Wednesday, September 16, 2009

WESTERN / CENTRAL New York timeline / 1775-1779


May 14

New York pioneer, surveyor and congressman Micah Brooks is born in Cheshire, Connecticut, to minister David Brooks and his wife Elizabeth Doolittle Brooks.

Jul 13
The Continental Congress addresses the Six Nations of the Iroquois, asking for their cooperation in the war.

The New York Provincial Congress alerts the Pennsylvania Committee of Safety to the danger of war and requests they keep their militia ready to come to New York’s aid. ** Virginia-born Nathaniel Rochester, now a resident of North Carolina, attends his colony’s first provincial convention, as a member. He’s given a major’s commission and appointed a justice of the peace.

The Federal government sends agent George Morgan to meet with the Iroquois and try to gain their neutrality in the anticipated conflict with Britain. The Iroquois will attempt to remain neutral. ** The government renews the Covenant Chain with the Iroquois, linking the tribes with the rebel government. ** Congressman Elijah Spencer is born in Columbia County, New York.

Eighteen-year-old future New York State pioneer Moses Van Campen takes part in a military expedition against New England settlers in New York’s Wyoming Valley during the Pennamite Wars - a land dispute between Pennsylvania and Connecticut – becomes a militia captain, returning to Northumberland, Pennsylvania, afterwards.    

North Carolina Committee of Safety member Nathaniel Rochester helps prevent British general Alexander McDonald and his local troops from reaching Wilmington and shipping out to New York.

May 17
Botanist-geologist Amos Eaton is born in Chatham, to farmer Captain Abel Eaton and Azuba Hurd Eaton.

Jul 9
New York votes to endorse the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration is proclaimed in Philadelphia.

Oct 12
Batavia merchant and first postmaster James Brisbane is born in Philadelphia.

Future Genesee Valley pioneer David Piffard travels from Switzerland to Italy to work in commercial houses, spending his first year in Genoa and the following one in Florence.

Apr 20
A state convention, meeting in Kingston creates New York State; Kingston becomes the state capital. John Jay drafts a constitution. Almost all civil and military offices, including judges and Secretary of State, are to be chosen and governed by a Council of Appointment. Quakers are required to pay a bond in exchange for militia exemptions. A minimum six-month residency is required for the vote. Property and tax minimums are set for voting in Assembly and Senate elections.

George Clinton takes office as New York State's first governor.

Sep 9
The first New York State legislature meets, in Kingston. It soon adjourns.

Oct 10
Naomi Wolcott, future wife of Geneseo landowner James Wadsworth, is born in South Windsor, Connecticut, to Samuel and Jerusha Wolcott.

A new colonial constitution is approved by England. Governors are to be elected for three-year terms. The crown posts of Secretary of State and Attorney General fall under the jurisdiction of the Council of Appointment. Only the state may buy Indian lands. In murder trials the governor can only suspend sentence until the next meeting of the legislature, as is the case in treason and impeachment cases. He can also prorogue the Legislature up to sixty days in one year. The Treasurer will be appointed annually by a special act of the Legislature. Sheriffs are appointed annually by the governor and the council; they cannot hold the office for more than four consecutive years. An arsenal is to be established and maintained in every county. ** Future Pittsford resident Timothy Barnard serves as a bodyguard to George Washington on into next year.

Future New York State governor Nathaniel Puicher, Jr. is born to Nathaniel and his wife.

North Carolina
Nathaniel Rochester is elected to the state assembly and named Clerk of the Court of Orange County and a lieutenant of the militia. Later in the year he's chosen to direct an arms factory at Hillsborough, resigning his clerkship. He's then made a militia colonel and appointed as an auditor of state accounts.

The New York State legislature convenes in Poughkeepsie, meeting at the Van Kleeck House. They act to strengthen the powers of the state and to ratify the Articles of Confederation.

Feb 18
New York inventor and gazetteer publisher Horatio Gates Spafford is born in Tinmouth, Vermont.

Sep 24
Rochester pioneer Oliver Culver is born in East Windsor, Connecticut.

Future Syracuse pioneer Ephraim Webster enlists in the Continental Army. ** The Willowbend Inn is built, west of Batavia, named for a tree growing in the yard. ** The state’s first Militia Act is passed. The fee for Quakers wanting to purchase militia exemption is set at £10 a year. Non-commissioned coroners are exempted from militia duty from this year through 1782. The owner of a mill is exempt; ferrymen must obtain a license from the governor or commander-in-chief before being considered so. All persons working either for the state or for the U. S. are exempted. ** Future Genesee Valley pioneer David Piffard travels from Florence to England, catches cold crossing the Alps and stops to recover in Paris. He will take a job as a bookkeeper there and stay for the next five years. ** The state adopts the motto Excelsior (ever upward).

North Carolina
Colonel Nathaniel Rochester goes into business with Colonel Thomas Hart, father-in-law of Henry Clay, and with James Brown, future Minister to France. Rochester moves to Hagerstown, Maryland, to manage to manage an estate for Hart.

Connewango pioneer Ralph Williams is born.

Feb 27
Congress authorizes George Washington and General John Sullivan to form an expedition against the Iroquois in New York State and other regions.

Apr 19
New York Colonel Gose Van Schaick crosses Oneida Lake and defeats an Iroquois force near today's Syracuse.

May 29
Abolitionist and Erie Canal supervising engineer Myron Holley is born in Salisbury, Connecticut.

Jun 18
The Sullivan expedition leaves Easton, Pennsylvania. Among the expedition is future Le Roy pioneer Captain John Ganson.

Sullivan's forces destroy the Iroquois village of Runonvea, near Big Flats. ** Clinton joins Sullivan at Tioga Point, Pennsylvania.

Aug 4
Having built a dam earlier in the year at the source of the Susquehanna River just below Otsego Lake (the future Cooperstown), to build up a head of water after a dry winter and spring, General James Clinton receives word from Sullivan that he should be starting out to join forces.

Aug 9
Clinton breaches the dam; he and his men, in 200 boats, are swept downriver, heading to Tioga.

Aug 11
Sullivan’s forces ford the Susquehanna at its junction with the Tioga River, reach the former site of Tioga, march on to the Indian town of Shamong (Chemung), arriving in the evening to find it evacuated. They destroy crops and return to Tioga.

Aug 26
Delayed a day by heavy rain, Sullivan’s forces depart Tioga.

Aug 29
John Sullivan and James Clinton defeat Loyalist commander Sir John Johnson and Joseph Brant, at Newtown near Elmira, ridding the colony of Loyalists and their Indian allies. Cornplanter, Red Jacket and Handsome Lake fight on the British side.

A detachment of Sullivan's army marches east out of Geneva along the Seneca Outlet; future area pioneer Lawrence Van Cleef among them.

Sep 1
General Sullivan begins a two-week series of retaliatory raids against the Seneca and Cayuga Indian villages throughout central New York's Finger Lake region. Among the sites destroyed is that of Chonodote (Aurora). After the Seneca defeat at Newtown they end up at Niagara. Sullivan arrives at the deserted Indian village of French Catharine (named for a former captive) by midnight. ** Twenty of Cornplanter's warriors are gathered at Oswaya, where Olean Creek flows into the Alleghany River, to march against the Delaware, learn the enemy have retreated beyond the Ohio River.

Sep 5
Sullivan arrives at the village of Appletown (Kendae, Condoy), already fired by the Indians.

Sep 7
Sullivan crosses the outlet of Seneca Lake and arrives at the Indian capital, Kanadasaga (Canadesaga, Cunnusedago, known today as Geneva).

Sep 10
Sullivan reaches Genesee Lake (Canandaigua Lake) burns the village of Kanandarqua (Veruneudaga, today’s Canandaigua).

Sep 11
Sullivan reaches Onyauyah (Honeoye).

Sep 12
Sullivan nears Genesee Castle or Little Beard’s Town (Cuylerville), named for its chief

Sep 13
Sullivan reaches Canessah (Conesus, or Big Tree’s Town), defeating an Indian force there, then forges on to Casawavalatetah, on a small barnch of the Genesee River, and encamps. He sends Lieutenant Thomas Boyd to scout the area of Genesee Castle. Boyd takes a party of 28 (including the Oneida chief Honyere (Hanyerry) and Captain Jehoiakim, a Stockbrige Indian). Not knowing the way, they arrive at Gatht-seg-war-o-hare, about five miles south-southeast of their goal. Boyd sends four men to report back to Sullivan, and has an Indian horseman killed in the deserted village. Three other mounted Indians escape, sound the alarm. Boyd begins the return to Sullivan, sends two men ahead. They return and advise Boyd that five Indians are ahead on the trail. Despite advice from Hanyerry, Boyd pursues and is ambushed by a party of over 500 Indians and Tories. Fifteen of the twenty-three men are captured. Boyd and Michael Parker, taken prisoner are carried off to Cuylerville. Questioned, they refuse to buy their freedom with information, and are tortured to death, then beheaded.

Sep 14
Sullivan's forces reach Little Beard's Town, find the remains of Boyd and Parker, bury them that night.

Sep 15
Sullivan burns the Indians’ crops and food supply. He declares that the objectives of the mission have been met. Mary Jemison flees to Niagara with the remaining Seneca, but she soon returns to the Genesee Valley.

Sep 16
The bodies of the remainder of Boyd’s party are found at Canessah (Conesus, or Big Tree’s Town), all (including Hanyerry) mutilated. They are buried that day.

Sep 17
Sullivan returns to Honeoye.

Sep 18
Sullivan returns to Canandaigua.

Sep 19
Sullivan returns to Kanadasaga.

Sep 30
Sullivan reports to Congress that his forces have destroyed forty villages and at least 160,000 bushels of corn, losing under forty men. They have also cut down or girdled fruit trees all along the way.

Oct 31
John Lytle leads a rescue party into Cornplanter's camp at Oswaya, near today's Olean. He is able to ransom his wife and daughter Sarah, but the chief will not let Eleanor, Sarah's sister, go, having adopted her into his family. Lytle promise he will find a way to obtain her release, leaves with his wife and one daughter.

Red Jacket urges neutrality, predicts possible disaster for the Iroquois Nation. ** A patrol of Rangers is ambushed by the Seneca in the Spring. A third of the troops are killed and another third, including Horatio Jones, are captured. The rest escape. Jones is taken to Nunda and then on to Caneadea. He runs the gauntlet without a scratch. After one of his companions is killed and beheaded, Jones attempts escape twice but is foiled and settles into Indian life, eventually earning the name Handsome Boy.

© 2012 David Minor / Eagles Byte

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