September 25, 1999

1805 is a busy year in Europe, as Napoleon crowns himself king in Italy, loses his fleet to Nelson at Trafalgar five months later, then defeats the Austrians and Russians at Austerlitz at the end of the year. Back in the U. S. things are a bit quieter as President Thomas Jefferson begins his second term. His Corps of Discovery under Lewis and Clark reaches the Pacific Ocean. Michigan Territory is carved out of Indiana Territory, Daniel Webster begins practicing law in New Hampshire and Timothy Palmer builds the first covered bridge, across the Schuylkill River.

Here in New York the Federal government begins taking control of Great Lakes international trade. Ignoring last year's report from its own surveyor general, they declare Buffalo, rather than Black Rock, as an official Lake Erie port of entry. And, on Lake Ontario, at the mouth of the Genesee River, a customs agent is appointed for Charlotte. The state moves on with its own business. Oneida County gives birth to fraternal twins, Jefferson and Lewis counties.

Land sales continue briskly. 300 lots are sold in the Holland Land Purchase at the western end of the state. At the Falls of the Genesee River, Charles Carroll, William Fitzhugh and Nathaniel Rochester buy up Ebenezer Allan's One Hundred Acre Tract, and William Cole establishes a ferry. Between the Hundred Acres and the Holland lands, the Phelps and Gorham Tract begins filling up with immigrants from the Scottish highlands and a Presbyterian Kirk is established at Caledonia. Genesee developer James Wadsworth lays out a nearby town to be known as Churchville, elsewhere in the state communities are begun at Tonawanda, in the west, and Kingston along the Hudson. Up north in Antwerp an industry gets under way as entrepreneurs begin turning local rock into millstones. A hundred pairs will be produced between now and 1828.

Down at the mouth of the Hudson, John Lovett opens the City Hotel, on Broadway. And an off-Broadway star is born when Mrs. Wheatley, daughter of a British Army officer, makes her debut at the Park Theatre, beginning a long, successful stage career. Frederic Tudor, a Boston businessman, ships a cargo of 130 tons of ice out of New York City, bound for the island of Martinique. The ice industry will expand rapidly from this small beginning, becoming the subject of municipal scandal and the target of trustbusters in the 1890s.

Off in the quite larger metropolis of Philadelphia, the upper crust is treated to a wedding, as lawyer and former Army captain Philip Church marries Anna Stewart. This would fall outside our area of interest except for the fact that Captain Church is in a New York state of mind. We'll run into Philip and Anna again.

For Classical ninety-one five, this is David Minor

© 1999 David Minor / Eagles Byte