January 17, 1998


July 26th brought good news to Troy, New York, for subscribers to Babcock and Hickock's Federal Herald . On this date New York's representatives learned that Virginia had ratified the new U. S. Constitution. Despite Governor George Clinton's Antifederalist, states' rights objections, they immediately followed suit. Clinton's stand didn't hurt him with state voters, though. They returned him to office a number of times on through 1795, and again from 1801 to 1804.

Down in Manhattan, the new Congress spent the remainder of the year scheduling elections for the presidency, declaring the city temporary capital of the
United States, and moving the furnishings and trappings of the outmoded Confederation Congress out of Federal Hall. They adjourned on November 1st.

Settlements continued to spread. A group of pioneers began clustering on the Chemung River, an area later named Elmira. To the north, Onondaga Indians signed the Treaty of Fort Schuyler (formerly Fort Stanwix) ceding "all their lands forever," - with the exception of certain reserved lands - to the State of New York. A small number of settlers in that area began producing their own salt from the springs at the northern end of Lake Onondaga. Downstate, in northern Westchester County, the Town of Cortlandt was founded. And at the far western end of the state, a man by the name of Middaugh established a tavern at Lewiston, at the southern end of the Niagara River portage. His establishment would be a lonely one, catering only to travelers; the first permanent settlers wouldn't arrive for another fourteen years.

It was this year that a number of people began taking an interest in the area along the Genesee River. People with names that would become an important part of the valley's heritage. A resident of Hartford, Connecticut, arrived in the valley and looked around with an eye to settling in the region. He liked what he saw. His name was Jeremiah Wadsworth. He would have to deal with the valley's new owners. Massachusetts had sold its western New York lands to a consortium of investors headed by Oliver Phelps and Nathaniel Gorham. They paid the Senecas $5000 in cash and trade goods, plus a $500 annual payment for the lands, which become part of the Military Tract, set aside for veterans of the recent revolution. Phelps and Gorham hired a local trader by the name of Ebenezer (Indian) Allan to start a mill at the Falls of the Genesee. They overlooked one thing. There was no convenient way for customers to get across the river at that point. The mill failed.

And in Hagerstown, Maryland, Sophia Beatty married a local businessman. His name was Colonel Nathaniel Rochester.

For Classical ninety-one five, this is David Minor.



© 2000 David Minor / Eagles Byte