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Sullivan's Famous Expedition (1779-80) first made known to the revolutionary soldiers from New England and the Middle States the beauty and fertility of western New York. In 1784 the first settlement near Utica was made by Hugh White and family from Connecticut. This was the origin of Whitestown. Settlement was rapid. In a few years log cabins had sprung up along rivers and lakes. "Hosts of New Englanders poured into New York. They cleared the forests, bridged the streams, built up towns, cultivated. the lands, and sent back to Albany and Troy the yield of their farms." The Germans and Dutch were not far behind them. Up the Susquehanna came settlers fr›m Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania to settle the "Lake Country." "In 1800 the front of emigration was far beyond Elmira and Bath."

First Settlements. Horatio Jones and Lawrence Smith located at Seneca Falls, and Amos Draper at Oswego (1785). Ephraim Webster and family settled Onondaga county, and Samuel Harris, Steuben county (1786). James Bennet was at West Cayuga, Captain Joseph Leonard at Binghamton, and several "Yankees "1 at Geneva (1787). Moses Foot and ten families founded Clinton; Oliver Phelps, Canandaigua; Colonel John Handy, Elmira; and Corning, Havana, and Watkins were begun (1788). Judge Cooper established Cooperstown; Horseheads, Ithaca, Ovid, Aurora, Waterloo, Penn Yan, Honeoye, Lyons, and Palmyra were started, and Troy received its present name (1789). John Swift also built a log house at Elmira; Geneseo and Naples were located, and Monroe and Liv


This was a name then applied to people from New England,

ingston counties were inhabited (1790). Newark and Wayne took root (1791), and also Bath and Trumansburg (1792). Auburn and Hammondsport were begun (1793). The first white settler in Allegany county was Nathaniel Dike (1795).

Lewis and Jefferson coun

ties were settled (1797-8). Buffalo, early called New Amsterdam, had several log houses, a store, and a tavern (1798). Batavia and Westfield were not starte l till 1801. Such was western New York at the opening of the nineteenth century.


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Character of Settlers.-Settlers came by thousands from the east and south, and across the ocean. Among them were Tories and disbanded soldiers. Steuben received 16,000 acres from the state. tract the old soldier spent the rest of his life. county and a town bear his name, and a monument is erected in his honor. To raise troops New York had promised 500 acres of land to every private and non-commissioned officer. Commissioned officers were promised 1,000 acres for a subaltern and 5,500 acres for a major-general (1781). After the war the soldiers demanded these bounty lands. Commissioners were appointed to settle the claims (1784), but it was not until 1786 that the surveyor-general was ordered to lay out townships for the soldiers.

The "Old Military Tract" of twelve townships was laid out in Essex, Clinton, and Franklin counties. But this was poor land, and the speculators, who had bought up most of the claims of the soldiers, demanded lands in the west. Accordingly the "New Military Tract" was laid out between Oneida and Seneca lakes (1789-90). It included Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, and Cortland,

and a part of Oswego, Wayne, Schuyler, and Tompkins counties. There were twenty-five townships of 60,000 acres each, divided into lots of 600 acres. Later (1791-2-5) three more townships were added, making in all about 1,680,000 acres. In each township ninetyfour lots were drawn and one lot was set aside near the center for the cultivation of literature and another "for a school and the gospel." Disputes and charges of fraud and forgery led the legislature to order all landowners to deposit their deeds for inspection. A great legal contest arose. Three commissioners were appointed (1797) to adjust claims, and after five years' labor they settled the trouble.

In 1786 a Land Office was created to sell public lands at not less than a shilling an acre. Five acres out of every hundred were reserved for roads, and lots were also set aside to promote literature and to support churches and schools. In eight years 20,000,000 acres were sold. Massachusetts claimed 7,000,000 acres west of Seneca Lake by right of an early colonial charter. At the Hartford convention Massachusetts surrendered all governmental rights, but received a title to the land west of Seneca Lake, which was one-fifth of the whole state. New York reserved a strip one mile wide the whole length of Niagara River.

Genesee Land Company. Meanwhile about ninety persons on the Hudson organized the "New York Genesee Land Company," with a branch in Canada, to get possession of the lands of the Six Nations (1787). For a bonus of $20,000 and an annual rent of $2,000 the company leased for 999 years all their lands except some small reservations. Governor Clinton and the

legislature declared the lease null. These land-grabbers even thought of creating a new state. Their scheme failed, and the promoters were forced to compromise with the legislature for a tract ten miles square in the "Old Military Tract."

Phelps and Gorham Purchase.-A company was organized by Phelps and Gorham in 1788 to buy the land owned by Massachusetts. It was sold to them for $100,000 in paper money. The claim of the "Genesee Land Company" was also bought and a title secured from the Indians. The company sold thirty townships (1788-9), and settlers rushed into the new country by thousands. Because of non-payment Massachusetts took back the unsold land, about 1,100,000 acres, and resold it to Robert Morris. He, in turn, sold it to an English" association" for $175,000. By 1791 he had secured all the "pre-emption right" of the Massachusetts tract, and by the Big Tree treaty the Indian claims were released. He disposed of over 3,600,000 acres to Holland merchants at thirty-two cents an acre, and reserved 500,000 acres for himself. The Holland landlords advertised their lands for sale in 1800. There were about forty purchasers in 1801, 300 in 1804, 607 in 1807, and 1,160 in 1809. This tract was called the Holland Purchase.


Population in 1800.-Soon every state in the Union and nearly every country in Europe were represented in western New York. In 1800 the population west of Utica was over 105,000, and west of Oneida was nearly 46,000. The first highways were rivers and lakes connected by Indian trails. General Sullivan cut the first road through western New York for his artillery. Settlers who went into this region from the east or south usually waited till winter covered the ground with snow and froze the swamps and rivers. In 1790-1 a party of emigrants cut a road from Whitestown to Canandaigua. The "Genesee road" in 1791 ran from Chenango River to Cayuga Lake, and then over the old army track to Genesee River. An Indian trail led thence to Niagara. On this road there was much corduroy," many fords, and one ferry.


A Network of Roads soon followed. In 1794 a highway was planned from Utica to the Genesee River. The state soon undertook the work. Not until the Revolution was New York connected with Albany by a wagon-road, yet by 1810 turnpikes connected all the chief points of the state. They were built by companies and were toll-roads. By 1850 they were replaced by plank-roads. In 1811 not less than 4,500 miles of roads had been built in the state. The building of bridges accompanied the construction of roads. The one over the neck of Cayuga Lake (1787-1800) was

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