History of Ontario county, New York
Samuel Johnson said: "He who hath much to do will do something wrong, and of that wrong must suffer the consequences." Possibly that observation might be applied to this work, for in the preparation of an elaborate history of Ontario county some things have been said that may be error, while there may have been loft unsaid many things which should have been narrated.
Ontario county has a rich and interesting early history, there having been enacted within its boundaries a series of events that were not common to the State. During the period that covered the years extending from the French and English War down to and including the War of 1812-15 the region of Western New York was the seat of operations and events of national importance and bearing, and while some of these occurrences have found their way into history, many of them have been passed over as of no special value to the general reader.
History is a statement of fact, clearly and concisely written, without inferences or personal opinions. One of the most satisfactory features of such a work, both to the writer and the reader, is accuracy of statements and dates of occurring events. In this the historian always largely depends upon the official records of the county; the absence such records places him in the somewhat embarrassing position of being compelled to omit certain important facts. But the kind and ever-ready assistance of people whose word and memory are almost equal to any records are often available when documentary evidence is unobtainable.
But it is not the purpose of the writer of this work to in any manner apologize for what has been done, but rather to explain the measures used in accomplishing what has been done, and in acknowledging in a general way the assistance he has received in the preparation of the work which is now presented to the reader. For a period of nearly twenty years the editor has been diligently engaged in searching out and collecting facts relating to the early history of Ontario county, and has been enabled to obtain a vast amount of information, including a very large number of original documents or copies thereof, all of which material has been freely used in the compilation and editing of this work. And here it may be said, publicly and without reserve, that the compiler has received at the hands of the people and the custodians of records all the assistance that could be desired to enable him to make the work as complete, thorough, and reliable as possible.
But it is to the generous people of the towns of Ontario county, who by their hearty support have made the publication of this work successful, that the publishers and editor acknowledge a special indebtedness. That support, freely given, made the work possible, and in return the publishers confidently believe that they have prepared for the county an authentic and reliable and therefore valuable record.
Table of Contents
European Discoveries and Early Occupations Scandinavians Discover Iceland and Greenland Columbus's Tropical Discoveries Early Voyages of John and Sebastian Cabot Jacques Cartier Sails up the St. Lawrence Champlain Founds the Colony in New France Visits the Iroquois Country Henry Hudson at New York and Albany English Colonies Founded in Virginia and Massachusetts Each Power Claims the Territory 17
Claims to Pre-Historic Occupation The First Occupants of the Region The American Indian - The Iroquois Confederacy Its Organization and System of Government The Five and Six Nations Final Downfall of the Confederacy 23
The Seneca Indians, the Original Occupants of Ontario County Their Origin The French First Visit the Senecas Beginning of Hostilities Seneca Villages and their Location Missionaries among the Indians Results of their Labors 35
The Seneca Indians Continuation of the Preceding Chapter English Colonists Incite the Iroquois against the French The Latter Retaliate Courcelles's Expedition Denonville Invades the Seneca Country and Destroys the Villages Their Subsequent Building Up Names and New Locations 42
French and English Rivalry The Iroquois Destroy Montreal The Treaty at Ryswick Queen Anne's War The Five Nations Become the Six Nations Joncaire's Trading Post Events Preceding the French and English War Attitude of the Iroquois Influence of Sir William Johnson The Senecas Remain Neutral, but Favor the French - Final Overthrow of French Power in America 50
Pontiac's War Devil's Hole and Black Rock Sir William Johnson Concludes a Peace with the Senecas Treaty at Fort Niagara Events Preceding the Revolution Outbreak of the War The Senecas Serve the King Kanadesaga Becomes Headquarters for Tories Butler's Buildings Indian Outrages , on the Frontier The Principal Actors Sullivan Ordered to Invade the Indian Country Destruction of the Villages and Crops The Senecas Flee to Fort Niagara Details of the Invasion of Ontario County Close of the Revolution 59
Condition of the Six Nations at the Close of the Revolution Their Treatment by the State Government Treaty at Fort Stanwix Land Grants Sought i to be Secured Operations of the New York Genesee Land Company and the Niagara Genesee Land Company The Long Leases How Obtained Controversy Between New York and Massachusetts Its Settlement Annulled by the State The New State Project Its Promoters How Regarded in Ontario County 74
The Phelps and Gorham Purchase Rev. Samuel Kirkland Superintends the Pur- chase of the Indian Titles Treaty at Buffalo Creek Mr. Phelps Secuies the Influence of Certain Lessees The Purchase and Its Approval Tie Proprietors Fail in Their Payments Sale to Robert Morris The London Associates The Pre-emption Line Error and Fraud Charged The Re- survey Charles Williamson 85
A Brief Chapter Devoted to the Settlement by the Society of Friends in what is now Yates County An Outline History of the Society and of its Remarkable Leader, Jemima Wilkinson, alias "The Friend" Early Grist-Mills 102
Original County Organizations Albany County Tryon County Formed Name Changed to Montgomery Ontario County Created Its Extent and Population The First County Officers - The County Seat The County Buildings Civil Divisions of Ontario County Subsequent County Erection; which Took Lands of Original Ontario Formation of the Towns now Comprising Ontario County The County Civil List 107
Early Settlement in Ontario County Character of the Pioneers Yankees, English, Scotch and Irish Disturbances on the Frontier British Soldiers Still Occupy Forts on the United States Side of the Treaty Line The Sim- coe Scare Their Withdrawal in 1796 Events Preceding the War of 1812-15 Political Sentiment in Ontario County ''War'' and "Peace" Meetings The Outbreak, the Struggle and Final Peace Population of the County at Different Periods 121
ONTARIO COUNTY IN THE REBELLION, 1861-65 136
THE BENCH AND BAR OF ONTARIO COUNTY 154
THE MEDICAL PROFESSION OF ONTARIO COUNTY 179
HISTORY OF THE TOWN AND VILLAGE OF CANANDAIGUA 198
HISTORY OF THE TOWN AND VILLAGE OF GENEVA 253
HISTORY OF THE TOWN OF MANCHESTER 328
HISTORY OF THE TOWN OF PHELPS 349
HISTORY OF THE TOWN OF VICTOR 365
HISTORY OF THE TOWN OF NAPLES 377
HISTORY OF THE TOWN OF FARMINGTON 387
HISTORY OF THE TOWN OF GORHAM 395
HISTORY OF THE TOWN OF EAST BLOOMFIELD 402
HISTORY OF THE TOWN OF SENECA 412
HISTORY OF THE TOWN OF HOPEWELL 421
HISTORY OF THE TOWN OF BRISTOL 430
HISTORY OF THE TOWN OF SOUTH BRISTOL 438
HISTORY OF THE TOWN OF WEST BLOOMFIELD 443
HISTORY OF THE TOWN OF RICHMOND 451
HISTORY OF THE TOWN OF CANADICE 457
FAMILY SKETCHES 1-378
INDEX TO FAMILY SKETCHES 388
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Many well informed persons of Ontario county believe that this region of the State has produced unmistakable evidences of prehistoric occupation; that there have been discovered certain relics and implements of peculiar manufacture, the like of which are now unknown. It is claimed that these evidences must have been left by a race of people different from the Indians, the period of whose occupation long antedated the coming of the ancestors of the famed Iroquois. This claim is undoubtedly a mistaken one, for recent investigators have shown to us that there has been no possession by any race that cannot be readily reconciled with the theory of continuous Indian occupation. It is undoubtedly true that there have been found tools and utensils which were never in common use among the Indians, but the reader will remember that the Jesuit fathers traversed this region more than a century before any settlement was made by what we call our own people; and it will be remembered, too, that the crude and to us unaccountable implements were then in the hands of comparative ancients, and were the product of a period in which was known but little of mechanical arts, as we see and understand and use them at the present lime. As early even as the year 1000 the Icelanders had explored the country east of the State of New York, and although they made no settlements, they may have extended their travels over a region of which we have no record. It may be possible that this people brought and left some implements in use by them at that time, which were imitated by the Indian occupants of the region. The latter, especially the first of them that visited this region, are recorded as being ready and apt in the construction of weapons and tools, and discovering some ancient implement imitated it for their own purpose. That they had an immature and indefinite knowledge of metals and their value there is no doubt, but with the advent of European discoverers in the fifteenth century and afterward, and the distribution of various utensils and implements of improved pattern, the necessity of former crude manufactures was obviated, and they were therefore discarded and replaced with others more substantial. It may be stated, however, in the present connection that in the regions bordering on Lake Erie, particularly in the State of Ohio, there have been discovered unmistakable evidences of an ancient occupation far back of the coming of the Iroquois ancestors, or of their old antagonists, the Lenni Lenapes. Neither of these Indian people had any tradition that run to the time of the Mound Builders; but the discoveries of such an occupation are constantly being made by careful investigators. There have been found in the region of Lake Ontario and Erie evidences that tend to show an ancient or pre-historic occupancy, but it can hardly be asserted that there has been discovered any relic or instrument which would lead the candid student of archeology to believe that Ontario county was the dwelling-place of an earlier race of people than the Iroquois, or the Indians who preceded them.