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Orsamus Turner
Pioneer History of the Holland Purchase

(Buffalo 1849)

  • Title Page     Preface
  • p. 017  Part First
  • p. 071  Part Second
  • p. 226  Part Third
  • p. 304  Part Fourth
  • p. 401  Part Fifth
  • p. 647  Appendix

  • Transcriber's Comments

  • 1851 Orsamus Turner article   |   1851 Orsamus Turner book

    (under construction)


    P I O N E E R   H I S T O R Y

    OF THE

    H O L L A N D   P U R C H A S E








    P I O N E E R   S E T T L E M E N T





    E R I E   C A N A L,

    ETC., ETC., ETC.


    P U B L I S H E D   B Y   J E W E T T,   T H O M A S   &   C O.:
    GEO. H. DERBY &CO.

    [ v ]

    P R E F A C E.

    READ THE PREFACE! A command that may be regarded as too imperative, and yet one that an author has some right to make, in consideration of the deep interest which he may be supposed to have in its observance. Having prepared an entertainment, as he is about to open the door to his guests, it is quite natural he should wish to pass them in with his own introduction.

    First, as to the general plan of the work: -- There may be readers of it who have anticipated a history more strictly local in its character, than they will find this. It was the original intention of the author to have commenced with the close of the Revolution, and traced settlement and its progress westward, very much as has been done, with the exception of a more extended detail. Upon proceeding to his task, however, after materials for it had been collected, the important consideration presented itself, that, although there existed, in detached forms, sketches of the earliest approaches of civilization to this region -- of early colonization tending in this direction -- of the French and Indian and French and English wars; the long contest for supremacy and dominion; the occupancy of that extraordinary race of men, the Jesuit Missionaries; the Border Wars of the Revolution; still, there was no history extant that connected all this, and furnished an unbroken chain of events allied to the region of Western New York, and especially the Holland Purchase. The distinguished historian, Mr. BANCROFT, was the first to draw from French sources any considerable amount of the history of French occupancy of the valley of the St. Lawrence, and the borders of our lakes and rivers; of the advents of Jesuit Missionaries, and their contemporaries, the fur traders; and embellish his country's history with a long series of interesting events, before almost unnoticed. But little could be gathered by an humble local historian, after such a gleaner had passed over the ground; but his work is of a magnitude to preclude access to it, by the great mass of readers;


    vi                                                 PREFACE.                                                

    (Note: pages vi - 16 are under construction.)

    [ 17 ]

    P A R T   F I R S T.



    THE local historian of almost our entire continent, finds at the threshold of the task he enters upon, difficulties and embarrassments. If for a starting point the first advent of civilization is chosen, a summary disposition is made of all that preceded it, unsatisfactory to author and reader. Our own race was the successor of others. Here in our own region, when the waters of the Niagara were first disturbed by a craft of European architecture -- when the adventurous Frenchman would first pitch a tent upon its banks, there were "lords of the Forests and the Lakes" to be consulted. -- Where stood that humble primitive "palisade," its site grudgingly and suspiciously granted, in process of time arose strong walls -- ramparts, from behind which the armies of successive nations have been arranged to repel assailants. The dense forests that for more than a century enshrouded them, unbroken by the woodman's axe, have now disappeared, or but skirt a peaceful and beautiful cultivated landscape. Civilization, improvement and industry, have made an Empire of the region that for a long period was tributary to this nucleus of early events. Cities have been founded -- the Arts, Sciences taught; learning has its temples and its votaries; History its enlightened and earnest enquirers. And yet, with the pre-occupant lingering until even now in our midst, we have but the unsatisfactory knowledge of him and his race, which is gathered from dim and obscure tradition. That which is suited to the pages of fiction and romance, but can be incorporated in the pages of history, only with suspicion and distrust. The learned and the curious have from time to time enquired of their old men; they have set down in their wigwams


    18                                             HISTORY  OF  THE                                            

    (Note: pages 18 - 70 are under construction.)

    [ 71 ]

    P A R T   S E C O N D.



    The prevailing spirit of the Monarchs of Europe, and their subjects, during the fifteenth and a greater portion of the sixteenth centuries, tended to the enlargement of their dominions, and the extension of their powers. In the latter end of the fourteenth century, Columbus had discovered a New World. Spain then at the height of its prosperity and grandeur, profiting by the discoveries of an expedition that had sailed under her flag, under the auspices of her Queen had followed up the event, by farther discoveries and colonization in the Southern portion of our continent. The reigning monarch of England, HENRY VII, stimulated by regret that he had allowed a rival power to be the first in the discovery of a continent, the advantages and resources of which, as the tidings of the discovery were promulgated, dazzled the eyes and awakened the emulation of all Europe; ambitious to make his subjects co-discoverers with the subjects of the Spanish monarch; listened with favor to the theory of JOHN CABOT, a Venetian, but a resident of England -- who inferred that as lands had been discovered in the southwest, they might also be in the northwest, and offered to the king to conduct an expedition in this direction.

    With a commission of discovery, granted by the king, and a ship provided by him, and four small vessels equipped by the merchants of Bristol, Cabot with his son Sebastian, set sail from England, in less than three years after Columbus had discovered the Island of San Salvador. As the discovery of Columbus was incidental to the main object of his daring enterprise -- the discovery of a shorter route to the Indies, -- the Cabots, adopting


    72                                             HISTORY  OF  THE                                            

    (Note: pages 72 - 225 are under construction.)

    [ 226 ]

    P A R T   T H I R D.



    There is but little of local importance to embrace in our narrative, occurring between the close of the French and English war, by the treaty of Paris, in 1763, to the commencement of the American revolution, in 1775.

    The English strengthened and continued the captured French garrison at Niagara, and other important posts along the western frontiers, for the purpose of protecting their scattered settlements, and trading with, and conciliating the Indians. The questions of difference between England and her colonies -- the disputes that were hastening to a crisis -- did not reach and disturb these remote and then but partially explored solitudes; -- where none but the fearless hunter, the adventurous traveller, the soldier, and the native inhabitants were seen. The only connection then between the eastern and western portion of our state, was kept up by commerce with the Indians, and such relations as existed between the military posts. This region was then far removed from civilization and improvement. Nearly a quarter of a century was to pass away before the tide of emigration reached its borders.

    The Senecas, it would seem, from the earliest period of English succession at Fort Niagara, were not even as well reconciled to them as to the French. There is very little doubt of their having been generally in the interests of Pontiac, and co-operators with him in his well arranged scheme for driving the English from the grounds the French had occupied. Some other portions of the Six Nations were also diverted from the English, as we find that a body of Iroquois were engaged in the attack on Fort Du Quesne. *

    * Graham, in his colonial history, savs the Senecas were co-operators in the designs of Pontiac, but that, by the "indefatigable exertions of Sir William Johnson, the other


                                              HOLLAND  PURCHASE.                                           227

    (Note: pages 227 - 303 are under construction.)

    [ 304 ]

    P A R T   F O U R T H.



    In the treaty of peace which ended the Revolution, Great Britain made no provisions for her Indian allies. Notwithstanding their strong and well founded claims to British regard and protection they were left to take care of themselves, and get out of the difficulties in which an unsuccessful war had involved them, as best they could. They were much offended and disappointed; they complained of this conduct as unjust and ungrateful, in view of the sacrifices they had made, and losses they had sustained, all along through the war. They were sagacious enough to conclude, that if the arms of the "Thirteen Fires," had conquered them and their British allies united, there was little use in their contending single handed. A portion of them however, were not disposed to yield. Prompted by British agents, they were for leaguing with the North Western Indians, and reviving the war. Among these was the youthful, subtle, and eloquent Red Jacket. But Corn Planter, and some others of the more influential Indians, counciled peace, and peaceable councils prevailed.

    Accordingly the sachems, chiefs and warriors, of the Six Nations and the commissioners in behalf of the United States, assembled at Fort Stanwix in October, 1784, and concluded a treaty of peace and friendship. Oliver Wolcott, Richard Butler and Arthur Lee, acted as commissioners for the United States. The Six Nations agreed to surrender all their captives, and relinquish "all claims to the country lying west of a line beginning at the mouth of Oyowagea creek, flowing into lake Ontario, four miles east of Niagara thence southerly, but preserving a line four miles east of the carrying path, to the mouth of the Tehoseroron, or Buffalo creek; thence to the north boundary of Pennsylvania; thence east to the end of


                                                  HOLLAND  PURCHASE.                                               305

    (Note: pages 305 - 400 are under construction.)

    [ 401 ]

    P A R T   F I F T H.



    The last four tracts described in the conveyances of the land purchased of Massachusetts by Robert Morris, were conveyed by him by four separate deeds, as follows: 1st, deed from Robert Morris and wife, to Herman Le Roy and John Linklaen, for one and a half million acres, dated December 24th, 1792. 2d, deed from Robert Morris and wife, to Herman Le Roy, John Linklaen and Gerrit Boon for one million acres, dated February, 27th 1793. 3rd, deed from Robert Morris and wife to Herman Le Roy, John Linklaen and Gerrit Boon, for eight hundred thousand acres, dated July 29th, 1793. Deed from Robert Morris and wife, to Herman Le Roy, William Bayard and Matthew Clarkson, for three hundred thousand acres, dated July 20th, 1793.

    These tracts were purchased with the funds of certain gentlemen in Holland, and held in trust by the several grantees for their benefit, as they, being aliens, could not purchase and hold real estate, in their own names, according to the then existing laws of the State. After several changes in the trustees, and transfers of portions of the land, sanctioned by the Legislature, the whole tract was conveyed by the trustees by three separate deeds, to the Holland Company, or rather, to the individuals, in their own names, composing three separate branches of that Company. *

    Although these deeds of conveyance were given to three distinct companies of proprietors, their- interests were so closely blended, several of the same persons, having large interests in each of the three different estates; they appointed one general agent for the whole who managed the concerns of the tract generally, as though it all belonged to the same proprietors, making

    * For a deduction of the title of the Holland Land Company, including a synopsis of those three deeds, see Appendix.


    402                                             HISTORY  OF  THE                                            

    (Note: pages 402 - 645 are under construction.)

    [ 646 ]

    A P P E N D I X.


    Having, in the body of this work, traced the title of the Holland Purchase from James II, William and Mary, and Charles II, Sovereigns of England, to Robert Morris, we here append a succinct deduction of title from Robert Morris to the last proprietors, who held the property under the appellation of the Holland Company. In the first place, however, we will trace the title of three portions of the tract, containing, by estimation, three millions, three hundred thousand acres, from Robert Morris to Wilhem Willink, Nicholas Van Staphorst, Pieter Van Eeghen, Hendrick Vollenhoven, and Rutger Schemmelpenninck; in whom the title to those three portions was vested on the 31st day of December, 1798, and the title to the remaining portion, estimated at three hundred thousand acres, to the last Dutch proprietors. These estimated quantities, it will be understood, are mere assumptions, predicated on no known data, except the million and a half acre tract described in the first mentioned deed.

    1st. Deed from Robert Morris and Mary, his wife, to Herman La Roy and John Linklaen, by deed dated December 24, 1792, conveying one and a half millions acres, in two tracts, as described in said deed: the west tract as described, containing one million acres, and the east tract, containing half a million acres. The two collectively forming one tract, comprising four hundred and twenty-two chains, and fifty-six links, off the western parts of each of the townships in the seventh range, and the whole of the townships in the eighth, ninth, tenth, eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth ranges of townships. -- See Secretary of State's Office, Albany, Lib. M. R. No. 24, fol. 510, and Clerk's Office, Ontario, Lib. l, fol. 327.

    Deed from Herman Le Roy and John Linklaen to William' Bayard, conveying the same land, dated May 30th, 1795. -- See Secretary of Stnte's Officc, Albany, Lil. M. R. Na. 33,_fol. 514, and Clerk's Office, Ontario, Li~. 6,fol. 38.

    Deed from William Bayard and wife to Herman Le Roy, John Linklaen and Gerrit Boon, dated June 1st, 1795. -- See Secretary of State's Office, Albany, Lib. M. R. No. 33, fol. 518, and Clerk's Office, Ontario, Lib. 6, fol. 36.

    Deed from Herman Le Roy and Hannah, his wife; John Linklaen and Helen, his wife; and Gerrit Boon to Paul Busti, dated July 9th, 1798. -- See Secretary of State's Office, Albany, Lib. M. R. No. 31, fol. 212, and CLerk's Office, Ontario, Lib. 5, fol. 300.

    Deed from Paul Busti and wife to Herman La Roy, William Balvard, James McEvers, John Linklaen, and Gerrit Boon, (in trust for the benefit of Wilhem Willink and others, citizens of the United Netherlands, and with covenant to convey the same according to their directions and appointment,) dated July 10th, 798. -- See Secretary


                                                              APPENDIX.                                                           647

    (Note: pages 647 - 657 are under construction.)


                          658                                             APPENDIX.                                                                  

    there as early as 1820 or '21. Dr. Packard was the early physician. Dunlap & Craig; Francis B. Lane, Alden S. Baker, ______ Northam were early merchants. Lane & Baker had been contractors on the canal at the Sulphur Springs, west of Lockport, settled at Middleport about the period of the completion of the canal, and have been conspicuously identified with its history and progress. Mr. Lane died during the last winter. Dr. Hurd settled there as a physician in an early day. Elijah Mathers and Thomas N. Lee were among the earliest mechanics. The village commands the principal trade of a fine region of country, and hits kept pace with its rapid improvements.

    MEDINA. -- The site of the village was an unbroken wilderness when the canal was located. The village was laid out in 1823, by Ebenezer Mix, and named by him. Its site occupied nearly the center of a tract of fourteen hundred acres, owned by David E. Evans and John B. Ellicott. The large mill now owned by Wm. R. Gwinn, was going up in 1823, when the village was projected, Mr. Gwinn, who married a niece of Joseph Ellicott and a sister of D. E. Evans, became a resident at Medina in 1828, and has been prominently connected with the settlement and progress of the village. The improvements at Medina have been gradual and permanent. There is a valuable water power created by a fall in the Oak Orchard creek, and the Tonawanda feeder. Like the whole region around them, Medina and Shelby villages furnish evidences of progress and improvement; they are going ahead, as all villages upon the HolIand Purchase are. (The author has to regret the absence of memorandums which would enable him to name the earliest citizens of Medina.)

    ALBION. -- (For some notice of the pioneer settlers upon and near the village site see page 554.) The fine lands in the immediate neighborhood of Albion had attracted settlers at a pretty early period in the settlement of the country, and previous to the location of the canal a considerable advance had been made in improvements, The village, however, was one of the creations of that great founder of villages and cities; commencing gradually, as the work progressed, and was brought into use. In 1823 it had sufficiently advanced to indicate the necessity of a press and newspaper, and Oliver Cowdery, (who has been the pioneer printer in at least a half dozen localities,) took a part of the old battered "small pica" that had been used in printing the Lockport Observatory, and adding to it indifferent materials from other sources, commenced the publication of the "Newport Patriot."

    Wm. Bradner, Harvey Goodrich, R. S. & L. Burrows were early merchants. The early physicians were Orson Nichoson, A. B. Mills, William White, Stephen M. Potter. Philetus Bumpus was an early tavern keeper, if not the pioneer in that line. The author, as in reference to Medina, has to regret the absence of minutes which would enable him to name the early mechanics and other village Pioneers.

    The first Methodist society was organized in 1850; the first Baptist society, the same year; the first Presbyterian society, in 1822; the first Episcopal organization was in 1844. Albion Academy was incorporated in 1837; Phipp's Union Seminary, in 1840.

    The first Board of Trustees of the village were as follows: -- Alexis Ward, President: Orson Nichoson, William Bradner, Freeman Clark, Franklin Fenton.

    The progress of Albion has been gradual and uniform, keeping pace with agricultural improvements in its fertile neighborhood. In the midst of universal prosperity, such as every where exists upon the Holland Purchase, it is difficult to discriminate; but no where are the evidences of increasing, substantial wealth exhibited in a greater degree, than in Orleans and its smiling and flourishing villages, Albion, Gaines, Medina, Shelby, Knowlesville, Eagle Harbor, and Gaines' Basin.


                                                                      APPENDIX.                                             659                      

    (Note: pages 659 - 666 are under construction.)


    Transcriber's Comments

    1849 Orsamus Turner Book

    (under construction)


    Orsamus Turner
    "Origin of the Mormon Imposture"

    Littell's Living Age
    Vol. XXX, No. 380, August 1851

  • Page 429
  • Page 430
  • Page 431

  • Transcriber's Comments


                                    ORIGIN  OF  THE  MORMON  IMPOSTURE.                                 429.

                    ORIGIN  OF  THE  MORMON  IMPOSTURE.                

    The Rochester American publishes the following from a forthcoming work by Mr. Turner, entitled a "history of Philip and Gorham's Purchase." Though not entirely new, it is succinct, and communicates some facts coming within the author's personal knowledge:

    As we are now at the home of the Smith family -- in sight of "Mormon Hill" -- a brief pioneer history will be looked for, of the strange, and singularly successful religious sect -- the Mormons; and brief it must be, merely starting it in its career, and leaving it to their especial historian to trace them to Kirtland, Nauvoo, Beaver Island, and Utah, or the Salt Lake.

    Joseph Smith, the father of the prophet Joseph Smith, jr., was from the Merrimack river, N. H. He first settled in or near Palmyra village, but as early as 1819 was the occupant of some new land on "Stafford street," in the town of Manchester, near the line of Palmyra. * "Mormon Hill " is near the plank road about half-way between the villages of Palmyra and Manchester. The elder Smith had been a Universalist, and subsequently a Methodist; was a good deal of a smatterer in scriptural knowledge, but the seed of revelation was sown on weak ground; he was a great babbler, credulous, not especially industrious, a money-digger, prone to the marvellous; and, withal, a little given to difficulties with neighbors, and petty law-suits. Not a very propitious account of the father of a prophet -- the founder of a state; but there was a "woman in the case."

    Mrs. Smith was a woman of strong, uncultivated intellect; artful and cunning; imbued with an ill-regulated religious enthusiasm. The incipient hints, the first givings out that a prophet was to spring from her humble household, came from her; and when matters were maturing for denouement, she gave out that such and such ones -- always fixing upon those who had both money and credulity -- were to be instruments in some great work of new revelation. The old man was rather her faithful co-worker, or executive exponent. Their son, Alvah, was originally intended or designated, by fireside consultations and solemn and mysterious out-door hints, as the forthcoming prophet. The mother and the father said he was the chosen one; but Alvah, however spiritual he may have been, had a carnal appetite; ate too many green turnips, sickened and died. Thus the world lost a prophet, and Mormonism a leader; the designs, impiously and wickedly attributed to Providence, were defeated; and all in consequence of a surfeit of raw turnips. Who will talk of the cackling geese of Rome, or any other small and innocent causes of mighty events after this? The mantle of the prophet which Mrs. and Mr. Joseph Smith and one Oliver Cowdery had wove themselves -- every thread of it -- fell upon their next eldest son, Joseph Smith, Jr.

    And a most unpromising recipient of such a trust was this same Joseph Smith, Jr., afterwards Jo Smith." He was lounging, idle, (not to say vicious,) and possessed of less than ordinary intellect. The author's own recollections of him are distinct. He used to come into the village of Palmyra, with little jags of wood, from his back-woods

    * Here the author remembers to have first seen the family, in the winter of '19, and '20, in a rude log house, with but a small spot of underbrush around it.

    home; sometimes patronizing a village grocery too freely; sometimes finding an odd job to do about the store of Seymour Scovell; and once a week he would stroll into the office of the old Palmyra Register for his father's paper. How impious in us young "dare devils" * to once in a while blacken the face of the then meddling, inquisitive lounger -- but afterwards prophet -- with the old-fashioned balls, when he used to put himself in the way of the working of the old-fashioned Ramage press! The editor of the Cultivator at Albany -- esteemed as he may justly consider himself for his subsequent enterprise and usefulness -- may think of it with contrition and repentance, that he once helped thus to disfigure the face of a prophet, and, remotely, the founder of a state.

    But Joseph had a little ambition, and some very laudable aspirations; the mother's intellect occasionally shone out in him feebly, especially when he used to help us to solve some portentous questions of moral or political ethics, in our juvenile debating club, which we moved down to the old red school-house on Durfee street, to get rid of the annoyance of critics that used to drop in upon us in the village; amid, subsequently, after catching a spark of Methodism in the camp-meeting, away down in the woods, on the Vienna road, he was a very passable exhorter in evening meetings.

    Legends of hidden treasure had long designated Mormon Hill as the repository. Old Joseph had dug there, and young Joseph had not only heard his father and mother relate the marvellous tales of buried wealth, but had accompanied his father in the midnight delvings, and incantations of the spirits that guarded it.

    If a buried revelation was to he exhumed, how natural was it that the Smith family, with their credulity, and their assumed presentiment that a prophet was to come from their household, should be connected with it; and that Mormon Hill was the place where it would be found!

    It is believed by those who were best acquainted with the Smith family, am>! most conversant with all the Gold Bible movements, that there is no foundation for the statement that their original manuscript was written by a Mr. Spaulding, of Ohio. A supplement to the Gold Bible, "The Book of Commandments," in all probability was written by Rigdon, and he may have been aided by Spaulding's manuscript; but the book itself is without doubt a production of the Smith family, aided by Oliver Cowdery, who was school teacher on Stafford street, an intimate of the Smith family, and identified with the whole matter. The production, as all will conclude who have read it, or ever. given it a cursory review, is not that of an educated man or woman. The bungling attempt to counterfeit the style of the Scriptures; the intermixture of modern phraseology; the ignorance of chronology and geography; its utter crudeness and baldness, as a whole, stamp its character, and clearly exhibit its vulgar origin. It is a strange medley of scripture, romance, and bad composition.

    The primitive design of Mrs. Smith, her husband, Jo and Cowdery, was money-making; blended with which perhaps was a desire for notoriety,

    * To soften the use of such an expression, the reader should be reminded that apprentices in printing offices have since the days of Faust and Gottenburgh, been thus called, and sometimes it was not inappropriate.


    430                        ORIGIN  OF  THE  MORMON  IMPOSTURE.                       

    to be obtained by a cheat and fraud. The idea of being the founders of a new sect was an after-thought, in which they were aided by others. The projectors of the humbug being destitute of means for carrying out their plans, a victim was selected to obviate that difficulty. Martin Harris was a farmer of Palmyra, the owner of a good farm, and an honest, worthy citizen; but especially given to religious enthusiasm, new creeds, the more extravagant the better; a monomaniac, in fact. Joseph Smith, upon whom the mantle of prophecy had fallen after the sad fate of Alvah, began to make demonstrations. He informed Harris of the great discovery, and that it had been revealed to him that he (Harris) was a chosen instrument to aid in the great work of surprising the world with a new revelation. They had hit upon the right man. He mortgaged his fine farm to pay for printing the book, assumed a grave, mysterious, and unearthly deportment, and made here and there among his acquaintances solemn annunciations of the great event that was transpiring. His version of the discovery, as communicated to him by the prophet Joseph himself, is well remembered by several respectable citizens of Palmyra, to whom he made early disclosures. It was in substance as follows: --

    The prophet Joseph was directed by an angel where to find, by excavation, at the place afterwards called Mormon Hill, the gold plates; and was compelled by the angel, much against his will, to be the interpreter of the sacred record they contained, and publish it to the world. That the plates contained a record of the ancient inhabitants of this country, "engraved by Mormon the son of Nephi." That on the top of the box containing the plates, "a pair of large spectacles were found, the stones or glass set in which were opaque to all but the prophet;" that "these belonged to Mormon, the engraver of the plates, arid without them the plates could not be read." Harris assumed that himself and Cowdery were the chosen amanuenses, and that the prophet Joseph, curtained from the world and them, with his spectacles read from the gold plates what they committed to paper.

    Harris exhibited to an informant of the author the manuscript title-page. On it was drawn, rudely and bunglingly, concentric circles, between, above, and below, which were characters with little resemblance to letters, apparently a miserable imitation of hieroglyphics, the writer may somewhere have seen. To guard against profane curiosity, the prophet has given out that no one but himself, not even his chosen co-operators, must be permitted to see them, on pain of instant death. Harris had never seen the plates, but the glowing account of their massive richness excited other than spiritual hopes, and he, upon one occasion, got a village silversmith to help him estimate their value, taking as a basis the prophet's account of their dimensions. It was a blending of the spiritual and utilitarian that threw a shadow of doubt upon Martin's sincerity. This, and some anticipations lie indulged in as to the profits that would arise from the sale of the Gold Bible, made it then, as it is now, a mooted question whether he was altogether a dupe.

    The wife of Harris was a rank infidel and heretic, touching the whole thing, and decidedly opposed to her husband's participation in it. With sacrilegious hands she seized over a hundred of the manuscript pages of the new revelation, and burned or secreted them. It was agreed by Smith

    and family, Cowdery and Harris, not to transcribe these again, but to let so much of the new revelation drop out, as the "evil spirit would get up a story that the second translation did not agree with the first." A very ingenious method, surely, of guarding against the possibility that Mrs. Harris had preserved the manuscript with which they might be confronted, should they attempt an imitation of their own miserable patchwork.

    The prophet did not got his lesson well upon the start, or the household of the impostors were in fault. After he had told his story, in his absence, the rest of the family made a new version of it to one of their neighbors. They showed him such a pebble as may any day be picked up on the shore of Lake Ontario -- the common hornblende -- carefully wrapped in cotton and kept in a mysterious box. They said it was by looking at this stone, in a hat, the light excluded, that Joseph discovered the plates. This, it will be observed, differs materially from Joseph's story of the angel. It was the same stone the Smiths had used in money-digging, and in some pretended discoveries of stolen property.

    Long before the Gold Bible demonstration, the Smith family had, with some sinister object in view, whispered another fraud in the ears of the credulous. They pretended that, in digging for money at Mormon lull, they came across a chest, three by two feet in size, covered with a dark-colored stone. In the centre of the stone was a white spot about the size of a sixpence. Enlarging, the spot increased to the size of a twenty-four pound shot, and then exploded with a terrible noise. The chest vanished and all was utter darkness.

    It may be safely presumed that in no other instance have prophets and the chosen amid designated of angels, been quite as calculating and worldly as were those of Stafford street, Mormon Hill, and Palmyra. The only business contract -- veritable instrument in writing -- that was ever executed by spiritual agents, has been preserved, and should be among the archives of the new State of Utah. It is signed by the prophet Joseph himself, amid witnessed by Oliver Cowdery, and secures to Martin Harris one half of the proceeds of the sale of the Gold Bible until he was fully reimbursed in the sum of $2,500, the cost of printing.

    The after-thought which has been alluded to -- the enlarging of original intentions -- was at the suggestion of S. Rigdon, of Ohio, who made his appearance and blended himself with the poorly devised scheme of imposture, about the time the book was issued from the press. He unworthily bore the title of a Baptist elder, but had by some previous freak, if the author is rightly informed, forfeited his standing with that respectable religious denomination. Designing, ambitious and dishonest, under the semblance of sanctity and assumed spirituality, he was just the man for the use of the Smith household amid their half-dupe and half-designing abettors; and they were just the fit instruments he desired. He became at once the Hamlet, or more appropriately perhaps, the Mawworm of the play.

    Under the auspices of Rigdon, a new sect, the Mormons, was projected. Prophecies fell thick and fast from the lips of Joseph; old Mrs. Smith assumed all the airs of a mother of a prophet; that particular family of Smiths were singled out amid became exalted above all their legion of namesakes. The bald, clumsy cheat found here and there an enthusiast, a monomaniac or a knave, in


                                   OCEAN  PENNY  POSTAGE. -- SELF-DEVOTION.                                431

    and around its primitive locality, to help it upon its start; and soon, like another scheme of imposture, (that had a little of dignity and plausibility in it,) it had its Hegira, or flight, to Kirtland, then to Nauvoo; then to a short resting-place in Missouri -- and then on and over the Rocky mountains to Utah or the Salt Lake. Banks, printing-offices, temples, cities, and finally a state, have arisen under its auspices. Converts have multiplied to tens of thousands. In several of the countries of Europe there are preachers and organized sects of Mormons; believers in the divine mission of Joseph Smith & Co.

    And here the subject must be dismissed. If it has been treated lightly -- with a seeming levity -- it is because it will admit of no other treatment. There is no dignity about the whole thing; nothing to entitle it to mild treatment. It deserves none of the charity extended to ordinary religious fanaticism, for knavery and fraud have been with it incipiently and progressively. It has not the poor merit of ingenuity. Its success is a slur upon the age. Fanaticism promoted it at first; then ill-advised persecution; then the designs of demagogues who wished to command the suffrage of its followers; until finally an American Congress has abetted the fraud and imposition by its acts, and we are to have a state of our proud Union -- in this boasted era of light and knowledge -- the very name of which will sanction and dignify the fraud and falsehood of Mormon Hill, the gold plates and the spurious revelation. This much, at least, might have been omitted out of decent respect to the moral and religious sense of the people of the old states.


             From the Athenaeum, 28th June.

    WOULD an ocean penny postage pay? That is a question to be solved. The inland system has been so well established by ten years of trial as very naturally to suggest the extension of a similar system to the ocean. If it can be demonstrated to be possible, no one doubts that it will be desirable to make this extension. But is it possible for Great Britain to constitute herself post-carrier to all the world without incurring an absolute loss in the service? Mr. Eliho Burritt replies in the affirmative without hesitation. We cannot say that we share his enthusiasm to the full extent, or admit that his calculations are free from error and exaggeration. But the object to be gained is of such importance to the rapid development of commerce, to the increase of friendly feeling between nation and nation, and to the vivification of every other good and peaceful element in the world, that it should command the best and earliest attention of those who have to legislate on the affairs of empires. It is well known to politicians, that the carrying of letters by the present mails, at high prices, involves a considerable yearly outlay, for which there is no direct return in money -- though, at the same time, there is no doubt that we gain influence by it, serve the interests of our trade, and obtain early and accurate information. Our insular position compels us to maintain a mail squadron; and we already carry nearly all the letters which pass and re-pass between this country arid the continents of Europe and America. The machinery is therefore all created, and an experiment might be tried with little or no risk. There are three grand points at which we deliver and receive our foreign correspondence -- Calais, for France, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Egypt, Turkey, and the East -- Ostend, for

    Belgium, Prussia, Germany, Russia, Austria and the North -- New York, for the vast continent of North America. It would certainly not be impossible to try the experiment with a chance of success at any one or more of these ports for a year or two. Dover and Calais offer the best field for a trial -- and they are the scenes of an abuse which needs instant correction. From London to Paris the postage is 10 d. -- that is, from London to Dover 1 d.; From Calais to Paris, 2 1/2d.; from Dover to Calais, about twenty miles, by water, 6 1.2d.! -- There is neither reason nor good policy in this extravagant charge. From Jersey to Shetland, 1,000 miles, the rate is 1 d -- from Semlin to Aix-la-Chapelle, 3 d. -- from the Rio Grande to the St. Lawrence, 1 1/2d. -- from Trieste to Lubee, 3 d. From Dover to Ostend, three times the distance between Dover and Calais, the ocean rate is 3 d. From Liverpool to New York, 3,000 miles, the rate is 8 1/2 d. In order to produce the same amount of revenue as at present under a uniform penny system, the number of letters carried to and from Ostend would need to be tripled -- and our experience at home would lead us to suppose that this increase would soon take place. The French rate is altogether unreasonable, and ought to he reduced. A penny rate would certainly yield as large a revenue from Calais as from Ostend -- and both routes would no doubt pay at a penny. With regard to America, the case is different -- the immense distance and the ten or twelve days' sea-voyage are elements which must add more or less to the expense. But there is very good reason to believe that with less jobbery in making our mail contracts, the large sums now paid to the Cunard line might be materially reduced. Compared with the charge for goods and passengers, the letter rate is at present enormously high. A man weighing 200 lbs -- not to speak of his trunks, boxes, and portmanteaus, -- will take up at least ten times as much room as a bag of letters of equal weight. He will consume no small quantity of ducks, fowls, bread, wine, beer, and vegetables -- he will expect to be served with attention night and day -- he will claim a right to quarrel with the officers and abuse the captain -- he will perhaps smoke and swear, and otherwise worry the passengers in the cabin -- yet he will have to pay for all these luxuries only some 30 l., while a harmless bag of letters of equal weight, content with a dark corner and with being left alone, is mulced for its simple transport from Broadway to St. George's Pier, more than 230 l. We speak now of the actual and the possible. If two hundred-weight of whims and wants, flesh and phantasies, besides luggage, can be taken from Liverpool to New York for 30 l. by the mail-packets, surely, a bale of letters, like a bale of cotton, may be carried for a third of the money. If we are right in this supposition, 6,400 letters might be sent over the Atlantic for 10 l. -- or considerably less than a halfpenny each. We recommend this mode of illustrating their theory with regard to America to the ocean postage reformers.



    IN the latter part of the month of February, many years since, a schooner from the state of Maine, which had been to New York with a cargo and was now on her return home, anchored under Sandy Point. The wind increasing from the north-west to a gale, she parted her cables ; sail was got upon her as soon as possible, but no having in much ballast, she did not fetch in to the westward of Great Point Light, on the north-


    Transcriber's Comments

    1851 Turner Article in the Living Age

    (under construction)


    Orsamus Turner
    History of Pioneer Settlement of Phelps...

    (Rochester: 1851)

  • Title Page   Preface
  • Contents
  • Pg. 009  Part First
  • Pg. 085  Part Second
  • Pg. 163  Part Third
  • Pg. 200  "Mormon" section

  • Transcriber's Comments


    H I S T O R Y

    OF THE












    B Y   O.   T U R N E R,

    R O C H E S T E R:


    [ vii ]

    P R E F A C E.

    A WORK, commenced nearly one year since, the publication of which has been delayed far beyond the promised period, owing to causes unforseen -- principally to the fact that it is of greater magnitude, and has involved a far greater amount of travel, labor and research than was anticipated -- is now presented to the public.

    The general plan of it will hardly he misunderstood by its readers: -- It is a history of the Pioneer, or FIRST SETTLEMENT, of that portion of the Genesee Country embraced in the purchase of Oliver Phelps and Nathaniel Gorham of the State of Massachusett, and the Seneca Indians, and of that portion purchased by Robert Morris, which he reserved in his sale to the Holland Company. The boundaries of the region embraced are indicated in the title page, and are more clearly defined in the body of the work. It is the eastern, and nearly the one half of what constitutes, properly, Western New York; its eastern boundary being the Massachusetts line of pre-emption.

    The work commences with the advent of the French upon the St. Lawrence, and traces their progress to this region, and along the shores of the Western Lakes to the Mississippi; briefly recognizing the prominent events that followed under English and French dominion.

    Enough of colonial history has been embraced -- that which tended in the direction of our local region -- to make such an induction to the main design of the work, as would secure an unbroken chain, or chronology of events, commencing with the landing of the French upon the St. Lawrence, and continued through the period of French and English occupancy. As all this was but incidental, it has been, generally, briefly disposed of for the author was admonished that his space would be required when he had entered upon a less beaten track. Yet he may venture to anticipate that even the student of history, will find something of interest in this precedent portion of the work; for it is not wholly an explored field, and each new gleaner may bring something from it to add to the common stock of historical knowledge.

    It was the original design of the author to incorporate in the work, something of the history of our immediate predecessors, the Senecas. It was mainly abandoned however, on learning that a local author, quite competent for the task, (as his now published work bears witness,) was preparing for the press, a work which would embrace much of interest in their history.* Much of them, however, will be found scattered throughout a large portion of the work, and a separate chapter is appropriated to them, from the pen of a native, and resident of the Genesee Valley -- a scholar and a poet, whose fame has gone out far beyond our local region, and conferred credit upon its literature. † ==> See chapter II, Part I.

    The colonial period passed, -- the local events of the Revolution briefly disposed of; -- Indian treaties, commencing under the administration of George Clinton -- the almost interminable difficulties in which the State, and individual purchasers were involved in with the Lessees, -- the slow advance of settlement in this direction -- are subjects next in order. Much of all this has been drawn from authentic records, and did not previously exist in any connected printed record.

    The main subject reached -- settlement of the Genesee country commenced -- a general plan of narrative, somewhat novel in its character was adopted: -- History and brief personal Biography, have been in a great measure blended. This has vastly increased the labor of the work, but it is hoped it will be found to have added to its interest. It will readily be inferred that it involved the necessity of selecting the most prominent of the Pioneers in each locality -- those with whom could be blended most of the Pioneer events. In almost every locality there has been regretted omissions; a failure to recognize all who should have been noticed. This has been partly the result of necessity, but oftener the neglect of those who had promised to furnish the required information. While the work contains more of names and sketches of personal history, than are to be found in any other local annals that have been published in our country, there are hundreds of Pioneer names reluctantly omitted.
    * "League of the Iroquois," by Lewis H. Morgan, Esq., of Rochester.

    † W. H. C. Hosmer, Esq., of Avon.

    viii                                       PREFACE.                                       

    In all that relates to early difficulties with the Indians; to threatened renewals of the Border Wars, after the settlement of the country commenced, the author has been fortunate in the possession of authentic records, hitherto neglected, which gives to the subjects a new and enhanced interest. The accounts of the treaties of Messrs. Pickering and Chapin, with the Indians, are mostly derived from official correspondence; while most of what relates to the councils held with them to obtain land cessions, west of the Seneca Lake, are derived from the manuscripts of Oliver Phelps and Thomas Morris, the principal actors in the scenes.

    The author cannot but conclude, that poorly as the task may have been executed, it has been undertaken at a fortunate period. More than one half of this volume is made up from the reminiscences, the fading memories, of the living actors in the scenes described and the events related. No less than nine, who, within the last ten months, have rendered in this way, essential service, -- without whose assistance the work must have been far more imperfect -- are either in their graves, or their memories are wholly impaired.

    The thanks of the author are especially due to Henry O'Rielly for the use of valuable papers collected with reference to continuing some historical researches, he had so well commenced; to James H. Woods, for the use of papers of Chas. Williamson; to Oliver Phelps and James S. Wadsworth, for the use of papers in their possession, as [the] representatives of Oliver Phelps and James Wadsworth; to John Grieg and Joseph Fellows for access to papers in their respective land offices; and especially to the former, for the essential materials in his possession as the representative of Israel Chapin, and his son and successor, Israel Chapin; to the managers of the Rochester Athaeneum, for free access to their valuable Library; to C. C. Clarke, of Albany, and S. B. Buckley, of Yntes, for valuable contributions; to numerous other individuals, most of whom are indicated in the body of the work. And to Lee, Mann & Co., the Printers, and Wm. Alling, the Publisher, for their liberal terms, and the business accommodation with which they have aided the enterprise.

    ==> The manner of publishing is a material departure from the original intention. Instead of publishing One Work, there will be Four. This is the first of the series. Those that will follow in order -- (and in rapid succession if no unforeseen difficulties occur) -- will be -- P. and G. Purchase -- Livingston and Allegany; -- P. and G. P. -- Ontario and Yates; -- P. and G. P. -- Wayne. In this plan it is confidently believed the interests of Author, Publisher and Purchaser will be made to harmonize. It obviates the necessity of a karge work of two volumes, and a High Price, fatal to that general sale that a local work must have, within its scope, to remunerate the labor of its preparation and defray the necessary expenses attending it. While the citizens of Monroe, for instance, will have all the General History of Phelps and Gorham's Purchase, and Morris' Reserve -- 493 octavo pages -- brought down to a late Pioneer period; they will not be under the necessity of purchasing at an an enhanced price, the mere local history of other counties. The only alteration there will be in the main body of the work, in the subsequent volumes announced, will be the correction of any material errors that are discovered; but there will be in each one of them, the "Supplement," or "Extension," of the Pioneer history of the counties, as in this instance -- Monroe.

    The historical works which have been essential to the authorŐs purposes, other than those duly credited, are -- Conquest of Canada, Travels of the Duke De la Rochefoucault Liancourt, Mary Jemison or the White Woman, History of Schoharie, History of Onondaga, History of Rochester.

    ==> There are no illustrations -- partly because they are not essential to history, but mainly because they enhance the cost beyond what the sales of any local work will warrant. The leading object has been in the mechanical execution of the work, to furnish a large amount of reading matter, in a plain, neat and substantial manner, at a Low Price, -- which object, it will probably be conceded, has been accomplished.

    ==> It will be observed, that little is said of the early history of Steuben. In an early stage of the preparation of the work, the author was apprised that a local history of that county, was preparing for the press.

    ==> Errors un names, in dates, in facts, will undoubtedly be discovered. Dependung upon memories often infirm, one disagreeing with another, labor, weeks and months of careful research, could not wholly guard against them. ==> With reference to the future enterprises announced, the author will be thankful for any corrections that may be communicated to him personally, or through the mails.


    Note: pp. 461-62 relocated here for convenience of reader

    [ 461 ]




    [NOTE. -- A table of contents which would embrace a reference to localities, persons and events, in regular order, was found far too elaborate, and occupying too much space. A shorter one has therefore been adopted, by which the reader, having reference to localities, will be enabled to refer to any given subject, event or person, with little difficulty.]

    P A R T   F I R S T.

    CHAPTER I. -- [Commencing page 9.] -- Brief notices of Early Colonization -- Progress of the French upon the St. Lawrence -- French and Indian, and French andEnglish Wars -- Progress of the French around the borders of the Western Lakes -- Discovery of the Mississippi by Marquette and Joliet -- First advent of our race to western New York -- La Salle -- First sail vessel upon the Upper Lakes -- M. de La Barrie's invasion of the country of the Iroquois -- De Nonville's invasion of the Seneca Country, in what is now Ontario County -- Founding of Fort Niagara -- French arid English battles in the region of Lakes George and Champlain.

    CHAPTER II. -- [Com. page 46.] -- Siege and Surrender of Fort Niagara -- Conquest of Western New York.

    CHAPTER III. -- [Com. page 56.] -- Siege and Capture of Ticonderoga, Crown Point, Quebec and Montreal -- Peace of 1763, end of French Dominion.

    CHAPTER IV. -- [Com. page 69.] -- English Dominion -- Border Wars of the Revolution -- Sullivan's Campaign.

    P A R T   S E C O N D.

    CHAPTER I. -- [ Com. page 85.] -- Our immediate predecessors, the Senecas, with a glance at the Iroquois -- their wars with their own race, and with the French -- their bravery and prowess -- invasion of their country by De Nonville.

    CHAPTER II. -- [Com. page 99.] -- Conflicting claims to western New York -- Indian Treaties -- The Lessee Company -- The Military Tract.

    CHAPTER III.-- [Com. page 127.] --The Genesee Country at the period when settlement commenced -- its position in reference to contiguous territory -- Condition of the country generally after the Revolution.

    CHAPTER IV. -- [Com. page 135.] -- Phelps and Gorham's Purchase of Massachusetts -- Oliver Phelps, his advent to the Genesee Country, and his treaty with the Senecas -- Nathaniel Gorham.

    CHAPTER V. -- [Com. page 153.] -- Jemima Wilkinson -- Pioneer events in what is now Yates County.

    462                     PHELPS  AND  GORHAM'S  PURCHASE.                   

    P A R T   T H I R D.

    CHAPTER I. -- [Com. page 163.] -- -- Commencement of surveys and settlement of the Genesee Country -- Pioneer events at Canandaigna -- Mrs. Sanborn -- Judge Howell -- other early Pioneers -- Bloomfield -- the Adams family -- other pioneer families -- Reminiscences of James Sperry -- Micah Brooks -- West Bloomfield -- Pittstown -- Pitt's family -- Other early Pioneers -- Reminiscences of Mrs. Farnum -- The Chipmans and Allens -- Gorham -- Manchester -- Reminiscences of Peleg Redfield -- The Mormons -- Farmington -- Phelps -- Geneva -- James Reese.

    CHAPTER II. -- [Com. page 240.] -- Sale of Phelps and Gorham to Robert Morris -- Re-sale to English Association -- Advent of Charles Williamson -- Events at Williamsburg, Bath, Geneva, Lyons, Sodus, Caledonia, Braddock's Bay -- John Greig -- Robert Troup -- Joseph Fellows.

    CHAPTER III. -- [Com. page 284.] -- Indian difficulties -- British interference -- Indian councils -- Gen. Israel Chapin -- Jasper Parrish.

    CHAPTER IV. -- [Com. page 315.] -- Attempt of Gov. Simcoe to break up the settlement at Sodus Bay -- British claims to western New York -- Wayne's Victory -- Surrender of Forts Oswego and Niagara.

    CHAPTER V. -- [Com. page 324.] --James and William Wadsworth -- Horatio and John H. Jones -- The Indian villages on the Genesee River -- Early orginization of the "District of Geneseo" -- Leicester, Moscow, Mt. Morris -- Valley of the Canascraga -- Dansville -- Wm. Fitzhugh -- Charles Carroll -- Avon -- Reminiscences of George Hosmer -- Lima.

    CHAPTER VI. -- [Com. page 378.] -- Pioneer events in what is now Wayne county -- John Swift -- Harwood, Spears, Durfees, Rodgers, other early Pioneers -- Wm. Howe Cuyler -- Lyons -- Dorseys, Van Wickles, Perrine, other early settlers -- Ridge Road -- Sodus Bay -- Peregrine Fitzhngh -- Dr. Lummis.

    CHAPTER VII. -- [Com. page 403.] -- Pioneer events in what is now Monroe -- Peter Shaeffer -- Wm. Hencher -- Col, Fish -- Atchinsons -- Braddock's Bay -- King's settlement -- Brighton -- Lusks, Stones, Oliver Culver -- Tryon's Town -- Penfield -- Gen. Fassett -- Pittsford, Perrinton. [Omission supplied in reference to Victor, West Bloomfield and Bristol, page 431.J

    CHAPTER VIII. -- [Com. page 436.] -- The Morris Treaty at Big Tree -- Cession of the territory west of P helps and Gorham's Purchase -- Early Printers and Newspapers.

    Note: addition from pp. 463-497 follows:


    APPENDIX. 1. -- [Com. page 463.] -- Extract from Manuscripts in the Jesuits College at Quebec.

    APPENDIX. 2. -- [Com. page 465.] -- De Nonville's Invasion of the Genesee Country

    APPENDIX. 3. -- [Com. page 473.] -- Extract from His Excellency, Gen. Washington's Orders.

    APPENDIX. 4. -- [Com. page 475.] -- Peter Otsequette [From Mansucripts of Thomas Morris.]

    APPENDIX. 5. -- [Com. page 475.] -- Hendrick Wemple [From Mansucripts of W. H. C. Hosmer.]

    APPENDIX. 6. -- [Com. page 476.] -- Oliver Phelps Speech to the Indians, in Answer to their Complaints.

    APPENDIX. 7. -- [Com. page 477.] -- Jemima Wilkinson [From Mansucripts of Thomas Moris.]

    APPENDIX. 8. -- [Com. page 478.] -- 1803 Canandaigna Post Office, Extracts from its list of Advertised Letters, a Few Names and their Localities.

    APPENDIX. 9. -- [Com. page 479.] -- Abstract of the census roll of Gen. Amos Hall... Under the U. S. Census Law of 1790

    APPENDIX. 10. -- [Com. page 480.] -- Murder of Major Trueman. [Statement of Wm. Smellie...]

    APPENDIX. 11. -- [Com. page 481.] -- The Pulteney Title.

    APPENDIX. 12. -- [Com. page 482.] -- Red Jacket -- Farmer's Brother -- Indiab War Dance. [From Mansucripts of Thomas Moris.]

    APPENDIX. 13. -- [Com. page 483.] -- Shay's Rebellion. [Found Among the Papers of Gen. Israel Chapin.]

    APPENDIX. 14. -- [Com. page 484.] -- Lord Dorchester's Speech to the Indians.

    APPENDIX. 15. -- [Com. page 485.] -- William Ewing's Letter to Gen. Chapin -- Wayne's Victory.

    APPENDIX. 16. -- [Com. page 487.] -- Unpublished Reminiscences of Red Jacket.

    APPENDIX. 17. -- [Com. page 488.] -- Capt. Bruff's Letter.

    APPENDIX. 18. -- [Com. page 488.] -- John B. Church Story.

    APPENDIX. 19. -- [Com. page 492.] -- Mr. James D. Bemis' Centemporary Account of His Avent to the Genesee Country.

    Note: addition from page 625 follows:


    CHAPTER I. -- [Commences page 497.] -- Wheatland -- Riga -- Reminiscences of Elihu Church, of Henry Brewster -- Ogden -- Parma -- Reminiscences of Levi Talmadge, of Samuel Castle -- Greece -- Charlotte -- War of 1812 -- Gates -- Penfield -- Reminiscences of William Mann -- Pittsford -- Perrinton -- Mendon -- Rush -- Reminiscences of of Joseph Sibley -- Henrietta.

    CHAPTER II. -- [Commences page 543.] -- Morris' Reserve -- The Triangle -- Le Roy -- Names of Early Settlers on Triangle -- Reminiscences of of Simon Pierson -- Levi Ward -- Bergen -- Sweeden -- Clarkson -- Reminiscences of of Dr. Baldwin and Gustavus Clark -- Connecticut Tract -- Names of Early Settlers -- Brighton -- Chili

    CHAPTER III. -- [Commences page 571.] -- Early glimpses of the Genesee Valley -- The Falls of the Genesee and their immediate vicinity -- General condition of all Western New York -- Pioneer History of Rochester.


    [ 9 ]




    IT was one hundred and sixteen years after the discovery of America by Columbus, before the occupancy of our race was tending in this direction, and Europeans had made a permanent stand upon the St. Lawrence, under the auspices of France and Champlain. In all that time, there had been but occasional expeditions to our northern Atlantic coast, of discovery, exploration, and occasional brief occupancy; but no overt act of possession and dominion. The advent of Champlain, the founding of Quebec, fromwhich events we date French colonization in America, was in 1608. One year previous, in 1607, an English expedition had entered the Chesapeake Bay and founded Jamestown, the oldest English settlement in America. In 1609, Henry Hudson, an Englishman, in the employ of the East India Company of Holland, entered the bay of the river that bears his name, and sailed up the river as far as Albany. In 1621, permanent Dutch colonization commenced at New-York and Albany. In 1620 the first English colonists commenced the permanent occupancy of New England at Plymouth.

    In tracing the advent of our race to our local region, French colonization and occupancy, must necessarily, take precedence. Western New-York, from an early period after the arrival of Champlain upon the St. Lawrence, -- until 1759, -- for almost a century and a half, formed a portion of French Canada, or in a more extended geographical. designation, of New France.

    France, by priority of discovery, by navigators sailing under her flag, and commissioned by her King, in an early period of partition among the nations of Europe, ck imed the St. Lawrence and its tributary waters and all contiguous territory, as her part of the New World. Setting at defiance, as did England the papal bull of Pope

    10                     PHELPS  AND  GORHAM'S  PURCHASE.                   

    Alexander VI., which conferred all of America...   

    Pages 10-84 not yet transcribed

    Continue reading with:
    "Part Second," (pp. 085-162)


    Transcriber's Comments

    Orsamus Turner's 1851 book

    (under construction)

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