NYNY 1790-1794


( Updated 7 / 11 / 2004 )

Jan 14
Alexander Hamilton presents his first public credit statement to the U. S. Congress, advocating the payment of U. S. debts at par value, and the Federal assumption of all state debts incurred during the war.

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.

Feb 1
The U. S. Supreme Court convenes for the first time, in New York City.

Feb 3
New York authorizes the transfer of New Jersey's Sandy Hook lighthouse, built by New York, to the U. S. government.

Feb 11
Congress receives its first antislavery petitions. ** James Madison addresses Congress on Hamilton's funding proposals.

Mar 1
Congress passes the Census Act, calling for a census every ten years.

Mar 17
Colonel William S. Smith, U. S. Secretary to John Adams' legation, brokers a deal with Pulteney and Hornby to purchase 1,000,000 acres of New York lands from Robert Morris, at 26¢ an acre. Smith and English maritime claims agent J. B. Cutting act as witnesses.

Mar 21
Thomas Jefferson arrives in New York City and reports to President George Washington to be made Secretary of State. ** Canal engineer David Bates Douglass is born in Pompton, New Jersey, to Deacon Nathaniel Douglass and Sarah Bates of Newark.

Mar 22
Thomas Jefferson is sworn in as U. S. Secretary of State.

Apr 4
The U. S. Coast Guard is created, under the Treasury Department, to suppress smuggling.

Apr 9
Connecticut land speculator Jeremiah Wadsworth begins buying New York State lands from Phelps and Gorham.

Apr 10
Congress enacts the Patent Act in an attempt to rectify the expense and difficulty of the British patent process.

Apr 12
The House of Representatives defeats the Assumption Act.

Apr 20
President Washington begins a tour of Long Island, dining with a Mr. Barre of New Utrecht.

Apr 21
Washington stops at Hempstead to feed and water his horses, probably at Simmonson's Inn, then continues on to Copaigue, stopping for dinner at the Zebulon Ketchem House. He spends the night at Squire Isaac Thompson's home (Sagtikos Manor) in West Bay Shore.

Apr 22
Washington rests at Samuel Green's home in West Sayville. He continues on to Patchogue where he dines at Hart's Tavern, before going on to spend the night at Austin Roe's tavern in Setauket.

Apr 23
Washington tends to his horse at the Smithtown tavern of the widow Blydenburgh, dines at the Huntington home of the widow Platt and stops for the night at Daniel Young's Cove Neck Road home in Oyster Bay.

Apr 24
Washington breakfasts with miller Hendrick Onderdonck at Roslyn and tours his host's grist and paper mills. He stops for his midday meal at Flushing and continues on to Brooklyn, where he catches the ferry to Manhattan, ending his tour of Long Island.

The New-York Magazine; or, Literary Repository publishes a drawing of Columbia College.

May 1
Jefferson is struck by a violent headache and incapacitated for a month.

May 26
The Southwest Territory (Tennessee) is given a Territorial government. Congress also accepts the last of North Carolina's western lands. They are designated the Territory South of the River Ohio.

May 31
Congress enacts its first copyright law.

Jun 2
Jefferson moves to 57 Maiden Lane.

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 20
Congress, at the urging of Hamilton, passes the Assumption Act, at the price of a compromise - the placing of the capital in a southern location.

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 12
Jefferson outlines a policy to be followed if the Spain and Britain go to war over Nootka Sound.

Jul 13
Jefferson submits his Report on Coinage, Weights, and Measures.

Jul 16
Congress votes in favor of the Residence Bill, to make Philadelphia home of the national government for ten years, while another site, to be selected by the President, is prepared.

Jul 23
Congress passes the Non-Intercourse Act, promising the Iroquois will not be cheated out of their land. All land transfers must be done under the U. S. auspices, with an agent present.

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 4
The Congressional Funding Act establishes public credit, authorizes the Treasury to accept war bonds as debt payment, and assumes all state debts to the Federal government.

Aug 7
The U. S. signs a treaty with Creek Indian Alexander McGillivray at Federal Hall, to preserve peace with the Indians of the southwestern area of the states.

Aug 11
Allan makes out a £10 promissory note in Canandaigua to Oliver Phelps.

Aug 12
Congress recesses. Philadelphia becomes the temporary capital of the U. S.

Aug 15
Washington and Jefferson leave New York for Rhode Island.

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

Sep 1
Jefferson leaves New York for Monticello.

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.

Oct 7
New York and Vermont come to an agreement on their common boundary. New York relinquishes the Vermont area for $30,000. Cumberland and Gloucester counties, along with part of Washington County, become part of Vermont. ** Francois Joseph Gossec's opera Le Tonnelier is performed at New York's City Tavern, with a ball following. It is the first musical work performed in the city in a foreign tongue.

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.

John McComb's Government House is built in lower Manhattan, as a residence for George Washington. The U. S. Customs House sits on the site today. ** A U. S. Army garrison is stationed on Governor's Island. ** The second Trinity Church is built, to replace the one destroyed by fire in 1776. ** Fort George, formerly Fort Amsterdam, at the southern tip of Manhattan, is demolished. ** John Jacob Astor begins shipping pelts to London's Thomas Backhoujh #kHÄ ** Astdú`nd De Witt Clinton join the Holland 8 Lodge of the Masons. Other members include Clinton's uncle Governor George Clinton and merchant Robert R. Livingston. ** Captain Robert Richard Randall buys the Elliott estate north of Greenwich Lane from "Baron" Poelnitz for £5,000, with the intention of building a home for retired sailors on the property. ** Sarah Haswell Rowson's novel Charlotte Temple; A Tale of Truth, is published.] ** The city's seven wards are given numerical designations. ** Lewis Morris is authorized to build a toll drawbridge across the lower Harlem River. ** Congress charters the Bank of the United States, with its main office here; the city's first bank. ** English painter William Winstanley arrives in the city.

Phelps and Gorham's land sales lag and they sell a 20,000-acre tract west of the Genesee 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. ** John Lusk and Oran Stone settle the Brighton area of the future Monroe County. ** The approximate date the area around the future Cayuga County Town of Fleming is first settled. ** 14-year-old Amos Eaton of Chatham goes to live with a relative, blacksmith Russell Beebe, at Duanesburg, learns surveying, making his own instruments. ** 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. ** Judge John Dow settles Reading Center in Schuyler County. ** The Hamilton County town of Hope is settled. ** James Craig erects the first paper mill in Orange County, at Craigsville. ** Benjamin Griffin's house is built, at 12 Main Street in Cooperstown. The village now has a population of 33 whites in eight families, two slaves, seven houses and three barns. ** The Albany (soon Saratoga) County town of Corinth is first settled, near South Corinth, by Washington Chapman, Jephtha Clark, Jonathan Dewel, Jeremiah Eddy and Frederick Parkman ** 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). ** Albany's population reaches 3,498. ** The state has 57,606 electors. ** E. B. O'Callaghan's map is published showing the Genesee Lands, including Phelps and Gorham's Purchase. ** Reuben Bateman's Van Rennselaer Manor farm is leased out. ** Whitestown contains six parishes, three militia regiments, and a corps of light horse artillery, where only two families lived five years ago. ** 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.

Orringh Stone settles on East Avenue.

New Jersey
Burlington judge William Cooper moves his family to his new settlement of Copperstown.

Captain Charles Williamson wins a local Clackmannanshire election.



( Updated 4 / 4 / 2004 )

Early in the month English promoter Patrick Colquhoun begins conferring with capitalist 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.

Feb 7
Saratoga and Rensselaer counties are taken off of Albany County. ** The Albany County town of Cambridge is annexed by Washington County.

Feb 15
Pulteney, former governor of Bombay William Hornby, and Colquhoun meet, authorize the latter to enter into an agreement with William Franklin for the purchase of land in New York State. ** Washington County's Salem Washington Academy is incorporated.

Feb 16
Herkimer, Tioga and Otsego counties are carved out of Montgomery County. The future Hamilton County is included in Herkimer. The Broome County town of Union is formed.

Mar 4
Vermont enters the Union as the 14th state. It includes land on the western side of Lake Champlain, formerly part of New York's Clinton County. ** Former commissioner of Revolutionary War claims Aaron Burr is sworn in as a Democratic U. S. Senator from New York.

Mar 17
Colonel William S. Smith, U. S. Secretary to John Adams' legation, brokers a deal with Pulteney and Hornby to purchase 1,000,000 acres of New York lands from Robert Morris, at 26¢ an acre. Smith and U. S. maritime claims agent in London J. B. Cutting act as witnesses. Cutting writes home that interesting news will soon break and that he'll send it by Smith or bring it himself.

Mar 18
The town of Troy is formed from the Rensselaerwyck Patent. The first village charter is adopted.

Silvester Tiffany establishes Lansingburgh's American Spy weekly newspaper.

Apr 5
The Genesee (Geneseo) District of Ontario County holds its first town meeting, at Canawaugus (between Avon and Caledonia)

Apr 9
The first session of the courts for Geneseo District is held at Canawaugus.

Apr 26
The Association formed by Pulteney, Hornby, and Colquhoun meets in London and chooses Scottish officer Captain Charles Williamson as its Agent in the U. S.

May 3
William Wickham and his family having left Tioga Point (Athens) and proceeded to the Finger Lakes by way of boat, foot and canoe, arrive in Hector to become the first permanent settlers. They quickly build the first house in Hector.

May 5
Williamson writes to his father, Alexander, back in Scotland to tell him of his new position.

May 27
Williamson meets with his new employers to announce he's made a deal to sell 300,000 acres of New York State land to Archibald Boyd of Maryland, pending their approval. They authorize the sale, for close to £75,000.

May 29
Williamson receives his formal authorization from the Associates.

May 30
The Pulteney Associates meet. Williamson announces the closing of the Boyd deal. Colquhoun announces that William Franklin is demanding more money for their New York acreage and that he and his employer Robert Morris also want to liquidate their holdings in the Association. Williamson is given his instructions, containing few restrictions.

Jun 3
Colquhoun tells the Associates that Franklin will give up his right to profit for £1,750, Morris for £2,000. Temple shows up to collect his in person.

Jun 9
Playwright-composer John Howard Payne is born in New York City.

Jun 10
William Franklin requests that the Associates grant bills for part of the remaining purchase money.

Jun 13
Jefferson and James Madison ride across Long Island's Suffolk County.

Jun 15
Mastic landowner and Signer William Floyd joins Jefferson and Madison.

Jul 1
The bark Robinson arrives at Annan, Solway Firth, Scotland, to receive Charles Williamson, his family and their goods, for passage to New York.

Jul 4
The new Bank of the United States opens its subscription books, sells all stock within two hours. Among the purchasers are Colonel Smith, backed by the Pulteney interests.

Jul 8
Charles Williamson and his family board the Robinson for America and wait for favorable wind conditions.

Jul 12
With winds strengthening, the Robinson sets sail.

Jul 21
Colquhoun arranges with the German Baron Frederick de Damar (Diemar) to act as a land agent for the Pulteney Associates and the two men employ another German, William Berczy, to sell New York State lands in Germany and recruit German immigrants.

Jul 22
De Damar sails for Hamburg to have the recruiting materials published.

The Pulteney Associates meet, appoint Donald Stewart to recruit Highland Scots emigrants.

Aug 4
The Robinson, delayed in Solway Firth by heavy weather, attempts to depart, soon springs a leak.

Aug 7
The leak aboard the Robinson forces a layover at the Isle of Man.

Silvester Tiffany establishes Lansingburgh's Tiffany's Recorder newspaper. ** Capitalist Stephen Bayard, General Philip Van Cortlandt, Jeremiah Van Rensselaer, and Elkanah Watson travel from Cayuga Lake to Geneva along New York's Seneca River.

Sep 7
Colquhoun signs an agreement with Berczy.

Sep 8
The Pulteney Associates meet for the final time, approve the agreement with Berczy.

Nov 9
The Robinson having run into violent seas near the Virginia Capes, Williamson opts to land at Norfolk, rather than submit his family to any further dangerous weather by heading for its original destination, Philadelphia. They move up to Baltimore by year's end.

Following a conference at Newtown earlier in the year, a delegation of Seneca chiefs visits President Washington at Philadelphia. News of the November defeat of St. Clair in Ohio arrives during the visit. ** Berczy translates his recruiting pamphlets into German and publishes them.

Dec 8
John H. Jones, trader and brother of Indian captive Horatio Jones, leaves settler Gilbert Berry's inn and ferry at Canawaugus, travels down the Genesee by canoe for about four miles before being forced off the river by ice. He spends the night at the Samuel Shaffer cabin in Brighton.

Dec 9
Jones travels on to Rochester's rapids, on the Genesee.

Dec 10
Jones arrives at the falls of the Genesee to discover that Ebenezer "Indian"Allan is no longer the proprietor of the mill there, having turned it over to his partner Christopher Dugan.

Dec 11
Jones moves on up to Lake Ontario, trades with Indians there for otter, mink and muskrat pelts, in exchange for a blanket and some calico.

Dec 17
Manhattan's first one-way street is created.

Dec 26
Berczy hires Johann Leopold Hohenhausen to recruit 50 colonists to go to New York.

The city begins a ten-year project to fill in the Collect Pond, a source of drinking water, after pollution makes it unfit to drink. It purchases all land claims previously granted to the Rutgers family. ** Trinity Church, rebuilt in 1788, is consecrated by Bishop Provost. ** New Jersey express coaches travel to New York City and back at the rate of twenty a week, mostly on commercial travel. ** The city suffers a relatively mild outbreak of yellow fever. ** A tontine organized by Lewis Morris to fund a toll drawbridge across the lower Harlem River fails to raise enough money. ** The Tammany Society has over 300 members.

Financier Robert Morris buys the Phelps and Gorham's land west of the Genesee River back from Massachusetts, acquiring 4,000,000 acres for $333,333.33. ** Zebulon Norton and Enos Boughton build a mill at a rapids on the Genesee. The site called Norton's Mills, later becomes West Mendon, then Honeoye Falls. ** Otsego County is created. William Cooper is named First Judge of the Court of Common Pleas by the governor. ** An private company is chartered to make waterway improvements in the state. ** Connewango pioneer Jotham Metcalf is born in New Hampshire. ** Colonel Eleazer Lindley of a small settlement on the Tioga River, near the Pennsylvania border, is elected to the state legislature as representative from the sparsely settled (1,075) Ontario County. Although new counties have no official representation he is accepted to serve. Land he purchased from Phelps and Gorham becomes the Steuben County town of Lindley. ** Connecticut Revolutionary War veteran John Barker becomes an early settler in the town that will be named for him. ** Joseph Chaplin begins building a public road from Oxford, on the Chenango River, to Ithaca. ** John Hornby buys land from Phelps and Gorham that will become the village of Savona. ** Ephraim Sanford buys 600 acres in the Steuben County town of Wayne. ** All state land west of Utica is made part of the western senate district. ** Andrew Ellicott and Connecticut surveyor Augustus Porter begin surveying the borders of Phelps and Gorham lands. ** Colonel Timothy Pickering and Canandaigua lawyer Thomas Morris negotiate with Indian chief Cornplanter and local tribes at Newtown (Elmira). The Cayuga lease most of their reservation to John Richardson for a $500 annual rent. Earlier land sales are reaffirmed and a friendship treaty made. U. S. Secretary of War Henry Knox criticizes the arrangement. ** Amos Eaton begins privately studying the classics, in and around the Duanesburg, Schenectady County, area. ** Lewis Seymour and Judd Raymond open the first store in Walton, Delaware County. ** William Hincher and his son, of Big Flats, build a cabin at the future site of Charlotte, on Lake Ontario, the first house between Fort Niagara and the Genesee River. ** The Phelps-Gorham land company's annual payments of $500 to the Seneca Indians begins, continues on through 1805, after which the record is unclear. ** Hamilton's Bank of New York gains a state charter. ** Daniel Brown becomes the first settler in the Madison County town of Brookfield. ** Pompey's Trueworthy Cook, Salina's Jeremiah Gould, and Geneseo's James Wadsworth are elected pathmasters, in charge of wilderness trails through Northampton County, at the third annual town meeting in Whitestown. Wadsworth is allowed to practice law by Ontario County judge Oliver Pelps. ** The approximate date Richard Hooker settles Cohocton. ** "A map of the Genesee Tract, in the County of Ontario & State of New York" is published in London. The Phelps and Gorham townships and the state's forts are portrayed. ** The Genesee/Finger Lakes region has approximately 1,000 residents.

The Society for the Promotion of Agriculture, Arts and Manufactures is established at the Albany Academy. ** The Albany Institute of History and Art is founded.

Canandaigua Township is created. ** The Canandaigua Academy, the first educational institution in western New York, is founded.

The approximate date Christopher Dugan and family arrive at Ebenezer Allan's mills. Allan goes back to Mt. Morris, leaving Dugan in charge. ** Transportation pioneer and roadbuilder Gideon Cobb is born in Vermont.



( Updated 9 / 6 / 2004 )

George Gardner and James Hill buy Lansingburgh, New York's Tiffany Recorder from Silvester Tiffany, begin publishing it as the Lansingburgh Recorder. ** Toward the end of the month Charles Cameron and John Johnstone, working for Charles Williamson, take a wagon train out of Baltimore, headed for Carlisle, Pennsylvania, preparatory to moving on into central New York. ** The Reverend John Christopher Hartwick's land agent William Cooper is empowered to put squatter David Shipman off Hartwick's land where Oak Creek flows into the Susquehanna below Otsego Lake.

Jan 9
Newly-arrived Scottish land agent Charles Williamson is sworn in as a U. S. citizen, in Philadelphia.

Williamson meets with Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton in Philadelphia. He travels to the Genesee Valley via Albany to visit Kanadesega (Geneva).

Feb 14
The Albany Library is incorporated.

Robert Morris confers with Secretary of War Henry Knox over Indian conditions. ** Ebenezer "Indian" Allan sells his millsite on the Genesee River to Benjamin Barton for £500, in New York currency. ** Wilhelm von Moll de Berczy travels from Germany to London, bringing his wife Charlotte and year-old son William. He also brings a contract signed by German emigrants for settling on New York's Pulteney properties. He makes the final arrangements with Pulteney agent Patrick Colquhoun.

Mar 7
The Saratoga County town of Milton is formed from the Town of Ballston.

Mar 14
New York State authorizes a loan of $500,000, to be apportioned amongst it's twenty counties. ** New York City's General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen is incorporated.

Williamson visits Philadelphia, calling on Robert Morris, John Adams' son-in-law William S. Smith and British minister George Hammond. He finds the business outlook depressed. Nevertheless he begins planning a series of innovations and improvements concerning markets, harbors, roads and the mails. He recommends centers at Bath, Williamsburgh and Geneva. ** Former English merchant Henry Cruger is elected to the New York State Senate. ** General Israel Chapin is appointed Deputy Superintendent of the Six Nation Indians. ** The Pennsylvania legislature votes the unrealistic sum of £100 to assist the construction of a road from Loyal Sock Creek on the west branch of the Susquehanna to extend north to the New York border. ** Most of Berczy's German recruits switch to a new contract whereby they will sharecrop their new lands for a period of six with years with an option to buy at preferential rates afterwards. A few chose to continue under the old indentured servants contract

Apr 10
The Town of Fairfield is established in Warren County. ** The Delaware County town of Colchester is formed from Middletown. ** Otsego County's Town of Unadilla is formed from the Town of Otsego. ** The Chemung County, New York, Town of New Town is formed from the town of Chemung.

Apr 11
Williamson officially takes title to the 1,000,000 acres purchased by the Pulteney Associates.

May 2
William Berczy and his New York settlers sail from Altona, Germany, in his brig Frau Catharina.

May 8
The Frau Catharina reaches the open Atlantic.

May 17
The New York Stock Exchange is formed beneath a buttonwood tree on Wall Street.

May 26
Prussian ambassador Ernst August Anton von Goechhausen (Gõchhausen) alerts authorities in Hamburg and Altona of Berczy's plans to recruit thousands of settlers for the New World.

Lieutenant Governor Simcoe draws up a memorandum to guide negotiations over an Indian boundary line, suggesting Canada allow the retention of the Genesee territory by the U. S. (with no trading posts allowed) in return for a large area south of Detroit for Canada. The rest of the land south of lakes Ontario and Erie would be an Indian buffer zone, with no whites permitted. ** Charles Williamson and his family arrive in Baltimore. Williamson returns to the area on the Genesee near Big Tree (Geneseo). ** The mortgage for Benjamin Barton's mill site at the upper falls of the Genesee is registered with Ontario County clerk Nathaniel Gorham, in Canandaigua, with payment to be made on or before July 1st of next year.

Jul 17
The Frau Catharina arrives off Newport, Rhode Island.

Jul 22
The Frau Catharina arrives in Philadelphia.

Lansingburgh publisher Silvester Tiffany takes on William W. Wands as a partner, forming the firm of Tiffany and Wands. ** Charles Williamson contracts Genesee Fever while en route to Albany from Williamsburgh. He's taken in by the John Dolson family of Mud Creek. ** Reverend Hartwick reminds Cooper that he wants squatter Shipman put off his property. Shipman leaves by year's end.

Aug 3

Berczy and the Frau Catharina passengers disembark at Philadelphia.

Williamson begins laying out a one-thousand acre farm on the Genesee, naming the site Williamsburgh, after Sir William Pulteney. ** Benjamin Patterson gathers seventy German families at Lycoming Creek, Pennsylvania, to begin work on Williamson's roads.

Sep 29
New York City's State Street and others are laid out.

Williamson works on Williamsburgh's defenses. He travels to Pennsylvania, finds Berczy's Germans have only built five miles of road. ** New York Indians ask Canadian lieutenant governor John Graves Simcoe to mediate between them and the U. S. government.

Oct 8
Boston businessman Abijah Hammond donates a device for drilling for water to the New York City government. They order experiments on a lot adjoining city hall.

Oct 10
Berczy's ship Heinrich and George arrives in New York, carrying the rest of his peasants but, unknown to him, some of Quaker Prophetess Jemima Wilkinson's followers as well.

Oct 12
New York City's Society of St. Tammany holds the first major celebration of Columbus' discovery of America.

This month and next Benjamin Ellicott leads James Armstrong, Augustus Porter, and Frederick Saxton in a resurvey of 1788's Pre-emption line, making adjustments to disputed boundaries.

Berczy conjoins his two groups. Patterson brings them to Painted Post for the winter, and takes thirty of them on to Williamsburgh. One hundred remain behind until spring. ** Wands takes over the operation of Tiffany and Wands.

Dec 15
Mrs. Marian Gorham Smith, wife of Seneca Falls settler Job Smith, dies in childbirth.

Dec 24
Robert Morris contracts with Holland Land Company agent Theophile Cazenove for 1,500,000 acres of land west of the Genesee for the same price the Pulteney Associates had paid for 1,000,000 acres.

The law firm of Cadwallader, Wickersham & Taft is founded. ** The Belvedere House in lower Manhattan is the first country club in the city. ** A United States Bank branch opens here. ** Another grand jury indicts the city for its filthy streets. Again nothing is done. ** The city council does away with a fixed payment for the digging of a public well and agrees to pay a dollar a foot for all approved wells. ** A commission, including lawyer Aaron Burr, is named to supervise the construction of a good road leading to Lewis Morris's as-yet-unbuilt toll drawbridge across the lower Harlem River.

Robert Morris travels to Europe, meets with the principals of the Holland Land Company. He will sell most of his land in the state east of the Genesee River, to William Pulteney and his associates. ** Scotsman Patrick Campbell comes to America to scout the Genesee Valley for his countrymen, publishes Travels;1792. . ** The town of Chili is settled. ** Cortland is founded. ** John Wells is admitted to the New York Supreme Court. ** Oliver Phelps opens a land office complex at Canandaigua. ** Connecticut-born surveyor Judah Colt comes down with Genesee Fever. ** Joseph Morgan settles at what will become the eastern part of the Monroe County town of Chili. ** George Clinton defeats John Jay to become governor. ** A group of French settlers move into the future site of Chenango County's village of Greene. Most move on when their title to the land is later invalidated. ** Mohawk chief Joseph Brant and Seneca chief Farmer's Brother visit the western tribes, obtain their approval for negotiations with the U. S. government next spring in Ohio's Sandusky area. ** The approximate date Matthew Aldgate and his sons settle the Essex County town of Chesterfield. ** Enoch Stowell and Jonathan Bates of Vermont pioneer the Madison County town of Lebanon. ** A resurvey of the Pre Emption lines reveals an error, creating a gore or triangular plot, about a third of today's Chemung County. It also moves Geneva and Dundee out of Massachusetts land into New York. ** Barnabas Mitchell starts a settlement at Port Woodhull, in the Oneida County town of Remsen. George A. Smith begins the settlement of Staceys Basin, in the town of Verona. ** Joseph Wilson settles the Onondaga County village of Baldwinsville. ** PennYan physician Andrew Oliver is born in Vermont. ** The book Maude's Travels describes John Maude's journey through the Finger Lakes and Genesee River country. ** Robert Morris, his agent Samuel Ogden, Benjamin Barton, and others buy the township between the Genesee River and Irondequoit Bay, to establish a town at the head of the Bay, and a city, to be named Athens, on the east bank of the Genesee at the lower falls. Barton buys the One-Hundred-Acre tract on the Genesee, soon transfers it to Ogden. ** Speculator Alexander Macomb buys 4,000,000 acres of Adirondacks land. ** Gideon Tripp's Van Rennselaer Manor farm is leased out after a survey is run. ** A delegation of Iroquois leaders, including the Oneida "Good Peter", visit the capital at Philadelphia. ** Senator Nicholas Gilman discovers Saratoga's Congress Spring.

James Wadsworth purchases a 27,000-acre parcel of land here from his cousin Jeremiah, begins speculating himself. Daniel Haynes buys a farm from James. ** The Reverend Samuel Kirkland convenes a council at Geneseo with the Indians, promising the aid of the U. S. in helping them adjust to white civilization. He organizes a delegation of chiefs to visit Philadelphia. One, Oneida chief Good Peter, has his portrait painted by John Trumbull, while there.

The Western Inland Lock Navigation Company is formed by General Philip Schuyler, to build a three-mile Little Falls canal and another linking the Mohawk River with Wood Creek.

Moravian missionaries transport a small band of Delaware Indians, originally from New York State, to Ontario's Thames River from Michigan.

The Dutch investment house of P. & C. van Eeghen, Schimmelpennick, Stadnitski, Van Staphorst, Vollenhoven, W. & J. Willink join together to form the Holland Land Company. Their U. S. agent Theophile Cazenove begins buying up land in western New York.

Charles Williamson
John Johnstone builds a barn at Williamsburgh and moves Charles Williamson's house nearby, the two buildings to be known as the Hermitage Farm. Nathaniel Fowler builds the Starr Tavern in the new village. Total cost of the tavern - $275. The trail up from Pennsylvania is widened. ** He is given a tour by Arthur Erwin, out of Savona, to Bath, Keuka Lake and to the site of Dansville. ** He begins promoting a U. S. - Canada postal system.



Williamsburgh now has 52 building lots sold. Williamson has a house, a barn and stables and a peach orchard, as well as 60 cows, 100 oxen, 8 horses and 100 pigs, on the site.

Feb 18
Charles Williamson, in Philadelphia on business, learns that his young son Alexander has died from fever back in Northumberland, Pennsylvania.

Charles Williamson buys himself a new horse in Philadelphia. He returns to Northumberland then heads for his lands on the Genesee.

Mar 2
Congress appropriates $20,000 to build a lighthouse at Montauk, Long Island. ** The U. S. revenue Collection District at Plattsburgh is established, with satellite offices at Burke, Centerville, Champlain, Chateaugay, Fort Covington, Hogansburgh, Malone, Mooers, Perrysville, Rouses Point, Trout River, Westville, and Whitehall.

Mar 12
The Fulton County town of Mayfield is formed from Caughnawaja (later Broadalbain and Johnstown).

Apr 3
New York City receives the news of France's declaration of war on Britain.

Apr 15
Charles Williamson arrives at Bath.

New Jerusalem resident Alexander Macdonald returns from Albany with four batteaux loaded with iron, steel, nails, hardware, chocolate, leather, scythes, rum, pork and earthenware, most meant for Williamsburgh. Williamson's father and brother send seeds and fruit trees.

May 17
Indian commissioners Colonel Timothy Pickering and Beverly Randolph arrive at Niagara to observe British negotiations with the Indian tribes.

The approximate date Charles Williamson's road connecting northern Pennsylvania with the area of the future Bath and with Williamsburgh, wide enough to accommodate carriages, is completed.

Jun 10
Williamson's family arrives at Bath.

Jun 12
The French warship Embuscade arrives at New York City from Charleston, where it had landed Citizen Genet in April.

Jun 15
Pro-French New Yorkers display a Cap of Liberty on a pole in front of the Tontine Coffee House at Wall and Water streets.

Jun 20
The Embuscade departs from New York City in search of further prizes.

Jul 15
Charles Williamson runs an ad in the Albany Gazette for an agricultural fair to be held at Williamsburgh, beginning on Monday, September 23rd.

Charles Williamson begins advertising his villages in Albany. ** The German settlers at Williamsburgh demonstrate against Williamson and threaten him. Tom Morris, son of financier Robert Morris, goes to Canandaigua for help.

Sep 23
Charles Williamson begins his first Williamsburgh Fair and Genesee Races, intended to attract new real estate prospects to the area.

Sep 25
Williamson holds a £50 horse race, on the flats of the Genesee River below the village.

Sep 26
Williamson holds a grand sweepstakes horse race.

Sep 27
Christy Williamson, young daughter of Charles Williamson, dies of Genesee Fever in Bath, New York.

Nov 11
Pennsylvania politician Albert Gallatin marries Hannah Nicholson in New York's Dutch Reformed Church.

Nov 25
An insurrection of slaves in Albany is put down after a number of buildings have been burned.

Dec 9
Noah Webster establishes New York City's first daily newspaper, The American Minerva.


Construction begins on the State Street home of James Watson, later to become the Shrine of Blessed Mother (Saint) Seton. The architecture is attributed to John McComb, Jr. ** 203 members of a merchants' association erect the Tontine Building (The Coffee House) at Wall and Water streets, to provide a business exchange. The funds are provided by members' annuities, the eventual remainder to be distributed among the seven longest surviving members. Archibald Gracie is elected its first president.

Robert Morris completes the sale of 3,600,000 acres of western New York land to Theophile Cazenove. ** Auburn is founded when Colonel John Hardenburgh of Ulster County settles there. ** The town of Seneca is founded. ** A treaty with the Onondaga reduces the size of their reservation. ** Albany's Society for the Promotion of Agriculture, Arts, and Manufactures is incorporated. ** Charles Wilbur erects a cabin in the Le Roy area. ** New York City capitalist Herman Le Roy and associates William Bayard and John McEvers purchase 85,000 acres of western New York land from agent Robert Morris - the Triangle Tract. ** Moses De Witt and William Van Vleck become partners, erected a potash manufactory in Onondaga County. ** Pioneer Ephraim Wilson settles in Bristol Center and builds a home there. ** James Geddes begins manufacturing salt at Geddes. ** Williamson begins filing land records in Albany, registering three deeds and eighteen mortgages. He is appointed as a judge of the Court of Common Pleas for Ontario County. ** Joseph Chaplin's Oxford to Ithaca road is completed. ** The Painted Post supervisory district is created as part of Ontario County. Settler Eli Mead is appointed supervisor and attends the annual board session at Canandaigua. ** The state's Council of Appointments, a Federalist-controlled body, now controls every political appointment in the state. ** Williamson relinquishes the lease to his lands in Balgray, Scotland. ** Indian commissioners Pickering and Randolph travel west on Williamson's road to treat with the tribes at Niagara. They are joined en route by General Israel Chapin and his interpreters from Canandaigua. General Benjamin Lincoln conveys presents for the tribes across the state by water. ** France's exiled Prince de Talleyrand-Perigord visits the Genesee Valley, is pleased with what he sees. ** The Markham family rent a farm in East Bloomfield and begin raising potatoes. ** Charles Williamson has streets and lots laid out in Geneva. ** Canandaigua's first courthouse, jail and county clerk's office are built. ** A pioneer named Gunn first settles the Oneida County village of Oriskany Falls. ** West Bloomfield's first church services are held. ** Construction begins on the Little Falls Canal.

Charles Williamson founds the town, named for William Pulteney's daughter, the Countess of Bath. He begins promoting it in Pennsylvania and Maryland newspapers. ** Charles Cameron runs a survey for the village; Thomas Rees, Jr. lays out the streets. ** Williamson's cabin, a land office and nearly 20 other log buildings are erected James Henderson builds a sawmill. A kitchen is added to John Metcalf's Tavern by builder J. Glendinning.

New Jersey
Abolitionist, minister and college president (Ingham University) Samuel Hansen Cox is born.

Captain Elijah Starr finishes his tavern in time for the September fair. ** Samuel Murphy begins teaching the first school in the village. ** A post office is established.



( Updated 11 / 7 / 2004 )

Governor George Clinton addresses the state legislature, urges strengthening defenses against the British. They vote £30,000 for fortifying New York City and £12,000 for the frontiers to the west and north.

Jan 27
Quaker mill owner Daniel Anthony (father of Susan B, Anthony) is born in East Hoosac (later Adams), Massachusetts.

Canadian governor, Sir Guy Carleton, Lord Dorchester, tells Indians in Québec if they assist Britain in the upcoming war, lands in the Northwest Territory will be returned to them. ** Indian agent General Israel Chapin, noticing desertions from local reservations and fearing trouble from his charges, meets with them at Buffalo Creek and stays close to them on through this year and into the next.

William Berczy, Samuel Street, and Timothy Green, backed by Aaron Burr, Melancthon Smith and Elisha Boudinot, petition Canadian lieutenant governor John Graves Simcoe for 1,000,000 acres along the shore of Lake Ontario.

Mar 5
Onondaga County is carved out of Herkimer County. The town of Manlius is formed, with Comfort Tyler as Justice of the Peace. ** The Seneca County town of Ovid is formed.

Mar 26
Saratoga County appropriates £1500 to build a courthouse and jail near Ballston Spa. John Ball, Richard Davis, Jr., James Emott, John McClelland, and John Bradstreet Schuyler are named commissioners to superintend construction. ** William Berczy leaves New York City, heads upstate.

Mar 29
Berczy passes through Albany.

Mar 31
Berczy passes through Schenectady.

Apr 7
Berczy reaches Williamburg.

Apr 15
Berczy leaves Williamsburg on a visit to Simcoe, accompanied by John Henry Sommerfeldt, Joachim Lunau and Francis Schmidt.

Apr 21
Chapin tries to get Mohawk chief Joseph Brant to agree to meet with George Washington at Pennsylvania's Fort Venango. Brant refuses. ** Onondaga sachem Clear Sky tells Chapin that the Iroquois nation is as free as any nation, including the
U. S.

The first church services in Ovid are held at the home of Abraham Covert.

A grand jury in Canandaigua fails to indict the German settlers who went on a rampage at Williamsburg last year. ** Chapin meets with O'Bale, son of Cornplanter, at Buffalo Creek. The chief insists Chapin accompany him to Presque Isle, Pennsylvania, to survey military conditions. Chapin agrees. ** English textile manufacturer Henry Wansey visits New York City, complains of the water. ** Berczy and his German immigrants, having fled the law in the Genesee region, arrive at Queenston and Chippewa, Canada, on the Niagara River.

The Iroquois meet at Canandaigua for internal discussions on a treaty with the U. S.

Jun 11
Carleton instructs Simcoe to prohibit the Americans from founding any settlement on the south shore of Lake Ontario.

Chapin manages to keep O'Bale and other chiefs from joining the British and other tribes in northwestern Ohio.

Jul 18
Simcoe protests to British minister to the U. S. George Hammond, in Philadelphia, that Charles Williamson's settlement at Sodus is a threat to Canada.

Jul 25
The U. S. press publishes Simcoe's protest, and explains the threat it poses.

The wife of land agent Israel Chapin dies in Canandaigua. She's given the largest funeral the community's seen to date.

Aug 9
Christopher Dugan writes to Charles Williamson from the Falls of the Genesee, the first business letter written in (the future) Rochester. He informs the agent that the mill is badly in need of repairs, and that he would like some recompense for acting as caretaker for the property.

Aug 10
A British party lead by Major Roger Hale Sheaffe crosses Lake Ontario, delivers a formal protest against Williamson's settlement at Sodus Bay and requests an audience with the land agent in a week's time.

Aug 19
Williamson drafts a letter to family friend Henry Dundas, secretary in the English Home Office, strenuously protesting Simcoe's threats

Sep 20
Colonel Timothy Pickering arrives at Canandaigua.

Sep 25
Williamson pays H. MacKenzie $41.20 to cover 'his Expenses to Genesee Mills to get them repaired.'

Sep 26
The Oneida arrive at Canandaigua for the treaty talks. Canadian government representatives have been barred from the negotiations.

Cornplanter meets with Simcoe, who promises the Seneca chief Canadian land at Lake Ontario's Long Point if an agreement with the Americans is not reached. ** Farmer's Brother and Little Billy and their Senecas arrive at Canandaigua, joining the Cayugas, Oneidas, and Onondagas. Cornplanter arrives the following day. ** French exile Moreau de St. Méry travels from Philadelphia, where he is a bookseller, to New York City, compliments the quality of the pump water.

Charles Williamson and his wife Ann have a son, Alexander. ** John Jacob Astor writes to former partner Peter Smith in Utica, seeking partial repayment of a land deal loan, in order to finance a selling trip to Europe.

Nov 4
Pickering feels he has soothed Indian feelings over the issues of Presque Isle and land along the Niagara River.

Nov 7
Some of the Indians drink too much and no negotiations take place.

Nov 9
Pickering presents the treaty to the assembled chiefs, but Cornplanter objects on the grounds of previous bad faith.

Nov 11
The Pickering Treaty is signed at Canandaigua, limiting the Seneca to western New York lands.The Six Nations receive $10,000 in goods as payment for their land at disputed points, notably Presque Isle, Ohio. The U. S. agrees to add $3000 to the $1500 annual payment promised to the tribes forever.

Charles Williamson's Geneva Hotel, built at a cost of $15,000, is completed. He hires former English hotelier Thomas Powell as manager and an English chef; celebrates the opening with a grand ball.

Designer Duncan Phyfe begins manufacturing furniture. ** Bellevue Hospital is created out of a pest house built to cope with the plague. ** Journeymen printers form the Franklin Typographical Society, the city's first permanent labor association. ** John Jacob Astor travels to Europe in the fall, leaving his seven-months-pregnant wife Sarah behind. ** Potter's Field is laid out at the junction of Bloomingdale and Post roads, the future site of Madison Square. ** Further attempts to sell the land in the former Collect Pond area again elicits no responses. ** City surveyor Benjamin Taylor and others make proposals for supplying the city with water. Nothing is done. ** Aaron Burr's wife Theodosia dies, leaving him with a daughter, also named Theodsia. ** Colonel Marinus Willet, a prominent member of the Tammany Society and a war veteran, is sent south to invite Creek Indian half-breed chief Alexander McGillivray and some of his warriors to New York to meet Washington and Secretary of War Henry Knox. The Society acts as host to the 29 Indians and a peace treaty is signed formally ceding the land between the Oconee and Ogeechee rivers to Georgia.

County boundaries are surveyed in the Military Tract. ** John Stevens demonstrates a steamboat. ** Judge William Cooper is elected to Congress. ** Free black Asa Dunbar establishes a settlement in the Rochester area, on the east side of the Genesee River, which will one day become the Corn Hill neighborhood. ** Benjamin Barton sells his mill site on the upper falls of the Genesee to Sir William Pulteney. ** Connewango pioneer Sarah Ash (Metcalf) is born in Rensselaer County. ** Tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt is born at Port Richmond, Staten Island. ** A "Block-house" or public storehouse is erected at the salt springs at Onondaga Lake. ** A group of settlers on the banks of Esopus Creek petition the governor for pasture and firewood land in the Catskill region. Traders Jacob Rutsen and Johannis Hardenbergh take notice. ** The legislature authorizes the surveying of a road between Utica and the Genesee River. ** Onondaga County is carved out of part of Herkimer County. ** Jediah Stephens, having been recently elected supervisor of the new Canisteo district (parts of Steuben, Allegany and Livingston counties), meets Painted Post supervisor Eli Mead at Cohocton Village. They ride to Canandaigua together. ** The approximate date Elder Daniel Irish conducts the first church services (Baptist) in the Cayuga County town of Fleming. ** Augustus Porter prepares a map of the Phelps and Gorham Purchase from his own survey. ** East Bloomfield pioneer Markham family buys another farm in the area. The resulting settlement is named Markham's. ** Potential Indian and British problems slow settlement in the Genesee region. ** Joseph Lothrop and A. Mead are the first to settle at the future site of Chenango County's North Norwich. ** A one-room log schoolhouse, paid for by subscription, is built south of Pittsford. John Barrows is the first teacher.It will be the only one in the area for ten years. ** Philadelphian Thomas Cooper visits the Genesee Country. ** The town of Northfield, in what will become Monroe County, is created, containing the future towns of Brighton, Henrietta, Irondequoit, Penfield, Perinton, Pittsford, and Webster. ** The first church services in the Oneida County town of Augusta are held in the Fairbanks home. ** Dr. Richard Bayley helps found the state Medical Society. ** The population of Herkimer County is 1500; Otsego County 12000, Tioga County 7000. ** Judge Augustus Porter leads a team to re-run the 1788 Pre-Emption Line, to correct errors.

Simeon DeWitt publishes a map of the area. ** The Bayard Land Company is formed.

Strict Baptist Minister Thomas Streeter settles near Bath. ** The governor and the council of appointment make Charles Williamson an Ontario county judge.

Pulteney land agent Charles Williamson arrives in the area. He lays out a village green (later Pulteney Square).

The Philadelphia office of the Holland Land Company hires surveyor Joseph Ellicott to mark out company-owned land in the northwestern part of the state.

Charles Williamson
Williamson clears a road between Palmyra and Sodus Point in the spring - the Old Sodus Road. He builds an inn on Sodus Bay and lays out 100 building lots. ** Charles Williamson acquires the Genesee Mill Lot once belonging to Ebenezer Allan in the future Rochester, from Robert Morris. ** Charles Cameron, an agent of Williamson, begins a village at Lyons. ** Williamson sends Joseph Biven to build a tavern on the Conhocton River (Biven's Corners, then North Cohocton. ** Williamson has Bath's main square (Pulteney) cleared except for a Liberty Pine Tree and has a blockhouse erected, in case of a Canadian-Indian invasion. He also has a one-story frame courthouse and a log jail built. When he learns of the U. S. victory over the Indians at Fallen Timbers he demolishes the blockhouse and builds 40 log homes, a theater and a racetrack. He offers ready-made farms for sale.


© 2004 David Minor / Eagles Byte