Initially, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy (Iroquois) claimed neutrality during the conflict between Britain and the colonists, seeing the disagreement as a civil war and valuing loyalty to their families and to their lands above all else. When the political discontent erupted into the American Revolutionary War, the member nations of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy split their support between the British and newly formed American forces. [Read more…] about The American Revolution in the Finger Lakes
In the early 1750s, the French were establishing trading posts and building forts along western the frontiers of the British colonies. In the fall of 1753, in part to protect his own land claims, Virginia Lieutenant Governor Robert Dinwiddie had sent 22-year-old George Washington (then a militia leader and surveyor) to deliver a letter to Fort Le Boeuf at what is today Waterford in northwest Pennsylvania, demanding they stop.
When Washington returned without success, Dinwiddie sent a small force to build Fort Prince George at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers (today Pittsburgh). Soon a larger French force arrived, torn down the small British fort, and began and built Fort Duquesne, named for then Governor-General of New France, Marquis Duquesne. [Read more…] about The French and Indian War: A New York Perspective
The Treaty of Paris of 1783 officially ended hostilities between the British and Americans; however, the treaty did not include the allied Indian Nations, leaving their legacy treaties with the Europeans unresolved and their future to be resolved through separate treaties with the new American government. [Read more…] about Euro-American Expansion Into The Finger Lakes Region
According to archeological records, groups of nomadic Paleo-Indians traveled through the Finger Lakes region approximately 8,000 to 9,000 years ago. Small bands of these hunters and gatherers followed large game during the last stages of the Ice Age when the glaciers that formed the area’s notable lakes were receding.
Somewhat more recent early archaic archeological sites scattered across Western New York reflect a culture that was highly mobile and left little in terms of an archeological record. [Read more…] about Early Inhabitants of the Finger Lakes Region
On Tuesday, July 18th, the National Park Service delivered the Finger Lakes National Heritage Area Feasibility Study to Congress. The feasibility study determined that the study area in the Finger Lakes region of New York state meets the criteria to be eligible for inclusion as part of the National Heritage Area System. [Read more…] about National Park Service Declares Finger Lakes Eligble For National Heritage Designation
The eastern white pine (Pinus strobus) isn’t really a crop-bearing tree, but it has borne priceless fruit for American democracy. Physically as well as culturally massive, there are many accounts from the early 1800s of white pines over 200 feet tall being harvested. One credible report pegs a white pine at 247 feet, and unverified accounts have claimed that 300-foot-tall leviathans were cut back then. [Read more…] about White Pines: Physically & Culturally Colossal
The New York State University at Albany’s University Council voted Friday, May 5th, to formally change the name of Indian Pond to Parker Pond, and Indian Pond Lane to Parker Pond Lane. The new names acknowledge and honor the contributions of the Parker family, of which three siblings — Caroline (Ga:hahno), Nicholson (Gye-wah-go-wa) and Isaac Newton (Gane-yo-squa-ga-oh) — were among the first nine Indigenous students to enroll at UAlbany around 1850. [Read more…] about SUNY Albany Renames Pond in Honor of First Indigenous Students
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