Friday, June 10, 2011



James Wadsworth just barely manages to pay $750 to a creditor.

Feb 4

Onondaga County assemblyman Joshua Forman, an associate of judge James Geddes, recommends surveying a canal route across the state, and that surplus federal monies be appropriated to build canals.

Feb 12

“An Act for the defense of the northern and western frontiers” is passed, calling for the establishment of a number of state arsenals.

Feb 14

The Steuben County town of Troupsburgh, named for Pulteney land agent Robert Troup, is formed from Middletown (later Addison) and Canisteo.

Mar 2

Jesse Hawley writes the final, fourteenth, of his essays promoting a trans-New York State canal, for the Canandaigua Genesee Messenger.

Mar 11

Part of Steuben County is annexed to Allegany County. The Allegany county seat is permanently moved to Angelica and construction of a courthouse and a jail are mandated. The town of Alfred is formed from Angelica. ** Cattaraugus County is formed. Asa Ransom, Jonas Williams and Isaac Sutherland are chose to select a county seat. They will chose Ellicottville, as yet just a wilderness. ** Niagara County is formed from Genesee County. ** The Livingston County town of Ossian is formed from the Allegany County town of Angelica. ** The Erie County town of Clarence, including the future Buffalo, is established; the county's first town.

Apr 6

The state legislature renames 33 towns having duplicate names. Ontario County’s Town of Pittstown has its name changed to Honeoye (it will finally be named Richmond). Yates County’s Augusta changes its name to Middlesex. Cayuga County’s Milton is renamed Genoa. The township of Boyle is formed out of the township of Northfield, to the south and east of the future Rochester. ** Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin submits his report on roads and canals to Congress.

Apr 8

Cortland County, named after the first state Lieutenant Governor Pierre Van Cortlandt, is formed from Onondaga County. The town of Preble, named for Commodore Edward Preble, is formed from Tully. The Monroe County towns of Parma and Riga are incorporated.

Jun 13

New York's State Surveyor Simeon DeWitt writes to Holland Land Company's Batavia agent Joseph Ellicott, seeking his thoughts on a canal route across the state.

Jul 14

The first church in Warsaw is founded by the Congregationalists. ** Henrietta Laura Pulteney Murray, daughter of Sir William Pulteney and Countess of Bath, dies at the age of 41, leaving no heirs.

Jul 30

Ellicott replies to DeWitt. While strongly advocating a canal, he does not advise following the Niagara escarpment east to Mud Creek because of the number of ravines that would be encountered. He also advises against a combination of a canal along the Niagara River and one from Oswego to the Mohawk, due to the rock in the various regions. He advocates an east-west canal from Lake Erie to Mud Creek, and offers to subscribe $2,500 to such a project.

Aug 24

DeWitt writes to Ellicott thanking him for his insights and agreeing on the suggested route, primarily because it would keep the canal commerce within New York, instead of its being diverted to Canada.

Aug 28

Former land agent Charles Williamson dies of yellow fever at sea while returning to England from Havana, Cuba.

Oct 20

Joseph Ellicott writes from Philadelphia to his nephew David E. Evans in Batavia, reporting that land agent Paolo Busti has seen their correspondence and has now changed his mind, expressing an interest in investing in a cross-New York canal.


An inn is built at Riga, the first building in the newly-created town. ** Pork, potash, wheat, whiskey, etc. worth $100,000 is shipped from the Genesee River. 15 schooners ply the Lake Ontario shore ports. ** Daniel P. Tompkins, the "farmer's son", is elected governor of New York State. ** Stagecoach service is inaugurated between Batavia and Canandaigua. ** Michael and Cynthia Loomis settle in a log cabin in Wyoming. They will be the great grandparents of newspaperman and author Arch Merrill. ** Warsaw is incorporated as a township, with pioneer Elizur Webster as supervisor. ** John K. Gould, editor of Ontario County’s Western Repository and Genesee Advertiser, dies. ** East Bloomfield blacksmith Peter Holloway builds a tavern. ** Daily mail service begins between Utica and Canandaigua. ** The New York State Legislature introduces a bill to fund a feasibility study for a New York State canal, retains Judge James Geddes to make surveys of routes across the state, to Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. He completes his study and reports the project can work, even with a 500 foot elevation from west to east. ** Missionary Narcissa Prentiss (Whitman) is born in Prattsburg. ** New Town is renamed Elmira. ** Jesse Hawley’s 14-part treatise “Observations on Canals” predicts that a canal across the state would greatly increase New York City’s trade and importance. ** Delegate Abraham Yates, Jr.'s, notes on the U. S. constitutional convention are published. ** The log Steuben County jail at Bath is replaced with a stone structure. A dog pound is authorized, at a cost of eighty-two dollars. ** Squatters occupy Buggarsburgh, the future Piffard area, often helping themselves to nearby farmers' Merino sheep, wearing down a path that later became Flats Road, into Geneseo. ** A son, James Junior, is born to Newfane settler James Van Horn and his wife Abigail, their first child. ** Settlers arrive in the future Wyoming County town of Eagle. ** Nine new families join the six families already living in the Town of Sweden. ** Lodi politician Silas Halsey is sent to Congress as a state senator. ** Robert Whaley has a sawmill on Wolf Creek in Castile. ** The Western Inland Navigation Company relinquishes all rights west of Oneida Lake to the state, goes bankrupt. ** Levi Duncan opens a woolen mill on Irondequoit Creek.


The name of the Livingston County village of Hartford is changed to Avon. ** George Hosmer opens a law office. ** The Holland Land Company begins creating more roadways through its holdings.

© 2011 David Minor / Eagles Byte

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