Not having a Psychic Hotline, New Yorkers were unable to foresee the future. Therefore they had no way of knowing for certain they were "between wars". But it doesn't take a Nostradamus to figure out that future wars are inevitable. And the military leaders of the period wanted to be ready. Last year they had begun a naval construction yard in Brooklyn, to maintain and augment whatever national fleet was needed. This year, several hours up the Hudson (the estimated time to Albany was nine hours, by sloop) a military academy was founded. Perched on a rocky outcropping on the western shore, it commanded a crucial and strategic reach of the river. The U. S. had learned it's lesson well from its revolutionary experience. Established by Congress on March 16th, the school enrolled its first class of future officers on July 4th. Down in Manhattan, civilian education was being stimulated by the first book fair in the country on June 1st.

Overland transportation around the state was enhanced by new construction projects. A turnpike across the Catskills was completed and a wagon road was opened between Buffalo and Chautauqua Creek, to ease travel to Ohio's Connecticut Reserve lands. Up near Sackets Harbor a bridge was erected across the Black River. The town of Brownville would not appear there for almost another decade. Along the new paths opened up by this construction activity the beginnings of the postal system made its way toward the far end of the state. James Brisbane became Batavia's first postmaster and he was soon processing mail out of Canandaigua, which arrived twice a month.

Land sales continued briskly and Holland Land Company field agent Joseph Ellicott soon found himself hampered by the inconvenience of having the county seat at Canandaigua and by prohibitive taxes. Such problems helped spur the creation of Genesee County this year. Containing most of the land west of the Genesee it would soon give birth to Niagara, Orleans, Monroe, Wyoming, Livingston, Chautauqua, Cattaragus and Allegany counties. The state purchased a mile-wide strip of land along the Niagara River from the Senecas, calling it, oddly enough, the Mile Strip. Joseph Ellicott began warning his boss, General Agent Paolo Busti, that if the land around New Amsterdam (Buffalo) was not opened to development quickly, the state would beat them to the punch by opening the Mile Strip to settlement and establishing a town there. He wa given permission to survey the land and sell lots. In the southern tier Captain Philip Church pioneered an Allegany County village. A dutiful son, he named it after his mother - Angelica. Colonel James McMahan pioneered Westfield, the first settlement in Chautauqua County. All of this new development did not come without its bureaucratic price. This year the Steuben County treasurer's office was required to post its first official bond - $2,000.

For Classical ninety-one five, this is David Minor

©1999 David Minor / Eagles Byte