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Full text of "History of Niagara county, N. Y., with illustrations descriptive of its scenery, private residences, public buildings, fine blocks, and important manufactories, and portraits of old pioneers and prominent residents"

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To one whose own neighborhood has been the theater 
of events prominent in the nation's annals, the history 
of those events is the most interesting of all history. To 
the intrinsic fascination of stirring incidents is added the 
charm of their having occurred on familiar ground. ' The 
river has an interest independent of its grandeur and 
beauty to one who knows how it has affected the course 
of events along its banks for centuries, determining the 
location, first of the Indian's hamlet and then of the white 
man's village; the route, first of the red warrior's trail and 
again of a far-reaching traffic that the greatest powers of 
Europe fought to control; the site, now of the frontier 
fortress and anon of the farmer's clearing; the place 
where armies maneuvered and scalping parties crouched 
in ambuscade. 

The road that has been traveled unthinkingly for years 
is invested with a new interest if found to have traversed 
an Indian trail. The field where one has harvested but 
grain or fruit for many a season, brings forth a crop of 
associations and ideas when it is understood that it was 
the scene of one of those sanguinary conflicts in which 
the land was redeemed from savagery and the character 
of its civilization determined. The people will look with 
a heightened and more intelligent interest upon ancient 
buildings in their midst, although venerated by them they 
hardly know why, when they read the authentic record 
of events with which these monuments of the past are 
associated. The annals of a region so famous in legend 
and record as that of which these pages treat give it a 
new and powerful element of interest for its inhabitants, 
and strengthen that miniature but admirable patriotism 
which consists in the love of one's own locality. 

It has heretofore been possible for the scholar, with 
leisure and a comprehensive library, to trace out the 
written history of his county by patient research among 
voluminous government documents and many volumes, 
sometimes old and scarce ; but these sources of informa- 
tion and the time to study them are not at the command 
of most of those who are intelligently interested in local 
history, and there are many unpublished facts to be 
rescued from the failing memories of the oldest residents, 
who would soon have carried their information with them 
to the grave ; and others to be obtained from the citizens 
best informed in regard to the various interests and insti- 
tutions of the county which should be treated of in giv- 
ing its history. 

This service of research and compilation, which very 
few could have undertaken for themselves, the publishers 
of this work have performed, and while a few unimport- 
ant mistakes may doubtless be found in such a multitude 
of details, in spite of the care exercised in the production 
of the work, — including typographical errors like the 
printing of 1768 for 1678 in the first column of page 56 — 
the publishers still confidently present this result of many 
months' labor as a true and orderly narrative of all the 
events in the history of the county which were of sufficient 
interest to merit such record. 

Under the sway of cause and effect, historic events 
cannot stand alone — they form an unbroken chain. The 
history of so limited a territory as a county in New York 

has its roots not only in remote times but in distant lands, 
and can not be justly written without going far beyond the 
county limits for some of its most essential facts. Nor 
can such a county history be imderstood in its due rela- 
tion without a historical review of at least the State in 
which the county is a part ; hence we feel that in giving 
such an outline we have been more faithful to the main 
purpose of the work, while we have added an element of 
independent interest and value. 

It may be noticed that the present geographical names 
are often used in the following pages as though dating 
from the earliest times. One who reads of events as 
transpiring in the town of Cambria which occurred long 
before a town of Cambria was thought of, will readily 
understand that the present name is used to avoid the 
needless circumlocution involved in repeating " what is 
now the town of Cambria," etc. 

In the preparation of this volume the standard works 
embracing the history of this frontier have been consulted, 
besides many original sources of information. We have 
drawn freely from that great historic fount, the Docu- 
ments Relating to the Colonial History of New York, 
often reproducing their quaint spelling and phraseology, 
the more perfectly to retain the flavor of the times in 
which they were written. 

While we have in a few cases failed of the co-operation 
which it was reasonable to expect in the obtaining of 
needed facts from individuals, we have generally found 
the possessors of desirable knowledge ready and courteous 
in imparting it, and many have signally aided us, among 
whom may be named Hon. Sullivan Caverno, Marcus 
Moses, Rev. E. P. Marvin, L. J. McParlin, Dr. A. W. 
Tryon, Claudius L. Hoag, Luther Forsyth, Mrs. James 
Goodrich, Ezra Warren, Benoni Edwards, Dr. W. A. Town- 
send and Miss Adeliza Griswold, of the city and town of 
Lockport; Albert H. Porter, A. A. Porter, Judge T. G. Hu- 
lett, C. H. Piper, Hon. William Pool, Andrew Murray, S. F. 
Symonds, A. M. Chesbrough, J. J. Anthony, Peter H. Por- 
ter, jr., Samuel Tompkins, Colonel John Fisk, O. W. 
Cutler, Hon. Benjamin Flagler and F. R. Delano, of Ni- 
agara ; Captain James Van Cleve, Charles T. Hotchkiss, 
P. P. Barton, Thomas P. Scovell, Solomon Gillett, Dr. M. 
Robinson and Dr. Edward Smith, of Lewiston ; S. Park 
Baker, Ira Race, David Burge, Peter Tower, Samuel 
Chubbuck, B. D. Davis and Thomas Brighton, of Porter; 
Captain Luther Wilson, Mrs. Sally Holmes, Richard C. 
Holmes, Alexander Pettit, Mrs. Curtis Pettit and Rev. 
Ward B. Pickard, of Wilson; H. Frost, Peter Hess, G. C. 
Humphrey and A. N. Dutcher, of Somerset ; J. C. Glad- 
ding, Jay Rowe, Lorenzo Webster and Luther S. Hall, of 
Hartland ; J. P. Sawyer, A. Freeman, C. Schad, C. W. 
Laskey, P. P. Murphy, and Dr. Cole, of Royallon; Benja- 
min Stout H. Armstrong, James McClew, J. Arrowsmith 
and W. Shaw, of Newfane. 

The material for the town histories of Cambria, Wheat- 
field and Pendleton was chiefly furnished by Mr. Chip- 
man P. Turner. 

Our acknowledgments are also due to the editors of the 
county papers, from the files of which valuable informa- 
tion has been obtained. 




The American Aborigines— DiseoverieR by European Explorers— The 

Openin^of Colonization and Trade 9-11 


The Dutch Regime in New York- Rival Claims of the English— The 

Latter Prevail H-l' 


The Five Nations— Their Traditions of their Origin— Iroquois Customs 

and Political Organization 13-16 


French and Indian War—Dissensions in the Colonial Government- 
Capture and Execution of Leisler 16-18 


Count Frontennc's Campaigns— Prevalence of Piracy— Misgoverument 

of New York— French Trading and Military Posts 18-20 


The Alleged Plot to Bum New York— French and English Hostili- 
ties— The Contest for the Ohio Yalley 20-22 


The Results of Four English Expeditions Against the French- Mont- 
calm's Successful Campaigns 22-24 


Extinction of French Power in America— The New York Judiciary- 
International Contentions 24-26 


The Approach of the Revolution -Patriotic Attitude of New York — 

The First Battle Fought in 1770 2&-29 


The Boston Tea Party— Meeting of the Continental Congress— The 

Battle of Lexington— Canada Invaded 29-31 


Hostilities Transferred to New York— The Battle of Long Island— Bur- 

goyne'B Campaign 31-34 


The Battle of Bennington— Failure of St. Leger's Movement— Bur- 

goyne's Defeats and Surrender 34-37 


Clinton's Hudson River Campaign— France Recognizes the United 

States- Wars with the Indians 37-39 


Arnold's Treason— Close of the Revolution— A.doption of tho Constitu- 
tion — Internal Improvements 39-42 


Causes of the Last War with Great Britain— Expeditions Against 

Canada— Border Hostilities 42-46 


The Erie Canal and Central Railroad— The State Administration- 
New York in the Civil War 46, 47 

pcm COU[^TY. 

The "Word Nia^ani- -Relics and Theories of the Earliest Population. . . 49-52 


Father L'AUemant'a Account of the Neutral Nation— The Destruction 

of the Eries 52-54 


The Traditional Ori^iQ of the Senecis— Niini83 and Locations of their 

Villages 54-56 


La Salle's Vangunrd Arrives in the Niagara— The Narrative of Father 

Hennepin 56, 5 


The Career of Lu Salle— He Builds the First Sailing Vessel Above Niag- 
ara Falls 58-61 


Niagara and the Indian Trade — The Rivalry of the Fr«nfh and 

English 61-65 


Denonville's Expedition Against the Senecas— The Building of the 

Fir3t Fort Niagara 65-68 


The Joncftires, and the French Trading House Est-ihlished at Lewis- 
ton in 1720 68-/1 

The Rebailding of Fort Niagara— It is Besieged by the English and 

Iroquois 7 1_74 

Journal of the Siege of Forfc Niagara— Rout of a Relief Force- The 

Surrender 74-77 

Sir William Johnson's Journal— Fort Schlosser Built— Traders Pro- 
hibited from Settling Thereabouts 77-79 

The Devil's Hole Massacre— The Senecas Cede the Niagara Border to 

the English 79.81 

Fort Niagara During the Revolution— Its Surrender by the British— 

The Tuacftror'is 81-83 

Indian Trails in Niagara County— The Portage, Military, Ridge and 

Lake Roads 83-86 

The Title to the Soil of Western New York— Phelps and Gorham's 

Purchase— Morris' Reserve 86-89 

The Holland Purchase and Purchasers- Surveys, Sales and First Set- 
tlements Sy-92 

Pioneer Experiences— Emigrating, Buildinfc ftnd Clearing— Frontier 

Work and Play 92-96 



Pioneer Farming— First Schools and Teachers, Meetings and Preach- 
ers— Tie PuhUc Health 96-100 


Military Operations of 1812— Attitude of the Iroquois— Preparations 

for Invading Canada 100, 101 


The Capture of Queenston Heights— The Assailants Overpowered, Un- 
supported and Taken Prisoner.^ 101-103 


Capture and Recapture of Fort George— Fall of Fort Niagara— Rav- 
ages of Fire and Sword 103-105 


Successive Boundaries of Niagara County and its Subdivisions- Officers 

and Representatives 10.^-107 


The Projection of the Erie Canal— Its Advocates and its Construction- 

La Fayette's Tour 10;-111 


The Case of William Morgan— Rise and Career of the Anti-Miisonic 

Party lU-113 


Old-time Stage Lines on the Ridge Road— Railroad History of Niagara 

County 11.1-116 


Incidents of the Patriot War— The Old Militia System in Niagara 

County 116-118 


Niagara Ship Canal Projects- The Shipping and the Commerce of 

Niagara Cpunty 118-122 


Insurance, Medical, Religious, Pioneer and Agricultural Associations 

—The County Farm— Statistics 122-127 


The Rise and Development of the Great Fruit-Growing Interest of 

Niagara County 127, 123 


Sketch of the Geology of Niagora County 128 -131 


Niagara County in the Civil War— The 28th, 49th, 100th and 102nd In- 
fantry 131-136 


The Record of the 2Sd Battery and Ist Regiment of Light Artillei y 136-HO 


The Cavalry Representation- Histories of the 8th, 3d and 15th, and the 

2d Mounted Rifles lM-146 

Services and Suilerings of the 151st Infantry 146-150 


The Brilliant Career of the Gallant Eighth New York Heavy Artil- 
lery 160-155 


Records of the 78th, 96th, 105th, 132nd, 104th, 178th, 179th, lS7th and 

194th Infantry 155-159 


Twelfth, Nineteenth, Seventeenth and Twenty-fifth Batteries- Four- 
teenth Artillery 1S9-1C3 


Main street in lS23-The Early Taverns-Completion of the Canal-- 
The Rise of the Lower Town -Shaved by Lorenzo Dow-Early 
Mail Facilities— Municipal Organization — Business Establish- 
ments in 1835-The McLeod Excitement-Railroad Communica- 
tious-Qeneral Scott in Lockport-Heeent Events-Early Schools- 
The Water Power of Looltport-Flouriug Mills-The Stave Manu- 
facture— Saw-mills— Corporations and Manufactories-Hotels of 
the Present— The Hodge Opera Hoase-Banks-The Stone and 
Marble Interests— Hydraulic Cement— Niagara Nurseries- -Lock- 
port Home for the Friendless— Union School nf Lockport— The Fire 
Department-Sooietiea-The Niagara Light Guards-Churohes- 
Blographioal Sketches of Lockport's Leading Citizens 165-220 

Early Residents of the Town— Warren's Corners-Molyneux's Corners- 
Cambria Center and Vicinity-Pekin and Southwestern Combria 
—Churches on the Eidge— Early Schools and School-Houses— Sin- 
gular Deposits— Brief Biographical Sketches 227-236 

First Town Meeting-Further Matters of Early Record-Principal 
Town Officers— Physical Features of the Town— Early Settlers- 
Pioneer Life in Hartland— Villages in Hartland— Industrial Be- 
irinnings— Educational— Roads and Bridges— Salt Springe- A Prof- 
Ttable Hurricane— An Ancient Karthwork—Taverns— Physicians- 
Burying Grounds- Early Preachers- Lodges— Churches -Agricul- 
tural-The Leading Citizens of To-day 237-248 

The French and English Occupations— Brant and the Mohawks— Tusca- 
rora Reservation- Indian Mound— Early White Settlement— Inci- 
dents Connected with the War— Settlement after the War— De- 
scription and Civil History— Supervisors— Sanborn and Dickerson- 
viUe— Seminary of Our Lady of Angels— The Village of Lewiston 
—Prominent Inhabitants of the Town 249-264 

The Town Civil List— Outlines, Surface, Soil and Products— Ellicott 
Reserve and Salt Spring— Singular Antiquities— Early Settlers- 
Wright's Corners— The Long Causeway Turnpike— Rapids— War- 
ren's Comers— Early Schools and School Houses —Plank and Toll 
Bonds -Cemeteries— Churches of the Town— Biographical Notices 
of Lockport Citizens 205-274 

The Pioneers— Incidents of the War of 1812— From the Early Records 
—Building and Beginning Business— Physicians — Antiquities- 
Roads and Bridges— Burying Grounds— Villages and Post-offices 
Temperance Organizations — Religious History— Schools— New- 
fane in the Civil War- Sketches of Representative Citizens 275-28ti 

Niagara River and Falls— Fort Little Niagara— The Sttdman House 
and Farm— Porter, Barton & Go- Early Reminiscences— Early Set- 
tlements and Improvements— Niagara in the War of 1812- Early 
Events— Civil History— Niagara in the Rebellion— Cemeteries- 
Roads— Schools— The First Religious Services— Fruit-growing in 
Niagara— Drainage— Population— The Village of La Salle — Fletch- 
er's Corners 287-299 

The Village in 1810 -The Early Settlers— Samuel De Veaux, the First 
Merchant— Accessions fi'om 1821 to 1833— General Peter B. Porter 
—Colonel Peter A. Porter— Business and Improvements — The Car- 
rying Business— Further Business Progress- The Upa and Downs 
ot 1836- The Hydraulic Canal— Mails, Stages, Railroads and Ex- 
presses— 'Ihe Press of Niagara Falls— Schools— The Fire Depart- 
ment — Incoi-poraiion and Civil History— Oakwood Cemetery- 
Churches of Niagara Falls— Business Corporations— Fraternities 
and Social Organizations — Improvements About the Falls— Acci- 
' dents and Incidents— Well Known Residents of Niagara Falls, La 
Salle and Vicinity •- 300-318 

Initial Events— The International Suspension Bridge Company— Busi- 
ness Growth and Improvements— A Great Railway Center-Tlie 
Custom-House and Other Buildings— Incorporation and Civil His- 
tory-Waterworks and Fire Companies-The Press of Suspension 
Bridge-Education-Societies-Prominent Inhabitants of Suspen- 
sion Bridge ™-'2s 



Settlement— Extracts from the Town Records— The German Inhabi- 
tants—The Enlargement of the CuDnl — Pendleton Village — 
Churches- Lending Citizens of Pendleton 329-331 


The Settlement of the Town— Pioneers and Burly Events— Incidenls 
During and Aftor the War of 1312— Facts and Statistics— Ran- 
som ville-Touogstown -Sketches of Proniineiit Residents and 
Pioneers 332-347 


Settlement— Pioneer House-Building— Trails and Roads— Early Tav- 
erns—First Schools— Course of Trade and Manufacture— Profes- 
Hional Men— Post- offices— First Birth, Marriage and Death— Asso- 
ciations and Lodges— Wolcottsvilla— Royaltoo Center— Orangeport 
— Giisport- Reynale's Basin — Middleport- The Churches — Bio- 
graphical Sketches of Prominent Residents 348-361 


Pioneer Experiences— After the War of 1.812— The First', of their Kind 
—The Political Record— Salt Spring— Lodges and Associations— 
The (.Government Light-houae— Statistics— Religious History— Brief 
Biographies 362-372 


Pioneer Settlements— The Gerraiin Neighborhoods— Supervisors of 
WJieattield— North Tonav^anda — Brief Sketches of Wlieatfield 
Citizens 373-381 


Organization— Supervisors -Statistical Facte— Pioneer Experiences- 
Sundry First Events— Roads—The Last Wolf and Bear— The Vil- 
lage of Wilson— Smaller Villages—Church History of the Town- 
Wilson's Leading Citizens 332-31)7 


.Academy, St. Joseph's, Lockport - following 208 

Arnold, E E., Residbnce, Boiuersst fullowiDg 278 

Barnea, S. M.. Residence, Lockport preceding 213 

Harnea's Block, Store, Lime Works, etc., Lockport preceding 213 

Barnura, H. A., Farm Residence, Wheatfield following 2114 

Baleman, V. D., Residence, Somerset following 222 

Beach, Cyrus, Farm Residence, Cambria following 234 

Bickford, H. H., Farm Eesitlence, Hartlnnd following 242 

Bishop, Dr. D. F., Residence, Lockport following 214 

Bowen, Hon. L. F., Residence, Lockport following 204 

Bradley, G. H., Residence, Somerset preceding 369 

Brewer, S. A., Fruit Farm, Hartliind followiny 244 

Brigham, P. W., Residence, Somerset following 3(38 

Itrown, Thomas, Uartland following 238 

Brown, William, llartland : following 233 

Burge, David, Residence, Youiiystown following 338 

Burteh, Lewis, Farm Resiil^'nce, Cambria following 232 

Campbell, R. , Furm Residence, Cambi ia foUoiving 228 

Caveruo, Hon. S., Residence, Lockport t'nllowiug 190 

Childs, W. H., Residence, Niasfara Falls fallowing 312 

Church, St.. Patrick's, Church Buildings, llartland fullt)«-ing 24fi 

Coates, John, Residence, Somerset following ;!ii4 

Creates. Samuel, Residt-nce, Somerset following 3fi4 

Colt, H , & Sou, Farm Residences, Lewiatoii preceding 26;J 

Coleman, Aaron, Residence, Somerset following 'Mi2 

Corwin, P. H., Newfane preceding 283 

Court-House, Lockport preceding 16J 

Crapsey, M. C. & A. H., Residences, Lockport preceding 2l;J 

Curtiss Bros., Hotel and Warehouse, RansoraviUe following 'MH 

Davis, B. D., Residence, Youngstown following 340 

Diez, John, Residence, Wilsun following 34(i 

Eastman, Anson, Farm Residence, dmbria ^. following 230 

Evans, E., Residence, Tonawanda following 201 

Faling, Dr. P., Residence, Royalton following 356 

Finn, A. S. & S. H., Boat Yard, Lockport following 218 

Finn, S. H., Residence, Lockport following 218 

Fitts, Hardy, Residence, Somerset following 362 

Flagler, Hon. T. T., Residence, Lockport following 214 

Flanders, Hiram, Farm Residence, Cambria following 228 

Freeman, F. B., Royalton preceding 283 

Gamble, Mrs. E. A., Residence, Newfane following 278 

Gai-dner, Mrs, Judge H., Residence, Lockport following 21-2 

Gardner, I. J., Somerset following 366 

Haight. J. S., Residence, Somerset following 362 

Halght, Mrs. L., Residence, Somerset following 362 

Harmony, E., Farm Residence, Cambria ; following 340 

Hayes, O. B , Farm RcBidence, Hartland following 236 

Henning, John, Farm Residence, Newfane following 284 

Hildreth, G. W., Residence, Lockport following 188 

Hine, G. J., Residence, Mitldleport following 3ii0 

Hnag, Thomas, Residence, Somerset following 364 

Hodge Opera House preceding 211 

Holmes, D,, Residence, Wilson following 394 

Holmes, R. C, Residence, Wilson following 392 

Hulett, Hon. T. G ., Niagara Falls preceding 315 

Humphrey, Hon. G. C , Somerset .^.following SdG 

Hyde, William H., Residence, Somerset following 368 

Jackson, James, Jr., Residence, Lockport following 226 

Jackson, James, Jr., & Son, Lumber Works, Lockport following 226 

Jail and Court-House, Lockport preceding 165 

Journal Building, Lockport foUnwing 174 

Judd, G. L., Tonawanda following 38U 

Keck, Andrew, Residence, Lockport following 2IS 

Knapp, Dr. F. L., Residence, Gasport preceding 359 

Knapp, Silas, Farm Residence, Royalton following 360 

Kyte, Francis, Porter following 362 

Labar, J. W., Residence, Lockport following 272 

Lockport in 1836 pi-ecadmj 165 

Loomis, G. W., Farm Residence, Wilson preceding 397 

McArthur, J., Residence, Newfane following 280 

McNeil, Hon. H. D,, Store, Lockport pi deeding 137 

Mann, O- E., Residence and Fruit Farm, Somerset following 370 

Mead, H. D., Residence, Somerset folio wiug 356 

Mighells, N. T., Farm Residence, Warren's Oorncr.s foUowmg 274 

Milliman, E. A., Farm Residence, Wheattield preceding 381 

Morse, James M., Residence, Wilson preceding 395 

Niagara County Court-House, Lockport preceding 165 

Niagara Falls [Frontispiece.} 

Packard, Mrs. G. M., Niagara.. following Z^-i 

Palmer, R., Residence, Wilson following 396 

Parsons, A. C, Residence, Niagara following 346 

Partridge, C. H., Residence, Lockport folli)Wiug 'iltj 

Payne, Col. L, S,, Residence, Tonawanda preceding 379 

Pearson, William, Rosidwuce, Lockport precedmg 271 

Pease, A. & William H , Residence, Somei'set prec^'ding 371 

Pease, Wdliam B., Fruit Farm, Lockport following 274 

Poole, J. A., Farm Residence, Cambrij, tuUowing 228 

Rich, A. D., Hotel, MiilQleport following 351 

Sanborn, liesidence and Village, Sanborn P. O toHowing 264 

Seott, David, Residence, Cambria following 392 

Seminary of Our Lady of Angels, Suspension Bridge preceding 259 

6bafer, J. W., Residence and Fruit Farm, Royalton pieucding 359 

Shaw, G. v.. Farm Residence, Haithind loilo .viug 248 

Sherwood, Elon, Residence, N. Hartland fulio.ving 246 

Shuler, Mrs. J. D., Residence, Lockport .i'uilowiug Oi^j 

.Smith, Ammi, Residence, NewLiuc following i^^l 

Smith, S. E., Residence, Soineisct iuilovMu^ S72 

Snyder & Holly, Marble Woilcs, LockpoiL tollnuiiig IfeS 

Swift, E. B., Farm Resideni^e, C^inbiia fullowiug 230 

Timothy, H. B., RansomvillL' piecLditig 343 

Tower, Peter, Sen., Farm Reaioeiice, I'urlci ful lotting 344 

Tower, Luke & P. t!., Furiii Kusideuce=, I'uvter followit y 344 

Treichler, S.; Farm Residence, LewisLon tollowuig 230 

Union Schools, School Buildings, Lockport luiluwing 192 

Van Hoi II, T. H., Diug Store, Lockport foUuwmg US 

%'au Horn, W., Farm Residi:nce, Hartland , t'tiluwing 236 

AValter, P. !>., Residiince, Lockiiort following 204 

Ward, J. A., llesidenct', Loi.'kpoi-t lollowmg 174 

Ward, N. C, Farm Resideiioe, Wilson pi eceding bvio 

Watson, James G., Farm Residence, Hartland folJowmy 3iiO 

AVoatworth, A. P., licsidence, Newfane following ISS 

WcHLwortli. E. P., Residence, Lockport iolloMiug 224 

Whitcorab, E., Farm Eesidenre, N. Hartland lulluwiug 2-tS 

Wilcox, O. L., Residence, Gasport follo^YlU:,' idG 

Williams, E. J,, Rcsideuce, AVilsuu fuUowitiy 3U2 

Williams, J., Residence, Wilson loUowing 2bO 

Wilson, S., Residence, Ncwfiine following •>*'R 

Wiight, W. S., Residence, Lockport folly ^vi.l'J 222 

Wright, W. S., Faim Residence, Olcott toUowin^ 22 J 

Zimmerman, Nelson, Farm Residence, Wheattield ijrece.Jiiig bSl 


Albright, K. N., Barker's P. O., Somerset precdliug 327 

Beach, Cyi-up, Cambria following 234 

Beach, Mrs. Cyrus. Cambria tollowing i:;u 

Beach, Master Cyrus W., Cambria following 234 

Brewer, S. A., Hartland foliowiiif.- 214 

Brewer, JIis. S. A., Hartland folio niuy 244 

Surge, David, Youngstown following 334 


Bur^e, Mrs. Diivid, Toiin^rstown foUowiog 338 

Caverno, Hon. S., Lockport following IDO 

Ohilds, T\'. II., Ningara Falls foUowins^ 312 

Clark, S. T„ A.M., JI.D., LockpnrI preeeding 327 

Colt, H. , Lewistoii preceding 263 

Colt, J. H. «., Lewiston preoedinfj 263 

Deliiiio, Dr. B. L., Nia-jam Falls fu-llowing 308 

Kly, Rev. lM)-,tti, D.D., Lockport following 21G 

Gaidoer, Hon. PI., Loekiiort follow ing^ '212 

Henning', A. \V. R., Btisponsion Dndge pieced ing 3J7 

Hodge, Juliu. Loekpoi-L following 210 

HolIllo^, D , Wilson following 3U4 

Holmes, Mis. D., Wilson following 394 

Hulett, Hon. T. (i , ^'it^ga^l Falls preceding 31S 

Jndd, G. L., Tonawiindii following sau 

Judd, :Mv.s. G. L., Tonawaaua follow uig 330 

liiitiiv, J. W., I.ockpoi't following: 272 

Labav, Mi-s. J. AV., Lockporb following' 272 

SIcNeil, U. D., Lockport pieceding liS7 

Morse. J. M., Wilson preceding 396 

Moree, 3[rs. J. M., WiUtm preceding 395 

Palmer, Reuben, WiLsou following 3ilfi 

TalmLT, Mrs. r.neben, Wilson following 39G 

P. timer, Dr G. N.. Lockport following 216 

Palmer, Cul. AV. E., Lockport following 216 

r.iyiie, Levvis S., Tonawanda procedintj 379 

Piiyne, Lewis T , Tonaw.iiida preceding 379 

I'ease, A , Somerset preceding 371 

Pease, Mi-s. A., Somerat't preceding 371 

Richardson, M. C, Lockport following 17-1 

Sanborn, L, It-, Sanborn P. O following 20-1 

Slierw'iod, Hhm, N. Ilartland following 246 

Sherwood, Mrc Klon, N, Hariland folios ing 24li 

Smith, S. E., Somerset following 372 

."^mitli, Mrs. B. E., Souterset foUowini: 372 

Stewart, Z. B., Haitland following 242 

Timothy, H. B., Ransomville prei'eding 343 

Timothy, Mrs. H. B., Ransomville preceding 343 

TuWLr, Peter. Pinter following 844 

Tower, Mrs. PcUt, Porter following 341 

Ward, X C Wilson pieceding 393 

Ward. lAIr.-^. N. O., No. 1 jueveding 393 

Ward, Mrs. N. C, No. -^ piecodiug 393 

Wentworth, K. P., Lockport f'dlowinsj 221 

Wilson, S., Ne«> following 2S(i 

Wil3on, Mi-a. S , N'ewfaiie following 286 


Alhi-ight, F. N., Somerset atiS 

Ai-nold, E. E., Somerset SUB 

B.irnea, S. M., Lockport 1^13 

Bamnm, H. A., Whealfield 3H0 

Batemaii, V. D., Somerset a03 

Beach, Cyrus, Cambria 2o4 

Bii'kford. H. H., Hartiand ^-i'l 

Bishop, Dr. D. F., Lockport 213 

Bo\veu, I Ion. L. F.. Lockport 114 

Bnnlley, G. II., Somer.ieL gtiU 

Bi'dwer, y. A., Hartland 04 j 

Brigham, P. W., Somerset gmi 

Ht'owu, Thomas, Hartlund 24.0 

Brown, AViUiam, Hariland 24.5 

Bulge, David, Youngstown ,-jj4 

Burtch, Lewis, Cambria 234 

Campbell, R., Cambria 234 

Caverno, Hon. 3., Lockport.. _ 214 

Childs, W. H., Niagara Falls" 3I;, 

Clark, S. T., Lockport 307 

Coates, John, Somerset ggi) 

Coatfcs, Samuel, Somerset 3^0 

Colt, H. it Son, Lewislon 2G3 

Coleman, Aaron, Somerset 3g;j 

Corwin, P. H,, Newfane 283 

Crapsey, M. C, Lockport 272 

Cnrtiss Bros., Eansomrill'^ ^^^^ 

Davi.s, B, D., Youiigstown 339 

Delano, B. L., M.D , Niagara Falls 308 

Diez, John, Wilson 393 

Eastman, Anson, Cainbrin -^^ 

P,ly, Rev. Foster, D.D., Lockport 216 

Faling, Dr. P., Royalton ^-'^ 

Finn, A. S., Lockporl 217 

Finn, S H., Lo'-kporf ^17 

Filts, Hardy, Somerset 370 

Fiagler, Hon. T. T., Lockport 217 

Flanders, Hiram, Cambria 23j 

Gambit', Mrs. E. A., Newfanu' 2S4 

G.udnpr, Hon H., Locitport 212 

(i:iiJiier, I. J., Someiset 3'** 

Haight, J. S., Sonlcrset 370 

Haight, Mrs L., SoniPrstM 370 

Hayes, O. B , Hartland 54() 

Henning, A. AV. K., Snspension Eiidi;o 3'27 

Hcnning, John, Newfiine 2S4 

Hildreth, G. W., Lockport 218 

nine. G. J., Middleptjrt 35« 

Hodge, John, Lockpoit 211 

Holmes, D., AVil on 394 

Holmes, If. C. Wilson 391 

Hulett, Hon. T. G.. Niatrara F.ilU 315 

Humphrey, Hon. G. C , Someiset 371 

Hunt, Hon. Wasliington. Lockport 107 

Eydp, AVilliamH., Somerset 36S 

Jndd, G. L-, Tonaw.inda 380 

Keck, Andrew, Lockport 2 '3 

Knapp, Dr. F L., Gasport 359 

Knapp, Sihis, Royalton 359 

Kyle, Francis, Portei' 345 

Ijahiir, J. W., Lockport 273 

Loumis, G. AA''., Wilson 395 

McArtliur, J., Newfane 2S5 

Mcl'arlin, L. J., Lockport 220 

Mann, O. E., Somerset 371 

J\Iead, H. D., Somerset 371 

Migliells, N. T , AVairen's Corners 235 

Millraan, E. A., AVheatfield 381 

Muise, James ^f.. Wilson 391 

Packaid, Mrs. G. M , Niagara , 317 

Palmer, R,, Wilson ', 3y(i 

PaiUiili^e, C. H., Lockport 973 

I'aj-ne, Col. L. S., Tonawanda 379 

I'ear-ion, Williiim, Lockport 373 

Pease, Adam, Somerset 371 

Peise, AV. ]!., Ijockport 273 

Pool, J. A., Cambria , 235 

Pool, Hon. AVilliara. Xiasara Fulls 317 

Sanborn, Hon. L. If., Sanborn P. O '2CA 

Shaw, G. v., Hartland ^ 047 

Sherwood, Elon, N. Hurthiud 047 

fihider, Mrs. J. D., Lockport 274 

Smith, Ammi, Newfane oS") 

Smith, S. E., Somerset 370 

Stewart, 2. B., liariUnd 247 

Timothy, H. B , Porter ;j.i3 

Tower, Peter, Sen., I'orter 343 

Treichler, ,=!., Lewiston 264 

Van Cleve, Captain James. Lewiston 264 

A'an Horn, AA""., Hariland 248 

AValtev, Hon. P. D, Loekport 2''-I 

AVavd, N. C, AAmIsou '.'.'.'.'.'.".'.'. Tsil 

Walton, James G., Hartlund 248 

AA^eutworlh, A. P., Newfane 236 

AVent worth, E. P., Lockport ogg 

\A'hiteonib, E , X. Hartland 248 

\Vilcox, O, L , Royjilton : ., 35^ 

A\'"illiams, E. J., AVilson .397 

AVidiamiS, J., AVilson •. 397 

AA''ilst)n, a. Noivfane 28G 

Wright, W. S., Ijockxjorl 226 

Zimmerman, Nelson, Wheatlield 381 







HE American continent, in its natural features, 
presents a striking and diversified display of 
resources and grandeurs. Bounded by 
oceans; indented with numerous gulfs and 
bays; intersected and drained by large 
rivers; embracing lakes equal in extent to seas, it 
affords every facility for commerce; while its fer- 
tile valleys and extensive plains are admirably adapted to 
agricultural pursuits, and its interior is stored with 
minerals of inestimable value. The magnificence of 
mountain scenery, the dashing flood and deafening roar 
of Niagara, the subterranean labyrinths of Mammoth 
Cave, are features of nature which fill the beholder with 
wonder and amazement. To what people were these re- 
sources offered and these grandeurs presented in the 
dim ages of the past ? With only the shadowy and un- 
certain light of tradition, little else than speculation can 
furnish anything like a beginning to the history of the 
aborigines of America. The ruins of cities and pyramids 
in Mexico and Central America, and the numerous 
mounds so common in the valley of the Mississippi, are 
monuments which point to a people more skilled in arts 
and farther advanced in civilization than the Indian, 
found in occupancy when the first Europeans landed. 
Some of these mounds appear to have been erected for 
burial places, and others for defense. The remains of 
fortifications present evidence of mechanical skill, and 
no little display of the knowledge of engineering. Metal- 
lic implements of ingenious design and superior finish, 
and finely wrought pottery, glazed and colored, equal to 
the best specimens of modern manufacture, have been 
found, showing a higher degree of mechanical skill than 
the Indian has ever been known to possess. Some of 
these remains have been found twenty feet or more below 
the surface, showing that they must have lain there many 

centuries. All the investigations of the antiquarian to 
discover by what people these mounds were erected have 
ended in uncertainty. If these are the relics of a lost 
people, as many believe they are, it seems somewhat 
probable that they were from Egypt. Their jjyramids 
and skill in the arts, together with the fact that human 
bodies have been found preserved somewhat similar to 
Egyptian mummies, support this theory. At an early 
age the Egyptians, who were noted for their skill in navi- 
gation, sailed around Africa, and made many other voy- 
ages, in some of which they may have reached America. 
Aristotle, Plato and other ancient writers appear to have 
been aware of an extensive body of land in the West, 
speaking of it as an island, greater than Europe or Africa. 
It is also supposed that the Egyptians may have reached 
America through Asia. It is related that an Asiatic 
people emigrated to Egypt and conquered the Mizraim- 
ites, who were then in possession; and that they became 
distinguished for their arts, built cities and erected gigan- 
tic pyramids, which still remain as evidence of their skill 
and power. The Mizraimites, smarting under their 
tyranny, rose against them, and after a long struggle 
succeeded in driving them out of the land. They re- 
treated to the northeast, leaving mounds and walls as far 
as Siberia, as traces of their passage, and, it is thought, 
crossed Behring's strait, and eventually settled in the 
Mississippi valley and Mexico. 

Leaving conjecture, in regard to the early inhabitants 
of this continent, it was found when first visited by the 
whites that the Indians had long been in possession. 
Their personal appearance, language and customs plainly 
indicated a distinct race. There were many points of 
difference among the various tribes, but in many respects 
they bore a resemblance to each other. The Aztecs of 
Mexico were found with a large and populous city, in 
which were temples and palaces and well cultivated 
grounds; while in the more northern regions a village of 
rude huts and a small field of corn were about the only 
marks of occupancy. The traditions of the Indians are 
so dim and conflicting as to shed little light on their 
origin. They obtained a subsistence chiefly by hunting 
and fishing, and were continually engaged in bloody wars 



with each other. They had no written language, no letters 
with which their words could be represented; but to 
some extent they communicated their thoughts to one an- 
other by hieroglyphics: certain symbols denoted certain 
ideas, and these were either drawn or painted on skins 
or birch bark, or chiseled on rocks. By comparing their 
languages they were grouped into great families, some of 
which contained many tribes. Of these families the 
Algonquin was the largest, occupying about half of that 
portion of the United States east of the Mississippi river, 
together with a part of Canada. The Huron-Iroquois 
was the next in importance, occupying the greater part of 
the State of New York and the Canadian peninsula, 
formed by lakes Ontario, Erie and Huron. They have 
rapidly diminished in numbers from pestilence and wars 
with the advancing whites, until only fragments remain; 
and their aversion to civilization, and strong attachment 
to a wild mode of life make their extinction inevitable. 
The pioneer still advances; railroads are connecting 
ocean with ocean, and the war whoop is silenced by the 
screech of the locomotive as it sounds the death knell of 
the once proud lords of a continent. 

The discovery of America was the most important 
event of modern times. For the honor of this discovery 
several claims have been presented. Welsh historians 
have awarded it to Modoc, a prince of Wales, who went 
to sea in the twelfth century and discovered land far to 
the west, to which he made several voyages, but who, 
with all his crew, was finally lost. This claim is founded 
on tradition, however, and unsubstantiated. The Nor- 
wegians claim discovery and settlement on stronger 
evidence: Eric emigrated from Iceland to Greenland in 
g86, and formed a settlement. Leif, a son of Eric, em- 
barked with a crew of men in the year looo on a voyage 
of discovery. He sailed to the southwest and discovered 
land, and voyaging along the coast he finally entered a 
bay, where he remained through the winter, calling the 
region Vineland. In 1007 Thorfinn sailed from Green- 
land to Vineland. An account of his voyage and history 
of the country is still extant. Other voyages were made, 
and the Antiquarian Society, after a careful examination 
of all the evidence, including the geography of the 
country described in these voyages, do not hesitate to 
locate this Vineland at the head of Narragansett Bay in 
Rhode Island. These discoveries, however, were so inef- 
fectual that nothing was known in Europe of land beyond 
the ocean until 1492, when Christopher Columbus, believ- 
ing that India might be reached by sailing westward, was 
at his urgent solicitation dispatched on a voyage of dis- 
covery by Ferdinand and Isabella, king and queen of 
Spain. He sailed from Palos, and after stopping at the 
Canaries, struck out upon the hitherto unknown, ocean, 
discovering first one of the Bahama islands; then pro- 
ceeding toward the south he discovered Cuba and Hayti, 
and returned to Spain, thus opening a highway over the 
trackless Atlantic. He made other voyages, and in 1498 
discovered the continent near the mouth of the Orinoco 
river. The discovery of land in the west promised large 
profits,and excited maritime enterprise throughout Europe. 

Henry VII. commissioned John Cabot, a Venetian, in 
1497, to sail on ^ voyage of discovery, and take posses- 
sion of new lands in the name of England. Sailing west- 
ward, in company with his son Sebastian, he discovered 
Newfoundland, and while off the coast of Labrador saw 
the main-land of North America. The next year Sebas- 
tian set sail to discover a northwest passage to China. 
The frozen regions at the north compelled him to change 
his course, and sailing toward the south he visited vari- 
ous points along the coast as far as Albemarle sound, 
taking possession of the whole region for the crown of 
England. John Verazzani, a Florentine in the service of 
Francis I. of France, arrived on the coast of North Caro- 
lina in 1524, and sailed south as far as Georgia. Turn- 
ing north, he explored the coast to about 41" north lati- 
tude, and entered a harbor, which, from his description, 
is believed to have been New York Bay, where he remain- 
ed about fifteen days, and it is supposed that his crew 
were the first Europeans that landed on the soil of New 
York. He proceeded north as far as Labrador, giving 
to the whole country the name of New France, which 
was afterward confined to Canada. 

Henry Hudson, an English navigator, having failed in 
two expeditions to discover a passage to the East Indies, 
for a company of London merchants, by sailing west- 
ward, offered his services in i6og to the Dutch East 
India Company of Holland, which was formed the pre- 
ceding year for traffic and colonization. He left Amster- 
dam on the 4th of April with a small ship and a crew of 
about twenty English and Dutch sailors, and arrived on 
the American coast near Portland, in Maine, whence he 
proceeded south along the shore to the entrance of Ches- 
apeake Bay. From this point he returned northward, 
discovered and entered Delaware Bay, and on the 3rd of 
September anchored at Sandy Hook. From here he 
proceeded up New York Bay, sending his boats to the 
Jersey shore and receiving on board the natives, who 
came in great numbers to traffic. On the 12th he en- 
tered the river which bears his name, and ascended it to 
a point a little above where the city of Hudson now 
stands, having been frequently visited on the way by the 
Indians, who came to traffic, bringing maize, tobacco and 
other products native to the country. To them he im- 
parted a knowledge of the effects of rum, to the drinking 
of which in later years they became greatly addicted. 
Not considering it safe to proceed farther with his ship, 
he sent a boat with a part of his crew to explore the 
river higher up. It is supposed that they went a little 
above Albany. On the 23d he commenced to descend 
the river. When a little below the Highlands, the 
Indians made several attempts to attack his crew, who, 
in repulsing their attacks, shot ten or twelve of their num- 
ber. Descending into the bay he immediately sailed for 
Europe. The following year he made a voyage for the 
discovery of a northwest passage to India, and discover- 
ed and entered the bay which bears his name. Continu- 
ing his search too long, he was compelled to remain 
through the winter. In the spring part of his crew 
mutinied, put him in a boat, together with his son and 


seven others, and left them to perish. In 1607 Samuel 
Champlain, a French navigator, ascended the St. Law- 
rence river, exploring its tributaries; and on the 4th of 
July discovered the lake which bears his name. Hence 
three nations, Holland, France and England, found- 
ing their titles upon discovery, claimed ownership in a 
region a part of which lies within the limits of the State 
of New York. 

The accounts given by Hudson of his discoveries stim- 
ulated the Dutch to avail themselves of the advantages 
that might be gained by trading with the Indians, and 
accordingly in the following year another vessel was sent 
out to engage in the fur trade on the banks of the river 
he had discovered. 

In 161 2 two more vessels were fitted out by Hendrick 
Christiansen and Adrian Block, which were soon followed 
by others. The fur trade proving successful, Christiansen 
was appointed agent of the traffic, and Manhattan Island 
made the chief depot. He erected a small fort and a few 
rude buildings at the southern extremity of the island, 
calling the place New Amsterdam. The island was 
covered with giant forest trees and dense thickets, which 
served as hiding places for reptiles and wild beasts. In 
1614 the States General granted a charter to the mer- 
chants engaged in these expeditions, conferring the ex- 
clusive right of trade in this new territory, between the 
40th and 4Sth parallels of north latitude, for four years, 
and giving the name of New Netherlands to the whole 
region. The trade flourished, and had become so profit- 
able at the expiration of the charter that the States Gen- 
eral refused to renew it, giving instead a special license 
for its temporary continuance. 

In the meantime the surrounding country was being 
explored. 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. Cor- 
nelissen Jacobsen May had explored the southern coast 
of Long Island and southward to Delaware Bay, while 
Hendrick Christiansen had ascended the Hudson river to 
Castle Island, a few miles below Albany, where he had 
established a trading post and erected a small fort. This 
fort was so much damaged by a flood that it was removed 
to the Normans-kill, a little below. Here a council was 
held between the chiefs and warriors of the Five Nations 
and the representatives of the New Netherlands, and a 
treaty of aUiance and peace was formed. 

In 1620 James I. granted to Ferdinando Gorges and 
his commercial associates all the land between the for- 
tieth and forty-eighth degrees of north latitude, and ex- 
tending from ocean to ocean. Captain Dermer, in the 
service of Gorges, appeared at Manhattan, and laid claim 
to all the territory occupied by the Dutch. The English 
embassador at the Dutch capital had been instructed to 
remonstrate against Dutch intrusion, but it seems his re- 
monstrance was without effect; for in 162 1 the States 
General granted a new charter to the Dutch West India 
Company, an armed mercantile association, giving them 
exclusive jurisdiction over the province of New Nether- 
lands for twenty years, with power to appoint governors. 

subject to the approval of the States; to colonize the ter- 
ritory and administer justice. The executive manage- 
ment was intrusted to a board of directors, distributed 
through five separate chambers in the cities of Holland. 
The charge of the province had been assigned to the 
Amsterdam chamber, which sent out a vessel in 1623, 
under the direction of Captain May and Adrien Joriszen 
Tienpont, with thirty families for colonization. A portion 
of these settled on the Connecticut river, and others as 
far up the Hudson as the present city of Albany, where 
they built Fort Orange. A fort was also erected on the 
Delaware river, near Gloucester, and called Fort Nassau. 
Their number was shortly after augmented by other ac- 
cessions, and colonization fairly commenced. In May, 
1626, Peter Minuit arrived at New Netherlands as Direc- 
tor-General or Governor of the province. He purchased 
the whole of Manhattan Island of the Indians for trinkets 
the value of $24. Friendly courtesies were then exchang- 
ed with the Plymouth colony, and a brisk and profitable 
trade in furs was carried on. 





O encourage immigration, in 1629 an ordinance 
was adopted, granting to any member of the 
company who within four years should plant 
a colony of fifty persons, upward of fifteen 
years old, the privilege of selecting a tract of 
sixteen miles in length, on any navigable 
stream, and inland as far as he should choo'se, with 
the title of Patroon, denoting something lordly in rank 
and means. The Patroons on their part were to buy of 
the Indians the right to the lands selected, maintain a 
minister and school-master, and pay duty on trade carried 
on by them ; but the company reserved the exclusive 
right to the fur trade, which was becoming extensive and 
attracting dealers from the banks of the St. Lawrence. 
Several availed themselves of this privilege, among whom 
were Michael Pauw and Killian Van Rensselaer, the 
former securing Staten Island and a large tract on the Jer- 
sey shore, and the latter a large tract on the Hudson river, 
now the counties of Albany and Rensselaer. Although the 
Patroons were excluded in their charter by the company 
from participating in the fur trade, their interference 
brought on a controversy, and Minuit, who it was thought 
favored their pretensions, was recalled. The vessel in 
which he sailed was detained by the English authorities 
at Plymouth, on the charge that he had traded and ob- 
tained her cargo in territory subject to England, and 
thus the respective claims of the English and Dutch to 
the title of New Netherlands were again called in ques- 
tion. The Dutch relied on the discoveries made by 


Hudson, and their immediate occupation, ratified by 
charter ; and the English on the prior discovery by Cabot 
and the grant of James 1., covering the territory. No 
final settlement being obtained, the question was defer- 
red ; and in April, 1633, Wouter Van T wilier arrived at 
New Amsterdam as the new Director-General, bringing 
with him Everardus Bogardus, a clergyman, Adam Roe- 
landsen, the first school-master to the colony, and a small 
military force, with which he subsequently made consid- 
erable display. Soon after assuming the government, he 
directed Jacob Van Corlaer to purchase a tract of land 
of the Indians on the Connecticut river, near the present 
city of Hartford. The English colonies earnestly remon- 
strated against this invasion of their territory, but without 
effect. The Plymouth colony secured a tract of the In- 
dians at Windsor, and sent Lieutenant William Holmes 
with a force to take possession and commence a settle- 
ment. Van Corlaer being unable to oppose them with 
any effect. Van Twiller sent a force of soldiers to dis- 
perse them. The courage of the Dutch commander 
forsook him on perceiving that they were prepared to 
meet him, and he refrained from trying to dislodge them. 
Better success, however, attended him in an expedition 
against the Virginia colonists. A band of these, under the 
lead of George Holmes, had taken possession of Fort 
Nassau on the Delaware river. Van Twiller immediately 
sent a force there, which captured and brought them as 
prisoners to Fort Amsterdam. During his administra- 
tion, Jacob Eelkins, who had formerly been an agent for 
the company at Fort Orange, arrived at Manhattan as 
supercargo of an English vessel engaged in the fur trade. 
Van Twiller refused to let him proceed without a license 
from the company, which Eelkins declined to present ; but 
claiming a right to trade with the Indians as an English- 
man, to whom the territory belonged, he proceeded up 
the river to Fort Orange, in defiance of the governor, 
and commenced trading with them. Van Twiller, in 
great indignation, dispatched a force after him, which 
took possession of his wares, and bringing his vessel back, 
sent it out to sea. He was so mindful of his own inter- 
ests that he became the wealthiest land-holder in the prov- 
ince. Vehemently passionate, he became involved in a 
bitter quarrel with Bogardus, the clergyman, and with 
Van Dinklagen, a member of his council. The latter 
had very justly complained of his rapacity, for which he 
sent him a prisoner to Holland, on a charge of contuma- 
cy. His corruption and incompetency to govern becom- 
ing apparent, he was recalled, and William Kieft, in 1638, 
succeeded him in the government of the colony. 

The company in the following year obtained a new 
charter, limiting the Patroons to four miles on the rivers 
and eight inland. Other efforts were made to encourage 
immigration. Settlements were extending in all direc- 
tions, and the province was rapidly filling with inhabi- 
tants. The governor, however, instead of proving useful 
in promoting the prosperity of the colony with the op- 
portunities presented, became involved in difficulties 
with the English settlements and the neighboring Indian 
tribes, which finally brought the colony to the verge of 

extirpation. By injudicious management and cruelty to 
the Indians, they were incited to revenge and relentless 
war on the whites. A robbery having been committed, 
a tribe of Indians, though innocent, were suspected; and 
Kieft sent an armed force against them, killing several of 
their number and destroying their property. The In- 
dians retaliated for this unprovoked attack by murdering 
some settlers and burning their buildings. The chiefs 
refused to give satisfaction for these outrages, and Kieft 
resolved on a war against them. An Indian, whose uncle 
had been killed by the whites a number of years before, 
vowed revenge, and killed a Dutchman at Manhattan. 
Kieft sent a force against his tribe, with orders to exter- 
minate them. Seeing their danger, they sued for peace. 
Before the terms of a treaty had been agreed upon, a 
warrior, who had been made drunk and then robbed by 
the whites, upon recovering his senses killed two of the 
Dutch. Just at this time the river Indians, in a conflict 
with the Mohawks, were compelled to take refuge on the 
Hudson opposite Manhattan, and solicit protection from 
their enemies ; but instead of its being granted, a party 
under the sanction of Kieft, and against the remonstrance 
of the best citizens, went over to massacre them. This 
wicked and inhuman outrage was perpetrated at midnight, 
and nearly ^ hundred of these helpless and unsuspecting 
fugitives were murdered, or driven into the river to 
perish. A desperate and bloody war was the result. 
The neighboring tribes joined to avenge this outrage. 
The dwellings of the settlers were burned, their fields 
desolated, and themselves shot by their lurking foes. 
Their settlements were attacked in every direction, and 
terror, despair and death prevailed. Captain John Under- 
hill, who had gained some notoriety in Indian warfare, 
was appointed to command the forces of the colonists. 
He finally succeeded in bringing the Indians to submis- 
sion, and in 1645 a treaty of peace was concluded. An 
earnest appeal was made for the recall of Kieft, who had 
been the cause of this calamitous war. The request 
was favorably received, and Peter Stuyvesant, who 
was appointed to succeed him, took charge of the govern- 
ment May nth, 1647. He had been in the service of the 
company as Director-General of Curacoa. The contro- 
versy between the Dutch and English settlements still 
continuing, arbitrators were appointed to adjust their 
claims. The eastern part of Long Island was assigned to 
the English. A line was specified for the boundary 
between the Connecticut and New Netherland colonies, 
but it was unsatisfactory to the Dutch. In 1652 a muni- 
cipal government was established for Manhattan, con- 
sisting of a revenue agent, to be appointed by the com- 
pany, and two burgomasters and five inferior magistrates, 
to be elected by the people, and to have jurisdiction in 
capital cases. The Swedes since the early part of Kieft's 
administration had been encroaching upon the Dutch 
territory on the Delaware ; and Stuyvesant, by order of 
the company, went against them with an armed force, 
recaptured the forts, and resumed possession of the 
territory. While on this expedition, one of the Indians 
having been shot by a settler, the savages appeared at 



Manhattan in canoes, killed the offender, and crossing to 
the Jersey shore and Staten Island, began killing other 
settlers and destroying their property. Stuyvesant re- 
turned, and by conciliatory measures restored peace. 

In 1664 Charles II. of England, regardless of the claims 
of the Dutch to New Netherlands, granted to his brother, 
Duke of York and Albany, afterward James II., the 
whole country from the Connecticut to the Delaware, 
including the entire Dutch possessions. A fleet was sent 
out by the Duke under Colonel Richard Nichols, to 
enforce his claim and take possession of the Dutch set- 
tlements. Arriving in the bay he demanded a surrender, 
which Stuyvesant at first indignantly refused ; but be- 
cause of the unwillingness of the colonists to fight in his 
defense and of their insisting upon capitulation, together 
with the favorable nature of the terms offered, he was 
induced to yield, and on the 3d of September, 1664, the 
province was surrendered, and the government of the 
colony passed into the hands of the English. The names 
New Netherlands and New Amsterdam were changed to 
New York, and Fort Orange to Albany. It is supposed 
that at this time the province contained about six thou- 
sand inhabitants. Soon after the surrender the Duke 
conveyed to Lord Berkley and Sir George Carteret what 
now constitutes the State of New Jersey, over which a 
separate proprietary government was established. In 
1682 William Penn purchased the settlements on the 
Delaware, which were annexed to Pennsylvania. Nichols, 
who became governor, devoted much time to confirming 
grants under the Dutch government by issuing new ones, 
and thus making a heavy expense to the land-owners. 
He changed the form of the municipal government of 
New York June 12 th, r666, by granting a city charter, 
placing the executive power in the hands of a mayor, 
aldermen and sheriff, all to be appointed by the gover- 
nor. An invasion from Holland had been feared, and 
preparations for defense had incurred an increase of 
taxation, of which the colony greatly complained, in con- 
sequence of which Nichols resigned his office in 1668, 
and Colonel Francis Lovelace was appointed to succeed 
him. Holland being involved in a war with England, an 
opportunity was presented for the Dutch to regain their 
lost possessions in America, and for that purpose they 
sent out a squadron, which anchored at Staten Island 
July 30th, 1673. The fort at New York was in charge of 
Captain John Manning, who treacherously surrendered 
without making any effort to resist. The city was again 
in the possession of the Dutch, and Captain Anthony 
Clove in command of the province. Manning was after- 
ward tried and convicted by court-martial of cowardice 
and treachery, and adjudged to have his sword broken 
over his head in front of the City Hall, and to be in- 
capacitated from holding any office. Under Clove the 
Dutch claims to the province were reasserted, and prep- 
arations made for a vigorous defense in case of an at- 
tempt on the part of the English for its recapture ; but 
by the provisions of a peace concluded February 9th 
1674, the province reverted to the English. To silence 
all controversy respecting his claims, the Duke of York 

obtained a new patent from the King to confirm the one 
granted in 1664, and commissioned Major Edmund 
Andros as governor. His arbitrary course made his 
administration very unpopular. He endeavored to ex- 
tend his jurisdiction to the Connecticut river, but his 
claims were stoutly resisted by the people of that province, 
and he finally concluded to abandon the design. He 
quarreled with and disputed the right of Philip Carteret, 
who administered the government of East Jersey, arrest- 
ing and bringing him prisoner to New York. For this 
act the proprietors of the New Jersey government pre- 
ferred charges against him, which he was summoned to 
England to answer. He returned, to continue his op- 
pressions, but the resistance of the people against him was 
so strong that he was recalled, and Thomas Dongan 
appointed as his successor, who arrived August 27th, 
1683. Through the influence of William Penn he was 
instructed to organize a popular assembly, and accord- 
ingly, soon after his arrival, issued orders for the choosing 
of representatives. This, the first Colonial Assembly of 
New York, was convened October 17th, 1683, and con- 
sisted of a council of ten and seventeen representatives. 
A charter of liberties was framed, vesting the supreme 
legislative power in the governor and council and the 
people in general assembly ; conferring the right of suf- 
frage on the freeholders without restraint ; providing 
that no freeman should suffer but by judgment of his 
peers, and that all trials should be by a jury of twelve 
men. The imposition of any tax without the consent of 
the assembly was prohibited. Martial law was not to 
exist, and neither soldiers nor seamen were to be quar- 
tered on the inhabitants against their will. The province 
was divided into counties, and the representatives were 
apportioned according to the population. 



^ HE greater portion of what now constitutes 
the State of New York, when first visited by 
Europeans, was found to be inhabited by 
five distinct and powerful tribes of Indians, 
who had united and formed a confederacy. 
The tribes that composed this confederacy were 
the Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas and 
Senecas, called by the English the Five Nations, and by 
the French the Iroquois. They bore among themselves 
the title Aquinoshioni or Konoshiom, signifying Cabin- 
makers, or People of the Long House, referring to their 
organization and territorial possessions, which extended 
from the banks of the Hudson to the shores of Lake 
Erie. Their government was, in many respects, republi- 
can, and the wisdom displayed in the management of 



their affairs distinguished them above all the other abo- 
rigines of the continent. At what time the confederacy 
was formed is unknown, its origin being as much involved 
in the obscurities of tradition as any other remote event 
of Indian history. Some as the result of their investiga- 
tions have fixed the period less than a century before the 
Europeans came into the country, while others have 
placed it more than two centuries earlier. The current 
tradition held by the Iroquois respecting their origin was 
that they sprang from the earth itself: 

" In remote ages, they had been confined under a 
mountain near the falls of the Osh-wa-kee or Oswego 
river, whence they were released by Tharonhyjagon, 
the Holder of the Heavens. Bidding them go forth to 
the east, he guided them to the valley of the Mohawk, 
and following its stream they reached the Hudson, which 
some of them descended to the sea. Retracing their 
steps toward the west, they originated in their order and 
position the Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, 
Senecas and Tuscaroras, six nations, but the Tuscaroras 
wandered away to the south and settled on the Cantano 
or Neuse river, in North Carolina, reducing the number 
to five nations. 

" Each of the tribes thus originated was independent 
of the others, and they warred with each other, as well as 
with the surrounding tribes. Tharonhyjagon still re- 
mained with the tribes; gave them seeds of various kinds, 
with the proper knowledge for planting them ; taught 
them how to kill and roast game; made the forests free 
to all the tribes to hunt, and removed obstructions from 
the streams. After this he laid aside his divine character 
and resolved to live with the Onondagas, that he might 
exemplify the maxims he had taught. For this purpose 
he selected a handsome spot of ground on the southern 
bank of the lake called Teonto, being the sheet of 
water now known as Cross lake. Here he built a cabin, 
and took a wife of the Onondagas, by whom he had an only 
daughter, whom he tenderly loved, and most kindly and 
carefully treated and instructed. The excellence of his 
character and his great sagacity and good counsels led the 
people to view him with veneration, and they gave him 
the name of Hi-a-wat-ha, signifying ''a very wise man." 
From all quarters people came to him for advice, and in 
this manner all power came naturally into his hands, and 
he was regarded as the first chief in all the land. Under 
his teachings the Onondagas became the first among all 
the original clans. They were the wisest counselors, the 
best orators, the most expert hunters and the bravest war- 
riors. Hence the Onondagas were early noted among all 
the tribes for their pre-eminence. 

■' While Hiawatha was thus living in quiet among the 
people of the hills, the tribes were attacked by a furious 
and powerful enemy from the north of the great lakes. 
This enemy advanced into the country and laid waste the 
villages, and slaughtered men, women and children, until 
the people had no heart to oppose the invaders. In this 
emergency they fled to Hiawatha for advice, who coun- 
seled them to call together all the tribes from the east 
and from the west; saying ' Our safety is not alone in the 

club and dart, but in wise counsels.' He appointed a 
place on the banks of the Onondaga lake for the meet- 
ing, and thither the chiefs, warriors and head men forth- 
with assembled in large numbers, bringing with them their 
women and children. 

" The council had been waiting for three days, but as 
yet Hiawatha was absent. Messengers were dispatched 
to hasten his attendance, but they found him gloomy and 
depressed. He told them that evil lay in his path, and 
he felt that he should be called to make some great sacri- 
fice ; nevertheless, he would attend the council. The 
talismanic white canoe in which he always made his voy- 
ages, and which the people had learned to reverence, was 
got out, and Hiawatha and his daughter took their seats. 
Gliding silently down the deep waters of the Seneca, the 
canoe reached the outlet, and entered on the placid 
Onondaga. As the canoe of the venerated chief appeared 
he was welcomed with loud shouts, but while he was 
measuring his steps toward the council ground, a long 
and low sound was heard, and instantly all eyes were 
turned upward, where a compact mass of clou-dy dark- 
ness appeared, which gathered size and velocity as it ap- 
proached, and appeared to be directed inevitably to fall 
in the midst of the assembly. Every one fled but Hia- 
watha and his daughter, who calmly awaited the issue. 
The force of the descending body was Hke that of a sud- 
den storm; and hardly had Hiawatha paused, when an 
immense bird, with long distended wings, came down 
with a swoop and crushed the daughter to the earth. 
The very semblance of a human being was destroyed in 
the remains of the girl, and the head and neck of the bird 
were buried in the ground from the force of the fall. 

" Hiawatha was inconsolable for several days; but at 
length took his place in the council, and the deliberations 
opened. The subject of the invasion was discussed by 
several of the ablest counselors, and various plans pro- 
posed to foil the enemy. Hiawatha listened to the de- 
l)ate, and at its conclusion bade the warriors to depart 
until the next day, when he would unfold his plan, which 
he felt confident would insure safety. 

"The council again met; and with even more than 
ordinary attention the people listened to the words of 
their great chief. Hiawatha counseled them that to O])- 
pose these hordes of northern tribes singly and alone 
would prove certain destruction; that to oppose them 
successfully the tribes must unite in one common band 
of brothers; must have one voice, one fire, on? pipe, and 
one war club. In the confederacy which he proposed 
should be formed, the several tribes were assigned the 
position they were to thereafter occupy, and in conclu- 
sion he urged them to weigh well his words; that if they 
should unite in the bond he had proposed, the Great 
Spirit would smile upon them, and they would be free, 
prosperous and happy; but if they rejected his counsel, 
they would be enslaved, ruined, and perhaps annihilated 

" The tribes received the address in solemn silence, 
and the council closed to deliberate on the plan recom- 
mended. Assembling the next day, the union of the 



tribes into one confederacy was discussed, and unani- 
mously adopted. Pending this result, Hiawatha, warned 
by the death of his daughter that his mission was accom- 
plished, prepared to make his final departure from earth. 
Before the council dispersed he recounted the services 
he had rendered to his people, and urged them to pre- 
serve the union they had formed, telling them that if 
they preserved it, and admitted no foreign element of 
power by the admission of other nations, they would al- 
ways be free, numerous, and happy. ' If other nations 
are admitted to your councils, they will sow the seeds of 
jealousy and discord, and you will become few, feeble, 
and enslaved. Remember these words ; they are the last 
you will hear from the lips of Hiawatha. The Great 
Master of breath calls me to go. I have waited patiently 
his summons, and am ready to go.' As his voice ceased, 
sweet sounds from the air burst on the ears of the multi- 
tude ; and while all attention was engrossed in the celes- 
tial melody, Hiawatha was seen seated in his white canoe, 
in the mid-air, rising with every choral chant that burst 
out, till the clouds shut the sight, and the melody ceased." 

This confederation, which was undoubtedly established 
for the purpose of common defense, was a very powerful 
and effective alliance. In the general council of the con- 
federacy the Senecas, who were much more numeroi^s 
than the other nations, were represented by two delegates, 
and each of the others by one. The presiding officer at 
the council was always assigned to the Onondagas, and 
to the Mohawks the principal war-chief. Their power 
was in their union, which differed from that of other na- 
tions in its perpetuity, the latter frequently securing the 
same results by temporary alliances in case of war. The 
delegates spoke the popular will of the tribes they rep- 
resented, and to determine their action they were not per- 
mitted to approve any measure which the tribe had not 
indorsed by a unanimous vote. Each nation was govern- 
ed by its own chiefs, civil and military, who might de- 
clare war and conclude peace on their own account ; 
claimed dominion over territory defined by general boun- 
daries, and was perfectly independent of control by other 
members of the confederacy, except when national or 
confederated action required the concurrence of all the 
tribes. When the united tribes in council made a decis- 
ion, it was unanimous. The question then had to be re- 
ferred to the warriors of each tribe, assembled in council, 
where a unanimous decision was also required ; hence 
every resolve was clothed with the full popular will. 

The matrons of the tribe in council could command a 
cessation of hostilities, and when they so determined the 
chiefs and warriors returned from the war-path without 
compromising their character for bravery. For this pur- 
pose a male functionary, the messenger of the matrons, 
who was a good speaker, was designated to perform an 
office which was deemed unsuitable to the female. When 
the proposition for a cessation of war was resolved upon, 
the message was delivered to this officer, and he was 
bound to enforce it with all the powers of eloquence he 
possessed. The following description is given of their 
national council. " The council-house was built of bark. 

On each side six seats were placed, each containing six 
persons. No one was admitted besides the members of 
the council, except a few who were particularly honored. 
If one arose to speak all the rest sat in profound silence, 
sitioking their pipes. The speaker uttered his words in a 
singing tone, always rising a few notes at the close of each 
sentence. Whatever was pleasing to the council was con- 
firmed by all by the word nee, or yes, and at the end of 
each speech the whole company joined in applauding the 
speaker, by calling 'Ho! Ho!' At noon two men en- 
tered bearing upon a pole across their shoulders a large 
kettle filled with meat, which was first presented to the 
guests. A large wooden ladle, as broad and deep as a 
common bowl, hung with a hook to the side of the kettle, 
with which every one might at once help himself to as 
much as he could eat. The whole was conducted in a 
very decent and quiet manner. Indeed, now and then, 
one would lie fiat upon his back and rest himself, and 
sometimes they would stop, joke, and laugh heartily." 

The Iroquois were divided into clans or families, dis- 
tinguished by as many different sorts of arms or emblems, 
each being made to represent the clan or family to which 
it belonged. A sachem of one of these families, when he 
signed an instrument of conveyance or public paper, put 
his emblem upon it, representing the animal by which his 
family was designated. The first was that of the tortoise, 
and was first because they pretended that when the earth 
was made it was placed on a great turtle, and when there 
was an earthquake it was the turtle that stirred. Other 
families were designated by such names as the wolf and 
the bear. 

All their affairs were under the direction of their chiefs, 
who obtained their authority by the general opinion of 
their courage and conduct, and whenever they failed to 
appear to the Indians in a praiseworthy light, their digni- 
ty ceased. Though the son was respected on account of 
valuable services performed by his father, yet without 
personal merit he could not attain his rank. Whatever 
pertained to hereditary descent was confined to the female 
line, and the chieftainship fell upon the son of a chief's 
daughter, to the exclusion of his uncle ; but the chief's 
brother would succeed him instead of his own son in case 
there were no descendants through the female line. The 
language used by the Iroquois, both in their speeches and 
in ordinary conversations, was exceedingly figurative. 
Many of their chiefs were distinguished for their eloquence. 

An early historian of New York, writing at the time 
when the Five Nations still constituted a powerful body, 
in regard to their manners and customs, says : " The 
manners of these savages are as simple as their govern- 
ment. Their houses are a few crotched stakes thrust into 
the ground and overlaid with bark. A fire is kindled in 
the middle, and an aperture left at the top for the con- 
veyance of the smoke. Whenever a considerable number 
of these huts are collected they have a castle, as it is 
called, consisting of a square without bastions, surround- 
ed with palisades. They have no other fortification, and 
this is only designed as an asylum for their old men, 
wives and children, while the rest are gpne out to war 



While the women cultivate a little spot of ground for corn, 
the men employ themselves in hunting. The men fre- 
quently associate themselves for conversation, by which 
means they not only preserve the remembrance of their 
wars and treaties, but diffuse among their youth incite- 
ments to glory, as well as instructions in all the subleties 
of war." 

Before they went out they had a feast on dog's flesh, 
and a great war dance, at which the warriors, who were 
frightfully painted with vermilion, rose up and sung their 
exploits, or those of their ancestors, and thereby kindled 
a military enthusiasm in the whole company. The d^iy 
after the dance they would go out a few miles, in single 
file, observing a profound silence. The procession being 
ended, they stripped the bark from a large tree, and paint- 
ed the design of their expedition on the naked trunk. 
The figure of a canoe, with the number of men it, indi- 
cated the strength of their party ; and by a deer, fox, or 
some other emblem, painted at its head, it was discovered 
against what nation they had gone. On their return, be- 
fore they entered the village, two heralds advanced and 
set up a yell, which by its modulation intimated either 
good or bad news. . If the news was good the village was 
notified of it, and an entertainment provided for the con- 
querors, one of whom on their approach bore the scalps 
which they had taken, stretched over a bow, and elevated 
upon a pole. The boldest man in the village came out to 
receive it, and then ran at the top of his speed to where 
the rest were collected. If overtaken he was severely 
beaten, but if he outran the pursuers he was allowed to 
participate in the honor of the victors, who neither spoke 
nor received compliments until the feast was over. Then 
one of the victors was appointed to relate the whole ad- 
venture, while all the rest listened attentively till the close, 
when they all joined in a savage dance. 




T the time Champlain ascended the St. Law- 
rence, he found the Algonquins at war with 
the Iroquois, and by an alliance of his forces 
with the former, he enabled them, by the use of 
fire-arms (to them hitherto unknown), to gain 
a victory over their enemies. In consequence 
of this alliance a bitter hostility was created on the 
part of the Iroquois toward the French. The latter 
however, were successful in gaining the confidence and 
friendship of the other tribes with whom they came in 
contact. Through the influence of their missionaries, 
the traders were enabled to establish their posts among 
them at pleasure, and navigate the lakes and rivers. Al- 
though the artful Jesuit missionaries had persistently 

endeavored to win back the friendship of the Iroquois, 
they effected but little until New York fell into the hands 
of the English. Since their trade and intimacy with the 
Dutch, they had availed themselves of fire-arms, renewed 
their warfare upon the Algonquins with success, repelled 
the invasions of the French, and, in turn, attacking them, 
swept over their settlements with fire and tomahawk, 
carrying consternation in their path even to the gates of 
Quebec. In 1666 the French and Adirondacks success- 
fully invaded the country of the Mohawks, but the year 
following a peace was concluded, chiefly through the 
agency of the English colonial government, acting in 
obedience to the instructions of the Duke of York, to 
whom the colony had been granted, and who, in his big- 
oted and blind attachment to the Church of Rome, was 
desirous of securing a peace between the French and the 
Iroquois, with a view to handing the latter over as con- 
verts to that church. 

Trade, after this peace, was profitably prosecuted by 
both the French and English ; but the French, through 
their artful Catholic missionaries, were gaining a decided 
advantage. Through the instigation of these wily priests, 
hostilities had been committed on the frontier settlements 
of Maryland and Virginia by the Five Nations. To ad- 
just this difficulty, a council of the chiefs met the Govern- 
ors of Virginia and New York at Albany, in 1684. At 
this council the diflSculties with Virginia were amicably 
settled, and Governor Dongan succeeded in completely 
gaining the friendship of the Five Nations. While these 
conferences were in progress, a messenger arrived from 
De la Barre, Governor of Canada, complaining of the 
Senecas for their hostilities against the Miamis and other 
western tribes, with whom the French were allied, where- 
by their trade was interrupted. This message was com- 
municated to the Indian chiefs, and served to confirm 
their resolutions of friendship for the English, and revive 
their slumbering hatred of the French. Immediately on 
the return of the messenger, De la Barre, meditating the 
destruction of the Five Nations, proceeded with an army 
of French and Indians to Lake Ontario. The French 
Catholics had procured a letter from the Duke of York 
to Governor Dongan, instructing him to lay no obstacles 
in the way of the invaders ; but Dongan, regardless of 
this command, apprised the Indians of their designs and 
also promised to assist them. Owing to sickness in his 
army, De la Barre was unable to encounter his foes, and 
found it necessary to conclude his Campaign by offering 
terms of peace, which were haughtily accepted, and he 
was allowed to depart. He was succeeded in the follow- 
ing year by the Marquis de Denonville, who, with a rein- 
forcement of troops, was sent over to repair the disgrace 
of De la Barre. In 1687, to prevent the interruption of 
trade with the Miamis, the country of the Senecas was 
invaded. The French, through the agency of their 
missionary to the Onondagas, enticed the Iroquois chiefs 
into their power, under pretense of making a treaty, and 
then seized and sent them, with others they had taken 
prisoners, to France, where they were consigned to the 
galleys. The Seneca country was overrun without serious 



resistance, and a fort erected at the mouth of the Niagara 
river. A peace was finally proposed through the inter- 
position of Governor Dongan, who was for compelling 
the French to apply to him in the affairs of the Five Na- 
tions, but its conditions were rejected by the French. 
The Five Nations, maddened by this refusal and by the 
outrages committed upon them, flew to arms, and with 
twelve hundred warriors descended upon the French 
settlements with such terrible vengeance that the terms 
that had been offered for peace were accepted, and the 
whole region south of the great lakes abandoned by the 

The Duke of York, on his accession to the throne of 
England in 1685, under the title of James II., directed 
Governor Dongan to encourage the Catholic priests who 
came to reside with the Five Nations, ostensibly for ad- 
vancing the Popish cause, but really to gain them over to 
the French interests. Governor Dongan, although a 
Catholic, was apprehensive of the insidious designs of the 
French, and effectually resisted this policy, thereby dis- 
pleasing his bigoted master. He also instructed Governor 
Dongan to allow no printing press to be established in the - 
colony, and discouraged representative government. Cath- 
olics were appointed to fill all the offices, and Dongan, 
who, in his endeavors to protect the true interest of the 
province by opposing the Catholic missionaries, became 
obnoxious to the King, was recalled, and Francis Nichol- 
son, the deputy of Sir Edmund Andros, who had been 
commissioned governor of both New England and New 
York, assumed temporary charge of the government in 
August, 1688. The revolution in England, resulting in 
the abdication of James II., and the accession of William 
and Mary, caused the authority of Nicholson under the 
dethroned king to be questioned. On one side it was 
claimed that the government in England did not affect 
affairs in the province, and that Nicholson's authority 
was unimpaired till the will of the new monarch was 
known ; on the other side, that the government, extend- 
ing to the colonies, was overthrown, and as no one was 
invested with authority in the provinces, it reverted to the 
people, who might appoint a person to exercise control 
until one had been commissioned by the ruling power. 
The advocates of the former of these views were mostly 
the wealthy and aristocratic, while the mass of the people 
favored the latter. The government was vested in a com- 
mittee of safety, who took possession of the fort at New 
York, and entrusted the exercise of authority to Jacob 
Leisler, the popular leader, Nicholson in the meantime 
having returned to England. Leisler sent a statement of 
what had been done to King William, and dispatched 
Milborne, his son-in-law, to Albany with an armed force, 
to secure the recognition of his authority, sanction to which 
had been refused. A letter from the English ministry 
arrived, directed to Francis Nicholson, or in his absence 
to such person as for the time being might be in charge of 
the government, directing him to take chief command of 
the province, and to call to his aid such as he should 
deem proper. Leisler, considering it addressed to him- 
self, assumed command, and appointed a council of ad- 

visers. The revolution in England which placed W^illiam 
and Mary upon the throne was followed by a war between 
England and France, and the colonies were of course 
involved in the conflict. Count Frontenac, who had 
succeeded Denonville as governor of Canada, made an 
effort to detach the Five Nations from the English inter- 
est. He sent a secret expedition against Schenectady, 
which attacked that city, near midnight, on the 8th of 
February, 1690, and a frightful massacre of the inhabit- 
ants ensued. The peril of Albany, from such deadly 
attacks, induced its inhabitants to submit to the authority 
of Leisler. Expeditions were fitted out against the French 
and Indians, and a fleet sent out for the reduction of 
Quebec, but all proved unsuccessful. In March, 1691, 
Henry Sloughter arrived as governor, having been com- 
missioned by the King in 1689. His coming was heralded 
by Richard Ingv^lsby, who, without proper credentials, 
demanded the surrender of the fort at New York. This 
Leisler very properly refused, but consented to defer to 
Sloughter when he should arrive. Sloughter on his arrival 
sent Ingolsby with verbal directions for the surrender of 
the f6rt, but Leisler still refused, and asked for an inter- 
view with the governor. The next day he complied, but 
this imprudent hesitation was seized upon by his enemies, 
who arrested him and his son-in-law on the charge of 
treason. They were tried by a special committee and 
condemned to suffer death. Governor Sloughter hesitated 
to execute this sentence, but their enemies, anxious for 
their execution, and failing in all attempts to procure 
his signature, availed themselves of his known intemper- 
ate habits, invited him to a banquet, persuaded him to 
sign the death warrant while intoxicated, and before he 
recovered from his debauch, the prisoners were executed. 
During the agitations attending this foul judicial mur- 
der, the Indians, from neglect, became disaffected toward 
the English, insomuch that they sent an embaFsy of peace 
to Count Frontenac ; to counteract this, a council with 
the Five Nations was held at Albany, and the covenant 
chain renewed. In order to maintain this advan- 
tage. Major Schuyler, in whom the Five Nations had 
great confidence, led them in an invasion of Canada and 
signally defeated the French. The intemperate habits of 
Sloughter brought on a severe illness, from which he died 
on the 23d of July, 1691, thus ending a weak and turbu- 
lent administration. Upon the death of Sloughter the 
chief command was committed to Richard Ingoldsby, to 
the exclusion of Joseph Dudley, who, but for his ab- 
sence, would have had the right to preside, and upon 
whom the government devolved ; and as Dudley, on his 
return, did not contest the authority of Ingoldsby, the 
latter governed until the arrival of Benjamin Fletcher, 
with a commission as governor, in August, 1692. He 
was a man of small ability and violent temper, active and 
avaricious, but prudently took Major Schuyler into his 
counsel, and was guided by his opinions in Indian affairs. 
His administration was so successful the first year that 
he received large supplies from the Assembly. The un- 
amiable traits of his character wer.e soon exhibited, how- 
ever, and during most of his administration he was en- 



gaged in controversies with the Assembly, principally in 
regard to appropriations for his expenses, for which he 
made extravagant demands. He was bigotedly attached 
to the Episcopal form of church government, and encour- 
aged English churches and schools in place of Dutch. 
He procured an act from the Assembly the provisions of 
which, though admitting of a more liberal construction, 
he interpreted as a recognition of the Episcopal instead 
of the Dutch church, and under this act Trinity church 
was organized. A printing press was established in New 
York city in 1693, by William Bradford, who was em- 
ployed by the city to print the corporation laws. 




JN 1693 Count Frontenac set out from Mon- 
treal with an army of French and Indians, 
and invaded the Mohawk country, capturing 
their castles, killing some of the tribe, and 
taking about three hundred prisoners. 
Schuyler, with the miUtia of Albany, hastened to 
the assistance of the Mohawks, and pursued the 
enemy in their retreat, retaking about fifty prisoners. In 
i6g6 Count Frontenac made another effort for the subju- 
gation of the Five Nations. With an army of regular 
troops and Indians under his command, he ascended the 
St. Lawrence to Cadaraqui, now Kingston; then, crossing 
to Oswego, made a descent upon the Onondagas, who, 
apprised of his coming, set fire to and deserted their prin- 
cipal towns. On retracing his march he found his prog- 
ress obstructed by the Onondagas, and incursions into 
Canada by the Five Nations were again renewed. In the 
following year the war between France and England was 
terminated by the peace of Ryswick, and these barbarous 
hostilities ceased. 

During the late war piracy had prevailed, and was 
believed to be encouraged by the governments, for the an- 
noyance of the commerce of their respective enemies. 
Merchant vessels were destroyed within sight of the har- 
bor of New York, the commercial depot of the pirates, 
some of whom had sailed from there, having a good 
understanding with Fletcher and other officers. The ex- 
tinction of piracy was loudly demanded, and the English 
government found it necessary to resort to vigorous meas 
ures for this end ; and consequently, in 1695 Fletcher 
was recalled, and Richard, Earl of Bellomont, appointed 
in his place, with instructions for the suppression of this 
evil. The Earl of Bellomont, whose commission included 
the governments of Massachusetts and New Hampshire 
as well as New York, did not arrive until May, 1698. 
Before leaving England, an armed vessel was fitted out 

by Bellomont and others, and placed under the command 
of Captain William Kidd, who sailed from England in 
i696,and after cruising for a while, turned pirate himself, 
and became the most bold and daring of the ocean ma- 
rauders. He returned to New York with his booty and 
concealed portions of it on Long Island. He was subse- 
quently arrested in Boston, by order of the governor, on 
a charge of piracy, sent to England for trial, and there 
convicted and executed. Bellomont favored the Demo- 
cratic or Leislerian party, and the new Assembly in 1699 
being also Democratic, an act was passed by which the 
families of Leisler and Milborne were reinstated in their 
possessions. Bellomont died in 1701, and John Nanfan, 
the lieutenant-governor, upon whom the government 
devolved, succeeded him until the arrival, in 1702, of 
Lord Cornbury, who was appointed by King William as a 
reward for his desertion of James II., in whose army he 
had been an officer. His administration was chiefly dis- 
tinguished for its intolerance, and he received the unen- 
viable distinction of being the worst governor under the 
English regime. With savage bigotry he sought to es- 
tablish the Church of England by imprisoning dissenting 
clergymen, and prohibiting them from exercising their 
functions without his special license, and he even robbed 
one clergyman of his house and glebe. With insatiable 
rapacity he plundered the public treasury, and opposed 
every measure of the people for the security of their 
rights. Destitute of gratitude, licentious and base, he 
completed the universal contempt in which he was held 
by appearing in public dressed in women's clothes. As 
he had become an object of abhorrence, the Queen, 
through the pressure of popular sentiment, felt compel- 
led to revoke his commission. As soon as he was de- 
posed he was thrown into prison by his creditors, where 
he remained until the death of his father, when he be- 
came Earl of Clarendon. Upon the death of King Wil- 
liam, his commission was renewed by the Queen, who at 
the same time gave him the chief command of New 
Jersey, the government of which the proprietors had sur- 
rendered into her hands. He was succeeded December 
i8th, 1708, by Lord Lovelace, who died on the sth of 
May following, leaving the government in the hands of 
Lieutenant-Governor Ingoldsby, whose administration is 
only remarkable for an unsuccessful expedition, under 
Colonel Nicholson, for the reduction of Canada. This 
failure was chiefly through the mismanagement of In- 
goldsby, who was consequently removed April 10th, 1710, 
and Gerardus Beekman,the oldest member of the council, 
exercised the authority of governor till June 14th, when 
Robert Hunter arrived with a commission as governor. 
This year Colonel Schuyler went to England to urge the 
importance of subduing Canada, taking with him the 
chiefs of the Five Nations, who were highly gratified with 
their voyage and reception. 

The ensuing year another expedition for the reduction 
of Canada was undertaken. Four thousand troops were 
raised in the colonies under Colonel Nicholson, to join 
an English fleet and land force before Quebec. Arriv- 
ing in the St. Lawrence, many of the ships were wrecked, 



and about a thousand soldiers lost, which put an end to 
the campaign. Nicholson, who had proceeded as far as 
Lake George, on hearing this news returned, and the ex- 
pedition proved an entire failure. It had entailed a heavy 
debt upon the province, in consequence of which the 
governor's influence was somewhat impaired, he having 
entered into it with much zeal. His request for a per- 
manent appropriation for the government was refused by 
the Assembly, which brought him into several unhappy 
contests with that body. In March, 17 13, the war be- 
tween England and France terminated by the treaty of 
Utrecht, in which the English supremacy over the Five 
Nations was conceded by the French, and an end put to 
the infliction of Indian hostilities. The Five Nations 
being relieved from hostilities with the French, engaged 
in conflict with the Indians at the south. The Tuscaro- 
ras, a tribe kindred to the Iroquois, residing in North 
Carolina, having been greatly reduced by a war with 
the whites, and being unable to resist their encroach- 
ments, removed to the north and joined the confeder- 
acy. They settled near Lake Oneida, among the Five 
Nations, and the confederates were thenceforward call- 
ed the Six Nations. Hunter remained at the head of 
the government untill 1719, when, his health failing, he 
returnedto England. His intercourse with the Assembly 
was agreeable during the latter part of his administra- 
tion, and his attachment to the interests of the colony 
made his departure regretted. 

The government devolved upon Peter Schuyler, the 
oldest member of the council, who successfully admin- 
istered affairs until the arrival of William Burnet, Sep- 
tember 17th, 1720. A trading post was commenced at 
Oswego in 1722, by Governor Burnet, in order to en- 
gross the trade of the Six Nations, and with the 
farther design of following it up on the lakes to the 
westward, to obtain the trade of the more remote tribes. 
A congress of several colonies was held at Albany to 
meet the Six Nations, whereby the chain of friendship 
was strengthened, and trade with remoter tribes pro- 
moted. The establishment of this post at Oswego was 
highly displeasing to the French, and in order to in- 
tercept the trade from the upper lakes they obtained con- 
sent of the Iroquois, through the influence of the Jesuits, 
to rebuild their trading-house and fort at Niagara, and 
also decided to erect a chain of military posts to the 
Ohio river, so as to cut off and confine the English trade. 
Though not without opposition, they succeeded in erect- 
ing their fort at Niagara. Although some of the 
members of the Six Nations were opposed to this in- 
vasion by the French, it succeeded through the disaf- 
fection of a party of merchants and others interested in 
the French trading policy, who, since the peace of 
Utrecht, had carried on a good trade with Montreal, 
through the aid of Indian carriers, and were opposed 
to the governor's policy. The Assembly was also 
strongly tinctured with this spirit of opposition, and re- 
fused a renewal of supplies except for short periods. 
This body was dissolved in 1727, but the next was quite 
as stubborn, and it was likewise dissolved, and the 

governor could only erect a small military defense for 
the post at Oswego, which, to his credit and the colon) 's 
.shame, was at his own expense. On the accession of 
George II., Burnet was, through the efforts of Jiis enemies, 
transferred to the government of Massachusetts, and 
John Montgomery appointed to succeed him. He en- 
tered upon his duties April rsth, 1728. His short ad- 
ministration is not distinguished for any important event. 
In 1729 the King, against the wishes of the best citi- 
zens of the colony, repealed the acts prohibiting the 
trade in Indian goods between Albany and Montreal. 
A line was surveyed and agreed upon between Connec- 
ticut and New York in 1731. The establishment of this 
partition gave to New York a tract of land formerly 
on the Connecticut side, called from its figure the 
" Oblong," as an equivalent for lands near the sound, 
surrendered to Connecticut. 

Montgomery died July ist, 1731, and was succeeded 
by Rip Van Dam, whose administration was unfortunately 
signalized by the erection of a fort at Crown Point by 
the French, without resistance from the acting governor. 
The arrival of Colonel William Cosby, August ist, 1732, 
finished his administration, and began one rendered mem- 
orable for its arbitrary proceedings and tumult, rather 
than for striking or important events. Among the first 
of Cosby's acts was a demand that Rip Van Dam, his 
predecessor, should divide equally with him the emolu- 
ments of the office before his arrival. Van Dam assented, 
on the condition that Cosby should reciprocate by an 
equal division of the perquisites received by him from 
the colonies since, his appointment and before coming to 
this country. This demand on the part of Van Dam was 
sustained by the people generally, but Cosby, despotic 
and avaricious, refused, and commenced a suit against 
Van Dam for half of his salary. As the governor by 
virtue of his office was chancellor, and two of the judges 
his personal friends, the counsel for defense took excep- 
tions against the jurisdiction of the court. The excej:)- 
tions were overruled by the judges in the interest of 
Cosby, even against the opinion of Chief Justice Morris, 
who was immediately removed from his office and Colonel 
Cosby's claim ordered paid. The indignation of the 
public at such arbitrary proceedings found vent in squibs 
and ballads, aimed at the aristocracy, and placing some 
of the members of the legislature in a ludicrous position. 
The New York Weekly Journal, edited by John P. Zen- 
ger, in defending Van Dam published some severe criti- 
cisms on the government, arraigning the officials for 
assuming arbitrary power and perverting their official 
stations to purposes of private emolument. These papers 
were ordered to be burnt by the common hangman, and 
Zenger was arrested and imprisoned on a criminal charge 
for publishing a seditious libel against the government. 
When the trial came on, the publication was admitted, 
and proof offered for its justification, which was objected 
to by the attorney-general, on the ground that in a 
criminal proceeding for the publication of libellous mat- 
ter, the truth of the facts alleged was not proper to be 
admitted in evidence, and he was sustained by the court. 



Andrew Hamilton, the counsel for the defense, resisted 
this decision of the court, and insisted that the jury were 
the judges of both the facts and the law, and it was for 
them to interpose between arbitrary violations of law and 
justice and their intended victim. The jury, after a 
short deliberation, gave a unanimous verdict of acquittal. 
Cosby, although repulsed by this verdict, persistently con- 
tinued to make himself odious to the people by other 
arbitrary measures. A few days before his death he con- 
vened his council in his bed-chamber and suspended Van 
Dam, the senior member thereof, upon whom the govern- 
ment would have devolved upon his decease. He died 
March loth, 1736. The council convened immediately 
after his death, and George Clarke, next senior coun- 
selor, was declared president, and assumed the authority 
of governor. The suspension of Van Dam was declared 
illegal by a powerful party in his favor, and a struggle 
ensued between him and Clarke for the office, both exer- 
cising authority until October 30th, when Clarke received 
a commission from England to act as lieutenant-gover- 
nor. He sought to conciliate those hostile to him, and 
to keep in favor with the aristocratic party at the same 
time. He dissolved the Assembly that had continued in 
existence for many years, and a new one was elected, 
which, to his chagrin and regret, was in sympathy with 
the popular party, and at its session could not be pre- 
vailed upon to grant a revenue for a longer period than 
one year, establishing a precedent that subsequent Assem- 
blies did not depart from. 





("N 1 741, several fires having occurred in New 
York, suspicions were awakened that a con- 
spiracy had been formed for the destruction 
of the city. It was not long before it was 
charged upon the negro slaves, who at that time 
constituted about one-fifth of the population. 
Universal consternation seized upon the inhabitants, 
and a general panic ensued, in which reason and common 
sense were scarcely entertained. Rewards were offered 
for the arrest and conviction of the offenders, and a full 
pardon tendered to any of their number who would reveal 
their knov/ledge of the conspiracy. A weak negro girl, 
named Mary Burton, a servant in a low boarding house, 
after much importunity and full promise of pardon, impli- 
cated several negroes, by confessing to have heard them 
talking privately about burning the city. They were ar- 
rested and executed on this slender testimony. Others, 
among them several whites, were implicated by her, and 
suffered the same fate. Other informers appeared, arrests 

became numerous, and the popular fury and delusion did 
not subside until Mary Burton, the chief informer, after 
frequent examinations, began to touch characters above 
suspicion and known to be innocent. Then, as reason 
began to return, the delusion passed away, but not until 
one hundred and fifty-four negroes and twenty-four 
whites had been committed to prison, and nearly forty of 
these unfortunates executed. In the commencement of 
his administration Clarke had succeeded in conciliating 
both parties to a considerable extent, but managed before 
its close to lose the confidence of both, insomuch that 
his retirement, on the arrival of his successor, Admiral 
George Clinton, September 23d, 1743, was but little re- 
gretted. Favorable accounts of Clinton's talents and 
liberality had been proclaimed, and he was received with 
demonstrations of universal satisfaction. The election of 
a new Assembly was ordered, and a spirit of harmony so 
far prevailed that he concurred in all its measures. 

In March, 1744, war was declared between England 
and France, and measures were again taken for the con- 
quest of Canada. The colonies of New York and New 
England united in an expedition, to co-operate with a 
fleet under Commodore Warren, for an attack on the 
French fortress at Louisburg, on Cape Breton Island, 
which capitulated in June, 1745. The country north of 
Albany was seriously molested by attacks from the In- 
dians and French. The fort at Crown Point was garri- 
soned with a force sufficient to enable its commander to 
send out detachments to destroy the English settlements. 
The settlement at Saratoga was burned, and nearly all 
the inhabitants either killed or taken prisoners. This was 
followed by an attack on the village of Hoosick. The 
fort at that place was commanded by Colonel Hawks, 
who was compelled to surrender, thus leaving the settle- 
ments, all the way to Albany, open to the enemy; but 
measures were speedily adopted for putting the frontier 
in a state of defense. In 1746 an expedition against 
Canada was resolved upon by the English government. 
The colonies, with the promise of assistance from Eng- 
land, entered upon the design with much zeal. New York 
raised sixteen hundred men for the forces directed upon 
Crown Point and Montreal. England failed to furnish 
the promised assistance, and the expedition proved un- 
successful. Peace was concluded at Aix la Chapelle in 
1748. Hostilities ceased, and the colony enjoyed a short 
period of tranquillity. The harmony between the Assem- 
bly and the governor did not long continue, for, in 1745, 
an open disagreement occurred, and almost constant 
bickerings followed. In 1748 Clinton sent a message to 
the Assembly, demanding an appropriation for the support 
of the government for five years. The Assembly, justly 
regarding it as a direct attempt to render the crown in- 
dependent of the people, indignantly refused; and after a 
few weeks' contention, the governor prorogued that body, 
and by successive prorogations prevented it from sitting 
for nearly two years, until the affairs of the colony were 
in an alarming condition for want of funds. His reiterated 
demands for a permanent revenue met with persistent 
refusal. Opposed and embarrassed by political factions. 


he tendered his resignation, after an administration of 
ten years, and was succeeded October loth, 1753, by Sir 
Danvers Osborne. The new governor immediately in- 
formed the council that his instructions were to maintain 
the royal prerogative and demand a permanent support 
for the government. He was told by the members 
present that the Assembly would never submit to the de- 
mand, and appeared greatly depressed, the loss of his 
wife a short time before having already thrown him into 
a melancholy state of mind, bordering on insanity. Know- 
ing the difficulties that his predecessor had experienced, 
and being charged with instructions still more stringent, 
he saw in the tempest before him a prospect which so 
worked upon his morbid mind that the next morning he 
was found dead, having hung himself at his lodgings. On 
his death, James de Lancey, by virtue of his commission 
as lieutenant-governor, assumed the administration of 
the government. He had formerly been a leader in the 
aristocratic party, but recently had opposed the demands 
of the crown, and consequently had become highly popu- 
lar. Striving to retain his popularity by favoring the 
representatives in measures advantageous to the colony, 
while holding his office at the will of the English govern- 
ment, and being compelled by the instructions of his pred- 
ecessor to convince the ministry that he was zealous to 
promote the interests of the crown, his task was peculiarly 
difficult; but it was performed with a shrewdness and skill 
creditable to his ability as a statesman. 

By the treaty of Aix la Chapelle, the boundary between 
the French and English colonies was left as indefinite as 
before, and consequently those lands which both claimed 
the right to possess were still in dispute. The French 
had established their trading posts, missionary stations 
and fortifications from Canada to the gulf of Mexico, and 
were vigorously pursuing their designs for the extension 
of their power and dominions. The English Ohio Com- 
pany, formed for settlement and trade with the Indians, 
obtained, in 1749, a grant from the British government 
of an extensive tract of land on the Ohio river. Chris- 
topher Gist was sent out in 175 1 to explore this region, 
and found that it had alref.dy been visited by the French 
traders, who had so influenced the Indians that they 
were very suspicious of the designs of the English. The 
claim of the French to the ownership of this region was 
priority of discovery and occupancy. The English had 
from the first claimed from the Atlantic to the Pacific by 
right of discovery ; but they now based their claims on 
the ground that the country belonged to the Six Nations, 
who had placed all their lands under the protection of 
England. Commissioners were sent to treat with the 
Ohio Indians and win them over to the English interest. 
They succeeded in obtaining a deed of the lands in ques- 
tion from the Indians, and a guaranty that their settle- 
ments should not be molested by them. The governor 
of Canada, perceiving the design of the English to occupy 
the Ohio valley, informed the governors of New York 
and Pennsylvania of the encroachments of the English 
traders upon what he claimed as his territory, and of his 
intention to seize them wherever found. Accordingly, 

in 1752 some English traders were seized and confined in 
a fort at Presque Isle, on Lake Erie. From this point 
the French were engaged in establishing a chain of posts 
to the Allegheny, opening communication to the Ohio, 
and keeping it clear by means of troops stationed at con- 
venient points along the way. The Ohio Company, see- 
ing this intrusion upon their lands, complained to the gov- 
ernor of Virginia, of which colony their territory was a part 
under the grant of the crown. He resolved to send a 
trusty messenger to the French commander to remon 
strate against these encroachments, and George Washing- 
ton was entrusted with this delicate mission. On reach- 
ing the post of Venango, he could obtain no satisfaction, 
the officer in command boldly declaring that the French 
intended to seize on the whole valley of the Ohio. He 
proceeded to Waterford, the headquarters of the French 
commandant, St. Pierre, who received him with courtesy, 
but did not disguise the intentions of the French. His 
answer to the governor of Virginia was, that he had 
taken possession of the Ohio valley under the authority 
of the governor of Canada, and by his orders should 
destroy all English posts therein. It was now obvious 
that the Ohio would not be relinquished without a strug- 
gle. The Ohio Company commenced to construct a 
fort at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela 
rivers, on the site of Pittsburg. The governor of Vir- 
ginia dispatched a small force to protect the laborers and 
aid in constructing the fort, and wrote to inform the 
Board of Trade of the design of the French to occupy 
the Ohio valley. He likewise sent to the governors of 
New York and Pennsylvania for aid to resist the aggres- 
sions of the French. 

When the Assembly met in the spring of 1754, Governor 
De Lancey, in his message to that body, called their at- 
tention to the recent encroachments of the French, and 
to the request by Virginia for aid from the colony of 
New York. The Assembly voted only a thousand pounds 
for aid, and to bear its share in erecting forts along the 

Early in the spring of 1754, Washington, with a small 
body of troops from Virginia, set out for the disputed 
territory, with supplies for the fort in course of construc- 
tion at the junction of the Allegheny and Monongahela. 
When near Will's creek, he was met by the ensign of 
Captain Trent's company, which had been sent out to 
protect and help build the fort. From him he received 
the unwelcome intelligence that while they were at work 
on the fort the French troops from Venango came down 
the river with their artillery, and resistance being useless, 
they were obliged to surrender it to them. The French 
completed it and named it Fort Duquesne, after the gov- 
ernor of Canada. On hearing this news, Washington 
reported to the governors of Virginia and Pennsylvania 
the situation of affairs, and urged them to hasten forward 
reinforcements. Advancing, he soon learned that the 
French were on their way to intercept his progress, and 
not knowing their strength he fell back to Great Meadows 
and began to throw up an intrenchment, which he called 
Fort Necessity. While here, he received a courier from 


the chieftain Half King, who, with a party of Indian 
warriors was a few miles distant, informing him that a 
body of French were in his vicinity. He immediately 
set out with a part of his men for the camp of Half 
King. An attack on the enemy, whose position had 
been discovered, was at once agreed upon, and success- 
fully executed. Receiving additional troops, Washing- 
ton proceeded toward Fort Duquesne, but had not 
gone far before he heard of the advance of a large body 
of French and Indians, and returned to Fort Necessity. 
Here he was soon after attacked by a superior force, and 
after an obstinate resistance accepted the terms of capit- 
ulation offered, which gave him permission to retire im- 
molested to Virginia. 

Thus were the French left in undisputed possession of 
the entire region west of the Alleghanies. The necessity 
of concerted action on the part of the English colonies 
to resist their aggressions had now become obvious, but 
unworthy sectional feelings often prevented harmony of 
action for a general defense. The Six Nations were 
also becoming alienated from the English by the influ- 
ence of French emissaries. The English ministry, aware 
of this critical state of affairs, had advised a convention 
of delegates from all the colonial assemblies, to secure the 
continued friendship and alliance of the Six Nations, and 
to unite their efforts in the common defense. In accord- 
ance with this recommendation, a convention of delegates 
from the colonies of New York, Massachusetts, New 
Hampshire, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Maryland, 
was held at Albany in June, 1754. The chiefs of the Six 
Nations were in attendance, and the proceedings were 
opened by a speech to the Indians from Governor De 
Lancey, who had been chosen president of the conven- 
tion. A treaty with the Six Nations was renewed, and 
they departed, apparently satisfied. While this treaty 
was being negotiated, at the suggestion of the Massachu- 
setts delegates, a plan for the union of the colonies was 
taken into consideration. The suggestion was favorably 
received, and a committee, consisting of one member 
from each colony, was appointed to draft plans for this 
purpose. The fertile mind of Benjamin Franklin had 
conceived the necessity of union, and before leaving 
home he had prepared a plan, which was adopted. It 
was similar in many of its features to our Federal Con- 
stitution, framed many years afterward. The provincial 
assemblies, considering it too much of an encroachment 
on their liberties, rejected it, and it was rejected by the 
English government because it gave too much power to 
the people. 



HOUGH England and France were nominally 
at peace, the frontier was desolated by sav- 
age hordes let loose upon the settlements by 
the French. While the English ministry were 
hesitating, the Duke of Cumberland, who at that 
time was Captain-General of the armies of Great 
Britain, sent over, early in 1755, General Brad- 
with a detachment from the army in Ireland. 


Braddock, soon after his arrival, met the colonial gover- 
nors in a conference at Alexandria, to devise measures 
for repelling the encroachments of the French. Four 
separate expeditions were there resolved upon: the first 
against Nova Scotia; the second, under Braddock him- 
self, for the recovery of the Ohio valley; the third against 
Fort Niagara, and the fourth against Crown Point, on 
Lake Champlain. The first resulted in the complete re- 
duction of Nova Scotia. The second and most import- 
ant, under Braddock, from which much had been expec- 
ted, was, through the folly of that officer, disastrous in 
the extreme. Washington had repeatedly urged the 
necessity of sending scouts in advance, but Braddock, 
obstinate and imperious, would listen to no warnings of 
danger from Indian ambuscades. When within a few 
miles of Fort Duquesne, the army was surprised by the 
lurking foe, and only saved from total destruction by the 
bravery of Washington, who, upon the fall of Braddock, 
assumed command, and conducted a retreat, but not till 
more than half the fprce had been sacrificed. The 
expedition against Fort Niagara, under Gen. Shirley, 
governor of Massachusetts, was also unsuccessful. His 
troops hearing of Braddock's defeat, soon after leaving 
Albany, were so disheartened that many of them deserted. 
At Oswego he was detained by having to wait for the 
completion of boats. When these were completed, he 
was further detained by heavy storms and other casual- 
ties, until the lateness of the season rendered it impru- 
dent to proceed. Leaving a garrison at Oswego under 
Colonel Mercer, he led back the residue of his army to 
Albany, and returned to Massachusetts. The expedition 
against Crown Point was entrusted to General Johnson. 
The greater part of the troops were sent forward under 
General Lyman, of Connecticut, to the head of boat 
navigation on the Hudson, which, being the nearest 
point on that river to Lake Champlain, was called the 
carrying place, where they erected a fortification, which 
was afterward named Fort Edward. Here they were 
joined late in August by Johnson, who, advancing with 
the main body of the array to the head of Lake George, 
established a camp, and began to make some arrange- 
ments for an attack on Crown Point, but apparently was 
in no hurry to prosecute the enterprise. Meanwhile 
Dieskau, the French commander, was approaching by 
way of Lake Champlain, with the intention of surprising 
Fort Edward, cutting off Johnson's retreat, and captur- 
ing his army; but being misled by his guides, he found 
himself on the way to Johnson's camp on Lake George. 
Abandoning his first intention of attacking Fort Edward, 
he continued his advance on Lake George. Johnson, 
learning that the French were advancing to the Hudson, 
sent out Colonel Williams with a thousand troops, and 
Sachem Hendrick with two hundred Indians, to intercept 
them and aid Fort Edward. They had advanced only a 
few miles when they fell into an ambuscade, in which 
both Williams and Hendrick were slain, and the forec 
hurriedly retreated, closely pursued by the enemy until 
they reached the camp, when the Canadian militia and 
Indians, who were in the advance, perceiving the artillery 



they would have to confront, skulked into the surround- 
ing woods, and left the regulars to begin the attack, 
thereby giving the English time to recover from the con- 
fusion into which they had been thrown, and undoubtedly 
saving them from defeat. A severe struggle ensued, in 
which the French at length began to give way, upon ob- 
serving which the English leaped over their breastworks 
and dispersed them in all directions. The French leader, 
Dieskau, was severely wounded and taken prisoner. 
Johnson was wounded in the commencement of the ac- 
tion and retired from the field, and the whole battle was 
directed by General Lyman, who proposed and urged a 
vigorous continuation of efforts by following up the 
routed enemy, preventing their escape down Lake Cham- 
plain, and attacking Ticonderoga and Crown Point; but 
Johnson, through fear or some other cause, not easily ex- 
plained, withheld his consent, and allowed the French to 
intrench themselves at- Ticonderoga, while he spent the 
residue of the autumn erecting Fort William Henry, on 
the site of his camp. On the approach of winter he gar- 
risoned it, disbanded the remainder of his army and re- 
turned to Albany. 

On the 3d of September, 1755, Sir Charles Hardy ar- 
rived in New York as governor. He was an admiral, 
and unacquainted with civil affairs. Being conscious of 
his deficiences in executive ability, he soon surrendered 
all but nominal duties into the hands of De Lancey, and 
in 1757 resigned the government and returned to his 
former profession, and De Lancey again became gover- 
nor. At a meeting of the provincial governors, held at 
Albany in December, the plan discussed for the campaign 
of 1756 consisted of movements against Fort Niagara 
with six thousand men. Fort Duquesne with three thous- 
and. Crown Point with ten thousand, and two thousand 
were to advance on the French settlements on the Chau- 
diere, and onward to Quebec. At this time, 1756, the 
population of the province of New York was 96,775. In 
March, De Levy, with three hundred French troops from 
Montreal, penetrated the forests to the Oneida portage, 
took and destroyed the fort at that point and returned to 
Canada with the garrison as prisoners. Although active 
hostilities had been carried on for two years in the 
colonies, the English ministry did not arouse from their 
imbecility enough to issue a formal declaration of war 
against France until the 17th of May, 1756. Lord Lou- 
doun was appointed commander-in-chief and governor of 
Virginia, and General Abercrombie was placed second 
in command. General Winslow, who had been intrusted 
with the expedition against Crown Point, finding that he 
had not sufficient force for the undertaking, waited for 
reinforcements from England. Late in June Abercrom- 
bie arrived with troops, but at the same time blighted any 
hopes that might have arisen regarding a vigorous prose- 
cution of the war, by showing his contempt for the pro- 
vincials in announcing that the regular officers were to be 
over those of the same rank in the provincial service. On 
this announcement all harmony for a united effort was 
dispelled. The men began to desert, and some of the 
officers declared they should throw up their commissions 

if the obnoxious rule was enforced. This difficulty was 
finally adjusted by an agreement that the regulars should 
remain to do garrison duty, while the provincials should 
advance under their own officers against the enemy. ' 
Then, instead of making any effort for the relief of 
Oswego, which was in danger, Abercrombie ordered his 
troops to be quartered on the citizens of Albany. De 
Villiers had encamped with eight hundred Frenchmen at 
the mouth of Sandy Creek, on Lake Ontario, whence 
he could send out detachments to infest the water passes 
leading to the Oswego fort, and intercept supplies or re- 
inforcements on the way thither. Colonel Bradstreet, 
however, succeded in throwing some provisions into the 
fort. On his return he fell in with a party of De Villiers' 
men in ambush, and gained a decisive victory over them. 
Hearing that a large force was already on its way to at- 
tack Oswego, he hastened to Albany, and informed Aber- 
crombie of the contemplated attack and the necessity of 
immediate reinforcements. But it was all in vain, as the 
General could not be induced to move before the arrival 
of Lord Loudoun. It was nearly August before Loudoun 
made his appearance, and affairs were not improved by 
this event. Instead of making an immediate effort to 
avert the threatened blow at Oswego, he began slowly to 
make preparations for a descent on Ticonderoga and 
Crown Point. Reinforcements were sent to forts Edward 
and William Henry. This procrastination proved fatal, 
for the opportunity of relieving Oswego was now lost. 
The Marquis de Montcalm, successor of Dieskau, had 
cut off communication with Albany, and on the 12th of 
August opened his artillery on Fort Ontario, nearly op- 
posite Oswego. The fire was returned by the garrison till 
their ammunition was exhausted, when, spiking their guns, 
they retreated across the river to Fort Oswego. Mont- 
calm immediately occupied the deserted fort and turned 
such guns as were yet serviceable against Fort Oswego. 
Colonel Mercer was killed, and a formidable breach ef- 
fected in the walls. Montcalm was making prepara- 
tions for storming the entrenchments, when, seeing that 
the defense was no longer practicable, the garrison sur- 
rendered themselves prisoners of war. By this affair six- 
teen hundred men, one hundred cannon, a large quantity 
of provisions and stores, and the vessels in the harbor, all 
fell into the hands of the victors, and were safely convey- 
ed to Montreal. Montcalm demolished the forts, much 
to the satisfaction of the Six Nations, who afterward 
sent a delegation from each castle to make peace with the 
governor of Canada. The French sent their emissaries 
among them, who now succeeded in seducing them from 
the English interests. 

The fall of Oswego did not awaken the energies of 
Lord Loudoun — if it can be said that he possessed any — 
but on the contrary he abandoned all offensive operations 
that had been contemplated, and contented himself with 
doing nothing. Having wasted the season in shameful 
idleness, he, on his arrival in the city of New York, bil- 
letted a part of his force for free winter quarters on the 
citizens, regardless of the remonstrance of the authorities 
against this invasion of their rights. Overawed by his 



profane threats, the colonists found themselves obliged to 
support the British soldiers, who had done nothing in 
their behalf. In June of the following year he made an 
ineffectual effort to capture Louisburg. Before leaving 
New York he rendered himself still more detestable to 
the colonists by laying an embargo upon the seaports 
from Massachusetts to Virginia, and impressing four 
hundred men from the city of New York alone. He went 
to Halifax, where he was largely reinforced, but instead 
of making any advance on Louisburg contented himself 
by drilling his troops in mock battles, till the complaints 
of his inactivity became so numerous that he finally gave 
orders to embark for that place. Almost as soon as the 
orders were given, receiving intelligence that Louisburg 
had been reinforced, and that the French Heet contained 
one more vessel than his, he countermanded his orders 
and came back to New York, having accomplished noth- 
ing. While he was thus trifling, Montcalm, watchful of 
his movements, proceeded with a large force of French 
and Indians against Fort William Henry, then in com- 
mand of Colonel Monroe, with about twenty-two hundred 
men. General Webb, the EngHsh commander in that 
quarter, was at Fort Edward with a force of four thous- 
and. Montcalm landed with his men and artillery at a 
point about two miles from Fort William Henry, where 
he was entirely sheltered from its guns ; beleagured its 
garrison, and sent a summons to Monroe to surrender, 
which he defiantly disregarded, confident of being relieved 
by Webb. The French then opened fire on the fort, 
which was spiritedly returned by the garrison. Express- 
es were sent to Webb imploring aid; but that coward 
remained inactive, terrified at the distant roar of artillery. 
Finally, after repeated solicitations, he allowed Generals 
Johnson and Putnam, with his rangers, to march to the 
aid of Monroe; but they had proceeded only a few miles 
when he recalled them, and sent "k letter to Monroe, ad- 
vising him to surrender. This letter was intercepted by 
Montcalm, who forwarded it to Monroe, requesting him 
to follow Webb's advice and save further loss of life. 
Still the intrepid colonel held out until his ammunition 
was nearly exhausted, part of his guns disabled, and all 
hopes of assistance abandoned, and under these dis- 
couraging circumstances he was forced to capitulate on 
the 9th of August, and the sixth day of the siege. By the 
terms of surrender, the garrison were allowed to leave the 
fort with all the honors of war, and furnished with an 
escort to Fort Edward. On the next morning, when they 
began their march, the Indians, who had spent the night 
in debauch, began an indiscriminate massacre and robbery 
of the English troops. Despite the efforts of Montcalm, 
many of the disarmed and defenseless soldiers were slain 
and only a thousand reached Fort Edward. Fort William 
Henry was demolished. General Webb, paralyzed with 
terror, prepared to retreat, although reinforced until his 
army was more than double that of the enemy. 




Y these repeated failures the spirit of the English 
ministry in meeting the exigencies of the oc- 
casion was aroused, and William Pitt, a very 
able statesman, was intrusted with the man- 
agement of affairs. His accession gave a new 
impulse to the national energies, and the cam- 
paign for 1758 opened under more favorable 
auspices. Three formidable expeditions were projected 
for this year, against Louisburg, Ticonderoga, and Fort 
Duquesne respectively. Admiral Boscawen, with twenty 
ships of the line and fifteen frigates, together with twelve 
thousand men under General Amherst, arrived before 
Louisburg on the 2d day of June, and entered vigorously 
upon the siege of that fortress, and on the 26th of July 
the French commander, finding farther opposition useless, 
surrendered at discretion. The army destined for the re- 
duction of Ticonderoga and Crown Point, under General 
Abercrombie, consisting of nine thousand provincials and 
seven thousand regulars with a fine train of artillery, as- 
sembled at the head of Lake George, where they embark- 
ed on the 5th of July for the fortress of Ticonderoga, 
which was held by Montcalm with about four thousand 
men. They landed the next day and began their march, 
necessarily leaving their artillery behind until the bridges, 
which had been destroyed by the enemy, could be rebuilt. 
It was the purpose of Abercrombie to hasten forward and 
carry Ticonderoga by storm, before re-inforcements which 
were expected could arrive. The advance party fell in 
with a body of the enemy, and Lord Howe, the second in 
command and the soul of the expedition, was killed. The 
loss of Howe was severely felt, and the incompetent Aber- 
crombie, uncertain what course to pursue, fell back to the 
landing place. Colonel Bradstreet advanced, rebuilt the 
bridges and took possession of some saw-mills destroyed 
by the enemy about two miles from Ticonderoga, to which 
place Abercrombie advanced with his army, and sent for- 
ward an engineer with a party of rangers to reconnoitre. 
They reported that the works could be easily taken. 
Stark, who led the rangers, thought differently, and so 
advised Abercrombie ; but he rejected his advice and or- 
dered an attack without artillery, which, after a desperate 
struggle, was repulsed with the loss of nearly two thousand 
men. With the great force still at his command Aber- 
crombie, instead of bringing up his artillery to bombard 
the French works, sounded a retreat, and, unpursued by 
the enemy, returned to the head of Lake George and sent 
his artillery and stores to Albany. 

Colonel Bradstreet, anxious to do something to retrieve 
the disgrace of this shameful retreat, asked to lead an ex- 
pedition against Fort Frontenac, which, with the entire 
fleet on Lake Ontario, surrendered on the 26th of August. 
The command of the expedition against Fort Duquesne 



was given to General Forbes. Contrary to the advice of 
Washington, Forbes insisted on having a new road cut to 
the fort. With this and other delays, on the 5th of No- 
vember the English forces were still forty miles from their 
destination, when it was resolved to go into winter quar- 
ters. Washington, satisfied of the inability of the garri- 
son to resist an attack, asked and obtained permission to 
push forward with his Virginians, and on his approach the 
French set fire to the fort and fled. On the 25th Wash- 
ington took possession of the ruins, and changed the 
name from Duquesne to Pittsburg. 

Although Louisburg and Fort Duquesne had been 
retaken, still there could be no security for the frontier so 
long as Fort Niagara and the posts on Lake Champlain 
were held by the French, nor even while Canada remain- 
ed unsubjugated. Accordingly, adequate preparations 
were made for the campaign of 1759. Abercombie was 
superseded in the command of the expedition against 
Ticonderoga and Crown Point by General Amherst. 
General Wolfe was directed to ascend the St. Lawrence 
to Quebec, and General Prideaux was to take Fort 
Niagara and proceed to Montreal. He was joined by 
General Johnson at Oswego, from which point he sailed 
tor Fort Niagara, leaving Haldimand with a force at 
Oswego. The latter was soon afterward attacked by a 
body of French and Indians, but succeeded in repulsing 
them. On the 7th of July Prideaux appeared before 
Niagara, but- soon after the siege began he was killed by 
the premature bursting of a shell. Johnson succeeded 
to the command, and the siege continued without cessa- 
tion. On the 24th a force of nearly three thousand 
French and Tndian troops made an effort to raise the 
siege. A sharp conflict ensued, in which the relieving 
force was defeated, and the next day the garrison sur- 

General Amherst, with a force of nearly twelve thousand 
men, arrived at Ticonderoga on the 22d of July, and in 
four days thereafter the garrison abandoned the post and 
withdrew to Crown Point, which also was abandoned on 
the approach of Amherst. 

The strength of Quebec was well known, and General 
Wolfe left Louisburg under convoy of a large fleet and 
eight thousand regulars to capture it. It was intended 
that Amherst should sweep Lake Champlain, capture 
Montreal, and form a junction with Wolfe before Quebec, 
but he failed to accomplish his part, and Wolfe alone 
had the glory of taking that strong fortress. On the 
27th of June he landed on the Isle of Orleans, a few 
miles below the city. Montcalm occupied the place with 
thirteen thousand men, and a strongly entrenched camp 
extended below the city from the river St. Charles to the 
Montmorenci. General Monckton took a position at 
Point Levi, opposite Quebec, with but little opposition, 
and erected batteries from which the lower town was con- 
siderably damaged, but no impression could be made on the 
walls of the city. General Wolfe crossed the St. Lawremce 
and encamped on the bank of the Montmorenci within 
cannon shot of the enemy on the opposite side, and re- 
solved to storm their strong camp. Monckton crossed 

the St. Lawrence a little above the Montmorenci, and at 
the same time the forces on the opposite side forded that 
stream and joined his division. The grenadiers, impa- 
tient of restraint, rushed up the bank before the troops 
that were to support them could be made available, and 
were consequently repulsed with fearful loss, when they 
took shelter behind a redoubt which had been abandoned 
by the enemy in the commencement of the action. At 
this time a tempestuous thunder-storm broke over the 
belligerents, and before it abated night came on, and the 
English were obliged to recross the river. Weeks passed, 
and the capture of Quebec seemed as far off as ever. 
The arrival of Amherst was looked for in vain, and 
Wolfe and his officers, weary and impatient of delay, 
concerted a plan for scaling the Heights of Abraham, 
back of Quebec, and thus forcing the French into an 
engagement. The camp at Montmorenci was broken up 
and the troops conveyed to Point Levi. Admiral Holmes 
ascended the river with a part of the troops and artillery. 
At night the remainder proceeded up the river, and 
Montcalm, thinking they were about to raise the siege, 
remained in his camp, while Bourgainville marched up 
the river to prevent their landing. Before daylight the 
British, returning silently down the river, unperceived by 
the French, landed and ascended the precipice. The 
French guard was dispersed, and by daylight five thous- 
and regulars were drawn up in battle array on the Plains 
of Abraham. When this intelligence reached Montcalm 
he saw at once the danger of his garrison, and marched 
his army across the St. Charles to attack the English. A 
fierce battle followed, in which both Wolfe and Montcalm 
were slain and the French army defeated, and on the 
18th of September, five days after, Quebec was surren- 
dered to the English. 

In the following Spring De Levi, the successor of 
Montcalm, attempted the recapture of Quebec, which 
had been left in charge of General Murray with seven 
thousand men. De Levi advanced upon the city with an 
army of ten thousand, and Murray marching out to attack 
him, was defeated and forced to retreat to the city. De 
Levi followed up his success, but on the arrival of the Eng- 
lish fleet in the St. Lawrence he retired in great alarm to 
Montreal. General Amherst appeared before that city 
on the 6th of September, 1760. Murray approached 
from Quebec on the same day, and on the day following 
Colonel Haviland arrived with his division from Crown 
Point. De Vaudreuil, the governor-general, despairing 
of a successful defense, capitulated on the 8th. As the 
result of this campaign, Canada, with all her dependen- 
cies, fell into the hands of the English, and hostilities 
between the colonies of the two nationalities ceased. 
Peace, however, was not concluded between England and 
France until February loth, 1763, when France ceded to 
England all her possessions in Canada. 

On the 30th of July, 1760, Governor De Lancey sud- 
denly died, and Cadwallader Colden took charge of the 
government, being president of the council. In August, 
1761, he received his commission as lieutenant-governor. 
The death of De Lancey left the seat of chief-justice va- 



cant, and the remaining judges, having doubted their 
ability to issue processes since the death of King George 
II., under whom they had held their old commissions, 
urged Golden to appoint a successor. Golden requested 
the Golonial Secretary of State to nominate a chief-jus- 
tice, and he not only nominated but appointed Benjamin 
Pratt, a lawyer from Boston, to hold the position at the 
pleasure of the King instead of during good behavior, as 
formerly. The people, regarding this as an encroachment 
on their rights and liberties, vigorously protested, and the 
remaining judges even refused to act longer unless they 
could hold their commissions during good behavior. 
When the Assembly met. Golden requested that the salary 
of the chief-justice should be increased, but that body 
not only refused-to increase it, but refused to provide for 
it unless the judges' commissions secured them their seats 
during good behavior. The chief-justice having served 
some time without a salary, the income of the royal quit- 
rents of the province was appropriated to his compensa- 

General Robert Monkton was appointed governor of 
New York, and assumed the reins of government in Oc- 
tober, 1761, but left on the 13th of the following month 
to command an expedition against Martinique, leaving 
the administration of affairs again in the hands of Golden. 
In 1763 the boundary line between New York and New 
Hampshire became a subject of much controversy. The 
disputed territory was the tract of land between the Gon- 
necticut river and Lake Ghamplain, comprising what is 
now known as the State of Vermont. The patent grant- 
ed to the Duke of York in 1664 included all the land 
west of the Gonnecticut river to the east side of Dela- 
ware Bay. Controversies had arisen, growing out of the 
indefinite character of their respective charters,between 
the province of New York and those of Connecticut and 
Massachusetts relative to their boundaries, which had 
been adjusted by negotiation and compromise. The line 
agreed upon was to extend north and south twenty miles 
east of the Hudson river. New Hampshire, regardless 
of justice or title, insisted upon having the same western 
boundary. Against this claim New York vigorously pro- 
tested, but the protests were unheeded, and the governor 
of New Hampshire continued to issue grants until, in 
1763, one hundred and thirty-eight townships had been 
granted. Alarmed at this encroachment, and in order to 
stop these proceedings, Governor Golden, in December, 
1763, issued a proclamation claiming jurisdiction to the 
Connecticut river under the patent granted to the Duke 
of York, and commanded the sheriff of Albany county to 
return the names of all persons who, by virtue of the 
New Hampshire grants, had taken possession of lands 
west of the Connecticut river. This was followed by a 
counter proclamation from the governor of New Hamp- 
shire, declaring that the grant to the Duke of York was 
obsolete, and that his grantees should be protected in 
the possession of their lands. Through the Board of 
Trade the disputed question was referred to the crown, 
and in 1764 a decision was obtained pronouncing the 
Connecticut river the boundary between the provinces of 

New York and New Hampshire. Upon this decision 
the government of New York declared the grants from 
the governor of New Hampshire illegal, and insisted that 
the grantees should surrender or re-purchase the lands 
upon which they had settled. To this unjust demand 
the greater part refused to accede, and the governor of 
New York thereupon granted their lands to others, who 
brought ejectment suits against the former occupants, 
and obtained judgment at the courts of Albany. All at- 
tempts, however, of the executive officers to enforce these 
judgments met with a spirited resistance, and led to 
continual hostilities between the settlers and the govern- 
ment of New York. 




HE representative assemblies of the provinces 
had occasionally remonstrated against the 
various acts of Parliament which tended to 
abridge their liberties, and the regulation of 
the Board of Trade by which their manufac- 
tures and commerce were injuriously affected ; yet 
their attachment to the mother country and regard 
for her institutions had not to any considerable extent 
been weakened. But now the borders of the Revolution- 
ary struggle were reached ; the time had arrived when 
unquestioned submission to the exactions of arbitrary 
power had ceased to be considered a virtue, and knowing 
the value of their liberties, the colonies firmly asserted 
their rights. They were heavily burdened by the expenses 
of the late war, for which they had liberally contributed, 
materially aiding in procuring for the English government 
a vast and valuable accession of territory ; yet their gen- 
erous support of the power and dignity of the realm the 
British ministry regarded as only the exercise of a duty, 
and before the smoke had fairly drifted away from the 
battle grounds began to devise plans for taxing them to 
raise a revenue without their consent. The first measure 
which aroused the colonists to a lively sense of their dan- 
ger was the issuing of writs of assistance, which the Eng- 
lish ministry had determined to force upon them. These 
were, in effect, search warrants, whereby custom-house 
officers were enabled the better to collect revenues by 
breaking open houses or stores that were suspected of con- 
taining concealed contraband goods. This exercise of 
arbitrary power created indignation and alarm, and the 
colonists resolved to resist it. Public meetings were held, 
and remonstrances sent to Parliament, but without effect. 
The ministry were determined to derive a revenue from 
the colonies, either by import duties or direct taxes, vig- 
orously levied and collected, and the writs were granted ; 
but the feelings of the people were such that the custom- 



house officers never attempted to carry their new powers 
into execution. 

In 1764 George Grenville, then at the head of the Eng- 
Hsh ministry, submitted to the House of Commons a prop- 
osition for raising a revenue by the sale of stamps to the 
colonists, at the same time assuring the colonial agents 
that he would not press its immediate adoption, but leave 
the plan open for consideration. When intelligence reach- 
ed the colonists that such an act was meditated by the 
ministry, discontent was everywhere visible. The provin- 
cial assemblies strenuously refused to recognize the right 
of Parliament to tax them without their consent, and as- 
serted the sole right to tax themselves. They passed 
resolutions of remonstrance, and clearly demonstrated that 
taxation without representation in Parhament was unjust 
and tyrannical ; but, in contemptuous disregard of all re- 
spectful remonstrances and petitions, the Stamp Act was 
passed in March, 1765. By its provisions no legal or 
commercial documents were valid unless written or print- 
ed on stamped paper, upon which a price was set, accord- 
ing to the nature of the instrument, payable to officers ap- 
pointed by the crown. The passage of this act created 
feelings of resentment throughout the colonies, accom- 
panied by a determination to resist or evade its enforce- 
ment. The people of New York were among the most 
bitter in their opposition to the measure. An association 
styling itself the Sons of Liberty held meetings to discuss 
plans for resistance. The obnoxious act was reprinted 
and paraded about the streets of New York city, bearing 
the inscription, " The folly of England and ruin of Ameri- 
ca." A committee was appointed by the New York As- 
sembly in October, 1764, to correspond with the several 
colonial assemblies, with a view to resisting the oppres- 
sive measures of Parliament. They suggested to the sev- 
eral colonies the holding of a convention, to remonstrate 
against the violation of their liberties. This suggestion 
was heartily responded to, and delegates were appointed, 
who convened in the city of New York on the 7th of Oc- 
tober, 1765. This body continued in session two weeks, 
and adopted a declaration of rights, a petition to the King, 
and a memorial to Parliament, in which the principles by 
which the colonies were governed through the Revolution 
were clearly foreshadowed. 

The Stamp Act was to take effect on the first day of 
November. As the appointed time drew near the excite- 
ment increased, and when the day had finally arrived 
flags floated at half mast, bells were tolled as on funeral 
occasions, and marly other manifestations of public sorrow 
and discontent were made. The stamped paper, which 
had previously arrived, had been deposited in the fort for 
safe keeping, under the direction of Governor Colden, 
who had taken the oath to execute the Stamp Act, but 
McEvers, who had been appointed by the crown to man- 
age its distribution and sale, seeing the manifestations of 
popular indignation, resigned. In the evening the Sons 
of Liberty appeared before the fort and demanded the 
stamped paper. On being refused, they repaired to the 
Commons, where they hung Governor Colden in effigy, 
and returned to the fort with his image. Not being ad- 

mitted at the gate, they broke into Colden's stable, and 
brought out his carriage, placed the effigy in it, paraded 
the streets, and returned to the fort, where it was again 
hung. They then made a bonfire and burned the carriage 
and its accompaniments. A party proceeded to the 
house of Major James, an artillery officer who had ren- 
dered himself particularly obnoxious, destroyed the furni- 
ture, and carried off the colors of the Royal Artillery 
regiment. The next day Colden announced that he 
should not issue any of the stamped paper while he re- 
mained in office, but leave it to his successor, who was 
already on his way from England. But the Sons of 
Liberty, not satisfied with this assurance, insisted that 
the stamped paper should be delivered into their hands, 
and threatened to take it by force if it was not. The 
Common Council, alarmed at their ungovernable fury, 
requested that the paper might be deposited in the City 
Hall, which was done, and a guaranty given for its safe 
keeping. In the meantime, at a meeting called by the 
citizens, a committee was appointed to correspond with 
the merchants of the several colonies, inviting them to 
enter into an agreement not to import certain goods from 
England, which suggestion was promptly acted upon, and 
the trade with England almost ceased. 

When the new governor. Sir Henry Moore, arrived, he 
was disposed to carry the Stamp Act into execution, but 
the unanimous advice of his council, together with the 
unmistakable character of public sentiment, soon con- 
vinced him of the folly of such an attempt. The Sons of 
Liberty seized ten boxes of stamped paper, on the arrival 
of a vessel containing it, conveyed it to the ship-yards, 
and it was consumed in a bonfire. The Stamp Act was 
so odious to the colonies, and their opposition to it was 
so effective, that it was repealed on the i8th of March, 
1766; but immediately on its repeal a bill was passed 
declaring the absolute right of Parliament " to tax the 
colonies in all cases whatsoever.'' The repeal, however, 
was not owing to any appeals from the colonists, for 
Parliament would not receive the petitions of the Coloni- 
al Congress, because that body had not been summoned 
to meet by it; but it was because of the inftuence of 
London merchants, whose trade was seriously affected 
by the non-importation agreement. Notwithstanding the 
declaratory act that accompanied the repeal the news was 
hailed with a delirium of delight, and the city was in a 
blaze of illumination in honor of the event. On the 
King's birthday, which occurred soon afterward, the New 
Yorkers assembled, and with enthusiastic manifestations 
of loyalty erected a liberty-pole, inscribed to the King, 
Pitt, and Liberty. The Assembly met in June, and the 
Governor requested its compliance with the demands of 
the ministry in relation to furnishing supplies for the 
troops stationed in New York city. Some controversy 
ensued upon the subject, and only a partial compliance 
could be obtained from the Assembly. 

The sounds of rejoicing which followed the repeal of 
the Stamp Act had hardly passed away before the minis- 
try, by its unjust acts, again awakened the murmurs of 
discontent, and the. declaratory act began to loom up and 



dampen all the hopes of the colonists. The partial pro- 
vision of the Assembly for supporting the troops was 
distasteful to the Sons of Liberty, who well knew the 
soldiers were sent to enforce the abridgement of American 
liberties, and on their arrival did not disguise their feelings. 
Animosities arose between them, and the soldiers, believ- 
ing that it was owing to the Sons of Liberty that the As- 
sembly had not been more liberal in furnishing them with 
supplies, retaliated by cutting down the citizens' flagstaff. 
The next day, while the citizens were replacing it, they 
were assaulted by the troops, and several of them wound- 
ed. The officers were indifferent to this conduct of their 
men, and other outrages were committed. The Assem- 
bly met again in November, when the governor placed 
before it the instructions of the ministry, requesting that 
immediate provision for the troops should be made; but 
their outrageous conduct had so disgusted the legislators 
that they refused to comply, and were severely censured 
by the cro\yn. Parliament declared the legislative powers 
of the Assembly annulled, and forbade the governor and 
council to give their assent to any act passed by that body 
until unqualified compliance with the demands of the 
government had been obtained. 

In June, 1767, a bill was passed by Parliament impos- 
ing a duty on tea, glass, lead, paper, and printers' colors 
imported into the colonies. This act was shortly followed 
by another re-organizing the colonial custom-house system, 
and establishing a board of revenue commissioners. When 
intelligence of these acts reached the colonies the excite- 
ment was renewed, and the non-importation agreement 
revived. The colonists saw that Parliament intended to 
tax them in some way, and declared that taxes on trade 
.for a revenue were as much a violation of their rights as 
any other taxes. In 1768 the Assembly of Massachusetts 
addressed a circular letter to the other colonies referring 
to the acts of Parliament, and soliciting their co-opera- 
tion in maintaining the common liberties. This so offend- 
ed the ministry that a letter was sent from the Secretary 
of State to the several colonial governors, forbidding their 
assemblies to correspond with that of Massachusetts. 
When the Assembly of New York was convened the gov- 
ernor placed the document before it, and requested their 
obedience to its mandates. The Assembly unhesitatingly 
refused ; declared its right to correspond with any other 
of the legislatures ; denounced the infringements upon its 
rights by Parliament ; and was dissolved by the gover- 
nor. The people sustained their representatives, and 
when a new Assembly convened in April, 1769, it was 
found that but very little change had been effected by the 

The death of Sir Henry Moore occurred on the nth of 
September, 1769. His mild and prudent course in avoid- 
ing controversy as far as possible had endeared him to 
the colony, and his death was much lamented. By that 
event the government again devolved upon Cadwallader 
Golden. The Enghsh merchants, suffering from the non- 
importation agreement, had joined their petitions with 
those of the colonists for the repeal of the obnoxious 
custom-house act, and a circular letter assured the people 

of the colonies that at the next session of Parliament a 
proposition would be made to abolish the duties on all 
articles except tea. This attempt at conciliation was far 
from satisfactory ; for the right of taxation was not relin- 
quished, and the principle was the same whether applied 
to one article or many. A bill was introduced in the 
New York Assembly in November for issuing colonial 
bills of credit to the amount of ;£i 20,000, to loan out as 
a means of revenue. The project at first met with favor 
from the popular party, but when it M'as followed by an 
appropriation to support the British troops in the colony, 
to be taken out of the interest arising from the loan, a 
revulsion of feeling at once took place. Shortly after 
handbills were circulated charging the Assembly with 
betraying the inhabitants of the colon)', and advising the 
people to meet on a certain day and express their senti- 
ments upon the subject. Accordingly, a large concourse 
of people gathered, and emphatically denounced the ac- 
tion of the Assembly. That body passed resolutions de- 
claring the handbills hbelous, and offering a reward for 
the detection of their authors. John Lamb, who had 
l^resided over the popular meeting, was arrested and 
brought before the House, but was soon after discharged. 
Animosities continued between the Sons of Liberty 
and the soldiers. Now that their supplies were granted 
the latter no longer held themselves in check from 
motives of policy, and on the evening of the 13th of 
January, 1769, renewed their attack upon the flagpole of 
the citizens. The latter hastily gathered for its defense, 
whereupon they desisted. Their failure in this attempt, 
together with the derisive jeers of the citizens, so enraged 
them that they charged upon a group of people in front 
of a tavern which was a favorite resort of the Sons of 
Liberty, drove them in and destroyed the windows and 
furniture. On the evening of the i6th they cut down the 
flagstaff, sawed it in pieces, and piled the fragments 
before the battered hotel. On the following morning 
several thousands of the citizens assembled at the scene 
of the outrage, and passed resolutions censuring the 
riotous proceedings of the soldiers, and recommending 
that whenever found in the street after roll-call they 
should be dealt with as enemies to the peace of the city. 
The next day placards were found posted up, ridicuHng 
the resolutions and daring the citizens to execute them. 
During the day the Sons of Liberty caught two or three 
soldiers in the act of putting up these bills, and arrested 
them. While conducting them to the mayor's office the 
citizens were attacked by a party of twenty soldiers, 
armed with cutlasses, and a skirmish ensued— the citi- 
zens defending themselves with clubs. The soldiers were 
forced back to Golden Hill, as John street, between Clifl: 
street and Burling Slip, was then called. Here they were 
re-enforced, and made a furious charge on the citizens, 
most of whom were entirely unarmed. The latter stoutly 
resisted until aparty of officers appeared on the scene and 
ordered the troops back to their barracks. Several of the 
citizens were severely wounded, some of whom had not 
participated in the skirmish. Several affrays occurred 
on the following day, in which the soldiers were generally 



worsted. The mayor issued a proclamation forbidding 
them to leave the barracks unless accompanied by a non- 
commissioned officer, and order was restored. 

Thus terminated the first conflict in which blood was 
shed in the cause of American independence. It is usually 
asserted that at Lexington was thefirst battle fought ; but 
the actual beginning of the combat, so doubtful in its 
progress, and so glorious in its results, was the battle of 
Golden Hill, on the i8th of January, 1770, at least five 
years earlier. The Sons of Liberty purchased grounds 
and erected another pole, which stood until the occupa- 
tion of the city by the British forces in 1776. 



^N October Lord Dunmore arrived in New 
York and superseded Golden in the govern- 
ment of the province. Meanwhile the duties 
had been removed from all articles except 
tea, and the non-importation agreement was 
restricted to that article. The new governor 
brought the news of the royal approval of the act 
authorizing the emission of colonial bills of credit. This 
strengthened the spirit of loyalty, and affairs went on 
more smoothly. On the 8th of July, 1 771, William Tryon 
was commissioned as governor in place of Lord Dunmore, 
who was transferred to the government of Virginia. By 
a recent order of the crown the governor's salary was to 
be paid from the revenue, thus rendering the executive 
independent of the people. The East India Gompany 
were suffering severely from the non-importation agree- 
ment in regard to tea, and in 1773 urgently petitioned 
the British government to abolish the duty levied upon 
that article in the colonies, offering to submit to double 
that duty as an exportation tariff. This would increase the 
amount of revenue two-fold, but the party in power, delud- 
ed by false views of national honor, would not in the least 
relinquish its declared right to tax the colonies. It pre- 
ferred to favor the East India Company by a special act 
allowing them to ship their tea to the colonies free of 
export duty, which would enable them to sell it at a 
lower rate than in England. By this act the ministers 
imagined they had outwitted the colonists and that this 
appeal to their pockets would end their resistance. Ships 
were laden with tea and consignees appointed in the 
colonies to receive it, with the expectation that this new 
act would secure its ready sale. When information 
of this arrangement reached the colonies their indignation 
was deeply aroused. The Sons of Liberty rallied and 
resolved that the obnoxious article should not be landed 
under any pretense. The tea commissioners appointed 

for New York resigned in view of such decided demon- 
strations of resistance. 

Expecting a consignment of tea would soon reach the 
city the citizens held a mass meeting, and regardless of 
the efforts of Governor Tryon to secure its reception, 
emphatically resolved that it should not be landed. The 
expected vessel was delayed and did not make its ap- 
pearance until April, 1774. When it arrived off Sandy 
Hook the pilot, acting under the instructions of the vigil- 
ance committee, refused to bring the ship any nearer the 
city. Captain Lockyer, the commander, under escort of 
the committee, was allowed to come up and consult with 
the consignee, but the latter refused to receive the cargo, 
and advised the captain to return to England immedi- 
ately. Meanwhile Captain Chambers, of New York, 
professing to be a patriot, arrived in the harbor. His 
vessel was boarded by the committee, and upon being 
questioned he denied having any contraband goods ; but 
on being informed by the committee that with the evi- 
dence they had to the contrary they should search his 
ship, he admitted that there was tea on board which he had 
brought out on a private venture. The hatches were 
forced open and the chests brought on deck and given 
air and water. The next morning Captain Lockyer was 
conducted by the committee to his ship, together with 
Chambers, his companion in the tea trade, and they were 
sent on an outward voyage. 

The New Hampshire grants continued a source of serious 
contention. The civil officers were opposed by force in 
their efforts to enforce the judgments obtained in the eject- 
ment suits, and the New York Assembly passed an act de- 
claring resistance to be felony. A proclamation was issued 
by Governor Tryon offering a reward for the apprehension 
of Ethan Allen and other conspicuous offenders. This 
was followed by a burlesque proclamation from the pro- 
scribed, affirming their determination to resist and offer- 
ing a reward for the arrest of the governor of New York. 
In the spring of- 1775, at the time appointed for the ses- 
sion of court in the disputed territory, the settlers took 
possession of the court-house and prevented the New 
York officers from entering. The officers thereupon col- 
lected ii force, and being again refused admittance fired 
into the house, killing one of the occupants, and wound- 
ing several others. Some of the officers were arrested by 
the enraged inhabitants and lodged in jail, and matters 
appeared to be approaching a crisis ; but the battle of 
Lexington occurring at this juncture, active hostilities 
between Great Britain and the colonies began and caused 
a cessation of these difficulties. 

A cargo of tea had arrived in Boston harbor consider- 
ably earlier than in New York, and the Bostonians re- 
solved that it should not be landed. The vessels con- 
taining the obnoxious article were boarded and the chests 
emptied into the water. The ministry, enraged at this 
spirited resistance, determined to subjugate the colonies. 
Various measures were determined upon which were 
ruinous to the liberties of the American people; among 
them was the celebrated "Boston Port Bill," closing the 
harbor and destroying the trade of the city to punish the 



citizens for having destroyed the tea. The people every- 
where were awakened to a lively sympathy with Boston, 
seeing by its treatment what was in store for them. A 
brisk correspondence was carried on between Boston 
and New York through the agency of committees ap- 
pointed for that purpose. Public meetings were held for 
the consideration of their common grievances, and among 
the measures devised and recommended were the restora- 
tion of the non-importation agreement and the convening 
of a colonial congress. On the 5 th of September, 1774, 
this congress met at Philadelphia and adopted a declara, 
tion of rights, setting forth wherein those rights had been 
violated; agreed on a petition to the King for the re- 
moval of their grievances and also on an appeal to the 
people of Great Britain and Canada; and then adjourned 
to meet again in May of the following year. The Assem- 
bly of New York was the only colonial assembly that 
withheld its approval of the proceedings of this congress 
It, however, addressed a remonstrance to Parliament, 
which was treated as all others had been, with disdain. 
The Assembly adjourned on the 3d of April, 1775, and 
was never again convened. Its refusal to appoint dele- 
gates to the Continental Congress gave great dissatisfac- 
tion, and a provincial convention of county representa- 
tives was called by the people to perform that duty. 

At midnight on the i8th of April, 1775, General Gage 
sent a detachment of British regulars from Boston to de- 
stroy the military stores collected by the Americans at 
Concord, Massachusetts. The expedition was conducted 
with great secrecy, but the troops were discovered and 
the people warned of their coming. On reaching Lexing- 
ton the following morning they found the militia assem- 
bled on the green. The latter, disregarding a command 
to disperse, were fired upon and several of them were 
killed. The British troops jjroceeded to Concord, but 
the inhabitants, having been apprised of their design, had 
concealed the greater part of their stores, and the British 
troops on their return were severely harrassed by the 
militia who had gathered from the neighboring towns. 

When intelligence of this event reached New York the 
excitement was intense. The affair was in fact the signal 
for a general rush to arms throughout the colonies. The 
Sons of Liberty took possession of the arms at the arsenal 
in New York city and distributed them among the peo- 
ple. At the suggestion of the Committee of Observation 
n provincial government for the city was formed, consist- 
ing of one hundred of the principal citizens, who were to 
control affairs until Congress should otherwise order. The 
British troops at New York having been ordered to Bos- 
ton, the provisional government allowed them to depart on 
condition that they should take nothing but their own 
arms with them. Regardless of this stipulation they at- 
tempted to carry off some military stores belonging to the 
city, but were defeated in their designs by Colonel Marinus 
Willett mth a party of the Sons of Liberty, who con- 
fronted them and succeeded in retaking the property and 
replacing it in the fort. 

While the patriots were flocking toward Boston the 
Connecticut Assembly was in session, and several of its 

members agreed upon a plan to seize the cannon and 
military stores at Ticonderoga and Crown Point for the 
use of the patriot army. They appointed a committee to 
repair to the frontier and raise an expedition, under 
Colonel Ethan Allan, to surprise and capture the posts 
named. A force of two hundred and seventy men was 
soon collected, and marched by night under Colonels 
Allen and Benedict Arnold to a point on Lake Cham- 
plain opposite Ticonderoga. They had but few boats, 
and when day began to dawn only the officers and eighty- 
three men had crossed. Fearful that delay would be 
hazardous, Allen resolved to make an attack before the 
rear division had crossed, and marched at the head of 
his men directly to the sally port. The sentinel snapped 
his musket at him and retreated to the parade with the 
patriots close at his heels. The garrison were aroused 
and taken prisoners. Colonel Allen went directly to the 
apartments of the commander and demanded and obtained 
a surrender of the fort "in the name of the Great Jeho- 
vah, and the Continental Congress." Crown Point was 
taken without resistance two days afterward, and the 
command of Lake Champlain was thus secured. 

The Continental Congress reassembled and organized 
on the loth of May, the same day that Colonel Allen 
captured Ticonderoga, and proceeded at once to raise and 
equip an army for the defense of the colonies. New 
York was ordered to raise three thousand men as her pro- 
portion. The population of the province during the pre- 
ceding year had increased to 182,251. George Washing- 
ton was commissioned as commander-in-chief of the 
American forces. A provincial congress of New York, 
convened on the 22d of May, authorized the raising of 
troops, encouraged the manufacture of gunpowder and 
muskets in the province, and projected fortifications at 
King's Bridge and the Hudson passes in the Highlands. 

Captain Lamb was ordered to remove the cannon from 
the battery at the foot of the city to a place of greater 
security. On the evening of August 23d he proceeded to 
the execution of the order. The captain of the British 
war-ship Asia, being informed of the intended movement, 
sent a barge filled with men to watch it. A shot was fired 
from the barge into the American force, which was im- 
mediately answered by a volley, killing one of the crew 
and wounding several others. The Asia then opened a 
cannonade upon the city, doing considerable damage to 
the buildings in the vicinity of the battery, but the patriots 
were undismayed, and in the face of the cannonade, de- 
liberately removed every gun. Governor Tryon returned 
from England in June and strenuously exerted himself to 
promote the royal cause. Finding that his position was 
growing more and more unsatisfactory, and having fears 
for his personal safety, he abandoned the city and took 
refuge on board a British sloop of war. 

The Continental Congress directed General Schuyler to 
collect an armament at Ticonderoga, and put that post in 
in a state of defense, preparatory to an expedition against 
Canada. The forces under Generals Schuyler and Mont- 
gomery appeared before St. John's in September. General 
Schuyler was compelled by ill health to relinquish the 



command to General Montgomery and return to Ticon- 
deroga. The fort at Chambly, twelve miles below, was 
captured on the 19th of October by a detachment of the 
American force, aided by friendly Canadians. They 
passed the fort at St. John's during a dark night in boats, 
with their artillery, and appeared before Chambly, which 
was feebly garrisoned and soon surrendered. The spoils 
taken at Chambly materially aided in carrying on with vig- 
or the siege of St. John's, which after several unsuccessful 
assaults and numerous mishaps was on the 3d of Novem- 
ber compelled to surrender. While this siege was in pro- 
gress. Colonel Ethan Allen, acting without authority from 
the commander-in-chief, in a rash attempt to take Mon- 
treal with a small advance force, was taken prisoner and 
sent to England. General Carlton, when informed of the 
capture of Chambly, made an attempt to reinforce the 
garrison at St. John's, but being defeated by Colonel 
Seth Warner, only hastened its fall. General Montgomery 
moved forward to Montreal, which was taken without 
resistance. In September Colonel Benedict Arnold was 
dispatched by Washington with a force of eleven hundred 
men against Canada, by way of the Kennebec river, to aid 
Montgomery, who was invading that province by way of 
Lake Champlaln. After surmounting incredible obstacles 
and suffering terrible privations and hardships, Arnold at 
last arrived at Point Levi, opposite the city of Quebec. 

He was for several days prevented from crossing the 
St. Lawrence by tempestuous winds. On the night of the 
13th of November he crossed the river and scaled the 
heights to the Plains of Abraham. Failing to draw out the 
garrison he demanded a surrender, which was contempt- 
uously refused. Finding all his attempts useless he re- 
treated up the river about twenty miles and awaited the 
arrival of Montgomery, who joined him on the ist of De- 
cember, and the combined forces then moved toward 

A bombardment of the city proved unavailing and it 
was resolved to storm the town, although the whole assail- 
ing force was considerably less than the garrison. The 
lower town was to be attacked by Montgomery and 
Arnold, and at the same time feigned attacks were to be 
made upon the upper town. Montgomery descended 
from the Plains of Abraham to Wolfe's Cove, and marched 
through the drifting snow toward the lower town, while 
Arnold with another division moved around to the north 
on the St. Charles, in order to form a junction with Mont- 
gomery and storm Prescott Gate. Montgomery in his ad- 
vance encountered a block-house defended by a battery. 
Pushing forward in a charge at the head of his men he 
was instantly killed, together with his aids, by a discharge 
of grape-shot from the battery. Appalled at this disaster, 
his division fell back in confusion and made no further 
attempt to force a junction with Arnold. Meanwhile the 
latter had pressed on through the snow-drifts, and like 
Montgomery charged at the head of his men upon a bat- 
tery, and received a wound which compelled him to leave 
the field. Captain Morgan took the command, carried 
the first battery and rushed on to a second, which was al- 
so carried, after a severe contest of three hours' duration. 

Carlton sent a detachment from the garrison to attack 
them in the rear, and. while Morgan was pressing on into 
the town he heard of the death of Montgomery, and find- 
ing himself unsupported and surrounded, was compelled 
to surrender. The rest of the division in the rear retreat- 
ed. Colonel Arnold took command of the remainder of 
the army, consisting of about eight hundred men, and in- 
trenched himself a few miles from the city, where he re- 
mained until reinforced by General Wooster, in April, 
who took command and renewed the siege. Large rein- 
forcements having arrived at Quebec, the American force 
was obliged to retreat, and by the superior numbers of the 
enemy was soon after driven out of Canada. 




i N March, Washington, having compelled Gen- 
eral Howe to evacuate Boston, and appre- 
hensive that New York would be the next 
point of attack, made immediate preparations 
for putting that city in a, posture of defense. 
''General Lee, with twelve hundred men, was ordered 
forward from Connecticut. The captain of the British 
man-of-war Asia had threatened to cannonade the city if 
" rebel troops " were permitted to enter it. It was the 
stronghold of loyalty to the crown and disaffection to the 
patriot cause, and the Committee of Safety in their timid- 
ity protested against Lee's entrance, but threats and pro- 
tests were unavailing. Lee came, and the tories either 
fled or ceased to oppose the cause of the patriots. Sir 
Henry Clinton, who had been sent over on a secret ex- 
pedition, appeared off Sandy Hook at nearly the same 
time that General Lee entered the city, but finding it in 
possession of the American troops, proceeded south to 
attack Charleston. Washington hastened forward from 
Boston, and on the 14th of April arrived at New York 
and established his headquarters in the city. General 
Howe went to Halifax on leaving Boston, but about the 
ist of July appeared oft Sandy Hook, and shortly after 
landed on Staten Island. He was soon after joined by 
his brother Admiral Howe, with a force of British regulars 
and Hessian hirelings, and also by Clinton and Parker 
on their return from an unsuccessful attack on Charles- 
ton, making altogether a combined force of nearly thirty 
thousand men. Howe was here visited by Governor 
Tryon, who had contrived a plot to capture Washington, 
blow up the magazine, and secure the passes to the city. 
The mayor also was in the conspiracy, and was receiving 
money from Tryon to bribe the Americans. Two of 
Washington's guards yielded to the temptations of the 
enemy, but the third, who could not be bribed, exposed 
the plot. The Provincial Congress of New York, seeing 



the hostile demonstrations toward the city, adjourned to 
White Plains, where it convened on the 9th of July, and 
passed resolutions heartily endorsing the action of the 
Continental Congress and approving of the Declaration 
of Independence. 

The plan of the campaign on the part of the British 
army near New York was to take possession of the city 
and the islands in its vicinity, and to ascend the Hudson, 
while Carlton should move down from Canada, and thus 
separate the Eastern from the other States. Two ships 
succeeded in passing the batteries and ascended the Hud- 
son to furnish the tories of Westchester with arras, but 
all their attempts to land were frustrated and they re- 

On the 22d of August a British force of ten thousand 
men, with forty pieces of cannon, landed on the south 
side of Long Island, in the vicinity of New Utrecht, and 
advanced in three divisions upon the Americans stationed 
in and about Brooklyn. The Hessians, under De Heister, 
formed the center. The left, along New York Bay, was 
commanded by General Grant, and the right, which led 
in the action, was commanded by Clinton and Cornwallis. 
While Grant and De Heister were diverting the Americans 
on the left and center, the division on the right was to 
make a circuitous march and fall upon their rear. This 
division left the Flatlands on the night of the 26th, and 
guided by a tory gained possession of the Bedford and 
Jamaica passes before General Sullivan, who commanded 
in that quarter, was aware of the movement. While this 
advantage was being gained Grant was making a move- 
ment toward Brooklyn, and early in the morning came 
into collision with the Americans under Lord Stirling on 
the site of Greenwood Cemetery, when an engai;ement 
took place without material advantage to either side. 
De Heister advanced and kept up a cannonade on the 
works at the Flatbush pass. In the meantime, Clinton 
had gained a position in the rear of the Continental army 
and commenced to attack them. De Heister then pressed 
forward, and Sullivan, perceiving the peril of his army, 
attempted to retreat, but it was too late. They were met 
by CHnton's forces and driven back upon the Hessians. 
Some forced their way through the ranks and reached 
the fortifications, but after a desperate struggle and great 
loss of life Sullivan himself and the greater part of the 
' left wing of the American army were taken prisoners. 
Cornwallis hastened to cut off the division under Stirling, 
who was not yet aware of the situation. A part of his 
force succeeded in crossing Gowanus creek in safety, but 
many were drowned or taken prisoners. Stirling himself 
was captured and a decisive victory gained by the British. 
About five thousand were engaged on the side of the 
Americans, of whom five hundred were killed or wounded 
and eleven hundred taken prisoners. These were con- 
fined in loathsome prison-ships on the East river, where 
they suffered indescribable privations and hardships. 
Fortunately for the Americans, Howe did not dare to 
attempt an assault upon their fortifications in Brooklyn, 
but encamped about a third of a mile distant, and waited 
for the support of the fleet. 

On the 28th, the day after the battle, the British began 
to cannonade the intrenchments. At night a heavy fog 
settled over the battle-field, which remained all the follow- 
ing day. When night had added its darkness to the mist 
which had obstructed the vision of the hostile parties 
throughout the day, Washington, with the remainder of 
the troops on Long Island, silently crossed the East river 
in safety to New York. The British forces took posses- 
sion of the American works and prepared to attack New 
York. Washington knew that with his dispirited and 
undisciplined army he could not successfully oppose 
them, and decided to evacuate the city. On the 15th of 
September Howe landed with about four thousand men 
under cover of his fleet at Kip's Bay, on the east side of 
Manhattan Island, near what is now the foot of Thirty- 
fourth street. Two brigades of militia, stationed for 
defense in that quarter, were panic-stricken and retreated 
disgracefully despite all the efforts of their officers to 
rally them. Putnam, who had charge of one column of 
the army, was compelled to leave in great haste, and 
narrowly escaped being captured. The Americans re- 
treated to Harlem, and the British took possession of 
New York and held it until the close of the war. 

'The next day an- advance party of the British were at- 
tacked, and after a severe skirmish driven back with con- 
siderable loss. Howe, perceiving that the Americans 
were strongly intrenched upon Harlem Heights, determin- 
ed to gain their rear, cut off their communication with 
the north and east, and hem them in. He sent a part of 
his fleet np the Hudson, and transferred the main body 
of his army in boats to Westchester county, landing them 
at Throck's Neck. When Washington saw this movement 
he sent a detachment to oppose their landing. All the 
passes were well guarded, and a detachment was intrench- 
ed at White Plains. The main ■ army advanced in that 
direction and intrenched upon the hills from Fordham 
to White Plains. On the 28th of October the enemy 
came up and attacked General McDougal, on Chatterton's 
Hill. McDougal, after an obstinate resistance, was forced 
to fall back to intrenchments above White Plains. 
While Howe was preparing to storm their encampment 
at this place, Washington withdrew, unobserved by the 
enemy, to North Castle, where strong breastworks had 
been erected, and awaited an attack ; but Howe, not 
deeming it prudent to assail him in so strong a position, 
retreated toward New York, preparatory to the contem- 
plated reduction of Fort Washington, which was soon 
environed by the British forces. It was gallantly defend- 
ed by Colonel Magaw until he was overpowered by a su- 
perior force and compelled to surrender. Fort Lee, on 
the opposite side of the Hudson, was abandoned on 
the approach of the enemy, and Washington, who had 
crossed the Hudson, retreated through New Jersey to 
the opposite side of the Delaware river, closely pursued 
by the enemy. On the night of the 25th of December he 
recrossed the river and gained an important victory at 
Trenton, and shortly afterward another at Princeton, and 
then went into winter quarters at Morristown. 

General Gates, who had been appointed to the com- 



raand of the Northern forces, apprehensive that General 
Carlton would follow up his success in Canada and at- 
tempt to capture Crown Point and Ticonderoga, aban- 
doned the former, and concentrated his forces at the 
latter. A small squadron was formed and placed upon 
Lake <;hamplain, under the command of Arnold, in 
August. Carlton constructed a fleet at St. Johns. Ar- 
nold sailed down the lake, but, being ignorant of the 
strength of the armament preparing against him, fell back 
to Valcour's Island. On the nth of October, the British 
fleet passed around the east side of the island and took 
up a position south of the American squadron. An 
action began about noon and continued until night. One 
of the schooners in Arnold's fleet was disabled, and burn- 
ed to prevent it from falling into the hands of the enemy. 
The British force was greatly superior, and as another 
engagement would have been extremely hazardous, it was 
deemed advisable to return to Crown Point. The night 
was exceedingly dark, and the Americans succeeded in 
sailing through the British fleet unobserved, although the 
latter had been stationed in a line across the lake in an- 
ticipation of such a movement. On reaching Schuyler's 
Island, ten miles distant from the British fleet, they stopped 
to make some repairs, and, on being discovered at day- 
light, were pursued by the enemy. On the 13th, the 
British ships, three in number, came up with and attacked 
the "Washington," which, after a heroic defense,' was com- 
pelled' to surrender, and her commander and all his men 
were taken prisoners. The whole force was now concen- 
trated in an attack upon the "Congress," which maintained 
the unequal contest with unflinching resolution for four 
or five hours, till it was reduced to a complete wreck. 
Arnold then ran the craft into a creek and burned it, 
together with the rest of his boats, and marching to Crown 
Point, where the remainder of the fleet was stationed, 
sailed for Ticonderoga. General Carlton took posses- 
sion of Crown Point and threatened Ticonderoga, but, 
abandoning his design, he prudently withdrew to Canada. 

The Provincial Congress, which had assembled at 
White Plains on the 9th of July and approved the Dec- 
laration of Independence, appointed a committee to draw 
up and report a constitution. The occupation of New 
York city and part of Westchester county by the British 
greatly disturbed the labors of the convention, and finally, 
in February, they repaired to Kingston, where the draft 
of a constitution was prepared by John Jay, and adopted 
on the 2ist of April, 1777. George Clinton was elected 
governor under the new constitution, and took the oath 
of office on the 3JSt of July following. 

The principal object of the British in the campaign of 
1777 was to carry out their cherished design of separating 
the Eastern from the Southern colonies, by controlling 
the Hudson river and Lake Champlain. The most promi- 
nent feature of the plan was the advance of an army from 
Canada, under Lieutenant-General Burgoyne, who had 
superseded General Carlton. It was intended that Bur- 
goyne should force his way down the Hudson as far as 
Albany, while Sir Henry Clinton was to proceed up the 
river and join him, and thus a free communication be- 

tween New York and Canada would be established, and 
the colonies separated. In order to distract the attention 
of the Americans, and the more completely subdue the 
Western border. Colonel St. Leger was to ascend the 
St. Lawrence with a detatchment of regulars, accompanied 
by Sir John Johnston with a regiment of loyalists and a 
large body of Indians. From Oswego the expedition was 
to penetrate the country to P'ort Schuyler, on the site of 
Rome, and after its capture sweep the Mohawk valley 
and join Burgoyne at Albany. Burgoyne arrived in 
Canada early in March. Unavoidable difficulties having 
greatly embarrassed his first movements, it was past the 
middle of Jun5 before his army was assembled at Cum- 
berland Point, on Lake Champlain. The main army of 
more than seven thousand men appeared before Crown 
Point, and occupied that post on the 30th of June. Hav- 
ing issued a proclamation, intended to terrify the inhabi- 
tants into submission, Burgoyne prepared to invest 
Ticonderoga, then in command of General St. Clair. 
On the east shore of Lake Champlain, on Mount Inde- 
pendence, there was a star-fort, so connected with Ticon- 
deroga, on the west side of the lake, by a floating bridge, 
as to obstruct the passage of vessels up the lake. For 
want of a sufficient force to man all its defenses the out- 
works toward Lake George were abandoned on the ap- 
proach of Burgoyne. A detachment of the enemy, under 
General Fraser, took Mount Hope, and thereby cut off 
St. Clair's communication with Lake George; and at the 
same time the abandoned works of the Americans, more 
to the right, were occupied by General Phillips. On the 
south side of the outlet of Lake George, and opposite 
Mount Independence, is a lofty eminence, then known as 
Sugar-loaf Hill, which was found to completely command 
the works both at Ticonderoga and Fort Independence. 
A battery was planted on its summit by the British during 
the night, and St. Clair, on perceiving his critical situa- 
tion, at once called a council of war, by which it was 
unanimously decided that immediate evacuation of Fort 
Ticonderoga was the only chance of saving the army. 
During the ensuing night such military stores and pro- 
visions as could be removed, together with the sick and 
disabled troops, were embarked on batteaux, and sent up 
the lake to Skenesborough, as Whitehall was then called, 
under convoy of five armed galleys and a detachment of 
six hundred men, under Colonel Long, while the main 
body of the army was to cross the lake and proceed to 
the same point by land. The garrison passed over the 
floating bridge to Mount Independence about two hours 
before daylight; and would probably have made their re- 
treat undiscovered had not the house of the commander 
at Fort Independence been set on fire just at this time. 
This unfortunate occurrence threw the Americans into 
disorder, for the light of the conflagration revealed their 
movements to the British, who made immediate prepara- 
tions for pursuit. St. Clair's orce made a disorderly re- 
treat to Hubbardton. On the following morning General 
Fraser came up with his brigade, and commenced an 
attack. The conflict was for some time fierce and bloody. 
The Americans had almost surrounded the left wing of 



the British when General Riedesel came up with rein- 
forcements, and St. Clair made a precipitate retreat. The 
boats which conveyed the military stores and the detach- 
ment of Colonel Long reached Skenesborough safely, 
but Burgoyne in a few hours broke through the boom 
and bridge at Ticonderoga, on which the Americans had 
placed much reliance, and with his fleet rapidly pursued 
them; and while they were landing at Skenesborough 
three regiments disembarked at South Bay with the inten- 
tion of gaining the road to Fort Edward, and cutting off 
their retreat. On the approach of the British gunboats, 
Colonel Long's men destroyed three of their galleys and 
several buildings, and escaped capture by a rapid flight 
to Fort Anne. Two days after the battle at Hubbardton 
St. Clair retreated to Fort Edward. Burgoyne was joined 
at Skenesborough by the detachments of Eraser and 
Riedesel, and prepared to push forward to the Hudson. 
Lieutenant-Colonel Hill was sent forward to Fort Anne 
to intercept such as might retreat to that post, and to 
watch the movements of the Americans. This post was 
guarded by Colonel Long, with about five hundred men, 
mostly convalescents. Hill's force exceeded this number. 
Colonel Long did not, wait for an attack, but marched 
out to give battle, and gained a decided advantage; but 
their ammunition giving out, they were obliged to give 
way; and aware of their inability to hold the fort against 
General Phillips, who was approaching with reinforce- 
ments, set fire to it, and fell back on Fort Edward. 




URGOYNE remained at Skenesborough near- 
ly three weeks, while detachments were 
building bridges and repairing the road to 
Fort Anne. This delay greatly diminished 
his supplies, and on arriving at Fort Anne 
he sent a detachment under Colonel Baum 
to surprise and capture a quantity of stores 
which he had heard was collected at Bennington, and 
with the expectation of receiving material aid from the 
loyalists in that quarter. General Schuyler had not suffi- 
cient force to defend Fort Edward, and throwing all the 
obstructions possible in Burgoyne's way from there to 
Fort Anne retreated down the valley of the Hudson. 
Colonel Baum on his march to Bennington reached 
Cambriflge on the 13th of August. The American Gen- 
eral Stark in the meantime had repaired to Bennington, 
and was collecting the militia to join his brigade in op- 
posing any invasion in that direction. Hearing that a 
party of Indians were at Cambridge, he detached Colonel 
Gregg to attack them ; and shortly after, learning that a 

large body of the enemy was in their rear marching on 
Bennington, he moved immediately to the support of 
Gregg. After going about five miles he met him retreat- 
ing, and Colonel Baum not more than a mile in the rear. 
Stark at once disposed his army for battle, and Baum per- 
ceiving its strength began to intrench, and sent to Bur- 
goyne for reinforcements. The next day some skirmish- 
ing took place, and on the following day, August i6th. 
Stark arranged his army for an attack. Two detachments 
were sent to flank the enemy while another was attract- 
ing their attention in front. As soon as the attack on the 
enemy's flank began the main body pressed forward, and 
after two hours' fierce conflict gained a decisive victory. 
The remnant of Colonel Baum's force in its flight was 
met by Colonel Breyman with reinforcements, who press- 
ed forward with the combined force to regain the aban- 
doned intrenchments. Stark was also reinforced, and the 
conflict was renewed with vigor. The enemy at length 
giving way, were pursued until darkness came to their 
rescue and enabled them with their thinned and broken 
ranks to escape to the main army. Colonel Baum was 
mortally wounded and taken prisoner. The total loss of 
the enemy was, in killed, wounded and prisoners, nine 
hundred and thirty-four, and all their artillery and mili- 
tary stores. Up to this time all had gone well with the 
boastful Briton, and his path had been illuminated with 
victory ; but with the failure of this expedition his glory 
began to wane and his sky to grow dark and threatening, 
where hitherto it had been bright and serene. 

While these events had been taking place with the main 
division, the expedition under Colonel St. Leger had in- 
vested Fort Schuyler (earlier" and even now more com- 
monly called Fort Stanwix), on the site of Rome. A move- 
ment of the Mohawk valley militia to its relief was arrest- 
ed by the bloody battle of Oriskany, but while most of 
the besiegers were engaged in this conflict their camp was 
sacked by the garrison ; and learning that a more formid- 
able provincial force was on its way to raise the siege of 
the fort, which had held out tenaciously, St. Leger aban- 
doned his undertaking and returned to Canada. 

Schuyler, with his army, marched down the Hudson to 
Stillwater, and finally to the mouth of the Mohawk, still 
keeping his headquarters at Stillwater and exerting all his 
energies for the augmentation of his force, preparatory to 
a conflict with Burgoyne. On the igth of August, at the 
instigation of his enemies, he was very unjustly supersed- 
ed by General Gates. On the 8th of September the 
American army advanced to Bemis' Heights, above Still- 
water, which had been fortified under the superintendence 
of Kosciusko. The Bridsh detachment sent to Benning- 
ton, instead of bringing back any plunder had lost largely 
of what they already had, as well as most of the force, 
and Burgoyne had hardly recovered from this unexpected 
shock when the news was brought him of the defeat of 
St. Leger at Fort Schuyler. These disasters had a very 
depressing effect upon his army, and the Indians and loy- 
alists began to desert, while the Americans were greatly 
inspirited. In view of these difficulties the British com- 
mander deemed it expedient to halt at Fort Edward. 



Stores having been brought forward from the posts on 
Lake Champlain, he proceeded down the Hudson, and on 
the i8th of September encamped at Wilbur's Basin, two 
miles from the American position, and prepared for bat- 
tle, and the next day advanced to the attack in three di- 
visions. General Riedesel commanded the left column, 
which with the heavy artillery moved down a road along 
the margin of the river. The center was commanded by 
Burgoyne in person, and the left by General Eraser. Tl^e 
front and flanks of both the center and right were cov- 
ered by Indians, tories and Canadians. The American 
right, which was the main body of their army, was com- 
manded by Gates, and the left by General Arnold. Col- 
onel Morgan was detached from Arnold's division and 
encountering the Canadians and Indians in the advance 
drove them back ; but they being reinforced the contest 
resulted in both parties finally falling within their respec- 
tive lines. The action soon became general, and the com- 
bined force of Burgoyne and Eraser was engaged with 
Arnold's division. Arnold called upon Gates for rein- 
forcements but they were refused, and he, resolving to do 
what he could with the force at his command, continued 
the contest with the most obstinate and determined resolu- 
tion, both armies alternately advancing and retreating 
without a decisive victory for either. The conflict did 
not cease until the shades of night fell upon the combat- 
ants. The Americans then retired to their encampment 
unpursued by the enemy. The British forces bivouacked 
on the field of battle. The total loss of the former was 
three hundred and nineteen, and that of the latter more 
than five hundred. Few actions have been more remark- 
able for determined bravery on both sides than this. The 
number of the British in the engagement was about three 
thousand, and that of the Americans five hundred less. 
Both parties claimed the victory. The object of the Brit- 
ish was to advance and gain ground, which they failed to 
do ; while it was not the intention of the Americans to 
advance, but to maintain their position, which they ac- 
compHshed, and it is therefore not difficult to determine 
on which side the advantage lay. Though the British re- 
mained in possession of the battle-field through the night, 
they retired to their camp in the morning without advanc- 
ing to renew the conflict. General Gates, in his report of 
the battle, said nothing of Arnold or his division, to whom 
all the honor was due. He was jealous of the reputation 
that officer had earned, and of his growing popularity 
with the armv, and carried his meanness so far as to take 
from him the command of his division. Both parties 
strengthened their positions after the battle, but no gen- 
eral engagement took place for upwards of three weeks. 

Burgoyne saw with painful anxiety that the American 
forces were rapidly increasing, while his own were daily 
diminishing by the desertion of his Indian allies. His 
provisions began to fail, and the vigilance of the Ameri- 
cans not only prevented any suppHes reaching him, but 
deprived him of all communication with Sir Henry Clin- 
ton for assistance. At length he was obliged to put his 
troops on short allowance, and hearing nothing from 
CUnton, who was to make a diversion in his favor, be- 

came seriously alarmed. Amid the thickening perils he 
found himself reduced to the alternative of fighting or 
retreating. The latter was not only inglorious but diffi- 
cult, and he resolved to make a reconnoissance in force, 
for the twofold purpose of ascertaining definitely the posi- 
tion of the enemy, and of collecting forage to supply his 
camp, of which it was in pressing need. On the 7th of 
October he, at the head of fifteen hundred men and ac- 
companied by Generals Riedesel, Phillips and Eraser, 
advanced toward the left wing of the American position. 
The movement was seasonably perceived by the Ameri- 
cans, and the enemy were repulsed and driven back to 
their lines by Morgan, who, at his own suggestion, was 
disi^atched by a circuitous route to gain the right of the 
British, and fall upon the flanking party of Eraser at the 
same time an attack was to be made on the left of the 
British. General Poor advanced toward an eminence 
upon which were stationed the British grenadiers and the 
artillery of Ackland and Williams. He had given his men 
orders not to fire until after the first discharge of the Brit- 
ish guns, and they moved onward toward the frowning 
battery in awful silence until a sudden volley of grape- 
shot and musket balls made havoc among the branches of 
the trees, scarcely a shot taking effect upon the advanc- 
ing column. At this signal Poor's men sprang forward 
and delivered their fire, and opening to the right and left 
pressed furiously upon the enemy's flanks and gained the 
top of the hill, where the struggle became fierce and ob- 
stinate in the extreme. One cannon was taken and re- 
taken five successive times, finally remaining in the hands 
of the Americans, when Colonel Cilly turned it upon the 
retreating enemy, and fired it with their own ammunition. 
Williams and Ackland were both taken prisoners, the lat- 
ter being severely wounded ; and the grenadiers fled in 
confusion, leaving the field in possession of the Ameri- 
cans, thickly strewn with their dead and wounded. 

As soon as the action was begun at this point Morgan's 
command rushed down like an avalanche from the ridge 
skirting the flanking party of Eraser, and assailed them 
with such a destructive fire that they were hastily driven 
back to their lines. Then, by a rapid movement, he fell 
upon the right flank of the British with such impetuosity 
as to throw them into confusion, and Major Dearborn, 
coming up at this critical moment, completed their dis- 
comfiture. The right and left of the British lines were 
thus broken, but the center had remained firm. General 
Arnold, who had so unjustly been deprived of his com- 
mand, had been watching the progress of the battle in 
great excitement, and now mounted his horse and started 
for the battle-field. Gates sent Major Armstrong to 
order him back, but Arnold, suspecting his errand, was 
quickly beyond his reach, and exposed to such perils that 
the messenger was not anxious to follow him. Placing 
himself at the head of the men he formerly commanded, 
he rushed like an unchained tiger upon the British cen- 
ter which soon began to give way under his furious as- 
sault. General Eraser, who was commanding on the 
right, seeing the center in such a critical situation, 
brought up reinforcements, and by his courage and skill 


restored order. He soon fell mortally wounded ; dismay 
seized the British soldiers, and a panic spread all along 
the line, which was increased by the appearance of Gen- 
eral Ten Broeck with a reinforcement of New York 
militia. Burgoyne, finding himself unable to keep up the 
sinking courage of his men, abandoned his artillery and 
ordered a retreat, and the whole force fell back precipi- 
tately to their intrenchraents. The Americans pursued 
them, and scarcely were they within their fortifications 
when, under a terrific shower of grape and musket balls, 
Arnold assaulted them from right to left, forcing the out- 
works, and driving the enemy to the interior of their camp. 
Here he was overtaken by Major Armstrong, who deliver- 
ed to him Gates' order to return to camp, fearing that "he 
might do some rash thing." He returned, but not until 
he had achieved a glorious victory, and put his life in 
great peril without a command,while Gates had remained 
in camp, receiving the honors that justly belonged to 
others. Night came on and the conflict ceased; before 
dawn Burgoyne abandoned his encampment, now render- 
ed untenable, and the Americans early in the morning 
took possession of it. 

Burgoyne, who in the beginning of the campaign had 
boastfully exclaimed, in general orders, "-Tritons never 
retreat," now found that there was no alternative for him 
but retreat, and when night came on again he began his 
retrograde movement in the midst of a drenching rain. 
This had been anticipated, and General Fellows, previous 
to the action on the ythinst., had been sent with a detach- 
ment to take a position opposite Saratoga ford, on the 
east side of the Hudson. Another detachment of two 
thousand men, was now sent to occupy the heights beyond 
Sarotoga, to prevent Burgoyne's retreat upon Fort Ed- 
ward; and still another was stationed at the ford above. 
On the evening of the 9th Burgoyne halted for the night 
at Fish creek. The main portion of his army forded the 
creek and encamped on the opposite bank, while he, 
with a brigade as a guard, passed the night rather merrily 
with some companions in a house belonging to General 
Schuyler. This delay lost him his army. Finding the 
ford across the Hudson strongly guarded by the detach- 
ment under Fellows, he concluded to continue his retreat 
up the river to Fort Edward. He sent forward a party 
to repair the bridges, and a detachment to take possession 
of the fort, but finding the Americans stationed in force 
upon the heights, they fell back to the main army. In 
the afternoon of the loth General Gates came up, with the 
bulk of the American army, in pursuit, and occupied the 
high ground on the south side of Fish creek, opposite the 
enemy's encampment. The detachment sent forward to 
Fort Edward led General Gates to believe the rumor that 
the main army of Burgoyne had retreated, and he re- 
solved to fall upon what he supposed was the rear guard. 
Burgoyne was aware of Gates' error, and hoping to profit 
by it concealed his troops for the purpose of falling upon 
the Americans as soon as a favorable opportunity should 
be afforded. Early the next morning, and in a thick fog, 
which both parties considered favorable to their res])ective 
designs, the army of Gates advanced. Morgan was 

ordered to cross the creek and begin the action, and at 
once fell in with the British pickets, who fired upon him 
and killed several of his party. His reception led him to 
believe that the rumor of the enemy's retreat was false; 
that the main body of Burgoyne's force was still near, and 
that the position of his own corps was critical. Another 
brigade had already crossed and captured a picket-guard, 
and another was about to follow when a deserter from 
the enemy came in, reporting that the entire British 
army was at hand, and prepared for battle, which state- 
ment was shortly after confirmed by the capture of a re- 
connoitering party. As the fog cleared away and exposed 
the position of both armies, a retreat was deemed advis- 
able by the detachments that had crossed the creek. As 
soon as they turned about, the British, who were watch- 
ing their movements and awaiting their advance, opened 
fire upon them, but they made their retreat with the loss 
of only a few men. 

Burgoyne was now completely environed. On the op- 
posite bank of the Hudson, Fellows was entrenched, with 
heavy batteries to open on him if he should attempt to 
cross the river. Fort Edward was held by an American 
force of two thousand men. On the south and west the 
main body of the Americans was posted, while small de- 
tachments were in all directions watching his every move- 
ment, and continually harrassing his outposts. His pro- 
visions were almost exhausted, and none could be ob- 
tained, and it was extremely hazardous to attempt to get 
water from the river or creek. The-e was no place of 
safety for the sick and wounded, and the women and 
children, as well as soldiers and officers, were constantly 
exposed to the cannon balls that were flying about the 
encampment. On the 12th he held a consultation with 
his generals, and it was decided to retreat that nignt, but 
the returning scouts brought such discouraging intelli- 
gence that the movement was postponed till morning. 
During the night the Americans crossed the river on 
rafts, and erected a battery on Burgoyne's left flank. 
Retreat was now hopeless. The next morning a general 
council was called, when it was unanimously decided to 
open negotiations with General Gates for an honorable 
surrender. This conclusion was hastened by the pass- 
age of a cannon ball across the table at which Burgoyne 
and other generals were seated. The negotiations were 
not completed until the i6th, when the terms of his sur- 
render were agreed upon, and were to be signed by the 
con^mander on the following morning. During the night 
a tory succeeded in reaching the British camp from down 
the river, who reported that Clinton had taken the forts 
on the Hudson and ascended the river as far as Esopus. 
This news so excited Burgoyne's hopes that he resolved 
not to sign the articles of capitulation, and to gain time 
he wrote Gates that he had been informed that a part of 
his army had been sent toward Albany, which, if true, 
should be considered a breach of faith, and that he could 
not give his signature until convinced that the strength 
of the Americans had not been misrepresented. He was 
informed by Gates that his army was as strong as it had 
been before these negotiations took place, and unless the 


articles were signed immediately he should open fire 
upon him. Burgoyne thereupon reluctantly signed the 
articles of capitulation. 

The surrender of Burgoyne was of the utmost import- 
ance to the Americans in their struggle for independence. 
The preponderance of success up to this time had been 
on the side of the British. The reverses on Long Island 
and at New York in the previous year, together with the 
recent defeats in Pennsylvania, had darkened the military 
horizon with thick clouds of doubt and dismay. AH 
eyes were now anxiouly watching the army of the north, 
which had also been forced to rehnquish Ticonderoga 
and Fort Edward at the commencement of the campaign, 
and shaded the prospect of successful resistance in that 
direction. The news of a complete victory filled the pa- 
triots with joy and hope, and appalled the tories, who 
now began to tremble. 



5HEN Burgoyne first perceived the difficulties 
gathering around him, he urged Sir Henry 
Clinton to hasten the e.xpedition up the 
Hudson to join him, but Clinton was 
obliged to wait for the arrival of reinforce- 
ments, and it was the 4th of October before he was 
ready to move. The first object to be accomp- 
lished was the reduction of Forts Montgomery and Clin- 
ton in the Highlands. These had been constructed to 
prevent the ships of the enemy from ascending the river, 
and each was indefensible in its rear, and feebly garrisoned. 
Clinton landed first at Verplanck's Point, and under 
cover of a fog dropped down with a part of his force to 
Stony Point, where he landed, and marched toward the 
forts. These were commanded by Governor George 
Clinton and his brother James. Governor Clinton, on 
learning that the enemy were moving up the river, sent 
out a scouting party to watch their movements, and from 
them lie first learned of their having landed at Stony 
Point, A small force was then sent out by him, which 
met the advance guard of the British about three 
miles out. Shots were exchanged, and the Americans 
retreated to the forts. Governor Clinton then sent out a 
stronger detachment to oppose the enemy's advance, and 
as this was soon engaged in a sharp conflict, another was 
sent to its assistance. They were pressed back by a supe- 
rior force, but not until the enemy had met with consider- 
able loss. Upon nearing the forts the British were divi- 
ded into two columns, and made a simultaneous assault 
upon them. After an incessant fire for several hours the 
British general demanded an instant and unconditional 

surrender. The proposition was rejected, and the conflict 
continued until evening, when part of the besieged fought 
their way out. Governor Clinton made his escape, and 
likewise his brother, though wounded. Fort Constitution 
was abandoned on the approach of the British, which 
gave them command of the river. A detachment under 
Vaughn and Wallace landed without much opposition 
and burned Kingston. On hearing of the disastrous 
termination of Burgoyne's campaign the expedition re- 
turned to New York. 

It was obvious that France had no sympathy with Great 
Britain, but looked upon the revolt of her colonies with 
secret satisfaction, and earnestly desired their separation 
from England. By the war which closed in 1763 she had 
been compelled to I'elinquish her extensive possessions in 
North America, and she rejoiced to have an opportunity 
to assist in the infliction of a like dismemberment of ter- 
ritory upon Great Britain. The commissioners at the 
court of Versailles from the revolted colonies, although 
not always openly countenanced, were by no means dis- 
couraged, and aid was frequently extended to the Ameri- 
cans' in a clandestine manner. When intelligence of the 
capture of Burgoyne reached France her vacillating 
policy ended, and, casting off all disguise, she entered 
into a treaty of alliance with, and on the 6tli of February, 
1778, acknowledged the independence of the United 
States. This event made the patriots almost certain of 
ultimate success. 

The Indians and tories who had been dispersed at 
Fort Schuyler were meditating mischief, and making pre- 
parations through the winter of 1777-8 to invade the 
Mohawk valley. Brant, the Indian chief who had pre- 
pared the ambuscade at Oriskany, was foremost in these 
threatening movements. Sir John Johnson and Colonel 
John Butler were also active in enlisting tory refugees. 
A council was called by the Revolutionary authorities, to 
secure, if possible, the neutraUty of the Indians. It met 
at Johnstown in March. None of the Senecas, the most 
powerful of the Six Nations, were present, and but few 
of the Mohawks. General La Fayette, who was to com- 
mand a proposed expedition against Canada, attended the 
council. His attention was called to the exposed condi- 
tion of the settlements, and he directed the building and 
strengthening of fortifications for their protection. The 
first hostile movement of Brant was the destruction of the 
small settlement of Springfield, at the head of Otsego 
lake. On the 2d of July an engagement occurred on the 
upper branch of the Cobleskill between an Indian force 
of four hundred and fifty and fifty-two Americans. The 
latter were overpowered. The Indians burned the dwel- 
lings, and slaughtered the cattle and horses they could 
not take with them. The settlers generaly were contin- 
ualy harrassed by marauding parties of Indians during 
the summer, but on the approach of winter Brant with- 
drew with his forces toward Niagara, and hostilities ap- 
parently ceased. On his way to Niagara he was met by 
Walter Butler, a fugitive from justice. He had been ar- 
rested as a spy and condemned to death, but had been 
reprieved through the intercession of friends, sent to 



Albany, and confined in prison, from which he made his 
escape. He joined his father. Col. John Butler, at Niag- 
ara, and obtained command of two hundred tories to 
unite with Brant in an incursion into the Mohawk valley. 
Upon meeting Brant he prevailed upon him to return and 
attack the settlement of Cherry Valley. Colonel Alden, 
who was in command of the fort at that place, received 
information of the intended attack, but treated it with 
unconcern. He refused to permit the settlers to move 
into the fort, believing it to be a false alarm. He, how- 
ever, assured them that he would keep scouts on the 
look-out to guard against surprise, and he did send them, 
but they fell into the hands of the savages, who extorted 
from them all necessary information respecting the situ- 
ation. On the morning of the nth of November the 
enemy entered the settlement, under cover of a thick and 
misty atmosphere, and began an indiscriminate slaughter 
of men, women, and children. The house of Mr. Wells 
of which Colonel Alden was an inmate, was surrounded, 
and the whole of the family brutally massacred. The 
colonel, in attempting to escape, was tomahawked and 
scalped. Thirty-two of the inhabitants, mostly women 
and children, and sixteen soldiers of the garrison, were 
slain in the most horrible manner. The whole settlement 
was plundered, and every house burned. Nearly forty pris- 
oners were taken, and conducted down the valley to en- 
camp for the night, promiscuously huddled together, some 
of them half naked, without shelter, and no resting-place 
but the cold ground. The next day, finding the women 
and children cumbersome, the captors sent most of them 
back. The infamous Butler was not only the author of 
this savage expedition, but he was the director of all the 
cruelty practiced. With the destruction of this settle- 
ment hostilities ceased along the frontier until the follow- 
ing spring. Through the winter Brant and his colleagues 
were making jjreparations for a renewal of their incur- 
sions, and necessity seemed to demand the infliction of 
severe punishment upon the savages who threatened to 
desolate the border settlements. Accordingly on the i8th 
of April, 1779, Colonel Van Schaick was sent out with a 
force from Fort Schuyler to make a descent upon the 
Onondagas. The expedition had approached to within a 
few miles of their villages and castle before their occu- 
pants were aware of tlie expedition against them. The 
Indians fled to the woods, leaving everything behind 
tliem, even to their arms. Their villages, three in num1)er, 
consisting of about fifty houses, were burned, and their 
provisions and cattle destroyed. The council house, or 
castle, was spared from the flames, but a swivel found in 
it was rendered useless. Thirty-three of the Indians 
were taken prisoners and twelve killed. The expedition 
then returned to Fort Schuyler, arriving on the 24th, 
having accomplished its object in six days, without the 
loss of a man. While this short catnpaign was in progress, 
the lower section of the Mohawk was visited at different 
points by scalping parties, and the settlements menaced 
with the fate of Cherry Valley. The Onondagas, fired 
with indignation at the destruction of their villages, retali- 
ated by a descent upon the settlement at Cobleskill, and 

more than twenty of the militia were killed in defending 
it. The settlement at Minisink being unprotected, Brant 
resolved to ravage it. On the night of the 19th of July, 
at the head of -i party of Indians and tories disguised as 
savages, he silently approached the town, and had set fire 
to several houses before the inhabitants were aroused to 
the danger of their situation. All who could sought 
safety in flight, leaving everything to the invaders, who 
plundered and destroyed all their property, and retired 
to Grassy Brook, where Brant had left the main body of 
his warriors. When intelligence of this outrage reached 
Goshen, Doctor Tusten, colonel of the local militia, 
ordered them to meet him at Minisink, and one hundred 
and forty-nine responded to the call. A council was 
held, and it was resolved to pursue the invaders. Colo- 
nel Tusten was opposed to such a hazardous undertak- 
ing with so small a force, but he was overruled, and the 
line of march taken up. The next morning the pursuers 
were joined by Colonel Hathorn, with a small reinforce- 
ment. On coming to the place where the Indians had 
encamped the previous night, it was obvious from the 
number of camp-fires that the force was much larger than 
had been expected, and the leading officers advised re- 
turn rather than pursuit, but their rash associates were 
determined to proceed. Soon after Captain Tyler, who 
was with a scouting party, was shot by a hidden foe, but 
this circumstance, although it gave the company some 
alarm, did not check the pursuit. When the party reach- 
ed the hill overlooking the Delaware, they saw the enemy 
marching toward the fording place near the mouth of 
the Lackawaxen. Hathorn determined to intercept 
them, and arranged his men accordingly. Hills inter- 
vened between the opposing forces, and they soon lost 
sight of each other. Brant was watching the movements 
of the whites, and anticipating their design turned as 
soon as they were lost to view, and throwing his whole 
force in their rear, formed an ambuscade. .Not finding 
the enemy where they had expected Hathorn's men were 
greatly perplexed, and retracing their steps discovered 
the Indians in an unexpected quarter and greatly superi- 
or in numbers. The latter managed to cut off from the 
main body of Hathorn's troops about one-third of his 
entire force in the commencement of the skirmish. From 
the summit of a hill the militia maintained the unequal 
conflict until their ammunition was exhausted, and then 
attempted to retreat, but only thirty succeeded in making 
their escape from their merciless enemies. When the re- 
treat began there were seventeen of the wounded behind 
a ledge of rocks under the care of Doctor Tusten, and in 
this 'helpless condition they were ruthlessly murdered, 
together with the doctor, by the Indians. 

But a fearful retribution was at hand, and soon, fell on 
the Indians with destructive force. In the spring it was 
determined to send a large expedition into the Indian 
country, and so severely chastise the savages and their 
tory allies as to discourage them from renewing their de- 
predations upon the settlements. General SuUivan was 
placed in the chief command of this expedition, the plan 
of which was a combined movement in two divisions; one 



from Pennsylvania, to ascend the Susquehanna, under 
Sullivan himself, and the other from the north, under 
General James Clinton. The two divisions were to unite 
at Tioga. On the 17th of June General Clinton com- 
menced the transportation of his boats across the coun- 
try from Canajoharie to Otsego lake, and proceeded to 
its outlet, where he awaited orders from Sullivan. While 
there he built a dam to confine the water within the 
lake, hoping by its sudden removal to render the naviga- 
tion of the river more certain in case of a long drought. 
This not only facilitated the transportation of his boats 
upon the river, but it caused an overflow of its banks 
and destroyed the corn-fields belonging to the Indians, 
who, being ignorant of the cause of their loss, were great- 
ly astonished and alarmed. General Clinton formed a 
junction with Sullivan at Tioga on the 2 2d of August, 
and the combined force moved cautiously up the Tioga 
and Chemung. On the 29th the enemy were discovered 
occupying an advantageous position near the present 
city of Elmira. The light infanfry in the advance 
formed for battle, and while waiting for the main body 
to come up skirmishing was carried on with small parties 
of Indians who would sally out from their works, fire, 
and retreat, and make the woods echo with their hideous 
war-whoops. The Indians occupied a hill on the right, 
and Sullivan ordered Poor with his brigade to flank 
them, while the main body of the army attacked them in 
front. As Poor began to ascend the hill he was fiercely 
opposed by the savages under Brant and the tories 
under Sir John Johnson. It was some hours before the 
latter began slowly to give way. Having gained the 
summit of the hill Poor moved against the enemy's left 
flank, which he soon carried, and perceiving that they 
would be surrounded they abandoned their works and 
made a precipitate retreat. Sullivan's army encamped up- 
on the battle-field that night, and the next day the wound- 
ed were sent back, together with the heavy artillery, and 
the march was resumed toward Catharine's Town, where 
the expedition arrived on the 2d of September. On the 
following day the place was destroyed, together with the 
corn-fields and orchards. The Indians fled before the in- 
vaders, who continued their work of destruction, pilla- 
ging the villages of their enemies and thus depriving them 
of all means of subsistence. On the 7th Sullivan's army 
reached Kanadaseagea, the capital of the Senecas. This 
they destroyed, as well as all the smaller villages on their 
way to the Genesee river, which was reached and crossed 
on the 14th. The Genesee castle was doomed to meet 
the fate of the rest, and the whole surrounding country, 
together with the town, which comprised 120 houses^ was 
swept as with the besom of destruction. On the i6th the 
expedition recrossed the Genesee river, and retracing their 
steps arrived at Tioga, the starting point, on the 3d of 
October. The Indians, although subjected to great suf- 
fering, were not wholly crushed by these severe losses. 
Their numerical force was but slightly reduced, and they 
retaliated upon the frontier settlements with savage ven- 
geance whenever a favorable opportunity offered. 



ARLY in June of 1779 Sir Henry Clinton con- 
ducted an expedition up the Hudson, and 
attacked two small forts, one at Stony Point, 
on the west side of the river, and the other 
at Verplank's Point, nearly opposite. The for- 
mer had only about forty men to defend it, and 
they retreated on the approach of the British ; but 
the latter, with its garrison of seventy men, resisted, and 
was captured. Washington much regretted the loss of 
tliese posts, and although they had been enlarged and 
strengthened after the British took possession of them he 
resolved to make an effort to regain them. Stony Point 
was surprised on the night of the 15th of July following, 
and after a short and fierce conflict the garrison, of more 
than five hundred men, together with the cannon and mil- 
itary stores, were captured, and the works demolished and 

In the spring of 1780 Brant was again upon the war- 
path, and with a band of Indians and tories destroyed 
Harpersfield in April. It was his design to attack the up- 
per fort of Schoharie, but on his way he captured Captain 
Harper, who represented to him that the fort had lately 
been reinforced, and he returned to Niagara with his pris- 
oners. Sir John Johnson, with a.force of five hundred 
tories and Indians, very unexpectedly appeared at John- 
stown on the night of May 21st, and the next day swept 
the country between that neighborhood and the Mohawk. 
Several persons were murdered, others taken prisoners, 
and all buildings not belonging to the tories were burned. 
On the following afternoon the party retreated toward 
Canada. On the 21st of August Canajoharie and the ad- 
jacent settlements were attacked by Brant, at the head of 
a large body of Indians and tories, who did even more 
damage than Johnson's party. 

General Benedict Arnold, wounded at the last battle 
with Burgoyne, and unable to take any active position, 
was appointed military governor of Philadelphia in the 
spring of 1778. Feeling the importance of his.station, 
and fond of making a show, he began living in such an 
extravagant manner as to become pecuniarily embarrassed; 
and rather than retrench, and live within his income, he 
resorted to a system of fraud which brought him into 
unpleasant relations with the citizens of Philadelphia. 
By order of Congress he was tried before a court-martial, 
and sentenced to the mildest form of punishment — simply 
a reprimand from the commander-in-chief. He appeared 
to acquiesce in the sentence, but his pride was wounded 
and he thirsted for revenge. While in Philadelphia he 
had married the daughter of a tory residing in that 
place. She was accustomed to receive the attentions of 
British officers during their occupancy of the city, and 



through her intimacy with Major Andre a correspondence 
had been initiated between him and Arnold, by which 
means the latter's treacherous schemes were developed, 
and culminated in a most infamous treason. Still he was 
loud in his professions of patriotism and attachment to 
his country's cause, and pretended to be anxious to again 
join his companions in the field. He solicited the com- 
mand of West Point, then the most important post in the 
possession of the Americans. Washington had assigned 
him to the command of the left wing of the army, but 
upon his repeated and earnest request the command of 
West Point was given him instead, on the 3d of August, 
1780. He established his headquarters on the opposite 
side of the river, at the house of Colonel Beverly Robin- 
son, whose property had been confiscated on account of 
his espousal of the British cause. Arnold well knew that 
Sir Henry Clinton would richly reward him for being in- 
strumental in placing West Point in his hands, and hinted 
as much to Major Andre, between whom and himself 
letters passed in disguised hand-writing and over fictitious 
signatures. In order to settle the terms of this infamous 
treachery it became necessary for Sir Henry Clinton to 
send Major Andre for a personal interview with Arnold, 
not only to agree upon the conditions of his contemplat- 
ed surrender but to guard against a counterplot. Major 
Andre sailed up the Hudson on board of the Vulture, and 
a meeting was finally effected. Near the village of Haver- 
straw resided Joshua H. Smith, who was duped by Arnold 
to assist in carrying out his designs. It was he who 
brought Major Andre on shore, where Arnold was await- 
ing him, and concealed in a thicket they plotted the ruin 
of the patriot cause from about midnight until day began 
to dawn, and then repaired to Smith's house to complete 
their plans. Arnold was to receive ten thousand pounds 
and the office of Brigadier-General in the British army, 
while West Point was to be given up on the approach of 
the English fleet. Major Andre was supplied with papers 
explaining the military condition of the fort, which were 
concealed in his stockings; while a pass was given him 
under the name of John Anderson. In the morning a 
cannonade was opened upon the Vulture, and she was 
obliged to fall farther down the river, which reminded 
Andre of the fact that he was within the American lines. 
Smith's fears were so much aroused that he refused to 
convey him by boat to the Vulture, but offered to accom- 
pany him a considerable distance by a land route. They 
crossed the river and proceeded toward White Plains. 
Near Pines Bridge they parted, and Andre continued his 
journey alone. When near Tarrytown he was stopped 
by three militiamen, who were watching for stragglers 
from the British lines. From what they said to him he 
was led to believe they were loyalists, whereupon he 
avowed himself a British officer, but upon discovering his 
mistake he presented Arnold's pass, and endeavored to 
explain his previous statements; they insisted upon 
searching him, and he was forced to submit, and the im- 
portant papers were found. His liberal offers of money 
if they would release him were of no avail, and he was 
conducted to tne nearest military post. 

On the same morning that Washington arrived at Ar- 
nold's head-quarters from Hartford, where he had been to 
confer with some French officers, Arnold received intel- 
ligence of Andre's arrest, and hastening to his barge made 
his escape to the Vulture. He was apprised that Wash- 
ington would soon be at his quarters, and left orders to 
inform him that he had gone over to West Point, and 
would soon return. AVashington arrived shortly after, 
and crossing over to West Point found, to his surprise, 
that Arnold had not been there. After spending some 
time in examining the works he returned, when the papers 
wliich had been found upon Andre were placed in his 
hands and the whole conspiracy revealed. An immediate 
pursuit to overtake the traitor was made, but it was too 
late to prevent his escape. Unfortunate Andre was tried 
by a court of fourteen generals, convicted of being a spy, 
sentenced, and executed. Arnold wreaked his malice on 
the Americans by devastating different parts of the 
country during the war. After its close he went to 
England, where he was shunned and despised by all 
honorable men. 

On the isth of October, .1780, a large party of tories 
and Indians, under Sir John Johnson and Brant, invaded 
the Mohawk valley by way of Schoharie creek, destroying 
the settlements on the way to Fort Hunter, and thence 
up the Mohawk on both sides. As soon as intelligence 
of this invasion reached Albany General Van Rensselaer 
marched against them with a body of militia. Colonel 
Brown was stationed at Fort Paris, and receiving orders 
from Van Rensselaer to attack the enemy promptly 
obeyed, but his small force was dispersed, and himself 
and forty of his men slain. Van Rensselaer, after great 
delay, attacked and routed the invaders, who fled and 
succeeded in making their escape to Canada. The Mo- 
hawk valley continued to be devastated by the savage foe. 
On the 9th of July, 1781, Currytown was attacked by a 
party of more than three hundred Indians, commanded 
by a tory named Doxstader. They were pursued by 
Colonel Willett, and in a battle forty of their number 
were slain and the others routed. On the 24th of Octo- 
ber Major Ross and Walter Butler, at the head of nearly 
a thousand men, consisting of British regulars, Indians 
and tories, made a sudden descent into the Mohawk val- 
ley and began a work of plunder and devastation. They 
were met by Colonels Willett and Rowley near Johnstown, 
and a sharp engagement ensued, lasting till dark, when 
the enemy fled. They were pursued, and at Canadacreek 
another skirmish took place, wherein the cruel and infa- 
mous Butler was slain. Upon his fall their whole force 
fled in the utmost confusion. This was the final invasion 
of the Mohawk valley, and their flight the closing scene 
in one of the most terrible warfares on record. 

While menacing an attack on New York, Washington 
carefully withdrew from the Hudson to attack Cornwallis 
in his devastating march through the South, and was far 
on his way to Virginia before Sir Henry Clinton was 
aware of the movement. Cornwallis was besieged at 
Yorktown, and compelled to surrender his whole army 
on the 19th of October, 1781. This virtually closed the 



war. Sir Guy Carlton was sent to take the command of 
the British forces in place of Sir Henry Clinton, with 
directions to open negotiations for peace. A provisional 
treaty was signed on the 30th of November, 1782, and a 
definitive treaty, recognizing the independence of the 
United States, was concluded at Paris, September 3d, 
1783. On the 2Sth of November the British troops took 
their final departure from the city of New York, and on 
the same day Washington entered it with his army, amid 
the joyous acclamations of the emancipated people. 
Never, perhaps, was peace more welcome, for the long 
war had been a terrible ordeal for the patriots, and we 
who are living in peace and plenty, so far removed by the 
wheels of time from that eventful period, are not likely 
to properly estimate their endurance of great and con- 
tinued sufferings, nor fully appreciate the liberties they 
obtained at so great a sacrifice, and bequeathed to suc- 
ceeding generations. 

The United States having been recognized as an inde- 
pendent nation, it was early perceived that the powers 
conferred upon Congress by the Articles of Confederation 
were in many essential respects inadequate to the objects 
of an effective national government. The States had been 
leagued together for a particular purpose, but retained 
their individual sovereignty, and Congress had no power 
to compel them to obey its mandates. The people were 
losing their regard for the authority of Congress ; its rec- 
ommendations for the liquidation of the debts incurred 
by the war were not promptly complied with, and finan- 
cial and commercial affairs were falling into serious de- 
rangement. Each State being independent of the others 
in the confederacy, jealousies would naturally arise, and 
without concerted action on the part of the States it was 
almost impossible to collect revenue. In view of these 
increasing evils the leading minds of the country desired 
a closer union of the States under a general government. 
A convention was held at Annapolis, in September, 1786, 
to take into consideration the establishment of a general 
tariff on imports and a uniform system of commercial 
regulations. Commissioners were present, however, from 
only five States, among which was New York, represented 
by Alexander Hamilton. They recommended the calling 
of a convention of delegates from the several States in 
May following, and transmitted a report of their conclu- 
sions to Congress. Their recommendations were adopt- 
ed by Congress, and that body deemed it expedient that 
the delegates shoidd be instructed to revise the Articles 
of Confederation and report to Congress and the several 
State Legislatures such amendments and provision as 
should seem adequate to the exigencies of the government. 
All the States except Rhode Island were represented in 
the convention, which was held at Philadelphia. Believ- 
ing that the Articles of Confederation were so defective 
as to be wholly inadequate to the wants of the country 
the delegates went to work to form a new constitution. 
Its plan was generally approved, but there were many in 
the convention who looked upon the preservation of State 
sovereignty as pre-eminently essential, and regarded the 
proposed change in this particular as an infringement of 

State rights. The delegates from New York, upon their 
appointment, had been restricted to the revision of the 
existing Articles of Confederation; and when the conven- 
tion decided to provide a new constitution they, with the 
exception of Alexander Hamilton, withdrew. That body 
then proceeded to form a constitution, which was adopt- 
ed and submitted to the several States for approval, the 
assent of nine being required for its ratification. A spir- 
ited contest ensued in the State of New York between its 
advocates and opponents, the latter being in the ascen- 
dancy ; but having been adopted by the requisite number 
of States, it was ratified in convention by the State of 
New York by a close vote on the 26th of July, 1788, but 
with the recommendation of several amendments which 
however, were not adopted. The city of New York was 
chosen for the seat of the federal government, and George 
Washington was elected President. 

The difficulties relative to the New Hampshire grants 
still continued. A convention of the people in that dis- 
puted territory in 1777 declared it an independent State, 
and petitioned Congress for admission into the confeder- 
acy. New York thereupon sought the interposition of 
Congress in her behalf, and that body recognized her 
claims ; but the people interested in the New Hampshire 
grants were determined to maintain their independence, 
and during the following year organized a State govern- 
ment. This revived the discord, which had remained in- 
active since the breaking out of the war, and so great was 
the hatred of the New Hampshire people toward the State 
of New York, that rather than be subject to her jurisdic- 
tion they chose to return to their allegiance to Great 
Britain, and were secretly negotiating with the British to 
become a colony under the crown ; but before the con- 
spiracy was fully matured it was interrupted by the cap- 
ture of Cornwallis. Hostile feelings continued after the 
war, but in 1790 the difficulties were amicably adjusted. 
New York, on receiving a stipulated sum for the extinc- 
tion of land claims, relinquished her jurisdiction, and in 
the following year the disputed territory was admitted in- 
to the Union, under the name of Vermont. 

Large tracts of wild land were in possession of the State 
of New York at the termination of the war. In 1786 the 
State granted two tracts to Massachusetts, to satisfy cer- 
tain antiquated claims of that State, but retained her sov- 
ereignty over the ceded territory. The largest of these 
tracts, known as the Genesee country, embraced the 
western part of the State, and was designated by a line 
running south from Sodus Bay on Lake Ontario to Penn- 
sylvania. The other embraced a portion of the present 
counties of Tioga and Broome. Land commissioners of 
the State, a few years later, authorized by an act of the 
Legislature, disposed of large tracts of land in the north- 
ern part of the State for very small considerations. The 
largest and most important of these was that granted to 
Alexander Macomb, containing upward of three and a 
half millions of acres, at about eighteen pence per acre. 

In 1791 the Legislature ordered an exploration and sur- 
vey to ascertain the most eligible method of removing 
obstructions from the Mohawk and Hudson rivers, with 



a view to improving their navigation by the construction 
of canals. The following year two companies were in- 
corporated, styled the Northern and Western Inland Lock 
Navigation Companies, for the purpose of facilitating 
navigation by connecting by canals Lake Ontario with 
the Mohawk and Lake Champlain with the Hudson. 

Governor Clinton in 1795 having declined to be a can- 
didate for re-election, John Jay was chosen as his success- 
or. The State was now rapidly gaining in population, 
and in 1800 had nearly six hundred thousand inhabitants. 
By an act of the Legislature a convention was called to a- 
mend the State Constitution in regard to the appointment 
of members of the Legislature. This body convened in 
1801, chose Colonel Aaron Burr to preside over it, and 
fixed the number of Assemblymen at 100. In 1801 George 
Clinton was again elected to the governorship, which of- 
fice he held until 1804, when he was chosen Vice-Presi- 
dent of the United States, and Morgan Lewis was elected 
his successor. At this time Aaron Burr was holding the 
office of Vice-President, and failing to receive the nomi- 
nation for re-election was nominated by his friends for 
the office of governor of New York. Mortified and 
chagrined at his defeat, he sought revenge upon those 
who had been the most prominent and influential in caus- 
ing it. He regarded the influence of Alexander Hamilton 
as having contributtd largely to his failure, and in des- 
peration at his blighted political prospects determined to 
wreak his vengeance upon him. An excuse was present- 
ed by Hamilton's expressing political views antagonistic 
to his own, which having been reported to him in a dis- 
torted form he chose to consider as personal, and chal- 
lenged him. The challenge was accepted and the duel 
fought, Hamilton falling mortally wounded at the first 
exchange of shots. His deplorable death produced a 
gloomy feeling throughout the country, as his brilliant 
talents and unexceptionable character had won ,for him 
the esteem of the whole community. After this occur- 
rence Burr visited the Western States and engaged in 
treasonable schemes for detaching them from their pres- 
ent political associations, to form, in conjunction with 
Mexico, a separate government. He was arrested and 
tried for treason, but escaped conviction for want of 
sufficient proof. All confidence in his integrity, how- 
ever, was lost, and the remainder of his life was passed 
in comparative obscurity. In 1807 Daniel D. Tompkins 
was elected to succeed Morgan Lewis as Governor of 
New York. In this year Robert Fulton completed the 
Clermont, the first boat that ever succeeded in steam 
navigation. It was launched at Jersey City, and made 
its trial trip up the Hudson to Albany. 

Great Britain and France being at war, the former by 
a series of " Orders in Council " prohibited vessels of 
neutral nations from trading with France or her allies 
and in retaliation Napoleon proclaimed the notable Ber- 
lin an Milan decrees, forbidding all trade with England 
and her colonies. The effects of these ordinances were 
very injurious to American commerce ; and in conse- 
quence thereof Congress, on the 23d of September, 1807, 
laid an embargo on all vessels in the harbors of the 

United States, which bore heavily on the mercantile 
interests of the country, and excited considerable oppo- 



1 HE country was now rapidly drifting into an- 
other conflict with Great Britain. The ag- 
gressions of the British had for several years 
been a subject of great anxiety and bitter 
animosity, which continually increased. Although 
the United States maintained a strict neutrality 
while the Napoleonic wars were raging between 
Great Britain and France, their rights as a neutral nation 
were disregarded. The embargo laid by Congress upon 
the shipping in American ports was found so injurious to 
commercial interests that it was repealed, and a non- 
intercourse act passed in its place. In April, 1809, the 
English ambassador at Washington opened negotiations 
for the adjustment of the existing difficulties, and con- 
sented to the withdrawal of the obnoxious " Orders in 
Council " so far as respected the United States, on con- 
dition that they should repeal the act prohibiting inter- 
course with Great Britain. Upon this basis an agree- 
ment was effected, when the President issued a procla- 
mation declaring that as it had been officially communi- 
cated to the United States that the " Orders in Council " 
would be repealed on the loth of June, trade might be 
resumed with Great Britain after that date. As soon as 
intelligence of this agreement on the part of their am- 
bassador reached the English government, the latter re- 
fused to ratify it on the ground that he had exceeded hi's 
instructions, and immediately recalled him. The procla- 
mation of the President was then revoked, and the two 
governments resumed their former relations. In addition 
to other injuries and encroachments upon the rights of 
the United States as neutrals, the English government 
claimed the right to search American vessels, and author- 
ized its officers to examine their crews, seize all whom 
they chose to regard as British subjects, and force them 
into their service. All remonstrances were unavailing. 
The English officers in enforcing this right of search 
committed great outrages, and the practice became so 
obnoxious as to demand some decided measures for its 
suppression. Under these circumstances there appeared 
to be no alternative but war, and Congress having au- 
thorized it, war was declared against Great Britain on the 
19th of June, 181 2. The measure, however, was far 
from being universally sustained. The Federal party, 
then in the minority, opposed it, and their political opin- 
ions being apparently stronger than their patriotism, they 



loudly denounced it. It was also but feebly sustained by 
a portion of the Democratic party, not on political 
grounds, but from the belief that the coimtry was unpre- 
pared for war. New York and New England were most 
prominent in their opposition, and if they did not direct- 
ly aid the enemy their conduct was discouraging and in- 
jurious to those who were perilling their lives in their 
country's cause. 

The Americans, deeming it expedient to invade 
Canada, directed their attention at once toward that 
point, and measures were taken to collect forces along 
the northern frontier of New York, and westward to 
Michigan. They were distributed in three divisions. 
The eastern rendezvoused in the vicinity of Plattsburg, 
on the western shore of Lake Champlain. The central 
was under the command of General Stephen Van Rens- 
selaer, who made his headquarters at Lewiston, on the 
Niagara river ; and the northwestern division assembled 
at Detroit. In connection with these armaments a naval 
force was fitted up on the lakes, the command of which 
was assigned to Commodore Chauncey. In July a small 
British fleet made an attack upon Sackett's Harbor, on 
Lake Ontario, which was defended by Lieutenant Wool- 
sey, who, from a battery arranged on the shore, so dis- 
abled the hostile fleet that it withdrew. In October an 
attack on Ogdensburg by a British fleet was repulsed by 
General Brown. In the same month Lieutenant Elliott, 
by a bold movement, captured at the foot of Lake Erie 
the British vessel "Caledonia,'' laden with a valuable 
cargo of furs, while she lay in fancied security, protected 
by the guns of a British fort. 

After the inglorious surrender of Gen. Hull at Detroit, 
the next offensive movement on the part of the Ameri- 
cans was assigned to the central division, which was 
eager to offset Hull's disgrace by a brilliant achieve- 
ment. An attack on the heights of Queenston was de- 
cided on, and was made October 13th. With inadequate 
means of transportation about a thousand men were 
transferred to the Canadian bank of the Niagara, drove 
the British from their batteries, and took the heights. 
Gen, Brock rallied the enemy and attemjited to recap- 
ture the position, but was mortally wounded and his 
force repulsed. The Americans, however, were unable 
to hold their ground against the British reinforcements 
which were brought up, having no implements for forti- 
fication; and the militia who had not yet crossed the 
river became panic-stricken on seeing some of the 
wounded brought over, and refused to go to the aid of 
their outnumbered comrades. The latter were there- 
fore overwhelmed and forced to surrender, after having 
about sixty killed and a hundred wounded. 

Nothing save a little skirmishing occurred in .this 
quarter during the remainder of the year. The disgrace 
which had fallen upon the American arms on land this 
year was alleviated to a considerable extent, however, 
by their splendid triumphs on the water. Soon after the 
new year had been ushered in, the sanguinary conflict at 
Frenchtown, on the Raisin river, took place, resulting in 
the surrender of the American forces. The prisoners 

taken on this occasion were left to be tortured by the bar- 
barous Indians under Proctor, the infamous com- 
mander, in direct violation of his pledge for their safety. 
Several persons in St. Lawrence county were arrested by 
the British authorities and confined in Canada on charges 
of desertion. On the 7th of February Captain Forsyth, 
the commander of the post at Ogdensburg, crossed to the 
Canadian shore with a small force, and captured about 
fifty prisoners and some military stores. In retaliation 
Colonell McDonnell, on the 22d of the same month, 
crossed the river with a considerable force and attacked 
Ogdensburg. Only a feeble garrison was stationed there 
for its protection; but this, with the aid of the citizens, 
defended the town gallantly, although they were finally 
obliged to abandon it to the invaders. A large quantity of 
mihtary storescame into the enemy's possession, several 
vessels were destroyed, and considerable damage was 
done to the property of the citizens. 

General Dearborn had been entrusted with the com- 
mand of the central division, and on the 25th of April 
detached a force of seventeen hundred men, under 
General Pike, for a descent upon Toronto, then known 
as York. They embarked at Sackett's Harbor on board 
the squadron of Commodore Chauncey, and landed on the 
27th in the vicinity of York in the face of a spirited fire 
from the enemy, whom they soon drove back. The 
British before leaving their fortifications had laid a train 
of combustible matter, and connecting it with their maga- 
zine thus plotted the destruction of the invaders. The 
scheme was in part successful, for the Americans took 
the redoubts as they advanced, and when within about 
fifty rods of the barracks the explosion took place. 
General Pike was mortally wounded, and about two 
hundred of his follo\yers either killed or injured. The 
troops were appalled at this disaster; but at the order of 
their dying commander they sprang forward and cap- 
tured a part of the retreating enemy, and drove the re- 
mainder from the field. After the capture of Toronto 
the S(|uadron returned, and preparations were made for 
an attack upon Fort George, on the Niagara river, near 
Lake Ontario. A descent was made upon this point on 
the 27th of May, and although meeting a stout resist- 
ance was in the end successful. On the landing of the 
troops Colonel Scott advanced to attack an advantageous 
position held by the enemy, and after a sharp conflict 
succeeded in dislodging them. General Vincent, the 
British commander, in alarm, ordered the evacuation of 
the remaining posts on the Niagara frontier, and on re- 
treating from Fort George caused the magazine to be 
blown up. The greater part of the garrison made their 
escape, but nearly four hundred regulars and five hun- 
dred militia were made prisoners. General Vincent re- 
treated with the view of taking a position on Burlington 
Heights, and was followed by a detachment of the Ameri- 
cans; but the British turned and attacked their pursuers 
in the night, and succeeded in capturing their generals, 
and further pursuit was abandoned. Colonel Boerstler 
was detached with a force of about six hundred men to 
dislodge a body of the enemy stationed at Beaver Dam, 



about seventeen miles from Fort George. Arriving in the 
viciniiy of that place he was attacked by a body of In- 
dians in ambush, who kept up a conflict in their skulking 
manner until the arrival of a reinforcement of British 
troops. The British officer then sent a summons to the 
colonel to surrender, at the same time magnifying the 
number of his troops. Colonel Boerstler believing that 
he had a superior force to contend with, and unable to 
obtain a reinforcement, surrendered his detachment as 
prisoners of war. 

During these offensive operations on the part of the 
Americans, like expeditions were undertaken by the Brit- 
ish. The force at Sackett's Harbor having been reduced 
to aid the expedition along the Niagara river, and the 
fleet of Commodore Chauncey being at Fort George, Sir 
George Prevost made an attempt to take the former post. 
On the 29th of May he appeared before the place with a 
force of about one thousand men. It had been left in 
command of Colonel Backus, who, aided by General 
Brown, so successfully resisted the onslaught that the 
enemy, after sustaining considerable loss, withdrew. This 
affair was followed by considerable skirmishing along the 
American side of Lake Ontario, and on the nth of July 
Colonel Bishop made an attack upon the village of Black 
Rock, on the east side of the Niagara river. In this con- 
flict the British force was repulsed with considerable loss, 
and their leader mortally wounded. 

Meanwhile Commodore Perry was preparing to dis- 
pute the control of Lake Erie with the enemy. The 
Americans had no efficient force upon that lake, and 
Perry, by unremitting exertions, built and equipped a 
fleet of nine vessels. Of these the Lawrence and the 
Niagara each carried twenty guns, and the whole fleet 
but fifty-four. The British fleet, under Commodore 
Barclay, consisted of six vessels, carrying sixty-three 
guns. On the loth of September, the British comman- 
der approached the American fleet with his vessels array- 
ed in battle order, and Perry at once prepared for action. 
With his flag-ship, the Lawrence, he advanced to meet 
the enemy, and maintained an unequal conflict until his 
ship was reduced to a complete wreck, and nearly all of 
her crew either killed or wounded. At this juncture, 
and when the enemy had a fair prospect of obtaining a 
briliant victory, Captain Elliot, commander of the Niag 
ara, who had perceived the crippled and unmanageable 
condition of the Lawrence, moved forward to her aid, and 
Perry, although exposed to a continuous fire from the 
enemy, sprang into a boat and proceeded to the Niagara, 
to which he transferred his flag. The action was then 
renewed with great vigor by the remainder of the Ameri- 
can squadron. They passed fearlessly among the ene- 
my's ships, dealing such a destructive fire upon them that 
the whole fleet soon after surrendered. 

This important and brilliant victory was followed by 
one under General Harrison, commander of the north- 
western division, who on the 5th of October defeated 
General Proctor at the battle of the Thames. By these 
victories the territory of Michigan, which had been so 
ingloriously surrendered by General Hull at the com- 

mencement of the war, was regained. Late in the 
autumn of this year an unsuccessful attempt was made to 
invade Canada, under the direction of General Wilkin- 
son, who had succeeded Dearborn in the chief command 
of the northern army. The American Generals Izard 
and Hampton were repulsed near the border in Franklin 
county. General Wilkinson descended the St. Lawrence, 
and on the 19th of November, at Chrystler's Farm, near 
Williamsburg, an indecisive engagement took place, the 
Americans retreating to their boats, and abandoning fur- 
ther operations. 

The forces on the Niagara frontier had been so much 
reduced that they were inadequate for its defense after 
the British were reinforced by General Drummond. 
General McClure, finding he would be obliged to abandon 
Fort George, removed his military stores, and unnecessa- 
rily inflicted great distress upon the citizens of the villa- 
ges of Queenston and Newark, reducing the latter place 
to ashes. The British soon after retaliated by a series of 
cruel barbarities along the Niagara frontier. On the 19th 
of December a successful attack was made upon Fort 
Niagara, and a large share of the garrison, together with 
the hospital patients, were put to death without mercy. 
General Rial, with a detachment of Royal Scots and a 
large body of Indians, crossed the river, plundered and 
burned Lewiston, and inflicted barbarous cruelties upon 
the defenseless inhabitants. Youngstown, Manchester, 
Schlosser, and the Indian village of Tuscarora were de- 
vastated in the same manner. On the 30th of this month 
an engagement took place near the village of Black Rock, 
between General Rial's force and the militia, resulting in 
the repulse of the latter under General Hall. The villages 
of Black Rock and Buffalo were abandoned by the 
Americans, and speedily destroyed by the invaders. 

In February, 1814, General Wilkinson dispatched a 
part of his army to Sackett's Harbor, and removed from 
French Mills to Plattsburg. The British had collected 
a strong force at La Colle Mills, on the Sorel, and Gener- 
al Wilkinson resolved to dislodge them. On the 30th of 
March he crossed the frontier and commenced the at- 
tack, but was repulsed and withdrew with his force to 
Plattsburg. In consequence of this failure he was re- 
moved from his command. General Izard succeeding 

The military stores deposited at Oswego Falls attracted 
the attention of the British, and with a view of capturing 
them a British squadron appeared before Oswego. As 
soon as it was discovered information was sent to Captain 
Woolsey of the navy, and the militia gathered under 
Colonel Mitchell and gave the enemy such a spirited re- 
ception from a battery prepared on the shore that boats 
approaching found it prudent to return to their ships. 
The fleet advanced, and the American force of only about 
three hundred defended their positions for several hours. 
A landing was finally effected, and the little band, having 
maintained their ground as long as it was possible against 
a vastly superior force, withdrew towards the Falls to 
defend the stores, destroying the bridges in their rear. 
The British disabled the ordnance of the fort, and on 



learning that the bridges had been destroyed returned to 
Kingston. It was deemed prudent, however, to remove 
the stores thus preserved to Sackett's Harbor, and Cap- 
tain Woolsey, aided by a body of riflemen and Indians, 
set out for the accomplishment of this object. The Brit- 
ish admiral was apprised of the movement, and learning 
their destination through the treachery of a boatman, 
dispatched a force to intercept them. On the approach 
of the enemy, Captain Woolsey's force put into Sandy 
Creek, and Major Appling was landed with his troops, 
which he concealed in ambush. The enemy followed 
and landed a detachment to pursue them. The British 
having ascended the bank of the creek to the place of 
concealment of Major Appling's men, the latter arose and 
opened such a destructive fire upon them that they fell 
back in confusion and left Captain Woolsey's expedition 
to proceed to its destination without further molestation. 

On the 3d of July, 1814, Fort Erie, on the west bank of 
the Niagara, where it leaves Lake Erie, was surrendered 
to an American force of 3,500 under General Brown, who 
then moved on to Chippewa. Here they met and de- 
feated the enemy in a general action, the latter retreating 
to Fort George, at the mouth of the river. The Ameri- 
cans pursued as far as Queenston Heights, whence they 
returned to Chippewa. 

On the 25th General Scott's brigade, while reconnoiter- 
ing in force, encountered the entire British army advan- 
tageously posted, and the battle of Lundy's Lane occur- 
red. The brigade of General Ripley came to the relief 
of Scott's when the latter had maintained the engagement 
into the evening, and after the brilliant capture of a 
British battery the enemy gave up the field. The losses 
were exceedingly severe on both sides. 

The next day the Americans broke up their camp and 
retired to Fort Erie unmolested. Here they immediately 
proceeded to strengthen their defenses. On the 4th of 
August the enemy, having been reinforced, appeared and 
invested the fort, then commanded by General Gaines. 
On the 7 th they opened fire upon the American lines, and 
before dawn on the isth a combined and furious assault 
was commenced. In their attack on the left of the 
American hnes the enemy were repulsed four times with 
heavy loss, and on the right they met with no better suc- 
cess. In the center the conflict was desperate in the ex- 
treme, and the enemy finally succeeded in gaining posses- 
sion of the bastion, but their advance was suddenly check- 
ed by its explosion, and the combat shortly after ended 
in their defeat at every point. They retreated to their 
camp with broken columns, having sustained a loss of 
nearly a thousand- men. The Americans continued to 
strengthen their defenses, and both armies were rein- 
forced. General' Brown, having recovered from his 
wounds, resumed the command, and finding the enemy 
were intent on prosecuting the siege, determined to make 
a sortie to dislodge them and destroy their works. The 
British force consisted of three brigades, each of which, 
in its turn, was stationed at the batteries, while the others 
remained at their encampment about two miles distant. 
The object in making the sortie was to defeat the brigade 

on duty before it could be reinforced. On the 17 th of 
September the sortie was made, and resulted in the cap- 
ture of the British batteries and the destruction of their 
fortifications. A few days afterward General Drummond 
left his encampment before the fort, and returned to 
Chippewa. No further offensive opera:tions were carried 
on in this quarter, and a few weeks later the fort was de- 
molished and the troops withdrawn to the American 

While this siege was in progress, hostile movements of 
greater magnitude were being made in other sections of 
the country. The British army had been strongly rein- 
forced during the summer ; the city of Washington had 
been captured and the public buildings destroyed, and 
the entire coast was held in a state of blockade by their 
fleet. They contemplated a dismemberment of the 
Union by obtaining possession of Lake Champlain and 
the Hudson from the north, and capturing the city of 
New York ; beheving that a division of the Republic 
would thus be accomplished and a separate peace con- 
cluded with the Eastern States, whose discontent and 
opposition to the war were manifest. The people were 
now fully aroused, and measures were immediately 
taken for the defense of New York. Its fortifications 
were strengthened and strongly garrisoned. The inva- 
sion of New York by the way of Lake Champlain was 
entrusted to General Prevost with about fourteen thou- 
sand veteran troops from Wellington's army, and the aid 
of a strong fleet carrying ninety guns. To oppose this 
formidable armament General Macomb, at Plattsburg, 
had only fifteen hundred regular troops and about three 
thousand militia, hastily collected and undisciplined. 
Commodore McDonough, by almost incredible exertions, 
had in a short time constructed a fleet carrying sixty-six 
guns. General Izard had transferred a large portion of 
the troops from this quarter to the Niagara frontier. 
Knowing the weakness of the American force at Platts- 
burg, General Prevost hastily organized and put his army 
in motion before the fleet was ready for co-operation, and 
on the 6th of September his advance reached Beekmans- 
town, where their progress was disputed by a body of 
militia and a few regulars, who, however, soon retreated 
toward Plattsburg, and tearing up the bridge over the 
Saranac entered their entrenched camp. The British ad- 
vanced, and having taken possession of some buildings 
near the river attempted to cross ; but they were met 
with a. shower of hot shot which proved so annoying 
that they contented themselves with preparing for an as- 
sault upon the fortifications. On the morning of the 
nth the British fleet under Commodore Downie was 
seen advancing in Hne of battle, to engage the Ameri- 
can ships at anchor in the bay off Plattsburg. A fierce 
and determined conflict followed, and in less than three 
hours the whole British fleet, excepting a part of the gal- 
leys, which had made their escape, surrendered. Simul- 
taneously with the naval engagement General Prevost 
opened his batteries on the American lines, and at- 
tempted to force a passage of the Saranac at three differ- 
ent points, but at each place his troops were repulsed 



with great loss. On the surrender of the fleet, in sight of 
both armies, further efforts to cross the river were aban- 
doned. When night came on, General Prevost, in great 
alarm, made a precipitate retreat from the town, leaving 
behind his sick and wounded, together with a large quan- 
tity of military stores. This expedition was the last un- 
dertaken for the invasion of this frontier, and its signal 
defeat materially aided in bringing the war to a close. 
On the 24th of December a treaty of peace was conclu- 
ded at Ghent, but before the welcome news had reached 
our shores the British met with another disastrous de- 
feat at New Orleans. 




HE construction of the Erie and Champlain 
canals, which had been projected just at the 
breaking out of the war, had been virtually 
abandoned by the repeal of the act authoriz- 
ing the commissioners to borrow funds for 
the prosecution of the work. But on the termina- 
tion of the war the policy was revived, and the 'at- 
tention of the people was again called to this great under- 
taking. The difificulties of the enterprise however, were 
formidable. The late war had drawn heavily upon the 
State treasury. The preliminary measures for the con- 
struction of the canals had already been attended with 
considerable expense, and the people were loth to en- 
gage in an enterprise which they plainly foresaw would 
be so insatiable in its demands upon the public treasury. 
They were therefore slow to encourage additional- legis- 
lation for its prosecution, but through the untiring energy 
and perseverance of De Witt Clinton an act prepared by 
him was passed in April, 1817, authorizing the construc- 
tion of the work. Governor Tompkins, having been 
elected Vice-President of the United States, resigned his 
office as governor ; and in April De Witt Clinton, the ar 
dent and zealous advocate of the system of internal im- 
provements, was elected to succeed him. On the 4th of 
July, 1817, the Erie Canal was commenced at Rome, and 
in October, 1817, that portion of it between Utica and 
Rome was opened to navigation. 

In 1821 an act was passed by the Legislature authoriz- 
ing a convention to be called to revise the State constitu- 
tion. This convention met at Albany, and after a 
lengthy session adopted a constitution, which was subse- 
quently ratified by the people, and under its provisions 
the State was governed for a quarter of a century. By 
the new constitution the time of holding the State elec- 
tions was changed from April to November, and the offi- 
cers elected were to enter upon their official duties on 
the ist of January. Joseph A. Yates was elected gov- 

ernor in 1822, and was succeeded in 1824 by De Witt 
Clinton. The Erie Canal having been completed, the 
first flotilla of canal boats left Buffalo for New York on 
the 26th of October, 1825. Intelligence of its departure 
was communicated to New York in one hour and twenty 
minutes by the discharge of cannon stationed at points 
within hearing distance of each other along the entire 
route. The occasion was celebrated with great rejoicing 
throughout the State. 

The first State charter for the construction of a railroad 
was granted in 1826. Tne points to be connected were 
Albany and Schenectady, and the road was completed in 
1831. Although the road was but rudely constructed, 
the advantages of this new mode of transportation were 
so obvious that railroads were soon after proj-ected in va- 
rious parts of the State. 

On the evening of February nth, 1828, Governor Clin- 
ton suddenly expired. This unexpected and sad event 
was deeply lamented throughout the community. Amid 
discouragements of every kind, and of a magnitude that 
would have filled ordinary men with dismay, he had per- 
severed with unflagging energy, and accomplished mea- 
sures which in succeeding years proved eminently bene- 
ficial to the best interests of the State. On the death of 
Clinton, Nathaniel Pitcher, then lieutenant-governor, suc- 
ceeded to the governorship for the remainder of the term, 
and in November Martin Van Buren was elected to suc- 
ceed him. In March following Van Buren was appoint- 
ed to an office in President Jackson's cabinet, and resign- 
ed the governorship, which devolved upon Enos T. 
Throop, who was elected to the office at the succeeding 
election in 1830. 

In February, 1832, the State Agricultural Society was 
formed at a convention of its friends in Albany, but re- 
ceived no support from the State until it was reorganized 
in 1841, and measures were adopted for raising funds and 
holding annual fairs. In April, 1832, an act was passed 
chartering a company to construct the New York and 
Erie Railway, and four years later the comptroller was 
directed to issue State bonds to the amount of $3,000,000 
to aid the enterprise. In November, 1832, William L. 
Marcy was elected to succed Throop as governor of the 
State. In 1833 a legislative act was passed authorizing 
the construction of the Chenango Canal, connecting the 
Erie Canal at Utica with the Susquehanna river at Bing- 
hamton. In April, 1835, the Legislature passed an act 
by which the schools in the State were to be provided 
with libraries. Near the close of this year a great confla- 
gration occurred in New York city, consuming property 
to the amount of eighteen millions of dollars. 

In 1838 Wm. H. Seward was elected governor of the 
State, and in 1842 was succeeded by William C. Bouck. 
After the death of the patroon Stephen Van Rensselaer, 
disturbances arose in Rensselaer, Albany, and other coun- 
ties from the tenants refusing to fulfill the obligation of 
their leases, which in 1844 assumed serious aspects. The 
tenants organized and arrayed themselves in opposition 
to the enforcement of legal proceedings, and outrages 
were often committed upon executive officers in the dis- 


charge of their duties. Many of the tenants on the Van 
Rensselaer manor were seriously aggrieved by the de- 
mands of their landlords under the provisions of ancient 
leases, which for a long time had been suspended and the 
revival and enforcement of which threatened to ruin them. 
Silas Wright was elected governor in November, 1844, 
and on assuming the duties of chief magistrate in Janu- 
ary following called the attention of the Legislature to 
these anti-rent outrages, which continued to increase. 
Stringent laws were passed for the punishment of offend- 
ers ; but the excitement still prevailed, and lawless acts 
were committed by members of an organization of anti- 
renters disguised as Indians. These occurred so fre- 
quently that it became necessary to order out the military 
to suppress the insurrection. In 1846 the Legislature 
passed laws to abolish "distress for rent," and facilitate 
legal remedies by extending the time for a "re-entry " on 
lands for its non-payment, and during the ensuing year 
those who had participated in these outrages were par- 
doned by a proclamation. 

Through the energy and genius of Professor Morse the 
magnetic telegraph was added to our list of public facili- 
ties for intercommunication, and as early as 1845 various 
lines were in process of construction through the coun- 
try. A constitutional convention having been called, met 
at Albany on the ist of June, 1846, and continued in ses- 
sions upward of four months. The amendments to the 
State constitution adopted by that body were ratified by 
the people in November, and John Young was elected 
governor of the State. 

The annexation of Texas to the Union led to hostihties 
between Mexico and the United States, and on the nth 
of May, 1846, Congress declared that by the acts of the 
Mexicans war existed between the two nations. The 
Americans were victorious in all important engagements 
with the Mexican army, and the part taken by the troops 
from the State of New York was conspicuous and highly 
creditable to their valor. Peace was concluded on the 
2d of February, 1848. In November of the same year 
Hamilton Fish was elected governor. 

By the census of 1850 it was found that the population 
of the State amounted to upward of three millions, being 
an increase of two and a half millions in half a century. 
In November of this year Washington Hunt was elected 
to succeed Hamilton Fish as governor of the State. He 
was a candidate for re-election in 1852, but was defeated 
by Horatio Seymour. In 1854 an amendment was made 

to the State constitution requiring the appropriation of 
an annual sum during a term of four years for the en- 
largement of the Erie and the completion of other canals 
in the State. In November of the same year Myron H. 
Clark was elected governor. In 1855 the State contained 
about three thousand miles of railroad, constructed at an 
aggregate cost of $125,000,000. In 1856 John A.King 
was elected governor, and at the expiration of his terra 
was succeeded in 1858 by Edwin D. Morgan. 

The recognition of slavery in the Territories belonging 
to the United States having been earnestly combatted for 
several years, the difficulty finally terminated in a gigantic 
civil war. On the election of Abraham Lincoln to the 
Presidency in i860, upon principles of avowed hostility 
to the extension of slavery, and the failure to effect a 
compromise by which slavery should be recognized or 
tolerated in any portion of the Territories, the Southern 
States resolved to secede from the Union and organize a 
separate government. The capture by the Confederates 
of Fort Sumter v/as the first overt act of the rebellion, 
and upon its occurrence, in April, 1861, active hostihties 
were begun, and before the close of the year one hundred 
and fifteen regiments had been put in the field by the 
State of New York. In July, 1863, during the execution 
of the draft ordered by an act of Congress for recruiting 
the Union army, a terrible riot occurred in the city of 
New York. The police were unable to check its progress, 
and for several days the city was convulsed and overwhelm- 
ed with tumult, rapine, and murder. The outbreak was 
finally quelled by the interposition of the military, but 
not until a large amount of property had been destroyed 
and a considerable number of lives lost. The war was 
prolonged until the spring of 1865, when it terminated 
with the complete success of the Union cause, and peace 
has since prevailed. 

By the census of 1875 the State was found to contain 
4,705,000 inhabitants. Within a period of two and a half 
centuries this immense population had accumulated, and 
from the almost pathless wilderness, in the beginning trod- 
den only by wild beasts and savages, it has by industry 
and enterprise removed the primeval forests, reared large 
and numerous cities, and constructed vast and magnificent 
public works, which conspicuously appear in all parts of 
what is justly termed the " Empire State.'' With the full 
enjoyment of peace, it continues to advance with acceler- 
ated and rapid strides, in accord with its proud and be- 
coming motto, " Excelsior." 







HE name Niagara is of Mohawk origin, and 
is interpreted by the best authorities as 
meaning the " neck." Like most of the In- 
dian appellations, which were first written as 
they sounded to different authors, it has been 
spelled in several ways. Indeed, we shall best 
illustrate the difference of orthography in the case 
of this word by quoting the beginning of the article 
" Niagara " in the general index of the Documents Relat- 
ing to the Colonial History of New York, which is as fol- 
lows : 

" Niagara, (lagara, lagare, Jagara, Jagare, Jagera, Ni- 
agaro, Niagra, Niagro, Oakinagaro, Ochiagra, Ochjagara, 
Octjagara, Ochinagero, Oneagerah, Oneigra, Oneygra, 
Oniagara, Ongagerae, Oniagorah, Oniagra, Oniagro, On- 
jagara, Onjagera, Onjagora, Onjagore, Onjagoro, ,On- 
jagra, Onnyagaro, Onyagara, Onyagare, Onyagaro, Ony- 
agoro, Onyagars, Onyagra, Onyagro, Oneygra, Oneago- 
ragh, Yagero, Yangree.)" 

This extreme variety of spelling, embracing, as it would 
seem, nearly all the combinations possible without en- 
tirely metamorphosing the word, could only have arisen 
from a wide variance in pronunciation among the aborig- 
ines themselves. Probably none of the above forms 
ever obtained general prevalence until, at an early day, 
the present orthography of the word was universally 
adopted. " It is," says Mr. O. H. Marshall, " the oldest 
of all the local geographical terms which have come down 
to us from the aborigines. * * * Its first appearance as 
Niagara is on Coronelli's map, published in Paris in 1688. 
From that time to the present the French have been con- 
sistent with their orthography, the numerous variations 
alluded to occurring only among the English writers." 
The name having been applied to the " neck " of land 
between lakes Ontario and Erie, its transfer to the river 
traversing that space, to the military post at its mouth, 
and to the great falls which have given world-wide famili- 
arity to the word, was easy and natural. 

Equally natural and appropriate was the choice of 
Niagara as the name of the frontier county bounded by 
the great lake, the famous river, its chief tributary stream 
apd a meridian line from the last named to the first. On 
this fair and well defined arena aseries of events has been 
transpiring for more than two centuries and a half richly 
meriting historic record. To relate these events in their 
order, with only such reference to occurrences beyond 
the county limits as is necessary to a proper understand- 
ing of those taking place within them, is the purpose of 
these pages. 

The first question relates to the original inhabitants of 
the region. It is beset with difficulties and admits of no 
certain solution. The disturbing element in the inquiry 
is the discovery, throughout western New York, of relics 
generally considered indicative of a race inhabiting the 
country before the historic Indian tribes, and now long 
extinct. These relics include the specimens of pottery, 
stone implements, etc., now quite common and familiar ; 
but their most prominent and interesting feature is the" 
traces of ancient fortifications, usually circular or elliptical 
earthworks, upon whose embankments, when discovered 
by white men, trees had in some cases been growing for 
hundred of years. The Iroquois had various contradic- 
tory traditions to account for the construction of these 
works, but they show no more real knowledge of the 
subject than we possess. Mr. Schoolcraft finds in these 
fort-builders of centuries ago " the ancient AUeghans," 
who fixed their name upon the Alleghany mountain range. 
No author could give a more valuable opinion on the 
vexed question than this eminent student of the pre-his- 
toric period in America ; and we shall quote a few lines 
from his Notes on the Iroquois as the best suggestion 
that scholarship has to offer on this interesting topic : 

" This ancient people, who occupy the foreground of 
our remote aboriginal history, were a valiant, noble and 
populous race, who were advanced in arts and the policy 
of government, and raised fortifications for their defense. 
While they held a high reputation as hunters, they culti- 
vated maize extensively, which enabled them to live in 
large towns ; and erected those antique fortifications 
which are extended over the entire Mississippi valley as 
high as latitude 43°, and the lake country, reaching from 
Lake St. Clair to the south side of the Niagara ridge (the 
old shore of Lake Ontario,) and the country of the On- 



ondagas and Oneidas. Towards the south they extended 
as far as the borders of the Cherokees and Miiscogees. 
* * * If we fix upon the 12th century as the era of the 
fall of the AUeghan race, we shall not, probably, over- 
estimate the event. They had probably reached the 
Mississippi valley a century or two before, having felt in 
their original position, west and south of that stream, the 
great revolutionary movements which preceded the over- 
throw of the Toltec and the establishment of the Aztec 
empire in Mexican America." 

White the elaborate character of the relics referred to 
indicates a race of greater industry and resources than 
the savages whom the first white men found in posses- 
sion of the country, the existence of such a race is not 
conceded by all authors. Those who reject it point to 
the palisades of timber which the French found defend- 
ing the -Strongholds of Canadian and New York tribes, 
as requiring more skill and patience in their construction 
than the simple, though extensive, earthworks ascribed by 
Mr. Schoolcraft to the extinct AUeghans. 

It would be useless to pursue the general inquiry, but 
nothing could be more pertinent than an account of such 
of these prehistoric remains as are found within the 
region of which we are writing. One of them is the 
ancient citadel in the town of Lewiston, called Kienuka 
by the inhabitants of the Tuscarora village, near which 
it is found. " There is," said the author of the History 
of the Holland Purchase, writing in 1849, "a burial 
ground and two elliptic mounds, or barrows, that have a 
diameter of twenty feet, and an elevation of from four 
to five feet. A mass of detached rocks, with spaces in- 
tervening, seems to have been chosen as a rock citadel; 
and well chosen, for the mountain fastnesses of Switzer- 
land are but little better adapted to the purposes of a 
lookout and defense. The sites of habitations are marked 
by remains of pottery, pipes and other evidences." Three 
years earlier Mr. Schoolcraft had reported his observa- 
tions on the spot as follows: — "The term Kienuka is said 
to mean ' the stronghold or fort from which there is a 
sublime view.' It is situated about three and a half miles 
eastward of the outlet of the Niagara gorge at Lewiston, 
on a natural escarpment of the ridge. * * * From 
the ascent of the great ridge, following the road from 
Lewiston to Tuscarora village, a middle road leads over 
this broad escarpment, following, apparently, an ancient 
Indian trail, and winding about with sylvan irregularity. 
Most of the trees appear to be of second growth; they do 
not, at any rate, bear the impress of antiquity which 
marks the heavy forests of the country. Occasionally 
there are small openings, where wigwams once stood. 
These increase as we pass on, till they assume the char- 
acter of continuous open fields at the site of the old bury- 
ing-ground, orchard and play-ground of the neighboring 
Tuscaroras. The soil in these openings appears hard, 
compact and worn out, and bears short grass. The 
.burial-ground is filled almost entirely with sumach, 
giving it a bushy appearance which serves to hide its 
ancient graves and small tumuli. Among these are two 
considerable barrows, or small elliptic mounds, the one 

larger than the other, formed of earth and angular stones. 
The largest is not probably higher than five feet, but may 
have a diameter of twenty feet in the longest direction. 
Directly east of this antique cemetery commences the 
old orchard and area for ball playing, on which, at the 
time of my visit, the stakes or goals were standing, and 
thus denoted that the ancient games are kept up on these 
deserted fields by the youthful population of the adjacent 
Tuscarora village. A small ravine succeeds, with a brook 
falling into a gulf or deep break in the escarpment, where 
once stood a saw-mill, and where may still be traced 
some vestiges of this early attempt of the first settlers to 
obtain a water-power from a vernal brook. Immediately 
after crossing this little ravine, and rising to the general 
level of the plain, we enter the old fields and rock fortress 
of Kienuka. * * * Nothing, we think, is more evi- 
dent to the observer, in tracing out the Kienuka plateau, 
than the evidences which exist of Lake Ontario having 
washed its northern edge, and driven its waters against its 
crowning wall of limestone. The fury of the waves, 
forced into the line of junction between the solid lime- 
stone and fissile sandstone, has broken up and removed 
the latter, till the overlying rock, pressed by its own 
gravity, has been split, fissured or otherwise disrupted, 
and often slid in vast masses down the ragged precipice. 
Kienuka offers one of the most striking instances of this 
action. The fissures made in the rock by the partial 
withdrawal of its support assume the size of cavern pas- 
sages; they penetrate in some instances under other and 
unbroken masses of the superior stratum, and are, as a 
whole, curiously intersected, forming a vast reticulated 
area, in which large numbers of men could seek shelter 
and security. * * * Most of these fissures which ex 
tend in the general parallel of the brink appear to have 
been narrow, and are now covered with the sod, or filled 
with earth or carbonaceous matter, which gives this por- 
tion of them the aspect of ancient trenches." 

On the east of the orchard which now occupies the 
crest of the hill at this point, there is said to have been 
in Indian times a castle, consisting of a stockade of logs, 
perhaps ten or twelve feet high, fifteen or twenty rods 
long and six or eight wide, with a gate at either end; 
surrounding a collection of wigwams, and having a more 
substantial lodge in the center for the head of the clan 
occupying it. This inclosure is reported to have had the 
rock ledge at the brow of the hill for its northern barrier, 
and a trench, outside its southern wall. Some irregular 
masses of rock, fallen upon the slope below the ledge that 
formed the Kienuka citadel, are now the only representa- 
tives of the old fortress. 

Dewitt Clinton, in his celebrated paper on the Iroquois, 
also assuming the former dominion of Lake Ontario over 
the northwestern border of New York, makes it an argu- 
ment for the high antiquity of the pre-historic earthworks: 
"On the south side of the great ridge [the ' Ridge road' ], 
in its vicinity, and in all directions through the country, 
the remains of numerous forts are to be seen ; but on the 
north side, that is, on the side toward the lake, not a sin- 
gle one has been discovered, although the whole ground 



has been carefully explored. Considering the distance to 
be, say seventy miles in length and eight in breadth, and 
that the border of the lake is the very place that would be 
selected for habitation, and consequently for works of 
defense, on account of the facilities it would afford for 
subsistence, for safety, and all domestic accommodations 
and military purposes, and that on the south shore of Lake 
Erie these ancient fortresses exist in great number, there 
can be no doubt that these works wer6 erected when this 
ridge was the southern boundary of Lake Ontario, and, 
consequently, that their origin must be sought in a very 
remote age." 

Reviewing these conclusions, Mr.Orsamus Turner, auth- 
or of the History of the HolIandPurchase,makes the follow- 
ing remark : "Upon an elevation, on the shore of Lake On- 
tario, near the Eighteen-mile creek, there is a mound sim- 
ilar in appearence to some of those that have been termed 
ancient ; though it is unquestionably incidfent to the early 
French and Indian wars of this region ; and the same 
conclusion may be formed in reference to other similar 
ones along the shore of the lake." 

In 1823 Eliakim Hammond discovered, while hoeing on 
his farm in the town of Cambria, some five miles west of 
Lockport, now owned by Mr. Ramson Campbell, the bones 
of a child, on the surface of the ground. " No further 
thought, ' says Mr. Schoolcraft, '' was bestowed on the 
subject for some time, for the plain on the ridge was sup- 
posed to have been the site of an Indian village, and this 
was supposed the remams of some child who had been 
buried there. Eli Bruce, hearing of the circumstance 
proposed to Mr. H. that they should repair to the spot^ 
with suitable implements, and endeavor to find some rel- 
ics. The soil was a light loam, which would be dry and 
preserve bones for centuries without decay. A search 
enabled them to come to a pit, but a slight distance from 
the surface. The top of the pit was covered with small 
slabs of the Medina sandstone, and was twenty-four feet 
square, by four and a half in depth — the planes agreeing 
with the four cardinal points. It was filled with human 
bones of both sexes and all ages. They dug down at one 
extremity, and found the same layers to extend to the 
bottom, which was the same dry loam, and from their 
calculations they deduced that at least four thousand 
souls had perished in one great massacre. In one skull 
two flint arrowheads were found, and many had the ap- 
pearance of having been fractured and cleft open by a 
sudden blow. They were piled in regular layers, but with 
no regard to size or sex. Pieces of pottery were picked 
up in the pit, and had also been ploughed up in the field 
adjacent. Traces of a log council house were plainly dis- 
cernable ; for, in an oblong square, the soil was poor, as 
if it had never been cultivated until the whites had broken 
it up, and where the logs of the house had decayed, was 
a strip of rich mould. A maple tree over the pit being 
cut down, two hundred and fifty concentric circles were 
counted, making the mound to be anterior to as many 
years. It had been supposed by the villagers that the 
bones were deposited there before the discovery of Amer- 
ica, but the finding of some metal tools with a French 

stamp places the date within our period. One hundred 
and fifty persons a day visited this spot the first season, 
and carried off the bones. They are now nearly all gone 
and the pit ploughed over. " The remains of a wall were 
traced near the vault. Some of the bones found in the 
latter were of unusual size. One of these was a thigh 
bone that had been healed of an oblique fracture. One 
was the upper half of a skull so large that that of a com- 
mon man would not fill it. As lately as 1864, Mr. Camp- . 
bell and Isaac Bonnell exhumed here an entire skeleton, 
which, after less than twenty-four hours exposure, crum- 
bled to pieces. 

Apropos to this general subject, Mr. Turner has the 
following interesting paragraph : 

" At the head of a deep gorge [now closed up by the 
Central railroad embankment,] a mile west of Lockport, 
(similar to the one that forms the natural canal basin, 
from which the combined locks ascend,) in the early 
history of the country a circular raised work, or ring-fort, 
could be distinctly traced. Leading from the enclosed 
area there had been a covered way to. a spring of pure 
cold water that rises from a fissure in the rock, some 
fifty or sixty feet down the declivity. Such covered 
paths, or rather the remains of them, lead from many of 
these ancient fortifications. Mr. Schoolcraft concludes 
that they were intended for the emergency of a prolonged 
siege. They would seem now to have been but a poor 
defense for the water-carriers against the weapons of 
modern warfare, yet probably sufficient to protect them 
from arrows, and a foe that had no sappers or miners in 
their ranks." 

The following is from the same source : 

" About one and a half miles west of Shelby Centre, 
Orleans county, is an ancient work. A broad ditch en- 
closes in a form nearly circular about three acres of land. 
The ditch is at this day well defined, several feet deep. 
Adjoining the spot on the south is a swamp about one 
mile in width by two in length. This swamp was once, 
doubtless, if not a lake, an impassable morass. From 
the interior of the enclosure made by the ditch there is 
what appears to have been a passage way on the side 
next to the swamp. No other breach occurs in the entire 
circuit of the embankment. There are accumulated 
within and near this fort large piles of small stones, of a 
size convenient to be thrown by the hand or with a sling. 
Arrow heads of flint are found in and near the enclosure 
in great abundance, stone axes, etc. Trees of four-hund- 
red years growth stand upon the embankment, and under- 
neath them have been found earthenware, pieces of plates 
or dishes, wrought with skill, presenting ornaments in 
relief, of various patterns. Some skeletons, almost entire, 
have been exhumed, many of giant size, not less than 
seven to eight feet in length. The skulls are large, and 
well developed in the anterior lobe, broad between the 
ears and flattened in the coronal region. Half a mile 
west of the fort is a sand hill. Here a large number of 
human skeletons have been exhumed, in a perfect state. 
Great numbers appeared to have been buried in the same 
grave. Many of the skulls appear to have been broken 
in with clubs or stones." 





HE realm of mere conjecture and tradition we 
leave with these remains of a remote age 
and the theories they have raised, and gladly 
listen to the first voice of history concern- 
ing the territory embraced in this work. 
Under date of May 19, 1641, the Jesuit father 
L'Allemant reported from St. Mary's mission, an 
outpost of the church near the eastern end of Lake Hu- 
ron, the tour of a pair of his black-robed brethren in the 
preceding year, to the neighborhood of the Niagara river. 
His narrative is interesting chiefly as showing approxi- 
mately the date at which Europeans first visited this 
region, and giving an account of the people whom they 
found in possession. Its importance in these respects is 
such as to demand its reproduction . 

" Jean de Breboeuf and Joseph Marie Chaumonot, two 
fathers of our company, which have charge of the mission 
to the Neutral Nation, set out from St. Marie on the 2nd 
day of November, 1640, to visit this people. Father 
Breboeuf is peculiarly fitted for such an expedition, 
God having in an eminent degree endowed him with a 
capacity for learning languages. His companion was 
also a proper person for the enterprise. 

" Although many of our French in that quarter have 
visited this people to profit by their furs and other com- 
modities, we have no knowledge of any who have 
been there to preach the gospel, except Father De la 
Roche Daillon, a Recollet,who passed the winter there in 
1626. The nation is very populous, there being estimated 
about forty villages. After leaving the Hurons, it is four 
or five days' journey, or about forty leagues to the near- 
est of their villages, the course being nearly due south. 
If, as indicated by the latest and most exact observations 
we can make, our new station St. Marie, in the interior of 
the Huron country, is in north latitude, about forty-four 
degrees, twenty-five minutes, then the entrance of the 
Neutral Nation from the Huron side is about forty-four 
degrees. More exact surveys and observations cannot 
now be made, for the sight of a single instrument would 
bring to extremes those who cannot resist the temptation 
of an ink-horn. 

" From the first village of the Neutral Nation that we 
meet with in traveling from this place, as we proceed 
south or southwest, it is about four days' travel to the 
place where the celebrated river [Niagara] of the nation 
empties in Lake Ontario, or St. Louis. On the west side 
of that river, and not on the east, are the most numerous 
of the villages of the Neutral nation. There are three or 
four on the east side, extending from east to west towards 
the Fries or Cat nation. This river is that by which our 
great lake of the Hurons, or fresh sea, is discharged, 

which first empties into the Lake of Erie, or of the nation 
of the Cat ; from thence it enters the territory of the 
Neutral nation, and takes the name of Onguiaahra 
[Niagara,] until it empties into Ontario or St. Louis lake 
from which latter flows the river which passes before 
Quebec, called the St. Lawrence ; so that if we once had 
control of the side of the lake nearest the residence of 
the Iroquois, we could ascend by the river St. Lawrence 
without danger, even to the Neutral nation, and much 
beyond, with great saving of time and trouble. 

" According to the estimate of these illustrious fathers, 
who have been there, the Neutral nation comprises about 
12,000 souls, which enables them to furnish 4,000 war- 
riors, notwithstanding war, pestilence and famine have 
prevailed among them for three years in an extraordinary 
manner. After all, I think that those who have hereto- 
fore ascribed such an extent and population to this nation 
have understood by the Neutral nation all who live south 
and southwest of our Hurons, and who are truly in great 
number, and, being at first only partially known, have 
all been comprised under the same name. The more 
perfect knowledge of their language and country which 
has since been obtained has resulted in a clearer distinc- 
tion between the tribes. 

" Our French who first discovered this people named 
them the Neutral nation ; and not without reason, for 
their country being the ordinary passage by land between 
some of the Iroquois nations and the Hurons, who are 
sworn enemies, they remained at peace with both ; so 
that in times past the Hurons and Iroquois, meeting in 
the same wigwam or village of that nation, were both in 
safety while they remained. Recently, their enmity 
against each other is so great that there is no safety for 
either party in any place, particularly for the Hurons, for 
whom the Neutral nation entertain the least good will. 
There is every reason for believing that, not long since, 
the Hurons, Iroquois, and Neutral nation formed one 
people, and originally came from the same family, but 
have in the lapse of time become separated from each 
other, more or less, in distance, interests and affection, so 
that some are now enemies, others neutral, and others still 
live in intimate friendship and intercourse. 

" The food and clothing of the Neutral nation seem little 
different from that of our Hurons. They have Indian 
corn, beans and gourds in equal abundance ; also plenty 
of fish, some kinds of which abound in particular places 
only. They are much employed in hunting deer, buffalo, 
wild-cats, wolves, wild-boars, beaver and other animals. 
Meat is very abundant this year on account of the heavy 
snow, which has aided the hunters. It is rare to see snow 
in this country more than half a foot deep, but this year it 
is more than three feet. There is also abundance of wild 
turkeys, which go in flocks in the fields and woods. Their 
fruits are the same as with the Hurons, except chestnuts, 
which are more abundant, and crab-apples, which are 
somewhat larger. 

" The men, like all savages, cover their naked flesh 
with skins, but are less particular than the Hurons in 
concealing what should not appear. The squaws are 



ordinarily clothed, at least from the waist to the knees, 
but are more free and shameless in their immodesty than 
the Hurons. As for their remaining customs and man- 
ners, they are almost entirely similar to the other savage 
tribes of the country. 

" There are some things in which they differ from our 
Hurons. They are larger, stronger and better formed. 
They also entertain a great affection for the dead, and 
have a greater number of fools, or jugglers. 

" The Sonontonheronons [Senecas],one of the Iroquois 
nations, the nearest to and most dreaded by the Hurons, 
are not more than a day's journey distant from the 
easternmost village of the Neutral nation, named On- 
guiaahra, of the same name as the river. 

" Our fathers returned from the mission in safety, not 
having found in all the eighteen villages which they visited 
but one, named Khe-o-e-to-a, or St. Michael, which gave 
them the reception which their embassy deserved. In 
this village a certain foreign nation, which lived beyond 
the Lake of Erie, or of the nation of the Cat, named 
A-ouen-re-ro-non, has taken refuge for many years for 
fear of their enemies, and they seem to have been brought 
here by a good providence to hear the word of God." 

As this is the earliest, so it is the completest account of 
the first recorded inhabitants of the northwestern corner 
of the State. We are told of their situation ; their name 
and the singular ground on which it was bestowed ; the 
vegetables and fruits on which they fed ; the fish and 
game birds which they captured ; the edible and fur- 
bearing animals which they hunted; their style of clothing; 
their moral and physical characteristics ; their relation 
with their neighbors ; and the number of their villages 
and inhabitants, with a theory to account for the appa- 
rent exaggeration of the latter. Important as this nation 
appears in the "relation" of Father L'Allemant, it was 
overshadowed by the fame, and finally destroyed by the 
prowess of the Iroquois, so that, as compared with the 
latter, Uttle is known of it. In 1642, says Charlevoix, " a 
people larger, stronger and better formed than any other 
savages, and who lived south of the Huron country, were 
visited by the Jesuits, who preached to them the king- 
dom of God. They were called the Neutral nation, 
because they took no part in the wars which desolated 
the country. But in the end they could not, themselves, 
escape entire destruction. To avoid the fury of the 
Iroquois, they finally joined them against the Hurons, 
but gained nothing by the union. The Iroquois, that, 
like lions that have tasted blood, cannot be satiated, de- 
stroyed indiscriminately all that came in their way, and 
at this day there remains no trace of the Neutral nation." 
The inability of the neutrals to preserve their pacific at- 
titude is one of the reasons for considering the Jesuits' 
report of their numbers greatly exaggerated. It was not 
to be expected that they could maintain peace with such 
neighbors on either hand. The grain might as well hope 
to remain undisturbed between the upper and nether 
millstones. It was about the year 1643, according to 
Charlevoix, (none too good authority), that this aboriginal 
people, dwelling in part, between the Senecas and the 

Niagara, perished; Mr. Marshall says 165 1. Students 
of Indian history have carefully investigated the meager 
sources of information relative to them, and have supple- 
mented Father L'AUemart's statement with some interest- 
ing conclusions. They are generally considered to have 
been identical with the Kah-Khwas, a name applied to a 
nation at an early day dwelling along the Niagara, and ex- 
tending perhaps half way down the end of Lake Erie. 
Their villages on this side of those waters were near, 
though not upon their banks — as that would have rendered 
them more easily approached and surprised by a hostile 
war party — and one is said to have been located on 
Eighteen-mile creek, near its mouth. 

Along the southern shore of Lake Erie, beyond the 
Kah-Khwas, dwelt the powerful "Fries or Cat nation," 
as the French, for an unknown reason, called them. They, 
sharing the fate of the Kah-Khwas, about 1654 or 1655 
fell victims to the conquering Iroquois. 

Tradition says that the immediate occasion of the war 
in which the Iroquois exterminated the Eries was the 
defeat of the latter by the former in a series of athletic 
games. The Eries having learned with alarm of the con- 
federation of the Five Nations, proposed, as a test of the 
power of the new alliance, that a hundred of the Seneca 
braves should contest with as many of their own, for a 
suitable prize, in the native game of ball. The challenge 
was twice declined, but on its third presentation the 
eagerness of the young warriors overcame the caution of 
their elders, and it was accepted. The flower of the Five 
Nations presented themselves. After a desperate strug- 
gle the match was won by the picked men of the Iroquois. 
The Eries, burning to retrieve their reputation as athletes, 
thereupon challenged their adversaries to a foot race, in 
which ten of each party should compete. The young 
Iroquois assented, and were again the victors. The 
guests now accepted an invitation to visit the Kah-Khwas 
at their village on Eighteen-mile creek, and a delegation 
of the Eries accompanied them. Smarting with mortifi- 
cation from their double defeat, the latter in desperation 
dared the champions of the Five Nations to a last and 
more serious contest, namely, a wrestling match, ten on 
each side, in which the vanquished should be slain by 
the victors. The first of the Fries was thrown by his 
Seneca antagonist, and on the refusal of the latter to dis- 
patch his fallen adversary, the Erie chief himself brained 
him. Thrice was this butcherly scene repeated, when 
the rage of the defeated nation had risen to such a pitch 
that the Iroquois, to avoid a battle, for which they were 
not prepared, withdrew and returned to their homes. 

The result convinced the Eries that the Iroquois tribes 
had made common cause, and their only hope lay in de- 
stroying the Senecas, by a sudden blow, before they 
could be supported by their confederates. Their pur- 
pose to do so was frustrated by a Seneca woman, a cap- 
tive among the Eries, who escaped to her kindred in 
time to warn them of their danger. The Iroquois rallied, 
and marched out to meet the invaders. They encounter- 
ed near the foot of Honeyoye lake, and after a fierce con- 
flict the Eries were routed and almost annihilated. A 



remnant which escaped attacked the Senecas years after, 
near Buffalo, but were defeated. Such is the attempt of 
tradition to account for the extinction of the most power- 
ful native foe that ever crossed the path of the all-con- 
quering Iroquois. 



HE destruction of the Eries brings us to the 
history of the nation which by that event 
extended its hunting grounds to Lake Erie. 
This was the westernmost and by far the 
most powerful of the Iroquois tribes, the 
Senecas, the immediate predecessors of the white 
inhabitants of this region. The name of this 
people is thought to have been derived from the Mo- 
hawks, the first of the Five Nations with which the Dutch 
and English came in contact. The Senecas themselves 
knew nothing of it except as applied to them byoutsiders. 
As with other Indian proper names, the spelling for a 
long time varied, the nation being often called in old 
documents the Sinnekes, and given some sixty other 
names, mostly similar. The later, classical form of the 
word is certainly an improvement, in spite of its' coinci- 
dence with the name of the Latin philosopher. Though 
we find the same name applied to this division of " the 
Romans of the New World " that was great among 
the Romans of the seven hills, it is pleasant to be able to 
consider it a slight modification of a native word, and not 
an instance of the stupid wholesale application of i classic 
titles in the geography of central New York. 

The French sometimes called the Senecas Tsonnon- 
touans or Sonnonthouans. The tribe called themselves 
Nundowaga, the People of the Hill, in conformity with 
one of their traditions, which represented that the nation 
originated and first dwelt on a hill at the head of Can- 
andaigua lake. While seated here, as the legend runs, 
the existence of the tribe was jeopardized by a snake, 
which grew up in their midst and assumed immense pro- 
portions and hostile attitude. This serpent, called Kais- 
towanea, was, while small, caught in the woods by a boy, 
who kept and cared for it as a pet. It grew rapidly, de- 
manding more and more food, until the hunters had to 
provide it with deer ; and at length it could no longer 
find room in the lodge of its captor, but had to take post 
on a neighboring hill. Thereafter it took care of itself, 
sporting occasionally in the lake, and still growing, until 
the tribe became alarmed in view of its possible actions, 
and determined to flee for safety. But in the morning of 
their intended escape, they found the monstrous reptile 
coiled about their castle, with jaws gaping before the 
gate. Escape was impossible, and though starvation 

prompted the attempt, the wretched prisoners only rushed 
into the mouth of their terrible besieger. Most were 
thus devoured ; but a warrior, having dreamed that " if 
he would fledge his arrows with the hair of his sister the 
charm would prevail over the enemy," shot into the 
serpent an arrow so prepared. Mortally wounded, the 
huge reptile rolled down the hill into the lake, breaking 
off the trees in his way. After wallowing in agony in the 
water, and vomiting up the bodies swallowed, the serpent 
expired and sunk from sight. The remnant of the tribe 
immediately left the scene of their suffering, and removed 
to the site of Geneva. Mr. Schoolcraft considered this 
story of the Senecas worthy of an attempt at interpretation, 
and suggested the following : " Internal feuds, created 
by somebody brought up in their own lodge, originated 
hatred and hot blood. In a long and bloody war the 
nation was nearly exterminated ; at length the affections 
of a woman prevailed. Harmony was restored, and a 
new era of prosperity began, by removing the council fire 
to another place." 

This tradition of the origin of the nation contradicts 
the legend of an original immigration from the west, and 
that other precious invention which represents the Iro- 
quois as springing from the earth near the falls of the Os- 
wego, and separating to their various stations along that 
river and its tributaries. These remnants of the mythology 
of the Indians are worthless, even as a test of their ability 
at legend-making ; like their printed speeches, they have 
been through the hands of too many fanciful white men. 
The search for information in aboriginal sources is vanity 
and vexation of spirit. 

It has been customary with recent writers on the In- 
dians to ascribe to them many and lofty excellencies and 
abilities, and to begin by deprecating the alleged disposi- 
tion to do them injustice and ignore their claims to 
respect and admiration. If such a disposition ever ex- 
isted, the tide of opinion has of late certainly been flow- 
ing the other way, and it may be time for the ebb. 
There seems to have been something like statesman- 
ship in the formation of "the league of the Iroquois,'' 
albeit the expedient was the simplest possible, and the 
object success in savage warfare; also in the means by 
which the league was strengthened, including the compli- 
cated system of family and tribal relationship; but has 
not the glory of this barbarian union been exaggerated? 
For example (we are speaking of Red Jacket's nation), 
must we believe all we read of Indian oratory ? Not satis- 
fied with the eloquent periods ascribed to the red speech- 
makers, their eulogists remind us that we have only white 
men's versions of what the orators said, and assume that 
the speeches suffered by the interpretation. But it is pos- 
sible that they gained. The interpreters, it is said, were 
often illiterate men. But they were in all cases less so than 
the orators, and in many cases they must be admitted to 
have been quite adequate to the task. One of the most 
famous of Indian orations is the address of Garangula, 
alias La Grand Guele — Big Mouth, as Mr. Parkman trans- 
lates it — to De La Barre in the conference at the mouth 
of Salmon river, in Oswego county; "but this," says Mr. 



Glinton, in his celebrated eulogy of the Iroquois, " was 
interpreted by Monsieur Le Moine, a French Jesuit, and 
recorded on the spot by Baron La Hontan, men of enlight- 
ened and cultivated minds." The man who translated it 
from the French must have been a scholar, and it is not 
likely that the speech suffered in his hands. Mr. Park- 
man makes a very suggestive remark on Big Mouth : 
" Doubtless, as he stood in full dress before the governor 
and the officers, his head plumed, his face painted, his 
figure draped in a colored blanket and his feet decked 
with embroidered moccasins, he was a picturesque and 
striking object; he was less so as he squatted almost naked 
by his lodge fire, with a piece of board laid across his lap, 
chopping rank tobacco with a scalping knife to fill his 
pipe, and entertaining the grinning circle with grotesque 
stories and obscene jests." Fondness for speech-making 
does not necessarily argue eloquence, and it is not easy 
to believe in a phenomenal development of true oratory 
in a race of savages who were primarily warriors, in a 
skulking and brutal fashion, and whose home life, if 
we may use the expression, was, generation after gene- 
ration alike, contentedly passed in idleness and squalor. 
On the whole, we may say that, questionable as may 
have been some of the white man's dealings with the 
Senecas, the extinction from their ancient territory of 
that people, with their doubtful virtues and indubitable 
barbarity, was an exceedingly good riddance. 

While the Senecas shared with their alHes the author- 
ity gained by their conquests throughout the south and 
■in the Ganadas, the territory of their immediate jurisdic- 
tion was confined within comparatively narrow limits. 
One of the first allusions to the tribe by Europeans oc- 
curs in a Jesuit "relation," dated 1664-5, ^"d is as fol- 
lows : " Toward the termination of the great lake called 
Ontario is located the most numerous of the Five Nations, 
named the Senecas, which contains full twelve hundred 
men, in two or three villages of which it is composed. " 

In 1677 Wentworth Greenhalgh passed through the 
" long house " of the Iroquois from end to end, and made 
a detailed report of his journey and observations, from 
which we extract the following : 

"The Senecas have four towns, viz., Ganagora, Tioto- 
hatton, Ganoenada and Keint-he. Ganagora and Tioto- 
hatton lye within 30 miles of ye Lake ffrontenacque, 
[Ontario] and ye other two ly about four or five miles 
apiece to ye Southward of those. They have abundance 
of Gome. None of their towns are stockadoed. 

" Ganagorah lyes on the top of a great hill [ Boughton 
hill, near Victor, Ontario county ], and in that, as well 
as in the bignesse, much like Onondago, containing 150 
houses, northwestward of Gaiougo 72 miles Here ye In- 
dians were very desirous to see us ride our horses [ prob- 
ably the first they ever saw ], wch wSe did : they made 
great feasts and dancing. * * * 

" Tiotohattan lyes on the brincke or edge of a hill ; 
has not much cleared ground ; is near the river Tiote- 
hatton, wch signifies bending. It lies to Westward of 
Ganagorah about 30 miles, containing about 120 houses, 
being ye largest of all the houses wee saw, ye ordinary be- 

ing 50 a. 60 foot long, with 12 a 13 fires in one house. 
They have good store of come, growing about a mile to 
the Northward of the town. 

"Being at this place the i^th of June, there came 50 
prisoners from the Southwestward. They were of two na- 
tions some whereof have few guns ; the others none at all. 
One nation is about 10 days journey from any Ghristian 
and trade only with one great house, not far from the sea, 
and the other trade only, as they say, with a black people. 
This day of them was burnt two women, and a man and 
a child killed with a stone. All night we heard a great 
noyse as if ye houses had all fallen, butt itt was onely ye 
Inhabitants driving away ye ghosts of ye murthered. 

" The 1 8th going to Ganagorah, we overtook ye prison- 
ers; when the soudiers saw us they stopped each his 
prisoner, and made him sing, and cutt off their fingers, 
and slasht their bodies wth a knife, and when they had 
sung each man confessed how many men in his time he 
had killed. Thatt day att Ganagorah, there were most 
cruelly burnt four men, four women and one boy. The 
cruelty lasted aboutt seven hours. When they were almost 
dead letting them loose to the mercy of ye boys, and ' 
taking the hearts of such as were dead to feast on. 

" Ganoenada lyes about four miles to ye Southward of 
Ganagorah; conteynes about 30 houses, well furnished 
with come. 

" Keint-he lyes aboutt four or five miles to ye South- 
ward of Tietehatton; contayns about 24 houses well 
furnished with corne. 

"The Senecques are counted to bee in all aboutt loco 
fighting men." 

In 1684 Father Lamberville, dissuading La Barre from 
attacking the Senecas, gave the number of their warriors 
at 1500. In 1698 there was made an official census of the 
Five Nations,in which it was reported that the "Sinnickes" 
had dwindled to 600 from 1300, their number in 1689. 
In 1763 Sir William Johnson estimated the men of the 
nation as numbering 1050, and mentioned that the tribe 
had " several villages beginning about 50 m. from Gayu- 
ga, and from thence to Ghenussio, the largest, about 70 
m. from Niagara, with others thence to the Ohio." In 
1770 he reported that there were 1000 of the Seneca 
warriors. The fighting strength of this tribe was gener- 
ally nearly equal to that of all the other Iroquois. This 
was stated by Governor Tryon to be the case in 1774, 
when, on the excellent authority of Sir William Johnson, 
he reported the total number of Iroquois warriors at 

When the Senecas first became known to the whites 
their villages were scattered from Seneca lake half way 
to the Niagara. In 1669, when La Salle made his first 
visit to their country, their four principal villages were 
from ten to twenty miles south of the falls of the Gene- 
see, and to the eastward of that river. Mention is made 
of cabins of the Senecas on the Niagara in 1678 and 1736. 
General Amherst, writing in 1763, mentions the Kanada- 
seegy and Ganadaraggo castles, the former of which, 
more commonly spelled Kanadaseaga, stood on the site 
of Geneva. These are presumably the villages which Sir 



William Johnson, in his enumeration of the Indians in 
1763, calls Kanadasero and Kanadaragey, and mentions 
as being in the English interest, while the rest of the 
nation was hostile. There were, in Sir William's time, 
two castles of the tribe at Chenussio, once their western 
outpost, and a village, called Chenondoanah, stood on 
the west bank of the Genesee, some fifteen miles from its 



UROPEANS first learned of the Niagara 
river and falls, as of many other of the 
grand natural features of North America 
through the expedition of the Frenchman 
Jacques Cartier up the river St. Lawrence, as far 
as the site of Montreal, in 1535. Savages whom 
he met told him of a great lake, from which their 
river flowed, and that beyond it another lake, of similar 
size, might be reached through a river, by a portage 
round a cataract. 'Thus was the first intelligence of 
northwestern New York gained by the people whose 
explorers, priests and traders were to be its pioneers, 
and so long its only civilized inhabitants. Cartier, how- 
ever, did not reach the Niagara, and it was nearly a 
century after his sojourn on the St. Lawrence before 
any of his countrymen penetrated the noble country of 
which he was vaguely informed. 

The " many of our French in that quartei^ " who 
visited the barbarous people dwelling there, " to profit 
by their furs and other commodities," before the mis- 
sion of the RecoUet priest Daillon in 1626, as recounted 
by Father L'Allemant, must have been the first white 
men who entered the region of which we write. The 
exact date of their advent cannot be ascertained; we 
only know that more than two hundred and fifty years 
ago, and probably before the Puritans landed at Ply- 
mouth, a Frenchman was not a very rare spectacle at 
this point, four hundred and fifty miles into the wilder- 
ness from the historic beach where the pilgrims stepped 

No French settlements vk^ere now made on the Niag- 
ara, although traders probably visited it occasionally 
for the next century, and at least three explorers saw the 
river in 1669. It w^s.^ event, therefore, when, on the 
6th of December, -i^bS^a ten-ton craft sailed into the 
mouth of the river, bearing an advance party of one of 
La Salle's wonderful exploring expeditions into the west 
and south which pushed the boundary of New France to 
New Mexico, and gave to the French crown the once vast 
and indefinite territory in the south named by its dis- 
coverer Louisiana. The party consisted of si.Nteen per- 

sons, chief among them the Sieur de la Motte, commander 
of the little craft, and the Franciscan Father Hennepin, 
historian of the expedition. The latter's account of the 
voyage over Lake Ontario enables us to imagine the satis- 
faction with which the company left it for the smoother 
waters of the river. 

" On the i8th of November," says Father Hennepin, 
" I took leave of our mcnks at Fort Fontenac [Kingston] 
and after mutual embraces, and expressions of brotherly 
and christian charity, I embarked in abrigantine of about 
ten tons. The winds and the cold of autumn were then 
very violent, insomuch that our crew were afraid to go in 
so little a vessel. This obliged us and the Sieur de la 
Motte, our commander, to keep our course on the north 
side of the lake, to shelter ourselves under the coast 
against the northwest wind, which would have otherwise 
forced us upon the southern coast of the lake. This voy- 
age proved very difficult and dangerous, because of the 
unseasonable time of the year, winter being near at hand. 
On the 26th we were in great danger, about two large 
leagues off the land, where we were obliged to lie at an- 
chor all that night, at sixty fathoms of water and above ; 
but at length, the wind coming at the northeast, we sailed 
on, and arrived safely at the other end of the lake Onta- 
rio, called by the Iroquois Skannandario. 

"We came pretty near one of their villages, called 
Tajajagon, lying about seventy leagues from Fort Fron- 
tenac, or Catarokouy. We bartered some Indian corn 
with the Iroquois, who could not sufficiently admire us, 
and came frequently to see us in our brigantine, which for 
our greater security we had brought to an anchor into a 
liver; though before we could get in we ran aground 
three times, which obliged us to put fourteen men into 
canoes, and cast the ballast of our ship overboard, to get 
her off again. That river falls into the lake, but for fear 
of being frozen up therein we were forced to cut the ice, 
with axes and other instruments. The wind turning then 
contrary, we were obliged to tarry there till the 5 th of 
December, 1678, when we sailed from the northern to the 
southern side, where the river Niagara runs into the lake, 
but could not reach it that day, though it is but fifteen or 
sixteen leagues distant, and therefore cast anchor within 
five leagues of the shore, where we had very bad weather 
all the night long. On the 6th, being St. Nicholas day, 
we got into the fine river Niagara, into which never any 
such ship as ours entered before. 

"We sang there the Te Deiim, and other prayers, to 
return our thanks to God Almighty for our prosperous 
voyage. The Iroquois Tsonnontouans [Senecas], in- 
habiting the little village situated at the mouth of the riv- 
er, took above three hundred whitefish, which are bigger 
than carps, and the best relished as well as the whole- 
somest fish in the world ; which they presented all to us, 
imputing their good luck to our arrival. They were much 
surprised at our ship, which they called the great wooden 
canoe. " 

On the following day the intrepid voyagers went up the 
river to where the current became too rapid for a canoe 
to stem it — "two leagues" Father Hennepin says — look- 



ing for a suitable building site. Not suiting themselves 
below the falls (which appalled Hennepin by their features 
of sublimity and terror \ they landed and marched above 
the cataract ( finding " no land fit for culture " ), to a 
point near the mouth of the Chippewa river, where they 
encamped for the night, removing a foot of snow to make 
a place for a fire. " La Salle's party," says Captain James 
Van Cleve," soon after entering the Niagara proceeded on 
their way up the river to the head of the eddy at Queens- 
ton, where hes a large rock distinguished to this day as 
Hennepin Rock, which is still prominent directly under 
the west end of the Lewiston and Queenston suspension 
bridge. Finding their progress by boat stopped at this 
point by the heavy current, and the bank of the river 
very steep and some 350 feet high, they crossed the river 
650 feet wide) to the east side, and then the party walked 
to the falls," etc. The next day they retraced their course, 
seeing on the way great numbers of "wild goats and tur- 
key cocks,'' as the translation (one hundred and eighty 
years old") calls the deer and wild turkeys. On the nth 
Father Hennepin "said the first mass that was ever said 
in that country." 

The result of the search for a proper place to put up 
buildings was the determination " to build some houses " 
at the point where the swiftness of the river compelled 
the explorers to take to the shore in their trip of the 7 th, 
that is, at the site of Lewiston. For several days, how- 
ever, the direction of the wind prevented sailing to the 
place, and on the 15th it was found necessary to tow 
the vessel up the river. " I was desired to sit at the 
helm of our brigantine," writes the serviceable priest, 
■' while three of our men hauled the same, from the shore, 
with a rope ; and at last we brought her up and moored 
her to the shore with a hawser, near a rock of prodigious 
hight, lying upon the rapid currents we have already 

"The 17th, i8th and 19th we were busy making a 
cabin, with palisadoes, to serve for a magazine ; but the 
ground was so frozen that we were forced several times 
to throw boiling water upon it, to facilitate the beating in 
and driving down the stakes." The next four days were 
spent in efforts to preserve the brigantine, which "was in 
great danger to be dashed to pieces by the vast pieces of 
ice that were hurled down the river." The craft was 
finally got ashore, and saved " from the danger of being 
broke to pieces, or carried away, by the ice which came 
down with an extreme violence from the great fall of Ni- 

The Iroquois were always extremely suspicious of the 
establishment of permanent posts in their country, particu- 
larly fortifications, and it was now high time to ascertain 
whether the Senecas would tolerate the operations of the 
French party on their soil. The intruders fully realized 
their danger in this respect, although so hospitably re- 
ceived on entering the river : " Whoever considers our 
map," the Franciscan remarks, " will easily see that this 

new enterprise of building a fort and soine houses on the 
river Niagara, besides the fort of Fontenac, was likely to 
give jealousy to the Iroquois, and even to the English, 
who live in this neighborhood [at Albany] and have a 
great commerce with them." As soon, therefore, as the 
brigantine was secured. La Motte, Hennepin and seven 
others of the company set out on what proved a five days' 
march to the Seneca village Tegarondies, the Canagorah 
of Wentworth Greenhalgh, on Boughton hill, near Victor, 
Ontario county, also called Gannagaro. There they re- 
mained more than a week, Father Hennepin preaching 
on New Year's day in the Jesuits' bark-built chapel, 
before fathers Raffeix and Gamier, missionaries stationed 
among these Indians. A council was held with the Seneca 
sachems, from which Father Garnier was excluded, as 
La Motte had an antipathy to him ; and Hennepin, 
choosing to associate himself with his aggrieved fellow 
priest, and "bear part of the affront put upon him,'' also 
remained without. There was the usual propitiation of 
the savage landlords by gifts, and La Motte then told 
them that the French proposed to construct " a great 
wooden canoe " on the Niagara, by which they would be 
enabled to supply the Indians with merchandise cheaper 
than they could buy from the English. They would also 
station a blacksmith and gunsmith at the mouth of the 
Niagara to repair the arms of the Iroquois. The Senecas 
acquiesced, and the embassy returned to the river, which 
they reached on the 14th of January, 1679, worn out with 
the toils of the journey, and prepared to feast with an ap- 
petite on corn and whitefish, with the broth of the latter, 
which were the only provisions in the camp. La Motte, 
" being not able to endure the fatigue of so laborious a 
life, gave over his design and returned to Canada." 

The mention of Jesuit priests among the Senecas at this 
date suggests a summary of the previous labors of the 
order with this nation : In the spring of 1666, in a council 
with ten Seneca sachems at Quebec, the Marquis de 
Tracy, acting French viceroy in America, promised to 
send them Jesuit missionaries, whom they agreed to 
shelter and protect. Accordingly, in 1668 Father Fremin 
was sent to labor with the tribe. He was joined the 
ne.xt year by Father Garnier, who was assigned to the 
village of Gandachiragou, Fremin remaining in charge at 
Gandagarae, where he found a remnant of the Neutral 
nation, absorbed into the community of their conquerors. 
Fremin was recalled in 1671, and Father Raffeix took his 
place in the following year, going from the Cayuga mis- 
sion, which he described as being in the most beautiful 
country he had seen in America, while the Senecas' do- 
main he found comparatively rugged, and a poor hunting 
ground. At his arrival among them the nation numbered, 
according to Garnier's extravagant estimate, from twelve 
to thirteen thousand souls. Father Pierron was sent into 
this field in 1673, but had been recalled when the embassy 
of La Motte visited the tribe. 






'N the 2oth I heard, from the banks above 
where we were, the voice of the Sieur de la 
Salle, who had arrived from Fort Frontenac 
in a large vessel." Thus the ecclesiastic re- 
cords one stage in the wide wanderings of 
this remarkable man. Robert Cavalier de la 
Salle was a native of Rouen, and belonged to a fami- 
ly in good social standing. He was educated in a Jesuit 
seminary, and in 1667, when but twenty-two years of age, 
emigrated to Canada. He had become possessed with 
the belief that China might be reached by voyaging west- 
ward through the mighty lake and river system of North 
America, which the French pioneers had already exten- 
sively explored ; and was so enthusiastic on the. subject 
that his neighbors mockingly called his place on the St. 
Lawrence La Chine (China"), the name ever since borne 
by the rapids at the head of which he lived. Courcelles, 
the governor of New France, as the French called their 
American possessions, was disposed to share La Salle's 
convictions, and encouraged him to test them by a west- 
ward expedition, on which he embarked in the summer 
of 1669, accompanied by two Montreal priests, DolHer 
and Gallinee. The explorers expected in their tour to 
visit " divers Indian nations, situated along a great river 
called by the Iroquois Otiio, and by the Ottawas Missis- 
sippi." Traversing the St. Lawrence and Lake Ontario 
in canoes, they visited the Senecas in the Genesee valley, 
reached the Niagara, and gazed upon the great cataract. 
Illness obliged La Salle to return to Montreal;; but his 
clerical comrades, remaining, explored the region between 
the lakes, and took possession of it for France and the 
church, planting the royal arms in token thereof. 

La Salle, thwarted in his original project, repaired to 
the French court, bearing the endorsement of Count Fron- 
tenac, then governor of New France, as " the most capa- 
ble for all the enterprises of discovery ;" and obtained 
letters patent from Louis XIV. authorizing him to explore 
the western portion of the vast territory claimed by the 
French in America. "We have consented to this pro- 
posal more willingly," says the Grand Monarch, " because 
there is nothing that we have more at heart than the dis- 
covery of this country, through which it is probable that 
a passage may be found to Mexico." La Salle obtained 
other favors from the King, including the rank of nobili- 
ty, and returned to America to prosecute his new and 
grand scheme of exploration, believing he could find, 
through the Mississippi and the Gulf of Mexico, a better 
route of communication with Europe than that through 
the lakes and the St. Lawrence. Two hundred years 
later found a committee of the United States Senate pon- 
dering on this same idea, balancing the relative advan- 
tages of the lakes and the Mississippi as an outlet for the 

products of the northwest ; as a result, hundreds of thou- 
sands of dollars were appropriated for the improvement 
of the latter, showing the nation's faith in the commercial 
capacity of the mighty stream whose lower course was to 
be explored by the adventurous Frenchman now arriving 
at the mouth of the Niagara. The authority on La Salle's 
advent here in 1679, relied on by all historians of this 
series of events, is the narrative of Father Hennepin, from 
which we have already quoted. We cannot do better 
than to copy his account, as translated from the best 
French edition by Mr. O. H. Marshall, of Buffalo. We 
continue it from the opening sentence of this chapter : 

" He brought provisions and rigging necessary for the 
vessel he intended building above the great fall of Niag- 
ara, near the entrance into Lake Erie. But by a strange 
misfortune that vessel was lost, through fault of the two 
pilots, who disagreed as to the course. The vessel was 
wrecked on the southern shore of Lake Ontario, two 
leagues from Niagara. The sailors have named the place 
the Mad Cape. The anchors and cables were saved, but 
the goods and bark canoes were lost. Such adversities 
would have caused the enterprise to be abandoned by 
any but those who had formed the noble design of a new 

" The Sieur de la Salle informed us that he had been 
among the Iroquois Senecas before the loss of his vessel; 
that he had succeeded so well in conciliating them that 
they mentioned with pleasure our embassy, * * « and 
even consented to the prosecution of our undertaking. This 
agreement was of short duration, for certain persons op- 
posed our designs in every possible way,and instilled jeal- 
ousies into the minds of the Iroquois. The fort, neverthe- 
less, which we were building at Niagara, continued to ad- 
vance. But finally the secret influences against us were so 
great that the fort became an object of suspicion to the 
savages, and we were compelled to abandon its construc- 
tion for a time, and content ourselves with buildinga habi- 
tation, surrounded with palisades. 

"On the 22d we went two leagues above the great falls 
of Niagara, and built some stocks [at the mouth of Cay- 
uga creek] on which to erect the vessel we needed for our 
voyage. We could not have built it in a more convenient 
place, being near a river which empties into the strait 
which is between Lake Erie and the great falls. In all 
my travels back and forth I always carried my portable 
chapel upon my shoulders. On the 26th, the keel of the 
vessel and other pieces beini; ready, the Sieur de la Salle 
sent the master carpenter, named Moyse, to request me 
to drive the first bolt. But the modesty appropriate to 
my religious profession induced me to decline the honor. 
He then promised ten louis d'or for that first bolt, to 
stimulate the master carpenter to advance the work. 

" During the whole winter, which is not half as severe 
in this country as in Canada, we employed in building 
bark huts one of the two savages of the wolf tribe whom 
we had engaged for hunting deer. I had one hut espec- 
ially designed for observing prayers on holidays and Sun- 
days. Many of our people knew the Gregorian chant, 
and the rest had some parts of it by rote [Gregorian 



music was given by practiced European tenors, with the 
tremendous bass of Niagara. — Brodhead\. 

" The Sieur de la Salle left in command of our ship 
vard one Tonti, an Italian by birth, who had come to 
France after the revolution in Naples, in which his father 
was engaged. Pressing business compelled the former to 
return to Fort "Frontenac, and I conducted him to the 
border of Lake Ontario, at the mouth of the river Niag- 
ara. While there he pretended to mark out a house for 
the blacksmith which had been promised for the conven- 
ience of the Iroquois. I cannot blame the Iroquois for 
not believing all that had been promised them at the em- 
bassy of the Sieur de la Motte. Finally the Sieur de la 
Salle undertook his expedition over the snow, and thus 
accomplished more than eighty leagues. He had no food 
o.Kcept a small bag of roasted corn, and even that had 
failed him two days' journey from the fort. Neverthe- 
less he arrived safely, with two men and a dog which 
drew his baggage on the ice. 

" Returning to our ship-yard, we learned that most of 
the Iroquois had gone to war beyond Lake Erie while 
our vessel was being built. Although those that remained 
were less violent, by reason of their diminished numbers, 
still they did not cease from coming often to our ship- 
yard, and testifying their dissatisfaction at our doings. 
Some time after, one of them, pretending to be drunk, at- 
tempted to kill our blacksmith ; but the resistance which 
he met with from the smith, who was named La Forge, 
and who wielded a red-hot bar of iron, repulsed him, and, 
together with a reprimand which I gave the villain, com- 
pelled him to desist. Some days after, a squaw advised 
us that the Senecas were about to set fire to our vessel 
on the stocks, and they would, without doubt, have ef- 
fected their object had not a very strict watch been kept. 
These frequent alarms, the fear of the failure of pro- 
visions, on acc ount of the loss of the large vessel from 
Fort Frontenac and the refusal of the Senecas to sell us 
Indian corn, discouraged our carpenters. They were 
moreover enticed by a worthless fellow, who often at- 
tempted to desert to New York, a place which is inhabited 
by the Dutch, who have succeeded the Swedes. This 
dishonest fellow would have undoubtedly been successful 
with our workmen had I not encouraged them by exhor- 
tations on holidays and Sundays after divine service. I 
told them that our enterprise had sole reference to the 
promotion of the glory of God and the welfare of our 
Christian colonies. Thus I stimulated them to work 
more diligently in order to deliver us from all these ap- 

"In the meantime, the two savages of the wolf tribe 
whom we had engaged in our service followed the chase, 
and furnished us with roe-buck and other kinds of deer 
for our subsistence ; by reason of which our workmen 
took courage, and applied themselves to their business 
with more assiduity. Oiir vessel was consequently soon 
in a condition to be launched, which was done after hav- 
ing been bles.sed according to our church of Rome. We 
were in haste to get it afloat, although not finished, that 
we might guard it more securely from the threatened fire. 

This vessel was named the ' Griffin,' in allusion to the 
arms of the Count de Frontenac, which have two griffins 
for their supports. For the Sieur de la Salle had often 
said of this vessel that he would make the griffin fly above 
the crow. We fired three guns, then sang the Te Deum, 
which was followed by many cries of joy. 

" The Iroquois who happened to be present partook of 
our joy and witnessed our rejoicing. We gave them some 
brandy to drink, as well as to all our men, who slung 
their hammocks under the deck of the vessel to sleep in 
greater security. We then left our bark huts, to lodge 
where we were protected from the insults of the savages. 
" The Iroquois having returned from their beaver hunt, 
were extremely surprised to see our ship. They said we 
were the Oi-kon, which means in their language penetrat- 
ing minds. They could not understand how we had 
built so large a vessel in so short a time, although it was 
but sixty tons burthen. We might have called it a moving 
fort, for it caused all the savages to tremble who lived 
within a space of more than five hundred leagues along 
the rivers and great lakes." 

Hennepin, accompanied by one of the Seneca hunters, 
next paddled up the river to Lake Erie in a canoe, taking- 
soundings and testing the strength of the current; and re- 
turned reporting the passage entiirely practicable for the 
new vessel. One more preparatory journey the enter- 
prising priest had to make, namely to Fort Frontenac, to 
engage two of his fellow ecclesiastics to labor with him 
in the West. The tour of Lake Ontario was made in a 
bark in which a trader named La Foret had come to the . 
mouth of the Niagara with a stock of Indian goods. On 
the departure of the vessel fifteen or sixteen squaws from 
the Genesee villages took passage, expecting a much 
more easy and agreeable journey home than the toilsome 
tramp through the forests; but, "as they were unaccus- 
tomed to travel in this manner, the motion of the vessel 
caused them great qualms at the stomach," and all hands 
wished they had gone overland. At the mouth of the 
Genesee, Hennepin relates, " Sieur de la Foret traded 
brandy for beaver skins. This traffic in strong drink was 
not agreeable to me, for if the savages drink ever so little 
they are more to be dreaded than madmen.'' Having 
reached Fort Frontenac, and associated with him Father 
Gabriel de la Ribourde and Zenobe Mambre, Hennepin 
in a few days embarked for the return in a trading craft, 
which stopped for traffic with the Indians at the mouth of 
the Oswego river; tarrying so long that the priests built a 
little chapel of bark " half a league in the woods," where 
they avoided disturbance by the crowds of savages who 
gathered at the water-side " to see our brigantine, at 
which they greatly wondered, as well as to trade for pow- 
der, guns, knives, lead, but especially brandy, for which 
they are very greedy." 

Thus delayed, the party did not reach the Niagara 
until the 30th of July. On the 4th of August Hennepin 
and a sergeant named La Fleur visited the falls, and 
proceeded to the ship-yard above. The " Griffin " mean- 
while had been moved up the river, to within a league of 
Lake Erie, and Hennepin and his companion followed in 



" a bark canoe, half rotten and without paddles," which 
they found in place of the larger craft, and devised means 
to navigate. " Our arrival was welcomed with joy," says 
the clerical annalist. "We found the vessel perfectly 
equipped with sails, masts, and everything necessary for 
navigation. We found on board five small cannon, two 
of which were brass, besides two or three arquebuses. A 
spread griffin adorned the prow, surmounted by an eagle. 
There were also all the ordinary ornaments which usually 
adorn ships of war.* * * 

"On the i6th and 17th we returned to the banks of 
Lake Ontario, and ascended with the bark we had brought 
from Fort Frontenac as far as the great rock of the river 
Niagara. We there cast anchor at the foot of the three 
mountains where we were obliged to make the portage 
caused by the great falls of Niagara, which interrupt the 
navigation. Father Gabriel, who was sixty-four years old> 
underwent all the fatigues of this voyage, and ascended 
and descended three times the three mountains [the 
terraces of the mountain ridge at Lewiston], which are 
very high and steep at the place where the portage is 
made. Our people made many trips to carry the pro- 
visions, munitions of war, and other necessaries for the 
vessel. The voyage was painful in the extreme, because 
there were two long leagues of road each way. It took 
four men to carry our largest anchor, but brandy being 
given to cheer them the work was soon accomplished, 
and we all returned together to the mouth of Lake 
Erie.* * * 

" We endeavored several times to ascend the current 
of the strait into Lake Erie, but the wind was not yet 
strong enough. We were therefore obliged to wait until 
it should be more favorable. During the detention the 
Sieur de la Salle [who, leaving Fort Frontenac, had 
coasted along the southern shore of Lake Ontario in a 
canoe, and arrived on the Niagara after another tour of 
the Seneca villages] employed our men in preparing some 
ground on the western side of the strait of Niagara, where 
we planted some vegetables for the use of those who 
should come to live in this place for the purpose of keep- 
ing up a communication between the vessels [i.e., should 
have charge of the portage], and maintaining a corre- 
spondence from lake to lake. We found in this place 
some wild chervil and garlic which grow spontaneously. 

"We left Father Melithon [Watteau, who had joined 
the party] at the habitation we had made above the great 
falls of Niagara, with some overseers and workmen. Our 
men encamped on the bank of the river, that the lighten- 
ed vessel might the more easily ascend into the lake. 
We celebrated divine service on board every day, and our 
people who remained on land could hear the sermon on 
holidays and Sundays." 

At length a wind sprung up " strong from the north- 
east," and the " Griffin," bearing a company of thirty- 
four persons, all Frenchmen but Tonti, essayed the 
entrance of Lake Erie, which was only gained by the aid 
of tow lines from the shore. Once more hear Father 
Hennepin . 

"We set sail on the 7th of August, 1679, steering west 

southwest. After having chanted the Te Deum, we fired 
all the cannon and arquebuses in presence of many Iro- 
quois warriors, who had brought captives from Tintonha, 
that is to say, from the 'people of the prairies,' who live 
more than four hundred leagues from their cantons. M'e 
heard these savages exclaim, ' Gannoron !' in testimony 
of their wonder." 

If we were among these astonished savages, and could 
follow with prophetic eye the course of this first sailing 
vessel above the great cataract, as it sinks from sight over 
the blue waters of Lake Erie, we should see trouble and 
disaster lying in wait for the pioneer bark and its san- 
guine crew. The outward voyage ended at Green Bay, 
in Lake Michigan, or Illinois, as it was then called. The 
" Griffin " was there freighted with furs, and with a crew 
of six men set out for the Niagara. No trace of crew, 
vessel or cargo was ever obtained, unless some cannon, 
with a French inscription, and wrought iron, including an 
anchor, which are said to have been found early in this 
century on the eastern shore of Lake Erie, belonged to 
the ill-fated craft. No other wreck is known to have 
occurred in this quarter so early as the discovery of these 
relics, but La Salle was assured by those whom he sent 
in search of the missing craft that it did not return to the 
straits of Mackinaw, at the foot of Lake Michigan ; 
and the Indians between lakes Huron and Erie never 
saw it repass the waters of St. Clair, although the unlucky 
bark was seen at anchor near the north end of Lake 
Michigan after its departure from Green Bay. 

After the loss of the " Griffin " La Salle built a trading 
post at the head of Lake Michigan, and another on the 
Illinois river, from which he returned on foot to Fort 
Fontenac, with but two companions and what provisions 
his rifle brought him. Repairing again to his western 
posts early in 1682, he descended the Mississippi to its 
mouth. He next returned to France, whence in 1684 
he sailed for the mouth of the Mississippi direct, with a 
number of ships and several hundred men, to found a 
colony. The fleet missed its destination, and returned 
to France, after the storeship had been wrecked on the 
coast of Texas ; leaving La Salle with a little company of 
malcontents, embittered by their misfortunes and hating 
him as the cause. With sixteen of them he started for 
Canada, after a fruitless search for gcild in New Mexico, 
but was assassinated before he had reached the present 
boundary of Texas. As to the locality of La Salle's ship- 
yard we cannot do better than print the following remarks, 
submitted by Captain James Van Cleve, of Lewiston : 

" As there are differences of opinion among historians 
and others as to the locality where La Salle built the bark 
'Griffin,' the following brief local historical facts are 
given to show conclusively that she was built within Ni- 
agara county. 

" First, La Salle says he landed at the ' three moun- 
tains [Lewiston],' went on foot to the great falls and pro- 
ceeded on to a creek two leagues (6 miles) above the falls, 
where he erected some cabins and shops and built the 
bark ' Griffin.' 

" Second, Denonville (who was the French governor) 



says in his proclamation dated July 31, 1687, that La 
Salle spent several years on the east side of the Niagara 
river, two leagues above the great falls, where he built a 
bark (the ' Griffin ') of which the stocks were then stand- 

" Third, Joshua Fairbanks, late of Lewiston, who first 
settled in Queenston in 1793 (before Lewiston, as such, 
was known), was well acquainted with an old French offi- 
cer who came to Canada and Fort Niagara as a young 
lieutenant with French troops, and frequently told Mr. 
Fairbanks that 'his coming to Canada was only fifty years 
behind the building of the bark ' Griffin ' by La Salle, 
and that traces of the old ship-yard at Cayuga creek were 
visible ; that old spikes and other articles of rusted iron 
were frequently found, and that the place was notorious 
among Indians as the place where the ' big canoe ' or 
' Griffin ' was built. 

" (After the death of the old French officer, in 1794, 
his effects were sold at 'vendue.' Among them was a 
very beautiful chess and backgammon board, inlaid with 
Ebony and ivory, which Mr. Fairbanks bought and which 
is now in the possession of his grand-daughter, Mrs. James 
Van Cleve, of Lewiston.) 

^'Fourth, Mrs. EH Reynolds, now (1878) residing at 
Niagara Falls, aged 85 years, says her father, who settled 
near Cayuga creek in 1808, was well acquainted with an 
old ship-carpenter, named Smith, who had some years be- 
fore located his ship-yard upon ground where evidences 
appeared that vessels had been built long before, such as 
rusted remains of iron and various forms of chip mould, 
visible under the surface of the ground ; and that tra- 
dition among the old Indians was that the ' big canoe ' 
[' Griffin '] was built there. The location of the old 
ship-yard is about half way between the mouth of Cayuga 
creek and the head of Cayuga Island, upon land now 
known as the Angevine farm. 

" Many other facts and traditions might be given to 
show that Niagara county is entitled to the credit of hav- 
ing the first vessel built upon her soil that navigated the 
lakes above Niagara Falls, but they are deemed unneces- 
sary." The other operations of La Salle's company, as 
narrated by Father Hennepin, were on the east bank of 
the river ; and if in all their going to and coming from 
the ship-yard they had had to cross the river Hennepin 
would certainly have mentioned it. 

Thus was inaugurated in this quarter the domination 
of the French, which marked one of the most important 
eras in the early history of America. A little more than 
three quarters of a century later, France held every point 
of advantage commanding the communication between 
the lakes and the great rivers of the West, and possessed 
a controlling influence over all the Western tribes. The 
toil and daring by which this eminent position was gained 
are well illustrated in this chapter. The boldness and 
versatility of the explorers, the devotion of the ecclesias- 
tics, and the hardihood of the laborers in lower ranks are 
as plain to the reader as to the author in the lucid narra- 
tive of Father Hennepin, and need hardly a comment. 
The deeds of the founders of New France, so important 

a portion of which was performed within the western bor- 
ders of Niagara county, were worthy of the great lakes, 
the boundless forests and prairies, and the mighty rivers^ 
that formed the splendid arena on which they «ere 




I HE French were now established on the upper 
. ^J lakes, and in friendly relations with several 
WM Indian tribes, including the Illinois, Miamis, 
Hurons and Ottawas, with whom they carried 
)on a trade which was their most important interest in 
''America, exchanging firearms, ammunition, blankets 
and brandy for furs, chiefly beaver, to great advan- 
■ tage. The establishment of their posts on the Niagara 
guarded transportation along that stream, and they seemed 
prepared to achieve a career of brilliant prosperity. Such 
might have been their good fortune but for a war with 
the Iroquois in which they now became involved, and 
which proved extremely disastrous to both belligerents. 

The English had built up a similar trade among the 
Five Nations, which both parties found it for their inter- 
est to promote and develop; but the territory of New 
York afforded limited resources for the trapper, as com- 
pared with the boundless wilds of the Northwest, whence 
the French drew their harvest of furs. The great Indian 
confederacy was now at the height of its power, and its 
warriors, stimulated by a prospect of gain, as well as by 
the fondness for war and the lust of conquest which 
always animated them, determined to overcome the clans 
of the prairies and the greater lakes, and possess them- 
selves of the fountain of wealth now tapped by the French, 
but which would in the event of their success be diverted 
to the English. The prosecution of this scheme must in- 
evitably, soon or late, have driven the French to arms; 
but the Iroquois, contemptuous of the power of Onontio, 
as they called the governor of New France, whoever he 
might be, needlessly precipitated the conflict. Early in 
1684 a war party of the Senecas and Cayugas, on a cam- 
paign against the Illinois, which in the scale of distances 
traversed belittles Sherman's famous "march to the sea,'' 
attacked the garrison of the post which La Salle had 
planted on the Illinois river, after seizing seven canoes 
loaded with valuable goods which the French governor, 
De la Barre, had expected to dispose of on the Missis- 
sippi. There was now no alternative left but lyar; but 
the power of- La Barre was inadequate to avenge his in- 
juries, and an expedition which he led against the Iro- 
quois got no further into their country than the lake shore 
of Oswego county, where a parley was held with their 
chiefs and a disgraceful truce effected, the Indians falsely 


promising to make reparation for the plunder of the 
canoes, but refusing to grant peace to their western ene- 
mies, the allies of the French. De la Barre was recalled 
to France, and the Marquis de Denonville appointed to 
succeed him. 

The situation and the demands of the hour were about 
this time summed up as follows, in an official communi- 
cation laid before the French King : 

" The Iroquois Indians have, from all time, waged a 
cruel war against all the other Indians of the country 
called Canada. Since the Dutch first, and the F,nglish 
afterwards, held Manatte [Manhattan — New York] and 
Orange [Albany], which adjoin the hamlets and villa- 
ges of the said Iroquois, these have been excessively 
urged thereto by those Dutch and English, who clearly 
foresaw that they would become masters of the whole of 
the hunting of the country should the Iroquois destroy 
all the other tribes, and thereby gain a great trade and 
ruin that of Quebec. The English have spared nothing 
to accomplish that object. They have supplied those 
Iroquois with merchandise, and particularly with arms 
and powder, nearly at European prices; have given feasts 
and presents to their chiefs, and sometimes to the entire 
nation; and have finally succeeded, because, the colony of 
Quebec and New France being formerly governed by 
companies, these gave themselves very little trouble about 
the good or evil which might eventually result to the 

" Now that things are changed by the favor of God, 
and the King takes care of that country, it appears very 
easy to return the compliment to those English if, as 
there is reason to hope, his Majesty's arms are victorious 
over the Iroquois, and these are reduced; particularly, by 
erecting a fort at Niagara, with a strong garrison for the 
protection of the settlers, who will establish themselves 
there, in order to clear the land, which is most excellent, 
and to carry on the trade in furs with the said Iroquois 
Indians, who do all their hunting on the lands belonging 
to the King's domain. The English will thus be deprived 
of a trade in peltries amounting to four hundred thousand 
livres yearly, which will be very beneficial to the French 
colony. All the inhabitants of said Niagara will pay to 
the revenue of his Majesty's domain the duty of one- 
fourth of the beavers, and one-tenth of the moose, the 
same as at Quebec. This will increase by a large sum 
the King's revenue in said country, and should his 
Majesty think fit to lease it to a private person when the 
said Iroquois are pacified, inasmuch as the establishment 
of the said Niagara must be considered a newly discovered 
country, persons will be found who will give a consider- 
able sum for the privilege of receiving the duties on the 
beaver and moose which will be exported from said 

Denonville further .urged similar considerations upon 
the French government, writing as follows under date of 
" Quebec 8th May 1686 :" 

"I am satisfied the Iroquois hea ';' desire peace now 
that they see troops, but I do not at all believe that they 
consent to abandon all future hostilities against the other 

tribes, our allies. Therefore, there remains not a doubt 
of the necessity of placing ourselves in a condition to 
humble them. The establishment of a very strong post 
at Niagara would, in my opinion, be the most effectual 
means to accomplish that object. 

"The mode observed by the English with the Iroquois, 
when desirous to form an establishment in their neighbor- 
hood, has been to make presents for the purchase of the 
fee and property of the land they would occupy. What I 
consider most certain is, that whether we do so or have 
war or peace with them, they will not suffer, except most 
unwillingly, the construction of a fort at Niagara, where- 
by we would secure to ourselves the communication of 
the two lakes, and become masters of the passage by 
which the Senecas go after peltries, having none in their 
own country, and where they rendezvous when they hunt 
for game, with which, as well as with all sorts of fish, this 
country abounds. 

" That post would be of great advantage as a retreat for 
the other nations who are at war with them, and who dare 
not come into their neighborhood in consequence of 
having too far to retreat. This post would keep them in 
check and in fear, especially were the fort made sufficient- 
ly large to accommodate a body of four to five hundred 
men to wage war against them. It would necessitate 
some expense,as it should be inclosed by ordinary palisad- 
ing to protect it from insult,as the garrison would not de- 
rive any assistance from us.* * * 

" I am assured the lands in that neighborhood, which 
is in about the 44th degree of latitude, are very fine, high- 
ly productive, and easy of cultivation. All I learn of the 
place confirms me in my opinion that in three years, at 
the farthest, the post would support itself. Fortifying it, 
'tis feared, will draw down war on us if you wish to avoid 
it. But at the same time it is my belief that the Senecas, 
on seeing us strongly established, would be much more 

After the fashion of the Roman senator, whose constant 
peroration was, " Carthage must be destroyed," Denon- 
ville reiterates in closing: " The whole world here is con- 
vinced that the progress of the faith among the Indians 
depends absolutely on humiliating the Iroquois." 

A mass of documents 'besides those already quoted 
might be cited to show the importance of Niagara as a 
post commanding the Indian trade, which was from this 
time a constant object of competition and bone of con- 
tention between Canada and New York for three quarters 
of a century. It was officially reported to the French 
government that in 1683, " in addition to the bark, there 
were seven or eight canoes trading at the falls of Niagara, 
* * * which is the place where the savages pass on their 
return from hunting." It was recommended to Colonel 
Schuyler in 1720 by Robert Livingston " that a private 
conference be held with a sachem of each nation to 
engage a party of their people to go to Onjagore [Niagara] 
and demolish that French settlement, and to prevent any 
future settlements which they may hereafter attempt to 
make ;" also that there be " encouragement given to those 
that will go to the Sinnekes' country and Onyagoro to 



sell what Indian goods they please to the Five Nations, 
or the farr Indians, and moreover that some person of 
respect, that has influence among the Indians, may be sent 
with a considerable company to the Sennekes country to 
remain there and keep the Indians steady to the British 
interest and defeat the subtle artifices of the French." 

" Att a Private Conference held between the Hon bll 
Coll Peter Schuyler Esqr President of his Majesties 
Council of New York and two Sachims of each of the four 
nations vizt the Maquase oneydes onnondages and 
cayouges in Albany ye ist of Sept 1720," the report rep- 
resents the Indians as saying that " as the french are 
making a Settlement at onjagra they are very senceable 
it is prejudicial to them [the Indians] as well as to us 
[the English] and therefore are willing if Quider [Col. 
Schuyler] will send some of his people thither they of 
the five Nations will join them and go unaniarously and 
pull it Down but wee must withall tell you that the sell- 
ing of Indian goods to the french and their Indians of 
Canada is Great Inducement for the french to make that 
Settlement and therefore we desire you to stop that trade 
and then the french will not have goods so cheap to serve 
the farr Indians withall for we are all sencible that Goods 
can be aforded Cheaper here than at Canada and that 
the french knows very well which makes them come 
hither to buy to supply the Indians with out which the 
far Indians would be Obliged to Come hither and be 

The report which Lawrence Clawsen made of his mis- 
sion to Niagara in 1720, and consultation with the Sene- 
cas, contains the following paragraphs : 

" Jean Coeur [Joncaire] the French interpreter in- 
terrupted me when I repeated the above Speach to the 
Sachims of the Sinnekies and young Captains and sayed 
you endeavour to have the House at Octjagera [Niagara] 
demolished only because you are afraid that you will not 
get any trade of this Nation and the farr Indians for 
when wee have and keep a house and people there Wee 
can stop all the Sinnekies & farr Indians but not that 
you are afraid that wee shall keep the Land froni this 

" Whereon I made answer that the French made the 
settlement at Octjagera to encroach on the five Nations 
to hinder them of their hunting and debarr them of the 
advantage they should reap by a Free passage of the 
Farr Indians through their castles and in hopes to impose 
on the said Nations by selling them Goods at an extrava- 
gant Rate as for a Blanket of Stronds for 8 Beavers a 
White blanket 6 and other Goods proportionably whereas 
they may have them at Albany for half which the said 
Indians affirmed to be true.'' 

Governor Burnet, in a letter to the English Lords of 
Trade, November 20, 1720, recommended that a fort be 
built "at Ochiagara and a sufficient number of brisk 
young men posted there with proper Officers and an in- 
telligent sencible man reside there to defeat the intreagues 
of the French and secure and preserve the Five nations 
to the British interest and likewise to keep the path open 
and patent for all the Far Indians to come hither [to 

Albany] and trade which would take off a vast quantity 
of goods." 

The hopes of the French and the apprehensions 
of the English were justified; in T738 the Commis- 
sioners of Indian Affairs had to report that the French 
fort at Niagara " in a great measure commands the In- 
dian Trade from the westward, and overawes the Sin- 
nekes." In 1741 the governor of New York assured the 
Lords of Trade that he held the Five Nations only by 
presents, and it would be " absolutely necessary " to take 
the fort. Sir WiUiam Johnson wrote in 1750 that an 
acquaintance had " read a letter from the Lord intendant 
of Quebec to the commanding officer at Niagara, dated 
sometime this last summer, wherein he desires him to 
supply all Indians (who pass in their way to Oswego) with 
Goods, at such a Price as may induce them to trade there 
to gain which point at the time, he said the Lord Intend- 
ant in his letter says, he will not regard the loss of 20 or 
30,000 Livres a year to the Crown. He also allows said 
officer to supply said Indians with what quantity of 
Brandy or Rum they may want, which was never allowed 
before, for their Priests were always against selling them 
liquor, but finding liquor to be one of the principal 
articles, they trade for, they are determined to let them 
have it as they would otherwise go to Oswego for it I take 
it their view in this, is as much if not more, for prevent- 
ing communication between us and said Indians, as for 
engrossing the trade, and in my opinion they could not 
have fallen upon a better scheme to accomplish." 

On the hostility of the priests to the sale of liquor to 
the Indians, here mentioned by Johnson, Mr. Orsamus 
Turner, in his History of Phelps and Gorham's Purchase, 
makes the following important statement : " From the 
first advent of the French Franciscan and Jesuit mission- 
aries in this region they were the determined opposers of 
the introduction of spirituous liquors among the Indians. 
They would suppress it in the trading houses of their own 
countrymen, and at the risk of their lives knock out the 
heads of English rum casks. They became, in some in- 
stances, martyrs in endeavoring to suppress the traflSc. 
The first temperance essay the world ever saw, other than 
the precepts of the Bible, was written in this region by a 
Jesuit missionary, and published in Paris." Governor 
Colden wrote in 1751 that the improvement which the 
French were making in the Niagara post would, if not 
prevented, " be of great consequence, not only as it will 
keep the Six Nations at all times in awe, but intercept all 
the Indians to the westward of it, and where the great 
beaver hunting is, in their way to trade with the English." 

Sir William Johnson set the importance of Niagara in 
a strong light in a. letter which, as illustrating the com- 
mercial and political value of the post, was as true of the 
period we have now reached as it was in 1759, when 
Johnson wrote. He said : " The Reduction of Niagara, 
* * * will be in the light I view it a point of inestimable 
advantage to the security and welfare of these His Majes- 
ty's Dominions, and if the conquest is rightly improved 
will throw such an extensive Indian Trade and interest 
(for they are inseparable) into our hands, as will in my 



humble opinion overset all those ambitious and lucrative 
schemes which the French have projected and in pursuit 
of which they were interrupted by the present war in thi. 
part of the world. Whilst the French are in possession of 
Niagara in vain will our repossession of Oswego, and es- 
tablishing an Indian Trade there enable us to hold the 
Balance from them either in Indian Interest or Trade. 
The many nations of Westward Indians in comparison 
with whom the Six Nations are but a handful! must pass 
by Niagara in order to come to Oswego, where the French 
stop them and their goods,securethemby negotiations,and 
engross their Trade. This we felt for some years before 
the War began when very few of those Indians came to 
trade with us to Oswego, and latterly the chief Trade 
there was rather carried on with the French than Indians 
by which means our enemies procured assortments and 
supplies of Goods from us to support this Trade at and 
from Niagara." 

In the sharp competition for the Indian trade of which 
the Niagara post was the depot, the attitiide of the Sene- 
cas toward the competing powers was a matter of the 
highest importance. We have already seen something of 
the intrigues by which their favor was sought. The fickle- 
ness of the race was never more conspicuous, and never 
made more profitable to them. For a brief and treach- 
erous adherence to either party they were liberally sub- 
sidized. At one time we find their representatives prom- 
ising to help the English pull down the French trading 
house ; and anon we read of a French official with " or- 
ders from the court to join the Sieur de Joncair at Niaga- 
ra, and go with him and the Sieur de la Chauvinerie to 
the village of the Sunekees, to thank them by presents for 
the good will they had shown to the French." Then we 
have an Iroquois speech maker demanding of Governor 
Dongan : " What has the father to doe to examine 
whether they [the Iroquois] are His Majesty's subjects or 
not, wee have been so time out of minde and always uni- 
ted to this Govern', let the Gover"^ goe forwards and re- 
move the French from Onyagra, Cataracque and Tysch- 
sarondia which is the place where wee goe a beaver hunt- 
inge for if thoes forts continew in the French hands wee 
are always besieged." At another time writes Vaudreuil : 
" About fifty Senecas, headed by one of the principal 
chiefs of the Five Nations, on whom I can rely, arrived 
at Niagara. When the council assembled, that chief pre- 
sented to these Senecas one of my belts, and speaking to 
them and the Five Nations, said ; 

'•' Here's the axe our father has presented to us that we 
may avenge the continued treacheries of the English ; I 
have accepted it, with all those who have been at Mon- 
treal. I present it to you and invite you to follow my ex- 
ample.' The tribes of the Bear and Beaver accepted it 
and offered it to the two other tribes, who received it with 
pleasure, and all with one accord unanimously say : ' We 
are going to try M. de Vaudreuil, our Father's, axe on the 
English, to see if it cut well.' " 

About this time occurred " the examination of Mons'' 
Belestre, a French ensign, taken before the Hon''''' Ed- 
mund Atkyn, EsqJ, His Maj'^" agent for, and Superinten- 

dent of Indian Affairs, in the Southern Department. In 
presence of Col" Washington and George Croghan, Esq', 
Dep'' to Sir William Johnson." 

Belestre says: " I was informed that the French at 
Niagara was very scarce of Provisions, that some Munsey 
Indians with the King of that tribe who went there this 
spring had differed with the French Commandant and 
told him that they could no longer be amused with his 
false speeches, for we now see your designs: You look on 
us only as your Dogs; for every old man who is scarce 
able to walk, or a young boy, who comes among you, you 
immediately give him a hatchet and say, here child take 
this and go and kill the English, while you stay at home 
yourselves and laugh at us, but I tell you we will be F'ools 
no more. You put the Hatchet into our hands, and I 
would have you take care how you behave or perhaps you 
may feel it soon." It would seem that the savages were 
sometimes about as dangerous to their friends as to their 
enemies, and a French paper tells how they once sacked 
Fort Niagara while at peace with the garrison: 

" Several Senecas going there in the month of May, 
after having traded their peltries there, demanded some 
brandy from the man named Champagne, who is the store 
keeper and warden. But apprehending some disorder on 
the part of the said Iroquois, through drunkenness, he 
refused them any, which obliged them to force the said 
fort, to make themselves masters of it, and even to pil- 
lage it. * * * They restored all the merchandise, 
after having given Champagne and the handful of people 
there a sound drubbing, and drank as much brandy as 
they pleased.' 

The fact seems to have been that on the question of 
their alliance the Indians spoke as the spirit moved 
them; and the spirit was French brandy one day and 
English rum the next. When dosed with the former, 
they were the dutiful children of Onontio; when filled 
with the latter, they were the steadfast brothers of Cor- 
lear, as they dubbed the governor of New York. Which- 
ever side_ was favored (?) with their adherence found 
it hard to get and harder to keep. 

There was a standing dispute between the French 
and English as to the right of the former ever to ha\ e 
established themselves on this side of the Niagara, 
where the latter claimed authority under their general 
protectorate of the Five Nations; and even as to the 
question of fact whether the French ever obtained the 
consent of the Senecas. The Indians themselves lied 
freely on this latter point, as on others, when cornered 
by either party, but there is abundant evidence that 
they permitted the original settlement of the French. 
In a council at Fort Frontenac in 1720, the Indian 
spokesman said that " Father Ononthio (who is Mr. 
de Vaudreuil) and their uncle Sononchiez (who is the 
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 English should undertake to de- 
molish it they must first take up the hatchet against the 
Cabanes of the two villages of the Sennekas." When 



Lawrence Clawsen counselled with the Senecas in the 
same year the "Sachims & Young Captains say'd that 
the French had built the House at Ocjagera without 
asking any of them leave and desire that their brother 
Corlaer may do this endeavour to have y° said House de- 
molisht that they may preserve their Lands and Hunting 
or to write to the Governor of Canada that he may order 
his people to do it." Lieutenant Governors Colden and 
Clarke admitted that the French establishment was au- 
thorized by the Iroquois, the former in the following 
words: " After the peace of Utrecht the French changed, 
their measures. They took every method in their power 
to gain the Friendship of the Five Nations & succeeded 
so far with the Senekas who are by far the most nume- 
rous & at the greatest distance from us, that they 
were entirely brought over to the French interest. The 
French Obtained the consent of the Senekas to the 
building of the Fort at Niagara situated in their Country." 
In 1733 the sachems of the Six Nations assured 
Governor Cosby that they had " Sinnekes on the Falls 
of lagara who perswade the Far Indians to trade at Os- 
wego." It seems strange at first to read of the Indians 
traversing the length and breadth of the State for a 
slight advantage in trade, and we wonder that any of 
them passed Niagara to barter at Albany or Oswego; but 
they were about as much at home in one place as an- 
other, and had nothing to do but hunt, which they 
could do while journeying, so that their indifference to 
time and distance is not, after all, so remarkable. 


dkminville's expedition against the senecas— the 
building of the first fort niagara. 

'e must return to events connected with the 
administration of Denonville as governor of 
New France. 

The tribes betrayed by La Barre's treaty 
evidently could no longer be depended on 
for beavers unless something were done to protect 
them, and procure their respect, as well as that of 
the Iroquois. Denonville therefore made it his chief con- 
cern to chastise the Senecas, who were foremost in hos- 
tility to the French. For that purpose, in the summer of 
1687 he assembled nearly 3000 French and Indians, in- 
cluding Algonquins who had come via Niagara from a 
thousand miles up the lakes, at Irondequoit Bay, now in 
Monroe county. Thence, on the 12th of July, the army 
took up the line of march for the Seneca village of Gan- 
nagaro, twenty-two miles inland, making but nine or ten 
miles that day. On nearing the town in the afternoon of 
the 13th, the natives, to the number of 800 as reported by 
the French, but probably much fewer in fact, were en- 
countered in ambuscade, and a lively engagement took 

place, in which the Senecas were finally beaten off, and 
forced to take refuge in the forest, leaving about thirty of 
their dead and carrying with them nearly as many more 
and a larger number severely wounded. Denonville had 
ten or eleven killed and twice as many wounded. His 
army bivouacked on the field, and the next morning ad- 
vanced, and took possession of the burned and deserted 
village, which Abbe Belmont speaks of as "the famous 
Babylon of the Senecas, where so many crimes ha^e been 
committed, so much blood spilled, and so many men 
burned. It was a village or town of bark, on the top of 
a hill. They had burned it a week before. We found 
nothing in it but the grave-yard and the graves, full of 
snakes and other creatures ; a great mask, with teeth and 
eyes of brass, and a bearskin drawn over it, with which 
they performed their conjurations.'' The invaders com- 
pleted the work of destruction which the inhabitants had 
begun, by burning a great quantity of corn which they 
found in bins of bark, killing a large number of hogs, and 
cutting down the growing crop of corn. An abandoned 
castle, a mile and a quarter away, was also burned, and 
three villages in the same region met a like fate. 

They 'were Totiakto,' called by the Jesuits Conception, 
which Brodhead locates " on a bend of the Honeyoye 
creek, near what is now West Meridon, in Monroe coun- 
ty;"Crannogarae, some three miles and a half from Ganna- 
garo, and in the present town of East Bloomfield; and 
Gannondata, situated, according to Brodhead, " near 
East Avon, in Livingston county." At the last named 
"were found the English arms, which Dongan had caused 
to be placed there in 1684, 'antedated, as of the year 
1683.' This greatly disgusted the French, who thought 
it ' beyond question that they first discovered and took 
possession of that country, and for twenty consecutive 
years have had fathers Fremin, Gamier, etc., as stationary 
missionaries in all these villages.' " Accordingly, they now 
formally took possession, as they had actually before, 
but with the added claim of conquest. 

It was not until the 24th that Denonville and his force 
returned to Irondequoit Bay, where they embarked for 
the mouth of the Niagara. Mr. Parkman has the fol- 
lowing interesting note on this campaign: 

" The Seneca ambuscade was on the marsh and the 
hills immediately north and west of the present village of 
Victor ; and their chief town, called Gannagaro by Den- 
onville, was on the top of Boughton's hill, about a mile 
and a quarter distant. Immense quantities of Indian 
remains were formerly found here, and many are found 
to this day. Charred corn has been turned up in abund- 
ance by the plow, showing that the place was destroyed 
by fire. The remains of the fort burned by the French 
are still plainly visible on a hill a mile and a quarter from 
the ancient town." 

The French had now the opportunity desired by them 
of fortifying their position on the Niagara. Denonville, 
who directed the enterprise, shall tell us how it was ac- 

" 26M [/u/y]. We set out for Niagara, resolved to 
occupy that post as a retreat for all our Indian allies, and 



thus afford them the means of continuing, in small 
detachments, the war against the enemy whom they have 
not been able to harass hitherto, being too distant from 
them, and having no place to retire to. Although it is 
only thirty leagues from Ganniatarontagouat [Ironde- 
quoit] to Niagara, we were unable to accomplish the 
distance in less than four days and a half by reason of 
contrary winds; that is to say, we arrived there on the 
morning of the 30th. We immediately set about select- 
ing a site, and collecting stockades for the construction 
of the fort which I had resolved to build on the Iroquois 
side at the point of a tongue of land between the Niagara 
river and Lake Ontario. 

" ^is/ of July and \st of August. We continued this 
work, which was the more difficult as there was no wood 
on the ground suitable for making palisades, and from its 
being necessary to haul them up the hill. We performed 
this labor so diligently that the fort was in a state of 
defense on the last mentioned day.* * * 

" 2d of August. The militia having performed their 
allotted task, and the fort being in a condition of defense, 
in case of attack, they set out at noon for the end of the 
lake, on their return home. 

" Tjrd. The next day I embarked in the morning for 
the purpose of joining the militia, leaving the regular 
troops in charge of M. de Vaudreuil, to finish what was 
the most essential, and to render the fort not only capa- 
ble of defense, but also of being occupied by a detach- 
ment of a hundred soldiers, which are to winter there 
under the command of M. de Troyes, a veteran officer.'' 

This is from Denonville's journal of the expedition. 
In his report to the government he writes : 

" I selected the angle of the lake, on the Seneca side 
of the river; it is the most beautiful, the most pleasing 
and the most advantageous site that is on the whole of 
this lake.* * * The post being in a state of defense, I 
left a hundred men there under the command of ^ieur de 
Troyes.* * * The post has caused much joy to all our 
farther Indians, who, having no place of retreat, scarcely 
dared to approach the enemy. They have made me great 
promises, especially our Illinois, to harass them this win- 
ter by a number of small parties.* * * On quitting 
Niagara I left M. de Vandreuil there for a few days with 
the troops to cut firewood, after having done what was 
necessary for lodgings. The inconvenience of this post 
is that timber is at a distance from it." 

A little later the Marquis wrote to the minister, Seign- 
elay : 

" The post I have fortified at Niagara is not a novelty, 
since Sieur de la Salle had a house there, which is in 
ruins since a year, when Serjeant La Fleur, whom I placed 
at Cataracouy, abandoned it through the intrigues of the 
English, who solicited the Senecas to expel him by threats. 
My Lord, if you do not wish to lose the entire trade of 
the upper country, we must maintain that post ; also that 
of Dulhu, at the Detroit, and the possession of all the 

On the 31st of July Denonville promulgated a windy 
declaration, full of misstatements, by way of formally 

taking possession of Niagara. " This acte " was " execu- 
ted " in his presence and that of his principal subordi- 
nates. The new stockade thus hastily constructed was 
christened with the name of its builder, but was always 
called Fort Niagara. It was armed with some small can- 
non, and the Jesuit Lamberville was stationed at the post 
as chaplain. 

The western Indians, who had come the length of the 
lakes to assist in the destruction, as they expected, of the 
Senecas, and who after the battle of July 13th urged a 
vigorous pursuit of the flying enemy instead of the inac- 
tion which allowed them to escape, regarded Denonville's 
expedition as a failure ; and only the building of the fort 
on the Niagara, which might serve their needs in future 
inroads, prevented them from giving over the war entire- 
ly. On leaving for their distant homes, however, they 
told the French governor " that they depended upon his 
promise to continue the war till the Five Nations were 
either destroyed or dispossessed of their country ; that 
they earnestly desired that part of the army should take 
the field out of hand, and continue in it both winter and 
summer, for they would certainly do the same on their 
part ; And, in fine, that forasmuch as their alliance with 
France was chiefly granted upon the promises the French 
made of hstening to no proposals of peace till the Five 
Nations should be quite extirpated, they therefore hoped 
they would be as good as their word." 

Perhaps a feeling on the part of the French that they 
had treated their western allies rather shabbily had some- 
thing to do with Denonville's sending a French escort 
with them on their return voyage, to help them defend 
themselves against the warriors whom they would have 
had exterminated. They were remarkably fortunate in 
escaping from Iroquois ground, even with this escort, for 
a large force of the vengeful Senecas — a thousand, says 
Baron La Hontan, who commanded the French — had ral- 
lied to intercept the invaders on their way up the Niaga- 
ra, and the latter had barely embarked at the upper land- 
ing when their foes reached the bank of the river. Had 
the pursuing party met the retiring one while climbing 
the heights above Lewiston, where, as La Hontan says, 
" one hundred Iroquese might have knocked them on the 
head with stones,'' few either of Algonquins or French- 
men would ever have taken the war path again. 

Some high authorities consider it established that La 
Salle's company built a fortification at the mouth of the 
Niagara, and Denonville's report seems to countenance 
this belief. Yet it does not appear from Father Henne- 
pin's narrative, which might be expected to show it. 
What we learn from Hennepin is that the party with which 
he came to the mouth of the river on the 6th of Decem- 
ber, 1678, halted there that night ; left their brigantine 
there and made a tour of exploration above the falls the 
next day, beginning their portage at the point where" the 
current was too rapid for us to master," undoubtedly at 
the site of Lewiston ; returned on the 8th to the mouth 
df the stream, and made it their next business to get the 
brigantine "' up the river as far as the rapid current above 
mentioned [the site of Lewiston again], where we had re- 



solved to build some houses, Whosoever considers our 
map," Hennepin continues, "will easily see that this new 
enterprise of building a fort and some houses," [plainly 
at the place last named] etc. On the 15th the party suc- 
ceeded in getting the brigantine up the river, " and moor- 
ed her to the shore with a hawser, near a rock of prodi- 
gious height lying upon the rapid currents we have already 
mentioned. The 17th, i8th and 19th we were busy mak- 
ing a cabin, with palisadoes, to serve for a magazine." 
The natural presumption is that this palisaded cabin was 
where the brigantine was moored, at the foot of " the 
rapid currents," and therefore at or near the site of Lew- 
iston. The next mention of building operations is in 
connection with the notice of the arrival, on the 20th of 
January, 1679, of La Salle himself, who had come by way 
of the Seneca villages, whose inhabitants in council with 
him had " consented to the prosecution of our undertak- 
ing. This agreement was of short duration, for certain 
persons [agents of the governor of New York] opposed 
our design in every possible way, and instilled jealousies 
into the minds of the Iroquois. The fort, nevertheless, 
which we were building at Niagara, continued to advance. 
But finally the secret influences against us were so great 
that the fort became an object of suspicion to the savages, 
and we were compelled to abandon its construction for a 
time, and content ourselves with building a habitation, 
surrounded by palisades." Is it not natural to conclude 
that this structure was the same mentioned in the previ- 
ous quotations ? There has been no mention of a remov- 
al of operations to the mouth of the river. The first re- 
cord of anything of the kind at that point is that La Salle, 
while there on his way to Fort Frontenac, to make final 
preparations for his voyage up the lakes in the " Griffin," 
^^ pretended to mark out a house for the blacksmith which 
had been promised for the convenience of the Iroquois."' 
All this goes to show [hat the palisaded post established 
by La Salle was about where Lewislon stands, and not 
on the site of Fort Niagara ; in conformity with the 
opinion of Bancroft, who speaks of " a group of cabins 
at Lewiston, on the site where La Salle had driven a rude 
palisade." The " house " or " houses " which Denon- 
ville speaks of as having stood on the spot where he now 
built, need not have been the fortified post of La Salle ; 
and on the whole we incline to agree with Mr. Marshall, 
that " no regular defensive work was constructed in the 
vicinity until Denonville " built his ; and with the histo- 
rian of Erie county, that this fortification was " the 
origin of Fort Niagara." 

The bright hopes which had inspired the French in 
building and garrisoning the new fort were destined to 
bitter disappointment. Its construction was part of a 
campaign against the Senecas, and they of course regard- 
ed the post with the bitterest hostility. They very soon 
placed it in a state of siege. Without exposing themselves 
to its guns, they thoroughly beleaguered the feeble fron- 
tier fortress, lurking in the neighboring forests and slay- 
ing all who ventured beyond the palisades. Foul and 
sickening provisions were poisoning the garrison, and no 
one dared venture out to hunt or fish for food more 

agreeable and wholesome, nor could they have procured 
firewood to cook any game they might capture. Says 
Parkman ; " The fort was first a prison, then a hospital, 
then a charnel-house, till before spring [1688], the garri- 
son of a hundred men was reduced to ten or twelve. In 
this condition they were found towards the end of April, 
by a large war party of friendly Miamis, who entered the 
place and held it till a French detachment at length ar- 
rived for its relief." Immediately upon the construction 
of the fort, Governor Dongan, of New York, had de- 
manded its demolition, as being built on English territory 
and contrary to existing treaties. The answer was : 
" This cannot be granted ; first, because it is built there 
by the command of the most christian King, and therefore 
it must be demolished by his command ; secondly, be- 
cause it would not be reasonable to demolish it before 
there be a general peace, since in the meantime we have 
need of the fort to protect ourselves from the Indians 
until there be something concluded concerning the limits. 
This only I can declare and grant, that the aforesaid fort 
does not give us any other right to those Indians than 
what we pretend to have long since." 

Seeing, however, that disease and the Senecas would 
compel the abandonment of the post, Denonville con- 
cluded to make a virtue of necessity, and wrote from 
Montreal August 20th, 1688, to Governor Dongan, as 
follows : " Regarding the fort at Niagara, of which you 
write me, I beg to assure you that so soon as I see some 
certainty as to affairs, I shall, in order to contribute to a 
permanent peace, withdraw the garrison that is there." 
Two months later he informed the New York governor 
that he had withdrawn the garrison. The palisades had 
been removed in the middle of September. 

The following minute and curious account, by the 
French commander, of the condition in which the place 
was left in other respects, we judge sufficiently interest- 
ing to demand insertion : 

" On the fifteenth day of September, of the year one 
thousand, six hundred and eighty-eight, in the forenoon, 
Sieur Desbergeres, captain of one of the companies of the 
detachment of the marine and commandant of Fort Niag- 
ara, having assembled all the officers, the Reverend 
Father Millet, of the Society of Jesus, missionary, and 
others, to communicate to them the orders he has re- 
ceived from tiie Marquis de Denonville, governor and 
lieutenant-general for the King throughout the whole 
extent of New France and country of Canada, dated the 
6th of July, of the present year, whereby he is commanded 
to demolish the fortification of said fort, with the excep- 
tion of the cabins and quarters, which will be found 
standing ;" 

"We, Chevalier de la Mothe, lieutenant of a detached 
company of the marine, and major of said fort, have 
made s.proces verbal, by order of said commandant, con 
taining a memorandum of the condition in which we 
leave said quarters, which will remain entire, for the pur- 
pose of maintaining the possession his Majesty and the 
French have for a long time had in this Niagara district. 
" Firstly : — We leave in the center of the square a large, 


framed, wooden cross, eighteen feet in height, on the 
arms of which are inscribed in large letters these words : 

[Regnat, viiicit, imperat Christus — Christ rules, conquers 
governs.] which was erected on last Good Friday by all 
the officers, and solemnly blessed by the Reverend Father 

" Item : A cabin in which the commandant lodged ; 
contained a good chimney, a door and two windows, 
furnished with their hinges, fastenings and locks, which 
cabin is covered with forty-four deal boards, and about 
sixty other boards arranged inside into a sort of bed- 

" Item : In the immediate vicinity of said cabin is 
another cabin with two rooms, having each its chimney, 
ceiled with boards, and in each a little window and three 
bedsteads, the door furnished with its hinges and fasten- 
ings ; the said cabin is covered with fifty deal boards, 
and there are sixty like boards on each side. 

" Item : Right in front is the Reverend Father Mil- 
let's cabin, furnished with its chimney, windows and 
sashes, shelves, a bedstead and four boards arranged in- 
side, with a door, furnished with its fastenings and hinges 
the which is of twenty-four boards. 

" Item : Another cabin, opposite the cross, in which 
there is a chimney, a board ceiling and three bedsteads, 
covered with forty-two boards, with three like boards, 
on one side of said cabin ; there is a window, with its 
sash, and a door, furnished with its hinges and fastenings. 

" Item : Another cabin, with a chimney, a small 
window, with its sash, and a door ; covered with thirty 
deal boards ; there are three bedsteads inside. 

" A bake house, furnished with its oven and chimney, 
partly covered with boards and the remainder with 
hurdles and clay ; also an apartment at the end of said 
bakery, containing two chimneys ; there are in said bak- 
ery a window and door, furnished with hinges and fast- 

" Item : Another large and extensive framed building 
[probably the chapel] having a double door, furnished 
with nails, hinges, and fastenings, with three small 
windows ; the said apartment is without a chimney ; 'tis 
floored with twelve plank, and about twelve boards are 
arranged inside, and without 'tis clapboarded with fifty- 
two plank. 

" Item : A large storehouse, covered with one hundred 
and thirty boards, surrounded with pillars, eight feet 
high, in which there are many pieces of wood serving as 
small joists, and partly floored with several unequal 
plank. There is a window and a sliding sash. 

"Item : A well, with its cover, above the scarp of the 

" Item : All which apartments are in the same con- 
dition as they were last winter, and consequently inhabit- 
able. Which all the witnesses, * * * certify to have 
seen and visited all the said apartments, and have accord- 
ingly signed the minutes and original of these presents.'' 



;N one of their forays into Canada toward the 
close of the seventeenth century, the Senecas 
captured a young Frenchman named Chabert 
Joncaire. They put to death in their fiendish 
fashion some other prisoners, taken with him, 
and intended to make the same disposition of 
him. By way of giving him a fortaste of the torture 
in store for him, a chief applied the burning contents of 
his pipe to the end of one of the Frenchman's fingers. 
Joncaire promptly knocked him down. This spirited 
action so pleased his captors that they let him live and 
adopted him as a member of the tribe. With all the 
usual readiness of the Canadian French to affiliate with 
the savages, he made himself at home, learned the Sene- 
ca dialect, married a young squaV, and became a favorite 
with the tribe. In a few years, being given entire liee- 
dom, he returned to Canada, and in 1700 entered the 
French service, in which he was employed during the re- 
maining forty years of his life. He was especially useful 
as an agent among the Senecas, who had made him a 
sachem of their nation and over whom he had gained a 
great influence, which was inherited by his two sons 
Chabert and Clauzonne, who devoted it to the service of 
the government in a capacity similar to that of the father. 
One of Joncaire's first undertakings in behalf of New 
France was his mission to procure the release of the 
French held captive among the Iroquois. His most im- 
portant achievement, however, was the obtaining permis- 
sion from the Senecas for the establishment of a French 
trading house in 1720, at the foot of the Niagara portage, 
where Lewiston now stands. Many papers of that early 
date, some of them called forth by this enterprise, are 
now extant, and are very pertinent and interesting in this 
connection. From them is to be constructed the history 
of this commercial venture on the soil of Niagara county 
more than a century and a half ago. In a " memorial of 
what passed concerning the establishment of a post which 
the French have built at Niagara for the trade of peltry," 
we read : 

" In the year 17 18 came orders from the court of France 
to establish a trade for the benefit of the King in the cir- 
cuit of the Lake Ontario, and there to build magazines, 
as well upon the north as the south side thereof. 

"In the year 1719, in the beginning of the harvest, the 
Sieur Joncaire,lieutenant of a detachment of marine troops 
and interpreter, was sent, in obedience to the said orders, 
by monsieur the Marquis de Vaudreuil and by Monsieur 
Begon, to try the minds of the Sinnekees and to 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 would oppose it. This message which 
they sent there was accompanied with some belts of warn- 



pum, and other presents, consisting of powder, lead, 
brandy, and other small merchandise." 

It need hardly be said that the request borne by the 
palefaced sachem, and so persuasively "accompanied," 
was favorably received by the "Sinnekees." The desired 
permission was obtained, and Joncaire returned to Canada 
to avail himself of it. We next read : 

"The Sieur Joncaire remained only at the Fort of Cat- 
arcouy for ten or twelve days [in May,' 1720], and then 
returned to Niagara with the Sieur de la Come, son of 
Monsieur de la Corne, captain and mayor of the town of 
Montreal. They had with them eight soldiers, who con- 
ducted a canoe of merchandise, consisting of some pieces 
of blue cloth, three dozen or thereabout of white blankets 
for the use of the Indians, half a barrel of brandy, etc. 
At their arrival at Niagara the Sieurs de Joncaire and La 
Corne caused to be built in haste a kind of cabin of bark, 
where they displayed the King's colors and honored it with 
the name of the 'Magazine Royal.' The Sieur de la 
Corne had a commission of M. Begon to winter in the 
said post, and there to trade. The Sieur de Joncaire left 
him there with two soldiers, and afterward returned to 

"Abstract of Messrs. de Vaudreuil and Begon's report 
on Niagara,'' dated 

"Canada 26 S'ber 1720:" 

"Messrs. de Vaudreuil and Begon transmit a report on 
the post estabHshed this year at Niagara, which is required 
both to prevent the English introducing themselves into 
the upper country and to increase the trade at Fort Fron- 
tenac. This report sets forth that the above post is situ- 
ated about four leagues from the entrance into Lake Erie. 
It is the only pass of the Indians who come by the lake 
from all the upper countries ; the portage nec.-ssary to be 
made by land is four leagues, for which distance they are 
obHged to carry, on their backs, their goods and canoes. 

"The English had proposed to an Iroquois chief, set- 
tled at Niagara, to send horses thither from Orange, 
which is 130 leagues distant from it, for the purpose of 
transporting goods, and to make a permanent settlement 
there, and offered to share with him whatever profits 
might accrue from the speculation. The English would, 
by such means, have been able to secure the greatest part 
of the peltries coming down the lakes from the upper 
countries ; give employment not only to the Indians who 
go up there and return thence, but also to the French. 
They have a store there well supplied with goods for the 
trade ; and have, by means of the Indians, carried on 
there, up to the present time and since several years ago, 
a considerable trade in furs in barter for merchandise and 
whiskey. This establishment would have been enabled 
to purchase the greater part of the peltries both of the 
French and Indians belonging to the upper country. 

" Sieur Joncaire, aware of the importance of this post 
by the quantity of goods which could be disposed of were 
there a permanent establishment at that place, caused 
the Indians to construct last spring, by order of Messrs. 
de Vaudreuil and Begon, a picketed house, which they 
were prevailed on to do the more readily through the in- 

fluence he has over them, being an adopted son of the 
Iroquois. [It would seem that the fragile ' Magazine 
Royal ' was soon strengthened and improved.] 

" The English, being advised of this, used all their 
efforts to have this house demolished, and with that view 
sent the commandant at Orange to the Seneca village to 
persuade these Indians to oppose it. He even sent an 
Englishman with an Indian to tell Sieur de la Corne, 
whom M. Begon appointed to trade at that place, to with- 
draw, and that they were going to pull down that house. 
La Corne answered them that he should not permit them 
to do so without an order from Sieur de Joncaire, who, 
on being advised thereof by an Indian, went to the Sene- 
cas to prevent them consenting to that demolition. He 
experienced great difficulty there, because they had been 
gained over by the presents of the English. Nevertheless, 
he prevailed on them to change their minds, and to main- 
tain that establishment, by making them understand the 
advantage they would derive from it. 

"Therefore, though the English should renew these at- 
tempts, Sieur Joncaire is confident that the Indians will 
maintain this post. 

"That determined Messrs. de Vandreuil and Begon to 
send Sieur Joncaire thither with some articles of trade. 
He left at the close 01 September, and is to remain there 
until the month of June next. No one is better qualified 
than he to begin this establishment, which will render the 
trade of Fort Frontenac much more considerable and 
valuable than it has ever been. He is a very excellent 
officer, the interpreter of the Five Iroquois Nations, and 
has served thirty-five years in the country." 

It is interesting to read the English messenger's own 
account of his mission to demand the demolition of the 
new post. Parts of it are as follows: 

"On the 24th of the said month [May, 1720] I set out 
with three Sachims of the Sinnekies in order to go to 
Octjagera where we arrived on the 30 Do & on the 31st 
I on behalf of the Sachims told a French Merchant who 
was there in a house of Forty Foot long and thirty wide 
with two other French, that I was sent to accompany the 
said Sachims and to tell you that the five nations have 
heard that you are building a house at Octjagera and the 
said Sachims having considered how prejudicial that a 
French Settlement on their Land must consequently 
prove to them and their Posterity (if not timely prevented) 
wherefore they have sent me and them to acquaint you 
with their resolution that it is much against their inclina- 
tion that any buildings should be made here and that they 
desire you to desist further building and to leave and 
demolish what you have made. The French Merchant 
answered that he had leave from the young fighting 
men of the Sinnekis to erect a House at Octjagera and 
would not demoHsh it before he did write to the Govern- 
or of Canada his Master who had posted him there to 
trade for him and not before he received his orders for so 

" The said three Sachims said that they never heard 
that any of their young men had given such leave for 
making any building at Octjagera. 



" On the 7th of this Inst [I returned] to Tjerondequatt 
where I mett a French Smith sent by the Governor of 
Canada to work for the Sinnikies gratis he having com- 
passion on them as a father on his children knowing they 
wanted a smith since they have lay'd out a New Castle 
and that three French Canoes loaded with goods went up 
to the trading house at Octjagera." 

November 20th, 1720, Governor Burnet, of New York, 
wrote to the English Lords of Trade as follows : " I will 
do my endeavors in the Spring without committing any 
hostility to get our Indians to demolish a trading House 
or Block House that is made Muskett Proof with Port 
holes for firing with small arms, which the French have 
sett up near the fall of Niagara in the Sennekees country. 
This is in open defiance of the Kings right the Sennekees 
having granted that Land to the crown of Great Britain 
before the French had ever been there, this place is of 
great consequence for two reasons. First, because it 
keeps the communication between Canada & Mississippi 
by the River Ohio open which else our Indians would 
be able to intercept at pleasure, and Secondly, if it should 
be made a Fort with souldiers enough in it it will keep our 
Indians from going over the narrow part of the Lake 
Ontario by this only Pass of the Indians without leave of 
the French, so that if it were demolished the Farr 
Indians would depend on us,by means of the goods which 
they want of us and which the French cannot afford to 
supply them with unless they get them from this 

Failing in his purpose. Governor Burnet, in July of the 
next year, wrote to Vaudreuil, then governor of Canada: 
" You will perceive, by the Treaty of Utrecht, that all 
the Indians are to be at liberty to go to trade with one 
party and the other ; and if advantage be taken of the 
post at Niagara to shut up the road to Albany on the Far 
Indians, it is a violation of the Treaty which ought justly 
to alarm us, especially as that post is on territory belong- 
ing to our Indians, where we were better entitled to build 
than the French, should we deem it worth the trouble." 

" I have the honor to observe to you hereupon," re- 
sponds Vaudreuil, "that you are the first English gover- 
nor-general who has questioned the right of the French, 
from time immemorial, to the post of Niagara, to which 
the English have, up to the present time, laid no claim ; 
that it is upwards of fifty years since that post has been 
occupied by the late Sieur de la Salle, who had an estab- 
lishment there and had vessels built there to navigate 
Lake Erie ; that his Majesty had a fort there thirty- 
four years ago with a garrison of one hundred men, who 
returned thence in consequence of the sickness that pre- 
vailed there, whithout this post, however, having been 
abandoned by the French, who have ever since always 
carried on trade there until how, and without the Eng- 
lish being permitted to remain there ; also, that there 
has never been any dispute between the French and the 
Five Nations respecting the erection of that post, and 
that the latter always came there to trade with the 
same freedom that they repair to the other French 
territory, as well as to that which is reputed English. 

" Respecting the report you received that the establish- 
ment of this post closes the path to our far Indians, who 
could no longer go to trade with the English. I have 
.the honor to observe to you that they will always enjoy the 
same privilege of going to the English that they have 
hitherto had, and that no Indian in my government has 
been compelled to trade with the French rather than with 
the^ English. The proof of this is evident, for a great 
number of their canoes went again this year to Albany, 
and those domiciled in the neighborhood of Montreal 
and Three Rivers trade there almost altogether." 

The block-house which was the bone of so much con- 
tention became dilapidated in five or six years, but in the 
meantime it had become surrounded with a little Seneca 
village and, like any place where Joncaire was, served as 
a powerful centre of French influence. The ready but 
extravagant writer Charlevoix visited the place in 1721, 
and from it sent a letter to Madame de Maintenon, 
which contains so much of local interest that we will 
make a long extract from it, at the risk of a little repe- 
tition . 

" I have already had the honor to acquaint you that we 
have a scheme for a settlement in this place ; but in order 
to know the reason of this project it will be proper to ob- 
serve that as the English pretend, by virtue of the Treaty 
of Utretcht, to have sovereignty of all the Iroquois 
country, and by consequence to be bounded on that side 
by Lake Ontario only ; now it is evident that, in case we 
allow of their pretensions, they would then have it abso- 
lutely in their power to establish themselves firmly in 
the heart of the French colonies, or at least entirely to 
ruin their commerce. In order, therefore, to pre\'ent 
this evil, it has been judged proper, without, however, 
violating the treaty, to make a settlement in some place 
which might secure to us the free communication between 
the lakes, and where the English should not have it in 
their power to oppose us." 

" A commission has therefore been made to >L de 
Joncaire, who having in his youth been prisoner among 
the Tsonnonthouans, so insinuated himself into the 
good graces of those Indians that they adopted him, so 
that even in the hottest of their wars with us, and not- 
withstanding his remarkable services to his country, he 
has always enjoyed the privileges of his adoption. On 
receiving the orders I have been mentioning to you he 
repaired to them, assembled their chiefs, and after having 
assured them that his greatest pleasure in this world would 
be to live amongst his brethren, he added that he would 
much oftener visit them had he a cabin amongst them, to 
which he might retire when he had a mind to be private. 
They told him they had always looked upon him as one 
of their own children, that he had only to make choice 
of a place to his liking in any part of the country. He 
asked no more, but went immediately and made choice of 
a spot on the banks of a river which terminates the canton 
of Tsonnonthouan, where he built his cabin. 

' The news of this soon reached New York, where it 
excited so much more the jealousy of the English, as that 
nation had never been able to obtain the favor granted to 



Sieur de Joncaire in any Iroquois canton. They made 
loud remonstrances, which being seconded with presents 
the other four cantons at once espoused their interest. 
They were, however, never the nearer their point, as the 
cantons are not only independent of each other, but also 
very jealous of this independence. It was therefore nec- 
essary to gain that of Tsonnonthouan, and the English 
omitted nothing to accomplish it ; but they were soon 
sensible that they should never be able to get Joncaire 
dismissed from Niagara. At last they contented them- 
selves with demanding that at least they might be per- 
mitted to have a cabin in the same place, but this was 
likewise refused them. ' Our country is in peace,' said 
the Tsonnonthouans ; ' the French and you will never 
be able to live together without raising disturbances. 
Moreover,' added they, 'it is of no consequence that 
Joncaire should remain here ; he is a child of the nation ; 
he enjoys his right, which we are not at liberty to take 
from him.' 

" Now, Madame, we must acknowledge that nothing 
but zeal for the public good could possibly induce an 
officer to remain in such a country as this, than which a 
wilder and more frightful is not to be seen. On the one 
side you may see, just under your feet and as it were at 
the bottom of an abyss, and which in this place is like a 
torrent by its rapidity, a whirlpool formed by a thouand 
rocks, through which it with difficulty finds a passage, 
and by the foam of which it was always covered. On 
the other the river is confined by three mountains, placed 
one over the other, and whereof the last hides itself in 
the clouds. This would have been a very proper place 
for the poets to make the Titans attempt to scale the 
heavens. In a word, on whatever side you turn your 
eyes, you discover nothing which does not inspire a secret 

'' You have, however, but a very short way to go to be- 
hold a very different prospect. Behind those uncultivat- 
ed and uninhabited mountains, you enjoy the sight of a 
rich country, magnificent forests, beautiful and fruitful 
hills ; you breathe the purest air, under the mildest and 
most temperate climate imaginable, situated between two 
lakes, the least of which is two hundred and fifty leagues 
in circuit. It is my opinion that had we the precaution 
to make sure of a place of this consequence by a good 
fortress and by a tolerable colony, all the forces of the 
Iroquois and the English conjoined would not have been 
able at this time to drive us out of it ; and that we ourselves 
would have been in a condition to give law to the former, 
and to hinder most part of the Indians from carrying their 
furs to the second, as they daily do with impunity. 

" The company I found here with M. de Joncaire was 
composed of the Baron de Longueil, the Marquis de Ca- 
vagnal, captain, son of the Marquis de Vaudreuil, the 
present governor of New France ; M. de Senneville, cap- 
tain ; and the Sieur de la Chauvignerie, ensign and in- 
terpreter of the Iroquois language. These gentlemen are 
about negotiating an agreement of differences with the 
canton of Onontague [Onondaga], and were ordered to 
visit the settlement of the Sieur de Joncaire, with which 

they were extremely well satisfied. The Tsonnonthouans 
renewed to them the promise they had formerly made to 
maintain it. This was done in a council, in which Jon- 
caire, as they told me, spoke with all the good sense of 
a Frenchman, whereof he enjoys a large share, and with 
the sublimest eloquence of an Iroquois." 

On the death of Joncaire his son Chabert succeeded 
him in the Seneca agency, but soon gave place to his 
younger brother Clauzonne. Both were in their day very 
prominent and influential along the Niagara frontier. They 
are referred to as follows in the Maryland Gazette of Aug- 
ust 30th, 1759: "There are ten other officers, one of 
which is the famous Monsieur Joncaire, a very noted man 
among the Seneca Indians, and whose father was the first 
that hoisted French colors in that country. His brother, 
also a prisoner, is now here, and has been very humane 
to many Englishmen, having purchased several of them 
from the Senecas." 





HE English not only failed for the time to oust 
the French from their foot-hold at Lewiston, 
but the latter in 1725 rebuilt the fortification 
at the mouth of the river, on a scale of 
strength and permanance making it far su- 
perior to Denonville's hasty structure. The earli- 
est reference we can obtain to the rebuilding of 
Niagara comes from the French government ar- 
chives, and reads in part as follows : 

"The Marquis de Vaudreuil reported in 1725 an estab- 
lishment projected by the English at the mouth of the 
River Choueguen [Oswego], on the borders of Lake On- 
tario, in the upper country, which is a part of New France 
and adjacent to the French post at Niagara, among the 
Iroquois. It was of importance to prevent that establish- 
ment, more especially as the French have always exclu- 
sively carried on the trade with the Indians of the upper 
countries ; as the English thought of going to trade there 
only since the peace of Utrecht, and as they are now try- 
ing to drive us thence by force of presents to the Indians, 
whom they furnish with goods at a low rate, and supply 
with Rum, which is their favorite beverage. M. de Vau- 
dreuil ordered M. de Longueil, governor of Montreal, to 
proceed to the Iroquois, and to summon the English es- 
tablished there to withdraw. * * * He afterwards 
repaired to Onontague [Onondaga], an Iroquois village, 
and obtained the consent of their chiefs to the erection of 
a store house at Niagara, in the place of the one which 
fell in ruins ; also, to the construction of two barks for 
the transportation of the materials. Messrs. de Longueil 
and Begon made a report on the subject, and observed 


that it was of the utmost importance to urge on this work, 
which they proposed undertaking the following spring. 
They transmitted a plan of it, and the estimate, amount- 
ing to 29,295 livres, and they had the two harks construc- 
ted at a cost of 13,090 livres. On the account having 
been transmitted to the King, his Majesty ordered these 
funds to be remitted, and they have been sent." 

The Senecas made no serious opposition to this move- 
uient, but it probably required Joncaire's influence to 
obtain their acquiescence. There is some probability in 
the tradition that strategy was found necessary to accom- 
[ilish the purpose of the French. Mr. Samuel De Veaux, 
writing forty years since, put the story of the origin of 
the Mess-house in the following form : 

" It is a traditionary story that the Mess-house, which 
is a very strong building and the largest in the fort, was 
erected by strategem. A considerable though not power- 
ful body of French troops had arrived at the point. Their 
force was inferior to the surrounding Indians, of whom 
the)' were under some apprehensions. They obtained 
consent of the Indians to build a wigwam, and induced, 
them, with some of their officers, to engage in an exten- 
sive hunt. The materials were made ready, and while 
the Indians were absent the French built. When the 
hunting parly returned, they found the French had so far 
advanced with their work as to cover their faces and to 
defend themselves from the savages in case of an attack. 
In progress of time it became a place of considerable 
strength. It had its ravines, its ditches and pickets; its 
curtains and counterscarp; its covered way, drawl)ridge 
and raking batteries; its stone towers, laboratory and 
magazine; its mess-house, barracks and bakery, and black- 
smith shop; and for worship, a chapel, with a large ancient 
dial over the door to mark the course of the sun. It was, 
indeed, a little city of itself, and for a long period the 
greatest place south of Montreal and west of Albany. 
The fortification originally covered a space of about eight 

Whether openly or by ruse, the French built, more than 
a hundred and fifty years ago, the first story of the old 
Mess-house, as it now stands. Here was one more resort 
of the French soldiers, traders and bush rangers and the 
red hunters and warriors who formed the small and shift- 
ing population of the frontier; another bulwark of the 
French trade, and another link in the chain that was to 
connect Lake Ontario with the Ohio and the Southwest 
and mark the boundary of New France. 

One of the traditions of old Fort Niagara was that in 
the center of the Mess-house there was a well, and on the 
curb might sometimes be seen sitting a headless French 
officer, who had presumably been murdered and thrown 
into the well. Another was that there were deposits of 
gold and silver buried in the fort, and it is said that per- 
sons have at different times vainly applied to the officers 
for permission to dig for them. 

The French fort was improved and strengthened from 
time to time. " Niagara is also well fortified," said an 
official report in September, 1736. " It had only six guns, 
but Choueguen [Oswego] has furnished twentv-four of 

the largest calibre, which are now mounted. People are 
busy supplying Forts Duquesne, on the Beautiful river 
[Ohio], Niagara, and Frontenac with provisions, in order 
to be no longer obliged to employ the best men at such 
work when they may be required elsewhere." 

Yet one thing was lacking. Thirty big guns and five 
times thirty miles additional travel could not prevent the 
Indians from trading where they could get plenty of liquor; 
and at Niagara the supply of firewater was at this time 
meager. This state of things and the results are revealed 
in a report to the crown, of October 12th, 1736. We quote: 

" As for the commerce now carried on at Fort Fron- 
tenac and Niagara, it becomes every year more incon- 
siderable in comparison to the expenses the King incurs 
there. These two posts, which produced some years ago 
as much as 52,000 lbs. of peltries, have these four years 
past returned only 25,000 to 35,000 lbs. This falling off 
has occurred merely since the discontinuance of the dis- 
tribution of brandy to the Indians, whereof it is the 
King's pleasure that Messrs. de Beauharnois and Hoc- 
(juart be very sparing. * * * We admit that it is 
difficult, and perhaps impossible, to sell brandy to the 
major portion of the Indians without their getting drunk. 
But it is equally certain that nothing deters them from 
trading with the French on these posts, and anywhere 
else in the upper countries, more than the refusal to sell 
them any of this liquor, for which they entertain an ine.v- 
pressible passion. They find plenty of it at Choueguen, 
where they repair from all the posts of the upper countries, 
without any means of stopping them at Niagara. Sie::rs 
de Beauharnois and Hocquart perceive, unfortunatelv, 
no means of destroying or interrupting the commercial 
relation this drink keeps up between the Indians and the 

The rebuilding of Fort Niagara was but one step in 
the formation of a chain of posts along this frontier. Lake 
Erie, and the Alleghany, Ohio and Mississippi rivers, by 
which the French resolved to assert and maintain that 
line as the boundary of their domain in America. The 
time was coming when, if the English were ever to hold 
more than the Atlantic slope of the continent, they must 
arouse to the employment of more vigorous measures 
than intrigues with the Indians and remonstrances to the 
Canadian governor. In 1756 war between England and 
France was declared. Active hostilities had already been 
in progress for two years between the forces of the two 
powers in America, taking the form of a contest for 
the possession of the posts between Lake Erie and the 
Ohio. In 1755 Fort Niagara was threatened by an ex- 
pedition from the east via Oswego. The expedition got 
no further than that point, but the French were led to 
have the menaced fortress reconstructed by the competent 
engineer Pouchot, and before it could be assailed it was 
in a formidable condition. Montcalm wrote in 1756: 
" M. de Vaudreuil employed M. Pouchot, captain in the 
regiment of Beam, who has erected a good fortification 
at Niagara. It consists of a horn-work with its half- 
moon, covert-way, lunettes at the /i/aus d' amies re-enter- 
ing from the covert-way. The front of this work is 120 



toises. It is fortified according to M. de Vaiiban's 

It had need to be ; for an army would one day march 
against it which would not stop at Oswego. It was not 
until the ist of July, i7S9i however, that a force of 2,200 
regular troops and militia, which had rendezvoused at 
Oswego under Brigadier-General John Prideaux, em- 
barked for the siege of Fort Niagara, accompanied by 943 
Iroquois warriors, who had been rallied for the under- 
taking by the best efforts of the best Indian manager 
America ever knew — Sir William Johnson. 

This remarkable man, now and long before and after 
superintendent of Indian affairs for the English govern- 
ment, came from Ireland in his early youth, and estab- 
lished himself in 1738 as a farmer and trader near the 
site of Amsterdam, Montgomery county, N. Y., where, 
and subsequently on the border of the now fine old village 
of Johnstown, Fulton county, which was founded by and 
named after him, he had his home during the remainder 
of his life. By his genial and honest character and his 
intimate affiliation with the Indians, he gained an unpar- 
alleled influence over them, which he strenuously exerted 
in the interest of the British crown. The campaign upon 
which he now entered associates his name inseparably 
with the history of the Niagara frontier. 


1. Galleries to communicate with the exterior works. 

2. Lake Ontario Bastion. 

3. Barracks, stores and vestiges of the old fort. 

4. Niagara Gate. 

5. Bastion at the Gate of the Five Nations. 

6. Barbet Battery of 5 guns. 

7. Relief Gate. 

8. Another Barbet Battery of 5 guns. 

9. Indian huts. 

In what condition was the French fortress to resist the 
armament coming over the lake to its attack ? Captain 
Pouchot, its rebuilder and commander, shall tell us : 

"Fort Niagara is situate on the east point of the river 
of that name, which terminates in a triangle, whose base 
is the head of a horn-work, one hundred and fourteen 
toises on its exterior side, all of earth, sodded interiorly 
and exteriorly ; with a ditch eleven toises wide by nine 

feet deep, one-half moon and two small lunettes or in- 
trenched places of arms, with a covert-way and glacis 
proportioned to the works. The ditches have no revet- 
ment. The fort {place) and one-half moon are palisaded 
on the berm. The other two sides are a simple intrench- 
ment, also in earth, sodded within and without, seven feet 
high inside and six feet thick on the summit of the par- 
apet, with a fraise on the berm. These two sides of the 
intrenchment are on broken ground forty feet in height. 
The river side would be accessible, although with diffi- 
culty. That of the lake is more perpendicular. 

"We must here enter into some details as to the condi- 
tion of the fort at the time it was besieged : M. Pouchot 
had just completed the raising of the ramparts. The 
bastion batteries, which were in barbet, were not yet fin- 
ished ; they were constructed of barrels filled with earth. 
On his arrival, he set men to work at oak blindages, four- 
teen inches square and fifteen feet long, with which he 
lined the rear of the large house on the lake side, the 
quarter most sheltered, in order to build an hospital there. 
Along the faces of the powder magazine, he constructed, 
for the protection of the walls and to serve as casemates, 
a vast storehouse in pieces joined by a pinnacle at their 
summit, and in this house he placed the arms and armor- 
ers. 'Twill be remarked that such a work is excellent 
for field forts in wooded countries, and can easily serve 
for barracks and magazines. The shell falling on an ob- 
lique plain does it little injury, because such construction 
is very solid. 

" The garrison was composed of 149 men detached 
from the regiments of La Sarre, Royal Rousillon, Guienne 
and Beam, under the orders of Captain Pouchot, of the 
Beam Regiment, Commandant; Captain de Villars of La 
Sarre; Captain de Cervies of Royal Rousillon; Lieutenant 
de Marambert of Guienne; Lieutenant Salvignac of Beam; 
Lieutenant la Miltiere of Languedoc; of 183 Colonials, 
under the orders of Captain de la Roche, of that service, 
Lieutenants Cornoyer and Larminac; of 133 militia and 
21 gunners, commanded by Lieutenant Bonnafoux of the 
Royal Corps. M. Pouchot increased this number to roo 
drafted from the troops and the most adroit of the 
militiamen; in all 486, and 39 employes, five of whom 
were women or children, who with two Douville ladies 
attended the hospital, served up gun cartridges, and made 
earth bags." 

The English force debarked at a point spoken of as 
the Little Swamp, a cove some distance east of Fort Ni- 
agara, where they drew up their batteaux and secured 
their position by an intrenchment. [" The Little Swamp 
is forty rods west of the mouth of the Four-Mile creek. 
Some of the remains of the battery are still there." Or- 
saiuus Turner, 1849.] In the evening of the 6th of July, 
a soldier of the Niagara garrison, who had been hunting 
in the neighboring forest, rushed into the fort and told 
Captain Pouchot that in the border of the woods which 
swept around it from lake to river, beyond a clear space 
that gave free range to the French guns and left no cover 
for an enemy, he had discovered an Indian war party, 
who had fired on some other hunters from the fort. The 




report was soon confirmed by a reconnoitering force, 
which encountered a volley that drove it back to the 
the works. A few cannon shot were fired at the enemy's 
position, and Pouchot, apprehensive of a surprise, station- 
ed Captain Selviert with a hundred men in the outworks 
of. the fort, while " the rest of the garrison was under 
arms on the ramparts till midnight." 

On the 7th Captain Pouchot, while communication with 
the outside world was still possible, dispatched runners 
for the French posts to the south and west, summoning 
to his aid their garrisons, with all the western Indians 
they could rally. That this had not been done before 
shows that the English expedition came upon him unex- 
pected, for otherwise he must certainly have strengthened 
himself already by all available reinforcements. 

The first point where Pouchot's carriers left their warn- 
ing of the arrival of the enemy was Fort Little Niagara, 
otherwise called Fort du Portage, the Little Fort and 
Fisher's Battery (Marshall), a feeble establishment built 
above the falls by the I'rench in 1750, on the point now 
occupied by the Stedman house, to protect the portage 
at its upper end. The Joncaire brothers were now 
stationed here, Chabert being in charge. On learning of 
the danger which threatened the post he transferred all 
the moveable property connected with it to the west bank 
of the river, burned the buildings, to prevent their being 
of service to the enemy, and retired to Fort Niagara. 



fT was on the morning of the 7th that the gar- 
rison of the fort got their first certain 
intimation " that it was the English come to 
besiege " them, by seeing " seven barges on 
the lake, a league and a half distance from the 
fort." The armed schooner " Iroquois," Captain 
La Force, lying before the fortress, put out with 
orders to destroy the English barges, in which it would 
seem to have failed. '' All that day several savages showed 
themselves on the edge of the desert. Monsieur La 
Force fired several cannon shot at them; and perceived 
they were working at an intrenchment at the Little 
Swamp." So says the French journal of the affair. In 
this document we can best trace the progress of the 

" Sunday, Wi July. The schooner continued to cruise 
and fire on the English camp. About nine in the morn- 
ing an English officer brought a letter from Brigadier 
Prideaux to Mons. Pouchot, to summons him, proposing 
him all advantages and good treatment, all of which he 
very politely refused, and even seemed to be unwilling 

to receive the English general's letter. The remainder 
of this day the English made no motions." 

" Tuesday, 10th. At two o'clock all our men were 
on the ramparts, and at daybreak we perceived that they 
had opened their trenches at the entrance of the wil- 
derness, at about three hundred toises from the fort; we 
made a very hot fire upon them all day. M. Chabert 
[Joncaire] arrived with the garrison of the Little Fort, 
and seven or eight savage Iroquois and Missagoes. Mon- 
sieur Pouchot went to palisade the ditches. The service, 
as usual, only the addition of two officers to be in the 
covered way. About eleven o'clock at night orders were 
given to make all the pickets fire from the covered way, 
to hinder the workmen of the enemy. M. La Force sent 
his boat on shore for Monsieur Pouchot's orders. 

" Wednesday, jit/i July. The works continued on both 
sides. At noon a party of about fifteen men, soldiers 
and militia, went very nigh the trenches of the enemy 
and perceived them sally out, between four and five 
hundred, who came towards them at a quick pace, but 
they were stopped by our cannon. They began on the 
other side of the swamp, which is the left of their 
trench, another, about twenty yards." In the evening of 
this day, an Iroquois chief who was with the garrison 
found means to introduce into the fort several of John- 
son's Indians, who held a a fruitless parley with Pouchot. 
These fickle savages were even now wavering, and the 
British leaders dared not refuse them permission to visit 
the French, though suspicious of their purpose. Pouchot 
" sent them back each with a loaf, because he knew that 
the EngUsh army were eating only flour baked into cakes 
in the ashes." Johnson found it necessary to promise them 
the plunder of the fort to keep them to their work. At 
ten in the evening of the nth the English had eight mor- 
tars in operation. 

"Night between the wth and \2th. The enemy ran 
their parallel from their first trench to the lake side, where 
it seemed they intended to establish \ battery. * * * 
The enemy wrought the rest of that day [the 12th], and 
perfected their night's work. Monsieur La Force had 
orders to proceed to Frontenac and to return immediate- 
ly. In the night between the 12th and 13th they fired 
many bombs. I went with thirty men to observe where 
the enemy wrought. , 

"Friday, \ith July. * * * The enemy threw a 
great many bombs all this day, and continued to work to 
perfect their trenches ; we fired a great many cannon 
shot. » * * 

" Saturday, 14M July. At day-break we found they 
had prolonged their trenches to the lake shore, in spite 
of the great fire from our cannon and musketry, during 
the night, and perfected it during the day time ; they 
have placed four mortars and thrown many bombs. All 
our garrison lay in the covered way and on the ramparts. 
"Sunday, i^th July. In the morning we perceived 
they had finished their works begun the night before. 
During the night they threw three hundred bombs ; the 
rest of the day and night they threw a great many, but 
did not incommode us in any shape. 



" Monday, \6th July. At dawn of day we spied, about 
half a league off, two barges, at which wc discharged some 
cannon, on which they retired. In the course of the day 
they continued to throw some bombs. They have already 
disabled us some twenty men. All our men lie on beaver, 
or in their clothes and armed. Wc do what we can to 
incommode them with our cannon. 

" Tuesday, 17M July. Until six this morning we had a 
thick fog, so that we could not discern the works of the 
enemy ; but it clearing a little up, we saw they had raised 
a battery of three pieces of cannon and four mortars on 
the other side of the river. They began to fire about 
seven A. M., and Monsieur Pouchot placed all the guns 
he could against them. The fire was brisk on both sides 
all day ; they seemed most inclined to batter the house 
where the commandant lodges. The service as usual for 
the night. 

" ]Vednesday, iSth July. There was a great firing, as 
on the preceding day ; we had one soldier dismembered 
and four wounded by their bombs. 

" Thursday, icffh July. At dawn of day we found the 
enemy had begun a parallel eighty yards long in front of 
the fort. The fire was very great on both sides. At two 
P. M. arrived the schooner ' Iroquois,' from Frontenac, 
and lay abreast of the fort, waiting for a calm, not being 
able to get in, the enemy having a battery on the other 
side of the river." * * * In the evening of this day 
General Prideaux was instantly killed by the premature 
explosion of a shell, which burst immediately on leaving 
a gun near which he was standing, a piece striking him 
on the head. The command of the besiegers now de- 
volved upon Sir William Johnson, who pressed the siege 
with vigor. 

" Friday, 20th July. The English have made a third 
parallel, towards the lake ; they are to-day about one 
hundred and sixty yards from the fort. They cannot 
have worked quietly at the sap, having had a great fire of 
musketry all night long which they were obliged to bear. 
During the day they made a great firing with their mor- 
tars, and they perfected their works begun the night of 
the 19th to the 20th. We had one man killed and four 
wounded. The fire of the musketry was very hot on both 
sides till eleven at night, when the enemy left off and we 
continued ours all night. * * * 

" Saturday, 21st. During the night the eiiemy made a 
fourth parallel, which is about one hundred yards from 
the fort, in which it appears they will erect a battery for 
a breach in the flag bastion. They have hardly fired any 
cannon or bombs in the day, which gives one room to 
think they are transporting their cannon and artillery 
from their old battery to their new one. The service as 
usual. Their battery on the other side fired but little in 
the day. * * * 

" Sunday, 22d. All the night was a strong conflict on 
both fides. We had one man killed by them and by our 
own cannon. We fired almost all our cannon with cart- 
ridges. They worked in the night to perfect all their 
works begun the night before. The enemy began to fire 
red hot balls in the night. * * * All day they contin- 

ued to work to establish their batteries. They fired, as 
usual, bombs and cannon. The service as usual for the 
night of the 22nd and 23d. They worked hard to perfect 
their batteries, being ardently sustained by their mus- 
ketry." The fort was by this time seriously feeling the 
effects of the siege. The batteries on the bastions had 
on the arrival of the English been hastily protected by 
barrels, and afterward bags, of earth ; but the barrels 
were soon splintered by the enemy's guns, and the bags 
were now burnt or torn, or worn out by shifting them 
from point to point of the line where the fire of the be- 
siegers for the time bore most severely. Wadding for the 
cannon also gave out, and the hay which was resorted to 
as a substitute did not last long. The straw and even the 
linen of the beds next went the same way. 

"Monday, 23//. We added two pieces of cannon to the 
bastion of the lake, to oppose those of the enemy's side. 
At eight A. M., four savages brought a letter from Mon-. 
sieur Aubrey to Monsieur Pouchot, by which we learn 
that he has arrived at the Great [Navy] Island, before 
the Little Fort, at the head of twenty-five hundred, half 
French! and half savages. Monsieur Pouchot immedi- 
ately sent back four savages with the answer to Monsieur 
Aubrey's letter, informing him of the enemy's situation. 
Those savages, before they came in, spoke to the Five 
Nations, and gave them five belts to engage them to retire 
from the enemy. They saw part of the enemy's camp, 
and told us the first or second in command was killed by 
one of our bullets, and two of their guns broken and one 
mortar. We have room to hope that with such success 
we may oblige the enemy to raise the siege, with the loss 
of men ; and as they take up much ground, they must be 
beat, not bemg able to rally quick enough. At two P. M. 
they unmasked another battery of * * * cannon, three 
of which were eighteen pounders, the others twelve and 
six. They began with a brisk fire, which continued two 
hours, then slackened. * * * We worked hard to place 
two pieces, twelve pounders, on the middle of the curtains, 
to bear upon their battery. 

" Tuesday, 24M July. The enemy began their fire 
about four o'clock this morning, and continued to fire 
with the same vivacity the rest of the day. At eight A. M. 
we perceived our army was approaching, having made 
several discharges of musketry at Belle Famille. At nine 
the fire began on both sides, and lasted half an hour. 
We wait to know who has the advantage of these two. 
At two P. M. we heard by a savage that our army was 
routed, and almost all made prisoners, by the treachery 
of our savages ; when immediately the English army had 
the pleasure to inform us of it, by summoning us to sur- 

The journal from which these extracts are made was 
printed in Mr. Orsamus Turner's History of the Holland 
Purchase, with a paragraph appended saying that it was 
found with other papers, in the fort, two or three days 
from the date last mentioned, and soon after trans- 

We have heard what a fugitive savage, just escaped 
from a bloody battle field, could tell of the result of an 



effort to raise the siege. What had really happened was 
this : 

In response to Pouchot's appeal for help from the 
southern and western forts, some 1,400 French and Indi- 
ans — two-thirds of them the former — rendezvoused at 
Presque Isle, now Erie, whence, in batteaux and canoes, 
they paddled for the Niagara. Halting a day or two at 
Navy Island, they crossed to the east bank of the river, 
left their boats with a guard of one hundred and fifty 
men, and marched to the relief of the beleagured fortress. 

The woods were full of Johnson's Iroquois, who duly 
informed him of the approach of the French and the 
western Indians. The superior numbers of the besiegers 
enabled their commander to station an adequate force to 
meet the relieving army, without so far emptying the 
trenches that they need fear a sortie from the fort. His 
dispositions and the results of the encounter seem to be 
fairly reported in a letter written at Oswego on the 28th, 
as the result of an interview with Lieutenant Moncrieff, 
General Prideaux's aid-de-camp, who had just arrived 
there. From it we extract the following : 

"Having intelligence from his Indians of a large party 
being on their march from the falls to relieve the fort. 
Sir William made a disposition to prevent them. The 
23d, in the evening, he ordered the Light Infantry and 
pickets of the lines to lie near the road on our left, leading 
from the falls to the fort. These he reinforced in the 
morning of the 24th with the Grenadiers and part of the 
46th Regiment, all under the command of Lieutenant- 
Colonel Massey. Lieutenant-Colonel Farquar, with the 
44th battalion, was ordered to the tail of the trenches to 
support the guard of the trenches, commanded by Major 
Beckwith. About eight in the morning our Indians ad- 
. vanced to speak to the French Indians, which the enemy 
declined. The action began soon after with screams, 
as usual, from the enemy ; but our troops were so well 
disposed to receive them in front, and our Indians on 
their flanks, that in less than an hour's time their whole 
army was ruined. The number of the slain was not as- 
certained, as the pursuit was continued three miles. 
Seventeen officers were made prisoners, among whom are 
Monsieur D'Aubrey, chief in command, w^ounded ; Mon- 
sieur De Lignery, second in command, wounded also ; 
Monsieur Marini, leader of the Indians ; Monsieur De 
Villie, Repentini, Martini and Basonc, all captains, and 
several others. After this defeat, which was in sight of 
the garrison ['The battle ground is a mile and a half below 
the Five Mile Meadows, at a place called Bloody Run. 
Skulls and other human bones, bill-axes, pieces of mus- 
kets, etc., were strewn over the ground there long after 
the settlement of the country commenced.' — Turtier\ 
Sir William sent Major Harvey into the fort with a list of 
officers taken, recommending it to the commanding 
officer to surrender before more blood was shed, and 
while he had it in his power to restrain the Indians. The 
commanding officer, to be certain of such a defeat, sent 
an officer of his to see the prisoners. They were shown 
to him and, in short, the capitulation was finished about 
ten at night of the 24th, by which the garrison surrender- 

ed, with the honors of war, which Lieutenant Moncrieff 
saw embarked the morning he came away, to the number 
of 607 private men, exclusive of the officers and their 
ladies and those taken in the action. We expect them 
here to-morrow on their way to New York." 

A letter of which the following is a part was written at 
Fort Niagara on the day after the battle ; except in the 
points corrected it is corroborated by the accounts of 
persons who were in a position to know the facts : 

" Yesterday morning a party of French and Indians, 
consisting of 1500, of which 400 were Indians, about 
eight o'clock came upon our right [left], where a breast- 
work was thrown up, as we had intelligence of their com- 
ing ; and as ten of our people were crossing the lake [river] 
above they began to fire upon them, which gave our peo- 
ple time to get all their pickets, the 46th regiment, part of 
the 44th [600 men of both], 100 New Yorkers, 600 Indians, 
ready to oppose them. We waited and received their fire 
five or six times before our people returned it, which they 
did at about thirty yards distance, then jumped over their 
breastwork and closed in with them, upon which they im- 
mediately gave way and broke ; their Indians left them, 
and for a while we made a vast slaughter. * * * TX-^e. 
ordnance stores found in the fort at Niagara when Gen- 
eral Johnson took possession of it were two fourteen- 
pounders, nineteen twelve-pounders, one eleven-pounder, 
seven eight-pounders, seven six-pounders, two four-pound- 
ers, five two-pounders — all iron; 1500 round twelve 
pound shot, 40,000 pounds musket balls, 200 weight of 
match, 500 hand grenades, two cohorns and two mortars, 
mounted ; 300 bill-axes, 500 hand hatchets, 100 axes, 300 
shovels, 400 pick-axes, 250 mattocks, 54 spades, twelve 
whip-saws and a considerable number of small arms, 
swords, tomahawks, scalping-knives, cartouch-boxes, etc." 

An express who bore from Albany to New York the 
tidings of the capture reported that " the number of our 
[English] killed and wounded in the defeat of the rein- 
forcement from Venango [D'Aubrey's force] we cannot 
as yet justly ascertain, but there were five of the New 
Yorkers among the slain in that affair. It is said we had 
not lost forty men in the whole since the landing of the 
troops at Niagara. The Indians were allowed all the 
plunder in the fort, and found a vast quantity of it — some 
say to the value of ;£'300 to a man. The fort, it is said, 
is large enough to contain 1,000 fighting men without in- 
convenience. All the buildings in and about it are stand- 
ing and in good order, and it is thought had our forces 
stormed the place, which was intended, they would have 
met with a warm reception ; and beating the Venango 
party will undoubtedly crown with laurels the ever de- 
serving Johnson." 

It is related that one of the Iroquois besiegers found 
among the captured garrison an intimate friend named 
MonCourt, to whom he was greatly attached. Not doubt- 
ing, from his ideas of a captive's fate, that the prisoners 
would be put to death with torments, he approached his 
friend, and saying, " Brother, I am in despair at seeing 
you dead, but take heart, I'll prevent their torturing you," 
struck the Frenchman dead with his tomahawk. 






^N D'Aubrey's attempt to raise the siege of Fort 
Niagara at least a hundred and fifty of his 
men had been killed, and probably many 
more ; and more than a hundred captured. 
The remainder fled with all possible speed 
back to the point where they left their boats, and 
embarked for Detroit, leaving the intermediate posts 
to the fate which the fall of Niagara had rendered inevit- 
able. The only force which had any chance of saving 
the fort, and therefore the last body of men charged with 
the maintenance of the French flag on the Niagara, fled 
from the task, satisfied and glad to have escaped with 
their lives. We have gleaned the incidents of the siege of 
the fated French fortress largely from the journal of its 
defender ; for the events immediately following the sur- 
render we will quote the diary of its captor, Sir William 
Johnson, as printed in Stone's life of the Baronet : 

"The garrison of Niagara surrendered July 25th at 
seven in the morning. The number of which consisted 
of six hundred and seven men and eleven officers, besides 
a number of women, children, etc. The former to be 
sent to England by way of New York, and escorted to 
Oswego by a detachment of the 46th, consisting of three 
hundred ; the latter to the first French post, with one 
priest. * * * 

"July 25M.' They embarked, after grounding their 
arras, and proceeded to Oswego. * * * 

" 2-]th. I divided among the several nations the pris- 
oners and scalps [taken in the battle of the 24th], amount- 
ing to two hundred and forty-six, of which ninety-six were 
prisoners. The officers I with difficulty released from 
them, by ransom, good words, etc. 

" zWi. The greatest part of all the nations set off in 
boats, with a deal of plunder, for their several countries. 
Buried Brigadier-General Prideaux in the chapel, and- 
Colonel Johnson, with a great deal of form. I was chief 
mourner. * * * Colonel Haldiraand arrived here 
with Captain Williamette from Oswego, to claim the com- 
mand, which I refused giving up, as my commission gave 
me rank of him. He gave up the point until General 
Amherst's pleasure was known, which may be soon, as 
Colonel Haldiraand, on receipt of my letter, wrote him 
upon it. In order to secure this important post to his 
Majesty, it is necessary to leave for the present a garrison 
ef 700 men, who are to repair the works, which have been 
hurt by our cannon, and put the fort in the best posture 
of defense they can, with the assistance of an engineer, 
who is to be left here for that purpose. To have the two 
vessels fitted out, armed and manned to escort the bat- 
teaux, with the remainder of the army, to Oswego ; also 
endeavor to take the French schooner. Artillery and 
ammunition to leave here, and have Captain Stretchey's 

opinion in writing thereupon ; also some artillerymen and 
gunners. The French officers and other prisoners to take 
with me to Oswego, and send them to [New] York in or- 
der to be sent to England. To write Governor De Lan- 
cey to send all the French prisoners to England as soon 
as possible. * * * 

" 29M. I gave the French officers shoes, stockings and 
blankets. I wrote by De Normandy to Oswego for all 
the ship carpenters to come here, to build two vessels of 
eighteen guns each. * * * i wrote a letter to the Secre- 
tary of State with a short account of the siege of Niagara ; 
also sent him a plan of the fort, and a return of the killed 
and wounded in the siege, and action of the 24th, being 
60 killed and 180 wounded, besides three Indians killed 
and five wounded — 63 killed, 183 wounded. 

''^August is/. I went to see Niagara falls, with Colonel 
Haldiraand, Mr. Ogilvie and several officers, escorted by 
three companies of the eighth infantry. Arrived there 
about eleven o'clock. In my way, at the thither end 
of the carrying place, I met a flag of truce from Presque 
Isle, desiring to know the number of officers I had in my 
hands from the action of the 24th, and begging I would 
advance them anything they might want, they being men 
of fortune and credit. * * * I ordered them to stay in 
the woods, and left Mr. Rogers, with a guard with him, 
until I sent a message to them and provisions. The ar- 
tillery was this day partly shipped on board the batteaux, 
the readier to be shipped to-morrow, with ammunition, etc. 

" Saturday, August ^th. I was to embark at five o'clock 
in the morning with the troops, etc., for Oswego, but the 
two French schooners appearing off harbor prevented 
our embarkation until five in the evening, when I left 
Colonel Farquhar everything in charge ; also some In- 
dian goods to give occasionally to such Indians as might 
come upon business to him. Then set off, with all the 
Yorkers except one company ; all the light infantry 
and grenadiers, and the general's company of the 44th 
regiment, and arrived at Oswego Tuesday about three 
o'clock P. M., with everything safe." 

Very soon after the fall of Fort Niagara the English 
took possession of the portage, and at its head, some forty 
rods from where Fort Little Niagara had stood, built a 
fortification, which was named Fort Schlosser inhonor of 
its first commandant. Captain Joseph Schlosser, a German 
by birth, but serving in the British army which took Fort 
Niagara. A flattering estimate has been placed upon his 
character by different writers, among thera the Moravian 
missionary Heckwelder, who in his " Indian Narrative " 
wrote of him as an officer deservedly esteemed by all 
good men for his humanity and manly conduct. He was 
subsequently promoted to the rank of colonel, and died 
in the fort. It is said that an oak head-board bearing his 
name was to be seen at his grave above the fort in 1808, 
but this statement is received by those acquainted with 
the locality with considerable allowance. 

The fort has been described as having the outline of a 
tolerably distinct fortification, with rude bastions and 
connecting curtains, surrounded by a somewhat formid- 
able ditch. The interior plateau was a little elevated and 



encompassed by an earth embankment, piled against the 
inner side of the palisades, over which its defenders could 
fire with great effect. 

In the summer of 1761 Sir William Johnson made a 
journey to Detroit, being, as he recorded, "directed by 
General Amherst to settle and establish a firm and lasting 
treaty" with the western Indians; "also to regulate the 
trade at the several posts in the Indian country." He 
reached Fort Niagara on the second anniversary of his 
decisive victory over D'Aubrey. . He kept a diary of his 
tour, from which, as printed for the first time by Mr. 
Stone, his biographer, we make some extracts of local 

"Friday, 2^th [/ufy]. * * * At six in sight of 
Niagara Fort; stood in and made the harbor about seven 
in the morning. * * * jjir. Preston, formerly of the 
44th regiment, came to me and told me that the Chenus- 
sios [a branch of the Senecas already referred to], with 
whom he lived all the winter, v/ere not well affected to 
the English, neither did they like our going beyond Niaga- 
ra to garrison posts, or even to trade; that it was their 
country, and they looked upon it that we were going to 
surround or hem them in; that they were very scarce of 
powder, and believes that if they had a sufficiency they 
would be ready enough to fall upon some parties of our 
people going to Detroit; that they have an English lad 
prisoner, and a great number of horses which they stole 
from us; and that they daily take more from Pittsburgh, 

" Sunday, 26M. At seven in the morning I set off with 
Colonel Eyre, Lieutenant Johnson, my son, and De Cou- 
agne, for the island whereon the vessel is building for ex- 
ploring the lakes Huron and Michigan, which island is 
about tv^o miles from Little Niagara on the place where 
Shabear Jean Coeur [Johnson's English for Chabert Jon- 
caire] lived. There is a house built within a quarter of 
a mile of said place by one Stirling, for the use of the 
company, viz: Rutherford, Duncan, &c., who intend to 
monopolize the whole carrying place by virtue of a per- 
mit from General Amherst. The schooner building upon 
the island was in such forwardness as to be ready to 
launch in about ten days, but was put a stop to in order 
to build a boat, pinnace fashion, for Major Gladwin's 
service. Dined with John Dies, after which Colonel 
Eyre went in a boat to explore the Chippeway river, the 
entrance to which is about two miles above the great 
falls. In another branch of said river our people found 
a great quantity of pine planks of several dimensions, 
sawed by hand, which they used in making the vessels, 
About six P. M. we set off from the post where Jean 
Coeur lived, and arrived at the fort of Niagara at nine at 

" Monday, 2'jth. * * * About twelve o'clock we 
took a walk into the Trader's Town." 

" Saturday, August the 1st. * * * In the afternoon 
took a walk to my old encampment in 1759.'' 

" Tuesday, A,th. * » * This afternoon I made out 
regulations for Indian trade, which is to be put up at 
each post where trade is carried on with the Indians. 

" IVednesday, 5M. * * * In the afternoon went 
gunning with Captain Slossen [Schlosser]. Four men 
whipped for robbing a Seneca Indian of a keg of rum, in 
the irpresence.'' 

" Saturday, %th. * * * Captain Slasser [Schlosser] 
took me out to walk, when he let me know his desire of 
settling on a farm and quitting the army, and sending for 
his wife and family. He left it for me to choose a prop- 
er place for him, which I shall look out for on my 

" Monday, i^lh. * * * Loaded all the wagons and 
set off, myself and company, for the other end of the car- 
rying place, or Little Niagara, where Shabear Jean Coeur 
lived. * * * 

" Tuesday, \Wi. Showery. I went to see the falls 
with Lieutenant Johnson, Johnny and Ensign Holmes. 
* * * Captain Slosser, Dembler, Dies, Robertson, 
&c., dined with me, and got pretty happy before they left 

" Wednesday, igth. * * * At four o'clock em- 

From reaching the Niagara river on his return trip, Sir 
William made the following entries : 

" Sunday, 4th [Oetol'er']. * * * \\'q -jvent on board 
the schooner which lay about a mile from the entrance of 
the lake, in the river,' where the current runs six knots an 
hour. * * * Captain Robinson told us that the gar- 
rison of Niagara, himself and crew, were lately within a 
day or two of abandoning the fort, vessel, etc., when pro- 
visions arrived from Oswego. Dined on board and left 
the vessel about five o'clock, and encamped about ten 
miles down the river. * * * 

"Monday, %th. * * * Arrived at Little Niagara 
about ten o'clock, and got over on horseback myself, and 
got wagons to carry over as many of my boats, baggage, 
etc., as I could. Then set off in an old boat for Niagara, 
where I was met at eight o'clock at night by the water- 
side by Major Walters and all the officers. Supped with 
the major, and took up my old lodgings. 

"Tuesday, dth. * * * The major, De Couagne, 
etc., complain of Stirling monopoHzing the trade by 
keeping a great store of goods at Little Niagara, which 
will prevent any Indians coming to the fort or under the 
eye of the garrison, so that they [Stirling and others] may 
cheat the Indians as much as they please, in spite of all 

The reader may have judged from the Baronet's re- 
marks in his journal that the establishment by this Stir- 
ling, for himself and others, of the trading-house at 
Schlosser, was a serious matter. Further citations on this 
point will be found pertinent. Sir William, on his way to 
Detroit, having ascertained the state of things, immedi- 
ately wrote General Amherst a letter, of which the follow- 
ing is a part : 

" I see plainly that there appears to be an unusual 
jealousy amongst every [Indian] nation, on account of 
the hasty steps they look upon we are taking towards 
getting possession of their country, which uneasiness, I 
am certain, will never subside whilst we encroach within 



the limits which, you may recollect, have been put under 
the protection of the King in the year 1726, and con- 
firmed to them by him and his successors ever since, and 
by orders sent to the governors not to allow any of his 
subjects settling thereon ; with which they were acquaint- 
ed by his late Majesty in your speech of the 22d of April, 
1760, delivered by Brigadier-General Moncton. You 
then promised to prevent any person whatsoever from 
settling or even hunting therein, but that it should remain 
their absolute property. I thought it necessary to re- 
mind your excellency thereof, as the other day, on my 
riding to the place where the vessels are building, I 
found some carpenters at work finishing a large house for 
one Mr. Stirling, near the falls, and have since heard 
others are shortly to be built thereabouts. As this must 
greatly add to the Indians' discontent, being on the car- 
rying place, and within the very limits which, by their 
own agreement, they are not so much as allowed to dis- 
pose of, I should be glad to know whether I can ac 
quaint them that those people will be ordered to remove 
or not ; and I hope from your excellency's answer to be 
able to satisfy them on that head." 

Under date of January 28, 1762, twenty-seven mer- 
chants of Albany wrote to the English I^ords of Trade, 
making a similar complaint on the same grounds, though 
it is hardly likely they were as disinterested as Sir Wil- 
liam. The burden of this communication was that General 
Amherst had"licensed and authorized Captain Rutherford, 
Lieutenant Duncan and others to settle at the Niagara 
carrying place and given them ten thousand acres of land 
there. " The sentiment of the King coinciding with that 
of the Albany merchants, and being communicated to 
General Amherst, he wrote that l^e had only granted " a 
permit until the King's pleasure was known, but without 
the least clause that could entitle them to an exclusive 
right of trade; " and " I have now, " said the general, "in 
obedience to his Majesty's commands, sent orders to the 
commandant at Niagara to put a stop to any settlement on 
the carrying place." 

Such were, at least for traders, the attractions of the 
Niagara frontier under the settled rule of the English, and 
such the tenure of the land, that it was then necessary 
for the government to discourage rather than promote 
settlements along the river. In the quotations we have 
made from original documents the reader will have caught 
glimpses of the state of things, and it needs but little 
imagination to develop the picture of the rude and vigor- 
ous life of the transient population, whose chief element 
was the succession of red hunters and trappers and in- 
dianized European bush-rangers arriving at Fort Niagara 
or Schlosser from a voyage or a tramp of hundreds of 
miles ; trading at the latter, or trooping down the portage 
trail with their packs of furs ; lounging about the forts 
brave in new blankets and jewelry, or stirring the gar- 
rison's monotonous life with their wild carousals and 
savage brawls over the liquor purchased with a part of 
their beavers ; gladdening the eyes of the prosperous 
trader and saddening the heart of the missionary priest 
who must cast the good seed into such ungrateful soil. 

The savage element predominated, and even yet, by 
thorough co-operation, might sweep the foreigners from 
the lake region. So thought Pontiac, King of the Otta- 
was, and organized his famous plot for the redemption of 
the land from the pale-faced intruders. 




5N the spring of 1763 nine of the twelve British 
posts in what was then the west were cut off 
at a blow by Pontiac's league of the north- 
western Indians. Detroit, Pittsburgh and 
Niagara held out, though more or less vigor- 
ously besieged. The Senecas, whose antipathy 
tc the English had been remarked by Sir William 
Johnson two years before, and who now co-operated with 
Pontiac, beset the land communications of the Niagara 
posts, and wreaked their hatred upon the new lords of 
the river in the frightful massacre of the Devil's Hole. 
The scene and the story of this terrible tragedy are 
probably quite familiar to our readers, but we cannot 
omit the sad recital. 

The hostility of the Senecas made it necessary to station 
a guard at the foot as well as at the head of the Niagara 
portage, and to protect the teams and teamsters on their 
trips by a convoy of soldiers. On the 14th of September, 
1763, a wagon train which had come up from Lewiston, 
loaded with supplies for Detroit, set out from Schlosser 
on the return, with an escort of twenty-five men, accom- 
panied by John Stedman, who had charge of the portage. 
Five hundred Senecas, chiefly Chenussios, lay in wait for 
them in the thickets crowning the stern precipice that 
bounds the Devil's Hole. As the doomed company care- 
lessly defiled along the brink of the chasm, a murderous 
volley was fired by the hidden savages, who then sprang 
forth, thirty or forty to one of the survivors, and butcher- 
ed them with tomahawk and scalping knife. Crazed by 
the din of fire arms and the yells of the savages, part of 
the teams went off the rocky wall ; and even the men in 
some cases, rather than be hacked to pieces on the spot 
or roasted at an inland castle, flung themselves from the 
cliff. Among the latter was a drummer boy, named 
Mathews, who fell into a tree top, from which he descend- 
ed without mortal injuries. Above, John Stedman, spur- 
ring a good horse through the assailants' line and through 
a shower of bullets, regained Fort Schlosser. It is said 
that a wounded teamster, dragging himself into the 
shelter of the dense evergreens, escaped the knife and 
the hatchet. Certainly no more than these three survived 
the savage onset. 

The firing had been heard by the guard posted at the 



lower landing, and suspecting the state of the case they 
hastened up the portage road. The savages had time to 
complete the destruction of the train and its escort and 
ensconce themselves again in the bushes, with rifles reload- 
ed and tomahawks handy, before the reinforcement reach- 
ed the spot, when the massacre was renewed. A blast of 
bullets from the thicket tore through the close lines of 
the detachment, felling more than half the troops; again 
the Chenussios, sallying from their cover, swarmed round 
their prey, and the scalping knives, hardly dry from their 
latest use, were bathed anew with blood. Eight men 
escaping with their lives bore the horrible tidings to Fort 
Niagara. The garrison immediately marched to the 
scene of slaughter, but the triumphant Senecas, not, it 
would seem, expecting this detachment, which, so far as 
we can see, they might as well have destroyed as the 
other, had retired carrying eighty scalps ; and- only the 
naked and mangled bodies from which they had been 
torn awaited the party from the fort — these and the 
crushed remains of men, teams and wagons, strewn at the 
bottom of the dismal gulf or hangingin the treetops about 
the base of the cliff. 

The little rivulet falling into the glen, and called 
Bloody Run, first became such on that dreadful day when 
it was crimsoned by the butchery upon its banks. The 
passer by now looks from his carriage down the gloomy 
pit, which yawns close beside the roadway, into the brist- 
ling treetops that hide its lowest depths, and shudders to 
think of the situation of men who judged it best to cast 
themselves into this deep and rugged chasm. Yet one 
who made this choice long outlived every other actor in 
the awful tragedy — the drummer Mathews, who died at 
Queenston, aged ninety. 

The savages still haunted the neighborhood of the 
Niagara posts, and on the 5th of November killed two of 
the garrison at the lower landing, who were, with a few 
others, cutting wood within sight of their quarters. 

In a communication to the English government dated 
March i, 1777, Colonel Claus, a son-in-law of Sir William 
Johnson and himself officially familiar with Indian affairs, 
gave the following summary of the events we have just 

" In the fall of 1762 a Dutch Indian trader was killed 
by a vagrant Indian from the Ohio, in their [the Senecas'] 
country, and fled for it; for which murder the comman- 
der-in-chief demanded satisfaction from them, and they 
not capable to give it as required, hostile measures were 
put on foot against them. In this situation they saw 
themselves necessitated to call the western Indians to 
their assistance; who being then unfriendly to us, through 
the instigation of the French traders about the upper 
posts and some principal people at Montreal, readily 
accepted their messages, and in the spring of 1763, by a 
well concerted plot, cut off all the posts beyond Niagara, 
except Detroit, which was happily discovered before 
executed; and the Tsinusio's cut off the communication 
to Niagara by land, and defeated a party of 100 men of 
the 80th regiment, and this brought on that destructive 
Indian war which cost so much blood and treasure before 

it could be settled again. Indians not easily forgetting 
injuries, the Tsinusio's still harbored ill will against those 
they ascribed their misfortunes and losses to, in reflecting 
upon their once happy days at Niagara, and could not be 
prevailed upon to attach themselves cordially to the 
British interest till after the unwearied pains and endeav- 
ors of the late Sir William Johnson.'' 

No summary punishment was inflicted upon the Sene- 
cas for their outrages of this year. They realized that 
they deserved it, and on the collapse of Pontiac's bold 
scheme were so fearful of receiving it that they were anx- 
ious to make terms with the English. Accordingly in 
April, 1764, four hundred of them waited on Sir William 
Johnson at Johnson Hall and begged for peace. Now 
was the time to pay off the Devil's Hole score, and Sir 
William was the man to do it. The article of the conces- 
sions exacted by him with which we have most to do 
reads as follows: 

" That they [the Senecas] cede to His Majesty and 
his successors for ever, in full right, the lands from the 
fort of Niagara, extending easterly along Lake Ontario 
about four miles, comprehending the Petit Mavais, or 
landing place, and running from thence southerly, about 
fourteen miles, to the creek above the Fort Schlosser or 
Little Niagara, and down the same to the river or strait 
and across the same, at the great cataract, thence norther- 
ly to the banks of Lake Ontario, at a creek or small lake 
about two miles west of the fort; thence easterly along 
the banks of the Lake Ontario, and across the river or 
strait to Niagara; comprehending the whole carrying place, 
with the lands on both sides the strait, and containing a 
tract of about fourteen miles in length and four in breadth. 
And the Senecas. do engage never to obstruct the passage 
of the carrying place, or the free use of any part of the 
said tract, and will likewise give free liberty of cutting 
timber for the use of His Majesty, or that of the garri- 
sons, in any other part of their country, not comprehend- 
ed therein." 

To this the Senecas assented, " provided the tract be 
always appropriated to His Majesty's sole use," and that 
at the definite treaty, which was to be had within three 
months, "the lines be run in presence of Sir William 
Johnson and some of the Senecas, to prevent disputes " 
thereafter. They further agreed " never more to make 
war upon the English;" to deliver up " all the English 
prisoners, deserters, Frenchmen and negroes amongst 
them " and never to harbor any more of the last three 
classes; to always allow the English free passage through 
their country and the use of all the harbors in it; to treat 
the Indian enemies of the English as their enemies; to 
give up any of their number who murdered or robbed a 
British subject to be tried by English laws, and not to 
redress their own injuries but reporrthem to the super- 
intendent of Indian affairs. Eight chiefs signed the arti- 
cles, and the deputation went home and considered with 
the rest of their tribe whether they had better carry them 

The occasion on which they were expected to ratify 
these preliminary articles, and enter into a permanent 



treaty, was a general meeting of the Indian tribes at 
Niagara, to which the superintendent invited them in 
order to readjust their relations to the English govern- 
ment in view of the events of the war with Pontiac's con- 
federacy. The tribes desiring peace were to treat for 
terms at Niagara, while two military expeditions set out 
to subdue those still refractory. One of these expeditions, 
consisting of 1200 men under General Bradstreet, rendez- 
voused at Oswego in June, 1764, and was there joined by 
Sir William Johnson with 550 Iroquois warriors. The 
army set out for Fort Niagara July 3d and reached it on 
the 8th. 

Meanwhile the distant Indian tribes which had received 
Sir William's summons had been flocking to the appointed 
place by hundreds, and Fort Niagara on the Baronet's 
arrival was such a center of life and activity as it had 
not been for many a long day. "The sight which greet- 
ed him," says Stone, " as he stepped from his boat upon 
the sandy beach, must have been peculiarly gratifying to 
his self-love. In response to his invitations he beheld, 
far stretched across the fields, the wigwams of over a 
thousand Indians, whose number but a few days after was 
increased to two thousand and sixty, of whom seventeen 
hundred were warriors. Deputations from all the nations 
dwelling in that vast region lying between the pine forests 
of Nova Scotia and the head springs of the Mississippi 
were here assembled. Ottawas and Hurons, Chippewas 
and Caughnawagas, Sacs and Foxes, picturesquely 
attired, strolled in groups about the fort; while here and 
there might be seen an Indian from tribes that trapped 
the beaver on the margin of Hudson's Bay, and hunted 
the moose on the northern shores of Lake Superior.'' 

It required all of Johnson's skill and influence to keep 
the peace and preserve order among two thousand sava- 
ges, who had been often hostile to each other and but 
lately fighting — and needing but slight inducement again 
to fight — the English themselves. Some of them had a 
fresh grievance : In coming down the portage past one of 
the block-houses guarding it, they had saluted and sere- 
naded the garrison by firing a volley and singing a war- 
song. The garrison, considering the demonstration a 
hostile one, answered with a discharge of grape shot, 
which wounded three of the Indians. They were with 
difficulty pacified. 

The Senecas were tardy, and trouble was had in pro- 
curing their attendance. When they finally arrived, they 
brought with them fourteen English prisoners and a de- 
serter, and promptly ratified the preliminary articles 
drawn up at Johnson Hall. In addition they extended 
the four-mile cession of land on the east bank of the Ni- 
agara from Fort Schlosser to the head of the river, and 
gave all the islands in the river to Johnson, who shortly 
after turned them over to the crown. From that time 
forward the Senecas were in alliance with the English for 
nearly fifty years. 

Johnson also made a treaty with the Hurons, and the 
other tribes renewed their engagements. The Baronet 
then left for the east, while Bradstreet set out for Detroit, 
embarking at Schlosser,August 8th. His expedition proved 

hardly less abortive than one which attempted the same 
voyage in the preceding year. In that instance six hun- 
dred regular soldiers going to help Detroit against Pontiac 
were driven ashore by a gale on Lake Erie, seventy-three 
men drowned, the artillery lost and the surviving troops 
obliged to march back to Niagara. Bradstreet accom- 
plished nothing as affecting the Indians, and on his return 
lost by a storm on the lake six brass cannon, his ammu- 
nition and baggage, and so many of his boats that a hun- 
dred and fifty of his men had to attempt to traverse on 
foot four hundred miles of wilderness, from which many 
of them never emerged. Parts of his force straggled into 
Fort Niagara all through November and December. 



5)URING the Revolution the Niagara posts, 
being far from the populated parts of the 
country, were not the scene of any engage- 
ment, but were throughout the war in the 
undisputed possession of the British. Fort Ni- 
agara was the base of extensive predatory oper- 
ations, the point from which the Butlers and 
Brant led forth their savage bands for the devastation of 
the eastern part of the State, marking their course with 
blood and ashes, and to which they brought back their 
booty and their wretched captives. The vicinity of the 
fort was during the war the most permanent station of the 
Mohawk Indians, most of whom, like all the Iroquois, 
except the Oneidas and Tuscaroras, sided with the 
British, and whom their great chieftain Brant led west- 
ward with the superintendent, Guy Johnson, at the 
opening of the Revolution, abandoning forever their 
ancient seat in the lower Mohawk valley. 

Here was held in September, 1776, a great council, not 
only with the Iroquois nations favorable to the English, 
but with nine or ten other tribes also. The British 
government was represented by Colonel Butler, Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Caldwell, commandant of the post, Lieu- 
tenants Matthews, Burnet and Kinnesley, and Ensign 
Butler. The chiefs all signed a manifesto declaring in 
favor of the crown and appealing to the Oneidas and 
Tuscaroras to take the same stand ; portions of these 
tribes complied. 

The infamous tory Colonel John Butler, and his more 
infamous son. Major Walter Butler, here consorted with 
the savages and planned such inhuman enterprises as the 
massacres of Wyoming and Cherry Valley. From the 
latter the marauders returned to Niagara, by way of the 
Susquehanna and Tioga rivers — a common route with 
such expeditions — driving as prisoners the family of a 


border patriot named Moore, having left the wife and 
children of one Campbell at Kanadeseaga. Mrs. Camp- 
bell was also taken to Niagara in June, 1779, by the 
agency of Colonel Butler, who wished to exchange her for 
his wife, then held by the patriots. At Niagara Mrs. 
Campbell found two notorious Indian women: Molly 
Brant, sister of the famous chief, who lived with Sir Wil- 
liam Johnson during the latter years of his life ; and 
that singular character Catharine Montour, a half-breed, 
said to have been a daughter of one of the French 
governors of Canada, but who always lived with the 
Senecas and was essentially a savage, though conver- 
sant with the manners of society. Her home, at the 
head of Seneca lake, was called Catharinestown. One of 
her sons participated in the Cherry Valley butchery, and 
two of them in that of Wyoming, where she herself is 
said to have been present as an animating spirit. It 
was a year before Mrs. Campbell was able to leave Ni- 
agara ; during that time three of her children, who had 
been scattered among the Senecas, were taken to the for 
and delivered to her, and the fourth was recovered at 
Montreal, where mother and children were exchanged for 
Colonel Butler's family. 

The capture of Fort Niagara — hive of scalping parties 
and incendiary expeditions — was one of the objects of 
Sullivan's campaign in 1779. This part of the pro- 
gramme was, however, for some reason hard to fathom, 
abandoned ; and nothing was accomplished but the de- 
struction of the villages and crops of the Senecas and 
Cayugas. These Indians were compelled to resort to the 
fort for support during the winter following, and suffered 
greatly by the extraordinary severity of the season. 

On the 7th of April, 1780, in one of Brant's forays up- 
on the Mohawk border, he seized Captain Harper and 
ten militiamen, and would have proceeded to the destruc- 
tion of the settlements on Schoharie creek had nof Har- 
per led him to believe that they were well defended. 
Abandoning his design, the raider returned with his pris- 
oners to Niagara, with difficulty saving their lives, which 
his followers were eager to take. One who now glides 
comfortably from the Schoharie to the Niagara in a few 
hours cannot conceive the captive's experience of suffer- 
ing and dread, who made the distance by weeks of pain- 
ful marching, shivering with cold, faint with hunger, and 
at the mercy of a barbarous foe. Reluctantly sparing the 
lives of Harper and his men, the savages would have at 
least compelled them to run the gauntlet at one if not 
both of two Indian camps before Fort Niagara had not 
the chieftain interposed in their behalf. Brant knew that 
Captain Harper, with whom he was well acquainted, was 
ihe uncle of a lady in the fort, who was Miss Jane Moore 
when brought as a prisoner from Cherry Valley, but now 
Mrs. Powell, having married an officer of the garrison. 
Wishing to be on good terms with Powell, he informed 
him by a fleet courier whom he had captured, and sug- 
gested that the Indians at the fort be got out of the way 
before the arrival of the party. This was accomplished 
by getting up a pic-nic several miles distant, so that the 
Indian camps were empty when the captives were con- 
ducted through them. 

In May, 17S0, a marauding party of Indians captured 
near the Hudson river a Captain Snyder and his son and 
took them to Niagara, where they were forced to run the 
gauntlet but protected by their captors from serious in- 
jury. The fort was then, according to Captain Snyder, 
" a structure of considerable magnitude and great strength, 
enclosing ana rea of from six to eight acres." Within the 
enclosure was a handsome dwelling-house for the resi- 
dence of the superintendent of the Indians. It was then 
occupied by Colonel Guy Johnson. Lieutenant-Colonel 
Bolton was about this time the commandant of the post. 

An Oneida Indian who left Niagara about the ist of 
December, 1780, reported to the colonial authorities that 
Brant, Colonel Butler and Guy Johnson were then there, 
with 60 regular troops, 400 tories and 1200 Indians, who 
were well supplied with everything needful. 

The Mohawks were located during most of the war on 
and east of the site of Lewiston, where they had a little 
log church at which the chaplain of Fort Niagara occa- 
sionally conducted the Episcopal service. A bell hung 
upon a neighboring tree summoned the dusky worship- 
ers to the place of prayer. Soon after the war closed 
the Mohawks removed to a large tract north of Lake Erie, 
granted them by the British crown. While at Lewiston 
their notorious leader Brant lived, says Turner, in " a 
block-house, standing near what is called ' Brant's Spring,' 
on the farm of Isaac Cook." The improvements made by 
the Mohawks told on the price the pioneer whites had to 
pay for the lands which they had occupied. 

At the end of the Revolutionary struggle the English 
government ignored the treaty of peace by refusing to 
surrender the lake posts within the United States, plead- 
ing that the government of this country (if it can be 
said that there was here a government or a country, under 
the contemptible notions of State rights then prevalent) 
also violated the treaty in some points. The controversy 
is thus summed up by Lossing : 

"Against Great Britain it was charged that slaves 
had been carried away by her military and naval com- 
manders subsequent to the signing of the treaty, and on 
their departure from the country. It was also complain- 
ed that the western military posts had not been surren- 
dered to the United States according to Article VII. of 
the treaty. Against the United States it was charged 
that legal impediments had been interposed to prevent 
the collection of debts due British merchants by Ameri- 
cans, and that the stipulations concerning the property of 
loyalists, found in Articles V. and VI. of the treaty, had 
not been complied with. These criminations and recrim- 
inations were fair, for it has been justly remarked, ' Amer- 
ica could not, and Great Britain would not, because Amer- 
ica did not, execute the treaty.' " 

Thus it happened that Fort Niagara was held by the 
British for years after the conclusion of peace, and only 
given up on the fourth of July, 1796, in pursuance of a 
second treaty, adopted in the summer of 1794. "The 
treaty," says Lossing," provided for the establishment of 
commissions to determine the eastern boundary of the 
United States, then in dispute ; the amount of losses in- 



ciined by British subjects by impediments being thrown 
in tlie way of collecting debts in the United States in- 
curred before the Revolution ; and to ascertain and esti- 
mate the losses of the Americans by irregular and illegal 
capture by British cruisers, such losses to be paid by the 
British government. It was provided that the western 
military posts should be given up on the ist of June, 
1796, in consideration of the adjustment of the ante-rev- 
olutionary debts. The Indian trade was left open to both 
nations," etc. 

In the beginning of June, 1793, General Lincoln, Col- 
onel Pinckney and W. Raiidolph, United States commis- 
sioners, arrived at Fort Niagara on their way to a great 
council with the western Indians, to be held at the Miami 
river, on which occasion, being the King's birth-day 
(June 4th), the Canadian governor Simcoe gave a ball 
and hospitably entertained the commissioners. 

The Duke de Liancourt, a French nobleman, visited 
the Niagara river from the falls down to Lake Ontario 
in June, 179S, and was entertained by Governor Simcoe, 
who invited him to dine with the English ofiScers stationed 
at Fort Niagara. 

On one occasion Simcoe remarked to the Duke that it 
was with great aversion he crossed the river to visit the 
fort, as he was well convinced it would finally have to be 
delivered up to the Americans. 

In the spring of 1781 the Tuscaroras who had sided 
with Great Britain located themselves on a square mile 
of land on the mountain ridge, now in the town of Lewis- 
ton, which the Senecas had assigned them. They and 
their descendants have remained in undisturbed posses- 
sion of this property, which has been increased by a 
grant of two square miles and a purchase (in 1804) of 
4,329 acres from the Holland Land Company. For the 
latter tract they gave 113,722, being part of the indemnity 
paid them for the extinction of their interest in North 
Carolina. The Tuscaroras were thus the first established 
settlers o( Niagara County who still retain their place 
among its people — the first inhabitants except the traders 
and other adventurers operating in the shadow of the 
storehouses and forts along the river. The first white 
emigrants to the county found in them friends and good 
neighbors. This remnant of the tribe took kindly to 
civilization, and has long constituted a prosperous farm- 
ing community. In 1846 Mr. Schoolcraft, the eminent 
authority on matters of Indian history, made a report to 
the State government on the numbers and condition of the 
Iroquois then living in the State, in which he said of the 
Tuscaroras that they numbered 283, cultivated the pre- 
ceding year 2,080 acres of land, and owned 1,300 head 
of various kinds of live stock. The enumeration gave 
" an average of six neat cattle, three horses (nearly), two 
milch cows (nearly), ten hogs, and 92 bushels of wheat, 
966 of corn to each family," and Mr. Schoolcraft remarks: 
" Their capacity to sustain themselves and their advance 
as agriculturists will be perceived. Fifty-nine plows were 
found amongst fifty-three families. They cut 195 acres 
of meadow to sustain their cattle. They have over 
1,500 fruit trees, and dwell in excellent frame or square 

timber houses, well finished and for the most part well 
furnished. * * * Of the entire population 63 are 
church members,and 231 members of temperance societies, 
which is a far higher proportion than is found in any 
other of the cantons." The present number of the tribe 
is 412. 




5N their long journeys between the most fre- 
quented points in their domain, the Indians 
naturally found in course of time the most 
direct and easy lines of travel and adhered 
to them, forming permanent trails, which the 
white settlers in some cases located upon and 
adopted as their first roads. The principal trail of 
the Iroquois ran through their " long house " from the 
Hudson to the Niagara. Coming from the east via Can- 
andaigua and Batavia, it emerged from the Tonawanda 
swamp, says Turner, "nearly southeast of Royalton 
Center, coming out upon the I>ockport and Batavia road 
in the valley of Millard's brook, and from thence it con- 
tinued upon the Chestnut ridge to the Cold Springs. 
Pursuing- the route of the Lewiston road, with occasional 
deviations, it struck the Ridge road at Warren's. It fol- 
lowed the Ridge road until it passed Hopkins' marsh, 
when it gradually ascended the mountain ridge, passed 
through the Tuscarora village and then down again to the 
Ridge road, which it continued on to the river. This 
was the principal route into Canada, crossing from Lewis- 
ton to Queensfon, a branch trail, however, going down 
the river to Fort Niagara." Over this road, during the 
last ten or fifteen years of the eighteenth century, and an 
equal period in the beginning of the nineteenth, herds of 
cattle were constantly driven from the eastern part of the 
country, to feed the garrison on the Niagara and the set 
tiers on the Canadian border. About the close of the 
last century the Indians allowed such improvement of 
this trail as enabled sleighs to traverse it in winter, and a 
weekly mail was carried over it between Fort Niagara 
and Canandaigua. This road, as thus improved by the 
so-called Holland Company, was the first laid out north 
of the main road from Canandaigua to Buffalo. 

" The Ontario trail," Mr. Turner tells us, coming from 
Oswego via Irondequoit Bay, pursued the Ridge road 
" west to near the west line of Hartland, Niagara county, 
where it diverged to the southwest, crossing the east 
branch of the Eighteen-mile creek, and forming a junction 
with the Canada or Niagara trail at the Cold Springs." 

Interesting as are these long-trav'eled paths, on which 
barbarism went forth to war and the chase and civilization 



marched in to supplant it, no other of the old highways 
of the county has the historic interest of the Portage road. 
We have seen La Salle's party toiling up the hills at Lew- 
iston with their ship-building materials and other burdens, 
and repeatedly making the portage back and forth, pos- 
sibly guided by a trail over which the Indians long carried 
their canoes past the unnavigable section of the Niagara. 
The old documents relating to French and English occu- 
pancy contain frequent interesting references to the port- 
age. In quotations from them already made the reader's 
attention has been called to the importance of this posi- 
tion in connection with the fur trade, and the efforts of 
the Canadian and New York governments to control it. 
One of the earliest accounts of the portage occurs in a 
" memoir on the Indians between Lake Erie and the Mis- 
sissippi," written in 1718, and reads as follows: 

" The Niagara portage is two leagues and a half to 
three leagues long, but the road, over which carts roll two 
or three times a year, is very fine, with very beautiful and 
open woods through which a person is visible for a dis- 
tance of six hundred paces. The trees are all oaks, and 
very large. The soil along the entire of that road is not 
very good. From the landing, which is three leagues up 
the river, four hills are to be ascended. Above the first 
hill there is a Seneca village of about ten cabins, where 
Indian corn, beans, peas, and water-melons and pumpkins 
are raised, all which are very fine. These Senecas are 
employed by the French, from whom they earn money by 
carrying the goods of those who are going to the upper 
country ; some for leggings, others for shirts, some for 
powder and ball, whilst some others pilfer ; and on the 
return of the French, they carry their packs of furs for 
some peltry. This portage is made* for the purpose of 
avoiding the cataract of Niagara, the grandest sheet of 
water in the world, having a perpendicular fall of two to 
three hundred feet. This fall is the outlet of Lakes Erie, 
Huron, Michigan, Superior, and consequently of the 
numberless rivers discharging into these lakes, as well as 
of other lakes towards the Sioux, with the names of which 
I am not acquainted." 

■In what sense the Portage road of 17 18 could have been 
called " very fine," it is hard to guess. It is hardly sup- 
posable that any roadway which would now be considered 
tolerable was maintained for the passage of rude carts 
" two or three times a year." The Senecas probably had 
as yet very little competition from vehicles as carriers, 
and that they had the carrying business in their hands 
almost to the close of the French regime appears from the 
colonial documents. They were, it is said, " much 
caressed and indulged by the French, and had the liberty 
to enjoy the emoluments of that carrying place, which 
were so lucrative and considerable to that nation that in 
a short time they enriched themselves thereby, and had 
besides some other advantages in trade and other neces- 
saries of life." Yet even before the French gave way to 
the English on the Niagara the portage business began to 
slip from the hands of the Indians. Montcalm, in April 
1757) reported to his government an interview with an 
embassy of the Six Nations, in which " the Iroquois 

orator spoke of the establishment of carts at the carrying 
place of Niagara as being prejudicial to them, inasmuch 
as formerly they did the transportation over that carrying 
place themselves." Captain Pouchot, the last defender 
of French power on this border, has a remark on the por- 
tage in a letter to Marshall de Belle Isle written at Mon- 
treal in April, 1758, in which he contradicts the extrava- 
gant misrepresentations of Hennepin and Charlevoix. 
He says : 

" That country, my Lord, would be well worth being 
seen by experienced eyes, which has not as yet been the 
case ; the well known carrying place of Niagara is an 
evident proof. "The most recent accounts thereof de- 
scribe it as the most rugged of alps, whilst 'tis only a rise 
of ground a little more elevated than that of Bellevue ; 
below and above are very fine plains, as can be seen on 
my map." 

On the transfer of power to the English the Senecas 
lost the carrying business entirely, and this was part of 
the account they paid with bullet and tomahawk at the- 
Devil's Hole. "The Tsinusio Indians [Senecas of Che- 
nussio],"wrote Colonel Claus, "had their privilege of the 
Niagara portage and other advantages taken from them, 
and having for many years entirely depended upon that 
for their support, they soon were reduced to a naked and 
starving condition, not having been accustomed to hunt- 
ing from that time, besides their country being scarce of 

Sir William Johnson, in reporting to the Lords of Trade 
his treaty of 1764, wrote as follows : "The cession made 
by the Senecas is very considerable, and will, I hope, 
put a stop to all future disputes about the carrying place ; 
in fact, they have been great losers by us concerning it, 
as they were the only carriers made use of by the French 
traders ; but since our possessing Niagara, carriages were 
made use of at a much higher rate, and even a monopoly 
attempted there, but for my remonstrance against it." 
Writing to the Earl of Halifax in regard to the cession by 
the Senecas the Baronet said: "The carrying place of Ni- 
agara is comprehended therein, and there are at present 
several little posts erected for its better security ; * * * 
it may turn to very great use to all the posts on the com- 
munication, which is the most important of any I am 
acquainted with." 

A few months later Colonel Bradstreet recommended 
that the government assume the portage. "The post of 
Niagara," he says,"is of great importance, and will always 
be an expense to the government. The principal part of 
the trade, if the transportation is carried on in vessels, 
will pass that way, and from its proximity to the Jeneseo 
Indians, a part of the Six Nations and the greatest savage 
enemies we have, it will be difficult, if not impractible, 
for some time to come, for private persons to keep up 
boats and carriages so well but that the trade will meet 
with delays ; it would therefore be more safe and perma- 
nent in the hands of government, who only can make 
transportation certain, and by the traders paying a rea- 
sonable price for the carriage of their goods, etc., theer 
will be no stop, and the public service carried on there 
without expense." 



After Fort Niagara had been taken and Fort Schlosser 
built by the British, Sir William Johnson, in the name of 
the government, contracted with John Stedman to re- 
construct the road over the portage and to transport 
military supplies. The line of the road as improved by 
Stedman (in 1763) probably varied but little from that 
which had been followed all through the period of French 
occupancy, at least most of the way below the falls. It 
commenced, says Marshall, " at the Lewiston landing, and 
followed the river until it reached the small depression 
just north of the present Suspension Bridge. Diverging 
from this it intersected the river a short distance above 
the Stedman house, and followed its bank for about forty 
rods to the fort above. Midway between the house and 
fort were a dock, a warehouse and a group of square- 
timbered, whitewashed log cabins, used by the teamsters, 
boatmen and engagees connected with the portage. 
About half a mile below the Stedman house, the head of 
the present hydraulic canal, was the old French landing, 
where goods were transhipped when only canoes were 
used, and where the Portage road terminated before Fort 
Schlosser was built. All along the road between the fort 
and Lewiston block-houses were erected about a mile 
apart, to protect the teams from disasters such as had 
occurred at the Devil's Hole. The remains of some of 
these were quite recently, in existence." 

In his interesting little work on Niagara, published in 
1872, Mr. George W. HoUey speaks of Lewiston as fol- 
lows : 

" This was the commencement of the portage to the 
river above the falls, which passed over nearly the same 
route as the present road to Lewiston, and what is still 
called the Portage road. Here, too, the first railway in 
the United States was constructed. True, it was built of 
w^Dod, and was called a tramway ; but a car was run upon 
it to transport goods up and down the mountain. The 
motion of the car was regulated with a windlass, and it 
was supported on runners instead of wheels. This was a 
very good arrangement for getting freight down the hill, 
but not so good for getting it up. But the wages of labor 
were low in every sense ; since many of the Indians, de- 
moralized by the use of those two most pestilent drugs 
rum and tobacco, would do a day's work for a pint of the 
former and a plug of the latter." Captain James Van 
Cleve informs us that " the line of stone piers upon which 
the old tramway up the ' three mountains ' at Lewiston 
was built, and by many thought to have been originated 
by La Salle, and afterward improved upon not only by 
the French but by the English during the following one 
hundred years (from 1680 to j 780), were nearly all un- 
disturbed up to the year 1825." 

In connection with their total withdrawal from the ter- 
ritory of New York in 1796, the British authorities trans- 
ferred their portage to the Canadian side ; and Stedman, 
who had been for thirty-five years connected with it, mov- 
ed over the river. An English gentleman named Maude, 
who visited this region in 1800, speaks thus of the new 
carrying place : " The Niagara is not navigable higher 
than Queenston ; consequently there is a portage from 

that place to Chippewa, which employs numerous teams, 
chiefly oxen, each cart being drawn by two yoke of oxen 
or two horses. I passed great numbers on the road, tak- 
ing up bales and boxes and bringing down packs of pel- 
try. * * * Queenston contains from twenty to thirty 
houses, whose fronts are east and west — the worst possi- 
ble aspect, but which has been regulated by the course of 
the river." 

Before roads from the east were opened through to 
Lake Erie, transportation and emigrant travel from the 
eastern part of the State and New England largely follow- 
ed a water route, consisting of the Mohawk river. Wood 
creek, Oneida lake and river, Oswego river. Lake Ontario 
and Niagara river. The first through turnpike drew off 
traffic from this roundabout water route, which in any 
case must have been entirely superseded by the canals. 

In 1801 the United States government directed General 
Moses Porter, then in command at Fort Niagara, to em- 
ploy his troops in opening a road to connect that fort 
with one which it was then intended to bviild on the high 
bluff at Black Rock. This road was opened in 1802 from 
the top of the mountain, at Lewiston, through the town 
of Niagara, by a nearly direct course to Tonawanda, and 
thence onward two or three miles on a straight line, so 
far as to cut and burn the timber on a strip six rods in 
width ; but few bridges were built, two of them over Ca- 
yuga and Tonawanda creeks, and little other work was 
done to render it passable for teams. At this juncture an 
unfortunate misunderstanding arose between the govern- 
ment authorities and those of the State, which resulted 
in a discontinuance of the work. This left the road in 
an unfinished condition for a number of years, to the seri- 
ous disadvantage of. both parties to the contract, as was 
afterward admitted. In 1809 the State appropriated 
|i,5oo toward the completion of the work, to be paid by 
persons who had bought lands in the " mile strip " along 
the Niagara and were in arrears for the same. With this 
sum the road was made passable from Black Rock to the 
falls. The State originally gave the land, while the gen- 
eral government undertook to construct the road ; and 
the name by which it is known to the present time — 
" Military road " — is said to have been given it because 
it was originally opened by the soldiers. In time it be- 
came overgrown by bushes and saplings except in places 
where it was kept clear by the early settlers for local travel. 
It was also very wet and boggy, and there was an almost 
impassable swamp extending for a mile along the road, 
beginning a little south of the farm of Jonas Young in 
Niagara, which was regarded as the worst on the entire 
route. About the year 1820 the county authorities began 
the work of rendering this road available to the traveling 
public ; but it was not in good condition until 1832 or 


The Ridge road is of course one of the most interest- 
ing in the county, historically considered, as well as with 
reference to the singular natural formation from, which it 
takes its name. Augustus Porter is said to have learned 
of the ridge from the Indians, and had the line of a road 
traced along it in 1798. Mr. Orsamus Turner, in his 



History of the Holland Purchase, says that " the Ridge 
road, through all the eastern portion of Niagara, was dis- 
covered in 1805. Some of the new settlers in Slaton's 
settlement in 1805 were hunting cattle, and observed that 
there was continuous elevated ground and changed their 
location, settling upon it east of Hartland Corners. It 
was not, however, known in its full extent throughout 
that region until some years after." 

Mrs. Warren, a pioneer settler in Cambria, contributed 
to the above-named work a statement of which the follow- 
ing is a part: 

" In 1808 the Ridge road was laid out by General Rhea, 
Elias Ransom and Charles Harford. I remember well 
the arrival of the surveyors; their delight at finding a bed 
to sleep in, and something to eat that was cooked by a 
female. Previous to this there had been nothing but an 
Indian path through the low grounds west of Wright's 

Settlements began on the ridge west of Warren's before 
the Holland Company cut out the old trail from Batavia 
into a passable road; and the ridge was used for transport- 
ation with teams between Warren's and Lewiston sooner 
than in any other part. East of this section there was noth- 
ing that could be called a road before 1803. John Dunn, 
who located on the ridge at the east line of the county in 
that year, had to cut his way through the woods from the 
Genesee river. As late as 1809 the way to his place was 
encumbered with logs and brush. 

After other parts of the ridge had been made passable 
the swamp which extended some two miles between War- 
ren's and Wright's Corners was an obstacle. In the 
spring of 1813 General Dearborn, representing the United 
States, contracted with Isaac B. Taylor to build for 
$2,900 a log causeway through the low ground. The 
work was done that season, but was early and often 
undone. The logs were frequently afloat in the spring 
and autumn, and annual repairs were made by town ap- 
propriations and subscriptions by stage proprietors until 
1823, when the franchise for a turnpike was granted to 
David Maxwell, who subsequently sold it to the town of 

The operation of laying out the Ridge road in 1808, 
spoken of by Mrs. Warren, seems to have been merely a 
survey, and not to have affected the condition of the road 
for travel. The State commissioners named by her ran 
their lines without regard to those bounding the Holland 
Purchase lots, and the latter were made to conform to the 
course of the road, for which the Holland Company gave 
the land. In 1814 a State appropriation of $5,000 was 
expended on parts of the road west of Rochester, greatly 
to its improvement. It was regularly laid out under State 
authority in 1815 by Philetus Swift and Caleb Hopkins, 
and was resurveyed \^est of Rochester in 1852. In 1815 
mail was carried on horseback twice a week between 
Canandaigua and Lewiston, following the Ridge road 
through Niagara county; the next year three times a week 
in two-horse wagons. 

At the time of laying out the Ridge road there was no 
other entering the county from the east except the former 

Indian trail from Batavia; by the Ridge road most of the 
pioneers entered the county, and along or near it they 
first settled, except those who located at an equally early 
day upon the Niagara border. 

Perhaps no natural feature of northwestern New York 
is better known or better worthy of note than the singu- 
lar formation on which the Ridge road runs. De Witt 
Clinton spoke of it as follows; 

" From the Genesee near Rochester to Lewiston on the 
Niagara there is a remarkable ridge or elevation of land 
running almost the whole distance, which is seventy-eight 
miles, and in a direction from east to west. Its general 
altitude above the neighboring land is thirty feet, and its 
width varies considerably; in some places it is not more 
than forty yards. Its elevation above the -level of Lake 
Ontario is perhaps one hundred and sixty feet, to which 
it descends with a gradual slope; and its distance from 
that water is between six and ten miles. This remarkable 
strip of land would appear as if intended by nature for 
the purpose of an easy communication. It is, in fact, a 
stupendous natural turnpike, descending gently on each 
side and covered with gravel, and but little labor is requis- 
ite to make it the best road in the United States. * * * 
The gravel with which it is covered was deposited there 
by the waters, and the stones everywhere indicate by 
their shape the abrasion and agitation produced by that 

Geologists have generally concluded that this wonder- 
ful ridge was a mammoth bar on the bed of Lake Onta- 
rio when the lake rolled over the country south to the 
brow of the so-called mountain ridge. 

Travel between Lewiston and Fort Niagara of course 
began in the earliest days of French occupation, and the 
road between those points must be considered one of the 
oldest in the country. It has been the route of many 
military movements, which are recorded in their appro- 
priate places in this work. 

In the autumn of 181 1, as the pioneer Reuben Wilson 
informed Mr. Orsamus Turner, " there was a road oisened 
from Fort Niagara to Somerset; it was generally along 
the lake shore, though deviating at the streams; at its 
termination a foot path continued on to Johnson's Creek, 
on the Ridge road." ' 




^"SN 1684 the Five Nations, alarmed by the pros- 
Jj/ pect of a French inva,sion of their territory, 
alf appealed to the English authorities through 
a council at Albany for aid, offering to put 
their country under the protection of the 
King of Great Britain. In this instance they 
showed the same characteristic indifference to 
equivalents that they manifested in the same place twenty- 



five years before, when they complained with indignant 
surprise that the Dutch, who professed to be their broth- 
ers, would only furnish them with ammunition so long 
as they had beavers to sell. They now expected to 
obtain support, but did not realize that they had parted 
with any of their independence, being ignorant of the 
effect of a protectorate. The colonial officials, however, 
took advantage of the opportunity to assert a claim to 
English sovereignty over the Iroquois territory, having 
the arms of the Duke of York planted even in the re- 
motest villages of the Senecas. The French, as we have 
S5en, always ignored this claim; and, as already related, 
took formal possession of western New York in 1687. 

The English, however, obtained new admissions on 
the part of the Iroquois, as is shown by a deed reciting 
that " whereas the sachems of the Five Nations did on 
the 19th day of July, one thousand, seven hundred and 
one, in a conference held at Albany between John Nan- 
fan, Esq., late lieutenant-governor of fhe province of New 
York, give and render up all their land where the beaver 
hunting is, which they won with the sword then eighty 
years ago, to Coorachkoo, our great King, praying that he 
might be their protector and defender," the signers rati- 
fied that agreement; " and we do also, of our own accord, 
free and voluntary will, give, render, submit and grant 
* * * unto our said sovereign lord King George, his 
heirs and successors for ever " the land for sixty miles 
inland from the southern shore of Lake Ontario, and from 
the southern shore of Lake Erie as far as Cleveland, "for 
our use, our heirs and successors." This document is 
dated September 14, 1726, and signed by seven Seneca, 
Cayuga and Onondaga sachems, who, it will be noticed, 
thought they were acting solely for their own benefit. It 
was on this deed that the Albany merchants afterward 
based their protest against permitting settlements to be 
made along the Niagara. 

The next negotiation in regard to the ownership of the 
soil of this part of the State was Sir William Johnson's 
treaty with the Senecas in 1 764, by which they gave up all 
right to the islands in the Niagara and the land adjoin- 
ing the river for four miles inland, all of which went 
directly or indirectly to the crown. 

The encroachment of the whites upon the territory of 
the Iroquois gave the latter great uneasiness, to allay 
which a very numerously attended council was held with 
them at Fort Stanwix (Rome) in 1768, to agree on a line 
beyond which settlements should not be permitted. The 
line decided upon in the State of New York " ran along 
the eastern border of Broome and Chenango counties, and 
thence northwestward to a point seven miles west of 

The close of the Revolution left the hostile Iroquois 
unprovided for by their British employers and at the 
mercy of the United States. Couqueres after waging a 
long, bloody and destructive warfare against the patriota 
of New York, they had forfeited their territory and would 
have had litfle cause of complaint had they been dispos- 
sessed. The government, however, thought it wise to 
deal not only justly, but generously with them ; and in a 

council held on the site of Rome in 1784, recognized their 
continued ownership of the land between the line agreed 
on at the same place sixteen years before, and one begin- 
ning at Lake Ontario four miles east of the Niagara river, 
running southward parallel with the river to Buffalo 
creek, thence still southward to the Pennsylvania line and 
following that to the Ohio river. All of New York west 
of this second line seems also to have been subsequently 
conceded to the Indians except a mile strip along the 

Every reader of English colonial history knows how 
ignorantly or carelessly grants of American territory were 
made by the crown to individuals and companies, the same 
tracts being in some instances given at different times to 
different parties, laying the foundation of conflicting 
claims. Thus the province of New York, when granted 
to the Duke of York in 1664, covered part of Massachu- 
setts as defined by the charter given to the Plymouth 
Company in 1620. The territory of both provinces under 
their charters also extended indefinitely westward ; but 
New York in 1781 and Massachusetts four years later 
relinquished to the United States their claims beyond the 
present western boundary of this State, and Massachusetts 
contented herself with claiming that portion of New 
York west of the meridian which now forms the eastern 
line of Ontario and Steuben counties— some 19,000 
square miles. New York of course also asserted jurisdic- 
tion and ownership of this vast tract. 

The dispute was compromised by a convention of com- 
missioners from the two States, held at Hartford in De- 
cember, 1786. It was agreed that the sovereignty of the 
disputed region should remain with New York, and the 
ownership with Massachusetts, subject to the Indian 
proprietorship, which had been recognized by the general 
government. "That is to say, the Indians could hold 
the land as long as they pleased, but were only allowed 
to sell to the State of Massachusetts or her assigns." 
The meridian bounding the Massachusetts claim on the east 
was called the " pre-emption line," because it was decided 
to allow that State the right of pre-emption, or first pur- 
chase, of the land west of it. There was one exception : 
New York retained the ownership as well as the sove- 
reignty of a strip a mile wide along the Niagara river. 

In 1788 the State of Massachusetts sold to Oliver 
Phelps and Nathaniel Gorham, two of its citizens, and to 
others for whom they acted, its pre-emption right to 
western New York for $1,000,000, to be paid in three 
annual installments, in certain securities of the State 
which were then worth about one-fifth of their face. The 
next thing with these gentlemen was to complete the title 
by buying the Indian interest. For this purpose Phelps 
held a council with the Iroquois at Buffalo early in July, 
1788, and bought, for $5,000 down and a perpetual an- 
nuity of $500, about 2,600,000 acres, bounded on the 
east by the pre-emption line. Part of the western bound- 
ary was a meridian from Pennsylvania to the junction of 
Canaseraga creek with the Genesee river. Thence north- 
ward the line followed the course of the Genesee " to a 
point two miles north of Cannawagus village; thence 


running due west twelve miles; thence running north- 
wardly so as to be twelve miles distant from ^e western 
bounds of said river, to the shores of Lake Ontario." 
The tract thus defined constituted the famous " Phelps 
and Gorham's Purchase." 

The Indians were reluctant to sell any land west of the 
Genesee, and it is said that to induce them to do so 
Phelps had recourse to a fraudulent device: He told them 
that he needed a site on the west bank at the falls for a 
mill, which would be very useful to them; and when they 
assented, and asked how much he would need, he named 
the twelve-mile strip above indicated — some 200,000 

In securing their vast estate Phelps, Gorham and com- 
pany encountered the opposition of another set of laud 
sharks who also had a covetous eye upon this magnificent 
domain. These were the capitalists forming the New 
York and Genesee Land Company, engineered by one 
John Livingston; and its branch the Niagara-Genesee 
Company, headed by Colonel John Butler, and consisting 
almost entirely of Canadians. As we have seen, the In- 
dians were barred from selling their lands except to 
Massachusetts or her assigns. Butler, Livingston and 
their associates proposed to get possession of them by a 
long lease; hence they are spoken of as the " lessee com- 
panies." Chiefly through the influence of Butler they 
obtained from part of the Iroquois chiefs and sachems a 
nine-hundred-and-ninety-nine-years' lease of most of their 
territory for $20,000 and an annual rent of $2,000. Their 
scheme fell through, the Legislatures of New York and 
Massachusetts declaring a lease of that length equivalent 
to a purchase, and as such null and void. Butler,, how- 
ever, profited by the purchase of Phelps and Gorham. He 
was one of three to whom the Indians referred the ques- 
tion of the price they should charge those gentlemen, and 
is said to have had 20,000 acres placed at his disposal by 
the purchasers in consideration of the advice he give the 
confiding red men. The " lessees " continued their in- 
trigues until they succeeded, in 1793, in getting from the 
Legislature a grant of one hundred square miles east of 
the pre-emption line, instead of obtaining twenty thou- 
sand miles and founding a new State, as there is reason 
to suppose the Niagara-Genesee Company, at least, in- 
tended, with the co-operation of the Senecas, whom 
Butler and other Canadian officials were always embitter- 
ing against the people of New York. 

Before Phelps and Gorham had half paid for the entire 
pre-emption right they had bought of Massachusetts, the 
securities of that State, in consequence of the adoption 
of the Federal Constitution, had risen nearly to par ; and 
finding that they should be unable to fulfill their contract 
they induced the State to resume its right to the portion 
of its original New York claim which they had not yet 
bought of the Indians, and release them from their con- 
tract as to that part, leaving on their hands the tract 
since called Phelps and Gorham's Purchase and bounded 
as above described. This agreement was reached on the 
loth of March, 1791. 

Two days later Robert Morris, the illustrious financier 

whose services were of such vital importance to the nation 
during the Revolution, contracted with Massachusetts for 
the pre-emption right to all of New York west of Phelps 
and Gorham's Purchase. About this time he also bought 
1,264,000 acres of Phelps and Gorham (paying _;£3o,ooo 
in New York currency), which he soon sold to three 
English gentlemen. Sir William Pultney, John Hornby 
and Patrick Colquhoun, for ^^35,000 sterling. It was 
only after much difficulty and delay that Mr. Morris com- 
pleted his title to the tract of which he had purchased 
the pre-emption right from Massachusetts. It was neces- 
sary to buy out the interest of the Indians, and this was 
accomplished by a council at Geneseo in September, 
1797, when he was enabled to purchase aill of the State 
west of Phelps and Gorham's Purchase, except that the 
Indians retained eleven reservations, amounting to about 
three hundred and thirty-eight square miles, including 
the Tuscarora reservation three miles east of Lewiston, 
then one mile square ; and the Tonawanda reservation, 
part of which formed the extreme southeast corner of 
Niagara county. 

It was by his speeches in the councils affecting tlie 
title to the lands of western New York that the Seneca 
chief Red Jacket came into prominence. He figures in 
history as a crafty demagogue, vain, ambitious and dis- 
honest ; a coward in war and a sot in peace ; chiefly 
noted for his harangues against parting with the lands 
of the Seneca nation, and the bitterness he usually mani- 
fested against the power by whose grace alone the nation 
had any lands after the Revolution. 

The conveyance from Massachusetts to Mr. Morris 
was made May nth, 1791, by five deeds. The first cover- 
ed the land between Phelps and Gorham's Purchase and 
a line beginning twelve miles west of theirs on the Penn- 
sylvania border and running due north to Lake Ontario. 
The next three embraced as many sixteen-mile strips 
crossing the State north and south, and the fifth what re- 
mained to the westward of these. 

The tract covered by the first mentioned deed was 
what has been called " Morris's Reserve," from the fact 
that he retained the disposition of this section in his 
own hands when he subsequently sold all west of it. He 
sold the reserve in large tracts, though small as compared 
with his purchases. To Leroy, Bayard and McEvers he 
sold the triangle bounded by Lake Ontario, the line of 
. Phelps's. " mill seat," and aline from the southwestern 
end of the latter due north to the lake — about 87,000 
acres. He next sold to Watson, Cragie and Greenleaf 
100,000 acres in a block six miles wide and nearly twenty- 
nine long, bounded on the east by the west line of the 
above-mentioned triangle and the same line continued 
southward. This property was afterward purchased by 
the State of Connecticut and Sir William Pultney, and is 
usually spoken of as the Connecticut tract. When sold 
by Mr. Morris it was supposed to lie wholly within the 
Morris Reserve ; but on running from the south the 
" east transit line," a meridian which bounded the 
reserve on the west, the Connecticut tract was found to 
extend over the line one hundred and sixty-six chains 



and thirty links. As the east transit was meant to be the 
dividing line between the Connecticut tract and the Hol- 
land Purchase (which was sold by Mr. Morris at a later 
date and had therefore an inferior claim for remaining un- 
changed), the transit line was on reaching the Con- 
necticut tract shifted westward to the distance above 
named, and so carried forward to the lake. It runs 
between the eastern and middle tiers and middle of 
towns in Orleans county. 

This transit line was so called because it was run with 
a transit instrument in connection with astronomical ob- 
servations, the variation of the magnetic needle disqualify- 
ing the surveyor's compass for running a meridian line. 
It is called the " east " transit to distinguish it from a 
similarly surveyed meridian passing through Lockport, 
which is called the " west " transit. The laying down of 
this line was a slow and laborious operation. It involved 
nothing less than felling a strip of timber three or four 
rods wide most of the way across the State to give unob- 
structed range to the miniature telescope of the transit. 
This required, beside three surveyors, a considerable 
force of axemen. On most of the line all hands camped 
where night overtook them in the unbroken wilderness. 
All the summer and autumn of 1798 was consumed in 
running the first eighty miles of the transit meridian, there 
being about thirteen miles remaining undone on the 22nd 
of November. 

The surveyor in charge of this work was Joseph EUicott. 
He was born in Bucks county, Pennsylvania, in 1756. In 
1770 the family removed to Maryland and founded Elli- 
cott's Mills on the Patapsco river. Joseph was taught 
surveying by his brother Andrew, who was aftervyard 
surveyor-general of the United States and professor of 
mathematics at West Point. He assisted the latter in 
laying out the city of Washington, and in 1791 surveyed 
the boundary line between the State of Georgia and the 
Creek Indian lands. The remaining years of his business 
career were chiefly spent in the service of the Holland 
Land Company, so called. His intimate connection, in 
this capacity, with the history of Western New York is 
thus summed up by the historian of the Holland Pur- 

" No man has ever, perhaps, been so closely identified 
with the history of any region as he is with the history of 
the Holland Purchase. He was not only the land agent, 
superintending from the start surveys and settlement, 
exercising locally a one-man power and influence; but for 
- a long period he was far more than this. In all the early 
years of settlement, especially in all things having refer- 
ence to the organization of towns, counties, erection of 
public buildings, the laying out of roads, the establish- 
ment of post-offices — in all that related to the convenience 
and prosperity of the region over which his agency ex- 
tended — he occupied a prominent position, a close iden- 
tity, that few if any patrons of new settlements have ever 




^(ECEMBER 24th, 1792, Robert Morris deeded 
to Herman Leroy and John Linklaen one 
and a half million acres of his lands west of 
the east transit line. On the 27th of the fol- 
lowing February he gave a deed for a million of 
acres to these gentlemen and Gerrit Boon. July 
20th, 1793, he conveyed to the same three par- 
ties eight hundred thousand acres ; and on the same day 
to Herman Leroy, William Bayard and Matthew Clarkson 
three hundred thousand acres. These gentlemen purchas- 
ed this vast tract as trustees for a number of rich mer- 
chants of Amsterdam, Holland, who have been common- 
ly spoken of as the Holland Company and the Holland 
Land Company, though there was no corporation with 
either of those titles. The immense estate acquired by 
them, being all of New York west of the east transit line, 
except the Indian reservations and the State mile strip 
along the Niagara, constituted the Holland Purchase. 

The purchasers bought through the above-named citi- 
zens of New York because they themselves, as foreigners, 
could not at the time legally hold real property in the 
State. The Legislature of 1798, however, changed this 
regulation, and the trustees thereupon turned over the 
property to the actual owners ; all but three hundred 
thousand acres being transferred to Wilhem Willink, Nich- 
olas Van Staphorst, Pieter Van Eeghen, Hendrick Val- 
lenhoven and Rutger Jan Schimmelpenninck. The re- 
mainder went to Wilhem Willink, Jan Willink, Wilhem 
Willink, jr., and Jan Willink, jr. Two years after Jan 
Gabriel Van Staphorst, Roelif Van Staphorst, jr., Cor- 
nelius Vallenhoven and Hendrick Seye also acquired an 
interest in the tract. 

When the Indian title to the Holland Purchase had 
been extinguished by Mr. Morris, in r797, measures were 
immediately taken for the survey of the tract, so that it 
might be put in market, sold and settled. Operations 
were directed from Philadelphia by Theophilus Cazenove, 
who was the first general agent of the Hollanders. He 
appointed Joseph EUicott chief surveyor, and in the au- 
tumn of 1797 he and Augustus Porter, Mr. Morris's sur- 
veyor, as a step toward ascertaining the actual area of the 
purchase, made a tour of its lake and river front. The 
running of the east transit line in the next year by Mr. 
EUicott, as already related, was another step in the sur- 
vey of the Holland Purchase ; and at the same time 
" eleven other surveyors, each with his corps of axemen 
chainmen, etc., went to work at different points, running 
the lines of ranges, townships and reservations. All 
through the Purchase the deer were startled from their 
hiding-places, the wolves were driven growling from their 
lairs by bands of men with compasses and theodolites 
chains and flags, while the red occupants looked sullenly 



on at the rapid parceling out of their broad and fair do- 

The division of the land began on the plan which had 
been followed in Phelps and Gorham's purchase, namely, 
the laying off of six-mile strips reaching from Pennsyl- 
vania to Lake Ontario, called ranges, and numbered from 
east to west ; and dividing them by east and west lines 
into regular townships, numbered from south to north. 
Each township was to be sub-divided into sixteen mile- 
and-a-half squares, called sections, and each of these into 
twelve lots, three-fourths of a mile by one-fourth, con- 
taining one hundred and twenty acres apiece. After 
twenty-four townships had been surveyed on this plan 
the sub-division was judged unnecessarily minute, and was 
so much so as to be often ill adapted to the surface of 
the ground ; thereafter the mile-and-a-half squares com- 
posing a township were each divided into four three- 
quarter-mile squares, of three hundred and sixty acres 
apiece, which were sold off in quantities to suit purchasers, 
quite commonly going off in one-hundred-and-twenty- 
acre lots, as originally planned. 

The mile strip along the Niagara river belonging to the 
State of New York was surveyed in the autumn of 1798 by 
Seth Pease, at the expense of the Hollanders. 

The theoretically regular division of the Holland 
Purchase into square townships was of course in some 
cases broken in upon by bodies and streams of water, 
and was also interfered with by the Indian reservations. 
Town boundaries in the region we are considering have 
not generally been made to conform to range and town- 
ship lines, but the towns are rectangular except where de- 
fined by natural boundaries, and most of the roads in 
Niagara and Orleans counties, running to the cardinal 
points of the compass, also show traces of the surveying 
system of the Holland proprietors. 

The price at first charged by them for their l^nds was 
$2.75 per acre, one-tenth to be paid down. The proprie- 
tors found it very difficult to obtain this ten per cent, 
advance payment. It was extremely desirable to secure 
settlers for the tract, for every pioneer who located made 
the country more attractive to others who might be con- 
templating a similar movement. Lands could be had 
very cheap in parts of the State nearer the centers of pop- 
ulation, and also in Ohio; while farms in Canada were 
offered by the British government at sixpence per acre. 
The competition among owners of large tracts was thus 
so strong that the proprietors of the Holland Purchase 
often waived all advance payment by actual settlers. 
Even so their lands at first went off but slowly. The rate 
of sales, however, constantly increased. In 1801 there 
were 40; in 1802, 56; in 1803, 230; in 1804, 300; in 1805, 
415; in 1806, 524; in 1807,607; in 1808,612; in 1809,1160. 

It is not our purpose to give here a detailed account of 
the settlement of this corner of the State. The pioneer 
experiences of the settlers of different towns belong to 
the annals of those towns; but a few remarks will give 
such a glimpse of the progress of settlement as may 
properly be taken at this point. A tourist who visited 
western New York in 1792 gives us the following: 

"Many times did I break out in an enthusiastic frenzy, 
anticipating the probable situation of this wilderness 
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 cheap. After I had 
reached the Genesee river curiosity led me on to Niagara, 
ninety miles — not one house or white man the whole way. 
The only direction 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. At eight o'clock in the evening I reached 
an Indian town called Tonnoraunto; it contains many 
hundreds of the savages, who live in very tolerable houses, 
which they make of timber and cover with bark. By 
signs I made them understand me, and for a little money 
they cut me limbs and bushes sufficient to erect a booth, 
under which I slept very quietly on the grass. The next 
day I pursued my journey, nine miles of which lay through 
a very deep swamp; with some difficulty I got through, 
and about sundown arrived at the fort of Niagara." 

One of the pioneers of Lewiston furnished Mr. Orsa- 
mus Turner some reminiscences of his entrance into this 
region in 1793. He says: 

" We coasted up Lake Ontario, going on shore and 
camping nights. We were seventeen days making the 
journey from Geneva to Queenston. The only person 
we saw on the route from Oswego to Niagara [the party 
went from Geneva to Lake Ontario by the Seneca and 
Oswego rivers] was William Hencher, at the mouth of 
Genesee river. We made a short halt at Fort Niagara, 
reporting ourselves to the commanding officer. He gave 
us a specimen of British civility during the hold-over 
period after the Revolution. It was after a protracted 
dinner sitting, I should think. He asked me where I was 
going. I replied, 'To Chippewa.' 'Go along and be 
d — d to you,' was his laconic verbal passport. There was 
then outside of the garrison, under its walls, upon the 
flats, two houses; no tenement at Youngstown." 

In 1799 a gentleman familiar with western New York 
described the country in a series of letters. From one 
of them we take the following; 

" Should curiosity induce you to visit the falls of 
Niagara, you will proceed from Geneva, by the State 
road, to the Genesee river, which you will cross at New 
Hartford, west of which you will find the country settled 
for about twelve miles, but after that, for sixty-five miles, 
to Niagara river, the country still remains a wilderness. 
This road was used so much last year by people on 
business, or by those whom curiosity had led to visit 
the falls of Niagara, that a station was fixed at the 
Big Plains to shelter travelers. At this place there are 
two roads that lead to Niagara river; the south road 
goes by Buffalo creek, the other by Tonawanda vil- 
lage to Queenston landing [the Batavia and Lewiston 
trail, heretofore mentioned]. The road by Buffalo 
creek is most used, both because it is better and be 
cause it commands a view of Lake Erie; and the road 
from this to the falls is along the banks of Niagara 
river, a very interesting ride." 



Speaking of the Niagara or Lewiston trail, Mr. Turner 
says: "Add to this the two or three log and otie framed 
hut at Buffalo, and two or three tenements at Lewiston, 
and the reader will have a pretty good idea of all in the 
way of improvement that had transpired upon the Hol- 
land Purchase before the close of 1799; and at the close 
of the century there was but little more than the addition 
of a few families along the Buffalo road, and the prosecu- 
tion of surveys." 

Surveying was therefore all that had thus far been done 
toward civilizing Orleans county. It was an unbroken 
wilderness, except for the impression that the surveyors' 
axemen had made upon it, and a multitude of wild 
beasts were its only inhabitants. In 1803, however, Mr. 
EUicott, vainly hoping that the mouth of Oak Orchard 
creek would prove a practicable harbor, and the port of 
the northwestern part of the Purchase, had a village laid 
out there, which was to be called Manilla. In the spring 
of that year James Walsworth settled at the place. He 
was the pioneer settler of Orleans county, and the first on 
the lake shore between Braddock's Bay and Fort Niagara. 
His nearest neighbor to the westward lived at the Cold 
Springs, just east of Lockport, and in 1805 he himself re- 
moved inland, settling on the Lockport and Batavia road 
where he cleared a farm on the border of the Tonawan- 
da swamp, and kept a well known tavern. Says Mr_ 
Turner : 

" Walsworth, and the few others that located at Oak 
Orchard, were all the settlers in Orleans before i8og ex- 
cept Whitfield Rathbun, who was the pioneer upon all 
that part of the Ridge road in Orleans county embraced 
in the Holland Purchase. It will be noticed, by tabular 
list of settlers, that settlement had just begun at the 
mouth of Eighteen-mile creek, in Niagara, and at John- 
son's creek, in Orleans, in 1806. Burgoyne Kemp settled 
at the Eighteen-mile creek in 1808. There was then set- 
tled there William Chambers and Colton, and 

there was one family at Johnson's creek, on the lake. At 
that period there was no settler between lake and ridge 
in Niagara or Orleans." 

An interesting exhibit of the state of business at this 
period in western New York is afforded in " a description 
of the Genesee country,'' by Robert Munroe. From it 
we extract the following : 

" Trade is yet in its infancy, and has much increased 
within a few years. Grain is sent in considerable quan- 
tities from Seneca lake and the Conhocton, 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 
Albanv. ^Vhisky is distilled in considerable quantities, 
and mostly consumed in the country, and is also exported 
to Canada and to Susquehanna. The produce of the 
country is received by storekeepers 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 the 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 consider- 
able number of cattle and other provisions are used at 
the markets of Canadarqua [Canandaigua] 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 fkvorable for raising them they will 
probably become the principal article for market ; many 
being of opinion that the raising of stock is more profit- 
able as well as easier than any mode of farming. The 
following is a list of prices of articles and the rate of 
wages since January 1801 : 

"Wheat, from 62 cents to $1 a bushel ; com, from 37 
to 5° cents a bushel ; rye, from 50 cents to 62 cents a 
bushel ; hay, froni $6 to f 12 a ton ; butter and cheese, 
from 10 to 16 cents a pound ; a yoke of oxen, ^50 to f 80; 
milk cows, from $16 to $25 ; cattle for driving, f 3 to $4 
a hundred pounds ; a pair of good working horses, $100 
to I125 ; sheep, from |2 to $4; pork, fresh killed in 
winter, $4 to $6 a hundred, and salted in spring, |8 tofio; 
whisky, from 50 to 75 cents a gallon ; salt, f i 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, 
and some persons, by saving their ashes or by manufac- 
turing them, have nearly cleared the cost of improving 
land ; the wages of a laborer, $10 to $15 a month and 
board ; a suit of clothes made at $4 to |5 ; a pair of shoes, 
$1.75 to $2.50. Store goods are sold at very moderate 
prices, the expense of carriage from Albany to New York 
being about $2 a hundred weight." 

The progress of settlement in Niagara county during 
the first decade of this century is thus summed up by Mr. 

"The territory now comprising the county of Niagara, 
it will be seen by some sketches already given 
was mostly a wilderness in the beginning of 1807; the 
few settlers in it were principally upon the Ridge road,on 
the Lewiston road, in Slaton's settlement and on and 
near the Niagara river. During the five years preceding 
the war of 181 2, settlers broke into the woods all along 
upon the fine grade of land under the mountain ridge, 
along on the lake shore, upon the Eighteen-mile creek 
and in a few other localities." He also informs us that 
" the earHest prominent settlers west of Oak Orchard on 
the ridge in Orleans were Ezra D. Barnes, Israel Douglass 
(the latter was the first magistrate north of Batavia), Sey- 
mour B. Murdock and sons and Eli Moore. The mining 
of the first settlers was obtained at Niagara Falls and the 
Genesee river." 

Up to 1821 only about half of the Holland Purchase 
had been sold. In that year the proprietors offered the 
remainder " for a consideration which would cover the 
original amount of purchase money and interest of four 
per cent." The next year they offered to sell out at four 
shillings per acre. " The final result," says Turner, 
" was probably better than would be inferred from these 

A frequent effect of the long credit given to settlers 



was to make them feel aggrieved when pay day came ; 
and the longer they had been in arrears with their interest 
the more thoroughly were they persuaded that it was an 
outrage to ask them to square up their accounts. They 
vainly called the company's title in question, and asked 
the interference of the Legislature in their behalf. The 
financial depression of 1837 render-ed payments harder to. 
make, and the harder it was to make them the less the 
debtors owed them, according to the idea that seems to 
have prevailed among them. If they could not shake 
the title of the Hollanders, they could terrorize the land 
agents and hold agrarian meetings to denounce their 
debt-paying neighbors as " Judases ;" and they could 
and in some cases did stave off payment for their lands 
until they gained a title to them by continuance of " ad- 
verse possession." In most cases, however, this brilliant 
expedient was not successfully resorted to, and the Hol- 
land Company's customers for the most part finally paid 
for their farms. 

In 1810 the Dutch proprietors sold the pre-emption 
right to the Indian reservations to David A. Ogden and 
others constituting the Ogden Company, for fifty cents 
per acre, the, area being estimated at 196,000 acres. 
These gentlemen found the Senecas reluctant to dispose 
of the remnant of their lands ; but by several councils 
the company at length extinguished the Indian title to 
nearly all of the reservations. The nego):iations did not 
affect the territory of Niagara county to any extent. 

In a council at Buffalo, September 12th, 1815, the Sene- 
cas ceded to the State of New York, for $1,000 and a 
perpetual annuity of $500, all the islands in the Niagara 
river not within the British line. 




EDIOUSLY and lumberingly, through woods, 
across rivers, along roads that have been cor- 
duroyed and roads that sadly need to be cor- 
duroyed, over dry places and through 
swamps, over high hills and through tortuous 
mountain passes, a heavy wagon has been rolling 
and slipping and sliding — sometimes floating, where 
the fording places were not good — for many days. Did 
you ever see one of those heavy old Dutch wagons, with 
wheels that have spokes like small saplings and felloes 
like those in the wheels of a modern stone truck ; that 
have poles bent across, bow-fashion, from side to side of 
the stout box, and covered over with a canopy of canvass 
to keep out the wind, the storm and the sweltering sun- 
shine ? Such is the wagon of which we write — a wagon 
drawn by a span of sorrily jaded horses that have seen 
nothing resembling the inside of a comfortable stable for 

weeks, and in which ride a woman and two or three 
small children, the husband and father, perchance, trudg- 
ing by the side of the vehicle, sinking at times knee deep 
into the mud or staggering over a fallen log or large stone, 
in his desire to guide the team and at the same time light- 
en their burden by walking. 

He is a strong, well-built six-footer, with a heart to 
brave every danger, the kind of man for a pioneer, leav- 
ing behind him the comforts and pleasures of civilized 
life, and going to endure hardships, reverses, struggles, 
trials, and perhaps to die in a wild country, leaving wife 
and children to wrest their sustenance from land unculti- 
vated and unpaid-for, or to make their way back to civili- 
zation as best they may. But he hesitates not. For him- 
self he cares nothing ; but his wife and children ? Is he 
doing right in isolating her from home and kindred and 
all of the associations of her childhood and her girlhood ? 
Is he doing right in taking their children to the far away 
new country, to rear them on the outskirts of civilization, 
where education had not yet one rude temple and Chris- 
tianity no voice to proclaim its truth ? 

These questions he has discussed with his wife over and 
over again. They have been settled before leaving their 
former home ; but somehow they will not stay settled. 
They have forced themselves upon his attention many 
times during the slow and tedious journey ; but it is too 
late, now, to reason about them ; and resolutely he sets 
his face toward the west — for it has, from the earliest 
days, been west that the sturdy pioneer has bent his steps — 
ever west, and further west I There is no complaint from 
the patient woman in the wagon. 

It is nightfall — the sun sunk below the tree-tops an 
hour ago, and the dim shadows of approaching darkness 
are. creeping over the forest, while afar off can be heard 
the cries of the owl and the whippowil, and over in the 
swamp at the left bull-frogs are croaking dismally and 
" peepers " are singing merrily. It is nightfall, and one 
of the children is asleep on a pile of stuff in the wagon 
and the baby is asleep in the mother's arms. Her eight 
year old boy sits beside her gazing out over the horses' 
heads, at the shadows dropping down, one by one, over 
the wood. He looks tired, but hopeful, she thinks, as 
she watches him a moment. She knows what kind of 
a life is before her — she can half realize some of its 
trials and hardships and disappointments, but not all 
of them. She knows that she and her husband will 
never live to have many years' enjoyment of the fruits 
of their sacrifice and toil, but their children will^ — it is 
for these that she has consented to risk the perils of 
pioneer life. 

A few days more, and they have reached their desti- 
nation. Again it is evening. Dimly they can see that 
they are in the midst of a little opening in the timber, 
watered by a small stream that flows through it. Here 
they will erect their cabin on the morrow ; to-night — one 
night more — -they will sleep in the wagon. The tired 
horses are watered at the babbling stream and tethered 
where they can get their fill of the grass that grows rank- 
ly in the opening. Then a fire is made on the ground, a 



hasty meal is prepared, a few minutes are passed in con- 
versation and many more in silent thought ; after that, 
weariness and drowsiness overcome them and they know 
no more till they are awakened at dead of night by the 
snapping and snarling of wolves prowling about the out- 
skirts of the opening. The fire has died down and its 
smouldering embers can be scarcely seen. It is the fire 
that has kept the wolves off till now. The man raises 
himself on his elbow and, lifting the corner of the canvas 
cover of the wagon, looks out. Presently one of the ani- 
mals, more bold than his fellows, emerges from the tim- 
ber and comes stealthily toward the half startled horses. 
He is followed in a minute by another and another ! The 
foremost is now alarmingly near one of the horses. The 
man reaches for his rifle. In a moment it is at his shoul- 
der. His quick glance runs along the barrel ; there is a 
lurid flash, a sharp report, a howl of agony — and the wolf 
is stretched dead on the ground, while his blood-thirsty 
followers are hurrying away in the gloom. This is not 
the first time wolves have molested them since they came 
into the wilderness — it is a matter for determined action 
but scarcely one to keep them long awake. The fire is 
rekindled and they sleep again, and are only awakened by 
the singing of the birds in the trees over head, after the 
sun is up in the morning. 

The preparations for the erection of a log house are 
begun without delay. First several trees are felled, trim- 
med, cut up into lengths and laid on the ground in piles 
on the four sides of the place where the cabin is to stand. 
Then the work of placing them in their proper position 
begins. It is no easy task, for the logs are heavy; but the 
man and the boy both work with a will. They have slept 
in the wagon so long that the thought of lying down that 

night in their own house, even if it is unfurnished, affords 
an incentive to'extra exertion. The work goes briskly on 
through the day. So many logs have been rolled up and 
notched together at the corners that, by nightfall, the 
walls of the house are done. An opening has been left 
at one side for a door, and a smaller one opposite for a 
window. It is too late and the builders are too weary to 
do more than this to-night; so a couple of blankets are 
stretched across one end of the structure to serve as a 
temporary roof, another is hung over the doorway, and 
the house is ready for its first night's occupancy. 

In the morning the work is resumed. Poles are laid 
across the top of the walls to support the chamber floor, 
a ridge pole and rafters are put up and then the roof is 
laid on them — a roof of broad bark strips, held in place 
by withes fastened at the ends with slender strips of 
green bark. An opening is left in the chamber floor, a 
rude ladder is constructed and set up, affording com- 
munication with the loft ; and, with the exception of the 
window and the door, the carpenter work on the house 
is done, and the family stand and look at it with a feel- 
ing of such relief as they have not felt during all their 
long journey. It is but a cabin of logs, a rude hut only 
twelve by fifteen feet square, with a hole in the roof to 
let out the smoke, — not such a residence as is built in 
these days of elegance and luxury, but it is a home ! Of 
course no sash and glass are at hand, but the necessity 
which is said to be the mother of all invention gives birth 
to an idea at the right moment, and the pioneer is not 
left without resource. The window hole is not very large 
and he goes to the wagon and gets an old newspaper, one 
that was printed far away in New England or Pennsyl- 
vania ; and with some hesitation he tears it in two — for it 



will be a long time, perhaps, before another newspaper 
comes to him — saturates it with grease and stretches it 
across the opening and the window is complete ; one that 
will not permit the inmates of the house to look out, but 
will let the light in. The canvas which has afforded 
them shelter during the journey is taken from the wagon, 
folded to the proper size and suspended over the aper- 
ture left for ingress and egress, and this is the door that 
must serve till a more substantial one can be made of 
planks split out of logs — a bit of extra work that i!nay be 
done in any leisure hours before cold weather comes. 
The openings between the logs are to be "chinked," or 
filled with pieces of wood split out of the proper size and 
secured in place by the use of a thick mortar of mud, and 
a fire-place is to be constructed ; but these can be dis- 
pensed with until after the house is furnished and some 
sort of a shelter has been provided for the horses. In 
our engravings our readers will recognize the edifice 
thus completed, and note the improvement which the 
rolling seasons witness in the pioneer's circumstances and 

There is no trip to a furniture store, attended with the 
trouble of selection and the usual banter about the price, 
common to these later days. The house is soon furnished 
"without money and without price," and as well as any 
other house within a circuit of twenty miles or more. 
And this is how it is done: For chairs, three or four 
blocks of the proper height are sawed from the end of a 
log; for be'dsteads, holes are bored in one of the logs at 
the side of the building, a foot and a half from the ground, 
poles about four feet long are hewn off at one end and 
driven into them, the other extremity being supported on 

blocks similar to those used for chairs, and on these are 
laid some small boughs, then some blankets and some 
quilts; the table is constructed at one side of the place in 
the same manner as the frame for the beds, its top being 
a wide, flat piece split from a large log and hewn as 
smooth as possible; the fire-place, which is the most 
primitive of all, is simply a spot on the ground under the 
aperture in the roof. The cooking utensils were brought 
in the wagon. They are a long-handled frying-pan, a 
cast-iron bake-kettle and one or two tin pans, one of 
which serves the purpose of a tea-kettle, in the absence 
of the black earthen " steeper " which was broken on the 
way. Some knives, some tinned-iron spoons, some forks, 
and some cups and saucers and a few plates, all of the 
"blue edged" variety, now nearly out of existence, com- 
prise the table furniture. 

And thus they begin housekeeping in their new home, 
miles distant from any other human habitation, and be- 
yond the reach of mails and other conveniences of the 
densely populated districts. Here, with faith in their 
God and faith in themselves, they begin to live their new 
life — a life of progress from the most primitive elements 
of civilization through all the years that shall be given 
them to the prosperity of the future — a life given unre- 
servedly for the benefit of those who shall live when tliey 
are gone— a career of hardship and of unremitting toil 
freely devoted to the coming generation. 

Here, amid such surroundings an'd with the most primi- 
tive appliances and the most meagre facilities, the pioneer 
begins to exact from Nature the fruits of honest toil. He 
chops, he logs, he plants and sows and gathers in witli 
each succeeding year; and as the work goes on the little 



clearing gradually extends its limits, encroaching on the 
surrounding forest till the patch has grown to be a small 
farm, with substantial rail fences and improved buildings, 
a door having superseded the canvas curtain, a chimney 
having been built of sticks plastered with mortar, and a 
comfortable stable having been erected for the horses. 
Inside the house the blocks of wood have given place to 
three-legged stools, the beds are a trifle easier to lie upon, 
and a floor of hewn planks has replaced the hard, bare 
earth which was the first floor. 

By and by other settlers begin to come into the vicinity. 
One by one log cabins are erected until, within a radius 
of a dozen miles, there are as many habitations, and it is 
beginning to be common for the settlers to talk of their 
neighbors, but perhaps not as some people talk of their 
neighbors at the present time. To the lonely pioneers, 
the sight of a human face is so grateful that they never 
pause to question whether it belongs to a rich man or a 
poor one. In such a community all are friends, all are 
ready to help each other along, to do neighborly kindness, 
to contribute to the general prosperity and the general 
happiness. One's neighbors, like many other good things, 
are valued in proportion to the smallness of their number, 
and an acquaintance who lives ten or twenty miles away, 
and whom one does not often see, is held in higher esti- 
mation than one whom it is no luxury to see and whose 
frequent visits are looked forward to as inflictions ; and 
if one has but few neighbors, and if they all dwell incon- 
viently distant, one is likely to contemplate the not very 
frequent social meetings which bring them all together 
with pleasurable anticipations. 

Parties were few in those days, though as settlement 
advanced an occasional dance was participated in by the 
rustic belles and beaux. Not more than two or three 
dozen, at most, would be present, and often it was diffi- 
cult to get together a sufficient number of girls to make 
the affair a success. On one occasion two young men 
walked more than twenty miles through the woods to an- 
other settlement, invited a couple of girls to accompany 
them to one of these frolics, and came back with them on 
foot, carrying them on their shoulders across a stream 
they were obliged to wade. At another time two young 
men arrived at the residence of a sylvan belle at the same 
time and with the same errand, that of securing her com- 
pany to an approaching party. The lady had no decided 
choice, and as no satisfactory settlement of the difficulty 
could be arrived at it was finally agreed that she should 
go with both of her admirers, which she is said to have 
done, conducting herself with so much circumspection as 
to keep them both good-humored throughout the whole 
time till they returned her safe home. Those who lived 
on roads leading directly to the appointed place came in 
wagons. Others, who lived in the woods, where some of 
the prettiest girls were found, often mounted a horse be- 
hind a young man, with a blanket to sit upon, dressed in 
their every day apparel, with woolen stockings and strong 
shoes on. They would dash through the woods on some 
trail, through streams and over every obstacle in their 
way, carrying a bundle containing their ball dress in their 
hands. Upon their arrival a few minutes at the toilet put 
them in condition for the dance. 

The pioneer fiddler was always a well known individual 



and often an original character. Sometimes he was a 
" jack at all trades;" His music was never of a high or- 
der, but it was of the kind to suit the times — loud if not 
grand, and energetic if not artistic. His favorite tunes 
were " Walk Jaw. Bones," " Fisher's Hornpipe," " The 
Devil's Dream," "The Bummer's Reel," and a few otters 
of the same kind. When the interest in the dance be- 
gan to manifest itself by grotesque and original steps on 
the part of the dancers, he would often accompany his 
violin with a rollicking song, bringing in all of the " calls " 
in rhyme, frequently ending the " set " by singing out 
" Four gents forward and " — after a long pause, giving the 
swains time to balance in the center of the room — " ladies 
take your seats." This was a favorite trick of his, which 
invariably created a laugh at the expense of the young 
fellows thus unceremoniously deserted by their partners. 
The amusements of old and young were enjoyed with a 
keen relish. There were quilting, husking, apple-paring, 
raising, chopping, logging and other " bees," and every 
gathering of the kind was a joyous occasion, giving a 
double enjoyment from the consciousness of profitable 
employment and social intercourse. They were the means 
by which the pioneers helped each other along, and to the 
friendly spirit which prompted them the citizens of the 
county are largely indebted for the prosperity of to-day. 




HE agricultural implements in use in the early 
days were of the most primitive order. Much 
of the first farming was done without the 
almost indispensable aid of a plow, and the 
earliest plows were of home manufacture, having 
often been made from the crotch of a tree which 
nature had fashioned something after the required 
pattern, and which the settler had only to sharpen and 
finish in the most unpretentious way imaginable. After- 
ward clumsy wrought-iron plows were introduced, which 
were effective only to stir up the surface of the ground, 
having wooden mould-boards in some cases, the point 
only being imported. To construct a drag was an easy 
matter. The settler had only to cut two round sticks of 
unequal length, joining them in such a manner that the 
end of the longer one projected sufiiciently to attach 
the chain, and boring four holes for teeth in the longer 
and three in the shorter piece, the two being held 
apart at the rear by a wooden brace. Flails were the 
only threshers and hand-fans the only separators. Hoes 
and rakes were very heavy and very strong, for there 
were few forges in the country and it was no easy matter 
to get a broken tool repaired. Grain was cut with a 



sickle and hay with an old fashioned scythe, as heavy as 
it was unhandy. 

With such tools seed was put in the ground, the work 
of cultivation went on and crops were harvested. Some- 
times they were almost an entire failure and sometimes 
there was an over abundance, but the average yield was 
good. But there were no markets established ; while 
grain was abundant, it could not be converted into funds 
with which to pay for land, but there was usually no 
scarcity of food. A favorite mode of money-making in 
the early days was that of locating and improving a claim 
and "selling the betterment," as disposing of the im- 
provement at an advance was called. Some settlers re- 
peated this operation several times, gaining a little with 
each transaction, and finally buying and paying for a de- 
sirable farm. 

Among the few business advantages offered to the 
"pioneers was that afforded by a market for "black salts " 
which was created at an early day. " All who could 
raise a kettle," wrote one informed as to the make-shifts 
of that time, " entered upon the manufacture of this 
new article of commerce. It brought money into the 
country, enabled settlers to pay taxes and buy nec- 
essaries, and promoted the clearing of land." The 
manufacture and sale of potash was another enterprise 
which proved a God-send to the pioneers. " The trade 
in the product of their ashes,'' says the writer quoted 
above, " for which merchants paid half in cash and the 
rest in goods, seemed almost providential. New settlers 
put up rough leaches and generally made black salts. 
When kettles were available, potash was manufactured. 
The lands timbered with elm, beech and maple supplied 
a value in ashes to almost pay for clearing. It was an 
expedient of the new settler to go into the forest, cut 
down trees, roll them in heaps, and burn them, having in 
mind no thought of clearing, but to supply a want of 
store trade or money. The proceeds of the burnt log- 
heaps in the clearings supplied many families with the 
necessaries of life where otherwise there would have been 
destitution. One must be willfully blind not to see in this 
relief thus afforded a providential aid." The timber, 
which was looked upon as a hindrance to agricultural 
progress, was thus removed, becoming a source of profit 
and making way for the work of underbrushing, grubbing 
and cultivation, which could not have been prosecuted 
until its removal. Another and a later element of prog- 
ress was the sale of timber and staves. 

Saw-mills were first built at a comparatively early day 
in the history of the county. They were small and easy 
of construction, and they were located on some stream 
whose waters provided their motive power,and convenient- 
ly to the timber the manufacture of which into lumber 
proved a source of profit. There was usually but one 
saw, and from the peculiar manner in which it was hung 
the mills were known as "English mills," by which title, 
though they have long since gone out of use, they are re- 
ferred to at the present time. With the increase of the 
number of these mills and the gradual growth of the lum- 
ber trade the fortunes of the settlers inproved. They 

were enabled to dispose of their timber profitably, and at 
the same time clear their lands and buy lumber with which 
to erect buildings to replace their early log houses and 

Before grist-mills were introduced, the settlers labored 
under a great disavantage, sometimes being obliged to 
carry their grain by the single bag-full across the backs 
of horses to a distant mill, consuming several days in the 
trip and having to go often on account of the impossibil- 
ity of taking much at a time. Many families kept one or 
two mortars or "hominy blocks" in which to pound corn. 
They were generally made in the stump of a tree near the 
house, the top of it being cut off square and burned or 
gouged out hollow, the cavity being large enough to re- 
ceive the corn; and to relieve the laborer the pounder 
was frequently suspended by means of a spring-pole. 
The first grist-mills were small, usually having only one 
run of stones and often lying idle much of the time for 
want of water. 

The early schools, though not so good as they might 
have been, were certainly conducive in no small degree to 
that intellectual growth which must precede all syste- 
matic and permanent improvement in any community. 
The teachers were often strangers who were travelling 
through the country, and who paused to replenish their 
purses or gain a few months of recreation in school teach- 
ing. Sometimes they were foreigners, often they were 
intemperate, and they were all addicted to the use of the 
rod. Sometimes, so uncertain and unreliable were they, 
three or four changes would occur in a single year, the 
first going away and giving place to another and he, in 
turn, making a place for a new comer. The school- 
houses were generally built by "bees," or gatherings of 
such settlers as had children to be educated. They were 
log structures, a little better, because built at a later day, 
than the first residence described in the preceding chap- 
ter. The seats were benches made of slabs split from 
logs, with legs inserted in auger holes at the corners. The 
desks, when there were any, were constructed after the 
same plan; there was no blackboard, and the entire stock 
of apparatus consisted of a half-dozen well-seasoned 
switches and a substantial ruler, and no opportunity was 
neglected to make use of these appliances for the general 
advancement of the causes of education and good man- 

In those days the question was not, " Has the teacher 
a good education ?" but " Is he stout ? Has he good 
government ?" It was a frequent practice in some dis- 
tricts to smoke out the entire school or to " bar out " the 
teacher. Frequently there was a conspiracy among the 
large boys to whip the teacher and break up the school. 
Their attempts in this direction were successful for 
several successive years, and then, when the district had 
won a bad name and come to be shunned by the gener- 
ality of pedagogues, a stranger with well-developed 
governing powers would happen along, open a school and 
speedily reduce the belligerent " big boys" to a condition 
of subjection and prompt if not cheerful obedience, thus 
setting the ball of education rolling on. 



The text-books were few and scarcely up to the present 
standard. At first any book, be it Bible or almanac, was 
admissible as a reader, and there was little uniformity in 
the other books. Among those used most may be men- 
tioned Noah Webster's Spelling Book, DaboU's Arith- 
metic, Morse's Geography, Murray's Grammar and the 
English Reader. In some schools the United States 
Speller was used, the first reading lesson in which is as 

" My son, do no ill. 
Go not in the way of bad men. 
For bad men go to the pit. 
O, my son, run not in the way of sin." 

The youthful readers were required to memorize such 
lessons, and they no doubt impressed truths that had a 
lasting influence on their lives and characters. Attempts 
were made to inculcate gentlemanly deportment and 
respect for the aged, and many pupils on their way to 
and from school would politely raise their hats on meet- 
ing strangers. It is to be regretted that Young America 
to-day appears to be less susceptible of such instruction, 
or that it is not so prominent a feature in the public 
schools of the present time. 

The pioneer teachers were many of them very ingenious 
in the contrivance of original modes of punishment, which 
from their novelty and their untried terrors were a by no 
means inoperative agency in maintaining the authority 
which was regarded as so essential to the well-being of 
the school. Some of these inventive characters flourished 
in a certain district at a day after the introduction of the 
box stove. He conceived the brilliant idea of placing a 
brick on top of the stove over a brisk fire, and making de- 
linquents walk around the stove, one behind the other, 
and turn over the rapidly heating brick once during each 
circuit; this was kept up until their blistered fingers 
goaded them into subjection. 

The first religious services were held in the open air, 
beneath the wide-spreading branches of the forest trees 
and amid all the varied surroundings of wood and plain, 
hill and valley — not in a house reared with human hands 
and dedicated for the worship of a certain few in a cer- 
tain prescribed way, but in God's own temple, made in 
infinite splendor for all mankind. How the prayers of 
the migratory Methodist preachers rang through the arches 
of the forest, as with plain words from honest hearts they 
knelt on the ground to intercede for their fellow men; 
how the great scheme of salvation was unfolded in homely 
yet terrific sentences, which fell from their lips with all 
the awful forte of prophetic utterance; how their simple 
auditors trembled at the terribly vivid picture of the re- 
ward of sin which was presented to their view; and how 
they rejoiced at the declaration that salvation was " full 
and free " to all who sought it with broken spirits and 
contrite hearts ! By scores they owned the saving power 
of the Son of Man, and crowded the open space around 
the preacher, asking for prayers or praying for themselves. 
Thus were the seeds of Christianity planted in the wilder- 
ness. They took root, they were nurtured with anxious 
care, they grew and flourished under the watchful and 

prayerful attention of the pioneers and their sons and 
daughters— the parents and grandparents of this genera- 
tion — and they have brought forth good fruit. It is vis- 
ible in all the evidences of the progress of the past and 
the enlightenment of the present. 

Thus were a few here and there brought into the fold 
of the Good Shepherd. Then they organized and began 
to do His work. First one "'class," as the religious soci- 
eties were called, was formed, then another and another, 
till in every settlement there were at least " two or three " 
who regularly "' gathered together in the name of the 
Lord." Soon meetings were held with some attempt at 
regularity in the school-houses. Circuit preachers would 
hold services in the various neighborhoods once in two, 
three, four or six weeks, as the case might be. By and 
by several districts were united in one charge and put 
under the pastorate of a minister who went from one to 
another, managing somehow to make the circuit once a 
week, though often obliged to preach once every week 
day and two or three times Sundays. After a time Sun- 
day-schools were started, and they aided greatly to build 
up and strengthen the church. 

One by one churches were built in the county. Some 
of them are standing yet. They are not like the costly 
edifices of the present generation. They were nearly all 
fashioned after the same general plan, being wooden build- 
ings about thirty by forty feet square, with an unpreten- 
tious spire at the highest part of the roof near the front, 
the doors being invariably at the end fronting the street. 
Some of them were provided with basements which were 
occupied as Sunday-school rooms, and sometimes, at a 
later day, by day-schools. The pulpit and the pews were 
of the plainest and most rigidly simple style imaginable ; 
and the family who had a cushion on their seat were re- 
garded, if not as wickedly proud, at least as being in much 
danger of relapsing into the " cold and beggarly elements 
of the world." 

The minister often preached for a simple living, which 
was paid to him in the shape of flour and meat from the 
well-to-do farmers of his congregation, wood and potatoes 
from those who were just getting a start on new farms, 
and general store trade from the early merchants and in 
payment of orders for the same from such as had nothing 
to give him but could buy something. His wife was the 
object of much attention and the subject of no little dis- 
cussion among the ladies of the society, and was gener- 
ally a worthy help-meet to a worthy husband. She set a 
good example to her sisters by eschewing jewelry and gay 
ribbons and dressing in a style of severe simplicity — 
which was useful in inculcating lessons of economy if not 
of religion. There never was a class of men who, taken 
all in all, were more zealous, more steadfast, more self- 
sacrificing, and who labored harder for a simple subsist- 
ence and the consciousness of doing good than these 
pioneer preachers. Their works live after them and 
speak eloquently in testimony of their unselfish devotion 
of their lives and their best energies to Christianity and 
humanity; and every one of the many church spires of 
to-day is a monument to their memory. 



As the land was cleared, drained and put under cultiva- 
tion the public health improved. The seasons following 
thefiist settlement were very sickly in proportion to the 
population. In the summer of some years little or no 
rain fell, the streams became nearly or entirely dry, and 
it has been said that " every little inlet became a seat of 
putrefaction ; the heavens seemed on fire, the earth 
scorched and the air saturated with pestilence." In some 
places hogs were found dead in the woods. Fever pre- 
vailed to an alarming extent, the cases being more nu- 
merous than in the cities but not as fatal, and there were 
many cases of dysentery. This condition of things was 
prevalent throughout all this section of the country. An 
early physician, writing of diseases in the pioneer days 
and at a later period, said : "The summer of 1801 was 
warm, with frequent showers ; the days hot and the 
nights very chilly. Intermittent fevers prevailed. Pe- 
ruvian bark was generally a remedy, but was of rare use. 
When left to nature the symptoms became typhoid, and 
endangered recovery; 1802 was similar to the year pre- 
vious. In 1803 intermittents declined and continued 
fevers prevailed. The summer of 1804 was moderately 
warm, while the winter was intensely cold. Much snow 
fell, and lay longer than ever before known. The new 
settlements were healthy; the winter diseases were inflam- 
matory. These diseases continued during 1805 and 1806, 
and the abusive use of mercury sacrificed numbers. The 
character of the inflammatory fever varied with localities 
in 1807. Near streams whose course was obstructed 
by dams strong symptoms marked its attack, whereas on 
high ground the approach was insidious and more diffi- 
cult of control. Ophthalmia prevailed in July and Aug- 
ust. Influenza was epidemic in September. The season 
of 1808 resembled the one previous. A typhoid appeared 
in January and continued till May. The treatment was 
careful depletion followed by judiciously-given stimu- 
lants. In 181 1 bilious fevers prevailed. In the springof 
181 2 a few sporadic cases of pneumonia typhoides, a pre- 
viously imknown disease, first came to notice. It was the 
most formidable epidemic ever prevalent in this country. 
The disease became general in 1813, and caused great 
mortality. By spring, 1814, it entirely disappeared. The 
principal disease up to 1822 was dysentery; it was most 
fatal to children. The change since 1828 is such that 
death from fevers became a rare occurrence and con- 
sumption took precedence." The section is now notably 
healthy, and it is difficult to conceive of the sickness and 
mortality of pioneer times. This happy improvement is 
due greatly to the removal of many of the early causes 
of disease by the drainage of low lands and the general 
improvement of the whole country, and in no small 
measure to the advance in medical skill and the 
high grade of the physicians of the present day. 

The pioneer medical practitioners were no less hardy 
than the pioneer farmers and no less self-sacrificing than 
the pioneer preachers. They were men of quick decision 
and prompt and energetic action. The developments of 
science had not supplied many of the remedies and modes 
of treatment to which the physicians of a later day owe 

much of their success, and much has been said in sarcasm 
of the lancet and the blisters and the calomel of those 
times; but in lieu of something better these were employ- 
ed with no small degree of success, and many a pioneer 
who has died within the memory of some of the yoimgest 
who read this, owed his preservation for a long and use- 
ful career to the prompt administration of those harsh 
but effective remedies by one or another of the unflinch- 
ing frontier doctors. 

Their rides extended for miles and miles in all direc- 
tions, embracing much of the territory now comprised 
within the limits of several neighboring counties. They 
rode by day and by night, in answer to any call, with their 
saddle bags well filled with such remedies as were acces- 
sible, often traveling for hours guided only by " blazed " 
trees and thankful even for a cow path running in tlie 
right course. A record of their early struggles, sacrifices 
and adventures would make an interesting volume. 

One point of deep interest to the resident and the 
stranger still claims our notice. It is the cemetery. If 
the regularly changing style of the architecture of the 
houses of the living indicate unerringly the period at 
which they were erected, so the memorial stones raised 
above the resting places of the dead bear evidences of 
their newness or their antiquity. 

The first gravestones were merely flat pieces of stone 
placed, a large one at the head and a smaller one at the 
feet of the departed,to mark the place of his narrow home. 
In walking through the cemetery the stranger is led to 
the first gTave. Perhaps it is at some obscure corner of 
the burying ground, perhaps it is grass-grown, sunken and 
almost obliterated by the gradual changes of many years; 
perhaps there is not even a bit of stone at the head of it 
or at the foot of it; perhaps those who walk above it have 
forgotten the name and the history of its occupant. He 
may have been an old man, wearied out with the struggles 
and privations of pioneer life, or he may have been an 
infant who was removed before he could realize them; it 
is all the same — the first grave is ever an object of more 
than passing interest to the beholder. It was made in 
the long ago, when the flourishing village was a little fron- 
tier settlement; and a memorable day it must long have 
been to the early settlers when first the earth was opened 
to receive one of their number, and when first in the ex- 
periences of their lives in the new country the solemn 
words, " dust to dust — ashes to ashes," fell on their ears. 
All who were connected with that burial became endowed 
with a peculiar interest, and all were pointed out for 
years afterwards — the first mourners, the preacher who 
preached the first funeral sermon, the man who made the 
first coffin, and the man who dug the first grave. Tiie 
grave only remains to suggest their memory; for they lie 
in other graves around it. 

The most important of the initial events that preceded 
the period of advancement which has brought forth the 
present flattering condition of agriculture and manufac- 
ture, and advanced the causes of education and religion,, 
have been adverted to in the preceding pages. The 
changes which they heralded are but footprints left on 


the sands of memory by the triumphant march of civiliza- 
tion. Flattering as has been the progress of the past, it 
is not too much to say that it is but an earnest of the 
more perfect attainments of the future, seed planted in 
the soil of time to yield virtue, happiness and abundant 
success in the years to come. 



HE causes and preliminary events of the last 
war with Great Britain have already been 
recorded. It remains to tell what occurred 
during the war within and upon the bounds 
of Niagara county. It will be found that 
jji* this county witnessed more of the incidents and 
' i? experienced more of the immediate effects of the 
struggle than any other in the United States. 

The President announced the declaration of war on the 
19th of June, 1812. As soon as the British authorities 
in Canada were informed of it they took measures to 
secure the alliance of the Six Nations and the western 
Indian tribes. The United States government was equally 
prompt in efforts to neutralize the intrigues of the British. 
A council with the Senecas was opened at Buffalo on the 
6th of July. The United States were represented by Mr. 
Erastus Granger, then Indian agent. He urged the sav- 
ages to preserve neutrality, but offered to take a small 
force of their young warriors into the army if they insist- 
ed on fighting. Red Jacket was the Seneca spokesman, 
and for once cast his influence in favor of the United 
States. His nation promised not to take up the hatchet 
unless in alliance with the States, and sent messengers to 
persuade the Mohawks to neutrality. Their embassy was 
fruitless ; the latter tribe promptly sided with Great 
Britain, and were active throughout the war, under the 
leadership of their young chieftain John Brant, son of 
the guerilla captain of Revolutionary notoriety. 

It was found impossible for the young Seneca braves 
to allow a war to go on in their neighborhood without 
taking a hand; and their elders did not try to restrain 
them after the British, at an early stage of hostilities, took 
possession of Grand Island, which the Iroquois tribe then 
claimed as' part of their territory. A declaration of war 
was made by the nation in writing — the first instance of 
the kind in Indian history. The United States govern- 
ment was reluctant to employ savage allies, addicted to 
barbarities not countenanced in civilized warfare; and it 
was not until the spring of 1813 that Major-General Lewis, 
commanding Fort Niagara, invited the Seneca warriors to 
the fort, to avail himself of their co-operation. Even then 
it was hoped the employment of the savages in actual 

hostilities would hardly be necessary; and that on the 
appearance of the Senecas in the field the Mohawks would 
withdraw from the war, rather than be involved in a 
bloody struggle with their kindred nation. The Senecas 
had no such notion. They repaired to Fort Niagara in 
full panoply of war, to the number of three or four hun- 
dred; and on learning that they were expected to exert a 
moral influence, rather than to swing tomahawks, they 
went away disgusted. They were required to abstain from 
killing or torturing any of the enemy who might fall into 
their hands, and from mutilating their corpses. With this 
understanding they rendered some rather unimportant 
aid during the war, while their friendly attitude was of 
great value to the United States. 

This nation entered upon the war of 1812 with the de- 
sign of making a conquest of Canada. The force assem- 
bled along the river in Niagara county for this purpose 
at the end of the summer consisted of a small detachment 
at Niagara Falls (then Called Manchester), under General 
Amos Hall, commander of the militia of western New 
York, and others at several points along the line, amount- 
ing in all to less than seven hundred insubordinate men, 
poorly clothed and supplied. They had no heavy artillery, 
and no competent gunners for the field pieces, and there 
were less than ten rounds of ammunition apiece for the 

Stephen Van Rensselaer, of Albany, a civilian of no 
military genius, had been made Major-General, and ap- 
pointed by Governor Tompkins commander-in-chief of 
the detached miUtia of New York in order to secure for 
the State the benefit of the influence which his promi- 
nence in the Federalist party, as well as his great wealth 
and high social standing, gave him. He was accom- 
panied to the Niagara frontier, where he was to have 
chief command, by Colonel Solomon Van Rensselaer, an 
officer of some experience, who was to do the fighting for 
the general. Van Rensselaer reached Fort Niagara on 
the 13th of August, and immediately proceeded to Lewis- 
ton, where he established his headquarters. 

Sir Isaac Brock was the British commander-in-chief in 
Canada, and after the capture of Detroit with its garrison 
he marched to the Niagara frontier, reaching Fort George, 
opposite Youngstown, about the ist of September, with 
his disciplined, well-officered and victorious little army. 

It was evidently impossible for Van Rensselaer to ac- 
complish anything in the way of invasion with the force 
at his command, and he was even powerless to resist an 
invasion which seemed to be intended by the enemy. He 
appealed for reinforcements to the governor and to Gen- 
eral Dearborn, commander-in-chief of the United States 
forces. The latter gave him no assurance of support, but 
wrote insisting that Upper Canada must be conquered 
before winter set in. Reinforcements were sent to the 
Niagara, however, both regulars and militia. The latter 
rendezvoused at Lewiston. At that point before the mid- 
dle of October there were assembled, under the immedi- 
ate command of Brigadier-General Wadsworth, something 
over 2,500 men, with all the ignorance of militia and no 
superfluous courage to offset it; and with militiamen's in- 


subordinate eagerness to precipitate a fight, and willing- 
ness to get out of it as quickly and safely as possible. At 
Fort Niagara there were some 300 light artillery and 
about 1,000 regular infantry. 

The little army gathered at Lewiston reflected the anx- 
iety that was felt all over the country for a successful ag- 
gressive movement, that should wipe out the disgrace of 
Hull's surrender at Detroit. The militia so hungered and 
thirsted for battle that they were willing to mutiny, or 
even desert unanimously, if they could not be led against 
the enemy. Something must be done. 

It was determined to begin the invasion of Canada by 
occupying the enemy's position on Queenston Heights. 
Two companies of the 49th British infantry,under Captains 
Dennis and Williams defended the post, assisted by a con- 
siderable number of militia. Within supporting distance, 
at Fort George, were about a thousand infantry. At sev- 
eral points along the river were batteries, manned by small 
detachments. One of these, consisting of a single twenty- 
four-pounder, planted on Vrooman's Point, a mile below 
Queenston, commanded that village and Lewiston, and 
the river between them. General Brock was at Fort 
George, as was also General Roger Sheaffe, the latter in 
immediate command of the garrison. 

On the loth of October General Van Rensselaer made 
arrangements for attacking Queenston Heights the next 
morning before daylight. Thirteen boats were brought 
down on wagons from Gill creek, and launched at Lewis- 
ton. Lieutenant-Colonel Fenwick was ordered to bring 
up the flying artillery from Fort Niagara, and General 
Smyth to send down part of his brigade of regulars, sta- 
tioned at Buffalo. During the night of the loth Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel Chrystie arrived by the lake at the mouth of 
Four-mile creek, with 350 troops of the 13th infantry, in 
thirty boats. He proceeded as fast as possible to Lewis- 
ton, and finding an expedition on foot asked permission 
to join it ; but all the arrangements were completed, and 
it was thought impracticable to change them in his favor. 

At three o'clock in the morning of the nth the troops 
turned out, in a cold rain storm, and assembled at the 
landing. One Lieutenant Sims, who had been appointed 
to conduct the crossing, embarked in advance, and rowed 
off into the darkness, carrying with him the oars of the 
other boats, as was found when the party would fain have 
followed him. It was at first thought that this leading 
navigator had made a mistake, and it was nearly daylight 
before the force destined for the attack gave up waiting 
for his return, and retired drenched and disgusted, con- 
cluding that they had been made the victims of treach- 

The storm continued for twenty-four hours. When it 
was over preparations for the attack on Queenston were 
cautiously renewed. The time decided upon was the 
morning of the 13th. As before, the command of the en- 
terprise was given to Colonel Solombn Van Rensselaer. 
Lieutenant-Colonel Chrystie protested against this ar- 
rangement, claiming for himself the honor of command ; 
but finally consented to take orders from Colonel Van 
Rensselaer, and in the evening of the izlh led 300 men 

from Fort Niagara to Lewiston. Among his subordinates 
were Captains Wool (afterward Major-General), Malcolm, 
Lawrence and Armstrong. 

On the 12th three regiments of regulars which had ar- 
rived at Niagara Falls were also summoned to Lewiston. 
Another regiment, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel 
(afterward Major-General) Winfield Scott, lay at Schlosser. 
Scott heard of the intended movement in the evening of 
the 1 2th, and galloping down to headquarters obtained 
permission to post his regiment and cannon on the moun- 
tain above Lewiston, and take part in the action if needed; 
by four in the morning he had taken the position indi- 
cated. One of General Van Rensselaer's subordinates, 
named Lovett, had charge of an eighteen-pounder planted 
in the same commanding situation, with which to protect 
the troops in crossing and landing. 

At three o'clock, as on the previous occasion, the troops 
were assembled at the landing place, and, as then, with a 
cold rain pouring upon them, which, however, shortly 
ceased. Two bodies, of 300 each, were to cross first, 
commanded respectively by Colonel Van Rensselaer and 
Lieutenant-Colonel Chrystie. Detachments under Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Fenwick and Major Mullaney were to fol- 
low as called for. The first movement on reaching the 
Canada shore was to be made against the Heights, while 
the supporting forces arriving later were to occupy the 
village of Queenston. 

Not more than half the force considered necessary for 
the first operation could be transported at once in the 
thirteen boats which had been provided. The first to 
embark were Captains Wool, Malcom and Armstrong's 
companies of regulars; forty artillerymen from Fort Ni- 
agara, commanded by Lieutenants Rathbone and Ganse- 
voort; and sixty militiamen. Lieutenant-Colonel Chrys- 
tie commanded one of the boats. Colonel Van Rensse- 
laer took his place with the artillerymen, and the flotilla 
put off. 



HE boats commanded by Chrystie and Captain 
Lawrence were carried down stream so far 
as to be obliged to return to the New York 
shore, Chrystie having been slightly wound- 
ed by a grape shot from Vrooman's Point. 
A third was still more unfortunate, striking the 
Canadian bank just below Queenston and being 
captured by the enemy. The other ten made their in- 
tended landing in a few minutes near Hennepin Rock. 
The boats immediately returned for another load. 

The landing was attended with slight opposition and 
loss. The enemy had gathered at the water's edge, and as 


the boats drew near fired a volley, by which Lieutenant 
Rathbone was mortally wounded. The fire was returned 
by the eighteen-pounder on .the heights above Lewiston ; 
and the regulars, under Captain Wool, on landing charged 
and drove the British up the hill toward Queenston. On 
nearing the village Wool halted. At their base he was 
received with a severe fire from two companies of the 
enemy posted above, while the party which he had been 
pursuing fell upon his right. Turning upon the latter he 
forced them back upon Queenston, supported by Rens- 
selaer, who had come up with the militia first landed, 
and exposed to a deadly cross fire from the heights. The 
encounter was severe, seven of the ten officers of the 13th 
being killed or wounded, and a number of the attacking 
party made prisoners. Colonel Van Rensselaer was dis- 
abled by several severe wounds. 

The invading force at this stage of the fight retired to 
the river side, under the shelter of the bluff, where they 
re-formed and received reinforcements. Colonel Van 
Rensselaer before being carried back to his camp ordered 
Captain Wool, who was the senior of the effective officers 
on the ground and himself painfully wounded, to storm 
the heights. The order was boldly and vigorously exe- 
cuted. Wool's command, returning to the attack, climbed 
the heights — in some places only by the aid of the bushes 
growing on them — ca,ptured a three-gun battery and drove 
the enemy from the summit. 

In the meantime General Brock, warned by the roar of 
artillery, had ridden up from Fort George, accompanied 
by Colonel McDonnell and Major Glegg. He reached 
the battery on the heights just as its defenders were com- 
pelled to fly from it to avoid capture by Wool. Retiring 
to Queenston he sent orders to General Sheaffe to open 
a bombardment of Fort Niagara and come up with rein- 
forcements. He himself then rallied the entire British 
force at command, and set himself to recapture the heights 
by an attack on the left of Wool's line. The United 
States troops were at first driven toward the river, but 
when forced to the very verge of the precipice they re- 
pulsed the assault by a desperate rally, and turning on 
the enemy drove them once more from the heights. 

Brock rallied his retreating troops, and, strengthened 
by reinforcements which began to arrive from down the 
river, formed for a renewal of the attack. When just be- 
ginning the ascent he was struck from his horse by a bul- 
let in the breast, and died in a few minutes. His follow- 
ers made a brave attack on the iieights, but were met by 
an equally brave defense, and at length repulsed with the 
loss of Colonel McDonnell and Captains Dennis and Wil- 
liams wounded, the first mortally. The defeat of the 
British was at this time — early in the forenoon — complete. 
They abandoned Queenston and retired to Vrooman's 
Point, leaving Wool and his 240 heroes masters of the sit- 
uation. He sent out scouts and strove to bring the cap- 
tured cannon to bear on the distant foe. 

Reinforcements were on the way for both belligerents. 
All the morning troops had been slowly arriving from the 
New York shore under the fire of the Vrooman's Point 
battery, and part of them took position on the heights. 

Generals Van Rensselaer and Wadsworth, Lieutenant- 
Colonel Scott and other officers arrived during the fore- 
noon. Scott, as the senior regular officer, was allowed to 
assume the command. His force amounted to about 
600, rather more than one half regulars. 

The first British reinforcements to arrive were 500 
Mohawks under John Brant, who early in the afternoon 
emerged from the forest and rushed upon the Americans 
with apalling yells, so frightening them that it required 
Scott's best efforts to make them stand their ground. 
The savages were beaten off, and driven into the woods 
and finally off the heights. 

General Sheaffe with at least 800 regulars, militia and 
Indians, next hove in sight on the river bank below 
Queenston, and gathering in his march all classes of the 
defeated British force, approached the heights from the 
west by a long detour through St. Davids, and confronted 
Scott's weary little army with a thousand mostly fresh 

The slowness of Sheaffe's approach gave ample time 
for bringing over the remainder of the New York militia 
and securing the victory so bravely earned. Van Rens- 
selaer crossed the river and ordered them forward. To 
his unspeakable disgust, they refused to cross. The sight 
of the wounded, and what other evidence they could get 
of the severity of the conflict, had scared the manhood 
out of them, and inspired the brilliant discovery that they 
were not legally bound to serve out of the State. " Nei- 
ther entreaty nor threats," wrote General Armstrong, 
"neither arguments nor ridicule, availed anything. They 
had seen enough of war to satisfy them that it was not 
part of their special calling ; and at last, not disdaining 
to employ the mask invented by faction to cover cow- 
ardice or treason, fifteen hundred able-bodied men, well 
armed and equipped, who a week before boasted largely 
of patriotism and prowess, were now found openly plead- 
ing constitutional scruples in justification of disobedience 
to the lawful authority of their chief." " They pleaded 
their exemption as militia," says Lossing," under the con- 
stitution and laws, from being taken out of their own 
State ! and under that miserable shield they hoped to find 
shelter from the storm of indignation which their coward- 
ice was sure to evoke. Like poltroons as they were, they 
stood on the shore at Lewiston while their brave com- 
panions in arms on Queenston Heights were menaced 
with inevitble destruction or captivity. All that Rens- 
selaer could do was to send over some munitions of war, 
with a letter to General Wadsworth ordering him to retreat 
if in his judgment the salvation of the troops depended 
upon such movement, and promising him a supply of 
boats for the purpose. But this promise he could not 
fulfill. The boatmen on the shore were as cowardly as 
the militia on the plain above. Many of them had fled 
panic-stricken and the boats were dispersed." 

About four o'clock the British made the final attack in 
overwhelming numbers, and the invaders, after a brave 
though brief stand, fled toward the landing or up the 
river. Those who took the latter course were soon cap- 
tured by the Indians, except a number who were driven 



over the precipice, a very few of whom managed to let 
themselves down by bushes. All who escaped from the 
struggle on theTieights were soon gathered on the river's 
brink. There no boats awaited them, and there was no 
alternative but surrender. Even this was difficult, for 
the Indians repeatedly shot down the bearers of flags of 
truce. Scott himself at length, narrowly escaping slaugh- 
ter by young Brant and another Mohawk, managed to 
reach the British headquarters and surrendered all of the 
invaders on the Canadian shore as prisoners of war. He 
was astonished at their number. They were found to in- 
clude two hundred militia who early in the day had been 
driven on shore below by the current and captured; and 
the total number of the prisoners was swelled to between 
eight and nine hundred by a crowd of militia who had 
either never left the margin of the river after landing or 
had returned to it as soon as possible, and remained all 
day hidden along the foot of the precipice. 

The loss on the side of the British in killed and wound- 
ed is believed to have been 130; on the other 90 killed 
and 100 wounded. Although the capitulation had been 
arranged by Scott, the formal surrender was made by 
General Wadsworth in the evening at Newark, whither 
the prisoners were marched immediately after the battle. 
Young Brant and the other savage who had tried to mur- 
der Scott while bearing a flag of truce renewed the at- 
tempt at Newark, and would probably have succeeded 
but for the opportune interposition of a British officer. 

The bodies of Brock and Colonel McDonnell were 
buried on the i6th in a bastion of Fort George. Minute 
guns were fired during the funeral service not only there 
but also at Fort Niagara and Lewiston; the latter rather 
sentimental performance is said to have been directed by 
General Van Rensselaer, at Scott's suggestion. The 
House of Commons ordered a monument to Brock erected 
in St. Paul's cathedral, London; and voted his four broth- 
ers twelve thousand acres of land in Upper Canada and 
pensions of $1,000 each. The Canadian government had 
a medal struck in his honor in 1816, and an imposing 
monument built on Queenston Heights, which was finished 
and the bodies of Brock and McDonnell deposited in it 
October 13th, 1824. This was ruined by an explosion of 
powder maliciously fired in it in the spring of 1840. The 
corner stone of the present structure was laid near the 
former one October 13th, 1853, and the remains removed 
to it. 

Colonel Van Rensselaer lay at the point of death at 
Lewiston for two or three days. Five days after the bat- 
tle he was carried on a litter to Fort Schlosser, and thence 
proceeded by way of Buffalo to his home at Albany. 

We have mentioned that a bombardment of Fort Niag- 
ara was directed in the orders which General Brock sent 
down to Fort George just before his fall at Queenston. 
The order was energetically executed, and Captain 
Leonard, the commander of Fort Niagara, responded by 
cannonading Newark with hot shot which burned several 
buildings. The British had so much the best of the fir- 
ing that Leonard, after bursting one of his largest guns, 
decided to abandon the fort. After the garrison had 

withdrawn it returned on seeing the enemy embarking to 
take possession of the deserted fortress; and the latter 
gave up the movement upon the fort being re-occupied 
by the garrison. 

The militia captured at Queenston Heights were im- 
mediately discharged on parole and the regulars held for 
exchange. This was soon effected; and Scott arrrived at 
Fort Niagara early in 1813, prepared for fresh acheive- 




J EN days after the battle of Queenston Heights 
General Van Rensselaer resigned in favor of 
General Smyth. The latter issued a couple 
of ludicrous proclamations summoning the 
[lilitia of western New York to a new attempt for 
conquest of Canada, which was to be conduct- 
ed on correct principles and sure to succeed. He 
assembled 4,500 men at Black Rock, but he never led 
them across the river, and the most warlike adventure in 
which he took part was a bloodless duel with General 
Porter, who had taunted him with his cowardice. Smyth's 
incompetence, at least, was plain, and he was soon de- 

After the capture of York, on the 27th of April, 1813, 
the fleet of Commodore Chauncey, which had co-operated 
in that enterprise, sailed across the lake laden with troops 
and arms destined for an attack on Fort George. General 
Dearborn, who had taken command on the frontier, ac- 
companied Commodore Chauncey apd other officers in a 
schooner which sailed in advance of the fleet. The 
troops were landed and encamped near the mouth of 
Four-mile creek, and the fleet returned to Sackett's Har- 
bor and brought over another installment of troops and 
war material. Dearborn had 4,000 or more effective men 
by the 27 th of May, the date selected for the attack on 
Fort George. 

A large number of boats had been built at the Five- 
mile meadows. When they were launched in the after- 
noon of the 26th, preparatory to taking them round to 
the camp, they were fired upon by a small battery across 
the river. A battery at Youngstown thereupon opened a 
destructive fire upon Fort George, and a general cannon- 
ade followed. During the night the boats were taken to 
the camp. The heavy guns and part of the troops were 
embarked on the vessels of the fleet, and the remainder 
of the force took to the boats. The armada set off short- 
ly after four in the morning, the darkness of the night 
being increased by a fog. Part of the armed vessels took 
position in the mouth of the river, to command a battery 
near the lighthouse, and others before a similar battery 



half a mile further west, near which it was intended to 
land the troops. At daylight a cannonade was begun 
between the hostile fortifications. 

The fire from the shipping in a few minutes drove out 
the little force manning the enemy's western battery, and 
the landing was effected without serious opposition. On 
ascending from the beach, however, the British were en- 
countered more than one thousand strong, and the ad- 
vance of the invaders was momentarily checked. After 
a sharp conflict of a few minutes duration, during, which 
a very effective fire was kept up from the men-of-war, 
the enemy were routed by their assailants, who pursued 
them through Newark and entered Fort George, which 
had been deserted by its garrison after being very much 
damaged by the cannonade. The three magazines of the 
fort had been fired, and one of them, exploding as the 
victors approached, hurled a stick of timber which struck 
Colonel Scott from his horse, not, however, disabling him_ 
The trains laid to the others were extinguished. 

Scott renewed the pursuit ; but after following the 
routed enemy for five miles, when just on the point of 
overtaking them — as though it were too much that on 
this border a victory should be achieved unmarred by a 
display of official idiocy — he was recalled by superior 
authority. By noon all the British pofitions at the mouth 
of the Niagara had been taken, with a loss to the victors 
of 40 killed and 100 wounded ; and to the vanquished of 
51 regulars killed, 305 wounded, captured and missing, 
and 507 militia taken prisoners. 

The English General Vincent, who was in command on 
this frontier, ordered the abandonrnent of all the British 
posts on the river, and some of them were destroyed. 
Commodore Chauncey's fleet returned to Sackett's Har- 

A very successful affair on a small scale was the raid of 
Lieutenant-Colonel Clark upon Schlosser on the night of 
the 4th of July. Crossing from Chippewa with a party of 
Canadians and Indians he captured the guard, a quantity 
of provisions, arms and ammunition and a brass field 
piece, and retired unmolested. 

General Wilkinson succeeded Dearborn as commander- 
in-chief in the summer of 1813, and in the autumn of that 
year operated on the St. Lawrence, leaving General Mc- 
Clure, of the New York militia, to hold Fort George. 
Early in November that post, garrisoned by only about 
sixty men, was threatened by the approach of a consider- 
able British force from the west. McClure concluded it 
must be abandoned, and left it for Fort Niagara on the 
loth of December, the enemy being then close at hand. 
The last minutes he thought he could allow himself on 
the Canada shore he spent in burning the village of New- 
ark, whose population of non-combatants was turned out 
into a deep snow, in intensely cold weather. While Mc- 
Clure claimed in this act to have aimed only at destroy- 
ing what might prove a shelter for the enemy, he left the 
fort intact for their reception, and tents enough to shelter 
fifteen hundred men. 

The British authorities resolved to retaliate severely 
for the wanton destruction of Newark when they had the 

opportunity, and they very soon made the opportu- 
nity. In the night of December i8th a thousand 
British and Indians crossed the river three miles above 
Fort Niagara. Colonel Murray, with 550 regulars, turned 
toward the fort, prepared to storm it. The pickets were 
captured without giving an alarm, and the enemy on 
reaching the fort about three o'clock in the morning 
actually found the main gate standing open and undefend- 
ed, and the fortress at their mercy. For a few minutes 
the " southeastern block-house" and the " red barracks " 
withstood the entrance of the foe so stoutly that several 
were killed or wounded, among the latter Colonel Mur- 
ray. Most of the 450 occupants of the fort only awoke 
to find themselves prisoners. The slight resistance was 
made the pretext for an onslaught in which 80 of the 
helpless garrison, including many hospital patients, were 
butchered after surrendering. Fourteen were wounded, 
344 taken and 20 escaped; 27 cannon, 3,000 stand of small 
arms, and great quantities of ammunition, provisions and 
camp equipage fell into the hands of the victors. They 
held the fort until the treaty of peace restored it. 

To the usual criminal blundering of officials on this 
border, treachery seems in this case to have been added, 
to assure the enemy's success. McClure, though antici- 
pating an attack, had gone to Buffalo, and satisfied him- 
self with a proclamation announcing the danger of Fort 
Niagara and summoning the people to its defense. Be- 
fore this was twenty-four hours old the fort was in the 
hands of the enemy. Captain Leonard, who had been 
left in command, spent the night of the assault with his 
family, two or three miles distant, leaving without inform- 
ing any one. 

The portion of the British force which did not accom- 
pany Murray to the fort, including the Indians, pillaged 
and destroyed the six or eight houses then constituting 
Youngstown. They then marched upon Lewiston, where 
they plundered, burned and butchered to their hearts' 
content. Mr. Lossing understood that 500 Indians under 
General Riall crossed from Queenston to Lewiston on 
hearing a cannon fired at Fort Niagara annovracing its 
capture. He quotes the following " extract of a letter 
from ' an officer of high rank,' [whom he conjectures to 
have been General Drummond] at Queenston," written 
while the devastation was going on : 

" A war-whoop from five hundred of the most savage 
Indians (which they gave just at daylight, on hearing of 
the success of the attack on Fort Niagara) made the ene- 
my [at Lewiston] take to their heels, and our troops are 
in pursuit. We shall not stop until we have cleared the 
whole frontier. The Indians are retaliating the conflagra- 
tion of Newark. Not a house within my sight but is in 
flames. This is a melancholy but just retaliation." 

The flying inhabitants of Lewiston were pursued sev- 
eral miles eastward on the Ridge road, and the Tuscarora 
village was destroyed. The savages then pushed on up 
the river, stoutly withstood by Major Mallory and forty 
volunteers from Schlosser. Along the whole length of the 
river the destruction and desolation were complete, the 
inhabitants thinking themselves happy if they could es- 



cape inland, forsaking all they possessed. Newark was 
bitterly avenged. On the 24th and 25th a party of sixty 
or eighty regulars traversed the lake shore from Fort Ni- 
agara to Van Horn's mill, near the mouth of Eighteen- 
mile creek, and back, burning the mill and nearly all the 
buildings between it and the fort and taking some pris- 

" It is impossible now,'' says Turner, " to give the 
reader such an account of the condition of things in wes- 
tern New York during that ill-fated winter as will enable 
him to realize the alarm, the panic, the aggregate calami- 
ties that prevailed. On the immediate frontier all wag 
desolate ; the enemy holding possession of Fort Niagara^ 
detached marauding parties of British and Indians came 
out from it, traversed the frontier where there was noth- 
ing left to destroy, and made incursions in some instan- 
ces in the interior, enlarging the theatre of devastation 
and spreading alarm among those who had been bold 
enough to remain in the flight. West of a north and south 
line that would pass through the village of Le Roy, more 
than one-half of the entire population had been driven 
from their homes by the enemy, or had left them in fea,- 
of extended invasion. Entire backwoods neighborhoods 
were deserted, hundreds of log cabins were desolate, and 
the signs and sounds of life were mostly the deserted cat- 
tle and sheep, lowing and bleating, famishing for the 
lack of fodder there were none left to deal out to them." 
A committee of safety and relief appointed at Canan- 
daigua to minister to the homeless sufferers issued on the 
8th of January, 1814, an appeal in their behalf of which 
the following is a part : 

" Niagara county and that part of Genesee which lies 
west of Batavia are completely depopulated. All the set- 
tlements in a section of country forty miles square, and 
which contained more than 12,000 souls, are effectually 
broken up. These facts you are undoubtedly acquainted 
with ; but the distresses they have produced none but an 
eye witness can thoroughly appreciate. Our roads are 
filled with people, many of whom have been reduced 
from a state of competency and good prospects to the 
last degree of want and sorrow. So sudden was the 
blow by which they had been crushed that no provisions 
could be made either to elude or to meet it. The fugi- 
tives from Niagara county, especially, were dispersed 
under circumstances of so much terror that in some cases 
mothers find themselves wandering with strange children, 
and children are seen accompanied by such as have no 
other sympathies with them than those of common suf- 

But two days before this address was issued a gentle- 
man wrote from Le Roy as follows : 

" Numerous witnesses testify to the following facts ■ 
The Indians mangled and burned Mrs. Lovejoy in Buf- 
falo, massacred two large families at Black Rock, namely 
Mr. Luffer's and Mr. Lecort's ; murdered Mr. Gardner ; 
put all the sick to death at Youngstown and killed, scalp- 
ed and mangled sixty at Fort Niagara after it was given 
up. Many dead bodies are yet lying unburied at Buffalo, 
mangled and scalped. Colonel Marvin counted thirty- 

three this morning. I met between Cayuga and this 
place upward of one hundred families in wagons, sleds 
and sleighs, many of them with nothing but what they 
had on their backs ; nor could they find places to stay 
at." Mr. Lossing, who quotes this letter, remarks : 
"Fearful was the retaliation for the destruction of halt- 
inhabited Newark, where not a life was sacrificed ! Six 
villages, many isolated country houses and four vessels 
were consumed, and the butchery of innocent persons at 
Fort Niagara, Lewiston, Schlosser, Tuscarora Village, 
Black Rock and Buffalo, and in farm houses, attested the 
fierceness of the enemy's revenge." 

In the campaign of 1814 the United States forces were 
commanded by officers of some sense and ability, and dis^ 
tinguished themselves by their courage in several engage- 
ments on the Canadian border, of no great permanent 
results, and which have no direct connection with the 
history of Niagara county. 

This region, so afflicted by the hardships of war, was 
visited with unauspicious circumstances after the close of 
hostilities, which prevented its immediate recovery and 
restoration. The harvest of 1814, though it saved from 
starvation the pioneer families who had ventured back to 
their homes and clearings, was of course small ; and in 
181 6 a series of frosts continuing far into the summer so 
nearly ruined the crops as to seriously threaten the coun- 
try with famine. Before the belated harvest of autumn, 
wheat had risen to two or three dollars a bushel, and even 
corn brought the former figure. Some families were com- 
pelled, while the small grains were still green, to gather 
the milky kernels and eat them, boiled, as a staple article 
of food. Roots and herbs never commonly eaten came 
into consumption for the time being. 

In the fruitful seasons that followed the great ob- 
stacle to the prosperity of the county, which neutral- 
ized the fertility of the soil and frustrated the farmer's 
labor, was the want of means of access to markets where 
surplus produce might be sold. This paralyzing influence 
was destined ere many years to be overcome by the noble 
water way whose construction forms the subject of a fol- 
lowing chapter. 



ETWEEN 1782 and 1784 all but the eastern 
portion of New York was called Tryon coun- 
ty, having previously been a part of Albany^ 
In the latter year the same territory took the 
name of Montgomery. In 1789 all of the State 
west of Phelps and Gotham's pre-emption line 
was set off under the title of Ontario county. A 
single town, called Northampton, swallowed up the entire 




Holland Purchase. In 1802 Genesee county was formed 
from the portion of New York west of the Genesee river. 
The town of Northampton was divided into four, of which 
Batavia comprised all of the State west of the east tran- 
sit line. 

On the nth of March, i8o8, a bill was passed creating 
Niagara county. Its east line was as at present, but it ex- 
tended southward to Cattaraugus creek. The part of the 
new county north of Tonawanda creek was constituted 
one town and named Cambria. 

April 2d, 1821, the county was divided into Niagara 
and Erie counties, as at present bounded. It need hardly 
be said that this work is a history of the Niagara county 
of the present. The history of Erie county has recently 
been related with much vivacity and interest by Mr. Chris- 
field Johnson, and we have no occasion to repeat it. 

On the ist of June, 1812, the town of Cambria was di- 
vided into four, the portion east of the west transit line 
constituting Hartland ; township 13 in ranges 7, 8 and 9 
forming Niagara ; township 14 in those ranges retaining 
the title of Cambfia and the remainder of the original 
Cambria taking the name of Porter. April 5th, 1817, 
Royalton was formed from the portion of Hartland south 
of township 15. February 27th, 1818, Lewistonwas taken 
from the west end of Cambria, having its present lines ; 
and on the loth of April following Porter was restricted 
by its present eagt line and Wilson created. On the 8th 
of February, 1823, Somerset was formed from Hartland, 
having its present width but running west to the transit 
line. February 2d of the next year Lockport was formed 
from Cambria and Royalton, with its present boundaries, 
and on the 20th of the next month the western ends of 
Hartland and Somerset were joined with a slice of Wilson 
to make Newfane. Pendleton was laid off from Niagara 
April i6th, 1827, and Wheatfield May 12th, 1836. 

The county seat of the original Niagara was at Buffalo, 
and on the division in 1821 the part which became Erie 
retained the existing organization. The act creating the 
present county of Niagara appointed the following offi- 
cers : Sheriff, Lothrop Cook ; clerk, Oliver Grace ; 
judges — Silas Hopkins (first judge), James Van Horn 
and Robert Fleming. 

The location of the county seat was one of the first 
questions to be settled, and of course different places 
were rivals for the honor. Erasmus Root, Jesse Hawley 
and William Britton were appointed commissioners to de- 
termine the location of the county buildings. Before 
they had taken action Mr. Britton died. Mr. Root favor- 
ed Lewiston, or Molyneux's, in Cambria — a suggestion 
which gives a vivid idea of the insignificance of other 
villages in the county at the time. Mr. Hawley preferred 
Lockport, and as they could not agree nothing was ac- 
complished by the commission. Another was appointed 
])y the Legislature of 1822, consisting of James M'Kown, 
Abraham Keyser and Julius H. Hatch. These gentlemen 
in July selected Lockport as the county seat. A two- 
acre lot was purchased of William M. Bond for the site 
of the county buildings. The new court-house was not 
ready for occupancy until January, 1825, when the first 

court was held in it. The bench at this time included 
Judge Samuel De Veaux, beside the judges above men- 
tioned. Courts had been held at Lewiston until July, 
1823, when the first session in Lockport was held on the 
upper floor of the old Mansion House, now Miller and 
Sons' Exchange Hotel, which was then the most com- 
modious room in the settlement. Judge Rochester pre- 
sided. The county clerk's office was built in 1856, at an 
expense of $13,000. 

The first election in the county was held in November, 
1822, and resulted in the choice of Almon H. Millard as 
sheriff, Asahel Johnson clerk, and Benjamin Barlow mem- 
ber of Assembly.. The vote cast was 1,324. 

We have decided in this chapter to depart from the 
chronological order hitherto followed, in order to give a 
connected view of the civil history of the county. Below 
is a list of the names, with dates of appointment or elec- 
tion (November of the year given, unless otherwise spec- 
ified,) of Niagara's citizens who have been the more im 


Sheriffs : Almond H. Millard, 1822 ; Eli Bruce, 1825; 
John Phillips, 1827 ; Hiram McNiel, 1830 ; George Ry- 
nall, 1833 ; Tarmerlane T. Roberts, 1836 ; Theodore 
Stone, 1839 ; James A. Cooper, 1842 ; Franklin Spauld- 
ing, 1845 ; Elisha Clapp, (appointed January 27th) 185 1; 
Chester F. Shelley, 1854 ; Benjamin Farley, 1857 ; George 
Swain, i860 ; James D. Ames, 1863 ; Alfred Ransom, 
1866 ; Oscar E. Mann, 1869 ; Norman O. Allen, 1872 ; 
Joseph Batten, 1875. 

County clerks : Asahel Johnson, 1822 ; James F. Mason, 
1825; Henry Catlin, 1828; Abijah H. Moss, 1834; 
Hiram A. Cook, 1837 ; David 8. Crandall, 1840 ; James 

C. Lewis, 1843 ; Edwin Shepard, 1845 ; John Van Horn, 
1845 ; George W. Gage, 1848; Lewis S. Payne, 185 1 ; 
Wilson Robinson, 1854; Nathan Dayton, 1S57 ; Charles 
H. Van Duzen, (appointed May 7) 1859 ; Charles H. 
Symonds, 1859 ; William S. Wright, 1862 ; Lewis S. 
Payne, 1865 ; George B. Wilson, 1868 ; Peter D. Walter, 
187 1 ; George L. Moot, 1874; Amos W. R. Henning, 

County Treasurers : Thomas T. Flagler, 1 848 ; Alfred 
Van Wagoner, 185 1 ; William J. Dunlop, 1854; John 
Van Horn, 1857; Morrison W. Evans, i860 ; Jacob M. 
Chrysler, 1863 ; Josiah L. Breyfogle, 1866 ; Hiram Bene- 
dict, i86g ; S. Curtis Lewis, 1872 and 1875. 

District Attorneys. — -Under the Second Constitution, 
which was adopted in 1822 and in force until the end of 
1846, they were appointed by the Court of General Ses- 
sions; for the last thirty years they have been chosen by 
popular vote at the November elections. The list for 
Niagara county is as follows: Zina H. Colvin, April 2, 
1821; Elias Ransom, jr, 1830; William Hotchkiss, 1833; 
Joseph C. Morse, January, 1836; Robert H. Stevens, 
May, 1836; Jonathan L. Woods, 1839; Alfred Holmes, 
1843; Sherburne B. Piper, 1845, and June, 1847; George 

D. Lamont, r85o; John L. Buck, 1S53; Andrew W. Bra- 



zee, 1856; Mortimer M. Southworth, 1859, who held the 
office by re-election until succeeded by Frank Brundage, 
who was elected in 1874. Ben J. Hunting was the suc- 
cessful candidate in 1877. 

First Judges of the Court of Common Pleas (appointed 
by the governor): Silas Hopkins, February 8, 1823; 
Robert Fleming, April 22, 1828; Nathan Dayton, March 
i3> 1^33! Washington Hunt, January 30, 1836; Elias 
Ransom, January 19, 1841; Jonathan L. Woods, April 

29, 1846. 

County Judges : Hiram Gardner, June, 1837 ; Levi F. 
Bowen, 1851; resigned and Elias Ransom appointed 
December 11, 1852 ; Alfred HolmeSj 1857 ; George D. 
Lamont, 1865 ; resigned and Hiram Gardner appointed 
November 19, 1868 ; Levi F. Bowen, 1873. 

Surrogates (appointed by the governor under the Sec- 
ond Constitution ; since elected : Rufus Spaulding, 
April 2, 1821 ; Willard Smith, February 25, 1822; Hiram 
Gardner, March 31, 1831 ; Joseph C. Morse, January 

30, 1836 ; Henry A. Carter, February 28, 1840 ; Josiah 
K. Skinner, February 28, 1844 ; Thomas M. Webster, 
1851 ; Mortimer M. Southworth, 1855 ; George W. Bowen, 
1859 ; Henry D. Scripture, 1863 ; John T. Murray, 1867 ; 
Joshua Gaskill, 187 1 ; George P. Ostrander, 1877. '- 


Niagara county has been represented in the chief 
executive office of the State by Washington Hunt, a gen- 
tleman so eminent in various honorable walks of life that 
a sketch of his career is called for. He was born in 
Windham, Greene county, N. Y., August sth, 181 1, and 
descended from a Revolutionary ancestry. His father, 
Sanford Hunt, subsequently removed to Livingston 
county and gave the name of Hunt's Hollow to the set- 
tlement where he established himself. In 1828 Washing- 
ton Hunt went to Lockport. It that town, of which he 
was to become the most illustrious citizen, he began life 
for himself by serving two years as a clerk in the store of 
Tucker & Bissell, evincing in this connection the excel- 
lent business and social traits which afterward had so 
much to do in giving him wealth, reputation and influ- 
ence. In 1830 he began the study of law with Lot 
Clark. He found, however, more profitable and con- 
genial employment for his talents than the practice of his 
profession, in real estate transactions, which through life 
constituted his principal business operations. In 1833 the 
firm of Hunt it Walbridg^.' was formed for the purchase 
of 32,000 acres of land in Niagara county from the Albany 
Land Company. The investment made Mr. Hunt a rich 
man. In the following year he married Mary, daughter 
of Mr. Walbridge. When but twenty-four years old he 
was appointed by Governor Marcy " first judge " of the 
county, and is said to have filled the office for five years 
with a dignity and ability which could not have been ex- 
pected of a youth. 

About the time of receiving this appointment he made 
an unsuccessful run for Congress on the Democratic 
ticket. In 1840 he left that party on a financial issue. 

and two years later was elected to Congress by the Whigs, 
who re-elected him for the next two terms. His abiHty 
and industry in the House made him prominent before the 
country and one of the leaders of his party. On leaving 
Congress he was appointed comptroller of New York. In 
Noveinber, 1850, he was elected governor, beating 
Horatio Seymour by 262 votes in a total poll of 428,966. 
He was renominated, and defeated by Mr. Seymour by a 
small majority in the next gubernatorial campaign. He 
was also defeated as the Congressional candidate of a 
coalition in 1856, and of the Democrats for the same of- 
fice in 1862. 

Probably no man has been more prominently identified 
with the business history of Lockport than Governor 
Hunt. He held official positions at different times in at 
least five banks, and was prominent in the application of 
the splendid water power created by the canal, which he 
and Governor Marcy leased from the State in 1836. Gov- 
ernor Hunt had much to do in the establishment and 
formation of the numerous industrial concerns which 
have been developed by the water power, as well as in 
otherj enterprises, and was a very extensive holder of real 
estate in the city, and interested and influential in rail- 
road circles. 

His house was that now occupied by the heirs of the 
late William P. Daniels. He was a pillar in the Episcopal 
church of Lockport, which he frequently represented in 
diocesan and general conventions For several years be- 
fore his death he spent a portion of his time in New York, 
and died there from a cancer, February 2d, r867. 

Bates Cook, of Lewiston, was appointed comptroller 
February 4th, 1839. 

General Peter B. Porter, of Niagara Falls, was appoint- 
ed secretary of State February i6th, 1815, and a Regent 
of the University nine years later. 

George H. Boughton was appointed canal appraiser 
October 7th, 1839, and November i6th, 1852 ; and canal 
commissioner February 22d, 1840. Hiram Gardner was 
appointed to the latter office November 21st, 1858, and 
James Jackson November 4th, 1873. George C. Greene 
was appointed appraiser January 27th, 1870. All these 
gentlemen were citizens of Lockport. 

Gaylord G. Clark, of Lockport, was elected one of the 
inspectors of State prisons November 4th, 1862. 

George D. Lamotit, of Lockport, was elected a Justice ' 
of the Supreme Court for the eighth district in 1868, and 
again in 1871. Nathan Dayton, also of Lockport, was 
appointed a circuit judge 'February 23d, 1838. 

Hiram Gardner and John W. McNitt were member^ 
from Niagara of the constitutional convention of T846, 
and Thomas T. Flagler and Levi F. Bowen of that of 

The following citizens of Niagara county have served' 
as Presidential electors : Hiram Gardner, 1836 ; Davis 
Hurd and Peter B. Porter, 1840 ; Solomon Parmele, 1848; 
William Vandervoort and Sherburne B. Piper (elector- 
at-large with Charles O'Connor), 1852 ; William Keep, 
1856 ; Moses C. Richardson, 1872. 




State Senators. — The Second Constitution divided the 
State into eight senate districts, entitled to four senators 
apiece ; Niagara county was part of the eighth. The 
present constitution created thirty-two districts, each to 
choose one senator. Of these, Niagara, Orleans and 
Genesee counties constituted the twenty-eighth until 
changed to the twenty-ninth by the act of 1857. The 
senators from Niagara county, with their residences and 
the years they were in the Senate, have been as follows : 
George H. Boughton, Lockport, 1829, 1830; Samuel 
Works, Lockport, 1837-1844 ; Horatio J. Stow, Lewiston, 
1 85 8, 1859 ; died during the session and George D. La- 
mont, of Lockport, filled out his term ; Peter P. Murphy, 
Royalton, i860, 1861 ; Richard Crowley, Lockport, 1866- 
1869 ; Lewis S. Payne, North Tonawanda, 1878, 1879. 

Assemblymen. — Niagara constituted one Assembly dis- 
trict until May 3d, 1836, when it was divided. It has 
ever since been entitled to two members. At the adop- 
tion of the present constitution the first Assembly district 
consisted of the towns of Lockport, Niagara, Pendleton, 
Royalton and Wheatfield. In 1857 Niagara was trans- 
ferred to the second district, and Cambria in 1866 from 
the second to the first. The members from the creation 
of the county have been as follows : 

In the session of 1823, Benjamin Barlow, jr.; 1824 and 
1825, Daniel Washburn ; 1826, William King ; 1827-1829, 
JohnGarnsey ; 1830, Samuel De Veaux ; 1831-1833, Hen- 
ry Norton; 1834, Robert Fleming, jr.; 1835, Henry Mc- 
Neil ; 1836, Hiram Gardner ; 1837, Reuben H. Bough- 
ton (who died during the session), Davis Hurd (who com- 
pleted Boughton's term) and Hiram McNeil ; 1838 and 
1839, Davis Hurd, Peter B. Porter, jr. ; 1840 and 1841, Peter 
B. Porter, jr., Francis O. Pratt ; 1842, Thomas T. Flagler, 
Francis O. Pratt ; 1843, Thomas T. Flagler, John Sweeney; 
1844, John Sweeney, Luther Wilson ; 1845, Levi F*. Bow- 
en, John Sweeney ; 1846, Lot Clark, Morgan Johnson ; 
1847, Benjamin Carpenter, Christopher H. Skeels; 1848, 
Elias Ransom, Solomon Moss, Morgan Johnson (who un- 
seated Moss on a contest during the session) ; 1849, Hol- 
lis White, Morgan Johnson ; 1850, George W. Jermain, 
James Van Horn, jr.; 1851 and i852,Abijah H. Moss,Jeph- 
tha W. Babcock ; 1853, George W. Holley, Reuben F. 
Wilson ; 1854, Robert Dunlap, Reuben F. Wilson ; 1855, 
Linus Jones Peck, Ira Tompkins ; 1856, William S. Penn, 
John Gould ; 1857, Elisha Clapp, John Gould ; 1858, Burt 
Van Horn, John W. Labar ; 1859, James Sweeney, Burt 
Van Horn ; i860, Thotnas T. Flager, Burt Van Horn ; 
i86r, Henry P. Smith, Oliver P. Scovell ; 1862, Benjamin 
H. Fletcher, Peter A. Porter ; 1863, Benjamin H. Fletch- 
er, William Morgan ; 1864, James Jackson, jr., William 
Morgan ; 1865, Albert H. Pickard, Guy C. Humphrey; 
1866, Solon S. Pomeroy, Guy C. Humphrey ; 1867, Elisha 
Moody, William Pool ; 1868 and 1869, Ransom M. Skeels, 
Benjamin Farley ; 1870, Lewis S. Payne, Lee R. Sanborn ; 
1871, John E. Pound, Lee R. Sanborn ; 1872 and 1873, 
Isaac H. Babcock, George M. Swain ; 1874 and 1875, Ar- 
Artemus W. Comstock, Orville C. Bordwell; 1876, Amos 

A. Bissell, Jonah W. Brown ; 1877, Amos A. Bissell, Sher- 
burne B. Piper; 1878, Joseph D. Loveland, Sherburne B. 

Members of Congress. — An act of March 8th, 1808, 
made the fifteenth Congressional district of New York 
consist of Allegany, Cattaraugas, Chautauqua, Genesee, 
Niagara and Ontario counties. Peter B. Porter, of Niag- 
ara Falls, represented the district in the Xlth Congress 
(1809-1811), theXIIth (1811-1813), and the XlVth (1815- 
1817). An act of April 17th, 1822, formed the thirtieth 
district from Niagara, Erie and Chautauqua counties. 
In 1832 Niagara and Orleans became the thirty-third dis- 
trict, in 1842 the thirty-fourth, and in 185 1 the thirty- 
first. In 1862 Niagara, Genesee and Wyoming were 
made to constitute the twenty-ninth district, and in 1873 
the thirty-first. The district has been represented by 
Niagara county men as follows : 

Sessions of 1831-1833 (XXIId Congress), Bates Cook, 
of Lewiston; 1837-1841 (XXVth andXXVIth Congresses), 
Charles F. Mitchell, of Lockport; 1843-1849 (XXVIIIth, 
XXIXth and XXXth Congresses), Washington Hunt, of 
Lockport; 1853-1857, (XXXIIId and XXXIVth Con- 
gresses), Thomas T. Flagler, of Lockport; 1861-1863, 
1865-1867 1867-1869, (XXXVIIth, XXXIXth and XLth 
Congresses), Burt Van Horn, of Newfane. 




ADVOCATES of the extension of inland naviga- 
tion in New York did not at first contemplate 
anything beyond the improvement of the 
natural cha,nnels from the Hudson to Lake 
Ontario — the Mohawk river, Wood creek,Onei- 
da lake and river and the Oswego river. Gov- 
ernor Colden in 1724 even expressed the hope 
that the western part of the State might be penetrated by 
boats, independent of Lake Ontario. In his memoir of 
that year on the fur trade, occurs the following passage, 
which has been remarked as the first recorded speculation 
on the possibility of inland water communication between 
Lake Erie and the Mohawk river: 

" There is a river which comes from the country of the 
Sinnekes and falls into the Onnondage river, by which we 
have an easy carriage into that country without going near 
the Cataracqui [Ontario] lake. The head of this River 
goes near to Lake Erie and probably may give a very 
near passage into that lake, much more advantageous 
than the way the French are obliged to take by the way 
of the great fall of lagara." Colden seems not to have 
known of the Genesee, crossing what he supposed to be 
the course of the " Sinnekes' " river. No natural stream, 
indeed, could have followed the line he conjectured; but 



a hundred years later saw an artificial river pursuing such 
a line, and doing far more for interior navigation than 
he had mistakenly thought might be accomplished by the 
natural one. 

The improvement of river channels being found inad- 
equate, the construction of a canal from Lake Erie to the 
Hudson suggested itself to commercial and scientific 
minds. The first proposal, if not the original conception 
of such an enterprise is claimed for Gouverneur Morris. 
In conversation with Simeon De Witt, surveyor-general 
of the State, in 1803 at Schenectady, Mr. Morris suggest- 
ed the project of conveying the water of Lake Erie direct 
to the Hudson by cutting through intervening highlands 
and forming an artificial river with a uniform fall of six 
inches per mile from west to east. The surveyor-general, 
in common with most to whom the scheme was mentioned, 
regarded it as visionary and impracticable, and so repre- 
sented it to James Geddes, a surveyor of Onondaga coun- 
ty, in a conversation with him. Geddes, however, on 
reflection viewed it differently, and concluded that with 
some modifications the plan might be carried out, and that 
the work would be one of great utility. People generally, 
however, appalled by the magnitude of the suggested en- 
terprise, hardly dared to consider the subject gravely, 
and for several years after the conception of the idea 
nothing was done toward realizing it. 

The man who first publicly championed the idea of a 
canal from Lake Erie to the Hudson was Jesse Hawley. 
He was born at Bridgeport, Connecticut, in 1773. In 
1805 and for some years after he was engaged in buy- 
ing wheat in the Genesee valley, which he had ground 
at Mynderse's mill at Little Falls and sent the flour to 
Albany. His occupation suggested thoughts on the im- 
provement of transportation facilities. " I first," said he, 
" conceived the idea of the overland route of the canal 
from Buffalo to Utica in Colonel Wilhelmus Mynderse's 
office, at Seneca Falls, in 1805." Mr. Hawley expatiated 
on the subject in his private correspondence and .con- 
versation ; and, spending the winter of 1806-7 in Pitts- 
burgh, he published an article in the Commonwealth news- 
paper of that city setting forth his views. This was re- 
printed on the 27th of October, 1S07, in the Genesee Mes- 
senger, and was followtd by thirteen other essays publish- 
ed in the same paper, the last March 2nd, 1808. In these 
papers, which Mr. Hawley signed "Hercules," he ex- 
plained and advocated the canal idea with great origin- 
ality and foresight, creating a powerful sentiment in its 
favor. He recommended a route very nearly correspond- 
ing with that followed in the construction of the canal 
through western New York, and prophesied the results to 
be attained with singular correctness. Having had the 
pleasui-e of seeing his views carried out, with the antici- 
pated fruits, he exerted his influence in favor of the en- 
largement of the canal as earnestly as he had in behalf of 
its construction ; but he had reason to complain that his 
services never received adequate recognition. He spent 
his last years in Lockport, where he died in January, 
1842. He was buried in the beautiful Cold Spring rural 
cemetery, and the neighboring city, a creature of the Erie 

Canal, is in some sense his monument. 

Mr. Geddes corresponded with surveyors and engineers 
on the subject of a canal, and agitated the topic in his 
county until it became a leading political issue, and 
Joshua Forman was elected to the Assembly on a "canal 
ticket." He was the first to propose legislation looking 
toward the construction of a canal, which he did Febru- 
ary 4th, 1808. Pursuant of a resolution offered by him a 
committee was appointed to report on the propriety of an 
exploration and survey, to the end that Congress might 
be induced' to appropriate the necessary funds. The 
committee reported favorably; a survey was ordered 
April 6th, 1808, and $600 appropriated for the expenses. 
The service was performed by James Geddes. He 
was directed to examine the route for a canal from Oneida 
lake to Lake Ontario, as well as that from Lake Erie east- 
_ ward. He reported in favor of the latter, which he pro- 
nounced feasible. He suggested that there might "be 
found some place in the ridge that bounds the Tonawan- 
da valley on the north as low as the level of Lake Erie, 
where a canal may be led across and conducted onward 
without increasing the lockage by rising to the Tonawan- 
da swamp." 

The latter difficulty was involved in the route contem- 
plated by Mr. Joseph Ellicott. He supposed the summit 
on that line would not be more than twenty feet above 
Lake Erie, and that upon it a sufficient supply of water 
might be obtained from Oak Orchard creek and other 
streams. In this he was mistaken; the summit was found 
to be seventy-five feet above Lake Erie, and to be sup- 
plied with no adequate feeder. It is probably not too 
much to say that the canal could never have been suc- 
cessfully constructed through western New York, but for 
the discovery of such a route as Mr. Geddes suggested, 
permitting a continuous flow eastward from Lake Erie 
and making the lake the feeder. 

During the legislative session of 1810, pursuant of a 
resolution offered by Senator Piatt, and concurred in by 
the Assembly March 12th, Peter B. Porter, Gouverneur 
Morris, Stephen Van Rensselaer, DeWitt Clinton, Simeon 
DeWitt, William North and Thomas Eddy were appoint- 
ed commissioners to make a complete exploration of 
the proposed routes of water communication between 
the Hudson and the lakes. Three thousand dollars were 
voted them for expenses. Messrs. Morris and Van Rens- 
selaer traversed the proposed line of the Erie Canal in 
advance of the other commissioners, and awaited them 
at Lewiston. The rest of the board, accompanied by Mr. 
Geddes, after exploring the Oswego river, paddled up 
the Seneca river, and held a consultation at Geneva on 
the 24th of July. Thence they continued to the falls of 
the Genesee, and from there by the Ridge road to Lewis- 
ton. A meeting of the board was held at Chippewa 
August 3d, when Mr. Geddes was directed to make some 
further surveys. On the i6th the party was at Buffalo. 
The commissioners made their report March 2nd, 1811. 
It embodied a recommendation of a canal on the route 
selected by Mr. Geddes, and a warning against allowing 
it to be built by private parties, which would defeat cheap 


transportation by permitting a monopoly. The cost of 
the work was estimated at $5,000,000. The Legislature, 
on the strength of this report, continued the commission 
and voted $15,000 for further operations. 

A year later, it having been found impossible to obtain 
an appropriation from Congress, the Legislature author- 
ized the commissioners to borrow $5,000,000 on the credit 
of the State for the construction of the canal. 

The prosecution of the work was prevented by the war 
of 181 2, which so engrossed public attention that the 
canal project was abandoned and the act authorizing a 
loan in its behalf was repealed. 

Toward the close of 1815 the enterprise was revived. 
An influential meeting in its favor was held at New York 
in December of that year, at which resolutions were 
adopted urging the construction of the canal. Similar 
meetings were held at Albany, Utica, Geneva, Canandai- 
gua and Buffalo, and a sentiment created which expressed 
itself in petitions with more than a hundred thousand 
signers for the prosecution of the work. 

The Legislature of 1816 reconstructed the canal com- 
mission, making it consist of De Witt Clinton, Stephen 
Van Rensselaer, Joseph Ellicott, Myron HoUey and 
Samuel Young. A year later was passed an act prepared 
by Mr. Clinton authorizing the commencement of actual 
construction. The canal, however, was still regarded by 
many as a ruinous experiment, and lamentations were fre- 
quently heard on the miseries of an overtaxed people and 
their posterity. 

The work was divided into western, middle and eastern 
sections, the dividing points being Rome and the Seneca 
river. Of the western section James Geddes was ap- 
pointed chief engineer. In 1815 he surveyed the route. 
Up to 1820 nothing was done upon this section except to 
adopt the line laid down by Mr. Geddes. In 1820 he was 
succeeded by David Thomas, who in that year examined 
the line adopted from Rochester to Pendleton and modi- 
fied it somewhat east of Oak Orchard creek. A more im- 
portant change was made as to the point of passing the 
mountain ridge in Niagara county — one that determined 
the site of the city of Lockport. Mr. Geddes's line 
crossed the ridge in the gorge a mile west of Lockport. 
The whole western part of the canal was put under con- 
tract in 1821. 

Then followed long, tedious years of labor, that must 
sometimes have tried the faith and hope of the most san- 
guine. First, a belt of the forest had in most places to 
be removed. Then little armies of men and teams, toiling 
in the lane thus made in the woods, slowly gave the ground 
the shape of a great ditch with its bounding embankments; 
or still more slowly, with drill and powder, wrought their 
way through ledges of solid rock. Extempore hamlets of 
shanties sprung up along the line, moving hke miners' 
camps with the progress of the contractors' gangs ; and 
shrewd speculators were busied in possessing themselves 
of lots where. more permanent villages seemed destined to 

During the autumn of 1823 the completed and naviga- 
ble portion of the canal was extended westward to Brock- 

port and Holley, and during the next season to the foot 
of the ridge at Lockport. In 1824, also, the adaptation 
of the Niagara river and Tonawanda creek to the purposes 
of the canal was completed, and the line excavated 
from the creek toward Lockport. It need hardly be said 
that the stupendous rock cutting extending through and 
west of that city was the last spot finished between Buf- 
falo and Albany. Mr. Orsamus Turner has drawn an in- 
teresting picture of the state of things in this vicinity in 
1822. He says : 

" Culver & Maynard were clearing the timber from the 
slopes of the mountain around the ravine and excavating 
the first rock section ; Childs & Hamlin were excavating 
the second section, Darius Comstock the third, John Gil- 
bert the fourth ; Norton, Bates, House & BougTiton the 
fifth and last rock section. The dense forest between 
Lockport and Tonawanda creek looked as if a hurricane 
had passed through it, leaving a narrow belt of fallen tim- 
ber, excavated stone and earth ; and, to complete the rag- 
ged scene, log boarding houses had been strung along the 
whole distance. The blasting of rocks was going on brisk- 
ly » * * ^g |.|jg YOQ\i excavation deepened it baffled 
the ingenuity of commissioners and contractors, and be- 
came expensive beyond all estimate ; no greater facilities 
existed for raising the rock than wheelbarrows and long 
runs. In this exigency Orange Dibble, * * * with a 
brother- in-law of his, named Olmsted, invented and in- 
troduced a simple crane, that revolutionized the work 
vastly cheapened it, and in the end was the means of com- 
pleting the canal one year before it could have been done 
in the absence of it. In the original construction of the 
locks the contractors, at great expense, opened a road 
through the woods to Williamsville to procure their water 
lime. At the same time, in excavating the lock pits and a 
portion of their rock section, they were removing immense 
quantities of stone capable of making an hydraulic cement 
equal in quality to the best that has been discovered in 
the United States. It was used in the construction of the 
new locks, and has become an article of commerce upon 
the canal and lakes, for use in public structures or wher- 
ever such a material is required. The credit of demon- 
strating its superor quality and introducing it into exten- 
sive use belongs to Mr. Seth Pierce, of Lockport." 

Mr. Turner elsewhere states that among the trees cut 
to make place for the locks was a black walnut " a saw- 
log from which, fourteen feet in length, made 1,643 feet 
of inch boards ;" and that " an Englishman who had a 
nursery of forest trees in England in an early day procured ' 
in the neighborhood of Lockport a black walnut, an oak 
and a whitewood plank, all eighty feet in length, and mea- 
suring at their butts over five feet in breadth, clear of the 
wane. He took them to London for exhibition." 

The commissioner who superintended the construction 
of the western portion of the canal was William C. Bouck, 
afterward governor of the State. On the 29th of Septem- 
ber, 1825, he wrote from Lockport to Stephen Van Rens- 
selaer, president of the canal commission, the following 
letter : 

" Sir : The unfinished parts of the Erie canal will be 


completed and in a condition to admit the passage of 
boats on Wednesday, the 26th day of October next. It 
would have been gratifying to have accomplished this re- 
sult as early as the first of September, but embarrassments 
which I could not control delayed it. 

On this grand event, so auspicious to the character and 
wealth of the citizens of New York, permit me to con- 
gratulate you." 

By extra exertion the work of excavation was completed 
and the filling of the last section begun on the 24th of 
October. In twenty-four hours the filling was accom- 
plished, and all things were ready for a grand celebration 
on the morrow, for which due preparations had been 

In the forenoon of the 26th a flotilla of five boats left 
Buffalo for the first through passage from lake to seaport, 
bearing the highest executive officers of the State and 
many other dignitaries. Their departure was the signal 
for firing the first of a large number of cannon (some of 
them thirty-two pounders from Perry's fleet), stationed 
within hearing distance of each other along the whole line 
of the canal and the Hudson river and at Sandy Hook. 
By discharging one of these the instant its next neighbor 
— five or six miles away — was heard from, the momentous 
news of the opening of through travel at Buffalo was con- 
veyed to the ocean in an hour and twenty minutes. A 
small fleet of boats which had started at the foot of the 
locks at Lockport about the time that the flotilla left 
Buffalo met the latter in Tonawanda creek and convoyed 
it to Lockport, where, and at Albion, HoUey, Brockport 
and everywhere along the line, it was hailed with a jubi- 
lant enthusiasm which it is now difficult alike to imagine 
and to describe. 

The length of the canal was 363 miles, and its original 
cost 17,143,780.86. It was planned to be forty feet wide 
at the surface and twenty-eight at the bottom, with four 
feet of water. The locks were ninety feet long, and 
twelve feet wide in the clear. The capacity indicated by 
these figures was soon found to be inadequate, and the 
necessity of enlarging the canal was made apparent. By 
an act passed in May, 1835, the canal commissioners 
were authorized to have the work performed, including 
the construction of double locks, as fast as they should 
judge advisable. Under this act the enlargement was 
begun, and continued with more or less activity for more 
than a quarter of a century before it was complete 
throughout. The reconstructed canal was reduced to 
350 1-2 miles in length, and increased in breadth to seventy 
feet at the surface and fifty-two and a half at the bottom, 
while the depth of water was increased to seven feet. 
The cost of the enlargement was over $30,000,000. 

It can hardly be necessary to point out the effects of 
the canal in facilitating communication and opening 
markets, breathing the breath of a new life into the agri- 
cultural interest of western New York, and stimulating 
the growth of population along its line. We might as 
well call attention to the uses of the sunshine and the 
air as refer at length " to the great cities that have been 
doubled in population, to the new ones it has created, to 

the large and prosperous villages that are dotted along 
its banks, to the new empire it has helped to create around 
the borders of our western lakes, and the fleets of steam 
and sail vessels it has put afloat upon their waters." 

The canal at the outset, far from being exclusively an 
artery of commerce, as at present, was the fashionable 
avenue of western travel. The packets were elegantly 
furnished, set excellent tables, and outstripped the freight 
boats in speed by their comparative lightness, and their 
three-horse teams. They ran from the east as far as 
Lockport before the completion of the upper level 
of the canal. Mr. Turner informs us that "Seymour 
Scovell built the first packet west of Montezuma, the 
' Myron HoUey,' and Oliver Culver the next one, the 
' Wm. C. Bouck.' " 

The most famous of early travelers by the canal was 
the illustrious Marquis de Lafayette. After a tour in 
the west he reached Buffalo in the first week of June, 
1825, and journeyed down the Niagara to its mouth, 
where he was received with a salute from the guns of the 
fort. At Lewiston he spent a night at the hotel kept 
by Thomas Kelsey. Thence he was conveyed to Lock- 
port, art escort from that place meeting him at Howell's 
on the Ridge road. At Lockport he embarked for the east 
on a packet at the foot of the locks. At all points he 
was received with such honors as might be expected from 
a people who appreciated his services to their country 
during the Revolutionary war. 




XCEPTING, perhaps, the events of the war 
of i8i2,no occurrence in the history of north- 
western New York ever so generall;y attracted 
the attention of the fcountry as the disappear- 
ance of the free mason Motgan in the autumn 
,jg), of 1826, with the uprising against the masonic 
2^ fraternity which his mysterious fate produced. 
No other event, therefore, more fairly demands a chapt er 
in the history of the region where the circumstances con- 
nected with the affair occurred. These circumstances 
are even now a subject of controversy, from which we 
carefully refrain, while giving the facts as nearly as they 
can be ascertained. Our narrative is based largely upon 
an account compiled from the ofificial reports of the trials 
for the abduction of Morgan, by a gentleman who thought 
it must be admitted that those who believe the unfortun- 
ate man was murdered " base their conclusion upon pre- 
sumptive evidence of a nature which is by no means con- 

William Morgan was living at Batavia during the sum- 


mer and part of the autumn of 1826. He was a native of 
Virginia, and is represented to have been a man of in- 
different character and very poor. The latter fact is 
suggested as perhaps the chief consideration which led 
him to determine upon the publication of the secrets of 
the masonic fraternity, of which he was a member 
in the Royal Arch degree. The design becoming 
known in the summer of 1826 strenuous efforts were 
made by the free masons with whom he had affiliated to 
prevent the intended publication. A stranger obtained 
an introduction to Morgan, and on pretense of wishing to 
buy an interest in his proposed book tried to get posses- 
sion of the manuscript he had written. 

The revelation was to be gotten out by a Batavia print- 
er named Miller. This was understood, and Miller's 
office took fire under circumstances indicating an incen- 
diary atterhpt. On the 12th of September Miller himself 
was arrested at Batavia by a constable named Jesse 
French, on a iustice's warrant issued by one Bartow,of Le 
Roy. Roswell Wilcox and James Hurlbut accompanied 
the constable and his prisoner to Le Roy, and their car- 
riage was followed by a crowd who seem to have under- 
stood the signifigance of the arrest. At Stafford Miller 
was taken into the masonic lodgeroom, where, it is said, 
an armed assemblage tried to frighten him into agreeing 
to deliver up the obnoxious manuscript. A company of 
his friends outside, however, made demonstrations which 
led to his being brought out and carried on to Le Roy, 
whither the crowd followed. There was no case against 
the prisoner, and he was immediately discharged, and 
escorted back to Batavia by his partisans. In turn,French, 
Wilcox and Hurlbut were tried for false imprisonment, 
riot, and assault and battery, and sentenced to imprison- 
ment for twelve, six and three months respectively. 

On Sunday, September loth, Ebenezer C. Kingsley 
obtained from Justice Jeffrey Chipman, of Canandaigua, 
a warrant for the arrest of Morgan on a charge of having 
stolen a shirt and cravat, which Kingsley had in fact lent 
him. On this warrant Morgan was arrested the next day 
at Batavia, arid taken in a public coach to Canandaigua. 
The charge against, him was not sustained and he was 
promptly discharged. He was immediately re-arrested, 
however, on a civil suit for $2, the amount of a tavern bill 
against him, held by one Ackley, which the latter had as- 
signed to Nicholas G. Cheesebro, the master of a masonic 
lodge at Canandaigua. A judgment was given against 
Morgan, to satisfy which he offered his coat. The offer 
was refused and the unfortunate man was lodged in the 
Ontario county jail. 

This was in the evening of the nth. Twenty-four 
hours later members of the masonic fraternity called at 
the jail, and in the absence of the jailor advised his wife 
to release Morgan, telling her the judgment against him 
had been paid by one Loton Lawson. The prisoner was 
accordingly liberated, but on reaching the street he was 
suddenly seized, thrust into a close carriage in waiting, 
gagged and bound and driven rapidly out of the village to 
the westward. His fellow passengers were three free 
masons, one of whom was Lawson, This man subse- 

quently testified that it had been decided upon by the 
fraternity that Morgan must be separated from Miller and 
his other friends at Batavia; that on being put into the 
carriage he at first struggled and called out, and once 
afterward shouted " Murder! " but otherwise was quiet 
and admitted his error, and that it was best he should 
leave Miller and not publish his intended revelations. In 
this frame of mind he was taken through Rochester and 
west on the Ridge road. It is stated that none but masons 
were allowed to communicate with the occupants of the 
carriage. No noise was heard from it except at one 
point. The Ridge road was followed to Lewiston, and 
thence the carriage passed down the Niagara river to 
Fort Niagara. On reaching the fort the driver was told 
to stop near the graveyard. Here the passengers got out 
and entered the enclosure, and the coachman was dis- 
missed. This was near midnight of the 13th. 

For some days before, according to testimony in court, 
preparations had been making for the reception of the 
kidnapped man, and he was now taken into the fort, 
blindfolded and pinioned, and thrown into the magazine, 
where he was confined until the 19th. He was quite 
"noisy" at first, and prominent masons tried to "quiet " 
him. Captain James Van Cleve makes the following 
statement bearing upon this stage of the affair: 

"In September, 1826, many free masons came up the 
lake on board the steamer ' Ontario ' [on which Van 
Cleve was clerk] from Rochester, to participate in the in- 
stallation of Colonel William King as knight templar 
at Lewiston. On the steamer's return she landed l,by re- 
quest) at the government wharf at Fort Niagara, and 
many masons went into the fort for the purpose of seeing 
William Morgan, who was then confined there by the 
masons. Colonel Samuel Denison, the managing owner 
of the ' Ontario,' who was a mason, told me at the time 
that he was requested to go into the fort and see Morgan, 
but he declined, believing such high-handed measures in 
violation of the law would in the end lead to much trou- 
ble, which proved true." 

Morgan was constantly visited, as witnesses represent- 
ed, and threatened, to make him tell where and how his 
manuscript could be obtained. He begged to see his 
wife and children. He is reported- to have said several 
times that he would rather stay in the magazine than be 
bled to death by the doctor ; this was thought to indicate 
that his reason was giving way ; it is not known that any 
doctor had anything to do with him. 

Consultations were held in regard to the disposal of the 
man, as he proved obdurate on the subject of his revela- 
tions. Three propositions were discussed, if our au- 
thority may be trusted, namely, to settle him on a farm 
in Canada, to hand him over to the masonic commander 
of a British man-of-war at Montreal or Quebec, and to 
drown him in the river. Masons who admitted having 
participated in these discussions declared that they stren- 
uously opposed the last suggestion, even to the point of 
high words and a quarrel. 

On the 19th of September Morgan disappeared. No 
one whp was sworn at the trials for his abduction was at 



the magazine when the wretched man left it, nor, as they 
claimed, could they ascertain his fate. 

When the foregoing facts came out the conclusion that 
Morgan was drowned in the Niagara naturally prevailed, 
and the river was dragged for his body, but to no effect. 
A little more than a year after his disappearance a corpse 
was found on the lake shore in Carlton, Orleans county. 
A coroner's jury pronounced it that of an " unknown " 
person ; but the anti-masons, suspecting that it was the 
body of Morgan, had it exhumed and procured another 
inquest and a verdict in accordance with their behef, on 
the strength of which the remains were conveyed to Ba- 
tavia and buried. Tnurlow Weed, who was one of the 
anti-masonic leaders, was among those examined at this 
inquest. It is charged that certain persons, politically 
interested in promoting the belief that Morgan was 
drowned, manipulated the body so as to increase its re- 
semblance to him, one of them making the remark, which 
became part of the political slang of the day, that it was 
" a good enough Morgan till after election." Additional 
information having been obtained respecting the body in 
question, one more inquest was held, by which the corpse 
was proved to be that of Timothy Monroe, a man acci- 
dentally drowned near the mouth of the Niagara. 

A tremendous excitement of course followed the dis- 
appearance of Morgan, and investigating committees were 
everywhere appointed. Eli Bruce, the sheriff of Niagara 
county; the commandant of Fort Niagara, and several 
other prominent masons were tried at Lockport and Can • 
andaigua for abduction or kidnapping, and one or two 
were convicted. Others escaped by the refusal of wit- 
nesses to testify. Prominent and previously respectable 
citizens were seen in the attitude of refusing to give evi- 
dence lest it should criminate themselves. Eli Bruce was 
fined and imprisoned for contumacy, and deposed from 
his office by the governor. The trials, some of which 
were conducted by Judges Nelson, Marcy and Throop, 
and the ablest counsel that could be obtained, occurred 
during four or five years after the event that origin- 
ated them, and perpetuated and intensified the interest 
which the disappearance of Morgan and the alleged cir- 
cumstances of course created. 

The hostility of feeling between masons and anti- 
masons was of the bitterest description. The dividing 
line ran through families and churches, and no relation 
was too intimate or sacred to be disturbed by the agita- 
tion. Even the boys in the streets took sides, and while 
their elders bandied hot words they satisfied themselves 
only by throwing stones. The masonic fraternity through- 
out a large section of the country was threatened with 
destruction, many lodges being so weakened by with- 
drawals and lack of applications for membership as to 
be disbanded for years, if not permanently. 

The most notable effect of the agitation was the rise 
and career of the Anti-Masonic party, which immedi- 
ately controlled local elections and ultimately made itself 
felt on a far wider scale. This phase of the subject the 
writer to whom we are indebted for much of the sub- 
stance of this chapter sums up by saying that " at this 

time [1826], when the politics of the nation were in bitter 
and vehement controversy between the adherents of 
General Jackson on one side and the Republicans (desig- 
nated in New York as Clintonians and Bucktails), the new 
party of anti-masonry subdivided and distracted all other 
parties, and drew thousands of adherents from them all; 
that in the election of 1829 its candidate for State sena- 
tor in the Vlllth district of New York was elected by 
the unprecedented majority of 8,000; that in the general 
election of 1830, in a poll of 250,000 votes, it failed to 
elevate its candidate to the executive chair by barely 
8,000, and in the election of 1832 in the same State, in 
a poll of 320,000, it was defeated by less than 10,000 
majority; that it diffused itself like wildfire throughout 
the neighboring States, carrying its candidate into the 
gubernatorial chair in Pennsylvania in 1835, and develop- 
ing an astonishing degree of strength in previous years 
in Ohio, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont, in 
which latter State it was triumphant for three years; 
and finally that this unprecedented outbreak of pub- 
lic sentiment found voice in a national convention in 
1831, putting forth the most stringent resolutions against 
the iristitution of free masonry as a platform, and 
nominating candidates upon it who in the States named 
received a large support, and who in the electoral col- 
lege had the seven electoral votes of Vermont.'' 




HE dependence for public conveyance previous 
to the completion of the canal was the stages 
running west from Canandaigua, either to 
Buffalo direct or by way of the Ridge road, 
Lewiston and Niagara Falls. The latter 
route was established in 1816. It was controlled 
at one time by brothers named Coe,living at Buffa- 
lo and Canandaigua,and at another by parties of the name 
of Hildreth. These stages ran one each way every day 
and did a roaring business, which was somewhat impaired 
by the completion of the canal and the establishment of 
the packet lines. In their palmy days they were always 
full, inside and out, of emigrants, business men, and tour- 
ists on the way to Niagara Falls, who would go west from 
Canandaigua by the Ridge road and return from Buffalo 
direct, via Batavia, or vice versa. The Coe coaches were 
met at Wright's Corners by a wagon from Lockport, bring- 
ing mail and passengers for the stage line. They were 
kept running up to about 1850. Passengers paid first or 
second class fare, the former only being assured of inside 
seats, of which there were enough for twelve persons. In 
winter a rectangular box on bobs took the place of the 
wheeled coaches. These stages ran every day in the week. 



In 1828 a number of wealthy gentlemen, principally of 
Rochester, regretting the violation of the Sabbath involv- 
ed in coaching on Sunday, established an opposition line 
to run on week days only, which they called the Pioneer 
line. Their route left the Ridge road at Wright's Cor- 
ners for Lockport, where " Gid " Hersey's coffee house, 
which is still standing in West Main street, was the stop- 
ping place; thence it continued west to Niagara Falls, 
and so to Buffalo. The stages of this line aimed to leave 
Wright's for the east at a different hour from the Goes', 
both to secure a larger share of passengers and to avoid 
running in company with their rivals. When they did 
fall in with each other the drivers had a war of words, and 
sometimes raced their four-horse teams at the top of their 
speed, which the imperfect finish of the road made a 
dangerous proceeding. The Coe line lowered its rates, 
and the other failing to get the mail contract, succumbed 
to the competition and went down after running about 
two years. 

At times, especially in the season of visiting Niagara 
Falls, neither line could accommodate the tide of travel 
with its regular coaches alone; both turned out extra 
teams and wagons, £Lnd eight or ten stages of various sorts, 
heavily loaded, sometimes went west in a day. 

Gaines, Orleans county, was a place for changing teams 
and getting refreshments. The stopping place was the 
old Mansion House, which was succeeded by the Gaines 
House. Gaine? was two hundred and fifty miles from 
Albany by stage, and the trip required about forty-three 
hours, including stops. 

With the advent of railroads the glory of the stage 
and packet lines departed. Several roads were construct- 
ed about the same time, making the three or four years 
beginning with 1835 an era of pioneer railroad building 
in America. In 1835 the Lockport and Niagara Falls 
company began the construction of its line. The road 
started at the corner of Chapel and East Market Streets, 
in Lockport, and running southwesterly a short distance 
turned across the canal at Cady's boat-yard, and by a grade 
which is still traceable reached the end of Glenwood street. 
Along that street, which was originally graded for the rail- 
road, it wound its way up the mountain side, and after 
turning to the south to pass the head of the gorge a mile 
west of Lockport it bore away to the northwest through 
Pekin and nearly to Lewiston, and then turned up to what 
is now Suspension Bridge, whence it ran to the Falls along 
the cliff that overlooks the Niagara river. The track con- 
sisted of oak "mudsills," two and a half inches by twelve 
laid lengthwise of the road, with the ties resting across 
them, and upon the ties four by six inch oak timbers, on 
which were spiked bands or straps of iron. These irons 
had a tendency to work loose at the ends and turn up, 
forming " snakeheads," as they were called, which were 
ready to catch in the bottom of a car, spearing the pas- 
sengers and throwing it off the track. The cats were 
small affairs with four wheels, holding either sixteen or 
twenty-four persons, those of the former class being divi- 
ded into two and the others into three compartments, with 
seats running across, stage coach fashion. They were 

drawn for about two years by horses, when light locomo- 
tives came into use. They often had difficulty in sur- 
mounting the stiff grade which they encountered in leav- 
ing Lockport. 

Meetings were held at Lockport in 1835 in favor of the 
construction of railroads to Batavia and Buffalo, but 
nothing was done. The next enterprise of the kind in 
this region was the building of a horse-car line from Me- 
dina, Orleans county, to Akron, Erie county, in 1836 by 
the Medina and Darien Railroad Company. It was op- 
erated but a short time, as it did not pay, and the track 
was taken up. In the same year enterprising Medina 
took meastires for the building of a railroad to the mouth 
of Oak Orchard creek. The Medina and Ontario Rail- 
road Company was incorporated for that purpose, but the 
line was never built. The history of the Batavia, Albion 
and Oak Orchard Railroad scheme of 1875 is equally 

In July, r836, the Niagara Falls J^our/ml announced 
that the road from Lockport to that place was rapidly 
approaching completion, and that the Buffalo and Niagara 
Falls Railroad was in a similar forward state, cars being 
then running on some part of it. It was expected that 
the track from the Falls to Schlosser and from Black Rock 
to Buffalo would be in use by the first of August, with a 
steamboat completing the connection by several trips 
daily; and that both roads would be ready for the track 
throughout in September. The Buffalo road had been sur- 
veyed in 1834, and the grading partially done in 1835. 
The track, which was laid in 1836, was similar to that of 
the Lockport and Niagara Falls road, consisting of two- 
inch plank laid lengthwise as sleepers, ties resting on 
them three feet apart, and across these (and sunk into 
them for security) four by six inch oak scantling, thirty, 
thirty-three, thirty-six or thirty-nine feet in length, on 
which flat rails of iron, half an inch thick and two and a 
half wide, were fastened by spikes driven about fifteen 
inches apart. The frost heaved up this track so badly 
as to make it unsafe for engines in winter, and horses 
were then used to draw the cars. About 1844 the road 
was reconstructed, the route being also slightly changed. 
Heavier rails were laid, on white oak ties. The cars 
were like those above described, the conductor collecting 
fares by passing along outside on a narrow platform. 
The first conductor was Samuel Hamlin, and the first bag- 
gage master George Hamlin. 

In the latter part of August the Buffalo Courier an- 
nounced that the first locomotive had just been put on 
the track between Tonawanda and Black Rock, and a 
speed of about fifteen miles per hour attained. The 
part from Tonawanda to the Falls was not then finished, 
but must have been soon after. The first engine was the 
" Little Buffalo," and the next the " Niagara." The first 
was run by one Ford, and the other by an engineer named 

On the loth of December, 1850, the Rochester, Lock- 
port and Niagara Falls Railroad Company was organized. 
It bought out the Lockport and Niagara Falls company 
in 1 85 1, and the latter's track was abandoned and taken 



up. Local subscriptions Tvere made along the proposed 
line amounting to $225,000. The first board of directors 
consisted of Joseph B. Varnuni and Edward Whitehouse, 
of New York; Watts Sherman, of Albany; Freeman 
Clarke, Silas O. Smith and A. Boody, of Rochester; Alex- 
is Ward and Roswell W. Burrows, of Albion; and Elias 
B. Holmes, of Brockport. Mr. Varnum was elected pres- 
ident, Mr. Ward vice-president, and Mr. Clarke treas- 
urer. The directors and a few others passed over the 
road June 25th, 1852, and regular trains began running 
on the 30th. The first one between Rochester and Lock- 
port was drawn by the engine ■' Niagara," and made fifty 
miles per hour part of the way. The new road and the 
other lines running through central and western New 
York were consolidated, May 7th, 1853, to form the New 
York Central. The branch from Lockport junction to 
Tonawanda was built by the Rochester, Lockport and 
Niagara Falls Company in 1852, and opened in Janu- 
ary, 1853. 

At the same time with the Central there was organized 
a company which built the Canandaigua and Niagara Falls 
Railroad. The line was opened to the Falls July ist, 
1853, and to Suspension Bridge October ist, 1854. 
March 22nd, 1857, it was bought by 'James M. Brown 
and other parties in Europe, to whorti it was heavily 
mortgaged, who changed the name to Niagara Bridge and 
Canandaigua Railroad, and immediately leased it for 
ninety-nine years to the Central company, which changed 
its original broad gauge to the standard gauge of four feet, 
eight and a half inches. The first president of the road 
was a Mr. Bond, of Honeyoye Falls; and the first super- 
intendent, Mr. Lapham, of Canandaigua. 

The Suspension Bridge and Erie Junction branch of 
the Erie railway, from Buffalo to Suspension Bridge, was 
built in the fall and winter of 1870 and 1871. Freight 
trains were run over the road in the winter of 1870-1. 
The road was not formally opened for the transaction of 
all business until May isth. 187 1. Passenger trains com- 
menced running on that day. The first train for Sus- 
pension Bridge left Buffalo at 5.55 A. M., drawn by 
engine 189, with A. Hale, engineer — -Kirse fireman, 
— Davis baggageman; — Collins brakerhan and I. A. Wald- 
ron conductor, and arrived at Suspension Bridge at 7. 1 5 A. 
M. The first for Buffalo left Suspension Bridge at 5.50 
A. M., drawn by engine 413, James Gates engineer, A_ 
L. Gire fireman ; — Whitman was baggageman, — Decker 
brakeman, and J. C. Davenport conductor. The train 
arrived at Buffalo at 7.24 A. M. The first superintend- 
ent of the division was H. C. Fisk, of Buffalo. The 
present superintendent is R. G. Taylor, of Buffalo. The 
first station agent at North Tonawanda after the road 
was opened was W. H. Upson, who is the present agent. 

On the 9th of September, 1852, the Niagara Falls and 
Lake Ontario Railroad Company was incorporated to 
build a line from Niagara Falls to Youngstown. Benjamin 
Pringle was president, John Porter vice-president, Bradley 
D. Davis secretary and William S. Mallory treasurer. 
This road, so remarkable for the amount of rock cutting 
required in its construction, and for its position in part on 

a narrow shelf in the cliff that towers above the rapid 
waters of the Niagara between the' Devil's Hole and Lew- 
iston, was graded and opened down to that village in 
1854. On the 2ist of October, i8's5, a train was run over 
the line to Youngstown, and soon' afterward work on this 
part of the road was suspended and the track taken up. 
Had the project been carried forward and the Hne put in 
operation, Youngstown would probably have been the 
port for the Lake Ontario steamers, and would have 
taken much of the business which now centers at Lewis- 
ton and Niagara Falls. The portion of the road that was 
built was subsequently leased and is now operated by the 
Central company. 

In May, 1874, the " Niagara River and Air Line Rail- 
road Company " elected directors from Lockport, Medina, 
Albion, HoUey, Brockport and Spencerport, and as presi- 
dent J. W. Helmer, of Lockport; A year later the com- 
pany voted to disband. 

In the spring of 1870 the Lake Ontario Shore Railroad 
Company was organized at Oswego. The road which the 
company was formed to build was intended to be part of 
a future trunk line from Boston to the west. The town 
of Kendall, Orleans county, gave its bonds for $60,000 
worth of the stock ; Yates, $106,000 ; Somerset, Niagara 
county, $90,000 ; Newfane, $8^,000 ; Wilson, $117,000 ; 
Lewiston, $152,000. The work of construction proceed- 
ed slowly. Litigation over the town bonds checked 
their sale, and crippled the company so that it could not 
complete the road. In May, 1874, the Rome, Water- 
town and Ogdensburg company assumed the undertaking. 
The road was then principally graded, but it was more 
than a year later before the bridges on the western part 
of the line were finished. The road through Orleans and 
Niagara counties was graded by Hunter & Co. of Ster- 
ling Valley, Cayuga county. In the latter part of July, 
1875, the track was laid twenty miles west of the Gene- 
see river, and was carried through Orleans county during 
the autumn and to I-ewiston in the following spring. 
The first passenger train ran over the western portion 
June 12th, 1876. The road was built at an average 
cost of $20,000 per mile. The wrought iron bridge over 
Eighteen-mile creek rests on twelve piers, and is 390 feet 
in length and 78 feet above the water. 

In 1876 the Lockport and Buffalo Railroad Company 
was organized, with T. T. Flagler president, B. H. 
Fletcher vice-president, and Elisha Moody, Lewis S. 
Payne and Benjamin Carpenter in the directorship. A. 
R. Trew was the chief engineer, and M. Lally contractor. 
Lockport gave bonds for $100,000 worth of the stock. 
Early in 1877 the grading and bridge building were sub- 
stantially finished from Lockport to Tonawanda, and ties 
distributed along the line. In that state the enterprise 
remains. The Central company resisted the crossing of 
its track by the proposed road, but was beaten in the 
courts. At a meeting of the stockholders on the 9th of 
July, 1877, the following board of directors was chosen: 
T. T. Flagler, B. H. Fletcher, J. A. Ward, John Hodge, 
James Jackson, jr; Benjamin Carpenter, Lewis S. Payne, 
J. L. Breyfogle, Josiah H. Helmer, Elisha Moody, J. C. 



Jackson, L. F. Bowen and I. H. Babcock. 

The first two were re-elected president and vice-presi- 
dent, Mr. Ward secretary, and Mr. Hodge treasurer. A 
road from Lockport to Olcott was contemplated in con- 
nection with the Lockport and Buffalo, but nothing was 
done toward its construction. 



*T is time we noticed the so-called " patriot 
war " of 1837-8. 

In 1837 a feeble insurrection against the 
British government broke out among the 
Roman Catholic French of lower Canada, 
and soon spread to upper Canada. There were 
then, as there always have been since, persons on 
the borders of New York who imagined the Canadians 
to be an oppressed people, anxious to revolutionize their 
government and join the United States. The excitement 
in this case infected the frontier population of this State, 
until it was estimated that one-fourth of the able-bodied 
men were " professed friends and abettors " of the in- 
surgents. Emissaries were sent out in New York who 
formed a secret organization by which the "patriots," as 
they styled themselves, could be rallied and handled when 
their services should be required. The New York sym- 
pathizers with the insurrection were discountenanced by 
the better part of the citizens of the State, and the Presi- 
dent issued a proclamation ordering the preservation of 
neutrality, which made no impression on the patriots. 

By the middle of December, 1837, a few hundred of 
them, crossing from Schlosser, armed with weapons fur- 
nished by private contribution or stolen from a State de- 
pository — among the latter a number of cannon — had as- 
sembled on Navy Island, preparatory to an invasion of 
the Canadian mainland. They were led by one Rensselaer 
Yan Rensselaer, who is generally said to have been a son 
of Colonel Solomon Van Rensselaer, though it is denied 
by Mr. Edward Mansfield, author of " The Life of Gen- 
eral Winfield Scott." 

On the 29th of December the little steam-boat " Caro- 
line," belonging to Mr. William Wells, of Buffalo, made 
two or three trips between Schlosser and the island, trans- 
porting men and munitions of war to Van Rensselaer's 
camp, and finally lay up at the Schlosser landing. That 
night a British party crossed the river, and after a fight 
in which one New York man was killed and several wound- 
ed, set fire to the Caroline and cut the craft loose, so that 
she drifted over the falls, below which the charred frag- 
ments were afterward found. Some twenty-five men be- 
side the crew were on the boat at the time of the attack 

and as part of them were missed after the affair it was be- 
lieved that they perished in the burning vessel or on the 
rocks beneath the tall. 

The destruction of the " Caroline " was an authorized 
proceeding and a palpable invasion of United States ter- 
ritory. As such it created the greatest indignation 
throughout the country. A spirited diplomatic corres- 
pondence with the English government grew out of it, by 
which the aggrieved party obtained no redress. Captain 
James Van Cleve, of Lewiston, gives us the following his- 
tory of the " Caroline :" 

"This celebrated little steamer was built in the city 
of New York between the years 1820 and 1825 by Com- 
modore C. Vanderbilt. Her engine was a Square low 
pressure, built in New York. She was run for a time on 
Albemarle Sound. About 1834 she was brought from 
Albany through the Erie Canal to Lake Ontario at Os- 
wego, and for a time run as a ferry boat between Og- 
densburgh and Prescott, after which she passed through 
the Welland Canal into Lake Erie. During the Canadian 
rebellion in 1837 she was running between Buffalo and 
Schlosser landing. While on this route she was taken 
in the night of the 29th of December by the English at 
the dock, set on fire and sent over the falls. During the 
attack on the boat Mr. Durfee, of Buffalo, was killed and 
several wounded. Captain G. Appleby, of Buffalo, was 
in command of the ' Caroline ' at the time. Her bow- 
sprit was picked up in the river at Fort Niagara by 
Colonel E. Jewett, and presented by him to Mr. Moly 
neux, and is now a hitching post in front of Molyneux's 
tavern, twelve miles east of Lewiston on the Ridge road 
Colonel Jewett died at Santa Barbara, in California, on 
the iSth of May, 1877, in the 86th year of his age." 

The " Caroline " outrage recruited the ranks of the 
patriots from a better class . of citizens than had before 
joined them, and more energetic measures on the part of 
the government were necessary to keep the peace. Gen- 
eral Scott was sent to the Niagara frontier, whither he 
was accompanied by Governor Marcy. A considerable 
force of troops; including Randall's brigade of artillery, 
was collected at Buffalo. In anticipation of another attack 
at Schlosser the army was marched to that point in 
January, 1838, but had nothing to do, and returned to 

A few days later the troops took position at Black 
Rock. After the destruction of the " Caroline " the 
patriots had the steamboat " Barcelona " brought down 
from Buffalo to serve as their ferry boat. General Scott 
circumvented them by hiring the craft for the United 
States, and she was ordered to return up the river on the 
i6th. The British authorities were watching her, and had 
stationed three armed schooners just above Grand Island 
with a view to attacking the steamboat as she passed up. 
A British land force was under arms on the Canadian 
shore. Scott had on the preceding day warned the English 
commander that he was prepared to restrain the fillibus- 
ters from hostilities, and would consider a fire upon the 
" Barcelona " a breach of neutrality. The warning was re- 
peated on the morning of the i6th, and the general had 



now drawn up his men and planted his cannon on the New 
York bank. The gunners had their matches lighted to 
apply if the British fired on the ascending vessel.- They 
did not, and an international war was as narrowly avoided 
as ever in the history of the world. 

On the previous day Van Rensselaer, seeing that he 
should lose the " Barcelona," gave up trying to maintain 
himself on the island, under a cannonade from the Cana- 
dian mainland, and his party retired to the New York 
shore and dispersed. They gave up their cannon to the 
State authorities, but five of the guns were returned to a 
delegation of another party of patriots on their presenting 
a forged order (purporting to be signed by General Scott) 
to Colonel Harry B. Ransom, who had the artillery in his 
charge at Tonawanda, where he was stationed with a body 
of mihtia. The fiUibusters were soon scattered, however, 
by a United States marshal, and the cannon once more 
restored to their rightful owner. The insurrection in 
Canada was soon crushed. William Lyon Mackenzie, 
the leader, escaped to New York, and a requisition, for 
his surrender was disregarded by Governor Marcy. 

One of the ever to be remembered institutions in the 
earlier history of this section was the militia. There are 
few incidents of any nature that are recounted with more 
pleasure by the old men or listened to more attentively 
by the rising generation than those of the memorable 
drills and musters. The militia consisted of all the able- 
bodied white male citizens between the ages of eighteen 
and forty-five. State officers, clergymen, school teachers 
and some others when actively employed, were exempt 
from military duty. Students in colleges or academies, 
employees on coasting vessels and in certain factories, 
and members of fire companies were also exempt, except 
in cases of insurrection or invasion. Persons whose only 
bar to military service was religious scruples could pur- 
chase exemption for a stated sum annually. The major- 
general, brigade-inspector and chief of the staff depart- 
ment, except the adjutant and commissary generals, were 
appointed by the State. Colonels were chosen by the 
captains and subalterns of their regiments, and these 
latter by the written ballots of their respective regiments 
and separate battalions. The commanding officers of 
regiments or battalions appointed their staff officers. 
Every non-commissioned officer and private was obliged 
to equip and uniform himself, and perform military duty 
fifteen years from his enrollment, after which he was ex- 
empt, except in cases of insurrection or invasion. A non- 
commissioned officer, however, could get excused from 
duty in seven years, by furnishing himself with certain 
specified equipments, other than those required by law. 
It was the duty of the commanding officer of each com- 
pany to enroll all military subjects within the limits of 
his jurisdiction, and they must equip themselves within 
six months after being notified. 

On the first Monday in September of each year, every 
company of the militia was obliged to assemble within its 
geographical limits for training. One day in each year, 
between the ist of September and the 15th of October, 
at a place designated by the commander of the brigade, 

the regiment was directed to assemble for a general train- 
ing. All the officers of each regiment or battalion were 
required to rendezvous two days in succession in June, 
July or August, for drill under the brigade-inspector. 
A colonel also appointed a day for the commissioned offi- 
cers and musicians of his regiment to meet for drill, the 
day after the last mentioned gathering being generally 
selected. Each militiaman was personally notified of an 
approaching muster, by a non-commissioned officer bear- 
ing a warrant from the commandant of his company; or 
he might be summoned without a warrant by a commis- 
sioned officer, either by visit or letter. A failure to ap- 
pear, or to bring the necessary equipments, resulted in a 
court martial and a fine, unless a good excuse could be 
given; delinquents who could not pay were imprisoned 
in the county jail. When a draft was ordered for public 
service it was made by lot in each company, which was 
ordered out on parade for that purpose. 

" General training " was usually regarded as a pleasant 
occasion by the men, as it gave them a chance to meet 
many acquaintances; and was the holiday of the year for 
the boys. Provided with a few pennies to buy the inev- 
itable ginger bread from the inevitable peddler, they were 
happier than the lads of to-day would be with shillings to 
spend among the greatest variety of knicknacks. The 
place of meeting and the extent of the parade ground 
were designated by the commanding officer. The sale of 
spirituous liquors on the ground could only be carried on 
by permission of the same official. Total abstinence was 
not the rule, however, on such occasions; and an officer 
who had the right to throw away the contents of a pri- 
vate bcFtle did not always practice such extravagant 
wastefulness, particularly if fond of the " critter," being 
persuaded that if spared some of the beverage would ul- 
timately find its way down his own throat. 

Of general trainings, a veteran of those days writes as 
follows : " Although the companies exhibited the elite of 
our regimental splendors, glittering with tinsel and flaunt- 
ing with feathers, a more heterogeneous and unsoldierly 
parade could scarcely be imagined. There were the 
elect from the mountains, who sometimes marched to the 
rendezvous barefoot, carrying their boots and soldier 
clothes in a bundle — the ambitious cobblers, tailors, and 
plough-boys from cross-road hamlets and remote rural 
districts, short, tall, fat, skinny, bow-legged, sheep- 
shanked, cock-eyed, hump-shouldered, and sway-backed — 
equipped by art as economically, awkwardly, and variously 
as they were endowed by nature, uniformed in contempt 
of all uniformity, armed with old flint-lock muskets, 
horsemen's carbines, long squirrel rifles, double-barrelled 
shot-guns, bell-muzzled blunderbusses, with side-arms of 
as many different patterns, from the old dragoon sabre 
that had belonged to Harry Lee's Legion, to the slim 
basket-hilted rapier which had probably graced the thigh 
of some of our French allies in the Revolution. The 
officers of the volunteer companies, on the other hand, 
were generally selected for their handsome appearance 
and martial bearing, and shone with a certain elegance of 
equipment, each in the uniform pertaining to his company. 



There was also a sprinkling of ex-veterans of 1812, recog- 
nizable by a certain martinet precision in their deport- 
ment, and a shadow of contempt for their crude comrades, 
but quick to resent any extraneous comment derogatory 
to the service. A city dandy who undertook to ridicule 
the old fashioned way in which some officers carried their 
swords, was silenced by the snappish reply: ' Young man, 
I've seen the best troops of Great Britain beaten by men 
who carried their swords that way.' This harlequinade of 
equipment, costume, and character was duly paraded 
twice a day, marched through the streets, and put through 
its manoeuvres on the green commons adjoining the vil- 
lage, much to the satisfaction of all emancipated school- 
boys, ragamuffins, idlers, tavern-keepers, and cake and 
beer vendors, and somewhat, perhaps, to the weariness 
of industrious mechanics who had apprentices to man- 
age, and busy housewives who depended on small boys 
for help." 

The militia history of Niagara county is much the 
same as. that of other localities, and its beginning dates 
back to an early day. From 1830 to i860 the militia was 
an institution in this section. As early as 1835 it is said 
there were three, regiments in the county, though it is 
not probable that there were more than a few hundred 
men in each. Among other early organizations of this 
kind may be mentioned a company under command of 
Captain Woodward, and Captain Mapes's independent 
company of Lockport. 

The older residents of the county remember the sixty- 
sixth regiment, made up of soldiers from all parts of the 
county, many of whom had been members of the earlier 
regiments, which had been disbanded in consequence of 
changes in the militia laws. The date of the organization 
and the names of the first officers of this regiment are not 
accessible. One of the early commanding officers was 
Colonel (formerly Captain) Isaac Mapes, who w;as suc- 
ceeded by Colonel Brown, with Solomon B. Moore as 
lieutenant-colonel and Peter Griner as major. The next 
who succeeded to the command of the regiment was Col- 
oiiel E, D. Shuler, who had been an adjutant under Col- 
onel Brown, with Dudley Donnelly as lieutenant-colonel. 
The organization of the regiment was as follows : An ar- 
tillery company of Wilson, Captain Luther Wilson ; an 
artillery company of Newfane, Captain Ira Tompkins ; an 
infantry company of Wilson, Captain Loren D. Wilson ; 
an infantry company of Niagara ; an infantry company of 
Lockport, Captain James O. McClure ; the Lockport 
light dragoons. Captain B. H. Fletcher ; the " Irish 
Greens " of Lockport, Captain Thomas Kennedy, and an 
infantry company of Medina, Orleans county, under Cap- 
tain Bowen. 

The brigade districts were changed frequently, and at 
different times this regiment was in the brigades of Gen- 
eral Gustavus Adolphus Scroggs, of Buffalo, General 
Burroughs, of Medina, Orleans county, and General Wil- 
liams, of Rochester. During the summer and autumn 
months street parades were held as often as once in eight 
or twelve weeks. A four days' encampment, under the 
name of " Camp Steuben," was held at Buffalo one year. 

with General Scroggs in command. In July, 1858, the 
Lockport light dragoons went into camp for three days at 
Olcott, and in October of that year the sixty-sixth regi- 
ment encamped at Lockport for four days. 

The Lockport light dragoons were organized in the 
fall of 1856. The company consisted of forty-two en- 
rolled and uniformed members, equipped for both cavalry 
and infantry service. The first officers were B. H. 
Fletcher, captain ; H. D. Oakley, first lieutenant ; J. L. 
Breyfogle, second lieutenant, and George R. Keep, or- 
derly sergeant. The company, like other militia organi- 
zations, disbanded at the outbreak of the late war, in 
which a number of its members held ' commissions and 
distinguished themselves for faithfulness and bravery. 
Among th^m were the following, whose names are well 
known throughout the county : Captain \V. W. Bush, 
the first man to enlist in his Congressional district; Adju- 
tant Charles P. Sprout, Lieutenant Samuel Sully, Captain 
James Maginnis and Captain William Hawkins. The 
career of these men in the Rebellion was of an eventful 
character, exhibiting all of the crudest and most forbid- 
ding experiences of the battle-field and the prison-pen. 
Captain Bush was wounded at Cedar Mountain and taken 
prisoner, and kept in irons at Staunton, Virginia. Adju- 
tant Sprout was killed in the same engagement. Lieu- 
tenant Sully received wounds at Cold Harbor, from the 
effects of which he died after his return to Niagara 
county. Captain Maginnis was killed at Ream's Station. 
Captain Hawkins was wounded by the explosion of a 
magazine on Maryland Heights. Recovering, he again 
went to the front only to receive injuries in the battle of 
Cold Harbor from which he subsequently died at George- 
town, D. C. 




HE project of constructing a canal from the 
navigable waters of the Niagara river above 
the falls to the navigable waters below is one 
that has, from time to time, engaged the at- 
tention of civil engineers and capitalists in all 
parts of the Union for more than a century. 

The first company having the consummation of 
this scheme for its object was incorporated in the year 
1798, and it is stated that a survey was made soon after- 
ward. As early as 1808, in pursuance of a resolution of 
the Senate, the Secretary of the Treasury submitted to 
that body an able and elaborate report on the subject of 
roads and canals, in which, among others of public inter- 
est that might require the aid of the government, was 
suggested a canal around the falls of Niagara. 



A paper prepared by the late Amos S. Tryon, of Lew- 
iston, and read before a national commercial convention 
held in Detroit in December, 1871, to consider the ques- 
tion of increased facilities for transportation from the 
west to the seaboard, contained a sketch of the history of 
fome of the attempts to carry this enterprise to a suc- 
cessful end, from which the following is condensed : 

In the year 1823, while the Erie Canal was being con- 
structed, a general desire existed to see a ship canal built 
around the falls of Niagara. This desire took expression 
inthe form of an organized company, which was chartered 
in April, 1823. It was empowered to hold all necessary 
property and to " open navigation from the Niagara river 
above the falls thereof to the heights near the village of 
Lewiston." The company was composed of influential 
persons of Lewiston and vicinity, and it sought to carry 
out the wishes of the people, with whom its members 
were daily conversant. Under the auspices of Nathan 
Roberts, an engineer of the Erie Canal from its beginning, 
a survey was made for the contemplated ship canal pur- 
suant to charter. Beginning at the mouth of Gill creek, 
two miles above the falls, a line was run about due north 
to the brow of the mountain just above the village of 
Lewiston. Roberts made full and careful reports, show- 
ing that the canal could be constructed on that route, 
with single locks, for a trifle less than $1,000,000. The 
project failed, notwithstanding this favorable report, for 
want of means to carry it on. 

The scheme had grown into national prominence in 
another decade, and in 1836 Captain W. G. Williams, 
Topographical Engineer of the United States Army, was 
sent by President Jackson to make surveys " preparatory 
to the construction of a ship canal around the falls of 
Niagara." Accordingly surveys were made, one of which 
followed that of Mr. Roberts, on a due north course 
from Gill creek to the top of the mountain. The cost 
of construction, including the locks, was estimated at 
$3,000,000, labor and material being more expensive at 
that time than in 1823. The failure of this project may 
be attributed in part, at least, to the financial crisis of 


From that time onward till about the year 1863, the 
matter of a Niagara ship canal lay dormant. In that 
year it came before the President and Congress, and a 
new survey was ordered in 1868 ; in pursuance of this 
order several different lines were run and reports were 
prepared and the matter laid before Congress for its sanc- 
tion. It was put to vote and lost by a small majority. 

Such, in brief, is the history of the more important of 
the projects to construct a Niagara ship canal. The mat- 
ter has been discussed in the leading newspapers of the 
United States and Europe ; it has been introduced in 
conventions of business men and before boards of trade 
in the east and west, before the legislatures of different 
States, and before the Congress of the United States, 
and it is probable that no other similar enterprise 
has become more widely known, or its advantages more 
generally appreciated. In view of these facts it is con- 
fidently believed by many that a Niagara ship canal will 

yet be a reality, supplying to the United States a great 
competing line between the producers of the west and the 
markets of the east with the Welland ship canal of Canada. 

The account of the commercial interests of Niagara 
county and reminiscences of the vessels connected with 
them which compose the remainder of this chapter were 
furnished us by Captain James Van Cleve, of Lewiston. 

In 1780, during the American Revolution, his 
Majesty's ship " Ontario," of 22 guns. Captain Andrews 
left the Niagara river with troops, for Oswego, and foun-' 
dered on the passage ; 172 persons perished. 

The first vessel built on the New York side of Lake 
Ontario after the Revolution was built by Eli Granger 
at Hanford's Landing, on the Genesee river, in 1797, 
and named " Jemima " ; she was a craft of 30 tons. In 
1798 Augustus and Peter B. Porter bought this vessel; 
the original bill of sale is in possession of Albert H. Por- 
ter, of Niagara Falls. 

In 1803 the sloop "Niagara" was built at Cayuga 

The Niagara portage company owned or controlled 
many vessels plying between Oswego and Lewiston, trans- 
porting salt, iherchandise, etc., to pass over the portage. 
Among the vessels were the schooners " Niagara," 
"Ontario," and "Charles and Ann." The last was 
named for two children of Jacob Townsend. Many other 
vessels, not directly owned by the portage company, ran 
in connection with it between Oswego and Lewiston. 
The following named individuals and firms were directly 
or indirectly connected with the portage between Lewis- 
ton and Lake Erie : Archibald Fairchild owned two ves- 
sels in Oswego ; Matthew McNair & Co., of Oswego, 
owned a number ; also Townsend, Bronson & Co. Sharp 
& Vaughn, of Oswego, owned a vessel named " Jane," of 
Genesee ; Bronson & Co., of Oswego, owned many ves- 
sels, and Henry Eagle two or three ; John T. Trowbridge 
and Captain Joseph Whitney were owners of the schooner 
" Mary Ann." In addition to the foregoing named 
parties, many individuals owning vessels at various ports 
on the lake employed them in transporting salt, etc., 
to Lewiston, to be carted over the portage. 

The first steamboat that arrived in Niagara county, 
and at Lewiston, was the " Ontario " of about 240 
tons. She was the first steamboat built upon the great 
North American lakes. Captain Van Cleve was clerk 
on board of her from 1826 to 1830. The "Ontario'' 
was built at Sackett's Harbor in 1816 ; the ship car- 
penter was Asahel Roberts. The boat was no feet 
long, with twenty-four feet beam and eight and a half feet 
depth of hold. She was fitted with a low pressure 
engine of thirty-four inch cylinder, four feet stroke and 
two single flue boilers without return flues ; and her rig 
was two masts with three fore and aft sails. She was well 
built. Her first commander was Captain Francis Malla- 
by U. S. N. She made her first trip in April, 181 7. Her 
owners were Major-General Jacob Brown, U. S. A., Com- 
modore M. T. Woolsey, U. S. N., Jacob Warring, Hooker 
& Crane, and Elisha Camp, of Sackett's Harbor ; Eri 
Lusher, of Ogdensburg ; Charles Smyth, of Oswego ; 


Abram Van Sanford, David Boyd and John I. De 
Graff, of New York. The "Ontario " was not only the 
first steamboat on the lakes, but was the first on 
waters subject to swell or waves, and determined the in- 
teresting problem whether steamboats were adapted to 
the navigation of open water as well as rivers. On her 
first appearance at the different ports about the lake - 
and river St. Lawrence she was greeted with great 
In 1817 President Monroe visited Niagara county. 
He landed at Fort Niagara from the U. S. brig "Jeffer- 
son," from Sackett's Harbor, and continued his journey to 
Lewiston, Niagara Falls and Buffalo. 

The first English steamer built on Lake Ontario was 
the " Frontenac,'' of 700 tons, which appeared in the 
Niagara river in 1818; she was commanded by Captain 
James McKenzie. 

The steamer " Canada," built at Toronto in 1826 by 
Captain Hugh Richardson, ran as a packet between the 
Niagara river and Little York (now Toronto). 

The steamer " Queenston" was built in 1824 at Queens- 
ton by John Hamilton; she came out in 1825 under com- 
mand of Captain Joseph Whitney. 

The steamer " Transit," owned by Captain Hugh 
Richardson, ran as a packet between Lewiston and To- 
ronto from 183s to 1842. 

The steamer "Chief Justice Robinson," owned and 
commanded by Captain Hugh Richardson, ran as a favor- 
ite packet between Lewiston and Toronto from 1842 to 

The small steamers " Queen" and " Gore " ran between 
Lewiston and Toronto from 1837 to 1840. They were 
irregular in their movements. 

The steamer "Great Britain," 500 tons, came out in 
1 83 1 under command of Captain Joseph Whitney, late of 
Lewiston. She was owned by Hon. John Hamilton, and 
ran as a regular passenger packet between Lewistdn and 
Prescott for ten years. 

The iron steamer " Peerless," Captain Thomas Dick, 
ran as a packet between Lewiston and Toronto for a 
short time, about 1855 to 1857. She was sold to the 
United States during , the Rebellion, and lost off Cape 
Hatteras in the' Port Royal expedition. 

Tlie steamer " Zimmerman," Captain Milloy, from 
1856 to 1 86 1 ran as a packet between Lewiston and 
Toronto. She was burnt in the night when lying at the 
dock at Niagara, in 1861. 

The steamer " City of Toronto" is now running upon 
the route between Lewiston and Toronto. 

The steamer " Southern Belle" has for the past three 
or four years been running between Youngstown, Niagara 
and Toronto. She is an iron boat, built for blockade 
running during the Rebellion. 

Soon after the war of 1812, the timber trade of Niagara 
county became a business of large proportions. The 
timber and staves were drawn out of the forest to Lewis- 
ton, Youngstown and various places along the lake shore 
within the county. Those collected along the lake shore 
were rafted off to vessels lying at anchor near the shore 

in fair weather. The timber and staves shipped at the 
various places mentioned were discharged at Cape Vin- 
cent, Carlton Island, Clayton and other points in the 
St. Lawrence river, formed into large rafts and floated 
down to Montreal and Quebec. Jesse Smith and E. G. 
Merick were prominent parties in this trade, also O. P. 
Starky, and Ainsworth & Lee of Cape Vincent. 

On the trade in the products of the forest Mr. Turner 
gave, in the History of the Holland Purchase, the follow- 
ing paragraph, his informant being Mr. James Mather, 
an Orleans county pioneer, who understood that the busi- 
ness began in that county : 

"In 1817 and 1818 it was extended along the lake to 
the Niagara river; the mouths of Oak Orchard, the Eight- 
een [mile], the Twelve [mile creeks], Youngstown and 
Lewiston were the principal depots. The trade was at 
first in butt staves; ship timber followed and continued 
until the fine groves of oak between ridge and lake have 
pretty much disappeared. As soon as the canal was com- 
pleted as far west as Lockport the commerce in staves, 
and ship timber commenced upon it. Daniel Washburn 
and Otis Hathaway first engaged in the business at Lock- 
port, under a large contract with the eminent ship-builder 
in New York, Henry Eckford. The fine oak that grew 
in the immediate vicinity of Lockport was used to fill 
their contract. Since that the business of shipping staves 
and timber from Lockport and other points on the canal 
and Tonawanda creek has continued, employing in the 
earliest years of canal navigation a large amount of capi- 
tal and labor." 

The next American steamer that visited Niagara county 
after the " Ontario," was the "Martha Ogden," built at 
Sackett's Harbor in 1824. In 1827 she ran as a packet 
between Youngstown and Toronto (then Little York). 
Captain Andrew Estis was in command. 

The next New York steamer of importance that ap- 
peared in Niagara county was the fine vessel " United 
States," of about 500 tons, under the command of Elias 
Trowbridge, in July, 1832; she ran as a passenger boat 
for ten years between St. La-wrence and Niagara counties. 
She was built in Ogdensburg. Captain Trowbridge was 
succeeded by Captain R. J. Van Dewater in 1833. Cap- 
tain Van Dewater was succeeded in 1835 by Captain 
James Van Cleve, who" in November, 1838, was drawn 
with the steamer into trouble during the Canadian rebel- 
lion in the attack on Prescott. A cannon shot passed 
through the steering room and took off the head of his 
steersman. Soon after this serious part of the farce the 
steamer was seized by the United States marshal. 

The late Captain Joseph Whitney of Lewiston was in 
command of the " United States " in 1839, 1840 and 1841. 
Captain William Williams, of Oswego, commanded her 
in 1842, at the end of which season she was broken up. 

The next steamer visiting Niagara county was the " Os- 
wego," under command of Captain Macy, in 1834. She 
was driven on shore above Oswego in a snow storm, about 
the middle of May in that year. She was built in Oswego, 
and was a craft of about 400 tons. 

The steamer " St. Lawrence," of about 500 tons, built 


in Oswego, next appeared in Niagara county, under com- 
mand of Captain John Evans, in 1839. Her engines were 
those formerly in the " Oswego." Captain James Van 
Cleve, of Lewiston, became part owner of her, and com- 
manded her for seven years until she was broken up. 

The steamer " Oneida," built at Pultneyville in 1835, 
ran for a short time between Oswego and Niagara coun- 
ties. She was a vessel of 300 tons. 

In 1843 the steamer "Lady of the Lake," Captain J. 
J. Taylor, commenced her regular trips between Niagara 
county and Ogdensburg. She was of 425 tons. She 
was finally sold to parties in Canada and burnt in the 
harbor of Toronto. 

The steamer " Rochester " was the next to visit Niagara 
county, which she did under command of Captain George 
S. Weeks in 1844. She ran between Lewiston and Og- 
densburg, and was for some years under command of 
Captain H. N. Throop. 

In November, 1841, the "Vandalia," the pioneer pro- 
peller on the North American lakes, when on her experi- 
mental trip from Oswego to the head of Lake Ontario, 
under command of Captain Rufus Hawkins, visited 
Youngstown. She was built in Oswego and excited much 

The steamer "Niagara," 473 tons, made her appear- 
ance at Lewiston in 1845, under command of Captain R. 
F. Child. She was built at Clayton, in Jefferson county, 
and run on the route between Lewiston and Ogdens- 

The steamer "Cataract," 577 tons, was built at Clayton, 
in 1846, and made her first trip in June, 1847, under 
command of Captain James Van Cleve, from Ogdensburg 
to Lewiston. 

The steamer "Ontario," 832 tons, was built at Clayton 
in 1847, and came out in 1848 under command of Cap- 
tain H. N. Throop. She ran upon the route between 
Lewiston and Ogdensburg. 

The steamer "Bay State," 1,098 tons, was built at 
Clayton in 1848, and came out in 1849 under command 
of Captain Van Cleve. She was run between Lewiston 
and Ogdensburg. 

The steamer " Northerner," 905 tons, was built in Os- 
wego, came out in 1850 under command of Captain R. 
F. Child, and ran between Lewiston and Ogdensburg. 
She was taken down the St. Lawrence and out to sea 
during the Rebellion, and sold to the government. 

The steamer "New York," 1,200 tons, was built at 
Clayton in 185 1 and the next season was under command 
of Captain R. B. Chapman, who commanded her for five 
years. Captain Van Cleve commanded her in 1859 and 
186c, after which she was run down the St. Lawrence and 
out to sea and chartered to the government during the 
Rebellion. She is now (1878) running on the coast of 
Maine. She was the last large side-wheel passenger 
steamer built on the New York side of Lake Ontario. 

During the existence of the New York passenger 
steamers on Lake Ontario the amount of wood alone con- 
sumed by them from the forests of Niagara county was 
enormous, and its use was of great advantage to all inter- 
ests in the countv. 

On the completion of the railroads on both sides of 
Lake Ontario, the interest invested in steamers on the 
New York side of the lake became of no value as an in- 
vestment. The capital of the company owning the nine 
or ten steamers was $500,000; the whole property was sold 
for $84,000. 

The steamer " Maid of the Mist " (second of the name) 
commenced running as a ferry boat immediately below the 
Falls of Niagara in 1854; Captain Baily was in charge. 
Not proving a profitable investment she was, in 1861, run 
down the grand rapids from the Falls to Lewiston to 
avoid falling into the hands of the sheriff. As the trip 
was made at great hazard of lives and boat, this extraor- 
dinary pioneer passage caused great excitement in the 
community. When making her first great plunge in the 
rapid just below the lower suspension bridge, her smoke 
pipe was carried away; otherwise the boat received no 
serious injury from her perilous and exciting trip down 
the great gorge of the Niagara river. She was navigated 
by Joel Robinson, a ferryman at Niagara Falls. 

The following schooners were built at Youngstown in 
the years mentioned: "R. H. Boughton," 1829 (she 
was the first vessel passed through the Welland Canal at 
its opening); "Lewis Shicklona," 1836; "John Porter," 
1838; "Star," 1848; "F-rank Pierce," 1853; "Cheney 
Ames," 1873; " Challenge," 1852. A schooner called 
the " Massachusetts " was owned in Youngstown in 1839^ 
after having been on shore all winter near Wilson harbor. 

In November, 1871, the schooner "W. I. Preston," 
Captain James Tifft, of Oswego, went on shore near Six- 
mile creek, east of Fort Niagara, loaded with wheat, and 
was got off and taken into Youngstown, where she sunk 
and, remained all winter, when she was raised with much 
trouble and taken to Oswego. 

The following vessels have been built at Wilson: 
schooners — " R. F. Wilson," 1846; " Niagara," 1847 ; 
" Emblem," 1848; " Forest," 1849; " Almira,"i849; " En- 
terprise," 1850; "Geraldine," 1850; "Josephine," 1853; 
" Belle Adkins," 1854; "Active," 1862; "Meteor," 1863; 
"Eureka," 1863; "Fleet Wing," 1863; "Pilot," 1866; 
"Plow Boy," 1875; "Trader," 1875; "Union," 1876; 
scow, "Live Oak," 1867. 

In 1831 the schooner "Henry Clay," of Oswego, Cap- 
tain Campbell, capsized off Fort Niagara. Two of the 
crew were saved; the captain and a young son of Captain 
Elias Trowbridge, of Oswego, were lost. The vessel was 
new and on her first trip. She was owned by Henry 
Fitzhiigh, of Oswego. 

The following schooners have been built at Olcott: 
the " Monterey," built in 1847; "Gem," 1849; "Conquest," 
1853; "Governor Hunt," 1853; "Ruby," 1854; "Joseph 
Grant," 1855; "Corsican," 1862. In 18 19 there were two 
small vessels owned at Olcott; one was called the " Crazy 
Jane," Captain Mark Burch; the other, the " Eliza Jane;" 
she was re-built in 1840 and commanded by Captain S. R. 

A number of disasters to shipping have occurred on the 
lake shore of Niagara county. About 181 7 the schooner 
" Mary," of Oswego, was driven on shore in the town of 


Somerset, and went to pieces. She was loaded with mer- 
chandise from Oswego. The goods were principally for 
merchants in Niagara county. In 1854 the schooner 
" Isabell," of Cleveland, went ashore in a snow storm, 
near Olcott. In the same year the schooner " Minerva " 
went ashore below Pine Grove, east of Olcott harbor, in 
a snow storm; also the schooner " I. E. Rigs." In 1866 
the schooner " Montana," of Clayton, went ashore in 
April in a snow storm near Olcott harbor. In 1862 the 
schooner " Helen Mar," of Port Hope, met a similar fate, 
and in 1861 the schooner "Sunrise," from Canada. In 
1861 the schooner "Wanderer," of Sodus, went ashore 
while loading at a small pier east of the creek, at Olcott. 

The customs district of Niagara was created by act of 
Congress in 1799, and included all the shores and waters 
of I^ake Ontario and Lake Erie and the river connected 
therewith, lying within the State of New York west of the 
Genesee river, with the port of entry at Fort Niagara. 
The district of Buffalo creek on the west and the district 
of Genesee on the east were set off from the district of 
Niagara in 1805. 

The port of entry was removed from Fort Niagara to 
Lewiston in 181 1, and from Lewiston to Suspension 
Bridge in 1863. The district extends from the east bank 
of the Oak Orchard creek to the channel of the Tona- 
wanda creek. It is in charge of the following officers : 

Benjamin Flagler, collector of customs; Eli S. Nichols, 
special deputy collector; deputy collectors: F. J. Fellows, 
at Tonawanda; Phineas Moon, at Port Day; J. E. Whit- 
more, at Lewiston; H. C. Root, at Youngstown; Ralph 
Stockwell, at Wilson; Henry Kenny, at Olcott; A. T. 
Coleman, at Yates; William Fleming, inspector at Lewis- 



^N February, 1877, Mr. George L. Pratt, of 
Ridgeway, Orleans county, began publishing 
in the leading papers of that county and Ni- 
agara a series of articles on the subject of 
mutual insurance. This agitation of the topic 
resulted in a call for a meeting at Middleport on 
the 22nd of the following March. Only a few of 
the thirty-one signers of the call attended the meeting, 
and nothing was accomplished except an adjournment for 
two weeks. The second meeting consisted of three per- 
sons, among them Mr. Pratt, and was unanimously voted 
a fizzle. 

The next move was to call a meeting for May 15 th at 
the Orleans House, Albion. Six persons besides Mr. Pratt 
attended. Overtures for a union were made to the Far- 
mers' Mutual Insurance Association of Orleans County, 
which was in session at the same time, but no response 

was made by the latter. The meeting adjourned to as- 
semble at the American Hotel, Lockport, May 26th. 
When the hour arrived there were just enough persons 
present to fill the offices of chairman and secretary, to 
which they mutually elected each other. The effort so 
far had been to organize under the statute law of the 
State then in force, but hope in that direction was extin- 
guished by the repeal of that law as affecting such cases 
during the Legislature's session of 1877. 

About four months later Mr. Pratt opened a correspond- 
ence with the president of the Orleans association above 
mentioned, and was invited to attend a meeting of that 
body at the court-house at Albion in the latter part of 
September. Only five persons were present, however, 
and only three at a meeting November loth, and nothing 
was accomplished. 

Mr. Pratt once more renewed his efforts, and brought 
about a meeting at Ridgeway December i8th, at which 
seventeen of the twenty-two towns in Niagara and Orleans 
counties were represented by some of their most substan- 
tial farmers. The Farmers' Mutual Insurance Association 
of Niagara and Orleans Counties was organized, a consti- 
tution and by-laws adopted, and the organization began 
to solicit patronage. 

At a meeting of the directors at Ridgeway, February 
19th, 1878, it was found that the association had applica- 
tions for insurance for $329,500. It was voted that the 
first policies issued all bear the date February 20th, 1878 
The association on the i8th of July had policies in force 
to the amount of |i, 180,000, and written, but not in 
force, amounting to over $150,000 There are sixty-one 
mutual companies in Pennsylvania and eleven in Michigan 
each of which is carrying less at risk than this association. 

The officers are : George Bradley, of Somerset, presi- 
dent ; A. P. Scott, of Ridgeway, vice-president ; George 
L. Pratt, of Ridgeway, secretary ; John P. Sawyer, of 
Royalton, treasurer. The board of directors consists of 
one member from each town in the two counties, holding 
for two years, or until their successors are elected. The 
business of the association is confined to the insurance 
against fire and lightning of farm property and other prop- 
erty no more hazardous, within Niagara and Orleans 
counties. The association is organized on the co-opera- 
tive or honor plan, there being now no State law for the 
organization of mutual insurance companies. 

The office of the association is at Ridgeway, where a 
stated annual meeting is held on the second Wednesday 
of January, to hear reports, elect officers, etc. The term 
of the officers is one year, and they are, ex officio, directors. 
The treasurer receives all moneys collected by assessment 
for the payment of losses, and pays out the same, by or- 
der of the secretary countersigned by the president, the 
fee for his services being one-half of one per cent, for re- 
ceiving and paying out the funds. The admission fee is 
$1.50 plus one-tenth of one per cent, on the amount de- 
sired to be insured, and the application must be approved 
by the director for the town in which the property is situ- 
ated, and by a majority of the executive committee, which 
consists of the president, vice-president and secretary. 



The business is under the supervision of an auditing com- 
mittee of three, appointed annually by the directors. A 
loss is adjusted by the secretary, and the director of the 
town in which it occurred ; and controversies are referred 
to an arbitrator chosen by the association, one chosen by 
- the property-owner, and a third selected by these two. 
When a loss has been adjusted the members are assessed 
for the payment at the rate of five or some multiple of 
five cents per hundred dollars of their respective poHcies ; 
and members forfeit their policies so long as they refuse 
to pay any assessment after notification by mail, and per- 
manently lose their membership by refusal to pay on per- 
sonal solicitation by the directors. Any surplus in the 
treasury is used for the payment of small losses. Claims 
for loss must be presented within ten days of the occur- 
rence of the loss, and within forty-eight hours in the case 
of death of live stock by lightning. The association may 
insure personal property for its entire cash value, and 
buildings for two-thirds. On live stock the limit is $100 
per head for horses, $30 for cattle, $10 for hogs, and $3 
for sheep. 


The statute under which all of the county medical 
societies of the State of New York were incorporated was 
passed by the Legislature during the session of 1806, and 
the medical society of the State was duly organized on the 
first Tuesday in February, 1:807. 

The Niagara County Medical Society was organized in 
1823, and has had a continuous existence to the present 
time. The first delegate to the convention of the State 
society was Dr. Henry Maxwell, iii 1830. The officers of 
the society were at that time as follows: Dr. J. K. Skin- 
ner, president; Dr. Lloyd Smith, vice-president; Dr. L. 
S. Robbins, secretary; Dr. J. W. Smith, treasurer; Dr. 
W. Ritter, corresponding secretary; censors, Drs. Henry 
Maxwell, I. Southworth, L. Smith, Jacob Chatterton and 
Darius Shaw. The names of the members of the society 
at that time are as follows: Drs. Edward Arnold, Frank- 
lin Butterfield, Alexander Butterfield, Asa Crane, Robert 
H. Henderson, John A. Hyde, Henry Maxwell, Myron 
Orton, Darius Shaw, Isaac Southworth, Willard Smith, 
Josiah K. Skinner, Abner Barnard, Isaac W. Smith, B. 
Henderson, Lloyd Smith, Ambrose Thomas, John War- 
ner, Washington Ritter, Asa B. Brown, Jonathan 
Chase, Alexander S. Chase, Jacob Chatterton, Eli 
Hurd, Roswell Kimbell, Benjamin Sayre, B. V. Peter- 
son, Z. Ross, George W. Graves, Luther P. Robbins, 
Benjamin Hardy, Edwin Cook and Archibald Baker. In 
1 83 1 the names of Drs. John S. Shuler, Luther Cross and 
Abraham Hogeboom were added. 

The officers of the society at the present time are : 
President, M. S. Kittinger; vice-president, John M. Duff; 
secretary, A. Walter Tryon; treasurer, Peter Faling. The 
delegates to the State Medical Society in 1877 were Drs. 
Rexford Davidson and Peter Faling. 

The names of the present members of the society are 
as follows: Drs. La Fayette Balcom, Lockport; Simeon 
T. Clark, Lockport; Nathan Cook, Ransomville; Electus 

Cole, Middleport; John W. Cormon, Beech Ridge; Rex- 
ford Davidson, Lockport; John M. Duff, Royalton; Peter 
Faling, Gasport; D. S. Fasset, Lockport; John Foote, 
Lockport; C. W. Gould, Middleport; William B. Gould, 
J. W. Grosvenor, D. W. Harrington, J. B. Hartwell, J. H. 
Helmer, Lockport: W. Q. Huggins, Sanborn; M. S. Kit- 
tinger, Lockport; M. L. Langs, Suspension Bridge; A. M. 
Leonard, William McCollum, Lockport; J. I. McFadden, 
Olcott; C. P. Murphy, D. H. Murphy, Royalton; C. N. 
Palmer, E. F. Ryle, W. J. Ransom, Lockport; William C. 
Raymond, Cambria; Charles H. Reed, Wilson; G. H, 
Saddleson, Newfane; C. A. Sage, Pekin; A. G. Skinner, 
Youngstown; E.Smith, Lewiston; N. B. Tabor, Wilson; 
A. Walter Tryon, Lockport; C. H. Turner, Hartland; H. 
A. Wilmot, Luke Woodworth, Johnson's Creek. 

An annual meeting is held on the first Tuesday in June; 
semi-annual, first Tuesday in January; quarterly, first 
Tuesdays in March and September. 


The Presbytery of Niagara was set off from that of 
Geneva in February, 1817. It originally embraced its 
present territory, together with that of the presbyteries 
of Buffalo, Rochester and Genesee. The last two of 
these were separated from it in 1819, and the first in 

The first meeting of the presbytery, as now constituted, 
was held at Gasport, January 27th, 1824. The ministers 
present were Revs. David M. Smith, of Lewiston, and 
George Colton, of Gasport, and the elders, Titus Fenn, 
Gasport ; Abel Tracy, Gaines ; Daniel Holmes, Wilson ; 
Luther Crocker, Cambria ; Asahel Munger, Lockport ; 
and Lovel Lewis, Lewiston. Rev. D. M. Smith was 
chosen moderator, and preached the inaugural sermon. 

It was reported that the presbytery had within its 
bounds eleven churches besides the Tuscarora mission, 
and four ordained ministers, two of whom had charges. 
" Owing to the newness of the country and the multipli- 
city of religious sects," not one of the churches was self- 
supporting. In 1846 a total membership of 2,5x4 was 
reported, the number having been raised by a series of 
powerful revivals to about that of the present members. 
Up to 1874 about 144 ministers had been enrolled by the 
presbytery. At that date the church edifices were esti- 
mated to be worth |2oo,ooo and the parsonages $33,000,, 
with but sHght indebtedness on the property. 

In 1833 thirty-four Sabbath-schools were reported in 
Niagara county, with 214 teachers, 1,818 scholars and 
1,339 library books ; and in Orleans county twenty- three 
schools, with 282 teachers, 1,567 scholars and 1,580 
books ; in the presbytery, fifty-seven schools, 496 teachers, 
and 2,919 books. 

In a historical sketch of the presbytery, presented by 
Rev. E. P. Marvin in the latter part of April, 1875, from 
which the foregoing facts have been taken, he stated that 
the presbytery then numbered twenty-three ministers and 
eighteen churches, with a membership of 2,647 in the 
churches and 2,841 in the Sabbath-schools. The churches 
are those of Albion, Barre Center, Carlton, HoUey, 



Knowlesville, Lewiston, Lockport, Lyndonville, Medina, 
Millville, Niagara Falls, Porter, Pendleton and Wheatfield, 
Somerset, Tuscarora, Wilson and Wright's Corners. 


This body was organized at a meeting of ministers and 
delegates chosen for that purpose by several churches then 
belonging to the northwestern part of the Genesee 
association, convened at Hartland, June 23d, 1823. It 
included the churches of Lewiston, Porter, Cambria, 
Somerset, Royalton, Hartland, Yates, Gaines, Barre and 
Shelby, nine in all. At this meeting, after completing the 
organization, it was agreed to meet annually on the third 
Wednesday in June, at 10 o'clock A. M. At a subse- 
quent meeting of the association the time of meeting was 
changed to the second Wednesday in June. 

The first annual meeting was held with the church 
in Hartland, June i6th, 1824; all the churches of the 
association were represented by delegates and letters. 
The opening sermon was preached by Rev. Jeremiah 
Irons, from Romans XII, 1,2. Rev. William Harrington 
was moderator, and Elisha Bowen clerk. The association 
had at this time seven ordained ministers, viz: Samuel 
Alvord, Jehiel Wisner, WiUiam Harrington, Jeremiah 
Irons, James Carpenter, Simeon Dutcher and Asa Spen- 
cer, with one licenteate, Arab Irons. At the time of the 
first meeting the churches composing the association had 
a membership of 339. Besides the nine churches which 
first united to form the association others joined from 
time to time. Some of these had but an ephemeral exis- 
tence, while others were dismissed to join other associa- 
tions. This number continued to multiply until June, 1 843, 
when twenty-four churches were connected with the asso- 
ciation, namely, those of Albion, Alabama, Akron.Carlton, 
Cambria, Gaines and Murray, Hartland, Knowlesville, 
Lockport, Lewiston, Lewiston and Niagara,, Medina, 
Porter, Royalton, Somerset, Shelby, Tuscarora (Indian 
church), Tonawanda (Indian church), Wheatland and 
Pendleton, Wilson, Yates, Pendleton and Middleport, 
Niagara Falls and Newfane. .These churches had an ag- 
gregate membership of 2,668. 

At a semi-annual meeting of the association held with 
the church at Hartland in February, 1844, the churches' 
of the following localities at their request were dismissed 
for the purpose of forming the Orleans Baptist Associ- 
ation: Albion, Alabama, Carlton, Gaines and Murray, 
Knowlesville, Medina, Shelby and Yates. 

The Niagara association now comprises fourteen 
churches, nine ordained ministers, three licentiates and 
1,646 members. Its regular annual meetings commence 
on the second Wednesday in June. The officers of the as- 
sociation are: Moderator,BurtVan Horn,Lockport; clerk, 
J. C. Hopkins, Ransomville; corresponding secretary, 
H. P. Hunt, East Clarence, Erie county; treasurer, R. 
W. Noble, West Somerset. 


On the 14th of September, 1877, a goodly number of 
the old citizens of Niagara county met on the grounds of 

William Tenbrook, at Olcott, to form an association 
under whose auspices the record of the settlement of the 
county might be compiled and preserved, and meetings 
held at which the pioneers might pleasantly recall remi- 
niscences of the eventful experience of old times. The 
following persons were present, the figures attached to 
whose names indicate their age at the time and the date 
■ of their advent in the county : 

From Cambria, Harvey Beach, 77, 1801 ; Thomas 
Barnes, boin in the county in 181 1. 

Hartland, Daniel Van Horn, 83, 181 1 ; William Mor- 
gan, 62, 1830. 

Newfane, Benjamin Stout, 75, 1815 ; Stephen Wilson. 

Porter, Peter Tower, 86, 1815 ; Henry Palmer, 69, 

Pendleton, Orrin Fisk, 71, 1810. 

Lewiston, John Cornell, 68, 1828. 

Lockport, Elisha Clapp ; B. M. Edwards, 81 ; Ira 
Farnsworth, 54, 1837 ; Peter Aiken, born in 1816 ; W' 
W. Bush, born in 1828. 

Royalton, Andrew J. Secor, born in 1817 ; P. P. Mur- 

Somerset, David Barker, 83, 1815 ; Adam Pease, 68, 
1817 ; Leman Hoag, 81, 1825 ; Loran Fitts, 77, 1810. 

Wilson, J. M. Newman, 65,1818; J. S. Cuddeback, 
69, 1816 ; Rev. A. Holsey, 84, 1830 ; Richard Holmes. 

Niagara, Asahel Colt. 

Wheatfield, Lewis S. Payne. 

The Niagara County Pioneer Association was organized, 
and the following board of officers chosen : 

President, John Van Horn ; secretary, F. N. Albright ; 
executive committee, J. S. Hopkins, Cornelius Tompkins 
and Willard A. Cobb. 


A county agricultural society was informally organized 
at the court-house in Lockport in 1841. The persons 
most efficient in effecting the organization were M. C. 
Crapsey, Dr. W. A. Townsend, Daniel Pomroy, Jabez 
Pomroy, General Parkhurst Whitney and ex-Governor 
Washington Hunt. The first president of the society 
was William Parsons. The first fair was held at Lock- 
port, and subsequent ones were held in most of the towns 
in the county except the eastern tier. The premiums 
were guaranteed by subscription. The oldest certificates 
of premiums which have fallen under our notice were 
issued in 1841. 

Of the fair held in 1842 Henry Coleman, the distin- 
guished agriculturist, and author of " European Agricul- 
ture," who was present, writes as follows ; "We had the 
pleasure of meeting the farmers of this fertile county on 
the first day. The day began with rain and so continued 
until afternoon. * * * As to shaking off the dust of 
your feet, though one may have felt ever so uncomfort- 
able towards the good people of Lockport, it was out of 
the question ; one could hardly shake the mud off unless 
the feet went with it. The farmers of Niagara county 
however, turned out in great force. They are not 
house plants. The show of cattle was quite numer- 



ous. Some excellent animals of the improved breeds and 
some first rate specimens of the Dishley, Cotswold and 
Leicester sheep, as well as of the fine wooled varieties, 
were exhibited. Some excellent horses and colts were 
likewise on the ground. From appearances we think 
we have reason to infer that in no county in the State, 
all circumstances considered, is the spirit of agricultural 
improvement more rife than in this rich and beautiful 

The third annual meeting of the society was held in 
the basement of the Baptist church in the village of 
Lockport, on the nth of October, 1843 ; after the exhibi- 
tion, which excelled that of the previous year, a very 
able address was delivered by the president. Dr. William 
A. Townsend. 

The officers of the society for 1844 were : William 
Parsons, president ; Parkhurst Whitney and William 
Freeman, vice-presidents ; Chauncey Leonard, secretary; 
William O. Brown, treasurer. 

The society held its fourth annual cattle show and fair 
at Lockport on the 9th and loth of October, 1844. One 
who was present says : " The show of stock was un • 
usually large and of very superior quality. The state- 
ments of several cultivators of crops showing the manner 
and expense of cultivation and product of wheat, corn, 
barley, oats, carrots, potatoes, onions, etc., were such as 
to show the- great advantage of liberal manuring and thor- 
ough culture. There was exhibited to the viewing com- 
mittee on grain crops satisfactory evidence that 58 bushels 
of wheat, 106 of corn, 100 of oats, 52 of barley, etc., were 
produced on one acre of land each, during that season, in 
this county." The annual address was delivered by 
George W. Holley of Niagara Falls, on the architecture 
of farm buildings, the happy influences of a rural life, and 
the beauties and charms of nature which always surround 
the husbandman. 

The officers for 1845 were: James D. Shuler, presi- 
dent ; Jonathan Ingalls and John Gould, jr., vice-presi- 
dents ; Sullivan Caverno, secretary ; and Silas H. Marks, 
treasurer. The society from that period has held a fair 
in the autumn of each year, down to the present time, and 
for the past few years a spring meeting has been held 
regularly for the exhibition of fine blooded stock and 
farm machinery. 

The present agricultural society was formed by the 
re-organization of the one above adverted to December 
2d, 1858, under the act of Legislature of April 13th, 1855, 
entitled " An act to facilitate the formation of agricultural 
and horticultural societies." The first election of officers 
took place January 5th, 1859, at which Willard Wild was 
elected president for the ensuing year, S. S. Pomroy sec- 
retary, and Roland Sears treasurer. The constitution of 
the society provides that the officers shall consist of a 
president, twelve vice-presidents, one of whom shall be 
designated as first vice-president, a secretary, a treasurer 
and six directors. All of the officers except the directors 
are elected annually by ballot, the election being held on 
the first Tuesday in January, and the board of managers 
consists of all of the officers named, including the direc- 

tors, a majority of the managing board constituting a quo- 
rum. All residents of the county are eligible to member- 
ship for one year upon the payment of one dollar into 
the treasury of the society, and to life membership upon 
the payment of ten dollars. 

The fair grounds owned and occupied by the society 
are situated on the corner of Washburn and Willow streets 
in the city of Lockport. They originally comprised about 
twenty acres, but additions have since been made which 
render the area considerably greater. The grounds are 
well fenced and provided with suitable buildings for the 
exhibition of articles of industry. The trotting course is 
one of the best, and the judge's stand, sheds and seats for 
the accommodation of visitors are substantial and con- 

The officers of the society at the present time are as 
follows : W. E. Gantt, president ; Solomon Ernest, vice- 
president ; L. H. Hill, secretary. The directors and vice- 
presidents are chosen from the different towns in the 

farmers' club and fruit-growers' society. 

This society was organized in 1873. Its objects were 

the mutual benefit of its members and the collection and 
dissemination of information that would benefit the 
farmers and fruit-growers of the county, by holding 
weekly meetings during the winter season, and discussing 
the various topics connected with agriculture and horti- 
culture ; also the establishment of a first-class agricultu- 
ral library ; in which should be found all the best agricul- 
tural and horticultural works that have been or may be 
published in the English language. To this library every 
farmer, fruit-grower or any other person in the county has 
free access by the payment of one dollar per year ; and 
all the money thus received is applied to the purchase of 
new agricultural works. The library that has been estab- 
lished by the club contains most of the best agricultural 
works that have been published in this country during 
the past twenty years. The club meets weekly during 
the winter months. The officers for the first four years 
were : Claudius L. Hoag, president ; Dr. Ephraim W. 
Gantt,secretary ; Edward Simmons, treasurer and librarian. 
They were succeeded by Hon. Isaac H. Babcock, presi- 
dent, and the previous secretary and treasurer ; and this 
board in 1878 by the present officers, viz.: John Crowe, 
president; Jabez B. Woodward, secretary ; and Edward 
Simmons, treasurer and librarian. 


Previous to 1829 each town took care of its own pau- 
pers, letting the contract for their support to the lowest 
bidder. In that year, by legislative enactment, the main- 
tenance of the poor became a county matter. The same 
year this county purchased a farm of ninety-one acres in 
the western part of the town of Lockport, and erected a 
commodious frame building, to which, in the fall, the 
paupers of the county, then numbering about thirty, were 
transferred. Hiram McNeil, Henry Norton and George 
Reynale were appointed superintendents of the poor, and 



John Gould keeper. In 1833 the main part of the pres- 
ent building was erected. It is built of stone, 100 feet by 
60 in size and three stories high, with a spacious base- 
ment. The following winter a school was opened in the 
building, for the benefit of its younger inmates, taught by 
David Murray, a highly educated Irishman, which many 
of the young people of the neighborhood attended. In 
1845 two three-story stone wings were built, each forty by 
sixty feet; the east wing was intended for the use of the 
insane, exclusively. Rear wings have since been added 
for hospital and other purposes. In 1858 an area one 
hundred feet or more square was inclosed by a solid 
stone wall nine feet high. This yard communicates with 
the east wing and is known as the " crazy yard." Its name 
is suggestive of its use. In 1854 an addition of twenty- 
nine acres was made to the farm, making now in all one 
hundred and twenty acres. 

Formerly paupers of all classes and all ages were re- 
ceived and kept here, and a school for the benefit of the 
young inmates was maintained. In 1875 the county made 
arrangements with the Home for the Friendless in the 
city of Lockport, whereby children between the ages of 
three and thirteen are cared for and schooled at that in- 
stitution, at a. cost to the county of two dollars each per 
week. The insane who were formerly kept here are now 
sent to the State Lunatic Asylum at Utica, where the in- 
curable cases are retained, and the others transferred to 
the Willard Asylum in Seneca county, for medical treat- 
ment. Niagara county pays these two asylums an average 
of $1,200 annually for the support of the insane. 

The county house and farm were under the control oj 
a board of three superintendents until 1856, when the 
number was reduced to one. A keeper was always em- 
ployed to take charge of the institution until 1875, when 
it was voted that the superintendent should reside in the 
house and oversee its management in person. They are 
elected once in three years. A. B. Lewis, the piresent su- 
perintendent, took control of the institution January ist, 
1878. Some much needed improvements which Mr. 
Lewis has already made have" added at least $2,500 to 
the value of the property. 

There is on this farm an inexhaustible quarry of soft 
limestone. To utilize this quarry and at the same time 
furnish employment for tramps, Mr. Lewis caused a build- 
ing to be erected 150 by 24 feet in size and 16 feet high, 
into which the limestone is drawn and there broken up, 
when it finds ready sale at fifty cents a load for macadam- 
izing roads. 

The present number of inmates is about 180, one third 
of whom are females. They were maintained during the 
year 1877 at an average cost apiece per week of $1.56. 
The average annual products of the farm amount to 
about $3,000. Two overseers are employed on the farm. 
The stock consists of seven horses, seventeen cows and a 
fine drove of hogs of a superior breed. 


The following compilation from the last State census 
furnishes an interesting exhibit of the population and reli- 
gious and agricultural status of the county in 1875: 


Population in r875, 51,399. From 1870 to 1875 the 
rate of increase per cent, of the aggregate population of 
Niagara county was 1.91; white population increase, 2.02. 
Decrease of colored population 10.27. Increase of native 
population, 2.61. Decrease of foreign population, 0.08. 
The males of voting age in Niagara county June ist, 
1875, numbered 13,686. The total number of males was 
25,616; females, 25,783. 


There were 95 church organizations: Baptist 7, mem- 
bership 938; Congregationalist 3, membership 961; Meth- 
odist Episcopal 22, membership 1,792; Presbyterian 9, 
membership 1,335; Protestant Episcopal 7, membership 
989; Roman Catholic 12, membership 5,385; A. M. E. 2, 
membership 46; Campbellite i, membership 80; Christian 
Connection 1, membership 20; Evangelical Association 3, 
membership 365; Evangelical Lutheran 10, membership 
1,115; 7^^c Will Baptist i, membership 75; Friends 2, 
membership 70; Methodist Protestant i, membership 48; 
Union 2, membership 105; United Evangelical Church i, 
membership 125; United Methodist Free Church 5, mem- 
bership 165; Universalist 3, membership 185; Wesleyan 
Methodist 3, membership 55. 


Niagara county is one of the five counties cultivating 
the largest area in barley. The wheat crop of this 
State in 1874 was 10,188,067 bushels, of which Niagara 
raised 657,822 bushels. 

The number of apple trees in the State June ist, 1875, 
was 18,278,636, of which Niagara had the greatest num- 
ber, being 1,128,274. The four counties next in order 
were Monroe, Wayne, Erie and Orleans. 

Farms, total number, 4,296; containing 20 to 50 acres, 
907; 50 to 100 acres, 1,406; 100 to 500 acres, 1,125. 
Since 1870 the number of farms had increased 254. 
There were 257,998 acres of improved land, 35,709 acres 
woodland and g,868 acres other land. The whole is 
valued at $26,893,511; with farm buildings other than 
dwellings valued at $2,766,466; stock valued at $2,449,262. 
The products of the farms in 1874 were: 

Barley,244,i3i bushels; buckwheat,i2,26o; Indian corn, 
627,510; oats, 836,177; rye, 12,404; spring wheat, 4,298; 
winter wheat, 653,524; beans, 78,151; peas, 17,249; pota- 
toes, 407,084; Hops, pounds, 6,722; Grapes, pounds, 
933>S°6- The amount of butter made in families during 
1874 was 1,309,860 pounds. In 1875 the amount of 
clipped wool was 148,402 pounds. 





HE history of fruit-growing in this county 
dates from the first settlement of the county 
by the whites. The motives that induced its 
cultivation at that early day were not of a 
character to cause extensive planting of or- 
chards of apples, or any other fruits. The home" 
of the early settler and his immediate neighborhood 
were the limit of the demand for all kinds of fruit for 
many years after the first settlement of the county. The 
improved varieties of fruits were but little known to the 
inhabitants of this county in- those days. The apple and 
peach were the principal fruits grown for many years. 

The largest orchards planted by the early settlers 
were on the Niagara river below Lewiston, on the 
shore of Lake Ontario, and about Lockport. Probably 
the largest orchard planted at that early period was 
one of about seven hundred trees, set out by Nathan 
Comstock, within the present limits of the city of Lock- 
port in the year 1817, on the farm now owned and oc- 
cupied by Claudius L. Hoag, on Lake avenue ; some 
four hundred of the trees in this orchard are still in a 
vigorous condition and produce good crops of fruit, of 
most of the popular varieties of those early days ; among 
which are found the Spitzenburgh, New Town Pippin, 
Fall Pippin, Talman's Sweet, Rambo, Yellow Bellflower, 
Rhode Island Greening, and the famous Jersey Red for 
cider. The last mentioned variety proved the most 
profitable for many years, as cider was the standard and 
popular beverage among the early settlers, before the in- 
troduction of those modern accompaniments of civiliza- 
tion the brewery and distillery. The early settlers had 
no conception of the great change that half a century 
would bring about in fruit-growing in Niagara county, 
never dreaming of the fact that they were living in a 
county that was destined to become more noted in that 
respect than any other in the United States. 

About the year 1845 there began to be a demand for 
winter apples in the then newly settled States of the west, 
which stimulated the owners of apple trees to graft the 
almost worthless sorts that they had in cultivation with 
the varieties that were in demand for shipping. From that 
time to the present there has been a rapid increase of 
apple orchards throughout the county. The trees that 
have been planted during the past twenty-five years were 
mostly Baldwins, Rhode Island Greenings, Roxbury 
Russets and Northern Spys ; the Baldwin has probably 
be?n more extensively planted during the past twenty 
years than all other winter sorts, and judging from the 
health of the tree, great productiveness and beauty of 
fruit, it promises at no very distant period to supersede 
in this section most of the other winter varieties. 

This county is blessed with climate, soil and peculiar 

surroundings which make it the leading fruit-growing 
county in the United States. Apples, pears, peaches, 
plums, quinces, apricots, nectarines, cherries, currants, 
goosberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and 
grapes are all perfectly at home, and succeed admirably 
in all parts of the county, except on clay soils, where the 
.peach is not a success. More attention has been given 
to the cultivation of the apple than any other fruit, owing 
to the increased demand and growing popularity of 
Niagara county apples, in both the Eastern and Western 
States, and in foreign markets wherever they have been 
introduced, which has stimulated to increased planting of 
the more popular varieties of winter fruits. From the 
most reliable information we are enabled to state quite 
accurately the number of apple trees now growing in 
orchards in this county to be 1,400,000, and more are 
being planted every year. 

The marked peculiarity of the Niagara county apple is 
its fine grain, containing less juice and of a higher quality 
than the same varieties grown in many other parts of the 
United States. The same peculiarity may be justly 
claimed to exist in the character of all other varieties of 
fruit griwn in this county, and is quite as marked in 
the pear and peach as in the apple; each of the many 
varieties of these fruits possesses its own peculiar flavor, 
which is brought out most distinctly by the climatic 
surroundings of this favored fruit-growing section. As 
an illustration we will take the Bartlett, so well 
known as having a peculiar strong musky flavor, natural 
to that variety when in perfection; which quality is fully 
developed in that fruit when grown in this county. Many 
of the readers of this work have undoubtedly eaten fine 
specimens of the Bartlett grown in other localities in the 
United States, in which they discovered not the least 
trace of this aroma; and the same marked deficiency of 
flavor will be found to exist in other fruits grown in the 
South and West, and in localities where the annual rain- 
fall is much heavier than in Niagara county. 

Next to the apple the peach is grown more extensively 
than any other fruit in this county, having been intro- 
duced with the apple by the first settlers. Most of the 
varieties grown for many years were seedlings, some of 
which were quite equal to the cultivated varieties now 
grown. This fruit is considered by many the most profit- 
able crop they can grow. The most promising varieties 
for orchards at present are the Early Beatrice, Early 
Louise, Amsden, Alexander, Crawford's Early,Crawford's 
Late, Oldmixon and Morris's White. A large number of 
peach trees are planted yearly; a good crop and good 
prices are sure to be followed by a large planting the 
following season. 

Many of the first settlers planted a few pear trees 
some of which still remain as landmarks, but many of 
them have died from blight and old age. The pear is 
.being grown to considerable extent in all parts of the 
county, but its mortal enemy, the blight, has found it here 
as well as in other places, and has swept away thousands 
of trees, many of which have been replaced, and a num- 
ber of quite large orchards have been planted during the 



past few years. The most popular sorts at present are 
the Bartlett, Duchesse d'Angouleme, Seckel and Beurre 
d'Anjou. There are many -other excellent varieties in 
cultivation, but none which have as yet attained the pop- 
ularity of those that have been named. 

Previous to 1865 but few quince trees had been planted; 
but since that time many thousand trees have been set 
in different parts of the county. There are at present 
ten times as many trees of this fruit growing in the county 
as' there were ten years ago. 

The improved varieties of plums have never been 
grown here to any great extent, but increased attention is 
now being given to the cultivation of this excellent fruit, 
with a prospect of many thousand trees being set during 
the next few years; as this fruit is very profitable at 
prices much below the usual sales in this market, a single 
crop bringing from three to five hundred dollars per 

The grape is comparatively a new fruit among the fruit- 
growers of this county, as but little attention has been 
given to its cultivation until within the past few years. 
Some who have neglected their vineyards do not consider 
it a profitable fruit, but when properly cared for it has 
proved a paying crop, and the greatly increased consump^ 
tion of this healthiest and finest of all fruits, in all of our 
large towns and cities, will warrant increased planting of 
vineyards where the grape succeeds as well as it does in 
Niagara county. The number of acres of vineyard in the 
county probably would not exceed two hundred. 

One of the sources of Niagara county's remarkable 
superiority in fruit production is the climatic influence of 
the winds. The southwest, west, northwest, north and 
northeast winds always pass during the whole year over 
open water before reaching this section, which accounts 
for the mercury seldom falling lower than five or ten de- 
grees below zero during the winter season. These winds 
also serve as a protective against the late spribg and 
early autumn frosts. The cool autumn winds blowing 
directly off the lakes are supposed to retard the ripening 
of winter fruits, leaving the ripening process to be carried 
out during the winter and spring following, and greatly 
enhancing their value for market by their long keeping 
qualities. Another favorable influence is the dryness of 
the atmosphere. The average annual rainfall given by a 
record kept in this county during a period of eighteen 
years was 22.45. It is conceded by every observant 
cultivator of fruit, that all fruits possess a much higher 
quality when the season is dry than when it is very wet; 
this conclusion is fully verified by the experience of many 
cultivators in this county, where the fruits we have named 
find a climate and surroundings which enable them to 
better develop all their high qualities than in any other 
section of the United States east of the Mississippi 

Thus soil and climate combine to render Niagara 
county an unequaled fruit-growing region, and the in- 
telligence and enterprise of its horticulturists have given 
it the pre-eminent position it was naturally fitted to 


[By A. 'WiLTEB TaYON, M.D.] 

HE geology of Niagara county presents sev 
eral features of more than ordinary interest, 
as three important groups of rocks have 
quite an extensive exposure within its limits. 
These groups compose the larger portion of 
the Upper Silurian age, and have been named 
after the localities in which they have their greatest 
development, or e.xposure. The lowest of these groups 
is the Medina, the second the Clinton, and the third is 
the Niagara. 

Each gives peculiar features to the landscape along the 
line of its outcrop. The Niagara limestone, on account 
of its compactness and power to resist weathering, gives 
the character of a bold bluff to the terrace known as the 
Mountain Ridge. The Clinton forms small plateaus at 
the base of the shale hills, and the uniform texture of the 
lower portion of the Medina is the cause of the even sur- 
face of the country bordering on and extending back 
from Lake Ontario. But these features will be better 
understood by a separate study of each group. 


The rock of this formation is exposed in the Niagara 
river from Lewiston to near the Falls, where it passes 
under the water of the river. From Lewiston eastward, 
it extends for several miles along the base of the escarp- 
ment formed by the Niagara limestone ; afterward it 
spreads out wider to the northward and forms a. distinct 
bluff from half a mile to a mile from the limestone ter- 
race, and on a line corresponding with it. A few miles 
east of Lockport its elevation is lost in the general level 
of the country, and the rock disappears, and is not seen 
again in the county. 

The strata of this group are usually divided into four 
different bands : 

I. Red marl, or marly sandstone ; 2. Gray quartzose 
sandstone ; 3. Like the first, but to the westward becom- 
ing more sandy ; 4. The gray terminal portion. 

T^e Red Marl, the first or lowest of these bands, is 
sometimes mottled with greenish spots, and it is readily 
decomposed by exposure. It is the source of the red 
clays throughout the county. No fossils are found in it. 

The Gray Quartzose Sandstone. — This portion succeeds 
the previous, and is twenty-five feet thick on the Niagara 
river. It is the hardest portion of the group, and is ex- 
tensively quarried north of the city of Lockport, for pav- 
ing and flagging stones. This region is known as Rattle- 
snake hill, taking its name from the large numbers of 
these reptiles which formerly found secure retreats in the 
crevices of these rocks. The strata in this locality are in 
distinct layers and are easily separated. Some of these 
layers are very. thin, being not more than an eighth to a 


quarter of an inch in thickness. Red bands and mottlings 
frequently intersperse the gray color. This band contains 
many valves of Lingula and a few other shells. It is 
ripple and wave marked and bears indisputable evidence 
of its deposition in a shallow, broken sea. 

Red Shah, or Sandstone. — This is a red, shaly, or marly 
mass, mottled with circular spots of greenish gray, or is 
frequently marked with bands, parallel with the strata. 
The oxidation of the iron, which gives color to the rocks, 
has been altered by the presence of carbonaceous matter. 
As we ascend the shaly matter diminishes, and the sandy 
character increases, until the whole is terminated by a sili- 
cious, or in some places argillaceous, light gray sand- 

Greenish-Gray Argillaceous Sandstone. — This band dif- 
fers from the 3d division more in its color than in 
any of its other features. It forms a marked line, con- 
trasting sharply with the dark red of the preceding divi- 
sion. It is variable in thickness, being at Lockport less 
than two feet, and on the Niagara river about ten feet in 
thickness. At Lewiston small black pebbles are found in 
it. Only one species of fossil is known in this division, 
Dictiwlites Beckii, Conrad. It was a remarkable seaweed, 
having curiously reticulated branches, and fine interlaced 
lateral rootlets. It often covers large spaces with its 
curious branches, indicating that it grew abundantly 
during this period. 

The Medina epoch affords many peculiar features 
worthy of special study. The intercalation of the gray 
quartzose band, abounding in fucoids and low orders of 
molusca, between the red shaly bands that lie above and 
below it, is an interesting fact, showing the great changes 
which occurred in the midst of a single period. 

The lowest or first division appears to have been rap- 
idly deposited; the material, as it was of a uniform nature, 
was probably furnished from the same source. It was a 
marly mud, charged heavily with iron, and nearly void of 
organic life, and it was deposited in moderately deep 
water. An upheaval occurs, or some change takes place, 
by which the depth of the water is greatly lessened, and 
an entirely different sediment is washed into and depos- 
ited over this shallow ocean bed. Organic life becomes 
abundant. In the siliceous sand the curious brachiopod 
Lingula cuneata flourished. Long,jointed,fucoid seaweeds, 
floating in the water, became stranded on the beaches. 
So near the surface, in places, lies the sandy bottom that 
ripple marks and wave marks are distinctly impressed on 
the sand, and so free from heavy winds or storms was the 
period, that these delicate shiftings of the sand are left 
undisturbed, and to-day we behold this rippled and wave 
marked ocean bed permanently preserved in the solid 
stone of this ancient Silurian age. There were places 
where the sand was entirely exposed at times, for rain 
drops have marked the surface, and sun cracks, the result 
of shrinkage from the drying of argillaceous sand in the 
sunshine, are plainly discernable. Again the scene is 
shifted, and nearly the same conditions prevail as at first. 
A red, marly mud, mixed with sand, is now washed into a 
deeper ocean basin, and the remains of organic life again 

disappear, except here and there a mass of peculiar sea- 
weed still exists. 

The extent of the Medina group seems quite limited, 
when compared with the remaining rocks of this period. 
It occurs throughout western New York, thinning out to 
the eastward; it is not found beyond Utica. Southward 
of the Appalachian region, it extends through to Penn- 
sylvania and Virginia, where in places it attains a thick- 
ness of 1,500 feet. It is from 350 to 400 feet thick on the 
Niagara river, and passes into Canada, and has been 
traced to the northwest as far as the straits of Mackinac. 
Everywhere it presents the same features, indicating a 
quiet, shallow sea, fed by streams which for ages brought 
down the same sediment. 

The minerals of this period are not available for econ- 
omic purposes. Iron is largely diffused throughout the 
rocks, but only sufficient to give coloring. Salt springs 
abound, and in many places in the county salt water is 
obtained in digging, but it is too impure to be worked ad- 
vantageously. Muriate of lime and iron constitute these 
impurities, and give to the salt obtained its sharp, brack- 
ish, unpleasant taste. 


Next above the Medina group follow the rocks of the 
Clinton epoch. They have a wide range and are quite 
variable in character. The first of this series is a green 
shale, forming rather an abrupt transition from the sand- 
stone below. This band is mostly devoid of fossils, but 
at Lockport, on the banks of the Eighteen-mile creek, 
the writer found a portion was full of a little crustacean, 
Agnotus lattis. This band is only a few feet thick, and in 
places has an intermediate red stratum. 

In this county the next subdivision of this group is 
wanting. This contains in other parts of the State a red, 
argillaceous iron deposit, and from the small flattened 
grains which compose it, is called " lenticular ore." 

Next in order comes the division called the Pentamerus 
Iimestone,from the vast numbers of a shell called Pentam- 
erus oblongus, which some portions of it contain. This 
stratum thins out in this county, and is almost cevoid of 
this shell, only a few specimens having been found. 

A green shale similar to the first is found next in other 
regions, but is also wanting here, and the limestone, 
which follows and is composed largely of broken crinoid 
columns and small shells, lies immediately upon the Pen- 
tamerus limestone. It is difficult to distinguish the two 
into separate bands. This upper layer of limestone is 
largely magnesian, and from the presence of iron pyrites 
is rapidly decomposed, producing sulphate of magnesia 
or epsom salts, which is found in quite large pieces at fa- 
vorable points along the river banks above Lewiston. 
This band of the Clinton forms the small plateau below 
the shale hill on which stands the residence of Mr. Whit- 
more; also the larger plateau on which the county house 
is erected, and which extends from the bluff west of the 
county house eastwardly to the ravine and northward 
to the vineyards of N. S. Ringueberg. 

The rocks of the Clinton epoch are only about twenty 



feet in thickness at Lockport and twenty-four feet on the 
Niagara river. Their outcrop is seen at various points 
along the base of the Niagara group, on the top of the 
terrace formed by the Medina sandstone, between Lock- 
port and Lewiston,and along the banks of the Niagara river. 

The Clinton rocks indicate a wide-spread ocean. It 
has been traced west to the Mississippi river and beyond 
into Iowa, and southward along the Appalachian range 
through Pennsylvania and Virginia into Alabama. At 
the West it is thin, but in some parts of New York it is 
two hundred feet thick. 

Theshale bands indicate deeper water, consequently a 
subsidence of the land. The limestone must have been 
formed in shallower water, under a tropical climate, for 
coral reefs abound, and brachiopod shells were common, 
with crinoids and echinoderms. Fucoids prevailed in 
great numbers and were quite variable in size, but differ- 
ent from those in the rocks below. 


This group terminates the series of rocks found in the 
county. In many respects it is one of the most remark- 
able of all the geological formations. It clearly marks 
vast dianges in this great inner continental basin, lying 
between the Appalachian range on the east and the 
Rocky mountain range on the west. The uniformity of 
its structure, and the regularity of its occurrence, point to 
a vast oceaii lying between these mountain ranges, and 
extending at least from Alabama on the south far into 
the arctic regions. Along tne eastern portions of this 
vast inland sea the deposits of this epoch first occurred. 
In this county and immediately following the limestone 
of the Clinton, we have a fine, bluish-gray, argillaceous 
rock, known as the Niagara shale. This formation is 
well seen where the locks of the Erie Canal are cut 
through its outcrop at Lockport. 

This shale readily changes, on exposure, to a gray 'marly 
clay. This character is best observed in the various shale 
hills, or terrace slopes, below the junction of the canal and 
railroad at Lockport. The lower portion is mostly a pure 
aluminous shale, but in the higher parts bands of lime- 
stone occur. These on exposure break up into fragments 
which retain many fine specimens of fossils, most beauti- 
fully preserved on their surface. These limestone strata 
increase till the shale ceases, and the hard, compact Ni- 
agara limestone obtains. This transition can be traced 
along the cut of the canal above the locks, towards 
Messrs. Carpenter's quarries, where the limestone is seen 
in its perfection, and it is extensively qiiarried for build- 
ing material. The thickness of the shale is quite uniform. 
At Rochester it is a little less than loo feet, at Lockport 
it is 8 1 feet, by actual measurement, and it is the same at 
Niagara Falls. 

The Niagara limestone, as before stated, forms the 
outcrop along the summit of the escarpment known as 
the "Mountain Ridge," and extends from Lewiston to 
Lockport, and eastward to the Cold Spring Cemetery, 
just beyond which this rock was quarried to obtain the 
material for constructing the locks. 

The limestone gradually increases in depth to the west- 
ward; in Wayne county it is 30 to 40 feet thick, at 
Rochester from 70 to 80, and at Niagara Falls 164 feet. 
Like the other groups of this period the Niagara lime- 
stone is very thick in the Appalachian region, through 
Pennsylvania and Virginia. In the former State its thick- 
ness exceeds 1,500 feet. To the Niagara limestone are 
we indebted for the falls of Niagara, with all their wonder- 
ful scenery. Its great solidity and thickness protect the 
shale beneath, which being decomposed out, leaves the 
projecting strata of limestone to form the edge of the 
vast precipice over which the immense cataract pours. 
It is very plain to the geologist that there was a time in 
the past when the falls of Niagara stood at Lewiston. 
By the slow process of the decomposition of the under- 
lying shales and sandstones, till the projecting mass of 
limestone was compelled to break away, .by its own 
weight and that of the mass of water which poured over 
it, the river has cut its way to its present bed, and the 
falls have receded to the position which they now oc- 

For a theory of the formation of the falls, the writer 
refers the reader to Mr. Holley's interesting work, " Ni- 
agara, its History and Geology," and to an article in the 
Popular Science Monthly, Vol. i. No. 5, page 564, by 
Prof. W. D. Gunning, " The Past and Future of Niagara." 

Minerals of the Niagara Group. — This county abounds 
in certain fine mineral specimens, which are unsurpassed, 
or scarcely equalled, by those of any other region of the 
world. These specimens are mostly obtained in the Ni- 
agara limestone. In the shale iron pyrites are abundant, 
but are never found in large masses. Their decomposi- 
tion with the shale forms sulphate of magnesia, sulphate 
of allumina, and chloride of sodium. The water of wells 
sunk into the shale too far is sufficiently impregnated 
with these products to make it very unpalatable for drink- 
ing purposes. 

In the limestone numerous geodes, or cavities, have 
been formed by dissolving out the organic remains de- 
posited in them. Masses of corals, being porous, were 
readily removed in this way. The surfaces of the cavities 
thus formed were lined by the deposition upon them of 
beautiful crystals of dog-tooth and pearl spars, forming 
crystal grottoes of wondrous brilliancy. Fine pieces of 
snowy gypsum, of selenite, celestite, and rarely of anhy- 
drite and fluor spar, are also found in these geodes. Small 
crystals of zinc blende, also of galena, or lead ore, pre- 
vail, more especially in the higher and darker portions of 
the limestone. Occasionally fine specimens are obtained, 
where several kinds of these minerals are most wonder- 
fully blended and intermingled. Little pools of selenite 
have their depths lined with exquisite crystals of spar. 
Fine silvery bars of celestite lie imbeded in the trans- 
parent selenite ; masses of the snowy gypsum are crowd- 
ed with crystals of spar, and perhaps over all a clear 
layer of glassy selenite is spread. These combinations 
make beautiful and desirable cabinent specimens. In 
the large masses of rock which have been removed from 
the deep cut of the canal above Hitchin's Bridge, these 



specimens can yet be obtained abundantly by breaking 
them up carefully with a heavy hammer. 

Prof. Asher B. Evans, principal of the Lockport Un- 
ion School, has recently obtained in this way as fine a 
collection of these minerals as probably has ever been 
made in this county. 

Fossils of the Niagara Epoch. The organic remains 
found in this group, and particularly in the shale, are 
very interesting. Six species of trilobites and nine spe- 
cies of crinoids, with as many species of shells, character- 
ize this epoch, and occur in no other rocks found in this 
State. Corals abounded in great profusion, but are small 
and mostly branching forms in the shale. In the lime- 
stone period reef corals prevailed, with delicate crinoids 
of wondrous beauty. These last named creatures were 
rooted in the mud of the sea bottom, from which arose a 
long, slender, jointed stem, which suddenly expanded 
into a cupped, lily-like summit, made of many neatly fit- 
ting embossed plates, and around the summit of which 
many long, slender jointed, fingers extended. These it 
probably used for gathering in its food. On the top of 
its head, and amidst its delicate fingers, was situated its 
mouth, surrounded by five petal-like lips. Such a crea- 
ture was Caryocrinus ornatus, the finest, most abun- 
dant, and characteristic Crinoid of this shale ocean. In 
and out among the various forms of these fairy crinoids 
there crept and crawled a still more unique and strange 
form of life; these were the triobites of this ancient sea, 
a form of life which has passed entirely away. They 
were a crustacean with three-lobed, jointed, expanded 
flat bodies, with many-lensed eyes, a sort of prophecy of 
the butterfly, which should flit m the air of after ages, as 
they crawled through the mud of this ancient sea. Some 
of them were 12 inches long and several inches broad; 
others were scarcely an inch in length. Besides these 
quaint creatures many curious and exquisite mollusca 
dwelt in this old ocean. Orthocerae — straight-chambered 
shells, the forerunner of the coiled ammonites of after 
ages and the pearly nautilus of our day, found a home 
in this Silurian sea. The spirifers, a bivalve shell, were 
particularly abundant,and Spirifer Niagarensisxi the char- 
acteristic shell of the group. Rhinchondia cuneata and 
Rhindionella neglcda marked another class. Ahypa reticu- 
laris, a shell of wide distribution,being found in the upper 
Silurian deposit of England as well as here,flourished in the 
Clinton epoch and passed through all the changes of that 
formation, through all the vicissitudes of the Niagara 
epoch, to find its highest development in the Hamilton 
group, ages after the completion of the Niagara county 
rocks. A singular feature of this survival is that this shell 
continually increases in size. The specimens found in 
the Niagara group are larger than those of the Clinton, 
while in the Hamilton it attains a size that has made nat- 
uralists hesitate to call it a reticularis, believing that it 
mustb e anew species; but a careful study of a large num- 
ber of them confirms the naturalist in the opinion that 
this species is the same through all these periods, and 
that it continued to find more favorable conditions of 
growth till the Hamilton period closed, when it was des- 

tined to pass away. Several spcies of bithis, a, most ex- 
quisite and delicate shell, are found in the Niagara shale. 

Though this ancient ocean teemed with a curious life, 
yet it was a silent, lonely waste of waters. As yet no fish 
sported in its deeps, no reptile crawled amid its soft 
ooze. No bird sported over its bosom, or dipped its crest 
in its slumbering surface. No animal haunted its lonely, 
barren shores. Many fresh water streams must have 
been busy carrying sediment from the land above its sur- 
face, yet no traces of any fresh water creatures are found. 
Not a trace of any land plant has yet been discovered. 
Barren and desolate indeed must hare been the lonely 
coast which surrounded this paleozoic sea. Not a plant, 
not a bird, not an animal or creeping thing on the land. 

Yet in these mysterious waters the processes of laying 
the foundations of a vast continent were going on. Slow- 
ly beneath that wide spread sea, corals, crinoids and 
mollusca were elaborating the rocky material of a vast 
tract that after the lapse of an almost infinite period of 
time, was to teem with a life and an activity immensely 
superior to the creatures which laid the stepping stones 
on which we tread to day. Yet such are the ways of the 
Infinite Creator. More than 2,500 feet of solid rock, 
deposited out of a sea teeming with lower forms of life, 
and preserving in its rocky strata the petrified forms of 
their existence, contain God's record of what has been, 
and which lies beneath the feet, and the line of ascent of 
him who proudly treads above them now. 

If we are filled with wonder and awe when we gaze 
back through these aeons of the past and consider what 
has been, what should be one's feelings when we 
contemplate the vistas of the future, and think 
of what is yet to be ? We cannot rest in the belief that 
the consummation of animated nature is yet reached. 
Rather let us reverently look forward, and work on in 
the faith that as an infinite past lies downward behind us, 
so an infinite future rises upward before us. 




HIS county shared largely in the martial en- 
thusiasm created by the fall of Fort Sumter 
in the middle of April, i86i, and President 
Lincoln's proclamation calling for 75,000 
volunteers to re-establish the authority of 
government in the South. Public meetings 
were held all over the county, the first at Lock- 
port on the 18th of April, and a second at the same 
place on the 20th. At the latter more than $8,000 was 
raised, which was paid out to volunteers and their fami- 
lies. Large sums were also contributed elsewhere in the 

By the i8th Captain Elliott W. Cook had opened a 
recruiting office at Lockport for the purpose of raising a 



company. Such was the spirit of the hour that in two 
days one hundred and forty men enlisted, and within a 
few days more five companies had been organized from 
the volunteers of Niagara county. They were command- 
ed respectively by Captains Cook, Bush, Mapes and 
Paige, of Lockport, and Gould, of Niagara Falls ; and 
were subsequently joined with two companies from 
Orleans county, under Captains Bowen, of Medina, and 
Hardie, of Albion, and one each from Genesee, Ontario 
and Sullivan, to form a regiment. 

The Niagara men set out from Lockport for Albany 
on the 1 6th of May. Arrangements had been made for 
giving them a worthy start. Colonel E. D. Shuler was 
the marshal of the day, with D. A. Van Valkenburgh and 
B. H. Fletcher as his aids. At one o'clock the stores 
closed on the firing of signal guns at the fair ground, 
whither the various military and civic organizations of 
the city then repaired. A grand procession was formed, 
and the volunteers were escorted through the city between 
such ranks of enthusiastic spectators as never before as- 
sembled in Lockport. A halt was made at the American 
Hotel, where there was a flag presentation, with appro- 
priate addresses. Thence the procession marched to 
the depot, where the volunteers took the cars for the 

It was voted on May i8th by the State Military Board 
" that the companies commanded by Captains David Har- 
die, James R. Mitchell, Erwin A. Bowen, Theodore P. 
Gould, Elliott W. Cook, W. W. Bush, William H. H. 
Mapes, H. H. Paige, T. Fitzgerald and John Waller, jr., 
be formed into a regiment numbered Twenty-eight ; that 
the services of Dudley Donnelly as colonel, and James 
R. Mitchell as major, be accepted and the election con- 
firmed." Charks J. Sprout, Christopher L. Skeels and 
Rev. C. H. Piatt, of Lockport, were appointed respective- 
ly adjutant, quartermaster and chaplain. 

The regiment was mustered in at Albany on the 22^1 of 
May, and on the 36th was ordered to Camp Morgan, near 
Norman's Kill, where it was supplied with uniforms and 
tents and armed with Remington rifles. It was not until 
the 25 th of June that it left for Washington. "The ex- 
penditure by the State on account of the regiment up to 
August isth, 1861, was $40,694.18, exclusive of subsist- 
ence and quarters." 

The regiment reached Washington June 28th, and on 
the 5 th of July was attached to General Patterson's com- 
mand at Martinsburgh, Va. On the nth. Company A, 
while on a scouting expedition, met the cavalry of the 
enemy, and had one man killed — Isaac Sly, of Lockport. 
July 24th the 28th crossed the Potomac at Harper's Fer- 
ry and went into camp near Berlin. At that point on the 
loth of August companies B and F recrossed the river, 
and marching by nit;ht to Point of Rocks, Va., surprised 
a force of rebel cavalry, attacking them from both sides, 
killed one, wounded a number and took ten prisoners 
capturing twenty-one horses and returning without loss. 

August 20th the regiment moved its camp to Dames- 
town, and two months later to Muddy Branch. It was 
intended that it should take part in the battle of Ball's 

Bluff, but it was unable to reach the scene of that disas- 
trous affair before the fighting was over, although it march- 
ed twenty-two miles in five hours ; and could only serve 
in the transportation of troops across the Potomac. 

The camp was removed to Frederick on the 5th of De- 
cember, and to Hancock on the 6th of January, 1862. On 
the ist of March the 28th crossed the Potomac at Wil- 
liamsport, and as a part of General Crawford's brigade of 
General Williams's division of General Banks's corps (the 
fifth), marched to Winchester, which was reached on the 
13th. On the departure of the bulk of the army, a week 
later, company I of the 28th was left with other forces 
under General Shields to guard the supply train. They 
were attacked on the 21st by General Jackson, but the 
enemy shortly retreated up the Shenandoah valley, pur- 
sued by the entire force of General Banks. 

During this campaign Company E participated in a bril- 
liant enterprise, with a detachment of the Ringgold cav- 
alry and a company of the 5th Connecticut. By a circuit- 
ous night march of thirteen miles, from Columbia Fur- 
nace to " Cross Roads," the Union force was enabled to 
surprise and capture a company of Ashby's rebel cavalry, 
with all its equipments. 

On the 27th of March Company I had a skirmish with 
three companies of rebel dragoons seven miles from Har- 
risonburgh, Va., whom they defeated and drove, inflicting 
considerable loss. 

During the month of May General Banks withdrew his 
army to Maryland, pursued by the enemy. In this retreat 
the 28th on one occasion marched seventy miles in two 
days, and lost four men wounded and sixty-four prisoners. 
It covered the retreat near Winchester, and took part in 
the battle at that point on the 25th. 

June 2nd the army resumed the offensive, recrossed 
the Potomac, and marching up the Shenandoah valley 
encamped near Front Royal. On the 6th of July the 
28th marched to Culpepper Court-house, and on the 9th 
of August took part in the battle of Cedar Mountain. 
The following is the official report of this engagement ; 

" On Friday, August 8th, at about 12 o'clock, noon, we 
were ordered to march at once, as General Bayard's cav- 
alry had been attacked and the. enemy were advancing in 
force. As usual, we marched on very short notice, think- 
ing it to be nothing but a ' cavalry scare ' ; the men took 
nothing with them but arms and ammunition. The day 
was extremely hot, and after a march of seven miles the 
command was halted, and we bivouacked for the night. 

" About 12 o'clock, noon, August 9th, a cannonade was 
opened on our side, which continued about one hour ; 
was opened again at half past four in the afternoon, and 
the action soon became general. The first brigade (Gen- 
eral Crawford's) was brought into position (Colonel Don- 
nelly commanding the infantry regiments, the command of 
the[28th]regiment falling upon Lieutenant-Colonel Brown) 
to drive the enemy from a skirt of woods. This the 5th 
Connecticut and the 28th New York succeeded in doing 
in gallant style. The woods were some ten or twelve rods 
through, and on the other side were three or four regiments 
of rebel infantry, ' en masse,' with two pieces of cannon. 



The guns were turned upon us and discharged once, but 
before they could reload we were upon them. They ran 
off with the limbers, leaving the guns in our possession. We 
also.captured two standards. A most perfect panic ensued 
among the rebel regiments beyond the woods, and we might 
well say with Sir Walter Scott : 

' Our fresh and desperate onset bore 
Our foes three furlongs back, or more.' 

At one time we had more prisoners than we could 
guard. One man having charge of half a dozen at a time, 
conducting them to the rear. A little help at this time 
would have turned the entire fortunes of the day in our 
favor. The enemy, reinforced, rallied and returned to 
the charge, and after a terrible resistance we were forced 
to give way, having in fact held our position too long, 
being at the time entirely surrounded. 

" We now had to cut our way back through the woods 
and retreat across a cleared field some sixty rods, ex- 
posed to a most galling fire poured in from all sides. It 
was in crossing this field that Colonel Donnelly fell, 
mortally wounded. Lieutenant-Colonel Brown received 
a shot in the left arm, shattering it to such a degree that 
amputation was rendered necessary. Adjutant Charles 
P. Sprout was killed. Our total loss in killed, wounded 
and prisoners was 207. The officers and men behaved 
with great coolness and decision." 

A participant in the battle relates that at one stage the 
rebels were posted behind a rail fence, hidden by berry 
bushes. The 28th charged under a murderous fire across 
afield of wheat, cut and shocked, and scattered the enemy 
like chaff. So close was the encounter that men were 
seen clinched, and fighting with their fists. 

After the battle the corps to which the 28th belonged 
retreated to Rappahannock Station, and was in action 
thereabouts from the 21st to the 25th of August, and 
under artillery fire, several times in the next five days. 
During the second Bull Run battle the 28th was at Ma- 
nassas Junction, and after it fell back to Alexandria. It 
is recorded that during the three weeks' campaign thus 
ended " the regiment marched every day and lay on its 
arms every night." 

On the 3d of September the 28th crossed into Mary- 
land, and for the next two weeks moved about on the bor- 
der. Then came the battle of Antietam. In that famous 
engagement this regiment occupied a position on the ex- 
treme right of the Union line, which it held against supe- 
rior force for two hours and a half, being commanded 
by Captain William H. H. Mapes. " Through the whole 
fight the indomitable courage of the men of the 28th was 
conspicuous, and was appropriately acknowledged in 
general orders." 

Two or three days after the battle the regiment en- 
camped at Harper's Ferry, and went to work on the forti- 
fications of the place. Early in December another ad- 
vance into Virginia was made, and the 28th wintered at 
Stafford Court-house. The deaths in the regiment dur- 
ing 1862 were sixty-three. 

The last battle in which this organization took part 
was that of Chancellorsville, in connection with which 
it was in action three days and lost seventy-eight in 

killed, wounded and missing. The regiment returned 
to New York about the middle of May, 1863, and was 
soon mustered out. 

We have had difficulty in procuring a complete list 
and record of the men of this and the other organi- 
zations hereafter treated of. The provision of the State 
government for the compilation of town records was to 
a considerable extent frustrated by the neglect of the 
town authorities to carry it out, and the records in the 
county clerk's office are not exhaustive. The following 
is the roll of the men from Niagara county in the 28th, 
as complete as we have been able to make it. Mstd and 
dschd will be recognized as abbreviations of mustered 
and discharged. 


Colonel, Dudley Donnelly; lieutenant-colonel, Edwin 

F. Brown; major, James R. Mitchell; adjutant, Charles 
P. Sprout; quartermaster, Christopher L. Skeels; sur- 
geon, Albert M. Helmer; surgeon's mate, Matthew F. 
Regan; sergeant-major, Charles B. Wright; quartermas- 
ter sergeant, Edwin A. Swan; drum-major, John Minor; 
fife-major, Alonzo J. McMaster. 



Captain, Elliott W. Cook; lieutenant, Daniel R. Whit- 
cher; ensign, John Repass; ist sergeant, Jeremiah Long; 
sergeants, Henry Repass, John L. Wright, Thomas Her- 
bert; corporals, Henry Foster, Newfane, enlisted in April, 
1861, promoted to sergeant, dschd for disabilty in 
1864; Riley P. Butrick, jr, Wesley G. Ray, James Lewis; 
musicians, Benjamin F. Repass, William Baker. 


James L. Atwood, Jacob M. Armstrong, Luther L. 
Bosserman, Chester Barry, Thomas Boodger, Sylvester 
Bowen, Newfane, enlisted in October, 1862, died in hos- 
pital at Albany, in March, 1864; Benjamin B. Brown, 
Jeremiah Babcock, William H. Chambers, John S. Cham- 
bers, Michael Casey, Francis H. Church, Patrick Carroll, 
William H. Crampton, John Clark, Amon Carson, Charles 

G. Davis, Martin W. Demerest, Orlando E. Dickerson, 
Bernard Englert, Alva A. Eaton, James M. Ford, William 
D. Fox, Samuel Farr, Lyman Field, George W. Good, 
John F. Gailor, Alonzo Greenman, Michael Gaffney, 
John Henning, John Kinardt, jr., Amos E. Kniffen, Wil- 
liam H. Langdon, Henry W. Logan, Noah B. Lincoln, 
Joseph W. Little, Charles Lureman, Alexander Mehwaldte, 
Philip Moyer, William Merville, Adam B. Merville, John 
McLeland, Philo A. Watson, Daniel Noaker, Royalton, 
enlisted Oct. 25, 1861, dschd in June, 1865; Aaron 
G. Oakley, Ambrose Peacock, Nathan Z. Peterson, 
Thomas Pasco, Elias Reid, Charles Lowter, Isaac W. Sly- 
Charles B. Sullivan, Henry V. Sterling, Lyman A. 




Captain, William W. Bush; lieutenant, Alfred B. Judd; 
ensign, John C. Walsh; ist sergeant, George H. Maxwell; 
sergeants, Peter B. Kelchner, promoted to ist sergeant 
Mch. 13, 1862 ; William White, James F. Bush, pro- 
moted to 2nd sergeant Mch. 13, 1862 ; corporals, 
Thomas E. Bateman, Shuler T. Smedley, Royalton, en- 
listed in April, 1861, promoted to 4th sergeant March 
13, 1862, dschd in June, 1863 ; Philip H. Murphy, James 
F. McMuUen; musicians, Joseph W. Chandler, Wright 


Dewitt C. Bulmen, Alfred Bell, dschd Aug. 12, 1862, 
for disability; Amos M. Brown, Henry Bollow, dschd July 
24, 1862, for disability; William Blackwell, Joseph Bay- 
ard, dschd July 24, 1861, lost foot by accident; Henry 
Burk, William T. Behan, deserted Sept. 25, 1862; John 
Burk, Joseph Barker, deserted Aug. 23, 1862; John Bal- 
antine. Palmer Colton, dschd Aug. 5, for disability ; 
Henry W. Colton, Royalton,' enlisted Apr. 24, 1861, 
dschd June 2, 1863 ; William Connor, James Coville, 
George M. Cook, James Coile, Stephen H. Chandler, 
James Campbell, Stephen Clark, Patrick H. Cooney, 
William H. Crampton, died at Winchester, Va., 
March 17, 1862; John Calbeck, dschd for disability; 
Thomas Dalton, Frederick Dohring, George Eslinger, 
John Finn, Michael Finegan, William Gier, James Gog- 
gin, James Garnum, Martin Horner, William Hans, 
Robert Hamilton, Patrick F. Hanley, John Jacobus, John 
Johnston (i), John Johnston (2), John M. Lacey, Thomas 
Leonard, John R. Mabee, Burnett Murphy, Franklin Mc- 
Clanathan, Henry Mitger, John Miller, Edward S. New- 
man, A^'illiam D. Parker, Commodore O. Perry, Luther 
A. Russell, William Robison, dschd for disability; 
Peter RoUow, William Rutz, William Smith, Alexander 
Smith, William Siek, William Skinner, deserted Nov. 
6, 1862 ; John Skinner, deserted Nov. 6, 1862; 
George Southard, James Scott, Nelson J. Tubbs, John 
Turner, James Turner, Arthur Woods, deserted Sept. 
22, 1862 ; George Squires, John H. Stahl, Robert 
Southard, Harrison Thomas, Bergen F. Tyler, George W. 
Tucker, Malcomb G. Taylor, William Taylor, John F. 
Taylor, John R. Wright, Nathan J. Wright, William Win- 
throp, Edward White, John Sutton, Robert Hyne, mstd 
in Mch. 6, 1862, died at Strasburg hospital May 17, 
1862; Robert Irving, Joel A. Lisbey, William Roach, 
George Suttonn, Peter Mangen. 



Captain, Theodore P. Gould,died in Baltimore in 1869; 
lieutenant, Justin C. Ware, transferred to another regi- 
ment; ensign, George A. Bingham, dismissed from the 
service in Feb. 1862; ist sergeant, Charles Brown, 
wounded by an accident and dschd; sergeants, John T. 

Sullivan, captured at Cedar Mountain; exchanged and 
promoted; dschd June 3, 1863; Edward G. Brooks, 
served his term and was dschd June 3 1863; Charles O. 
Ingalls, served his term and was dschd June 3, 1863; cor- 
porals, Edward H. Lampshire, died of disease in general 
hospital, Baltimore, 1861; Martin McMahon, killed at the 
battle of Cedar Mountain, Aug. 9, 1862; Francis M. 
Wadsworth, wounded at the battle of Cedar Mountain, 
and dschd; Francis Kilmer, transferred to another regi- 
ment and dschd; musicians, Homer H. Fields, served 
time of enlistment and was dschd; Horace L. Drake, 
served time of enlistment and was dschd. 


Henry Appelby, deserted early in 1861; James H. 
Boyd, dschd in 1861 for disability, afterwards re-enlisted 
and served with distinction through the war; Parker Bur- 
napp, dschd; Charles Benton, killed at Cedar Mountain, 
Aug. 9, 1862; George Bower, served term in 28th, enlist- 
ed in another regiment and was killed; John L. Booth, 
promoted June, 1862, dschd ; Andrew Brennan, served 
term and was discharged; Edward K. Bullock, deserted 
in 1861; John Bench, served term and was dschd; Lewis 
Bapp,died in general hospital in Baltimore in 1861 ; George 
E. Bostwick, served his time and was dschd; Matthew 
Barton, dschd in 1861; Richard W.Bell, accidentally shot 
himself and was dschd; Thomas Cooper, deserted at 
battle of Ball's Bluff, 1861'; Alonzo W. Cline, served his 
time and was dschd; Lanty Conklin, served his time and 
was discharged; George Davy, served his time and was 
dschd; William Dunn, served his time and was dschd; 
James Dougan, wounded at Cedar Mountain, served his 
time; Robert Deppa, David Evans and Peter Einsfield 
served their time and were dschd ; William H. 
Frank, wounded at Cedar Mountain, served his time; 
Thomas J. Frarey, served his time and was dschd ; 
James Fitzgibbons, deserted in October, 1861; 
William O. Garner, released on writ of habeas corpus; 
Theodore A. Gould, James Hany and John Hany, served 
their time and were dschd; Charles R. Haight, killed at 
the battle of Cedar Mountain; Jacob Hagerman, dschd 
for disability; Oscar P. Harvey, served his termof enhst- 
ment and was afterward killed by Mosby's guerillas; 
George Irish, served term of enlistment and was dschd; 
James A. Kearns, dschd; Peter Kearns, dschd; William 
Killer; Michael Kilberer, killed Aug. 9, 1862, at 
Cedar Mountain ; Simon Keefer, served his term and was 
dschd; Francis Lacy, transferred to another company, 
dschd; Gatien Liger, served his term of enlistment, 
afterward was a commissioned officer in 2d Mounted 
Rifles; Stanley Lefferty, deserted; Henry C. Miller, Ed-' 
ward Moody, Lawrence Metzger, William McMullen, 
James Morrority, John McCann, John Myers, James Mc- 
Clary and George Nash, served their term and were 
dschd; Alphonzo Pursall, deserted; Albert Price, desert- 
ed; Alvin T. Richmond and George Robinson, served 
their time and were dschd; James Scarrow, deserted; 
Charles Stephenson, served his time and was dschd; 
Francis L. Shipman, promoted to be sergeant, served his 



time; Alexander Simpson, served his time and was dschd; 
Matthew G. Tierany, deserted; Charles Vice, served his 
time and was dschd; Einst Wager, Thomas Watkins, 
John Walker and John Zurkee, dschd for disability. 



Captain, Henry H. Paige, resigned July 16, 1862 ; 
lieutenant, Volney Farley ; enisgn, James D. Ames; 
ist sergeant, Hugh A. Jameson; sergeants, William F. 
Williams, John H. Moyses, Henry F. King; corporals, 
Wilber F. Lawton, Norman O. Allen, Samuel Williams, 
Samuel Lewis; musicians, Edmund Stoney, Byron An- 


Nathaniel Angevine, Charles A. Beebe, John S. Bush, 
Nelson H. Beebe, Kearon Brophy, William Bush, WiUiam 
H. Crowley, William H. Cleveland, Daniel Caton, Fred- 
rick A. Caman, Dexter F. Carpenter, Joseph Coty, 
Daniel H. Davis, Ingraham D. Eaton, Franklin S. Eggart, 
William O. Engler, Stephen Flinn, Freeman B. Good- 
enough, John Griffin, Charles Harting, Royalton, en- 
listed Apr. 29, 1861, dschd June 2, 1863; Henry 
H. Helmer, Charles E. Halsted, Isaiah Harrington, 
Emery Hilton, William Kruskie, Alexander W. Lowrie, 
Gottfried Mevis, Matthew Moyres, Franklin O. McKin- 
ney, James Mason, Patrick McCann, John C. L. Moll, 
killed at Culpepper, Va., Aug. 9, 1862; Sylvester S. Mar- 
vin, Walter Mullen, Peter C. More, Joseph J. G. Nellis, 
George A. Nye, Perry Putnam, Nehemiah Pecktil, Joseph 
PhilUps, Charies L. Pickard, James N. Phillips, William 
Parsons, Stephen C. Roberts, Albert Rogers, William E. 
Richardson, August Strasberg, Dennis SuUivan, Don 
C. Smith, Newfane, enlisted Oct. 5, 1861, dschd in June, 
1862; John H. Smith, Charles F. Seger, Joshua B. Smith, 
William H. Simons, John Stacy, William H. Tenbrook, 
Thomas C. Tenbrook, Charles Vogt, Abram Wheeler, 
Hixon Woolever, Watson Swick, William C. Ward, Henry 
Webb, Willard White, William D. Young. 

Company C included Sergeant George Brown, New- 
fane, enhsted in April, 1861, mstd out in 'Aug. 1862, 
and private J. Bryan Lovell, mstd out with the regi- 


This regiment was made up of companies raised in the 
counties of Niagara, Chautauqua, Erie and Genesee. 
Company H, raised and commanded by Captain Charles 
H. Moss, of Lockport, was Niagara's representation in 
the organization, with names and rank as follows: 


Captain, Charles H. Moss, Lnckport; first lieutenant, 
Andrew W. Brazee, Lockport; second lieutenant, Henry 
D. Hall, Lockport; first sergeant, William D. Bough ton, 
Lockport; second, Otis B. Hayes, Somerset; third, Charies 

A. Murphy, Lockport; fourth, William Tindall, Lockport; 
first corporal, Frank Baker, Lockport; second, Isaac N. 
Porter, Lockport; third. Jay Silsby, Lockport; fourth, 
Henry E, Barlow, Lockport; fifth, Michael Hutchinson, 
Lockport; sixth, WilKam Levan, Lockport; seventh, 
George W. Pixley, Somerset; musician, Schuyler S. Bal- 
lou, Lockport; wagoner, Ludolphus W. Fuller, Lockport. 


Willard W. Bailey, Jefferson Baylis, John R. Baylis, 
Garret Barry, Henry D. Blakely and Stephen Bramon, 
Lockport; George C. Bugbee, Royalton, enlisted Aug. 
1861, dschd 1864; James A. Bugbee, William Bush, Em- 
ory E. Burton, James B. Calvin and John P. Casey, 
Royalton; Alphonso T. Coleman, Somerset; Thomas 
Curran, Newfane, enhsted Sept. 17, 1864; James Carr 
and Samuel B.Colt, Lockport; Francis M.Doubleday, Som- 
erset; Henry Davis, Newfane, enlisted Oct. 1, 1864; John 
Evans, jr., and Elmer Fox, Somerset; Charles Freenian, 
Lockport; James H. Griswold, Royalton, enlisted Sept. 5, 
1861, dschd July 7, 1865; Mathias Fese, Lockport; John 
Haight, jr., Somerset; Cornelius- Hermon, Charles E. 
Hessel, Thomas Hughes, Samuel Johnson, William 
Jones and Charles A. Kendall, Lockport; Henry Krupp, 
Newfane, enlisted Sept. 14, 1862, dschd Dec. 9, 1863; Par- 
nell Lawcock, William Rhodes, Joseph McCuen, Charles 

A. Merwaldt, Samuel A. Morris, Hiram Odell, John 
Ortwaine, Egbert Perry, Elias Perry, Theodore Pesirie 
and Fred Peters, Lockport; John Rose, Newfane, enlisted 
Oct. I, 1864; John Ryan, Newfane, enlisted Oct. i, 
1864; Nathaniel I. Russell, Newfane; John Staler, New- 
fane; Aaron B. Severs, Hartland; Levi W. Sherman and 
Charles Ligwald,Lockport; John D. Silsby, Hartland; Al- 
bert Smith, Wilson; Michael Smith, Royalton, enlisted Aug. 
1861, dschd 1865; Hiram P. Springstead,Somerset; Wesley 

B. Steele, Hugh M. Swick and George Swicker, Lockport ; 
Thomas E. Talliday, Somerset; Robert H. Taylor and 
Hiram P. Thompson, Lockport; David W. Vail, Somerset; 
Rufus R. Waite, Alonzo D. Wilcox and Theodore C. 
Williams, Lockport; James White, Newfane, enlisted Oct. 
I, 1864. 

The regiment was raised in response to the call for 
300,000 men in 186 1. It was mustered in on August 
22nd of that year, and went out under command of Colo- 
nel Daniel D. Bidwell of Buffalo, for three years' ser- 

After the organization was perfected the 49th was en- 
camped at Fort Porter, Buffalo, several weeks, in camp 
of instruction. In September it was ordered to New 
York city to receive arms. After being furnished with 
equipments the regiment went direct to Washington, and 
remained there one night. The next morning it crossed 
the Potomac into Virginia and went into camp at Fort 
Ethan Allen, where the men were engaged for a little time 
in strengthening the fort, by throwing up breastworks. 
They were then ordered to camp Griffin, where they were 
attached to General " Baldy " Smith's division. They re- 
mained in camp doing picket duty during the autumn of 
1861 and winter of 1862, meantime participating in the 



engagement at Drainesville and in several sharp skir- 
mishes. In the spring of 1862, when the Army of the 
Potomac broke camp and entered upon the famous 
Peninsula campaign, the 49th was included, subsequently 
participating in the battles of Yorktown, Williamsburg, 
Golding's Farm, Savage Station, White Oak Swamp and 
Malvern Hill. 

The regiment afterward fought at Crampton's Gap, 
Antietam, Mary's Heights, Salem Heights, Gettysburg, 
Rappahannock Station, Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Cold 
Harbor, Petersburg, Fort Stevens, Opequan, Fisher's 
Hill and Cedar Creek. Company H, however, did but 
little fighting after the engagement at Malvern Hill, hav- 
ing been detailed at division headquarters as provost 
guard, Captain Brazee acting as judge advocate. 

The portion of the regiment that went through the 
several battles above named was cut to pieces, and when 
mustered out there was but a small remnant of the body 
of 800 men that started out. At the battle of the Wilder- 
ness every officer was either killed or wounded. After 
having surrendered the rebels charged upon them with 
terrible effect, and mowed them down like grass before 
the sickle. Captain Moss did not remain long with his 
company ; he was stricken down with camp fever in 
1862, and was forced to come home. He died March 
25th, 1862. He was succeeded by Lieutenant Brazee, 
who remained in command until October i8th, 1864. 
His term of office having expired, he came home and 
Lieutenant Hayes took command. The regiment remain- 
ed in the service until June 27th, 1865, when it was mus- 
tered out in accordance with orders from the War De- 


This regiment was raised and organized at Buffalo, to 
serve three years. It was mustered in from September, 
1861, to January, 1862, and retained in the field until Aug- 
ust, 28th, i865,when it was mustered out. It included quite 
a number of men from the western portion of Niagara 
county, all of whom but two — a musician (John Castle, 
Tonawanda) and a wagoner,(William Hay,jr., Tonawanda) 
— were privates. The following were the men, all enrolled 
at Tonawanda unless otherwise mentioned : 

Ithamer Ackley, La Salle; John B.Atkinson,Mitchell Al- 
lair, James Ansley, William J. Bailey, Charles Butch, My- 
ron Becker, John G.Brookman,Walter C. Bates, Andrew E. 
Bigsby, WheelockT. Bates, James Berryman, Wheatfield; 
Christian Burgwadt, Wheatfield; John Caverno, Louis 
Daniels, Philip Deermere, WilHam Dixon, John Dessel- 
berger, Wheatfield; James Ewart, Michael Enright, 
Franklin F. Flannery, Valentine Fix, Henry Gas- 
lin, Wheatfield ; Charles Hagen, William Hubb, 
Henry Hidell, Robert Jones, Philip Klein, Lawrence 
Keller, Henry Keller, Frederick Knobel, William K. 
Lounsbury, John W. Lingley, Francis Leonard, Joseph 
Longer, Charles Leonard, Wheatfield; Jacob Lightmire, 
Henry Luthso, Wheatfield; Henry Meitzinger, John Mon- 
teith, George H. Martin, Henrick Miller, Wesley Mc- 

Cafferly, Wheatfield; John F. McCafferly, Wheatfield; 
Charles Wetzdorf, Wheatfield; George Newman, Jacob 
Pfalegraf, James Pendergrass, Daniel W. Rundell, Will- 
iam Richardson, David Rappleyea, Michael Ryan, Fred- 
erick Reipstick, Henry Shultz, James W. Simson, Winfield 
B. Scott, George H. Stormes, Caspar Shelbeck, Thomas 
Schulby, Jacob Shopp, William H. Striker, John Saco, 
AVheatfield; Frederick Shlotman, William Smith, Wheat- 
field; Lawrence Torney, Charles Whitmur, John F. 
A\'hite, Willett P. 'W'ilkins, ^Villiam Wright, Newfane, en- 
listed Dec. 12, 1861, mstd out Jan. 30, 1865; David W. 
Williams, Wheatfield; John H. Wolfe, Wheatfield; Henry 
Wicker, Wheatfield; William Jahr, Wheatfield. 

The battles in which the regiment was engaged were 
those at Yorktown, Williamsburg, Fair Oaks, Bottom's 
Bridge and White Oak Swamp. 


In this regiment, which was organized at New York 
city from November,i86i,to April,i862, to serve for three 
years, were three men from Niagara county, viz.: Fourth 
Sergeant William Parker and privates Michael Barriers 
and William Swift, all of Niagara Falls. It did service 
at the battles of Cedar Mountain, Antietam, Chancellors- 
ville, Gettysburg, Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge, 
Ringgold, Resaca, Dallas, Altoona, Pine Hill and Atlanta. 
On the expiration of the term of service the original 
members (except veterans) were mustered out, and the 
regiment, composed of veterans and recruits, retained in 
service until July 21st, 1865, when it was mustered out in 
accordance with orders from the War Department. 



JT was in August, 1861, just after the humilia- 
tion at Bull Run and in response to the second 
call from the President, that Captain Alfred 
Ransom, then of Newfane, applied to Gover- 
nor Morgan for authority to raise a company 
volunteers. The permission was granted 
August 6th, 1861, and the work of recruiting at once 
began. It was performed under the most adverse cir- 
cumstances. It was in he busy season of harvest, and 
there was thus a restraint upon the farmer, with noth- 
ing save loyalty to country to induce him to enlist, 
for no bounties werj given at that time and the term of 
enlistment was " three years or during the war, unless 
sooner discharged." All this proved to be no great 
barrier. Niagara county was " true blue," and as early 
as the 1 6th day of October, the company was ready for 
inspection. Captain Ransom had associated with himself 



Samuel Kittinger, of Cambria, and Lewis B. Manning, of 
Wheatfield, well and favorably known throughout Niagara 
county, and from the first the work progressed satisfac- 

On the last named date the battery passed the inspec- 
tion of State Inspector E. D, Shuler, and was mustered 
into service. It was ordered to rendezvous at Buffalo. 
Starting out with the minimum number, eighty men, 
whenever a man was found who would enlist he was 
mustered in. In November, 1861, the battery was sent to 
Albany, imder command of Captain Ransom and Lieu- 
tenant Samuel Kittinger. There were at Albany a number 
of small companies and squads of men which were being 
consolidated into regiments and battalions. One com- 
pany, recruited by J. C. Salter, of Warren county, number- 
ing sixty odd men, was divided, one-half being assigned 
to Captain Ransom's battery and the other to Captain 
Jay E. Lee's, thus raising Ransom's to the full number 
for light artillery batteries. On the 7th of December, 
1861, at the urgent request of General McClellan, General 
Barry and many other military men at Washington, and 
under advice of General Rathbone and Major J. F. 
Sprague, of Albany, Captains Ransom and Lee consented 
to enter into an organization with their respective com- 
panies to be designated as Battery A, Rocket Battalion, 
and the officers and men were mustered as such and or- 
dered via New York to Washington. 

Upon their arrival at Washington they at once began 
to drill and practice experiments in the use of war rock- 
ets, being the only organization of the kind in the ser- 
vice. Early in April, 1862, the rockets and carriages 
were returned to the arsenal, and field pieces (3-inch 
rifled Rodman steel guns) taken instead. The battery 
was then ordered to Newbern, N. C, to reinforce Gener- 
al Burnside; took sailing vessels, and after a fifteen days 
passage arrived at Newbern about April 28th. The battery 
was assigned to General Reno's division (2d division 9th 
array corps), and encamped on the east side of Trent 
river, having the same camp that the rebel cavalry occu- 
pied before Burnside drove them out of Newbern. It 
was known as the " Spaight plantation," and lay in the 
angle of the Trent and Neuse. The place was very un- 
healthy, so much so that it was sometimes called the 
great " North Carolina alligator nursery." Many of the 
soldiers succumbed to malaria, and either died or were 
confined to the hospitals. 

During the summer of 1862, the battery was stationed 
at Moorehead City, N. C, and engaged in the various 
raids and skirmishes of the army of North Carolina, in- 
cluding PoUockville and Trenton. These services are 
fully described in Major-General J. G. Foster's report 
on the conduct of the war in North Carolina from July ist, 
1862, to July isth, 1863. On the nth of December, 1862, 
while at Moorehead City, orders were received by Captain 
Ransom to move his battery, with all of his ordnance 
camp and garrison equipage and stores of every kind, to 
Newbern, and hold himself in readiness to march from 
that point at 5 o'clock A. M. on the 12 th, with three 
days' rations of cooked meals and five days' rations of 

hard bread, sugar, coffee and salt. The order was re- 
ceived on the afternoon of the nth. The battery moved 
accordingly, in company with all the available forces of 
General Foster, on the memorable raid to Goldsboro. 

The next day active skirmishing was commenced, last- 
ing all day. On the 14th the battle of Kinston was fought, 
in which the battery did its full share of the work. The 
next engagement was the battle of Whitehall, in which 
this battery fired the first gun. After this the battery 
was moved to the southwest of the main column to strike 
Mount Olive, about seventeen miles south of Goldsboro, 
on the Wilmington railroad. At Mount Olive a .large 
trestlework was destroyed, about half a mile of the track 
torn up and the rails bent so that they were useless; a 
large amount of cotton destroyed, and the post-office 
thoroughly overhauled. It was a memorable day in the 
career of the 23d battery. 

On the following morning the battle of Goldsboro was 
fought, in which two bridges over the Neuse river were 
destroyed and a large number of prisoners taken, who 
were released on parole. Then, in the heart of the 
enemy's country, and almost out of ammunition, the ex- 
pedition started on its return march for Newbern, where 
it arrived on the 21st instant, after having been en- 
gaged in fighting and marching for ten successive days 
and eleven nights. During the winter of 1862 raiding 
and skirmishing were kept up around Newbern, in which 
Ransom and his men did good service. On the 14th of 
March, 1863, the enemy made a desperate attempt to re- 
take Newbern. Here again the 23rd was most conspicu- 
ous, on account of its long ranged guns, they being the 
only pieces that could reach the enemy's lines across the 
Neuse in the rear of the unfinished Fort Anderson. The 
fort was garrisoned by the 92nd N. Y., but they had not 
a gun mounted, and but for the 23rd battery must have 
been captured. Troops were finally sent over to the sup- 
port of the little garrison, under cover of Ransom's 
battery, the enemy's lines were broken and another glori- 
ous day closed for the 23d, now in the i8th army corps. 
During this engagement, the following message was 

"Captain Ransom: General Foster sends to you his 
compliments for the magnificent firing of your battery. 
He never saw anything better." 

Soon after this failure of the enemy to take Newbern, 
they undertook by a long siege to capture Washington, 
N. C. ■ In this connection the 23d battery was engaged 
for eighteen days and nights, sometimes on the road, 
then in the woods, and part of the time on boats, en- 
deavoring to break the chain that the rebel General D. 
H. Hill had wound about Washington, which was garri- 
soned by only about 1,200 men. 

On the 1 8th of April, 1863, General Foster, having run 
the rebel batteries at Hill's Point and Rodman's Point in 
the steamer " Escort," and arrived at Newbern, made a 
general move outside of Hill's line around Washington, 
hoping to shut off and capture that portion of Hill's 
army then operating on the neck of land lying between 
Newbern and Washington. General Hill discovered the 




movement, and believing undoubtedly that discretion 
was" the better part of valor," abandoned his position. 

This action concluded the siege of Washington. The 
battery remained at that place until April, 1864. During 
this time it went on nilmerous raids, usually in the night, 
against the enemy's camps established to protect their 
foraging parties which were supplying Lee's army. 
Among the many good things the 23d did while mounted 
as cavalry was the surprise and destruction of Major 
Whitford's (rebel) camp on a dark rainy night, and bring- 
ing in as a trophy Captain White's new uniform, complete 
from cap to boots; and on another occasion capturing 
and bringing in one of the pieces of the famous North 
Carolina " Star" battery, with four horses and limber 

In the spring of 1864 the enemy again attempted to 
take Washington, N. C. The 23d was the only light bat- 
tery at that post at the time. After a siege of three days 
and nights the rebels abandoned the attack, and orders 
were given by Brigadier-General Harland, then command 
ing, to evacuate the place. Harland took all the infantry 
at the post and went with them himself on board of trans- 
ports around through Pamlico Sound, while Captain Ran- 
som, being the senior officer left in command, with the 
23d, two companies of the 12th N. Y. cavalry and one 
company of the first N. C. cavalry, took the overland 
route to Newbern, making an all night's march. 

The battery remained at Newbern during the summer 
of 1864 and until the spring of 1865, doing camp and 
garrison duty, provost duty, and watching the movements 
of the enemy until the surrender of Lee. The fighting 
having then ceased. Captain Ransom, being broken down 
in health after having served nearly three years and a 
half, resigned his commission and left the battery in 
charge of First Lieutenant Samuel Kittinger, who was 
afterward promoted to the rank of captain. 

Captain Kittinger was ordered to report his battery 
to General Kilpatrick to serve as horse artillery in con- 
nection with Kilpatrick's calvary brigade, who went on a 
"wild goose chase" after Jeff. Davis; with them the bat- 
tery moved to Mount Olive, to the very spot it had occu- 
pied nearly two and a half years previous; and after 
traversing the greater portion of North Carolina, finally 
brought up at City Point, where the men turned in their 
horses and battery and started for home. They were 
■ mustered out of service July 3d, 1865, after being in the 
field three years and eight months and taking part' in the 
following engagements: 

Kinston, December 14th, 1862; Whitehall, December 
i6th, 1862; Goldsboro, December 17th, 1862; attack on 
Newbern, March 14th, 1863; siege of Washington, N. C, 
April 1-19, 1863; Blount's Creek, April, 1863; siege of 
Washington, N. C, 3 days, 1864; Kinston, March, 1865; 

As already stated, the battery started out with only the 
minimum number, about eighty men. While home on 
sick leave in 1862, Captain Ransom recruited it up to the 
full maximum number. Ninety-two men were sent to it 
from Albany county, N. Y., in 1864, thus swelling the 
number at that time to nearly three hundred men. The 

surplus men were organized into a company, r.nd armed 
with rifles, with which they did provost duty in Newbern 
until Lieutenant Thomas Low, of the 23rd, received his 
commission as captain, and they were assigned to the 8th 
N. Y. Heavy Artillery. 

The whole number of men enlisted for the 23d battery 
during the war was 394. 

Those from Niagara county who served under Captain 
Ransom are named in the following compilation made uj) 
from the muster-rolls : 

Captain, Alfred Ransom; first lieutenant, Samuel Kit- 
tinger; first lieutenant, Thomas Low (promoted to cap- 
tain); second lieutenant. Nelson Cornell; first sergeant^ 
Lewis B. Manning; quartermaster sergeant, Joseph Kit- 
tinger; sergeants, John K. Swick, Newfane, enlisted Nov. 
II, 1861, mstd out Nov. 10, 1864; Edgar C. Balcom, 
Frederick F. Palmatier, Newfane, enlisted Oct. 22, 1861, 
mstd out Nov. 10, 1864; George W. Sprout, Newfane, 
enlisted Oct. 16, 1862, died in 1865; Amos Parker, Orlin 
S. Hays; corporals, Charles T. Saxton, William Sage, 
William M. Smith, Simeon H. Talbot, Newfane, enlisted 
Nov. II, 1861, mstd'out Nov. 10, 1864; Sylvester Perry, 
Edmond T. Ackerman, Edwin Saxton, James McDonald. 
Almon BUss, William H. Merville, Philip Simmons, 
Stephen Flynn; buglers, Clark Anderson, William J. 
Porter; artificer, William L. Warden; blacksmith, Jede- 
diah Biggins, Newfane, enlisted Aug. 25, 1862, mstd out 
July 24, 1866; wagoner. Perry McKenzie. 


Lewis Alvers, William Amsdell, Charles L. Atwater, 
James F. Allen, Wheatfield; Adelbert Anderson, ^Vilson; 
Jothan Bliss, Wheatfield; Christian Baumann, Newton O. 
Baker, Andrew B. Balcom, James N. Bull, George C. Bull, 
John Berger, Pennel Bobst, Clark Burget, Burr A. Beebe, 
Porter ; Perley Brown, Wilson; Sylvester G. Campbell, 
James H. Clow, William L. Cole, William H. Carver, 
Ward Chapman, Wheatfield; Robert Churchill, ■\^'ilson; 
Cassius M. -Cole, Cambria; Samuel K. Dietrick, Nelson 
Defoe, William Delaney, Lewis M. Daniels, Estes E, 
Dake, George W. Davenport, Wilson; William H. Enderton, 
Anthony Enderton, Charles H. Flint, George Flint, Elihu 
C. Fitch, Augustus C. Fitch, Charles Ferrah, Christian 
Fisher, Ashley D. Francisco, John W. Gilbert, Wheatfield; 
James Graham, Henry J. Gregory, Wilson; Charles 
B. Hayes, Royal S. Hurlbert, Hiram W. Hewitt, 
William Hagle, Henry Hudden, William Hill, Wilson; 
Walter R. Hurlburt, Robert Harnott^ Wilson; Milton 
Holley, Wilson; Cyrus Hawley, Wilson; Henry B. Hewitt, 
Lewiston; William H. Kline, Abraham Kraut, Le\i 
Karchner,W. E. Knowles, Charles Keyes, Wilson; Luther 
Knapp, Wilson; Jacob W. Layloud, Newfane, enlisted 
Oct. 27, 1861, dschd June 27, 1865; William D. Lovell, 
Newfane, enlisted Aug. 29, 1862, mustd out July 14, 
1865; Edwin Leete, Wheatfield; William Lutts, Porter; 
Ezra G. Lounsbury, Wilson; Henry Morris, John Mc- 
Collum, Michael McCorning, Newfane, enlisted Sept. 28, 



i86i, mustd out July 14, 1865; George McBride, 
William Mayer, William Moore, George Merrill, Wheat- 
field; Frank B. Mallett, Wheatfield; Smith J. Newman, 
Augustus Nervist, Porter; Henry Niles, Wilson; Thomas 
O'Reilly, Lockport; David Peggs, Niagara, killed at New- 
bern, Feb. 12, 1864; Palmer Pierce, Edwin P. Pierce, 
George L. Perry, John Phalen, Benjamin C. Palmer, 
Daniel S. Porter, William Powley, Philomon R. Payne, 
Philo A. Patrick, Lorenzo R. Putnam, Wheatfield; George 

A. Pettit, Wilson; Cyrus M. Pierce,John Reynolds, Charles 
Richert, Ben J. Reynolds, Wilson; Sampson Sovereign; 
Eugene Slocum, Peter Smith, Lockport ; Philip 
H. Swick, Newfane, enlisted Aug. 30, 1862, mstd 
out in June, 1863; William H. Simonds, Lewiston; Jesse 

B. Stoughlon, Porter; John H. Tucker, James E. Taylor, 
John Tenbrook, Thomas Tryon, George Towner, Orrin 
W. Towner, Albert H. Thornton, Daniel Vogle, Pliny 
Vanfleet, Wheatfield; Calvin Vantwormer, Wheatfield; 
Joseph A. White, Samuel Worden, jr., Hiram A. Worden, 
Jerome Worden, Alvin H. Webster, John A. Whitlock, 
Wheatfield; Norris Withington, Wilson; George W. Wil- 

The above list was copied from an original muster-for- 
pay roll of September and October, 1864, according to 
the muster-roll on file in the ofiice of the clerk of Niagara 
county. The following named persons from the county 
were also members of the battery when it left home in 

George D. Bunleton, William M. Brulis, Daniel Dietrick,. 
jr., Charles Depue, William Engle, Orrin L. Elwood, Milo 
Hollenbeck, Henry Harrington, Flanders J. Kellar, Ly- 
man A. Levan, Michael McCormick, John N. Miller, 
Thomas Pike, James F. Skinner, Charles L. Spade, Ed- 
ward I. Simmons, Elijah Vredenburg, Augustus Wilcox, 
John Wood, Edwin D. Weaver, John Wright. 


The companies of which this regiment was composed 
were raised in the counties of Niagara, Orleans, Oswego, 
Oneida, Onondaga, Chemung, Steuben, Monroe, Wayne, 
Erie, Jefferson, St. Lawrence, Lewis and Herkimer. 
Company M was from Niagara. The regiment was mus- 
tered into the service for three years, from August 30th to 
November, 186 r, and organized at Elmira. The following 
were the members of company M from Niagara county. 


Captain, George W. Cothran, Lockport; ist lieutenant, 
C. E. Winegar, Medina ; second, James H. Peabody, 
Olcott ; third, George B. Eggleston, Wilson ; fourth, 
John D. Woodbury, Wilson. 

Amaziah Adams, Wilson; William Alger, Rapids Bridge; 
Willard Atkins, Pekin; Oscar Benedict and Chauncey F. 
BuUen, Somerset ; Byron B. Barber, Wilson ; Morris C. 
Bonesteel, Wilson; Stephen L. Brasington, Porter; Orla W. 
Burtch, Hartland; Martin Bookner, Wheatfield; William 

Baugh, Wilson; Henry Benson, Youngstown; Calvin E. 
Bedell, Somerset; Robert Brown, Wilson; Egbert 
Baright, Lockport ; James Burns, Wilson; George 
W. Draper, Lockport ; Asa L. Day, Royalton, en- 
listed Sept. 25, 1861, dschd in June, 1865; Robert Day, 
Royalton; Henry Dehn, Wilson; Erasmus Dettinger, 
Lockport. Joseph and John Dryer, Wilson; Elias A. 
Dunkleberger, Pendleton; H. W. Duffee and Albert Daily, 
Wilson; F. Dutcher, Somerset; Jonathan D. Elliott, New- 
fane, enlisted Oct. 5, 1861; Uriah H. Eshbaugh, Lock- 
port; John H. Gormley and Egbert J. Greene, Wilson; 
Henry F. Houstater, Pekin; Thomas D. and Henry E. 
Herbert, Lockport; Joseph Haas, George A Holmes, 
and William H. Henning, Wilson; Amalond Hathaway, 
Somerset; Augustus W. Hilton, Pendleton; Timothy 
Hopkins, Lockport; John Hannah, Wilson; Willam Huff- 
man, Hartland; Perry V. D. Johnson, Wilson; John L. 
Kinney and George Kent, Lockport; John W. Lock- 
wood, Wilson; Washington Ludwig, Pendleton; Clark 
B. Lowell and Clarence H. Levan, Wilson; Eldridge 
Lewis, Somerset; Henry J. Liscom, Wilson; Ira S. 
Losier, | Lockport; Solomon Levan, Wilson; John Mc- 
Guern, Lockport; Peter Miller, Jeremiah McGrath, Clark 
McKenzie, Wilson; Schuyler McKenzie and Sanford B. 
Nixon, Wilson; Simeon Cutwater, Newfane, enlisted Oct. 
r4, 1861, killed July 13, 1864, at Atlanta; Reuben W. 
Oliver, Wilson; Fred. A. Porter, Porter; Augustus M. 
Patterson, Royalton; James Robinson, Cambria; Hiram 
M. Ribble, Porter; Henry C. Sherrill, Lockport; Hiram 
Snyder, Rapids; Martin Shuck, Lockport; Christian 
Sholtz, Wheatfield; Hiram H. Smith, Alfred F. Stevens, 
Caleb Sweet, William H. Smith, Thomas M. Singer and 
William L. Smith, Wilson; Charles H. Schad, Royalton; 
Reuben A. Snyder, Rapids; George W. Shears, Wilson; 
John Shaw, Lockport; James A. Vanbergen, Wilson; 
George Vogle, Wheatfield; Almon Van wagoner, Somerset; 
Emanuel Wertman, Rapids; William Winslow, Wilson; 
John E. Wright, Lockport; Ammon F. Webster and 
Thomas G. Williams, Wilson; Fred. C. Wilke, Wheatfield; 
Harrison H. Wright and J. Francis Webster, Wilson; 
John Walker, Lockport; Harry Y. Pecise, L. N. Pratt and 
H. Wright Harrison, Wilson. 

The regiment did service by batteries, of which there 
were twelve in number, from A to M inclusive, and when 
the war was over it was mustered out by batteries. Bat- 
tery M went from Lockport and joined the regiment at 

Under command of Colonel Guilford J. Bailey, of the- 
regular army, the regiment left Elmira for Albany, where 
it remained about three weeks and then went direct to 
Washington and into camp Barry, where the men received 
their equipments. Here they remained until about the 
first of January, when they were ordered to Frederick 
Md., to join General Banks. On the 2 2d of February 
they moved with Banks from Frederick to Harper's Ferry 
and on via Charlestown to Berryville, midway between 
Charlestown and Winchester. They made a forced march 
from Berryville to Winchester to relieve General Shields. 
At Winchester they had an engagement. From Winches- 



ter the battery went with Banks to Strasburg, and from 
Strasburg to Edenburg, Va., meantime engaging in a 
sharp fight with the rebels under Stonewall Jackson. 

This was in April, 1862. From this time forward until 
August, 1863, the battery was fighting with the Army of 
the Potomac, participating in the battles of Antietam, sec- 
ond Bull Run, Cedar Mountain, second Winchester and 

In the month last mentioned the battery marched under 
General Hooker to Chattanooga to relieve General 
Rosencrans, who was cooped up there. Under Hooker 
they fought at Lookout Mountain and Wahatchie Valley. 

The following winter the regiment went to Bridgeport, 
Alabama, where, its term of service having expired, it was 
discharged. The original members re-enlisted as veterans 
and joined Sherman, who was then preparing to open a 
spring campaign at the South. Battery M was assigned 
to the 12th army corps in the army of the Cumberland, 
under General Thomas. After the capture of Atlanta 
Slierman divided his army and selected four corps to go 
with him on the march to the sea. The nth and 12th 
corps had been consolidated and formed the 20th corps. 
This, with the 14th; 15th and i6tii corps, went with Sher- 
man, and the rest went back with Thomas to Nashville. 
From this time until the close of the war, Battery M was 
with Sherman, aiding in the capture of Millidgeville and 
Savannah; traversing South Carolina, destroying all that 
came in their way; traversing North Carolina until the 
capture of Raleigh and the surrender of Johnston's army; 
on to Virginia, stopping at Richmond; next going to 
Alexandria and finally arriving at Washington in time for 
the grand review. 

The battery was mustered out June 23d, 1865. As 
regards casualties it was quite fortunate as compared with 
the experience of other like organizations. Among those 
who met their death in the field was Colonel Bailey, who 
was killed in action at Fair Oaks. The muster-in roll, as 
given in the foregoing columns, contains only those 
names enrolled in the military records on file in the 
county clerk's office. Many recruits were added to the 
'oattery during the service. 




HE 8th regiment of cavalry was composed of 
companies raised in the counties of Niagara, 
Orleans, Monroe, Ontario, Seneca, Wayne, 
Chenango, Oneida and Livingston. It was 
mustered into the service from November 
28th, i86r, to October 4th, 1862, and the organi- 
zation was completed at Rochester. Its field 
officers were : Colonel, Samuel J. Crooks, of Rochester; 

lieutenant-colonel, C. R. Babbitt; majors, W. S. Markett 
and W. H. Benjamin. 

The regiment left Rochester for Washington November 
27th, 1861, and arrived at its destination at 2 o'clock, 
Sunday morning, November 30th. It left Rochester 
without marching orders, arrived in Washington unherald- 
ed and was there two days before being recognized by the 
War Department. The regiment remained in AVashington 
during the winter, and it looked very much at one time 
as though it would be regarded by the government as 
surplus cavalry and be either transferred or mustered out. 
Finally the men were furnished with carbines, but no 
other equipments. 

Early in March they were transferred to a point near 
Conrad's Ferry, on the Potomac. Here they guarded the 
river for twenty-five miles. April 6th the regiment re- 
moved to Harper's Ferry and took quiet possession of 
that place. Then the U. S. arsenal, once the pride 
of the government, giving employment to over one thou- 
sand men and turning out an immense number of muskets 
and small arms, was a mass of ruins', having been destroyed 
by the Federal forces to prevent its falling into the hands 
of the rebels. 

While doing guard duty along the railroad out of Har- 
per's Ferry the regiment shared the rout of Banks's army 
by the enemy. The men had not been mounted yet, and 
were poorly armed, having inferior carbines and sabres. 
Poorly fitted as they were to enter battle, five companies 
of the regiment nearest Winchester were thrown forward 
to hold the enemy in check and cover the retreat of the 
worn out soldiers, and they did their duty. June 7th 
Captain Davis of the 2nd regular cavalry was given the 
colonelcy, and shortly after an order was issued gi\'ing 
the men their horses and equipments. The regiment 
was then stationed at Baltimore for some little time, pre- 
paring for active service. Early in September it moved 
to Harper's Ferry and scoured the country day and night 
capturing many prisoners. 

On the 8th this regiment made a reconnoissance up the 
river to Shephardstown and found General White's 
command was retreating from Martinsburg, about nine 
miles away, and the rebel army reported in force at that 
place. Just beyond Sharpsburg they found the whole 
corps of General Jackson crossing into Virginia for the 
purpose of surrounding the Ferry. Our forces soon found 
themselves In a bad predicament. Colonel Miles ordered 
the guns to be spiked and our forces to fall back. 

The whole cavalry force was put under the command 
of Colonel Davis of the 8th. They crossed the river on 
a pontoon bridge and turned the column to the left on a 
gallop, shooting the enemy's pickets as fast as seen. The 
ride to Sharpsburg was a thrilling one. 

At Sharpsburg Colonel Davis learned that the rebel 
army was stationed at Hagerstown, and their immense 
wagon train moving toward WlUiamsport for the purpose 
of crossing into Virginia. He at once conceived the plan 
of capturing it if possible, and selected a guide who led 
through cornfields and ditches, over hills and through 
valleys, avoiding Hagerstown and reaching Williamsport 



just at the break of day. General Longstreet's ammuni- 
tion train shortly afterward arrived. Colonel Davis rode 
up to a rebel major and asked him to what regiment he 
belonged. The major replied, " The 44th Virginia," and 
asked Colonel Davis what regiment he belonged to. " To 
the 8th New York cavalry, and you are my prisoner,'' was 
the stern reply, and Davis shouted to the rebel wagon- 
master, "You are my prisoner; turn that train up the first 
right hand road." He then called one of the companies 
of the 8th regiment to act as guard, and ordered that the 
first man who left his wagon should be shot on the spot. 
Colonel Davis, fearing that the alarm would be given to 
the rebel army before he could escape with his plunder, 
concluded to reach the Pennsylvania border before halt- 
ing. In this daring exploit Davis's force took 81 prison- 
ers, including several commissioned officers; over 80 
wagons, comprising the whole of General Longstreet's 
ammunition, and over 300 horses and mules. Upon their 
arrival at Greencastle, Pa., the prisoners were sent to 
Harrisburg and the wagons to Chambersburg. 

The next morning the 8th went back to Williamsport 
and captured sixteen more prisoners. The regiment 
scoured the country until the battle of Antietam, in which 
it took no very active part, as it was late in the day when 
it arrived. After the army passed into Virginia in the 
fall of 1862 the 8th was constantly on the advance; having 
almost daily skirmishes, in which it came off successful 
and with but trifling loss. 

Immediately following these adventures the regiment 
went into camp near Hagerstown. It did not see much 
camp life during the winter, as it was doing picket duty, 
scouting, reconnoitering and the like. 

The principal engagements of the 8th were in repelling 
the raids of Stuart's forces. June 9th, 1863, in the great 
cavalry raid near the Rappahannock the regiment was 
again engaged; here it won laurels again but at a great 
sacrifice, losing several men, among them the brave 
Colonel Davis, who was killed on the field at Beverly 
Ford; also Captain Benjamin F. Foote, of Company E, of 
Niagara county, Lieutenant Cutler, of Company A, and 
Lieutenant Rees; Company C, and having Lieutenant 
Elpha, of Company D, badly wounded. There was, how- 
ever, but a single casualty in the Orleans company, the 
case of Sergeant Daniel Haskell, badly wounded. The 
8th regiment sustained its hard earned reputation in the 
three days' battle at Gettysburg. To follow its move- 
ments from this time forward until the expiration of its 
terra of service would be to speak principally of successful 
raiding here and there. On the battle-flag of the regi- 
ment, in addition to the engagements mentioned in the 
foregoing, are Locust Grove, Hawes's Shop, White Oak 
Swamp, Opequan, Cedar Creek and Appomattox Court- 

In 1864 the original members of the regiment were 
mustered out, and the veterans and recruits retained in 
the service until June 27th, 1865, when they were also 
mustered out. 

Company E was from Niagara county, and most of the 
men were from the towns of Hartland and Royalton. It 

was raised by Captain Benjamin F. Foote, of the town of 
Hartland, and consisted of the following named men, 
besides himself and First Lieutenant Alpha Whiton, of 
Royalton, who enlisted September 5, 1861, and was dis- 
charged May 22, 1863. 


George R. Achilles, Hartland; John Anstey, Middleport; 
John C. Ayers, Middleport, enlisted in Oct. 1861, dschd in 
Nov. 1863; Horace Bacon, Hartland; George W. Burdick,. 
Royalton, enlisted Feb. i, 1864, dschd June 29, 1865; 
Chester F. Barry, Somerset; Lewis Burch, Hart- 
land; Daniel S. Brown, Royalton ; Alexander H. 
Braddock, Hartland; Albert Marion Bristol, Royalton, 
enlisted in Oct. 1861, dschd July 27, 1865; F. L. 
Bristol, Royalton, enHsted Mch. 25, 1865; John C. 
Brown and Philo Burch, Hartland; Addison Barton, 
Royalton, enlisted Aug. 12, 1862, dschd July 14, 1865; 
Alexander Barton, Royalton, enlisted Oct. 19, i86i, 
died in Baltimore, Sept, 10, 1862; John Bremmer, Royal- 
ton, enlisted Mch. 27, 1865, dschd June 27, 1865; Henry 
Brickfotd, Almon Brightman, Amos A. Castle, Daniel 
Connor, John Chne and James Congdon, Hartland; Henry 
R. Christman, Royalton, enlisted in Sept. 1861, mstd out 
with regiment; William Cassidy, Royalton; William 
Davis, Hartland; Newton Fisk, Royalton; Charles A. 
Fox, Royalton, enlisted Nov. 6, 1861, promoted 
sergeant, dschd June 27, 1865; James N. Garrett, 
Hartland; Henry Griffis, Royalton, enlisted in October, 
1861, died in hospital in June, 1862; Thomas Hartley, 
Hartland; Alexander Harrison, Royalton, enlisted Oct. 
15, 1861, dschd Dec. 30, 1863; David Hinman and 
Willis S. Hinman, Hartland; Augustus Hause, Royalton, 
enlisted Oct. 12, 1861, promoted to quartermaster ser- 
geant, fought in over twenty battles, dschd Dec. 8, 1864; 
Oscar Jones, Hartland; James Johnson, Royalton, enlist- 
ed Oct. 15, 1861, died at Relay House, Md., Aug. 15, 
1862; Lewis Kane, Hartland; George Long, Royalton, 
enlisted Oct. 8, i86r, promoted corporal, dschd Dec. 8, 
1864; James H. Marion, Royalton, enlisted Oct. 7, i86r, 
died in hospital, Mch. 12, 1862; Thomas H. Murphy, 
Royalton, enlisted Oct. 9, 1861, dschd Dec. 8, 1864; 
James O'Neil, Harrison D. Odikirk and Chester D. Ow- 
ens, Hartland; George Rifenbank, Royalton, enlisted 
Oct. 15, 1861, dschd Dec. 8, 1864; Bailey Roberts, Royal- 
ton; James K. Robson, Hartland; Thomas Richardson, 
Royalton, enHsted in October, i86t, served three years; 
William G. Richardson, Royalton; James Reynolds, New- 
fane, enlisted Mch. 10, 1865; Nelson A. Rude, Hartland; 
Charles Ross, Royalton, enlisted in October, i86i, dschd 
in June, 1865; Robert Ramshaw, Hartland; George 
Sheriff, Hartland; William H. Shaffer, Royalton, en- 
listed in September, 1864, dschd in May, 1865; George 
Skeel, Hartland; Jacob Shaffer, Royalton, enlisted in 
March, 1865; Carlos F. Smith, Hartland; Albion Stearns, 
Royalton; Orrin Smith and Wheaton R. Southworth, 
Hartland; Thomas Strouse, Royalton, enlisted Oct. 19, 
1861, dschd Dec. 8, 1864; John S. Schaller, Royalton, 
enlisted in October, 1861, dschd in July, 1865; Christian 



Snyder, Royalton; George D. Tuttle, Newfane, enlisted 
Mch. 29, 1865; James P. Thorn, Hartland; James M. 
Tucker, Royalton, enlisted Dec. i, 1861, promoted to 
lieutenant, stationed at Santiago, Tex.; Elijah Walton 
and Franklin Wright, Hartland; Charles H. Ware, Royal- 
ton, enlisted Sept. 25. 1861, killed in battle June 15, 1864; 
Jerome Wright, Royalton,enlisted Oct. 8, 1861, dschd Nov. 
I, 1863; George A. Wilcox, Gasport, enlisted in Aug., 1862, 
promoted quartermaster sergeant, dschd in Nov. [863; 
David Walsh, Royalton; Allen A. Willson, Robert H. 
Watkins, and James Watterson, Hartland ; Henry Wich- 
terman, Royalton, enlisted Oct., 1861 ; dschd in April, 
1862 ; Samuel C. Ward and Albertus Wilcox, Hartland ; 
Henry Winegardener, Royalton ; Charles Wallace, Hart- 
land ; John Zimmerman, Royalton, enlisted in Oct., 
1861, dischd in Jan., 1862. 

The regiment was mustered in from November 28th, 
1861, to October 4th, 1862. The original members were 
mustered out at the expiration of the term of service, and 
the regiment, composed of veterans and recruits, retained 
in service until June 27th, 1865, when it was mustered 
out. It participated in the battles of Winchester, Antie- 
tam, Upperville, Beverly Ford, Gettysburg, Locust Grove, 
White Oak Swamp, Opequan, Cedar Creek and Appo- 
mattox Court-house. At the battle of Beverly Ford, 
June 9th, 1863, Captain Foote was killed. 


Here was a regiment raised in the counties of Albany, 
Schoharie, Chemung, Delaware, Oneida, Onondaga and 
Orleans, and organized at New York, that included in its 
ranks a number of men from Niagara county, among 
them the following Royalton men : 

John Benson, enlisted Feb. 19, 1864, dschd July 12, 
1865; David Boulton, enlisted July 4, 1862, dschd June 
21, 1865; William Breening, enlisted Aug. 14, 1861, taken 
prisoner Oct. 7, 1864; Henry Breening, enlisted Oct. 14 
i86r, dschd Nov. 29, 1865; John Breening, enlisted Jan, 
27, 1864, dschd Nov. 29, 1865; Sergeant Sterling D. Ew- 
ington. Company F, enlisted Aug. 9, 1861, killed in action 
Mch. 4, 1863; Frank Griswold, Company F, quarter- 
master sergeant, enlisted Aug. 14, 1861, dschd June 14, 
1865; George W. Proctor, bugler. Company C, enlisted 
Aug. 2, 1862, dschd June 10, 1865; Charles Reardon, en- 
listed Apr. 25, 1864, died in July, 1865; Silas S. Tucker, 
lieutenant. Company F, enlisted in August, i86r, taken 
prisoner at Jones's Landing and never heard from ; Timo- 
thy Tracey, enlisted in March, 1864, now in the regular 
army; Edward E. Taylor, enlisted Feb. 19, 1863; Charles 
Wesley Perry, enlisted June 13, 1861, dschd July 17, 1864; 
William Wallenberg, corporal. Company F, enlisted July 
21, 1861, dschd Dec. 16, 1865. 

Also the following from Newfane: Sergeant Morris 
Harrington, Company F, enlisted Aug. 12, 1861, shot by 
guerillas at Swan's Quarters, N. C, Mch. 4, 1863; Corporal 
Dewey Hawkins, Company F, enlisted Sept. 3, 1861, dschd 
for disability in 1864; Sergeant Samuel Kemp, Company 
F, enlisted Aug, 12, 1861, killed by guerillas Mch. 14, 

1863; and the following recruits to Captain Ira Holmes's 
company, all of whom were enrolled at Tonawanda: 

Charles Sharpstone, James Tools, Patrick C. Gough, 
Gregory Bellinger, Thomas H. Shellots, James Johnson, 
Sidney J. Smith, William Ryan, Charles Seeraan, Urban 
Kuppersmedt, Henry H. Leonard, William Anderson, 
William Smith, Frederick Cappel, John Mitchell, Walter 
Ross, John W. Forrester. 

The regiment did good service at the battles of Burns 
Church, Young's Cross Roads, Williamston, Kinston, 
Whitehall, Goldsboro, Ball's Bluff, Weldon Railroad, 
Edwards Ferry, Stony Creek, Petersburg, Malvern Hill, 
Newmarket and Johnson's House. 


This regiment was organized for three years' service at 
Syracuse, and the companies of which it was composed 
were raised in the counties of Onondaga, Ontario, Orange, 
Oneida, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Genesee, Tompkins 
and Erie. Company E, however, was made up largely of 
men from Niagara county, as shown in the following list 
of men enrolled at Lockport: 


First Sergeant, Orlando E. Dickerson; commissary ser- 
geant, George A. Bond; sergeant, Edward Bragden; cor- 
porals, George Frazier, Walter W. Smith, Royalton, en- 
listed July 13, 1863, dschd Aug. 9, 1865; Robert Hamil- 
ton; farrier, John G. McLean; blacksmith, John Jacobus. 

John Birmingham, William Cole, William Ebert, George 
Emms, John German, Thomas Nogan, George C. Hollis, 
Royalton, enlisted July 27, 1863, dischd Aug. 9, 1865; 
John McGrath, John McClellan, Newfane, enlisted in 
July, 1863, and served through the war; Commodore O. 
Perry, Thomas S. Roberts, Peter Rollo; Luther A. Rus- 
sell, William Scott, James Smith, Alfred H. Smith, Royal- 
ton, enlisted Dec. 26, 1863, dschd June 22, 1865; Peter 
Snyder, Charles Temple, William Turner, Albert Wright. 
Royalton, enlisted July 11, 1862, dschd in August, 1865. 

Ambrose Peacock, of Lockport, belonged to Company 
C. The regiment was mustered in from August 8th, 1863, 
to January 14th, 1864. It was consolidated with the 6th 
N. Y. cavalry June 17th, 1865, and the consolidated force 
designated the " 2d N. Y. Provisional Cavalry." 


In the month of July, 1863, under the head of "Gov- 
ernor's Guard," the following announcement was made 
in the papers throughout western New York, and circu- 
lated throughout the country in the form of hand bills : 

" Colonel John Fisk, of Niagara, has been authorized 
by Governor Seymour to raise a regiment for three years' 
service in the U. S. army, to be known as the ' Gover- 
nor's Guard.' Any person desiring to raise a company 
to be attached to this regiment can procure authority by 



applying to Colonel John Fisk, of Suspension Bridge, or 
Lieutenant-Colonel Cook, or Captain William P. Warren, 
late of the 28th New York. 

" Captain Warren will act as adjutant in forming the 
regiment. Headquarters at Lockport." 

It was shortly afterward made known that it would be 
raised under the title as given above, or, in other words, 
that it was to do mounted rifle service. The first three 
men mustered in were Henry F. Pierce, of Niagara Falls; 
Dr. Robert T. Paine, Lockport; and Williatn P. Warren, 
Lockport. Dr. Paine was mustered in as surgeon and 
Warren as adjutant, and they at once set about aiding in 
the mustering in. The response to the call was encour- 
aging from Niagara county, and it was backed up by the 
counties of Erie, Wyoming, Orleans, Wayne and Sullivan. 
The first company completed was Captain Joseph N. 
Rushmore's, of Lockport. Captain W. H. H. Mapes, of 
Lockport, was next ready with a company, and was quick- 
ly followed by Captain Henry G. Stebbins, of Lockport, 
with a full complement. Twelve companies were made 
up, and by February, 1864, the regiment was ready for 
the field. The regimental officers were : 

Colonel, John Fisk, Niagara Falls; lieutenant-colonel, 
Jasper N. Raymond, New York; heutenant-colonel, Joseph 
H. Wood, 2nd regular cavalry; major, Wilham H. H. 
Mapes, Lockport; major, John D. Newman, Lockport; 
major, John H. Fralick, Little Falls; adjutant, William P. 
Warren, Lockport; adjutant, Franklin Rogers, Buffalo; 
quartermaster, Henry F. Pierce, Niagara Falls; commis- 
sary, Joseph A. Briggs, Buffalo; commissary, John M. 
Hill, Lockport; surgeon, Robert T. Paine, Lockport; 
assistant surgeon, Hugh McGregor Wilson, Lockport; 
assistant surgeon, Eli Woodworth, Allegany; chaplain, 
Washington Stickney. 

W. H. H. Mapes, who started out with rank of captain, 
was promoted before entering the service. 

The regiment first rendezvoused at Lockport, but the 
barracks were insufficient and the regiment was ordered 
to Fort Porter, Buffalo, which latter barracks were made 
a recruiting station and camp of instruction. The 2nd 
remained there from December, 1863, until the March fol- 
lowing, when, three battalions being completed, they 
were ordered to Camp Stoneman, near Giesboro Point in 
the neighborhood of Washington. Here they remained 
until about May first, when they were ordered to the 
front to reinforce the Army of the Potomac. Instead of 
being furnished with the cavalry outfit for which they 
were sent to Camp Stoneman, or receiving instruction in 
cavalry tactics, which had been promised them, they were 
assigned to a provisional brigade, composed of dismount- 
ed cavalry and heavy artillery, commanded by Colonel 
Marshall, of the 14th heavy artillery, in the ninth corps, 
under General Burnside. 

On the day following their arrival at Camp Stoneman 
they participated in the battle of Spottsylvania, suffering 
but little loss. Their next engagement was the battle of 
North Anna, southeast of Spottsylvania. In this their 
loss was light. 

Returning from North Anna the regiment was placed 

as rear guard of the ninth corps, when it had a severe 
engagement at Tolopotomoy Creek, losing quite a num- 
ber of men. The next day it was in the fight at Bethsaida 
Church, a few miles from Tolopotomoy. At this time 
the regiment was under command of Lieutenant- 
Colonel Raymond, of New York. The loss at Bethsaida 
was quite heavy, fifty or sixty killed and wounded. 
Among those killed was Lieutenant Jeremiah R. Morrison, 
of Wyoming county. 

Hardly had the smoke of this battle cleared away 
before the 2nd was in the memorable fight at Cold Har- 
bor, in early June; its loss here was not heavy. Among 
those wounded was Lieutenant Charles W. Flagler. 
From Cold Harbor the regiment moved with the Army of 
the Potomac and crossed the James river, arriving at 
Petersburg June i6th, just in time for service again. 
On the morning of June 17th, the 2nd made a charge 
over the enemy's works and captured a large number of 
prisoners, who were sent to the rear in charge of Captain 
W. Fitzer Williams. The regiment was engaged during 
the entire day, but its loss was light. On the morning of 
the 1 8th of June it again advanced on the enemy's works, 
near the Weldon railroad, and toward evening made a 
gallant charge, which resulted in the capture of the rail- 
road, the 2nd, however, suffering a terrible loss. 

In this action First Lieutenant Delong, of Lockport, 
was killed, and Captain Williams ; the entire loss was 
between two and three hundred men killed and wounded. 

From this time until July 29th, 1864, the regiment lay 
in the rifle pits under a constant fire, losing men day by 
day, among them Lieutenant J. L. Atwood, who was 
killed by a sharpshooter. On the morning of July 30th, 
the mine in front of Petersburg was exploded. A terrible 
struggle followed, in which the 2nd regiment was engaged, 
under command of Major Mapes. One division was re- 
pulsed by the rebels. The division in which the 2nd 
regiment fought had been held for the final charge, in 
case those already in the fight did not hold their ground. 
The order was finally given for them to charge, and they 
did it nobly, capturing two lines of the enemy's works, 
they held them about six hours, but as no relief came, 
they were compelled to fall back. In this engagement 
the regiment lost nearly one hundred and fifty men, 
killed, wounded and prisoners. It remained in command 
of Major Mapes from this time forward until the battle 
of Pegram's Farm. 

A few days subsequent to the fight at the mine the 
regiment moved to the left and took a position near Fort 
Hell, where it remained for some time, experiencing no 
loss. The next battle was at Pegram's Farm, southwest of 
Petersburg, where Major Mapes, Captain Stebbins, Lieu- 
tenant Mansfield, Lieutenant Bush and others, in all forty 
or fifty, were taken prisoners. The killed and wounded 
numbered between fifty and seventy-five. Among the 
killed was Lieutenant Casey, of Lockport. The next 
field was the first battle of Hatcher's Run, in October, 
1864. The loss was slight. Fron* here the 2nd went 
back to Pegram's Farm, where it remained until the last of 
November. It was then ordered to dismounted camp at 



City Point, where the men received their promised horses, 
with orders to report to General Charles H. Smith, of the 
3d brigade, 2d cavalry division. The second day after 
reporting the regiment went on a raid to Stony Creek 
station, where, with the balance of the division, it assisted' 
in destroying a large amount of stores and taking many 
prisoners, sustaining slight loss. It then returned to 
camp near Fort Stevenson, in the vicinity of South 
Petersburg, where it remained until December, 1864. 
The regiment next accompanied the celebrated Warren 
raiders, and assisted in the destruction of the Weldon 
railroad from near Petersburg to Weldon, N. C. 

At this time the 2d was divided, a detachment having 
been sent back to the second battle of Hatcher's Run, 
under command of Lieutenant Newman. Upon the re- 
turn of the regiment to camp it was detailed as a rear 
guard to the 5th corps of infantry. In this action the 
2nd lost about forty men, among them Captain Watson 
and Lieutenant Tippling, of Wayne county. It went 
into camp again and remained until March 29th, 1865, 
doing picket duty and losing but few men. On this date 
it started with General Sheridan's corps in the final pur- 
suit of Lee, and March 30th engaged in the battle of 
Dinwiddle Court-house, southwest of Petersburg, in 
which engagement Captain Eli Morse, of Little Falls, N. 
Y., was killed, and Lieutenant Flagler and C. A. Murphy, 
of Lockport, seriously wounded. 

The next day the 2nd was in the battle of Five Forks, 
but sustained no loss. Next, at Jettersville, it lost a 
dozen wounded, but none killed. At Sailor's Creek it 
lost a few men, and again at Farmville. It was next en- 
gaged at Appomattox Court-house, where Joshua Smith 
was killed. After doing service at Appomattox the brig- 
ade to which the 2nd regiment belonged was detailed as 
an escort of General Grant from Appomattox to Burk- 
ville Junction, Va. It then returned to Petersburg, when, 
pending negotiations between Johnston and Sherman, it 
was ordered to North Carolina to reinforce Sherman. 
There it was learned that Johnston had surrendered, and 
the 2nd was ordered back to Petersburg and from there 
to Buckingham county, Va., where it remained on provost 
duty until August, 1865. 

This closed the eventful career of the regiment, and its 
next movement was homeward. Arriving in Buffalo Aug- 
ust loth, 1865, it was mustered out. It left home 1,500 
strong, and during the service was reinforced by upward 
of 300 recruits; but came back with only between seven 
and eight hundred men. The depleted ranks and the 
scars the survivors bore told the story of their service in 
their country's defense. They were in the field a Httle 
over a year, and took part in nineteen distinct engage- 
ments, as recorded in the foregoing narrative. 

The records on file in the office of the clerk of Niagara 
county have reference only to those companies and parts of 
companies that were raised in Niagara county. From 
them we obtain the following partial roll of the regiment: 



Captain, Joseph M. Rushmore; first lieutenant, James 

B. N. Delong; second lieutenant, Eli Kahler; first ser- 
geant, Michael Casey; quartermaster sergeant, W. Roselle 
Pack; sergeants, John Parker, Newfane, enlisted Sept. 
14, 1863, mstd out Aug. 14, 1865; George Squires, 
Newfane, enlisted in September, 1863; commissary 
sergeant, Philip Moyer; second sergeant, William T. 
Behan; third, Amos M. Brown; fourth, James F. McMul- 
len; first corporal, Lafayette Randall; second, John Par- 
ker; third, James Bonnell; fourth, John Maynard; sixth, 
illiam Spalding; Weighth, Michael Owens; farrier and 
blacksmith, Enoch A. Turner; trumpeter, George W. 
Harrison — all of Lockport. 


Samuel Avery, Lockport; George Brooks, Porter; Gus- 
tave Bistoff, Francis V. Brown, Peter Brady, Albert Bald- 
win, James Brady, and John Conlan, Lockport; T. Corne- 
lius, Niagara; Frank Dunn, Oscar B. Draper (promoted 
to regimental quartermaster sergeant), Matthias Gough, 
Hiram Gay, AVashingtou L. Hicks, Lionel L. Harrington, 
Frank H. Kennedy, Owen Kenyon, John Kinney, and 
William King, Lockport; Philip Matthias, Niagara, drown- 
ed in James river, Apr. 14, 1863; Thomas McWaters, 
Adam Prime, George Presby, William Pasco, James Pen- 
ders, Samuel F. Robinson, Plenry Smith, David Spaiel, 
Daniel A. Stahl, Charles Schroder, Alfred Southwick, 
Moses Turney, Henry W. Wright, and Burt Wentworth, 


Samuel F. Brickley and Sylvester Base, Lockport; 
Jacob A. Cole, Newfane, enlisted Mch. 6, 1865; Miles 
Caleb, Malcome Ferguson, Christian Henselin and Edgar 
Hoglan, Lockport; John Mergendoller, Royalton, enlist 
ed in October, 1863; John Prime, Alfonso A. Powers, 
Reuben Pearce, Patrick Quinlan, Michael Riley, John 
Shanly, Gottfried Schramm, Henry Smith and Charles 
Tinney, Lockport. 



Captain, Henry G. Stebbins; first lieutenant, Peter B, 
Kelchner; second lieutenant, Charles W. Flagler; orderly 
sergeant, Charles A. Murphy, Lockport; quartermaster 
sergeant, Lafayette Olmstead, Niagara; commissary 
sergeant, William P. Sheldon, Lockport; first sergeant, 
Augustus Hawn, Lewiston; second, William Luff, Cam- 
bria; third, Thomas C. Tenbrook, Lockport; fourth, 
William H. Gaskill, Wilson; fifth, John P. Murphy, Lock- 
port; corporals, William Allan, Lockport; George Beiber, 
Niagara; James W. Barber, Newfane, enlisted Dec. 22, 
1863, mstd out Aug. 24, 1865; L. Edward Warren, Royal- 
ton; George H. Moore, Royalton; Andrew Ackerman, 
Pendleton; Thedran D. Fellows, Cambria; musician, 
Augustus Ebler, Lockport; wagoner. Christian Sanger, 


AVilliam H. Bush, Hartland; George Birdsall, Newfane, 



enlisted Oct. 18, 1864, mstd out Aug. 23, 1865; 
Thomas Barber, Niagara; Byron W. Baxter, Newfane, 
enlisted May i, 1865, mstd out Aug. 24, 1865; Marvin 
Baily, Newfane, enlisted Dec. 17, 1863; William Clark, 
Royalton; William Cady, Royalton, enlisted Dec. 22, 
1863, dsclid Aug. 23, 1865; William A. Coulter, Cambria; 
Barneste Doran, Royalton; James Dorsey, Lockport; 
William H. H. Drake and Jacob Everhart, Niagara; 
Fred Everett, Tonawanda; John Fladd, Niagara; Jacob 
Freese, Lockport; William W. Fellows, Cambria; Henry J. 
Green, Tonawanda; Paul C. Griffis, Niagara; Charles E. 
Howe, Hartland; Fred Kibbler and David Kohler, jr., 
Tonawanda; John McDonald, Royalton, enlisted in De- 
December, 1864, dschd in 1865 ; William Martin and . 
James Morton, Niagara; Earl H. Nicholas, Pendleton; 
Charles Olrich, Niagara; Edwin Roberts, Lockport; 
Alma A. Simons, Royalton; William Smith, Royalton, 
enlisted Dec. 26, 1863, dschd in June, 1865; Joseph Sykes, 
Luke E. Summers and John Summers, Royalton; Theo- 
dore Smiling, Wilson; John D. Schoonmaker, Porter; 
Mark A. Schoonmaker, Niagara; Lawrence Smith, Lock- 
port; Hiram T. Walker, Royalton; Reuben Whitney, Ni- 



First sergeant, Henry V. Sterling, Lockport; sergeants, 
Isaiah Harrington, Somerset; Eugene A. Stottle, Newfane, 
enlisted Dec. 18, 1863, died of typhoid fever at Alex- 
andria, July 9, 1864; Frederick Mahl, Wilson; Isaac 
Harris, Royalton, enlisted May 31, 1861, fought in four- 
teen battles,dschd Aug. 10, 1865; Charges P. Mapp, Lock- 
port; corporals, Ozro Bachelder, Wilson; Truman B. 
Richardson, Lockport; John T. Reilly and Norman 
Robinson, Wilson; Alphonso T. Coleman, Somerset; 
farrier, Orrin E. Johnson; teamster, John Fisher, and 
saddler, Clark Davis, Wilson. 


George H. Althouse, Royalton, enlisted Nov. 20, 1863, 
dschd Jan. 19, 1865; Theodore H. Brayton, Newfane, 
enlisted Dec. 18, 1864; Samuel Barnes, Tonawanda; 
William Bathrick, Lockport; Robert Burnside, Newfane, 
enlisted Dec. 31, 1863; William H. Chft, AVilson; Martin 
Congdon, Lockport; John F. Casy, Lewiston; Thomas 
Deckstader, Lockport; Martin Dell, Tonawanda; Thomas 
Elmore, Lockport; John Gibson, Wilson; William Heiner- 
man, Cambria; Benjamin B. Hill, Lockport; James E. 
Hill, Newfane, enlisted Nov. 28, 1863, mstd out Aug. 10, 
1865; Robert W. Hill, Lockport; William Kinney, New- 
fane, enlisted Dec. 22, 1863, mstd out Aug. 10, 1865; 
Cyrus King, Wilson; Frank C. Mead, Lockport; Robert 
McClellan, Newfane, enlisted Jan. 7, 1864, killed, Aug. 
I, 1864, before Petersburg, Va.; Patrick Mosher, Lock- 
port; John McGinnis, Lewiston; Charles Nellist, Somer- 
set; Edward F. Ozard, Newfane, enlisted Dec. 16, 1863, 
mstd out August 10, 1865; Peter Renshaw, Somerset; 
Cortland Rouse, Wilson; Charles H. Schucker, Royalton; 
Charles A. Smith, Newfane, enlisted Oct. 6, 1863, mstd 

out Aug. 10, 1865, also served two years in the infantry; 
Aaron Sears, Lockport; Jesse A. Seward, Somerset; Mil- 
lard F. Streeter, Lockport; John Shaver, Somerset; Mar- 
tin H. Wagner, Niagara, wounded at Five Forks, Va., 
died in April, 1865; John Van Wagoner, Lockport; Walter 
S. Webb, Hartland. 


First sergeant, Edward Wilson, Lockport; corpora), 
Victor Knorr, Lockport. 


Albert Butts, and EldridgeT. Burchell, Somerset; John 
Gedre, Lewiston; Leonard James, Hartland; James Tol- 
land, Newfane, enlisted Dec. 24, 1863, mustd out May 
'18, 1865; Edward Powers, Lockport. 




First sergeant, Robert Erskine, Tonawanda; commis- 
sary sergeant, Oscar F. Whipple, Tonawanda. 

William Day, Wheatfield; Liban W. Keith, and Charles 
N. Sheldon, Tonawanda. 


Captain, William H. H. Mapes; first lieutenant, William 
F. Williams, Newfane, enlisted in August, 1863, promoted 
to captain, killed before Petersburg, June 19, 1864; second 
Heutenant, George F. Gould; first sergeant, Riley P. But- 
trick; quartermaster sergeant. Nelson H. Bebee; commis- 
sary sergeant, George Woods; first duty sergeant, Charles 
B. Sullivan; second, Francis H. Church; third, Thomas 
Boodger; fourth, Christopher Holzheimer; fifth, Gatien 
A. Lizer; corporals, John M. Bredell, James Cole, Frank 
McClanathan, Joseph J. Leacount, Moses Brady, Henry 
T. Daggett, William Lindsley; farrier, John S. Hyman; 
blacksmith, Charles Hemmelman; trumpeters, John 
Kempter, John Yankey; saddler, Franklin S. Eggert — 
all from Lockport. 


John Aikens and Lewis B. Atwood, Lockport; John 
E. Babcock, Newfane, enlisted Mch. i, 1865; mstd 
out Aug. 24, 1865;- Augustus Bauer, Fred Brooks, 
AVilliam Beitz, John Blanket and Sidney S. Buttrick, 
Lockport; Isaac W. Batchelder, Royalton, enlisted Oct. 
17, 1863, dschd Aug. 12, 1865; James Bruce, Lewiston; 
Lewis H. Burtch, Hiram Brooks, Hilton Bailey and 
Charles E. Coryell, Lockport; Rimmon Colton, Royal- 
ton, enlisted Mch. 6, 1865, dschd Aug. 22, 1865; James 
Cramer and Willard Carney, Lockport; William H. 
Decker, Newfane, enlisted Mch, i, 1865, mstd out Aug. 



1°. 1865; John Dixon, Horace L. Dickerson, Charles 
Daniels, Henry Darling, Fred Eccels, and John W. Gord- 
inier, Lockport ; John D. Gibson, Newfane, enlisted 
Sept. 16, 1863, mstd out Aug. 10, 1865; James P. Gibson, 
Newfane, enlisted in December, 1863, killed June 3, 1864, 
at Cold Harbor, Va.; Albert Oilman, Newfane, enlisted 
Oct. 29, 1863, promoted to corporal, mstd out Aug. 24, 
1865; Albert Gould, Newfane, enlisted Mch. i, 1865; John 
Hannah, Lewiston; Luther Halsted, Newfane, enlisted 
Mch. I. 1865, mstd out Aug. 24, 1865; Alvia Hunt, John 
M.Hill, Isaac Harris, and Robert Jamison,. Lockport; 
Keith T. McKenzie, Lewiston;, Wallace Mandaville, 
Newfane, enlisted Dec. 29, 1863; John Murray, Silas 
W. Mapes, Hermann Meike, John Miller, Patrick Mc- 
Cann, George M. Nellist, and Fred Nye, Lockport; 
Millard Nye, Newfane, enlisted Nov. 26, 1863, mstd 
out Aug. 24, 1865; James O'Neil, Samuel Piper, Lewiston; 
Frank C. Palvley, Lockport; La Fayette Printup, Niag- 
ara; Isaac Johnson, John P. Ranney and Thomas Sky, 
Lockport; Alexander Simpson, Lewiston; Cornelius 
Snyder, Charles Silver, Charles A. Smith, William Silk, 
James W. Troley, James L. Tibbets and Franklin Thayer, 
Lockport; Edward E. Williams, Newfane, enlisted Apr. 
I, 1864, died July 14, 1864, at Camp Stoneman, Va.; 
Henry L. Williams, Burt Wentworth, Newfane, enlisted 
Sept. 16, 1863, mstd out Aug. 10, 1865 ; John Went- 
worth, Newfane, enlisted Sept. 16, 1863, died at home, 
July, 1864; Fayette P. Woodruff, Newfane, enlisted 
Sept. 10, 1863, mstd out Aug. 24, 1865 ; Charles Wenk- 
field and Fred Ziehl, Lockport. 


Second lieutenant, Henry F. Arnold, Somerset. 
Private, William H. Shaver. 

William H.H.Sheldon, Lockport; Carl Winsch, Niagara. 



^N the month of August, 1862, immediately 
after the departure of the 8th heavy artillery 
for the front. Colonel William Emerson, of 
Albion, with competent aid, set about raising 
a regiment to do service under the title of 
the 151st N. Y. V. 
By the middle of October it was ready for inspec- 
tion. The companies of which it was composed were 
raised in the counties of Niagara, Orleans, Genesee 
Monroe and Wyoming. Companies B, F and H, the 
major portion of K and a part of G were from Niagara; 

A, D and part of G were from Orleans; C from Genesee, 
E from Rochester, and I from Wyoming and Genesee. 
Thus in less than two months' time tipwards of 1,000 
men from this corner of the State responded to the call 
for 600,000. It was ii patriot organization, composed al- 
most wholly of young men of noble bearing. They went 
out when the waves of rebellion rolled highest, e.vpecting 
to be called at once into perilous service. When, on the 
22d of October, 1862, they left Camp Church, Lockport, 
where the regiment was organized, for Baltimore, the 
final hand-shaking was marked by a sadness never to be 
forgotten. But there was a glory that enshrouded the 
gloom, and the tears that were shed as the bereft ones 
turned to their depleted firesides would not have disgraced 
the field of battle, but would have mingled fittingly with 
patriot blood on hallowed sod. 

The regiment went from Lockport to Elmira, where 
it received arms. From there it went to Baltimore, where 
the division under General Emory, was being organized 
for service in the Gulf, and the isist was assigned to it; 
so the regiment in less than twenty-four hours after its 
arrival in Baltimore was ordered out on revie\y. Some 
of the men, never having had a gun in their hands, were 
ridiculously awkward, whereupon General Emory said 
that the regiment was wholly unfit for service until 
schooled and ordered it to go into camp of instruction. 
In compliance with this order the regiment rendezvoused 
at Lafayette. Square Barracks and commenced drilling. 
Here it remained until spring. It is unnecessary to add 
that it became familiar with the tactics during its six 
months' practice. 

On the 22d of April, 1863, the regiment was ordered 
to West Virginia, to reinforce Colonel Mulligan, and 
during the two weeks following was at Clarksburg, Buck- 
annon and Weston, but in no engagement. It was then 
ordered back to Winchester to join General Millroy. 
It got as far back as Martinsburg, when the order was 
countermanded. Here the isist remained a few days 
awaiting orders. It was finally sent to do guard duty on 
the Potomac between Berlin and Monocacy, and was 
there when Lee's army crossed below Harper's Ferry. 
Its next line of march was to Maryland Heights, where 
it was encamped when Hooker crossed above the ferry 
with the Army of the Potomac. About the first of July 
the Heights were abandoned and the troops, in the 
neighborhood of 16,000 strong, were ordered to Frederick 
City and were there held as a reserve force while the 
battle of Gettysburg was being fought. At noon on the 
4th of July a dispatch was received from General Meade 
saying that the enemy had been repulsed, and ordering 
General French with his forces, including the isist, to 
march to South Mountain Pass, a distance of sixteen 
miles. In thirty minutes the forces were in line and on 
the march. After tramping until dusk that night, a terri- 
ble thunder storm raging meanwhile, South Mountain 
was reached. Orders were given for the soldiers to sleep 
on their arms; and no fires were to be kindled lest they 
might attract the attention of the enemy. Without fire 
the " boys " had to go without coffee. They would have 



met the foe more bravely than they submitted to this. 
Nothing could cheer them like good coffee, and it was al- 
most excruciating to do without it after marching all day. 
They, however, bore with the inevitable, and morning 
found them in possession of their good spirits again, like- 
wise their favorite beverage. 

On the 8th of July, the Army of the Potomac arrived, 
commanded by General Hooker, and commenced its 
march through the pass; and for the first time the isist 
regiment saw the vast Army of the Potomac. All day 
and all night was heard the " tramp, tramp, tramp " of 
the " boys in blue." The sight of the scarred and bronzed 
veterans of Bull Run, Chancellorsville, Antietam, Fair 
Oaks, Fredericksburg and Gettysburg, and the sound of 
the dull rumble of heavy artillery trains, the clatter of 
cavalry hoofs and the clinking of sabres made an impres- 
sion strange and thrilling, and nerved the lookers on for 
the warfare. The army was about two days going 
through the pass. In a few days the isist regiment was 
assigned to the Army of the Potomac, forming a part of 
the 3d army corps. The experience that immediately 
followed was exciting. The regiment found itself among 
veterans, heard their thrilling description of the terrible 
battles they had just passed through, and eagerly dis- 
cussed the results thus far of the war they believed was- 
then about at a close. 

While the Army 'of the Potomac was going through the 
pass Lee's army was at Williamsport, on the Potomac, 
some six or seven miles away, intrenching, acting under 
the apprehension that it would at once be attacked by 
Meade's forces. These intrenchments were thrown up 
on the bank of the river, in the shape of a horse-shoe, and 
gave Lee peculiar advantage provided he was well sup- 
plied with ammunition. Meade marched his forces to 
Williamsport and prepared to make an attack on the fol- 
lowing morning. It turned out that Lee had been play- 
ing a ruse in throwing up the breastworks, for he had no 
ammunition. His operations, however, had the effect of 
making General Meade over-cautious and slow to make 
the attack, and so the night before it was to be made Lee 
with his troops quietly crossed the river on a bridge made 
of canal boats, thereby saving himself from destruction 
that at one time seemed imminent, and might have been 
accomplished by Meade had he understood the situation. 
The feeling of disappointment among Meade's men was 
intense; many of them declared that they would never go 
back into Virginia, and not a few were true to their re- 
solves, for a large number deserted. 

Lee's escape made immediate pursuit necessary, and 
the Federals turned their faces toward Virginia. March- 
ing on the 15 th of July, beneath a broiling sun, wearied 
and dispirited, scores fell out, and that night when the 
151st went into camp, only twenty men of the regiment 
answered to their names. Lieutenant L. T. Foote, of Lock- 
port, being the only line officer. The men came strag- 
gling in afterward, footsore and heartsick. On the i6th 
of July the regiment encamped in the beautiful Middle- 
town Valley, at the base of Maryland Heights. One of 
the officers relates that at nightfall of that day he, with a 

party, ascended the heights, a distance of 1,900 feet, and 
looking down in the valley they could take in at one 
glance the whole of three army corps. The white tents 
glittering in the shadows of the twilight, and the thousands 
of camp-fires upon which they could look directly down, 
made a picture weird and enchanting. 

The remainder of the campaign of 1863 was a series of 
maneuvers — one army watching the other without attack- 
ing. Each day furnished its quota of incidents. The 
picket, the skirmish, the march and countermarch, the 
grand review, kept the soldiers in continual excitement, 
meantime engaging in the battle of Wapping Heights, in- 
scribed on their battle-flag. 

Crossing the Potomac from the Middletown valley the 
route lay on the eastern side of the Blue Ridge Moun- 
tains. In the latter part of July the 151st passed through 
Warrenton and went into camp at Bealton, where it re- 
mained about six weeks. Here nearly every man in the 
regiment was sick, and many died. Lee's movements 
compelled the army to fall back to Centreville. He was 
trying to get to Washington, and the division to which the 
151st belonged was trying to head him off. The two 
armies marched almost side by side for a time, when Lee 
finally abandoned the project and fell back to the Rapi- 
dan. The Union forces under Meade followed, never 
halting until Lee was driven to the south side of the river. 
On the 26th of November Meade took his forces across 
the Rapidan, with a view to attacking Lee, and, if suc- 
cessful, marching on to Richmond. On the night of the 
26th the army bivouacked on the south side of the river. 
On the 27th the division to which the 151st belonged en- 
gaged with Johnston's division of Ewell's corps, and for 
two hours was in one of the sharpest musketry duels of 
the war at Mine Run. It was here that the gallant oflScer 
Captain Wilcox, of Gasport, Niagara county, was killed. 
The infernal yell of the rebels as they rushed into the 
fight, the sharp thud of the bullet striking the flesh, lent 
fury to the struggle. This was the first severe engage- 
ment in which the 151st participated. The troops re- 
mained on the south side of the Rapidan about a week 
without any further engagement. They then recrossed 
the river, and went into winter quarters at Brandy Sta- 
tion. The 151st encamped on the farm of the somewhat 
famous John Miner Botts. During the winter the men 
cut down and burned twenty-five acres of timber for Botts. 
It does not appear, however, that they were ever paid for 

In the spring of 1864 the 3d army corps was broken up 
and united with the 6th corps. General Sedgwick com- 
manding; and the diamond badge was exchanged for the 
Greek cross. Grant then came into command, and on 
the 4th of May the Army of the Potomac started once 
more on its march toward Richmond. On the morning 
of May 5th Grant, with a force 100,000 strong, including 
the 151st, marched across the Rapidan, and before night 
was commenced the hand-to-hand conflict between the 
two mighty wrestlers, Lee and Grant, in the memorable 
battle of the Wilderness. Here the T5ist suffered the 
heaviest loss incurred during its service. Among those 



killed was Captain Billings, of Batavia. The regiment 
was again engaged at Spottsylvania, suffering severe loss, 
and again at Cold Harbor. Among those killed at the 
latter point were Captain Goodspeed, of Batavia, and 
Captain Sheen, of Rochester. From the Wilderness to 
Cold Harbor, from the Rapidan to the James, the tide of 
battle surged with hellish wrath, and the carnage was 
fearfully great. The troops fought in the daytime and 
threw up breast-works at night;. and for eighteen days 
of that time there was not a single night of rest for a man 
in that vast army. 

At the battle of Spottsylvania the fighting was so severe 
in front of the brigade to which the 151st belonged that 
the dead were literally piled up between the lines and were 
used for breastworks. It was this terrible sacrifice of 
lives that gave the field the name of the " slaughter pen." 
So sharp was the firing that a large part of a forest near 
the lines was destroyed by minie balls. 

On the 15th of June the regiment crossed with the 
Army of the Potomac the James river for a new field of 
operations in front of Petersburg, going over on a pon- 
toon bridge z,ooo feet long. Just previous to this re- 
moval the regiment was encamped, it is said, near the 
tree under which Pocahontas saved the life of Captain 
Smith. From the 15th of June until the ist of July the 
ijistwas in front of Petersburg. On the last named 
date it started for Washington to head off Early and his 
forces. Another division had started in advance of the 
151st and saved it the trouble. In consequence of this 
the regiment marched to Baltimore, and from there to 
Monocacy, and on the 9th of July fought a hard battle. 
Overwhelmed by superior numbers the 151st was com- 
pelled to retreat to Ellicott's Mills, about twenty 
miles. The ne.xt day it went to Baltimore, and into camp 
at Druid Hill Park, near the very spot where it first 
wintered. , 

In the course of a few weeks the regiment was m the 
Shenandoah valley under command of General Sheri- 
dan. Here it participated in the eagagements of Ope- 
quan, Fisher's Hill and Cedar Creek, doing good ser- 
vice. In November it was ordered back to the Army of 
the Potomac at Petersburg. Here, near what was called 
the Yellow House, the 151st encamped for the winter. By 
the ist of April the regiment was in line again. Our army 
broke through the enemy's lines and followed the retreat- 
ing foe. On the 6th the regiment had a sharp engage- 
ment at Sailor's creek. It was then ordered to Danville 
to make connection with Sherman. After Johnston sur- 
rendered, and the final blow had been struck, the regi- 
ment went to Richmond, and from there to Washington, 
and thence home. 

Many of those who went forth to battle in 1862 had 
joined the army of martyrs, and were not in the homeward 
march. The thin rank told its own story of war and 
bloodshed. It left Lockport with upwards of 1,000 men, 
as already stated, but mustered out at the close of the 
war only 306 enlisted men. 

The engagements in which this regiment participated 
numbered fourteen, as mentioned in the foregoing account. 

The following is a roll of the field and staff officers, 
and of the companies in which, as above stated, Niagara 
county was represented. 


Colonel, William Emerson; major, Thomas M. Fay; 
adjutant, James A. Jewell; quartermaster, John K. Mc- 
Donald; surgeon, A. M. Leonard; assistant-surgeons, John 
R. Cotes, and D. W. Onderdonk; chaplain, E. M. Buck. 



Captain, F. W. Coleman; first lieutenants, James Lount, 
Nathaniel F. Peck, Newfane, enlisted Aug. 27, 1862, mstd 
out June 26, 1865; second lieutenant, J. G. Shepard; first 
sergeant, Fred R. Derrick; second sergeant, E. E. Rus- 
sell; sergeants, John A. Maronell, Niagara, killed at Lo- 
cust Grove, Nov. 27, 1863; George Horvie, John Whelan; 
corporals, Charles Gill, E. H. Allan, Z. S. Parsons, Ni- 
agara,killed at Monocacy Junction, Md., July 9,1864; Paul 
Kline, P. P. Jackson, A. B. Kidder, William E. Walsh, 
J. J. Dempsey; musician, Thomas Samways; wagoner, 
Mark C. White. 


A. Aldrich, F. Albright, E. C. Brown, M. Bartholomew, 
John Byron, C. O. Brown, John Brady, James Barber, 
H. H. Bell, H. Behmer, James Brewster, William Cooley, 
M. Crawford, James Clifford, Niagara, died at Dansville 
prison, Va., in September, 1864; Louis Crout, Niagara, 
killed at Brandy Station, Apr. 19, 1864; John Corbett, John 
Crowder, Aaron Crowder, George Crooper, A. Carrington, 
R. Cabin, Thomas Donnelly, Frank Demar, C. C. Dart, 
William Dameron, Thomas Day, James English, Jacob 
Fisher, Joseph Gross, William Gurin, J. L. Hoffman, 
William Horrock, James Haney, A. Hewitt, A. Hagle, S. 
Henly, E. A. Johnson, Jacob Kilberer, Niagara, killed at 
Opequan, Sept. 19, 1864; M. Klink, H. Kittle, J. Kruger, 
A. Kimball, L. Linder, L. Lichard, J. Mossy, A. Miller, 
R. Mahana, Thomas Maher, E. Oakley, R. Oliver, C. 
O'Hara, J. Pullman, John Perrigo, R. Power, George 
Ridgeway, D. A. Robinson, D. Robinson, W. L. Riley, 
Amos Smith, Niagara, died at Baltimore in Mch., 1864; 
D. Steiber, John Smith, Charles Stemer, G. W. Tillapaugh, 
Niagara, died June 21, 1864; Thomas Tarphy, R. Tarl- 
ton, U. Turk, F. O. Todd, Benjamin Udall, Niagara, died 
at Culpepper, Va., in Oct., 1864; H. Verhoof, S. Werner. 



Captain, Luron D. Wilson; first lieutenant, Adney B. 
Beals; second lieutenant, John A. Wolcott; sergeants, 
Charles J. Carlin, John L. Carrier, Sidney O. Weston, 
Henry C. Willard, James Duncan ; corporals, Joseph 
H. Parsley, Loren Warren, AVilliam Basserman, Oliver H. 
Warden, John P. Romig, William H. H. Goodman, Royal- 



ton, enlisted Aug. 26, 1862, dschd in Mch., 1863; William 
F. Disbrow, Joseph Nimblet; musicians, Enoch Pettit, 
Asa J. Warden. 


W. H. Brooks, Edward Brown, John P. Bingham, 
W. T. Burke, W. H. Blosser, S. Buchanan, James W. Bald- 
win, John Brooks, Theodore Bragdon, Peter H. Burdick^ 
Francis A. Brown, Barnard Cuff, William G. Coobur, 
Philip Cook, John Duffy, jr., Christian Dekow, D. Drake> 
Evan Evans, Charles Fero, Charles Furge, Charles E. 
Goodman, Royalton, enhsted Aug. 26, 1862, dschd June 
26, 1865; John Glaney, Thomas W. Green, William D. 
Griffin, Lucius Greenman, Stephen Hayes, Henry Hutch- 
ings, Daniel Hoachen, Reuben Hendeliter, Harry Johns- 
ton, Christian Jacobson, William James, Daniel Kelleyi 
Hazard Kinney, Edward Morris, Edwin F. Millard, 
George W. Mcintosh, William Murfit, Jeremiah Noacker, 
Royalton, enlisted Sept. i, 1862, died in hospital Aug. 15, 
1863; Henry C. Roberts, Asa A. Reed, Mead A. Roberts, 
Darwin J. Soper, John Sullivan, Lamberts Z. Sturgess, 
George J. Sturgess, Daniel Shaft, Royalton, enlisted Sept. 
2, 1862, dschd June 30, 1865; Alzon Sheaver, William 
Shanley, Elijah Silk, John Silk, William H. Sheaver, 
Francis Story, Sylvester Searles, Alfred Silk, Daniel 
Southard, John R. Taylor, John Trankley, Andrew 
Trankley, Jarvis A. White, Frank J. Walker, John E. 
Willard, Hulbert Whitmore, Edgar Wentworth, Milton 


Captain, A. J. Potter; first lieutenant, Edward Hart 
Royalton, enlisted Sept. 16, 1862, resigned Feb. 23, 1864; 
second lieutenant, Benjamin T. Miller; first sergeant, 
John M. Weatherbee; sergeants, Walter E. Secor, Royal- 
ton, enlisted Aug. 30, 1862, dschd in June, 1865; John 
W. Simpkins, William Rowley; corporals, Valentine Cros- 
raan, Royalton, enlisted Aug. 28, 1862, dschd Feb. 14, 
1865; Harmon L. Salsbury, Francis Balcom, John Dick- 
son, William R. Caldwell, Leander Gelispie, James Dalton, 
Anson Richardson, Royalton, enlisted in Sept., r863, 
killed at Monocacy, Md.; musicians, Thomas H. Cheshire, 
Royalton, enlisted Aug. 25, 1862, dschd June 26, 1865; 
Peter L. Smith; wagoner, William W. DeWolfe. 


James M. Baldridge, James Bullemore, Henry Bollow, 
Richard Butler, Royalton, enlisted Aug. 21, 1862, dschd 
Feb. lis, 1864; William Bowman, Royalton, enlisted in 
August, 1862, died in hospital in District of Columbia, 
July 14, 1863; John Bensonhofer, Royalton, enlisted 
Aug. 23, 1862, died in September, 1863; Chauncey 
Braddock, Abram D. Baldwin, Daniel M. Burnett, 
Fordyce R. Brace, Darwin E. Bronson, John T. Brady, 
Lafayette Baker, William P. Bamber, George J. Cheshire, 
Royalton, enlisted Aug. 25, 1862; William H. Cook, 
George D. Cramer, Russell H. Drake, Royalton, enlisted 
Aug. 29, 1862, dschd Jan. 30, 1865; Frederick F. Drake, 

enlisted in Aug. 1862, dschd in June 1865; Lewis E. 
Darrow, Alexander Dixon, James Fitzgerald, Herman 
Frolic, S. C. Francis, Thomas Glasford, E. W. Glid- 
den, John Gwine, Isaac Hammond, A. J. Hammond, 
Patrick J. Hayes, George Harwood, George W. Hag- 
gard, C. Hartwig, Charles Henning, Frederick Hen- 
ning, Jackson Jeffrey, Newfane, enlisted Sept. 14, 1862, 
mstd out July i, 1865; John Kennedy, Royalton, enlist- 
ed in Aug., 1862, dschd July i, 1865; John Kelly, John 
Langhlay, Hsoea M. Lawrence, Levi M. Lawrence, Tim- 
othy Morrissy, Thomas Mortimer, Royalton, enlisted 
Aug. 29, 1862, dschd Aug. 16, 1865; Loughlin McClory, 
Royalton, enlisted Aug. 30, 1862, dschd July 1, 1865; 
Edward D. Merrill, Chauncey L. Matson, William Monroe, 
David Miller, Edward Murphy, Hiram B. Orsland, Ran- 
som H. Owen, Charles H. Pridman, George Plumley, 
Charles H. Phillips, James Roderick, H. Raymond, 
A. D. Riley, Daniel T. Root, Walter B. Rhodes, John 
O. Ross, Elijah S. Reed, James B. Sheed, George Singler, 
Anson Smith, Parker Travers, Royalton, enlisted Aug. 
13, 1862, dschd July 13, 1865; Wellington Tibbits, Ed- 
ward T. Vallence, John Whitley. 


Captain, C. P. Clark, Royalton, enlisted in Aug., 1862, 
resigned in Dec, 1862; first lieutenant, Sylvanus S. Wil- 
cox, Royalton, enlisted in Aug., 1862, promoted captain, 
killed Nov. 27, 1863; second lieutenant, Lemuel T.Foote; 
sergeants, William Gritman, Royalton, enlisted in Sept., 
1862, dschd in Dec, 1864; Lyman T. Phillips, Watson 
McNall, Conrad Eggenweiller, David Montonna; corpor- 
als, William Stebbins, Thomas La Roche, Royalton, en- 
listed Sept. 2, 1862, dschd in June, 1865; Peter C. Moore, 
Daniel Long, Royalton, enlisted Sept. 16, r862, promoted 
sergeant, dschd June 30, 1865; James F. Taylor, S, Wid- 
rig, Harvey E. Allen, James N. Connover. 


WiUiam Appling, Royalton, enlisted Aug. 26, 1862, 
dschd July i, 1865; Christopher Andrean, Israel D. 
Appling, Warren S. Berry, Alfred S. Boulton, Royalton, 
enlisted Aug. 29, 1862, dschd July 21, 1865; Charles H. 
Boots, Clark Barton, Royalton, enlisted Aug. 29, 1S62, 
died in hospital Aug. 21, 1863; Nicholas Beck, John 
Berkler, William Buffham, William Bradley, William Blow- 
ers, Simon B. Cumming, James Cronkhite, Royalton, en- 
listed Sept. 5, 1862, dschd June 26, 1865; Samuel Cassid)', 
Christian Cook, Charles Clickner, Merrick N. Cole, Wil- 
ham H. Chase, Newfane, enlisted Aug. 29, 1862, mstd 
out May 9, 1863; Jacob Carl, Royalton, enhsted Sept. 28, 
1862, promoted corporal, dschd in June, 1865; Henry A. 
Earnest, Royalton, enlisted Sept. 6, 1862, became musi- 
cian, dschd Sept. 12, 1865; Ezra S. Frank, Royalton, 
enhsted Aug. 29, 1862, dschd June 30, 1865; Frank- 
lin Fanning, Wilber C. Geer, Newfane, enlisted in 
August 1862, died in Danville prison in February, 1865 ; 
Capiner Harde, Royalton, enlisted Aug. 6, 1862, suppos- 



ed died in Libby prison; Luther Hawkins, Lorenzo 
Hathaway, Godfrey Harbet, Royalton, enlisted Sept. 6, 
1862, dschd Jan. 13, 1864; Warren A. Ives, Augustus R. 
Jacob, W. Kohler, Royalton, enlisted in August, i86i, died 
Jan. 17, 1864; Thomas King, Eli Long, Carl Lindo, 
George Leichtnara, Abraham Miller, Benjamin Middaugh, 
Royalton, enlisted Aug. 29, 1862, deserted; Thomas 
Moore, Jacob Nerber, Daniel Nerber, Royalton, enlisted 
in September, 1862, died in hospital Dec. 26, 1863; 
Thomas Oliver, John N. Olmstead, George Penley, 
•Royalton, enlisted Aug. 29, 1862, dschd in June, 1865; 
William Rowe, Alexander Richman, John Ricord, Wil- 
liam Rink, Royalton, enlisted Sept. 6, 1862, dschd Mch. 
27, 1865; Bernard Roffe, Royalton, enUsted Sept. 6, 1862, 
died in hospital Aug. 7, 1864; George Snow, Peter N. 
Snyder, Charles B. Stanton, Royalton, enlisted Aug. 29, 
1862, died in hospital Oct. 9, 1863; F. J. Schlotterback, 
Royalton, enlisted Sept. 6, 1862, died in hospital Apr. 25, 
1865; H. Schleder, Charles Sickles, William Snediker, 
Henry Stamper, Edwin Stockwell, Frederick Selip, 
Royalton, enlisted Sept. 6. 1862, died in hospital Aug. 18, 
1864; Americus Tanner, Charles Teel, Frederick Urtel, 
Royalton, enlisted Sept. 4, 1862, dschd in January, 1864; 
O. Wichteman, Royalton, enlisted in August, 1862, dschd 
June 30, 1865; John Wagner, Harvey P. Wilson, Newfane, 
enlisted Aug. 27, 1862, mstd out June 29, 1865; 
John Westfall, Royalton, enlisted Aug. 29, 1862, died in 
Andersonville prison July 13, 1864; Nelson Widridge, 
Royalton, enlisted Sept. 6, 1862, dschd in July, 1865; 
Sela Wood. 



Captain, Browning N. Wiles, Newfane, enlisted Oct. 22, 
1862, mstd out Jan. 14, 1865; first lieutenant, Hiram A. 
Kimball; second lieutenant, Theodore E. Van Wagoner; 
sergeants, Philip H. Messeroll, Newfane; Charles G. 
Bloomer, Somerset; Nathan F. Peck, and William T. 
Stout, Newfane; corporals, John D. Walford, Olcott, en- 
listed Aug. 30, 1862, promoted sergeant, mstd out Aug. 11, 
1865; Henry Weaver, Lockport; John W. Todd, Somer- 
set; Russell A. Ferris and Henry B. Howell, Newfane; 
William H. H. Peacock, Somerset; Seldon R. Godard, 
Newfane, enlisted Aug. 27, 1862, promoted lieutenant, 
dschd June 3, 1865; musician, Seth A. Birdsall, Olcott, 
enlisted Sept. 6, 1862, mstd out May 31, 1865; James M. 
Crownover, Newfane, enlisted Aug. 29, 1862, mstd out 
June 29, 1865; wagoner, John F. Smith, Olcott, enlisted 
Sept. 6, 1862, dschd Jan. 29, 1864. 


Samuel Bullin and James M. Bangham, Somerset; Cor- 
nelius Connor, Smith Dutcher, and Merrill T. Dutcher 
Somerset; Adelbert Doley, Olcott; John Dean, Sylvester 
Edick, Newfane, enlisted Aug. 27, 1862, mstd out June 
30, 1865; John Edick, jr., Olcott, enlisted Sept. 5, 1862, 
mstd out June 30, 1865; Henry Ferris, Newfane; Myron 
H. Fisk and Henry H. Hall, Somerset; Jacob House- 

mann, Newfane; William H. Huie, Newfane, enlisted 
Sept. I, 1862, mstd out June 27, 1865; John and George 
Horsefall, Willis J. Haight, Sidney Hayes, and John 
Hines, Somerset; Cyrenus Hathaway, Newfane, enlisted 
Oct. 3, 1862; Joseph James, Somerset; Thomas Lowcock, 
Somerset; George Murray, jr., Newfane; John Nellist 
and Thomas A. Nellist, Somerset; Matthew O'Connor 
and John O'Connor, Lockport; Henry M. Phipps, Charles 
E. Pettis, and John E. Quackenbush, Somerset; Charles 
W. Redman, Newfane, enlisted Sept. 6, 1863, killed at 
Cold Harbor, Va.; Harvey Randall and Byron Randall, 
North Collins; Silas Spalding, Newfane; Paul Sisley, 
Newfane, enlisted Aug. 27, 1862, mstd out June 26, 1865; 
George P. Shorlen, Wilson; Joseph Smith, Horace Tal- 
cott, Olcott, enlisted Aug. 30, 1862, promoted corporal, 
mstd out July 28, 1865; John D. Van Horn, Olcott, en- 
listed Sept. I, 1862, dschd Sept. i, 1864; Jacob Van Nor- 
ton, Lockport; George Wetherald, Newfane; Julius G. 
Weaver, Lockport; Delbert Warren, and Joseph Wortley, 
Somerset; John Wilkins, Aaron Wills, I. Witraer, William 
Hugh, John McCoy, and Henry Williams, Lockport. 



HE history that attaches itself to this regiment 
is a terrible' one. Volumes of a story that 
will never be written are expressed in tlie 
appalling truth that during its services in its 
country's behalf it lost nearly twelve hundred 
men in killed, wounded and missing. Twenty- 
two officers and two hundred and eleven men were 
killed, twenty-nine officers and six hundred and fifty- 
three men were wounded, and five officers and two hun- 
dred and fifty men missing. 

Dark and portentous were the clouds that hung over 
the nation at the time the regiment was organized. The 
fact had become thoroughly established that the South 
had a settled purpose to destroy the Union, and conquest 
or submission was all that was left; conciliation having 
been put out of the question. Our troops before Rich- 
mond had been checked and they awaited help in trying 
suspense. The demand of the hour was men. In this 
crisis the President issued a call for 300,000 troops, and 
it was in response to this that the 8th heavy artillery was 
organized. The companies of which it was composed 
were raised in the counties of Niagara, Orleans and Gen- 
esee, by Colonel Peter A. Porter, of Niagara Falls, under 
authority granted by Governor Fenton. It was completed 
and mustered into the service at Camp Church (fair 
grounds in Lockport), on the 22nd of August, 1862, with 
the following 




Colonel, Peter A. Porter, Niagara Falls; lieutenant- 
colonel, W. W. Bates, Orleans county; major, James M. 
Willett, Batavia; first lieutenant E. L. Blake, adjutant, 
Lockport; first lieutenant George B. Wilson, quartermas- 
ter,and major James M.Leet, surgeon, Lockport; first lieu- 
tenant H. C. Hill, assistant-surgeon, Somerset; captain 
Gilbert De La Matyr, chaplain, Albion. 

Companies B, D, E and F were raised in Niagara 
county, and all mustered in at Lockport; A, C and K in 
Orleans, and G, H and I in Genesee county. The regi- 
ment was organized as the 129th New York Volunteers, 
but never did service in that name, being changed to the 
8th heavy -artillery in February, 1863, by order of 
E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War. Two additional com- 
panies, L and M, were raised for the regiment in 1864; 
Company L officered by captain S. Dexter Ludden, 
Batavia; first lieutenant, A. G. Clapp, and second lieuten- 
ant, H. H. Van Dake; and Company M, captain, H. H. 
Sheldon, Suspension Bridge; first lieutenant, Frederick 
Derrick, second lieutenant, O. M. Campbell. 

The following is a copy of the muster-in roll on file in 
the office of the clerk of Niagara county, supplemented 
by the town records of Royalton and Newfane, reference 
being had only to those companies raised in Niagara 


Captain, Joel B. Baker, Cambria; first lieutenant, James 
Low, Cambria; second lieutenant, Eli S. Nichols, Lock- 
port; sergeants, Fayette S. Brown, D. L. Pitcher, Romeo 
G. Burns, W. H. Crowley, N. Z. Paterson; corporals, T. 
C. Edwards, L. C. Harwood, Lyman A. Pyle, John Root, 
W. H. Bennett, Newfane, enlisted July 23, 1862, mstd 
out Feb. 25, 1865; Alexander Robb, Newfane, enlisted 
Aug., 1862, killed at Cold Harbor; Walter L. Martin, 
Job Cornell; musicians, William S. Pike, H. W. Olm- 
stead; wagoner, C. Gardiner. 

Stephen Aldrich, Orrin Babcock, Charles Behm, James 
Brewer, A. J. Bishop, Newfane, enlisted in Aug., 1862, 
killed at Cold Harbor; Robert Courtney, Alfred Doo- 
little, Edward Davis, George W. Drake, Newfane, enlist- 
ed Dec. 24, 1863, prisoner seven months, mstd out in 
Sept. 1865; Homer J. Elton, W. G. Green, Newfane, 
enlisted July 24, 1862, dschd in July, 1865; William Ire- 
land, G. W. Johnson, Frederick Kreuzer, Andrew Lap- 
worth, C. G. Mehwauldt, Alexander Mabin, Charles Mahl, 
Bernard Messing, William McGregor, William D. Parker, 
William F. Parker, Benjanjin J. Rose, M. W. Stiles, 
Adolphus Stern, Frank Slavin, Emory Wilcox, Wil- 
liam Ward, John Walker, J. W. Vedder, R. C. Har- 
mon, W. H. Gleason, George O. Hayne, John How- 
ell, Newfane, enlisted Dec. 16, 1863, killed at 
Cold Harbor; Truman Ash, Washington Elton, Franklin 
A. Eshbaugh, Newfane, enlisted July 26, 1862, dschd for 

disability in 1864; E. C. Fuller, B. F. Sawyer, J. K. John- 
son, Lewis W, McNeil, Augustus Werth, Amos Worden, 
Andrew A. Miller, C. H. Emerson, C J. Sherman, New- 
fane, enlisted July 26, 1862, died June 26, r864, at Pater- 
son. Park hospital, Md.; G. H. Fellows, John Nagel, Wil- 
liam Watson, Samuel Bowman, Peter Christyan, William 
Rogers, Charles C. Romer, Newfane, enlisted in July, 
1862, killed at Cold Harbor; Henry M. Billings, John D. 
Capen, Newfane, enlisted in July, 1862, promoted corpo- 
ral, mstd out June 13, 1865; Samuel Dean, WiUiam 
A. Dutton, Robert Furman, F. J. Fellows, Edward Green, 
Charles R. Gifford, John Healand, jr., Joseph Jacobs 
James Laylond, Lynford Levan, Isaac Lockwood, New 
fane, enlisted Dec. 13, 1863, dschd 'j"ly 9> 1865 
J. W. Longstaff, Peter Mercig, F. E. Morrison, A. J 
Merwin, Albert McKenzie, Samuel McClellan, G. Francis 
Nye, T. Marshall Nye, Elias Orett, J. E. Ource, W. H 
Saddleson, George A. Stephens, William Thornton, Sam 
uel Traviss, E. J. Taylor, E. C. Wright, Sharon White, J 
K. P. Wilson. 




Captain, James McGinnis, Lockport; first lieutenant, 
William Gardner; second, M. R. Blodgett, Lockport; first 
sergeant, John E. Owens, Royalton, enlisted Aug. 22, 
1862, dschd Mch. 17, 1866; second, Arthur L. Chase; 
third, Horace J. McDonald; fourth, William F. Spalding,^ 
Royalton, enlisted in August, 1862, dschd in March, 1865; 
fifth, Charles B. Lackor, Royalton, enlisted Aug. 6, 1862, 
dschd Oct. 6, 1864; sergeant, W. H. H. Brown, Roy- 
alton, enlisted Aug. 4, 1862, dschd June 5, 1865; first 
corporal, Almon Van Wagner; first corporal, J. Cooney, 
Royalton, enlisted Aug. 1, 1862, dschd June 22, 1865; 
second, William George; third, Stephen H. Sim; fourth 
John E. Carrington; fifth, Henry Murray; sixth, Alfred 
Wakeman; seventh, Hiram Carpenter; drummer, John 


Ransom Aldrich, Hiram Armstrong, Royalton, enlisted 
Aug. 22, 1862, died in hospital Apr. 24, 1863; Calvin 
Baylis, Charles S. Gunther, William H. Gregory, Freder- 
ick Hagadorn, Alfred Jones, Christian Kohler, Daniel 
Kohler, Royalton, enlisted Aug. 3, 1862, dschd in June, 
1865; Charles S. Kinder, Royalton, enlisted July 27,1862, 
dschd in Mch., 1863; John A. Lyndenthaler, Benjamin 
Polnys, Franklin Sleeper, Caleb H. Thomas, Royalton, 
enlisted July 28, 1862, dschd June 6, 1865; John Whit- 
ley, Christopher Wiseman, George W. Ward, Newfane, 
enlisted July 28, 1862, mstd out June 5, 1865; William 
Walker, H. E. Bardwell, Henry Brodock, George W. 
Briggs, Christian Bahol, Charles Brooks, Timothy Burns, 
John CSrney, Henry W. Carter, Royalton, enlisted in 
Mch., 1863, dschd in June, 1865; Robert Bird, George 
W. Cutter, Royalton, enhsted Aug. 4, 1862, died Mch 30, 
1865; Henry W. Churchill, Royalton, enlisted Aug. 5, 
1862, dschd June 22, 1865;- Richard E. Churchill, Royal- 



ton, enlisted Aug. i8, 1864, dschd in T^lyi 1865; James 
Corapton, Martin Cooney, Royalton, enlisted Aug. ig, 

1862, dschd June 22, 1S65; C. George, A. A. George.W. E. 
George, Miller A. Gregory, D. G. Grippen, Royalton, en- 
listed in Aug., 1862, dschd in June, 1865; Egbert B. 
Goodwin, DeWitt D. Garner, Calvin Harrington, James 
M. Hudnut, Royalton, enlisted July 26, 1862, 
promoted quartermaster sergeant, dschd in June, 
1865; Merick V. Hudnut, Royalton, enlisted Jan. 4, 

1863, died from wounds June 18, 1864; John Hilman, 
James Laylond, Royalton, enlisted in August, 1862, dschd 
in July, 1865; Andrew Long, Allen Lee, Royalton, enlist- 
ed Aug. 9, 1862, dschc July i, 1865; John G. Lacey, 
Royalton, enlisted Aug. 4, 1862, promoted lieutenant, 
dschd June 12, 1865; Daniel R. Lacey, Royalton, enlisted 
Nov. 5, 1863, killed in battle June 16, 1864; G. A. Marshall, 
D.J. Morehouse, Royalton, enlisted Aug. 7, 1862, promoted 
corporal, died from wounds June 20, 1864; Barney A. 
Mackey, Royalton, enlisted in July, 1862, dschd in June, 
1863; Lewis McKee, Royalton, enlisted Dec. 26, 1863, 
dschd in July 1865; James Pierson, James G. Proper, 
Royalton, enlisted Aug. 11, 1862; Mason Baymer, George 
E. Smith, James Sherman, Henry L. Smith, Francis E. 
Smith, Royalton, enlisted in November, 1863; Pbilo L. 
Sherman, Henry F. Stahler, George Stenet, George 
Smeeds, Elias Thorn, John Travis, Alonzo Taglo, Rupert 
G. Torrey, Royalton, enlisted Dec. 7, 1863, dschd Dec. 
7, 1S65; Dolphus S. Wisner, Richard AVarren, Benjamin 
D. Wright, Royalton, enlisted Dec. 26, 1863, dschd July 
21, 1865; James Wiffun, Edwin Wilcox, Royalton, enlist- 
ed Aug. I, 1862, promoted corporal, dschd Aug. ro, 1865; 
Thomas Byan, James K. Bridlem, Bingham Burroughs, 
George Crampton, Royalton, enlisted Aug. g, 1862; 
wounded and dschd; Frederick Clifton, George H. Chap- 
pel, Thomas Charljs, Christian Doheny, Patrick M. 
Doyle, Royalton, enlisted Dec. 31, 1863; James Gowett, 
Andrew Green, Royalton, enlisted Dec. 26, 1863, 1 dschd 
Sept. 26, 1864; James F. Green, Newfane, enlisted Aug. 
12, 1862, killed Feb. 27, r863; Jacob Gilbert, Royalton, 
enlisted Dec. 30, 1863, dschd in June, 1865; Wilham H. 
Hyde, Daniel H. D. Huller, Royalton, enlisted in August, 
1862, deserted in August, 1864; Gebbard J. ICingley, 
Martin Lynch, John Leason, Royalton, enlisted Nov. 
14, 1863, dschd July 21, 1865; James E. Murray, James 
J. Moore, Royalton, enlisted Dec. 9, 1863, dschd July 9. 
1865; JohnH. Moore, Royalton, enlisted in August, 1862, 
dschd Apr. 4, 1865; Lucian J. Niles, Royalton, enlisted 
Aug. 9, 1862, killed at Cold Harbor; James Fraser, Eg- 
bert Pennoyer, George Sinsel, Newfane, enlisted Aug. 
12, 1882, dschd Feb. 25, 1865; James H. Theryer, Martin 
Van Dusen, Charles W. Van Slyke, George W. Webb, 
William Wentworth, John Whitley. 



Captain, J. W. Holmes, Niagara Falls; first lieutenant, 
R. Baldwin, Wilson; second lieutenant, H. R. Swan, Sus- 
pension Bridge. 


Francis Bond, W. H. Chapman, Adelbert Comstock, 
James Grennin, James Hyslop, Thomas Helmer, James 
Niven, George W. Parker, \\'illiam D. Vrooman, B. R. 
Benton, George Dawson, AV. H. Evans, Henry Frailing, 
Hamilton Ingalls, Niagara, died at Salisbury prison, 
Feb. 10, 1S65; William McKearnan, Francis B. Hosier, 
Reuben A. Ordway, William J. Parker, John H. Quack- 
enbush, Irving Resigue, H. S. Regie, John Sneider, Frank 
Sedgwick, Alfred Shirley, Eugene M. Townsend, Luther 
H. Warden, Henry P. Williams, Newfane, enlisted in 
Aug., 1862, promoted to corporal, died Sept. 17, 1864, 
in hospital on David's Island; Henry W. Banck, Christian 
C. Barton, Osborne Edwards, John J. Flanders, Jacob 
Finck, Grofton Gilbert, James Gamsford, Myron H. 
Hale, Daniel Harling, Otto Hutsberg, John M. Holden, 
John W. Kent, Richard Sherf, Andrew Lohrnnan, Patrick 
Toolon, Silas C. H. West, George Biehm, Harvey A. 
Baker, William Carroll, Cornelius Dawlson, Albert 
Dietz, Fernando Henchy, Royalton, enlisted in Aug., 
1862, dschd in July, 1865; Morton Heuning, Adam 
Lepper, Nicholas Maybee, George D. Merville, Jerry 
McDonald, Frank Armsby, Joseph Phipps, James Parsons, 
Edward Taylor, Philetus Weeks, Henry J. Arnold, Al- 
binus Bennett, Harlem P. Hood, Silas H. Harvey, 
Nelson H. Harrington, David M)'ers, William Moore, 
Ezra N. Thayer, Sumner G. Barker, Charles Burke, 
George W. Barker, Charles F. Behan, Nelson T. Davis, 
Hugh Duffy, Horace Darling, Newfane, enlisted Aug. 
9, 1862, mstd out May 28,, 1865; Richard Faulkner, 
Niagara, died at Salisbury prison, Dec. 15, 1864; John 
Farley, Marcus S. Grannis, W. H. Holden, Robert 
Hiam, Hannes Colby, Charles Hugell, Samuel Lappie, 
Niagara, died Oct. 10, 1864; Florence McCarty, Al- 
exander Mcintosh, Delman Morris, Charles Noble, 
Hiram Rappleyea, John Roberts, Charles Rettenberg, W. 
J. Stone,, Henry O. Spencer, Robert Turner, Solomon 
Warren, Jefferson White, Niagara, died at Salisbury 
prison, Jan. 2, 1865; J. W. Stimson, Joseph Hewitt, Ash- 
ley Hawkins, Wrice Fitch; Olford Wedge, George W. 



Captain, William J. Hawkins; first lieutenant, Samuel 
Sully; second lieutenant, George W. Rector — all of 


Abram R. Everts, Newfane, enlisted Dec. 24, 1863, 
mstd out June 30, 1865; D. M. Fulloh, L. C. Hos- 
mer, R. Glass, Ebin O. Seely, Frank B. Rafter, Eu- 
gene F. Pollard, Edward W. Peckham, Edward M. 
Lindsley, Stephen Judd, John M. Casey, Nathan Myers, 
Chauncey Kester, Newell Canfield, Charles E. Rector. H. 
C. Flagler, Samuel Kelsey, Thomas Brown, Robert Bailey, 
Ephraim Baylis, Charles Burroughs, Asher T. Coleman 
Newfane, enlisted Dec. 21, 1863, wounded at Cold Har- 
bor; Andrew James Case, Albert J. Dwynett, Eugene N. 



Gould, Warren Goodremoote, John E. Warwood, James 
Moore, Charles McLaughlin, Royalton, enlisted July 21, 

1862, dschd in June, 1865; Robert McLaughlin, Royal- 
ton, enlisted July 21, 1862, dschd in June, 1865; Michael 
Morley, Irving A. Parmenter, Ora Rooker, Charles Rich- 
ardson, John Sutherland, Israel Talcott, Royalton, enlist- 
ed in July, 1862, dschd in July, 1865; John Huffcutt, 
John King, jr., Edward D. Lewis, Peter Megel, 
Patrick Owens, Henry Paine, William Catlin, Sylves- 
ter Campbell, Charles S. Kilborn; Charles R. Northrop, 
Joseph Childs, David Cross, Charles Cross, Robert Claik, 
John Draper, Lester N. Farnham, James H. Hilderbrant, 
Douglas Jerrold, Edward Pasco, Jerome Reynolds, John 
Smith, Lewis Smith, Newfane, enlisted Dec. 21, 1863, 
died at St. John's hospital in 1864; Thomas Stimpson, 
Lawson L. Taylor, Thomas Burt, Reuben Burt, Hiram L 
Ash, Lafayette Beadley, George H. Brown, Addison Bar- 
ton, Royalton, enlisted Aug. 12, 1862, dschd July 14, 
1865; Stephen Balliett, William H. Burnett, Robert Colby, 
Peter Clapsattle, Joseph Clapsattle, Oscar Drinkwater, 
Charles F. Daniels, John Dove, Alexander Fox, William 
Hawkins, Mortimer Johnson, Royalton, enlisted Nov. 14, 

1863, dschd July 14, 1865; Sylvester Johnson, Royalton, 
enlisted Aug. 14, 1862, dschd June, 1868; John King, 
Isaac Lloyd, Henry D. Lathrop, Hulbert Moore, W. H. 
Murray, Newfane, enlisted Dec. 25, 1863, died June 7, 
1865, at Ambulance hospital; Charles Moore, George A. 
McArthy, Ethan Munn, Derrick Plant, Edward D. Perry, 
D. W. Robinson, John Risch, Albert Salph, George Snell, 
Frank Fulloh, Peter S. Tower, Thomas Burns, Michael 
Cuff, William Blain, William Bush, Joseph Brower, 
Jeremiah Dixon, Sylvester Moore, Charles H. Quade, 
Henry Smith, Edward Tenny, Frederick Van Tassel, 
Newfane, enlisted Dec. 22, 1863, killed at Cold Harbor. 

The regiment served from the time of its muster until 
the spring of 1864 in the defenses of Baltimore, with 
the exception of a short campaign to Harper's Ferry and 
in western Virginia. On the morning of May 15, 1864, 
it is said General Grant sat in his tent door in the vicin- 
ity of Spottsylvania Court-house, smoking a cigar and 
reflecting on the situation. Just what he thought about it 
no one but himself knew, but he wixiitcd more tncii. Sher- 
man was in the saddle hundred.? of miles away fighting 
his way to Resaca. In consequence of this want, which 
had been made known at Baltimore by a dispatch sent 
via Washington, there was great commotion in the camp 
of the 8th heavy artillery. On the same morning they 
were expecting marching orders from the front at any 
moment, and so the word " we are going to the front " 
was passed. All believed it, and so it proved. The 
scene in the camp was a lively one. Orderlies were 
hurrying to and fro, riding hither and thither at break- 
neck speed; officers were packing their trunks, to leave 
behind them, and the men packing their knapsacks to 
take with them; every body was filling his canteen with 
water or coffee, or something stronger if he could get it. 
All the necessaries of camp life as well as the superfluities 
were lying around in utter and hopeless confusion. In 
the midst of all this bustle some were sitting on their 

trunks writing hasty letters home, for they were going — 
they knew not where ; they wrote that it was " only 
a question of time " and they would write all about it as 
soon as possible. But many of them never wrote again. 
This was as early as sunrise. Toward noon battalions, 
companies, detachments and squads were seen streaming 
toward the depot of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. 
When the train moved away amid shouts and cheers, 
the waving of handkerchiefs and the flaunting of banners, 
there were many thoughtful ones who looked upon the 
forts they were leaving with great anxiety. Some said: 
" Very likely some of us will never see Baltimore again; 
good-bye officers' balls and company's dances, Christ- 
mas festivities and Thanksgiving dinners ! farewell, 
Porter's Life Insurance Company! " 

The regiment arrived in Washington about 4 o'clock on 
the afternoon of May 15th. The men went to the 
" Soldier's Rest" for supper and remained there all night. 
The next day, about noon, they went on board transports 
and were soon off for Belle Plain, at which place they 
arrived about sundown. On the morning of the 17th 
they were all stirring at an early hour, exploring the ra- 
vines for water, drawing rations of salt pork, hard bread, 
coffee and sugar; and occasionally venting their patriotism 
in epithets (merely) upon some 7,000 rebel prisoners in 
the valley near them. About ten o'clock they were on 
the march to Fredericksburg, with three days' rations and 
sixty rounds of cartridges. The day was warm, and the 
soldiers reahzed for the first time something of the dis- 
comforts that attend an ordinary march. The regiment 
reached Fredericksburg about 5 o'clock that evening, and 
crossed the river on a pontoon bridge. The town still 
bore the marks of Burnside's bombardment. In almost 
every building were crowded the wounded from the 
recent battles of the Wilderness and Spottsylvania Court- 
house. The 8th had been called to finish the work that 
these wounded soldiers had begun. The regiment maixhed 
through Fredericksburg and up the heights beyond the 
town, until at 8 o'clock it stopped for rest and supper. 
At 10 o'clock it started on the march again. Some ex- 
pressions were used with reference to going any further 
that night that were more emphatic than polite, but in 
less than an hour after "falling in" the boys were as 
merry as if they had just enjoyed a night's rest. The 
way was enlivened with laugh, jest and song. Some were 
" shouting the battle cry of freedom," others were hang- 
ing " Jeff Davis to a sour apple tree;" and anon they 
swelled the chorus of " John Brown," as, like his soul, 
they went marching on. This did not last long,however — 
knapsacks and guns were growing heavy. Soon after 2 
o'clock in the morning the welcome order to rest until 
day-light was given. 

With the first light of the morning the dull booming of 
the distant cannon was heard. The 8th regiment had 
joined the great "battering ram" — the Army of the Po- 
tomac — and was at the front. After breakfast the regi- 
ment started in the direction of the firing, which was not 
heavy nor the engagement general. As they neared the 
scene of action they met numbers of wounded men mov- 




ing to the rear, with mangled limbs and bloody faces, 
while near the front lines others were waiting for stretch- 
ers. Gallant Colonel Porter, who was proud of his men, 
rode ahead and was anxious to prove their mettle on the 
field. But they were not called upon to show it that day, 
for they soon marched several miles in another direction, 
and while on their way the fighting ceased. They did 
not see another such day in some time. 

On this, the night of May i8th, 1864, they rested quiet- 
ly, camped in a lovely spot. They remained there 
during the next day, awaiting orders. At that time the 
regiment was attached to Tyler's division, 2d corps. 
While at this encampment, on the i8th, the 151st, of Ni- 
agara county, passed them and there were many hearty 
greetings. The latter regiment was worn out with continu- 
ous marching and fighting, and as the boys of the 8th look- 
ed upon their decimated ranks,thinned by casualty and dis- 
ease; their clothing, begrimed with dirt and grease ; their 
haggard faces, bronzed by storm and sun, and contrasted 
their storm-beaten and bullet-riddled battle flag with their 
own bright colors, the remark was common . " This is 
what we are coming to." 

On the night of the igth, the 8th regiment had its first 
encounter with the enemy. About (our o'clock in the 
afternoon of that day the troops heard heavy musketry 
firing to the northeast of them, and they immediately 
started in that direction on the double" quick. They soon 
began to meet the wounded and the bullets began to whis- 
tle over their heads. The regiment took a strong posi- 
tion in the second line and lay down behind the crest of 
a ridge. At dusk it advanced across a small stream and 
through a cornfield, and was soon engaged. The first 
charge was into the woods, where it was dark. The 8th 
was there until about nine o'clock, directing its fire by 
the flash of the enemy's guns, and was then ordered to 
fall back. The loss was light — 33 killed, wounded and 
missing. The wounded were carried to a field hospital, 
and soon all was quiet again. When morning came again 
it revealed only abandoned positions. The enemy had 
fled with the darkness. After burying its dead the regi 
ment went back to the old camp. 

On the night of May 20th the order was received to "be 
ready to march at 12 o'clock" that night. At the hour 
mentioned in the order the regiment started, and went 
via Bowling Green to Milford Station, a distance of 
twenty-five miles away on the Richmond and Potomac 
railroad, arriving there at 3 o'clock the next afternoon, 
after a steady march of fifteen hours. There had been a 
brisk cavalry fight at Milford Station that day, and some 
of the wounded and a few prisoners were there still. 
Here the 8th rested for dinner. At 10 o'clock that night 
it was on the march again. About five o'clock on the 
evening of the 23d it arrived at North Anna river, in the 
vicinity of the Chesterfield bridge. The rebels held an 
ugly fortification, which at 6 P. M., after a vigorous fire 
from three sections of artillery, was stormed and captured 
by Pierce's and Egan's brigade of Birney's division, who 
drove out the garrison, capturing thirty and sending the 
remainder across the river in such haste that they had no 

time to burn the bridge. The 8th lay on its arms until 
morning. The rebels sent their compliments with early 
dawn. The 8th joined in and continued to fire all day. 
From this time until June 2nd the regiment was most of 
the time on the road to Cold Harbor, meantime engaging 
in several sharp skirmishes. 

About II o'clock June 2nd this regiment took the 
front at Cold Harbor, relieving other troops. Up to this 
time the 8th had been marching and countermarching in 
support of the fighting line, getting just near enough to 
the rebels to have their fire amongst them and have no 
chance to return it. The men were not, therefore, alto- 
gether sorry to get in the front line. Their dash at the 
rebels at Spottsylvania had given them confidence and 
made them somewhat heedless of danger. In this frame 
of mind they received the order to be ready to charge at 
four o'clock, and at that hour they were found sitting be- 
hind their breastworks, every man grasping his gun ready 
to spring at the command. One of the officers of the 
regiment says: "AVe were acting very much unlike the 
stern and silent soldiers we read of, for we were laughing 
and chatting, speculating upon the prospect before us as 
if it were a mere holiday or some bore of a parade." 
But it began to rain and the order was countermanded. 
The sun went down under a cloud, and thus night settled 
down on the evening of June 2nd, 1864. 

Thousands beheld the dawn for the last time. The 
signal gun was fired at daybreak, when the men were not 
thinking so much about the order to advance as they 
were about their coffee. The distance between the lines 
of the 8th and the rebel lines has been variously estimated 
at from 700 to 1,000 yards. 

The first battalion, on the left of the regiment, was 
commanded by Lieutenant- Colonel Bates; the second, in 
the center, by Captain McGinnis (Major Spalding 
being sick); the third, on the extreme right, by Major 
Willett. The batteries in the rear of the regiment opened 
a heavy fire simultaneously with the advance of the 
charging column, and the rebels replied no less vigorously. 
One after another went down beneath the storm of iron 
and lead which swept the plain. As the ranks thinned 
they closed up sternly, and with arms at a trail and bay- 
onets fixed they pressed forward on a run without firing 
a shot. Down went the colors, the staff splintered and 
broken, as well as the hand that held it. Brave hands 
seized them again and bore them onward until the ene- 
my's works were close at hand. Colonel Porter fell, 
crying " Close in on the colors, boys !" Major Willett was 
wounded; a large number of line officers lay dead and 
dying; one third of the rank and file were Iwrs du combat ; 
a part of the regiment was floundering in the mire; the 
rebels were pouring in double charges of grape and can- 
ister at less than point blank range, sweeping away a 
score every moment. The line having lost its momentum, 
stopped from sheer exhaustion within a stone's throw of 
the enemy's works. 

All this transpired in a short time. The supporting 
line failed to come up, old soldiers declaring that it was 
foolhardiness to advance under such a fire; so the brave 



men of the Stli h:id to look out for tliemselves. They 
began to dig, and every man was working himself into the 
ground. Every stump, mole hill, bush and tree was a 
shelter. Thus the regiment lay all day, under the very 
noses of the rebels, and. came away in squads under cover 
of the darkness. This seemed as hazardous as the charge 
itself, for no sooner did the rebels detect a movement in 
their front than they opened a murderous fire of both 
musketry and artillery. Some were killed in attempting 
to come out, among them Captain Gardner, of Company I. 
An officer in describing the fire says, " It was either more 
severe than in the morning or the darkness made it seem 
more terrible " 

At 9 o'clock that night the regiment was in its old 
position and had brought away most of the severely 
wounded, who had been unable to get back during the 
day. The dead were lying where they fell; some were 
buried during the night following, and some lay exposed 
until the truce of June 6th. No one knew exactly where 
the body of Colonel Porter lay, and all efforts to find it 
during the night of the 3rd proved unavailing. It was 
discovered the next day, midway between the advanced 
pickets, about twenty yards from either. To recover it 
in the day time was too hazardous to attempt, for the 
rebel sharpshooters were always on the alert. About 
midnight on the 4th Le Roy Williams (afterwards first 
lieutenant of Company G) crept stealthily from his picket 
post followed by Samuel Traverse, of Company B, and in 
a few minutes they reached the body without attracting 
the attention of their vigilant neighbors. But they could 
not carry the body without rising to their feet, and that 
they dared not do. So Williams watched the body 
while Traverse returned to the pit and sent a comrade to 
the regiment after ropes. In less than an hour they had 
tent ropes enough to reach the body, and having fastened 
one end to the feet of their dead commander they lay on 
their faces, one behind the other, and gradually dragged 
the body to a place of comparative safety. From there 
it was taken to Colonel Bates's headquarters and then 
to the hospital, where it arrived about 3 o'clock in the 
morning of June 5th. 

Greeley once said, in speaking of Colonel Porter, " He 
was but one among thousands actuated by like motives, 
but none ever volunteered with purer motives or served 
with more unselfish devotion than Peter A. Porter." On 
the evening previous to the battle he was asked, " Don't 
you think it very foolish to charge across there? We 
don't expect that many of us will ever come back alive." 
The colonel replied, "That has nothing to do with the 
matter. If I am ordered to go / shall go, and I think my 
regiment will follow me." 

The following figures tell something of the desperate 
work the 8th heavy artillery performed in this action: 
Killed, 9 officers and 146 men; wounded, 140 officers and 
323 men ; misssing, i officer and 12 men, making an 
aggregate loss of 24 officers and 481 men. The material 
that composed the regiment was equal to any that went 
out, and the story of its experience June 3rd carried 
desolation to many a once happy home. 

The regiment went from Cold Harbor to Petersburg 
under command of Colonel Willett, engaging in sharp 
skirmishes on the way. Its services from this time for- 
ward until the close of the war were in and about Peters- 
burg. Arriving there June i6th, the 8lh was in the 
engagement of that day, and took part again on the i8th 
and 22nd. It fought at Ream's Station, Deep Bottom, 
Hatcher's Run and Appomattox, doing its full share of 
duty, and suffering a loss of 13 officers and 65 men killed, 
15 officers and 230 men wounded, and 4 officers and 238 
men missing. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Willard W. Bates died June 25th, 
1864, of wounds received in action; and Lieutenant- 
Colonel Blake died June 19th and Captain George A. 
Hoyt, July 5 th, from the same cause. Captain James 
McGinnis was killed at Ream's Station, August 25th, 
1864; Captain William J. Hawkins died of wounds, June 
June 23d, 1864; Captain Eldridge F. Sherman died of 
disease at City Point, July 30th, 1864; Captain Alexander 
Gardner was killed at Cold Harbor; Captain Thomas 
Lowe died April 25th, 1865, of wounds; First Lieuten- 
ant Charles H. West, jr., was killed at Ream's Station; 
First 'Lieutenant Henry R. Swan died of disease at Cold 
Harbor, June 14th, 1864; First Lieutenant George W. 
Rector was killed at Hatcher's Run, Oct. 29th, 1864; 
First Lieutenant A. G. Clapp died of wounds Nov. 21st, 
1864; Second Lieutenant Fayette S. Brown was killed 
at Cold Harbor; Second Lieutenant Arthur L. Chase was 
killed at Cold Harbor; Second Lieutenant Walter P. 
Wright in action before Petersburg, June i6th, 1864; 
Second Lieutenant Joseph W. Caldwell, Wallace B. Hard, 
Oliver M. Campbell and George W. Gladden were 
killed at Cold Harbor. 

June 4th, 1865, companies G, H, I and K were trans- 
ferred to the 4th New York artillery. Companies L 
and M were transferred to the loth New York volun- 
teer infantry and the remaining six companies mustered 
out June 5th, 1865. 


RECORDS OF THE 78TH, g6TH, I05TH, I32ND, 164TH, 178TH, 

lygTH, i87TH and ig4TH infantry. 

HE 78th regiment was made up in the counties 
rj4 of Niagara, Erie, Monroe, Steuben and Onei- 

da, and organized at New York city. It was 
mustered in from October ist, 1861, to April 
12th, 1862; and consolidated with the 102nd 
New York volunteers June 29th, 1864. Company 
1 of the 78th was raised in Niagara county, by 
Captain Peter M. T. Mitchell, of Suspension Bridge, and 
most of the men were from the towns of Niagara and 
Lewiston. Their names and rank were as follows : 



Captain, Peter M. T. Mitchell, Suspension Bridge, kill- 
ed at Antietam; first lieutenant, Henry F. Pierce, Suspen- 
sion Bridge; second lieutenant, Myron E. Dunlap, Sus- 
pension Bridge; first sergeant, Henry Stearns, Suspension 
Bridge; sergeants, Thomas Mayberry, Suspension Bridge; 
James H. Cleveland, Niagara City; corporals, Cornelius 
Mitchell, William O. Butler and Henry Williams, Sus- 
pension Bridge; George H. Whitman, Lewiston; James 
Jones, William H. Seely, James Foster, and John B. 
Church, Suspension Bridge. 


John S. Allen, Andrew T. Abbott, John Aegan, Wil- 
liam Bissell, Edward Burns, Henry Boy, David Bex, 
George Brunner, Robert Burns, Frederick Boy, David P. 
Burnap, Patrick Byron and John Brown, Suspension 
Bridge; William F. Butler, Lewiston; Charles Buckley, 
John Buchannan, Lewis Crout and John Conklin, Sus- 
pension Bridge; Joseph Callahan and Stephen Carpenter, 
Lewiston; Duncan Durham and Theodore Dunahan, 
Suspension Bridge; Charles Dixon, Lewiston; Edwin 
Frank, John Fisher, George Gleason and Terrance Gal- 
lagher, Suspension Bridge; John Grigg and John Gillett, 
Lewiston; Bartholnal Goempel and Joseph Gibbs, Sus- 
pension Bridge; Josiah Higgins, Robert Herron and 
Michael Holley, Suspension Bridge; George Haggerty, 
Lewiston; William Johnson, John Jones, John Kelly, 
John Knox, Luther Knapp, Conrad King, John Kershaw 
and Edward Lynch, Suspension Bridge; George Murray, 
Niagara City; David Maloney, Hugh McNaughton, 
John Martin, John Mullen and Michael Murray, Suspen- 
sion Bridge; Richard Nagle, Niagara City; James New- 
ton, Benjamin G. Pfeiffer, James Powers, Hiram D. 
Partridge, Thomas Quinn, John Rooney, Nicholas M. 
Pyall, Patrick Reilly, John E. Roberts, James Regan and 
Napoleon B. Seely, Suspension Bridge; James Sammon, 
Niagara City; James Smith, I^ewis Skinner, William 
Stewart, Patrick Sweeney, Charles Smith, Robert Swift, 
Henry W. Smith, Samuel Simpson and Stephen W. Smyth, 
Suspension Bridge; Henry Smith and James Scott, Lew- 
iston; George H. Vogt, Edward Walter, Reginald T. 
Wing, John Willey and William H. Williams, Suspension 

The regiment participated in the battles of Manhatchie, 
Lookout Mountain, Resaca, Dallas, Lost Mountain, Pine 
Knob, Kenesaw, Peach Tree Creek and Atlanta. 


In this regiment, which was organized at Plattsburg, 
N. Y., to serve three years, the companies of which it 
was composed being raised in the counties of Clinton, Es- 
sex, Franklin, Warren and Washington, were the follow- 
ing named Niagara county men: First sergeant, Alexan- 
der McLaughlin, of Niagara, promoted to captain, woun- 
ded, died in 187 1; and privates John Lander, James Mc- 
Laughlin, George Price, James Smith, and Robert Stover, 
Niagara, died in June, 1864. 

The regiment was mustered into the service from Feb- 
ruary 20th to March 7th, 1862. On the expiration of the 
term of service the original members (except veterans) 
were mustered out, and the regiment, composed of vet- 
erans and recruits, retained in the service until February 
6th, 1866, when it was mustered out by orders from the 
War Department. 

Its record is a good one — it having fought at Gaines- 
ville, Second Bull Run, South Mountain, Antietam, Mine 
Run, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Wil- 
derness, North Anna, Tolopotomoy, Spottsylvania, Beth- 
esda Church, Petersburg, Weldon Railroad, Chapel House, 
Hatcher's Run, Yorktown, Williamsburg, Fair Oaks, the 
Seven-day battle, Blackwater, Kinston, Whitehall, Golds- 
boro, the siege of Newbern, Dury'sFarm, Port Walthall, 
Cold Harbor, Battery Harrison and Charles City Road. 


The companies of which this regiment was composed 
were raised in the counties of Niagara, Cattaraugus, Gene- 
see and Monroe. It was organized at Rochester and 
Le Roy; mustered in in March, 1862, and consolidated 
with the 94th New York volunteers in March, 1863, 
which latter organization was mustered out July i8th, 
1865. The One Hundred and Fifth did good service in 
the battles of Cedar Mountain, Rappahannock Station, 
Thoroughfare Gap, Second Bull Run, Chantilly, South 
Mountain, Antietam and Fredericksburg. The colonels 
of the losth were : -James M. Fuller, of Le Roy, who was 
commissioned Apr. 10, 1862, but resigned Aug. 6, 1862; 
Howard Carroll, of Rochester, commissioned Aug. 2, 
1862, who did not muster in as colonel; John W. Shedd, 
of Le Roy, commissioned Oct. i, 1862, mstd out at 
the consolidation, Mch. 17, 1863. 

The representation in the regiment from Niagara 
county included Quartermaster Sergeant James C.Phillips, 
Hartland; Hospital Steward W. N. Van Buren, Pendleton; 
and the men named in the following list, copied from the 
original muster roll in the office of the county clerk; we 
begin with company B. 


Captain, James B. N. Delong, Lockport; first lieuten- 
ant, Charles F. Rudgers, Lockport; second lieutenant, 
Frederick I. Massey, Lockport; first sergeant, C. V. Mesler, 
Royalton, enlisted Nov. 13, 1861, promoted to captain, 
dschd July 18, 1865; third sergeant, William M. Mesler, 
Royalton; enlisted Nov. 13, 1861, dschd Nov. 27, 1864; 
fifth sergeant, John Quick, Lockport; second corporal, 
Jesse M. Spears, Lockport; third, Andrew J. Taylor, 
Lockport; fourth, Henry H. Nicholson, Lockport; fifth, 
Russeir G. Olmstead, Lockport; sixth, John McArthur, 
Lockport; eighth, Thomas W. Davenport, Lockport; 
musicians, Isaiah Davis, Hartland,; James E. Shephard, 
Lockport; teamster, Charles W. Jackson, Lockport. 


Russell C. Bloomingdale, Alfred Bell, Charles N. Bust, 
William Barrett, William Boodgers, Patrick Burk, Alonzo 



J. M. Barrett, Henry Bennett, Daniel Clark, jr., Daniel 
Costello and AVilliara Clapham, Lockport; Richard N. 
Cook, Hartland; Charles Campbell, Willis Clement, Isaac 
E. Conklin and Michael Donnelly, Lockport; James B. 
Edwards, Hartland; William Fermoil, Noah S. Green, 
Washington E. Hallock, Stephen Harvy, William Harvey, 
jr., John Hamlin and Homer Hawkinson, Lockport; Augus- 
tus Klee, Middleport, enlisted in November, 1861, promot- 
ed to corporal, killed at Antietam Sept. 17, 1862; Lewis 
Knotthoff, Lockport; Joseph Light, Pendleton; Charles 
McMaster, James Morris, John Moyer, Conrad Minnick, 
James Newton, James Oswald and Thomas Oliver, Lock- 
port; James E. Phillips, Hartland; Michael Slattery, 
James R. Swan, Wheeler Strycland, James Stewart, Fred- 
erick Schramm, John W. Sinclair, James Smith, William 
Stapleton, John B. Sherman, Henry Spurr, Daniel Timms 
and Samuel Thorp, Lockport; Daniel B. Thome, Hart- 
land; Nicholas Terry, Lockport; William W. Van Buren, 
Pendleton; Peter Vanoter, Lockport; Nery White, Pen- 
dleton ; Henry White, George Wilson and Edw ard Wal- 
ton, Lockport; Elvin White, Hartland. 
Company D included the following 


Captain, Isaac S. Tichnor; second sergeant, Michael 
Leonard; third sergeant, James B. Chase; second cor- 
poral, Ros wall Wilson; eighth corporal, Henry Ballow; 
teamster, James Totten — all of Lockport. 


David P. Allen, Lockport; Charles N. Ashford, Wilson ; 
John Adams, Ransomville; George Beecker, Lockport; 
James Barker, Ransomville; Robert H. Clapsattle, Law- 
rence Cline, Henry Davenport, Pardon Earl, William 
Fink, Martin Gage, Jacob Geiser; John Grosskopf and 
George Granger, Lockport; George W. Giddings, Youngs- 
town; Norton Hornbeck and Otto Kahler, Lockport; 
Barnard Kaller, Pendleton; William Kahler and Patrick 
Le9nard, Lockport; Robert Lutze, Wilson; William Mc- 
Master, Homer Moore, Joseph Moffat and James W. 
McGrath, Lockport; Jehial Moore, Youngstown; Van 
Rensselaer Perry and George W. Post, Ransomville; 
Charles Reynolds, John Stewart and Daniel Stowell, 
Lockport; Julius Turner, Wilson; Michael Thaney, 
Henry Woodcock and Abram. G. Wendall, Lockport. 

In Company H there were of Niagara county men: 
Third corporal, Joseph T. Gary, of Suspension Bridge; 
fourth corporal, George W. Phillips, of Niagara Falls; and 
the following 


Bartholomew B. Benson, Yoiuigstown; James Brewster, 
Niagara Falls; Calvin Gary, Lewiston; Gaines B. Clapp 
and James Cafferty, Suspension Bridge; Edwin Ede, 
Niagara Falls; Edward Green, Harvey Garner, 
Richard Heath, and Michael Hoy, Suspension Bridge; 
Alvis Hewitt, Tuscarora; Charles Kline, Lewiston; 
James Kelly, Niagara Falls; John Kelly, Suspension 
Bridge; Thomas King, Niagara Falls; John Lawrence, 

Albert Ladroot, and William Massey, Suspension 
Bridge; Edward McManis, Niagara Falls, killed at 
Fredericksburg, Va., Aug. 13, 1862 ; John Mc- 
Cabe, Suspension Bridge ; Thomas Needham, Niagara 
Falls; Israel Patterson and Frederick C. Stephens, Sus- 
pension Bridge; Robert Thompson, Niagara Falls; John 
A. West, Lewiston ; Joseph Salmon and William H. 
Sperry, Niagara Falls. 

Company I included second sergeant William Robert- 
son, Suspension Bridge; third sergeant, Patrick Joyce, 
Niagara Falls ; and the following privates : Thomas 
Foley, John W. Green, Matthew Hardegan, Daniel Shee- 
han, John Sheehan, and Edward Williams — all of Lock- 
port. Lewis Kittleman, Royalton, enlisted Feb. 13, 1862, 
dschd June 9, 1865, belonged to Company K. 

The regiment rendezvoused at Le Roy, remaining there 
till spring. From there it went to New York, and staid 
ten days, and then to Washington. After staying at 
Washington one week it moved to Alexandria and camped 
there for three weeks. It was afterwards encamped at 
Catlett's Station several weeks, and finally ordered to 
General McDowell's corps. The first battle was at Cedar 


Company G, of the i32d regiment, raised principally in 
New York city, and organized there, contained upwards 
of thirty Niagara county men, all enrolled at Suspension 
Bridge, and Company D three, enrolled at Lewiston. The 
list follows: I 


First sergeant, John Logan; second, William A. C. 
Ryan; third, Henry Smith; fourth, William Rea; first 
corporal, Robert Harris; second, James Goss; third, John 
Brennan ; fourth, Andrew H. Oswald. 


William Blodgett, Stephen Concklin, Charles Devinger, 
John Dalley, John Dillon, John Filmore, William H. 
Fleming, Robert Gibson, William Galloway, George S. 
Haskill, Hiram N. Hoag, Ezra Landen, William Meadows, 
Patrick Mitchell, John Murphy, Joseph Maroney, Michael 
Reynolds, John Rogers, Jeremiah Sullivan, William 
Stephenson, John W. Watts, George Garlow, Jacob 
Hewitt, Peter Terry. 

The regiment was mustered into the service October 4th, 
1862, and mustered out June 29th, 1865. It participated in 
the battles of Blackwater, Franklin, Pollockville, Street's 
Ferry, Newbern, White Oak Creek, Blount's Mills, Bat- 
chellor's Creek, Jackson's Mill, Southwest Creek and 


This regiment was made up of companies raised in the 
counties of Niagara, Orleans, New York, Kings, Erie and 
St. Lawrence. It was organized at New York, mustered 
in November igth, 1862, and mustered out July 15th, 
1865, when only two men of company B were fit for 



service. Its record was a good one; it fought in the 
battles of Suffolk,Black\vater,Spottsylvania,Tolopotomoy, 
Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Strawberry Plains, Deep Bot- 
tom, Ream's Station and Boydtown Road. Company B 
was raised in Niagara and Orleans counties, by Captain 
William Maroney, of Lockport, and contained the follow- 
ing men: 


Captain, William Maroney, Lockport; first sergeant, 
John Ryan, Lockport; second, Patrick Sullivan, Lock- 
port; fourth, M. J. Doolan, Lockport; fifth, John Eagan, 
Lockport; first corporal, Michael McGrath, Lockport; 
second, Francis Williams, Lockport; third, Peter Mon- 
ahan, Somerset; fourth, John Steel, Lpckport; fifth, 
Martin Nolan, Lockport; seventh, Dennis Gary, Lockport, 
eighth, Edward O'Neil, Lockport. 


Philip Burns, Newfane, enlisted Aug. 23, 1S62, killed 
at Cold Harbor, Va; George Baker, Lockport ; James 
Bradley, Lockport; Thomas Corrigan, Newfane, enlisted 
Aug. 23, 1862, mstd out in Aug., 1865; Daniel Connolly, 
Somerset; John Dunnigan and Patrick Doolan, Lockport; 
Horace Every, Somerset; John EUarel and Michael Fox, 
Lockport; Michael Finnegan, Newfane; John Garrity, 
William Gleason, James Hickey, Patrick Plyland, Thomas 
Hornsby, Matthew Hardigan and Patrick Kane, Lock- 
port; Thomas Kerrigan, Newfane; John Kingston, Lew- 
iston; James Kinsler, Lockport; Richard Kingand James 
Lunneen, Lockport; James Meagher and Patrick Mona- 
han, Somerset; Thomas Mahar, Newfane, enlisted Aug. 
23, 1862, killed at Cold Harbor; Patrick Meagher, Somer- 
set; Thomas Meagher, Newfane; John A. McAllister, 
Michael McMahon and Daniel McGrath, Lockport; 
Charles Maguire, Newfane, enlisted July i, 1863, killed 
at Suffolk, Va, in 1863; Andrew Rea, Jeremiah Reardon, 
Robert Shortley and Martin Shine, Lockport; William 
Tracy, Somerset; John Welch and John Williams, Lock- 


In Company A of this regiment, which was raised in 
the county of New York, were three Niagara county men, 
viz: Riley P. Buttrick, James Dow and Joseph Motter- 
shed. The regiment was mustered into the service from 
June 1 8th to Oct. 17th, 1863. It was mustered out April 
2nd, 1866. It was engaged in the battles of Fort De Russy, 
Pleasant Hill, Nachitoches, Coultersville, Kane River, 
Alexandria, Moore's Plantation, Chambers's Plantation, 
Marksville Prairie, Yellow Bayou, Lake Chicot, Hurricane 
Creek, Franklin and Nashville. 


In this regiment, which was raised in the counties of 
Chemung, Erie, Steuben, Tioga and Tompkins, there was 
also a small representation of Niagara county volunteers, 
as follows: 

Company A. — Timothy W. Buckland, Almeron C. How- 
ell and John Marshall. 

Company C. — William Doharty and Graham Crawford, 
Niagara; Charles E. Hogan and Charles F. Hagar, Roy- 
alton; Michael Kelley and Duncan McKay, Niagara. 

Company D. — John P. Atchworth, Lewiston; Arthur 
P. Powell, Lockport. 

Company F. — Karl Frederick, Wheatfield; John Riley, 
Porter; George A. Zimmerman, Royalton, enlisted June 
8, 1S63, dschd Mch. 20, 1865. 

Company H. — Thomas Cairns, Niagaia; Abraham 
Isbery, Lockport; Francis Lovett, Niagara; Henry Mil- 
ler, Wheatfield; Henry Maxwell and James Young, Niag- 

The regiment was engaged in the battles of Petersburg, 
Weldon Railroad, Poplar Spring Grove and Hatcher's 


This organization was made up principally of men from 
Erie, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus, and was organized 
at Buffalo, to serve one year. It was mustered into the 
service in October, 1864, and mustered out in July, 1865. 
The muster-rolls on file in the Niagara county clerk's 
office show it to have included Anthony Wesser, Niagara, 
in Company C; John H. Smith, Lockport, in Company E, 
and the following members of 


Henry Ames, Wilson; Peter Brocklehurst, Niagara; 
Charles Bennett, Lewiston; John Bugbee and Alexander 
H. Clark, Lockport ; James Dempsey, Porter ; James 
Downing, Niagara ; Joseph A. Dersey, Manly Fox, and 
Joseph Gibbs, Lockport ; Lorenzo Hill, Wilson; John 
Haskins, Royalton; Monroe Haskins, Lockport; Henry 
Hall, Somerset; Harrison Harvard, Wilson; Simms King, 
Lockport; Frank Lily, Royalton; James Morrow, Porter; 
John Marshall, Wilson ; Joel McCall, Royalton ; George 
A. Otis, Lockport ; Chauncey C. Robinson, Wilson ; 
George Sporbeck, Lockport ; Charles Smith, Royalton ; 
Francis M. Shelp, and Samuel Smith. Lockport; William 
O. Webster, Somerset; Gottreil Weiler, and L. W. Van 
Slyck, Lockport. 

The principal engagement in which this regiment par- 
ticipated was at Hatcher's Run. 


This regiment was organized at Elmira, to serve one 
and three years. The companies of which it was com- 
posed were raised in the counties of Niagara, Chemung, 
Gates, Allegany, Seneca, Ontario, Onondaga, and Cattar- 
agus. It was mstd in from February to April, 1865. On 
the 3rd of May, 1865, without ever having left the State, 
it was mustered out in accordance with orders from the 
War Department. 

Company G of this regiment was from Niagara county, 
and consisted of the following men, all enrolled at 



John Adams, Albert Anderson, John Berlet, William 
Bell, Harlow Bartholf, Charles Belan, James Barrett, Aus- 
tin E. Bigelow, Hiram Bevaiis, Edward Birmingham, 
Ebenezer Birmingham, Adolph Catnoir, Samuel Center, 
John Clark, John Conlon, Jacob Chase, Robert Cleland, 
John Clere, Charles Carr, Perry M. Cottrell, Charles 
Doyle, Joshua Davis, William Dixon, Chapin Davy, 
Charles Dutcher, John Edmonds, Legnon Erlgeng, Luther 
M. Finn, Frederick Fonea, George Fuller, Thomas Flack, 
William R. Gillings, Michael Gorman, James Gregory, 
Charles Guenzler, Joseph Howard, Melvin C. Hawley; 
Elias Hoffman, Almon Glena, John Hoffman, Almo B. 
Hixson, James W. Jones, Patrick Katon, Die Kragering, 
Joseph Kelly, Patrick Lennon, James Lewis, John Mar- 
tin, Joseph Murphy, William H. McKimm, William F. 
Munn, Henry Minett, Henry Moore, George Manzier, 
John Mclntyre, Samuel Nelson, George O'Camb, Edward 
Parker, Henry Pansier, Timothy Ray, Thomas Ryan, 
Thomas Riley, Joseph Reed, Corey Smith, William Stone, 
John Thompson, George B. Thompson, John R. Tibbets, 
Geoi-ge Wheeler, John Wheeler, Peter Ostrander, Alfred 
Roberts, Samuel Tenny, Peter Neason. 




LTHOUGH the 12th battery was organized at 
Albany, by Captain William H. Ellis, of 
Troy, there was in it a fair sprinkling of Niag- 
ara county " boys." The battery entered 
into the s'ervice January 14th, 1862, for three 
years. On the expiration of its term, in accord- 
ance with orders from the War Department, the 
original members were mustered out, and the battery, 
composed of veterans and recruits, retained in the ser- 
vice until June 14th, 1865, when they too were mustered 
out. The career of the 12th was an eventful one, it being 
engaged in the battles of Petersburg, Ream's Station, 
Kelly's Ford, Mine Run,- North Anna, Tolopotomoy and 
Cold Harbor. Those who enlisted in this organization 
from Niagara county, are mentioned in the following list : 

First lieutenant, Walter Shaw, Newfane, enlisted Oct. 
7, 1861, honorably dschd Mch. 31, 1863; orderly sergeant, 
Elijah Ewing, Newfane, enlisted in August, 1861, mstd 
out with regiment; sergeants, RoUin G. Steele, Newfane; 
George Outwater, Newfane, enlisted Oct. n, 1861, mstd 
out Dec. 19, 1865 ; corporals, William T. Slocuni, Cam- 
bria; Charles Frink, Wilson ; Matthias Hoffman, Hart- 
land; bugler Charles H. Newell, Newfane, enlisted Oct. 
12, 1861, mstd out July 21, 1865 ; carpenter, Elijah 

Dodge, Newfane, enlisted Aug. 18, 1862, dschd Aug. 28, 


William H. Anderson, Newfane; Charles D. Avery, 
Newfane, enlisted Nov. 20, i86i, mstd out June 17, 
1865; John Adriance, Wilson; Alvin Austin, Hartland; 
Franklin Brown, Lockport; Lester W. Babcock, Somer- 
set; Asahel Brown, Newfane, enlisted Dec. 10, 1861, 
mstd out June 14, 1865; John M. Clark, Somerset; Cyrus 
A. Deming, Newfane, enlisted Nov. 20, 1861, mstd 
out June 17, 1865; Hiram A. Folsom, Newfane, enlisted 
Oct. 7, 1861, mstd out April 25, 1865; Charles O. 
Gregory, Newfane; Arnold Harris, Wilson; Henry Kin- 
ney, Newfane, enlisted Oct. 7, 1861 ; promoted to corporal, 
prisoner eleven months, mstd out June 14, 1865; Gusta- 
vus V. Kendall, Newfane, enlisted Oct. 11, 1861, dschd 
March 27, 1863; Peter Krupp, enlisted Oct. ro, 1861, and 
served three years; John King, Newfane; John H. Lewis, 
Newfane, enlisted Oct. 12, 1861, mstd out Dec. 19, 1864; 
Abraham Liddle, Newfane, promoted to first lieutenant; 
Jesse Lefever, Newfane, enlisttd in October, 1861, mstd 
out, i-e-enlisted and died Nov. 16, 1864; Joseph Lewis, 
Newfane, enlisted Nov. 20, 1861, mstd out June 17, 1865: 
John Mulor, Cambria; Andrew Marquot, Hartland; Peter 
Nerber, Frederick Odiron and Patrick O'Brien, Lockport; 
Nicholas Parton, Hartland; William Shaver, Hartland; 
John Tyler, Royalton, enhsted Nov. 30, 1861, dschd June 
26, 1865; Elijah Talcott, Somerset; Alexander Thomp- 
son, Newfane; Zenas Tracy, Newfane; Ira E. Thomp- 
son, Newfane, enlisted Oct. 7, 1861, mstd out June 17, 
1865; Cornelius C. Tice, Newfane, enlisted in November, 
1861, mstd out March 21, 1862; Charles Van Home, 
Newfane, enlisted Oct. 7, 1861, and served three years ; 
Wentworth, Newfane; Henry W. Wright, Newfane, en- 
listed in October, 1861, died at home April 5, 1865. 


It was in 1862, during the darkest hours of the rebel- 
lion, that the 19th independent battery of artillery was 
organized. Fresh sacrifices had been made on the fields 
before Richmond, and the President had issued an im- 
mediate and imperative demand for 300,000 more men, 
50,000 of whom were to be raised in New York. This 
was in July, when the harvest fields were whitening, the 
farm laborer was hard pressed and help was at a premium. 
The abstract idea of soldiering presented no attractions, 
and all things considered, the appeal could only be made 
to patriotism. 

On the 9th day of August, while the call yet awaited 
response, Captain William Stahl, of Lockport, made his 
initial endeavor to raise 142 men to do service under his 
command and under the above mentioned title. Despite 
the discouragements under which he labored, the month 
of September found him in command of 162 men, up- 
ward of 100 of whom were sturdy farmers. The military 
regulations allowed him only 142 men, and those in ex- 
cess were by authority transferred to other organizations. 
Immediately following its formation the battery was en- 



camped on the fair grounds in Lockport about two 
months. On the evening of October 23d the brave 
fellows bade their friends adieu and left, via Rochester, 
for AVashington, where they went into camp of instruction 
and remained during the winter. 

During this time they were officered by Captain Wil- 
liam H. Sthal, First Lieutenant Edward W. Rogers, and 
Second Lieutenant Peter McGraw, all of Lockport The 
eventful career of the battery commenced in April, 1863, 
when it was sent to Suffolk, Virginia, to reinforce the 
forces under General Peck, who were holding that place 
when its capture was attempted by the rebels under 
General Longstreet. It participated in several of the 
actions in that siege and in the pursuit of Longstreet, who 
in May fell back and abandoned the attempt. Up to 
this time the battery suffered the loss of but one man. 
Its services during the remainder of the campaign were 
of a promiscuous order. Captain Stahl died in Septem- 
ber, 1863, of fever, near Washington, and the command of 
the battery was assumed by Lieutenant Rogers. 

The battery encamped near Washington for the winter. 
April 27th, 1864, it broke camp and marched with the 
9th corps, General Burnside's, to join the Army of the 
Potomac. (The 9th corps held the Orange and Alexan- 
dria Railroad until the Army of the Potomac commenced 
its advances, when the railroad was abandoned and the 
corps made a forced march to join the Army of the Poto- 
mac in its attack upon Lee). On May 5th the battery and 
its corps crossed the Rapidan river and joined the Army 
of the Potomac while it was engaged in the battle of the 
Wilderness. The 19th battery participated in the whole 
of that terrible campaign, which commenced May 5th, 
1864, and terminated with the surrender of Lee April 
9th, 1865. It was engaged in many fierce struggles, not 
only suffering severe loss but eiiduring long continued 
and unremitting privation and hardship. Being placed 
in a much exposed position at the battle of Spottsylvania, 
it was charged by a rebel brigade with desperate energy 
and determination. Its support consisted of only one 
small regiment 115 strong. The rebels charged almost 
to the very muzzles of the pieces, but the sturdy sons of 
Niagara and Genesee held their guns and their dead and 
wounded comrades. Only a portion of the battery 
(about fifty men) was engaged in this action, yet in the 
few minutes of this charge they lost ten killed and eight 
wounded. Of the latter only two were able to do service 
with the battery again. 

The gallantry of the igth was not unobserved by its 
division and corps commanders, as was evidenced in the 
fact that its commanding officer was given a brevet of 
major for services on that date. Again during the 
siege of Petersburg the 19th battery did its full share 
of active service, suffering loss daily. Its position was 
close to the mine that was exploded under a rebel fort 
July 30th, 1864, at which time an assault was made in 
attempt to carry the defenses of Petersburg. On that 
memorable morning this battery was steadily engaged 
until the assault was repulsed. It took part in many of 
the movements by " the left flank" in the operations be- 

fore Petersburg, and was engaged in the defense of Fort 
Steadman when it was assaulted by the rebels, March 
25th, 1865, under command of General Gordon. In this 
attack it again suffered severe loss. 

After the surrender of Lee the battery went to Alex- 
andria, Va., where it remained until June 5th, taking part 
meantime in the grand review. June 8th it left Washing- 
ton for Elmira, where it was mustered out and discharged, 
June i6th,i865, after nearly three years' service. O11 the 
battle-flag which the battery bore through its career are 
inscribed Suffolk, Spottsylvania, North Anna, Cold Har- 
bor, Weldon Railroad, Petersburg and Hatcher's Run. 

In the following compilation are given the names and 
places of residence of those who did service in battery 19, 
together with remarks showing who died or were wounded, 
and who returned to tell the story. 

Captain, William H. Stahl, Lockport, died Sept. 15, 
1863; first lieutenant, Edward W. Rogers, Lockport, pro- 
moted captain Oct. 23, mstd out June 17, 1865; second 
lieutenant, Peter McGraw, Lockport, dschdSept. 29, 1863; 
first sergeant, Henry J. J. Fassett, Lockport, dschd in 
January, 1863; quartermaster sergeant, George N. Mc- 
Coy, Lockport, died Dec. 9, 1862; sergeants, Henry H. 
Moore, Lockport, promoted to lieutenancy; Michael 
Long, Lockport, promoted to lieutenancy; Gardner Cor- 
liss, Pendleton, wounded and dschd; corporals, Oratus 
F. Pierce, Lockport; Alvin B. Baker, Lockport, deserted; 
James Richards and Willard Heath, Lockport; John W . 
Haskell, Porter; Lockwood S. Sherwood, Lockport, kill- 
ed July 29, 1864;. W. Scott Hovey, Newfane, enlisted 
Aug. 16, 1862, died Dec. 8, 1862, at Washington; musi- 
cians, Richard A. Perry, Porter; Charles A. Bowen, Lock- 
port, deserted Feb. 8, 1863; artificers, Elijah Dodge, 
Newfane, enlisted Aug. 18, 1862, dschd August, 1863; 
W. C. Beck, Lockport. 


John A. Ashton, Newfane, enlisted Aug. 15, 1S62, pro- 
moted corporal, mstd out June r3, 1865; AVilliam H. 
Atchinson, Newfane, enlisted Aug. 15, 1862, mstd out 
June 14, 1865; Hawley Abbott, Pendleton; Nicholas 
Bowers, Pendleton, dschd in April, 1863; Werner Bellin- 
ger, Lockport, killed May 12, 1864; James Benton, Lock- 
port; William T. Bush, Lockport, died Nov. 8, 1862; 
S. F. Baylis, Lockport; I. Barnes, Porter; J. Bixler, New- 
fane, enlisted Aug. 14, 1862, wounded July 17, i864,mstd 
out May 26, 1865; Jacob Braucker,Newfane, enhsted Sept. 
2, 1862, killed May 12, 1864, at Spottsylvania, Va; Charles 
W. Beebe, Newfane; John Beach, Lockport; Ransom E. 
Bigelow, Hartland, dschd Dec, 1863; Edmond Brother- 
ton, Newfane; William F. Clark and Edward J. Cady, 
Lockport; William W. Clement, Newfane, enlisted Aug. 
IS, 1862, mstd out June 13, 1865; John W. Carter, Por- 
ter, died July 20, 1863; Timothy C. Cox, Lockport, 
wounded; Lewis W. F. Cole, Lockport; DeWitt C. Col- 
lier, Newfane, dschd Sept., 1863; William Coan, Wilson; 
George Coyle, Lockport, killed in June., 1864; George 



E. Diitton, Hartland; John E. Dedute, Porter; William 
A.Douglas, Newfane, enlisted Aug. i6,i862,nistd out June 
13, 1865; Edward Dunkleburger, Lockport; George W. 
Eaton, Lockport, dschd Mch. 8, 1863; Solomon A. Esh- 
baugh, Newfane, enlisted Aug. 15, 1862, mstd out June 
16, 1865; George Evans, Pendleton; Sylvester Esterly 
and Henry Egan, Lockport; William A. Fuller, Pendle- 
ton, deserted; David H. Frink, Wilson; Theron Good- 
speed, Newfane, enlisted Aug. 13, 1862, killed May 12, 
1864, at Spottsylvania, Va; Jesse Goddard, Pendleton; 
Joseph Golias, Pendleton, killed May 12, 1864; George 
Humphrey, Hartland; Edwin A. Hoffman, Lockport; 
Alexander Halstead, Newfane, enlisted Aug. 15, 1862, 
mstd out June 17, 1865; John Hall, Lockport, killed 
May 12, 1864; James Hill and Theodore O. Hayne, 
Wilson; Louis A. Halstead, Newfane, enlisted Aug. 
29, 1862, dschd Dec. 24, 1864, for disability; John A. 
Hamlin and William H. H. Hotchkin, Wilson; James 
H. Hotchkin, Wilson, wounded and dschd; Seth Jill- 
son, Porter; Willis Johnson, Newfane, enlisted Aug. 

13, 1862, promoted corporal, mstd out June 18, 1865; 
Jesse E. Kieffer, Lockport ; Ansel Kayner, Lockport, 
dschd in April, 1863; George B. Kinne, Lockport, 
wounded and dschd ; Thomas Kelly, Lockport ; John 
Kelly, Porter ; Francis King, Pendleton ; Joseph Kiltz, 
Lockport, dschd March, 1865; Richard Lansom, Lock- 
port, died Oct. 2, 1863; Alfred P. Lake, Newfane, enlist- 
ed Aug. 19, 1862, mstd out June 16, 1865; JohnLanigan, 
Newfane, enlisted Feb. 22, 1864 ; Andrew Linck, Lock- 
port; Joseph Linck, Lockport, wounded and dschd ; 
David O. Lewis, Newfane, enlisted Feb. 22, 1864, killed 
May 12, 1864, at Spottsylvania Court-house; John E. 
Loyd, Porter; Daniel Lehn, Wilson, wounded; Mark 
McKenzie, Wilson; Thomas Muldoon and Narcise Mon- 
tray, Lockport; George K. Mosher, Newfane, enlisted 
Aug. 18, 1862, mstd out June 18, 1865; Christian Murr, 
Lockport, died Sept. 9, 1864 ; Joseph L. Morris, Porter, 
dschd June 10, 1863; Joseph W. Morris, Porter, dschd 
June 17, 1863; Caleb C. McKee, Newfane, enlisted Aug. 
18, 1862, mstd out June 13, 1865 ; Peter Morton, Lock- i 
port, killed June 2, 1864; James Mount, Pendleton; 
Charles Muchaw, Lockport ; John Mahoney, Pendleton, 
taken prisoner ; Harmon Moyer, Pendleton ; James A. 
Martin, Newfane, enlisted Aug. 11, 1862, mstd out June 

14, 1865; James Morrison, Wilson; James Moran, New- 
fane, enlisted Sept. 30, 1864; George Morrison, Lock- 
port; William McGory, Newfane, enlisted Aug. 15, 1862, 
killed May 12, 1864, at Spottsylvania, Va. ; Edwin H. 
Northrop, Porter; Michael Donahoe, Newfane, enlisted 
Feb. 22, 1864 ; Robert O'Hara, Cambria; William F. 
Parsons, Wilson ; William D. Pierce, Newfane, enlisted 
Feb. 22, 1864, died July 21, 1864, at Davis Island, N.Y.; 
William Roe and William Roberts, Lockport; William 
Retchless, Hartland, wounded and dschd; Gideon Richt- 
meyer, Wilson ; Clark M. Riddle, Pendleton, wounded, 
transferred to veteran reserve corps in 1863, mstd out 
Aug. 23, 1865; James Robbins, Newfane, enlisted Aug. 
29, J 863; Ephraim Robin,son, Lockport, dschd Mch. g, 
1863; John V. Rector, Pendleton, wounded; Frederick 

Schurz, Lockport, died Sept. 4, 1863; Christian Schurr 
and Charies A. Smith, Lockport; Chauncey Stone and 
Joseph B. Stone, Lewiston ; Seymour Stace, Hartland; 
Thomas Turner, Porter; Albert Talcott and Philip Van 
Norman, Lockport; Ormel Valentine, Hartland; Philip 
S. Williams, Newfane, enlisted Aug. 15, 1862, mstd out 
June 13, 1865 ; George H. Weaver, Pendleton, killed; 
Daniel Wertman, Pendleton, dschd in Marchj 1863 ; 
Sheldon M. Weatherbee and George Weatherbee, Lock- 
port; Delevan C. Waters, Lockport, died in hospital; 
Nimrod White, Lockport, died September, 1863; Frank- 
lin Zimmerman, Lockport. 

The following is a list of the names of men who were 
not original members of the battery but joined it during 
the service: 

Theodore D. Hallet, Charles H. Stocking, David Shep- 
ard, George H. Tuite, Adelbert Thompson, Arthur 
Thompson, William Hepner, G. R. Hawkins, Jacob D. 
Irish, John Jameson, Elias Kelsey, John Horn, John 
Lanagan, Henry Lord, Thomas Mahoney, Charles Mil- 
ler, Jacob Moore, Isaac Martin, Nelson Matteson, Orrin 
Mills, E. Mills, W. Mills, R. Northup, Michael O'Dono- 
hue, Charles Fletcher, Joseph Rogers, Robert G. Wilson, 
Michael King, John Murray, Jared Goodrich, David O. 
Lewis, William D. Pierce, J. Wesley Johnson, Jeremiah 
Everhart. Of these Michael 0'Donohue,Charles Fletcher, 
Joseph Rogers, Robert G. Wilson, Isaac Martin, John 
Lanagan, Elias Kelsey, John Jameson, Jacob D. Irish 
and William Hepner are known to have gone from 
Niagara county. 

In addition to these there were many men who did 
duty with the battery by being detached from other 
organizations to fill its depleted ranks. For instance, 
at the battle of Spottsylvania a detachment of twenty-five 
men from a heavy artillery regiment was ordered to the 
battery to take the place of the men lost in that battle. 
It should be added that the detachment did good service 
with the 19th during most of thee ampaign of 1864, and 
lost many of its number, killed and wounded. 


This battery was organized in Lockport, but raised in 
Orleans county by Captain George J. Anthony. It was 
mustered into service August 27th, 1862, and mustered 
out June i2th, 1865. Its ranks included from Niagara 
county John Normille, Anthony T. Weaver and Alanson 
Kimball, of Lockport, and from Royalton: Franklin R. 
Axtell, enlisted Aug. 22nd, 1862, dschd June 12, 1865; 
Silas J. FUnn, enlisted Sept. 10, 1864, dschd June 12, 
1865; Murdo McDonald, enlisted Aug. .26, 1862, dschd 
in June, 1865. 


This regiment was raised in the counties of New York, 
Queens and Erie, and was organized at New York city, 
to serve three years. It was mustered into service from 
November 24th, 1862, to July 8th, 1863. August ist, 
1863, it was formed into a battalion of six companies. 



which were consolidated with the Eighteenth New York 
cavalry June 12th, 1865. In Company B of this regiment 
therewas the following representation from Niagara 


Second lieutenant, Charles A. Vedder, Suspension 
Bridge; fourth sergeant, B. S. Fall, Niagara; third cor- 
poral, Thomas H. Henderhan, Niagara; fourth, Patrick 
Rineham, Niagara. 

Lester Atkins, Lewiston; James M. Abbott, Joseph 
Carley, Isaac L. Caursen, ^Villiam A. Dunlap, Edwin E. 
Elliott and Thomas Gannon, Niagara; George O. Pow- 
ley, Porter; Charles A. Poole, Lewiston; Nathan Smith, 
Porter; Russell H. Titus, Lewiston; John Wiseman, Ni- 
agara; George W. Whittaker, Porter; Griggs Holbrook, 

Company G included Sergeant William Walker, of Sus- 
pension Bridge, and William E. Phillips, of Royalton, and 
Company F the following: 

William Berryman and Cains Blanchard, Lockport; 
William Berry, Suspension Bridge; Thomas Dalton, Lock- 
port; Michael O. HoUeran, Suspension Bridge; — Mc- 
Pherson, Suspension Bridge; Patrick O'Neil and Charles 
Payfair, Lockport; Philip H. Proper, Royalton, enlisted 
July 9, 1863, dschd in June, 1865; William Smith and 
Edward Williams, Lockport; John Wheeler, Suspension 
Bridge; William Young, Lockport. 


This battery was organized at Lockport in 1862, to 
serve three years. It was raised in the counties of Niag- 
ara, Orleans and Genesee, by Captain John A. Grow, of 
Medina, and mustered into the service December 12th, 
1862. It was in the field nearly three years, being mus- 
tered out August 5 th, 1865. The principal engagement 
in which the battery took part, as shown in the adjutant- 
general's report, was at the battle of Lafourche. The 
representation of Niagara county in the battery is shown 
in the following roll: 


First sergeant, James P. Boyd, Lockport; sergeant, 
Charles White, Hartland; corporals, Allen M. Mudge, 
Hartland; George O. Strain, Royalton, enlisted Sept. i, 
1862, killed at Pleasant Hill, La., April 9, 1864; artificers, 
Thomas A. Lusk, Hartland; Daniel G. Walters, Lockport; 
Wagoner, William H. Pease, Hartland. 


Ira M. Allen and J. P. Andrews, Hartland; Joseph 
Anna, Lockport; Albert Sentley and William Brownell, 
Hartland; Robert Cook, Somerset; Lyman A. Curtin, 
Albert B. Dean, Owen Donohue and Patrick Farrell, 
Hartland; Adam Gardner, Lockport; James S. Harring- 
ton and Myron S. Hills, Hartland; Thomas Irwin, Lewis- 
ton; Allen Lount, Lockport; John W. McCandish, George 

Papworth, William W. Ross, George Shorten, William 
Shorten and Henry Shorten, Hartland; William Smith, 
Lewiston; Philip Swick and Andrew B. Stewart, Lock- 
port; Joseph A. Thomas and M. Darwin Williams, Hart- 
land; William Wilkinson, Lewiston; Henry Waterson, 
Lockport; Andrew Welsher, Hartland. 


In the town records of Newfane and Royalton, which 
have been freely used in preparing the foregoing lists, a 
number of men are named who belonged to organizations 
in which this county was so slightly represented that we 
could not afford space for their histories. Besides the 
Ne^Yfane and Royalton men, therefore, whose records 
ajjpear in their proper places, we have the following vol- 
unteers to record : 


John Adams and Thomas Artis, 6th cav., enlisted Oct. 

1, 1864; Sergeant Henry A. Bailey, 7th cav., enlisted 
Sept. 9, 1861, nistd out Mch. 31, 1862; Morris A. Bailey, 
I2th inf., enlisted Sept. 3, 1861, dschd; Jeremiah Babcock, 
12th heavy art., enlisted Dec. 25, 1862, died in Salisbury 
prison, Dec. 22, 1863; J. D. Birdsall, roth inf., enlisted Dec. 

16, 1863, mstd out June 30, 1865; Second Lieutenant 
Charles W. Baxter; Corporal Joseph R. Barrell, 26th inf., 
enlisted Nov. 7, 1861, missing after the battle of Cedar 
Mountain; Theodore Butcher, uth bat., enlisted Dec. 
26, i86i, mstd out June 17, 1865; Lewis Brooks, enlisted 
Sept. 24, 1864; James M. Barnum, 6ist inf., enlisted 
Aug. 4, 1864, mstd out July 20, 1865; Second Lieutenant 
Oliver M. Campbell, Co. M, 8th heavy art., enlisted Jan. 
3, 1864; died in Libby prison, June 24, 1864; John 
Dewger, 136th inf., enlisted Sept. 27, 1864; Henry Davis. 
49th inf., enlisted Oct. i, 1864; Calvin Davis, 6th inf., en- 
listed Oct. I, 1864; George Dorty, 126th inf., enlisted Mch. 
II, 1865; Almon Gallup, 108 inf., enlisted Aug. 16, 1862, 
dschd Dec. 9, 1864; J. A.Glassoway,7th cav., enlisted Sept. 
7, 1861, mstd out Mch. 31, 1862; Martin Gage, 94th inf., 
enlisted in October, 1861, died May 6, 1865, at Mower 
Hospital, Philadelphia; Owen Gage, 12th bat., enlisted 
Mch. 18, 1862, mstd out Mch. 20, 1865; John Gafney, 
60th inf., enlisted Aug. 22, 1862, mstd out July 28, 1865; 
Sergeant David Ganmer, Co. D, 129th inf., enlisted Aug. 
18, 1861, prisoner ten and a half months, mstd out June 

17, 1865; Benjamin Greenfield; Ezra H Harwood, 147th 
inf.; David B. Halsted, 12th inf., enlisted Sept. 2, 1S61, 
mstd out Sept. i, 1864; Charles C. Halsted, 26th inf., 
enlisted Nov. 23, 1861, mstd out in July 1865; First Lieu- 
tenant Henry B. Howell, 30th inf., enhstod in Aug. 1862, 
served through the war; Norton Hornbeck, 5th Maine, en- 
listed Nov. 6,1861, dschd Dec. 3, 1864; Dorman C.Johnson, 
7th cav., enlisted Sept. 9,1861, mstd out Mch. 31,1862; John 
Jones, 8th heavy art., enlisted Jan. 9, 1864, killed June 

2, 1864, at Ream's Station, Va; Einmons Johnson, 15th 
U. S. inf., enlisted Jan. 20, 1865, mstd out Dec. i, 
1865; Hiram Kelley, i6th cav., enlisted July i, 1864; 
John Keyser, enlisted Sept. 16, 1864; C. C. Lockwood, 



7th cav., enlisted Sept. 9, 1861, mstd out Mch. 31, 1862, 
afterward in the navy; Marcus Lafler, 147th inf, enlisted 
July 28, 1863, mstd out July 14, 1865; Seth M. Lovell, 
140th inf., enlisted July 23, 1863, prisoner seven and ahalf 
months, dschd June 7, 1865; Quartermaster Jacob Leon- 
ard, served two years and a half in the army and after- 
ward in the navy; Morris Marquet, loth veterans, enlisted 
Jan. 20, 1863, served twenty months; First Lieutenant 
Philip Messaroll, Co. D, i6ist, enlisted Aug. 27, 1862, 
mstd out June 26, 1865; Orderly Sergeant George Mur- 
ray, Co. A, 27 th inf, enlisted Mch 12, 1864, killed June 
18, 1864, before Petersburg; Marcus Mandeville, 60th inf., 
enlisted Sept. 6, 1862, mstd out July 17, 1865; James H. 
Mandeville, 12th bat., enlisted Feb. 8, 1864, mstd out 
July 3, 1865; James A. Maxwell, 12th bat, enlisted Sept. 

6, 1864; George McGlynn, 91st inf.; Henry Miller, 91st 
inf.; Henry Marshall, 6th col'd; William N. Oxley, Mich- 
ael O'Neil, 91st inf.; Milton E. Perigo, 147th inf., enlisted 
July 28, 1863, mstd out July rg, 1865; James Porter, 
7th cav., enlisted Sept. 9, 1861, mstd out Mch. 31, 1862; 
David Phillips, second heutenant 12th bat., enlisted Oct. 

7, iS6i, dschd Mch 31, 1862; Earle Pierce, 151st inf., 
enlisted Aug. 13, 1862, mstd out June 29th, 1865; 
William Parker, 7th cav., enlisted Sept 29, i86i,rastd out 
Mch 31, 1862; Lorenzo N. Pratt, bugler, ist bat., enlisted 
Oct. 14, 1861, mstd out June 26, 1865; John Porter, 6th 
U. S. col'd; John Phillips, Lawrence Prentice, ist bat., 
enlisted in March, 1863, died in hospital at Chattanooga, 
July, 26, 1S64; John Quinn gist inf.; David Richards, 
34th N. J., died at home on furlough, Dec. 26, 1864; 
Reuben H. Redman, Tst light art., enlisted Mch 27, 1864, 
mstd out June, 1865; James Raling, 6th U. S. col'd; 
First Lieutenant W. J. Rabo, Co. D, loth cav., enlisted in 
September, 1861, killed at Beverly Ford, Va, June 9, 
1863; George E. Reynolds, navy, enlisted Aug. 29, 1862, 
dschd Nov. 22, 1862; Sergeant W. F. Stout, Co. K, 151st 
inf.; Hugh M. Swick, 5th veteran cav., enlisted Aug. i, 
1861, mstd out with regiment; George Spencer, loth inf., 
enlisted Dec. 24, 1863, mstd out in June, 1865; Charles 
and James Smith, 6th U. S. col'd; John Slater, 49th inf.; 
WiOiam H. Shiefner, enhsted Mch 20, 1865, died at 
Hart's Island, N. Y., May 6, 1865; William Taylor, 9th 
cav.; Charles Van Horn, 12th bat., enlisted Oct. 7, 1861, 
served three years; John Vreeland, iioth inf., enlisted 
July 5, 1861, supposed to have died; William Vreeland, 
I2th bat., enlisted Nov. 10, i86i,died at home, April 13, 
1864; Levi Vaughan, Ind. Co. 35, enlisted Mch. 2, 1S65, 
mstd out in May, 1865; William Wentworth, loth cav., 
enlisted Aug. 11, 1862, mstd out Aug. 30, 1865; John 
Wilson and Dennis White, 6th U. S. col'd. 


William Bridgen, 37th art., enlisted April 10, 1864, 
dschd June 30, 1865; William H. Brookins, 2nd cav., en- 
listed Oct. I, 1863, dschd Aug. 10, 1865; George C. 
Bugbee, 49th inf., enlisted in August, 1861, served 2 
years; James A, Bugbee, 49th inf., enhsted in August, 

i86i, died in hospital in October, 1862; Peter B. Burgo, 
7th cav., enlisted Sept. 12,1861, dschd in March, 1862; 
Corporal James Compton, 129th inf., enlisted Aug. 5, 
1862, dschd Feb. 27, 1865; James H. Cleveland, nth inf.; 
Simeon Corey, 33d art, enlisted June 9, 1863; dschd 
June 25, 1865; John Congdon, 7th cav., enlisted Sept. 9, 
i86i; dschd in March, 1862; Truman A. Drake, 2nd cav., 
enlisted Jan. 12, 1864, killed in action in June, 1864; 
Charles P. Dutcher, 2nd cav., dschd in May, 1865; Ser- 
geant Franklin Dutcher, enlisted Oct 15, 1861, served 
three years; Milton A. Fellows, 22nd cav., enlisted Nov. 
18, 1863, dschd May 18, 1865; Albert Green, corporal in 
the regular army, enlisted in June, 1864; William Griffis; 
17th art., enlisted Sept 10, 1864, dschd June 20, 1865; 
James A. Henry, 8th art., enlisted July 19, 1862, dschd 
June 5, 1865; Charles W. Harch, 105th inf., enlisted Jan. 
14, 1862, dschd July 29, 1864; Quartermaster Sergeant 
James Hudnut, 8th art, enlisted July 26, 1862, dschd in 
June, 1865; First Sergeant H. C. Jennings, 19th inf., 
enlisted April 20, 1864, died from wounds Aug. 6, 1864; 
William Jargo, sth inf., enlisted in September, 1862, 
dschd inl June 1865; Henry G. King, 104th inf., enlisted 
Aug. 6, 1864, dschd July 17, 1865; Henry S. Ketcham, 
17th art., enlisted Sept 10, 1864, dschd June 12, 1864; 
Henry Luth, 8th art., enlisted Jan. 5, 1864, dschd June 
30, 1865; Sergeant Watson C. McNall, Co. H, 151st, en- 
listed Sept. 6, 1862, dschd Dec. 21, 1864; Martin Mur- 
phy, 15th art., died at home, Dec. 29, 1864; Charles Mar- 
tin, 8th art, killed in battle May 9, 1864; Andrew Nel- 
son, Sth art., enlisted in January, 1864, wounded and sent 
to hospital. Daniel and Samuel Nerber, loth cav., en- 
listed in October, 1864, former dschd in June, 1865, latter 
killed in battle Nov. 18, 1864; Rudolph Newmoda, loth 
inf., enlisted Jan. 5, 1864, dschd June 30, 1865; Thomas 
Oliver, 151st inf., enlisted Aug. 20, 1862, dschd July i, 
1865; William E. Phillips, 14th inf., enlisted Oct. 29, 1861, 
served three years; Henry Rush, Sth art., enlisted Jan. 4, 
1864, died at home, Nov. 17, 1864; Christian and God- 
frey Rehwaldt, Sth art, enlisted July 21, 1862, former 
dschd June 5, 1865, latter June 29, 1864; John Russell, 
4gth inf., enlisted in May, 1862, died in hospital in Nov. 
1863; Jacob Stadley, Sth art., enlisted in November, 1863, 
dschd Nov. 10, 1864; Alfred Southwick, 2nd cav., en- 
listed Oct. 13, 1S63, dschd Aug. 10, 1865; Sergeant 
Michael Smith, 4gth inf., enlisted in August, 1S61, dschd 
in May, 1865; Charles H. Schad, ist art, enlisted Oct. 8, 
1861, dschd April 13, 1S64; Charles Stock, Sth art., en- 
listed in July, 1S62, killed at Cold Harbor; Henry Stock, 
Sth art., enlisted Oct. 4, 1S63, died in Libby prison; Jay 
Silsby, 49th int, enlisted in August, 1861, died in hospital 
Feb. 3, 1S63; John D. Silsby, 49th inf., enlisted in August, 
1861, dschd for disability; Captain John H. Tucker, 2nd 
cav., enlisted July 13, 1861; William H. Taylor, navy, en- 
listed Aug. 27, 1864, dschd Aug. 21, 1865; Frederick Ur- 
tel, 151st inf., enlisted Sept. 4, 1862, dschd January, 1864, 
Christopher F. Wallenberg, Sth art, enlisted July 21, 1861, 
dschd Aug. 22, 1865, 

^,, — ^t^^ "11^-* * 

LoCKF'ORtTn 1836 from AN OLD I^RINT 
t Aunt Edna SmWvTUuxJ 5 Spalding GrtstMiU- 3 Jonathan Tn^aUsWarehouse t3 TreshyterianCMunJv 
'AGeo.WJtaffersJies. 6 Joseph Centers SU)ck- to Locks tJ/, Court House 
3]jaricsliij-eMockfCatial£anJt', 7 EcLgU-Hotel 11 MUXhardv IS Hydraulic Canal 
U SycUduulSaM'itLanJ'oundry 8 ScCffarct'sHail fl' Tfoodward Bdg. 





^T may be claimed that the city of Lockport 
originated from a fortuitous circumstance. 
Considering the natural features in the primi- 
tive condition of its site this may be true, 
but this fact would render it more apparent 
that its growth and prosperity are the result of 
f* industry and enterprise. 

In all ages it has been the pride of a city or community 
to preserve a. record of the events associated with its 
formation and progress. There is always an interest con- 
nected with the initial movements, and an importance 
given to the characters at this primitive stage of action, 
which posterity is loath to consign to oblivion. 

Great and rapid changes frequently take place along 
the highways cut for the onward march of civilization. 
The traveler upon his journey may pass an unbroken and 
secluded forest at one period, and returning at a later 
behold thereon a large and populous city, replete with 
the agricultural products of the surrounding districts and 
resounding with the continuous hum of its manufactories. 
This can truthfully be said of Lockport, for in less than 
three score years this vast and varied change has been 
effected. The primeval forest in its solitude and gloom 
has been removed, and in its place reared, first a village, 
and then a city which has grown to its present extent and 

It is pleasantly situated on a commanding eminence, 
wilh wide streets, the greater part of which are beautifully 
ornamented with shade trees. The dwellings are neat 
and rendered cheerful and inviting by artificial surround- 
ings, while the huge granite manufacturing establishments, 
standing boldly out upon the precipitous banks give the 
city a charming and picturesque appearance. 

The location of the Erie Canal through the mountain 
ridge at this point gave the first impetus for forming the 
nucleus from which Lockport has grown, and that com- 
mercial artery, combined with the industry and public 
spirit of the inhabitants, has wrought the wondrous 
change, and achieved for the city the position it now 
holds. Previous to the location of the canal the dense 
forests had scarcely been touched by the hand of civiliza- 

The land upon which the city is built was purchased 
from the Holland Company by Esek Brown, Zeno 
Comstock, Nathan Comstock, Webster Thorn, Daniel 
Smith, David Fink, Almon H. Millard, Reuben Haines, 
Joseph Otis, John Comstock, Asahel Smith, Nathan B. 
Rogers,; Daniel Washburn and James Conkey. In 1820 
there were but two or three unfinished log houses upon 
the whole tract now embraced within the city limits, and 
not a hundred acres of the land under cultivation. 

It was early in 1821 when the commissioners decided 
upon the exact location of the canal through the moun- 
tain ridge, and announced that they were ready to receive 
proposals for the construction of the locks and the exca- 
vation of the canal in the vicinity. Movements for the 
commencement of the village followed immediately. The 
owners of the land at once made arrangements for the 
sale of village lots. Among the land proprietors at this 
time was Otis Hathaway, who in the spring of this year 
employed Jesse P. Haines to survey and map some lots. 
While this initial movement was yet in progress the ques- 
tion arose as to what name should be given to the em- 
bryo village. It was agreed to call a council of the land 
proprietors in the vicinity to consider the matter. This 
was accordingly done, and Mr. Haines proposed the name 
of Locksborough as one that would correctly indicate the 
origin of the place. Dr. Isaac W. Smith offered an amend- 
ment proposing Lockport. The merits of the two were 
discussed, and the latter finally adopted; and the village 
had a name, though a stranger would have needed a guide 
to find it. 

This want was in a measure supplied by Esek Brown, 
who about this time opened his unfinished log house as u 
tavern. He procured his license at Lewiston, preparatory 
to opening his house to the public, but to fill the require- 
ments of the law he must first hang out his sign. To meet 
this demand was not so easy a matter as might be sup- 
posed; for, although at that very time he was building, a 
board of sufficient dimensions for a sign was not to be 
found on the premises. Necessity suggested invention, 
and Ebenezer Mix, a temporary guest, taking a door sill, 
attached to it a basswood bolt, which was planed off suf- 
ficiently smooth to inscribe upon it with a piece of coal, 
" Lockport Hotel, by E. Brown." This was put up 



between the ends of the projecting logs of the pioneer tav- 
ern, as an announcement, if not a guide to the weary trav- 
eler, that rest and refreshments could be found therein. 
This building stood about forty rods west of Transit street, 
near Main; and being the head-quarters of the canal con- 
tractors was for a/short time the head and center of the 
new-born viUagw 
- Ga-pttalists, always watchful and ready to purchase 
where the prospect appears favorable to growth, were at- 
tracted to the spot, and the energetic merchant and me- 
chanic, ever ready to locate where there is promise of a 
demand for their wares and labor, soon found their way 
to the village site; and before the summer was past log 
houses in the course of construction could be seen on 
either hand peeping out from- among the forest trees. 
Morris H. Tucker opened a store during the summer. 
This was the first in Lockport, and Mr. Tucker gave to 
the author of the History of the Holland Purchase a 
graphic description of the primitive state of things at that 
period. He represents, among other things, that " Jared 
Comstock and Esek Brown were selling village lots on 
Main street. Brown's land was cleared from Genesee 
street to a little north of Caledonia street, and extended 
from Prospect street to Transit. Jared Comstock's land 
was cleared from his south bounds to the north side of 
Niagara street. From the north side of Niagara street 
the land of Comstock was uncleared; and the land from 
the head of the locks, around the ravine, embracing all 
the lower town and extending as far east as the residence 
of Judge Dayton, was a dense forest." * * * * 

" I brought with me from Batavia an old stock of goods, 
which I stored at Esek Brown's until I could build a 
store. There was no store nearer than Hartland Corners. 
When it became known to the women that I had good 
tea stored at Brown's, no excuse would answer; have it 
they would, and I was obliged to open shop. In two or 
three weeks I moved my goods into a new framed store, 
an imposing building at that time, twenty-five feet square, 
a story and a half high. Here for several weeks I had 
no opposition in trade. Soon, however. House & Bough- 
ton got their new store finished, and Lebbeus Fish brought 
on goods from Batavia, and Lockport began to be a place 
of no little importance. That summer the rattlesnakes 
were so numevous that they occasioned much alarm to the 

Toward the close of 1821 William M. Bond, a man of 
speculative proclivities, came from New Hampshire and 
procured some land of Esek Brown. In glowing terms 
he represented the advantages and consequent growth of 
the village to result from the erection of a glass factory. 
Brown was charmed, and while in this happy state of 
e.'cpectancy Bond obtained his title to the land for a nom- 
inal consideration, on condition that the glass factory 
should be forthcoming. John Comstock was called to 
draw up the instrument of conveyance, and, contrary to 
Bond's actual wishes, insisted upon a condition in the 
agreement making it obligatory upon Bond to erect the 
factory within a stated period of time, since Brown had 
given the land for that express purpose. Bond was un- 

willing to be bound to any time, but the notary's logic 
could not be overcome and Brown held him to the pro- 
vision. To get that part of the contract annulled and 
still retain the land now taxed the inventive genius of the 
speculator. This was successfully accomplished through 
a friend of his representing to Brown that the dense 
smoke and dirt from the factory would ruin the town. 
Brown was now as much alarmed as he had before been 
elated at the presence of the glass factory in the center 
of the village. No other place would do at all for Bond, 
and Brown, in ignorance of the schemers's plot, agreed 
not only to release him from building the factory, which 
he never intended to build, but also agreed to sell to 
Bond at a low figure another valuable piece of land, which 
he was desirous to obtain, to end the smoky controversy. 

Tne farm of Esek Brown grew smaller rapidly to sup- 
ply the wants of the incoming tide of immigration, or at 
least the wants of the real estate dealers in anticipation 
of it. A large portion of it was speedily mapped out into 
streets and village lots, and passed into the hands of 
Jesse Hawley and John G. Bond, who were associated 
with William M. Bond, of whom mention has already 
been made. 

Associated with the Comstocks — Jared, Darius and 
Joseph — were Otis Hathaway and Seymour Scoville, and 
these gentlemen were interested in laying out and selling 
lots east of Transit street. Zeno Comstock had pur- 
chased the land in this vicinity from the Holland Com- 
pany, as Brown had west of Transit street, but had 
conveyed it previous to the founding of the village, and 
invested in the vicinity of the head of the gulf, a mile and 
a half to the westward, in expectation that the canal 
would be located there. 

At the end of a year a very perceptible change had 
beei^ wrought, and the infant village had made consider- 
able advance. The forest in the immediate vicinity, 
mangled and hacked, bore undeniable evidence of tlie 
struggle. Rattlesnakes were becoming less numerous, 
and thfe bear and wolf, which had hitherto held almost 
undisputed sway, were getting cautious and finding more 
secluded resting places. The deer, too, which had been 
quite plenty, found their favorite haunts unsafe, and 
moved with faltering steps and sensibilities awake to the 
dangers that beset them in pursuing their accustomed 
pathway, which from the east descended the mountain 
slope, near where now stands the Douglas Mills. Acti-ve 
and adventurous spirits were not slow in coming forward. 
The anvil could be heard ringing from the sturdy strokes 
of George W. Rogers, the pioneer blacksmith. A shoe- 
shop was indispensable, and the want was supplied by 
Shepard and Towner, and the demand for harnesses and 
saddles by Elliott Lewis. John Jackson had established 
a bakery, and the prospect was favorable for an early 
establishment of all branches of business requisite. The 
great amount of labor needed in the construction of the 
canal at this point promised a good field for business 
until the great work should be completed, and at that 
time was the most attractive feature in bringing business 
men forward. 



Early in 1822 the post-office was established, but to 
procure the mail was a matter yet attended with many 
inconveniences. It was brought from Molyneux's Cor- 
ners, usually on horseback. This inconvenience was 
somewhat obviated the next year by the opening of a 
road through the howling wilderness to Wright's Corners, 
connecting at that point with the stage route. A wagon 
then took the mail over this road, or rather through this 
opening in the woods. 

A printing press had likewise been brought forward and 
set in motion about the time the post-office was estabHsh- 
ed. The pioneer printer was Bartemus Ferguson, but he 
soon sold his establishment to Orsamus Turner. Mr. 
Turner, who became the editoi- of the village paper in 
August, r822, observes that at that time the work of ex- 
cavating the canal was under headway on each of the five 
rock sections, and that "the blasting of rocks was going 
on briskly on that part of the canal located upon the vil- 
lage site; rocks were Hying in all directions; framed build- 
ings and roofs of log buildings were battered by them, 
and huge piles of stone lay upon both banks of the canal 
with a narrow opening to admit the passage of teams over 
a log bridge on Main street." 

As before intimated, people were actuated in a great 
measure in making Lockport their abiding place by the 
chance of helping to supply the various wants of con- 
tractors and laborers in opening the canal. Many believed 
that when this work was completed the village, which had 
been of mushroom growth, would decline corresponding- 
ly. But another impetus, more potent in its bearing, was 
given it in the summer of 1822. In July of this year the 
commissioners appointed to locate the capital of the coun- 
ty fixed upon Lockpoit. Two acres of land were deeded 
to the county by William M. Bond upon which to erect the 
county buildings. By becoming the county seat, in ad- 
dition to its other advantages, both growth and perma- 
nency were assured. 

The public peace was considerably disturbed during 
the latter part of 182 ! by the rows of the Irish laborers, 
growing out of a demonstration of the Orangemen. On 
such occasions clubs and stones were freely used as wea- 
pons for attack or defense. On Christmas Eve a serious 
riot occurred, originating from a fight which happened at 
a tavern kept by a n»an named Law. So great was the 
commotion that Captain Howell's rifle company was call- 
ed out by the sheriff to suppress the rioters. In this af- 
fray one man, named Jennings, was killed, and many injur- 
ed. One man had his skull fractured by a stone which pene- 
trated to the brain. A physician living at Batavia was 
sent for to extract it, but it was dug out with a jack-knife 
before his arrival. 


The advancement which the village had made within 
two and one half years from its first incipiency, particu- 
larly in the amount and variety of business, is faithfully 
exhibited in the following sketch, prepared for this work 
by Marcus Moses, Esq., an early pioneer and still a resident 
of Lockport: 

"When I came to Lockport, in the fall of 1823, the ■ 
greater part of the business doing in the village was on 
the west side of the canal. On the northeast corner of 
Main and Transit streets was a small' building occupied 
as a store, and there also William Fox kept a barber shop. 
Going east from this point, along the north side of Main 
street, there was one and perhaps two buildings, occupied 
as stores, before reaching the Lockport Hotel, kept by 
Samuel Jennings. This hotel was somewhat celebrated, 
and quite spacious for those days, though but a one story 
building. Adjoining this, on the east. Dr. Maxwell had 
an office, and next was the blacksmith shop of Allen 
Skinner. These two buildings were about where the 
Judson House now stands. The next building east was 
the store of House & Boughton, in which the post-office 
was kept by George H. Boughton, who was the first 
postmaster. A little further along A. T. Prentice had a 
small building, in which he repaired watches and kept a 
small stock of jewelry. From there do\yn what is now 
Canal street huge piles of stone lay all along the way. 
Where the Congregational church now stands was a small 
buildirig used for a tavern. 

" About opposite Prentice's jewelry store the canal was 
crossed by a bridge. This primitive structure consisted 
of two log stringers reaching from shore to shore, across 
which were thrown split logs with the bark side up, and 
was only wide enough for one team. East from this bridge, 
and on the groimd where the Bristol fountain now stands, 
Alexander Pound kept a meat market. Near this mar- 
ket was a small building in which Judge Birdsell had a.n 
office. There was no other building between this and a 
yellow store kept by William Parsons & Co., which stood 
upon or near the ground now occupied by the Moyer 
block. The next was a stone building, a part of which 
was used for a store and was occupied by Sidney and 
Thomas Smith. This building is still standing and but 
little changed. The ground between this and the store 
of Lyman A. Spalding, which stood where the Farmers' 
and Mechanics' Savings Bank does now, was vacant and 
used as a passage way to the locks and to the front of a 
building which stood on the bank at the head of the 
locks. In this a grocery was kept, and it was afterward 
used as an office by Asa W. Douglas, the first toll col 

"The next building east of Spalding's store was a small 
law office occupied by James F. Mason, who was county 
clerk and kept the records of the county in his office; and 
adjoining that was a store kept by H. Kimberl'y & Co. 
On the corner of Main and Pine streets, where the Ex- 
change Bank stands, was a two-story frame building, a 
part of which was occupied by the canal commissioners 
and engineers and the residue by Orsamus Turner as a 
printing office. Up ' the hill ' from here, as it was then 
called, and on the bank of what is now the mill race, 
near where the Murray block is, stood a log cabin owned 
and occupied by Dr. Isaac W. Smith. This dwelling was 
neat in every respect, and in perfect keeping with Dr. 
Isaac and Aunt Edna. It was built of small logs, nearly 
equal in size, with the bark peeled off, and whitewashed 



both inside and out. Who of our old citizens do not 
remember Aunt Edna, with her checked apron, always 
sociable and cheerfully smiling as she said, ' How does 
thee do?' At the top of the hill, where the Hodge 
Opera House stands, was the residence of M. H. Tucker. 
The triangular block now encompassed by Main, Mar- 
ket and Elm streets was occupied by the Quakers as a 
burying ground. Their meeting-house was built of logs, 
and stood in the rear of the brick block facing Main 
street. I well recollect attending a wedding there. Two 
couples were united on that occasion, the parties perform- 
ing the marriage ceremony themselves. 

" Where the American House is was a log building used 
as a tavern. Timber was standing close about this 
building, and great stumps were yet in the street. Lyman 
A. Spalding lived on the corner where the Hosmer block 
stands. From there down to Pine street, on the south 
side of Main, not much improvement was made, as it 
wa^s quite away from the business portion of the village. 
I well remember Isaac Price having urged me to buy a 
lot of him about where the Breyfogle building stands; 
but the location was too far out of town. It was then 
thought that the business would be done west of the canal. 
It was about in front of Breyfogle's that I paid my first 
Highway tax. There was a gigantic stump standing in 
the street at this place, and myself and several others 
were two days busily employed in removing it. Before 
the street was graded, the surface where the American 
House stands was about up to the floor of the stoop on that 
building, as it is now, and continued nearly level west- 
ward to where Breyfogle's store stands, where it was 
higher than the second floor of that building; from that 
westward it fell away quite abruptly. Morris H. Tucker 
had a store about where Simmons & Walter's jewelry 
store is now. Next east was the " Green store," occupied 
by Nathan B. and George W. Rogers as a grocery. Ad- 
joining this, Elias Ransom had his law office; and there 
was Dr. Isaac Smith's .office. From there west was a 
vacant lot enclosed by a stone wall. Then came the 
" Red store," kept by William Kennedy, who died soon 
after on a canal boat near Rome, while on his way home 
from New York. West from the " Red store " was a 
passage way for teams to the yard of the Cottage Hotel. 
The Cottage was a log house, of much renown in those 
days, kept by Joseph Langdon. He always kept a good 
fire when needed. In cold weather, in the old-fashioned 
Dutch fireplace would be seen a large back log, and on 
the andirons a large fore stick, and heaped upon these 
about a quarter of a cord of wood. The Cottage stood 
upon the ground where the spacious Ringueberg block 
now stands. On the corner of Main and Cottage streets 
Harvey W. Campbell kept a store in a small building, 
and adjoining that Pric^ Rounds kept a grocery. The 
next building was John Jackson's bakery, which did a 
pretty large business. West of this was Gillett Bacon's 
grocery; and there were some other small buildings and 
a blacksmith shop along what is now Buffalo street, but 
in front were piles of stone so high that the buildings on 
the opposite side of Main street were hidden from sight. 

" On the point of ground between the canal and Main 
street, about opposite where the Judson House stands, 
was a stone building. In one part Hiram Gardner had a 
law office, and in another part a shoe store was kept. In 
the upper story the masonic hall was first established. 
The next west was the tin shop of Pardon D. Richardson. 
A little further along was the Mansion House, kept by 
Captain McKain. It is now the Exchange, and has been 
made one story higher, with some other slight alterations. 
The first court held in Lockport was in the second story 
of this building. The members of the bar residing in 
Lockport at that time were John Birdsell, Hiram Gard- 
ner, J. F. Mason, Elias Ransom, Harvey Leonard and 
Theodore Chapin. On the corner of Main and Transit 
streets, where the Mansion House now stands, was a 
small bakery, kept by a man named Woodard, and Moses 
Goble kept a meat market west of Transit street. 

" Of those who were residing in Lockport when I came 
there are yet living here only Lyman A. Spalding, 
Alexander Pound, Daniel Price, Moses Goble, N. B. 
Rogers, J. G. Gustin and P. G. Richardson. 


Judging from the number of public houses that sprung 
into being in a few years, it would seem that ample ac- 
commodation and entertainment suitable to those rustic 
times could be furnished. It seemed to be settled beyond 
question that the business would center around the 
county buildings, and hotels were built in their vicinity 
in quick succession. On the northwest corner of Main 
and Transit streets the Washington House was erected 
in 1823, which continued to exist until 1865, when it was 
destroyed by fire. On the northwest corner of New 
Main and Hawley streets the Exchange Coffee House 
was reared. The house as constructed still remains, 
but is not used for the accommodation of the public. 
The name was painted in large letters upon the side front- 
ing Hawley street. The ravages of time have not fully 
effaced them, and though dim they are sufficiently dis- 
tinct to be read. The Niagara House of those early 
days was located on the north side of Niagara street, be- 
tween Transit and Hawley. It was erected by John 
Gooding, who came to Lockport early in 1823. The 
same building, remodeled, is now No. 8r, the residence 
of Mrs. R. J. Cass. On Niagara street, at the corner of 
Prospect, was the Eagle Hotel, kept by one Holmes. 
From an uncouth drawing on the sign to represent the 
eagle, it obtained the name of the " Black Eagle." 
r The Cottage, on the corner of Main and Cottage 
streets, mentioned by Mr. Moses, was rather peculiar in 
its style of architecture. The landlord's fancy led him to 
enlarge his log house for the accommodation of his 
guests by additions on the ground instead of in height. 
In this way he kept adding room after room, each built 
of logs, until it covered considerable ground, and in that 
view was in fact roomy. It is related that a man on his 
first visit to Lockport arrived in the evening and put up 
at the Cottage, which was then very popular. He found 
his quarters comfortable and highly satisfactory. In the 



morning the full extent of the structure was before his 
gaze, and curiosity prompted him to inquire after its 
dimensions. The landlord, delighted at having so good 
an opportunity to explain, quickly replied: "My house is 
fourteen stories, sir." " High ? " inquired his guest, 
somewhat amazed. " No," was the rejoinder, "on the 
ground." ^ 


The canal was opened for navigation eastward from the 
foot of the locks for a considerable time previous to its 
completion through the mountain ridge, and a portage 
became necessary. It was cut across the country to 
Pendleton, and the freight unshipped and transported on 
vehicles between these two points. An engine for one of 
the eliliest steamboats launched on Lake Erie was taken 
over this carrying place on an ox sled. 

In the summer of 1825 Lockport was honored by the 
presence of the " nation's guest," General Lafayette. He 
was^escbrfed into the village by the committee appointed 
for the occasion. The Washington House, at the corner 
of Main and Transit streets, was the place chosen for his 
reception. A bower was arranged from the door of the 
hotel to where the carriage would stop for him to alight, 
and the pathway underneath carpeted with boughs. 
Every thing was rendered as cheerful and befitting as. the 
primitive times would permit. The citizens of the village 
and surrounding country turned out en masse axiA collect- 
ed here, and to their intense delight were introduced to 
the friend of Washington and his co-worker in the strug- 
gle for the nation's independence. The universal demon- 
strations of joy on the occasion fully attested the people's 
grateful appreciation of the defender of their liberties. 
His visit was brief, and at the conclusion of the appropri- 
ate ceremonies he was escorted to a packet awaiting him 
at the foot of the locks, followed by a great crowd of ad- 
miring citizens. 

While the memory of this passing scene was yet fresh 
in the public mind, an event long sought and longer to be 
remembered occurred. Scarcely had the green leaves of 
the summer changed to the various tints of autumn when 
the last obstructions to the uninterrupted navigation of 
the Erie canal were removed. Perhaps no work of a simi- 
lar character was ever attended with greater rejoicing 
upon its completion. The mountain ridge was the only 
place remaining to finish, and all were intently watching 
for the signal to prepare for celebrating the event. On 
the 29th of September, 1825, it was announced by William 
C. Bouck to the president of the board of canal commis- 
sioners that the canal would be in a condition to admit 
the passage of boats on the 26th of October following. 
The forces were increased on this unfinished part in or- 
der to have it in perfect readiness on the appointed day. 
On the evening of the 24th, the work having been com- 
pleted, the guard gates were raised and the Lake Erie 
level was filled with water sufficient for the passage of the 
boats on the morning of the 26th. The first glimmering 
rays of the sun on that morning were greeted by the roar 
of cannon, resounding along the hills and valleys adjacent 

to Lockport. One of the cannon belonging to Perry's 
fleet was brought here and fired in honor of the event so 
full of promise. General Whitney was marshal of the day, 
and under his direction the procession formed at nine 
o'clock, marched to the foot of the locks and embarked 
on boats lying there in readiness for the occasion. The 
officers and some of the most prominent citizens of Lock- 
port and vicinity went on board of the packet " William 
C. Bouck," which had been chosen to take the lead in 
passing the locks. The remaining boats were filled with 
men and women anxiously waiting to hear signal guns an- 
nouncing that the fleet had left Buffalo en route for the 
Atlantic seaboard. At ten the signal passed eastward 
with the speed of sound ; the lock gates flew open and 
the boats, burdened with human freight, commenced the 
passage. The ascent of this fleet to the Lake Erie level 
is thus graphically described by an eye witness of the 

" As it ascended the stupendous flight of locks, its 
decks covered with a joyous multitude, it was greeted 
with the ponstant and rapid discharge of heavy artillery,