The Oneida Carrying Place, a four-mile overland route that connected the Mohawk River and Wood Creek, was vital to British military campaign strategies beginning with the French and Indian War. The Carry also saw significant action during St. Leger’s American Revolution Campaign (1777), which included the Siege of Fort Stanwix/Schuyler and the Battle of Oriskany. [Read more…] about Fort Bull – Oneida Carrying Place Archaeology Funded
On August 11th, 1779, at the height of America’s war for independence, General John Sullivan arrived at Tioga Point on the Susquehanna River at the Pennsylvania-New York border with a large force of men and began construction of what would become known as Fort Sullivan. [Read more…] about Lt. John Jenkins: Guiding The Clinton-Sullivan Campaign
For many people, “American” history begins with European exploration of the continent. From there, the narrative invariably centers on the colonial perspective and, after 1776, the perspective of the United States.
Consequently, the general public is generally uninformed about the history of Indigenous People that both predates New Netherland and the Pilgrims and persists to the present. And this article is by no means capable of addressing this broad historical issue. So let’s turn from this historical macrocosm to the microcosm of one city, Schenectady. [Read more…] about Schenectady’s Relationship to Native America
One of the best memories I carry from my vacations at our camp on Twitchell Lake in Herkimer County in the Adirondacks is the white pine that marks the western border of our lake-shore property. It’s massive base peaks with twin tops that tower above all the other trees on our shoreline. Peering up into its heights ignited my boyhood imagination, picturing myself atop the Crow’s Nest of some fast clipper ship, scouting for pirates.
There have been several hurricanes and microbursts that have wreaked havoc with the four plus miles of our lake’s shoreline, but my white pine stands firm still, its roots anchored deep in the ancient glacial fill. Even to this day, my brother Tom and I muse about an observation tower roped between those twin tops where we are poised, binoculars in hand, eye-to-eye with the bald eagles that visit the lake, and the loons that daily jet by. This giant stands well over 150 feet tall. [Read more…] about The Great North Woods Before Logging: Twitchell Lake’s Virgin Timber
In the first days of August, 1777, Albany seemed doomed to be overrun by the British. General John Burgoyne had taken Crown Point, Fort Ticonderoga, Fort George, Fort Anne, Fort Edward and Fort Miller, the last substantial fortified place protecting the city from the north. To the west at Fort Stanwix, a siege was underway requiring many of General Philip Schyuler’s troops being sent to that fort’s defense from their camp on Van Schaick Island, now in the city of Cohoes.
Burgoyne however, had severely stretched his supply line. He was now having problems bringing up food and supplies over primitive roads that had been severely rutted and nearly destroyed by the Revolutionaries. He had to slow down to wait for food and had to keep his supply line protected all the way back to Canada, spreading his troops more thinly. [Read more…] about Revolutionary Albany: The Battles of Saratoga & Loyalist Opposition
After a late-summer of preparations, too late in the fall of 1775, the Colonial Army mounted a two-pronged invasion of Canada. General Schuyler invaded Montreal from Fort Ticonderoga and General Benedict Arnold attacked Quebec.
Schuyler fell ill and was replaced by General Richard Montgomery. Montgomery took Montreal and then marched to assist Arnold at Quebec. [Read more…] about Revolutionary Albany: Setbacks As The War Presses Toward Albany
During the American Revolution, British loyalists frequently raided the farms and homes of their former friends and neighbors in what is now Herkimer County, NY, with the support of their Native allies.
Among the communities raided were Andrustown (July 18, 1778), Rheimensnyders Bush (April 3, 1780, also known as Yellow Church), Shells Bush (August 6, 1781) and Little Falls (June 1782). The Loyalists knew the landscape well, for many of them had lived there for a generation or two. Many were relatives and friends of the recently deceased Sir William Johnson who had been Commissioner of Indian Affairs for North America.
One of these raids resulted in what has become known as the Battle of West Canada Creek, which occurred in September 1781. [Read more…] about Herkimer County Loyalist Raids & The Battle of West Canada Creek
In February 1826 one of America’s seminal works of historical fiction, James Fenimore Cooper‘s The Last of the Mohicans, was first published. Last of the Mohicans has also been adapted to film at least eight times, most recently in 1992 starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Madeleine Stowe. The novel is one of five Cooper wrote that make up the Leatherstocking Tales series, all of them set in Upstate New York between the years 1740 and 1804.
Warren County, NY is where many of the real-life actions of 1757 depicted in the novel occurred, including at what is now Lake George Battlefield Park, the location of several other important historical events. [Read more…] about Lake George Battlefield, More Than Just A Setting for Cooper’s ‘Last of the Mohicans’
Since 1985, when he was chosen as the very first Ganondagan State Historic Site Manager, Peter Jemison (Seneca, Heron Clan). Now, more than 35 years later, he announces his retirement from that role as of February 1, 2022. Jamison will be succeeded by two individuals in two positions: Ansley Jemison (Seneca, Wolf Clan), Cultural Liaison, and Michael Galban (Washoe/Northern Paiute), Site Manager.
Ganondagan State Historic Site, also known as Boughton Hill, is a Native American historic site in Ontario County, New York. The location of the largest Seneca village of the 17th century, the site is in the present-day Town of Victor, southwest of the Village of Victor. [Read more…] about After 35+ Years, Peter Jemison Retiring as Ganondagan Historic Site Manager
From the time Henry Hudson sailed up the Hudson River in 1609, the area that is now Albany, NY was considered the focal point of trade with Indigenous People. For over a hundred years, Albany was the trading post furthest west and most remote in the colonies. Most of the other colonies were English; New Netherland was Dutch and settled for the purpose of trade.
With a moderate climate, abundant rainfall, a lake and river system for good transportation and plentiful natural resources, New Netherland was well-positioned. The fur trade significantly raised the standard of living of many European settlers and Native People. Arriving at Albany with a catch of furs, an native person could trade would usually trade with a representative of the Van Rensselaers, or one of his agents.
Thousands of pelts began to flow into Albany in return for Dutch, and later English, trade goods. News of the Dutch market spread and before long Native People from as far away as today’s Minnesota and Illinois were traveling across the Great Lakes and Mohawk River to Albany to obtain manufactured goods with animal pelts. [Read more…] about Albany’s Role In Three Little-Remembered Colonial Wars in the Northeast