
upon the voluntary acquiescence of those whom 
they represented. But the Iroquois were actuated 
by a high regard for personal and national honor, 
which ever sufficed to impress them with a deep 
sense of duty. The impression has prevailed among 
authors that women were excluded from these 
councils ; this, however, is erroneous, though they 
did not commonly attend, t 

* Parkman's yesuits. ~ 

t Schoroyady, or the Half-KinR, an Oneida, said at a meeting at Fort 
Jolinson, May lo, 1756, attended by four Oneida and Seneca chiefs and 
two heneca women ;—" It 15 no new thing to take women into our 
councils, particularly among the Senecas." Cot. Hist. VII., 101 • also 
A., 256. ' 


A marked feature of the Iroquois civil polity was 
that which made the concurrence of all the nations 
necessary before any measure could be adopted. 
To secure this unanimity the most persuasive pow- 
ers of reason and eloquence were constantly em- 
ployed. Their speakers studied euphony in the 
selection and arrangement of their words, and their 
discourses were made highly impressive, if not al- 
ways eloquent and convincing, by the use of grace- 
ful attitudes and gestures. In this severe school 
were trained those orators, whose eiforts have chal- 
lenged favorable comparison with the best in civil- 
ized nations, and reflected not less renown on the 
federation than its bravest warriors. 

" There was a class of men among the Iroquois 
always put forward on public occasions to speak 
the mind of the nation or defend its interests. 
Nearly all of them were of the number of the sub- 
ordinate chiefs. Nature and training had fitted 
them for public speaking, and they were deeply 
versed in the history and traditions of the league. 
They were in fact professed orators, high in honor 
and influence among the people. To a huge stock 
of conventional metaphors, the use of which re- 
quired nothing but practice, they often added an 
astute intellect, an astonishing memory, and an el- 
oquence which deserved the name. 

" In one particular, the training of these savage 
politicians was never surpassed. They had no art 
of writing to record events, or preserve the stipula- 
tion of treaties. Memory, therefore, was tasked to 
the utmost, and developed to an extraordinary de- 
gree. They had various devices for aiding it, such 
as bundles of sticks, and that system of signs, em- 
blems and rude pictures, which they shared with 
other tribes. Their famous wampum belts were so 
many ilinemoijic signs, each standing for some act, 
speech, treaty, or clause of a treaty. These repre- 
sented the public archives, and were divided among 
various custodians, each charged with the memory 
and interpretation of those assigned to him. The 
meaning of the belts was from time to time expound- 
ed in the councils. In conference with them noth- 
ing more astonished the French, Dutch and Eng- 
lish officials than the precision with which, before 
replying to their addresses, the Indian orators re- 
peated them point by point." 

All business between other nations and the Iro- 
quois was brought to the council fire at Ononda- 
ga,* and the conclusion there reached carried with 
it all the weight of a kingly edict. The dehbera- 
tions of the sachems were conducted with the ut- 
most decorum and a rigid adherence to their no- 
tions of parUamentary usage which challenged the 
admiration of civilized nations. No speaker inter- 
rupted another. Each gave his opinion in turn, 
but not until he had stated in full the subject of 

* This council fire was finally extinguished January ii;, 1777, but the 
reason therefor has never been satisfactorily explained. 

discussion, to prove that he understood it, and had 
repeated the arguments pro and con of previous 
speakers. Thus their debates were exceedingly 
prolix, but resulted in a thorough sifting of the 
matter in hand. Their sachems received no com- 
pensation for their services. Honor and esteem 
were their chief rewards ; shame and being despised, 
their punishment. Their principal men, both sa- 
chems and chiefs, were generally poorer than the 
common people; for they affected to give away 
and distribute all the presents or plunder they got 
by treaty or in war.* They held their oflice by 
reason of merit and the esteem in which they were 
held by the people, and forfeited this distinction 
when that esteem was lost. Thus while the sys- 
tem held out ample incentives to valorous achieve- 
ment, there was nothing to tempt the covetous and 
sordid. A respect for native superiority, and a wil- 
lingness to yield to it were always conspicuous. In 
his own nation each sachem was a civil magistrate 
and decided the differences between his people in 
public audiences of his tribe. In military matters 
he had no control ; these were confided to the 
chiefs of tribes. If he engaged in war he held on- 
ly the rank of a common warrior. 

Each of the Iroquois nations was divided into 
nine clans or tribes, each having a specific device 
or totem, denoting original consanguinity. These 
totems were universally respected, and were often 
tatooed on the person of the Indian and were rude- 
ly painted on the gable end of his cabin, some in 
black, others in red. They entitled the wandering 
savage to the hospitality of the wigwam which bore 
the emblem corresponding with his own. These 
devices consisted of animals, birds, &c. They had 
various uses, but the most important was that which 
denoted tribal relation. Says E. B. O'Callaghan, 
M. D., the learned editor of the Colonial and Doc- 
umentary History f of New York : — 

" The Iroquois Nation consists of nine tribes, 
which form two divisions, one of four tribes and the 
other of five. 

"They call the first division Guey-Niotiteshes- 
gue, which means the four tribes ; and the second 
division they call Ouiche-Niotiteshesgue, which 
means the five tribes. 

" The first is that of the Tortoise, which calls it- 
self Atiniathin. It is the first because they pretend 
when the Master of Life made the earth, that he 
placed it on a tortoise ; and when there are earth- 
quakes, it is the tortoise that stirs. 

" The second tribe is that of the Wolf, and calls 
itself Enanthayonni, or Cahenhisenhonon, and 

* ColderCs Five Indian Nations. 

t Col. Hist. IX., 47 ; Doc. Hist. /., J. {Paris Docttmenis, 1666.) 



brother of the Tortoise tribe. When there is ques- 
tion of war they deUberate together ; and if the af- 
fair is of great moment, they communicate it to the 
other tribes to deUberate together thereupon ; so 
of all the other tribes. They assemble in the hut 
of a war chief when the question is of war, and in 
the hut of a council-chief when it is for ordinary 
matters of state. 

" The third tribe is that of the Bear, which they 
call Atinionguin. 

"The fourth tribe is that of the Beaver, and 
brother to that of the Bear. These four tribes com- 
pose the first division. 


" The fifth tribe is that of the Deer, which they 
call Canefuieske. 

" The sixth is that of the Potatoe, which they call 

" The seventh is that of the Great Plover, which 
they call Otinanchahe. 

" The eighth is that of the Little Plover, which 
they call Asco, or Nicohes. 

"The ninth is that of the Kilion, [Eagle,*] 
which they call Canonchahonronon. [It] derives 
its origin from a cabin that was in the interior 
(datis les terres) and composed of several fires and 
estabhshments. In the middle of the cabin was a 
partition which divided [it] in two. 

" Weary of knowing no one, and consequently 
unable to marry, they all married among them- 
selves ; which is the reason that their name signi- 
fies two cabins united together." 

Parkman, in speaking of the ninth tribe, which 
he denominates the Potatoe, says, if it existed it 
was very inconspicuous and of little importance. 
Other authors name only eight tribes. Ruttenber 
designates nine. 

Previous to the formation of the Iroquois Con- 
federacy, each of the five nations composing it was 
divided into five tribes. When their union was 
effected, each tribe transferred one-fifth of its 
numbers to every other nation, thus giving each 
nation nine tribes. Their tribal names were as 
follows : Tortoise, or Turtle, Wolf, Bear, Beaver, 
Deer, Potatoe, Snipe, Heron and Hawk.f 

These tribes formed two divisions, the second 
subordinate to the first, which was composed of 
the four first named. The members of each divi- 
sion were regarded as brothers to those in that 
division to which they belonged, while they were 
only cousins to those in the other divisions. Each 
tribe constituted a family, and while all its mem- 
bers were accounted brothers and sisters, they were 

• Signifies a hawk in some of the Iroquois dialects.— Co/. Hist. IX., 

t These are the more modern names as given by Morgan, though he 
and other authors omit the Potatoe. The Snipe and Heron correspond 
with the Great and Little Plover, and the Hawk, with the Eagle, of the 
French documents. 

also brothers and sisters of the members of all the 
other tribes bearing the same device. The indis- 
soluble bonds thus formed by the ties of consan- 
guinity were still further strengthened by the mar- 
riage relation. Originally marriage was interdicted 
between members of the same division, but in time 
the restriction was limited to those of the same 
tribe. It was held to be an abomination for two 
members of the same tribe to intermarry ; hence 
every individual family must contain members from 
at least two tribes. The child belonged to the 
clan of the mother, not the father, from whom it 
could not inherit anything. All rank, title and 
posessions passed through the female. The son 
of a chief could never be a chief by hereditary title, 
though he might become one through personal 
merit ; but a grandson, great-grandson or nephew 
might succeed him. 

The rule, though binding, was very elastic, and 
capable of stretching to the farthest limits of the 
tribe — -each tribe being allowed to select its chief 
from among its own members. Almost invariably 
the chief was succeeded by a near relative, always 
on the female side ; but if these were manifestly 
unfit, his successor was chosen at a council of the 
tribe from remoter kindred, in which case he was 
nominated by the matron of the late chiefs house- 
hold.* In any event the choice was never adverse 
to the popular incHnation.f The new chief was 
inducted into office by a formal council of the 
sachems of the league ; and on assuming its duties 
he dropped his own name and substituted that 
which, since the formation of the league, had be- 
longed to his especial chieftainship.^ The chief 
was required to be a skillful hunter, if not the best 
in his tribe, and liberal with his game. He must 
also be a good physician, and able to advise and 
assist the sick in every circumstance. It was his 
duty to take care of orphans, to harbor strangers, 
and to keep order in the town. But he, like the 
sachem, had no power of compulsion; and like 
him, also, must keep up his reputation by a pru- 
dent, courteous and winning behavior.§ 

The tribes were by no means equal in numbers, 
influence and honor, says Parkman. So marked 
were the distinctions among them that Golden and 
other early writers recognized only the three most 
prominent, — those of the Turtle, Bear and Wolf. 
They were eminently social in their habits ; and 
without any law other than that of common usage, 
or means of enforcing justice, these rude, uncul- 

* Lafitau. 
t Parkman. 

X Ibid. 
§ Loskiel. 



tured barbarians lived together in communities ag- 
gregating thousands, with a harmony civilization 
might envy. 

There was another council, says the same 
author, between which and that of the subordi- 
nate chiefs the line of demarkation seems not to 
have been very definite. In its character it was 
essentially popular, but popular in the best sense, 
and one which can find its application only in a 
small community. Any man took part in it whose 
age and experience qualified him to do so. It was 
merely the gathered wisdom of the nation. The 
Jesuit Lafitau, famihar with the Iroquois at the 
height of their prosperity, compares it with the 
Roman Senate, and defines it as the central and 
controlling power, so far, at least, as the separate 
nations were concerned. He thus describes it : — 

"It is a greasy assemblage, sitting sur leur derriere, 
crouched like apes, their knees as high as their 
ears, or lying, some on their belHes, some on their 
backs, each with a pipe in his mouth, discussing 
affairs of state with as much coolness and gravity 
as the Spanish Junta, or the Grand Council of 

The young warriors also had their councils; so 
too had the women; and the opinions and wishes 
of each were represented by means of deputies in 
this council of old men, as well as the grand con- 
federate council of the sachems. The government 
of this unique republic resided wholly in councils; 
and by these all questions were settled, all regu- 
lations established — social, political, military and 
religious. The war-path, the chase, the council- 
fire, — in these was the life of the Iroquois ; and it 
is difficult to say to which he was most devoted. 

In this blending of individual, tribal, national 
and federal interests lies the secret of the immense 
power wielded by the Iroquois, — a power which 
successfully resisted for a century and a half the 
hostile efforts of the French ; which made them 
for nearly a century (from 1664 to 1763,) an im- 
movable wedge between the contending French 
and English colonies in America, alike feared 
and courted by both ; and enabled them to ex- 
terminate or effectually subdue neighboring tribes 
with whom they had long waged war with varying 

The Iroquois were not always the same fierce, 
rapacious and blood-thirsty people which they are 
now familiarly known to have been, but were once 
engrossed in the peaceful pursuits of the husband- 
man. Golden graphically relates the circumstances 
which lead them in a measure to forsake that occu- 
pation, and involved them in a war with the Adiron- 

dacks, in which they were engaged when the French 
first settled Ganada. We quote : — 

"The Adirondacks formerly lived three hundred 
miles above Trois Rivieres, where now the Utmva- 
was are situated ; at that time they employed 
themselves wholly in hunting, and the Five Nations 
made planting of corn their business. By this 
means they became useful to each other, by ex- 
changing corn for venison. The Adirondacks, 
however, valued themselves as delighting in a more 
manly employment, and despised the Five Nations 
in following business which they thought only fit 
for women. But it once happened that the game 
failed the Adirondacks, which made, them desire 
some of the young men of the Five Nations to 
assist them in hunting. These young men soon 
became much more expert in hunting, and able to 
endure fatigue, than the Adirondacks expected or 
desired; in short they became jealous of them, 
and, one night, murdered all the young men they 
had with them. The Five Nations complained to 
the chiefs of the Adirondacks of the inhumanit} 
of this action ; but they contented themselves with 
blaming the nmrderers, and ordered them to make 
some small presents to the relatives of the mur- 
dered persons, without being apprehensive of the 
resentment of the Five Nations ; for they looked 
upon them as men not capable of taking any great 

" This, however, provoked the Five Nations to 
that degree, that they soon resolved by some means 
to be revenged ; and the Adirondacks, being in- 
formed of these designs, thought to prevent them 
by reducing them with force to their obedience. 

" The Five Nations then lived where Mont Real 
now stands ; they defended themselves at first but 
faintly against the vigorous attacks of the Adiron- 
dacks, and were forced to leave their own country 
and fly to the banks of the lakes, where they now 
live. As they were hitherto losers by the war, it 
obliged them to apply themselves to the exercise 
of arms, in which they became daily more and 
more expert. Their Sachems, in order to raise 
their people's spirits, turned them against the 
Satanas, a less war-like nation, who then lived on 
the banks of the lakes ; for they found it was diffi- 
cult to remove the dread their people had of the 
valor of the Adirondacks. The Five Nations soon 
subdued the Satanas, and drove them out of their 
country; and their people's courage being thus 
elevated, they, from this time, not only defended 
themselves bravely against the whole force of the 
Adirondacks, but even carried the war into the 
heart of the Adirondacks' country, and, at last, 
forced them to leave it, and to fly into that part of 
the country where Quebec is now built." * 

While the Iroquois were waging war with the 
Adirondacks, the French, who early signaHzed their 
enmity for the former, had, by the establishment 
of their fur trade, drawn most of the neighboring 
nations to Quebec, and supplied them with fire- 

* History of the Five Indian Nations- 



arms. These nations joined in the war against the 
Iroquois. The Adirondacks now resolved on the 
utter destruction of the Five Nations ; but their 
young warriors, from their superiority in numbers 
and arms, became rash and insolent and restive 
under the disciplinary restraints of their chiefs. 
The Iroquois, who were thrown on the defensive by 
the rash impetuousness of their enemies, soon dis- 
covered the advantages they gained by this want of 
discipUne, and became themselves more submis- 
sive to their chiefs and diligent in executing any 
enterprise. They opposed strategy, for which they 
were so conspicuously distinguished,* to the supe- 
riority in numbers and arms of the enemy, who 
were adroitly drawn into ambuscades and thereby 
suffered great losses. This warfare was continued 
until it culminated in the disastrous defeat and dis- 
persion of the Adirondacks and their alHes, the 
Quatoghies, or Hurons, in a terrible battle fought 
within sight of the French settlements at Quebec. 
They pursued these enemies to their place of refuge 
with a relentless persistency which only relaxed 
with their dispersion and almost utter extermina- 

With the same terrible, deadly vehemence they 
pursued other enemies, prominent among whom 
were the Neutrals and Fries to the west and the 
Andastes to the south of them, their vengeance 
never satiated until they were wiped out of exis- 
tence as nations. Thus they eventually became 
the dictators of the continent, their sway extending 
over a territory estimated to be twelve hundred 
miles long by eight hundred broad, embracing a 
large part of New England, and reaching thence to 
the Mississippi ; while the French occupants of 
Canada, and the Cherokees and Catawbas in the far 
south were humbled by their power. But they 
held in actual possession only the limited territory 
previously described. 

From the conquered nations they exacted tribute 
and drew conscripts for their armies. From the 
extent of their conquests, the number of their sub- 
ject nations, and the tribute and military aid ren- 
dered them by the latter, they have been called the 
" Romans of this Western World."t When we re- 
flect that of their own warriors they could bring 
into the field barely 2,000 braves, and with this 
number subjugated nations numerically more than 
twice as large, and spread terror and consternation 
among the French settlements in Canada, threat- 

» The Five Nations are so much delighted with stratagems in warTta 
no superiority in their forces ever makes them neglect Ihem.—Colrka. 

tVclne/s View of the United States, 470-476; Colden' s Five Va- 
timtsl,!,, s; ColUctionsoftheNew Vor/i Historical Society, lin, 44. 

ening their utter extinction, the magnitude of their 
achievements may be faintly comprehended. They 
are thus emphasized by Street : — 
"By the far Mississippi the Illini shrank. 
When the trail of the Tortoise was seen at the 

On the hills of New England the Pequot turned 

When the howl of the Wolf swelled at night on 

the gale, 
And the Cherokee shook in his green smiling 

When the foot of the Bear stamped his carpet of 
Their great successes, however, are scarcely ref- 
erable to the perfection of their military organiza- 
tion, which, though unquestionably better than that 
of their neighbors, was wretchedly poor. Occa- 
sionally, though rarely, they acted in concert as a 
great confederacy ; but usually their wars were car- 
ried on by detached parties, small in numbers, or 
at best by individual nations, by whom their great 
conquests were mostly made. 

They were in a chronic state of warfare, and were 
easily diverted from other pursuits whenever an 
opportunity offered to avenge their enemies. The 
inveterate wars waged by them against their kins- 
men, as for instance the Hurons, Fries and Andastes, 
all mighty and valorous nations, is one of the un- 
explained passages in their history. Any of their 
warriors who was desirous of avenging a personal 
insult, rebuking a tribal or national affront, or am- 
bitious to distinguish himself by some deed of valor, 
might take the war-path with such following as he 
could get. He first communicated his design to 
two others of his most intimate friends and if they 
approved of it, an invitation was extended in their 
name to the warriors of the village to attend a feast 
of dogs' flesh, which was always used on such oc- 
casions.* His purpose was publicly proclaimed by 
the singing of war-songs, dancing the war-dance, 
and sticking his hatchet in the war-post. Any who 
chose joined him. After a night spent in alimen- 
tary debauchery they set out, dressed in their finest 
apparel, with faces hideously bedaubed with paint, 
to make them objects of terror to their enemies, 
usually with a little parched corn meal and maple 
sugar as their sole provision. Often these viands 
were varied by the addition of a little smoked 
venison ; and when the supply became scant, as it 
often did, the tightening of the waist-belt was made 
to supplement an insufficient meal. They were al- 
ways followed on such occasions by the women,who 
took with them their old clothes and brought back the 

* Coldet^s Five Indian Nations ; Cot. Hist, IX. 560, 



finery in which they marched from the castle. They 
always recorded these exploits by the aid of their 
mnemonic symbols, rudely sketched on the smooth 
side of a piece of bark, peeled for that purpose 
from a tree — usually an oak, as being most durable. 
These expeditions usually provoked retahation, and 
the vengeance of the injured party was wreaked on 
any of the offending nation with whom they came 
in contact. Thus the history of Indian warfare is 
largely the history of the daring exploits of indi- 
viduals and small bands of warriors, who harrassed 
their enemies and kept them in perpetual fear of 
danger. This mode of warfare proved peculiarly 
distressing to the early settlements of the American 

Authors differ as to the military status of the 
Iroquois, and it would be difficult, perhaps, with 
our Umited exact knowledge of the various Indian 
tribes with whom they came in contact, to award 
them their just meed. It would be manifiestly un- 
just to compare them with civilized nations, though 
in some respects this would not reflect disparag- 
ingly upon them. They had a discipline suited to 
the dark and tangled forests where they fought. 
Here they were a terrible foe; but in an open 
country, against a trained European force, they 
were, despite their ferocious valor, less formidable. 
Their true superiority was a moral one. They were 
in one of those transports of pride, self-confidence 
and rage for ascendancy, which, in a savage peo- 
ple, marks an era of conquest.* They were proud, 
vindictive, arrogant, sagacious and subtle, and 
esteemed themselves by nature superior to the 
rest of mankind. They styled themselves Ongue- 
honwe, signifying "men surpassing all others."! 
Great care was taken to inculcate this opinion 
in their children, and to impress it upon other 

The superiority of the Iroquois, as compared 
with others of their race in the whole western hemi- 
sphere, and even with the civilized races of Mexico 
and Peru, with a few doubtful exceptions, is clearly 
proved by the size of their brain. The average 
internal capacity of five Iroquois crania, as com- 
pared by Morton, was eighty-eight cubic inches, 
which is within two inches of the Caucasian mean, 
and four of the Teutonic.^ The difference in vol- 
ume is chiefly confined to the occipital and basal 
portions — the region of the animal propensities — 
and on this is predicated their ferocious, brutal and 

* ParkmatCs Jesuits. 

t Colden's Five Indian Xations. 

% Crania A msricatia, 195. 

uncivilizable character.* In this remarkable family 
occur the fullest developments of Indian character, 
and the most conspicuous examples of Indian in- 
telligence. If not here, then nowhere are to be 
found those higher traits popularly ascribed to the 
race.f They unified and systematized the elements 
which, among other nations, were digressive and 
chaotic. The average internal capacity of the cra- 
nia of the North American Indians generally is 
eighty-four cubic inches ; greater than the mean of 
twenty-four crania of Mound builders, as examined 
by Prof. Jeffreys Wyman, Curator of Peabody Mu- 
seum of American Archseology.f 

The advent of the European nations to the 
American continent was the precursor alike of the 
downfall of the Iroquois Confederacy and the ulti- 
mate extinction of the American Indian. This 
was due, not so much to the organic defects of the 
confederacy itself, as to causes inherent in the struc- 
ture and mental incapacity of its authors. Stimu- 
lated at first by the attrition of rugged Saxon 
thought, they were destined ere long to be con- 
sumed by it. Though radically' intractable, this 
race possessed in certain external respects a plastic 
mind ; but while they felt and were, in a measure, 
influenced by this contact with a superior intellect, 
they lacked the ability to adapt themselves to the 
conditions essential to its evolvement. It intensi- 
fied their savage nature, rather than eradicated it; 
for, unhappily for them, they were brought more in 
contact with its vices than its virtues. It cannot 
be denied, however, that the efforts of early mis- 
sionaries had a softening tendency; and what 
might have been the result of their labors under 
more favorable conditions can only be conjectured. 
But the missionaries themselves gave ample evi- 
dence of the great difficulty attending their conver- 
sion, and it should not be overlooked that the in- 
stances which gave unmistakable evidence of gen- 
uine conversion were extremely rare. The large 
liberty allowed by their national compact was an 
element of great danger with a barbarous people, 
given, as they were, to the gratification of many of 
the worst impulses of their nature ; for it held little 
or no restraint over them. The worst phases of 
our civilization — a polished barbarism rather — were 
engrafted on their natures, and served as a stimu- 
lus to appetites and passions already abnormally 

* A dmeasurements 0/ Crania of th^ Principal Groups of Indians i 
the United States. -J. S. Phillips, 
t Parkinan' s Jesuits. 
% Fourth Annual Report .> 1871, 



Advanced as the Iroquois were beyond other 
American tribes, there is no indication whatever 
of a tendency to overpass the confines of a wild 
hunter and warrior life. They were inveterately 
attached to it, impracticable conservatists of bar- 
barism, and in ferocity and cruelty they matched 
the worst of their race. That they were sagacious 
is past denying ; but it expended itself in a blind 
frenzy which impelled them to destroy those whom 
they might have made their allies in a common 
cause. Their prescience, apparently, could not 
comprehend the destiny of a people capable of 
emerging from barbarism into civilization. Their 
decline may be said to have begun when their con- 
quests ended. They soon became a hopeless de- 
pendency, without the means, if they had the de- 
sign, which they probably did not, to stop the en- 
croachment of the whites upon their domain. As 
early as 1753, their dissolution was foreshadowed, 
though it did not take place till about a quarter of 
a century later.* 


Indian Habits and Usages — Indian Dwellings 
— Indian Towns — Social Usages — Dress 
and Habits — Law of Marriages — Experi- 
mental Marriages — Family Discipline — 
Amusements — Dances and Feasts — The 
War Dance — Religion and Superstition — 
Stated Annual Festivals — Medical Feasts 
— Dreams — Wizards and Witches — Burials 
— Wampum — Hospitality. 

WE purpose giving in this chapter some of the 
more prominent features of Indian domestic 
and social life, which furnish the best index to his 
true character. The Indian, viewed as a distinct 
branch of the human family, has some peculiar 
traits and institutions which may be advantageous- 
ly studied. They furnish the key to those start- 
ling impulses which have so long made him an 
object of wonder to civilized communities, and re- 
veal him as the legitimate product of the condi- 
tions attending his birth, his forest education, and 
the wants, temptations and dangers which surround 
him. They show him also to be as patient and 
politic as he is ferocious. 

"America, w hen it became known to Europeans, 

t See an account of a conference between Col. Willi.nm Johnson and 
the Six Nations at Onondaga, Sept. 8, iis^.-Doc. Hist. II., 633. 

was, as it had long been, a scene of wide-spread 
revolution. North and South, tribe was giving 
place to tribe, language to language ; for the 
Indian, hopelessly unchanged in respect to indi- 
vidual and social development, was, as regards 
tribal relations and social haunts, mutable as the 
wind. In Canada and the northern section of the 
United States, the elements of change were 
especially active. The Indian population, which, 
in 153s, Cartier found at Montreal and Quebec, 
had disappeared at the opening of the next 
century, and another race had succeeded, in 
language and customs widely different ; while in 
the region now forming the State of New York, a 
power was rising to a ferocious vitaHty, which, but 
for the presence of Europeans, would probably 
have subjected, absorbed or exterminated every 
other Indian community east of the Mississippi 
and north of the Ohio." * 

Hence we shall see that Indian habitations were 
not characterized by that durabihty and perma- 
nency which is manifest in stable communities. 
This mutability was governed primarily by success 
or non-success in war, or the fear of ambitious 
neighbors, for not unfrequently whole nations, or 
fragments of nations, submitted to expatriation to 
save themselves from extermination ; and, second- 
arily, by the mode of Indian life. They subsisted 
generally by hunting and fishing. Their agriculture 
was usually of the most primitive character ; and 
when, in the course of years, the fertility of their 
small clearings became exhausted, not being con- 
versant with the art of refertilization, they removed 
to and cultivated new fields. The scarcity of 
game and fuel also necessitated their removal to 
localities where it was more abundant. 

Usually, however, they had large central villages, 
which exhibited in a more marked measure the ele- 
ments of permanency. Thus the Iroquois, though 
living at different times in various localities in this 
State, retained their central habitations in or near 
the localities where the whites first found them. Of 
the Iroquois, who subsisted mainly by the chase, 
the Senecas, who occupied the most fertile portion 
of the State, brought agriculture to the highest de- 
gree of perfection, and had the best houses. When ' 
General SuUivan passed through their country with 
his army in 1779, thousands of acres had been 
cleared, old orchards of apples, pears, peaches and 
other fruits existed, and evidences of long cultiva- 
tion abounded. Corn, which was a- staple produc- 
tion, grew to marvelous perfection, ears twenty-two 
inches in length being found by Sullivan's soldiers, 
who, it is said, took to New England from the Gen- 
esee Valley the first sweet corn ever seen there. 

* Parkvtan^ s Jesuits. 



Their dwellings differed in shape and size, and, 
though rude, were generally built with considerable 
labor and care. They were generally about thirty 
feet square and of the same height. The sides 
were formed of hickory saplings set in two parallel 
rows and bent inward, thus forming an arch. Trans- 
verse poles were bound to the uprights and over 
the arch. The whole was covered with bark, over- 
lapping like shingles, and held in place by smaller 
poles fastened to the frame with cords of linden 
bark. An open space about a foot wide extended 
the whole length of the ridge and served the double 
purpose of window and chimney. At each end was 
an enclosed space for the storage of supplies of In- 
dian corn, dried flesh, fish, &c., which were kept in 
bark vessels. Along each side were wide scaffolds, 
some four feet from the floor, which, when covered 
with skins, formed the summer sleeping places, 
while beneath was stored their firewood gathered 
and kept dry for use. In some cases these plat- 
forms were in sections of twelve to fourteen feet, 
with spaces for storage between them. Five or six 
feet above was another platform, often occupied by 
children. Overhead poles were suspended for var- 
ious uses, to make and dry their fish and flesh, and 
hold their weapons, skins, clothing, corn, &c. In 
cold weather the inmates slept on the floor, huddled 
about the fires, which ranged through the center of 
the house. In their large structures the sides usu- 
ally consisted of rows of upright posts, and the roof 
still arched, was formed of separate poles. The 
door consisted of a sheet of bark hung on wooderr 
hinges, or suspended by cords from above. Gen- 
erally they were lined with a thick coating of soot 
by the large fires maintained for warmth and for 
cooking. So pungent was the smoke that it pro- 
duced inflammation of the eyes, attended in old age 
with frequent blindness. Their wolfish dogs were 
as regular occupants as the unbridled and unruly 
children. The Iroquois preserved this mode of 
building in all essential particulars till a recent 
period, and it was common and peculiar to all 
tribes of their lineage. 

The Indian towns were generally but an irreg- 
ular and confused aggregation of Indian houses, 
from five to fifty in number, clustered together with 
little regard to order, and covering from one to ten 
acres. As the Indian dug no wells, they were lo- 
cated adjacent to-copious springs or to considerable 
streams. They were often fortified, and a situation 
favorable to defense was always chosen — the shore 
of a lake, the crown of a difficult hill, or a high 
point of land in the fork of confluent streams. 

These defenses were not often constructed with any 
mathematical regularity, but made to conform to 
the nature of the ground. Frequently a precipice 
or river sufficed for a partial defense, and the line 
or embankment occurred only on one or two 

An embankment was constructed of the earth 
thrown up from a deep ditch encircHng the town, 
and supported palisades of twenty to thirty feet in 
height, planted in one to four concentric rows, 
those of each row inclining towards those of the 
others till they intersected. These palisades were 
cut by the alternate process of burning and hack- 
ing the burnt part with stone hatchets * from trees 
felled in the same manner, and were often inter- 
laced with flexible branches, to prevent their de- 
struction by fire, a common effort of the enemy. 
They were lined to the height of a man with heavy 
sheets of bark ; and on the top, where they cr'ossed, 
was a gallery of timbers for the defenders, together 
with wooden gutters, by which streams of water 
could be poured on fires kindled by the enemy. 
Magazines of stones, and rude ladders for mount- 
ing the ramparts, completed the provisions for de- 
fense. The forts of the Iroquois were stronger 
and more elaborate than those of other nations, 
and large districts in New York are marked with 
the remains of their ditches and embankments, 
many instances of which occur in Livingston 
county. After the advent of Europeans and the 
introduction of suitable implements for making 
excavations, the palisades were set in the ground 
to a sufficient depth to render the use of embank- 
ments unnecessary ; f and their later defensive 
structures evince other modifications in form, sug- 
gested, probably, by the example or instructions of 
their white neighbors. 

Unsatisfactory efforts have been made to estab- 
lish a connection between the ancient works in this 
vicinity and those ascribed to the Mound-builders, 
and refer them to the same origin. " The resem- 
blance which they bear to the defensive structures 
of other rude nations, in various parts of the world, 
are the results of natural causes, and cannot be taken 
to indicate either a close or remote connection or 
dependence."! But the differences between the 
two in size, general conformation and mode of 
structure are too important to be overlooked and 
scarcely admjt of the thought of a Uke origin. The 

* The Indian had no metallic ax capable of felling a tree prior to 1492. 
— Schoolcraft. 

t A notable instance of this kind came under the observation of the 
writer in the town of Locke^ in Cayuga county. 

\ Antigititits of New York and the West^ 141. 


former are much smaller and more numerous in a 
given extent of territory than the latter, which also 
conform in their structure to geometrical principles, 
while the former are conspicuous for their depart- 
ure from this rule.* The former also have the 
ditch outside the embankment, while in the latter 
it is invariably inside^ — a distinction too important 
and general to be merely accidental. Two of these 
remains which have come under our observation 
do not show by the relics found in them evidence 
of intercourse between their occupants and Euro- 
peans, showing that few had been abandoned prior 
to the advent of the white man— a fact which is at 
variance with the known mutability of the Indian ; 
furthermore, the forest growths covering these sites 
when the first settlers came into the country, and 
usually cited as an evidence of antiquity, with a 
few possible exceptions, did not indicate an anti- 
Columbian, if an anti-Jesuit, period. Squier says : 
" I am driven to a conclusion little anticipated 
when I started upon my exploration of the monu- 
ments of the State, that the earth-works of Western 
New York were erected by the Iroquois or their 
western neighbors, and do not possess any anti- 
quity going very far back of the discovery.":]: Inci- 
dental resemblances in the character of the relics 
disclosed by them in isolated cases do not warrant 
the broad deductions sometimes made for them ; 
for, if the connection is real, these resemblances 
should be of a general, not a special nature. 

Large quantities of timber were consumed in 
building these fortifications, and hence clearings of 
considerable extent were made and opened to their 
rude cultivation. In that work the squaws were 
employed, assisted by the children and superannua- 
ted warriors; not as a compulsory labor, but 
assumed by them as a just equivalent for the oner- 
ous and continuous labor of the other sex, in pro- 
viding meats and skins for clothing, by the chase, 
and in defending their villages against their enemies 
and in keeping intruders off their territory.? The 
implement used for tilling the soil was a bone or 
wooden hoe, (pemidgeag akwout;) and the chief 
crops, corn (mondaminjhems, pumpkins, tobacco, 
sunflowers and hemp. There was no individual 
ownership of land, but each family had for the 
time exclusive right to as much as they saw fit to 
cultivate. The clearing process was a laborious 
one, and consisted in hacking ofiF branches, piUng 
them together with brushwood around the foot 

* Antiquities cf New York and the West, 9. 

^ Pre-Historic Races of the United States of America, 174. 

iAutiguitiesof New I'oriandthe lVest,Ho. 

§ Schoolcraft. 

of the standing trunks, and setting fire to the 

With the Iroquois the staple article of food 
was corn, "cooked without salt in a variety of dif- 
ferent forms, each," says Parkman, " more odious 
than the last." This, cooked with beans of vari- 
ous colors, was highly esteemed by them, but was 
more of a dainty than daily dish. Their bread, 
which was of indifferent quahty, kneaded in a bark 
tray with unwashed hands, but an article of daily 
consumption, was made of corn ; from which they 
also made a porridge, called by some Sapsis, by 
others Duundare, (boiled bread.*) Wild game 
was a common article of food, but venison (used 
specifically) was a luxury found only at feasts; 
dog's flesh was held in high esteem, and in some 
of the towns captive bears were fattened for festive 
occasions. Their food comprised many other arti- 
cles, some of which are far from being delectable 
to a refined taste. 

These stationary tribes were far less improvident 
than the roving Algonquins, and laid up stores of 
provision against a season of want. Their main 
stock of corn was buried in caches, or deep holes 
dug in the earth. In respect to the arts of life, also, 
they were in advance of the wandering hunters of 
the North. The women made a species of earthen 
pot for cooking, but these were supplanted by the 
copper kettle of the French traders. They wove 
rush mats with no Httle skill. They spun twine 
from the hemp by the primitive process of rolling 
it on their thighs ; and of this twine they made nets. 
They extracted oil from fish and from the seeds of 
the sunflower, the latter, apparently, only for the 
purposes of the toilet. They pounded their maize 
in huge mortars of wood, hollowed by alternate 
burnings and scrapings.! To the woman belonged 
the drudgery of the household, as well as the field, 
though it may be questioned if the task was as on- 
erous as it is generally supposed to have been.J 
Among the Iroquois there were favorable features 
in her condition. She had often a considerable 
influence in the decisions of the councils. It was 
her prerogative during war to propose a cessation 
of hostilities, and this could be done without com- 
promising the warriors and chiefs. For this purpose 
a male functionary, who was a good speaker, was 
designated to perform an oflice which was deemed 
unsuitable to the female; and when this resolution 
was taken by the matrons of the nation or tribe, 
the mess age was delivered to^this officer, who was 

>■ Col. Hist; /., z8j. 
t Park-mat^ s Jesuits. 
\ See Schoolcraft's Notes. 



bound to enforce it with all the powers of eloquence 
he possessed.* It was in this role that the talented, 
but anomalous Red Jacket, acquired so great a 
celebrity as an orator. To the men, in addition to 
the duties already enumerated, belonged that of 
making the implements of war and the chase, pipes,- 
which were often skillfully and elaborately wrought, 
and canoes, which were of two kinds — "some of 
entire trees, excavated by fire, axes and adzes,"t 
and others made of bark. The canoes of the Hu- 
rons and other northern tribes were made of birch 
bark; while those of the Iroquois, in the absence 
of birch, were made of elm, which was greatly in- 
ferior, both in lightness and strength. 

The dress of both men and women consisted of 
skins of various kinds, dressed in the well-known 
Indian manner, and worn in the shape of kilts, or 
doublets thrown over the shoulders, the men often 
wearing it only over the left shoulder, so as to leave 
their right arm free. Formerly these coverings 
were made of turkey feathers, woven together with 
a thread of wild hemp ;J but latterly both these and 
the skins were superseded by a piece of duffels,^ 
which they received in trade with the whites. The 
rich wore a piece of blue, red or black cloth about 
" two yards" long, fastened around the waist, the 
lower seam of which, in some cases, was decorated 
with ribbons, wampum or corals. The poor cov- 
ered themselyes with a bear-skin, and even the rich 
did the same in cold weather, or in its stead, a 
pelisse of beaver or other fur, with the hair turned 
inward. They made stockings and shoes of deer- 
skins and elk-hides, which, says Loskiel, were " tan- 
ned with the brains of the deer," which made them 
very soft; and some even wore shoes made of corn 
husks, of which, also, they made sacks. The dress 
which peculiarly distinguished the women, was a 
petticoat, made of a piece of cloth about two yards 
long, fastened tight about the hips, and hanging 
down a little below the knees. This they wore day 
and night. A longer one would have impeded 
them in walking through the woods and working in 
the fields. Their holiday dress was either blue or 
red and sometimes black, hung all around, fre- 
quently from top to bottom, with red, blue and 
yellow ribbons. " Most women of rank," says Los- 
kiel, " wear a fine white linen shift with a red col- 
lar, reaching from their necks nearly to the knees. 
Others wear shifts of printed linen or cotton of va- 
rious colors, decorated at the breast with a great 

* Benton's Herkimer County and the Upper Mohawk Valley, 18. 

t Colonial History of New York. 

i Loskiel and Colonial History of New York. 

§ A kind of coarse cloth resembling frieze. 

number of silver buckles, which are also worn by 
some as ornaments upon the petticoats." The men 
also frequently appeared in a white shirt with a red 
collar, worn over the rest of the clothes. The dress 
" of the women, according to the Jesuits," says 
Parkman, in speaking of the Hurons, " was more 
modest than that of our most pious ladies of France ! 
The young girls on festal occasions must be except- 
ed from this commendation, as they wore merely a 
kilt from the waist to the knee, besides the wam- 
pum decorations of the breast and arms. Their 
long black hair, gathered behind the neck, was 
decorated with disks of native copper, or gay pen- 
dants made in France, and now occasionally un- 
earthed in numbers from their graves. The men. 
in summer, were nearly naked, those of a kindred 
tribe wholly so, with the sole exception of their 

All Indians were very much addicted to personal 
ornamentation, the women more so than the men. 
In these decorations consisted their wealth, and 
they were a means also of marking their rank 
among themselves.* The men paid particular at- 
tention to the dress and adornment of their wives, 
and thought it scandalous to appear better clothed 
than they, f Their robes of fur were often richly 
decorated on the inside with painted figures and de- 
vices, and elaborately embroidered, and were of 
great value. Much time and labor was bestowed 
in decorating their faces and bodies with paint and 
other devices. The latter was frequently covered 
entirely with black, in case of mourning, and was 
most singularly tatooed with representations of ser- 
pents, birds and other creatures. The entire body 
was thus sometimes covered, and though the oper- 
ation was severe and painful, at times resulting in 
death, not a murmur escaped the suff'erer. From 
these decorations they sometimes acquired appel- 
lations by which their pride was exceedingly grati- 
fied ; thus an Iroquois chief, whose breast was cov- 
ered with black scarifications was called the Black 
Prince.J The face each day received a fresh ap- 
phcation of paint, and this was an object of special 
care if they were going to a dance. Vermillion 
was their favorite color, and with it they frequent- 
ly painted the entire head. At other times half the 
face and head were painted red and the other half 
black. Near the river Muskingum was found a 
yellow ochre, which, when burnt, made a beautiful 
red color. This the Huron warriors chiefly used 
for paint, and did not think a journey of a hundred 

* Kifs Jesuits. 
t Loskiel. 
X Loskiel. 



miles too great a price to pay for it. Some pre- 
ferred blue, " because," says Loskiel, " it is the 
color of the sky, when calm and serene, and being 
considered an emblem of peace, it is frequently in- 
troduced as such in their public orations.'' White 
clay, soot and the red juice of certain berries, were 
among the agents employed in these fantastic 
decorations. Some wore a large pearl, or piece of 
silver, gold or wampum, suspended from a hole 
bored in the cartilage of the nose. From their ears, 
which had previously been distended and length- 
ened as much as possible, depended pearls, rings, 
sparkling stones, feathers, flowers, corals, or silver 
crosses. A broad collar made of violet wampum 
was deemed a most precious ornament, and the 
rich even decorated their breasts with it. " It is 
always necessary,'' says Father Sebastian Rasles, 
" to add a small piece of porcelain, which hangs at 
the end of the collar."* 

The hair was worn in various and grotesque fash- 
ions, and decorated with silver and other trinkets 
of considerable weight. The women suffered it to 
grow without restraint, and thus it frequently 
reached below the hips. Nothing was thought more 
ignominious in women than to have it cut off, and 
this was only now and then resorted to as an act 
of punishment. They anointed it with bear's grease 
to make it shine. " The Delaware women," says 
Loskiel, "never plait their hair, but fold and tie it 
round with a piece of cloth. Some, tie it behind, 
then roll it up, and wrap a. ribband or the skin of a 
serpent around it. * * » But the Iroquois, 
Shawanose and Huron women wear a queue, down 
to their hips, tied round with a piece of cloth, and 
hung with red ribband." The men did not allow 
their hair to grow long, and some even pulled so 
much of it out by the roots, that a little only re- 
mained round the crown of the head, forming a 
round crest of about two inches in diameter. This 
was divided into two parts, plaited, tied with rib- 
bon, and allowed to hang on either side of the 
head. The crown was frequently ornamented with 
a plume of feathers, placed either upright or aslant ; 
and the hair, at feasts, with silver rings, corals, wam- 
pum, and even silver buckles. With some the hair 
was braided tight on one side and allowed to hang 
loose on the other ; while with others it bristled in 
a ridge across the crown like the back of a hyena. 
European writers, among them Voltaire, long 
contended \ha.t, par tiaturel, the North American 
Indians had no beards ; and W. J. SneUing, who 
resided for some years among the Western Indians, 

*Kip^s Jesuiis. 

says, it is ?tot an error that the Indians have no 
•beard. Brant, the celebrated Mohawk chief, ad- 
dressed the following letter to a Mr. McCausland, 
who, desiring to know the truth of the matter, pro- 
pounded the inquiry* thereon : — 

"Niagara, 19 April, 1783. 

" The men of the Six Nations have all beards by 
nature ; as have hkewise all other Indian nations of 
North America, which I have seen. Some Indians 
allow a part of the beard upon the chin and upper 
lip to grow, and a few of the Mohawks shave with 
razors, in the same manner as Europeans ; but the 
generality pluck out the hairs of the beard by the 
roots, as soon as they begin to appear ;t and as 
they continue this practice all their lives, they ap- 
pear to have no beard, or, at most, only a few strag- 
gling hairs, which they have neglected to pluck out. 
I am, however, of opinion, that if the Indians were 
to shave, they would never have beards altogether 
so thick as the Europeans ; and there are some to 
be met with who have actually very little beard. 
Jos. Brant Thayendanega." 

It was common for the Indians to rub their 
bodies with the fat of bears or other animals, 
which was sometimes colored, to make their limbs 
supple, and to guard against the sting of mosqui- 
toes and other insects. 

The Iroquois studied dress and ornamentation 
more than any other Indian nation, and were 
allowed to dictate the fashion to the rest. 

The Iroquois married early in life, the men 
sometimes in their eighteenth, and the women in 
their fourteenth year. Both marriage and divorce 
were effected with equal facihty, and were attended 
with very little ceremony. The marriage ceremony 
consisted in the acceptance of a gift from a suitor 
by the intended wife, and the return on her part 
of a dish of boiled maize and an armful of fuel. 
Divorces ensued at the pleasure of the parties for 
the most trivial causes, and without disgrace to 
either, unless it had been caused by some scandal- 
ous offense. The man signified his wish to marry 
by a present of blankets, cloth, linen, and perhaps 
a few belts of wampum, to the nearest relatives of 
the object of his desire. If they happened to be 
pleased with the present and suitor, they proposed 
the matter to the girl, who generally decided agree- 
ably to the wishes of the parents or relatives. If 
the proposal was declined the present was returned 
by way of a friendly negative. The woman or 
girl indicated this desire by sitting, with her face 
covered with a veil. If she attracted a suitor, 
negotiations were opened with parents or friends, 

* Biography and History of the Indians of Xorth America.—^afk 
v., Chap, v., 92. 
^ See Holland Documents, Col. Hist, of New York, /., z8l. 



presents given and the bride taken. Says Father 
Cholonce, missionary of the Society of Jesus, in 
1715, referring to the Iroquois : " Although these 
heathen extend their dissoluteness and licentious- 
ness to the greatest excess, there is yet no nation 
which in public guards so scrupulously the outward 
decorum, which is the attendant of perfect 
modesty. A young man would be forever dis- 
honored if he should stop to converse publicly 
with a young female. Whenever marriage is in 
agitation the business is to be settled by the 
parents, and the parties most interested are not 
even permitted to meet." * 

Taciturn, morose and cruel as the Indians were 
usually in their hunting and war-like expeditions, 
in their own cabins and communities they were 
very social, patient and forbearing ; in their festal 
seasons, when all were at leisure, they engaged in 
a round of continual feasting, gambling, smoking 
and dancing. In gambling they spent much of 
their leisure, and staked all they controlled on the 
chances of the game, — their food, ornaments, 
canoes, clothing, wives, and even the skins from 
their backs.f The game of bowl, in which two 
entire villages sometimes contended, had a pecu- 
liar fascination, and cases are related where some 
of the contestants lost their leggins and moccasins, 
and complacently returned home barefooted 
through the snow. Some of the Iroquois believed 
that they would play this game in the spirit land. % 
Various devices were employed, — eight plum 
stones, pieces of wood, or small pebbles, (twyaux) 
painted red or black on one side, and yellow or 
white on the other. These were put into a wooden 
bowl, which, being struck heavily upon the ground, 
caused them to bound upward, and the betting 
was upon the colored faces which were uppermost 
when they fell. So long as one threw seven or 
eight of the same color he gained and continued 
playing. § Ball {la crosse,) was also a favorite 
game and engaged twenty or more contestants on 
each side. Entire villages were often pitted agamst 
each other. Two poles were set up and the game 
commenced in the center ; one party, with bat, 
which is described "as a sort of little racket," pro- 
pelling the ball, (which was made of " very heavy 
wood, somewhat larger than the balls used at 
tennis,") from one side and the other from the op- 
posite, and whichever^eached the goal won. 

* Early Jesuit Missions.— T^\p, p. 86. 

\ Biography of the Indians of North America.— Book 11., Chap. 
II., 31. 

% Parknian' s fesuits. 

^Col. Hist. IX., 888. (Paris Documents.) Carver's Travels, 
London Ed. 363 ; Phila. Ed., 1796, ^J7' 

When playing they were entirely naked, except a 
" breech cloth,'' and moccasins on their feet ; and 
their bodies were completely painted with all sorts 
of colors. They played "very deep {gros jeii,) 
and often ; " and the bets sometimes amounted to 
" more than eight hundred Hvres."* These games 
occasionally provoked bitter feuds, resulting in 
deadly combat, and tradition ascribes the war be- 
tween the Neutral nation and the Iroquois to the 
defeat of the former in a series of games of ball.f 
Dancing was a common amusement and a sol- 
emn duty with all Indians, and not a night passed 
during these periods of leisure without a dance in 
one family or another to which the youth of both 
sexes resorted with eagerness. The common dance 
was held in a large house or in an open field around 
a fire. A circle was formed and a leader chosen. 
The women danced with great decorum, even 
gravity, never speaking a word to the men, much less 
joking with them, as that would injure their character. 
They neither jumped nor skipped, but moved one 
foot lightly backward and forward, till by gradual 
advances they reached a certain spot, when they 
retired in the same manner. They kept their 
bodies straight and their arms hung down close to 
their sides. The men shouted, leaped and stamped 
with great violence, their extreme agility and light- 
ness of foot being shown to great advantage. The 
sole music consisted of a single drum, made by 
stretching a thin deer skin over an old barrel or 
kettle, or the lower end of a hollow tree, and beat 
with one stick. Its sound was disagreeable, and 
served only to mark the time, which they kept with 
exactness, even when dancing in great numbers. 
The intervals between the rounds were enhvened 
with singing by the drummer. The dances com- 
monly lasted till midnight. The dance was a com- 
mon way of welcoming and entertaining strangers. 
Baron Lahonton says it was the custom of the 
Iroquois to dance "-lorsque les etrangers passent 
dans leur pais, ou que leurs ennemis envoient des 
ambassadeurs pour f aire des propositions de peix."X 
Another kind of dance was attended only by 
men. Each rose in his turn and danced with great 
agility and boldness, extolling the great deeds of 
himself or forefathers in a song, to which the whole 
company beat time, by a rough, monotonous note, 
sung with great vehemence at the commencement 
of each bar. 

* Col. Hist. IX., 887. 

t Biography and History of tlu Indians of North A merica.— Book 
II., Chap. II., ii.—Doty's History of Livingston County, Ji. Other 
authors ascribe to this cause the war between the Eries and Iroquois. 

t Memoirs deVAmerique, II , no. 


Other dances were held upon particular occa- 
sions, the chief of which was the dance of peace, 
called also the calumet, or pipe-dance, because the 
calumet, or pipe of peace, was handed about durmg 
the dance. The dancers joined hands and leaped 
in a ring for some time. Suddenly the leader let 
go the hand of one of his partners, keeping hold of 
the other. He then sprang forward, turned round 
several times, so that he was encircled by the rest 
of the company. They disengaged themselves as 
suddenly, keeping hold of each other's hands during 
all the evolutions and changes of the dance, which, 
as they explained it, represented the chain of friend- 
ship. A song, composed especially for this solem- 
nity, was sung by all.* 

The War Dance, held either before or after a 
campaign, was dreadful to behold. No one took 
part in it but the warriors themselves. They af- 
fected with such marvelous fidelity the fierce pas- 
sions which actuated them in their bloody deeds of 
valor, as to give to the shuddering spectator an 
exact pantomime representation of the scenes in 
which they had actually engaged — representations 
as horrible as life-like. It delineated the prepara- 
tions for the war, and all the common incidents at- 
tending it — their arming, departure, arrival in the 
enemy's country, the encampment, the attack, the 
struggle, the victory, and lastly the torture of the 

Prodigality was as much a characteristic of their 
feasts as their dances and other amusements, with 
which they were often associated, and Uke them are 
supposed to have had their origin in religion.! 
They were often participated in by whole villages, 
sometimes even by neighboring villages, and in this 
way a vain or ambitious host applied all his sub- 
stance to one entertainment. Brebeuf relates an 
instance of this kind which occurred in the winter 
of 1635, at the village of Cantarrea, where thirty 
kettles were over the fires, and twenty deer and 
four bears were served up.:}: The invitation was 
simple and consisted in the concise summons, 
" Come and eat." To refuse was a grave offense. 
Each guest took his dish and spoon and as he 
entered, greeted his host with the ejaculation. Ho .' 
He then ranged himself with the rest, squatted on 
the earthen floor or on the platform along the sides 
of the house, around the steaming kettles. A long 
prelude of lugubrious singing preceded the feast. 
The host, who took no share in the feast, then pro- 
claimed^ in^ loud voice the contents of each kettle 

^ Loskiel. 

* Charlevoix. 

t Parkman^ s jfesuits. 

and at each announcement the company responded 
in unison, Ho/ The attendant squaws then filled 
the bowls of the guests, who interspersed their feast- 
ing with talking, laughing, jesting, singing and 
smoking, at times protracting the entertainment 
throughout the day. 

When the feast partook of a medical character 
it was indispensable that each guest should eat all 
that was served to him, however enormous the 
quantity, even if he should die. Should he fail, the 
host would be outraged, the community shocked, 
and the spirits roused to vengeance. Disaster would 
befall the nation ; death, perhaps, the individual 
A vicarious alternative was provided, however, and 
when one found himself unable to conform to the 
ridiculous practice, he engaged, when he could, 
another of the company to eat what remained of 
his portion, generally rewarding his benefactor with 
a present. This was the only way of getting out 
of the dilemma. " In some cases the imagined 
efficacy of the feast was proportioned to the rapid- 
ity with which the viands were dispatched. Prizes 
of tobacco were offered to the most rapid feeder; 
and the spectacle then became truly porcine. 
" These feasts were much dreaded, but were never 
known to be declined. 

The War Feast of the Iroquois, as observed by 
Father Dablon on the occasion of the contemplated 
war with the Eries, in January, 1656, and which, 
he says, " serves to stimulate their courage for the 
approaching conflict," is thus described by him :— 
" First of all the war-kettle, as they call it, is 
hung over the fire as early as the preceding 
autumn, in order that each of the allies going to 
war may have the opportunity to throw in some 
precious morsel, to be kept cooking through the 
winter, by which act they are solemnly pledged to 
take part in the proposed enterprise. The kettle 
having been kept steadily boiling up to the month 
of February, a large number of warriors, Senecas 
as well as Cayugas, gathered to celebrate the war 
feast, which continued for several nights in succes- 
sion. They sang their war songs, danced and went 
through all possible contortions of body and ex- 
pressions of countenance, protesting the while that 
never should they retire from the combat, but fight 
to the death, whatever tortures they might suffer, 
before they would yield an inch of ground. At the 
same time that they make this boast of their courage, 
they hurl at one another fire brands and hot ashes, 
strike each other heavy blows, and burn one an- 
other to show they do not fear the very worst the 
enemy can do. Indeed, one must remain firm 
and suffer himself to be bruised or burned by his 
nearest friends without flinching ; otherwise, he is 
regarded as a miserable coward.*" 

"Relation, Jf>s6, Chap. X. 



The Indians had rude, though positive religious 
ideas, which were associated with — almost entirely 
embodied in — superstition, that natural concom- 
itant of ignorance. As observed by the early Jesu- 
its, before being contaminated by those of civilized 
nations, they were in strict accordance, as with 
other nations, civilized or barbarous, with their 
mental and moral development, and hence differed 
in different nations. They evinced, in perfect an- 
alogy with the Indians themselves, a greater fear of 
evil than of reverence for good; and hence their 
devotions consisted more in propitiating evil spirits 
than invoking the interposition of the good. In- 
deed, and here we realize the beauty of their sim- 
plicity, it was deemed superfluous to importune the 
source of goodness. The belief m immortality was 
almost universal, but, though rarely, there were 
those who denied it.* Even animals were en- 
dowed with it, and were deified and worshiped.f 
This veneration for the animal kingdom is reflected 
in the common practice of selecting from it the 
names by which the tribes were designated. They 
were tolerant towards others, and allowed as large 
a liberty upon the subject of religion among them- 
selves as in their social and civil arrangements. 
To use the trite expression of a Creek chief who 
accompanied an American to England in 1791, on 
being asked as to his religious beUef, he replied 
that, upon a subject upon which there was no pos- 
sibility of people's agreeing, he thought " it was 
best that every one should paddle his own canoe 
his own way \" X 

The Indians' God, whom the Iroquois called 
Hawenniis, (meaning he rules, he is master^ was 
endowed with attributes akin to their own, but 
primitively not with that of moral goodness. The 
Indian language had no word expressive of our 
abstract idea of deity. The Iroquois had another 
God, with equal claims to supremacy. Him they 
called Areskoui, and his most prominent attribute 
was that of a god of war. He was often invoked 
and the flesh of animals and captive enemies was 
burned in his honor. They had also a third deity, 
called Terenymvagon, or Teharonhiwagon, whose 
place and character is not well defined. In some 
traditions he appears as the son of Jouskeha, the 
ruler of the world, and endowed with great influ- 
ence, for he it was who spoke to men in dreams. 

* Father Gravier once said that a Peoria Indian once told him that 
there was no future life. — Parkman's jfesjtits. 

t It is the settled belief among the northern Algonquins that animals 
will fare better in another world, in the precise ratio that their lives and 
enjoyments have been curtailed in this life. — Schoolcraft^ s Notes. 

X Biography and History of the Indians of North A merica. — Book 
I., Chap. III., 20-21. 

Some writers identify him with Hiawatha, to 
whom the Iroquois ascribe their confederation ; 
while Van der Donck assumes that he is God, and 
Areskoui, the Devil. Besides these they had 
numerous objects, both animate and inanimate, 
which were endowed with supernatural powers and 
supplicated. These the Iroquois called Okies; 
the Algonquins and other tribes, Manitous. There 
were local manitous of streams, rocks, mountains, 
cataracts and forests, which, when they revealed 
themselves to mortal sight, bore the semblance of 
beasts, reptiles or birds, in unusual or distorted 
shapes, their conception betraying for the most 
part, a striking poverty of imagination. There 
were manitous without local habitations, some 
good, some evil, countless in number and indefinite 
in attributes. They filled the world and controlled 
the destinies of Indians, who were held to be 
under a spiritual rule distinct from that which gov- 
erns the white man. These were, for the most 
part, in the shape of animals. Sometimes they 
took the form of stones, and, though less frequent- 
ly, assumed human proportions. Each Indian had 
his guardian manitou, to whom he looked for 
counsel, guidance and protection. 

The points of the compass and the winds were 
also personified as manitous. There was a Sum- 
mer-Maker and Winter-Maker, and the latter 
was kept at bay by throwing fire-brands into the 
air. The hunter sought to propitiate the game he 
desired to kill, and was often known to address a 
wounded bear in a long apologetic harangue. 
This is also true of the fish, which, says Parkman, 
" were addressed every evening from the fishing- 
camp by one of the party chosen for that function, 
who exhorted them to take courage and be caught, 
assuring them that the utmost respect should be 
shown to their bones. The harangue, which took 
place after the evening meal, was made in solemn 
form ; and while it lasted, the whole party, except 
the speaker, were required to lie on their backs, 
silent and motionless, around the fire." The fish 
nets were no less objects of solicitude, and to in- 
duce them to do their work effectually, were mar- 
ried every year to two young girls, with a ceremony 
far more formal than that observed in human wed- 
lock. As it was indispensable that the brides 
should be virgins, mere children were chosen.* 

Though believing in the immortality of the soul, 
the Indian did not always accompany it with a be- 
lief in a state of future reward and punishment ; 
and when such belief did exist, the reward and 

* Parknmn^s Jesuits. 



punishment were sensuous rather than moral. 
Some, though but few, beHeved in the transmigra- 
tion of the soul. They had religious teachers 
whose code of morals, says Loskiel, was as severe 
as their own non-observance of it was universal. 
To the poor they recommended vomiting, among 
other things, as the most expeditious mode of puri- 
fication from their sins. "Some," says Loskiel, 
"who beUeved in these absurdities, vomited so 
often that their Uves were endangered by it." He 
pertinently adds, " few indeed persevered in attend- 
ing to so severe a regimen." Others, he says, re- 
commended stripes as the most effectual means to 
that end, " and advised their hearers to suffer 
themselves to be beaten with twelve different 
sticks, from the soles of their feet to their necks, 
that their sins might pass from them through their 
throats." " Even these," he says, " had their wil- 
ling scholars, though it was apparent that the 
people became no better, but rather worse by these 
wretched doctrines." 

The Iroquois had five stated annual festivals, 
each conducted in a manner appropriate to the 
special event commemorated.* 

The first was held in the spring, after the close 
of the sugar-making season, in gratitude for the 
abundance of sap and quantity of sugar they had 
been permitted to make. The aged chiefs ad- 
monished the young men to rectitude and virtue as 
the way to merit a continuance of these favors. It 
was usually closed with dancing, singing and games. 

The second was held immediately after corn- 
planting; when thanks were rendered for a favor- 
able seed time, instructions given for the care and 
cultivation of the crops, and the great spirit in- 
voked to give it a healthy growth. 

The third, called the green-corn feast, was held 
when the corn was ready for use, and thanks were 
rendered for this valuable gift, which was prepared 
and consumed in great quantity and in a variety 
of ways. Songs and dances entered largely into 
the ceremonies of the occasion, which were closed 
by the famous succotash dance. The pipe of 
peace was usually smoked on these festal days by 
the head men of the nation. 

The fourth was held after the close of the corn 
harvest, for which thanks were given, and was fol- 
lowed by the usual festivities. 

To the preceding festivals, which latterly occu- 
pied but one day each, three days each were form- 
erly allotted. 

•According to Morgan there were six, the third being the strawberry 
festival. — League of the Iroquois, 

The fifth, the last, and crowning festival of the 
year, the one to which the greatest importance was 
attached, was held late in January, or early in 
February, immediately after the return of the 
hunters from the chase, with their wealth of game 
and skins, and was celebrated with great pomp and 
ceremony. When every preparation had been 
made by the managers chosen for that purpose, 
runners were sent to every cabin in the nation, to 
give notice of the fact. The fire was extinguished 
in every cabin, each of which was then visited and 
purified by persons designated for that purpose, 
who scattered the ashes, swept the hearth, and re- 
kindled the fire. This occupied the first day. On 
the second, the managers, fantastically dressed, 
visited each house and received the gifts of the 
people, which consisted of various articles useful 
for food, incense or sacrifice. This was continued 
several days, according to the time allotted for the 
continuance of the festival, during which time the 
people assembled at the council-house were en- 
gaged in various sports. All must give something, 
or be saluted with a " rub " by the solicitors, 
which left a mark of disgiace not easily effaced, 
and be excluded from the sacrificial absolution. 

Preparations were made on the day preceding 
the last for the great sacrifice, which was to take 
place on the succeeding one. The offerings which 
had been collected were presented separately by 
the giver to the master of ceremonies, who, with 
the utmost gravity, uttered a short ejaculatory pray- 
er, to which those present made a hearty response. 
These gifts as they were returned were hung around 
the council room. The sins of the people, which 
were supposed to have been concentrated in the 
managers, were transferred by them to two individ- 
uals clad in white, who, in turn, transferred them to 
two white dogs, which had been previously fantas- 
tically painted with red figures, decorated with 
small belts of wampum, ribbons and feathers, and 
killed by strangulation. These were then taken to 
the council-house and laid upon a platform, the 
whole proceedings being characterized by the most 
devout solemnity. They were subsequently carried 
with formal ceremony to the fire, which had been 
kindled outside the house, and around which the 
multitude gathered. Each in turn was thrown 
upon the fire, the act being preceded by prayer 
and song. Baskets of herbs and tobacco were 
thrown upon the fire at intervals and the whole 

* C/ari's Otunidaga, in which may be found a more minute descrip- 



An Indian community swarmed with sorcerers, 
medicine-men and diviners, whose functions were 
often united in one person. The former, by charms, 
magic songs and feasts, and the beating of drums, 
professed power over spirits and those occult influ- 
ences inherent in animals and inanimate things. 
The Indian mind, so prone to mysticisms, was 
largely influenced by these deceivers. The doctors 
knew how to cure wounds, and treated simple dis- 
eases successfully, but were not skilled in the prac- 
tice of medicines. The general health was due 
more to their habits than a knowledge of remedies. 
One method of treatment was the sweating bath, 
which was Hterally an earthen oven, around which 
heated stones were placed to raise the temperature. 
Into this the patient crawled, and after remaining 
under perspiration a certain length of time, was 
taken out and immersed suddenly in cold water, a 
process well calculated to "kill or cure." The oil 
obtained from beavers was used by them in many 
forms and for various purposes. It was a remedy 
to which the Dutch attached much value. But they 
relied far more on magic than natural remedies. 
Diseases, they believed, resulted from supernatural 
causes, and hence supernatural and extremely ludi- 
crous curative agencies were resorted to. They 
beat, shook, pinched and bit their patients, and 
sought to expel the evil spirits by deafening noises 
and various incantations. These, together with 
dances, feasts, dreams, an unearthly din in the cabin 
of the invalid, kept up for hours, and sufficient to 
make the well sick, strewing ashes about the hut, 
and roUing one of their number in skins, were the 
principal remedies. 

The diviners, or prophets, had various means of 
reading the secrets of futurity, and wielded an im- 
mense influence with the people, who, apparently, 
were incapable of abstract thought. For the spirit- 
ual and purely esthetical they cared nothing ; but 
directed their study chiefly to physical phenomena, 
with which they were so intimately associated, 
always referring their causes to a supernatural agen- 
cy. Hence their mind was a fruitful field for the 
mystic arts of divination. 

The sorcerers, medicine-men and diviners did not 
usually exercise the functions of priests, says Park- 
man. Each man sacrificed for himself to the pow- 
ers he wished to propitiate. The most common 
offering was tobacco, thrown into fire or water ; 
scraps of meat were sometimes burned to the 
manitous ; and on a few rare occasions of public 
solemnity, a white dog, the mystic animal of many 
tribes, was tied to the end of an upright pole, as a 

sacrifice to some superior spirit or to the sun, with 
which the superior spirits were constantly con- 
founded by the primitive Indian. 

Among the Iroquois, and, indeed, all the sta- 
tionary tribes, there was an incredible number of 
mystic ceremonies, extravagant, puerile, and often 
disgusting, designed for the cure of the sick or for 
the general weal of the community. Most of their 
observances seem originally to have been dictated 
by dreams, and transmitted as a sacred heritage 
from generation to generation. They consisted in 
an endless variety of dances, masqueradings, and 
nondescript orgies ; and a scrupulous adherence to 
all the traditional forms was held to be of the first 
moment, as the shghtest failure in this respect might 
entail serious calamities. 

Dreams were the great Indian oracles, and were 
imphcitly obeyed. They beHeved them to be direct 
emanations from the Great Spirit, and as such were 
immutable laws to them. From this source arose 
many of their evils and miseries. In them were 
revealed their destiny and duty ; war and peace, 
health and sickness, rain and drouth, were all re- 
vealed by a class of professional dreamers and 
dream interpreters. Sir WilHam Johnson, before 
he was knighted, profited by his knowledge of this 
pecuharity of the Indian character. He was ac- 
costed at one time by King Hendrick, the cele- 
brated Mohawk chieftain, to whom Sir William was 
greatly attached. King Hendrick said he had 
dreamed, and on being invited by Sir WilHam to 
state the nature of his dream, added, " I dream you 
give me one suit of clothes." Sir William replied, 
" Well, I suppose you must have it." But now it 
was the latter's turn. He not long after met Hen- 
drick and with a bland smile told him that he had 
dreamed. " Did you," said Hendrick, " what 
you dream?" "I dreamed," said Sir William, 
" You gave me such a tract of land," the outHnes 
of which he described. King Hendrick paused, 
and with a significant shake of his finger, said, " I 
suppose you must have it," but, he added, " You 
must not dream again."* This incident has also 
been credited to the illustrious Oneida chief Skanan- 
doah, through whose friendly andpowerfulinterven- 
tion the arms of the Oneidas were bared in the 
interest of the colonists during the Revolutionary 

Homionouaroria, The Dream Feast of the Iro- 
quois, was one of their most noted festivals, and 
while it lasted was one scene of frenzy. It is thus 
described by Father Claude Dablon, who with 

* Benton's Herkimer County and Upper Mohawk, 23- 



Father Joseph Chaumonot, witnessed its observ- 
ance in 1656, the year of their embassy to Onon- 
daga to open the way for the missions in the several 
Iroquois cantons; premising that on such occa- 
sions Ucense was given to any one who had 
dreamed of anything involving his welfare, to de- 
mand of others that they should tell him his dream 
and satisfy his desire as thus indicated : — 

"It began with the 22d of February and lasted 
three days. Immediately upon the proclamation 
of the feast by the old men of the village, to whom 
this duty is entrusted, the whole population, men, 
women and children, rush from their cabins through 
the streets in the wildest confusion, but by no 
means after the fashion of an European masquer- 
ade. The larger part are nearly naked and seem 
almost insensible to the cold, which is almost in- 
tolerable to the warmly clad. Certain ones carry 
with them a plentiful supply of water, and it may 
be something more hurtful, to throw upon those 
who come in their way. Others seize fire-brands, 
live coals with ashes, which they fling about without 
regard to consequences. Others still occupy them- 
selves in smashing pots, plates and the small house- 
hold utensils they happen to encounter. A number 
are armed with swords, spears, knives, hatchets, 
clubs, which they make as though they would hurl 
at the first comer; and this is kept up until some 
one is able to interpret and execute the dream. 

"It sometimes occurs, however, that the skill of 
each and all fails him in divining their meaning, 
since instead of proposing the matter plainly, they 
rather conceal in enigma, chanting a jumble of 
ambiguous words or gesticulate in silence as in 
pantomime. Consequently they do not always 
find an CEdipus to solve the riddle. At the same 
time they obstinately persist in their demand that 
the dream shall be made known, and if the diviner 
is too slow, or shows an unwiUingness to risk an 
interpretation, or makes the least mistake, they 
threaten to destroy and burn."* 

Wizards and witches were the great bane of the 
Iroquois, and objects of utter detestation. Murder 
might be condoned, but witchcraft was punishable 
with death in all cases. Any one might kill a 
witch on sight with impunity. They believe that 
witches could transform themselves at will into any 
one of the wild animals or birds, or even assume 
the shape of logs, trees, rocks, etc., and in forms 
invisible, visit public assemblies or private houses, 
and inflict all manner of evils. The delusion was 
at one time so prevalent and their destruction so 
great as to seriously lessen the population. 

The Indians never destroyed rattlesnakes be- 
cause they believed them to be the offspring of the 
devil, who, they tliought, would revenge the act by 
preventing their success in hunting. 

Hll^y""" '^'^" """■ ^^•'^''^- ^^ Chafte7s'7/ Cayuga 

Indian burials were attended with solemn cere- 
monies, and differed somewhat in the method of 
conducting them. The most ancient mode of 
burial among the Iroquois was first to place the 
corpse upon a scaffold, some eight feet high, and 
allow it to remain there till the flesh fell off, 
when the bones were interred.* How long this 
method prevailed is not known, but latterly, and 
from their first association with the whites, a more 
commendable one prevailed. The corpse was clad 
usually in the best attire of the deceased. The 
grave, usually about three feet deep, was lined with 
bark, into which the body was laid. There were 
deposited in the bark coffin a kettle of provisions, 
deer skin and the sinews of the deer, (to sew 
patches on the moccasins, which, it was believed, 
would wear out in the long journey to the spirit 
land,) bows and arrows, a tomahawk, knife and 
sometimes, if he was a distinguished person, a gun. 
These were deemed indispensable to a prosper- 
ous and happy journey to the Indian's land of 
shades. The final covering was then placed over 
the whole, and the grave filled with earth. This 
done, the Indian women kneeled down by the 
grave and wept. The men were silent for a time, 
but eventually set up a doleful cry, chanted the 
death dirge, and all silently retired to their homes. 
It was formerly customary for the friends to visit 
the grave before sunrise and after sunset for twelve 
successive days, but this practice has been aban- 

The practice of putting into the grave certain 
articles designed to promote the journey of the 
deceased to the great hunting grounds was com- 
mon to all Indian nations, and often very costly 
ornaments and trinkets belonging to the deceased 
were buried with them. The face and hair of the 
corpse were sometimes painted red to obscure the 
pallor of death and give it an animated appearance, 
and the obsequies were celebrated with all the 
pomp of savage splendor. \\'ith the Natchez it 
was customary for the mourning friend to name 
the degree of relationship he sustained toward the 
deceased, and the nearest relatives continued this 
ceremony for three months. 

Colden says the custom was to make a large 
round hole, in which the body was placed in a sit- 
ting posture. It was then covered with timber 
to support the earth, which was heaped up in a 
round hill, f Bradford cites several authorities with 
regard to the position of the corpse, among them 

*LaFort. American Antiquities, Bradford, 19;. 
t Colden's Five Indian Nations- 



Charlevoix, who says : " The dead body, dressed 
in the finest robe, with the face painted, the arms 
and all that belonged to the deceased by his side, 
is exposed at the door of the cabin, in the posture 
it is to be laid in the tomb ; and this posture is the 
same, in many places, as that of the child before 
its birth."* 

" At intervals of ten or twelve years," says Park- 
man, "the Hurons, the Neutrals, and other kin- 
dred tribes, were accustomed to collect the bones 
of their dead, and deposit them, with great cere- 
mony, in a common place of burial. The whole 
nation was sometimes assembled at this solemnity; 
and hundreds of corpses, brought from their tempo- 
rary resting places, were inhumed in one capacious 
pit. From this hour the immortality of the soul 
began. They took wing, as some affirmed, in the 
shape of pigeons ; while the greater number de- 
clared that they journeyed on foot, and in their own 
likeness, to the land of shades, bearing with them 
the ghosts of the wampum belts, beaver skins, bows, 
arrows, pipes, kettles, beads, and rings buried with 
them in the common grave. But as the spirits of 
the old and of the children are too feeble for the 
march, they are forced to stay behind, lingering 
near their earthly villages, where the living often 
hear the shutting of their invisible cabin-doors, 
and the weak bodies of the disembodied children 
driving birds from the corn-fields." 

Cleared areas were chosen for this sepulcher. 
The ceremonies attending the event lasted for days 
and were very imposing. The subsequent discov- 
ery of these immense deposits of bones have elici- 
ted much inquiry on the part of those not familiar 
with the facts. Father Brdbeuf saw and fully ex- 
plained one of these burials in 1636. 

Wampum, or Zewant, served the Indians as a cur- 
rency, as an ornament and as the pubHc archives 
of the nation. It was, therefore, an important 
factor in all their civil, social, political and religious 
affairs. It was of two kinds, purple or black, 
and white, both being used as a measure of value, 
the black being estimated at twice the value of 
the white. The purple wampum was made from 
the interior portions of the common conch, (venus 
merceneria,) and the white from the pillar of the 
periwinkle. Each kind was fashioned into round 
or oval beads, about a quarter of an inch long, 
which were perforated and strung on a fibre of 
deer's sinew, but latterly on linen thread, after that 
was discovered. The article was highly prized as 
an ornament, and as such constituted an object of 
traffic between the sea-coast and interior tribes. It 
was worn in various ways, upon the clothing, and 
in the form of necklaces, bracelets, collars and 
belts ; and when these strings were united it formed 

* American Antiquities-, 195-196. 

the broad wampum belts, by which solemn public 
transactions were confirmed. As a substitute for 
gold and silver coin, its price was fixed by law, 
though its value was subject to variations, accord- 
ing to time and place. Three purple beads, or six 
white ones, were equal to a stiver with the Dutch, 
or a penny with the English, each equal to two 
cents United States currency. The price of a 
string six feet long, denominated a fathom of wam- 
pum, ruled at five shillings in New England, and 
was known to reach as high as four guilders in 
New Netherland. 

Previous to the advent of the Europeans, wam- 
pum was made largely of small pieces of wood of 
equal size, stained black or white. Its manufac- 
ture from shells was very difficult, and although 
much time was spent in finishing it, it presented 
a very clumsy appearance, owing to the want of 
proper tools. The Dutch introduced the lathe in 
its manufacture, polished and perforated it with 
exactness, and by supplying an article far superior 
to that previously in use, soon had the monopoly 
of the trade, which they found very advantageous. 
The principal place of manufacture was Hacken- 
sack, N. J., and the principal deposit of sea shells. 
Long Island. Imitations in glass and porcelain 
soon became abundant. 

The most important uses to which wampum was 
appUed, however, was in confirming compacts and 
treaties between nations, both Indian and Euro- 
pean, for which purpose it took the place of feathers, 
which had been previously employed. Every speech 
and principal part of a speech was made valid by a 
string or belt of wampum, the value of which was 
determined by the gravity of the subject under con- 
sideration. The color of the wampum was of no 
less importance than its other qualities, as it had 
an immediate reference to the things which it was 
meant to confirm ; thus a black belt implied a 
warning against evil, or an earnest reproof, and if it 
was marked with red and had the added figure of a 
hatchet of white wampum in the center, it signified 
war. Black or purple always signified something 
grave, if not of doubtful import; while white was 
the symbol of peace. It was necessary that the 
answer given to a speech be confirmed by strings 
and belts of the same size and number as those 
received. The Indian women dexterously wove 
these strings of wampum into belts, and skillfully 
wrought into them elaborate and significant devices, 
suggestive of the subject of the compact or speech, 
and designed as aids to memory. These strings 
and belts of wampum became the national records, 



and one or more old men were charged with their 
safe keeping and interpretation. At certain sea- 
sons the Indians met to study their meaning, and 
as it was customary to admit to these assemblies 
the young men of the nation who were related to 
the chiefs, a knowledge of these documents was 
thus transmitted to posterity. The figures on 
wampum belts were for the most part, simply 
mnemonic, so also were those carved on wooden 
tablets, or painted on bark and skin, to preserve in 
memory the songs of war, hunting or magic. The 
Hurons had, however, in common with other tribes, 
a system of rude pictures and arbitrary signs, by 
which they could convey to each ether, with tolera- 
ble precision, information touching the ordinary 
subjects of Indian interest.* 

The Indian standards of value were the hand or 
fathom of wampum and the deiwfas or bags which 
they themselves made, for measuring and preserv- 
ing corn.f 

Hospitality among the Indians was proverbial, 
not only among their own race, but was extended 
also with the greatest freedom toward strangers. 
They regarded it as a sacred duty, from which no 
one was exempt. 


Early Discoveries— European Competition in 
THE Western Continent— Settlements and 
Conflicting Claims of the Dutch, French 
AND English— The English Supersede the 
Dutch in New Netherlands— Iroquois and 
Early Colonists— Champlain's Invasions of 
1609 and 1615— Location of the Fort at- 
tacked BY Champlain in i6 15 — Iroquois 
MAKE Peace with the French — Iroquois 
Conquests and Supremacy. 

DEFORE proceeding to the consideration of 
IJ the events immediately preceding the set- 
tlement of this portion of our country, it will be 
well to glance cursorily at the more salient of 
the earliereventswhich prepared the way for it. 

*Park,„au's7es,.its: Indian Tribes o/Hudso^sRi^er.^^^XX^r 
^; A,nerua,tA„ti,„iUes,-Br^i{ori, ,89, ,90; Clu^rlevoisc', Vcyaze 

; T"^^-' "" ■ ■^""■''''^ """"y "^ ■''"" Y'-''' I-. 74 ; hIL, 
o/theM.s,onofth.. United Brethren a,nong the Indians in nZL 
America, Losk.el, 28; Biography and History of the Indians of 

t Rultenier, Col. Hist., I., 281. 

In the light of modern research and archseolog- 
ical discovery it is difficult to speak with definite- 
ness upon the discovery of America. It was known 
to ancien t Arabian geographers ;* Chinese records 
give a circumstantial account of its discovery as 
early as the fifth century of our era, by the Chi- 
nese, who called it Fee-Sang, and described it as 
being distant 20,000 /z (7,000 miles or more,t)from 
Ta-Han;X and "there is an abundance of legends 
and traditions concerning the passage of the Irish 
into America,, and their habitual communication with 
that continent many centuries before the time of 
Columbus."§ The Basques, who were adventurous 
fishermen, and extensively engaged in the whale 
fishery, were accustomed to visit the north-east 
coast of America long before the time of Colum- 
bus, and probably " from time immemorial."|| 

It was not, however, known to modern Europe 
until 861, when it was discovered by Nadodd, a 
Norse rover; and colonization was not begun until 
875, in which year Ingolf, a Norwegian, estabhshed a 
colony in Iceland, where, owing to civil difficulties 
in Norway, he was soon joined by many of the most 
intelligent, wealthy and honorable of his country- 
men. This Icelandic colony, during the two suc- 
ceeding centuries, developed an intellectual culture, 
which made them eminent in Norse communities, 
far surpassing their countrymen in Norway; and to 
them we are indebted for the existing records of 
Scandinavian mythology. In 983,ir they discovered 
and colonized Greenland; and about the year 1000, 
in the course of many voyages, had explored the 
coast of North America as far south as the present 
State of Massachusetts. 

From the Appendix to Ancient America, we epito- 
mize an account of these discoveries. Thorvald, a 
nobleman, and his son Eirek, surnamed the Red, 
being obliged to flee from Jadir, in Norway, in con- 

* General Hussein Pasha, an Arab gentleman, in a work on America, 
m&Wzi. En-Nesir-El-Tayir, quotes from Djeldeki and other writers to 
show this. Historical Magazine, New Series, VahW., No. HI., 220. 

t IVa-ian-san-tai-dzoH-ye, the great Japanese Encyclopajdia. 

tAbbede Bourboiirg's Introduction to the Popol-Vuh— Baldwin's 
Pre-Historic Nations, 401 ; and Historical Magazine, New Series, Vol. 
VI., No. in., 221 (quoting the Gentleman's Magazine,) yi\\vl!xsa^i%:~]. 
Haulay, the Chinese interpreter in San Francisco, wrote an essay on 
this subject, drawn from Chinese historians and geographers, from which 
the following statements are gathered :— 

n,rri?"'''^''" ''""dred years ago even, America had been discovered by 
!„,. ^'^™<=== ^""^ described by them. They stated that laud, to be about 
Ift^^H J,°",f °?r-ir''^^ ^'^""' f""" China. About five hundred yeare 
after the birlh of Christ, Buddlust Priests repaired there, and brought back 
the news that they had brought back Buddhist idols and religious writings, 
ol, .f l"!," J' ^''■■"^^- T''^"' descriptions, in many resplcts, resemble 
' ?5L . Spaniards, a thousand years after. They called the country 
th»^= -1' I. " ''■^e,"''}'<:h grew there, whose leaves resemble those of 
whofe fruU lh^y°ate!^' ""= ""'"" ""^^ '^'■°"'" ^""^ P^P^'' <"" <>'• ^'"^ 

§ Baldwin's Pre-Historic Nations, 401. 

II Ibid. 

II Zell. Baldwin fixes the date at 982. 



sequence of a homicide committed by them, went 
to Iceland, where Thorvald soon after died. Eirek, 
-becoming involved in another feud resulting in 
homicide in Iceland, fled that country with a colony 
in search of the land, which Gunniborn had seen 
when driven by a storm into the Western Ocean. 
Sailing west from the west coast of Iceland, he at 
length discovered land, which he called Midjokul. 
He coasted along the shore in a southerly direction 
in search of a more suitable place for settlement, 
and spent the winter on a part of the coast he called 
" Eirek's Island," where his colony remained two 
years. On returning to Iceland he called the dis- 
covered country Greenland, saying to his confiden- 
tial friends, "A name so inviting will induce men to 
emigrate thither.'' He returned to Greenland with 
"twenty-five ships," filled with emigrants andstores, 
"fifteen winters," says the chronicle, {an Account 
of Eriek the Red and Greenland^ " before the 
Christian religion was introduced into Iceland," i. e. 
in 985. Biarni, son of Heriulf, a chief man among 
these colonists, was absent in Norway when his 
father left Iceland. On returning he resolved to 
join the colony, and with others set sail, making 
"one of the most remarkable and fearful voyages 
on record." After three days' fair sailing he was 
driven for many days by a north-easterly wind, and 
on saiUng west one day after the abatement of the 
storm, he discovered land which he concluded was 
not Greenland, as it " was not mountainous " — sup- 
posed to be Nantucket or Cape Cod. The ship 
was put about, and after sailing two days in a north- 
easterly direction, he discovered land " which was 
low and level" — supposed to be Cape Sable, Nova 
Scotia. He sailed three days more in the same 
direction and came to land, "mountainous and 
covered with ice" — supposed to be Newfoundland 
— around which he sailed. After saiHng north four 
days he reached the southern coast of Greenland, 
near the new settlement. This was in 985, 507 
years before the first voyage of Columbus. Four- 
teen years later, Leif, a son of Eirek, fitted out an 
expedition, comprising a ship, manned with thirty- 
five men, to go in search of the land seen by Biarni. 
The first land seen by Leif after sailing from Green- 
land, was the island around which Biarni sailed, 
which he called Helluland, "the land of broad 
stones." SaiUng south he came to a low and level 
country covered with wood. This he named Mark- 
land— the land of woods. Still saihng foward the 
south, after two days he touched an island (Nan- 
tucket ?) " which lay opposite the north-east part 
of the main land." He then " sailed through a bay 

between this island and a cape running north-east, 
and going westward, sailed past the Cape.'' At 
length he " passed up a river into a bay," proba- 
bly Mount Hope Bay — where he landed and spent 
the winter. This was about mid-autumn, and 
finding wild grapes, he called the country Vin- 
land. In the spring he loaded his vessel with tim- 
ber and returned to Greenland. The next year 
Leif's brother Thorvald went to Vinland with one 
ship and thirty men, and i)assed the winter; The 
next summer he explored the coast westward and 
southward, and seems to have gone as far south 
as the CaroUnas. The next summer he coasted 
around Cape Cod, toward Boston Harbor. Here 
the chronicle first speaks of the natives, whom he 
calls " Skrsellings," with whom they provoked a 
severe engagement, in which Thorvald was mor- 
tally wounded. His companions, after passing the 
third winter in Vinland, returned to Greenland. 
Thorfinn came to Greenland in 1006. He made 
a voyage to Vinland, taking with him three ships, 
one hundred and sixty men, live stock and all 
things necessary to the establishment of a colony, 
and passing up Buzzard's Bay, disembarked, and 
prepared to pass the winter, which proved a sevene 
one and threatened famine to the little colony. 
The next spring he explored the coast farther west 
and south, and passed the second winter in Vin- 
land. He called the bay Hop; the Indians called 
it Haup ; we call it Hope. During the next sea- 
son, in which he explored Massachusetts Bay, he 
saw many natives and had much intercourse with 
them, which finally led to hostilities, in which the 
latter were signally defeated. After spending a 
third winter in Vinland he returned to Greenland. 
A part of the colony remained, and a lucrative 
traffic was maintained between Vinland and 
Greenland, where the timber which abounded at 
the former place found a ready market. 

Old Welsh annals preserved in the abbeys of 
Conway and Strat Flur, and used by Humphrey 
Llwyd in his translation and continuation of Cara- 
doc's History of Wales, relate the particulars of 
Welsh emigration to America under Prince Madoc, 
Madog or Madawc, in 1 1 70.* About the year 1 168 
or 1 169, Owen Gwynedd, ruling prince of North 
Wales, died, and among his sons there was a contest 
for the succession, which, becoming fierce and 

* This emigration, whicli Squier (^ 7itiguiiies of New York and the 
West, 137,) regards as *'apochryplia!," but to the verity of which authors 
generally give credence, " is mentioned in the preserved works of several 
Welsh bards who lived before the time of Columbus ;" and ''by Haklnyt, 
who had his account of it from writings of the bard Gutten Owen." An- 
cient America, Appendix-, 28s, i86. 



angry, produced a civil war. His son Madoc, who 
had " command of the fleet," took no part in this 
strife ; but, in consequence thereof, he resolved to 
leave Wales. Accordingly, in the year 1 1 7 o, he left 
with a few ships, going south of Ireland, and steer- 
ing westward, to explore the western lands and se- 
lect a place for a settlement, which he established 
in " a pleasant and fertile region," which Baldwin 
supposes to have been in the Carolinas,* and Cat- 
lin, " on the coast of Florida or about the mouth of 
the Mississippi."! Leaving one hundred and twen- 
ty persons, he returned to Wales, prepared ten 
ships, prevailed on a large company, some of whom 
were Irish, to join him, and sailed again to America. 
Nothing more was ever heard in Wales of the prince 
or his settlement. 

The locahty and destiny of this Welsh settlement 
is a matter of conjecture, but, says Baldwin, it is 
supposed that, being " unsupported by new arrivals 
from Europe, and cut off from communication with 
that side of the ocean," it " became weak, and, af- 
ter being much reduced, was destroyed or absorbed 
by some powerful tribe of Indians.'' In our colonial 
times, and later, he adds, " there was no lack of re- 
ports that relics of Madoc's Welshmen, and even 
their language, had been discovered among the In- 
dians ; but generally they were entitled to no credit. 
The only report of this kind, he says, having any 
show of claim to respectful consideration, is that of 
Rev. Morgan Jones, a Welsh clergyman, made 
March 10, 1685, and published in the Gentlemeii s 
Magazine in 1740, giving an account of his adven- 
tures among the Tuscaroras, by whom he was cap- 
tured in 1660. It states that he was promised im- 
munity from harm by an Indian who appeared to 
be a war captain, and conversed with him in the 
Welsh language ; and that they (" the Doegs ") en- 
tertained him " civilly and cordially" for four months, 
during which time he had opportunity to converse 
with them famiharly and preached to them three 
times a week in the Welsh language. In conclu- 
sion Baldwin says in regard to this report : " With- 
out meaning to doubt his veracity, one feels skepti- 
cal, and desires a more intehigent and complete ac- 
count of these 'travels.' "J Says Foster, in refer- 
ring to this matter, "he [the Rev. Mr. Jones,] may 
have been a very worthy man ; but we are disposed 
to question the truthfulness of a statement at this 
day, when the author deems it necessary to fortify 

* Ancient America^ Appendix, 286. 

t Catlings North A nierican Indians, //., 259. 

+ A ncient A mericn. Appendix, 285—187. Baldwin's Pre-Historic 
Nations, page 40J, says: "It will be recollected that, in the early colony 
times, the Tuscaroras were sometimes called ' White Indians.' " 

it by a self-sought oath." Elsewhere, referring to 
the Northmen and Welshmen under Madoc, he 
says : " these peoples have left behind no memo- 

Catlin enters into an elaborate and plausible 
argument to show that Madoc's Welsh colony were 
the progenitors of the Mandans, who occupied and 
have left so many interesting memorials in the 
Missouri valley. He shows a remarkable analogy 
between the two languages — an analogy, appar- 
ently, too close to be accidental. He supposes 
that, having landed on the southern coast of the 
United States, they, or a part of them, made their 
way through the interior, to a position on the Ohio, 
where they cultivated fields and' established a flour- 
ishing colony in one of the finest countries on 
earth, but were at length driven from thence by 
overpowering hordes, and were besieged, until it 
was necessary to erect the fortifications referred to 
for defense, where they held out against a confed- 
eracy of tribes, till their ammunition and provisions 
were exhausted, and eventually all perished, except 
such as may have formed an alliance by marriage 
with the Indians ; that the half-breed offspring of 
the latter, despised, as he says, " all half-breeds of 
enemies are," gathered themselves into a band, 
severed themselves from their parent tribe, and in- 
creased in numbers and strength as they "ad- 
vanced up the Missouri river to the place where 
they have been known for many years past by the 
name of Mandans, a conception or abbreviation, 
perhaps, of " Madawgivys" the name appUed by 
the Welsh to the followers of Madawc."t An 
earlier writer under the caption of "Welsh or 
White Indians," furnishes voluminous if not 
authentic, testimony confirmatory of Catlin's sup- 
positions ; and cites, also, in a somewhat modified 
form, a case which, evidently, corresponds with 
that of Rev. Mr. Jones, before referred to. He 
does not, however, attach much importance to the 
several narratives, for he says, in conclusion : " Up- 
on the whole we think it may be pretty safely said ' 
that the existence of a race of Welsh about the re- 
gions of the Missouri does not rest on so good 
authority as that which has been adduced to estab- 
Ush the existence of the sea-serpent. "J 

Notwithstanding these discoveries of the Norse- 
men and Welsh, real, as they unquestionably were, 
America was not known to Southern Europe until 
the latter part of the fifteenth century, when it was 

* Pre-Historic Races of the United States, 400. 
t Catlin's North American Indians, IL, 259 — 265. 
XBiography and History o/the Indiatis of North America, Book I, 
chapter III., 36 — 39. 



accidentally discovered while in quest of a westerly 
route to India and China. In 1492, Columbus, a 
Genoese, set out on a voyage of discovery under 
the patronage of the Spanish Government, and in 
that and the two succeeding years made his tropi- 
cal discoveries. In 1497, John Cabot, a Venetian, 
in company with his son Sebastian, set out on a 
voyage of discovery under letters patent from 
Henry VII. of England. Sailing westward he dis- 
covered Newfoundland, and on the 24th of June 
of that year, struck the sterile coast of Labrador, 
taking possession of the same in the name of the 
King of England. The following year his son 
Sebastian, while in quest of a north-west passage to 
China, was compelled to turn from the frozen re- 
gions of the north, and sailing south he explored 
the coast from Newfoundland to Florida, of 
which he took possession for the English crown. 
In 1500, the coast of Labrador and the entrance 
to the Gulf of St. Ijawrence, were explored by two 
Portuguese brothers named Cortereal. In 1508, 
the St. Lawrence was discovered by Aubert, and 
four years later, in 15 12, Ponce de Leon discovered 
Florida. Magellan, a Portuguese, passed through 
the straits which bear his name in 15 19, and was 
the first to circumnavigate the globe. In 1534, 
the St. Lawrence was explored by Jacques Cartier 
(Quartier) as far as Montreal. In 1539, Florida 
was explored by Ferdinand de Soto. Upper Cali- 
fornia was discovered in 1578, by an English navi- 
gator named Drake. These data will be of service 
in aiding to a proper understanding of the relative 
importance of the events which subsequently trans- 

Thus we see that within a decade from the time 
that Columbus discovered America the different 
maritime powers of Euroj^e were engaged in active 
competition for the prizes of the New World. 
Spain, actuated by the greed of gold and lust of 
conquest, conquered Mexico in 1521, seized upon 
the rich treasures of the Montezumas, and in 1540, 
carried her conquest into Peru. Stimulated by these 
successes, she took possession of Florida and that 
portion of the Northern continent bordering on 
the Gulf of Mexico, and in 1565, seventy-three 
years after Columbus' discovery, and fifty-three 
years after that of Ponce de Leon, planted the first 
Spanish colony in North America, at St. Augustine, 

While the Spaniards were pushing their territo- 
rial acquisition in the South, the French, attracted 
by the rich prize of the Newfoundland fisheries, 
had gained a foot-hold in the northern part of the 

continent. As early as the beginning of the six- 
teenth century the French, Basques, Bretons and 
Normans fished for cod along the entire coasts of 
the Gulf of St. Lawrence and those in the vicinity, 
and traded for peltries. In 1518, Baron Livy set- 
tled there. In 1524, King Francis I. of France, 
sent thither Jean Verrazani, a distinguished Flor- 
entine mariner, on a voyage of exploration. He 
sailed along the coast twenty-one hundred miles in 
frail vessels, and returned safely to report his suc- 
cess to his sovereign. At about 41" north latitude 
he entered a bay — supposed to be the entrance to 
New York harbor — and remained there fifteen 
days. His crew are supposed to be the first Euro- 
peans who trod the soil of New York. Ten years 
later the same king sent thither Jacques Cartier, a 
pilot of St. Malo, who made two voyages, and 
ascended the St. Lawrence as far as Montreal, pre- 
viously called Hochelaga. As he sailed up the 
broad expanse of waters on St. Lawrence day, 
(August 10, 1534,) he apphed to the river the 
name of the illustrious saint whose virtues that day 
commemorates. In 1540, Cartier was sent back 
with Jean Francis de Robarval, a gentleman of 
Picardy, whom King Francis I. appointed his Lieu- 
tenant-General over the new countries of Canada, 
Hochelaga and Saguenay. In 1543, Robarval 
came the second time from France, in company 
with the pilot Jean Alphonse of Saintogue, and 
they took possession of Great Breton. At this 
time the settlement of Quebec was commenced. 
In 1598 King Henry IV. of France conferred on 
the Marquis de la Roche, a Breton, the govern- 
ment of the territories of Canada and the adjacent 
countries; and in 1603, he conferred his commis- 
sion of Lieutenant-Colonel in the territories of New 
France, Acadia, (Nova Scotia,) Canada and other 
parts on Sieurde Mons, a gentleman of Saintogue, 
who, in 1608, built a fort at Quebec, the govern- 
ment whereof he let to Sieur Champlain, the first 
discoverer of the Iroquois. 

The year previous, 1607, the Enghsh colonists 
made the first permanent settlement at Jamestown, 
Virginia, under the immediate supervision of that 
Englishman of heroic spirit and indomitable energy, 
Capt. John Smith. In 1620, the English planted 
a second colony on this western continent at Ply- 
mouth Rock, which was destined to exert an im- 
portant influence in the affairs of this country. 
These two colonies were the successful rivals of all 
others of every nationality in that competition for 
empire, which has made their descendants the mas- 
ters of North America. 



Henry Hudson, an intrepid English navigator, 
having failed in two attempts to discover a western 
passage to the East Indies in the interest of a com- 
pany of London merchants, sailed from Amsterdam 
on the 4th of April, 1609, in the employ of the 
Dutch East India Company, of Holland, formed 
the year previous for traffic and colonization. He 
arrived on the American coast near Portland, Maine, 
whence he proceeded south along the shore to the 
entrance of Chesapeake Bay. From thence he pro- 
ceeded northward, discovered and entered Delaware 
Bay, and on the 3rd of Septernber moored his vessel, 
the Half Moon, a mere yacht, at Sandy Hook. 
Proceeding up the bay, he sent his boats to the Jer- 
sey shore and received on board the natives who 
came in great numbers to traffic, and by whom he 
was in turn entertained. On the 12th he entered 
the river which bears his name, and ascended it to 
a point a little above the city of Hudson, having 
been frequently visited on the way by the Indians, 
who came to traffic, bringing maize, tobacco and 
other indigenous products. Deeming it unsafe to 
proceed further with his ship, he sent a boat with a 
part of his crew to explore the river higher up. They 
went, it is supposed, ahttle above Albany. On the 
23d he commenced to descend the river; and a lit- 
tle below the Highlands became embroiled with the 
natives, to whom he had imparted a knowledge of 
the baneful effects of intoxicating liquors, shooting 
in the encounters ten or twelve of their number and 
losing one of his own men. He returned to Europe 
and imparted the information he had gained which 
soon led to the establishment of a colony by the 
Dutch, by the name of New Netherlands. The fol- 
lowing year Hudson voyaged in search of a north- 
west passage to India and discovered and entered 
the bay which bears his name ; but continuing his 
search too long he was compelled to spend the 
winter in a northern latitude. In the spring a part 
of his crew mutinied, and placing him, his son and 
seven others in a boat, left them to perish. 

On the foregoing discoveries three European na- 
tions based claims to a part of the territory embraced 
in the State of New York : England, by reason of 
the discovery of Cabot and his son Sebastian, claim- 
ing a territory eleven degrees in width and extend- 
ing westward indefinitely ; France, by reason of the 
discoveries of Verrazani, claiming a portion of the 
Atlantic coast ; and Holland, by reason of the dis- 
covery of Hudson, claiming the country from Cape 
Cod to the southern shore of Delaware Bay. 

The Dutch became the actual possessors of the 
country. In 16 10, they sent out a vessel to engage 

in the fur trade on the banks of the river discovered 
by Hudson. In 16 12, Hendrick Christiansen and 
Adrian Block fitted out two other vessels for the 
same purpose, and were soon followed by others. 
The fur trade proving successful, Christiansen was 
9.ppointed to superintend it and Manhattan Island 
made the chief depot. In 16 14, he erected a 
small fort and a few rude buildings on the southern 
extremity of the Island, which he called New Am- 
sterdam. October nth of the same year the States 
General granted a charter to the merchants en- 
gaged in the traffic, conferring on them the exclusive 
right to trade for three years in the territory embraced 
between New France and Virginia, and giving the 
name of New Netherlands to the whole region. 

In the meantime explorations were being made 
in the surrounding country. Adrian Block had 
passed up the East River, Long Island Sound and 
Connecticut river, and into the bays and along the 
islands eastward to Cape Cod. Cornelissen Jacob- 
son May had explored the southern coast of Long 
Island and southward to Delaware Bay; while Hen- 
drick Christiansen had ascended the Hudson to 
Castle Island, a few miles below Albany, where he 
estabhshed a trading post and, in 16 15, built a small 
fort, which, being damaged by the flood, was re- 
moved a Uttle below to the Normans-Kill. Here, 
in 1623, a treaty of peace was formed between the 
Five Nations and the representatives of the New 

The Dutch estabUshment at New Amsterdam 
increased, and their fur trade became so profitable 
that at the expiration of their charter, the States 
General refused to renew it, giving instead a tem- 
porary license for its continuance. It had become 
sufficiently attractive to tempt the avarice of Eng- 
lish capitalists. In i6:jp, James I. granted all the 
territory between the 40th and 48th degrees of 
north latitude, extending from ocean to ocean, to 
Ferdinando Georges and his commercial associates, 
and in their interest Capt. Dermer appeared at 
Manhattan and laid claim to all the territory occu- 
pied by the Dutch. This claim was strengthened 
by instructions to the EngUsh ambassador at the 
Dutch capital to remonstrate against Dutch intru- 
sion. Notwithstanding this remonstrance, however, 
in 1 62 1, the States General granted to the Dutch 
West India Company, an armed mercantile asso- 
ciation formed that year, a charter, which gave 
them exclusive jurisdiction for a period of twenty 
years over the province of New Netherlands, with 
power to appoint governors, subject to the ap- 
proval of the State, to colonize the territory and 



administer justice. By virtue of this charter the 
company took possession of New Amsterdam in 
1622-3. The executive management was entrusted 
to a board of directors, distributed through five 
separate chambers in Holland. The charge of the 
province was devolved on the Amsterdam cham- 
ber, which, in i623,sent out a vessel underthe direc- 
tion of Capt. Cornelissen Jacobson and Andriaen 
Jorissen Tien point, with thirty families for coloni- 
zation. A portion of these settled on the Connec- 
ticut river, and others on the Hudson, at Albany, 
where, in 1624, they built Fort Orange, and the 
same year Fort Nassau on the Delaware river, 
near Gloucester. The colonies thus commenced 
were soon after augmented by other accessions. In 
May, 1626, Peter Minuit arrived in New Nether- 
lands as Director-General or Governor of the Prov- 
ince, and in that year purchased Manhattan Island 
for trinkets valued at sixty guilders. For fifteen 
years the colonists lived on amicable terms with the 
Indians, carrying on a brisk and profitable trade 
in furs ; but the harshness and cruelty of William 
Kieft, who was commissioned Director-General in 
September, 1637, soon provoked the just resent- 
ment of the Indians, involving the colonists in a 
war with the latter, which continued, with sHght in- 
terruptions, during the remainder of the Dutch 
occupancy, and jeopardized the very existence of 
the colony. 

On the 12th of March, 1664, Charles II., of 
England, conveyed by patent to his brother James, 
Duke of York, all the country from the River St. 
Croix to the Kennebec, in Maine, also Nantucket, 
Martha's Vineyard, and Long Island, together with 
all the land from the west side of the Connecticut 
river to the east side of Delaware Bay. The 
Duke sent an English squadron, under Admiral 
Richard Nicolls, to secure the gift, and on the 8th 
of September following. Gov. Stuyvesant capitu- 
lated, and the territory till then held by the Dutch, 
passed into the hands of the Enghsh, who changed 
the name of New Amsterdam to New York. The 
victory was an easy one, for restricted in their rights 
and liberties, and desirous of enjoying the privileges 
accorded to the neighboring English colonists, the 
Dutch settlers refused to contest the Supremacy, and 
Stu)rvesant, unsupported, was obliged, though re- 
luctantly, to resign. 

When the French first assumed a military domi- 
nence in Canada, they found the Iroquois at war 
with the Adirondacks, who Hved in the vicinity of 
Quebec. The French alhed themselves with the 
Canadian and Western Indians, and maintained 

friendly relations with them during the period of 
their supremacy in Canada. They espoused the 
cause of the Adirondacks against the Iroquois, 
with whom they were at sword's-points during much 
of that period, and long after the Adirondacks had 
been exterminated by their inveterate enemies. 
Champlain, having raised the drooping spirits of the 
Adirondacks, by an exhibition of the wonderful 
effect produced by the French guns, armed them 
and joined them in an expedition against the Iro- 
quois in 1609, and thus commenced that horrible 
series of barbarities, which continued for more than 
a century and a half, and from which the European 
colonists both in Canada and New York, suffered 
beyond description. 

Champlain and his Indian alHes met a party of 
two hundred Mohawks on the lake which bears his 
name, (and then first discovered by him.) Both 
parties landed; but the Mohawks, dismayed at the 
murderous effect of the strange weapons, retreated 
to their fastnesses in the wilderness, leaving the 
French to return to Canada, without, however, 
having accomplished the object of their mission, 
which was to force the Iroquois to easy terms of 

This was the first meeting of the Iroquois with 
the whites, and the circumstances certainly were not 
such as to give a very favorable opinion of them, nor 
soften the savage nature so largely predominant in 

Emboldened by this success, Champlain, with a 
few Frenchmen, and four hundred Huron allies, 
renewed the attack on the Iroquois in 1615, this 
time directing his efforts against the stronghold of 
the Onondagas. He arrived before the fort on the 
afternoon of the i oth of October. At the first fire the 
Indians fled into their fort, which inclosed their 
village, and which Champlain describes as consist- 
ing of " quadruple paUsades of large timber, thirty 
feet high, interlocked the one with the other, 
with an interval of not more than one foot, with 
galleries in the form of parapets, defended with 
double pieces of timber, proof against our arque- 
buses, and on one side they had a pond with a 
never-failing supply of water, from which proceeded 
a number of gutters which they had laid along the 
intermediate space, throwing the water without, 
and rendering it effectual inside for the purpose of 
extinguishing fire.'' The next day Champlain con- 

* It is a most singular coincidence that while Champlain was acquaint- 
ing the Iroquois with that deadly enemy ^impowf^er, the very same week 
and year Henry Hudson was cautiously feeling his way, as he supposed, 
into the Northern ocean, through the channel of the river which bears his 
name, and regailing them with an equally deadly enemy — ruTn. Lifeand 
Times of Red Jacket^ 291. 



structed a movable tower of sufficient height to 
overlook the palisades, and moved it near the fort, 
placing thereon marksmen to fire over the pahsades, 
while they themselves were protected from the 
stones and arrows of the enemy by boards forming 
a species of parapet. Attempts were made to burn 
the palisades, but as his forces consisted mostly of 
undisciphned Hurons who could not be controlled, 
they suffered severely from the arrows shot from 
the fort, without accomplishing their object. After 
a three hours' engagement, during which Cham- 
plain was twice severely wounded with arrows, like- 
wise many of his allies, who were sadly demoralized 
by the efficient resistance made by the enemy, they 
withdrew to a fort erected for defensive purposes, 
to await an expected re-enforcement of five hun 
dred Indians, who, however, did not come. They 
remained encamped until the i6th, during which 
time several skirmishes occurred; but being unable 
to induce his aUies to renew the attack which their 
rash impetuosity had made so ineffectual, Cham- 
plain, in pain and mortification, retreated to 
Canada, being carried upon the back of an Indian. 
The precise location of this fort has long been 
in controversy.* Champlain's narrative of this ex- 
pedition is accompanied by a diagram of the fort, 
which is in the form of a hexagon, situated on a 
slight elevation, in the angle of a stream, which is 
at once the inlet and outlet of a pond, which, with 
the stream, bounded three sides of the fort. The 
stream flowed into and out of the pond at points 
but a few rods apart. The situation is a peculiar 
one, and it is scarcely probable that another one 
could be found which so exactly corresponds with 
Champlain's description, as the site designated by 
Gen. Clark, who locates it in the town of Fenner, 
in Madison County. While writers differ as to the 
exact location of the fort, nearly all agree that Cham- 
plain's last encampment before he attacked the fort 
was at or near the mouth of Chittenango Creek, 
for none other of the interior lakes in the State 
meet the requirements of his description as to the 

*E. B. O'CaUaghan, M. D., the able editor of The Documentary His- 
tory and Colonial History of the State of New York^ assigns to it tlie 
neighborhood of Canandaigua Lalte : while others locate it on the shore 
of Onondaga Lake. Gen. John S. Clark, of Auburn, a most excellent 
authority on Indian antiquity, made a recent and most critical examina- 
tion of a locality which discloses physical and other features so precisely 
correspondms with Champlain's description, as to make irresistible the 
conclusion that the site is on the farm of Rufus H. Nichols, about three 
miles east of Perryville, near the Mile Strip four corners, which was, at 
that time the home of the Onondagas. Gen. Clark says ; '■ That the 
east branch of the Limestone is the dividing line absolutely between the 
historic and pre-historic town sites of the Onondagas ; and that Cham- 
plain's narrative contains internal evidence, in statements of fact, unques- 
tionably, that the fort was within a few miles at least, and south of Oneida 

presence of islands. Of the western lakes, Cayuga 
is the only one thus graced, and that has but a soli- 
tary one. Oneida is the only lake upon which he 
could have encamped that has islands. 

The locality indicated by General Clark as the 
probable site of the fort has long been regarded an 
important one in connection with the Indian anti- 
quities of the State, and has yielded many rare and 
interesting relics which are now in the Government 
collections in the Smithsonian Institute. A large 
part of the area which bears evidence of having 
been inclosed within the well-defined outlines of 
the fortification, has been cultivated for years, 
but a part is covered by venerable forest trees of 
great size. The plow has disclosed man} bits of 
crockery and broken stone implements, which have 
enriched many private cabinets; but, singularly, 
none of those articles so clearly referable to the 
Jesuit missions, and generally found in great 
abundance elsewhere, reward the searcher for anti- 
quarian relics here. This fact is a strong confirm- 
ation of Gen. Clark's deductions, as it clearly 
proves the existence of the fortifications anterior to 
the advent of the Jesuits.* In the undisturbed 
ground may be plainly seen marks left by the de- 
cay of the deeply-set palisades, and indentations, 
apparently, where corn was cached. From the high 
points adjacent, the eye commands a wide range 
of country of unusual beauty, and an alarm-fire on 
these commanding heights would be seen from 
near Lake Ontario to the western peaks of the 
Adirondacks. A small pond, whose ancient water- 
mark was much higher than at present, is fed by a 
stream which enters and leaves it on the south, 
and a low, broad knoll lies between these streams. 

The coincidences are striking ones ; but the ele- 
ments of correspondence are so peculiar as to 
make it scarcely possible that they are merely coin- 
cidences, "j" 

These unprovoked attacks of Champlain on the 
Iroquois provoked hostilities which ended only with 
the extirpation of the French domination in North 
America. Great must have been the chagrin of 
the proud and boastful French General to be com- 
pelled to retreat thus ignominiously before a "sav- 
age" horde, whom he confidently expected to over- 

* The first Jesuit mission in Canada was established in 1625. These 
learned, devout and faithful disciples of Loyola, the hero of Pampeluna, 
adopted as their own the rugged task of christianizing New France, sup- 
planting the Franciscans, (Peres Recollects,) who were commissioned by 
royal decree, in 161 5, missionaries in Canada, and who celebrated Mass 
in Quebec that year. 

t We have been aided in these investigations by a contribution from the 
pen of Mr. L. W. Ledyard, of Cazenovia, to the Cazenovia Republican 
of March 20, 1879. 



awe into submission. But he was destined to still 
greater humiliation. 

The Iroquois, alarmed but not dismayed, now 
artfully sued for peace. The French gladly listened 
to these overtures from an enemy from whom, in 
their weak state, they had so much to apprehend, 
and consented to a truce, imposing as the only 
condition that they might be allowed to send mis- 
sionaries among them, hoping by this means to 
win them over to French allegiance. But the Iro- 
quois held the Jesuit priests thus sent to them as 
hostages, to compel the neutrality of the French, 
while they prepared to wage a deadly war against 
the Adirondacks * and Hurons, (Quatoghies,!) the 
latter of whom they defeated in a dreadful battle 
fought within two leagues of Quebec. This defeat, 
within sight of the French settlements, and the 
terrible loss inflicted on the Hurons, filled with 
terror the Indian allies of the French, who were 
then numerous, having been attracted to the local- 
ity of Quebec by reason of the profitable trade car- 
ried on with the French, who supplied them with 
many useful conveniences. Many of them fled, 
some to the northward, others to the south-west, 
beyond the reach, as they hoped and supposed, of 
their terrible enemies, but only to enjoy a tempo- 
rary respite, for they were sought out by the vin- 
dictive Iroquois and murdered in detail. 

The Adfrondacks, however, remained, and on 
them the Iroquois planned another raid. They 
had been supplied with fire-arms by the Dutch 
traders of Albany, and in 1646 they sent word to 
the Governor of Canada, (whom the Iroquois 
called Onontio,) that they intended to pay him a 
friendly visit during the winter. They set out with 
a thousand warriors and reached the village of the 
Adirondacks at a time when the warriors of that 
nation were engaged in their annual hunt. They 
captured the women and children and a party of 
ten set out in search of the absent warriors. They 
fell in with Piskaret, a renowned Adirondack chief, 
who was returning alone. They knew his prowess 
from previous encounters with him and feared to 
openly attack him. They therefore approached 
him in the attitude of friends, Piskaret being igno- 
rant of the rupture of the treaty of peace con- 
cluded in 1645. After learning from him that 
the Adirondack warriors were divided into two 
bodies, and their whereabouts, one of the party 
treacherously ran him through with a sword, and 
returned with his head to their army. They then 

•This is the French name for the Algonquins, Col. Hist. V., 791. In 
Iroquois the name signifies "tree eaters," Col, Hist. IV., 899. 
tAlso called Wyandots. 

divided their own forces, surprised and fell upon 
the unsuspecting Adirondacks, whom they almost 
exterminated. Thus a once powerful people, whom 
Colden regarded as "the most warlike and polite" 
of all the Indian nations of North America, were 
almost wiped out of existence by an enemy they 
had once despised. 


French and English Rivalry — Expedition of 

m. de courcelles against the mohawks m. 

DE Tracy's Expedition against the Mohawks— 
Peace of Breda — French and Iroquois again 
AT war in 1669 — Peace of 1673 — M. de la 
Barre's Expedition against the Senegas — ■ 
M. DE Denonville's Expedition against the 
Senegas — French and English War of 1689 — 
Attack on Montreal and Quebec — Fronte- 
nac Invades the Onondaga Country — Treaty 
OF Ryswick — Treaty of Utrecht — Tuscaro- 
ras Admitted to Iroquois Confederacy — 
French and English War of 1744 — 1748 — 
Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle — War Renewed 
'N 1755 — Treaty of Paris — Pontiac's Con- 
spiracy — ^War of the Revolution — Present 
Status of Iroquois. 

n^HE peaceful relations which existed between the 
1 Dutch colonists and the Iroquois were perpetu- 
ated by the English on their accession to the Dutch 
possessions in 1664, by a treaty held at Fort Al- 
bany, Sept. 24, 1664; and, with immaterial excep- 
tions, the Iroquois remained the firm allies or friends 
of the English till the domination of the latter was 
broken by the triumph of the colonists in the war 
of the Revolution. But from the time the English 
supplanted the Dutch, the jealousy and strifewhich 
characterized the English and French intercourse 
in Europe were extended to this portion of the 
Western Continent. A sharp rivalry was main- 
tained in the acquisition of territory, and in the 
effort to gain an acknowledged supremacy over the 
Iroquois, of whose country M. de Lauson, the Gov- 
ernor of New France, took formal possession in 
1656, and Thomas Dongan, then Governor of New 
York, in 1684, by placing the arms of the Duke of 
York in each of the castles of the Five Nations, 
with their consent.* The French displayed the 
most enterprise in the extension of her dominions ; 

» Col. Hist., III., )6j ; /., 75, 76. 



while the English were most successful in gaining 
the allegiance of the Iroquois, though their dilatory 
movements in wars with the French often provoked 
sharp criticisms from their savage and impetuous 
allies.* The French sent out parties in various di- 
rections, to the west, north-west and south-west, to 
explore new sections of country and take possession, 
which they did by erecting the king's arms and 
drawing m-^ froces-verbeaux to serve as titles. They 
thus gained a useful knowledge of the country and 
its savage occupants, and enlarged the scope of 
their fur trade, which, together with the zeal of pro- 
pagandism, were the vital forces operating in the 
colonization of New France. 

But the prosperity of the French colony was not 
commensurate with the zeal of the Jesuits or the 
enterprise of the fur traders, as compared with that 
of the English colonies. The reason is quite ob- 
vious. Those who composed the English colonies 
came with the intention of making this their home, 
and though immigration had virtually ceased, the 
natural increase had been great. The strong de- 
sire to escape persecution had given an impulse to 
Puritan colonization ; while, on the other hand, 
none but good Catholics, the favored class of 
France, were tolerated in Canada. These had no 
motive for exchanging the comforts of home and 
the smiles of fortune for a starving wilderness and 
the scalping-knives of the Iroquois. The Hugue- 
nots would have emigrated in swarms ; but they 
were rigidly forbidden. Of the feeble population 
of the French colony, the best part were bound to 
perpetual chastity ; while the fur- traders, and those 
in their service, rarely brought their wives to the 
wilderness. The fur-trader, moreover, is always 
the worst of the colonists ; since the increase of 
population, by diminishing the number of the fur- 
bearing animals, is adverse to his interest. But be- 
hind all this, there was in the religious ideal of the 
rival colonies an influence which alone would have 
gone far to produce the contrast in material 
growth.f The Puritan looked for a substantial re- 
ward in this life ; while the Jesuits, lightly esteem- 
ing life themselves, and looking wholly for reward 
in a future life, endeavored to inculcate the same 
idea in those with whom they came in contact. 
The interests of the French king were of far less 
moment to them than those of their Heavenly 
King. Nor was the French king ignorant or un- 
mindful of this baneful tendency. His instructions 
to Count de Frontenac when the latter was ap- 

* New Vark Colonial History. 
t Parkma?^ s Jesuits. 

pointed Governor and Lieutenant-General of Can- 
ada, not only evince this fact, but that he had a keen 
perception of the great disparity in their estimate 
of the Jesuits between Frontenac and his predeces- 
sor M. de Denonville. 

While the Iroquois were engaged in exterminat- 
ing their kindred nations they kept up a desultory 
warfare with the French, broken by brief intervals 
of peace, when their interests or necessities de- 
manded a cessation of hostihties. 

In 1650, they had brought the French colonists 
to such extremity, that the latter endeavored to 
gain the powerful support of New England. Massa- 
chusetts had expressed a desire for the establish- 
ment of a reciprocal trade between her own and 
the French colonists, and it was thought this con- 
cession might be made the condition of securing 
her military aid in subduing the Mohawks. It was 
urged that as the Abenaquis, an Algonquin people, 
living on the Kennebec, in the present State of 
Maine, were under the jurisdiction of the Plymouth 
colony, and had suffered from Mohawk inroads, it 
became the duty of that colony to protect them. 
Gabriel Druilletes, a Jesuit missionary, was deputed 
to make these representations to the Massachusetts 
Government, and proceeded to Boston for that pur- 
pose. Druillettes met with a cordial reception, but 
received no encouragement with regard to the ob- 
ject of his mission, as it was scarcely to be expected 
that the Puritans would see it for their interest to 
provoke a dangerous enemy in a people who had 
never molested them. 

The French Government now resolved to put an 
end to the ruinous incursions of the Iroquois. In 
June, 1665, M. de Tracy was appointed Viceroy of 
the French possessions in America, and brought 
with him to Quebec four regiments of infantry. 
March 23, 1665, Daniel de Runy^ Knight, Lordde 
Courcelles, was appointed Governor of Canada, 
and in September of that year arrived with the regi- 
ment of Carignau SaUeres, composed of a thousand 
men, " with all the arms.and ammunition necessary 
to wage war against the Iroquois, and oblige them 
to sue for peace," together with several families, 
and everything necessary for the establishment of 
a colony. January 9, 1666, M. de Courcelles, with 
500 men, set out on a most hazardous expedition 
to the country of the Mohawks. The journey was 
undertaken on snow-shoes. After a perilous march 
of thirty-five days, during which many of his men 
were frozen, he arrived within twenty leagues of 
their villages, when he learned from prisoners taken 
that the greater part of the Mohawks and Oneidas 



had gone to a distance to make war with the " Wam- 
pum Makers." Deeming it " useless to push further 
forward an expedition which had all the effect in- 
tended by the terror it spread among all the tribes," 
he retraced his steps, having '• killed several sav- 
ages who from time to time made their appearance 
along the skirts of the forest for the purpose of 
skirmishing," and lost a few of his own men, who 
were killed by the enemy.* 

This expedition, so bootless in material results, 
had the effect to induce the Iroquois to sue for 
peace. May 22, 1666, the Senecas sent ambassa- 
dors to Quebec, who represented " that they had 
always been under the King's protection since the 
French had discovered their country," and de- 
manded for themselves and the Onontac nation, 
" that they be continued to be received in the num- 
ber of his Majesty's faithful subjects," requesting 
that some Frenchmen be sent to settle with them, 
and "blackgowns" to preach the gospel to them 
and make them understand the God of the French, 
promising not only to prepare cabins, but to work 
at the construction of forts for them. This having 
been granted, the treaty was concluded May 26, 
1666. July 7, 1666, the Oneidas sent ten ambassa- 
dors to Quebec on a Hke mission for themselves 
and the Mohawks, and ratified the preceding treaty 
July 12, i666.t 

Pending these negotiations the Mohawks com- 
mitted an outrage on a portion of the garrison of 
Fort St. Anne, and M. de Tracy concluded that to 
ensure the success of the treaty it was necessary to 
render the Mohawks more tractable by force of 
arms. Accordingly, in September, 1666, at the 
head of 600 troops and 700 Indians, he made an 
incursion into the country of the Mohawks, who, 
with their usual sagacity, being unable to cope with 
so powerful an army, fled to the forests on their ap- 
proach, and left them to exhaust themselves in a 
contest with privation and hardships in the wilder- 
ness. After destroying their villages, corn and 
other products, M. de Tracy returned. 

Following this expedition, Oct. 13, 1666, the Iro- 
quois ambassadors of the Onondaga, Cayuga, Sen- 
eca and Oneida nations repaired to Quebec to re- 
quest a confirmation of the continuance of his 
majesty's protection, which was granted by divers 
articles on several conditions, among others, that 
the Hurons and Algonquins inhabiting the north 
side of the River St. Lawrence, up from the Es- 
ciuimaux and Bertamites into the great lake of the 

' Relation tbbi—bb. Doc. Hist. New York. 
1 New York Colonial History. 

Hurons, and north of Lake Ontario, should not be 
disquieted by the four Iroquois nations on any pre- 
text whatsoever, his Majesty having taken them un- 
der his protection ; and that on the contrary, the 
said Iroquois should assist them in all their necessi- 
ties, whether in peace or war ; that agreeably to 
their urgent prayers, there should be granted to them 
two " blackgowns." one smith and a surgeon ; that 
the King, at their request allow some French fami- 
lies to settle in their country ; that two of the prin- 
cipal Iroquois families should be sent from each 
of these four nations to Montreal, Three Rivers and 
Quebec ; that all hostilities should cease till the re- 
turn of the ambassadors with the ratification of the 
present treaty ; that the Mohawks, ( Guagenigro- 
nons,) having been informed of the estabhshment 
of the French on the River Richelieu, without send- 
ing ambassadors to demand peace, should be ex- 
cluded from the preceding treaty, his majesty re- 
serving unto himself the right to include them there- 
in, should he deem it fitting so to do, whenever 
they sent to sue for peace and his protection. The 
Mohawks acquiesced in the conditions of the treaty, 
but under circumstances which induced a behef in 
the lack of fidelity. 

The following year (July 31, 1667,) was con- 
cluded the Peace of Breda, between Holland, Eng- 
land and France. By it Acadia (Nova Scotia) was 
left to the French, and its boundary fixed, and the 
New Netherlands to the English. In 1668, a treaty 
of peace was signed between France and Spain, 
whereby Louis XIV. surrendered his claims to the 
Spanish Netherland, but was left in possession of 
much he had already conquered. A general peace 
now ensued ; but it was of short duration, for in 
1669, the French and Iroquois were again at war. 
The harvests of New France could not be gathered 
in safety, and much suffering and the greatest con- 
sternation prevailed among the French colonists. 
Many prepared to return to France. Louis de 
Brande, Count de Frontenac, was appointed Gov- 
ernor and Lieutenant-General of Canada, April 6, 
1672, and under his efficient management confi- 
dence was restored and a treaty of peace again rati- 
fied in 1673. 

In 1684, another rupture occurred between the 
French and Iroquois, the latter of whom (the Sen- 
ecas) in that year pillaged seven hundred canoes 
belonging to Frenchmen, arrested the latter to the 
number of fourteen and detained them nine days, 
and attacked Fort St. Louis, which was successful- 
ly defended.* M. de la Barre, who was then Gov- 

* Memoir of M. de la Bane, Paris Doc. II., Doc. Hist. I., 109. 



ernor of New France, that year lead an expedition 
against the Senecas to punish them for this out- 
rage. But before he reached the Seneca's country 
a rumor reached him that, in case of an attack. 
Col. Dongan, Governor of New York, had prom- 
ised the Senecas " a re-enforcement of four hundred 
horse and four hundred foot." This so alarmed 
him that he decamped the next day. Sickness had 
made such inroads in his army "that it was with 
difficulty " he found a sufficient number " of per- 
sons in health to remove the sick to the canoes."* 

An expedition of such magnificent proportions, 
yet so barren of good results, brought censure upon 
M. de la Barre, and led to his supersedure the fol- 
lowing year by the Marquis de Denonville, who was 
instructed to observe a strict neutrality. 

Denonville thoroughly examined the situation, 
and, having reached a conclusion, he wrote his 
royal master that the reputation of the French 
among the Indians, whether friends or enemies, 
was absolutely destroyed by the ill-starred expe- 
dition of la Barre, and that nothing but a success- 
ful war could avert a general rebelhon, the ruin of 
the fur trade, and the extirpation of the French. 
He adds, in speaking of the enemies of the French 
colonists, " the Iroquois are the most powerful by 
reason of the facility they possess of procuring arms 
from the Enghsh, and in consequence of the num- 
ber of prisoners (esclaves) they daily make among 
their neighbors, whose children they carry off at an 
early age and adopt. This is their only means of 
increase, for in consequence of their drunken de- 
baucheries which impel them into frightful disor- 
ders, the few children their wives bear could not 
assuredly sustain them alone. * * * Their 
large purchases of arms and ammunition from the 
English, at a low rate, have given them hitherto all 
the advantages they possess over other tribes, who, 
in consequence of being disarmed, have been de- 
stroyed by the Iroquois. * * « Even the 
Enghsh in Virginia, have suffered and still daily 
suffer from them, but the gain of the merchants of 
Orange and Manatte is paramount to every public 
interest, for were they not to sell the Iroquois pow- 
der, that Nation could be more easily conquered 
than any other. It consists of five principal tribes, 
{villages) each of which has other small dependen- 
cies. The first calls itself Mohawk {Anic) and can 
muster 200 men fit for service. * * * -phe 
second is Oneida, ( Oneyoiist,) » * * ^\^q g^jj 
muster 250 men. The third is Onontague', * * 
it can muster 300 men. The fourth is Cayuga, 

* Memoir of il. de la Barre, Paris Doc. Hist., /., 109. 

[Goyoguoain) * * * which can furnish 200 
men; and the Senecas (Sonontouans) are the fifth. 
The last consists it is said of 1,200 fighting men, 
and are five leagues south of the lake. The Senecas, 
being the strongest, are the most insolent. Their 
subjugation need never be expected except we be 
in a position to surprise them."* 

Louis responded with additional re-enforcements, 
and not only approved the war, but advised that 
Iroquois prisoners be sent to him for service as gal- 
ley-slaves. Denonville therefore determined to 
divert the Iroquois from their inroads among the 
river Indians by giving them employment at home; 
and especially to overawe and punish the Senecas. 
Accordingly, in the summer of 1687, he invaded 
them with about two thousand French and Indians. 
Having arrived at Irondequoit Bay, he constructed 
a paUsade for the protection of his bateaux and 
canoes, which was finished on the morning of July 
1 2th. The re-enforcements ordered from Niagara 
arrived simultaneously with his own forces at the 
mouth of the bay. The Senecas appealed to Gov- 
ernor Dongan for aid, but he gave them only a 
quasi support. 

We quote from Denonville's report of this ex- 
pedition so much as is of especial interest to this 
locality : — 

" I 2th. After having detached 400 men to garri- 
son the redoubt which we had already put in con- 
dition of defense for the protection of our provi- 
sions, bateaux and canoes, we set out at 3 o'clock 
with all our Indian allies, who were loaded like our- 
selves with 13 days' provisions, and took the path 
leading by land across the woods to Gannagaro. 
We made only three leagues this day, among lofty 
trees sufficiently open to allow us to march in three 

" 13th. We left on the next morning, with the 
design of approaching the village as near as we 
could, to deprive the enemy of the opportunity of 
rallying and seizing on two very dangerous defiles 
at two rivers which it was necessary for us to pass, 
and where we should undoubtedly meet them. We 
passed these two defiles, however, unmolested, no 
one appearing but a few scouts. * * * There 
still remained a third, at the entrance of said vil- 
lage. It was my intention to reach that defile in 
order to halt there for the night and to rest our 
troops, who were much fatigued in consequence of 
the extraordinary and sultry-heat of the weather; 
but our scouts havmg notified us that they had seen 
a trail of a considerable party, which had been 
in that neighborhood, in order that w? may call our 
troops together, M. de Calli^res, who was at the 
head of the three companies commanded by Tonty, 
de la Durantage and du Lhu, and of all>pur Indians, 

* Memoir of M. de Detwnville on the State of Canada, Nov. ii, ^685, 
Col Hist. IX., 281, 281. 



fell about three o'clock in the afternoon, * * * 
into an ambuscade of Senecas, posted in the 
vicinity of that defile. They were better received 
than they anticipated, and thrown into such con- 
sternation, that the most of them flung away their 
guns and blankets, to escape under cover of the 
woods. The action was not long but the firing was 
heavy on both sides. 

■Sli # flt- ■* 3lt 

" The severe fatigue of the march which our 


had undergone, left us in no 

condition to pursue the routed enemy, as we had a 
wood full of thickets and briars and a densely cov- 
ered brook in front, and had made no prisoners 
who could tell us positively the number of those 
that attacked us. Moreover, we had not sufficient 
knowledge of the paths, to be certain which to take, 
to get out of the woods into the plain. 

" The enemy, to our knowledge, left twenty-seven 
dead on the field, who had been killed on the spot, 
besides a much larger number of wounded, judging 
from the bloody trails we saw. We learned from 
one of the dying that they had more than eight 
hundred men under arms, either in the action or in 
the village, and that they were daily expecting a 
re-enforcement of Iroquois. 

"Our troops being very much fatigued, we 
halted the remainder of the day at the same place, 
where we found sufficient water for the night. We 
maintained a strict watch, waiting for daylight that " 
we might enter the plain which is a full league in 
extent before reaching the village. The Rev. 
Father Enialrau, missionary among the Outawas 
savages whom he had brought to us, was wounded 
in this action. It cost us also the death of five 
Canadians, one soldier, and five Indian allies, 
besides six militia and five soldiers wounded. 

"14th. — A heavy rain that lasted till noon next 
day, compelled us to remain until that time at the 
place where the action occurred. We set out 
thence in battle array, expecting to find the enemy 
entrenched in the new village which is above the 
old. We entered the plain however, without see- 
ing anything but the vestiges of the fugitives. We 
found the old village burnt by the enemy, who had 
also deserted the entrenchment of the new which 
was about three-quarters of a league distant from 
the old. We encamped on the height of that 
plain, and did nothing that day but protect our- 
selves from the severe rain which continued until 

"15th. — The Indians brought us two old men, 
whom the enemy had left in the woods on their 
retreat, and two or three women came to surren- 
der themselves, who informed us that for the space 
of four days, all the old men, the women, and 
children, had been fleeing in great haste, being able 
to carry with -them only the best of their effects. 
• * * One of the old men who had been of 
note in the village, * * * told us the ambush 
consisted of two hundred and twenty men stationed 
on the hill-side to attack our rear, and of five hun- 
dred and thirty to attack our front. * * * In 
addition to the above, there were also three hun- 

dred men in their fort, favorably situated on a 
height, into which they all were pretending to retire, 

having carried thither a quantity of Indian corn. 

* * * 

"After we had obtained from this old man all 
the information he could impart, he was placed in 
the hands of Rev. Father Bruyas, who finding he 
had some traces of the christian religion, » * * 
set about preparing him for the baptism, before 
turning him over to the Indians who had taken 
him prisoner. He was baptized, and a httle while 
after they contented themselves at our solicitation, 
with knocking him on the head with a hatchet in- 
stead of burning him according to their custom. 

"Our first achievement, this day, was to set fire 
to the fort of which we have spoken. It was eight 
hundred paces in circumference, well enough 
flanked for savages, with a retrenchment advanced 
for the purpose of communicating with a spring 
which is half way down the hill, it being the only 
place where they could obtain water. The remain- 
der of the day was employed in destroying Indian 
corn, beans and other produce. 

" i6th July. — We continued the devastation. 
Our scouts brought us from time to time the spoils 
of the fugitives found scattered in the woods. 

" In the afternoon of the same day, we moved 
our camp towards those places where corn was to 
be destroyed. A party of our Indians about whom 
we had been anxious, arrived in the evening with 
considerable booty, which they had captured in the 
great village of Totiakton, four leagues distant. 
They found that village also abandoned by the 
enemy, who on retreating had set it on fire, but 
only three or four cabins were consumed. 

"17th. — -We were also occupied in destroying 
the grain of the small village of St. Michael or 
Gannogarae,* distant a short league from the large 

"i8th. — Continued, after having moved our 
camp in order to approach some fields which were 
concealed and scattered in the depths of the for- 

" 19th. — Moved our camp in the morning from 
near the village of St. James or Gannagaro, after 
having destroyed a vast quantity of fine large corn, 
beans and other vegetables of which there re- 
mained not a single field, and after having burned 
so large a quantity of old corn that the amount 
dared not be mentioned, and encamped before 
Totiakton, surnamed the Great Village or the Vil- 
lage of the Conception, distant four leagues from 
the former. We found there a still greater num- 
ber of planted fields, and wherewithal to occupy 
ourselves for many days. * * * 

"20th. — We occupied ourselves with cutting 
down the hew corn and burning the old. 

"21st. — Went to the small village of Gannoun- 
ata,t distant two leagues from the larger, where all 
the old and new corn was destroyed the same day, 

*Gann0f^arnc or Gandougarae '«^J^ situated south of Ga««rt^rtr(?, near 
the site of East Bloomfield. 

^Gannoiinata or Gannoudata, named on Clark's map as Gandachira- 
gon, the site of the mission of St. John, was located near East Avon. 



though the quantity was as large as in the other 
villages. It was in this village that we found the 
arms of England which Sieur Dongan, Governor 
of New York, had caused to be placed there con- 
trary to all right and reason, in the year 1684, 
having antedated the arms as of the year 1683, 
although it is beyond question that we first discov- 
ered and took possession of that country, and for 
twenty consecutive years have had Fathers Fremin, 
Gamier, &c., as stationary missionaries in all these 

" The quantity of grain which we found in store 
in this place, and destroyed by fire is incredible. * 
* * * 

" 2 2d. — We left the above named village to re- 
turn to Totiakton, to continue there the devasta- 
tion already commenced. Notwithstanding the 
bad weather and incessant rain, the entire day was 
employed in diligent preparation for our departure, 
which was the more urgent as sickness was increas- 
ing among the soldiers, the militia and the Indians, 
and provisions and refreshments were rapidly 
diminishing. Besides the impatience of the sav- 
ages to return with a great number of the sick and 
vvounded, gave us no hope of retaining them 
against their will, some having already left on the 
preceding day without permission. 

" 23d. — We sent a large detachment of almost 
the entire army * * » to complete the destruc- 
tion of all the corn still standing in the distant 

"About 7 o'clock in the morning, seven Illinois, 
coming alone from their country to war against the 
Iroquois, arrived at the camp, as naked as worms, 
bow in hand, to the great joy of those whom Sieur 
de Tonty had brought to us. 

"About noon of the same day, we finished the 
destruction of the Indian corn. We had the curi- 
osity to estimate the whole quantity, green as well 
as ripe, which we had destroyed in the four Seneca 
villages, and found that it would amount to 350,- 
000 minots * of green, and 50,000 of old corn — 
[1,200,000 bushels]. We can infer from this the 
multitude of people in these four villages and the 
great suffering they will experience from this de- 

"Having nothing more to effect in that country, 
and seeing no enemy, we left our camp in the af- 
ternoon of the same day to rejoin our bateaux. We 
advanced only two leagues. * * * 

" 24th July. We reached our bateaux after 
marching six leagues. We halted there on the 
next day, the 2Sth, in order to make arrangements 
for leaving on the 26th, after we had destroyed the 
redoubt we had built." 

Denonville then repaired to Niagara, and con- 
structed a fort in the angle of the lake, on the 
Seneca side of the river. He left a hundred men 
under the command of Sieur de Troyes to garrison 
it, provisioned it for eight months, and returned 
with his army. This fort was so closely besieged 

*A minot is equal to three bushels. 

by the Iroquois that nearly all the garrison perished 
by hunger. 

The Iroquois were alarmed at this bold incur- 
sion into the country of the strongest nation of 
their league, and applied to Governor Dongan of 
New York, for protection. A council was held in 
the City Hall at Albany, August 5, 1687, at which 
the Five Nations assigned as the probable reason 
of Denonville's invasion, "that wee have given our 
land and submitted ourselfs to the King of Eng- 
land, which we confirmed solemnly when the Gov- 
ernor of Virginia was with you here," three years 
previously. They added, "It is true, wee warr 
with the farr Nations of Indians, because they kill 
our people, and take them prisoners when wee goe 
a beaver hunting, and it is our custom amongst In- 
dians to warr with one another ; but what hath the 
Christians to doe with that to join with either one side 
or the other ? O Brethren, you tell us the King of 
England is a very great King, and why should you 
not joyne with us in a just cause, when the French 
joynes with our enemies in an unjust cause; 
Brethren, wee see the reason of this, the French 
would faine kill us all and when that is done they 
would carry all the Beaver trade to Canada, and 
the great King of England would loose the land 
likewise, and therefore, O Great Sachim beyond 
the Great Lake, awake and suffer not those poor 
Indians that have given themselfs and their lands 
under your protection to bee destroyed by the 
French without cause."* Governor Dongan wrote 
to the Lord President, requesting instructions as to 
what course he should pursue in this emergency, 
adding in his letter on that occasion : " Those five 
nations are very brave and the awe and Dread of 
all ye Indyans in these Parts of America and are a 
better defense to us than if they were so many 

On the loth of November, 1687, he was in- 
structed to afford them protection. J He advised 
them not to make peace with the French, and prom- 
ised them supplies of arms and ammunition. But 
Denonville called a meeting of the chiefs of the 
Five Nations at Montreal, for the purpose of 
arranging terms of peace, and they decided to send 
representatives for that purpose. 

In this year, 1687, the English colonists of New 
York resolved to avail themselves of the peace 
which then existed between the English and French, 
by virtue of the treaty of neutrahty of Nov. 16, 

*Col. Hist. III., 442. 
tCol. Hist., III., 429, 4J0. 
t Col. Hist., Ill-, S03. 



1 586, to attempt a participation in the fur trade of 
the upper lakes. They induced the Iroquois to 
liberate a number of Wyandot or Huron captives 
to guide them through the lakes and open a trade 
with their people, who were then living at Michili- 
mackinac. The party, which -was led by Capt. 
McGregory, was intercepted and captured by a 
large body of French, and their goods distributed 
gratuitously among the Indians. The lake Indians, 
who had favored the project, by reason of the high 
price and scarcity of goods, now became anxious 
to disabuse the French of the suspicions their 
actions had engendered, and to prove their fidelity to 
them. To this end Adario, a celebrated chief of 
the Wyandots, shrewd and wily in his plans, and 
firm and courageous in their execution, led a party 
of one hundred men against the Iroquois. Stop- 
ping at Fort Cadaraqui for intelligence which might 
guide him, the commandant informed him of the 
impending peace negotiations, that the Iroquois 
embassadors were expected at Montreal in a few 
days, and advised him to return. But perceiving 
that if this peace was consummated, it would leave 
the Iroquois free to push their war against his nation, 
Adario resolved to prevent it, and waylaid, sur- 
prised and killed, or captured the Iroquois em- 
bassy, with the forty young warriors who guarded 
them. By dissembling he fully impressed his cap- 
tives with the behef that the treachery, of which he 
was made the unwitting instrument, was instigated 
by Denonville. With well-simulated indignation he 
looked steadfastly on the prisoners, among whom 
was Dekanefora, the head chief of the Onondagas, 
and said : " Go, my brothers, I untie your bonds, 
and send you home again, although our nations be 
at war. The French Governor has made me com- 
mit so black an action, that I shall never be easy 
after it, until the Five Nations have taken full re- 
venge. He then dismissed them, with presents of 
arms, powder and balls, keeping but a single man, 
an adopted Shawnee, to supply the place of the 
only man he had lost in the engagement.* 

The Iroquois were deeply incensed and burned to 
revenge the base treachery. They refused to listen to 
amessage sent by Denonville disclaiming any partici- 
pation in the act of perfidy. On the 5th of August, 
1689, fifteen hundred Iroquois warriors landed, 
with the stealth and deadly purpose of enraged 
tigers, on the upper end of the island of Montreal, 
and pursued their murderous work without any- 
thing to impede them. They burned houses, 
sacked plantations and massacred men, women 

* Colden. 

and children of the French inhabitants to the num- 
ber of two hundred, and retired with more than 
one hundred and twenty prisoners. November 
13th following they visited the lower part of the 
island with an equally deadly scourge.* 

These incursions were incalculably disastrous to 
the French interests in Canada and reduced the 
colonies to the most abject despondency. Their 
minds were filled with the fear of foreboding ills. 
They burned the two barks they had on Cadaraqui 
(Ontario) Lake and abandoned the fort at Cada- 
raqui. They designed to blow up the fort, and 
hghted a match for that purpose; but in their 
fright and haste they did not wait to see that it 
took effect. The Iroquois, hearing of the destruc- 
tion of the fort, took possession of it. The match 
the French lighted went out without igniting the 
train. They found twenty-eight barrels of powder, 
besides other stores. 

These disasters to the French soon spread 
among their Indian alUes, already disgusted with 
la Barre's miserable failure, and whose confidence 
the questionable success of Denonville had not 
restored. The French influence over them was 
greatly lessened, while the dread of the Iroquois 
was measurably increased. Many sought an alli- 
ance with the English, with whom this misfortune 
to the French enabled them to open a trade; and 
they would have murdered the whole French col- 
ony to placate the Iroquois, "and would certainly 
have done it," says Colden, " had not the Sieur 
Perot, with wonderful sagacity and eminent hazard 
to his own person, diverted them." 

The French colony was in a most pitiable condi- 
tion, for while the larger proportion of the men had 
been engaged in the expedition against the Senecas, 
in trading with the Western Indians, and in mak- 
ing new discoveries and settlements, tillage had 
been neglected. Several thousand of the inhabi- 
tants had been killed. The continual incursions of 
small parties of the Iroquois made it hazardous to go 
outside the forts ; they were liable at any time to 
sacrifice their scalps to a lurking savage, to have 
the torch applied to their cabins, and the toma- 
hawk fall upon the defenseless heads of their wives 
and children. Their crops were sown in constant 
fear, and were often destroyed before they could 
be gathered. To add to the horrors of their situa- 
tion, famine was rapidly decimating those who had 
escaped the hatchet of the revengful Iroquois, 
and threatened to put a miserable end to their 

"Col. Hist. IX., 419. 4!', 4!4, 4!S- 



But this deplorable condition was destined to a 
favorable and most unexpected change, toward 
which the bitter animosities and divided counsels 
of the English colonies, growing out of the Revolu- 
tion in England at this time, which resulted in the 
accession of the Prince of Orange to the throne, 
contributed in no small measure. The Count de 
Frontenac, whose previous management of the col- 
ony had been eminently wise and satisfactory, was 
again appointed Governor, May 21, 1689, and 
though he had arrived at an age when most men pre- 
fer a retired hfe to the onerous burdens of State, 
he entered upon his duties with such energy and 
manifest wisdom as to revive the flagging spirits of 
the colonists, notwithstanding the impending dan- 
ger of a war with the English colonies which soon 
ensued. He arrived on the second of October 
1689, and at once commenced an effort to nego- 
tiate a peace with the Iroquois, having learned by 
sad experience that they could not hope to gain 
by the continuance of war with them. He was the 
more anxious to effect a peace with them, as the 
French then had a war on their hands with the 
EngHsh, which was declared that year. Faihng in 
this, he hoped to terrify them into neutrality, and 
for this purpose, and to lessen the influence with 
the Enghsh with them, he fitted out three expedi- 
tions that winter, one against New York, another 
against Connecticut, and a third against New Eng- 
land. It was a hazardous undertaking at that sea- 
son of the year, but the desperate condition of the 
French colonists demanded heroic treatment. 

The first expedition was directed against Sche- 
nectady, which was sacked and burned, on the 
night of February 9, 1690, only two houses being 
spared, that of Major Sander, (Coudre,) from whom 
the French had received good treatment on a for- 
mer 'occasion, and that of a widow, with six chil- 
dren, to which M. de Montigny, one of the leaders 
of the expedition, was carried when wounded. 
They spared the hves of some fifty to sixty old 
men, women and children, who escaped the first 
fury of the attack, and some twenty Mohawks, "in 
order to show them it was the EngHsh and not 
they against whom the grudge was entertained." 
The loss on this occasion in houses, cattle and 
grain, exceeded 400,060 livres.* There were up- 
wards of eighty weU -built and well-furnished houses 
in the town." They returned with thirty prisoners, 
loaded with plunder, and with fifty good horses, 
only sixteen of which reached Montreal, the rest 
having been killed on .the road for food. They 

*A French coin, now superseded by the franc, equal to li}i cents, 

lost one Indian and one Frenchman in the attack 
on the town, and nineteen on the return march.* 

This disaster at Schenectady so disheartened the 
people of Albany, that they resolved to abandon 
the place and retire to New York. Many were 
packing up for that- purpose, when a delegation of 
Mohawks who had come to condole with them on 
the loss, on hearing of their design, reproached 
them and urged them to a courageous defense of 
their homes. This passage in our colonial history 
fills us with humiliating reflections, when we con- 
trast the supineness of the English colonists, 
arising from the bitter dissensions incident to the 
governmental changes which the recent revolution 
wrought, with the magnificent energies exerted by 
the French colonists under the energizing influence 
of the sagacious Frontenac. Our admiration is not 
less challenged by the heroic conduct of the Iro- 
quois, who, notwithstanding French intrigues and 
Jesuitical influence, combined with an exasperat- 
ing Enghsh apathy, which appeared willing to sac- 
rifice these savage but noble alUes, kept firmly to 
their early allegiance 

Count de Frontenac, encouraged by the answer 
made to his former message, renewed his eff'orts to 
bring about a peace with the Iroquois ; but they 
compelled his embassadors to run the gauntlet and 
then delivered them over as prisoners to the Eng- 
lish. Foiled in this, he endeavored to prevent the 
peace which the Iroquois were on the point of 
making with the Utawawas and Quatoghies. The 
Iroquois continued to harrass the French in small 
bodies and kept them in constant alarm. 

In the summer of 1691, New York and New 
England concerted an attack by a combined land 
and naval force. The former, under command of 
Major Peter Schuyler, was directed against Mon- 
treal ; and the latter, consisting of thirty sail, under 
command of Sir William Phips, against Quebec. 
Both failed of the ultimate object for which they 
set out; though Schuyler inflicted a heavy loss 
upon the enemy, killing three hundred, which ex- 
ceeded his entire command,! having seventeen 
killed and eleven wounded of his own forces. But 
finding the enemy vastly more numerous than he 
expected he was obliged to retire. The naval 
attack was illy directed and proved an ignoble fail- 
ure. It was Ukewise attended with considerable 
loss, both in men and material, without inflicting 
much damage on the enemy, who, with ordinary 

* Paris Document IV. Doc. Hist. I , 297. The English account places 
the number killed at 60, and the number taken prisoners ^7, including 
several negroes. — Ibid. 

\C olden. 



promptness and prudence, might have been routed. 
The Iroquois, however, continued their stealthy 
raids, which were more dreaded and really more 
destructive to the French interests than the more 
imposing efforts of their EngUsh aUies. The 
French were prevented from tilling the ground, or 
of reaping the fruit of what they had sown or 
planted, and a famine ensued, " the poor inhabi- 
tants," says Golden, "being forced to feed the 
soldiers gratis, while their own children wanted 
bread." The French fur trade was also stopped 
by the Iroquois, who took posession of the passes 
between them and their allies, the western Indians, 
and intercepted the traders and others passing over 
these routes. 

Count de Frontenac was pierced to the heart by 
his inability to revenge these terrible incursions of 
the Five Nations. His desperation drove him to 
the commission of an act which must have been as 
revolting to him in his normal condition, as it was 
barbarous. He condemned two Iroquois prisoners 
to be burned pubUcly aUve, and would not be dis- 
suaded from executing the sentence. One of 
them, however, killed himself with a knife which 
was thrown into his prison by "some charitable 

June 6, 1792, the Iroquois entered into a formal 
treaty of aUiance and friendship with Major Rich- 
ard Ingoldsby, who assumed the Gubernatorial 
office of New York on the death of Golonel Henry 
Sloughter, July 23, 1691. The speech of Cheda, 
an Oneida sachem, on that occasion, is a rare 
piece of pathetic eloquence. 

The French colonists having been obliged to re- 
main so long on the defensive, were becoming des- 
pondent, so that Gount Frontenac felt it imperative 
to undertake some bold enterprise to restore con- 
fidence. He therefore planned an expedition 
against the Mohawks, and as it was necessary to 
surprise them, it was undertaken in the winter, 
when it would be least expected. Jan. 15, 1693, 
a force of six hundred to seven hundred French 
and Indians, under command of three captains of 
the regulars, started with snow-shoes from la Prairie 
de Magdaleine, and after a long and perilous march 
through the forests, surprised and captured three 
of the Mohawks' castles, in only the latter and 
largest of which did they meet with any resistance. 
They returned with about three hundred prisoners, 
and though pursued by a party of Albany miUtia 
and Mohawks to the number of about five hun- 
dred, hastily gathered and commanded by Major 
Peter Schuyler, and reduced to such extremity for 

want of food that they eat their shoes, they escaped 
with the loss of eighty men killed and thirty-three 
wounded. This successful raid greatly alarmed the 
English settlers and dispirited the Iroquois, who 
saw that surprises could be made by their enemies 
as well as themselves. The latter were now more 
incUned to listen to the French proposals of peace, 
and having been the greater sufferers by the war, 
were quite anxious that it should cease. 

The years 1693-4 were spent in efforts to nego- 
tiate a peace between the French and Iroquois, 
which the English endeavored to prevent. The 
three intermediate nations, influenced by the Jesuit 
priests, were more inclined thereto, than the Sene- 
cas and Mohawks. The Senecas held the French 
in abhorrence, and were not so much influenced 
by the Jesuits; while the Mohawks were the near 
neighbors of the English, and much influenced by 
them in favor of continuing the war, although they 
had been the greatest sufferers from it. 

These negotiations failed and Governor de Fron- 
tenac now resolved to coerce them to submission, 
to that end made arrangements to attack the Mo- 
hawks with the whole force of Ganada. But learn- 
ing that the Mohawks had been advised of his in- 
tention by an escaped prisoner, and the prepara- 
tions that had been made to repel him, he changed 
his plan, and instead sent three hundred men to 
the neck of land between lakes Erie and Cadara- 
qui, the usual hunting place of the Iroquois, hoping 
to surprise them while carelessly hunting, and at 
the same time to observe the condition of Fort 
Gadaraqui, which was found to be better than was 
expected. In the summer of 1695, he sent a strong 
force to repair and garrison the fort, which then 
took his name. This fort was of great advantage 
to the French from its proximity to the beaver 
hunting grounds of the Iroquois, thus enabhng the 
garrison to make incursions on them when so en- 
galged. It was also important to the French trade 
with the western Indians, as a place of deposit for 
supplies ; and not less so as a place of refuge in 
time of war with the Iroquois. The French also 
succeeded in putting a stop to the peace negotia- 
tions then progressing between the Iroquois and 
Dionondadies ; but in order to accompUsh that 
end perpetrated an act of cruelty, which, for fiend- 
ishness, parallels anything in the annals of Indian 
horrors. But notwithstanding the French oppo- 
sition a treaty was concluded covertly soon after. 

The treaty of Ryswick, while it established peace 
between the English and French, left unsettled a 
question with regard to the Iroquois. The French, 



while they insisted on including their own Indian 
allies in the terms, were unwiUing to include the 
Iroquois, and made preparations to attack the lat- 
ter with the whole force of Canada ; but the Eng- 
lish as strenuously insisted on extending the terms 
of the treaty to their allies, and Earl Bellraont 
notified Count de Frontenac that he would resist 
an attack on the Iroquois with the whole force of 
his government if necessary. This put an end to 
French threats, and the question of sovereignty over 
that nation was relegated to commissioners to be 
appointed pursuant to the treaty. But the ques- 
tion arose in another form, with regard to the ex- 
change of prisoners. The French insisted on ne- 
gotiating with the Iroquois ; but the English refused 
to yield even by implication, the right of sover- 
eignty which they claimed, and demanded that the 
exchange be made through them. The Iroquois 
refused to negotiate independently of the English, 
and thus the French were obhged to yield the 

Peace, such as had not fallen upon the wilder- 
ness of the New World since the Europeans added 
their conflicting interests to the field of savage con- 
tests, prevailed at the opening of the eighteenth 
century; for not only had the Europeans and their 
alUes ceased to war, but the Indians themselves 
had buried the hatchet. It was of short duration, 
.. however ; for with the succession of Anne to the 
English throne, on the death of King William in 
March, 1702, the war of the Spanish succession, or 
Queen Anne's war, was inaugurated and con- 
tinued till the treaty of Utrecht, April 11, 17 13. 
Although New England was ravaged with ruthless 
hand. New York scarcely knew its existence ; not- 
withstanding the Province was put in a condition 
for defense. 

Not until after the treaty of Utrecht did the set- 
tlements in New York make much progress, owing 
to the massacres that in King William's war were 
committed by the French and their Indian allies 
on the outskirts of the settlements. At its con- 
clusion, or soon after, settlements in the Mohawk 
were begun. By that treaty the French engaged 
not to attack the Five Nations, who were acknowl- 
edged to be the subjects of Great Britain, and a 
free trade with them was guaranteed to both Eng- 
land and France. 

The Iroquois, being thus debarred from continu- 
ing their predatory raids on the northern and western 
Indians, extended their conquests in the South, 

*Thi5 question was not fully settled till the treaty of Utrecht, April il, 
171J, by which the French surrendered all claims to the Five Nations 
who were acknowledged to be subjects of Great Britain. 

and chastised their old enemies, the Flatheads, liv 
ing in Carolina. While on this expedition the' 
adopted into their confederacy the Tuscaroras, 
North Carolina, one of the most powerful Indiar 
nations of the South, who, in resisting the encroach 
ments of the proprietaries of Carohna, who assignee 
their lands to the German Palatines, were almos 
destroyed in their fort on the River Taw, Marcl 
26, 1 7 13, having lost eight hundred in prisoners 
who were sold as slaves to the allies of the Enghsh 
They became the sixth nation of the Iroquois con 
federacy, which was afterwards denominated by th( 
English, the Six Nations. They were assigned ter 
ritory in the country of and in close proximity tc 
the Oneidas. 

From 1774 to 1748, the French and Engtisl 
were again at war, which was concluded by the 
treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, April 30th, 1748, which 
virtually renewed the treaty of Utrecht. 

The treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle was very imperfect 
as it left unsettled many important questions whid 
must sooner or later demand adjustment. The 
contest was renewed in 1755. The French, imme 
diately after the cessation of hostilities, had enterec 
upon the vigorous prosecution of a pohcy inaug 
urated by them as early as 1731, of connecting the 
St. Lawrence with the Gulf of Mexico by a chain o 
forts, and by the end of 1753, had a connectec 
line of forts from Montreal to French Creek ir 
Pennsylvania. The completion of the fort or 
French Creek provoked the resentment of Virginia 
and a force was sent out by that colony undei 
Major George Washington, with instructions "tc 
make prisoners, kill or destroy all who interruptec 
the English settlements" in the invaded territory 
The success was only temporary, for Washingtor 
was soon compelled to capitulate within the feebk 
breastworks of Fort Necessity. 

The EngUsh colonies were wholly unpreparec 
for the vigorous onslaught with which the Frencl 
followed the overt act of Virginia; and being divi 
ded in their counsels— lacking centralization — i 
required some time to collect themselves and ti 
interpose an effectual resistance. Among the eai 
liest measures concerted were four expeditioni 
planned by General Edward Bullock, the first ti 
effect the complete reduction of Nova Scotia, th 
second to recover the Ohio Valley, the third t 
expel the French from Fort Niagara and form 
junction with the expedition to the Ohio, and th 
fourth to capture Crown Point. The latter wa 
entrusted to Col. Johnson, who was to have th 
militia of New York, Massachusetts and Connee 



ticut and the warriors of the Six Nations. He con- 
vened the latter in council at Mount Johnson on 
the 2ist of June, 1754, hoping to induce them to 
join the expedition; but with all the art he was 
master of, he could obtain little else than excuses. 
Hendrick and his Mohawks, with here and there 
a warrior from the other nations, to the number of 
fifty, left Albany with him on the eighth of August. 
At the "carrying place'' some two hundred war- 
riors joined him, giving him, with the militia, a force 
of about thirty-five hundred men. The French, 
marching in about equal force to Oswego, were 
called back and sent, under Baron Dieskau, to 
the defense of Crown Point. Leaving the larger 
portion of his forces at that fort, Dieskau pushed 
on to attack Fort Edward, cut off Johnson's retreat, 
and annihilate his army. Misled by his guides, he 
found himself on the road to Lake George, and 
only four miles distant from Johnson's encamp- 
ment at Ticonderoga. Leaving his position, John- 
son detached one thousand men and two hundred 
Indians to bring on an engagement. The oppos- 
ing forces met on the 8th of September. Finding 
the French too powerful, the English fell back to 
Ticonderoga ; the French pursued and resumed the 
battle under the walls of Johnson's position. After 
a severe engagement of four hours the French re- 
treated. The losses on both sides were heavy, 
that of the English being one hundred and fifty- 
eight killed, including King Hendrick and thirty- 
eight of his warriors, ninety-two wounded and sixty- 
two missing ; while that of the French was between 
three and four hundred. Johnson was wounded 
slightly, and Dieskau mortally. The French retreat 
was unmolested; Crown Point was not reduced.* 

For the most part the remainder of the war was 
a prolonged and sanguinary contest with the savage 
aUies of the French, which brought the war to the 
doors of the colonists and gave them ample work 
to defend their homes. The border settlements of 
Pennsylvania were especially afflicted by this deso- 
lating scourge. 

The war, which for many years threatened dis- 
aster to the English, finally resulted in their favor, 
■and was concluded between the English and French, 
by the treaty of Paris, in 1763, leaving England in 
possession of Canada and the territory west of the 
Mississippi. It was continued, however, with un- 
abated fury two years longer by the Indians under 
Pontiac, king of the Ottawas, who in the summer 
of 1762, formed a league to drive the English from 
the country. 


Following the cessation of hostilities, territorial 
disputes arose between the various Indian tribes 
and the colonies, to adjust which. Colonel John- 
son, in 1765, proposed the establishment of a line 
which should be recognized alike by the Indians 
and the English as a boundary beyond which neither 
should pass. To this the Indians assented ; but 
its execution was delayed till the irritation of the 
Indians under the aggressions of European immi- 
gration, became threatening and alarming. The 
Senecas, smarting under these aggressions, and the 
humiliating treaty they had been forced to make, 
said by a large belt to the Lenapes and Shawanoes 
in 1768: "Brethren, these lands are yours as well 
as ours; God gave them to us to Hve upon, and be- 
fore the white people shall have them for nothing, 
we will sprinkle the leaves with blood, or die every 
man in the attempt." Finding that the matter 
could not longer be safely delayed, a conference 
was called at Fort Stanwix, and the treaty by which 
the boundary line was established was concluded 
Nov. 5, 1768. This line, which was long known 
as the " Property Line," is indicated on a map 
accompanying the treaty. This treaty was ratified 
by Sir WiUiam Johnson in July, 1770. 

But this action did not long suffice to preserve 
inviolate the Indian territory. The influx of new 
settlers and the avarice of traders led to encroach- 
ments which soon provoked complaints and gave 
rise to apprehension on account of the Senecas. 
At a Congress of the Six Nations at Johnson Hall, 
in June and July, 1774, a Seneca orator complained 
that the whites and traders encroached upon their 
territory, followed their people to their hunting 
grounds with goods and liquor, " when," he said, 
" they not only impose on us at pleasure, but by 
the means of carrying these articles to our scattered 
people, obstruct our endeavors to collect them.'' 
" We are sorry," he added, " to observe to you 
that your people are as ungovernable, or rather 
more so, than ours.'' 

The continued and alarming encroachments on 
the Indian domain prepared the way for the hostil- 
ity which characterized the action not only of the 
Iroquois, but also the western Indians, against the 
colonists during the wai of the Revolution, which 
soon followed. The Indians had adopted a settled 
and well-understood policy, involving resistance to 
further encroachments ; and the Iroquois, who had 
hitherto preserved a uniform friendship towards the 
colonists, now, with the exception of the Oneidas, 
Tuscaroras, and possibly a few others, opposed 
them. Eighteen hundred of their warriors allied 



themselves with the British,* and only two hundred 
and twenty, with the colonists. The atrocities of 
of the former under the leadership of the redoubt- 
able Brant, will long be remembered by both New 
York and Pennsylvania. 

The long hst of Indian and tory atrocities 'on 
the border settlements of New York and Pennsyl- 
vania, including the terrible massacres of Wyom- 
ing, Cherry Valley and Minnisink, determined the 
action of Congress in projecting the successful ex- 
pedition of General Sullivan in 1779 — ^an expedi- 
tion of paramount importance in its bearing on the 
subsequent settlements in Central and Western 
New York — and directed especially against the 
country of the Senecas, which the tories and their 
allies made a place of rendezvous, and from which 
issued forth many a band of stealthy, prowling sav- 
ages, an'd not less vindictive tories, to visit death 
and destruction upon the outlying settlements of 
the colonies. 

Appeal after appeal went up from the exposed 
and desolated homes on the frontier, and though 
they reached the ears of Congress, that body was 
too deeply engrossed with other duties and its re- 
sources too heavily taxed to render the needed 
succor. They did not, however, fail to receive the 
attention and serious consideration of those guardi- 
ans of the nation's weal, though the censure with 
which some authors have visited them and the 
accusation of culpable dilatoriness may not be en- 
tirely unmerited. It is fair to presume that they, 
in common with the general public, were lulled into a 
partial sense of security by the anticipated aid from 
French alliance. Not so, however, with the ever 
vigilant Washington, who had busied himself with 
plans to put an end to this desolating warfare — 
plans which he lacked the means to execute. The 
general inactivity which, in 1779, supervened the 
unconsummated mihtary projects, owing to the 
failure of expected French aid the previous season, 
seemed to offer a favorable opportunity to strike a 
decisive blow against these border depredators — a 
measure which was made more imperative by the 
horrible massacre of Wyoming the previous sum- 
mer, in which Queen Esther, a Seneca half-breed, 
distinguished herself by the conspicuous part she 
took in those fri ghtful orgie s, f Washington urged 

* Ruttenber says there were not more than eight hundred engaeed at 
anytime. Chnton says there were 1,580. 

tCatharins Montour, the Queen Esther of the Senecas, was a half- 
breed, a native of Canada, and a putative daughter of one of the French 
Governors, ' probably," says Lossing, "of Frontenac." Her superior 
mind gave her great ascendancy over the Senecas, among whom she was 
indeed a Queen. At Wyoming she "assumed the ofEce of executioner 
and, using a maul and tomahawk, passed around the ring of prisoners' 
who had been arranged at her bidding, deliberately chanted the son? of 
death and murdered her victims to its cadences in consecutive order ''— 
Losstng and Ruttenher. 

its importance on the attention of Congress, and 
on the 25th of February, 1779, was directed by 
that body to protect the inland frontier and chas- 
tise the Senecas, thus seconding the efforts which 
the New York governor had put forth. 

Having determined upon the expedition, Wash- 
ington tendered its command to General Gates, 
who declined the service "in a letter by no means 
creditable to himself or courteous to his superior."* 
It was finally entrusted to Major-General John 
Sullivan, who was instructed on the 31st of May 
to assemble the main body of his army at Wyom- 
ing, then recently devastated by Brant and Butler,| 
and proceeded thence to Tioga and onward into 
the heart of the Indian settlements. " The mode 
of fighting," says Hamilton, "was such as Wash- 
ington's early experience would suggest 'to make 
rather than receive attacks, attended with as much 
impetuosity, shouting and noise as possible, and to 
make the troops act in as loose and dispersed a 
way as is consistent with a proper degree of gov- 
ernment, concert and mutual support. It shall be 
previously impressed upon the minds of the men, 
whenever they have an opportunity, to rush on 
with the war whoop and fixed bayonet. Nothing 
will disconcert and terrify the Indians more than 
this.' "\ " The immediate objects of the expedition 
were set forth at large : they were, the total devas- 
tation and destruction of the settlements of the 
Six Nations, as well as of their adherents and asso- 
ciates, and the capture of as many prisoners as 
possible of every age and sex."§ The country was 
not merely to be over-run, but destroyed; and he 
was not to listen to any proposals of peace until 
this was thoroughly done. 

General Sullivan's army consisted of three divi- 
sions : one from New Jersey, under command of 
Brigadier-General WiUiam Maxwell; another from 
New England, under command of Brigadier-Gen- 
eral Edward Hand ; and the third from New York, 
under command of Brigadier-General James Clin- 
ton. The New Jersey and New England divisions 
marched from Elizabeth, N. J., via Easton, to 
Wyoming, where General Sullivan awaited the re- 
ceipt of supplies for his army, which were not only 
poor in quality, but insufficient in quantity, so 
that, on his arrival at Wyoming, he was constrained 
to write, " of the salted meat on hand, there was 

* American Biogra^hy^ New Serus, Sparks^ III. 127. 

t Hamilton's History of the Republic of the United States, I-, 54!, 544- 
Col. Wm. L. Stone says it is doubtful whether Brant was at any time 
in company with thij, expedition, and certain that when the battle occurred 
he was many miles distant. — Life of Joseph Brants I., 5]S. 

t Hamilton's History of the Republic of the United States, I., 54!, !44' 

§ American Biography, New Series, Sparks, III., 127. 



not a single pound fit to be eaten." A delay of 
several weeks was occasioned, says Dr. Gordon, 
"through the villainy or carelessness of the commis- 
saries." Sullivan has been widely censured for his 
extravagant requisitions on the board of war, and 
the tardiness in supplying them provoked from him 
unequivocal complaints, which subjected him to 
the retaliatory strictures of that body, and, whether 
justly so or not, to a general feeling of dissatisfac- 

Washington became impatient, fearing the delay 
and the publicity it gave would imperil the success 
of the movement. He had repeatedly enjoined 
Sullivan to "move as light as possible, even from 
the first onset," adding, " should time be lost in 
transporting the troops and stores, the provisions 
will be consumed, and the whole enterprise may be 
defeated. Reject every article that can be dis- 
pensed with ; this is an extraordinary case, and re- 
quires extraordinary attention. "f 

While General Sullivan was wrestling with these 
embarrassments, Col. Van Schaick, with six hun- 
dred men from Fort Schuyler, on the 21st of April, 
1779, surprised the Onondagas, destroyed their vil- 
lage, provisions and munitions of war, killing twelve 
and taking thirty or forty prisoners, and returned 
within three days without the loss of a man. 

Having at length completed his arrangements 
General Sullivan left W)'oming on the 31st of July, 
and moved his army, consisting of thirty-five hun- 
dred men, up the east side of the Susquehanna. 
In transporting the baggage and stores, one hun- 
dred and twenty boats and two thousand horses J 
were employed. The boats were propelled up the 
stream by soldiers with setting poles, and were 
guarded by troops. The provisions for the daily 
subsistence of the troops were carried by horses, 
which threaded the narrow path in single file, and 
formed a line about six miles in length. They ar- 

* Says Bancroft, who sharply criticises his conduct during the entire ex- 
pedition, he "made insatiable demands on the Government of Pennsyl- 
vania," and "while he was wasting time in finding fault, writing strange 
theological essays, the British and Indian partisans near Fort Schuyler 
surprised and captured 29 mowers. Savages under Macdonell laid waste 
the country on the west bank of the Susquehanna, till the Indians, by his 
own report, ■• were glutted with plunder, prisoners and scalps.' Thirty 
miles of a closely settled country were burned. Brant and his crew con- 
sumed with fire all the settlement of Minnisink, one fort excepted. Over 
a party of a hundred and fifly men, by whom they were pursued, they 
gained the advantage, taking more than forty scalps and one prisoner." 
—History of tite United States, X., ijc— 2jz. 

t Bamro/t's History of the United States, X., 2)0—231. 

X Many of the horses furnished for the expedition were quite unservice- 
able, and some fifty were shot in the locality of Horseheads, being un- 
able to proceed further. The heads of these abandoned horses were after- 
wards gathered by the Indians and placed beside the route of the army— 
a circumstance from which the village of Horseheads derives its name. 
Many of the cattle furnished Sullivan were in even worse condition ; some, 
it is said, being unable to walk, while others could not even stand. 

rived at Tioga Point on the nth of August. The 
Indians had collected in considerable numbers at 
Athens, but on the arrival of the army, awed and 
dismayed by its formidable appearance, they yield- 
ed their stronghold with only a few inconsiderable 
skirmishes. The following day a detachment was 
sent forward to Chemung, twelve miles distant, and 
after dispersing a body of Indians, with the loss of 
seven of their number, destroyed the village, and 
rejoined the army the next day. Here a fort was 
built and named in honor of the commander of the 
expedition, and here the army awaited the arrival 
of the forces under General Clinton. 

General Clinton collected his forces at Canajo- 
harie. He endeavored to induce the Oneidas and 
Tuscaroras to join the expedition ; and his efforts 
would doubtless have proved successful, as he at 
first supposed they were, but for an address, written 
in the Iroquois language, and sent them by Gen- 
eral Haldimand, then Governor of Canada, which 
discouraged all but a few Oneidas from sharing in it. 
Bateaux to the number of two hundred and twenty, 
which had been constructed the previous winter 
and spring at Schenectady, were taken up the Mo- 
hawk to the place of rendezvous, and from thence 
transported by land to Otsego Lake, a distance of 
twenty miles. Each bateau was of such size that 
in its transit from the river to the lake, four strong 
horses were required to draw it, and, when placed 
in the water, was capable of holding from ten to 
twelve soldiers. 

About the first of July, Clinton proceeded with 
his troops to the southern extremity of the lake, 
and there awaited orders from General Sullivan. 
He had previously scourged the Mohawk country 
and destroyed every village, with a single excep- 
tion,* which was spared at the solicitation of home- 
less frontier settlers, who begged that they might 
occupy it until they could procure other shelter. 
The villages of the Oneidas and Tuscaroras were 
also spared. 

In the meantime he constructed a dam across 
the outlet, in order to make the passage of the 
river feasible and rapid. He waited through the 
whole of July for orders from General SulHvan, 
who, immediately on his arrival at Athens, dis- 
patched a force of eight hundred men under Gen- 
eral Poor, to form a junction with Clinton and with 
him rejoin the main army at that place ; but not 
until the 9th of August was the dam torn away and 
the flotilla committed to the bosom of the river 

*The castle of "Praying Maquas," at the Schoharie Creek, consisting 
of four houses. 



thus suddenly swelled, which afforded a current not 
only sufficiently deep to float the bateaux, but at 
Oquaga and other places overflowed the river flats, 
and destroyed many fields of corn belonging to the 
Indians. At Oquaga, Chnton's forces were aug- 
mented by a detachment under Col. Pauling, and 
at the mouth of the Choconut, about thirty-five 
miles from Athens, they met the detachment of 
Sullivan's army under General Poor. On the 22nd 
of August they formed a junction with the forces 
under Sullivan, which then numbered some five 
thousand men. 

What emotions must have swelled the swarthy 
bosoms of the Iroquois at the sight of this formida- 
ble hostile array, which portended to them the de- 
struction of their loved homes and the breaking of 
the sceptre by which they had so long held the Su- 
premacy of this vast territory ; and coming too, in 
a dry season, on the bosom of a river swelled much 
beyond its ordinary dimensions. So much was it 
invested in mystery that little resistance was offered 
to the advancing foe. The Indians fled from their 
homes and cultivated fields, in many of which, it 
was remembered by those who participated in the 
expedition, corn was growing . in abundance and 
great perfection, and cautiously watched their 
progress from the neighboring hills. 

On the 26th of August, after the junction between 
Sullivan's and Clinton's forces was effected, the 
whole army proceeded up the Chemung River. In 
the vicinity oi Newtown* (Elmira,) where the In- 
dians under their trusty leader, Brant, were con- 
centrated, a battle was fought on the 29th, and 
its issue hotly contested for two hours, when the 
enemy, to avoid being surrounded, fled from their 
works and retired before the victorious army. The 
battle-field was well selected by the Mohawk war- 
rior, and evinced the sagacity and military tact 
with which he is credited. The enemy numbered 
about one thousand, including three hundred or 
four hundred rangers under Walter Butler, who had 
chief command. Their loss is unknown ; but they 
left seventeen dead on the field. Sullivan sustained 
a loss of three killed and thirty wounded.f 

General Sulhvan's army spent the night in New- 
town, where it remained encamped the next day, a 
part of which was occupied in burning the village 
and destroying the corn and other things from 

'Authors differ as to the exact locality of this battleT^StomTlnTis 
Z,!/e ^/^ ^ra»/!, says it occurred at Elmlra: Wilkinson, in his AnnaJs 
0/ Binghamton, fixes the locality at a distance of six miles below that 
place, nearly opposije Wellsburg, in which opinion he is generally con- 
firmed by modern writers; while others designate a mile below Newtown 
as the locality. 

t Dm?y of Dr. Jahez CampfieU, a Surgeon in Sullivan's army. 

which the enemy might hereafter draw subsistence. 
" The Indians shall see," said Sullivan, " that we 
have malice enough in our hearts to destroy every- 
thing that contributes to their support," and most 
effectually did he execute that purpose, leaving in 
his path a scene of desolation and woe. 

Here it was ascertained that the supply of pro- 
visions the army had was inadequate for its subsis- 
tence for a period sufficiently long to enable it to 
accomplish the objects of the expedition. Gen- 
eral Sullivan announced the fact in a public order, 
at the same time declaring that he had used every 
effort to obtain a sufficient supply, but without suc- 
cess.* He appealed to the patriotism of his army, 
and proposed as an expedient to shorten the allow- 
ance, to which both officers and men "almost 
unanimously" acceded, offering to subsist on a half 
pound each of flour and bread per day, " a striking 
instance of the virtue of the army."! 

On the night of the 30th, the wounded, together 
with four of the heaviest pieces of artillery and all 
wagons were sent back to Tioga, and on the 31st, 
the march was resumed. On the night of Sep- 
tember ist, they arrived at Catharinestown, distant 
three miles from and near the southern extremity 
of Seneca Lake. The march during the latter part 
of this day was so difficult, says Dr. Campfield, as 
not to " admit of description, it being totally dark 
and through a thick swamp." Sullivan " arrived at 
the entrance of this swamp late in the afternoon 
and was strongly advised not to venture into it until 
the next morning ; but he persisted, and a mira- 
cle only prevented his obstinacy from bringing de- 
struction upon his men . Som e of the defiles through 
which he had to pass, were so narrow and danger- 
ous that a score or two of Indians might have suc- 
cessfully disputed the passage against any number 
of men. The night was exceeding dark, the men 
wearied, scattered and broken, and ready to die 
rather than move on ; but the Indian scouts who 
had been sent to watch them, having retreated as 
soon as it was dark under the full persuasion that 
no General in his senses would attempt such a road 
by night, the defiles were fortunately unguarded, 
and the General arrived with his wearied army 
about midnight at the town."t Sulhvan's action 
in this instance has subjected him to adverse criti- 
cism, perhaps not unjustly ; but while he was per- 
tinacious in pursuing a pohcy dictated by his judg- 
ment, he can scarcely be charged with obstinacy in 

^ American Biography, Sparks, III, 139. 
t Diary 0/ Dr. Jabez Campfield. 
%AlUn, II., 278. 



the sense in which it is used in the quotation. It 
is fair to presume that he was not wholly ignorant 
of the dangers attending so difficult a passage, but 
that his guide, a Presbyterian minister, who was a 
resident missiortary at Canidesego, was conversant 
with them j and that, with his intimate knowledge 
of Indian character and warfare, he doubtless fore- 
saw that while it might be undisputed at such a 
time, its advantageS-as a means of defense would 
not be likely to escape observation by the vigilant 
Brant, who, without hazarding an engagement, had 
kept a close watch upoii his advancing enemy, and 
might reasonably be. expected to contest in the day 
time a passage, which, under the most favorable 
circumstances, could only' be forced at a great sac- 
rifice of life. The undertaking was certainly a 
hazardous one — seldom wacranted ; and while an 
error in judgment might have entailed irretrievable 
disaster, the sequel proved that what the enemy 
regarded an insuperable obstacle was a sure defense, 
if not the salvation of Sullivan's army. Sullivan 
•was keenly ahve to its perils ; for at its conclusion 
he is said to have remarked that he would not 
repeat it for the honor of a command. The rear 
guard, however, under Clinton, did not venture to 
cross until the following day. y 

Catharinestown, with its thirty houses, some of 
them quite good, was laid in ashes and its orchards 
and growing crops of corn, beans' and other vege- 
tables destroyed. On the way the small settle- 
ment of Knawahola was destroyed, together with 
the cornfields around it, and a detacfiinent was sent 
forth fo extend the circle of devastation. The 
march was resumed on the third, the army pro- 
ceeding north on' the east side of Seneca Lake. 
On the 4th the little village of Apple Town was 
destroyed, and on the sth a village variously named 
Kendia, Thendara and Canidesego. was reached. 
It presented the appearance of an old village and 
contained "■ about twenty decent houses,"* " four 
or five small framed houses,"! and some of them 
painted, but "nasty beyond descri]^tion."f All 
were burned ; and the apple trees, which were large 
and of many years growth, destroyed. The corn 
and beans were gathered by the troops; but the 
cornstalks and grass about the town was not suffi- 
cient for the horses and cattle, which strayed away, 
thus preventing a, resumption of the march till the 
following afternoon. Colonel Gansevoort's ser- 
vants having missed their way took a path which 
led them to Cayuga Lake, where they burned a 

*5pit\i.'% American Biography, New Series, III., 140. 


t Diary 0/ Dr. Jabez Campfield, 

deserted village. On the 7 th, the army forded the 
mouth of Seneca Lake, destroyed a small village a 
little beyond it, and three miles further on entered 
the village of Kanadaseaga, the capital of the Sene- 
cas, located a mile and a half west of the village of 
Geneva, which the Indians had deserted but a 
short time previously, Kaingwanto, the chief of the 
village, having it is supposed, been killed at the 
battle of Newtown. This was a large and impor- 
tant town, surrounded by numerous apple and other 
fruit trees, and a few acres of cleared land covered 
with grass.* The cornfields, which were extensive, 
were situated some distance from the town. All 
these evidences of wealth and comfort were sub- 
mitted to the torch and the avenging hand of deso- 
lation, which spread with " dreary uniformity" over 
the entire country. Great quantities of corn, 
beans and other vegetables were found here. 
The apple trees at this place were twenty 
to thirty years old. A few old apple trees which 
have since grown up from the stumps of 
those cut down still mark the site of this once 
populous Indian village. Here the army found 
a Kttle white boy "about two years old," in 
whom the officers took great interest. He was 
doubtless the sad remnant of a desolated frontier 
home. He was almost famished and had to be 
restrained from over- eating. Though he could un- 
derstand English he could speak only Indian. He 
died of small pox a few months after the return of 
the expedition. On the Sth, while the army lay in 
camp. Colonel Smith was detached with two hun- 
dred men to destroy the village of Gothseunguean, 
called by some of the journalists Kashong, a name 
perpetuated in that of Kershong Creek. It was 
situated on the west side of Seneca Lake, seven 
miles south of Geneva, contained about fifteen 
houses, compact, and "tolerably well built," and a 
great quantity of "potatoes, apples, peaches, cucum- 
bers, watermelons, fowl, &c.," besides corn. 

From Kanadaseaga, on the 9th, the invalids 
were sent back to Tioga under an escort of fifty 
men, commanded by Capt. Reid, who was ordered 
to forward supplies for the army on its return to 
Kanawaholla. The army resumed its westward 
march on the afternoon of this day and the next 
day reached Shannondaqve or Kanandaigiia, situ- 
ated about a mile west of the lake of the same 
name, whose outlet they forded. This village, 
which occupied the site of the west part of the vil- 

* Rev. David Craft, in a Historical A ddress delivered at the Centen- 
nial Celebration at Geneseo, Sept. i6, 1879, said this village contained 
fifty houses. The Diary of Dr. Jabez Campjield, says there were about 
fifty ; Sparks' A mericau Biography, says there were about sixty. 



lage of Canandaigua, consisted of twenty-three 
houses, elegant and mostly framed, some log houses, 
large and new. The rear guard of the enemy had 
so recently left that their fires were found burning. 
The torch was applied to the buildings and the 
army encamped about four o'clock in the after- 
noon among the cornfields about a mile further 
west. Fatigue parties were at once detailed to de- 
stroy the crops, which was pretty thoroughly accom- 
plished before dark. On the nth the army pro- 
ceeded to the Indian village of Angiiyca, (Hon- 
eoye,) situated at the foot of Honeoye Lake, on the 
east side of the outlet, near the site of the present 
village of Honeoye. This village consisted of 
eleven houses,* and about it were five cornfields, 
" affording abundant forage for the stock and food 
for the men." When Sullivan's riflemen entered it, 
a few Indians just made their escape, leaving their 
packs and blankets behind them and their potatoes 
roasting in the fire. 

On reaching Angayea, Sullivan estimated that 
he was within twenty-five miles of his destination, 
Chenussio, the great town of the Senecas. He 
issued four days' rations and extra ammunition to his 
men, and, with what baggage a few of the strongest 
horses could carry, pushed on by more rapid 
marches toward this objective point ; leaving the 
remainder of the stores, horses and cattle, and one 
piece of artillery f at Angayea, under the protec- 
tion of Capt. John N. Gumming, of the 2nd New 
Jersey regiment, and fifty good men, to whom were 
added all the invalids, or, as one journalist ex- 
presses it, says Mr. Craft, " the lame and lazy," to 
the number of two hundred and fifty. Capt. Cum- 
ming at once set about fortifying his position. He 
selected the largest and strongest log house in the 
town, pierced it with loop holes, and strengthened its 
walls with bags of flour and boxes of ammunition, 
while with the apple trees cut down he constructed 
about it a strong abatis. The little fortress thus 
improvised the men named Fort Cumming, in 
honor of its gallant commander. 

Sunday noon, Sept. 12th, the army left Angayea, 
an earlier advance having been prevented by a 
heavy thunderstorm, and after a journey of eleven 
miles " over a body of excellent land," even the 
hills being good, and bearing much chestnut tim- 
ber, the advance encamped about sunset " in the 
open wood a mile and a half or two miles from 

* Rev. Mr. Cvaft says, "about twenty." The above is the number 
designated in the Journal of M.\jor James Norris, an oificer in Sullivan's 

t Diary of Dr. Jabez Campfield and Jmirtial of Major James Nor- 
ris. Rev. Mr. CTAh[CeHtemtial Historical Address) says two pieces 
of cannon were left here. 

Kanaghsaws* (Conesus,) an Indian village con- 
sisting of eighteen houses, on the east side of 
Conesus Inlet, a short distance from the head of 
Conesus Lake, and about a mile north-west of 
Conesus Center, on the north and south road cross- 
ing the McMillan farm. The main part of the 
army, being impeded by the rain, encamped nearly 
two miles north, on the flats south-west of Foot's 
Corners.f The route of the army this day was 
acoss the outlet of Hemlock Lake and thence in a 
south-westerly direction to the head of Conesus 
Lake, entering the town of Conesus near the old 
residence of Charles Hitchcock, crossing the main 
road between South Livonia and Conesus Center 
near the residence of Mrs. ElizathMc Vicar; thence 
to the flats below now owned by Hiram Boyd, J 
and following these to site of the residence of the 
late Nathaniel Cole.§ " George Grant says that a 
fine stream of water ran through the town, and 
that an enterprising negro called Captain Sunfish, 
who had acquired considerable wealth and influence, 
resided here." || It was also the home of a Seneca 
chief named Big Tree, who was a useful friend of 
the colonists during the Revolution, and a leading 
adviser in the treaties and councils of the Senecas ; 
but who finally yielded to the universal sentiment 
of his nation in their enmity to that cause. Presi- 
dent Dwight says, that while Big Tree, in company 
with other Indians, witnessed from a commanding 
height the destruction of his possessions by Sulli- 
van's army, one of his companions observed, " You 
see how the Americans treat their friends ! " He 
calmly replied, " What I see is only the common 
fortune of war. It cannot be supposed that the 
Americans can distinguish my property from yours, 
who are their enemies." After the war Big Tree 
lived in the town of that name on the west side of 

* This village is variously named Adjuton, {CrafVs Historical Ad- 
dress, ) Cannehsawes, {Diary of Dr. fahez Campfield, ) Koneghsaws, 
{Spark's American Biography., which says it contained twenty-five 
houses,) and Katieysas or Yucksea, {Journal of Major James Norris, 
which says it contained eighteen houses, situated on an excellent inter- 

t "The local tradition that Hand took the road through Union Comers 
and encamped on the L. B. Richardson farm at the False Faces is not 
mentioned in any journal and is without doubt incorrect." Rev. David 
Craft's Centennial Historical Address. 

tUpon these flats a few years ago a son of Mr. Boyd plowed up a 
copper plate in a good state of preservation, supposed to have been worn 
upon the hat of one of Sullivan's soldiers. It was in the form of a dia- 
mond, about five inches square ; in the center was a raised eagle, carrying 
in its talons a bunch of arrows, and at the top comer the inscription, "U. 
S. Riflemen." The lower comer was destroyed by the finder before he 
knew what it was. — Pioneer Sketches of Conesus No. z. — The Dansville 
Advertiser, February lo, 1876. 

§ A few years since Mr. Cole found upon the flats below his residence a 
pair of bullet molds, capable of molding twelve ounce balls at a time.— 
Pioneer SketcJtes of Conesus No. 2.— The Dansville A dvertiser, Feb- 
ruary 10, 1876. 

II Craft's Centennial Historical Address. 



the river near the great bend. He died at his 
lodgings in Philadelphia, in 1792, after a few hours 
sickness resulting from over-eating, and was buried 
thereon the 22nd of April with something Hke 
public honors.* 

In this vicinity occurred the most tragic events 
connected with this eventful expedition, and as the 
further progress and operations of the army were 
mostly limited to territory now embraced in Liv- 
ingston county a detailed account of them seems 
warranted. We quote, therefore, from the admir- 
able address of Rev. David Craft, before referred 

" When General Sullivan reached his encamp- 
ment near Kanaghsaws, he supposed that he was 
near the great Seneca town on the Genesee river 
and accordingly sent Lieutenant Boyd to recon- 
noitre it. This town, which some of the journals 
refer to, was generally known as Chenussio, 
though not in existence at the time of the cam- 
paign, yet bears such an important relation to it, 
and Sullivan's mistake in regard to its existence 
was attended with such serious consequences, that 
a few words of explanation are necessary. 

"As early as 1750 and as late as 1770, this 
great town was on the east site of the Genesee 
river, near its confluence with Canaseraga creek, 
on the site of ancient Williamsburg. ' It appears 
on the Guy Johnson map of 1771, as Chenussio, 
as Connecchio on the Ponchot map of 1758, in 
both cases at the point described. Cammerhoff 
and Zeisberger visited it in 1750, calhngit Conness- 
chio, describing it as containing forty large huts. 
Mary Jemison, in her narrative, mentions the fact 
of its being on the east side of Genesee river and 
south of Fall Brook. * * * There is no men- 
tion in any journal of a town at this point in 1779, 
on the other hand, Col. Dearborn says expressly 
that the General expected to find the great Gene- 
see town a mile and a half from Gaghehegwalehale 
and on the east side of the river, but upon recon- 
noitering found it was five miles distant and on the 
other side of the river. { Keeping this fact in 
mind will enable us to understand the movements 
about to be related. All day on the 12th the In- 
dians had been so near that their tracks were fresh 
on the path and the water was roiled through which 
they had passed. Reaching Kanaghsaws a little 
after 7 o'clock in the morning it was discovered 
that the inlet ran through a soft miry bottom sev- 
eral rods in width over which one could go on foot, 
but where it would be impossible to take the pack 
horses and artillery, the enemy having destroyed 

*Craft^s Centennial Historical Address t and yournal of Major 
Jatnes Norris; tX^o Spark's American Biosraphy., New Series, III., 
146, Note. 

tThis address is published in full in Tke Livingston Republican of 
Sept. 18, 1879. 

+ Major Norris' Journal corroborates this statement fully ; and Dr. 
Campfield's Diary says in referring to this village discovered by Boyd, 
and which Major calls Gagliehegwalchale, " we expected this would be 
the end of our labor, but we are mistaken, we are again to march on." 

the bridge across the stream.* The General, 
therefore, detailed a part of the army to destroy 
the town and cornfields, and the other part to aid 
the pioneers in building a corduroy causeway across 
the marsh and in repairing the bridge. It was 
near noon when the large cornfields had been laid 
waste and the bridge completed, and the army 
ready to resume its march. In the meanwhile 
events of a most serious character had been tran- 
spiring in the front. * * * 

" * * * Just west of the inlet and bounding 
the slough over which the army was compelled to 
make the road, is a ridge of considerable height, 
running north and south, whose eastern slope is so 
steep that one can climb straight up it with diffi- 
culty ; the path winding obliquely along its face, 
which is broken by several ravines. 

" After the battle of Newtown, Butler with the 
main part of his army retired to Canawaugus, the 
site of the present Avon, where he remained until 
the 1 2th of September, when learning by his scouts 
the approach of Sullivan to Kanaghsaws, and 
knowing the difficulty in crossing the morass, deterr 
mined if possible to surprise that portion of the 
army which should first cross the bridge and put 
them to flight before the remainder could come to 
their assistance. The place was admirably chosen 
and the plan skillfully made. For this purpose 
Butler and Brant with their forces left Canawau- 
gus early in the morning and posted themselves 
near the crest of the ridge, which was covered with 
open woods, but at a sufficient distance north of 
the path to escape the observation of Sullivan's 
advance guard. They were within musket-shot of 
the creek, and could observe every movement of 
our army, while they themselves were entirely con- 
cealed. It was at this place that the incident 
mentioned of Big Tree occurred. Here the enemy 
anxiously awaited the advance of our army. 

" When General Sullivan ordered Boyd to recon- 
noiter the great Seneca town, he was directed to 
take five or six men with him, and report at 
headquarters as early as sunrise the next morning. 
He took however twelve riflemen, six musketmen 
of the 4th Pennsylvania Regt., and six volunteers, 
who, with himself, and Hanyerry, an Oneida Indian 
guide, and Capt. Jehoiakim, made twenty-seven 
men in all. The party left camp at eleven o'clock 
in the evening and set out on the trail leading to 
the great town. Owing to his misinformation, Sul- 
livan's directions had been confusing. It was found 
the principally traveled trail took a different direc- 
tion than the commander had expected. Boyd did 
not lose his way,t but instead of taking the unused 
path which would have led him to the abandoned 
Chenussio, took the one which led to an important 
town two miles farther up the Canaseraga. In the 
darkness he had passed Butler's right flank without 

* The inlet " then extended over the flats south of the main road that 
crosses the same. The exact location of the bridge is not known, but is 
supposed to be south of the highway and to have been nearly two-thirds 
of a mile in length." — Pioneer Sketches of Conesus No i, — The Dans- 
ville Advertiser, February lo, 1876. 

t Sparks^ A merican Biography says '* his guides, not fully acquainted 
with the country, mistook the route. 



either party discovering the other. Boyd reached 
the town which had been left by the enemy, early 
in the morning without encountering any difficulty. 
Halting at the outskirts of the village, himself and 
one of his men carefully reconnoitered the place, 
when they rejoined the rest of the party which lay 
concealed in the woods near the town. He imme- 
diately sent back two of his men to report his dis- 
covery, while the rest awaited the light of the day 
whose morning was just breaking. In a short time 
four Indians were seen to enter the town on horse- 
back, and Boyd sent five or six of his party to take 
or kill them. They succeeded in killing one, 
wounding another, and taking one horse with its 
accoutrements. The wounded man with the others 
escaped. Boyd then sat out to return to camp. 
When he had gone four or five miles, thinking the 
army must be on its march toward him, he sat 
down to rest. After a short halt he dispatched two 
of his men to inform the General where he was, 
and of his intention to await the coming of the 
army. In a short time these two men came back 
to him with the information that they had discov- 
ered five Indians on the path. Boyd again resumed 
his march and had gone but a short distance when 
he discovered the same party and fired at them. 
They ran and Boyd, against the advise of Han- 
yerry, pursued them. The chase was kept up for 
some distance, they keeping far enough away to 
escape danger from the fire of the scout which they 
frequently succeeded in drawing, until they had 
beguiled him in the midst of the enemy. Butler, 
hearing the firing on his right, as his force was 
arranged facing Conesus, and fearing that he had 
been discovered, and that an attempt was being 
made to surprise his camp, hastened to the spot, 
when he discovered Boyd's party, and at once gave 
such orders that before the Lieutenant was aware 
of the presence of the enemy he was completely 
surrounded by them. Once and again he attempted 
to break the enemy's line but without success ; he 
then attempted to retreat, but he was encompassed 
on all sides by Butler's forces. Our men fought 
with desperate bravery against fearful odds, for there 
were about eight hundred of the enemy* to twenty- 
six Americans, and every moment expected relief 
from our army from whose lines they were not 
more than a mile distant. Covered by a clump of 
trees standing on a slight knoll they poured a mur- 
derous fire upon the enemy, of whom numbers were 
seen to fall. Here the greater part of Boyd's party 
were slain. At this point the body of Hanyerry 
was found Hterally cut to pieces. The story of the 
theatrical address of his brother and his tragic end, 
as related by Stone and followed by others, lacks 
both confirmation and probabihty ; on the other 
hand he was found with the others who fell with 
him, which would not have been the case had he 
been captured before he was slain. Near the same 
spot, fifteen of Boyd's men were found killed. 
Boyd and his sergeant, Parker, were captured, and 
eight escaped ; among the latter was that noted 
scout, Timothy Murphy, an account of whose hair- 

• Major Norrissays the number of Boyd's assailants was joo. 

breadth escapes and deeds of reckless daring would 
fill a volume ; others were Elerson, McDonald, 
Garret Putnam and Captain Jehoiakim, a Stock- 
bridge Indian.* Boyd and Parker were hastened to 
Little Beard's town, where they were put to death 
with cruel tortures. It is said that Boyd approached 
Brant under the sign of a Free Mason, of which 
ancient fraternity both were members, that the 
chieftain recognized the bonds of brotherhood and 
promised his prisoner protection, but being unex- 
pectedly called away, the captives were handed over 
to Butler, (probably Walter N.,) who, exasperated 
at Boyd's refusal to give information concerning the 
numbers and disposition of Sullivan's army, handed 
the heroic Lieutenant over to the Indians to be put 
to death. How much of this story is true is diffi- 
cult to ascertain ; it is, however, extremely doubt- 
ful if any such transaction occurred. All that is 
known is that the bodies of Boyd and Parker were 
found by our troops the next day, horribly mutilated, 
and bearing marks of having been subject to un- 
speakable tortures. 

"Sullivan had estabhshed a line of sentries along 
the base of the hill next the morass, to guard the 
pioneers against surprise while repairing the bridge 
and causeway. Capt. Benjamin Lodge, who was 
the surveyor for the expedition, and with chain 
and compass had measured the entire route from 
Easton, about a half an hour after the skirmish 
with Boyd, had gone a short distance up the hill 
beyond the piquet line, where he was set upon by 
a party of Indians. 

" Thomas Grant, who was one of the surveying 
party, thus tells the story : — 

" 'Myself and four chain carriers, who were about 
one and [a] half miles in advance of the troops, 
were fired on by several Indians who lay in ambush ; 
a corporal by the name of Calhawn, who came vol- 
untarily with me, was mortally wounded and died 
the next day. The Indians pursued us a fourth of 
a mile, but without success — we being unarmed 
were obliged to run.' 

" Mr. Lodge was compelled to leave his compass 
and ran toward the nearest sentinel, who shot the 
Indian who was chasing him with uplifted toma- 
hawk and Mr. Lodge escaped. Campfield says 
they were the Indians who were pursuing Murphy 
and others.! These two affairs disclosed the posi- 
tion and force of Butler, and thwarted his plans to 
surprise the army. Gen. Sullivan ordered Hand's 
brigade to cross the morass, push up the hill and 
dislodge the enemy. Butler on returning to his 
position after the affair with Boyd found his force 
in confusion, who, seeing they were discovered, 
beat a hasty retreat, leaving their hats, packs, etc., 
behind them. Butler withdrew his force to Gaghe- 

" Having destroyed Kanaghasaws, and com- 
pleted the bridge and causeway, Sullivan with the 

*Dr. Campfield says "our loss in killed and taken was sixteen and tlie 
officer."' Sparks says Boyd was dangerously wounded before being cap- 
tured and "was put to death with the most inhuman torture. 

t Dr. Campfield adds, one of the surveyor's men was wounded and all 
his instruments taken. 



main army, pushed forward on the trail taken by 
Boyd the night before, a distance of seven miles 
to Gaghehegwalchale or Gathsegwarhohare, Cassa- 
waughloughly. This was an Indian town of twenty- 
five houses,* mostly new, on the east side of the 
Canaseraga Creek, about two miles above its con- 
fluence with the Genesee. The site is now occu- 
pied by the house and surrounding grounds of the 
' Hermitage,' the ancestral home of the CarroUs. 
The tribes residing here, called by Sullivau, Squat- 
chegas, by the Onondagas, Tchouera-gak, signify- 
ing wild cats ; and by others Kah-Kwas, were the 
same that afterward settled on Squakie Hill, to 
whom two miles square were reserved in the treaty 
of 1797. They were a remnant of one of the tribes 
of the historic Eries. * * * 

" As the advance of the army approached this 
town about dusk of Sept. 13th, they found them- 
selves confronted by a strong force of Indians and 
Rangers, drawn up in battle array, to dispute their 
farther progress. The General at once began to 
make the proper disposition of his troops to attack 
them, and pushed forward the flanking divisions to 
cut off their retreat, but before the troops were in 
position, the. enemy retreated in a precipitate man- 
ner, and the army encamped in the town without 
opposition. There were extensive cornfields ad- 
jacent to the town, which it took two thousand men 
from six until twelve o'clock of the r4th to destroy, 
when they set out for the great town of the Gen- 
esee. At two and one-fourth miles they crossed 
the creek, then says Dr. Campfield, we 'advanced 
on to a plain, throughaswamp of large trees. * * * 
This plain appeared to be about two miles in 
length and upwards of a mile wide, lying almost 
east and west. [Approaching it] on the east end, 
the view was obstructed by a hill, not very high, 
but when we approached the middle of the plain, 
we found it open to the right to an amazing extent. 
When we came nigh the hill mentioned before, our 
march was obstructed by the Genesee River, which 
takes its course through the hills, and at this place 
enters this extensive plain. * * * The grass 
on this plain is good, the wild horses are very fond 
of it, and it grows as high as a man's head in many 
places. Here we had a charming view of our army, 
which is the first, all moving in our original order 
of march. The army here crossed the river and 
ascended the hill — it continued its progress to 
Geneseo, over several sudden hills and swamps 
which were general [ly] miry, if not three rods 
across, at which place it arrived about sunset. * * * 
The town is situated on a very fine plain, higher 
than the other large plain. Other journals speak 
of it as being in a bend of the river, f by which it 
was nearly encircled, and that a pretty brook of 
good water ran through it. The location of this 
great Seneca Castle was on the west side of the 
Genesee River, on the flat immediately in front of 
Cuylerville in the town of Leicester, on the oppo- 

* Major Norris' yournal says it contained twenty-lwo houses. 

t See Major Norris' Journal', which, as well as the Diary of Dr. 
Campfield, says it was much the largest town the army met with. The 
latter adds, "a pretty brook of water runs through it." 

site side of the valley from Geneseo. It appears 
on Evan's map as Chenandoanes ; in 1776, it was 
called Chenondoanah ; by Morgan is called De-o- 
nun-da-ga-a, as a more modern Seneca name, sig- 
nifying ' where the hill is near ;' and is often called 
Little Beard's town, from the name of the noted 
Seneca Chieftain. The Castle consisted of one 
hundred and twenty-eight houses, of which most 
were large and elegant, and was surrounded by 
about two hundred acres of cornfields, with every 
kind of vegetable. It was also the western door of 
the Long House, to which the Iroquois were ac- 
customed to liken their confederacy. Near this 
place were found the bodies of Lieut. Thomas 
Boyd and Sergeant Parker, horribly mutilated by 
the tortures to which they had been subjected in 
the presence of an officer of the British army. They 
were buried with the honors of war, that evening, 
near the spot where they were found, under a clump 
of wild plum-trees, standing near the junction of 
Boyd's and Parker's creeks, which form what is 
^nown as Beard's creek. A large mound by the 
road-side still marks their first burial place. Our 
army found the town deserted, but with every ap- 
pearance of being left in a hurry and confusion. 
This marked the extreme limit of the march of the 

" There was an Indian town, called Canawaugus, 
twelve miles from the Great Castle, near the site 
of Avon, which has been reported to have been 
destroyed by a detachment under Poor and Max- 
well, but this is a mistake. AH the journals agree 
that Little Beard's town was the last town destroyed 
and make no mention whatever of Canawaugus. 

"At 6 o'clock on the morning of the 15th of 
September, the whole army was turned out to 
destroy the crops, orchards and houses of the 
place. The corn was piled up in the houses and 
burned with them, or thrown upon log heaps and 
consumed. It was estimated that more than 
15,000 bushels were destroyed at this place.* It 
was the largest corn the troops had ever seen, 
some of the ears being twenty-two inches in length. 
It was about 2 o'clock when the fields had been 
overrun, tlie abundant harvest destroyed, the trees 
hewn down, and nought of the great town re- 
mained but smoking ruins, and blackened logs ; 
then came the joyful order to about face and re- 
turn. While the army was in this town Mrs. 
Lester with a child in her arms came to our troops. 
The autumn previous, (Nov. 7th,) her husband 
with others, was taken by the Indians to Nanticoke ; 
he was slain but his wife was carried into captivity. 
In their haste to leave the town her captors left 
her behind, when she escaped to our lines. Her 
child died in a few days. She subsequently became 
the wife of Captain Roswell Franklin, who was 
among the very first settlers at Aurora, N. Y. 

" The army set out on its return by the same 
path it came, at 3 o'clock p. m, * ** * [and] 
encamped that night on the flats near Canawagh- 
loughly. On Thursday, the i6th, the army were 

* Maior Norris estimates the quantity of corn destroyed at 20,000 



early at work, finishing cutting some corn which had 
been left, and resumed the march about ten 
o'clock. Captain Henderson with sixty men was 
detached to bury the dead who fell in the affair at 
Groveland. Fifteen bodies were found, which 
were buried in the presence of the army with the 
honors of war,* and the army proceded to Kanagh- 
saws, where it encamped. The next morning was 
cold with severe frost, but the troops were in mo- 
tion as early as sunrise and hastened to Haneyaya, 
which they reached at one o'clock, and found Capt. 
Cummings and party safe and sound, greatly to the 
relief of the General and their friends. Here the 
full ration was again issued, which, says one of the 
journals, ' came very welcome, as we can now sit 
down and eat a hearty meal of victuals with a clear 
conscience, and before, on our half allowance, we 
dare not.' 

"On the evening of the 19th the army reached 
Kanadaseaga, without any occurrence worthy of 
note, except that scattered dwellings and fields of 
corn which had been overlooked or purposely 
spared were completely destroyed, and a number 
of pack horses being unable to go farther were 
shot. At Kanadaseaga, Colonel Smith with a de- 
tachment was sent up on the west side of Seneca 
lake to lay waste more effectually the country 
about Kershong. Detachments under Colonel But- 
ler and Colonel Dearborn were sent on each side of 
Cayuga lake to complete the ruin of that region. 
On Friday, the 24th of September, the army 
reached KanawalahoUa, the site of Elmira, where 
it found Captain Reid with an abundant supply of 
provisions, and who received the approaching army 
with demonstrations of joy. The next day was 
spent in rejoia'ng, and the following days detach- 
ments underColonel Courtlandt and Captain Simon 
Spaulding were sent up the Tioga, who devastated 
the country as far as Painted Post. On the 30th 
of September the army returned to Fort SuUivan, 
and reached Easton on the 15th of October." 

Efforts have been made to disparage the man- 
agement of this expedition and belittle its results ; 
but it is remarked by the translator of M. Chastel- 
let/x's Travels, an EngUshman then resident in the 
United States, that the instructions given by Gen- 
eral Sullivan to his officers, the order of march he 
prescribed to his troops, and the disciphne he had 
the ability to maintain, would have done honor to 
the most experienced ancient or modern generals.f 

* In 1841, these remains, together with those of Lieutenant Boyd and 
Sergt. Parker, at Cuylerville, were exliumed and removed to Revolution- 
ary Hill, in the beautiful Mount Hope Cemetery of Rochester, a spot 
assigned by the authorities of that city for the interment of all Revolution- 
ary heroes in Western New York, and there reinterred with imposing 
ceremonies, which were participated in, besides the people of Livingston 
county, by the military and civic authorities of Rochester. This action 
was in consonance with a decision of a public meeting held at the court 
house in Geneseoon the 14th of August, 1S41, and under the supervision 
of a committee then designated, consisting of Colvin H. Bryan, William 
T. Cuyler, Daniel H. Bissell, Reuben Sleeper, John Henderson, Horatio 
Jones, John R. Murray, jr., Allen Ayrault, Samuel Treat, jr., Edward 
R. Hammatt, William W. Weed, Wm. H. Stanley and Daniel P. Bissell. 

t Thatcher's Miliiary ymtrnaL 

With a " loss of less than forty men, in killed 
wounded and taken, and those who died natural 
deaths,"* it over-run and desolated the vast terri- 
tory of a vigilant, crafty and powerful enemy and 
inflicted a blow from which they never recovered ; 
burning forty Indian towns, destroying one hun- 
dred and sixty thousand bushels of corn in fields 
and granaries, cut down a vast number of the finest 
fruit trees, desolated luxuriant gardens, leaving 
not a " single trace of vegetation upon the surface 
of the ground," and opened up to commerce and 
civilization a territory exceeding in extent one-third 
of the area of this great State, and that the most 
fertile and beautiful. The proud Iroquois, who 
had scarce felt the touch of the colonists except in 
kindness, were driven into the forests to starve and 
be hunted Uke wild beasts ; their altars were over- 
turned, their graves trampled upon by strangers, 
and their beautiful country laid waste.f The terror- 
stricken Iroquois fled to Niagara, where they per- 
ished in large numbers from diseases caused by the 
absence of accustomed food, and insufficient pro- 
tection from the severity of the succeeding winter, 
which was one of unexampled rigor and was dis- 
tinguished as the hard winter. X 

The result of the expedition was highly satisfac- 
tory to Congress, which, on the 14th of October, 
1779, passed the following resolutions: — 

Resolved, That the thanks of Congress be given 
to his Excellency, General Washington, for direct- 
ing, and to Major-General Sullivan and the brave 
officers and soldiers under his command, for effect- 
ually executing an important expedition against 
such of the Indian nations, as, encouraged by the 
counsels and conduct of the officers of His Britan- 
nic Majesty, had perfidiously waged an unpro- 
voked and cruel war against these United States, 
laid waste many of their defenseless towns, and 
with savage barbarity slaughtered the inhabitants 

Resolved, That it will be proper to set apart the 
second Thursday in December next, as a day of 
general thanksgiving in these United States, and 
that a committee be appointed to prepare a recom- 
mendation to the said States for this purpose. 

This retributive justice suggested by Washington 
and executed by Sullivan was indeed terrible in its 
consequences to the Iroquois, and has been re- 
garded with some degree of disapprobation by 
those whose amiable disposition leads them to con- 
demn, says Chief Justice Marshall, "whatever may 
have the appearance of tending to aggravate the 
miseries of war;" but it had the sanction of Con- 

* Diary of the A inerican Revolution, Frank Moore. 
\ Indian Tribes of Hudson's River., Ruttenber. 
XSpark's American Biography, Ne'w Series, IH., 147. 



gress, and, says Sparks, " was demanded as well as 
justified, by the deliberate sentiments of the best 
and wisest " of that day. It should not be over- 
looked either that it was directed not against an en- 
emy who regarded and respected the common usages 
of civilized warfare, but against one whose heteroclit- 
ical habits made him amenable to none of these, 
and, says Sparks, " against whose fury neither the 
helplessness of infancy, nor feeble age, nor the de- 
fenseless state of woman, could afford the least 

Of the Iroquois, who, says Clark, "hung like the 
scythe of death in the rear of our settlements," and 
whose " deeds are inscribed with the scalping- 
knife and tomahawk in characters of blood," but 
few ever returned to their native lands ; and in the 
treaty of peace which put an end to this interne- 
ciary struggle, no stipulation whatever was made 
respecting them. Keenly sensible of the deadly 
scourge which had devastated her border settle- 
ments, the New York Legislature evinced a dispo- 
sition to expel them from her territory, but, through 
the influence of Washington and Schuyler, better 
and more humane counsels prevailed ; and, though 
according to common usage they, as conquered 
allies of the British, had forfeited all territorial rights, 
they still pressed claims, which both the State and 
Federal Governments generously recognized and 
respected by subsequent treaties. Ungenerously 
left without provision by the allies who so strenu- 
ously courted their assistance, many of them mi- 
grated to the West. Their descendants are now 
largely located at Forestville, Wisconsin, where 
they are said to number six thousand, of whom the 
Cayugas form the larger part. Two thousand of 
their number can read and write, and they have 
twenty-nine day, and two manual labor schools. 
They support themselves by agriculture and dis- 
play their superiority over the other tribes in the 
arts or civilization in as marked a degree as they 
did in the prowess of their savage warfare. They 
are not dying out. Their numbers rather increase 
than diminish. 

Not so unmindful of the Iroquois, however, was 
the Federal Government. At the conclusion of the 
Revolutionary war, Oliver Wolcott, Richard But- 
ler and Arthur Lee were appointed commissioners 
to amicably adjust their rights and claims, and at a 
council held at Fort Stanwix in 1784, reservations 
were assigned to each of the Six Nations, except 
the Mohawks, who after residing awhile on the 
American side of the Niagara river, in the vicinity 
of the old landing place above the fort, retired to 

the banks of the Onise or Grand river, about forty 
miles above Niagara Falls, on lands assigned them 
by the Canadian Government, under the protec- 
tion of Great Britain. January 9, 1789, St. Clair 
held treaties at Fort Harmer with the Iroquois 
(the Mohawks excepted,) and other Indians, which, 
while they recognized the boundary line estabUshed 
in 1784, modified that treaty so as to concede to 
the Indians the right to compensation for lands 
east of that line as far as the boundary established 
in 1768. Special legislation had been previously 
had with regard to the Oneidas and Tuscaroras. 
October 15, 1783, Congress passed a series of reso- 
lutions relating to the Iroquois, of which the sixth 
reads as follows : — 

" Whereas, The Oneida and Tuscarora tribes 
have adhered to the cause of America, and joined 
her armies in the course of the late war, and Con- 
gress has frequently assured them of peculiar marks 
of favor and friendshij), the said Commissioners are 
therefore instructed to reassure the said tribes of 
the friendship of the United States, and that they 
may rely that the land which they claim as their 
inheritance will be reserved for their sole use and 
benefit, until they may think it for their advantage 
to dispose of the same." 


The Senecas — Their Origin and Symbols — An- 
tiquity AND Extent of their Country — 
Their Status among the Iroquois — Their 
Early Town Sites — Greenhalgh's Journal — 
The Senegas Visited by I^a Motte, Hennepin 
AND La Salle — Mission of Sieur deJoncaire 
— Jesuit Missions ^ — -Jogues' Mission to the 
Mohawks — LeMoine's Mission at Onondaga 
— Chaumonot Establishes the Mission of St. 
Joseph among the Cayugas and the Mission 
of St. Michael among the Senegas — Missions 
of Fathers Fremin, Raffeix and Garnier — 
Seneca Mission Resumed by Fathers Garnier 
and Vaillant — Fathers Bruyas and Fene- 
LON — Episcopal Missions — New England 
Missions — Rev. Samuel Kirkland — Mission- 
ary Societies of Massachusetts and New 

THE origin of the Senecas, like that of the con- 
federacy to which they belonged and the other 
nations composing it, is ascribed to supernatural 
agencies. It rests wholly on tradition reaching 
back to a dim and misty past, which affirms that 



they sprang from the crest of a mountain near the 
head of Canandaigua Lake, which is still venerated 
by a remnant of the tribe as the place of their birth- 
This eminence they designated Geimandewahgah, 
or Goananonda, (mtaxvmg great hill, or big moun- 
tain ;) and hence they were called the g/ral ///I/ or big 
mountain people, and their armorial device was a 
big mountain* This till a recent day and tradi- 
tionally from a long remote period, was the place 
where the councils of the nation were held. In 
their infancy, the base of this mountain, so tradition 
alleges, was encircled by a huge serpent whose 
head and tail met at the entrance to the pathway 
which led to and from its summit, and few who 
essayed the passage escaped its voracious jaws. 
They were thus immured till fright and the deadly 
feted odor of the poisonous monster made their 
condition insupportable; and arming themselves 
with such weapons as were at hand, they attempted 
an escape, but were seized and devoured. All thus 
perished except two children, who were miraculous- 
ly preserved and as miraculously made the instru- 
ments of the destruction of this terrible enemy 
of their race. In obedience to oracular instruction 
they fashioned from a particular kind of willow a 
bow and arrow, the barb of which was dipped in 
poison, and with this weapon shot the serpent, the 
arrow, by divine direction, entering its vitals beneath 
its scales. The serpent was instantly seized with 
violent convulsions, uncoiled itself from about the 
mountain, and in its agonized writhings and con- 
tortions disgorged the human heads, which rolled 
down the declivity to the lake, whose limpid waters 
petrified them and reveal them to this day in the 
shape of large round stones, which exist in great 
numbers, near the bank of the lake. The serpent 
in its descent to the lake .destroyed in its death- 
throes all the timber in its course ; and the trav- 
eler as he passes through Canandaigua Lake, will 
observe as he approaches the great hill, a gully ex- 
tending from base to summit, which the Indians 
claim was the track left by the serpent in its de- 
scent to the lake. From the two orphans thus 
preserved sprang the present race of Senecas.f 

The Senecas had no tradition of a people occu- 
pying their country prior to themselves, and which 
was held in .possession by them from a period 
" whereof the memory of man runneth not to the 

* Life and Thnes of Red Jacket, in. Col. Hist., VIII., 506. ZIoc. 
Htst.,I,z\. It IS also designated Simntdozoanne, (Col. Hist IV. 
90s,) and Souendaouannen, (Col. Hist.. III.. ,25,) the former meamng 

the great hi.l" and the latter " the great mountain." 

t Life and Times 0/ Red yacket, in-i.j. Seaver's Life of Mary 
•Jeniison- "^ 

contrary."* One of the first allusions to them by 
the Europeans occurs in a Jesuit Relation dated 
1644-45, and is as follows : " Toward the termi- 
nation of the great lake called Ontario is located 
the most numerous of the Five Nations, named the 
Senecas, which contains full 1,200 men, in two or 
three villages of which it is composed." Their 
country, indeed, had been referred to incidentally 
a century earlier. Jacques Cartier was informed in 
1535. by the Indians hving upon the borders of the 
Gulf of St. Lawrence, " that, after ascending many 
leagues among rapids and waterfalls, he would reach 
a lake one hundred and fifty leagues long and forty 
or fifty broad, at the western extremity of which 
the waters were wholesome and winters mild, and 
that a river emptied into it from the south, which 
had its source in the country of the Iroquois."t In 
1726, their country is described as extending from 
Canahogue Creek (Cuyahoga Creek, Ohio,) to 
Sodoms Creek (Little Sodus Creek,) J the very gran- 
ary, not only of the confederacy, but of the western 
continent then inhabited by Europeans. As a 
member of the traditional Hodenosaunee, of which 
they, in conjunction with the Onondagas, were re- 
garded the fathers,! they were by far the most nu- 
merous and powerful (more than equaling the com- 
bined numbers of all the others composing it,) and 
wielded an influence proportionate to their com- 
manding strength and sagacity. Their great 
prowess was acknowledged by their confederates, 
and their vigilance and power extorted its admis- 
sion from their enemies. From their geographical 
position with regard to the other members of the 
league, they were the western door-keepers of their 
so-called long house; while the Mohawks, being the 
easternmost of the Five Nations, guarded the 
eastern door at Scheneghtade. Thus the Senecas in- 
terposed a living barrier to the enemies of the Con- 
federacy from the west and south, and the Mo- 
hawks, to those from the north and east, a duty 
which they proudly fulfilled. " Whenever," says 
Stone, " at either door of the long house, other na- 
tions, or their ambassadors, knocked upon business, 
the first duty of the nation keeping the door was 
to ascertain its character and importance. If not 
of great moment, the council of the separate nation 
attended to it. Bat whenever the subject matter 
presented from without was of interest to thewhole 
confederacy, or of sufficient weight to require the 

* CharlevoL-c ; Colden's Six lYations ; Moulton' s New York ; Lift 
and Times of Red Jacket. 

t MarsAall's Niagara Frontier, 
t Col. Hist., K.Soo; F//., 488, 
§ Col. Hist., VII., 382. 



consideration of the united council, the messengers 
charged with it were sent forward to the Onondaga 
Valley, where the grand council fire was kindled 
and it was discussed by the national congress." * 

The earUest location of the Senecas of which we 
have any authentic record is the one in which they 
were found by M. de Denonville in 1687 ; and 
though these were their principal villages, they had 
others quite remote from them. Father Hennepin, 
in 1678, refers to an Iroquois (Seneca) village,! 
named Tai-ai-a-gon, in the locality of Toronto, 
and to a small village of Senecas on the west bank 
and near the mouth of Niagara River.| In 1677, 
ten years previous to M. de Denonville's invasion, 
this country was visited by Wentworth Greenhalgh, 
yihoa Journal oi that journey is of peculiar interest 
in this connection. We quote : — 

" The Senecques have four towns, vizt. Cana- 
gora. Tiotohatton, Canoenada and Keint-he ; Ca- 
nagorah and Tiotohatton lye within 30 miles of ye 
lake ifrontenacque, and ye other two ly about four 
or five miles apiece to ye southward of these, they 
have aboundance of come ; none of their towns 
are stockadoed. 

" Canagorah lyes on the top of a great hill, and in 
that as well as the bignesse much hke Onondago, 
containing 150 houses; north-westward of Caiougo 
72 miles. « * * 

" Tiotebatton lyes on the brink or edge of a hill, 
has nott much cleared ground, is neare the river 
Tiotehatton which signifies bending, itt lyes to the 
westward of Canagorah about 30 miles, contains 
about 120 houses being ye largest of all ye houses 
wee saw, ye ordinary being about 50 or 60 foott 
long, with 13 or 14 fires in one house, they have a 
good store of come growing about a mile to ye 
northward of the towne. 

"Being at this place the 17th of June, there 
came 50 prisoners from the South west-ward, * * *; 
this day of them was burnt two women and a man, 
and a child killed with a stone, att night we heard 
a greatt noyse, as if ye houses had all fallen butt 
itt was only ye Inhabitants driving away ye Ghosts 
of ye murthered. 

"The 1 8th, goeing to Canagaroh wee overtook 
ye prisoners, when ye souldiers saw us they stopped 
each his prisoner and made him sing, and cuttoff 
their fingers, and slasht their bodys with a knife, 
and when they had sung each man confessed how 
many men in his time hee had killed ; thatt day att 
Canagaroh there were most cruelly burned four 
men, four women and one boy, the cruelty lasted 
about seven hours, when they were almost dead, 

* Life and Times of Red Jacket, 107. 

t This village is also known as Gandatsiagon, and was located where 
Whitby now stands, thirty miles north-east of Toronto. Early Ouipiers 
of Cayuga History- 

X Probably the village of Chenondaanah, which Pownall's Map of the 
Middle British Colonies locates on the west bank of the Genesee, about 
fifteen miles from its mouth. Co/. Hist-, yin ^99- 

letting them loose to ye mercy of ye boys, and tak- 
ing the hearts of such as were dead to feast on. 

" Canoenada lyes about four miles to ye South- 
ward of Canagorah, conteyns about 30 houses, well 
furnished with Come. 

" Keint-he lyes aboutt four or five miles to ye 
Southward of Tiotehatton, contayns about 24 
houses well furnished with come. 

" The Senecques are counted to bee in all aboutt 
1,000 fighting men." * 

Canagorah was visited in the winter of 1678, by 
Sieur de la Motte, a lieutenant of the adventurous 
La Salle, and Father Louis Hennepin, a devoted 
attache of that celebrated and daring explorer. Af- 
ter a five days' weary journey by Indian trail 
through the frost-bound wilderness from Niagara, 
sleeping at night in the open air without other shel- 
ter than chance afforded, they arrived on the last 
day of December at the principal village of the Sene- 
cas— Tagarondies — which occupied the site of 
Boughton Hill, in Victor, Ontario county, where 
they found the Jesuit missionaries. Fathers Julien 
Gamier and Peter Raffeix. The object of their 
visit was to placate the Senecas and gain their ac- 
quiescence to the ambitious project of La Salle in 
extending his western explorations in which interest 
La Salle himself visited them the following year, 
having visited the same village in company with 
the Sulpitians, DoUier and GoUint^e, ten years be- 
fore. La Salle succeeded in gaining what La Motte 
and Hennepin had failed to obtain — the full assent 
of the Senecas to the execution of his enterprises, 
notwithstanding they subsequently proved them- 
selves inimical thereto, f 

Three of the villages described by Greenhalgh 
are in the county of Ontario ; the fourth, Kei7tt-he, 
corresponds with the village which Denonville calls 
Gannounata and was known in the Seneca dialect as 
Z'jw.'&i^jtf/ (pronounced De-o-dou-sote) and meaning 
" at the spring." It was situated near the modern 
village of East Avon, and the plow, which has nearly 
obHterated all trace of its existence, has from time 
to time disclosed many relics of its former occu- 
pants. The location of these villages corresponds 
with their designation on Clark's Map of the Iro- 
quois Five Nations and Mission Sites, 1656-1684 ;t 
and, though less specifically with that of a map pub- 
lished by the Jesuits in 1664. § A map of North 
America, drawn in 1688 by Jean Baptiste Louis 
FranqueHn, Hydrographer to Louis XIV., and pre- 
served in the archives of the Ministere de la Ma- 

• Col. Hist. III., 151, 151. 

t The Building and Voyage of the Griffon, in i679i ^y O- H. 

X Early Chapters of Cayuga History. 
\Kip's Jesuits. 


rine, in Paris, represents two Seneca villages on the 
east bank of the Genesee, ( Toinnontchianagon,) 
apparently near the confluence of Honeoye out- 
let, and two others upon the west bank and near 
the head waters of a stream corresponding with 
Irondequoit creek, emptying into the bay of the 
same name ( Gatmiatarontaquat.)* 

After the destruction of the Seneca villages by 
Denonville in 1687, several others sprang into ex- 
istence, some to the westward and others to the 
eastward of them. In 1720 they had two villages, 
which were distinguished as great and /////i? village; 
but their exact location is left to conjecture. In 

17 18, the court of France ordered the establish- 
ment of a trade for the benefit of the king in the 
circuit of Lake Ontario and the building of maga- 
zines upon the north and south sides thereof In 

1 7 19, "in the beginning of harvest," the Sieur de 
Joncaire, Ueutenant of a detachment of marines, 
with an interpreter, was sent in obedience to this 
order by Marquis de Vaudreuil and Monsieur 
Begon, to try the minds of the Senecas and see if 
they could engage them to consent to the building 
of a house upon their land, and to maintain that 
settlement in case the English opposed it. This 
message was accompanied with some belts of wam- 
pum and other presents, consisting of powder, lead, 
brandy and "other small merchandizes." "Sieur 
de Joncaire wintered partly at the great, and partly 
at the little village of the Senecas, and departed 
thence at the breaking up of the ice for the fort of 
the Cataracouy, where he had orders to take pro- 
visions and merchandizes for the trade at Niagara 
in case he could dispose of the Senecas to his inter- 
est." He arrived at the fort about the beginning 
of May, 1720, and reported to a council of French 
and Indians that the Senecas had favorably re- 
ceived the message "and produced several of Pel- 
letrie by which the said Indians answered, Father 
Onontio, (M. de Vandreuel) and their uncle Son- 
onchiez (Sieur de Joncaire) were the masters of 
their land and that the Indians consented not only 
to the building of the house of Niagara but also 
engaged themselves to maintain it, and if the Eng- 
hsh should undertake to demolish it they must first 
take up the hatchet against the Cabanes of the 
two villages of the Senecas." After ten or 
twelve days spent at Fort Cataracouy, Jon- 
caire returned to Niagara with Sieur de la Come, 
son of Mons. de la Corne, Captain and Major of 
Montreal, and eight soldiers, with a canoe of mer- 
chandise. Sieur de la Corne was commissioned 

* The Building and I'oyagi qftlie Griffon, in 1679. 

by M. Begon to winter at that post, and there 
Joncaire left him in July, after having "built in 
haste a kind of cabin of Bark, where they displayed 
the King's colors, and honored it with the name of 
Magazine Royal." Joncaire received orders to 
return to Niagara with the title of commandant, 
and about the middle of October, 1720, he left 
Montreal to winter at Niagara, taking with him two 
canoes laden with merchandise and twelve soldiers, 
six of whom he detached on his arrival at Catara- 
couy. He pursued his voyage, but was stopped 
by the ice thirty-five leagues from the mouth of 
the Niagara, and was obhged to put into the Gen- 
esee, ( Gasionchiagon or Gasconchiagon,) where he 
passed the winter.* Sieur de Joncaire was cap- 
tured and adopted at an early day by the Senecas, 
by whom he was greatly beloved.t From his long 
residence with them he acquired a great influence 
over them and incidentally over the other Iroquois 
nations. He thus became a useful emissary of the 
French in winning over to that interest the gen- 
erally recalcitrant Iroquois, and much of his life 
was spent in this service as mediator, interpreter 
or concihator. At the opening of the eighteenth cen- 
tury we find him officiating at a conference be- 
tween the French and Iroquois ; J and previous to 
17 II, Governor Hunter testifies that he, in con- 
junction with M. de Longeuil had built a block- 
house and projected a fort in the chief village of 
the Senecas.g About 1730, he obtained permis- 
sion of the Senecas to establish a trading post at 
Irondequoit. || His sons, Chabert de Joncaire, Jr., 
and Philip Thomas de Joncaire Clauzonne, were 
also active public servants and residents in the 
Seneca county. 

Sir Jeffrey Amherst's letter to Sir William John- 
son, September 30, 1763, refers to Kanadaseagy 
and Canadaraggo, (the former occupying the site 
of Geneva and the latter to the westward of it,) 
as two Seneca castles which were in the English 
interest and to be exempted from molestation 
in offensive operations which might be carried on 
against the Senecas. II Sir William Johnson's 
Enumeratioti of Indians within the Northern De- 
partment, November 18, 1763, states the number 
of Senecas to be 1,050 men, who "have several 
villages beginni ng about fifty miles from Cayuga, 

• Col. Hist, v., 589. 

tCol. Hist., IX., 747. 

tCol. Hist., IX., 709. 

§Col. Hist., v., 253. 

II Col. Hist., v., 911. 

ICol. Hist.. VII., 568. See also Sir William Johnson's letter to Sir 
Jeffiey Amherst, Sept. 14, 176J, in which Kanadessegy .3.vA Caiiaja- 
saggo are referred to as being in the English interest and east o( Clunvs- 



and from thence to Chenussio, the largest, about 
seventy miles from Niagara, with others thence to 
Ohio."* In the Journal of Sir William Johnson's 
Proceedings with the Indians, at Fort Johnson in 
1757, Chinosia is referred to as the " farthest Sen- 
eca castle;"! and from the Proceedings of Sir Wil- 
liam Johnson with the Indians, September 7, 1763, 
it appears that the Senecas had two castles at Che- 
nussio,X which is designated on Guy Johnson's map 
as Geneseo, ( Cenosio.)% The Seneca villages of 
Kanuskago or Ganuskago, is located in the town 
of Dansville on Guy Johnson's Map of the Country 
of the Six Nations, || and was also called " the 
door of the Six Nations," at a meeting of certain 
of the Six Nations and their allies at Fort John- 
son, February 18, 1756. H But it is not our pur- 
pose to pursue here a subject which will be more 
specifically treated in respect to this country in 
connection with the several towns ; for the county 
throughout almost its entire extent is dotted over 
with the sites of these ancient villages which ex- 
isted before the avenging hand of SulUvan's army 
laid waste the fair country of the Senecas, or which 
subsequently sprang into being. The principal of 
these, however, prior to that epoch, have been 
noticed in connection with that expedition. 

The advent of the Jesuit missionaries among the 
Iroquois was a marked event in the history of the 
latter, as from the Jesuit Relations we obtain the 
earliest, most exact and most authentic informa- 
tion regarding them. The Jesuits were men of 
culture and intelligence, who forsook homes of 
luxury in Europe and submitted with a wonderful 
patience and heroism to the most menial offices, 
the utmost hardships and privations, and cheer- 
fully accepted missions attended with the most in- 
conceivable danger in the zealous pursuit of their 
calling. Whatever estimate we put upon them as 
men, we must admit their great devotion and self- 

The first Jesuit missionaries arrived in Canada 
in 1625, and from that period exerted a vast in- 
fluence upon the interests of the French colony in 
that province. The mission was interrupted during 
the English occupancy of Quebec, from 1629 to 
1632, and was resumed the latter year. They 
were instrumental in securing and holding the 
friendly aid of the northern and western Indians to 
the French arms in Canada. Had their influence 
been the first directed towards the Iroquois, it is 
probable their friendship, possibly their aid, might 

*Col. Hist., Vll 
t Ibid, VII., 264. 
tlbid, VII., 554- 


§Ibid, VI r , 154- 
i: Ibid, VII., 57. 
I1 Ibid, VII., 57- 

have been secured, and then American coloniza- 
tion might have presented a vastly different phase. 
But while their beneficent policy attracted, that 
inaugurated by Champlain and pursued by his suc- 
cessors repelled them and provoked a deadly 

Failing in their efforts to- coerce the Iroquois 
to terms which they presumed to dictate, the French 
colonists, chagrined and deeply humiliated, sought 
to gain their friendship by the aid of the mission- 
aries of a religion whose precepts they had so wan- 
tonly violated, and in 1646, Father Isaac Jogues 
was sent in the double capacity of ambassador and 
missionary to the Mohawks, who were the first of 
the Iroquois nations to be outraged by the French 
lust for dominance, and oy whom, three years pre- 
viously, he had been captured, subjected to the 
most horrid torture, and threatened with death, 
which he escaped through the friendly interven- 
tion of the Dutch settlers at Albany, (Fort Orange.) 
His mission, like his office, was of a double nature. 
He was commissioned by his Father Superior to 
establish on the scenes of his torture a mission 
which was given in advance the prophetic name, 
the Mission of the Martyrs ; and by Charles 
Huault de Montmagny, who succeeded Champlain 
as Governor of Canada, to use his influence with 
the Mohawks in perpetuating a peace which had 
been concluded the previous year, through the 
instrumentality of the Jesuit Guillaume Couture, 
who was captured by the Mohawks at the same time 
as Jogues, and adopted into one of their families in 
place of a dead relative. Jogues, suffering under a 
keen recollection of his recent tortures, apprehen- 
sive also of his reception, and having, as he wrote 
a friend, a presentiment of death, at first revolted 
at the thought ; but it was only a temporary weak- 
ness. Exchanging the uniform of Loyola for a 
civilian's suit, by advice of an Algonquin convert, 
he sat out on his mission about the middle of May. 
His appearance in that character created no little 
amazement in the Mohawk village ; but he was 
respectfully received, and he delivered the gifts and 
wampum belts, with the message of peace, of which 
he was the bearer from the Governor, his speech 
being "echoed by a unanimous grunt of applause 
from the attentive concourse,'' and eliciting con- 
firmations of peace in return. Two Algonquins 
accompanied him as deputies, but their overtures 
of peace were rejected. 

" The business of the Embassy was scarcely fin- 
ished," says Parkman, "when the Mohawks coun- 
selled Jogues and his companions to go home with 



all dispatch, saying, that, if they waited longer, 
they might meet on the way warriors of the four 
upper nations, who would inevitably kill the two 
Algonquin deputies, if not the French also. Jogues, 
therefore, set out on his return, but not until, 
despite the advice of the Indian convert, he had 
made the round of the houses, confessed and 
instructed a few Christian prisoners still remaining 
there, and baptized several dying Mohawks." 

Jogues returned to his mission the following 
August, but only to meet his death, which occurred 
on the 1 8th of October following. 

Eight years later, the first successful mission 
among the Iroquois {Sf. Marie) was established at 
Onondaga, by Father Simon Le Moine, who left 
Quebec on the second of July, 1654, and arrived 
at the principal Onondaga village on the fifth of 

The Onondagas having " for a long time and 
earnestly demanded that some priests be sent to 
them, Father Joseph Chaumonot, an experienced 
Huron missionary, and Father Claude Dablon, 
then recently from France, embarked on the 19th 
of September, 1655, and arrived at OimotUague, 
November 5th of that year. ' They were leceived, 
like Le Moine, with distinguished honor, and wel- 
comed at a council of the nations held on the 15th, 
with the most profuse demonstrations of joy. Be- 
ing hstened to with approbation and kindness, Dab- 
lon returned the following March to Quebec for 
additional help. 

In the latter part of August, 1656, Fathers Chau- 
monot and Menard left the Onondaga mission to 
extend their labors to the western Iroquois nations. 
Proceeding to the Cayugas, where they arrived after 
a journey of two days, they established the Mission 
of St. Joseph on the site of Goiogouen, which was 
situated three miles south of Union Springs, on the 
east shore of Cayuga Lake. Leaving Menard in 
charge of that mission. Father Chaumonot, after a 
brief sojourn, proceeded to the country of the Sen- 
ecas and estabhshed at the village of Gannogarre 
or Gandougarae, situated near the site of East 
Bloomfield, the Mission of St. Michael. On his 
arrival at the village a council was convened by the 
sachems, to whom he delivered his presents and 
communicated his designs, which met their appro- 
bation. He thus addressed them says Marshall : 
" I offer myself as a guarantee of the truths which 
I utter, and if my life is deemed insufficient, I offer 
you in addition, the lives of all the French I have 
left at Onondaga. Do you distrust these living 
presents ? Will you be so simple as to beheve that 

* Relation, 1654, Chap. \l. 

we have left our native country, the finest in the 
world, to come so far, and to suffer so much in or- 
der to bring you a lie? " Father Chaumonot vis- 
ited the other Seneca villages, where he was equally 
well received, and converted Garonheaguerha, a 
distinguished Seneca chief and orator, then pros- 
trate with disease, but who, after his recovery, be- 
came a firm friend of the French and Jesuits. 

In 1657, "the harvest appearing plentiful in all 
the villages of the upper Iroquois, the common 
people listened to the words of the gospel with im- 
plicity and the chiefs with a well disguised dissim- 
ulation,"* Fathers Paul Ragueneau and Francois 
Du Peron, some Frenchmen and several Hurons 
came to the aid of the missions. 

These were the first missionary labors among the 
Senecas. La Carnon, an ambitious Franciscan 
priest, had, indeed, in 1616, passed through their 
country on his way to that of the Hurons, on the 
borders of the lake which bears their name, but 
did not attempt to acquaint them with the princi- 
ples of his faith. These first missions among the 
Iroquois were however of short duration. 

The apparent desire for peace on the part of the 
Iroquois immediately after M. de Tracy's expedi- 
tion in 1666, seemed to be a favorable opportunity 
to re-establish missions among them, and in that 
and the one or two succeeding years, missions were 
established in each of the Five Nations. 

The Senecas, {Isonnontouans,) says Bishop Kip, 
were the fourth of the Iroqiiois cantons to have 
the mission restored.! Father Jacques Fremin, 
who knew the language of the Iroquois, was assigned 
to this station. He is supposed to have arrived in 
Canada in 1655. He accompanied Dablon the 
year following to Onondaga, where he remained 
till 1658, after which his labors were confined to 
Canada until 1667, when he was sent as mission- 
ary to the Mohawks, where he was made Superior 
of the Iroquois missions. In October, 1668, he 
transferred his labors to the Senecas, with whom he 
remained till 1671. He revived the Mission of 
St. Michael at the village of Gannogarae, which 
was composed of refugees from the Neutral and 
Huron nations, and extended his ministrations to 
the other Seneca villages, in each of which a mis- 
sion was established.}: His knowledge of medi- 

* Relation, 1657—58, Doc. Hist., I., 45. 

t Early Jesuit Missions, 85. 

t Early Chapters of Caynga History, 41. Note. The Seneca Mis- 
sions were St. Michael, at Ganogarae, near the site of East Bloomfield: 
St. James, at Gannagaro or Canagorah, on Boughton Hill, in the tcvm 
of Victor ; La Conception, at Totiakion or Sonnoniovan, near the vil- 
lage of Honeoye Falls : and St. John, at Gantwunata or Gatuhchhr- 
agon, near tlie site of East Avon. 



cine — a knowledge possessed in common by most 
of the Jesuits — made his services peculiarly accept- 
able to the afflicted Senecas, among whom, soon 
after his arrival among them, a contagious fever 
which proved very fatal, broke out. The skill he 
displayed in its treatment won for him the confi- 
dence and esteem of the savages ; and the care and 
treatment demanded of him in the diiferent villages 
engrossed much of his time during the earher part 
of his mission. The simple life of the Jesuit mis- 
sionary is illustrated by Father Fremin, who says : 
" I neither see, nor hear, nor speak to any but the 
Indians. My food is very simple and light. I 
have never been able to conform my taste to the 
meal or the smoked fish of the savages, and my 
nourishment is only composed of corn which they 
pound, and of which I make each day a kind of 
hominy, which I boil in water." Father Fremin 
was soon joined by Father Pierre Raffeix, who was 
chaplain of the French expedition against the 
Mohawks in 1666. Father Raflfeix continued his 
labors with the Senecas till 1701, when he supplied 
the Cayuga mission of St. Joseph, which Father 
Stephen de Garheil was obliged to relinquish on 
account of ill health. After a year's respite, during 
which he obtained relief from the nervous disorder 
which afflicted him. Father de Garheil resumed the 
Cayuga mission, and Father Raflfeix, thus relieved, 
returned to his duties among the Senecas, which he 
continued until 1680. His brief stay in the coun- 
try of the Cayugas gave him a highly favorable 
opinion of it. In a letter dated June 24, 1672,* he 
writes: "Cayuga is the most beautiful country I 
have seen in America." He was familiar with all 
the Iroquois cantons. Agnie, (Mohawk,) he says, 
is a very contracted valley; for the most part stony, 
and always covered with fogs; the hills that enclose 
it appear to me very bad land. Oneida and Onon- 
daga, he adds, appear too rough and little adapted 
to the chase, as well as Seneca. 

In 1669, Father Julien Gamier, brother of the 
celebrated Benedictine, joined the Seneca mission, 
and was assigned to the Mission of St. John, at Gan- 
fiounata, (East Avon,) while Fremin took charge 
of that of St. MichaeLf In 167 1, Fremin was 
called to take charge of the Indians at Laprairie.| 

'Relation, 1671-2, Chap. VI., Part I. 

\ Early Chapters of Cayuga History, 41, Note. O'Callaglian says 
Gamier was ordered to the Senecasin 1671, {Col. Hist. IX., 171.) Mar- 
shall says, "In 1669 he had charge of the Seneca Mission of St. Michael, 
and the following year that of St. James. In 1671 he conducted the three 
missions among that people." ( The Building and Voyage of the Grif- 
fon, 261; where he cites as authorities fesuit Relations, Quebec ed. 1668, 
p. 17; 1669, p. 11; 1670, pp. 69— 78 ; i67J,; 1666, p. 9.) 

t Charlevoix, I., J13, 398: 402> 452- 

This mission was removed to the Sault St. Louis 
in 1676, and in 1679, Father Fremin visited France 
to solicit aid for it.* He was again in Canada in 
1682, and died in Quebec, July 2, 1691.! 

Father Garnier was born at Connerai, in the dio- 
cese of Mans, about 1643. In 1662 he came to 
Canada, where he completed his studies, and re- 
ceived Holy Orders in April, 1666, being the first 
Jesuit ordained in that country. He was sent to 
Oneida in 1667, and in 1668, visited Onondaga 
and Cayuga.f His Seneca mission was interrupted 
in 1673, by M. de la Barre's threatened invasion.§ 
In July, 1672, in addressing Father Dablon, he 
says of the Senecas: " Their minds being ill-dis- 
posed, the devil uses every occasion to make them 
speak against the faith and those who preach it." 

Father Dablon, in a letterto the Provincial Father 
Pinette, in referring to Father de Carheil and the 
Cayuga mission, says : " This holy man is of an 
apostoUc zeal which does not find that the Indians 
correspond to his care; but I think that he asks from 
them too much virtue for beginnings. If he does 
not sanctify as many of them as he would, it is 
certain that he sanctifies himself in a good degree 
as do Fathers Garnier and Raflfeix in the towns of 
Sonnontonans," [Senecas.] || In the Relation of 
1676-7, 1[ printed by James Lenox, Esq., of New 
York, from the original manuscript, we find the 
following: "The upper Iroquois, that is to say 
those who are most remote from us, as the Son- 
nontonans and Oioguens, [Senecas and Cayugas] 
are the most haughty and the most insolent, run- 
ning after the missionaries with axe in hand, chas- 
ing and pelting them with stones, throwing down 
their chapels an'd their little cabins, and in a thou- 
sand other ways treating them with indignity. The 
Fathers suffer all and are ready for all, knowing 
well the apostles did not plant the faith in the 
world otherwise than by persecution and suffering. 
What consoles them in the pitiable state they are 
in, is to see the fruit which God derives for His 
glory and for the salvation of these very Indians 
by whom they are so maltreated. For within a 
year since these violences begun, they have bap- 
tized more than three hundred and fifty Iroquois, 
of whom, besides twenty-seven adults, there were 

*Faillan; Vie de S. Bonrgeoys, V, ^%b. 

•^ Col. Hist. IX., IJO. 

+ C0I. Hist.. XI., 17I, The Buildingand Voyage of the Griffon, 260, 

§Col. Hist., IX., 229. 

II Relation Inedites, II., II. 

IT Relation de ce gici s^est passe des plue rentarquable aitx tnissions 
des Peres de la Compagnie de fesus, en la Nouvelle France es annees 
1676 et 1677. 



one hundred and twenty children who died after 
baptism, which is a certain gain for heaven. I 
cannot extract anything else from Father de Car- 
heil, Pierron, Raffeix and Garnier who are among 
the upper Iroquois, because their greatest employ- 
ment is to suffer and, so to speak, die at every 
moment by the continual threats and insults which 
these Indians offer them, who, notwithstanding all 
this, fail not to wrest many souls from the devil. 
Father de Carheil writes from Oioguen that the 
spiritual gain of this year is thirt)'-eight baptized, six 
of them adults and thirty-six dead, all children ex- 
cept three ;" hence we may conclude that the re- 
mainder of those enumerated above are the fruit 
of the Seneca missions. 

In 1679, Father Louis Hennepin and Sieur la 
Motte de Lussiere ( Tagarondies J 
in the interest of La Salle's western project, and 
found Fathers Garnier and Raffeix residing in that 
village. " They were received by the Senecas," 
says Marshall, " with marked consideration, and 
conducted to the cabin of their principal chief, 
where they became objects of curiosity to the 
women and children. The young men bathed their 
travel-worn feet, and anointed them with bear's 
oil. The next day, being the first of the year, Hen- 
nepin celebrated mass and preached the mysteries 
of his faith to the mixed assembly of French and 
Indians. * * * After Hennepin had concluded 
his religious services, the grand council was con- 
vened. It was coriiposed of forty-two of the elders 
among the Senecas. Their tall forms were com- 
pletely enveloped in robes made from the skin of 
the beaver, wolf and black squirrel. With calumet 
in mouth, these grave councilors took their seats 
on their mats, with all the stateliness and dignity 
of Venetian senators. At the opening of the coun- 
cil, La Motte, suspecting Father Garnier of hos- 
tility to La Salle, objected to his presence. At 
the request of the Senecas he withdrew. Henne- 
pin, considering this an affront to his cloth, retired 
with him. La Salle was ever suspicious of the 
Jesuits; believing them to be opposed to his enter- 
prises, and inclined to influence the Indians against 
him. The council was informed, through Bras- 
sart, the interpreter, that the French had come to 
visit them on the part of Onontio, their governor, 
and to smoke the calumet on their mats ; that the 
Sieur de la Salle was about to build a great wooden 
canoe above the Falls, [Niagara,] in which to bring 
merchandize from Europe by a more convenient 
route than the rapids of the St. Lawrence ; that by 
this means the French would be able to undersell 

the English of Boston, and the Dutch of New York.* 
This speech was accompanied with four hundred 
pounds weight of presents, consisting of hatchets, 
knives, coats, and a large necklace of blue and 
white shells. Portions of these were handed over 
at the end of each proposition. This mode of 
treating with the Indians by bribing their chiefs, 
has, unfortunately, continued to the present day. 
Among other inducements. La Motte promised to 
furnish, for the convenience of their whole nation, a 
gunsmith and blacksmith, to reside at the mouth 
of the Niagara, for the purpose of mending their 
guns and hatchets. Several coats and pieces of fine 
cloth, iron, and European merchandise of great 
rarity among the Indians, and of the value of four 
hundred francs, were added, as weighty reasons, to 
influence them in favor of the French. ' The best 
arguments in the world,' says Hennepin, are not list- 
ened to by the natives, unless accompanied with 
presents.' f 

" On the next day, the Senecas answered the 
speech of La Motte, sentence by sentence, and re- 
sponded by presents. As aids to the memory, they 
used small wooden sticks, which the speaker took 
up, one by one, as he replied seriatim, to the sev- 
eral points in the speech of the day previous. 
Belts of wampum, made of small shells strung on 
fine sinews, were presented after each speech, fol- 
lowed by the exclamation '■ Ni-a-oua,' signifying ap- 
proval, from the whole assembly. This, however, 
proved an insincere response in the present in- 
stance, for La Motte, with his specious reasoning, 
made no impression on these shrewd children of 
the forest. They knew that the English and Dutch 
had greater faciHties than the French for supply- 
ing them with merchandise, and could outbid the 
latter in trading for their furs. They received the 
offered presents with apparent acquiesence, and 
after the customary salutations the council broke 

Father Garnier, in a letter dated July 10, 1673, 
says the Seneca nation consisted of three villages, 
" two composed of natives of the country, and the 
third of the remnant of the divers Huron nations 
destroyed by the Iroquois. § All together they may 
amount to eight hundred men capable of waging 

* Alluding to the plan of La Salle to send merchandise to the Niagara 
by the way of the Mississippi and the lakes. 

t Hennepin, N. D., p. 85. 

t The Building; and V'oyage of the Griffon, 260 — 263. 

§ Greenhalgh, who visited the Seneca country in 1677, says they had 
four towns, though he refers to only two missions - St. Jacques, at Can- 
garo, (Canagorah, ) and La Conception, at Tiotehation, (Totiakton.) 
6'Callaghan adds, (Relation, 1669-70, J17,) the French had another 
mission at the village of Gandougarae, which they called St. Michael- 
Co/. Hist. III., 251, 252. 



war." He adds, " the chiefs of each village have 
been deputed to go visit you at the place you indi- 
cated to them ; they are well disposed to receive 
your orders, and give you every satisfaction. They 
have made peace with all the nations against whom 
M. de Courcelles had forbad them waging war, 
the King having taken them under his protection. 
They have strictly enjoined on their young men 
not to turn their arms in that direction. They 
anxiously desire the French to settle in their country, 
especially those who are useful to them, such as 
smiths and armorers."* 

In 1683, Colonel Thomas Dongan, then Gov- 
ernor of New York, though himself a Catholic, had 
well nigh succeeded in destroying the French in- 
fluence over the Iroquois. He clearly saw the dan- 
gers which menaced the EngUsh Government under 
the stimulus of Jesuit influence and intrigue, and 
was too loyal to allow his rehgious convictions to 
cause him to swerve from political rectitude. He 
therefore directed all his efforts to expel the Cana- 
dian missionaries from among the Iroquois, and to 
conciliate the latter promised to send them Eng- 
lish ministers and build churches in their cantons. 
He had so far succeeded that as early as 1684 the 
greater part of the Jesuits had abandoned their 
missions, and in 1687, the last, Jean de Lamber- 
ville, had left his station at Onondaga, and gone to 
Niagara ; his brother, Jacques de Lamberville, left 
the same station the previous year. From this 
time, or a few years later, the Jesuit missions began 
sensibly to decline. 

Father Gamier acted as interpreter to the Hu- 
rons at the peace of 1701, and is said to have 
returned to the Senecas in 1702,! accompanied by 
Father Francois Vaillant de Gueslis. Garnier was 
then old and infirm, and from this fact it was as- 
sumed that Jesuits were in great demand in the 
Iroquois missions.^ He was the last missionary of 
that order among the Senecas. § Lafitau, who was 
his pupil, and learned from him all he knew of the 
Indians, says that he had spent more than sixty 
years on the mission, and that he was well ac- 
quainted with the Algonquin, Huron and Iroquois 
languages, but better with the latter two. || He 
died in Quebec in February, i73o.1[ 

The distinguished Jesuit missionary, Jacques 
Bruyas, was among the Senecas in 1673 ; and the 

• Col. Hist., IX., 792- 
t Col. Hist., IX., ryl, 737, 76l- 
t Col. Hist., IX., 750- 
§ Shea's Catholic Mission, 194, 11. 

II Jesuit Relation, ed. 1666, p. 6. Parkmnn's Jesuits, 54. The 
Building and Voyage 0/ the Griffon, i6i. Col. Hist. IX., 171. 
IF The Building and Voyage of the Griffon, 261. 

Sulpitian priest, Francois de Salignac de Fe'nelon, 
whose identity has been confounded with that of his 
half-brother, the celebrated archbishop of Cambray, 
though one of the first missionaries under the aus- 
pices of the Sulpitians among the Iroquois, was not 
stationed in that capacity among the Senecas south 
of Lake Ontario, as has been stated by a cotem- 
porary, but among a branch of that nation, who 
resided on the north shore of that lake at a village 
called Gandatsiagon, which was located on the site 
of Whitby, a port of entry and an excellent harbor 
on the north shore of the lake, thirty miles north- 
east of Toronto. 

The Dutch colonists did not give the matter of 
Christianizing the Indians much consideration ; and 
the Government of New York made no effort in 
this direction, further than to pay for some time, 
a small salary to the clergyman at Albany to at- 
tend to the wants of such Indians as might apply 
to him. The Rev. Mr. Freeman translated a part 
of the English liturgy, the morning and evening 
prayers, the litany, the Athanasian creed, with 
some passages of the Old and New Testament, into 
the Indian language; but those professing to be 
Christians in 1710, are represented as "so ignorant 
and scandalous that they can scarce be reputed 
Christians."* In 1712, Rev. WilHam Andrews was 
sent by the Society for Propagating the Gospel, as 
missionary to the Mohawks, succeeding in that 
capacity Rev. Thoroughgood Moor, and extending 
his labors occasionally to the Oneidas. But he 
abandoned his mission in 1719, having had no 
greater success among the natives than his prede- 
cessor; f and as he was the first, so was he the last 
that resided among them for a great many years, 
the Society afterwards contenting themselves by 
imitating the pohcy of the government, and allow- 
ing a small stipend to their clergyman at Albany to 
act as a missionary among the Mohawks, in which 
capacity he did them but very httle good.f 

Revs. Henry Barclay and John Ogilvie, who 
succeeded to the rectorship of St. Peter's Church, 
Albany, the former in 1737, and the latter in 1749. 
also extended their labors to the Oneidas. Mr. 
Barclay, who was a son of Rev. Thomas B. Bar- 
clay, the second rector of that church, was a native 
of Albany and was graduated from Yale College in 
1734. In 1735, at the recommendation of Rev. 
Mr. Milne, who preceded him in the rectorship of 

» Doc'. Hist. IV., S05, 

t "He became discouraged and asked to be recalled, saying-, *lhcre is 
no hope of making them better — heathen they are, and heathen they 
must still be.' *' — Hammond's History of Madison County, lo6. 

XDoc. Hist. IV.. 505. 



St. Peter's, he was appointed catechist to the In- 
dians at Fort Hunter. He closed his rectorship at 
Albany in 1746, when he became rector of Trinity 
Church, New York, where he died in 1764. Mr. 
Ogilvie was a native of New York and a graduate 
of Yale. Being a Dutch scholar he was appoint- 
ed to this mission in 1748, and arrived at Albany 
in March, 1749. In 1760, he joined the expedi- 
tion against Niagara and continued attached to 
the army till the close of the French war. He 
succeeded Mr. Barclay as rector of Trinity Church, 
and died Nov. 26, 1774. 

In 1744, the New York Legislature made pro- 
vision for presents for the Indians, as well as for 
an interpreter and missionary to be sent among 
them.* In 1748, the people of New England 
turned their attention to this field Of labor, and 
Revs. Messrs. Spencer, Timothy Woodbridge and 
Gideon Hawley visited successively the tribes on 
the Mohawk and Susquehanna rivers. The com- 
mencement of the French war soon after interrupt- 
ed all missionary efforts west of Albany, and they 
were not renewed till 1761, when Rev. Dr. Eleazer 
Wheelock directed his attention to this quarter, 
and endeavored, by introducing Indians as mis- 
sionaries and schoolmasters, to reclaim the natives 
from their savage life. 

In 1754, the Commissioners of Indian Affairs at 
Albany, adverted to the fact that the French had 
long been endeavoring to prevail on the Senecas to 
settle at Irondequoit, in order to have them nearer 
their settlements and the more easily to debauch 
them from British interest, and expressed the opinion 
that, as they (the Senecas) then hved "very re- 
mote from one another," it should be insisted upon 
that they make a general castle near the mouth of 
the Genesee (Senecas') River, where they had 
"already begun to build a new castle," (probably 
Chenondoanah,) and farther that the most effectual 
method to retain and secure the Six Nations to the 
British interest, would be to build two forts, one 
at Onondaga, the other in the Senecas' country, 
and supply each fort with a proper missionary. 
They also deprecated the carrying and selling of 
rum in the castles of the Six Nations, as having 
the most pernicious influence on the British inter- 
est in general and this colony in particular.! 

Speedy action was taken on the recommenda- 
tion of the Commissioners in respect to the erec- 
tion of forts,! but none, apparently, in regard to 

• Col. Hist. VI., 641. 
IC0I. Hist., VI., 856, 857. 

%Cai.Hise.,yii.i 177." 

supplying them with missionaries proper or im- 
proper, though its importance was frequently ad- 
verted to. Sir William Johnson, in a communi- 
cation to the Lords of Trade, November 13, 1763, 
writes thus disparagingly of the missions of that 
period. He says : — 

"Another matter extremely essential, will be the 
choice of proper missionaries to reside amongst 
the Indians in their own villages; many of the 
present missions are established at settlements on 
the sea-side, where the nations formerly residing 
are become extinct, or reduced to an inconsidera- 
ble number, whilst other missionaries are allowed 
to double a cure, or live in our towns; so that two 
or three visits in a year, are all that the Indians 
get, and the missionaries, unable to speak their 
language, are obHged to have recourse to the very 
bad interpreters which the country affords ; by 
which means the worthy design of the Society is in 
a great measure defeated. There have been other 
missionaries, who have too often used their influence 
in obtaining grants of lands, which gives the In- 
dians the most unfavorable opinion of their worldly 
and interested views. The Mohawks lately told 
me that they apprehended the reason they had not 
clergy as formerly amongst them was because there 
was no more land to spare."* 

Rev. Samuel Kirkland was for many years a dis- 
tinguished missionary among the Oneidas, and for 
a shorter period, among the Senecas. He was born 
in Norwich, Conn., Dec. t, 1741, and educated at 
Dr. Wheelock's Indian school. In 1761, he was 
sent to the Mohawks to learn their language. He 
entered Princeton college in 1762, and in 1764 
returned to the Mohawk country to teach school 
and perfect himself in that language. He received 
his collegiate degree in 1765, and in that and the 
following year was employed among the Senecas. 
In 1779, he was Brigade Chaplain in General Sul- 
livan's campaign against the Indians in Western 
New York, and at the close of the war remained 
with the Oneidas. He died after a life of much 
pubhc usefulness, February 28, 1808. 

After the war of the Revolution, Washington 
lent his powerful influence to the furtherance of a 
project looking to the emancipation of the Iroquois 
and the American Indians generally from their 
savage barbarism through the medium of a benign 
civihzation; and in the spring of 1792, a deputa- 
tion of fifty of the representative men of the red 
race were invited to Philadelphia, then the federal 
city, for the double purpose of discussing plans 
looking to this end and of attaching them more 
closely to the United States' interests. The same 
year the Federal government seconded these efforts 

•Co/./y/rf., VII., 579, 5S0. 



by the following enactment: "The United States, 
in order to promote the happiness of the Five Na- 
tions of Indians, will cause to be expended annu- 
ally, the amount of one thousand five hundred 
dollars, in purchasing for them clothing, domestic 
animals, and implements of husbandry, and for 
encouraging useful artificers to reside in their vil- 
lages." But the Indians were not in a condition 
to be immediately benefited by these beneficent 
designs. The angry turmoils fomented and per- 
petuated by British emissaries in Canada, and the 
jealous apprehensions with which the Indians re- 
garded the encroachments of white settlers on their 
lands, measurably defeated these measures. Red 
Jacket, who was then in the height of his power 
and influence, at first gave a quasi endorsement 
of the plan, but afterwards proved its most 
implacable and obdurate enemy; and when, sub- 
sequently, efforts to christianize the Indians were 
made through missionary labors, he and the 
younger Cornplanter, (notwithstanding the latter's 
father had been converted to the christian faith,) 
became the leaders of the anti-christian party of 
the Senecas, while Captain Pollard, or Kaowndoo- 
wand, Gishkaka, commonly called Little Billy, and 
other distinguished Seneca chieftains, became the 
champions of the opposite party, which, gaining 
the ascendency, deposed Red Jacket from his 
sachemship in 1827.* He was, however, soon after 


After the adjustment of the great controversy 
between the Indians and the United States at Can- 
andaigua in 1794, the broad and beautiful domain 
of the Six Nations was curtailed to a few compar- 
atively small reservations, which were afterwards 
reduced by greedy and avaricious land cormorants.J 
These reservations included several small tracts on 
and adjacent to the Genesee, the Indian title to 
the east of which in this county was extinguished 
in 1826; but the greater portion of the Senecas 
took up their residence on the Buffalo Reserva- 

In 1796, several families of Friends settled on 
the Oneida Reservation and improved the condi- 
tion of that nation by instructing the men in the 
art of husbandry and some of the indispensable 

*L!/e and Times of Red Jacket, 441. 

t Ibid, 447. 

+ These reservations as affectmg the Western tribes are as follows : — 

Tonawanda Reservation, near Niagara river, containing about 13,000 

Buffalo Reservation, near the city of Buffalo, containing about 53,000 
acres . . 

Cattaraugus Reservation, near Cattaraugus creek, containing about 
2i,ooo acres. 

Alleghany Reservation, near the Alleghany river, containing about 31,- 
000 acres. 

Life and Times of Red yacket, 182, note- 

mechanic arts, and the women in household duties, 
spinning, sewing and knitting. In 1798, the Sen- 
ecas, observing the improvement of the Oneidas, 
requested the Friends to aid them in the same 
way, and accordingly three families established 
themselves in the canton of the Alleghany. 

In the summer of 1805, a young missionary 
named Cram was sent by the Evangelical Mission- 
ary Society of Massachusetts to establish a mis- 
sionary station among the Senecas; but he met 
with no encouragement, and was filled with discom- 
fort by the speech of the wary Red Jacket, which 
has been pronounced one of the best of the many 
attributed to him. He artfully confronted the dis- 
concerted missionary with the worst phases of a 
pseudo-christianity, such as too often presented 
themselves to the untutored savages, and dwelt 
upon the glaring injustice practiced upon the latter 
by professors of the religion sought to be incul- 

In the spring of 18 11, the Be v. Mr. Alexander, 
the agent of the Missionary Society, accompanied 
the agent of a New York company holding the 
preemptive title to the reservations in the Holland 
Purchase, in an attempt to acquire the right to 
these, to renew the effort to estabHsh a mission 
among the Senecas. This drew from Red Jacket 
an equally terse and laconic speech, in which, 
among other things, he said: — 

" Great numbers of black coats have been amongst 
the Indians, and with sweet voices and smiUng faces, 
have offered to teach them the religion of the white 
people. Our brethren in the east listened to the 
black coats, turned from the religion of their fa- 
thers, and took up the religion of the white people. 
What good has it done them? Are they more 
happy and more friendly one to another than we 
are ? No, brother, they are a divided people — we 
are united ; they quarrel about religion — we Hve 
in love and friendship ; they drink strong water ; 
have learned how to cheat, and practice all the 
vices of the white men, which disgrace Indians, 
without imitating the virtues of the white men. 
Brother, if you are our well wisher, keep away and 
do not disturb us. * * * You wish us to change 
our religion for yours ; we like our religion and do 
not want another. Our friends* do us great good ; 
they counsel us in our troubles, and instruct us 
how to make ourselves comfortable. Our friends 
the Quakers do more than this; they give us ploughs 
and show us how to use them. They tell us we 
are accountable beings, but do not say we must 
change our religion. We are satisfied with what 
they do." 

* Referring to Mr. Granger, the United States Agent of Indian Affairs, 
Mr. Parish, the Indian Interpreter, and Mr. Taylor, the Agent of the 
Society of Friends for improving the condition of the Indians, who were 
present at the Council. 



These, however, were either not the sentiments 
of many of the Senecas, or they were not held as 
tenaciously by them ; for, notwithstanding the re- 
pulse of Mr. Alexander in 1811, the New York 
Missionary Society had succeeded in establishing 
several missionary stations, that among the Tuscaro- 
ras as early as 1805, in consequence of which there 
had been a rapid improvement in their moral and 
social condition. A missionary house had like- 
wise been opened at the Seneca village, (the home 
of Red Jacket, whose Indian name was Sagoye- 
watka, signifying, he keeps them awake,) about five 
miles from Buffalo, and another upon the Cattarau- 
gus reservation. Such was the success of these 
efforts, that, previous to 1820, the Senecas were 
divided into two distinct parties, Christian and 
Pagan. Similar measures were instituted with the 
Indians living at Squakie Hill. In December, 
1815, a secular school was estabhshed there under 
the auspices of the Presbyterian Synod of Geneva, 
with Jerediah Horsford as teacher. 

So grave had the encroachments of civilization 
become, in the eyes of the Pagan Senecas, and so 
uncompromising was their hostility to it, that in 
the winter of 1819-20, an appeal, embodied in a 
letter dictated by Red Jacket, who was then too 
feeble to enunciate the sentiments in council, was 
made to Governor CHnton, complaining of the of- 
fensive and destructive encroachments of the white 
settlers on their reservations, and invoking protec- 
tion against the "black coats," as the missionaries 
were called. A Mr. Hyde who had formerly been 
a schoolmaster among them, but had changed his 
vocation to that of a minister of religion, had made 
himself especially obnoxious, having threatened, 
the remonstrance said, that unless they listened to 
his preaching and became Christians, they would 
be turned off their lands. " If he has no right to 
say so," the letter says, " we think he ought to be 
turned off our lands, and not allowed to plague us 
any more. We shall never be at peace while he 
is among us.'' 

In consequence of this and similar representa- 
tions, the Legislature, in 1821, passed an act to 
more effectually prevent encroachments upon the 
lands of the Senecas. The secular provisions of 
the act were occasionally enforced; but in regard 
to the missionaries, says Stone, its energies were 
allowed to slumber for two or three years. In the 
meantime the New York Missionary Society had 
transferred its stations to the care of the American 
Board of Foreign Missions, by which the Seneca 
missions had been re-organized upon a more effi- 

cient basis. In 182 1, Rev. Thompson S. Harris, 
with an augmented mission family, was stationed 
at the Seneca village, and commissioned superin- 
tendent of the stations in the several cantons. A 
church was soon after formed and male and female 
schools opened. In 1822, Rev. Mr. Thayer, with 
his family and suitable teachers, were stationed at 
the Cattaraugus reservation. These labors were 
successful; and the Pagan party, mortified by the 
rapid increase of the Christian party at the ex- 
pense of their own, and alarmed at the disaffection 
of Capt. Strong, or Oquiyesou, a prominent Cat- 
taraugus chief, who had become converted to the 
Christian faith, aided by several "white Pagans" 
in Buffalo, secured the ejectment of the mission- 
aries and school teachers under the act of 1821. 
Efforts were immediately put forth, which, though 
at first unavaiUng, finally resulted in such a modi- 
fication of the law as enabled both missionaries 
and teachers to resume their labors.* Within the 
next half decade the Indians had disposed of their 
Hmited reservations in this county, and removed to 
others outside the county; and within the two suc- 
ceeding decades the Senecas had disposed of every 
vestige of their lands within the State. 


Titles to the Soil — Extinguishment of Indian 
Titles — Line of Property — Conflicting 
Claims of New York and Massachusetts — 
Preemption Line — New York and Massachu- 
setts Surrender Claims to Territory to 
Federal Government — Treaty and Cession 
OF 1784 — Phelps and Gorham's Purchase- 
Treaty AND Cession of 1788 — Pultney Es- 
tate — Holland Land Company — Holland 
Purchase — Connecticut Tract — Transit 
Line — Morris Reserve — Forty Thousand 
Acre Tract — Morris Honorary Creditor's 
Tract — Robert Morris' Letter to President 
Washington — Treaty and Cession of Big 
Tree in 1797 — Red Jacket's Insincerity- 
Difficulties Experienced in Determining the 
Extent and Boundaries of Reservations- 
Mary Jemison's Farm — Lessee Company- 
Effort Made to Dismember the State — 
Reservations made in 1797 — Treaty and Ces- 
sion of 1826. 

UNTIL after the close of the Revolutionary war 
in 1783, the territory embraced in the county 
of Livingston, and indeed, of the whole of Western 

* Life attd Times 0/ Red Jcukeit 387, 394. 



New York, was included in the indefinite Indian 
domain, the east line of which, known as the 
Property Line, was established by a treaty held at 
Fort Statiwix, (Rome) November 5, 1768, and ex- 
tended so far as it relates to this State, from a 
point on Wood creek, near the mouth of Canada 
creek, thence to the head waters of the Unadilla, 
down that stream to its mouth, and thence south 
to the line of Pennsylvania. This tract was sub- 
sequently acquired from the Indians by treaty ; for, 
notwithstanding the treaty of peace between the 
English and Americans in 1783 contained no stipu- 
lations respecting the Iroquois, or that portion of 
them who had been the aUies of the former, their 
right to the soil was generally recognized by both 
State and Federal governments. 

At the close of the war, claims were established 
by Massachusetts under Colonial patents to the 
right of soil of a large portion of Western New 
York, and were confirmed by a Commission ap- 
pointed by the two governments, which met at 
Hartford, Conn., December 16, 1786, and which, 
while it reserved to New York the right of sover- 
eignty, conceded to Massachusetts the right to pre- 
empt the soil from the native Indians of all that 
tract lying west of a line, known as the Pre-emption 
Line, extending north from the eighty-second mile- 
stone from the Delaware River at the north-east 
corner of Pennsylvania, or the south-east corner 
of Steuben county, through Geneva and Sodus 
Bay, on the meridian of Washington, (except a 
tract a mile wide along Niagara River,) and an ad- 
ditional tract east of that line, known as the Boston 
Ten Towns, lying in the counties of Broome, Cort- 
land and Tioga. This agreement was sanctioned 
by Congress in 1787.* 

Early in 1784, the State Legislature passed an 
act, appointing as Superintendents of Indian Af- 
fairs, a Board of Commissioners, of which Governor 
Clinton was a member. In June of that year, 
these commissioners met Brant, Cornplanter, Red 
Jacket and Farmer's Brother, representatives of the 
Six Nations, at Fort Stanwix, to negotiate a treaty 
for the extinguishment of their title to lands in 
Western New York. Nothing, however, was ac- 
compUshed at this meeting, as the Indians declined 
to negotiate with the State independent of the 
Federal government, which had also appointed 
commissioners for a similar purpose. 

The succeeding fall, Oliver Wolcott, Richard 

t The territory of both New York and Massachusetts extended indeH- 
nitely westward from ocean to ocean ; but March i, 1781, New York 
relinquished to the United States its claims to territory west of the western 
boundary of the State. Massachusetts did the same in 178S. 

Butler and Arthur Lee, commissioners of the Fed- 
eral government, met the Indians at Fort Stanwix, 
and on the 22d of October, 1784, concluded a 
treaty, by which peace was established between the 
United States and the Six Nations, who were re- 
ceived under the protection of the former and 
guaranteed undisturbed possession of the lands they 
then occupied, including all that part of this State 
west of the-line estabUshed in 1768. Prisoners were 
exchanged, and a large tract of land ceded to this" 
State, whose commissioners also attended the treaty. 

It was at this treaty that Red Jacket first dis- 
tinguished himself as an orator, displaying talents 
which challenged the admiration and elicited the 
commendation of that distinguished patriot, La- 
fayette. He inaugurated at this time a poHcy 
which characterized his subsequent life — that of 
determined opposition to disposing of their lands 
to the whites. It is believed that Brant, who was 
not present at this treaty, would have supported 
Red Jacket's opposition. His great opponent was 
Cornplanter, who, though an able orator, was more 
distinguished as a warrior, and had through his 
valorous achievements and past services, acquired 
a great influence with his people, who, however, 
afterwards made him feel the weight of their re- 
sentment of his great readiness to part with their 
lands, even threatening his life,* a fact to which he 
alluded in a pathetic appeal to Washington at Phila- 
delphia, in 1790, when he sought to effect a recon- 
sideration of the treaties and other proceedings 
with the Indians, and especially to obtain redress 
for alleged grievances connected with the purchase 
of Phelps and Gorham soon after.f "Father," he 
said, we will not conceal from you that the Great 
God, and not man, has preserved the Cornplanter 
from the hands of his own people.'' 

The journals of this treaty are lost; hence this 
speech of Red Jacket's, whose eloquence astonished 
his auditors, is not preserved.:]: Dr. M. H. Mills, 
of Mt. Morris, whose extensive and careful re- 
searches into aboriginal and pioneer history have 
enriched the annals of this county and vicinity, 
gives, in a contribution to the Dansmlle Advertiser, 
the substance of some of its more striking passages, 
as related by the Indians who heard it to his father, 
who, for many years, had an intimate acquaintance 
with the Indians in this locaUty. We quote :— 

* Drake's Book of the Indians. 

\ Life and Times of Red Jacket^ 132, 133. 

X General Erastus Root is said to have remarked, " that he considered 
John Randolph and Red Jacket the two most perfect orators whom he 
had ever heard." [Life and Times 0/ Red jacket, Jig, note.) That 
his name should be coupled with that of Randolph in such connection is 
highly eulogistic. 



" Red Jacket * * * said they would be 
lowered in the estimation of other tribes if they 
parted with their lands and disposed of their great 
rivers and hunting grounds, and would become a 
little people, whom the great spirit, as well as the 
great white father, (Washington,) would have little 
regard or respect for ; that the principle itself was 
in open hostility to the best interest of the Indian ; 
that their occupation was hunting and fishing and 
following the war-path. ' Deprive the Indian of 
these resources, and you bind his hands, and tie his 
feet, and then say to him joggs [run,] which is an 
impossibility, and will render the Indian a helpless 
object, and, perhaps, by and by, an object of 
charity,' which, he trusted, would never happen. 
If it did, he hoped the great spirit would not per- 
mit him to live, to behold his people so degraded. 
' My eyes must never witness such a scene ; Red 
Jacket's blood must all flow out of his body before 
this can happen. Brothers, we desire to live in 
peace with the white man ; we have had a great 
deal of war ; we have become wearied ; we have 
followed our well-beaten trails a long distance to 
this council fire. We want peace; but if that is to 
be obtained by the disposing of our lands, I am for 


April I, 1788, Oliver Phelps and Nathaniel Gor- 
hani purchased of Massachusetts, in the interest of 
an association of capitalists, its pre-emptive right 
to lands in this State, variously estimated to com- 
prise from 6,000,000 to 8,000,000 acres ; the con- 
sideration being 300,000^, to be paid in three 
annual installments, in the depreciated securities of 
that State, which were then worth about one-fifth 
of their par value. Failing to meet their obhga- 
tions, owing to the unexpected depreciation in these 
securities, Messrs. Phelps and Gorham surrend- 
ered all that part of this tract lying to the west, 
and a small portion lying to the east, of the Gene- 
see, or more than a half of the original purchase, 
which reverted to the State of Massachusetts in June, 
1790. The eastern line of that portion retained 
was the old Pre-emption Line ; the western line 
commenced on the Pennsylvania line 44.78 miles 
west of this, and extended directly north, along the 
east hne of the towns of Nunda and Mt. Morris, 
to the confluence of Canaseraga creek with the 
Genesee river, thence following that stream to a 
point two miles north of the Indian village of Cana- 
waugus, thence due west twelve miles, and thence 
north twenty-four degrees east to a point on Lake 
Ontario which would intersect the prolongation of 
the line from the point of beginning. The Indian 
title to this tract was extinguished at a treaty held 
at Buffalo Creek,* July 8, T788, the Senecas re- 

*Li/e and Times of Red Jacket, IJ6; Pioneer History of Plielps 
and Gorham' s Purdiase, 141— Note. This treaty has commonly, but 
erroneously, been supposed to have been held at Canandaigua. 

ceiving in consideration from Phelps and Gorham 
the inconsiderable sum of five thousand dollars, 
one-half of which was paid in cash and the other 
half in goods, and a perpetual annuity of five hun- 
dred dollars. The amount paid therefor to Massa- 
chusetts was 3 1,000 _;^. 

In 1789, Messrs. Phelps and Gorham opened a 
land office at Canandaigua and commenced the 
settlement of their lands. 

November i8, 1790, Phelps and Gorham sold to 
Robert Morris, of Philadelphia, the distinguished 
financier and patriot of the Revolution, 1,200,000 
acres of their purchase, reserving what had been 
previously sold by them and two townships addi- 
tional. The next year Mr. Morris, through his 
agent in Europe, WiUiam Temple Franklin, a 
grandson of Dr. Benjamin Frankhn, sold the whole 
tract at an advance of 4,000^^ to a company of 
London capitalists, composed of Sir William Pult- 
ney, a capitalist and noted British statesman, 
John Hornby, a former governor of Bombay, In- 
dia, and Patrick Colquhoun, a wealthy Scotch phi- 
lanthropist, then high sheriff of Westminster, Eng- 
land, upon the latter of whom the duty of pro- 
moting its settlement mainly devolved — a duty he 
performed with great acceptability. This tract, 
which embraced the present counties of Ontario, 
Yates and Steuben, and large portions of Wayne, 
Monroe, Schuyler, Allegany, Chemung and Living- 
ston counties, has since been known as the Pultney 
Estate, and the details of its settlement have been 
successively managed by Colonel Charles William- 
son, a native of Scotland, to whom the land was 
originally conveyed, as attorney of the company, 
Robert Troup, W. W. McKay, Joseph Fellows and 
B. F. Young. The principal settlements were be- 
gun at Geneva, Canandaigua, Bath and Sodus Bay. 
May 12, 1791, the reverted portion of Phelps 
and Gorham's Purchase was bought at one shilling 
per acre, by Samuel Ogden, for Robert Morris, in 
whom the Legislature confirmed the title May 11, 
1 791. July 20, 1793, Mr. Morris sold the western 
portion of this tract, constituting about seven- 
eighths of the whole, to the Holland Land Company, 
an association of capitalists of Amsterdam, Hol- 
land, consisting of Wilhelm Willink, Jan Willink, 
Nicholas Van Stophorst, Jacob Van Stophorst, 
Nicholas Hubbard, Pieter Van Eeghen, Christian 
Van Eeghen, Isaac Ten Gate, Hendrick VoUen- 
hoven. Christian Coster, (widow,) Jan Stadnitski 
and Rutger J. Schenimelpennick, who, being 
aliens, made the purchase through residents in this 
country, the consideration being 55,0^.0 ;£. This 



tract has since been known as the Holland Pur- 
chase, no portion of which lies within this county. 
Its east line commences on the Pennsylvania line 
twelve miles west of the west line of the Phelps 
and Gorham Purchase, on the line between Alma 
and Bolivar, Allegany county, and extends thence 
due north to near the center of the town of Staf- 
ford, Genesee county, to the south line of the Con- 
necticut Tract,* thence due west two miles and 
thence due north, on the west line of the Connec- 
ticut Tract to Lake Ontario.f 

Between the Phelps and Gorham Purchase and 
the Holland Purchase was a tract twelve miles in 
width, containing a half miUion acres, reserved by 
Mr. Morris at the time of his sale to the Holland 
Company, and hence known as the Morris Reserve. 
It embraced the towns of Nunda, Portage, Mt. 
Morris, Leicester and the south half of York in 
Livingston county, and was sold out in several 
large tracts to different purchasers. The Forty 
Thousand Acre Tract, sold by Morris to Wilhelm 
and Jan Willink, lies partially in this county and 
partially in Wyoming county; and the Morris 
Honorary Creditors' Tract containing 58,570 acres, 
and joining this on the south, lies partly in Living- 
ston and partly in Allegany county. 

By the terms of the sale to the Holland Com- 
pany, Mr. Morris obligated himself to extinguish 
the Indian title to the tract thus sold, and 3S,ooo_;^ 
of the purchase money was withheld till its consum- 
mation; but, owing to the threatening attitude of the 
Indians for a full decade succeeding the war of the 
Revolution, and until the signal victory of General 
Wayne over the Western Indians in 1794, he did not 
deem it prudent to make an effort in this direction. 
On the 25th of August, 1796, he addressed the 
following letter to President Washington : — 

"Sir: — In the year 1791, I purchased of the 
State of Massachusetts a tract of country lying 
within the boundaries of the State of New York, 
which had been ceded by the latter to the former 
state under the sanction and with the concurrence 
of the Congress of the United States. This tract 
of land is bounded on the east by the Genesee 
river, to the north by Lake Ontario, to the west 
partly by Lake Erie, and partly by the boundary 
line of the Pennsylvania Triangle, and to the south 
by the north boundary Kne of the State of Pennsyl- 
vania. * * * To perfect the title it is neces- 

*This tract comprises 100,000 acres, lying in the counties of Genesee 
and Orleans, and extending in a narrow strip to the lake. It was sold by 
Mr. Morris to Watson, Cragie & Greenleaf; and in 1881, conveyed in un- 
divided halves to the State of Connecticut and Sir William Pultney, the 
former using part of her School Fund in the purchase. It was divided by 
alternate lots in 1811. FrencKs State Gazetteer. 

t This line is known as the Transit Line, from having been run with a 
transit instrument, then first used in surveys. 

sary to purchase of the Seneca nation of Indians 
their native right; which I should have done soon 
after the purchase was made, * * * but that 
I felt myself restrained from doing so by motives 
of public consideration. 

" The war between the Western Indian nations 
and the United States did not extend to the Six 
Nations, of which the Seneca nation is one; and 
as I apprehended that if this nation should sell its 
right during the existence of that war, they might 
the more readily be induced to join the enemies of 
our country, I was determined not to make the 
purchase while that war. lasted. 

"When peace was made with the Indian nations 
I turned my thoughts towards the purchase, which 
is to me an object very interesting; but upon its 
being represented that a little longer patience, 
until the western posts should be dehvered up by 
the British government, might still be public utility, 
I concluded to wait for that event also, which is 
now happily accomplished, and there seems no 
obstacle remaining to restrain me from making the 
purchase, especially as I have reason to believe the 
Indians are desirous to make the sale. 

" The delays which have already taken place 
and that arose solely from consideratj^ans above 
mentioned, have been extremely detrimental to my 
private affairs ; but still being desirous to comply 
with formalities prescribed by certain laws of the 
United States, although those laws do not probably 
reach my case, I now make application to the 
president of the United States, and request that he 
will nominate and appoint a commissioner to be 
present and preside at a treaty, which he will be 
pleased to authorize to be held with the Seneca 
nation, for the purpose of enabling me to make a 
purchase in conformity with the formalities required 
by law of the tract of country for which I have 
already paid a large sum of money. My right to 
the pre-emption is unequivocal, and the land has 
become so necessary to the growing population and 
surrounding settlements, that it is with difficulty 
that the white people can be restrained from 
squatting or settling down upon these lands, which, 
if they should do it, may probably bring on con- 
tentions with the Six Nations. 

"This will be prevented by a timely, fair and 
honorable purchase. 

" This proposed treaty ought to be held imme- 
diately before the hunting season, or another year 
will be lost, as the Indians cannot be collected 
during that season. The loss of another year under 
the payments thus made for these lands would be 
ruinous to my affairs; and as I have paid so great 
deference to public consideration whilst they did 
exist, I expect and hope that my request will be 
readily granted now, when there can be no cause 
of delay ; especially if the Indians are willing to 
sell, which will be tested by the offer to buy. 

" With the most perfect esteem and respect, I 
am, sir, your most obedient and humble servant, 

"George Washington, Esq., 

" President of the United States." 



In the meantime Washington, who was disposed 
to further the wishes of Mr. Morris in any way con- 
sistent with the pubhc interest, had been put in 
possession of documents, drawn at the instigation 
of Capt. Bruff, then commandant of the.British gar- 
rison at Fort Niagara, expressing an aversion of the 
Senecas to parting with any more of their lands ; 
and he told Mr. Morris that he should feel con- 
strained to accompany his recommendation and 
nominations to the Senate with these documents, 
expressing doubt of the favorable action of that 
body. Isaac Smith, of New Jersey, was nominated 
by the President, and the Senate confirmed the 
nomination, stipulating, however, that no treaty 
should be held for this purpose until the Indians 
themselves requested it. Thomas Morris, a son of 
the purchaser of the tract, was deputized by his 
father to obtain the consent of the Indians and 
conduct the negotiations with them for the purchase 
of their lands, in both of which he was successful. 
At the time designated for the treaty, the atten- 
dance of Commissioner Smith was prevented by 
judicial duties, and Colonel Jeremiah Wadsworth 
of Connecticut, was appointed in his stead. Gen- 
eral WiUiam Shepard was designated to attend by 
Massachusetts; Captains Horatio Jones and Jasper 
Parish were selected as interpreters, and James 
Rees, of Geneva, as secretary. Captain Israel 
Chapin, then Superintendent of Indian Aifairs, was 
present ; also Charles Williamson, in behalf of the 
Pultney Estate, William Bayard, in behalf of the 
Holland Land Company, and two young gentle- 
men from Holland, named Van Stophorst, relatives 
of the proprietors of the name connected with the 
Holland Company. 

The treaty was held at Geneseo, and the log- 
house of the Wadsworth brothers, then unfinished, 
located between the site of the village of Geneseo 
and the river, was hired for the use of the Commis- 
sioners and officers in attendance. A large council 
house, covered with the branches of trees was pre- 
pared for the convenience of the negotiators ; and 
after a week spent in preUminary matters, the busi- 
ness of the council was commenced on the 28th of 
August, 1797, continuing till the 15th of Septem- 
ber, when a deed was executed by which the Sene- 
cas disposed of the remainder of their lands in 
Western New York, with the exception of certain 
reservations. The council was a stormy one, and 
was more than once threatened with utter failure, 
owing to the machinations of certain venal white 
persons, who stimulated a prevalent disinclination 
on the part of the Senecas to part with their lands 

for the purpose of defeating its object. Mr. Mor- 
ris had hoped that $75,000 would sufliice to satisfy 
the demands of the Indians ; but, in view of the 
accumulating difficulties, was constrained to offer 
them $100,000. Even this sum, however, was in- 
sufficient; and Red Jacket, who, in consonance with 
his former opposition to the disposition of their 
lands, opposed with his fiery eloquence the object of 
the treaty, responded to the offer that the Senecas 
did not want to sell their lands ; but as there were 
expenses attending the treaty, which they had re- 
luctantly consented to hold, he offered Mr. Morris 
a single township on the Pennsylvania border at one 
dollar per acre, which, he said would sell for a suffi- 
cient advance to cover the expenses. Mr. Morris, 
by the urgent advice of the commissioners, and 
Mr. Bayard, who had become impatient at the dila- 
tory proceedings and desired to bring the parley to 
a close, but in opposition to his own judgment and 
wishes, affected to reject the offer with contempt ; 
whereupon Red Jacket, with great vehemence, 
retorted, "you have now arrived at a point to which 
I wished to bring you. You told us in your first 
address that even in the event of our not agreeing 
to sell our lands, we would part friends. Here, 
then, is my hand. I now cover up the council 

This decision was received with great apparent 
satisfaction by the Indians, who gave expression to 
violent demonstrations, such says Stone, as " a 
person unaccustomed to their character and man- 
ners would have trembled for his scalp.'' Mr. 
Bayard, who had been particularly importunate to 
have Mr. Morris take the course pursued, hoping 
it would expedite a favorable adjustment, was 
deeply mortified with the result, and strenuously 
urged Mr. Morris to make an effort to re-open the 
negotiations, which the latter who was equally 
soHcitous, promised to do, on condition that he be 
allowed to take his own course, without interference 
either by the agent or commissioners. 

On the following day he observed to Farmer's 
Brother, who called on him in a fraternal spirit, 
that, in accordance with their established customs, 
it was the prerogative of the one who lighted a 
council-fire to extinguish it ; and since he had 
lighted the present one. Red Jacket, by putting it 
out, had usurped a right which belonged solely to 
him, to which Farmer's Brother assented. Several 
days intervened before a council could be convened, 
during which Mr. Morris industriously appUed him- 
self to an effort to win the approbation of the wo- 
men and warriors, as there seemed little probability 



of being able to accomplish his purpose with the 
sachems. For this purpose he artfully pandered 
to their fondness for display and ornamentation, 
by distributing among the women such articles as 
were calculated to excite and gratify this passion — 
a plan which fully met his expectations; for he was 
soon able to convene a council of women and war- 
riors and bring the negotiations to a favorable ter- 
mination.* From the moment the women and 
warriors assumed the task of negotiations, Red 
Jacket withdrew and remained drunk during the 
rest of the proceedings.! Cornplanter, the princi- 
pal war chief, then became the main speaker, and 
opened the proceedings. He said the women and 
warriors regretted the misconduct of their sachems 
and censured the haste displayed by Mr. Morris, 
and expressed the hope that the renewed negotia- 
tions would be conducted with better temper on 
both sides. 

After the terms of the treaty were agreed upon, 
much difficulty was experienced in fixing the bound- 
aries and extent of the reservations. The Indians 
insisted that the former should be designated by 
natural rather than arbitrary lines, such as the 
courses of streams, etc.; but this was inadmissable, 
as it gave the Indians every advantage over the 
whites, who possessed little exact knowledge of the 
geography of the country. J The chiefs were jeal- 
ous of each other, and, as their importance was 
measured by their following, which was determined 
by the extent of their lands, each was solicitous to 

* Indian polity vested the ultimate right to dispose of their lands in the 
women and warriors, because the former tilled, while the latter protected 

t Stone says Red Jacket's opposition to this treaty was insincere, and 
that his object in thus withdrawing was to throw the entire responsibility 
upon Cornplanter. He adds it is a fact "no less true than disgraceful, 
that after the negotiation had been completed, he repaired to the lodge 
of Mr. Morris by night, and told him that he had in reality no objections 
to the sale of their lands, but yet he must seem to oppose the measure, or 
he should lose his popularity. That popularity had been acquired by op- 
posing every land sale that had been made, and he must at least affect to 
continue his opposition to the end. * * * In order to manifest his 
apparent opposition to the treaty, he refused in Council, after the decision 
had been made, to sign it ; and yet before any signature had been made 
to the document, he arranged with Mr. Morris to have a blank left for the 
insertion of his name afterwards— desiring that the space might be high 
up among the first, that when Washington saw the treaty he might know 
that Sagoyewatha was yet a man of consequence among the chiefs of his 
people." Life and Times of Red Jacket^ 249. 

X Mr. Morris did in one instance depart fron his fixed determination to 
have the boundaries of reservations established by survey. In his im- 
patience he yielded to the persistent importunities of Mary Jemison, the 
white woman, for whom the chiet's were desirous of making provision. 
She objected to her reservation being designated by a definite number of 
acres, for the reason, as she said, that she had various improved places, 
one of which was a patch of corn, another of potatoes, another of beans, 
etc., she then named certain boundaries, to which Mr. Morris assented, 
supposing the tract would not exceed 150 acres; but when surveyed, 
Mary's farm, the Gardeau flats, proved to contain, according to the sur- 
vey of Augustus Porter,made in 179^ '7i929 acres and 137 rods of land 
of an .excellent quality. 

increase his own allotment and diminish that of his 
rival. Difficulties were also experienced before the 
final consummation of the treaty, prominent among 
which was the arrival at the council of Young 
King, a youthful warrior, who, as a descendant of 
the famous chief Old Smoke, inherited the title of 
Chief Sachem of the Seneca nation, and an influ- 
ence to which his merit did not entitle him. As 
Chief Sachem of the nation his signature to the 
treaty was necessary to make it valid; and though 
he was at first averse to the sale, by dint of much 
persuasion his objections were finally overcome. 
Another obstack was presented by the instructions 
of Washington to Col. Wadsworth, to withhold his 
assent from any treaty which did not provide for 
the investment of the purchase money in the stock 
of the United States Bank, in trust for the Seneca 
nation. It was only with great difficulty that the 
Indians could be made to comprehend the magni- 
tude of a hundred thousand dollars, the purchase 
price ; while it was utterly impossible to make them 
understand the nature of an investment and why 
the dividend resulting therefrom varied in amount. 
As an aid to the former they were told how many 
casks of a given size would be required to hold the 
amount, and how many horses would be necessary 
to draw it ; while their idea of the latter was, that 
a bank was an extensive place in Philadelphia 
where money was planted and produced better 
crops some years than others. Frequently in after 
years they would inquire of Mr. Morris what kind 
of a crop they might expect in a season like that 
they were then experiencing. 

Pending the negotiations between New York 
and Massachusetts relative to their claims to the 
territory of Western New York, a project was set 
on foot by a company of Columbia county specu- 
lators to get possession of this entire country, vnth 
the ulterior motive of erecting it into a separate 
State.* In order to evade the law then existing in 
this State, which prohibited the purchase from the 
Indians of land within the State, by individuals or 
companies, without the sanction of the Legislature, 
in 1776, they negotiated a lease with the chiefs of 
the Six Nations of all the lands possessed by them, 
exclusive of certain reservations, for a term of 999 
years, the consideration being $20,000 in hand and 
an annual rental of $2,000. Under these auspices 
sales were made to settlers, who took possession of 
various portions of the land. On the sale to 
Phelps and Gorham in 1788, a second lease was 

♦This company consisted of Jolin Livingston, Caleb Benton, Peter 
Ryckman, John Stephenson, Ezekial Gilbert and others. 



executed for a like period for the residue of their 
lands, and a reduction of one-half made in the 
annual rental. The Legislature, however, regarded 
a lease of this character equivalent to a purchase 
and an infraction of the law; and in order to 
put the matter at rest, a law was passed in March, 
1788, declaring the pre-emptive right to the lands 
to be vested in the State, and authorizing the 
strongest measures to be used to remove all in- 
truders from the lands.* Accordingly Governor 
George Clinton sent the sheriff of Herkimer 
county, which then embraced this territory, with a 
posse of sixty men to eject these intruders upon 
the Indian lands and burn their dweUings. Though 
baffled in these efforts the lessee company did not 
abandon their project, but in 1793 developed a 
plan to form a new state which was to embrace the 
whole of Western New York. It was, however, 
defeated by the energetic action of the better class 
of citizens, although serious alarm was occasioned 
among those settlers who were favorably disposed 
towards the constituted authorities. The formid- 
able character of the movement is indicated by the 
proceedings of a public opposition meeting, held at 
Canandaigua in November, 1793, and presided 
over by Judge Timothy Hosmer, from the minutes 
of which the following is an abstract : — 

" Whereas, Certain restless and turbulent char- 
acters from the eastern district of this State, evil 
disposed towards this country, have for some time 
past, endeavored to stir up sedition among the 
peaceable inhabitants thereof, and to excite them 
to acts both treasonable and improper; and, 

"Whereas, They have proposed to many indi- 
viduals of the county that the county of Ontario, 
in conjunction with that of Otsego, and part of 
Tioga and Herkimer, should immediately shake off 
all allegiance and dependence from the State of 
New York, and support their independence by 
force of arms, in case the state should be unwilling 
to ratify and confirm the same ; and, 

"Whereas, The passions of the dishonest 
and disorderly, of the ambitious and the timid, 
have been flattered by the expectation of hav- 
ing laws passed for the screening of individuals 
from the payment of their just debts for six years, 
and they have been falsely told that all the Indian 
lands, as well as those belonging to the state of 
New York as those which the said State, together 
with Massachusetts, have guaranteed to individu- 
als, should become a prey to the rapacity of their 
hungry followers, and have engaged to support 
these measures by a number of armed troops col- 

• "In order that not even the color of injustice towards the lessees might 
remain, the Legislature, five years afterwards, made a grant to them of a 
district of country ten miles square, in the northern part of the state and 
subsequently they received grants of several large tracts in the Genesee 
country from Phelps ana Gorba.m."—Li/e a>ia Times of Red "Jacket, 

lected from Vermont and elsewhere, in case of 
opposition ; therefore, 

" Resolved, That the inhabitants of Ontario, sen- 
sible to the many advantages that they have derived 
from their connection with one of the most respect- 
able states in the union, and desirous of the con- 
tinuation of the same advantages, highly resent the 
ill-timed and improper attempt made by the charac- 
ters above alluded to, to disturb their peace and 
harmony, and they conceive their measures are preg- 
nant with danger, and such as if carried into effect 
would introduce into our infant country all the 
comphcated evils which anarchy and confusion can 

Following this, in 1794, the Federal government 
effected a treaty, guaranteeing to each of the Six 
Nations the right to its own reservations; so that 
the confederacy could not thenceforth dispose of 
any of the land of either of its members against 
their will; and while other Indians were restrained 
from selling their land, except to the United States, 
it conferred on each of the Six Nations, separately, 
the right to sell any or all of its lands to citizens of 
the United States whenever and however it might 

The following reservations were made by the 
Senecas at the Geneseo or Big Tree treaty in 

1. Canawaugus Reservation, two miles square, 
located on the Genesee west of Avon. 

2. Big Tree Reservation, two miles square, 
located on the Genesee, opposite Geneseo, in the 
present town of Leicester. 

3. Little Beard's Reservation, two miles square, 
located on the Genesee in the town of Leicester. 

4. Squakie Hill Reservation, two miles square, 
located on the Genesee, in Leicester, near Mt. 

5. Gardeau Reservation, twenty-eight square 
miles, located on both sides of the Genesee in Cas- 
tile and Mt. Morris. 

6. Canadea Reservation, sixteeen square miles, 
located on both sides of the Genesee, in Allegany 

7. Oil Spring Reservation, one square mile, 
on the line between Cattaraugus and Allegany 

8. Allegany Reservation, forty-two square miles, 
on both sides of the Allegany river, and extending 
north from the Pennsylvania line. 

9. Cattaraugus Reservation, forty-two square 
miles, at the mouth of and on both sides of Catta- 
raugus creek. 

10. Buffalo Reservation, one hundred and thirty 
square miles, on both sides of Buffalo creek. 

ri. Tonawanda Reservation, seventy square 
miles, on both sides of Tonawanda creek, and 
mostly in Genesee county, 

12. Tuscarora Reservation, one square mile, 
three miles east of Lewiston in Niagara county. 



The titles to all these reservations in Livingston 
county, together with the portions of the Buffalo, 
Tonawanda, Cattaraugus and Canadea reserva- 
tions, were extinguished at a treaty council held 
August 31, 1826, and attended by Hon. Oliver 
Forward, of Buffalo, as United States Commis- 
sioner, Hon. Nathaniel Gorham, as agent for the 
commonwealth of Massachusetts, and John Greig, 
of Canandaigua, as agent of The Ogden Company, 
who had acquired the pre-emptive right of Mr. 
Morris, and in whose interest the treaty was held. 
At this date the representatives of the once lordly 
and powerful Seneca nation remaining in this coun- 
try, had dwindled to an insignificant number, who 
found an asylum on other reservations.* 


Early Civil Divisions — Formation of Living- 
ston COUNTY — Original Towns in Livingston 
county — Subsequent Territorial Changes — 
Topography — Boundaries, Area and Geo- 
graphical Situation — Improved Land in 1820 
AND 1875 — -Character of Surface — Genesee 
River — Falls at Portage — The Genesee 
made a Public Highway — Charlevoix's De- 
scription OF the Genesee in 17 12 — Indian 
Name of the Genesee — Its Principal Tribu- 
taries — Canaseraga Creek — Cashaqua 
Creek — Conesus and Hemlock Lakes — -Cli- 
mate OF Livingston County — Soil — Staple 
Productions — Chief Industry — Comparative 
Analysis of the Census of 1875 — Livingston 
County Compared with Other Counties in 
the State — Towns in Livingston County 

IN 1638, the Dutch gave to all that part of New 
York lying west of Albany its first specific 
designation — Terra Incognita.'^ 

The Province of New York was divided into coun- 
ties November i, 1683, and the counties then 
formed, twelve in number, were named from the 
titles of the Royal family.J Albany county, one 

* The materials for this chapter have been drawn mainly from : Life 
and Times 0/ Red Jacket; Stiae's Life of Brazil; Turner's Phelps 
and Gorham' s Purchase ; Turner's Holland Purchase. A ddress of 
Hon. B. F. Angel, of Genesee, before the Livmgston County Historical 
Society, 1878 ; Contributions to the Local Press by Dr. M. H. Mills, of 
Mt. Morris; YxmACs State Gazetteer; tAcMdiSler' s, History 0/ Steu- 
ien County ; Tlie Historical Magazine ; and other documents. 

t Pioneer History of Phelps & Gorham's Purchase, ii5. 

\ These original counties were : Albany, Cornwall, (now in Maine,) 
Dukes, (now in Massachusetts,) Duchess, Kings, New York, .Orange, 
Queens, Richmond, Suffolk, Ulster and Westchester. 

of the twelve, was the first civil division to which 
Livingston county belonged, and then embraced 
" the Manor of Rensselaerwyck, Schenectady and 
all the villages, neighborhoods and Christian plan- 
tations on the east side of Hudson's river, from 
Roeloffe Jansen's Creek ; and on the west side, 
from Sawyer's Creek to the outermost end of Sa- 
raghtoga." By subsequent statutes it was made 
to include everything within the colony of New 
York north and west of its present limits, and, at 
one time, the whole of Vermont. March 12, 1772, 
Tryon* county was formed from Albany county and 
comprised the country west of a north and south 
line extending from St. Regis to the west bounds 
of the township of Schenectady, thence running 
irregularly south-west to the head of the Mohawk 
branch of the Delaware, and along the same to the 
south-east bounds of the present county of Broome ; 
thence in a north-westerly direction to Fort Bull, 
on Wood Creek, near the present city of Rome ; 
all west of the last mentioned Hne being Indian 
territory. In 1788, all the region west of Utica 
was known as Whitestown. At the third town 
meeting of that town, in 1791, True worthy Cook, 
of Pompey, Jeremiah Gould, of Salina, and James 
Wadsworth, of Geneseo, were chosen path-masters. 
Ontario t county was formed from Montgomery, 
January 27, 1789, and included all that part of the 
State lying west of a north and south line drawn 
through Seneca .Lake, two miles east of Geneva. 
March 30, 1802, Genesee f county was formed from 
Ontario, and originally comprised all that part of 
the State lying west of Genesee River and a line 
extending due south from the point of junction of 
the Genesee and Canaseraga Creek to the south 
line of the State. Livingston county was formed 
from Genesee and Ontario counties, February 23, 
182 I, and named in honor of Chancellor Robert 
Livingston, an eminent jurist and statesman and a 
distinguished patron of agriculture. It originally 
contained twelve towns, eight of which formerly 
belonged to Ontario county § and four to Gene- 
see. 11 In February, 1822, the north-west quarter 
of the township No. 6, in the 7th range, then in 
thetownofDansville, Steuben county, including the 

* Named from William Tryon, Colonial Governor, and changed April 
2, 17S4, in consequence of Tryon's manifest disloyalty to the colonies dur- 
ing the Revolution, to Montgomery, in honor of General Richard Mont- 
gomery, who fell at the capture of Quebec. 

t Named from the lake of the same name, which then formed its northern 

X Named from the Genesee River which formerly was partly within its 

§ Avon, Freeport, (Conesus) Geneseo, Groveland, Lima, Livonia, 
Sparta and Springwater. 

II Caledonia, Leicester, Mount Morris and York. 



village of that name, was annexed to Sparta in this 
county. The towns of Nunda and Portage were 
annexed from Allegany county in May, 1846; and 
Ossian in March, 1857. These, together with North 
Dansville and West Sparta, which were formed 
February 27, 1846, by the division of Sparta, con- 
stitute the present seventeen towns of the county. 

Livingston county lies upon the Genesee River, 
and occupies a central position in the region com- 
monly called Western New York. It is centrally 
distant. two hundred and five miles from Albany; 
and is bounded on the north by Monroe county, 
on the east by Ontario and Steuben counties, on 
the west by Genesee, Wyoming and Allegany 
counties, and on the south by Allegany and 
Steuben counties. It contains 380,665 acres.* 
It is geographically situated between 42" 29' and 
43° north latitude, and 44' and 1° 4' west longi- 
tude from Washington. t Its greatest length, from 
north to south, is 33.8 miles ; its greatest width, 
from east to west, 27.3 miles. 

The subjoined table shows the number of acres 
of improved land in each town in 1820 and 1875 i 
also the aggregate number of acres in 1879, indi- 
cated as farm, village and railroad lands, the village 
lands including, in addition to incorporated vil- 
lages, mill property, factories, and lots of four acres 
or less having buildings thereon which enhance 
their value as compared with farm lands : — 



Conesus ^ 






Mt. Morris 

No, Dansville§ 





Springwater ... 
West Sparta^. 

































8,°7 3 


























































The surface of the county is diversified, and the 
s oil variable and adapted to a w ide range of crops. 

"JleMrt of the Committee on Egualizfitioti of the Board of Snter 
visors, 1879. The Census of 1875 says it contains 374, 18S acres- and 
Prench's State Gazetteer, 419,200 acres (6js square miles.) 

t The meridian of Washington corresponds mth the seventy-seventh 
west of Greenwich. 

t Originally named Free/,ort. Name changed to Bowersville, March 
z6th, 1825; and to Conesus, April 15th, 1825. 

§ Included in Dansville, Steuben county, in 182c. 

II Not given in 1810. 

IF Included in Sparta in 1820. 

The surface has a general inclination toward the 
north, and consists of two terraces, separated by 
the broad, deep valley of the Genesee, and broken 
in a transverse direction by the streams which flow 
over them. West of the Genesee the country is 
level till we reach its ancient banks, which descend 
by a series of ledges from one to two miles in width. 
The eastern terrace rises similarly to a correspond- 
ing height, attaining its greatest altitude in the well- 
defined ridge which separates Conesus and Hem- 
lock lakes, the former of which is about six hundred 
feet above Lake Ontario, and about one hundred 
and fifty to two hundred feet above Canandaigua 
lake, to which the land descends. The slopes are 
generally smooth and arable, except along the 
banks of the streams, and nearly every acre of land 
in the country is arable. The Genesee Valley 
varies in width from two to four miles, and in the 
south part of the county, where the highest eleva- 
tions are ten to twelve hundred feet above the val- 
leys and twenty to twenty-two hundred feet above 
tide,* its depth is more than four hundred feet. 
"In a comprehensive view it will be included in 
the great western plain, forming part of the great 
St. Lawrence basin, and probably once part of the 
bed of the lake which covered the wide spreading 
of Ontario and Erie when those inland seas had 
no distinctive existence."! 

Genesee river is the principal stream. It divides 
the county into two unequal portions, and in its 
upper course through it, forms a portion of the 
western boundary. It rises in Potter county, Penn., 
on the great western table-lands of that State, at 
an elevation of nearly two thousand feet,t and in- 
terlocks the head waters of the Allegheny, the west 
branch of the Susquehanna and French Creek. 
Its entire length is about one hundred and forty- 
five miles, one hundred and twenty-five miles of 
its course being in this State. It is a small stream 
m its upper course, and runs sluggishly through a 
rich country to its first series of falls in the town of 
Portage, where it is precipitated over four ledges, 
which are respectively eight, sixty-six, one hundred 
and ten, and thirteen feet in height.§ The entire 

• French's State Gazetter, 1860. 

t Gordon's Gazetier of New York, 1S36. 

t At Angelica its bed is 1291 feet above tide, according to the report of 
engmeers on the Erie railroad. At the head of the great falls at Portage 
i'.^ !,'°' ,'^S': ,=" Gardeau Flats, 650 feet; at Squakie Hill, S74; at 
trie Canal, Rochester, 506. Natural History of New York. 

§ Gordon's Gazetteer of New York. Stafford's Gazetteer (1824) 
mentions only two falls at th;s point, near each other, and of sixty and 
ninety feet respectively. Disturnell ( Gazetteer of the State of New York, 
1842,) mentions three, respectively sixty, ninety and one hundred and ten 
leet, within the space of two miles, "each," he says, "differing in charac- 
ter and each having peculiar beauties. " He adds, "although the cas- 
cades are highly admirable, they are almost disregarded in the wonder 
and fear caused by the stupendous perpendicular walls of the river," be- 
tween which It flows, "in turns as short and graceful as if winding 
through the softest meadow." 



fall within a distance of two miles, is two hundred 
and seventy-four feet. At the lower fall the bed 
of the stream is bounded on either side by cliffs 
three hundred feet high. Upon the left bank is a 
table rock which was formerly the river bed ; and 
upon the right, is a small conical island of rock, 
between which and the table on the other side, the 
stream now flows. Within the memory of the ear- 
liest observers the river flowed almost wholly over 
this table rock, and the isolated mass was joined 
with the right bank of the river. This table rock 
is ninety-six feet above the level of the river below 
the falls, and was formerly continuous to the small 
conical island, which is separated from the main 
bank by a recent gorge, whose bed is about inter- 
mediate between that of the present narrow chan- 
nel and the table rock above, which is composed of 
a fine sandstone, less than two feet thick, resting on 
softer strata beneath.* The upper fall is a mile be- 
low Portageville, and is known as the horse-shoe 
fall, deriving its name from the curve in the face of 
the cliff over which the water flows. Below this is 
the middle fall, which pours an unbroken sheet one 
hundred and ten feet into a chasm bounded by 
perpendicular cliffs. In the west bank, near the 
foot of the falls, an excavation known as the devil's 
oven, has been worn in the rocks, large enough 
when the water is low to seat one hundred persons 
within it. Two or three miles below this point the 
hills approach the river closely, and are separated 
only by a deep chasm, with perpendicular banks of 
aluminous slate four hundred feet high, almost as 
regular as if a work of art, through which the river 
passes in a rapid winding course for a distance of 
three miles, after which it descends by a succession 
of steps nearly as regular as a stair-case, and emerg- 
ing from the narrow channel beneath the shelving 
rock, makes a perpendicular descent. The water 
strikes the base of high rocks and is hurled back at 
nearly right angles into a deep pool overhung with 
shelving rocks, the conical column of rock, or sugar- 
loaf as it is called, receiving nearly the full force 
of the stream. Thence by a tortuous course of 
ninety miles it flows to Rochester, forming the 
western boundary of the town of Portage and the 
south half of Mt. Morris, and separating that town, 
the north-west corner of Groveland, Geneseo and 
Avon on the east, from Leicester, York and Cale- 
donia on the west. From the head of the falls at 
Portage the descent to Rochester is about seven 
hundred and thirty-six feet, nearly the whole of 
which is between Portage and Mt. Morris. At 

"Geohgy of New York, Part IV., James Hall, 1843. 

Rochester another series of falls commences, over 
which by leaps of twelve, ninety-seven, twenty and 
one hundred and five feet, the river attains the 
level of the lake, which is two hundred and thirty- 
one feet above tide. From thence it is navigable 
for sloops and steamboats about five miles to its 

The Genesee is subject to an annual overflow, 
the water often covering the entire flats which bor- 
der upon it.* This frequently causes destruction 
of property; but it is a source of constant fertility 
to the soil. In its course through the county it ' 
has innumerable small curves, which embrace, 
sometimes on the east and others on the west side 
of the valley, fine tracts of alluvian, covered with 
deep, rich and inexhaustable soil. These flats rest 
upon quicksand, twenty feet below the surface, 
and are generally from one to two miles wide. The 
river frequently mingles its waters with the quick- 
sand, and occasionally cuts the base of the hills 
which skirt the valley. Its scenery is both beauti- 
ful and sublime. The views from its banks are 
everywhere beautiful and agreeable, and are fre- 
quently of unsurpassed beauty. 

By an Act of the Legislature passed April i8, 
1828, the river from Rochester to the Pennsylvania 
line was declared a public highway, without preju- 
dice to mills and dams previously erected. Previ- 
ous to the construction of the Genesee Valley 
canal, it was navigated by boats between that city 
and Mt. Morris, and an extensive traffic, which 
was absorbed by that artificial commercial artery, 
was carried on by that means. Both have now 
succumbed to a more expeditious method of trans- 

The principle streams tributary to the Genesee, 
which are generally bordered by steep, and some- 
times precipitous, hillsides, are Canaseraga creek, 
Conesus and Honeoye outlets and Fall Brook on 
the east, the former of which receives as confluent 
near its junction with its recipient, Cashaqua creek; 
while numerous small streams indent its western 
margin, the principal of which are Beard's and 
White creeks. 

Canaseraga creek rises in the town of Nunda. 
and flows thence in a circuitous course, first south- 
east and then north-east, crossing the town of Os- 
sian into Steuben county. It again enters this 
county on the south line of North Dansville, receiv- 
ing near the west line of that town. Mill creek, a 
small but important mill stream. It thence flows 

*In March, 1865, the city of Rochester suffered from a flood, which 
did great damage to private properly, and to the streets, sewers, bridges 
and public works. 



_ a north-westerly direction, through a rich inter- 
vale, averaging about one and one-half miles in 
width, and resembhng in character the Genesee 
flats, crossing the western portion of North Dans- 
ville, forming the boundary line between Sparta 
and West Sparta, and crossing diagonally the town 
of Groveland, unites with the Genesee near the 
north-east corner of the town of Mt. Morris. Its 
length exceeds thirty miles. Cashaqua, or Kisha- 
qua creek rises in Grove, Allegany county, enters 
this county on the south line of Nunda, crosses the 
south-west part of that town into Portage, which, 
after making a short circuit in its eastern part, and 
furnishing a good water-power whicli is not as 
much utilized as formerly, it leaves a little north of 
the center of the east border ; passing thence into 
the town of Nunda, through the pleasant and once 
thriving village of that name, it pursues a north- 
easterly direction through the north-west part of 
that town, the south-east part of Mt. Morris, giv- 
ing power to the little village of Tuscarora, whose 
business has been ruined by the closing of the 
Genesee Valley canal, and thence through the 
west border of Groveland, which it enters in the 
south-west corner, to its recipient, into which it 
empties near the line between that town and Mt. 
Morris, about a mile from its mouth. A canal 
three miles long in the latter town connects with 
it the waters of the Genesee, and affords to the vil- 
lage of Mt. Morris a valuable water-power. Its 
length is about twenty miles. 

Conesus* and Hemlock lakes are situated in the 
east part of the county, the latter forming a por- 
tion of the eastern boundary. Their outlets are 
good mill streams, and the outlet of Honeoye lake 
into which that of the latter discharges, forms the 
east boundary of the town of Lima, which is also 
the county line. They are the only considerable 
bodies of water in the county. Conesus lake is 
one of the most beautiful sheets of water in this 
region, and, indeed, in the State. Its banks slope 
gently to the water's edge, and are covered with a 
fine forest of oak, hickory, &c., except where the 
hand of industry has replaced them with cultivated 
fields and meadows. It is about nine miles long 
and one wide. Its depth does not exceed sixty 
feet, and for the greater part is much less .f Its 

* The Indian name of this lake was Ganeasoit, signifying, "where the 
heavens rest upon the earth." Address of Dr. M. H. Mills at Ihe 
Second Annual Meeting of the Livingston County Pioneer Association 
August }, 1877- From The DansviUe Advertiser, Aug. 23, 1877. 

^ Natural History of New York, Part I V., Geology, James Hall 
Thomas F. Gordon, {Gazetteer of New York,) J. Distumel, (Gazetteer 
of the State of New York,) mi Mather and Brockett, [Geographical 
Hutory of New York, ) all state that Conesus Lake " is said to exceed 
300 feet in depth." 

waters are pure and cold. Its outlet is more valu- 
able for hydraulic purposes from its great fall and 
steadiness than its volume. The streams flowing 
into the lake have deep channels. The lake is 
much frequented during the summer months by 
pleasure seekers ; and Long Point is hallowed by 
its association with the meetings of the Livingston 
County Pioneer Association. Hemlocklake, though 
smaller than Conesus, is said to surpass it in beauty, 
and has been pronounced " the most attractive of 
all the beautiful chain of lakes which adorn Western 
and Central New York. Its banks rise somewhat 
abruptly from the water's edge to the height of two 
to three hundred feet, and are covered with stately 
pines and hemlocks. Halfway up the slope a ridge 
of splendid chestnuts stretches away as far as the 
eye can reach. It is six miles long and one wide. 
Its depth is remarkable for its size, and is remarka- 
bly uniform, especially the middle and upper por- 
tions, where for several miles it has an easy average 
of eighty feet, occasionally reaching ninety feet ; in 
no part is it a hundred feet deep. For miles at 
the upper end the depth is as great fifteen rods 
from the shore as it is in the middle. At the foot of 
the lake, as at the extreme head, the water is shal- 
low, and abounds with weeds, as do all the coves, 
and the shores where they are not too bold. In 
the deep parts of the lake the water is remarkably 
cold. It is well stocked with black and rock bass, 
and has become a popular summer resort in that 
region. Within a few years many cottages have 
been erected upon its shores, also places of public 
resort. The Jacques House, at the foot of the lake, 
was the pioneer of Livingston county pleasure 

The cHmate of this section is characterized by 
uniformity. The mean temperature does not differ 
materially from that of the whole State; but the 
average annual range of the thermometer is only 
96", while that of the State is 104°. Vegetation 
in the spring is somewhat in advance of the State 
generally, corresponding with that of Albany. 
The prevalent local wind of this region is from the 
southwest. In the autumn it is violent throughout 
the whole section, and frequently attended with 
rain. The extreme heat of summer is very uni- 
form throughout the State ; only five places out of 
fifty-five show a difference of over 3° from the 
average of the State, which is 92°. The average 
time throughout the whole State, from the bloom- 
ing of the apple tree, to the first killing frost in 

* Rochtster Democrat and Chronicle, July, 1871 ; 
Advertiser, August 9, 1877. 

Tlie Dam-,'iUi 



autumn, is 174 days. On the west end of Long 
Island it is 12^ days more; and in St. Lawrence 
county, 22 days less. These are the extremes. It 
has been ascertained by numerous observations 
made in this State and New England, that an ele- 
vation of surface of 350 feet produces a diminution 
of heat equal to the addition of a degree of lati- 
tude. Hence we see the influence of our moun- 
tain systems upon the climate of the State. In the 
eastern counties, consumption and other pulmonary 
diseases are the prevailing maladies ; while in the 
western counties bilious affections are more preva- 
lent.* Cutting away the forests has doubtless 
exerted some climatic influence and tended to 
shorten or modify the distinguishing characteristics 
of the spring and autumn seasons. The malarial 
diseases which were so fatally prevalent during the 
clearing process incident to the early settlement of 
the county as to make the death rate greater than 
in any other locality in this country| have vastly 
diminished, though not entirely subsided; and at 
present there are only sixteen counties in the State 
which show a greater comparative healthfulness as 
indicated by the percentage of deaths — the rate in 
this county being 1.03, while the average for the 
State is 1.15. The maximum rate — 1.41 — is in 
Madison county — the minimum, .85 — in Clinton 
county, t 

The soil of the county is mainly derived from 
the disintegration of the underlying rocks. It con- 
sists of a sandy loam with clay sub-soil upon the 
oaklands which abound in the north, and a deep, 
rich alluvian on the flats bordering the Genesee 
and Canaseraga. Beech and maple was the pre- 
vailing timber on the west side of the river, where 
the soil is a deeper sandy loam. Elm grew on the 
flats and was also common on the uplands. In the 
southern portion, which is better adapted to spring 
crops and grazing, being supplied with an abun- 
dance of pure soft spring-water, the timber consists 
of oak, maple, elm, basswood, butternut, walnut, 
ash, hemlock and white pine. About two-thirds of 
the county is admirably adapted to the culture of 
grain, and wheat of excellent quality is raised in 
great abundance, the product in 1874 being one- 
fifteenth of that of the entire State, and the grain 
product, nearly one-thirty-second part. This great 
staple was raised in its greatest perfection in this 

* Gazetteer of New York^ Thomas F. Gordon ; Geographical His- 
tory of New York, J. H. Mather and L. P. Brockett, M. D. 

t Address of Dr. D. H. Bissell, of Geneseo, at the Second Annual 
Meeting of the Livingston County Pioneer Association. Dr. Bissell 
was one of the pioneer physicians and settlers in Livingston county, and 
is one of the few remaining representatives of that early period. 

tCensus ofliJS. 

section prior to the destructive ravages of the 
weevil in 1855, and the reputation of the Genesee 
wheat surpassed all others in the market. Subse- 
quent to that date its culture greatly diminished. 
In 1836, the surplus product of wheat in the coun- 
ty exceeded a million bushels annually,* while in 
1874, the entire product was only 670,799 bush- 
els,! notwithstanding the increased area under cul- 
tivation by the acquisition of territory and other 

Joseph Harris, who was editor of the Genesee 
Farmer in 1859, pronounced Western New- York 
"the best natural wheat-producing region in the 
world," and said "that the soil lacked none of the 
ingredients which were necessary for the produc- 
tion of wheat, but what could be easily supplied by 
proper manuring and cultivation." 

Grazing is receiving more attention than form- 
erly, especially in the southern part of the county ; 
and though the county does not take a high rank 
in the magnitude of its dairy products, these form 
an important industry and are increasing in value. 
Dairying is confined almost entirely to private fami- 
lies. Fruit of excellent quality grows readily. Bean 
culture is an important industry and has developed 
within the last six years on the east side of the river. 
It was previously carried on quite extensively in York 
and Caledonia, and, though to a less extent, in 
Leicester. In 1874, the county ranked fifth in the 
State in this product, which was nearly one-thir- 
teenth of the entire product. Monroe and Or- 
leans counties, however, produced alone nearly 
one-half; and Livingston about one-seventh of the 
remainder. Broom corn is raised quite extensive- 
ly on the flats, and is manufactured within the 
county. Sheep husbandry, in which, in 1855, 
Livingston county ranked second in the State, in- 
creased in magnitude during the succeeding decade, 
but in the next one it rapidly diminished to nearly 
one-third its magnitude in 1865, although in 1875, 
it still ranked second in the State, and its fleeces 
gave 4,244 pounds more wool than in 1855.:!; 
Formerly pork and cattle were staple products. 
Large quantities of pork were cured for market by 
farmers and merchants ; and four or five droves of 
cattle of from 300 to 500 head each were annually 

* Gordon^ s Gazetteer of New York, 
i Census of tSjS- 

t The following table shows the variations in this industry between the 
years 1855 and 1875 :— 

No. of Fleeces. 

Total Clip. 

Average Weight of Fleece. 











collected at Geneseo for the Philadelphia and New 
York markets. Stock raising is still an importanl 
-industry, but is more exclusively confined than 
. formerly to improving the domestic herds' than to 
fattening for the market. 

The industries of the county are almost exclu- 
sively agricultural, and the disparity between agri- 
cultural and mechanical pursuits is increasing. 
There were eighty-six more manufacturing estab- 
lishments in the county in 1870 than in 1875; and 
in the latter year there were only fifteen counties 
in the State having a less number of manufactur- 
ing establishments than Livingston county. The 
manufactures of the county are mostly confined to 
local needs. 

The soil and climate, aside from intelligent cul- 
tivation, determine the character and magnitude of 
the agricultural productions of the county; and 
since there is little material variation in climate, 
and, though some difference in the quality, but 
little in the character of the soil, we observe a 
great similarity in the staple productions. Hence, 
an analysis of the census with a view to arriving at 
■comparative results, will be both interesting and 

In its great staple product — winter wheat — Liv- 
ingston county ranks sixth in the State in the 
quantity produced, (633,148 bushels,) but only 
thirty-fourth in the average yield per acre, which is 

14.62, while the State average is 16. t6. In the 
other cereals — corn, oats, rye, barley and buck- 
wheat — it ranks as follows : eighth in corn, yielding 
38.63 bushels to the acre, the State average being 
32.33, the maximum, (Yates county,) 47.82, and 
the minimum, (Albany county,) 168.78; twelfth in 
oatSj yielding 32.67 bushels to the acre, the State 
average being 28.59, the maximum, (Monroe coun- 
ty;) 36-97, and the minimum, (Rockland county,) 
19.49 ; forty-third — next to the lowest — in rye, 
yielding 11.37 bushels to the acre, the State aver- 
age being 11.82, the maximum, (Herkimer county,) 

21.63, and the minimum, (Warren county,) 8.34; 
twenty-fourth in barley, yielding 22.73 bushels per 
acre, the State average being 22.83, the maximum, 
(Saratoga county,) 32.87, and the minimum, (Rich- 
mond county,) 10.00; and sixteenth in buckwheat, 
yielding 17.10 bushels to the acre, the State aver- 
age being 15.14, the maximum, (Steuben county,) 
19.99, and the minimum, (Albany county,) 9.78. 
In the product of hay it ranks twenty-sixth, yielding 
1.14 tons to the acre, the State average being 1.13, 
the maximum, (Herkimer county,) 1.35, and the 
minimum, (Warren county,). 75; in potatoes, twen- 

ty-sixth, yielding iog.34 bushels to the acre, the 
State average being 102.22, the maximum, (Kings 
county,) 153.64, and the minimum, (Rockland 
county,) 58.03. 

A somewhat different result is obtained by com- 
paring the results on farms of one hundred acres, 
which is, perhaps, a fairer test. By this we find 
-that Livingston ranks seventh in winter wheat, 
tenth in barley, fifteenth in corn, twentieth in oats, 
thirty-fourth in rye, fifty-third in hay and forty-fifth 
in potatoes. This at least exhibits more fairly its 
status in its great staple product — winter wheat. 

The ratio of milch cows to the acreage of im- 
proved land, June 1, 1875, was 3.57, the State av- 
erage being 8.44. Themaximum ratio,(in Herkimer 
county,) was 14,89, and the minimum, (in Kings 
county,) 3.46. Livingston county ranked fifty-eighth 
— next to the lowest. It ranked twenty-seventh in 
the average yield per cow of dairy products in 
1874, its average being 123, that of the State, 124, 
the maximum, (Orange county,) 172, and the min- 
imum, (Kings county,) 72.* 

In the production of hay, Springwater takes the 
lead, as compared with other towns in the. county. 
Conesus, Geneseo, Groveland, Livonia, Mt. Morris 
and York, exceed the general average, which is 3,742 
tons per town. Lima takes the lead in barley, 
producing nearly one-sixth of the entire product of 
the county. Avon, Groveland, Leicester, Livonia, 
Mt. Morris, Sparta and York exceed the general 
average, which is 15,932 bushels per town. Spring- 
water takes the lead in buckwheat, producing 
nearly one-half the quantity raised in the county. 
Nunda, Ossian, Sparta and West Sparta are the 
only towns which exceed the general average which 
is 3,424 bushels per town. Avon takes the lead 
in Indian corn. Caledonia, Geneseo, Leicester, 
Lima, Livonia, Mt. Morris and York exceed the 
general average, which is 38,488 bushels per town. 
Springwater produces nearly twice as many oats 
as any other town in the county, except Mt. Mor- 
ris, which produces less than three-fourths, as many. 
Avon, Geneseo, Nunda and York are the only 
other towns which exceed the general average— 
44,946 bushels per town. Springwater also takes 
the lead in rye, producing more than one-fourth of 
all that is raised in the county, and, with the excep- 
tion of North Dansville and Sparta, more than 
double the quantity of any other town in the 
county. Ossian is the only other town which ex- 
ceeds the general average — 935 bushels per town. 

* In this estimate two and a half pounds of cheese, one pound of butler 
and three gallons of milk are considered equivalents. 



Avon, Geneseo, Groveland, Lima and Livonia do 
not raise any. Nunda takes the lead in spring 
wheat, producing nearly one-fifth of all that is 
raised in the county. Mt. Morris, Ossian, Sparta, 
Springwater and West Sparta exceed the general 
average — 2,215 bushels per town, Springwater 
trebling it, and Ossian and West Sparta nearly so. 
Caledonia, Geneseo and Groveland did not pro- 
duce any ; while Lima raised only 1 2 bushels, 
Avon 17 and York 99. The towns generally pro- 
duce liberally in winter wheat, Caledonia taking 
the lead with 77,406 bushels. The general aver- 
age is 37,244 bushels per town, and is exceeded by 
all the towns except Conesus, North Dansville, 
(which naturally produces the least quantity, only a 
little more than one-fourth of the average,) Nunda, 
Ossian, Portage, Sparta, Springwater and West 
Sparta. York takes the lead in beans, producing 
a little more than a fourth of the product of the 
county. North Dansville is the only town which 
did not produce any, and Ossian raised the least 
quantity, 46 bushels. The average per town — 
4,692 bushels — is exceeded only by Avon, Caledo- 
nia, Geneseo, Leicester and York. West Sparta 
takes the lead in hops, producing nearly a third 
of what is raised in the county— 163,561 pounds. 
Conesus, Leicester, Livonia and Nunda are the 
only other towns which exceeded the general aver- 
age — 9,033 pounds per town ; while Caledonia, 
North Dansville, Ossian, Sparta, Springwater and 
York did not produce any. Potatoes were a plen- 
tiful crop in all the towns, Lima taking the lead 
with 51,926 bushels. Avon, Caledonia, Geneseo, 
Livonia, Springwater and York are the only other 
towns which exceed the general average — 26,029 
bushels per town. Avon was the only town which 
raised tobacco, producing 1,400 lbs. Apples were 
produced bountifully in all the towns. The greatest 
quantity— 47,212 bushels — was raised in York. 

The number of horses on farms, two years old 
and over, June i, 1875, was proportionate to the 
natural requirements of the towns, Mt. Morris 
having the largest number and North Dansville 
the smallest. All, excepit North Dansville, closely 
approximate the average number — 689 — and all, 
except Conesus, Leicester, North Dansville, Nun- 
da, Ossian, Portage, Sparta and West Sparta, 
exceed it. The towns generally show a slight in- 
crease in the number of milch cows kept in 1875, 
as compared with 1874, the number in the county 
increasing from 10,259 ^^ ^^74 to 10,531 in 1875. 
Springwater had the largest number— 929 — and 
North Dansville the least— 148. Avon, Geneseo, 

Groveland, Lima, Livonia, Mt. Morris, Nunda, 
Sparta and York exceed the average number — 619 
— while Caledonia, Conesus, Ossian and Portage 
closely approximate it. Milk was sent to factories 
from only 256 cows in 1874, and 383 in 1875. 
The number of pounds of butter made in families 
in 1874 was 1,198,134 pounds, (to which all the 
towns contributed generously,) and of cheese, 43,162 
pounds. Springwater produced the largest quan- 
tity of butter — 128,224 pounds — and North Dans- 
ville thesmallest— 18,965 pounds. Avon, Caledonia, 
Geneseo, Lima, Livonia, Mt. Morris and Nunda, 
exceed the average per town — 70,478 — but none 
of them very largely ; while Conesus, Groveland, 
Ossian, Sparta, West Sparta and York closely ap- 
proximate it. Groveland produces the greatest 
quantity of cheese — 21,000 pounds — -nearly half of 
the product of the county. The only other town 
which approached it was Ossian, which made 8,400 
pounds. The product of the other towns ranged 
from 450 to 2,820 pounds, though the majority of 
them made less than a thousand pounds. All the 
towns are large pork producers, the entire product 
of the county in 1874 being 2,529,205 pounds, of 
which Avon produced the greatest quantity — 
254,661 pounds, and North Dansville the least — 
34,225. All the towns, except Conesus, Leicester, 
North Dansville, Nunda, Ossian, Portage, Sparta 
and West Sparta, exceed the average per town — 
148,777 pounds. 


Geology — Succession of Underlying Rocks in 
THE County — Water-lime of the Onondaga 
Salt Group — Onondaga Limestone — Cornif- 
EROUS Limestone — Marcellus Shales — 
Hamilton Group — Genesee . Slate — Portage 
Group — Cashaqua Shale — Gardeau Shale 
and Flagstones — Portage Sandstones — 
Diagonal Lamination — Ripple Marks — Casts 
OF Shrinkage Cracks — Concretions or Sep- 
taria — Casts of Flowing Mud, &c. — Indica- 
tions of Coal — Sulphuretted Hydrogen 
Springs — Avon Springs — Brine Springs — 
Alluvial Deposits — Marl — Chara — Masto- 
don Remains— Speculations as to the Time 
when the Mastodon Existed. 

I'^HE lowest rock in the county is the water-lime 
of the Onondaga salt group. Above this, as we 
proceed south, appear in succession the Onondaga 

* In preparing this cliapter we have relied mainly on the Geology o/ 
New York, Part IV., by James Hall. 



and corniferous limestones, the Marcellus shale, the 
Hamilton group, Genesee slate and Portage group, 
the latter occupying the high lands in the southern 
part of the county. 

The thick-bedded hydraulic limestone passes 
through Caledonia and Avon. In the former town 
it is quarried in several localities, chiefly for build- 
ings and enclosures. It underlies the village of 
Caledonia, extending thence south-easterly towards 
the Genesee, reappearing on the other side, and 
extending north-easterly to Mendon. In several 
instances where it has been burned for cement it 
has been found unfit for the purpose, either from 
improper composition or from the mode of burning. 

For a distance of two or three miles south-east 
of Caledonia village these flat masses of the drab 
limestone are scattered over the surface, in many 
places in sufficient quantities for enclosures; its 
out-cropping edges approach so near the surface as 
to be turned up by the plow. At the Wadsworth 
quarry, three and one-half miles south-east of Cal- 
edonia, it was quarried in large quantities for use 
on the Genesee Valley canal. It is easily quarried, 
splitting into masses of any dimension, and be- 
comes very hard and brittle on exposure. The 
upper seven feet of the mass is often in one course, 
though generally divided into two ; this portion and 
a course of two feet below, contain numerous ir- 
regular cavities, often filled with greenish clay, gyp- 
sum, and sulphate of strontian, blende, &c. In 
some of these cavities there are remains of some 
coralline fossils, the greater part having been expel- 
led, probably by the action of sulphuric acid, which 
formed, with the lime, gypsum, and with strontian, 
its sulphates. The same causes which here produced 
the small nodules of gypsum were in operation over 
a large extent, to form the immense quantity which 
occupies a place in the rocks beneath the drab 
limestone. Owing to this circumstance only, we 
find no fossils in the gypseous rocks ; for none could 
exist in a sea where sulphuric acid was a free in- 

The Onondaga limestone is but a thin mass in 
this county, scarcely appearing except in a few lo- 
calities. The principal of these is at Caledonia, 
where it is a thick compact mass, with a few thin 
layers separated by shale, and contains agreat num- 
ber of Cyathophylli Favosites and other fossils. It 
extends also for several miles north-west from the 
village, maintaining the same character, and the 
surface is strewed with fragments which contain its 
typical fossils. It abounds in its usual coraHine 
fossils, but there are no places where it is sufficient- 

ly developed for quarrying. Its usual characteristic 
is a light-gray color, often approaching to white, 
more or less crystaHine in structure. In many in- 
stances it is almost entirely composed of broken 
and comminuted fragments ofcrinoidea and corals 
sometimes extremely attenuated, and at other times 
fragments of large size are presented. These frag- 
ments of crinoidal columns, with some of the other 
fossils are frequently of a pink or reddish color 
and give a beautiful variegated appearance to the 
mass, particularly when polished. The Corniferous 
limestone scarcely extends into the town of Lima 
but forms the substratum of the northern portion 
of Avon, and in the river valley extends as far south 
as the center of the town. It occupies a width of 
from two to four or five miles, dipping gradually 
to the south under the Marcellus shales. It is 
quarried in the outlet of Conesus lake, and on a 
small stream a short distance further east ; at these 
places only a few feet of the upper part of the mass 
are seen. It is easily quarried in blocks of large 
dimensions, and is nearly free from hornstone. It 
was wrought for use on the Genesee Valley canal. 
The fossils at this place consist chiefly of Stropho- 
meiia negosa, Atrypa affinus, Delthyris, and some 
fragments of trilobites. The greater portion of this 
rock, on the east side of the river, is covered by a 
deep alluvium, which renders it difficult to trace its 
bearing and outcrop with extreme accuracy. On 
the west side of the river it first makes its appear- 
ance in the south-east corner of Caledonia, near 
the town line. Two miles south-east of Caledonia 
village a very extensive quarry has been opened on 
the west bank of a small stream, on the Christie 
place, from which large quantities of the gray por- 
tion of this limestone were taken for the construc- 
tion of locks, aqueducts, &c., for which purpose 
no better stone can be found. It is mostly free 
from seams and is easily quarried and dressed. The 
whole thickness exposed does not exceed ten feet, 
the courses varying from one to two and one-half 
feet, and being thicker than elsewhere in the State 
to the westward of Seneca Lake. None of the 
layers preserve a continuity of thickness. Some- 
times the courses are separated by a thin, irregular 
course of hornstone; at others this hornstone is in 
the center, or near the surface of the layer of lime- 

From Christie's Quarry the limestone pursues a 
north-west direction, passing just to the south of 
Caledonia village ; it crosses the road a little west 
of that place, and pursues the same direction to 
the top of the terrace on the south side of Allen's 



creek. In the west and north-west part of Cale- 
donia large numbers of fossils are found in it, the 
lowest portion of the rock is thick-bedded and com- 
pact, while above it contains a large proportion of 
hornstone, and in some places is composed almost 
entirely of that substance. Being in irregular shaped 
masses, and surrounded by limestone, which de- 
composes on exposure, it is scattered over the sur- 
face in rough and shapeless forms. These fragments 
are crossed in every direction by innumerable fis- 
sures, which are expanded by freezing water, and 
the whole falls into small fragments which, in many 
places, literally cover the surface for many acres. 
Where the road crosses this part of the rock, it has 
the appearance of being made in a bed of flints. 
From the jagged and irregular appearance of the 
hornstone rock, as its occurs in detached masses, 
it has received the familiar and expressive name of 
" chawed rock!' This rock is the best material for 
road making which Western New York affords. 
Where it approaches the surface the soil is rather 
barren, producing only a growth of dwarf oaks ; 
but where there is a tolerable proportion of finer 
materials, it produces a fertile soil. A large pro- 
portion of the native growth along this terrace con- 
sists of oaks. 

The Marcellus shales possess their usual essen- 
tial characters ; the middle portions being quite 
compact and highly bituminous, becoming more 
slaty above and below. The compact part of the 
shale usually contains large septaria; these some- 
times consist of large silico-calcareous masses, with- 
out seams of crystalline matter. This rock follows 
the same course as the limestone. Commencing 
on the east near the north line of the county, it 
passes south-west to the Genesee; thence its course 
is north-west through Caledonia, passing into Gene- 
see county near the north line of this town. 

On the Conesus outlet, near the lower saw-mill 
at Avon, this shale may be seen resting on the lime- 
stone. About thirty-five feet from the bottom of 
the shale there is a stratum of limestone one foot 
thick, sometimes concretionary, and containing 
Orthoceras, fragments of trilobiUs, &c. For sev- 
eral feet below this the rock is black, slaty and 
very fragile. A few feet of the shale above this 
limestone is black and slaty ; it abounds in fossils 
of Orthoceras, Orthis, Strophomena, Avicida, and 
a very small species of Orbicula. Above this the 
mass graduates into a grayish or bluish gray slaty 
shale, and contains few fossils. This shale is seen 
in the ravines and hillsides on the west-side of the 
Genesee, extending through the north-east corner 

of York, and thence through the south-west part of 
Caledonia. In the south part of this town two ex- 
cavafions, one on each side of a small shallow val- 
ley originally worn in this shale, were made for 
coal. The indications which induced the under- 
taking were the black and highly bituminous char- 
acter of the shale, thin seams of coaly matter and 
petroleum. North of the valley on the McLean 
farm, the same shale was penetrated in digging a 
well. Some portions of the rock are so highly 
charged with bitumen as to burn when thrown into 
a hot fire. Numerous excavations for coal have 
been made in these shales as well as in the upper 
Genesee slate, and in each alike fruitless. 

The Hamilton group, consisting of several mem- 
bers, but the product of one period, is exposed in 
numerous localities in the county, and is every 
where highly fossiliferous. Its destruction has af- 
forded the highly fertile argillaceous soil which is 
everywhere so productive of wheat in this part of 
the State, and, perhaps, nowhere more so than in 
this county. It occupies a belt of country from 
five to eight miles wide covering nearly the whole 
of the towns of Avon and York, a part of Geneseo, 
Leicester and Caledonia. The deep valley of the 
Genesee, with numerous lateral ravines and water 
courses, renders this county one of the most de- 
sirable localities for examining its rocks. 

On Jack's Run the Ludlowville and Moscow 
shales can both be seen, separated by the thin 
mass of crinoidal limestone. The Moscow shale 
is known by its fossils, the Calymene and Cryph- 
CEUS ; while the Atrypa concentrica and large num- 
bers of Cyathophylli and other corals characterize 
the Ludlowville shale. In some localities the 
Cyathophylli and smaller corallines occur in the 
Moscow shales, but are not characteristic of this 
mass. At York the Ludlowville shale is exposed 
on a small stream near the village ; but the fossils 
are chiefly Cyathophyllites and Favosites, both in 
great perfection and beauty. Among the former 
there is a specimen in the State collection, consist- 
ing of twenty-six individuals of the species turbina- 
tum (?) all closely grouped together. In the same ra- 
vine several hundred feet lower, and in several other 
localities may be seen a hard calcareous shale, or 
shaly limestone, which, though of interest elsewhere, 
possesses here but little economic importance. At 
Moscow, the locality which gives name to the 
upper number of this group of fossiliferous shales, 
they are exposed in great perfection and contain 
an abundance of the characteristic fossil. These 
are the Colymene bu/o, Cryphceus calliteles, Atrypa 



affinis and two or three species of Delthyris. The 
principal locality is in the bed and banks of 
Beard's Creek, on the Jerediah Horsford place, 
where more than fifty species of fossils have been 
found. The rock at this place is a pure calcareous 
mudstone, of a blueish color on first exposure, but 
weathering to a whiteish ashen. Its decomposition 
is hastened by the diffusion of iron pyrites which 
sometimes replace the fossil bodies. The Mos- 
cow shale is exposed in a ravine and the bed of a 
small stream, near the residence of Hon. G. W. 
Patterson. These localities are in a deep valley 
of denudation, and much below the general eleva- 
tion of the surrounding country, the surface of 
which is occupied by the Genesee slate. It is also 
seen at the base of the fall on Fall Brook, south of 
Geneseo village, and near the Conesus outlet, 
along which the lower division of the group is ex- 
posed at several places. 

The Genesee slate extends through the coun- 
try in an irregular course. From the outlet of 
Conesus Lake its direction is south-west till it 
comes to the level of the Genesee Valley in Grove- 
land and Mt. Morris. From the west side of this 
valley its course is north-west to the south part 
of the town of York, whence it continues westward 
to Allen's creek. It appears in the ravines both 
east and west of Moscow; also in a hill crossed in 
going from Moscow toward the Genesee, and in 
the hillside ascending from the valley to Geneseo. 
The same shale is seen in Fall Brook, where the 
water leaps a hundred feet from the top of this 
rock. It underlies the village of Geneseo, and is 
seen in many places on the road east from that 
place, and in the ravines between it and Conesus 
lake. In this neighborhood the black shale is 
succeeded by a thin stratum of impure limestone 
which has been burned for lime near Moscow. At 
the bridge crossing the Genesee near Mt. Morris, 
and for a mile in the perpendicular cliffs forming 
the gorge in that river, the Genesee slate is well 
exposed, possessing all its essential characteristics 
being bituminous, containing thin seams of coal 
great numbers of septaria, sometimes irregularly 
scattered, at other times in regularly courses. Its 
greatest development in Western New York is at 
the opening of the gorge at Mt. Morris. 

The Portage group covers the remaining south 
half of the county. It presents an immense 
development of shale and flagstones, together 
with some thick-bedded sandstone towards its 
upper part. Like all the other mechanical depos- 
its of the system, as they appear in New York, it is 

extremely variable in character. From its superior 
development along the banks of the Genesee in 
the town of Portage, in the locality of the middle 
fall, it has received the name of the town to dis- 
tinguish it from the higher rocks, which possess 
some differences in lithological characters, but a 
more striking dissimilarity in organic remains. The 
group rises sometimes in a gentle slope, and at 
other times abruptly from the softer shales below. 
The enduring sandstones of the upper part have 
enabled it to withstand denuding action to a con- 
siderable degree, and these often extend far north- 
ward to the elevated grounds between the deep 
north and south valleys, presenting a gentle north 
slope to the shales of the Hamilton group ; while 
on the sides of the same hills the slope is abrupt 
and the surface being but little covered with north- 
ern drift, the valleys on either side are bounded by 
steep hills. This character is well illustrated along 
the south part of the Genesee Valley towards 

The change in the external appearance of the coun- 
try indicates the commencement of these rocks 
ahhough they are not seen. The valleys just spoken 
of, in their course through the shales of the Hamilton 
group, present gently sloping sides, and the country 
rarely rises far above the level of the valley bottom 
or bed of the stream. On approaching the north 
margin of the Portage group, the observer finds a 
gradually increasing elevation of the hills on either 
side, and an abruptness in their slope ; and in a 
short time he finds himself in a deep valley, 
bounded on either side by hills rising four hundred 
or five hundred feet, and in some instances even 
eight hundred feet above the bed of the stream. 
These elevations often extend several miles un- 
broken, except partially by the deep ravines which 
indent their sides. The higher sandstones of the 
group, and in many instances some of the inter- 
mediate ones, produce falls in the streams which 
pass over them, and some of the most beautiful 
cascades in the State are found among the rocks 
of this gronp. The highest perpendicular fall of 
water in the State is produced by the rocks of this 
group, and in none others do we meet with more 
grand and striking scenery. Conspicuous among 
these are the upper, middle and lower Portage falls. 
On the Genesee, which affords the best develop- 
ment in this district, the group admits of these 
subdivisions: i. Cashaqua shale; 2. Gardeau 
shale and flagstones; 3. Portage sandstone. 

The Cashaqua Shale differs sufficiently in htho- 
logical and fossil characters from those above to be 



considered under a separate name, which was 
given it from its perfect development on Cashaqua 
creek. The mass at this place is a soft argillaceous 
rock of a green color, rapidly crumbling on expos- 
ure, and forming a tenaceous clay. From the in- 
fluence of atmospheric agency, it is very difficult to 
procure good specimens; and fossils not being 
abundant, they might be easily overlooked. It is, 
however, marked by certain species of shells which 
have not been seen in any other rock, and these 
have been found to hold the same position over an 
extent of a hundred and fifty miles. On Casha- 
qua creek, and in some other places in the same 
neighborhood, it contained some flattened concre- 
tions of impure limestone, and sometimes of sand- 
stone, but of these it presents no continuous layers. 
It is deeply excavated, presenting high and abruptly 
sloping banks, which project into the valley on one 
side and recede on the other, as the stream widens 
along its course below. In looking down the 
stream, the slopes of these cliffs are free from veg- 
etation, while on the opposite side they are entirely 
covered, often with large trees. This effect 
is produced by the action of the meandering 
stream, which flows in its channel from one side of 
the gorge to the other, continually undermining 
the rock, which crumbles down from above, thus 
constantly presenting a fresh surface. From one 
hundred and ten feet on the Genesee, the rock 
diminishes to thirty-three feet on Eighteen Mile 

Along the Genesee, above the Cashaqua shale, 
the Gardeau shale and flagstones present a great 
development of green and black slaty and sandy 
shales, with thin layers of sandstone, which form 
beautiful and durable flagstones, and are quarried 
in many places between Stony Brook in Sparta 
and Dansville, where materials were obtained for 
locks, bridges, etc., on the Genesee Valley canal. 
The shale in the upper part of the ravine formed 
by Stony Brook has been ground and used as a 
plaster. The rocks in this part of the group form 
high, almost perpendicular banks on the Genesee, 
only indented by the incipient ravines caused by 
slides and the action of running water. From 
their great exposure on the Gardeau Reservation, 
that name was adopted to distinguish this part of 
the formation, in the lower part of which the shales 
consist of alternations of green slaty and sandy 
shales with black slaty shale, one or two thin 
courses of sandstone occurring in the space of four 
or five feet. As we ascend, the arenaceous matter 
increases in quantity, the layers are thicker and 

more numerous, and the shale forms distinct alter- 
nations of black and green, often many times in 
succession, within the space of fifty feet. Towards 
the upper part the courses of sandstone become 
too thick for flagstones, and the shale is in thicker 
masses than below. These characters, however, 
which are sufficiently obvious in the gorge 
of the Genesee, are not constant for any great 
distance in either direction. Toward the east 
the arenacious strata augment in a great degree 
to the exclusion of the shales ; while in a 
westerly direction the sandstones are constantly 
disappearing, and the proportion of shale con- 
stantly increasing. With the absence of sandy 
strata and the augmentation of shale, a few fossils 
which were rather sparingly seen along the Gene- 
see and in the east part of the district, become 
more numerous, and form a distinguishing feature 
of the rock. 

The Portage sandstones are well exposed in the 
deep gorge below Portageville, where the perpen- 
dicular cliffs rise to the height of three hundred 
and fifty feet. The upper part consists of thick 
bedded sandstone, with little shale; while below, 
the sandy layers become thinner with more fre- 
quent alternations of shale. The thick-bedded 
character of the sandstones, and the presence of 
fucoids passing vertically through the strata, in- 
duced the separation from the rocks below, where 
the characteristic species of the same genus lie 
horizontally upon the surface of the strata. The 
lithological character of the sandstone, and the 
presence of the vertical fucoid, hold uniform over 
a considerable extent; and the presence of the 
latter alone is often sufficient to decide the posi- 
tion of the rock, when it is but sHghtly exposed. 
The higher mass of sandstone of the Portage group 
is very persistent and forms a line of demarkation 
between the almost non-fossiUferous shales and 
sandstones below, and the highly fossiliferous sand- 
stones and shales above. 

Canaseraga creek and its branches in the vicinity 
of Dansville, offer good exposures of the rocks of 
this group. The small streams flowing into the 
Genesee Valley between Dansville and Mt. Morris, 
on both sides, afford good opportunities for inves- 
tigation. Cashaqua creek is the best of these. The 
Genesee in its passage from Portage to Mt. Morris, 
exposes the whole series of rocks in five mural 
escarpments which rise from fifty to three hun- 
dred and fifty feet high. The examination of this 
gorge throughout its whole length will give a most 
perfect and connected view of all the subdivisions 


of this group, the thickness of which on the Gene- 
see cannot be less than one thousand feet. 

Carbonaceous matter is disseminated through the 
black shales, and sometimes appears in seams of 
half an inch thick. Some fragments of large vege- 
table forms appear, and thin laminas of coal usu- 
ally accompany these. From the frequency of these 
small seams of coal, which are usually of no greater 
extent than the specimen procured, excavations 
and borings have been undertaken in search of 
larger beds. It is unnecessary to say, says Mr. 
Hall, that these always fail, as do all similar un- 
dertakings in rocks of this period. Traces of coal 
have been found in Conesus; and as late as 1876, 
the community was considerably agitated by the 
discovery of a vein in the wall of a deep gully, 
known as the Purchase gully, near the center of the 
town, about thirty rods south of the foundation of 
the old Purchase grist-mill. "The vein is an inch 
in width and seems to widen and thicken as it 
extends into the rock. It is about ten feet above 
the water, which winds at the foot of rocks fifty 
feet in height at this place. Coal is seen in 
other places, but nowhere in sufficient quantities to 
pay for mining." Formerly it was found in the 
north-west part of the town on the Adam and Cyrus 
Trescott farms; also on Turkey Hill, in digging 
wells, slight veins were seen. More recently, in 
September, 1880, coal was discovered by workmen 
engaged in digging a well on the Mountain Dew 
premises, at the head of Liberty street in the vil- 
lage of Dansville. " In the search for water, much 
rock was encountered, necessitating drilling and 
blasting ; and at the depth of twenty-four feet below 
the surface of the earth a vein of superior soft coal 
was struck, of about four inches in thickness in 
either way, while coal slate was plentiful."* 

The country underlaid by the rocks of this group 
is well watered by never-failing springs. Except 
where the black slaty shale is thick, there is no dif- 
ficulty in procuring water. In such instances the 
vertical joints appear to be more open, and to 
allow the percolation of water through the mass. 
There is here no remedy but to bore through the 
black to the green shales, which are less divided 
by joints, and usually impervious to water. 

In some parts of the country occupied by this 
group we first notice a deficiency in the calcareous 
matter in the soil. This change is indicated by a 
different growth of timber, and a corresponding 
change in the cultivated products of the soil. Wheat 
does not always produce a sure crop after the field 

* TheDamville Advtriiser, September 2j, 1880. 

has been cultivated for some years. When fin 
cleared the land produces good crops of all the grain: 
In this statement, however, must not be include 
the valleys and low northern slopes, which ar 
deeply covered with northern drift and alluviun 
containing a large proportion of calcareous mattei 
This on examination proves to be composed of th 
ruins of the limestone and calcareous shales befor 
described, with a small admixture of sand. Thi 
kind of soil is but sparingly spread over the highe 
grounds, and in many of the highest places is no 
known at all. In consequence of its absence, th 
character and productions of the soil of the valley 
and of the hills are quite different. The soil derivei 
from the lower part of the group is a stiff clay, thi 
soil being in too small proportions to produce mucl 
perceptible effect. As we ascend, the arenaceou: 
matter increases, and the broken fragments of th( 
sandy strata become intermixed with the finer ma 
terials, giving it the character of a clayey gravel 
The fragments, however, show little effect of attri 
tion, and from being fiat and irregular, the soil ii 
known locally as " Jiat gravel," to distinguish i 
from that of the valleys, where the fragments ar( 
rounded into the form of pebbles. 

In the valleys and on the low northern slopes o 
this group, the soil produces wheat with the same 
facility and equal certainty as the formations nortl 
of it. As we ascend to the south, the wheat crops 
are less abundant and less certain, and this gives 
place to the coarser grains and to pasturage. Foi 
the latter object the soil is superior to that on the 
north of it, and the evidence is fully substantiatec 
by the increasing number of cattle and the product 
of the dairies. 

In the Cashaqua shale there are several species 
of shells which have not been seen in any othei 
rock, and at the same time there are no fossils 
found with them which are known in other rocks 
beyond the group. The more common forms are 
the Avicula speciosa, Ungidiiia suborUscularis 
Bellerophon expanstis, Orthoceras aviculum, Cly- 
menia (') complanata, Goniatites sinuosis, PinnopsL 
acuiirostra, and Piimopsis ornatus, all of which are 
found on Cashaqua Creek, and the first also on the 
Genesee. The following fossils occur in the more 
central or higher part of the group, but, with the 
exception of the last, are unknown in the Cashaqua 
shale : Delthyris lavis, Cardium (I) vetustum, Or- 
this termistrata, Liicina (?) reti/sa, Nucula lineolaia, 
Astarte subtextilis, Bellerophon striatus (I), Goni- 
atites bicostatus, Goniatites sinuosis. The Cyatho- 
criniis ornatissimus, among the most beautiful 



crinoideans in the system, occurs in this group, but 
only in a limited stratum, upon the shore of Lake 
Erie, in the town of Portland. The sculptured 
column and tentaculated arms and fingers place it 
among the most ornamental forms of this family of 

Sulphuretted hydrogen springs are numerous, and 
occur in almost every rock in the district, but 
those which are copious in water and highly charged 
with gas, are confined to a few situations. The 
most important ones are those issuing from the 
rocks of the upper part of the Onondaga salt group; 
these being almost the only ones resorted to for 
the medical properties of their waters. They con- 
tain, besides the gas, carbonate and sulphate of 
lime, which are deposited upon the stones and 
twigs over which the waters flow. At some there 
is a considerable formation of calcareous tufa, often 
covered with a yellow coating, which apparently 
consists of sulphur, and sulphate of lime. The 
water is usually perfectly limpid, though sometimes 
it has a whitish or chalky appearance when first 
flowing from the spring. Such are the springs 
which occur at Avon.* 

There are several unimportant brine springs in 
the higher rocks of the district. The most remark- 
able of these is at York, which, for some time after 
its discovery, yielded a large supply of water, but 
which has since diminished. It gives evidence 
of a large proportion of iodine on the application 
of the usual tests. It issues from the shale of the 
Hamilton group. A sulphur spring, evolving sul- 
phuretted hydrogen gas, issues from the upper part 
of the Onondaga salt group at Caledonia village ; 
another near Moscow, issuing from the Hamilton 
group, evolves the same gas. 

The superficial or alluvial deposits are extensive 
in the valley of the Genesee, and originated mainly 
at a time when that valley of ancient excavation 
formed the basin of an immense lake, extending 
from Dansville on the south to its northern extrem- 
ity, with original outlet at Irondequoit, and into 
which the detritus was poured through the valleys 
south of Dansville and that of Cashaqua creek, 
forming the deep beds of alluvian observed about 
Dansville and below the mouth of the Cashaqua, 
and spreading over the entire valley a fine sandy 
loam. An examination of this deep deposit on the 
Genesee flats shows conclusively that it was made 
in a lake such as described, with a current passing 
through it from south to north. The deposit was 
evidently carried forward in that direction, as indi- 

• See chapter Town of Avon. 

cated by the lines of lamination. The coarser 
materials, at the points mentioned, near the em- 
bouchures of the streams into this lake, are in con- 
siderable proportion of southern origin. As an 
illustration of this may be noticed the accumulation 
of gravel and sand resting on regularly stratified 
clay, at Squakie Hill, near Mt. Morris. The exca- 
vation of the Genesee Valley canal exposed a deep 
section at this place, showing the lower deposit of 
fine clay horizontally stratified, and succeeded by a 
stratum of coarse pebbles and gravel, and above 
this loose sand and gravel, the ruins of rocks on 
the south. This shows the inundation of these 
materials after the deposition of clay and loam 
forming the Genesee flats. 

In the vicinity of Portageville we find an immense 
deposit of coarse sand and gravel, piled upon an 
older deposit of sand and clay. The lower deposit 
is regularly stratified, and consists in part of 
materials of northern origin. This appears to have 
been partially excavated, and another deposit 
spread over it of materials from the south, consist- 
ing of flat masses of sandstone and scarcely worn 
pebbles, with loam and gravel. It is entirely dis- 
tinct from the formation below, and proceeded 
from a long subsequent operation. The excava- 
tion of the Genesee Valley canal has given an 
opportunity of examining these deposits in a very 
satisfactory manner. 

In the broad indentation on the east side of the 
river, opposite the middle falls, the canal passes 
along the slope of the hill, which rises nearly two 
hundred feet higher. The lowest deposit excavated 
at this point consists of alternating clay and quick- 
sand, which, about one hundred feet lower, rest 
upon the rocks of the Portage group. This de- 
posit of clay and quicksand extends about one 
hundred feet above the level of the canal, when it 
is succeeded by sand and gravel. For more than 
two hundred feet from the bottom, the mass con- 
sists of alternating layers of sand from two to 
eighteen inches, with layers of clay of half an inch 
to two inches, each becoming thicker as we ap- 
proach the upper part, where the quicksand layers 
are fifteen to twenty feet. The upper layer of fif- 
teen feet thickness becomes perfectly saturated 
with water, and is termed liquid quicksand; and 
this is succeeded by the deposit of coarse sand and 
gravel, which is of subsequent origin, containing 
materials from the rocks of the south, mingled with 
some of the older drift deposits which have been 
broken up. Through this the water percolates, 
saturating the mass below, and giving it the char- 



acter of quicksand. Fragments of the trunks of 
trees have been found in this deposit, in a layer 
of clay about thirty-five feet below the gravel. 
The whole of the lower deposit, consisting of 
regularly alternating layers of clay and sand, was 
evidently deposited in a quiet lake, while the sub- 
sequent one of gravel and coarse sand was brought 
on by some powerful inundation from the south. 
The fragments of wood are doubtless such as were 
drifted from the higher grounds into this lake, and 
sinking to the bottom were covered by the subse- 
quent sediment. In several similar situations, 
bones of the mastodon have been found, and con- 
sequently referred to the drift period. These facts, 
however, offer no arguments in favor of such an 
hypothesis ; for in all instances which occur in 
Western New York, there is the strongest evidence 
of their having been transported from their origi- 
nal situation, and mingled with the more modern 
fluviatile or lake deposits. 

Another circumstance to be noticed in connec- 
tion with this section, is a superficial deposit of 
about ten feet in depth, covering the whole slope 
from the base of the gravel hill to the bank of the 
This surface deposit is composed of the 


ruins of the gravel hill, with the clay and sand be 
low. From the constant oozing of water from the 
lower deposit, it undermines that above, which fall- 
ing, carries with it something of those below, the 
whole constituting a moving mass, saturated with 
water. Its nature only became fully understood 
upon the excavation of the canal, when all that 
part above commenced shding down, completely 
destroying the work. Farther examination proved 
that the whole hillside, for ten feet in depth, was in 
motion towards the river, and of course no exca- 
vation or fixture could be made permanent on such 
a foundation. In proof of this, and that such for 
a long time has been its condition, we find that 
the oaks which grow upon the hill towards the 
top, have slidden down the rocky margin of the 
river, where they stand among the hemlocks and 
cedars, sometimes upright, but often leaning in 
various directions. The whole surface for half a 
mile, is saturated with water, and springs gush out 
at every step. 

In nearly all situations the muck swamps are 
underlaid by a deposit of calcareous marl. This 
is usually very finely pulverulent, and, though co- 
hering when wet, is very friable when dry. When 
this calcareous deposit is made upon the surface, 
or in situations exposed to the air, it becomes tufa 
or travatine, often preserving in a most beautiful 

manner, the impressions of twigs and leaves, etc. 
so perfectly that the species may be determined. 

This marl is derived from two sources, one being 
the limestone rocks themselves, and the other the 
calcareous particles distributed through the super- 
ficial detritus, the origin of which is still the lime- 
stone formations. The drift materials being com- 
posed, in a large portion, of the debris of the 
rocks of the district, calcareous matter is widely 
diffused. This is not only a constant fertilizing 
agent in the soil, but from the action of rains upon 
the surface, and the passage of water through tliese 
superficial deposits, the calcareous matter is dis- 
solved and carried forward into some lower situa- 
tion, where it accumulates in the bottom of the 
small lakes and marshes. Some of the most ex- 
tensive formations of this kind in the district are 
made upon the Onondaga salt group, and are de- 
posited from the copious springs which rise along 
its southern margin. 

These deposits of marl usually rest upon a bed 
of clay or sand, and are succeeded by muck. In 
the greater number of localities its formation has 
long since come to an end, but in others it is still 
in progress. In many of the springs issuing from 
the rocks, its daily deposition can be observed ; it 
incrusts all the vegetables growing in the stream, 
and, in favorable situations, forms deposits of con- 
siderable extent. The tufa is used for building- 
stone ; being soft, when first removed from its bed, 
it is easily cut, or hewn into blocks of convenient 
size. These, after drying, become comparatively 
hard, and form a durable material. There are, 
however, but few situations where there is a quan- 
tity sufficient to allow of its being used in this 

Remains of the mastodon have been found 
within the county. In 1825, while a ditch was 
being opened to drain the swampy tract on which 
are located the springs which supply the village of 
Geneseo with water, a large number of bones, in- 
cluding several teeth of the mastodon maximus 
were found beneath a deposit from two to three 
feet deep, of muck intermingled with a sandy cal- 
careous marl. The animal was young, as eight 
molar teeth were found — old ones having only one 
molar on either side of each jaw.* A molar tooth 
of this animal, the only known remaining specimen 
of this collection,! was in the possession of the late 
C. H. Bryan, of Geneseo, and is illustrated in the 
Geological Reports of this State. Ten years later 

* Sillimatt's Journal, First Series XII., j8o. 
t Geological Reports, 



other mastodon remains were found in a swamp, 
about three feet below the surface, while men were 
engaged in straightening the road from Scottsburg 
to Conesus lake. Portions of this collection are 
now in the cabinet of the LeRoy Female Semi- 
nary. The most important discovery of this charac- 
ter was made in 1874, on the farm of Edward 
Whiteman, in the town of Wayland, about two 
miles from the south corporation line of Dansville 
village.* The first discovery was made accident- 
ally by Mr. Whiteman, while engaged in digging 
a ditch through a long swail on that farm early in 
the preceding December. Two teeth, a tusk, and 
fragments of ribs and vertebra of the mastodon 
giganteus were then unearthed. The teeth weighed 
respectively five pounds and five pounds and three 
ounces. One was seven inches long and four and 
one-half inches wide, and, although an inch or two 
of the points of the roots had crumbled off, seven 
and one-half inches from top to bottom. The 
other was seven inches long and thick and four 
inches wide. In the spring of 1874 further ex- 
aminations were made under the direction of 
Dr. F. Ferine, of Dansville, and partially in the 
presence of Prof. Jerome Allen, of the Geneseo 
Normal School. Additional portions of the ani- 
mal were discovered, consisting of a part of a tusk, 
a part of a lower leg bone, a nearly complete ver- 
tebra, three teeth, a part of a rib, the head of a 
femur and a portion of the humerus. The tusk 
measured nine feet two inches in length, and 
twenty-five inches in circumference. It is believed 
that it was not less than fourteen feet long before 
any portion of it was decayed. The piece of leg 
bone was thirty-five inches long, ten inches thick 
at the upper end and nine at the lower; it weighed 
twenty-eight pounds. The piece of rib bone was 
thirty-eight inches long and three and one-half 
inches wide. The vertebra, apart from its connec- 
tions, was four and one-half inches thick. The 
largest tooth weighed five pounds, ten ounces. 
All the teeth were very much worn, and indicated 
great age. The animal is the third one of its 
species exhumed in this country, and its remains 
were the largest hitherto found, f These relics are 
now in the possession of Dr. Ferine, of Dansville. 
Prof Allen says : — 

"At no very remote geological period, before the 
advent of man, the whole of Western New York 

* These remains, though found iust over the line, in Steuben county, 
are commonly denominated the "Dansville Mastodon." The accom- 
panying description of them is gleaned from The Dansville Advertiser, 
of May 7 and 14, 1874. 

t The Mastodon and his Colemporaries, Prof Jerome Allen, from 
The Dattsville Advertiser, of June n, 1874. 

was covered with a great number of lakes. We 
see the remains of them, not only in the blue 
waters of the Ontario and Erie, but in the beauti- 
ful Chautauqua, Silver, Conesus, Hemlock, Crooked 
and Canandaigua. At this period ["when the 
mastodon roamed through these ancient forests 
and on the shores of these old lakes,"] the whole 
of the Genesee Valley was filled with a lake which 
could not have had an average depth of less than 
three hundred feet. Into this water flowed in 
beautiful cascades the Genesee river, the Canaser- 
aga and other creeks, with many smaller streams. 
The surface of the land on all sides was covered 
with dense forests, interspersed with deep and 
almost impassable swamps ; birch and willow grew 
in great abundance in the forests, the mastodon 
abounded, and in seeking for the rankest vegeta- 
tion, often sank, on account of his immense weight, 
when he ventured too far into the shady bogs. 
Such a swamp existed on the hill above Geneseo, 
and here a few years ago the remains of a huge 
monster were found. Another swamp was found 
near Dansville, on the road to Wayland, about 
six hundred feet above the bottom of this old lake. 
On the edge of this morass the Dansville mastodon 
died. No bones of this animal have ever been 
discovered in the place covered by the lakes of this 
alluvial period."* 


First Settlements and Measures leading 
Thereto — Military Tract — Mill - Yard 
Tract — Census of 1790 — First Settle- 
ments IN Livingston County — Communica- 
tion opened with the Settlements in Penn- 
sylvania — Arks — Charles Williamson — Be- 
comes Agent of the Pultney Estate — Pro- 
gress OF Settlements under his Energetic 
Exertions -The Village of Williamsburgh 
Founded — Settlements Retarded by War 
WITH THE Western Indians and Unfriendly 
Attitude of the British in Canada — " Simcoe 
War" — Remarkable Progress of Settle- 
ments — Scotch Colony at Caledonia — Rob- 
ert MuNRO's Description of the Genesee 
Country — 1804 — Settlements Interrupted 
by War of 181 2 — -Population at Different 
Periods — ■ Homes and Privations of the 
Early Settlers. 

IN the events connected with the Colonial strug- 
gle for independence, especially that which wit- 
nessed the devastation of the Iroquois country by 
the invading army of General Sullivan in 1779, we 
trace the immediate agencies which opened up 




to eastern and southern immigration the whole of 
Western New York, for until after the close of that 
struggle, as we have seen, the whole of that vast 
extent of country west of the Line of Property was 
a reserved Indian domain. Having thrown off the 
oppressive burdens imposed on them by the mother 
country, the mind of the colonists expanded with 
the new and invigorating thought of liberty, and 
they were stimulated to the development of new 
enterprises and new industries. It is fair to pre- 
sume that those who had been favored during the 
war with a view of the beauty and fertihty of this 
country, as were the soldiers who accompanied Sul- 
livan's expedition, bridged with prophetic vision the 
interval which must elapse ere the return of peace 
should enable them to make this fair land their 
future home, which many of them did, and that the 
favorable reports given of it to their associates in 
arms and their neighbors at home, gave direction 
to the minds of many who subsequently took up 
their abode in this wilderness, which, however, then 
abounded in extensive tracts of cleared land which 
had been subjected to the rude cultivation of the 
Indians ; certain it is that the extinction of the 
Indian title and the immediate subsequent opening 
of these lands by survey and sale to settlement, 
was the signal for a vast hegira from the New 
England States, and a httle later from New Jersey, 
Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland, with a Hb- 
eral representation from the more intelligent and 
industrious classes of the pauper-ridden countries 
of Europe. 

In 1789, the year after the extinguishment of the 
Indian title to the reserved tract known as Phelps 
and Gorham's Purchase, and extending from the 
Old Preemption Line, or in general terms from 
the Military Tract to the Genesee River, Messrs. 
Phelps and Gorham commenced a settlement and 
opened a land office on the tract at Canandaigua, 
and in 1789 had completed the survey of their 
purchase, including the Mill- Yard Tract,* into lots, 
generally six miles square and containing 23,040 
acres. The tract was divided into seven ranges, 

•The Mill-Yard Tract, lying on the Genesee River, mostly in Monroe 
county, extending from Lake Ontario into the north edge of Livingston 
county, and embracing a territory twelve by twenty-four miles in extent, 
was given by the Seneca Indians to Phelps and Gorham, pending the 
negotiations for the extinguishment of their title to the Phelps and Gor- 
ham Purchase, for the purposes of a mill-yard, for which, it was repre- 
sented, a tract as large as this would be required. Messrs. Phelps and 
Gorham conveyed one hundred acres of this tract — known as the *' Hun- 
dred Acre Tract"— where the city of Rochester now standr, for the erec- 
tion of a mill at the Genesee Falls, to Ebenezer Allen, a notorious char- 
acter in this vicinity and the pioneer settler of Mt, Morris, who, in 1789, 
erected a small mill. When the Indians saw the diminutive size of the 
mill, they were not a little astonished that so large a tract shotild be needed 
for its accommodation. 

numbered from east to west, and extending from 
the Pennsylvania line to Lake Ontario. These 
ranges were six miles wide, and were subdivided 
by parallels six miles apart. The squares thus 
formed were designated townships and were num- 
bered in ranges from south to north. The portions 
of this tract embraced in the present hmits of Liv- 
ingston county are townships 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 in 
range 7, (corresponding with the present towns of 
Ossian, West Sparta, Groveland, Geneseo and 
Avon,) townships 7, 8, 9 and 10 and the north- 
west quarter of 6 in range 6, (corresponding with 
Sparta, Conesus, Livonia, Lima and North Dans- 
ville,*) and 7 and the western part of 10 in range 

5, (corresponding with the eastern parts of Spring- 
water and Lima.) The survey was made under 
contract by Col. Hugh Maxwell, who completed 
most of the northern portion of the purchase in 
1788, and the remaining portion in 1789, with the 
assistance of Judge Porter. 

Settlements were speedily begun at various dif- 
ferent points in the tract, principally at Geneva, 
Sodus, Bath and the Friends' settlement at the 
outlet of Crooked lake, and in 1790 the popula- 
tion of the preemption lands, or Ontario county, 
which then embraced al! the State west of the Old 
Preemption Line, had increased to 1,047, 0"ly 5' 
of whom were west of the west line of Phelps and 
Gorham's Purchase. This attempt at settlement,! 
however, says Charles Williamson, the first agent 
of the Pultney estate, referring to that at Canan- 
daigua, in a letter addressed to a friend in 1799, 
"was attended with great and almost insurmount- 
able difficulties. There was no access to the 
country but by Indian paths, and the nearest set- 
tlement was above one hundred miles distant; the 
Allegheny Mountains, then never passed, lay on the 
south, and Lake Ontario to the north ; to the west 
was one boundless forest. It is not to be wondered 
at, that, under such circumstances, the country 
made little progress in population and improvement 
for some years."}: 

* The west part of Sparta is included in No. 7 of range 7: the western part 
of Springwater, a little more than a third of that town, in No. 7 of range 6 ; 
and that part of Lima lying between Honeoye Outlet and a line in pro- 
longation of the east line of Liviona, was included in No. 10 of range 5. 

t This census was taken in December, 1790, by Gen. Amos Hall, and 
is pven in tabulated form in Doc. Hist. //., 1 1 14. It included, says Mr. 
Williamson, "all travelers and surveyors, with their attendants, who 
happened at that time to be within the bounds of the country." ^Pi^- 
Hist. 11., lijo.) It appears that township 10, ranye 5 (part of Lima,) 
then contained seven families, numbering twenty-six individuals : No. to, 
range 6 (Lima,) four families, numbering twenty-three individuals; No. 

6, range 7 (Ossian,) one family, numbering five individuals: No. 9, range 
7 (Geneseo,) eight families, numbering thirty-four individuals ; and No. 
10, range 7 (Avon, then Hartford,) eight families, numbering fifty-n"" 
individuals. Two additional settlements, on what were then Indian lands, 
existed within the present county of Livingston : one opposite No. 
(Groveland,) in the town of Mt. Morris, and the other opposite No. 9 
(Geneseo,) in the town of Leicester; which together with_ a settlement 
opposite No. s (Bums,) contained four families, numbering seventeen 

+ Doc. Hist. II., 1 1 30. 



Happily the pioneer settlers of the Genesee 
country were not perplexed by those distressing 
litigations which environed their contemporary set- 
tlers on the Military Tract, and the soil of the 
country possessed a fertility which was unknown 
■to the lands further east. It responded generously 
to the moderate exertions of the husbandman; and 
during the many years while his less fortunate 
neighbor could only by the most pinching industry 
coax from an almost sterile soil a scanty subsistence, 
he had acquired a title of undoubted validity to his 
property, and was enjoying the blessings which 
flow from a moderate competence. A writer in 
describing the country between Albany and Niagara 
in 1792, speaks in glowing terms of this country. 
He says : — 

■ " The famous Genesee flats He on the borders 
of the Genesee river ; they are about twenty miles 
in length, and about four miles wide; the soil is 
remarkably rich, quite clear of trees, and producing 
grass near ten feet high. I estimate these flats to 
be well worth 200,000 £ as they now lie. They 
are mostly the property of the Indians. Taking a 
view of this country altogether, I do not know an 
extent of ground so good. Cultivation is easy, 
and the land is grateful. The progress of settle- 
ment is so rapid, that you and myself may very 
probably see the day when we can apply these lines 
to the Genesee country: — 

" ' Here happy millions their own lands possess, 
No tyrant awes them, nor no lords oppress.' 

" Many times did I break out in an enthusiastic 
frenzy anticipating the probable situation of this wil- 
derness twenty years hence. All that reason can ask 
may be obtained by the industrious hand ; the only 
danger to be feared is, that luxuries will flow too 

The same writer adds : — 

" From Canandaigua I traveled about twenty-six 
miles through a fine country, with many settle- 
ments forming ; this brought me to Genesee river. 
On this river a great many farms are la3dng out ; 
sixty-five miles from its mouth is a town marked 
out by the name of Williamsburgh, and will in all 
probability be a place of much trade ; in the pres- 
ent situation of things it is remote, when consid- 
ered in a commercial point of view; but should 
the fort of Oswego be given up, and the lock navi- 
gation be completed, there will not be a carrying 
placebetweenNew York and Williamsburgh. * * * 

" After I had reached the Genesee river, curi- 
osity led me on to Niagara, ninety miles — not one 
house or white man the whole way. The only di- 
rection I had was an Indian path, which sometimes 
was doubtful. The first day I rode fifty miles, 
through swarms of mosquitos, gnats, etc., beyond 
all description."* 

The comparative advantages attending a settle- 
ment in the Genesee country were enumerated in 

* (Massachusetls Historical Collection I.) Col. Hist. II., 1105-1109. 

Imlay's Topographical Description of the Western 
Territory of North America. After some prelimi- 
nary references it says : — 

" But the peculiar advantages which distinguish 
these lands over most of the new settled countries 
of America, are these following: — i. The uncom- 
mon excellence and fertility of the soil. 2. The 
superior quality of the timber, and the advantages 
of easy cultivation, in consequence of being gen- 
erally free from underwood. 3. The abundance of 
grass for cattle in the woods, and on the extensive 
meadow grounds upon the lakes and rivers. 4. The 
vast quantities of the sugar maple-tree, in every 
part of the tract. 5. The great variety of other 
fine timber, such as oak, hickory, black walnut, 
chestnut, ash of different kinds, elm, butternut, 
basswood, poplar, pines and also thorn trees of a 
prodigious size. 6. The variety of fruit-trees, and 
also smaller fruits, such as apple and peach or- 
chards, in different places, which were planted by 
the Indians, plum and cherry trees, mulberries, 
grapes of different kinds, raspberries, huckle-ber- 
ries, black-berries, goose-berries, and strawberries 
in vast quantities ; also cranberries, blackhaws, 
etc. 7. The vast variety of wild animals and 
game which is to be found in this country, such as 
deer, moose deer, and elk of very large size, bea- 
vers, otters, martins, minks, rabbits, squirrels, rac- 
coons, bears, wildcats, etc., many of which furnish 
excellent furs and peltry. 8. The great variety of 
birds for game, such as wild turkeys, pheasants, 
partridges, pigeons, plover, heath-fowl, and Indian 
hen, together with a vast variety of water-fowl on 
the rivers and lakes, such as wild geese and ducks, 
of many different kinds, not known in Europe. 

9. The uncommon abundance of very fine fish, 
with which the lakes and rivers abound, among 
which are to be found excellent salmon of two dif- 
ferent kinds, salmon-trout of a very large size, 
white and yellow perch, sheep-heads, pike, 
suckers and eels of a very large size, with a va- 
riety of other fish in their different seasons. 

10. The excellence of the climate in that region 
where these lands are situated, is less severe 
in winter, and not so warm in summer, as the same 
latitudes nearer the sea. The total exemption 
from all periodical disorders, particularly the fever 
and ague, which does not prevail in the Genesee 
country, on account of the rising grounds and fine 
situations. 11. The vast advantages derived from 
navigable lakes, rivers and creeks, which intersect 
and run through every part of this tract of country, 
affording a water communication from the north- 
ern parts of the grant by the Genesee river one 
way, or by the Seneca river another way into the 
great lake Ontario, and from thence by Cataraqui 
to Quebec, or by the said Seneca river, the Oneida 
lake and Wood creek, to Schenectady on the Mo- 
hawk river, with only a short land carriage, and 
from thence to Albany, with a portage of sixteen 
miles ; affording also a water communication from 
almost every township of the southern part of the 
grant by means of the different branches of the 



Tioga river, which joining the Susquehanna, affords 
an outlet to produce, through an immense extent 
of country on every hand, to Northumberland, and 
all the towns upon the great branch of this river, 
down to Maryland and Virginia ; and (with a port- 
age of twelve miles) even to Philadelphia with 
small boats ; and when the improvements are 
made in the Susquehanna, and the projected canal 
cut between the Schuylkill and that river, there will 
be an uninterrupted good water communication for 
boats of ten or fifteen tons from the interior parts 
of the Genesee country all the way to Philadelphia. 
12. But above all, the uncommon benefits these 
lands derive from the vicinity to the thickly settled 
countries in New York and New England govern- 
ments on the one hand, and Northumberland coun- 
ty in Pennsylvania on the other, from all which 
quarters, from the great advantages which are held 
out, there must be an over-flow of emigrants every 
year, until these lands are fully settled, which ex- 
pectation is already completely evinced, from the 
rapid population that has taken place on the east 
boundaries of the grant upon the Tioga river, and 
between the Seneca and Cayuga lakes up to On- 
tario, where, in the course of three or four years, 
above eight hundred famiHes have fixed themselves 
in this fertile country, most of whom having emi- 
grated from the Eastern States of New England, 
New York and Pennsylvania, have all the advan- 
tages which are to be derived from a perfect knowl- 
edge of the country, and from that kind of educa- 
tion and local resource, which soon renders the 
situation of a new settler comfortable and happy, 
enabling them, at the same time, to assist new 
comers, who may be less acquainted with the na- 
ture of the country." 

The same work adds : — 

" ' At present wheat can be sent from the Gene- 
see Settlement to Philadelphia, at one shilling 
sterling per bushel ; but if the water communica- 
tion be opened between the two rivers, the cost 
will not exceed fourpence.* 

" ' Dry goods can now be sent to these new 
settlements at about eight shillings sterling per 
hundred weight, which will probably be reduced to 
three shilhngs when the navigation is completed. 

" ' No country in the world is better adapted for 
raising cattle than the Genesee grant. One of the 
first settlers in that country asserts that he can 
every season cut wild grass on his own farm in the 
Genesee flats sufficient to maintain 2,000 head of 
cattle through the winter ; and that such hay, with 
rushes and vegetables which are found above the 
snow, generally keep the cattle fat without any ex- 
pense. Hogs can also be reared in the woods at 
little or no expense to the farmer. 

" ' As the distance from Philadelphia (between 
which and the Genesee lands a road was to be com- 
pleted in 1791) is somewhat less by land than two 
hundred miles, there can be no difficulty in driving 
fat cattle and hogs to that market for sale : as they 
can transport themselves at a very small expense, 

* This communication was begun in I79J. 

and as the demand for provision increases every 
year, and a liberal price is given for beef and pork, 
there can be no doubt but the rearing of cattle and 
hogs, as well as horses, for sale in the low coun- 
tries, will soon become a great object of profit to 
the settlers, as the extensive ranges of meadow 
ground on the fiats, and the blue grass,white clover 
and pea-vine in the woods, must enable the farmer 
to feed almost any number he can raise, or find 
capital to purchase. In many parts of the tract 
there is little or no underwood, and excellent pas- 
ture in the forests between the trees, inconsequence 
of their being in general of an enormous size, and 
of the considerable distance between them ; thereby 
affording even a wide range for cattle in the upland 
country, as well as in the flats and meadows,which 
have already been represented to be luxuriant be- 
yond description, in a species of coarse grass, very 
fit for hay. It is said that there are many wild 
horses upon the tract, which is an additional proof 
of there being winter food in the flat lands and in 
the forests. 

" ' The present settlers have already got a fine 
stock of cattle and hogs, and find that they thrive 
and increase very fast ; but as yet there are very 
few sheep, although, it is supposed, they would suc- 
ceed well on the hills, after the country is more 
fully peopled. Several genteel families are prepar- 
ing to settle on the tract this season, which will 
greatly facilitate the population of these lands. 

" ' The crops of wheat, Indian corn, and other 
small grains were very abundant last year ; so that 
the present settlers are in a situation to assist and 
supply the wants of new-comers. 

" ' The market for grain and provision raised in 
the Genesee country will be on the spot for some 
time to come, and the constant influx of settlers, 
who may be expected, until the whole of these 
lands are occupied, will, at least for a time, con- 
sume all the surplus produce ; afterwards the city 
of Philadelphia will probably be the best market ; 
and while the country is in progress of being set- 
fled, the hemp and flax raised by the Genesee 
farmers, and also the ashes and sugar made upon 
these lands, and the skins and furs procured by 
hunting, must ultimately go to Philadelphia and 
New York ; but this will be the business of the 
merchant, who will receive all these articles from 
the farmer in return for dry goods, implements of 
husbandry, salt and rum, and such other articles as 
the settlers may want.' 
* » » * * 

" Wheat is at present, 1791, one dollar per 
bushel (4S.6d. sterling;) Indian corn, 2s.6d. ditto; 
salt from the Onondaga works, 60 miles east of the 
grant, is half a dollar a bushel."* 

The following extract from the journal of the 
journey of a gentleman into the Genesee country 
in February, 1792, gives additional glimpses of the 

* Doc. Hist. //., nil — II2Z. 



condition and prospects of the pioneer settlers of 
the Genesee country. We quote : — 

" From Canandaigua to the Genesee river, 
twenty-six miles, it is almost totally uninhabited, 
only four families residing on the road. The coun- 
try is beautifully diversified with hill and dale, and 
in many places, we found openings of two and 
three hundred acres, free from all timber and even 
bushes, which, on our examining, proved to be of a 
rich, deep soil. It seemed that, by only inclosing 
with one of these openings a proportionable quan- 
tity of timbered land, an inclosure might be made 
similar to the parks in. England. 

" At the Genesee River I found a small Indian 
store and tavern ; the river was not then frozen 
over, but was low enough to be forded. As yet 
there are no settlements of any consequence in the 
Genesee country. That established by a society of 
Friends, on the west side of the Seneca lake, is 
the most considerable ; it consists of about forty 
famihes. But the number of Indians in the ad- 
joining country, when compared with the few in- 
habitants who venture to winter in the country, is 
so great, that I found them under serious appre- 
hensions for their safety. Even in this state of 
nature, the county of Ontario shows every sign of 
future respectability. No man has put the plough 
in the ground without being amply repaid ; and, 
through the mildness of the winter, the cattle 
brought into the country the year before are thriv- 
ing well on very slender provision for their subsist- 
ence. The clearing of land for spring crops is 
going on with spirit. I also found the settlers here 
abundantly supphed with venison.* 

We have indicated the small beginnings which 
had been previously made in this county ; but as 
the details of settlement will be more fully noted 
in connection with the various towns it is not our 
purpose to dwell upon these matters here. Of 
these settlements, however, that projected by the 
Wadsworths at Geneseo was the only one which 
continued to exert a permanent and controlling 
influence upon the subsequent development of the 

The following is a copy of a notice issued by 
James Wadsworth, relative to lands offered for sale 
by him, taken from the original in the possession of 
Dr. M. H. Mills, of Mt. Morris:— 

" Notice to New Settlers." 

"The subscriber offers for sale the following 
townships and tracts of land, in the counties of 
Ontario, Genesee, and Allegany, in the State of 
New York. 

"A tract containing upwards of 60,000 acres, 
situated within six miles of the landing in Fall- 
town, on the west side of the Genesee River — this 
tract is divided into lots of about 100 acres. In 
order to encourage and accommodate industrious 
and enterprising settlers, one-half of the land, con- 

•D0c.Hist.1t; 1131-1132- 

sisting of every other three hundred acres through- 
out the tract, will be sold for wheat, pork and neat 
cattle ; the wheat and pork to be delivered at Fall- 
town Landing. The very flourishing settlements 
of West Pultney, Braddock's Bay and Fairfield are 
within this tract. The inhabitants in these settle- 
ments have been remarkably healthy. Vessels of 
200 tons sail from Lake Ontario up the Genesee 
River to the lower falls; this place is called Fall-, 
town Landing, and is only six miles from the tract 
now offered for sale. A barrel of flour can now 
be sent from Falltown Landing to Montreal for 
one dollar, and a barrel of pot-ashes for one dollar 
and a half; these prices will be reduced as the busi- 
ness of transportation increases. Most articles of 
American produce command as high prices at 
Montreal as at New York. 

" The intervals and swails in this tract are tim- 
bered with elm, butternut, white and black ash, 
walnut, etc., the uplands with sugar maple, beech, 
basswood, liickory, wild cherry, white oak, black 
oak, chestnut, etc. There are a number of groves 
of excellent white pine timber. There are no 
mountains or ledges, and scarcely one hundred 
acres of waste land in the tract. Some of the 
intervals or flats will produce, if well cultivated, 80 
bushels of corn, 800 weight of hemp, or 2,000 
weight of tobacco on an acre, and other crops in 

"Also, the Township of Troupton, situated 
eighteen miles south of the village of Gen€seo, and 
adjoining the village of Dansville. This tract is 
within twelve miles of Ark Port, a landing place 
on the west branch of the Susquehannah river ; a 
barrel of flour may be transported from Ark Port 
to Baltimore, for a dollar and a half, and other 
articles of produce in proportion ; the situation of 
this township is considered very healthy, the lands 
are fertile and well watered. 

" Also the town of Henrietta, being township No. 
12, in the seventh range, on the west side of Gen- 
esee river ; this tract is within eight miles of Fall- 
town landing, and adjoins the flourishing towns of 
Hartford, (now Avon,) and Northfield ; the lands 
in Henrietta are excellent and the settlement very 
flourishing; the lots adjoining the Genesee river 
containing handsome portions of timbered flats, 
are put at five dollars per acre, the back lots at 
four dollars per acre. 

" Also a number of lots in a tract of land, usually 
known by the name of Allen's Flats, or the Mt. 
Morris tract, situated in the forks of the Genesee 
river, fifteen miles south of the great State Road to 
Niagara, and four miles from the village of Gene- 
seo. The tract contains about 10,000 acres, 3,000 
acres of which are flats or interval. It has lately 
been surveyed into lots of convenient size ; the 
village lots contain from one to- forty acres, and 
the farm lots about one hundred acres each. The 
village is situated on elevated ground timbered with 
white oak, and bids fair to be a very healthy situa- 
tion. The subscriber will sell the upland and 
lease the flats, or will sell both upland and flats, as 
applicants prefer. 



" It is fully ascertained that the flats or intervals 
on the Genesee river are perfectly adapted to the 
cultivation of hemp. Mr. Stephen Colton, from 
Long Meadow, raised ten hundred weight of excel- 
lent hemp the last season, on one acre of flats in 
Geneseo. One hundred and six bushels of Indian 
corn have been raised on one acre in Allen's flats. 

" Hemp may be transported by water from the 
mouth of the Genesee river to Montreal; or it 
may be sent from Ark Port down the Susquehan- 
nah river, in arks to Baltimore, or it may be sent 
by land to Albany. 

" The price at which lots in the above tracts are 
put, is from two to five dollars per acre. The 
subscriber usually requires the purchase money to 
be paid in four equal installments to be made in 
two, three, four and five years from the time of 
purchase, with one year free of interest; in some 
of the tracts he gives a credit of six and eight 

" Liberal encouragement will be given in different 
settlements to carpenters, blacksmiths, shoemakers, 
millwrights and other tradesmen. 

" The subscriber, in order to encourage the 
settlement of substantial New England farmers, 
will exchange a few lots for improved farms. 

" The tract of country in which the above de- 
scribed townships are situated, tho' north of New 
Jersey, resembles that state in the mildness of its 
climate. Peaches, apricots and nectarines grow 
to great perfection on the Genesee river. 

" A valuable salt spring is discovered in Brad- 
dock's Bay township. Salt can now be afforded at 
this spring at one dollar per bushel ; when the 
works are extended salt will probably be afforded 
at fifty cents a bushel, the same price at which it 
is sold at the Onondaga salt works. 

" A turnpike road is completed from Albany to 
Canandaigua; and from Canandaigua to Geneseo, 
and thence to the above mentioned settlements 
there are excellent wagon roads.. 

" The subscriber has still for sale a number of 
reserved and other lots of land, in the midst of 
flourishing settlements, in the towns of Geneseo, 
Hartford, Bloomfield and Pittstown ; some of these 
lots contain handsome improvements. 


" Geneseo, (Ontario county,) March, 1809." 

The first settlement in the Genesee country was 
made in the county of Livingston as early as 1759, 
by that remarkable character, Mary Jemison, whose 
residence of seventy-eight years with the Indians, 
seventy-two of which were spent in the Genesee 
Valley, has made her a valuable contributor to the 
early history of this locality. The next while set- 
tler in the present county of Livingston was Eben- 
ezer, or Indian, Allen — a character as notorious 
for his vice and savage brutality, as was that of 
Mary Jemison made conspicuous by its gentle vir- 
tues. Both these settlements were made in the 

present town' of Mt. Morris; the fprmer on what 
subsequently became the famous Gardeau reserva- 
tion, and the latter, in 1782, on the site of the 
village of Mt. Morris. The first important settle- 
ment made within the county after the extinguish- 
ment of the Indian title in 1788, from which the 
settlement of the county more properly dates, was 
that of John H., and George Jones, brothers to 
Horatio Jones, who, like Mary Jemison, had been 
held in captivity by the Indians. They located in 
1789 in the present town of Leicester, where they 
were joined the following year by Horatio and his 
family, although that was then, and for eight years 
thereafter, Indian territory. These characters, 
from their intimate connection with the history of 
this county, merit and will receive further notice. 

Hitherto the tide of emigration had been from 
the New England States, that from the south hav- 
ing been retarded by the inaccessibility of the 
country, owing to the lack of roads across the Al- 
leghanies, which formed a formidable barrier. In 
the summer of 1792, Charles Williamson, agent 
for the Pultney estate, visited the tract and put in 
execution a plan he had formed for its improve- 
ment, by opening communication with Philadel- 
phia and Baltimore by means of a road across the 
AUeghanies. Notwithstanding the difficulties which 
attended this enterprise, and which had been re- 
garded as insuperable, by the month of November 
of that year, thirty miles of the road were made 
sufficiently good for the passage of wagons ; and by 
the following August it was completed from the 
mouth of Lycoming creek to Williamsburgh, a dis- 
tance of one hundred and seventy miles. " It was 
only from this period, which opened to the Gene- 
see a communication with the settlements in Penn- 
sylvania,'' says Capt. Williamson, "that we can 
trace the beginning of that singularly rapid pro- 
gress in population and improvements, which has 
so eminently distinguished that country. The 
opening of this road from Pennsylvania over a 
chain of mountains before regarded impassable, 
excited the curiosity of the inhabitants of the ad- 
jacent country, and many were tempted to explore 
the Genesee lands, that, previous to this, had 
never given them a thought. The idea of the im- 
mense distance was at once destroyed. At this 
early period, however, it was only men of observa- 
tion that were pleased. Many returned disgusted 
with the inconvenience of traveling through a coun- 
try almost destitute of inhabitants, for the distance 
of one hundred and seventy miles, and particularly 
when they found the only settlement in that part 



of the country depending on the Indians for sub- 

As in all new countries, the first settlements 
were made on or adjacent to navigable streams, 
which, in the absence of suitable roads, were, for 
many years, the common means of communication 
and transportation, especially of the marketable 
productions. The streams were navigated by a 
species of boats called arks, which were invented 
and first used about 1793, by a Mr. Kryder, a 
farmer on the Juniata river. They were construct- 
ed of large timbers or planks, and after their cargo 
was discharged, were broken up and sold for lum- 
ber. They were capable of floating three hundred 
barrels of flour, which, as well as lumber and vari- 
ous other productions, were transported in them. 
They were -afterwards improved and their capacity 
increased, and were for many years in common 


In 1791, Capt. Charles WiUiamson became the 
agent of the Pultney estates and in 1792, inaugu- 
rated those improvements in the Genesee country, 
which, during the succeeding ten years, he contin- 
ued with such distinguished energy, and a success 
commensurate with the obstacles which opposed 
his efforts, if not with the expectations of the com- 
pany in whose interest he labored. 

Mr. Williamson visited the Genesee country first 
in February, 1792, and from observations made at 
that time, decided on locating a village at the 
mouth of Canaseraga Creek, which was then nav- 
igable for nearly twenty miles, to Dansville. The 
projection of this plan in 1792, and the ill-starred 
colony sent there to develop it form an interesting 
episode in the history of Livingston county; for 
this was not only the first settlement in the county 
which aspired to the dignified title of village, but 
here, in 1793, was taught the first school in this 
county by Samuel Murphy, an Irishman, — here in 
1797, was kept the first inn, by William Lemen, — 
here, in 1795 or '96, was kept the first store, by 
Alexander McDonald, a Scotchman, if we except 
the Indian " mart" kept by Indian Allen, on Allen's 
hill, (Mt. Morris,) " as early as 1784, if not in the fall 
of 1783," — here also, in 1797, was built, on lot 58, 
the first grist mill, by Col. Williamson, — and here 
too lived " the first preacher of the evangelical 
truths of the bible in the county"— Rev. Samuel J. 
Mills, a Presbyterian. I But this embryo village has 

* Doc. Hist. II., 1134. 

^ Doc. Hist. II., 115°, "Si. 

XAddressof Dr. M. H. Mills le/ore the Livingston County Pioneer 
Association, Aug. J, 1877. The same gentleman, in an address before 
the Livingston County Medical Society, Jan. 11, 1876, says the first inn 
was kept in 1795. 

long since vanished together with the delusions of 
its founder.* 

Under the stimulus of WiUiamson's efficient en- 
deavors, seconded by the exertions of more local 
agencies, in the persons of those who had become 
land owners and interested in the progress of im- 
provements, accessions were rapidly made to the 
settlements in various parts of the county. They 
were, however, sensibly retarded by the unsettled 
state of things which existed during this period ; 
for, although the treaty of 1783 settled the terms 
of peace between England and the United States, 
the former government still retained possession of 
the fortifications at Oswego and Niagara, and other- 
wise menaced the young nation so recently one of 
its tributary dependencies, and then waging a war 
with the western Indians, which was terminated in 
its favor by the signal victory of General Wayne 
in 1794, in which year also the Jay treaty adjusted 
the hitherto unsettled question of jurisdiction over 
certain territory in the United States, including 
lands in Western New York. 

During this period, in 1794, an event transpired 
which threatened to precipitate hostilities between 
this and the Canadian government, which watched 
with a jealous regard the progress of settlement in 
Western New York. In that year, Capt. William- 
son had projected a settlement at Sodus, which 
proved the gravamen for a hostile demonstration 
on the part of the Canadian authorities, who were 
determined to resist it. Governor Simcoe sent 
Lieut., afterwards Major-General Sir Roger Hale 
Sheaffe of the British army, to demand that that 
settlement, as well as all others in Western New 
York, be abandoned. Capt. Williamson met the 
demand with an unqualified refusal, and, under the 
prevalent impression that the British government 
meditated war, active measures were instituted to 
put the frontier in a state of defense and to repel 
any invasion which might be made. Happily, how- 
ever, the war-cloud blew over, and the apprehen- 
sions of the anxious settlers were dispelled. 

From this period the work of colonization and 
improvement progressed rapidly ; and " as early as 
the year 1796, the various settlements had begun 
to assume," says Capt. WiUiamson, "an appearance 
of respectability never before instanced in so new 
a country." In this year a Jersey settlement was 
made at the head of Canaseraga creek, which 
exhibited " instances of industry and enterprise, 
rare as uncommon;" printing offices were estab- 

* A detailed account of the founding of this village may be found in 
connection with the history of the town of Groveland, in the north-west 
comer of which it was located, 



lished at Bath and Geneva, the former village 
having been laid out in 1793, in which year it con- 
tained fifteen families; and towards the close of 
the season a sloop of forty tons burden was launched 
at Geneva to run as a packet between that place 
and Catharine's Town, a small village at the head 
of Seneca lake. This was an event "of sufficient 
importance to assemble several thousand people,'' 
and as none had previously "occurred to draw 
together the different settlements, the people com- 
posing them were not a little surprised to find 
themselves in a country containing so many inhabi- 
tants, and these so respectable. Natives of every 
State in the Union, and of every nation of Europe, 
were to be found in the assemblage, all ambitious 
of the same object, the aggrandizement of the 
Genesee country."* 

"The only part of the Genesee country," adds 
Capt. Williamson, "that seemed, until now to 
have escaped the general improvement, was that 
contiguous to the Genesee River, below Hartford 
[Avon] or Canawagus ; a set of very good mills, 
however, have been built at the falls, and some 
settlers were to be found in that" neighborhood, on 
the fertile plains by the side of the river; but the 
idea of exposure to Indian depredations on a fron- 
tier is always sufficient to prevent the man of 
industry and property from settling. The luxuri- 
ance of the soil will not always tempt him. The 
moment, however, the western posts were given up 
to the United States, and this part of the country 
rendered safe, the industrious settlers turned their 
attention to the lands west of the river." j 

The emigration into this country in r797 exceeded 
that of former years, both as to numbers and 
respectability.}; About this time a Scotch settle- 
ment was projected in the present town of Cale- 
donia, and during the succeeding few years it was 
joined by a considerable number of that nationality,§ 
whose simple habits and sterling virtues were a 
weighty influence in the material growth and pros- 
perity of that region. At this time, however, the 
country for about twelve miles west of the Genesee 
to the Niagara still remained a wilderness ; || but 
the extinguishment of the Indian title to the Hol- 
land Purchase this year gave an impulse to settle- 
ments in that direction. Robert Munro, in describ- 
ing the Genesee country in 1804, says: "From 
Canandarqua to Genesee River, * * * the coun- 

• Williamson's Letter II., Doc. Hist. II., iij7. 
t Doc. Hist. II., 1141. 

i WiUiamson's Letter III, Doc, Hist. II., 1141. 
§ Williamson's Letter VI, Doc. Hist. II., 1156. 
II Williamson's Letter VIII.. Doc. Hist. II., 1 165. 

try has the most flourishing appearance, that part 
being earliest settled, and abounds with very sub- 
stantial improvements, which are seldom equalled 
in the United States, in the pleasantness of their 
appearance."* At this time the price of the best 
unimproved lands on the east side of the Genesee 
was commonly from two to four dollars per acre • 
those on the west side sold for from one and one- 
half to two and one-half dollars per acre, on a 
credit of six to ten years. Lands which then sold 
for four dollars per acre, sold twelve years pre- 
viously for as many shillings.! 

Says the same author : — 

"A turnpike road is now completed from Albany 
to Canandarqua, at a great expense, which is dis- 
charged by tolls, and renders travehng and car- 
riage of produce to market much easier when the 
rivers are not navigable. Wagons now frequently 
carry loads of fourteen barrels to Albany, and return 
with an equal weight, and sometimes carry two 
tons, going and returning in fourteen days. A 
mail stage runs from Canandarqua to Albany in a 

" Trade is yet in its infancy and has much in- 
creased within a few years. Grain is sent in con- 
siderable quantities from Seneca lake and the Co- 
hocton, Canisteo, Canawisque and Tioga rivers, to 
markets on Susquehanna river; and flour, potash 
and other produce to Albany; and a considerable 
quantity of grain has for some years past been 
exported by sleighs in winter to the west of Albany. 
Whiskey is distilled in considerable quantities, and 
mostly consumed in the country, and is also ex- 
ported to Canada and to Susquehanna. The pro- 
duce of the country is received by the store-keepers 
in payment for goods, and with horses and cattle, 
is paid for land. Several thousand bushels of grain 
have been purchased in the winter beginning this 
year, 1804, for money at Newtown and at mills 
near Cayuga lake. Hemp is raised on Genesee 
river and carried to Albany. Droves of cattle and 
horses are sent to different markets, and a consid- 
erable number of cattle and other provisions, are 
used at the markets of Canandarqua and Geneva, 
at Niagara, and by settlers emigrating into the 
country. Cattle commonly sell for money at a 
good price, and as this country is very favorable 
for raising them, they will probably become the 
the principal articles for market ; many being of 
the opinion that the raising of stock is more pro- 
fitable as well as easier than any mode of farming. 

" The following is a list of prices of articles, and 
the rates of wages since January, 1801 : — 

" Wheat, from 62 cents to i dollar a bushel- 
corn from 37 to 50 cents a bushel — rye from 50 to 
62 cents a bushel — hay from 6 to 12 dollars a ton — 
butter and cheese, 10 to 16 cents a pound — a yoke of 
oxen, 50 to 80 dollars — milk cows from 16 to 25 
dollars — cattle for driving, 3 to 4 dollars a 100 lb., 

* Doc' Hist, 11., 1172, 1173. 
\ Doc. Hist. II., 1 182. 



a pair of good working horses, 100 to 125 dollars — 
sheep from 2 to 4 dollars — pork, fresh killed in 
winter, 4 to 6 dollars a hundred, and salted in 
spring, 8 to 10 dollars — whiskey from 50 to 75 
cents a gallon — salt, i dollar a bushel weighing 56 
pounds — field ashes, 4 to 9 cents a bushel — 600 
bushels may be manufactured into a ton of pot or 
pearl ash, which has been sold at market at 125 to 
150 dollars, and some persons by saving their ashes, 
or by manufacturing them, have nearly cleared the 
cost of improving the land. The wages of a laborer, 
10 to 15 dollars a month, and board. A suit of 
clothes made at 4 or 5 dollars. A pair of shoes, 
175 to 250 cents. Store goods are sold at very 
moderate prices, the expense of carriage from Al- 
bany to New York being about two dollars a hun- 
dred weight."* 

Settlements progressed rapidly till the opening of 
the war of 181 2, which was '' a complete damper to 
all sales of new land," and it was said " more set- 
tlers went out than came into the Genesee coun- 
try."! The settlers responded promptly to the call 
for volunteers, and left the improvements many of 
them had so recently commenced to take up arms 
to repel a threatened invasion. Under the leader- 
ship of Gen. William Wadsworth, of Geneseo, who 
early tendered his services to the government, they 
participated in the brilHant but unfortunate engage- 
ment of Queenstown Heights, October 13, 181 2, 
and were surrendered with their commander, to- 
gether with the fort cajitured in the early part of 
the engagement, to the British under General 
Sheaffe. To subsequent calls the sturdy pioneers 
of the Genesee Valley as promptly and generously 
responded, but owing to the incompetence or cow- 
ardice of their leader — General Smyth — their labors 
were mostly crowned with inconsequential results ; 
notwithstanding they sustained severe losses by 
sickness and battle. The settlements during this 
period were frequently troubled with serious alarms 
by the reported invasion of the British and Indians ; 
and especially was this true on the capture of Fort 
Niagara by the latter December 19, 1813, with the 
burning of Youngstown, Lewiston, Manchester, (Ni- 
agara Falls,) and the Indian village of Tuscarora, 
and the destruction of Black Rock and Buffalo in 
like manner on the 30th of the same month. 

" After the close of the war," says Hon. Augus- 
tus Frank, " the tide of emigration again set in for 
the Genesee country, and from that date until 1820 
the increase of population was large, coming par- 
ticularly from the New England States. On the 
return of peace a surplus of labor, which the cur- 
rent prices of produce would not remunerate, 

-iDocHut., II., 1184. n8S- 

t Address of Hon. Augustus Frank, of Warsaw, Wyoming county. 

flooded the land. The heavy duties which had 
been imposed on imports for the support of the 
war had stimulated domestic manufactures. On 
the removal of these imports the country was 
flooded with foreign goods. Manufacturing indus- 
tries became stagnant, the country was depleted of 
specie, and the currency greatly depreciated. Un- 
der such circumstances it is not wonderful that * 
* * the early snows of winter showed the tracks 
of many naked little feet." 

From this period up to 1850 the population 
gradually increased; from 1850 to 1865 it de- 
clined; and since 1865 there has been a gradual 
increase, till at present, (1880) is has nearly reached 
the highest point attained, in 1850, and nearly 
double the population on the organization of the 

The subjoined table shows the population of the 
county at different periods : — 

1810* 13.390 1850 40,873 

1820 t 21,305 1855 37,943 

1825 23,860 i860 39,546 

1830 27,729 1865 37,555 

1835 31,092 1870 38,309 

1840 35,140 1875 38,518 

1845 33,193 1880 39,261 

The Genesee's beautiful valley attracted many 
sturdy and active emigrants from the comparative 
luxury of their eastern homes to grapple with the 
temporary hardships and privations incident to the 
settlement of a new country. A steady and healthy 
growth was maintained for many years; and 
though Livingston cannot point to any gigantic 
commercial or manufacturing enterprise within her 
borders, she can, with just pride, refer the stranger 
to the no less gratifying evidences of wealth, pros- 
perity and contentment exhibited by the tillers of 
the soil, who have supplemented nature by im- 
proving an already beautiful country and trans- 
formed it from its pristine wilderness to the produc- 
tive and attractive farms which adorn its hillsides 
and gentle slopes. If we do not hear the busy 
hum of mechanical industry as it greets us in large 
and populous cities and villages, neither do we 
see and deplore the disparaging contrasts between 
affluence and poverty which the latter picture inva- 
riably presents. Here all are producers, and the 
wealth of the country is more uniformly distributed. 

* This is not exact, but a close approximation to exactness. It is de- 
signed to give the population at that period of tlie towns at present com- 
posing Livingston county, as nearly as that can be ascertained. It does 
not, however, include that of North Dansville, which then formed a part 
of Dansville, Steuben county, which then had a population of 666. 

t The figures for this year also embrace the population of all the tovras 
at present in Livingston county, except North Dansville, then a part of 
Dansville, Steuben county, which had a population of 1,565. 




Internal Improvements — Routes and Means 
BY WHICH the Pioneers reached their Wilder- 
ness Homes — Navigable Streams the public 
Highways — Indian Trails — Routes Indicat- 
ed BY Blazed Trees — Improvements in the 
Natural Water Channels — Western Inland 
Lock Navigation Company — Old Genesee 
Road — Cayuga Bridge — Seneca Turnpike 
Company — First Mail between Whites- 
town and the Genesee — Williamsburgh 
Road — First Vessel and Steamboat on Lake 
Erie — The Erie Canal — Early Speculations 
Regarding It — First Survey Thereof — First 
Board of Canal Commissioners — First Con- 
tract on Erie Canal — Construction Com- 
menced — The Completion Celebrated — Erie 
Canal Enlargement — Navigation of the 
Genesee — -First Canal-boat and Steamboat 
Thereon — Genesee Valley Canal — Prelimi- 
nary Measures — -Construction Authorized — 
Its Completion — Dansville and Rochester 
Railroad — -Geneseo and Pittsford Rail- 
road — Attica and Hornellsville Railroad — 
Portage Bridge — Portage Riot — Buffalo 
and Cohocton Valley Railway — Roches- 
ter and Genesee Valley Railroad — Gene- 
see Valley Railroad — Avon, Geneseo and 
Mt. Morris Railroad — Dansville and Gen- 
esee Valley Railroad Company — Erie and 
Genesee Valley Railroad — Silver Lake 
Railroad — Canandaigua and Niagara Falls 
Railroad — Rochester, Nunda and Pennsyl- 
vania Railroad — Rochester and Genesee 
Valley Canal Railroad. 

WE turn from the fruitful and inviting subject 
of pioneer life to the consideration of the 
means by which the pioneer reached his home in the 
wilderness and the projects of internal improvement 
which subsequently engaged his attention. When 
the first settlers came in there was not a road in 
the county, nor one leading immediately to it. To 
the Wadsworths belong the honor of opening the 
first road into its borders. There were two princi- 
pal routes by which the pioneers came, denomina- 
ted the north and south water routes — the former 
the Hudson, Mohawk and Seneca rivers, the latter 
the Susquehanna and its branches — and the navi- 
gable streams were the most frequented highways 
for some years after they arrived. Many, however 
compassed the entire distance from the far New 

England States on foot, bringing nothing with 
them but an axe. Those who came with their 
families generally came with ox teams drawing 
sleds, sometimes wood-shod, or covered wagons, 
often performing the entire journey in this manner, 
and frequently driving a few sheep, cattle and 
other animals before them. Many, however, re- 
sorted to this mode of conveyance only to and 
from the termini of the water routes ; while others, 
accommodating themselves to circumstances, left 
water routes at various points. The winter season 
was generally selected, as they could then reach 
points in the wilderness which were inaccessible to 
their rude conveyances at other seasons. Many, 
after leaving the main roads, threaded for long 
distances forests unbroken, except by the few scant, 
rude clearings made by the Indians. Blazed trees 
were the forest guide boards, and by their aid the 
forests were traversed from one locality to another. 
But these human denizens could not prosper in 
their isolated settlements; they must needs open 
communication with each other and to points af- 
fording a market for their surplus products, and to 
this end roads were indispensable and of the first 

The pioneers first followed the Indian trails and 
from these branched off into routes indicated by 
marked trees. The principal trail extended from 
the Hudson, at Albany, to Lake Erie, terminating 
on the site of Buffalo. It followed the Mohawk 
to a point about in the locality of Utica, thence 
passing through Oneida and Syracuse, and near the 
foot of Skaneateles, Owasco, Cayuga, Seneca and 
Canandaigua lakes, crossing the Genesee at Avon. 
Its route was found to be so advantageous that 
subsequently the first great western turnpike was 
laid out mainly along its course. Two trails ex- 
tended along the Genesee, one on either side of 
the river, that on the west side following its tortu- 
ous windings through the Indian villages of Cana- 
waugus, near Avon, Ohagi, a Tuscarora village on 
the flats below Cuylerville, Big Tree, (Geneseo,) 
Beardstown, (Cuylerville,) Squakie Hill, near Mt. 
Morris, Gardeau, the home of Mary Jemison, and 
thence to Caneadea, in Allegany county, the last 
of the Seneca villages in the Genesee Valley. That 
on the east was intersected near Mt. Morris by 
trails extending up the Canaseraga to Dansville. 
Several other trails intersected these, connecting 
the numerous Indian villages within the county, 
and in many instances they have been perpetuated 
by local roads opened along their course. 

From an early period in English colonial history, 



the subject of improving tlie internal water courses 
between the Hudson and the great lakes engaged 
the attention of the government. In 1724, Cad- 
wallader Golden, then Surveyor-General of New 
York, after mentioning the communication between 
the Oswego ( Oyiondaga) river and Lake Ontario, 
( Cadaraqni,) intimates that Seneca river might 
give a more advantageous route to Lake Erie, and 
avoid the falls of Niagara, (Jagara,) by which the 
French were obliged to reach it.* This is doubt- 
less the first speculation in regard to an interior 
water communication between the Mohawk and 
Lake Erie ; and "was but the expression of a hope 
that a more safe, as well as convenient way might 
be found to the trade of the upper lakes than that 
frequented by the French, and made dangerous to 
the frail boats then employed in the fur trade by 
the storms of Lake Ontario."! In his report of 
that year, (1724,) Golden describes the portage be- 
tween the Mohawk and Wood Creek as being three 
miles long, except in very dry weather, when goods 
must be carried two miles further. This portage 
was obviated as early as 1766, for Carver, who tra- 
versed the lake country in that year, said the pas- 
sage between those streams was effected by means 
of sluices.}: In 1768, Sir Henry Moore, in a mes- 
sage to the Colonial Legislature, suggested as a 
remedy for the obstructions to navigation in the 
Mohawk between Schenectady and Rome, (Fort 
Stanwix,) sluices Hke those in the great Canal of 
Languedoc, France.§ In 1784, and again in 1785, 
Cristopher Golles of New York city memorialized 
the Legislature and procured an appropriation of 
$125 to enable him to examine the Mohawk River, 
with a view to its improvement ; || and in 1786, 
Jeffrey Smith, a member of the Legislature, intro- 
duced a bill to effect this improvement, and for 
"extending the same, if practicable, to Lake 

Before and during the Revolutionary war, the 
Mohawk was navigated by bateaux of light draught 
and easy transport over the carrying place at the 
lesser falls.** 

In 1 79 1, Gov. George GUnton urged upon the 
Legislature the necessity of improving the natural 
water channels, so as to facilitate communication 
with the frontier settlements, and in that year a 
law was passed to authorize the Commissioners of 

* ColdetCs Memoir y 28. 

t Origin and History of Erie Canals by George Geddes, %. 
t ColdeiCs Memoir^ 12. 
§ Colden^s Memoir^ 
II Clark's Onondaga 11.^ 51. 
H Turner's Holland Purchase-, 619. 
•• Benton's Herkimer county and Upper Mohawk Valley, 212. 

the Land Office to survey the portage at Rome and 
the Mohawk to the Hudson, for improvement by 
locks, and ioo_;£' were appropriated for the ob- 
ject.* The survey was made by Abraham Harden- 
burgh, under the advice of William Weston, an 
Enghsh engineer."!" The report of the commis- 
sioners was so favorable that March 30, 1792, the 
Legislature incorporated the "Western Inland 
Lock Navigation Company,'' with power to open 
lock navigation from the Hudson to Ontario and 
Seneca lakes, to " encourage agriculture, promote 
commerce and facilitate intercourse between the 
citizens" of the State.| The capital stock of the 
company was fixed at $25,000, and afterwards 
increased to $300,000. The improvement made 
consisted in the construction of locks and a canal 
around Little Falls, the removal of other obstruc- 
tions in the Mohawk, connecting that river with 
Wood creek by a canal from Rome, straightening 
Wood creek and shortening the distance over it 
nearly one-half, and the removal of obstructions in 
Oswego and Seneca rivers. These improvements, 
shght as they were, are said to have doubled the 
value of the contiguous lands, and greatly aided 
the settlement and development of the resources 
of Central and Western New York. 

As early as 1796, navigation was opened from 
Schenectady to Seneca lake for boats of sixteen 
tons burden, in favorable stages of water in the 
rivers ; but the locks, being constructed of wood 
and brick, soon failed, and had to be replaced by 
stone. In 1813, the company had expended 
$480,000, towards which, in 1795, the State sub- 
scribed $10,000, and in 1796, loaned $37,500, 
taking a mortgage on the canal and locks at Little 
Falls. § At a later day, a proposed canal to con- 
nect the waters of Mud creek with those of Tona- 
wanda creek, thus opening water communication 
between the Genesee above Rochester and the 
Niagara above the falls, formed a part of this 
scheme of internal improvements. 

In 1794 and '95 the State made appropriations 
for the improvement of the road which followed 
the trail between the Mohawk and Lake Erie, 
afterwards known as the "Ontario and Genesee 
turnpike,'' and subsequently as the "Genesee road" 
— the route by which the first settlers reached their 
homes in this county. The first improvements on 

* state Engineer's Report, 1862, 6ig. The commissioners who had 
charge of the Vv'ork were Elkanah Watson, General Schuyler and Golds- 
boro Banyer. 

t Claris Onondaga II,, 51. 

t Benton, 212. 

§ Geddes, 3. 



this road in its western course were made by the 
Wads worths in 1790. They passed over it with a 
cart drawn by oxen on their way to the Genesee 
country. West of Whitesboro they were obhged 
to cut away logs, build causeways, ford streams, 
and at Cayuga lake to construct a pontoon, using 
for that purpose two Indian canoes, which they 
lashed together and covered with poles. In 1792, 
the road was described as passable for wagons east 
from Whitestown ; " but from that to the Genesee 
river it was little better than an Indian path, 
just sufficiently opened to allow a sled to pass, and 
the most impassable streams bridged." " From 
Geneva to Canandaigua'' it was "only the Indian 
path, a little improved the first five miles." * The 
Duke de Liancourt, a French nobleman, who vis- 
ited this country in 1795, P^''^ '' '^^ questionable 
compliment of being "a good one for this country," 
between Canawaugus and Canandaigua. He adds, 
" as usual it leads through the midst of woods. 
Within the space of twelve miles we saw but one 
habitation. " At Canawaugus, though there were 
but few inhabitants, he found "one of the best 
inns" he had "seen for some time past." It was 
kept by a "good civil man" named Gilbert R. 

March 22, 1794, three commissioners were 
appointed to lay out this road from old Fort 
Schuyler, (Utica,) as nearly straight as possible, to 
the Cayuga ferry, and thence by Canandaigua to 
Canawaugus, on the Genesee, where the first bridge 
spanning that river was built in 1803 or 1804.! 

In October, 1796, the consent of the Indians 
was gained to the opening of this road to the Niag- 
ara; J and in 1797, the State authorized the rais- 
ing of $45,000 by lotteries, to be expended in 
improving various roads. Of that sum, $13,900 
were appropriated to the improvement of this road 
from Fort Schuyler to Geneva. § The inhabitants 
of the country through which the road passed made 
a voluntary offer of their services, to aid the State 
Commissioner, and subscribed four thousand days' 
work, which they performed with fidelity and cheer- 
fulness. By this generous and uncommon exer- 
tion, and by some other contributions, the State 
Commissioner was enabled to complete this road 

" Z?(7£r. //"w^ //., Iijl, 1IJ2. " 

t "On the first day of November, i8oj, tlie following notice was pub- 
lished in relation to building a bridge over the Genesee at Canawaugus 
( Avon) ;— ' Genesee bridge proposals will be received by Commissioners 
Asher Sexton and Benjamin Ellicott, for building a bridge over the Gen- 
esee, between the towns of Hartford [Avon] and Southampton, [Cale- 
donia,] in the counties of Oniario and Genesee.' " Canandaigua Rtios- 
ilory, February ll, 187s. 

XAIhayiy Gazette, Oct. 17, 1796. 

§ Hammond's History 0/ Madison County, 128. 

of near one hundred miles, opening it sixty-four 
feet wide, and paving with logs and gravel the 
moist parts of the low country through which it 
was carried. Hence, the road from Fort Schuyler 
* * * to Genesee, from being, in the month 
of June, 1797, a little better than an Indian path, 
was so far improved, that a stage started from 
Fort Schuyler on the 30th of September, and 
arrived at the hotel in Geneva on the afternoon of 
the third day, with four passengers. * * * Not 
less than fifty families settled on it in the space of 
four months after it was opened."* During the 
winter of 1798, two weekly stages, one of them a 
mail stage, ran between Canandaigua and Albany jj 
and so great was the effect produced by the 
improvements made the preceding year, five hun- 
dred and seventy sleighs, with families, passed 
through Geneva within the space of five weeks.| 

The Cayuga Bridge Company, consisting of 
John Harris, Thomas Morris, Wilhemas Mynders, 
Charles WiUiamson and Joseph Annin, was char- 
tered in 1797. and in 1799 commenced the con- 
struction of the celebrated Cayuga bridge, which 
was completed September 4, 1800, and speedily 
became the great highway of western emigration. 
It was for many years looked upon as one of the 
greatest public improvements in the State, and was 
considered the dividing Hne between the east and 
the west. It was about a mile long, twenty-two feet 
wide, and twenty-two feet between the trestles. 
Eighteen months were consumed and about $150,- 
.000 expended in its construction. It was destroyed 
in 1808, rebuilt in 181 2-13, and finally abandoned 
in 1857. Nothing is now left of it but the spiles 
and timbers, which are mostly hidden by the 
waters of the lake. 

The Seneca Turnpike Company was chartered in 
1800, having for its object the improvement of this 
road.§ The company was required to construct 
a road six rods wide from Utica to Canandaigua; 
twenty-five feet of it, in the center, was to be cov- 
ered with gravel, or broken stone, to the depth of 
fifteen inches. They were permitted to place 
gates at intervals of ten miles, and exact twelve 
and one-half cents toll for two horse teams, and 
twenty-five cents for four horses. 

The first United States mail over this road be- 
tween Whitestown and the Genesee was carried 

* Williamson's Letter III., Doc. Hist., II., 1 142. 

t Iliid 

t Witiiajnson' s Letter V., Doc. Hist. II., 1152. 

§ The capital stock was g 110,000, in shares of $50 each. Jedediah 
Sanger, Benjamin Walker, Charles Williamson and Israel Chapin were 
appointed Commissioners. 



on horseback in 1797 or '98, by a Mr. Langdon, 
who distributed papers and unsealed letters on the 
way, before intermediate offices were established. 
Mr. Lucas succeeded Mr. Langdon in transporting 
the mail, which, in 1800, had become so heavy as 
to require a wagon to carry it. Mr. Lucas estab- 
lished a sort of two-horse passenger hack and did 
a brisk and profitable business. The first four- 
horse mail coach was sent through once a week by 
Jason Parker, in 1803, and in 1804 commenced run- 
ning regularly twice a week from Utica to Canan- 
daigua, carrying mail and passengers. In 1804, an 
Act was passed, granting to Jason Parker and Levi 
Stephens, the exclusive right for seven years, of 
running a line of stages for the conveyance of 
passengers, at least twice a week,' between Utica 
and Canandaigua. They were bound tp furnish 
four good and substantial wagons or sleighs, and 
sufficient horses to run the same ; the fare, not to 
exceed five cents per mile for each passenger, with 
fourteen pounds of baggage. They were required 
by law to run through in forty-eight hours, acci- 
dents excepted, and not more than seven passen- 
gers were allowed in any one carriage, except by the 
unanimous consent of the passengers. If four in 
excess of that number applied for passage, they 
were bound to fit out and start an extra for their 
accommodation; or any number less than four could 
be accommodated by paying the fare of four. In 
1808, a daily line was established, and afterwards 
several others, which were continued till the com- 
pletion of railroads along the line.* 

This road was opened to Col. Ganson's, within 
a mile of LeRoy, in 1798, and completed to New 
Amsterdam (Buffalo) as early as 1809; and in 1810, 
the first mail stage was run over it west of the 
Genesee, carrying passengers at six cents per mile. 

The road from the mouth of Lycoming Creek 
to Williamsburgh, at the mouth of Canaseraga 
Creek, before referred to, was the other important 
early highway affecting this county; and over it 
came the tide of emigration from the south-east, as 
did that from the New England States and the 
eastern part of this State over the one just des- 
cribed. This road pursued in the main the great 
Indian trail from the Genesee over the Alleghanies 
into Pennsylvania and the country of the Andas- 
tes, intersecting the Lake Erie and Susquehanna 
and Bath turnpikes, at Bath. It was located after 
a laborious exploration in the summer of 1792, by 
Captain Williamson and a party of Pennsylvania 
hunters, and opened in that and the succeeding 

* Hammond's History of Madison County, 128— ijo. 

year, by " seven stout young Pennsylvanians, well 
skilled in the use of the ax and the rifle," under the 
immediate supervision of Benjamin Patterson, a 
notorious backwoods hunter and guide, assisted by 
a colony of German emigrants, numbering some 
two hundred, who were established at Wilhams- 
burgh under the auspices of the Pultney Estate.* 

A small portion of this road in its lower course 
through this county is perpetuated in the present 
road between Geneseo and Dansville. The rest 
of its course through the county was in a south- 
easterly direction through Groveland, across the 
south-west part of Conesus, the north-east part of 
Sparta, and through Springvvater, crossing at the 
head of the Springwater valley. For some years 
after it was opened the streams were unbridged and 
the low marshy places unimproved. 

The enterprise which had the most marked effect 
upon the settlements of Central and Western New 
York was the completion of the Erie canal. It 
promoted the full development of agriculture, by 
opening up cheap and accessible markets for the 
surplus products of the agriculturalist. Lands ap- 
preciated and prices advanced. 

With the rapid increase in population came the 
demand for increased facilities for transportation. 
The old methods were inadequate, and for several 
years in the early part of the present century the 
minds of public men, statesmen, and those whose 
genius adorned the humbler walks of life, were agi- 
tated by this intensely absorbing topic, as the 
necessities of its proximate cause became more 
immediate and pressing. To Gouverneur Morris 
is due the credit of first broaching the subject of 
connecting the waters of Lake Erie with those of 
the Hudson, a thought which took form in his brain 
as early as i777,t and found more tangible expres- 
sion in 1800, in December of which year, he wrote 
his friend, John Parish, then of Hamburgh, and in 
descanting on the glories of Lake Erie, which he 
visited in that year, he said : — 

" Here again the boundless waste of waters fills 
the mind with renewed astonishment ; and here, as 
in turning a point of wood the lake broke on my 
view, I saw riding at anchor nine vessels, the least 
of them 100 tons.| Can you bring your imagina- 

* See history Town of Groveland. 

t Hosack^s Memoir^ 150. 

X The first vessel on Lake Erie — the Griffon — was projected and built 
by the adventurous Cavalier de la Salle in 1679, and left her anchorage 
near the foot of Squaw Island, In Niagara River, August 7, 1679. She 
reached Washington Island, at the mouth of Green Bay : but perished in 
a storm on the return voyajie in September of that year, together with her 
crew and cargo, which, with the vessel, was valued at 50,000 or 60,000 
francs. The Building and Voyage of the Griffon, by O. H. Marshall. 
The first steamboat on Lake Erie was the Walkin the ^ez^^r, which was 
launclied at Black Rbck, May 28. 1S18, and wrecked near Buffalo on the 
night of Oct. Ji, 1821. Doc. Hist. III., 1194. Buffalo Commercial 
Advertiser. Nov. 7, 1879. 



tion to realize this scene ? Does it seem like magic ? 
Yet this magic is but the early efifort of victorious 
industry. Hundreds of large ships will in no distant 
period bound on the billows of these inland seas. 
At this point commences a navigation of more than 
a thousand miles. Shall I lead your astonishment 
to the verge of incredulity? I will. Know then that 
one-tenth of the expenses borne by Britain in 
the last campaign would enable ships to sail from 
London through Hudson's River to Lake Erie."* 

In 1803, in a conversation with Simeon DeWitt, 
who was then and had long been Surveyor-General 
of this State, Mr. Morris adverted to the long cher- 
ished " project of tapping Lake Erie and leading 
its waters, in an artificial river, directly across the 
country to Hudson's river ;" but DeWitt, with his 
intensely practical mind, regarded it as a chimeri- 
cal scheme, and related it on several occasions in 
a spirit of levity, among others to James Geddes, a 
surveyor, who, in 1794, moved from Pennsylvania 
with the facilities for manufacturing salt, and loca- 
ted near the Onondaga salt springs, from whence, 
in 1804, he was sent to the Legislature. Mr. 
Geddes was strongly impressed with the idea, and 
untiringly pursued his investigations in regard to 
the nature of the intervening country, thus acquir- 
ing data which not only made him an ardent advo- 
cate of the project, but enabled him to create a 
public sentiment in its favor, so that it was made a 
political issue, and in April, 1807, Judge Joshua 
Forman, of Onondaga county, was elected to the 
Assembly as the representative of its advocates 
and supporters, 

October 27, 1807, the first of a series of articles 
from the pen of Jesse Hawley appeared in the On- 
tario Messenger, over the signature of Hercules, 
strongly advocating the construction of the canal. 
March 21, 1808, in consonance with a resolution 
previously introduced by Mr. Forman, the Assem- 
bly passed a bill instructing the Surveyor-General 
" to cause an accurate survey to be made of the 
rivers, streams and waters, (not already accurately 
surveyed,) in the usual route of communication 
between the Hudson river and Lake Erie, and such 
other contemplated route as he may deem proper, 
and cause the same to be deUneated on charts or 
maps for that purpose accompanying the same, 
with the elevations of the route, and such explana- 
tory notes as may be necessary for all useful infor- 
mation in the premises." The Senate concurred 
April 6th, and on the nth of that month six hun- 
dred dollars were appropriated to carry out the pro- 
visions of the resolution. 

* Hosack's Memoir, i$'J. 

Upon James Geddes was devolved the task of 
making these surveys ; and January 20, 1809, he 
submitted his report to the Surveyor-General, who 
afterwards wrote that it marked out a route " almost 
precisely in the line which, after repeated, elaborate 
and expensive examinations, has been finally adop- 
ted," and thus was " the fact satisfactorily estab- 
hshed, that a canal from Lake Erie to Hudson's 
River was not only practicable, but practicable 
with uncommon feHcity."* 

The favorable report of Judge Geddes silenced 
much local opposition, and induced the Legislature, 
March 15, 1 810, to unanimously authorize the or- 
ganization of a Board of Commissioners consisting 
of Gouverneur Morris, Stephen VanRensselaer, De- 
Witt Chnton, Simeon DeWitt, William North, 
Thomas Eddy and Peter B. Porter. 

May 8, 181 1, Robert R. Livingston and Robert 
Fulton were added to the commission, who were 
empowered to employ engineers to make further 
surveys, and to apply to the National and State 
governments for aid. 

June 19, 1812, the commission was authorized 
to purchase all the right and interest of the West- 
ern Inland Lock Navigation Company, with cer- 
tain provisos, and to borrow five millions of dol- 
lars to be used in the construction of the canal; 
but the ensuing war necessitated a suspension of 
operations, and April 15, 1814, the law authorizing 
this loan was repealed. 

The project was revived in the fall of 1 8 1 5, and in 
March, 1817, thenew board of commissioners, con-' 
sisting of Stephen Van Rensselaei", DeWitt Clinton, 
Samuel Young, Joseph Ellicott and Myron HoUey, 
made an elaborate report, and from revised esti- 
mates placed the cost at $5,000,000. April 15, 
1817, the bill which established the canal pohcy of 
the State passed the Legislature, after a sharp and 
talented controversy. 

The Canal Commissioners were authorized by 
that law to commence constructing the canals from 
Lakes Erie and Champlain to the Hudson. The 
first contract for the Erie canal was made June 27, 
181 7, with John Richardson, of Cayuga county; 
and the first spadeful of earth was raised at Rome, 
with appropriate ceremonies, July 4, 181 7. Ninety- 
four miles of canal, including the lateral branch to 
Salina, were completed in the autumn of 1820, on 
the middle section; and Oct. 26, 1825, it was fin- 
ished the entire length, a distance of three hundred 
and sixty-three miles, at a cost of $7,143,789.! 

* Canal Laws, I., 40, 41. 

t State Engineer's Report, 1878, p. 8;. 



The final completion of the canal was a signal 
for an outburst of the wildest enthusiasm along its 
entire length, and the event was celebrated with 
imposing ceremonies at New York and other 
points on the 4th of November, 1825. As the first 
boat,* with Governor Clinton on board, entered 
the canal at Buffalo, on the morning of October 
26th, the fact was signalled to New York by means 
of cannon previously stationed at intervals of a 
few miles along the entire length of the line and 
down the Hudson. 

Within the first decade after its completion the 
necessity for its enlargement was felt, and this 
work, which was ordered May 11, 1835, was com- 
menced in August, 1836, and completed in Sep- 
tember, 1862, at a cost of $36,495,535. This 
improvement reduced its length from 363 miles to 
350^ miles; changed the number of locks from 83, 
each 90 by 1 5 feet, to 7 2, each 11 o by 1 8 feet ; reduc- 
ing the number of feet of lockage from 675.5 '° 
654.8; increased the width at the top from 40 to 70 
feet, and at the bottom from 28 to 56 feet, and the 
depth from 4 to 7 feet ; and increased the burden 
of boats from 75 to 220 tons. The difference in 
length was occasioned by a change in route in 
various places. 

The completion of the Erie canal exerted a 
marked influence on the industries of the counties 
bordering upon it, and measurably benefited those 
more remote from it. To Livingston county it was 
only the prelude to and precursor of a subsequent 
enterprise, which brought within the reach of its 
citizens the full fruition of its advantages. The 
tedious, toilsome and unreliable water route to that 
great artery was still, as formerly, its chief depend- 
ence. The Genesee was navigable for boats be- 
tween Mt. Morris and Rochester from an early day, 
but up to the time of the building of the Erie canal 
the regular commercial navigation between these 
points was not more frequent than once in two 
weeks. In May, 1824, the canal boat Hazard, 
the pioneer of its craft on the Genesee, and owned 
by Sanford Hunt, of Nunda, made the passage of 
the river, carrying a load of pine lumber, ashes, &c., 
from Nunda to Albany ; and in July of the same 
year, Captain Bottle, with the steamboat Erie 
Canal, first navigated the Genesee by steam, 
making the trip from Rochester to Geneseo. The 
event was suitably recognized by the citizens of 

* This was the first after the completion of the canal. The first packet 
boat, the Oneida Chief, of which George Perry, a resident of Sullivan, 
JIadison county, was captain, commenced running between Utica and 
Montezuma, in July, 1810. Three'trips were made each week, each trip 
occupying two days. The fare, including board, was $+. The following 
year the canal was open to Schenectady. 

Geneseo and Avon, as it stopped at the latter place 
on its way up the river. The day following his 
arrival at Geneseo, Capt. Bottle acknowledged the 
compliment of the generous reception given him 
by taking a large company of ladies and gentlemen 
on an excursion up the river. Subsequently a 
stock company, in which citizens of this county 
were interested, attempted the navigation of the 
river between Rochester and Geneseo with the 
Genesee, a stern-wheel steamboat of small capacity, 
designed to carry passengers and tow river boats ; 
but the enterprise proved unsuccessful, and it was 
abandoned after two seasons, during the first of 
which the boat was commanded by Captain Wil- 
liam W. Weed, and the second, by Capt. John 

Immediately on the completion of the Erie canal 
measures were taken by the residents of the Gene- 
see valley to improve the water communication 
with it ;• and the idea of a canal as a substitute for 
river navigation early took definite shape. In the 
spring of 1825, a bill authorizing a survey for a 
canal in the Genesee valley was introduced in the 
Legislature, but failed to receive the sanction of 
that body. June 15, 1825, Phillip Church, Daniel 
H. Fitzhugh, WiUiam H. Spencer, Ira West, Jon- 
athan Child and Heman Norton issued through 
the columns of the Livingston Register, a call for a 
public meeting of those interested in the construc- 
tion of a canal along the Genesee and Canaseraga 
valleys, also from the Genesee to some point on 
the Alleghany. The movement thus auspiciously 
begun, notwithstanding the continued agitation 
and the many meetings subsequently held in 
various places in its interest, did not receive 
official encouragement until 1834, when surveys 
were authorized and made, and the cost of 
construction estimated by F. C. Mills, tlie chief 
engineer engaged in it, to be $2,002,285.* The 
construction of the Genesee Valley canal was 
authorized May 6, 1836,! and the contracts 
awarded therefor during the three succeeding years. 

* The estimated cost at contract prices was $4, 900, 122. Report of the 
State Engineer and Stirveyar of the Canals of t/te State, 1878, p. 96. 

t It is proper to state that a respectable and influential minority advo- 
cated with much ability the improvement and use of a part of the river in 
connection with the canal, for the reason that, as they beheved, it would 
effect a *' saving of more than a quarter of million dollars to the State, 
and at the same time render greater facilities to trade at a period of inter- 
rupted navigation in the spring and fall, when a canal, supplied with water 
from the summit level of the Genesee Valley canal, would be locked with 
ice," A public meeting held in the court house at Geneseo, Dec. 16, 
1 8 j6, was largely attended by citizens of Avon, Geneseo and York, but 
from which those from the southern towns in the county were conspicu- 
ously absent, and Calvin H. Bryan, George Hosmer, Allen Ayrault, 
Charles Colt, Joseph B. Bloss and Elias Clark were appointed to present 
and urge these views on the attention of the Legislature. 



It was completed to Dansville, November i, 1842; 
to Olean, in November, 1856; and to Mill Grove 
pond, connecting with the Alleghany, (to which 
point its extension was authorized in 1857,) in 
December, 186 r. Its completion to the various 
points within the county was hailed with enthusi- 
astic demonstrations of joy. The entire length of 
the canal, with side cut, was 124J miles. The 
total cost of the canal and reservoirs was $6,433,842. 
It was 42 feet wide at the top and 26 feet at the 
bottom, with a depth of four feet, giving it a capac- 
ity for boats of 50 to 55 tons burden.* It had 112 
locks, each 90 by r5 feet, with a total lift of 
1,128,87s feet; 28 were built of stone, at a cost of 
$10,000 each ; 73, of composite, at a cost of $8,000 
each, and 11, of wood, at a cost of $5,000 each. 
Eight of these were on the Dansville branch, eleven 
miles in length, with an aggregate lift of 82.6 feet. 

This canal extends from Rochester to Mill 
Grove pond, near the Pennsylvania Une, and enters 
Livingston county in the northeast corner of the 
town of Caledonia. Thence it extends in a south- 
westerly direction on the west side of the river, 
which it crosses at Mt. Morris, thence following the 
Cashaqua valley to Nunda, where it deflects to the 
west till it again reaches the river, which it crosses 
on a wooden aqueduct, forty feet high, at Portage- 
ville, where it leaves the county. The Dansville 
branch intersects it at the Shaker settlement, in the 
south-west part of Groveland, and pursues a south- 
easterly direction to Dansville, crossing the Cana- 
seraga at Comminsville. 

The most difficult and expensive portions of the 
work were encountered between the Dansville 
branch junction and Portageville. The original 
plan included, besides deep cuttings, heavy rock 
excavations, the aqueduct across the Genesee and 
a tunnel through the high hills near Portageville;! 
but such were the obstacles encountered in the 
latter undertaking that the project was abandoned 
after much expensive labor had been performed 
on it. The following description of the tunnel 
appears in Disturneirs Gazetteer of the State of 
New York, published in 1842, while that work was 
in progress : — 

" The trunk of the tunnel is to be 27 feet wide, 
20 feet high and i,t8o feet in length; the entire 
excavation * * *, including the gallery, shafts 
and lateral drifts, w ill amount to more than 25,000 

* Retort of the State Engineer and Surveyor on tlie Canals of the 
State, 1878, p. 96. On page 84 of the same work it is stated that the 
average burden of boats on the Genesee Valley canal was 70 tons, and 
the maximum burden, 76 tons. 

t The project of tunnehng the hill was adopted on account of the treach- 
erous nature of the earth composing it, as explained in the chapter on 
geology, and abandoned for the same reason. 

cubic yards. * * * Since the excavation has 
been commenced, such is the character of the rock, 
thrown together apparently by nature in loose 
masses and blocks, that it now appears that the 
entire roof and sides of the tunnel will require 
arching with sohd mason work. Indeed temporary 
arches of wood have been found necessary during 
the progress of almost every successive yard of the 
work. It is by far the greatest undertaking of the 
kind that has been attempted in our country. The 
whole region through which the canal here passes, 
also possesses great interest; the tunnel running 
near by and parallel to the Genesee, which here 
has a perpendicular bank of about 400 feet." 

On the abandonment of the tunnel project, the 
engineer adopted what long seemed an equally un- 
promising one ; but after overcoming many per- 
plexing difficulties he succeeded in placing the 
canal on the treacherous hillside, overlooking the 
deep gorge of the Genesee, and overshadowed by 
the towering hill above, thus accomplishing a most 
remarkable engineering feat. 

In the early part of its, existence and for many 
years this canal exerted a marked and beneficial 
influence on the industries of the country through 
which it passed, though it was an onerous burden 
on the State treasury. The advent of the railroads, 
however, soon demonstrated that it had outlived its 
usefulness, and foreshadowed its abandonment, 
which followed in 1878, the order directing its 
abandonment being issued September 30th, 1878. 
The evidences of its existence are rapidly vanishing. 

Pending the prolonged effort to secure favorable 
legislation in the interest of the Genesee Valley 
Canal, its friends, becoming impatient of delay, 
and feeling the urgent demand both for increased 
and improved facilities for transportation, turned 
their attention to the project of constructing a rail- 
road through the Genesee Valley; and in 1831, 
five years after the first railroad company in this 
State was incorporated, and the year in which the 
first railroad in the State was opened to the public,* 

* The Mohawk and Hudson Railroad Company, incorporated April 
I7, 1826, built the first railroad in this State between Albany and Schen- 
ectady, a distance of seventeen miles. The work of construction was 
commenced at Schenectady, July 29, 1830, and about the 20lh of July fol- 
lowing, the road from the top of the hill at Albany to the brow of the hill 
at Schenectady, a distance of about 11 1-2 miles, was completed and for- 
mally opened September 24,1831. Previously, however, the road was 
regularly operated by horse power. The science of railroad engineering 
was then in its infancy, and the art of surmounting grades by locomotive 
steam power was then unknown; hence, both termini were inclined 
planes, up which the cars were drawn by stationary engines, and balanced 
by means of a car loaded with stone descending an opposite track. The 
road was completed through its entire length in the spring of iSjl. The 
first cars used upon it were stage coach bodies placed upon trucks : and 
the first train, of three coaches, was drawn by the engine De IVUt Clinton, 
which made the return trip, with five cars, in thirty-five mitmtes. The 
inclined planes were used till about 1840, when a portioffof the route was 
changed for a line with grades that could be worked with locomotives. 
This road now forms a part of the New York Central and Hudson River 
R. R, — Hough's Gazetteer of New York, 126, 145. 



a series of meetings were held along the line of the 
proposed railroad, which culminated in the passage 
of an Act on the 2 2d of March, 1832, incorporating 
the Dansville and Rochester Railroad, for the con- 
struction of a steam railroad from Dansville to 
Rochester. This favorable legislation was joyfully 
received by the friends of the enterprise, promi- 
nent among whom, in this county, were Charles H. 
Carroll, Hezekiah D. Mason, Allen Aj/rault, Wil- 
liam A. Mills, C. H. Bryan, James Faulkner, Felix 
Tracy, D. H. Fitzhugh, James McCurdy, John 
Young, S. G. Grover, William H. Spencer, William 
Lyman and others, and in July, 1832, surveys were 
commenced. The public, however, were not pre- 
pared for such an enterprise, and after ineffectual 
efforts to secure the requisite amount of stock, it 
was abandoned by its projectors. 

The next railroad enterprise to engage the at- 
tention of the people of Livingston county was the 
Genesee and Pittsford Railroad, which was incor- 
porated May 21, 1836, but, like its predecessor, 
was not constructed. 

The construction of a railroad from Attica to 
Hornellsville, for which purpose the Attica and 
Hornellsville Railroad Company was incorporated 
May 14, 1845, with a capital of $750,000 was the 
next railroad project which agitated the people of 
Livingston county; and a sharp competition ex- 
isted in the effort to determine the choice of one 
of two proposed routes through the county, one of 
which extended through the western and southern 
parts of the county, and the other and shorter one, 
and the one finally selected, through the south- 
western corner, entering the county and crossing 
the river at Portage, near the center of the west 
border of that town, which it crosses in a south- 
easterly direction, also the south-west part of Nun- 
da, leaving that town and the county near the 
center of its south border. The time for the com- 
pletion of th^p road was extended to April 11, 1849 ; 
and April 9, 185 1, other roads were allowed to 
take stock. March 3, 1851, the capital was in- 
creased, and the company allowed to purchase the 
Buffalo and Rochester Railroad, from Attica to 
Buffalo, and to change its name, which it did 
April 16, 1851, to the Buffalo and New York 
City Railroad. The road was completed and in 
operation between Portage and Hornellsville in 
January, 1852, and the following year was open its 
entire length — ninety-one miles.* That portion of 
the road from Attica to Buffalo was sold to the 
Buffalo, New York and Erie Railroad ; and that 

•The length of the road from Attica to Hornellsville is 59.848 miles. 

portion from Attica to Hornellsville, changed to 
the Buffalo branch of the Erie, December 12, 18621 
It is now owned and operated by the New York, 
Lake Erie and Western Railroad. 

This road crosses the Genesee at Portageville on 
a magnificent wrought-iron bridge, erected in 
1875, at a cost of about $75,000, in place of the 
famous wooden structure, which was destroyed by 
fire, and was completed August 25, 1852, at a cost 
of $175,000. It was the largest wooden railroad 
bridge in the world; being 800 feet long, and 234 
feet above the river bed. The present bridge is 
eighteen feet longer than the old one and one foot 
higher. It is a Pratt truss bridge, consisting of 
ten spans of fifty feet each, two of one hundred 
feet each, and one of one hundred and eighteen 
feet. It rests upon six double towers, each com- 
posed of four hollow iron beams, in sections, six- 
teen inches square. These are seventy feet apart 
at the bottom, and wide enough at the top for 
double tracks. They rest upon moveable steel 
rollers, which admit of adjustment as heat or cold 
may expand or contract the structure. The whole 
is supported by stone piers. The first iron work 
was put up June 13th, and the last, July 16, 1875. 
Its sustaining power is 20,000 pounds to the square 

During the construction of this road through 
Portage, in July, 185 1, a riot which threatened ser- 
ious results occurred among the striking work- 
men engaged in its construction, and render- 
ed it necessary to apply to the civic authori- 
ties of Livingston and Wyoming counties for 
aid in quelling it. A desperate encounter en- 
sued in which several of the rioters were shot, 
two fatally, and it was not until the militia was 
summoned to the scene that the emeute was 
quelled. The Big Tree Artillery, of Geneseo, 
were summoned and repaired to the scene of 

In 1849, the project of constructing the New 
York and Erie Railroad (which was opened June 
I St of that year to Elmira,) through the Cohocton 
instead of the Canisteo Valley from Corning was 
discussed and enlisted the earnest support of the 
people of this section in favor of the former route. 
The latter, however, being decided on, a separate 
railroad was resolved on through the Cohocton 
Valley from Corning, and June 26, 1850, the Buf- 
falo and Cohocton Valley Railway company was 
formed to effect that object. Two feasible routes 
were reported from Bath to the Genesee ; one 
known as the Honeoye route, which would cross 



only the towns of Lima and Caledonia in this 
county, and the other, the' Conesus route, which 
was two miles shorter, and was adopted with 
Buffalo instead of Rochester as the western ter- 
minus. This enters the county on the south line 
of Springwater, passes northerly through the west- 
ern part of that town, the central part of Conesus 
and the western part of Livonia, to its north line, 
and to the south-west corner of Lima, where it 
deflects to the west, and reaches the Conesus out- 
let, which it follows in most of its course through 
the southern and central parts of' Avon, to the 
north line of Avon village, where it again deflects 
to the west, and crosses the town of Caledonia 
diagonally in a north-westerly direction, leaving 
the county in the north-west corner of the latter 
town. March 3, 1852, it was changed to the 
Buffalo, Corning and New York Railroad Com- 
pany ; and subsequently that portion of the road 
extending from Corning to Batavia was sold to the 
Buffalo, New York and Erie Railroad, which was 
organized in 1857. It is now leased by the New 
York, Lake Erie and Western Railroad, belong- 
ing to the Rochester division of that road. Forty- 
four miles of the road were completed in 1852, 
and an additional forty-six miles in 1853, in July 
of which year trains were running regularly be- 
tween Corning and Caledonia. 

The project of a railroad through thp Genesee 
valley was revived, and June 7, 1851, the Roches- 
ter and Genesee Valley Railroad Company was or- 
ganized for the purpose of building a road from 
Rochester to Pittsburgh by that route and char- 
tered July 2, 185 1, with a capital of $800,000. 
James S. Wadsworth of Geneseo and Freeman 
Clark of Rochester were the prime movers in this 
enterprise. Amon Bronson of Rochester, was also 
prominently identified with it. The route was sur- 
veyed in 185 1, by McRea Swift, assisted by Edward 
Everett. The work of construction was com- 
menced in 1852, and was completed to Avon, a dis- 
tance of 18.261 miles, in 1854. About $100,000 
were expended for grading, masonry and right 
of way on that part of the line between Avon and 
Mt. Morris. At this point the means of the com- 
pany gave out, and its subsequent efforts to com- 
plete the road were unavailing. Oct. i, 1858, the 
road was leased to the Buffalo, New York 'and 
Erie Railroad Company for ten years, with the 
privilege of renewal at the same terms. The 
lease was sold and assigned to the Erie Railway 
Company, and the road is now leased and operated 
by the New York, Lake Erie and Western Rail- 

road, as a part of the Rochester division of that 

Energetic measures were set on foot by the resi- 
dents of this county to extend this road from Avon 
to Portage, and July 12, 1856, the Genesee Valley 
Railroad Company was formed for the accomplish- 
ment of that object. It was composed among 
others, of James S. Wadsworth of Geneseo ; John 
R. Murray, Judge Geo. S. Hastings, Hiram P. 
Mills, and Reuben P. Wisner of Mt. Morris ; Judge 
Charles H. Carroll and Dr. Daniel H. Fitzhugh of 
Groveland ; and William Kidd, Waterman F. Rey- 
nolds and Henry E. Rochester of Rochester, all of 
whom were prominent members of the company. 
Arrangements were made whereby the Rochester 
and Genesee Valley Railroad Company agreed to 
transfer to this company all its right and title to real 
property on the line south of Avon, on condition 
that it carry forward the project. This transfer 
was made by deed, Dec. 26, 1856. In September, 
1856, a contract was entered into with George W. 
Phelps of Mt. Morris, to complete the road from 
Avon to Mt. Morris. He commenced operations 
in October of that year ; but owing to the financial 
crisis of 1857, and the consequent inability of the 
company to furnish the means for prosecuting the 
work, it was not completed until 1859. The first 
train passed over the road on Thursday, January 
20, 1859, when Mr. Phelps took the directors to 
Avon and gave them a dinner there. The road 
was formally opened, June 5, 1859. Its length from 
Avon to Mt. Morris is 17.561 miles; and to the 
town line 19 miles. 

In 1856, the Genesee Valley Railroad Company 
issued bonds to the amount of $175,000 for con- 
struction expenses, and July 22, 1857, executed a 
mortgage on its property to secure them. The 
road was sold on foreclosure in 1858, and was sub- 
sequently purchased by the Avon, Geneseo and Mt. 
Morris Railroad Company, which was chartered 
March 8, i860, with a capital of $225,000. 

On the completion of the road it was managed 
by Mr. Patchen, who ran his trains over it to Roch- 
ester, for 3, pro rata of the expenses, and in eight 
months made the running expenses exceed the re- 
ceipts by about $1,800. May i, i860, the roadwas 
leased to George W. Phelps, then a large stockhold- 
er, for one year, he agreeing to pay seven per cent, 
on the cost of construction. Mr. Phelps renewed 
the lease a second year, at the expiration of which 
he became its manager, and continued it success- 
fully till i872,when it was leased to the Erie Rail- 
way Company for eighty years with all renewals and 



charters. It is now leased and operated by the 
Ne%v York, Lake Erie and Western Railroad Com- 
pany, as a part of the Rochester division of that 

The Dansnille and Genesee Valley Railroad 
Company was organized March 22, 1864, for the 
purpose of constructing and operating a road fifteen 
miles in length from Dansville to Mt. Morris, to 
intersect at or near the latter place the Avo7i, Gen- 
eseo and Mt. Morris Railroad, but without accom- 
plishing its object. The capital stock was fixed at 
$150,000, divided into 6,000 shares. The follow- 
ing named directors were chosen : George Hy- 
land, James Faulkner, Charles Shepard, James C. 
Jackson, Jesse Angel, Hugh McCartney, Sidney 
Sweet, Alonzo Bradner, Orville Tousey, all of 
Uansville ; Hugh T. McNair, of West Sparta ; 
Anson D. Smith, of Mt. Morris, and Isaac Butts 
and William Kidd, of Rochester. 

January 24, 1868, a charter was granted to the 
Erie and Genesee Valley Railroad Company for 
the purpose of extending the Avon, Geneseo and 
Mt. Morris Railroad from Groveland to Burns, in 
Allegany county, to connect at the latter place 
with the Buffalo and Hornellsville branch of the 
Erie road. In 1871, seven miles of this road was 
constructed, and in 1872, an additional five and 
one-fourth miles, completing it to Dansville,* be- 
yond which point it has not since been carried. 
On its completion to Dansville the company leased 
the road to the Erie Railway Company, agreeing 
in the lease to build it through to Burns. The 
road is now operated by the New York, Lake Erie 
and Western Railroad. 

The Silver Lake Railroad was chartered July 
1 9, 1869, for the purpose of constructing a railroad 
from Perry to Caledonia, with a capital of half a 
million dollars, $120,127 of which is paid in. Six 
and one-half miles of the road, from Perry to East 
Gainesville, have been constructed, connecting the 
former village with the Erie Railroad. 

The Canandaigua and Niagara Falls Railroad 
Company "^ss, incorporated May 18, 1851, under 
the general railroad Act of 1850, and in 1853 con- 
structed a railroad from Canandaigua to Suspen- 
sion Bridge, mortgaging its property, corporate 
franchises, etc., to secure the issue of certain bonds. 

This mortgage was subsequently foreclosed, and 
the mortgaged property purchased by James M. 
Brown, Charles Congdon and Bobert B. Potter, 
who, with others, organized the Niagara Bridge 
and Canandaigua Railroad Company, August 25, 

• state Engineer's Report on Railroads, 1879, /• 61. 

1858, and to whom they subsequently transferred 
the property. The company then leased the line 
to the New York Central Railroad Company for 
the term of its charter. The road is now leased 
and operated by the New York Central and Hud- 
son River Railroad Company. It extends from 
east to west through the north part of the town of 

The Rochester, Nunda and Pennsylvania Rail- 
road Company was organized April 9, 1870, for 
the purpose of building a road from Mt. Morris to 
Belvidere, the object being to estabHsh a railroad 
connection between Rochester and the trunk line 
of the Erie road. The project enlarged and on 
the loth of January, 1872, a company styled the 
Northern Extension of the Rochester, Nunda and 
Pennsylvania Railro3,d was formed to build a road 
from Mt. Morris to Rochester on the west side of 
the Genesee Valley, passing through the towns of 
Leicester, York, Caledonia, Wheatland and Gates. 
The same year another company known as the 
Southern Extension of the Rochester, Nunda and 
Pennsylvania Railroad was formed in the same 
interest to build a road from Belvidere to the 
Pennsylvania line ; and immediately thereafter the 
three companies consolidated into one, taking the 
name of the first. Immediately thereafter the con- 
solidated company consolidated with another rail- 
road company in Pennsylvania, known as the 
Northern Railroad and Navigation Company, 
under the name of the Rochester, Nunda and 
Pennsylvania Railroad Company, having for its 
objects the opening of a direct communication with 
the cities of Rochester and Pittsburg, and the 
cities lying to the south-west of the latter, and to 
open to people on its line and to northern markets 
the vast forests of timber and especially the im- 
mense bituminous coal basin of Pennsylvania, 
which the road penetrates for a distance of fifty 
miles. The company adopted mainly a route sur- 
veyed for a railroad more than twenty-five years 
previously. With about seventy-five miles graded 
and about eighteen miles of iron laid and ballasted 
(from Mt. Morris south through Nunda and 
Rosse's Crossing,) the panic of 1873 overtook and 
swamped the enterprise. In June, 1877, the fran- 
chises and property of the company were sold on 
foreclosure of mortgage and bought in the interest 
of the stockholders, who re-organized, June 27, 
1877, as the Rochester, Nunda and Pittsburg 
Railroad Company, of which George Jerome, J. 
Simpson, of Detroit, Charles L. Bingham, of Mt. 
Morris, C. W. Leavitt, of Philadelphia, T. Gilbert 



Smith, George M. Osgoodby, Buffalo, Franklin D. 
Lake, Nunda, J. C, Wicker, Leicester, are the 
directors ; George Jerome, president ; Franklin D. 
Lake, vice-president; C. W. Leavitt, secretary; 
Charles L. Bingham, treasurer. The property was 
kept intact and was sold in September, 1880, to 
capitalists, who propose to build the road. The 
road has never be operated. 

The Rochester and Genesee Valley Canal Rail- 
road Company was incorporated April 15, 1879, for 
the purpose of building a railroad as nearly as prac- 
ticable on the line of the Genesee Valley Canal, 
(abandoned,) from Mt. Morris, and through that 
town, Nunda and Portage, in Ijvingston county, 
Genesee Falls, in Wyoming county, Hume, Cane- 
adea, Belfast and New Hudson to Cuba, in Alle- 
gany county, its southern terminus. No portion of 
the road is yet under construction. The directors 
and officers are : George W. Phelps, (president,) 
and Norman Seymour, Mt. Morris; Mortimer F. 
Reynolds, Lewis P. Ross, (secretary,) R. A. Sibley 
and S. J. Arnold, Rochester; F. D. Lake and 
Michael DowUng, Nunda ; John N. Davidson,Gen- 
esee Falls; WiUiam P. Brooks, Fillmore; M. L. 
Ross, Hume; A. M. Smith and W. P. Stevens, 
Cuba; and Geo. C. Buell, (treasurer,) Rochester. 


Societies — The Medical Society of the County 
OF Livingston — Its Organization and First 
Officers — Succession of Presidents of the 
Society — Names of Members From its Organ- 
ization — Origin of Homeopathy — Its Intro- 
duction into Livingston County — Homeo- 
pathic Medical Society of Livingston CouNT^■ 
— Its Constituent Members — Succession 
of Presidents of the Society — Addi- 
tional Members — The Livingston County 

Agricultural Society — First Officers 

Premiums Awarded— Classification of Mem- 
bers IN 1855— Prominent Stock Raisers and 
Horticulturists in the County — Geneseo 
Credited with First Suggesting the Idea of 
THE Mowing Machine— Succession of Presi- 
dents OF the Agricultural Society — Living- 
ston County Stock Association— Livingston 
County Historical Society — Livingston 
County Pioneer Association. 

THE formation of county medical societies was 
authorized in 1806, by an Act of the Legislature 
which conferred on them certain powers and im- 

posed certain duties. Previously all persons de- 
siring to practice "physic and surgery," were re- 
quired to present evidence of their competency to 
the Chancellor of the State, to a Judge of the Su- 
preme or Common Pleas Court, or to a Master in 
Chancery, and on receiving a certificate entitling 
them to practice, to file it in the county clerk's of- 
fice, under penalty of receiving no remuneration, 
or in case pay was received, of being fined twenty- 
five dollars each time it was so received. The law 
authorizing county medical societies conferred on 
them authority to grant licenses and recognize 
diplomas from other States and countries, but such 
licenses and diplomas were required to be filed in 
the county clerk's office under like penalties. 

The Medical Society of the County of Livingston 
was organized at a meeting of physicians and sur- 
geons at the house of Col. John Pierce in Genesee, 
on Tuesday, the 29th of May, 182 1. The meet- 
ing was attended by the following physicians : 
Charles Little and Jared D. Ensworth, Avon; Jus- 
tin Smith, Lima ; Samuel Daniels, Elkanah French 
and EH Hill, Livonia ; Royal Tyler and John W. 
Leonard, York; and Cyrus Wells, Jr., Geneseo. 
Dr. Charles Little was chosen chairman, and Dr. 
Justin Smith, secretary of the meeting. The fol- 
lowing officers were chosen for the ensuing year : 
Charles Little, president ; Justin Smith, vice-presi- 
dent ; Cyrus Wells, Jr., secretary; Samuel Daniels, 

At this early period the facilities for acquiring a 
medical education was much more limited than at 
present, and a large proportion of the practitioners 
of medicine were licensed to practice by State and 
county societies. The proportion of those who 
were Ucensed to those who were graduates of medi- 
cal colleges was about two to one. Up to 1852, the 
copies of diplomas filed in the County Clerk's office 
show that seventy-three were licentiates and forty- 
four graduates.* 

The society, feeling their responsibility, provided 
by their first code of by-laws for a triumvirate, con- 
sisting of the president, secretary and one of the 
censors, " to examine students in the preparatory 
branches of education and give a certificate pre- 
vious to their entrance upon study." Candidates 
for license to practice " physic and surgery" were 
required to give notice thereof to the president and 

* History of the Medical Society of Livingston county, by Walter E. 
Lauderdale, M. D, of Geneseo, as published in the Transaciims of the 
Medical Society o/the Stale 0/ New York, 1S76. Access to this docu- 
ment was kindly permitted us by the author, who is one of the oldest, as 
he is among the most honored and respected members of the profession 
in this county, and of this society. 



censors fifteen days previous to examination, and 
to produce to the censors satisfactory proof that 
they were twenty-one years of age and of good 
moral character ; that they had studied the term 
required by law with one or more " reputable and 
legal practitioners," and had " appropriated that 
time solely to the study of physic and surgery." 
They were required to undergo an examination in 
Materia Medica and pharmacy, anatomy, physi- 
ology and the "theory and practice of physic." 
Candidates for license to practice surgery were 
required to undergo an examination, particularly in 
anatomy and surgery. If the examination proved 
satisfactory a diploma was issued. 

These by-laws further specify that "it is consid- 
ered the duty of every member of this society to 
support the honor and dignity of the medical pro- 
fession and execute their respective duties with 
justice andfidelity." Each new member was required 
at the next meeting after his admission to deliver 
in the presence of the society a dissertation on some 
subject connected with medical science. The 
records of a later period show that new members 
were permitted to deUver a dissertation in Heu of 
the regular initiation fee, which, at different times, 
was two, three and five dollars. These disserta- 
tions were also required from members joining from 
other counties, who, however, were allowed to join 
without fee. An officer who absented himself from 
any stated meeting, unless he gave a reasonable 
excuse at the next meeting, was Uable to a fine of 
not less than two dollars, and other members, to a 
fine not exceeding one dollar. All members over 
sixty years of age were exempted from fines for 
non-attendance. The president, at the expiration 
of his office, was required to dehver a dissertation 
on some medical subject or an address, and in case 
of failure topayafineof$2S. The by-laws adopted 
in 1829, required the delegate to the State Society 
to deliver an address before the society at the ex- 
piration of his office or forfeit the sum of $20. 
These by-laws have since been several times modi- 
fied to meet the exigencies of the times. June 28, 
1830, the Society put itself on record on the 
temperance question by the adoption of the follow- 
ing resolutions presented by Dr. G. W. Little : — 

" Resolved, That we view intemperance in any 
degree in the use of distilled spirits a great moral 
and physical evil; and that we consider it our 
duty, both as physicians and as citizens, to exer- 
cise all the influence of which we may be possessed 
to aid in its suppression. 

"■Resolved, That the exertions making very gen- 
erally throughout this country, for the promotion 

of this object, while they are confined to their 
legitimate and avowed purposes, and preserved en- 
tirely disconnected with any extraneous question, 
meet our cordial approbation ; and that all the aid 
which we can contribute to promote their success 
shall be cordially and constantly afforded. 

'■'■Resolved, That the popular opinion that a 
common use of ardent spirits renders the human 
system less subject to the diseases of this climate, 
we consider to be a dangerous, and in many in- 
stances, a fatal error. 

'■"Resolved, That our medical experience conclu- 
sively shows us that persons intemperate in the 
use of ardent spirits, are more Uable to be attacked 
by the diseases incident to this climate ; and that 
their diseases are uniformly of a more dangerous 
and intractable character. 

'■'■Resolved, That we will on all proper occasions 
enforce the above sentiments by our advice to 
those under our professional care ; and at all times 
by the influence of our personal example." 

Up to this period regular annual and semi- 
annual meetings were held, with possibly one or 
two exceptions, when they were omitted for want 
of a quorum till 1834. From that year until 1841, 
no semi-annual meetings are recorded. In the 
latter year they were resumed. 

This was a period when the physicians in this 
county in common with others throughout the 
country were deeply agitated — the period when 
homeopathy began to force its just claims on pub- 
lic attention and to legal recognition. The legis- 
lative action which soon followed — in 1844 — was 
regarded by many with grave and honest appre- 
hension ; for it was thought that it would prove 
detrimental to the interests of the profession, and 
many beheved, says Dr. Lauderdale, "that their 
efforts to advance a sound rational system of medi- 
cal education and practice were neither apprecia- 
ted by the people, nor their representatives in the 
legislature." It has, however, worked beneficially 
in resting the prestige of the profession upon its 
real, rather than its assumed merits. 

This Society, in a measure, anticipated and in- 
vited legislative action on this subject. January 
30, 1844, Drs. Salisbury, Metcalf and Lauderdale 
were appointed to draft resolutions, which, after 
having been signed by the presiding officers of this 
meeting, should be forwarded to the Chairman of 
the Committee on Medical Colleges of the Legis- 
lature of this State, "urging the abolition of all 
laws in relation to the practice of physic and sur- 
gery." At the annual meeting of June 25, 1844, 
" after some discussion on the utility of continuing 
this Society under the disadvantages" which then 
existed, "it was 



"■Resolved, That when this meeting adjourn they 
adjourn sine die ; and that a committee consisting 
of three be appointed by the Chair to draft a state- 
ment and resolutions expressive of the views of 
this Societj ; and that the editors of the several 
newspapers of the county be requested to publish 
them ; that a copy be forwarded to the State Med- 
ical Society." 

Drs. Salisbury, D. H. Bissell and Sill were ap- 
pointed such committee. At this meeting it was 

"Resolved, That the funds belonging to the So- 
ciety, amounting to $12.25, be expended by the Sec- 
retary for medical books, which shall be deposited 
in the medical library room estabUshed by the late 
James Wadsworth in the village of Geneseo." 

This is the first reference made in the records 
of the Society to medical literature. 

The annual meetings up to 1844 were held with 
great regularity at Geneseo, where, also, the semi- 
annual meetings were generally held. 

During the eight years succeeding 1844, the 
society was practically dormant, its meetings being 
discontinued. In 1852, " it was concluded," says 
Dr. Lauderdale, " by a number of the physicians 
of the county, upon consultation, that the interests 
of the profession and the community at large, 
requires a reorganization of the Society ; and an 
invitation was extended through the papers to the 
physicians of the county, to meet in Geneseo, on 
the 28th day of September, for the purpose of re- 

In accordance with this call the following named 
physicians convened at the American Hotel, Gen- 
eseo, viz. : D. H. Bissell, T. Morse, J. B. Pur- 
chase, A. L. Gilbert, S. L. Endress, W. E. Lauder- 
dale, William C. Dwight, W. H. Sellew, E. W. 
Patchen, B. L. Hovey, Z. H. Blake, A. W. Mercer, 
A. H. Hoff, L. J. Ames, B. F. Fowler. Dr. A. H. 
Hoff was chosen chairman, and B. F. Fowler, sec- 
retary. Committees were appointed to draft by- 
laws and medical ethics, officers were elected for the 
ensuing year, and a committee appointed to select 
suitable persons to prepare addresses on medical 
subjects to be read at subsequent meetings. 

The meetings of the Society continued to be held 
regularly until 1858. There is no record of a 
meeting from January 7, 1858, to January 7, 1864. 
At the latter meeting a new fee bill to correspond 
with the times was adopted. Two fee bills had been 
previously adopted, one in May, 1857, and the 
other June 28, 1842. This meeting was attended 
by Drs. Bissell, who was called to the chair, Nesbitt, 
Wells, Ames, G. H. Bennett, William Sprague, Ellis, 
Vickery, and J. A. Bennett. 

The next meeting recorded was held July 24, 
1867, and was attended by Drs. Blake, Patchen, 
Perine, Purchase, Bennett, Ellis, Lauderdale and 
Chase. Dr. Lauderdale, as senior member, was 
called to the chair, and Dr. Chase appointed sec- 
retary. Drs. Perine, Purchase, Bennett and Blake, 
were appointed a committee to draft resolutions, 
and after a recess of fifteen minutes reported as 
follows : — 

Whereas, The Livingston County Medical 
Society has failed to meet for a term of years; 

Resolved, That we request the secretary to call 
the members together for an annual meeting on the 
i8th of September, 1867." 

A new fee bill was adopted in January, 1868, 
and another in June, 1873. 

In 1874, the Legislature in a measure put up 
the barriers taken down in 1844, so far as to dis- 
criminate against quackery, but not against regular 
schools of medicine. Practitioners are required by 
the law of 1874 to have a license from a medical 
society or to be a graduate from, a medical college. 
May 29, 1880, an Act was passed by the Legisla- 
ture requiring medical practitioners to register in 
the County Clerk's office, on or before October i, 
1880, their name, residence, place of birth and 
authority for practicing. Both these laws make 
illegal practice punishable by fine or imprisonment 
or both. 

The following gentlemen* have served the 
Society as president : — 

Charles Little 1821, 1833. 

Justin Smith 1822. 

Caleb Chapin 1823. 

Charles Bingham 1824, 1829. 

E. Hill 1825, 1828. 

Samuel Daniels 1826, 1827. 

Cyrus Wells, Jr 1830. 

Andrew Sill 1831. 

Daniel H. Bissell 1832, 1837, 1839. 

E. P. Metcalf ; 1834, 1836. 

S. Salisbury, Jr 1835, 1840. 

Joseph Tozier 1838. 

Gilbert Bogart 1841. 

William H. Reynale 1842, 1867. 

John S. Graham 1843. 

Ellis 1868. 

E. G. Chase 1869. 

W. B. Alley 1870. 

C. H. Richmond 1872- 

F. M. Perine 1873- 

R. J. Menzie 1874- 

B. J. Kneeland 1875- 

J. E. Crisfield 1880. 

Following is a list of the names of members who 

* This list may not be complete, as the records themselves are veo' 



have joined the society since its organization, as far 

as they can be ascertained from the records. The 

right hand column of dates represents the time 

when they joined the society ; the left hand column, 

the time they filed copies of their diplomas in the 

County Clerk's office at Geneseo : — 

Alley, Wm. B., Nunda, as early as 1870. 

Alvord, Ariel, 1833. 

Alvord, Milton, 1828. June 24, 1828. 

Ames, Loren J., Mt. Morris, 1843. June 27, 1843. 

Baker, Milan, 

Benedict, Avery, 1822. 

Bennett, Geo. H., Lima, Jan. 7, 1864. 

Bennett James A., Geneseo, . do. 

Bingham, Chas., Mt. Morris,. 1821. 

Bishop, Eben H., June 30, 1829. 

Bissell, Danl. H., Moscow, .. 1823. 1822. 

Bissell, Danl. P., Moscow, .. .1828. Jan. 29, 1828. 

Blake, Geo. M., Dansville, . . . 

Blake, Z. H., Dansville, Sept. 28, 1853. 

Bogart, Gilbert, Mt. Morris, . . 183 1 June 30, 1829. 

Bosley, Geo. H., Geneseo, . . . 

Bowers, J. R., Mt. Morris, . . 1828. June 24, 1828. 

Briggs, Chas. A., Avon, 1877. 

Brockway, C. C, Avon, 

Brown, Goit, 

Butler, Wm., Lima, 1837. June 26, 1838. 

Butler, Wm. C, Avon, 1842. June 28, 1842. 

Byam, L. W., Geneseo, 

Camp, Abraham, 

Campbell, A. C, Sparta, .... June 29, 1841. 

Campbell, Alex, June 26, 1838. 

Campbell, Duncan, Caledonia, June 28, 1842. 

Campbell, I. A., Jan. 31, 1832. 

Campbell, John, Livonia 1823. 

Campbell, Jno. A., Lima, 1829. 

Carman, Samuel, Livonia,. . .1828. June 24, 1828. 

Caton, Peter T., Livonia, 1839. June 30, 1840. 

Caulkins,T. N., 

Chafee,C. C, Allegany Co.,(hon'ry) June 28, 1842. 

Chapin, Caleb 1822. 182 1. 

Chase, Enos G., Geneseo, . . . July 24, 1867. 

Childs, Ebenezer, Mt. Morris, June 30, 1840. 

Clark, Josiah, Caledonia, 1827, Jan. 29, 1828. 

Clarke, Joel W., Livonia, 1829, Jan. 26, 1830. 

Coe, Wm. H., Avon, 

Calvin, Jonathan, 

Cook, Lyman N., Sparta, 1821. 

Craig, John, York, 1841. June 30, 1840. 

Craig, John Reid, York, Jan. 25, 1842. 

Crandall, Amos, Jr., Livonia,. 1834. Jan. 31, 1832. 

Cressy, Alonzo, Lima 1829. June 28, 1830. 

Crisfield, J. E., Dansville, 

Culbertson, Isaac W., Grove- 

Currie, John, Caledonia, 1823. Jan. 26, 1830. 

Daniels, Samuel, Livonia,. . .1821. May 29, 1821. 

Davis, Aaron, Mt. Morris,. . . June 28, 1842. 

Davis, Kendall, Moscow, 

Day, Asel, Sparta, 1824. 

Day, E.G.,... 1822. 

Dayton, David D., Hopewell, 

N. Y., 1844. June 25, 1844. 

DeCamp, William H., 

Denton, L. A., Moscow, 1877. 

Dewey, Horatio H 1846. 

Dildine, C. T., Dansville, 

Drake, Israel, 1852. 

DuRelle, Geo. O. J., York,. .1839. June 25, 1839. 

Dwight, Wm. C, Moscow, . . . 1824. June 30, 1829. 

Dyke, L A. M., York, 1877. 

EUis, S. G., Lima, 

Ellis, Samuel L., Jan. 7, 1864. 

Endress, Samuel L., Dans- 
ville, 1829. Jan. 27, 1829. 

Ensworth, Jared D., Avon,. . . 1821. May 29, 1821. 

Fenn, Horatio N., 1823. Jan. 6, 1824. 

Ferris, Lewis G., Mt. Morris, June 30, 1840. 

Filkins, J. G., York, 

Findlay, Solomon B., 1823. 

Fitch, Graham N., Caledonia, 1835. June25, 1833. 

Foote, Henry K., Conesus,. ..1830. June 28, 1830. 

Fowler, B. F., Geneseo, Sept. 28, 1853. 

French, Elkanah, Livonia, ... 1821. May 29, 1821. 

GailUck, Thaddeus, 

Gallantine, Samuel, Mt. Mor- 
ris, 1842. June 27, 1843. 

Gates, H. S., 1835. June 28, 1836. 

Gibbs, Anson A., Livonia, . . . 

Gilbert, Augustus L., Mt. 

Morris 1852. Sept. 28, 1852. 

Gilmore, John, Nunda, 

Graham, John S., York, 1829. June 28, 1830. 

Grant, Abraham, 1829. June 28, 1830. 

Graves, Geo. W., 

Gray, Arnold, Springwater, . . 1827. June 26, 1827. 

Gray, John W., Avon, 

Gray, Joel, Geneseo, June 29, 1841. 

Gray, Orlando S., Springwa- 
ter, 1835. 

Green, James, York, June 28, 1825. 

Green, Jay L., Livonia, 

Green, Wm. T., Livonia, 1827. 

Hale, Thara, 1822. 

Hanson, Benajah, York, 1829. June 24, 1828. 

Harris, Francis L., Geneseo,,i829. June 26, 1832. 

Higgins, David C, 1825. 

Hill, Eli, Livonia, 1823. May 29, 1821. 

Hoff, Alexander H., Mt. Mor- 
ris, Sept. 28, 1852. 

Holloway, Wm., York, 1823. 1822. 

Hovey, Bleaker L., Sparta,. .1842. June 28, 1842. 

Hudnutt, Isaiah B. Jr., West 

Sparta, 1837. June 30, 1835. 

Hume, Julius M., Conesus,. . 1835. Jan. 28, 1834. 

Hunt, Hiram, Mt. Morris,. .. 1825. Jan. 30, 1827. 

Hunt, John S., Sparta, 1842. June 28, 1842. 

Huntington, T. R., Mt. Mor- 

Hurd, Isaac W., Sparte, 1829. June 30, 1829. 

Jinks, James E., Avon, 

Jones, Geo. H., Fowlerville, . 1878. 

Joslyn, Z. H., Mt. Morris,. .. 

Kelsey, Robert, June 26, 1838. 

King, John M., 1834. 

Kneeland, Benj. F., Nunda,. as early as 1875. 

Landon, J. C, Geneseo, 1825. June 28, 1825. 



Lauderdale, Edward, Grove- 

Lauderdale, Walter E.,Sparta,i828. Jan. 27, 1829. 

Lauderdale, Walter E., Jr., 

Leonard, John W., York, 1821. May 29, 1821. 

Little, Charles, Avon, 1821. May 29, 1821. 

Little, Geo. W., Lima, 1823. June 24, 1823. 

Long, Josiah, York 1840. June 29, 1841. 

Losey, J. B., Conesus, 

Luce, Charles T., 1823. 

Luke, Philip C, 1833. 

Lyon, Lockwood, Groveland,i829. June 30, 1829. 

Manning, J., 

Mason, Truman E., 1835, June 30, 1835. 

McArthur, P. S., Mt. Morris, 

Mclntyre, A. F., York, May, 1853. 

McMaster, James, Livonia, ..1826. June 24, 1828. 

McMillen, David, Conesus, ..1823. 1822. 

McPherson, Thomas, 1833. 

Meacham, E. H. G., Mt. 

Morris, June 27, 1843. 

Meacham, Wm. G., Geneseo, 

Menzie, R. J., Caledonia,. . . as early as 1874. 

Mercer, Alfred W., Syracuse, . Sept. 28, 1852. 

Merriam, Harvey R., 1840. 

Metcalf, Elias P., Geneseo,. . 1828. Jan. 27, 1829. 

Minard, Isaac, 1837. June 25, 1839. 

Morey, George, Avon, 

Morgan, Charles F., 

Morse, T Sept. 28, 1852. 

Moyer, Frank H., Moscow,.. 

Munson, Wm. Beers, Mt. 

Morris, June 28, 1830. 

Nesbitt, Wm., Avon, J^n'y 7. 1864. 

Northrop, James, 

Norton, John B., Springwater,i82 7. 

Paine, Zina G., York 1835. June 28, 1831. 

Palmer, Asa R., 1823. 1822. 

Patchen, Edward W., Livonia, June 30, 1840. 

Patchen, Robert A., Livonia, 

Patterson, J. C, Livonia, . . . 

Peck, Enoch, York, 1826. Jan'y 6, 1824. 

Peckham, P. B., 

Ferine, F. M., Dansville, .... July 24, 1867. 

Perry, Abijah E., 1828. Jan. 29, 1828. 

Potter, E. A., Mt. Morris, . ..1830. 

Potter, Wm. W., Mt. Morris, 

Pratt, O. S., Dansville, 

Purchase, J. B., Conesus, Sept. 28, 1852. 

Purdy, Wm. S., Lima 1834. Jan. 28, 1834. 

Reynale, Wm. H., Dansville, 1826. June 26, 1827. 

Richmond, Chas. H., Livonia, as early as Jan., 1875. 

Rider, Ebenezer, 1844. 

Robinson, J. H., Conesus,. .. 1827. Jan. 29, 1828. 

Rogers, S. C, Lakeville, .... 

Rowland, M. E., Geneseo, . . 

Royce, Phineas 1823. 

Sabin, J. B., Nunda, 

Salisbury, Samuel, Jr., Avon,. 1829. June 28, 1831. 

Seaman, Ezekiel 1834. 

Sellew, Wells H., Moscow. .. Sept. 28, 1828. 

Seymour, Levi D wight, Lei- 
cester 1842. June 28, 1842. 

Sheldon, H. P., Livonia 1880. 

Shepard, Lester G., 1823. 1822. 

ShuU, D. L., York, 

Sill, Andrew, Livonia, 1826. Jan. 30, 1827. 

Smith, Athelstan W., Spring- 
water 1841. Jan. 26, 1841. 

Smith, Geo. M., 

Smith, Jacob K., Moscow, . . . 

Smith, Justin, Lima, 1821. May 29, 1821. 

Southwick, Wm. W., Avon, . . 
Southworth, Samuel, Avon, . . 

Sprague, Wm., Jan'y 7, 1864. 

Sprague, Wm. B., York, 

Staley, Jacob G., York, 

Stickney, Frederick R., York, June 29, 1841. 
Stickney, T. R., Fowlerville, . Sept. 9, 1878. 
Stillwell, Danl. C, Livonia,.. 1835. June 28, 183 1. 
Thomas, Wm. H., Mt. Mor- 
ris, Jan. 26, 1841. 

Townsend, Absalom, Cuyler- 

ville, 1843. June 27, 1843. 

Townsend, Wm. A., 1821. 1821. 

Tozier, Joseph, York, 1824. Jan. 27, 1829. 

Truesdale, Norman, 

Tyler, , Jan'y 6, 1824 

Tyler, Royal, York, 1824. May 29, 1824. 

Upson, S., Nunda 

Van Dike, J., York, 1877. 

Vickery, Wm. H., Jan'y 7, 1864. 

Wallace, Walter, 1838, June 30, 1840. 

Ward, David, 

Warner, Chas. F., Nunda,. . . 

Weeks, Joseph, Sparta, June 28, 1842. 

Wells, Cyrus, Jr., Geneseo,. .1821. May 29, 1821. 
Wells, Harlow W., Caledonia, 1842. June 28, 1842. 

Whitbeck, J. F., Avon, 1835. June 30, 1835. 

Whitney, Wm., Mt. Morris, ..1840. June 30, 1840. 

Wynn, Wm. W., 

Yale, Asahel, Dansville, 1829. June — , 1824. 

The present officers of the society (Dec. i, 1880,) 
are: — 

President— J. E. Crisfield, Dansville. 

Vice President — J. G. Filkins, York. 

Secretary — -George H. Jones, Fowlerville. 

Treasurer — W. E. Lauderdale, Jr., Geneseo. 

Delegate to State Society — J. W. Gray, Avon. 

Delegates to National Association — D. H. Bis- 
sell and W. E. Lauderdale, Sr., of Geneseo, and 
Z. W. Joslyn, of Mt. Morris. 

Delegates to Central New York Society — J. E. 
Crisfield, W. E. Lauderdale, Jr., J. W. Gray, J. G. 
Filkins and George H. Jones. 

Censors— B. T. Kneeland, Z. W. Joslyn, W. E. 
Lauderdale, Jr., and B. J. Menzie. 

The Homeopathic Medical Society of Livingston 
Co. — The therapeutics of the homeopathic school 
of medicine is founded on the theory of similia 
similibus curantur. The principle was discovered 
by Samuel Hahnemann, who was born in Leipsic, in 
the Province of Saxony, April 10, 1755. He was 
an accomplished and skillful practitioner of the 
' old school of medicine, and having proved certain 



remedies upon himself and others, he abandoned a 
lucrative practice under government patronage, at 
Gommeon, near Magdeburg, on account of con- 
scientious scruples against administering drugs 
according to the vague formulas then in use, and 
in 1796, first enunciated the principles of home- 
opathy, the practice of which he commenced in his 
native place. He was soon driven from thence by 
the bitter opposition he encountered, to Paris, 
where he met with success and secured converts, 
among whom was Dr. Hans B. Gram, of Copen- 
hagen, an American by birth, who, having won the 
highest grade of merit in the Royal Academy of 
Surgery in that city, came to New York in 1825, 
and introduced the new practice into America, con- 
tinuing it in that city till his death in 1840, three 
years previous to that of his preceptor, Hahne- 
mann, who died in Paris in 1843. It spread rapid- 
ly, notwithstanding the prejudice and bitter oppo- 
sition against it, and was first introduced into Liv- 
ingston county in 1848, by Chauncy M. Dake, a 
celebrated physician, who located in Geneseo, 
where he practiced fourteen years. He went to 
Pittsburgh, Penn., and died in Springwater. 

Previous to 1857 homeopathic societies exist- 
ed as informal associations only, having no legal 
status. April 13, 1857, the Legislature authorized 
the formation of homeopathic county medical so- 
cieties, with equal privileges and immunities en- 
joyed by similar so-called allopathic associations. 
April 17, 1862, the Legislature passed an Act to in- 
corporate the Homeopathic Medical society of the 
State of New York. Under that act a reorgani- 
zation was effected whereby county societies then 
existing became auxiUary to the State society, and 
the following year it was formally inaugurated. 

The Homeopathic Medical Society of Livingston 
Coimty was organized under the Act of 1857, at a 
meeting convened at the Court-house in Geneseo, 
on Tuesday, December i, 1857, pursuant to no- 
tice issued by Drs. C. A. Dake, I. J. Mechem and 
C. M. Dake, November 18, 1857. Dr. I. J. Me- 
chem was appointed chairman pro tempore, and 
W. R. Wells, chosen secretary. After resolving to 
organize under the above name, for " the advance- 
ment of the science of medicine," the following 
named officers were chosen : — C. M. Dake, Gene- 
seo, President; I. J. Mechem, Nunda, Vice Presi- 
dent; W. R. Wells, Mt. Morris, Secretary; I. J. 
Mechem, Nunda, Treasurer. By-laws and regula- 
tions for the government of the Society were then 
adopted. These provide for an annual meeting to 
be held on the first day of December in each year. 

(except that day be Sunday, in which case it is to 
be held on the Saturday next preceding it,) and for 
extra meetings on the written application of a ma- 
jority of the officers or members. College gradu- 
ates and medical licentiates "acknowledging the 
Homeopathic Law of Cure, and by the Censors 
found qualified to practice Homeopathy," are eli- 
gible to membership on payment of an initiation 
fee of five dollars. Provision is made for the ap- 
pointment, at the annual meetings, of a committee, 
" whose duty it shall be to propose drugs for trial, 
and aid in the augmentation and improvement of 
the Materia Medica." A fine of five dollars' is im- 
posed on members absenting themselves from 
meetings of the Society without satisfactory excuse ; 
and it is made the duty of each member to write 
dissertations or cases in practice, and report the 
same at the annual meetings. Applicants for 
license are required to undergo an examination by 
the Censors, and present them with a written 
statement from one or more respectable practition- 
ers of medicine in this State, certifying to their 
good moral character, and to their having pursued 
the study of "physic and surgery" for the term 
required by law. Each applicant passing a satis- 
factory examination is entitled to a diploma ; but 
is required to pay ten dollars, to be divided equally 
among the Censors making the examination. 

The code of medical ethics adopted by the "Al- 
lopathic State Medical Society" in February, 1823, 
was, " with a few alterations," adopted by this So- 
ciety, after which the following additional officers 
were elected: — C. M. Dake, I. J. Mechem and W. 
R. Wells, censors ; A. A. Hendee, Geneseo, at- 
torney ; C. M. Dake, delegate to American Insti- 
tute of Homeopathy; I. J. Mechem, delegate to 
the Homeopathic Medical Society of the State of 
New York, which, though not incorporated until 
1862, was organized in 1857. 

The following named persons were then elected 
"permanent and taxable members," C. M. Dake, 
M. D., Geneseo, I. J. Mechem, M. D., Dr. A. 
L. L. Potter, Nunda, and W. R. Wells, M. D., Mt. 
Morris; " honorary member," Hon. Allen Ayrault, 
Geneseo ; "corresponding members," Constantine 
Herring, M. D., Prof W. WiUiamson, M. D., 
Philadelphia, Pa., D. M. Dake, M. D., and Prof J. 
P. Dake, M. D., Pittsburgh, Pa., S. R. Kirby, M. D. 

The following named gentlemen have served the 
Society in the capacity of president : C. M. Dake, 
1858, 1862 ; J. M. Blakesley, i864-'66 ; J. N. An- 
derson, 1867-70; J. W. Dake, 187 1-3; James A. 
West, 1874,1876; Herbert M. Dayfoot, 1875; G. 



R. Traver, 1877, '79, '80; I. H. Dix, (now in Kan- 
sas,) 1878; W. W. Russell, 1881. 

The society now hold annual meetings in June, 
at which the officers for the ensuing year are elected, 
and semi-annual meetings in December. 

Following is a list of the names of additional 
members who have joined the society, with the 
date of joining, the names of the present members 
being italicised: J. M. Blakesley, Dansville, and A. 
L. L. Potter, Geneseo, 1862 ; Milton H. Halsted, 
Geneseo, M. G. Davis, Perry, C. A. Dake and 
Jabez W. Dake, Warsaw, and F. C. Fitch, Castile, 
1863 ; James A. West, Geneseo, O. D. Hamilton, 
Fowlerville, D. F. Dake, Mt. Morris, 1864; J. N. 
Anderson, Dansville, and A. A. West, Fowlerville. 
1865 ; Herbert M. Dayfoot, Mt. Morris, i^(>t ; /. 
T. Bettis, Livonia, 1869 ; Isaac H. Dix and Henry 
A. Whitfield, Dansville, and T. P. Tisdale, Lima, 
1870; W. H. Thomas, Mt. Morris, 187 1; C. C. 
Curtis, Nunda, (now at Dunkirk,) and G. R, Tra- 
ver, Perry, June 23, 1874; Cyrus Allen, Avon, 
and C D. Woodruff, Lima, June 20, 1876; F.J. 
M. Whitcomb^, Nunda, June 19, 1877; W. W. 
Russell, Hemlock Lake, and C. W Brown a.nd R. 
P. Andrews, Dansville, June 9, 1878; E. W. 
Southall, Geneseo, Dec. 9, 1879; G. T. Borden, 
Caledonia, and C. C. Gifford, Attica, June 8, 

TAe Livingston County Agricultural Society. — 
The Livingston County Agricultural Society was 
organized in 1841. On the 25th of May in that 
year, the following named farmers of York, "feel- 
ing a deep interest in the cause of Agriculture," and 
desirous of exerting themselves for its promotion ; 
and believing that if the plan suggested in the 
"Act to promote agriculture," passed Mays, 1841, 
were carried into effect, it would " be attended with 
the most salutary consequences," requested the 
clerk of the county to cause notice to be given, in 
conformity to said Act, that a meeting of the inhab- 
itants of this county would be held in the court 
house at Geneseo, on the first day of July follow- 
ing, at 10 o'clock, A. M. This request was signed 
by John Holloway, David Piffard, James Doud, 
HoUoway Long, Wm. Craig, Duncan Stewart, John 
Stewart, Archibald Mclntyre, Robert Vallance, 
John Donnan, Daniel McKercher, John Campbell, 
Erastus Lawrence, Geo. N. Russell, J. B. Harris, 
Roswell Stocking, Allen S. Wyman, Otis Presby, 
Miles Torrey, Erastus Harris, A. S. Martindale, 
James Oilman, Neil Stewart, Robert Wait, George 
Blake, J. B. Bloss, James Hamilton and John 

S. P. Allen, then county clerk, gave the required 
notice May 29, 1841, and in conforming with this 
action a meeting was held at the time and place 
designated. General Wm. A. Mills was chosen 
chairman and Colonel Samuel W. Smith, secretary. 
It was "resolved that it is expedient to form an 
agricultural society for the county of Livingston." 
General Micah Brooks, Colonel Holloway Long, 
Fehx Tracy, C. H. Bryan and John Holloway were 
appointed to draft a constitution for the Society, 
which, after being debated . and amended, was 
adopted at the same meeting. 

The constitution states the object of the Society 
to "be the promotion of agriculture, horticulture 
and household manufactures." The payment of 
one dollar on admission and one dollar annually 
thereafter during the continuance of membership, 
was and is the only requirement for membership; 
and by the payment of ten dollars on admission 
any person can become a life member. The 
officers were made to consist of a president, three 
vice-presidents, a recording secretary, a correspond- 
ing secretary, a treasurer and twelve managers, one 
from each town, who together constituted the execu- 
tive committee. They were elected annually and 
had power to fill vacancies in their own body. The 
present by-laws state that "the object of the society 
is the advancement of agriculture, horticulture, 
mechanic arts and household industry." The 
present officers consist of a president, vice-presi- 
dent, secretary, treasurer and six directors, who 
are elected in the manner prescribed by section 5 
of "an Act to facilitate the formation of agricul- 
tural and horticultural societies," passed April 13, 
1855. They "constitute a board of managers for 
the general administration ot the business of the 
society." In addition there are town committees, 
consisting of one from each town, elected or 
appointed at the annual meeting of the officers, 
who " superintend the affairs of the society in their 
respective towns, under direction of the board of 
managers." There may be appointed annually a 
geologist and librarian ; * also a registrar of stock, 
whose duty it is to register " the pedigrees of such 
thorough-bred animals as may be presented for 

The following named officers were then chosen : 
Wm. A. Mills, president; Holloway Long, James 
S. Wadsworth and Daniel H. Fitzhugh, vice-presi- 
dents ; C. H. Bryan, recording secretary ; C. R. 

* We find no record of an election to either of these oflRces until Janu- 
ary 3, i860, -when John V. Lauderdale was elected to both. This, we 
believe, is the only instance in which the former office has been filled, and 
the latter but one additional time. 



Bond, corresponding secretary; Allen Ayrault, 
treasurer ; Micah Brooks, Mt. Morris, S. W. Smith, 
Sparta, C. H. Carroll, Groveland, W. H. Spencer, 
York, W. W. Wadsworth, Geneseo, W. W. Woos- 
ter, Leicester, Hector Hitchcock, Conesus, Edward 
A. LeRoy, Caledonia, Asahel Warner, Lima, H. 
S. Tyler, Springwater, Leman Gibbs, I jvonia, and 
John E. Tompkins, Avon, managers. 

The following named persons then paid each one 
dollar : — David Shepard, Chas. Shepard, Hollo- 
way Long, J. B. Harris, W. W. Wooster, J.Worth- 
ington, D. Warner, Jr., P. E. Baker, J. W. Merrill, 
J. White, Jr., Samuel Vance, P. Goddard, C. H. 
Bryan, Robert Crossitt, O. D. Lake, R. L. Blake, 
S. P. Allen, M. Brooks, Wm. A. Mills, O. Skinner, 
Cornelius Shepard, Reuben Squier, S. W. Smith 
and John HoUoway. 

At a meeting of the executive committee, (the 
first one recorded,) Aug. 3, 1841, the following town 
committees were appointed : Geneseo, Cornelius 
Shepard, Jr., Reuben Squier, Chas. Colt; Mt. 
Morris, Alfred Hubbard, Wm. D. Morgan, Moses 
Barron; Sparta, Charles Shepard, Wm. Scott, 
Wm. Fullerton, Morgan Hammond; Groveland, 
W. W. McNair, John White, William Ewart ; 
Lima, Asahel H. Warner, Jasper Marvin, Samuel 
Stevens ; Livonia, James Campbell, John Adams, 
Ruel L. Blake ; Springwater, Parker H. Pierce, 
Horatio Dyer, Zenas Ashley; Conesus, John 
Henderson, Timothy DeGraw, Jotham Clark ; Lei- 
cester, W. T. Cuyler, Jerediah Horsford, Allen 
Smead; Caledonia, Ephraim Lacy, Th. H. New- 
bold, John McKay; Avon, John Kelsey, Asa Now- 
len, Ira Merrill ; York, John HoUoway, James Dow, 
Wm. Craig, John Russ, Wm. Stewart, James B. 
Harris, Angus McBean. 

At this meeting it was resolved to hold the an- 
nual fair at Geneseo, October 2 2d, and to award 
forty-five specified premiums, ranging in value from 
two to fifteen dollars, and aggregating two hundred 
and forty-nine dollars, to the persons exhibiting the 
best specimen of each article or thing for which 
the premiums were offered. In addition, provision 
was made for " discretionary premiums," to be 
awarded to exhibitors of "articles not enumerated, 
and which for their excellence or peculiar qualities" 
might in the judgment of the committee be entitled 
thereto. For this object forty dollars were appro- 

At the first annual meeting, Oct. 22, 1841, no 
less than five premiums were awarded to David 
Brooks of Avon, four to Reuben Squier of Gene- 
seo and three to Chas. Colt of Geneseo. Several 

received two ; and of the entire number awarded, 
eight went to exhibitors from Avon ; two to Cale- 
donia ; thirteen to Yoik ; seven to Mt. Morris ; one 
to Groveland ; twenty-one to Geneseo ; fout to 
Leicester ; two each to Lima and Sparta ; and one 
to Jonathan Miller, for the best yearling colt, not 
designated. David M. Smith of Avon, received 
the-highest premium — fifteen dollars — for the best 
bull, two years old and over. There were five pre- 
miums of ten dollars each ; of which David Brooks 
of Avon received one for the best cow, and another 
for the best stallion ; Roswell Root of York, one 
for, the best pair of working oxen; Wm. A. Mills 
of Mt. Morris, one for the best pair of fat oxen ; 
and Wm. A. Mills, Jr., of Mt. Morris, one for the 
best pair of matched horses. 

Encouraged by the patronage of the Legislature 
and by the citizens of the county, the executive 
committee signified their intention " to offer pre- 
miums for the promotion of the objects of the 
institution, on the occasion of the second anniver- 
sary, to the utmost extent of their means." 

Noticeable among the premiums of that year is 
one of ten dollars (the highest paid that year) for 
the best cultivated farm of fifty acres or more, which 
was awarded to Angus McBean of Caledonia. 

At this meeting a plowing match was inaugurated, 
the object of which was "to exhibit for public 
benefit the comparative excellence of our best 
ploughs and ploughmen ; not to try the strength or 
speed of the teams, but to excite a laudable spirit 
of emulation and improvement in the construction 
and use of this most important agricultural imple- 
ment." This took place on the 5th of October, 
" in the presence of a large concourse of specta- 
tors." Premiums of five dollars were offered for 
the best work done by an ox team and the best 
by a horse team; but none was awarded for 
the former. The latter was awarded to David 

At the annual meeting of 1845, it was decided 
to hold the next cattle show and fair, which till 
then had been held in Geneseo, at Avon. The 
exhibition at this place — September 24, 1846 — 
was pronounced one of the most interesting of the 
kind ever held in the county. " The display of 
working cattle was very large and highly creditable 
to the farmers of the county," though the variety of 
farming utensils was not as large as had been ex- 
hibited on former occasions. "The ladies sus- 
tained their part of the exhibition with the greatest 
credit." This part of the fair was held in the 
Academy building, and the room in which it was 



held was " elegantly decorated," and the articles 
for exhibition " skillfully arranged." There was a 
very large variety of domestic and fancy articles, 
fruits and flowers, Richard Johnson, of Groveland, 
exhibiting seventeen varieties of apples. 

At the meeting of 1848, which was held at Mt. 
Morris, a resolution was adopted, " expressing the 
sense of the society that its interests would be bet- 
ter promoted by the selection of a suitable place 
and making it a permanent location for the annual 
fair." In 1849,* the county seat was designated 
for this purpose; and in 1850, Mr. J. S. Wads- 
worth generously offered the society the use of eight 
acres, near the court house, for show grounds, free 
of rent for five years, upon condition that the society 
fence and put the ground in order. This offer was ac- 
cepted and measures taken to adapt it to the use 
of the society. A track for the trial of horses was 
constructed this year in the new grounds. 

August 18, 1855, Lyman Turner, Charles Jones, 
Hezekiah Allen, David Skinner, Henry V. Colt 
and Wm. Cushing were appointed to obtain 
grounds for holding the annual exhibitions of the 
society, and to ascertain the cost of fencing the 
same and erecting thereon suitable fixtures, includ- 
ing at least one permanent building, and in case 
they should find that the cost thereof would not ex- 
ceed $1,800, they were authorized and required to 
make and erect such fixtures and building without 
unnecessary delay. The committee procured a 
lease for twenty-one years of the grounds hitherto 
occupied by the society in Geneseo, together with 
lands adjacent thereto, north and east, containing 
in all about fourteen acres, mostly a grove, afford- 
ing shade for stock, at an annual cost of $30. 
During this year the land was inclosed with a fence, 
costing $676.63 ; an agricultural hall, 40 by 80 feet, 
with 16 feet posts, admirably fitted up for the ex- 
hibition of domestic manufactures, was erected at a 
cost of $1,393-53, anda trotting course for the trial 
of horses, one-third of a mile in length, which, in 
the opinion of the committee, the interests of the 
society demanded without delay, laid out at a cost 
of $316.17, although it was not strictly included in 
their trust. The whole was completed in time for 
the annual fair of that year. 

July 4, 1865, ahorse fair was held under the 
auspices of the Society, and at that time premiums 
were offered for the first time, we believe, for a 

* In this year the members of the society numbered 255, as follows :•— 
Avon, 26; Caledonia, 4; Conesus, ij; Geneseo,8i; Groveland, IJ; Leices- 
ter, il ; Lima, 8 ; Livonia, 6 ; Mt. Morris, 10 ; North Dausville, 4, 
Nunda, I; Portage, 3 ; Sparta, ! ; Springwater, none; West Sparta s; 
York, 53 ; The number of members in 184S was 141. 

test of speed for trotting and running matches. 
The highest premium in the trotting match — 
$150— was awarded to D. Mahoney, of Geneseo; 
the second — $50 — to Geo. W. Pond, of Roches- 
ter; and the third — $25 — to O. C. Seymour, of the 
same city. C. W. Wadsworth, of Geneseo, was 
awarded the first premium — $50 — in the running 
match. Various other premiums, ranging in amount 
from $5 to $20, were also awarded. In 1880, the 
Society gave the Geneseo Driving Park Associa- 
tion permission to build a half-mile track on the 
fair grounds. This work is now in progress. 

The annual meetings of the Society have been 
held with interest and without a single omission, 
and since the grounds now in use were first leased, 
in Geneseo. 

The following named persons have been promi- 
nent as stock raisers in the county: — David 
Brooks, Jasper Barber, Aaron Barber, Aaron Bar- 
ber, Jr., C. Kelsey, F. B. Pierson, D. Hilliman & 
Son, Asa Nowlen, Wm. T. and Norman Chappell, 
D. B. Whaley, H. S. Sherman, Avon; Henry 
Simpson, A. HoUenbeck, Caledonia; Solomon 
Hitchcock, Geo. F. Coe, S. L. Fuller, Conesus; 
Allen Ayrault, W. W. Wadsworth, Lyman Turner, 
Mrs. Elizabeth Wadsworth, Chas. Colt, Chas. Shep- 
ard, Jr., J. S. Wadsworth, C. W. Wadsworth, Gur- 
don Nowlen, Geneseo ; Wm. D. Fitzhugh, W. T. 
Curtiss, Judge Chas. H. Carroll, Ozro Clark, Grove- 
land; W. Elliott, W. W. and W. B. Wooster, Lei- 
cester; Richard Peck, T. Steele, Horace Warner, 
Z. Longyer, Lima; C. A. Jackman, A. C. Bennett, 
Livonia; James Conklin, (who in 1850, exhibited a 
cow with triplet calves,) Wm. A. Mills, J. R. Murray, 
Jr., Mt. Morris; E. S. Ashley, Nunda; Geo. W. and 
Chester Root, Lyman Casey, C. Powell, HoUoway 
Long, L. Tryon, Israel Casey, James Gillraore, 
D. Pififard, Abram Stocking, A. M. Hardy, York ; 
and the following as Horticulturists: — Benjamin 
F. and Robert F. McMillen, Conesus; C. Colt, 
Mrs. W. W. Wadsworth, J. S. Wadsworth, Daniel 
Bigelow, Robert Clark, Geo. Mercer, Prof. R. A. 
Waterbury, Geneseo; C. H. Carroll, Groveland; 
Peter Patterson, Col. J. Horsford, John Sheldon, 
A. W. Wheelock, Chas. Jones, Geo. B. Francis, 
Leicester; Shepard P. Morgan, Lima; Geo. W. 
Battorf, Livonia; D. McKee, John Henner, (who 
was awarded eleven of the eighteen premiums for 
vegetables in 1853,) Geo. A. Green, Henner & 
Parker, Dr. R. W. Wells, Mt. Morris; Dr. F. M. 
Perine, North Dansville. 

Says an author, unknown to the writer: — 

" To a deceased citizen of this village, [Geneseo] 



we believe, belongs the credit of first conceiving the 
idea of a mowing machine. About the year 1835 
or '36, the late Wm. W. Wadsworth conceived the 
idea of constructing a machine for mowing, and he 
had a machine constructed after his plan, but we 
beUeve it did not work well, though it was doubt- 
less the first attempt to construct a machine. The 
machine of Mr. Wadsworth embraced a square 
frame, underneath which was a circular revolving 
plate, to which was attached short knives, and 
when in motion the plate revolved, bringing the 
knives in contact with the grass. Above the plate 
was a grind-stone in such position that the knives 
sharpened themselves as they passed beneath it. 
The machine was tried several times, but we be- 
lieve was never made to work satisfactorily, and 
after a while was abandoned. This, doubtless, 
was the first attempt to cut grass with a machine, 
and was, so far as we know, the starting-point from 
which emanated the great variety of mowers and 
reapers that have since been perfected, and which 
have done so much to lighten the labors of the 

The following named gentleman have served the 
society in the capacity of president: — Wm. A. 
Mills, Mt. Morris, 1841; James S. Wadsworth, 
Geneseo, 1842, 1861 ; Holloway Long, York, 1843; 
Wm. H. Spencer, York, 1844, 1867-8; W. W. 
Wadsworth, Geneseo, 1845; AjaJ^owlen^_Avon,- 
1846; Allen Ayrault, Geneseo, 1847; John R7 
Murray, Jr.,* Mt. Morris, 1848 ; Jedediah Hors- 
ford, Leicester, 1849; Chas. H. Carroll, Grove- 
land, 1850, 1863, 1864; Chas. Colt, Geneseo, 
1851; Robert Rome, Geneseo, 1852; Chauncey 
R. Bond, Geneseo, 1853-4; Aaron Barber, Jr., 
Avon, 1855; Chas. Jones, Leicester, 1856; G. W. 
Root, York, 1857; Richard Peck, Lima, 1858; 
Alonzo Bradner, Dansville, i8s9-'6o; Jasper Bar- 
ber, Avon, 1862; Craig W. Wadsworth, Geneseo, 
1865-6; Aaron Barber, Jr., Avon, 1869-70; 
James W. Wadsworth, Geneseo, 187 1-2; R. F. 
McMillan, Conesus, 1873-4; Hugh Wilson McNair, 
Sparta, 1875-6; Wm. A. Wadsworth, Geneseo, 
1877-8; Jotham Clark, Jr., Conesus, 1879-80. 

TAe Livingston County Stock Association. — Liv- 
ingston county early acquired a wide celebrity for 
its choice herds of blooded cattle and other stock. 
About 1836, the first important importation of 
Durham stock was made into the county, though 
the Messrs. Wadsworth had previously introduced 
a few head among their own herd. In that year 
Edward A. LeRoy and Thomas Newbold imported 
the bull "Cadmus" and the cow " Lady Morris," 
which were then considered very choice stock. In 

• Resigned. George T. Olyphanl, elected Feb. 3, 1848, and resigned 
Feb. 8, 1848. Both resignations were based on the assumption that the 
office should be filled by a practical agriculturist. Jedediah Horsford 
was elected July i, J848. 

1840, David Brooks, of Avon, introduced into the 
county about forty head of thoroughbred and 
grade Durhams, including the famous bulls " De- 
fiance" and "Red Jacket," and the cow "Betsey 
Blossom," portraits of which may now be seen in 
the office of the estate of W. W. Wadsworth, in 
Geneseo. About 1841 or '2, Mr. Brooks added 
to his stock the renowned bull "Splendor,'' and 
the cows "Moss Rose" and "Cleopatra." About 
the same time the late Gen. James S. Wadsworth 
bought the imported "Rockett" bull. The pro- 
geny of this stock are yet marked in the appear- 
ance of some of the present stock, and traced 
back to them. Soon after Mr. Sotham introduced 
a herd of Herefords.* 

From this time until 1853 nothing further seems 
to have been done to stimulate improvements in 
this direction. At the close of the fair of the Liv- 
ingston County Agricultural Society in 1853, "the 
formation of an association for the purpose of 
importing blooded cattle for the improvement of 
the stock in this county, was discussed at some 
length by a number of the largest and most suc- 
cessful stock raisers of the county, and resulted in 
the appointment of -Mes&rsr James- S-.-W-adsWortfi^ 
Allen Ayrault and C. H. Carroll, as a committee to 
mature a plan and call a meeting of the farmers at 
this place at an early day. Those present seemed 
fully convinced of the necessity of such a move. 
All admitted that the stock of this county instead 
of improving had for the last three or four years 
remained stationary."! 

This action resulted in the formation of an asso- 
ciation for the above purpose, October 2 2d of that 
year, with a capital of $8,000. Any person was 
eligible to membership on the payment of fifty dol- 
lars, and thus secured the privilege of preference 
in the use of the stock imported, which was to be 
sold at pubHc auction, the purchasers pledging 
themselves to retain it in the county for at least 
three years from the time of purchase. The asso- 
ciation made choice of the following named 
officers : James S. Wadsworth, President ; Daniel 
H. Fitzhugh, Secretary ; Allen Ayrault, Treasurer ; 
Charles H. Carroll, Aaron Barber, Wm. A. Mills, 
Robert Rome, Geo. W. Root and Richard Peck, 

In furtherance of the object of the association, 
David Brooks, of Avon, and Samuel L. Fuller, of 
Conesus, repaired to England in January following 

* Short-Horns in the Genesee Valley— Their History in Livingston 
County, by Wm. A. Brodie, of Geneseo, in A merican Rnral Home, Vol. 
I., No. ., Jan 7, 1871. 

t The Livingston Republican, October 6, 18S3. 



for the purchase of stock. They carefully selected 
and purchased twenty-four head, which were 
shipped the following spring to America; but 
unfortunately one-half the number were lost during 
a long and stormy passage. The remaining twelve 
were sold June 27, 1854, but at a figure which 
resulted in a small loss to the association. Many 
of the fine herds now owned in Livingston county 
are the progeny of this importation. 

Soon after this the celebrated bull '•' Governor " 
and two cows were sent to this country. " ' Gov- 
ernor ' and his stock are too well known by stock 
men in Western New York to require special men- 
tion.'' In 1857, Mr. Brooks again did good service 
in introducing the bull " John O'Gaunt " and cows 
"Lady Rose " and " Dairymaid." Richard Peck, 
of Lima, was largely instrumental about this time 
in improving this class of cattle by introducing, 
with J. W. Taylor, some very fine blooded animals 
from Kentucky. Aaron Barber, of Avon, also 
aided largely in the same direction, and in the 
same way. In 1864, General James S. Wads- 
worth purchased the bull " Reynolds," of Mr. Alex- 
ander, the celebrated Kentucky stock breeder, 
"and there is much good stock in Geneseo and 
adjoining towns which attest his worth as a stock 
getter." A Kentucky bred bull was introduced 
about this time by Aaron Barber, and is credited 
with much good stock, known as the " Red Duke," 
which has been exhibited at Livingston county 
fairs. Since then the late Craig W. Wadsworth 
and James W. Wadsworth, especially the latter, 
have been conspicuous in their efforts to improve 
the stock in Livingston county, and have succeeded, 
adds Mr. Brodie, "in placing her in the van as the 
producer and exhibitor of the very best grades of 
cattle. Twenty years ago, but few farmers pos- 
sessed an animal other than of the common kind, 
but to-day almost everyone has some choice stock." 

The Livingston County Historical Society. 

The initiatory steps to organize the Livingston 
County Historical Society were taken by a few 
persons in Dansville in December, 1875. An 
adjourned meeting was held at Mt. Morris in Jan- 
uary, 1876, and attended by L. B. Proctor, of 
Dansville, Norman Seymour and Dr. M. H. Mills 
of Mt. Morris, Richard Peck, of Lima, George w! 
Root, of York, and E. P. Fuller, of Grand Rapids, 
Mich., formerly of this county. Dr. M. H. Mills 
was chosen chairman and Norman Seymour, secre- 
tary. The officers chosen for the year 1876 were 
Dr. D. H. Fitzhugh, president ; Dr. James Faulk- 
ner, William Scott, Adolphus Watkins, Dr. D. H. 

Bissell and Deacon John McCall, vice-presidents; 
Norman Seymour, secretary; Hon. B. F. Angel, 
Dr. M. H. Mills, Samuel P. Allen, L. B. Proctor, 
Richard Peck and George W. Root, executive 
committee. The secretary, in compliance with the 
request of the Centennial Commission, prepared a 
historical address, which was delivered July 4, 
1876, at Geneseo. February 13, 1877, the society 
met at the rooms of the Hook and Ladder Com- 
pany in Mt. Morris, and perfected its organization 
by incorporating under the statute. A constitution 
and by-laws were adopted, and the following named 
officers chosen: Dr. D. H. Bissell, Geneseo, pres- 
ident ; Dr. M. H. Mills, vice-president ; Norman 
Seymour, secretary and treasurer; L. B. Proctor, 
Dr. L. J. Ames, Dr. D. H. Fitzhugh, George W. 
Root, Samuel P. Allen, Hon. B. F. Angel, Richard 
Peck, John F. Barber, E. H. Davis, councilmen, or 
board of administration. 

The constitution declares that "the general ob- 
ject of the Society shall be to discover, procure 
and preserve whatever may relate to the history of 
Western New York in general, and Livingston 
county and its towns in particular, and to gather 
such statistics of education and population, growth 
and prosperity, and business of this region as may 
seem advisable or of public utility." 

Members are required to pay an admission fee 
of one dollar and an annual due of like amount, 
except resident clergymen, who are exempt from 
the payment of dues. The payment of ten dollars 
at any one time constitutes a life membership, ex- 
empt from all annual dues. The annual meetings 
of the Society are held the second Tuesday in 
January, at such place as the president may desig- 
nate, and at such hour as the secretary in the notice 
of such meeting may name. 

At the annual meeting in 1878, a place was ten- 
dered the Society in the Wadsworth Library build- 
ing in Geneseo, for depositing its books, maps, 
charts and relics. 

The annual meetings of the Society have been 
regularly held at Geneseo during the last three 
years, and have been made both interesting and 
instructive by addresses and other literary ex- 

The successive presidents are : Dr. D- H. Fitz- 
hugh, 1876; Dr. D. H. Bissell, 1877-8; Dr. M. H. 
Mills, 1879; Hon. William M. White, 1880. 

Livingston County Pioneer Association. — This as- 
sociation was organized at Long Point, on Satur- 
day, September 9, 1876, having objects kindred to 
those of the Historical Society, and made choice 



of the following named officers : Dr. D. H. Bissell 
of Gtnesto, president ; H. Tilton of Leicester, and 
M. Willard of Avon, vice-presidents ; S. P. Allen 
of Geneseo, recording secretary ; Oscar Woodruff 
of Geneseo, corresponding secretary. Committees 
of three from each town in the county were subse- 
quently appointed as follows: E. H. Davis, I. R. 
Newman and Fred Pierson, Avon ; Deacon J. Mc^ 
Call, Peter Campbell and Alexander Ferguson, 
Caledonia ; S. Morris, H. Boyd and Jotham Clark, 
Conesus; W. E. Lauderdale, Geo. W. Barney and 
John White, Geneseo ; Daniel H. Fitzhugh, Sam- 
uel Vance and Richard Johnson, Groveland ; James 
A. Bolton, E. W. Sears and W. B. Wooster, Lei- 
cester; W. A. Bristol, Richard Peck and A. T. 
Norton, Lima ; W. Wheeler, O. Remington and 
Henry Dixon, Livonia; Dr. Z. Joslyn, Jacob Chil- 
son and N. Foote, Mt. Morris ; H. McCartney, 
George Hyland and Geo. A. Sweet, North Dans- 
ville; J. V. D. Coon, H. D. Page and E. O. Dick- 
inson, Nunda ; I. Hampton, W, M. White and L., 

C. Lemen, Ossian ; John Fitch, J. D. Lyon and J. 

D. Bennett, Portage ; John Shepard, Wm. Wilbur 
and John Campbell, Sparta ; O. Walbridge, D. 
Norton and A. Snyder, Springwater ; L. B. Field, 
J. W. McNair and C. W. McNair, West Sparta ; 
G. W. Root, Neil Stewart and B. F. Dow, York. 

The meetings of the association are held annu- 
ally at Long Point and are always largely attended. 

The Livingston County Bible Society was organ- 
ized at the court house in Geneseo, January 28, 
1824, as an auxiliary to the American Bible Soci- 
ety, and made choice of the following officers : 
James Wadsworth, president ; Chas. H. Carroll 
and Jeremiah Riggs, vice-presidents ; Augustus A. 
Bennett, recording secretary; Rev. Norris Bull, cor- 
responding secretary ; Orlando Hastings, treasurer; 
George Hosmer, Avon, Willard H. Smith, Cale- 
donia, Samuel Chapin, Jr., Freeport, (Conesus,) 
Eben E. Buell, Geneseo, James Rosebrugh, Grove- 
land, Orrin Gilbert, Lima, Leman Gibbs, Livo- 
nia, Dr. Asa R. Palmer, Leicester, Jonathan 
Beach, Mt. Morris, William McCartney, Sparta, 
Alvah Southworth, Springwater, and William 
James, York, directors. The society, during its 
long and useful existence has distributed thousands 
of Bibles, the entire county having several times 
been canvassed for this purpose, and a copy left, 
often gratuitously, in every home where it was found 
wanting. Its annual meetings have been occasions 
of deep interest. At the last, recently held in Gen- 
eseo, the following named officers were chosen for 
i88i. A. J. Abbott, president ; Rev. J. E. Kitt- 

ridge, corresponding secretary ; L. R. Doty, record- 
ing secretary ; John Davidson, treasurer; Dr.Wm. 
J. Milne, Col. John Rorbach, Dr. L. J. Ames, Dr. 
W. E. Lauderdale, Rev. O. S. Chamberlayne, exec- 
utive committee. Theo. E. Winans, Avon ; Rev. 

D. F. Bonner, Caledonia ; John Magee, Conesus ; 

E. F. Curtis, Geneseo ; Fort Benway, Groveland ; 
Rev. E. W. Sears, Leicester ; Rev. W. H. Milham, 
Livonia ; Rev. O. Gibson, Lima ; Rev. Mr. Wil- 
bur, Mt. Morris ; Rev. Mr. Hill, North Dansville ; 
Rev. A. Sutherland, Nunda ; Hon. William H. 
White, Ossian ; Chas. D. Bennett, Portage ; James 
Brownell, Sparta ; E. N. Curtice, Springwater ; 
Hugh T. McNair, West Sparta ; Hon. Arch. Ken- 
nedy, York, vicepresidents. 


The Press of Livingston County — Origin of 
THE Press — The American Press — Its Mar- 
velous Growth— Early Journalism in Living- 
ston County — The First Newspaper in Liv- 
ingston County — The Union and Constitu- 
tion — The Livingston Republican — The 
Dansville Express — The Laws of Life and 
Journal of Health — The Nunda News — The 
Dansville Advertiser — The Mount Morris 
Enterprise — The Livingston County Herald 
— The Union Citizen •— The Caledonia 
Advertiser — The Springwater Enterprise — 
Obsolete Papers. 

IN this chapter we have to consider what has 
been very appropriately termed the " art of arts ;" 
" the art preservative." It is to be regretted, how- 
ever, that the art which has given us so fully the 
history of other enterprises is so deficient in that 
of its own. 

In view of the immense influence exerted by the 
press, whose power, says Douglas Jerrold, " is as 
boundless as that of society," it may not be inap- 
propriate to preface its history in this county with 
the following account of its origin : — 

"Among the millions who are in the habit of 
consulting the columns of a newspaper, doubtless 
there are few, comparatively, who are acquainted 
with its origin. According to DTsraeli, we are in- 
debted to the Italians for the idea ; although in 
ancient Rome, reports of important events, and 
the doings of the senate, were frequently published, 
under the title of Acta Diurna. The periodical, 
press proper, commenced at Vienna and Augs- 
burg, Germany, in 1524; these bulletins were. 



however, not printed. About the year 1563, at 
the suggestion of the father of the celebrated Mon- 
taigne, offices were first established in France, for 
the purpose of making the wants of individuals 
known to each other. The advertisements received 
were posted on the wall to attract attention ; as in 
the case of the Romans, this ultimately led to a 
systematic and periodical publication of advertise- 
ments in sheets. The epoch of the Spanish Arma- 
da, is also the epoch of the first orthodox newspa- 
per ; although we are told by Chalmers, and it is 
often repeated, to the wisdom of Elizabeth and the 
prudence of Burleigh, we are indebted for the first 
English newspaper, yet it is also claimed that the 
first English newspaper was the Liverpool Mercuric, 
begun May 28, 1576, forty-five years after the 
Gazetta at Venice. It is also said, on very good 
authority, that the copies of The English Mercuric 
in the British Museum are forgeries. The circum- 
stance of their being printed in the modern Roman 
character, instead of the black letter of that period, 
(1588,) awakens suspicion of their authenticity. 
During the reign of James I., newspapers in the 
quarto form were occasionally issued ; but during 
the thirty years' war, when the exploits of Gustavus 
Adolphus attracted the eyes of the civilized world, 
we find a regular weekly paper edited by Nathaniel 
Butler, and published under the title of ' The Cer- 
tain Newes of this Present Week,' which may be 
regarded as the first regular weekly newspaper.* 
During the civil war in England in 1643, there was, 
however, a score of the ' Diurnals' and ' Mercuries' 
in circulation. So important an auxiliary was the 
press considered, indeed, that each of the rival 
armies carried a printer along with it. In the reign 
of Queen Anne, in 1702, there was but one daily 
paper published in London, the others being 
weekly issues. Steele introduced poHtics as an 
essential element of the press, and Addison sought 
to devote it to purely Hterary purposes ; the result 
has been the establishment of distinct vehicles for 
both.f The first journal having the character of a 
magazine or review, was \he Journal des Savants 
established in Paris in 1693 ; in England, the first 
monthly of this sort appeared in 1749. From these 
simple elements has grown up an engine whose 
potency and influence is now felt throughout all 
classes of the civilized world." % 

The first printing press in America was set up 
in Mexico, in 1536; the second was at Lima, in 
1 5 86; and the third, and the first in the United States, 
at Cambridge, Mass., in 1639. The first Ameri- 
can newspaper was issued at Boston, September 
25, rego. It was published by Benjamin Harris, 
and printed by Richard Pierce, and was intended 
to be published once a month, but was immediately 
suppressed by the authorities. The only copy 

*" The first regular series of weekly newspapers hitherto discovered 
was entitled, *The Weekly Newes from Italy, Gervtaiiie, etc ,"* (1621.) 
A Tnerican Enclycopedia, A rticle on Printing, 

t "The first hterary paper, the Mercurius Librarim, was published 
in i6io."—Itid. 

X Typographical Miscellany, 60. 

known to exist is in the State Paper office in Lon- 
don, and is headed " Publick Occurrences, both 
Foreign and Domestick." The "Boston News 
Letter," published by John Campbell, appeared 
April 24, 1704, and was continued weekly until 
1776. October i6, 1725, William Bradford, who 
founded the "American Weekly Mercurie" at 
Philadelphia, December 22, 17 19, commenced the 
" New York Gazette," the first newspaper in the 
city indicated by its name. Daily newspapers did 
not make their appearance until the eighteenth 
century. The first daily morning newspaper was 
the Daily Courant, in 1709.* 

The press of this country has had a marvelous 
growth. In 1840, there were in the whole United 
States but sixteen hundred and thirty-one news- 
papers of all kinds; now we have over seven thou- 
sand. The circulation of all the newspapers in 
1840 was one hundred and ninety-five million 
copies a year ; but now it is over two thousand 
millions, more than ten times greater than in 1840, 
and an annual average increase in over forty 
years of about thirty per cent. But in the gain in 
the size of sheets now published, in the amount, 
quality and variety of matter, in the number of the 
illustrations, in the quality of the paper and the 
perfection of the letter press, the progress has been 
still greater. In the number of newspapers pub- 
lished, the United States are far in advance of any 
of the older nations. We issue more newspapers 
than the four principal nations of Europe, viz: — 
Great Britain, France, Germany and Italy, not- 
withstanding one of them exceeds us in population, 
and a second is inferior in this respect by only an 
inconsiderable amount, while the other two closely 
approximate us. This fact is important as show- 
ing the reading habits of our people as compared 
with those of Europe. 

The progress in this county is, in a measure, in- 
dicated by Samuel P. Allen, the veteran publisher 
of The Livingston Republican, who, in the retros- 
pect of the history of that paper on the completion 
of its fortieth year says : — 

"It was in the office of the Register,^ in 1830, 
that we first saw a printing press and types, and 
gradually learned to use them. The old office 
was the building now occupied in part by the 
United States Express Company, which then stood 
in the rear of Deacon Gardiner's cabinet shoji. 
The old 'Ramage' press had then been super- 
seded by Hoe's iron presses, upon which two 
pages of newspaper could be printed at a single 

* The A inerican Cyclopedia. A rticle on Printing. 
t This was the name under which the Genesee Farmer, the first paper 
in Livingston county, was published on its removal to Geneseo. 



'pull.' With the 'Ramage' it took two, and the 
papers were worked at the rate of 200 to 250 per 
hour by a fast pressman, but this was then re- 
markable speed. A cylinder press was scarcely 
known in the cities, while now steam power and 
steam presses are very common in country offices. 
There were only two papers in the county, the 
'Register' and the 'Journal,' and the weekly edi- 
tions were distributed over the county by post- 
riders. * * * Instead of the post-rider as 
formerly, who would be two or three days in pass- 
ing over his route, we send the ' Republican ' by 
railroad into nearly every town within a few hours 
after it leaves the press." 

There are now twelve papers, all weeklies, and 
one medical monthly, published in the county,* 
viz: — The Livingston County Herald, by' E. H. 
Davis, Avon ; the Caledonia Advertiser, by A. H. 
Collins, Caledonia; The Livingston Republican, 
by Samuel P. AUen, and The Union Citizen, by 
Dr. Alonson L. Bailey, Geneseo ; the Lima Re- 
corder, by A. Tiffany Norton, Lima ; The Livonia 
Gazette, by C. M. Alvord, Livonia ; The Union and 
Constitution, by WilUam Harding, and the Mt. 
Morris Enterprise, at Mt. Morris; The Dansville 
Advertiser, by A. O. Bunnell, and The Dansville 
Express, by Woodruff & Knapp, at Dansville; 
The Nunda News, by C. K. Sanders, Nunda; 
The Springwater Enterprise, by H. S. Niles, 
Springwater, and The Laws of Life and Journal of 
Health, by Our Home Hygienic Institute, at Dans- 

The first newspaper in Livingston county was the 
Genesee Farmer, which was estabUshed and the 
first number issued February 6, 1817, by Hezekiah 
Ripley, at Moscow, which was then the most 
important village in the county. Franklin Cowdery 
soon after became associated with Mr. Ripley in its 
publication, at which time the paper was enlarged 
and its name changed to the Moscow Advertiser 
and Genesee Fartner. Within the year Mr. Ripley 
again became its sole pubHsher, and changed 
its name to the Moscow Advertiser, under which 
title he continued it till January 8, 1824, when it 
passed into the hands of James Percival, who 
removed it to Geneseo, where the county seat had 
been located, and changed the name to The Liv- 
ingston Register, which, in an enlarged form, 
became the advocate of the Bucktail party. Inci- 
dent to the excitement produced by the abduction 
of Morgan in 1826, in the adjoining county of 
Genesee — an event which exerted a marked and 
wide political influence — it became an anti-masonic 
paper ; and subseque ntly it espoused the cause of 

* In addition to this a paper styled Tlie A vonian is published at War- 

the Whigs. In 1829, the paper became the prop- 
erty of Anson M. Weed and Allen Warner, who 
published it in company till the death of the former 
in 1 83 1, when it again passed into the hands of 
Mr. Percival, who, in 1832, sold it to Elias Clark, 
from whom it was purchased in 1834 by Wra. H. 
Kelsey and Richard M. Miel, the latter of whom 
became the sole proprietor in 1835. Mr. Miel, 
being dissatisfied with the support it received 
from the Whig party, converted it into a Democratic 
paper, but soon after sold it to D. S. Curtiss, who 
discontinued it in 1837. It was soon after revived 
and published a short time by Hugh Harding, who 
was succeeded by John Kempshall, who pubhshed 
it till the close of the presidential campaign of 
1840, when the material was sold and removed 
to Perry. 

This pioneer newspaper of Livingston county 
presented a marked contrast with those published 
within her borders to-day, the latter of which fur- 
nish some of the best specimens of country news- 
paper work in the State, and are creditable aUke in 
their literary character and mechanical execution. 
It was a small four-column sheet, printed on 
coarse paper in ungainly large type, and was prin- 
cipally filled with foreign and legislative news, 
official documents and promiscuous advertisements. 
Like all the papers of that period it contained httle 
or no local news. 

The Livingston Journal, the second paper in 
Livingston county, was started in Geneseo, April 
IT, 1820, by Chauncey Morse, and became and 
was conducted as an opposition paper to its prede- 
cessor. Asahel Harvey was subsequently associ- 
ated with Mr. Morse in its pubUcation. In 1829, 
Levi Hovey became the proprietor. He was suc- 
ceeded in 183 1, by Benjamin C^ Denison, who 
was previously connected with The Village Chron- 
icle, of Dansville; and in 1832, by Evans & Wood- 
ruff. Denison changed the name to the Livingston 
Courier. In the fall of the latter year Henry F. 
Evans became sole proprietor. It was subse- 
quently published for a short time by Wm. J. 
Ticknor, and was suspended in 1834. 

The Village Chronicle was commenced in Dans- 
ville, in 1830, by David Mitchell and Benjamin C. 
Denison, who conducted it as an independent 
paper till April 12, 1831, when Denison withdrew 
and assumed the control of the Journal, published 
at Geneseo. Mitchell converted it into an anti- 
masonic advocate and soon after changed the 
name to The Village Record ; but it was soon dis- 



The Mount Morris Spectator was established 
Jan. I, 1834, by Hugh Harding, who came here 
from Dansville, where he had been employed in the 
office of the Chronicle. The office was located in 
a quaint wooden building, which occupied the site 
of Yeoman's drug store in the Empire Block. 
February 2, 1848, it was united with the Livings- 
ton County Whig, which was started in the same 
village in 1843, by Geo. B. Phelps, who published 
it about six months and sold it to James T. Norton, 
by whom it was continued until this consolidation 
was effected. At this time the name was changed 
to The Livingston Union and its publication was 
continued by Harding & Norton till 1849, when 
the latter removed to Geneseo and assumed the 
management of The Livingston Republican. In 
1846, Mr. Norton, while pubHshing the Livingston 
County Whig, printed in connection with it a 
daily — The Mount Morris Daily Whig — which 
was discontinued after three months (from June to 
August) as an unprofitable venture. In February, 
1862, Mr. Harding purchased the Constitution, 
published in Geneseo, and united the two papers 
under the name of The Union and Constitution, 
under which it has since been pubHshed at Mt. 
Morris. In 1871, Mr. Harding sold the establish- 
ment to David Frysinger from Pennsylvania, who 
continued it eight months and sold it to William 
Harding, a son of its founder, who issued his first 
number July 16, 1872, and has since continued its 
publication. The paper has been thrice enlarged. 
It is an eight-column paper — twenty-six by forty 
inches; is pubhshed every Thursday; and has a 
circulation of about one thousand. It was started 
as a neutral paper, but became a Whig organ when 
that party was formed. When the American party 
was in power here it was the advocate of its prin- 
ciples, and since the disbandment of that party 
has been allied with the Democracy. 

The Dansinlle Times wa.s published in 1835 by 
D. C. Mitchell. 

The Livingston Democrat was started at Gen- 
eseo in the autumn of 1835, by David Mitchell and 
Wm. H. Kelsey, (who purchased the establishment 
of the Livingston Journal, then recently sus- 
pended,) and published in the interest of the Whig 
party. Mitchell soon withdrew; and Kelsey con- 
tinued its pubhcation till the spring of 1837, when 
it succumbed to adverse circumstances. 

The Livingston Republican was established 
at Geneseo, September 19, 1837, at the 
solicitation and under the auspices of the Whig 
party in this county, by Samuel P. Allen, who pur- 

chased it in 1844, and continued its pubhcation 
for nine years, when (in 1846) he sold the estab- 
lishment to John M. Campbell and became con- 
nected with the Rochester Democrat September 
10, 1847, Joseph Kershner, a lawyer in Geneseo, 
succeeded Mr. Campbell as its publisher, and July 
S, 1848, he was succeeded by Charles E. Bronson, 
who terminated a three years' period of pecuniary 
losses by its sale on the 27th of December, 1849, 
to James T. Norton, who pubhshed it successfully 
till his death in 1865, when his son, A. Tiffany 
Norton, succeeded to its publication, which he 
continued until 1869. It was then purchased by 
Col. Lockwood L. Doty and James W. Clement, 
the former of whom retired after a few months on 
account of ill-health. Mr. Clement continued its 
pubhcation till September, 1874, when Samuel P. 
Allen, its founder, repurchased it, "with the pur- 
pose of continuing its publication as long as life 
and health are spared." Mr. Allen still publishes 
it. The Republican is, with one exception, the 
oldest paper in the county; and it not only takes a 
leading position in the county, but is one of the 
ablest and best representatives of the country press 
of Western New York. During the proprietorship 
of Mr. Norton, it was for a short time the organ of 
the American party, but before his death was 
changed to the advocacy of Republican principles, 
a complexion it still retains. It is an eight-column 
paper— twenty-seven by forty inches ; is published 
every Thursday; and has a circulation of 1,656. 

The Western New Yorker was commenced in 
Dansville, January 13, i84r, by George W. 
Stevens, who soon after changed the name to Tlu 
Dansville Whig, and in 1848, to The Dansi'ilk 
Courier. During this period Charies W. Dibble 
pubhshed it about one year. In 1849 it passed 
into the hands of H. D. Smead, who changed it to 
The Dansi'ille Democrat; and subsequently to 
those of George A. Sanders, who removed it to 
Geneseo in 1855, and changed it to The Geneseo 
Democrat, the first number of which was issued 
April 4, 1855. In October, 1857, it was returned 
to Dansville and published for a short time by H. 
C. Page, as The Livingston Sentitiel. 

The Nunda Gazette, was started in 1841, by 
Ira G. Wisner. After about a year it was removed 
to Mt. Morris and continued there till 1843, as 
The Genesee Valley Recorder. 

The Dansville Republican was published in 
1842, by David Fairchild. 

The Geneseo Democrat ^z.i. started in 1843, by 
Gilbert F. Shankland. It was removed to Nunda 



in 1847, and to EUicottville, Cattaraugus county, in 

The Livingston Express, was published semi- 
monthly in 1843, by J. G. Wisner, at Mt. Morris. 

The Cuylerville Telegraph was started in 1847, 
by FrankUn Cowdery, at Cuylerville, which was 
then a thriving canal village. In 1848, it passed 
into the hands of Peter Lawrence, who soon after 
removed it. 

The Dansville Chronicle was started in June, 
1848, by Richardson & Co., and was discontinued 
in 1851. 

The Nunda Democrat -^zs, started in 1848, by 
Milo D. Chamberlain, but was soon discontinued. 

The Fountain, a monthly pubHcation, was started 
at Dansville in 1849, by J. R. Trembly, and con- 
tinued about two years. 

The Dansville Herald was started in 1850, by 

E. C. Daugherty and J. G. Sprague, under the 
name of E. C. Daugherty & Co., as a Whig paper. 
Sprague retired in a few months, and in the fall of 
1854, Daugherty was succeeded by H. L. & L. H. 
Rann. About the ist of January, 1857, it passed 
into the hands of the Know-Nothing party, in whose 
interests it was managed by E, G. Richardson & 
Co. In April, 1857,- H. C. Page took the paper ; 
and about the close of that year it was purchased 
by George A. Sanders and changed to an advocate 
of Republicanism. During this time it had under- 
gone various changes in form and size. August 
r, 1865, it was sold to Frank J. Robbins and L. D. 

F, Poore, who changed its name to The Dansville 
Express, haguiX 9, 1865, and enlarged it from a 
six to a seven-column paper. F. J. Robbins 
became the sole proprietor in October, 1870, and 
enlarged it to eight columns. He conducted it in 
the interest of Horace Greeley and at the close of 
that campaign continued it as a Democratic paper. 
June I, 1877, Oscar Woodruff and A. H. Knapp 
purchased it of Mr. Robbins and still publish it. 
It is an able exponent of Democratic principles. 
Its circulation exceeds one thousand, and nearly all 
of its subscribers reside within ten miles of the 
office— a fact which sufficiently attests its worth. 

The Nunda Telegraph was started by Charles 
Atwood in 1850, and published about a year. 

The Nunda Times, was started in January, 1852, 
by N. T. Hackstaff. In July following the office 
was burned, and the paper discontinued. 

The Lima Weekly Visitor ^ as, started in 1853, 
by A. H. Tilton and M. C. Miller. It was subse- 
quently published by Raymond & Graham, and by 
S. M. Raymond, the latter of whom changed the 

name to the Genesee Valley Gazette. It was dis- 
continued in 1856. 

The Neiv Era was commenced at Hunt's Hol- 
low, in the town of Portage, in 1854, by David B. & 
Merritt Galley, boys aged respectively fifteen and 
seventeen years. In 1855 it was removed to Nunda 
and its name changed to Young America. It was 
discontinued after about a year. 

The Laws of Life and Journal of Health was 
started in 1857, by Dr. James C. Jackson at Glen 
Haven, Cayuga county, and in 1858, was removed 
to Dansville, where it has since been pubUshed 
monthly, successively under the auspices of Our 
Home on the Hillside and Our Home Hygienic In- 

The Dansville Daily Times was commenced in 
May, 1859, by W. J. LaRue, and in June of the 
same year was changed to The Dansville Daily 
Register. It was discontinued in i860. 

The Nunda News was established October 
I, 1859, by C. K. Sanders, who has pubhshed 
it continuously since, having been longer published 
continuously by the same person than any other 
paper in the county. The paper was printed for 
the first six weeks at Dansville, at the office of the 
Dansville Herald, which was then published by 
George A. Sanders, a brother of C. K. The 
first issue printed at Nunda bore date of Novem- 
ber 19, 1859. It was started as a five column 
paper and has been increased to eight columns — 
twenty-six by forty inches. It has a circulation of 
twelve hundred, and has always been pubhshed on 
Saturday of each week. The success of the Ne7vs 
is remarkable, in view of the many unprofitable 
newspaper ventures which had preceded it in 
Nunda; for, says E. W. Packard, who has ever 
been its firm friend and supporter, it "had not only 
to win its own favor, but was obliged to overcome 
prejudices engendered by the mistakes of its pre- 
decessors. To do this without capital, reputation 
or experience, required industry, perseverance, 
ability and pluck. For instance, when the first 
issue of the News came out, a large majority pre- 
dicted it would not last three months, and most of 
the subscribers only paid for that time. The out- 
look was not really very promising, and the public 
were not to be blamed for want of faith, for at that 
time the News had no press nor type, and its office 
was temporarily in my law office, and the paper 
printed in Dansville. But before the three months 
had expired, the News had its own home, with 
presses and type, ready for business. The people 
soon began to have faith in its ability to live, and 



once established the News has never lost its hold 
upon the public.'' 

The Dansville AdvertiserfizSi established August 
2, i860, by A. O. Bunnell, who has since pubHshed 
it, having been associated from 1866 to 1868 with 
Joseph Jones, under the name of Bunnell & Jones. 
Mr. Bunnell has been its editor during the whole 
period of its publication. It was started as an in- 
dependent advertising medium, but on the opening 
of the war in 1861, it espoused the cause of the 
Republican party. It has since been a staunch 
advocate of Repubhcan principles, and has led the 
van in the cause of education. It is a model of 
neat typographical execution, and has won a high 
reputation for its literary character. It is an eight- 
column paper — twenty-six by forty inches; is issued 
every Thursday, and has a circulation of about 
twelve hundred. Its columns have richly rewarded 
_ our researches for historical data — a feature in which 
it is exceptionally full and interesting. 

The Livingston Democrat was started at Nunda 
in January, 1868, by H. M. Dake, and succumbed 
to the hard times and an insufficient patronage 
November 4, 1876, the date of its last issue. Dur- 
ing the greater part of its existence it was published 
by C. F. Peck ; but during the last nine months 
by Shepard & Holly, and C. L. Shepard. 

The Genesee Valley Herald, an ephemeral pub- 
hcation, was issued at Geneseo, in 1869, and pre- 
viously for about two years, by James W. Clement, 
but was abandoned when he purchased an interest 
in the Livingston Republican, about the first of 
January, 1870. It was Repubhcan in politics. 

The Avon Reporter W2& started about 1871, by 
C. F. Peck, of Nunda. It was continued two or 
three years under several different proprietors and 
failed, the presses and type being removed from 
the place. 

The Mount Morris Enterprise was estabHshed 
March 4, 1875, by Shull & Knapp, (George M. 
ShuU and A. H. Knapp.) In May, 1877, Mr. 
Shull purchased Mr. Knapp's interest and has 
since pubhshed it alone. It is a staunch advocate 
of Democracy, and occupies a leading position in 
the county in its pohtical affihations. It is an 
eight-column paper— twenty-six by forty inches- 
having been enlarged in March, 1878, from seven 
columns. It is published every Saturday; and has 
a circulation of eight hundred. 

The Lima Recorder was established October 
I, 1869, by Elmer Houser. It was subsequently 
published by Houser & Dennis, Dennis & Dennis, 
and Deal & Drake. January i, 1875, it was sold 

to A. Tiffany Norton, the former publisher of the 
Republican, at Geneseo, and for the first time in 
its history was thus placed under the control of a 
journalist and printer of long experience and train- 
ing. Under Mr. Norton's management it has se- 
cured a leading position among the newspapers of 
the county and has enjoyed a prosperous career. 
From a neutral journal it was changed to a Re- 
publican paper, and advocates the principles of 
that party with force and earnestness, while it fear- 
lessly condemns all wrongs within as well as without 
the party. It is marked in its boldness, independ- 
ence and fearless criticism. Mr. Norton is the 
author, in connection with the late Col. L. L. Doty, 
of a valuable history of Livingston county, and in 
1879, wrote a very interesting history of "Sullivan's 
Campaign Against the Iroquois," which met with 
a large sale. 

The Livonia Advertiser, a three-column month- 
ly, was established in the spring of 1869, by W. A. 
Champ, and was printed at the office of the Living- 
ston Republican, at Geneseo. The following sum- 
mer it was transferred to H. D. Kingsbury. It 
was published about twelve months. 

The Livonia Express was established in the 
spring of 187 r, by Henry Benjamin Newell, who 
brought to Livonia the first printing press ever 
used in that town, and opened an office in what 
was then the Baldwin House. Mr. Newell was an 
erratic genius and his paper reflected bis peculiar- 
ities. A contemporary says : — 

" No comic almanac ever made more sport for 
all classes and conditions of people than did the 
Livonia Express, with its numberless eccentricities, 
in the few months of its checkered existence." 

The Livonia Gazette, a twenty-eight column 
paper, was established by Lewis E. Chapin, who 
issued the first number on Tuesday, October i, 
1875, 3.nd continued its publication until July, 1877, 
when the establishment was purchased by Clarence 
M. Alvord, of Albion, Orleans county, who still 
continues it. The Gazette is Republican in poli- 
tics, and evinces the enterprise of its pubhsher in 
the collection of local news. It has a large circu- 
lation in eastern Livingston and western Ontario 

The Livingston County Herald was established 
in Avon, May 11, 1876, by E. H. Davis, who still 
continues its publication, and receives deser\-ed aid 
and encouragement from the business men of that 
pleasant, enterprising village. It is Republican in 
politics and is issued every Thursday. 

The Union Citizen was established in Livonia, 



July 29, 1876, by Dr. Alonson L. Bailey, who re- 
moved it April I, 1879, to Geneseo, where he has 
since published it as a Democratic paper. Its 
size is six columns — twenty-two by thirty-two inches. 
It is published every Saturday, and has a circula- 
tion of 528. 

The Caledonia Advertiser, a six-column paper, 
was established May 7, 1878, by James Beattie and 
A. H. Collins, with a circulation of 290. The ven- 
ture proved successful, and the circulation steadily 
increased, till at present it is 690. February i, 
1880, Mr. ColHns purchased Mr. Beattie's interest 
and has since had its entire management. It is 
published on Friday of each week. It is devoted 
to agriculture and matters of local interest, and in 
politics is Republican. It is the first and only 
paper ever published in Caledonia. 

The Springwater Enterprise was established in 
January, 1879, by H. S. Niles and C. B. Potter, 
who continued it until February, 1879, when Mr. 
Niles purchased Mr. Potter's interest and assumed 
the entire control. It is published every Thurs- 


Early Courts — County Seat Designated — 
First County Officers — County Buildings — 
First Court in Livingston County — County 
Poor-House — Insane Asylum — Livingston 
County Civil List — Delegates to State 
Constitutional Conventions — State Sena- 
tors — Members of Assembly — First and 
County Judges — Surrogates — District At- 
torneys — Sheriffs~C ounty Clerks — County 
Treasurers — County Superintendents of 
Common Schools — School Commissioners — 
Presidential Electors — Representatives in 

PREVIOUS to the erection of Steuben and 
Genesee counties from Ontario, the territory 
now embraced in Livingston county occupied a 
central position in the latter county, but on the 
formation of Genesee county in 1802, it lay partly 
in the three counties of Ontario, Genesee and 
Steuben, but a small portion, however, being in 
the latter county. The Hne of division between 
Ontario and Genesee passed nearly centrally 
through this county, following the Genesee up to 
its confluence with the Canaseraga, and thence 
extending due south, being identical with the west 

line of Phelps and Gorham's purchase. Hence it 
lay on the confines of the two civil divisions^ remote 
from the seat of justice of either. The county seat 
of Ontario county was at Canandaigua, and deeds 
were required to be filed in the clerk's office at that 
place by the act of April 3, 1798, many years be- 
fore the general act for the recording of deeds was 
passed. The first circuit court of that county was 
held at the inn of Ezra Patterson, in Geneva, June 
9, 1793, and was presided over by John S. Hobart ; 
and the first court of common pleas at the house 
of Nathaniel Sanborn, in Canandaigua, Novem- 
ber 4, 1794. Timothy Hosmer and Charles Wil- 
liamson were the presiding judges. Oliver Phelps 
was appointed First Judge on the erection of that 
county in 1789. The county seat of Genesee 
county was fixed at Batavia. 

On the erection of Livingston county. Dr. Gama- 
liel H. Barstow, of Smithsboro, Tioga county, 
Archibald S. Clarke, of EUicottville, and Nathaniel 
Garrow, of Auburn, were appointed commissioners 
to designate the county seat and fix the site for 
buildings, and were directed to meet at the tavern 
of James Ganson, in Avon, in the discharge of this 
duty, which was no sinecure, for a sharp rivalry 
existed for the honor of being the shire town, and 
the adjustment of the question developed acrimo- 
nious discussions, and gave rise to ungenerous 
reflections on the residents of the southern part of 
the county, which was then less developed and 
consequently less populous and wealthy. Avon, 
Williamsburgh, and the little hamlet of Lakeville, 
were the rival competitors of Geneseo, which was 
then the principal village and the commercial 
centre of the county, and was finally selected be- 
cause it was also nearer the geographical center of 
the county. 

The Act required that a suitable lot for the erec- 
tion of a court house and jail should be conveyed 
to the supervisors before the site therefor was de- 
termined, and appointed Gen. William Wads- 
worth, of Geneseo, Dr. Daniel H. Fitzhugli, of 
Groveland, and William Markham, of Avon, com- 
missioners to superintend their construction. Can- 
andaigua was designated for the confinement of 
prisoners until, in the opinion of the sheriff the jail 
was fitted for their reception. The former pro- 
vision was complied with July 14, 1821, at which 
time William and James Wadsworth deeded 1.79 
acres in the northern part of Geneseo village as a 
site for those buildings.* 

The first county officers were : — Moses Hayden, 

* The same deed conveyed 1.47 acres for a public square or promenade. 



First Judge ; James Ganson, Cmmty Clerk ; Gideon 
T. Jenkins, Sheriff; James Rosebrugh, Surrogate; 
and George Hosmer, District Attorney. All, ex- 
cept Hayden, who was appointed March 28, 1821, 
were appointed February 26, 182 1. The first 
Board of Supervisors consisted of :— Thomas Wiard, 
Avon, Robert McKay, Caledonia, Davenport 
Alger, Freeport, (Conesus,) Wm. H. Spencer, 
Geneseo, Wm. Fitzhugh, Groveland, Jellis Clute, 
Leicester, Mannasseh Leach, Lima, Ichabod A. 
Holden, Livonia, Wm. A. Mills, Mt. Morris, Wm. 
McCartney, Sparta, Alvah Southworth, Spring- 
water, and Titus Goodman, York. Wm. Fitzhugh 
was chosen chairman, and Ogden M. Willey, of 
Geneseo, clerk, a position he filled very acceptably 
for thirty years. Orlando Hastings, of Geneseo, was 
appointed county treasurer, an office then filled by 
the Boards of Supervisors of the various counties. 
The supervisors being required by the Act erect- 
ing the county to determine the proper amount to 
be raised for the erection of county buildings, at 
their first annual meeting in October, 182 1, resolved 
to raise nine thousand dollars for that object. This 
amount being afterwards deemed insufficient, in 
December following the Board applied to the Leg- 
islature for permission to raise an additional two 
thousand dollars. Permission was grantedandthat 
further sum raised. The court house and jail were 
completed and ready for use in the spring of 1823. 
Both are still in use. The court house is a brick 
building and begins to show the ravages of-time 
and the elements, but Judges from abroad pro- 
nounce it superior in all needful requirements to 
any on their circuit. It is beautifully situated in the 
north part of the village, facing the main street, 
which runs north and south. The jail is a wooden 
structure, standing a little north-west of the court- 
house, and in September, 1880, contained eight 
inmates. The county clerk's office is a one-story 
cobble-stone building, standing directly east of and 
adjacent to the court house. All are in the same 
inclosure, and all are common-place looking build- 
ings. The clerk's office was for several years kept 
in the court house. 

While the court house was in process of con- 
struction the courts were held in the upper story of 
the brick building which occupied the site of the 
present union school building on Center street, in 
Geneseo. It was the regular district school house, 
the lower part being used for that purpose, and the 
upper part to some extent as a private academical 
school. There the first court of record held in the 
county was convened on the last Tuesday in May, 

1821, and after prayer by Rev. Mr. Bull, was 
opened by the usual proclamation. Moses Hay- 
den, First Judge, presided, and was assisted by 
Matthew Warner, Jeremiah Riggs and Leraan 
Gibbs, Associate Judges. The grand jurors im- 
paneled on this occasion were : William Janes, 
foreman, Robert McKay, James Smith, Asa Now- 
len, Josiah Watrous, Francis Stevens, William War- 
ner, Ichabod A. Holden, Ruel Blake, Wm. A. Mills, 
Ebenezer Damon, P. P. Peck, Joseph A. Law- 
rence, William Crossett, William Carnahan, James 
McNair, John Culver, Erastus Wilcox, John Hunt, 
Daniel H. Fitzhugh, Thomas Sherwood, Ebe- 
nezer Rogers and Gad Chamberlin. 

The first case tried was that of Mary DeGraw, 
who was indicted for assault and battery with in- 
tent to kill. She was convicted of assault and bat- 
tery, but acquitted on the rest of the indictment. 
May Brown was sentenced at this time to the On- 
tario county jail for thirty days. This appears to 
have been the first commitment. 

The first term of the Court of Common Pleas 
was held the same day. James Richmond, LeRoy 
Buckley, Roger Wattles, T. H. Gilbert, Joseph 
White, Jehiel Kelsey, John Salmon, George Whit- 
more, David A. Miller, Riley Scoville, Andrew Stil- 
well, and Federal Blakesley composed the jury. 
The first court held in the court house was the 
May term of the Common Pleas Court in 1823, 
Charles H. Carroll, First Judge, presiding. 

The county poor house is pleasantly situated on 
a farm of one hundred and fifty-one acres in the 
town of Geneseo, about one and one-half miles east 
of Geneseo village. The farm, which originally 
contained about one, hundred and thirty-six acres, 
was bought for the purpose in 1829, for $5,440, 
and a two-story addition forty-eight by thirty-six feet 
made to the dwelling house then on the premises. 
On the loth of June, 1829, it was opened for the 
reception of paupers. It soon, however, ceased to 
meet the demands on it, and in 1849, the Super- 
visors appropriated $6,000 for the purpose of erect- 
ing a new building, and appointed Allen Ayrault, 
Wm. J. Hamilton and Russell Austin to superin- 
tend its construction and to dispose of the old one, 
which, with eighteen acres of land, was sold at auc- 
tion Dec. 13, 1850, to Dr. Daniel H. Bissell, of 
Geneseo, for $2,001. The old building is now 
owned and occupied as a residence by Joseph 
Truesdell Lamson. 

A new three-story brick building, 108 by 36 feel, 
with basement, and two lateral wings, each 53 feet 
deep, was erected in 1850, and completed ready 



for occupancy early in the winter of that year, at a 
cost of $7,356.40, exclusive of furniture and heat- 
ing apparatus. It is situated on the opposite 
(north) side of the road, and adjacent to the old 
one. The central portion is occupied by the su- 
perintendent and his family ; the right wing by the 
male, and the left wing by the female paupers. 
The sexes are separated at night, and as far as 
practicable during the day. 

In 1868, when the late superintendent, George 
W. Barney, entered upon the discharge of the 
duties of that office, the only accommodations for 
the insane were "a few cells in the basement of the 
men's building, and the ordinary rooms in the 
building for women." The apartments were 
wholly unfit for their purposes, and the insane re- 
ceived no special attention. The building was 
heated by stoves, was imperfectly ventilated, and 
without proper bathing facilities.* In 1869, a 
small two-story brick building was erected for the 
accommodation of the insane paupers, and subse- 
quently another and larger building was erected 
for the same purpose, the two affording accommo- 
dations for about fifty patients. In 1879, ^ third 
building was erected for the use of the female in- 
sane, accommodating forty-four patients. Thirty- 
three acres have also been added to the poor-house 
farm. "The entire place," says Mr. Barney, in his 
Annual Report to the Board of Supervisors, Nov. 
20, 1879, "has been put in the best of order, and 
above all, the condition of the buildings has been 
raised from a state of filthiness hardly to be de- 
scribed to a condition second to no building of the 
kind in the State, and the institution has now at- 
tained a reputation such as reflects the highest 
honor upon every taxpayer in the county." The 
county provides for such of its dependent children 
as cannot be secured situations in famihes, in or- 
phan asylums at Rochester. During the year end- 
ing Oct. 31, 1879, there was expended for the 
maintenance of such children $888.85. At that 
date there were eight in the Rochester Orphan 
Asylum and one in St. Mary's Boys' Orphan Asy- 
lum, in the same city. 

The farm, which is in a good state of cultivation, 
is tilled by the sane t and insane paupers, with the 

* Twelfth Antmal Refort of the State Board of Charities for 1878, 


t Says Mr. Barney in the report above referred to : "I have stren- 
uously endeavored to utihze the services of able-bodied paupers on the 
farm and have succeeded to a greater degree than ever before, but an ex- 
perience of twelve years with this class convinces me of the fact that the 
supervision necessary to get work done properly and in the proper time 
amounts to almost as much as the value of the services rendered, and 
that the inmates of the Insane Asylum, under a keeper, will perform 
more work in a given time, and in a better manner, than tlie same num- 
ber of paupers. " 

aid of one assistant, and, strange as the fact may 
seem, the labor of the insane is far more efficient 
and satisfactory than that of the sane. The value 
of this pauper labor for the year 1879, is estimated 
at at least $2,300. The stock upon the farm con- 
sisted of two pair of working horses, two single 
horses and ten milch cows, the whole valued at 
$950, and the products of the farm for the year 
ending Oct. 31, 1879, of 1,000 bushels of corn, (in 
ear,) 445 bushels of barley, 508 bushels of oats, 40 
tons of hay, 400 bushels of wheat, 60 bushels of 
beans, 600 bushels of potatoes; straw, valued at 
$75, milk from ten cows, valued at $300, 20 fat 
hogs, 30 store hogs, 50 bushels of apples, garden 
vegetables, valued at $20, and corn stalks, valued 
at $50, the total valuation being $2,435.80. 

The number of persons received and supported 
in the alms house and insane asylum during the 
year ending Oct. 31, 1879, was 335; the number 
remaining Nov. i, 1879, was 158. Of the whole 
number, 228 were males, and 107, females; 206 
were natives of the United States, 94, of Ireland, 
14, of England, 16, of Germany, 2, of Canada, 2, 
of France, and i, of Scotland. 

The expenses connected with the sui)port of the 
poor during the year ending Oct. 31, 1879, are thus 
stated in the report of the superintendent :— 

Alms House Supplies, $11,086 17 

Alms House Expenses, 5, 860 65 

Temporary relief in the several towns, . 3,031 87 
Transportation, 67 40 

Total, $20,046 09 

The number of deaths during the year was 
twenty-one. The average age of the deceased per- 
sons was 58,17-21 years. 

The number of insane persons received and sup- 
ported in the insane asylum during the year was 
75. Of this number 7 males and 4 females were 
discharged cured ; 1 male was discharged unim- 
proved ; I male and 3 females died ; i female com- 
mitted suicide ; and 30 males and 28 females then 
remained. Mr. Barney, in referring in his report 
to this class of unfortunates, says : — 

" Under the advice of the Hon. Wm. P. Letch- 
worth, president of the State Board of Charities, I 
have given great attention to the food and diet of 
the insane. I feel the deepest gratification at the 
results of my efforts, and confidently invite com- 
parison of the proportion discharged cured from 
our own asylum with that of any other Hke institu- 
tion in the State. The new building for female 
patients is now about finished and will accommo- 
date 44 persons. With this increased room it will 
be possible to classify patients much more com- 
pletely than heretofore and from the result of this 



classification I look for the most favorable results 
in the future." 

The present Superintendent of the Poor is James 
C. Wicker, who entered upon the discharge of his 
duties January i, 1880. Mr. Barney was preceded 
in the office by A. Howard, who filled that respon- 
sible position for twenty-three years. 

Livingston County Civil List. — Livingston county 
has produced many men of talent and eminence in 
the various professions and occupies a distinguished 
position in the civil Hst. She has furnished a gov- 
ernor, in the person of John Young of Geneseo, 
who was elected in 1846, by a vote of 198,878, over 
three opponents, Silas Wright. Henry Bradley and 
Ogden Edwards, who received respectively 187,306 
12,844 and 6,306 votes ;* a Private Secretary of the 
Executive chamber of New York, in the person of 
LockwoodL. Doty of Geneseo, who was appointed 
in 1861 and held the office two years; a Chief 
of the Bureau of MiUtary statistics, in the person 
of the latter gentleman, who was appointed on the 
creation of that office April 8, 1863, and was suc- 
ceeded September 10, 1866, by Augustus J. H. 
Duganne of New York, who subsequently became 
Mr. Doty's biographer ; a Judge- Advocate- General, 
in the person of Campbell H. Young of Geneseo, who 
was appointed January i, 1867; two State Comp- 
trollers, in the persons of Philo C. Fuller of Geneseo, 
who was appointed Dec. 18, 1850, on the election 
of Washington Hunt to the gubernatorial chair, and 
held the office till the close of the term, and Jas.W. 
Wadsworth of Geneseo, elected Nov. 4,1879 ; a Ca- 
nal Commissioner, in the person of Daniel P. Bissell 
of Moscow, who was appointed February 8,1842, to 
fill vacancy, and again November 4, 1844, for the 
term of four years ; a Canal Appraiser, in the per- 
son of Calvin H. Bryan of Geneseo, who was ap- 
pointed April 4, 1846, and served one term of three 
years ; a Regent of the University of New York, (in 
addition to John Young, who, as Governor of the 
State, was an ex-officio member of the board,) in 
the person of James S. Wadsworth of Geneseo, who 
was appointed May 4, 1844, and held the office till 
his death, May 8, 1864; two Clerks of the Court 
of Appeals, in the persons of Benjamin F. Harwood 
and Eussell F. Hicks, both of Dansville, the former 
of whom was elected November 8, 1853, and died 
in office at Albany, March 30, 1856, and the latter 
November 7, 1856, holding the office three years; 
and a Diplomatic Officer in the person of Benja- 
min F. Angel of Geneseo, who was appointed Min- 

• James S. Wadsworth of Geneseo, was the candidate of the Republi- 
can party for Governor in iS6z, but was defeated by Horatio Seymour, by 
a vote of 306,649 to 295,897. 

ister-Resident to Sweden and Norway July 17, 


Delegates to State Constitutional Conventions. — 
James Rosebrugh represented this county in the 
Convention of 1821 ; Allen Ayrault and William 
H. Spencer, both of Geneseo, in that of 1846; and 
Isaac L. Endress, of Dansville, in that of 1867. 

State Senators. — Previous to 1821 the Senato- 
rial Districts were designated as Southern, Mid- 
dle, Eastern and Western. The latter originally 
comprised Albany and Tryon (afterwards Mont- 
gomery) counties, and Ontario which then em- 
braced the'territory included in Livingston county, 
from Jan. 27, 1789. During the continuance 
of the First Constitution it comprised these 
counties and those subsequently erected from 
them. The representation, which at first was 
six members, was changed February 7, 1791, 
to five ; March 4, 1796, to eleven; in 1803, to 
nine; in 1808, to twelve; and April 17, 1815, to 

Under the Second Constitution which was adop- 
ted the year in which this county was organized, 
(182 1,) the State was divided into eight Senatorial 
Districts, which were designated by number. Liv- 
ingston county belonged to the Eighth District, 
which also embraced the counties of Allegany, 
Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Monroe, 
Niagara and Steuben, until November 12, 1824, 
when Orleans was added. April 18, 1826, Steu- 
ben was transferred; and May 23d, 1836, Alle- 
gany, Cattaraugus and Livingston were transferred 
to the Sixth District, which then comprised addi- 
tionally the counties of Broome, Chenango, Tioga, 
Tompkins, Steuben and Chemung. This connec- 
tion it retained during the further continuance of 
the Second Constitution which entitled each dis- 
trict to four Senators, one of whom was elected 
annually for the term of four years. 

Under the third or present Constitution, the 
State is divided into thirty-two districts, in each of 
which one member is elected each odd year. Liv- 
ingston was associated with Ontario in forming the 
Twenty-ninth district. April 13, 1857, it was asso- 
ciated with Allegany and Wyoming counties in 
forming the Thirtieth district, and maintained this 
relation till April 23d, 1879, when it became asso- 
ciated with Genesee, Niagara and Wyoming coun- 
ties in forming the same district. 

Livingston county did not furnish a State Sena- 
tor previous to its organization as a separate county, 
nor during its connection with the Western district, 
which continued till 1823. The office was first 



filled by a resident of Livingston county in 1827, 
by Charles H. Carroll, of Groveland, who served 
till his resignation in March, 1828. He has been 
succeeded by Moses Hayden, of York, who served 
in 1829 and until his death February 14, 1830; 
Philo C. Fuller, of Geneseo, who was elected on 
the death of Hayden and served in 1831 and '32; 
James Faulkner, of Dansville, in 1842, '3, '4 and 5 ; 
Allen Ayrault, of Geneseo, in 1848 ;* Charles Colt, 
of Geneseo, in 1849-51 ;• Sidney Sweet, of Dans- 
ville, in 1856-7 ;t David H. Abell, of Mt. Morris, 
in 1860-61 ; James Wood, of Geneseo, 1870-73. 

Members of Assembly. — There has been little 
variation in Livingston county's representation in 
the Assembly, which has corresponded with that of 
the ratio of her population to that of the State, the 
extremes being one and two. She had one mem- 
ber at the time of her formation ; two, under the 
apportionments of April 12, 1822, April 18, 1826, 
May 23, 1836, March 8, 1846, and April 13, 1857; 
and one under the apportionments of April 16, 
1866, and April 23, 1879, the latter of which re- 
mains in force. 

The Assemblymen from the territory now em- 
braced in Livingston county prior to its erection as 
such were: Gideon T. Jenkins, who represented 
Genesee county m^ 1808, and Hugh McNair, of 
Sparta, who represented Ontario county in 1808-9 \ 
William Markham, of Avon, who represented On- 
tario county in 1810; Chauncey Loomis, who 
represented Genesee county, and Hugh McNair, 
Ontario county, in 1811; James Ganson, of Gen- 
eseo, who represented Genesee, and Hugh McNair, 
Ontario, in 1812-14; James Rosebrugh, who 
represented Ontario, in 1814-15, 1816-17, 1818; 
James Ganson, who represented Genesee in 1816 
and 1816-17; Elijah Spencer and Wm. McCart- 
ney, who represented Ontario in 18 19; Gideon T. 
Jenkins and Robert McKay, who represented 
Genesee, and Matthew Warner, Ontario, in 1820; 
Wm. H. Spencer, who represented Genesee, in 

Since its formation Livingston county has been 
represented in the Assembly as follows : George 
Smith, 1822; William Janes and Matthew Warner, 
1823; George Hosraer and George Smith, 1824; 
James Faulkner and Robert McKay, 1825; James 
Faulkner and Wm. H. Spencer, 1826; Wm. H. 
Spencer and Felix Tracy, 1827; Calvin H. Bryan 
and Wm. Janes, 1828 ; Philo C. Fuller and Titus 
Goodman, Jr., 1829-30; Jerediah Horsford and 

* Resigned June 2, 1848. 

t During this session Samuel P. Allen, of Geneseo, was clerk of the 

James Percival, 1831; George W.Patterson and 
John Young, r832; George W. Patterson and 
Samuel W. Smith, 1833; Salmon G. Grover and 
Tabor Ward, 1834; H. Hutchinson and George 
W. Patterson, 1835; Charles H. Carroll and 
George W. Patterson, 1836; George W. Patterson 
and William Scott, 1837-8; Ehas Clark and 
George W. Patterson, 1839-40;* Augustus Gibbs 
and Reuben P. Wisner, 1841; Gardner Arnold 
and Chester Bradley, 1842 ; Daniel H. Fitzhugh 
and Daniel D. Spencer, 1843; Gardner Arnold 
and Daniel D. Spencer, 1844; Harlow W. Wells 
and John Young, 1845; William S. Fullerton and 
John Young, 1846; William S. Fullerton and An- 
drew Sill, 1 847 ; Gurdon Nowlen and Nathaniel 
Coe, 1848; Archibald H. McLean and Philip 
Woodruff, 1849-50; Alvin Chamberlain and Orrin 
D. Lake, 1851-2; Amos A. Hendee and Abram 
Lozier, 1 853 ; Leman Gibbs and Abram Lozier, 
1854; Lyman Odell and McNeil Seymour, 1855; 
Lyman Odell and Alonzo Bradner, 1856; Lyman 
Hawes and Alfred Bell, 1857 ; John H. Jones and 
Alfred Bell, 1858; Samuel L. Fuller and John 
Wiley, 1859-60; Matthew Wiard and George 
Hyland, 1861 ; Matthew Wiard and Samuel Skin- 
ner, 1862; Hamilton E. Smith and Samuel Skin- 
ner, 1863 ; Hamilton E. Smith and Jonathan B. 
Morey, 1864; Hugh D. McCoU and Jonathan B. 
Morey, 1865 ; Hugh D. McColl and Samuel D. 
Faulkner, 1866; Jacob Mead, 1867; Lewis E. 
Smith, 1868-9 ■> Richard Johnson, 1870-1 ; Arch- 
ibald Kennedy, 1872-3 ; Jonathan B. Morey, 1874; 
James Faulkner, Jr., 1875-6; Jonathan B. Morey, 
1877; James W. Wadsworth, 1878-9; Archibald 
Kennedy, 1880; Kidder M. Scott, 1881. 

Fh-st and County Judges. — The Court of Com- 
mon Pleas was continued from the Colonial period. 
For most of the time under the First Constitution 
the number of Judges and Assistant Justices in the 
various counties differed, reaching, in some 
counties, as many as twelve of each. March 27, 
1 81 8, the office of Assistant Justice was abolished, 
and the number of Judges limited to five, including 
the First Judge. The Judges were appointed by 
the Governor and Senate for a period of five years. 
The constitution of 1846 provided for the election 
of a County Judge for each county, except the city 
and county of New York, and the new judiciary 
article extended the tenure of office from four to 
six years, upon the election of the successors of the 
present incumbents. 

* During these sessions— 1839-40— George W, Patterson was Speaker 
of the Assembly. He is the only person from this county who has oc- 
cupied that position. 



The First Judges of Livingston county were: — ■ 
Moses Hayden, of York, appointed March 28, 
1 821; Charles H. Carroll, of Groveland, appointed 
February i, 1823; Hezekiah D. Mason, appointed 
April 8, 1829 ; Willard H. Smith, appointed March 
24, 1832. The County Judges, since the office 
was made elective, have been : — Scott Lord, of 
Geneseo, June, 1847; George Hastings, of Mt. 
Morris, November, 1855; Solomon Hubbard, No- 
vember, 1863; Samuel D. Faulkner, of Dansville, 
November, 187 1; Daniel W. Noyes, appointed in 
place of Faulkner, deceased, August 30, 1878; 
Edwin A. Nash, of Avon, November, 1878.* 

Surrogates. — Previous to 1821, Surrogates were 
designated by the Council of Appointment ; from 
1 82 1 to 1846, by the Governor and the Senate. 
The Constitution of 1846 abolished the office and 
devolved its duties on County Judges, except in 
counties having a population exceeding 40,000. 
This office has been held successively by James 
Rosebrugh, who was appointed February 26, 1821; 
Samuel W. Spencer, appointed March 20, 1832 ; 
Benjamin F. Angel, appointed March 23, 1836; 
William H. Kelsey, appointed April 22, 1840; 
Benjamin F. Angel, appointed March 3, 1844, and 
held the office until it was abolished. 

District Attorneys. — The original appellation of 
this office, which was created February 12, 1796, 
was that of Assistant Attorney-General, who was 
appointed by the Governor and Council. The of- 
fice of District Attorney was created April 4, iSoi. 
At first the State was divided into seven districts, 
but subsequently several new ones were formed. 
In April, 18 18, each county was constituted a sep- 
arate district. The office was made elective by 
the Constitution of 1846. 

The first person to hold this office in Livingston 
county was George Hosmer, who was appointed 
February 26, i82r. He was succeeded by Orlan- 
do Hastings, January 27, 1824; George Hosmer, 
May 29, 1824; Calvin H. Bryan, January 20, 1836; 
Augustus A. Bennett, May 30, 1836; George Hast- 
ings, May 27, 1839; Amos A. Hendee, June, 1847; 
WilHam H. Kelsey, 1850 ;t James Wood, Jr., 
1853;! Amos A. Hendee, 1856;! Gershom Bulk- 
ley, 1859;! George J. Davis, 1862 ;tt James B. 
Adams, 1866 ;t§ Edwin A. Nash, 1869;! Daniel 

*Jolin H. Jones, of Moscow, held the office of First Judge in Genesee 
county, which then embraced the western part of this county, from June 
10,1812, to May 9, 1821. 

t Elected in November. 
+ Resigned. 

§ Appointed January, 1865, vice Davis, resigned ; elected November 
1865. ' 

W. Noyes, 1875 ;*t Charles J. Bissell, August 30, 
1878;}: John R. Strang, 1878,! the present 

Sheriffs. — Under the first Constitution (1777- 
1821) Sheriffs were appointed ann ually by the Coun- 
cil of Appointment, and no person could hold the 
office for more than four successive years. The 
Sheriff could not hold any other office, and must 
be a free-holder in the county to which he was ap- 
pointed. Under the second Constitution (1821 to 
1846) Sheriffs were elected for a term of three 
years, but were ineligible to election the next suc- 
ceeding year. These provisions are operative at 
the present time. 

The Sheriff was once an officer held in great re- 
spect. He arranged all the ceremonials of the 
court, and formally announced to the Judges the 
particular hour the court-room was in order for 
their reception. He was equipped with side arms, 
and kept his sword unsheathed on the desk in 
front of his seat. He, with his deputies, formally 
inducted the Judges from their lodgings to the 
court-room; the jurors closed the procession. He 
opened the court with solemn proclamation. In 
every respect the office of Sheriff was once of more 
import in the public estimation than now.§ 

The first Sheriff in I,ivingston county was Gid- 
eon T. Jenkins, who was appointed February 26, 
1821. His successors have been: — William Car- 
nahan, 1822; Martin Nash, 1825; Russell Austin, 
1828; Augustus Gibbs, 1831 ; Josiah Wendell, 
1834; Wm. W. Weed, 1837 ; James Brewer, 1840; 
Wm. H. Scott, 1843; William Scott, 1846; Har- 
vey Hill, 1849 ; Norman Chapel, appointed De- 
cember 15, 185 1, vice Hill, deceased; William 
Scott, 1852; Hugh McCartney, 1855; John N. 
Hurlburt, 1858; Wm. B. Lemen, 1861; Thomas 
C. Chase, 1864; George Hyland, Jr., 1867; Henry 
L. Arnold, 1870; Elijah Youngs, 1873; Wm. B. 
Wooster, 1876; Martin F. Linsley, 1879. || 

County Clerks. — County Clerks, in addition to 
keeping the county records, were required by the 
Act of February 12, 1796, to act as clerk of the 
Inferior Court of Common Pleas, and of the Oyer 
and Terminer. At present they are clerks of the 
Supreme Court in their respective counties, and 
their seals are declared to be the seals of the court. 
Their term of office, like that under the second 
constitution, is three years. 

* Resigned. 

t Elected in November. 

i Appointed vice Noyes, resigned. 

§ Clark^s History of Chenango County. 

II All except Gideon T. Jenkins and Norman Chapel were elected in No- 



Livingston county furnished one County Clerk 
for Ontario county while connected with it, in the 
person of Hugh McNair, who was appointed March 
17, 1815, and was succeeded July 3, 1819, by John 
Van Fossen. James Ganson, who was appointed 
February 26, 182 1, was the first person to hold that 
office in Livingston county. His successors, all of 
whom were elected in November, have been Syl- 
vester Brown, 1822; LeviHovey, 1825 ; Chauncey 
R. Bond, 1828; Elias Clark, 1834; Wm. H. Stan- 
ley, 1837 ; Samuel P. Allen, 1840; Wm. H. Whit- 
ing, 1843 ; Israel D. Root, T849 ; James S. Orton, 
1852 ; Charles Root, 1855 ; Harvey G. Baker, 1861 ; 
Augustus A. Curtiss, 1867 ; Nathaniel A. Gear- 
hart, 1871; Hurlburt E. Brown, 1874; Jerome B. 
Patterson, 1877 ; Mark J. Bunnell, 1880. 

County Treasurers. — ^County Treasurers are 
elected under the Constitution of 1846, for a term 
of three years. They were formerly appointed by 
the Boards of Supervisors in the several counties. 
Chauncey Metcalf was the first person elected to 
the office in Livingston county under the new re- 
gime — in 1848. He has been succeeded by: John 
White, Jr., 1851 ; Chauncey R. Bond, 1856; James 
T. Norton, i860; Chauncey Metcalf, 1863; Theo- 
dore F. Olmsted, 1871 ; John Shepard, 1874; 
and Wm. A. Brodie, the present incumbent, in 1877. 
All were elected in November. 

County Superintendents of Common Schools. — 
April 17, 1843, the Boards of Supervisors were di- 
rected to appoint Superintendents of Common 
Schools ; and Ira Patchin and Russell F. Hicks 
were accordingly so appointed in Livingston coun- 
ty. The office was abolished March r3, 1847. 

School Commissioners. — Prior to 1857, School 
Commissioners were appointed by the Boards of 
Supervisors. In 1856 the office was made elective ; 
and the first election under that act was held No- 
vember, 1859. The office has been held in Living- 
ston county by the following named persons : — 
Chauncey Loomis^ Levi P. Grover, Franklin B. 
Francis, S. Arnold Tozer, Franklin B. Francis, 
John W. Byam, Lewis C. Partridge, Foster W. 
Walker, in the First District ; and Horace L. James 
Harvey Farley, Isaac C. Lusk, Thomas J. Thorp, 
Robert W. Green and Ezra N. Curtice, in the 
Second District. Foster W. Walker of Caledonia, 
and Ezra N. Curtice of Spring water, are the present 

Presidential Electors.^-Tht Federal Constitu- 
tion provides that the President and Vice-Presi- 
dent of the United States shall be chosen by Elec- 
tors appointed in such manner as the Legislatures 

of the respective States shall direct, the number to 
be equal to their number of Senators and Repre- 
sentatives in Congress. In this State the Electors 
were originally appointed by the Legislature, pursu- 
ant to an Act passed April 12, 1792. March 15, 
1825, the Legislature submitted to the people the 
question of choosing electors by districts, or on 3.gen- 
eral ticket, and it was decided by a small majority 
in favor of the former. The system thus adopted, 
however, was in vogue at one election only ; for 
April 15, 1829, the Legislature .adopted the gen- 
eral ticket system now in use. The Electors must 
be appointed within thirty-four days before the 
first Wednesday of December, in every fourth year ; 
and in this State, as, indeed, in all the States, they 
are now chosen on the Tuesday after the first Mon- 
day of November. In making up the general ticket, 
one person is selected from each Congressional 
District, and two to represent the State at large. 
The Electoral College is required to meet at the 
State capitol on the first Wednesday of December, 
cast their votes for President and Vice President, 
make a certified Kst thereof, and forward it under 
seal to the President of the United States Senate, 
who opens and announces the result in the pres- 
ence of the two houses of Congress. 

Livingston county has been represented in the 
Electoral College as follows : — 

Daniel H. Bissell, 1836; John Wheeler, 1840; 
Benjamin F. Harwood, 1848; Isaac L. Endress and 
James S. Wadsworth, (the latter one of the Elec- 
tors at large,) 1856; James S. Wadsworth, i860; 
Kidder M. Scott, 1872. Daniel H. Bissell was the 
Messenger to Washington from the Electoral Col- 
lege of this State in 1836; and Isaac L. Endress, 
Secretary of the College in 1856. 

Representatives in Congress. — Livingston county 
has undergone various changes in its Congressional 
associations. On its formation, in 1821, in con- 
junction with Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, 
Erie, Genesee, Monroe, Niagara and Ontario coun- 
ties, it formed the Twenty-first District, which was 
entitled to two members. . Under the Act of April 
17, 1822, it was united with Monroe in forming the 
Twenty-seventh District; under that of June 29, 
1832, this and Allegany county formed the Thir- 
tieth District; under that of Sept. 6, 1842, it was 
associated with Ontario county, and formed the 
Twenty-ninth District; under that of July 19, 1851, 
in conjunction with Steuben county, it formed the 
Twenty-eighth District ; under that of April 23, 
1862, it was united with Ontario and Yates in 
forming the Twenty-fifth District ; and under that 



of June i8, 1873, the same counties were consti- 
tuted the Twenty-seventh District, and still retain 
that relation. 

Livingston county has not been represented in 
the United States Senate ; and had only one Rep- 
resentative prior to its organization. That was 
Samuel M. Hopkins, from the Twenty-first District, 
in 1813-15. Micah Brooks, who subsequently 
lived and died in this county, was, indeed, while 
residing in Ontario county, a Representative in the 
succeeding Congress — 1815-17 — but resigned the 
first session. The Representatives from this county 
since its organization have been : — Elijah Spencer, 
182 £-'3 ; Moses Hayden, of York, i823-'27 ; Philo 
C. Fuller, of Geneseo, i833-'36;* John Young, of 
Geneseo, i836-'37, 1841-' 43; Charles H.Carroll, 
of Groveland Center, i843-'47; Jerediah Hors- 
ford, of Moscow, i85i-'53; George Hastings, of 
Mt. Morris, i853-'55 ; Wilham H. Kelsey, of 
Geneseo, 1855-59, 1867-71. 


War of the Rebellion — Its Underlving Cause 
— Secession of South Carolina — Followed 
BY Other States — First Measures to 
Repress Rebellion — Ready Response of the 
North — Additional Troops Called for — 
Prompt and Generous Response of Living- 
ston County — Thirteenth Regiment — 
Twenty-Seventh Regiment — Thirty-Third 
Regiment — Regimental Camp at Geneseo — 
One Hundred and Fourth Regiment, or 
Wadsworth Guards — Calls of July 2, 
1862, AND August 4, 1862— Military Dis- 
tricts Formed— The One Hundred and 
Thirtieth Regiment, or First New York 
Dragoons— One Hundred and Thirty-Sixth 
Regiment — The Draft — Quotas Under 
Various Calls— Subsequent Calls— County 
Bounty— Enormous Local Bounties— State 
Bounty— Local Bounties Abrogated— Con- 
tributions TO the Support of the Indigent 
Families of Volunteers— Quotas Under 
Last Three Calls. 

THE war of the rebellion covers a period in the 
history of Livingston county to which the de- 
scendants of those who participated in it may re- 
cur with just pride. The causes which led to' this 
sanguinary interneciar y struggle date back to the 

* Resigned September z, l8j6, ~~ 

dawn of civilization on this continent. Coloniza- 
tion in New England and Virginia commenced 
with radical social distinctions, which engendered 
different habits, thoughts, aspirations and interests 
and eventuated through the operation of climatic 
influence and diverse occupations in bitter section- 
alism. Variances which were at first regarded with 
zealous apprehension ripened into direct antag- 
onism, determined opposition and finally intense 
hatred. One was the champion of the broad 
cathoHc spirit of liberalism and progress ; the 
other was firmly wed to a debasing and enervating 
conservatism, on which it sought to build a slave- 
holding and slave-perpetuating aristocracy. Amity 
and fraternity cannot subsist between communities 
thus constituted ; and an open rupture could not 
be averted. It was only delayed by meeting the 
demands of the one with the concessions of the 
other. When further concession could not con- 
sistently be made, rupture was inevitable, and the 
issue thus delayed was the more bitterly contested 
when it came. 

The South, for obvious reasons, construed the 
Federal government to be a mere confederation of 
sovereign states, in contradistinction from a 
sovereign nation composed of subordinate states. 
This doctrine as expounded in the writings and 
speeches of Calhoun and subsequently of those of 
Stephens, its two great champions, implies not 
only the right of nuUification, but also of secession. 
Whatever may be the just claims of this theory as 
an abstract proposition it is clearly inconsistent 
with the spirit which actuated the founders of our 
constitution, incompatible with the aspiration of 
the great free North, and not permissible when, as 
in this case, associated with the perpetuation of an 
evil so repugnant as that of human slavery. 

The struggle which culminated in the admission 
of Kansas into the Union as a free state, con- 
firmed a conviction which had long been matur- 
ing, that the territorial extension of slavery in this 
country had reached its limit under the provisions 
of the constitution, and marks the period when 
covert assaults gave place to the open and avowed 
purpose to disrupt the Union. As in 1832 an ob- 
jectionable protective tariflf was made to justify 
nullification, so now the premonition that her 
peculiar institution was doomed, was made by the 
South to justify secession. South Carolina, in both 
cases, taking the initiative. 

On the election of Mr. Lincoln, the nominee of 
the Republican or anti-slavery party, to the presi- 
dency in i860, it was evident that further delay was 



useless, and the leaders in secession labored assid- 
uously to create a sentiment in the South favorable 
to its immediate consummation. Dec. 17, i860, 
the people of South Carolina met in convention at 
Columbia, and adjourned thence by reason of the 
prevalence of small-pox to Charleston, where they 
repealed the Act of May 23, 1788, ratifying the 
Federal constitution and the amendments thereto, 
and declared "that the union now subsisting be- 
tween South Carolina and other states, under the 
name of the United States of America, is hereby 
dissolved." An address to the people of the other 
slave-holding states was issued, inviting them to 
join in " a great slave-holding Confederacy," and 
reciting that "we must be the most independent, 
as we are the most important of the nations of the 
world." This action was followed in a few days by 
Georgia, Florida, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama and 
Louisiana. " The Border States, foreseeing inev- 
itable war, and that the shock of the conflict would 
fall upon them, temporized. After all that had been 
done to pledge them to the movement, Virginia, 
North Carolina, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, 
Maryland, though a reign of terror, political and 
social, was inaugurated in them, either took the 
step with great reluctance, or avoided taking it at 
all."* Preeminent among these, and indeed 
among the states composing the Confederacy, 
was Virginia, which did not pass the ordi- 
nance of secession until April 17, 1861, and 
then only after exacting the foremost rank in the 
Confederacy and protection for her slave interests. 
Even then she did not carry the whole state with 
her ; for the western portion maintained their de- 
termination to adhere to the Union, and was after- 
wards recognized as a separate state. Arkansas, 
North Carolina and Tennessee also passed ordi- 
nances of secession. 

February 4, i86r, the delegates of six of the 
seceding states (South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, 
Mississipi, Louisiana and Florida,) met in conven- 
tion at Montgomery, Alabama, and formed a pro- 
visional government, denominated "The Confed- 
erate States of America," founded, as affirmed in 
the inaugural address of its president, on the prin- 
ciple of the inequaHty of men, and with human 
slavery as its corner stone. Jefferson Davis was 
elected President and Alexander H. Stephens, 
Vice President. They were soon after elected 
permanently for six years. The permanent consti- 
tution was modeled substantially from that of the 
United States. The following summer the seat of 

• Draper's History of the A merican Cmil War I., S"7. 

government was removed to Richmond and their 
Congress opened its first session in that city, July 
20, 1861, the day previous to the battle of Bull 

The people of the South, deluded with the as- 
sumption of their vast superiority over those of the 
North, did not believe that the latter would offer 
any great resistance to secession, much less attempt 
to coerce them ; and the people of the North were 
equally deceived as to the real intent of the former, 
beHeving that secession was not meditated then, 
but only employed as a means to extort further con- 
cessions. Not, however, that they failed to per- 
ceive the ultimate issue of the threatening antago- 
nism of the times, but that it was hoped — believed, 
that an amicable adjustment would be reached. 

Wm. H. Seward, in referring to this subject in 
1858, said: "Shall I tell you what this conflict 
means ? They who think it accidental, unnecessary, 
the work of interested or fanatical agitators, and 
therefore ephemeral, mistake the case altogether. 
It is an irrepressible conflict between opposing and 
enduring forces.'' Notwithstanding, the South did 
not fail to make extensive preparation for a forced 
separation. In this they were aided by their long- 
continued control of the Federal government, both 
in its executive and legislative branches. When 
war became inevitable, and the North found it nec- 
essary to prepare for it, the Federal treasury was de- 
pleted ; the army — a large portion of it — was sta- 
tioned in the distant State of Texas, where it was 
surrendered with all its equipments to the Confed- 
erates ; the navy was dispersed to distant foreign 
stations, so that when the war broke out there was 
only one war vessel on the whole northern coast, 
and not a gun on the Mississippi and its great sys- 
tem of waters; the material of war was distributed 
throughout various places in the South, where, as 
was contemplated, it was seized, together with 
mints, arsenals and fortifications, by the authorities 
of the seceded States, and appropriated to the uses 
of the Confederates. Many of the officers both in 
the army and navy treacherously deserted to the 
Confederacy; as likewise did the legislators of the 
seceded States, not, however, until they had done 
their utmost to embarrass the Federal authorities, 
and to procure legislation to the detriment of the 
Union and in the interest of their confederates, so 
that when the North awoke to the reaUties of war, 
they found their enemy abundantly supphed with 
the materials of war, and with an army already in 
a well-advanced state of discipline ; while they, 
though seriously crippled to furnish these, were ut- 



terly destitute of both. Their efforts to supply 
these, as well as their early military movements, 
were long embarrassed by spies in the persons of 
government employees and the host of secession 
sympathizers who abode in Washington. 

The delay of Virginia saved to the Union the 
stronghold of Fortress Monroe, the most important 
of our southern coast defenses. 

During the night of December 26, i860. Major 
Robert Anderson, who was then in command of 
the insignificant government forces in Charleston, 
and stationed in Fort Moultrie, one of the weaker 
works in that harbor, after repeated entreaties for 
aid from the authorities at Washington, removed 
his force to Fort Sumter, which is built on an arti- 
ficial island, made of stone chips from the quarries 
of New England, and had cost the government a 
million of dollars. This act Major Anderson be- 
lieved to be warranted by his instructions from the 
President, which were to the effect that while he 
" must carefully avoid every act which might need- 
lessly provoke collision, if attacked, he must defend 
himself to the last extremity." He was also au- 
thorized, if attacked, or if he had tangible evidence 
of a design of that kind, to put his command into 
either of the forts he might think best. It never- 
theless greatly surprised the President, who had 
" carefully abstained from increasing the force in 
that harbor, or taking any measures which might 
add to the public excitement there," and filled the 
impetuous South Carohnans with indignation and 
rage. The latter immediately took possession of 
Castle Pinckney and Fort Moultrie, the guns of 
which had been spiked and carriages burned by 
Anderson before leaving it, and hoisted over these 
and the government buildings in that city the pal- 
metto flag. They also forcibly seized the government 
arsenal in Charleston, which through the careful 
providence of the traitor, Floyd, while Secretary of 
War, was well-supplied with the material of war, 
the munitions contained therein being estimated to 
be worth a half million of dollars. 

An attempt was made to reenforce and provis- 
ion Fort Sumter, and on the 5th of January, the 
unarmed steamer Star of the West left New York 
for that purpose. The Confederate authorities at 
Charleston were apprised of her departure, (which 
it was designed should be kept secret,) by Mr. 
Thompson, of Mississippi, who was then Secretary 
of the Interior, and present at the Cabinet meet- 
ing which made provision therefor. She was fired 
upon from a battery on Morris Island and struck, 
and an attempt was made to cut her off by two 

steamers and a schooner. She returned to New 
York without having accomplished her object. 

South Carolina, immediately after passing the 
ordinance of secession, sent commissioners to Pres- 
ident Buchanan to negotiate for the transfer of the 
public property within her borders and establish 
amicable relations with the Government in her 
sovereign capacity. Compliance was, of course 
promptly declined. So, likewise, were similar pro- 
positions made to President Lincoln, March 12, 
1 86 1, by representatives of the Confederate gov- 

Failing in this, South Carolina immediately com- 
menced a systematic organization of her troops and 
the construction of works for the reduction of Fort 
Sumter, which she continued for several months 
unmolested. By April, fourteen batteries with 
thirty heavy guns and seventeen mortars were 
completed ready for this object, and on the loth 
of that month. Gen. Beauregard, who was placed 
in command of Charleston, was instructed to de- 
mand the immediate surrender of the Fort, and on 
refusal, to reduce it. He made the demand the fol- 
lowing day, and compliance being declined, he 
commenced the bombardment on the morning of 
the 1 2th. Fort Sumter made no reply for nearly 
three hours. The first shot in defense of the 
Union was fired at 7 o'clock, a. m., of that day, 
by Capt. Abner Doubleday. The Fort was sur- 
rendered on the 13th, and on the 14th, Anderson, 
without the loss of a man, marched out with his 
command, consisting of thirty-five artillerists, nine 
officers, thirty laborers, and fifteen musicians, and 
left on the steamer Isabel for New York. The ex- 
ample thus set by South Carolina was quickly fol- 
lowed by the other seceding States, until they had 
possessed themselves of nearly every one of the 
southern coast defenses. 

The firing upon Sumter put an end to the hope 
which largely prevailed in the North that the dif- 
ferences between it and the South could be ad- 
justed by peaceful arbitration. The Administra. 
tion, which haS studiously abstained from any act 
which might prejudice an amicable settlement — a 
means which the South, though fully determined 
to apply force if necessary, would gladly have ac- 
cepted — were now convinced that the application 
of force was necessary. It was a relief to many 
who were clamorous that secession should be op- 
posed as promptly and vigorously as was nullifica- 
tion, and who chafed under the diplomatic restraints 
with which the Administration surrounded itself in 
the hope of promoting a peaceful solution of the 



difficulties. The London Times, which represent- 
ed, and in no small measure manufactured, public 
opinion, not only in Great Britain but also through- 
out Europe, in referring to this period, ungenerous- 
ly or unwittingly said : — 

" The secession of South Carolina is to them 
what the secession of Lancashire would be to us ; 
it is treason and should be put down. But the 
North is full of sophists, rhetoricians, logicians and 
lawyers ; it has not a man of action. Mr. Seward 
can tell us what will not save the Union, but not 
what will. He looks upon secession as ideal and 
impossible. While he is dreaming the Confede- 
racy is strengthening. The Union seems to be 
destined to fall without a struggle, without a 
lament, without an epitaph. Each individual 
State finds numberless citizens ready to lay down 
their lives for its preservation ; but for the Union, 
the mighty firmament in which those stars are set, 
and which, though dark itself, lends them their 
peculiar lustre, nothing is done." 

But how different is this from the real picture ! 
On the 15 th of April, two days after the fall of 
Sumter, President Lincoln called on the several 
States for 75,000 men to suppress the uprising, 
which was then regarded, even by those in the best 
position to judge, as little more than an evanes- 
cent emeute. The proclamation also called an ex- 
tra session of Congress to be convened on the 4th 
of July. On the 19th of April he established a 
blockade of the forts of South Carolina, Georgia, 
Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana and Tex- 
as; and on the 27th of that month extended it to 
those of Virginia and North Carolina. 

The people were ready and promptly responded 
to the call of the President. Had the prescience 
of the governmental authorities been equal to the 
readiness and willingness of the common people, 
in all probability we should have been spared much 
of the bitter fruitage which early lassitude com- 
pelled us to reap. "To an eye-witness," says 
Draper, in referring to the response of the North, 
" there was something very impressive in the action 
of the people. A foreign observer remarked, 
' With them all is sacrifice, devotion, grandeur and 
purity of purpose — with the poor, if possible, even 
more than the rich.' In the large cities great 
meetings were held, in which men of all parties 
united. Party lines vanished. There was none of 
that frantic delirium which was manifested in the 
Slave States, but a solemn acceptance of what was 
clearly recognized to be a fearful but unavoidable 
duty — 'Faint not, falter not; the repubUc is in 
peril' "* The Livingston Union, of Mt. Morris, in 
referring to secession, in an editorial under date of 

* Draper's History of the American Civil IVar, II., 79- 

March 20, 1861, says: — " * * * it can no 
longer be treated as a brief malady whose virulence 
will subside under the influence of careful nursing 
and soothing mixtures. Its cure, if possible at all, 
will require the greatest wisdom — the most self- 
sacrificing patriotism." Such it proved. 

On the day after the proclamation was issued 
some Pennsylvania companies reported for duty in 
Washington, just in time to frustrate a plot for the 
seizure of that city.* Within four days Massachu- 
setts had despatched four regiments, and in less 
than a week her whole quota was far in advance 
towards Washington. The passage of the Sixth 
Massachusetts through Baltimore on the 19th of 
April was resisted by an infuriated mob, which 
assailed it with guns and revolvers, and with 
bricks, stones and pieces of iron thrown from the 
upper windows of the houses. The regiment sus- 
tained a loss of three killed and eight wounded, 
and killed eleven and wounded four of the assail- 
ants. Maryland and others of the border slave 
states endeavored to observe an "armed neutrality" 
between the North and South — a means by which 
they hoped to secure immunity from attack them- 
selves, while they would be able to aid the South 
by prohibiting the passage of Northern troops 
through their borders, and by giving her direct 
material succor under this guise. 

New York, instead of filling the requisition on 
her for seventeen regiments — -between 13,000 and 
14,000 men — for three months, for which the 
75,000 were called, raised 30,000 men for two 
years and added a war loan of $3,000,000. Many 
other states acted in hke manner ; Rhode Island 
not only instantly sent her quota and added a loan, 
but her governor, Sprague, went at the head of her 
troops. Within fifteen days 350,000 men had 
offered their services. 

The South, by years of anticipation and covert 
preparation, were in a better state of readiness 
than the North, and were thus able to precipitate 
events with astounding rapidity. The conviction 
of the extent of that preparation, the magnitude of 
the struggle, and the means necessary to oppose it, 
forced itself only gradually on the minds of the 
authorities at Washington, who repressed rather 
than stimulated a popular uprising. 

It soon became evident that the time of the 
75,000 three months' men would expire before 
they could be fully armed and equipped. On the 
3d of May, 1 86 1, a call was issued for 42,034 vol- 
unteers for three years, and provision made to in- 

* Ibid II, ^^. 



crease the regular army by 22,714 men and the 
navy by 18,000 men, for five years. On the ist 
of July two hundred and eighty regiments had been 
accepted. Congress met July 4th and July 22, 
1861, voted $500,000,000 and 400,000 more men, 
of which New York's quota was 25,000 men, who 
were called for on the 25th of July, four days after 
the disastrous battle of Bull Run, which was fought 
on Sunday, July 21, 1 861, mostly with three months' 
men, whose time was then expiring. July 29th the 
addition of 25,000 men to the regular army was 

Livingston county's contributions to the quotas 
under these early calls were both prompt and gen- 
erous. Public meetings were held in various parts 
of the county and eloquently addressed by able 
speakers. Each village and hamlet became the 
center of an organized effort in this interest, and 
as these measures were mostly prosecuted by the 
several towns in their independent capacities, they 
will be noticed more in detail in connection with 
the several towns. Six hundred volunteers were 
raised in the county for the first thirty-eight two- 
years' regiments. In Dansville, seventy-seven men 
were recruited by Captain Carl Stephan, and be- 
came Co. B of the 13th regiment; for which a 
second company (G) was raised there by Captain 
Ralph T. Wood in the summer and fall of 1861. 
During the winter a third company was raised for 
this regiment in Dansville and Rochester, by Job 
C. Hedges and Albert S. Lema, of Dansville, and 
Lt. C. S. Benjamin, of Co. A in that regiment, who 
opened an office in Rochester. Enough men for 
another company were raised in Avon, Lima, Li- 
vonia, GeneseuandCaledonia^ and were distributed 
through that regiment. Captain James Perkins 
recruited eighty-five men in Lima, and Captain 
Charles E. Martin, eighty-eight men in Mt. Mor- 
ris, for the 27th regiment, the former becoming Co. 
G and the latter Co. H. Captain Wilson B. War- 
ford recruited seventy-four men in Geneseo, and 
Captain James M. McNair, seventy-seven in Nunda, 
for the 33d regiment, the former becoming Co. E 
and the latter Co. F. Both these towns subse- 
quently sent forward recruits to fill the depleted 
ranks of their companies. A large number of young 
men of this county enlisted in various cavalry and 
artillery regiments — the 19th, 22dand 24th cavalry 
and 14th artillery. 

The 13th Regiment was raised in Rochester, by 
Col. Isaac F. Quimby, and in April, 1861, and on 
its organization in Elmira, May 6, i86r, Captain 
Stephan, of the Dansville companjr, was chosen 

Lieutenant-Colonel, George Hyland, Jr., who was 
formerly First Lieutenant of his company, became 
its captain. The Dansville band joined this regi- 
ment in Elmira, May 20th. It was the first regi- 
ment which passed through Baltimore after the 
Sixth Massachusetts was assaulted in the streets of 
that city by a mob. It served two years with 
marked distinction and was mustered out on the 
14th of May, 1863. It participated in the follow- 
ing battles, as detailed in the Dansville Advertiser 
of February, 12, 1863 : — 

Cub Run, July 18, 1861. 

Bull Run, " . 21, 1861. 

Yorktown, April 5, 1862. 

Siege of Yorktown till May 4, 1862. 

Hanover Court House, " 27, 1862. 

Mechanicsville, June 26, 1862. 

Gaines' Mill, June 27, 1862. 

Malvern Hill, July i, 1862. 

Manassas, August 30, 1862. 

Shepardstown, Sept. 17, 1862. 

Antietam, " 19, 1862. 

Fredericksburgh, Dec. 13, 1862. 

The 27th Regiment was organized at Elmira, 
May 21, 1861. It was composed, besides the 
companies from this county, of Capt. Adams' com- 
pany from Lyons, Capt. Chambers' company from 
White Plains, the companies of Capts. Bartlett, 
Rodgers and Jay, from Binghamton, of Capt. Ar- 
chilles, from Albion, of Capt. Gardiner, from An- 
gelica, and Capt. Wanzer, from Rochester. Henry 
W. Slocum, of Syracuse, a graduate of West Point, 
and for eighteen years in the regular service, hav- 
ing participated in the Florida and Mexican wars, 
was chosen Colonel ; Joseph J. Chambers, of 
White Plains, Lieutenant-Colonel; and Joseph J. 
Bartlett, of Binghamton, Major. As it was cus- 
tomary to give the early regiments names in addi- 
tion to their numeral designation, this was denomi- 
nated "Union Regiment." 

It was mustered at Elmira, for two years, July 5, 
1861, and the next day set out for Washington, 
where it arrived on the nth, and was assigned to 
the First brigade, (Col. Andrew Porter,) of the 
Second division, (Gen. Hunter.) It left Washing- 
ton on the i6th and on the i8th encamped near 
Centerville. At two o'clock on the morning of 
Sunday, July 21, 1861, it marched to the field of 
Bull Run, where it first encountered the 27th Vir- 
ginia regiment, which fell back. It next met the 
8th Georgia, which fell back till reenforced, when 
the 27th was repulsed and took refuge under a hilL 
It was soon ordered to charge a battery stationed 
on a knoll, which it did under a heavy fire which 
told fearfully on its ranks. Col. Slocum was 



wounded, the color guard reduced from nine to 
two. The movement was abandoned. It retired 
from the field in good order, but on reaching the 
road its ranks were broken and it participated in 
the confused retreat to Washington. August 14th 
it encamped near Alexandria, where Col. Slocum 
was promoted Brigadier-General, and Lieut.- 
Colonel Chambers resigned. Major Bartlett was 
made Colonel, Captain Adams, Lieut.-Colonel, 
and Capt. Gardiner, Major. Sept. 12th the regi- 
ment, having been assigned to Slocum's brigade, 
with the 1 6th New York and Franklin's division, 
commenced the construction of Fort Lyon, and on 
the 14th of October went into winter quarters four 
miles north of it. 

March 13, 1862, the Division with which it was 
connected was attached to Gen. McDowell's (ist) 
corps. April i6th the divisions of Generals 
Franklin and Smith were detached from Mc- 
Dowell's corps, and May 7 th, were organized as 
the 6th corps, under Gen. Franklin, Gen. Slocum 
succeeding Franklin in command of the Division. 
This arrangement was not subsequently changed 
during the term of service of the 27 th, although 
the officers in command were changed, Gen. 
Bartlett succeeding to the command of the brigade, 
Gen. Brooks, to that of the division, and Gen. 
Sedgwick, to that of the corps. 

April 12, 1862, the division to which the 27th 
belonged embarked on transports, and on the after- 
noon of the 23d sailed to Fortress Monroe. On 
the 24th it encamped on the Peninsula about seven 
miles from Yorktown, in the siege of which it par- 
ticipated. May 5th, the day succeeding the evacu- 
ation of Yorktown, it went with other forces to the 
head of navigation on York river and landed under 
cover of the gunboats, which dispersed the rebel 
cavalry and. infantry skirmishing on the shore. 
The 27th were the first to land, and as the enemy 
was near, six companies were deployed as skirm- 
ishers, the others acting as a reserve. Picket firing 
was opened and continued during the night. The 
regiment lost several in killed and wounded, and 
captured a few prisoners. On the morning of the 
7th the enemy surprised the Union troops while at 
breakfast, but were repulsed after a sharp engage- 
ment with the loss of one of their batteries. 

On Thursday, the 22d of May, a recomioissaiice 
was made in which the 27th participated; and 
from this time until June 29th it was actively en- 
gaged, most of the time in skirmishing, in connec- 
tion with McClellan's peninsula campaign. On 
the afternoon of the 27th, the second of the Seven 

Days' Fight, it crossed the Chickahominy to the 
support of Gen. Porter, who was strongly pressed 
by an overwhelming rebel force, and took part in 
the desperate encounter of Gaines' Mill. The 2 7th 
went into action about 5 p. m., on the extreme 
right of Porter's corps, drove the enemy from his 
position by a bayonet charge, and captured a large 
number of prisoners. They held their position till 
dark, when Porter withdrew his forces and joined 
in the retreat towards Harrison's Landing. The 
regiment lost in this engagement 179 men in killed, 
wounded and missing. At Charles City Cross 
Roads, on the 30th of June, it skirmished and sup- 
ported batteries; and at Malvern Hill, July ist, 
was early sent into action on the right of the army 
to prevent a flank movement. 

The regiment remained at Harrison's Landing 
till about the middle of August, when, McClellan 
having been ordered to withdraw his army to the 
support of Gen. Pope in repelling Lee's sortie 
through Maryland, it retraced its steps down the 
Peninsula, and embarked at Newport News for 
Alexandria. Thence it was sent to the support of 
Pope, and arrived at Centerville on the night of 
the 30th of August, in time to cover Pope's retreat 
from the second battle of Bull Run, but too late to 
affect the issue of that desperately fought contest. 
It followed the retreat and went into camp at Fort 

The regiment was engaged in the battle of South 
Mountain, Sept. 14th, acting as skirmishers and 
routing a rebel battery; and in that of Antietam, 
with its horrible carnage, three days later, but, 
though supporting batteries and being under heavy 
fire all day, suffered no loss. It join ed in the pur- 
suit of Lee, and on the 13th of December, shared 
with the army under Burnside, who superseded Mc- 
Clellan in command Nov. 8th, in the terrible dis- 
aster at Fredericksburgh. The 27th was the first 
regiment to cross the Rappahannock in the left 
grand division of the army. Burnside withdrew 
his army from this memorable field on the 15th, 
and the 27th spent the winter in camp at White 
Oak church. In the latter part of April it was 
again engaged at Fredericksburgh, under Sedgwick ; 
and on the 3d of May, in the disastrous defeat at 
Chancellorsville, under Hooker. From this time 
it guarded Bank's Ford till the expiration of its 
term of service. May 13, 1863, General Sedgwick 
directed their muster out, which took place at 
Elmira, May 31, 1863. The order contained the 
following allusion to their services : — 

" The general commanding the corps congratu- 



lates the officers and men of the 27th N. Y. Vols, 
upon their honorable return to civil life. They 
have enjoyed the respect and confidence of their 
commanders and companions. They have illustra- 
ted their term of service by gallant deeds and have 
won for themselves a reputation not surpassed in 
the Army of the Potomac, and have nobly earned 
the gratitude of the Republic." 

The 33d Regiment, composed, besides the 
companies from this county, of two companies 
from Seneca Falls and one each from Pal- 
myra, Waterloo, Geneva, Canandaigua, Penn Yan 
and Buffalo, was organized at Elmira, May 21, 186 1, 
and Robert F. Taylor chosen Colonel. It left that 
rendezvous on the 8th of July, and like the 27th, 
with which its military career was nearly a parallel, 
shared the varying fortunes of the Army of the Po- 
tomac, participating in the battles of Yorktown, 
Williamsburg, Fair Oaks, Malvern Hill, Lee's Mill, 
Second Bull Run, Antietam and Fredericksburgh, 
besides other minor engagements, and at the expi- 
ration of its term of service, being connected with 
the command of Gen. Sedgwick, received from him 
the same compUmentary notice as the 27th. The 
regiment was mustered out June 2, 1863. 

Livingston County raised 750 two years' volun- 
teers between June i, 1861, and July i, 1862 ; and 
1,500 three years' volunteers from July i, 1862, to 
July I, 1863, making a total of 2,850 up to the 
latter date. Some portion of these were connected 
with the 75th and 89th regiments. The second 
company of volunteers from Mt. Morris, which was 
raised by Capt. C. W. Burt, and left for Elmira 
September 13, 1861, was attached to the latter 
regiment which was commanded by Col. Fairchild 
and left Elmira for Washington, December 6, 
1861. It sailed with Burnside's Expedition, and 
was left at Fort Clark, Cape Hatteras, where the 
men were drilled. 

Sept. 24, 1861, a regimental camp was formed at 
Geneseo, under Col. John Rorbach, for recruiting 
the 104th Regiment, or " Wadsworth Guards," a 
name it received in honor of General James S. 
Wadsworth, who was desirous that Livingston 
county should be represented in the service by a 
complete regiment, and first suggested its organiza- 
tion. Recruiting for it was general throughout 
most of this county and in a portion of Wyoming 
county. Sept. 30, i86r, Capt. Henry G. Tuthill, 
with sixty men, arrived in Geneseo, with the first 
company for this regiment. It afterwards became 
Co. A. The second company of about forty men 
reported three or four days after. These two com- 
panies were quartered in the hotels of the village 

until barracks for their accommodation were built 
soon after, on the old camp ground at the head of 
North street. To this rendezvous, which received 
the name of Camp Union, the men were sent as 
fast as they arrived. By the 24th of January, 186 2 
ten companies had been recruited to the minimum 
number and on that day were mustered into the 
United States service by Capt. E. G. Marshall. By 
the close of February the regiment had been re- 
cruited to 683 enlisted men and 20 commissioned 
officers; and on the 25th of that month it left Gen- 
eseo, " amid the cheers and tears of thousands, who 
had assembled to bid them ' God-speed,' " for Al- 
bany, where it was formed into seven companies 
and consolidated with a skeleton regiment of about 
300 men, under command of Col. John J. Viele 
then in camp at Troy, which became Companies 
H, I and K of the 104th, the seven companies 
from Geneseo being lettered from A to G, inclus- 
ive. The regiment thus formed contained 1,040 
men, and the following is a roster of the field, 
staff and commissioned officers, as taken from the 
order organizing the regiment, issued March 8 
1862 :— 
Colonel — ^John Rorbach. 
Lieut.-Colonel — R. Wells Kenyon. 
Major — Lewis C. Skinner. 
Adjutant — Frederick T. Vance. 
Quarter-Master — Henry V. Colt. 
Surgeon — Enos G. Chase. 
Asst- Surgeon — Douglas S. Landon. 
Chaplain — Daniel Russell. 
Company A— Captain, Henry G. Tuthill ; First 
Lieutenant, ; Second Lieutenant, Al- 
bert S. Haver. 

Company B — Captain, Lehman H.Day; First 
Lieutenant, Henry A. Wiley ; Second Lieutenant, 
Homer M. StuU. 

Company C— Captain, Stephen L. Wing; First 
Lieutenant, Henry Runyan; Second Lieutenant, 
Nelson J. Wing. 

Company D— Captain, Zophar Simpson ; First 
Lieutenant, Jacob H. Stutt ; Second Lieutenant, 
George H. Starr. 

Company E— Captain, H. C. Lattimore; First 
Lieutenant, Wm. F. Lozier; Second Lieutenant, 
Wm. L. Trembley. 

Company F— Captain, Gilbert G. Prey; First 
Lieutenant, Luman F. Dow; Second Lieutenant, 
W. J. Hemstreet. 

Company G— Captain, James A. Gault ; First 
Lieutenant, John P. Rudd ; Second Lieutenant, 
John R. Strang. 

Company H— Captain, James K. Selleck; First 
Lieutenant, E. B. Wheeler ; Second Lieutenant, 
Thomas Johnston. 

Company I— Captain, John Kelley; First Lieu- 
tenant, J. J. McCarffey; Second Lieutenant, Chas. 
\V. Fisher. 



Company K — Captain, John C. Thompson ; 
First Lieutenant, John H. Miller; Second Lieuten- 
ant, Wm. C. Wilson. 

The regiment left Albany on the 20th of March, 
and late in the evening of the 2 2d arrived in Wash- 
ington, where for the first time the men had the 
experience, so common in after years, of sleeping 
upon the open ground, or the still more filthy de- 
pot floor. The next day it went into camp at 
Kalorama Heights, three miles from the Capitol, 
and there remained about three weeks, during 
which time arms (Enfield rifles) and accoutrements 
were issued to the men, and ceaseless drill went on. 

Early in April it was attached to Gen. Abram 
Duryee's brigade, which also contained the 97th 
and 105th New York and 107th Pennsylvania reg- 
iments. After a month spent at Alexandria in 
drill, in which the 104th excelled, it advanced to 
Catlett Station, Va., to be in position for the for- 
ward movement by McDowell from Fredericks- 
burgh. Here the regiment was presented with a 
magnificent stand of colors, gurdons, etc., by Mrs. 
Gen. James S. Wadsworth, in recognition of the 
compHment paid her gallant husband in naming 
the regiment the " Wadsworth Guards." 

On the 24th of May, the 104th was detached 
from its brigade and proceeded by rail to Thorough- 
fare Gap to join the command of Gen. Geary, 
who was then confronting Gen. Jackson in the 
Shenandoah Valley. It arrived in time to partici- 
pate in a hasty and toilsome retreat to Manassas, 
in which it lost its tents, stores and equipage which 
could not be carried on the person. On the 28th 
of May, it returned to Catlett Station, where it re- 
mained three weeks as an independent command, 
picketing all the adjacent country. About the 
middle of June, Gen. Duryee, who had withdrawn 
during the temporary absence of the regiment, re- 
turned with the rest of the brigade to Catlett Sta- 
tion. The camp of the 104th was removed to a 
low marsh, which resulted disastrously to the health 
of the regiment, diarrhea and a low type of mala- 
rial fever becoming very prevalent. Several lives 
were thus sacrificed and about one hundred were 
sent to general hospitals, many. of whom never re- 
turned to duty with the regiment. 

July 5th the brigade moved to Warrenton, and 
on the 2 2d to Waterloo, where it was attached to 
Rickett's division of McDowell's corps. August 
5th Gen. Pope, who was assigned to the consoli- 
dated commands of Fremont, Banks and McDow- 
ell, designated the Army of Virginia, June 26, 
1862, commenced a diversion in favor of McClel- 

lan, who was operating on the Peninsula, which 
eventually brought on him the combined and over- 
whelming forces of Lee and Jackson, and forced 
his dispirited columns, shattered in the fierce con- 
flicts on the plains of Manassas, within the defenses 
of Washington. The first contest occurred at 
Cedar Mountain on the 9th of August. The 104th 
reached the field of battle on the evening of that 
day, but too late to take any special part in the en- 
gagement. It was for a time, (the first time,) under 
a sharp artillery fire, but sustained no loss. His 
communications being threatened, Jackson, though 
the victor in this encounter, retired across the 
Rapidan, whence Pope's retrograde movement 
commenced on the i8th. Pope took post behind 
the north fork of the Rappahannock on the 19th, 
where the 104th held a position near the railroad 
bridge crossing that stream, and was exposed to a 
sharp artillery fire, during a feigned attempt ot the 
enemy to cross the river to facilitate Jackson's 
flank movement by Thoroughfare Gap, on the 
right of Pope's army. The regiment was detached 
with its division to intercept Jackson's retreat 
through Thoroughfare Gap, but met the enemy in 
such force as to compel a retreat to Manassas, 
where it arrived on the evening of the 29th, after 
an exhausting march of nearly thirty miles. The 
men slept on their arms, and at early dawn the 
next day relieved some troops who were holding 
a piece of woods through which ran an unused 
raihoad embankment. The line was advanced 
across this embankment under a sharp musketry 
fire from the enemy concealed in the dense under- 
growth beyond. The regiment sustained a loss of 
several in killed and wounded, including one officer, 
Lieut. John P. Rudd. The line retired behind the 
embankment, which it held, notwithstanding a 
fierce attempt was made to dislodge it. About 
noon the brigade was removed to a new position, 
from which it was forced back about 4 p. m., by 
an overwhelming force of the enemy, retreating in 
haste and some confusion, in common with the 
rest of the army, to Centerville, which was reached 
during the night. The loss sustained by the 104th 
was five killed, forty-one wounded and forty-eight 
missing, most of the latter of whom were taken 

During the succeeding night the retreat was con- 
tinued to Fairfax Court House, and on the after- 
noon of Sept. I St, the 104th was hurried toward 
the field of Chantilly, where, during a terrible 
thunder storm, a second attempt to turn Pope's 
flank by Jackson was defeated by Gen. Kearney, 



who, together with Gen. Stevens, were killed in 
that action. 

Then followed the retreat to Washington, the 
retirement of Gen. Pope, the return of McClellan 
to the chief command, and various other changes, 
including the substitution of Hooker for McDowell 
as the corps commander of the 104th. 

After a halt of only four days in the vicinity of 
Washington, began the Maryland campaign, in 
which the first note-worthy event was the battle of 
South Mountain, which occurred on the 14th of 
September. While Reno's attack was progressing, 
Rickett's division pressed up the mountain about 5 
p. M., and reached the crest in time to participate 
in the engagement. Duryee's brigade, of which 
the T04th led the advance, occupied the right of 
the line, and forced its way through fields and 
tangled underbrush, and over steep and ragged 
rocks, with great impetuosity. The 104th escaped 
with the loss of only one man wounded, the fire of 
the enemy passing over their heads owing to the 
steepness of the ascent. 

On the evening of the i6th, position was taken 
upon the field of Antietam. At early dawn of the 
following day. Hooker, who occupied the right of 
McClellan's line, made a furious attack, and drove 
Jackson's brigade, with severe loss, upon his 
reserves, who, after an infuriated struggle, checked 
Hooker's advance. Duryee's brigade, which had 
been designated as a reserve the night previous, 
now found itself upon the front, without any reserve. 
Advancing steadily in a position absolutely without 
shelter, they were met with a terrific storm of iron 
and lead, which at last rendered it beyond the 
power of mortal man to advance farther, and the 
men lay down for temporary shelter. Twice they 
were driven sullenly back, but rallying again, 
each time with desperate energy, they again ad- 
vanced, and held their Une until the arrival of 
reenforcements about 10 a. m., when they were 
withdrawn. "The antagonists," says Draper, "fight- 
ing in a cloud of sulphury smoke, almost extermi- 
nated each other." The loss of the 104th in 
this engagement was nine killed and sixty-seven 

To this succeeded the inactivity of camp hfe at 
Mercersville, Md., till the 26th of October, when 
the army crossed into Virginia, and on the 7 th of 
December the regiment was on the banks of the 
Rappahannock, a few miles below Fredericksburgh. 
During these marches Burnside had superseded 
McClellan in command of the army ; Maj.-Gen. 
John F. Reynolds was now the corps commander; 

Brig.-Gen. John Gibbon, in command of the 
division, and Col. A. R. Root, of the brigade; 
while Major Skinner succeeded Col. Prey in com- 
mand of the regiment. 

The 104th crossed the river on the 12th and on 
the 13th went into action below Fredericksburgh, 
participating in the assault of Gen. FrankUn on the 
left of the line, which broke through the enemy's line, 
and gained the heights, but being unsupported was 
forced back. The brigade with which the 104th 
was connected, having been in reserve, was ordered 
to drive the enemy from a sunken railroad track, 
which they did by a gallant bayonet charge, cap- 
turing about 200 prisoners and driving the enemy 
far into the woods beyond. The right, under 
Sumner, who was principally engaged, was the 
scene of a terrible carnage. The 104th lost in this 
ill-starred encounter 5 killed, 45 wounded, and 3 
missing, of the latter of whom two were afterwards 
ascertained to have been killed. During the night 
of the 15th Burnside quietly withdrew his army to 
the north side of the river without loss, and the 
104th went into winter quarters near Belle Plain, 
Va., where it remained till near the ist of May 
following, the quiet of winter being only once inter- 
rupted by that episode known as " Burnside's Mud 

On the 28th of April the regiment left its winter 
camp and advanced first to Fredericksburgh, and 
thence to the field of ChancellorswUe, but was not 
actively engaged in that disastrous conflict. It 
again went into camp at White Oak church, and 
there remained until the middle of June, when it 
participated in those movements which culminated 
at Gettysburgh, the battle of the war, at which 
place the 104th arrived July ist. On the morning 
of that day, Buford's cavalry met and engaged the 
enemy to the westward of Gettysburg, holding him 
in partial check till Reynolds reached the scene of 
action, with Wadsworth's division in advance. Al- 
most with the first dash of the infantry forces came 
the great disaster of the day— the death of Gen. 
Reynolds, who commanded the corps to which the 
104th belonged. Our forces gained a temporary 
advantage, Wadsworth's division driving the ene- 
my some distance, and capturing numerous prison- 
ers, among them Gen. Archer. But, though How- 
ard had come to their support with the i ith corps, 
the rapidly increasing disparity in their numbers 
compelled them to give way. With a persistence 
and tenacity worthy of all praise the ist corps clung 
to the Une of Seminary Ridge, prolonging the line 
of battle to the right by utilizing all the reserve, 



until at last the whole corps was in one line of bat- 
tle, the 104th being upon the extreme right, and 
resting upon the Cashtown road, at some distance 
beyond which, with quite an interval between, were 
deployed two divisions of the nth corps. All 
along this line from 10 a. m., until about 3 P. m., 
waged a hotly contested battle. 

During the last hour of this time the loss of the 
104th was very severe, as it was exposed to a mur- 
derous enfilading fire at short range. The arrival 
of Swell's forces from York and Carlisle, forced 
back the divisions of the i ith corps with confusion, 
and gave easy access to the flank and rear of the 
I St corps, which fell back slowly and sullenly 
on the city, in the streets of which it became a 
broken and confused mass. They were closely fol- 
lowed by the enemy, who poured in their fire with 
deadly effect and secured a good many prisoners. 
They soon reached Cemetery Hill, where Gen. 
Howard, by a happy inspiration, had posted his 
third division, with three batteries of artillery, and 
behind these the shattered corps withdrew to re- 
form its ranks. Three officers and forty-three men 
of the 104th alone answered to the first roll-call. 
On the morning of the next day the number had 
increased to ninety. 

During the rest of the battle the first corps was 
held in reserve, brigades and regiments being de- 
tached to strengthen weak points hard pressed by the 
enemy. Thus it happened that the brigade to 
which the 104th was attached took part in the 
fierce struggle on the evening of the 2d of July, 
when Sickles' corps was almost overwhelmed ; and 
again on the 3d were called on to occupy succes- 
sively several distinct points where danger seemed 
to be great, finally taking part in the repulse of 
Pettigrew's division in the afternoon, and being in 
plain sight of the wonderful charge made by Pick- 
ett's division on that memorable day. 

The casualties in the 104th were 15 killed, 86 
wounded, and 94 missing, (mostly taken prisoners,) 
at least nine-tenths of which occurred on the first 

Lee was feebly pursued intoVirginia, and various 
counter movements ensued without, however, 
bringing on an engagement. During the succeed- 
ing fall about 250 recruits were infused into the 
shattered ranks of the regiment ; but as a large 
number of these were substitutes and men who had 
enlisted to make money by the operation, and took 
the first opportunity to desert, not much more than 
half that number was a real addition to its strength. 
The brigade to which the 104th belonged, then 

composed additionally of the i6th Maine, and the 
13th and 39th Massachusetts, was removed about 
the 20th of December, 1863, to Mitchell's Station, 
in the immediate vicinity of the battlefield of Cedar 
Mountain, where it did out-post and picket duty, 
far in advance of the rest of the army, until the 
opening of the spring of 1864. During the winter 
1 13 men of this regiment who had served two 
years, reenlisted for three years. They received a 
thirty-days' furlough, and were designated by gen- 
eral orders " veteran volunteers." During this 
time also a reorganization of the Army of the Po- 
tomac was effected. The 104th was attached to 
the 5th corps, to the command of which Major 
General G. K. Warren was assigned. 

On the 4th of May, 1864, the Army of the Po- 
tomac, now commanded by Gen. U. S. Grant, com- 
menced a vigorous advance movement, the 5th 
corps taking the lead. The enemy was encoun- 
tered on the sth in the " Wilderness," and then com- 
menced a series of battles and movements, which, 
from the stupendous losses they inflicted on our 
army, were without a parallel in the history of the 
war. The 104th took an honorable part in the 
battles of the Wilderness, and the several engage- 
ments at Spottsylvania Court House, North Anna 
River and Bethesda Church. In the forty-three 
days which elapsed between the crossing of the 
Rapidan and the James, there were but five in 
which the regiment was not under fire. The total 
losses during this period were 6 killed, 37 wounded 
and 3 missing. 

The regiment crossed the James on the i6th of 
June and were hurried forward to the front of Pe- 
tersburg, the heights to the south of which had 
been carried the previous day by Gen. W. F. 
Smith. On the i8th, to the 104th New York and 
1 2th Massachusetts was assigned the task of cap- 
turing the Petersburg and Norfolk railroad, which 
they did in splendid style, in the face of a heavy 
artillery fire at short range, "the charge of the 
104th on that occasion," says Col. John R. Strang, 
to whose history of the regiment we are mainly in- 
debted for these facts, "being, in my opinion, the 
most brilliant achievement of their whole service. 
Not content with capturing the railroad, they 
pushed forward to a considerable distance beyond, 
and then deploying as skirmishers, drove the rebel 
skirmishers inside of their earthworks, and for a 
time, by picking off the exposed artillerymen, 
silenced the battery which had so annoyed them 
during the charge, enabling our line of battle to 
take possession of the railroad track without loss." 



On the 26th of June it moved to the Jerusalem 
Plank Road, where the brigade constructed and 
garrisoned Fort Warren, afterwards officially desig- 
nated Fort Davis, and was constantly engaged in 
picket and skirmish duty until about the i8th of 
August. On the morning of that day it made a 
long detour to the southwest, struck the Weldon 
railroad a few miles north of Ream's Station, and 
took possession of it for several miles with but little 
opposition. Up to the commencement of this 
movement, from the time of crossing the James 
river, the casualties in the regiment were 6 killed, 
32 wounded and 2 missing. It then numbered less 
than 300; but of these about 100 were recently 
arrived recruits, who were unarmed and did not 
accompany it. 

This movement on the Weldon railroad left a 
gap between Warren's corps, (the sth,) which was 
engaged in it, and the troops on his right, and into 
this, on the 19th of August, Lee thrust Mahone's 
division, taking 2,000 prisoners, but being event- 
ually driven back into his lines. The division to 
which the 104th belonged, then commanded by 
Gen. S. W. Crawford, occupied the right of War- 
ren's line, and the brigade to which it belonged, 
the right of that division. Suspecting that such an 
attempt would be made, the 107th Pennsylvania 
was ordered to deploy as skirmishers to prevent 
surprise from that quarter ; but a vigorous attack 
now being made on their front that regiment was 
unable to execute the movement, and the 104th 
were ordered from their hastily constructed trenches 
for that purpose. After proceeding about one- 
fourth of a mile through a dense forest filled with 
underbrush, the regiment suddenly and unex- 
pectedly encountered Mahone's division, by which 
it was almost immediately surrounded. After a 
few minutes' sharp fighting, in which a few were 
wounded, every commissioned officer and nearly 
every enlisted man, were captured and sent into 
the rebel hues, where many of them died in rebel 
prisons, and most of the remainder were so en- 
feebled by exposure and starvation as to be wholly 
unfit for further service. Few ever returned to the 
regiment, which was thus left without a single field 
or line officer present for duty, and so remained 
during the entire fall and winter following. Its 
ranks were increased by recruits until it again num- 
bered about 250 enlisted men. Capt. Graham, of 
the 39th Massachusetts, was assigned to its com- 
mand, and it was ordered on duty at corps head- 
quarters, where it remained until after Lee's sur- 
render. Col. Strang, who was wounded and taken 

prisoner at the Weldon railroad, returned to the 
regiment April 5, 1865. 

About the last of April, 18.65, the regiment was 
restored to its former brigade, and accompanied 
the army on its return to the vicinity of Washing- 
ton. It was mustered out at Elmira, July ij^ 
1865, and paid off and finally discharged on the 
29th of that month. 

The following tabulated statement presents a 
general summary of the total number of officers 
and men who were ever connected with the regi- 
ment, and the disposition of them : — 

H M 

£0 C 

n! O 

■ 2 u 

: p<| 



-o -31 -g-Sf S E 
o .231 i«| g ui « 

Commis'ned Officers. 
Non-commis'ed Staff. 

Company A 



Totals. . 

19 a 

J t 

4 '4|-- 
z l6| . 

5 I5;.- 

4 16 I 

5 u,.. 
141 3 

3 lol 1 



6 54- 

fl < 

IS 10 
40, I! 

3 10^ 


Ji IS 

17, 16 

JJ, s 


71 11 4S; 7 

7! 1 jz 19 

6, i 
IJ 1 

10 I 

l704 5zl3jl'3S ii6^;'647'<4 i^ 6'loo'lS il7loil6o 

The serious losses sustained by the Federal 
armies in the early campaigns of 1862, induced the 
President on the 2d of July of that year, to call 
for an additional 300,000 men, to serve for three 
years or during the war ; and to faciUtate and sys- 
tematize the labor of raising them, and equalize 
the burdens to be borne, military districts were 
formed, and committees appointed to represent the 
various counties embraced therein. Under this 
call, and the succeeding one on the 4th of August 
following for a like number, the 130th and 136th 
regiments were formed. 

July 7, 1862, the State was divided into military 
districts corresponding with the Senatorial districts. 
Geneseo was designated the recruiting rendezvous 
for the 30th district, which then comprised the 
counties of Livingston, AHegany and Wyoming, 
and the following named persons were constituted 
the military committee for the district: Hon. Chas. 
Colt, chairman, Amos A. Hendee, Walter E. Lau- 
derdale, Geneseo; W. S. Fullerton, Sparta; James 
Faulkner, Alonzo Bradner, Dansville ; McNeil Sey- 
mour, Mt. Morris ; Alfred Bell, Nunda ; Martin 
Grover, Wilkes Angel, Angelica ; M. B. Champlin, 
Cuba; John B. Halsted, Castile; L. W. Thayer, 
H. L. Comstock, Warsaw ; John B. Skinner, 2d, 



Attica. Gen. W. S. FuUerton of Sparta, was se- 
lected as the Commandant of the military depot for 
this district, which, pursuant to the request of the 
committee was soon changed to Portage, and there 
barracks were erected for the accommodation of 
recruits who rapidly congregated there. 

With a view to stimulating enlistments, the follow- 
ing enactments were passed by the general gov- 
ernment : — 

" War Department. ) 

"Washington, D. C, June 21, 1862. j 

"Pursuant to a joint resolution of Congress to 
encourage enlistments in the regular army and vol- 
unteer forces it is 

" Ordered, That a premium of two dollars shall 
be paid for each accepted recruit that volunteers 
for three years or during the war ; and every sol- 
dier who hereafter enlists, either in the regular army 
or the volunteers for three years, or during the war, 
may receive his first month's pay in advance upon 
the mustering of his company into the service of 
the United States, or after he shall have been mus- 
tered and joined a regiment already in the service. 
This order will be transmitted to the Governors of 
States and recruiting officers. 

" Edwin M. Stanton, 
" Secretary of War.'' 

" War Department, ) 

"Washington, D. C, July 2, 1862. )" 
"Ordered, That out of the appropriation for 
collecting, organizing and drilling volunteers, there 
shall be paid in advance to each recruit for three 
years, or during the war, the sum of $25, being 
one -fourth of the amount of bounty allowed bylaw ; 
such payment to be made upon the mustering of 
the regiment to which such recruits belong into the 
service of the United States. 

"Edwin M. Stanton, 
" Secretary of War." 

In addition to the government bounty of $100, 
Governor Morgan offered a State bounty of $50, 
to be paid at once to each private soldier who 
should enlist thereafter into the United States' ser- 

Enlistments were stimulated by these induce- 
ments, and in various parts of the county meetings 
were held to promote that object. July 25, 1862, 
an order was granted for raising the 130th Regiment, 
and such was the energy displayed that its ranks 
were filled within five weeks. An enthusiastic 
meeting was held at Scottsburgh, in the town of 
Sparta, July 28th, under the auspices of A. T. 
Slaight, Supervisor of the town, who energetically 
put his shoulder to the wheel, issuing stirring ap- 
peals to the patriotic Spartans to rally to the call 
of country. The M. E. church of Scottsburgh was 
filled to repletion, and stirring speeches were made 

by Drs. Jackson and Hurd and Prof. Porter of the 
Dansville Water Cure, Dr. Jocelyn, Capt. Smith 
and Lt. Lancey of Mt. Morris, and A. T. Slaight, 
Wm. Scott and Col. McNair of Scottsburgh. A 
committee was appointed to raise funds for the sup- 
port of the families of those who enlisted. Another 
meeting was held at the same place on the first of 

These were but samples of the energetic efforts 
put forth throughout the county. Lockwood L. 
Doty, then Private Secretary to Governor Morgan, 
offered a premium of $100 to the first ten men 
recruited in Groveland, his native town, in which 
also a bounty of $50 was offered to the first com- 
pany recruited in the district to the maximum stan- 
dard. Generous bounties were also offered by the 
several towns. Prof. Smith of the Academy in Mt. 
Morris, took hold of the business of recruiting with 
a will, to raise a company of which he was to be 
Captain, and Rev. S. H. Lancey, (who had seen 
service in the army as chaplain,) Lieutenant. 
Springwater, which had already done more than 
any other town in the county of its size, held a 
mass meeting July 31st. 

In Geneseo, Sidney Ward of the firm of Ward, 
Abbott & Wilkinson, opened a recruiting office, 
and gave zealous and efficient aid to the great 
work. In Avon, Capt. Orange Sackett, Jr., a young 
man well and favorably known in Livingston 
county, raised a company for the regiment to be 
formed in the district. In Conesus a well-attended 
and spirited meeting was held in the hotel of John 
Mc Vicar on Saturday, July 26th, and a bounty of 
$30 voted to each volunteer from the town. The 
quota under the call was thirteen. In Dansville 
a highly enthusiastic meeting was held on Wednes- 
day, July 30th, and enlisted the earnest efforts of 
many of its ablest citizens. The town sent one 
full company (K) under Capt. Leach, and another 
for the 136th, under Lt.-Col. L. B. Faulkner. 

In West Sparta Prof. D. F. Brown was the soul 
of the movement, spending his whole time in dis- 
tributing circulars and harangtiing the people. A 
meeting of the citizens of that town was held in 
the M. E. church one mile north of Byersville, 
Thursday, August 6th, for the purpose of enrolling 
the names of volunteers. L. B. Fields, Supervisor 
of the town, was also active. At Canaseraga Hall, 
in Dansville, Tuesday evening, August 5th, Capt. 
Leach's war meeting was held in conjunction with 
Russell's War Panorama, and great enthusiasm pre- 
vailed. The meeting was addressed by O. W. 
West, G. H. Read, B. T. Squires, S. N. Hedges, 



J. H. Jackson and F. W. Hurd of Dansville, and 
A. E. Crittenden, recruiting officer for the town of 
Burns. At Springwater Capt. Leach held a war 
meeting on Monday, August 4, 1862, which was 
addressed by Dr. James C. Jackson, J. W. Smith 
D. W. Noyes and L. B. Proctor. A meeting was 
held the same evening at South Livonia and ad- 
dressed by Capt. S. Ward, O. W. West, E. K. 
Scott, A. A. Hoyt and others. The meetings in 
Dansville were followed by others on the 8th and 
nth of August, and stirring addresses were made 
by D. W. Noyes and S. Hubbard. York and Cal- 
edonia paid each one of their recruits $100. Sat- 
urday, August 9, 1862, a war meeting was held at 
Read's Corners, and was addressed by Lieut. West, 
Charles S. Hall, G. H. Read, B. T. Squires and 
William Hamsher. It was the first meeting held 
there and a great deal of enthusiasm was mani- 

Other portions of the county made equally noble 
and strenuous efforts to fill the quotas without re- 
course to a draft, which was ordered to take place 
to supply deficiencies on the 15 th of August. The 
130th was sent to the seat of war September 6th, 
1,044 strong; and before it was completed the 136th 
was under way. The latter left for Washington 
with 874 men under Col. James Wood, October 

For these two regiments Livingston county fur- 
nished about 1,200 men. Between August 11, 
1862, and Dec. 31, 1862, there was raised by tax 
and paid by the county for bounties to volunteers, 
$76,929; and by subscription, in 1862, $4,000. 

The 130th Regiment, afterwards the ist N. Y. 
Dragoons, was composed of men from the three 
counties comprising the district. Companies B 
and K were from Livingston county, G and I, from 
Livingston and Allegany counties, C and D from 
Wyoming county, E, F and H, from Allegany 
county, and A, from Allegany and Wyoming 
connties. The following constituted its organiza- 
tion : — 

Colonel— William S. FuUerton.* 

Lieut.-Colonel — Thomas J. Thorpe. 

Major — Rufus Scott. 

Adjutant — George R. Cowee. 

Quartermaster — A. B. Lawrence. 

Surgeon— B. F. Kneeland. 

Company A— Captain, J. E. Bills; ist Lieu- 
tenant, J. P. Robinson; 2d Lieutenant, C. L 

* Resigned before the regiment left the county ; and Sept 6, 1S62, was 
succeeded by Alfred Gibbs, who had had twenty years' experience in the 
regular army, and at West Point was in the same class as McClellan, at 
whose suggestion he was appointed. 

Company B — Captain, Howard M. Smith ; ist 
Lieutenant, S. Herbert Lancey ; 2d Lieutenant, Saul 
C. Culbertson. 

Company C — Captain, R. P. Taylor; ist Lieu- 
tenant, O. R. Cook ; 2d Lieutenant, S. V. Waldo. 

Company D — Captain, Jacob W. Knapp; ist 
Lieutenant, Leonard Wilkins; 2d Lieutenant, Jared 
M. Bills. 

Company E — Captain, Wheeler Hakes; ist 
Lieutenant, S. F. Randolph; 2d Lieutenant, Elias 
Horton, Jr. 

Company F — Captain, Jeremiah Hatch; ist 
Lieutenant, S. A. Farnam; 2d Lieutenant, A. K. 

Company G — Captain, Alanson B. Cornell; ist 
Lieutenant, C. L. Brundage; 2d Lieutenant, G. 
Wiley Wells. 

Company H — Captain, Joel Wakeman; ist 
Lieutenant, Ira Sayles; 2d Lieutenant, E. S. Os- 

Company I — Captain, James Lemen ; ist Lieu- 
tenant, R. A. Britton; 2d Lieutenant, F. S. Adams. 

Company K-^Captain, Andrew J. Leach; ist 
Lieutenant, James O. Slayton; 2d Lieutenant, 
Edmund Hartman. 

The regiment was mustered into the United 
States' service Sept. 3, 1862, and three days there- 
after left its quarters at Portage for the seat of war, 
followed by the well-wishes of a vast throng of 
spectators who had gathered from all parts of the 
district to witness its departure. On the 13th it 
arrived at Suffolk, Va., where it remained until 
the following summer, performing the duties of an 
advanced garrison, and suffering the inconvenience 
of a malarial district contiguous to the Dismal 

While in this position it participated in an expe- 
dition which repulsed a force under Gen. Roger 
A. Pryor, who was advancing on Suffolk, losing 
in the engagement about thirty men killed and 
wounded. It left the camp at midnight of the 29th 
of January, with a force of 3,500 infantry, 12 pieces 
of artillery, and Spear's cavalry, the whole com- 
manded by Corcoran, and about 4 o'clock on the 
morning of the 30th, encountered a similar force 
of the enemy midway between Suffolk and Black- 
water. For two hours it lay in support of and 
immediately behind the artillery, exposed to a 
galling fire. Col. Gibbs ventured to remonstrate 
with Corcoran at this disposition, and suggested 
that the infantry be placed on the flanks of the 
artillery, but for his temerity he was placed under 
arrest and deprived of his sword. Corcoran's 
brigade, which was still farther to the rear, was 
soon thrown into confusion, and broke into pre- 
cipitate retreat. Corcoran was obhged to retire 
and join in the effort to rally them. The artillery 



withdrew, and the infantry supports lay in front of 
the enemy without direction. The cry to advance 
without orders was raised and passed quickly along 
the line. The three regiments composing the sup- 
port dashed forward and drove the enemy before 
them, until recalled by Corcoran, who, after re- 
forming his brigade, resumed the pursuit, but only 
succeeded in overtaking a small rear-guard. Col. 
Gibbs, though under arrest, and destitute of horse 
or sword, joined in this impetuous charge, and 
seizing the flag of the regiment, heroically led the 

April 3, 1863, Gen. Longstreet invested their 
position in force, and on the 17th of that month, 
the 130th, with two other regiments, made a bril- 
liant sortie, for the purpose of developing the 
enemy's strength. They drove the enemy from his 
rifle pits and first line of works, compelling him to 
disclose the main body of his force, and could with 
difficulty be induced to retire. The loss of the 
130th was only eight or ten killed and wounded. 
The siege was raised on the ist of May and the 
130th joined in the pursuit. 

After participating in some minor operations on 
the Peninsula, the regiment was ordered to join 
the Army of the Potomac, which it did at Berlin 
on the 19th of July, and with it proceeded to 
Warrenton, Va., where, July 28, 1863, it was 
changed to a cavalry organization and designated 
the 1st New York Dragoons. At Manassas it was 
instructed in the cavalry drill, and in September 
was mounted. After a few days' mounted drill it 
resumed active duty, making a reconnaissance on 
the 1 2th of October through Thoroughfare Gap, to 
ascertain if the enemy were threatening the rear of 
the Union army, which was then being pressed 
back by Lee from the Rapidan. Having proceed- 
ed to Salem without finding the enemy, it returned 
and joined the army near Catlett's Station. From 
thence it guarded the approaches on the left flank 
of the retreating army to Centerville, whence it 
re-crossed Bull Run on the evening of the i6th, 
and engaged in a skirmish on its recent camp 
ground. On the evening of the 17th on the 
plains of Manassas, it charged a brigade of rebel 
cavalry and, single-handed, drove them to near 
Bristow Station, with considerable loss, continuing 
the pursuit until night, and resuming it the follow- 
ing day to the Rappahannock, but without further 

It was engaged in picket duty at Morrisville and 
Bealton till November 8th, when it made a rapid 
advance with the cavah-y column, crossing the 

Rappahannock at Sulphur Spring, and attacked 
the enemy in flank as they were retreating through 
Culpepper on the 9th, inflicting severe punishment, 
but sustaining no loss. The following day the 
pursuit was continued to the Rapidan. The regi- 
ment soon after went into camp near Culpepper, 
whence, in several important reconnoissances, it 
engaged the enemy, on one occasion capturing a 
signal station on Slaughter Mountain, and on an- 
other developing the full strength of the enemy in 
its works at Rapidan Station. On the 23d of No- 
vember, in aid of the contemplated operations at 
Mine Run, in connection with other forces, it 
crossed the river at Ely's Ford, occupied the heights 
beyond, and raided the country to and beyond 
Chancellorsville, returning to Culpepper on the 
abandonment of the movement. The regiment 
soon after went into winter quarters near Mitchell's 
Station, and was occupied during the winter in 
picketing the Rapidan. 

May 4th, 1864, it was again in active service on 
the left of Grant's army. It was engaged in the 
Wilderness, and on the afternoon of May 7th, it 
attacked a greatly superior force of the enemy on 
a small run near Todd's Tavern, maintaining the 
unequal contest till far into the night, twice re- 
forming its hne, broken by the desperate assaults 
of the enemy, who were each time compelled to 
relinquish their temporary advantage, and pressed 
far back into the woods towards Spottsylvania. 
The night was spent in burying the dead. In the 
morning, before it was yet light, the contest was 
renewed, and the enemy forced steadily back to 
their infantry lines, where it was relieved by the 
5th Corps. The regiment sustained a loss of 104. 

After a day spent at Aldrich's Tavern, to replen- 
ish their supplies, they joined Sheridan's Cavalry 
in a raid on Lee's line of communication. At 
Beaver Dam Station, on the evening of the 9th, 
they burned Lee's suppUes, captured several trains 
of cars, pierced the locomotives with cannon-balls, 
and destroyed the track. The following day they 
proceeded towards Richmond, and encamped at 
night beyond Squirrel Bridge. The ist Dragoons 
brought up the rear, which was twice attacked by 
Stuart's cavalry, who were repulsed each time with 
loss. At early dawn the next day an attack was 
made at the point where the ist Dragoons was 
encamped. Leaving every fourth man to saddle 
the horses, the rest of the regiment charged the 
assailants, who were slowly forced back; when, 
returning hastily to their horses,#they mounted and 
filed out after the main column, just as the enemy 



again got in range, and opened on them without 
effect. Major Scott was wounded in the thigh in 
this charge. 

In the afternoon the ist Dragoons, supported on 
either side by regular regiments, dislodged Stuart's 
cavalry, who had gained a threatening position to- 
wards the front, sustaining a loss of twenty men ; 
and although it was near night when the action 
ended, the troops continued the advance towards 
Richmond, and got within its first line of defenses. 
Turning to the left they proceeded down the 
Chickahominy between the Hnes amid exploding 
torpedoes, and about dawn the advance was en- 
gaged with the second line of defenses. They es- 
sayed to recross the Chickahominy at Meadow 
Bridge, but the passage was disputed by Stuart's 
cavalry. The enemy had gathered in large force 
in their rear. While engaging these, a division 
was massed to force the passage of the river, 
which was accomplished after a hot dismounted 
fight. The bridge was repaired and the ist Dra- 
goons crossed in advance of the mounted troops. 
They charged the enemy who fled in every direc- 

The ist Dragoons led in the advance to Me- 
chanicsville. During the noon bivouac pickets 
were thrown out in every direction. On resuming 
the march to Cold Harbor, the brigade to which 
the ist was attached took the lead, but the regi- 
ment was delayed by drawing in its pickets. It 
pushed rapidly by the moving column to overtake 
the advance, which was already engaged with the 
enemy, and was met by an orderly who was sent to 
accelerate its movements. Proceeding at a gallop, 
the rest of the brigade was met flying in wild con- 
fusion before the closely pursuing and exultant foe. 
The battery, which stood in column, seemed 
doomed. As the head of the regiment came 
abreast of the battery, Col. Thorpe, who com- 
manded, shouted the order " Forward into line ! 
Prepare to fight on foot !" Each man designated 
to fight on foot, as he reached the line, leaped from 
the saddle and pressed forward, firing as he went. In 
ten minutes, without the loss of a man, the enemy 
was put in full flight and fifty of their men were left 
prisoners in our hands. 

After various movements with Sheridan's com- 
mand, the Dragoons joined in the race with Lee 
to Richmond. On the morning of the 26th they 
dashed across the Pamunkey at Hanovertown and 
during that and the succeeding day drove the ene- 
my some distance beyond Hawes' Shop. On the 
28th, the enemy in force attempted to dislodge this 

advance, and there ensued for several hours one of 
the most hotly contested battles of the war. The 
Dragoons led the advance in a flanking party to 
the right, and were met with a shower of grape and 
cannister from a battery posted beyond a deep and 
seemingly impassable gulf. They dismounted, and 
sending their horses to the rear, plunged into it out 
of harms way, for the guns of the enemy could not 
be depressed to reach them. Capt. Knapp led the 
charge up the opposite bank and the enemy were 
quickly put to flight. Turning to the left they at- 
tacked the remaining force, which fled precipitately, 
leaving their dead on the field. On the 30th, at 
Old Church, Custer's brigade and the ist Dragoons 
drove the enemy back, with considerable loss, on 
Cold Harbor, before which the Union forces en- 
camped for the night. 

The next day the contest was renewed for the 
possession of that point, and an attempt was made 
to carry the formidable earthworks by direct assault. 
The Dragoons charged through a shower of iron 
and lead over an open field, broken by swells, halt- 
ing in each successive depression for a fresh start. 
In the last of these, within five rods of the enemy's 
works, they paused to make preparation for the 
final assault, which they carried to within twenty 
feet of the enemy's line ; but the fierce fire which 
swept the field and rapidly thinned their ranks, was 
more than poor human nature could endure. They 
were forced back to their cover, where they opened 
a straggling fire. The bugle advance of Custer 
was heard on the left above the din of conflict. As 
his line swept up to the Dragoons they rose the 
crest together and charged. Another fierce but 
short conflict ensued, and the enemy were driven 
from their works with loss and confusion. The loss 
of the Dragoons was sixty men. The ground was 
held against repeated and desperate assaults till 
about noon, when they were relieved by the 6th 
corps and Smith's command from Butler's army. 
During the two succeeding days, while the further 
scenes in this bloody drama were being enacted, the 
Dragoons, with two divisions of cavalry under 
Sheridan, watched the lower crossing of the Chicka- 
hominy at Bottom's Bridge, and covered the base 
of supplies at the White House. 

On the 7th of June they accompanied Sheridan 
with the cavalry divisions of Torbert and Gregg, in 
an expedition against the Virginia Central Rail- 
road, which, it was expected, would facilitate 
Grant's passage of the Chickahominy and James, 
by withdrawing Stuart's cavalry from Lee's army, 
and enable Sheridan to effect a junction with Hun- 



ter's forces and return with them to the Army of 
the Potomac. On the nth and 12th of June, at 
TreviUian Station, where Gregg encountered 
Hampton's cavalry division, the Dragoons were 
again hotly engaged and Col. Thorpe was wounded 
and taken prisoner. Returning they crossed the 
James with the main army on the 25 th. 

On the afternoon of the 26th of July, having in 
the interval enjoyed a period of rest, the regiment 
with a large force of cavalry and the 2d corps were 
thrown across the James, and in conjunction with 
the force under Butler, the next day, after an all 
night's march, drove the enemy from his entrenched 
position at Darbytown. The next day, the enemy 
having been heavily reenforced, made an unsuc- 
cessful effort to recover the lost ground. In a 
charge made on the first day by a squadron of the 
ist Dragoons Gen. Wade Hampton and his staff 
barely escaped capture by them ; and on the second 
day the regiment maintained the only unbroken 
portion of the line, repelling repeated assaults. 
But the movement having failed in its object, which 
was the cutting of the enemy's railroad from near 
Richmond to the Anna River, and thus endan- 
gering Early's position in the Shenandoah Valley, 
the regiment recrossed the James on the evening 
of the 28th and returned to its old position in front 
of Petersburgh. 

On the ist of August the regiment was ordered 
to the Shenandoah Valley, up which, on the 9th, 
it moved with other cavalry to aid in operations 
against Early by the Army of Virginia, to the com- 
mand of which Sheridan was appointed August 
7th. On the loth it took part in an encounter at 
White Post, where it drove a rebel force from be- 
hind a stone wall and with but little loss made im- 
portant captures. On the nth, while on a recon- 
naissance to Newton, it met the enemy's infantry 
and cavalry a half mile from that place and five 
miles from the main body of Sheridan's army, 
maintaining a fierce and desperate contest unaided 
for an hour and a half, and holding its position till 
the arrival of the main force, though too late for 
the operations of that day. In this engagement 
the regiment suffered severely. The enemy with- 
drew in the night and the hospital records found 
in their abandoned camp contained the names of 
men wounded in that action from thirty-three 
different regiments. At Smithfield and Kearns- 
town on the 2Sth, 26th and 28th of August it was 
hotly engaged and lost heavily, brave Lieutenant 
Alfred being killed and many officers wounded. 

On the 19th of September, in the desperately 

fought battle of Opequan, the regiment bore a 
conspicuous part. It routed the enemy's cavalry 
and charged his infantry, capturing twice its num- 
ber of prisoners and three battle flags. Among its 
losses was the gallant Capt. Thorp, who was killed 
in the charge on the enemy's cavalry. The regi- 
ment joined in the pursuit of Early, who escaped 
in the night with the wreck of his army and fled 
to Fisher's Hill, from which he was driven on the 
2 2d with the loss of 1,300 prisoners and 21 cannon. 
During the following night the regiment led in the 
further pursuit. On the 24th it drove the enemy's 
cavalry and by threatening his flank compelled him 
to abandon his position on the bluffs of Mt. Jack- 
son. On the 26th, being still in the advance, an 
unsuccessful attack was made between Port Re- 
public and Brown's Gap. October 9th, at Tom's 
Brook, it was engaged in turning Early's cavalry 
and capturing their trains and artillery. 

Sheridan posted his army in echelon behind the 
bold bluffs which form the north border of Cedar 
Creek, and proceeded to Washington to consult 
with the Secretary of War respecting the return of 
the 6th corps to that city. Early, whose original 
strength had been restored by the addition of Ker- 
shaw's division, crossed Cedar Creek on the night 
of October i8th, and early the next morning sur- 
prised and routed the 8th corps, which occupied 
the left of the Union line. In this battle the ist 
Dragoons more than sustained its reputation. 
During the demoralization which prevailed in the 
early part of that day, its organization was kept in- 
tact, and by its coolness and courage aided to re- 
trieve those early misfortunes and secure the 
glorious victory which eventually crowned the 
Union arms, and put an end to rebel raids into the 
North through the Shenandoah Valley. 

In November the regiment participated in an 
expedition to Loudon Valley, which, by common 
consent, was styled the "bull raid," from the nature 
of the captures made ; and in December it consti- 
tuted a part of the force which advanced from 
Winchester to Gordonsville, making a gallant 
charge at Liberty Mills on the night of the 2 2d, 
capturing two pieces of artillery and about thirty 
prisoners, but suffering greatly from the intense 
cold, many of the men having their feet frozen. 

February 24, 1865, Sheridan, with a force of 
io,ooo cavalry, including this regiment, left Win- 
chester and arrived at Staunton in four days. He 
defeated and captured the remnant of Early's forces 
at Waynesboro, crossed the Blue Ridge at Rock- 
fish Gap, turned and destroyed the Virginia Cen- 



tral railroad from Frederick's Hall to Beaver Dam, 
and won the memorable and decisive victory at 
Five Forks, April i, 1865. From this time until 
the surrender of Lee's army on the 9th of April, 
1865, the cavalry were daily in action, inflict- 
ing on the rebel army the blows which so rapidly 
crippled it and brought on its final catastrophe. 

During its term of service the regiment cap- 
tured 1,533 prisoners, 19 pieces of artillery, 21 
caissons, 240 artillery horses, 40 army wagons and 
ambulances, 160 animals of draught and 4 battle 
flags. It lost in killed 4 officers and 155 enlisted 
men; and in wounded, 24 officers and 204 en- 
listed men. One officer and 80 enlisted men died 
of disease. 

The 136th regiment, like the 130th, was raised 
in the counties composing the 30th Senatorial Dis- 
trict, through the efforts of Col. James Wood, Jr., 
of Geneseo, aided by the patriotic endeavors of the 
community at large. Five companies, B, C, F, G 
and I, were recruited in Livingston county ; two, 
A and K, in Allegany county ; and three, D, E 
and H, in Wyoming county. Capt. Augustus 
Harrington reported at Portage with the first com- 
pany for this regiment, August 29th, 1862, having 
recruited his company in eleven days. Within a 
month from the date of its authorization the entire 
regiment was in camp at Portage. The regiment 
was organized September 8, 1862, and mustered 
September 25, 1862. The following is a roster of 
its officers: — 

Colonel — James Wood, Jr. 

Lieutenant-Colonel — Lester B. Faulkner. 

Major — David C. Hartshorn. 

Adjutant — Campbell H. Young. 

Quartermaster — John T. Wright. 

Surgeon — B. L. Hovey. 

First Assistant Surgeon — -Edwin Amsden. 

Second Assistant Surgeon — Charles F. Warner. 

Quartermaster Sergeant — Richard W. Barney. 

Commissary Sergeant — J. S. Galentine. 

Chaplain — Alvin T. Cole. 

Company A — Captain, A. T. Cole ; First Lieu- 
tenant, M. M. Loyden ; Second Lieutenant, John 
M. Webster. 

Company B — Captain, Edward H. Pratt ; First 
Lieutenant, John J. Bailey; Second Lieutenant, 
Nicholas V. Mundy. 

Company C— Captain, A. A. Hoyt ; First Lieu- 
tenant, Wells Hendershott; Second Lieutenant, 
Emerson J. Hoyt. 

Company D — Captain, Augustus Harrington; 
First Lieutenant, Myron E. Bartlett ; Second 
Lieutenant, Russell G. Dudley. 

Company E— Captain,^ Henry B. Jenks; First 
Lieutenant, James G. Cameron; Second Lieuten- 
ant, Seth P. Buell. 

Company F — Captain, J. H. Burgess; First 
Lieutenant, John Galbraith ; Second Lieutenant 
Charles H. Wisner. 

Company G — Captain, Sidney Ward; First 
Lieutenant, Orange Sackett, Jr. ; Second Lieu- 
tenant, Kidder M. Scott. 

Company H — Captain, E. H. Jeffi-es; First 
Lieutenant, Edward Madden; Second Lieutenant, 
Anson B. Hall. 

Company I — Captain, H. L. Arnold; First 
Lieutenant, Frank Collins; Second Lieutenant, 
George M. Reed. 

Company K — Captain, A. F. Davis; First 
Lieutenant, George H. Eldredge ; Second Lieu- 
tenant, George Y. Boss. 

The regiment left Camp Williams at Portage on 
the 2d of October ; received arms and equipments 
at Elmira ; and on the 4th of that month proceeded 
to Camp Seward, on Arlington Heights, Va. 
From thence, Sunday, Oct. 12, 1862, it went to 
Fairfax Court House, Va., where it was attached to 
the 2d brigade (Von Steinwehr's) of the nth 
corps, (Sigel's,) retaining this connection until 
April 14, 1864, when it became a part of the 3d 
brigade, 3d division, 20th corps. It left Fairfax 
Court House, Dec. 14th, and proceeded to Bank's 
Ford, where it was occupied in picket duty on the 
advanced line of the army, and suffered the hardships 
incident to the sudden change from civil to military 
life, its ranks being much depleted by sickness. 

Early in November, McClellan, by reason of 
his failure to reap the legitimate fruits of Lee's defeat 
at Antietam, and his subsequent dilatory move- 
ments, was superseded in the command of the 
Army of the Potomac by Burnside, who in the 
reorganization of the army which followed, gave 
Sigel the command of a grand division, which 
formed the reserve, and to which the 136th 
belonged. Dec. i oth, Burnside crossed the Rap- 
pahannock with his army to attack Fredericks- 
burgh, and the same day the 136th left its camp at 
Germantown in aid of that movement. The regi- 
ment was reduced in numbers, but those who re- 
mained had become inured to the duties of a sol- 
dier. When the regiment reached Falmouth, the 
army, which had assaulted the enemy's works 
behind Fredericksburgh on the 13th and been 
repulsed with great disaster, was recrossing the 
river, and it went to Banks' Ford where it did 
picket duty in the face of the enemy. Burnside 
projected another advance movement the succeed- 
ing January, but the march was scarcely begun 
before it was arrested by a sleet-storm, which 
turned the roads into quagmires, and rendered 
movement impossible. The project was aban- 



doned, and the troops ordered back to their old 

From Banks' Ford the regirrient went into camp 
at Stafford Court House, Va., where it remained 
till the last of April, when it crossed the Rappa- 
hannock at Kellogg's Farm, and moved to the 
disastrous field of Chancellorsville. In the mean- 
time (Jan. 26, 1863,) Hooker had succeeded Burn- 
side in command of the army. The brigade to 
which the 136th belonged made a reconnaissance 
to the right of the nth corps under Gen. Francis 
C. Barlow, and captured nearly a thousand pris- 
oners, but while so engaged, the nth corps had 
been driven from the field, and the guards and 
camp . equipage left behind by the regiment, fell 
into the enemy's hands. On its return, the brigade 
took position in rear of Gen. Sickles' command, 
and witnessed the fierce conflict between it and 
the Confederate force under Stuart, in which the 
position of the latter was taken and retaken repeat- 

From the field of Chancellorsville the 136th 
returned to its old quarters at Stafford Court 
House, where it remained until, on the 3d of June, 
Lee commenced another sortie into the Northen 
States through the Shenandoah valley, which cul- 
minated in the disaster at Gettysburg. Hooker 
followed the numerically superior rebel army down 
the valley, interposing between it and Washington, 
till both had crossed the Potomac, Lee making the 
passage at Williamsport and Shepardstown on the 
26th, and Hooker, at Edward's Ferry, the same 
day. On the 27th Hooker resigned the command 
of the army, and on the following day was succeeded 
by Meade. 

On the 30th of June the Union army extended 
from Manchester to Emmettsburgh, the nth 
corps forming a part of the left flank. The Con- 
federate army was at Chambersburg, where Lee 
tarried to consort with copperheads in the North. 
Meade purposed fighting on the defensive in a 
position he had selected on Pipe creek, about 
Hfteen miles south-east of Gettysburg. The left, 
consisting of the ist, nth and 3d corps, under 
Reynolds, was sent as a mask toward Gettysburg 
to screen this movement. 

At 5 P. M. on the ist of July, the 136th, which 
had been detached a short time at Hagerstown, 
left that place for Gettysburg, thirty-eight miles 
distant, and arrived there at n a. m. on the 2d. 
The enemy had been met the previous day, first 
by Buford's cavalry, who encountered him on the 
Chambersburg road^ two miles westward of Gettys- 

burg, and were forced back to Seminary Ridge, 
where they were supported by Reynolds, who was 
then in Gettysburg with the ist corps, and was 
killed in the early part of the action. Howard 
arrived on the field with the nth corps at 
11:30 A. It., and having forwarded two of his 
divisions to the support of the troops engaged, 
posted his third division, with three batteries 
of artillery on Cemetery Hill on the south 
side of the town. Heth's division of Hill's 
corps, which was the first engaged of the enemy's 
forces, was heavily reenforced, and the Union 
forces driven with loss and confusion through the 
streets of Gettysburg, took refuge at night behind 
Howard's position. Here the 136th was posted 
on its arrival the following day. 

Meade, who was at Taneytown, planning his de- 
fensive line on Pipe Creek, on hearing of the battle 
at I p. M., sent Hancock to take command. That 
officer, perceiving the advantages of the position, 
advised Meade to bring on the whole army, which 
he accordingly did, arriving himself soon after mid- 
night. All his corps, except that of Sedgwick, 
which was thirty-two miles distant, arrived during 
the night, and were posted on Cemetery Ridge,, 
prolonging the line to the rear of Howard's posi- 
tion, along the crest of the ridge. Sedgwick's corps 
arrived at 2 p. m. on the 2d, and was posted on the 
left, at the terminus of the ridge, behind the Round 
Tops. Reynold's corps, commanded by Newton, 
was in reserve, and was within thirty minutes' march 
of any part of the line, which was compressed into 
an area of about three square miles. Lee's army 
— which, numerically, was about equal to that of 
Meade — each being then about 80,000 strong — 
was posted along Seminary Ridge, in the form of 
a huge crescent, five miles in length, its concavity 
facing his antagonist. Meade had the advantage 
of position and the farther advantge of acting on 
the defensive. Thus was commenced the memor- 
able battle of Gettysburg. 

The Union losses during the three days' fight 
were 23,210, of whom 2,834 were killed, 13,733, 
wounded, 6,643, missing; those of the Confederates 
were 36,000, of whom 5,000 were killed, 23,000 

Soon after this decisive victory, which sent Lee , 
back into Virginia, the 136th was called to, other 
not less trying duties. After his defeat at the battle , 
of Chickamauga, Sept. 19, 1863, Rosecrans with- 
drew the army of the Cumberland to the defenses 
at Chattanooga, and was succeeded in the com- 
mand by General Thomas. Here Bragg followed , 



them and invested them so closely that they were 
threatened with starvation, or a disastrous defeat if 
the evacuation of the place was attempted. In this 
extremity General Grant was assigned to the com- 
mand of that army, which was reenforced by Sher- 
man with the Army of the Tennessee, and by 
Hooker, with the nth and 12th corps from the 
Army of the Potomac. In comformity with this 
arrangement the 136th left the latter army on the 
23d of September, and in seven days was trans- 
ferred from the Rapidan to Stevenson, Alabama, a 
distance of 1,192 miles. 

On the 27 th of October, Grant had restored the 
interrupted communication with Chattanooga ; but 
Bragg, who had lost control of the roads by a sur- 
prise, did not submit to the result without a strug- 
gle. He determined to recover what he had lost 
by a night attack. He observed from Signal Rock 
the situation of Geary's weak division encamped in 
the Lookout Valley near Wauhatchie and ordered 
Longstreet to assail it on the night of the 29th. After 
a three hours' conflict the enemy were repulsed 
with great loss. Gen. Howard, hearing the heavy 
firing, proceeded to the aid of Geary, but was in- 
terrupted by a force of the enemy posted on the 
heights west of Lookout Creek, who announced 
their presence by a sheet of fire from their crest. 
Though the slope was heavily wooded and the 
ground entirely unknown, the 136th, the 73d Ohio 
and 33d Massachusetts, charged the enemy and 
drove them from their entrenched position, but with 
heavy loss. 

The 136th now crossed the Chattanooga and 
joined the command of General Thomas, which 
occupied the center of Grant's Kne in the battle 
of Chattanooga, and with it participated in the 
assault on Bragg's position on the 25th of 
November, which terminated a three days' con- 
flict, and drove his army from Chattanooga back 
into Georgia. 

As soon as the battle of Chattanooga was won 
Grant detached Sherman with a portion of his 
army, including the i ith corps, to the relief of Burn- 
side, who was beleagured at Knoxville, Tenn.; but 
before they arrived Longstreet raised the siege, 
having on the 29th of November twice attempted 
to carry the works by assault, being each time re- 
pulsed. The hardships endured on this march of 
eighty-four miles are indescribable. The weather 
was severe, and many of the men marched on 
frozen ground with feet nearly bare and with insuf- 
ficient clothing and food, having to subsist on the 
country. The regiment then returned to the Wau- 

hatchie Valley and went into comfortable winter 

In the spring a reorganization of the army was 
effected. Grant having been appointed Lieutenant- 
General and taken charge of the army of the Po- 
tomac, Sherman was assigned to the command of 
the Military Division of the Mississippi, comprising 
the armies of the Ohio, Tennessee, Cumberland 
and Arkansas. In this change, on the 14th of April, 
1864, the 136th was attached to the 3d brigade, 
3d division, 20th corps, the latter commanded by 
Hooker. April 20, 1864, Col. James Wood, Jr., 
of the 136th was assigned to the command of the 
3d brigade, which comprised in addition to the 
136th, the S5th and 73d Ohio, 33d Mass., and 26th 
Wis. The command of the regiment thus devolved 
on Lieutenant-Colonel Faulkner. 

After turning the strong position of Dalton by a 
detour through Snake Creek Gap and compelling 
its evacuation on the 12 th of May, Sherman di- 
rected his forces against Resaca. At i p. m. on the 
14th an attempt was made to break the enemy's 
line and force him from an elevated position in the 
immediate front. 

Johnston retreated during the night of the 15th 
after a sharp struggle. This, to the 136th was the 
most destructive of all its engagements. The 3d 
brigade was a part of the storming party and was 
exposed to a murderous fire of musketry and artil- 
lery. The loss of the 136th was 82 in killed and 
wounded — 12 enlisted men killed, and 3 officers 
and 67 enlisted men wounded. 

Johnston was closely pursued, forced across the 
Etowah, and his position at AUatoona Pass turned 
by a circuit toward Dallas, Hooker having the ad- 
vance, and having some sharp encounters at New 
Hope Church, in which the 136th was again 

Sherman drove Johnston across the Chattehoo- 
chee and forced the passage of that stream with his 
army, which he posted in proximity to Atlanta on 
the general line of Peach Tree Creek and across 
the Augusta Railroad. Here, on the afternoon of 
the 20th, he was attacked in force by Hood, who 
had superseded Johnston in command of the Con- 
federate forces in Georgia. The blow was unex- 
pected and its weight fell mainly on Hooker's corps, 
which was unprotected by works, and fought in 
comparatively open ground. After a very severe 
battle it was repulsed. During this action, while 
the Union troops were moving to repel a charge, a 
rebel color-bearer advanced in front of his regi- 
ment and confronted the 136th whose color- 



bearer at once advanced to meet him, and 
the two stood defiant in view of the two armies. 
The bold rebel was immediately shot, and his colors 
captured and flaunted in the face of the foe. A com- 
rade avenged him by the death of his slayer and 
recovered the colors, but was himself slain while 
bearing away the trophy, which was retaken. This 
thrice captured flag now hangs among the war 
trophies in the Military Bureau in Albany. 

The 136th participated in the brilliant successes 
which followed: — the capture of Atlanta Sept. ist, 
1864; the march from "Atlanta to the sea," Nov. 
16 — Dec. 21, 1864; and the terrible northern 
march through the Carolinas in mid-winter to 
Goldsboro which was reached March 21st, 1865, 
after a journey of five hundred miles of toil and 

On the 14th of April, 1865, Sherman received a 
letter from Johnston, inquiring the terms on which 
he might surrender. An interview was had, and 
terms such as were accorded to Lee on the 9th of 
that month offered, which he was constrained on 
the 26th of April to accept. 

This ended the mihtary service of the 136th, 
which continued the march through Virginia to 
Washington, and was mustered out Jan. 13, 1865. 

October 15, 1862, the members of the District 
Senatorial Committee residing in Livingston county 
and the Board of Supervisors met at Geneseo to 
arrange the lists of volunteers, and make provision 
generally preparatory to the draft, which was ordered 
to take place November loth. The Supervisors 
were called upon to furnish lists of the men who 
had volunteered since July 2d, and thereby the 
deficiency of the county for the 600,000 was 
arrived at. Below are the quotas and lists claimed 
by Supervisors : — 

Towns. Quota. No. Reported. 

Avon 90 52 

Caledonia 62 62 

Conesus 45 46 

Geneseo 93 78 

Groveland 48 49 

Lima -- 86 85 

Livonia* 8 r — 

Leicester 62 64 

Mt. Morris 122 140 

North Dansville 116 122 

Nunda 89 85 

Ossian 39 35 

Portage 46 36 - 

Springwater 75 ^^ 

Sparta 39 4° 

West Sparta 46 37 

York ^5 79^ 

* No report ; said to be full. 

Hon. R. P. Wisner, of Mt. Morris, was em- 
powered by the Governor to superintend and aid 
enlistments, to fill up the quota with nine months' 

March 3, 1863, Congress authorized the raising 
of additional troops to take the place of the two 
years' men whose terms were about to expire, and 
otherwise strengthen the army. President Lincoln 
issued a conscription proclamation on the 8th of 
May to carry that law into operation. 

The draft for the district comprising the coun- 
ties of Livingston, Ontario and Yates commenced 
at the Town Hall in Canandaigua, on Saturday, 
July 25, 1863, and continued on the 28th, 29th, 
30th and 31st. The following is a list of the num- 
ber in the several towns who were exempted and 
held to service. Most of the latter, however, paid 
the commutation of $300, in accordance with the 
provisions of the law: — 

Drafted. Exempted. 

Avon 85 70 

Caledonia 54 42 

Conesus 31 26 

Geneseo 86 74 

Groveland 42 32 

Leicester 49 41 

Lima 81 64 

Livonia .. 78 61 

Mt. Morris 107 89 

North Dansville no 94 

Nunda 54 41 

Ossian 25 21 

Portage 24 19 

Sparta 37 34 

Springwater 74 67 

West Sparta .31 31 

York 76 64 

October 17, 1863, another call for 300,000 men 

was issued. The substitutes furnished and com- 
mutations paid were as follows : — 

Substitutes. Commutations. 

Avon 2 19 

Caledonia o 22 

Conesus o 13 

Geneseo 6 23 

Groveland o 10 

Leicester o 17 

Lima 2 11 

Livonia i 25 

Mt. Morris 3 29 

North Dansville 3 11 

Nunda i n 

Ossian i 5 

Portage o 9 

Sparta' i 12 

Springwater 2 21 

West Sparta. . .• 2 10 

York I 27 

The quota under this call in Livingston county 
was 537. 



During the summer and fall of 1863, H. R. Cur- 
tis was recruiting for the 13th New York Artillery, 
the nucleus of which was composed of the remnant 
of the 13th New York Infantry, under command of 
Col. E. G. Marshall. Lieut. S. H. Draper was 
also recruiting for the Griswold Light Cavalry. 
Both were organized in Rochester. 

February i, 1864, a call was issued for 200,000 
men, and immediately thereafter recruiting agents 
were appointed in the respective Assembly Dis- 
tricts. February 11, 1864, the Supervisors ex- 
tended to the volunteers under this call the pro- 
visions of an Act passed by them December 11, 
1863, authorizing the Supervisors of the several 
towns to draw on the County Treasurer for $300 
for each volunteer furnished by his town until its 
quota was filled. 

But the generous contributions thus far made 
by Livingston county were not the full comple- 
ment of what was required of her. Two further 
calls were issued — one July 18, 1864, for 500,000 
men, and another December 19, 1864, for 300,000 
men. In August, of that year, the Supervisors 
concluded to offer a bounty of $300 for three 
years' men; $200 for one year's men, and $25 
premium for the expenses of each recruit. Persons 
furnishing substitutes were entitled to receive the 
bounty. Messrs. Beckwith, Hampton and Lau- 
derdale were appointed a committee to disburse 
the county fund. For the purpose of filling the 
county quota, John Hyland, of Dansville, and 
S. E. W. Johnson, of Avon, were sent South to 
recruit there. There, however, the competition 
was sharp, and high bounties were paid to recruits. 
A telegram from John Hyland, dated August 23, 
said they could do nothing, as other agents were 
offering $500 bounty for one year men. This 
foreign market for recruits produced a laxness in 
the efforts at home. Says The Livingston Repub- 
lican xw h.M%\isX., 1864: — 

" So far as we can learn comparatively little is 
being done in the several towns toward filKng the 
quota under the last call. There are various 
causes for this. The season of the year is un- 
propitious — for the last three years there has been 
a constant drain on the people, until laborers in 
every branch of industry are scarce and are in 
great demand at almost unheard of wages. The 
farmers also engage their help in the spring for the 
season and the time of these men does not expire 
before October or November, and another cause in 
this county is the quite prevalent opinion that the 
quota of the county can be filled up by the agents 
sent south. * * * fhe finance committee of 
the Board of Supervisors held a meeting at this 

place [Geneseo] on Tuesday and they report that 
there is no trouble in obtaining from the people of 
the several towns on county bonds all the money 
needed to pay bounty." 

Sept. 2, 1864, the Supervisors authorized each 
town in the county to increase its bounty to a sum 
not exceeding $1,000, and the County Treasurer 
was authorized to issue county bonds as each 
Supervisor might call for them. Most of the towns 
of the county found it necessary to increase the 
bounties largely to fill the quotas in the hope of 
avoiding a draft. 

In the early part of 1865, an additional stimulus 
became necessary. The local bounty system had 
worked such gross injustice and been subjected to 
such outrageous abuses that the Legislature pro- 
vided for a State bounty of $300, $400 and $600, 
to one, two and three years' men, and prohibited 
payment of all local bounties. This was at least an 
approach to a healthier system, but its injustice 
differed only in degree. 

In addition to the large sums paid for bounties, 
considerable amounts were also generously paid for 
the support of the indigent families of soldiers. 
In 1861, not less than $16,000 was contributed by 
towns for this purpose; and to July i, 1863, 
$33,000 was paid by the county for the same 

The troops raised in this county under the later 
calls were distributed through the various organiza- 
tions, generally but a few in each, whose history we 
have not the space even to epitomize. Many, 
however, went to fill the depleted ranks of old 
organizations. The quotas of the several towns 
under the last three calls are given below : — 

Call of Call of Call of 

Feb. I, '64. July i8, '64. Dec. 19, '64-* 

Avon 23 66 49 

Caledonia i8 35 33 

Conesus 12 35 25 

Geneseo 25 57 43 

Groveland 13 29 16 

Leicester 14 44 3^ 

Lima 23 53 36 

Livonia 24 54 31 

Mt. Morris 31 88 64 

North Dansv'Ue. ..32 91 45 

Nunda 18 58 45 

Ossian 6 30 7 

Portage 9 24 23 

Sparta 32 25 

Springwater 22 61 52 

West Sparta 12 35 27 

York 23 59 51 

* These quotas are assessed with reference to all deficiencies or ex- 
cesses under previous calls ol years of service, reducing everything to a 
three years' basis, and representing the claim against each town Dec. 19, 



History of the Town of North Dansville. 

NORTH DANSVILLE was formed from Sparta, 
Feb. 27, 1846, and like the town to which it 
originally belonged,* and the village of the same 
name, derives its name (Dansville) from Daniel P. 
Faulkner, an early settler, who, for a few years, was 
conspicuously prominent in its affairs, and was re- 
ferred to by Capt. Williamson, the agent of the 
Pultney estate, as the head of the settlement in 
1798. A part of Sparta was annexed in 1849. It 
lies upon the south border of the county, east of 
the center, and is bounded on the north by Sparta, 
on the east by Wayland, Steuben county, on the 
south by Dansville, Steuben county, and on the 
west by Ossian and West Sparta, in this county. 

It lies at the head of the Genesee Valley, or 
rather the flats so designated, which are terminated 
by the convergence of the east and west hills, 
whose summits rise to the height of six hundred 
to eight hundred feet above the valleys. These 
flats are continuous and mostly of uniform width 
from a point a few miles above Rochester to Mt. 
Morris, where they diverge from the Genesee, and 
gradually contracting, follow the course of Canase- 
raga creek to Dansville, where, after expanding 
and gradually rising in beautiful table lands, they 
are suddenly terminated by a succession of promon- 
tories overlooking the village, on one of which is 
located the beautiful Greenmount Cemetery, not 
unlike, in general appearance the equally beautiful 
Mt. Hope, at the northern terminus of the valley. 
They form in the immediate vicinity of the village 
a tract of some three thousand acres of choice lands, 
with a warm and productive soil. The hills, though 
steep, are generally tillable to their summits. 

Its streams are Canaseraga and Great and Little 
Mill creeks, which emerge through narrow gorges 
from the highlands in the south and east portions 
of the town. The latter two unite near the south- 
ern limits of the village, and discharge their united 
waters into the former near the west bounds of the 
village. They are small but rapid streams, making a 
descent of some sixty feet within a mile and a half 
in the town, and furnish numerous mill seats and 
an abundant and constant water power, which is 
only partially utilized, though the manufacturing 

* It originally comprised the north-west quarter of township 6, range 6, 
of Phelps and Gorham's Purchase, and as such was set off from , 
Dansville, Steuben county, and annexed to Sparta, Feb. IS, 1822, its nat- 
ural affiliations with the inhabitants of Livingston county being greater 
than viiith those of Steuben county, from which it is in a measure barred 
by the conformation of the surface of the country. 

interests of the town equal, if they do not exceed, 
those of all other towns in the county combined. 

The Canaseraga enters the valley through a nar- 
row pass called " Pogue's Hole,"* through which, 
climbing along a steep aclivity, and then descend- 
ing to a level with the stream, passes the Hornells- 
ville road. On the opposite side from the road 
through the whole length of the pass, is a perpen- 
dicular ledge of rocks a hundred feet in height. 
Beyond this pass the valley widens out occasionally 
into small areas of intervale, but ranges of high- 
lands rise in near proximity on either hand. 

The town is wholly underlaid by the rocks of the 
Portage group. Quarries have been opened in 
both hills and valuable building and flagging stones 
obtained. A good quality of bituminous coal was 
recently discovered in the east hill, in a seam larger 
than is usual in thislocaUty.j The soil in the valleys is 
mostly alluvion and superior bottom timbered lands, 
and these, with much of the hills, where a mixture 
of clay and gravel prevails, produce excellent wheat. 
Fruit, especially grapes, thrives well upon the hill- 
sides. Upon the flats adjacent to the village, the 
nursery business has become an important indus- 
try, and engages the attention of various firms, 
among whom are E. PI. Pratt, Sweet & Morey 
Bryant Bros., S. P. Williams, E. P. Clark, William 
Wilkinson, Uhl & Rhoner and Herndeen & Stone, 
besides several others who are less extensively en- 
gaged in it. 

The Erie and Genesee Valley railroad, extend- 
ing by its charter from Mt. Morris to Burns, ter- 
minates in this town at Dansville village; likewise 
the abandoned Dansville branch of the Genesee 
Valley canal. The canal, so far as State enter- 
prise was concerned, terminated at Faulkner's 
dam, a half mile from the business part of the vil- 
lage on Main street. To better accommodate the 
business of the village, in 1844 a branch canal, 
terminating within about thirty rods of Main street, 
was constructed by private enterprise, at a cost of 
about $6,000, though the project was attended with 
intense local excitement. The completion of the 
canal gave a great impetus to business, especially 
the lumber trade, which was immense for many 
years, the principal operators being Coleman, of 
Troy, William HoUister, H. Southwick, Peter 
Myers and B. R. Streety. The streets of the vil- 

* This name is variously spelled ; but we have adopted the orthogra- 
phy of James McCurdy, who says it derives its name from Benjamin 
Kenyon, who located at Dansville village in 1807, and afterwards in this 
narrow valley. " He was a desperate character," and was nicknamed 
"Capt. Pogue, signifying the devil." Recollections 0/ James McCurdy, 
in the Dansiiille Advertiser of AvgyaX 9, 1877. 

t See Subject of Geology, Chapter VIII. 



lage'were thronged with lumber teams from Per- 
kinsville, Wayland, Loon Lake and Ossian. In 
1836, there were sixty saw-mills within a circle of a 
few miles of this place.* In 1844 there were 10,372 
barrels of salt brought here, on each of which a 
dollar was saved in the item of transportation 
charges as compared with former rates, f During 
the four years from 1841 to 1844, it is said that 
450 new buildings were erected in Dansville. X 

The citizens of Dansville were interested at an 
early day in the subject of railroads, for in 1832 a 
charter was granted for the construction of a road 
from Rochester to Dansville ; § but for thirty-nine 
years they awaited the fruition of these early hopes. 
Ground was broken for the Erie and Genesee Val- 
ley railroad July 20, 1869, and the first passenger 
train rolled out of Dansville at 10:24 a. m., De- 
cember 12, 1 87 1. II 

The population of the town in 1880 was 4,181 ; 
the number of dwelHngs, 903 ; and the number of 
famihes, 937. It is the most populous town in the 
county. In 1875 the population was 4,061 ; of 
whom 3,403 were natives, 658, foreigners; 4,054, 
white, 7, colored; 1,903, males, and 2,158, fe- 
males. In area it is by far the smallest town in the 
county, and one of the smallest in the State. In 
1875 it contained 4,425 acres ;1I of which 3,578 
were improved and 847 woodland. The cash 
value of farms was $406,100; of farm buildings 
other than dwellings, $46,300; of stock, $33,039; 
of tools and implements, $1 1,787. The amount 
of gross sales from farms in 1874 was $32,898. 

There are six common school districts in the 
town. The number of children of school age re- 
siding in the districts Sept. 30, 1880, was 1,344. 
During the year nine teachers were employed at 
the same time ; the number of children residing in 
the districts who attended school was 708; the 
average daily attendance during the year was 269 ; 
the number of volumes in district libraries was 232 ; 

* Gordon' s Gazetteer 0/ New York; In 1850, the number had in- 
creased to loowithin a circle of two miles.— 7y« Damville Advertiser 
of May I, l86z, 

t History of Dansville, No. S, in The Joiinml of the Fair, to raise 
funds for the establishment of St. Patrick's School, Dansville, October 
JO, 1880. 

t A. O. Bunnell, in Tlie Dansville Advertiser oi April a6, 1877. 

§ It has been erroneously stated that tliis was "the second railroad 
charter ever granted in this State." There were seventeen railroads 
chartered previous to 1831, and twenty-four in that year, six of which 
were prior to the "Dansville and Rochester." — State- Engineer's Report 
on Railroads. 

II A. O. Bunnell, in The Dansville Advertiser of April 26. 1877. 

X Census oiiiTi. The published Proceedings of the Board of Su- 
pervisors of Livingston Coimty in 1879, state the number of acres to be 
5,560, the equalized assessed value .of which was $1,267,273, or $227.94 
per acre, far exceeding, notwithstanding its diminutive size, any other 
town in the county. 

the value of which was $191; the number of 
school houses in 1877 was six, five frame and one 
brick, which, with the sites, embracing seventy- 
nine rods, valued at $575, were valued at $7,775 ' 
the assessed value of taxable property in the dis- 
tricts in 1877 was $1,794,523, and in 1880, 

In 1877 there were 11 private schools, attended 
by 147 pupils. This sufficiently indicates the 
character of the public schools, which in the vil- 
lage are lamentably poor. 

The Indian village of Kanuskago or Ganuskago 
occupied the site of the present village of Dans- 
ville. Though it had once been a village of con- 
siderable magnitude and importance, it was nearly 
deserted when the first white settlers came in, only 
fifteen or twenty huts then remaining, though 
several Indian famihes lingered in the neighbor- 
hood for several years. * Their presence here was 
of incalculable advantage to the first settlers; for, 
says one of them, "we could hardly have lived here 
the first year had it not been for the Indians, who 
were exceedingly friendly."t This beautiful and 
romantic portion of the famed Genesee valley_was a 
favorite haunt of theirs, and was regularly visited 
by them from their settlements on the Genesee 
during their annual hunting excursions, for these 
hills abounded in deer and other game, which were 
taken in large quantities. A favorite camping 
ground, says one of the oldest Hving pioneers, was 
on the deep gulch on the creek, at the upper end 
of the village, at what is now called the California 
House, as the bank, under which they built their 
huts, protected them from the winds."t 

We have no means of knowing at how eaily a 
period this Indian village was established, though 
it has been supposed by modern writers to be of 
modern origin. It may have existed at the time 
of M. de Denonville's invasion in 1687, though 
no specific mention is made of it. That Governor, 
in his report of this expedition, regretted that 
sickness, extreme fatigue and uneasiness of the 
savages, prevented his visiting other villages. 
When we reflect that that expedition was directed 
especially against the Senecas, it is fair to presume 
that the villages referred to were Seneca villages. 
There are other circumstances, however, which 
inchne to the supposition that its origin was either 
subsequent to that event, or that the Indians 

* Recollections of Conrad Welch, a son of the pioneer Jacob Welcli, 
in Turner's Pioneer History of Phelps and Gorham's Purchase, J59. 

t Recollections of James McCurdy, in The Dansville Advertiser of 
August 9, 1877. 

X Dansville as I found it, by Dr. James Faulkner, at the Pioneers' 
gathering at Dansville, Jan. 21, 187J. 



residing here, though it was denominated the " door 
of the Six Nations," in "the most remote parts of 
the Senecas' country,'' did not hold important 
diplomatic relations with the English and French 
colonial governments. 

These Indians had an extensive burying ground, 
covering some two or three acres. The main 
street in Dansville village passes directly through 
it. Numerous remains and relics of this interest- 
ing people have been exhumed in making excava- 
tions in that part of the village adjacent to the 
public square. 

There is a tradition that before the Revolution 
a battle was fought on a hill a few miles distant 
from the village of Dansville between the Canisteo 
and Kanuskago Indians, in which a renowned 
chief of the latter tribe was killed. He was in- 
terred in this old burial place, near the site of the 
German Evangelical Lutheran church in Dansville 
village, which is said to occupy the site of an 
ancient Indian mound, and its pulpit to rest over 
the remains of a noted Indian chieftain. The spot 
where he fell was marked by a large excavation, 
made in the form of a man lying prostrate, with 
his arms extended, and was quite discernible when 
the first white settlers came here. It was near an 
Indian trail, and the depression was kept free from 
forest debris by the passing braves, who also reared 
to him a monument of loose stones, brought from 
a hill a mile distant, each as he passed casting 
upon the accumulating heap his tribute of affection, 
"after the manner of the ancient Caledonians." 
These stones are said to have remained in their 
monumental form until 1825, when they were used 
in the construction of the foundation walls of the 
edifice before referred to.* 

Local authorities do not entirely agree as to who 
was the first settler within the limits of the present 
town of North Dansville, and this is not surprising 
in view of the many territorial changes affecting it. 
It may not be possible at this day to definitely de- 
termine the fact ; yet, from inquiries made and a 
careful analysis of conflicting statements in reference 
to this matter, we see little reason to doubt that 
the credit rightly belongs to William McCartney, 
who was born in 17 71, at Kirkcudbright, in the 
county and on the bay of the same name on the 
south coast of Scotland, whence he came to this 
country at the instance and as the clerk of Charles 
WilUamson, on the latter's assuming the agency of 

*From Turner's Pioneer History of Phelfs and Gorhmn's Purchase, 
359, (note) which copies from the manuscript of W. H. C. Hosmer; and 
contributions to tlie local press, especially The Damville A dvertiser of 
August 12, 1880. 

the Pultney estate. Reaching Philadelphia in 1 7 g i , 
early the following year he came to Bath, which 
Capt. Williamson made his home. Thence, after 
a few months, he came to Sparta, which then em- 
braced the present towns of Groveland, Spring- 
water, West Sparta and the major portion of Cone- 
sus, and subsequently North Dansville. In com- 
pany with Andrew Smith, who accompanied him 
from Scotland, he occupied a log-house erected by 
Capt. WiUiamson on the west bank of Canaseraga 
creek, on what is known as the McNair farm in 
West Sparta, three miles north of Dansville. Both 
McCartney and Smith were young single men, and 
there they kept bachelor's hall for about two years, 
when Smith, who was suffering from fever and ague, 
removed to and settled at Bath. McCartney moved 
further up the creek, and built on 209 acres purchased 
in 1793, on the flats in the locality of Comminsville, 
including that site, but lying mostly north-east of 
it, a log-house which stood about thirty rods east 
of the Canaseraga and about a hundred rods north 
of Comminsville. 

July 14, 1796, William McCartney married Mary 
McCurdy, (a step-daughter of Cornelius McCoy, 
the pioneer settler on the site of Dansville village,) 
who, says Dr. James Faulkner, is remembered as 
a girl and woman of great beauty. The ceremony, 
it is supposed, was performed by Rev. Samuel J. 
Mills, of Groveland, from whom the Millses of Mt. 
Morris are descended, who occasionally extended 
his labors in this direction at an early day. This 
was the first marriage contracted in the town. He 
continued to reside on his farm in this town till his 
death, February 9, 183 1. He was one of the original 
members of the First Presbyterian Church of Sparta, 
three miles north of Dansville, and one of its ruling 
elders. He was the recipient of various ofiicial 
trusts, irrespective of party. He was for twenty- 
seven years Supervisor of the town of Sparta, and 
for several years, during anti-masonic times, was 
the candidate of both parties. For a number of 
years he went to Canandaigna to attend the meet- 
ings of the board. He was for several years a Jus- 
tice of the Peace. He represented Ontario county 
in the Assembly in 1819, and decUned a re-nomi- 
nation. He served on the Niagara frontier during 
the war of 181 2. He was one of the most promi- 
nent pioneer settlers in this section. His wife sur- 
vived him many years. She died Sept. 5, 1864. 
They had thirteen children, eleven of whom Uved 
to maturity, and most of whom settled in this 
locality. Six are still Uving :— Maria, wife of 
Charles R. Kern, Hugh, Matthew and Sarah A., a 



maiden lady, in Dansville village ; David, in Ster- 
ling, 111. ; and Janjes F., in Dansville, Steuben 

It is generally conceded that Cornelius McCoy, 
familiarly called " Neal" MCoy, made the first set- 
tlement on the site of the village of Dansville, and 
it is also urged that he was the first settler in the 
town, which is probably true of the quarter section 
of three miles square which originally composed it. 

Cornelius McCoy was a native of the North of 
Ireland and rharried in county Antrim, Mary Mc- 
Curdy, whose first husband, John McCurdy, died in 
1784. The McCurdys were natives of Scotland. 
In 1788, soon after his marriage, McCoy immi- 
grated to this country with his wife, two step-sons — 
David and James McCurdy — and a step-daughter, 
named Mary McCurdy, who contracted the first 
marriage in the town with William McCartney. 
They landed at Wilmington, Delaware, in the 
spring of that year, and proceeded to Buffalo Val- 
ley, Northumberland county, Penn., where they 
resided seven years. In June, 1795, they removed 
thence to this town, locating in the south-west part 
of the village of Dansville. Our route from Penn- 
sylvania, says, the late James McCurdy, " was 
through a wilderness most of the way until we 
reached Painted Post in this State. There we 
found a store and tavern. Mr. Thomas McBurney 
settled there about that time. Twelve miles from 
there we found Mr. Tolbert located at the mouth 
of Mud creek. At Bath the principal settlers were 
Capt. Charles Williamson, Andrew Smith, Dugald 
Camer6n and Daniel Cruger, senior, tavern-keeper. 
Eight miles from there Mr. Thomas McWhorter had 
settled at a place now called Avoca ; at Liberty, 
Mr. Bevins; at Blood's Corners, Mr. Hooker. 
From there to Havens's through the Springwater 
valley there was no settlement. The object of our 
coming this roundabout way was, there was no 
wagon road by what is now the ordinary road to 
Bath."* The journey from Painted Post occupied 
five days. The first night they stayed at Bath ; the 
second they encamped in the woods near Liberty 
Corners, in the the town of Cohocton ; the third 
was also spent in the woods, near the Conesus 
Lake inlet ; the fourth at Darling Havens's, in the 
present town of Sparta; and by the fifth they 
had reached their destination. There was then a 
small surveyor's hut where Conrad Welch after- 
wards resided, on Ossian street. "At this time 
there was no white inhabitant in what is now the 

* Reminiscences 0/ James McCurdy, in tlie Dansville Advertiser of 
August % 1877. 

town of Dansville ; on the south, none nearer than 

McCoy took up the half of a 300 acre lot, thefirst 
lot, says Dr. James Faulkner, surveyed in this locality. 
"The first summer," says Mr. McCurdy, "we or 
most of the family had the fever and ague, but in the 
fall of the first summer, my step-father, McCoy, and 
myself made out to chop logs enough to build a 
log-cabin 18 feet by 14, which we thought a very 
large house ; the next thing was in our opinion the 
hardest part of all about our log-cabin, that was to 
get it raised. But we found no trouble in that, as 
we gave notice of our raising day. We had hands 
enough and more than we wanted, for the hands 
came mostly the day before, and we got our build- 
ing up and shingled in one day with basswood bark 
which we had prepared in the summer."* This 
log-house stood near a fine spring a little north of 
the residence of the widow of David McNair, (a 
grand- daughter of McCoy's wife,) on land now 
owned by Mrs. Alexander Edwards. A second 
log-house, clap-boarded, and standing nearer the 
road, was afterwards built and occupied by the 
family. It stood until about 1870, and was then 
taken down. Here McCoy resided till his death, 
which occurred May 8, 1809. at the age of 46 
years. His wife survived him many years. She 
died in 1835, in her 93rd year. She had only one 
child by her second marriage — a daughter, who 
died in infancy. 

During the first winters they needed no hay as 
the cattle preferred rushes which were abundant 
along the Canaseraga, which gave it the name of 
Rushbottom. Of these rushes, Mr. McCurdy says, 
the cattle were extremely fond; they grew as much 
in one winter, he says, as in two summers; horses 
did well on them in the winter, but not in the 
spring. There was no grist-mill nearer than the 
outlet of Conesus lake. This family and others 
purchased meat of the Indians, at a settled price. 
The rate of exchange with this family was settled 
by Mrs. McCoy. * * * The price of a good 
hind quarter of venison was two pumpions, six 
turnips, or two quarts of Indian meal. This was 
so perfectly understood, and so satisfactory to both 
parties, that there was no demurring ; the Indian 
threw down his venison and took his pumpions or 
turnips without speaking, and all was rights 

The McCurdys — David and James — step-sons of 
McCoy, were young lads when they came here in 
1795, being aged respectively sixteen and thirteen 
years. They took up the remaining half of the lot 

* Miniature o/Dansvilte Village., J. W. Clark. 



on which McCoy settled. The latter, at his death, 
gave one-half of his farm to his nephew, James D. 
McCurdy, who, says Dr. James Faulkner, was 
called "Little Jimmy," to distinguish him from 
James McCurdy, McCoy's step-son, who, for a 
like reason, was called "Big Jimmy." The other 
half went to McCoy's wife. David McCurdy after- 
wards settled in Ossian, andabout 1825-30 removed 
to Indiana, where he became very wealthy. He 
died there in the fall of 1859, aged eighty years. 
James McCurdy, his brother, who was born in the 
parish of Billy, county Antrim, Ireland, May 10, 
1782, married May 3, 1808, Sarah Gray, a native 
of Lancaster, Penn., her father having been one of 
the pioneer settlers of Almond, Allegany county. 
He succeeded to the homestead farm, eventually 
acquiring the whole original 300 acres, and bofh 
he and his wife resided there till their death. They 
became one of the wealthiest and most respected 
families in the town. Mr. McCurdy was Super- 
visor for many years. He died November 16, 
1864, and his wife, February 5, 1864. They had 
nine children, seven of whom — four sons and three 
daughters — lived to maturity. They all settled in 
this locaUty, and all are now living in this town, 
viz: — William G., Mary Ann, wife of Samuel Stur- 
geon ; Margaret, widow of David McNair ; John ; 
Hugh F.; Elizabeth G., wife of Alexander Edwards, 
and James. 

Several families moved into the town during this 
and the two succeeding years, among whom were 
Amariah Hammond, Alexander Fullerton, David 
ShoU, the Faulkners, the Porters, the Van De- 
Venters, Samuel Stillwell and Thomas Macklen. 

Amariah Hammond came here in 1795 on a 
prospecting tour, and "during his first visit to this 
place slept two nights under a pine tree, on premises 
which he afterwards purchased. ' I put a bell on 
my horse,' said he, ' that he might not stray beyond 
hearing;' but it was unnecessary, as the horse 
came as often as every hour to where he lay and dis- 
turbed his sleep ; the horse seemed sensible of his 
lonely situation, and fearful in view of it."* He 
took up land on the main road to Geneseo, about 
three-fourths of a mile from the center of the vil- 
lage, where Henry Hammond now resides, and 
■during that season put up a log house, into which 
he removed his family from Bath the following 
April. His family consisted of his wife and infant 
child, who made the journey on horseback. 

Mr. Hammond afterwards acquired that portion 
of the Fullerton farm lying east of Main street. 

* Miniature of Dansville Village' 

He was the successful farmer of North Dansville, 
and though uneducated, was sagacious and made 
money and became influential. He was the first 
Supervisor of the town of Dansville, which was 
formed in March, 1 796. Mr. Hammond used to re- 
late as one of the embarrassing incidents of pioneer 
life, that when his first grass needed cutting he had 
to go to Tioga Point to get scythes. He pur- 
chased two, which, with the expenses of the jour- 
ney, cost him eleven dollars. He continued to 
reside where he first settled till his death. He was 
born June 24, 1773, and died November 5, 1850. 
He was twice married. His first wife, named 
Catherine, died May 3, 1798, aged twenty-two. 
His second wife, named Elsie, died April 26, 1842, 
aged sixty-seven. Mrs. Fannie Bradner, of Dans- 
ville, widow of Lester Bradner, is a daughter of 
his, and the only one of the children left here. 
Another daughter became the wife of the venerable 
Dr. James Faulkner, who is still living in Dans- 
ville, in his ninety-second year. 

Lazarus Hammond, a brother of Amariah Ham- 
mond, came here soon after him and lived in a log 
house below him till 1806, when he sold to Har- 
man H. Hartman, who came here from Pennsyl- 
vania about that year. Lazarus Hammond was 
the first Clerk of the town of Dansville. Hartman 
died here June i, 181 1, aged 53. He left numer- 
ous descendants, principally in Dansville and its 

Alexander Fullerton, who was born of Scotch 
parents in Chester county, Pennsylvania, removed 
thence to this town and located in the north part 
of the village, near the residence of Jonathan B. 
Morey. He also sold to Harman H. Hartman 
and removed to the town of Sparta, where he died. 
He was something of a military character in his 
native county, and was the father of Gen. Wm. S. 
Fullerton, of Sparta, who represented Livingston 
county in the Assembly in 1846-7. 

David ShoU came here from Pennsylvania like 
many of the pioneer settlers. He was a mill- 
wright and was engaged in that capacity by Capt. 
WiUiamson. He built the first saw-mill and grist- 
mill in Dansville for the Pultney estate, the former 
in 1795 and the latter in 1796. * The saw-mill, 
says one authority, stood on the site of the plan- 
ing-mill belonging to the Jesse Angell estate, and 
operated by Geo. W. DeLong. It went to decay 
many years ago — about 1824-6. The grist-mill 
occupied the site of the Readshaw mill, on the 
corner of Gibson and Main streets. It was burned 

* French's Gazetteer of the State of New York. 



soon after, before it was entirely finished,* but 
was immediately rebuilt by ShoU. The frame of 
the second structure is a part of the present one, 
which was enlarged to its present size by Benj. F. 
Readshaw, the present proprietor. ShoU was 
hving in 1797 in a pine plank house, opposite the 
Readshaw grist-mill, which he afterwards pur- 
chased. He was a man of moderate capacity, but 
industrious and careful. He disposed of the mill 
property to Nathaniel Rochester and afterwards 
removed to Mt. Morris, where he built the pioneer 
grist-mill of that town. He subsequently went to 
Michigan, where he died. 

Solomon Feustermacher was born at Northamp- 
ton, Penn., April i, 1789, and came here from that 
State in 1805. Says a local writer: "He built 
'Solomon's temple,' a large three-story building, 
the largest structure in I^ivingston county at that 
time, and so a great curiosity. Himself and his 
brother Isaac built a great part of early Dansville." 
He died Feb. 5, 1851. 

There were three Faulkners f — brothers — Daniel 
P., Samuel and James. The former, if not the 
most worthy, seems to have been the most active 
and enterprising. Daniel P. and James Faulkner 
came here from Milton, Northumberland county. 
Pa., in 1795. The former, who brought with him 
$10,000, the proceeds of the sale of lands on the 
present site of Troupsburgh, Steuben county, pur- 
chased, in conjunction with three others, the west 
half of township No. 6, range 6, (including the 
original town of North Dansville,) and infused into 
the budding settlement an energy and enthusiasm 
characteristic of the man. 

Daniel P. Faulkner settled on the site of the 
First National Bank of Dansville, and tliere erect- 
ed a plank house. With his acquisitions of land in 
this neighborhood he also became the owner of a 
saw-mill, which stood on the site of the well-curb 
factory about a mile above the Readshaw grist 
mill. He was lavish of his money and not a 
prudent business man. He possessed a taste for 
military display, and organized and became captain 
of a grenadier company numbering thirty men, 
whom he gaily uniformed at his own expense,! ^"d 
" so beautiful a company," says a contemporary of 
his, " I [have] never seen since." This was Dans- 

* Turner says : "The mill was burned down soon after 1800, after 
which, before rebuilding, the neighborhood had to go to Bosley's mills," 
at tlie foot of Conesus Lake. Pioneer History 0/ Phelps <Sr= Gorhani's 
Purchase, 358, 

t For a more extended account of the Faulkner family, and especially 
of Dr. James Faulkner, see biographical sketch of the latter at the close 
of this chapter. 
% Statement of his nephew. Dr. James Faulkner of Dansville. 

ville's first military company, and was highly cred- 
itable to the infant settlement and the enterprise of 
its ambitious projector. Mr. Faulkner brought the 
first store goods to Dansville by sleigh from Albany. 
But his injudicious enterprise was terminated by 
his failure in 1798. He then returned to Pennsyl- 
vania. He came back, however, in 1802, and died 
in the frame house erected on the site of his plank 
one by his brother Samuel, who came here from 
Washington county in 1797. This village and two 
towns perpetuate his name. 

James Faulkner was an educated man and a 
graduate of Rush College, and was the pioneer 
physician of Dansville. He was, says McMaster, 
"an eminent physician, and a public man of saga- 
city and eccentricity." He lived near the Roches- 
ter paper-mill, built in 1809-10, and erected there 
in the fall of r796 what is supposed to have been 
the first frame house in town, though there is doubt 
about this, as the frame house built by Cristopher 
Van DeVenter was erected about the same time. 
Neither of these were immediately finished, how- 
ever, it appears. Robert S. Faulkner, proprietor 
of a feed store in Dansville is a son of his. 

Samuel Faulkner, who, as we have said, came 
here in 1797, bought several village lots of his 
brother Daniel P. Faulkner. He built for his resi- 
dence a two-story frame house which stood a little 
south of the Clinton house, near the vacant spot 
south of that house. It was the first frame house 
in the village that was finished. In this he com- 
menced keeping tavern in the fall of 1797. It 
has been erroneously stated that he was the pioneer 
tavern keeper of Dansville. He was preceded, 
though but a short time, by John Van De Venter, 
who kept tavern in a small one-story plank house 
with two rooms, which occupied the site of Grant's 
store, across the way from the National Bank. 
This house of Faulkner's was destroyed by fire in 
the winter of 1798, and nearly everything in it con- 
sumed. Mr. Faulkner then removed to the Daniel 
P. Faulkner residence, on the site of the National 
Bank, where he also kept tavern till i8oi, when he 
removed to Geneseo and there continued that vo- 
cation till his death May 3, 1805. He had only 
two children — Jonathan Dorr and James. The 
former was an officer in the Commissary Depart- 
ment during the war of 181 2, with the rank of 
captain, and died in LeRoy in 1815, from disease 
contracted by exposure in the army. James was 
an early physician and a prominent business man 
in Dansville during nearly the whole period of its 
existence, and is still a resident of that village. 



Capt. Nathaniel and William Porter, brothers, 
came here from New Jersey, under the auspices of 
Daniel P. Faulkner, in 1796. Nathaniel died the 
following year in a log house known as the " Cas- 
tle." It stood a little west of the German Lutheran 
church in Dansville village, and is supposed to have 
been built by the surveyors. All the early settlers 
in the vicinity of the village occupied it tempora- 
rily. Capt. Porter's death, which occurred March 
12, 1797, at the age of 54, js said to have been 
the first in the town. This is probably the fact, as 
it is the earliest date preserved by the monuments 
in the village cemeteries. At least three others 
died the same year.* Capt. Porter's wife — Char- 
ity — died March 19, 1813, aged 64. They had a 
large family — James, the pioneer blacksmith, Peter, 
John, Matthew, William, David C. and Richard 
were sons of theirs, and all were then young men. 
One of their daughters was the wife of Daniel P. 
Faulkner ; a second became the wife of her cousin, 
Richard Porter, son of William Porter ; a third, the 
wife of Frederick Covert ; and a fourth, of James 
Koogan. Not one of them is living ; the last, 
David C, died in the fall of 1879, aged over 90. 
William Porter, brother to Nathaniel, settled where 
Matthias Kershner now lives, on the south line of 
the corporation of Dansville, and died there March 
II, 1816, aged 77. Ann, his wife, died in Novem- 
ber, 1798, aged 54. 

Christopher Van De Venter was another of the 
New Jersey settlers. He came in 1796, and settled 
in the village, where Charles Shepard now lives. 
He died of the Genesee fever, August 25, 1798, 
aged 67. He was the pioneer tanner, and built the 
first tannery on a small stream at the point where it 
crosses Ferine street. His sons likewise were all 
tanners. They were John, Isaac and Christopher. 
John opened the first tavern in town, on the site 
of Timothy B. Grant's hardware store, opposite the 
National Bank, and kept it till his death,t which 
occurred Dec. 31, 1797, at the age of 27. 

Samuel Stillwell settled first in North Dansville, 
but afterwards removed to Sparta, where he was a 
Justice of the Peace for a number of years. 

Thomas Macklen, a Scotchman, who came from 
New Jersey, following the Faulkners, previous to 
ly^y — ^probably one of the New Jersey settlers of 
1796. He was the first school teacher, and taught 
here as early as 179 8. The pioneer school house 

•These were Ann, daughter of Richard W. Porter, Aug. Jo, 1797, aged 
r, John Van De Venter, Dec, 31, 1797, aged 27; and Catharine, wife of 
the latter, Sept. IJ, 1797, aged 25. 

t Statement of Dr. James Faulltner, who is unquestionably the best 
living authority, and who would not be likely to bestow upon another an 
honor which others have conferred on his father. 

stood on the road to Geneseo, about a mile north 
of the center of the village of Dansville, just below 
and on the opposite side of the residence of Henry 
Hartman. Mr. Macklen was Dr. James Faulkner's 
first school teacher. In the winter of 1798, says 
the latter gentleman, "he had ten or twelve schol- 
ars. Gaylord had ten or twelve scholars in 1799." 
Macklen bought a farm on the Canisteo road, 
about three miles from Dansville village, in the 
town of Dansville, Steuben county. He married 
into the McCurdy family, and taught school here 
for many years. He died April 22, 1822, aged 54. 
Alexander Rea, a surveyor, was an early teacher 
here, but for only a short period. He was then a 
young single man, and made his home at the tavern 
of Samuel Faulkner in Dansville. He married a 
sister of Horatio Jones, the distinguished Indian 
interpreter, and was for many years engaged in 
surveying for the Holland Company. He was a 
Member of Assembly from the joint counties of 
Allegany, Geneseo and Ontario in 1807 ; a State 
Senator from the Western district in 1 808-1 1 ; and 
Jan. 27, 1809, was appointed a member of the 
Council of Appointment. 

Other early settlers in North Dansville previous 
to 1800 were Jacob Welch, Jacob Martz, Geo. 
Shirey, Frederick Barnhart, Wm. and Jno. Phenix, 
James Logan, Jared Irwin and Wm. Ferine, and 
among the first, but in what year they came we do 
not know, were Jonathan Rowley, John Haas, 
Thomas McWhorter, Samuel Shannon, James 
Harrison, Daniel Hamsher, Matthew Dorr, and 
Oliver Warren, a nephew of Dr. Warren, of Revo- 
lutionary memory. The Fronks were also early 
settlers. One, a son of the pioneer, is still living 
on the crest of the east hill, aged 97 years. 

WiUiam Ferine, who served in the Pennsylvania 
Une during the Revolution, came from Cambridge, 
Washington county, in 1797, and located at the 
ancient village of WiUiamsburgh. Two years after, 
in 1799, he removed to Dansville, and settled at 
the foot of the east hill, at the head of Ferine 
street, which derives its name from him. He took 
up three sections and sold out at a small advance 
all but about 150 acres, which has since been 
known as the Ferine tract. The house standing 
on Health street, facing Ferine street, was the 
Ferine homestead. It is now owned by the heirs 
of his grand-daughter, the late Mrs. Charles S. 
Hall, who died four years ago. Mr. Ferine was a 
farmer by occupation, and continued to reside 
there till his death in 1847, at the advanced age of 
93 years. He had ten children, only one of whom 



is left — Peter Ferine, of Dansville, who is 8i years 
old. He is a native of DansvillCj and is believed 
to be the oldest native resident of the town. He 
is the father of Dr. Francis M. Ferine, of Dansville. 
William Ferine's children mostly settled in this 
locality, but many of them subsequently scattered 
over the Western States. His sons William and 
Robert continued to reside in the vicinity till their 
death, the former for a time in Dansville, Steuben 
county, and the latter in West Sparta. Mrs. Rob- 
ert Thompson, of Dansville was a daughter of his. 
The family evinced remarkable longevity, all the 
children living to be from 75 to 85 years old, 
except one, who died of pneumonia at the age 
of 40. 

Jonathan Rowley was an early landlord in Dans- 
ville. He erected for a tavern the first brick house 
in the village,* and died here childless July 22, 
1833, aged 60. 

Col. Nathaniel Rochester, though not as early a 
settler as many, was a prominent character during 
the short period of his stay here and gave a great 
impulse to the commercial and manufacturing 
interests of the village. As early as 1800, he, in 
company with Charles Carroll and Col. WilHam 
Fitzhugh, all of Hagerstown, Maryland, visited this 
country in quest of an eligible town site contiguous 
to a water power. Rochester took up his residence 
in "Dansville in 1809, and purchased a large tract 
of land, embracing most of the water power within 
the village, including the mills built by Daniel 
ShoU for the Fultney estate. He added to the 
other mills a paper mill, which was the pioneer of its 
kind in Western New York. In 18 14 he disposed 
of his property in Dansville, in part to Rev. Chris- 
tian Endress, of Easton, Penn., and in part to 
Jacob Opp, from the same place. Mr. Endress 
resided in Dansville but a year, when he returned 
and resumed charge of a German Lutheran church 
at Easton ; but two of his sons, Judge Isaac L. and 
Dr. Samuel L. Endress, were for many years dis- 
tinguished residents of Dansville. He sold his 
Dansville property, a tract of land and the paper- 
mill, to Dr. James Faulkner. He died in Lan- 
caster, Fenn., in 1827. Jacob Opp's purchase, which 
embraced the present Readshaw mill and site, was 
made in January, 18 14, and in May of that year 
he moved his family here from Easton. He con- 
tinued his interest in the mill property till about 
1840, and died in Dansville in 1847, aged 84 years. 
Henry B. Opp is the only one of his family left 

* Pioneer History of P help and Gorham's Purchase, 360. 

This town was for some years the place of resi- 
dence of Major Moses Van Campen, a character 
whose eventful life, replete with daring enterprises 
and thrilHng adventures, has made his name familiar 
in all this section of country, and associated him 
with such notorious frontiersmen as Daniel Boone 
Simon Girty, Lew Wetzel, Kenton, Timothy or 
"Big Foot" Murphy and others of that ilk. During 
his residence here he lived in the house now oc- 
cupied by John Schubmehl, which was removed 
from the site of the Star blacksmith shop on 
Ossian street ; and here he buried his second wife 
Mary, the widow of Jonathan Stout, who died 
March 8, 1845, ^g^d 78. A narrative of the life 
of this remarkable man was published in 1842, and 
from it the following facts were mainly condensed. 
Moses Van Campen was the oldest of ten chil- 
dren, whose father was Cornelius Van Campen. a 
respectable farmer of Hunterdon county, N. J., 
where Moses was born Jan. 21, 1757. Hismother, 
whose name was Depue, was descended from a 
family of French Protestants, who fled from re- 
hgious persecution at home to find refuge in the 
State of Pennsylvania, to which State his father 
moved soon after Moses' birth, to land purchased 
on the Delaware, a Httle above the famous Water 
Gap, whose charming scenery has since filled with 
admiration numberless travelers. He early be- 
came expert in the use of the rifle ; and by his 
father's removal in 1773, to a tract of land on Fish- 
ing creek, eight miles above its mouth, he was 
brought in contact with the Indians, who came 
from the waters of the Genesee, and hunted for 
weeks at a time in this region, which abounded 
with deer, wild turkey and other game. He thus 
acquired a familiarity with Indian character, and 
an experience which fitted him for the distinguished 
services rendered in the impending struggle of the 

In 1776, Van Campen was appointed ensign in 
a regiment raised in Northumberland county, de- 
signed to join the Continental army under Wash- 
ington, who was then stationed in the vicinity of 
Boston, but he was prevailed on to resign his com- 
mission and remain on the frontier, where it was 
thought his services could be more advantageously 
used. He accordingly joined the regiment of Col. 
John Kelly, which was ordered up the river to 
Reid's Fort, opposite Big Island, from which point 
scouting parties were sent out to gain information 
of the movements of the Indians. In 1778 he was 
appointed Lieutenant of a company of six months' 
men raised for the protection of the frontier. With 



twenty men he went up the north branch of the 
Susquehanna and erected a fort, to which the peo- 
ple might fly in case of danger ; and scarcely was 
it finished before it was attacked, but the defense 
was so effectual that the Indians were compelled to 
retire. A month later, in May, the attack was re- 
newed. Van Campen shot the leader and the 
assailants retired in a panic. Various exciting 
events occurred during the year, among which was 
the capture of a band of lurking tories in a bar- 
ricaded log house, by Van Campen and five men. 

In 1779, Van Campen was assigned to the army 
under Geyi. Sullivan, and during the preparations 
of that officer for the campaign which was so im- 
portant in its results in this section of country, he 
was arduously engaged in the capacity of Quarter- 
master in the collection and distribution of military 

In 1780, Van Campen was taken prisoner by a 
party of Indians who invaded the vicinity of his 
old home on Fishing creek, and killed his father, 
a little brother, an uncle and cousin. He was 
bound, and by assuming an indifference he did not 
feel, caused the savages to desist tormenting him. 
He was soon after joined by another captive 
named Pike, whose wife and child was spared and 
reported the news at Wyoming on the 30th of 
March. On the journey they passed a spot where 
five Indians had been killed by two captives named 
Hammond and Bennett, the former of whom was 
an uncle of Amariah and Lazarus Hammond, early 
settlers in this town. They were afterwards joined 
by another captive named Peter Pence. Van 
Campen and his fellow-prisoners concerted a plan 
of escape, the origin and execution of which, 
mainly, were due to the former. It was arranged 
that Pike and Van Campen should use tomahawks, 
and Pence such guns as he was able to seize. 
About midnight, Van Campen cut the cords which 
bound himself and companions with a knife drop- 
ped by one of the savages, and which he had dex- 
terously concealed with his foot. The guns and 
other weapons were removed. Just as they were 
ready to strike, two of the savages assigned to Pike 
to dispatch awoke, and were getting up. Pike 
proved a coward; but at this critical juncture Van 
Campen killed these two, and turning to the 
three assigned to him killed them before they were 
aroused. Just then Pence used the rifles with 
good effect, kiUing four. The only remaining one 
started up with a bound and went for a gun. Van 
Campen pursued and intercepted him, striking him 
in the back of the neck with a tomahawk, aimed at 

his head. The Indian fell, and Van Campen 
slipped and fell also. The two clinched and strug- 
gled for the mastery, till Van Campen, while under 
the Indian, succeeded in getting his toes in the 
latter's belt, and threw him off. They rose togeth- 
er, and the Indian escaped by taking to the woods. 

Years after Van Campen was visited by this 
same Indian, whose name was Mohawk, and who 
exhibited the scar from the ugly wound inflicted 
on his neck. 

In 1 781, Van Campen was again made a Lieu- 
tenant, and in the fall his company was sent in con- 
junction with other troops to guard prisoners at 
Reading. In the spring of 1782, he returned with 
his company to Northumberland, and from thence 
marched to Muncy, where he built a fort. While 
on a scout up the river with twenty men, he was 
surprised by a Tory, named Nellis, at the head of 
eighty-five Indians. A desperate fight ensued, in 
which nine of Van Campen's men were killed. 
Three escaped and the rest were made prisoners. 
These, Van Campen among the number, after a 
consultation among the Indians, in which it was 
decided that enough blood had been shed, were 
taken to Caneadea, on the Genesee, to the old 
council-house which now adorns the grounds of 
Hon. Wm. P. Letchworth, at Glen Iris, at the 
upper falls of the Genesee. Van Campen was 
deeply solicitous lest it should be discovered that 
he was the one who had killed so many when pre- 
viously captured. At Pigeon Woods, on the upper 
Genesee, he was for the first time accosted by 
Capt. Horatio Jones, who, himself a prisoner, 
quietly informed him that he and another, a Dutch- 
man named Housen, were the only ones who knew 
of his former exploit, and doubtless saved Van 
Campen's fife by a timely admonition to Housen. 

At Caneadea, the captives were compelled to 
run the gauntlet, a common mode of Indian pun- 
ishment, and one which sealed the fate of many a 
weary captive. The distance to be run was forty 
yards ; the goal of safety, the door of the council- 
house ; but to reach it they had to pass between 
two lines of men, women and children, armed with 
knives, hatchets, sticks, stones, or any other con- 
venient offensive weapon, each of whom was at 
liberty to strike as often and severely as he or she 
pleased until the goal was reached, when all fur- 
ther demonstration ceased until the chiefs in coun- 
cil decided on the ultimate fate of the captive; and 
so highly was personal valor and bravery esteemed 
in a foe by these untutored savages, that the man- 
ner in which the prisoner bore himself during this 



ordeal often affected the final judgment as to his 

Just before the word was given, Van Campen 
saw two young squaws with whips in their hands 
coming leisurely from the village to join in the 
sport. He was as active in mind as in body, and 
at once decided to make them the objects of his 
especial interest. When the word "joggo" was 
given he directed his course toward them, avoid- 
ing as best he could the blows aimed at him by the 
motley assailants. He passed swiftly over the in- 
tervening distance, though his hands were tied, 
and just before he reached the two who awaited 
with upraised whips, he gave a quick spring, and 
by two well-directed blows with his feet, sent them 
sprawling on the sod, himself falling with them. 
Regaining his feet, he again started for the goal, 
which he reached in safety. This piece of strategy, 
skillfully executed, so delighted the chiefs, that they 
rolled upon the ground convulsed with laughter ; it 
won for Van Campen a light judgment. 

In company with other captives he was taken to 
Fort Niagara, when he was adopted into the family 
of Col. Butler, to make good the loss of his son, 
who was killed on the Mohawk. The Indians soon 
after required intelligence from Mohawk himself of 
Van Campen's former exploit in the massacre of 
his captors, and sharply interrogated Capt. Jones, 
who had been long enough a prisoner to gain their 
confidence and esteem, as to his knowledge of the 
fact ; but he concealed his knowledge with evasive 
answers. They resolved however to punish Van 
Campen. They repaired to Niagara and demanded 
him of Col. Butler, promising fourteen other pris- 
oners in his stead. Col. Butler sent an adjutant to 
ascertain the facts, and after some hesitation Van 
Campen boldly related them ; but he at the same 
time claimed protection as a prisoner of war. Col. 
Butler proposed, as the price of his freedom, 
that he accept a commission in the British army, 
a proposition which was subsequently renewed 
by the wife of a British officer, who proved to be a 
former acquaintance and school-mate. But the 
brave Van Campen, though remembering the cruel 
fate of Lieut. Boyd on the Genesee flats, indignant- 
ly spurned the offer, saying, " No, sir, no 1 Give me 
the stake, the tomahawk or the knife, sooner than 
a British commission." He was placed on board a 
vessel and sent to Montreal. After a few months 
imprisonment he was paroled, and returned to 
Northumberland in January, 1783. 

In the spring he was exchanged. He again 
entered the service and was sent to take charge of 

a fort at Wilkesbarre, where he remained for some 
time after peace was declared, to protect the fron- 
tier from the still hostile Indians. He received 
before leaving the service a Major's commission. 

Soon after being relieved from military duty he 
married a daughter of James McClure, a wealthy 
farmer of Northumberland. In 1795 he removed 
to Angelica, and being a surveyor, was for some 
years employed in that capacity by Capt. William- 
son and Philip Church. In 1807 he was appointed 
Judge of Allegany county. He was Treasurer of 
that county by appointment fifteen years ; and was 
Loan Commissioner till 1831, when he removed to 
Dansville village. He participated in the cere- 
monies attending the removal of the remains of Lt. 
Boyd and his unfortunate comrades, who were cut 
down by the Indians in the ambuscade in Grove- 
land, Sept. 13, 1779, and in a few words surren- 
dered their honored remains for re-interment in 
Mount Hope Cemetery, Rochester. He returned to 
Angelica soon after the death of his wife, and died 
there Oct. 15, 1849, at the ripe age of 92 yearsand 
9 months. 

Town Officers. — The first town meeting was 
held at the house of G. C. Taylor, on Tuesday, 
April 7,-1846, and the following officers elected : — 
Sidney Sweet, Supervisor ; Peter S. Lema, Clerk ; 
Thomas Roming, Joseph Enos and John Haas, 
Justices; Aaron Brown, Ebenezer B. Brace and 
Thomas Roming, Assessors; Cyrus Jones, John 
Hartman and Benjamin Stone, Commissioners of 
Highways; Bleeker L. Hovey, Superintendent of 
Common Schools ; John C. WilUams, Solomon 
Hubbard and Geo. G. Wood, Inspectors of Elec- 
tion ; Jason H. Stone, and Jarvis T. Beach, Over- 
seers of the Poor ; Wm. McVicar, Collector ; Wm. 
McVicar, Gabriel Shult, Harmon Howe, Consta- 
bles; John Smith "of Lyons," Sealer;* Joseph 
Kidd, Wm. Curtiss, Paul Knouse, Thomas Mc- 
Whorter, Merritt Brown, Henry Hartman, Mat- 
thew Porter, Jr., Isaac Dexter, Samuel Fisk, Wm. 
Kershner, J. T. Lewis, Seth Foster, Conrad Welch. 
David Shult, Wm. Foote and Cyrus B. Cook, Path- 

The following have been the Supervisors and 
Clerks from 1846 to 1880 : — 



1846-7. Sidney Sweet. Peter S. Lema. 
1848-9. " Charles A. Thompson. 

1850. John Goundry. C. E. Lamport.f 

1 85 1. Henry Hartman. O. T. Crane. 

* Though this officer was elected in 1846, not until 1853 was the Super- 
visor authorized to procure the proper standards of v^eights and measures, 
t O. T. Crane was appointed Clerk, Nov. 3, 1850, vice Lamport resigned. 

















E. B. Brace.* O. T. Crane. 

Alonzo Bradner. " 

Matthew Porter, Jr., Timothy B. Grant. 

Joseph W. Smith. 

Lester B. Faulkner. f " 

Samuel D. Faulkner. " 

Joseph W. Smith. " 

John A. VanderHp. " 

" Thomas E. Gallagher. 

Jas. Faulkner, Jr. James Krein. 

" J. J. Bailey. 

Le Grand Snyder. 

Geo. A. Sweet. 
L. B. Faulkner. 

C. Joseph Wirth. 
Le Grand Snyder. 


Dansville is a handsome, thriving and enterpris- 
ing village of 3,632 inhabitants, beautifully situated 
at the head of the Genesee Valley, and deriving a 
valuable water power from the streams flowing 
through and adjacent to it. It is not only the 
most populous village in the county, but its com- 
merce and manufactures far exceed any other. It 
contains many fine business blocks and private 
residences, which add to the attractiveness of its 
handsomely shaded streets. It has a goodly sup- 
ply of churches, which are well supported ; but is 
sadly deficient in the matter of public schools, a 
defect, however^ which is in a measure compen- 
sated for by excellent private schools. The main 
street runs parallel with and at the base of the east 
hill, which rises above it with a good deal of ab- 
ruptness to the height of over eight hundred feet, 
presenting a succession of cultivated fields and 
woodlands, which form a most picturesque land- 
scape. At the foot of the opposite hills winds the 
Canaseraga, which, with its affluents, control so 
many of the industries of the village. It is con- 
nected by rail with Mt. Morris, Geneseo, Avon and 
Rochester, being distant forty-five miles by high- 
way from the latter city, and eighteen miles from 
Geneseo, the county seat. It is also connected by 
daily stage with Burns on the Hornellsville di- 
vision, and Wayland on the Buffalo division of the 
Erie railroad. 

It contains eight churches,t the Dansville Sem- 
inary, a district school, several private schools, two 
newspaper offices, § two banks, (one national and 
one private,) three hotels, a popular and thriving 
water cure, various manufa,ct uring estabHshments, 

* Appointed, as no choice was made by tlie Electors. 

t Samuel D. Faulkner was appointed Supervisor vice L. B. Faulkner 

X These are Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, Episcopalian, English 
Lutheran, German Lutheran, German Catholic and Irish Catholic. 

§ See Chap. XII. for History of tlie Press of Livingston County. 

which will be enumerated under the head of manu- 
factures, nearly seventy stores of various kinds, 
and the various mechanics' shops incident to a 
village of its size. 

The village was incorporated May 7, 1845. 

The first corporation meeting was held at the 
American Hotel, kept by G. C. Taylor, June 16, 
1846, and the following officers were elected: 
Trustees, Sidney Sweet, Jason H. Stone, Samuel 
L. Endress, Chester Bradley, Wm. Foote; As- 
sessors, Ebenezer B. Brace, Aaron Brown, Wm. 
Curtiss ; * Fire Wardens, Peter S. Lema, Philip 
Hasler, Russell H. Winans ; Clerk, Barna J. 
Chapin ; Treasurer, Samuel W. Smith; Collector, 
Harmon Howe. At the first meeting of the Board 
of Trustees, June 20, 1846, Chester Bradley was 
elected President. 

The following have been the Presidents and 
Clerks of the village from 1846 to 1880 : — 

Presidents. Clerks. 

1846. Chester Bradley. Barna J. Chapin. 

1847. Sidney Sweet. 

1848. Harman Jones. 

1849. John Haas. • 

1 850. Ebenezer B. Brace. 
185 1-2. M. H. Brown. 

1853. George Hyland. 

1854. Harman Jones. 
1855-6. Abram Lozier. 

George H. Bidwell. 
Charles E. Lamport. 

Osman T. Crane. 






















John Haas. 
Mat. McCartney. 
Charles R. Kern. 


J. F. Howarth. 
Frank Eschrich. 

D. Cogswell. 
Hugh McCartney. 
Charles R. Kern. 

Timothy B. Grant. 
George Hyland, Jr. 
Carl Stephan. 
Timothy B. Grant. 
Andrew J. Leach. 

Charles B. Mitchell. 

Oliver W. West. 
Jesse B. Prussia. 
John Hyland. 

John N. Lemen. 
J. B. Morey. 

Hugh McCartney. Jesse B. Prussia. 
W. J. La Rue. " 

Jos. C. Whitehead. William Kramer. 
" Jesse B. Prussia. 

Geo. A. Sweet. Le Grand Snyder. 
John Wilkinson. Patrick O'Hara. 
James Krein. Le Grand Snyder. 
Jas. Faulkner, Jr. 

following Democratic ticket was elected 
1881 : Trustees, James Faulkner, Jr., 

Resolved Wheaton, James Krein^ Dennis Foley, 
James E. Crisfield; Tre^sarer, Timothy B. Grant ; 
Clerk, LeGrand Snyder; CoUector, Thomas 

~* June IS, 1846, Matthew McCartney was appointed in place of Curtiss, 
who refused to act. 

t Nov. 25, 185c, DeWltt C. Bryant was appointed Clerk in place of 
Charles E. Lamport, who resigned. 

1 66 


O'Mera; Assessors, Thomas Earls, Joseph J. 
Welch, Frank Schubmehl. 

Dansville developed slowly previous to the open- 
ing of the can^l. Spafiford describes it in his 
Gazetteer of 1813, as having " a post-office, a num- 
ber of mills, and a handsome street of \\ miles m 
length, occupied by farm houses, &c.," and in his 
Gazetteer Qi 1824, the description is not varied m 
the least. " In 1830," says a local writer, " Dans- 
ville was a vast pine plain. Get off from Main 
street and you were in the woods directly. The 
Maxwell nursery and Hartman farms were covered 
with young second-growth pines so thick a dog 
could hardly squeeze through, while the taller giant 
pines reared their feathered tops majestically up- 
ward into the sky, making good resting places for 
the hawks and crows. It was the same thing on 
the southern side, only the pines were taller and 

In 1836 it contained three churches, (Presby- 
terian, Lutheran and Methodist,) and a society of 
Episcopalians, four paper-mills, each having a 
double engine, using together a ton of rags per day, 
five grain-mills, three of which were "large and of 
superior fabric," a clover-mill, which had prepared 
in one season 1,500 bushels of seed for market, one 
blast furnace, two trip hammers, five tanneries, three 
carding and cloth-dressing establishments, three saw- 
mills, four taverns, six stores, one printing office, 
issuing a weekly paper, and about 220 dweUings.f 
In 1842 it contained about 1,600 inhabitants, 250 
dwelUngs, two Presbyterian, one Methodist, and one 
Lutheran churches, one bank, two hotels, twenty-five 
stores, four extensive paper mills, two large flouring 
mills, two furnaces and a tannery.^ In 1850, it is 
described as "a large, thriving and busy village" of 
1,800 inhabitants " extensively engaged in manufac- 
tures," the principal of which were " paper, flour, 
leather, iron, cloth, and lumber in large quantities."§ 
In i860, it had a population of 2,879, ^.nd con- 
tained nine churches, the Dansville Seminary, two 
printing offices, a bank, a water cure, five flouring 
mills, three paper mills, two furnaces, a plaster mill, 
machine shop, pail factory, sash and blind factory, 
distillery, two tanneries and five breweries. || In 
1872, the population had increased to 3,600, and 
it contained eight churches, the Dansville Semi- 

* Recollections of a Citizen^ in the Dansville A dvertiser of August 2, 

t Gazetteer of New York, by Thomas F. Gordon. 

+ y. DistitriulVs Gazetteer of the State of New York. 

§ Geographical History of New York, by J. H. Mather and L. P. 
Brockett, M, D. 

II Historical and Statistical Gazetteer of New York, by J. H. 

nary, two printing offices, two banks, a banking of- 
fice, a cure, five flouring mills, three paper mills, 
one furnace and plow factory, two plaster mills, a 
machine shop, pail factory, two sash and blind facto- 
ries, a distillery, two tanneries, and five breweries.* 
Thus we see a steady and rapid increase in popula- 
tion, and the number and magnitude of its sub- 
stantial enterprises and industries and social insti- 
tutions since the opening of the canal. 

Merchants. — Daniel P. Faulkner was the first 
merchant in Dansville. His first stock of goods, 
which was small, he brought in from Northumber- 
land county. Pa., in 1796. The following year he 
built a one-story frame house in front of his plank 
shanty on the site of the National Bank, in which 
he traded. In January, 1797, he brought in three 
loads of goods from Albany. He kept the store 
till his failure in 1798, when he returned to Penn- 
sylvania to retrieve his fortune by resuming his 
former occupation of tavern keeping. 

Jared Irwin was Mr. Faulkner's successor. He 
was originally from Pennsylvania but came here 
from Painted Post as early as 1798. He opened 
a store about midway between the bank and the 
Wing tavern, and also kept tavern, continuing both 
till his death, which occurred Jan. i, 1813, at the 
age of 45, and resulted from a virulent disease called 
the '' war fever," which was then prevalent all over 
the country. In 1804, Mr. Irwin became the rep- 
resentative of his brother, James Irwin of Painted 
Post, in the Daniel P. Faulkner property, which 
was purchased by James Irwin in 1802 or '3, and 
sold soon after to Jonathan Rowley, who was also 
from Painted Post. John Metcalf was contempo- 
rary with Mr. Irwin and was trading here at the 
latter's death. 

Joshua Shepard, who was born in Plainfield, 
Conn., in 1780, came here from Bloomfield in 
in 1 8 13, bringing with him a stock of goods. He 
soon after became associated with Lester Brad- 
ner, who came about the same time from Utica, 
where he had served an apprenticeship with Watts 
Sherman, a prominent merchant of that place. 
Shepard was a carpenter and joiner, and Bradner 
an educated merchant ; both had been hucksters 
on the Niagara frontier during the war. Bradner 
first started a distillery three miles below the vil- 
lage, and subsequently engaged in trade. Fearing 
to come in competition with Bradner, whose ex- 
perience i)laced him at a disadvantage, Shepard 
shrewdly proposed a copartnership. Their store 

* Gazetteer of t/te State of New York, by Frankbn B. Hough, A. M., 
M. D. 



occupied the site of Timothy B. Grant's hardware 
store. They continued to trade in company till 
the death of Shepard in September, 1829. Brad- 
ner continued till his death. He was also interested 
with his brother Alonzo in a store established about 
1816 or '17 in a two and a half- story frame build- 
ing on the site of the National Bank, in which 
Dr. James Faulkner was a silent partner. This 
business was closed out at Shepard's death. Alonzo 
Bradner traded here till 1836, and went to New 
York city. 

Samuel W. Smith, a native of Caledonia, came 
here about 1814 or '15 and traded for many years 
in opposition to Shepard. His store stood on the 
northeast corner of Main and Exchange streets. 
He afterwards removed to the stand now occupied 
by T. Carpenter, and traded here till within a few 
years of his death. Luther Melvin, from Vermont, 
was associated with Samuel W. Smith in the mer- 
cantile business, and afterwards with Dr. Wm. H. 
Reynale in the hardware business. He continued 
till about 1840 or '45 and returned to Vermont. 
Lamport & Eastwood succeeded Smith and traded 
till about 1845. Lamport went to St. Louis; 
Eastwood continued business in another place for 
three or four years, associated with Endress Faulk- 
ner, when he went to New York. 

Samuel Shannon was a druggist here from about 
1820 to 1840. He continued his residence here till 
his death, May 28, 1849, aged 58. He was a Justice 
of the Peace for a number of years. WiUis F. 
Clark, who was born August 21, 1786, sold drugs 
and dry goods from about 1820 to about 1835 or 
'36. He was a physician, and after his failure prac- 
ticed medicine here more or less till his death, Oct. 
5, 1858. 

Merntt H. Brown,* who was born in Benning- 
ton, Vt, Oct. 20, 1806, came to Dansville with his 
father's family in 18 ;8. In 1827 he engaged 
in mercantile business with his father, Merritt 
Brown, continuing some four years. In 1839 
he returned to Dansville and resumed the hard- 
ware trade. In the spring of 1846 he associ- 
ated himself with Timothy B. Grant, under the 
name of Brown & Grant, and added a general hne 
of hardware to his stock, which had until then con- 
sisted chiefly of stoves, sheet iron and tin ware. 

John Betts was engaged in business here some 
fifty years, continuing till within a few years, first as 
a tanner and afterwards as a dealer in boots and 
shoes. He still resides in the village, aged eighty 
years. George Hyland, a native of Ireland, came 

* See biographical sketch at close of chapter. 

to Dansville from Canada in 1830, and in com- 
pany with John Wildey, whose interest he after- 
wards purchased, opened a hatter's estabhshment, 
which he continued till about 1865. He was also 
engaged in mercantile business, which he con- 
tinued till his death, in the spring of 1880, at which 
time, it is said, he had been longer engaged in 
mercantile business than any other man in Liv- 
ingston county. 

James and David McCartney, both natives of 
North Dansville, of which town their father, Wil- 
liam McCartney, was the pioneer settler, com- 
menced business as tanners at Comminsville about 
1831. They sold out in 1835, and the building was 
soon after used by Warren Commins as a foundry 
and machine shop. In the spring of 1836 they 
engaged in mercantile business in company with 
George Bradner, under the name of Bradner & 
McCartneys, purchasing the business of Alonzo 

David J. Wood, originally from New Jersey, 
came here from Burns, Steuben county, and was 
a prominent merchant from about 1845 till his 
death. May 16, 1855, at the age of 48 years.* Tom 
E. Leman was his partner for a few years, till 
1854. Leman was associated in trade with George 
Hyland from June, 1854, to July, 1855, and after- 
wards till his death with L. H. Puffer. Leman 
was born March 22, 1824, and died May 5, 1862. 
Mr. Puffer continues the business at the present 
time. Robert S. Faulkner, who is now keeping a 
flour and feed store in Dansville, commenced 
mercantile business here about 1847 or '8, and 
continued till about 1857. 

The merchants and traders at present doing 
business in Dansville are : Hinds & Bunce, pro- 
duce dealers ; John Blum, boots and shoes ; Wm. 
Veith, tobacconist; Crowe & Enwright, boots and 
shoes; Charles Leonard, tobacconist; Samuel 
Johnson, grocer; Thomas Earls, grocer; W. J. 
Rose, jeweler; WiUiam Pfuntner, boots and shoes; 
Robert S. Faulkner, flour and feed ; Owen Gal- 
lagher, flour and feed ; George and John Hyland, 
dry goods ; Manly Walker, grocer and confectioner ; 
Richard Wiley, grocer ; Henry Byer, boots and 
shoes ; Fielder & Olney, dry goods ; Spinning, Uhl 
& Co., dry goods ; Fritz Durr, clothier ; G. G. 
Fowler, dry goods; H. Hubertus, clothier; Nich- 
olas Johantgen, clothier; Mrs. J. C. Prussia, m il- 

* The death of Mr. Wood, followed in a few weeks by that of his wife 
attended with like symptoms, awakened suspicions of foul play. The 
bodies were disinterred, the stomachs submitted to chemical analysis, and 
traces of poison found. Circumstances implicated Mr. Wood's brother, 
who was arrested, convicted after a long and exciting trial, and hung at 
Geneseo July 9, 1858. 



liner ; Miss Landers, fancy goods ; Kramer Bros., 
clothiers ; Wm. H. Dick, boots and shoes ; Wm. 
Krein, grocer; Austin & Clark, dry goods ; Joseph 
Holcomb, flour and feed ; Nicholas Grim, baker ; 
Dennis Foley, grocer ; Miss Rosetta Griffith, mil- 
liner ; Chas. Gardner, confectioner ; E. S. Palms, 
merchant tailor ; J. W. Brown, boots and shoes ; 
J. L. Matson, furniture dealer and undertaker; 
John J. Kennedy, liquors ; Nicholas Huver, har- 
ness ; H. Huver, boots and shoes ; Conrad Meh- 
lenbecker, baker ; George Dippy, flour and feed ; 
Altmyer & Jones, undertakers and furniture dealers ; 
Andrew Schario, grocer ; A. Lauterborn, tinsmith; 
R. G. Perrin, 99 cent store ; T. Carpenter, grocer ; 
J. B. Prussia, milHner ; F. S. Southwick, boots 
and shoes; F. C. Walker, hardware; J. W. Bur- 
gess, boots and shoes ; L. H. Puff'er, boots and 
shoes; F. J. Nelson, druggist; Dyer Bros., dry 
goods ; S. J. Taft, grocer and confectioner ; James 
Hodgmire, drugs ; H. W. DeLong, stationery; H. 
T. Gallagher, grocer; Bailey & Edwards, hard- 
ware; F. G. Rice, merchant tailor; L. G. Ripley; 
jeweler; C. W. Woolever, drugs ; A. Hall, harness ; 
Emmel Klouck, leather; T. B. Grant, hardware 
dealer and agent for the Royce reaper ; L. Per- 
ham, jeweler and news-dealer; McCartney & 
Whitehead, boots and shoes; E. N. Parmelee, 
patent medicines ; Walter Miller, Yankee notions ; 
G. Bastian, drugs; Nicholas Fox, boots and 

Postmasters. — The earliest mail facilities en- 
joyed by Dansville were from the south, by way of 
Bath, to which place Capt. WilUamson estabUshed 
communication by mail once a week from North- 
umberland, Pa., paying all the expenses con- 
nected therewith himself Charles Cameron, a 
merchant at Bath, was the first postmaster at that 
place, by Williamson's appointment. An old 
Frenchman hved at the "Block house," on Laurel 
Ridge, sixty-five miles distant from Bath ; and 
thither Thomas Corbit, the mail rider in 1794, went 
weekly for the Steuben county bag.* Jared Irwin, 
the second merchant and first postmaster at Dans- 
ville, procured the establishment of a post route 
from Bath early in the present century. He held 
the office till his death in 1813, and was succeeded 
in that year by James W. Stout, who was then 
keeping tavern on the site of the National Bank. 
He was a tailor by trade. He held the office till 
his death, which occurred Oct. 7, 1814, at the age 
of 25. Dr. James Faulkner succeeded to the 

* Narrative of Gen. George McClure, in McMaster's History of 
Sieuben conjiiy, ii6. 

office in 1814 and held it tiU 1841. Samuel Shan- 
non next held the office till his death, May 28, 
1 849, and was succeeded by Merritt Brown, Charles 
Shepard, Charles Lamport, Merritt H. Brown, the 
latter of whom held it till July, 1858, when Judge 
John A. VanDerhp was appointed and held it till 
Sept. 2, 186 1, when O. B. MaxweUwas appointed. 
He was succeeded in 1865 by Edward H. Pratt. 
George Hyland was appointed under Gen. Grant's 
administration, and was succeeded in October, 
1869, by Seth N. Hedges, who held the office till 
Jan. r, 1874, when John Hyland, the present in- 
cumbent, was appointed. 

Physicians. — The first physician to locate in 
Dansville was James Faulkner, to whom reference 
is made elsewhere. The second was Jonathan P. 
Sill, who came from Cambridge, Washington 
county, in 1797, but removed the same year to 
WiUiamsburgh, and the next year to Geneseo, 
where he practiced till his death in 1807. He was 
an estimable man, successful in his practice, and it 
was said of him by William Crossett, an Irish dis- 
tiller and a prominent man in this locality, that he 
was the only man who ever died without an enemy. 
He remained here but a short time. He married 
the youngest sister of Samuel, Daniel P. and James 

Philip Sholl, brother to David Sholl, the 
pioneer millwright, and a native of Moore town- 
ship, Northampton county. Pa., came to Dansville 
in February, 1 808, and fixed his habitation on the 
corner of Main and Exchange streets. He was not 
an educated physician, but he was a man of great 
ability and shrewdness, and though an inebriate, 
had an extensive practice. No man in this county, 
says Dr. James Faulkner, had the popularity he 
acquired all through this section. Not under- 
standing the nature and uses of medicines, he re- 
sorted to simple remedies until the advent of Dr. 
Faulkner as a practitioner in 18 12, when he in- 
judiciously administered from his stock, medicines 
of whose nature he was ignorant. He was not 
hcensed, and hence formed a copartnership with 
Dr. Faulkner so as to enable him to collect his 
debts. He continued in practice here till his death, 
which occurred in 182 1 from apoplexy, while on a 
visit to his former home. 

WiUis F. Clark, a native of New England, came 
here from Utica about 1813 or '14, and practiced 
till his death, Oct. 5, 1858. Josiah Clark came 
here about 1820, and after practicing several years 
he removed to Livonia, where he was practicing in 
1842. Wm. H. Reynale was born in Quaker- 



town, N. J., Feb. 27, 1794. He was a noted sur- 
geon in this section.* 

L. N. Cook was born in London, Mass., April 
5, 1791, and removed with his parents to Livonia 
in this county. He studied medicine with Dr. 
Cyrus Chipman, of Pittstown, (afterwards Honeoye 
and now Richmond,) Ontario county. He prac- 
ticed in the towns of Livonia and Richmond till 
1818, when he removed to Dansville, and in 1824, 
to Johnstown, Licking county, Ohio. In 1831, he 
returned to Dansville, where he lived and practiced 
till his death April 2, 1868, of heart disease. 

Samuel L. Endress, in 1828 removed to Dans- 
ville, and formed a co-partnership with Dr. Wm. 
-H. Reynale, which continued for many years. He 
continued in practice here till his death, from 
bilious pneumonia, Feb. 24, 1871. 

Edward WilUam Patchen entered upon the prac- 
tice of his profession in Sparta, where he continued 
four years. He then removed to Livonia, and a 
year later, in 1843, to Dansville, where he prac- 
ticed till his death, Oct. 20, 1869. 

BleekerL. Hovey was practicing here in 1842 and 
for some years thereafter. He is now a noted phy- 
sician in Rochester. Asahel Yale and Alonzo 
Cressy were practicing here in 1829; and O. S. 
Pratt, C. T. Dildine and George M, Blake, at a 
later day. A Dr. Davis and his nephew, named 
George Davis, were practicing here in 1846. The 
former was a Thompsonian physician and had an 
extensive practice all over this section of country ; 
the latter was an eclectic physician, and had a good 
professional reputation. Dr. Ripley succeeded 
George Davis and practiced two or three years. 
Louis Velder, a native of the town of Heibach, 
Austria, who had studied medicine in the best 
schools -in Vienna, came to this country about 
1850, and located at Dansville. He removed to 
Elmira about 1867. George H. Preston was born 
in Dansville, Sept. 1, 1819. In 1854 he located in 
Dansville, and in 1855 he removed to Rochester. 
From there he went to Brantford, Province of On- 
tario, from whence, in 1864, he returned to Dans- 
ville, where he practiced till his death, Nov. 14, 
1872. Dr. Blakesley located in Dansville in 1859, 
but how long he remained here we are not advised. 
The present physicians are G. W. Shepherd, 
Zara H. Blake, Francis M. Ferine, Wooster B. 
Preston, James E. Crisfield, Ben P. Andrews and 
Charles W. Brown. 

G. W. Shepherd was born in Albany, Sept. 28, 
1 8 16, and received an academic education at Al- 

• His biography and portrait appear at the close of the chapter. 

bany and Hamilton. He commenced the study of 
medicine in 1835, with Dr. Guasque, in George- 
town, S. C, subsequently pursuing his medical 
studies with Dr. T. T. Everet, of Batavia, and Dr. 
Morgan Snyder, of Fort Plain. He attended medi- 
cal lectures at the South CaroHna Medical College 
in Charleston, and was Hcensed by the Genesee 
County Medical Society, August 6, 1842. He com- 
menced practice in the fall of 1842 in New York, 
continuing there some six months, when he removed 
to Orleans, Ontario county, and thence, in 1846, 
to Dansville. 

Zara H. Blake was born in Livonia in this 
county Oct. 23, 1821, and educated in the semi- 
naries at Dansville and Herkimer. He commenced 
the study of medicine in 1840, with Dr. S. L. En- 
dress, of Dansville, and attended medical lectures 
at the University of Buffalo, where he graduated 
in 1847, in which year he established himself in 
practice in Dansville. 

Francis M. Ferine, agrandson of WiUiam Ferine, 
one of the pioneer settlers of this town, was born 
in Dansville, March 27, 1831, and received an 
academic education in his native village. He com- 
menced the study of medicine in 185 1, with Dr. 
S. L. Endress, of Dansville, and graduated from 
the Buffalo Medical College in February, 1855. 
He entered upon the practice of his profession at 
Byersville, in West Sparta, in the spring of 1855, 
and removed there after six years to Dansville, 
where he has since practiced. 

Wooster B. Preston was born in Wellsboro, N. 
Y., March 3, 1845, and educated at the High and 
Grammar School of Brantford, Ontario, where his 
father, Dr. Geo. H. Preston, with whom he com- 
menced the study of medicine in 1863, was then 
practicing. He attended lectures at the Eclectic 
Medical College of Cincinnati, Ohio, where he 
graduated Feb. 12, 1867, in which year he engaged 
in practice in Dansville, in company with his father, 
till the death of the latter, Nov. 14, 1872. 

James E. Crisfield was born in Lodi, N. Y., 
August 6, 1851, and educated at Genesee College 
and Genesee Wesleyan Seminary at Lima. He 
studied medicine with Dr. John W. Gray, of Avon, 
and attended lectures at the College of Physicians 
and Surgeons in New York, where he graduated in 
the spring of 1872. He practiced four months of 
that year in the town of York and then removed to 
Dansville, where he has since practiced. 

Ben P. Andrews was born in Preston, N. Y., 
August 19, 1855, and commenced the study of 
medicine in 1873 with Dr. R. E. Miller, of Oxford. 



He attended a full course of lectures at the New 
York Homeopathic Medical College, where he 
graduated in March, 1877. He established himself 
in practice at Dansville in August of that year. 

Charles W. Brown was born in Caton, N. Y., 
Sept. 5, 1848. He commenced the study of med- 
icine in 1870, with Dr. Seeley, of Elmira, and 
attended lectures at the Hahnemann Medical 
College of Chicago, where he graduated in 1873. 
He commenced to practice that year at Hornells- 
ville, removed to Hammondsport in 1875, and to 
Dansville in 1877. 

Lawyers. — The first lawyers to locate in Dans- 
ville of whom we have any information were James 
Smith and John Proudfit, who were practicing here 
prior to 1840. Both were regarded as good law- 
yers, but the latter was somewhat dissipated. He 
was a man of considerable abihty, and died in 
New York City. His father was a Presbyterian 
clergyman at Salem, Washington county. Ben- 
jamin C. Cook was practicing here in 1842, and 
continued some fifteen years. He devoted him- 
self more to other business than to his profession, 
in which he was not regarded very proficient. 

Isaac Lewis Endress, brother to Dr. Samuel L. 
Endress of this village, was born at Easton, Pa., 
Sept. 14, 18 10, and a graduate of Dickinson Col- 
lege, at Carlisle, Pa. His father, who was a dis- 
tinguished Lutheran clergyman, designed him for 
the ministry ; but the bar presented superior attrac- 
tions, and in 1827 he entered the office of Judge 
Ewing at Trenton, N. J. In the fall of 1828 he 
removed to Rochester, where he pursued his legal 
studies with Daniel D. Barnard and Isaac Hill, of 
that city. He was admitted to the bar in October, 
1 83 1, and in February, 1832, opened an office in 
Dansville, where he practiced till 1856, when he 
went South for the health of his wife, visiting 
Havana, Cuba and Key West. He returned in 
1857. He was appointed Associate Judge of the 
Court of Common Pleas about 1839; was Presi- 
dential Elector and Secretary of the Electoral Col- 
lege in 1856; and a Delegate to the Constitutional 
Convention in 1867. He died here Jan. 22, 

John A. Van Derlip was born in Jackson, Wash- 
ington county, N. Y., Jan. 27, 1818, and was edu- 
cated at Washington Academy, in Salem, in that 
county, and at Union College, graduating at the 
latter institution in 1838, in which year he com- 
menced the study of law with Pearson & Davis, in 
Troy. He afterwards pursued his legal studies 
about six months in Cherry Valley with David H. 

Little, afterwards State Senator, and completed 
them in Rochester, with Judge Moses Chapin. 
He was admitted at Rochester in October, 1841, 
and the following January established himself in 
practice in Dansville, where he has since continued. 
In 1846, he was appointed Associate Judge of the 
Common Pleas Court by Silas Wright and per- 
formed the duties of that office till the Constitu- 
tion of that year took effect. Judge Van Derlip is 
an able lawyer, and stands to-day at the head of 
the Livingston County Bar. 

Benjamin F. Harwood was born in Hornby, 
Steuben county, N. Y., August 10, 1819. He was 
admitted to practice in the State courts in July, 
1839, and in the fall of that year located at Dans- 
ville, where he acquired some prominence, but 
more by his political affiliations than by his law 
practice, though he was not wanting in professional 
talent. In 1848 he was a Presidential Elector; 
and in 1855, was elected Clerk of the Court of 
Appeals. He died at Albany, March 30, 1856, 
while in discharge of the duties of that office. 

John R. Hickox was practicing here in 1842. 
He was a Justice, and did pretty much all the 
Justice's business during the four or five years he 
subsequently remained here. 

Endress Faulkner, son of Hon. James Faulkner, 
was born in Dansville, March 25, 1818. He pre- 
pared for college at Canandaigua Academy, and in 
July, 1837, entered Yale, where he graduated in 
1 84 1. He immediately engaged in the study of 
law, was admitted to the bar in January, 1843, and 
in that year entered upon a brief but brilliant 
professional career in Dansville, associated for a 
time with the late Hon. Cyrus Sweet of Syracuse, 
and subsequently with Judge Solomon Hubbard, 
now of Geneseo. He died of consumption Nov. 
12, 1852. He possessed a keen intellect and 
unusual forensic powers. 

Solomon Hubbard practiced here from 1844 to 
1864, when, having been elected County Judge the 
previous year, he removed to Geneseo, to perform 
the duties of that office.* 

John Wilkinson was born in Sparta, Nov. 24, 
1808. His father, Gawen Wilkinson, emigrated 
from Shulthwaite, Cumberland county, England, 
to North Dansville, about 1800, and about 1804 
removed to the present town of Sparta, where he 
resided till his death. John Wilkinson was admitted 
in 1834, and in that year entered upon a practice 
in Dansville which he has since continued. 

* For further mention of Judge Hubbard, see the subject of lawyers in 
connection with the village of Geneseo. 



Lucian B. Proctor* was born at Hanover, N. 
H., March 6, 1823, and removed with his parents 
when about ten years old to x'Vuburn. He was ad- 
mitted to the bar of the Supreme Court in October, 

Joseph W. Smith I was born near Bath, Steuben 
county, in 1821. 

Adoniram J. Abbott practiced here ten years 
from 1848 to 1858, immediately after his admis- 
sion, when he removed to Geneseo, where he is 
now practicing, and in connection with which town 
further mention of him is made. 

Job C. Hedges X was born in New York city in 
June, 1835. 

Samuel Dorr Faulkner, son of Judge James 
Faulkner and brother of En dress Faulkner, was 
born in Dansville, November 14, 1835. He com- 
menced his classical education at home under the 
instruction of an accomplished private tutor, and 
completed his preparation for college at Berkshire, 
N. Y. He entered Yale in 1855 and was gradu- 
ated in the class of 1859 with distinguished honors. 
Soon after leaving college he entered the Albany 
Law School, where he chiefly prepared for the bar, 
and was admitted to all the courts in the State in 
i860. He immediately commenced the practice 
of his profession in his native village, and his 
abilities soon won for him a place among the lead- 
ers of the Livingston county bar. In 1865, he 
was elected to the Assembly; "and was the first 
Democrat ever elected by his party in Livingston 
county to the Assembly." The following year he 
was tendered, but decUned a re-nomination. Li 
187 1, he was elected County Judge, and re-elected 
at the expiration of his first terra of six years. But 
he, like his brother, was stricken down with con- 
sumption soon after entering upon the second 
term of his Judgeship, a position he had filled with 
distinguished ability and acceptance. 

John G. Wilkinson, son of John Wilkinson, was 
born in Dansville, October 15, 1849, and educa- 
ted at Dansville Seminary. About 1870, he com- 
menced the study of law with his father, and was 
admitted in 1872, in which year he entered upon 
the practice of his profession in Dansville, contin- 
uing till his death, December 6, 1875. 

The other lawyers now practicing in Dansville, 
are D. W. Noyes, Seth N. Hedges, Charles J. 
Bissell, Byron T. Squires, John M. McNair, Lester 
B. Faulkner, Frederick W. Noyes, Charles H. 
Rowe, Andrew J. Shafer and Robt. G. Do rr. 

* For Mr. Proctor's biography and portrait see anotlier portion of this 
chapter. , , ^ , - , 

t For a memoir and portrait of Mr. Smith see the close of this chapter, 
i For further mention of Mr. Hedges see the close of this chapter. 

D. W. Noyes was born in Winchendon, Mass., 
September 30, 1824, prepared for college at the 
academies of Amsterdam and Galway, and gradu- 
ated from Union College in 1847. He was ad- 
mitted at the General Term at Ballston Spa, in 
January, 1850, and on the loth of June of that 
year commenced practice in Dansville, where he 
has since continued. He was elected District 
Attorney of Livingston county in 1875 and in 
August, 1878, on the death of Judge Samuel D. 
Faulkner, resigned that office to accept the office 
of County Judge tendered him by Governor Rob- 

Seth N. Hedges was born in Dansville, March 7, 
1839, and received an academic education at the 
seminaries at Dansville and Lima. In 1862, he 
entered the army as private in the 13th New York 
Volunteers; was afterwards transferred to the 
140th Regiment, from which he was promoted to 
First Lieutenant in the 14th New York Heavy 
Artillery. He was afterwards promoted Captain, 
and subsequently Major in the same regiment, and 
was mustered out in September, 1865. In i866, 
he entered the law office of D. W. Noyes, of Dans- 
ville, and was admitted to the bar in June, 1868. 
Mr. Hedges was postmaster of Dansville from 
October, 1869, to January i, 1874. 

Charles J. Bissell was born in Penn Yan, Aug. 
2ist, 1847, and educated in Temple Hill Acad- 
emy, Geneseo. He commenced the study of law 
while pursuing his literary studies, and in January, 
1871, entered the office of Judge S. D. Faulkner, 
of Dansville. He was admitted in September of 
that year, and commenced practice in Dansville. 

Byron T. Squires was born in Dansville, August 
19, 1836, and received an academic education in 
Dansville Seminary. In 1861, he entered the law 
office of Hubbard & Faulkner, of Dansville, as a stu- 
dent, and was admitted at Rochester, in Decem- 
ber, 1862. He commenced practice in 1863, at 
Livonia Station with Almond A. Hoyt. In 1865, 
he went to Pennsylvania to take charge of his fa- 
ther's lumber business. About 1874, after having 
been variously employed, he resumed practice in 

John M. McNair was born in West Sparta, 
December 24, 1848, and received an academic ed- 
ucation at Dansville Seminary. In 1866, he com- 
menced the study of law with Judge S. D. Faulk- 
ner, of Dansville. He entered Cornell University 
in 1868, and graduated in 1871. In 1872, he 
went to Minnesota, where he completed his legal 
studies, and was admitted in 1873. He com- 



menced practice at St. Cloud, Minn., and after 
practicing there a year and a half, removed to 
Cannon Falls, Minn., from whence, in 1876, he re- 
moved to Dansville. 

Lester B. Faulkner, brother of Judge S. D. 
Faulkner, graduated at Yale in 1859, and entered 
the Albany Law School. Immediately after his 
admission, he entered the army, joining the 136th 
Regiment, and was mustered out at the close of 
the war as Lieut.-Colonel of that regiment. Janu- 
ary I, 1879, he formed a law partnership with 
Charles J. Bissell, which still continues under the 
name of Faulkner & Bissell. 

Frederic W. Noyes, son of Hon. D. W. Noyes, 
is a native of Dansville, and read law with Messrs. 
Noyes & Hedges. He was admitted in 1878, and 
formed a co-partnership with his father in the 
spring of 1880. 

Charles W. Rowe was born in Springwater, in 
this county, May 17th, 1856, and received an aca- 
demic education at Dansville Seminary and Cook 
Academy at Havana, N. Y. In 1874, he entered 
the law office of Judge John A. VanDerlip, of 
Dansville, and subsequently pursued his legal 
studies with Messrs. Noyes & Hedges. He was 
admitted in January, 1879, and commenced prac- 
tice that year in Dansville. 

Andrew J. Shafer was born in Sparta, December 
12, 1855, and educated at Dansville Seminary. He 
read law in Dansville with John Wilkinson and 
Faulkner & Bissell, and was admitted in January, 

Robert G. Dorr was born in Dansville, March 
21, 1856, and educated at Dansville Seminary. In 
January, 1877, he commenced the study of medi- 
cine with his father, Robert L. Dorr, who was born 
at White creek, Washington county, August 7, 
1816, and admitted to the bar June 29, 1843 ; 
Robert G. Dorr was admitted April 10, 1880. 

Manufactures.— With the splendid and abun- 
dant hydraulic facilities which the streams uniting 
in and near this village afford, it is not surprising 
that manufacturing enterprises should be the pre- 
dominant element in its industries. The manu- 
facture of paper and paper stock is not only the 
most important, but among the earliest of these in- 
dustries, for the pure waters of these streams early 
invited this branch of manufactures. The pioneer 
paper-mill in Western New York was, as we have 
seen, built here in 1809-10, by Nathaniel Roches- 
ter, and the old building is stall standing adjacent 
to the Faulkner grist-mill, though long since appro- 
priated to other uses. From this single enterprise 

the business increased, until in 1844 there were 
four large paper-mills manufacturing over $100,000 
worth of paper per annum.* There are at present 
four mills of this class, but, though adjacent to the 
village, only two are within the corporation limits. 

In 1820, Amos Bradley came here with his 
family from Hartford, Conn., and commenced the 
manufacture of writing and print paper on a large 
scale, renting for that purpose the "old Faulkner 
paper-mill," which he occupied until 1825, when he 
formed a copartnership with his two oldest sons, 
Javin and Chester, under the well-known name of 
A. Bradley & Sons, and in the spring of that year 
erected a fine mill on the ground now occupied by 
the pulp-mill of the Woodruff Paper Co. In 1837, 
the company met their first great reverse by the 
destruction of their mill by fire. It was imme- 
diately rebuilt. Two years elapsed and then the 
fiery element again reduced their mill to ashes. 
They immediately erected what is known as the 
"lower paper-mill." Scarcely was this mill got in 
operation, when they commenced rebuilding the 
one destroyed by fire, which was superior in size, 
machinery and facihties of all kinds to its pre- 
decessors and to the lower mill. In 1841, the 
upper mill was again destroyed by fire. Phcenix- 
like another soon raised from its ashes, to be in its 
turn destroyed four years later by the same ele- 
ment ; but again it was rebuilt. 

About this time the firm divided, Amos and his 
sons Javin and Lucius, who had also acquired an 
interest, remaining here, while Chester and Ben- 
jamin removed to Niagara Falls, and commenced 
the manufacture of paper there. For five years 
Lucius and Javin continued the business, prin- 
cipally at the upper mill, which, in 1854, was again 
destroyed by fire, and was never rebuilt by any of 
the Bradley family. 

In 1852, Chester and Benjamin separated, and 
the former returned to Dansville and erected the 
Livingston mill, which is still in active operation, 
but under a different management. Chester Brad- 
ley, who was born July 18, 1802, died suddenly in 
New York city, Nov. i, 1853, while transacting 
business connected with his paper mill. Few men 
stood higher in public estimation than he. In 
1842, with the late Gardner Arnold, of Conesus, he 
represented this county in the Assembly. 

Lucius Bradley, who is still engaged in the man- 
ufacture of paper in Dansville, is the only repre- 
sentative left of this family, to which Dansville owes 
so much of its prosperity. 

* Pioneer HUtory of Phelps and Gorhani's PurcJiase-, 361 {noie.) 



The Woodruff Paper Co., the present represen- 
tatives of the Bradleys' manufacturing interests in 
Dansville, was incorporated Nov. i, 1866, with a 
capital of $40,000, and was composed of the fol- 
lowing well-known gentlemen : L. C. Woodruff, 
Alonzo Bradner, D. D. McNair and Thomas 
Brown, the latter of whom retired Dec. 7, 1869, 
his stock being purchased by the remaining part- 
ners. No other change has occurred in the stock- 
holders. There has been no change to the present 
time in the official management, which is as fol- 
lows : L. C. Woodruff, of Buffalo, President ; 
Alonzo Bradner, of Dansville, Vice-President ; and 
D. D. McNair, of Dansville, Secretary and Treas- 
urer. The latter gentleman is also the efficient 
General Superintendent. 

This company was organized for the manufacture 
of pulp from straw, by the process patented and 
owned by the Hydrostatic Paper Co., the Woodruff 
Paper Co. having the exclusive right for this vicin- 
ity. In 1866 the company purchased the upper 
mill property of the Bradleys, located on upper 
Main street, near the junction of Big and Little 
Mill creeks, which had been unoccupied since the 
fire of 1854. The walls of 100 by 40 feet of the 
present mill were erected by the Bradleys, and have 
withstood at least three fires. The building, which 
was then a mere shell, was fitted up and enlarged 
by an addition of 40 by 40 feet, of brick and stone, 
the character of the original building, the whole 
being two stories high. The works were got in 
readiness and operations were begun January i, 

The works give employment to about twenty 
persons, and consume annually about 1,200 tons of 
straw — rye straw being used almost exclusively — 
about forty per cent, of which is converted into 
pulp. About one-fourth of this product is manu- 
factured into paper at the Livingston paper-mill, 
which is also the property of this company, and the 
remainder is shipped to the New England states, 
Ohio, Pennsylvania and Delaware. Straw alone 
is used in its production. 

The manufacture of print and book papers from 
straw is of comparatively recent origin, the use of 
that article having originally been confined to the 
manufacture of coarse wrapping paper. But the 
art of manipulating straw has been brought to such 
perfection that pulp is now produced perfectly 
white and with a texture almost as silken as bank 
note paper. This was the first straw pulp-mill in 
the United States, and is now the only one in this 
State. For ten years there was no competition in 

the country ; and to-day there are only three others 
in this country, one each in Ohio, Michigan and 

The Livingston Paper Mill, which has been 
referred to as being the property of the Woodruff 
Paper Co., was built in 1852, by Chester, Javin, 
Lucius and Benjamin Bradley, brothers. It soon 
after passed into the hands of L. C. Woodruff, who 
sold it Dec. 30, 1862, to Isaac Butts, Joseph Cur- 
tis and John E. Morey, publishers of the Rochester 
Union and Advertiser. Oct. 3, 1872, Mr. Butts 
sold his interest to G. Cooper, Lorenzo Kelly and , 
Wm. Purcell, and the name, which, from 1862, 
was Curtis, Butts & Co., was changed to Curtis, 
Morey & Co., and the business conducted under 
the name of the Daily Union and Advertiser Co., 
of Rochester. In February, 1874, it was sold by 
these parties to the Woodruff Paper Co. The 
mill gives employment to about twenty-five per- 
sons, about one-fourth of whom are females, in the 
manufacture of about a ton of printing and book 
paper per day. 

The HoUingsworth Paper Mill, situated a half 
mile south of Dansville, was built— the larger and 
rear portion of it — about eight years ago, by Capt. 
Henry Henry. About 1876, Capt. Henry's widow 
sold the building to Henry HoUingsworth, who, in 
the spring of 1880, built a front addition, raised the 
rear part one story, and put in machinery for the 
manufacture of paper. 

Mrs. Knowlton owns a mill for the manufacture 
of brown wrapping paper, which is located about 
two miles southwest of Dansville. It was built 
some sixty to sixty-five years ago by Matthew 

O. B. Johnson's carding-mill was built about 
1826, by Samuel and Jonathan Fisk, cousins, and 
operated by them until about 1838, when Samuel 
acquired Jonathan's interest and continued the 
business till his death in 1841, when O. B. John- 
son purchased the machinery. In the spring of 
1868, he in company with W. L. Stewart, bought a 
building which stood on the site of the Dansville 
Woolen Mills, and removed the machinery to that 
building, which was burned March 24, 1868. 
They rebuilt on the same site, within sixty days, 
the Dansville Woolen Mills, where they continued 
business till the spring of 1876, when Mr. Johnson 
sold his interest to John E. Phillips. Messrs. 
Stewart & Phillips did business two years, till 1878, 
when the latter sold his interest to Peter Craig, 
who, in company with Stewart, operated the 
mills till the fall of 1879, since which time they 



have not been in operation. In 1876, Mr. John- 
son resumed the wool carding and cloth exchange 
business in the building originally erected by the 
Fisks, and has since continued it. He has two sets 
of custom cards, operated by water from Little Mill 
creek, which has a fall of about twelve feet. 

The grist-mill owned by Benjamin F. Readshaw, 
on the corner of Gibson and Main streets, to which 
reference has been made in connection with the 
early settlement of the town, occupies the site of 
the grist-mill built in 1796 by David ShoU for the 
Pultney estate. It was soon after burned and 
rebuilt by Sholl, who eventually became its owner, 
and was succeeded in possession of the property 
by Col. Nathaniel Rochester, the founder of the 
city of Rochester. In January, 18 14, Mr. Roch- 
ester sold it to Jacob Opp, who owned it till about 
1840. The mill contains three runs of stones, • 
which are propelled by water from Little Mill 
creek, with a fall of thirteen and a half feet. 

The Faulkner grist-mill, on South street, was 
built in 1830, by Dr. James Faulkner, who has 
since owned it. It occupies the site of the saw 
mill built by David Sholl for Nathaniel Rochester, 
which was torn down by Mr. Faulkner about the 
time the grist-mill was built. It contains four runs 
of stones, which are propelled by water from Mill 
creek, with a head and fall of twenty-nine feet. 
The mill has been rented for the last thirty odd 
years to John C. Williams, and is often called the 
Williams mill. 

The Stone Mills (grist) were built about 1844 
by Ehhu Stanley, and occupy the site of the old 
foundry operated by Curtis & Tousey about 1836. 
Stanley was succeeded in its ownership by Cady 
Richardson, of Rochester, and Jesse Angell, the 
latter of whom owned it till his death, since which 
time it has belonged to his heirs, who rent it to the 
present proprietor, W. H. Boyd. The mill con- 
tains three runs of stones, which are operated by 
water from Little Mill creek, which has a fall of 
fourteen feet. 

Lockling Bros.' Agricultural Works were estab- 
lished in 1836, by Nathan Lockling, who conducted 
them till 1871, with exception of one year, about 
1852, when John Gill owned them. In 1871, L. 
E. Lockling, son of Nathan, bought the estabUsh- 
ment, and was succeeded in 1876 by his sons 
Louis N. and A. C. Lockling, who carried on the 
business under the name of Lockling Bros., till the 
death of A. C. Lockling, Feb. 23, 1879. Louis 
N. Lockling continues the business, which con- 
sists in the manufacture of agricultural implements. 

under the same name, and employs two persons 
besides himself. 

The Dansville pail factory was established about 
forty years ago by E. Shelley, who carried on the 
business some ten years, and sold to George Hy- 
land, who continued it till his death in the spring 
of 1880, since which time his son, John Hyland, 
has carried on the business, which gives employ- 
ment to six persons in the manufacture of pails, 
tubs and butter packages. The motive power is 
furnished by Big and Little Mill creeks, which 
unite at this dam, and give a fall of seventeen feet. 

The Ossian street foundry was established in 
1842, by F. and M. Oilman, for conducting a gen- 
eral foundry business. After doing business some 
four years F. Oilman withdrew, and E. B. Oilman, 
another brother, became a member, at which time 
the name was changed to Oilman Bros., and re- 
mained such until 1875, when E. B. Oilman sold 
out to his brother, who continued the business two 
years. E. B. Oilman then purchased the establish- 
ment and associated with himself his brother, A. J. 
Oilman. The business has since been conducted 
under the name of E. B. & A. J. Oilman. 

In 1854, Mr. DeLong came to this place and 
formed a co-partnership with Richard Young, who 
was then engaged in the manufacture of sash, doors 
and blinds on this privilege, in a building which has 
since been torn down, and the timbers of which 
were used in the construction of- the residence of 
Mr. Asa Bunnell. At the expiration of a year Mr. 
DeLong purchased the interest of his partner and 
has since carried on the business alone. The busi- 
ness gives employment to four persons. 

The steam planing-niill owned by Messrs. Fisk, 
Son & Co., was built in 1861, by J. C. Fisk, who 
carried on the business for twelve years, when his 
son, Henry E. Fisk, became his partner. Messrs. 
Fisk & Son conducted the business till 1876, when 
James Wood became a member of the firm, the 
name of which was changed to Fisk, Son & Co. 
The firm also do a machine repairing business, the 
machineryfor which was put in in 1878, and manu- 
facture sash, doors and blinds. They employ two 
persons in addition to themselves. 

N. Klauck & Sons' tannery was started in 1865, 
by Nicholas Klauck and his son Joseph, in a build- 
ing which was formerly used as a blacksmith shop, 
and now forms the front portion of the present tan- 
nery, which is located on the upper part of Main 
street. The addition, 48 by 24 feet, was built in 
1868. The tannery gives employment to five per- 
sons, contains twenty-two vats and three leaches ; 



and tans annually 1,200 to 1,400 sides of upper 
leather, and about 500 kip and 600 calf skins. 

The Genesee Valley Wine Co., of which Dr. 
Francis M. Ferine is sole proprietor, commenced 
the manufacture of wine from grapes in 1870. The 
Doctor has a fruit farm of 225 acres in this town, 
25 acres of which are devoted to grape culture. He 
makes from 8,000 to 10,000 gallons of wine per 
year, principally Catawba; though his stock in- 
cludes Delaware, Diana, Concord, Port and Sherry. 
The Dansville Plow Works were established in 
November, 1878, by Moses Gilman and C. H. 
Sanford, who bought the Jemison wagon shop and 
removed it to its present location. They do a gen- 
eral iron founding business, but make a specialty of 
F. Wiard's latest improved plow of 1878. This firm 
are just putting in a mill for the manufacture of 
sugar and syrup from the Minnesota sugar cane. 
They planted one acre the present year, (1880,) 
which yielded eighteen to twenty tons of cane. 
The enterprise thus far is merely tentative, as it is 
new to this locality, though the African sorghum 
was raised here twenty years ago. 

The manufacture of trunks now carried on by 
A. Lozier was commenced in 1874 by Carl Ste- 
phan & Co. Carl Stephan subsequently acquired 
the interest of his partner, Mr. Weeks, and in 1876, 
sold the establishment to A. and Frank Lozier, 
brothers, the latter of whom sold his interest to his 
brother, A. J^ozier, in the spring of 1880. The 
business gives employment to two persons. 

Banks. — The Bank of Dansville was incorpor- 
ated June 10, 1839, under the general banking 
law of April 18, 1 838. The first Directors were : — 
Lester Bradner, Justus Hall, James McNair, Joel 
W. Clark, John Hartman, John Gilman, Thomas 
C. Grover, James Faulkner, Josiah Wendell, Ben- 
jamin C. Cook, Isaac L. Endress, Richard W. Por- 
ter and Salmon Gates. The first officers were : — 
James Faulkner, President; Justus Hall, Vice 
President; A. A. Bennett, Cashier; David D. 
McNair, Teller. The capital was $150,000, se- 
cured by bonds and mortgages, with no cash paid 
in. The* bank commenced business under favor- 
able auspices. It procured $50,000 in stocks of the 
State of Michigan, and $25,000 of the State of 
Alabama, for which a premium was paid. These, 
with an equal amount of bonds and mortgages 
were deposited with the Bank Commissioners, and 
$150,000 of circulating notes procured. 

" Then commenced the discounting. Very soon 
the discounted debt was swelled to its utmost ca- 
pacity and the trouble began. Neither of the offi- 

cers understood the first rudiments of banking, and 
it required but a short period to get the bank into 
inextricable confusion. The stocks of the State of 
Michigan were repudiated ; Alabama's went down 
to sixty per cent. The cashier, Bennett, left the 
country for the country's good and was never heard 
from. The President resigned his position, and 
proclaimed to the Board that the bank must go by 
the board ! The Directors, more plucky than their 
head officer, feeling all the responsibihty of their 
position, their own farms being mortgaged for the 
public security, declined to surrender without an 

They cast about, and, acting under the advice 
of Governor Hunt and Thomas H. Rochester, in- 
vited L. C. Woodruff to accept the cashiership, 
which he did. Mr. Woodruff arrived in Dansville 
on the 31st of December, 1839. An examination 
of the condition of the bank revealed the fact that 
within the four short months business had been 
conducted, $54,000 had been wasted or lost; but 
he applied the heroic remedy, and saved it from 
the ruin which seemed inevitable. Within seven 
years he made up the lost capital, built up a first 
rate credit, and for seventeen years thereafter gave 
the stockholders hberal dividends. 

In 1868, the bank surrendered its Charter, as 
authorized by Act of the Legislature, divided up 
its capital, and has since been conducted as a pri- 
vate institution under the same name. 

There were originally about fifty stockholders. 
Only two of them survive — Erhard Ran and James 
Faulkner. They are fast approaching their cen- 
tennial, and with their death the curtain falls upon 
the last of the corporators of the Bank of Dansville. 
Perhaps no bank in this State has encountered 
so many violent, mahcious attacks from envious 
enemies, who were jealous of its success. It has 
withstood them all, defied them all, and has main- 
tained its credit and standing through a period of 
forty years with signal honor. It has survived its 
founders and bids fair to outlive another genera- 

First National Bank of Dansville.— IXit bank- 
ing business of which this is the outgrowth was es- 
tablished in 1849, by Sidney Sweet and Endress 
Faulkner, who soon after associated with them- 
selves James Faulkner and B. S. Chapin, with 
change of the original name— S. Sweet & Co. En- 
dress Faulkner died November 12, 1852. "Sep- 
tember 23, 1863,"! it was organized as a National 

♦Statement of L. C. Woodruff, of Buflalo, tlie former Cashier of the 
Bank, November lo, 1880. 

t This is the date given by the Bank ofBcials. It sliould probably be a 
vear later as the "'Act to provide a National currency, secured by a 
pledge of United States bonds, and to provide for the circulation and re- 
demption thereof," was not approved until Junes, '864- 



Bank, with the following stockholders: — James 
Faulkner, Sidney Sweet, James Faulkner, Jr., B. S. 
Chapin and S. D. Faulkner. The capital stock 
was $50,000, and still remains at that figure. It 
was one of the pioneer National banks, the first in 
this State west of Cayuga Bridge. It was No. 9 
in the State, and No. 75 in the United States. In- 
deed, the State had not yet recognized or sanc- 
tioned the authority of the United States to regu- 
late the conditions of banking within its borders, 
and the Bank Superintendent, jealous of the 
State's interests and privileges, forbade the mana- 
gers to organize and transact business as a Na- 
tional bank.* 

The first officers were: — Dr. James Faulkner, 
President, an office he has held to the present 
time; Sidney Sweet, Vice President, an office he 
still holds; B. S. Chapin, Cashier; James Faulk- 
ner, Jr., Teller. Chapin was succeeded in the 
office of cashier by James Faulkner, Jr., who still 
retains it. James Faulkner, Jr., was teller from 
the organization of the bank till his election as 
cashier, and was succeeded in the office of teller 
by Leonard Kuhn, who was appointed assistant 
cashier in January, 1875, an office he still holds. 
F. T. Brettle succeeded Mr. Kuhn as teller, and 
still holds the office. 

S. Sweet & Co., commenced business in the Ex- 
press Building block. The present building, on 
the corner of Main and Ossian streets, was erected 
for their accommodation in 186 1-2, and occupied 
April I, 1862. 

Hotels. — The Hyland House occupies the site 
of the old American Hotel, a wooden building, 
which was purchased by George Hyland about 
1845, and burnedin the spring of 1854. Thesouth 
part of the present building was erected in 1859-60, 
and the remaining or main part, in 1873-74. It 
was opened in the spring of 1874. George Hy- 
land owned the property till his death, when he was 
succeeded by his son George, who has kept the 
hotel during the intervals when it was not rented. 
The present proprietor. Smith Newman, took 
possession July i, 1880. 

The Allen House was built in 1871-72, by S. C. 
Allen, who rented it to George Swick, afterwards 
to M. Yorks, and subsequently kept it himself for 
three years, till January, 1878, when he rented it to 
D. B. Voorhees, the present proprietor. 

The Clinton Hotise, originally known as the 
Dansville House, was built b y Joseph Feuster- 

* January 19, 1865, the Legislature passed an Act enabling the bankg 
of this State to become associations for the purpose of banking, under the 
law of the United States, of June 3, 1864. 

macher — the front part about forty years ago, the 
rear part earlier. It was first kept by Milton 
Morey. The present proprietor, Wendell Engel, 
purchased it about 1868. It has been kept the 
past three years by Harris Wing. 

Our Home Hygienic Listitute was established in 
1853-54, by Dr. Bingham, who erected in those 
years the south half of the present main building 
for a water-cure. Abram Pennell, of Honeoye 
Flats, soon after succeeded him in the proprietor- 
ship, and it was occupied by his son-in-law, Dr. 
Stevens, for whom it was purchased. But Dr. 
Stevens and his successor, Dr. Blackball, occupied 
it but for a short time, not more than two or three 
years at most, for the building was never finished 
above the second floor until Dr. Jackson took 
possession, Oct. i, 1858. The building had then 
been vacant about a year, and was fast going to 

In 1853, Dr. James C.Jackson, in company with 
his son, Giles E. Jackson, Miss Harriet N. Austin 
and F. Wilson Hurd leased the building for one 
year for the insurance thereon. A copartnership 
was formed by F. Wilson Hurd, Giles E. Jackson 
and Miss Harriet N. Austin, under the style of F. 
Wilson Hurd & Co., and Dr. James C. Jackson 
was employed to take general supervision of the 
cure. Dr. Jackson came from the town of Sem- 
pronius, in Cayuga county, and was one of the 
founders of the Glen Haven Water Cure on the 
shore of the beautiful Skaneateles lake in that town. 
Miss Austin, who had been a member of the medi- 
cal corps of that institution, and Dr. F. Wilson 
Hurd were associated with Dr. Jackson in the med- 
ical supervision of this institution, which was first 
named "Our Home on the Hill Side," from its 
location on the side of the beautiful east hill in the 
village of Dansville. 

When Dr. Jackson landed at the foot of the hill 
with his family and effects from Capt. Henry's stage, 
on the ist of October, 1858, there was no road 
to the building which a team could travel, and they 
were obliged to carry their trunks, etc., up the hill 
by hand. " For possession of the house during the 
first few days," says Dr. James H. Jackson, "we 
fought a battle with the wasps, bats, flies and rats, 
coming off victorious and estabHshing our right to 
place and property.'' From that period improve- 
ments began which have brought the buildings and 
grounds connected with them to their present status 
— making them a real gem in the fine rural land- 
scape of the village. The buildings consist of a 
main wooden, four-story structure, with chapel at- 

''our home'' hygienic INS' 

"E^Dansvflle, Livingston Co. N.Y. 



tached, having a frontage of over 350 feet, and 
seven detached ornate cottages, some of them of 
quite large size. The chapel, which is 65 by 32 
feet, and was erected in 1863-64, is connected with 
the third-story of the main building by means of a 
corridor. It is denominated Liberty Hall, and is 
used for public meetings, lectures, worship, and 
amusement. These buildings are located on the 
east side-hill, from 130 to 200 feet above the main 
street in the village. 

On the death of Giles E. JaCkson, June 29, 1864, 
his mother Lucretia E. Jackson, and brother, 
James H. Jackson, became members of the co- 
partnership, and the following year the name of the 
firm was changed to Austin, Hurd & Co. In the 
fall of 1868, Dr. Hurd's interest was purchased by 
the remaining partners, and the name changed to 
Austin, Jackson & Co. In 1872, the institution 
was incorporated as a stock company under the 
name of Our Home Hygienic Institute of Dans- 
ville, N. Y., with Miss Harriet N. Austin as Presi. 
dent and James H. Jackson as Secretary. 

Dr. Jackson brought his reputation and patients 
from Glen Haven, the latter coming as fast as 
rooms could be fitted for their accommodation, 
in a few weeks numbering fifty or sixty. A 
steady increase in the number of patients was main- 
tained, and since i860 there has never been less 
than 100 patients, while as many as 300 have been 
treated at one time. At present (September,) 
1880,) there are 250 patients, who represent every 
state and territory in the Union. They have had 
patients from South America. Canada and Nova 
Scotia, especially the Province of Ontario, have 
contributed largely in this respect. There are five 
physicians in attendance, viz : — Dr. James C. Jack- 
son, Physician-in-Chief; Harriet N. Austin, M. D.; 
James H. Jackson, who has been connected with 
the institution as superintendent and general busi- 
ness agent since i86r ; Kate J. Jackson, M. D., 
wife of Dr. James H. Jackson, and Elisha D. Lef- 
fingwell, M. D. 

The Laws of Life and Journal of Health, a 
monthly medical publication, established at Glen 
Haven, by Dr. James C. Jackson, in 1857, has 
been published.continuously at the " Home" to the 
present time. 

The water used at this Institution is supplied by 
a spring, issuing from a shaly seam in the rock 
which forms the hill on whose site it is located, 
about 420 feet above the valley, and discharging 
about 3,000 barrels per day. This spring, which 
is called " The All-Healing Spring," burst forth 

from its imprisoned cavity through the hill-side in 
the spring of 1798. This singular phenomenon 
was attended with great violence and rent a chasm 
eighteen inclies to three feet in width, extending 
for a mile along the hill, and about 700 feet above 
the valley. About 200 to 300 feet above this 
spring is the entrance to the " devil's hole ;" while 
about twenty feet above and forty feet to the south 
of it, is an orifice from which in rainy seasons the 
water issues with great force, forming a stream 
some six inches in diameter. 

Dr. James Faulkner, in remarks made at an 
anniversary celebration of " Our Home,'' said, in 
referring to this "freak of nature," it "occurred in 
the morning, and was preceded by a loud and 
rumbHng noise distinguishable in the village and 
somewhat similar to heavy thunder. The noise 
greatly excited and alarmed the few inhabitants 
who then peopled Dansville. The force and vio- 
lence of the rushing waters were so great as to up- 
root large trees in its course and carry them far 
down the hill-side. For a few hours the flow of 
the water was both rapid and copious. It gradu- 
ally subsided and finally settled down to about its 
present dimensions, and has remained so for about 
eighty years. The little water course was, before 
it received its present name, called the Break- 
out. The water has always been singularly clear, 
pure and sparkling, when undisturbed by the ele- 

The Dansville Gas Light Co. — As early as 
1856, the project of lighting the village with gas 
was discussed, and on the 3d of April of that year 
the village trustees conferred certain rights and 
privileges on Messrs. Sabbatons & Co., of Albany, 
who had applied to them for permission to erect 
works and lay pipes for the purpose of lighting the 
village with gas. March 8, i860, this exclusive 
privilege was extended to a period of twenty-five 
years from March i, i860, and the personal prop- 
erty of the company was exempted from village 
taxation for three years. The company were 
required to commence operations within one year 
from the granting of this privilege, and to have the 
works in operation within six months from the time 
they were commenced. August 15, i860, these 
privileges were revoked, and conferred on George 
Gratton, of Syracuse, and those who might be 
associated with him, and he was required to have 
the works erected and in successful operation 
within that year. March i, 1861, the time for com- 
pletion was extended four months from Jan. i, 



The Dansville Gas Light Co. was organized in 
New York, May i8, 1861, with a capital of 
$25,000, and Mr. Schaner as President. George 
Gratton was sent from Syracuse to construct the 
works. About the time they were completed 
Schaner failed, and no election of directors was 
held for several years, though the manufacture of 
gas was continued by Nicholas Schu. George 
Gratton became the Treasurer and Superintendent 
of the company, and October 4, 1861, submitted 
a proposition, to furnish gas for street lamps and 
public buildings for $3.50 per thousand feet, which 
offer was accepted by the village trustees Oct. g, 

The affairs of the company had become very 
much disarranged and its stock was bought up by 
Sidney Sweet and Judge James Faulkner, who 
afterwards associated with themselves Timothy B. 
Grant, J. B. Morey, George A. Sweet, Laura J. 
Morey, M. O. Austin, George Hyland, Hugh 
McCartney, and O. B. Maxwell, who compose the 
present stockholders, Mr. Maxwell's interest, since 
his death, being represented by his estate. The 
present officers are J. B. Morey, President, and T. 
B. Grant, Secretary and Treasurer. 

In 1877, J. M. Lowe leased the works and soon 
after associated with himself William Humphrey, 
who subsequently acquired Lowe's interest in the 

Gas was first made from coal, next from naptha 
vapor, then from gasoline, subsequently from oil, 
and at present from naptha. 

Water Works. — Various efforts were made 
from time to time to secure an appropriation ior 
effectually supplying the village with water for fire 
purposes, but not until 1873 was the question sat- 
isfactorily disposed of August 20, 1873, the elec- 
tors resolved to issue bonds of the village 
in the sum of $25,000, for the construction 
of water works, payable, with interest annually at 
seven per cent, per annum, in installments of 
$2,000 per year. The water works were completed 
in the spring of 1874. The reservoir consists of a 
pond formed in Mill creek by the construction of 
a dam above the " California House,'' at an eleva- 
tion of about 182 feet above the lower end of Main 
street. The water is drawn from a stoned well 
sunk within the pond thus formed. May 22, 1875, 
George Hyland, Jr., was appointed Superintendent 
of Water Works, a position he still holds. 

Dansville Fire Department. — The first village 
charter authorized the appointment of one or more 
companies of firemen, of twenty members each, 

and one hook and ladder company of fifteen mem- 
bers, and designated one member of each as fore- 
man thereof. Section 24 provides that firemen, 
while they continue to be such, shall be exempt 
from military duty. The amended charter of May 
9, 1846, limited the number of fire companies to 
one of thirty members for each fire engine procured 
by the village. At the first corporation meeting, 
June 16, 1846, it was resolved to raise by tax $800 
to purchase a fire engine, the necessary hose and 
other apparatus therefor, hooks and ladders and 
the necessary apparatus for a hook and ladder 
company, to erect or hire a suitable place to keep 
such engine and apparatus, "to pay the expense of 
procuring the same and other needful and proper 
expenses of the corporation," and "to dig public 
wells, sewers and drains and make aqueducts, cis- 
terns and reservoirs in said village for the use of 
the inhabitants thereof, and procure pumps and 
other necessary fixtures for the same in such man- 
ner and at such places as the said trustees may in 
their discretion order or determine." 

August 5, 1846, Wm. C. Bryant, B. J. Chapin, 

C. R. Kern, Wm. G. Thompson, Samuel M. 
Welch, J. L. Boon, C. W, Dibble, G. C. Wood, 
M. McCartney, L. P. Williams, John Nares, C. E. 
Lamport and H. Howe were appointed Engine 
Co. No. I. September 9, 1846, the Board of Vil- 
lage Trustees approved the by-laws and officers of 
" Phoenix Engine Co. No. 1," and O. B. Maxwell, 
R. Williams, Wm. H. Southwick * and Wm. Hol- 
Uster were appointed members of that company. 
James H. Parker, J. D. Pike, Charles Rumley, E. 
Miles, M. Halstead and L. H. Colborn* were 
added to the company November 10, 1846 ; and 
Elias Geiger, G. H. Rice, John U. Wallis, Charles 

D. Heening, James M. Smith, J. V. Taft, J. H. 
Freeland and Charles McElvany, January 12, 1847. 
December it, 1849, Julius A. Reynolds, J. H. 
Conrity, T. B. Goodrich, L. W. Reynolds, Wm. 
Brown, Jr., G. F. Shannon, J. G. Shepard, N. Schu, 
H. Brewer, Charles Heidacker, S. L. Barrett, J. 
W. Merriman, B. Lewis Brittan, Jonathan Doty, 
N. Bavenger, D. Shafer, H. O. Reynale, A. N. 
Barto, Charles Stephan and Joseph Hallaner were 
constituted Engine Co. No. 2. 

April 28, 1857, H. C. Payne and twenty others 
were, at their request, organized as Phoenix Fire 
Co. No. I. June 21, 1858, DeForest Lozier and 
eighteen others were, at their request, constituted 
Hope Fire Co., No. 2, and DeForest Lozier was 

* Withdrew from the company and returned certificates January I4, 



appointed its foreman. December 15, 1858, H. 
Henry was appointed Chief Engineer of the Fire 

May 4, 1863, thirty-four persons were consti- 
tuted " Engine Co. Canaseraga," and Nicholas 
Schu was appointed foreman ; twenty-five others 
were constituted " Engine Co. Phoenix," with James 
Faulkner, Jr., as foreman ; to take charge of the 
new engines then recently purchased by the village. 
August 3, 1864, "Genesee Fire Co. No. 3" was 
organized, composed of thirty-one members. This 
company and the hose company connected with it 
were disbanded July 25, 1866. April 27, 1867, J. 
H. Rumpff and others were constituted a" hook 
and ladder company, with J. H. Rumpff as fore- 
man, and were authorized to increase the number 
to twenty-four. 

January 26, 1876, the following, on their peti- 
tion, were constituted a " Protective Fire Co." ; 
James Porter, Foreman; James Keenan, 1st Assist- 
ant-Foreman; Charles V. Patchin, zd Assistant- 
Foreman ; H. K. VanNuys, President ; Wm. H. 
Dick, Vice-President ; Geo. M. Blake, Secretary ; 
James F. Bryant, Treasurer; Ed. Moody, C. S. 
Snyder, F. T. Brettle, Joseph W. Burgess, C. B. 
Casterline, B. H. Oberdorf, W. J. Lee, Ed. Wood- 
ruff, Charles Rowe, Wm. Krein, W. C. Bryant, Jr., 
L. B. Grant, L. G. Tilden, A. A. Oaks, F. E. Kin- 
ney, F. S. Miller, Wm. C. Croll, C. C. Hartley, H. 
F. Beyers, A. W. Pease and A. B. Lindsay ; and 
the following, on petition, were constituted a hook 
and ladder company : James Hoover, President ; 
J. Kramer, Jr., Vice-President; Baldise Foot, Treas- 
urer ; F. Schubmehl, Jr., Secretary; A. C. Lock- 
ling, Assistant-Secretary; D. K. Price, Foreman; 
Martin LaForce, Assistant-Foreman ; Conrad 
Kramer, 2d Assistant- Foreman ; Adolph Huber, 
Steward; Peter LaForce, H. Steinhardt, F. S. 
Schubmehl, M. C. Hirsch, Fred. Fridle, E. C. 
Klauck, A. Sourbeer, J. Storm, G. Fesley, Peter 
Geiger, Conrad Yochum, S. Schwan, A. Lauter- 
born, Wm. Thomas, Jr., F. Gregorious, Jacob 
Foot, T. Eschrich, J. Hubertus, B. Shafer and 
Peter J. Deitsch. May 3, 1876, the trustees con- 
sented to the incorporation of the Union Hose 
Co. of Dansville, pursuant to the Act of May 2, 
1873 ; and August 9, 1876, to the incorporation of 
the Protectives, and March 28, 1877, to Fearless 
Hook and Ladder Co., under the same Act. These 
constitute the department as at present organized. 
The equipment consists of the apparatus of the 
Protective, hose, and hook and ladder companies, 
a Babcock fire extinguisher, and about 2,000 feet 

of hose, all serviceable. Since the completion of 
the village water works in 1874, they have amply 
supplied the water needed for fire purposes, with- 
out the use of fire engines. There are forty-five 
hydrants. The water pressure is ninety-five pounds 
to the square inch, and the force sufficient to throw 
a stream over the highest building in the village. 
H. Huver is foreman of the hook and ladder com- 
pany; James McC. Edwards, of the hose com- 
pany ; and F. W. Krein, of the Protectives. 

The Square. — In 1810, Nathaniel Rochester 
deeded to the "Union Society" some four acres 
of land, known as the village square, which is 
now used for church and school purposes, and 
the old cemetery grounds adjacent to it. These 
grounds possess a historic interest from their asso- 
ciation with the Indian tribe who once dwelt here, 
and should be kept inviolate as pubHc grounds. 
As the Society to which they were deeded never 
had a legal existence, no absolute conveyance was 
made. The question of title was submitted to that 
eminent lawyer, John C. Spencer, who decided that 
it never passed from Mr. Rochester, and that at 
his death it rested in his heirs. As the citizens 
were opposed to buying grounds for a school-house 
site, this square was used for that purpose. The 
old builditig is still standing, having been removed 
from its original location a little north of the Epis- 
copal church. ' This square was successively 
occupied by the Methodists, Presbyterians, Epis- 
copalians, Lutherans and Cathofics, each of whom 
have built churches upon it, though the former is 
now abandoned, and lastly by the village for a 
lock-up, engine house and gun house.* 

The Dansville Seminary was incorporated by 
the Regents, Jan. 14, 1858, and opened in Septem- 
ber of that year, under the auspices of the East 
Genesee Conference of the Methodist Episcopal 
church, in a building rented for the purpose and 
now occupied by L. G. Ripley as a residence. 
The next year the school was removed to the second 
story of the large, unsightly brick building on the 
corner of Ossian and Spruce streets, which now 
forms the district school-house in the 2d school dis- 
trict. There it was continued until Jan. i, i860, 
when the seminary building — the brick structure — 
charmingly situated on the east hill-side, was so 
far completed as to admit of its occupancy, and it 
was removed to it. 

The first principal was Rev. Schuyler Seager, a 
member of the East Genesee Conference. His 

* Statement of L. B. Proctor of Dansville ; mi The Dansville Adver- 
tiser ot Awpisi 12, 1880. 



successors have been Rev. John J. Brown, now a 
Professor in Syracuse University, Rev. Joseph 
Jones, Rev. Mr. Crumb, Henry Sanford, Albert 
Lewis, who was a graduate of McGill College, 
Montreal, and the last of the Conference ap- 
pointees, J. C. Foley, now practicing law in New 

York city, ■ ■ , Samuel H. Goodyear, 

who retired at the close of the academic year in 
June, 1880, and G. S. Miller, the present incum- 

Since the conference withdrew its patronage, the 
Seminary has been conducted by individuals who 
receive the tuitions as their compensation, and 
until the close of the last year, the faculty have 
paid the interest on the Seminary indebtedness, 
which, as reported in 187 1, the latest report at 
hand, was $500. Notwithstanding the laxness 
which has prevailed in its management, the Semi- 
nary has been maintained on a highly creditable 
basis. Its patronage is drawn largely from the 
village and surrounding country, the neglected 
condition of the village public school making it an 
acceptable substitute. The present attendance 
(September, 1880,) is about 100, which is less than 
the average of former years by 30 to 50, and is only 
about one-half the attendance which has been 
reached. The school has always been under the 
visitation of the Regents. 

The boarding hall connected with the Seminary 
was built in 1876. The corner-stone was laid June 
22, 1876. It is a wooden structure, and will well 
accommodate 200 students. The original cost of 
the property was about $20,000. 

The prime movers in the projection of the Sem- 
inary were Dr. B. L. Hovey, Judge and Hon. S. 
Hubbard, Matthew McCartney, Charles Shepard, 
Hon. Isaac L. Endress, and Orville Tousey. 

The Livingston Circulating Library, of 
Dansville, is the result of a project which was set 
on foot in the fall of 1872. Dec. 7, 1872, the pre- 
liminary work having been done by a number of 
energetic and public spirited persons, principally 
ladies, a meeting was convened at the residence of 
Mrs. E. Youngs, on EUzabeth street, for the pur- 
pose of organizing the forces which should there 
muster for the establishment of a village Hbrary. 
Jan. 13, 1873, the library was incorporated under 
the above name, the incorporators being : D. W. 
Noyes, I. H. Dix, F. Fielder, A. O. Bunnell, M. 
M. Durkee, J. C. Foley, H. F. Dyer, A. D. Beach, 
S. N. Hedges, Thomas E. Gallagher, Mrs. E. M. 
Knowlton, Mrs. D. W. Noyes, Mrs. S. N. Hedges, 
Mrs. Sarah Baldwin, Mrs. H. F. Dyer, Miss D. B 

Bunnell, Kittie Bissell, Grace Hedges, Augustus 
Kern, Mary F. Bunnell, Ada H. Smith and Sallie 
McCurdy, who met at the residence of Daniel W. 
Noyes, in Dansville, and organized under the Act 
of June 17, 1853. Daniel W. Noyes, James H. 
Jackson, Frank Fielder, George A. Sweet, I. H. 
Dix, A. O. Bunnell, Thomas E. Gallagher, H. F. 
Dyer and Samuel D. Faulkner were named in the 
charter as the trustees for the first year. The cap- 
ital stock was $25,000, divided into 5,000 shares. 
The library was opened on Saturday evening, July 
18, 1874, with Miss A. P. Adams as Librarian, a 
position she efficiently and acceptably filled some 
eighteen months. Her successor in that ofiice is 
Mrs. M. L. Brayton, who was chosen January 12, 
1876. The hbrary now numbers 1,150 volumes of 
well selected hterature. 

Churches. — Just when and by whom the first 
church in Dansville was organized is a matter 
which is made obscure and uncertain by the various 
and unauthentic statements concerning it. The 
only authentic statement relative to it is the in- 
definite one contained in the letter of James Mc- 
Curdy, published in Clark's Miniature of Dans- 
ville, which says : "The first estabhshed preacher 
and founder of a church among us, was the Rev. 
Andrew Gray." We are left to conjecture, or at 
best to subsidiary evidence, to determine the time 
and place. Rev. Geo. K. Ward, who prepared a 
history of the Presbyterian church of Dansville in 
1876, concludes that the Rev. Mr. Gray was settled 
here about 18 12. But there is nothing to indicate 
directly the extent and result of his labors. 

"The primitive settlers of Dansville," says Tur- 
ner, "were mostly Lutherans, or Dutch Reformed. 
The first meetings were held from house to house ; 
Frederick Barnhart or Adam Miller, usually taking 
the lead. The Rev. Mr. Markle, a Lutheran 
preacher from Geneva, occasionally visited the 
place, as did Elder Gray. The first located minis- 
ter was the Rev. Mr. Pratt. The Rev. Mr. Hub- 
bard, a son-in-law of Moses Van Campenj was an 
early settled minister."* "The early settlers of 
Dansville," says the Rev. Mr. Ward, before quoted, 
"were mainly of Presbyterian origin ; the McNairs, 
Perines, McCurdys, McCartneys, Faulkners, Brad- 
ners and Hammonds were all of this stock, and 
hence it was quite in the natural sequence of events 
that the first religious body of importance should 
have been of this denomination." Hotchkin, who 
does not mention an earlier one, says a Presby- 
terian church denominated Dansville and Sparta, 

* Pioneer History of Phelps and GorhanCs Purchase, 360. 



was organized in 1819, or the early part of 1820. 
It was afterwards called Sparta First church, and 
was received under the care of the Presbytery of 
Ontario, Feb. 8th, 1820."* This probably has 
reference to the church three miles north of Dans- 
ville, which undoubtedly accommodated the Pres- 
byterians in this vicinity, as the churches in the 
sparsely settled country at that early period drew 
their members from a wide extent of territory. 
This supposition is confirmed by the fact that a 
Presbyterian church was formed in this village in 
1825, and strengthened by the additional testimony 
of Hotchkin, who, in referring elsewhere to this vil- 
lage and its immediate vicinity, says : '' The settlers 
were Yankees, Pennsylvanians and Germans, be- 
tween whom there was very little affinity, and the 
institutions of religion were for a long time almost 
totally neglected, and irrehgion prevailed." f 

The Presbyterian Church of Dansville was or- 
ganized March 25, 1825, by the following mem- 
bers of the Presbytery of Bath : Rev. James H. 
Hotchkin, Robert Hubbard and Stalham Clary, 
and was received under the care of that Presbytery 
August 30th of that year. The constituent mem- 
bers were eleven in number, nine of whom were 
members of the First church in Sparta, and 
two from the church in Buffalo. They were : — 
Wyllis F. Clark and Charity his wife, Samuel 
Shannon and Sarah his wife, Calvin E. Clark and 
Harriet his wife, Mrs. Mary Rowley, Mrs. EHzabeth 
Pickell, Nancy Pickell, Stephen Franklin and Sarah 
his wife. The church was placed under the care 
of Rev. Robert Hubbard, of Angelica, as stated 
supply. June 2, 1826, it was transferred by Act of 
the General Assembly to the Presbytery of Ontario. 
At that period it numbered thirty-two members. 

The society worshipped in an old school-house 
which stood on the west side of Main street, on the 
vacant lot south of the Dansville house, and was 
afterwards removed to the rear of the Cathohc 
church on Dutch street. It was the place of wor- 
ship of the Catholic society before, their church edi- 
fice was erected, and was subsequently used by 
them as a parochial school, but is now converted to 
and used as a barn. The Presbyterians afterwards 
found a convenient place of meeting in the new 
school-house which occupied the site of the Epis- 
copal church, and occupied it for some time after. 

At this time Joshua Shepard generously donated 
to the society the lot now occupied in part by the 
post-office, and a thousand dollars toward erecting 

* Hotchkin's History of ll'esiern New York, 584. 
t Hid, 584. 

a church thereon. A church was accordingly built 
on that site and completed at a cost of $3,500. It 
was dedicated in 1831. 

In 1834, Rev. Mr. Hubbard resigned his charge 
over this church and took charge of a church in 
Fowlerville. Rev. Elam H. Walker, in September, 
1834, was ordained and installed pastor. In 
the early part of 1840, disaffection arose, 
and resulted in the formation of a separate 
church, which, by way of distinction, was denomi- 
nated the First church. The church was nearly 
equally divided, 56 remaining with Mr. Walker at 
the old church, and 66 separating and occupying 
what was termed the brick church, (an upper room 
in the Stevens block,) until they could build a new 
edifice, which was finished in 1842, at a cost of 
$4,000, and occupied until the reunion was effected 
Jan. 15, 1861, at the solicitation of the Presbytery, 
when the reunited church was given its former dis 
tinctive name " The Presbyterian Church of Dans- 

Rev. I. N. Hubbard supplied for the first six 
months the pulpit of the church formed by the 
seceding members, and was succeeded by Rev. 
Leveret Hull, who continued his labors as stated 
supply about two years. In November, 1842, Rev. 
D. N. Merrit was installed pastor and continued 
his labors till April, 1844. Rev. Joel Wakeman 
next supplied the pulpit for a few months. In the 
fall of 1844, Rev. W. F. Curry was installed pastor, 
and continued in that relation till March, 1849, 
when he was succeeded by Rev. C. L. Hequem- 
bourg, who was installed pastor and occupied the 
pulpit until July, 1853, when Rev. I. N. Hubbard 
was invited to supply the pulpit and continued his 
labors for four years. Rev. S. M. Campbell suc- 
ceeded him and supphed the pulpit one year, to 
1858, when Rev. Dr. Seager, then principal of 
Dansville Seminary, was invited to supply the pul- 
pit, which he did till the winter of 1859, when Rev. 
Mr. Ford began his labors as stated supply and 
continued in that relation till i860. He was suc- 
ceeded by Rev. Samuel Jessup, who was installed 
pastor in 1861, and during whose labors the re- 
union was effected. 

Rev. Mr. Walker continued his labors with the 
other branch until his death, which occurred Jan- 
uary II, 1849, at the age of 50 years. From the 
time of Mr. Walker's death until 1855, the pulpit 
was supphed by Revs. Powell, Parker, Ray and 
Hequembourg, each of whom labored about a year. 
March 31, 1854, their church edifice was destroyed 
by fire. For a time they occupied Canaseraga Hall, 



and continued to hold their meetings there and at 
the Lutheran church until 1855, when Mr. Hequem- 
bourg's services closed. From that time to 1861 
they had no regular pastor or preaching. By the 
reunion both branches were brought under the pas- 
toral care of Rev. Mr. Jessup, who continued his 
ministrations until the spring of 187 2. Mr. Jessup's 
administration was marked by a large and gratify- 
ing degree of prosperity. In 1867 he was permit- 
ted to behold the consummation of a project for 
which he had labored with untiring zeal and en- 
ergy — the building of a neat and commodious 
chapel for social, prayer and praise meetings, and 
the enlargement of the church edifice. 

During the autumn and winter of 187 1-2, Mr. 
Jessup laid aside his pastoral cares. In his absence 
the pulpit was very acceptably filled by Rev. 
Charles Ray, now pubHsher of the Moravia Citi- 
zen. Immediately after Mr. Jessup's resignation 
the pulpit was suppUed for three months by Rev. 
Geo. K. Ward, who was succeeded by Rev. John 
Jones, D. D., of Geneseo, who labored as a supply 
for five months. Rev. John H. Brodt, formerly of 
Brooklyn,, was then invited to fill the pulpit, which 
he did with universal acceptance for four months. 
The present pastor, Rev. Geo. K. Ward, entered 
upon his ministry the first Sabbath in May, 1873, 
and was ordained and installed June 4th of that 
year. The church numbers at present 317 mem- 
bers. In 1876, the church, which stands upon the 
square, was repaired at an expense of about $2,000 ; 
and in 1878, the chapel, which had before been de- 
tached from the church, was enlarged and brought 
into it, by an addition of about half its size, which, 
including furnishing, was completed at a cost of 
about $2,000. The Society are just arranging to 
purchase a parsonage, which the generosity of Mrs. 
Joseph W. Smith enables them to consummate. 
The old parsonage was sold many years ago. The 
Sabbath School was organized in June, 1820, and 
has been faithfully sustained to the present time. 
Dr. W. F. Clark was the first Superintendent, and 
served in that capacity for sixteen years.* 

The Methodist Episcopal Church of Dansville. 
— The early records of this church have not been 
preserved, and there is not one of the old members 
left whose memory can be trusted to give a con- 
nected history of it. A few fragmentary facts only 
can be given, and these, mainly, are only the rec- 

* This sketch is prepared mostly from Hotchkin's History of Western 
New York; Turner' s Pioneer History of Phelps and Gorham's Pur- 
chase; and, mainly, fromahistory of the church prepared in 1866, by Cal- 
vin E. Clark, one of the eleven persons who organized it, and supple- 
mented in 1876, by Rev. Geo. K. Ward. 

oUections of individuals. Dr. James Faulkner says 
there were Methodists in Dansville as early as i8ii. 
The first Methodist meeting he knows of was held 
in the house where John Galbraith lives. Robert 
Parker preached occasionally in Peter Kuhn's 
neighborhood as early as 1812, '13 and '14; though 
there were but few Methodists here then. The 
first great impulse to the growth of Methodism in 
Dansville seems to have been given by the family 
of Merritt Brown, who came here in the fall of 
1818, and, says Dr. Faulkner, did more than al- 
most any body else for the church when it was first 
built. He pays a high tribute to the worth of Mr. 
Brown and his wife, and says of the latter, " if she 
is not happy in the other world I would not give 
much for any one's chances of happiness there." 

After Mr. Brown came here, he and others were 
active in getting up a subscription for a church. 
All denominations were very generous. But sev- 
eral years elapsed before their efforts were rewarded. 
Occasional meetings were held at Mr. Brown's 
house by Revs. Thomas Magee and Mr. Nash. In 
181 9 Rev. Micah Seager was preaching here. 
Commencing at Sparta, he preached every day in 
the week, his circuit of two weeks extending south- 
erly. Mr. Seager was the uncle of Rev. Dr. 
Schuyler Seager, the first principal of the Dansville 
Academy. He was assisted in his labors by Rev. 
Chester B. Adgate, who was afterwards the presid- 
ing elder of the district. They held meetings from 
time to time in the old log school house on Main 
street. " They would come," says Rev. Mr. Ward, 
" without a moment's warning, give notice of a 
meeting to be held a few hours later, and when the 
appointed hour arrived the house would be full of 
eager listeners." Mr. Adgate continued his labors 
two years and was followed on the circuit in 182 1 
by Rev. James Gilmore, who was succeeded by 
Rev. Mr. Prindle. In 1825, the Rev. Mr. House 
preached on this circuit, and in January of that 
year Rev. Gideon Stoddard held the first quarterly 
meeting in Dansville. Rev. Mr. WiUiams preached 
here in 1827. He was succeeded by Rev. Robert 
Parker, during whose labors $800 were raised by 
subscription to build a church, which was com- 
menced in 1828, and finished and dedicated in 
1829. The dedication sermon was preached by 
Wilbur Hoag. It was erected and still stands on 
the square,* but was abandoned by the Methodists 

* ' ' The old M. E. Church which has stood for over fifty years on the 
public square, was sold last week for I300 to Burns brothersof this place, 
who will move it from the present site to the lot adjoining Bradley and 
Pfunter's marble shop, and fit it up for a carnage manufactory." — Dam- 
ville Advertiser^ March Z.J, i88r. 



when their present fine house was finished in 1877. 
It was built over once or twice. About this time 
the Society was incorporated. The first trustees 
were Merritt Brown, Wm. Curtice and Benjamin 
Pickett. Mr. Parker was succeeded to the pastor- 
ate by John Copeland, now insane, and in 1831, 
by Thomas Carlton and Wm. D. Buck. 

During the pastorate of Rev. G. W. Coe, in 
1876-7, the splendid brick edifice on Chestnut St., 
in which the Society now worship, was erected. The 
church was opened on Thursday, September r3, 
1877. The cost aggregated $18,000, of which 
$8,000 was then unprovided for, but $6,000 of the 
amount was raised during the meetings of that day. 
To-day, the church numbers about two hundred 
and sixty members. The present pastor is Rev. 
J. T. Gracey, who has served them two years. 

Moses George, who is probably the oldest mem- 
ber of this church, is the last survivor of the war 
of 18 1 2, in Dansville. He entered the army at 
the age of eighteen and served three years. He 
was wounded, and carried on his body for about 
sixty-one years the bullet which inflicted the wound. 

The German Evangelical Lutheran Church. — 
We are not advised when this church was organ- 
ized, but it was among the earliest in the village, 
and was the first to erect a house of worship, the 
corner-stone of which was laid on the 4th of July, 
1826. The ceremony attending it was participat- 
ed in by the Masbnic fraternity of the village and 
surrounding towns, a military company and a large 
concourse of people. "Abraham Vrooman was the 
master builder, and in the eyes of the people," says 
the facetious historian of this church,* " a great, 
momentous undertaking was committed to him." 

Late in November, 1826, the church was dedi- 
cated, under the pastorate of Rev. Jacob Martin, 
a young man, whose talents, piety and energy 
joined to many amiable traits of character, ren- 
dered his ministry useful and profitable. After 
preaching several years he accepted a call from a 
German Lutheran Church at Harrisburgh, Pa., 
where he died. After the retirement of Mr. Martin, 
the church had no settled pastor for two or three 
years, but the pulpit was occupied most of the 
time by Rev. Dr. Wells and Rev. Mr. Barnhart. 
The next minister in charge of the church, of 
which there is any record, was the Rev. David 
lester, a gentleman of ability and great activity in 
the sphere of his ministerial duties. Prominent 
among the clergymen who have had charge of this 
church, in addition to those mentioned, were Revs. 

* Lucian B. Proctor, Esq., of Dansville. 

Messrs. Strover, Selmser, Rev. Dr. Miller, Stern- 
berg, Lautz, Klein, Strobel, Borchard, Rumpff, 
Boyer and the present efficient and highly-respect- 
ed pastor. Rev. Paul L. Menzel, who commenced 
his labors in connection with this church Septem- 
ber 18, 1874. 

During the ministrations of the eloquent and de- 
voted Wm. T. Strobe], who was pastor of the 
church from March 12, 1859, to May t8, 1863, the 
church edifice passed into the hands of the present 
congregation, the right to transfer the same having 
been given by decree of the County Court, Septem- 
ber i6, 1861. December 2, r86r, a deed of the 
church property was given by John Shutt, George 
Zerfass, Benjamin Kidd, James Kiehle and R. 
Steffy, a majority of the trustees of the two con- 
gregations aforementioned, to William Schwendler, 
John G. Engert and Jacob Schwingle, trustees of 
this church, for the almost nominal sum of $800. 

A few years after the dedication of the church, a 
fine pipe-organ was placed in it. As it was the 
first of its kind ever brought to Dansville, it was 
an object of curiosity and admiration. There was 
then no regular organist in the village, and an ac- 
compHshed performer named Snyder, residing at 
Avon, was hired to take charge of it on the Sab- 
bath. He traveled from his place of residence to 
Dansville every week for a long time. When Mr. 
Selmser resigned his pastorate, he purchased the 
organ, which had become an object of contention 
in the troubles which beset the church, and re- 
moved it to Lockport. 

In rS76, the church underwent extensive repairs. 
It was re-dedicated August 6, 1876, service being 
conducted both in German and English, the former 
by the pastor. Rev. Paul L. Menzel, and the latter 
by the Rev. P. A. Strobel. 

The church now numbers one hundred and 
twenty members. It belongs to the United Ger- 
man Evangelical Synod of North America — the 
only one in the county belonging to that Synod — 
and is connected with the German Evangelical 
Lutheran Church of Perkinsville, Steuben county, 
of which Mr. Menzel is also pastor. 

The English Lutheran Church of Dansville, an 
off-shoot from the German Lutheran Church of 
this village, was organized in 1846. Their house of 
worship was built in 1847, and dedicated Decem- 
ber 25th of that year. Among the prominent 
members at the organization of the church were 
Dr. S. L. Endress, John Haas, S. Jones, Henry 
Hartman, Elias Geiger, Conrad Welch, Daniel 
Ingersoll, William Haas, Dr. C. H. Patchin, Wil- 



liam Wildey, John Littles, John Haas, Jr., B. 
Pickett and George C. Drehiner. The Building 
Committee were John Hass, William Wildey and 
Frederick House. The first officers, elected Jan- 
uary II, 1848, were: — Daniel IngersoU, Trustee; 
John Kohler, Elder; George C. Drehmer, Deacon; 
Shepard Jones, Clerk; John Haas, Treasurer. 

The church now numbers about one hundred 
members. It is a somewhat remarkable fact that 
the church has never been in debt beyond its im- 
mediate ability to provide for. 

The following have been the succession of pas- 
tors : — 

Rev. John Selmser* 1 845-1 854. 

Rev. F. W. Brauns 1854 

Rev. C. H. Hersh 1855-1857 

Rev. L. L. Bonnell 1858-1859 

Rev. D. Swope 1859-1863 

Rev. M. I. Stover 1864. 

Rev. Albert Waldron 1865-1867 

Rev. John Selmser {2d term) 1868-1873 

Rev. E. H. Martin .1873-1875 

Rev. P. A. Strobel 1875-1880. 

St Mary's Church, (Catholic,) of Dansville.— 
German CathoUcs found their way to Dansville as 
early as the beginning of the present century, and 
it has been asserted that a Catholic was among the 
very first settlers. Later a few Irish Catholics 
came in with the needy surplus population which 
Europe poured into this country, but Catholicity 
did not have a visible existence here for more than 
a generation after the town was first settled. 

In 1836, the Catholic families residing in this 
neighborhood were visited by Rev. Father P. 
Prost, a redemptorist missionary from Rochester, 
and a German by birth, who was afterwards sent 
as a missionary to Ireland. He gathered the few 
CathoUcs then located here in divine worship, and 
administered the holy sacraments of the church. 
He was followed in 1837, by Father Schackert. 
Two years later, in 1839, Rev. Father Sanderl 
began to come here semi-annually. He was suc- 
ceeded by Rev. Benedict Bayer. These labors 
were continued until 1844, when the Catholics 
purchased the school house in the west part of the 
village and converted it into a house of worship. 
From that period they were visited more regularly 
than hitherto, by Father Bernick. 

The church occupied the school house as a place 
of worship but a short time, for in 1 845 the corner 
stone of the present church was laid by Father Ben- 
edict Bayer. When the congregation commenced 
to worship in the new church, the old school house 

* Mr. Selmser was pastor of the church before the division occurred 
Commencing his labors June jo, 184J, 

was converted into a parochial school and used as 
such until the present fine school building was 
erected in 1876. 

Father Bernick was succeeded by Fathers P. 
Hobzer, P. Tappert, Alexander Cyait Koviz, A. 
Jenkins and Andrew M. Schweiger, redemptorist 
fathers, the latter of whom was the first resident 
pastor, in 1849. Rev. Aloysius Somoggi, D. D., 
succeeded Father Schweiger in the pastorate as 
early as 185 t, and continued till May, 1852. In 
1852, Father John M. Steger was the pastor. 
Father Somoggi again served them until January, 
1854. He then made a journey to Hungary, 
whence he came, and was absent eight months, 
during which time Father John M. Steger offici- 
ated. On his return, Father Somoggi again min- 
istered to them for four months, till January, 1855. 
Rev. N. Arnold, D. D., succeeded Somoggi and 
remained five months. After that there was no 
priest until October, 1855, when Father Steger 
again became the pastor, continuing as late as 
March, 1857. Revs. John N. Koenig and Peter 
Seibold both officiated in 1857, Seibold continuing 
till 1859, when Rev. J. Rosswig became the pastor. 
He was succeeded in i860 by Rev. F. R. Marshall; 
in 1861, by Rev. Christopher Wagner; and in 
1862, by Rev. Sergius de Stchoulepuikoff, a Rus- 
sian priest, who finding -the church too small to 
accommodate the parishioners, had an addition 
built to it. He also purchased the high altar and 
bell during his short pastorate of twenty months. 
In 1864, Rev. Joseph Albinger came here and con- 
tinued his ministrations until 1875, when Rev. 
Henry Egler assumed the pastorate. He was 
succeeded July 13, 1879, by the present pastor. 
Rev. Frederick R. Rauber. 

During the pastorate of Mr. Egler, in 1876, the 
present parochial school connected with this church 
was erected. It was formally opened and dedicated 
on the 5th and 6th of June, 1876. The building for- 
merly used for that purpose, standing in the rear of 
the church, is now used as a barn. The parochial 
school, which is attended by about 150 pupils, is 
taught by the Sisters of St. Joseph, of Rochester, 
four in number. The church edifice is a wooden 
building, located on Franklin street, in the west 
part of the village.* The present nu'mber of mem- 
bers is about 800. The church property is valued 
at $15,000. 

• History of St. Patrick's Church, in Tlit Journal of the Fair, Oc- 
tober and November, i8So, prepared by the pastor, Rev. Father Simon 
Fitzsimons, to which, and a History of St. Mary's Church, prepared by 
its pastor, and published in the same journal, and to the records of the 
latter church, we are indebted for the history of Catholicism in Dansville. 



S/. Patricks Church, Dansville. — The history 
of this, so says our informant, " dates from twenty 
years after the settlement of the town of Dansville." 
The first priests who visited this locality ministered 
alike to the German and Irish Catholics. The 
first Irish priest who found his way hither, of whom 
there is any record, was Rev. Bernard O'Reilly, 
but when he came, how frequently he visited Dans- 
ville and how long he continued to do so, is a mat- 
ter of uncertainty. From the time of Father 
O'Reilly, priests visited Dansville at regular inter- 
vals, and the number of Catholics increased to such 
a degree that larger accommodations were needed, 
and under Father O'Connor, the successor of 
Father O'Reilly, the people assembled at the town 
hall to assist at mass. 

In 1847 the western portion of this State was 
formed into a diocese by the late lamented pontiff, 
Pius the Ninth. Buffalo was made the episcopal 
seat and Rt. Rev. John Timon was the first bishop. 
Within a couple of decades of years dating from 
the first appearance of permanent Catholicity in 
Dansville, the number of Catholics had increased 
to such an extent as to warrant Bishop Timon in 
sending them a priest to reside amongst them. 
All the historical records agree as to the name of 
the first resident pastor, but none give the date of 
his arrival. His name was Rev. Edward O'Flaherty, 
and it was under his administration that the foun- 
dation of St. Patrick's church was laid, at the head 
of the public square, where the church now stands, 
at the corner of Liberty and Church streets. Some 
traditions which seem sufficiently reliable mention 
the names of Father McEvoy and Father Carroll, 
who paid occasional visits from Rochester to the 
Catholics in Dansville, but beyond the fact of their 
visiting as missionaries Uttle seems to be known. 
Before the erection of any church in Dansville, the 
town-hall— the property of Charles Shepard— was 
used as the place of divine worship. Father 
O'Flaherty ministered to the wants of the German 
as well as Irish nationaUty, and according to one 
account, in the year 1849, according to another, m 
the year 1850, laid the foundation of St. Patrick's 
church. The church structure, which was com- 
pleted in 1851, at a cost of $1,500, was about half 
its present size. Father O'Flaherty was succeeded 
immediately by Rev. Charles Tierney, and one ac- 
count gives him the credit of having completed the 
church, the foundation merely being laid by Rev. 
Father O'Flaherty. 

We find Father Tierney recording a baptism in 
the church register as late as May, 1852, and Rev. 

John Donnelly recording his advent in June of the 
same year. Father Donnelly remained but a short 
time, for we find him succeeded by Rev. Joseph 
McKenna on the ist of May, 1853. Father Mc- 
Kenna's stay was of even shorter duration than that 
of Father Donnelly, for his autograph does not ap- 
pear in the church registries later than August of 
the same year (1853). He was succeeded by Rev. 
Aloysius Somoggi, who, it would appear, took 
charge of both CathoUc churches, St. Mary's and 
St. Patrick's, during his stay. His signature ap- 
pears upon the records for the first time on October 
Sth, 1853, and the last baptism recorded by him 
was administered in December of the same year. 
From that time until October, 1855, we find the 
names of Rev. Terence Kernan, Rev. Daniel Dolan 
and Rev. Michael Casey, in the order given. 

In the month of October, 1855, Rev. Michael 
Steger took charge of St. Patrick's congregation as 
well as St. Mary's. His latest signature is that of 
December 2d, i860. Rev. M. Steger was suc- 
ceeded immediately by Rev. J. A. Marshall, who 
remained only a few months, and was in turn suc- 
ceeded by Rev. Chrysostom Wagner in June, 1861. 
His stay seems to cover the time from June, 1861, 
to April, or May, 1862, when Rev. Sergius de 
Stchoulepuikoff, a Russian by birth and a Catholic 
by conversion, assumed the pastoral charge. 
There were few among the many priests who re- 
mained in Dansville for any length of time who 
made such a lasting impression on St. Patrick's 
congregation as S. de Stchoulepuikoff, and many 
a heartfelt and warm tribute is to-day paid to his 
zeal and energy. His name disappears from the 
records after January, 1864, when Rev. Joseph 
Albinger assumed the pastorate. Father Albinger 
took charge of both congregations from his arrival 
until the sth of July, 1871. Rev. Michael Biggins 
succeeded him on the 5th of July, 187 1. 

Father Biggins labored amongst the Irish Cath- 
olics of Dansville for six years, and was transferred 
to the Catholic church at Clyde, in August, 1877. 
He was succeeded by the present pastor. Rev. S. 

St. Peter's Church, Protestant Episcopal— Ta& 
parish of St. Peter's church, Dansville, was organ- 
ized April 13, 1 83 1. At the meeting for organizing, 
the Rev. WiUiam W. Bostwick, "missionary of 
Bath, Steuben Co. and parts adjacent," presided, 
and the following gentlemen were elected wardens 
and vestrymen, viz : — 

• From the historical sketch by Rev. Father Fitzsimons before referred 

1 86 


Wardens, William Welch, Amos Bradley ; Ves- 
trymen, Justus Hall, James Smith, Sedley Sill, Benj. 
C. Cook, Alonzo Bradner, George Hyland, David 
Mitchell, Horatio G. Taggart. 

It was, however, several years before a resident 
clergyman was secured, and divine service regularly 
celebrated every Sunday. For some twelve years 
the parish was either associated with St. Paul's 
church, Angelica, or left with only occasional mis- 
sionary services. But in 1842 several active young 
churchmen having removed to the growing village, 
vigorous measures were adopted to place the parish 
on a more permanent basis. At a special parish 
meeting, held on the r4th of November, in that 
year, the following officers were elected to serve 
until the ensuing Easter, viz : — 

Wardens, Benjamin Bradley, William Welch ; 
Vestrymen, John C. Williams, Ralph T. Wood, 
Edward O'Brien, Isaac L. Endress, John A. Van- 
Derlip, Lauren C. Woodruff, Peter S. Lema, Geo. 
G. Wood. 

Mr. Lauren C. Woodruff, was elected treasurer, 
and Mr. John A. Van Derlip, clerk of the vestry, 
an office continuously held by him from that date 
till the present time. 

In April of the following year, the Rev. Nathan- 
iel F. Bruce, M. D., who had of late officiated oc- 
casionally in the parish, in connection with St. 
Paul's, Angelica, was elected rector and removed 
to Dansville. Measures for the erection of a 
church edifice were about this time adopted, and 
with L. C. Woodruff, Benj. Bradley and Isaac L. 
Endress, for a building committee, the work was 
vigorously prosecuted. 

In the autumn of 1846, the present neat church 
edifice of wood was completed, at a cost of some 
$3,000, and on the 25th of May, 1847, was conse- 
crated by Bishop DeLancey. 

Down to 1846 the congregation had worshipped 
in " The School House on the Square,"— a building 
now venerable for use and years, that once stood 
on the N. W. corner of the public park, but was 
moved to its present site, to give place to St. Peter's 

On the istof July, 1846, about the time the new 
church was completed, the Rev. Mr. Bruce resigned 
the care and was succeeded by the Rev. Mason 
Gallagher. In the summer 011848, Mr. Gallagher 
in consequence of failing health, was granted a 
leave of absence by the vestry, and the Rev. T. F. 
Wardwell engaged as a supply. The following 
December Mr. Wardwell accepted an election to 
the care of Grace church, Lyons, and the services of 

the Rev. O. F. Starkey were temporarily secured. 
In the spring of 1849 the Rev. Mr. Gallagher's 
resignation was accepted, and in July following the 
Rev. O. R. Howard, now of St. Thomas' church, 
Bath, was elected rector. 

The rectorate of Rev. Dr. Howard continued 
until 1857, and covers the era of greatest prosperity 
both of the parish and the village. 

Since the resignation of Dr. Howard and his 
removal to Bath, the following clergymen have suc- 
cessively had ministerial charge of the parish, viz : 
The Rev. Thomas G. Meachem, the Rev. V. Spald- 
ing, the Rev. J. C. L. Jones, the Rev. Robert C. 
Wall, the Rev. L. D. Ferguson, the Rev. L. H. 
Strieker, the Rev. Joseph Hunter, the Rev. James 
B. Murray, D. D., and the present incumbent, the 
Rev. A. P. Brush, who has been rector since Nov. 
I, 1878. 

In spite of these successive, and sometimes not 
desirable changes, the parish has grown from both 
numerical and financial weakness, to its present 
condition of comparative strength, including as it 
does some sixty families and about one hundred 

From 1 83 1 to 1 88 1, the changes have been many 
and marked. Of the original vestry none survive, 
while of the vestry of 1842, only three are living, 
and only one, the Hon. John A. VanDerlip con- 
nected with the parish. 

The present parish officers are : Rector, the Rev. 
A. P. Brush ; Wardens, Mr. A. T. Wood, Mr. 
Luther Grant ; Vestrymen, Hon. John A. VanDer- 
lip, Mr. Alonzo Bradner, Dr. Z. H. Blake, Mr. L. 
G. Ripley, Mr. James Lindsay, Maj. Edwards H. 
Pratt, Mr. Geo. A. Sweet, Mr. A. V. McNeil Sey- 
mour ; Clerk, Hon. J. A. VanDeriip ; Treasurer, 
Luther Grant.* 

The Dansville Baptist Church was organized 
Oct. 23, 1850, at the house of Barnett Brayton. 
The Rev. B. R. Swick, of Bath, was chairman of 
the meeting held for that purpose, and M. R. Mar- 
cell, secretary. The constituent members were: 
Aaron W. Beach and Mary Ann his wife, Bamett 
Brayton and Olive his wife, Martin R. Marcell and 
Emily his wife, Nancy Filer, Ann Brayton, Maria 
Bates, Joseph Palmer, Elijah Hill and Judith his 
wife. They were recognized by a council convened 
in the Lutheran church in Dansville November 6, 
1850, and composed of delegates from the churches 
in Mt. Morris, Bath, Wayne, Almond, South Dans- 
ville, Avoca, Burns. Barnett Brayton and .A.aron 
Beach were chosen deacons November 8, 1850. 

* This sketch was khidly furnished by the Rector, Rev. A. P. Brush. 



At a meeting held at Dansville Academy, their 
usual place of worship, December 10, 1850, the 
following trustees were elected : Paulinus Cook, 
George Hovey, Barnett Brayton, Martin R. Mar- 
cell, Lemuel J. Swift and Charles L. Truman. 

January 12, 1851, it was resolved to call Howell 
Smith, of Penn Yan, to the pastorate, at a salarj' 
of $500. The call was accepted, and Mr. Smith 
commenced his labors the first Sunday in March 
following. June 24, 185 1, the church united with 
the Livingston Baptist Association. 

Mr. Smith closed his labors as pastor March i, 
1855. He was succeeded by Rev. O. I. Sprague, 
who commenced his labors May 5, 1855, and closed 
them April i, 1858. Edwin S. Walker, of Roches- 
ter Theological Seminary, entered upon his labors 
as supply in April, 1858, and July 8, 1858, was 
called to the pastorate. He commenced his labors 
as such August i, 1858, and was ordained Septem- 
ber 16, 1858. He closed his labors in the spring 
of i860, and was followed in November of that 
year by Rev. J. Wilson, who remained only 
about two months. Rev. I. W. Emory of Cana- 
seraga, supplied the pulpit from the spring of 186 1, 
and April 14, 1861, was given a call to the pastor- 
ate for one year from April i, 1861. He was dis- 
missed April 4, 1863. His successors have been, 
Rev. George W. Baptis from September 3, 1864,10 
June 24, 1865 ; Elder M. Barker from June 6, 

1866, to ; Rev. E. L. Crane, from December, 

1870, to September 24, 187 1 ; Rev. R. J. Reynolds, 
from September 3, 1873, to September 4, 1874; 

Rev. C. B. Read, from October 10, 1875, to ; 

Rev. L. Q. Galpin, the present pastor, who com- 
menced his labors January 9, 1878. The present 
number of members is 112. 

TAe Advent Christian Church in Dansville was 
organized by William Brown, Sr., Daniel Cogswell 
and ten others, " believers in the speedy arid per- 
sonal coming of the Lord Jesus Christ," who met 
at Dansville, December 23, i860, and adopted a 
church covenant and articles of association, drawn 
and presented by Elder Daniel T. Taylor. We 
have no further information respecting this church, 
but beUeve it is not now in existence. 

Societies. — Dansville Royal Arch Chapter No. 
91 was chartered February 2, 1825. The charter 
officers were ; Merritt Brown, High Priest ; War- 
ren Patchin, King ; Paul C. Cook, Scribe. The 
Chapter was organized March 31, 1824, under a 
dispensation granted February 21, 1824, by theG. 
R. A. Chapter. The officers elected in addition to 
the three above named were : Timothy Atwood, R. 

A. C. ; Moses Conn, Cof H. ; Wm. McPherson, 
P. S. , James Conn, M. of ^d. V. ; Anson Dela- 
mater, M. of 2d V. ; 'H. Boyden, M. of 1st V. ; 
Thomas M. Bowen, Secretary ; Samuel Stilwell, 
Treasurer ; Henry Burley, Guard. The mem- 
bers present at that meeting in addition to those 
named were Andrew Prindle and Jacob Thorn. 
The Chapter numbered 41, October 5, 1880 ; and 
meets in the Maxwell Block the 2d and 4th Tues- 
days of each month. 

Phcenix Lodge No. iiSi F. 6f A. M., was insti- 
tuted April 15, 1846, and chartered August 18, 
1846. The charter officers were : — -Merritt Brown, 
Master ; John Culbertson, S. W. ; Javin Bradley, 
J. W. The lodge numbers about 95, and meets 
the I St and 3d Tuesday evenings of each month in 
the same room as the chapter. 

Canaseraga Lodge No. 123 / O. O. P., was or- 
ganized Sept. 15, 1844, and chartered Nov. 4, 1844. 
For more than half the period of its existence it was 
the sole representative of Odd Fellowship in Living- 
ston district. The charter members were : — John 
A. VanDerlip, John B. Smith, Wm. G. Thomson, 
P. S. Lema, L. C. Woodruff, H. Kingsbury and 
John C. Williams. The lodge numbers 83 mem- 
bers, and meets Friday evening of each week in the 
Maxwell Block. 

Dansville Union Equitable Aid Union No. 24 
was organized Oct. 29, 1879. The charter mem- 
bers and first officers were :— L. G. Ripley, Presi- 
dent ; J. M. Edwards, V. P. ; C. W. Brown, Sec- 
retary and Accountant ; M. W. Haviland,* Chan- 
cellor; Henry Feustermacher, Auxiliary; A. P. 
Burkhart, Advocate; H. P. Updike, Treasurer and 
Chaplain ; J. H. Campbell, Sentinel ; D. L. Sweet, 
Warden ; Henry Schwingle, Watchman ; Anton 
LaBoyteaux, E. J. Belts, H. A. Fairchild, L. Per- 
ham, H. P. Updike, D. L. Sweet, Henry Schwingle, 
W. C. Bryant, Jr., and Henry Feustermacher. The 
Union numbers 36 members, and meets the 2d 
and 4th Monday of each month in Odd Fellows 


Comminsville is a hamlet of 1 26 inhabitants, lying 
in the north-west part of the town, on Canaseraga 
creek, a little below the north bounds of Dansville 
village, and derives its importance from being the 
seat of the manufacturing establishment of Sweet, 
Faulkner & Co. It derives its name from Warren 
Commins, who, with his son Moses A. Commins, 
estabhshed there in 1839, a furnace and machine 

* Haviland and the officers succeeding him were elected Nov. n, 
1879, at which time also E. H. Readshaw was initiated. 


shop on the site of the present works, in the old 
tannery building occupied by the McCartney Bros, 
from 1831 to 1835. They continued the business 
till 1842, when Sidney Sweet purchased the interest 
of Warren Commins, and in company with the lat- 
ter's son continued it under the name of Sweet & 
Commins until 1845, when George Sweet and John 
Gill purchased the establishment. 

In 1869, after several intermediate changes the 
name was changed to and has since remained 
Sweet, Faulkner & Co. 

Previous to 1858, the business consisted of gen- 
eral machine work, principally the manufacture of 
steam engines and threshing machines. In that 
year the manufacture of mowers and reapers was 
begun and has been continued to the present time, 
having now become the exclusive business. The 
Royce Reaper and the Dansville Mower, an inven- 
tion of George Sweet's, are the articles manufac- 

The works require a capital of about $35,000, 
and give employment to from twenty to thirty per- 
sons, the number at present employed being 

Stone's Falls. 

Stone's Falls is a hamlet located on Mill creek, 
in the south-east corner of the town, two miles 
south-east of Dansville village. It derives its name 
from Rufus Stone, who came here with his family 
from Pompey, Onondaga county, June 3, 1816, 
having been here the previous year to prospect. 
He took up a tract of land in the locality of Stone's 
Falls, and was the first to utilize the water power 
here. He built in 1816, on the site of his son's 
wagon-shop, a saw-mill which was in operation till 
about 1840, and went to decay. In 1825, he 
built an oil-mill and made flaxseed-oil, operating it 
till within two or three years of his death, which 
occurred in Ohio, March 2, 1842. His son Ben- 
jamin succeeded him to the ownership of the oil- 
mill, and continued the business till his death, 
March 8, 1852, at the age of forty-two, when it 
was discontinued. 

Benjamin Stone built a saw-mill on the site of 
the original oil-mill, about 1842 or '43, having, 
about 1840, built a second oil-mill to take the 
place of the first. After the death of Benjamin 
Stone the mills were sold to Capt. Henry Henry, 
who took down the oil-mill, the timbers of which 
were used in the construction of the Brewster 
House in Dansville village. Capt. Henry owned 
the saw-mill till his death in 1872, when his widow 

sold it to John White, the present proprietor. Dur- 
ing Capt. Henry's occupancy the mill burned down. 
It was rebuilt by him immediately after. He had 
occupied the upper story for a flax-mill. 

Broton S. Stone established his wagon manufac- 
tory at this point in 1848, and has carried on the 
business since that time. He does a general 
wagon business, but makes a specialty of lumber 
and farm wagons. He employs on the average 
about six persons, and makes some fifty to sixty 
lumber wagons per year. The motive power is 
furnished by Mill creek, which has a fall at this 
place of about thirty feet. 

Dansville Grange, No. 178 P. of H., whose 
headquarters are at this place, was organized April 
'14, 1874, with the following members: — B. F. 
Kershner, Master; R. K. Stone, Secretary; Henry 
A. Kershner, Lecturer; B. S. Stone, Overseer; 
J. B. Lemen, Steward ; G. C. Stone, Assistant 
Steward; James F. McCartney, Chaplain; Fred 
Driesbach, Treasurer; Henry Driesbach, Gate- 
keeper ; E. M. Driesbach, Ceres ; Eliza L. Kersh- 
ner, Pomona; M. E. Stone, Flora; Emma J. Le- 
men, Lady Assistant Steward; B. S. Stone, Wm. 
Hartman and B. F. Kershner, Executive Commit- 
tee ; L. A. Palmer, Honeoye Falls, J. H. McCart- 
ney, Henry Hartman, Wm. Hall, Ora R. Stone, 
Mrs. B. F. Kershner, Mrs. J. B. Lemen, Mrs. B. 
S. Stone, Mrs. Frederick Driesbach, Mrs. J. H. 
McCartney, Mrs. R. K. Stone, Mrs. J. F. McCart- 
ney, Mrs. G. C. Stone, Mrs. Henry Driesbach, 
Mrs. William Hall. It was chartered July 6, 1874. 

The organization was effected and the meetings 
for nearly four years were held in the upper part 
of B. S. Stone's wagon shop, the use of which was 
given by Mr. Stone free of expense. In 1878, the 
Grange built here a fine commodious hall, at an 
expense of about $2,000, and here the meetings 
have since been held. Gratuitous services were 
rendered thus greatly reducing the money cost of 
its construction. The land on which it stands— 
about three-fourths of an acre — was donated for 
the purpose by George C. Stone; so that with the 
amount actually expended, the land donated and 
the gratuitous services rendered, the Grange is put 
in possession of a hall worth about $3,000. 

The CaUfornia House is a name applied to a 
locality a half mile south of Dansville village, 
where are located two hotels, the HoUingsworth 
paper-mill, a cooper shop and an unoccupied 
brewery. Kramer's Hotel, known also as the 
"CaUfornia House," has been kept since 1870 by 
John Kramer. It occupies the site of the old 

yV\.R. 8j yVlRs. William Wai\tman, 


William Hartman was born in the town of Sparta, now 
North Dansville, Livingston county, N. Y., January 30th, 
1820. He is a son of John and Mary (Longnecker) Hart- 
man. The former was a native of Northumberland 
county, Pa., was born in 1782 and died in North Dansville 
February 19th, 184,5. The latter was born in Pennsyl- 
vania in 1792 and died on the same day that her husband 
died, and both were buried in the same grave. They 
died of a contagious disease known as malignant erysipelas 
that carried off many citizens of North Dansville during 
its prevalence. Harmon Hartman and his wife Susannah, 
the father and mother of John Hartman, were among the 
early settlers of the town of Sparta. They came in and 
settled near where the village of Dansville is located, in 
1807. John, the father of our subject, was then twenty- 
five years of age. He was the eldest of a family of thir- 
teen children, eight by the first wife and five by the sec- 
ond. In the year 1815 he married Mary Longnecker, 
who was then residing here with a married sister. Her 
parents were living in Cayuga county, N. X. John fol- 
lowed farming and kept tavern many years. They had 
nine children, viz : Angeline, married J. W. Brown, of 
Dansville ; Henry, now residing on the old homestead ; 
William, our subject ; John, now living in Groveland, 
Livingston county, a farmer by occupation; Endress, 
living at Clarksburg, W. Va. ; George, living on a part of 
the old homestead farm; Jacob and Laban died in infancy, 
and Samuel Frederick, now a resident of Lancaster, Erie 
county, N. Y., and connected with the Buffalo Cowrfer es- 
tablishment in Buffalo, N. Y. 
At the time of the death of the jiarents the children 

were all living at home except Angeline, who married Mr. 
Brown and was living in the village of Dansville, and they 
operated the farm until 1848, when the estate, then con- 
taining ,579 acres, was divided. The share that fell to 
William was 69 acres. He then moved on to a five acre 
lot that he purchased of the heirs of Su.sannah Hartman, 
his grandmother, where he lived and carried on farming 
until 1850. In that year, April 25th, he married Catha- 
rine Driesbach, the daughter of Henry and Lydia (Hart- 
man) Driesbach. She was born November 24, 1827. 

Mr. Hartman continuedand has always followed farming 
and has been eminently successful. By his energy, econ- 
omy and enterprise he has acquired a large property and 
is ranked among the leading agriculturists of the county. 
His advantages for an education were such as were afforded 
by the common schools of his town and the academy at 

He has never been an office seeker nor an active politi- 
cian. He gave his allegiance to the Democraticparty until 
1860, when he voted for Abraham Lincoln, and voted for 
the candidates of the Kepublican party from 1 860 to 1872, 
when he voted for Horace Greeley. Since that time he 
has voted for whom he has considered the best man, re- 
gardless of party. 

Mr. Hartman has never imited with any religious de- 
nomination, but attends, as does his family, the English 
Lutheran church at Dansville. There have been born to 
Mr. and Mrs. Hartman three children, namely: William 
Henry, born Sept. 30th, 1851 ; Mary L., born July 10th, 
1853; and Emma C, born Nov. 14th, 1856, all residing 
at home with their parents. 



"California House," and was built about twenty- 
four years ago, by Nicholas and Frank Schu. The 
Schus had also a small brewery, which is now used 
as a cooper shop by Adam Kramer. Kramer's 
brewery, located on the opposite side of the road, 
was built by John Kramer in 1870 for the manu- 
facture of lager beer. Brewing was discontinued 
in 1875. The Farmer's Hotel located here is kept 
and has been for several years by Michael 

There are various other manufacturing enter- 
prises carried on in the town aside from those 
located in the village, but none of great magnitude. 
Among these are the Grove grist-mill, located on 
the west bank of Canaseraga creek, a mile west of 
Main street, in Dansville village, which was built 
in 1 816-17, by Thomas McWhorter and his son 
John. Curtis & Tomkinson now operate it. The 
mill contains three runs of stones, operated by 
water from Canaseraga creek, with a fall of eight 
feet. In Pogue's Hole is a grist-mill, owned by 

John Hartman, and built by Porter. It is 

located on Canaseraga creek, about a mile south- 
west of Dansville village, and contains two runs of 
stones. The fall at this point is about twenty feet. 
The Morey grist-mill, owned by John Morey, and 
located on Canaseraga creek, about two miles 
northwest of Dansville, was built at an early day. 
It contains three runs of stones, and has a fall of 
seven feet. On Mill creek, about one and one- 
half miles above Dansville village, is a saw-mill 
owned by Mrs. Dr. Zara H. Blake. It was built 
at an early day by Mrs. Blake's father, Samuel G. 
Dorr, who also had a carding-mill. The saw-mill 
has been rebuilt two or three times. The property 
has always remained in the Dorr family. H. E. 
Hubbard is engaged in the manufacture of horse 
pokes, well-curbs, well buckets, leather straps for 
well-curbs, rubber buckets, pumps, etc., about a 
mile and a half above Dansville, on Mill creek, 
which furnishes the motive power, with a fall of 
eighteen feet. The business was established in 
1862, by Henry Hubbard, father of the present 
proprietor, in George Fiske's planing-mill, at the 
foot of Washington street in Dansville, and was 
continued there fourteen years, when it was re- 
moved to Capt. Henry's building, now the Hol- 
lingsworth paper-mill. Dec. 5, 1876, Mr. Hub- 
bard sold the establishment to his son, H. E. 
Hubbard, who erected the building he now oc- 
cupies in the fall and winter of 1879, and occupied 
it for manufacturing purposes about March ist, 

War of the Rebellion. — We cannot give as 
definitely as we would like the action of this town 
during this trying period, and for the reason that 
the records here, as in other towns in the county, 
have been only partially preserved, the most im- 
portant one giving a complete summary of the re- 
sult of this action, being among the lost. Enough, 
however, has been gleaned from the files of The 
Dansi'ille Advertiser of that period to sufficiently 
indicate the generous nature of her response to the 
repeated calls made on her resources ; and that 
early and most interesting, because most spon- 
taneous action is there faithfully and fully re- 

The first pubHc meeting in North Dansville in- 
cident to the war was held at Canaseraga Hall, in 
Dansville, Saturday evening, April 20, i86r, and 
was then regarded the largest in-door meeting that 
had taken place in the village. The meeting was 
called to order by L. B. Proctor; the Hon. James 
Faulkner was chosen chairman, and Dr. F. Wilson 
Hurd, secretary. S. Hubbard, Dr. James C. 
Jackson, Sidney Sweet, G. Bulkley, John A. Van 
Derlip and M. H. Brown were appointed a com- 
mittee to draft resolutions. D. W. Noyes read, by 
request, the Governor's proclamation and the order 
of the Adjutant-General. Addresses were made 
by L. B. Proctor, L. B. Faulkner, S. D. Faulkner, 
Joseph W. Smith and Dr.