For now, though, I must use current maps, and make corrections later.
Contains Lake Placid and Port Henry. The east half of the northern border consists of the Ausable River. Its eastern border is Lake Champlain, with Ticonderoga on Champlain near the bottom of the county.
The eastern wall of the building is the border between New York state and Vermont. The western wall is made up partly of a straight survey line going south from Lake George, the rest of the western boundary, running nearly as straight, is a portion of the upper reaches of the Hudson River. The base consists of a survey-line boundary between Washington and Rensselaer Counties.
Founded around 1614, initially as Fort Orange, on Castle Island, lying in the Hudson.
Around 1830, the population was approx. 24,000, and the Dutch heritage was still very evident. "On the thoroughfare then called the Bowery, where the Central and Washington Avenues now join, was the open space where the pioneers gathered with their oxcarts ... for the trek up the Mohawk Trail..." "Unringed hogs ran at large in the streets ..sections along the river front ... were sunk in squalor and disease [and elsewhere] affluence, comfort and civility. Fine carriages stood in the better streets ... theatres [where] Edwin Forrest played to packed houses in The Gladiator.
(Source: Van Deusen, Weed, p53).
Best known in this period for the New York State Prison, a magnet for European travellors like de Tocqueville and Edward Abdy, who believed the U.S. was doing interesting things in penology. (Drawing, p80, Rothman, Discovery of the Asylum)
Home of William Morgan, the Mason whose disappearance, when he had threatened to publish the secrets of Freemasonry, led to statewide hysteria, and the formation of the short-lived Anti-Masonic Party.
According to Van Deusen, Weed, it is where Thurlow Weed spent his early teen years. In those days (1808-1812), the settlers still had Indians (of the Onandaga tribe?) for neighbors. Weed is said to have been invited by some Indians to a midnight salmon-killing party, and to have taken one home, with which he earned his first dollar.
Van Deusen says it is "in the Onandaga hollow", which I can't confirm, and he speaks of "Onandaga Creek", which even my AAA New York state map does not show. It is especially odd since Cincinnatus appears to be on the other side of the Lake Ontario/Susquehanna River watershed from Lake Onandaga, a small lake just northwest of Syracuse.
It enjoyed a brief prominence in the early 20s as the eastern terminus of the Erie Canal, but as the canal moved further west, its heyday faded.
Home of Joseph Smith, founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, generally known as the Mormon Church.
A center of the Anti-Masonic movement ant party from late1826 (the excitement began with William Morgan's disappearance, that September) until sometime past 1832, when the movement faded out.
Rochester was situated just upriver from where the Genessee empties into Lake Ontario. It was one of the best sites for water-powered mills of its time. It benefitted greatly from the opening of the west by the Erie Canal. This gave it access to grain from the newly opened western New York farmlands, and later those of the very new territories west of Pennsylvania, which we now call the midwest, but which was then the far western fronteir. With access as well, via the canal, to the eastern metropolitan marketplace. Access to the goods, the market, and the means of processing the goods made Rochester grow up overnight.
Site of Charles Grandison Finney's most famous revival, in the winter of 1830-1831. This episode is well treated in Paul E. Johnson's A Shopkeeper's Millennium, which describes how the turbulent throwing together of many disparate elements of society helped ignite the grand excitement of the revival.
Home, from the late 1820s, of Emma Willard's famous "Female Seminary".
cf. Alan Taylor's paper on "Unidilla Hunt Club" presented at at SHEAR '96.
Within a few miles of Utica are Clinton, home of Hamilton College, and Whitesboro, home of the Oneida Institute - two places closely associated with Theodore Weld, who was converted while staying at his "aunt Clark"'s house in Utica, on a weekend away from Hamilton College, and was later very strongly connected with the Oneida Institute, and the whole manual laber college movement.
Charles Grandison Finney's first great series of revivals, in the winter of 1825-26 and into the summer, took place in and around Utica. Finney was
The site of riots in October 1835. The Utica anti-slavery society called for a state convention in Utica for October 21, in order to form a state society. Elizur Wright was one of the organizers, and Gerrit Smith, the land baron and later strongly abolitionist politician was a major participant.
The Oneida Institute, a manual labor school headed for a long time by Beriah Green, was established just to the east of Whitesboro. Theodore Weld attended there, and then began the first of his philanthropic missions, and to which Lewis Tappan sent a son (which nearly killed the son).
Stephen A. Douglas studied law briefly atCanandaigua Academy.
It brought a rapid metropolitanization to the primitive back-country of New York State, which has been cited as one of the causes of the strange religious excitements of that region (see Burned-Over District, and A Shopkeeper's Millennium, and articles here on Rochester and Palmyra.
It can be seen as the boundary separating the western quarter of the state from the rest.
It begins in Pennsylvania, runs up the middle of Allegheny County, and ends on Lake Ontario. Rochester is at its mouth, and the strong rapids of the Gennesee at this point, made Rochester a boom town in the 1820s and 30s, as the Erie Canal for transport, the rapids for driving mills, and the fertile back country made an ideal combination.
A Trip Up the Hudson About 1830: The trip might begin at the southern tip of Manhattan, possibly from the slip from which Fulton's first steamboat left New York.
Cities and towns on the Hudson include, from south to north:New York City and Jersey City, Nyack on the west bank, Ossining on the east, Croton on Hudson on the east, facing Haverstraw, Rockland, and Stony Point on the west. Peekskill , Highland Falls, Garrison, West Point, Cold Spring, New Windsor, Beacon, Newburgh, Poughkeepsie, Arlington, Fairview, Highland, Hyde Park, Port Ewen, Rhinecliff, Kingston, Barrytown, Saugerties, Catskill on the west, facing Hudson on the east, Coxsackie, Kinderhook (a couple of miles up a feeder river called the Kinderhook, but notable as Martin Van Buren's original home), Ravena, Castleton on Hudson, Rensselaer, Albany, Watervliet on eth west, facing Troy on the east, Waterford, Mechanicville, Schuylerville, Hudwon Falls. Above this point it ceases to be a major river as it meanders up into the Aderondack Mountains.
As for counties, above the Bronx are Westchester on the east and Rockland on the west, then Putnam on the East, and Orange on the West, Dutchess on the east, facing Ulster on the west, Columbia on the east, facing Greene on the west, Rensselaer on the east facing Albany on the west (in the middle of these two counties being the city of Albany). Above this is Washington on the east - the first county that fully borders on Vermont, and Saratoga and Warren on the west.
Some towns encountered while ascending the river are Schenectady, Amsterdam, Little Falls, Herkimer, Utica (site of anti-masonic conventions, revivals, and race riots), and Rome.
Its county neighbors are Saratoga on the north; Albany - briefly, and then Schenectady, on the south. Then it runs between Fulton on the south, and Montgomery on the north. It next passes through the lower end of Herkimer, a county around 80 miles long (north to south) and for most of its length, only 15-20 miles wide. Finally it passes through Oneida, the county that includes the eastern half (or slightly less)of Oneida Lake.