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Sunday, December 30, 2012



Mar 3                 
Great Tract No. 3 - 640,000 acres of the 1787 Macomb Great Purchase of New York lands in St. Lawrence County, is subdivided to patentee Donald McCormick. It will become 15 towns.

Mar 17                 
The Albany County town of Bern is formed out of Rensselaerville, and named for first settler and mill owner Jacob Weidman’s birthplace in Switzerland.    **     The Columbia County town of Chatham is formed from Canaan and Kinderhook.

Apr 3                 
Connecticut native Elihu Phinney begins publishing Otsego County’s first newspaper, the Herald and Western Advertiser, at Cooperstown. It is the state’s second newspaper west of the Hudson River.

Apr 6                 
Schoharie County is carved out of Albany and Otsego counties.

Apr 9                 
The New York State Legislature passes “An act for the encouragement of schools". $50,000 annually is appropriated for the next five years, to establish and support common schools.

Jul 15                 
The Black River Tract, 290,376 acres of the 1787 Macomb Great Purchase of New York lands in Lewis and Jefferson counties, is sold to Richard Harrison, Josiah Ogden Hoffman, Nicholas Low and William Henderson.

Lansingburgh Recorder publishers George Gardner and James Hill move to Troy.

Oct 16                 
Albany clergyman William Buel Sprague is born to farmer Benjamin Sprague and his wife in Andover, Connecticut.

Nov 17                 
The first boats use New York’s Western Inland Navigation bypass canal at Little Falls.  

Nov 18                 
Over the past 24 hours 8 large and 120 small boats pass through the canal at Little Falls, paying a total of £80 10s in tolls.    

Dec 14                 
Engineer John Bloomfield Jervis is born in Huntington.

Dec 16                 
Schoharie County officials first meet at the village of Schoharie, decide to build the county courthouse two miles to the west.

Schenectady's Union College is founded, the first non-denominational college in America. In its honor Niskayuna Street is renamed College Street.    **    A portion of Schoharie County is created from part of Albany County.    ** Lansingburgh Recorder publishers Gardner and Hill leave the state and the paper closes by the end of the year.    **    The state assembly moves to New York City temporarily, to be near to ailing governor George Clinton. It remains there, after Clinton retires, replaced by John Jay.    **    Naturalist Amos Eaton enters Williams College, in Massachusetts.    **    Lawyer and historian Silas Wood is elected to the state legislature.    **    Judge William Cooper is elected to the Fourth Congress for the 10th district.    **     During the winter large numbers of oxen-drawn sleds make their way west from the Hudson to the Genesee lands.    **    $600 is added to the building fund for the courthouse and jail near Ballston Spa.    ** Williamson pays $43.75 to Alexander MacDonald for “Eben: Allan & Saw Mills Note of hand Given to You.”    **    Daniel Cady is admitted to the bar, opens a practice in Florida, New York.    **    Herkimer County's German Flats contains 40 homes and a Dutch Reformed Church.    **    The Iroquois population has dropped to approximately 3500.    **    Samuel Lewis's state map is published.    **    The Cooperstown Academy is founded.    **    The state donates an additional $10,000 to the Western Inland Lock Navigation Company.    **     Duanesburgh doctor Asa Fitch moves to Salem and buys a mill site and farm (Fitch's Point) from his wife's father and brother.    **     The approximate date Bagg’s Tavern is built in Utica.    **    The state has 64,017 eligible voters.    **     Judge William Cooper is elected to the Sixth Congress for the 10th district, his second, non-consecutive term.    **    Jeremiah Van Rensselaer, Jr. settles in Canajoharie, soon establishes a mercantile business with Archibald Kane under the name Kane and Van Rennselaer.

A Masonic festival, including dinner and a ball, is held in Cooperstown.

Feb 5                 
The Otsego County town of Butternuts is formed from Unadilla.    **    The Herkimer County town of Frankfort is formed from German Flats.

Mar 4
The Oneida County town of Rome is formed from Steuben.

The Inman’s Tract, 25,000 acres of the 1787 Macomb Great Purchase of lands in Lewis County’s Leyden and Lewis townships, is sold to William Inman. The Watson’s Tract, 61,433 acres in Warren County, is sold to James Watson.

Apr 1
Moses Culver and Nathan Reeves and their families leave Long Island by flatboat, heading for upstate New York. They eventually reach the site of the future Newark.

The English leave Ogdensburg, as well as forts Niagara and Oswego.

Jul 23                 
The approximate date educator and author Abraham Mills is born in Poughkeepsie to baker James Mills and Mary Waddle Mills.

Jul 29                 
Safety pin inventor Walter Hunt is born in Martinsburg

The approximate date Nathaniel Mallory settles the Essex County town of Jay.    **    Whites begin settling the Chateaugay area of Franklin County.    **    Another $600 is added to the building fund for the courthouse and jail near Ballston Spa.    **    The first church in Chester (Warren County) is formed by Baptist minister Jehiel Fox..    **    German Flats's population reaches 4194, including 684 electors.    **    Whitestown's population reaches 7,359; 1,190 qualified electors. It has five parishes, three militia companies, and one corps off "light-horse, all in uniform".    **    A Van Rennselaer Manor farm surveyed for Stewart and Cahoon is leased out to William Larkin.    **     The state donates an additional $37,500 to the Western Inland Lock Navigation Company. Boats pass through the locks for the first time.    **    When the national land speculation bubble bursts Robert Morris is thrown into debt.    **    The state legislature tables a report by Thomas Eddy and English engineer William Weston that advised building a canal from the headwaters of the Mohawk River directly to the Finger Lakes, bypassing Wood Creek and Oneida Lake.    **    The approximate date New Hampshire trapper Jonathan “Jock” Wright arrives in the Adirondack town of Norway.    **    The approximate date New York State merchant and politician Thomas Kempshall is born in England.    **    Three-year-old future canal planner William Hamilton Merritt comes to St. Catharines, Canada, from Bedford, New York, with his parents.

Payment comes due on all 1786 purchases of Judge William Cooper's Otsego region properties. Defaults on 48% of the original purchases have been offset when the lands were meanwhile snapped up by new purchasers.    **    Cooper begins building a brick home - Otsego Hall.

Long Island
A lighthouse is built on Montauk Point where England’s Royal Navy had kept signal bonfires during the American Revolution.

Robert Fulton's detailed A Treatise on the Improvement of Canals . . . is published by I. and J. Taylor.

Constantin François de Chassebœuf, comte de Voleny, travels from the mouth of the Delaware through Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and Kentucky, then north to Fort Detroit. He proceeds to Niagara by way of Lake Erie, then on to Albany, New York.   

©  David Minor / Eagles Byte

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Just Received: Unfortunate last-minute news from the Museum:

* * *

Alas!  Our lights are now not working in the main staircase leading to our exhibitions on the third and fourth floors, and we must postpone the South Street Seaport Museum's reopening and WAYZGOOSE at Bowne Printers tonight. [Dec 15th]

The electrical system was patched after Sandy, including a panel that provides light in the stairwell. Our repair has not held, and the staircase is the sole access, given that neither our elevator or our escalator is working.

Friday, November 23, 2012



Jan 14                 
Alexander Hamilton presents his first public credit statement to the U. S. Congress, advocating the payment of U. S. debts at par value, and the Federal assumption of all state debts incurred during the war.

Jan 30                 
Cornelius Van Schack Roosevelt, future grandfather of Theodore Roosevelt, is born in New York City to sugar refiner and banker Jacobus (James) Roosevelt and his wife Mary Helen Van Schaack Roosevelt. Cornelius will be christened at the Reformed Dutch Church on April 1

George and Martha Washington move into the Macomb Mansion of architect John McComb, Sr. at 39 Broadway, on Bowling Green.

Feb 1                 
The U. S. Supreme Court convenes for the first time, in New York City, at the Royal Exchange.

Feb 3                 
New York authorizes the transfer of New Jersey’s Sandy Hook lighthouse, built by New York, to the U. S. government.

Feb 11                 
Congress receives its first antislavery petitions.    **    James Madison addresses Congress on Hamilton's funding proposals.

Mar 1                 
Congress passes the Census Act, calling for a census every ten years.

Mar 21                 
Thomas Jefferson arrives in New York City and reports to President George Washington to be made Secretary of State.

Mar 22                 
Thomas Jefferson is sworn in as U. S. Secretary of State.

Apr 4                 
The U. S. Coast Guard is created, under the Treasury Department, to suppress smuggling.   

Apr 10                 
Congress enacts the Patent Act in an attempt to rectify the expense and difficulty of the British patent process.

Apr 12                 
The House of Representatives defeats the Assumption Act.

Apr 20                 
President Washington begins a tour of Long Island, dining with a Mr. Barre of New Utrecht.

The New-York Magazine; or, Literary Repository publishes a drawing of Columbia College.

May 1                 
Jefferson is struck by a violent headache and incapacitated for a month.    **    Philadelphia printer William Bradford leaves Westchester County to travel into New York City. Tomorrow he will describe the “May-day” festivities he encounters there in a letter to his wife.

May 26                 
The Southwest Territory (Tennessee) is given a Territorial government. Congress also accepts the last of North Carolina's western lands. They are designated the Territory South of the River Ohio.

May 31                 
Congress enacts its first copyright law.

Jun 2                 
Jefferson moves to 57 Maiden Lane.

Jun 7                 
American Revolution hero Colonel Jeromus Remsen, who fought in the battle of Long Island, dies at the age of 54, and is buried in the family plot in Middle Village, Queens , the first interment there..

Jun 20                 
Congress, at the urging of Hamilton, passes the Assumption Act, at the price of a compromise — the placing of the capital in a southern location.

Jul 3                 
The Commissioners of the state’s land office meet in New York City. Governor George Clinton presides. They review surveys of 25 Military Townships and name them, then appoint Robert Harpur and Lewis A. Scott to draw ballots. Over the next six days, lots of 500 to 600 acres are assigned at random to the veterans of the New York Continental Line.

Jul 4
The Episcopal Middle Dutch Church designed by Richard Upjohn,  – used by the British as part of a prison complex until their departure in 1783 - is revived as a church.

Jul 10
Washington revisits the Morris-Jumel Mansion.

Jul 12                 
Jefferson outlines a policy to be followed if the Spain and Britain go to war over Nootka Sound.   

Jul 13                 
Jefferson submits his Report on Coinage, Weights, and Measures.

Jul 16                 
Congress votes in favor of the Residence Bill, to make Philadelphia home of the national government for ten years, while another site, to be selected by the President, is prepared.

Jul 23                 
Congress passes the Non-Intercourse Act, promising the Iroquois will not be cheated out of their land. All land transfers must be done under the U. S. auspices, with an agent present.

Aug 1                 
The first U. S. census is completed. New York City’s population is 33,000.

Aug 4                 
The Congressional Funding Act establishes public credit, authorizes the Treasury to accept war bonds as debt payment, and assumes all state debts to the Federal government.    **    Congress authorizes the construction and equipping of revenue cutter vessels.   

Aug 7                 
The U. S. signs a treaty with Creek Indian Alexander McGillivray at New York's Federal Hall, to preserve peace with the Indians of the southwestern area of the states.

Aug 12                 
Congress recesses. Philadelphia becomes the temporary capital of the U. S.

Aug 15                 
Washington and Jefferson leave New York for Rhode Island.

Aug 24                 
The New York Daily Advertiser carries an item on engraver William Rollinson’s depiction of U. S. President George Washington.

Sep 1                 
Jefferson leaves New York for Monticello.

Oct 7                 
Francois Joseph Gossec’s opera Le Tonnelier is performed at New York’s City Tavern, with a ball following. It is the first musical work performed in the city in a foreign tongue.

John McComb’s Government House is built in lower Manhattan, as a residence for George Washington. The U. S. Customs House sits on the site today.   **    A U. S. Army garrison is stationed on Governor's Island.    **    The second Trinity Church is built, to replace the one destroyed by fire in 1776.    **    Fort George, formerly Fort Amsterdam, at the southern tip of Manhattan, is demolished.    **    John Jacob Astor begins shipping pelts to London’s Thomas Backhouse and Company.    **    Astor and De Witt Clinton  join the Holland 8 Lodge of the Masons. Other members include Clinton’s uncle Governor George Clinton and merchant Robert R. Livingston.    **    Captain Robert Richard Randall buys the Elliott estate north of Greenwich Lane from “Baron” Poelnitz for £5,000, with the intention of building a home for retired sailors on the property.    **    Sarah Haswell Rowson's novel Charlotte Temple; A Tale of Truth, is published.    **    The city's seven wards are given numerical designations.    **    Lewis Morris is authorized to build a toll drawbridge across the lower Harlem River.    **    Congress charters the Bank of the United States, with its main office here;  the city's first bank.    **    English painter William Winstanley arrives in the city.    **    New York’s population surpasses that of Boston.    **     Ann Berton, wife of ship owner Peter Berton, dies. The couple are ancestors of Canadian historian/author Pierre Berton.    **    The Greenwood family purchases the property at the future 20 Vesey Street, future site of the 1907 New York Post Building.    **    The city buys seven acres of land from the Herring family for use as a potter’s field and execution ground. It will become part of Washington Square in the late 1820s.    **    The post-colonial fence surrounding Trinity Church – begun in 1788 – is completed.

Staten Island
Further additions are made to the former home of Captain Thomas Stillwell. The house, on the future Richmond Road, will later be known as the Billiou-Stillwell-Perine House.

© 2012         David Minor / Eagles Byte

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Mar 28                 
Geographer, geologist, ethnographer Henry Rowe Schoolcraft is born in Guilderland to glassmaker Lawrence Schoolcraft and his wife Ann Barbara Rowe Schoolcraft.

Apr 20                 
President Washington begins a tour of Long Island, dining with a Mr. Barre of New Utrecht.

Apr 21                 
Washington stops at Hempstead to feed and water his horses, probably at Simmonson’s Inn, then continues on to Copaigue, stopping for dinner at the Zebulon Ketchem House. He spends the night at Squire Isaac Thompson’s home (Sagtikos Manor) in West Bay Shore.

Apr 22                 
Washington rests at Samuel Green’s home in West Sayville. He continues on to Patchogue where he dines at Hart’s Tavern, before going on to spend the night at Austin Roe’s tavern in Setauket.

Apr 23                 
Washington tends to his horse at the Smithtown tavern of the widow Blydenburgh, dines at the Huntington home of the widow Platt and stops for the night at Daniel Young’s Cove Neck Road home in Oyster Bay.

Apr 24                 
Washington breakfasts with miller Hendrick Onderdonck at Roslyn and tours his host’s grist and paper mills. He stops for his midday meal at Flushing and continues on to Brooklyn, where he catches the ferry to Manhattan, ending his tour of Long Island.

Jul 3                 
The Commissioners of the state’s land office meet in New York City. Governor George Clinton presides. They review surveys of 25 Military Townships and name them, then appoint Robert Harpur and Lewis A. Scott to draw ballots. Over the next six days, lots of 500 to 600 acres are assigned at random to the veterans of the New York Continental Line.

Sep 8                 
Canal engineer Canvass White is born at Whitestown.

Oct 7                 
New York and Vermont come to an agreement on their common boundary. New York relinquishes the Vermont area for $30,000. Cumberland and Gloucester counties, along with part of Washington County, become part of Vermont.

William Wickham and his family leave Orange County in the fall, heading for the Finger Lakes. They winter over in Tioga Point (Athens).    **    The Federal Census shows German Flats, in Herkimer County, has 1,307, including 20 slaves.    **    Former Albany mayor John Lansing is made a state judge.    **     New York has the sixth highest U. S. slave population.    **    14-year-old Amos Eaton of Chatham goes to live with a relative, blacksmith Russell Beebe, at Duanesburg, learns surveying, making his own instruments.    **    The state's Land Board divides the Old Military Tract into townships, which it names, often with classical allusion.    **    Judge John Dow settles Reading Center in Schuyler County.    **    The Hamilton County town of Hope is settled.    **    James Craig erects the first paper mill in Orange County, at Craigsville.    **    Benjamin Griffin's house is built, at 12 Main Street in Cooperstown. The village now has a population of 33 whites in eight families, two slaves, seven houses and three barns.    **    The Albany (soon Saratoga) County town of Corinth is first settled, near South Corinth, by Washington Chapman, Jephtha Clark, Jonathan Dewel, Jeremiah Eddy and Frederick Parkman    **    Speculator William Bingham reaches agreement with Robert Hooper and James Wilson to divide a land patent. Bingham gets the largest share, 10,000 acres, at the future site of Chenango Point (Binghamton).    **    Albany's population reaches 3,498.    **    The state has 57,606 electors.    **    Reuben Bateman's Van Rennselaer Manor farm is leased out.    **    Whitestown contains six parishes, three militia regiments, and a corps of light horse artillery, where only two families lived five years ago.    **    Cornplanter and other Seneca chiefs meet with Washington, complaining about the Fort Stanwix Treaty terms and unfair land deals made with New York State.    **    Major Augustine Prevost and his wife Susannah Croghan Prevost transfer their Otsego lands to Aaron Burr in payment for legal services.    **    The approximate date Nicholas Wohleben (Wollever, Woolever, Welleven, Wolleaver) begins building a home near Fort Herkimer in the Mohawk Valley.    **    William McKown builds a tavern at  a crossroads west of Albany (later Fuller Road and Western Avenue).    **    During the summer Italian explorer Count Paolo Andreani travels through the state and eastern Iroquois lands.    **    The Beardslee family builds a house near New Berlin.

Land agent Sir Charles Gould begins selling properties in the Cosby land grant (later site of Utica) to settlers, continues selling through 1794.    **     John Post, his wife and family sail - to the Cosby grant - up the Mohawk River from Schenectady to set up a fur-trading post.

New Jersey
Burlington judge William Cooper moves his family to his new settlement of
Cooperstown, New York, in the fall, where they occupy the uncompleted Manor House. Unhappy with existing, inaccurate boundaries on lands he owns in the region he begins a two-year campaign to have them redrawn, afterwards compensating his tenants for overcharges.

Feb 7
Saratoga and Rensselaer counties are taken off of Albany County.    **    The Albany County town of Cambridge is annexed by Washington County.

Feb 15
Washington County's Salem Washington Academy is incorporated.

Feb 16
Herkimer, Tioga and Otsego (with its seat at Cooperstown) counties are carved out of Montgomery County. The future Hamilton County is included in Herkimer. The Broome County town of Union is formed.

Shaker church builder Moses Johnson, aided by John Bruce, Moses
Mixerand Stephen Markham, begins construction of a 
gambrel-roofed meeting house at Watervliet, his second in the 
state – the first, built here in 1784, had decayed.

Mar 4                 
Vermont enters the Union as the 14th state. It includes land on the western side of Lake Champlain, formerly part of New York's Clinton County.

Mar 18                 
The town of Troy is formed from the Rensselaerwyck Patent. The first village charter is adopted.

Silvester Tiffany establishes Lansingburgh’s American Spy weekly newspaper.

May 11                 
Massachusetts officially transfers 1,185,570 acres of its Hartford Convention lands to the following tracts – Morris Reserve, Triangular Tract, Connecticut Tract, Cragie Tract, Ogden Tract, Cottinger Tract, 40,000-acre Tract, Sterrit Tract, Church Tract, Morris Honorary Creditors’ Tract, and the Holland Company Purchase – which includes lands in Allegany, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Orleans, and Wyoming counties.   

With the foundation and basic framing of the Watervliet Shaker meeting house completed, Moses Johnson moves on to Enfield, Connecticut, to begin his next project.   

Jun 7                 
Utica businessman Nicholas Dvereaux is born near Enniscorthy, Scotland, to Thomas and Catherine Corish Devereux.

Jun 13                 
Jefferson and  James Madison ride across Long Island’s Suffolk County.

Jun 15                 
Mastic landowner and Signer William Floyd joins Jefferson and Madison.

Silvester Tiffany establishes Lansingburgh’s Tiffany’s Recorder  newspaper.    **    Stephen Bayard, General Philip Van Cortlandt, Jeremiah Van Rensselaer, and Elkanah Watson travel out of Albany to the Finger Lakes and from Cayuga Lake to Geneva along New York’s Seneca River.

Nov 15                 
Former Long Island merchant Peter Berton, a Loyalist settler in New Brunswick, Canada, and ancestor of the Canadian historian Pierre Berton, dies in Québec at the
age of 62.

Canal promoter Elkanah Watson, backed by Philip Schuyler and writing as "A CITIZEN", reports to the New York state legislature that a canal could be built across the state utilizing natural waterways.

William Cooper is named First Judge of the Court of Common Pleas for Otsego County by the governor.    **    An private company is chartered to make waterway improvements in the state.    **    All state land west of Utica is made part of the western senate district.    **    Andrew Ellicott and Connecticut surveyor Augustus Porter begin surveying the borders of Phelps and Gorham lands.    **    Amos Eaton begins privately studying the classics, in and around the Duanesburg, Schenectady County, area.    **    Daniel Brown becomes the first settler in the Madison County town of Brookfield.    **    The U. S. government establishes weekly mail service between Whitestown and Canandaigua.    **    Ballston assemblyman James Gordon is elected to the second U. S. Congress, serves two terms, representing the 10th District.

The Society for the Promotion of Agriculture, Arts and Manufactures is established at the Albany Academy.   **    The Albany Institute of History and Art is founded.

Merchant John Post builds a store just north of his house on Genesee Street, for selling liquor, blankets, dry goods, ammunition, beads and trinkets.

George Gardner and James Hill buy Lansingburgh, New York’s Tiffany Recorder  from Silvester Tiffany, begin publishing it as the Lansingburgh Recorder.

Jan 10
Great Tract No. 4 - 450,000 acres of the 1787 Macomb Great Purchase of New York lands in Antwerp and Jefferson counties, Great Tract No. 5  and 6 (26,250 acres and 74,400 acres) in Jefferson Lewis, Oswego and Herkimer counties) and the remainder of the Great Purchase lands (1,368,300 acres), is sold to Donald McCormick.

Feb 14                 
The Albany Library is incorporated.

Apr 29                          
Brewer and college founder Matthew Vassar is born in East Dereham, England, to farmers and religious dissenters James and Ann Bennett Vassar.

Mar 7                 
The Saratoga County town of Milton is formed from the Town of Ballston.

Mar 14                 
New York State authorizes a loan of $500,000, to be apportioned amongst it's twenty counties.

Mar 30                 
The Western Inland Lock Navigation Company is incorporated by General Philip Schuyler and merchant Elkanah Watson, to build a three-mile Little Falls, New York, canal and another linking the Mohawk River with Wood Creek. Financier Robert Morris will soon be brought on board.    **    New York's Northern Inland Lock Navigation Company is organized, for the purpose of building a canal between the Hudson River and Lake Champlain. Work will begin on it but it will never be completed.

Former English merchant Henry Cruger is elected to the New York State Senate.

Apr 10                 
The Town of Fairfield is established in Warren County.    **    The Delaware County town of Colchester is formed from Middletown.

Lansingburgh publisher Silvester Tiffany takes on William W. Wands as a partner, forming the firm of Tiffany and Wands.    **    Reverend Hartwick reminds William Cooper that he wants squatter Shipman put off his property. Shipman leaves by year's end.

Wands takes over the operation of­ Tiffany and Wands.

Dec 18                 
The Boylston Tract, 817,155 acres of the 1787 Macomb Great Purchase of New York lands in Jefferson, Lewis, and Oswego counties, comprising 13 towns, is sold to Samuel Ward.

Dec 29                 
The 25,335-acre fifteenth Chenango Township is granted to Leonard M. Cutting.

George Clinton defeats John Jay to become governor. 585 Cooperstown residents vote for Jay. Judge William Cooper feels that there would have been many more but that a number of people were off looking for a child lost in the woods near the Burlington neighborhood.  Irregularities in voting are used as an excuse to discount the votes from Otsego, Clinton and Tioga counties. The Board of Canvassers reject all protests.    **    A group of French settlers move into the future site of Chenango County's village of Greene. Most move on when their title to the land is later invalidated.    **    The approximate date Matthew Aldgate and his sons settle the Essex County town of Chesterfield.    **    Enoch Stowell and Jonathan Bates of Vermont pioneer the Madison County town of Lebanon.    **    Speculator Alexander Macomb buys 4,000,000 acres of Adirondacks land.    **    Gideon Tripp's Van Rennselaer Manor farm is leased out after a survey is run.    **    Senator Nicholas Gilman discovers Saratoga's Congress Spring.    **    Four-year-old Samuel Griffin dies in Cooperstown - the oldest known grave in Christ Churchyard.    **    A store opens at Ferry and Front streets in Schenectady (Arthur’s Market in 2000).    **    Vermont trapper Nathaniel “Nat” Foster settles in the future Adirondack town of Salisbury.   **    Canadian lumbermen from Montréál arrive at the future site of Massena to build a dam and mill on the Grasse River.    **    This year and next Massachusetts officially transfers 3,600,000 acres of its Hartford Convention lands to the Boston Ten Town tracts - in Broome and Tioga counties - to settlers.    **    Nathaniel W. Howell, after conducting an academy in Montgomery, leaves to study law.    **    D. Ingraham travels from Boston to Albany, then proceeds to set out across New York to Niagara, via Schenectady, Whitestown, Clinton, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Geneva, the Jemima Wilkinson settlement, Canandaigua, the Genesee River, and ending up at Fort Niagara, then crossing over to visit the planned future site of  the British fort.

Oneida County
Barnabas Mitchell starts a settlement at Port Woodhull, in the town of Remsen. George A. Smith begins the settlement of Staceys Basin, in the town of Verona.   **    Settler Francis Van der Kemp reports seeing a pike in Oneida Lake three-feet-six-inches in length as well as two catfish weighing ten and twenty-four pounds.

Jan 13                 
The 24,200-acre tenth Chenango Township is granted to James Talmadge.

Jan 28
The 24,186-acre eleventh Chenango Township, is granted to Leonard M. Cutting.

Jan 31                 
The 24,186-acre seventh Chenango Township is granted to Robert C.

Feb 14                 
The boundary of Rennselaer County's Town of Pittstown is changed.

Feb 20                 
The Brantingham Tract, 74,400 acres of the 1787 Macomb Great Purchase of New York lands in Lewis County, is sold to William Inman. The Inman’s Tract, 25,000 acres in Lewis County’s Leyden and Lewis towns, is sold to William Inman.

Mar 2
Congress appropriates $20,000 to build a lighthouse at Montauk, Long Island.    **    The U. S. revenue Collection District at Plattsburgh is established, with satellite offices at Burke, Centerville, Champlain, Chateaugay, Fort Covington, Hogansburgh, Malone, Mooers, Perrysville, Rouses Point, Trout River, Westville, and Whitehall.    **    The 24,384-acre sixth Chenango Township, is granted to Thomas Ludlow, Jr.. The 24,218-acre 13th Township is granted to Thomas Ludlow and J. Shipperly

Mar 12                 
The Fulton County towns of Mayfield (later Broadalbain and Johnstown) and Amsterdam are formed from Caughnawaga.

Apr 12                 
The Chassanis Tract, 210,000 acres of the 1787 Macomb Great Purchase of New York lands in Lewis and Jefferson counties, is sold to Pierre Chassanis & Company.

May 3                 
The 22,565-acre eighteenth, the 20,750-acre nineteenth, and the 24,856-acre twentieth Chenango townships are granted to John J. Morgan.   

Jun 1                 
The 26,030-acre fourteenth Chenango Township is granted to Leonard M. Cutting.

Jun 14                 
The 27,187-acre first Chenango Township is granted to Alexander Webster.    

Jul 31
Harriet Weld, future wife of businessman Erastus Corning, is born in Troy.

After reading of plans for a English canal Robert Fulton contacts the committee’s chairman Charles Mahon, third Earl of Stanhope, with his own ideas for canals and the two men begin corresponding.

Nov 11                 
Pennsylvania politician Albert Gallatin marries Hannah Nicholson in New York’s Dutch Reformed Church.

Nov 25                 
An insurrection of slaves in Albany is put down after a number of buildings have been burned.

Dec 9                 
Noah Webster establishes New York City's first daily newspaper, The American Minerva.   

The state’s Council of Appointments, a Federalist-controlled body, now controls every political appointment in the state.    **    A pioneer named Gunn first settles the Oneida County village of Oriskany Falls.    **    Construction begins on the Little Falls Canal. A shortage of funds will delay the work until next year.    **    Ezekiel Gilbert of Hudson is elected to Congress.    **    Putnam County resident Samuel Morehouse moves to the Peaceful Valley area of the Adirondacks (his settlement will later be named Sodom, for disputed reasons).    **    Revolutionary War veteran Ephraim Sanford buys 1,864 acres of Mt. Washington land in the Town of Wayne from New York City promoter Jacob Hallett.    **    Suffolk County sheriff Silas Halsey moves upstate, settles in Lodi, and establishes a grist mill.    **    Wood Creek is cleaned out and the channel connecting Schenectady and Fort Stanwix is shortened seven miles by the cutting of 13 isthmuses. The trip that used to take larger boats two weeks is greatly shortened.    **    Robert R. Livingston begins considering the use of steam to propel boats.    **    A school opens in Clinton. In 1812 it will be chartered as Hamilton College.

A fire destroys several downtown blocks.    **    The Society for the Promotion of Agriculture, Arts, and Manufactures is incorporated.

The United Society of Whitestown and Old Fort Schuyler is formed, presided over by the Reverend Bethuel Dodd.

Slave and future freedman and Hudson River valley gardener James F. Brown is born.

Governor George Clinton addresses the state legislature, urges strengthening defenses against the British. They vote £30,000 for fortifying New York City and £12,000 for the frontiers to the west and north.

Jan 5                 
Erie Canal engineer and surveyor Holmes Hutchinson is born in Port Dickinson to county highways commissioner and former army paymaster Amaziah/Amassa Hutchinson and Elizabeth A. Mack Hutchinson.

Mar 1                 
Army lieutenant-colonel William Jenkins Worth is born in Hudson.

Mar 22
The state legislature votes to extend the Mohawk Valley Road west from Fort Schuyler (Utica) to the Genesee River. The extension will be named the Main Genesee River Road.

Mar 26                 
Saratoga County appropriates £1500 to build a courthouse and jail near Ballston Spa. John Ball, Richard Davis, Jr., James Emott, John McClelland, and John Bradstreet Schuyler are named commissioners to superintend construction.

Aug 9                 
Christopher Dugan writes to Charles Williamson from the Falls of the Genesee, the first business letter written in (the future) Rochester. He informs the agent that the mill is badly in need of repairs, and that he would like some recompense for acting as caretaker for the property.    **    New York State settler David Piffard is born in London’s Pentonville neighborhood, to a stockbroker and his wife.

Sep 28                 
New York City tavern keeper James Leeson dies at the age of 38. He’s buried in Manhattan’s Trinity Cemetery. His tombstone will display Masonic symbols as well as a strange code, which will not be deciphered until 1889.

John Jacob Astor writes to former partner Peter Smith in Utica, seeking partial repayment of a land deal loan, in order to finance a selling trip to Europe.

County boundaries are surveyed in the Military Tract.    **    John Stevens demonstrates a steamboat.    **    Judge William Cooper is elected to Congress.    **    Benjamin Barton sells his mill site on the upper falls of the Genesee to Sir William Pulteney and his associates.    **    Connewango pioneer Sarah Ash (Metcalf) is born in Rensselaer County.    **    Tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt is born at Port Richmond, Staten Island.    **    A “Block-house” or public storehouse is erected at the salt springs at Onondaga Lake.    **    A group of settlers on the banks of Esopus Creek petition the governor for pasture and firewood land in the Catskill region. Traders Jacob Rutsen and Johannis Hardenbergh take notice.    **    The legislature authorizes the surveying of a road between Utica and the Genesee River.    **    Onondaga County is carved out of part of Herkimer County.    **    Jediah Stephens, having been recently elected supervisor of the new Canisteo district (parts of Steuben, Allegany and Livingston counties), meets Painted Post supervisor Eli Mead at Cohocton Village. They ride to Canandaigua together.    **    The approximate date Elder Daniel Irish conducts the first church services (Baptist) in the Cayuga County town of Fleming.    **    Augustus Porter prepares a map of the Phelps and Gorham Purchase from his own survey.    **    East Bloomfield pioneer Markham family buys another farm in the area. The resulting settlement is named Markham's.    **    Potential Indian and British problems slow settlement in the Genesee region.    **    Joseph Lothrop and A. Mead are the first to settle at the future site of Chenango County's North Norwich.    **    A one-room log schoolhouse, paid for by subscription, is built south of Pittsford. John Barrows is the first teacher.It will be the only one in the area for ten years.    **    Philadelphian Thomas Cooper visits the Genesee Country.    **    The town of Northfield, in what will become Monroe County, is created, containing the future towns of Brighton, Henrietta, Irondequoit, Penfield, Perinton, Pittsford, and Webster.    **    The first church services in the Oneida County town of Augusta are held in the Fairbanks home.    **    Dr. Richard Bayley helps found the state Medical Society.    **    The population of Herkimer County is 1500; Otsego County 12000, Tioga County 7000.    **    Judge Augustus Porter leads a team to re-run the 1788 Pre-Emption Line, to correct errors.    **    Abraham Cuddeback becomes the first settler in Skaneateles, starting a homestead in the military tract.    **    Jemima Wilkinson arrives in the Town of Jerusalem with her followers.    **    The Fabius area is settled.    **    A bridge across the Genesee River is built at Avon.    **    John Danforth arrives in the future Liverpool.    **    Jason Parker of Utica and several partners establish a stage line to Albany.    **    Canandaigua lawyer Thomas Morris, son of Robert Morris, is elected as a Federalist to the state assembly; serves one term.    **    After a subscription of 200 shares is taken up by the state, work on the stalled Western Inland Navigation Company canal at Little Falls is resumed.    **    Medina horse trader Richard Gordineer is born to Jacob Gordineer, a Dutch settler in the Mohawk Valley, and a slave woman. He and his mother will be sold to Joseph Grant when he is two months old.    **    The approximate date Utica merchant Peter Smith acquires proprietary rights for close to 50,000 acres from the Oneida Indians, the land stretching from Syracuse to the Oneida County town of Augusta.    **    The Candor village area of Tioga County is first settled.    **    The Town of Virgil, part of the Town of Homer in Herkimer County, becomes part of Onondaga County.

Simeon DeWitt publishes a map of the area.    **   The Bayard Land Company is formed.

© 2012 David Minor / Eagles Byte