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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