Friday, August 19, 2011



Western New York pioneers John Lusk and Oran Stone settle the Brighton area of the future Monroe County. Lusk buys his land from Johnathan Fossett and Caleb Hyde. This summer Lusk will return to Massachusetts to get his wife and bring her back to New York.


Early in the month English promoter Patrick Colquhoun begins conferring with William Johnstone Pulteney, MP, in London over real estate opportunities in the Genesee region of New York State. Pulteney also confers with William T. Franklin, grandson of Benjamin Franklin and a Federalist sales agent for New York lands. ** Phelps and Gorham sell a large portion of their New York State property to Robert Morris.


New York State has paid the federal government $1,545,889 since the beginning of the Revolution; it has received $822,803 back.

Apr 9

Connecticut land speculator Jeremiah Wadsworth begins buying New York State lands from Phelps and Gorham.

Apr 17

Buffalo mayor Pierre Augustus Barker is born in LaGrange, New York, to state assemblyman and veteran of the Revolutionary War – where he served under Lafayette - Samuel Still Augustus Barker and Mary L. Delavan Barker.

Jun 10

The Wadsworth brothers, James and William, nephews of Jeremiah, arrive in the Genesee Valley. Later in the year they will purchase 2,000 acres from Phelps and Gorham, at 80¢ an acre. They will also attempt to improve the wilderness trail between Whitestown and Canandaigua.

Jun 17

Buffalo lawyer and U.S. Representative Albert Haller Tracy is born in Norwich, Connecticut.


Ebenezer “Indian”Allan negotiates a loan of £634 from Niagara Tory trader Colonel John Butler, giving him as security a mortgage on the mill at Rochesterville.

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 first annual perpetual payment to the Iroquois agreed to by New York speculator Oliver Phelps is made; 200 pounds, half in cattle and half in silver and gold.

Jul 9

William Wadsworth purchases 18 square miles of land near today's Honeoye Falls.

Jul 31

State land commissioners set aside two additional townships, Junius, in Cayuga County and Galen, in Wayne County, to make up for shortages in the Military Tract when the Boston Ten Towns boundaries are readjusted.


Allan journeys to Canandaigua, new headquarters of the Phelps and Gorham interests, to secure supplies and credit.

Aug 11

Allan makes out a £10 promissory note in Canandaigua to Oliver Phelps.


Allan travels to Canandaigua again for further supplies and/or credit.

Sep 8

Canal engineer Canvass White is born at Whitestown.

Sep 16

Allan makes out a $25 promissory note in Canandaigua to Israel Chapin, to deliver the like amount in “merchandisable flower” (flour), at $5/hundredweight, to “the Big Tree flatts” by May 1st of 1791. Nathan Perry Allen witnesses the note.

Sep 23

Allan writes to Phelps, in perhaps the first correspondence from the future Rochester, asking to buy back his note, after an Allan brother arrives at the mills.


Colonel Timothy Pickering meets with Seneca chiefs Red Jacket, Cornplanter, and others at Tioga Point, to hear grievances and negotiate over compensation for two murdered Indians. Pledges of friendship are exchanged.

Dec 1

Buffalo entrepreneur Benjamin Rathbun is born to farmer Moses Rathbun and Patience Jones Rathbun in Westford, Connecticut.

Dec 24

Berczy translates his recruiting pamphlets into German and publishes them.

Dec 26

Berczy hires Johann Leopold Hohenhausen to recruit 50 colonists to go to New York.


Oliver Phelps and Nathaniel Gorham open a land office in Canandaigua. Their land sales lag and they sell a 20,000-acre tract west of the Genesee - the Mill Tract - back to Massachusetts speculators from Springfield and Northampton. The land will later form much of Rochester’s west side. The 100-Acre Tract is exempted from the sale. ** 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 the state's population has reached 340,120. It’s the fifth largest in terms of population. There are 1,075 settlers in western New York, mostly at the outlets of Canandaigua and Seneca lakes. The Pittsford area has 28 people in eight families, making it the first permanent settlement in the future Monroe County. Ontario County’s is at 205 families of 1,081 people. Montgomery County's population is 28,848.Canandaigua’s is under 100 people. 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. ** Land agent Gouveneur Morris makes a second business trip to London, again staying at Froome’s Hotel in Covent Garden. ** Judge James Wilson of Pennsylvania requests mortgages on land he buys from Theophile Cazenove, in order to retain profits from rising prices. ** General Israel Chapin and Dr. Moses Atwater build homes in Canandaigua. ** Palmyra miller Noah Foster travels as far as New Jerusalem to have his grain processed at Richard Smith’s mill. ** The Markhams and the Smiths, settling in on the Genesee River near Rush and Avon, plant a crop of wheat. ** The Viscount de Chateubriand visits the Niagara area. ** Farmington, Connecticut, physician Timothy Hosmer arrives in the Genesee Valley. Along with three others he buys the future site of Avon for 18¢ an acre. ** The state's Land Board divides the Old Military Tract into townships, which it names, often with classical allusion. ** Niagara Genesee Land Company speculator Colonel John Butler, a Tory, writes to Fulton County judge Sir John Johnson, denying charges circulated in Canada that he had persuaded the Seneca to sell to Oliver Phelps in 1788. ** 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). ** The state has 57,606 electors. ** E. B. O'Callaghan's map is published showing the Genesee Lands, including Phelps and Gorham's Purchase. ** The state comes to a second agreement with the Cayuga, paying the tribe an additional $1,000 for their land. ** Cornplanter and other Seneca chiefs meet with Washington, complaining about the Fort Stanwix Treaty terms and unfair land deals made with New York State. ** Mendon farmer Samuel Miller and his family raise the first crop of wheat grown west of Cayuga Lake. There are only two other families in the Town of Bloomfield. ** Enos Stone and other pioneers start the settlement of Tryon, on Irondequoit Bay. ** Isaac Scott settles Scottsville. ** Glover Perrin and his family settle Perinton. He builds a sawmill on Irondequoit Creek. ** Enos Boughton and his family, of Stockbridge, Massachusetts, arrive at their property bought in 1788, in the future town of Victor. ** The first settlers arrive at the midway point along the eastern shore of Cayuga Lake, to be named Aurora.


Settlers Israel and Simon Stone, brothers, and Seth Dodge, purchase 13,000 acres from Phelps and Gorham, paying 18 pence an acre. Israel builds a house on the future State Street


A warehouse is built at the mouth of the Genesee River, probably the first building in the future Rochester. ** Orringh Stone acquires property in the future Rochester. ** Enos Blossom settles on Allyns Creek, near the future East Avenue and Landing Road.


Nathaniel Rochester is elected to the state legislature.


Captain Charles Williamson wins a local Clackmannanshire election.

© 2011 David Minor / Eagles Byte

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