Friday, December 11, 2009

CENTRAL / WESTERN New York timeline / 1789


The future Livingston County town of Hartford (now Avon), is formed.

Jan 27
Canandaigua becomes the seat of Ontario County, newly formed from Montgomery County, and comprising the entire Phelps and Gorham Purchase; the town of Canadice is founded (Whitestown will continue to hold elections in Montgomery County for another two years). The Cayuga County towns of Aurelius and Milton (later Genoa) are founded. The Ontario County town of Bloomfield (later East Bloomfield) is formed, as settlement begins.

Jan 29
Politician and judge William B. Rochester is born to Nathaniel and Sophia Rochester, in Hagerstown, Maryland.

Feb 25
The Cayuga Indians sign a treaty with New York, selling close to 3,000,000 acres of their land, receiving $500, with the same amount to be paid annually, and a further payment in June.

Feb 28
The Tioga (later Chemung) County town of Chemung is formed.

Mar 4
The First Constitutional Congress meets in New York City, without a quorum. The U. S. Constitution is declared to be in effect. A public celebration is held.

Apr 23
Washington arrives in New York.

Apr 30
Washington is sworn in as the first President of the United States, on the front steps of Federal Hall.

Moses DeWitt and Abraham Hardebegh lead a party of surveyors from the Hudson Valley to the western shore of the Oswego River, begin surveying the New Military Tract, over 1,500,000 acres of former Iroquois land.

Speculator Oliver Phelps first visits his lands on the Genesee River. ** New York pays the Cayuga an additional $1,625. ** Nathaniel Gorham notifies the Council of Massachusetts that he and Phelps will be unable to pay the first bond before the second one comes due; offers to relinquish the bargain if they are compensated for expenses. The legislature will postpone payment of the first bond until next April.

Jul 4
Oliver Phelps convenes a council of Seneca chiefs at Buffalo Creek to inform them their lands were been surrendered in the peace treaty of 1783 and they retain their lands only on the sufferance of the U. S.

Jul 8
Phelps begins the final conference with the Seneca. It goes on past midnight.

Jul 9
The chiefs decide the payments promised by the Genesee Company are fair and since a portion of the lease is now surrendered, Phelps should pay part of the total sums promised by the lessees. The task of writing down the terms of the agreement are delegated to three white interpreters. The chiefs sign later in the day.

Oliver Phelps returns to Canandaigua to make the second and final payment to the Seneca. He brings $5,000 instead of the $10,000 promised. (The discrepancy is probably due to greatly differing exchange rates for the pound in New York and Canada). The only sign-off Phelps can get is from four chiefs not directly involved with the sale lands. The tribe will eventually sign away the lands but will remain embittered. ** Captain Simon Stone and Lieutenant Israel Stone, cousins and Revolutionary War veterans from Salem, New York, purchase a Phelps and Gorham tract at Big Spring (the future site of Northfield, later Pittsford) containing 13,296 acres, for $4,786.56. They make a $30 down payment. They go back to Salem for the winter after building themselves log homes.

Aug 22
Phelps writes to Samuel Street indicating that Phelps and Gorham will permit Allan to continue milling even though he did not complete his construction by the June 1st deadline.

An Indian delegation from the Western Confederacy travels from Ohio to Buffalo Creek, where Joseph Brant advises them to go ahead and negotiate a settlement with the Americans.

Ebenezer "Indian" Allan, sells his Scottsville farm for $2.50 an acre, moves to a site at the Genesee River falls, a location that will become the city of Rochester.

Nov 12
The approximate date Ebenezer Allen, using a crew of fifteen whites recruited from the Genesee Valley and a schooner's crew, erects a grist mill on the Genesee's upper falls, on behalf of Oliver Phelps. He also erects a sawmill.

Peter Sheffer and his two sons settle near the future site of Scottsville.

Oliver Phelps and Nathaniel Gorham take possession of the land purchased from the Seneca. Phelps opens the first U. S. land office, in Canandaigua. Sales begin. Land agent William Walker and General Israel Chapin begin surveying the area. Arthur Erwin buys land that will become the sites of Erwin and Corning. Blacksmith Samuel Miller buys land later known as Millers Corners, then Ionia, arrives in Canandaigua with his wife Zelpha Hayes to stay for the winter while his 11- and 13-year-old sons Salmon and Samuel begin clearing the property. ** Corning is founded. ** Nathaniel Loomis comes to Salt Point on Lake Onondaga, in the fall, and begins producing salt, turning out between 500 and 600 bushels over the next winter, which he sells for a dollar a bushel. ** Elnathan Gooding’s brother rejoins him at Bristol in the spring, following a visit back to New England. ** The Seneca learn that the New York pound is worth only half of the Canadian pound. They refuse to sign an endorsement of last year’s sale of their land as a protest, but accept the final payment. ** Connecticut-born surveyor Judah Colt comes down with Genesee Fever. ** George Washington hires surveyor Andrew Ellicott to help fix the southwestern boundary of the state, to settle ownership of the city of Erie. Andrew is helped by his brothers Joseph and Benjamin. ** The state puts aside 50,000 acres of land to be allotted to those opening new roads. ** Gilbert R. Berry opens an inn at Hartford (now Avon) on the trail between the Genesee Valley and Fort Niagara. ** The Markham-White party renews its journey from the Susquehanna in the spring. Reaching the head of Seneca Lake, one of the men herds the animals to the northern end while the others raft their belongings up to Geneva. Then they all continue on to Canandaigua. Phoebe Markham and her baby boy remain there as a housekeeper for Oliver Phelps while the rest of the party continues on to the Genesee River. ** Ebenezer Curtis, Amos Hall, Nathan Marvin and Robert Taft settle West Bloomfield. ** Benjamin Patterson scouts for surveyors Saxton and Porter. He also takes the first raft of lumber out of Bradford, down the Conhocton, Chemung and Susquehanna rivers. ** Richard Smith begins construction of a grist mill on the Keuka Lake outlet. ** The state legislature passes an act for the use of certain public lands for religious and educational purposes. ** Jacob Yaple, Isaac Dumond and Peter Hinepaw settle the area that will become Ithaca. ** The first European settlers arrive in Palmyra from Connecticut, brought in by General John Swift. ** Volume I of Thomas Anburey's Travels through the Interior Parts of America is published in London. One of the maps shows just unlabeled land west of 'Oneyda Lake'. ** Lawrence Van Cleef, a soldier with the Sullivan Campaign, becomes an early permanent settler at the future Seneca Falls site, erects a mill. ** Twelve members of the John Featherly, Nicholas Stansell, and William Stansell families are to first to settle in Wayne County, making their homes south of present-day Lyons. ** Township size in the "Old" Military Tract is decreased from 10 to 9.7 square miles and from 640 to 600 acres in the "New" Military Tract. ** Horatio and John H. Jones settle at Big Tree (Geneseo). ** Settlers begin arriving at the head of Cayuga Lake. ** Pioneer John Lusk of Berkshire, Massachusetts, and his party, after traveling by Mohawk River, Oneida Carry, Oswego River and Lake Ontario, cut a road from Irondequoit Bay to Canandaigua. His 15-year-old son Stephen and a hired hand come overland with the cattle and supplies and goods for home and business. ** Land speculator Oliver Phelps is elected First Judge of Ontario county. ** John Harris moves from Harris Ferry (Harrisburg), Pennsylvania, to Aurelius.

Seneca County
Andrew Dunlap arrives in the future county by way of the Chemung River, settles Ovid. ** Rhode Islander John Greene settles Waterloo.

Yates County
The Town of Augusta (later Middlesex) is formed. ** Quakers harvest their first winter wheat planted near the future site of the village of West Dresden. ** Religious leader Jemima Wilkinson founds a colony on Keuka Lake in what will be the town of Jerusalem. The first harvest of local wheat is processed at a new mill site.

Yale graduate James Wadsworth visits his cousin, land speculator Jeremiah Wadsworth, makes a good impression.

© 2009 David Minor / Eagles Byte

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