Thursday, September 13, 2012


Jan 1                       
Total contracted debt to date for the Erie and Champlain canals totals $9,108,269. Of the amount $1,621,274 went for auxiliary waterways, dams, and officers’ salaries.   

Jan 27                       
The Steuben County towns of Erwin and Hornby are formed from Painted Post (later Corning).

Feb 5                       
Buffalo area lawyer Millard Fillmore marries Abigail Powers.

Feb 25                       
The Wayne County Town of Port Bay (later Huron) is established.  

Feb 26                       
The Wayne County Town of Butler, named for Revolutionary War general William Butler, is established.

Mar 14                       
The U. S. agrees, after much controversy, to send two delegates to a congress of the new Latin American republics, to be held in Panama, Colombia. One of the two is New York State judge William B. Rochester.

Canandaigua hotel keeper and sheriff Nathaniel Roe Boswell is born in Union, New York.

Apr 10                       
The village of Rochesterville adopts its second charter, establishing a formal annual election and creating the posts of treasurer, tax collector, and constable. Five wards are established, each having a trustee, an assessor and two fire wardens. The power of the Board of Trustees is expanded to include the mandate, previously that of the mayor, to enforce the By-Laws,

Apr 17
The Genesee County town of Gerrysville (possibly after former U. S. vice president Elbridge Gerry, possibly after pioneer David Gary) later renamed Alabama, is formed out of parts of Pembroke, New York, and the Orleans county town of Shelby.

Apr 27                       
Rensselaer professor Amos Eaton goes to Albany to arrange for boat for his upcoming students’ field trip across New York on the Erie Canal.

May 8                       
The steam-boat Mexico arrives in Rochesterville from Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, carrying the news of the March 22nd murder in Wisconsin of a family by Indians.

May 10                       
Amos Eaton and his students arrive at Salina (north Syracuse), formed last year. Student Asa Fitch visits the salt works. They continue on to Nine Mile Creek (Otisco). A bed-making committee is chosen.

May 11                       
The travelers have breakfast at Jordan. Fitch begins feeling unwell. Dinner is eaten at Byron. The Lafayette continues on to Montezuma. Canal mile boards now begin appearing, continue all the way to Buffalo.

May 12                       
The group has breakfast at Clyde. Fitch is feeling better. They stop at Lyons for dinner. Professors Addison Hulbert and Bennet F. Root leave the party to give lectures on botany and chemistry to local audiences. The party meets canal commissioner Myron Holley. Supper is at Newark. They stop at Palmyra for the night.

May 14                       
Professor Amos Eaton’s geological expedition reaches Rochesterville. He predicts the town will fail to survive.    **    Sweden, New York, gets three feet of snow.

May 15
Eaton's group visits the Falls of the Genesee. The professor is lecturing on the rock strata when he is stricken with a fainting spell and begins hallucinating. Receiving medical attention, he recovers.

May 16
The party passes through the towns of Gates, Clarkson, and the unincorporated                    Brockport, spends the night at Holleysville (Holley). Asa Fitch reads the 12th and 13th cantos of Byron's Don Juan.

May 17
Eaton's group passes through Newport (Albion), crosses over the highway arch, and spends the night at Middleport. They hear of a two-year-old who had drowned in canal just previously. Fitch reads cantos 14 and 15 of Don Juan. Fitch describes the countryside as, fertile and productive, yielding abundant crops, to repay the labors of the husbandman."

May 18
The group passes evidence of the newly-begun fruit industry. They examine flammable gas seeping out of the ground and name the local community Gasport. As they pass through Lockport, they encounter local entrepreneurs marketing excavated stone from the canal.

May 19
Eaton's expedition arrive at Manchester, encounter 200 U. S. troops  en route from Sacketts Harbor to Green Bay, Michigan. Several are under guard for desertion and disobedience. A prisoner count reveals one missing. He's soon spotted and recaptured. The Rensselaer party presses on to view Niagara Falls. Asa Fitch, his expectations heightened, is unimpressed. He thought rocks above the falls would frame the scene better. They descend the steps to the base of the cataract and tour Goat Island.

May 20
The group walk along Lake Erie shore in the evening. Professor Eaton recapitulates the expedition in the evening.

May 21
Sunday. After services several of the party walk to an Indian village. Fitch describes log huts, "much warmer than some I have seen inhabited by white people...I had a short conversation with one of the Indians, who could speak English. Only a few could even though they lived among whites...Most, if not all, however, know the meaning of the words whiskey, tobacco, etc. Dress of some very fine."

May 22
The party walks along beach, view five-foot-high waves.

May 23
Eaton's group reaches Sturgeon Point, the western end of their journey. They encamp at 18 Mile Creek outside of Buffalo.

May 24
The group is invited to dine with General Peter Porter and wife. They cross into Canada and tour Fort Erie battlefield.

May 25
Eaton and his students cross the mouth of "Tonnewanta" (Tonawanda) Creek, spend the night at Lockport.

May 26
Eaton sets a goal for remainder of journey of 30 miles a day. The reach Gasport to find that their name for the settlement is already appearing on signboards. Moving on to Middleport they notice an abundant harvest along the way.

May 27
The expedition spends the night at Newport. Fitch describes the citizens as "About as sassy, indecent, vulgar and dirty set of inhabitants as we have yet met with."

May 28
Sunday. Arriving in Rochesterville the group attends Presbyterian services. Naturalist Constantine Rafinesque joins the party. Some of the group spend the evening at the Canal Hotel.

May 29
The party visits the Lower Falls with Professor Rafinesque. They view a perfect rainbow, note that the river is lower this time. A number of them collect wild geraniums (rare in eastern part of the state).

May 30
Eaton passes through Pittsford. Fitch leaves the group briefly to visit friends. The party collects plants in a marsh at Palmyra. George Clinton sleepwalks, wakens party in middle of the night.

May 31
Breakfast is eaten at Newark. A mosquito swarm attacks. The students build fires on board the boat to drive them off.

Simon Bolivar convenes an inter-American congress in Panama. One U. S. delegate dies en route and the other, William B. Rochester, arrives after it's ended.    **    Contracts are let and work will soon begin on the improvements to the Seneca and Cayuga lakes outlets.

June 1
Eaton's party reaches Otisco.

June 2
They reach Salina. Eaton gives public lectures on chemistry and natural history.

June 3
They reach Manlius. Fitch reports it was once named Fuddletown, from the first inhabitants, who were a drunken, carousing set of people. But the present inhabitants are different and very zealous in obliterating the former name.

A gathering of Scots clans is held in Caledonia.

Jul 4
The cornerstone is laid for the first lock of the Oswego Canal.

Aug 19                       
Joseph Ellicott, former Resident-Agent for western New York's Holland Land Office, despondent and ill, takes his own life, at Bellevue Hospital in New York City, at the age of 65.

Sep 10                       
William Morgan is arrested in Batavia to protect him from a Freemason mob accusing him of revealing Masonic secrets.

Sep 12                       
Morgan is taken from jail in Canandaigua, vanishes. It’s been said the party stopped overnight at Pittsford’s Phoenix Hotel, where Morgan has his last dinner.    

Oct 30
Harvard student James Wadsworth, of Geneseo, is reprimanded for "illegal dress".

Mid-term U. S. elections end with an anti-administration House majority.

Nov 12                       
Mason Seth Chapin dies in Buffalo at the age of 36.

Nov 20                       
Buffalo storekeeper Orlando Allen marries Marilla Adaline Pratt, sister of grocer Oliver Pratt.

Dec 21
Connecticut-born Indian agent and judge Erastus Granger dies in Buffalo at the age of 61. He will be buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery.

De Witt Clinton is returned to the governorship, defeating Democrat candidate William B. Rochester.    **    Caledonia's first post office, bank and apothecary shop is built by Major Gad Blakeslee. It will later house the public library.    **   Rensselaerian School (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) professor Amos Eaton leads a geological expedition across the state aboard the canal boat LaFayette. He is accompanied by Governor De Witt Clinton’s son George, future state entomologist Asa Fitch and physicist Joseph Henry, among others. They  name the town of Gasport when they discover coal gas from a spring.    **    E. M. Perkins begins publishing the Le Roy News-Gazette.   **    U. S. Secret Service founder Lafayette C. Baker is born in Stafford.    **    Geneva College (Hobart and William Smith Colleges) holds its first Commencement exercises, graduating five.    **    The village of Tonawanda has 12 buildings.    **    The vote is extended to all white male citizens aged twenty-one or older.    **    Shakers begin a colony, later to be called Alasa Farms, at Sodus Bay.    **    General James Hutchinson dies. His home on the West Seneca Turnpike near Onondaga Hill, is handed down to his son Orrin.    **    The approximate date a jail is built in Batavia, at the south side of Main Streets at Oak Street.    **    The family of seventeen-year-old Philip S. Lott arrives in Lodi from Hunterdon County, New Jersey.    **    Mendon's Daniel Barnard becomes the first Representative to Congress from Monroe County.    **    James S. Wadsworth of Geneseo enters Harvard.    **    Over 50,000 acres of reservation land is purchased from the Seneca.    **    The Wayne County Town of Winchester is renamed Marion, for Revolutionary War hero Francis Marion, "The Swamp Fox".    **    Bath businessman John Magee is elected to Congress.    **    Combined revenue from the Erie and Chanplain canals totals $675,190.    **    The state authorizes a dam on the Genesee River at Mt. Morris.    **    Vermonters Mr. and Mrs. Parker Nichols settle in St. Helena, in the central Genesee Valley.    **    Canal engineer James Geddes does a survey for a Genesee valley canal but nothing comes of his efforts.    **    Pioneers make their way into the area of the future Lyndon, in Cattaraugus County, by way of the Erie Canal and the Ischia Valley.

The recently established merchant house of Lyman Rathbun and Company moves to new, larger offices.    **    The pier at Black Rock is crushed by ice.    **    Grocer Hiram Pratt marries Maria Fowler in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Ontario County settler John Towers moves here. Jared Stevens arrives from Genesee County.    **    Jotham Metcalf starts a Methodist class in his home.

Erie Canal
418 boats arrive in Buffalo harbor this year 1,100 craft lock through the canal.    **    Locks 51 and 50 in Cahoes are made double locks.

A brick home is built on the north side of Monroe Avenue for Erie Canal contractor Sylvanus Lathrop.    **    The village’s Presbyterians sell their 1816 frame house at the Milepost to the Baptists. They have Lathrop  build a stone church for them on Church Street.

Population reaches 7,669.    **    Monroe County's almshouse is built on South Avenue.    **    Edwin Scrantom, along with Whittlesley and Mumford, purchase the Monroe Republican.     **    Professor Eaton gives a lecture in Rochesterville sponsored by the city’s Chemical Class, which was formed to buy books on mechanical subjects. It will be the basis for the city’s Franklin Society.    **    Oliver Loud and Everard Peck's Western Almanack replaces the "Advice to Farmers" pages with a table of interest rates.    **    Peck begins selling The Christian Almanack, published by the American Tract Society.   **    The Rochesterville Daily Advertiser begins publication. It is the first New York daily newspaper west of Albany.    **    Daniel D. Barnard is elected as the first U. S. Representative from the new 27th Congressional District (Monroe and Livingston counties).    **    The city's first public library is founded.    **    The village's seven flour mills ship 200,000 barrels.    **    South Carolina farmer John Chattin arrives in the Brighton area.    **    Louis Selye erects a building on Brown's Race for the manufacture of fire engines.    **    The village has six churches and  nine sawmills.

The approximate date painter George Catlin paints Seneca chief Red Jacket.

The approximate date the Prusa family of German immigrants arrive in Jacksonburgh (later Jackson), from Dansville, New York. Christian Prusa Jr. starts a tannery here, one of the Territory’s first.

© 2012     David Minor / Eagles Byte

The above timeline is just a small, selected section of a series of World History timelines – from BC through last year -  I’ve been building up over the a number of years. If you have a single year you’re particularly interested in seeing, here or on the Eagles Byte site (, e-mail me at
and I’ll send you the complete (unedited) World History timeline for that particular year.


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