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ilUnstralians md l|i0gra^Hical ^ketchc^ 





Syracuse, N". Y. 





Tiuair. Smith & Bruce. Printers. .Journal Otticf. .Syr.uiisi'. N. Y. 

-^•^i ' .^ ^ 'j'i; ^ ^ ' ^' — ^"' ' -^i 




; rortraits of Dr. Elijah Park, and wife. 
■ Cbas. W. Hoyt, 
" Albert Becker, 
Ilesidence of Jas. Becker, (with portraits) 

'* •' Luther Baker, " " 

I'ortrait of Joseph Thomas, 

'• " Avery F. Palmer, 
Itesidence of Homer Case, (with portraits) 
Portrait of Lewis O. Hill, . 


between 360, 861 

. " 360, 361 

360, 361 

360, 361 

facing 362 

between 363, 363 

362, 363 

362, .'163 

facing 398 


between 366, 
between 368, 

St. John's School for Boys, 

F.esidence of the late C. E. Sooville, (with portraits) 
r;esidence of Curtiss Twitchell, (with portraits) 
" '■ Mrs. Ann Mable, " 

" '■ Ambrose S. Uabie, 

^Id Homestead of David Collin, (with portraits) 
'esidence of Wm. T. Avery, 
Homestead of A. H. Avery. Sr., and residence of A. H. Avery, 

Jr. , (with portraits) . between 368. 

Residence of Anson Smith, .... facing 

" ■" Dr. Judson H Graves, ... 
'' and Farm Views of D. W, Grldley, (double page) 

between Sro, 
Residence of Edward French, (with portraits) . facing 

Church of the Immaculate Conception, Fayetteville, *' 

Kesidence of Chas. II. Cole. I with portraits) . " 

" ■• the late Reuben H. Bangs, (with portraits) 

between 374. 






Residence of Myron Bangs, Fayetteville, 

'• Ambrose Clark, (With portraits) 
" Wellwood. " residence of Sam'l J. Wells, 
Hotel and Residence of E W. Woodward', '. 
Portraits of Seymour and Nancy Pratt, 
" Beach and Frances Beard, 
" Illustrious and Eunice Remington, 
Residence of E. A. Coe, iwith portraits) 
of Silas Bell, (with portraits) . 

Portrait of Robert Dunlop, . 
Residence of Robert Dunlop, 

Residence, etc. of Warren C. Brayton, (double page) 
Residence of Vliet Carpenter, (with portraits) 
Portraits of David S. Miller and wife, 

'• Elbridge, Emerson, Julius C. and Mason 
Residence of Rufus R. Kinne, (with portraits) 
• Seth O. Palmiter, 


Residence of David Hibbard, (with portraits) 

Portrait of Daniel (iott, 

Portraits of Abraham Northrup and wife. 

Homer Case's Monument, Pompey Cemetery, 

Residence of Ju.stin F. Gates, 

Portraits of Elijah and Maranda Weston, 































a P. 




















General A. P. Granger, 

Parley Howlett. 

Oeorge Stevens, 

William Metcalf Clarke 

Albdrt G. Salisbury. . 

John Wilkinson, 

Henry Shattuck, 

Jascn C. Woodruff, 

Lyman Clary. M. D., . 
•• Hon. Joshua Forman, 
■ General Ellas W. Leavenworth, 

J. M Wieting, M. D., 

Lewis H. Redfield, 

Hon Moses Summers, 

Asa White. 

Horace White, 

Hamilton White, 

Nathan F. Graves, 

Hon. D. P. Wood, 

E. F. Rice, 

Hon. Daniel Pratt, 
Wili'/am C. Ruger, 
Hon. Elizur Clark. 
Cornelius T. Longstreet, 
John (Jreenway, 
Sylvester P. Pierce, 
Major William A. Cook, 
Hon. Peter Burns. 
Horace Bronson, 
Johnson Hall, . 
Captain Oliver TealU 
George J. Gardner, Esq.. 
Major-Oeneral John J. Peck 
Rufus Stanton, 
Hon. Vivus W. Smith. 
Hon. D.^nnis McCart^l.v, 
Henry Giflfurd, 
Robert Gere, 
Jacob .\ino8. 
ma. Ann M. T. Rinitleld, 
Milton H. Nnrthtup, 
John G. K. Truanr, 
General John E His, 
Carroll E. Smith, 
Charles Tallm an. 
H.N. White, 
Dwight H. Biuoe, 
B. Burton, 

facing 140 

" 141 

" 142 

" 148 

■' 149 

between 1.50, 151 

facing 156 

" 160 

" 161 


rth, 164 

'acing 166 

. 192 

. 193 

. 199 

. 199 

. 200 

. 201 

. 202 


(acing 208 

, 212 

. 213 

, 213 

. 214 

acing 318 

" 222 

" ^23 



facing 230 

•• 231 

. 234 


facing 240 


" 246 


. 247 

. 248 


. 250 

251 - 


. 252 

. 255 


facing 256 

. . 257 


acing 2t>2 

Miles Adams, 

John Paddock, 

W. W. Porter, M. D., 

Hon. Abner Chapman, 

John F. Clark, 

Leonard P. Field. 

Jeremiah Everringham, 
i-Ephraim Webster, 

Col. Comfort Tyler. 

Gen. Asa Dauforth, 

Gen. Thaddeus M. Wood, 

Horace Hitcbings, 

Moses Fowler, 

Theophilus Hall, 

Ellas B. Bradley, 

George T. Clark, M. D., 

W. W, Newman. 

Charles Carpenter, 

George Hall, 

Volney King, 

Jared W. Parsons, 

A. G. Wyckoft, . 

Theodore E. Clarke. . 

Deacon Jerathmael Hunt, 

David Chafee, Sr., 

David Chafee. Jr.. 

Ransel S. Kenyon, 

Hon. Dan Bradley. 

Judge Hezekian Earll, 

Daniel Kellogg, 

Benoni Lee, 

Hon. Luke Rauney, 

Hon. John D. Rhoades, 

CliauDcey B. Laird, 
James Rodger. . 
Titus Merr^liiau, M. D.. 
Truman K. Wright, 
John A. Stevens, 
Ezekiel Skinuer, 
Deacon Isaac Hill, 
Jacob Halsted, . 
Marvin W. Hardy. 
Judge James Geddos, . 
John C. Munro, Esq , 
David Munro. 
Robert Hopkins, 
Enos Peck, 
Sidney H. Cook, 
Bennett Biothars, 
Daniel Bennett, 






between 272 

, 273 


, 273 




272 — / 





between 274 








between 276,277 


, -OT 










between 282, 283 




between 288 






between 300 


• " .300 







between .304 





















between 312. 




Jonathan White, 
B. B. Schenck, M. T>. 
Lyman Norton, . 
Dr. J. E. Bilts. . 
Juilge Otis Bigelow. 
WilBoii Family, 
FrcJerick W. Fenner. 
John Halsteil, 
John Van Derveer, 
Harvey H. Rtiss, 
Henry Datoll. 
Horace B. Bingham. 
Moses Wormuth, 
George Eoker, . 
Nathaniel Cornell, 
Russel Foster, . 
Col. Qabriel Tappai: 
Stewart Scott, . 
Moseley Dunham, 
French Falrchild, 
Samnel Emmons, 
Hon. Asa Eastwood. 
Oreamus Johnson, 
Isaac Connley. . 
M. H BIynn, M. D., 
Capt. Valentine Dunham, 
David H. Hoyt. 
Samuel H. Stanton, 
I. Tyler Frisbie, 
Willis C. Pish, . 
George W. Card, 
Alfred J. Xiles, 
James L. Niles, 
James H. Kedway, 
Warren Kinney, 
Myron Hillyer, 
Hon. Samnel Willis, 


facing 313 

between 318. 319 

320, 321 

fai'ing 331 






between 3-2», 32S 

" 328. .389 








facing 340 

between 340, 341 

340, 341 

facing .341 

between 342, 343 












between .■i5tf. 357 

Dr. Elijah Park, 

COarles W. Hoyt, 

Albert Becker. 

James Becker, 

Joseph Tbi'mas, 

Avery F. Palmer, 

Luther Baker, 

Morris Baker. 

Homer Ca!^e. 

Reuben B. Bangs, 

Ambrose Clark, 

David llibhard, 

Samuel J. Wells, 

Judson H Graves, M.D.. 

Charles M. Cole", 

C. E, Scoville, 

Allen H. Avery, 

J. Beach Beard. 

Edward French. 

Eli A. Coe, 

David Collin, Sr , 

Silas Bell, 

B. W. Woodward, 

Robert Dunlop, 

Rufus K. Kinne, 

Vllet Carpenter, 

Dairy Farm of W. C. Brayton, 

David S. Miller, 

The Kinne Family, 

Doniel Gott, 

Dr. Hezekiah Clarke. 

Elijah Weston. 

Abraham Northrup, .... 

Roster of Soldiers, .... 

List of Citizens who assisted in the publication of 
of Onondaga County with Personals, 


PJtCB 1 


360, Sfil 
Sfid, 36t 
363, 36;1 
362, 36> 

37 1 











386, 3(-7 





ng 392 


faciap SBB 




. 405 

the History 



tempting to compile a History of Onondaga 

the writer is well aware of the interest and 

•H'ect botV to the historian 

.iciaga has always been a 

in the prehistoric period, before 

:ni. ui .he white man to its territory, it was 

re of a great Indian Confederacy— that of 

-lois or Five Nations— and when the Jesuit 

.o.>;. ries penetrated the solitudes of its forests, 

it becan.c I'ne theatre 61 events in which the 

two leading nations of Europe became directly 


The French and the English began the coloniza- 
tion of North America at nearly the same period. 
The jea!( nsies and rivalries which had long made 
them lies in the Old World were trans- 

planted ie New Continent. The French, by 

settling St. Lawrence, whose waters head in 

the great ' if the Northwest, within a few miles 
of the triL s of the Mississippi, which f^ows 

across half -jntinent to the Gulf of Mexico, 

had the ad of the most direct means of 

access to lli _. .'Jf the cou'n.iy, and to the rich 
nificent valleys and prairies of the Great 
.n a few years they had ascended the St. 
e to the Upper Lakes ; had crossed over to 
sissippi and descended it to the Gulf of 
, they had explored the vast fertile regions 
tht Alleghanies and Texas, and visited 
every tribe from the Gulf of St. Lawrence to Mobile 

The French avowed the deliberate purpose of 
keeping the English out of all this territory, and of 
confining them to the narrow strip of country along 
the Atlantic coast. In this scheme of empire they 
sought the friendship and alliance of the Indian 
tribes. They first secured the friendship of the 
Hurons and Algonquins of the North and West, 

establishing among them missions and trading posts : 
first in the forests of Canada, then on the Straits 
entering Lake Superior and Lake Michigan, and 
finally along the Mississippi, the Wabash and the 
Ohio. In 1641, a great convention of Red Repub- 
licans of the Northwestern vW.?rness was called at 
Sault Ste. Marie, which ^^as attendeJ by all the 
tribes far and near, ana by officers both "ivil and 
ecclesiastic of the government of New France ; ciV.''d 
it was proclaimec' to the assembled tribes that they 
were placed imder the protection of the French 
nation. In 1671, Nicholas Perot, the agent of 
Talon, the Intendant of Canada, convened a similar 
great council at Green Bay, on Lake Michigan. 
Not only were the vast multitudes of dusky warriors, 
Sichems and braves there assembled brought into 
alliance of friendship with the French, but Perot, 
paddled in a bark canoe by friendly Pottawattomies, 
visited the Miamis at Chicago, and secured from 
them similar conditions of friendship and alliance. 
While all this was going on, the Iroquois or Five 
Nations, the most powerful confederation of Indians 
on the continent, were holding the ground between 
the English and the French in the State of New 
York, the Long House, as they called it, reaching 
from the Hudson to Lake Erie : not as neutrals, 
although they sought at times to preserve a sort of 
neutrality, but as enemies of the French and ulti- 
mately as friends and allies of the English. The 
French had wantonly provoked their hostility at 
the beginning of the colonization of Canada ; by 
forming an alliance with the hereditary enemies 
of the Iroquois, tribes whom the latter had beaten 
back beyond the lakes and held in awe and subor- 
dination. They were so antagonistic to the French 
along the northern border of New York that Lake 
Ontario and the Niagara River could not be naviga- 
ted by them, and for many years their only avenue 


of access to the West lay by the Ottawa River, 
through which they paddled their bark canoes to 
Lake Nippissing, crossed over to French River, 
by which they descended to Lake Huron. 

The first visit of the Jesuits to the Mohawks and 
Onondagas had its origin in the necessity for con- 
ciliating the Iroquois, whose geographical position 
between the English and the French, and whose 
strength and prowess in war, made them the natural 
arbiters of the destiny of which ever nation they 
chose to assist in the struggle. Those who regard 
the mission of tlie Jesuits in this country as purely 
religious, having for its exclusive object the conver- 
sion of the heathen to Christianity, mistake very 
gravely its impor^ and character. It had evidently 
a polititori^ligious significitnce. Not alone to e.\- 
tenr' j'lje dominion of the Church, but through the 
Cnurch to extend the power and dominion of 
France, came these zealous, devoted and self-sacri- 
ficing disciples of Ignatius Loyola to the wilds of 
North America. 

In Onondaga their mission-field was t;-.e most 
important on the Continent. For, while it was com- 
paratively easy to make friends and converts of '.he 
unbiased tribes of other sections of the country, 
here they had a strong, wily, skillful, though often 
a magnanimous foe, to contend with and to con- 
ciliate. Other tribes were less dominating — the 
Iroquois were the proud lords of the domain, the 
heroes of a thousand battles. Resides, at Onondaga, 
there was that in the situation which made the 
work of the Jesuits vastly important. This was the 
center of the Confederacy or League of the Five 
Nations, the Capital, at which all their great 
National Councils were held, where the sachems 
a. id chiefs, from the Hudson to the Niagara, assem- 
bled to attend to the business of State, where the 
national policy and all the great questions of peace 
and of war were decided. If, therefore, the Five 
Nations were to be influenced and brought over to 
an alliance with the l^rench against their English 
enemies, where could his be so well accomplished 
as at Onondaga, in the heart and capital of their 
confederacy .' 

This made Onondaga a famous locality, not only 
during the period of the Jesuit Missions, but equally 
famous during the wars which followed, when the 

French, failing in ecclesiastical diplomacy, r* 
to the arbitrament of war. Thrice was this 
invaded by the French. 7., ■ came tht 
struggle known as the " Old French War," \\\ 
in 1759 culminated in the downfall of the French 
colonial power in America : the Iroquois fighting on 
the side of the English and turning the scale agains' 
the common foe. 

It has been seriously doubted by some *" 
best statesmen and casuists whether the E 
colonists would have been abl<^ to <-<-• -i' 
French without the assi'-fa" 
and whether, in the absence 0. 
which they rendered, this country mi^ 
be a part of the French dominions. Certain 
their great strength, skill and advantage of 
turned against the English, the fate of X\ 
would have been ver)' r!iftere"^t from what ii 

Nor has Onondaga been less noted as an oi^. .• 
civil division of the State of New York. Her "ren- 
tral location in the great State of which Ltt' is a 
part ; her connection with the great ?ines of com- 
munication both of the early and more ' "^cf it times ; 
her peculiar topographical and geologica .ures ; 
the variety and richness of her resourr id pro- 
ductions ; and, above all, the character, .•juished 
'.alents and reputation of her eminf .en, have 
rendered her one of the most noted ics in the 

interior of the Empire State. A ;ariy time, 

when the cf.:"'acter of this great <ud Nation 

had to be formed ami its policy . n)d directed, 

Onondaga men, at the bar, on the bench '-p 

fields of enterprise and in the halls of leg 
bore a conspicuous part, and rendered the 
Onondaga famous throughout the country, 
were the great advocates and projectors of t 
Canal — that great State enterprise which, cc 
ing the early stage of the country's progress in 
which it was begun and completed, eclipsed all the 
marvels of the oldest nations of Europe, The men 
who believed in the practicability of this great 
undertaking, so far in advance of the rest of their 
fellow-citizens that their ideas were regarded as the 
dream of visionary enthusiasts and treated with 
derision ; who first brought the subject before the 
Legislature, first explored and surveyed the route, 
and who stood by the enterprise till it was finally 


crowned with success, were men of Onondaga ; and 
by their identification with this great work made 
the name of Onondaga famous throughout the land. 

Onondaga became noted at an early time for her 
piineral resources — her Salt, Gypsum, and Water- 
Lime. The Salt Springs of this locality were 
known throughout the French and English colonies 
and in Europe more than two hundred years ago. 
After the Revolution, their fame attracted hither 
visitors and settlers, and their partial development 
formed the nucleus of flourishing villages which have 
grown into a center of more than sixty thousand 

The first discovery of water lime in America was 
made in Onondaga at a period most opportune, when 
it was needed for the permanent locks and culverts 
in the construction of the Erie Canal ; and, in 
consequence, from 1819 that great work went 
forward to its completion, and has since had the 
materials at hand to keep it in a permanent state of 
repair. Here, too, the first discovery of gypsum 
in the United States was made in 1792, which has 
since become as noted and valuable as the famous 
plaster of Paris. 

The history contained in the following pages 
covers all the ground over which we have thus 
cursorily glanced, giving each step of the progress 
of the county in detail from the earliest discoveries. 
The plan of our work, of course, is very different 
from that of Mr. Clark's two volumes. While we 
have condensed the history of the Indians into 
three or four chapters, adding considerable original 
matter, we have extended the history of the Military 
Tract, the Salt Interest, the Civil Record, and other 
matters, deemed of most importance, far beyond 
anything that has yet been published. 

Our History of the City of Syracuse is almost 
entirely original matter, embracing the inception 
and progress of industries and institutions which 
either did not exist or were in their infancy when 
Mr. Clark published his Onondaga, such as the 
Public Schools, Churches, Institutions of Learning, 
Libraries, Manufactories, Banking, Railroads, and 
the various Industrial and Commercial interests of 
the modern city. Also in the various Towns of the 
County, the histories have been brought down from 
the point where they had been left by the former 

historian. The Military Record of Onondaga in 
the War of the Rebellion — a history not hitherto 
attempted — has been added, forming one of the 
most valuable and interesting features of the work. 

The sources of information to which we have 
had access in compiling this volume are the Jesuit 
Relations ; Colonial and Do'^umentary Histories of 
New York ; Clark's Onondaga ; Bancroft's History 
of the United States ; Smith's New York ; Park- 
man's Jesuits in America; Champlain's Journal; 
Charlevoi.x's History of New France; Parkman's 
Old Regim^ in Canada ; Davidson & Stuv^'s His- 
tory of Illinois : Turner's History of the Holland 
Purchase ; Geological Reports of the State of New 
York ; Transactions of the State Agricultural 
Society ; New York Civil List ; State Census for 
1875 ; Local, County and Town Records, Maps, 
Pamphlets, Files of Newspapers, and various other 
documents of a local character. For local matters 
we have consulted the Pompey Re-union and Van 
Schaack's History of the Village of Manlius. 

For valuable assistance we are indebted to Hon. 
George Geddes, not only for material.! and sugges- 
tions embodied in various portions of the general 
history, but for the matter on geology, agriculture, 
&c., drawn from his valuable Report published in 
the Transactions of \he State Agricultural Society 
for 1859 ; to Moses Summers, Esq., of the Onondaga 
Standard, for aid in the use of books and papers, 
and the History of the 149th Regiment ; to Col. J. 
M. Gere, Col. Jenney, Major Poole, Gen. Sniper, 
Capt. W. Gilbert, Lieut. Estes, Gen. Richardson, 
and others, in making up the history of the regi- 
ments from this county engaged in the late war. 
We also acknowledge indebtedness to Hon. E. 
W. Leavenworth, Messrs. J. Forman and Alfred 
Wilkinson, Hon. Thomas G. Alvord, George J. 
Gardner, Esq., and others, both in the city and 
country. Many clergymen have kindly assisted us 
with data for the History of the Churches, and 
prominent Masons and Odd-Fellows have court- 
eously aided us in the histories of their societies. 

It is hoped that this contribution to local history 
will be the means of rescuing much historical 
material from oblivion that would otherwise perish. 
Records are liable to be destroyed : in many in- 
stances they are very imperfectly kept ; many of the 


most important events of daily occurrence in every 
community are never recorded at all : if they find 
their way into the daily papers and files are kept, 
there are usually no duplicates of the same, and the 
likelihood that they will be preserved is as one 
against a thousand compared with a book of history 
in which these facts and events are gathered up and 
distributed among thousands of readers. 

Moreover, much of the most valuable part of our 
local history exists only in the memory of those 
who have been witnesses of the events or partici- 
pators in them. And these are rapidly passing from 
the stage of action. Scarcely a week passes but 
some early settler, whose experience reached back 
to the beginning of our present improvements and 
institutions, and whose memory was replete with 
interesting facts and incidents connected with the 
country, is numbered no more among the living. 
Happy for the interests of local history if such citi- 
zens had been interviewed, and the contents of their 

interesting knowledge and e.xpericnce put upon 
record. Surely he who preserves these valuable 
traditions from perishing, and commits them to the 
hands of the descendants of our worthy pioneers 
in an authentic and readable form, is doing a, kind 
office to present and future generations. 

No one but he who has attempted to compile 
such historical collections, is aware of the difficul- 
ties, even now, attending the collection rf such 
materials. The meagreness of the records and the 
incompleteness of the best recollections that can be 
elicited, are constantly compelling the local historian 
to modify his plan or to leave it imperfectly execu- 
ted. Links are wanting which the utmost labor 
and research cannot supply. While painfull)- con 
scious of this fact, we have striven to make the 
following pages as accurate and complete as possible 
under the circumstances, and we submit our humble 
labors to the indulgent criticism of the public. 




Chapter 1— Early Discoveries— Claims of different Nations— Xew 
York under Dutch Rule— First Colonial Assembly— The 
Revolution and Progress of Settlement Vestward. 
Chapter H.— History of the Military Tract, .... 

Chapter III.— Interesting Early Records— Town Meetings— For- 
mation of Counties prior to Onondaga— Organization of 
Onondaga County. 
OaAPT>R IV.— The Iroquois Confederacy. .... 

Chai'T' ft V — The Onondaga Indians and the French— War Detween 
The English and French— Count Frontenao"s Invasion 
■ •f Onondaga, etc.. ...... 

Chapter VI.— The Iroquois and the English— The Onondagas in 
the French War— English and German Missions among 
the Onondagas — Schools — Treaties, etc., . 
Chapter VII —.Migration of the Onondagas— Location of their vari- 
ous Town Sites— Period of their Residence in each Lo- 
cality, ........ 

C'eapter VIII.— Antiquities—Relies of European Intercourse with 
the Indians — The Monumental Stone of 1520, discovered 
in Pompey— Other curious Relics, 
Chapter IS— Internal Navigation— The old Canal— Origin of the 
Eiie Canal— Part taken in it by Eminent Men of Onon- 
daga Counly--Its Completion and Advantages, 
Chapter X— History of the Courts — Erection of the County Build- 
iuiis, ........ 

Chapter XI —History of the Salt Springs, and Manufacture of 
Salt, with Statistics, etc., ..... 

Chapter XII.— History of the Salt Springs, continued, with tables 

showing amount of Salt made since 17^, 
Chapter XIII.— Topography of Onondaga County, . 
Chapter XIV.— Geology of Onondaga County, 
Chapter XV.— Geology, continued, ..... 

Chapter XVI.— Agriculture— Classiflcation of Soils— Climate— Tim- 
ber-Clearing Land— Pictures of Pioneer Life— Produc- 
tions of the County, ...... 

Chapter XVII.— Comparative Statistics— Influential Agricultur- 
ists-County Agricultural Societies— The present Joint 
Stock Company— General Agricultural Statistics ol the 
County, ........ 

Chapter XVIII.— Judicial and Executive Officers under Herkimer 
County — Onondaga County Civil List — Military Organi- 
zation-Population of the Couuty from 18(J0 to 1(^75, . 
Chapter XIX.— County Poor House and Insane ."isylum— County 
Penitentiary— State Asylum for Idiots, . 










XX.— Onondaga in the War of the Rebellion— Capt. But- 
ler's Company— Pettit's Battery, . 
XXI.— Jenney's Battery, etc., 

XXII— The 15th Regt. X. Y. Vols 

XXIIL— 12th Regt., continued— The 101st Regt., . 
XXIV.-The laad N. Y. Vols., .... 
XXV.-Tbe 12iM X. Y. Vols., continued, . '. 

XXVI —The 125d N. Y. Vols., continued— 15th Cavalry, 
XXVII. -The 149th X. Y. Vols., 
XXVIII.-The 14<ith X. Y. Vols., continued, 
XXIX.— The 185th N. Y. Vols., 
XXX.-The l.S5ih N. Y. Vols., continued, . 






Syracuse University, 





Commercial Interests, 

Masons. Odd-Fellows. *c.. 


Town of Sallm, 

■' Geddes. 

•' Onondaga. 

■' Marcellus, 

" Skaneateles. 

•' Eibridge, . 

■■ Camillus, , 

" Lysander, 

■' Van Bhren. 

•■ Clay, 

'• Cicero. 

■ Spafford, 

■ Otisco, 
■' TuUy, 

•• La Fayette. 

'' ■' Manlius. 

■' Fahius. 

•' De Witt, 

" •' Pompey. 

























'iti-'i ■ 



Pratt's Falls. Pompey, N. Y. (Froutice.i. facing title page. 

!Plau of Onondaga County. .... facing 5 

Court House, Syracuse, . '42 

Penitentiary, " . . ■ 81 

Ono.idaga County Poor-House, 81 

Clinton Square, 
Residence of Patrick Lyn^h, 
Eo trait of Gen. A. P. Granger. 
■ Parley Howlett, 
" " George Stevens, 
hesidence of John Greenway, 
'ortralts of W M. Clarke and wife, 

\. G. .Salisbury and wife. 

i.-'hn Wilkinson, (steel.) between 


ICO. 151 

Residence of John Moore, . 
Portrait of Henry Shattuck. 

" J C. Woodruff. 
■' " Lyman Clary, M. D , 

" Hon. Joshua Forman,(steeli 

" Gen. E. W. Leavenworth, (steel) 

" J. M. Wieting, M. D., 

■' Rev. E. O. Haven, D. D., LL. D., 
Syracuse University Boildings, (double page) 
Martin's Block, ... 

Residence of John Eastwood. 
Portrait of L. H. Ridfield, (steel) 
" " Horace White, (steel) 
The White Memorial Building, 
Portrait of Hamilton White, (steel i 

" X. F. Graves, (steel i 

" D. P. Wood, (steel 1 




































Portrait of E. F. Rice, 

" Hon. D. Pratt, (Meeli . 
" William C, Kuger. I steel) 
'• Elizur Clark, isteel) 
•' C, T. LoDgstreet. (Steel) 
Empire State Jlills— .Iacot> AmosA Sons. 
Portrait of Jobii Orceiiway, 
View of GreeuTBj'8 lirewiry. 
Portrait of S, P, Pierce, 
•• Wm. A. Cool!, 
" " JoliD Crouse, isteelj 

•' Hon, Peter Burns, (steelj 
" •' Hotace Bronson, 
" " Johnbou Hall, 
Onondaga Coiintv Mill! Association Depot, 
Portrait of Capt. Oliver Teall, isteel) 
'■ " George J. Gardner, (eteel) 
'• " MajorGeneral Jolm J. Peck, 
" " Rufus Stanton, 

•• Hon V. W. Smith 
•' •' Hon. Dennis McC'artliy, 
" " Robert Gere. (Sleel) 
Besidence of Jacolj Aniux, iwitli portrait) 
Portrait of Mrs. Ann M. T. Rtdfleld, (steel) 
•• James M. Ellis, isteel) 
■• C. Tallmnn, isteel i 
•• H. X. Wliite, 

Residence of John Padilock, 
Portraits of John Paddock and Wife, 
Portrait of B. Burton, 
Portraits of Miles Adams and Wife. 

Portrait of Dr. W W. Porter; 

Residence of J. W. Parsons, iwltli portrait,! 
Portrait of Hon. Abner Cliapuian, . 
Portraits of John F. and Minerva Clark, . 
Portrait of Leonard P, Field, 
Portraits of Jeremiah Everrinjjham and wives, . 

" *• Horace Hitohiiigs and wife, 

'* " Moses Fowler " '" . 

" Theophilus Hali 

" •• E B.Bradley 
Portrait of George T. Clark, M. I> 

" " W. W, Newman. 
Portraits of Charles Carpenter and wife. 
Residence of George Hull, 
Portraits of George Hall and wife, 

" '• Volney King " " , 
Residence of Austin G. WyckofI, (with portraits) 

" " Jerathmael Hunt. '' " 

Portraits of David Chafee and wife, 

" •■ Ransel S. Kenyoii and wife, 

Marcellus Wuulen Mills— L. Moses, (double page) 


(aciug tm 

lietween 212, -.'13 

«1«, •,i:i 

•,J14, -iVi 

■Hi. 41.'. 

facing 311) 









facing -iiyl 



Ijetween 872, 273 
878, 873 
facing 873 

between 274, 875 


facing 875 


between 876,877 

876, 877 

87», 879 

878. 879 

facing 879 


between iSi. 883 

»e, 883 

facing 383 

between 884, 885 

Residence of the lale Julius Earn, . between 288,! 

Portrait of Judge Hezekiah Earll, ... 
Residence of A. J. Earll with portraits, (double page) 
Darvel Mills, Property of Thomas Morton, (double page) 
Portrait of C. Pardee, .... 

Portraits of D. C. Thornton and wife, 
Thomas Morton's Mills, at Mottville, (double page) 
Draycott Paper Mills, (double page) 
Residences of W. T and F. G. Weeks, . 
F. A. Sinclair's I'nion Chair Factory, (double page> 
Portraits of F. A. Sinclair and wife. 
Portrait of Benoni Lee, (steel) 

Residence of Tliomas W. Hill, ( vith iiKitrails' 
Portrait of Hon. Luke Banuey 

*• '• CUauncey B Lniid, 

" " Hon, John D. Hhoades, 

" " James Rodger, . 
Portraits of Dr. Titus Merriraanand w(ic. 
Portrait of T. K Wright, ... 

" " John A. Stevens, 

" " Ezekiel Skinner, 



. " 888, 


ge) '• aso, 






between 898, 
















between 3tO 










between 804 












eeii 318 

. 313 




Portraits of Deacon Isaac Hill and nife, . 

■' '• Jacob Halsied 
Portrait of Marvin W. Hardy, 

Portrait of David llunro. 

•' •' John C. Muuro, . 
Portraits of Robert Hopkins and wife, 

•• •* Enos Peel; 
Portrait of Sidney H. Cook 

" Daniel Bennett, beti 

•• Jonathan White, , . , . 

Residence of J B. Bennett, (with portrait*) double 

page. . . , . . between 3I4, 315 

Residence and Farm of Henry Winchell. (with portraits) '• 3IJ, 815 


Former Residence of John Halsted, 
Residence of Mrs. Electa Van Derveer. 
Portrait of B. B. Schenck. M. D., . 
Residence of B. B. Schenck, M. D., PlalnviUe, 
Residences of J. H. and Lymau Norton. . 
Portrait of Lyman Xorton, .... 

•• •• Dr. J. E. Hilts 

Residence of Mrs F. W. Fenner, (with portraits) 
Residence and Tobacco Bams of William Wilson, 
Portrait of John Halsted, (Steel I 
Residence and Hop Farm of H. H Russ, (With portiaits) 

Portrait of A. W. Bingham. 

•• Henry Daboll. . be 

Residence of •• . 

Portraits of H. B. Bingham and wife. 
Residence of A. W. Bingham, .... 
Residence of the late Moses Wormuth, (with portraits) 

" George Ecker, (with portraits), 

'• Russei Foster, *• " . 


between 31H, 




facin.' 328 
I ween Vf. '40 

.ijH. ■.fyr> 

:i3o, 8:)! 
facing .3:)1 


Late Residence of William Wormoth, . facing 

Residence of Thomas H. Scott, between 'SU, 
Residences of Mosley, Horace S., and Homer Dunham, 

(With portraits I, between 334, 

Residence of French Fairchild, with portraits, (double 

p-igei .... between 336, 


Residence of William H. Carter, (With portrait), facing 
Portrait of Samuel Emmons and wife, ..." 

Portraits of Hon. Asa Eastwood and wife, between 810, 

•• Orsamus Johnson and wife, '■ 310, 

Portrait of Isaac Cooniey, ... facing 

Residence of Robert Henderson. . between .'i48, 

•• Capt. V. Dunham, ■ :(4S, 

Portrait of M, H. Blynn, M P., 148, 

Portraits of Samuel Cushing and wife. :i4'8. 

Residence of David H. Hoyt, (With poitralts), facing 

Residence of Samuel H. Stanton, (with portraits), 







facing ,847 

between 348, 




Residences of Thomas and James H. Red way. 
Portraits of Thomas Redway and wife, . 

*• James H. 
Residence of James L. Xiles, Anil>er, (with portraits) , 
Residence and Store of A. J. Niles, Amber, (with portraits) 
Residence ond Farm View of John Van Benthuysen, 

(double page) .... 
Residence of W, C. Fish, . 

Portraits of W. C. and Elir.a H. Fish, 
Residence of I. T. Frisbie, i with portraits) 
Portrait of Uriah Fish. . . , , . 

Residence of George W. Card, (double page) between 

Portraits of George W Card and family. 
Residence of Warren Kinney, (With portraits) . •• 

Residence and Shop of Myron Hillyer, (with portraits) 

Portraits of Hon. Samuel Willis and wife, 
Residence of Hon. Samuel Willis, 

Residence of Morris Baker, (With portrait) 

" " Maj. F. J. Farrington, (with portraits) 





between ."J-Vi. :?67 




Pla/L of ^ p 




C u 



Ono^'daga County, New Yoek. 


General History — Early Discoveries — Claims 
OF Different Nations — New York under 
Dutch Rule — First Colonial Assembly — 
The Revolution and Progress of Settle- 
ment Westward. 

THE County of Onondaga as a civil organiza- 
tion is of comparatively recent date. Tlie 
history of this locality, however, extends back 
into a remote period, and is intimately connected 
with the earliest discoveries and settlements on the 
continent of North America. There are evidences 
that this region of country was visited by Euro- 
peans a hundred years before the Pilgrims landed 
at Plymouth Rock, almost a century before the 
Dutch settled the New Netherlands, and eighty- 
eight years before Quebec was founded by the 
French. The monumental stone discovered in 
Pompey, bearing date 1520, carries back our local 
history three liundred and fifty-seven years from 
our own time, to a period when the Spaniards 
were making their discoveries in Florida, and 
forty-five years before the founding of St. Augus- 

A brief review of the early discoveries will be 
proper in this place. 

In less than a decade after the discovery of 
America by Columbus, the diflerent maritime pow- 
ers of Europe were engaged in active competition 
for the prizes of the New World. Spain, actuated 
by the greed of gold and the lust of conquest, seized 
upon the rich treasures of the Montezunias, and 
after conquering and plundering Mexico and South 
America, took possession of Florida and of that por- 
tion of the Northern Continent .bordering on the 
Gulf of Mexico. The first Spanish colony in North 
America was planted at St Augustine, Florida, in 
1565, about fifty years after Ponce de Leon had 

discovered the southern-most cape of the United 

The English meanwhile were not idle. Author- 
ized by letters patent from Henry VH, John Ca- 
bot, a Venetian, accompanied by his son, Sebas- 
tian, set out on a voyage of discovery to America. 
He struck the sterile coast of Labrador, June 24, 
1-497, ^"d was the first European to see the Conti- 
nent of North America. In 1498, Sebastian Cabot, 
returning, explored the coast from Newfound- 
land to Florida. 

In 1 50 1, the Portuguese explored nearly the 
whole coast of North America. 

Attracted by the prize of the Newfoundland 
fisheries, the French of Normandy and Britany sent 
thither their sailing vessels as early as the begin- 
ning of the sixteenth century. From this point 
they discovered the Island of Cape Breton and gradu- 
ally passed westward into the Gulf of St. Lawrence. 
To Jacques Cartier, a French mariner of St. Malo, be- 
longs the honor of having discovered and named 
the River St. Lawrence. Sailing up its broad ex- 
panse of waters on St. Lawrence Day, (August 10,) 
1534, he gave it the name of that distinguished 
saint, and ascended the river as far as the Island 
of Orleans. The following year he explored it to 
the ancient Indian town of Hochelaga, now Mon- 
treal. The French under Champlain, founded Que- 
bec in 1608. One year earlier the English colo- 
nists had made their first permanent settlement at 
Jamestown, Virginia, and in 1620 the Mayflower 
landed another colony at Plymouth Rock, destined 
to have an important influence in the settlement 
and institutions of the country for all time to come. 
These two colonies were the successful rivals of 
all others of every nationality, in that competition 
for empire which has made their descendants the 
masters of North America. 

Meanwhile the French had also explored the 


coasts of New England and New York. Emu- 
lating the enterprise of England and Sixain, Fran- 
cis I, of France, had sent upon a voyage of ex- 
ploration the distinguished Florentine mariner, John 
Verrazzani. This persevering navigator visited 
America in 1 524, sailed along the coast a distance of 
twenty-one hundred miles in frail vessels and safely 
returned to report his success to his sovereign. 

The Dutch East India Company employed 
Henry Hudson to seek a northern passage to 
India. In a mere yacht he ventured among the 
northern icebergs, skirted the coast of North 
America, and sailing up the noble river which 
perjjctuates his name, cist anchor in the stream 
and opened a trade with the Indians. From them 
Hudson obtained corn, beans, pumpkins, grapes 
and tobacco, — products indigenous to the soil and 
climate of America, — and to them he imparted a 
knowledge of the baneful eiTects of into.\icating 

On account of the foregoing e.xplorations and 
discoveries, three nations laid claim to a portion 
of the territory embraced in the State of New 
York. On the ground of the discoveries of Sebas- 
tian Cabot in i49S.was based the English claim of ter- 
ritory, eleven degrees in width extending indefinitely 
westward ; the French claimed a portion of the 
eastern Atlantic coast on the ground of the discov- 
eries made by Verrazzani ; and Holland l.nid claim 
to the country from Cape Cod to the southern 
shore of Delaware Bay, basing her right upon the 
discoveries of Hudson, made in September, 1609. 
Of this thrice-claimed region the Dutch be- 
came the actual possessors and gave it the name 
of New Netherlands. They planted a fort on 
Manhattan Island in 1614, antl in 1623 made settle- 
ments at New Amsterdam and Fort Orange. For 
a time on amicable terms with the Indians the 
colonists lived in peace and security, but the cruelty 
of Keith, one of the four colonial Governors, 
awakened the fires of revenge and threatened the 
colony with extermination. Restricted in their 
rights, and desirous of the privileges and liberties 
accorded the neighboring English colonists, the 
Dutch settlers refused to contest supremacy with the 
naval expedition of Admiral Nichols, sent out by 
the Duke of York in 1664 ; and the warlike 
Sleuyvesant, reluctantly yielding to the English, 
resigned his command, and the province re- 
ceived the name of Nkw Yokk. The settlement 
at New Amsterdam was changed to the same name, 
and Fort Orange to Albany, the present State 

Hailing with satisfaction the change of masters, 

the Dutch and English colonists, whose plantations 
had been devastated by the Raritans and their 
allies, and whose lives had been saved by the inter- 
position of the friendly Mohawks, soon found them- 
selves in a protracted struggle with the royal Gov- 
ernors. Repeatedly defrauded of their means, they 
raised revenues under their own officers and stout- 
ly defended and successfully maintained their rights 
and liberties. 

In October, 1683, the first Colonial Assembly 
lor the Province of New York held its session. It 
consisted of a Governor, Council of Ten, and 
House of Representatives of seventeen members 
elected by the jjcople. 

In conflict with their French enemies on the 
north, the timidity and delays of the Governors 
brought the English into contempt with their fierce 
allies, the Iroquois, on the west ; but the misfor- 
tune was averted before treaties were annulled by 
the sagacity and activity of Schuyler and Fletcher 
in the winter of 1693. The changes and revolu- 
tions in England extended to the royal province 
and occasioned an event of vast importance in its 
bearing on the future of the State. The circum- 
stances of the hanging of Leisler and Millbourne, 
so familiar to many, opened a chasm between the 
people, whose hardships in a new land entitled 
them to a voice in their own government, and pro- 
prietors of large tracts of land, with aristocratic 
tendencies and pretensions, who aimed at a com- 
plete usurpation of popular rights and privileges. 
The antagonism thus fostered kindled to a flame 
upon the breaking out of the Revolution, and un- 
der the appellations of Whig and Tory the people 
were arranged in nearly equal numbers. 

During the Revolution, eastern New York was 
the scene of various severe struggles. The defeat 
of the Americans on Long Island was the com- 
mencement of a period of gloom and depression ; 
but the surrender of Hurgoyne at Saratoga in- 
spired a hope and a resolution which never ceased 
till the close of the war. With the arrival of peace 
and freedom from foreign influence, and during the 
cessation of internal dissensions, many soldiers re- 
ceiving grants of land in lieu of bounties, proceeded 
westward to find and settle upon their tracts. Large 
areas of land were bought, and sometimes after 
many changes of ownership, the proprietors or com- 
panies oflfcring liberal terms, invited settlers, laid 
out counties and towns, and founded villages and 
hamlets, which have grown into cities important 
and populous. 

At the close of the Revolution, Central and 
Western New York was a wilderness ; but the 




march of armies and the forays of detachments had 
made known the future promise of this hitherto un- 
trodden region ; and companies, the State and the 
general Government, immediately took steps, as 
policy and duty seemed to dictate, to acquire im- 
mediate ownership. 

The conclusion of that peace by which American 
Independence was acknowledged secured no terms 
to England's savage au.xiliaries. Their ancient 
possessions, by the treaty of 1783, passed into the 
hands of the United States. The new Government 
desired to consolidate a peace with the Six Na- 
tions, and to this end the General Assembly of 
New York made provision for a treaty, by passing 
an act, April 6, 1784, associating with Governor 
George Clinton, President ex-officio of the Board of 
Commissioners, and his three associates, such other 
persons as should be deemed necessary, who were 
authorized to proceed to form a compact with the 
Indians. The place selected was Fort Stanwi.x. 
But pending the meeting Congress took action in 
the matter, appointing Oliver Wolcott, Arthur Lee 
and Richard Butler, Commissioners to make a 
treaty with the same parties. This brought the 
general Government and State into conflict ; the 
general Government maintained its prerogatives, 
and, by the Commissioners appointed, concluded a 
treaty with the Six Nations at Fort Stanwix, Octo- 
ber 22, 1784. This treaty ceded a large portion of 
land in Western New York. By a treaty with the 
Onondagas, concluded September 12, 1788, the 
lands known as the Military Tract were acquired. 


History of the Military Tr.act. 

IN our introductory chapter we have brought 
down the thread of events to the extinguish- 
ment of the Indian title to the Military Tract. That 
portion of the State was afterwards organized into 
the County of Onondaga. The history of this famous 
tract of land may properly begin with the action of 
Congress on the i6th of September, 1776, in mak- 
ing provision for the bounties of the soldiers to be 
enlisted in the Continental Army during the War 
of the Revolution. The following is an extract 
from the journal of Congress, dated as above : 

" Congress then resolved itself into a committee 
of the whole to take into consideration the report 
of the Board of War ; and after some time the 
President resumed the chair, and Mr. Nelson re- 
ported that the committee have had under consid- 
eration the report from the Board of War, and have 
made sundry amendments ; which they ordered 

him to lay before Congress. Congress then took 
into consideration the report of the Board of War, 
and the amendments offered by the committee of 
the wliole, and thereupon came to the following 
resolutions : 

" That eighty-eight Battalions be enlisted as soon 
as possible, to serve during the present war ; and 
that each State furnish their respective quotas in 
the following proportions, viz.: 

New Hampshire Three Battalions. 

Massachusetts Bay ... Fifteen " 

Rhode Island Two " 

Connecticut Eight " 

New York Four " 

New Jersey Four " 

Pennsylvania Twelve " 

Delaware One " 

Maryland Eight " 

Virginia Fitteen " 

North Carolina Nine " 

South Carolina Six " 

Georgia One " 

" That twenty dollars be given as a bounty to 
each non-commissioned ofificer and private soldier 
who shall enlist to serve during the present war, 
unless sooner discharged by Congress. 

"That Congress make provision for granting 
lands in the following proportions to the officers and 
soldiers, who shall so engage in the service, and 
continue therein till the close of the war, or until 
discharged by Congress, and to the representatives 
of such officers and soldiers as shall be slain by the 

" Such lands to be provided by the United 
States ; and whatever expenses shall be necessary 
to procure such land, the said expenses shall be 
paid and borne by the .States, in the same propor- 
tion as the other expenses of the war, viz : 

To a Colonel 500 Acres. 

To a Lieutenant-Colonel 450 

To a Major 400 

To a Captain 300 

To a Lieutenant 200 

To an Ensign 150 

Each non-commissioned ofificer 

and soldier 100 " 

By an act of the 12th of August, 1780, Congress 
also made provision of land bounties for Major 
Generals and Brigadier Generals, as follows : 

To a Major General 1,100 Acres. 

To a Brigadier General ..... 850 " 

At the close of the war, in 1783, the Legislature 
of the State of New York, took action with regard 
to these promised bounty lands, not only with a 
view of discharging the aforesaid engagement of 
Congress, but, in consideration of the virtue and 
patriotism of the troops of New York, to add there- 
to a large gratuity of State lands. The resolution 
of the Senate was introduced by Mr. Duane, and 
is dated March 27, 1783. It is in the words fol- 
lowing : 



" Resoh'fd therrforty > if the honorable, the House 
of Asscmhlv concur herein,) That besides the 
bounty of i \. 

laturc will . 1 s 

and Brigadier (icncrals now serving in the line of 
the army of the United States, and being citizens 
of this State ; and the officers, non-commissioned 
officers and privates of the two re};inicnls com- 
manded by Colonels Van Schaick and Van Cort- 
landt ; such officers of the regiment of artillery 
commanded by Colonel Lamb, and of the corps of 
sap|)ers and miners, as were when they entered the 
service, inhabitants of this State ; such of the non- 
commissioned officers and privates of the said last 
mentioned two fnr|)s as are credited to this State 
as part of the troops thereof; all officers designated 
by any act of Congress subsecpient to the l6th of 
September. 1776; all officers recommended by 
Congress as persons whose depreciation on pay 
ought to be made good by this State, and who may 
hold military commissions in the line of the army 
at the close of the war ; and the Rev. John Mas"t)n 
antl John Gano. shall severally have granted to 
them the following quantities of land, to wit : 

To a NFajor General 5 500 Acres. 

To a Brigadier General 4.250 " 

To a Ciijoncl .. 2,500 " 

To a Lieut Ctjloncl 2,250 " 

To a Majtjr 2,000 " 

A Captain and a Regimental 

Surgeon each ... 1,500 " 

Each of said Chaplains. . . .2,000 " 
Every Subaltern and Sur- 

i^foti's Mate " 

Every non-commissioned offi- 
cer and private . 500 " 
'• That the lands so to uc gr.inted as bounty from 
the United States, and as gratuity from the State, 
shall he laid out in townships of six miles sqnarc ; 
thai each township shall be divided into 156 lots of 
150 acres each, two lots whereof shall be reserved 
for the use of a minister or ministers of the gospel, 
and two lots for the of a school or schools: that 
each |)erson above described shall be cntitleil to as 
many such lots as his bounty and gratuity land as 
aforesaid will admit of; that one-half the lots each 
I>erso;i shall be entitled to shall be improved at the 
rale of five acres for each hundred acres, within 
five years after the grant, if the grantee shall re- 
tain the jjosscssion of such lots ; and that the said 
bounty antl gratuity lands be located in the district 
of this State reserved for the of the troops by 
an act entitled, •' An Act to |)revcnt grants or loca- 
tions of the lands therein mentioned, passed the 
2Sth day of July, 1782. 

" Rfschfti. That His Excellency the Governor 
be requested to communicate resolutions in 
such manner as he shall conceive most proper. 

'■ Resolved. That this House do concur with the 
Honorable, the Senate, in the la«t preceding reso- 

•• Ordered, That Mr John Lawrence and Mr. 
H' ' irry a copy of the preceding resolution 

of I rice to the Ilonorahle, the Senate." 

Previous to the date of the above extract the 
Legislature of the State had by an act passed 
March 20, 1781, further provided for the raising of 
troops to complete the line of this State in the ser- 
vice of the United States ; and two regiments to 
be raised on bounties of lands and for the further 
defense of the frontier of the State. The land 
granted by these last mentioned acts being bounty 
lands ; those granted as provided for in the extracts 
above being gratuity lands. 

The original acts granting these lands were sub- 
sequently and from time to time modified and 
amended, till finally, it was ordered by an act 
passed February 28, 1789, " That the Commission- 
ers of the land office shall be, and they are hereby 
authorized to direct the Surveyor General to lay 
out as many townships in tracts of land set apart 
for such purposes as will contain land sufficient to 
satisfy the claims of all such persons who are or 
shall be entitled to grants of land by certain con- 
current resolutions and by the eleventh clause of 
the act entitled, 'An Act for granting certain lands 
promised to be given as bounty lands by the laws 
of the State, and for other purposes therein men- 
tioned, passed the iith day of May, 1784; which 
townships shall respectively contain 60,000 acres 
of land, and be laid out as nearly in squares as 
local circumstances will permit, and be numbered 
from one progressively to the last inclusive ; and the 
Commissioners of the Land Office shall likewise 
designate every township by such name as they 
shall deem proper.' " 

By the same act it was ordered " That the Sur- 
veyor General, as soon as maybe, shall make a map 
of each of said townships, and each township shall 
be sub-divided on such map into one hundred lots, 
as nearly square as may be, each lot to contain 600 
acres, or as near that quantity as may be ; and the 
lots in every township shall be numbered from one 
to the last, inclusive, in numerical order." 

After such map had been made and deposited in 
the Surveyor General's office, and in the office of 
the Secretary of State, the Commissioners were or- 
dered, to " Advertise for six successive weeks in one 
or more newspapers printed in each of the cities of 
New York and Albany (whereof the newspaper 
published by the printer to this State, if any such 
there be, shall be one,) requiring all persons entitled 
to grants of bounty or gratuity lands, who had not 
already exhibited ihcir claims, to exhibit the same 
to the Commissioners on or before the first day of 
January, 1791." 

By the same act it was further ordered that " All 
persons to whom land shall be granted by virtue of 


this act, and who are entitled thereto by any actor 
resolution of Congress, shall make an assignment of 
his, or her proportion and claim of bounty or 
gratuity lands under any act or acts of Congress to 
the Surveyor General, for the use of the people of 
this State." This being done by the said parties, it 
was provided that for lands thus assigned an equal 
number of acres were to be given by the State, and 
so far as possible in one tract and under one 
patent, " Provided the same does not exceed 
one-quarter of the quantity of a township." 

It was also further provided that the lands to be 
granted by this act be actually settled, for every 
six hundred acres that may be granted to any per- 
son or persons within seven years from the first of 
January next after the date of the patent by which 
such lands shall be granted ; and on failure of such 
settlement, the unsettled lands shall revert to the 
people of this State." The letters patent were 
ordered " To be in such words and forms as the 
Commissioners shall direct, and shall contain an ex- 
ception and reservation to the people of this State 
of all the gold and silver nti?ies!' 

By an act passed April 6, 1790, it was ordered 
" That the quantity o'i fifty acres , in one of the corners 
of the respective lots to be laid out in squares of 
600 acres, shall be and are hereby subjected to the 
payment of the sum of forty-eight (48) shillings to 
the Surveyor-General, as a compensation in full for 
his services and expenses in marking, numbering 
and surveying each of the said lots ; and in every 
case where the said sum of forty-eight shillings, or 
any part thereof, shall remain unpaid for the term 
of two years next after the issuing of the respective 
patents, it shall be and is hereby made the duty of 
the Surveyor-General to sell the same at public 
vendue ; and the money arising from such sales 
shall be applied in payment of expenses of such 
survey." And in case a surplus of money was in 
the hands of the Surveyor-General, after paying 
such expenses, it was to be applied to the payment 
of expenses in laying out and making roads in the 
said tract." 

By an act of February 28, 1789, six lots in each 
township were reserved and were to be assigned, 
" One for promoting the gospel and a public school 
or schools, one other for promoting literature in this 
State, and the remaining four lots to satisfy the 
surplus share of commissioned officers not corres- 
ponding with the division of 600 acres, and to com- 
pensate such persons as may by chance draw any 
lot or lots, the greater part of which may be covered 
with water." 

The act of 1780 provided " That whenever it ap- 

peared that persons applying for bounty or gratuity 
land, and had received from Congress the bounty 
promised by that body, or in case they failed to re- 
linquish their claim to such lands, then the Com- 
missioners were to reserve for the use of the people 
of the State one hundred acres in each lot to 
which such person was entitled ; designating par- 
ticularly in which part of such lot such reserved 
part was located." This gave rise to the term 
" States Hundred]'' so frequently applied to sections 
of land in the Military Tract. 

The Land Commissioners consisted of "His Ex- 
cellency, the Governor, or person administering the 
government of the State for the time being, the 
Lieutenant Governor, the Speaker of the Assembly, 
the Secretary of State, the Attorney-General, the 
Treasurer and Auditor thereof, the presence of 
three being necessary to form a quorum." 

At a meeting of this Commission held at the 
Secretary's office in the City of New York, on 
Saturday, the 3d day of July, 1790, there were 
present. His Excellency, 

Geo. Clinton, Esq., Governor, 
Lewis A. Scott, Esq., Secretary, 
Gerard Bancker, Esq., Treasurer, 
Peter T. Curtenius, Esq., Auditor. 
" The Secretary laid before the Board maps of 
the surveys of twenty-five townships made by the 
Surveyor-General, Simeon DeWitt ; on each of 
which maps the said townships respectively were 
sub-divided into one hundred lots as nearly square 
as possible, each lot containing six hundred acres ; 
whereupon the Board caused the townships and 
lots therein to be numbered according to the law, 
and designated them by the names of distinguished 
men, as follows : 

Township, No. i Lysander, 

" " 2 Hannibal, 

" " 3 Cato, 

" " 4 Brutus, 

" " 5 Camillus, 

" " 6 . Cicero, 

" " 7 Manlius, 

" " 8 Aurelius, 

" " 9 Marcellus, 

" " 10 Pompey, 

" " II Romulus, 

" " 12 Scipio, 

" " 13. Sempronius, 

" " 14 Tully, 

" " 15 Fabius, 

" " 16 Ovid, 

" " 17 Milton, 

" " • 1 8 Locke, 

« " 19 Homer, 

« " 20 Solon, 

« " 21 Hector, 



Township No. 22 Ulysses, 

" " 23 Drydcn, 

•' 24 Virgil. 

" 25.. Cincinnatus, 

" 26 Junius. 

The distinction between a town and a township 
should here be kept in mind. A township on the 
Military Tract, was a particular parcel of land laid 
out, containing certain one hundred lots. In our 
early organization a town often embraced several 
townships, as the town of Pompcy first included 
Fabius and Tully and a large part of the Onondaga 
Reservation. After settlements increased, for the 
sake of convenience, the same territory has been 
divided, at dirtVrent |>erio<ls, into the towns of Pom- 
pcy, Lafayette, Fabius, Tully, Truxton and Preble, 
including a part of each of the towns of Otisco, 
SpalTord and Onondaga. The same may be re- 
marked of other towns and townships on the Mili- 
tary Tract. 

On the 1st of January, 1791, the Commissioners 
proceeded to determine claims and to ballot for each 
individual's share. Ninety-four persons drew lots 
in each township. One lot was drawn for the sup- 
port of literature in the State of New York ; one 
was assigned near the centre of each township for 
the support of the gos|>el and (or common schools ; 
the remaining lots went to satisfy the surplus shares 
of the officers, and to compensate those who by 
chance might draw lots covered with water. 

The equitable adjustment of these land claims 
was a source of continual embarrassment and per- 
plexity to the Commissioners and to the real 

In August, 1792, the Board of Commissioners, 
finding it necessary in order to comply with the 
grants of bounty lands, lately directed by law to be 
made to the Hospital Department and others, 
caused township No. 27, and the lots therein re- 
spectively to be numbered agreeably to law, and the 
township to be designated by the name of Galen. 
In January, 1795, there still appeared to be several 
unsatisfied claims for military^bounty lands, and the 
twenty-seven townships being already disposed of, 
the Hoard resolved that the Surveyor-General 
should lay out another township. No. 28. This was 
subsequently named Sterling, and satisfied all the 
remaining claims. 

In January, 1794, an act had been pasjed, on ac- 
count of the many frauds committed respecting the 
title to these military lands, and to prevent fraud in 
the future, requiring all deeds and conveyances 
made and executed prior to that time to be deposited 
with the Clerk of the County at Albany, for ex- 
amination, and all such as were not so deposited, 

should be considered fraudulent. The names of a I 
claimants were posted up in alphabetical order in ' 
the Clerk's offices both at Albany and Herkimer, _j 
for the more full inspection of all parties interested, f I 
The Courts overflowed with business relating to 
these contested claims. Scarcely a lot but became 
more or less a subject of litigation. Soldiers com- 
ing to take possession of the lots for which they 
had served, were obliged, at considerable expense, 
to eject some lawless squatter, or quietly to yield 
their hard earned titles. At length the inhabi- 
tants of the Military Tract became so com- 
pletely wearied with these continued and vexing 
contentions that, in 1797, the residents of the sev- 
eral townships heartily and unanimously united in 
petitioning the Legislature to pass a law authoriz- 
ing a s|5cedy and equitable mode of settling all dis- 
putes relative to these titles. An act was there- 
upon passed, appointing Robert Yates, James 
Kent, and Vincent Mathews, a Board of Commis- 
sioners with full power to hear, examine, award and 
determine all disputes respecting the titles to any 
and all the military bounty lands. The Governor 
was authorized to fill all vacancies in this Board. 
From the record of the awards made by the Onon- 
daga Commissioners, the name of James Kent does 
not at all appear in their transactions. Most of the 
awards of 1798 9 are signed by Vincent Mathews 
and James Emmott, later ones by Vincent Mathews 
and Robert Yates, and some cf those of 1801 and 
1802, by Messrs. Mathews and Emmott and Sand- 
ers Livingston. They proceeded to the work, and 
after a laborious investigation, their exertions final- 
ly brought these vexed and lingering contentions to 
a close. 


Interesting Early Records — Town Meetings — 
Formation of the Counties Prior to Onon- 
daga — Org.xnization qf Onondaga Col'ntv. 

THERE are some interesting records of this 
locality during the period in which it was in- 
cluded in Montgomery and Herkimer counties, 
from 1772 to 1794. In 1788 the District of Ger- 
man Flats was divided, and all that part of the 
State of New York lying west of a line drawn 
north and south across the State, crossing the Mo- 
hawk River' at "Old Fort Schuyler" (now Utica) 
was erected into a town called Whitestown, in honor 
of Judge White, who had settled at Sadaquate 
(Whitesboro) in 1784. In 1786, the county of 
Montgomery contained a population of only fifteen 




thousand and fifty-seven, and the State of New 
York only two hundred and thirty-eight thousand 
eight hundred and ninety-six. At this period the 
town of Whitestown contained less than two hun- 
dred persons. The same territory now contains 
several millions. The wonderful transition by 
which, in three-fourths of a century, this immense 
forest has been converted into fruitful fields, seems 
like the illusion of a dream to those who have wit- 
nessed its progress. We can hardly trust the evi- 
dence of our senses when we look back and see 
with what rapidity villages and cities have sprung 
into existence, and mark the increase of roads and 
railways over the path of the wandering savage. 

The first town meeting for the town of Whites- 
town convened at the house of Capt. Daniel White, 
in said town, on Tuesday, the 7th of April, " agree- 
able to warning," and adjourned to the barn of Hugh 
White, Esq., " it being more convenient," at which 
time and place they proceeded as follows : 

" 1st. Chose Col. Jedediah Sanger, Supervisor. 
2d. Chose Elijah Blodget, Town Clerk. 3d. 
Chose Amos Wetmore, first Assessor. 4th. Chose 
James Bronson, second Assessor. 5th. Chose 
Ephraim Blackmore, third Assessor," &c. 

The second town meeting was held at the barn 
of Needham Maynard, in the town of Whitestown, 
on Tuesday, the i6th of April, 1790. Col. William 
Colbraith was chosen Supervisor, and Elijah 
Blodget, Town Clerk. In 1791, Jedediah Sanger 
was elected Supervisor ; Ashbel Beach, Town 
Clerk ; Ebenezer Butler, afterwards of Pompey, 
Collector ; James Wadsworth, of Geneseo, True- 
worthy Cook, of Pompey, Jeremiah Gould, of Sa- 
lina. Overseers of Highways. Probably " High- 
ways " in those days in Central New York were 
literally " few and far between." It will convey 
some idea of the widespread character of the munic- 
ipality then called a " town " to reflect that some 
of the officers chosen to manage its internal affairs 
lived near Utica, others in Pompey and Salina, and 
a third at Geneseo. 

In 1789 the county of Montgomery was divided, 
forming Ontario county west of a north and south 
line drawn across the .State through Seneca Lake 
two miles east of Geneva. Onondaga county then 
lay unformed in the western portion of Mont- 
gomery. Herkimer county was taken from Mont- 
gomery and organized in 1791. It included all the 
country west of Montgomery, north of Otsego and 
Tioga and east of the county of Ontario. The town 
of Whitestown was divided into three towns. Whites- 
town extended west from its eastern limits as far as 
the present west line of Madison county. The 
■ town of Mexico included the eastern half of the 

Military Tract, and the town of Peru the western. 
The town of Mexico was bounded east by the east- 
ern boundary of the Military Tract and a line drawn 
north from the mouth of the Chittenango Creek 
across Oneida Lake to Lake Ontario, south by 
Tioga county, west by the western boundary of the 
townships of Homer, Tully, Camillus, Lysander and 
Hannibal, of the said Military Tract, and north by 
Lake Ontario. 

The first town meeting for the town of Mexico 
was legally appointed to be held at the house of 
Benjamin Morehouse, (near Jamesville, this county.) 
The town of Peru was bounded north by Lake On- 
tario, east by the town of Mexico, south by Tioga 
county, and west by Ontario county. The first town 
meeting was directed by law to be held at the house 
of Seth Phelps, in what is now the town of Scipio, 
Cayuga county. There are probably no records of 
these town meetings extant. 

The poll for the first general election for Whites- 
town was opened at Cayuga Ferry, then adjourned 
to the house of Benjamin Morehouse (near James- 
ville,) thence to Rome, and finally closed at Whites- 

The following extract from Dunlap's Daily Ad- 
vertiser, dated Philadelphia, 26th of July, 1792, may 
be interesting as showing what was thought of the 
prospects of this locality at that period : 

"Gentlemen who reside on the Military lands in 
the county of Herkimer, inform us that that tract 
of country contains a very great proportion of rich 
land, well watered and timbered, that there is al- 
ready a considerable number of settlers there, and 
that it bids fair to people as rapidly as any part of 
America. That sixteen bushels of salt are daily 
manufactured at Major Danforth's works at the 
Salt Springs, and that Mr. Van Vleck, formerly of 
Kinderhook, is erecting other works at the same 
place, for carrying on the like manufactory ; that 
salt now sells there for five shillings per bushel ; 
that it weighs about fifty-six pounds per bushel, 
and is equal in quality to that of Turk's Island. 
That the salmon fishing in that country must be- 
come an object of great improvement, as that fine 
fish (the salmon) abounds in their rivers and lakes 
in spring and fall. That it is not uncommon for a 
party to spear twenty or fifty in an evening, from 
fourteen to thirty pounds each. The lands sell in 
general at from one shilling to three shillings per 
acre, but some have sold as high as from eight to 
twelve shillings per acre." 

The genealogy of the different counties up to the 
formation of Onondaga is as follows : 

After the Duke of York had superceded the 
Dutch Government, in 1683, the Province of New 
York was divided into twelve counties, viz : Albany, 
Dutchess, Kings, New York, Orange, Queens, 
Richmond, Suffolk, Ulster, Westchester, Dukes 



and Cornwall. In 1768, Cumberland was added, 
and Gloucester in 1770. These two last were after- 
wards yielded to New Hampshire, and finally be- 
came a part of Vermont. In 1693, the counties of 
Dukes and Cornwall were surrendered to Massa- 
chusetts. In 177;, the county Tryon was formed 
from Albany, and in 1784 changed to Montgomery. 
In 1789, Ontario county was formed of all that 
part of Montgomery county west of a line drawn 
north and south across the State through Seneca 
Lake two miles east of Geneva. Herkimer county 
was taken from Montgomery and organized in 1791. 
It included all the country west of Montgomery, 
north of Otsego and Tioga, and east of Ontario 

In 1794 the CouNTV of Onondaga was erected 
from the western part of Herkimer, and included 
all the Military Tract, which now embraces all the 
counties ol Cayuga. Seneca, Cortland and Onon- 
daga, all that part of Tompkins lying north of a 
line drawn west from the head of Seneca Lake to 
the southwest corner of Cortland county, and all 
that part of Oswego county lying west of Oswego 
river. It was finally reduced to its present terri- 
torial limits in i8iC>, by the detachment of Cayuga 
in 1799. Cortland in 1808, and Oswego in 1816. 
Tompkins was taken from Cayuga and Seneca in 
18 r 7, and Wayne from Seneca in 1823. 

At the time Onondaga county was originally or- 
ganized, it was divided into eleven towns, viz : 
Homer, Tompey. Manlius. Lysander, Marcellus. 
Ulysses, Milton. Scipio, Ovid. Aurelius and Romu- 


TiiK Iroquois Confederacy — Extent and I'ow- 
KK of TIIK Eivk Nations — Kokmation oftheik 


OF Government — The OxoNnACAS — Their 
Central Position as keepers of the Sacred 
Council Tires — Their Character. Tradi- 
tions AND Customs. 

AT the time of the earliest European discov- 
eries in this locality, the territory now em- 
braced in Onondaga county was the chief scat of 
the nation of Indians from whom it derives its 
name. This powerful nation was the central in the 
great Iroquois Confederacy, or League of the Five 
Nations, whose dominion included a vast extent of 
country, and who held the ascendancy over nearly 
all the tribes of North America. At one time their 
actual domain extended from the Sorrel River, 

south by the great lakes, to the Mississippi on the 
west, thence east to the Santee, and coast-wise back 
to the Hudson. The territory of the Iroquois 
possessed more fertile land, combined with a tem- 
perate and healthy climate, than any other tract of 
equal extent on the globe. And their power and 
dominion extended far beyond these geographical 
boundaries. Although they occupied, as their 
proper home, what they metaphorically termed the 
" Long House '" — that is, the territory of New 
York extcniling from the Hudson to Lake Eric, 
yet they extended their power and influence far be- 
yond these limits and held' the tribes both of the 
East and the West in subjection. 

Says Smith, in his History of New York : 
" When the Dutch began the settlement of this 
country, all the Indians on Long Island and the 
northern shore of the Sound, on the banks of the 
Connecticut, Hudson. Delaware an3 Susquehanna 
livers were in subjection to the Five Nations and 
acknowledged it by paying them tribute." The 
French historians of Canada, both ancient and 
modern, agree that the more northern Indians were 
driven far back to the west and northwest by the 
martial prowess of the Confederates, " The Ho-de- 
no-sau-nee occupied our precise territory, and their 
council fires burned continually from the Hudson to 
the Niagara. Our old forests have rung with their 
war shouts and been enlivened with their festivals 
of peace. In their progressive course they had 
stretched round half the Republic and rendered 
their names a terror nearly from ocean to ocean, 
when the advent of the Saxon race arrested their 
career, and prepared the way for the final extin- 
guishment of the fires of the Confederacy."* 

The Five Nations have been called by some the 
" Spartans of the Western Wilderness," by others, 
the •' Romans 0/ the New World ;" their warriors 
in the prime of the Confederacy, were noted for 
their valor and their far-e.xtended conquests. 

" At one period," says Schoolcraft, " we hear the 
sound of their war cry along the Straits of St. 
Marys and at the foot of Lake Superior; at an- 
other under the walls of Quebec where they finally 
defeated the Hurons under the eyes of the French. 
They put out the fires of the Gahkas and Eries. 
They eradicated the Susquchannocks. They 
placed the Lanappes, the Nanticokes and Muncecs 
under the yoke of subjection. They put the 
Metoacks and Manhattans under tribute. They 
spread the terror of their name all over New 
England. They traversed the whole length of the 
Appalachian Chain, and descended like the enraged 

*L«(icr> un the Irixjuoi) — American Review. 



yagisho and megalonyx on the Cherokees and 
Catavvbas. Smith encountered their warriors in 
the settlement of Virginia and LaSalle on the dis- 
covery of the Illinois."* 

Such had become the Iroquois — the conquerors 
and terror of all the surrounding tribes — by the 
force of their energy and by the principle of con- 
federation. The French computed the number of 
their warriors, in 1660, at between two and three 
thousand, and a later census, taken by an English 
agent, confirmed the statement. Their geographi- 
cal position made them the umpires in the contest 
of the French for dominion in the West. Their 
political importance was enhanced by their con- 
quests. " Not only did they claim some supremacy 
in northern New England, as far as the Kennabeck, 
and to the south, as far as New Haven, and were 
acknowledged as absolute lords over the conquered 
Lanappe ; the peninsula of Upper Canada was their 
hunting ground by right of war ; they had ex- 
terminated the Eries and Andasties, both tribes of 
their own family, one dwelling on the southeastern 
banks of Lake Erie, the other on the head waters 
of the Ohio ; they had triumphantly invaded the 
tribes of the West as far as Illinois ; their warriors 
had reached the soil of Kentucky and Western 
Virginia ; and England, to whose alliance they 
. steadily inclined, availed herself of their treaties to 
•encroach on the empire of France in America."! 

Precisely at what period the confederacy between 
the tribes was formed is not known. Schoolcraft 
thinks it was at a comparatively recent date, prob- 
ably early in the fifteenth century. Mr. Webster, 
the Onondaga interpreter, says this great league of 
confederation was arrived at, about two generations 
before the whites became traders with the Indians. 
Mr. Clark has a different opinion. From the per- 
manency of their institutions, the injtricacy of their 
civil affairs, the stability of their religious beliefs 
and the uniformity of their pagan ceremonies, 
diftering from other Indians in important particu- 
lars, he is inclined to the belief that their federa- 
tive existence must have had a much longer dura- 
tion. All their traditions agree that the union was 
effected on the banks of Onondaga Lake where the 
village of Liverpool is now situated. 

It is well known that these tribes attributed the 
origin of their confederacy, as well as most of 
their chief national blessings, to the supernatural 
interposition of Ta-oun-ya-wat-ha. the deity who 
presided over streams and fisheries. A long time 
ago this deity came down irom his place in the 

*Schoolcraft3 Notes. 

f Bancroft. .History United States. 

clouds to teach them how to cultivate the soil and 
to be united, happy and prosperous. While he was 
living among them — having thrown aside his divine 
character and assumed the name of Hi-a-wat-ha, a 
very wise man — there was an alarm caused by the 
sudden approach of a ferocious band of warriors 
from north of the great lakes. Many had been 
slain and ultimate destruction seemed to be the 
consequence either of bold resistance or of quiet 
submission to the enemy. At this trying moment 
Hi-a-wat-ha was sought for advice, and no states- 
man of to-day could have given better counsel in as 
few words. ''Become a united people and yon will 
conqtier your enemies. Dispatch runners in all di- 
rections and notify the chiefs of a grand council to 
be held on the banks of the Oh-nen-ta-ha, (Onon- 
daga Lake.) I shall sit in council with you." The 
council fires had been kindled three days, but the 
venerable Hi-a-wat-ha had not made his appearance. 
On approaching his cabin he was found in a melan- 
choly state of mind. The old man told them he 
had evil forebodings, and that he had concluded 
not to attend the Great Council. But the chiefs 
had determined not to deliberate in council without 
the presence of Hi-a-wat-ha, and he was finally pre- 
vailed upon to go, accompanied b\' his darling 
child, an only daughter, twelve years of age. On 
the approach of the venerable wise man, a general 
shout of joy resounded through the assembled host, 
and every demonstration of respect was paid to his 

As he landed and was passing up the steep bank 
towards the council ground, a loud sound was heard 
like a rushing, mighty wind. All eyes were instant- 
ly turned upwards, and a dark spot was seen rapidly 
descending from on high among the clouds. It 
grew larger and larger as it neared the earth, and 
was descending with fearful velocity into their 
midst. The utmost confusion prevailed throughout 
the assembled multitude, and all but the venerable 
Hi-a-wat-ha sought safety by flight. He gravely 
uncovered his silvered head, and besought his 
daughter to await the approaching danger with be- 
coming resignation, at the same time reminding her 
of the great folly and impropriety of attempting to 
prevent or obstruct the designs or wishes of the 
Great Spirit. No sooner liad his resolution become 
fixed and his last words uttered, than an immense 
bird, with a long and pointed beak, and widespread 
wings, came down with a mighty swoop'and crushed 
the beautiful girl to the earth. His darling daughter 
has been killed before his eyes in a marvelous man- 
ner, and her destroyer has perished with her. It 
was found on examination that the creature in its 



descent had completely buried its beak and neck up 
to its body in the ground. It was covered with a 
beautiful plumage of snow white, and ever)- warrior 
as he advanced plucked a plume from this singular 
bird with which to adorn his crown, and from this 
incident the braves of the Confederate Nation for- 
ever after made choice of the plumes of the white 
heron as their most appropriate military ornament 
while on the war path. 

In despair and dejection Hi-a-wat-ha remained 
three days and nights prostrated on his face on the 
ground, and while every one participated in his 
afflictions, no one seemed inclined to approach or 
distract his entranced state, and the Indians, almost 
despairing of a council, were about to depart ; but 
a few of the leading chiefs consulted together, and 
resolved that nothing should be attempted without 
the voice of the wise man, and a suitable person 
was thereupon dispatched to sec if he breathed. 
Finding that he lived Ho-see-noke was directed to 
arouse him by his merry heart, to whisper kind 
words in his ear and call him from his reverie. 
After much ceremony and persuasion, he recovered 
so far as to converse, and after several messages had 
passed between the assembled chiefs and himself, 
he arose and desired fcod. He was afterwards con- 
ducted to the presence of the council, when all 
eyes were turned towards the only man who could 
with precision foretell their future destiny. Vari- 
ous schemes were proposed to repel the enemy. 
Hi-a-wat-ha listened in silence till the speeches 
of all were concluded. He then spoke. After 
briefly alluding to his own calamity, he referred to 
the threatened invasion, and proposed that they 
should reflect for a day on the speeches that had 
been made. After the expiration of the time they 
again met, when the wise man thus addressed them : 

" Friends and Brothers : \ou have come many 
of you a great distance from your homes ; you have 
convened for one common purpose, to promote one 
common interest, and that is to provide for our 
common safety. To oppose these hordes of north- 
ern foes by tribes, singly and alone, would prove 
our certain destruction. We can make no progress 
in that way ; we must unite ourselves into one 
common band of brothers. Our warriors united 
would surely repel these rude invaders and drive 
them from our borders. Let this be done, and we 
are safe. 

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

" You, Uneidas, a people who recline your bodies 
against the 'Everlasting Stone' that cannot be 
moved, shall be the second nation, because you give 
wise counsel. 

" You, Onondagas, who have your habitation at 
the 'Great Mcuntain,' and are overshadowed by its 
crags, shall be the third nation, because you are 
greatly gifted in speech and mighty in war. 

" You, Cayugas, a people whose habitation is the 
'Dark Forest! and whose home is everywhere, shall 
be the fourth nation, because of your superior cun- 
ning in hunting 

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

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

Immediately upon this was formed the celebrated 
league of the Five Nations. Such was the name 
given them by the English. The French called 
them the Iroquois ; the Dutch name for them was 
Maquas, while they called themselves Mingoes ; all 
meaning United People. They were known to the 
English as the Five Nations till the adoption of the 
Tuscaroras in 1712, after which they were called 
the Si.x Nations. 

The Onondagas occupied the central position in 
the " Long House " — a term by which they denoted 
their possessions from the Hudson to the Lakes. 
They kept the sacred council fires at Onondaga, 
and the key of the council house, where all the 
chief councils of the Five Nations were held. The 
Mohawks held the east door and the Senecas the 
west door. The confederacy was governed by heredi- 
tary chiefs whose claims were subjected to the decis- 
ions of a national council. Thus the aristocratic prin- 
ciple was brought into subjection to the democratic. 
When the hereditary chief demanded office, if 
found unworthy, he must give place to the next in 
order. In council they were a pure republic, the 
veto of one chief being sufficient to defeat a meas- 
ure.* Each canton or tribe was independent ; its 
quota of men was freely voted in war, or refused, 
without complaint from other cantons. Thus was 
guaranteed to each tribe its independence and 
security, and to each warrior his equal rights, while 
general power was conceded to the confederacy in 
all national matters. Canassatego, one of the chiefs, 
said to the Commissioners of Pennsylvania, Virginia 
and Maryland : " Our wise forefathers established 
union and amity between the Five Nations. This 
has made us formidable. This has given us great 
weight and authority with our neighboring nations. 
We are a powerful confederacy, and by observing 
the same methods our forefathers have taken, you 
will acquire fresh strength and power ; therefore I 
counsel you, whatever befalls you, never fall out 
with one another." 

• Schoolcraft. 



At the formation of the confederacy, the famous 
A-TO-TAR-HO presided : unequalled in war and arts, 
his fame had spread abroad and exalted the Onon- 
daga tribe to a preeminent position. His name 
was " Like that of King Arthur of the Round Table, 
or those of the Paladins of Charlemagne, used as 
an exemplar of glory and honor," * and became 
the title of office of the Presiding Chief The right 
of the Onondagas to furnish a presiding officer for 
the league was conceded, and is still possessed by 
them. To the Mohawks was awarded the Te-ka-ra- 
ho-ga, or Chief War Captain. The Great Council 
has always consisted of six members, each nation 
having one except the Senecas, who were allowed 
two, in consideration of their great numerical 
strength. Its powers were merely advisory, aiming 
to arrive at harmonious results by interchange of 
opinion without formal vote. No penalties could 
be inflicted or power exerted beyond that of Opinion. 
A unanimous decision was first required : this once 
obtained, its authority was absolute ; each tribe 
acting through its representative, who was first 
informed as to its views. These decisions were in 
fact clothed with all the power of the most popular 
expression of the whole confederacy. 

" A government like this gave to the orator, who 
by his eloquence could sway his people, a vast 
influence, and we find that many men of note have 
appeared among them, since they came in contact 
with more learned races of men, who were abun- 
dantly qualified to conduct their negotiations, and 
have reflected as much renown on their nation as 
their bravest warriors." f De Witt Clinton says of 
the speech of Garangula to the French General, 
De la Barre : " I believe it impossible to find in all 
the effusions of ancient or modern oratory a speech 
more appropriate or convincing. Under the veil of 
respectful profession it conveys the most biting 
irony, and while it abounds with rich and splendid 
imagery, it contains the most solid reasoning. I 
place it in the same rank with the celebrated speech 
of Logan." 

The unwritten law of this wonderful people had 
a power unequalled by any statutes ever recorded 
in books. A single instance of its power will be 
sufficient. It is given by Hon. George Geddes on 
the authority of Mr. Webster, who lived many years 
among the Onondagas, and had a woman of that 
tribe for a wife. 

A young man of the Cayugas came to the Onon- 
dagas and claimed their hospitality. He lived among 
them two years, attaching himself to Webster 

* Schoolcraft. 

f Hon. George Geddes. 

particularly. He appeared contented and happy, 
" Always foremost in the chase, most active in the 
dance, and loudest in the song." Mantinoah was 
his name. One morning he said to his friend, " I 
have a vow to perform. My nation and my friends 
know that Mantinoah will be true. My friend, I wish 
you to go with me." Webster consented. After a 
pleasant journey of a few days, enlivened with fish- 
ing and hunting, they came in the afternoon to a 
place that Mantinoah said was near his village, and 
where he wished to invoke the Great Spirit. After 
a repast, and a pipe had been smoked, Mantinoah 
said : " Two winters have gone since in my village, 
in the fury of anger, I slew my bosom friend and 
adopted brother. The chief declared me guilty of 
my brother's blood, and I must die. My execution 
was deferred for two full years, during which time I 
was condemned to banishment. I vowed to return. 
It was then I sought your nation ; it was thus I 
won your friendship. The nearest in blood to him 
I slew, according to our customs, is the avenger. 
The time expires when the sun sinks behind the 
topmost boughs of the trees. I am ready. My 
friend, we have had many a cheerful sport together; 
our joys have been many ; our griefs have been few ; 
look not sad now. When you return to the Onon- 
dagas, tell them that Mantinoah died like a true 
brave of the Cayugas ; tell them that he trembled 
not at the approach of death, like the coward pale 
face, nor shed tears like a woman. My friend, take 
my belt, my knife, my hunting pouch, my horn, my 
rifle, as tokens of my friendship. Soon the avenger 
will come ; the Great Spirit calls ; Mantinoah fears 
not death ; farewell." Vainly Webster urged him 
to escape. A short period of silence, and a yell is 
heard. Mantinoah responds. The avenger appears 
and takes the hand of his former friend, now his 
victim. Mutual salutations follow, with expressions 
of regret made by the executioner, but none by the 
doomed. The tomahawk gleams in the air, not a 
muscle moves, nor does the cheek of Mantinoah 
blanch ; folding his arms on his breast he receives 
the blow. As if by magic a host appears, the song 
of death is sung, and the solemn dance or death 
march is performed. Webster is invited to the 
village, where he is hospitably entertained, and when 
ready to return is accompanied by a party of Cay- 
ugas to his home. 

Thus powerful was the unwritten law of the 

It is not easy for us to understand this people, 
for we know but little of their peculiar springs of 
action. They had their religion, which the white 
people who came amongst them called their supersti- 




tion. If superstition it be, it was nevertheless the 
principle that governed them. And did we but 
understand their ideas fully, we should know by 
what standard to judge them. Whoever has learned 
much of their history, knows that, in their savage 
state, woman, made prisoner, was never indelicately 
approached by him. who. without pity, would brain 
her infant child. lie tortured and killed his prison- 
ers, if he did not .iilopt ihcm into his family, but he 
never enslaved or outraged women nthcr 
nation can say this with truth .' * 

•Mr. Schoolcraft says that, to understand the 
government of the Iroquois and learn how it 
acquired its power and fame, it is necessary to 
examine their law of descent. Each canton was 
divided into distinct clans, each of which was distin- 
guishcil by the name and device of some quadruped, 
bird, or other object in the animal kingdom. The 
clans, or original families, were eight, distinguished 
respectively by the totems of the wolf, the bear, the 
turtle, the deer, the beaver, the falcon, the crane 
and the plover. The law of marriage re(|uired 
them to marry into families or clans whose totem 
was different from their own. A wolf or turtle 
male could not marry a wolf or turtle female. This 
interdict of consanguinity, preserved the purity of 
the blood, while it enlarged and strengthened the 
tie of relationship between the clans Owing to 
the limitation of descent to the line of the female, 
a chieftain's son could not succeed him in office, 
but in case of his death he would be succeeded by 
his brother, or failing this, by the son of his sister, 
or by some direct or remote descendant of the 
maternal line. The man who, by inheritance, was 
entitled to the office of chieftainship, was obliged, 
on arriving at the proper age, to submit his right 
to a council of the whole canton. Incapacity was 
always and without exception recognized as a valid 
objection to approval. 

Each canton had its eight principal chiefs and 
various assistant chiefs, who were civil officers. 
The war chiefs derived their consequence from their 
success in war ; they rose up as the exigencies of 
the nation demanded, and sustained themselves by 
their cap.icity. All males were bound to render 
military .services. Disgrace was the penalty of 
failure. Thus the ranks were always full, and all 
war parties consisted of volunteers. Each warrior 
supplied and carried his own arms and provisions. 
The enlistment consisted in simply joining the war 
dance. .The government was in fact a pure de- 
• mocr.icy controlled by its martial spirit. 

The Iroquois have been charged with making 
*Hoa. Gcor|c Geddci. 

their women beasts of burden, while they lived 
lives of indolence. The division of labor between 
the sexes, it is true, differed widely from ours. To 
the warrior was assigned the duty of hunting food 
and protecting their hunting grounds from the 
inroads of the enemy. His life was daily in his 
hands, and such were the hazards he encountered 
that there always were more women than men in 
the tribes. The men spent long dreary seasons in 
hunting and taking furs, which, when brought home, 
became the property of their wives, who sold them 
to the traders, and with the avails made such pro- 
vision for the rest of the family as they could, the 
men standing silently by and not uttering a word. 
The old men, women and boys cultivated the little 
patch of corn and gathered the fuel. Koth in the 
social and national systems, the women had great 
power and influence. The matrons sat in council, 
and had a right to propose a cessation of arms. 
There was a male functionary, an acknowledged 
orator, whose duty it was to speak for the women. 
Schoolcraft describes the social character of the 
Indian thus : " In the lodge he is a mild, considerate 
man, of the non-interfering and non-scolding species. 
He may, indeed, be looked upon rather as the guest 
of his wife, than what he is most unjustly repre- 
sented to be, her tyrant, and he is often only known 
as the lord of the lodge by the attention and respect 
she shows to him. He is a man of few words. If 
her temper is rufHcd.hc smiles. If he is displeased 
he walks away. It is a province in which his actions 
acknowledgehcr right to rule, and it is one in which 
his pride and manliness have exalted him above 
the folly of altercation." The wife owned all the 
property ; arms only belonged to the husband. The 
family were hers, and when war or the chase had 
made the father a victim, she, who had always been 
at its head, kept it unbroken. With the Iroquois 
war was the business of life, and the pursuit of an 
enemy on the war path, or hunting the wild beasts 
of the forests, were the only employments that men 
could engage in without subjecting themselves to 
the loss of rank, and the liability of being called 

The central tribe was the seat of government, and 
here all the general councils were held and the 
policy of the nation settled. The first we know of 
this people, they here swayed the sceptre of an 
empire twelve hundred miles long and eight hundred 
wide. The means of free and rapid transportation 
of armies was to these savages the same advantage 
that it is to the most artificial state of society. 
Around the shores of Onondaga Lake the councils 
deliberated, and when once the plan of the cam- 



paign was arranged, the canoes were afloat, and 
soon far down the St. Lawrence, the Adirondack 
heard the war whoop of the " Men of the moun- 
tains."* Or on the banks of Georgian Bay the 
trembling Huron felt the weight of their power. 
Or launching their barks on the waters of the 
Susquehanna, soon on the shores of Chesapeake 
Bay they dictated terms to their enemies. Fort 
Hill, in South Carolina, afterwards the residence 
of John C. Calhoun, was one of their stations, 
from which they waged inveterate war upon the 
Catawbas and Cherokees. The Iroquois nation 
could bring to battle more than two thousand war- 
riors of their own blood, besides levies of the tribes 
they had subjected. Their policy in regard to con- 
quered enemies was like that of ancient Rome : they 
were converted into allies rather than slaves, and 
having been fairly conquered in war, after a brave 
resistance, they were counted as younger brothers, 
worthy to fight by the side of their conquerors and 
share their glory. f 

"They reduced war to a science, and all their 
movements were directed by system and policy. 
They never attacked a hostile country till they had 
sent out spies to e.xplore and designate its vulnerable 
points, and when they encamped they observed the 
greatest circumspection to guard against surprise. 
Whatever superiority of force they might have, they 
never neglected the use of stratagem, employing 
all the crafty wiles of the Carthagenians. To pro- 
duce death by the most protracted suffering, was 
sanctioned among them by general immemorial 
usage." J 

The Europeans, instead of teaching mercy to 
these men, encouraged and fostered the worst points 
in their characters, and by every temptation they 
were led to become even more cruel, as they became 
demoralized and vicious by intercourse with the 
more learned but less principled " pale face." Massa- 
chusetts first gave twelve, then forty, and finally 
one hundred pounds for a scalp. The Colonial 
Legislature of New York, in 1745, passed an act 
for giving a reward for scalps ; in 1746, a governor of 
the Colony, not only paid for two scalps of French- 
men in money and fine clothes, but thanked the 
three Indians that brought them to Albany, and 
promised " Always to remember this act of friend- 
ship." American scalps were received and paid for 
in English money by the officer in command at 
Maiden, in the war of 18 12. 

* Meaning of the word "Onondaga." 
f Hon. George Geddes. 
JDeWitt Clinton. 


The Onondaga Indians and the French — Cham- 
plain's Invasion — Jesuit Missions among the 
Onondagas — Wak between the English and 
the French — Count Frontenac's Invasion of 
Onondaga — The Peace Commissioners before 
Onondaga Castle. 

AT the commencement of French settlements in 
Canada, a conflict arose between the French 
and the Five Nations which lasted one hundred and 
fifty years. This conflict was wantonly provoked 
by Champlain, the Governor of New France, who 
espoused the cause of the Adirondack Indians against 
the Iroquois who had driven them from their former 
homes in Northern New York. When Champlain 
built his fort at Quebec in 1608, he found the Adi- 
rondacks occupying that vicinity, whither they had 
fled for safety from their fierce and powerful con- 
querors, the Five Nations. Champlain had shown 
the Adirondacks the magical effects of his French 
guns, and had led them to believe that with such 
new and destructive weapons a few Frenchmen and 
Indian allies could make an easy conquest of their 
old enemies. Accordingly, in 1609, he joined the 
Adirondacks with his Frenchmen to invade the 
country of the Iroquois, and on the lake which 
bears his name, met two hundred of these Indians. 
Both parties went on shore for battle, and then, for 
the first time, the Iroquois saw the flash and heard 
the report of fire arms. Defeat followed, and won- 
dering and dismayed at the murderous efl^ects of the 
strange weapon, they retreated to their fastnesses 
in the wilderness. 

This was the first interview of the Iroquois with 
white men, and their first knowledge of them was 
obtained by meeting them as enemies on a field of 

Emboldened by his first success, Champlain with 
his Frenchmen and four hundred Huron allies, 
renewed his attack upon the Iroquois in 1615. This 
time he invaded the country of the Onondagas. 
On the 9th of October, 1615, a fishing party of 
Onondagas on their way to Oneida Lake were sur- 
prised and captured. These invaders had made 
their way up the St. Lawrence to the lower end of 
Lake Ontario, where, hiding their canoes, they 
struck across the wilderness on foot. They took 
captive "Three men, four women, three boys and a 
girl." They then marched forward, and says Cham- 
plain, in his account : " On the 10th of October, at 
three o'clock in the afternoon, we arrived before the 
fort of the enemy. When I approached with my 
little detachment, we showed them what they had 



never before seen or heard. As soon as they saw 
us and heard the balls whistling about their ears, 
they retired quietly within their fort, carrying with 
them their killed and wounded. We also fell back 
upon the main body, having five or six wounded, 
one of whom died." After a six day siege, Cham- 
plain, in the midst of his French and Indians, was 
wounded in two places by Onondaga arrows, and 
ingloriously retreated, being carried in a " basket of 
wicker work, so doubled up and fastened with cords 
that he was unable to move " A long and dreary 
winter was passed by Champlain among the flurons 
before he was able to get back to Quebec. 

The location of the fort which Champlain attacked 
has been a matter of controversy for many years. 
Says Gen. John S. Clark, the antiquarian : 

" When investigators are ready to abandon theories 
in conflict with the record, rather than to abandon 
facts conflicting with their theories, they will experi- 
ence no difficulty whatever in finding an Indian 
town site, answering in every essential particular the 
description and illustrations of Champlain. 

" Certain facts must sooner or later be accepted as 
conclusive, in narrowing the limits in which we 
should seek for the exact location : one is, that the 
east branch of the Limestone is the dividing line 
absolutely between the historic and pre-historic 
town sites of the Onondagas: and that Champlain's 
narrative contains internal evidence in statements 
of fact, unquestionable, that the fort was within a 
few miles, at least, and south of Oneida Lake. 
Champlain, beyond any question, passed through 
Onondaga county, and attacked the stronghold of 
the Onondagas, but the location of this stronghold 
is not so easily found. 

" I had the honor of reading a pajier on this sub- 
ject before the HulValo Historical Society, and the 
New York Historical Society, early in the present 
year, in which I ventured to put my.self on record 
on this question of route, and objective point, and 
designaleil a well-known Indian town site in the 
northeast corner of the town of Fenncr, in Madison 
county, on the farm of Rufus H. Nichols, on what 
is known as the mile-strip, about three miles cast of 
Perryville, as the home of the Onondagas at that 
period, and as being the identical position of the 
fort attacked by Champlain." 

General Clark has examined this locality and 
made a drawing of it, corresponding in all essential 
particulars with the drawing and description given 
by Champlain. The situation is a peculiar one, the 
fort in the form of a hexagon, being in the angle of 
a stream which forms both the inlet and outlet of a 
pond in front of the fort, and which, in connection 
with the streams, surrounded it on all sides, enablintr 
the Indians to put out the fires by wliich Champlain 
tried to destroy their work. 

These attacks of Champlain upon the Iroquois 
provoked a war which ended only with the ex- 

tinction of French dominion in North America. ' 
Truces were made, but they were only of short 
duration. The Iroquois armed with powder and 
ball by the Dutch and English, were seen on every 
battle field thenceforth, until on the Plains of Abra- 
ham, Onondaga chieftains shed the blood of the 
French as freely as did Wolfe, while vengeance was 
glutted. .Says Bancroft : " Thrice did Champlain 
invade their country, until he was driven with dis- 
grace from the wilderness. The Five Nations in J 
return attempted the destruction of New I'rance. ' 
Though repulsed, they continued to defy the pro- 
vince and its allies, and under the eyes of its 
governor openly intercepted convoys destined for 
Quebec. The I'rench authority was not confirmed 
by the founding of a feeble outpost at Montreal, 
and Fort Richelieu at the mouth of the Sorrel 
River scarcely protected its immediate environs. 
The Iroquois warrors scoured every wilderness to 
lay it still more waste. Depopulating the whole 
country on the Ontario, they attained an acknowl- 
edged superiority over New France. The colony 
was in perpetual danger, and Quebec itself was 

From these straits the French sought to relieve 
themselves by the missionaries of a religion whose 
precepts they had so wantonly violated, and in 1642, 
" Father Jogues, commissioned as an envoy, was 
hospitably received by the Mohawks and gained an 
opportunity of offering the friendship of France to 
the Onondagas." Thus the first Frenchman came 
with the sword, the second with the cross. 

The history of the action of the Jesuit mission- 
aries among these tribes is but a constant repetition 
of cnobling exami)les of self-sacrificing devotion to 
the great cause of converting the savages to Chris- 
tianity. No hardship was too, great, no sufferings 
too severe, martyrdom itself was welcomed, and 
when one missionary was consumed by the fires of 
the savages, another stood ready to take his place. 
Father Jogues was murdered by the Mohawks at 
Caughnawaga,* in Montgomery county, but he was 
followed by more than a score of others during the 
next fifty years. 

Taking advantage of a temporary peace between 
the Iroquois and the French, Father Simon Le 
Moyne appeared as a missionary to the Onondagas 
in 1654. He says in his Relation : " On the i-th 
day of July, 1654, I set out from Montreal and cm- 
barked for a land as yet but little known, accom- 
panied by a young man of piety and fortitude who 
had long been a resident of that country." On the 
5th of August he had nearly finished his journey, 

*lncluJcd now in the corporJtion of (he %'illjgc of Fonili. 



and says : " We traveled four leagues before reach- 
ing the principal Onondaga village. I passed many 
persons on the way who kindly saluted me, one 
calling me brother, another uncle, and another 
cousin. I never had so many relations. At a 
quarter of a league from the village I began a 
harangue in a solemn and commanding tone, which 
gained me great credit. I named all their chiefs, 
families and distinguished persons. I told them 
that peace and joy were my companions, and that I 
scattered war among the distant nations. Two 
chiefs addressed me as I entered the village with a 
welcome, the like of which I had never before 
experienced among savages." At the grand council 
assembled by the chiefs in the cabin of Ondessonk, 
he says, " I opened the council by a public prayer 
on my knees, in a loud voice in the Huron tongue. 
I astonished them exceedingly by mentioning them 
all by nations, tribes, families and individuals, which 
amount to no small number. This I was enabled 
to do from my notes, and to them it was as aston- 
ishing as it was novel." On the i6th, returning. 
Father Le Moyne discovered the salt springs and 
manufactured the first Onondaga salt ever made by 
a European, " as natural," he says, " as from the 
sea, some of which we shall carry to Quebec." 
This first sample of salt was made two hundred and 
twenty-three years ago. In the Relation of Father 
Le Moyne, seventh of August, 1654, he says : 
" I baptized a young captive taken from the Neuter 
nation, fifteen or sixteen years old, who had been 
instructed in the mysteries of our faith by a Huron 
convert. This was the first adult baptism made at 
Onondaga. The joy I experienced was ample com- 
pensation for all past fatigues." 

Fathers Joseph Chaumonot and Claude Dablon 
became missionaries to the Onondagas in 1655, and 
" were received with the strongest proofs of friend- 
ship." The account of their journey and experience 
is given in the Jesuit Relation of Father Francis 
Le Mercier, the Superior of the Mission of Que- 
bec. "On the 5th of November," says the narra- 
tive, " as we continued our route, a chieftain of 
note called Gonateragon met us a league from his 
cabin, welcomed our arrival, and kindly invited us 
to remain with his people. He placed himself at 
the head of our little company and conducted us in 
state to within a quarter of a league of Onondaga, 
where the "Andeiis" of the country awaited us. 
Having seated ourselves beside them, they set be- 
fore us their best provisions, especially pumpkins 
baked in the ashes." Then a speech of welcome 
was made by an aged chief, who deprecated war, 
and said that even the young men were for peace. 

It was only the Mohawks, he said, who wished to 
darken the sun, rendered glorious by our approach, 
and to fill the sky with clouds. 

The mission founded this year by Chaumonot 
and Dablon was the original mission of St. John the 
Baptist, and according to the topography of Gen. 
John S. Clark, was located on " Indian Hill," two 
miles south of the village of Manlius, which was 
then the chief town of the Onondagas. The mis- 
sionaries several times refer to their "chapel," but 
they probably mean by this their place of worship, 
fitted up in one of the principal cabins of the In- 
dians. It does not appear that they had any regu- 
lar chapel at this period. The first sacrament of 
Holy Mass was celebrated by Fathers Chaumonot 
and Dablon upon an altar in an oratory made in the 
cabin of Teotonharason, one of the women who 
came from Quebec with the missionaries, on Sun- 
day, November 14, 1655. She was a woman of 
the Onondagas, highly esteemed for her nobleness 
and wealth. She made a public profession of re- 
ligion, instructed all connected with her household, 
and eagerly demanded baptism for herself, her 
mother and daughter. She taught the prayers of 
the Roman Catholic Church to her people, and was 
a sort of deaconess of the primitive church of the 
Onondagas. (Relation, 1655.) On the 28th of 
November, being the first Sunday in Advent, was 
held the first celebration of Catechism in one of the 
principal cabins, probably the one above referred to. 

It appears from the Relations that the first re- 
quest for a French missionary settlement on the 
banks of Onondaga Lake came from Ondessonk, 
the great chief of the Onondagas, who said to 
Father Le Moyne : " We request you to select on 
the banks of our great lake a convenient place for a 
French habitation. Place yourself in the heart of 
our country, since you have possessed our inmost 
aftections. There we can go for instruction, and 
from thence you can spread yourselves everywhere." 
The location of St. Mary's of Ganentaha was 
selected the year following by Fathers Chaumonot 
and Dablon. Says the Relation, under date of No- 
vember 9, 1655 : " This day for the first time, we 
visited the salt spring, which is only two leagues 
from here, near the lake Ganentaha, and the place 
chosen for the French settlement, because it is in 
the center of the Iroquois nations, and because we 
can from thence visit in canoes various localities 
upon the rivers and lakes, which renders commerce 
free and commodious. Fishing and hunting in- 
crease the importance of this place, for besides the 
various kinds of fish that are taken there at different 
seasons of the year, the eel is so abundant that a 



thousnnd arc .soniL-imic^ spcarcd by a single fisher- 
man in a nijjht, and as for the game which docs not 
fail through the winter, the pigeons gather in the 
spring in such numbers that they are taken in nets 
in great abundance. The fountain from which very 
good salt is made, intersects a meadow surrounded 
by a wood of sujxrrior growth. From eighty to a 
hundred paces from this salt spring is another of 
fresh water, and both flow from the same hill " 

The Mission of St. John the Haptist prospered 
for several months ; proselytes were continually 
added to the faith ; and the anticipations of the 
missionaries were raised to the highest pitch. At 
length doubts and dissentions crept into the minds 
of some of the principal individuals of the canton, 
and it was resolved that Dablon should proceed to 
Quebec for a rtcnforcement to strengthen the hearts 
and hands of the missionaries. The Onondagas 
earnestly desired that the French should come and 
make their settlement on the site selected for St. 
Mary's of Ganentaha. " Why do you not come at 
once," said they. " since you see all our village ap- 
prove it .' We have not ceased all this winter to go 
in crowds to the chapel to pray and be instructed. 
You have been cordially welcomed in all our cabins 
when you have visited them to teach. You cannot 
doubt our dispositions since we have made you such 
a solemn present, with protestations so public, that 
we are believers " 

On account of the season of hunting, and the 
preference of all the youn^ men for the chase, Dab- 
lon found it difficult to obtain guides to conduct him 
back to Quebec. "At last," he says, " we deter- 
mined upon saying nine masses to St. John the 
Haptist, the patron of this mission, in order to ob- 
tain light in a business where all was dark to us. 
lichold how contrary to our exjicctations, and to all 
human appearances, without knowing how it was 
done or by whom, immediately after the ninth mass, 
I set out from Onondaga, accompanied by two of 
the principal young men of the village and by several 
others, whom doubtless St. John inspired to en- 
gage in this enterprise and journey. Thus the 
chief of the escort was named Ste. Jean Haptiste. 
he being the first adult of the Iroquois baptized in 
full health." 

Dablon and his guides crossed Oneida Lake on 
the ice on the 6th of March, 1656, and proceeded 
by the usual northern trail to the mouth of Salmon 
River, whence he reached Montreal on the 30th 
Father Chaumonol remained at Onondaga, and the 
following summer was joined by Father Claude 
Dablon, Father I.e Mcrcier, the Superior, Father 
Reni Mesnard, Father Jacques Fremin, 13rother 

Ambrose Broar. and Brother Bourgier, to found the 
Mission of St. Mary's of Ganentaha. On the 7th 
of May, 1656, these missionaries with a force com- 
posed of four nations, French, Onondagas, Senecas, 
and a few Hurons, embarked in shallops and 
canoes for Onondaga. On their departure from 
port they were cheered by the acclamations of a 
great multitude who had gathered on the shore, all 
regarding them with compassionate and trembling 
hearts as so many victims destined to the flames or 
to the fierce rage and torture of the Iroquois. They 
arrived at Three Rivers on the 20th of May, and 
on the 31st at Montreal ; on the 8th of June, hav- 
ing abandoned their shallops on account of the 
rapids of La Chine, they embarked in twenty 
canoes ; on their flag of beautiful white cloth was 
painted in large letters the name " Jhsi's," which a 
band of Mohawks on the rapids recognized and 
accosted the voyagers. The Onondagas received the 
Mohawks with curses, reproached them with treason 
and robbery, seized their canoes and arms and 
whatever was best of their equipments, in retalia- 
tion for having been robbed by the same party a 
few days before. Without other incident of im- 
portance, they pursued their journey, and on the 
I ith of July, at 3 o'clock, arrived on the shore of 
Lake Ononilaga, at the spot which had been selected 
for their mission house by Fathers Chaumonot and 
Dablon. Here many of the old men and chiefs of 
the Onondagas awaited them. The Te Deum was 
chanted and holy mass celebrated in gratitude for 
their friendly reception. On the 17th they com- 
menced the erection of their dwellings and a fort 
for their soldiers. 

The location of this fort and mission house was 
on the east shore of Onondaga Lake, on lot 106 in 
the town of Salina, where the embankment and 
outlines of the fort were plainly to be seen by the 
early settlers. The well in that vicinity out of 
which they drew their water still bears the name of 
the " Jesuits's Well." 

For a while the mission was quite prosperous ; 
other missions branched out from it among the 
Cayugas and Senecas ; the second year the increas- 
ing interest required the enlargement of the chapel ; 
the missionaries entertained hopes of the sjieedy 
conversion of multitudes of the Indians. Hut while 
they were indulging these fond anticipations, the 
renewal of border wars e.xcited the slumbering ven 
geance of the Moliawks, who induced the Ononda- 
gas to enter into a conspiracy for the destruction of 
the French mission. The plot was revealed by a 
friendly Indian, and the French escaped by the fol- 
lowing ingenious method : 



Being forewarned of the intended massacre, they 
had prepared to escape in the night, if they could 
avoid exciting the suspicions of the Indians, by 
means of several light boats which they had secretly 
constructed in the storehouse of the mission. The 
opportunity was furnished them by the ingenuity of 
a young man, very much a favorite with the head 
chief, who feigned to have a dream that the chief 
must provide a general feast, after the custom of the 
Indian nation. The rule of politeness required that 
they should eat all that was set before them, and the 
consequence was that they often became gorged and 
stupefied. So it was on this occasion. The feast 
was prepared ; all had eaten to surfeiting ; the young 
man played on his guitar to soothe them into the 
profound slumber that was soon to follow. In a lit- 
tle while they were all asleep, and before they awoke 
the Frenchmen had shipped their boats and were 
far away beyond their reach. In the morning they 
supposed the French had been sleeping as pro- 
foundly as themselves, and it was not until they had 
examined the premises that they discovered that 
their intended victims had fled. If the missionaries 
had been alone in the work in which they were en- 
gaged, they would at all times have been safe in the 
hands of the savages, but the rival governments of 
France and England continually thwarted their en- 
deavors and rendered the lives of all at times inse- 

When the Mohawk conspiracy had died away and 
the Onondagas becoming sorry for having given 
the French reason to doubt their sincerity, and feel- 
ing the loss they had sustained in driving them 
away, the principal chief sent an invitation to them 
again to establish themselves among them. In 
1665, a number of French families returned, under 
the guidance of the missionaries, and settled near 
the Indian fort and village which stood in the vicin- 
ity of the present village of Jamesville. The mission 
here established was that of Ste. Jean Baptiste. 
The chapel was built in 1666 by the famous chief, 
Gar-a-kon-tie, who was a converted and truly Chris- 
tian Indian. Father Le Mercier, in Relation 1667, 
says of him : " As he, [Father Julian Gamier,] had 
declared to them [the Onondagas,] that he could 
not remain alone and without a chapel, Gar-a-kon-tie, 
that famous captain of whom we have spoken before 
in preceding relations, resolved to gratify him to the 
utmost of his wishes. In fact, in a few days he 
built a chapel, and immediately after undertook a 
voyage to Quebec to visit the Governor of Canada, 
who had long desired to see this great and good 
man, so obliging towards the French. One princi- 
pal object of his visit was to take away with him 

some of the Fathers, whom he wished to conduct 
into his own country."* 

In 1669 the French and the Iroquois were again 
at war. " The harvests of New France could not 
be gathered in safety, the convents were insecure, 
and many of the inhabitants prepared to return to 
France. In moments of gloom it seemed as if all 
must be abandoned. True, religious zeal was still 
active. Le Moyne, who had been driven from 
among the Mohawks, once more appeared and was 
received with affection by the Onondagas. Peace 
ensued. England came into possession of the New 
Netherlands. In 1684, the Five Nations met the 
governors of New York and Virginia at Albany, 
and the sachems returned to nail the arms of the 
Duke of York over their castle, a protection as they 
thought against the French, an acknowledgment, as 
the English deemed, of British sovereignty." The 
Governor of Canada, meantime, with six hundred 
French soldiers, four hundred Indian allies, four 
hundred canoes, and three hundred men for a gar- 
rison, started for Onondaga. But the army suffered 
from sickness, and after arriving on the soil of the 
Onondagas, he was constrained to sue for peace. 
The English desired the Five Nations to take ad- 
vantage of this situation and exterminate the French. 
But such was not their policy ; they desired to play 
one party oft" against the other, while they them- 
selves held the balance of power. An Onondaga 
chief proudly said to the Convoy of New York : 
" Yonnondio (the French Governor) has for ten 
years been our father ; Corlear (the English Gover- 
nor) has long been our brother, but it is because we 
have willed it so ; neither the one nor the other is 
our master. He who made the world gave us the 
land on which we dwell ; we are free ; you call us 
subjects ; we say we are brethren ; we must take 
care of ourselves. I will go to my father, for he has 
come to my gate and desires to speak words of 
reason. We will embrace peace, instead of war ; 
the ax shall be thrown into a deep water." To De 
la Barre, the French commander, the chief said : 
" It is well for you that you have left under ground 
the hatchet which has so often been dyed with the 
blood of the French ; our children and old men 
had carried their bows and arrows into the heart of 
your camp, if our braves had not kept them back ; 
our old men are not afraid of war ; we will guide 
the English to our lakes ; we are born free ; we 
depend neither on Yonnondio nor Corlear." Dis- 
mayed, the proud Governor of Canada accepted a 
disgraceful peace, leaving his Indian allies to the 
tender mercies of the Iroquois. 

* Clark's Onondaga, p. 190. 



After the establishmciii oi I'ort Niagara by the 
French, Louis XI\' wrote to the Governor of New 
France to capture as many of the able bodied 
Iroquois as he could and send them to France to 
work in the galleys as slaves, saying, " Uo what 
you can to capture a large number of them as pris- 
oners of war, and ship them to France." By open 
hostilities no captures could be made, and Lamber- 
ville, the missionary among the Onondagas, was 
unconsciously employed to decoy them into the fort 
on Ontario. Accordingly, being invited to nego- 
tiate a treaty, they assembled without distrust, and 
were seized, put in irons, hurried to Quebec and 
thence to France, where the warrior hunters of the 
Five Nations who used to roam from Hudson's Hay 
to Carolina, were chained to the oar in the galleys 
of Marseilles." This was in 1687. What did the 
outraged Iroquois do with this missionary, the un- 
witting tool of tyrants .' Bancroft says : " Mean- 
while the old men of the Onondagas summoned 
Lamberville to their presence. ' W'e have much 
reason,' said an aged chief, ' to treat thee as an ene 
my, but we know thee too well : thou hast betrayed 
us, but tre.ison was not in thine heart ; fly, there- 
fore, for when our young braves shall have sung 
their war song, they will listen to no voice but the 
swelling voice of their anger.' " Trusty guides con- 
ducted the missionary through by-paths into a place 
of security. This noble forbearance was due to the 
counsel of Gar-a kon-tie, the same chief who built 
the second Onondaga chaj^el for the mission of St. 
John the Baptist. " Generous barbarian ! e.xclaims 
Bancroft ; your honor shall endure, if words of mine 
can preserve the memory of your deeds." The 
Onondaga Chief Haas-kou-au.n, at once appeared 
at Montreal at the head of twelve hundred warriors, 
demanding as a .satisfaction the restoration of the 
chiefs and spoils and the abandonment of the fort 
at Niagara. Four days were given the French to 
decide. Said the haughty chief, " Our warriors pro- 
pose to come and burn your forts, your houses, 
your granges, and your corn, to weaken you by 
famine, and then to overwhelm you." The terms 
were accepted by the French, the restoration of 
the imprisoned chiefs conceded, and the whole 
country south of the lakes rescued from the domin- 
ion of Canada. In the course of events New York 
owes its present northern boundary to this exhibi- 
tion of the power and valor of the Five Nations.* 
All but a little corner u( the County of Onondaga 
is drained into the St. Lawrence, and but for these 
Indians must have formed a part of Canada.f 

• 1 Bancfut't, p. 431. 

f Hon. Gcorfe GcJJci Report, 1859. 

In 1694, the great chief, De-kan-is-so-ra, visited 
Montreal to make terms of peace with the French. 
The Count de Frontenac, then Governor, refused to 
treat with the Five Nations, e.xccpt on conditions 
that they would exclude the Knglish entirely from 
trading in their territory. This the Onondagas re- 
fused to consent to, whereupon Frontenac resolved 
to put the whole power of the French in requisition 
and by one decisive blow bring them to terms. 
In 1696, he mustered the whole force that France 
could furnish and the province could raise, together 
with such Indian allies as he could enlist, and after 
two months spent in the trip, arrived with his flotilla 
on Onondaga Lake, the second of August. The 
paraphernalia of the army made a grand display. 
" Banners were there," says Hoffman, "which had 
been unfurled at Steenkerk and Landen.and rustled 
above the troops that Lu.xemburg's trumpets had 
guided to glory when Prince VValdeck's legions were 
borne down beneath his furious charge. Nor was the 
enemy that this gallant host was seeking, unworthy 
those whose swords had been tried in some of the 
hardest fought fields of Europe. They had bearded 
a European army under the walls of Quebec, shut 
up another for weeks within the defences of Mon- 
treal, with the same courage which half a century 
after vanquished the battalions of Dieskau on the 
shores of Lake George. " 

The French, with their allies, passed up Onon- 
daga Lake in two divisions, skirting both shores, and 
finally landing at the cast end, sword in hand. On 
the third of August, they constructed a fort and left 
a garrison of [40 men to guard their batteaux and 
baggage. This fort was probably at the place now 
called Green Point, or at the site of St. Mary's of 
Ganentaha. The cannon and artillery equipments 
were hauled across the marshes, and they encamped 
at the Salt Springs. Their movements had been 
discovered by scouts and were fully known at the 
Onondaga villages. No assistance could be obtained 
from the English, and resistance to such a vast army 
was idle. The Onondagas, therefore, resolved to 
bend before the storm they could not face. On the 
night of the 3d of August, 1696, the French army 
saw the light of immense fires in the south. The 
Indians, adopting the tactics of Moscow, were des- 
troying their own property, preferring this mode of 
defence to direct resistance. When the French ar- 
rived on the ground, Frontenac says they found 
" the cabins of the Indians and the triple palisades 
which circled the fort entirely burnt." It has since 
been learned that it was in a sufficiently strong state 
of defence. It was an oblong flanked by four regu- 
lar bastions. The two rows of pickets which 



touched each other were of the thickness of an ordi- 
nary mast, and at six feet distance outside stood an- 
other palisade of much smaller dimensions, but from 
forty to fifty feet high. The corn of the Ononda- 
gas, in their fields, stretching " from a league and a 
half to two leagues from the fort," was completely 
cut up by the soldiers. " Not a single head re- 
mained," and " the destruction was complete." 

The Onondagas, of course, could not brook this 
wanton destruction long. In accordance with their 
custom they must give the enemy due notice that 
vengeance would not be delayed. A brave old war- 
rior volunteered for this honorable duty, and died 
without a groan amidst the tortures of the savage 
allies of the French. " When a savage, weary of 
his harangues, gave him some cuts of a knife," " I 
thank thee," he cried, " But thou oughtest to com- 
plete my death by fire. Learn, French dogs and 
ye savages, their allies, that ye are dogs of"dogs ; 
remember what ye ought to do when ye will be in 
the same position that I am." " It was," says Charle- 
voix, " a strange and curious spectacle, to see many 
hundred men surrounding a decrepit old warrior, 
striving in vain, by tortures, to draw a groan from 

The barren victory of Frontenac resulted in great 
injury to the French, for by taking away the militia 
of Canada, the fields were left uncultivated, and a 
famine ensued that pinched quite as hard as the lack 
of provisions in Onondaga. 


The Iroquois and the English — Policv of 
THE English Towards the Five Nations 
— The Onondagas in the French War — 
— Their Status in the Revolution and the 
War of 181 2 — English and German Missions 
among the Onondagas — Later Missions — 
Schools — Treaties. 

THE treaty of Ryswick, which made peace be- 
tween the English and the French, was signed 
September 10, 1697. Soon after this, French com- 
missioners appeared before the Onondaga Castle. 
Peace was made, to the great satisfaction of the 
French. " Nothing could be more terrible than 
this last war ; the French ate their bread in con- 
tinual fear. No man was sure, when out of his 
house, of ever returning to it again. All business 
and trade were often suspended, while fear, despair 
and misery blanched the countenances of the 
wretched inhabitants.* The Commissioners took 

* Clark's Onondaga, p. 283. 

with them to Montreal several of the Onondaga 
chiefs. They were received with every mark of re- 
spect, and were treated with that consideration 
which brave men always command. 

Before the peace oi Ryswick, in 1697, the In- 
dians of the Five Nations had become the allies of 
the English. In 1689, they had met the represen- 
tatives of the English colonies, the Governors of 
New York and Virginia, in council at Albany, and 
had formally pledged to them peace and alliance. 
Although the French, from this time forward, made 
the most strenuous efibrts, through diplomacy and 
religion, to gain the Five Nations over to their in- 
terest, and failing in that, had employed the best 
military resources of New France for their subjuga- 
tion, yet they steadily adhered to their friendship 
for the English, who gradually gained the ascend- 
ancy over them and in due time became their mas- 

The earliest and strongest influence of the Eng- 
lish was exerted over the Mohawks, who lived in 
immediate proximity to their settlements on the 
Hudson ; hence the Mohawks were most hostile to 
the French and were often in open war upon their 
frontiers while the more western tribes were quietly 
listening to the Jesuit Fathers within the sound of 
Niagara, in the forests of Cayuga and the villages 
of Onondaga. Many a conflict between the Mo- 
hawks and the other tribes of the Five Nations 
originated in the partiality of the latter for the 
French. At length the English, penetrating farther 
into the country, extending trade and commerce to 
the diff"erent tribes, and assisting them against their 
common enemies, gradually gained an ascendancy 
over them, and an alliance was formed with the 
United Five Nations which remained an indissolu- 
ble bond of union through all the conflicts and wars 
which followed, not only till the downfall of French 
power in Canada, but till England herself surren- 
dered her possessions in America to her colonies. 
The English gained their ascendancy over the Iro- 
quois, not by levying war, but by commerce and 
assistance, in the first place, and then by negotia- 
tion and the arts of peace. From this time the 
Five Nations recognized themselves as subjects of 
Great Britain and were at war or peace, as suited the 
policy of the governing nation. 

Among the earliest English travelers in the Iro- 
quois country was Wentworth Greenhalgh, who 
commenced a journey westward from Albany on the 
28th of May, 1677.* He visited the Mohawks, 
Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas and Senecas, and 
describes minutely in his journal the situation and 

* Chambers' Political Annals of the United Colonies, London, 1780 



strength of each nation. The Onondagas he found 
" situated on a hill that is very large, the bank on 
each side extending itself at least two miles, all 
cleared land whereon the corn is planted." This 
traveler furnishes the following census of the " fight- 
ing men" of the respective nations : Mohawks 300 ; 
Oneidas, 200 •{ Onondagas, 350: Cayugas, 300; 
Senccas, i.oco; total, 2,150. 

In the manuscripts of Sir William Johnson there 
is a census of the northern and western Indians 
from the Pludson to the Mississippi, taken in 1763, 
in which the Five Nations appear numerically as 
follows: Mohawks, 160 ; Oneidas, 250; Onondagas, 
150; Cayugas, 200: Senccas, 1,050; total, 1,610 

In 1700, Robert Livingston, Secretary of Indian 
affairs, visited Onondaga, and reported to the Earl 
of Belmont upon the proper policy for the English 
to adopt in regard to the Five Nations. He ad- 
vised that missionaries should be sent among them, 
and that forts should be constructed and garrisoned 
for their protection against the French. He pro- 
posed to locate a fort at the confluence of the Oneida 
and Seneca Rivers. In June of that year, Dckan- 
nissora, at the head of an embassy, visited Albany 
complaining that the French " will not take the 
hatchet from their hands" unless the Five Nations 
submit to them. And he said, " All of us here are 
resolved to have a Protestant minister at Onondaga, 
the centre of the Five Nations, as soon as one can 
be sent to us." The Governor promised the mis- 
sionary, and that the bible should be translated for 
their use. and proposed that they should send two 
or three of their sons to be educated at the expense 
of the King. The Indians replied that they loved 
the King and were determined to continue firm to 
him and his religion, adding that they had refused 
to receive the Jesuit priests. "As to the offer to 
educate the boys," said the chief, "that is a sub- 
ject not under our control ; it belongs to the women 

At this council the Earl of Helmont promised 
the Onondagas to build a fort in their country. 
Col. Romer was selected as the engineer to explore 
the country and fi.x upon a site for the fort. The 
Indians agreed to furnish two hundred men to work 
upon it, and to furnish corn, venison, and other pro- 
visions for the workmen. Four young Onondagas 
were selected to accompany Colonel Romer in his 
exploring expedition. Colonel Romer explored the 
Onondaga country, and passed down till he came to 
the Oneida River, but found no suitable place to 
locate a fort. They finally decided upon the ledge 
called Kagnewagcage, near the mouth of the Oswe- 

go River, as the most suitable site. The King of 
England, in 1701, had given five hundred pounds 
towards erecting a fort in the country of the Onon- 
dagas. The fort was not built till 1727. A trading 
house, however, was erected at Oswego in 1722, 
under the administration of Governor William Bur 
net. The design of the occupancy of this position 
was to frustrate the purpose of the French to con- 
fine the English colonies to narrow limits along the 
sea coast by a chain of forts extending from Canada 
to Louisiana ; and it would also give the English 
command of Lake Ontario and the route of the 
French by the Oswego River into the heart of the 
Ifoquois country. No establishment could be of 
greater importance to the interest of the English. 
When, therefore, the trading house was erected at 
Oswego it highly exasperated the Canadian authori- 
ties, and they immediately inaugurated a counter 
moveifient in erecting a trading house at Niagara. 
The Baron De Longueil visited the canton of the 
Onondagas in person to secure the consent of the 
chiefs, and by misrepresentation partially succeeded. 
But the other Iroquois nations declared the action 
of the Onondagas void, as the country in which the 
French were at work belonged solely to the Senc- 
cas. The French, however, persisted, and through 
the influence of the Jesuit, Joucairc, who succeeded 
in keeping the Indians quiet, completed their work 
at Niagara. Governor Burnet, unable to accom- 
plish anything else, erected the fort at Oswego in 
1727. He built it almost wholly at his own private 
expense. The Governor of Canada was so incensed 
that he sent a written order to the officer in com- 
mand to evacuate the fort at once. The English 
officer did not, however, comply. 

In the war which followed between the French 
and the English, the defence of the fort at Oswego 
was entrusted to the Onondagas. When Sir Wil- 
liam Johnson called for them they were ready and 
assisted in winning the glory he acquired. At Ni- 
agara. Montreal and Quebec, they participated in 
the great engagements which decided the question 
of empire between the French and English ; and 
on the 2 1 St of July, 1761, after the war had closed 
and all the French possessions east of the Missis- 
sippi had fallen into the hands of the English, up- 
wards of forty of the sachems and warriors of the 
Onondaga nation met Sir William Johnson at Os- 
wego, to receive the medals sent to all their chiefs, 
by General Amherst. The chiefs, in a formal ad- 
dress, took that occasion to remonstrate against the 
ill treatment many of their people had received 
from the traders and soldiers at the posts during the 
war. and the cxhorbitant prices of goods charged 



by the traders. Sir William promised to reform 
abuses and furnish them plenty of powder and ball, 
which proved very agreeable to the chiefs. 

In the war of the Revolution these Indians steadi- 
ly adhered to the friendship which had been so long 
cemented between them and the English, and were 
the faithful allies of Great Britain throughout that 
memorable struggle. Mr. Clinton says that in the 
war of the Revolution the Five Nations contributed 
to the aid of the British 1,580 men. "They hung 
like the scythe of death in the rear of our settle- 
ments, and their deeds are inscribed with the scalp- 
ing knife and the tomahawk, in characters of blood, 
on the fields of Wyoming and Cherry Valley, and 
on the banks of the Mohawk."* 

The chastisement we inflicted upon the Five 
Nations was as terrible as their own cruelties had 
invoked. On the 21st of April, 1779, Colonel Van 
Schaick surprised the Onondagas and destroyed 
their village, provisions and munitions of war, kill- 
ing twelve and taking thirty or forty prisoners. The 
destruction of their property was complete. The 
same year the campaigns of Sullivan carried war 
and famine to the Cayugas and Senecas, effectually 
breaking the power of the Iroquois. The Mohawks 
fled to Canada with Sir William Johnson. 

The treaty of peace with England gave us the 
chain of the great lakes as our northern boundary. 
No stipulation whatever was made respecting these 
tribes. They consequently found themselves in the 
condition of a conquered people in the hands of 
their enemies who had become highly exasperated 
at their dreadful cruelties. The Legislature of New 
York evinced a disposition to e.xpel them all from 
their territory, but wiser and more humane counsels 
prevailed. Through the influence of Generals 
Washington and SchuyJer they were saved from 
total ruin. The treaty made at Fort Stanwix in 
1784, by commissioners of the government and the 
Indians, secured sufficient reservations of land to 
all the tribes, except the Mohawks who had gone to 
Canada. But this treaty appeared hard to the 
Indians, who had gone into the war at the command 
of a government they felt bound to obey, and that 
had so shamefully neglected them in the final set- 
tlement. After this their prowess was gone, and 
their martial spirit entirely broken. Some of them 
assisted the Western Indians in the wars under 
Harmar, St. Clair and Wayne, being led by Brant, 
the great captain of the Five Nations ; and when 
the gallant Wayne turned the victory in favor of 
the Americans, Ohekungh and Oundiaga, chiefs of 

the Onondagas, were there ; the latter left his bones 
to bleach on the plains of the Miamis. 

After this noted victory, the Onondagas clearly 
saw the folly of cherishing any longer a hostile dis- 
position towards their immediate neighbors. They 
settled down in quiet, determined to submit with 
fortitude to their fate. 

During the war of 18 12, when our Niagara fron- 
tier had become a scene in which the tomahawk 
and scalping knife were playing their part, General 
Peter D. Porter called on the remnant of this people 
for a force that might be successfully opposed to the 
Canadian Indians. A council was held to which all 
the tribes were invited, and all came except the 
Mohawks. It was resolved to aid the United States 
with all their force. By the ancient usage of the 
Five Nations, the Mohawks were to furnish the 
Commander-in-Chief, but, as they had left the con- 
federacy, it was necessary to depart from the usage 
and elect one in general council. Debate ran high, 
until the celebrated Sa-goy-a-\vat-ha (Red Jacket) 
settled the matter by proposing Hog-a-hoa-qua 
(La Fort,) an Onondaga chieftain. He accepted 
the post, and died at Chippewa, having received his 
death wound while bravely leading his people. His 
dying words were expressive of his gratification at 
having been placed at the head of his nation and 
having done his duty there. The braves of the 
of the Onondagas gathered around the prostrate 
hero, and exclaimed in their own language, "Alas, 
the great chief! the brave ! the brave !"* 

It remains now to consider the English and other 
later missions among these people. 

The Jesuit missions began sensibly to decline 
after the year 1700. About this time the English 
began to interest themselves in planting Protestant 
Christianity among the Five Nations. The Earl of 
Belmont, then Governor of New York, proposed a 
fort and a chapel at Onondaga, and King William 
sent over a set of plate for communion service and 
furniture for the proposed chapel. But this plan 
was interrupted by the death of the King in 1702, 
and was renewed by Queen Anne, who became a 
zealous patron of missions among the Five Nations. 
This good queen ordered the erection of a chapel 
among the Mohawks and contemplated a similar 
work among all the Five Nations. The Mohawk 
chapel was built of stone, and was erected at Fort 
Hunter in 17 10. The queen presented the chapel 
with a solid silver communion set, bearing the follow- 
ing inscription : "The gift of Her Majesty, Anne, by 
the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France and Ire- 

CUrk's Onondaga. 

* Webster received his last words while acting as aid to Gen. Brown, 

to carry orders to the Indians, he understanding their language. 



land, QuEHN, to her Indian Chapel of the Mohawks." 
A similar service was engraved for the Onondagas, 
but, from some cause, it seems never to have reached 
its destination. On the plate presented to the Mo- 
hawks was the date 1712. Portions of the same 
scr\'ice arc still in use at the Mohawk mission in 

Among the Onondagas, missions were established 
by the Moravians or United Brethren, in 1750. 
Heckwalder, the Indian historian, says : " The most 
remarkable occurrence of 1750 was the journey of 
Bishop CammcrhofT and Brother David Zcisberger 
to Onondaga, the chief town of the Iroquois. They 
set out from Bethlehem" (Pennsylvania, where they 
had founded a mission in 1740,) "on the 14th of 
May, having obtained a passport from the Governor 
of Pennsylvania, requesting all the subjects of the 
British Government to forward their undertaking. 
• • • On the 19th of June, they reached Onon- 
daga, situated in a very pleasant and beautiful 
country and consisting of five small towns or vil- 
lages " The account goes on to say that the Bishop 
and his associate were received at the great council 
as the deputies of the Church of the United Breth- 
ren. Permission was granted them to keep their 
missionaries at Onondaga one or two years to learn 
the language of the people. The Brethren returned 
to spend the winter in Bethlehem, and the year fol- 
lowing appeared again among the Onondagas, by 
whom they were very cordially received and lodged 
in the chief's house. All things went prosperously 
for about a year, when, on account of trouble and 
war, acting upon the advice of the council, they 
returned to their homes. 

In 1754, Zeisbcrger returned to his post with a 
brother named Charles Frederick. The chief, Can- 
NAS-SK-T.\-GO, adopted him as his son, and he had 
great influence with the Onondagas. He became 
an eminent Onondaga scholar. In 1768, he wrote 
and completed two grammars, one in English, the 
other in German, adapted to the Indian language, a 
copious dictionary of German and Indian, contain- 
ing seven quarto manuscript volumes of more than 
seventeen hundred and seventy pages of writing, 
and in 1776 he published a spelling book, other pri- 
mary books for learners, and Juvenile devotional 
books. We find no permanent fruits of this mission 
or that it was ever re-established, although feebly 
continued for several years. 

The mission of Rev. Samuel Kirkland among the 
Oneidas began in August. 1766. Mr. Kirkland re- 
mained among them for over forty years. During 
this time his influence spread all over the Iroquois 
country, and many of all the different tribes learned 

from him the doctrines and precepts of the Gospel. 
At the commencement of the Revolution he re- 
moved his family to Stockbridge, Mass., for safety, 
while he continued his mission among the Onei- 
das. His influence over them contributed materi- 
ally to secure their neutrality, and in several 
instances, their friendship and service, during the 
Revolutionary struggle. In 1779, he was Brigade 
Chaplain with General Sullivan in his Indian cam- 
paign, and was chaplain to the garrison at Fort 
Schuyler and other posts. Messrs Phelps and 
Gorham, large purchasers of land in Western New 
York, deeded him two thousand acres of land for 
his valuable services, situated in township No. 7, 
Ontario county. Mr. Kirkland was a native of Nor- 
wich, Conn , in which town he was born December 
I, 1 74 1. He was one of the most widely useful and 
influential among his class of devoted and self-sac- 
rificing pioneer missionaries. Out of his " Plan of 
Education for the Indians," projected in 1792, grew 
the Hamilton Oneida Academy, which was incor- 
porated early in 1793, and in 18 10 became Hamilton 
College. Mr. Kirkland endowed the Academy with 
valuable donations of land. He was a man of un- 
bounded benevolence and hospitality. He loved the 
Indians and was loved by them most sincerely in 
return. He died in the 78th year of his age, Feb- 
ruary 28, 1808, and was buried in a private ground 
near his residence in Clinton. 

The first person connected with the Protestant 
Episcopal Church who called the attention of the 
Onondagas to the subject of religion, was Mr. 
Eleazer Williams, lay reader, catechist and school- 
master among the Oneidas. By the request of 
several of the Onondaga chiefs, he visited that nation 
first, on the 31st of March, 1816. He says in his 
journal : "They gave me no time to refresh myself, 
but hurried me oft" to their council house, to hear, 
as they said. ' The words of Him who dwells in 
hhavai' " These visits were followed by Rev. 
Timothy Clowes, Rector of St. Peter's Church, 
Albany, who pn the 18th of July, 1816, preached 
and administered the sacrament. He baptized 
eht't/i children of the Onondagas. In July, 1817, 
they were visited by Mr. Eleazer Williams, Rev. 
Wm. A. Clark and Rev. Ezekiel G. Gear. Baptism 
was administered by Rev. Mr. Clark to fifteen, and 
by Rev. Mr. Gear to four ox five. Mr. Gear con- 
tinued to preach frequently among the Onondagas 
so long as he lived at " the Hill " Indians fre- 
quently came there for public worship and brought 
their children to be baptized in presence of the 
congregation. Several couples were also married 
publicly in the church. Others, among whom was 



one principal chief, were publicly baptized, and 
these were all confirmed at Oneida, on some occa- 
sion when the church there was visted by Bishop 

It was at the instance of Mr. Gear that a school 
was opened at Onondaga by one of their own people 
— Mary Doxtator, who had been educated by the 
Quakers at Philadelphia, and had opened an indus- 
trial school at Oneida, in which she taught the 
Indian women how to sew and spin and to weave 
blankets and coverlets. This lady was induced by 
Mr. Gear to attempt the same among the Onon- 
dagas, which she did with considerable success in 
1820. She died two or three years after the open- 
ing of her school, among the Onondagas, her own 

This Episcopal missionary work ceased among 
the Onondagas with the retirement of Rev. Mr. 
Gear, and they were without religious instruction 
till the Methodists founded a Mission at Oneida in 
1829, Occasional services were from this time 
held among the Onondagas with but little success, 
on account of the influence of the " Pagan Party." 
The head men of the nation were opposed to the 
establishment of schools and churches among them, 
and it was not until the year 1 841, that anything like 
a regular organization was formed. At this time 
nine members joined a class formed by Rev. Ros- 
man Ingals, who had been appointed a missionary 
to the Oneidas and Onondagas. The communion 
vv^as administered at Onondaga Castle after the 
form of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and from 
the 1st of August, 1842, the Onondagas had preach- 
ing every third Sunday. In 1842. the natives pro- 
cured and fitted up a building in which services 
were held till 1846, when the new school house was 
built and became also the sanctuary of religion. 
Rev. Daniel Fancher officiated, preaching three 
Sundays each month. After the commencement 
of Mr. Fancher's ministry, the number of com- 
municants increased rapidly. In 184S, at which 
time a new and commodious church was erected^ 
costing over a thousand dollars, there was not less 
than si.xty who received regularly the bread of life. 

In 1845, a very respectable lady. Miss Mary 
Hitchcock, was induced to open a school on the 
Reservation exclusively for Indian children. Her 
efforts were unwearied, and attended with measur- 
able success, the school being supported mainly by 
contributions of benevolent white patrons. She 
boarded herself and kept the school in the church 
building. In April, 1846, an act was passed by the 
Legislature authorizing the Indian Agent to cause 
to be built and furnished a suitable and sufficient 

school house on the Onondaga Reservation, at an 
expense not exceeding three hundred dollars. The 
sum of two hundred and fifty dollars was annually 
appropriated for a term of five years, for the pay- 
ment of teachers' wages and other expenses. The 
following year a school house was completed and 
school opened under favorable auspices by Mr. L. 
B. Whitcomb. In 1849, Rev. Rosman Ingals had 
charge of the school. The district officers were of 
the Indians, assisted by the Agent, Town Super- 
intendent and Teacher, who managed the school 
with benefit to themselves and credit to the nation. 

The Indian children are bright, and in many 
branches show as much aptitude to learn as Ameri- 
cans ; but the chief hindrance to their education 
lies in their unwillingness to attend school. Not 
more than half the number of suitable age are found 
in attendance. 

The Onondagas made the following treaties with 
the people of the State of New York : 

First — The treaty of Fort Schuyler (formerly 
Fort Stanwix) made by the commissioners on behalf 
of the State, His Excellency, George Clinton, 
Governor, William Floyd, Ezra L. Hommedien, 
Richard Varick, Samuel Jones, Egbert Benson, and 
Peter Gansevoort, Jr., — wherein the Onondaga 
nation ceded to the State of New York all their 
lands in said State, except the Reservation bounded 
as follows : Beginning at the southerly end of the 
salt lake, at the place where the river or stream, on 
which the Onondagas now have their village, empties 
into the said lake, and running from the said place 
of beginning east three miles ; thence southerly 
according to the general curve of said river until it 
shall intersect a line running east and west at the 
distance of three miles south from said village ; 
thence from the said point of intersection west nine 
miles ; thence northerly parallel to the second 
course above mentioned, until an east line will 
strike the place of beginning ; and thence east to 
the said place of beginning. 

The cession in this treaty was made in considera- 
tion of one thousand French crowns in money and 
two hundred pounds in clothing at the price which 
the same cost the people of New York. 

Second — A treaty made at Onondaga by John 
Cantine and Simeon DeWitt, November 18, 1793, 
wherein the Onondagas ceded to the State a por- 
tion of their Reservation comprised in two tracts 
described in the treaty (Clark's Onondaga, vol. i, p. 
353.) The State paid the Indians four hundred 
and ten dollars as a perpetual annuity for this por- 
tion of their Reservation. 

Third— K treaty held at Cayuga Ferry, by Phillip 



Schuyler, John Cantinc, David Brooks and John 
Richardson, July 28, 1795, wherein the above 
annuity was changed to a perpetual annuity of eight 
hundred dollars, and the Onondagas also ceded their 
right in the Salt Springs and one mile of land 
around the same, together with a half mile tract of 
land between the northern boundary of the Reserva- 
tion and the Salt Springs. In this transaction the 
State paid the Indians five hundred dollars for their 
right in the Salt Springs, and two hundred dollars 
for the half mile of land, with an annuity of one 
hundred bushels of salt to be delivered annually on 
the first day of June in each year forever. 

Fourth— Ai a treaty made at Albany, February 
25, 1817, the Onondagas sold and conveyed the 
following described lands, viz : "All that certain 
tract of land reserved for them in former reser\-a- 
tions known as the Onondaga Residaue Resenation" 
This land lies cast of the present Reservation con- 
sisting of twenty-seven lots of from one hundred 
and fifty to one hundred and sixty acres each, 
amounting in all to about four thousand acres. One 
thousand dollars was paid down, with an annuity of 
four hundred and thirty dollars and fifty bushels of 

I-'i/lh— On the 1 ith of February, 1822, at a treaty 
held at Albany, they sold eight hundred acres more 
of their land, from the south end of the Onondaga 
Residence Reservation, for the sum of seventeen 
hundred dollars. 


Migrations of the Onondagas — Location of 
TiiKiK Various Town Sites — Period of their 
RrsiDKNCK in Kach 

GKN. JOHN S. CLARK, of Auburn, who has 
devoted much time to antiquarian research 
respecting the aborigines of this county, has shown 
conclusively that the Onondagas were a migratory 
people, and that they occupied tliffercnt portions of 
our territory at different periods, beginning with 
their most easterly settlement, just prior to the be- 
ginning of the historic period, or about the year 
1620, we shall follow General Clark in the inverse 
order of his argument, and note the points at which 
he locates the homes of the Onondagas at difl'erent 

After crossing the valley of the east branch of 
the Limestone we find other town sites indicating 
an earlier occupation, but of like character and mag- 
nitude as those to the west. The jnost important 
of these is the one found on lot twenty-three, on the 

dividing line between Onondaga and Madison coun- 
ties. This contains about ten acres of land and 
was originally enclosed by a stockade. All the facts 
point unerringly to the conclusion, that this was the 
position occupied previous to that on Indian Hill, 
probably from about 1620 to 1650. This migratory 
line can be continued indefinitely, step by step, to 
the east and north, extending along the eastern ex- , 
tremity of Lake Ontario to the St. Lawrence. In \ 
Madison county we find the point apparently, whence 
the Oneidas branched oflf from the Onondagas, and 
swinging around by successive removals in an east- 
erly and northerly direction, finally settled down at 
Oneida Castle, at about the same period that the 
Onondagas were in the Onondaga valley. 

Another period of fifty years introduces us to a 
series of facts that cannot possibly be reconciled 
with a supposed residence in either the valley of 
Onondaga or at Jamesville. In 1750 we find their 
castle five miles from Onondaga Lake ; in 1700 we 
find it on the Ikitternut creek, and eight miles from 1 
Onondaga Lake. We rrow come to authorities in ' 
like manner making it twelve miles from the Mis- 
sion site of St. Mary of Ganentaha on the cast side 
of Onondaga Lake. We will examine a few of 
these facts, and, if possible, by going back to the 
period of 1650, solve this new difficulty. 

In 1654 the Onondagas were visited by Le Moyne 
by way of Techiroguen, at the foot of Oneida Lake, 
and by Chaumonot and Dablon in the succeeding 
year, by the same route Dablon returned the next 
March from Onondaga, crossed Oneida Lake on the 
ice, and thence took the usual trail to Salmon River. I 
A careful study of their journals develops the fact 
that Onondaga then was ten leagues or twenty-five 
miles from Techiroguen by way of regular trail ; 
was five short leagues or twelve miles from the 
mission site of St. Mary's, and was six short leagues 
from Oneida Lake, or about fifteen miles, according 
to Dablon's journal. 

In 1G77, while living in the same position, they 
were visited by Mr. Greenhalgh, an English trader, 
who finds them occupying a ver}' large town, con- 
sisting of about one hundred and forty houses, 
situated on a hill, with banks on each side, between 
which the town extended at least two miles, all 
cleared land and on which corn was planted. He 
also says they were thirty-six miles from the Onei- 
das' town and fifteen miles from Oneida Lake ; says 
the town was not stockaded, and makes no mention 
of a fort. Taking all these distances, and applying 
the scale to the map, we find that they cut each 
other at a point two miles south of the village of 
Manlius, on what is known as "Indian Hill," be- 



tween the west and middle branches of Limestone 
Creek. This position is fifteen miles from Oneida 
Lake, is twelve miles from St. Mary's of Ganentaha, 
and thirty-six miles from the residence of the 
Oneidas in 1677, and ten leagues or twenty-five 
miles from Techiroguen, at Brewerton. 

A careful examination of De Witt Clinton's, 
Schoolcraft's and Clark's accounts of this locality 
warrants fully the conclusion that here, in 1650, 
was the home of the Onondagas, and occupied dur- 
ing the period of their greatest prosperity. Here 
was the original site of the Mission of St. John the 
Baptist, afterward removed to their residence further 
west. Here it was, that Garakontie called the 
Hurons to prayers by the sound of a bell, the 
fragments of which a hundred and fifty years after- 
wards, were turned up by the plow to bear witness 
to the fact, that at this point the original pioneers 
of civilization first reared the cross in the midst of 
this barbarous people. Here Le Moyne, in 1654, 
with a single companion, courageously entered as 
an embassador to negotiate a peace, and speaking 
to the assembled sachems of the nation in their 
own tongue, much to their astonishment, mentioned 
them all by nations, tribes, families and individuals. 
Here Chaumonot the next year, with his fascinating 
Italian voice and fervid eloquence, carried the 
council bodily on a wave of unqualified admiration, 
that led them to declare that he was almost the 
equal of an Indian orator. In this valley as in the 
others, we find towns of minor importance extend- 
ing as far south as Delphi, of the same general char- 
acter as the main one at Indian Hill, all furnishing ar- 
ticles of glass, copper and iron, showing European 
intercourse, and from the general character of the 
relics showing a residence of about the same period, 
and by the same people ; but as compared with more 
western towns they show distinctly an earlier age 
of occupation, and a nearer approach to the pre- 
historic or stone age, the percentage of stone im- 
plements increasing, and that of metalic articles 
decreasing, as we move east. We here find speci- 
mens of pottery with beautiful designs of ornamen- 
tation, indicating that they had attained a high posi- 
tion in the ceramic arts. 

In going forward half a century, we find a condi- 
tion of historical fact, entirely inconsistent with the 
idea of a residence in Onondaga Valley ; all writers 
since about 1720, speak of them as being in the 
Onondaga Valley, and five miles from Onondaga 
Lake, while previous to that time they represent 
them as eight miles from the lake, or from Kaneenda 
at its southern extremity. Robert Livingston says 
in 1700: * * * "The Onondagas (who must 

leave their Castle speedily, the fire-wood that is 
near being consumed,") « * * ^^d "you 
cannot come nearer than sixteen miles of their 
Castle by water except you go around by Kane- 
enda," * * * and "that Kaneenda is eight 
miles from their Castle."* Here we have two dis- 
tances furnished from given points — one eight 
miles from Onondaga Lake, the other sixteen miles 
from Oneida Lake. Again, Robert Livingston and 
others, as commissioners, in their report in April, 

1700, "recommend the building of a fort at 
Kaneenda, a fishing place of the Onondagas eight 
miles from their Castle, their landing place when 
they came from hunting from Lake Ontario."! James 
Bleeker and others say in their journal in June, 

1 70 1, "The Onondagas would receive Mons. Mar- 
recour at Kaneenda, eight miles from their Castle." J 
Col. Romer, an English engineer, visited them in 
1700 to select a suitable place for building a fort, and 
made a map to accompany his report, which hitherto 
was supposed to have been lost, but fortunately, has 
lately been discovered in the British Museum, a 
copy of which I have ; on this map the main town 
is located on the east side of Butternut Creek as 
plainly as lines could designate it. 

J. Martin Mack, the Moravian Missionary here- 
tofore mentioned, while on his way to Onondaga by 
way of the Mohawk Valley, says, in his journal, un- 
der date of August 20, 1752, at " noon some In- 
dians, belonging to Onondaga, met us. We then 
came to a place where many posts were standing, 
from which we concluded that a town must have 
stood there formerly. The old Seneca told Brother 
Zeisberger, that when he was a child eight years of 
age, Onondaga stood on this spot, but was burned 
by the French. In the afternoon between four and 
five o'clock we arrived at Onondaga." 

Sir \Mlliam Johnson while on his way from the 
East to Onondaga in 1756, says in his journal, un- 
der date of June iS: "The Cayugas sent two 
messengers from Onondaga who met Sir William at 
the place where formerly the Onondagas lived about 
five miles from ilieir present habitation. Afterward 
arrived at Onondaga and from thence removed his 
camp to the site of Onondaga Lake about five miles 
from their Castle, for the convenience of being near 
his batteaux which brought the presents and provi- 
sions. "§ Many other authorities can be adduced, 
showing that the chief town or Castle, at this period 
was five miles east of their subsequent location in On- 
ondaga Valley, eight miles from Kaneenda, and si.x- 

*Col. Hist. ix. 649. 
f Col. Hist. iv. 655. 

J Col. Hist. iv. 891. 
J Col. Hist. vii. 133-4. 



teen miles from Oneida Lake, but those already pre- 
sented arc deemed quite sufficient to demonstrate be- 
yond the possibility of question that the main village 
at this period was in the valley of Butternut Creek 
south of Jamcsvilic. These distances center on the 
farm of Mr. O M. Atkins, east of the Reservoir on lot 
number three. An examination of Clark's History 
of Onondaga will show this to be the location of a 
very large Indian town, where relics have been 
found in great abundance, indicating Indian occupa- 
tion and Euroi>ean intercourse. The place was 
visited at an early date by DcVVitt Clinton, School- 
craft and others and fully described. The most im- 
portant fact developed was the remains of a stock- 
ade fort of singular construction in the form of a 
parallelogram, with bastions at the angles, enclosed 
by a double row of cedar palisades placed close to 
each other, and outside of these another row several 
feet distant, the whole enclosing about ten acres of 
land. A detached work was found some thirty rods 
distant to the northeast, on higher ground, probably 
used as redoubts, and connected by a covered way 
with each other. 

It will be remembered that Frontenac, in 1696, 
invaded the Onondagas' territory with a large army 
of French and Indians. He landed on the east side 
of Onondaga Lake, and after constructing his tem- 
porary fort for the protection of his batteau.x and 
supplies, he marched up the Onondaga Valley in 
two lines of battle, and on approaching the strong- 
hold of the Onondagas, found it abandoned and 
burned. Frontenac described the fort as " an ob- 
long, flanked by four regular bastions, with two rows 
of pickets which touched each other, and were of 
the thickness of an ordinary mast, and at six feet 
distant outside, stood another row of palisades of 
much smaller dimensions, but from forty to fifty feet 
high." Charlevoix describes the same as " a rec- 
tangle, with four bastions, surrounded by a double 
palisade, flanked by redoubts, with fence formed 
of poles from forty to fifty feet high." One evi- 
dently taking his view from the enclosed work, the 
other from the enclosing one, but both agreeing 
substantially with each other, and with the descrip- 
tions of Clinton, Schoolcraft and Clark. 

The dcscrijjtion of Frontenac and Charlevoix, of 
this very remarkable and peculiarly constructed 
work, so exactly in accordance with the remains 
found by the early settlers, if examined with care, 
cannot fail to convince any unprejudiced mind that 
on this identical spot stood the famous citadel of 
the Onondagas in 1696, abandoned and burned by 
them on the approach of the French. 

Here was the home of the Onondagas from about 

1680 to 1720, as history says they rebuilt on the 
same ground, and the ne.\t spring planted the same 
fields laid waste by their enemies ; this was the 
home of the great Dekannissore, the warrior, states- 
man and orator ; the equal of any of the great men 
of his race, living or dead. As in the Onondaga 
Valley, so in this, we find evidences of detached 
hamlets and small towns to the south, occupied 
when it was considered safe to settle at a distance 
from their stronghold. 

We next find the homes of the Onondagas in 
Onondaga Valley from 1720 to 1790. 

John Hartram an English trader, in company 
with Lewis Evans, visited the Onondagas in 1743, 
with Shikellmy and Conrad Weiser, as guides, 
coming from the south by way of Owego. Bishop 
Cammerhoff and David Zeisberger, Moravian mis- 
sionaries, visited them in 1750, coming from the 
south through the Cayugas' country. 

Zeisberger afterwards resided among them, 
learned their language, was adopted into the turtle 
clan, and was highly esteemed and honored by the 
Onondagas, and as an especial token of confidence, 
the Grand Council deposited its entire archives, 
comprising many belts of wampum, written treaties, 
&c., in the Mission House and constituted him sole 
keeper of those important records. Henry Frey, 
Godfrey, Rundt, and J. Martin Mack, were com- 
panions of Zeisberger, and accompanied him up the 
Valley of the Mohawk, the latter named gentleman 
writing the itinerary of the journey. Several of 
those gentlemen traveled from Albany to the Gene- 
see, and from Pennsylvania to Lake Ontario, and 
have left interesting and valuable accounts of their 

Sir William Johnson visited tli^m in 1756, to at- 
tend a general council, and mentions the fact of the 
town being five miles from Onondaga Lake. He 
constructed a stockade fort for them in the same 
year, located about half a mile south of the village 
of Onondaga Valley, on the west side of the creek, 
the remains of which were still standing when the 
first settlers entered in 1790. All of these authori- 
ties agree in their general descriptions of the coun- 
try and its occupants, and describe the towns as 
consisting of a series of hamlets located on both 
sides of Onondaga Creek, and extending for three 
miles up and down the valley. Many of them con- 
tained two or more families, and rarely were more 
than four or five near each other, the intervening 
spaces being occu|)ied by great patches of high grass, 
bushes, fruit trees, peas, beans, and large fields of In- 
dian corn. The Council House, occupying a central 
point, was about eighty feet in length by seventeen 



in breadth, with a common passage way six feet in 
width through its center. Bartram, in 1743, as- 
cended both the east and west hills, and mentions 
the fact of their beitig covered with timber to the 
top, but makes no mention of an upper town, while 
Zeisberger in 1752 speaks of a lower town, and the 
upper town on Onondaga Hill. A small village 
(Tiatachtonti) was located about four miles south of 
the main town, where many apple trees were in 
bearing at that date. 

This condition of affairs continued without ma- 
terial change until the campaign of 1779, when all 
these towns were destroyed in the expedition of 
Col. Van Schaick. From about 1720 until the re- 
moval to the reservation, this valley was the home 
of this central nation of the Confederacy. Here re- 
sided Canassetago and Oundiaga and other illustri- 
ous names, who flourished during this period ; but 
their history is so well known and authorities are so 
accessible that it will be a waste of time to dwell 
longer on this part of their history. 

Such have been the homes or principal villages 
of the Onondagas ; other subordinate villages, mis- 
sionary, fishing and trading stations, existed in dif- 
ferent localities, as at an early day Techiroguen, an 
Indian fishing village, on the Oneida river, at the 
outlet of Oneida Lake, on the site of the present 
village of Brewerton. This was a regular crossing 
place of the great north and south trail. Le Moyne 
mentions it in 1654 as on the south side of the river, 
while Charlevoix indicates it by name as on the 
north side on his map published in 1744. In 1656 
the mission of St. Mary of Ganentaha was located 
on lot 106 in Salina, on the north shore of Onon- 
daga Lake. Here was erected the first Roman 
Catholic chapel in the State of New York, and here 
Frontenac, in 1696, constructed a stockade fort, for 
the temporary protection of his supplies and bat- 
teaux, while engaged in his expedition against the 
Onondagas and Oneidas. A fishing village or land- 
ing place, existed at the southern extremity of 
Onondaga Lake, called by the Indians Geneata, the 
same as the lake, but by the' English called Kene- 
enda ; I retain the English spelling and pronuncia- 
tion to distinguish it from the French Mission site 
called Ganentaha. 

It appears, from the foregoing statement of facts, 
abundantly conclusive that the Onondagas occupied 
the site of the Indian fort and village on Lot 23, on 
the dividing line between the counties of Onondaga 
and Madison from about 1620 to 1650 ; at " Indian 
Hill" between the west and middle branches of 
Limestone Creek, about two miles south of the 
village of Manlius, from 1650 to 1680 ; in the valley 

of the Butternut Creek south of Jamesville, on the 
farm of Mr. O. M. Atkins, Lot No. 3, from 1680 
to 1720; and in the Onondaga Valley, where they 
were found by the earliest settlers, from 1720 to 

The Mohawks in like manner have drifted from 
point to point within the historic period and genera- 
tions previous, and no writer has been bold enough 
to attempt the indentification of any of the sites 
mentioned in our early history ; and yet it is not 
very difficult to unravel the tangled mysteries of 
their peculiar migrations. The Cayugas, also drift- 
ing in a generally southern direction, have left their 
footprints as easily to trace from point to point as 
are the tracks of the school-boy in the newly fallen 

The Senecas also migrated on a definite line at 
an early day, and when the Fries were subjugated, 
carried their colonies to the extreme western limits 
of the State. At the time of Sullivan's campaign 
they were living in fine framed houses, had over- 
flowing granaries and immense fields of Indian 
corn. Their villages were numbered by the score, 
some of them of large dimensions, and containing 
great numbers of people. 


Antiquities — Relics of European Intercourse 
WITH the Indians — The Monumental Stone 
OF 1520 Discovered in Pompey — Other Curi- 
ous Relics. 

IT is evident from relics discovered in various 
parts of this county that European intercourse , 
with the aborigines was much more general at an 
early period than history gives any account of, or 
than has commonly been supposed. One of the 
most noted places where these remains have been 
found is at " Indian Hill," some two miles south of 
the village of Manlius, on land formerly owned by 
Isaac P. Jobs, now the property of John Hatch. 
This is the place where Gen. John S. Clark, the an- 
tiquarian, locates the home of the Onondagas from 
about 1620 to 1650. The whole length of the ele- 
vation bearing evidence of having been inhabited, 
is nearly a mile, and the width from one hundred 
to one hundred and fifty rods. 

In 1 82 1, a brass medal was discovered near this 
place by Mr. John Watson. It was without date 
On one side of it was a figure of Louis XIV, King, 
of France and Navarre ; on the reverse side was 
represented a field with three fleur de lis sup- 
porting a royal crown, surrounded by the name of 



Naif Lanfar & Co. It was about the size of a Span- 
ish pistarccn and had been compressed between 
dies. The characters and letters were quite dis- 
tinct. This relic passed into the possession of Hon. 
Samuel Mitchell. 

When this ground was first cultivated by the early 
settlers, gun-barrels, sword blades, hatchets, clay 
pipes, cop|)cr kettles, brass chains, beads of glass, 
pewter plates, finger rings, ear and nose jewels, lead 
balls, iron gate hangings, copper coins, tools for work- 
ing wood and iron, and many other articles used only 
by civilized men, together with human bones, were 
frequently found on or near the earth's surface. 

There was a circular fort here, from three hun- 
dred to three hundred and fifty feet in diameter, 
with one narrow gateway. 

In 1801, Mr. John Hatch plowed up three mus- 
kets and a blunderbuss. The stocks were decayed 
and the muzzles flattened, as if with the head of an 
ax. Nearly all the gun-barrels found had their 
muzzles thus flattened, indicating that it was prob- 
ably done to prevent them from being again useful 
in the hands of an enemy.* The guns usually 
found were of a heavy make, with bell-shaped 
muzzles, apparently of English manufacture. The 
copper coins were French, but so corroded that the 
marks and dates could not be deciphered. 

Clark, who published his history in 1849, says: 
" At every plowing something new is brought to 
light. Not long since a curiously wrought brass 
chain, two and a half feet long and one inch and 
a half wide, was found. Its appearance was as if it 
had recently been subjected to the action of fire, 
and the most prominent parts newly polished. A 
curious brass image was recently found there, 
probably a part of some Romish priest's collection." 

Contiguous to this place was an extensive bury- 
ing ground covered with graves of men, women 
and children. The skeletons were usually found 
buried in a sitting posture facing the cast, with 
some domestic utensil or weapon of war between 
the thigh bones. Trees of two hundred years 
growth once stood over these graves. 

Near David Williams', Pompey, one mile from 
" Indian Hill " was another place of considerable 
importance called "The Castle." In 1815,3 brass 
medal was here found, on one side of which was an 
equestrian image with a drawn sword, and on the 
other " William Prince of Orange," with a crest or 
coat of arms. The date was obliterated, but Wil- 
liam Prince of Orange flourished in 1689, and had 
been quite conspicuous in the aflairs of New York 
some years previous. This medal may have been a 

* CUrk'i Unoaitft, vul. i, p. 156. 

present by him to some distinguished Indian chief. 
In that neighborhood a basswood tree was cut down 
and an ineffectual attempt made to split the first 
twelve feet of it into rails. Upon examination a 
large chain was found encircling it, over which one 
hundred and seventy-eight concentric circles had 
formed, representing as many years' growth. A 
large hemlock tree was discovered with three distinct 
cuts of an ax imbedded beneath one hundred and 
seventy nine years' growth. Subtracting one hun- 
dred and seventy-eight from 1815, the time when 
these examinations were made, and we have the 
date 1637, as the time when these marks are 
supposed to have been made, at which time it is 
reasonable to suppose the neighborhood was in- 
habited by Europeans. 

David Williams at one time plowed up the skele- 
ton of a man, and found with it a small brass kettle 
filled with corn and beans in a tolerably good state 
of preservation. The kettle was used in his family 
for domestic purposes several years. 

Mr. Hinsdell, of Pompey, had at one time in his 
possession three vises, one of which was very large, 
the jaws alone weighing forty-one pounds. It 
was beautifully engraved all over with representa- 
tions of dogs, bears, deer, squirrels, fishes, birds, 
and was altogether a very beautiful specimen of 
workmanship. Another, a hand vise of excellent 
quality, was sold to Mr. Boylston, a silversmith, of 
Manlius village, who used it while he continued in 
business there. A ;//rj/ of brass kettles wasalso found 
by Mr. David Hinsdell, the largest of which would 
hold two pails full and the smallest about three 
pints. Some of the smaller ones, being well pre- 
served on account of the protection afforded by the 
larger ones outside, were used in Mr. Hinsdell's 
and Mr. Weston's families for several years. 

A case of surgical instruments, much corroded 
by rust, was found by the side of a human skeleton 
— probably the first physician and surgeon ever in 
Pom])ey. Among the relics positively known to be 
French, are several brass crescents bearing the in- 
scription " Hot de France et Dim" They were 
probably used for nose and ear jewels. Rows of 
large corn hills were abundant near all the places 
bearing evidences of occupancy, and were distinctly 
traceable by the early settlers. 

Most of the grounds mentioned had undoubtedly 
been scenes of hard-fought battles, of which the 
Indians had preserved unpleasant traditions, for such 
was their abhorrence of scenes enacted here that 
never, except in a few rare instances, could they be 
induced to visit the spot near the old fort and bury- 
ing ground. They turned from it with a sort of 



shudder, exclaiming, "Oie-qneh sa-he-eh ! — 'Tis the 
field of blood!' * 

The most singular and interesting relic yet dis- 
covered in this locality, is the monumental stone 
found by Mr. Philo Cleveland on his farm about the 
year 1820. It consists of a stone, apparently gran- 
ite, oval shaped, about fourteen inches long by 
twelve inches wide and eight inches thick, bearing 
the inscription of a tree in the center with a serpent 
coiled around it, and the words and date, Leo X De 
Lon VI, 1520. This stone is now in the Museum of 
the Historical Institute at Albany, and is universally 
admitted to be an authentic relic of antiquity. The 
date on it shows that it was three hundred years old 
at the time of its discovery ; fifty-seven years have 
since elapsed ; hence it carries back the date of the 
earliest European occupation of this locality to 
three hundred and fifty-seven years beyond our 
own time. That this stone was left by some Euro- 
pean who was a Roman Catholic, and had accurate 
knowledge of the history of that Church, is evident, 
and it is equally clear that it was left by some 
transient visitor, for a colony, or even several. per- 
sons residing in the place, would certainly have left 
other relics of a similar antiquity. 

The inscription has been interpreted — Leo X, by 
the grace (^or will) of God, sixth year of his pontfi- 
cate. The words De Lon, or initials L. S., as some 
read them, have been taken to be the name or initials 
of the person buried, as the stone is undoubtedly a 
sepulchral monument, placed there to mark the lonely 
grave of some one who died during an adventurous 
journey through the wilderness, a hundred years 
before the Jesuit missionaries found their way to the 
huts of the Indians. Whether the cross engraved 
on the stone is an Indian or a Roman Catholic cross, 
does not concern us, neither does the question as 
to his belonging to the Masonic fraternity, sup- 
posed by some to be indicated by a rude emblem 
on the right hand corner of the stone : the only 
points of importance being the date and the accuracy 
of the historical knowledge which it reveals. Pope 
Leo X was crowned pope in 1514, and hence 1520 
would be the sixth year of his pontificate. The 
most probable explanation of this ancient relic is, 
that some Spanish adventurers in quest of silver 
mines had penetrated this region from Florida, and 
one of them dying, his companions erected this 
simple memorial to mark the place of his burial. 
There is a tradition that the shores of Lake Ganentaha 
were covered with a bright substance that shone in 
the sun (crystalized salt) and that the Indians, then 
ignorant of the nature of this substance, reported 

* Clark's Onondaga, 2 vol., p. 263. 


this fact to the Spaniards, who, supposing it to be 
silver, came here in search of it and passed down 
the Oswego River. If they came here by the 
waters of the Susquehanna, as may be supposed, it 
is quite likely that they would ascend to the height 
of land to find the water courses in the opposite 
direction, or to discover the lake in the valley below 
them, which may account for their finding their 
way to Pompey. This is all supposition, it is true, 
but is quite as rational as any other, inasmuch as 
the Spaniards were the only Europeans at that 
period on the continent who could have left such a 
relic as this singular stone. 

Mr. William Raskins, who was the fifth inhabit- 
ant in the township of Pompey, on lot No. 13, (now 
in Lafayette) in 1792, informed Mr. Clark, that on 
first plowing the lands, almost every variety of im- 
plement used in agriculture and the common arts 
was found in that neighborhood. They consisted 
of knives supposed to be of French manufacture, 
axes, with the English stamp, gun-barrels, some of 
them with a portion of the stock remaining, quanti- 
ties of ship spikes, pump hooks, a spy glass, trammel 
hooks and chains. In one instance a large quantity 
of musket balls was plowed up by the side of a 
rock. The remains of a wheel-barrow, with the iron 
entire, also anvils and vises, unfinished gun-barrels 
and gun-locks, indicating that the art of making 
these had been carried on, hand saws, files and 
fragments of church bells. 

On this ground the graves were arranged with 
great regularity, side by side, in rows of ten or 
fifteen rods in extent. In the vicinity were other 
groups of graves, but not in regular order. Upon 
examination the bodies appear to have been enclosed 
in wooden or bark boxes. In one grave was found 
two glass bottles. In plowing, fragments of glass 
bottles, earthen and China ware, and a stone, cut in 
imitation of a watch, were found. 

On Butternut creek south of Jamesville in the 
town of Lafayette, (formerly lot 3 in the town of 
Pompey) on the farm of Mr. O. M. Watkins, are the 
remains of an ancient fort and burying ground. The 
land here formerly belonged to Mr. Isaac Keeler. 
When he settled here the site of the old fort was 
an opening of about fifty acres, bearing grass with 
clumps of plum trees and a few scattering trees of 
the natural forest. Mr. Keeler left some of these 
plum trees standing and cultivated them, and found 
that they yielded very excellent fruit. On this open- 
ing was paraded the first regiment of militia organ- 
ized in the County of Onondaga, commanded by 
Major Moses De Witt. At that time the outlines 
of the fort were distinctly traceable. It had been 



enclosed with palisades of cedar, and contained about 
ten acres of land. The plan was that of a plain 
parallelogram divided across the shortest way in the 
middle by two rows of palisades running east and 
west. The space bctsvccn the rows was about 
twelve feel At the northwest corner was an 
isolated bastion and embrasure. 

This spot has been idcnliticd by General Clark as 
the home of the Onondagas from 1680 to 1720. and 
the spot on which stood the famous citadel burned by 
the Indians on the approach of Frontenac's army in 
1696. After the French invasion they returned 
and rebuilt upon the same spot, and the next spring 
planted the same corn fields which had been laid 
waste by their enemies. The situation of this an- 
cient fort was on an elevation gradually rising for 
nearly a mile in every direction, and at the time of 
its occupancy several hundred acres of land in the 
vicinity must have been cleared ; giving to the gar- 
rison an extensive prospect. Says Clark in his 
Onondaga : " Here in ancient times have undoubt- 
edly been marshaled with nodding plume and rat- 
tling cuirass, the troops of the French side by side 
with the dusky Onondagas, singularly contrasting 
their polished European weapons with the hickory 
bows and flint arrows of their allies." 

Among the relics found upon the site of this 
fort and in its vicinity, was a portion of a brass 
dial plate, engraved in Roman characters with 
the numerals from one to eight, a brass compass 
bo.x minus the needle, another more beautifully 
wrought, having on one side a representation of our 
Saviour and on the other Mary, the mother of Jesus, 
a balance beam eighteen inches long, a lead, oval 
shaped crucifix, an iron horse shoe, steel corked, with 
three elongated nail holes on each side, the workman- 
ship, probably, of some Canadian blacksmith, a brass 
shield, sword blades, sword guards, fragments of 
sword blades, gun locks, saws, surgical instruments, 
bracelets of brass three inches broad and highly orna- 
mented, and many other relics indicating the pres- 
ence of the French and the Jesuit missionaries. In 
1813, Mr. Isaac Keeler felled an oak tree near the 
site of the fort in which was found a leaden bullet 
covered by a hundred and forty-three cortical layers, 
— probably lodged there from a gun as early as 1667. 
There are evidences that light cannon were used at 
this and other similar places of fortification. On 
the land of Mr. Samuel A. Keene was plowed up 
an iron bombshell about the size of a six pound 
ball, weighing two and three-fourths pounds. Can- 
non balls of small size have been found in the east- 
ern part of Pompey. 

In the town of Elbridge were numerous evidences 

of ancient occupancy by the French. On lot 81, 
originally the farm of Squire Munro, was a fort 
situated on the high ground back of Mr. Munro's 
house. This fort was square, except on the west 
side, where the line was curved a little outward, and 
when examined by the first settlers in 1793, the 
ditch and embankments were covered with heavy 
timber. It enclosed about an acre and a quarter of 
ground, having a gateway on the west side about 
twelve feet in width. A very singular fact was ob- 
served by the early settlers, viz: That the ground 
in this vicinity, and in some other parts of the town, 
was literally covered with pitch pine knots, which 
lay strewn on the ground apparently in the same 
order in which they had fallen with the trees. Hun- 
dreds of wagon loads of these knots have been 
gathered for the purpose of making torches for 
fishing in the Seneca River. This is singular, as 
but one pitch-pine tree was known to the early set- 
tlers to exist in the town, and that was left standing 
for several years on account of its singularity. 

Northwest from the fort above mentioned, about 
one mile and a half, on what has been called the Purdy 
lot, is situated Fort Hill, containing another of these 
ancient works of much larger dimensions, having an 
area of about four and a half acres and embank- 
ments, when first discovered, about three feet high. 
It is situated on the highest elevation in the town. 
On this ground was disinterred an oaken chest in a 
decayed state, which upon examination was found 
to contain a quantity of silk goods of various colors. 
The folds and colors were easily distinguished, but 
after a moment's exposure to the air, the fabrics 
crumbled to dust. Several copper coins were found 
with the silks which were deposited in some museum 
in Albany or New York The discovery of these ar- 
ticles occurred about the year 1800. On lot 84, farm 
of Mr. Caleb Brown, about forty rods south of the 
road, in the town of Elbridge, was a circular fort 
which covered about three acres of ground. Pieces 
of timber were found here having upon them marks 
of iron tools. In a well about fourteen feet deep, 
which bore evidence of having been timbered up, 
was found a quantity of charred corn of the variety 
called Virginia corn ; and in another fort on the site 
of Mr. Brown's house and garden, including a por- 
tion of the highway, were found evidences of a 
blacksmith shop, such as cinders, charcoal, &c. 
The French, undoubtedly, had a trading post or 
missionary station in this neighborhood at an early 
time, no written record of which has been preserved. 

In the town of Salina, on lot 106, is found the 
ruins of an old fortification, probably that established 
in connection with the Mission of St. Marys of 



Ganentaha, founded in 1656. When the white 
people came to settle in the neighborhood of Salina, 
this ground was covered with small trees, apparent- 
ly a second growth, which had sprung up after the 
mission was abandoned. Judge Geddes, as reported 
by Mr. Clark, says: "In the summer of 1797, 
when the Surveyor-General laid out the salt lots, I 
officiated as deputy-surveyor, and when traversing 
the shores of Onondaga Lake, I found between 
Brown's pump works and Liverpool, the traces of an 
old stockade, which I surveyed and made a map of. 
Our opinion was, from the truth of the right angles, 
and other apparent circumstances, that it was a 
French work. A fine spring of water rises near 
by." The map made by Judge Geddes is in the 
Surveyor General's office at Albany, but a cut of 
the fort appears in Clark's Onondaga, page 147, 
second volume. 

On this ground have been plowed up bras3 ket- 
tles, gun barrels, musket balls, axes, grape shot, and 
a variety of other relics. In 1794, the ditch was 
easily to be traced, and some of the palisades were 
standing. The work embraced about half an acre 
of land, and from its location was a place of beauty, 
convenience and strength. Cultivation and time 
have removed all traces of its existence. There 
was an ancient burying ground at Green Point. 

When the first settlers came to the town of Onon- 
daga the pickets of an old fort were still standing 
and places visible where others had stood. At 
the corners were evident marks of a chimney and 
fire places, and also the ruins of a blacksmith shop. 
Cinders and a variety of tools belonging to the 
trade have at different times been plowed up, among 
which was a large and excellent anvil. Major Dan- 
forth once received a letter from an old Frenchman 
stating that he would find in the bank of the creek 
not far from his (Danforth's) house, a complete set 
of blacksmith's tools. Search was made for them, 
but they have never come to light. 

In 1798, on the west part of the farm after- 
wards occupied by Gilbert Pinckney, in the town 
of Onondaga, could be seen a trench about ten 
rods long, three feet deep and four feet wide at 
the top, on the border of a steep gulf and par- 
allel with it, apparently a work constructed for 
defence. In this locality have been found every vari- 
ety of Indian implement — arrow heads, spear points, 
knives of flint, stone axes, etc., and here also several 
burial places were known to the early settlers. In 
1815, on the farm of Joseph Forman, at Onondaga 
Hollow, was plowed up an oaken pail containing 
about four quarts of leaden bullets, supposed to 
have been buried during the Revolutionary war. 

On the premises of Judge Strong there was an old 
French burying ground, and several bodies were 
exhumed in excavating for the cellar of the Judge's 
residence in 18 16. Webster told Judge Strong that 
the Indians had a tradition that in one of their bat- 
tles with the French in the Hollow, which had been 
protracted and severe, the French removed their 
wounded to this spot, and here buried such as died. 
Among the most interesting relics of antiquity 
discovered in this county is the Dutch medal, 
so called, described by Mr. Clark in the following 
passage : " In July, 1S40, was found on the farm ot 
Mr. William Campbell, by his son, on lot No. 3, La- 
fayette, a silver medal about the size of a dollar and 
nearly as thick. On one side is a device surmounted 
by an angel on the wing, stretching forward with its 
left hand, looking down upon those below with a 
resolute, determined and commanding countenance. 
Far in the background is a lofty ridge of moun- 
tains. Just beneath and away in the distance is 
seen an Indian village or town, towards which the 
angel is steadily and earnestly pointing. Above 
this overhangs a slight curtain of cloud or smoke. 
Between the village and the mountains are scatter- 
ing trees, as if an opening had just been made in 
the forest ; nearer are seen various wild animals 
sporting gaily. In bolder relief are seen Europeans, 
in the costume of jDriests and pilgrims, with staves, 
exhibiting by their gestures and countenances hilari- 
ty, gladness and joy, winding their way up the gentle 
ascent towards the mountain, decreasing in size from 
the place of departure, until lost from view. Among 
them are wheel carriages and domestic animals, 
intermixed. On the right is a fair representation 
of a cottage, and a spacious commercial warehouse, 
against which are leaning sheaves of grain. The 
whole is surrounded by the following inscription in 
Dutch : Gehe aus deinem Vatter land, i b. 
M., XII., v. I, and at the bottom across, Lasst Hier 
Diegvter. On the opposite side there is a figure 
of the sun shining in meridian splendor, casting its 
noontide rays over a civilized town, represented by 
churches, stores, dwellings, &c., with various domes- 
tic animals and numerous persons engaged in hus- 
bandry and other pursuits. In bolder relief stand 
Europeans in the costume of the fifteenth and six- 
teenth centuries, engaged as if in animated and 
joyful conversation and greetings, and by various 
attitudes manifesting happiness and joy. On the 
right is represented a section of a church, at the 
door of which stands a venerable man with head 
uncovered, with his hands extended as if welcoming 
these persons to a new and happy habitation. This 
side is surrounded by the following inscription : 



Vkd Dv Soli-t Ein Seeges Seyn, i b. Mos.. xii., 
V. 2, and acruss the bottom as follows : Gott Ginr 

The interpretation of the first side is : Get thee 
out from thy country and friends, thou shall be 
truly a blessing. On the reverse side, which should 
be read in connection : Leaving thy goods behind 
thee, God will restore them to thee again. The 
small letters and figures on the right refer to the 
I St book of Genesis, XII chap., verses ist and 2d, 
which inscription on the medal was taken from 
those verses in the Dutch Hiblcs. 

It is in this chapter that God callcth Abraham and 
blesseth him with a promise of Christ ; promiseth 
him the land of Canaan in a vision, to which he 
departed with his kindred and friends and servants 
and there builded an altar unto the Lord. 

• • • « • 

"This medal must have been none other than 
one given by his countrymen, in Fatherland, to a 
devoted missionary, with a party of followers, in- 
tending to spend their days in America, the land 
of promise, the fruitful Canaan of modern times, 
who in the goodness of his heart, bent on doing the 
work of his divine master, at some early day 
wandered into the wilds of the Ononilagas, set up 
the cross (the Bethel of Abram,i and left this 
memento of his mission in the hands of some 
Neophyte, which by some unaccountable circum- 
stances has been buried we know not how long, 
but now comes to light to prove to us that the 
aborigines of our country were a people whose 
spiritual welfare was regarded as sincerely by the 
Dutch as by their more ostentatious neighbors, the 
French. It is much to be regretted that on this 
and all other medals there is no date whereby to 
establish their particular-period of antitjuity. This 
is by far the most singular and interesting relic of 
the kind which has come under our notice, and goes 
positively to establish the hitherto doubtful point, 
to wit : The early establishment of missionaries 
by the Dutch among the Onondagas." 

The suggestion of Mr. Clark in a foot note that 
this medal may have been a relic of the Zeisberger 
Mission of 1750, is worthy of weight as being 
probably the true solution of the problem. 

Tlic presentation of medals to the Indians was 
undoubtedly a very common practice among the 
missionaries and traders.' A valuable cross of gold 
was several years ago found in the west part of 
Pompey, and was sold for thirty dollars. It had 
upon it the significant " I. H. S."* 

• Jciui Hominum Salvitor, or Jetui Savior of Men. 


Internal Navigation — The Old Canal — Ori- 
gin OF THE Erie Canal — Part Taken in it by 
Eminent Men of Onondaga County — Its 
Completion and Advantages. 

THE old system of internal navigation origi- 
nated by Mr. Christopher Colles, of New 
York, in 1785, and completed under the auspices of 
the Western Inland Lock and Navigation Company 
in the year 1800, was a great work for its day. It 
consisted of the construction of a canal and locks 
around Little Falls on the Mohawk River, the open- 
ing of a canal from the Mohawk at Rome (then 
Fort Stanwi,\) to Wood Creek, connecting thence 
with Oneida Lake, and the improvement of naviga- 
tion in the Oswego and Seneca Rivers. The Com- 
pany, in order to complete this work, borrowed of the 
State in 1796, fifteen thousand pounds, and in 1797, 
two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. What 
is now known as the " Old Canal" in some locali- 
ties is the remnant of this ancient improvement, 
which fell into disuse when the Eric Canal was built. 
It was in its day a very useful impro%ement and 
aided greatly in the settlement and development 
of the resources of Central and Western New York. 
Many a pioneer and his family were conveyed over 
that old thoroughfare to their new homes among 
the lakes and sylvan seclusions of the western wil- 
derness ; many a cargo of merchandise was shipped 
over it and freight of produce sent to market, till 
the growing population and commerce demanded 
ampler and more extended facilities for transporta- 

From 1807 till after the war of 18 12-14, the pro- 
ject of a new canal connecting the navigable waters 
of the Hudson with Lake Erie was extensively agi- 
tated. The origin of the idea of this magnificent 
enterprise is attributed to Gouverneur Morris, who 
in a conversation with the Surveyor-General, Simeon 
DeWilt, in 1S03, remarked: " Lake Erie must be 
tapped and its waters carried over the country to 
the Hudson." 

So great was the interest of the people of Onon- 
daga in this proposed canal, that in 1807 they elected 
Judge Joshua F'orman to the State Legislature with 
express reference to his introducing the subject be- 
fore that body. He was a man eminently qualified 
for the work, and by his able and indefatigable sup- 
port of the measure from its very inception, did 
more than any other man to bring it to a successful 
consummation. While in the Legislature in Feb- 
ruary, 1808, he secured the passage of a joint reso- 
lution ordering a survey and the appointment of a 



joint committee of both houses, consisting of Messrs. 
Gold, Gilbert, German, Hogeboom and Forman, 
of the House, and Messrs. Taylor, Nicholas and 
Ward of the Senate. This committee being pre- 
disposed in favor of the Oswego route, left it op- 
tional with the Surveyor-General to either adopt 
that or any other route he might deem proper. The 
result was that tliree routes were surveyed and re- 
ported upon by the Engineer, Judge James Geddes, 
whose connection with the survey of this great en- 
terprise is briefly as follows : 

On the iith of April, 1808, a law was passed 
authorizing the Surveyor-General to draw upon the 
Treasury of the State for such an amount as might 
be required to prosecute the survey contemplated 
by the joint committee, not exceeding in the whole 
the sum of six Itiaidred dollars ; and this was all 
that was appropriated for the first exploration and 
survey of the grand Erie Canal ! Upon this the 
Surveyor-General appointed James Geddes, Esq., of 
Onondaga, to make, the survey, and in his com- 
mission and instructions to Mr. Geddes, makes 
these remarks : " As the provision made for the 
expenses of this business is not adequate to the 
effectual exploring of the country for this purpose, 
you will, in the first place, examine what may 
appear to be the best route for a canal from Oneida 
Lake to Lake Ontario, in the town of Mexico, and 
take a level and survey of it ; also whether a canal 
cannot be made between the Oneida Lake and 
OsYvfego by a route in part to the west of the 
Oswego River, so as to avoid those parts along it 
where it will be impracticable to make a good 
navigation. The next object will be the ground 
between Lakes Erie and Ontario, which must be 
examined with a view to determine what will be the 
most eligible track for a canal from below Niagara 
Falls to Lake Erie. If your means will admit of it, 
it would be desirable to have a level taken through- 
out the whole distance between the lakes." The 
Surveyor-General refrains from instructing Mr. 
Geddes to make an interior survey, because of the 
insufficiency of the appropriation for that purpose. 
Mr. Clark says in a note : " Mr. Geddes' expenses 
exceeded the appropriation by seventy-five dollars, 
which sum was afterwards allowed by the Legisla- 
ture, so that the whole engineer's expenses for this 
exploration cost the State of New York only six 
hundred and seventy-five dollars, an investment 
made by the State which, for profit and importance, 
will probably never be exceeded." 

Mr. Geddes entered with zeal and earnestness 
upon his duties, and in 1809 submitted his report 
of three different routes : the first, a communication 

between Lake Oneida and Lake Ontario ;, second, 
the Niagara River route ; and third, an interior 
route, without descending to, or passing through, 
Lake Ontario. 

In comparing the Ontario with the interior route, 
the report was strongly in favor of the latter. In 
addition, Mr. Geddes was directed to examine by 
inspection a canal route from Lake Erie to Genesee 
River, and thence to the waters running east to the 
Seneca River, and gather all the information in his 
power for the prosecution of the great work, should 
the Legislature think best to provide for it. The 
report was favorable on the practicability of an inte- 
rior route from Lake Erie ; and it is worthy of re- 
mark that Judge Geddes' plan and route were mainly 
followed in the final location of the canal* The 
country from the Seneca River, in the Cayuga Val- 
ley, to the Mohawk River at Rome, and thence to 
the Hudson River, was so well known as to leave 
no apprehension of insuperable difficulties. Thus 
by the operations of 1808, through the instrumen- 
tality of the true men of Onondaga, the fact was 
satisfactorily established that a canal from the Hud- 
son River to Lake Erie was not only practicable, 
but practicable with uncommon facility, f In Jan- 
uary, 1809, in company with William Kirkpatrick, 
then member of Congress from Oneida county. 
Judge Forman waited on President Jefferson and 
informed him that in view of his proposition to ex- 
pend the surplus revenues of the nation in making 
roads and canals, the State of New York had ex- 
plored the route of a canal from the Hudson River 
to Lake Erie, and had found it practicable ; and 
when Mr. Forman had laid all the estimates, plans 
surveys, descriptions and anticipated advantages 
before Mr. Jefferson, and portrayed its commercial 
prospects and the advantages which would accrue 
to the United States as well as to the State of New 
York, the President very coolly replied : " It is a 
splendid project, and may be executed a century 
hence. Why, sir," said he, " here is a canal of a few 
miles, projected by General Washington, which, if 
completed, would render this a fine commercial city, 
which has languished for many years because the 
small sum of two hundred thousand dollars neces- 
sary to complete it cannot be obtained from the 
general government nor from individuals ; and you 
talk of making a canal tliree hundred and fifty miles 
through a wilderness. It is little short of madness 
to think of it at this day."J 

The favorable and satisfactory reports of Judge 

* See Biography of Hon. James Geddes. 

\ Clark's Onondaga. 

\ Hosack's Life of Clinton, p. 347. 



Gcddcs secured in 1810 the appointment by the 
Legislature of a Hoard of Commissioners comjwsed 
of Gouvcrncur Morris, Stephen Van Rensselaer 
DeWitt Clinton. Simeon DeWitt. William North. 
Thomas Eddy and Peter H. I'ortcr, to whom were 
afterwards added Robert R. Livingston and Robert 
Fulton. These gentlemen were instructed to ex- 
plore the inland navigation route, and they reported 
favorably the next year. The next point was to 
obtain a competent engineer to lay out the Erie 
Canal. Where should they apply ? Supposing 
there was not a suitable man in America to accom- 
plish the great task, they applied through an 
American gentleman at London for the services of 
William Weston, then considered the most accom- 
plished engineer in Euroi^c. oflering as a maximum 
salary seven thousand dollars a year." F'ortunatcly, 
Mr. Weston's engagements were such that he 
thought proper to decline. In this dilemma James 
Gcddcs and l^cnjamin Wright, Esqrs., held a con- 
sultation and agreed to go before the Hoard of Canal 
Commissioners and ofi'er to survey the canal route 
jirovidcd they would give them their confidence. 
The proposition was accepted, and they were en- 
gaged on a salary of fifteen hundred dollars a year. 
" It may be considered," says Clark, " a fortunate 
circumstance that Mr. Weston did not accc])t the 
offer of the Canal Commissioners. Hecatisc, from 
the ostentation usually displayed by foreign engi- 
neers and the great expense attending their move- 
ments, the jieople of this frugal and republican 
country would have bccf>mc discouraged, and it is 
more than jjrobable the work would have been 
abandoned or at least indefinitely deferred. It is 
worthy of remark that the engineers employed on 
the lirie and Champlain Canals were Americans, 
except in two instances, where a French and an Irish 
gentleman were employed in subordinate stations 
for less than a year." 

After another ineffectual attempt to enlist Con- 
gress in the work, the Commissioners, in March, 
1 81 2, made a report "That tio7f sound jmlicy de- 
manded that the canal should be made by the State 
of New York on her own account." The war of 
1812 caused a susjicnsion of the project till the ses- 
sion of the Legislature in 1816, at which time a 
memorial was presented to tlie Legislature, signed 
by more than one hundred thousand jiersons from 
New York and the counties through which the pro- 
posed canals should pass, calling upon its members 
to pass laws to prosecute the work without delay 

* Mr. Wolon hid luncjrnl the route and lock* of (he Old Canal I'ur 
(he inland Lock and Navigatian Company around Little Fallt and from 
Fort Stanwii to Wood Creek, in I7tl. 

A large meeting ol the citizens of Onondaga county 
was held at the Court House on the 23d of February, 
1816. A preliminary meeting had been previously 
held at which Judge Forman had been appointed a 
committee to prepare a memorial to the Legislature. 
This memorial was read by Judge F'orman at the 
meeting, and approved by acclamation. A com- 
mittee was appointed to circulate it throughout the 
county, consisting of Daniel Kellogg, of Marcellus ; 
Gideon Wilcoxon, Camillus ; Jonas C. Haldwin, 
Lysander ; Ashbel Kellogg, Salina ; John Leach, 
Cicero; Sylvanus Tousley, Manlius; Harnet 
Mooney, Hannibal ; Daniel Wood, Pompey ; Marcus 
Adams, Fabius ; Ashel Rouiuly. Spafford ; Garret 
Van Hoesen, TuUy ; and Joshua Forman, of Onon- 
daga ; adding the chairman and secretar)' : Signed, 
James Geddes, chairman : Jasper Hopper, secre- 
tary. Over three thousand names were subscribed 
to this memorial. The memorial, which was drawn up 
with great ability, contemplated $io,cxX),ooo for the 
cost of the canal, covering all possible contingencies. 
Of this it charged the State of New York with 
$2,500,000 ; the United States with $2,500,000 ; 
the State of Ohio. §1,000,000; the City of New 
York and counties contiguous to the canal, $2,000,- 
000 ; and private stock holders, $2,000,000. 

The Legislature authorized a loan on the credit 
of the State of a million of dollars, and the section 
from Rome to the Seneca River was fixed upon as 
the first to be commenced. 

In 1816, Judge Geddes made another report of 
the state and general view of the country from 
Hlack Rock Rapids to the Cayuga Marshes, and 
Henjamin Wright, Esq , upon the same subject from 
the Cayuga Marshes to Rome, and thence through 
the Mohawk Valley to Albany. The attempt made 
to enlist Congress in 1817 again failed and the 
State of New York was thrown upon her own 
resources. A thorough examination was made of 
the route, and revised estimates placed the cost of 
the entire canal at five millions dollars. The route 
was divided into three sections. The levels and 
surveys of the previous year were reviewed In 
order to test their accuracy and correctness, Mr. 
Geddes started from a jjoint near the west end of 
Oneida Lake, and taking the lake on a still day as 
a level, carried a line of levels up to the canal line 
on the long level east of Syracuse, and thence 
working eastward laid off sections on the canal 
line. Mr. Wright, starting from a point cast for the 
east end of Oneida Lake, in like manner carried a 
level along the line of the canal westward, and the 
Commissioners remark, that when the level of Mr. 
Wright had been carried to the place where Mr. 



Geddes had terminated his line, the levels of these 
two engineers, which embraced a distance of 
nearly one hundred miles, differed from each other 
less than one inch and a half This result exhibits 
in the engineers a degree of care, skill and preci-- 
sion never exceeded. 

The first contract was dated June 27, 181 7. The 
remaining part of the middle section was under 
contract soon after. The excavation was com- 
menced at Rome with appropriate ceremonies, July 
4, 1817. The first contract was given to Judge 
John Richardson, of Cayuga. " It is perhaps," re- 
marks Clark,* " a singular coincidence that the first 
movement in the halls of legislation relative to the 
Erie Canal, was made by a member from Onondaga, 
— that the first exploration was made by an engi- 
neer of Onondaga,— that the first contract was 
given to, and the first ground broken by a contrac- 
tor who had been several years a resident of Onon- 
daga, and all of whom had been Judges of our coun- 
ty courts and members of the Legislature from 
Onondaga County." 

Governor Clinton, in his annual message of 1820, 
reported ninety-four miles completed on the middle 
section from Utica to the Seneca River, including a 
lateral canal to Salina. By the opening of this por- 
tion of the canal, the resources of Onondaga County 
were more fully ascertained and developed. Her 
salt, gypsum and lime found their way to a ready 
market, and the produce of the agriculturist an 
outlet, affording more ample remuneration for labor ; 
a new and vigorous impulse was given to her 
advancement and prosperity, which placed her 
among the first counties of the Empire State — a 
position she is destined long to enjoy. Notwith- 
standing these favorable results there were not 
wanting narrow minded and selfish men actively 
engaged to defeat the further progress of the work. 
Many argued that the income of the whole canal 
would not equal the cost of the part already com- 
pleted. Local feelings had to be combatted, preju- 
dices overcome, indignities borne, and every species 
of contumely and perverseness encountered by the 
supporters of the enterprise. But with a devo- 
tion above all praise, the commissioners and advo- 
cates of the work faltered not, till finally, in Novem- 
ber, 1825 — a period of eight years and four months 
from the time of beginning — it was proclaimed 
to the world that the waters of Lake Erie were con- 
nected with those of the Hudson River, without 
one foot of portage, through one of the longest ca- 
nals in the world ; and the cost, according to the 
books of the Comptroller, including the Champlain 

* 2 Onondaga, p. 6i. 

Canal, was $8,273,122.66, and is considered one of 
the most stupendous and magnificent works of this 
or any age. 

If the canal has benefited the people of Onon- 
daga, the men of Onondaga were the principal pro- 
moters of the undertaking in all its incipient steps. 
It was Judge Geddes, of Onondaga, who traversed 
the wilderness of Western New York, and gathered 
all the materials and reported all the facts upon 
which statistics were based, and Joshua Forman, of 
Onondaga, who from the beginning was the uncom- 
promising, unflinching defender and eloquent ad- 
vocate of the great work ; and it was not until after 
these men had labored long and faithfully in the 
cause, that the giant intellect and master mind of 
DeWitt Clinton was aroused to a sense of the im- 
portance of this magnificent undertaking. These 
two men of Onondaga, from the beginning to the 
end, were intimately connected with the work, in 
fact, identical with it and indispensable to it. They 
labored faithfully and effectually throughout — 
Judge Geddes as an able engineer. Judge Forman as 
the unwavering promoter of its utility. These two 
men furnished more solid information relative to the 
canal than all others put together. Till they took 
hold of it, the whole matter was considered by most 
men but an idle dream, a delusion, a false, unfeasible 

The fathers of this stupendous work should be 
forever venerated for their perseverance in over- 
coming the opposition they had to contend against, 
both from individuals and from the infancy of the 
country they had to penetrate and to depend upon 
for the means of making the enterprise a success. 
We must always admire genius struggling against 
fate, with a lofty and enthusiastic purpose which 
scorns all defeat, triumphs over all obstacles and 
conquers even fate itself, in the contest. A few 
miles of aqueduct constructed by the wealthy east- 
ern nations in the height of their prosperity have 
called forth our admiration as a great achievement. 
But what nation in its youth has ever had the 
courage to undertake three liundred and fifty miles of 
canal, without having even an engineer of their 
own till the event developed and brought him for- 
ward, equal to the great task .' It has been truly 
said that great occasions produce great men. And 
it was so in this case. When the work was to be 
done, and foreign assistance could not be procured, 
the men were found, on the spot where the enter- 
prise was to be undertaken, able and willing to carry 
it on to its grand consummation. 

The first ground broken on the Erie Canal in the 

* I Clark's Onondaga, p. 63. 



county of Onondaga, was by Mr. Elias Gumaer, in 
the town of Manlius. Oliver Teall, Esq., took 
several contracts in the eastern part of the county. 
Messrs. Northrupand Dexter, and Jeremiah Kecler, 
built a section or two through Syracuse. Hazard 
Lewis, of Binghamton. built the locks. The first 
locks were built of Elbridgc sandstone. Commis- 
sioners, builders and masons had no idea that the 
Onondaga limestone could be cut for facing stones 
for locks, so little was this valuable material then 

After the water was let in, for a long time it 
would not flow farther east on the Syracuse level 
than the Stone Bridge It all disappeared in a bed 
of loose gravel. This difficulty, however, was after 
a while remedied, and all went well. The first boats 
used were the Mohawk boats, with wide walking 
boards for poling up the Mohawk River. 

Oliver Tcall was appointed the first Superin- 
tendent of the Erie Canal, and Joshua Forman, 
the first Collector ; office at Syracuse. 

The leveling instrument used by Judge Geddes 
in surveying the Erie Canal was the same one used 
by Abraham Hardcnburgh, under the superintend- 
ence of William Weston, the celebrated English 
engineer, when he surveyed the route of the " Old 
Canal "in 1788 It was made by David Ritten- 
house, of rhiladclphia, and is now in the possession 
of Hon. George Geddes, of Camillus. 

One circumstance which greatly facilitated the 
successful completion of the Erie Canal was the 
discovery, at an opportune moment, in this locality, 
of water lime, or American Hydraulic Cement. 
The first works of masonry on the canal had been 
done with common quicklime, which proved unsub- 
stantial on exposure to water, and was, therefore, 
unsuitable for culverts and aqueducts. A kiln 
sup|)osed to be of common limestone was burnt and 
some of the lime delivered to the contractors on 
the middle division of the canal. To their astonish- 
ment, they found on experiment, that it would not 
slake like ordinary quicklime This led to an in- 
vestigation which resulted in the discovery of the 
hydraulic properties of the lime, now so famous as 
an article of export from this county. To Mr. 
Canvass White, who spent much time and means 
in testing its qualities, is due the merit of bringing 
this valuable cement into general use. After 1819, 
all the mason work on the canal was laid in water 

It may be well to record the fact that Mr. Obediah 
Parker, who resided on the old flat of Lodi, now in 
the Eighth Ward of Syracuse, received a gold 
medal from the American Institute for the applica- 

tion of water lime to the construction of cisterns 
about the year 1830. 


Okganizatios of Colkts — First Court of Com- 
mon Pleas — Courts Undf.r Herkimer Cou.ntv 
Jurisdiction — First Judges and Officers- 
First Grand and Petit Jurors — Erection of 
County Buildings. 

IN 1794. after the Military Tract had been set 
ofT from Herkimer, and organized into a coun- 
ty by itself. Courts of Common Pleas and of General 
Sessions of the Peace were established by law. 
These courts were ordered to be held alternately on 
the first Mondays in May and November in each 
year, at the house of Reuben Patterson, in the town 
of Manlius, and at the house of Seth Phelps, in the 
town of Scipio, commencing with the first named. 
Mr. Patterson then kept a tavern at Onondaga Hol- 
low, which at that tmie was a part of Manlius. 
These terms were to be held only for the space of 
one week. 

While Onondaga was included in Herkimer coun- 
ty, courts were held in the church at Herkimer 
\'illage till other provisions were made by the Legis- 
lature. Col. Henri Staring was appointed first 
Judge. He was a man of remarkable honesty and 
integrity, though of limited education. Many 
amusing anecdotes are told of his manner of ad- 
ministering justice Michael Myers was one of his 
associates, and filled many offices of note while the 
Military Tract was a part of Herkimer county. 

In 1793, one term of the court for Herkimer was 
directed to be held at Whitestown, at such place as 
the court should direct. The first court held under 
this provision was in the late Judge Sanger's barn, 
Judge Staring presiding, assisted by Judge White. 
The late Judge Piatt was then Clerk of Herkimer 
County, and the ShcrifT. Col. William Colbraith. the 
first SherilT who ever served a process in the Mili- 
tary Tract. He was a jolly, good humored man, 
and withal a lover of fun. He had seen some ser- 
vice in the Revolution, but had acquired his title as 
a militia officer subsequent to that war. 

Before a Court House was erected in Onondaga 
County, civil and criminal prisoners were ordered 
to be confined in the jail of Herkimer County until 
a jail could be provided in the County of Onondaga. 

The first court held in the County under the or- 
ganization was in General Danforth's corn house, 
first Monday in May, 1794. Present, Seth Phelps, 
first Judge; John Richardson, Silas Halsey and 
William Stevens, Judges. Moses De Witt, Esq.. 



was appointed Judge of Onondaga Common Pleas ; 
not present. Thomas R. Gould and Arthur Breeze 
were the only lawyers then present, not one at that 
time having established himself in the County. 

The first Court of Oyer and Terminer for the 
County of Onondaga, was held at the house of Asa 
Danforth, Esq., (afterwards Reuben Patterson's,) on 
the 2 1st of July, 1794. Present, Hon. Egbert 
Benson, one of the Judges of the Supreme Court of 
Judicature for the State of New York, assisted 
by Seth Phelps and Andrew Englis, Justices 
of Oyer and Terminer and General Jail Delivery 
for the County of Onondaga. Lawyers were in at- 
tendance at this court from Whitestown and Her- 
kimer. The grand jurors were as follows : Comfort 
Tyler, Isaac Van Vleck, Elias Fitch, Moses Carpen- 
ter, William Ward, Jonathan Wilkinson, Cyrus 
Kinne, Sieur Curtis, Victory S. Tousley, Amos 
Stanton, Henry Moore, James Geddes, Ryal Bing- 
ham, Reuben Patterson. " Judge Benson made an 
eloquent charge to the Grand Jury." The only bill 
of indictment found was against James Fitzgerald 
for assault and battery with intent to rob Andrew 
McCarthy. The Petit Jurors on this first criminal 
trial were : John Brown, William Linsley, Thomas 
Morgan, Henry Watkins, Benjamin De Puy, Nehe- 
miah Smith, Isaac Strong, John A. Thompson, 
Noah Olmsted, Isaac Bailey, William Stevens, and 
Thomas Ozman, who found the prisoner guilty. 
He was sentenced by the Court to two months' im- 
prisonment in the Herkimer jail. The Court fined 
nineteen petit jurors twenty shillings each, four grand 
jurors and two constables each the same sum. John 
Stowell, William Goodwin, Perry Brownell, justices 
of the peace, were each fined thirty shillings for ab- 

The next term of the Circuit Court was held at 
the house of Seth Phelps in Scipio, 7th September, 
1795. Present Hon. John Lansing, Judge of the 
Supreme Court, Seth Phelps, John Richardson, W' il- 
liam Stevens, Judges of Onondaga County Common 
Pleas. The following absent justices of the peace 
were severally fined thirty shillings : John A. 
Sheaffer, William Goodwin, John Stowell, Cyrus 
Kinne, Hezekiah Olcott, Daniel Keeler, Ryal Bing- 
ham and Ozias Burr. John A. Sheaffer was indicted 
for forgery. He forfeited his recognizance, and left, 
(estreated.)* ! 

Hon. Egbert Benson held the ne.xt Circuit Court ! 
at the house of Reuben Patterson, June 14, 1797, 
assisted by Seth Phelps, William Stevens, Asa Dan- 
forth and Comfort Tyler, judges and justices of 
Oyer and Terminer for the County of Onondaga. ! 

* Clark. 1 


Grand Jury : Ozias Burr, foreman ; James Geddes, 
Ephraim Webster, Bethel Cole, Robert Earll, John 
Curtiss, Joseph Leonard, Levi Jerome, David Green, 
John Lamb, William Rice, Jonathan Coe, Joseph 
Cody, Peter Lawrence, William Cobb, Irad Smith. 
No bills of indictment found at this term. 

Hon. James Kent, judge, held the next Circuit 
at the house of Seth Phelps, Scipio, June 12, 1798, 
assisted by Seth Phelps, William Stevens, Seth 
Sherwood, judges of Common Pleas for Onondaga 

Cayuga County was set off in 1799. The first 
Court in Onondaga after this was held at the house 
of Reuben Patterson, June, 1799. Present, William 
Stevens, first judge, assisted by Elijah Rust, James 
Geddes, Orris Curtiss, James Keep and Jeremiah 
Gould, associates. 

Courts were held at different houses in Onondaga 
Hollow, viz : Asa Danforth's, Reuben Patterson's, 
Samuel Tyler's and John Adams' — from 1794 to 
1805, when the Court House at Onondaga Hill was 
so far completed as to allow of the Courts being held 
therewith the legislative provision for adjourning to 
any other house, if the weather was so inclement as 
to render it uncomfortable at the Court House. 

In 1 801, Elihu Lewis, Jabez Webb and Thaddeus 
M. Wood were appointed Commissioners for the 
purpose of erecting a Court House and Jail for the 
county of Onondaga. It was determined by vote to 
locate them at Onondaga West Hill. The Com- 
missioners commenced by contracting with William 
Bostwick of Auburn to put up the frame and en- 
close the house. This was done in 1802, and closed 
Mr. Bostwick's contract. Previous to raising the 
house the people of the Hill collected together and 
made a " bee " for the purpose of cutting away the 
trees to make room for the new building. The 
square was at that time covered with a heavy growth 
of timber. In order to have the use of the Court 
House, a temporary floor and seats were put in it 
and the courts held there till the commencement of 
1804. The county then began to feel able to finish 
the court room and jailor's dwelling. The Com- 
missioners contracted with Mr. Abel House to do 
the carpenter work inside, leaving out the cells, and 
with a Mr. Sexton, of New Hartford, to do the 
mason work; and Mr. Ephraim Webster was to 
furnish the brick for the chimneys. The court 
room and dwelling were completed during that sea- 
son. After a year or two, preparations were com- 
menced for building the cells of the jail. A con- 
tract was made with Roswell and Sylvanus Tousley, 
of Manlius, for the iron work, at a price of two shil- 
lino-s per pound. The cells were finished in 18 10. 



In 1804 the county of Oneida had completed a 
jail in the town of Whitcsboro, to which the 
criminals of this county were transferred till the 
Onondaga county jail was finished, the Legislature 
having previously passed an act granting this 
county the right to use the nearest jail. 

The jail at Onondaga Hill was a wooden building 
fifty feet square, two stories high, with a square 
roof pitching four ways to the eaves. It was not 
at first painted ; this finishing touch was done by 
subscription, some years afterwards, by the people 
of Onondaga Hill. The first story was appropri- 
ated for the jail and dwelling of the jailor, a hall 
separating them from each other. The cells were 
constructed of heavy oak jtlank, fastened together 
with wrought iron spikes. The doors were made 
of like material, having a rhomboidal aperture in 
the center through which to pass the food, and to 
give light to the prisoners. In the rear of the cells 
were grated windows. 

The court room was reached by a stairway lead- 
ing from the hall. The judge's bench was directly 
in front of the entrance to the court room and was 
constructed in a circular form. The whole cost of 
the building was Sio,ooo. This court house and 
jail were used for the purpose designed till the 
year iS.!9 The first jailor was James Beebc, a 
revolutionary soldier, and father of Mrs. Victory 
Birdseye, of Pompcy. His successor was Mason 
Butts, father of Horace Butts, who was jailor after 
the removal of the county buildings to Syracuse. 
John H. Johnson, Esq., also acted as jailor there for 
several years. 

In 1825, movements began to be made for the 
removal of the county buildings to Syracuse, which 
had grown to be the largest village in the county. 
The people of Onondaga Hill strongly opposed the 
measure, and in 1825 succeeded in getting a bill 
through the Legislature for the retention of the 
buildings at that place. The bill, however, was 
vetoed by Governor Clinton, but the project did not 
sleep. In 1827 a law was enacted authorizing the 
Board of Supervisors to erect a Court House and 
Jail within the corporate limits of Syracuse. In 
the summer of 1828, the Supervisors met, in pur- 
suance of law, at the Syracuse House to take into 
consideration the selection of a site for the proposed 
buildings, and to make the necessary arrangements 
for their erection. At the meeting there was a great 
deal of discussion and a wide difference of opinion 
relative to the site of the buildings. This was 
finally settled by taking a vote, which resulted in 
placing the county seat midway between the vil- 
lages of Syracuse and Salina, in consideration of 

the village of Salina presenting to the county a 
full and unincumbered title to the property, consist- 
ing of not less than three acres, and $1,000. At 
this meeting the Building Commissioners were ap- 
pointed : John Smith, Thomas Starr and Samuel 
Forman ; with power to cause plans and specifica- 
tions to be made and to contract for the erection of 
the buildings. The County Treasurer was also em- 
powered to borrow $20,000, in two annual install- 
ments of $10,000 each. In the spring of 1829, the 
bids were received, according to the plans and 
specifications of the Commissioners. Mr. John 
Wall obtained the contract for building the Jail, 
which was erected by him early in the year 1S29. 
The cells in this Jail were of the strongest kind. 
After it was taken down, they were placed in the 
basement of the new Court House on Clinton 
Square. L. A. Cheney and Samuel Booth ob- 
tained the contract for doing the mason work on 
the Court House, and David Stafford for doing the 
carpenter work. It was erected and enclosed in 
1829. The following year it was finished by Mr. 
Wall and ready for occupation by the courts. The 
cost of the buildings was upwards of $27,000. 

The Jail was of stone, fifty feet square and two 
stories high, with a hall and stairway in the center. 
The south half contained the jailor's dwelling, the 
north half the cells for prisoners, the second story 
above these being devoted to cells for debtors, 
witnesses, &c. The Court House was of brick, 
si.xty feet square and two stories high, fronted on 
the west side with a row of large columns. The 
first story was divided by halls into four apart- 
ments, one in each corner, for the use of grand and 
petit juries and other purposes. The Court Room 
occupied all of the second story, except the landing 
of the stairs and two petit jury rooms. The Judge's 
seat was on the south side opposite the landing of 
the stairway. 

The Jail was abandoned in 1850, after the erec- 
tion of the I'cnitentiary, and the removal of the 
jail prisoners to that institution. The materials 
were used in the construction of the work-shops of 
the Penitentiary and in the new Court House. 

New Coi;rt House. — Attempts were made 
from time to time to change the site of the Court 
House, but they all failed until after the destruction 
of the old building by fire, on the morning of the 
5th of January, 1856. The expectation that was 
entertained when the site between the two villages 
was selected, that business would naturally center 
around the Court House, was never realized, and 
hence it was not accessible to the public. The in- 
] convenience, however, was submitted to about 




twenty years, before any serious attempt was made 
to change the site. General Granger submitted a 
proposition to the Board of Supervisors to the 
effect that he would build a good court house on 
any lot in the heart of the city that might 
be designated, in consideration of the con- 
veyance to him of the old Court House site and 
^20,000 in cash. But his offer received little favor 
at the hands of the Board. During the session of 
the Board in 1853, the subject was again introduced 
by Hon. Sanford C. Parker, Supervisor from Van 
Buren, who proposed a resolution that the county 
should unite with the city in the erection of an 
edifice of sufficient dimensions for a Court House, 
Clerk's Offices, City Hall, &c. But the subject was 
not further considered till the meeting of the Board 
in December, 1855, at which time Mr. Midler, Super- 
visor from DeW'itt, moved a resolution to instruct 
the " Committee on Court House and Clerk's Office 
to examine and report to this Board the expense of 
building a new Court House, and what the premises 
where the old one stands will sell for." This reso- 
lution was adopted without objection. The com- 
mittee, consisting of T. C. Cheney, E. A. Williams, 
and Joel Fuller, proceeded to discharge the duties 
imposed upon them by the Board, and on the 7th of 
December submitted their report, recommending 
the appointment of a committee of three to exam- 
ine and report upon a suitable site for a new Court 
House, and plans and estimates for its erection. 
This report was laid on the table till the 14th of 
December, when it was adopted by a vote of fifteen 
to nine of the Board of Supervisors, and the follow- 
ing committee appointed : T. C. Cheney, Luke 
Wells and D. T. Moseley. Mr. Wells subsequently 
declined to serve, and Mr. Patten, of Salina, was 
substituted in his place. This committee was 
■divided, making a majority and a minority report ; 
the latter by Mr. Moseley, against a change of loca- 
tion, being adopted by the Board. Thus the matter 
stood, when the burning of the old Court House on 
the 5th of February, set the question of a new build- 
ing at rest. The Board was called together on the 
13th of February, and a committee consisting of 
T. C. Cheney, George Stevens and William F. Gere 
was appointed to report at the next meeting. The 
Board met again on the 14th of April, when a ma- 
jority of the committee — Messrs. Stevens and 
Cheney — reported in favor of changing the Court 
House site and the erection of a new building. Mr. 
Gere was in favor of the old site, and was sustained 
by the Board upon the vote being taken. On the 
following day the Board adopted a resolution offered 
by Mr. Chapman, of Onondaga, " that if an equal 

exchange (with Colonel Voorhees,) of the present 
Court House site for the lot on Clinton Square 
can be effected, this Board will order the exchange." 
Upon motion of Mr. Barrows, T. C. Cheney, Elizur 
Clark and Bradley Carey were appointed a commit- 
tee " to prepare plans, specifications and estimates 
for a Court House, and report at a future meet- 
ing." At a meeting of the Board on the 28th of 
April, the committee submitted their report, show- 
ing that they had made favorable terms with Col- 
onel Voorhees for the exchange of lots, and recom- 
mending a plan previously submitted to the Board, 
drawn by Mr. H. N. White, architect, of this 
city. They estimated the cost of the building, on 
the plan proposed, at §38,000, including old mate- 
rial. In preference to brick, they recommended 
Onondaga limestone, as " most appropriate and 
much more durable." This report was signed by 
the entire committee and favorably received by the 
members of the Board. The question of changing 
the site was then submitted in a resolution offered 
by Mr. Palmer, which was carried almost unani- 
mously, only one member voting in the negative. 
The plan of the building presented by the commit- 
tee was then adopted, and Messrs. Slocum, Johnson 
and District Attorney Andrews, directed to execute 
papers for an exchange of sites with Col. Voorhees. 
The next day Timothy C. Chene}', Luke Wells and 
D. C. Greenfield, were appointed a committee to 
superintend the erection of the building ; and Hora- 
tio X. \\'hite, architect. At a subsequent meeting 
of the Board in June, the proposals for the erection 
of the building, advertised for by the commission- 
ers, were opened, and the contract awarded to 
Messrs. Cheney and W'ilcox at $37,750, the con- 
tractors to have the material of the old court house 
and jail. Mr. Cheney thereupon resigned his place 
as Commissioner, and Elizur Clark was appointed 
to fill the vacancy. The cut stone work of the 
building was let by the contractors to Messrs. 
Spaulding & Pollock, the carpenter and joiner work 
to Messrs. Coburn & Hurst, and the iron work to 
Messrs, Featherly, Draper & Cole. The building 
was finished and occupied in 1857. It is a beauti- 
ful and substantial structure of Onondaga grey lime- 
stone, a credit to the county and an ornament to the 

The County Clerk's Office, a fire proof brick 
building, on North Salina street, corner of Church, 
was erected by the County in 1814. It contains 
rooms for the Surrogate, Supervisors, Superin- 
tendent of the Poor, etc., together with a large 
collection of valuable documents and records placed 
therein on file for preservation. 




The Salt Springs— History of their Dis- 
covery — Early Manufacture of Salt — 
State Legislation on the Subject — The 
Salt Springs Reservation— Methods and 
Statistics of the Salt Works — Analysis of 
THE Water and Source of its Supply. 

The existence of salt springs at Lake Ganentaha, 
or Onondaga, was known to the Indians before the 
advent of the first Europeans, but it does not ap- 
pear that they knew the use of them till taught by 
the Jesuit Missionary, Father Le Moyne, in 1654. 
An allusion is made to the springs, or " salt foun- 
tains," by Father Jerome Lallamant, who visited 
the Onondagas in 1645, and who says : " The On- 
ondagas have a very beautiful lake called Ganentaha, 
on the shores of which are several salt springs, the 
borders of which are always covered with very fine 
salt." Father Le Moyne, in an account \of his 
return to Quebec, under date of August 16, 1654, 
says : " We arrived at the entrance of a small 
lake ; in a large half-dried basin we tasted the 
water of a spring of which the savages dare not 
drink, saying there is a demon in it which renders 
it foul. We found it to be a fountain of salt water 
from which we made salt as natural as from the sea, 
a sample of which I shall take with me to Quebec." 

This act of Father Le Moyne's exorcised the 
demon, to whose dominion the superstition of the 
natives had given over the salt springs, and thence- 
forth Onondaga salt came into use among the 
Indians of this region of country. Says Clark : 
" In 1770, Onondaga salt was in common use among 
the Delaware Indians, and by that time traders were 
in the habit of bringing small quantities to Albany 
along with their furs as a curiosity." At this period it 
was to be found in the huts of the Indians, the 
women manufacturing it and sending it to (.Quebec 
for sale.* 

Some years before this Sir WilHam Johnson had 
obtained a conveyance from the Indians of a tract 
of land one mile in width adjoining and including 
the entire " salt lake." On account of the loyalty 
of Sir William and his son, Sir John Johnson, to 
the English, this and his princely estate on the Mo- 
hawk were forfeited during the Revolutionary period. 
It was not until several years after the Revolution 
that the fame of these salt springs began to attract 
settlers, and that attempts were made by Americans 
to develop and utilize their resources. 

Comfort Tyler was the pioneer in this enterprise, 
which has since assumed proportions of such im- 

* Letter of Judge Bowker, quoted by Hon. George Geddes. 

mense magnitude. In 1788, he was shown the 
spring by the Indians, and in May of that year 
made in about nine hours thirteen bushels of salt. 
His account of his first visit to the springs is given 
as follows : " The family wanting salt, obtained 
about a pound from the Indians, which they had 
made from the springs on the shores of the lake. 
They oflTered to discover the water to us. Accord- 
ingly I went w^ith an Indian guide to the lake, 
taking along an iron kettle of fifteen gallons capaci- 
ty, which he placed in his canoe, and started out of 
the mouth of Onondaga Creek, easterly into a pass 
called Mud Creek. After passing over the marsh> . 
then overflowed by about three feet of water, and ' 
steering towards the bluff of hard land, since the 
village of Salina, he fastened his canoe, pointed to 
a hole apparently artificial, and said there was the 

Thus was Mr. Tyler introduced to the salt springs. 
The same season he was joined by Major Asa 
Danforth, who carried a large iron kettle on his head 
from Onondaga Hollow to the springs at Salina, 
and the two together made salt, suspending the 
kettle by a chain to a pole supported by two crotched 
stakes driven into the ground. When they had 
made a sufficient supply, they hid the chain and 
kettle in the bushes, to keep them safely for future 
use. In this way all the salt was made which was 
manufactured during the first year at " Salt Point." 
In 1789, Nathaniel Loomis came by the way of 
Oneida Lake and River with a few kettles, and dur- 
ing the following winter made from five to six hun- 
dred bushels of salt, which sold for one dollar a 

The State acquired an ownership in the salt 
springs, in common with the Indians, and in the 
tract of land adjoining them, known as the Onon- 
daga Salt Springs Reservation, by the treaty of 
Fort Stanwix, concluded September 12, 1788. This 
treaty stipulated that the salt lake and the lands for 
one mile around the same, should forever remain 
for the common benefit of the people of the State 
of New York and of the Onondagas and their pos- 
terity, for the purpose of making salt. The two 
races thus became tenants in common of the salt 
springs property. The white men at once took 
possession at Salina and commenced the manufac- 
ture of salt. 

In 1794, Judge James Geddes constructed a 
" salt work " a mile or more to the southwest of 
that point, or what was properly the head of the 
lake. The Indians took exceptions to this, saying 
they owned one half of the water, and the white 
men the other half, and as the whites had taken pos- 



session on their side of the lake, they should keep 
away from what they called the Indian's side. This 
grew into a difficulty threatening an attack on the 
part of the Indians. Judge Goddes had proceeded 
too far with his work to be willing to give it up as 
a peace ofiering, to conciliate the wrath of his red 
neighbors. Presents were ofiered and conciliatory 
speeches made to them, to induce them to surren- 
der peaceably, but all seemed unavailing. The In- 
dians desired the presents, but at the same time felt 
unwilling to compromise what they considered their 
right to the side of the lake which the Judge had 
occupied. Finally, a happy method of solving the 
problem struck one of the chiefs : " Let us," said 
he, " adopt this pale face into our tribe, and then 
being one of us, he will have a right to make salt 
on our side of the lake." The proposition was 
unanimously adopted, and Judge Geddes had the 
name Don-da-dah-gwah conferred upon him, by 
which the Indians ever after addressed him. Thence- 
forth he made his salt in peace.* 

In 1795, the Indians not being satisfied with the 
arrangement whereby they held a common interest 
in the Reservation, entered into another treaty at 
Cayuga Ferry, in which they ceded their right ab- 
solutely to the sovereignty of the State of New 
York. This treaty was the foundation of the Con- 
stitutional prohibition against the sale of the Salt 
Springs, because it was regarded as a particular bar- 
gain and agreement on the part of the State of New 
York to so exercise its power over them as never to 
depart from its rights and interest in them, and to 
use them for the benefit of the entire people of the 

The bargain was consummated by giving the 
Indians S 1,000 in money, an annuity of S700, and 
150 bushels of salt annually. 

The Salt Springs Reservation, as delineated on 
the map, is about three and a half miles wide at the 
extreme south end, about three-quarters of a mile 
at the north end, including the lake within its 
boundaries, and containing about ten square miles. 
It takes in the city of Syracuse, the town of Geddes 
and the town of Salina, with the e.xception of nine 
and a half lots added to the town of Salina from 
the town of Manlius. 

The State took formal possession of it in 1797, 
sending a surveyor to run out a portion of it into 
lots, and placing it under a superintendent. William 
Stevens was appointed the first Superintendent, 
June 20, 1797, and held the office till his death, in 
the year 1801. The surveyor laid out the reserva- 
tion into marsh lots, pasture lots, salt lots, dwelling 

* Hon. Otorgc Gcddet, Report, 1859. 

lots and store lots. The State fixed the duty on 
salt at four cents a bushel, and for this tax gave, in 
the first place, a large lot running down close to the 
springs, for the purpose of putting the salt works 
thereon, and running up to the brow of the hill, 
with a frontage upon the bluff sufficient for a dwell- 
ing house and store. And to each owner it gave a 
fourteen acre marsh lot and a five acre pasture lot, 
under a lease for seven years, and a right to roam 
anywhere over the entire ten square miles for fuel, 
without any cost to themselves save cutting and 
hauling, for the manufacture of salt, or for any other 
purpose for which fuel or timber was desired. 

In addition thereto the State built a sort of wharf 
down on a little creek that comes into the lake, for 
the batteaux that should engage in the distribution 
of the salt to Oswego and other places. The State, 
also, in order to avoid the necessity of large works, 
which would be required by individuals to store salt 
in, while waiting for its sale, erected storehouses and 
stored the salt in them. All this was the equiva- 
lent which the State gave the manufacturers for the 
four cents charge of duties.* 

The Salt Springs Reservation, we have said, in- 
cluded the city of Syracuse and the towns of Ged- 
des and Salina. The amount of lands sold by the 
State out of this Reservation up to and including 
1846, was over $250,000 worth, the State reserving 
a royalty on the salt water. In outlying lands 
which would probably not be needed in the manu- 
facture of salt, the State has given the deeds reserv- 
ing this royalty. In addition thereto, the State has 
from time to time, under the Constitution of 1846, 
which says they shall not decrease the acreage which 
has heretofore been devoted to the manufacture of 
salt, exchanged lands which were not suitable for 
that purpose for lands which were adapted thereto, 
and have thus increased the acreage from 550 to 
1. 100 acres. The State at the same time has put 
into the treasury between S40,ooo and §50,000, as 
the difference in value in favor of the State arising 
froiTi such exchange of lands.t 

In 1S67, salt works were removed at a large profit 
to the State, to make room for the increasing popu- 
lation in the Third and Fifth Wards of Syracuse. 
Also, by an act of the Legislature in 1873, salt 
works were removed from the Third Ward of the 
city and other lands substituted for them. These 
lands are good property ; a considerable portion of 
them have been sold by the State, and should the 
balance be held till after the present financial de- 
pression, the State will no doubt realize a handsome 
profit on them. The Syracuse Solar Salt Company 

* Addren of Hon. Thomai G. Alrord, 1876. 




and the late Onondaga Salt Company, in 1872, dis- 
posed of forty acres of vats to the State, situated on 
State lands in the Third Ward of Syracuse, in ex- 
change for lands under the hill, to which they re- 
moved their works. They arc holding about forty 
acres outside, granted them by the State, so that as 
the city encroaches ufjon their private land imme- 
diately under the hill, where their vats arc now situ- 
ated, they can eventually remove them to the lands 
held under the State grant. 

To return to our history of the manufacture of 
salt. In 1792, Thomas Orman, Simeon I'haris and 
William Gilchrist came to Salina. Mr. Orman 
brought the first caldron kettle for the manufac- 
ture of salt. Mr. Aaron Bellows came that year and 
established a cooper shop for the manufacture of 
salt barrels. The first kettles set in arches were 
used by Jeremiah Gould and William Van Vleck. 
The latter in company with Moses Dc Witt, in 1793, 
erected an arch with four kettles, and supplied the 
demand for the whole surrounding country. 

The " Federal Company " was formed in 1798, its 
members being Asa Danforth, Jedediah Sanger, 
Daniel Kcclcr, Thomas Hart, Ebcnezer Butler, 
Eli-sha Alvord and 1 lezekiah Olcott. This company 
erected a large building capable of containing thirty- 
two kettles set in blocks of four each. In this man- 
ner originated the term " block " which has ever 
since been applied to a salt manufactory where the 
water is boiled in kettles. Part of the " Federal 
Works" were subsequently hired by Dioclesian 
Alvord. The pump-house was then out in the water, 
and Mr. Alvord had to take a boat in order to reach it. 
The first laws regulating the manufacture of salt 
were passed in 1797, the State then assuming the 
control which it has never relinquished. The State 
demanded for the rent of land and the use of water, 
four cents a bushel for all the salt made, and re- 
quired that ten bushels, at least, should be made in 
every kettle or pan used. Provision was made that 
in case any lessee should not use all the water there 
might be on his lot, the surplus could be conveyed 
to his next neighbor, and so on, till all the water was 
used. The powers given to the Superintendent 
were full, and the law entered into minute details in 
regard to the whole business of making and packing 
salt. The maximum price was fixed at six cents a 
bushel to citizens of the State, and the manufacturer 
must either put the salt in the public storehouse, or 
if he kept it in his own building, he must surrender 
the keys to the Superintendent. No salt could be 
sold on the leased premises. One cent per bushel 
was exacted by the State for storage, and the Super- 
intendent was to take care to have always in store 

two thousand bushels the first year, and an addi- 
tional five hundred for each year thereafter, which 
was to be ready to meet the demands of citizens of 
this Slate. Theblock-house, which in 1794 had been 
constructed for defense, was converted by the State 
into a public store-house. Clark, in his history, 
says : " The Superintendent gave certificates of de- 
posit in the store-house, and these certificates passed 
from man to man like bank bills." 

The manufacture of salt continued to increase as 
the surrounding population became more numerous, 
some of it finding a market in Canada. The rivers 
and lakes connected with Onondaga Lake furnished 
facilities for transportation in summer, and in the 
winter, sleighs came from the counties to the south, 
bringing farm produce to exchange for salt. The 
time soon came when the Superintendent could not 
store all the salt made, and so in March, 1798,11 
was provided by law that the manufacturers might 
account on oath for the quantity manufactured ; and 
they were allowed to pay rent according to the 
capacity of their works, at the rate of two cents per 
month for every gallon of the capacity of their pans 
or kettles, and were released from the charge of 
four cents per bushel. Fifty six pounds was fixed 
upon as the weight of a bushel of salt. 

In 1799, another law was passed, going more into 
details, even determining the number of hoops on 
the barrels, the kind of timber they should be made 
of, the seasoning of the barrels, and directing that 
they must be water-tight. The Superintendent 
was to weigh, deduct the tare, then brand the 
weight and quality and put on the price per bushel 
which he judged the salt to be worth, and then 
brand the name on the wood. This salt, if it went 
away by water, was to be shipped from the public 
wharf, under a penalty of five dollars for every 
bushel not so shipped. The Superintendent was 
required to provide bins to keep each manufacturer's 
salt in, until it was inspected. 

These, or the like minute regulations, continue 
to govern, and when their rigor has been lessened, 
it has been due to the fact that the magnitude of 
the business has made it impracticable to enforce 

It is worthy of note that the almost absolute 
power conferred bylaw upon the Superintendent of 
the Salt Springs, has been the secret of its success in 
an economical point of view, as afTording a larger 
revenue to the State than any other State property, 
managed on difterent principles. The jiolicy of 
conferring the whole authority on the Superintend- 
ent and making him alone responsible for the entire 
management of the interest, has proved in the case 



of the Onondaga Salt Springs exceptionally suc- 
cessful, as compared with every other State in- 

In 1817 the duties levied by the State were 
raised to twelve and a half cents a bushel, the de- 
sign being to apply the revenue thus derived to the 
extinguishment of the debt on the canals. This 
rate remained till 1834, when the duties were re- 
duced to six cents a bushel, and so continued till 
April 20, 1846, since when they have been one 
cent a bushel. This was intended to be sufficient 
to pay for superintendence, digging wells, pumping 
and conveying the water to the manufacturers, and 
other expenses of the works incurred by the State. 
Since the reduction of the duties to one cent a 
bushel, the following revenue has been derived 
from the manufacture of salt, and paid into the 
General Fund of the State : 

From 1 846 to i Z^^, net reve- 
nue $ 653,112 73 

Deficit in 1857, to be de- 
ducted $6,603 01 

Also expenditures previous 

to March i, 1857 7,000 00 

Total deduction and expendi- 
tures 13,603 01 

Net revenue above expendi- 
tures 639,509 72 

Revenue from 1825 to re- 
duction of duties in 1846. 3,402,971 49 

Expenditures for the same 

period 202,054 99 

Net revenue from 1825 to 1846 $3,200,916 50 

Total net revenue since 1825 3,540,22622 

In addition to the above direct revenue, the salt 
interest has paid to the State in canal tolls about 
three-fourths of a million dollars. In 1875, it paid 
over $70,000. The manufacture and handling of 
salt in various ways employs about four thousand 

The law of 1799 required the Superintendent to 
make an annual report to the Legislature. To this 
valuable provision we are indebted for much in- 
formation and many of the important improvements 
which have been made from time to time. We 
learn from one of these reports that in 1806, 159,071 
bushels of salt were made. About this time a great 
advance was made by the construction of a block 
of ten kettles by Hon. John Richardson. During 
Mr. Kirkpatrick's administration the well at Salina 
was dug out twenty feet square to the depth of 
thirty feet. Each manufacturer had his own pump, 
worked by hand, and water carried in spouts to his 
works. In 1810, water power was first used to raise 
the brine, Yellow Brook being brought in a canal 

to turn the wheel. This brook, through the enter- 
prise of Judge Forman and others, was conducted 
all the way from what is now the eastern part of 
Syracuse, to do service in the salt blocks at Salina. 
In 181 2 a law was passed requiring the Superin- 
tendent to lay out two acres of land and lease the 
same, free of duty if he thought proper, to induce 
an experiment to be tried for the production of salt 
by solar evaporation. This was the origin of a 
mode of manufacture which has since become 
general, and has exercised an important influence 
on the entire salt business. Hundreds of acres 
are now covered with vats for solar salt, and the an- 
nual product is between two and three million 

The salt interest of Syracuse, like many other 
manufacturing interests, has had its seasons of pros- 
perity and of comparative depression. It passed 
through its severest trial in 1857, when the general 
financial panic paralyzed the business of the country, 
especially of the West. Then, and for several years 
after, Onondaga salt suffered from the want of 
a regular and systematic method of putting it upon 
the market. Says Hon. Thomas G. Alvord : 
" Gentlemen from Buffalo and Oswego would come 
here and buy our salt. They would give us their 
thirty days, ninety days and four months paper. 
They would take the salt and use it for ballast on 
their grain vessels, and when they got to their 
destination, they would dump the salt on the dock 
and sell it for what they could get. If their venture 
in grain was a good one, we got our pay, if not, we 
were the losing parties. The result was that we 
were at the mercy of these men." The manufac- 
turers put their capital and their wisdom together 
and got out of the difficulty in i860 and 1861. 

The period of greatest prosperity was during the 
war of the Rebellion. The largest annual produc- 
tions of salt were, indeed, during the years from 
1867 to 1 87 1, being an average yield per annum for 
the four years of 8,612,865 bushels. But the prices 
were not equal to those ruling from 1862 to 1865, 
when, on account of the war, foreign salt was almost 
wholly excluded from the country. 

About the commencement of the war, salt water 
was discovered in abundant quantities in the valley 
of the Saginaw, about midway between the salt 
springs of Syracuse and the great West, which had 
become the principal market for Onondaga Salt. 
The latter, however, went on prospering for three 
or four years, the competition being scarcely suf- 
ficient to affect the market. During this time the 
volume of salt made here was largely increased ; 
many new manufacturers went into the business ; 



prices ranged high, and all seemed in the full tide of 
prosperity. Hut just at this juncture the salt in- 
terest here met another impediment. The experi- 
ment of boring for oil at Godcrich, Canada, very 
much to the astonishment of the experimenters 
themselves, resulted in striking a fountain of salt 
water, the strongest and purest known in the 
country, standing 92 and 98 degrees of the sal- 
ometcr. In a short time they struck another well 
at Kincardine, twenty five miles north of Godcrich, 
850 feet deep, and found the same result. Then 
they sank a well at Clinton, twelve miles south of 
Godcrich. 1,200 feet deep and found water equally 
strong. They sank another well at Seaport, twenty- 
five miles south of Godcrich, 1,400 feet deep, where 
they have gone 101 feet into a solid mass of rock 

Of course these discoveries, together with the 
the cheapness of labor and fuel in Canada and Mich- 
igan, have had a tendency greatly to depress the 
salt interest in this locality. For several years past 
the Canadian and Saginaw salt has been a formida- 
ble rival to Onondaga Salt in the Western markets, 
and have almost entirely excluded the latter from 
Canada, where before large quantities were sold. 
Since this competition, it has been the eflort of the 
Onondaga manufacturers to not only improve the 
quality and condition of the salt put upon the 
market, but also to cheapen the cost of its produc- 
tion, so as to be able to conijiete with the Saginaw 
and Godcrich salt, and to find markets where the 
transportation will be most favorable to the salt 
manufactured at Syracuse. This, by the energy, 
jjcrscvcrance, and wise management of the com- 
panies, has been in a great measure accomplished. 
Hy the combination of capital and the reduction 
of the cost of labor and fuel, there has been 
of late years a great saving in the manufacture of 

As to the source of the supply of these salt wells 
much speculation has existed. Hon. Thomas Spen- 
cer, former Superintendent of the Salt Springs, in a 
letter to Hon. George Geddcs, published in 1859, 
says : " We only know that we penetrate the earth in 
alluvial deposits at various points bordering upon 

Onondaga Lake, to the depth of from qne hundred 
to four hundred feet, and find the brine in a deposit 
of gravel resting upon a hard pan, (impervious to 
water,) which seems to form the floor or bottom of 
our salt basin. All beyond this is mere conjecture. 
Eminent geologists, who have devoted much time 
to the investigation of this subject, have, I believe, 
uniformly arrived at the conclusion that the source 
from which our brine is derived is buried deep be- 
neath the mountains or hills south of us, and con- 
veyed to the points where we find it by subter- 
ranean currents of water which have passed through 
the salifcrous material and dissolved it." This is 
the general opmion, but Mr. Spencer himself was 
of the belief that there is deposited nnmcdiately be- 
neath Oiwndaga Lake a solid mass of rock salt 
which is being gradually dissolved and flows to the 
points where we find our brine. He alludes to the 
analogy between these and the salt springs in the 
valley of the Holston, in Southwestern Virginia, 
and those in the valley of the Weaver, near Liver- 
pool, England, in both of which the brine is found 
in immediate contact with the salt rock. Kut his 
chief reason for adopting this theory is the peculiar 
formation of the shores and bottom of the lake, 
which is worthy of notice aside from any solution 
it may afl'ord of this problem. 

On all sides from one-eighth to one-fourth of a 
mile from the shores the water of the lake is quite 
shallow. At this distance there is uniformly a bold 
and precipitous bank where the water is from fifteen 
to twenty feet deep. Beyond this the water deepens 
very gradually till you reach the center of the lake, 
which is about sixty feet deep. This precipitous 
bank at such a uniform distance from the shore, 
seemed to Mr. Spencer unaccountable unless it 
marks the outline of a bed of rock salt, which, as it 
is gradually dissolved, allows the loose and alluvial 
deposit above it to settle down, and in this way the 
abrupt bank is formed and preserved. Otherwise, 
the sediment which has been accumulating for ages 
would be deposited in a uniform manner from the 
shore to the center of the lake. Hon. George 
Geddes has given us from the soundings of this lake 
the following report : 

> The t'ollowing itaicmcnt ihowi where (he Onandj|a lali hat found iti market lince 1867 : 









1875. 1 

Of the mm-rnirnt \\t= 
l,«l 1,171 


,. n™ 



.. ....1 1,407. JOO 

v.. ■-••.4-. 

i 1.197.150 






















1,474.' 17 











7, 5*^719 







At 500 feet from shore. ... 3.5 feet depth 

" 700 " " " 6 

" 740 " " " 23 " " 

" 760 " " "... 25 " " 

" 800 " " " 27 " 

" 860 " " " 32.5 " " 

" Q20 " " " . . . . ''Q ^ " " 

In the middle of the lake. .55 " " 
Opposite a point two miles from the east end of 
the lake, the water is sixty-five feet deep in the mid- 
dle. At Liverpool, three miles from the east end, 
the depth is fifty-five feet, and many soundings prove 
this to be the general depth. Once away from the 
foot of the abrupt bank, and the bottom is so level 
that the deepest place exceeds the shallowest by 
only ten feet, and this depression is approached very 
gradually. Ten or fifteen feet of the bottom of this 
lake is marl, which has been precipitated from the 
water, and this marl lies on sand and clay with some 
strata of gravel. Every boring that has been made 
within this basin gives this general result, the only 
variations being in the thickness of the several 
strata, not in their character. The well near the 
road that crosses the beach at the head of the lake 
was intended to be the middle of the valley. The 
tube was sunk 414 feet through the following strata : 

White and beach sand 34 feet. 

Blue clay 100 " 

Light-colored clay 48 " 

Sand, coarse enough for mortar. . 209 " 

Clear gravel 6 " 

Quick sand 11 " 

Cemented gravel 2 " 

Red clay 3 " 

Red clay (hard) i " 

The bottom of this well is nearly fifty feet below 
the surface of the sea. At 134 feet a cedar log was 
encountered in a state of perfect preservation. This 
is not only a deep but an ancient valley. The fact 
of finding timber in this deposit goes to show that 
a large part of the excavation has been filled since 
the general emergence of the sea, and that a large 
part of the alluvium has been taken by the present 
water courses into the valley. This timber and the 
many other specimens encountered from time to 
time by the drills, were probably brought into the 
lake by some of its tributaries. However this may 
be, the marl and clay which lie above the timber 
have been deposited by the waters of the lake.* 

Mr. Spencer supposes that the fact that it has now 
a level bottom surrounded by steep banks of marl, 
clay and sand, is only to be accounted for by a sub- 
sidence of a large part of the bottom, and that such 
subsidence is caused by the gradual dissolving of 
salt that lies under it. It is certain that water hold- 

*Hon. George Geddes, Report, 1859. 

ing in solution earthy matter, never deposits it'in 
the form we now find the bottom of this lake. 

Convenience has thus far caused all the drilling 
for salt water to be made around the lake, and the 
lesson taught by every experiment has been that 
there is no strong salt water to be found out of the 
alluvium in the valley. And the thicker the allu- 
vium the better the prospect for strong water. 

We take the following extract from the Report of 
Dr. F. E. Englehardt, Chemist for the Onondaga 
Salt Springs, made in 1877: 

" The natural sources of all salt supplies are 
either rock salt, salt springs, salt lakes, or finally, 
the ocean. At Syracuse we have derived all our 
salt since 1797 from salt wells, amounting up to the 
present time to 250,000,000 bushels ; to which we 
must add at least 50,000,000 for loss incurred in the 
various manufacturing processes by leakage, making 
a grand total of 300,000,000. The number of wells 
sunk from time to time to produce this large amount 
cannot be less than 200, at an e.xpense of at least 
;$750,ooo. The question therefore naturally arises, 
and it is a most important one, in regard to our salt 
industry, from whence does this large amount of 
salt come, which would cover over a surface of 
120,000,000 square feet one foot high with solid 
salt .■* It certainly was not stored up in the ancient 
valley of erosion, below our feet, in the form of 
brine. Therefore it must occur in the solid form as 
a bed of rock salt. Up to date very few attempts 
have been made to ascertain the actual source of 
our brine. The first was made in 1838, when the 
State sank a well at Salina 600 feet deep, of which 
the Superintendent in his report for 1839 says : 
' Passing through the immense mass of red and 
blue shales and the limestone (Niagara) below, it 
terminated in the protean group (Clinton.) What- 
ever may be its source it is well observed by the 
learned geologist of this district, in his last annual 
report, that it is only to be sought in a southern 
direction from which all the waters naturally flow.' 
The Salt Company of Onondaga sank, in 1867, a 
well at Liverpool 715 feet deep, which, according to 
Prof Goessman, passed through 82 feet of alluvium, 
279 feet of red and green shales, 33 feet of calcari- 
ous shales, 106 feet of limestone formation, and 
finally 215 feet of various veins of shales. These 
are the only two attempts ever made to solve this 

Dr. Englehardt then considers the opinions of 
geologists entitled to the greatest weight, on ac- 
count of their scientific acquirements, in reference 
to the question touching the source of the Onon- 
daga salt, and finds them generally agreeing that 
the supply is derived from a mass of fossil or rock 
salt, situated under the hills to the south of the 
lake basin, and asks : " Would it not, therefore, be 
more economical on the part of the State to have 
this subject thoroughly examined by the State 
Geologist, and if found correct, dig a test well for 



the purjx)sc of either finding the salt rock, or at 
least saturated brine, thus avoiding the necessity 
of sinking new wells year after year, in proportion 
as the older ones become useless ? • • * 
Our salt works with an abundance of saturated 
brine, could produce at least 15,000,000 bushels of 
salt, which would in less than ten years return to 
the State in duty all the expense incurred in such 
an undertaking. Our salt industry would revive ; 
we could then successfully enter our old markets 
and compete with our rivals." 

Salt Springs Continued — Process 01 Manu- 


Pump Works — Solar Salt — Dairy Salt — 
Table Showing the Amount of Salt Made 
Since 1797. 

THE salt works of Onondaga are divided into 
four districts, viz : Syracuse, Salina, Liver- 
pool and Gcddcs. The amount of salt inspected 
in each and the aggregate amounts for the year 
1S76 are shown in the following table : 





>, 353,841 











396,' 54 







GcJdcl . . 




The strength of the brine in the four districts, 
including the old and new wells, from 1865 to 1876 
inclusive, is shown as follows, except for 1868, of 
which there appears to be no record : 

Due. Syracuie. Salina. Literpool. Geddef. Average. 

1865 66.17 66.47 60.65 66.17 64.86 

1866 65.90 65.81 58.34 65.90 63.98 

'867 64.44 64.35 64.35 63.95 64.27 

1869 60.98 60.36 60.36 59.02 60.88 

1870 59-49 5894 5894 5934 S922 

1871 63.00 62.35 62.35 63.82 62.88 

1872 65.10 66.00 66.00 66.20 65.82 

1S73 63.43 6543 6543 67.52 65.45 

1S74 63.80 66.15 66.15 67.15 65.81 

1S75 63.88 66.38 66.38 69.50 66.54 

1876 66.75 67.70 67.70 69.33 68.15 

The process of manufacturing salt by artificial 
heat has changed very little except in its methods 
and appliances ; the principle, that of evaporation 
under the power of heat, remaining the same. 
The first " salt works " was Comfort Tyler's fifteen 
gallon kettle suspended upon a pole across two 
crotched stakes ; then came the four kettle " block," 
then the ten kettle, and so on, up to twenty and 
forty kettles. Finally, Hon. Thomas Spencer 

erected a block containing one hundred and eight 
kettles. This, however, was thought to be too 
extensive for the most advantageous and economical 
manufacture, and usually the preference has been 
given to blocks of about fifty or sixty kettles. The 
kettles are mostly of the capacity of one hundred 
and twenty gallons, in form a half sphere, diameter 
four feet, made of cast iron and weighing from six 
hundred to one thousand pounds. These are sus- 
pended in two contiguous rows on brick walls, with a 
suitable furnace or fire bed at one end and the chim- 
ney at the other. The whole is covered with a suit- 
able building, with bins extending the entire length 
on both sides, to store the salt in and protect it from 
the weather until it is ready to be packed in barrels 
for market. The law requires it to lie in the bins 
fourteen days before it is considered suflficiently 
dry for packing. 

Wood has been heretofore chiefly used for fuel, 
but now the principal fuel is cosl. A cord of the 
best hard wood and a ton cither of anthracite or 
bituminous coal will produce about the same 
amount, that is, fifty bushels of salt, the evaporation 
being eight pounds of brine to one pound of coal. 
A block consisting of fifty kettles will require about 
five tons of coal every twenty-four hours and will 
therefore produce about two hundred and fifty 
bushels of salt daily. The cost of such a block 
with its appendages, is from five to six thousand 

There is, or should bc, attached to each block 
three cisterns, each of sufficient capacity to hold as 
much brine as may be required for two days' use. 
This is necessary for the purpose of aftbrding suffi- 
cient time to precipitate the impurities by chemical 
agents before it shall be supplied to the kettles. 
Caustic lime was at one time used for the purpose 
of cleansing the brine from a portion of its impu- 
rities, but it was used in such quantities in 
many instances by the operatives that it produced 
an impurity more injurious to the salt than that 
which it expelled, and its use had to be prohibited. 
Alum is now generally used in the place of lime. 

The simplest method for testing the impurities in 
salt, is to take pure water and saturate it with the 
salt to be tested, which for any given quantity of 
salt will require twice and half its weight of water, 
stir till the salt is fully dissolved. If the salt is 
combined with impurities, the solution will at first 
have a milky appearance, but after remaining at rest 
a few hours, the impurities will settle to the bottom 
of the vessel ; if the salt is pure, the solution will 
be transparent, and there will be no sediment. 

Salt is a solid that melts at a bright red heat 




and passes off without being decomposed. It is 
without odor ; color white or transparent. It crys- 
talizes in cubes from its solution in water, and when 
formed by rapid but quiet evaporation from the sur- 
face, it forms hopper-shaped crystals. Hot and 
saturated solutions, when cooled, frequently give 
long, slender, square prisms. Formed in hot solu- 
tions, agitated by boiling, the crystals are very small 
and broken into irregular shapes. When rosin, 
soap, butter, or any oily substance is added to the 
brine, it will not form crystals, but by evaporation 
deposit the salt in exceedingly fine grains. Salt 
usually attracts moisture from the air, but when 
pure this attraction is very slight. 

The process of manufacture consists in removing 
the water by evaporation, and at the same time get- 
ting rid of the impurities held in solution. In the 
boiled salt this is accomplished by first precipitating 
the oxide of iron in the cisterns connected with the 
works. Unless this o.xide is removed, the salt will 
have a reddish color. The alum used for its pre- 
cipitation improves the grain of the salt, making it 
finer and causing it to drain well. The sulphate of 
lime is precipitated as the point of saturation is 
approached, by pans placed in the bottoms of the 
kettles into which it falls and is lifted out during the 
boiling of the water. The bitterhigs, as they are 
called, which are thus removed, are almost pure 

In the year 1830 the first iron tubes were sunk 
with a view to procure water from a greater depth. 
At sixty feet brine was found from twenty-five to 
thirty per cent, stronger than at the old wells. Very 
soon many tubes were sunk, and for a long time all 
the salt water was raised by pumps through these 
tubes, and then forced up and accumulated in res- 
ervoirs from which it flows in wooden pipes to the 
various manufactories. These pumps are driven by 
water taken from the canal, or in cases where the 
water power cannot be applied, by steam engines. 
For many years the State was paid by the bushel 
for pumping the water, but afterwards all the expen- 
ses were merged in the one cent a bushel. Several 
companies at present own private wells and do their 
own pumping. 

The manner of drilling and tubing salt wells 
has been somewhat as follows : The old tubes 
used by the State were made of sugar maple logs, in 
sections of eight feet long, eight inches calibre, and 
turned in a lathe to a uniform thickness. These 
sections were cut off square, at the ends, and a recess 
turned into the timber on the outside to receive a 
band of iron ten inches wide and one- fourth of an 
inch thick, which is to rest on and confine the ends 

of the two sections when they are joined together. 
A circular dowel of cast iron, three inches wide is 
let into the ends of the sections, holding them 
together firmly, and excluding all water from the 
joints. In the first place a cast iron tube, three 
feet in length, is joined to a wooden section. This 
piece of iron tubing is sharp at the lower end, hav- 
ing the inside enlarged for a few inches up, leaving 
the outer diameter fourteen inches, to correspond 
with that of the wood. These sections are set up 
perpendicularly, and by a press forced into the soil. 
When a tube has sunk down far enough for another 
section to be added, the press is withdrawn and the 
section put on, and again the press is applied. This 
process is continued as long as the tube can be sunk 
without removing the earth that is inside. When 
this point is reached, which is sometimes sixty or 
seventy feet below the surface, the drills are intro- 
duced, and by first cutting the earth fine, a bucket 
made of iron, with a valve at its lower end, will 
take hold of and lift the contents of the tube to 
the surface. When hard material is met, sharp 
drills are used to cut it up. The shape of the lower 
section made of cast iron is such that at the very end 
of the tube its calibre is nearly equal to the outer 
dimensions, and by using drills which have springs 
placed on one side of their stems and edges which 
point outwards from the springs, holes may be cut 
through rock large enough to allow the tubes to 
pass. Various tools are called into requisition to 
reach down and grasp the substances and to over- 
come the obstacles encountered, which would require 
drawings for their illustration. 

The press that is used is simple : heavy pieces 
of timber supported by strong posts, connected 
with a platform through which the tube passes. 
This platform is loaded with stone, so that it will 
not lift when the heavy iron screws passing through 
the beam are turned down on the yoke which 
presses the tube. The rods to which the drills are 
attached are made of iron in sections of convenient 
length connected by screws. These drills are lifted 
by ropes worked by a steam engine, and let fall by 
means of a simple device, cutting and crushing by 
their weight whatever is in their way. 

A well thus obtained is connected by wooden 
tubes with a pump which sucks up the water. 
Formerly it was pumped directly from the bottom 
of the well to the distributing reservoir. But the 
difficulties in the way of having perfectly tight 
suction pipes were hard to overcome, and the 
method of "flooding" the pipes allowed the suction 
to draw in fresh water at every leakage, reducing 
the strength of the brine. A remedy for this evil 



was suggested by Mr. Gcddes in an elaborate article 
on the salt interest, published in the Transactions of 
the New York State Agricultural Society for 1859. 
" Now," says Mr. Geddes, " every stroke of the 
reciprocating, double-acting force and suction pumps 
has to overcome the inertia of the whole column of 
water from the bottom of the well to the distributing 
reservoir. This inertia is so great in long pipes that 
the pumps produce a vacuum at every stroke, and 
thus there is an inward pressure of the atmosphere 
of fifteen pounds to the square inch, which drives air, 
or when the pipes arc flooded, water into every pore 
and crevice of the pipes. Lifting pumps at the 
wells, moving slowly, with long strokes, would do 
away with much of the strain of the machinery, 
and remedy the present evil." 

This suggestion of Mr. Geddes is now pretty 
generally carried out. Rotary and plunge steam 
pumps have been placed at most of the wells, by 
which the brine is lifted to the surface, whence it is 
drawn through the pipes to the distributing reser- 
voirs by the pumps stationed at the pump houses. 
This improvement was inaugurated under the 
administration of Hon. Vivus W. Smith, first at 
Salina, and has since been generally adopted 
throughout the salt works. 

Iron tubes for sinking wells are now used in place 
of wooden ones. They arc made in sections often 
or twelve feet in length and screwed together by 
bolts through sockets at the ends of the sections. 
The apparatus for sinking them is nearly the same 
as that formerly emjjloyed for wooden tubes. 

By an act of the Legislature, embodying a few 
new provisions, passed April 15, 1859, all the pre- 
vious laws relating to the manufacture of salt on 
the Onondaga Salt Springs Reservation, were con- 
solidated and codified. The act of April 25, 1866, 
made some amendments to the provisions of the 
act of 1859, relating chiefly to the duties and 
salaries of subordinate officers and conferring upon 
the Superintendent the power to administer the 
oath to his deputies and employees. 

The Legislature of 1873, passed an act appropriat- 
ing $20,000 to be expended in sinking new wells, 
so as to furnish a better quality of water. The 
Superintendent in pursuance of thislawsank in 1875 
and 1876, seven wells in the locality which seemed 
to indicate the strongest water. These are good 
wells yielding brine of 71 and 72 degrees of the salo- 
meter. It was hoped that an appropriation would be 
made to enable the Superintendent to render these 
wells useful by connecting them with the pump 
house, and thus supplying the works with improved 
water, but a bill for that object and for general 

repairs was vetoed by the Governor. The Legisla- 
ture then, at the instance of the Superintendent, 
appointed a joint committee to visit the salt works 
and report upon the condition and wants of the salt 
interest. This committee met in Syracuse on the 
17th of February, 1876, and after a thorough inves- 
tigation, with a view to recommending such action 
by the Legislature as might be deemed most advis- 
able, unanimously reported in favor of a special 
appropriation to the amount of $23,000, to furnish 
a new water wheel, and the necessary machinery 
and fi.\tures to bring into use the new wells which 
had been sunk. These wells are now in operation 
furnishing a superior quality of brine. 

Of the 316 blocks on the Reservation, only 106 
were in operation during the year 1876, showing 
that the present capacity for manufacture exceeds 
15,000,000 bushels annually. It is no exaggeration 
to say that this limit may be reached with proper 
effort on the part of the manufacturers and a wise 
patronage on the part of the State. 

The Salt Manufacturers of Onondaga have in 
fixtures alone an investment of not less than four 
millions of dollars, and the business in addition to 
this, requires a working capital of fully half that 
sum to carry it on successfully. 

SoL.AK Salt is the name given to that which is 
made without the use of artificial heat. A law was 
passed in 181 2, authorizing the Superintendent of 
the Salt Springs to lay out two acres of land and 
lease the same, free of duty if he thought proper, 
to induce an experiment to be made for the produc- 
tion of salt by solar evaporation. This was prob- 
ably the first movement in the direction of the solar 
salt works, but nothing practical seems to have re- 
sulted therefrom till 1822, when Judge Forman pro- 
cured the passage of a law authorizing the erection 
of fixtures and awarding a bounty of three cents 
per bushel for all salt made by solar evaporation for 
a given number of years. Judge Forman in com- 
pany with Isaiah Townsend, Esq , went to New 
Bedford to investigate the method of manufacturing 
solar salt from sea water as it was then carried on 
at Cape Cod. They brought Mr. Stephen Smith, 
an expert in this kind of manufacture, with them to 
Syracuse, and he was made the agent of the Onon- 
daga Company, and Judge Forman of the Syracuse 
Company, and the two proceeded to erect the 
necessary fixtures for the manufacture of coarse or 
solar salt. 

At this time the Salina Canal terminated at the 
south edge of the village of Salina. Judge For- 
man took Governor DcVVitt Clinton to Salina to ex- 
amine the situation, and to see how the canal might 



be extended to Onondaga Lake and made available 
as a water power to drive machinery at the salt 
works. The following year this plan was carried 
into successful operation. This grand improvement 
in the method of elevating brine was made at the 
expense of the Onondaga and Syracuse Salt Com- 
panies, under the direction of Judge Forman ; but 
the fixtures, aqueduct, &c., were afterwards bought 
by the State. 

The structures for the manufacture of solar salt 
consist of long parallel rows of shallow wooden 
vats, sixteen or eighteen feet wide and supported by 
many small posts. The rows of vats are divided 
into what are called deep rooms, lime rooms, and 
salt rooms. They are arranged in various ways, as 
the shape of the ground or the fancy of the owner 
may dictate. In the works of the Solar Salt Com- 
pany, the water is drawn directly from a distribut- 
ing reservoir into the deep rooms which are about 
a quarter of a mile long. The water runs the 
whole length of the " string," and is then carried 
into the next parallel string by wooden pipes. 
It runs the whole length of this string back to 
opposite the place where it was introduced ; then 
again it is sent into another and another of these 
strings, and having been thus exposed to the 
sun and wind, in a shed of perhaps ten inches deep 
and sixteen feet wide, for a whole mile, it has rid 
itself of its o.xide of iron, has increased its strength 
from 70 to 84 degrees of the salometer, and is ready to 
be carried into the lime room, where it deposits its 
sulphate of lime. It is kept running along these 
rooms in a thinner sheet till the small cubes of salt 
are seen forming. Saturation is now complete and 
all the impurities are precipitated that can be. The 
water thus concentrated and freed from the lime 
and iron, is drawn into the salting rooms, where 
pure salt is rapidly deposited, having a coarse 
crystalization in the form of hoppers and cubes. 
There yet remains in the brine after the salt is re- 
moved impurities more soluble than the salt, viz : 
the deliquescent chlorides. About one-third of all 
the vats are required for precipitating the im- 
purities. The whole field is expected to yield fifty 
bushels to the cover of sixteen or eighteen feet. 
The word " cover " is derived from the moveable 
roofs which in fair weather are shoved off on lateral 
ways to allow the sun to reach the water. These 
covers have been adopted as the standard of meas- 
ure, and in speaking of a salt field, it is said to have 
so many covers. Space is required for the covers 
when off the vats and also for roads between the 
strings to cart away the salt. An acre of land re- 
quires sixty covers, costing about $30 each. Thus 

the cost is about Si, 800 an acre, which in an 
ordinary season will yield about 3,000 bushels of 
salt. The cost and space required are disadvantages 
which are fully met by the cheapness of the manu- 
facture when once the works are in operation. 

Formerly this salt was kiln-dried and ground in 
common flouring mills for dairy purposes, at con- 
siderable expense, but more recently mills have been 
invented which grind it with'out any drying by fire. 
Well drained in the store-house, it is put through 
the mills and ground to any desirable fineness for 
dairy or table use at a cost of not more than one 
cent a bushel. In a document presented to the 
Constitutional Convention in 1S67, Hon. George 
Geddes, then Superintendent of the Salt Springs, 
reported six mills for the grinding of salt, owned 
and valued as follows : 

James P. Raskins' Mill, estimated to be 

worth $40,000 

John W. Barker & Co's Mill 40,000 

Henry B. & Wilmot E. Burton's Mill 16,000 

Timothy R. Porter's Mill 16,000 

Ashton Salt Company's Mill 16,000 

H. White's Mill 10,000 

Total, $138,000 

The first, fourth and fifth are the only ones 
now used for grinding dairy and table salt. The 
Haskins Mill, enlarged to four times its origi- 
nal capacity, is operated by the Excelsior Dairy 
Salt Company. This and the Ashton Company's 
Mill, and that owned and operated by Mr. Timothy 
R. Porter, are of sufficient capacity to grind all the 
dairy salt required for the market. 

The " Factory Filled," or Dairy Salt, is made 
from both solar and common salt by a patent ma- 
chine process whereby not only mechanically mixed 
impurities are removed, but also the small quanti- 
ties of obnoxious chlorides of calcium and magne- 
sium are decomposed in a very careful manner. 
The largest factory filled establishment, the property 
of the Excelsior Dairy Salt Company, is at Salina, 
and known under the name of " Excelsior Mills." 
They consist of two immense wooden structures 
with about five acres of flooring. 

The salt is crushed between two sets of stones to 
the proper size, and gradually fed into two patent 
washing machines, wherein the salt moves in the 
opposite direction to the chemically prepared salt- 
brine employed, and becomes, by repeated washing 
with the fresh salt-brine, perfectly purified. 

After proper drainage the salt is dried in large re- 
volving iron cylinders. A powerful blast of hot air 
carries the moisture into the chimney. The ex- 
haust steam from the hundred-horse power engine 



serves for concentrating the salt-brine employed in 
washing the salt. The dried salt is now elevated 
10 the upper floors, where five sets of stones are in 
constant motion grinding it to the desired fineness, 
while a suction blower removes the dust. 

There is one other mill of about the same capaci- 
ty situated in Gcddae, owned by the Ashton Dairy 
Salt Company, in which the salt is made in the 
same way as in the " Excelsior Mills." 

The purity of the various salts made at Onondaga 
is unquestioned, reference being made to many an- 
alyses furnished from time to time under the direc- 
tion of the General Government and other author- 
ities. In regard to the dairy salt, the tests made by 
the Butter and Cheese E.xchangc of New York 
prove the superiority of the F. F. salt made at 
Syracuse over any other, as is shown by the fol- 
lowing uiaUrsis : 

English. Onondaga. 

VVatei _ 0.7880 0.6280 

Insoluble matter 0.0564 0.0264 

Sulphate of lime. 1.2272 O.7217 

Sulphate of magnesia 00769 

Chloride of calcium 00473 

Chloride of magnesium 0.0591 0.0346 

Sulphate of soda 

Chloride of sodium 977598 98.5242 

99.9674 999822 

The Superintendent of the Salt Springs, Hon. 
A. C. Powell, appends the following remarks : 

"This report is of especial interest at this time 
when the old prejudice against the use of home 
salt is beginning to give way, because it emanates 
from an association which has never been accused 
of any special partiality for Onondaga salt, but, on 
the contrary, from their local and commercial 
training, have been inclined to defend the use of 
the foreign article. In fact so far have their preju- 
dices governed them that in making contracts with 
dairy farmers for their butter and cheese, they have 
frequently inserted a clause binding them to the use 
of the Ashton salt. This entailed upon the farmer 
an additional expense of from one to one and a half 
dollars upon each sack used. Many of the farmers 
doubting ihc necessity of these requirements and 
restive under their enforcement, unless there was 
good reason for it, demanded of the association an 
authoritative opinion as to the comparative value of 
the ditVerent brands used by them. The only reli- 
able proof was the scientific test, and the matter 
was accordingly given in charge to two analytical 
chemists of high standing in the city of New York, 
who entered upon their duties without any confer- 
ence with parties at Syracuse, and without any 
knowledge of the localities where the several 
samples were prepared. These were given them by 
numbers and not by name, and the result was the 
above report, which I have copied in their own 
language and figures. This report is certainly 

gratifying to the friends of the home article, as 
showing a larger percentage of the pure chloride of 
sodium or salt, and a less aggregate of impurities 
in the two samples of Onondaga salt than in either 
of the eight samples of foreign salt analyzed." 

The following is a statement of the number of 
bushels of salt made at the Onondaga Salt Springs 
since June 20, 1797, which is the date of the first 
leases of lots, with the Superintendents and their 
respective terms of ofBce : 


1 ' ( - . 



■ Mil. 

■ 861. 

■ 86s. 

■ 869. 





■ T 

William Steven*. 








Sheldon Loan, 
AUL Danfortn, 







Wm. Kirkpllrick, 




P. H Riri^nm, 




^v. . ,.; 

IS 10. 































IS if.. 


1 8 17. 









N. H. E*rU, 










Rial Wright, 








rhomas Spencer, 






Rial Wright, 




Enoch .Marks, 






Robert Gere, 



1 8 JO. 





Hervey Rhoadet, 





Vivus W. .*iniitli. 





I do 

George Geddes, 
I do 




John M. Sironc, 


(A. C PoweU, 
I do 

I do 

Total lince 1797. 



» 5.474 




lis, 181 


195,000 1 









1,119, 18c 





■ <94l.>5a 






5- . 


5>i' .. 

7,07.-, bSi, 






6,: .. 



4.5i],49i I 













































!.*!>. S!l 

4. yll.CI I 


- II. 119 
1, 171 


. -,)91 
9.-^5 1,S74 
7.941. )8 1 


108,017,667 , 149,887,165 

* Preirioui 10 1841 the >oUr salt wat not reported leidrate, but included in ib« 
aggregate production. 





Topography of Onondaga County. 

HE county of Onondaga is nearly in the 
geographical center of the State. It is 
bounded north by Oswego, east by Madison, south 
by Cortland, and west by Cayuga county. Its 
general form is that of a rectangular parallelogram, 
having its lines in conformity with the cardinal 
points of the compass, the northeast corner being 
somewhat rounded by Oneida Lake and the south- 
west by Skaneateles Lake. From north to south 
the average width is thirty miles, from east to west 
twenty-si.x miles ; having an area exclusive of lakes 
of 459,229 acres. The county is divided into the 
towns of Lysander, Clay, Cicero, Elbridge, Van 
Buren, Salina, DeWitt, Manlius, Camillus, Geddes, 
Skaneateles, Marcellus, Onondaga, Pompey,' Spaf- 
ford, Otisco, LaFayette, Tully, Fabius, and the City 
of Syracuse. 

Most of the surface of this county slopes to the 
north and is drained into the River St. Lawrence, 
but the summit of the highlands that divide the 
waters that flow north from those that run south, 
and find their way by the Susquehanna River to the 
sea, is within this county, though near the south 
boundary ; but a small part of the whole area being 
drained to the south, and that chiefly in the towns 
of Fabius and Tully. 

About two-fifths of the whole surface of the 
county is flat and barely rolling enough to permit 
drainage. This flat land constitutes a part of what 
is known as the " great level," which extends along 
the south side of Oneida Lake to the base of the 
slope of the spurs of the Alleghany Mountains. 
The Erie Canal runs along the south side of this 
level land. That part of the county lying south of 
the canal, constituting about three-fifths of the 
whole, is embraced within the northernmost spurs 
of the mountain ranges, being uneven and com- 
paratively broken in its surface. A traveler cross- 
ing Onondaga county from east to west, or from 
west to east, if his route is on the plain, north of 
the highlands, will meet only slight hills and 
hollows, or rather mere undulations crossing his 
course, and streams that have their surface nearly 
level with the surrounding land. But if his route 
be across the line of the hill slope, he will descend 
into deep valleys, whose dividing ridges are many 
miles apart, and he will have one constant succes- 
sion of toilsome descents and ascents, enlivened 
and rendered pleasant by ever-recurring points of 
observation, from which the most splendid scenery 

lies pictured before him. Hillside, mountain top, 
wide valleys, lakes framed with forests and fields 
of living green, meet his gaze from the top of every 
eminence he passes. If he sees little of the grand- 
eur of rock-ribbed mountains, he is greeted with 
landscapes more mild, and of a softer tone, that 
bespeak more fitting residences of men, and he is 
delighted with the reflection that, of all he sees, 
there is nought but combines the useful with the 

The slope of the highlands is divided into five 
distinct ridges, all having a general north and south 
direction. The most eastern of them enters the 
town of Manlius from the east and extends north to 
the Erie Canal. The second ridge lies between 
Limestone and Butternut Creeks, and forms the 
highlands of Pompey, part of those of Manlius, 
LaFayette and DeWitt. The third range, between 
Butternut and Onondaga Creeks, comprises the 
highlands of the central part of LaFayette, the 
west part of DeWitt, and the east portions of Tully 
and Onondaga, and extends to the city of Syracuse. 
The fourth range, between Onondaga and Nine 
Mile Creeks, comprises the highlands of Otisco, 
the west part of Tully, LaFayette and Onondaga, 
and the east parts of Marcellus and Camillus. The 
fifth range, lying between Nine Mile and Skan- 
eateles Creeks, and Otisco and Skaneateles Lakes, 
comprises the highlands of Spafford, the west parts 
of Marcellus and Camillus, and the east parts of 
Skaneateles and Elbridge. 

The summits of the valleys between these 
ranges are in the towns of Pompey, Fabius and 
Tully, or south of the county line. The highest 
peaks of the ranges of hills are in Spafford, Pom- 
pey, Otisco and and LaFayette. The streams that 
drain these valleys to the south, are the head 
branches of the Tioughnioga River, one of the 
tributaries of the Susquehanna. Limestone and 
Butternut Creeks unite their waters and flow into 
the Chittenango, a few miles before that stream en- 
ters Oneida Lake. Onondaga and Nine Mile 
Creeks run into Onondaga Lake. The Skaneateles 
crosses into Cayuga county just before it discharges 
its waters into the Seneca River. Seneca River 
enters the west part of the county from Cross Lake, 
flowing between the towns of Elbridge and Lysan- 
der, and along the northern bounds of Van Buren 
and Geddes, to within less than half a mile of On- 
ondaga Lake, where it receives the outlet of that 
body of water ; then turning north, it runs along 
the west line of Clay to Three River Point, where 
it receives the Oneida River. At this place the 
combined waters take the name of Oswego River, 



which empties into Lake OnUrio in the city of 

These various streams and bodies of water, with 
their tributaries, arc so evenly distributed over the 
surface that the whole county is wonderfully well 
supplied with water for use and with power to drive 
machinery. Seneca River has a dam giving a fall 
at Haldvvinsville of eight feet, and another at 
Phoeni.v. either of which would give sufficient 
power for a large manufacturing town. The several 
streams that flow through the valleys in the south 
part of the county, fall, on an average, not less 
than eight hundred feet ; after they arc of sufficient 
size to be useful in driving machinery, and at the 
northeast corner of the county, the united waters 
of the Limestone, Butternut and Chittenango make 
the valuable water power at Bridgeport. Many 
beautiful waterfalls are formed by the branches 
of the principal streams as they flow down the 
sides of the ranges of hills to the valleys. The 
most noted of the cascades is known as Pratt's 

Such is a general outline of the county of Onon- 
daga. When it was first .seen by the race of men 
who now cultivate its soil and manage its vast in- 
dustries, it was covered with one dense forest of 
giant growth, excepting the few fields that the 
natives had subjected to their rude cultivation. 
What a series of struggles with the wilderness and 
with savage unsubdued nature, is implied in the 
contrast between that primitive condition and the 
present cultivated state of the country. 

"Through the deep wilderness where scarce the sun 
Can cast his darts, along the winding path 
The Pioneer is treading. In his grasp 
Is his keen ax, that wondrous instrument, 
That like the talisman transforms 
Deserts to fields and cities. He has left 
The home in which his early years were passed, 
And led by hope, and full of restless strength, 
Has plunged within the forest, there to plant 
His destiny. Beside some rapid stream 
He rears his log-built cabin. When the chains 
Of Winter feller Nature, and no sound 
Disturbs the echoes of the dreary woods, 
Save when some stent cracks sharply with the frost ; 
Then merrily rings his ax, and tree on tree 
Crashes to earth ; and when the long, keen night 
Mantles the wilderness in solemn gloom, 
He sits beside the ruddy hearth, and hears 
The fierce wolf snarling at the cabin door. 
Or through the lowly casement sees his eye 
Gleam like a burning coal."* 

* Alfred B. Street. 


Geologv of the Cou.ntv — Ci-iNTON Group — 
Niagara Limestone — Onondaga Salt Group 
—Water-lime Group — Oriskanv Sandstone. 

ONONDAGA presents more features of inter- 
est to the geologist than any other county 
of the State, or, perhaps, any like extent of country 
in the United States. Its rocks range east and 
west ; the order of succession being constant ; the 
lowest being at the northeast corner of the county, 
and the most recent at the southwest. 

Of the New York system of rocks, there outcrop 
in this county, the Clinton Group, Niagara Lime- 
stone, Onondaga Salt Group, Water-lime Group, 
Oriskany Sandstone, Onondaga Limestone, Corni- 
ferous Limestone, Seneca Limestone, Marccllus 
Shales, Hamilton Group, Tully Limestone, Genesee 
Slate, and the lower measures of the Ithaca Group. 

These rocks are best observed by commencing 
at the northeast corner of the county and moving 
to the southwest, crossing their outcrop nearly at 
right-angles and in line of the greatest dip of the 
stratification. The starting point will be Oneida 
Lake, where the Clinton Group outcrops ; the end 
of the journey, Skaneateles Lake. The elevation 
of the starting point above tide is 369 feet ; the 
highest point passed over, Ripley Hill, the summit 
between Skaneateles and Otisco Lakes, and the 
highest land in the county, being 1,982 J feet above 
tide. The distance, in a direct line from Oneida 
Lake to Ripley Hill, is thirty-two miles. 

The dip of the system of rocks in this direction, 
is very nearly twenty-si.\ feet to the mile, giving 
for the distance 852 feet. It is very uniform, and 
is greatest in a line a little west of southwest, while 
the general line of the outcrop is nearly cast and 
west. These rocks were deposited in that vast sea 
that once overspread this part of the Continent, all 
of them being sedimentary and filled with evi- 
dences of an abundant animal life. When they 
were lifted above the sea by those vast internal 
forces that were constantly changing the form of the 
crust of the earth, they were tilted from the level 
position in which they had been deposited. The 
point of greatest upheaval being far to the northeast 
of this county, only part of one of the slopes comes 
under our observation. 

The hills rise in a direction opposite to that of 
the dip of the rocks. The surface rising, in the 
thirty-two miles, over si.xtecn hundred feet, the bot- 
tom of our lowest rock falling in the same distance 
more than eight hundred and fifty-two feet, a sec- 
tion of these formations would show a wedge 2,465 



feet thick at the southwest end, regular on the lower 
side, but on the upper broken by unequal steps, due 
to the varying thickness of the different strata. 
The surface waters run northerly, while those un- 
derneath flow in the opposite direction. Springs 
are not to be looked for along the unbroken line of 
the outcrop of the rocks, but in the sides of the 
various valleys that cut this slope, at, or nearly at, 
right angles, or on the north sides of such valleys 
as are parallel with the line of the outcrop. Any 
attempt to procure water by flowing artesian wells 
would probably prove unsuccessful. 

The rocks that outcrop in this county once extended 
over the present surface far to the north, but by the 
action of glaciers and water, they have been broken 
down, ground up, and strewn along the valleys that 
have been scored out across the line of their present 
outcrop, and those with which they connect, far 
beyond the southern limits of the county and State. 
This point will be more fully discussed hereafter, a 
description of the rocks being first necessary. 

Clinton Group. — The northernmost and lowest 
rock is known as the Clinton Group. It is seen in 
the counties east and west of this, underlies the 
whole north line of this county, and appears on both 
sides of the west end of Oneida Lake. " This 
group is characterized by its iron ore beds and its 
marine plants."* The iron appears in this county, 
only in small quantities, the rock being covered with 
alluvium except at a few points. The best place to 
observe it is near the west end of Oneida Lake, at 
Brewerton. There the shale appears along the bank 
of the outlet and in the hill in the village. The 
north part of the towns of Lysander, Clay and 
Cicero lies on this rock, and the soils of these towns 
are to some extent made up of the materials of 
which it is composed. Prof Emmons says of it that 
its most interesting feature " consists in the rapid 
changes in the strata which enter into its formation, 
and which taken together form a most heterogene- 
ous assemblage of materials ; for this reason the 
group was called in an early stage of the survey, 
the Protean Group. The formation consists of 
layers and beds composed of green, blue and brown, 
sandy and argillaceous shales, alternating with 
greenish brown sandstones, conglomerates on peb- 
bly beds, and oolitic iron ore. These different kinds 
of material rapidly succeed each other. The parts 
of this formation which are most persistent are the 
green shales, whose color, however, inclines more 
to blue than green where they have not been exposed 
to weathering. The sandstone, which is rather 
harsh, in consequence of the preponderance of 

* Vanuxum. 

sharp, angular grains, is also greenish or greenish 
gray."* It rests on the Medina sandstone, which 
in turn rests on the gray sandstone of Oswego, 
" which," according to Emmons, " is identical with 
the gray, thick-bedded sandstone of the Hudson 
River series." These rocks furnish the material for 
much of the drift which covers the north part of 
the county. 

The Clinton Group is found in Ohio, Pennsylva- 
nia and Canada. In this State, according to Mr. 
Hall, it is not more than eighty feet thick. 

Niagara Limestone.— Resting on the Clinton 
Group, and next in order, we find the Niagara 
Limestone, so called from its being the rock which 
forms the famous cataract of that name. In Onon- 
daga this is a thin rock, thinner at the east side 
than at the west. It crosses the east line of the 
county at Bridgeport, forming a bar across Chitten- 
ango Creek and thus creating a valuable mill 
power. It outcrops at various places in the town 
of Cicero, and on Mr. Whiting's farm, where it is 
extensively quarried for the valuable building stone 
it aftbrds, it presents a surface of fifteen acres, 
but thinly covered with soil. It has been used to a 
limited extent for burning into lime. The layers 
are respectively fourteen, seven, three and four 
inches thick. Below these the courses are thin and 
of no value. The whole thickness at Whiting's is 
three feet. The seams are frequent, making the 
quarry easy to work. 

This stone has been quarried at several other points 
along its outcrop to the west line of the county. 
The most important openings are north of Bald- 
winsvilleand near the northwest corner of the town 
of Lysander. This rock contains " some geodes, 
lined with rhombic crystals of carbonate of lime, 
and gypsum, in small globular accretions, at Whit- 
ing's quarry."! " It differs so much in its appear- 
ance here from the western geodiferous limestone of 
the lower falls of the Mississippi that it would hard- 
ly be recognized as the same rock, if it could not 
be traced almost uninterruptedly in its western 
route ; but it marks the termination of the Ontario 
division, of the State Reports, and is the upper 
measure of a distinct era in geological history, 
whose importance cannot be well estimated. "J 

The Onondaga Salt Group rests on the Niagara 
limestone. The lower part of this formation is the 
Red Shale, upon which, and in some cases ming- 
ling with it is placed the Green Shale, the two con- 
stituting the whole group. Embraced within the 
Green Shale are the Gypsum beds, and the ver- 
micular, or porous lime rock. This group is very 

* Emmons. 

^ Vanuxum. 

\ Emmons. 



extensive, reaching from near the Hudson River 
quite across the State. Ail the Gypsum masses of 
Western New York are found in it, and from it 
flows all the salt water used for making salt in On- 
ondaga ami Cayuga counties. 

The Erie Canal runs near the line of division 
between the Red and Green Shales for the whole 
width of the county. The level district north of 
the canal and south of the Niagara outcrop, is 
nearly all based on the Red Shale, while the slope 
reaching from the canal to the Water-lime range^ 
on the south, is principally made up of the Green 
Shale. The average width of the Red Shale is 
about seven miles, that of the Green about three. 
The Red Shale, as computed from the dip and 
elevation, is three hundred and forty-one feet thick 
at the line of the Erie Canal south of Onondaga 
Lake ; the surface of that lake being very nearly 
three hundred feet above the Niagara limestone. 
It is generally covered with drift, composed of lime, 
gravel, sand, and small stones, made up mostly of 
the Medina sandstone, and the gray sandstones of 
Oswego county, with occasional beds of clay. 

The RtuI Sha/c is described by Prof Emmons as 
properly a rcti marl, soft throughout, except a few 
thin strata of sandstone near the top, but even these 
fall to pieces and cannot be employed at all for pur- 
poses of construction. Wherever it crops out it is 
covered with its own debris. He determined that 
one hundred grains of the most sandy part, and the 
same amount of the softer kinds, were combined 
in the following proportions : 

Sandy. Marly. 

Sile.x -.6S.25 68.86 

Pero.xide of iron and alumina 625 1498 

Magnesia 5.75 0.40 

Carbonate of lime 10.25 O-So 

Phosphate of alumina, and phos- 
phate of peroxide of iron 0000 0.14 

Organic matter 6.CX3 4.50 

Water i.oo O.48 

99.50 99.25 

In some places this Red Shale is so soft that it is 
extensively manufactured into brick ; in others, the 
sand is in layers, having thin strata of clay between 
them. " Nowhere has a fossil been discovered in 
it, or a pebble, or anything extraneous, except a few 
thin layers of sandstone and its different colored 
shales and slate."* 

Owing to whirls and eddies in those surges 
which beat down and ground up these rocks, 
numerous conical shaped hills, generally somewhat 
longer from north to south than from east to west, 
and differing in sire from a few acres to several 

* Vanuium. 

hundred, have been dotted over the surface of the 
western part of this formation like hay cocks in a 
meadow. The largest one is north of the valley of 
Nine Mile Creek. The Erie Canal passes around it 
on the south and the Central Railroad on the north. 
It is two hundred feet in height, containing about 
a thousand acres of drift, and so level is the plain 
on which it stands, that a canal without a lock 
might surround it. These drift hills also abound 
in the district embraced by the Green Shales, but 
the transported stones which cover them have a 
greater proportion of granite boulders of large size. 

Gypseous or Green Shales, Containing the 
Beds of Gvj'SU.m. — Immediately upon, and united 
with the Red Shales, we find the plaster-bearing. 
Green Shales. The line of division is not well 
determined, — the red, green, and yellow colored, 
with some of a blue cast, intermingle for a few feet 
in thickness. The color of this upper measure of 
the salt group is variable through its whole thick- 
ness, being sometimes nearly white, then drab, but 
it has received its name from the prevailing green. 
A better name would be the Gypseous Shales, as the 
term Green Shales is sometimes applied to portions 
of the Clinton Group. In the Gypseous Shale large 
masses are found that Prof Eaton called vermicular 
lime rock. This rock is essentially calcarious, strong- 
ly resembling porous or cellular lava. In color, 
it is a dark gray or blue rock, perforated everywhere 
with curvilinear holes, but very compact between 
the holes. These holes vary from microscopic to 
half an inch in diameter. They are generally very 
irregular, and communicate in most instances with_ 
each other. 

The resemblance of no small part of the rock to 
lava is perfect ; but the structure of the cells leaves 
no doubt as to their mineral origin. The cells show 
that parts of the rock were disposed to separate 
into thin layers which project into cells, evidently 
the result of the simultaneous forming of the rock, 
and of a soluble mineral, whose removal caused the 
cells in question. This view is confirmed by the 
discovery in this rock of those forms which are due 
to common salt, showing that a soluble saline min- 
eral had e.xisted in it, had acquired shape in the rock, 
and had subsequently been dissolved, leaving a cav- 
ity or cavities."* There are two masses of this 
vertniciilar rock — one low down, of about twenty feet 
in thickness, appearing on James street, Syracuse, 
and at various other places ; the upper mass is thin- 
ner ; but its thickness is not uniform. In tne lower 
mass, on James street, are some specimens of crys- 
talline character, being serpentines, the action of 





crystallization having been local, producing selenite 
sometimes erroneously called mica. 

Between the two layers of vermicular limestone 
are the hopper-formed masses. Perhaps these hop- 
per-formed rocks possess more interest for the geol- 
ogist than any other part of the group; because they 
are supposed to furnish proof of the origin of the 
salt water, of so much importance to the industry 
of this part of the State. These forms are pro- 
duced, it is asserted, by the crystallization of salt 
before the hardening of clay. The supposition 
being that while the whole mass was in the form of 
mud, having a large quantity of dissolved salt mixed 
with it, the salt, (in precisely the same manner 
observable in the process of the manufacture of 
solar salt,) was attracted particle to particle, and 
assumed the form of a hopper, the mud filling 
it up; then, by the action of water falling 
on the surface and percolating through the mass 
that had become full of cracks in the pro- 
cess of drying, the salt was dissolved and carried 
down upon the more compact strata below, and by 
the dip of the strata carried into rather than out of, 
the hill. No other common soluble mineral present- 
ing similar forms, and the fact that all our saltwater 
is found below, and near these hopper-formed rocks, 
give great force to this theory. The absence of 
salt around these hopper-formed rocks is accounted 
for by their being so near the surface that the rains 
must long ago have carried it away. If an e.xcava- 
tion were made further south, where the overlying 
rocks are thick enough to protect the salt-bearing 
rocks from the action of water, undissolved salt 
might be found. 

Prof Emmons gives the composition of the hop- 
per-formed masses as follows : 

Water of absorption .56 

Organic matter 500 

Silex .__„ 34-5<5 

Carbonate of lime 43 06 

Alumina and protoxide of iron 13-36 

Sulphate of lime i.oo 

Magnesia 2.17 


Besides the minerals described as being in, and 
belonging to this shale, we have yet to mention the 
beds of gypsum. This valuable mineral is found in 
various places in the upper parts of the Salt Group, 
throughout the whole county. It is extensively 
quarried in the towns of Manlius, DeWitt, On- 
ondaga, Camillus and Elbridge. The largest 
openings are in the town of DeWitt, north east 
from Jamesville. It is here found in masses 
more than thirty feet thick, of an excellent 

quality, and is sold on the bank of the canal, some- 
times, at less than one dollar per ton. Some very 
valuable quarries are worked in the town of Camil- 
lus. The railroad cutting along the valley of Nine 
Mile Creek exposes large masses. The whole thick- 
ness of the gypseous shale is 295 feet. 

One hundred grains in six ounces of rain water, 
yield, of the debris of the shale, 6.53, of which 1.03 
is vegetable matter, and 5.50 saline. Prof Emmons 
gives an analysis of the water of Mr. Geddes' well 
at Fairmount, which receives its water throuch a 
seam in the vermicular lime rock, as follows : 

One quart evaporated slowly to dryness, the last 
part of the process being performed in a platinum 
capsule, gave 

Solid matter S.72 

Organic matter 1.44 

Saline 7.25 

"The water of the Hydrant Company, which 
supplies Syracuse, contains forty grains of saline 
matter to the gallon. It consists of thechlorides of 
sodium and calcium, sulphates of lime and alumina, 
with some organic matter."*^ The springs that are 
discharged from these rocks deposit tufa. Only a 
few fossils are found in the upper part of the 
Gypseous Shales. Prof Hall assigns the rocks 
composing the salt group to a mud volcano that 
was " charged with saline matter and corroding 
acids which would alone destroy all organism." 
Vanuxum says that the salt group as a whole 
presents the same order of saline deposits, includ- 
ing iron, observed in the salt vats where solar 
evaporation is carried on. The first deposit in the 
vats is ferruginous, being red oxide of iron, and 
staining of a red color whatever it falls upon ; the 
next deposit which takes place is the gypsum ; the 
third is the common salt, the magnesian and cal- 
cium chlorides remaining in solution. The group 
shows first a thick mass, colored red with iron, be- 
ing its Red Shale ; above which are the gypseous 
masses ; towards the upper part of which are the 
salt cavities ; the sulphate of magnesia exists above 
the whole of these deposits, its existence there be- 
ing manifested by the needle-form cavities. 

Water lime is the name given to the next group 
of rocks. It rests on the Gypseous S/iales, and is in 
all 127 feet thick. The lower measures are irregu- 
lar in their formation, having uneven beds, with 
layers of varying thickness. This part of the rock 
is used mostly for farm fences, to which purpose it 
is well adapted, resisting the action of frost, and 
being so thin as to require little skill in laying, mak- 
ino- it the most durable fence known. That 

^ Emmons. 



part used for making cenicnt is on the top, and con- ' 
sists of two layers from three to four feet thick. 
" Color drab, dull in its fracture, and com|X)sed of 
minute grains with usually but few lines of division. 
The up|)er of these courses burns more easily than 
the lower. When burned, it is ground fine and 
mixed with sand — one part of lime to from two to 
six parts of sand, according to its quality and the 
speed with which it is desirable the cement should 
set. Owing to its proi)erty of preserving its form 
and hardening under water, it is used with stone or 
brick in the construction of cisterns, and without 
any other substance but sand, for i)ipcs for conduct- 
ing water from springs. Such is its strength that a 
cylinder of pure cement and sand, six inches in diam- 
eter, of one inch calibre, buried three feet in the 
ground, after some years became closed at the lower 
end, and the pipe sustained the pressure of a column 
of water forty feet in height. The best practical 
tests for persons unskilled in judging of the quality 
of this lime for cement, are : The stone when burned 
must not slake on the application of water ; when 
ground, the cement must set quickly on being wet ; 
keep its form under water, and harden till it becomes 
as hard as a well burnt brick. It is sometimes in- 
jured by being burned too much, and very often it 
is not ground fine enough. Mr. Delafield says of 
water lime: "If it contains twenty per cent of clay, 
it will slake, but will also cement. If it contains an 
amount of clay equal to thirty per cent it will not 
slake well, nor heat, but forms an excellent cement." 
Sanzin, in his work on Civil Engineering (p 20) says : 
" Being master of the proportions of hydraulic lime, 
we can give any degree of energy required Common 
lime will bear even twenty per cent of argile ; medium 
lime — that is, that which is a mean between com- 
mon and meagre lime — will take from five to fifteen 
per cent of argile. When we augment the quantity 
to forty parts of clay to one hundred of lime, the 
lime does not slake, the mixture is pulverant, and 
when moistened, it becomes solid, immediately, when 
immersed into water." The Onondaga Water-lime 
is simply an impure lime, having clay enough in it 
to make it resist the action of water. Large quan- 
tities of hydraulic cement arc manufactured from 
our rocks and sent in barrels wherever required. 

There are some courses of this group known by 
the local name of blue lime, which being too pure in 
lime for cement, are burnt for quick lime, and are 
also used (or building purposes. Six varieties of 
fossils found in it, are represented in the State Re- 

Localities. — About three-fourths of a mile south- 
west of the village of Manlius, this rock forms the 

"falls" in Limestone Creek. "The lower layers 
contain a large proportion of ordinary lime, free 
from all accretions of a silicious nature, and there- 
fore make a first quality of lime." The most exten- 
sive exposure of water-lime is about a mile south of 
the village of" Manlius, at Brown's saw mill. But- 
ternut Creek, below Jamesville, near Dunlop's mill, 
exposes it in large quantities. It is also found in 
Onondaga Valley and Split Rock quarry, where it 
appears in the face of the precipice all along for 
miles. The only additional localities necessary to 
mention are the crossing of Nine Mile Creek and 
Skaneateles Creek, over the rocks. The width of 
surface underlaid by water-lime varies constantly ; 
small outliers, in some places, extend over the gyp- 
seous group, but in many places the outcrop is pre- 
cipitous. On the whole, perhaps, the average width 
of land on the outcrop is not more than a quarter 
of a mile. 

Okiska.w Sandstone. — This rock, which lies 
next above the water lime, is of variable thickness 
in this county, owing to the uneven surface upon 
which it was deposited. At Manlius it is but a few 
inches in thickness, while to the southwest of the 
village of Onondaga Valley it is seven feet, and at 
Split Rock there is only a trace to be seen. Again it 
thickens, and on the road from Elbridgc to Skane- 
ateles it is about thirty feet thick. This sandstone, 
with some exceptions, consists of medium sized 
quartz sand, such as is derived from the primary 
rocks. The fossils are interesting, and may be 
found represented in the State Reports. Some of 
this stone from the Skaneateles quarries was used 
in constructing locks when the Erie Canal was first 
made, and was found to wear very well. It is used 
in the vicinity of the quarry for various structures. 

Geologv Continued — Onondaga Limestone — 


— Makcellus Shales — Hamilton Group — 
TuLLV Limestone — Genesee Slate — Ithaca 

the ascending order is the Onondaga lime- 
stone, reaching in a well defined wall across the 1 
county, and easily traced from the Hclderberg near 
Albany to Lake Erie. This rock may be easily 
recognized by its many fossils, its gray color, crys- 
talline structure and toughness. " It abounds in 
smooth encrinal stems wiuinites lavis) which is 
found only in this rock in the State ; some of these 




stems are about an inch in diameter, and usually 
they are over half an inch. In almost all cases 
they are replaced by lamellar carbonate of lime."* 

At Split Rock, where it is extensively quarried, 
it is twenty-four feet thick. Its power to resist the 
action of air, water and frost ; its strength and 
ability to sustain great weight without crushing ; 
the ease with which it may be worked ; its evenness 
of texture and soundness, giving it capability of be- 
ing worked into elaborate mouldings, (the Court 
House in Syracuse presenting a sample of this 
quality ;) render it the most valuable stone for 
building of any known in this country. The Roch- 
ester Aqueduct and other principal structures on 
the enlarged Erie and Oswego Canals in this 
vicinity, have been made from this stone. It is used 
as a marble, bearing a hfgh polish, and presenting a 
beautiful appearance when so polished as to bring 
out the fossils perfectly. It is generally nearly pure 
lime, and when burned, will, in the process of slaking, 
so increase in bulk that two parts become five. 

Its analysis by Lewis C. Beck, gives 

Carbonate of lime 99-30 

Oxide of iron .20 

Insoluble matter, (sillica and alumina.) .40 

The slaked lime is of purest white. This rock 
forms terraces in some places, in others it presents 
perpendicular walls for its whole thickness. The 
two most marked precipices are, the one at Split 
Rock, and the other northwest of Jamesville, near 
one of the Green Lakes. The top of the precipice 
at Split Rock is 810 feet above tide. Very little of 
the surface is exposed, the overlying rock in most 
places covering, and extending to, and forming part 
of, the perpendicular precipice before referred to. 
The local name is gray lime. The directions of the 
vertical joints of this rock are N. 33 to 35 degrees 
E.,and S. 55 to 57 degrees E., dividing the benches 
into convenient size for working. The surface 
shows slight scratches, running north and south. 
" The lower ledges of the limestone frequently con- 
tain black pebbles whose water-worn character 
admits of no doubt. When fractured they show 
identity with the sandstone nodules or accretions 
found in the Oriskany sandstone."* 

CoRNiFEROUs LiMESTONE. — Next above, and ly- 
ing on the Onondaga, are the Corniferous and 
Seneca Limestones, which are divided in the State 
Reports merely because the upper measures have 
a fossil \ Stmphoinena Lincata) not found below. 
The line of division between the Helderberg series 
and the next above is determined by these fossils. 

* Vanuxum. 

Corniferous is the name given to this limestone 
by Prof Eaton in his survey of the Erie Canal, 
from its containing flint or horn stone in nodules 
arranged in parallel layers. The lime furnished by 
this rock is not pure, especially the lower layers ; 
the upper, or what is called Seneca limestone, is 
extensively quarried at Marcellus, showing vertical 
joints and giving nearly square corners. The 
courses at the top of the quarry are about seven 
inches thick and lie immediately below the Black 
Shales ; lower down they are thicker. The Corni- 
ferous limestone may be traced by its outcrop all 
the way through the county, the top of the rock 
sometimes barely covered with earth, presenting 
plateaus which slope to the south and west in the 
direction of the dip. Near Manlius village, west of 
Jamesville, and north of Onondaga Hill, these plains 
are widest. The general width of this exposure of 
Corniferous and Seneca Limestone is less than half 
a mile. At Split Rock it is 849 feet above tide, 
and is forty feet thick. With it terminates the 
Helderberg division. 

Marcellus Shales is the name given to the 
black rock that rests on the Helderberg range. " It 
is characterized by its color and by exhaling a 
bituminous odor when rubbed. It is a slate, thin- 
bedded and easily broken, and disintegrates rapidly 
under the action of water and frost. The silico- 
argillaceous matter predominates over the calcari- 
ous. There is sufficient lime to effervesce with 
mineral acids. The lower part of the rock is more 
highly charged with lime than the upper."* It 
contains small particles of coal, and many excava- 
tions have been made in it in the hope of finding 
this valuable mineral in sufficient quantities to 
make the mining profitable. These excavations are 
no longer made, and the general spread of geologi- 
cal knowledge has taught the public' that there is 
no hope of finding coal in this rock in remunera- 
tive quantities. Its peculiar fossil is the Marce/ltis 
Goniatite, which, with some others, is represented 
in the State Reports. It also abounds in oval bodies 
called Seftaria, which are impure limestone, the 
materials of which were deposited along with the 
shaly matter ; but, in consequence of the play of 
affinities, the calcarious part separated from the 
oreat mass of shaly matter, and the molecules com- 
bined to form the bodies under consideration. Dur- 
ing the process of drying, the argillo-calcarious 
matter shrinks and cracks, forming thereby septa, 
which are subsequently filled by infiltration, either 
with calcite or the sulphate of barytes or stron- 
tian."t At Manlius, a black limestone, from five to 


\ Emmons. 



ten feet thick, is found in the midst of the shales. 
It is weathered out into extremely rough masses, so 
that the persons who worked it usually called it 
"chawtd rock'.' Its composition docs not difl'er ma- 
terially from that of the Septaria, and w ill increase in 
value and im()ortance when it is known that these 
masses make the true Roman Cement.* 

There is a /iiii/( in the rock about a mile west of 
Manlius village. It is quite local. At Marcellus 
numerous sink holes exist in the underlying stones, 
into which portions of the upper masses have fallen. 
This shale is said to be thicker in Onondaga County 
than anywhere else, forming throughout the base of 
the next group, between which and the one now 
under consideration no well defined line of division 
has yet been observed. The Marcellus Shales, in 
addition to lime, contain carbonate of magnesia. 

The line between the rocks denominated in the 
State Reports Marcrllus and Hamilton Shales, is not 
easily determined except by an examination of the 
fossils. As we ascend the sloj)e the rocks become 
more sandy, lose their color and slaty character, 
until we find ourselves upon those which arc in the 
main silicious. containing very little calc.irions or 
magnesian matter. 

IIamii,to.v Group. — "This group abounds in fos- 
sils, such as shells, corals, trilobites, fucoids, and a 
few plants resembling those of marine origin. In 
organic remains it is the most prolific of all the New 
York rocks. (The characteristic ones are repre- 
sented in the State Reports.) It extends from near 
the Hudson to Lake Erie, and consists of shale, slate 
and sandstone, with endless mixtures of these ma- 
terials They form three distinct mineral masses as 
to kinds, but not as to superposition or arrangement, 
though generally the sandy portion is in the middle 
of the group."* This rock, with the Marcellus 
Shales, covers a large part of the county south of 
the Helderbcrg range, appearing in the towns of 
Manlius. Pompcy. Onondaga, Marcellus, Skane- 
atcles, SpalTord, LaKayette, Otiscoand Tully. The 
thickness of the Marcellus and Hamilton Shales, 
by computing the dip, is fy()\ feet. The top of the 
group, at a point east of and near Skaneatclcs Lake, 
is 1 , 1 1 1 feet above tide. The two points from which 
this calculation is made, — one of them being near 
the north east corner of lot 83 of the town of On- 
ondaga, the other on the east side of Skaneatclcs 
Lake, — are distant from each other sixteen and a 
half miles in a direct line. The whole surface em- 
braced in this distance is cut into deep valleys run- 
ning nearly north and south, and at the crossing of 
every stream that flows down the slopes, the rocks 

• Vinuium. 

are exposed in steep precipices. In many places 
they are denuded of their own debris, and as a result 
vegetation is comparatively stinted. 

The Tfi.LV rests on the Hamilton 
Group and marks the line of division between it and 
the Genesee Slates. This rock varies from fourteen 
to twenty feet in thickness. It is an impure, fine- 
grained limestone, "dark or blackish blue, breaking 
into irregular fragments, owing to the particles of 
carbonate of lime separating from a mixed mass of 
innumerable points. It makes a good but not white 
lime."* It is the most southern mass of limestone 
in the State. There are two fossils wholly peculiar 
to it — the Cuboidal Atrypa, and the Tully Ortliis — 
which are represented in the State Reports. This 
rock is seen on the west side of the Delphi \'allcy 
and at Tinker's Falls, near the county line, " where 
the water flows over the rock about fifty feet, which 
projects ten or fit'teen feet beyond the shale beneath 
it. The usual fossils are present." It also appears 
at various points in the town of Tully, from which 
it takes its name. On the west side of the valley 
of Onondaga Creek and in the vicinity of Vesper, 
it has been burned for lime. It underlies nearly the 
whole of the town of Otisco. The valley of Otisco 
Lake cuts it, the outcrop being seen on both sides 
of the lake. About a mile south of Horodino, in 
the town of Spaflbrd, it presents a bold wall from 
which stone for lime and building has been taken. 
The line of the outcrop is easily traced along the 
east side of Skaneatclcs Lake, from this point till 
the county line is passed. This rock probably 
underlies and makes the floor of Cortland Valley for 
a great distance south. The most northerly point 
at which it appears is in the northeast corner of the 
town of Otisco ; but from the elevation of the town 
of Pompcy, it must underlie a considerable portion 
of that town, although it is so covered with soil that 
it cannot be seen. The Tully limestone terminates 
all those deposits in which calcarious matter forms 
an essential part. 

The Ge.nesee Slate resting on the Tully lime- 
stone, underlies and forms the hills and most of the 
soils in the south part of the towns of Pompcy, Fabius, 
Tully, Otisco and Spaflbrd. Vanuxum says of the 
rock.that it is an argillaceous fissile mass, which, with 
great propriety, might be termed in English local 
geological phraseology, a »iud rock. The few fossils 
it contains are represented in the State Reports. 
It may readily be known by its black color, slaty 
formation and position, — being between the Tully 
limestone and the sandstone flags of the base of 
the Ithaca group. 

• Vanuxum. 




The Ithaca Group is the last formation that 
requires a description in giving the geology of 
Onondaga county. But a small portion of the soil 
is formed from it, as it merely appears on the tops 
of the highest hills. Vanuxum describes it as " a 
mass of hard, coarse shale and sandstone, dark in 
color, often brown after exposure, owing probably 
to manganese." A characteristic fossil is found 
near, but south of the cou^ity line, at Scott's 
Corners, the Intcrsiriate Strophomena, which is 
represented in the State Reports. Above these 
rocks, but beyond the limits of this county, rise 
the Chemung, Catskill, Old Red Sandstone. Con- 
glomerate and Coal Measures, all representing a 
northern outcrop, and having a dip that goes to 
show that the whole belongs to one upheaval from 
the sea, in which these rocks that furnish the 
material for our soils were formed during those vast 
periods of time which the Supreme Being has 
employed in storing up these resources for supply- 
ing the comforts that now surround man's happy 
dwelling places. 

Marl and Tufa. — " Marl is a carbonate of lime 
which has separated from its solvent in water, the 
latter preventing its particles from cohering 
and allowing them to subside in the state of calcari- 
ous mud. • It is in many cases constantly depositing 
from water holding lime in solution."* On the 
north side of the Helderberg range there are exten- 
sive beds of marly tufa that are due to the dissolv- 
ing of the calcarious rocks of that group. On the 
south side marl is found in various places, due to 
water percolating through limestone gravel that has 
been transported from the Helderberg group. The 
southern deposits are inconsiderable when com- 
pared with the great northern beds which extend, 
nearly unbroken, from east to west across the coun- 
ty. The principal localities of marl, due to drift de- 
posits, are in the towns of Fabius and Tully. In 
both these towns marl has been fashioned into the 
form of brick, dried and burned into lime, making a 
very superior article for finishing walls, and selling 
at about twice the price of lime burned from the 
common limestone. The lakes of Tully are con- 
stantly depositing marl. The waters that supply 
these lakes run through pebbles of limestone and 
are thus charged with calcarious matter, which in- 
crusts every twig or obstruction that it meets. 
Cicero Swamp is a bed of lake marl. Onondaga 
and Cross Lakes have many feet of it all over their 
beds. The railroad, as it approaches the tunnel east 
of Syracuse, exposes, by the excavation, a section 
of great interest, " showing in the ditch, clay. End 

* Vanuxum. 

two deposits of marl, which separate three deposits 
of muck, with stumps and roots chiefly of tamarack 
and balsam."* Southeast of the village of DeWitt, 
in excavating for the canal feeder, stumps were 
found some feet below the surface, showing that a 
forest had been destroyed by some rise in the water, 
caused perhaps by a dam of driftwood. The trees 
died and decayed to the surface of the water, the 
stumps being preserved by the water. In time 
the pond filled up with alluvium, and again there 
was a forest of cedars. In the swamp north of the 
canal, in the town of Van Buren, there is an ex- 
tensive deposit of marl, and it is found in various 
other places, in some cases pure enough to make 
valuable lime, and in others so mixed with earth as 
to be merely a calcarious clay. 

There are many places south of the Helderberg 
range where the springs deposit calcarious matter 
in the form of tufa. These masses are constantly 
increasing as the water flows over them, and casts 
off" leaves and parts of trees around them. Cal- 
carious tufa is found all along the base of the 
Helderberg range wherever a spring flows out. 
Below the gypseous rocks it is seen in large masses. 
These rocks being permeable to water, this fluid 
becomes charged with lime, and when it appears on 
the surface the tufa is deposited. The deposits 
are numerous in the towns of Manlius, De Witt 
and Camillus. " Along Nine Mile Creek it has 
the crystalline character of alabaster, showing suc- 
cessive layers also, and in quantity suitable for the 
smaller purposes for which that beautiful substance 
is used when polished."! Ferruginous tufa, stained 
with hydrate of iron, is found two and a half miles 
northeast of Syracuse in quite an extensive deposit, 
on land formerly owned by Mr. Wheeler. There 
is another and similar one on Nine Mile Creek 
below the village of Marcellus. These deposits of 
ferruginous tufa, and a small one of bog ore, on 
the Oneida River, are due to the decomposition of 
rocks containing iron, or are derived from the soil 
by the agency of decomposing vegetable matter. 
In the town of Fabius, on Limestone Creek, there 
is . a large quantity of tufa, showing the three 
varieties, — the earthy, solid or horsebone, as it is 
called, and the ferruginous. 

Peat, or Muck, is found in great abundance in 
the swamps and low grounds. The conditions nec- 
essary for its production, are permanent moisture, 
with a subsoil of either clay or marl, impermeable 
to water. It is formed of successive growths of 
vegetation which have died and become brown or 
black. It is spongy and retentive o f water, and by 

* Vanuxum. t ^'''<'- 



successive growths has raised its bed, so that it 
appcats in mounds and hillocks. In some localities 
this is aided greatly by deposits of tufa constantly 
forming beneath it. Usually the surface is soft, 
yielding to pressure and trembling when walked 
upon. In the town of Clay, in this county, are 
extensive beds of peat, which, judging from experi- 
ments recently made by Mr. James M. Hart, promise 
to be of great importance as fuel. An analysis 
of a si)ccimcn of compressed peat, from the works 
of Mr. Hart, made by Francis E. Engclhardt, I'h. D., 
Chemist for the Salt Company. Syracuse, in March, 
1877, gave the following result : 

Moisture cxjx:llcd at 212 Fah't — 12.17 

Volatile matter - -- 52.84 

Fi.xed carbon — 2462 

Ash. 10.37 

The sjiecific gravity was found to be, after the es- 
cape of the moist air, above 1,300. 

Of the peat c/iarcoal, also made at the works of 
Mr. Hart, Ur. Engelhardt gives the following 
analysis : 

F'i.xed carbon .- 67.20 

Moisture, volatile matter and ash 32.80 



Agkiculturk — Classiiication of Soils — Cli- 
mate— Timber — Clearing Land— Picture of 
Pioneer Life— Productions of the County. 

THE soils are the basis of agriculture, and 
therefore require first to be considered in any 
treatise on that subject. North of the Erie Canal, 
in Onondaga county, the sandy and clay soils prevail. 
The sand predominates in some districts, in others 
the clay, while in larger areas they arc mi.xcd in the 
proportions best calculated to keep the soil from 
being too heavy and tenacious, on the one hand, or 
too loose and friable, on the other. This desirable 
combination is known as loam, and is the character 
of a large portion of the drift soil in the northern 
part of the county. 

In a belt lying along the south side of the canal 
and extending to the Marccllus Shales, there is less 
of drift and the soil is more directly due to the de- 
comiwsition of the underlying rocks of the salt 
group and the I Icldcrbcrg range. These soils come 
under the head of clayey loams. The rest of the 
county to the south is divided by valleys and ranges 
of hills, whose general course is north and south. 
The valleys are covered with drift and alluvium, 

while the hills have soils formed principally from 
the decomposition of the shales that underlie them, 
constituting a soil that would best be classed as 

The drift of the northern part of this county is 
derived from the rocks which outcrop here and 
from those which are seen farther to the north. 
The Medina sandstone contributes largely to the 
soil, in which we find also considerable portions of 
granitic rocks. The decomposing feldspar and mica 
of the granite give alkalies to the soil, which arc so 
combined with silica that they are comparatively 
unafl'ected by the water, and are retained in the soil 
for the use of plants The lime of the Helderberg 
range constitutes the principal part of the drift of 
the southern valleys, and therefore wheat is pro- 
duced in them with profit. The late David Thomas, 
in a letter to Dr. Emmons, says : 

" Generally it is good wheat land as far south as 
the detritus from our limestone formations has been 
abundantly spread. The current thai swept over this 
country took a southerly direction, and wherever the 
slate rocks were exposed to its action, a portion of 
them became mixed with the soil ; thus, near such 
localities, the soil is less calcarious and less favorable 
to wheat. The drift from our rocks grows less and 
less as we go south, and as it grows scarcer, the 
fragments have become more worn and rounded in 
their progress, giving a less and less proportion of 
the diluvial formation. About twenty miles south 
of the Pennsylvania line every trace of our rocks 
disappears. The people residing on the Susque- 
hanna used to supply themselves with lime by gath- 
ering and burning small fragments of rounded 
stones from the shores, much of them not larger 
than gravel, and which doubtless were swept from 
this district." 

Of the formation of soils Dr. Emmons says : 

" The composition, liability to solution, the struct- 
ure and position of rocks, have an important bearing 
on the discussion of the formation of soils. Each 
of the groups respectively impart to the overlying 
soils some of their distinguishing characteristics, 
and in a good measure make them what they are. 
Transporting agencies modify them by interming- 
ling soils that have originated from rocks that are 
to be found at a distance. Unless the beds of drift 
are deep, it will be found that the underlying rocks 
give a stronger character to the soft materials than 
is usually supposed. Limestones are liable to a con- 
stant loss of materials by the solvent properties of 
rain water, which holds carbonic acid in solution. 
This is favored by rough and uneven surfaces on 
which water will stand. Polished surfaces are acted 
on but little. The shales and slates disintegrate 
rapidly- water and frost arc the agents." 

Of the wearing down of silkious limestone, or 
calcarious sandstones, he says : 

"The lime dissolves out, leaving the sand on the 
surface, which falls ofiand leaves a new surface, from 



which the lime is dissolved and the sand falls. The 
dissolved lime, however, does not all pass into and re- 
main in the soil, but is carried down and forms, very 
frequently, with other materials, a hard pan, or pud- 
dling stone, or concretions, the lime acting as a 
cement. In other instances it percolates into and 
through the rocks and forms stalactites, veins or 
other deposits. Lime is removed from the soil in 
the same manner that it is from the rocks Thus 
this element is removed by vegetation and the 
ordinary action of rain water." 

These extracts, with what else has been said as 
to the formation of soils, it is judged will be suffi- 
cient for a general description of the soils of Onon- 
daga county. The composition of the rocks from 
which they are formed being given in the Geology, 
it is thought that a careful study of their constitu- 
ents, with some practical discrimination on the part 
of farmers, with reference to drift and alluvial forma- 
tions, will enable them to know, with sufficient 
certainty, what their lands are composed of, with- 
out special analysis. 

The Climate of the county is favorable to the 
growth and perfection of the fruits, vegetables and 
cereals usually cultivated, although considerable 
difference of temperature is shown in the same sea- 
son within the limits of the county, on account of 
different degrees of elevation. The differences, for 
example, between the average temperature of Pom- 
pey Hill and that of Onondaga Valley, has been 
shown by observations taken at the academies of 
the respective places, during a period of sixteen 
years, to be 4.34 deg. Fah't. The difference in alti- 
tude between the two places being 1,343 feet, the 
effect of elevation on temperature would be equal 
to one degree of the thermometer to each 309J 
feet, which agrees substantially with what has been 
claimed by Coffin and others. 

The effect of this elevation was practically illus- 
trated on the 15th day of September, 1859, the 
coldest day for the season ever known here. Every- 
thing throughout the high portions of the county 
was destroyed by frost, while it was observed by 
those descending into the valleys that tobacco and 
corn were comparatively uninjured. The frost is 
not always as severe on Pompey Hill as the tem- 
perature would indicate, on account of the free cir- 
culation of air, which sometimes prevents damage 
to crops when those in the valleys are touched and 
injured. The year referred to above was an excep- 
tional year, and yet little damage was done to crops 
except in the highest portions of the county. 

" In the town of DeWitt," says Mr. Geddes, " it was 
found that the leaves of unharvested tobacco showed 
slight injury, which grew less and less as the eleva- 
tion diminished. Below the Helderberg range the 

effect of the frost was trifling. The outer ends of 
the corn leaves were touched as by a breath of fire, 
but the husks of the ears were safe, and the crop 
went on to maturity. On the great level north of 
the Erie Canal, except in a few localities, the crops 
were scarcely affected, and the ameliorating influ- 
ence of Oneida Lake, combined with diminished 
elevation, was a perfect protection to vegetation on 
its borders. Every other large body of water did 
good service to the farmers that morning. In the 
vicinity of Skaneateles Lake, lima beans were the 
only vegetables touched. A month elapsed before 
we had another such a cold night. 

" The length of the summer season in the State 
generally, reckoning from the first blooming of the 
apple trees to the first killing frost, is 174 days. 
In Onondaga it is 17410 180, thus giving us three 
more summer days than the average of the State, 
while Long Island has twelve and a half more, and 
St. Lawrence twenty-two days less than the average 
of the State." 

Unlike the pioneer settlers of the broad and 
already cleared prairies of the great West, the first 
farmers of Onondaga county encountered a forest of 
giant growth, from whose dominion a portion of 
the soil had to be redeemed by hard and persistent 
labor, with many accompanying privations, as pre- 
liminary and necessary steps to making it yield them 
and their families a subsistence. At least one gene- 
ration was worn out in this sturdy battle with the 
giant forest, in felling the trees, burning them as 
cumberers of the ground, splitting them into rails, 
and in making clearings and improvements suffi- 
cient for comfortable homes for the next generation. 
The men who encountered the forest were the 
heroes of that age — the pioneers of civilization, 
the founders of new States. It required a hardihood 
and a perseverance which we of this generation 
can hardly appreciate. In some portions of this 
county the timber never would have been cleared 
away — never could have been — but for the fish in 
the waters and the game with which the woods 
abounded. These aided the pioneers and afforded 
them subsistence till they could raise a living from 
the soil. 

Let us follow the pioneer as he selects his home 
in the wilderness and erects his rude log cabin. 
The opening made in the woods at first is such only 
as is necessary to supply the logs for his cabin and the 
browse for his cattle. He has come a long journey 
with an ox team, and brought with him a cow, a 
couple of pigs and a few sheep. These, with a 
bed, two or three chairs, a pot and a kettle, and a 
few other indispensable articles for house-keeping, 
few and scanty, constitute his outfit and the bulk 
of his worldly wealth. The roof of his house is of 
peeled elm bark ; his scanty window is oiled paper, 



for glass is a luxurj- which has not yet found its way ' 
to the new settlement. The floor of his cabin is of 
halves of split logs, the door is made of three hewed 
plank ; no boards are to be had, for no saw mill 
is within accessible distance. There arc yet no 
roads, no bridges across the streams. Miles and 
miles away through the dense forest is his nearest 
neighbor. This is the spot which the pioneer has 
chosen in which to car\-e out his future fortune. 
Against what fearful odds is he battling .' The 
trees which cover his estate with the growth of 
centuries arc to be attacked and cleared away, and 
the land is to be paid for. The task surely is a 
herculean one, but he has a stout heart and a strong 

A year or two pass away and we see the im- 
provements which have been made. Our pioneer 
has chopped down and cleared a few acres. The 
front is fenced with a new rail fence, and a brush 
fence protects the ends and the rear. Near the 
house is a small patch cleared for a garden. Here 
he has raised some vegetables during the season, 
which have supplied the first delicacies to his cabin 
tabic. A crop of corn, pumpkins and potatoes has 
been raised among the charred and blackened logs, 
but the distance is so great to a mill, the quantity of 
corn so small that he can carry on horseback, or the 
the time consumed in going with his oxen and sled 
so great, that he has extemporized a contrivance for 
converting his corn into coarse meal. A mortar 
has been dug out in a hard wood log, and a pestle 
suspended to a spring-pole, and in this the corn is 
being pounded to supply the needs of the family, 
except on extraordinary occasions when wheaten 
bread, from the small amount of flour procured at 
great cost, is used as a luxury. 

But look again at our pioneer. Ten years are 
supposed to have passed away. The premises, late 
so rude, begin to have the appearance of careful 
management,- thrift, and even comfort. Various 
crops arc growing on many acres of cleared land. 
A payment has been made on the property. lie 
has a neat framed barn built, a well, provided with 
curb and sweep, and a garden enclosed by a picket 
fence. A look into his fields shows a large increase 
in his stock. The improvements of his neighbors 
have reached his, so that he can now look out with- 
out looking up. A school district has been organ- 
ized, and a comfortable log school house appears in 
the distance. A framed bridge spans the stream 
in place of the primitive one built of logs. Our 
pioneer, we may venture to assume, is either Colonel 
or Captain of militia. Supervisor of the town or 
Justice of the Peace. 

Take another view of him. Forty-five years are 
supposed to have elapsed since we saw him first 
commencing his wilderness home. Not only is his 
home, but the homes of his neighbors around him, 
are in a well cultivated and rich section of farming 
country. His lands and tenements are free from 
debt. He has added to his primitive possessions, 
and secured lands for his sons, if not at home, in 
some one of the Western States, where they are 
also to become pioneers of new settlements. He 
has flocks and herds. The surplus produce in his 
granaries he is able to sell or keep, as he chooses. 
He is a forehanded, independent farmer, having 
founded and worked out his own fortune by long 
years of patient and persevering industry. As 
things have changed on his premises and in his 
home, so have they improved in the whole neighbor- 
hood around him. There are fine cultivated fields, 
thrifty orchards, tasty and substantial farm build- 
ings and neat cottages. The farms are well fenced 
and neatly kept. The steel plow, the cultivator, 
the mower and reaper, have taken the place of the 
old implements with which the pioneers began farm 
life. A prosperous hamlet has sprung up near by, 
where there are schools, churches, telegraph, express 
and post offices. This hamlet, moreover, is a rail- 
road station, affording a market, and through which 
trains pass daily to and from the great cities and 
centres of commerce and intelligence. 

Such has been pioneer life and progress in the 
State of New York generally, nor is the sketch we 
have drawn less truly a picture of early settlement 
in Onondaga county. 

The forests which the farmers in a few genera- 
tions have thus subdued, were originally dense, and 
the timber generally heavy. Large forests of white 
pine grew in the north part of the county, the 
stumps of which, on account of their resinous 
properties, last for ages in the soil. This disadvan- 
tage, however, to clearing the land, is compensated 
for in iinother direction. The soil of the pine 
lands is usually so light and porous on the surface 
that the stumps may be lifted out of their beds in 
a perfectly sound condition by means of a stumping 
machine. This valuable invention enabled the peo- 
ple of Cicero and the northern portion of the coun- 
ty to clear their otherwise valuable and beautiful 
farms of the persistent incumbrance of pine stumps 
which for years had rendered them unsightly and 
seriously interfered with their cultivation. For 
many years the road between Syracuse and Brewer- 
ton was lined on both sides with these stumps set 
up on edge for fences. Since they have been dis- 
posed of, the people of that section have as fine and 



beautiful farms as are to be found in any portion of 
the county. 

The area of the pines in Onondaga county was 
chiefly in the northern portion, although they were 
found along the base of the Helderberg range, and 
a few scattering trees grew even above the cornifer- 
ous limestone. White cedar abounded in the 
swamps north of the Helderberg range, and in 
small quantities among the pines in the southern 
swamps. Hemlock was very plenty in almost every 
part of the county, but most abundant in the north- 
ern half This valuable timber has been extensive- 
ly used for building, fencing, for making salt barrels 
and the construction of plank roads. Tamarack, 
two varieties of spruce, hickory, white-wood, bass- 
wood, maple, beech, and white and black oak, have 
been prevailing timber in this county. 

Along the south side of the Gypseous shales 
were some pine trees of uncommon dimensions. 
Near the northeast corner of the town of Camillus, 
one was cut down that measured 230 feet as it lay 
on the ground ; another near it gave 154 feet of 
saw logs. They grew on land owned by Wheeler 

Some very large white oaks were found in the 
low lands north of the canal, and scattered among 
the scrub oaks of the Gypseous shales. One of 
them at Fairmount was saved when the other 
timber was cut away, but deprived of its surround- 
ings, it soon died, and of consequence was cut down. 
The stump was five feet in diameter, and forty feet 
above, where the trunk was somewhat eliptical, the 
respective diameters measured four feet six inches, 
and three feet ten inches. 

The progress of improvement has swept away 
nearly all the original forests, so that not enough 
now remains to meet the demands for fuel. The 
coal mines of Pennsylvania are now largely drawn 
upon, not only by the manufacturers of salt, and 
inhabitants of the city of Syracuse and adjoining 
villages, but also by the farmers. 

From the first settlement of the county the " oak 
lands," as they have been called by the farmers, 
have been proverbial for their ability to produce 
wheat. All that tract of land once covered with 
oak and hickory, is the true wheat land ; the beech 
and maple lands are best adapted to pasturage, and 
the pine lands are generally well suited both to grain 
and grass. 

We have not space to introduce here the interest- 
ing discussion of the clover plant as related to the 
agriculture of the county, the analyses of clover 
and clover ash furnished by Prof. Emmons and 
others ; but refer the reader to Transactions of the 

New York State Agricultural Society for 1859, in 
which the subject is elaborately treated by Hon. 
George Geddes. 

Wheat.— Previous to the year 1846, Onondaga 
county produced wheat of the best quality, and in 
such quantities that it was the great staple and the 
crop from which the farmers expected to realize 
their profits. In that year the midge destroyed the 
crop, and opened the eyes of the farmers to a dan- 
ger they had not anticipated. The first remedy 
was the substitution of a variety of wheat then lit- 
tle esteemed, the Mediterranean, which, on trial, es- 
caped the ravages of the insect. At once this 
wheat was in demand for seed, and has since come 
into general use. It has gradually improved on the 
natural wheat soil of the county, till the flour made 
from it is perhaps equal in quality to that of the red 
chaff" wheat formerly raised. Since the ravages of 
the midge began, more spring wheat has been raised 
than formerly. A portion of the lands of the coun- 
ty, the upper measures of the Hamilton group and 
the Genesee slates, represented in the town of 
Spaffbrd, are best adapted to spring wheat, while 
Camillus and the lands situated on the shales of 
the Salt group, are best adapted to the production 
of winter wheat. 

Meadows and Pastures.— Over thirty per cent, 
of the improved lands of this county are devoted to 
pasture, and over eighteen per cent, to meadow. 
Red clover, timothy, and red-top are sown and cul- 
tivated for pasture and hay. It is very rare that 
any other grass seeds are sown, but in most of the 
meadows and pastures which have stood a few 
years, white clover, spear grass, Kentucky blue 
grass, orchard grass, &c., make their appearance. 
In ordinary seasons, good farming will secure not 
less than two tons of hay to the acre, and this can 
be cut and properly taken care of for about $2.00 
per ton. 

Tobacco. — The cultivation of tobacco as a crop 
was commenced in this county by Chester Moses 
and Nahum Grimes, both of the town of Marcellus, 
in 1845. They joined in hiring a man from Con- 
necticut who was skilled in the culture. In 1846, 
Col. Mars Nearing, then of the town of Salina, 
raised ten acres, and soon others were engaged in a 
small way in raising this crop. The census of 
1855 shows that in the preceeding year 471 1-8 
acres were raised in the county, yielding 554,987 
pounds, or an average yield of 1,178 pounds to the 
acre. It is thought that this crop pays a better 
profit, on suitable ground, and when skillfully 
handled, than any other raised here. The produc- 
tion in 1859 was estimated by Mr. Benjamin Clark 



of Marcellus, as amounting in value to $150,000, of 
which $25,000 worth was produced in Marcellus, 
$10,000 worth in Skancateles, $20,000 worth in 
Van Buren, $10,000 worth in Lysander, $8,000 
worth in Manlius, $5,000 worth in Camillus, $4,000 
worth in Geddes, $8,000 worth in Salina. §6,000 
worth in Elbridgc, $8,000 worth in Onond»ga. and 
the remainder divided among the other towns. 

In 1870. the census gave 1,255.400 pounds of 
tobacco raised in the county, distributed among the 
towns as follows : Camillus. 51.770 : Cicero, 7,638 ; 
Clay, 123.039; DeWitt. 38,016; Elbridge, 2,808; 
Geddes, 3,900 ; LaP'ayettc, 475 ; Lysander, 465.585 ; 
Manlius, 1 22.1 51 ; Marcellus. 45.293 ; Onondaga, 
10,500; Pomi)ey, 37,295; Salina, 31.550; Skanc- 
ateles, 33.150; Van Hurcn, 266,640. 


Comparative Statistics — Influential Aoki- 
cuLTUKisTs — County Agricultural Socie- 
ties— Thk Present Joint Stock Company — 
General Agricultural Statistics of the 

ONONDAGA is one of the five counties of 
the State having farms of the highest cash 
valuation, the aggregate value of her farms being 
$37,251,541. This is exceeded only by Monroe, 
Oneida, Westchester, and St. Lawrence counties, 
whose farms are valued respectively at §42,047,759, 
$40.21 1.650. $39o05.S35. and $38.3W.743- 

The county of Onondaga has the largest' amount 
of money invested in farm buildings other than 
dwellings, the aggregate being $4,798,545. The 
counties which come nearest this amount arc re- 
spectively, Dutchess, $4,718,928 ; Orange, $4,631,- 
345 ; Oneida, $4,571,453 ; and St. Lawrence, $4,- 

The gross sales of all the farm products of the 
State in 1875 were $121,187,467. Of this amount 
Onondaga county contributed $3,667,933. while she 
was the fourth in the number of acres plowed, 
namely, 1 19.340 acres. She was the fourth county 
also in Indian corn, her product being 894,723 
bushels. In the yield of oats she was only exceeded 
by four counties in the State. 

The counties cutting the largest number of 
fleeces of wool in 1875 were Steuben. 80,617 ; Liv- 
ingston, 68,832; Washington, 63,359; Ontario, 
60,219; Genesee, 47.779; and Onondaga, 41,956. 
All these counties cut fewer fleeces than in 1855, 
although the weight of the fleeces in each county 
is increased. 

This county had among its early citizens some of 

the leading agriculturists of the State, both theo- 
retical and practical. None took an earlier or 
more prominent part than the President of the first 
Agricultural Society of the county — Hon. Dan 
Bradley, of Marcellus. He was a graduate from 
Vale in the class of 1798, and received the degree 
of M. A. at the age of twenty-three. He was a 
native of Haddam, Conn , where he was born June 
10, 1767. The date of his settlement in Marcellus 
was September, 1795, after having spent several 
years as a minister of the gospel, in New Hartford, 
Oneida county. Mr. Bradley devoted himself to 
a scientific study of farming theoretically, as well 
as following it practically as a pursuit, and it is 
claimed that the improvement of agriculture in the 
county, and in this whole section of the State, is 
due more to his influence than to that of any other 
man. Indeed, this may be sakl of the State at 
large, inasmuch as he was chiefly instrumental in 
securing the passage of the law for the benefit of 
agricultural societies in 1819. He contributed some 
of the ablest papers and articles of his day to the 
State Agricultural Reports and the leading agricul- 
tural journals.* 

Mr. John Ellis, father of James M. Ellis, Esq., 
of Syracuse, was the first to introduce merino 
sheep into the county. In 1796 he settled on Lot 
103. in the town of Onondaga. About 1802 or 1803, 
he purchased of Col. Humphrey, of Connecticut, two 
bucks and two ewes, of the pure merino stock 
which Col. Humphrey had imported from Spain, 
paying $1,500 for the four head. Mr. Ellis bred 
these sheep extensively on his farm and laid the 
foundation of wide improvement in the stock of 
fine wooled sheep throughout the country. After 
his death, Mr. James M. Ellis continued to breed 
fine flocks of these sheep on the farm formerly 
owned by his father, till 1854. 

Mr. Davis Cossitt, of Onondaga Hill, has also 
been an extensive breeder of merino sheep, and 
has at present a very fine flock. 

Timothy Sweet was one of the earliest and best 
known farmers of the county. He emigrated to 
Pompey in 1794, reaching what is now the " Old 
Homestead " on the 28th of January, where within 
eight days Kneeland Sweet was born. Within 
three months after his arrival Mr. Timothy Sweet 
was elected to the office of fence viewer, and at the 
next town meeting to the office of Commissioner 
of Highways. In this capacity he labored for many 
years, and assisted in laying out most of the roads 
in the original town. He soon became a promi- 
nent, if not the leading, farmer in the town, and 

* See Hiitsrjr of Mucellui. 



one of the first in the county. In 1803, he pur- 
chased of Dr. Mordecai Hale, of New York City, 
two cows of Mr. Livingston's importation. These 
were of the best short-horned stock of that day. 
From 1800 to 1817 he was the most prominent ' 
farmer in the county, tilling more land and produc- 
ing the most grain, cattle, horses and sheep. About : 
this time he divided his property among his children 
and retired from active life.* ] 

Hon. George Geddes, of Fairmount, has been | 
among the leading agriculturists of this section of 
the State. He has devoted much attention to the 
subject both practically and scientifically, having j 
contributed articles on various branches of agricul- \ 
ture to the Country Gentleman, the New York Tri- 
biine, and other journals. His able report, includ- 
ing the result of his survey of the county, pub- 
lished in the Transactions of the State Agricultural 
Society for 1859, contains a more complete view of 
the topography, geology and resources of the 
county, together with the methods and history of 
its agriculture, than can be found elsewhere. Mr. 
Geddes as a member of the State and local Agri- 
cultural Societies, has ever been an earnest and 
efficient worker in behalf of all measures calculated j 
to promote the agricultural interests of his county 
and State. 

Enoch Marks, of the town of Camillus, was for 
many years prominently connected with agricultural 
matters, and had much to do with the introduction of 
improved stock. In the fruit and nursery business, 
the name of Alanson Thorp is as prominent as any ; 
in the county. He founded the nurseries on West ' 
Genesee street, known as the Syracuse Nurseries. 

The rich soil of Onondaga and the enterprise of 
her citizens stimulated movements for the benefit 
of agriculture at an early period. The first Agri- 
cultural Society of the county was formed at Onon- 
daga Hill in the spring of 18 19. During the ses- ' 
sion of the Legislature of the preceding winter an 
act had been passed by which a large fund was ap- 
propriated for the benefit of agricultural societies 
throughout the State. Onondaga county became 
entitled to 1^300 of this fund on condition that she 
should raise an equal amount and form an agricul- 
tural society. The first meeting was held on the 4th 
of May, 1819, at which a constitution was'adopted 
and the following officers chosen, viz : Dan Bradley, 
President ;^Squire Munro, Martin Cossitt, Augustus 
Wheaton, Vice-Presidents ; Job Tyler, Recording- 
Secretary ; George Hall and A. Yelverton, Corres- 
ponding Secretaries ; Leonard Bacon, Treasurer ; 
H. L. Granger, Auditor ; L. H. Redfield, D. W. 

* Re-union and History of Pompey, p. 353. 1 

Forman, O. W. Brewster, Committee on Publication. 

The first Fair was held at Onondaga Valley, 
November 2, 1819; an address was delivered by 
the President, and premiums amounting to over 
^200 were awarded. Fairs continued to be held 
with more or less success for about six years, when 
the society fell into decay, and was soon practically 

On the 9th of April, 1838, the Legislature passed 
an act (Chap. 179) for the reorganization of the 
" Onondaga County Agricultural Society" The 
Trustees named in the act were, James L. Voor- 
hees, David Munro, Harvey Baldwin, Sanford C. 
Parker, George Geddes, Willis Gaylord, Henry F. 
King, Grove Lawrence, Aaron Burt, Oliver Teall, 
George Pettit and Rufus Cossit. 

Thus reorganized, the society continued to exist, 
but did not meet the expectations of its founders. 
In 1 84 1, it received an appropriation of $\%o from 
the State. 

In 1 85 3 a new law was passed, allowing county 
agricultural societies to purchase and hold real es- 
tate to an amount not exceeding $25,000, and per- 
sonal property not exceeding $1,000, for the pur- 
poses set forth in their articles of incorporation, and 
for no other purposes. Town and other societies 
might hold real estate to the amount of §10,000, and 
personal property to the amount of $3,000. Each 
county and union society should have at least one 
director or manager for each town ; and each town, 
village or city society should have not less than ten 
directors, who should be elected annually by ballot. 
Upon application of two-thirds of their members to 
the Supreme Court of their district, these societies 
might also obtain an order for the sale of a part or 
the whole of their property. An amendment to 
the act was passed April 13, 1855, by the provisions 
of which the number of directors was changed to 
si.x, two of whom were elected each year for a term 
of three years. Any person could become a life 
member by the payment of a sum not exceeding 
$10, and the officers were jointly and severally 
liable for all debts due from the society contracted 
while they were in office, if suit should be com- 
menced within one year of the time when due. 
Each society formed under these acts was obliged 
to report annually to the State Agricultural So- 

Under these acts the Onondaga County Agricul- 
tural Society was reorganized on the 25th of Janu- 
ary, 1856. The following report is taken from the 
Daify Standard oi January 28, 1856: 

" Agricultural Society. — The Annual Meet- 
ing of the Onondaga County Agricultural Society 



was held at the City Hall in Syracuse, January 25, 
1856. The President, Mr. Wotxlruff. called the 
meeting to order, and appointed Messrs. Seth 
Hutchinson, V. V. Nottingham and B. J. Cowles a 
Committee to examine applications for Premiums 
on farm crops. * * * ' " 

The Committee on Reorganization reported that 
they had prepared the necessary papers, &c.,and 
the Society proceeded to the election of the follow- 
ing officers : 

Prtsiiifnl. — Sc[\nrc M. Hrown, Elbridge. 

\sf I'tce-Ptesitiait. — Vcrry H. Hinsdcll. Clay. 

2ti \'icc-Presiiiait. — H. J. Cowles, Otisco. 

Secretary. — H. D. Didama, Salina. 

Treasurer. — VV. R. Strong, Syracuse. 


One Year. — Danvin L. Pickard, Thomas W. Hill. 
Two Years.—]. G. Kendall, Alfred Cobb. 
Three Years. — Morris Beard, John R. Strong. 
Delegates to the State Society at Albany, Febru- 
ary 14, 1856 : 

Horace White, 
J. M. Munro, 
E. Marks, 

C. A. Baker, 

J. C. Woodruff, 
J. S. Davis. 
S. M. lirown, 
E. D. Cobb, 
Luther Baker, 

D. C. Munro, 
N. H. Noyes, 
W. D. Stewart, 
I. Garrison, 

N. P. Eaton, 
J. M. Strong, 
George B. Sceley, 
John Moschcll, 

Vivus W. Smith, 
J. Dean llawicy, 
H. D. Didama, 
M. Compton, 
Moses Summers, 
J. G. K. Truair, 
J. Toggitt, 
P. H. Hinsdell. 
Smith Ostrom, 
Thomas Hutchinson. 
J. G. Hinsdcll, 
Hamilton White, 
Charles W. Ilovey, 
Caleb Brown, 
George Atwell, 
B. J. Cowles, 
Joseph Breed, 
Richard Adams. 

D. T. Mosely, 

The above Society, although it purchased Fair 
Grounds east of the Onondaga Creek adjoining the 
plot of Danforth,and expended considerable money 
in fixtures and premiums, was never a financial 
success. The F"air Grounds were sold January 19, 
1866, by James Munro, trustee and agent for the 
subscribers to the fund, and have since been cut up 
into lots. 

The Annual Fairs of the State Agricultural So- 
ciety were held at Syracuse in 1841, in 1849 and in 

The present County Agricultural Society was 
organized on the 9th of February, 1878. It is a 
joint stock Company, incorporated under the general 
law with the following Board of Trustees : 

Joseph J. Glass, W. H. H. Gere. William II. 
Gifford, John Wells, Earl B. Alvord, Sidney Lewis. 

The capital stock of the Society is Sicx3,cxx), di- 
vided into shares of 5 10 each. 

The Trustees of the Society met Feb. 9, at the 

rooms of the Milk Association. Present — Joseph 
J. Glass, E. B. Alvord, W. H. H. Gere, Sidney 
Lewis, and John Wells. Absent — Wm. H. Gifford. 

Mr. Glass was, on motion of Mr. Alvord, ap- 
pointed chairman, and P. H. Agan secretary fro 

The following officers were then chosen, to-wit : 

President— V.6\\an\ A. Powell, of Syracuse. 

First I'ice-Prestiieul — Edward B. Judson, of Syra- 

Secretary —V2^.t\cV. H. Agan, of Syracuse. 

7><viJ«nr— Warren C. Brayton, of DeWitt. 

V^ice-Pkesioents from Towns and Wards — 
Camillus, Theodore F. Rhodes ; Cicero, Addison 
J. Loomis ; Clay, Thomas H. Scott; DcWitt, 
Hiram K. Edwards; Elbridge, James Brown; 
Geddcs, Thomas Andrews ; Fabius, Orel Pope ; 
LaFayettc, Russell King ; Lysander, DeWitt C. 
Toll ; Manlius, Charles Peck ; Marcellus, Robert 
E. Dorchester: Onondaga, Aaron Henderson; 
Otisco, Hicks Redway; Pompey, Major Berry; 
Frank W. Terry ; Skaneatcles, E. H, 
; Spafford, Justus N. Knapp ; TuUy, Samuel 
Van Buren, Augustus W. Bingham : First 
Ward, John Eastwood ; Second Ward, C. Fred 
Herbst ; Third Ward, Hiram Kingsley ; Fifth 
Ward, William A. Sweet ; Sixth Ward, John R. 
Whitlock ; Seventh Ward, James M. Ellis; Eighth 
Ward, Alvah W. Palmer. 

Adams ; 

Table showing Number and Size of Farms by Towns, 
in Onondaga County, at the Census of 1875. 



i '5 

1 M 





De Witt 




La Fayette . . . 
Lysander . . , 


Marcellus. . . 
Onondaga . . 




Skaneateles . 
Spafford ..... 



Van Buren. . 


185 .. 

390 . . 

452 12 

261 .. 

246 . . 

228 I 

74 •• 

3«« •• 

473 •• 








5! 27 

8[ 70 

459 «7 57 
234 5 'o 
«4 39 






81 415 

'o 35 
40 109 

44 "9 

29 ' 71 

25 ; 49 
«3 39 

9 I 31 

30 I 72 

33 «>o 
52 119 

34 70 
9* "43 
23 46 
49 84 
39 43 


••• 5 

10 2! 
20 23 















\ I 

8 :§, 

74 1 

82 I 


99 J 

M, I 


136 » 

169 .. 


23 •• 
114 I 




614 1311 1,873 '698 9 



Table showing by Towns the Area of Farm Lands ; the Value of Farms, of Farm Buildings, of Live 
Stock and of Implements ; the Area of Crops, and the Amount of Agricultural Productions of Onon- 
daga County. — Census of 1875.^ 






Camillas 18,033 

Cicero 19,460 

Clay 23,286 

De Witt i 16,205 

Elbridge I 18,001 

Fabius 20,648 

Geddes 4,521 

La Fayette i 19,863 

Lysander : 31,584 

Manlius 24,550 

Marcellus 1 7,067 

Onondaga 35,07S 

Otisco j 14,591 

Pompey | 35,278 

Salina ' 6,642 

Skaneateles 20,929 

Spafiford 16,298 

City of Syracuse... 416 

TuUy 12,586 

Van Buren ] 18,483 

Total 373-516 














Of Farm nt t- i j Cost of Ferti-Amou't of Gross 

Of Farms. BuUdings Of Stock. Ot ipols and Uzers bought Saks from 

other than , Implements. -^ ,3,^8 j,^_^^ .^ ^^^^ 

Dwellings. 1 j 





















































81, 545 





















192,1 10 


54.425 25,224 37,251,541 4,798,545 4,057.771 1,404,987 23,473 3,677,923 


CIVIL DIVISIONS. In 1874. In 1875. 



Acres. Acres. 

Camillus 6,336 

Cicero 5,659 

Clay 8,665 

De Witt 5.390 

Elbridge 6,394 

Fabius 3,557 

Geddes 1,498 

La Fayette 6,295 

Lysander 9,8 11 

Manlius 7,97o 

Marcellus ' 6,109 

Onondaga 12,200 

Otisco 4,148 

Pompey 9,994 

Salina : 2,207 

Skaneateles , 7,735 

Spafford ' 5,175 

City of Syracuse. 227 

Tally 3,018 

Van Buren 6 596 

Total 118,984 



5. 131 










Ake.\ in Pasture. 

Area Mown-. 

In 1874. 




5. 148 








In 1875. 





















119,340 ' 111,69s 110,537 98,55+ 97,064 






4 945 


_ 4.361 





























P7*'"''- 1874. I .875. I ■S74. 

Bushels. Acres. Acres. Bushels. 



I 10 






















5,727 10,395 14889 261,215 



Table showing by Towns the Area of Farm Lands ; the Value of Farms, of Farm Buildings, of Live 
Stock and of Implements ; the Area of Crops, and the Amount of Agricultural Productions of Onon- 
daga County.— Census of 1875. — (Continued.) ^ 

. LAT. 










i»7}. It74. |»74. 


Aero. Bmhtlt. Acm. 

Camillus 46 

Cicero 319 

Clay 412 

I)e Witt 179 

Elbridge 107 

Fabius 89 

Geddes 19 

LaFayette 143 

Lysandcr 331 

Manlius 276 

Marccllus 231 

Onondaga 372 

Otisco 178 

Pompey 719 

Salina 41 

Skaneateles 300 

SpalTord 120 

City of Syracuse 

Tully 126 

Van Buren 101 

Total 4,ioy 

41 (J 









2,3 «» 





5. 243 






















2 040 



1. 1 06 





















568 i 








5'. 748 



'.3 -'5 





















• • • * 


• • • • 

• • • fl 



• • • • 













3.221 65,935 24.920 27.638 894,723 40,663 4'.548 i,3'9.958 967 935 I '3i48a 







AuA. A ISA Sown. 

Produced. Produced. 

1I74. >»7J. 

Acne. Acres. 


i»7l. «»74. 

Butheb. Acre*. Aciei. 





1874. ; «87i. 

Biulielt. Acm. Acres. Acres. Acres. 

Camillus 62 

Cicero 52 

Clay 100 

DeWitt 25 

Elbridge i • 54 

Fabius 97 

Geddes 14 

LaFayette 273 

Lysander 126 

Manlius ' 65 

Marcellus 200 

Onondaga 593 

Otisco 293 

Pompey 49^ 

Salina 5 

Skaneateles 225 

Spafford 360 

City of Syracuse 25 

Tully ' '30 

Van Buren 157 

Total 3.354 
















I 162 





















































26 590 



121 1,624 



86 2,645 









52. '85 






5.' 79 


















36 I 

44 [ 
1 1 ' 






























2,002 48,725 28,604 29.379,5287601,483 1226 , 513 543 















7,133 1104 989 20,125 










16 I 






502 39 
198 I 21 













Table showing by Towns the Area of Farm Lands ; the Value of Farms, of Farm Buildings, of Live 
Stock and of Implements ; the Area of Crops, and the Amount of Agricultural Production's of Onon- 
daga County. — Census of 1875. — (Continued.) 














Acres. Acres. 


Acres. Acres. 










18-4. I87S. 

Sq. Rods. Sq. Rods. 





Camillus. . . , 



De Witt ... 
Elbridge. . . 


Geddes. . . . 
La Fayette. 
Lysander . 
Manlius. . . . 
Marcellus. . 
Onondaga . 


Pompey. . . . 


Spafford ... 
Syracuse. . . 


Van Buren . . 
Total . . , 









3 1,750 533 

1 618 

5 1,35° 852 

50 19.950 444 

4 4,816 377 
23 8,977 250 


2 1,900 448 

18 8,305 935 

116 41,512 579 



12 800 359 

34 8,600 650 
60 27,917 447 

35 24-797 347 
8 430 256 

15 10,000 26 


17 6,800 423 

403 167,904 9,286 
















> 5, 120 

> 30,440 

' 5,000 

) 8,680 



3'. 279 

10,758 1,096,409 

160 1,500 

64,240 60,600 463,349 

12,600 9,120 89,300 

8,320 9,120 60,472 

1,440 400 12,700 

1,120 400 6,000 

3,620 3,090 21,252 

5,720 5,400 57,510 

4,540 1,040 33,699 

40 100 

45,280 30.480 326,299 

206,940 171,0501,501,355 



























386895714712 20,205 



1 JUNE I, loyS- 


Fruit Wine 
produced. made. 

1874. ! 1874. 

Honey , Mules on 
Sugar ! Syrup collected '^' "'^, Value owned, 
made. | made. 1 in 1S74. Colts of! Colts of Two ye.irs J"?'^ "' 

187s. ' 1874. 1 old and ">75. ,§75. 
1S75. 1 187s. 1 1 over. 


Value sold. Value of eggs 
1874. 1874. 

Pounds. Gallons. 


Gallons. Pounds. ! Number. Number. 1 Number. Number. Dollars. 

Dollars. Dollars. 




6 6Sa ?8 


44 8,291 29 26' 800 23 5.510 
TCT -?T'7,*^ 60 ,^r R-^r, e r,T A 

3,582 4,689 

5,785 5,907 
4,607 6,131 
2,681 2,960 
2,404 2,310 
630 2,191 

599 882 
2,804 5,946 
5,912 6,810 
3,068 4,823 
3,248 7,276 
7,064 10,332 
2,120 3,831 
2,950 6,716 

998 1,378 
4,055 5,553 
2,493 5-490 


1,574 2,835 
4,259 5,758 


0^10 -2 1 00 A A 46"70 6C n A T T aR 77 ft f^fl'7 

De Witt 


9,390 60 I 

3,113 23 41 798 4 

2,760 28 33 834 25 

1,910 55 26' 497, 7 

210 15 9 239 6 

773 38 44 758 13 
4,'o5 85 III 1,431 35 
7,488 63, 80 1,219 15 
1,590 421 49 742 8 
5,125 62 93, 1,582 25 
3,475 36* 44 506 II 
1,742 83 94 1,236 18 




' 52 


30 .... 

1,700 .... 

2,388 .... 

325 18 

18 2c;o 810 

7..790 349 
i 650 

6,295| 731 
6oo| 236 


La Fayette 






2S0 .... 675, 141 

37,770 36 740; 74 
3,100 100 9,037' 251 
1,165 16 8,304 1,101 

3,395 10 ....: .... 

2,660 42 5,485 701 

150 .... 8,590 338 

4,500 70 

5,206 2 4,292 126 
1,105 ••••, 101 7 





City of Syracuse. . 


Van Buren 


9,121 63 

13-375 80 

.... 2 

2,941 27 

3,039 39 

-0 JT' 

73 603 8 

63 599 5 
2; 27 2 

35 398 2 
62i 853 .... 

118,568 1,405 52,781: 4,958 

77,336 905 

1,059 15,441 234 


60,973 91,818 



Tadle showing by Towns the Area of Farm Lands ; the Value of Faims. of Farm Buildings, of Live 
Stock and of Implements ; the Area of Crops, and the Amount of Agricultural Productions of Onon- 
daga County. —Census of 1875.— i Continued.) 




M 1 1 11 Cow!, 
Nl Mti t« Kr p T. 

•■ ■V4 


Bultcr made Chccx nutle Milk mU m 
ia ^«»"'i'** 


Y«u»i«>. Cilv. 




••7$. ! I»7«. 

i Number. Number. Nambw. Nnnbcr. Nonber. ! Number. Number. Number. Number. Number. Pousdi. 








De Witt.... 
Elbridge . . . 



LaF.iyette . . 
Lysander — 


Marcellus. . 
Onondaga. . 




Spafford . . . . 
Syracuse . . . 


Van Buren. . 
Total . . . 























30 ' 

















































































29.956 30,505 

92 112 217 132,115 

'34 796 834 154.536 

207 467 541 192.292 

57 157 146 88,578 

72 420 431 97,001 

91 1,709 1,504 130,836 

9 40 20,640 

'23 336 278 162.255 

128 975 1,018 190,468 

94 587 698 134,446 

55 84 j 144,400 

21 43 '4'.3'9 

60 j I4'.746[ 

218 1,838 1,991 245,077] 

6 26,905 

141 14 2' 142,385 

79 207,260 

5 '-950 

68 309 370 123,188 

88 64 67 143,630 

".748 7.95' 8,0062,720,027 

1,650 3,470 
54,487 10,079 
25,008 25,855 

550 363^377 
11,766 10,595 



200 290 

7,600 19,150 

1^0 25,241 


,900 199,234 

9.350 80 

14,427 40,998 

88 197,061 

6,442 10,947 


100,978: 10,000 

13.038 ! 

420,731 1,059,204 



NuMua Shoui. Wiight or CLir. , Lauu Raiud. 


Slamth- KiUed by O" f *»•" J""" ■' "'»^ Slaughtered Pork made 
terST dc«.^ , "'f»™»- on&rm. 






|»7J. 1874. 


Pigi of Of 1874 and 1874. 

1117s. older. I 





De Witt 




La Faytitte 










City of Syracuse. 


Van Buren 


Number. Number. Pounda. ' Pounda. Number. Number. Number. Number. Number. Number. I Number. 











3,269 24,220 
995 4.47. 






9. '38 

3,778 15,878 
2,122 10,416 

2.34' '2.3 '3 
3,841 23,799 

2.733 20,324 

1.976 11,132 

4.836 30,526 

199 1,228 

4,578 30.332 


593 5,096 
2,235 ".861 

















1 1,116 







































1 1 













































1,555 644 14,741 16,758 15,3953,770,8" 




Judicial and Executive Officers under Her- 
kimer County — Onondaga County Civil List 
— Military Organization — Population of 
THE County from iSog to 1875. 

THE following were judicial and executive offi- 
cers for Herkimer county from 1791 to 
1794, while Onondaga was a part of that county : 
Henri Staring, First Judge and Justice of the 
Peace ; Michael Myers, Hugh White and Abraham 
Hardenburgh, Judges and Justices of the Peace ; 
John Bank, Patrick Campbell, Jedediah Sanger, 
Amos Whitmore, William Veeder, Alexander Park- 
man and Ephraim Blackman, Assistant Judges and 
Justices of the Peace ; Seth Phelps, Moses De 
Witt, Asa Danforth, Edward Payne and others. 
Justices of the Peace ; William Colbraith, Sheriff; 
Jonas Piatt, Clerk ; Moses DeWitt, Surrogate ; 
John Post and Daniel White, Coroners. 

In 1793, for Herkimer county, were reappointed 
Seth Phelps, Asa Danforth, Moses DeWitt, J. L. 
Hardenburgh and Silas Halsey, Assistant Justices 
and Justices of the Peace. 

Judges of Onondaga County from 1794 to 
1878. — Seth Phelps, First Judge ; Silas Halsey, 
John Richardson and Moses DeWitt, Judges and 
Justices of the Peace, 1794; William Stevens, 
Judge, 1795 ; Asa Danforth, Judge, 1797 ; William 
Stevens, First Judge, 1799; Elihu Lewis, Ebenezer 
Butler, Asa Danforth, Judges and Justices of the 
Peace; Dan Bradley, Judge, 1801 ; John Ballard, 
Judge, 1802; William J. Vredenburgh, Judge, 
1804 ; Reuben Humphreys, Judge ; Reuben Hum- 
phreys, First Judge ; Dan Bradley, John Ballard 
and William J. Vredenburgh, Judges and Justices 
of the Peace, 1805 ; Dan Bradley, First Judge, 
1808 ; Squire Munro, Roswell Tousley and Wil- 
liam J. Vredenburgh, Judges ; Jonathan Stanley 
and Ozias Burr, Judges, 1809; Jacob R. DeWitt, 
James Geddes and Sylvanus Tousley, Judges, 1812 ; 
Joshua Forman, First Judge, 1813 ; Reuben Hum- 
phreys, Judge, 1814; Jacob R. DeWitt, Squire 
Munro, Amos Tousley and John TenEyck, Judges, 
1815 ; James O. Wattles and Warren Hecox, 
Judges, 1818 ; Jonathan Stanley, Squire Munro, 
Levi Mason and James Webb, Judges, 1819 ; 
Nehemiah H. Earll, First Judge ; John Mason, 
George Pettit and James Sisson, Jr., Judges, 1S23 ; 
Nehemiah H. Earll, First Judge, 1828 ; George 
Pettit, Martin M. Ford, Otis Bigelow and John 
Smith, Judges, 1828 ; Samuel L. Edwards, First 
Judge, 1831; John Watson, Judge, 1833; Otis 
Bigelow, David Munro, George Pettit and James M. 

Allen, Judges ; Grove Lawrence, First Judge, 183S; 
Nathan Soule, Oliver R. Strong, Lyman H. Mason 
and Johnson Hall, Judges ; Daniel Pratt, First 
Judge, 1843 ; John L. Stevens, George A. Stans- 
bury, Lyman Kingsley, Amasa H. Jerome, Judges ; 
James R. Lawrence, Judge, 1847; Richard Wool- 
worth, Judge, 1850, appointed vice J. R. Lawrence, 
resigned; Israel Spencer, Judge, elected, 1850; 
Richard Woolworth, Judge, elected 1854; Henry 
Riegel, elected 1S62, reelected each subsequent 
term and present Judge of the County Court. 

Judges of the Supreme Court. — The follow- 
ing have been Judges of the Supreme Court resi- 
dent in Onondaga county : Hon. Daniel Pratt, 
Syracuse, for four years, elected June 7, 1847 ; re- 
elected November 4, 185 1. Hon. LeRoy Morgan, 
Syracuse, for eight years, elected November 8, 
1859 ; reelected November 5, 1867, for eight years, 
Hon. James Noxon, Syracuse, elected November, 
1875, for fourteen years from January i, 1876. 

The old Supreme Court of Judicature, existing 
prior to the Constitution of 1846, had one Chief 
Justice, a resident of this county, viz : Hon. Free- 
born G. Jewett, of Skaneateles, in 1845. 

Judges of the Court of Appeals. — The 
Judges of the Court of Appeals who have been 
residents of this count}' are as follows : Hon. 
Freeborn G. Jewett, Skaneateles, two years, elected 
June 7, 1847 ; Hon. George F. Comstock, Syracuse, 
elected November 7, 1853 ; Hon. Charles Andrews, 
Syracuse, elected May, 1870, fourteen years, to 
expire December 31, 1884. 

Hon. Daniel Pratt and Hon. LeRoy Morgan, 
Justices of the Supreme Court, were ex officio 
Judges of the Court of Appeals, the former from 
January i, 1S50, to January i, 185 1, and the latter 
from January i, 1866, to January i, 1867. 

United States District Court. — Northern 
District of New York. — The following have been 
officers of this Court, resident in this County : 
Joseph F. Sabin, United States Commissioner, 
1850; James R. Lawrence, United States District 
Attorney, 1850; Harry Allen, United States Mar- 
shal. The first Deputy-Marshal was Peter Way, 
deceased ; William Cahill, appointed in his stead. 
B. Davis No.xon, United States Commissioner, ap- 
pointed Oct. 22, 1867; William C. Ruger, United 
States Commissioner, appointed July 8, 1858; 
Daniel F. Gott, Register in Bankruptcy, appointed 
May 10, 1867; A. Judd Northrup, United States 
Commissioner, appointed March 22, 1870; Daniel 
F. Gott, United States Commissioner, appointed 
April 2, 1872; William J. Wallace, Judge, ap- 
pointed April 7, 1874. 



Slkrugatks fuk Onondaga Culntv i kdm 171^4- 
TO 187.S.— Moses Dc Witt, 1794; Thomas Mum- 
ford, 1795 ; Thaddcus M. Wood, 1800; George 
Hall, 1803; Mcdad Curtis. 1810; George Hall, 
i8n ; James Porter, i8ii ; Freeborn G. Jewett, 
1824; John Fleming, 1831; Isaac T. Minard, 
1840; David D. Hillis, 1844; Isaac T. Minard, 
1847 ; L. Harris Hiscock, 185 1 ; Amasa II. Jerome, 
1855 ; Samuel D. Luce, 1859; Oscar L. Sprague, 
1863 : De Witt C. Greenfield, 1S65 ; Cyrus Sweet, 
1869, reelected each subsequent term and present 
incumbent. No Special Surrogates have ever been 
appointed in this County. 

Clekks of Ononiiaga County from 1794 to 
1878. — Benjamin Lcdyard, appointed, 1794 ; Com- 
fort Tyler, 1799; Jasper Hopper, 1802; George 
W. Olmsted, 1 8 10 ; Jasper Hopper, 1811; Tru- 
man Adams, 1818 ; Daniel Mosely, 1823 ; Reuben 
L. Hess, 1826; Alanson Edwards, 1835: Elijah 
Rhoades, elected, 1838; Charles T. Hicks, 1841 ; 
Vivus W. Smith, 1846; Rufus Cossit, 1849; Bern- 
ard Slocum, 1852; Edwin P. Hopkins, 1S55 ; Vic- 
tory J. Birdseye, 1858; Elijah S. Payne, 1861 ; 
Carroll E. Smith, 1864; Theodore L. Poole, 1S67; 
Edgar E. Ewers, 1870 ; Charles A. Hurd, elected 
November, 1873— died before entering upon the 
duties of his office ; Charles E. Hubbcll, elected at 
special election, December 27, 1873; Thomas H. 
Scott, elected, November, 1876 — present incum- 

Sheriffs of Onondaga County from 1794 to 
1878.- John Harris, 1794 ; Abiather Hull, 1796; 
Comfort Tyler. 1797; Elnathan Beach, 1799; 
Ebenczer R. Hawley, 1801 ; Elijah Phillips, 1805 ; 
Robert Earll, 1S09; Elijah Rust, 1813 ; Jonas 
Earll, 1814; llezekiah L. Granger, 1818 ; Jonas 
Earll, 1819; Luther Marsh, 1823; Lewis Smith, 
1826; John H. Johnson, 1829; Johnson Hall, 
1832 ; Dorastus Lawrence, 1835 ; Elihu L. Phillips, 
1838 ; Frederick Benson, 1841 ; Heber Wcthcrby, 
1844; Joshua C. Cuddeback, 1846; William C. 
Gardner, 1849; Holland W. Chadwick, 1852; 
James M. Munro, 1855 ; George L. Maynard, 1858; 
Byron D. Benson, 1861 ; Jarcd C. Williams, 1864; 
DeWitt C. Toll, 1S67 ; William Evans, 1870 ; Davis 
Cossitt,* 1873 ; John J. Meldram, elected November, 
tSjC) — present Sherifl". 

Treasurers of Onondaga County from 1794 
to 1878. — Appointed by the Board of Supervisors : 
Moses Carpenter, May 27, 1794; Jacob R. DeWitt, 
1799; Jacobus DePuy, October i, 1805 ; Oliver R, 

* The official ligiMlurc of Mr. Cowitt ihowi that he tpclli hii name 
with two final " t'l." Hit father, Rufiu Couit, and other membera of 
the family, ipelled their name with one final "t." 

Strong, October 5. 1809 — resigned November 11, 
1830; Moses S. Marsh, appointed November 12, 
— declined November 13, 1830; Hezckiah Strong, 
appointed November 13, 1830, — died 1842 ; Benja- 
min F. Colvin, appointed November, 1842 ; George 
B. Walters, December, 1844; Phares Gould, 
November, 1845. 

The office of County Treasurer was made elective 
by the people, in 1846, since when the following 
persons have been elected : Cornelius M. Bros- 
nan, elected November, 1846; entered on the 
duty of his office January i, 1847, — resigned 
December 9, 1848 ; Wheeler Truesdell, appointed 
to fill vacancy, December 9, 1848 ; elected 
Treasurer, January i, 1849: Columbus C. Bradley, 
elected November, 1851, entered upon his office 
January 1, 1S52 : Barton M. Hopkins, elected 
November, 1S54 ; Patrick H. Agan, November, 
1857 ; Henry W. Slocum, November, i860; Dudley 
P. Phelps, November, 1863 ; Park Wheeler, Novem- 
ber, 1866; George H. Gilbert, November, 1869; 
Charles W. Ostrander, November, 1872 ; Robert 
Hewitt, elected November, 1875, present Treasurer. 

Members of Congress from Onondaga County 
and the District of which it was part, from 
1802 TO 1878. — The Colonial Congress was entitled 
to si.\ delegates from New York. After the adop- 
tion of the Constitution, the number entitled to 
seats from this State was still si.\, in the first and 
second Congresses, from 1789 to 1791. In 1792, a 
new apportionment was made under which ten 
members were allowed to New York. In 1802, the 
counties of Onondaga, Tioga and Chenango were 
formed into one Congressional District (the Ninth> 
and were entitled to one member. 

In the 9th Congress, Hon. Eri Tracy of Chenango, 
was elected to represent the district. Of the same 
Congress, Hon. Silas Halsey, of Cayuga, formerly 
a Judge of Onondaga County Courts, was also a 

In the loth Congress, Hon. Reuben Humphreys, 
of Onondaga, represented the Thirteenth District ; 
Hon. John Harris, of Cayuga, formerly Sheriff of 
Onondaga county, was a member from the Four- 
teenth District ; and Hon. William Kirkpatrick, 
Superintendent of the Onondaga Salt Springs, rep- 
resented the Eleventh District. Hon. Eri Tracy 
represented the Sixteenth District in the nth and 
12th Congresses (1809 to 1813.) In 1813-14, in 
the 13th Congress, Hon. James Gcddes represented 
the new district ^Nineteenth) composed of the 
counties of Onondaga and Cortland. In the 14th 
Congress (18 15-161 Victory Birdseye was Represen- 
tative ; 15th, James Porter; i6th, George Hall ; 17th 



and 1 8th, Elisha Litchfield ; 19th, Luther Badger ; 
20th and 2ist, Jonas Earll, Jr. ; 22d, Freeborn G. 
Jewett ; 23d, 24th and 25th, William Taylor ; 26th, 
Nehemiah H. Earll ; 27th, Victory Birdseye ; 28th 
and 29th, Horace Wheaton ; 30th and 31st, Daniel 
Gott. [In 1822 Onondaga was a district alone, till 
1832, when it was made a joint district with Madi- 
son county, and entitled to two members. In 1842 
it was again a single district, as it now stands ;] 
32d and 33d, Daniel T. Jones; 34th and 35th, 
Amos P. Granger ; 36th and 37th, Charles B. 
Sedgwick ; 38th and 39th, Thomas T. Davis ; 40th 
and 41st, Dennis McCarthy ; 42d and 43d, R. Hol- 
land Duell ; 44th and 45th, Frank Hiscock. 

State Sen.^tors for Onondaga County from 
1799 TO 1878. — At the time of the adoption of the 
first Constitution of the State of New York in 1777, 
Tryon county was entitled to six members of 
Assembly and the State was divided into four 
Senatorial Districts. The Western District was 
composed of the counties of Albany and Tryon, 
and six Senators were annually chosen from the body 
of the freeholders of the State for the term of four 
years. As the population of the country increased 
various alterations were made, and Senators were 
chosen at large for the Western District. But it 
seems that Senators were not over punctual in their 
attendance from the western part of the State. 
From the Journal of the Senate we find the follow- 
ing members in attendance from Onondaga up to 
1822 :* Moss Kent, 1799 ; Jedediah Sanger, 1800; 
William Stewart, 1801 ; Joseph Annin, (Cayuga) 
1802 ; Asa Danforth, 1803 ; (none from Onondaga 
county from 1806 to 1815 ;) Henry Seymour, 18 16, 
'17, '18 and '19; none in 1821 and '22. (After 
the change of the Constitution in 1822 the State 
was divided into eight Senatorial Districts. The 
Seventh was composed of Onondaga, Cayuga, 
Seneca and Ontario counties, after which we have 
the following Senators from Onondaga) : Jonas 
Earll, Jr., 1823; Victory Birdseye, 1827; Hiram 
F. Mather, 1829; Samuel L. Edwards, 1833; 
Elijah Rhoades, 1841 ; James Sedgwick, 1845. 
(Senators under the Constitution of 1846) : George 
Geddes, 1848, '49, '50 and '51 ; James Munro, 
1852, 'S3, '54 and '55 ; James Noxon, 1856 and '57 ; 
John J. Foote, 1858 and '59; Allen Munroe, i860, 
'61, '62 and '63 ; Andrew D. White, 1864, '65, '66 
and '67 ; George N. Kennedy, 1868, '69, '70 and 
'71 ; Daniel P, Wood, 1872, '73. '74 and '75 ; 
Dennis McCarthy, 1876 and '77, present Senator. 

Members of Assembly for Onondaga County 
FROM 1794 TO 1878. — Michael Myers was elected a 

* I Clark's Onondaga, 397. 

Member from Herkimer in 1792. After the organi- 
zation of Onondaga county, it was a joint district 
with Herkimer, and Jedediah Sanger represented the 
two counties in the House in i794-'95. There was 
no return for Member of Assembly for either Her- 
kimer or Onondaga for the years 1796 and 1797. 
Comfort Tyler and Silas Halsey were Members for 
Onondaga in 1798 and 1790. In the latter year 
Cayuga was taken off, and Ebenezer Butler elected 
for Onondaga county ; also Member in 1800; Asa 
Danforth, 1801 and 1802; John McWhorter and 
John Lamb, 1803 ; James Geddes and John Mc 
Whorter, 1804: William J. Vredenburgh and John 
Ballard, 1805 ; Jasper Hopper and William J. 
Vredenburgh, 1806; Ozias Burr and Squire Munro, 
1807 ; Joshua Forman and John McWhorter, 1808 ; 
Jacobus DePuyand Barnet Mooney, 1809 ; Jacobus 
DePuy and Barnet Mooney, iSio; Jasper Hopper 
and Robert Earll, 181 1 ; Jonathan Stanley and 
Barnet Mooney, 1812 ; Isaac Smith and Moses 
Nash, 1813; Moses Nash and Barnet Mooney, 
1814; He'zekiah L. Granger and James Porter, 
1815 ; Truman Adams, Elijah Miles, George Hall 
and Nathan Williams, 1816 ; Gideon Wilcoxon, 
James Webb, Asa Wells and Elijah Miles, 1817 ; 
David Munro, Abijah Earll, Asa Wells and James 
Webb, 1818; David Munro, Henry Case, Nathan 
Williams and Elisha Litchfield, 1819 ; Lewis Smith, 
Jonas Earll, Jr., Henry Seymour and Henry Field, 
1820; Jonas Earl, Jr., Lewis Smith, George Pettitand 
Jonathan Deming, 1821 : James Geddes, David 
Munro, Josephus Baker and Sylvester Gardner, 
1822 ; Victory Birdseye, Timothy Baker, Samuel 
L. Edwards and Harrold White, 1823; Samuel L. 
Edwards, Timothy Baker, George Pettit and Mat- 
thew Van Vleck, 1824 ; James R. Lawrence, Moses 
Kinne, James Pettit and Erastus Baker, 1825 ; John 
G. Forbes, David Willard, Freeborn G. Jewett and 
Chauncey Betts, 1826; Daniel Mosely, Chauncey 
Betts, Charles Jackson and Aaron Burt, 1827 ; 
Timothy Barber, Aaron Burt, Daniel Baxter and 
Gideon Frothingham, 1828 ; Lewis Smith, Samuel 
R. Matthews, Johnson Hall and Herman Jenkins, 
1829; Johnson Hall, Dorastus Lawrence, Thomas 
J. Gilbert and Timothy Brown, 1830; Thomas J. 
Gilbert, Otis Bigelow, Elisha Litchfield and J. H. 
Parker, 1831 ; Miles W. Bennett, Elisha Litchfield, 
Elijah W. Curtis and Ichabod Moss, 1832; Asa 
Eastwood, Elisha Litchfield, Myron L. Mills and 
Gabriel Tappan, 1833 ; Oliver R. Strong, Horace 
Wheaton, Jared H. Parker and Squire M. Brown, 
1834; George Pettit, John Wilkinson, Sanford C. 
Parker and David C. Lytic, 1835 ; Sanford C. Par- 
ker, John Wilkinson, David Munro and Daniel Den- 



ison, 1836; Nathan Soule, Wm. Porter, Jr., George 
Pettit and Daniel Denison, 1837 ; Phares Gould, 
Victor)' Birdseyc, James R. Lawrence and Azariah 
Smith, 1838 ; James R. Lawrence, Azariah Smith, 
Pharos Gould and James L. \'oorhees, 1839; \"ictory 
Birdseyc, Azariah Smith, James R. Lawrence and 
Phares Gould, 1S40; Moses D. Burnet, David 
Munro, William Taylor and William Fuller, 1841 ; 
William Taylor, William Fuller, David Munro and 
John Spencer, 1842: Thomas McCarthy, Charles 
R. Vary, Benjamin French and Thomas Sherwood. 
1843 ; Elisha Litchfield, Scth Hutchinson, Thomas 
G. Alvord and Warner Abbott 1844 ; David Pres- 
ton, Dennis McCarthy, Julius C. Kinnc and Lake 
L Teft. 1845; Lake I. Teft. Julius C. Kinnc, 
Alonzo Wood and Elihu L. Phillips. 1846 ; Manoah 
Pratt, William Henderson, John Lakin and Joseph 
Prindlc, 1847; Curtis J. Hurd, Thomas Spencer, 
Horace Hazen and James Little. 1848; Joseph J. 
Glass, Myron Wheaton, Joseph Slocum and Samuel 
Hart, 1849; James Little, Benjamin J. Cowles, 
Elias W. Leavenworth and Harvey G.Anderson, 
1850; Demosthenes C. LeRoy, John F. Clark, 
George Stevens and Daniel Denison, 185 1 ; Lyman 
Norton, William E. Tallman, George Stevens and 
John Merritt, 1852 ; Alonzo Case, Samuel S. Knee- 
land, Daniel P. Wood and Isaac V. V. Hibbard. 
1853 ; James M. Munro, Milton A. Kinney. Daniel 
P. Wood and William Richardson. 1854; James 
M. Munro. William J. Machan. Dudley P. Phelps 
and Joshua V. H. Clark, 1855 ; Irvin Williams. 
James Longstreet, lUirr Burton and Jabez Lewis. 
1856; John D. Uhoades, Sidney Smith, Elias W. 
Leavenworth and Charles M. Meade, 1857 ; James 
Frazee, Thomas G. Alvord and Levi S. Holbrook, 
1858 ; Luke Ranncy. Henry W. Slocum and Orin 
Aylsworth, 1859; Jeremiah Emerick, Austin 
Myers and Philetus Clark, i860; Jeremiah Emer- 
ick, Austin Myers and Abner Chapman, i86r ; 
Frederick A. Lyman, Thomas G. Alvord and R. 
Nelson Gere, 1S62 ; James M. Munro. Elizur Clark 
and Joseph Breed, 1863 ; Albert L. Green, Thomas 
G. Alvord and Conrad Shoemaker, 1864; Albert 
L. Green, Daniel P. Wood and Harvey P. Tolman, 
1865 ; Luke Ranncy, Daniel P. Wood and L. Har- 
ris Hiscock, 1866; Daniel P. Wood, L. Harris His- 
cock and Samuel Candee, 1867; Augustus G. S. 
AUis, Luke Ranncy and Hiram Eaton, 1868 ; 
James V. Kendall, Moses Summers and Miles B. 
Hackctt, 1S69; Thomas G. Alvord, Nathan R. 
TetTt and Gustavus Sniper, 1870; Thomas G. Al- 
vord. Peter Burns and Gustavus Sniper, 1871 ; 
Thomas G. Alvord, Peter Burns and Gustavus 
Sniper, 1872; Wm. H. H. Gere, George Raynor 

and John I. Furbcck, 1873 ; Thomas G. Alvord. 
George Barrow and Charles Simon. 1874 ; Allen 
Munroe, Carroll E. Smith and C. Fred. Herbst, 
1875 ; Thomas G. Alvord, Carroll E. Smith and 

C. Fred. Herbst. 1876; Thomas G. Alvord. Samuel 
Willis and Josiah G. Holbrook 1877 '78. 

Delegates to the Convention to Revise the 
Constiti;tion — 1822: Victory Birdseye, Parley 
E. Howe. Amasi Case. Asa Eastwood. 

Convention of 1846: William Taylor. Elijah 
Rhoades. Cyrus H. Kingsley. David Munro. 

Convention of 1867: Hon. Frank Hiscock, 
Hon. Charles Andrews. L. Harris Hiscock, Hon. 
Thomas G. Alvord, Patrick Corbett. 

Members of the Constitutional Commission — 
1872: Hon. Elias W. Leavenworth and Hon. 
Daniel Pratt. of the State University. — The 
members of this Board, except ex officio members, 
are appointed for life, unless they resign. Hon. 
Elias W. Leavenworth, as Secretary of State, was 
ex officio member of the Board in 1854 and 1855. 
He was appointed a member permanently Feb. 5, 
i86i,i'/<r<f Jesse Buell, deceased. Orris H. Warren, 

D. D., appointed a member of this Board, vice Dr. 
George, resigned. April 11, 1877. 

Other State Officers. — Hon. Thomas G. 
Alvord. elected Lieutenant Governor Nov. 8, 1S64; 
Speaker of the House of Assembly. June 26, 1858, 
and Jan 5. 18G4. 

Hon. E. W. Leavenworth, elected Secretary of 
State Nov., 1853. 

Hon. Daniel Pratt elected Attorney General 
Nov. 4. 1873. 

Gen. Henry A. Barnum elected State Prison In- 
spector Nov. 7, 1S65. 

John M. Jaycox elected Canal Commissioner 
Nov. 4, 1857 ; Reuben W. Stroud Nov. 4. 1872. 

Hon. Elisha Litchfield elected Speaker of the 
House of Assembly Jan. 2, 1844. 

Hon. Vivus W. Smith, State Appraiser, appoint- 
ed Jan. 24, 1872. vice Samuel North. 

First Board of Supervisors of Onondaga 
County. 1794. — The first meeting of the Board of 
Supervisors of Onondaga county was held at the 
house of Asa Danforth, in the town of Manlius. on 
Wednesday, May 27,1794 The following named 
persons composed the Board : Silas Halsey, of 
Ovid ; Benjamin Boardman, of Romulus ; Ezckiel 
Crane, of Aurelius ; Comfort Tyler, of Manlius ; 
John Stoyles, of Scipio ; Moses De Witt, of 
Pompey. Not present : Wyllys Bishop, of Milton ; 
Robert McDowell, of Ulysses ; and William 



Stevens, of Marcellus. The towns of Homer and 
Lysander were not then organized. 

The accounts of the Board were kept in pounds, 
shillings, pence and farthings, till the year 1798. 
In 1794, the total valuation of property in the 
county was ;£ 19,479. The total tax raised was 
£,2'/i.i'j-i\d. In 1797 the Board of Supervisors 
gave the following : Total inhabitants, 1,759 » total 
valuation of property, ;g 146,679.37. In 1799, after 
Cayuga was set off, the population was 1,036. 

In December, 1795, the Board of Supervisors met 
in Scipio, then included in Onondaga county. The 
following report of their action is copied from an 
original manuscript in the possession of Mr. James 
W. Gould, of Syracuse, which is among other old 
and valuable relics preserved by his father, who was 
one of the pioneers of Onondaga : 

" A Resolve of the Supervisors at their 
Meeting in Scipio." 

" Resolved, That the following recommendations 
be transmitted to the different towns in this county 
by their respective Supervisors, viz : 

Whereas, The Supervisors of the county of On- 
ondaga have many inconveniences by the various 
modes taken in the different towns in assessing the 
ratable property in the county, have thought it a 
duty to recommend to the assessors of each respect- 
ive town next to be chosen in said town, a mode of 
taking the valuation of property which appears to 
us the most eligible in our local situation, desiring 
this to be publicly read at the next annual town 
meeting, which uniform mode will render the next 
Board of Supervisors, our successors in office, more 
capable of doing justice in levying taxes in our in- 
fant state, viz : 

Estimate as follows : 
Improved lands of a medium 

quality 20s. per acre. 

Working oxen of a medium 

quahty ;^i6 per yoke. 

Cows of a medium quality £ 5 per piece. 

Young cattle of three years old 

and under 20s. per year. 

Horses of a medium quality ;^io per piece. 

Colts three years old and under 40s. per year. 
Hogs that will weigh 100 weight 20s. per piece. 

Negro men £^0 per head. 

Negro wenches £^0 per head. 

Grist Mills ;^SO per piece. 

Saw mills ;^30 per piece. 

" And those articles of an inferior and superior 
quality, in proportion, and other ratable property in 
like proportion. 

"The Board further recommends to the consider- 
ation of the different towns the following mode in 
making the assessment, viz: That each person hold- 
ing ratable property shall give in to the Assessor a 
list of his or her ratable property or estate, in writ- 
ing, agreeable to the request of the Assessor, 
which will be an avoucher to the Assessor, and pre- 

vent any aspersions of injustice of being taxed un- 
equally by those having that part of duty to per- 
form in society. 

" The Board also recommends to Assessors that 
they completely make out their list of assessments 
by the first of May, as the law directs, so that the 
Supervisors may be enabled to proceed on their 
business at their first meeting, and save the county 

"And further, we also recommend to the towns 
to adopt a uniform mode of granting a bounty on 
wolves, and render the reward of each man in his 
exertions for the destruction of these animals. 
Therefore, with submission, we think a reward of 
forty shillings, in addition to the bounty allowed by 
the county, to be adequate for the bounty of each 

" The Board submits the above recommendations 
to the consideration of the several towns in the 
county of Onondaga. 

" By order of the Board. 

Comfort Tyler, Clerk. 

"Scipio, December 20th, 1795." 

Supervisors for 1878. 

Camillus — Sidney H. Cook, Jr. 
Clay — Jacob W. Coughtry. 
Cicero — Nelson R Eastwood. 
DeWitt— Josiah G. Holbrook. 
Elbridge — Alfred D. Lewis. 
Fabius — Newell Rowley. 
Geddes — N. Stanton Gere. 
Lysander — J. T. Skinner. 
LaFayette — George W. Mclntyre. 
Manlius — Anson Smith. 
Marcellus — Robert E. Dorchester. 
Onondaga — James C. Rann. 
Otisco — Henry W. Hotchkiss. 
Pompey— Marshal R. Dyer. 
Salina— George Bassett. 
Skaneateles— John H. Gregory. 
Spafiford — Benjamin McDaniels. 
Tully— Ellis V. King. 
Van Buren— Augustus W. Bingham. 
First Ward — Thomas Nicholson. 
Second Ward— Michael Kohles. 
Third Ward— William H. H. Gere. 
Fourth Ward— John Rombach. 
Fifth Ward— Egbert Draper. 
Sixth Ward— George W. Chase. 
Seventh Ward— William C. Anderson. 
Eighth Ward— H. Wadsworth Clarke. 

County Officials, 1^,7^— Miscellaneous. 
Justices of Sessions— Martin L. Gardner, Nava- 
rino ; George W. Hill, Otisco. 

District Attorney— Nathaniel M. White, Bald- 




Coroners — A. J. Dallas, Syracuse ; S. M. Hig- 
gins, Memphis; Jonathan Kneeland, South Onon- 

Loan Commissioners — Zenas A. Jones, Pompey ; 
J. Maxon, Elbridge. 

School Commissioners — Richard W. McKinley, 
Collamer ; James W. Hooper, Geddes ; Robert 
Van Keuren, Jordan. 

Superintendent of the Poor — Henry H. Loomis, 

Superintendent of the Penitentiary — Jared C. 
Williams, Syracuse. 

Clerk of the Board of Supervisors — Bingham X. 
Bailey, Syracuse. 

Report of the Committee on- Equ.m.iz.-vtio.v, 
Passed by the Board of Supervisors Decem- 

BEK 14, 1877. 

To the Board of Supervisors of Onondaga County : 
Your Committee on Equalization would beg 
leave to present their final report, as embraced in 
the following table, showing the aggregate corrected 
valuation of the several towns of the count}' and the 
city of Syracuse, upon which is apportioned the State 
and county la.\, which, together with the town ta.\, 
makes up the aggregate tax to be raised in the 
several towns and the city. Your committee would 
therefore offer the following resolution and recom- 
mend its adoption : 

Resolved, That the aggregate tax set opposite the 
several towns of the county and city of Syracuse, 
as exhibited in the table accompanying this report, 
be levied and assessed upon the taxable property of 
the towns and city respectively, as their proportion 
of the State, county and town tax for the year 

1877. Respectfully .submitted, 

A. Van Vleck, Wm. C. Anderson, 


A. W. Bingham, N. P. Eastwood, 
O. F. SouLE, W. H. H. Gere, 


Mr. Kendall moved that the report be accepted 
and the resolution adopted. Carried, as follows : 

AvES — Messrs. Sherwood, Coughtry, Eastwood, 
Holbrook, Van Vleck, Rowley, N. S. Gere, Kendall, 
Mclntyre, Smith, Comstock, Niles, Dyer, Bassett, 
Earll, Willis, Bingham, Avery, Mason, W. H. H. 
Gere, Rombach, Soule, Chase, Anderson, Rose — 25. 

Nays — Messrs Dorchester and Weston — 2. 

Military Organization for Onondaga Coun- 
ty — 1791. — On the 8th of March, 1791, the fol- 
lowing appointments were made for Herkimer, in 
Major J. L. Hardenburgh's battalion, General Vol- 
kert, Veeder's Brigade : Captains — Moses DeWitt, 
Benjamin Dey and Roswell Franklin ; Lieutenants 
— Jacob Hart, Hezekiah Olcott, Joshua Patrick and 
Josiah Buck ; Ensigns — Samuel Lackey, Asa Dan- 
forth, Jr., Nathan Walker and James Alexander ; 
David Holbrook, Surgeon. 

Patrick Campbell was appointed Brigadier-Gen- 
eral for Herkimer, Oct 9, 1793. In the same year 
Moses DeWitt was appointed Major ; Asa Dan- 
forth. Major. First Company: Hezekiah Olcott 
Captain; Jeremiah Gould, Lieutenant; Comfort 
Tyler, Ensign. Second Company : Asa Danforth, 
Jr., Captain ; Orris Curtiss, Lieutenant ; James 
Clark, Ensign. 

In March, 1794, the following appointments were 
made for Onondaga county : Major John L. Har- 
denburgh's Battalion : Solomon Buell, Captain, 
Light Infantry ; Noah Olmsted, Lieutenant ; Jona- 
than Brownell, PInsign. Majors DeWitt and Dan- 
forth's Battalion : Jeremiah Jackson, Captain, Light 
Infantry; Jonathan Russell, Lieutenant ; Sier Cur- 
tis, Ensign. 

On the 8th of April, 1795, Othneil Taylor, Esq., 
was appointed Commandant of a Brigade, compris- 
ing the counties of Onondaga and Ontario, with 
the rank and title of Brigadier General. A troop 

* Valuation and Taxation of the Real and Personal Estate ot" the County of Onondaga for the Year 1877. 




































Camillus 21,100 $jo 

Cicero Z9,ooo IJ 

Clay 19.500 lo 

De Witt ! ij.+oo i6 

Elbridge 22,200 }o 

Fabius 50,000 14 

Geddes 6,J74 100 

LaFayette 22,200 18 

Lysandcr j8,ooo 24 

^Ianlius , )o,)oo 27 

Marcellus 118,900 21 

Onondaga 4>.'oo 28 

Olisco IS.SOO 14 

Pompey. J9iOoo 18 

Salina 8,445, 60 

Skaneateles 2J,&oo 26 

Spaflford 18,500 14 

Tully "S.ftoo 14 

Van Burcn 21,600 28 

Syracuse 7.Ioo 


j2,j66,70O $2,n5,o69 

4J 5,0001 










































61 J, 600 









2, 328,460 











121, 5CO 




?s.iss 51 


$2,098 53 





2,9.}! 41 

1,020 62 

7.612 J7 



4,548 72 

3,771 12 

1,501 SO 

10,821 34 



4,700 72 

3,897 05 

2,665 40 

11,165 '7 



5,530 ic 

4.667 54 

3,284 35' 

13.581 99 



3,355 sSl 

2,781 71 


7.375 07 



5,311 48, 

4,405 37 

7,3" 16 





2,740 02 

1,522 10! 

7,667 28 



7,Sl5 IS' 

6,480 21 

3,186 10' 

17,481 s6 



7,637 40 

5,327 50 





3,416 40! 

2,852 30 


7,567 " 




7.675 33 

2,82; 64' 




1,856 58: 







4,501 53 


■1,339 94 



3,</7S 06 

3,198 07 

10,565 13 

17,642 26 

.00997" 3 


6,206 58i 

5,145 51 

4,044 10 




2,188 171 


595 4S 




1,841 76' 


1.233 35 




5,028 82' 


1,172 09 





50,551 13 

118,503 02 




,' 18,088,7601 56,717,685 66,727,685 89,o(/i, 235 75,795,920 151,44816 115.55870 184,04973 461,0566.) 



Ononoaoa County Poor Hou^l. 



of horse was organized in the said Brigade in 
1795, and Walter D. Nicholls, appointed Captain. 

In 1796 the Governor organized several new regi- 
ments in the Counties of Ontario and Onondaga. 
The battalion hitherto commanded by Major Dan- 
forth was made a regiment, comprising the town- 
ships of Hannibal, Lysander, Cicero, Manlius, Pom- 
pey, Fabius, Solon, Cincinnatus, Tully, Virgil, Ca- 
millus, Sempronius, Locke, Dryden, and the Onon- 
daga Reservation. Asa Danforth, Lieutenant- 
Colonel, Commandant ; Hezekiah Olcott, first Ma- 
jor ; Josiah Buck, second Major ; Joshua Wickoff, 
first Lieutenant ; Thaddeus M. Wood, second 
Lieutenant ; and Colman Keeler, Cornet in Cap- 
tain Nicholl's troop of horse, General Taylor's 
brigade, appointed March, 1797. 

The following oflScers were appointed in Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel Danforth's regiment, viz : Hezekiah 
Olcott, first Major ; Asa Danforth, Jr., second 
Major ; John Ellis, Adjutant ; Elijah Rust, Pay- 
master ; Jabez Hull, Quartermaster ; William Need- 
ham, Surgeon ; Walter Colton, Surgeon's Mate ; 
Jesse Butler, Lieutenant ; Comfort Tyler, Captain ; 
Nehemiah H. Earll, Lieutenant ; Elijah Phillips, 
Captain ; Caleb Pratt, Lieutenant ; John Lamb 
Captain ; William Cook, Lieutenant ; Samuel Je- 
rome, Captain, David Williams, Captain ; Robert 
Earll, Captain, etc., etc. 

The population of the county in 1800, 7,698 ; 
1810, 25,987; 1820, 41.497; 1830, 58.973; 1840, 
67,911 ; 1855,86,575 ; 1865,92,972; 1870,104,183; 
1875, 112,186. 

(For full tables of population and other statistics, 
see statistical department of this work.) 


County Poor House and Insane Asylum — 
County Penitentiary — State Asylum for 

THE Onondaga County Poor House and Asy- 
lum are situated upon Onondaga Hill about 
two miles distant from the city of Syracuse. The 
site contains 36^ acres of land. It contained 
originally about 145 acres, being part of lot No. 87 
in the town of Onondaga, and purchased by the 
county of Josiah Bronson in the year 1826. 

The following is from the minutes of the Board 
of Supervisors at a meeting held November 24, 

" The Board of Supervisors of the County of 
Onondaga having taken into consideration the pro- 
priety of erecting a County Poor House, appointed 

a select committee consisting of the following gen- 
tlemen : George Pettit, Hezekiah Strong and 
Charles H. Toll." The committee embodied in 
their report the following charges for the county 
poor during the years from 1823 to 1826 inclusive : 

Aggregate charges for the yeari823 $2,459 ^^ 

The like for the year 1824 2,560 98 

The like for the year 1825 3,973 66 

The like for the year 1826 5,767 47 

Increase of charges from 1823 to 1824, $10,114 > 
from 1824 to 1825, $,1412.68; from 1825 to 1826, 
$1,793.83 ; total increase in three years, $3,307.65. 

This showed the disadvantage of not having suit- 
able provisions for the poor. The committee in 
view of all the circumstances recommended that 
" the Board do avail themselves of the pro- 
visions of the act entitled 'An act to provide for the 
estabhshment of County Poor Houses, passed No- 
vember 27, 1824." The following resolutions were 
adopted : 

''Resolved, That the sum of two thousand dol- 
lars be forthwith raised in the county of Onondaga 
towards purchasing a site and erecting a county 
Poor House." 

"Resolved, That the members of this Board be 
a committee to examine, investigate and enquire as 
to the best location in said county for the said Poor 
House, and report their opinions and views on the 
subject to a future extra meeting of the Board." 

At the annual meeting of the Board held at the 
house of Z. Rust, on the 28th day of November, 
1826, it was 

"Resolved, That it be and is hereby determined 
that it will be beneficial to the said county to erect 
a county Poor House." 

" Resolved, That a copy of the above resolution 
be signed by the President and Clerk of this Board, 
and be forthwith filed with the Clerk of the said 

Elisha Litchfield, President. 

James Webb, Clerk. 

At the next meeting of this Board,^held at the 
house of Z. and G. Rust, in. the town of Onondaga, 
on the second Tuesday in January, 1827, present 
all the members except Charles Jackson, of La- 
Fayette, propositions were received of farms for sale 
to the Board of Supervisors for county Poor House 
purposes, in the towns of Manlius, Pompey, and 
many other localities in the county. The Board 
adopted the following resolution : 

" Resolved, That the location of the County Poor 
House shall be within ten miles of the Court 

A committee was then appointed consisting of 
Russell Chase, Hezekiah Strong, Charles H. Toll, 
Fisher Curtis and George Pettit, to examine a farm 
offered by Mr. Josiah Bronson, being part of Lot 
87 in the town of Onondaga, 100 acres or more at 



$20.00 per acre, and report upon the same at the 
next adjourned meeting. 

On the ninth day of February, 1827, the Board 
met again at the house of Z. and G. Rust. The 
committee reported favorably upon the farm oiTered 
by Josiah Bronson, and the Board resolved to accept 
the same, " containing about 145 acres, at the price 
of $18.00 per acre." 

" Resolved, That the Board of Supervisors will 
pay Josiah Bronson the sum of $500 on taking a 
deed, and the residue in two equal annual install- 
ments with interest, amounting to about S735 each 
to be secured to said Bronson by mortgage, and the 
said Supervisors take upon themselves to pay the 
State mortgage, amounting to about S640.00, and 
the said Bronson reserves the wheat now on the 

Hezekiah Strong, Fisher Curtis and George 
Pettit were appointed a building committee, with 
instructions to " build a house not exceeding 60 feet 
in length and 36 feet in width, two stories above the 
cellar or basement, all of stone, and the expense of 
which shall not exceed $2,500.00." By a resolution 
passed at this meeting, Oliver R. Strong, Daniel 
Mosely, Truman Adams, Azariah Smith and James 
Webb, were appointed Superintendents of the Poor 
House. The building committee were instructed 
to build the barn 42 by 32 feet, and other out- 
buildings not exceeding in the whole $300.00. 
Hezekiah Strong, Fisher Curtis and George Pettit, 
were appointed a committee to raise the funds nec- 
essary to erect the buildings. 

The Poor House was completed on the 17th of 
December, 1827. Our space will not allow us to 
enter into a detailed account of all the changes and 
improvements which have been made in the last 
half century both in the buildings and in the 
manner of taking care of the poor and the insane. 
This important interest has kept pace with other 
improvement in the county, and has of late years 
commanded increasing attention and interest. The 
main building of the present Poor House was 
erected in 1854. In i860 the first stone build- 
ing for the Asylum was erected. Extensive im- 
provements were made during the years from 1866 
to 1873, under the administration of Mr. C. C. 
Warner, who had charge of the Institution during 
the years referred to, and to whose economical 
management and indefatigable labors the people 
of the county are much indebted. Under his 
administration the Reservoir for the supply of the 
county buildings with water was constructed in 
1867, at a cost of $4,000. In 1868, a new Asylum, 
built of stone, 32 by 76 feet and three stories in 
height, was built, costing about $16,000. The 

same year one wing of the Poor House was enlarged 
and a story added to it, at a cost of about $8,000. 
In 1871, the carriage and hay barn, 32 by 76 feet, 
with stone basement, was built to supply the place 
of the one previously destroyed by fire. This barn 
was erected at the very moderate cost of $1,550. 
A great improvement was made in the whole 
general appearance of the premises ; the road in 
front was elevated and graveled ; side-walks were 
built, and rows of beautiful shade trees planted. 

Mr. Warner being elected to the office of Super- 
intendent, appointed Mr. Knapp his successor as 
keeper, who had charge of the Poor House and 
Asylum until April ist, 1875, at which date the 
present incumbent, Mr. Ambrose Sadler, assumed 

The Annual Report of the Superintendent, H. 
H. Loomis, Esq., for the year ending November 9, 
1877, shows that the receipts from all sources, in- 
cluding an appropriation by the Board of Supervi- 
sors of $18,000, was $23,072.86, and the total dis- 
bursements, $19,579 17. The amount of cash on 
hand was $3,493.69, and the amount of supplies, 
$1,725.00. Estimated amount necessary to meet 
the current expenses of the Poor House and Asylum 
for the ensuing year, $16,000. 

The number of children now in the different 
chai'itable institutions who are supported by the 
county is fifty-three. Of these 24 are in the On- 
ondaga County Orphan Asylum, 15 in the St. 
Vincent de Paul Orphan Asylum, and 14 in the 
House of Providence. 

The number of persons in the Poor House is 
130; 90 of whom are males and 40 females. Of 
the 117 in the Insane Asylum, 47 are males and 40 
females. The number admitted to the Asylum 
during the year is 49 ; 26 have been maintained at 
their own expense or that of their friends, $2.00 
per week being paid for their board and care ; 10 
have died, 34 have been discharged, and one has 
absconded during the year. 

The following table shows the causes of depend- 
ency of all persons received at the County House 
during the year : 

Intemperance direct 64 

Vagrancy 127 

Indigent and Destitute S3 

Lunacy 42 

Sickness 3° 

Old Age 10 

Debauchery 13 

Bastardy 7 

Blindness 4 

Lameness 6 

Idiocy 6 


The products of the Poor House farm during the duced the Board to change the site to Block 116 in 

past season have been as follows : what had previously been the village of Salina, 

Twenty-five tons of hay, 22.2 bushels of beets, 75 where the Penitentiary now stands. This block 

bushelsofonions 15 biishels of tomatoes 41 bushels was purchased of the State and a patent issued 

ofcarrots, 48 bushels of apples, 95 bushes of wheat, »u r • 1 u u- t- n 1. 1 »-• ■ 

950 pounds of butter, 2,500 pounds of beef, 20 **^"''"^«'' '•^'""'' ^^ "'' Excellency, Hamilton iMsh, 

hogs, and 1,000 head of cabbages. Governor, on the 4th of February, 1850. 

The following is a statement of expenses in- On the 8th of January, 1851, the following resolu- 

curred and the income realized from the farm of tion.moved by Mr. L. Harris Hiscock, was adopted: 

William Moore 1 20 acres) rented in the spring : . " ^f^olved. That the Onondaga County Peniten- 
tiary is completed within the necessary meaning of 

EXPENSES. the Act of April 10, 1850, and that the Board of 

Rent S250 00 Supervisors have full power to officer andorganize 

Seed 75 00 said Penitentiary, under the loth section of that 

S325 00 act, and that so much of the resolutions of the 

INCOME. Board of Supervisors of last year as confers any 

Potatoes, 1303 bushels.. _S52i 20 power to officer and organize said Penitentiary on 

Corn, 224 " 56 00 the Commisioners of the same, be and the same is 

Oats,' ^50 " 11^ 52 50 I hereby rescinded." 

Cornstalks 15 00 In January, 1 85 1, a special act was passed by the 

Oat straw 39 00 Legislature, the first section whereof is in the fol- 

Hay, 3 tons 3000 lowing words : 

^^j "The Jail of the county of Onondaga shall be, 

Profits realized.... ' ——-$394 /O f ^ '^^ ^""^ *' Y'^'^l' '"'^Tr'-/" l^^ ^'fn^u" 

^ tiary of said county, and said Penitentiary shall be 

Onondaga County Penitentiary. used for all the purposes of a jail of said county ; 

and the Superintendent of said Penitentiary, ap- 

On the 4th of December, 1849, Messrs. Robert pointed by the ]?oard of Supervisors, shall be the 

Dunlop, Cyrus Upham and T. C. Cheeney, a com- Jailor thereof, and have the custody and control of 

mittee of the Board of Supervisors to whom was all persons while confined therein, as the Sheriff 

referred the subject of the county jail, reported a ^f^^^W county might have were this law not en^- 

plan for a penitentiary, to be built upon the center ^''section 7. This act shall take efiect immedi- 

of the lot where • the court house and jail then ately." 

stood. The main building was to be 75 by 50 feet !„ the rules and by-laws adopted January 9, 185 1, 

and four stories including basement, with one wing \[ jg provided that three inspectors shall be appoint- 

100 by 50 feet, having one row of windows and four gj by the Board of Supervisors, in meeting now 

tiers of cells. The whole number of cells was to assembled, who shall have the supervision of the 

be 96. It was estimated that the entire cost would penitentiary and the entire control of all its finan- 

be a little less than S20,ooo. cial concerns and operations, and shall purchase and 

The Board of Supervisors, on the 7th of Decem- furnish all the necessary supplies for the Peniten- 

ber, 1849, adopted the report of the above commit- tia^y, one of whom shall hold his office for one 

tee, and passed the following resolutions : year, one for two years and one for three years from 

"Resolved by the Board, That a work-house or j^g first day of January, 185 1. "The said Peni- 

Penitentiary be erected in the county in pursuance ^^^^. ^,^,^,1 ^^ ^,„^,^^ j,^^ ^^^^rol and management 

of the plan submitted to this Board at its present ^ ■ • 1 1 c- ■ . 1 f 1 

session by the committee of which Mr. Dunlop is of one principal keeper or Superintendent and a 

chairman. Board of Inspectors, subject to the authority es- 

Rfsohed, That Mr. Church, of Lysander, Mr. tablishcd by law and the rules and regulations 

Dunlop, of DeWitt, and T. C. Cheeney, of Syra- adopted by the Board of Supervisors for its govern- 

cuse, be appointed commissioners to superintend the ^^^^^ ^^^^^ ^^3,, ^^ ^ physician to the peniten- 

erection of said building. « • • • • . 1 1 i- .■ c 1 

Resolved, That said commissioners and the tiary. to be appointed, and Im compensation fixed 

County Treasurer be empowered to loan a sum of by the Board of Supervisors. • • « 

money necessary for the erection of said building. The Board then proceeded to the election of 

not e.xceeding S20.000, to be deposited in the officers of the Penitentiary, with the following 

County Treasurer's office." • • • ^^^^^j^^ ^1^^ ^.^^^ ^^^^^ ^^ ,33„qj . 

The plan of the committee was carried out with Superi>,le„de>it-]ostY>h A. Yard, 

the exception of locating the building on the Court ///j/rr/c^rj— Lyman Norton, James V. Kcnil.nll. 

House grounds. The delay in moving the Court Aaron Brinkerhoff. 

House to its present location and other causes in- P/ij'sician— James Foran. 



The Penitentiary was originally erected, substan- 1 
tially the same as at present, with the exception of 
the addition of one wing in 1864. A portion of the 
building was re built and other improvements made 
subsequent to the fire which occurred during the 
late war. 

The present condition of the Penitentiary, after 
an experiment of twenty-seven years, is such as 
fully to demonstrate the practical success of the 
institution. The Inspectors — Messrs. H. K. King, 
William Austin and Timothy Hough— in their an- 
nual report to the Board of Supervisors for 1877, 
recommend the erection of additional buildings for 
female prisoners. Hesidcs the great moral advan- 
tages which would obviously result from this policy, 
the increased facilities for taking and working a 
large number of long-term prisoners from adjacent 
counties and from the State at large, would greatly 
increase the profits of the institution and enlarge 
the revenue which it might be made to pay to the 
county. Already, besides paying all expenses for 
the past year, and in a season of considerable busi- 
ness depression, the profits of the Penitentiary have 
reached the net surplus of $12,190.86. The con- 
tractors for the penitentiary labor are Messrs. Fra- 
zer. Hums & Jones. 

The report of the present Superintendent, Mr. 
J. C. Williams, shows that the total income for the 
year 1877 was 538,620.85, and the total expendi- 
tures §25,644.99. Paiancc in favor of the Institu- 
tion ? 1 2,975.86. Items to the amount of $785 to 
be deducted from the above balance making the 
net profit of the Institution §12,190.86. Total 
number of persons in confinement during the year 

The Jail of the county is kept in the Peniten- 1 
tiary building, and is simply a house of detention. 
None are ever confined in this department who are 
undergoing sentence on conviction. No work is 
required of the jail-prisoners, but such as choose to 
work with the penitentiary-prisoners are permitted 
to do so, subject to the rules and regulations of the 

The New York State Asylum for Idiots. 

The New York State Asylum for Idiots was found- 
ed in 1851. It was open for the admission of pupils 
in October of that year in buildings leased for the 
purpose at Albany. 

At the end of four years it was removed to Syra- 
cuse. The first building erected for its use was 
completed in 1855, where it now stands. The cost 
of this was about §70,000, not including the land 
which was given by the citizens of Syracuse. 

The first structure was meant to accommodate 
150 pupils. Successive additions from time to time 
have now doubled its original capacity. 

The buildings stand upon a bold terrace in 
a southwesterly direction from the city. They are 
just west of the city line in the town of Geddes, and 
about a mile and a quarter from the Syracuse Rail- 
road Depot. The grounds of the Asylum include 
about fifty-five acres. 

The object and design of the Asylum is to furnish 
means of education or training to the idiots of the 
State who are of a teachable age and condition ; 
hence the customary age of admission is from 
seven to fourteen. The by-laws of the Asylum 
exclude applicants who are epileptic, insane or 
greatly deformed. 

The education and training to which the pupils 
are submitted has reference mainly to developing in 
them a capacity for some useful occupation and the 
formation of correct habits. 

The girls are trained to household occupations 
and the boys to farm and garden work and two or 
three simple trades. No inconsiderable portion of 
the work in the asylum and about the grounds, is 
done by the pupils. 

The Asylum is under the general control of a 
Board of Trustees, eight of whom are appointed by 
the Governor, and the remaining five are ex officio 
members, consisting of the Governor, Lieutenant 
Governor, Secretary of State, Comptroller and 
Superintendent of Public Instruction. 

Dr. H. B. Wilbur has held the oflfice of Superin- 
tendent of the Asylum from its foundation. 


Onondaga in the War of the Rebellion — 
OuTiiURST OF Patriotism at the Beginning 
OF THE War — t'lRST Enlistments of Volun- 
teers — Captain John G. Butler's Company — 
Pettit's Battery. 

THE late civil war, which had been threatened 
by the South, was precipitated by an attack 
upon P'ort Sumpter, on Sunday, April 14, 1861. 
On Monday following Abraham Lincoln called for 
75,000 volunteers to aid in suppressing the rebel- 
lion. Simultaneously war meetings were held all 
over the Northern States. In this county flags 
were raised in almost every school district. The 
patriotic spirit needed no urging ; such was its in- 
tensity that violence actually threatened the few open 
sympathizers with the South, who, not yet aware of 
the spirit of their neighbors, dared openly to express 



sentiments of sympathy with secession. In a Httle 
while the voices of all such were hushed in the 
general outburst of loyalty and patriotism ; and 
men of all parties, with but few exceptions, forgot 
their political differences in view of the common 
danger which seemed to threaten the country. The 
flag of the Republic had been ruthlessly assailed 
and the very existence of the Nation was imperiled 
by armed treason and rebellion. In such a state of 
things the appeal made to the loyal North for de- 
fenders of the Union, accompanied as it was by the 
authentic announcement that Maj. Anderson's little 
garrison at Charleston had surrendered, and that a 
rebel flag waved from the ramparts of Fort Sump- 
ter, awakened the most intense excitement and 
called forth a response which, for promptness and 
alacrity, has never been equalled in the history of 
any nation. 

The excitement in this locality was much the 
same as it was throughout the Northern States 
generally, except, perhaps, that it was more intense ; 
the strong anti-slavery sentiment of a large portion 
of the people being kindled into a flame by the first 
overt act of hostility on the part of the South. The 
county of Onondaga was behind no other portion 
of the Empire State in the promptness with which 
she furnished her quota of men and sent them for- 
ward to the seat of war. One company had been 
formed in Syracuse by Captain John G. Butler be- 
fore the beginning of the war, in iS6o, and was sent 
on immediately after the attack upon Fort Sumpter 
and formed a part of the 3d New York regiment, 
which participated in the first battle fought for the 
defense of the Union. Immediately upon the call 
for the 75, 000 men in April, 186 1, the 12th Regiment 
was raised and sent to the front, to engage at once 
in active service. Then followed the loist, a regi- 
ment made up partially of Onondaga men, in the 
fall of 1861 ; then the I22d Regiment in the 
summer of 1862 ; this was followed in less than a 
month by the 149th Regiment, and this again by 
the 185th, in the summer of 1864. The 15th and 
22d Cavalry were respectively raised and sent from 
this county. Besides these Jenney's and Pettit's 
Batteries and a considerable portion of the ist 
Regiment of Light Artillery were furnished from 
this county in 1861. The 3d New York Cavalry, 
mustered into the service in August, 1861 ; the 
loth Cavalry, December, 1861 ; the 12th Cavalry, 
November, 1862; the 20th Cavalry, September, 
1863 ; and the 24th Cavalry, organized at Auburn 
and mustered in January, 1864, were in part made 
up by men from Onondaga county. Also part of 
the 9th New York Heavy Artillery. This county 

and Cortland furnished eight companies of the 
2d Regiment of Ira Harris Light Cavalry, recruited 
in September and October, 1864. In infantry, be- 
sides the full regiments, this county furnished a 
portion of t-he 44th New York, mustered in, in 1861 ; 
the 75th, 1861 ; the 86th, i86i ; and the loist, 
1 86 1. The 193d Regiment was partly raised here 
in April, 1865, and the 194th, mustered in, the same 

Thus it will be seen that, besides the filling of 
the complete regiments made up from this county, 
recruiting was going on briskly here from the begin- 
ing to the end of the war. Indeed, it began before 
the war broke out, and continued so long as a man 
was needed to complete the last great struggle with 
the Rebellion in front of Richmond in 1865. We 
have no means of determining the exact number of 
men furnished to the Government, first and last, by 
this county, but the aggregate will no doubt ap- 
proximate 10,000 men. The county raised about 
1,000 men over and above her quota. 

Captain Butler's Company. 

The tour of the Ellsworth Zouaves through the 
country in i860, awakened an unusual degree of 
military enthusiasm. A Zouave company was im- 
mediately thereafter formed in Syracuse, of which 
John G. Butler was Captain, Samuel Thompson, 
1st Lieutenant, and Edwin S. Jenney, 2d Lieutenant. 
The company was composed of about forty young 
men of some of the best families in the city. 

Immediately after the fall of Fort Sumpter, the 
company tendered its services to the Government, 
and was at once recruited by Capt. Butler and Lieut. 
Jenney to the maximum number of JJ, officers 
and men, and became Company D of the 3d regi- 
ment, N. Y. Vols. 

Before it was mustered into the service Lieut. 
Jenney recruited another company in Oneida 
County, of which he became captain. This was or- 
ganized as Company I of the same regiment. The 
only other Onondaga County man in this company 
was Mr. Leon H. Ballard, its 2d Lieutenant. 

Captain Butler's company was organized with 
John G. Butler, Captain ; C. H. Burdick, ist Lieu- 
tenant ; Jay M. Wicks, 2d Lieutenant ; and was the 
first company organized in Central New York upon 
the breaking out of the rebellion. 

Both Butler's and Jenney's companies proceeded 
about the middle of April, 1861, to the barracks at 
Albany, where the regimental organization was 
completed, thence to New York, where, after a brief 
encampment at the Battery, the regiment was or- 
dered to Fortress Monroe and incorporated with 



Gen. Butler's army. They had immediate e.xperi- 
encc in active ser\'icc, the famous movement on 
Big Bethel, the first actual battle of the war, being 
ordered June 9, 1861. Gen Butler had taken com- 
mand at Fortress Monroe at the head of 15,000 
raw but gallant soldiers. It had been decided that 
no offensive movement should be made prior to the 
24th of May I the day after the farce of voting to 
ratify the ordinance of secession of the State of 
Virginia I— the Government having apparently re- 
solved that no Union soldier should, on that day, 
tread the soil of Virginia, save within the narrow 
limits, or immediately under the frowning walls of 
Fortress Monroe. So Gen. Hutler soon found 
ten or twelve thousand confederates in his front, 
under command of Gens. Huger and Magruder, 
both recently of the regular army, with earthworks 
and batteries, well mounted with powerful guns 
from the spoils of the Norfolk Navy Yard. 

General Hutler found his position so cramped by 
the pro.ximity and audacity of the rebels, that he 
resolved upon enlarging his circle, and to that end 
seized and fortified Newport News, at the mouth of 
the James River. On the Qth of June he ordered 
a reconnoissance in force with a view of capturing 
the rebel position nearest to him, at Little Bethel. 
The camp here was found deserted, and General 
Pierce, in command of our force pushed on to Big 
Bethel, seven miles further, where they found Ma- 
gruder strongly posted with i.Soo rebel infantry 
behind his breastworks. General Tierce, who had 
never seen a shot fired in actual war, planting his 
small arms in an open field opened an ineffectual 
fire, his balls burying themselves harmlessly in the 
rebel earthworks. This action was kept up about 
four hours — necessarily with considerable loss on 
our side and little or none on that of the enemy. 
Finally, a more determined assault was made by a 
part of our infantry led by Major Theodore Win- 
throp. Aid to General Butler, who was shot dead 
while standing on a log, cheering his men to the 

Butler's and Jenncy's companies, composing the 
second division of the regiment, and being the 
fourth and ninth in rank, volunteered and were sent 
forward as part of the storming party in this first 
engagement of the war, and lost in proportion to 
any other troops engaged in the battle. They are 
mentioned in the reports for gallant conduct. The 
enemy's position was protected in front by a stream 
of water which made a successful assault impossible. 
Our total losses in the advance and attack were 
about 100 men, while the rebels report their loss at 
one killed and seven wounded. 

Succeeding the battle of Big Bethel the compa- 
nies were kept at Fortress Monroe till after the 
battle of Bull Run, when the regiment was ordered 
to the Army of the Potomac, but was, however, 
stopped at lialtimore and assigned to garrison duty 
at Fort Mc Henry. 

In October, 1861, Captain Jcnney, being author- 
ized to recruit a battery of light artillery, left the 

On the 4th of February, 1863, Captain Butler 
was promoted to the Lieutenant-Colonelcy of the 
147th New York Volunteers, organized at Oswego 
in September, 1862, of which Andrew S.Warner 
was Colonel. On the 24th of February, 1863, 
Lieutenant-Colonel Butler was promoted to the 
rank of Colonel of the regiment, which he com- 
manded in the field with distinction till failing 
health compelled him to leave the army. He was 
discharged on surgeon's certificate of disability, 
November 5, 1863. 

The Adjutant-General's report says of the 3d 
regiment : " This regiment was organized at Al- 
bany, X. v., for two years. It was mustered into 
the service of the United States May 14, 1S61. 
The original members were mustered out on the 
expiration of their term of service. May 21, 1863. 
The regiment was reorganized in May, 1863, for 
three years, and finally mustered out in accordance 
with orders from the War Department, August 18, 

They were engaged in the following battles : Big 
Bethel, Fokt Wagnek, Bermuda Hunokeds, 


Jay M. Wicks, who went out as 2d Lieutenant, 
was promoted to ist Lieutenant February 26, 1862, 
and to Captain, October 4, 1S62. He died, of wounds 
received in action, October 27, 1864. 

Charles H. Burdick, ist Lieutenant of same com- 
pany, resigned February 4, 1862. 

Leon H. Ballard, 2d Lieutenant in Capt. Jcnney 's 
company, resigned September 25, 1861. 

B.vTTEKV B, First Regiment New York Light 
Artillery, known as I'ettit's Battery, was raised 
at Baldwinsville and composed chiefly of Onondaga 
county men. It was mustered into the State ser- 
vice at Baldwinsville, August 24, 1861, and into the 
service of the United States at Elmira, August 31, 

On its arrival in Washington it was the first bat- 
tery to be fully mounted, and remained in camp in 
the vicinity of Washington till the spring of 1862. 
The record of its engagements during the war is as 
follows : 




Warrenton Jimction, Va., March 28, 1862. 
Fair Oaks, F«., June 1-28, 1862. 
Peach Orchard, Va., June 29, A. M., 1862. 
Savage Station, Va., June 29, P. M., 1862. 

White Oak Swamp, frt., June 30, 1862. 
Malvern Hill, f'^r., July r, 1S62. 
Centcrvilley frt., September i, 1862. 
Antietam, Md., September 15-17, 1862. 
Charlestoivn, Va., October 19, 1862. 
Snicker's Gap, Va., November 3, 1862. 
Falmouth, Va., November 17, 1862. 
Fredericksburg, Va., December 12-17, 1862. 
Chanccllorsville, Va., May 1-3, 1863. 
Utiitcd States Ford, f^^., May 6, 1863. 
Gettysburg, Pa., July 2-3, 1863. 
Mine Run, Va., November 30, 1863. 
Spottsylvania, Va., May 12, 1864. 
North Anna, J a.. May 23, 1S64. 
Tolopotomoy, J^a., May 29, 1864. 
Bethcsda Church, frt., June 2-3, 1864. 
Petersburg, Va., June 16-20, 1864. 
Hatcher's Run, Va., October 27, 1864. 

On the expiration of its term of service the 
original number, except the veterans, were mustered 
out, and the organization composed of veterans and 
recruits retained in the service. The regiment was 
finally mustered out by batteries in accordance with 
an order from the War Department, Battery B be- 
ing mustered out June 18, 1865. 

The following were the officers of Pettit's Battery, 
with the record of promotions, &c. : 

Captain, Rufus D. Pettit, rank from August 29, 
1861, resigned May 30, 1863. 

Captain, J. M. Rority, temporarily assigned to 
command July 2, 1863, killed at Gettysburg. 

First-Lieutenant, Albert S. Sheldon, rank from 
August 29, 1 861, promoted to Captain, July 27, 
1863, wounded at Gettysburg, discharged December 
16, 1S64. 

First-Lieutenant, Thomas O'Shea, not commis- 
sioned, resigned October 17, 1862. 

Second-Lieutenant, Walter D. Pettit, rank from 
August 29, 1 86 1, promoted to First-Lieutenant 
February 27, 1862, discharged April 29, 1863. 

Second-Lieutenant, Robert E. Rogers, rank from 
November 12, 1861, promoted to First-Lieutenant 
March 6, 1863, promoted to Captain, December 30, 
1S64, mustered out with battery June 18, 1865. 

Second-Lieutenant, Isaac B. Hall, rank from 
April I, 1862 ; assigned to Battery A, December 
24, 1862 ; promoted to First-Lieutenant, February 
23, 1864 ! mustered out on expiration of term of 
service, October 31, 1864. 

Second-Lieutenant, Edward H. Underbill, rank 
from January 4, 1862 ; assigned to Battery B, June 
9, 1863 ; promoted to First-Lieutenant, August 26, 
1863 ; assigned to Battery A, September 18, 1863 ; 

promoted to Captain, December 9, 1864 ; mustered 
out with Battery, June 23, 1865. 

Second-Lieutenant, John Gibson, rank from Oc- 
tober 14, 1863 ; assigned from Battery H, Decem- 
ber 15, 1863 ; promoted to First-Lieutenant, Sep- 
tember 27, 1S64 ; mustered out on expiration of 
term of service, November 16, 1S64. 

First-Sergeant, Joseph B. Slauson, promoted to 
Second-Lieutenant, September 10, 1862 ; First- 
Lieutenant, April 29, 1863 ; wounded at Chancel- 
lorsville ; mustered out on the expiration of term of 
service, September 27. 1864. 

Quartermaster, Joel B. Frisbie, returned to ranks, 
December 3, 1S61 ; discharged, August 12, 1862. 

Sergeant, DeWitt M. Ferine, promoted to Second 
Lieutenant, October 20, 1S64; First-Lieutenant, 
February 28, 1865 ; wounded at Gettysburg ; mus- 
tered out with Battery, June 17, 1865. 

Sergeants— John M. Stephens, died, date un- 
known ; Harvey Cox, wounded at Chanccllorsville, 
fate unknown ; Rufus B. Freeman, died July 25, 
1862 ; Guy W. Plumley, died March 2, 1862 ; 
Charles H. Gates, wounded at Chanccllorsville ; 
transferred to I. C. ; Thomas Coyne, wounded at 
Chancellorsville ; taken prisoner and paroled ; 
Robert Maitland, returned to ranks January 31, 

Corporals— James A. Skinner, promoted to 
Quartermaster-Sergeant April 26, 1S62 ; declined 
commission as Second-Lieutenant August 12, 1S64, 
with rank from May i, 1864; discharged at the 
expiration of service. 

Anthony Huyck, promoted to Sergeant, Decem- 
ber 14, 1862 ; First-Sergeant, December 24, 1862 ; 
discharged at the expiration of service. 

Abram S. Attix,* promoted to Sergeant, Septem- 
ber I, 1862. 

Andrew J. Hooker, hurt by carriage at Gettys- 
burg, returned to ranks November i, 1S63. 

Edward P. Lockwood,* returned to ranks October 
19, 1862. 

Abiram W. Mathews, died at home. 

Stephen Barber, died May 4, 1862. 

George L. Elliot, returned to ranks May i, 

Robert R. Ramsey.* 

James Galligher. 

Michael Galligher,* returned to ranks. 

John McSorley,* returned to ranks January i, 

Allen F. Mallory,* bugler, returned to ranks 
January i, 1863 : wounded at Gettysburg. , 

Thomas McLaughlin,* bugler. 

* Veterans retained in the service. 



Hendrick S. Wheeler,* artificer. 

Alonzo C. Ketchum,* artificer, returned to ranks. 

Sylvester P. Slade,* wagoner.t 


" Jenney's Battery," — Its Organization with 
THE Third New York Artillery — Sketch of 
its History. 

THE Tenth New York Independent Battery, 
popularly known as " Jenney's Battery," was 
raised and organized in Syracuse by Capt. Edwin 
S. Jenney in the fall of iS6i. Captain Jenncy had 
entered the service at the very outbreak of the war ; 
he and Captain John G. Butler being the first to 
organize companies in Central New York immedi- 
ately after the fall of Fort Sumpter. As Captain 
of Company I, 3d Regiment, New York Volunteers, 
he had seen enough of war to induce a decided 
preference for the light artillery branch of the ser- 
vice ; and becoming weary of the inactivity of gar- 
rison duty at Fort McHenry, to which his regi- 
ment had been assigned after the battle of Big 
Bethel, he obtained leave of absence, returned to 
New York and received authority from the Gov- 
ernor to raise a battery of light artillery. He soon 
succeeded in raising the minimum number, and his 
command was mustered into the United States ser- 
vice as "The lOth New York Independent Bat- 

In Hall's " Cayuga in the Field " this organiza- 
tion is spoken of as follows : 

" Of this number a full battery of 142 men was 
raised through the patriotic and vigorous efforts of 
Captain Edwin S. Jenncy, a young lawyer in 
Syracuse, whose private purse furnished hundreds 
of dollars for the work. The Captain rented the 
upper stories of a large building on Salina street. 
He made Syracuse blaze with his banners and 
placards, and quickly gatheretl a band of the very 
best intelligence and blood. It was his intention to 
go into the army of the West, into which he had 
been led by friends to suppose he could be sent. 
He found, however, that he was required for the 
army of the Potomac, where, at that time, a rule 
existed that light artillery should be united into 
battalions, consisting of one regular and three 
volunteer batteries, commanded by the Captain of 
the regular battery. This entailed a sacrifice of 
independence and gave no chance of promotion. 
He consented, therefore, to an order of the State 
authorities to attach him to the 3d New York 
Artillery, as Battery ' F.' As such he was mustered 
in, December iSlh, 1861, by Lieutenant J. R. 
Brinklc, 5th United States Artillery, at Syracuse. 

• Vcterini retained in the lervicc. 

f For rotter of Enliited Men See Appendix. 

Shortly after, he repaired to New York and lay at 
Palace Garden Barracks some weeks, previous to 
going to the front. The Lieutenants of the com- 
pany were Alex. H. Davis, Gustavus F. Merriam, 
Paul Birchmeyer and James D. Outwater." 

While at Palace Garden Barracks the battery 
was uniformed and furnished with rifles and the 
men were thoroughly drilled in infantry tactics, in 
order that, if necessary, they could perform such 
service until the battery should be equipped. 

On the 2 1 St of February, 1862, the Battery pro- 
ceeded to Washington, D. C, and the next day, 
with the rest of the regiment, which it had now 
joined, marched across the Potomac to Fort Cor- 
coran on Arlington Heights. 

Here the battery remained with the regiment 
encamped, doing garrison duty and constantly 
drilling in infantry and heavy artillery tactics, 
until March 25th, 1862, when orders came to march 
to join Burnside's expeditionary army. They ar- 
rived at Annapolis the next day, and, on the 28th, 
embarked on the steamer Fulton for Hatteras In- 
let, where they arrived, joining Burnside's fleet on 
the 30th, and landing at Newbern, North Carolina, 
on the 2d of April, 1862. For some time Captain 
Jenney and Captain Morrison, of Battery B, were 
engaged in equipping and drilling their respective 

" By the ist of July, these Batteries had re- 
ceived their full armament. Both had a mi.xed lot 
of guns ; B had two twenty-four pound howitzers, 
(brass*, two twelve pound howitzers, (brass,) and 
two twelve pound Wiards, ( cannon and rifled ) ; F 
had two iron six pounders, two iron twelve pound- 
ers, and two howitzers. Horses were obtained 
principally from the baggage wagons of Massa- 
chusetts regiments. The old Bay State sent her 
regiments into the field with everything complete. 
A large number of her troops were in Burnside's 
army and their splendid teams were appropriated, 
as the emergency requiring them arose, to the use 
of the 3d artillery. By the first of November, 
however. Battery F was fully equipped with a 
complete armament of six Wiard rifled twelve 
pounder guns. 

" The summer and fall of 1862 were spent in drill- 
ing the several companies in their respective roles 
as light and heavy artillery, in the perfection of the 
line of fortifications and in the ordinary routine of 
camp duties. * • • • • * 

" With only an occasional skirmish with the 
enemy until November of that year."* 

From that time during most of its service the 
battery was kept actively at work. From the 3d to 
the loth of that month it was with the army in its 
march upon Tarboro. While no battle occurred 
during this march, the discipline and fortitude of 

* Ciyuga in the Field. 



the command were constantly tried by the severity 
of the march, frequent skirmishes and the constant 
alertness necessary in the near presence of the 
enemy. If nothing else was accomplished by this 
expedition, it was of great educational advantage to 
the troops, for they were veterans ever after. 

After this, until December nth, the command 
had a resting spell. On that day, leaving only a 
small garrison at Newbern, the army began the 
march on Goldsboro. This expedition was planned 
in aid of the Army of the Potomac. General Hal- 
leck ordered that simultaneously with Burnside's 
crossing the Rappahannock, all the available forces 
at Newbern, should advance to Goldsboro, N. C., 
destroy the railroads and bridges, and so far as pos- 
sible, create a diversion in favor of General Burn- 
side. If it was supposed that this expedition 
would fight in three successive days three battles 
and two of them among the severest of the war, 
considering the number of men engaged, no mistake 
was made, for the battles of Kinston, Whitehall 
and Goldsboro are its history. It is not within the 
scope of our history to give the details of this 
march nor of these battles. The first two were 
the severe ones, and in both of them Jenney's 
Battery distinguished itself At Kinston the point 
of our attack was the bridge crossing the river, and 
owing to the long range of its guns, this battery 
was at first placed upon a hill in the rear of our 
advancing troops, to fire over them and thus aid 
their advance. The enemy held their ground, 
however, with terrible stubbornness ; an almost 
hand to hand fight raged for hours ; when 
it was discovered that the enemy was being 
reenforced by troops coming to their left flank, 
Jenney's Battery with two infantry regiments was 
ordered to hastily proceed to our right and cut off 
such reenforcements if possible. Passing through 
thick woods they came into the open country too 
late to effect their object, but with the bridge and 
enemy full in view. The intermediate country had 
been drained by large trenches which seemed im- 
passable to a battery, but after a moments confer- 
ence between Gen. Hickman, who commanded the 
flanking brigade, and Capt. Jenney, the order to 
advance was given, and the Brigade in two parallel 
columns (the infantry in one and the battery in the 
other) moved at double quick and gallop through 
the trenches and across the field. No halt was 
made until the battery was within cannister range 
of the enemy. The report of the Wiard guns was 
well known to our army. The position of the field 
was such that this movement upon the flank was 
not known to our troops until the Wiard guns rang 

out in quick succession, and a new musketry fire in 
the same locality told them the story. There was 
a momentary lull ; then a cheer rang along the 
line, an advancing shout, and the enemy's lines 
wavered and in a moment gave way and every man 
sought his own safety in flight ; while the battery 
turned its fire upon the bridge, now crowded by the 
retreating enemy, with fearful effect. Several hun- 
dred of the enemy sheltered themselves below the 
river bank and were captured. The enemy in re- 
treating, for the purpose of delaying our pursuit, 
fired the bridge with turpentine thus torturing to 
death many of their unfortunate wounded. The 
work of removing their charred remains occasioned 
more delay than extinguishing the flames, which was 
quickly done with the artillery buckets. 

One section of the Battery under command of 
Lieutenant Frederick Dennis, with the 3d New 
York Cavalry, followed and harassed the retreating 
enemy until night, but the Battery had been too 
badly crippled by the loss of men and horses to 
hastily make up more than a section for pursuit. 
At 5 o'clock the next morning, however, having 
brought in reserve horses and disposed the men with 
reference to the vacant places. Battery F marched 
out in the placeof honor with the advanced brigade. 

Conrad Ring, the bugler, bore the colors, in place 
of poor Dunlap whose horse had been shot under 
him and who had lost a leg the day before, while 
others filled the places of the poor fellows left behind 
as well as their own ; yet the Battery marched out 
elated with the honors of yesterday's battle, well 
prepared for the arduous duty still before it. 

That night the army encamped within three 
miles of Whitehall, which it was necessary to pass 
by the route taken, to reach Goldsboro. Early the 
following morning our cavalry engaged the enemy 
opposite this village. The main body of our army 
speedily came up. The artillery was sent to the 
front, the cavalry and infantry being used mainly as 
a support and the battle of " Whitehall " was fought. 

" Gloomy woods clothed both banks of the river, 
except on the south side, where a large clearing had 
been made among the trees, forming a sort of 
amphitheatre. The ground sloped steeply to the 
river. The enemy was on the north bank in the 
woods, 6,000 strong, under General Robertson, with 
artiflery in intrenchments. Reaching the open 
ground, General Foster halted the infantry regi- 
ments to allow the passage of the artillery, which, 
receiving orders to come to the front with all speed, 
spared neither lash nor spur, and came thundering 
into the open ground on a run, battery after battery. 
As fast as they reported, those having light guns, 
viz : " F," " H " and " K," and Belger's, were ranged 
along the line of battle, near the base of the slope, 




the heavy guns, those of " E " and " I " near the 
top. Battery B was not in the fight. As fast as 
they came into position, our guns opened fire on 
the woods, gunboat and the rebel battery, and for 
two hours and over poured shot, shell and cannistcr 
into them steadily. The cannonading was furious 
beyond experience. It seemed to be one continu- 
ous peal of deafening thunder. The ground trem- 
bled under the sound.* 

The enemy had ten or more heavy guns in their 
intrcnchments. Upon our side were full thirty can- 
non but they were all field pieces. The exposed 
hillside and close range rendered the battle at 
once an artillery duel which continued until 
the enemy's guns were almost wholly disabled, 
when our infantry advanced to the river bank and 
quickly dislodged the enemy. During this engage- 
ment one of the guns of "Jenney's Battery," too 
severely tried by the rapid firing, burst into four 

Previous to this march Lieutenant Davis had 
been promoted to Adjutant of the regiment. His 
duty in that position at no time of the day called 
him to the front ; yet he advanced into the fight 
with his old battery and served with it with dis- 
tinguished gallantry during the whole action. 

Lieutenant Dennis, who had succeeded Lieuten- 
ant Davis, during the hottest of the fight was sent 
with his section to the most exposed position in the 
field to silence one of the enemy's guns which 
seemed particularly damaging to us, and received 
special mention for the courage and skill with which 
he accomplished that result. 

After this battle the army again marched on and 
the next day, reaching the goal of the expedition, 
fought the battle of Goldsboro. Here, for the first 
time, Battery F was held in the reserve, short of 
men, with many draught horses supplying the 
places of drilled ones left on the field, and with 
ammunition exhausted, excepting a few rounds of 
cannister. The battery could no longer be of 
service and, the fighting over, the men gladly left 
the field and turned again toward the base of 

" When the artillery came off the field to take 
its place in the column, the troops greeted it with 
cheers — regiment after regiment waved their caps 
and flags enthusiastically and made the welkin 
ring with stormy hurrahs. ' Here come Jenney's 
Wiards— three rousers for him,' they would shout 
as that battery came by and so on to the last. No 
general orders from headquarters could have better 
testified to the worth of the services of our artillery 
in the field than this spontaneous and cordial out- 
burst on the field of the battle*" 

The army reached Newbern on the 20th of the 

* Cjyugi in the Field. 

month. In recognition of the gallant conduct of 
the battery, Captain Jenney was recommended for 
promotion and on the ist of January was made a 
Major in the regiment. 

Immediately after the return of the army an ex- 
pedition was planned by General Foster to take 
Wilmington. To that end during the month of 
January following he moved the iSth Corps to 
Beaufort, N C, ready for embarkation. Before 
this event, however, his authority was revoked by 
the War Department, and he was ordered to pro- 
ceed with his corps to South Carolina, to aid in the 
capture of Charleston. 

In obedience to this order the army was, by Jan- 
uary 30th, snugly aboard a fleet of about fifty ves- 
sels, and on the 31st set sail reaching Hilton Head 
during the first week of February. 

Maj. Jenney, reluctant to surrender the command 
of his battery, was permitted to accompany it and 
retained command until July following. By this 
expedition Battery F was divided. The guns and 
gunners with only horses enough to draw them 
were taken, the rest of the battery remaining at 
Newbern until the next winter, when it joined the 
main portion of the battery in South Carolina. 

This detachment, however, was furnished with 
two guns and, as a section under Lieutenant Clark, 
rendered efficient service in several actions during 
the period of its detention in North Carolina. 

Upon the arrival of the battery in South Carolina 
it was encamped upon St. Helena Island where it 
remained inactive until April ist. 

General Foster, upon his arrival, found nothing 
in readiness for operations against Charleston and 
returned at once to North Carolina, whither most 
of his army soon followed him. Battery F, how- 
ever, was detained by General Hunter and served 
during the rest of the war in South Carolina and 

The 1st of April, 1863, the battery received 
marching orders and was transported to F'olly 
Island. Here it was incorporated into Vogdes' 
brigade, Major Jenney becoming chief of artillery 
and chief of staft', and also retaining command of 
his battery. Work was commenced at once fortify- 
ing the northern end of the island with the view of 
storming and capturing Morris Island which lay 
near and next north of Folly at the mouth of 
Charleston Harbor, its capture being necessary 
to the storming of Sumpter and capture of Charles- 
ton from the sea. This work having been accom- 
plished with great difficulty and under the almost 
constant fire of the enemy's artillery and infantry 
from Morris Island, only 400 yards away, on the 



9th of July, 1S63. At daybreak the artillery opened 
fire upon Morris Island while Strong's brigade in 
small boats crossed the inlet under a terrible fire 
and stormed and captured the works upon the 
southern end of Morris Island. 

To Battery F was assigned the duty of defending 
the crossing troops from the fire of the enemy from 
their rifle pits. This work was so well done that 
twenty-four of their rifle men were found dead in 
the pits. 

General Strong advanced his brigade at once 
and attempted to capture Fort Wagner at the 
northern end of the Island by storm, but was 
twice successively repulsed, July iSth. 

A siege was necessary and was at once com- 
menced. During this siege ^Battery F, now com- 
manded by Lieutenant Birchmeyer, was always in 
the extreme advance, pushing ahead as the intrench- 
ments were dug until September 6th, when the Fort 
was taken. 

Lieutenants Birchmeyer and Van Housen were 
especially commended by the commanding General 
for their bravery and untiring exertions, and John 
Conway, Riley Fancher and Matthias Thyson were 
presented with medals by the government for 
bravery in the trenches. 

The battery remained upon Folly Island until 
April, 1864, and during this time it was by no 
means inactive. 

In April, 1864, the battery went to Beaufort, N. 
C, where its camp remained until September 5, 
1864, when it was ordered to Florida. 

While at Beaufort the spirit of the battery 
was well tested in the battles of John's Island 
and Bloody Bridge, in both of which it main- 
tained its early reputation. 

On the 14th of September the battery arrived at 
Jacksonville, where it remained in camp until 
November 29th, when it again returned to South 
Carolina, to cooperate under General Foster with 
General Sherman, then marching to the sea. 

During the campaign which followed, it fought in 
the battles of Honey Hill, Dereauxheck, Camden, 
Ashapo and others of less importance. It moved 
with Sherman to Raleigh and then returned to 
Charleston, S. C, where it turned over its guns 
and equipments to the Government, and in the 
month of May, 1865, returned home to Syracuse 
and was mustered out. 

In July, 1863, Major Jenney was compelled to 
leave the battery and assume his duties as Major. 
He proceeded to regimental headquarters at New- 
bern, N. C, where he was soon made Judge Advo- 
cate and shortly after Provost Judge of the De- 

partment. He occupied these positions until Sep- 
tember, 1864, when, upon the recommendation of 
the Citizens' Committee, he was commissioned 
Colonel of the 185th Regiment, then being organ- 
ized at Syracuse, and immediately went to Fortress 
Monroe to obtain leave from the Commanding Gen- 
eral to accept such promotion. This leave was 
granted and he was ordered to return to Newbern 
and turn over his office to his successor. He re- 
turned by the way of the Dismal Canal and was 
on the little steamer Fawn, which was fired upon 
and captured by a company of rebel marines. At 
the time the boat was fired upon she was stopped 
by a draw-bridge suddenly shot across the canal by 
rebels who had taken possession of it, and the 
rebel company, about 70 in number, arising from 
the cover of a hillock fired upon the boat. There 
were four officers and ten men on the deck, sitting 
or lounging without apprehension of danger and not 
more than twenty feet from the muzzles of the 
rebel guns. Of this party, ten out of the fourteen 
were killed or wounded — Major Jenney being one of 
the fortunate ones. There was no opportunity for 
resistance, as there was not even a pistol on the 
boat, which was then passing through friendly terri- 
tory. The prisoners were marched to Elizabeth 
City, about forty miles distant. In the morning 
Major Jenney succeeded in persuading the rebel 
Captain to parole him. The parole being duly signed 
Jenney pretended to return by the same route he 
had come, but instead of doing so, went to the 
river, and capturing a small boat made the best of 
his way down the river and across the Sound to 
Roanoke Island. He immediately reported the 
circumstances of his capture and parole to the 
Government and hastened home to attend to the or- 
ganization of his regiment. 


The Twelfth Regiment New York Volunteers 
— Organization — March to the Front — 
Blackburn's Ford — Bull Run — The Peninsu- 
lar Campaign — Yorktown— Hanover Court 

THE 1 2th Regiment New York Volunteer In- 
fantry was the first organized in Onondaga 
county and among the first formed in the State at 
the outbreak of the rebellion. On Monday after 
the ever-memorable Sunday, April 14, 1861, on 
which Sumpter was fired upon, the regiment was 
filled, enlisting in the State service for two years. 
It was organized as follows : 



Field and Staff Officers — Ezra L. Walrath, 
Colonel ; James L. Graham, Licut.-Coloncl ; John 
Louts, Major ; Silas Titus, Adjutant; Edmund B. 
Griswold, Quartermaster ; Roger W. Pease, Sur- 
geon ; George H. Todd, Assistant Surgeon ; George 
H. Root, Sergcant-Major ; Charles Sedgwick, 
Quartermaster-Sergeant ; Robert C. Daly, Drum- 
Major ; Spencer Eaton, Fife Major. 

Line Officers — Company A : Morris H. Church, 
Captain ; Ira Wood, Lieutenant ; Charles B. Randall, 
Ensign ; Porter R. Alger, Abraham Fredendoll, 
Abram Farnic and John Cross, ist, 2d, 3d and 4th 
Sergeants ; William B. Patterson, George W. Pratt, 
Charles K. F"urman,Jr.,and Harrison Wagfjoner, ist, 
2d, 3d and 4th Corporals ; Daniel Reiyea, Drummer. 

Company B : Jacob Brand, Captain ; Peter 
Strauss, Lieutenant ; John P. Spanier, Ensign ; 
Michael Auer, Julius Hintz, George Boiteu, and 
Max Fix, Sergeants ; Michael Welter, Jacob Sim- 
mon, Albert Hoft'mann.and John Dauer, Corporals ; 
Moritz Schwarz, Drummer. 

Company C : Dennis Driscoll, Jr., Captain ; James 
Randall, Lieutenant ; John P. Stanton, Ensign ; 
Michael Foley, George Travis, John Lighten, and 
John Carroll, Sergeants ; Richard J. Wright, James 
Lewis, William Stanton, and John R. Bailey, Cor- 
porals ; Hiram Foote, Drummer. 

Company D : George W. Stone, Captain ; Lucius 
C. Storrs, Lieutenant ; George Snyder, Ensign ; 
Origcn S. Storrs, Charles W. Greene, John M. 
Couch, and Davis Jones, Sergeants ; Albertus 
Webb, John Muldoon, Charles H. Davis, and Henry 
Shirley, Corporals ; Jay F. Bates, Drummer. 

Company li : Jabez M. Brower, Captain ; Fred- 
erick Horner, Lieutenant; Samuel J. Abbott, En- 
sign ; Richard N. Booth, Frank W. Clock, Cort- 
land Clark and Thomas J. Behan, Sergeants ; 
Abijah P. Mabinc, Byron Gilbert, Hiram G. How- 
land and Daniel W. Barker, Corporals ; Charles A. 
Taylor, Drummer. 

Company F : Milo W. Locke, Captain ; William 
Gleason, Lieutenant ; Stephen D. Clark, Ensign ; 
Edwin R. Dennis, Charles S. Wells, Watson E. 
Hart and Erastus P. Kinne, Sergeants ; Jacob Van 
Alstync, George W. Blackman, Handley Lamb and 
James Harroun, Corporals ; John Robinson, Drum- 
mer ; Seth S. Thomas, Fifer. 

Company G : Joseph C. Irish, Captain ; John 
H. Johnson, Lieutenant ; Erskine P. Woodford, 
Ensign ; George F. Ballou, Oliver T. May, Levi J. 
Irish and Rush Parkhurst, Sergeants ; Irving 
Tuttle, John H. Light, Francis A. Darling and 
Eliakiam Winchel, Corporals ; Jay H. Roberts, 
Drummer ; Sylvester Edwards, Fifer. 

Company H : George W. Cole, Captain: George 
Truesdell, Lieutenant ; Albert M. Wiborn, Ensign ; 
Edward Pointer, James Giberson, Thomas Bartlett 
and Silas Carpenter, Sergeants ; Charles Coon, 
Lester C. Herrick, Augustus H. Wilkins and Jetier- 
son Button, Corporals ; Randolph Phillips, Drum- 
mer ; Alvin Harder, Fifer. 

Company I : Henry A. Barnum, Captain ; 
Hamilton R. Comb, Lieutenant ; Edward Drake, 
Ensign ; Andrew V. Urmy, Randall McDonald, 
John H. Phillips and Joab W. Mercer, Sergeants; 
William F. Johnson, Dexter Smith, John H. Leon- 
ard and Asabel W. Smith, Corporals ; Willett 
Britton, Drummer ; Seth H. Kingsley. Fifer. 

Company K : Augustus J. Root, Captnin ; Wil- 
liam P. Town, Lieutenant ; Lucius Smith, Ensign ; 
Samuel D. Sudden, Charles F. Rand, James F. 
Taylor and Thomas Tangey, Sergeants ; Samuel 
McChesney, William P. Jones, James P. Taylor 
and Joseph L. Hunt, Corporals ; Albert A. Mead, 
Drummer ; Francis M. Lincoln, Fifer. 

The regiment left Syracuse May 2, 1S61, for 
Elmira, and was there mustered into the United 
States service for three months, May 13. Receiv- 
ing its uniform and equipments at Elmira, it left for 
Washington, in company with the 13th New York, 
from Rochester, June 2d, and after quartering a few 
days at Caspari's House, went into camp on East 
Capitol Hill. 

July 15, the regiment was ordered across Chain 
Bridge into Virginia, and was the first to be under 
fire at Blackburn's Ford on the iSth, preliminary to 
the first Bull Run engagement. Lieut. Randall of 
this regiment, having command of about twenty of 
our men as skirmishers, was the first to attack the 
enemy. George N. Cheney, a private of Company 
A, was the first man killed. In this engagement 
six of the I2lh Regmient were killed and thirteen 

The movement of the Union forces under Gen. 
McDowell (directed from Washington by Lieut. - 
Gen. Winficld Scott 1 commenced on Tuesday July 
i6th. The advance column, under Gen. Tyler, 
bivouacked that night at Vienna, four and a half 
miles from Fairfax Court House, rested next morn- 
ing at Germantown, two miles beyond Fairfax, 
and on Thursday at 9 o'clock, A. M., pushed on 
through Centerville, the rebels retiring quietly be- 
fore it. Three miles beyond Centerville the rebels 
were found strongly posted at Blackburn's Ford, 
on Bull Run ; and, on being pressed by Tyler's 
force, a spirited engagement ensued, at about half- 
past one P. M. The rebels were in heavy force un- 
der the immediate command of General Long- 



street. The attacking force on our side was Sher- 
man's Battery, under Captain Ayres, supported by 
Colonel J. B. Richardson's brigade, consisting of 
the I2th New York, the ist Massachusetts, and 
the 2d and 3d Michigan infantry. In this engage- 
ment the losses were nearly equal — 83 on our side 
and 68 on that of the enemy. Considered as a re- 
connoissance in force it might be termed a success. 
The result demonstrated that the main body of the 
rebel army was in position along the wooded valley 
of Bull Run, halfway between Centerville and Man- 
assas Junction, and proposed to remain. As this 
was the first experience of the 12th Regiment in 
actual fighting, and as the campaign of Bull Run 
was a memorable one, it may be well to introduce 
here a few facts respecting the general engagement. 
The following is substantially the account given by 
Greeley, in his American Conflict, p. 539-43 : 

" General McDowell's army being concentrated 
around the ridge on which Centerville is situated, 
on the i8th and 19th of July, the intention was to 
advance on the rebels posted along Bull Run and 
between that and Manassas Junction on Saturday, 
the 20th. But delay was encountered in the recep- 
tion of subsistence, which did not arrive till Friday 
night. During Saturday, three day's rations were 
distributed, and every preparation made for moving 
punctually at 2 o'clock next morning. Meantime, 
Beauregard, maintaining an absolute quiet and in- 
offensiveness on his front, and fully informed by 
spies and traitors of every movement between him 
and Washington, had hastily gathered from every 
side all the available forces of the Confederacy, in- 
cluding 15,000, or nearly the full strength of John- 
ston's Army of the Shenandoah, and had decided to 
assume the offensive and attack our forces before 
General Patterson could come up and join them. 
Had our advance been made on Saturday, as was 
originally intended, it would have encountered but 
two-thirds of the force it actually combatted ; had 
it been delayed a few hours longer, we should have 
stood on the defensive, with the immense advantage 
of knowing the ground and of choosing the posi- 
tion whereon to fight. Such are the overruling 
casualties and fatalities of war." 

Bull Run afforded a good position for planting 
batteries to command the roads on the opposite side, 
so screened by the woods and brush as to be neither 
seen nor suspected until the advancing or attacking 
column was close upon them. This fact explains 
and justifies Gen. McDowell's (or Scott's) order of 
battle, which was briefly as follows : To menace the 
rebel right by the advance of our ist division on the 
direct road from Centerville to Manassas Junction, 
while making a more serious demonstration on the 
road running due west from Centerville to Groveton 
and Warrenton, and crossing Bull Run by the Stone 
Bridge. The real or main attack was to be made 

by a column 15,000 strong, composed of the 2d 
(Hunter's) and the 3d (Heintzelman's) divisions, 
which, starting from their camps a mile or two east 
and southeast of Centerville, were to make a con- 
siderable detour to the right, crossing Cub Run, and 
then Bull Run, at a ford known as Sudley Spring, 
three miles above the Stone Bridge ; thus turning: 
the rebel left, and rolling it up on the center, where 
it was to be taken in flank by our ist division 
(Tyler's), crossing the Stone Bridge at the right 
moment, and completing the rout of the enemy. 
The 5th division ( Miles') was held in reserve at Cen- 
terville, not only to support the attacking columns, 
but to guard against the obvious peril of a formida- 
ble rebel advance on our left across Blackburn's Ford 
to Centerville, flanking our flank movement, captur- 
ing our munitions and supplies, and cutting off our 
line of retreat. The 4th division (Runyon's) guarded 
our communications with Alexandria and Arlington, 
its foremost regiment being about seven miles back 
from Centerville. 

The movement of our forces was to have com- 
menced at half-past 2 o'clock a. m., and the battle 
should have been opened at all points at 6 a. m. 
But our raw troops had never been brigaded prior 
to this advance, and most of their officers were 
utterly without experience ; so that there was a 
delay of two or three hours in the flanking divisions 
reaching the point at which the battle was to begin. 
Gen. Tyler, in front of Stone Bridge, opened with 
his artillery at half-past 6 a. m., eliciting no reply ; 
and it was three hours later when Hunter's advance, 
under Colonel Burnside, crossed at Sudley Spring. 
His men, thirsty with their early march, that hot 
July morning, stopped as they crossed to fill their 
canteens. Meantime, every movement of our forces 
was made manifest to Beauregard, watching them 
from the slope two or three miles west, by the 
clouds of dust which rose over their line of march ; 
and regiment after regiment was hurried northward 
by him to meet the imminent shock. No strength 
was wasted by him upon, and scarcely any notice 
taken of, our feint on his right. But when Burn- 
side's brigade, after crossing at Sudley, had marched 
a mile or so through woods down the road on the 
right of Bull Run, and come out into a clear and 
cultivated country, stretching thence over a mile of 
rolling fields down to Warrenton turnpike, he was 
vigorously opened upon by artillery from the woods 
in his front, and as he pressed on, by infantry also. 
Continuing to advance, fighting, followed and sup- 
ported by Hunter's entire division, which was soon 
joined on its left by Heintzelman's, having crossed 
the stream a little later and further down, our at- 



tacking column reached and crossed the Warrenton 
road from Ccntcr\illc by the Stone Kridgc, giving a 
hand to Sherman's brigade of Tyler's division, and 
all but clearing the road of the rebel batteries and 
regiments, which here resisted our efforts, under 
the immediate command of Gen. Joseph E. John- 
ston. Here Griffin's Battery, which, with Rickett's, 
had done the most effective fighting throughout, 
was charged with effect by a rebel regiment, which 
was enabled to approach it with impunity by a mis- 
take of our officers, who supposed it one of our own. 
Three different attacks were repulsed with slaughter, 
and the battery remained in our hands, though all 
the horses were killed. At 3 p. m., the rebels had 
been driven a mile and a half, and were nearly out 
of sight, abandoning the Warrenton road entirely 
to our victorious troops. Gen. Tyler, on hearing 
the guns of Hunter on our right, had pushed Sher- 
man's, and soon after Keyse's Brigade, over the 
Run to assail the enemy in his front, driving them 
back after a severe struggle, and steadily advancing 
until checked by a heavy fire of artillery from bat- 
teries on the heights above the road, supported by 
a brigade of rebel infantry strongly posted behind 
breastworks. A gallant charge by the 2d Maine 
and 3d Connecticut, temporarily carried the build- 
ings behind which the rebel guns were sheltered, 
but the breastworks were too strong, and our men 
recoiling from their fire, deflected to the left, mov- 
ing down the Run under the shelter of the bluft", 
covering the efforts of Capt. Alexander's Pioneers 
to remove the heavy abatis whereby the rebels had 
obstructed the road up from the Stone Bridge. 
This had at length been effected, and Schenck's 
brigade and Ayres's battery of Tyler's division 
were on the point of crossing the Run to aid in com- 
pleting our triumph. 

But the rebels, at first outnumbered at the point 
of actual collision, had been receiving reenforce- 
mcnts nearly all day, and at this critical moment. 
General Kirby Smith, who had that morning left 
Piedmont, fifteen miles distant, with the remaining 
brigade of General Johnston's army, appeared on 
the field. Cheer after cheer burst from the rebel 
hosts, but now so downcast, as this timely recnforce- 
ment rushed to the front of the battle. General 
Johnston had been heard to exclaim but a moment 
before to General Cocke, " Oh, for four regiments ! " 
His wish was answered. Smith, in riding to the 
front, almost instantly fell from his horse wounded. 
Colonel Arnold Elzley promptly assumed command 
of his brigade, and rushed forward, backed by the 
whole reassured and exultant rebel host, who felt 
that the day was won. Our soldiers, who had been 

thirteen hours marching and fighting, hungry, 
thirsty, weary, and continually encountering fresh 
rebel troops, without seeing even a company hurry- 
ing to their support, became suddenly dismayed 
and jjanic stricken. Elzley's and Early's fresh 
battalions filled the woods on their right, extending 
rapidly toward its rear, firing on them from under 
cover, and seeming by their shots and cries to be 
innumerable. Two or three of our regiments re- 
coiled and then broke, rushing down to the Run. 
Johnston again ordered Ewell to advance and attack, 
which he did, but was received by the 2d Brigade 
( Colonel T. A. Davis ) with so rapid and spirited a 
fire of grape and cannister that he precipitately re- 

There were still more than three hours of good 
daylight when the rebels saw our routed right rush- 
ing madly from the field, like frightened sheep, yet 
their pursuit amounted to nothing. They came 
across Bull Run, preceded by their cavalry, and 
seem to have taken a deliberate though rather 
distant survey of the 5th division, drawn up in good 
order along the slope west of Centerville, and eager- 
ly expecting their advance. But they appear to have 
been aware that their victory was a lucky accident, 
and they did not choose to submit its prestige to the 
chance of another fray. Our 5th division, constitut- 
ing the reserve, now became the rear guard of our 
army, and remained in position till after midnight, 
when, under peremptory orders from Gen. Mc- 
Dowell, it commenced its deliberate retreat to the 
environs of Washington. Although the retreat 
from the battle field of Bull Run, was a panic- 
stricken flight on the part of a considerable number 
of raw and undisciplined troops and a multitude of 
stragglers and spectators who went out of Washing- 
ton on that fine Sunday to witness the battle, yet a 
portion of our army retired in good order. Says 
Major Berry, our chief of Artillery in the battle : 

" The army having retired upon Centerville, I was 
ordered by General McDowell in person, to post the 
artillery in position to cover the retreat. The bat- 
teries of Hunt, Ayres, Tidball, Edwards, Green and 
the New York 8th regiment (the latter served by 
volunteers from Wilcox's brigade) 20 pieces in all, 
were at once placed in ])osition ; and thus remained 
till 12 o'clock, p. M., when orders having been re- 
ceived to retire upon the I'otomac, the batteries 
were put in march, and covered by Richardson's 
brigade retired in good order and without haste, and 
early next morning reoccupied their former camps 
on the Potomac." 

The 1 2th Regiment during this expedition was 
brigaded with the ist Massachusetts and the 2d 
and 3d Michigan, under command of Col. J. D. 
Richardson. On Monday, the 22d of July, they 



returned from Bull Run, as rear guard of the re- 
treating army, and on the 24th occupied a portion 
of the camp of the 8th Militia at Arlington Heights, 
where they remained a few days and then encamped 
upon the flats near the Long Bridge turnpike. On 
the 13th, they removed to Fort Albany and relieved 
the 25th New York Militia, and thence on the 30th 
to a camp south of the Arlington House, and con- 
structed Fort Craig — one of a continuous line of 
fortifications from Alexandria to Chain Bridge. On 
the evening of August 26, three companies under 
Captain Barnum, were detailed on picket duty to- 
wards Upton's Hill, and had a lively skirmish with 
the rebels lasting nearly all day. They were re- 
pulsed by the rebels to Ball's Cross Roads. Ser- 
geant-Major Estes and private Hitchcock were 
wounded, the latter mortally, and Fred. Darby, of 
Company D, taken prisoner. On the 27th of Sep- 
tember, a general advance was made upon Upton's 
Hill, and the 12th Regiment established permanent 
camp in which they remained till early in the month 
of February. 

On the 3d of February, 1S62, the regiment was 
consolidated with the 12th New York Militia, so 
called, a body of 550 recruits raised by Henry A. 
Weeks in the city of New York. Up to this time 
the 1 2th Regiment had been about nine months in 
service, and through losses in the field and sickness 
had been reduced to 450 officers and men. When 
General McClellan was at this time making up the 
Armv of the Potomac, this remnant of the 12th 
Volunteers was to be left out and kept for garrison 
duty in the defences of Washington, to serve as 
heavy artillery under command of Lieutenant-Col- 
onel R. M. Richardson. Colonel Richardson did 
not feel satisfied with this idea, and being desirous 
that another regiment should be put in active ser- 
vice at the front, he obtained leave of absence, went 
to New York and found Henry A. Weeks with 550 
recruits, called the 12th New York Militia, made 
arrangements for the consolidation of these recruits 
with the remnant of the 12th New York Volunteers, 
on condition that Mr. Weeks should be Colonel of 
the new regiment ; thus relinquishing the command 
of his own regiment in order to effect the new or- 

In the consolidation the ten companies of the 
1 2th Regiment were reduced to five, the 12th Mili- 
tia furnishing five. The companies of the 12th 
New York Volunteers, which retained their or- 
ganizatione were companies A, G, H, I and K, offi- 
cered respectively by Captains Root, Randall, 
Wood, Truesdell and Coombs. The field officers 
were Henry A. Weeks, Colonel ; R. M. Richard- 

son, Lieutenant-Colonel ; Henry A. Barnum, Ma- 
jor ; George W. Watson, Adjutant ; Porter R. 
Alger, Quartermaster ; A. B. Shipman, Surgeon ; 
George B. Todd, Assistant Surgeon. The officers 
rendered supernumerary by the consolidation were 
mustered out of the service. Most of them reen- 
listed, and in other organizations attained consider- 
able distinction during the war. 

On the 13th of March, 1862, Gen. McClellan 
organized the Army of the Potomac. At that date 
the 1 2th Regiment was attached to Gen. Butter- 
field's brigade, consisting of the I2th, 17th and 
44th New York, the i6th Michigan and the 83d 
Pennsylvania regiments ; and thus organized ac- 
companied the Army of the Potomac under Gen. 
McClellan to the Peninsula. They were engaged 
in the siege of Yorktown, daily furnishing a large 
detail of men to work in the trenches, and on the 
14th of April, engaged in a sharp skirmish with 
the rebels who had attacked our picket lines. 

On the 4th of May, General Magruder evacuated 
Yorktown with his forces. McClellan had been 
thirty days in front of the works, and was intending 
to open the siege on the 6th of May, but he found, 
two days earlier, that Magruder had abandoned his 
works, including Yorktown, during the preceding 
night, and had retreated up the Peninsula. While 
the pursuit of the rebels was prompt and energetic 
under Stoneman and Hooker to Williamsburg, 
where Hooker's division withstood 30,000 of the 
rebel force during an entire day without reenforce- 
ments. General McClellan remained at Yorktown 
supervising the embarkation of Franklin's, Butter- 
field's and other troops, including our 12th New 
York Regiment, for West Point, whence they 
moved up the Pamunkey River and thence across 
to New Bridge on the Chickahominy. Here the 
1 2th Regiment was in the 3d Brigade, under 
Genera! D. C. Butterfield, ist Division (General 
Morrell's) Sth Corps, commanded by General Fitz- 
John Porter ; and so remained throughout the 
service. On the 24th of May, fighting commenced 
on the Chickahominy, near New Bridge. The 4th 
Michigan (Colonel Woodbury) waded the stream and 
assailed and drove off a superior rebel force, losing 
but 8 men in all, and taking 37 prisoners, of 
whom 15 were wounded. Directly afterwards Gen. 
Fitz-John Porter, commanding the 5th Corps, on 
our right, was ordered to advance from New Bridge 
via. Mechanicsville to Hanover Court House, in 
order to facilitate and render secure Gen. McDowell's 
expected junction from Fredericksburg. Starting 
at 3 A. M , May 27, in a pouring rain, our cavalry 
advance, under Gen. W. H. Emory, had reached, at 



noon, a point two miles southward of the Court 
House, where the road forks to Ashland, and where 
the enemy were found in position to bar our further 
progress. The 25th New York and Berdan's sharp- 
shooters speedily coming up, they were deployed by 
Gen. Emory, with a section of Benson's battery, and 
thus advanced slowly towards the enemy until re- 
enforced by Gen. D. C. Hutterfield, with four regi- 
ments of his brigade, when the enemy was charged 
and quickly routed, one of his guns being captured 
by Col. Lansing's 17th New York. The cavalry, 
Benson's battery, and Gen. Morrell's infantry and 
artillery, keenly pursued the fugitives while Mar- 
tindales's brigade with a section of artillery, 
advanced on the Ashland road, pushing back 
the enemy in his front, until ordered to reform 
his brigade and move up the railroad to the Court 
House. One regiment having taken that course. Gen. 
Martindale was left with but two and a half regiments 
and one section of Martin's battery, when he was 
attacked by a superior force and compelled to main- 
tain the unequal contest for an hour. Meantime 
Gen. Porter, at the Court House, learning that his 
rear was thus attacked, faced his whole column 
about and moved rapidly to the rescue, sending the 
13th and 14th New York, with Griffin's battery, 
directly to Martindale's assistance, pushing the 9th 
Massachusetts and G2d Pennsylvania, through the 
woods on the right to take the enemy in flank, 
while Butterfield with the 83d Pennsylvania and 
iGth Michigan hastened through the woods, still 
further to the right, and completed the rout of the 
enemy. Their loss is stated by Gen. McClellan at 
2,CXX) killed, 730 prisoners, including wounded, one 
12 pound howitzer, many small-arms, two railroad 
trains, and their camp at Hanover Court House 
captured and destroyed. Our loss was 53 killed 
and 344 wounded. The rebel force thus defeated 
consisted of Gen. Branch's division of North Caro- 
lina and Georgia troops, estimated at 9,000 strong. 


Twelfth Regiment Continued — Mechanics- 
viLLE — Retreat Ackoss the Chickahominy 
— Flank Movement to the James— Malvern 
Hill — Harrison's Landing — Second Bull 
KuN — Antietam — Fredericksburg — Return 
Home — List of Promotions — The ioist 

OUR Corps returned to camp at Gaines's 
Mill, and on the 26th of June were ordered 
up to Mechanicsville to support the Pennsylvania 

reser\'es, under Gen. McCall. This force which 
had recently been sent down to rtenforce Gea 
McClellan, and had never till now been in action, 
were posted on advantageous ground across Beaver 
Dam Creek. The supporting corps of Gen. Porter 
consisted of Morrell's Division and Sykes's Regu- 
lars, about 27,000 men. Prior to the opening of 
this series of battles Gen. Robert E. Lee had suc- 
ceeded to the chief command of the Rebel Army, 
and had cautiously concentrated about 70,000 men 
on the Chickahominy. The movement on Mechan- 
icsville was to have been made early on the morn- 
ing of the 26th of June, at which time the batteries 
on the southern bluff of the Chickahominy were to 
open fire. But the rebels were delayed by the non- 
arrival of Stonewall Jackson, and did not attack our 
lines till 3 i'. m. His advance had been discovered 
three hours before, so that our pickets were called 
in before it, and the regiment and battery holding 
Mechanicsville fell back, fighting, to the strong po- 
sition held by the Pennsylvania Reserves, and Por- 
ter's (5th) corps. This brought the reserves and 
5th corps into action against the great body of the 
rebel force under the two Hills and Longstreet, 
which came rapidly on attempting to turn our left 
flank, but were repulsed with fearful carnage. 
" Night," says Greeley, "fell on a decided and ani- 
mating success of our mainly green soldiers, 
though the fighting did not cease till after dark, and 
the rebels remained in force not far from our front. 
Our total loss in this affair was less than 400, while 
that of the rebels must have been many times 
larger ; and when near the close of the battle, fresh 
troops came up to relieve the exhausted reserves, 
they refused to give place, but, replenishing their 
ammunition, lay down on their arms to await the 
encounter of the morrow." 

On the 27th, before daylight, an order from Gen. 
McClellan (^who had learned, meantime, that Jackson 
was approaching,) directed the evacuation of our 
strong position and a retreat to Gaines's Mill. This 
was a very difficult movement to effect, as the rebel 
attack was renewed a few minutes afterwards. Still, 
the enemy was repulsed, though our men were re- 
tiring at the same time, Meade's, Griffin's, Rey- 
nolds' and Morrell's commands moving steadily off 
the field, as if on parade ; our dead all buried, our 
wounded and arms brought away, with the loss of 
no caisson, hardly a musket, by a little after 7 a. 
M., leaving the rebels unaware for the moment that 
there was no longer an enemy before them. Before 
noon the splendid retreat was completed ; each 
regiment and battery had taken the new position 
assigned it at Gaines's Mill, our brigade (with the 



I2th Regiment,) under command of Lieiit.-Colonel 
Richardson, forming the extreme left, resting on 
the Chicivahominy. 

Soon after noon on the 27th, the rebels arrived 
in front of our new position. A. P. Hill, who had 
been awaiting Jackson's arrival, opened the battle 
at 2 p. M. Sykes's regulars received him with heroic 
bravery. They were staggered and temporarily 
repulsed. At this juncture, Longstreet, D. H. 
Hill, Jackson and Ewell, came into the battle, with 
the whole of Lee's forces ; a general advance from 
right to left was ordered and made, under a terrific 
fire of cannon and musketry from both sides. 

General Porter had a strong position on the side 
of a ravine formed by a small creek and screened 
in part by trees and underbrush, with Morrell's and 
Sykes's divisions in front, and McCall's forming a 
second line behind them. His cavalry, under P. 
St. George Cooke, in the valley of the Chicka- 
hominy, watched the rebels in that quarter. His 
siege guns, which had been withdrawn across the 
Chickahominy during the night, were planted in 
battery on the right bank of the stream, so as to 
check the advance of the rebel right and prevent 
their turning our left. He could have presented 
a formidable covering of abatis on his front and 
right, had he been supplied with axes, but these 
were unaccountably wanting. His request for 
them to General Barnard reached McClellan too 
late. He finally received some without handles, 
and while these were being supplied the opportunity 
for using axes was past. His first call on McClellan 
for reenforcements likewise miscarried. His next 
was made at 2 p. m. , when Slocum's Division of the 
6th Corps was ordered to his support, arriving on 
the field at 3:30, after our position had been 
assailed in force at every point, and after McCall's 
Division had been ordered up to support our sorely 
pressed front. So urgent and instant was the 
pressure that Slocum's Division had to be divided 
and thrown by brigades and even regiments to the 
points where the need of aid seemed greatest. 
Reynolds, with one brigade of McCall's Reserves, 
having reached the front and driven the enemy 
before him, hearing the noise of a terrific con- 
test on his left, moved immediately to that point 
where his assistance seemed necessary. And thus 
the battle raged for hours ; repeated charges on 
our lines being repulsed, but fresh brigades advanc- 
ing promptly to replace them, until our wasted reg- 
iments, having exhausted their amunition, were 
obliged to retire and replenish it. Porter, though he 
had lost Httle ground, telegraphed to McClellan for 
reenforcements, who ordered forward French's and 

Meagher's brigades of the 2d corps ; but, before they 
could reach the field, the rebels, rallying all their 
forces, just at sunset, stormed our entrenchments 
right and left, driving back their brave defenders 
with mutual carnage, and capturing several of our 

"General Porter, seeing his infantry beaten, now 
called into action all his reserved and remaining 
artillery, and thus bringing at once some 80 guns 
into action, was covering the retreat of his infantry 
and dealing fearful retribution on their assailants, 
whose advance was suddenly checked ; when Gen. 
Cooke, without orders, undertook to charge with a 
battalion of cavalry, the right flank of the rebels 
advancing on our left, and still covered in good part 
by woods. This charge being met by a withering 
fire of musketry, amidst the roar of a hundred belch- 
ing cannon, resulted in instant rout ; the frightened 
horses, whether with or without the consent of their 
riders, wheeling abruptly and crashing through our 
batteries; leading our gunners to suppose, for the 
moment, that they were charged by regiments of 
rebel horse." "To this alone," says Fitz-John Por- 
ter, in his report, "is to be attributed our failure to 
hold the field, and to bring off all our guns and 

" In another moment the cheering shouts of 
French's and Meagher's men were heard, as they 
advanced rapidly to the front. Rallying behind 
these two fresh brigades, our wearied, decimated 
regiments advanced up the hill, down which they 
had recently been driven, ready to meet a fresh 
attack, had one been attempted. But the enemy, 
perceiving that they were confronted by fresh com- 
batants, and not knowing our force, halted for the 
night on the field they had so hardly won."* 

During the night our forces were withdrawn 
across the Chickahominy, leaving 19 guns on the 
battle field and three run off the bridge into the 
stream. Our losses in this action have been esti- 
mated at 6,000 killed and wounded ; Greeley foots 
them up to " hardly less than 8,000 men," the rebels 
losing probably "about two thirds as many." Our 
I2th Regiment lost heavily, among whom were 
Captain Truesdell, severely wounded, also Captain 
Crombie, Lieut. S. A. Estes, Lieut. Fisher, mor- 
tally ; Lieut. Barton, killed ; Lieut. Paul A. Oliver, 
severely wounded in the scalp, but not fatally. 
Quite a large number (144) of this regiment were 
killed and taken prisoners. 

McClellan having now determined on a flank 
movement through White Oak Swamp to the 
James, our regiment followed the next day to Sav- 
age's Station, crossed White Oak Swamp on the 
29th of June, and on Tuesday, July ist, were en- 
gaged in the battle of Malvern Hill. The rebels, 
as soon as they had discovered McClellan's move- 
ments, crossed the Chickahominy and pu rsued after 

Greeley, vol. ii, p. I 57. 



him. Without recounting the battles and hard- 
ships of this march, the terrible conflict of the 30th 
of June, in which a portion of our army was en- 
gaged on the road leading from New Marlcct to 
Long Bridge, we shall follow more directly the for- 
tunes of the 1 2th Regiment, which reached Malvern 
Hill at 9 o'clock a. m., June 30th. Gen. Porter, 
with his corps, had been delayed in crossing White 
Oak Swamp, and hence did not reach Malvern Hill 
till the time above stated. The entire wasted and 
way-worn army had been concentrated on the bat- 
tle ground on the ist of July, the rear guard arriv- 
ing that forenoon, closely pursued by the converg- 
ing columns of the rebels. " The an.xiousdays and 
sleepless nights of the preceding week ; the con- 
stant and resolute efforts required to force their 
forty miles of guns and trains over the narrow, 
wretched roads which traverse White Oak Swamp ; 
their ignorance of the locality, and exposure to be 
ambushed and assailed at every turn, rendered this 
retreat an ordeal for our men long to be remem- 

General McClcllan had reached Malvern Hill the 
day before the battle, and selecting his position, left 
orders with General Barnard to post the troops as 
they arrived, while he went down the river on the 
gunboat Galena to select a position at which he pro- 
posed to terminate his retreat. The rebels con- 
sumed considerable time in getting into position 
and bringing up the artillery necessary to respond 
to our heavy and well placed batteries. At length 
the battle was opened by D. H. Hill's division at 3 
p. M. on our left, and directly in front of that portion of 
our army in which the 12th Regiment was stationed. 
The order of our troops is thus described : " Porter, 
with Sykes's and Morrell's divisions, held our left, 
with Couch's division next, then Kearney and 
Hooker, forming Heintzelman's corps ; next to 
these Sedgwick and Richardson, under Sumner, 
with Smith and Slocum, under Franklin, on our 
right ; wiiile McCall's shattered Pennsylvania Re- 
serves and our cavalry were posted in the rear, near 
the river. Batteries above, batteries along the brow 
of the hill, rendered the attack little less than mad- 
ness." Yet, as we have said, the attack on Porter's 
Corps was made at 3 i". m , under general orders to 
break our lines by a concentric fire of artillery, and 
then " charge with a yell " on our entire front 
with columns of infantry, which should rush over 
our defences, as they did in the final assault at 
Gaines's Mill, and drive our fugitive army into the 
James. The infantry attack was made with great 
spirit, amidst fearful carnage, and for some time 
raged along nearly our entire line ; but Hill, being 

unsupported by the general advance which had 
been ordered, was hurled back with heavy loss. 

At the opening of this action just as our 12th 
Regiment was taking position. Major Henry A. 
liarnum was wounded by a rebel shot, the bullet 
passing through the left hip, inflicting a very criti- 
cal and dangerous wound, which kept him many 
months out of the service. 

After the first fruitless attempt of the enemy to 
break our lines, a considerable pause ensued during 
which both sides were getting ready for the main 
battle of the day. The sheltering woods enabled 
the rebels to form their columns of assault within 
a few hundred yards of our batteries. At about 
6 I". M., when the attack was renewed, they 
emerged upon a full run, and rushed upon our lines 
in utter recklessness of their withering fire, assault- 
ing in such desperation, that Sickles's brigade of 
Hooker's division, and Meagher's brigade of Rich- 
ardson's division, were ordered up to the support of 
Porter and Couch, who now held our right front, 
which Jackson was charging furiously ; but not 
one of our guns was temporarily captured or seri- 
ously imperiled throughout the fight. The loss of 
the rebels is supposed to have been treble that of 
our own — in this battle over 10,000 killed, wounded 
and missing. Gen. McCiellan reports the aggre- 
gate losses of his army in the seven days fighting, 
from Mechanicsville to Harrison's Landing, at 
1,582 killed, 7,709 wounded, and 5,958 missing; 
total, 15,249. 

After the battle of Malvern Hill, our regiment, 
together with the army, removed to Harrison's Land- 
ing, on the James River. The rear guard moved 
into camp on the evening of the 3d of July, and the 
army was at rest, after their hard fighting and 
marching. During the night of July 31st, Gen. 
F'rench, having been sent by' Lee with 43 guns, to 
approach Harrison's Bar stealthily on the south 
side of the James, opened a fire on our camp and 
vessels, whereby 10 of our soldiers were killed and 
15 wounded. Our guns were brought to bear upon 
him and he fled before daylight. His cannonade 
lasted only about half an hour. This is the only 
incident of any importance that occurred while in 
camp at this point. 

Left Harrison's Landing on the 14th of August, 
and came down the river, halting at Yorktown, 
camping on the same ground occupied by our 
regiment during the siege. General Porter was 
under orders to halt the advance here ; but inter- 
cepting a letter informing him that the enemy were 
concentrating rapidly on Pope with intent to crush 
him before he could be rccnforced, he took the re- 



sponsibility of pressing on to Newport News, which 
he reached on the i8th, having marched sixty miles 
in three days. On the 20th he embarked his corps 
on transports to Aquia Creek, whence they were 
sent by rail to Falmouth, opposite Fredericksburg. 
Moved up the Rappahannock, joined Pope's army 
and participated in the second battle of Bull Run, 
August 30, 1862. 

Porter, on arriving at the scene of action, was 
ordered, (supported by King,) to advance down the 
Warrenton turnpike and attack the enemy, who in 
that quarter were greatly superior in numbers. The 
result was that Porter's corps was hurled back in 
confusion. The rebels pursued eagerly and joined 
battle along our entire front, struggling desperately 
to overwhelm and turn our left, where Schenck, 
Milroy and Reynolds, reenforced by Ricketts, 
maintained the unequal contest throughout the 
afternoon. Porter's corps was rallied, reformed 
and pushed to their support, rendering such 
good service that for a time the attack seemed 
likely to prove successful. But our advancing 
troops soon began to be mowed down by the 
cross-fire of four batteries from Longstreet's left, 
which decimated and drove them back in con- 
fusion. Jackson, seeing them recoil, immediately 
ordered an advance. Longstreet supported it, 
pushing forward his whole command against our 
center and left. At dark, our left had been forced 
back considerably, but still stood firm and unbroken, 
and covered the turnpike, which was our only safe 
line of retreat. That night the retreat began by 
order of Gen. Pope, and was pursued quietly and in 
good order, until his whole army was drawn back 
within the intrenchments along the south bank of 
the Potomac, covering the approaches to Washing- 
ton, when Pope resigned and was succeeded by Gen. 

In this battle the 12th Regiment lost heavily. 
Among the wounded were Col. Henry A. Weeks, 
who on that day had commanded a brigade ; Capt. 
Root and Lieut. Behan. The muster of the regi- 
ment next morning showed only 106 men, one staff 
officer and six line officers. The brigade went into 
the fight with over 1,500 men, and came out with 
only about 600. 

On the night of September 2d, our brigade went 
into camp at Arlington Heights, near the site of 
the old camp occupied by the 12th Regiment, the 
previous winter. Here the brigade was strength- 
ened by the addition of the 20th Maine regiment, 
as fine a regiment as ever appeared on a field, and 
moving across into Maryland, passed up via Fred- 
erick City and across South Mountain to the vicinity 

of Sharpsburgh, and on the 17th of September 
participated in the battle of Antietam. 

Lee had crossed the Potomac into Maryland with 
a portion of his army, leaving the remainder of it 
on the south side menaced by a considerable force 
under General Miles at Harper's Ferry. The 
obvious intent of McClellan was to follow and 
conquer that portion of Lee's army in Maryland, 
while it was separated from its reenforcements, and 
then send forces to the rescue of Harper's Ferry, 
before the rebels on that side of the river should 
compel its surrender and evacuation. But delays 
thwarted this object. After two severe battles in 
the passes of South Mountain, Lee's army in Mary- 
land reached Antietam, where the most advantage- 
ous position was selected. Harper's Ferry fell, and 
the whole of Lee's army was soon on the ground 
at Antietam, making it necessary for McClellan to 
fight the entire rebel army at that point, strength- 
ened and elated by their success at Harper's Ferry. 

When our army advanced in sight of Antietam, 
the whole rebel force was there, save A. P. Hill's 
division. " The regiments and brigades, hitherto 
so ostentatiously paraded, seemed to have sunk into 
the earth ; and nothing but grim and frowning 
batteries were seen covering each hill-crest, and 
trained on every stretch of open ground whereby 
our soldiers might attempt to scale those rugged 

" The struggle was inaugurated on the afternoon 
of the i6th." On the 17th the great battle was 
fought, the details of which we cannot enter into 
here, save so far as to indicate the position of the 
1 2th Regiment. Porter's Corps was in our center, 
holding the road from Sharpsburg to Middletown 
and Boonsborough, and remained unengaged east 
of the Antietam Creek till late in the afternoon ; 
two brigades of it were then sent to support our 
right ; six battalions of Sykes's regulars were 
thrown across the bridge on the main road, to drive 
off the rebel sharp-shooters, who were annoying 
Pleasanton's horse-batteries at that point ; War- 
ren's brigade was detached and sent to the right and 
rear of Burnside, leaving with Porter only about 
3,000 men. Burnside's corps held our extreme 
left, opposite the lowest of the three bridges cross- 
ing the Antietam. At i p. m., he charged with 
the 51st New York and 51st Pennsylvania, and 
took the bridge. At 3 p. m., under peremptory or- 
ders, he charged up the heights, carrying them 
handsomely, some of his troops reaching even the 
outskirts of Sharpsburg. But now, just as victory 
seemed about to smile upon our arms, A. P. Hill's 
division (which had been ordered from Harper's 



Ferry that morning, and had started at half-past 7 
o'clock I came upon the field, and covered by a 
heavy fire of artillery charged our extreme left, 
which during the day had sustained repeated 
charges of the enemy, and drove it back in great 
confusion. Gen. Rodman, who commanded our 
left, fell mortally wounded. The enemy rallied 
with great spirit, redoubled their fire of artillery, 
charged in front and flank, and drove our men in 
confusion down the hill toward Antietam, pursuing 
till checked by the fire of our batteries across the 
creek. Our reserves, on the left bank, now ad- 
vanced and our batteries redoubled their fire. The 
rebels wisely desisted without attempting to carry 
the bridge and retired to their lines on the heights, 
as darkness put an end to the fray. " Thus closed, 
indecisively, the bloodiest day America ever saw." 

In killed and wounded, according to their own 
report, the enemy lost 13,533 "^d '" ^'^'^ engage- 
ment. McClcllan makes his entire loss in this bat- 
tle to consist of 12,469 men. Speaking of the whole 
series of engagements in Maryland, he reports, 13 
guns, 39 colors, upwards of 15,000 stand of small 
arms, and more than 6,000 prisoners, as the trophies 
which attested the success of our arms in the battles 
of South Mountain, Crampton's Gap, and Antietam. 
Not a single gun or color was lost by our army 
during these battles. 

On the 19th of September, our division was 
ordered across the river at the Shcphcrdstown Ford, 
where they met the enemy and were driven back, 
taking shelter in the canal from which the water had 
been drawn ofli", and which afforded an e.\cellent 
breastwork already constructed to our hand. After 
the short engagement here, our brigade was ordered 
to the Antietam Iron Works, to guard the ford 
across the river ; Companies E and G, of the 12th 
Regimentbeing detailed as Provost Guard of Sharps- 
burg, under Lieut. Estes of Company G, as Provost 
Marshal. William P. Cobbitt was here killed by the 
accidental bursting of a shell picked up on the 
Antietam battle-field. 

From Sharpsburg, or the Antietam Iron Works, 
our regiment was removed to Stoncman's Switch 
on the Fredericksburg and Aquia Creek Railroad, 
about four miles from Fredericksburg, and remained 
till December 13th, 1862, the day on which Burn- 
side made his memorable, but fatal attempt to cross 
and storm the fortified heights of Fredericksburg. 
Pontoon bridges had been laid across the Rappa- 
hannock to effect this object. Lee, with an army 
fully 80,000 strong, was stretched along and behind 
the southern bluffs of the Rappahannock from a 
point a mile or so above Fredericksburg to one four 

or five miles below. These heights were girdleu 
with batteries rising tier above tier to their crest, 
all carefully trained upon the approaches from Fred- 
ericksburg, while a fatal stone wall, so strong that 
no artillery could make an impression upon it. shel- 
tered a brigade of the enemy in the very front of 
the storming column. Against such impregnable 
defences our brave soldiers were thrown across to 
meet their fate. Braver men never smiled at death 
than those who climbed Marye's Hill that fatal day ; 
their ranks plowed through and torn to pieces by 
rebel batteries, even in the process of formation ; 
and when at heavy cost they had reached the foot 
of the hill, they were confronted by a solid stone 
wall, four feet high, from behind which a rebel brig- 
ade of infantry mowed them down like grass. 
Never did men fight better or die, alas I more fruit- 
lessly, than did most of Hancock's corps, especially 
Meagher's Irish brigade, composed of the 63d, 69th 
and 88th New York, the 28th Massachusetts, and 
the nth Pennsylvania, which dashed itself repeat- 
edly against those impregnable heights, until two- 
thirds of its number strewed the ground ; when the 
remnant fell back to a position of comparative 
safety, and were succeeded, as they had been sup- 
ported, by other brigades and divisions, each to be 
exposed in its turn to like pitiless, useless, hopeless 

Thus the fight was maintained till after dark, 
assault after assault being delivered by divisions 
advancing against twice their numbers, on ground 
where treble the force was required for the attack 
that sufficed for the defence, while a hundred rebel 
cannon posted on heights which our few guns on 
that side of the river could not reach, swept our 
men down from the moment they began to advance, 
and where they could do nothing but charge, fall 
and die. Not to go into details of this terrible days 
fighting, we may say here that our loss was not less 
than 15,000 to that of the rebels 5,000, killed, 
wounded and taken prisoners. Night mercifully 
closed the scene of carnage. 

Throughout the 14th and 15th the two armies 
stood facing each other, Lee strengthening his 
defenses and awaiting a renewal of the attack. He 
was probably aware that such was Burnside's inten- 
tion, from which, however, he was finally dissuaded, 
and decided to rccross his entire army on the night 
of the I5lh. Only a few pickets and some ammuni- 
tion were left in Fredericksburg, and '* not a gun 
was abandoned as a trophy of this ill-starred 
advance on Richmond." Our pontoons were all 
taken up and brought off. The I2th Regiment lost 
heavily, among others, several commissioned officers 



The regiment lay all night the day of the battle 
and the next day among the dead and wounded, 
after the cessation of the battle of the 13th, no 
movement being made in the army whereby they 
could get out of their position. On the retreat 
they were the last to reach the pontoon bridge, and 
were upon it as it was cut loose from the Fredericks- 
burg shore by our engineers. 

After the retreat from Fredericksburg, our regi- 
ment went back to its old camp at Stoneman's 
Switch, and on the 27th of April, 1863, at the time 
of the advance of Hooker on Chancellorsville, or- 
ders came for them to return to Elmira and be mus- 
tered out of the service. Being two years men, 
their time had expired. The three years men from 
New York City, formerly consolidated with the 12th 
Regiment, were organized into five companies 
forming a separate battalion under Col. Henry A. 
Weeks, and remained in the service. The 12th 
Regiment reached Elmira in a few days, and were 
mustered out on the 17th of May, 1S63. 

Official Record of the I2th Regiment. 

The following is the official list and line of pro- 
motions of the 1 2th Regiment : 

Ezra L. Walrath, Colonel, rank from May 7, 
1861, resigned September 26, 1861 ; George W. 
Snyder, Colonel, commissioned October i, 1S61, 
declined ; Henry A. Weeks, Colonel, rank from 
February 3, 1862, mustered out on expiration of 
term of service ; Benjamin A. Willis, Colonel, com- 
missioned February 27, 1864, "ot mustered ; James 
L. Graham, Lieutenant-Colonel, rank from May 7, 
1861, resigned June 19, 1S61 ; Robert M. Rich- 
ardson, Lieutenant-Colonel, rank from June 19, 1861, 
resigned February 6, 1863 ; Augustus J. Root, 
Major, rank from September 22, 1862, promoted to 
Lieutenant-Colonel, February 13, 1863, mustered 
out on expiration of term of service. May 17, 1863 ; 
John Lewis, Major, rank from May 7, 1861, killed 
by fall from his horse, October 21, 1861 ; Henry A. 
Barnum, Major, rank from October 25, 1861, pro- 
moted to Colonel 149th N. Y. Vols., September 22, 
1862 ; Henry W. Rider, Captain, rank from Febru- 
ary 3, 1862, promoted to Major, February 27, 1864 ; 
Silas Titus, Adjutant, rank from May 13, 1861, 
promoted to Colonel I22d N. Y. Volunteers, Au- 
gust 28, 1862 ; George F. Watson, Adjutant, rank 
from February 3, 1862, mustered out at expi- 
ration of term of service. May 17, 1S63 ; Edmund 
B. Griswold, Quartermaster, rank from May 13, 
1861, resigned September 6, 1861 ; Porter R. 
Alger, 1st Lieutenant rank from September 21, 
1 86 1, promoted to Quartermaster February 27, 1862, 
brevet Major N. Y. Vols., mustered out on expiration 
of term of service. May 17, 1863 ; Roger W. Pease, 
Surgeon, rank from May 7, 1861, resigned August 
28, 1861 ; Azariah B. Shipman, Surgeon, rank from 
September 13, 1861, resigned May 23, 1S62 ; Chas. 
L. Hubbell, Surgeon, rank from April 2, 1862, dis- 

charged August s, 1862; Chas. C. Murphy, Sur- 
geon, rank from December 31, 1862, mustered out 
at expiration of term of service. May 17, 1S63 ; 
George B. Todd, Assistant Surgeon, rank from May 
7, 1 86 1, resigned October 7, 1S62 ; John L. Eddy, 
Assistant Surgeon, rank from November 3, 1862, 
mustered out at expiration of term of service. May 
17, 1863 ; George V. Skift". Assistant Surgeon, rank 
from August 22, 1862, mustered out at expiration 
of term of service, May 17, 1863 ; C. S. Percival, 
Chaplain, resigned October 20, 1861 ; Henry P. 
Barton, Chaplain, rank from October 21, 1861, re- 
signed April 20, 1862 ; Morris H. Church, Captain, 
rank from May i, 1861, resigned September 21, 
1861 ; Ira Wood, Captain, rank from September 21, 
1861, resigned October 14, 1862; Thomas H. 
Behan, Captain, rank from October 16, 1862, 
mustered out at expiration of term of service, 
May 17, 1863; Jacob Brand, Captain, rank from 
May I, 1861, resigned October 25, 1861 ; 
William Huson, Captain, rank from February 3, 
1S62, mustered out on expiration of term of ser- 
vice. May 17, 1863 ; Dennis Driscoll, Jr., Cap- 
tain, rank from May i, 1861, discharged February 
3, 1862 ; William Fowler, Captain, rank from 
February 3, 1862, discharged February 3, 1863 ; 
George W. Stone, Captain, rank from May i, 1861, 
resigned July 9, 1S61 ; William H. Hoagland, Cap- 
tain, rank from February 3, 1862, killed in action 
at Fredericksburg, Va., December 13,1862 ; James 
A. Bates, Captain, rank from December 14, 1862, 
discharged April 11, 1864; Joseph Hilton, Cap- 
tain, rank from April 11, 1S64, not mustered; 
J. M. Brower, Captain, rank from May i, 1861, dis- 
charged Febuary 3, 1862 ; Paul A. Oliver, 2d Lieu- 
tenant, rank from February 3, 1862, promoted to 
1st Lieutenant, May 30, 1S62, to Captain, April 4, 
1864, transferred to 5th Regiment, N. Y. Vols., 
June 2, 1864; Milo W. Locke, Captain, rank from 
May I, 1861, resigned November 14, 1S61 ; James 
Cromie, Captain, rank from February 3, 1862, dis- 
charged April 7, 1863 ; Joseph C. Irish, Captain, 
rank from May i, 1861, resigned September 3, 
1861 ; Charles B. Randall, 2d Lieutenant, rank 
from May, 1861, promoted to Captain, September 
25, 1861 ; mustered out at the expiration of term 
of service, May 17, 1863 ; George W. Cole, Cap- 
tain, rank from May i, 1861, transferred to 3d N. Y. 
Cavalry, September 20, 1861 ; George Truesdell, 1st 
Lieutenant, rank from May 13, 1861, promoted to 
Captain October 20, 1861, resigned December 2, 
1862; Michael Auer, 2d Lieutenant, rank from 
February 22, 1862, promoted to ist Lieutenant, 
December i, 1862, mustered out on expira- 
tion of term of service, May 17, 1863 ; Peter 
Strauss, ist Lieutenant, rank from May r, 
1861, promoted to Captain, December 26, 1862, 
mustered out on expiration of service, May 17, 1863 ; 
Henry A. Barnum, Captain, rank from May i, 1861, 
promoted to Major, October 29, 1861, promoted to 
Colonel of 149th N. Y. Vols., September 22, 1S62; 
Hamilton R. Combs, ist Lieutenant, rank from 
May I, 1861, promoted to Captain November 11, 
1861, resigned October 27, 1862 ; Edward Drake, 
1st Lieutenant, rank from October i, 1861, promoted 



to Captain, December i, 1862, Brevet Major, N. Y. 
Vols., mustered out at expiration of term of service, 
May 17, 1863 ; Cortland Clark, ist Lieutenant, 
rank from October 16, 1862, mustered out on expi- 
ration of term of ser\icc. May 17, 18G3 ; James A. 
Boyle, 1st Lieutenant, rank from February 3, 1862, 
mustered out on expiration of term of service, 
May 17, 1863 ; James Randall, ist Lieutenant, rank 
from May i, 1 861, discharged February 3, 1862; 
Richard J. Clark, ist Lieutenant, rank from Febru- 
ary 3, 1S62, mustered out on expiration of term of 
ser\'ice. May 17, 1863 ; Lucius C. Storrs, ist Lieu- 
tenant, rank from May i, 1861, resigned October 23, 
1861 ; Henry C. Burton, ist Lieutenant, rank from 
Feb. 3, 1862, killed in action June 27, 1862 ; VVm. 
P. Walton, 2d Lieutenant, rank from Feb. 3, 1862, 
promoted to ist Lieutenant, Oct. 29, 1862, dis- 
charged Sept. 26, 1863 ; Joseph Hilton, 2d Lieuten- 
ant, rank from June 20, 1862, promoted to ist Lieu- 
tenant December 26, 1862, transferred to 5th N. Y. 
Vols., June 2, 1864 ; Frederick Homer, ist Lieuten- 
ant, rank from May i, 1861, resigned July 30, 1861 ; 
Samuel J. Abbott. 2d Lieutenant, rank from May 
I, 1861, promoted to ist Lieutenant August 27, 

1 86 1, resigned September 20, 1861 ; William F. 
Gardner, ist Lieutenant, rank from February 3, 

1862, resigned May 18, 18G2; William Glcason, ist 
Lieutenant, rank from May i, 1 861, discharged Feb- 
ruary 3, 1S62; James A. Bates, ist Lieutenant, 
rank from February 3, 1862, promoted to Captain 
December 26, 18G2, discharged April 11, 1S64; 
Henry A. Downing, 2d Lieutenant, rank from Feb- 
ruary 3, 1862, promoted to ist Lieutenant Decem- 
ber 26, 1862 ; John H. Johnson, ist Lieutenant, 
rank from May i, 1861, resigned October 10, 1861 ; 
Stephen A. Estes, ist Lieutenant, rank from Sep- 
tember 21, 1861, promoted to Cai^tain October 30, 
1862; Oliver T. May, 2d Lieutenant, rank from 
March 20, 1862, promoted to ist Lieutenant October 
30. 1862, to Captain 149th regiment, March 26, 
1863 ; Edward Pointer, ist Lieutenant, rank from 
May I, 1S61, not mustered ; Thomas Gaffney, ist 
Lieutenant, rank from September i, 1861, re- 
signed October 23, 18G2; John P. Stanton, 2d 
Lieutenant, rank from May i, 1861, promoted 
to 1st Lieutenant December 26, 1862, resigned 
April 15, 1863 ; William P. Town, ist Lieutenant, 
rank from May 1, 1861, resigned August G, 18G1 ; 
William G. Tracy, ist Lieutenant, rank from August 
6, 1 86 1, discharged February 3, 18G2 ; S. Dexter 
Ludden, 2d Lieutenant, rank from September 3, 

1861, promoted to ist Lieutenant November 10, 

1862, mustered out on expiration of term of service, 
May 17, 1863 ; William S. Woods, 2d Lieutenant, 
rank from June 27, 18G2, promoted to ist Lieuten- 
ant April 29, 18G4, transferred to the 5th N. Y. 
Vols., June 2, 1864; George W. Cartwright, 1st 
Lieutenant, resigned November 5, 1861 ; Ulysses 
D. Eddy, 2d Lieutenant, rank from September 20, 
1 86 1, discharged March 17, 18G2 ; Abraham Fred- 
dendall, 2d Lieutenant, rank from March 17, 1S62, 
resigned October 13, 18G2; Abram Farnie, 2d 
Lieutenant, rank from October 13, 1SG2, mustered 
out on expiration of term of service. May 17, 18G3 ; 
John P. Spanier, 2d Lieutenant, rank from May i, 

1861, resigned December 27, 1861 ; Charles E. 
Gould, 2d Lieutenant, rank from February 3, 1862, 
resigned October 13, 1862 ; John M. Scannell. 2d 
Lieutenant, rank from October 13, 1862, resigned 
April 13. 1863 ; Robert J. Ellis, 2d Lieutenant, rank 
from April 11, 1863, not mustered; Ellis Smith, 
2d Lieutenant, rank from February 3, 1862, resigned 
November 4, 18G2; Christopher Eddie, 2d Lieu- 
tenant, rank from November 5, 1862, mustered out 
at the expiration of term of service. May 17, 1863 ; 
George Snyder, 2d Lieutenant, rank from May i, 
1861, resigned October 25, 1861 ; I'rank W. Clock, 
2d Lieutenant, rank from September 21, 1861, re- 
signed March 19, 1862; Edward M. Fisher, 2d 
Lieutenant, rank from May 17, 1862. killed inaction 
at the Chickahominy June 27, 1862; Stephen D. 
Clark, 2d Lieutenant, rank from May i, 1861, dis- 
charged I'cbruary 3, 1862 ; John L. Mease, 2d 
Lieutenant, rank from December 14, 1862, dis- 
missed November 17, 1863; William Thompson, 
2d Lieutenant, rank from November 20, 1863, 
transferred to the 5th N. Y. Vols. June 2, 1864 ; 
Erskinc P. Woodford, 2d Lieutenant, rank from 
May I, 18G1, resigned December i, iSGi ; Fred- 
erick O. Waters, 2d Lieutenant, rank from Septem- 
ber 22, 1862, mustered out on the expiration of 
term of service May 17, 1863 ; Charles S. Coon, 2d 
Lieutenant, rank from October 20, 1 861, discharged 
February 3, 18G2; George Boitcau, 2d Lieutenant, 
rank from December 3, 1862, mustered out on expi- 
ration of term of service, May 17, 1863 ; Andrew 
Urmy, 2d Lieutenant, rank from October 22, 1861, 
resigned February 22, 1862; Dexter Smith, 2d 
Lieutenant, rank from October 27, 1862, mustered 
out on expiration of term of service. May 17, 1863 ; 
Lucius Smith, 2d Lieutenant, rank from May i, 
1 86 1, resigned September 3, 1S61 ; John B. P'oote, 
2d Lieutenant, rank from October 22, 1862, 
mustered out on expiration of term of service. May 
17, 1863 ; Gustavus Webber, 2d Lieutenant, rank 
from December 18, 18G2, resigned February 2, 
18G3 ; John Corncy, 2d Lieutenant, rank from 
January 28, 1863, mustered out on expiration of 
service, May 17, 1863. 

Regimental Flag of the Twelfth New York. 

In the list of regimental flags presented to Gov. 
Fcnton at Albany, we find the following memorial 
of the colors of the 12th Regiment: 

" I National Flag, silk. Presented to the regiment 
by the ladies of Syracuse, May 2, 1861, and carried 
by the regiment through every service in which it 
was engaged. 

" The regiment was organized at Syracuse in the 
spring of 1861. It was engaged in the battle of 
Blackburn's Ford, and at ist Bull Run was in the 
reserve. After spending several months in building 
and grading forts in front of Washington, it was sent 
to the Peninsula, and was subsequently engaged in 
the seige of Yorktown and in the battles of Hanover 
Court House, Gaines's Mill, Savage's Station, White 
Oak Swamp, Malvern Hill, 2d Bull Run and ist 
Fredericksburg. It returned to the State in the 



spring of 1863, at the expiration of its term of 

Represented at the presentation by Col. Henry 
A. Weeks. 

The One Hundred and First Regiment New 
York Volunteers was raised in the Counties of 
Onondaga, New York and Delaware. It was or- 
ganized at Hancock, N. Y., to serve for three years, 
and was mustered into the United States service 
from September 2, 1861, to February 28, 1862. It 
was consolidated with the 37th New York Volun- 
teers, December 24, 1862, and the officers mustered 
out of service. 

The officers of this regiment from Onondaga 
County were Lieutenant Colonel Johnson B. 
Brown, discharged November 7, 1862 ; Captain 
Gustavus Sniper, of Company C, promoted to 
Major on the organization of the regiment at Han- 
cock, promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel November 
29, 1862, and mustered out at the consolidation, 
December 24, 1862 ; Assistant-Surgeon David B. 
Van Slycke, promoted to Surgeon, October 23, 1862, 
and mustered out December 24, 1862 ; Captain 
James F. O'Neil, rank from October i, 1861, dis- 
charged May 31, 1862; Captain George W. Her- 
rick, rank from March 31, 1862, discharged Febru- 
ary 22, 1862 ; Captain Peter Ohneth {Brevet-Major 
N. Y. V.,) rank as Captain November 24, 1861, 
mustered out December 24, 1862 ; Captain Peter 
McLennon, rank from December 5, 1861, mustered 
out December 24, 1862 ; ist Lieutenant Orrin F. 
Plumb, rank from November 14, 1861, mustered 
out December 24, 1862 ; ist Lieutenant James H. 
Bradt, rank from October 25, 1861, promoted to 
Captain October 29, 1862 ; ist Lieutenant Thomas 
K. Brown, rank from October 22, 1861, mustered 
out December 24, 1862 ; ist Lieutenant Monroe C. 
Worden, rank from October 7, 1861, died at Wash- 
ington, D. C, April 25, 1862 ; ist Lieutenant Wil- 
liam Noble, rank from November 16, 1862, not 
mustered ; ist Lieutenant Orlando J. Rowe, on 
records of War Department, not commissioned, 
resigned January 31, 1862; 2d Lieutenant William 
H. Warner, rank from December i, 1861, promoted 
to 1st Lieutenant October 29, 1862, mustered out 
at the consolidation, December 24, 1862 ; 2d Lieu- 
tenant Silas H. Hinds, rank from June, 1862, mus- 
tered out December 24, 1862 ; 2d Lieutenant Adam 
Listman, rank from November 24, 1861, resigned 
July 24, 1862; 2d Lieutenant George Pfohl, rank 
from July 25, 1862, mustered out December 24, 
1862 ; 2d Lieutenant Henry D. Ford, rank from 
December 15, 1861, promoted ist Lieutenant Oct. 3, 
1862, mustered out December 24, 1862 ; 2d Lieu- 

tenant George B. French, rank from September 9, 
1863, not mustered ; Amos M. Scranton, on records 
of War Department, not mustered, discharged Feb- 
ruary 22, 1862. 

In the catalogue of flags presented to Governor 
Fenton at Albany after the war, we find this men- 
tion of the colors of the loist Regiment : 

"I National Flag, silk, with original staff. This 
flag was presented to the regiment by the Union 
Defence Committee of New York City. It was 
borne in the battles of Seven Pines, (May 31 and 
June I) Peach Orchard, Savage's Station, Chicka- 
hominy, White Oak Swamp, Charles City Cross 
Roads, Malvern Hill, Groveton, Second Bull Run, 
Chantilly and Fredericksburg." 

The regiment was sent forward from Hancock, 
N. Y., to Washington in March, 1862, and was for 
some time on duty in and about Washington. It 
was also engaged in garrison duty for some time at 
Fort Lyons, seven miles south of Alexandria. Be- 
fore engaging in the first of the series of battles 
above enumerated, it was organized as part of Bir- 
ney's brigade, Kearney's division and Heintzelman's 
corps, and arrived at Fair Oaks just at the close of 
the battle. The regiment was one of the best in 
the service. It received a high compliment for its 
gallantry from Gen. Kearney the night before he 
was killed at Chantilly. In his report after the bat- 
tle of Fredericksburg, Brig.-Gen. Berry said : " I 
have also to mention the good conduct of the 
loist New York Volunteers, Col. Chester com- 
manding. They nobly performed their duty dur- 
ing the fight ; also as pickets on the night of the 
retreat. This regiment, though small in numbers, 
did good service, and its conduct, together with 
that of all its officers, was unexceptionable." 


The One Hundred and Twenty-Second New 
York Volunteers — Organization — March 
TO THE Front — South Mountain — An- 

THE I22d Regiment New York Volunteer In- 
fantry was one of the regiments furnished by 
the State under the call of the President for 300,000 
men in the summer of 1862. The war for the sup- 
pression of the Rebellion was just beginning to 
develop the magnitude of its proportions, and to 
show that the North must put forth its manly energy 
in good earnest, if it would save the Republic from 
dismemberment, anarchy and destruction. The issue 
of the struggle upon the Peninsula for the capture 
of Richmond was being surrounded with doubt. 



when on the 1st of July, the President called for 
300,000 additional troops. On the day following. 
Governor Morgan issued a proclamation of which 
the subjoined is an extract : 

"This appeal is to the State of New York: it is 
to each citizen. Let it come to every fireside. Let 
the glorious example of the Revolutionary period be 
our emulation. Let each feel that the Common- 
wealth now counts upon his individual strength and 
influence to meet the demands of the Government. 

"The period has come when all must aid. New 
York has not thus far stood back. Ready and more 
than willing, she has met every summons to duty. 
Let not her history be falsified nor her position be 

Three days after the appearance of the above 
appeal, there was issued from the Adjutant-General's 
office of the State a circular directing the division 
of the State into regimental districts, correspond- 
ing to the senatorial districts, with a rendez- 
vous camp in each. At the same time and by 
the same authority, a committee was appointed in 
each district, called the Senatorial War Committee, 
to whom was given the general charge and direction 
of affairs in their district in regard to the raising 
and organization of troops. 

In Onondaga county, composing the 22d Dis- 
trict, the following gentlemen were named as the 
Committee : Hon. Charles Andrews, Hon. Grove 
Lawrence, Hon. Dennis McCarthy, Hon. Elias W. 
Leavenworth, Hamilton White, Esq., Hon. Austin 
Myres, Hon. Thomas G. Alvord, L. W. Hall, Esq., 
Hon. Thomas T. Davis and Col. J. Dean Hawley. 

On the I5lh of July, 1862, the above committee 
held a meeting and organized by the election of 
Hon. Charles Andrews, President, and L. W. Hall, 
Esq., Secretary. 

A resolution was passed requesting the inhabit- 
ants of the various towns of the county to appoint 
a committee of three in each town to act in con- 
junction with them. Also a resolution was passed 
requesting the Governor of the State to call an 
extra session of the Legislature forthwith, to insure 
uniform action as regards the bounty to be offered 
volunteers. The committee resolved to hold a ses- 
sion every evening at the Mayor's office in the City 
Hall, at half past seven o'clock, until further notice. 

At this time the expedition against Richmond 
had failed. Pope's army, by his bold advance to 
cooperate with McClellan, was imperiled, and was 
being driven back, though not without able and gal- 
lant resistance, to the defences of Washington ; 
while the pco|)le were looking anxiously to see 
whether the foiled, yet powerful. Army of the Poto- 
mac, would be brought up in time to his assistance, 
or whether he would be able to fight his way back 

with what means he had within his reach. All 
clearly perceived that it was only a question of time 
whether our armies already in the field would be 
able to maintain a successful defensive until the 
reenforcements which the great loyal North were 
preparing and sending forward, in response to the 
call of the President, could reach the front. 

It was under such circumstances as these that 
the War Committee, in the summer of i862,"called 
upon the people of Onondaga for further enlist- 
ments. The first response under this call was the 
I22d Regiment, N. Y. V. I. It was raised in one 
month, enlistments fairly commencing on the 20th 
of July and the rolls closing on the 20th of August. 

The first Company (A) was filled at Baldwins- 
ville, from the towns of Lysander and Van Buren, 
August 6, with Joshua B. Davis, Captain ; Alonzo 
H. Clapp, 1st Lieutenant: and Herbert S. Wells, 
2d Lieutenant. Captain Davis was promoted to 
Major, August 16, 1862, and was succeeded in the 
command of the company by J. M. Brower, form- 
erly a Captain in the 12th Regiment, N. Y. V. 

Company B was filled August 14, from the 
city of Syracuse and the towns of Geddes, Cicero 
and Clay, with Webster R. Chamberlain, Captain ; 
Charles G. Nye, ist Lieutenant, and William J. 
Webb, 2d Lieutenant. 

Company C was organized from the towns of 
Manlius and DeWitt, at Fayetteville, August 14, 
with Alfred Nims, Captain ; Joseph E. Cameron, 
1st Lieutenant, and Arthur J. Mead, 2d Lieu- 

Company D, from the towns of Onondaga, Spaf- 
ford, Otisco and the city of Syracuse, was organized 
August 14, with Cornell Chrysler, Captain ; Davis 
Cossitt, 1st Lieutenant, and Edward P. Luther, 2d 

Company E was organized in the city of Syra- 
cuse, August 15, with Augustus W. Dwight, as 
Captain ; Horace H. Walpole, 1st Lieutenant, and 
Henry H. Hoyt, 2d Lieutenant. On the 22d of 
of August, Captain A. W. Dwight was promoted to 
the Lieut. -Colonelcy of the regiment, ist Lieuten- 
ant, Horace H. Walpole, was promoted to Captain 
of Company E, and Jacob Brand was appointed 1st 
Lieutenant, vice Walpole, promoted. 

Company F was mainly from the town of Mar- 
cellus, and was organized August 15, with Lucius 
Moses, Captain ; George W. Piatt, ist Lieutenant, 
and James Burton, 2d Lieutenant. 

Company G, from the town of Elbridge, was or- 
ganized August 15, Harrison H. Jilson, Captain; 
Drayton Eno, ist Lieutenant, and Peter A. Blossom, 
2d Lieutenant. 



Company H, mainly from the town of Camillus, 
organized August 15th, James M. Gere, Captain; 
Morton L. Marks, ist Lieutenant, and Oscar F. 
Swift, 2d Lieutenant. 

Company I, from Syracuse and Salina, chiefly, 
organized August 16, John M. Dvvight, Captain ; 
Morris H. Church, ist Lieutenant, and Lucius A. 
Dillingham, 2d Lieutenant. 

Company K, chiefly from the towns of Tully and 
Skaneateles and the city of Syracuse, organized 
August 19, Noah B. Kent, Captain ; Justin Howard, 
1st Lieutenant, and Frank M. Wooster, 2d Lieu- 

The organization was completed and the regiment 
mustered into the United States service, at Syra- 
cuse, August 28, 1862, with the following field and 
staff officers, viz : 

Silas Titus, Colonel, rank from August 31, 1862 ; 
Augustus H. Dvvight, Lieutenant-Colonel, rank 
from August 28, 1862 ; Joshua B. Davis, Major, 
rank from August 28, 1862; Andrew J. Smith, 
Adjutant, rank from July 26, 1862 ; Fiank Lester, 
Quartermaster, rank from July 24, 1862 ; Nathan 
R. Teft, Surgeon, rank from July 24, 1862 ; John 
O. Slocum, Assistant Surgeon, rank from August 
14, 1862 ; Edwin A. Knapp, 2d Assistant Surgeon, 
rank from August 19, 1862 ; L. M. Nickerson, 
Chaplain, rank from August 28, 1862. 

It was expected that the regiment would remain 
in camp over Sunday, and thus give their many 
friends an opportunity to visit them before their 
departure to the seat of war. But, contrary 
to their expectations, it was announced that 
they would leave on Sunday morning. Much 
excitement was created in camp and among the 
friends of the soldiers outside. Before daylight 
they began to gather around the enclosure and at 
sunrise not less than three thousand people were 
on the ground, pressing eagerly to gain admittance 
to their friends, while hundreds of the soldiers were 
pressing from the inside, all anxious to get together 
and make their little arrangements and say their 
good-byes before separating. It was well that, on 
such an occasion, military stringency should yield to 
the dictates of affection and friendship, and there 
was time enough for a visit, for three hours would 
intervene before the time for departure. This 
view of the case being laid before Lieutenant- 
Colonel Dwight, who was the chief officer in camp 
at that time, permission was given for the gates to 
be opened and the people let in. As the guard fell 
back, the crowd surged in through the gate, while 
the soldiers within rent the air with their cheers. 
Then followed for two or three hours a free inter- 

mingling and 

and finally, the parting 

words and salutations, which were not soon for- 

gotten either by the members of the regiment or 
their friends. 

Taking a special train, the regiment arrived in 
New York City on Sunday night, where they spent 
the next day in receiving their arms and accoutre- 
ments, and at 4.30 p. m. the next day, went by boat 
to Perth Amboy, and thence the same day to Bal- 
timore. They lay all night in the depot at Balti- 
more alongside a train loaded with wounded sol- 
diers from Pope's battle-fields in Virginia. This first 
sight of the sad contingencies of war affected their 
nerves more seriously than did afterwards the bat- 
tle-field itself The following data, from the notes 
of Col. J. M. Gere, furnish us with a knowledge of 
some of the further movements of the regiment : 

Wednesday, Sept. 3. Rode to Washington, where 
they heard that Pope had been defeated at Chantilly 
and that Lee was crossing into Maryland. Slept 
that night in the barracks near the depot, and the 
next day marched through the streets of Washing- 
ton to Long Bridge, supposed to be on their way to 
Fort Pennsylvania for drill. But they were halted 
at Long Bridge, and their drill proved to be of 
quite a different character. That night they slept 
on the grass on the bank of the Potomac ; the next 
day marched back through Georgetown to a quarter 
of a mile above Chain Bridge, where tents were 
issued and camp pitched. The next day, in light 
marching order, joined the column moving to the 

The regiment was brigaded with the 65th and 
67th New York and the 23d and 61 st Pennsyl- 
vania regiments, under command of Brig. Gen. 
John Cochrane, of Couch's division, and joined the 
brigade at Orfutt's Cross Roads. The campaign of 
three weeks up to Antietam was a severe one to the 
raw and inexperienced troops. At South Moun- 
tain, after a day of severe marching, they came up 
just in time to see Slocum's splendid charge up the 
heights above Crampton's Pass, but not to take 
part in it. The next morning they marched over 
the battle-field, from which the dead had not yet 
been removed, and halted for the night about four 
miles beyond. 

McClellan's army had been marching up the 
country from Washington, with the Potomac on 
his left, in three heavy columns, the I22d being in 
the left column next the river. At this time, those 
of Lee's forces which were north of the river were 
scattered in several bodies, threatening and dem- 
onstrating upon the State of Maryland. His forces 
upon the south bank of the Potomac were push- 
ing the attack upon Gen. Miles at Harper's Ferry, 
who, while he held his strongly fortified position, 




was keeping Lee's army divided, and at the same ' 
time acting as an obstacle to the withdrawal of 
Lee's forces from Maryland, in case it should be- 
come necessary for him to retreat. 

The interest of the Union Army lay in attacking 
and crushing the detached portions of Lee's army 
north of the Potomac, while Miles held his position 
at Harper's Ferry, and having done this, to reach 
Gen. Miles in time to relieve him. On the other 
hand, the interest of the rebel army was to delay 
the Union forces, so that they could overpower or 
compel the surrender of Miles at Harper's Ferry, 
and then concentrate their whole army against 
McClellan in Maryland. This they actually accom- 
plished ihrongh the fall of Harper's Ferry and the 
battle of Antietam, although the results of the 
campaign were far from being flattering to the Con- 
federate cause. 

That portion of Lee's army already in Maryland 
had occupied South Mountain, a range of hills run- 
ning southwestwardly across Maryland to the Poto- 
mac east of Harper's Ferry, the principal passes of 
which they had fortified. Gen. McClellan, learning 
of Lee's plans through a general order discovered 
at Frederick, pushed on in pursuit, encountering the 
enemy in their stronghold's at Turner's and Cramp- 
ton's Gaffs, where, after desperate resistance, the 
rebels were repulsed with heavy loss. At Turner's 
Gap the loss to the enemy in killed and wounded 
was about 2,000 and 1,500 prisoners, while at 
Crampton's our trophies were 400 prisoners, one 
gun and 700 small arms. These battles were fought 
on the I4lh of September, by Gens. Meade and 
Hooker, of the right, and Gen. Franklin command- 
ing the left wing, of McClcllan's army. Could 
Franklin but have realized how precious were the 
moments, he was still in lime to have relieved Har- 
per's Ferry. He was but si.\ miles distant when it 
surrendered at eight o'clock ne.\t morning. 

As already stated, our I22d Regiment was in 
neither of these engagements. On the 15th, after 
the battle, it passed up through Crampton's Gap to 
about four miles beyond, where it lay all day on the 
i6th, and while there heard of the surrender of 
Harper's Ferry. 

The advance of our forces from South Mountain 
towards Antietam began to be made on the morn- 
ing of the 15th of September, led by Gen. Pleas- 
anton's cavalry, who overtook at IJoonsborough the 
rebel cavalry rear-guard, charged it with spirit, and 
routed it, capturing 250 prisoners and two guns. 
Richardson's division of Sumner's corps followed, 
pressing eagerly on that afternoon, and, after a 
march of ten or twelve miles, discovered the rebels 

posted in force across Antietam Creek, in front of 
the little village of Sharpsburg. Here the entire 
rebel force under Lee was soon concentrated. Rich- 
ardson halted and deployed on the right of the road 
leading in from Keedysville ; Sykes, with his divis- 
ion of regulars, following closely after, came up and 
deployed on the left of that road. Gen. McClellan 
himself with three corps in all, came up during the 
evening. Hooker moved at 4 p. .m., and making a 
long detour, crossed the Antietam out of sight and 
range of the rebel batteries. Turning at length 
sharply to the left, he came to an open field with 
woods in front and on each side, when he halted 
and formed his lines : Rickett's division on the left ; 
Meade, with the Pennsylvania Reser\'es, in the 
center ; while Doubleday, on the right, planting his 
guns on a hill, opened at once on a rebel battery 
that had begun to enfilade our center. By this 
time it was dark and the firing soon ceased. The 
infantry of the opposing lines lay down for the 
night within half musket shot of each other. 

At daylight ne.\t morning (Sept. 171 the battle 
opened in earnest. Meade's left and the right of 
Rickett's line became engaged at nearly the same 
moment, the former with artillery, the latter with 
infantry ; while a battery was pushed forward be- 
yond the woods directly in Hooker's front, across a 
plowed field, to the edge of a cornfield beyond it, 
destined before night to be soaked with blood. 
Twice during that bloody day was this cornfield 
taken and lost, and the third time it was taken by 
our forces and held. On this part of the field the 
most terrible fighting of the day was done. Jn one 
of these charges, the 34th New York, which had 
broken at a critical moment, while attempting a ma- 
neuver under a terrible fire, was almost literally cut 
to pieces ; and the 15th Massachusetts, which went 
into the action 600 strong, was speedily reduced to 


During the battle of Antietam the I22d Regiment 
was not engaged in actual fighting, but their division 
(Couch's) had been ordered to the left to outflank a 
supposed flanking movement of the enemy. Greeley 
in his American conflict, referring to this movement, 
says : " Gen. Couch's division, 5,coo strong, had 
been sent away towards Harper's Ferry — evidently 
through some misapprehension — and only arrived 
at a late hour next morning." Some of the oflficers 
say they returned to the battle-field on the night of 
the 17th. However, the difference is immaterial. 

September iSth and 19th were spent upon the 
battle field, and on the 20th Couch's division (in- 
cluding the I22di marched to Williamsport, where, 
after some skirmishing, they drove oft" the rebel 



cavalry under Stewart, which had crossed the Poto- 
mac at this point. Here private Hunn, the first man 
wounded in the regiment, received a flesh wound in 
the leg. One man in Company A was wounded. 
The regiment remained here two days, and on the 
23d went into camp in a pleasant clover meadow at 
Downsville, where they received shelter tents and 
remained under drill about two months. Major Jos. 
E. Hamblin, of the 65th New York (afterwards Maj- 
Gen.) being detailed by Gen. Cochrane, com- 
mander of the brigade, as the drill-master. He was 
very competent, and under his excellent drill the 
regiment soon became one of the most efficient in 
the army. 

October i8th and 19th, Saturday night and Sun- 
day, marched 28 miles up the river to Hancock. 
On the 2 1st, left Hancock and marched (most of the 
distance by night) eight miles down the river to 
Cherry Run ; and after lying two weeks at Indian 
Spring, returned to Downsville, and the next day 
marched as wagon-guard, crossing the Potomac into 
Virginia at Berlin on the 3d day of November. 


The One Hundred and Twenty-Second Regi- 
ment, Continued — Fredericksburg — Burn- 
side's Mud Expedition — Chancellorsville 
— Gettysburg — Rappahannock Station — 
Sandusky, Ohio — Re-organization of the 
Army under Lieut.-Gen. Grant. 

ON the 8th of November, 1862, Gen. Burnside 
superceded Gen. McClellan in command of 
the Army of the Potomac, and immediately there- 
after planned his campaign to move upon Rich- 
mond via Fredericksburg. The I22d Regiment 
was now in the left grand division of the Army of 
the Potomac (Franklin's), ist brigade (Gen. John 
Cochrane), 3d division (Gen. D. A. Couch), 6th 
corps (Sedgwick's), then commanded by Gen. W. 
F. Smith ; and joined the march towards Freder- 
icksburg, November 10, halting till the 15th, at 
New Baltimore, thence in two days to Stafford 
Court House, and in four days to Belle Plaine and 
thence to Fredericksburg. Pontoon bridges had 
been laid opposite the city and also two miles be- 
low, on the night of the loth, by our engineer 
corps, and troops were then crossing. Our brigade 
lay near the bank of the river at Franklin's Cross- 
ing during the night, and crossed at 4 a. m., on the 
nth of December. 

Gen, Lee, having learned of Burnside's purpose, 
had occupied Fredericksburg with a brigade of 

sharp-shooters (Barksdale's) and had posted his en- 
tire force of not less than 80,000 men in strong in- 
trenchments along the heights for two miles up 
and down the river in the rear of the city. Gen. 
Sumner, with the advance corps of our army, had 
arrived on the 7th of November, and on the 21st 
had summoned the city to surrender. The inhabit- 
ants had mostly abandoned the place ; the sharp- 
shooters had been driven out by the shells of Burn- 
side from the heights of Falmouth and by an in- 
fantry raid across the river in boats, and the pon- 
toon bridges had been successfully laid. Such was 
the state of things when our army began to pour 
across on the night of the loth of December. 

The attempt of Burnside to storm the heights of 
Fredericksburg on that memorable 13th of Decem- 
ber, 1862, must ever remain as the darkest, bloodi- 
est and most fruitless sacrifice of our brave soldiers 
during the whole war. Lee, with 80,000 troops, 
was posted behind his breastworks for miles 
along the bluffs. In and before Fredericksburg 
were the grand divisions of Hooker and Sumner, 
numbering 60,000. While 300 rebel guns were 
advantageously placed on every eminence, and 
raked every foot of ground by which they could be 
approached, Marye's Hill, directly in the rear of 
the city, and in front of our storming column, was 
defended by an impregnable stone wall, four feet in 
height, behind which was posted Barksdale's brigade 
of rebel infantry. Our heavy guns were mostly on 
the north side of the river where they could hardly 
reach the enemy. Our storming column consisted 
chiefly of Hancock's and French's corps, in which 
Meagher's Irish brigade suffered the severest losses. 
It dashed itself repeatedly against those impreg- 
nable heights until two-thirds of its numbers' 
strewed the ground. General Meagher, in his 
official report, says : 

" Of the 1,200 I led into the action only 280 ap- 
peared on parade next morning." Says the cor- 
respondent of the London Times: "That any 
mortal man could have carried the position before 
which they were wantonly sacrificed, defended as it 
was, it seems to me idle for a moment to believe. 
But the bodies which lie in dense masses within 
forty yards of the muzzles of Colonel Walton's guns 
are the best evidence what manner of men they 
were who pressed on to death with the dauntless- 
ness of a race which has gained glory on a thousand 
battle fields, and never more richly deserved it than 
at the foot of Marye's Heights on the 13th day of 
December, 1862." 

Franklin's grand division on the left, had crossed 
about two miles below the city, his whole force 
numbering about 40,000, and having assailed the 
right of the enemy, with heavy loss in Meade's and 



Hooker's divisions, were unable to carr>' their 
works. Meade's division alone lost 1,760 men out 
of some 6,CXX5 engaged. Three repeated charges 
were made at this point to take a rebel battery and 
although the fighting was terrible and the loss of 
life great, no particular advantage was gained on 
either side. And so ended one of the bloodiest 
days in the annals of the war. 

Our I22d Regiment was placed well to the left 
in support of the Pennsylvania Reserves, was under 
heavy artillery fire four hours and had four men 

Monday, December 15. Recrossed the Rappa- 
hannock at night and went into camp near Fal- 
mouth, where the regiment remained doing ordinary 
camp and picket duty till January 20, 1863. 

January 20. Marched in Gen. Burnsidc's famous 
" mud campaign." This movement contemplated 
a crossing in force at Bank's and United States' 
Fords, above Fredericksburg, while, at the same 
time, to attract the attention of the enemy in that 
direction, a feint of crossing was to be made at the 
Sedden House, six or seven miles below. His 
preparations were perfected and his army put in 
motion on the 20th of January. The morning was 
fair, but at 10 o'clock, p. m , rain and sleet began to 
fall, and during the ne.xt day rain poured down in 
torrents, taking the frost all out of the ground and 
letting the army trains, artillery and baggage, into 
the mud so inextricably that it was impossible to 
move. After lying there two days in mud and dis- 
comfort, order was given to return to camp, and all 
made their way back as best they could. The 
movement was intended to have been made under 
cover of night, but, on account of the impediment 
*of the storm and mud, daylight revealed them hope- 
lessly floundering in view of the enemy, who, though 
they immediately guarded the fords, were not fool- 
ish enough, had they been able, to squander their 
men and animals in an attempt to assail our stalled 
and struggling forces. 

Gen. Hooker having assumed command of the 
Army of the Potomac on the i6th of February, 
1863, devoted the following two months to improv- 
ing the discipline, perfecting the organization, and 
exalting the spirit of his men. During this time 
our I22d Regiment was engaged chiefly on picket 
duty. Hooker soon had an army equal in numbers 
and efficiency to any ever seen on this continent, 
nearly 100,000 strong, its artillery not less than 
10,000, and its cavalry 13,000. Being at length 
ready, Hooker dispatched Stoneman, with most of 
his cavalry up the north side of the Rappahannock 
with instructions to cross at discretion above the 

Orange and Alexandria Railroad, strike Fitz-Hugh 
Lee's cavalry (computed at 2,oco) near Culjiepper 
Court House, capture Gordonsville, and then pounce 
on the Fredericksburg and Richmond Railroad near 
Saxton's Junction, cutting telegraphs, railroads, 
burning bridges, &c , thence towards Richmond, 
fighting at every opportunity, and harrassing by 
every means the retreat of the rebel army, which, 
it was calculated, would now be retiring on Rich- 
mond. This order was issued on April 13. 
The rains and the swollen river caused the delay 
of the army, and the recall of the cavalry, 
which had already efl'ected a crossing of the Rappa- 
hannock ; the main army did not move till the 
morningof the 25th, our I22d Regiment and brigade 
marching at 2 p. m., in the 6th (Sedgwick's) corps, 
carrying pontoons to Franklin's Crossing two miles 
below Fredericksburg. The I22d were engaged 
all night in laying the pontoons. Before daylight 
Brook's division had crossed in boats and drove off 
the rebel pickets. Gen. Wadsworth, commanding 
the advance of Reynold's division, and Sickles's ( 3d ) 
corps, being now apparently ready to cross in 
force, the 3d corps was ordered to move silently 
and rapidly to the United States' Ford and thence 
to Chancellorsville, while part of the pontoons were 
taken up and sent to Banks's Ford. Reynolds, 
after making as great a display as possible, and ex- 
changing some long shots with the rebels in front, 
followed on the 2d of May, raising Hooker's force 
at or near Chancellorsville to 70,000 men. 

Gibbon's division of the 2d corps, 6,000 strong, 
was left at Falmouth, to guard our camps and stores. 
Sedgwick's (6th) corps, with our I22d Regiment, re- 
mained at the crossing (Franklin's) in front of the 
rebel works, covering the withdrawal of Sickles's 
(3d) corps and Reynold's division, after the feint of 
crossing at that point, and remained till Saturday, 
May 2d. At this date an order was received for 
the 6th corps to cross the Rappahannock and move 
to join Hooker at Chancellorsville. That night 
they crossed the river at the lower crossing, and 
after skirmishing up through Fredericksburg, found 
themselves at 3 o'clock on Sunday morning in front 
of Marye's Heights before the fatal stone wall where 
fell so many of our brave soldiers on that memora- 
ble 13th of December, 1862. To protect themselves 
from the rebel fire, which opened upon them from 
the fortifications, they moved back to the edge of 
city before daylight, and were joined by Gibbon's 
division crossing from Falmouth, raising Sedgwick's 
force to nearly 30,000 men. Meanwhile, the rebel 
troops still remaining in this quarter had been con- 
centrating on Marye's Hill, where they had several 



guns in position, while a canal covering- their left, 
with the bridges all taken up, increased the difficulty 
of carrying the hill by assault. One attempt to clear 
the enemy's rifle-pits at the foot of the hill was re- 
pulsed ; another, and a successful assault, was made 
at II A. M. by three storming columns of Gen. 
Howe's (2d) division under Gen. Neill and Cols. 
Grant and Seaver, carrying the lower work and 
Marye's Hill with little loss and scarcely without 
being checked in their advance, and capturing 200 
prisoners. In carrying the rebel front line Capt. 
Church was wounded by a case shot. In carrying 
the hill about goo men were killed and wounded in 
eleven minutes. The I22d was in the supporting 
column and passing over the hill, turned to the 
right, and in about a mile came in front of a forti- 
fied hill occupied by a force of the enemy and two 
guns, which the regiment was ordered to carry, and 
did it promptly, losing nine killed and wounded. 

Sedgwick having carried the heights, reformed 
his brigades, and leaving Gibbon at Fredericksburg, 
moved out on the Chancellorsville road. Our regi- 
ment moved with the other troops at i p. m., about 
four miles to Salem Church. The fortified position 
of the rebels here was unsuccessfully attacked. 
The enemy, reenforced by about 30,000 men, 
flushed with victory from Chancellorsville, assailed 
us in return, and for about two hours the battle 
raged furiously. Our forces held their own at all 
points. Towards night the battle lulled, and the 
I22d was thrown to the extreme right front of our 
position, which they held all night. 

Monday, May 4. Morning broke, and Sedgwick's 
position was fast becoming critical. The enemy 
were in force on his front, and feeling around his 
left, back towards the heights of Fredericksburg. 
Should Hooker remain inactive, the brunt of fighting 
the whole rebel army was imminent. He received 
several dispatches from his chief during the day, 
evincing a very uncertain state of mind. At i p. m. 
the enemy moved in force, striking Sedgwick in 
flank, and pushing him down towards the river, and 
during the night over it at Bank's Ford, with a loss 
of hardly less than 5,000 men. 

In this movement the enemy attempted to cut off 
our forces from the river, but their effort was suc- 
cessfully resisted. A bridge was laid by the 50th 
New York (engineers) and the corps recrossed the 
Rappahannock in the course of the night, the I22d 
Regiment, holding the bridge-head in the face of the 
enemy till 3 o'clock in the morning, being the last to 
recross. By the 8th, the regiment occupied a new 
camp in a pine woods, called Camp Shaler, further 
east and nearer the river than the old one. 

June 3. Lee began to put his forces in motion 
up the southern bank of the Rappahannock, pre- 
paratory to the invasion of Maryland and Pennsyl- 
vania. The movements were carefully screened 
from the observation of our army. On the 6th, 
Hooker threw over Gen. Howe's division of the 
6th corps (containing the I22d) a little below the 
city, to ascertain if the enemy were still in force 
there. Hill, who had been left to guard the place, 
soon convinced him that there had been but little 
reduction of the rebel strength in that quarter, and 
after some careful skirmishing, in which three of 
the I22d were wounded, he withdrew again to the 
north side of the river, June 13. 

June 14-18. Marched to Fairfa.x Court House. 
June 2 1st. Firing within hearing at Adlie and 
Snicker's Gaps, east of Winchester. 

June 14th. Marched to Centerville, camped for 
the night, and at 5 p. m., June 25, went on picket 
to the front on the old Bull Run battle ground. 

June 26. Marched to near Drainsville ; (27), 
marched at 4 o'clock a. m., and crossed the Potomac 
at Edward's Ferry, eighteen miles distant, at 4 p.m. ; 
(28) marched toward Frederick City, just skirting 
Sugar Loaf Mountain ; (29) marched all day north- 
wardly ; and (30) marched si.xteen miles to near 
Manchester, Maryland. 

July I. Heard that the ist corps had struck 
the enemy at Gettysburg, and that battle was 
joined ; started at sundown, and after marching all 
night, (thirty miles,) arrived upon the field at 3 
p. M. of the 2d, and went immediately into the front 
line. On the 3d of July, from 8 till 1 1:30 a. m., the 
I22d Regiment was at the right under General 
Geary, of Slocum's corps, and lost heavily, but 
defeated the enemy. The 149th Regiment was at 
the left side of the I22d through part of the fight. 
Slocum, who commanded the right wing of our 
army during the battle of Gettysburg, had been 
crowded back from his rifle-pits on the night of the 
2d of July, and on the morning of the 3d, in the 
action just referred to, he had advanced and retaken 
them, but not without a fierce struggle which lasted 
over three hours. Two Onondaga Regiments, the 
149th and the I22d, had the honor of participating 
in this achievement, under one of Onondaga's 
honored sons as commander of the right wing of 
the army— General H. W. Slocum. In front of their 
position that morning fell 1,200 rebel dead. The 
following day was spent on the battle field, taking 
care of the wounded. When the rebels retreated 
our brigade followed to Middletown, and thence 
across the mountain to Funkstown, arriving on the 
14th, where they found the rebels strongly posted 



behind breastworks, and so sheltered by a piece of 

wood, that our artillerj' could not be brought to bear 
upon them. Some 90 men of the brigade volun- 
teered to chop down the timber, though right in 
front of and exposed to the rebel guns, that the 
artillery might have full rake ; and at work they 
went with axes, keeping their rifles by their side ; 
but in the morning, when the attack was to have 
been made, it was found that the enemy had gone 
in the night. Our army followed them four miles 
to Williamsport, capturing their rear-guard, re- 
crossing the Potomac and arriving at Warrcnton 
about July 24th, where they remained till Septem- 
ber 15th ; thence to White Sulphur Springs, camp- 
ing at Stone House Mountain, till October i, when 
they started at 11 a. M.and marched all next day 
in a heavy rain, reaching Catlett's Station on the 
3d, where our brigade remained guarding the station 
for ten days. 

October 13. At I o'clock a. m. marched to 
Warrenton Junction, and lay in line of battle one 
mile cast of the junction through the day, to pro- 
tect our trains and the flank of our army moving 
northward. Towards night the brigade moved to 
Kettle Run, a mile from Hristow Station, arriving 
at 3 A. M., and the next day marched to Centerville 
and went to the front on picket duty. This move- 
ment appears to have been caused by the enemy's 
moving around our right flank and threatening 
our communications with Washington. They had 
pushed for Centerville with the intention of 
occupying the fortifications there, e.xpecting that 
we would attack them ; but on arriving in front 
of the position, they found three of our corps in 
possession of the works. Judging that our trains 
must be just behind, the rebels turned sharp to the 
right, and found them where they expected, moving 
alongside of the railroad track under the escort of 
the 2d corps. The highway was just at the left of 
the railroad ; as they were coming up, and as they 
struck the train, they likewise struck the 2d corps 
in flank. The troops of this corps immediately 
jumped over the railroad bank, and with their artil- 
lery at the head of the column, pointing down the 
road, were in splendid position, from which they re- 
pulsed the attack handsomely, inflicting heavy loss. 
This affair is known as Hristow Station. 

October 16. Marched four miles north of Cen- 
terville and took position, awaiting the enemy. 
Considerable fighting for two days past. October 
19. Pushing the enemy towards Gainesville. Oc- 
tober 20. Marched to New Baltimore and Warren- 
ton, sending the enemy across the river. Lay in 
camp near Warrenton till November 7. 

The rebels having retired south of the Rappa- 
hannock, after having chased our army almost up 
to Washington, and having gained a decided advan- 
tage in the only important collision that marked 
his retreat, Meade sought permission, by a rapid 
movement to the left, to seize and occupy the 
Heights of Fredericksburg ; and accordingly, sent 
forward Sedgwick, with the 5th and 6th corps, at 
daybreak, November 7, from Warrenton to Rappa> 
hannock Station, where the rebels had strongly for- 
tified the north bank of the river, covering their 
pontoon bridge. Arriving at noon opposite the 
station, our troops were halted behind a hill a good 
mile off, rested and carefully formed, and our skir- 
mish lines gradually advanced to the river both 
above and below the enemy's works. Just before 
sunset it was decided that these works could be 
carried by assault, and without a moment's delay 
our brave soldiers dashed forward to the charge, 
carrying the position, capturing four cannon, six 
limbers, three caissons, 1,600 prisoners, 2,000 small 
arms, the I22d Regiment losing 13 killed and 
wounded. In ten minutes the 6th Maine lost 16 
out of 23 officers, and 123 out of 350 enlisted men, 
three of their veteran Captains lying dead, with 
Lieutenant-Colonel Harris, of this regiment, and 
Major Wheeler, of the 5th Wisconsin, severely 
wounded. Adjutant "Clark, of the former, and 
Lieut. Russell, were also wounded. The rebels 
also lost heavily. Col. Gleason of the 12th Vir- 
ginia, being killed. Gen. Hayes surrendered, but 
afterwards escaped. Two of his culonels swam 
the river. The whole achievement was the work 
of two brigades numbering less than 3,000 men. 
The charge was made with fi-\ed bayonets without 
firing a shot. Our command of the ford was com- 
plete, and Lee fell back to Culpepper that night, 
and across the Rappahannock the ne.xt day. 

Our force moved to Brandy Station about Novem- 
ber 10 ; left camp on the 26, (Thanksgiving Day) ; 
crossed the Rapidan at 8 A. M. ; remained across 
the river marching and fighting more or less to 
Mine Run, till December 2d, when they recrossed 
the Rapidan at Gold Mine P'ord and returned to 
their old camp at Brandy Station, where the regi- 
ment remained till the 3d of January, 1864. 

At this date the brigade broke camp and started 
for Sandusky, Ohio, via Washington and Wheel- 
ing, West Va., arriving at Sandusky January 13. 
The I22d Regiment quartered in the town, the rest 
of the brigade on Johnson's Island guarding 2,600 
rebel prisoners. They remained at Sandusky just 
three months, until April 13, when they started 
back to Virginia, arriving at their old camp at 



Brandy Station with three regiments of the brigade 
April 19 

Gen. Grant having been appointed by Congress 
Lieutenant-General of the Army, February 24, 
1864, was summoned from the West by telegraph, 
and on the 8th of March repaired to Washington 
to receive his commission and instructions, as com- 
mandant of all the Union forces. The residue of 
March and nearly the whole of April were devoted 
to careful preparation for the campaign against 
Richmond. The Army of the Potomac, still com- 
manded immediately by Gen. Meade, was com- 
pletely reorganized, its five corps being reduced to 
three, commanded respectively by Gen. Hancock 
(2d). Warren (5th), and Sedgwick (6th). Maj. 
Gens. Sykes, French and Newton, with Brig. Gens. 
Kenly, Spinola and Sol. Meredith, were relieved 
and sent to Washington for orders. Gen. Burn- 
side, who had been reorganizing and receiving 
large accessions to his (9th) corps in Maryland, 
crossed the Potomac March 2d, and joined Meade's 
army, though the formal incorporation therewith 
was postponed till after the passage of the Rapi- 
dan. This junction again raised the positive or 
fighting strength of the army to considerable over 
100,000 men. 

In the reorganization this spring, the old 3d di- 
vision was broken up and divided between the ist 
and 2d divisions, our brigade being attached to the 
1st division as the 4th brigade, and the 3d division 
of the 3d corps transferred to our corps as the 3d 
division of the 6th corps ; so that now the I22d 
Regiment belonged to the 4th brigade, ist division^ 
6th corps. 


The One Hundred and Twenty-Second Regi- 
ment, Continued — Campaign of the Wilder- 
ness — Battle of Cold Harbor — South of 
THE James — Expedition to the Shenandoah 
Valley — Petersburg — List of Promotions 
— Fifteenth Cavalry. 

THE history of the I22d Regiment, with the 
brigade and division of which it was a part, 
during the campaign of the Wilderness and up to 
the sanguinary battle of Cold Harbor, is given in 
the following extracts from the Diary of Major T. 
L. Poole, of Geddes, which recorded each day's 
events as they transpired till the time he was 
wounded and left the army. The notes of this 
diary were made at the front, in the midst of the 
stirring scenes which they describe, and will add 
the zest of personal interest to our narrative : 

May 4, 1864. Left camp near Brandy Station 
at daylight. Our brigade is rear-guard and is with 
the wagons of the corps. At about 11 p. m., 
marched eastward and went into camp at Gold Mine 
Ford. At the ford we found the entire wagon 
trains of the army, and they were then crossing the 
Rapidan. We spread our blankets on the ground 
and slept till daylight. 

May 5. Did not cross the river until late in the 
afternoon, when we marched about two miles and 
encamped, still being the wagon-guard. A battle 
was in progress all day in front of us, continuing 
till late at night. It is impossible to learn anything 

Friday, May 6. We were awakened at midnight, 
and leaving the wagons behind us, marched several 
miles to the right and took up line of battle. 
Crossed over a portion of the battle ground of yes- 
terday, and saw many of the dead. The battle 
commenced at daylight ; but at this hour (6 a. m.) 
we have taken no part. Word has come that we 
shall soon make a bayonet charge. 2 o'clock p. m. 
Attempted the charge and failed. We advanced 
twenty rods and halted, took what cover we could 
and opened fire. Continued firing about twenty 
minutes, when both sides ceased ; our skirmishers, 
however, kept up fire during the day. Our losses 
up to this time in the regiment are, one man killed 
and 41 officers and men wounded. Besides these 
15 are missing, and we have reason to suppose some 
of them are killed or wounded. My company (I) 
lost Captain Dwight, wounded in the left leg below 
the knee, not supposed to be serious ; privates 
Howard and Brooks, both wounded severely ; 
Lieutenant Wilson, of Company A, wounded in the 
shoulder (proved fatal) ; Lieutenant C. B. Clark, 
wounded in the leg; (Captain Dwight, wounded 
early in the morning at 8 o'clock, and I have since 
been in command of the company.) Corporal Isaac, 
of my company, is missing, and I suppose him killed 
(was killed) ; Corporal F. Patterson, of Company 
D, belonging to my color-guard, is also wounded. 

The 126th Ohio regiment are now building 
breastworks a few rods in our rear ; and so matters 
remain at present, 2 p. m. 

At 6:30 p. m., the rebels made an attack upon 
our works, in front, right flank and rear, the attack 
being made by Gordon's division. Our regiment 
and the entire brigade were driven back in great 
confusion and with heavy loss, many of our regi- 
ment being killed and wounded and others falling 
and being taken prisoners. The extreme right, 
consisting of our division, was driven back and 
completely broken to pieces, being left in fragments 

1 1; 


in the woods. We retreated rjcarly two miles, 
seeking to rally the men, but the panic was 
such that we found it impossible. Captain Clapp 
and myself finally got half a dozen of our regiment 
together, and as we had our regimental flag, it gave 
us a rallying point ; and with our little band wc 
started back to the front. Other small squads were 
found, and wc soon had quite a force together. I 
only had three men in my own company out of 30. 
Our force went back a quarter of a mile or so, 
gathering strength as wc went. Here we were 
joined by Lieut. -Col Dwight, Capt. Walpole, 
Lieuts. Hoyt and Wells and five or si.x more of our 
men. Col. Upton, of the 121st New York, took 
command of our division i what was left of it) and 
soon formed a line of battle, We and the ist Long 
Island regiment (67th N. V. 1 consisting of about 
forty men, were made the second line. At 1 1 p. M. 
we were attacked in force, but we drove the enemy 
back easily. At about 1 o'clock r. m., we moved to 
the right again, and lay down behind a battery and 
rifle-pits. I have no idea what the loss of our regi- 
ment is, but it is very great. Capt. Piatt, Lieut. 
Ostrander and Lieut. Luthur, are wounded. Capt. 
J. M. Gere and Lieut. Hall arc missing, and are 
probably in the hands of the rebels, and I presume 
Luther and Ostrander are both prisoners, i Proved 
true.) I think our entire loss so far will be nearly 
or quite 2,000. Out of nine sergeants and corpo- 
rals belonging to my color-guard, only one is with 

Col. J. M. Gere, who was Captain of the i22d, 
and taken prisoner at the time of the action just 
narrated, gives some personal recollections of the 
time the division was broken into pieces in that en- 
gagement. He was in one squad and Major (then 
Lieut. ) Poole in another, as they were all broken up in 
the woods, and of course had different experiences. 
Johnston, he says, had formed in our rear and Gor- 
don's division was drawn up across our right flank, 
where the I22d Regiment was, on the extreme right 
of our infantry, with only the 22d New York cav- 
alry to the right of them. At night Johnston opened 
fire in our rear and Gordon charged our right flank, 
driving in our skirmish line and striking our cav- 
alry ; and as the rebels kept pressing and breaking 
our right, the attack swept down till it struck the 
12 2d, which was driven back to the left about a 
quarter of a mile. Here Gen. Shaler made a rally 
with about 500 men, fronting to the right and charg- 
ing Gordon as he came up within a dozen rods. 
The enemy stood till our line was within two or 
three rods of them, and then broke and ran. As 
the 500 rushed to the charge, Gen. Shaler, who 

was the only mounted man present, turning to ride 
to the rear to bring up reenforcements, rode directly 
into the line of the enemy, who had moved round to 
our rear, and emerging from the woods, fired into 
our backs. Gen. Shaler was taken prisoner. The 
rest kept on with their charge and drove the enemy 
to near the position where the engagement had be- 
gun, the rebels in the rear following and firing into 
the backs of the charging squad. The chargers 
then turned upon them, scattered their line and 
made their way back to the road from which they 
had started. At this point no other troops were 
visible, no one was in command, and by common 
consent each went to look for his regiment. In 
half or three-quarters of an hour, the rebels were 
heard cheering up through the woods. There was 
with us one stand of colors belonging to a Maine 
regiment ; this was planted in the road, and in a 
minute about 150 men rallied around it facing the 
enemy. Raising a yell, they charged the on-coming 
brigade of rebels with such fury that (probably 
thinking the little squad was only the advance of a 
heavy charging column) they broke and ran, and 
were pursued a mile, till they joined a larger body 
of the rebel army. 

In the squad of 500, there were a good many of 
the I22d Regiment ; in the 150 were Col. Dwight, 
Adjutant Tracy and Capt. Gere, of the officers, and 
a number of the men. The efi"ect of the charge 
was to completely neutralize the enemy's advantage 
to the right. 

At night our men had mustered about 60, under 
command of Colonel Dwight. and had made their 
way to the left, where they lay in front of the lines 
and battery of the 2d corps (not knowing that the 
2d corps was there,) until about 2 o'clock a. m. At 
this early hour the rebels (supposed to be Gordon's 
brigade,) came up to make an attack upon the 2d 
corps. The little company lay still till the rebels 
were within close range when they all discharged 
their pieces with such effect that the enemy was 
repulsed and hastily retreated, supposing that the 
volley of musketry which burst thus suddenly and 
unexpectedly upon them was but the precursor of 
an attack by a large body of the Union army. The 
2d corps had made ready to oi)en upon the enemy 
with artillery, but fortunately for our little squad in 
front of their batteries, they had heard the volley 
and the rebels retreating and withheld their fire. 

In one of these isolated situations, while attempt- 
ing to break out through the enemy's lines on the 
right. Adjutant Tracy and Captain Gere were taken 
prisoners, as already referred to in Major Poole's 
diary. The former remained a prisoner about one 



month, while the latter was kept about six months 
in various rebel prisons, and finally escaped from 
the prison at Columbia, South Carolina, in company 
with Captain Horace H. Walpole, taken prisoner at 

Major Poole's Diary Continued. — May 7. 
Soon after daylight, the rebels attacked us once more, 
but we drove them back, our battery doing us great 
service. Adjutant Tracy is missing and is sup- 
posed to be wounded and a prisoner. Col. Dwight 
has detailed me as Adjutant, and Lieut. Wilkins 
has taken my company. Lieut. Hall and a squad 
of men have just come in. At 8 a. m., moved 
again to the right about two miles and occupied 
rifle-pits, where we lay quietly all day. At 9:30 p. 
M., fell in, moving towards the left and marching all 

May 8. Passed through Chancellorsville and 
took the road to Spottsylvania Court House. About 
noon our advance met the enemy and engaged 
them. During the afternoon we supported a bat- 
tery, and at 5 o'clock moved into some breastworks, 
together with the 6th Maine and 1 19th Pennsyl- 
vania. Here lost one man. At 9 p. m., were at- 
tacked, but there had been no general engagement 
during the day. Our entire loss up to this time has 
been 130 — less than 30 of them prisoners. Gen. 
A. Shaler and Gen. Seymour are among the latter. 
The Chasseurs (65th N. Y.,) and ist Long Island 
(67th N. Y.,) have lost very heavily. Capt. Tracy, 
(of the Chasseurs) and Capt. Cooper, of the Long 
Island, are both killed, and a number of officers are 
wounded in both regiments. 

May 9. Moved at daylight to the line, and lay 
upon an open plain supporting a battery. Gen. 
John Sedgwick, commanding the 6th corps, was 
killed this morning by sharp-shooters. During the 
afternoon we were exposed to the enemy's shells 
and sharp-shooters, but met with no loss. Up to 
this time officers and men have behaved splendidly j 
but all are worn down with fatigue, hard marches, 
continued fighting and loss of sleep. During Mon- 
day night we were attacked three different times by 
the enemy. I am almost sick, and many are worse 
off than I am. We have about 200 men left for 
duty and eight officers, besides the colonel and my- 
self. Some of the best men of our regiment are 
gone, but I hardly have time to think about them. 
Tuesday, May 10. Orders came at 2 o'clock this 
morning that we, in conjunction with our entire force 
in front, would advance upon the enemy at daylight. 
Daylight came, however, and we did not move. 
During the afternoon Col. Dwight was sent back to 
hospital sick and worn out, and Capt. Walpole took | 

command of the regiment. The battle commenced 
early in the morning and up to this time (4 p. m.,) 
has raged with terrible fury. Fortunately for us, 
we have not suffered much along our portion of the 
line, and our brigade has not been harmed. 

Orders have come. The Chasseurs have taken 
knapsacks and haversacks, and started forward. 
The Long Islands and our own regiment have 
moved into some rifle-pits to the left. The charge 
took place at about 6 o'clock, and lasted some forty 
minutes. We could hear but not see what was- 
going on. Directly in our front the charge was- 
successful, but we were finally driven back with 
heavy loss. The charging column consisted of the 
Sth and 6th Maine, the sth Wisconsin and r4th and 
56th New York regiments. They took 1,500 pris- 
oners and a battery of four guns ; the guns, how- 
ever, they were compelled to leave. 

May II. Our regiment went out on picket to 
the left. Sharp picket firing all day. Lost five 
men, wounded ; also Capt. Walpole, supposed to 
be taken prisoner. He had given me orders early 
in the morning to advance the left wing, which I 
had charge of, and at the same time directed the 
right wing to advance. We drew upon us a heavy 
fire, and Walpole has not been seen since He was 
either shot or went through the lines and was taken 
prisoner. (Was taken prisoner, and made his es- 
cape from Columbia prison. South Carolina.) The 
right wing of our regiment was relieved at night. 
Captain Clapp now assumed command and sent 
for me to report to him, sending Lieut. Wells to 
take command of the left wing. We returned to 
the place we had started from in the morning and 
remained till daylight. 

May 12. Our brigade fell in at daylight and 
marched off to the left. Early this morning. Gen. 
Hancock, with his (2d) corps, made a grand charge 
on the enemy's lines and was successful, capturing 
5,000 prisoners, including three Major Generals 
and about 20 cannon. In going through a piece of 
woods, our regiment, which was in the rear, was 
cut off by another column. We were exposed to a 
heavy musketry fire, and also to rain which lasted 
all day. We could find nothing of our brigade, and 
as we were near the front, our little band of about 
100 decided to go in, and accordingly, attached our- 
selves to the 2d corps, and went forward into some 
breastworks which had been taken by Hancock this 
morning. Here we remained till late in the after- 
noon, fighting hard all day. 

Just behind us was a spot so exposed to the rebel 
fire from their breastworks in front of us, that no 
soldier could live there a moment. One section of 



a battery, two guns and caisson, came down on a 
run to occupy this spot, with a view of shelling out 
the rebels about thirty rods in front of us, when 
they were fired upon and every man and horse 
killed instantly. Not one escaped. The rebels 
made desperate attempts to drive us out of our 
works and partially succeeded. We lost but few 
men ourselves, but the carnage around us was 
fearful. About 4 o'clock we were relieved, and as 
night set in found the rest of our brigade. 

Friday, May 13. Our brigade moved and oc- 
cupied the same rifle-pits we had occupied the day 
before. The rebels during the night had fallen 
back, leaving their dead and wounded in our hands. 
Our skirmishers were sent out immediately, and 
soon reached the skirmish line of the enemy. Col. 
Dwight rejoined us this morning from the hospital 
and Captain Cossitt from a sick-leave. Gen. Meade 
published an order this morning which I read to the 
regiment, announcing that so far we had been suc- 
cessful, capturing 18 cannon, 22 colors and 8,000 

We remained in these pits all day and until two 
o'clock at night, when we fell in again and marched 
to the left, to the support of Gen. Hurnside. 

Saturday, May 14. Crossing the Po River and 
skirmishing. No battle. After crossing the stream, 
threw up breastworks, and our regiment, detailed 
for picket duly, immediately went out. Heavy 
rains for three days, impeding the progress of the 

Monday, May 16. Our regiment relieved from 
picket duty. May 17. A false alarm brought us 
all to the rifle-pits, but nothing came of it. Soon 
after dark we fell in quietly and took up our line of 
march to the extreme right of the army, where we 
arrived about daylight. May 18. Found that our 
corps formed a line of battle, column-by-divisions, 
appearances indicating that a charge in that form 
was contemplated. Our brigade was sent to the 
extreme right and flank, as a guard against a flank 
movement by the rebels. The Chasseur's and 
Long Island regiments are on picket and we on re- 
serve. So matters stand at 9 o'clock, a. m. The 
charge was attempted and failed, and in the after- 
noon we were marched back to our former position. 
Here we remained till daylight. May 19. Early in 
the morning moved to a new position still further 
on the left, where we were busy all day building 
breastworks. An attack was made near night upon 
our right flank and rear, the object being the cap- 
ture of our wagon trains. Moved about 1 1 o'clock, 
p. M., to the support of the 2d corps, which was 
engaged with the enemy. The battle was over be- 

fore we reached the ground, and we encamped for 
the remainder of the night. 

May 20. Engaged in building breastworks. 
Portions of the army engaged with the enemy. 

Saturday, May 2 1 . About 9 a. m , marched ofi" to 
the extreme left. Found the entire army moving 
in the same direction. Halted near the position 
occupied on the 20th, and half our regiment sent 
back on picket to the rear. About dark, the rebels 
made an attack a little to the right of us, which was 
easily repulsed. Our position is strongly posted 
with 16 pieces of artillery. At 1 1 p. m, ordered to 
fall in, and marched again to the left, marching 
all night. Halted at HoUaday's for breakfast, 
thence to Guinea's, a station of the P'redericksburg 
and Richmond Railroad, distant from the latter 
place about 45 miles. We can hear cannonading 
in the direction of Bowling Green, towards which 
our advance is making. Remained here in camp at 
the farm on which is the negro hut in which Stone- 
wall Jackson is said to have died after his wound at 
Chancellorsville. At 6 p. m., moved again, march- 
ing about five miles, when we encamped, and re- 
mained till 9 o'clock, A. M , Monday, May 23. 

May 23 and 24. Marching all day. Our divi- 
sion occupied on the 25th in tearing up the Gor- 
donsville Railroad, which was eft'ectually destroyed 
for about a mile ; and on the 26th marched all 
night and until 2 o'clock p. m. of the 27th, when 
we crossed the Pamunkey River at Hanoverton, 
less than twenty miles from Richmond. 

May 29. Our division marched several miles 
bearing to the north, and finally halted about a mile 
south of Hanover Court House At this point the 
rear of the column was attacked by rebel cavalry. 
The 67th New York and four companies of the 
I22d were deployed as skirmishers and remained 
here all night undisturbed. The column counter- 
marched, and taking the direct road to Richmond, 
marched about two miles and then halted. Marched 
again in the afternoon taking another road towards 
Richmond, formed a line of battle in a dense woods 
and rested for the night. 

May 31. A brisk skirmish fire was kept up all 
day and in the afternoon we were shelled. About 
midnight we left our station and moved to the left, 
marching till noon, June ist, and arrived at Cold 
Harbor. Here we met our cavalry which had been 
engaged in a severe battle the day before, and skir- 
mishing was still going on. Our corps immediately 
formed in line of battle and relieved the cavalry, 
which moved to our left. We are less than ten 
miles from Richmond and about two miles from 
Savage's Station. About 2 o'clock p. m., the enemy 



opened on us with artillery, to which we replied 
with three batteries. The enemy had a good range 
and killed and wounded a large number. Captain 
Clapp and 20 men of our regiment were on picket 
duty. During the artillery duel the 6th and i8th 
corps were formed in line of battle four lines deep, 
the I22d being placed in the fourth line. The three 
front lines were composed of the 2d Connecticut 
Heavy Artillery, a regiment which never till now 
had been under fire, having been in the defences at 
Washington. It was a three-battalion regiment of 
fine looking men, under Col. Kellogg. At 6:30 p. 
M. orders came to attack the enemy. We passed over 
an open field a few rods, then through a pine grove 
about 20 rods, and the balance of the way over open 
fields, the entire distance being less than half a 
mile. As we emerged from the woods the rebels 
opened fire and our men commenced dropping. 
The enemy's fire being too severe for the 2d Con- 
necticut, they broke up in great confusion, retreat- 
ing through our lines, so that we became the front 
line. The loss of the 2d Connecticut was over 400, 
including the Colonel, who was a brave officer and 
fell at the head of his regiment riddled with rebel 
bullets. Our line continued to advance in good 
order until we had reached within thirty rods of 
the rebel works, when an order came to fall back to 
a small ravine in the rear, but before the order 
could be obeyed the rebels had discharged their 
heaviest fire fearfully thinning our ranks. Out of 
140 men, 75 were killed and wounded. Lieutenant 
Wooster, of Company G, killed ; Lieut. T. L. Poole, 
wounded in the side and left arm and shoulder, re- 

sulting in the loss of his arm. 

The regiment 

returned to the ravine and threw up breastworks 
on the crest of a small ridge. During the night the 
rest of the army arrived at Cold Harbor. 

Thus far Major Poole's diary. A few notes may 
be made of the general history of this action. 
Cold Harbor is on four cross roads a short distance 
southeast of the Chickahominy. On the 31st of 
May, Sheridan, with his cavalry, had seized and 
held the focus of these roads, on which the 6th 
corps, moving in the rear from our right to our left, 
was immediately directed, reaching it next day 
{June I,) just before Gen. W. F. Smith, with 10,000 
men detached from Butler's army and brought 
around by steamboats to White House, came up and 
took position on the right. The two were met here 
by an order from Meade to advance and attack the 
army in their front, with a view to forcing a passage 
of the Chickahominy. The attempt was made, re- 
sulting as we have described above. Night fell with 
the rebels still in possession of their works, our ad- 

vance holding and bivouacking on the ground it had 
gained at a cost of 2,000 killed and wounded. The 
main body of the army having arrived the day fol- 
lowing, and Grant and Meade being now at Cold 
Harbor, it was resolved that the rebel lines should 
be forced on the morrow. The two armies held 
much of the ground covered by McClellan's right 
under Fitz-John Porter, prior to Lee's bold advance, 
nearly two years before, Gaines's Mill being 
directly in the rear of the confederate center. At 
sunrise on June 3, the assault was made along our 
whole front and was repulsed by the enemy 
with terrible slaughter. Twenty minutes after 
the first shot was fired, fully 10,000 of our men 
were stretched writhing on the sod, or still and 
calm in death, while the enemy's loss was probably 
little more than 1,000 ; and when some hours later 
orders were sent by Gen Meade to each corps com- 
mander to renew the assault at once, the men sim- 
ply and unanimously refused to obey it. They 
knew that success was hopeless, and the attempt to 
gain it murderous ; hence they refused to be sacri- 
ficed to no purpose. Our losses in and around 
Cold Harbor were 13,153, of whom 1,705 were 
killed, 9,042 wounded, and 2,406 missing. Among 
these were quite a large number of brigadier-gen- 
erals, colonels and field and line officers. 

General Grant now decided to cross the Chicka- 
hominy far to Lee's right, and thence move across 
the James to attack Richmond from the south. 
Having established his headquarters and depot of 
supplies at City Point, he invested Petersburg, 
destroyed the Weldon railroad and gradually tight- 
ened his cordon of forces around the rebel defences 
of Richmond. Our regiment remained in the army 
in front of Petersburg till they were sent with the 
6th corps in August, 1864, to Fort Stevens, at Wash- 
ington, and thence with Sheridan upon the famous 
Shenandoah Valley campaign. Sheridan had been 
sent, August 2, 1864, to take command of the 
Middle Department, including Washington, Mary- 
land, Pennsylvania and the Shenandoah Valley. 
The battle of Winchester, in which our regiment 
and the 6th corps were engaged, was fought August 
19. " I saw," says Gen. Grant, in his report, "that 
but two words of instruction were necessary — ' Go 
in ! ' " So he gave them, and Sheridan went in. 
The rout of the enemy was complete, our victorious 
army following till dark, close upon the heels of the 
fugitive foe, gathering up prisoners and spoils of 
war, as they hurried through Winchester in utter 
rout and disintegration. In this battle our army 
took 3,000 prisoners and five guns, and our loss was 
about 3,000, including several generals. 



Early fell back to Fislicr's Hill, eight miles south 
of Winchester, regarded as the strongest position 
in the Valley. Sheridan followed sharply, allowing 
but two days to intervene between his first and 
second victory. The 6th corps led the advance on 
the front, and the I22d Regiment was the first in the 
enemy's works, where the vigorous attack broke the 
rebel center, and rendered the victory even more 
decisive than that at Winchester, or Opequan, as it 
is more commonly called. Here our army took 
i,ioo prisoners and l6 guns. 

At Cedar Creek (October i8i our regiment was 
at the turning-point of the battle, first turning the 
enemy back, as Sheridan, in his famous ride, came 
up behind their line. In this engagement we lost 
about 3.000, the rebel loss being still heavier. In 
fact. Early's force was virtually destroyed, so that 
there was no longer occasion for further fighting in 
the Valley. Our forces were afterwards returned 
to Petersburg. 

It may be well here to sum up the losses of our 
regiment during the year. The campaign of 1864 
was entered upon by the I22d Regiment with 26 
officers and 400 enlisted men for duty. The 
casualties for the year were 26 among the officers 
and 318 among the enlisted men. No one day of 
especial disaster, but steady service all the lime at 
the front. 

March 25, 1865. They were engaged in the 
afternoon at the left of Squirrel Level Road, Col. 
Dwight being killed by a shell. On the morning 
of the 2d of April they were in the storming 
brigade which broke through Lee's lines, having 
been under arms all night and on the picket line ; 
and were afterward engaged through the day till 3 
o'clock, p. M., forcing Lccback into Petersburg, cut- 
ting oft' the South Side Railroad and compelling the 
immediate evacuation of Richmond. They followed 
in the pursuit of Lee's army to its surrender at Ap- 
pomattox Court House, and after two days rest, had 
a lively march to Ikirksville, where they remained a 
week, and then marched in four days and a half to 
Danville, to stop the last gap on Johnston's army, 
now in the clutches of Sherman. After a month 
in Danville, they returned to Richmond, were re- 
viewed through its streets by Gen. Halleck. and 
sent thence to Washington, where the 6th corps was 
reviewed by itself by the President. Receiving the 
orders for mustering out June 23. they started the 
same day for home, and were finally discharged 
June 27. 1865. 

Official Record of the 1220 Regiment, with 
List of Promotions. 

Silas Titus, Col., rank from Aug. 31, 1862, dis- 

charged Jan. 23, '65 ; Augustus W. Dwight. Lieut. 
Col., rank from Aug. 28, '62, promoted to Col. Feb. 
28, '65, killed in action near Petersburg, Va., Mar. 
25, ' 65 : Horace H. Walpole, Capt., rank from 
Aug. 15, '62, promoted to Lieut. Col. Feb. 28, 
'65, mustered out June 23, '65 ; James M. Gere, 
Capt., rank from Aug. 15. '62, promoted to Lieut. 
Col. April 22, '65, with rank from March 25, '65, 
(Brevet Col. N.Y.Vols., 1 mustered out June 23, '65 ; 
Joshua \i. Davis, Major, rank from Aug. 28, '62, 
(Hrevct Lieut. Col N.Y.Vols., 1 discharged Jan. 15, 
'64 ; Jabez M. Brower, Capt.. rank from Aug. 6, 
'62, promoted to Major Feb. 2, '64. killed in action 
Oct. 19. '64; Alonzo H. Clapp. ist Lieut., rank 
from Aug. 6, '62, promoted to Capt. Nov. 13. '63, 
promoted to Major Dec. 2, '64, died June 23. '65 ; 
Morton L. Marks, 1st Lieut., rank from Aug. 15, 
62. promoted to Capt. Veb. 10. '64. to Major. Aug. 
2, '65 ; Andrew J. Smith, Adjutant, rank from July 
26, '62, promoted to Capt. Nov. 10. '62, 1 Hrevet 
Major and Col. of U. S. V.,) discharged June 6, 
'65 ; Morris H. Church, Adjutant, rank from Oct. 8, 
'62, promoted to Capt. Mar. 5, '63, discharged Jan. 
15, '64; Osgood V. Tracy, 2d Lieut., rank from 
Dec. 3, '62, promoted to Adjutant Mar. i. '63, to 
Capt., Oct. 15, '64, mustered out June 23, '65; 
Robert H. Moses, Adjutant, rank from Sept. 17, 
'64, mustered out June 23. '65 ; P'rank Lester. 
Quartermaster, rank from July 24, '62, promoted to 
Capt. Jan. 14, '63, discharged Dec. 23, '64 ; John 
S. Cornue, Quartermaster, rank from Dec. 3. '62, 
(Brevet Capt. and Major U. S. V.,> mustered out 
June 23. '65 ; Nathan R. Tefl't. Surgeon, rank from 
July 24, '62, resigned April 8, '(54 ; Edwin A. 
Knapp. Assistant-Surgeon, rank from Aug. 19, '62, 
promoted to Surgeon May 27, '64, mustered out 
June 23, 65 ; John O. Slocum, Assistant-Surgeon, 
rank from Aug. 14, "62, promoted to Surgeon 121st 
N. Y. Vols., July I, '63 ; Charles B. Fry, Assistant- 
Surgeon, rank from July 30. '63, not mustered; 
James Sanders, Jr., Assistant-Surgeon, rank from 
Sept. 30, '64, mustered out June 23, '65 ; L. M. 
Nickerson, Chaplain, rank from Aug. 28, '62, mus- 
tered out June 23, '65 ; Lucius A. Dillingham, 2d 
Lieut., rank from Aug. 16, '62, promoted to ist 
Lieut., Nov. 10, '62, to Capt. Feb. 10, '64, mus- 
tered out June 23, '65 ; Herbert S. Wells. 2d 

I Lieut., rank from Aug. 6. '62, promoted to 
1st Lieut., Jan. 14, '64, to Capt. Sept. 30, '64, 
(Brevet Major N. Y. V. 1 mustered out June 23, 
'64 ; Webster R. Chamberlain, Capt., rank from 
Aug. 14, '62, resigned P'eb. 24, '63, (Brevet Major 
N. Y. V.) David A. Munro. ist Lieut., rank from 
Dec. 15, '64, promoted to Capt., Aug. 2, '65 ; Alfred 
Nims, Capt., rank from Aug. 14. '62, resigned Dec. 
23, '62 ; Stewart McDonald, 2d Lieut., rank from 
Aug. I, '64, promoted to ist Lieut. Nov. 19, '64, to 
Capt, Sept. 15, '65 ; Cornell Chrysler, Capt., rank 
from Aug. 14, '62. discharged Feb. 28. '63 ; Davis 
Cossitt. 1st Lieut., rank from Aug. 14. '62, pro- 
moted to Capt. Mar. 5. '63.1 Brevet AlajorN. Y. V.) 
discharged Dec. 15. '64; Dudley G. Shirley. 2d 
Lieut., rank from Oct. 3. '63, promoted to ist Lieut. 

1 July 6. '64. discharged Nov. 26, '64; Francis Cala- 
han. 2d Lieut., rank from Aug. I. '64, promoted to 



1st Lieut. Dec. 7, '64, to Capt. Jan. 17, '65, dis- 
charged May 15, '65 ; Joseph S. Smith, 2d Lieut,, 
rank from Sept. 19, '64, promoted to ist Lieut. 
Jan. IS, '65, to Capt. June 16, '65 ; Samuel P. Car- 
rington, 2d Lieut., rank from Aug. i, '64, pro- 
moted to 1st Lieut. Dec. 7, '64, to Capt. May 
II, '65, mustered out June 23, '65 ; Lucius Moses, 
Capt., rank from Aug. 15, '62, discharged Feb. 24, 
'6^ ; George W. Piatt, ist Lieut., rank from Aug. 
15, '62, promoted to Capt. March 5, '6^, discharged 
Oct. 25, '64 ; Edward P. Luther, 2d Lieut., rank 
from Aug. 14, '62, promoted to ist Lieut. Mar. 5, 
'62, to Capt. Dec. 7, '64, (Brevet Major, N. Y. V.) 
discharged Feb. 6, '65 ; Theodore L. Poole, 2d 
Lieut., rank from Mar. i, '63, promoted to ist 
Lieut. Feb. 10, '64, to Capt. Feb. 15, '65, with rank 
from Feb. 6, '65, (Brevet Major, N. Y. V.) dis- 
charged May 15, '65 ; Charles B. Clark, 2d Lieut., 
rank from July 28, 'St,, promoted to 1st Lieut. July 
8, '64, to Capt. March 8, '65, mustered out June 23, 
'65 ; Harrison H. Jilson, Capt., rank from Aug, 15, 
'62, died at Relay House, Md., Oct. 8, '62 ; Robert 
H. Moses, 1st Lieut., rank from May 23, '64, pro- 
moted to Capt. Aug. 2, '65 ; Martin Ryan, ist 
Lieut., rank from Dec. 17, '64, promoted to Capt. 
March 25, '65, mustered out June 23, '65 ; John M. 
D wight, Capt., rank from Aug. 16, '62, (Brevet 
Major, N. Y. V.) discharged Sept. 17, '64 ; Noah 
B. Kent, Capt, rank from Aug. 19, '62, discharged 
Oct. 2, '63 ; Andrew W. Wilkin, 2d Lieut., rank 
from Dec. 3, '62, promoted to 1st Lieut. Nov. 13, 
'63, to Capt. Dec. 24, '64, (Brevet Major, N. Y. V.) 
mustered out June 23, '65 ; James B. Hall, 2d 
Lieut., rank from Mar. 6, '63, promoted to ist 
Lieut., July 4, '63, Capt. Sept, 17, '64, discharged 
Jan. 8, '65 ; George H. Gilbert, 2d Lieut., rank 
from Feb. 9, '6^, promoted to ist Lieut. Oct. 24, 
'6^, (Brevet Capt., N. Y. V.) discharged May 24, 
'64; Francis M. Potter, 2d Lieut., rank from Aug. 
I, '64, promoted to ist Lieut. Sept 19, '64, muster 
revoked Feb. 9, '65 ; Samuel C. Trowbridge, 2d 
Lieut., rank from Aug. i, '64, promoted to ist 
Lieut., Feb. 28, '65, (Brevet Capt., N. Y. V.) 
mustered out June 23, '65 ; Charles G. Nye, ist 
Lieut., rank from Aug. 14, '62, resigned Feb. 10, 
'63; William Webb, 2d Lieut., rank from Aug. 14, 
'62, promoted to ist Lieut. Feb. 25, '6^ ; Francis 
M. Wooster, 2d Lieut., rank from Aug. 19, '62, 
promoted to ist Lieut. Mar. 5, 1S63, killed in action 
at Cold Harbor, Va., June i, '64 ; Amasa Chase, 
2d Lieut , rank from Sept. 19, '62, promoted to ist 
Lieut. Mar. 6, '65, mustered out June 23, '65 ; 
Joseph E. Cameron, ist Lieut., rank from Aug. 14, 
'62, resigned Dec. 3, '62 ; James Burton, 2d Lieut., 
rank from Aug. 15, '62, promoted to ist Lieut. Jan. 
I4,'63, discharged Sept. 19, '6^ ; Martin L.Wilson, 2d 
Lieut., rank from Dec. 3, '62, promoted to ist Lieut. 
Nov. 13, '6^, died of wounds received in battle of 
the Wilderness, June 19, '64 ; John V. Simms, 2d 
Lieut., rank from Oct. 9, '63, promoted to 1st Lieut. 
July 8, '64, killed in action near Winchester, Va., 
Sept. 19, '64 ; Curtis L. Rich, 2d Lieut., rank from 
Dec. 31, '64, promoted to ist Lieut, June 16, '65, 
mustered out as ist Sergt., Co. F, June 23, '65 ; 
Alexander Tome, 2d Lieut., rank from Mar. 25, 

'6s, promoted to ist Lieut. June 23, '6s, mustered 
out June 23, '6s ; Michael Donovan, 2d Lieut, 
rank from Mar. i, '6s, mustered out June 23, '65 ; 
Jacob Brand, ist Lieut., rank from Aug. is, '62, 
resigned Feb. i, '64; Henry H. Hoyt, 2d Lieut, 
rank from Aug. is, '62, promoted to 1st Lieut May 
1 1, '63, killed near Petersburg, Va., June 21, '64; 
George G. Gilson, 2d Lieut, rank from June 21, 
'64, promoted to 1st Lieut. Dec. 30, '64, mustered 
out June 23, "es ; Guy J. Gotchis, 2d Lieut, rank 
from Dec. 3, '62, promoted to ist Lieut. Mar. s, 
'63, discharged May 26, '64; Drayton Eno, 1st 
Lieut., rank from Aug. 15, '62, resigned Dec. 3, 
'62 ; Adolph Wilman, 2d Lieut., rank from Mar. i, 
'63, promoted to ist Lieut. Sept 3, '63, discharged 
July 7, '64; Hiram A. Britton, 2d Lieut , rank from 
Sept. 9, '64, promoted to ist Lieut. Feb. is, '6s, 
mustered out June 23, '65 ; Ruell P. Buzzell, 2d 
Lieut., rank from Sept. 3, '64, promoted to ist 
Lieut. Feb. 15, '6s, mustered out June 23, '6s ; 
Otto W. Parrisen, ist Lieut., rank from Jan. 15, 
'64. discharged Sept, 22, '64 ; Justin Howard, ist 
Lieut., rank from Aug. 19, '62, discharged Oct. 4, 
'63 ; Dennis Murphy, 2d Lieut., rank from Feb. 6, 
'65, promoted to 1st Lieut. Mar. 25, '65, mustered 
out June 23, '65 ; Merrick C. Smith, 2d Lieut., 
rank from May IS, '6s, mustered out June 23, '6s : 
George A. Wait, 2d Lieut , rank from Oct 24, '63, 
not mustered; Arthur J. Mead. 2d Lieut., rank 
from Aug. 14, '62, discharged Sept. 29, '63 ; Wil- 
liam H. La Rue, 2d Lieut., rank from Dec. 29, '62, 
discharged Sept. 29, '63 ; John W. Taylor, 2d 
Lieut., rank from Mar. i, '6^ ; discharged Oct. 11, 
'63 ; Charles W. Ostrander, 2d Lieut., rank from 
May 2S, '63, (Brevet ist Lieut., N. Y. V.,) dis- 
charged Mar. 10, '6s ; Charles A. Eaton, 2d Lieut., 
rank from Mar. 10. '6s, mustered out June 23, '6s ; 
George E. P'isher, 2d Lieut., rank from June 20, '6s; 
mustered out June 23, '6s ; Geo. H. Devoe, 2d Lieut., 
rank from Feb. 6, '6s, mustered out June 23, '6s ; Thos. 
H. Scott, 2d Lieut., rank from Feb. 6, '6s, mus- 
tered out June 23, '6s ; Charles H. Eldridge, 2d 
Lieut., rank from March 6, '6s, mustered out June 
23, '65 ; Gates D. Parish, 2d Lieut., rank from 
Dec. 31, '64, mustered out June 23, '6s ; Robert 
Ealdon, 2d Lieut., rank from June 20, '63, mustered 
out June 23, '6s ; Peter A. Blossom, 2d Lieut., 
rank from Aug. 13, '62, resigned Dec. 3, '62 ; Mor- 
ris E. Wright 2d Lieut., rank from Mar. i, '63, dis- 
charged Sept. 28, '63 ; Oscar F. Swift, 2d Lieut., 
rank from Aug. 13, '62, resigned Dec. 3, '62 ; Wil- 
liam G, Tracy, 2d Lieut., rank from Nov. 3, '62, 
discharged July 28, '63 ; Daniel F. Hammell, 2d 
Lieut., rank from Aug. i, '64, discharged May 31, 
'6s ; George H. Casler, 2d Lieut., rank from Feb. 
6, '6s, mustered out June 23, '65. 

The Fifteenth Cavalrv. 
The isth New York Cavalry was organized at 
Syracuse, to serve three years. The companies of 
which it was composed were raised in the coun- 
ties of Onondaga, Ontario, Orange, Oneida, 
Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Genesee, Erie and Tomp- 
kins. It was mustered into the service of the 



United States from August 8. 1863, to January 14, 
1864. It was consolidated with the 6th New York 
Cavalry, June 17, 1865, and the consolidated force 
designated the 2d New York Provisional Cavalry. 
The following are the dates of the mustering in of 
the respective companies : 

Co. A— Michael Auer, Capt.. Aug. 8, 1863 

Co. B— Thomas G. Putnam, Capt., Aug. 8, 1863. 

Co. C— Jcttcrson C. Higclow, Capt.. Aug. 8. 1863. 

Co. D — Orson R. Colgrove, Capt., Aug. 26, 1863. 

Co. E— George M. Kilicott. Capt., Aug. 15. 1863. 

Co. F— L. F. Hathaway, Capt., Aug. 26, 1863. 

Co. G— Wallis M. Hoycr, Capt., Aug. 26. 1863. 

Co. H— John F. Moshell, Capt., Sept. 5. 1863. 

Co. I — Scth J. Steve, Capt , Nov. 30. 1863. 

Co. K— John S Hicks, Capt., Oct 15.1863. 

Co. L — Marshall M. Loydcn, Capt, Jan. 20, 1864. 

This regiment was an important one to Onondaga 
county and the city of Syracuse, inasmuch as it 
saved the draft pending in 1863. It was slow in 
being made up, but late in the year Col. Richard- 
son succeeded in securing an order from the War 
Department granting a bounty of S300 to each en- 
listed man, which had the effect to secure the quota 
required and save the draft, which had been or- 
dered, from being executed. The rolls were sent 
in to the War Department, and upon their examina- 
tion it was found that the quota of the district was 
full, and an order was immediately sent for the 
draft to be stopped. 

The officers of the 15th Cavalry from Onondaga 
county were : 

Robert M. Richardson, Col., rank from Jan. 6. 
'64, resigned Jan. 19. '65 ; Augustus J. Root, 
Lieut-Col., rank from Sept. 16. '63, killed in action 
April 8, '65; Michael Auer. Capt., rank from July 24, 
'63, promoted to Major Nov. 9, "64, discharged Mar. 
6, '65 ; J. H. Wood, Major, rank from Sept. 16, '63. 
discharged April 14, '65; F. Mann, Adjutant, rank 
from May 22, '64, discharged by reason of consoli- 
dation, June 17. '65 ; Edward R. Trull, Quarter- 
master, rank from June 12, '63, discharged by rea- 
son of consolidation, June 17, '65 ; Isaac O. Fill- 
more. Chaplain, rank from April 25, '64, not mus- 
tered ; Thomas G. Putnam, Capt., rank from July 
30. '63. discharged by reason of consolidation. June 
17. '65; Jefferson C. Higelow. Capt.. rank from 
Aug. 30. '63, discharged bv reason of consolidation, 
June 17. '65; George N. Truesdell. ist Lieut., rank 
from Jan. 6, '64, promoted to Capt. June 17, '65, 
with rank from May 8, '65 ; Orson R. Colgrove, 2d 
Lieut., rank from July 30, "63, promoted to Capt. 
Nov. 30, '63, mustered out on exijjration ol service, 
Dec. 24, "64 ; Charles G. Hampton, 2d Lieut., rank 
from Oct. 5, '63, promoted to Capt. April 11, '65, 
with rank from Feb. 13, '65, discharged by reason 
of consolidation, June 17, '65 ; George M. Eliicott, 
Capt., rank from Aug. 13, '63, promoted to Major, 
June 17. '65, with rank from June 9. '65, discharged 
by reason of consolidation, June 17, '65 ; Cortland 

Clark, Commissary, rank from Jan. 6. '64, discharged 
by reason of consolidation, June 17, '65 ; Burritt N. 
Hurd, 2d Lieut., rank from Sept. 5, '63. promoted to 
1st Lieut. Dec. 29, 1863. promoted to Capt. Nov. 9, 
'64, mustered out on expiration of term of service, 
Dec. 12, '64 ; John F. Moshell, Capt., rank from 
Sept. 5, '63, transferred to 2d Provisional Cavalry, 
June 17, '05 ; William F. Weller, ist Lieut., rank 
from Dec. 26. '63, promoted to Capt. June 17. '65, 
with rank from June 8. '65. transferred to 2d Provi- 
sional Cavalry June 17. '65 ; Joseph LaBeff. ist 
Lieut., rank from July 24, '6}, discharged Nov, 30, 
'63 ; Edgar N. Johnson, 2d Lieut., rank from Nov. 
9, '64. promoted to ist Lieut. Feb. 15. '65. di»- 
charged by reason of consolidation June 17, '6$ ; 
William P. Shearer, ist Lieut . rank from July 30, 
'63, missing since Oct. 30. '64 ; William Stanton, 
2d Lieut., rank from Oct 14, '64, promoted to ist 
Lieut. Feb. 15, '65; Edgar L Miller, 2d Lieut., 
rank from Oct. 14, '64, promoted to ist Lieut. Mar. 
9, '65, transferred to 2d Provisional Cavalry. June 
'7> ^5 ; Joseph Herron, ist Lieut., rank from Sept. 
5. '63. discharged Dec. 28, '63 ; Edward Pointer, 
2d Lieut., rank from Feb. 12, '65, transferred to 2d 
Provisional Cavalry, June 17, '65 ; Lorenzo Hatch, 
2d Lieut., rank from Oct. 14. '64. killed in action; 
James Holahan, 2d Lieut., rank from Feb. 12, '65, 
transferred to 2d Provisional Cavalry. June 17. "65 ; 
John W. F^razer. 2d Lieut., rank from Mar. 25. '65, 
discharged June 28. '65 ; John Gallagher, 2(1 Lieut., 
rank from Feb. 12, '65, transferred to 2d Provisional 
Cavalry June 17, '65 ; Levi Kraft, 2d Lieut., rank 
from Oct. 5, '63, discharged Dec. 11, '63; Peter 
Boehm, 2d Lieut., rank from Mar. 3, '6^, discharged 
by reason of consolidation, June 17, '65 ; Anthony 
Dever and Emory Ornisby, 2cl Lieuts., on records 
of War Department, not commissioned. 

The isth Cavalry participated in the following 
battles and engagements : Lynchburg, ( Hunter's 
raid) 1864; New Market, (under Sigel) 1864; 
Winchester, July 10, 1864; Piedmont (near Stan- 
ton) ; capture of Martinsburg, and the series of 
battles about Petersburg, resulting in the capture 
of Lee's Army. 


The One Hundred and Fortv-Ninth New 
York Volunteeks— Okganization — Camp at 
Bolivar Heights — Chancellorsville— Get- 
TvsuuRG — Losses of the Regiment — Last 
E.xpekience in the Army of the Potomac. 

THE One Hundred and Forty-Ninth New 
York Volunteer Infantry was a full 
regiment of Onondaga County men, organized at 
Syracuse, and mustered into the United States ser- 
vice September 18,1862. Henry A. Barnum, for- 
merly Major of the Twelfth New York, was Colo- 
nel ; John M. Strong, Lieutenant-Colonel ; Abel 
G. Cook, Major; Walter M. Dallman, Adjutant; 



Moses Summers, Quartermaster ; James V. Ken- 
dall, Surgeon ; Horace Nims, Assistant Surgeon ; 
and Rev. Arvine C. Bowdish, Chaplain. The com- 
panies were organized under the following line 
officers : Company A — Solomon Light, Captain ; 
Samuel Bonner, ist Lieutenant; Mathevv West- 
cott, 2d Lieutenant. Company B — Nicholas Grum- 
bach. Captain; Philip Eckel, ist Lieutenant ;' Ja- 
cob Knapp, 2d Lieutenant. Company C — James 
Lynch, Jr., Captain ; Edward D. Murray, ist Lieu- 
tenant ; William Savage, 2d Lieutenant. Company 
D — J. Forman Wilkinson, Captain ; Park Wheeler, 
ist Lieutenant ; William M. Mosely, 2d Lieuten- 
ant. Company E — Ira B Seymour, Captain ; Or- 
son Coville, 1st Lieutenant; Edward F. Hopkins, 
2d Lieutenant Company F — Judson H. Graves, 
Captain ; Henry H. Burhans, ist Lieutenant ; The- 
odore E. Stevens, 2d Lieutenant. Company G — 
E. G. Townsend, Captain ; Byron A. Wood, ist 
Lieutenant ; Thomas A. Benedict, 2d Lieutenant. 
Company H — Robert E. Hopkins, Captain ; Ohio 
L. Palmer, ist Lieutenant; Thomas Merriam, 2d 
Lieutenant. Company I — David J. Lindsay, Cap- 
tain ; George K. Collins, ist Lieutenant ; John T. 
Bon, 2d Lieutenant. Company K — James E. Do- 
ren, Captain ; John Van Wie, 1st Lieutenant ; 
Benjamin F. Breed, 2d Lieutenant. 

Company A, of this regiment, was composed of 
Jewish citizens, organized in the Synagogue ; Com- 
pany B was a solid German company, and Com- 
pany C consisted of Irish, with but few exceptions. 
At the time of its organization. Col. Barnum lay 
wounded at his home in the city, having been shot 
through the hip by a rifle ball while doing gallant 
service as Major of the Twelfth Regiment at the 
battle of Malvern Hill. He was, however, elected 
Colonel of the Hundred and Forty-Ninth, and 
joined his regiment at Fairfax in Januaiy, 1863. 

On the 23d of September, 1862, the Hundred 
and Forty-Ninth regiment left Camp White, at 
Syracuse, «i rojite for the general rendezvous at the 
National Capital ; whence they were ordered to 
Harper's Ferry via Frederick city, and occupied a 
camp in Pleasant Valley till about the 30th of Oc- 
tober. No incident of importance occurred while 
here except an expedition a few miles down the 
river to Knoxville, and the loss of about forty men 
who enlisted in an Engineer regiment encamped in 
the vicinity. On the 31st of October they were 
ordered to Louden Valley, where they remained long 
enough to construct comfortable quarters, but were 
not permitted to enjoy them, being soon ordered to 
Bolivar Heights, at Harper's Ferry, where they 
remained till Dec. lOth, relieving the monotony 

of camp life by two raids towards Charlestown and 
Winchester, and taking their first lessons in those 
foraging expeditions for which the regiment sub- 
sequently became famous. 

In the absence of Colonel Barnum, Lieutenant- 
Colonel Strong had command of the regiment, but 
here the latter was obliged to resign in con- 
sequence of a dangerous illness, and the command 
devolved upon Major Cook, a youthful yet energetic 
and competent officer ; the regiment was attached 
to General Geary's division, and assumed the white 
star as its emblem of military glory. December 
10, in the depth of a Virginia winter, they broke 
camp at Bolivar Heights, and marched to Fairfax 
Station. The Quartermaster, who was also the 
scribe of the regiment and who has furnished the 
materials for this history of the 149th, refers to one 
or two expeditions from camp at this point towards 
Dumfries, speaking of it as " a locality which calls 
up vivid recollections of an ocean of mud and the 
hardest kind of fare." After spending a dismal 
Christmas and New Year's in this fearfully muddy 
region, on the 28th of January, they marched 
through the memorable Dumfries mud to Aquia 
Creek where the regiment was comfortably quar- 
tered in an old camp just vacated by a German 
regiment of engineers. The camp here was beau- 
tifully located and a little labor soon sufficed to 
make it a model of neatness and taste. But the 
place was unhealthy ; fever soon broke out in the 
camp and the ranks were rapidly thinned by its 
ravages. On the 15th of February the regiment 
moved to a more healthy location at Brook's Sta- 
tion, where it remained till the stirring events of 
Chancellorsville called them from camp life and 
idleness to meet the enemy, on a field which 
though hotly contested, was disastrous to the 
regiment and the Union cause. They broke camp 
and marched towards Chancellorsville on the 9th of 
April, 1863. The battles in and about Chancellors- 
ville were fought on May 2d, 3d, 4th and 5th, 1863, 
the heaviest engagement being on Sunday, May 3d. 
The Union forces met with a severe defeat, and the 
149th suffered their share of the disaster. 

On Sunday, May 3, in the great battle in which 
Slocum's corps ( 1 2th) was engaged, nearly 4,000 of 
his men were disabled, including three of his 
division commanders ; Berry and Whipple killed, 
and Gen. Mott of the New Jersey brigade wounded. 
Says Greeley, " the ground was lost by misfortune 
or bad generalship, not by lack of valor or endur- 
ance in our soldiers." As an evidence of this, on 
Saturday, May 2d, Pleasanton, in order to gain 
time to get his batteries in readiness to sweep the 



on-rushing masses of the rebels, ordered Major 
Keenan, of the 8lh Pennsylvania, to charge into 
the woods at whatever cost. " I will," was the 
calm, smilinj; reply, althou};h he well understood 
that the order was his death-warrant. Ten minutes 
later he was dead and a large part of his regiment 
lay bleeding around him. But this gallant action 
gave the artillery time to get in readiness and to 
deal death and destruction into the rebel ranks. 
In front of these batteries, on that memorable day, 
fell Stonewall Jackson mortally wounded. His loss 
was the greatest yet sustained by either party in 
the fall of a single man. 

The day was probably lost to the Union army 
because Gen. Hooker could not send aid to Slo- 
cum, he having been stunned by a rebel shot strik- 
ing the " Chancellorsvillc House," against which he 
had been leaning, so that when the message came 
to him from Gen. Slocum he was unconscious and 
could not attend to it. So testified Slocum before 
the Committee on the Conduct of the War. 

On Monday, the 4th of May, in the forced re- 
treat of Sedgwick's division, about 5,000 men were 
lost. Hooker gives the total loss in the series of 
battles while across the Rappahannock at no less 
than 17,197 men, as follows: 

Sedgwick's (6th) Corps 4.601 

Slocum's ( 12th) " 2,883 

Couchs'(2d) " 2,025 

Reynolds' ( 1st) " 292 

Sickles' (3d) " -4.039 

Howard's (nth) " 2,508 

Meade's (5th) " 699 

Cavalry, &c 150 

The rebel loss was 18,000 — Gen. Pa.xton killed 
and Gen. Heth wounded. 

In these severe battles the 149th participated, 
receiving its first baptism of blood, which conse- 
crated it to the national cause thenceforth to the 
close of the war. 

Major Cook was severely wounded in the foot and 
the command devolved upon Captain May, who had 
recently been transferred to the 149th from the old 
1 2th regiment. He was a gallant officer, and assum- 
ing command in an emergency, proved himself fully 

The regiment returned to its old camp at Aquia 
Creek. It soon received orders to remove to a posi- 
tion near Falmouth, but the order was immediately 
changed to a lively pursuit of Lee, who, meantime, 
had invaded Maryland and Pennsylvania. Marching 
over their old track through Dumfries, P'airfax, 
Leesburg, Frederick City, and other well known 
localities, they at length encountered the enemy at 
Gettysburg, on the borders of Pennsylvania, where 

one of the most sanguinary battles of the war was 

Gettysburg. — The engagements began on the 
1st of July and lasted till the 3d. Gen. Huford, 
with a division, arrived first at Gettysburg June 30, 
and encountered the van of the rebel army, under 
Gen. Heth, of Hill's corps ; the rebels were driven 
back on the division, and in turn drove our forces. 
At this moment the advance division of Reynolds 
(isti corps, under Gen. J. S. Wadsworth, coming 
in from Emmitsburg, at the familiar sound of vol- 
leys, quickened their pace, and rushing through the 
village drove back the rebel van, seizing and occu- 
pying the ridge that overlooks the place from the 
northwest. Gen. John F. Reynolds arrived with 
22,000 men, ist and i ith army corps ; while Wads- 
worth was forming his advance division, 4,000 
strong, Reynolds went forward to reconnoiter and 
was shot by a rebel sharp-shooter. Gen. Doubleday, 
arriving half an hour later, assumed command, fall- 
ing back and occupying Seminary Ridge, just west 
of the village, where the ist and nth army corps 
were soon drawn up in line of battle. Howard, 
ranking Doubleday, assumed command, assigning 
the nth corps to Schurz. Here the struggle was 
renewed with great spirit, our men having the bet- 
ter position and the best of the fight. At i o'clock 
p. M. Ewell's corps came rapidly into the battle, 
arriving from York, Rhode's division assailing the 
I Ith corps in front, while Early's struck hard on its 
right flank. The corps were outnumbered and put 
to rout, falling back in disorder to Gettysburg, 
under heavy rebel fire, mingling and obstructing 
each other in horrid confusion in the streets. The 
debris of these two corps, which half an hour before 
marched proudly through the streets, now fell back 
with scarcely half their number to Cemetery Hill, 
leaving their dead and wounded in the hands of the 
enemy. Thus ended the first day's fight, July i, 
the rebels not seeking to renew the contest. 

During this engagement Meade was at Taney- 
town, ten miles away, and did not hear of the battle 
or the death of Gen. Reynolds till i p. m. He 
immediately sent Gen. Hancock to command, or- 
dering him to turn over his (2d) corps to Gibbon. 
Hancock arrived on the field just as the broken ist 
and nth were retreating in wild disorder through 
the village, hotly pursued by the triumphant foe. 

The 149th, in Geary's division of Slocum's (12th) 
corps, was in advance and reached Gettysburg soon 
after Gen. Hancock. Slocum, outranking Hancock, 
assumed the chief command. 

During the night our army was all concentrated 
before Gettysburg, e.xcept Sedgwick's (6th) corps, 




(15,400 Strong) which was at Manchester, 30 miles 
distant. Meade, in view of this fact, and because 
the rebels were in full force, resolved upon fighting 
only a defensive battle. The line was drawn up in 
the following order: The 12th corps (General 
Slocum's) held our extreme right, facing Johnson's 
division of Ewell's corps, which had been recently 
strengthened by Lockwood's Marylanders, 2,500 
strong, raising it to a little over 10,000 men ; 
Sickles' (3d) corps held the left, opposite Longstreet, 
supported by the 5 th (Sykes's), with Hancock's 
(2d) in our center, touching its right ; what was left 
of Howard's (nth), reenforced by 2,000 Vermont- 
ers under Stannard, and Reynold's (ist), now 
Doubleday's corps, held the face of Cemetery Hill 
looking towards Gettysburg and Early's division, 
but menaced also by Johnson's division on the 
right, and by Hill's corps, facing the left. 

The battle of the 2d was brought on by the 
temerity of Gen. Sickles, who in his eagerness to 
fight, had thrown forward his corps from half to 
three-quarters of a mile in the immediate presence 
of half the rebel army. Meade remonstrated ; but 
before the mistake could be remedied, Lee, seeing 
the advantage, ordered Longstreet to attack Sickles 
with all his might, while Ewell should assail 
Slocum, and Hill, facing the apex of our 
position, should only menace, unless our troops 
should be withdrawn to reenforce either the left or 
the right, in which case he should charge through 
our line. The position which Sickles had taken 
was commanded by the rebel batteries posted on 
Seminary Hill in front, and scarcely half a mile dis- 
tant. At the order to attack, a line of battle a 
mile and a half long swept up to his front and 
flanks, crushing him back with heavy loss, and 
struggling desperately to seize Round Top, a hill 
to his left which Meade regarded as vital to the 
situation. A fierce and bloody struggle ensued, 
Humphreys, on the right of Sickles, with one of 
Sykes's divisions, being attacked in front and flank 
and beaten back with a loss of 2,000 out of 5,000 
men. A division of the 12th corps was thrown in 
on the enemy's front, which turned the scale ; they, 
in turn, were repulsed with heavy loss, falling back 
to their original position and leaving our line as 
Meade had intended to place it. Meanwhile, the 
withdrawal of a division from Slocum had enabled 
Ewell to attack our right wing with a superior force, 
but he gained no decided advantage, only crowding 
a part of the line back and seizing a few rifle-pits. 
So ended the day of the second of July. 

Night closed with the rebels decidedly encour- 
aged and confident. Of the seven corps composing 

our army, three had been severely handled. At 
least half their effective strength had been demol- 
ished. Reynolds, commanding the 1st, and Brig. 
Gen. Zook, of Sickles' corps, had been killed; 
Sickles, of the 3d, had had his leg shattered with 
a cannon ball, and was out of the fight ; our total 
losses up to this hour were scarcely less than 
20,000 men ; and none were arriving to replace 
them. They had suffered heavily, but had reason 
for the hope that to-morrow's triumphs would 
richly repay all their losses. 

The battle opened July 3d, on our right ; the 
division sent to relieve Sickles' corps, having re- 
turned, Slocum pushed forward to retake his lost 
rifle-pits, and did it after a sharp conflict. Both 
sides were reenforced, the rebels with three fresh 
brigades under Pickett,* and our side by the ar- 
rival of Sedgwick's corps. Every preparation was 
made for the grand decisive battle. 

The battle of the 3d of July opened with the 
most brilliant artillery duel on record. The rebels 
had massed a battery of 1 15 heavy guns on the hill 
in front of the centre of their line, and on Cemetery 
Hill, in front of Meade's headquarters, the Union 
artillery numbering about 100 guns was stationed; 
and all was in readiness for action. "There was a 
pause of anxious expectation, fitfully broken by 
spirts of firing here and there, while the rebels were 
finishing their preparation for the supreme effort 
which was to decide this momentous contest." At 
length at i p. m., the signal was given and the bat- 
teries on the rebel side opened their throats of fire ; 
for nearly two hours the hill, just over the crest of 
which was Meade's headquarters, was gashed and 
seamed by round-shot and torn by bursting shells, 
while 100 guns from our side made fit reply. Gen. 
Doubleday said in his testimony before the Com- 
mittee on the Conduct of the War : "They had 
our exact range, and the destruction was fearful. 
Horses were killed in every direction * * and 
quite a number of caissons were blown up." This 
cannonading was but the prelude to a grand in- 
fantry charge, and was designed by the rebels to 
disorganize the opposing forces. Our side was 
ready for it; our infantry, according to orders, 
crouched behind every projection and lay concealed 
in every hollow, awaiting the onset, when they 
should spring up at the right moment to meet the 
advancing columns of the enemy. The signal was 
given, and from behind the rebel batteries emerged 
columns of infantry in line of battle three or four 
miles in length, preceded by a cloud of skirmishers 
and supported by lines of r eserves. On they came 

* See 122d Regiment. 



swiftly to the charge, directing their main force 
against Hancock's center and in the direction of 
our batteries, and upon the entire front westward to 
Round Top. The charge was made in three lines 
with additional lines called wings, the object of 
which was to prevent the main force from being 
flanked. They came with such resistless sweep 
that in some places they seemed to lift up 
and push back our lines. Hancock was wounded. 
Gibbon succeeding to the command. Ikave officer ! 
As the tempest of fire approached its height, he 
walked along the line and renewed his orders to his 
men to reserve their fire. The rebels, three lines 
deep, came steadily up. They were in point blank 
range. At last the order came ! From thrice si.x 
thousand guns there came a sheet of smoky flame, 
a crash, a rush of leaden death. The line literally 
melted away, but there came the second, resistless 
still. The instant was too brief to allow our men 
to gather themselves for a second effort, and on 
came the sweeping torrent ! Up to the rifle-pits, 
across them, over the barricades, the momentum of 
the charge, the mere machine-like strength of their 
combined action, swept them on. They were upon 
the guns, were bayoneting the gunners, were wav- 
ing their flags above our pieces. But they had 
penetrated to the fatal point. A storm of grape 
and cannister tore its way from man to man, and 
marked its track with corses straight down their 
line. They hail exposed themselves to the enfilad- 
ing fire of the guns on the western slope of 
Cemetery Hill, and that exposure sealed their fate. 
The line reeled back, disjointed, and in an instant 
was in fragments. Our men were just behind the 
guns. They leaped forward upon the disordered 
mass ; but there was little need for fighting now. A 
regiment threw down its arms, and, with colors at its 
head, rushed over and surrendered. All along the 
field smaller detachments did the same. Webb's 
brigaile brought in 800. taken in as little time as it 
requires to write this sentence. Gibbons' old divi- 
sion took 15 stand of colors. The battle was over. 
On the field of Gettysburj; was crushed the first 
and last great attempt of the rebels to gain a deci- 
sive victory on the soil of the North. The 149th 
had the proud consciousness, under their brave 
officers, and a gallant son of Onondaga, Gen. Slo- 
cum as chief commander in the first days' engage- 
ment and commander of the right wing during the 
battle, of contributing their share towards the grand 

Meade states our losses in this series of battles 
at 2,834 killed, 13,709 wounded, and 6,643 missing, 
(mainly taken prisoners on the 1st of July; : total, 

23,186. He only claims three guns as captured 
this side of the Potomac, with 41 flags and 13,621 
prisoners — many of them wounded ; 24.978 small 
arms were collected on the field. The confederate 
loss was about 18,000 killed and wounded. 

Returning in pursuit of the rebel army, the chase 
led the 149th for the fourth time through Frederick 
City. They reached the Rappahannock at Ellis 
Ford, on the ist of August, and remained in camp 
several weeks. On the i6th of September, they 
were at Raccoon Ford, and on the i8th the division 
was ordered out to witness the execution of two 
deserters— the last of their experience in the Army 
of the Potomac. 


The One Hundred and Forty-Ninth with 
Shkrman — The Atlanta Campaign — Lookout 
Mountain — Entrance into Atlanta — Fall 
ofSavannah— March THROUGH THE Carolinas 
— Surrender of Johnston— List of Promo- 

AFTER the battle of Gettysburg, the 1 ith and 
1 2th corps were consolidated, forming the 
20lh army corps, commanded by Gen. Hooker, and 
was sent south under Gen. Sherman. Gen. Hooker 
resigned in front of Atlanta, and Gen. Slocum was 
promoted to the command of the 20th army corps. 
From this change of organization, the fortunes of 
the 149th were identified with Sherman's move- 
ments till the close of the war. 

On the 29th of September, 1863, they started 
from Healton Station for the Southeast, and via 
Nashville reached Murfreesboro on the 7th of Oc- 
tober, just in time to be ordered into the intrench- 
ments to repel an attack of rebel cavalry. On the 
2Sth of October they started for the front, reaching 
the Wauhatchie Valley on the first of November. 
Here the regiment and division experienced one of 
the very few night attacks of the war, and a 
short but bloody and decisive battle was fought, 
about midnight of the first night of their occupa- 
tion of the valley. The Union forces were victori- 
ous, but the 149th suffered severely ; among the 
killed was their brave and gallant Color-Bearer, 
William C. Lilly, who was fatally wounded in the 
battle and died at Ikidgeport, Alabama, a few days 
afterwards. This victory was one of the most im- 
portant events of the war, as it effected an entrance 
for our army into the valley and finally enabled us, 
by the capture of Lookout Mountain, to open a 
communication with the Union forces at Chat- 
I tanooga, who were suffering for want of supplies. 



and would have soon been obliged to retreat, and 
thus lose an important objective point on the 
route to the heart of the Rebel Confederacy. A 
lodgment being effected in the valley, the regiment 
and division remained encamped in the vicinity of 
Kelley's Ford, near the Tennessee River and under 
the frowning shadow of Lookout Mountain. 

On the 24th of November occurred the celebrated 
"Battle above the Clouds." The advance was led 
by the 149th, which added to its already well- 
established fame by the capture of four stand of 
rebel colors, and a number of prisoners, arms and 

The following letter, written on the spot, is a 
truthful and graphic description of the battle and 
of the position of the 149th : 

"The advance was led by the troops of General 
Geary's division of the 12th corps. The men com- 
menced ascending the mountain over a mile from 
the front, and, regardless of the rebel picket fire, a 
line was formed leading from the base of an almost 
perpendicular ledge of rocks, on the left, to our own 
picket line, about three-fourths of the distance 
down the mountain. Three lines were formed, the 
2d division leading the advance and the 149th oc- 
cupying the left of the first line. When the order 
to advance was given, our men started forward with 
a cheer over the rugged sides of the mountain, 
totally regardless of any obstacle in their way and 
almost ignoring the sharp fire of the rebel infantry, 
who attempted to stop their progress. With an 
enthusiasm which knew no bounds, they rushed 
over hills and through gorges, climbing towering 
rocks, dashing through brushwood and fallen 
timber, and scarcely stopping even to take prison- 
ers. They swept over the side of the mountain 
and around its frowning front with the rapidity and 
force of the whirlwind, completely overcoming and 
conquering every obstacle, both natural and artifi- 
cial, which attempted to impede their progress. 

" No military achievement of this or any other 
war, e.xceeded, for dash and daring, personal bravery, 
contempt of extraordinary obstacles and complete 
and perfect success, this charge of the 2d division 
around the point of Lookout Mountain. The rebel 
forces were literally swept from the mountain side, 
driven from fastnesses and intrenchments they had 
considered impregnable, captured in their strong- 
holds, and every vestige of their power swept before 
us like leaves before the autumn gale." 

The battle of Lookout Mountain was followed by 
an immediate advance of the whole army, in which 
the 149th bore an active part. On the second of 
December, another severe fight took place, which 
resulted in the capture of the valley of the Ring- 
gold and its occupancy by the Union forces, with 
an officer of the 149th as Provost Marshal of the 
captured town. The campaign ending with the 
capture of Mission Ridge, our njen fell back to their 

old camping ground at the base of Lookout Moun- 
tain, where they remained till after New Year's, 
1864, enduring severe hardships and almost star- 
vation, in consequence of the impossibility of for- 
warding supplies. During this period the 149th was 
complimented by a public delivery of their captured 
rebel flags to Gen. Hooker ; and after being almost re- 
duced to starvation were removed to Stevenson and 
remained till spring in preparation for the next cam- 
paign. The stay here was a season of comparative 
ease and festivity ; rations plenty, supplies abundant 
and labor light. The few inhabitants treated them 
kindly. Capt. Park Wheeler was detailed to " keep 
hotel," and proved himself no unworthy landlord of 
the " Soldiers' Home." Among the attractions 
which rendered the stay in Stevenson pleasant to 
many of the 149th was the presence of ladies, the 
wives of several of the officers, who, during this 
season of quiet, visited their husbands and friends 
at camp — Mrs. Col. Ireland, Mrs. Surgeon Kendall, 
Mrs. Capt. Wheeler and others, whose presence lent 
a charm to camp life not elsewhere e.xperienced 
during the war. 

May 2, 1864, began the movement of the troops 
in the famous Atlanta campaign. Their progress 
was first intercepted at Resacawhere the rebel force 
under Johnston was concentrated and had burned 
the bridge across the Coosawattee River. Howard 
had entered Dalton on the heels of Johnston's force 
and had pressed him down to Resaca. Sherman 
at once set on foot a flanking movement to 
drive him out. Johnston made a counter move- 
ment by attacking Hooker and Schofield on his 
front and left. He was defeated in the bloody con- 
test which ensued. Hooker driving the enemy from 
several hills, taking four guns and many prisoners. 
The rebels retreated across the Oostenaula during 
the night, and our army entered Resaca in triumph 
next morning. From this time to the final 
triumphal entrance into Atlanta, was a constant 
series of skirmishes, battles and active military 
operations. For nearly one hundred days and 
nights our men were constantly under fire, passing 
through the thrilling experiences of the battles 
of Villanow Mill Church, Nickajack Creek, Burnt 
Hickory, Calhoun, Dallas, Cassville, Kingston, 
Pumpkin Vine Creek, Paices' Ferry, Chattahoochee 
River, Ackworth, Marietta, Big Shanty and Kene- 
saw Mountain. 

The most severe and disastrous battle of the 
campaign in which the 149th were engaged was 
at Peach Tree Creek on the 20th of July, 1864, 
where a partial surprise was effected, and almost in 
an instant of time the regiment lost 19 brave and 



generous soldiers, among whom were Col. C. B. 
Kendall and Capt. D. J. Lindsay, both as gallant 
officers as ever drew a sword in defence of their 

During this campaign Gen. Hooker resigned his 
position at the head of the corps, and Gen. Slocum, 
who had commanded the old I2th corps, was ap- 
pointed to the command of the 20th ; arriving just 
in time to accompany the triumphal entry into At- 
lanta, on the 2d of September. The losses of the 
I4f)th during the campaign amounted to 34 men 
killed, 138 wounded and 10 missing. But the ob- 
jective point was gained and the regiment was one 
of the first to enter Atlanta and hoist the Stars 
and Stripes upon the public hall. Col. Ireland, 
who commanded the 3d brigade, died shortly after 
entering Atlanta, and the command devolved upon 
Col. Barnum, promoted to the rank of Brigadier 
General, leaving the 149th under the command of 
Major Grumbach, promoted to the colonelcy. 

Among the interesting incidents of the camp at 
Atlanta was the voting of the soldiers at the No- 
vember election for President. The vote of the 
149th, with but few exceptions, was cast for 
" Honest Old Abe," showing that they had no de- 
sire to "swap horses while crossing the river," as 
Mr. Lincoln predicted would be the verdict of the 
American people. 

After the refitting of the troops and sending the 
sick and lame to the rear, the commissary wagons 
were loaded with hard-tack, coffee and sugar, and 
trusting to their own energy and perseverance to 
subsist upon the country, on the 16th of November 
the army left Atlanta, to plunge out of sight and 
hearing into the heart of the Rebel Confederacy. 
The famous " march to the sea " had been deter- 
mined upon. lixpcrience proved that Sherman 
had not overestimated the abundance of supplies in 
the country through which the army was to pass, 
nor miscalculated the capacity of his men to obtain 
their full share of the necessaries of life. The 
marching of an army composed of 60,000 infantry 
and 5,500 cavalry through an interior country of 
such e.\tent was a scene probably never witnessed 
before, and must have been an astonishing spectacle 
to the people of the country through which they 
passed. Thousands of negroes, sometimes in torch- 
light processions, followed the army " on the road 
to freedom." The army was formed into two grand 
divisions or wings : The right led by Gen. O. O. 
Howard, comprising the 15th corps. Gen. P. J. 
Osterhaus, and the 17th, Gen. Frank P. Blair; the 
left, led by Gen. H. W. Slocum, comprisingthe 14th 
corps. Gen. Jeff. C. Davis, and the 20th, Gen. A. 

S. Williams. Gen. Judson Kilpatrick led the 
cavalry, which careered in front and on either flank 
of the infantry. 

The 149th, with Slocum's wing, advanced by 
Covington, Madison and Eatonton, concentrating 
on Milledgeville, which was entered without opposi- 
tion. Sherman thus far accompanied the 14th 
corps. Slocum moved out of Milledgeville simul- 
taneously with Howard's advance from Gordon, 
and concentrated at Sandersville, driving out a small 
party of Wheeler's cavalry ; thence he followed the 
Central Railroad, breaking it up to the Ogeechee, 
which he crossed at Louisville, and thence kept 
north, striking out towards the Savannah. 

At Millen, on the Central Railroad, half way 
from Sandersville to Savannah, was a great prison 
camp where some thousands of our captured sol- 
diers had long endured unspeakable privations. 
Sherman was intent on reaching and liberating 
them, and for this purpose sent forward Kilpatrick 
with his cavalry; but the enemy took the alarm and 
removed the prisoners. Kilpatrick being harrassed 
and kept back by skirmishes with Wheeler's cav- 
alry. Our army visited this prison on their march 
after the prisoners had been removed. The 20th 
army corps, (Gen. Slocum's,) including the 149th, 
was the first to reach Savannah. It passed Mor- 
gan's and Carlin's divisions encamped about ten 
miles out, and hastened on to the city. On the loth 
of December, 1864, Savannah was completely be- 
leaguered, and Fort McAllister was that day carried 
by storm. Hardee, with 15,000 men, evacuated the 
city on the night of the 20th, escaping across the 
Savannah River on a pontoon bridge. He was un- 
observed by our pickets, as the night was dark and 
windy. Under cover of fire which he had kept up 
the day previous, he had destroyed the Navy ^'ard 
and two iron dads. Our troops now took posses- 
sion, the 149th being in advance and raising the 
flag on the dome of the City Hall. 

The taking of Fort McAllister by Hazen's divi- 
sion was a brilliant achievement. While the 
steamer sent by Gen. Foster and Admiral Dahlgren, 
to communicate with our army, was hesitating 
whether or not to approach the fort, at that moment 
Hazen's bugles sounded the charge ; when his divi- 
sion rushed over torpedoes and abatis, through a 
shower of grape, up to and over the parapet, and 
after a brief but desperate struggle, McAllister was 
ours. Her garrison of 200 surrendered, having 40 
or 50 killed and wounded to our 90. Among the 
spoils were 22 guns and much ammunition. Fort 
McAllister fell on the 13th of December; on the 
17th, Hardee was formally summoned to surrender 



the city ; on the 20th, the bombardment of the city 
commenced, and on that night Hardee evacuated, 
moving his force towards Charleston. 

The 149th was stationed as Provost Guard of a 
portion of the conquered city, and in this capacity 
had a season of relaxation and rest from the fatigues 
of the campaign, mingling in the social life of the 
city and enjoying balls and other pastimes. A loyal 
newspaper was printed and edited by a member of 
the 149th during their stay in Savannah, After 
being supplied with provisions and clothing, and 
leaving the city in charge of another corps, they 
were again on the march, and reached Sisters' 
Ferry with great difficulty on account of the floods 
and next to impassable condition of the roads. 
After some detention they crossed the Savannah 
River on pontoons and entered the State of South 
Carolina. Along their route the rebels had buried 
torpedoes, which exploded and severely injured 
several of the regiment. The march through South 
Carolina involved unusual hardships ; the weather 
having become exceedingly wet, the swamps flooded 
and the river high and swift. 

Fayetteville, North Carolina, was reached on the 
1 2th of March, 1865. Here the enemy halted three 
days, completely destroying the United States 
Arsenal and the costly machinery which had been 
brought here from Harper's Ferry at the time of its 
capture by the rebels in 1861. 

Sherman's movements from this point were very 
cautiously made. An immense army was concen- 
trating in his front ; Hardee from Savannah and 
Charleston, Beauregard from Columbia, Cheatham 
from the Tennessee, with considerable force drawn 
from North Carolina and her seaward defences un- 
der Bragg and Hoke, with Wheeler's and Hamp- 
ton's cavalry, making up a force of not less than 
40,000 men, mostly veterans, under the command 
of the able and wary Joe Johnston. It would no 
longer answer to move as hitherto ; our columns 
must be kept well closed up, the corps within easy 
supporting distance, on peril of surprise and disas- 
ter. True to his favorite policy, Sherman, on the 
15th of March, pushed four divisions of his left 
wing, covered by Kilpatrick's cavalry, directly north- 
ward to Averysboro, as a feint on Raleigh ; while 
Slocum's train, his two remaining divisions, and the 
right wing, moved by various roads nearly east, 
towards Goldsboro, his true destination. Sherman 
was on the left with Slocum, including the 149th, 
but had ridden across to the right wing, intent on 
reaching Goldsboro and meeting Gen. Schofield, 
when the sound of guns on the left again challenged 
his attention. Slocum, approaching Bentonville, had 

been assailed by Johnston with the entire rebel army. 
The divisions of the right wing were ordered at 
once to move on rapidly to the assistance of the 
outnumbered left. Slocum had encountered Dib- 
brell's cavalry, which he was driving, when he ran 
headlong upon the whole Confederate force, the two 
leading brigades of Carlin's division being hurled 
back upon the main body, with a loss of three guns 
and their caissons. Slocum thereupon very prop- 
erly stood on the defensive, showing a front of four 
divisions, and throwing up slight barricades, while 
Kilpatrick came into action on the left. Here our 
left withstood six assaults from Johnston's army 
inflicting heavy loss with our artillery, the enemy 
having brought up little or none. Johnston had 
hurried to this point by night from Smithfield, ex- 
pecting to crush Slocum before he could be sup- 
ported, but he was mistaken. Night fell without 
giving him any ground, and before morning Slocum 
got up his wagon train, with its guard of two divi- 
sions, while Hazen's division of the isth (Logan's) 
corps, came up on the right, rendering his position 
secure. The enemy not risking further attacks, 
Slocum awaited the arrival of Howard with the 
entire right wing. In the night Johnston retreated 
on Smithfield and Raleigh, so precipitately as to 
leave his pickets and his severely wounded behind. 

Our total loss here was 191 killed, 1,108 wounded, 
and 344 missing, in all 1,643. We buried here 267 
rebel dead, and took 1,625 prisoners, many of them 

No further resistance being made, our army moved 
on to Goldsboro, where it rested and was reclothed, 
much to the satisfaction of our 149th, for having 
passed through the tar regions of North Carolina 
and burned a number of rosin manufactories, they 
were so blackened and begrimmed with the smoke 
and cinders as to resemble more a regiment of col- 
ored troops than white soldiers. Their clothes 
were also worn and tattered, so that, as remarked 
by their Quartermaster, " fat, ragged and saucy," 
was a more apt description of them than any other 
combination of words in the English language. 

From Goldsboro the troops containing our regi- 
ment were marched to Raleigh, where they arrived 
on the 14th of April. While here news of the sur- 
render of Lee and his forces to Gen. Grant at 
Appomattox reached our headquarters and was 
hailed with tumultuous rejoicing by the whole 
army. A demonstration was made towards John- 
ston, but like a prudent commander, he also, after 
some formal negotiations, surrendered, and the 
great civil war was at an end. 

The order, " On to Richmond "—now much more 



easily executed than at the beginning of the warr — 
was heard through the ranks, and our army moved 
forward, reaching the " Rebel Capital " on the loth 
of May, passing in review through its principal 
streets. From Richmond to Washington, they 
passed through Chickahominy swamp and over their 
old stamping grounds, crossing the Rappahannock 
at United States Ford, and pausing a few moments 
on the field of their first battle at Chancellorsville. 
A rapid march brought them to Alexandria, whence 
they were moved across the Potomac to Washing- 
ton and soon after mustered out of the service. 

The remnant of the 149th soon returned home 
to receive the warm welcome of a grateful and 
generous people, who had watched their career in 
the army with pride and satisfaction. It is not too 
much to say that the 149th had as varied an experi- 
ence and made for themselves as honorable a 
record during the war of the rebellion, as any volun- 
teer regiment in the Union service. Their dead 
sleep in honored graves, and their living, many of 
them, have won that respect, both in military and 
civil afiTairs, to which their merits and sacrifices 
justly entitle them. 

Official Recokd ano List of Promotions of 
THE 149TH Regiment. 

Henry A. Harnum.Col., rank from September 17, 
'62, promoted to Hrig.-Gen., May 3i,'65 ; Nicholas 
Grumbach, Capt.. rank from September 2, '62, 
promoted to Major August 2, '64, to Lieut. -Col. 
May II, '65, to Col. June 7. '65, (Brevet Col., 
U. S. V.,) mustered out June. 12, '65; John M. 
Strong, Lieut. -Col., rank from September 5, '62, 
resigned March i. '63 ; Abel G. Cook. Major, rank 
from Sept. 8, '62, promoted to Lieut. Col. March i, 
'63, ( Hrevet Col , N. Y. V.) discharged July 2C, '64 ; 
Charles H. Randall, Major, rank from March 17, 
'63, promoted to Lieut.-Col. June 5, '63, killed in 
action July 20, '64 ; Edward U. Murray, Jr., ist 
Lieut , rank from Sept. 4, '62, promoted to Capt. 
March 4, '63, to Lieut.-Col. July 20, '64, mustered 
out June 12, '65 ; Henry H. Hurhans, ist Lieut., 
rank from Sept. 8, '62, promoted to Capt., Nov. 24, 
'62, to Major May 11, '65, mustered out June 12, 
'65 ; Walter M. Dallman, Adjutant, rank from Aug. 
29, '62, (Hrevet Major, N. Y. V.) discharged Mar. 
15, '65; Bela P. Hitchcock, Adjutant, rank from 
Mar. 15, "65, (Hrevet Capt., N. Y. V. ), mustered 
out June 12, '65 ; Moses Summers, Quartermaster, 
rank from Aug. 28, 'C2, promoted to Capt. and A. 
Q. M. July I, '64, (Brevet Major, N. Y. V.) ; Ham- 
ilton D. Borden, Q. M., rank from July i, '64, 
(Brevet Capt., N. Y. V.) mustered out June 12, '65 ; 
James V. Kendall, Surgeon, rank from Aug. 22, 
'62, (Brevet Lieut.-Col.. N. Y. V.) mustered out 
June 12, '65 ; Horace Nims, Assist.-Surgeon, rank 
from Sept. 19, '62, resigned March 17, '63 ; Henry 
F. Adams, Assist.-Surgeon. rank from April 2, '63, 
(Brevet Major, N. Y. V.) mustered out June 12, 

'65 ; Albert W. Phillips, Assist.-Surgeon, rank from 
Oct. 9, '62, resigned Nov. 24, "63 ; Arvine C. 
Bowdish, Chaplain, rank from Sept. 18, '62. (Brevet 
Major, N. Y. V. 1, resigned Sept. 3. "63 ; Solomon 
Light, Capt., rank from Aug. 30, '62, resigned Jan. 
17, '63 ; Oliver T. May, Capt., rank from Jan. 
17. '63, (Brevet Major, N. Y. V.'i mustered out 
June 12, '65 ; Jacob Knapp, 2d Lieut., rank from 
Sept. 2. '62, promoted to ist Lieut. April 4, '63, to 
Capt. Aug. 2, '64, (Brevet Major, N. Y. V.), 
mustered out June 12, '65 ; James Lynch, Jr., Capt., 
rank from Sept. 4, '63, resigned F^cb. 15, '63 ; Thos. 
GatTncy. ist Lieut., rank from April 24, '63, pro- 
moted to Capt. Oct. 31, '64, resigned June 3. '65 ; 
Morris K. Baker, ist Lieut., rank from April 12, 
'64, promoted to Capt. June 7, '65, mustered out 
June 12, "65 ; J. Forman Wilkinson, Capt, rank 
from Sept. 4, '62, resigned Dec. 7, '62, ( Brevet Ma- 
jor N. Y. v.): Park Wheeler, ist Lieut., rank 
from Sept. 4, '62, promoted to Capt. Dec. 30, '62, 
resigned Aug. 7, '64 (Brevet Major N. Y. V.); 
Oliver L. F. Brown, 2d Lieut., rank from Dec. 7, 
'62, promoted to ist Lieut. June I, '64, to Capt. 
Oct. 31, '64, ( Brevet Major N. Y. V.,i mustered 
out June 12, '65 ; Ira B. Seymour, Capt , rank from 
1 Sept. 5, '62, (Brevet Major U. S. V.,) mustered out 
June 12, '65 ; William Pullen, 2d Lieut., rank from 
I May 3, '63, promoted to ist Lieut. Aug. 12, '63, 
, to Capt. June 7, '65, (Brevet Major, N. Y. Vols.,) 
mustered out June 12, '65 ; Judson H. Graves, 
Capt., rank from Sept. 8, '62, resigned Oct. 23, '62 ; 
Theodore E. Stevens, 2d Lieut , rank from Sept. 
8, '62. promoted to ist Lieut. June 10, '64, to Capt. 
May 1 1, '65, (Brevet Major U. S. V.), mustered out 
June 12, '65 ; Eben G. Tosvnsend, Capt., rank from 
Sept. 9, '62, discharged Feb. 4, '64 ; Andreas Cas- 
sard, Capt., rank from April 20, '64, declined ; Geo. 
G. Truair, 2d Lieut., rank from Aug. 9, '63, pro- 
moted to 1st Lieut. July 14, '64, to Capt. April 22, 
'65, ( Brevet Major N. Y. V.,1 mustered out June 12, 
'65 : Robert E. Hopkins, Capt., rank from Sept. 
10, '62, promoted to Major Feb. 29, '64; Orson 
Coville, 1st Lieut., rank from Sept. 5, '62, promoted 
to Capt. F"eb. 29, '64, mustered out June 12, '65, 
(Brevet Major N. Y. V.); Thomas Merriam, 2d 
Lieut., rank from Sept. 10, '62, promoted to ist 
Lieut. Aug. 14, '63, to Capt. July 14, '64, (Brevet 
Major N. Y. V.,) mustered out June 12, '65 ; David 
Lindsay, Capt., rank from Sept. 12, '62 ; killed in 
action near Atlanta, Ga., July 20, '64 ; Alexander 
[ McKinstry, 2d Lieut., rank from Jan. 13, '63, pro- 
moted to 1st Lieut. May 15, '63, to Capt. July 20, 
I '64, discharged May 15, '65 ; James E. Doran, 
' Capt., rank from Sept. 17, '62, discharged Feb. 5, 
I '64; Charles E. Coville,*Capt.. rank from Mar. 29, 
' '64. not mustered ; Samuel Bronner, ist Lieut., 
rank from Aug. 30, '62, resigned Feb. 8, '63 ; Mathew 
H. Westcott, 2d Lieut., rank from Aug. 30, "62, 
! promoted to ist Lieut., March 4, '63, (Brevet Capt. 
; N. Y. v.). discharged Feb. 5, '64 ; William Wills, 
1st Lieut., rank from March 16, '64, mustered out 
June 12, '65 ; Philip Eckle, ist Lieut., rank from 
1 Sept. 2, '62, discharged Dec. 21, '63, (Brevet Capt. 
I N. Y. V. ) ; John F. Wheeler, 2d Lieut., rank from 
May 7, '64, promoted to ist Lieut. June 7, '65, ( Bre- 



vet Capt. N. Y. V.,) mustered out June 12, '65 ; 
John B. Foote, ist Lieut , rank from Feb. 15. '6t„ 
declined ; George W. Phillips, 2d Lieut., rank from 
Aug. 7, '64, promoted to ist Lieut. April 22, '65, 
mustered out June I2, '65 ; William W. Mosely, 2d 
Lieut., rank from Sept. 4, '62, promoted to 1st 
Lieut. Dec. 30, '62, discharged May 11, '63 ; Elisha 
Houghkirk, 2d Lieut, rank from March 15, '65, 
promoted to ist Lieut. June 7, '65, (Brevet Capt. 
N. Y. V.,) mustered out June 12, '65 ; Edward F. 
Hopkins, ist Lieut., rank from Jan. 30, '64, resigned 
Sept. 14, '64; Nicholas Cooney, ist Lieut, rank 
from Dec. 22, '64, declined ; Philip Hiorsh, ist 
Lieut., rank from March i, '65, (Brevet Capt. N Y. 
v.), mustered out June 12, '65 ; William Gleason, 
1st Lieut , rank from Nov. 25, '62, resigned May 25, 
'64; Joseph Gay, ist Lieut., rank from May 

11, '65, (Brevet Capt. N. Y. V..) mustered out 
June 12, '65 ; Byron A. Wood, ist Lieut., rank 
from Sept. 9, '62, resigned Dec. 6, '62 ; Willis 
S. Barnum, 1st Lieut., rank from Feb. 7, '6^, ( Brevet 
Capt. N. Y. V.) resigned May 24. '64 ; John H. 
Patterson, 2d Lieut., rank from July 3, '64, pro- 
moted to 1st Lieut., Aug. 7,'64, (Brevet Capt, N. Y. 
V.) mustered out June 12, '65 ; Ohio L. Palmer, ist 
Lieut., rank from Sept. 10, '62, resigned June 24, 
'6^ ; George H. Diety, ist Lieut., rank from Aug. 
28, '65, (Brevet Capt. N. Y. V.) mustered out June 

12, '65 ; George K. Collins, ist Lieut., rank from 
Sept. 12, '62, (Brevet Capt. N. Y. V.) resigned April 
24, '64; John Kohl, 1st Lieut., rank from June 7, 
'65, (Brevet Capt. N. Y. V.) not mustered ; John 
Van Wie, 1st Lieut., rank from Sept. 17, '62, re- 
signed Jan. 13, '63 ; Benjamin F. Breed, 2d Lieut, 
rank from Sept. 17, '62, promoted to ist Lieut. May 

3, '63, killed in action at Chancellorsville May 3, 
'63 ; Burnett E. Miller, 2d Lieut., rank from Oct 
14, '63, promoted to 1st Lieut. Jan. 6, '64, mustered 
out June 12, '65 ; Joseph Seymour, Jr., rank from 
Feb. 8, '6s, discharged Aug, 9, '6^ ; Philip M. 
Sours, 2d Lieut., rank from June 3, '64, not mus- 
tered ; William Savage, 2d Lieut., rank from Sept. 

4, '62, resigned Mar. 29, '63 ; Fred'k O. Waters, 2d 
Lieut., rank from Aug. 12, '63, not mustered ; Abram 
H. Spore, 2d Lieut., rank from Dec. 7, '62, resigned 
Mar. 3, '64 ; Harvey Siver, 2d Lieut., rank from 
Mar. 29, '64, mustered out June 12, '65 ; Edward 
F. Hopkins, 2d Lieut., rank from Sept. 5, '62, pro- 
moted to 1st Lieut. April 4, '64 ; mustered out June 
12, '65 ; Jacob Waling, 2d Lieut., rank from June 
7/65, not mustered, (Brevet ist Lieut. N. Y. V.) ; 
Lucius W. Ramsey, 2d Lieut., rank from Mar. 15, 
'65, mustered out June 12, '65 ; Thomas A. Bene- 
dict, 2d Lieut., rank from Sept. 9, '62, resigned 
Dec. 6, '62 ; David R. Wilson, 2d Lieut., rank from 
June 14, '64, not mustered, deserted ; Francis 
Becker, 2d Lieut., rank from June 7, '65, not mus- 
tered, (Brevet ist Lieut. N. Y. V.) ; Z. Carter Pat- 
ten, 2d Lieut., rank from Feb. 23, '64, resigned July 

5, '64; George H. Deitz, 2d Lieut., rank from July 
5, '64, promoted to ist Lieut. April 22, '65 ; John 
T. Rowe, 2d Lieut., rank from Sept. 12, '62, re- 
signed Dec. 12, '62 ; Joseph A. Davis, 2d Lieut., 
rank from Dec. 12, '62, killed in action at Chancel- 
lorsville May 3, '63 ; William O'Reiley, 2d Lieut., 

rank from July 3, '64, not mustered, (Brevet ist 
Lieut. N. Y. V.) ; Andreas Cassard, 2d Lieut., rank 
from March 24, '64, declined ; Franklin Sours, 2d 
Lieut., rank from April 20, '64, not mustered ; Jacob 
Schwartz, 2d Lieut., rank from Mar. 28, '65, not 
mustered, (Brevet ist Lieut. N. Y. V. ) ; David Gere, 
2d Lieut., rank from June 7, '65, not mustered, 
(Brevet ist Lieut. N. Y. V.) ; Adolphus J. Fi.x, 2d 
Lieut., rank from June 7, '65, (Brevet ist Lieut N. 
Y. v.), not mustered ; Milton E. Miller, 2d Lieut., 
rank from Mar. i, '65, mustered out June 12, '65 ; 
George P. Frost 2d Lieut, rank from Jan. 7, '65, 
not mustered, (Brevet ist Lieut. N. Y. V.) 

Brevet Commissions Issued by the Governor 
TO Enlisted Men of the 149TH Regiment. 

^a'/k. Name. Brevet Rank. 

Sergeant, John W. Vaugh 2d Lieut 

Q. Sergeant, Dudley D K. Marvin, 2d Lieut. 

Sergeant Augustus P. Brown, 2d Lieut 

Sergeant, Joseph F. Thomas, 2d Lieut 

Private, William Fehrenz, 2d Lieut. 

Private, George W. Chase, 2d Lieut 

Private, George I. Sager, 2d Lieut. 

Com'sary Sergt., Henry L. Purdy, 2d Lieut 

Private, Oliver Ormsby, 2d Lieut. 

Sergeant, Howard B. Sloan, 2d Lieut 

Sergeant William Cross, 2d Lieut 

Sergeant, William Cahill, 2d Lieut 

Medals of honor were awarded by the Secretary 
of War to the following : 

First Lieutenant, N. F. Potter ; Private, Peter 
Kappesser ; Private, Philip Goettel. 


The One Hundred and Eighty-Fifth New 
York Volunteers — Organization — Arrival 
in Front of Petersburg — Destruction of 
the Weldon Railroad — Winter Quarters 
— Battle of Hatcher's Run — Attack on 
Fort Steedman. 

THE 185th was the fourth complete regiment 
of volunteer infantry from Onondaga county, 
raised late in the war, and composed largely 
of artisans, farmers, mechanics and profes- 
sional men. It was its peculiar fortune to be 
mustered into the service when hard fighting had 
to be done, which continued with little interruption 
to the close of the war. The 185th was organized 
as follows : 

Field and Staff Officers— Edwin S. Jenney, 
Colonel ; Gustavus Sniper, Lieutenant-Colonel ; 
John Leo, Major ; Byron Mudge, Adjutant ; 
William Gilbert, Quartermaster; Charles W. 
Crarey, Surgeon ; G. L. Newcomb, Assistant Sur- 
geon ; Chester W. Hawley, Chaplain. 

Line Officers— Company A : Stephen O. How- 
ard, Captain; Ephraim F. Bander, ist Lieutenant; 



William A. Brooks, 2d Lieutenant. Company B: 
John Listman, Captain ; William A. RofT, ist 
Lieutenant ; John Herron, 2d Lieutenant. Com- 
pany C : Henry D. Carhart, Captain ; John T. 
Hostler, ist Lieutenant; Charles J. Rector, 2d 
Lieutenant. Company D : Daniel N. Lathrop, 
Captain; Theo<lore M. Barber, ist Lieutenant; 
Henry L. Kinf^sley, 2d Lieutenant. Company E : 
Robert F. Bush, Captain ; Robert C. Rorepaugh, ist 
Lieutenant ; Pembroke Pierce, 2d Lieutenant. 
Company F: John W. Strowbridge, Captain ; An- 
drew J Lyman, 1st Lieutenant : Harrison Givins, 
2d Lieutenant. Company G : Albern H. Barber, 
Captain ; Hiram Clark, ist Lieutenant ; Daniel 
Minier, 2d Lieutenant. Company H : Daniel 
Christler, Captain ; Stephen S. Jordan, ist Lieu- 
tenant ; Stephen R. Hitchcock, 2d Lieutenant. 
Company I : Jarcd F. Abbott, Captain ; H. Wads- 
worth Clarke, 1st Lieutenant; Jacob M. Doran, 2d 
Lieutenant. Company K : Abram H. Spore, 
Captain ; Cyrus A. Phillips, ist Lieutenant ; Lewis 
S. Edgar, 2d Lieutenant. 

This regiment was organized at Syracuse and 
mustered into the service September 22, 1864. On 
the 23d they left for City Point, where they arrived 
t/rf F"ortress Monroe on the 30lh, and were that 
night ordered into action, an attack being made on 
the Union forces at Warren Station, where a light 
skirmish ensued. On the 4th of October the regi- 
ment was assigned to the First Brigade, First Divi- 
sion, Fifth Army Corps : Gen. S. Warren, Corps 
Commander. The division was commanded by 
Gen. Charles Griffin, and the brigade by Gen. 
Sickles. The regiment moved on the 4th from 
Warren Station to Poplar Grove Church, where 
they went into camp and remained till Sunday the 
i6th. On Saturday, October 8, an attack was made 
by the rebels and the 185th was ordered to sup- 
port Gen. Aycrs, in command of a brigade of the 
9th corps. A fight ensued in which the rebels were 
repulsed. No further incident of interest occurred 
while in camp here, e-xcept the capturing of a rebel 
spy by one of the pickets of the 185th. He was 
an engineer and had a complete map of the whole 
Union lines and defences from City Point to the 
e.xtremc left, extending over twenty miles. The 
map was concealed next his person. He offered 
money to be allowed to escape ; but was tried by 
court-marshal and shot by order of Gen. Warren. 

October 16. The brigade and division moved to 
the Squirrel Level Road in front of Petersburg 
and went into camp. Here the officers of the 185th 
presented Colonel Jenney with a horse. On the 
27th, a move was made on the South-side Railroad, 
where an engagement occurred in which three men 
of the 185th were wounded. After the battle they 
returned to the same camp on the 29th of October. 
On the 3d of December the army was ordered to 

move on the Weldon Railroad for the purpose of 
destroying the track, to prevent the communication 
of the rebel army stationed about Petersburg with 
their base of supplies at Weldon. This road was 
used by the enemy in transporting supplies from 
North Carolina nearly up to our lines, whence they 
were wagoned around our left to Lee's camps. The 
expedition consisted of Warren's 15th 1 corps, Mott's 
division of the 2d corps and Gregg's mounted divi- 
sion. They moved down the railroad as far as the 
Meherrin, across which to Hicksford the rebels 
were driven, while the road was effectually destroyed 
down to that point — some twenty miles. The 
track was taken up and the rails heated and bent 
so that they could not again be used. The im- 
mense amount of rebel supplies at this point was 
captured ; in this expedition the 185th bore a 
conspicuous part. On the 12th of December, they 
went into camp at the Gurley House near Warren 
Station. The snow, sleet and rain were terrible ; 
and on the march, without preparations to with- 
stand the inclemency of the weather, the regiment 
suffered severely ; one man, being compelled to 
march, fell out by the way and was never heard of 
afterwards. He probably perished. 

Here the division went into winter quarters, con- 
structing their camp in a dense pine forest and 
clearing the ground, so that not a stump remained, 
in an incredibly short time. The Quartermaster, 
by order of Gen. Griffin, detached 125 men to raid 
into the country to secure materials for the officers' 
quarters. This was successfully accomplished and 
in due time neat and comfortable quarters were 
erected, which were occupied till the 5th of P'ebru- 
ary, 1865. During the winter a large church sixty 
feet long was built of pine logs hewed on the inside, 
which made a comfortable place of worship. It 
was roofed with tent-cloth furnished by the Chris- 
tian Commission ; a platform at one end for the 
preacher was built of some of the pine lumber ob- 
tained on the raid ; and seals were constructed of 
hewed pine slabs set upon legs. Here Sergeant 
Brcgg was killed by rebel guerrillas — shot through 
with five bullets and stripped of his clothes. The 
health of the regiment during the winter was excel- 
lent. Gen. Warren here sent an invitation to Col. 
Sniper and staff to make him a New Year's call at 
his headquarters, in compliment to the gallant ser- 
vices of the 185th Col. Jenney was then absent 
on a visit to the east. 

On the 4th of February, 1865, orders were re- 
ceived to be in readiness to march at a moment's 
warning, and on Sunday morning the 5th, before 
daylight, our forces were ordered to move in the 



direction of Hatcher's Run ; and on the afternoon 
of the same day occurred the second battle of Hatch- 
er's Run, lasting till next day, in which the 185th 
suffered severely. Two men in Company A were 
killed ; one in Company C ; Capt. John Listman, 
Company B, wounded in the thigh so badly that 
his leg had to be amputated close to the body ; 
Major Bush taken prisoner and sent to Libby Prison. 
Among the privates a considerable number were 

During the early part of this engagement the 
185th Regiment was held in reserve. About the 
middle of the afternoon, however, the first brigade, 
commanded by Col. Sickle, composed of his regi- 
ment (the 198th Pensylvania) and the iS5th New 
York, was hastily ordered forward to relieve the 2d 
division of the 5th corps. This division, composed 
largely of regulars and commanded by Gen. Ayers, 
a regular army officer, occupied a position in front 
of a piece of woods. In its front was an open field, 
upon the opposite side of which were one or two 
small buildings and a sudden declivity in the ground, 
occupied by the enemy and answering the purpose 
of an intrenchment. Gen. Ayres' division had 
here suffered terribly. 

As our brigade marched for nearly half a mile 
along the road through the woods, we met the 
wounded from this division being borne back by the 
hospital corps ; some hastily bandaged, others with 
undressed, gaping wounds ; some besmeared with 
blood, others pallid as though in the grasp of death. 
It was a trying ordeal for our men — a severe test of 
their courage ; even the bravest pushed forward with 
blanched cheek. 

As we moved upon the field Ayers' division 
moved off. An occasional shot developed the near 
presence of the enemy, but the fight there seemed 
to be over. We had scarcely moved from flank into 
line, however, before a terrific fire was opened upon 
us by the enemy. Our brigade commander was 
one of the first wounded and as he was carried off 
the field sent his staff to report to Col. Jenney, who 
was thus left in command of the brigade. 

Col. Jenney appreciated the danger of attempt- 
ing to hold his open position against an enemy 
substantially covered, and instantly ordered the 
brigade forward. The brigade moved in excellent 
form. No command to charge was given. It 
would have probably been dangerous to do so, as 
the enemy were upon both our flanks and it was 
necessary to keep the troops well in hand. For- 
ward went the brigade, through the smoke and 
against the bullets. It was the work of a few 
minutes only. There was no wavering — con- 

stantly, steadily forward ! The firing slackened, 
ceased— the enemy was gone. We were the 
masters of the field. 

Many brave fellows fell, but the loss was slight 
compared to that which must have occurred if the 
enemy had not at once been driven from the field. 

We retained our position until evening when un- 
der cover of darkness we retired to the main line. 

After the engagement Col. Jenney sent Major 
Bush to reconnoiter our right Bank and station 
pickets ; in performing which duty, when scarcely 
out of speaking distance from his regiment, con- 
cealed from them only by the intervening under- 
brush, he was captured with a squad of his men. 
He was sent to Libby prison, and the regiment, 
during most of its subsequent service was deprived 
of one of its best officers. 

The brigade was warmly commended by Gen. 
Griffin for its gallant service, and its praise was fairly 
earned, for seldom had a single brigade accom- 
plished so important results at so small a sacrifice. 

After this engagement the regiment went into 
camp at Hatcher's Run. Here, on the second day 
after the battle, Colonel Jenney took his departure 
from the regiment. At the time he was commis- 
sioned as Colonel of the regiment he was Major 
of the 3d New York Artillery and acting as Provost 
Judge of North Carolina at Newbern and had, after 
notice of his promotion, been taken prisoner by 
the enemy, as has been stated in the narrative 
of "Jenney's battery." Notwithstanding the fact 
that he was a paroled prisoner he had been mustered 
in as Colonel of the regiment, and taken the regi- 
ment into the field. He expected to obtain an im- 
mediate exchange. Rut while he regarded himself 
as bound by his parole, the War Department was 
of the opinion that the officer who captured and 
paroled him had sufficient authority to capture, but 
none to parole, and that Col. Jenney was therefore 
to be regarded as an escaped rather than a paroled 

In this situation Col. Jenney remained during 
his term of service with the regiment. He en- 
deavored to induce the Secretary of War to relieve 
him from the responsibility of his situation by mak- 
ing an order declaring that he was not paroled and 
ordering him upon duty, but the Secretary of War 
refused to do so lest an embarrassing precedent 
might thus be established. 

His only relief from this unfortunate situation 
seemed to be to retire from the service, and accord- 
ingly he had forwarded his resignation about the 
mfddle of January. This resignation had been 
accepted, and an order honorably discharging him 



from service had been received by Gen. Griffin just 
before the last cni;agement. At his request, how- 
ever, it had been retained by the General until the 
advance then contemplated had been made, and 
now was delivered to him. 

Upon the morning of his departure the regiment 
was formed in square, and the command turned 
over to Lieut.-Col. Sniper in a short speech, praising 
the regiment, highly complimenting Col. Sniper, 
and reluctantly saying farewell. 

Col. Sniper was immediately promoted, and com- 
manded the regiment during the remainder of its 

The regiment remained in camp at Hatcher's 
Run till March 29, 1865, when the grand movement 
for the closing struggle of the rebellion was made. 
On the 25th of March, the division was ordered out 
before daylight, at 3 o'clock, a. m.. the rebels having 
made an assault upon Fort Steedman, near City 
Point. It was stated in the order that an attack 
was probably being made along the whole line, and 
that a general engagement was imminent, which 
proved true. General Lee, foreseeing clearly the 
speedy downfall of the Confederate cause, unless 
averted by a prompt concentration of his remaining 
forces, and a telling blow delivered thereby on some 
one of our encircling aimies, which were now prob- 
ably crushing out the life of the Rebellion, resolved 
to anticipate Grant's initiative by an attack on his 
lines before Petersburg and Richmond. This attack 
was made on Fort Steedman, nearly east of Peters- 
burg, where its success would have cut our army 
in two and probably compelled a hasty reconstruc- 
tion to recover our lines and works ; thereby open- 
ing a door for the unassailed withdrawal of the rebel 
army southward by the most direct route to unite 
with that of Johnston, and thus overpower Sher- 
man. The assault was delivered by Gordon with 
two divisions— all the disposable rebel army of Vir- 
ginia being collected just behind the assaulting 
column and held in hand as a support. Gordon 
charged at daybreak on the 25th of March. His 
men rushed instantly across the narrow space sepa- 
rating the confronting lines, and pouring into Fort 
Steedman, which was held by the 14th New York 
Artillery, completely surprised and captured the 
garrison. The guns, whereof three batteries were 
taken by the rebels, were instantly turned on the 
adjacent works of Fort Haskell, next to Fort Steed- 
man on the left. Here their triumph ended. They 
failed to rush forward and sieze the crest of the 
ridge behind the forts. 

The 20,000 men whom Lee had massed in the 
rear of the charge were either not ordered forward 

or failed to respond. The result was that instead 
of cuttmg our army in two as they had intended, 
they had divided their own and isolated a portion of 
it in the midst of an army of foes. Our forces 
rallied and swept the field, capturing 2,000 prisoners. 
The battle lasted till after nightfall. About 3 
o'clock p. M. an attack was made on the extreme 
left, where the 185th were on the right of the 2d 
corps and in the thick of the fight. A terrible 
battle soon raged along the entire line. The ground 
was soon covered with the dead and wounded, 
among whom fell several of the 185th. The rebels 
were driven back with heavy loss. The reports of 
the battle make the loss about equal on both sides 
— 2,500 besides the 2,000 rebel prisoners taken by 
our army. After the battle our soldiers returned 
to camp at Hatcher's Run and remained till the 
29th of March, at which date Gen. Grant had de- 
termined to advance the left wing of his army. On 
the 28th, orders were received to move at 3 o'clock 
ne.xt morning. Three divisions of the Army of the 
James, now commanded by Gen. Ord, being with- 
drawn from the banks of the James River, where it 
had menaced Richmond, and brought over to the 
left of our lines facing Petersburg. V\'arren's (5th) 
and Humphreys' (2d) corps moved quietly out 
southward till they had crossed Hatcher's Run, 
when, facing northward, they advanced cautious- 
ly, feeling for the enemy's right. Sheridan was on 
our extreme left at the head of nearly 10.000 cav- 
alry, acting under orders directly from Gen. Grant. 
The 9th (Parke's) and one of Ord's divisions were 
left to hold our extended lines under the command 
of Gen. Parke ; all dismounted troopers being ordered 
to report to Gen. Benham, who guarded our im- 
mense depot of supplies at City Point. 

Humphreys crossed Hatcher's Run at the 
Vaughan Road ; Warren, moving further to the 
left, crossed four miles below (the stream here, since 
its junction with Gravelly Run, being Rowanty 
Creek,) and moved up the Quaker Road, to strike 
the Boydton Plank Road ; Sheridan moved nearly 
south to Dinwiddle Court House, where, at 5 p. m., 
he halted for the night. Warren's corps alone, en- 
countered any serious resistance on this day, the 
29th. Continuing their march till about 2 o'clock, 
they arrived at Quaker Farm and were there met 
by the enemy. A fierce engagement ensued. 
During the action our forces were being repulsed, 
the 2d division retreating in great disorder, when 
Gen Chamberlain, in command of the ist, 
rode up to the Colonel of the 185th, saying : " For 
God's sake, Col. Sniper, can you save the day with 
your regiment ?" The Colonel replied : " General, 



I can try." He immediately formed his regiment 
in line of battle. The balance of the brigade, con- 
sisting of the 189th Pennsylvania, had shared in the 
retreat, leaving the 185th to stand the ground alone. 
They were ordered to charge the enemy. The 
charge was made with great spirit over an eminence, 
where they met the advancing columns of the rebels 
in pursuit of our retreating forces, and, making a 
desperate charge, hurled back the foe, but with 
great loss to our gallant regiment. The killed and 
wounded were 180 ; all the officers of some of the 
companies were either killed or disabled ; so that 
there were not line officers enough to command the 

This charge lasted scarcely more than half an 
hour, but it was one of the most desperate and im- 
portant in its results of any during the war. The 
aim of the rebels seemed to be to shoot down our 
colors. William Tyler, of Company D, was Color- 
Bearer of the regiment. He was shot first. The 
colors were then seized by a private, who was im- 
mediately shot. Private Benjamin Wilson, of Com- 
pany D, then seized and bore aloft the fallen stand- 
ard, but was instantly shot and wounded. Then 
Private Herman Rice, of Company B, sprang for- 
ward and raised the colors, but the arm which lifted 
them was immediately pierced by a rebel ball, and 
they again fell. Col. Sniper being dismounted in 
the thick of the charge, seeing the colors drop, 
rushed forward and seized them, and whirling them 
above his head, shouted, "Men of the 185th, for- 
ward !" A wild yell was sent up from the ranks, 
and rushing forward with their gallant leader, the 
day was won. After the engagement the general 
officers complimented Col. Sniper in person upon 
the gallantry and valor of his regiment in that ter- 
rible charge, and said that they had saved the day. 

March 30th and 31st. While the Union forces 
were driving the rebels, several minor engagements 
occurred. Warren had pushed forward skirmishers 
on his left to seize the White Oak Road beyond the 
rebel right, and had ordered Ayers to advance 
Winthrop's brigade through the woods to support 
the effort. At half past 10 a. m., Lee dealt him an 
unexpected and staggering blow, striking Ayres 
heavily in flank and rear, hurling his division back 
on Crawford's, which likewise broke. For a 
moment there was a prospect of another Chancel- 
lorsville. But behind these two stood Griffin's 
division, well posted in more open ground, whence 
it refused to be driven. It held its ground against 
the rebel advance till the routed divisions rallied and 
formed behind it, enabling Warren to assume the 
offensive. Humphreys sent in Miles' division on 

Warren's right to strike the enemy's left flank. 
Before these well-timed charges the enemy recoiled, 
taking refuge behind his intrenchments along the 
White Oak Road, and losing heavily in prisoners. 
Meantime Sheridan had advanced to Five Forks 
and had fought the rebels from there to Dinwiddle 
Court House and back— one of the most brilliant 
actions of the war. 


One Hundred and Eighty-Fifth Regiment 
Continued — Battle of Five Forks — Bom- 
bardment OF Petersburg — Lee's Telegram 
to Jeff. D.a^vis — Evacuation of Richmond — 
Flight and Capture of the Rebel Army — 
Return Home of the Regiment — List of 

THE battle of Five Forks, one of the most 
memorable of the great campaigns which 
closed the rebellion, was begun on Saturday, April 
I, at about 3 p. m., and continued without cessation 
of firing till Sunday morning at daylight. Nearly 
the entire force on both sides was engaged. The 
5th corps was on the right and in the hottest part 
of the contest. The rebels were strongly intrenched 
and fought with desperation, knowing their fate 
depended on the battle. Adjutant Mudge, of Col. 
Sniper's staff, was severely wounded in the arm, 
which resulted in the permanent loss of its use, and 
several officers and privates were killed and wounded. 
During this battle 4,022 rebel prisoners were taken. 
Greeley, speaking of this battle, says : '■ The Con- 
federates, facing their foes in each direction, stood 
bravely to their arms. * * * In a few minutes 
Ayers' division burst over their flank intrenchments 
taking 1,000 prisoners ; while Griffin struck their 
refused flank in the rear, capturing 1,500 more ; and 
Crawford, resisted only by skirmishers, pressed for- 
ward rapidly to the Ford Road, running northward 
from their center, precluding the retreat towards 
Lee ; and then turning southward on that road, 
came rapidly down upon their rear, taking four guns 
■ — our cavalry all the time sharply assailing their 
front and right, and at length charging over their 
intrenchments, as Ayers and Griffin, having turned 
their left out of its works, bore down upon its re- 
newed front, hurling all that remained of the 
enemy in disorderly flight westward, charged 
and pursued for miles by our cavalry, until long 
after dark, and until our prisoners exceeded 5,000 ; 
while our total loss this day (April i.) was about 
1,000. At this cost Lee's right wing had been sub- 
stantially demolished. Among our killed was Brig. 



Gen. Frederick Winthrop, Colonel of the 9th New 
York, and cousin of Major Theodore Winlhroj), 
killed at Big Bethel." Griffin was now ordered 
with two divisions of infantry to Gravelly Church, 
some miles towards Petersburg, to reopen his com- 
munication with the rest of the army, while 
Griffin's own division (now Bartlett's) supported 
McKinzie's cavalry, which had pushed northward 
up the Ford Road to Hatcher's Run. As darkness 
set in, our guns in position in front of Petersburg 
opened from right to left, making the night lurid 
with a bombardment that proclaimed the signal 
victory just achieved on our left, and predicted 
more decisive triumphs at hand. Parke and Ord 
assaulted the rebel works at daybreak on Sunday 
morning, April 2, carrying with the 9th corps the 
outer line, but being intercepted by an inner line 
behind them, which he could not force. Wright, , 
on his left, with the 6th corps, supported by two 
divisions of Ord's, charging at dawn, drove every- 
thing before him up to the Boydton Road, on which, 
wheeling to the left towards Hatcher's Run, he 
swept down the rear of the rebel intrenchments, 
capturing many guns and several thousand prison- 
ers. Meantime Ord'solher division had forced the 
enemy's lines at the Run, and now Wright and Ord 
swung to the right, pressing on Petersburg from the 
west, while Humphreys, to the left, with Hayes' 
and Mott's divisions of the 2d corps, having stormed j 
a redoubt in his front, came up with two divisions, 
closing in on their left. Thereupon the rebel lines 
defending Petersburg on the south were assaulted 
by Gibbon's division of Ord's corps, which carried 
by storm two strong and important works — Forts 
Gregg and Alexander. This shortened our be- , 
sieging lines, and weakened the rebel defence of the 
city. Lee, seeing that Petersburg must soon fall, 
telegraphed to Jeff. Davis at Richmond at half-past 
10 A. M.. on Sunday, April 2 : ' 

" My lines are broken in three places. Richmond 
^ust be evacuated this evening." 

The message reached Davis at 1 1 a. m. in church, 
when he quietly read it and retired. It produced a 
profound dread and apprehension of the impending 
fate of the city. " Men, women and children 
rushed from the churches, passing from lip to lip 
the news of the impending fall of Richmond ; or, 
whispering with white lips, the foe, thej' come, they 

This was a terrible revelation to burst in upon 
the calm of that beautiful spring Sunday morning. 
Says Pollard : " It was difficult to believe it. To 
look up to the calm, beautiful sky of that spring 
day, unassailed by one single noise of battle, to 

watch the streets, unvexed by artillery or troops, 
stretching away into the quiet, hazy atmosphere, 
and believe that the capital of the Confederacy, 
so peaceful, so apparently secure, was in a few hours 
to be the prey of the enemy, and to be wrapped in 
the infernal horrors of a conflagration ! " 

Richmond was evacuated that night. The rebels 
set fire to the city with their own hands. The 
flames were quenched before producing utter de- 
struction by Union soldiers who first entered the 
city under Gen. Weitzel, Monday morning. April 3, 
1865. Before noon of that day the news of Rich- 
mond's fall had been flashed across the loyal States, 
and was soon confirmed by telegrams from President 
Lincoln, then at City Point, and from the Secretary 
of War at Washington. Petersburg was evacuated 
simultaneously with Richmond, and so noiselessly 
that our pickets, scarcely a stone's throw from the 
abandoned lines, knew not that the enemy were mov- 
ing till morning showed that they were gone. The 
rebel government, with its belongings, had passed 
down the railroad several miles north of Petersburg 
to Danville, where it halted, and whither Lee hoped 
to follow with the rest of his army, and thence form a 
junction with Johnston in North Carolina. Here 
the last important battle before the surrender, oc- 
curred, in which our arrhy took 1,400 prisoners. 
On the 6th of April, Gen. Davies struck Lee's 
train, moving in advance of his infantry, at Paine's 
Cross Roads, and destroyed 180 wagons, capturing 
four guns and a large number of prisoners. Ord, 
on the same day, reaching out from Jetersville, 
struck the head of Lee's advancing columns at 
Farmville, as it was preparing to cross the Appo- 
matto.x. Here a sharp engagement took place. 
Brig.-Gen. Theodore Read was killed. The attack, 
however, arrested the march of the enemy. Lee 
crossed the Appomattox on the night of the 6th, 
and his rear guard had just crossed and set fire to 
the bridges at dawn on the morning of the 7th, when 
the second corps (Humphreys') which had now 
taken the lead, rushed up in time to save the bridge 
on the wagon road. Over this Barlow's division 
crossed, capturing 18 guns which had been aban- 
doned by the rear guard of the rebels in their hasty 
retreat. The rebels halted and intrenched them- 
selves four or five miles north of Farmville, where 
they were attacked by a portion of our forces, and 
again retreated on the night of the 7th to Appo- 
mattox Station. Here they were overtaken on 
Sunday the 9th by our main force. Griffin and 
Ord, with the 5th,24lh,and one division of the2Slh 
corps, by a forced march, reached Appomattox Sta- 
tion about daylight in the morning. Greeley gives 



the following account of the situation, when the two 
armies confronted each other for the last time as 
belligerents : 

"Sheridan was with his cavalry near the Court 
House, when the Army of Virginia made its last 
charge. By his order, his troopers, who were in 
line of battle, dismounted, giving ground gradually 
while showing a steady front, so as to allow our 
weary infantry time to form and take position. 
This effected, the horsemen moved swiftly to the 
right and mounted, revealing lines of solid infantry 
in battle array, before whose wall of gleaming 
bayonets the astonished enemy recoiled in blank 
despair, as Sheridan and his troopers, passing 
briskly round the rebel left, prepared to charge the 
confused, reeling mass. A white flag was now 
waved by the enemy before Gen. Custer, who held 
our cavalry advance, with the information that they 
had concluded to surrender. Riding over to Appo- 
mattox Court House, Gen. Sheridan was met by 
Gen. Gordon, who requested a suspension of hostili- 
ties, with the assurance that negotiations were 
then pending between Gens. Grant and Lee for a 

The correspondence had begun between the 
two generals on the 7th of April, and the capit- 
ulation was completed on the 9th. Lieutenant 
Hiram Clark of Company G, in the 185th regiment, 
was the last man killed in the war. He had com- 
mand of the skirmish line at Appomatto.x before 
the surrender, and while the flag of truce was be- 
ing borne in, was struck and completely disem- 
boweled by a rebel shell. He was buried under 
a chestnut tree near Appomattox Court House. 
He was a noble officer and much beloved by his 

After the surrender, the i8sth, with some other 
regiments, were detailed to take charge of the rebel 
prisons and to collect the rebel arms and munitions 
of war ; and were thus occupied for four or five 
days. The arms and ammunition were sent to 
Burksville. Among them were 52 brass cannon, 
very fine pieces, which had been dismantled and 
buried by the Confederates on the field at Appo- 

The Union forces, except the 2d corps, were 
ordered towards Danville to assist Gen. Sherman, 
and were sent forward to Burksville. The 185th, 
after three days in camp, were ordered to Wilson's 
Station on the South-side Railroad, where they re- 
mained in camp till the first of May, and were thence 
ordered to move to Manchester, across the James 
from Richmond. On the 5th of May they received 
marching orders for Alexandria, started on Satur- 
day morning, the 6th, and that day crossed the Pa- 
munkey River on pontoons ; passing through Bow- 
ling Green, they crossed the Rappahannock at Fred- 

ericksburg, and arrived at Arlington Heights on 
the 13th, at 8 o'clock a. m., after a tedious all-night 
march. They remained in camp at Arlington 
Heights till the grand review in the City of Wash- 
ington, on the 23d of May, 1865, when the Presi- 
dent reviewed the entire army. Returning to camp 
after the review, they remained till they were mus- 
tered out of the service on the 30th day of May, a. 
D., 1865. Leaving Arlington at 3 p. m., on the 
31st, they met with a grand reception of citizens on 
their way home, at Geneva, N. Y., and arrived in 
Syracuse on the 3d day of June, where a committee 
of their fellow-citizens were in readiness to give 
them a welcome home. On the loth of June, at 
Camp White, they were paid off and discharged by 
Major Littlefield, Paymaster. 

Official Record and List of Promotions of 
THE 185TH Regiment. 

Edwin S. Jenney, Col., rank from Sept. 19, '64, 
discharged Feb. 3, '65 ; Gustavus Sniper, Lieut. - 
Col., rank from Sept. 17, '64, promoted to Col. 
Feb. 14, '65, (Brevet Brig.-Gen., U. S V.) mustered 
out with the regiment May 30, '65 ; Theodore M. 
Barber, ist Lieut., rank from Sept. 19, '64, promoted 
to Capt., Jan. 3, '65, to Lieut.-Col. Mar. 30, '65, 
mustered out May 30, '65 ; John Leo, Major, rank 
from Sept. 19, '64, died of disease Dec. 3, '64; 
Robert P. Bush, Capt , rank from Sept. 24, '64, 
promoted to Major Dec. 3, '64, mustered out May 
30, '65 ; Byron Mudge, Adj't, rank from Sept. 7, 
'64, mustered out May 30, '65 ; William Gilbert, Q. 
M., rank from Sept. 2, '64, mustered out May 30, 
'65 ; Charles W. Crary, Surgeon, rank from Sept. 
17, '64, mustered out May 30, '65, (Brevet Lieut.- 
Col., N. Y. V.j ; Gilbert \. Newcomb, Assistant- 
Surgeon, rank from Sept. 26, '64, mustered out 
May 30, '65 ; William M. Bradford, Asst. -Surgeon, 
rank from Sept. 26, '64, mustered out May 30, '65 ; 
Chester W. Hawley, Chaplain, rank from Oct. 10, 
'64, resigned April' 29, '65 ; Stephen O. Howard, 
Capt., rank from Sept. 2, '64, mustered out May 
30, '65 (Brevet Major, U. S. V. ); John W. Strow- 
bridge, Capt., rank from Sept. 7, '64, mustered out 
May 30, '65 ; Albert H. Barber, Capt., rank from 
Sept. 13, '64, mustered out May 30, '65 ; John List- 
man, Capt., rank from Sept. 17, '64, mustered out 
May 30, '65 ; E. M. Bander, ist Lieut, rank from 
Sept. 2, '64, promoted to Capt. Feb. 3, '65, not mus- 
tered, died April 15, '65; W. A. Rapp, ist Lieut, rank 
from Sept. 17, '64, promoted to Capt. May 11, '65, 
mustered out May 30, '65 ; Henry D. Carhart, 
Capt., rank from Sept. 19, '64, died before muster ; 
John T. Hostler, ist Lieut., rank from Sept. 19, '64' 
promoted to Capt. Dec. 24, '64, (Brevet Capt. U. 
S. V.,) discharged June 2, '65, (Brevet Major U. S. 
V.) ; Daniel L. Lathrop, Capt, rank from Sept. 19, 
'64, mustered out May 30,'65; David Chrysler, Capt, 
rank from Sept. 19, '64, mustered out May 30, '65 ; 
Jared T. Abbott, Capt, rank from Sept. 19, 64, 
mustered out May 30, '65 ; Abram Spore, Capt., 



rank from Sept. 19. '64, mustered out May 30, '65 ; 
Daniel Minicr, 2d Lieut., rank from Sept. 13, '64, 
promoted to ist Lieut. Feb. 3, '65, killed in action 
March 29, '65 ; Andrew J. Lyman, ist Lieut., rank 
from Sept. 7, 64, mustered out May 30, '65 ; Hiram 
Clark, 1st Lieut., rank from Sept. 13, '64, killed in 
action April 9, '65 ; Henry H. Kelsey, ist Lieut., 
rank from April 27. '65, mustered out May 30, '65 ; 
Pembroke Pierce, 2d Lieut., rank from Sept. 17, 
'64, promoted to ist Lieut. May 11, '65, mustered 
out May 30, '65 ; Herbert C. Rorepaugh, ist 
Lieut., rank from Sept. 17, '64, mustered out 
May 10, '65 ; F. Augustus Schemerhorn, 2d 
Lieut., rank from Dec. 23, 64, promoted to ist 
Lieut. Jan. 23, '65, mustered out May 30, '65 ; 
Lewis Edgar, 2d Lieut., rank from Sept. 19, '64, 
promoted to ist Lieut., Dec. 24, '64, mustered out 
May 30. '65 ; Stephen S. Jordan, ist Lieut., rank 
from Sept. 19, '64, discharged Feb. 27, '65 ; Jerome 
C. Gates, 2d Lieut., rank from Dec. 4, '64, promoted 
to 1st Lieut. Mar. 30, '65, mustered out May 30, 
'65 ; H. Wadsworth Clarke, 1st Lieut., rank from 
Sept. 19, '64, (Brevet Capt. X. Y. V. 1, mustered 
out May 30, '65 ; Cyrus A. Phillips, ist Lieut., 
rank from Sept. 19. '64, not mustered, commission 
revoked ; Thomas S. Wallace, ist Lieut., rank from 
Dec. 23, '64, not mustered, failed to report to regi- 
ment; William A. Brooks, 2d Lieut., rank from 
Sept. 2, '64, discharged Mar. 20, '65 : William H. 

Hamilton, 2d Lieut., rank from April 27, '65, 
mustered out May 30, "65 ; Harrison Givins, 2d 
Lieut., rank from Sept. 7, "64, discharged Dec. 28, 
'64; A. A. Abbott, 2d Lieut., rank from April 27, 
'65. resigned May 22. '65 : John L Isaacs, 2d Lieut . 
rank from Feb. 3, '65, mustered out May 30, '65 
John Hcrron, 2d Lieut., rank from Sept. 17, '64! 
mustered out May 30, '65 ; J. W. Mercer, 2d Lieut.] 
rank from April 27, '65, mustered out May 30, '65 ; 
Warren L. Winslow, 2d Lieut., rank from" May 19, 
'65, not mustered ; Charles G. Rector, 2d Lieut., 
rank from Sept. 19, '64, (Brevet Capt. U. S. 
v., I mustered out May 30, '65 ; Henry Q. Kings- 
ley, 2d Lieut., rank from Sept. 19, '64, died of 
disease Mar. 31, '65 ; Norman W. Smith. 2d Lieut., 
rank from April 27, '65. mustered out May 30, '65 ; 
Stephen Hitchcock, 2d Lieut., rank from Sept. 19, 
'64, not mustered, commission revoked ; Daniel L. 
Baker, 2d Lieut., rank from Mar. 21, '65, mustered 
out May 30, '65 ; Jacob M. Doran, 2d Lieut., rank 
from Sept. 19, '64, discharged Mar. 20. '65 ; Hiram 
Wiard. 2d Lieut., rank from Mar. 20. '65, mustered 
out May 30. '65 ; B. H. Smith, 2d Lieut., rank 
from Mar. 20, '65, not mustered ; Frederick H. 
Bremen, 2d Lieut., rank from April 27, '65, not 

Private A. Everson, of this regiment, was awarded 
a medal of honor by the Secretary of War. 





THE City of Syracuse is situated on the line 
of the New York Central Railroad, a very 
little over three hundred miles from the city of New 
York, and is the county seat of Onondaga county. 
From its central location both in the county and the 
State, it has also received the appropriate name of 
the Central City. Besides the Central Railroad, 
which cuts through its center, there are the Oswego 
and Syracuse division of the Delaware, Lackawanna 
and Western, the Syracuse, Binghamton and New 
York, the Syracuse Northern and the Syracuse and 
Chenango Valley railroads, lending their trade and 
commerce, together with the Erie and Oswego 
canals. The growth of the city has been remarka- 
ble, considering the condition of things in this 
locality sixty years ago, when the site was a dismal 
and unhealthy swamp, and there were no roads nor 
other means of communication with the outside 
world. The few huts then planted in the wilder- 
ness have given place to palatial residences, grand 
and imposing business structures, elegant churches 
and broad and spacious streets and avenues. On 
every hand may be seen a wealth of architectural 
beauty and a profusion and elegance of public and 
private grounds, parks, lawns, cultivated trees, 
shrubbery and flower gardens, which contrast strik- 
ingly with the rude and straggling hamlet of even 
fifty years past. From a small village of about 
three hundred inhabitants, Syracuse has emerged 
into a city of nearly sixty thousand people. It is 
interesting to trace the history of such a city from 
its beginning, and to note its different steps of pro- 
gress, till it has attained the eminent position it 
holds to-day among the centers of commercial 

wealth, civilization and social refinement, of our 

Original Site of the City. 

The original site of Syracuse was known as the 
" Walton Tract." It consisted of two hundred and 
fifty acres of the Salt Springs Reservation, sold by 
act of the Legislature in 1804, and purchased by 
Abraham Walton in June of that year, for the sum 
of six thousand five hundred and fifty dollars, or 
about twenty-six dollars and twenty cents an acre. 
The land was located and surveyed by James Ged- 
des, under the direction of the Surveyor-General, 
Simeon DeWitt, and the proceeds applied to the 
improvement of a portion of the old Seneca Turn- 
pike, running from lot No. 49 in Manlius to lot No. 
38 in Onondaga. The boundaries of this tract ap- 
pear from the old maps of Syracuse to have been 
laid out by Mr. Geddes in a very irregular form, 
owing to his attempt to avoid the swamp, which, 
however, he was unable to do. A considerable 
portion of the land lay under water most of the year. 
In the advertisement for the sale of the land it was 
announced that the tract contained a good mill site. 
But it was so low and swampy that certain parties 
at Salina and Onondaga Hollow ridiculed the idea. 
This aroused the Surveyor-General, and putting a 
spirit-level in his gig he drove all the way from 
Albany to Syracuse to personally inspect the 
premises and put the question of the water power 
at rest. Judge Geddes was employed to make the 
survey of the mill site, and it is a curious illustra- 
tion of how small a circumstance will often change 
the whole current of a man's life, when it is re- 
membered that this single use of the Surveyor- 



General's spirit-level by Mr. Geddes was the incit- 
ing cause which led him to become the surveyor 
and engineer of the Erie Canal. 

First Acting Treasurer of Syracuse. 
The Commissioners to receive and disburse the 
money arising from the sale of the Walton Tract 
were James Geddes, Moses Carpenter and John 
Young. Mr. Geddes was appointed Treasurer, but 
on account of his absence from home during the 
construction of the road, Mrs. Geddes acted in his 
place, paying out the money upon the orders of the 
contractors. Thus a woman, Mrs. James Geddes, 
mother of Hon. George Geddes of Fairmount, be- 
came the acting treasurer in the first financial trans- 
actions relating to Syracuse. 

First Tavern in Syracuse. 

Although the avails of the sale of the Walton 
Purchase were required by the act of 1804 to be 
appropriated to the improvement of a road, as above 
mentioned, there was a stipulation in the terms of 
sale making it obligatory upon the purchaser to 
cause to be erected within a certain specified time 
a suitable building for a tavern or house of enter- 
tainment for the accommodation of travelers. Mr. 
Walton, accordingly, in 1804, upon laying out lots 
for a village, sold to Henry Rogardus for the con- 
sideration of $300, half an acre of ground, binding 
him to erect within a reasonable time a suitable 
house for a tavern and to keep or cause one to be 
kept. The half acre included the site of the pres- 
ent Empire Block, on which Mr. Bogardus erected 
his tavern in 1806. It was a wooden building, 
thirty-five by forty-five feet on the ground, and two 
stories high. Mr. Bogardus was succeeded by Mr. 
Burlingham in 1808, by Joseph Langdon in 1810, 
by James Ingalls in 1812, and by Sterling Cossit 
in 1815. 

First Cabins on the Site of Syracuse. 

Besides the trading house of Ephraim Webster, 
vvhich had been established on the west bank of 
Onondaga Creek, a short distance south of its con- 
fluence with the lake, at a place subsequently 
known as "Webster's Landing," in 1786, several 
persons had erected log cabins in the vicinity of 
where Mr. Bogardus built his hotel, before the origi- 
nal tract had been purchased by Mr. Walton. The 
full names of these parties have been unfortunately 
lost, but some of them given by Mr. Clark are as 
follows: Mr. Hopkins in 1797, and Mr. Butler in 
1799. The cabins of these pioneers were located 
a little west of the Oswego Canal bridge, near a 
spring north of the late General Granger's residence. 

In the Spring of 1800, Calvin Jackson became a 

resident, building a small log house a little south of 
where the Central Railroad crosses Genesee street. 
Here, on the 28th of December, 1800, was born 
Albion Jackson, supposed to have been the first 
white child born in Syracuse, outside of that part 
of it formerly known as Salina. Mr. Jackson was 
the father of John J. Jackson, late a resident of the 
town of Onondaga, and formerly Indian Agent at 
the Reservation. 

William Lee and Aaron Cole, the first blacksmiths, 
opened a shop in 1805. In the same year Amos 
Stanton, father of Rufus Stanton, located near the 
Salina Street bridge. Dr. Swan erected a small 
frame house in 1807. Jonathan Fay settled near 
the site of the Old Court House in 1808. Rufus 
Stanton kept a tavern near the Salina Street 
bridge in 181 1. The building is still standing on 
the east side of the street just south of the bridge, 
and is occupied by Mr. David Ouinlan as a private 
residence. This, or a house built by Mr. Walton 
in 1805 or in 1806, for some of his mill hands, a 
portion of which may still be seen near the railroad 
crossing south of West Genesee street, is ]-)robably 
the oldest building now remaining in Syracuse. 

Sale of the Walton Tract. 
A portion of the Walton Tract was sold to 
Michael Hogan and Charles \\'alton, who held it in 
common with the original proprietors for some 
time, and finally, after some unimportant changes, 
it was transferred to Forman, Wilson it Co., in 
1 8 14, for about $9,000. From these proprietors 
it passed into the hands of David Kellogg and 
William Sabin, in 181 8, who sold it, in 1823, to 
Henry Eckford, the celebrated ship-builder of New 
York. In May, 1824, the tract was transferred to 
the Syracuse Company for the consideration of 
$30,000. The company consisted of Messrs. Wil- 
liam James, Isaiah and John Townsend, and James 
McBride. The tract was deeded in trust to Messrs. 
Moses Burnet and Gideon Hawle)', and from that 
time village lots were extensively sold. 

First Pork Packing Establishment. 
At the lime Forman, \N'ilson & Co., purchased 
the Walton Tract, they erected a large slaughter 
house in a fine grove in the rear of what was after- 
wards General Granger's lot, north of Church 
street. Here they packed beef and pork on a large 
scale, continuing the business till 18 17. During 
the war of 1812-14, they had a heavy contract for 
supplying the army with these articles. 

Second Survey of Syracuse. 
In the spring of 1819, Owen Forman, a younger 
brother of Judge JoshuaForman, and John Wilkin- 



son, Esq., father of J. Forman and Alfred Wilkin- 
son, bankers of this city, then a young lawyer, 
came down from Onondaga Hollow, under the 
direction of Judge Forman, to lay out the Walton 
Tract into village lots. The old .survey of Mr. 
Walton was entirely disregarded, except so far as 
the original boundary lines of the tract were con- 
cerned. But so undefined were the ancient land- 
marks that it was with extreme difficulty that they 
ascertained with any degree of certainty the old 
starting point. Although they had an excellent 
description of the tract, made by Judge Geddes at 
the time of the original survey, yet it is thought 
that, but for a certain " plum-tree " therein men- 
tioned, the lines as originally run could not have 
been traced. They began their survey in the 
month of June, and after a fortnight of hard labor 
the village was again laid out, so far as related to 
the Walton Tract. That portion not included in 
the village was laid out into " farm lots " of from 
five to ten acres each. 

Eakly Na.mes of the Village. 
In the infancy of the Salt City it seemed difficult 
to find a name for it that proved satisfactory. At 
the first laying out of the village it was called 
" South Salitia." The tavern built by Mr. Bogar- 
dus was called the "South Salina Hotel." The 
name South Salina, however, not being received 
with general approval, was after a time changed to 
" Milan" which name it bore till an attempt to ob- 
tain a post-office revealed that there was one already 
of that name in the State, and the name was 
changed to " Corinth " by Judge Forman. Subse- 
quently for several years, the place went by the 
name of " Cossit's Comers," from Sterling Cossit, 
who succeeded Mr. Ingals in the hotel. In 1820, 
the village was named " Syracuse," by John Wil- 
kinson, Esq., the first Postmaster. 

The Original Clearing. 

When the second survey was made by Forman 
and Wilkinson in 18 19, there was but a small clear- 
ing in the village. It extended from the canal near 
Clinton street, south to Fayette street and east to 
Warren street. On the north side of the canal the 
clearing extended as far back as Church street and 
east to Warren street, the rest of the dry ground 
being a pine grove interspersed with oak bushes. 

It may not be amiss to remark in this place, that 
the valley in which Syracuse is now situated was 
originally covered with heavy timber and thick un- 
derbrush, the prevailing kinds being hemlock, birch 
and soft maple in the western part, and in the east- 
ern portion, cedar and pine. 


In 1808, Mr. Young and others cut down a large 
hemlock tree over four ft. in diameter, for the purpose 
of hewing it into timber. After cutting into the 
tree a foot and a half, they found nearly one hundred 
bullets which had been deposited in a box cut in the 
tree, and covered with one hundred and fifty-two 
concentric circles, which had grown over them in 
as many years since the balls had been placed there 
by the hand of some one familiar with the use of 
fire-arms. Subtracting 152 from 1808. leaves 1656, 
a date at which the French had established colonies 
and missions in this valley. 

Handsome Harry — Reminiscence of an Indian 

On the west bank of Onondaga Creek, in the 
vicinity of the old Webster trading house, was col- 
lected at an early time quite a large Indian village. 
Onondagas gathered here for convenience of trade, 
and were here met by the Cayugas. The bones 
which have been disinterred in this locality show 
that feuds broke out between portions of these 
tribes, and that in the conflicts which ensued many 
of the Indians were slain. An incident connected 
with one of these feuds has been preserved by tra- 
dition, and is worthy of record. 

" In 1795, a feud broke out between a clan of the 
Onondagas and another of the Cayugas, which 
raged fiercely. At intervals several parties on both 
sides were killed. The last victim of this deadly 
strife was an Onondaga called Handsome Harry. 
He had been followed by a party of Cayugas from 
Tuscarora and back, and was overtaken at the sand 
bank, afterward the property of Mr. Henry Young, 
situated not far from the Syracuse Pump House. 
When he found his pursuers hard upon him, he 
made no effort to escape, but quietly kneeling down, 
bared his bosom and was instantly shot dead with 
an arrow. Handsome Harry was reputed the hand- 
somest man in his nation. He was buried on the 
spot where he fell, and two favorite sisters for a 
long time daily visited his grave and mourned his 
death with the deepest sorrow."* 

Syracuse in 1819. 
When Judge Forman removed to Syracuse in 
1 8 19, he occupied a house a little west of the Town- 
send Block. At this time there were only two 
frame houses in the village, beside the hotel. Log 
houses and plank and slab cabins were scattered 
over the dry portion of the ground, most of the 
latter having been tenanted by laborers on the 
canal. The pasture of Judge Forman ran back 
some fifty rods and east to Salina street, most of it 
being a pine grove. Another lot of twenty acres 
commenced where the Syracuse House now stands, 
and was accessible by a set of bars opening into the 

* CUrlc'i Onondaga. 



lot where the front door of the hotel now opens on 
Salina street. This lot was used as a pasture till 

So dense was the forest about Syracuse in 1819, 
that two young ladies, the present Mis. E. VV. 
Leavenworth and Mrs. M. D. Hurnet, in taking a 
morning stroll over Prospect Hill, became bewild- 
ered among the thick brushwood and lost their way. 
They rambled about till the day was far spent, and 
strength and courage almost exhausted, with noth- 
ing before them but the dreary prospect of being 
obliged to pass the night in the wilderness. At 
length, late in the afternoon, they found themselves 
in the vicinity of the Lodi Locks, where they 
recognized familiar ground and were able to make 
their way home in safety. 

The Site of Syracijse Rendered Health v. 
We have spoken of the unhealthfulness of Syra- 
cuse in the early stage of its history. It was so 
very sickly during a considerable portion of the 
year that probably it never could have been per- 
manently settled had not the foresight and sagacity 
of Judge Forman prompted him to lake measures 
to secure the draining of the swamp and marshes. 
An instance illustrative of the sickness of the place 
is related of a Mr. Merrill who built a small frame 
house in the vicinity of Mr. Bogardus' hotel about 
the year the latter building was erected, but 
there was so much sickness in the neighborhood 
that he became discouraged and pulling down his 
house moved it away. During the building of 
the Erie Canal, from 1817 to 1820. the prevail- 
ing fever was very fatal. Dr. Hasset, was the 
physician and did a vast amount of medical busi- 
ness among the suflerers on the works, nearly all of 
whom were sick with malarial diseases peculiar to 
the locality. The site of the village at that time 
has been described as a " dreary waste of swamp, 
approached only by means of 'corduroy' and 
' gridiron ' roads. All along where is now lo- 
cated the beautiful F'ayette Park, was then a 
famous shooting ground for partridges and rabbits, 
and in the lower places were plenty of mud turtles 
and swamp rattlesnakes. In the spring the water 
did not usually subside sufficiently to allow people 
to pass with any degree of comfort till May or 
June, and those going from Onondaga to Salina 
were obliged to pass round on the high grounds 
east of Syracuse, over by-roads which were cut in 
every direction through the Reservation for the 
purpose of collecting wood in winter for the salt 
works. A person passing over the present im- 
proved streets and solid highways leading in and 
out of the flourishing city which has taken the 

place of the dreary swamp of those days, can form 
no just conception of the impassable condition in 
which the roads then were in the spring and fall. 
In fact the only time when they were endurable 
was in the winter when they were perfectly frozen 
and covered with a good body of snow."* 

Such was the state of things amidst which Judge 
Foiman and his associates laid the foimdations of 
Syracuse It was no easy task to build a city in a 
swamp such as Syracuse then was. Indeed, it was 
no less a herculean undertaking than the building 
of Chicago in a sunken mud prairie on the shore of 
Lake Michigan. Both, however, have been suc- 
cessfully accomplished, and furnish an illustration of 
what human energy and enterprise can accomplish 
in the face of obstacles apparently insurmountable. 

To the foreseeing mind of Judge Forman it was 
clear that something must be done to improve the 
health of the place, or his plans would fail. Ac- 
cordingly, in the winter of 1821-2, he procured the 
passage ol a law, in connection with an act author- 
izing the lowering of Onondaga Outlet, by which 
the Commissioners of the Land Office were to draw 
a map of the swamp and marsh about the villages 
of Salina and Syracuse, on which was to be desig- 
nated the route of several ditches and drains through 
the swamp and marsh lands, with an accompanying 
estimate of the sum necessary to be raised to efl'ect 
that object. The Judges of the County Courts 
were authorized to appoint three discreet free-hold- 
ers of the County, who should assess the amount 
of money necessary to be raised on the owners of 
the lands contiguous to the drains, in proportion as 
they were supposed to be benefited by the same. 
In case of the non-payment of any assessment, the 
lands after being advertised four weeks, could be 
sold for payment, and if not redeemed within six 
months, with ten percent interest and cost, the sale 
was made absolute and unchangeable. The law 
allowed the citizens to construct their own ditches 
on their own lands, according to rules prescribed by 
the Commissioners and the plan laid down on the 
map. In case they would not, the Commissioners 
were authorized to build them and charge the own- 
ers with the cost of construction and collection. 

This law was considered at the time highly 
arbitrary, but it was the only feasible method 
by which the lands could be drained and the locality 
rendered healthy. The great advantages resulting 
from the improvement, soon reconciled all parties to 
the means employed. This has since been regarded 
by thousands who have enjoyed its benefits as the 
wisest and most beneficent measure ever adopted in 

* CUrk'i Onondiga. 



connection with Syracuse. The effect is thus de- 
scribed by Mr. Clark : "In the summer of 1822, 
the lands were brought under subjection by drain- 
ing, the place assumed an air of healthfulness, 
disease and sickness kept at a distance, a marked 
difference was manifest at once, confidence was 
placed in the future, and the past was quickly for- 
gotten. Since the draining of these lands they 
have been as healthy as any in the country." 

Judge Forman has justly been esteemed the 
founder of the village of Syracuse. After an ab- 
sence of five years, he returned on a visit to the 
city in 1831, and was everywhere received with de- 
monstrations of joy and respect. Every voice 
cheered him as the founder of a city and the bene- 
factor of mankind. The citizens of Syracuse 
through their committee, consisting of Stephen 
Smith, Harvey Baldwin, Amos P. Granger, L. H. 
Redfield, Henry Newton, John Wilkinson and 
Moses D. Burnet, availed themselves of the oppor- 
tunity to present to him a tribute of the high respect 
and esteem entertained for his talents and character, 
and in consideration of his devotion to their interests 
in the early settlement of the village. The plate, 
an elegant silver pitcher, bore the inscription : " A 
Tribute of Respect, Presented by the Citizens of 
Syracuse to the Honorable Joshua Forman, 
Founder of that Village." On the opposite side 
was a device representing the friendship of the 
city, of two hands united in fraternal grasp ; above 
this the word " Syracuse," and below, the date 

Early Merchants. 

Sidney Dole and Milan C. Taylor, the owners and 
occupants of the mill, in 18 14, opened the first store 
of general merchandise. Their store was next 
west of that afterwards kept by William Malcolm. 
The firm of Northrup & Dexter, who had a con- 
tract on the Erie Canal in 1817, were the success- 
ors of Messrs. Dole & Taylor, and continued in 
business till 1821. In that year General Amos P. 
Granger came down from Onondaga Hill and 
established himself as a dry goods merchant on the 
site of the present Syracuse Savings Bank Build- 
ing. At this time there was no other store in Syra- 
cuse, except two or three small groceries. From 
this time for two or three years merchants multi- 
plied rapidly. Mr. Henry Newton opened a store 
in 1822 ; Archy Kasson, hardware, 1822 ; Kasson 
& Hermans, dry goods, groceries and hardware, 
1823 ; G. M. Towle, commission and forwarding, 
April, 1823; George Davis & Co., general mer- 
chandise, July, 1823 ; Henry W. Durnford, gro- 
ceries, drugs and medicines, 1823 ; John Rogers & 

Co., (from New York,) November, 1823 ; William 
Malcolm, 1823; Haskell & Walbridge, saddlers and 
furnishers for the trade, 1824; J. Vanderheyden, 
Mead & Davis, A. N. VanPatten, and H. & W. 
Dowd, 1824 ; Hiram Judson, watchmaker and 
jeweler, 1824; H. Hyde & Co., forwarding mer- 
chants, 1824. These are the principal pioneer 
merchants who established business in the village 
of Syracuse prior to the completion of the Erie 
Canal. Since this important era merchants have 
become so numerous that it would be impossible to 
follow them in detail. 

The Empire Block. 
The hotel built by Bogardus was for many years 
called the "Mansion House." In 1845, the old 
patched up establishment, with its outbuildings, 
was torn away to make room for the present Empire 
Block. This block was finished in 1847, by John 
H. Tomlinson and Stephen W. Caldwell, of Syra- 
cuse and John Thomas, of Albany. On its comple- 
tion Mr, Tomlinson became sole owner. Mr. Tom- 
linson was killed by a railroad accident at Little 
Falls in 1848. The block was then sold at auction, 
and after several changes became the property of 
Colonel James L. Voorhees, in 1850. 

The Syracuse House. 

The lot on which the Syracuse House stands was 
purchased by Messrs. Buell & Safford, who began 
the erection of the "Syracuse Hotel" about 1820. 
While the building was in progress Mr. Safford was 
killed by a fall from a scaffold. The property then 
passed into the hands of Mr. Eckford, who com- 
pleted the hotel in 1822. It was three stories high, 
and the first brick building of any considerable 
dimensions erected in the village. For several years 
it was kept by Mr. James Mann. After the Syra- 
cuse Company came into possession of the premises, 
the house was rebuilt, and has since been enlarged 
and improved to its present ample dimensions and 
style. At the time of the rebuilding it was named the 
" Syracuse House" after which it was kept by Mr. 
George Rust, then by Daniel Comstock and H. T. 
Gibson, then for a long time by P. N. Rust, Esq., 
who was succeeded by Gilbert & Knickerbocker in 

Townsend Block was erected in 1842; Market 
(now City) Hall in 1845 ; Granger Block in 1844, 
burned in 1849, rebuilt in 1866; Globe Building in 
i846-'47 ; Malcolm Block, in 1847 ; Bastable Block 
in 1849, rebuilt '" 1 863-' 64; Corinthian Block in 

Wieting Block and Hall were erected and finished 

in i849-'50. On the 5th of January, 1856, one of 



the coldest days during the winter, this block was 
burned to the ground. Dr. VVicting at once took 
measures for its rcerection, and soon completed a 
larger and more elegant block. The new hall was 
dedicated on the 9th of December, 1856. eleven 
months after the destruction of the former build- 

First Postoffice 

The first Postoffice in the village was established 
in February, 1820; John Wilkinson, Esq, Post- 
master. It is said that Mr. Wilkinson used to carry 
the mail in his hat and deliver it to parties whom he 
met about the village. For some time the office 
was kept in General Granger's store, when, for 
greater convenience, it was deemed advisable to 
move it to John Durnford's printing office. Mr. 
Durnford at first objected on account of lack of room, 
but when he found that Mr. Wilkinson had brought 
the whole contents of the office, mail matter, bo.xes, 
letter bo.\es, &c., on his shoulder, without the ne- 
cessity of returning for another load, he waived his 
objection, and the postoffice was fairly installed in 
the office of the first newspaper in Syracuse. 

Sale of State Lands. 

In 1822 a considerable portion of the Onondaga 
Salt Springs Reservation was sold under the direc- 
tion of the Surveyor-General. It was parceled out 
into small lots and sold to individuals. Several of 
these lots were taken by Messrs. Kellogg & Sabin, 
and eventually passed into the hands of the Syra- 
cuse Company. A large portion of the present 
site of the city, now covered with costly buildings, 
was included in these sales, the land being pur- 
chased for mere nominal prices. Such were the 
lots on James street on which now stand stately 
mansions — probably the finest residence avenue in 
the city — together with a large tract including the 
old cemetery. These brought at the sale from 
eighteen to thirty dollars an acre. The lands east 
of Fayette Park sold for si.x dollars an acre. 

General Granger took several lots in the swamp 
near Lodi, between the canal and turnpike, at ten 
dollars and fifty cents an acre. Citizens agreed not 
to bid against him on condition that he would clear 
the land immediately. This was done at great 
expense the same season and put into a crop of 
wheat. Most of this ground is now covered with 
fine buildings. 

In 1828 there was another sale of State lands, 
embracing the lots in the vicinity of the old Court 
House, and on other portions of the Reservation. 

First Packet-Boat at Svracuse. 
The first packet-boat on the canal was named 

the " Montezuma." It arrived at Syracuse on the 
2 1 St of April, 1820. This boat was built and fitted 
up by a company of gentlemen at Montezuma from 
a model furnished by Col. Comfort Tyler. It was 
seventy-si.\ feet long and fourteen feet wide. Its 
arrival created great excitement. Hundreds of 
anxious spectators lined the banks of the canal to 
witness the wonder, and this practical illustration 
of the benefits of the canal was not without its in- 
fluence. It hushed the hostility of opponents of 
the enterprise and strengthened the more timid ; 
visionary theories yielded to simple fact, and wild 
speculation to tests of experiment. The canal was 
now navigable from Montezuma to Utica, ninety- 
four miles, and at once business received a new and 
vigorous impulse. 

Independenxe Day— 1820. 

" The 4th of July, 1820,* was a glorious day for 
Syracuse. The canal was in practical operation, 
the prospects of the future city began to brighten ; 
a most brilliant day dawned upon a land heretofore 
a swamp and bog. It was hailed as a day of joy, 
festivity and rejoicing. Invitations had been e.v- 
tendcd to the friends of the canal throughout 
the State, particularly in the Western District. 
Thousands of guests from the surrounding counties 
came to witness the novelty of canal navigation, 
and to celebrate the day. Some of the most dis- 
tinguished men in the State were present, among 
whom were Governor Clinton and suite. General 
VanCortland, Myron Holley, Thomas J. Oakley 
and John C. Spencer. Judge VanNess adjourned 
the Circuit Court then in session at the Court 
House, and the Court and Bar attended in a body. 
Thaddeus M Wood, Esq., presided on the occasion. 
The declaration was read by N. P. Randall, Esq., 
and the oration delivered by Samuel Miles Hopkins, 
Esq., to more than two thousand people. The 
numerous procession was formed in front of Mr. 
Cossit's tavern, escorted by the Salina band. They 
proceeded to the pine grove directly in the rear of 
the Townsend Block. The platform upon which 
were seated the orator, the reader and distinguished 
guests, was under a large spreading pine, which has 
long ago bowed its towering head to make way for 
the rapid and substantial improvements which have 
since been made. This was the first celebration of 
our national independence at Syracuse, and those 
who w«re present number it among her proudest 


James Street in 1824. 

In 1824 James street was only an Indian trail 

*x Clirk't Onondaga, p. 98. 

Gen. Amos P. G-ranqer was born in Siiffield, Hartford Co., 
Conn., 1789. He removed to Manlius, Onondaga County, in 1811, 
and entered upon mercantile pursuits at that place. About 1820 
he removed to the village of Sj'racuse, and became one of the 
first residents, and one of the most active promoters of the busi- 
ness interests of the place. For a number of years subsequent to 
his removal to Syracuse he was a merchant, his store standing on 
the ground occupied by the Syracuse Savings Bank. He early 
invested largely in real estate, the rise in the value of which made 
him one of its wealthiest citizens. 

The first election of officers of the village of Syracuse occurred 
on March 3, 1825, and Joshua Forman was chosen president, 
with Amos P. Granger, Moses D. Burnet, Herman Waldridge, 
and John Rogers as trustees. In the "War of 1812, General 
Granger raised a company of militia, and proceeded to Sacket's 
Harbor. He continued in the militia service after the war, rising 
through successive gradations to the rank of general, which was 
his distinguishing title through life. He was often honored with 
positions of trust by the citizens of Syracuse. One very marked in- 
stance of this was his selection to deliver the reception address on the 
memorable occasion of Gen. Lafayette's visit to Syracuse, in 1825. 

General Granger was always an active, energetic, and enthusi- 
astic politician. He was a member of the Whig party, and was 
among the very first in the country to protest against the aggressions 
of the slave power, and to divine that a new organization of ex- 
isting parties must take place before they could be successfully 

Elected a delegate from Onondaga County to the anti-Nebraska 
convention held at Auburn, in October, 1853, of his own volition 
he offered the following resolution : 

Resolved, That the Baltimore platforms adopted by the Democratic and Whig 
national conventions, without authority, and in direct violation of the sentiments of 
a vast majority of th's State, we, Whigs and Democrats, hereby repudiate for the 
past, the present, anil the future. 

This and three other resolutions offered by General Granger 
were unanimously adopted by the convention, and formed the 
basis on which was ;iftcrwards erected the Republican party of this 
State, if not of the nation To General Granger, as much as to 
any other one man, the Republican organization owes its existence. 

Shortly after his return from Auburn he was elected by the 
liberal Whigs of this district to the Thirty-fourth Congress. He 
was an active and useful member. His voice and vote was always 
on the right side. He was an effective speaker. 

If lack of earlj' education had deprived his phrases of scholastic 
finish, it could not divest them of a sharp incisive power, which is 
oftentimes more effective than polished oratory. One incident 
characteristic of his courage and self-reliance to meet opposition 
in other ways than by reason and force of words is related. A 
Virginia bully, a congressman, attacked him in a public convey- 
ance in Washington. The attack was made by a young and 
vigorous man upon one much advanced in years ; but his years did 
not diminish the ardor of the general, who, strong in his principles 
of freedom, offered to "waive his age," and try physical results 
with a scion of Virginia chivalry. 

Since 1858, General Granger occupied no official position, but 
was strong in his advocacy of true political ideas. Through the 
war he was an enthusiastic and outspoken advocate of the Union 
cause. During the campaign of 1864, though suffering from 
paralysis, he attended the Union meetings, that he might show 
by his presence the feelings of his heart. General Granger was 
for half a century a consistent member of the Protestant Episcopal 
church. There was no layman so well read as he in the history 
of that church. Upon coming to Syracuse he was, in 1826, one of 
the first to organize a parish there, and attempt the erection of a 
small wooden church, he being at the time of its completion, as 
he often related, " the only solvent man in the congregation, and 
himself with only a dollar or two in advance." General Granger 
was among the first vestrymen, and was warden of the same for 
over thirty-five j'ears. 

In the year 1813 he married Miss Charlotte, daughter of Benja- 
min Hickcox and IluUlah Holmes, of East Haddam, Conn. She was 
born in Hampshire Co., Mass., in the year 1790, and has survived 
her husband some eleven years, being now in her eighty-eighth 
year, possessing at that age an active mind and great energy of 
body. She united with the Episcopal church as early as 1825, 
and has been a consistent member of the same for some fifty-three 

General Granger died Aug. 20, 1806. 


Plintu. 1*3 llonlii .V CiirUM, 8>niflMC. 

The subject uf ihi.s sketch was born in ibo town ot" Sliafts- 
bury, Vt., June 1, ITSl. He wil-* seeoml wm, in a Cainily ot" 
five sons and three daughters, of I'arley llowlett and Barsiieba 
Parker, the former a native of Vermont, and the latter a native 
of Connecticut. 

The family of Howlett is descended from Parley llowlett, 
one of three brothers (the other two naim-d William and John) 
who emi;rniled from Kngland in the shi|« " Mayflower," and 
landiMl at Plymouth Kock, 16J0. 

His fatlier eaini' to ( )iioiidafri County with his family, and 
wttleil in the town of ()nondaj;a, in the year ITU", on one of 
the hills of that town now bearing his name, jiurclixsed land, 
and was one of the pioru'en* of this county, and died in ISO!^. 

Parley spent his minority clearing; lan<l anil farming, receiviiif; 
a Very limited education from books ; but in early life he be- 
came so inured to self-reliance and habits of industry as to nuike 
his subseijucnt years a worthy record in the history of Onon- 
diifra County. 

At tlic a<n' of twenty-three yesirs he purchased one hundred 
acrcH of land, and be-ran clearinf; the same. To this purehiise, 
in IH14, he addeil some two hundreil aeri'S more, very nearly the 
whole id" which he cau.sed to be cleared, and. after the .salt in- 
terest iH'fian, he cau.sed the tindMT to be cut into wood, hauled 
the wihhI to (ieddes, and used it in the manufacture of .H:dt. He 
early en;;a;;ed in the s<dt business : first nsin;; eiirhl kiltlebloeks, 
al\cTwards usinjr si.xtecn, and Hubs4M|uently ihirty-two kettlc- 
bloeks. He was the first man who shipjied .salt west, boat in;; 
it down the ()swc;:o river, thetice by the lake, drawin;; it with 
teams around the falls; found a market first at Silver Creek, 
utlerwards Kric, Pa., and Ashtabuli, ( )hio, and sub.scijuently at 
Cleveland ; exehanjiin;; his sjdt for horses and cattle, he drove 
them liack to this county. After two years he killed his cattle and 
packed the meat for the eastern market. After the canal wius 
finished he packed his meat in, his packint;-lious<' bein;; 
located ojiposite the present way-locks in tlie city. He .shipped 
the first beel' and pork in barrels, by the Krie canal, that was 
sent cast from ()ni>iida<;a County. 

The history of Mr. Howlett's operations wirst '^oes back so 
far in the early .setlliinint of the country lie passed throiiLdi with 
his stock in returning; home, that he related p:Lssin;_' throuiih 
twenty-five miles of woodland, by marked trees, from one clearing; 
to another. His whole life was spent in active business until 
within a few years of his death. He lived and died on the farm 
he had purcha.sed in 18(17. He was liberal in his views of edu- 
cational interests, and ;,'ave larj^ely for the snjiiKirt of the .•Miiiic. 

In jKililies he was identified with the Anti-Ma.sonie party, 
with the Wliij: party, and U|>oii the formation of the Hepnbliean 
party became a warm sup]nirter of its principles; and .so oppo.sed 
was he to the principles of slavery that, Ufion the breaking; out 
of the Hebellioii in 18(1(1, that fjuestion st-cmed to occupy his 
whole attention, and he desired that the war should never be 
ended nnlil that institution was abolished, but he only lived 
until May 1>>, IStJl, just at the bepnnin;: of the war. 

In the year 18(15, July 21, he married Miss Phebe Robbins, 
a native of Connecticut, but of this c<mnty at the time of the 
inarriajre. To them were born eleven children : Solomon K., 
llonilio (;., Myron P., Latitia E., Jane M.. Parley L., Alfred 
A., Celestia S., Daniel. Francis C , and Jerome Howlett, six of 
whom are now livinj; ; and Alfred A. desires by this sketch and 
portrait above to jilaee upon the pa^es of history a few facts re- 
latin;; to one of ()iionda;.;a's pioneer active business men. 

Parley Howlett was no ordinary person. He was a man of i|uiek 
apprehension and siroii;; convictions, frank and fearless in their 
e.\pre,ssioii. and energetic in carryin;; them out. He possi-ssed 
stroll;; common .sense in ;;reat abundance, uncommon .sapicily in 
businctts. Was .s«n;:uini' in his temjieranieiil. and lio|K'ful ; ready 
to nie«'t and siroii;; to overcome the difficulties in the way of 
Hclf-iiiade men. and admirably fitted by the pos-s^-ssion of lliesi' 
i|Unlities to fi;;lit the battles of a pioneer life. He was a ;;ooil 
nei;;lilMir and a warm friend. He commanded the rexpect of his 
fellow-eiti/.ens, and was thre<> times a candidate of the old Wlii;; 
party for the office of hi;;li sheriff of the county ; he failed not 
iiir the want of |>ersonal popularity, but only the Dem- 
ocnitie party in those early ilays was larp'ly in the a.sceiideney. 



leading over the hills to what was then Foote Settle- 
ment, now the first gate on the plank road. The 
eye of the lonely wayfarer on that trail was not 
gladdened by the sight of the lordly and palatial 
residences which now give so grand and aristocratic 
an appearance to this fine avenue. The only object 
on this trail was the dwelling house of Major 
Burnet erected that year by Rodney Sargents, of 
Auburn ; this house stood on a slight eminence 
occupied by the late residence of Major Burnet. It 
fronted towards the south and had a sort of tem- 
porary road leading directly to the tow-path on 
the Erie Canal. The house then stood far out of 
town and the only avenue of approach for teams 
was by the tow-path and the private road. Persons 
on foot could reach it by taking the trail and beat- 
h the underbrush. 

ing across throu 

Progress of the Village. 

The village of Syracuse was a mere hamlet of a 
few hundred inhabitants till the completion of the 
Erie canal. This work was a new era in the pro- 
gress of the village, from which its rapid growth 
may be dated. The village was incorporated by 
act of the Legislature April 13, 1825, the same year 
of the completion of the canal, with the usual 
powers granted to like incorporations. The charter 
was amended in 1829, and again in 1834, increas- 
ing the power of village officers, regulating water 
works, fire department, &c. In 1835, the bounds 
of the original village were considerably enlarged. 
In 1839 3nd in 1841, there were further amend- 
ments of the charter, so as to enable the trustees to 
hold real estate for the purposes of a village ceme- 
tery, which was subsequently laid out and beauti- 
fied. The charter was also further amended in 
1842 and in 1845, ^°^ ^^he improvement of water 
works, to empower the trustees to borrow money on 
the credit of the corporation, to purchase a lot for 
a market and other public buildings, and for other 

Municipal Officers — Village Government. 

At the first election for village officers under the 
charter, held at the school house in Syracuse May 
3, 1825, Joshua Forman, Amos P. Granger, Moses 
D. Burnet, Heman Walbridge, and John Rogers, 
were elected Trustees ; Joshua Forman was chosen 
President ; James Webb, Alfred Northam, and 
Thomas Spencer, Assessors ; John Wilkinson, 
Clerk ; John Durnford, Treasurer ; Daniel Gilbert, 
Justice of the Peace, presiding. 

The Trustees proceeded at once to lay out road 
districts, to organize a fire department, to purchase 
engines and apparatus, and other things for the 

welfare of the village. Our space will not allow us 
to follow the list of officers further. They will be 
found in the records of the village and city. 

Early Lawyers. 

John Wilkinson, Esq., was the first lawyer in Sy- 
racuse. He came to the place in 1819, and a few 
years after built an office on the corner now occu- 
pied by the Globe Hotel. The office was twelve 
by fourteen feet, and Mr. Wilkinson was heartily 
ridiculed for putting his office out in the field, as it 
was then, although the location is now in the heart 
of the city. 

Mr. Wilkinson was long identified with the growth 
and progress of the village, holding many offices 
with honor and distinction. When railroads were 
first put in successful operation, he closely investi- 
gated their workings and principles and entered 
largely into railroad affairs. He was for several 
years President of the Syracuse and Utica Railroad, 
and by his influence succeeded in having the work- 
shops of that road located at Syracuse. He was 
afterwards President of the Michigan Southern 
Railroad, and under his skillful management that 
road became one of the best in the Union. In 1824 
he built a residence a little south of his office where 
he resided till he built his fine residence on James 

The next attorney after Mr. Wilkinson, vyas Al- 
fred Northam, Esq., in 1824. Then came Harvey 
Baldwin and Schuyler Strong, Esqs., in 1826, and 
were soon followed by Messrs. Wheaton and Davis, 
Hon. E. W. Leavenworth, Hon. B. Davis Noxon, 
Hon. James R. Lawrence, and others who came 
with the removal of the Court House from Onon- 
daga Hill Hon. George F. Comstock was a law 
student herewith Messrs. Noxon and Leavenworth 
and began his legal practice among the early mem- 
bers of the Syracuse Bar. Hon. E. W. Leaven- 
worth came in 1827. Hon, Joshua Forman was 
also a lawyer, contemporary with Mr. Wilkinson, 
but his office at that early period was with his 
partner, Mr. Sabin, at Onondaga Hollow. He was 
made Judge of the Court of Common Pleas in 
18 1 3.* Other early lawyers of Syracuse and the 
County were Grove Lawrence, John H. Hulburt, 
Daniel Gott, D. D. Hillis, George H. Middleton, 
Henry J. Sedgwick, William J. Hough, John Ruger, 
John G. Forbes, and J. W. Nye. 

Of the above list all are deceased except Hon. E. 
W. Leavenworth and Judge George F. Comstock. 

The following have also been members of this 
Bar, and have died within the past 24 years : Fin- 

* See Biography of Judge Forman. 



lay M. King, Thomas T. Davis, Z. C. Foot, N. B. 
Smith, James Barrett, H. S. Fuller, William J. 
Dodge, Col. A. W. Dwight, Barnard Slocum, Rich- 
ard Raynor, Col. C. M. Randall, Frank Wooster, 
S. L. Edwards, Jr.,D. J. Mitchell, John A. Clark, 
Henry Horton, Cyrus R. James, D. Redfield, John 
J. Miles, John Malloy, Charles C. Bates, V. M. 
Gardner, A. Coats, P. Outwater, Jr., Q. A. John- 
son, E. A. Brown, John Huning, G. D. Z. Griswold, 
E. A. Clapp, John H. Brand, H. H. Hitchcock, 
John Callamer, John L Ncwcomb, Thomas A. 
Smith, J. R. Lawrence, Jr., J. W. Loomis, Fred H. 
Gray, A. C. Griswold, D. G. Montgomery, Leonard 
H. Lewis, S. Rexford, J. J. Briggs, O. J. Rugcr, 
C. M. Brosnan, E. Butler, R. S. Corning, A. J. 
Henderson, Z. L. Beebe, J. F. Sabine, George 
Murphy, Robert F. Trowbridge, Andrew J. Lynch, 
H. E. Northrup, Clinton M. Smith, Nelson M. 
Baker, L. Harris Hiscock. 

The following attorneys have been in practice in 
Syracuse 24 or more years : R. H. Gardner, James 
S. Leach, Le Roy Morgan, Daniel Pratt, Hamilton 
Burdick, C. B. Sedgwick, Thomas G. Alvord, Israel 
S. Spencer, E. W. Leavenworth, B. Davis No.xon, 
George F. Comstock, Daniel F. Gott, William C. 
Rugcr, M. C. Mcrrinian, G. W. Gray, J. L. Bagg, 
H. C. Leavenworth, H. Ricgel, N. F. Graves, S. N. 
Holmes, D. Coats. 

The Powder E.xplosion. 

On the evening of Friday, August 20, 1841, oc- 
curred an event ever memorable to the people of 
Syracuse— the Powder Explosion, which killed 26 
citizens, and wounded 10 dangerously, and 43 others 
severely. It was caused by a fire originating in a 
joiner's shop on the tow-path side of the Oswego 
Canal, where twenty-five kegs of powder had been 
stored, and which exploded with terrific eflfect and 
with the sad consequences described. A gloom 
was cast over the whole village, and sadness filled 
every house and heart, at the terrible calamity. 

"The efiect of the explosion was felt for more 
than twenty miles around. A man upon the deck of 
a packet boat at Fulton, 26 miles distant, heard the 
report. At DcWitt and Jamesville; five miles ofl", 
persons were startled from their sleep, supposing 
their chimneys had fallen down. At Manlius, ten 
miles distant, the earth trembled, and crockery upon 
a merchants shelves rattled for the space of several 
seconds, like the ellect of a clap of thunder. At 
Camillus, it was compared to the crash o( falling 
timber. At Onondaga, it was supposed to be an 
earthquake. Although the concussion was tremen- 
dous at Syracuse, the report was not so loud as 
might have been supposed. Glass in the windows 
a hundred rods distant was broken. Papers in the 
County Clerk's office were thrown from their places 

upon the floor, and several buildings were more or 
less injured. 

"The instant the e.xplosion took place, the air 
was filled with fragments of the building, bits of 
lumber, &c., which lighted up the heavens with the 
brightness of day ; but in a twinkling it was total 
darkness ; the explosion had extinguished every 
particle of fire. The scene at the moment was 
horrible beyond description : men, women and chil- 
dren screaming in horror ; none knew the extent of 
the calamity, and all were anxious to learn the fate 
of their friends. Quickly some three thousand 
persons were gathered, anxiously looking for those 
whom they most regarded. Very soon lamps were 
brought ; the wounded were carried oft", filling the 
air with sighs and groans ; the dead were sought 
and found, many of them so disfigured that they 
could be recognized only by their clothes or the 
contents of their pockets. For a long time small 
groups of persons could be seen with lights in all 
directions, carrying either the dead or the wounded 
to their homes. The next day the village was 
shrouded in mourning ; the stores were all closed 
and business suspended. On Sunday the unfor- 
tunate victims were consigned to the tomb amidst 
the sympathies and tears of an afflicted com- 
j munity." 

Incorporation of Syracuse as a City. 

The rapid growth of the village in population and 

I importance induced the discussion of its incorpora- 
tion as a city in 1846. Meetings were held during 

I that and part of the following year without arriving 
at any definite conclusion, till the winter of 1847, 
when the question was brought before the Legisla- 
ture. Considerable difference of opinion existed 
among the inhabitants as to the extent of territory 
the city should include. Some were for having it 
embrace the entire Salt Springs Reservation ; others 
only the village of Syracuse. At several spirited 
meetings the subject was warmly discussed, and re- 

I suited in the plan of uniting the villages of Syra- 
cuse and Salina, under one city charter with the 
name of the latter. The act of incorporation was 

I passed December 14, 1S47, (Chap. 475, Session 
Laws,) and defined the limits of the city as fol- 
lows : 

" The district of country constituting a part of 
the town of Salina, and including the villages of 
Syracuse and Salina, in the county of Onondaga, 
within the following bounds, that is to say : 

" Beginning on the northeasterly corner of Man- 
lius L. , running thence to the northeasterly 

corner of the village of Salina, thence along the 
northerly line of said village of Salina, to the 
northwesterly corner of the same, thence south- 
westerly to the Onondaga Lake, thence along the 
southeasterly shore of said lake to the center of 
Onondaga Creek, thence southerly along the cent^ 
of said creek to the line of the village of Syracuse, 

I thence westerly and southerly along such line to 

^ y 

The subject of this sketch was born in the town of Onon- 
daga, Onondaga Co., July 6, 1808. He was the second child in 
a family of three children of Gerry Stevens and Charlotte Hard, 
the former a native of Killingworth (now Clinton), Conn., the 
latter a native of Washington Co., N. Y. His father came to 
Onondaga County about the year 1800, and hence was one of 
the pioneers of the county. 

From the historical collection of John L. Barber, of Con- 
necticut, it appears that the Stevens' came from the county of 
Kent, England, to Guilford, Conn. Among the first planters 
there appear the names of Thomas and John Stevens. These 
families removed to Killingworth in the year 1665, and among 
the first settlers there are the names of Thomas and William 
Stevens. The latter of these had a son, Josiah, also called 
Deacon Stevens, and sometimes called Captain Stevens, born a.d. 
1670, and died March 15, 1754, from whom the subject of this 
memoir traces his descent, through his grandfather, Jeremiah. 
There is little doubt that one of the ancestors, named Thomas, 
is the same spoken of in Fox's Book of Martyrs, who suffered 
martyrdom by being burned to death at Rye, in the county of 
Kent, England, 1557. 

Before George was three years of age his father died, leaving 
a wife and three children. She was afterwards married to Cyprian 
Heberd, a carpenter and joiner, who built some of the first manu- 
factories of coarse salt in Salina, and with whom George spent 
his early life learning the trade, attending the common school 
winters, and for two terms attended the Onondaga academy. 
At the age of sixteen he went to Troy, and afterwards to New 
York to complete his trade, and while there (1828) he laid a 
house-floor made of lumber matched with tongue and groove, 
and is said to be the first man in the United States, and possibly 
in the world, who laid such a floor. On arriving at age he 
returned to his native county, and for the next six years worked 
at his trade. He then built several salt manufactories in Salina, 
and was one of the to manufacture tine salt. Altogether 
he has spent thirty-three years in the manufacture of salt, and 


has been closely identified with that interest. He also carried 
on in the meantime the grocery business for four years ; was 
a manufacturer of potash for three years, and a forwarding 
merchant for four years. Until within a few years his life has 
been one of great activity, and his efforts have been such as to 
perform his part in contributing to the best interests of the city 
of which he is now an honored citizen in his seventieth year. 
Highly esteemed by his fellow-men, he has held many offices 
of responsibility and trust, discharging the duties of the same 
with that integrity and consideration which has characterized 
his whole life. 

He has lived to see the city, with all of its present wealth 
and business, rise from a village of three hundred persons. He 
was next to the last president of the village before its organi- 
zation as a city, and since which time he has served several 
terms as assessor, overseer of the poor, and supervisor of the 
fourth ward, in which he resides. 

In the year 1864 he was elected police justice of the city, 
which office he held until a paraljftic stroke in the year 1867 
compelled him to relinquish the duties of that office and retire 
to private life. In the years 1851 and 1852 he represented 
his district in the State legislature. 

In 1852 he became a director b the Merchants' bank, and 
has held the office until the present time. He was president of 
the same the year previous to his illness. He has been a director 
of the Onondaga salt company from the time of its organization. 

For his first wife he married, in the year 1831, Harriet, 
daughter of Moses Stebbins, of Springfield, Mass., by whom 
he had two children, — Henry Howard (died in infancy) and 
Harriet (deceased), who married A. C. Chase, present postmaster 
of the city of Syracuse. His wife died in 183G, aged twenty-eight 
years. For his second wife, in 1840, he married Mrs. Lydia P., 
widow of Capt. Joseph Fitch, of New London, Conn., and 
daughter of Capt. Nathaniel Barns, of Westerly, R. I., by whom 
he has had four children,— Alice, George H. (deceased), Joseph 
F., and Kate. 

IJied April rth, 1S7N, since the publication ol the uliovo. 



the south bounds of the town of Salina, thence east 
along the south bounds of the town of Salina to 
the east bounds thereof, thence northerly along the 
east bounds of said town to the place of beginning, 
shall hereafter be known as the ' City of Syracuse.' " 

Section second of the act divided the city into 
four wards, as follows : 

All that part of the city lying east of Onon- 
daga Creek and north of Division and Pond streets, 
was made the First Ward ; all the rest of the city 
lying north of the center of the Erie Canal, was 
made the Second Ward ; the Third Ward included 
that portion of the city lying south of the Erie 
Canal and west of Montgomery street as far south 
as Burt street, thence west of Salina street to the 
southern boundary of the city; the remainder of 
the city constituted the Fourth Ward. 

The following certificate of the Clerk of Onon- 
daga county shows that an election was held by the 
citizens of both villages, for the purpose of ratify- 
ing the charter, on the 3d of January, 1848 : 

" Whereas, By the provisions of an act entitled 
'An Act to Incorporate the City of Syracuse,' 
passed December 14, 1847, an election was held in 
each of the villages of Syracuse and Salina, on the 
third day of January, one thousand eight hundred 
and forty-eight ; and from the returns made and 
filed in the office of the Clerk of the County of 
Onondaga by the Trustees of said villages respec- 
tively, pursuant to said act, it appears that the whole 
number of votes given at said election at the poll 
held in the village of Syracuse, was one thousand 
eight hundred and forty-three ; of which the whole 
number of votes having thereon the word ' Charter ' 
was ten hundred and seventy-two, and that the 
whole number of votes having thereon the words 
' No Charter ' was seven hundred and seventy-one. 
That the whole number of votes given at said 
election at the poll held in the village of Salina, 
was four hundred and twenty-four ; of which the 
whole number of votes having thereon the word 
' Charter ' was three hundred and eighty-five ; and 
the whole number having thereon the words ' No 
Charter ' was thirty-nine. 

" A majority of votes at each of said villages 
having been thus given in favor of said charter, as 
appears from said returns on file in the office of the 
Clerk of the County of Onondaga, as aforesaid : I, 
Vivus W. Smith, Clerk of said County, in pur- 
suance of the provisions of the Seventeenth Sec- 
tion of Title X of said Act, do make and publish 
this statement, and certify that the said act of in- 
corporation becomes a law on the day of the first 
publication of this certificate. 

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set 
[l. s.] my hand and affixed the seal of the said 
County of Onondaga, this 5th day of 
January, 1848. 

V. W. Smith, Clerk." 

First City Officers. 
At the first Charter Election, held on the first 

Ttiesday in March, 1848, the following officers were 
elected : 

Hon. Harvey Baldwin, Mayor. 

First Ward — James Lynch, Elizur Clark. 

Second ll'ard — Ale.xander McKinstry, John B. 

Third Ward — William H. Alexander, Gardner 

Fourth Ward — Henry W. Durnford, Robert Fur- 

In January, 1849, ^ census was taken which 
showed that the city contained a small fraction less 
than 16,000 inhabitants. 

Mayors of the City of Syracuse. 
First Mayor, 1848, Harvey Baldwin; 1849, Elias 
W. Leavenworth; 1850, Alfred H. Hovey ; 185 1, 
Moses D. Burnet ; 1852, Jason C. Woodruff; 1853, 
Dennis McCarthy; 1854, Allen Munroe ; 1855, 
Lyman Stevens; 1856-57-58, Charles F. Willis- 
ton ; 1859, Elias W. Leavenworth ; i860, Amos 
Westcott ; 1861-62, Charles Andrews ; 1863, Daniel 
Bookstaver ; 1864, Archibald C. Powell; 1865- 
66-6"], William D. Stewart ; 1868, Charles Andrews ; 
1869-70, Charles P. Clark; 1871-72, Francis E. 
Carroll ; 1873, William J. Wallace ; 1874, Nathan F. 
Graves; 1875, George P. Hier ; 1876, John J. 
Grouse ; 1877-78, J. J. Belden. 

John Wilkinson, 1820; Jonas Earll, Jr., 1837; 
Henry Raynor, 1841 ; William W. Teall, 1845 ; 
William Jackson, 1849; Henry J. Sedgwick, 1853 
and 1857; Patrick H. Agan, 1861 ; George L. 
Maynard, 1865 ; D wight H. Bruce, 1871 ; A. C. 
Chase, 1876, present Postmaster. 

The Old Mill-Pond. 
An improvement of no little importance to the 
city was the conversion of the old mill-pond into 
valuable building lots, which are now occupied by 
substantial manufacturing estabhshments, business 
blocks, public buildings and residences. It will be 
remembered that the first dam and mills were 
built by Abraham Walton in 1805. The dam was 
constructed of logs across Onondaga Creek at West 
Genesee street, and at that time the Genesee Turn- 
pike passed over it. About a year after its con- 
struction, it was swept away by a heavy spring 
freshet, and another log dam was built at the cross- 
ing of West Water street, which was removed in 
1824, and a substantial stone dam erected in its 
place. Then came the stone mill erected by Samuel 
Booth for the Syracuse Company in 1825. The mill- 



pond covered so large a surface and was for masy 
yearsthecauseof so much sickness in the village that 
it was finally emptied by tearing away the dam, and 
in 184S, under the administration of Mayor Bald- 
win, the work of improving this portion of the city 
was begun. It consisted of the straightening of 
Onondaga Creek and the filling in of portions of 
the mill-pond with earth from Prospect Hill. 

The work was carried forward under the adminis- 
tration of Mayor Leavenworth in 1849, who had 
Jefferson (now Regimental) Park laid out in about 
the center of the ground formerly occupied by the 
mill-pond. The land then belonged to the State, 
and comprised about nine acres, including the site 
of the pond and the neck of land extending to the 
center of Onondaga Creek. Mr. Leavenworth had 
a map made. of the land including the Park, and 
obtained the consent of the Commissioners of the 
Land Office for its sale, on condition that it 
would bring S9.000 ; otherwise the sale was to be 
null and void. The land was offered upon this 
condition, and at the sale brought over S 16,000. 

The center of this ground is now occupied by the 
fine State Arsenal, while the Binghamton Freight 
and Passenger Depots and other substantial struc- 
tures occupy other portions of it. 

The first Arsenal building was erected in 1858, 
in which year the site was conveyed to the State. 
The cost of the building was S8,ooo ; the State ap- 
propriated $5,000, and Si, 800 was raised by indi- 
vidual subscription. This building was destroyed 
by fire in 1871. The present building — a much 
larger and more ornamental structure — was erected 
in 1872 74, at a cost of ?8o,coo ; Horatio N. 
White, Architect. This building is known as the 
State Arsenal, and is the headquarters of the 51st 
Regiment. loth Brigade, 6th Division, &c., National 
Guard of the State of New York." 

BuKViNG Grounds — OAKwoon Cemetery. 

For the following brief sketch of the burying 
places in Syracuse, we are indebted to a little work 
entitled " Oakwood," a history of the incorporation 
and dedication of Oakwood Cemetery. The first 
white person who was buried within the limits of 
the city, and probably within the bounds of Onon- 
daga County, was Benjamin Nukerk, who came to 
the wilds of Onondaga as an Indian trader with 
Ephraim Webster in 1786. He died December 7, 
1787, and was buried on a little eminence which 
overlooks the Onondaga Lake and its shores, now 
embraced in Farm Lot No. 310, lying directly in 
the rear of the residence of William Judson, on 

* See Roiter oi Olficeri eliewhere. 

West Genesee street. The head and foot stones 
are still standing, bearing the inscription : 

Be.njamin Nukerk, 

Died Dec. 7th, 1787, 

Aged 37 years. 

About the year 1845, Joseph Savage, Esq., who 
owns the land occupied by this grave, had occasion 
to dig a trench two or three feet below the surface, 
and while doing so struck upon a line of graves. 
On examination they proved to be placed in a direct 
line for some twenty or thirty feet, and consisted of 
quite a number of bodies. The bones were mostly 
decomposed, except the skulls, and among them 
were found quite a number of bullets. Probably 
the ground was never used as a permanent burial 
place, but these bodies fell in some battle of which, 
perhaps, we have no record and were hastily buried 
here in the sandy loam of this beautiful little emi- 
nence. But it may be otherwise, as Mr. Savage 
found other remains in difierent places on the same 
little hillock, one, the skull of which had evidently 
been cleft by a tomahawk. A gun, brass kettle, 
flints and pipes were also found from time to time. 
Probably the Indians had occupied this spot after 
Ephraim Webster established his trading post here. 

The first burials in the village of Salina were 
made on ground now known as Lot No. 8 in Block 
No. 18, near the intersection of Spring and Free 
streets. They, however, ceased to bury there be- 
fore 1794, and began to make interments on the 
ground now embraced in Washington Park, and near 
the spot where the Presbyterian Church (recent- 
ly removed) was afterwards built. Mrs. Nancy T. 
Gilchrist, the mother of Ira A. Gilchrist, and several 
members of the families of Dexter and Herring were 
buried here, — Mrs. Gilchrist in 1794. Burials 
were made here also but a few years, when finding 
the location too near the dwellings, they began to 
bury upon the ridge which runs through Block No. 
40, in the rear of the residence of James Lynch, 
Esq., and in the immediate vicinity of that formerly 
occupied by the late Alfred Northam, Esq. This, 
too, was abandoned in 1801, when Sheldon Logan, 
at that time Superintendent of the Onondaga Salt 
Springs, laid out a piece of ground then owned by 
the State, for a public burying ground. It was used 
as such till the year 1S29, and a few of the bodies 
buried in Washington Park, including that of Mrs. 
Gilchrist, and perhaps some from Block No. 40, 
were removed to the new grounds. Block No. 59 
in the First Ward, covers the site of the grounds 
laid out by Mr. Logan. 

By an act of the Legislature passed in 1829, 
(Chap. 243) Block No. 43 was substituted for Block 



No. 59, for the purpose of a public cemetery. The 
trustees of the village of Salina, as by law directed, 
removed the bodies from the old ground to the new ; 
the former was sold at public auction, and Block No. 
43 has been used as a cemetery from that time to 
the present. The lots are nearly or quite all taken 
up and occupied. 

It may be proper to state here that Mr. Isaac 
VanVleck, one of the best known among the early 
settlers, was buried on Lot 8, Block 13, on what has 
been designated the Schouten Lot. 

In 1834, previous to the act of the Legislature 
(Laws 1835, Chap. 160,) incorporating Lodi with 
the village of Syracuse, the inhabitants of that lo- 
cality established a small cemetery upon the hill on 
Beech street south of East Genesee, on Farm Lot 
No. 197. The late Oliver Teall, Esq., who then 
held a contract for the lot, furnished the land and 
offered an acre of ground, or more if desired, on 
condition that the people in that vicinity would 
clear and fence it. About half an acre was en- 
closed, and it has been since mostly occupied, al- 
though of late years it has been almost entirely 
abandoned as a burying place. 

The first burials within the limits of what was 
formerly the village of Syracuse were made on land 
now enclosed in Block No. 105, near the intersec- 
tion of Clinton and Fayette streets. They did not 
probably exceed twenty or thirty in number, and 
the citizens ceased to bury there previous to 1819. 
When the village was laid out by Messrs. Owen 
Forman and John Wilkinson, and a map made 
of the same, no spot of ground seems to have been 
set apart for a cemetery, and from 18 19 to 1S24, all 
burials were made at Salina, Onondaga Hill, or On- 
ondaga Hollow. The first person buried in what 
is now designated the "Old Cemetery" was Mrs. 
Eliza Spencer, the first wife of Hon. Thomas Spen- 
cer, who died on the 2d day of April, 1824. After 
the village passed into the hands of the Syracuse Com- 
pany, they probably set apart this piece of ground 
for a cemetery ; and it continued to be used as such 
till 1 84 1. 

On the 1st of July, 1841, the grounds embraced 
in Rose Hill Cemetery, containing a fraction over 
twenty-two acres, were purchased of George F. 
Leitch, by the Trustees of the village in compli- 
ance with a vote of the citizens. There was much 
opposition to the purchase of this ground, on ac- 
count of its nearness to the village and for other 
reasons, and a second meeting was called, hoping 
that the citizens would reconsider their decision. 
A majority, however, voted in favor of it a second 

time, and the property was purchased and laid out 

as a cemetery. On motion of General Granger two 
hundred dollars were voted at the same meeting for 
the improvement of the grounds, which the Trus- 
tees proceeded at once to lay out. Ambrose S. 
Townsend, who died on the 24th of August, 1841, 
was the first person buried at Rose Hill. He was 
the eldest son of John Townsend, Esq , of Albany, 
and grandson of the late Ambrose Spencer. 


As a cemetery Rose Hill was never satisfactory 
to a large number of the citizens of Syracuse. 
The topography was unfavorable, more than half 
of the surface being a steep side hill, not easily ac- 
cessible, and the whole destitute of natural trees 
and shrubbery. It was by many deemed incapable 
of those high adornments which the public taste 
now demands. For these and other reasons an 
early desire was manifested by many prominent 
citizens to procure grounds for a cemetery more in 
conformity with the higher cultivation of modern 
taste on the subject. Accordingly, as early as 1852 
and the years immediately following, a number of 
meetings were held and the subject of a new 
cemetery was fully discussed. Committees were 
appointed for the purpose of thoroughly examining 
the vicinity of the city in all directions and finding 
the locality best adapted in all respects to the pur- 
poses of a rural cemetery. These committees care- 
fully performed their duty and the unanimous con- 
clusion was finally reached, that the hundred acres 
of land best fitted for all the purposes desired was 
that now embraced within the limits of Oakwood. 

The persons who most particularly interested 
themselves at this time were Messrs. Henry A. 
Dillaye, Charles B. Sedgwick, John B. Burnet, 
Robert B. Raymond, Charles Pope, Hamilton 
White, A. C. Powell, C. Tyler Longstreet, Israel 
Hall, John Wilkinson, Allen Munroe and E. W. 

No immediate action was taken with regard to 
the purchase of the grounds, and in the midst of 
other pursuits of more pressing personal interest, it 
was delayed till the summer of 1857, when the sub- 
ject was again revived by Messrs. Hamilton White, 
J. L. Bagg, Lewis H. Redfield, C. Tyler Long- 
street, A. C. Powell, John Wilkinson and Henry A. 
Dillaye. The papers were drawn up preparatory to 
the organization of an Association ; the terms of 
the purchase of the grounds were verbally agreed 
upon, when the whole subject was suddenly put to 
rest by the great pecuniary revulsion of that year. 
A final and eventually successful effort was again 
made in the summer of 1858, principally by Messrs. 



White and Leavenworth, which was continued with 
little interruption till the summer of 1859. Having 
arranged with Charles A. Haker, Esq., for the pur- 
chase of the front twenty acres, and with Henry 
Raynor, Esq., for the balance of the ground, the 
first object to which attention was directed was the 
removal of the Jamesville Plank Road from the 
bounds of the proposed cemetery. It became nec- 
essary to procure the consent of a majority of the 
stockholders, — afterwards of a majority of the inhab- 
itants residing on the cast and west road crossing 
the said Plank Road near its first gate, to which the 
road was to be changed, — next of the Supervisors 
and Commissioners of Highways of the town of 
Onondaga, in which town the road is situated— and 
finally, to procuic a right of way for said Plank 
Road across the lands of Charles A. Baker, Esq., 
and Dr. David S. Colvin. 

After a year of laborious effort, and with much 
aid from Mr. Baker, these several objects were suc- 
cessfully attained, and all serious obstacles removed, 
except the raising of the necessary funds for the pur- 
chase. To that important service Hon. A. C. 
Powell for weeks devoted a large portion of his 
time, and with such aid as he had from Messrs. 
Hawley, White and Leavenworth, succeeded early 
in August in raising the necessary amount in sub- 
scriptions, payable in one, two and three years with 

On the 15th of August, 1859, the subscribers to 
the fund met at the Mayor's office and organized the 
Association of Oakwood, and elected the following 
trustees : Hamilton White, J. P. Haskins, John 
Crouse, John Wilkinson, E. W. Leavenworth, Arch- 
ibald C. Powell, Austin Myers, Allen Munroe, 
Timothy R. Porter, Robert G. Wynkoop Thomas 
G Alvord, J. Dean Hawley. On the following day 
a meeting of the trustees was held at the office of 
Hon. E. W. Leavenworth and the following officers 
were chosen : E. W. Leavenworth, President ; A. 
C. Powell, Vice-President: Allen Munroe, Secre- 
tary, and Hamilton White, Treasurer. 

At the same meeting a resolution was adopted, 
on motion of Mr. Alvord, instructing the officers of 
the association to purchase of Messrs. Baker and 
Raynor the lands now embraced in Oakwood on 
the terms theretofore agreed upon, viz : ?9,5CXD for 
the twenty acres in front, bought of Mr. Baker, and 
;$iS,ooo for the seventy-two and seventy-nine one 
hundredth acres, bought of Mr. Raynor. Agree- 
ably to such resolution, the purchase was made and 
the papers exchanged on the 5th of September 

All the lots in Rose Hill Cemetery, and also in 

that at Salina, having been sold, and the Common 
Council having resolved to sell the north eight acres 
of the former, the Trustees made immediate prep- 
arations for the improvement of the grounds, and 
early in October, Howard Daniels, Esq., an accom- 
plished landsdape gardener from the city of New 
York, with the aid of fifty or sixty men, commenced 
work and continued it till the month of December. 

The first person buried at Oakwood was Mrs. 
Nellie G. Wilkinson, who died on the 6th, and was 
buried on Tuesday, the 8th day of November, 1859 

The first monument of any kind erected within 
the bounds of the cemetery, was that of James 
Crouse, Esq., on Section No. 13, during the winter 
of 1 859-' 60. 

The little pamphlet from which we have selected 
the matter for this history closes its account of the 
progress of Oakwood in the following words : 
" Thus, at length, after nearly ten years of delays, 
difficulties and disajipointments, after the project 
had been more than once abandoned, and our hopes 
all but extinguished, this lovely spot of ground was 
secured for the final repose of our dead : to be 
visited, admired and hallowed in our memories 
while we live, by a thousand sacred and tender re- 
collections, and to be the beautiful resting place of 
our bodies when summoned to our final home." 
We may add that the grounds are the most beauti- 
ful and admirably adapted to the purposes of a rural 
cemetery of any in the country, and the art dis- 
played in their decoration and the rich and costly 
monuments will well repay the stranger for a visit 
to Oakwood. 


On Tuesday, the 3d day of November, 1859, the 
grounds were dedicated with appropriate ceremo- 
nies to the sacred [uirpose of a resting place for the 
dead. The Hon. Wm. J. Bacon, of Utica, deliv- 
ered the Address, Alfred B. Street, Esq., of Albany, 
the Poem, and Rev. John Pierpont, of Boston, and 
Mrs. Thomas T. Davis, of Syracuse, furnished re- 
spectively an Ode and a Hymn for the occasion, 
which was one of deep interest to the people of 
Syracuse, many thousands testifying their apprecia- 
tion of the importance of the object attained by 
their presence on the ground. The day, which was 
lowery and threatening in the morning, became 
bright and beautiful and one of the plcasantest of 
the season. 

The exercises, including the opening address by 
Hun. E. W. Leavenworth, President of the Ceme- 
tery Association, and the oration by Hon. William 
J. Bacon, were all exceptionally interesting and 
appropriate, but we have space only for the Hymn 



of Mrs. Thomas T. Davis, and the Poem of Mr. 
Alfred B. Street, which deserve a place in the more 
permanent records of the city and county, as among 
some of the finest specimens of our mortuary lite- 


Air — Pleycl's Hymn. 

Life and love with tender hand 
Guard and deck this Silent Land ; 
Cypress arch and willow wreath 
Shade the sacred sod beneath ; 
Sun and starlight gild the shrine, 
Flow'ry chaplets fondly twine ; 
Angel hosts, your vigils keep 
Where our loved and lost shall sleep. 

Loved, not lost ! No fear nor gloom 
Shrouds the portals of the tomb ; 
Death revealed immortal day 
When the rock was rolled away. 
Grave and crypt and pallid stone 
Mark not the realm of Death alone ; 
Life but sleeps, while Death survives, — 
Death shall die, and Life arise. 

Shed not then the frenzied tear ; 
Robe in light the pall, the bier ; 
Yonder see the shining shore 
Where our loved have gone before ; 
Rear the marble o'er the dead, 
Crown with flowers the dreamless head ; 
Calmly wait till Life shall be 
Blended with eternity. 

This hymn was sung by the members of the Syra- 
cuse Musical Institute, under the leadership of H, 
N. White, Esq. 

At the conclusion of Mayor Leavenworth's ad- 
dress, Alfred B. Street, Esq., of Albany, pronounced 
the following exquisitely beautiful and appropriate 


O'er life's fresh springtide, when the blithsome hours 
Dance to glad music through perennial flowers ; 
O'er bounding youth, when hope points ever on, 
No blossom scentless, and no color wan ; 
O'er stately manhood, when the mountain tread 
Seeks the far prize that stars the crag o'erhead ; 
O'er trembling age, when, worn with toil and woe, 
It turns from light above to gloom below ; 
Darkens a shade, mysterious, cold and black, 

Mantling the flowery as the wintry track ; 
Brooding where joy its diamond goblet quaifs ; 
Where daring, loud at every danger laughs ; 
Where strength securely rests on future years ; 

Where fame, wealth, pleasure, each its votary cheers ; 
Death is that shade, inexorable Death, 
With ever-lifted dart at all of mortal breath. 

But though the soul that lights the frame depart. 

The darkened dust is sacred to the heart. 

Around the spot that wraps the dead from sight, 

Lingers thought's tenderest, love's divinest light; 

Hallowed by suffering, it remains a shrine 

Where oft sad memory wends, its fairest flowers to twine. 

The land that trod through Deluge-ooze its way, 

Gave to the pyramid its mummied clay. 

The purple skies of Art and Song inurned 

The sacred ashes sacred fires had burned. 

The Parsee offered to his God, the Sun, 

On the grand crag the heart whose course was run. 

And the red roamer of the prairie sea 

Yields to the air his wrecked mortality. 

But not to pyramid, though mocking Time, 

The urn funereal, nor the sun sublime. 

Nor boundless air, nor yet the waste of waves, 

That stateliest, mightiest, most august of graves — 

But not in such drear, weltering vastness spread 

Should Christian hands consign the Christian dead. 

But to the earth, the warm, the steadfast earth. 

That, touched by God's own finger, gave us birth ; 

Where to the resurrecting sun and rain 

The seed but perishes to live again ; 

Where nature hides her life in Winter's gloom 

For warbling Spring to sing it into bloom ; 

Home of the tree that sheds its leafy showers 

For the new garland wreathed by vernal hours ! 

Home of the priceless fount ! the matchless gem ! 

The precious gold ! more precious grainy stem ! 

Yea, as we woke to life upon her breast, 

Her loving arms should fold our last and longest rest. 

And thus, oh lovely Oakwood, shalt thou spread 
Thy sylvan chambers, for the slumbering dead. 
Through thy green landscapes shall Affection stray, 
Weep the wild tear, with softened sadness pray. 
Within the glen, as murmurings fill the tree, 
A voice shall seem to whisper, " Come with me ! " 
And the green hill top — whence the sight is fraught, 
With the rich painting Nature's hand hath wrought; 
Woodland and slope, mount, meadow and ravine. 
The city's white, the water's purple sheen. 
And the dim mountain tops, until the gaze 
Pierces where distance hangs its tender haze — 
Tell that the soul, with onward pointed eye, 
Finds its far limit only in the sky. 
The grassy dingle and the leafy dell 
Shall tremble sadly to the tolling bell ; 
Where now wide solitude wraps slope and glade 
For winds to pipe to dancing sun and shade, 
Shall carved memorials of the dead be found 
Breathing their solemn eloquence around. 
Here, shall the son, in some prone trunk, descry 



The sire he saw in life's completeness die ; 

Here, shall the sire, in some green pine, survey 

The stately son, ere death had claimed its prey ; 

Here, in the flower, the mother again shall see 

The laughing child that perished at her knee : 

Here, the weird wind shall with long, melting moan, 

Mingle its sadness with the mourner's own. 

And the drear cloud, low brooding, seem a part 

Of the dark sorrow hanging on the heart ; 

Here, too, the joyful splendor of the sun 

Shall tell the life the loved and lost hath won. 

And warblings sweet, the landscape's ear that fill 

Of those glad strains the sounding heavens that thrill. 

Summer shall here hold green and leafy time, 

Emblem of those that perished in their prime ; 

Autumn shall shower its wreaths upon the air. 

Sign to the living also to prepare ; 

Winter shall spread in fierce and frowning might. 

Great type of death, its chilling robes of white ; 

But oh, glad thought ! in Spring's triumphant reign 

Nature shall bound in radiant joy again, 

Bid with her rapturous life Death's horrors flee. 

Type of that glorious truth — Man's Immortality. 

Population of Svracuse. 

The following statement of the population of 
Syracuse for May, 1877, is taken from Boyd's City 
Directory : 




















' 6 



ist 1,336 

2d 2,405 

3d 1,092 

4th 2,324 

5<h , 2.339 

6th 1,549 

7th 2,336 

8th 1,343 















14,724 11.735' i6,2o6, 11,731! 54,396 

Population in 1877 54>396 

Population in 1876 54, '76 

Increase 220 

Village of Geddes 5,4o3 

Syracuse (including Geddes) is 59.S04 

Svracuse City Water-Wokks. 
Among the first to advocate a system of water- 
works for supplying the village of Syracuse was 
Capt. Oliver Tcall, who was the first Superintend- 
ent of the middle division of the Eric Canal upon 
its opening in 1820. Captain Teall had taken a 
contract on the canal during its construction, and 
had removed from Manlius to the Lodi Locks as 

early as 18 19. He became largely interested in 
land in that vicinity, and erected mills at Lodi, 
having the right of the surplus water of the canal 
at that point, which right he retained till it was 
finally resumed by the State. In connection with 
Messrs. Aaron Burt and Harvey Baldwin, Mr. Teall 
became an enterprising and wealthy land-owner in 
that part of the city now included in the Eighth 
Ward, formerly Lodi, but incorporated in the vil- 
lage of Syracuse in 1835. (Laws 1835, Chap. 160.) 

As early as 1821, the subject of water-works in 
the village had been brought before the Legislature. 
The first act, entitled '• An Act to supply the vil- 
lage of Syracuse with wholesome water," was passed 
March 27, 1821. (Laws 1821, Chap. 176. 1 It 
granted the people of Syracuse the right to use 
sufficient water for supplying the village from any 
of the springs on adjacent lands belonging to the 
State, and provided for the election of three Trus- 
tees, at an election to be held at the house of Ster- 
ling Cossit, inn-keeper in said village, on the first 
Monday in May, 1821, who should have power to 
transact all business relating to the water-works, 
and to carry into eflect the provisions of said act. 
It does not appear that the provisions of said act 
were ever carried into effect or that anything was 
done under it towards supplying the few inhabitants 
then in the village with water. Probably the enter- 
prise would not pay at that stage of settlement. 
The villagers, however, wished to obtain the right 
and to keep it against a time of need, for the mid- 
dle division of the canal was then open, and all 
were anticipating a marvelous growth into the pro- 
portions of a city. 

The act incorporating the village, passed April 
13, 1S25, (Laws 1825, Chap. 124,1 vested all the 
rights, property, and powers of the Trustees of the 
Water-Works in the village corporation, and the 
hypothetical water-works were placed under the 
control of the trustees of said village till 1829. 
During this period it does not appear that the trus- 
tees did anything practical towards supplying the 
village with water. 

On the 23d of April, 1829, an act was passed, 
(Laws 1829, Chap. 236,) authorizing the Trustees of 
the village to convey to Oliver Teall, his heirs and 
assigns, all the rights, property and powers of the 
Trustees of the Syracuse Water-Works Company, 
as vested in said village by the act of incorporation, 
for a term of twenty years, and said Oliver Teall was 
invested with all the rights and powers granted by 
the original act of 1821. This act also prescribed 
the amount that Mr. Teall should charge the citizens 
for water, viz. : a private family, a sum not e-xceed- 

Pliotos. by 
W. V. KiiilgiT. 

William Mctcalf Clurke was burn iii Liinesboro, Berkshire 
Co., Mass., Ajiril 3, 1800. He was tlie lifth .son of Dr. Hczeldah 
ClarlvB, wlio was tile son of Dr. Jolin Clarl<e, of Lebanon, Conn.; 
son of Moses Clarice, of Lebanon, Conn. ; son of Daniel Clarke, 
of Colchester, Conn. ; son of Hon. David Clarke, who came to 
America in 1639, from Warwickshire, England, and settled at 
Windsor, Conn. By both his paternal grandparents he is de- 
scended, in the seventh generation, from Simon Huntington, of 
England, whose sons, Christopher and Simon, Mr. Clarke's ances- 
tors, settled at Saybrook in 1633, and finally at Norwich, Conn. 

His mother, Lucy Bingham, was a daughter of the Hon. Moses 
Bliss, of Springfield, Mass. In this line lie is in the seventh 
generation from Thomas Bliss, an early settler of Hartford, Conn. 

By his maternal grandmother he is descended, in the eighth 
generation, from Michael Metcalf, who came from England in 
1637, and settled in Dedhain, Mass. 

One of the paternal great-grandmothers of Mr. Clarke was 
Elizabeth Edwards, second daughter of Kev. Timoth}' Edwards, 
of Windsor, Conn., who married Colonel Jabez Huntington; and 
one of his maternal great-grandmothers was Abigail Edwards, 
sixth daughter of Kev. Timothy Edwards, who married William 
Metcalf; both sisters of President Jonathan Edwards. 

In the year 180.5, Mr. Clarke emigrated with his parents to 
Onondaga County, arriving at Pompey Hill Nov. 2, where they 
occupied the " Squire Wood House." The next year they moved 
on a farm lying ten miles east of the hill. Mr. Clarke's early 
educational opportunities were quite fair, and he improved them 
to the utmost. In 1815 he obtained a clerkship in Col. Camp's 
store, at Trumaiisburg, N. Y., whose confidence in him was so 
great that he often intrusted him with the execution of very difB- 
cult duties. He then went to Ithaca, and engaged as clerk until 
Jan. 1, 1819, when he returned home, and pursued his studies at 
the Pompey academy. Some time later he made a trip to Kentucky, 
where he experienced religion, and united with the Concord Pres- 
byterian church, Nichols county, in April, 1827. He taught school 
most of the time while there. 

In April, 18i!8, he returned to Pompey, traveling a distance of 
700 miles. In the year 1829 he was elected school commissioner 
of the town of Pompej- by the anti-Masonic party. The winters 
of 1880, 1831, and 1831! were spent in teaching the district schools 
of Lafayette Square, Camillus Village, and Pompey Centre. 

From the spring of 1832 to 1837 he was employed in mercantile 
houses at Manlius, principally that of Messrs. E. & H. Rhodes. 
While there he became acquainted with Clara Catlin Tyler, whom 
he married June 7, 1836, at Harford, Pa., where she was born 

to -Ce( ^r~€^ S- Q)/Ciyy K- 

April 9, 1810. She was a daughter of John Tyler, of Harford, son 
of Deacon John Tyler, of Ararat, Pa. ; son of Capt. John Tyler, 
of Attleboro, Mass. ; son of Ebenezer Tyler, of Attleboro, Mass. ; 
son of Samuel Tyler, of Mendon, Mass.; son of Job Tyler, the 
emigrant ancestor, who was born in 1019, and came to America, 
and settled in Andover, Mass., about 1640. 

By her paternal grandmother she is de.scended, in the eighth 
generation, from Eev. Peter Thacher, of Salisbury, England, 
rector of Saint Edmond's, in that city. His son. Rev. Thomas 
Thacher, came to America in 103.5, and became the first minister 
of the old South church, Boston. Mrs. Clarke's mother was Polly 
Wadsworth, daughter of Epaphrus Wadsworth, formerly of 
Litchfield, Conn. In this line she is descended, in the seventh 
generation, from Hon. William Wadsworth, who emigrated from 
England in 1632, and settled in Cambridge, Mass., and afterwards 
in Hartford, Conn. ; also from his son, Capt. Joseph Wadsworth, 
of " Charter Oak" fame. By her maternal grandmother she is, 
in the eighth generation, from Thomas Catlin, who emigrated 
from England, or Wales, as early as 1644, and settled in Hartford, 
Conn. The Catlins are of French origin. Mrs. Clarke received 
a good education, and was preceptress at one time in the Cazeno- 
via high school, and also in the Manlius academy. 

In 1838, Mr. Clarke was appointed deputy county clerk. In 
1841 was elected clerk of Syracuse, and the same year was ap- 
pointed collector by the board of trustees. In 1843-44 was a 
member of the firm of Clarke & Sloat, in the marble business. 
In 1850 became a co-partner of Lyman Kingsly, in the sash and 
blind business, which he continued three years. On Jan. 1, 1869, 
was appointed chief clerk of the searching department, which 
position he held ten consecutive years. In 1806 he purchased a 
residence, with fourteen acres of land, in Onondaga Valley, about 
two and a half miles from the city of Syracuse, whore he now 
resides. His son, Henry Wadsworth, is civil engineer and sur- 
vevor of Syracuse, born in Harford, Susquehanna Co., Pa., Nov. 
6, 'l837. Frances Amelia, his daughter, was born in Syracuse, 
Dec. 0, 1839, and now lives with her parents. Mr. Clarke is a 
man of excellent habits, neither chewing tobacco, drinking liquor, 
nor smoking. It has been his life's aim to stop, in his humble way, 
the spread of intemperance. He has identiBed himself with the 
great moral and .social ideas of his time in every way that he has 
been able. In all the many and intricate offices which have been 
intrusted to him, he has invariably discharged their duties with 
ability and integrity. He is still enjoying good health, and is 
pa.ssing away his declining years in the sweet consciousness of 
having led an upright and consistent life. 

rtiolc*. b]r N. 8. Bowdiib, Syraciuc. 

^ ^^n^cyfi^ *^ «^A.x^sLfi. 


The subject of tliin sketch was born in Woodstock, Oneida 
Co., N. Y., Aug. 23, 1H13. Hi' wits the younj;ast of three 
HODS of Sylvester Salisbury and Sarah F. Gleason, both of 
whom wore nalivf.s of Ma.s.f:ichu.<(!fts. He spent his cjirly life 
auionj; his relatives, liis fatlier liavinj; died wlien he was only 
three years of a^e. At about the a^e of seventeen he conceived 
the idea that an education was necessary to meet the future, 
and rcKoiviKl if jKKwible to obtain one. Aei-ordiii^iy, without 
means jiecuniarily, he entered the academy at PouijH'y Ifill, 
working for his boanl. llrre his time was a constant round of 
activity, but he advanced so ra]>idiy in his studies, both at 
Fompey and White.-iborci, that he was enabled afterwards to 
engage its a teacher in district .schoiils. Thus he nu't the 
obitacles 80 common to self-made men. 

About the year 1830 he came to Syracuse, opened a jirivale 
school, subs4-(|uently obtained a position in the ]iulilie sclustl, 
and by succi'ssive gradations he in the i-steem of the people 
until, uj)on the erection of the village of into a city, 
he was elected as the first superintendent of schools, which 
office he enjoyed for .some three years, and suKmNpiently held 
the same office for .several terms, and either ;ls teacher or super- 
intendent was connected with the schools of the city until 18ti4, 
a period of nearly thirty years. In this labor he was an inde- 
fatigable worker, possessing marked ability as an instructor, and 

more than ordinary executive ability, and many of the business 
men of the city to-day look back with honor to the faithful 
teacher who first gave them an insight to the road to wealth and 
prosperity. In the year lSt!4 he entered the Army of the 
Rebellion as additional paymaster United States volunteers for 
the department of the south, with the title of major, and was 
mustered out a brevet colonel, Oct. 21, 1807, by command of 
General Grant, K. D. Townsend being jussisljint adjutant-general. 

Returning to Syracuse, he received the appointment of warden 
and agent of Auburn prison, which position he held for one 
year and a half, and until the change of the State administration. 
Returning again to his own eily. he spent the balance of his life 
mostly in ((uicl at home. .^Ir. Salisbury was identified with the 
Republican party, an ardent supporter of its principles, a man 
of a retiring nature, never .solicitous of publicity, but stood 
prominently identified with every good work and cnt<'ry>ri8C 
tending to make society better. lie died April 29, 1874. 

On Oct. 12, 1842, he married Miss Sarah, daughter of John 
Tallman and Clarissa Vrooman, of Onondaga County. She 
was born Feb. 10, 1818, and still survive-s her luLsband at the 
time of writing this sketch. She early became a member of 
the Presbyterian church at Castleton, Ontario county, and in 
1840, coming to Syracuse, united with the Congregational 
church of this city, now culled Plymouth church. 



ino- five dollars a year, a boarding house ten dollars, 
and a tavern ten dollars. In case Mr. Teall failed 
to exercise the rights and powers granted him by 
this act within one year from the date thereof, they 
were to revert again to the trustees of the village ; 
which they did, and were again conveyed to the said 
Oliver Teall, his heirs and assigns, for a period of 
thirty-five years, by an act passed April 22, 1834. 
(Laws, 1834, Chap. 151.) Nothing was further done 
till March 29, 1842, at which time an amendment to 
the former acts was passed, (Laws 1842, Chap. 108,) 
allowing Mr. Teall to charge ten dollars a year for 
supplying water to a private family, twenty dollars 
to a boarding house, and forty dollars to a tavern or 

Under this amendment Mr. Teall began the con- 
struction of his water-works. The first wooden 
pipes or pump logs were laid in 1842, or early in 
1843, and brought water to the village from the 
springs situated at the foot of the hill above Lodi 
street, on Blocks No. 404 and No. 504. Subse- 
quently Messrs. Ira Seymour and Aaron Burt were 
associated with Mr. Teall in the water-works, the 
firm being Teall, Seymour and Burt till 1849, or till 
sometime prior to the formation of the new com- 

On the 15th of April, 1849, the present Water- 
Works Company was incorporated by special act of 
the Legislature under the name and style of the 
Syracuse City Water-Works Company. The orig- 
inal incorporators were Oliver Teall, Ira Seymour, 
John Wilkinson, Hamilton White and Robert Fur- 

The act of incorporation was amended April 8, 
1851, (Laws 1851, Chap. 104,) requiring the Com- 
pany to supply water on certain terms to the Com- 
mon Council of the city for extinguishing fires and 
other purposes. Again, it was amended March 22, 
1853, (Laws, 1853, Chap. 35,) so as to allow the 
Company to increase their capital stock from ^60,000 
to such an amount as the Directors might deem ad- 
visable not exceeding $150,000, such increased 
stock to be divided into shares of $$0 each. The 
third amendment, passed February 6, 1855, (Laws 
1855, Chap. 16,) conferred upon the Board of Di- 
rectors the power to establish rules and regulations 
for the use of water from their works so as to pre- 
serve the same from waste, and to impose such 
penalties as they should see proper for the violation 
of said rules and regulations, not exceeding in any 
case the sum of fifty dollars. Olher amendments 
were passed in 1864, 1865, and 1877. 

In 1849 the Company constructed a system of 
water-works described as follows : The springs 

in the valley of Furnace Brook, in the town of 
Onondaga, were selected for the supply of water. 
The water was conducted from these springs by 
aqueducts to a large stone well, about eighty rods 
distant from each, which was seventeen feet deep 
and constructed of substantial masonry. The well 
was on Lot 89, in the town of Onondaga. From 
this well there was a main culvert or aqueduct laid 
towards the head of the Cinder Road (West Onon- 
daga street) and terminating on the high ground. 
The length of this aqueduct was about a mile, and 
it was constructed of masonry two feet square in- 
side. At the termination was a large open reser- 
voir, capable of holding 3,000.000 gallons of water, 
from which the water was conducted down the hill 
through brick culverts and stoned wells to a point 
where a log aqueduct of nine inches bore conveyed 
it through Onondaga street to Fayette Park, and 
thence to the railroad in Lock street, where it con- 
nected with the aqueducts before laid. 

In 1853, the first iron pipe was laid— 852 rods, 
extending to Salina, around Fayette Park and on 
James street. A reservoir of 107 feet head above 
the Erie Canal at Salina street, and of 1,500,000 
gallons capacity, was also constructed during 1853. 
This large reservoir on Onondaga Hill was com- 
menced in 1862, and finished in 1865. During this 
latter year an additional distributing reservoir was 
constructed on Lot No. 89, town of Onondaga. 

Without attempting to follow the history of these 
works more in detail, we may say that the Syracuse 
City Water Works are located southwest of the 
city in the town of Onondaga, the water being ob- 
tained from Springs, from Furnace Brook and from 
Onondaga Creek. The main reservoir is at Onon- 
daga Hill, covering 19 acres, forty feet deep, and 
fed by Furnace Brook. There are two Distribut- 
ing Reservoirs— one of 165 feet head, and the 
other of 107 feet head, above the level of the canal 
at Salina street. The lower, (107 feet head) 
is supplied by springs, and in dry weather by 
water pumped from Onondaga Creek at the Pump 
Works. Two pumps are employed, viz : a Holly 
Pump of 3,000,000 gallons capacity, and a Worth- 
ington Duplex Engine of 10,000,000 gallons capac- 
ity daily. These pumps are connected with the 
reservoir by a 30-inch cast iron pipe. The water 
reaches the city by gravity pressure the mains 
connecting with the reservoirs being respectively 
10 inches, 12 inches and 24 inches in diameter. 
For fire purposes, steam engines being employed, 
the water is supplied by hydrants at the street 
corners, and in some instances at the middle of the 

^liAjAl uCnxt 




In addition to the casual refere' 
to the life and services ot Mr. \ 
nection with the history of the city and county in 
which he took so early an 
extended memoir would . 
more than forty years ot , 

Mr. 'A .Ikinson held a place > none m tht 

indiist'iai and social devc' his city and 

counTy, and has left behn •int proofs ol 

his ability and wisdom, in a tamiiy trained to lives 
of li- and honor ; .. 

slo'. onestly ; in 

city, .1': 1 in many enterpnst^s to which he gave the 
first impetus, tending to ensure the prosp»=rity of 

It may be said of IdW with truth. • and 

and tongue and pen the 

service of the city he i,.:. ■■ 

He was the fourth in ues(.eii 
Wilkinson of Harper' ■ .' ' ' 

Durham, England. I 

Lord Fairfax, leader of the v forces, 

wJiile serving his King v. 

•^afterwards Duke of Ne . 

battle of Marston Moor. His estates were sequest- 
ered by Parliament, but be Ir 
Lord Fairfax, and permitted t^ „ .- ' 
In the Register's office at Durham th' 
as follows, and may still be seen . " .V 

in Durham 1645-47. La^'- 

Lanchester, officer in arms, w 

On his arrival in the new worla, ham.g Utile in 

' '. settled in F Island. T' -■ 

.. '• First ~ 

, lie year il^- 
? iV ; «/ that colony, 

was Jo. 

kinson mamcu .. .^.^.. -■t-i 

His fifth child was Daniel Wilkinson, who was born 
June 8th, 1703, in the town of Smithfield, part of 
of the present city of Providence. Daniel Wilkin- 
son married Abigail Inman, September 22, 1740. 
His seventh child was named John Wilkinson, born 


/> 111 I .;■,- T ■> 

old wb- 


the i'iack 
After I,: 
care >.: 
years i'; 
to Trov 

■ ^cv T,., •..■., Wilkinsu:; married, 
leth Tower, whose 
o! John Hancock, 
son was not seventeen years 
arms resounding through the 
ini.ounced the Revolution which 
' ' ' '■ ■• :. He 

iter the 
n of In e. By 

1 in the 
; harbor, 
these prisoners, 
'iose decks 
.L , died by 
■ ; lays by 
. by the 
•ith im- 
ter the 
lived there nine yens, and 
■'nciL iic iul^jectoi this sketch was born, September 

In February, 1799, John Wilkinson, the father, 
left his home in Troy, to create ''' a new 

one in the then wilderness of Cc ,. York. 

He performed the long and toilsome joi. ley on 
-foot, leading a cow. ilis wife and lit! le ones, to- 
gether with all his bd • ' ■ 1 : nods, rode upon a 
sledge drawn bv a At a sunnier 

season he h nc lovely lake of 

■"' — : ^ .nd for a 'arm in 

from its shores. 
lb ;o work hterally t!' hew a 

as it proved, ;; grave 

.ss than if'.-, years, 

.;ivcd while building a barn. He 

..; u.i iiis farm which still rer; :"> in the 

•n a loe house, in the nmUt of ? "^at forest 


., . oltaneateles. 

s mother, not daunti a by the additional 
buraen entailed upon herself in her struggle with 
the wilderness for the support of four children, by 
the loss of her son's help upon the farm, or by the 
expense incident to the scheme, determined to give 
him the best education the country afforded and to 




In addition to the casual references already made 
to the life and services of Mr. Wilkinson, in con- 
nection with the history of the city and county in 
which he took so early and important a part, a more 
extended memoir would seem to be necessary. For 
more than forty years of active and professional life, 
Mr. Wilkinson held a place second to none in the 
industrial and social development of his city and 
county, and has left behind him abundant proofs of 
his ability and wisdom, in a family trained to lives 
of usefulness and honor ; a large fortune accumulated 
slowly and honestly ; in buildings which adorn his 
city, and in many enterprises to which he gave the 
first impetus, tending to ensure the prosperity of 

It may be said of him with truth, that his hand 
and tongue and pen and pocket were always at the 
service of the city he named, loved and helped to 

He was the fourth in descent from Lawrance 
Wilkinson of Harperly House, Lanchester, County 
Durham, England. This ancestor was captured by 
Lord Fairfax, leader of the Parliamentary forces, 
while serving his King under General Cavendish, 
(afterwards Duke of New Castle) at the decisive 
battle of Marston Moor. His estates were sequest- 
ered by Parliament, but he himself was released by 
Lord Fairfax, and permitted to go to New England. 
In the Register's office at Durham the record reads 
as follows, and may still be seen : " Sequestrations 
in Durham 1645-47. Lawrance Wilkinson of 
Lanchester, officer in arms, went to New England." 

On his arrival in the new world, having little in 
common with the Puritans of Massachusetts Bay, 
by whose party he had been ruined and expatriated, 
he settled in Providence, Rhode Island. There 
his name may still be seen in the " First Book of 
Records" as signed by himself in the year i6so-'5i, 
as one of the original founders of that colony. 

He married Susannah Smith. His third child 
was John Wilkinson, born March 2, 1654. John Wil- 
kinson married Deborah Whipple, April 16, 1689. 
His fifth child was Daniel Wilkinson, who was born 
June 8th, 1703, in the town of Smithfield, part of 
of the present city of Providence. Daniel Wilkin- 
son married Abigail Inman, September 22, 1740. 
His seventh child was named John Wilkinson, born 

November 13, 1758. John Wilkinson married, 
December — , 1782, Elizabeth Tower, whose 
mother was a cousin of John Hancock. 

This John Wilkinson was not seventeen years 
old when the clash of arms resounding through the 
civilized world, announced the Revolution which 
preceded the birth of the new Republic. He 
entered the service of his country soon after the 
signing of the Declaration of Independence. By 
the fate of war he was captured and confined in the 
notorious Jersey Prison Ship in New York Harbor, 
The records of the sufferings of these prisoners, 
who were densely crowded between the close decks 
and even in the noisome hold, where they died by 
scores, have only been surpassed in former days by 
the Black Hole of Calcutta, and later, by the 
cruelties of Libby Prison and Andersonville. 
After nine months he was exchanged, but with im- 
paired health, which was only restored after the 
care of years. After his marriage he lived for some 
years in Cumberland, R. I. In 1790 he removed 
to Troy, N. Y. He lived there nine years, and 
there the subject of this sketch was born, September 
30, 1798. 

In February, 1799, John Wilkinson, the father, 
left his home in Troy, to create for himself a new 
one in the then wilderness of Central New York. 
He performed the long and toilsome journey on 
foot, leading a cow. His wife and little ones, to- 
gether with all his household goods, rode upon a 
sledge drawn by a yoke of oxen. At a sunnier 
season he had been attracted by the lovely lake of 
Skaneateles and had selected the land for a farm in 
the midst of the forest one mile from its shores. 
Thither he came, and set to work literally to hew a 
home for his family, and also, as it proved, a grave 
for himself; for he died in less than three years, 
from injuries received while building a barn. He 
was buried on his farm which still remains in the 

Here in a log house, in the midst of a great forest 
filled with game, John Wilkinson grew up. Until 
the age of twelve he went to school at Skaneateles. 
Then his mother, not daunted by the additional 
burden entailed upon herself in her struggle with 
the wilderness for the support of four children, by 
the loss of her son's help upon the farm, or by the 
expense incident to the scheme, determined to give 
him the best education the country afibrded and to 


send him to the Academy at Onondaga. It was the 
nearest classical school, but it was thirteen miles 
from his home. With a perseverance and energy 
worthy of such a mother, he every week performed 
this distance on foot, walking over every Monday 
morning and returning Friday night to spend Sun- 
day with his mother. Part of the time he was 
accompanied by the late Hon. Asher Tyler, of 
Elmira, whose parents resided in the adjoining town 
of Marcellus. One winter, he, with three other 
boys, kept house in Onondaga. The supplies of 
corn meal, pork and potatoes, were provided by 
each in turn, and his share was carried on his back 
all the toilsome thirteen miles which lay between 
his home and school. 

While pursuing his studies in this arduous 
fashion, he attracted the notice of the Hon. Joshua 
Forman, then the great man of the county, and the 
principal patron of the Academy, and after he 
graduated he became Mr. Forman's clerk, and a 
member in his family. In the law office of Forman 
and Sabin he studied his profession. He was 
admitted to the bar in September, 1819, and was 
the first lawyer who settled in Syracuse. 

It will not be inappropriate to quote in this con- 
nection an extract from the " Reminiscences of 
Syracuse, by Mr. T. C. Cheney, published in 


"In 1819, John Wilkinson, in company with 
Owen Forman, a brother of the Judge, came here 
from Onondaga Hollow, and, under the direction of 
Judge Forman, proceeded to layout the 'Walton 
Tract ' into village lots. This survey was not 
accomplished without the severest labor. The old 
lines and marks of the tract were nearly obliterated, 
and it was with the greatest difficulty that they 
found, with any degree of certainty, the starting 
point of the original survey. The survey was com- 
pleted after several weeks of hard labor. Part of 
the 'Walton Tract' was laid out into village lots, 
and the remainder into farm lots of from five to ten 
acres. After the completion of the survey, Mr. 
Wilkinson built an office on the corner now occu- 
pied by the Globe Hotel, and commenced the 
practice of law. Mr. Wilkinson was heartily 
ridiculed for putting his office out in the fields. 
That location, now forming the business center of 
a flourishing city, was then out of town. 

" In February, 1820, a postoffice was established 
in Syracuse, and Mr. Wilkinson was appointed 
Postmaster. In 1825, when the first election for 
village officers was held, Mr Wilkinson was elected 
Clerk. Mr. Wilkinson has since held several offices 
of profit and trust, with honor and distinction. 

When railroads were first successfully put in opera- 
tion, Mr. Wilkinson closely investigated their work- 
ings and principles, and his gigantic mind compre- 
hending in an instant their immense advantages, 
and ultimate supercedence of the common post- 
roads, he entered at once largely into railroad aflairs, 
and is now emphatically a Railroad King. 

" He was for several years President of the 
Syracuse and Utica Railroad, and by his influence 
succeeded in having the work-shops of that road 
built at Syracuse, thus adding the hardy popula- 
tion of the Fifth Ward to our city. He is now the 
President of the Michigan Southern Railroad, and 
under his skillful management that road is now one 
of the best in the Union. Mr. Wilkinson is a 
great favorite with the traveling public, and is loved 
and respected by all railroad men, who would do 
anything for him." 

As a lawyer, Mr. Wilkinson occupied a promi- 
nent place at the Onondaga Bar. The late Peter 
Cutwater, Esq., was associated with him for many 
years, and later, James L. Bagg, Esq As counsel 
and advisor he had few equals and no superior. 

The general estimate of his probity and wisdom 
was abundantly proved by the number of estates 
entrusted to him as executor, administrator, or trus- 
tee. In his later years, he derived much satisfac- 
tion from the fact that all trust funds committed to 
him had been increased in amount and enhanced 
in value while in his hands. 

Mr. Wilkinson was a director in the Onondaga 
County Bank from its organization in 1825, until its 
close. He was also President of the Bank of Syra- 
cuse, which he, together with the late Horace White, 
Esq., organized in 1838, on the passage of the gen- 
eral Banking Law, and so continued till his death. 
Both of these banks were managed with prudence 
and were exceedingly profitable to their stock-hold- 
ers. Both have now been closed, all the men who 
organized them having passed away. 

At Albany, February 24, 1825, John Wilkinson 
married Henrietta Wilhelmina Swart. Of eight 
children born to them, six are now living. Joshua 
Forman and Alfred Wilkinson are in business un- 
der the firm name of Wilkinson & Co., as bankers, 
on the site where their father's office stood and 
where they were born A rare instance of perma- 
nence in our mobile country. Maria H. Wilkinson 
married Mr, F. C, Welsch, and lives in Baden-Baden, 
Germany. Theodosia Burr Davis Wilkinson mar- 
ried Joseph Kirkland, and lives in Chicago. John 
and Dudley Phelps Wilkinson live in Chicago, and 
are among the leading merchants of that city. 
Mr. Wilkinson was appointed Postmaster Feb. 


24, 1820, which was announced in the Onondaga 
Register, as follows : 

" A new Postoffice has been established at 
Syracuse formerly Corinth, in the town of Salina, 
and John Wilkinson, Esq., appointed Postmaster. 
The name of this village was necessarily changed, 
there being a Postoffice of the name of Corinth 
previously established in the State." 

Mr. Wilkinson remained in office till July 26, 
1840, when, as President of the Syracuse and Utica 
Railroad Company, which was carrying the mails, 
he was held by the Postmaster-General to be a 
contractor within the meaning of the statute, and 
was therefore compelled to resign one office or 
the other. With that wisdom which characterized 
every action of his life, he gave up the postoffice, 
and permanently retired from active politics. 

In 1834 and 1835 he was elected Member of 
Assembly from Onondaga County, and occupied, 
while in that body, the position of Chairman of an 
important committee, viz.: On the Incorporation 
and Alteiation of Banking and Insurance Com- 

Though an able debater, he never wasted time 
in forensic display, but spoke rarely and only upon 
business in his charge, or on that of which he was 
complete master. Therefore he never failed to 
command the attention of the House. 

His great effort was a speech delivered April 2, 
1835, in opposition to the State aiding in the con- 
struction of the Erie Railroad. What Mr. Wilkin- 
son then enunciated as a principle is now the settled 
policy of the State. 

It was during his second year that the bill was 
passed which changed his life from one purely pro- 
fessional to one of active business. In 1836 the 
Syracuse and Utica Railroad Company was char- 
tered. In the following year, when its organization 
was completed and the construction of that road be- 
came assured, he was unanimously chosen by his 
associate directors as President. The road was 
opened July 4, 1839. The fact that it was built for 
$200,000 less than the capital stock subscribed for 
the purpose of building it, is a striking commentary 
upon the capacity and integrity of Mr. Wilkinson. 

It is needless to say that from that hour till 1853, 
when the road was merged into the great New York 
Central Railroad, he had the absolute confidence of 
the stockholders. 

His management of a railroad was characterized 
by great study, unremitting attention, untiring vigi- 
lance and a watchful eye which nothing could es- 
cape. He made this railroad his sole care and 
thought and gave to it the fourteen best years of his 

life. Personally, in common with all of the stock- 
holders, he received his reward in large dividends, 
and in the enhanced value of his stock, but his 
salary as President never paid his family and per- 
sonal expenses. 

After the organization of the New York Central 
Railroad, he was appointed counsel to that company, 
a compliment which he richly deserved both as a 
lawyer and a railroad man. 

While President of the Syracuse and Utica Rail- 
road he was also prominent in the direction of the 
following railroads, viz: the Hudson River, the Buf- 
falo and State Line, the Oswego and Syracuse, and 
the Rochester and Syracuse. The two railroads last 
named he projected, organized, and may be said to 
have built, as he was the Chairman of their Con- 
struction Committees. 

Rival lines being under construction for the pur- 
pose of connecting the granaries of the West with 
the sea-board, Mr. Wilkinson felt the keenest anx- 
iety lest business should be diverted from the line 
in which he had a much greater interest than one 
of dollars solely— a line of which he had been a 
projector, constructor and manager, and he recog- 
nized the necessity of so improving the line from 
Albany to Buflalo, then managed by seven different 
companies, as to enable it to compete successfully 
with its future rivals. He found that the line be- 
tween Syracuse and Rochester could be shortened 
twenty-four miles and six hundred feet of grades 
could be eliminated by building a railroad on the 
line of the Erie Canal. This project of course en- 
countered the most vigorous opposition from the 
residents of Auburn, Geneva, Canandaigua, and 
lesser places on the Old Road, as well as from the 
stockholders of the two companies owning the line 
via Auburn. Their opposition ceased when they 
became convinced that Mr. Wilkinson was in earn- 
est, and that under the general railroad law, ad- 
vocated by him for this very purpose, a direct rail- 
road between Syracuse and Rochester was inevita- 
ble. The two companies then accepted Mr. Wil- 
kinson's plan of consolidation with the Direct 
Railroad— the consolidated company to build the 
new road. 

The consolidation of all the railroad companies 
between Albany and Buffalo into the great New 
York Central R. R. Company, closed one epoch in 
Mr. Wilkinson's active and useful career ; and before 
turning to other occupations, he resolved to allow 
himself that rest which he had so richly earned. 
To visit Europe had been a long cherished hope, 
and he availed himself of this opportunity to bring 
it to fruition. After a ycnr of tr.ivcl. all the advan- 


tages of which his disciplined and wcll-slorcd mind 
fitted him to appreciate, he returned to his country 
and his home in the spring of 1854, ready to spend 
for both, his renewed strength. 

Among other positions tendered him was the 
presidency of the Michigan Southern and Northern 
Indiana Railroad, which he accepted. He filled 
this office with his characteristic fidelity and ability 
for two years. During that time he built nearly 
two hundred miles of railroad, including the Detroit, 
Monroe and Toledo Railroad. 

In the last years of his life, he operated theTerre 
Haute, Alton & St. Louis Railroad, in his own 
name for two years as Trustee and Receiver. He 
returned it to its owners a reorganized Railroad, all 
interests having been protected and cared for. His 
management in this instance was acknowledged to 
be a great financial success. 

After the death of Capt. Oliver Teall, he became 
President of the Syracuse Water-Works. He 
adopted the plan for collecting the water from 
sprmgs and small streams into a reservoir. Few 
people in Syracuse know that five hundred feet above 
them, on Onondaga Hill, there is stored up for their 
use in Wilkinson Lake 150,000.000 gallons of water, 
or forty-three days' supply, at the present rate of 

Mr. Wilkinson was engaged upon this work at 
the time of his sudden death. His plan embraced 
the construction of other reservoirs when they 
should become necessary. 

The water-works company have since tried two 
systems of pumping, and are now contemplating 
the rcadoption of what may be called the Wilkinson 
plan by the construction of another reservoir to 
hold 300,000,000 gallons. If this should be done, 
it will confirm the wisdom of his judgment. For this 

projected reservoir an appropriate name suggests 
itself It should be called Forman Lake, in honor 
of Joshua Forman. 

In Mr. Wilkinson's life he showed a solicitude that 
was almost pathetic that young people should start 
right, and he was never in their company without 
trying to give help in the right direction. It pained 
him to see them treat lightly the great advantages 
of later times, doubtless remembering the many 
weary miles he had walked to attain his education ; 
and if, as the old Hindoo said, " Man is man's 
mirror," we do well to hold up the mirror of Mr. 
Wilkinson's life to young men just entering on 
their career, that in it they may see the rewards 
which wait on industry, integrity and zeal. 

His noble mother, believing that knowledge is 
power, resolved that he should possess the key to 
unlock its treasure-house, and gave him, as we have 
seen, the best education in her power, at how great 
self-sacrifice no one but herself ever knew. Her 
wisdom it was, that laid the foundation of his suc- 
cess and she was rewarded by living to witness it. 

From the age of sixteen he fought the battle of 
life unaided, his only weapons the perseverance 
and determination which he had learned amid the 
privations of pioneer life. 

Never was the promise better exemplified. " Be 
faithful over a few things and I will make thee 
ruler over many things." With care and fidelity 
he, in his youth, had discharged every duty which 
devolved upon him and gained the confidence of the 
community in which he lived, until at last they 
were eager to thrust their most precious possessions 
upon him for safe keeping. 

Perhaps the best eulogy upon him is the simple 
testimony of a neighbor— a life-long friend and 
staunch supporter : " He was an honest man." 



Miles W. Bennett, Horace Wheaton, Thomas J. 
Gilbert, Elihu L. Phillips and Aaron Burt, were 
citizens of Syracuse and Onondaga County ; the 
rest were Utica and Albany men. 

The Syracuse and Utica Railroad Company were 
required by law to pay to the President and Direc- 
tors of the Seneca Road Company the amount of 
damages which the said road company might sus- 
tain by the construction of the railroad, and also 
to pay toll to the Canal Commissioners on all 
freight, other than the regular baggage of passen- 
gers, carried by the railroad during the season of 
canal navigation. The Schenectady and Utica Rail- 
road was absolutely prohibited in its original charter 
from carrying any freight. This prohibition was re- 
moved by act of March 7, 1844, and the Schenectady 
and Utica Road was allowed to carry freight during 
the suspension of canal navigation by paying the canal 
commissioners such tolls as would have been paid 
on the goods had they been transported by the Erie 
Canal. This opened all the roads to freight through 
to Buffalo, subject to the same conditions as those 
imposed upon the Schenectady and Utica Railroad. 

Prior to the removal of the prohibition on the 
Schenectady and Utica Railroad, freights had been 
to some extent carried through from Schenectady to 
Utica on sleighs in winter, and transferred to other 
points west of Utica by rail ; but very Httle freight 
reached Syracuse by the Utica Railroad till after 
March 7, 1844. 

Oliver H. Lee, of Syracuse, was the engineer in 
the construction of the Syracuse and Utica Railroad, 
and was appointed the first Superintendent. The 
original board of directors consisted of the following 
named gentlemen : 

John Wilkinson, President. 

Charles Stebbins, Vice-President. 

Vivus W. Smith, Secretary. 

David Wager, Treasurer. 
Oliver Teall, 
Aaron Burt, 
Holmes Hutchinson, 
John Townsend, 

Samuel French. 

Between the railroads of that day and this, and 
their equipments, there is a marked contrast. The 
first track consisted of six-by-six scantling, fastened 
to the ties by L-shaped chairs placed outside the 
rail and spiked to it and the tie beneath. Upon 
the scantling, parallel with the inner edge, a bar of 
iron two inches wide and three-fourths of an inch 
thick was spiked. Occasionally a bar-end came 
loose and endangered the safety of passengers by 
being thrust up through the car-floor. The first 

Horatio Seymour, 
James Hooker, 
Irad Hawley, 
John Stryker, 

engines were single-drivers, with small trail wheels 
under the cab, which consisted of a roof hung 
around with oil cloth during winter. The weight 
of the locomotive was from four to six tons. The 
first cars had four wheels. The conductor came 
along outside the compartments, which had two 
seats each, and collected the fare. In 1843, the 
cars had no projection over the platforms, and were 
low and ill-ventilated. It was quite a step in ad- 
vance when locomotives with four-drivers were 
placed upon the road, but even then there were no 
pilots ; some had two splint brooms set in front just 
in position to clear the track, and others flat iron 
bars bent forward and sharpened at the ends, This 
was the " cow-catcher." In winter a large wooden 
plow was placed in front of the engine. The first 
track was soon superceded by an eight-by-eight 
wooden rail, along the center of which was placed 
strap-iron the same width and thickness as that at 
first used. Iron rails were supplied in 1S41, and 
steel rails in 1872, 

The Syracuse and Utica Railroad was opened in 

In locating the depots and route through Syra- 
cuse, certain conditions were required of the com- 
pany by a resolution prepared by Hon. E. W. 
Leavenworth, President of the village, and offered 
to the Board by Captain Putnam, viz : that the 
railroad company should construct a sewer along 
the track on Washington street from the stream 
known as Yellow Brook to Onondaga Creek, and 
should plant trees along both sides of Washington 
street as far east as Beech street. These con- 
ditions were performed by the company. The rows 
of trees now standing on East Washington street 
are those planted by the railroad company, and they 
form a pleasant and agreeable shade. The sewer 
constructed by the railroad company was the first 
of any importance in the village, and contributed 
largely to the draining of the swamp between Sa- 
lina street and Lodi, 

The company was also required to purchase cer- 
tain portions of the blocks on each side of the 
depot, so as to make sufficient space for the building 
and an alley-way along side of it. This was done, 
and the space now left where the old depot was lo- 
cated is known as Vanderbilt Square. 

Direct Road. 
The line from Syracuse to Rochester, composed 
of the Auburn and Syracuse and the Auburn and 
Rochester railroads, was 104 miles over a crooked 
route with heavy grades. In 1849 the attention of 
Mr. John Wilkinson and others was called to the 



necessity of constructing a more direct and level 
railroad between Syracuse and Rochester, and, with 
that object in view, they organized the Rochester 
and Syracuse Direct Railroad Company. The sur- 
veys were made by O. C. Childs and showed that a 
level railroad could be constructed twenty-two miles 
shorter than the old line. In 1S50 the three com- 
panies consolidated under the name of the Roches- 
ter and Syracuse Railroad Company and the Direct 
Road was built in the ensuing years under the direc- 
tion of James Hall, engineer, and opened in 1853, 
at the same time of the general consolidation form- 
ing the New York Central Railroad. 

Oswego and Svkacuse Railroad. 

The Oswego and Syracuse Railroad Company 
was formed April 29, 1839, and the route was sur- 
veyed during the summer of that year. The Com- 
pany was fully organized March 25, 1847, with the 
following Board of Directors : John Wilkinson, 
Thomas T. Davis, Allen Munroe, Horace White, 
Syracuse ; F. T. Carrington, Luther Wright, Syl- 
vester Doolittie, Alvin Bronson, Oswego ; Holmes 
Hutchinson, Alfred Munson, Thomas F. Fa.xton, 
Utica ; Samuel Willets, New York ; Rufus King, 
Albany. The first officers were : Holmes Hutch- 
inson, President ; F. T. Carrington, Secretary ; Lu- 
ther Wright, Treasurer. The road was opened in 
October, 1848. It is thirty-five and a half miles 
in length. In 1872 it came under the management 
of the Delaware, Lackasvanna and Western Rail- 
road Company, by whom it is still operated. 

Syracuse, Binghamton and New York Railroad. 

The Syracuse and Binghamton Railroad Com- 
pany was organized August 13, 1S51, under the 
general law passed in 1S50. The original directors 
were, Hamilton Murray, D. C. Littlejohn, Os- 
wego ; Horace White, James R. Lawrence, Thomas 
B. Fitch, Syracuse ; Daniel S. Dickinson, Hazard 
Lewis, Binghamton ; Jedediah Barber, Israel Boies, 
Homer ; Alanson Carley, Marathon ; Henry 
Stevens, Cortland ; John B. Rogers, Chittenango 
Forks ; Robert Dunlop, Jamesville. Henry 
Stevens, President ; Clinton F. Paige, Secretary ; 
Horace White, Treasurer ; W. B. Gilbert, Superin- 
tendent and Engineer for the construction of the 
road. The road was opened through, October 23, 
1854. It was sold October 13, 1856, on fore- 
closure of mortgage, and reorganized April 30, 
1857, under the title of the Syracuse, Binghamton 
and New York Railroad, its present title. In 1858, 
the company was authorized to purchase the Union 
Railroad to the canal at Geddes. The length of 
the road from Geddes to Binghamton is 81 miles. 

Under the second organization, Jacob M. Schem- 
erhorn was President, and Orrin Welch, Syracuse, 
Secretary. Then T. B. Fitch was President till 
1871 ; since which time the Presidency has been 
held by Samuel Sloan of New York. 

Through a controlling interest in the stock, the 
road came under the management of the Delaware, 
Lackawanna and Western Railroad Company in 
December, 1870. The new passenger depot at 
Syracuse was erected in 1877. 

SvRACLSE, Chenango and New York Railroad. 

The original incorporators and directors of this 
road were James P. Haskins, Elisha C. Litchfield, 
Henry TenEyck, John W. Barker, Dennis McCar- 
thy, George F. Comstock, Hiram Eaton, John Green- 
way, James J. Belden, S. D. Luce, J. I. Bradley, 
J. M. Wieting, Alfred A. Howlett. J. M. Wieting 
was elected President. The articles of association 
were filed April 16, 1868, the capital stock being 
S 1,000,000. The road was partly opened in 1872, 
and finished in 1874— length 42 miles. 

Harlow W. Chittenden succeeded J. M. Wieting 
as President. The present officers are A. A. How- 
lett, President ; Henry TenEyck, Vice-President ; 
J. S. Sherman, Secretary. 

Syracuse Northern Railroad. 

This road was chartered in 1870 with a capital 
stock of $1,250,000. The directors were Allen 
Munroe, E. W. Leavenworth, E. B. Judson, Patrick 
Lynch, Frank Hiscock, John A. Green, Jacob S. 
Smith, Horace K. White, Elizur Clark, Gerret 
Doyle, Syracuse ; William H. Carter, Brewerton ; 
James A. Clark, Pulaski ; Oren R. Earl, Sandy 
Creek. President, Allen Munroe ; Secretary, Pat- 
rick H. Agan ; Treasurer, Edward B. Judson ; 
Engineer, A. C. Powell. The road is 44 miles to its 
intersection of the R., W. & O. R. R., and was 
opened Nov. 7, 1871. It was purchased by the 
Rome, Watertown and Ogdensburg Railroad Com- 
pany, by which corporation it is now managed, in 

Early Schools of Syracuse. 
The progress of education in the City of Syra- 
cuse forms a very interesting chapter of its history. 
With the earliest settlements schools began to be 
taught, and before there were any districts or pub- 
lic school houses, private buildings and even salt 
blocks were appropriated to the uses of education. 
It is a fact which speaks well for the old " Salt 
Pointers," that their whole attention was not ab- 

Residence of JOHN MOORE, Jio]29WEST Genesll ST.SrftAcuse, NY 



sorbed in salt making, but that one of their num- 
ber at least, a Mr. Conner, could divide his time 
between this occupation and the instruction of the 
children and youth of the new settlement in useful 
knowledge. Mr. Conner kept the earliest school of 
which we have any account in a salt block at Salina, 
and at the same time carried on the occupation of 
boiling salt. He made his school a very useful and 
popular one, securing for it the dignified title of the 
" High School," and it was well patronized by the 
people of Salina and Onondaga Hollow. 

The first public school within the present limits 
of Syracuse, and in the town of Salina, was proba- 
bly District No. i, now the Salina School, situated 
in the First Ward. The date of its organization 
we have not been able to ascertain, but the school 
house was built in 1805. It was commonly known 
as the "old red school house" and stood on what 
was afterwards the southwest corner of Washington 
Park. When first built it was on a line parallel with 
Park, then Salt street, and fronted to the east. The 
seats were arranged at first to face the wall, but af- 
terwards to face the teacher. In the center of the 
room stood a large stove elevated upon a platform 
filled with sand. Originally, the Park was a com- 
mon, intersected by tenter and Salt streets. Near 
the center of the ground was a deep pond which 
seemed to be fed by a living spring. Here geese 
and ducks and children dabbled in summer, while 
the frozen surface in winter afforded an excellent 
skating park. In 1839, the school house was taken 
down, the pond filled up and the four quarters of 
the Park indicated by a horizontal guard. In 1847 
the present fence was placed around it. 

Some reminiscences are related of this old school 
house worth recording. At an early day some 
rough young men and boys were taught here. 
There was a teacher by the name of Isaac Van- 
Tassel, a pious man, from Onondaga Hollow, who 
was determined to becomeaminister and had asked 
the Presbytery to educate him, but they had refused 
to do so on account of a certain impediment in his 
speech. However, he said he would preach, and 
finally did preach, becoming a missionary to the 
Maumee Indians. Under his administration, a 
plot had been formed to resist his authority. He 
had punished a young man for swearing. This led 
to insurrection and revolt. Five or six banded to- 
gether to put him out of the school. He had some 
intimation of what was going on, and as he left the 
house in the morning he said to Mrs. Dioclesian 
Alvord, with whom he boarded : " You need not be 
surprised to see me home earlier than usual," and 
then explained to her his apprehensions. He left, 

and upon going to his room to put it in order, she 
found the Bible open with the passage marked : 
" Rid me and deliver me from the hand of strange 
children." His prayer was answered. At noon 
he informed Mrs. Alvord that Dean Richmond, 
who had been drawn into the plot, came forward 
and in a manly way confessed and apologized for 
the whole transaction. She predicted that he 
would come to something, which was verified in the 
well known future career of this distinguished poli- 
tician. Mr. Van Tassel, also, was afterwards a suc- 
cessful missionary, and died among the Maumee 
Indians about 1847. 

Another teacher of a later day had a novel mode 
of punishment. He was wont to take out his 
pen knife and strop it vigorously, and then ask the 
delinquent scholar whether he would be bled or 
be struck with the ruler. Of course, each fright- 
ened urchin always chose the latter. This was 
carried on successfully for sometime. At length a 
brother and sister put their heads together to cir- 
cumvent the wary teacher. Having loitered or 
been detained without good excuse, and anticipat- 
ing punishment, the sister advised the brother that 
when called up and the usual choice submitted, he 
should say he preferred to be bled. The pen-knife 
of the teacher was again whetted in a very dramatic 
manner, the child's sleeve rolled up and the solemn 
question put. " I choose to be bled," said the boy. 
This answer overturned the teacher's gravity, and 
he let the boy go. 

While upon this subject of novel punishments 
we will relate another instance. It is said of a 
teacher who taught a select school not far distant, 
that she adopted a mode of punishment still more 
extraordinary than those referred to. Her method 
of disgrace was nothing so common as a dunce 
block or a fool's cap, but a salt barrel pierced with 
nails, the nails pointing inward. Into this barrel 
the refractory child was put, and a heavy piece of 
iron from the stove laid over the top, so that if the 
little offender in durance vile tried to resist, he 
found, like the Apostle, that it was hard to kick 
against the pricks. 

Within the memory of many now living there 
was but one school house in the village of Syracuse, 
that was a low square frame building, with a roof 
resembling an inverted mill-hopper, standing in a 
pine grove on the north side of Church street, upon 
the lot next east of where the Northern Railroad 
crosses. The site is occupied by a brick building 
which was afterwards school No. 4, and then became 
a church, and is now converted into a blacksmith's 
shop. This was the first school house built in the 



village of Syracuse, and was probably erected about 
1820. For a number of years it was used as a 
school house, meeting house, town hall, and for 
almost every kind of a public gathering. 

In the winter of 1821, school was taught here by 
Hiram A. Deming, who is now book-keeper in Mr. 
Grecnway's brewery. Webster's Spelling Book, 
Daboll's Arithmetic and Morse's Geography were 
then the principal te.xt-books. The teacher 
" boarded round " among his patrons. Blackboards, 
globes and other apparatus had not been thought 
of, and the young idea was taught to shoot without 
the advantage of "grades" and "departments." 
The family of Judge Joshua Forman, including the 
present Mrs. E. W. Leavenworth, and others well 
known, were pupils in this school when Mr. Dem- 
ing taught in 1821. Mr. Deming was born in 
Stillwater. Saratoga County, in 1779, and came to 
Syracuse in 1820. He is a remarkably well pre- 
served man for one of his years, being almost an 
octogenarian. After Mr. Deming the school was 
kept a while by William K. Blair, now residing in 
the Fourth Ward of the city. 

Welthia Ann Lathrop, widow of the late Edward 
Alien, Esq., of Auburn, taught a select school in a 
building furnished by Capt. Joel Cody, in the rear of 
the present First Baptist Church for many years, 
beginning in 1826. Her school was the first select 
school taught in Syracuse. 

In 1830 a Miss Guthrie taught a private school 
in a building then called the " Wheeler House." 
It stood on the corner of Salina and Center streets 
in what is now the First Ward. 

During six months of the year 1835, Hon. Geo. 
F. Comstock taught a select school in the upper 
story of a yellow building which stood on the site 
of the present Bastable Block. The Judge was 
then pursuing his law studies with Messrs. Noxon 
and Leavenworth. He was elected Inspector of 
Schools for the town of Salina in 1837. 

A school called by the fanciful name cf the " Sa- 
lina Institute " was established in the village of 
Salina at quite an early day, and was for some time 
a popular and useful sthool. It never had any char- 
ter and was properly only a select school. At dif- 
ferent times Mr. Lcavitt, D. C. LeRoy and Dr. Jas. 
Forham were connected with it as teachers. The 
building occupied by this school is still standing, on 
Turtle street between Park and Salina streets. 

A young ladies' school flourished for several years 
on the site of the present Presbyterian Church, cor- 
ner of Park and Prescott streets. 

In the early days of Syracuse the chief select 
school for girls, principally, was that taught by 

the Misses Chamberlain. It was with difficulty that 
a suitable room could be found for a school, and Dr. 
Mather Williams erected for the purpose a tempo, 
rary frame building on Water street near the corner 
of Clinton, which, as one of the juvenile attendants 
expressed it, " was without any lining," being neither 
ceiled nor plastered. Here taught Mrs. Humphrey, 
a niece of the late Holland Johnson, who afterwards 
married Mr. Montgomery, law partner of Harvey 
Baldwin. On the approach of cold weather this 
structure proved uncomfortably airy, and Captain 
Putnam finished and fitted up a room over his wood- 
house on Mongomery street, which was soon dubbed 
" Montgomery Institute." Among the teachers here 
were Miss Richardson, niece of Mrs. Elam Lyndes 
and afterwards wife of Zaccheus Newcomb, and Miss 
Alexander, sister of the late Mrs. Harry Alexander. 
Following these were the Misses Newton, from Mas- 
sachusetts (afterwards Mrs. Volney Cook 1 and a sis- 
ter of Mrs. Stevens, whose husband was the first 
landlord of the Globe Hotel ; Miss Fitch, from 
Trumansburg ; Miss Collins, sister of Mrs. Reuben 
L. Hess, and assistants; Miss Laurie, from Whites- 
boro, and Miss Gould, from South Carolina. ' 

At this period the standard of education was well 
advanced, the higher mathematics, French, Latin, 
drawing, painting and music being taught in Miss 
Collins' school. The study of the sciences to any 
extent was, at a later day, introduced by Miss 
Amelia Bradbury, who numbered among her pupils 
many heads of prominent families now living in the 
city, who cherish gratefully and afiiectionately the 
memory of her conscientious, tender counsels, and 
who owe to her advanced views of education the 
stimulus towards that higher culture which has 
fitted them to adorn responsible positions in life, 
and to become useful, reliable and intelligent women. 
The school of Miss Bradbury was located on Mont- 
gomery street. Lot 8, Block 113, the same lot on 
which the house built by Horatio N. White now 

Miss Emily Chubbuck, afterwards Mrs. Adoniram 
Judson, wife of the famous missionary to Burmah, 
taught a select school at one time in a small build- 
ing which stood where McCarthy, Sons it Co.'s 
wholesale store now stands, on the corner of Wash- 
ington and Clinton streets. 

From September, 1847, to June, 1861, the late 
Madame A. J. Raoul, one of our old inhabitants, 
taught a select school in this city. She was an ac- 
complished teacher of music and French lessons, 
the last of which she continued to give to a few 
pupils till 1872, (she died in 1875,) when growing 
infirmities brought to a close a longer term of years 



consecutively devoted to teaching trian probably has 
been given by many teachers in Syracuse. 

Syracuse Academy. 

Through the exertions of Messrs. Aaron Burt, 
Harvey Baldwin and Oliver Teall, who owned a 
large tract of land in the locality, a charter was ob- 
tained for the Syracuse Academy in 1835. ^ lot 
was donated by Mr. Baldwin, and, under many dis- 
couragements, the building now occupied as the 
Orphan Asylum, on Lodi Hill, was erected and 
completed for the Academy, which was supplied 
with competent teachers and supported by the bene- 
factions of its founders. The first Principal was 
Mr. Kellogg, of New York, who was succeeded by 
Orrin Root, for many years since a Professor in 
Hamilton College. At one period, the late A. G. 
Salisbury, who became the first Clerk of the Board 
of Education of the City of Syracuse, was its Prin- 
cipal. His qualifications as a teacher were only 
equalled by his love for the vocation, and the many 
years of conscientious performance of its duties in 
connection with the establishment in Syracuse of 
the present system of Public Schools. At a later 
day in the existence of the Academy, it was con- 
ducted by Joseph A. Allen and Oliver T. Burt, 
part of which period was after its removal to a more 
central location. 

But the Academy did not prosper. After it 
went into operation, jealousies in reference to it 
were awakened, enterprise in regard to public 
schools was aroused, district school houses sprang 
up and soon attracted the sympathy and patronage 
of the public. The cause of education profited by 
the efforts of the founders of the Academy, but 
they were, and continued to be, the losers, so that 
the Academy was finally abandoned, and the house 
designed by its originators to subserve the cause of 
education providentially became the home of the 
helpless orphan and the abode of charity. 

Common Schools before the City Organiza- 

The common schools existing prior to the city 
organization were all formed and maintained as 
schools of the town of Salina, under the general 
school laws. Neither the charter of the village of 
Salina, adopted in 1824, nor that of fhe village of 
Syracuse, in 1825, made any change in the status 
of the schools within their limits : they were from 
the first, and continued to be till 1848, common 
schools of the town of Salina. 

The first legislative action on the part of the 
State in behalf of education was the passage of an 
act entitled " An Act for the Encouragement of 

Schools," passed April 9, 1795. (i8th Session 
Laws— George Clinton, Esq., Governor.) Amend- 
ments were made to this act April 6, 1796, March 
10, 1797, and April 3, 1799. It was the first act 
appropriating public money to the use of common 
schools, the sum then set apart being hventj thou- 
sand pounds out of the surplus revenue of the State, 
to be divided among the different counties, and the 
sum assigned to each county was to be apportioned 
by the Supervisors to the several towns according 
to the number of taxable inhabitants therein ; the 
Supervisors being also required to raise by tax in 
each town, for school purposes, a sum equal to half 
the amount of the public money to which each 
county should be entitled. The portion of the 
twenty thousand pounds assigned to the County of 
Onondaga was one Itundred and seventy four pounds, 
which was Onondaga's first public school fund. It 
would be interesting to know what portion, if any, 
of this was appropriated in the town of Salina, and 
at what date, but there are no records extant that 
can furnish the information. 

The first district organized was undoubtedly that 
known as No. i, now the Salina School ; after which 
the districts were formed in numerical order, as the 
town became settled and new schools were required 
to meet the wants of a growing population. At 
the time of the city organization, the schools exist- 
ing within its limits were as follows: In the First 
Ward, there were Nos. 1,8, 15 and 16. In what is 
now the Second Ward there was none. In the 
Third Ward was No. 4, occupying the building now 
used as a blacksmith's shop, on Church street. In 
the Fourth Ward was one, known as No. 5, now the 
Prescott School, (organized Jan. 26, 1839,) on Lock 
street. In the Fifth Ward was one, occupying a 
little old wooden building, since removed. The 
Sixth Ward contained one, called No. 6, located on 
Fayette street. In the Seventh Ward was the 
present Putnam School, on the corner of Jefferson 
and Montgomery streets. In the Eighth Ward was 
No. ID, situated on East Fayette street. 

In these schools there were, at the time of the city 
organization, 35 teachers employed. We have no 
statistics of the school population, attendance, ex- 
penditures or other items. 

Public Schools Under the City Government. 

The incorporation of the city of Syracuse in- 
augurated a new era in educational affairs. " An 
Act in Relation to the Public Schools of Syracuse " 
was passed April 11, 1848. This act, with some 
slight amendments, is the basis of the present 
public school system of the city. It provided for 



the appointment by the Mayor and Common 
Council, of two Commissioners of common schools 
from each ward, to be divided into two classes, one 
of which should hold office one year and the other 
two years from the date of the first appointment, 
and that, thereafter, one Commissioner should be 
elected from each ward annually. The Commis- 
sioners so elected and holding till their successors 
are chosen and qualified, constitute the Board of 
Education of the city of Syracuse, who have control 
of everything relating to the public schools. 

The act was amended March ii, 1865, March 
26, 1866, and March 27, 1868. 

By one of these amendments, one Commissioner 
is now elected annually from each ward for two 
years, and it is so arranged that the even wards 
elect one year and the odd wards the ne.xt, thus 
giving the Board only four new members each year. 
In pursuance of the act, eight Commissioners 
were appointed by the Mayor and Common Council, 
who met at Market Hall mow City Halh April 21, 
1848, and after choosing Hiram Putnam and R. A. 
Yoe, President and Secretary, fro tern., proceeded 
to draw for their respective terms, as follows : 

First Ward — William Clark 2 years. 

J. P. Babcock i " 

Second Ward — James Noxon 2 " 

C. M. Brosnan i " 

T/iird Ward — Hiram Putnam 2 " 

Daniel Bradley i " 

/v«r/// IJ'(7r</— Oliver Teall* 2 " 

C. A. Wheaton i " 

William Clark was elected President of the Board, 
but declined to serve, whereupon Hiram Putnam 
was elected in his place. 

At the next meeting of the Board, April 26, 1848, 
A. G. Salisbury was chosen Clerk, and his salary 
fixed at $500 a year. 

The Board, upon its organization, adopted the 
following resolutions : 

" Resoked, That the Board of Education will not 
employ any teacher in any of the public schools of 
the city who uses intoxicating liquors as a beverage 
or who is addicted to the use of tobacco." 

" Resolved, That the President of the Board give 
public notice that the common schools of the city 
will be opened free to all the children of the city. 

FiKST Teachers Appointed by the Board. 
The following roll shows the first appointment of 
teachers in the diflerent schools and wards of the 
city, and their respective salaries, per month : 

First Ward. 
No. I — Lewis Cornell, Principal, Salary, ^35 
8— Edward Smith " " 35 

15— I. B. Brigham, " " 30 

* Rnigncd, and place filled by T. B. Fitch. 

No. 16 — Jas. Johonnot, Principal, Salary, $35 
16 — Miss Delia Earll, Assistant, •' 15 

Second Ward. 

No. 4 — N. P. Stanton, Principal, Salary, $48 

4 — Mrs. Stanton, 2d Department, " 18 \ 

4 — Miss Palmer, ist " " 15 j 

5 — R. R. Stetson, Principal, " 45 

5 — Mrs. Stetson, ist Department, '• 16 ' 

5— Miss M. A. Clapp. 2d " " 18 

5 — Miss J. A. VanDenburg, 3d D'pt." 18 

T/iird Ward. 

No. 6 — J. B. Beal, Principal, Salary, $35 

6— Miss Hannah Burnet, Ass't., " 15 

20 — Miss A. Bennett, Principal, " i8 

Fourth Ward. 

No. 7 — W. W. Newman, Principal, Salary, $50 

7— Miss E. E.Williams, 1st D'pt., " 18 

7 — Miss E. Williams, ist D'pt., " 15 

7 — Miss J. Brooks, 2d Department, " 18 

7— Miss S. M. Co.x, 3d " " 18 

7— Miss R. C. Newman, 4th " " 18 

12 — J. M. Winchell, Principal, ' 35 

12 — Miss A. Barker, 1st Department, " 15 

12— Miss H. Kingsley, 2d " " 18 

Other teachers were appointed from time to time, 
as the exigencies of the schools demanded, and every 
effort made to advance the standard of qualification, 
and make the schools an honor to the city. As the 
population increased, new buildings were erected, in 
some cases, rented, old buildings improved and en- 
larged, new districts formed and new lots purchased 
and built upon, to meet the wants of the continually 
increasing number of children to be provided for. 
The Board has never been wanting in men of en- 
larged views and self-sacrificing in the cause of pub- 
lic education ; the officers have been faithful and 
efficient ; and it should be said to the credit of the 
citizens, without a single noted exception, that they 
have heartily and cheerfully cooperated in all the 
just measures of the Board calculated to advance 
and perfect the public schools of Syracuse. 

The citizens of the Central City have shown their 
appreciation of public education by the amount of 
money they have cheerfully paid to provide substan- 
tial and elegant school houses. These appear in 
every part of the city as monuments to the people's 
zeal and liberality. In some instances the building 
of these costly structures required an enormous ex- 
penditure for several consecutive years — the years, 
for instance from 1868 to 1875. 

In 1868, the May School building was erected at 
a cost, including furniture, of ^20,oco. In 1869, 
the High School building was completed at a cost, 
including lot, of ^lOO.COO. In 1870. the Franklin 
School building was erected at a cost, including lot, 

riioto. liy Bonlji & Curti^s, S\racusc. 


Ansel Shattuck, the father of the subject of this sketch, was 
born in Deerfield, 3Iass., Aug. 10, 1789, and settled in Pompey, 
Onondaga Co., N. Y., where he died, Feb. 8, 1849, in his sixtieth 
year. He was a well-to-do farmer and contractor for public works. 
He built the Erie canal through Little Falls. He married Rachel 
Bump, of Pompey. The result of this union was nine children, 
viz., Henry, Electa, Almira, Loron, Chester, Hiram, Caroline O., 
Adaline M., and Angeline. All are now living, except Hiram and 

Henry was born Sept. 13, 1811, in the town of Pompey. His 
earlier years were passed on his father's farm, and his limited edu- 
cation was obtained in the common schools of his native town. 
At the age of fifteen years he came to Syracuse, where ho learned 
and followed the brickmaker's trade for about seven years. On 
April 28, 1831, he was united in marriage to Mehetabel, daughter 
of Jesse Knapp, of Pompey. She was born Nov. 18, 1804. She 
died Dec. 7, 1840, leaving two cliildren, viz., Mary Ann, born 
Jan. 1, 1832 (married Erasmus S. Hungerford, of De Witt); Cor- 
nelia, born Nov. 22, 1834 (married Edward H. White, of Syra- 
cuse). After his marriage he settled in Jamesville, town of De 
Witt, and engaged in the business of hotel-keeping. After resid- 
ing there about two years he was elected constable, and from tliat 
time for thirty years he Iield the oflBces, at different times, of con- 
stable, deputy-sheriff, under-sheriff, and deputy United States mar- 
shal, and all these positions he filled not only with great credit to 
himself but to the entire satisfaction of the citizens of the town 
and county. 

On March 23, 1842, he married Sarah F., daughter of Dr. Silas 
Park, of Lafayette. There were born to them five children, 
namely, Mehetabel, Alice A. (married George M. Dorr, of 

Florida), Adelbert, Henry, and Frank. All, except Alice A., 
who was born June IG, 1844, died quite young. Mrs. Dorr died 
March 10, 1872. 

After residing in Jamesville for about six years he moved to 
Syracuse, and continued in public office until about the year 1801. 
From that time on for several years he was engaged in buying and 
selling real estate, and in the manufacture of salt, having owned 
and worked two blocks. 

Since 1862 he has built and sold a large number of houses in the 
city of Syracuse. 

In 1826, Mr. Shattuck enlisted in a company of light infantry 
raised by General Granger. Was elected fourth corporal. Was 
captain four years, and was appointed colonel of the 176th Kegi- 
ment of Infantry by Gov. Silas Wright, July 26, 1845, which 
position he held for three years. 

Politically he has always been a staunch Democrat, and in re- 
ligious sentiment is a Presbyterian, and has been for several 
years a consistent member and a liberal supporter of the Fourth 
Presbyterian church of Syracuse. 

While a resident of Jamesville he was school trustee for several 
years, and contributed largely to the educational interests of the 


The numerous and important official positions held by Mr. 
Shattuck, both by election and aiipointment, sufficiently attest tlie 
respect and confidence with which he has been regarded by his 
fellow-citizens ; and when we consider that every trust committed 
to his care, whether public or private, has been intelligently, faith- 
fully, and honestly discharged, and that he is in the enjoyment of 
the undiminished confidence and respect of all who know bim, we 
must pronounce bis a u.seful and successful life. 



of ^30,000. In 1871, the Madison School building 
and furniture cost the city ;g20,ooo. In 1875, the 
Salina School building, which had been built in 
i860 and burned, was rebuilt at a cost, including 
furniture, of $17,000. In addition to this in 1870, 
1 87 1 and 1872, the Genesee, Salina and Seymour 
School buildings were enlarged at an aggregate cost 
of $20,000. Here is the grand total of $207,000 
expended in the short period of six years for pub- 
lic school buildings alone. If we leave off the re- 
building of the Salina School building in 1S75, it 
will then be $190,000 expended in four consecutive 
years for school houses. We venture the assertion 
that few cities of the size of Syracuse can show as 
good a record. 

Most of the other school buildings in the city are 
good buildings, ranging in value, including lots, 
from $12,000 to $30,000. 

The entire value of school property is as follows : 
Lots, $156,000 ; buildings, $570,000; total, $726,000. 

Present Number of Schools. 

The public school system of this city compre- 
hends sixteen schools and school buildings, as fol- 
lows : 

High School, corner West Genesee and Wallace 

Salina School, First Ward, between Center and 
Bear streets. 

Jefferson School, First Ward, corner Park and 
Court streets. 

Townsend School, corner Townsend and Ash 

Franklin School, corner Butternut and Peters 

Genesee School, corner Genesee and Wallace 

Prescott School, Lock street near Willow. 

Clinton School, Lodi street near Hawley. 

Seymour School, Seymour street near West. 

May School, Seneca street between Otisco and 

Grace Street School, corner Grace and Ontario 

Montgomery School, Montgomery street between 
Adams and Jackson. 

Putnam School, corner Montgomery and Jeffer- 
son streets. 

Adams School, Adams street between Grape and 

Irving School, corner Fayette and Irving streets. 

Madison School, corner Madison and . Spruce 



The schools of the city are graded in four depart- 

ments, viz : Primary, Junior, Senior and High 
School. The Primary Department requires three 
years, the Junior two and a half, the Senior two 
and a half, and the High School three years, to 
complete the prescribed course of study. Formerly 
the High School required four years, but that 
has been recently changed by the Board. 

High School. 
The High School was organized in the brick 
building, formerly No. 4, now used as a blacksmith's 
shop, on Church street, in 1855. Prior to this there 
existed what was known as the " Higher Depart- 
ment," in which the sciences and languages were 
taught, in the building now known as the Prescott 
School House. • The High School proved a success 
from the start, and an indispensable adjunct of the 
public school system of the city. Besides advanc- 
ing the grade of education to a thorough academic 
course, and providing facilities for fitting students 
for college, it has been the only source of a sufficient 
supply of competent teachers, and the greater share 
of the vacancies in the public schools of the city 
have been filled from graduates of the High School. 
The preference is given to these, as being better 
qualified as a general rule, than those who apply for 
situations from places outside the city. And this 
has also the double advantage of aftbrding a con- 
stant supply of excellent teachers and of enabling 
the Board to give employment to a large number of 
their own citizens. Of the seventy teachers em- 
ployed in i860, aho\x\. fifty were permanent residents 
of the city, and a majority of them had been mem- 
bers of the High School. 

First Graduating Class. 

The names of the first graduates from the High 
School in 1856, are as follows : 
Rossiter Raymond, H. Wadsworth Clarke, 

Samuel L. Comstock, Osgood V. Tracy, 
Arinda L. Adams, Catharine B. Poole, 

Ellen A. Evans, Ellyette W. Casey, 

Ellen V. Bowen. 

Since then a large number have completed the 
prescribed course of study and have gone forth with 
the honors and benefits of the school to fill various 
responsible and useful situations. Last 3'ear the 
class of graduates consisted of 21 persons — 7 
young gentlemen and 14 young ladies. Most of 
the young ladies had pursued the studies of the 
Teacher's Class, with a purpose of teaching in the 
city schools, provided they should be able to pass 
the necessary examination, and openings should 
occur offering them situations. The opportunities 
which this class presents to those who purpose to 



make teaching a profession, are very valuable as 
compared with those of a quarter of a century ago, 
when nothing but a smattering of the common 
branches was expected of one offering their services 
as a common school teacher. The members of this 
class have spent four years in the High School, in 
addition to the course in the Senior School, which 
is more than an equivalent for the entire acquire- 
ment for a teacher of only a few years since, where 
they have pursued the higher mathematics, lan- 
guages—including Latin, French and German — 
with a thorough review of the English, the natural 
sciences, and mental and moral philosophy. In 
addition to this, they have received, during the last 
year of the course, daily lessons in at least one of 
the subjects taught in the ward schools, having in 
view a perfect understanding of the principles of 
these subjects and the best method of developing 
children's minds in them. 

High School and State University. 

By an act of the Legislature the High School is 
placed under the visitation of the Regents of the State 
University, and is made to participate in the distri- 
bution of the Literature Fund. This law applies to 
all High Schools in the State which conform to the 
requirements of the Board of Regents, and it gives 
them a higher character, placing them on equal foot- 
ing with all other academic institutions. 

The admissions to the High School are semi- 
annual ; one class enters in September and one in 
February, upon the Regents' examination. A few 
from abroad, and pupils not regularly in the public 
schools, are received into the High School upon a 
trial examination, which, if satisfactory, admits such 
persons into the school, conditioned upon coming 
forward at the next Regents' examination, to try for 
his " Regents' Certificate." During the year 1876, 
157 Regents' Certificates were granted, making 80 
per cent, of the attendance at the High School Re- 
gents' pupils, a larger percentage of the enrollment 
than at any former period. The whole number en- 
rolled duriug the year was 372, the average number 
belonging being 275, and the average daily attend- 
ance 264. 

High School Building. 

This building is beautifully situated on West 
Genesee street in one of the most picturesque por- 
tions of the city. It is in the modern classical style 
of architecture, three stories high above the base- 
ment, of red pressed brick with Onondaga gray 
hmestone trimmings, the style being exceedingly 
ornate' and imposing. A fine cupola crowns the 
summit of the structure, capped by a gilt globe glit- 

tering in the sun, and from this high elevation a 
beautiful view is obtained of the surrounding city, 
its environs and romantic scenery. This building, 
we have already said, was completed in 1869, at a 
cost, including lot, of §100,000. The length of the 
building is 123 feet and its width 96 feet. On the 
first floor is the Central Library Department, 
with its valuable collection of books, together 
with the spacious and commodious office of the 
Board of Education, and a department for classes in 
the art of drawing. On the second floor is the 
Central Senior Department, with its competent corps 
of teachers, and above this, on the third floor, is 
located the High School Department proper, where 
the higher grades of education are pursued. Ward- 
robes and water-closets are supplied throughout the 
various rooms, with every convenience necessary to 
the comfort of the pupils. In the basement are 
located the furnaces for heating the entire building, 
which is done by patent steam radiators of the most 
modern style, in keeping with the character of the 
furniture of the building, which is neat, attractive 
and substantial. Here also is to be located the 
Gymnasium, together with a fine cabinet of rare 
geological specimens, and a valuable set of philo- 
sophical apparatus. The conveniences for educa- 
tional purposes possessed by the High School are 
second to no similar institution in the country, and 
is the fit head of a system of public schools of 
which the citizens of Syracuse may justly be proud. 

Bust of Samuel J. May. 

In July, 187s, the bust of Rev. Samuel J. May^ 
executed by Miss Isabella Gifford, of Syracuse, was 
purchased by subscribers friendly to that object and 
presented to the Board of Education, to be placed in 
the Central Library Room of the High School build- 
ing. The committee of presentation consisted of Wm, 
Brown Smith, N. C. Powers, Mrs. Oliver T. Burt, 
Mrs. R. W. Pease, E. B. Judson, Dudley P. Phelps 
and J. L. Bagg. On the reception of a communi- 
cation from the foregoing committee, the Board 
passed a resolution accepting the bust, and appoint- 
ed a committee consisting of Commissioners Wil- 
liam A. Duncan, President of the Board of Educa- 
tion, Hon. J. W. Barker and Hon. John J. Grouse, 
to make arrangements for the proper ceremonies. 
Arrangements being completed, the transfer was 
made September 18, 1875, and the bust placed in 
the middle alcove of the Central Library, in front 
of the main entrance. 

One of the daily papers thus speaks of this in- 
teresting occasion : 

" The arrangements for the ceremonies were very 
complete. A commodious platform was erected 


across a portion of the front of the building, and Statistics— 1876 

the lawn in front, made damp by the heavy rains, -mi /•,•,,• 

was covered with boards. Number of buildings in which schools are kept. 

" Large offerings of flowers, vines and evergreens '^ — containing schools as follows : High School, 

gave the platform a charming appearance, and re- i; Senior Grade, 6; Junior Grade, 16; Primary 

fleeted esthetic culture, and the e.xercises were con- Grade, 17; Ungraded Schools 2 • Evening 

ducted in such a happy manner as to win the admi- Schools, i ; Schools of all Grades, 6 

ration of the large concourse of people. Promt- ,,,1 1 1 r . 

nently upon the platform, which was occupied by ^''°'^ """'''^'' °^ teachers in all the schools....207 

the Board of Education, the speakers and ofliciat- ^^'^ teachers, 10 ; female teachers, 197; regular 

ing gentlemen, together with a chorus of High teachers, 206 ; special teachers, i. 

School students under the direction of Professor Number of persons in the citv between the ages of 

Ballou, stood the work of which the city was soon r g^d 21 ' 16 1:1:2 

to become possessed, veiled from the view of the wru^i 1 7 "1 " T~". ,, . 

1 .1 A • a VVrioie number of pupi s retristered in all the 

spectators by the American flag. 1 k '^ iv-^iaicitu m an mc 

"The attendance was large, filling the space in schools 8,820 

front of the building upon the sidewalk, while the Average number belonging to all the grades, 6,624 

street was crowded with vehicles. The assemblage Average daily attendance in all the schools.. 6,228 

embraced, besides a large number of prominent Average per cent, of attendance on number belong- 

citizens, many educators and students in art and • „ 

literature, and all of the professions were well repre- ... u^'r'-' 

sented. Almost all classes and conditions of so- Number of sittings in all the schools 8,222 

ciety were present. The absence of Miss Giftbrd Cost per Pupil on Daily Attendance. 

was universally regretted, particularly by those who _ 

were aware of the fact that she was obliged to fore- ^°'' ^"'t'fn-graded schools, S16.27 ; ungraded 

go the pleasure of the event in consequence of severe schools, S12.49; all schools, $16.17 ; incidentals in 

illness. Had she been present, the speakers and all schools, ;^4.5I ; entire cost including all e.xpen- 

the assemblage would have given her a most cor- ses, S20.68. 

dial greeting. Whole amount expended for schools in the city in 

The exercises were commenced by appointing as jg.g Si-'i;o^' 81 
presiding officer, J. L. Basg, Esq. After prayer | 

by Rt. Rev. F. D. Hunting^ton, followed by the re- I ^o^'*'^ ^^ Education, 1878. 

peating of the Lord's Prayer, Rev. C. D. B. Mills Commissioners— ist Ward, Edward E. Chapman ; 

delivered the address, portraying in eloquent Ian- pd Ward. Peter Knaul ; 3d Ward, John W. Bar- 

,, ,.. J u . fM M I • ker; 4th Ward, Henry E. Warne: 5th Ward. Wm. 

truage the life and character of Mr. May, and giv- « t-i /-.u m? 1 u- r> /-m .1 .u 

t> o .7' & A.Duncan; oth Ward. Hiram R. Olmsted; 7th 

ing appropriate encomiums of the work of art which Wg^d, Martin A. Knapp ; 8th Ward, John H. 

so faithfully represented " some of his choicest fea- Durston. President, John W. Barker ; Clerk and 

tures." Rev. S. R. Calthrop, with appropriate re- Superintendent, Edward Smith, 

marks and a poem written for the occasion, then Standing C.7w;«//Aw— E.xecutive— Com'rs W. A. 

c ,, » 1 ^u u .. . »u D J r c-j Duncan, E. E. Chapman, and H. R. Olmsted. Fi- 

formally presented the bust to the Board of Edu- '^ • tt t- /-u wr \ ^^ j 

•' ^ nance Com rs E. E. Chapman, W. A. Duncan and 

cation. Misses Hanchett and Barnes unveiling the h. E. Warne. Teachers— Com'rs H. E. Warne. 

beautiful likeness as the last words were spoken. Peter Knaul and E. E. Chapman. Library- Com'rs 

It was looked upon lovingly forthe first time by many H. R. Olmsted. M. A. Knapp and W. A. Duncan, 

present, and the skill of the young artist found Course of Study— Com'rs J. H. Durston, H. E. 

, .• • , n • 1 ^ Warne and Peter Knaul. High School —Com rs 

strong commendation in many remarks. President m a i' ir r> /^t . 1 j i ir t~> 

^ , , r 1 J M. A. Knapp, H. R. Olmsted and J. H. Durston. 

Duncan then received the gift and promised to ^^^^^^ Regulations and Printing— Com'rs Peter 

place it in the Central City Library, where it could Knaul. J. H. Durston, M. A. Knapp. 

be daily seen by the children Mr. May loved so Earlv Libraries 
well. They would certainly prize it for two rea- 

sons-as a work of art and as a most fitting me- The first circulating library, called the " Parish 

morial of one who was a sincere friend of education. Library," was formed by the exertions of Rev. 

Mr. Duncan introduced President White, of Cor- Palmer Dyer, officiating clergyman in St. Paul's 

nell University, who gave a glowing tribute to the Church, which then stood in the center of the 

character of Mr. May. Accepting the bust in be- triangle now known as the Granger Block. Mr. 

half of the Board of Education, he said : - This Dyer's interest in the youth of the village led to the 

bust will endure as a memorial of Mr. May's char- step, and to a careful selection of books suited to 

,- . c 11 /■ 1- . .u » their needs A room was at one time furnished by 

acter ; for the serene face will for years radiate that ^""-"^ nccus. n luum »aa ai u v. / 

benign influence which will cause some to take up L- "• R^dfield. Esq.. for the accommodation of 

again the good work he loved so well." the Library, who. with Mr. Dyer, had chief charge 



of its circulation. After doing a good work it was 
removed by Mr. Redfield to the Academy, in the 
library of which it was merged. 

Madame A. J. Raoul at one time circulated 
books to the villagers. Then came the " Syracuse 
Library and Reading Room Association," of which 
Thomas A. Smith, Esq., at one time acted as 
Librarian, having his law office in the Library 
rooms, which he rendered attractive by a fine col- 
lection of hot-house plants. Public lectures were 
given before the Association at its rooms on the 
corner of Salina and Washington streets, by gentle- 
men of note from abroad, and " Readings " by Mrs. 
Fanny Kcmble Butler. Here for the first time in 
Syracuse was heard the music of Ole Hull's charmed 
violin. At a later period the Association got in 
debt, and finally broke down. The Library con- 
sisting of about 1,200 volumes, was purchased by 
Hon. E. W. Leavenworth, Captain Putnam, Dr. 
Clary, and others, who opened a library at Dr. 
Clary's house or office. When the " F'ranklin 
Library and Institute" was formed, they made a 
present of the 1,200 volumes to the institution, 
which was for some time the bulk of the library 
connected with it. 

"Franklin Libkakv and Institute." 

The Franklin Library came into existence as the 
fruits of the eft'orts of a few leading citizens, who 
agitated the project till it resulted in an appeal 
being made to all interested to contribute books, 
papers, periodicals, shells, minerals, &c. This ap- 
peal was made at the close of a lecture delivered at 
Market Hall (present City Halll by Dr. Mark Hop- 
kins, then President of Williams College, and the 
citizens were notified that they would be called up- 
on the following day for contributions. Accord- 
ingly, the next morning, two lads, taking Mrs. R.'s 
large clothes basket, containing a " beginning," 
made, before they finished, a pretty thorough can- 
vass of the place. One of these lads was Daniel 
Fiske, now one of Cornell's corps of Professors, and 
the popular Librarian of that institution. The 
other, Edwin Smith, now practicing law at Kenne- 
bunk Port, Maine, was a nephew of the beloved 
teacher. Miss Amelia Bradbury. The gleaners met 
with good success, and the heavily laden basket 
was many times emptied of its contents. One of 
the most valuable donations was a complete set of 
" Stillman's Journals," from Stephen Smith, given 
upon the condition that the subscription should 
always be kept up. It is to be hoped that this work 
fell into appreciative ownership at the late sale of 
that Library. 

Dr. Plenry Gregory, then rector of St. Paul's 

Church, if not the first president of the Franklin 
Institute and Library, served as such at a very early 
stage of its organization, and was a most zealous 
and efficient friend in the days of its weakness and 

Syracuse during these days was not without aspi- 
rants to literary fame, as the popularity of the lyceums 
gave evidence. Here the late Thomas T. Davis, 
Zaccheus Newcomb, (for many years a resident of 
Waterloo, N. Y.,i and later. Wing Russel, James 
Xo.xon, mow Judge No.xon,i Judge North, (now of 
the Pacific Coast,) C. B. Sedgwick, S. D. Dillaye, 
and others, tried their newly-fledged wings of ora- 
tory before appreciative audiences. 

Reading Societies also gained quite a popularity. 
The most noted of these was organized by Miss 
Bradbury. Among its members were those whose 
memories are dear to many hearts — Miss Clarissa 
Smith, Miss Caroline Towne, (niece of Miss Brad- 
bury,) Mrs. A. M. Redfield, Mrs. E. F. Wallace, 
Mrs. Dr. Clary, Mrs. M. J. Lewis, (now of Chi- 
cago, ) Mrs. Charlotte Lawrence, Mrs. Lucy B. Put- 
nam, the Misses Redfield, Messrs. R. W. Washburn, 
(for twenty years or so confidential officer in charge 
of the express interests of Wells & Co., at San 
Francisco, Cal.,) Rev. M. Storer, Thomas A. Smith, 
E. J. Foster, W. H. H. Smith, H. N. White, J. L. 
Bagg and D. P. Phelps. 

About 1844 was formed the " Society for Mutual 
Instruction," the officers and members of which 
were each assigned a branch of natural science, and 
in rotation furnished each an original Essay at each 
weekly evening meeting, with natural specimens for 
illustrations, which were supplemented by informa- 
tion contributed by all the members upon the topic 
under discussion for the evening. The first year 
the members met in the School House on Church 
street, and the last year in A. G. Salisbury's school 
room, near the old Congregational Church, (now 
Convention Block,) on Fiast Genesee street. This 
Society was of great benefit to many. A " mem- 
ber" afterwards reported the first course of lectures 
delivered by Prof Agassiz on first landing in this 
country, in New York ; he wrote to a friend that he 
could not have filled that position had it not been 
for information acquired as a member of the "So- 
ciety for Mutual Instruction." The " record " of its 
organization is here copied from a large turtle shell, 
which was sent to one of the members by a friend 
of congenial tastes, from Canandaigua Outlet : 

President — Rev. Sanluel J. May — Etymology. 

Seoctar) — A. G. Salisbury — Conchology. — 
(Teacher till July i, 1864 ; Paymaster at New Or- 

In tracing out the early surroundings of some of our best repre- 
sentative men, we often find that chilling adversity companioned 
their youth, and that hard labor filled their early years. Fre- 
quently the only school attended was that of experience, where 
severe masters taught severer lessons. 

These reflections have arisen from hearing the reminiscences of 
one of our most esteemed citizens, Jason C. Woodrufl", a man 
whose name is associated with the most exalted ideas of probity and 
morality. Born in New Haven, Conn., in 1800, of American 
parents, he was left fatherless ere the completion of his second year. 
His mother, thrown upon her own resources, with a family of help- 
less little ones, struggled along, giving them a home and providing 
ways and means for their physical needs with that wonderful power 
which mother-love only evinces. Unable to send her children to 
school, she imparted to them such elements of education as her time 
allowed, taking time always, however, to impress upon them the 
value of honesty and truthfulness. Jason, at the age of nine, was 
a slight boy ; earnest, unobtrusive, known as a boy who could be 
trusted. As an evidence of this it may be stated that he was se- 
lected by Messrs. Prescott & Sherman, of New Haven, to take charge 
of merino sheep, among the first ever imported into this country, 
— hardly imported, either, as they were smuggled, and that at an 
immense cost. For four years this boy herded and sheltered them 
from harm, earning the good opinion of his employers by hig zeal- 
ousness and reliability. At the end of that time he was employed 
by the same firm in unloading salt, and for two years he thus earned 
his daily bread. At the age of fifteen he entered a tannery with 
the intention of learning the trade, but his desires in that line came 
to a summary end by reason of his falling into a vat; so he 
sought that unfailing resource of American boyhood, " working 
on a farm." The year 1816 was thus passed. 

The only regular instruction ever received was during the next 
winter, when he attended the village school. Being now nearly 
seventeen years of age, another trade was determined upon, and 
the laborious one of blacksmithing chosen. This he faithfully fol- 
lowed for five years, at Great Barrington, Mass., under a master 
exacting but just. At the end of his apprenticeship his capital 
consisted of a thorough knowledge of his business, a limited ward- 
robe, and eight cents. With this he started out in quest of a home 
and independeuce. Varying fortunes attended him on his way 
from one village to another, as he worked as a journeyman, until 
at last his erratic steps led him to Utica, in the fall of 1822. 

At this time a feeling of intense excitement existed, owing to the 
opposition line of stages which were about to be put on between 
Utica and the west. Naturally a lover of horses, young Woodruff 
became much interested in the debates as to the superiority of the 
running stock of the new line. He succeeded in getting his name 

I'hoto. by Bonta & CurtiBs, Syracuse. 

placed on the list of drivers, and so well did he impress the owners, 
that to him was given the honor of driving the first stage out of 
Utica on the rival line. His urbanity and strict attention to busi- 
ness soon made him a valuable man, and he was, within a few 
months, sent to Canandaigua to take charge of that end of the 
line. Pour years was thus spent. 

In his journeyings he had visited the town of Salina, and, like 
many others, seeing its prospective greatness, he determined to 
make it his home. He bought out the livery of Philo Rust in 
1826, and carried on the business, combined with that of staging, 
which latter he continued until superseded by railroads. In 1826 
he married Miss Amanda Johnson, a native of Lee, Mass. They 
have two surviving daughters, Charlotte and Harriet, having lost 
four sons and two daughters. His wife, who is yet living, has 
through these long years been a helpmeet in every sense of the 


Fortune began to smile upon this earnest suitor, and, as year 
after vear passed on, he entered new fields of labor, each of which 
gave good return. Mr. Woodruff held the surplus water-power of 
the Syracuse level, by right of lease from the State, on which he 
erected an immense flouring-mill five stories high. A few rods 
distant Mr. Haskins had a salt-grinding mill, and its destruction 
by fire involved the loss of Mr, Woodruffs mill, valued at thirty 
thousand dollars. This was discouraging ; but taking new heart 
he went on determined to labor, strengthened by the sympathies 
ever extended to an honest man who meeU misfortune. 

From 1831 to 1837 he fulfilled the onerous duties of bank-man- 
ager under the United States banking system. In 1852 the people 
of this city called him to fill the office of mayor, which he did 
with singular purity and fidelity. 

He has twice been president of the agricultural society of this 
county, one of the years being the most successful known in the 
history of the association. He also served as vice-president of the 
State agricultural society. He is still actively engaged in the 
livery business, which he has successfully earned on for half a 
century. About the middle height, robust and vigorous, strong in 
physical health, his mental faculties are in their prime. 

In all things which tend to materially advance the interest of the 
industries he has ever been a prominent mover and has given 
that substantial aid which goes so much farther than hollow 
promises from wordy lips. Reticent in speech, reserved in manner, 
eTmpresses the observer as being a man who carefully examines 
he bc^i-in.'S of a subject ere reaching a decision, and one who doe 
no lightlychange his views. He is a bright example of an earne 
Christln.' For thirty years he has been a -nsisteat member 
the First Presbyterian church.-during twenty-foui o which ho 
i's filled the position of president of the board of trustees. 

ii"5r:M:^iT cl-a.ry, 

Porlupi there is nu mfto in Sjrraotue whoM name fKlli mure pleaaanUj 
upon the eftr thkn dnea the one whirh prrcedei thif Article. 

For furtv-rit^ht yenri » leading phvfician in (hii vicinilv. and intimately 
ronnectrd with the nidrat familiei of thccitr, br hii untirinfc cfTurU and 
Judicium course of prarlior he won fur himielf an onviahle poiition in the 
eateem o( the citifcnti fcrnrraMjr. 

Dr. Clarjr wa« Inirn in Derrflcld. Mai>«., on Feb. 11. IA03. Hii father 
waj a well-tn-do farmer, who fcave hi« aoii the bent edueatiunal adrantages 
tu Im* had in that localilr. At the afce of fuurtecn vear*. when a general 
frelinK pervaded (hi* rommunitv that "the west" was the " promincil land/' 
he aeournpanieil bin parcntji to Huron Co., Ohio, where the family Mettled 
upon an almont untmprovrd farm. Here fur the ipaee of three vear* be 
aji*i»ted hiii father in wurkinR the farm ; meanwhile, a« educational pnvi- 
lef^ea in that localitjr were limited, he upeut hif evcnini^ii in cluao atudy* 
therrb)r fitting himvelf to ajmume the dutirs of a teach(*r at the early ago 
of nevrntrrn, a« wril aa utoring bt« mind with a knowledge of fuch 
branches aj> ithould bo availablo and uarful in nftcr-vrnra. 

At the age of twenty-one a tempting ulfor tu cmbnrk in the mercantile 
buiinesM, which at the time seemed for bi^ interrfit in a pecuniary point 
of view, called for a pernmncnt de- 
cision on his part as to what should 
be his occupation in life. 

His prc«lilection for a profession 
won the day: and acting upon the 
belipf that, aa a physician, his field 
would be one in accordance with 
his taatea, and in which be could be 
of the mofit service to his fellow- 
man, he adopted the medical pro. 
fei«ii>n, anil soon after entered the 
odioe of I>r. Manter. Klyria, Ohio, 
wher« he remained two years. 

Subsequently he returned to his 
former home in New Knglund. and 
studied for two yvnrf in the office of 
Dr. Williams, meanwhile support- 
ing himself by teaching. He grad- 
uated afterwards at the Berkshire 
Medit-al Odloge, Pittsfiold, Mass.. 
with diatinction. 

Soon after, with a view of select 
ing a place in which to enter upor 
bis professional duties, he vinitrl 
Canada, and at one time thougbi 
«juile neriously of locating at St. 
Catharine'^, then an active anl 
growing place; the thought, how- 
ever, of expatriating himself and 
living under ony other form of gov- 
ernment than a republican ime, was 
su distasteful and objoctionablo Ibnt 
he gave it up, and subucquonlly 
making bis way through the Slates 
of Ohio and Pennsylvaniaon borne- 
back, he finally located in Salina, 
N. Y. (now the first ward of Syra- 
cuse), where be rnnninrd until IK36, 
when, perceiving that Syracuse waa 

to b.- tbo city and b-a^ling place, hr left n large practice and removed to (be 
latter place, where, with the excepliiin of a short time spent in Virginia, 
ho remainetl until bis death, June I, |A7ft. 

Dr. Clary entered the aehoul of medicine a^i on allupntb, but in 1810 
the clainm of homaMipatby wore preaiied upun bim with no ntucb force by 
an old friend and convert (Dr. Uull, of New York city), that he was in- 
duced to test the eflUcacy of the remedies. 

Faithfully carrying out his undertaking, it reaulled in breaking down 
the deep rooted prejudice* uf ninny years and his final iidoptiou of the 
homcpopathie nystem, unpopular with the community at large iind against 
his own personal interest, %n be supposed at the time, lioing then president 
of the Onondaga County Medical Sooiely (allopathic). 

I'nder this new it>stem he continued to practieo unlit the c|i>se of his 
life, ami the fact that most of (be families in wbirb be bad pmcticed for 
years went with bim in this change was a most gratifying testimonial of 
the confidence repopcd in him. 

His election to the presidency of the following medical societies waa a 
sufficient lostimoninl of the esteem in which bo waa behl by the me^lical 
profession: the Onondaga Medical Sooioty^ in 18-li ; the First Central 


Moilical Society, in 1951 ; the New York 6ute Uonttopatble Medtcd 
Society, in 1^53; the American Institute of Homceopatby, in 1854; iW 
Onondaga Homiropathio Medical Society, in 1S03: the Now Central Ho* 
m<Bopatbio Medical Society, in 18M; being one of the original members of 
the American Institute of Homcsopatby. During his long and useful life 
in Syracuse, Dr. Clary waa prominently identified with many of iU IomI 

Karly in life be waa a trustee of the First Presbyterian ehurch, but aomo 
thirty years ago liecame aaauciated with the "Church of the Measiah" 
(Unitarian), and waa trustee aa well aa an active and earoeat member of 
that church until bis death. In the various charitable institutions of tba 
city he always felt a deep interest, some of which be was connected with 
aa officer and counselor for many years, always ready to render any acrrieo 
in bis power, professionally or otherwise. 

He was a trustee and vice-president of tbo Syracuse savings bank froa 
ita organisation. One of the founders of the New England Society, ho 
wafl the first vice-president, and afterwards elected pn'sident. 

Greatly interested in tbo security ami preservation of the re-oords of tho 
early history of Onondaga County, he was one of the most active and 

earneit in the organisation of tbo 
Pionecra' Association, and one of ita 
officers from the beginning. 

In politics, Dr. Clary in his early 
days waa a Democrat, and in Iti 
highest sense continued aa aneh 
through life. When, however, sla- 
very had made such gigantic stridot 
that the action of the Deraocratle 
party seemed to be governed by tlio 
supportcrsof that institution and la 
its int4>rest, be broke loose from tbo 
same, first as an active Free-MlloT, 
afterwards as an earnest Kepublicaa. 
Personally he never indulged !■ 
any desire for political preferment, 
though at all times active in poli- 
tics and deeply interested in tho 
general political welfare. 

Outside of bis profession. Dr. 

Clary was quite an extensive denlor 

in real estate, and. as far back Ml 

IS:i:i, purchased tbo tract of land 

known as the " College lot," which 

he subdivided and sold out in small 


; V During (be last few years of bl> 

\ I life he built a large number of hoasas 

li suitable for tbo working claMM 

f upon lands in the city, some of 

which were purchased at an early 

day, and which were sold on eafy 

terms, making comfortable bomw 

for them. 

In temperament, Dr. Clary was 
sanguine in tbc superlative degree 
Kver cheerful and reliant on tbe 
good intentions of the Creator 
towards bis creatures, bis life wof 
parsed in n busy round of duty, whtob. while benefiting others, did not 
lca\e himself unrewarded. He was ever a close student of bis prufeuloo 
and kept puce with the ailvancemenis of the age, possessing strong powers 
of application and n well balanced mind. 

Always self reliitnt, he bad a happy faculty of drawing out others, whiok, 
with fine conversational powers and bis largo fund of information, roodortd 
him a most agreeable companion to all. 

He was best known in this community as a physician, though always 
looked up to as a man of power and ideas. Of a truly sympathetic nature^ 
he made the joys and sorrows of his friends bis own, receiving their ooo- 
Adenco but to retain it. His cheerful countenance and disposition made 
his presence in the sick-room, in no ordinary way, a source of consolation 
to his pationtj>, and tbo tondor remembrance in wbi<:b bis memory is bold 
by all classes clearly shows that he not only enjoyed, but waa eminently 
entitled to the name of friend. 

In May, 1830, Dr. Clary married Miss Fanny Ware, of Deerfleld, 
Mass. She was l>orn May 10, 1806, and still survives. They had three 
ohiblrcu, two of whom are living, — 0. Ware Clary, and Mrs. Daniel F. 
(lolt, of Syracuse, 

A I I 




leans in the war of the Rebellion ; Superintendent 
at Auburn Prison.) 

Treasure}- — W. H. Scram — Geology. (A teach- 
er in No. 7 Public School. Removed in 1847 to 
New York city.) 


Miss A. Bradbury — Animalcule. (Principal of 
Young Ladies' Seminary in Syracuse. Died Sept. 
I2th, 1850. ) 

Mrs. A. M. Redfield— Radiates. 

Miss Mary Allen — Conchology. (Principal of 
Female Seminaries at Rochester and Syracuse ; is 
now Mrs. King, of Rochester. ) 

Dr. Dunlap — Physiology. 

Rev. Stebbins — Anthropology. (Removed 

in 1848, to Florence, Ga. ; teacher.) 

Mr. Stetson — Ichthyology. (Teacher at No. S 
Public School ; died in 1848 or '49, at Syracuse.) 

Joseph A. Allen — Meteorology. (Teacher in 

M. Burr — Herpetology. (Printing in New York 
in 1848) 

Dr. T. D. Washburn— Entozoa. (1848 removed 
west — to Illinois. (.') 

Mr. Stanton — (A resident of Geddes, and con- 
stant attendant at the sessions of the Society. In 
1848 teaching in Buffalo. Wa£ afterwards Secre- 
tary of State of New York.) 

District School Libraries. 

Circulating Libraries were connected with the 
District Schools from an early time, and were con- 
tinued in the organization under the City Charter. 
In the Superintendent's report for 1857, we find 
the following : " No equal amount of public money 
is doing more good to the community than that 
expended in the purchase of books for the District 
Libraries. There are nine of these libraries, so 
distributed over the city as to be conveniently ac- 
cessible to every one. The aggregate number of 
the volumes is 4,620. During the year (1857) 
20,000 volumes have been drawn. This extensive 
reading, principally by the pupils attending the 
schools, but largely by others, cannot fail to have 
an important influence in forming the tastes and 
habits of those who thus devote their leisure 

Valuable as these libraries were, they were nev- 
ertheless attended with many serious disadvantages, 
being scattered in so many separate collections, and 
the increase of duplicate volumes incurred a large 
unnecessary expenditure. When the plan of a 
Central Library was adopted, these duplicate vol- 
umes were sold from time to time, and the standard 
works of value placed in the Central collection. 

The Central Library. 

This library was opened to the public on the first 
of May, 1855, in which year it was enlarged by the 
addition of two hundred volumes of standard works. 
When the High School building was completed in 
1869 it was transferred to its present well-arranged 
and spacious appartments on the first floor of that 
building. The Central Library is intended, not so 
much for circulation, as for collecting standard 
books of reference, and keeping them where they 
may be conveniently consulted. Nevertheless, it 
has a Circulating Department, free to all citizens 
above ten years of age. The Reference Depart- 
ment is open to all persons above the age of four- 
teen. The Library is under the direction of the 
Board of Education, and is conducted by a com- 
petent Librarian and Assistant, under a stiict yet 
liberal system of rules and regulations. 

We give the following comparative statistics of 
the Central Library, from 1867 to 1876, inclusive : 


en • 

" te 





E ^ 




3 • 



-0 t: 

C M 










;. oj 

1- -c 


■^ r 


OJ j; 

»; <u 


u ^ 

M . 

Si — 



^ -- 

P u 

^ >, 

E c 




^ a. 







Mar. I, 1867. 
" I, 1868. 




.... i 

" I, 1869. 
" I, 1870 



187 130 

" I, 1871. 





308 129 

" I, 1872. 





304 128 

" I, 1873- 







" 1,1874 







" I, 1875. 







" I. 1876. 







John S. Clark, Librarian ; Mary A. Gambia, As- 
sistant Librarian. 

Library of the Court of Appeals. 
This library, though not the largest, is in some 
respects the best law library in the United States. 
It was originally part of the " Chancellor's Library," 
which came into existence about 1830, by legislative 
enactment, devoting to that object the unclaimed 
and unappropriated funds in the Court of Chancery. 
The office of Chancellor was abolished by the Con- 
stitution of 1846, and the Legislature, by an act 
passed April 9, 1849, turned over the library to the 
Court of Appeals, in the words following : " The 
public library called the ' Chancellor's Library ' shall 
continue to be a public library under the name of 
The Library of the Court of Appeals." The law 
authorized the Judges of the Court of Appeals, " by 



order entered in their minutes," to divide and locate 
the library in two suitable places west of Albany, 
basing the division on "all duplicate volumes and 
such others as the said judges shall think proper." 
The places selected were Rochester and Syracuse. 
Judges George F. Comstock and Nicholas Hill, then 
of the Court of Appeals, made the division of the 
books, and the libraries were founded. 

The Library of the Court of Appeals at Syracuse is 
kept in suitable rooms at the Court House, the Libra- 
rian being appointed by the Regents of the Univer- 

sity. Present Librarian, Hon. Richard Woolworth. 
The funds of the Library consist of occasional 
appropriations of the State and an annuity of about 
$1,500. Since it has been located here, the num- 
ber of volumes has been nearly or quite doubled. 
The number of volumes is now a little over lO.OOO, 
and the Library contains many rare and choice books 
not found elsewhere, in complete sets. Among 
its interesting and valuable collections are the Stat- 
utes of England, complete and perfect, from Magna 
Charta ijune 15. 121 51 down to the present time. 



Joshua Forman was born in Pleasant Valley, in 
the county of Dutchess, and State of New York, 
the 6th of September. 1777. His parents were 
Joseph and Hannah Forman, who, previous to the 
Revolution, resided in the city of New York. 
Upon the breaking out of the war and the ajiproach 
of the British to that city, Mr. Joseph Forman re- 
tired to Pleasant Valley, where the subject of this 
sketch was born. At an early age he evinced a 
strong desire for learning in which he was en- 
couraged by his friends. In the fall of 1793 he en- 
tered Union College, at Schenectady, and in due 
time was graduated with honor. Directly after his 
collegiate course was completed, he entered the 
law oflicc of Peter W. Radcliffe, Esq., of Pough- 
kcejjsic, where he remained about two years. He 
then went to New York city and completed his 
law studies in the office of Samuel Miles Hopkins, 
Esq Soon after the close of his professional 
course, he married Miss Margaret Alexander, 
a daughter of the Hon. Boyd Alexander, M. P., for 
Glasgow, Scotland. In the spring of 1800, Mr. 
Forman removed to Onondaga Hollow, and o|-)ened 
a law office, where he began early to manifest his 
public sjiirit and enterprise. 

By his integrity and straightforward course in 
the practice of his profession, he soon became dis- 
tinguished as a lawyer, and by his talents and gen- 
tlemanly deportment, became familiarly known 
throughout the county. The subject of the Erie 
Canal became a theme of deep interest. Mr. For- 
man's talents as a public speaker and as a man of 
influence and character eminently distinguished 
him to be the individual who should be foremost in 
moving the matter. Accordingly in 1807, a Union 

ticket was got up, headed by John McWhorter. a 
Democrat, and Joshua Forman, a Federalist. This 
ticket was carried with trifling opposition. It was 
headed " Canal Ticket," and as such received the 
cordial support of a large majority of the electors 
of Onondaga county. He brought forward in the 
House of Assembly the ever memorable resolution, 
which alone would render his name immortal, 
directing a survey to be made " of the most eligible 
and direct route of a canal, to open communication 
between the tide waters of the Hudson and Lake 
Erie." Mr. Forman had studied the subject of 
canals as constructed in foreign countries. He had 
well considered the advantages that would accrue 
to the United States and the State of New York, 
if this important work should be completed, and 
had prepared an estimate of the cost of construc- 
tion, based upon statistics of the Languedoc Canal. 
The resolution was adopted. And for this he was 
for years called a " visionary projector," and was 
asked a hundred times if he ever expected to live to 
see his canal completed ; to which he uniformly 
answered, that " as surely as he lived to the ordi- 
nary age of man, he did ; that it might take ten years 
to prepare the public mind for the undertaking, and 
as many more to accomplish it, nevertheless, it 
would be done." Had not Joshua Forman brought 
forward the subject as he did, it is not easy to con- 
ceive who would have had the moral courage to 
meet the ridicule of proposing in earnest, what was 
considered so wild a measure. During all the 
times of darkness, discouragement, and doubt, he 
boldly stood forth, the unflinching champion of its 
feasibility, utility, and worth, till the day of its com- 
pletion. On the occasion of the grand canal cele- 
bration, 1st of November 1825, Judge Forman was 

~t tit S^mMl Sn'f^'^ 

/£7^^^<^^^-^ /V^^^^^^-'^— >>' 



1 64 


of Gov. Van Burcn, submitted his plan to a com- 
mittee of the Legislature then in session. At the 
suggestion of the Governor, he drew up a bill which 
became a law, and is known as the Safety Fund 
Act. It relieved the embarrassment of the State, 
and it may be safely affirmed that that no system 
in practice on this side the Atlantic, has better 
stood the test of experience. 

In 1829-30, Judge Forman bought 3,000 acres 
of land in Rutherford Co., North Carolina. He 
took up his residence at the village of Ruthcrfordton, 
greatly extended its boundaries, established a news- 
paper, and was considered the most enterprising 
individual in that part of the State. 

In 1831, after an absence of five years, Judge 
Forman visited Onondaga County. He was every- 
where received with unqualified demonstrations of 
joy and respect, and every voice cheered him as the 
founder of the city and the benefactor of mankind. 
The citizens of Syracuse, through their committee 
appointed for that purpose, presented a valuable set 
of silver plate, in the form of a pitcher and si.\ gob- 
lets, bearing this inscription : 

A 'rribiih- of Respfct. 

J'rcsttitfii by the Syracuse, 

Cilizens of Syracuse 

to the {Clasf-ed /lands.) 

Hon. jfoshua Forman, 
fomuier oj that Village. • 83 1 . 

On his return to North Carolina, Judge Forman 
took with him this token of the gratitude of his fel- 
low citizens, and it remained with him till the year 
1845, when he presented it to his daughter, the wife 
of Gen. E. W. Leavenworth, of Syracuse, remark- 
ing that it constituted a part of the history of Syra- 
cuse, and that after his death there it should remain. 

In 1S46, this venerable man revisited his former 
friends of his earlier years and found in each a full, 
hearty and honest welcome. A public dinner was 
tendered him at the Syracuse House — then the 
great hotel of the city — which was attended by 
Moses D. Hurnct, Hon. George Geddes, Lewis H. 
Redfield, Amos R. Granger, Harvey Baldwin, and 
most of the prominent citizens of the village and 
many from the adjoining country. Hon. Moses D. 
Burnet presided. A formal address of congratula- 
tion on account of the great success of his early 
labors and the remarkable fulfillment of his hopes 
and predictions was made by the Hon. Harvey Bald- 
win, which was replied to in behalf of Judge For- 
man (^he being then unable to articulate distinctly on 
account of a paralytic shock 1 by his son-in-law. Gen. 
Leavenworth. Gen. Amos R. Granger, Hon. Geo. 
Geddes, Lewis H. Redfield and several other gentle- 
men addressed the party in a very happy manner. 

From Syracuse Judge Forman retired to his 
mountain home in the milder climes of the sunny 
South, and passed away at the village of Rutherford- 
ton, on the 4th of August, 1S48. His remains were 
removed from Ruthcrfordton, at the request of his 
daughter, Mrs. E. W. Leavenworth, and now repose 
beneath the shades of Oakwood, the beautiful rural 
cemetery at Syracuse. 

For a fuller and more detailed account of Judge 
Forman's relations to the Erie Canal, see Dr. 
Hosack's life of DeWitt Clinton, pages 342 to 357, 
and for his relations to the city of Syracuse, see 
Clark's History of Onondaga, Vol. 2d, pages 69 tu 
90 ; see also " Genealogy of the Leavenworth Fam- 
ily in the United States," pages 257 to 264. 


Elias Warner Leavenworth was born at Canaan, 
Columbia county, N. V., December 20, 1S03. His 
father removed from Canaan to Great Barrington, 
Mass., when he was three years old, where his early 
life was spent among the beautiful hills and valleys 
of Berkshire. Early developing an eager taste for 
knowledge, he was placed in the year 1819, at the 
Hudson Academy, then under the care of the Rev. 
Daniel Parker, father of the present Judge Amasa 
Parker of Albany. He also, pursued his prepara- 
tory studies, in part, under Erastus C. Benedict, 
Esq , at Great Barrington, in 1873 State Senator 
from New York city. In the fall of 1820, he en- 
tered Williams College, as a Sophomore well pre- 
pared, and remained there one year, and then en- 
tered Vale as a Sophomore ; was elected a member 
of the Phi Beta Kappa Society in 1823 ; was grad- 
uated in 1824, and took his second degree in 1827. 

On the 20th of September, 1824, he began the 
study of law with William CuUen Bryant, then 
practicing at Great Barrington, and on the i6lh of 
May, 1825, entered the Law School at Litchfield, 
Conn. In January, 1827, he was admitted to prac- 
tice in all the courts of Connecticut. 

On Monday, the I2th of November, 1827, he left 
Great Barrington for Syracuse, arriving, by dili- 
gence, at sunset, on the following Saturday. He 
was admitted in the Common Pleas as an attorney 
and counsellor at the February Term, 1828, on the 
motion of Gen. James R. Lawrence ; and in the 
Supreme Court nearly two years later at Albany, 
at the October Term, 1829, as an attorney, and as 
counsellor in 1833. 

On reaching Syracuse, he studied and practiced 
with Alfred Northam, Esq., until February, 1829, 
when he formed a partnership with the late B. 


VA. il^«- 




Davis Noxon, Esq., which continued with various 
members of the family until 1850, when he aban- 
doned his profession, entirely on account of the state 
of his health. In the great campaign of 1840 he 
had contracted bronchitis by constant public speak- 
ing to large audiences. In 1850, his condition be- 
came somewhat critical, and although enjoying prob- 
ably the largest and most lucrative practice in the 
central part of the State, felt constrained to retire 
from his profession and turn his attention to other 

Rest and care for two or three years and abstain- 
ing from public speaking, fully restored his health, 
and other pursuits having engaged his attention, he 
never returned to the practice of law. 

In January, 1S32, he was appointed a Lieutenant 
of Artillery in the 147th Regiment of Infantry, and 
in the same year was appointed Captain of the Ar- 
tillery in the same regiment. 

In 1834, he was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel of 
the 29th Regiment of Artillery, and in the follow- 
ing year was appointed Colonel of the same regi- 
ment. In the Fall of 1835, he was nominated at 
the Whig County Convention as one of the four 
members of Assembly from Onondaga County. 
But the county was hopelessly Democratic, or he 
would not have consented to be a candidate. In 
1836, he was appointed Brigadier-General of the 
7th Brigade of Artillery. In 1S37, was elected 
Trustee of Syracuse village. In 1838-39, and 
'40, was President of the village. In 1839, ^^^ 
elected Supervisor of the old town of Salina. It 
was the first election at which the Democrats had 
been beaten for twelve or fifteen years ; was reelected 
in 1840. In 1846 and '47, was again President 
of the village. 

While President of the village from 1838 to 1841, 
the Board opened, or extended many of the streets 
which are now the principal business ones in the 
city. In 1838, he drew up a resolution which was 
the means of procuring for the city Vanderbilt 
Square ; the rows of trees which still line each side 
of the railroad from Beech street to the heart of the 
city ; and the first public sewer, which still extends 
in Washington street, from the creek to Lemon 

In the winter of 1839, while President of the vil- 
lage, he drew up and procured the passage of a bill 
to enable the trustees to make a contract with the 
Seneca Turnpike Company, to discontinue that 
part oi the road running through what is now known 
as Fayette Park. In the same year he was instru- 
mental in securing to the city that beautiful Park 
which is now the pride of the Seventh Ward. In 

the Spring of 1849, Mr. Leavenworth was elected 
Mayor of the city. Under his administration and 
by his efforts, the Armory Park was laid out and 
became city property. In the Fall of the same year 
he was elected a member of thi Legislature to rep- 
resent the city district ; was chairman of the com- 
mittee on the Manufacture of Salt ; and a member 
of the Committee on Railroads ; and also drew up 
and had passed a bill on the subject of Salt. 
(Laws of 1850, Chap. 374, p. 794.) He also car- 
ried through the Committee of the Whole and pro- 
cured the passage of a bill to improve the naviga- 
tion of the Seneca River. In the same year he 
drew up and carried through a bill for the preserva- 
tion of Washington's headquarters at Newburg. 
In a series of able speeches, he defended the Gover- 
nor's veto in the celebrated " Mason Will Case," 
and it was mainly through his efforts that the veto 
of Governor Fish was sustained in that long and 
fiercely contested discussion. 

In i849-'50. General Leavenworth was one 
of the Building Committee of the First Pres- 
byterian Society. A majority of the committee 
wished to build a brick church, after some of the 
Grecian styles of architecture. By his efforts, 
aided by those of Mr. Thomas B. Fitch, one of 
the committee, the brown stone Gothic Church, one 
of the finest ornaments of the city, was finally se- 
cured. In the Fall of 1851, he lacked only six or 
eight votes of being nominated for Secretary of 
State, at the Whig State Convention. In the Fall 
of 1853 he was nominated for Secretary of State, 
almost without opposition, and was also elected. 
During his term as Secretary of State, he was very 
active in causing improvements to be made through- 
out the State, and through his efforts the State 
Asylum for Idiots was removed from Albany to 

As Secretary of State, he was ex-ofificio visitor of 
the charitable institutions of the State, and saw the 
great want of some superior investigating and 
supervising power over the Trustees of the various 
institutions. He accordingly drew up a bill entitled : 
" An act in relation to charitable institutions sup- 
ported or assisted by the State, and to city and 
county poor houses, and to create a board of visitors 
for the same," which was introduced into the Senate 
by Hon. Mark Spencer. In substance the 
bill was passed by the Legislature, May 23, 
1867, when he again drew the bill. In 1855 
he was elected a corresponding member of the 
American Historical and Geographical Society of 
the city of New York ; and, also, the same year, of 
the New England Historical and Genealogical 



Society of Boston. In the fall of 1856, Mr. Leaven- 
worth was again clecteii to the Legislature ; was 
Chairman of Committee on Canals and a member 
of the Committee on Hanks ; also, Chairman of the 
Select Committee of one from each Judicial Dis- 
trict on the Equalization of State Tax. As Chair- 
man, he drew up a bill, which was subsequently 
passed, entitled, " An act to equalize the State ta.x 
among the several counties in the State," which 
established the Board of State Assessors. He also 
drew up and introduced the bill entitled, " An act 
to provide for the investigation into the origin 
of fires in certain cases ; " also many other 
bills of equal importance. In the winter of 1858, 
Governor King nominated him to the Senate for 
State Auditor, but the Senate, being of a different 
party complexion, politely laid the nomination over. 
Mainly through the efforts of Mr. Leavenworth and 
Mr. Hamilton White, in 1 858-9, the Association of 
Oakwood was formed, which gave to the city one of 
the finest cemeteries in the State. In the spring of 
1859 he was again elected Mayor of the city. In 
the fall of the same year he was again nominated 
for the office of Secretary of State, but was defeated 
by a small majority of from 1,000 to 1,500 votes, 
in a total of 600,000, mainly through the efforts of 
Erastus and James Brooks and the Know-Nothing 
party, on account of their hostility to Governor 
Seward of whom he was a warm friend. In the 
winter of i860, he was appointed by the Legislature, 
one of the Board of Quarantine Commissioners and 
was chosen President at its organization. In the 
summer of the same year he was President of the 
Republican State Convention assembled at Syra- 
cuse to select delegates to the National Convention 
at Chicago. On the 5th of February, 1861, 
Gen. Leavenworth was chosen one of the Regents of 
the University ; and in 1872 was appointed by the 
Governor and the Senate, one of the commissioners 
to amend the State Constitution. In February, 
1 86 1, Mr. L. was nominated to the position of Com- 
missioner under the Convention with New Granada, 
and was duly confirmed by the Senate. 

In the fall of 1874, Gen. Leavenworth was 

elected a member of the 44th Congress from 
the 25th Congressional District, Onondaga and 
Cortland, but declined, at an early day, a reelec- 
tion in a letter to his constituents setting forth 
the reasons. There are many other public posi- 
tions which he has filled with credit and ability, 
which the want of space will not permit mentioning. 
Mr. Leavenworth at present holds the following 
positions : President of the Syracuse Savings Bank, 
President of the Syracuse City Water- Works Com- 
pany, President of the Syracuse Gas Light Company, 
President of Oakwood Cemetery. President of the 
Historical Society of Central New York, Secretary 
and Treasurer of the Cape Cod Coarse Salt Com- 
pany, a Trustee of the Onondaga County Orphan 
Asylum, a Trustee of the Syracuse Home Associa- 
tion for Old Ladies, a Trustee of the First Presby- 
terian Church, since July, 1837, a Trustee of the 
State Asylum for Idiots, a Director in the Syracuse, 
Phtenix and Oswego Railroad, a Regent of the Uni- 
versity of the State of New York. 

Few men have led busier public lives than Gen. 
Leavenworth. Possessing a fine education, com- 
bined with highly respectable natural abilities, his 
services and talents for forty years past have been in 
constant demand, wliethcr as a legislator, a states- 
man or a jurist. He has left indelibly the impress 
of his character and tastes upon the institutions of 
the city in which he resides. Kind, sympathetic, 
generous and humane, he daily practices these lovely 
christian virtues which create sunshine wherever he 
moves. The great secret of his success is attrib- 
utable to his astonishing energy, and an endeavor to 
discharge to the best of his ability, every duty which 
is imposed uj^on him. Now at the advanced age of 
75 years, he does more hard work than, perhaps, any 
other man in Syracuse, as can be seen by the numer- 
ous, arduous and responsible positions which he now 
holds. Age, instead of enfeebling his intellect, adds 
increasing lustre to his experience and wisdom. 
Few men in the State would adorn any public posi- 
tion with a richer experience or finer ability. 

For a fuller account of Gen. L. see the " Leaven- 
worth Genealogy, 1873." 


The subject of this sketch was 
born in the town of Springiieid, 
Otsego Co., N. Y., Feb. 8, 1817. 

His paternal grandfather, John 
C. Wietiiig, was a native of 
Standal, Prussia ; was a classical 
scholar (and another member of 
the family taught a classical 
school in Vienna over one hun- 
dred years ago) ; came to America 
while a young man, about the 
time of the Revolutionary war ; 
enlisted on the side of the colo- 
nists ; was in the battle of Sara- 
toga. After the war he married, 
taught a classical school at Green- 
bush, N. Y., and later was pastor 
of the Jjutheran church of Minden 
and Osquake far twenty-two years, 
and died Feb. 17, 1817, in the 
sixtieth year of his age. 

His father, Peter Wieting, was 
born in the town of Minden, 
Jlontgomery Co., N. Y., Oct. 30, 
1790; was a tanner and currier in 
the early part of his career, and 
subsequently a merchant, and died 
in the city of Syracuse in the 
year 1856. 

His mother, Mary Elizabeth 
Manchester, was a descendant 
from a family of that name who 
came from Manchester, England, 
and settled in the State of P.hode 
Island ; was of English descent, 
and was born April 5, 1792, in 

Washington Co., N. Y. She died May 30, 1872. Her father was 
a Revolutionary soldier, and was a pensioner for many years before 
his death. 

John M. was the eldest son in a family of four children, and at 
the time of the writing of this sketch is the only surviving one. He 
received sufficient education from the district and private schools, 
so that at the age of fourteen years he became a teacher. After 
that age, unaided pecuniarily, he spent the next four years in 
teaching winters and attending school at the Clinton Liberal In- 
stitute, and working on the farm summers. 

During the following year he assisted in the preliminary survey 
for the New York and Erie railroad. At the age of twenty, in 
the year 1837, he came to Sj'racuse, and engaged as an engineer in 
the construction of the Syracuse and Utica railroad, which posi- 
tion he filled for some six years. In the mean time he surveyed 
Rose Hill cemetery, and graded many of the streets of the thee 
village of Syracuse. 

During these years he was an almost constant student of the 
natural sciences and mathematics. It was also about this time 
that he conceived the idea of leading a professional life, and began 
the study of medicine with Dr. Hiram Hoyt, of Syracuse. 

Through the pecuniary misfortune of his father and his poor 
health, John M. was compelled not only to meet the obstacles of 
life for himself at this time, but also to provide for the support of 
the rest of the family, which he did, with the pride of a devoted 
Bon, down to the death of those who gave him birth. 

In the spring of 1843, while a student of medicine, he was 
attracted by the lectures of Dr. Austin Flint, then lecturing in 
Syracuse with a manikin. John M. resolved to purchase the 

manikin, and with the assistance 
of kind friends he accomplished 
his desire, and started on a tour 
of lecturing, confining himself 
to the subjects of anatomy, phys- 
iology, and the laws of life and 

Soon after he began lectu- 
ring he received his diploma 
to practice medicine. His lec- 
tures were given mostly in the 
New England and Northern 

Prom time to lime, as his means 
would admit. Dr. Wieting added 
to his manikin other manikins, 
skeletons, models, and paintings, 
and such other illustrative appa- 
ratus as was calculated to render 
his lectures instructive and enter- 

His lectures increased in pop- 
ularity ; his whole time wa.s 
occupied, when not in public 
speaking or rest, as a student, 
and for a period of some twenty 
years, more or less, he excited 
the curiosity and educated the 
masses, instructed the willing, 
lent a branch to the trunk of 
scientific research, and became 
one of the most successful and 
popular lecturers of the age. 

He gave over one hundred 
courses of lectures in the city 
of Boston and vicinity during 
these years to crowded houses.- His pure, intellectual efforts on 
these occasions are said to have been very successful, and have 
placed him on record as a thorough master of the subjects before 

Inured to the necessity of economy in his earlier life. Dr. Wia- 
ting has, by judicious management and his natural business ability, 
secured a competence which places him beyond the apprehension 
of want, and owns one of the finest and most valuable blocks in 
the city, called Witting block. In politics, he has never been a 
very zealous party man ; not solicitous of public office ; identified 
with the Republican party. 

He was the first president of the Chenango Valley railroad, 
but has been very little connected with any public enterprise. 

Dr. Wieting, in the strictest sense of the term, is a self-made 
man, endowed with that self-reliance, perseverance under diffi- 
culties, endurance of body and mind, resolution, with the greatest 
firmness and consideration, worthy of emulation by the young men 
of to-day. 

In the year 1875, Dr. Wieting, with his wife (whose maiden 
name was Mary Elizabeth Plumb, born in Homer, N. Y., a 
daughter of Hon. Samuel Plumb, and on the mother's side grand- 
daughter of Colonel Cooley, of De Ruyter), visited the Pacific 
coast, Japan, China, Ceylon island, India, the leading countries of 
Africa and Eurojie, returning to his native country after an 
absence of one year, and making a trip around the world. 

In this tour he added to his already large stock of information 
what neither reading or literary research will acquire, and was a 
discriminating observer of the customs and character of other 
peoples in the countries through which he traveled. 




The history of the inception and establishment 
of this Institution was given in an address by Rev. 
A. J. Phelps, on the occasion of the laying of the 
corner stone of the " Hall of Languages," August 
31, 1 87 1. It has been approved by Chancellor 
Haven and others as a sufficiently accurate history 
of the University, and as such it is here introduced, 
with a few slight alterations. 

Like many other great and noble enterprises, 
the Syracuse University seems not to have been 
the result of plan or concert, but rather, as we then 
thought and still believe, a sort of intuition or inspi- 
ration which came upon several minds almost simul- 
taneously. This enterprise, in its inception, con- 
templated the removal of Genesee College to Syra- 
cuse, and the first tangible expression within our 
knowledge, looking in this direction, was a note 
from Professor J. R. French, which was received in 
reply to a communication we had made to him, in 
the month of January, 1866, declining to cooperate 
with him in the proposed plan to raise Centenarj^ 
funds for the endowment of Genesee College, on 
the ground that its location was quite too uncen- 
tral and ineligible to meet the demands of our edu- 
cational interest in the great Empire State, and 
strongly urging the imperative necessity of a first 
class college, under the patronage and supervision 
of our denomination, in some central position in 
which our people from all parts of the State might 
feel a common interest and where they might in- 
vest with better promise of grand results. 

To these sentiments Dr. French promptly re- 
sponded, and fully committed himself in favor of 
the removal of Genesee College from Lima to some 
more eligible location. Almost instantly after the 
receipt of this note we learned of an incidental con- 
versation occurring only a few days before, between 
Rev. E. Arnold and Professor Bennett. The spirit 
fell first upon the former, and the latter soon caught 
the inspiration, and as quick as thought there ap- 
peared screws under the sills, a locomotive on the 
track, and the time honored college seen trembling 
for its journey. At almost equal date Dr. Lore 
might have been seen in his sanctum, listening to 
this topic, when suddenly he replied by placing in 
the hand of his friend a half column of " proof," on 
the removal of Genesee College, and the two 
agreed that the intuition or inspiration, which ever 
it was, must be good. 

The next fact of interest time will allow us to 
note, was the first college convention, called under 
the auspices of a centenary meeting at Elmira, and 
held at Syracuse, April 12, 1866. This convention 
of representatives of five central and western con- 
ferences, took action decidedly favoring the enter- 
prise, and adopted measures for its advancement. 
During the same month Black River and Oneida 
conferences took harmonious action, and constituted 
their visitors to Genesee College, Commissioners to 
confer with the Trustees and negotiate for the re- 
moval of the College to some central locality in the 

At the annual meeting of the Trustees, held at 
Lima June 27, 1866, the Commissioners being pres- 
ent, and representing their several Conferences, the 
Trustees responded in substance that, the Genesee 
and East Genesee Conferences concurring, we deem 
it best that Genesee College should be removed to 
some more central location in the State on condition 
that two hundred thousand dollars, irrespective of 
grounds and buildings, be raised by the Conferences 
east of Cayuga Lake, to equal two hundred thou- 
sand dollars to be furnished by the two Genesee 

(Rev. E. O. Haven, D. D, LL. D 

Immediately after this action of the Trustees, the 
Commissioners issued a call for a convention of 
Laymen and Ministers from Black River, Oneida, 
and Wyoming Conferences, which was held at Sy- 
racuse July 26, 1866. This Convention indorsed 
the basis agreed upon by the joint meeting of Trus- 
tees and visitors, and recommended that Syracuse 
and other eligible localities should be canvassed, to 
ascertain what inducements would be offered to lo- 
cate the college in their midst. 

At the session of the Genesee Conference in the 
autumn of 1866 this whole plan was, with great 
unanimity, indorsed, whereupon the Trustees took 
measures to secure the passage of an act by the ^ 
Legislature of i866-'67, legalizing the removal of 
the college. Immediately thereafter parties entered 
upon the authorized canvass in several localities. 
In Syracuse private interviews were held with 
several distinguished gentlemen, by whose advice 
and cooperation a preliminary council was called, 
and thereupon a private note was prepared, as fol- 
lows : 

" Syracuse, March 5, 1S67. 

" Sir : You are requested to meet several of our 
citizens at the office of the Salt Company of Onon- 
daga, Thursday, March 21, at seven p. m., to attend 



an adjourned meeting for consultation in regard to 
a matter of great public interest. Yours, etc , 

William D. Stewakt, C. T. Longstkeet. 

Gkokge F. Comstock, Chas. Andkkws, 

E. W. Leaven woKiH, T. B. Frrcii, 

A. D. White, C. Tallman, 


This note was addressed to one hundred or more 
of the most wealthy and influential of our citizens. 
The convention thus called was largely attended 
and of marked interest. After brief addresses by 
Dr. Lore, A. J Phelps and others, without the 
least suggestion from members or ministers of our 
own denomination, the convention took measures to 
secure the bonding of the city for the promotion of 
this enterprise. Whereupon Judge Comstock was 
requested to draft an enabling bill, and the conven- 
tion issued a public call foi- a mass meeting of the 
citizens of Syracuse. 

This meeting convened the following week at the 
City Hall. The gathering was large, enthusiastic 
and harmonious. The proposed bill was presented 
by Judge Comstock, which provided for bonding 
the city for the sum of $ICX),0C)0, conditioned on 
the establishment of a college in Syracuse or im- 
mediate vicinity with endowment of $400,000, inde- 
pendent of city bonds. This bill was approved by 
the convention with great unanimity and at once 
forwarded to our representative at Albany, and im- 
mediately passed the Legislature and became a 

During this year, 1866, which was observed as 
the Centenary of Methodism, subscriptions were 
secured on many of our charges in furtherance of 
this object. In this work. Rev. J. B. Foote, A. M., 
and Rev. D. D. Lore, D. D., and others were 
specially active and successful. 

In the spring of '67, Black River and Oneida 
Conferences fully ratified these preliminary proceed- 
ings, elected college commissioners and api)ointed 
Rev. J. D. Adams, Rev. James Erwin and Rev. A. 
B. Gregg, agents to raise funds for this enterprise. 
Meantime volunteers among whom Rev. C. P. Ly- 
ford, Rev. L. Arnold, and others, were jirominent, 
operated with marked success in securing sub- 
scriptions and awakening interest in favor of this 

The Conference of 1868 reaffirmed their con- 
fidence in the enterprise and reappointed commis- 
sioners and agents to further the cause. 

From the first the Trustees of Genesee College 
have been true to the faith, and have done all in 
their power to consummate this noble work. 

Failing to secure the passage of the desired bill 
for the removal of the college in the legislative ses- 
sion of '66 and '67, they renewed their etforts the 
following year, and procured the passage of an "en- 
abling," or rather a disenabling, act, authorizing the 
Trustees to remove the college, leaving to Lima 
Semrtjary all the real estate of the college and 
§75,00^ of its cash endowment. The removal was 
opposed by the citizens of Lima who secured from 
the court an injunction upon the Trustees. This 
was a day of darkness to our enterprise. Still the 

overhanging clouds were not utterly dark. The 
hearts of the masses and the open liberal hands of 
the people were with us. The pledge of S 100,000 
from Syracuse, and $125,000 on subscriptions, 
leaving only $75,000 to be raised to meet the pro- 
portion of our Central Conference, with assurances 
from the West that the required balance should be 
timely met, shed some light upon our darkness. 
Still the persistent opposition of interested parties 
at Lima, the disabilities of the so-called " Enabling 
act," and the legal restraints of an injunction upon 
the Trustees, made the timid falter anri even our 
faithful agents in mid-season thought it wise to 
turn to other means of livelihood, and some of the 
people began to talk of defeat. But the original 
and abiding friends of the enterprise who never so 
much as thought of defeat or mortification, only 
talked of a " change of base." 

In the midst of this peril, in the darkest hour of 
the dark day, one who spoke the sentiments of the 
many, with almost prophetic assurance, exclaimed, 
" We shall see in due time a magnificent university 
towering up on some of the high lands of our Cen- 
tral City, standing there a living record of constan- 
cy and perseverance, a blessing to the great State 
in which we live, a perpetual honor to the church 
we represent, and an imperishable monument to the 
praise and glory of the great head of the church. 
God hasten the day when the vision shall be real." 

Thus, while many were disheartened and para- 
lyzed by murmurings of coming evil, others were 
looking and hoping, praying and planning, when al- 
most as if by magic the air was vocal, a voice from 
the center echoing from the West and the East, 
from the South and the North, cried let us have a 
convention — « j^^reaf Melltpdist State Convention. 
Let us come together and deliberate upon great is- 
sues that concern the church and the State — es- 
pecially let us combine the wisdom and strength of 
the people and take some new step which shall put 
our great educational interests beyond peradven- 

In the order of Providence, the auspicious day 
appeared. On the 22d day of February, 1870, the 
Convention came, and the able utterances and wise 
deliberations of many distinguished men, with the 
skillful supervision of the President, Rev. J. T. 
Peck, D. D., made it a great occasion in more re- 
spects than one. While it conserved in a high de- 
gree other interests vital to religious and social life, 
it was the day-spring to our long cherished project 
of establishing on some prominence of our beauti- 
ful city, halls of science and letters, to rejoice our 
own hearts and make glad and elevate the genera- 
tions to come 

The interest of this convention was greatly inten- 
sified by the passage of the following resolution : 

" Resolvcii, That this State convention of the M. 
E. Church of New York, approves of the plan to 
establish without delay, in the city of Syracuse or 
its immediate vicinity, a first-class university, and 
that we recommend that immediate measures be 
taken to raise at least $500,000 to endow the univer- 

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But the grand climax was reserved until name 
after name was announced with magnificent sub- 
scriptions for the university, inspiring and electrify- 
ing the people beyond measure. Perhaps no better 
description can be given of this hour of thrilling in- 
terest and prophetic history, than is set forth in the 
following abstract of the published proceedings of 
the convention. After the close of the several able 
and stirring speeches on this subject, Dr. Jesse T. 
Peck arose, evidently impressed with the historic 
significance of the occasion, and said : " I have heard 
it said that talk will not build a college, but that 
money will. I propose that you instruct Brother 
Ives to stand here on the platform and see how 
much can be raised here and now. All in favor of 
this say aye " The proposition was unanimously 
approved, and Rev. B. I. Ives came forward and 
said : " I liked that brother's speech over yonder, 
and about the last thing he said was, ' Send us 
Brother Ives.' Here I am, and I am after you." 
Mr. Ives asked for two hundred thousand dollars 
from the audience. 

The first subscription was in the following words 
and read by Rev. Dr. Lore : 

"I will be one of four to subscribe $25,000 each, 
making g 100,000, towards endowing four professor- 
ships, when the University to be located at Syra- 
cuse, is legally and practically established ; with the 
understanding that I with my good wife, appropriate 
the savings of a life-time to the payment of this sub- 
scription and make arrangements for any balance 
which may be unpaid at our decease, to be paid from 
our estate. Jesse T. Peck." 

F. H. Root, Esq., proposed to pay the interest 
on twenty-five thousand dollars for five years. E. 
Remington pledged to pay twenty-five thousand 
dollars as soon as circumstances permit, which will 
flfe soon. Rev. J. F. Crawford pledged twenty-five 
thousand dollars. Hon. George F. Comstock 
pledged the interest of twenty-five thousand dollars 
for ten years. Additional subscriptions were then 
made, in sums varying from ten thousand dollars to 
one hundred dollars, and amounting in the aggregate 
to one hundred and eighty-one thousand dollars. 

Though these figures partially depreciated so as to 
leave a real footing of about $160,000, still this was 
the grand breeze which set our stranded bark adrift 
and turned her prow towards the glorious harbor. 
This goodly craft, so suddenly emerged from jeop- 
ardy, the convention christened " The Syracuse 
University" and at once proceeded to elect the fol- 

Board of Trustees. 

At Large: Rev. Bishop E. S. Janes, D. D., of 
New York ; Hon. Reuben E. Fenton. 

Genesee Conference: Rev. Thomas Carlton, D. D., 
Rev. A. D. Wilbor, A. M., F. H. Root, Esq., J. N. 
Scatchard, Esq. 

East Genesee Conference : Rev. J. E. Latimer, D. 
D., Hon. D. A. Ogden, A. M., David Decker, Esq., 
Ezra Jones, Esq. 

Central New York Conference: Rev. D. D. Lore, 
D. D., Rev. A. J. Phelps, Rev. B. I. Ives, Rev. J. 
F. Crawford, E. Remington, Esq. 


Wyomitig Conference: Rev. H. R. Clark, D. 
Rev. D. W. Bristol, D. D., Hon. H, G. Prindle. 

Black River Conference: Rev. J. S. Bingham, 
Rev. S. R. Fuller, A. M., Hon. 'Willard Ives. 

Troy Conference: Rev. J. T. Peck, D. D., Rev. J. 
E. King, D. D., Rev. Bostwick Hawley, D.D.,Prof. 
H. Wilson, A. M. 

Neiu York Confere7icc : Rev. M. D'C. Crawford, 
D. D., Professor Alonzo Flack, A, M., Philip Phil- 

Neiv York East Conference : Rev. George Lansing 
Taylor, A. M.. John Stephenson, Esq,, John H. 
Ockershausen, Esq. 

City of Syracuse: Judge G. F. Comstock, Rev. E. 
Arnold, Hon. Charles Andrews, W. W. Porter, M. 
D., T. B. Fitch, Esq. 

The Board convened immediately after the con- 
vention, and organized under the general law, elect- 
ing Rev. J. T. Peck, D. D., President of the Board, 
Rev. D. D. Lore, D. D., Secretary, and T. B Fitch, 
Esq., Treasurer. An executive committee was also 
elected, consisting of Rev. J. T. Peck, D. D., Rev. 
D. D. Lore, D. D., Hon. G. F. Comstock, T. B. 
Fitch, Esq., Hon. C. Andrews, Rev. A. J. Phelps and 
Rev. E. Arnold ; at a meeting held in April, 1870, 
Rev. E. C Curtis was elected General Agent for the 
University, and in the month of September last, 
the Board unanimously selected the beautiful grounds 
where we are standing, as the site for our Syracuse 
University, and appointed a committee to supervise 
the grading of the grounds and the erection of the 
Hall of Languages. 

Our distinguished Agent, Rev. E. C. Curtis, with 
the self-sacrificing and masterly cooperation of the 
President of the Board, Rev. Dr. J. T. Peck, has 
been eminently successful and the people have re- 
sponded nobly. And while it might be impractica- 
ble to make special reference to every liberal offer- 
ing, we are constrained to record one of the noble 
acts of the Hon Remingtons, — the gift of the St. 
Charles Block. This property was purchased at a 
cost of $120,000, and freely bestowed, one-half upon 
the University and one-half upon the College of 
Missionaries and other church purposes. This and 
other free-will ofterings of the people have advanced 
our assets to a very encouraging amount. 

While it appears that but little more than half of 
the old Genesee College subscriptions have been 
transferred, still independent of the "-College of 
Missionaries," which is no part of the University, 
we have now on hand in bonds, subscriptions and 
other property, over $550,000. With this amount 
secured, and with the flattering prospect of increased 
subscriptions, the trustees at their meeting in May 
last, judged it e.xpedient to open the college the 
present season, and accordingly proceeded in due 
time to elect the following faculty, viz : 

Rev. Daniel Steele, D. D., Vice-President, Pro- 
fessor of Mental and Moral Philosophy. 

John R. French, A. M., LL. D., Professor of 

Rev. Wesley P. Codington, A. M., Professor of 
Greek Language and Literature. 

Rev. J. J. Brown, A. M., Professor of Chemistry. 



Rev. Charles W. Bennett, D. D.. Professor of 
History and Logic. 

Heman H. Sanford, A. M., Latin Language and 

George F. Comfort, A. M., Modern Languages 
and Esthetics. 

Professor J. P. Griffin was elected Clerk, Librarian 
and Registrar. 

And on this 31st day of August, 1871, it has 
been our distinguished privilege to witness the im- ' 
pressive ceremonies of inaugurating the faculty. 
And now we stand at the base of what promises to 
be an imposing structure, whose history must be 
penned by other hands and in other times. 

"We are here to lay the corner stone of the 
Syracuse University. This is the day towards which 
many longing, praying, hoping hearts have looked 
with intense desire. The Lord be praised, the day 
has come. The long night of fear has passed ; the 
morning beams fall on our cheerful faces and the 
precious sunlight shincsbrightly on our glad, rejoic- 
ing hearts. liut the full day is not yet. The 
meridian glory waits for the future. May heaven 
grant that the coming history may be exceedingly 
transcendant as compared with the past, and that 
many redeemed, purified and thoroughly furnished 
scholars may pass out over the threshold here to be 
laid, to grace and honor the church and the world, 
and to stand up in the last great day and call the 
Syracuse University blessed." 

The above sketch brings down the history of the 
Syracuse University to the laying of the corner- 
stone of the " Hall of Languages," August 31, 
1 87 1. It should be added that in April, 1870, a 
general agent had been appointed, and in Septem- 
ber of the same year, the ground selected and put 
under contract for grading. After extensive cor- 
respondence and frequent interviews with prominent 
educators in regard to the buildings, architects were 
invited to submit plans, and that of Horatio N. 
White, Esq., of this city, being accepted, the com- 
mittee proceeded to erect the " Hall of Languages," 
which was completed and occupied in 1875. The 
College grounds, which are ample for all present and 
prospective needs, are situated upon the eminence 
at the southern extremity of University Avenue, 
and command a fine view of the city and lake and 
the surrounding country to a wide e.xtent. 

Alexander Winchell, LL. D., was chosen Chan- 
cellor of the University in June, 1872. Upon his 
resignation, June 24, 1874, Rev. E. O. Haven, D. 
D.,LL. D., late President of the Northwestern 
University, was unanimously elected Chancellor and 
President of the College of Liberal Arts, and at 
once accepted and entered upon his official duties. 


The Charter of the University bears the date of 
March 25, 1870. It places the government of the 

Institution in the hands of forty-one Trustees who 
are named in the instrument, with power to provide 
for the appointment of their successors. The By- 
Laws of the University ordain that nine trustees 
shall be appointed " at large," comprising at least 
six who are not members of the Methodist Episco- 
pal Church ; that twenty-seven shall represent the 
Methodist Episcopal Conferences of the State ; 
that three shall be chosen by the Alumni ; that 
certain State officers shall be cxofficio representa- 
tives of the Stale government, while the Chancel- 
lor of the University is made the representative of 
the Faculties. 
The Trustees for 1877 are classified as follows: 

His Excellency, Lucius Robinson, Governor of 
the State ; His Honor, William Dorsheimer, Lieu- 
tenant-Governor ; Hon. Neil J. Gilmour, Superin- 
tendent of Public Instruction ; Hon. Sanford E. 
Church, Chief Justice of the Court of Appeals; 
Rev. E. O. Haven, D.D., LL. D , Chancellor of 
the University. 

Elected by the Boakd. 

Rev. Benoni I. Ives, Auburn, term expires 1878 ; 
Hon. George F. Comstock, LL. D., Syracuse, 1878 ; 
John Crousc, Esq., Syracuse, 1878; Rev. Bishop 
Jesse T. Peck, D. D., Syracuse, 18S0; James J. 
Belden, Esq., Syracuse, 1880; Alfred A. Howlett, 
Esq., Syracuse, 1880; Hon. Charles Andrews, 
Syracuse, 18S2 ; Thomas B. Fitch, Esq., Syracuse, 

Elected nv the Alumni AssocrATiON. 

Prof James H. Hoose, A. M., Ph. D., Cortland, 
term expires 1878; J. D. F. Slee, A. M., Esq., 
Elmira, 1880; Prof. J. D. Steele, A. M., Ph. D., 
Elmira, 1882. 

Officers of the Board. 

President, David Decker, Esq. ; First Vice-Presi- 
dent, Hon. George F. Comstock, LL. D. ; Second 
Vice-President, Francis H. Root, Esq. ; Secretary, 
Rev. D. W. C. Huntington, D. D ; Treasurer, 
Jonathan C. Chase. 

Executive Committee — E. O. Haven, George F. 
Comstock, Thomas B. Fitch, John Crouse, W. W. 
Porter, J. J. Belden. 

General Aj^ent—Rcv. V.. C. Curtis, 727 Irving 


The Syracuse University is the natural outgrowth 
of a conviction entertained by the large body of 
people interested in its administration, that they 
should have such an institution under their control, 



not far from the center of the State of New York. 
Like nearly all universities, ancient and modern, it 
has been founded and is largely controlled by people 
who are united by a common religious purpose, and 
it is intended to promote the highest welfare of its 
students, physical, mental and moral. The convic- 
tion that such an institution was needed was often 
expressed in ' Conferences and Conventions, and 
finally in 1870, embodied itself in a resolution in a 
large State Convention, to establish without delay 
in the city of Syracuse, or its immediate vicinity, a 
University. The city of- Syracuse, in its corporate 
capacity, presented for this purpose one hundred 
thousand dollars, and the managers of the enter- 
prise, in return for this favor, have secured an ad- 
ditional property of at least four hundred thousand 
dollars more, and also provided in their charter for 
a Board of Trustees, to be composed of some of the 
chief officers of the State, and also largely of persons 
not committed particularly to one religious denom- 
ination, so as to ensure at once freedom from sect- 
arianism in politics and religion. Not wholly under 
the control of either the State or the Church, but 
responsible to both, it will endeavor to cultivate the 
positive excellences that each would ensure, and 
avoid the exclusiveness, or evils of any kind, that 
might follow a bondage to either. An intention to 
accomplish this end will explain some of the pecu- 
liarly liberal provisions of the by-laws adopted by 
the Trustees. 

It may be well to note that the pledge to the city 
of Syracuse — to obtain, additional to the one hun- 
dred thousand dollars, at least four hundred thou- 
sand dollars, has been fulfilled. A beautiful site of 
fifty acres has been purchased, high and salubrious, 
overlooking the city, Onondaga Lake, and the sur- 
rounding country ; an elegant and spacious building 
for the Colleges of Liberal Arts and of the Fine 
Arts has been completed ; a good and substantial 
building for the Medical College, near the heart of 
the city, has been obtained ; and a productive en- 
dowment fund of about one hundred thousand 
dollars has been secured. More money has been 
conditionally pledged by some of its friends, and it is 
confidently hoped that within a short time it will be 
placed beyond pressing want. Thus, situated as it is, 
near the center of the State, with many friends who 
are determined that it shall be a permanent founda- 
tion of the best culture in science, philosophy, art and 
religion, it will continue to receive donations, large 
and small, and fulfill the purposes of its founders. 
Colleges of the University. 

Three Colleges are at present organized and in 
operation, viz : 

I. The College of Liberal Arts. 
II. The Medical College. 

III. The College of Fine Arts. 

The College of the Liberal Arts which went into 
operation in 1871, is intended to offer a curriculum 
of study which shall serve as a means of broad and 
symmetrical general culture to those who pursue it, 
and shall also place them in possession of those 
fundamental facts and principles which underlie the 
methods of all successful business. It constitutes, 
therefore, a thorough introduction to advanced 
scholarship, and the intelligent pursuit of the prac- 
tical business of life, as well as a fitting preparation 
for the study of any of the learned professions. 
Recognizing the diversity of tastes and of ulterior 
purposes on the part of persons seeking a liberal 
culture, four distinct courses of study have been 
provided, each of which, it is believed, will secure 
to the diligent student, what may be styled a truly 
liberal education. These are the Classical Course, 
The Latin Scientific Course, the Greek Scientific 
Course, and the Scientific Course. It is desired 
that each of these be brought to such a status as to 
imply a similar amount of preparatory and collegiate 

The Medical College was opened in 1872. Its 
Faculty is unusually large, and the field of instruc- 
tion is correspondingly varied and extensive. The 
first five months of the collegiate year are devoted 
chiefly to instruction by lectures and demonstra- 
tions ; the next five months chiefly to instruction 
by the method of recitations. The last term, how- 
ever, is optional with the student. 

The College of the Fine Arts, which went into 
operation in 1873, is intended to afford a broad and 
liberal culture in the field of esthetics. The in- 
struction, accordingly, is not restricted to exercises 
in the manipulations of art, nor even the acquisi- 
tion of the especial theories and principles of the 
fine arts, but embraces, with both these ends, the 
pursuit of a well-balanced course in all those gen- 
eral studies tributary to the formation of accom- 
plished artists, art-critics, and appreciators of fine 



The Libraries of the University offer very desi- 
rable facilities for reference and general reading, 
while it is a leading object of the University to en- 
large means of this class as rapidly as possible. A 
donation of $5,000 within the year 1876 has been 
judiciously expended in enlarging the General Li- 
brary. The library of the Medical College is kept 
at their building. With the General Library, in 
the Hall of Languages, is connected a reading room 



which, with the Library, is open from nine A. M. 
till one p. M., daily, except Sundays. The room is 
provided with a large supply of periodical literature. 


The University is in possession of Ward's com- 
plete College series of casts of geological speci- 
mens, which are handsomely mounted and exhibited. 
The Curator of the State Cabinet of Natural His- 
tory, Prof. James Hall, LL. D., has, by direction of 
the State Legislature, selected and sent to it a large 
series of geological specimens from the duplicates 
of the State Cabinet. The private collection of 
the Professor of Geology, Zoology and Botany, 
consisting of several thousand specimens, chiefly 
paleontological, is also placed at the service of stu- 

The Medical College is in possession of the Mu- 
seum formerly the property of the Geneva Medical 
College. This collection is extensive in the de- 
partment of Pathology, and is amply proviiied with 
the means of illustration of the Materia Medica. 
The College of the Fine Arts has several thousand 
photographs, engravings and chromolithographs 
procured in Europe and America, together with a 
sufficient number of plaster preparations and copies 
to answer the demands of the course of instruction. 


Faculty— xi'jy. 

Rev. E. O. Haven, D. D, LL. D., Prcst. and 
Prof of the English Language and Literature ; John 
R. F^rench, LL D., Prof of Mathematics, and Sec'y 
of the Faculty ; Rev. W. P. Codington. A. AL, 
Prof, of Greek and Ethics ; Rev. John J. brown, 
A. M.. Prof, of Chemistry and Physics; Rev. 
Charles W. Bennett, D. D.. Prof, of History and 
Logic, and Librarian ; Heman H. Sanford, A. M., 
Ph. D , Prof of the Latin Language and Literature; 
George F. Comfort, A. M.. Prof, of Modern Lan- 
guages and Esthetics ; Alexander Wincheil, LL. 
D., Prof, of Geology, Zoology and Botany ; John 
Durston, A. M., Ph. D., Adjunct Prof of Modern 
Languages ; W. Locke Richardson. A. M.. Instruc- 
tor in Elocution ; Frank Smalley. A. M., Assistant 
Prof, of Nat. Science. 

Siii<hnts — i8jj. 

Senior Class, 21 ; Junior Class, 26; Sophomore 
Class, 33 ; Freshman Class, 46 ; Unclassified 23 ; 
Total, 149. 

College of Medicine. 

Faculty — 1877. 
Rev. E. O. Haven, D. D., LL. D.. Chancellor ; 
John Towier, M. D., Prof, of Chcm. and To.xi- 
cology ; Frederick Hyde, M. D., Dean of the Facul- 
ty, and Prof of Prin. and Pract. of Surg. ; Henry 
Darwin Didama, M. D., Prof, of Prin. and Pract. of 
Med. and Clinical Med. ; Nelson Nivison, M. D., 

Prof, of Phys., Pathology and Hygiene ; John Van 
Duyn, M. D., Prof of General. Sj^ecial and Surgi- 
cal Anat. ; Edward B. Stevens. M. D. Prof, of 
Mat. Med. and Therapeutics ; Charles E. Rider, 
M. D., Prof, of Opthalmoiogy and Diseases of the 
Ear ; Hervey B. Wilber, M. D , Lecturer on In- 
sanity ; Wilfred W. Porter, M. D , Prof of Obstet- 
rics and Diseases of Women ; William T. Plant, 
M. D., Registrar, and Prof of Clinical and F'orensic 
Medicine ; Roger W. Pease, M. D , Prof of Oper- 
ative anil Clinical Surgery ; Alfred Mercer, M. D., 
Prof, of Minor and Clinical Surgery; J. Otis Burt, 
M. D., Prof, of Diseases of Children and Dermat- 
ology ; Miles G. Hyde. M. D , Adjunct Prof of 
Anatomy ; Wm. Manlius Smith. M. D., Prof, of 
Bot. and Adjunct Prof of Mat. Med, ; J. Wiltsie 
Knapp, M. D , Demonstrator of Anatomy ; David 
M. Totman, M. D , Demonstrator of Anatomy ; 
Brace W. Loomis, M. D., Instructor in Chemistry. 

Stiitknts — 1877. 

First year, 9 ; second year, 2 1 ; third year, 8 ; 

College of Fine Arts. 

total, 38. 

Faculty — 1877. 

Rev. E. O. Haven. D.D . LL. D . Chancellor ; 
George F. Comstock, A.M., Dean of the Faculty, 
and Prof of Esthetics and History of Fine Arts ; 
Archimedes Russell, Prof, of Architecture ; Joseph 
Lyman Silsbee.A. M.,Prof. of Architecture ; Henry 
B. Allewelt. Prof of Decorative Art ; Sanford 
Thayer, Prof, of Painting ; George K. Knapp, Prof, 
of Painting ; Ward V. Ranger, Prof of Pliotogra- 
phy ; E. Ely Van De Warker, M.D, Prof of Ar- 
tistic Anatomy ; Peter H. Stuart, Prof of Engrav- 
ing ; Willis De Haas, M D., Lecturer on Early 
American Art and Archeology. 

Students — 1877. 

Senior Class, 3 ; Junior Class, 7 ; Sophomore 
Class, 8 ; Freshman Class, 5 ; Normal Art Insti- 
tute, 23 ; Total, 46. 

Baptist Churches. 

First Baptist Church.— The earliest religious 
organization in the village of Syracuse was the pres- 
ent First Baptist Church, organized in 1 82 1. Previous 
to the organization religious services had been held 
more or less constantly for about two years. Messrs. 
James B. Moore, Thomas Spencer and Samuel Ed- 
wards were chiefly instrumental in sustaining meet- 
ings. The preaching was mostly supplied by students 
from Hamilton, 1 Baptist Theological Seminary,) 
among whom was Jonathan Wade, who, in 1823, 
sailed from Boston to Burmah, and became a faithful 
missionary in that land of darkness. 

Meetings were held in several private dwellings till 
the erection of the first school-house, which was then 



granted for religious services on Sundays. At this 
time, having a permanent place to meet in, a corres- 
pondence was opened with the Seminary at Hamil- 
ton, and arrangements made for regular preaching. 
Those interested in sustaining divine worship at 
Syracuse, were to provide a good horse and saddle, 
to become the property of the Seminary, and every 
Sunday for one year a student would be sent to 
Syracuse to preach. 

It so happened that Mr. Moore had just purchased 
a fine horse and saddle, giving in payment therefor 
sixty bushels of salt at one dollar a bushel. The 
friends of religion at Syracuse at once thought of 
that horse. Mr. Moore voted with the others that 
the animal had a providential call to go to Hamilton, 
and for a long time it was devoted to the interests 
of education and religion, while conveying preachers 
to the places of their appointments. 

Worship having been regularly sustained in the 
school house for some months, the subject of church 
organization was considered. On the 12th of Jan- 
uary, 1 82 1, thirteen persons met at the house of 
Mr. Braddick Dart, related their Christian experi- 
ences, and agreed to call a council of brethren from 
different churches to advise with them in reference 
to forming a Baptist Church. The names of the 
thirteen were : David Johnson, James Wilson, Thos. 
Spencer, Alvin Walker, Rufus Cram, Benjamin G. 
Avery, Wyllys Brown, Braddick Dart, Polly Wal- 
ker, Rhoda Wilson, Eliza Spencer, Hannah Fish, 
and Sally Dart. 

On the 1 6th of February, 1821, a council was 
convened in the only school house then in the vil- 
lage, and advised the brethren and sisters in the 
village and vicinity to unite and sustain public wor- 
ship as a Church of Christ. On the following day 
the thirteen persons named met and organized a 
church, to be known as the " First Baptist Church 
of Syracuse," and appointed the place and time for 
public worship. 

For the greater part of the first year, preaching 
was sustained by the New York Baptist Education 
Society. After his graduation at Hamilton, Rev. J. 
G. Stearns performed pastoral labor for six months. 
In June, 1823, Rev. Nathaniel J. Gilbert was ap- 
pointed the missionary of the Hamilton Missionary 
Society, and was stationed at Syracuse, He united 
with the church and became its pastor June, 1824, 
and the first year of his ministry was signalized by 
the erection of the first house of worship of the 
church, which stood on the spot now occupied by 
the Universalist Church, corner of West Genesee 
and Franklin streets. 

Rev. Nathaniel Gilbert continued the faithful pas- 

tor of the church till July, 1832, when he fell a vic- 
tim to Asiatic cholera. His successors have been 
Rev. Orsamus Allen, August 29, 1833, to October 
20, 1834; Rev. Stephen Wilkins, November 1834, 
to December, 1837 ; Rev. John Blain, 1837 to 1841 ; 
Rev. Joseph W. Taggart, December, 1841, to Au- 
gust, 1847; Rev. Robert R. Raymond, 1847 to 
1852 ; Rev. A. G. Palmer, 1852 to 1855 ; Rev. J. 
S. Backus, D. D., 1857 to July 1862 ; Rev. E. W. 
Mundy to March, 1864; Rev. John James Lewis, 
1867 to 1869 ; Rev. E.A. Lecompte, 1869 to 1874; 
Rev. S. Hartwell Pratt, 1874 to November, 1875 ; 
succeeded by Rev. Charles E, Smith, the present 

The Church enlarged the old building in 1839, 
and continued to occupy it till 1848, when having 
obtained another lot in exchange with Capt. Joel 
Cody, a little east of the original site, they erected 
thereon a new brick edifice, of the Roman Ionic order 
of architecture, 132 by 70 feet, at a cost of ^15,000. 
The spacious and attractive structure stood till Au- 
gust 23, 1859, when it was consumed by fire, and, 
in the language of a report made by Mr. Harris, the 
church had " only a rubbish-covered lot incumbered 
to its full value." Still by the devoted efforts of 
pastor and people the ruins were soon repaired, and 
the present beautiful edifice rose out of the ashes of 
the former temple, and was dedicated, entirely free 
from debt, November i, i860. 

The membership of this church on the first of 
January, 1877, was 391 — iiomales,28i females; 42 
non-resident, and 32 belonging to the German 

The German Mission was commenced under the 
auspices of the First Baptist Church, in the Second 
Ward, in 1862. A lot was purchased and a chapel 
erected on Lodi street near Ash. In November, 
1875, Rev Reinhard Hoefflin became the mission- 
ary. On the 28th of June, 1877, this mission was 
organized into 

The First Gerinati Baptist CImrch of Syracuse, 
Rev. Reinhard Hoefflin, Pastor. The 32 members 
above referred to are now set oft" to this church. 
It has a German Sunday school. 

This church has also a Mission under the name 
of " Hope Chapel," corner of Wyoming and Tully 
streets. The Mission was established in 1862. 

The Central Baptist Church. — This church 
was originally a small colony of the P'irst Baptist 
Church. About 1850, under the ministry of Rev. 
Mr. Pinney, a small chapel was erected on East 
Genesee street, which in that year or early in 185 1, 
was cledicated by Rev. Dr. John Dowling, father of 
their late pastor, Rev. George Thomas Dowling. 



Sen'ices continued to be held here under different 
pastorates, till the chapel of the present church, on 
Montgomery street, corner of Jefferson, was com- 
pleted and occupied in 1869. Rev. Dr. H. J. 
liddy, was at that time pastor, and had been for 
some time previously. He continued in the pas- 
torate till September i, 1873. In 1872 the main 
church edifice was finished, at a cost of $75,CXX), 
all of which was paid or amply provided for. The 
building is a fine structure of brick, with projec- 
tions of Onondaga limestone, and has a seating 
capacity for 700. 

On the first of September, 1873, Rev. George 
Thomas Dowling, assumed charge. The church 
and Sunday school were exceptionally prosperous 
under his ministry. 

Here we are called upon to record an experience 
of extreme trial through which the church passed 
on the evening of June 23, 1874, the sad memory 
of which is still fresh in the minds of thousands, 
and which will never be forgotten by those whose 
friends were the victims of the terrible calamity. 
On the evening referred to a large assemblage had 
gathered in the parlors of the church, in the second 
story, on a festival occasion, where also was to have 
been given a " Little Olde Folks' Concert " by the 
children. The floor of the parlors was insufficient- 
ly supported by iron rods which connected with a 
wooden truss under the roof, and while in the 
height of the enjoyment of the festivities of the 
evening, at the moment of the least consciousness 
of danger, the floor fell, carrying with it the ceilings, 
the timber and the furniture, and precipitating old 
and young, in a helpless, confused mass, to the un- 
occupied portion of the building below. To quote 
the words of the " Memorial " published by the 
Church : 

" Suddenly, as when a flash of lightning darts 
from a clear sky, or a dark and terrible chasm ap- 
pears where but a moment before was solid ground, 
a crash is hoard, the floor sinks, the ceiling falls, 
down into utter darkness, amid shivered beams and 
stifling plaster, broken furniture and twisted gas 
pipes, old men and maidens, young men and chil- 
dren, are hurled in inextricable confusion. For a 
moment a silence awlul in its intensity reigned, 
and then groans of agony, shrieks of terror, wails 
of mortal fear, anguished cries for help, arose in one 
great chorus from the struggling, bleeding, dying 
mass of humanity. Among the first to extricate 
themselves was the young and devoted pastor. Rev. 
George Thomas Dowling. Me ran through Mont- 
gomery street to Fast Genesee, and thence to No. 
I Engine House. An alarm of fire was struck and 
the engines appeared, but happily the horrors of 
fire were not added to the awful catastrophe. The 
police were promptly on the ground. Within an 

incredibly short period of time after the calamity 
(which occurred at 20 minutes past 9 o'clock,) the 
space about the church and the space leading thereto 
were thronged with a mass of people swayed by 
one common impulse, and that the noble one of 
giving aid to the victims. • • • 

" The work of extricating the unfortunate was 
carried on quietly, calmly and systematically, and 
as the living, one after another, were released, 
grateful prayers of thankfulness arose from loving 
hearts whose fears were so happily dispelled ; but 
as the dead were by reverent hands brought out 
into the quiet night, sharp cries of despair and 
agonizing appeals for assistance under this heavy 
weight of woe, pierced the still air of the summer 

" As the church bell tolled the hour of midnight, 
the remains of the last victim were removed from 
the wreck." 

The number killed in this fearful disaster was 
fourteen, while one hundred and forty-five were more 
or less injured. 

The sad event cast a gloom over the entire city ; 
churches were draped, and in many places flags ap- 
peared at half-mast. Suitable commemorative 
services were conducted on the Sunday following 
(June 281 in many of the churches, in which offer- 
ings of appropriate flowers combined with words of 
sympathy and fitting music in shedding a deep and 
hallowed influence over the assemblages which a 
common sorrow had brought together. Most of 
the pastors spoke feelingly and eloquently on topics 
suggested by the la