1785


Jan 11
Congress begins convening in New York City.

Jan 20
Samuel Ellis puts Oyster Island (later named for him) on the market in New York City, but fails to attract buyers.

April
Christopher Colles receives $125 to implement his Mohawk River canal plan. He publishes his proposals.

Apr 5
Seneca Indians carry off Mary Jemison from her home near the Genesee River.

Sep 19
New York businessman John Jacob Astor marries his landlady's daughter Sarah Todd, a relation of the city's Brevoort family.

Dec 2
Congress appoints John Ewing, Thomas Hutchins and David Rittenhouse to survey the final New York-Massachusetts boundary.

City
The Queens County Courthouse is erected on Long Island's Hempstead Plains. ** After buying up a variety of pelts John Jacob Astor sails for Europe to sell them. In London he buys more flutes from his brother George, and becomes the U. S. agent for a British piano manufacturer. ** Attorney Aaron Burr takes out a loan, the first of several, in support of his lifestyle and home at Richmond Hill.

State
New York City businessman Lumen Reed is born. ** Geneva is founded on the site of an Indian village. ** A survey of the New York-Pennsylvania state line is begun by brothers Andrew and Joseph Ellicott. ** Former Seneca captive Horatio Jones (Handsome Boy) marries a woman from Schenectady and moves to Waterloo. ** The first burial at the Watervliet Shaker colony near Albany is performed. ** Former state assemblyman John Lansing is named a delegate to the Continental Congress. ** The Dutchess County court house and jail in Poughkeepsie are destroyed by fire. They will be rebuilt shortly. ** The lower Hudson Valley holdings of Loyalist Frederick Philipse are sold by the state. ** Township size in "waste and unappropriated lands" of the Military Tract is set at 6.1 square miles, with a lot size of 200 acres. ** Mohawk chief Joseph Brant tours the western tribes of the Great Lakes seeking their support for an Indian Confederation. ** Lands subject to quitrent become salable upon payment of the arrears and a fee of 14 shillings for each shilling in annual dues. ** The Genesee River floods.

Canals
Silas Deane drums up support for a Lake Champlain-St. Lawrence Canal.

Massachusetts
New York publisher Daniel Appleton is born in Haverhill.

New Hampshire
Future New York pioneer William Markham III marries Phoebe Dexter, in Ackworth.

Ships
The Hudson River sloop Experiment, commanded by Stewart Dean, makes a trading voyage from Albany to Canton, China.

Slavery
John Jay and Alexander Hamilton organize the New York City Manumission Society.

 

1786

(Updated 2 / 15 / 2004)


January
New York City contractor Josiah Hornblower files a claim for £12 for inspecting the Colles waterworks in 1776. It will take him two years to collect. ** Chancellor Robert R. Livingston goes before the New York City Common Council with a plan for a water supply system. A committee is formed to review his plan.

Jan 4
Twins Elizabeth and William Cooper are born to New Jersey storekeeper William Cooper and his wife Elizabeth. The daughter soon dies. ** Aaron Burr obtains an injunction against the sale of Otsego lands, sends it to Cherry Valley sheriff Samuel Clyde by his own clerk William Ireson. Dr. John Morgan, representing George Croghan's Philadelphia creditors, accompanies Ireson.

Jan 11
Ireson and Morgan reach Cherry Valley. Ireson leaves a copy of the injunction with sheriff Clyde after showing him the original.

Jan 13
Clyde ignores the injunction, goes ahead with the auction, at Mabie's Tavern in Canajoharie. Cooper and Craig back him up, Cooper offering to pay any legal expenses incurred. Their lawyer Christopher P. Yates naturally concurs. Cooper's final bid, at £3,600, is topped by Morgan's £3,625. After the midday meal Morgan disappears for a time. When he can't be found the bidding is reopened and Cooper gets the land for £2,700. After returning to the tavern and haggling over the legitimacy of the deed, Morgan refuses to pay and Clyde awards the property to Cooper. The possibility exists that Morgan did not have sufficient funds in the first place.

Jan 14
Cooper and Craig pay Clyde a fee of £35.

February
The Common Council considers various proposals for a water supply, decides instead to solicit private sealed bids.

Feb 4
Geneseo schoolteacher Epaphroditus Bigelow is born in Marlborough, Connecticut.

Mar 18
The Steuben County town of Bath is formed.

Mar 23
The Washington County town of Granville is founded. The nearby town of Hebron, named for a town in Connecticut, is also created. The Essex County town of Crown Point, named for the fort, is created.

April
Three sealed proposals for a New York water system are returned unread and the council polls their constituents as to whether a public or privately supported system is preferable. Nothing comes of this.

Apr 18
The state finances its first loan, bills of credit totaling $500,000, to be divided among the twelve counties.

May
Cooper travels from New York City to Albany, then on to Otsego Lake, to begin dealing in land there. Meanwhile Dr. Morgan warns prospective land buyers, through newspaper ads and handbills, that the Otsego Patent is not legitimate.

May 22
John Jacob Astor advertises in the New York Packet that he's imported a new shipment of instruments and musical supplies from London.

June
Cooper begins actively settling 40,000 acres of Otsego Patent lands. Within sixteen days he has sold it all, to those without large amounts of money.

Sep 11
The Annapolis Convention meets with Virginia, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey represented, to discuss commerce. ** John Cabenbaragh posts a notice in the New-York Packet that his wife Hannah has left him and he will not be responsible for her debts.

Sep 14
The Annapolis Convention, lacking a quorum to affect changes, votes for all states to meet in convention in 1787 to draft a Constitution, correcting problems in the Articles of Confederation. ** Museum owner Gardiner Baker replies in the Packet to Cabenbaragh's notice, stating that the man had previously been married to Baker's mother and had treated her brutally before allowing the marriage to be broken off, after he found she hadn't as much money as he expected.

Oct 12
New York's James Clinton and Simeon DeWitt, and Pennsylvania's Andrew Elliott, certify the survey that established the New York-Pennsylvania state line, completed earlier in the year.

December
14 Indian tribes of the western Great Lakes, assembled at the urging of New York's Iroquois Confederation earlier in the year, meet in council near Detroit, make a pact for mutual defense in an Indian Confederation. They write to the U. S. requesting an official treaty and repudiate the treaties of Fort Stanwix, Fort McIntosh and Fort Finney. ** Buffalo merchant and philanthropist Seth Grosvenor is born in Pomfret, Connecticut.

Dec 12
New York governor William Learned Marcy is born in Sturbridge (today's Southbridge), Massachusetts, to Jedediah and Ruth Learned Marcy.

Dec 16
Meeting at Hartford, Connecticut, New York State commissioners Egbert Benson, James Duane, John Haring, Robert R. Livingston, Melancthion Smith and Robert Yates, and Massachusetts commissioners Rufus King, John Lowell, Theophilus Parsons and James Sullivan, settle the latter state's claim to New York lands. New York divides the Iroquois lands with Massachusetts, which gets the land (preemptive rights), while New York gets political sovereignty. The 230,400-acre area known as the Boston Ten Towns, between the Chenango River and Owego Creek, is retained by Massachusetts. The western boundary of Montgomery County is extended to the Niagara River. It contains 15,057 people. Its Town of Whitestown contains under 200 whites.

City
The Society of Saint Tammany is founded by merchant John Pintard and others. ** Engineer Christopher Colles and his wife are assaulted on the street. Aaron Burr acts as his lawyer in the case, bringing damage claims of £189 against Andrew Moody. Resolution of the case is unknown. ** Alexander Hamilton is returned to the state assembly during the spring elections.

State
The state defeats a congressional appeal for import duty powers. ** Israel Stone builds Northfield's (later Pittsford) first house. ** Columbia County is created from part of Albany County. ** A son is born to Horatio and Sarah Whitmore Jones, the first white child born west of Utica. ** The approximate date followers of Jemima Wilkinson hire Abraham Dayton, Thomas Hathaway and Richard Smith to travel to Yates County to scout a site for a New Jerusalem. ** John Lansing is elected mayor of Albany. ** Gilbert Stuart paints a portrait of Mohawk Indian chief Joseph Brant (Thayendorogea). ** Future governor William C. Bouck is born to Samuel and Margaret Borst Bouck in Schoharie Valley. ** The Office of Land Commissioners is established. ** William Harris settles at the confluence of the Tioga and Conhocton rivers, the site of the future Painted Post. ** Pioneer Anna Mathilda Stewart (Church) is born in Philadelphia to General Walter Stewart and his wife. ** Baron von Steuben is awarded 16,000 acres in Oneida County for his services during the American Revolution. ** Scots immigrant John Moore settles the future Moresville in Delaware County. ** Township size in the "Old" Military Tract and in "waste and unappropriated" land in the rest of the state, is increased from 6.1 to 10 square miles and from 200 to 640 acres. ** The Seneca confer with the British, arrange for refuge in Canada if relations with the U. S. sour. ** The state refuses to support Congress's 1783 import tax proposal. ** John E. VanAlen surveys the Hoags Corners area of the Rensselaerwyck Manor. Three farms are mapped out.

Syracuse
Trader-interpreter Ephraim Webster, along with Benjamin Newkirk, arrives from Schenectady and establish a trading post among the Onondaga Indians on the east bank of Onondaga Creek, near Onondaga Lake.

Connecticut
The Friends sect holds a general meeting and selects three delegates, Abraham Dayton, Thomas Hathaway and Richard Smith, to explore states to the west for a permanent home for the society.

 

1787

(Updated 8 / 29 / 2004)

Mar 6
The state's Assembly and Senate each vote to name Robert Yates, John Lansing, Jr. and Alexander Hamilton as delegates to the U. S. Constitutional Convention.

Mar 31
The trustees of Manhattan's Warren property, in the Greenwich area, partition the property into three parts, with the three legal claimants - Earl and Lady Abingdon, Charles and Ann Fitzroy, and the minor Susannah Skinner - being matched to parcel by a throw of the dice.

Apr 11
The Ulster County town of Woodstock is formed from Great and Little Shandaken.

Apr 16
Boston playwright Royall Tyler's The Contrast is performed at New York City's John Street Theatre, the first professional performance of a comedy in America.

May
Claxton & Babcock begin publishing Troy's weekly Northern Centinel & Lansingburgh Advertiser, the first newspaper in Rensselaer County.

May 20
Early Cohocton settler and granddaughter of Indian captive Jemima Howe, Martha Howe (Fowler) is born in Vernon, Vermont,s to Squire and Martha Field Howe.

Jun 1
Yates and Hamilton agree with the Convention that the chief executive should have a seven-year term.

Jun 2
Lansing arrives in Philadelphia. The New York delegation agrees Congress should elect the President.

Jun 4
Lansing and Yates vote against a single executive.

Jun 18
Alexander Hamilton presents his plan of government to the Convention, including a provision for a single executive, for life.

Jun 28
Lansing and John Dayton of New Jersey move that the lower house represent the states on an equal basis.

Jun 29
Hamilton, often outvoted by Yates and Lansing, his fellow New York delegates to the convention, leaves Philadelphia in frustration.

July
25 followers of Jemima Wilkinson, the Universal Friend, travel from Connecticut to the Mohawk River, then to Seneca Lake where they settle near today's Dresden. ** William Cooper informs his Burlington, New Jersey, neighbors he will soon move to his land on Otsego Lake.

Jul 5
Manasseh Cutler arrives in New York City, talks of buying millions of acres of land on the Ohio River for the Ohio Company.

Jul 10
Yates and Lansing leave the Constitutional Convention meeting in Philadelphia.

August
John Jacob Astor arrives in Montréal, Canada, after sailing up the Hudson to Albany, to Lake George by horseback, by sloop across Lake Champlain to Plattsburgh (where he stayed with newly appointed collector of customs Peter Sailly), to Rouse's Point, then down the Richlieu River to Saint-Jean, Québec, and finally by wagon to the St. Lawrence.

Sep 17
The U. S. Constitution, in a final draft by Gouverneur Morris, is signed by delegates in Philadelphia, who then resolve to forward it to Congress, in New York City. James Wilson reads the 82-year-old Benjamin Franklin's address, advocating approval of the Constitution even though it may not be perfect. It allows male slaves to count as three-fifths of a man in determining representation in the House of Representatives. Alexander Hamilton is the only signer present from New York but, the other two delegates having left previously, New York dos not formally endorse the document.

Sep 24
New York City's Daily Advertiser prints A Revolution Effected by Good Sense and Deliberation, the first known original commentary on the Constitution in New York State.

Oct 13
St. James Evangelical Lutheran church is built at French Mills, Albany County, with Heinrich Mueller as its first pastor.

Nov 12
William Cooper and Andrew Craig transfer 1500 acres of Otsego lands to Major Augustine Prevost and wife Susannah Croghan Prevost, to quit their other claims.

Nov 30
The New York Genesee Land Company, an independent group of lessees, negotiates a 999-year-lease on the majority of Iroquois lands in New York State. State governor George Clinton will declare all company transactions null and void.

Dec 2
Elizabeth Baker, infant daughter of museum owner Gardiner Baker and his wife Mary is christened at New York's First And Second Presbyterian Church.

Dec 21
Yates and Lansing write to New York governor George Clinton explaining their motive for leaving the U. S. Constitutional Convention prematurely, implying their indifference to a constitution.

 

City
Young Washington Irving attends Mrs. Ann Kilmaster's kindergarten. ** The state legislature approves a law requested by New York City's Common Council, to appoint well and pump overseers in each of the city's wards. ** Hartford, Connecticut, captain Samuel Morey travels down the Connecticut River in a home-made steam powered boat, reaches the city. ** The Mutual Assurance Company, the city's first fire insurance company, is founded.

State
Settlers, mostly from New England, found a settlement at Binghamton. It will be named for landowner William Bingham, who donated land to the village. A Mrs. Blunt is the first resident to die. ** Feudal tenure is abolished. ** A conference meeting at Hartford, Connecticut, sets the western boundary of Indian lands one mile east of the Niagara River, between lakes Ontario and Erie. Rights to the Mile Strip are reserved for the state. ** Albany housewright Isaac Packard builds Cherry Hill, a Georgian mansion, for Philip Van Rennselaer. ** Great Lakes steamboat operator Josephus Bradner Stuart is born. ** The legislature sells Alexander Macomb 4,000,000 acres in the northern part of the state. ** Albany mayor John Lansing is named to the U. S. Constitutional Convention. ** Genesee Valley pioneer Nicholas Hetchler is born in Pennsylvania. ** Painted Post is included in the Albany County town of Whitestown. ** Job Smith, traveling north from the Chemung River, settles at the falls of the Seneca River (today's Seneca Falls). ** The state creates a Board of Regents to oversee schools, setting rules for the incorporation of colleges and academies (high schools). ** The sloop Experiment returns to Albany from Canton, China, the second U. S. vessel to trade there. It brings a cargo of tea, textiles and ceramics. ** Tioga County's Boston Ten Towns tract is sold to a company of 60 men, most of them from Massachusetts. ** The first church in the Ulster County town of Lloyd is formed, by a Methodist-Episcopal congregation. ** Eight families found the Oneida County town of Kirkland. ** The first settlement in the Genesee Country is made at the Indian village of Kanadesaga (later Geneva). ** Buffalo merchant and library benefactor Seth Grosvenor is born. ** Connecticut-born Hoosick settler David Shipman begins living in the Otsego Lake area. ** William Cooper lays out Cooperstown. ** Phelps and Gorham present their proposal to the Massachusetts state legislature. The House approves, the Senate balks.

 

1788


January
Troy's weekly Northern Centinel & Lansingburgh Advertiser, now located in Albany, ceases publication.

Jan 27
Former New York governor William Tryon dies at his Grosvenor Square, London, home.

February
New York's Common Council considers a citizens' petition favoring a public waterworks, then lets the matter drop.

Feb 14
The Rensselaer County Town of Pittstown has its boundary changed.

Mar 7
New York's legislature defines county boundaries. Clinton County is taken off Washington County. It includes lands on both sides of Lake Champlain. ** The Dutchess County town of Beekman, New York, is formed. ** The Montgomery County towns of Caughnawaga, Palatine, Herkimer, Mohawk, Harpersfield, Otsego, Canajoharie, German Flats and White's Town (Whitestown) are formed. ** The Albany (later Greene) County town of Catskill, New York, is annexed to Ulster County. ** The Orange County, New York, towns of Montgomery, Orangetown and Walkill are formed. ** The Putnam County New York, town of Philipstown, named for patentee Adolph Philipse, is formed. ** The Westchester County town of Greenburgh, New York, from the Dutch Greinburgh meaning grain town, is formed. The town of Mount Pleasant is formed. ** The Columbia County, New York, district of Hillsdale is reorganized as a town. ** The Richmond County (Staten Island) town of Southfield is founded. ** The Suffolk County towns of Islip and Southampton are recognized by the New York state legislature. ** Ulster County's Rochester Patent is organized as a town. ** New York's Cambridge Patent is formed as a Town within Washington County. ** Queens County, New York's Oyster Bay is recognized as a town.

Mar 22
Montgomery County's Town of Chemung is formed.

Mar 31
Massachusetts votes to sell Phelps and Gorham the New York lands agreed upon at the Hartford Convention.

April
Against the desires of Red Jacket, but with the approval of the grand sachem Farmer's Brother, Phelps and Gorham pay the Seneca 2100 pounds ($5000) in cash and trade goods, plus a 500 pound annual payment for 2,600,000 acres of land west of the Genesee River, which become part of the Military Tract, land set aside for veterans of the Revolution. A survey is launched to divide the land into cardinally-oriented six-mile square townships. The survey, run by Colonel Hugh Maxwell, completed next year, will also mark off the Pre-Emption Line running from the Pennsylvania Line to Lake Ontario, setting apart New York land owned by Massachusetts. The Seneca give Phelps and Gorham an additional 84,00 acres for a mill site in exchange for providing them a sawmill and a gristmill. The two investors hire Ebenezer (Indian) Allan to start a mill at the Falls of the Genesee. The Onondaga accept a reservation of a few square miles.

Apr 23
Massachusetts governor John Hancock issues a proclamation, finalizing the Phelps and Gorham purchase. Massachusetts sells its 2,600,000 acres of its western New York lands, at under 3 cents an acre, to Oliver Phelps, Nathaniel Gorham and other investors.

May
The approximate date Babcock and Hickock's Federal Herald newspaper is published in the Troy/Rensselaer region. It's published for about two years. ** Comfort Tyler begins making salt from the salt springs on the shores of Lake Onondaga.

May 7
The Reverend Samuel Kirkland leaves Stockbridge, Massachusetts, for Schenectady, to meet with the Pre-Emption Line surveying team.

May 12
Colonel Hugh Maxwell sets out from Heath, Massachusetts, to met Oliver Phelps and others in New York State.

May 13
Maxwell arrives in Albany, finds he missed Phelps by two days, heads west.

May 14
Maxwell arrives in Schenectady, finds Phelps, Kirkland, and the pastor's assistant Elisha Lee are close to a day ahead of him.

May 16
Maxwell meets Phelps, Kirkland and Lee at Canajoharie. They set out for Fort Stanwix (Rome).

Jun 2
Maxwell and his companions arrive at Kanadesaga, near today's Geneva. A number of Iroquois are present, in hopes of concluding treaty.

Jun 4
Maxwell writes his wife from Kanadesaga, detailing his travels. ** Oliver Phelps writes Samuel Fowler from Kanadesaga, describing the natural surroundings and predicting a city will be built on the spot.

Jun 10
Maxwell, Lessee captain Benjamin Allen and three assistants depart from Kanadesaga, and row to the southern end of Seneca Lake.

Jun 11
Maxwell's party arrives at Catherine's Town (Montour Falls).

Jun 12
In the midst of a rainy day Maxwell arrives at Newtown.

Jun 13
Maxwell begins a trial survey.

Jun 16
Maxwell reaches the area four miles west of the northern end of Seneca Lake.

Jun 17
A State Convention opens at Poughkeepsie's Van Kleek House to consider the proposed U. S. Constitution.

Jun 21
Oliver Phelps, and Reverend Kirkland, accompanied by Caleb Benton, Ezekiel Gilbert, James Dean, Benjamin Barton, John Johnson, along with a number of Seneca chiefs and Mos Debarge, set out for Buffalo Creek, get to Flint Creek, about 24 miles away.

Jun 22
The party moves on, encountering rain most of the morning, arriving at their destination around noon. They are housed in the Indian settlement and called into council, where they are told by Chief Fish Carrier that some of the other chiefs have not arrived and talks will temporarily be held off.

July
The Constitutional debates in Poughkeepsie conclude. ** Colonel Maxwell begins his two-month survey of New York's Pre-Emption Line.

Jul 4
Oliver Phelps, Colonel John Butler, Joseph Brant, and Samuel Street arrive at Buffalo Creek.

Jul 8
Phelps signs a treaty with the Seneca at Buffalo Creek, buying lands between Seneca Lake and the Genesee River, including the Mill Lot, at the falls of the Genesee.

Jul 11
Major Thompson Maxwell, youngest brother of Hugh Maxwell, joins the colonel at Kanadesaga.

Jul 13
Phelps returns to Kanadesaga, instructs Maxwell to begin the re-survey.

Jul 20
Maxwell, three assistants, and New York Genesee Land Company (Lessee) surveyor William Jenkins, depart from Kanadesaga, and row to the southern end of Seneca Lake.

Jul 25
Colonel Maxwell begins his journal of the surveying of New York's Pre-Emption Line.

Jul 26
New York, upon learning of Virginia's ratification, approves the Constitution, over the objections of governor George Clinton.

Aug 7
The Maxwell Survey arrives at Town No. 9, First Range, about where routes 5 and 20 cross the state today.

Aug 21
Phelps, back in Massachusetts, writes to his agent William Walker, expresses his concern that Kanadesaga might not lie within the lands he and Gorham purchased

Aug 22
After a delay the Maxwell survey resumes, heads north.

Sep 12
Onondaga Indians sign the treaty of Fort Schuyler, formerly called Fort Stanwix, ceding "all their lands forever," (with the exception of certain reserved lands) to the State of New York.

Sep 13
Congress schedules elections for the Presidency. New York City is declared the temporary capital of the U. S.

Sep 19
Phelps writes to Walker a second time, again questioning the survey's accuracy.

Sep 23
Amasa Leonard is the first child born in Binghamton.

Sep 30
William Walker, Caleb Barton and Benjamin Barton, acting for Phelps and Gorham, give title to 100 acres at the Falls of the Genesee River to Ebenezer "Indian" Allen, in return for his constructing and operating a grist mill and saw mill by next June first. The speculators reserve half of any mines and minerals on the site. ** Fur trader John Jacob Astor signs a trade agreement with Canadian merchant Roseter Hoyle, agreeing to ship furs from Montréal to New York and Rotterdam.

October
The approximate date John Jacob Astor returns to New York City from the Great Lakes.

Oct 2
The Confederation Congress is moved out of Federal Hall, to prepare the building for its new role.

Oct 3
Phelps advises Walker to make the outlet of Kennedarqua (Canandaigua) Lake his headquarters, so as to avoid problems with the Lessees.

Oct 5
Walker writes to Phelps that he sees no use in running the line again and that he 's chosen Canandarqua Creek for a town. The site will become Canandaigua.

Nov 1
Congress adjourns.

Nov 7
The Westchester County town of Westchester is organized.

Dec 17
The Sullivan County precinct of Mamakating is organized as a town.

City
Trinity Episcopal Church, destroyed by fire in 1776, is rebuilt and furnished with bells. ** A daughter, Magdalen, is born to John Jacob and Sarah Astor. ** Earl and Lady Abingdon sell their Greenwich property for $2,200. ** A grand jury indicts the city for its filthy streets. Nothing is done. ** The Doctors' Riot. ** Alexander Hamilton stages a celebration in honor of the ratification of the U. S. Constitution.

State
The Onondaga accept a reservation of a few square miles. ** The Town of Cortlandt is founded. ** Jeremiah Wadsworth of Hartford travels to the western part of the state, to inspect the Genesee Valley. ** Elmira is settled. ** Major Asa Danforth, Jr. joins Comfort Tyler in making salt. ** Gamaliel Wilder moves into the future South Bristol, and the Gooding Brothers pioneer Bristol. ** The town of Aurelius settlement at Cayuga is settled by John Harris of Harrisburgh, Pennsylvania. ** Future Geneva settler Phineas Prouty Sr. is born. ** 378 members of Jemima Wilkinson's Society of Friends arrive at the middle of the west shore of Seneca Lake, found a settlement, which they name New Jerusalem. ** The Reverend Mr. Howe, a Baptist, conducts the first religious services in Binghamton. ** Future governor John Alsop King is born in New York City to Rufus and Mary Alsop King. ** The town of Whitestown is transferred from Albany County to Montgomery County. ** New Hampshire farmer William Markham III and his brother-in-law Ransom Smith walk from Ackworth to New York's Genesee Valley and help survey the Avon/Rush area. They chose a lot on the east bank of the Genesee and return to Ackworth. There they collect William's wife Phoebe and their infant son, Ransom's wife Lettice Markham Smith and his younger brothers David and John. They all set out for the Genesee but are stopped by a lost horse on the Susquehanna River and forced to wait for spring. ** The number of Metoac Indians on Long Island has dropped from somewhere around 10,000 in the year 1600, to 162. ** A tavern keeper named Middaugh moves to the Lewiston area. ** Oliver Phelps arrives from his home in Granville, Massachusetts, to explore his New York lands. ** Washington County gets its first newspaper, the Salem Times. ** John Barber begins publishing the Albany Register. ** Pennsylvanians Elijah Breck and Captain Daniel McDowell, along with William Wynkoop from Ulster County, found the Chemung County village of Breckville. ** The first settlement in the Greene County town of Lexington is formed.  ** The law passed in 1774 to settle Ulster County's debt to Albany County is repealed. ** New York City salesmen John Jacob Astor and Peter Smith begin making trading trips to Fort Schuyler. ** A son, Seneca, is born to Ebenezer and Lucy Allan. ** The Seneca sign a treaty at Buffalo Creek, relinquishing title to lands between Seneca Lake and the Genesee River. ** The Presbyterian Synod of New York, covering Hudson, North River, Bedford, Long Island, New York 1 and 2, Canton, Ningpo, Connecticut, Nassau and Western Africa, is established. ** Abijah Gilbert, and Gordon and Wyatt Chamberlin begin settling the area that will become Gilbertsville, in the Otsego County town of Butternuts. ** The Herkimer County village of German Flats has 1256 people. Whitestown, named for pioneer Hugh White, containing around 200 people is split off east of a north-south line running through Old Fort Schuyler (Utica). ** 25 Quakers enter Yates County. ** Caleb Benton, one of the disenfranchised Lessees of Phelps & Gorham land, donates 1,104 acres of his consolation lands near Seneca Lake to James Parker and the Society of Universal Friends. The long, narrow property will become known as the Garter.] ** Streets are laid out for the village of Cooperstown. William Cooper begins building a home on the former George Croghan estate. ** New Jersey trader and cattle drover Benjamin Barton settles in Geneva.

Maryland
Hagerstown businessman Colonel Nathaniel Rochester marries Sophia Beatty.

 

1789

Updated ( 4 / 25 / 2004 )


January
The future Livingston County town of Hartford (now Avon), is formed.

Jan 9
General Arthur St. Clair signs the Treaty of Fort Harmar (today's Marietta, Ohio) with lesser Ohio and New York Seneca and Wyandot chiefs, renewing the Treaty of Fort McIntosh, and making promises of protection for Indian lands.

Jan 27
Canandaigua becomes the seat of Ontario County, newly formed from Montgomery County, and comprising the entire Phelps and Gorham Purchase; the town of Canadice is founded (Whitestown will continue to hold elections in Montgomery County for another two years). The Cayuga County towns of Aurelius and Milton (later Genoa) are founded. The Ontario County town of Bloomfield (later East Bloomfield) is formed, as settlement begins.

Jan 29
Politician and judge William B. Rochester is born to Nathaniel and Sophia Rochester, in Hagerstown, Maryland. ** New York's Park Theatre opens.

Feb 25
The Cayuga Indians sign a treaty with New York, selling close to 3,000,000 acres of their land, receiving $500, with the same amount to be paid annually, and a futher payment in June.

Feb 28
The Tioga (later Chemung) County town of Chemung is formed.

Mar 4
The First Constitutional Congress meets in New York City, without a quorum. The U. S. Constitution is declared to be in effect. A public celebration is held.

April
Whitestown holds its first town meeting in Captain Daniel White's barn. Jedidiah Sanger is named supervisor.

Apr 1
The U. S. House of Representatives, a quorum achieved, begins business, electing Frederick Augustus Muhlenburg as speaker.

Apr 6
The U. S. Senate achieves a quorum. John Langdon is chosen as its temporary presiding officer. Election returns are counted and messengers are sent to notify Washington and Adams.

Apr 8
The House begins deliberating on revenue raising.

Apr 15
John Ferno begins publishing an administration organ, The Gazette of the United States, in New York City.

Apr 16
George Washington leaves Mount Vernon for New York City.

Apr 21
John Adams arrives in New York , takes his oath of office, and begins presiding over the Senate.

Apr 23
Washington arrives in New York.

Apr 30
Washington is sworn in as the first President of the United States, on the front steps of Federal Hall.

May
Moses DeWitt and Abraham Hardebegh lead a party of surveyors from the Hudson Valley to the western shore of the Oswego River, begin surveying the New Military Tract, over 1,500,000 acres of former Iroquois land.

May 7
The first U. S. Inaugural Ball is held.

May 12
A Republican political club, The Society of St. Tammany (an Indian chief), or the Columbian Order is formed, in New York City.

June
Speculator Oliver Phelps first visits his lands on the Genesee River. ** New York pays the Cayuga an additional $1,625.

Jun 1
Congress, in its first act, regulates the administering of oaths.

Jul 4
Oliver Phelps convenes a council of Seneca chiefs at Buffalo Creek to inform them their lands were been surrendered in the peace treaty of 1783 and they retain their lands only on the sufferance of the U. S.

Jul 8
Phelps begins the final conference with the Seneca. It goes on past midnight.

Jul 9
The chiefs decide the payments promised by the Genesee Company are fair and since a portion of the lease is now surrendered, Phelps should pay part of the total sums promised by the lessees. The task of writing down the terms of the agreement are delegated to three white interpreters. The chiefs sign later in the day.

Jul 31
The U. S. Government establishes the first two revenue Collection Offices in the state, at Sag Harbor, Long Island (with a subordinate office at Greenport) and New York City (Albany, Cold Spring, Troy and Port Jefferson).

August
Oliver Phelps returns to Canandaigua to make the second and final payment to the Seneca. He brings $5,000 instead of the $10,000 promised. (The discrepancy is probably due to greatly differing exchange rates for the pound in New York and Canada). The only sign-off Phelps can get is from four chiefs not directly involved with the sale lands. The tribe will eventually sign away the lands but will remain embittered. ** New York land agent Gouveneur Morris makes a business trip to London, staying at Froome's Hotel in Covent Garden. ** Captain Simon Stone ad Lieutenant Israel Stone, cousins from Salem, New York, purchase a Phelps and Gorham tract at Big Spring (the future site of Northfield, later Pittsford) containing 13,296 acres, for $4,786.56. They make a $30 down payment. They go back to Salem for the winter.

Aug 22
Phelps writes to Samuel Street indicating that Phelps and Gorham will permit Allan to continue milling even though he did not complete his construction by the June 1st deadline.

September
An Indian delegation from the Western Confederacy travels from Ohio to Buffalo Creek, where Joseph Brant advises them to go ahead and negotiate a settlement with the Americans.

Sep 13
Samuel Slater embarks from London for the U. S., carrying trade secrets of textile manufacturing.

Sep 29
Congress creates the U. S. Army. ** The adjournment of the first Congress under the Constitution is effected.

November
Ebenezer "Indian" Allan, sells his Scottsville farm for $2.50 an acre, moves to a site at the Genesee River falls, a location that will become the city of Rochester.

Nov 12
The approximate date Ebenezer Allen, using a crew of fifteen whites recruited from the Genesee Valley and a schooner's crew, erects a grist mill on the Genesee's upper falls, on behalf of Oliver Phelps.

Nov 18
Slater arrives in New York City.

City
John Jacob Astor buys his first real estate, on the Bowery Road. ** State attorney general Richard Varick is appointed mayor for each of the next two years. ** The Federal government takes over revenues from the Port of New York from the state. ** Attorney Aaron Burr starts a company to supply water to the city. It's charter is approved by the city with a capitalization of $2,000,000. Permissible use of surplus funds for discretionary purposes allows Burr and his backers to use the extra for banking ventures. ** Five-year-old Washington Irving and his nurse Lizzie encounter George Washington while out for a walk. The future author asks the President's blessing of his namesake. Irving begins attending a school run by former soldier Benjamin Romaine. ** Virginia's Richard Henry Lee resides in Greenwich Village while in New York for the session of Congress. ** Philadelphia backers of steamboat pioneer James Rumsey recommend to New York's Common Council that the inventor's steam engine could be made available for a municipal water system. The council does nothing. ** Samuel Jones begins publishing a summary of pertinent city and state laws. ** The Edward Mooney House is completed.

State
Oliver Phelps and Nathaniel Gorham take possession of the land purchased from the Seneca. Phelps opens the first U. S. land office, in Canandaigua. Sales begin. Land agent William Walker and General Israel Chapin begin surveying the area. Arthur Erwin buys land that will become the sites of Erwin and Corning. Blacksmith Samuel Miller buys land later known as Millers Corners, then Ionia, arrives in Canandaigua with his wife Zelpha Hayes to stay for the winter while his 11- and 13-year-old sons Salmon and Samuel begin clearing the property. ** Corning is founded. ** Gideon Putnam settles Saratoga Springs. ** The approximate date the first structure in Rensselaerville is erected. ** Nathaniel Loomis comes to Salt Point on Lake Onondaga, in the fall, and begins producing salt, turning out between 500 and 600 bushels over the next winter, which he sells for a dollar a bushel. ** Elnathan Gooding's brother rejoins him at Bristol in the spring, following a visit back to New England. ** The Seneca learn that the New York pound is worth only half of the Canadian pound. They refuse to sign an endorsement of last year's sale of their land as a protest, but accept the final payment. ** Connecticut-born surveyor Judah Colt comes down with Genesee Fever. ** George Washington hires surveyor Andrew Ellicott to help fix the southwestern boundary of the state, to settle ownership of the city of Erie. Andrew is helped by his brothers Joseph and Benjamin. ** The state puts aside 50,000 acres of land to be allotted to those opening new roads. ** Gilbert R. Berry opens an inn at Hartford (now Avon) on the trail between the Genesee Valley and Fort Niagara. ** The Markham-White party renews its journey from the Susquehanna in the spring. Reaching the head of Seneca Lake, one of the men herds the animals to the northern end while the others raft their belongings up to Geneva. Then they all continue on to Canandaigua. Phoebe Markham and her baby boy remain there as a housekeeper for Oliver Phelps while the rest of the party continues on to the Genesee River. ** Ebenezer Curtis, Amos Hall, Nathan Marvin and Robert Taft settle West Bloomfield. ** Benjamin Patterson scouts for surveyors Saxton and Porter. He also takes the first raft of lumber out of Bradford, down the Conhocton, Chemung and Susquehanna rivers. ** Richard Smith begins construction of a grist mill on the Keuka Lake outlet. ** The state legislature passes an act for the use of certain public lands for religious and educational purposes. ** Connecticut resident Hugh White settles on the Mohawk River at Sedaghqu